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  1. I stopped taking my 10mg dosage of Escitalopram about 8 weeks ago. I had been on it for approximately 14 months and it didn’t seem to be doing anything and I was gaining a lot of weight so I decided to quit against my doctors wishes. Before this I was on Zoloft for about 3 yrs (which helped me thru pregnancy and post-partum), then Prozac for a year when Zoloft stopped working. Prozac gave me a constant stomach ache so then switched to Lexipro. My dr seemed scared to have me quit SSRIs and instead kept insisting I just switch to another one. And perhaps since I have a young daughter I decided not to risk it. Now wish I stopped a long time ago. I tapered for only 3 weeks to 5mg since I was on such a low dose. Ive had a hard time dealing with weepiness, muscle pains, memory loss, cloudy thinking and sudden mood changes. Also I find incredibly strange is that I’m dealing with emotions and negative memories from years ago- things I hadn’t thought of for years just creeping into my mind as soon as I wake up in the morning. Like Im reliving trauma and just old-fashioned hurt feelings from years past - is this bc the SSRIs suppresses them? And now they are just there and raw and waiting to be heard again? It’s disturbing. in some ways I feel so much better though. My heartburn is gone. My extreme tiredness and irritability that I believe were side effects from Escitalopram. I may feel quite happy and alive one day - but next I might feel very sad and weepy. I’m sure my Dr would say it’s relapse of depression and anxiety/ but I never felt like this before. I know it’s withdrawal. thanks for listening
  2. After successfully being on 20mg citaloprom having become depressed after the sudden death of my mother for about 8 years it pooped out sending me into dizziness,panic attacks etc for a couple of weeks then I felt fine. That was about 2 years ago. Three months later developed rash on face and diarrhoea, sleep disturbances, cramps and bruising on arms. Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to. Sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed cipralex in drop form to build up slowly and then my hell for the past two and a half years started. From the onset of taking the drug increasing by one drop every third day I would have 24 hour panic/anxiety no appetite nausea fatigue. This went on for about three months and then what I now know as a window appeared for about a week only to plunge straight down again. That is how my life has been until last summer my gp told me I needed to see a psychologist as still suffering badly. Rang my psychiatrist to ask him and he said he felt my problems were not in the head but probably systemic so to see an endocrinologist. After various tests for adrenal thyroid etc he said all fine but felt steroid inhaler I had been on for about 4 years could be causing problems. Looked up side effects of inhaler and yes skin rash anxiety etc all matched. September last year came off the rash, cramps etc all disappeared and even put on a few of the 10 pounds weight I had lost since this started. Felt fine for a couple of weeks then crash back into another wave and that is how it has been ever since with severe waves of anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue. Then paid privately to see a gp in the hope he would help. His decision was the cipralex was aggravating me and to stop the eight drops a day immediately. I dropped a drop every two days and felt brilliant for five weeks apart from the brain zaps, nightmares,insomnia, dizziness then back came the raging anxiety, extreme fatigue, panic, nausea, loss of appetite. I have given in this morning and taken two drops of cipralex I don't know if I have done a stupid thing or not, whether it is too little or I should have just suffered for longer. Since this first started I seem incapable of taking any drugs or antibiotics without severe reaction Can anyone help?
  3. hello! I've taken antidepressants in the past 5 years to help me with my severe PMS, i initially took cymbalta then it was shifted to escitalopram 10mg/tab, I took it daily but failed to taper it. I got off from it around July then weeks after I noticed myself having troubles with my memory and concentration. Before taking it my memory was still sharp and retentive, the only time that I get to experience brain fog is when I'm a week or 2 away from the day of my period but now that I stopped taking it, my memory has become terrible and it's really frustrating. Is there any way my memory could go back the way it was prior to taking this drug? hoping for your reply soon... Thanks!
  4. Cipramillion

    Cipramillion ☼ Cipralex

    Hi all! Been hanging around and read up on some of the great posts on this forum over the last week. Impressive work! My english is not that good, so pls bear with me. Here is a summary of my medical background/history. My problems startet after an acute reaction to a vaccine i took 3 months ago. A few weeks later i also found out that i had an Epstein Barr infection, most likely during the same period that i took the vaccine. My symptoms after taking the vaccine were severe with extreme depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and generally feeling very ill. My doc think i might have developed chronic fatigue syndrom/ME as a result of the vaccine/infection, but at this point nothing is certain. I have no previous history of psychiatric problems or other somatic illness. I lived a happy life with my family and enjoyed my work fully at 100%. Now i cant work at all, and the situation is tough with two small kids to look after. As a result of my symptoms, which didnt seem to stabilize after 2 months, i aggreed starting treatment with Cipralex (Lexapro/escitalopram) 5mg. My doc told me to increase the dose to 10mg after 3 days, which i did not do. I noticed just after the first couple of days that i was sensitive to the medication and had lots of side effects (headache, feeling dizzy, mild depersonalization etc). Then tried to stabilize at 5mg for 3 weeks. Felt a bit better the second week, more energy and better mood, but still the side effects were bothersome. I changed to the original brand after using the generic for the first week. It helped a bit on the side effects. Also got parasthesia, a burning sensation in the body and face. Feeling very warm and uncomfortable. Sporadic panic anxiety. So after 3 weeks i decided to reduce the dose to 2.5 mg after discussing this with my doc. I told him to prescribe the liquid version (Lundbeck), which only comes in 20mg/1Ml in Europe, but still makes it more accurate for 2.5 mg. Im not sure how to use this at lower doses. He was a bit puzzled about my sensitivity to the medication. Probably need to take a CYP test to see if im a poor metabolizer. I`ve noticed that im very sensitive in general after i got sick. Cant drink anything with caffeine now. Sugar is also no good. Before i used to drink a lot of coffee. Now i cant take a sip without getting restless and almost dizzy from it. Anyway. After the dose reduction i startet to feel a lot of naseau and dizziness, and after 2 days i woke up in the middle of the night with fast heartbeat and lots of anxiety. My first thought was that this probably was withdrawal from the dose reduction, which surprised me after just taking 5 mg over 3 weeks. I felt better over the next few days, but still got lots of headaches, dizziness and not feeling very well. Depressive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. This was also something i did experience before i took the medication, but somehow it feels a bit different now. Before i would be having crying spells regularily, not happening much now. Feels like everything is more locked up inside. I think the medication does some job at keeping my emotional reaction at bay here.I`ve also been sleeping better after starting taking the medication. Before i barely slept for 2-3 hours pr night. I still wake up a lot, also have very vivid dreams. Im able to fall asleep again after i wake up, which was more difficult before. Im not sure what to do next. I dont think my reactions to Cipralex is good for me, and i really want to stop, but im also very scared of withdrawal symptoms. Feel a bit trapped here. Should i increase the dose just a bit (3,5mg) to help with the withdrawal? Or should i just wait and see if i stabilize before eventually taper down more slowly?
  5. In lexapro withdrawal for 7 months. Having high anxiety and negative thoughts and ruminations Never had this before coming off of lexapro. I want to be me again. I got on lexapro because when I would get angry with my kids when they were small my head felt like it would blow off. Got advice from some people that told me it was a chemical imbalance and that Paxil would help so I went and asked my dr for it. Took it for 4 or 5 years and then thought maybe it was the reason I was so sleepy all the time. Dr switched me to lexapro. Was feeling horrible a lot and went to the Dr on and off through the years but nothing was ever found so I just pushed through. In 2015 I started noticing I was feeling a lot worse and all the time and it was hard to do things and then I started acting different and reacting to people differently. I was 46 and thought it was the change and it was causing me to act that way. I got off lexapro to see if that would help but it evidently sent me into withdrawal.
  6. Hi Everyone, I want to start off saying by what an incredibly tough journey we're all going through... and I'm sorry for all of us here... These drugs were advertised to help our mental health; when in fact it damages our brain, especially when used for long periods. I don't even know what to see, other than the fact I feel pretty hopeless after reading so many articles about brain damage that these drugs did to us (mainly SSRIs). I tried stopped this medication in my mid-20s but eventually relapsed due to the terrible withdrawal symptoms. This time around in May 2017, after reading and acknowledging what these drugs do to us, seeing my drive and passions slowly fade away since I started, I decided it was time to stop poisoning myself. Currently, I feel these effects every day: 1) cognitive problems involving memory , learning, and focus 2) apathy, and lack of anyenjoyment for life 3) deterioration of emotional wellness, and unable to handle stress I am currently 30 years old, but feel my brain has rotted immensely. I truly was a talented individual growing up, was always quick witted, fast, and excelled highly in my activities and passions. Now I feel like I have cognitive function of a mentally disabled person. I feel so hurt, and angry and hopeless about what has happened... that I allowed myself to take this poison for ~10 years, listening to doctors that didn't really have an IDEA about the damage that these drugs could pose in the long-run. We are the guinea pigs that have to suffer, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. This makes me wonder if I have to start my medication again eventually to not feel like walking death every day I wake up. I'm trying to fight this... but there is just more and more recent data about what these drugs do to us long-term and I believe it has caused me brain atrophy... Please, I would love to hear some feedback and Idk, can we start fighting these Big Pharmas or are we just a big experiment for them to profit from? Regards, Ethan (PS: If there is any other info you guys which me to provide, I can do so gladly.)
  7. My name is Anna, and I'm 35 years old. I was first prescribed an ssri in 2000, when I was 17 years old, for panic attacks and agoraphobia. At the time, I was given paroxetine. I can't remember my exact dosages over the years, but I remember I was on 40 mg for a long time, before going down to 20 mg. In 2008, I was switched to Lexapro because the side effects of paroxetine were very annoying for me (weight gain, flattened emotions, inhibited libido). They definitely outweighed any benefits I experienced from taking the drug... I was still having panic attacks, still agoraphobic, and now also experiencing periods of depression. Lexapro gave me less side effects, but the benefits were the same (pretty much non-existent). The reason I stayed on them for so long regardless? Fear, because psychiatrists had always told me I needed these drugs. That I had a chemical imbalance. And even as I became more and more convinced that the pills weren't helping, I was terrified of what would happen when I went off them, for fear of what they'd done to my brain in the meantime. But I didn't want to stay on them forever, and therapy and positive experiences in my life had finally brought me to a point where I had enough confidence to try to live without them. I'd been on a 20 mg dose for years, first of brand name Lexapro, then generic escitalopram. Early 2017, I went down to 10 mg. After gathering more courage, I went down to 5 mg late July 2018, and after consulting a psychiatrist I quit taking it entirely on October 1st, 2018. The situation with the psychiatrist is a bit complicated. I'm currently seeing a psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy focusing on my phobias. The psychiatrist is the person ultimately in charge of my case, but she'd never seen me before we met that single time to discuss my medication (when I'd previously tapered Lexapro I'd done so under supervision of my GP, because I wasn't seeing a specialist at the time). She was against me going off ssri, but told me she'd "give me a chance". When I told her I'd never really experienced much benefit from the pills and that I'd only started feeling better as I'd tapered them, she didn't really seem to listen. She told me I could just go from 5 mg to nothing if I was so set on quitting, so I did. That was two and a half months ago, and it's been... bad. I immediately fell into a depression. I started experiencing the world differently... everything feels "off". I don't feel like myself a lot of the time. I feel like I'm regressing, years and years of repressed feelings and emotions seem to keep coming up. Not so much traumatic memories as just... so many images from my childhood and teens. Sometimes I suddenly feel as though I'm seeing the world through the eyes of my teenage self again. There have been brief moments where I've felt like myself again, but every time I start to feel better, I fall back down again. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm terrified I'll lose my will to live, though thank God it hasn't happened yet. But I don't know how much longer I can go on like this, I don't know how to cope. I'm trying to stay active, but I get overstimulated so easily... but being alone with my thoughts can send me down a spiral. I've tried staying with my parents for a while, but it made me feel helpless and drained my confidence. Being at home feels better, but I live alone and I don't have a big social network, so it gets lonely very quickly. It's like nothing I do seems to help. The psychiatrist had warned me against a relapse, but she never said a word about withdrawal... when she said relapse, I imagined maybe having more panic attacks for a while. I never imagined the hell I'm currently going through. I don't want to go back on ssri, but I'm terrified for what lies ahead. The things I usually do to cope, like practicing yoga and mindfulness, barely seem to do anything anymore. I'm losing confidence in myself and in my healing process. I know there are no quick fixes, but if anyone has any tips on how to stay afloat during this time, they'd be very welcome. Thank you for reading my story.
  8. Hi Everyone, I found this forum through the recent New Yorker article and have already found it very helpful. Here's a brief version of my story... I was put on Effexor XR at the age of 15 to treat severe anxiety (I was given a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder). At the time I was dealing with teenage hormones and a suicide in the immediate family and having regular panic attacks. As I got closer to 30 I decided I wanted to know what life was like without them, and wondered if being put on them at such a young age had impacted my emotional development. I felt like I had reached a point of relative stability in my life (stopped drinking, good support system). Going off Effexor ended up being a disaster - in hindsight it seems like it was a very fast taper and I reached the point of not being able to get out of bed in the morning due to anxiety. I found a new psychiatrist who put me on Lexapro and Xanax (not every day, to take as needed). I felt very good on Lexapro but I gained about 50 lbs in one year. She then added Wellbutrin into the mix, which didn't make me feel as good. I felt very agitated and had a hard time concentrating. At this time my psychiatrist was fixated on my weight and wanted to increase my Wellbutrin while going down on the Lexapro. We'd have arguments about it where I tried to explain how bad the Wellbutrin made me feel, despite the weight loss benefit. Eventually we parted ways and I am now trying to taper off everything for the first time in my adult life with another psychiatrist. I'm currently 4 weeks off Lexapro and on 100 mg of Wellbutrin. I am in therapy weekly in addition to seeing my psychiatrist monthly. I started taking fish oil after reading this site and am trying to integrate some dietary changes in addition to my regular yoga/meditation practice. I struggle with feeling a lack of agency over my own life and feeling helpless. The constant focus on and discussion of my weight over the past few years has also not been great. On my bad days I have feelings of hopelessness and despair and occasional depersonalization. I don't have an expectation that I will feel great all of the time, I just want to feel some level of control over my mental and emotional state. Reading this site helps me because I feel like I am not alone. You guys have already helped me so I want to say thank you and I hope I can learn more - the concept of windows and waves is really useful. Today is a window which is why I'm able to write this - I've had two good days and that feels really encouraging. In the meantime if there are any suggestions for additional supplements or lifestyle changes I'm all ears!
  9. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  10. Hello Everyone, I am so grateful I found this SA forum. I am tapering liquid Lexapro, after 6 years struggling with it without adequate doctor's advice. (Did CT and restarted and so on). I found out that the drops coming from the bottle are not measuring each the same amount. Bottle says, one drop is one mgr. It is not. Bottle contains 15 ml, equivalent to 20 mgrs Lexapro. This is the Lundbeck Lexapro available here in Holland. I bought the medicine scale, I've been reading about here, and began to weigh the drops. It's terrifying. None of them measures the same weight. Now I know for sure why I didn't stabilize for such a long time. English is not my first language but I hope you understand. Reading all your stories en experiences are helping me a lot. Thank you for that. I try to survive too, it's hard but I really want to deal with it. O, the AD was given to me because of menopause issues... I wish I would have known what I know now...
  11. Hi, everyone, I just joined today, after lurking for the last week. I am coming off a 9-month course of 5mg escitalopram tablets. I probably would have stayed on this medication because I felt it was helping me to cope, but blood work showed slight hypothyroidism and slightly high cholesterol (quite shocking as these #s have been great for many years, since I am a vegan health nut for decades). Also, I experienced constant exhaustion/lack of energy while on this medication - overwhelming and intractable, and often depressing. But the blood results are what made me decide to get rid of this from my body and my life (I have always mistrusted pharmaceuticals of any kind, for a variety of reasons.) I had a conversation today with my therapist about the hysteria and emotional spirals I have been experiencing, and he kept reassuring me I would be back to myself in a month, or three at the most - likening this to a cold or flu that needs to run its course. I get the analogy but the comparison would be laughable if it were not so downright wrongheaded and dismissive. He was so sure of his assessment from his 20+ years in practice, that it felt flip and a bit egotistical. I finally got it out of him that he has not experienced this himself. I have been on the receiving end of my share of iatrogenic neglect and damage over my life, so to me this is inexcusable. The fact that he was combing his bookshelf during our session for info on this (and was surprised he couldn't find any!), after I'd told him I'd done about 15 hours of research, shows me he was talking out of his "hat." The one good thing about going through this withdrawal is that I seem to have recovered most of my physical energy and stamina as the dosage decreases. Unfortunately I feel old and feeble somehow (inexplicable in the face of my consistent hardcore gym workouts). I am very grateful to the admins and everyone here for this web site, and for everything that folks here have shared and made freely available. I have been voraciously reading in an attempt to (a) convince myself I am not going insane and (b) feel less alone.
  12. Hello, After a couple of months of reading some of the posts on this forum, I have decided to join, because basically it seems that I have PSSD. As you will see from my signature strip, I have been on escitalopram at various doses for just over 7 years (finally came off in January of this year (2017)). My history on this drug probably looks a bit confusing. Basically I went on the drug late in 2009 for anxiety that I was suffering. I only intended to be on it for a short time – maybe 6 months – whilst I made some important decisions about my future. But my doctor at that time provided no guidance on coming off the drug. I came off very quickly and crashed. It basically took me about 3 attempts like this to finally realise I could not come off it quickly. In the end it has been a long and slow process with some bumps along the way, but finally I am off the drug – but it took 7 years. I am male and now in my mid-thirties. Anyway, whilst on the drug I suffered from sexual side effects, which from what I have read is very common. But it was in late 2013 that I found out just how much the drug was affecting me. I started a relationship with a girl who although I liked much, I could feel no deep emotion with. Basically I could not fall in love with her. At first I could not understand what was wrong with me, but one day shortly into our relationship I suspected the drug. After a simple ‘Google search’ I had the answer. This combined with the sexual side effects of the drug just made it impossible for me really and in early 2014 we split up. It was at this point that I realised no matter what, I had to get off the drug. It took 2 further attempts of slow tapering but finally I have managed it. I am now almost 5 months off the drug, but seems I have PSSD. At the end of December 2016 I reduced from 10mg every other day to just 5mg every third day. A few days after doing this I could feel something changing sexually – more normal feeling was coming back. And about a week later I had a couple of days of what I would say was completely normal function returning. However this only lasted a couple of days. Shortly after this I took the last tablet. I was now off the drug. About 2 weeks later I once again had a couple of days of everything returning to normal sexually. Again this only lasted temporarily. Then a period of 3 weeks of the numbness and erection difficulties. Then - 5 weeks after taking the last tablet - I again had a period of 2 days of normal functioning – this time I thought it was going to be for good, but unfortunately not. And that was the last time I experienced what I consider everything being normal. Since then I have returned to the numbness, lack of drive and erection difficulties that I had whilst on the drug. I have had the odd day or two in recent weeks where the numbness reduces a bit and there is a little bit of sensitivity, but only a very tiny improvement for a day or so. Then back to full numbness. Also I have developed a ache/pain in my testicles that radiates at times into the top of my legs and buttocks. I can’t remember exactly when this started but I think it was around 6 weeks after being off the drug. I also feel emotionally flat – I don’t think I could fall in love with somebody. I think that issue is still there. I can cry at times, but can’t feel any real happiness for anything. I guess like so many people here I feel the most desperate I have ever done in my life and just looking to talk with others in a similar situation. These past months have seemed like an eternity and every day is such a struggle. I am hoping somebody can give me some hope, because right now I can’t feel much of it. Also I do have a few questions which if anybody can give some sort of an answer to I would be so grateful. 1) Why did I have 3 separate periods of normal sexual function in the immediate period of coming off the drug (first 5 weeks) and then nothing further? 2) the ache/pain that I feel in the testicles – is this part of PSSD? 3) one of the things that really worries me is the fact that I noticed a change to my sexual function after taking just one tablet (God only knows why I did not stop taking them there and then) but as I only planned to be on the medication for a short time, it did not bother me too much. Does this immediate reaction to the drug combined with my long-term use of it mean it more likely my recovery will be a very long time, or worse still that I never recover? Thanks very much for reading.
  13. I am new here and not sure I’m doing this right. I have been on Lexapro for 10 years. I stopped taking for 5 days in January due to illness then went back on. I’ve been having bad symptoms since then. It’s like how I felt before I started taking the drug. Horrible anxiety/panic attacks, exhaustion, stomach problems, etc. I feel like I’m going to lose it. I want to taper off to see if I can get better. It seems like the drug doesn’t work anymore and is actually working against me. I am on 10mgs.
  14. 10 years of antidepressants. Four months of recent hell and counting from trying to get off of them. Lets save some time and say about five months ago I decided to get off my antidepressant (escatalopram). Went from 20 mg, two weeks later 10 mg, two weeks lather 5 mg, two weeks later 0 mg then a hellish destabilization occurred. I managed about 1 month off then I decided to restart on 5 mg which I have been on for about two months until now 9/5/2016. Not doing much better from reinstating the drug but leagues better then the depths of cold turkey. Looking for advice. Should I go up a dose? I really don't want to but its starting to affect my work and I have a very promisinbg career coming up if I can keep my head on straight. If I just stay on this dose would I feel better in time? should I stick with it? And how when I know when I should reduce my dosage again? Anyway these questions i am hoping to get help with because this place is the only place where people even remotely know what they are talking about with regards to these topics.
  15. Admin note - link to benzo forum thread - JennaMarie: Should I switch from adivan to clonazapam?? Very long history with SSRIs, put on them as soon as I turned 18 (13 years ago).. after horrible advice from my doctor I went off my cipralex in 3 weeks to try another one as it was no longer working. After being switched around and experiencing what I thought was EXTREME side effects of the new drug, I came across this site and realized it was all withdrawl from my previous medication.. I decided to reinstate at 5mgs of the cipralex and it helped slightly, and improved a good bit, but not completly very slowly over time. Now however, Im going through the worst time of my life. My husband was recently killed in an accident. My anxiety is uncontrollable and we have out almost 3 year old I have to be here for. I have been taking adivan every night because I just cant handle the intense anxiety attacks. However last night the adivan didnt help, Im scared Im growing a tolerance to them. The doctor wants me to either up my 5mgs of Cipralex or come off it and try a new ssri.. im terrified to do either after what I went through with them last year. Im so stuck, I need help
  16. Hi All, I've been reading this forum for a while and the topics here have been indispensable, especially regarding dealing with withdrawal symptoms as I prepare myself for a slow taper off of my remaining dose. Pre-backstory I’m in my early 20s and I just graduated college in late 2014 with a high GPA and a degree in Computer Science. I’ve got a strong resume with projects under my belt. I should be starting my career right now but can’t due to antidepressant withdrawal, but I keep telling myself that I will get better and it will happen, I just need some more time to heal mentally and spiritually. Backstory On January 1st of this year (2015) I suffered the first panic attack of my life. I’ve always had weird heart flutters and missed beats, so I thought I was having a heart attack and dying. The day that I had this awful panic attack, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t eat much that day (triggers, I know). I also smoked pot regularly (I am clean now) which in retrospect I figure could be messing with my seratonin. I had bad depersonalization that day, basically forgot who I was for a few hours, and over the next month or so I was bedridden feeling shaky every day, suffering a chain of panic attacks in bed. I was immediately prescribed ativan (lorazepam) to help dull the panic attacks, and shortly thereafter, desperate for something to stop the chain of panic attacks, I was prescribed Lexapro. I took the Lexapro 5mg for the first week and 10mg for the second week, and basically over the next few months my panic attacks got generally better but my mental health got generally worse. My doctor upped me to 20mg Lexapro and I got so disoriented and out-of-it that my mom had to start walking me up to the door of my therapy appointments, because I didn’t feel like I could do it alone. I decided to taper down off the Lexapro because my panic attacks had basically vanished, the Lexapro was causing some bad side effects (at higher doses making me confused and disoriented all the time, at the lower doses mostly just preventing me from getting decent sleep, so I was feeling tired all the time). I felt like the panic attacks would probably not come back, since I was on a good new pattern of diet, exercise, supplements (fish oil, magnesium, probiotic and multivitamin), and I also stopped smoking weed completely, which I think may have been a big contributor to the initial panic attack. Anyways, I had miraculous success taking the dosage down from 20mg to 10mg, from 10mg to 5mg, and from 5mg to 2.5mg, with almost no withdrawal effects. The side effects improved steadily with each dosage decrease, and I’m very grateful that I had so little trouble getting down this far. The big trouble started happening about a month ago. I had thought that I had tapered down successfully from 2.5mg because I felt pretty great for 3 weeks on 1.25mg (¼ of a 5mg pill) with no discernible withdrawal symptoms (Sept 9 2015 to Sept 29 2015). On my psychiatrist’s suggestion, I dropped the lexapro completely (0mg) on Sept 30 and I felt worse and worse for about 4 days. On the 4th day I almost had a panic attack, and I felt so depressed and shaky that I took a small fragment of my pill to try to stave off the symptoms. Literally 15 minutes after taking the pill fragment I went from feeling terrible to feeling great, browsing the internet on my phone. So I stabilized again on 1.25mg after about 5 days, or so I thought. 1.25mg (¼ of a tiny 5mg pill) is terribly difficult to measure - there was one time I wasn’t sure if I even took my pill fragment or if it fell on the floor, since it was so small I couldn’t feel it on my tongue. So I started pushing it against the roof of my mouth so I could be sure it was actually in my mouth. But that made it start to disintegrate before it hit my stomach, so… basically I think that my true dosage was getting really uneven. I felt really tired some days and needed naps, and other days I felt mostly fine. So I figured I could get a more consistent dose if I switched to the liquid, which my psychiatrist prescribed for me. Latest Chapter So on 10/28/2015 I switched to the liquid. I figured that the liquid form would be much more readily absorbed by my body than the pill fragments and I was right. I started out with 1.2mg of the liquid and it felt like way too much (cloudy head, sleepy all day), so over the course of 2 days I lowered it to 0.9mg, which felt pretty fine for 5 days. I felt like I was getting better and that I could even start driving and running errands around town with my mom again if I just waited a few more days. On 11/4 I made a really, really stupid headstrong decision. I felt like I could reduce my symptoms even more if I just reduced the dose by a tiny bit further. So that day I cut from 0.9mg to 0.8mg (which in hindsight was a HUGE cut especially considering how recently I had changed the dose before that). The depression came back in such full force that I immediately had to put the dose back up to 0.9mg 2 days later, but reupping the dose didn’t help at that point. I continued to get worse and worse (more depression/anxiety) until my mom pointed out that I was only eating like 800 calories every day - I knew that my appetite was shot, but I had no idea I was eating so little. On 11/11 I started counting calories and now I’m getting at least 2000 per day, with an ultimate goal of 2500. I upped the lexapro from 9mg to 9.5mg daily and the crippling depression is partway gone now. Anyways now it’s 11/14 and I think I’m seeing some progress, but I can never be sure, and these symptoms are very difficult to work through every day. Today Over the last few days, every morning I wake up nauseous and depressed, and every night I get anxious and need to take a 0.5mg lorazepam to calm down. Progress is slow for me and I’m impatient, but I keep trying to remind (convince?) myself that my body is working very hard to right itself chemically, and that if I just hold this dose and don’t do anything else stupid with it, I will feel a little better by next week, and yet a little better by the week after. I could really use some reassurance though :/ My First Question I’m taking 0.95mg in 2 doses daily (0.475mg at 11am and 0.475mg at 1:30pm). On 0.95mg I feel like my seratonin levels are very unbalanced (depressed/hopeless in the morning, decent around noon, anxious by afternoon/evening). When I accidentally took my second lexapro dose at about 4pm one day instead of 1:30pm, that night I went into a drug-trip kind of sleep (almost like an alternate reality) which was a little scary but most of all exhausting and made me feel disoriented and confused and anxious the next day. As of the last few days, I wake up after vivid dreams exhausted, not at all rested, depressed, and with a burst of adrenaline. Will my body actually be able to get used to such a low 0.95mg dose taken mostly towards the beginning of the day like this? If I just stick it out for another week or two, my mood will start to level out again so that I’m not getting these big daily mood swings, right? If not, where do I go from here? Thank you everyone for your support.
  17. Hello everyone, I first got started on Celexa in May 09 after my mind slipped into an inescapable panic state induced by an accidental overdose of the anti-histamine diphenhydramine. I should of know way back then, after a few weeks, then I should of stayed away from all drugs and given my brain a chance to calm down and repair itself on it’s own, but I was truly, truely frightened that I had down some serious damage or I was on my way to the depths of psychosis. So I went to my GP got diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I switched to Cymabalta in November 09 after a personal event triggered an intensification of agitated depression which had never really left despite treatment with Celexa. Sticking with Cymbalta was, again, an irrevocably stupid decision - but I had faith in the psychiatrist who was prescribing me these things. Suicidal ideation was commonplace both in an experiential context and in circumstantial context – my anxiety was so severe I just wanted out and I was astounded to what life had been reduced to. On cymbalta I felt tired but wired with a generalised irritability and massive cravings for sugar, which when I gave in and ate only triggered an intensification of irritability. I look back during this period and I’m struck with just how bizarre and Kafkaesque the whole experience was. Why the hell didn’t I get of the ******* thing earlier? I weaned off Cymbalta in in June 2010. However, the suicidal panic now morphed into a suicidal malaise and all-consumng tiredness, severe anhedonia, and an inability to concentrate - which has stuck with me since. I got put on Zoloft in Oct’10, 4 months after my last drug, and after a visit to a GP where I told me him I was suicidal and planning to go through with it. He sort of shrugged and just told me to go back on a med. The Zoloft induced both akathisa and a “despair beyond despair” at my situation. I flew out to Thailand with the intention of having a last hurrah and then taking myself down to one of the gun ranges and putting a .357 round into my frontal lobe. (Guns aren't readily available in the UK) I flew home when my parents found out where I was, despite my (I thought) well-constructed plan to deceive and explained to them the extent of which I was struggling. We sought the services of a psychiatrist whom I thought was progressive and looking at the bigger picture. By now, I was mostly concerned with the brain fog and chronic fatigue - which prevented me from most activities which might have led to an improvement with my lot in life - which led me to conclude my problem was neuro-endocrine based. I agreed to a low-dose of Lexapro, some compounded thyroid hormone and about 20 different supplements to treat any bodily pathologies. Despite this ambitious protocol, there was very little change in mood. I tried to stay working but got overwhelmed again and my suicidal ideation reached a zenith. I flew back out to Asia with my father, this time to Cambodia but to join a volunteer project building houses. I figured a dose of 3rd poverty might take my mind….off my mind. This time I also agreed to start lithium. It was a humbling experience for sure but I was still weak, foggy, anxious and depressed. I also felt intensely guilty at being in my depressed state amongst so much poverty and in a country with the worst auto-genocide in history. I also picked up a stomach infection which led to post-infectious gastroparesis which I have been struggling with since. Early in 2011 I discontinued the lithium, at the time we hadn’t worked out the stomach problem and where concerned the lithium could be causing the GI stuff. I continued with Lexapro in the AM and 25mg amitrypltine to get me off to sleep in the PM. Life was just a haze punctuated by bouts of panic and despair. My ability to work and socialise properly had all but disappeared by now, so I got used to life being what it was. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to take a break from AD’s, they didn’t seem to have improved my lot in life much, maybe coming off them would do some good. This was when my concern, finally, about TD started - I continued to feel like absolute ****. What if the drugs were the problem all along?. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the epiphany really took hold and I realised the full horror of what I subjected myself to. I realised the whole thing was being exacerbated by the very treatment that authority deemed to be of help. Back when I came off Cymbalta in 2010 I just assumed this was my depression anxiety ramping up and the exhaustion was a natural extension, but now I was still horrendously depressed and the other **** kicked in. I curse myself that I didn’t see the connection the first time round and have spent another 2.5 years on psych drugs….. Note, I tried a few drugs of now more than about two weeks duration in 2012. Again this was before the idea of drug-induced harm became cemented in my mind. My last drug ingestion was Tianeptine in November. My question to anyone who has any suggestions and or experiences is in my title – what the hell do I do now? I’m a complete invalid. Living at home with a parent at 25, unable to enjoy much of anything at all, I can’t lose myself in a movie like I did years ago, my mind is just inexplicably turned inward and focused on it’s own arid desolation and fogginess. Reading is a significantly challenging endeavour and writing is difficult (it’s taken me about a week to knock this up into something coherent and semi-legible). I’m just having such trouble formulating a strategy which might give me a chance of getting well again. Just reading this site has given me a bit of hope in that people can get their lives back on track. There’s people here that appear to have got off far harsher drugs and had been on them for longer periods, so I need to keep a perspective of sorts, I’m just terrified at this stage that I’m past the point of no return and that putting what was a fragile brain/mind to begin with in drugs might just have been…… Any help or words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Jack
  18. Hi guys! Im new here, im 30/f and its been 7 months since i ct from Lexapro (escitalopram.) And yes, I only took it for a month.. prior to that ive tried Setralin, Mirtazapin, Brintellix and Venlafaxin. Low doses. All in 18 months of a time, and I took each one for about a month since I had a pretty severe reaction to all of them and was always given something new to try from my doc. So, 7 months ago i started Lexapro, 5 mg. And an hour later my body felt like it was pushed forward when i sat still, when i walked it felt like someone dragging me backwards and my feet and legs were burning, not really dp or dr but and outer body feeling set in. After about 4 weeks my doc told me to upper the dose to 10 mg. I did. A few hours later walkin in the street i just collapsed, in cramps, my heart felt like it was on fire, a highwolt jolting thru my body.. and someone called an ambulance. I stabilized at the hospital, nothing really wrong. Got sent home. When i got home, i called my doc, shakin in fear.. and he told me to just quit it. Youll be okay. Dont take it anymore. Ah, yes.. so i didnt. First 2 months after ct - is all in a blurr, it was hell. No honeymoonphase here. I was insane, totally mad! Nothing worked. And felt like when someone looked at me they saw mr potatohead were nothing was were it should be. I would lie on my kitchenfloor just screaming in panic and anexiety, just feeing like i was slipping away, dying, my soul just left. From month 3 - I was able to leave my apartment a little longer than going foodshopping, without that haunting fear and ongoing panic. But still mostly on my floor feeling like a dead person. This is where the sweatin kicked in, totally covered in sweat all the time. From month 4 - The burning sensations stopped, the brain zaps stopped, the swaying feeling of being pushed and pulled also stopped, i begun to feel pretty good besides my sweat and mild flushes. Like i was back before the meds with my regular panic syndrome and anxiety, i was able to meet some friends, started a danceclass and going back to the gym. From month 5 - Back in hell. Everything went to sh*t, i got a severe case of candida and bv and was given fluconazol and itraconazol, and pretty severe reaction to those (and it didnt even help.. my doc wanna put me on antibiotic, ah hell no. Im to afraid.) And the burning started up again, but not in my legs or feet, but in my belly. Spreading each day to my whole torso, head, eyes, mouth, throat, ass and at last back to legs and then feet. So, the last 2 months since then ive been dealing with ZERO stresstolerance, even the tiniest little thing push me over the edge, shivers in my brain, pretty horrible DP on and off, dizzy spells, being stuck the flu and the burning.. i sometimes take epsom salt baths in relly hot water but sit there freezing and shivering.. (it really scares me when its burning in my throat btw, like breathing acid..), with icecolds spots on my arms, mucles feeling really weak and achy, and for the last week ive been having this pins and needle-feelings all over, like when your feet falls asleep and about to wake up? Thats my whole body! All the time! Warm things feels cold, cold things feel warm. Im flushing all the time. And also a new sympthom is this pain.. aching pain from my nerves, like ive been drinking vodka on empty stoach..(?) Everything hurts. And constant low fever and flu-sympthoms. White noise in my head. Im so tired! Get this buzzing feeling in my eyes of tiredness and "have to sleep now!" even do i slept 9 h and havent really done anything all day. Neuroemotions and panic attacks out of the blue here and there. Im mostly just lyin in beed feeling sick as f*ck and wonder if im gonna live another 5 minutes. Feel like an idiot when a friend wanna hook up and im "still in flu with fever.." And I cant eve describe how i feel during pms with all of this, its like having a psychosis for about 7 days.. 😕 My timeline doesnt match anything ive read on here, and I know were all different, but are there anyone who have felt like I do now? This wave is killing me, I dont think i cant handle it anymore, the only thing keeping me alive are all of you ..2 months of this, will it end?
  19. Hello, I am looking for some guidance on beginning a taper from Lexapro 20 mg. I have been on a nightmarish roller coaster for the last 7 months, and I'm so glad that I found this forum which has finally given me the answers I've been looking for. Here is my history: I was prescribed Paxil 10 mg back in 2004 by my GP to address social anxiety issues. I'm an anxious person by nature, but I can see now with 20/20 hindsight that my nervous tendencies were nothing that should have ever been blunted by medicine. But nevertheless, I started taking it and it became my crutch. I considered trying to stop several times, but the brain zaps I got after a couple of days off prevented me from following through. As time went on, stopping the med just became something to procrastinate. I felt ok, and believed that I was on a very low dose, so what's the harm? At the start of 2016, I determined that I needed to try getting off for good, after my wife told me she felt the medicine was making me zoned out. I had heard getting off Paxil was difficult, but that once you were past the 6-week mark or so, you should be out of the woods. I had never had an issue with the drug before, so didn't do much research on the topic. I talked to my GP about it and he told me to taper over the course of a couple of months. So beginning in February, I took 7.5 mg for 3 weeks, 5 mg for 3 weeks, and 2.5 mg for two weeks. I took my last dose of Paxil on April 1st. During the taper period and for the next 5 weeks following, I experienced the brain zaps, but that was my only real negative symptom. I thought I had gotten off lucky with a relatively easy taper. Then around the 2nd week in May, after the brain zaps had stopped, the real withdrawal hit. Severe anxiety/depression, ruminating and constant negative thoughts, and insomnia were the worst symptoms. It felt as though someone had flipped a "pain switch" within by body. I lost my appetite completely and quickly dropped 10-15 pounds, which led to health anxiety. Just the thought and feel of how loose my clothes were fitting sent me into an internalized panic. I struggled along for two weeks before going back to my GP as a complete trainwreck. Of course, his diagnosis was that I was relapsing, and suggested switching to Lexapro 10 mg, primarily because it was generally faster acting than other ADs and had less side effects. At this point, I didn't care what I had to do to fix myself, I just wanted to be fixed. In my desperate state of mind, I agreed and started the Lexapro on May 23rd. The first couple of weeks were bumpy as I had heightened anxiety, but I attributed that to starting a new drug. The next two weeks were better, but there was still this underlying feeling that something just wasn't right. At my 1-month follow-up, I told him that I was still having bouts of anxiety and that I just didn't think the Lexapro was working as it should. He offered me two options, switch to Zoloft or bump up the Lexapro dosage. I chose to switch to Zoloft, thinking that maybe Lexapro was just not the right AD for me, and so I did an immediate cut-over. The first two weeks on Zoloft 50 mg were very good, for whatever reason. My mind seemed clear and the anxiety relented. Then by the 3rd week, I had a complete reversal and the "pain switch" got turned on again. At this point, I could barely function. My mind and heart would race so fast at work, I would just have to walk outside so I would hyperventilate. After 10 days of pure misery, I went to see a different GP at the same clinic on July 21st. The new doc recommended (surprise) going BACK to Lexapro and increasing the dosage to 20 mg. Again, out of shear desperation, I agreed, except this doc recommended a 3-4 day "washout" period to allow for the Zoloft to leave my system. So I stopped taking the Zoloft and I immediately got relief from all my symptoms. Very similar to when I cut over from the Lexapro to Zoloft, I had mental clarity and felt more like myself. After a few days of feeling better, I determined that I'd just see how long I could go without any medication at all. So for the next 4 and half weeks, I took nothing. During this period, I felt very similar to when I was fast tapering the Paxil, I had pretty severe brain zaps, but my mood overall was good. Then at exactly one month from completely stopping the Zoloft, the brain zaps ended but I crashed once again. This time, there was more depression than anxiety, and a couple of new symptoms popped up, a thumping in my ear that caused a few sleepless nights and an eyebrow twitch that was a constant reminder of my issues and stoked my health anxiety. I had crying spells unlike anything i had ever experienced. I didn't know what to do and despair and hopelessness invaded my mind. I ultimately decided that I'd give the Lexapro another try, since it was what was last prescribed by the doctor. I started with 5 mg, thinking I wanted to be on the lowest possible dosage, but that only lasted 6 days as I was still in a horrible place. I bumped it up to 10 mg and powered through for about 6 weeks. My symptoms would come and go during this period, but I kept going, clinging to the hope that the medication would kick in at some point. In the 6th week, after trying to convince myself I was feeling better, I had a complete meltdown day that seemed to be as bad if not worse than when I first fast tapered from Paxil. This threw me right back into the trap of fearing the worst, what if I never get over this? I decided that I would get a second opinion aside from my GP and went to a psychiatric clinic where I saw a nurse practitioner. In the end, her recommendation was no different, bump the dosage to 20 mg. So on October 19th, I started taking 20 mg. I had a really bad week the 2nd week taking 20 mg, but have felt pretty good since then, feeling more like how a felt during the 12 years of Paxil. Almost as if I have stabilized on the 20 mg. Around the time of my NP appointment, I started doing what I should have done from day 1: researching how to get off ADs and happened to discover this site (how I wish I would have found it back in February!!) I've spent the last few weeks absorbing the all the info about protracted withdrawal, which is undoubtedly what I have been dealing with. What a bittersweet revelation that, on the one hand I've sent my CNS into pure chaos mode, but at the same time getting the validation that my issues were NOT due to any depressive/anxiety relapse, and that I could repair and heal over time. Since I have confused my system with other meds over the last 7 months, I don't know which periods in my history were windows/waves from not taking Paxil, but I'm sure that this is what I was experiencing in some capacity. When I went back to see the NP earlier this week, I told her I believed that I was going through Paxil withdrawal, and that all my issues stemmed from that. I could tell she didn't necessarily agree, and she thought that I would always need to be on an AD of some kind, but she was willing to work with me on a tapering schedule that I would be comfortable with. I convinced her to write the Rx for the liquid form of Lexapro. So before I begin this journey, I'd like to get some recommendations from this forum about tapering. After reading about reinstatement, I feel like I'm sort of in no-mans-land as far as reinstating the Paxil, as I've had 7 months of healing from THAT med. On top of the fact that I've now got an accumulation of a different drug I have to deal with. If anyone does believe, however, I should reinstate Paxil, I'd welcome your thoughts. Now that I've been on Lexapro for 9-10 weeks (3 weeks at 20 mg), would the 10% taper guideline still apply for it, as well? I understand that patience is required and you simply cannot rush it. But I was just wondering if anyone had a similar scenario where they were able to taper at a faster clip from a "replacement" med because you hadn't been on it as long. It scares me that I am now taking Lexapro at a dosage that is equivalent to four times the amount of Paxil I took for 12 years. I would prefer to lower my dosage as quickly as possible (as we all would I guess), but again understanding that my brain will go only at its own pace. What I had considered is decreasing by 20-25% increments until I reached 10 mg, then applying the 10% the rest of the way. Since I've gone through essentially 2 cold turkeys, I have a really good idea of when my withdrawal symptoms start after a dose cut, which should help in determining the reductions. Another concern I have is that I have not completely turned the corner from the Paxil withdrawal, and that symptoms may pop up complicating the Lexapro taper. Anyone else had a similar scenario? I welcome your feedback, and I can't thank you enough for this site and the hope it has given to me.
  20. Can any one please help me! I have been on Lexapro for 1.5years 10mg since i switched from Zoloft 100mg. It was working good for my anxiety and running thoughts, only little trouble with hard to get to sleep at night. However, after tress of my work, i feel little worrying feeling and doctor straight away put me on 20mg of Lexapro. I felt heart palpitation when wake up and didn't care of it, and my heart started to beating faster and faster during the 7 weeks, went to 125 bpm for whole day! That was worse than my original Anxiety symptoms! Also i experienced some bowel movement, no appetite but with happy feelings sometimes. I don't even know what happened to me! I after couple research on the web I noticed it is quite simular to Serotonin Syndrome, but i don't know I am right or not, anyone can tell me? Then i went to see doctor, he wants me to reduce dosage to 10mg, right after 2 days, that feeling was awful! Now it has been 2.5 month after i dropped back to 10mg, for the first month i went back to 10mg, the racing heart was slowly calms down to 68bpm but still feel very strange and anxiety. The second month palpitation feeling was totally gone but still have anxiety feeling and stomach starts to feeling nausia, full and indigestive that makes me more anxious I was worrying my stomach too much now. I went to see doctor, he gave me a medicine call Nexium, I only took for one day and felt extremely nausea and vomitted once then I stopped taking that. I am still not well now and do anyone think i am still suffering from a kind of withdrawal syndrome? I am so worrying and don't know if the symptom will still exists or I should keep waiting till its getting stabilized? I contacted my doctor again he said he might give me some add on medicines, but I don't really want to take additional medicine to cause new symptoms. I have lost my job and I really want this feeling go away soon...
  21. Hi, Ive been taking Antidepressants since January 2016(I was 22 then, 25 now), when i had hard time focussing at work & broke down in office in front of everyone, out of nowhere. The symptoms although had been showing up since 2013, when I started feeling vague, blank & angry,frustrated. I also started having panic attacks (2 times) in august & october, 2015. Most bad thing about depression is lack of confidence, ability to make firm decisions about academics ,job. Constant body aches have also worsened my mood, function. My limbs ache a lot; Ive gradually given up on physical activities, jogging, playing soccer,cricket,etc..these days i force myself to gym thrice a week, cause i had put on a lot last year. I grew up in a clumsy, difficult family , I grew up watching quarrels,skirmishes between my parents & was always very sensitive..Kind of people pleaser, not offending but also very harsh on myself kind of person. My first psychiatrist(Jan,2016-June,2018 ) : He started me with sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline), and later added on escitalopram in the mornings. There were other drugs too, for brief periods like miratazapine,etc.. Mood would improve/boost, i would function well for about a few weeks, & then would crash down. sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline) is something that was constant throughout that period. I soon realized it's something more than antidepressants that i should be looking for, something holistic to solve the problrems that i had in personal family life, my nature, my worklife, etc...Medicines seemed to hit a plateau, but my doctor wouldnt listen to my continual requests to wean off. Only when i developed serious constipation, weight gain(12 kgs in 8 months..also abruptly gave up my job due to fatigue,lack of direction ) that i decided to switch my doctor. My second psychiatrist (June 2018 - present ) : Constipation did ease, my new doctor is more willing to lend an ear..Alprazolam 0.25 in the morning &{ Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)} is something that ive been taking since... But confidence, work issues still persist, I also started to work with my dad around the same period to present day. it's very stressful, demanding on my dad's part, but this atleast is keeping me moving, pass my life, however miserable, painful it is. I also cocooned at home for 3 months before reluctantly joining him at work. It's a blue collar job at a paint shop, wherein im required to match paints, deal with diff customers(throat dries up in fear,anxiety). in stark contrast to the desk job that i had prior to this, im now standing for 7-8 hours a day, experiencing wrenching fatigue when i get back home. My life feels very poor, miserable. Ive never seriously contemplated suicide, despite wanting to when in ruins(wincing bodily pain, scolded upon)! I get to work with iso-cyanide containing accelerators at my shop, that could painlessly kill me in milliseconds (As lab people claim.), but ive always collected myself into believing that my life could turnaround for the better. Fast forward, feb 2019, i decided to also take up homeopathy treatment for my problems, slowly my homeopath asked me to give up(cold turkey, 4-5 weeks on, now) alprazolam 0.25 in the morning, as my mood improved. I witnessed increase in pain, twitching, weight loss(something i like), upon giving up alprazolam 0.25, psychytrist says i must put up with this pain, & ill soon get used to it(Good & frank on his part, most psychiatrists never want you to wean off)... Meanwhile, with my homeopath it's work in progress, & down the line, when my cold turkey symptoms normalize, Ill also think about giving up my evening dose of { Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)}, slowly tapering this time... My increased sleep, due to fatigue is something that i must overcome to become a regular at work. This forum, has given me immense hope & ideas about how people like me are dealing with their stuff. Like 10 % tapering rule, success stories by hope2heal, etc.. are heartening to read. I wish to thrive and function normally in life, rather than just miserably slogging,surviving that i have been doing now. Thank & Cheers, entcian24 Mumbai, India.
  22. Hi all. I've been tapering off escitalopram/lexapro for the last six weeks, gradually reducing the dose every two weeks. I'm down from 20mg to 12.5mg and not going any further for now. the last two weeks I've been feeling a few old symptoms creeping back - vivid dreams, reduced concentration, low energy and unhelpful thought patterns. My doctor's great and has advised me to slow down, which I'm doing. Anyone else been in a similar place? Pep talks and cheer leading is all very welcome!
  23. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
  24. Withdrawal - Brain rushing, zapping, diarrhea, flushing, heart, pulse racing. Day 4 post stepping off seratonin after 25 year. Scared. Psychiatrist never discussed possible ‘discontinuance’ withdrawal symptoms. Bad at night. Afraid. I’m 71
  25. Hi All! Sorry for long post, but I just wanted to share my whole story. I've been following this site since my last taper.. but was hoping I would never need to post here for advice.. but here I am... I started Lexapro around 2009 due to depression that was caused by external factors. I was having family issues and struggling in college. I started drinking a lot and smoking cigarettes... that's when I thought something might be wrong with me so after talking to some friends, they recommended I go to a doctor. Well, I ended up at the university's psychiatrists office a left with a prescription of Lexapro. Not sure when I ended up on 20mg but I'm sure I started out with 10mg at 1st. I stayed on the Lexapro even though I still had major depressive episodes in college. I thought I needed the Lex because of the depression, but I later (recently) learned my depression got worse because of the Lexapro. I drank alcohol and smoked weed and cigarettes while on Lexapro. It wasn't until years later that I realized that drinking alcohol caused issues with the Lexapro which made me more depressed. My psychiatrist never warned me about drinking on it.. even though I told him that I did drink on it... However, he was very against weed... I think the only reason I graduated college with an engineering degree is because of weed. It helped me get through all of the hard times and kept my mind at bay. Fast forward... I finally decided to get off the Lexapro right after college. 2013- 1st taper 20mg to 10mg in 2weeks ----------(Got brian zaps. Dr said to stay on Lex) This was a bad idea because I was still drinking. I got a DUI because I tried to speed home late at night because I knew I had to take the Lexapro early in the morning or else I would have a bad hangover. Decided to go back to full dosage so I could handle the DUI situation... The next time I tried to taper, I was doing great in life. Still smoking weed but I cut down alcohol drastically. 2015- 2nd taper 20mg to 15mg to 10mg by 1month on each dose ----------(Got chest pains, Dr said to live with chest pains forever or continue Lexapro) I got scared so I decided to stay on Lexapro... The second reason was because I just broke up with my girlfriend and I was about to start traveling for work... I needed to be functional for work travel. This is where my Dr said I had a General Anxiety Disorder and should stay on the Lexapro my whole life.... yea I didn't believe that but I felt hopeless at the time. 2017/2018- 3rd taper 20mg to 15mg to 10mg by 3months on each dose ----------(Thought I had a seizure, GP Drs said it was not one but probably low blood sugar or pressure. Psychiatrist said to stay on 20mg Lexapro "just to be safe" and focus on quitting smoking 1st) This was the best taper I was doing. However, ever since one night I got dizzy, slowly fell to the floor and my whole body shivered. I got up, used the bathroom (#2), had a panic attack, and then I felt fine afterward so I went to bed. That had me scared. My GP said it was not a seizure since I got up right away. I'm sure it was from smoking to fast and dehydration most likely. I told my psychiatrist and he said to focus on quitting cigs 1st. And that I should stay on Lexapro 20mg for life. This horrible psychiatrist prescribed me benzos to help quit smoking cigs (yea replace 1 drug for another horrible one). I quit drinking alcohol as well. 2018- New psychiatrist. 20mg to 15mg (3weeks) to 10mg(2.5weeks) to 7.5mg(2weeks) to 5mg(2weeks) to 2.5mg(weeks).. now at 0mg since July 27th 2018 ----------(Fast taper due to side effects on full dose or else I would have tapered extremely slower.. starting smoking cigs again to help get through the withdrawals.. now regretting that decision) So I finally quit smoking cigs after 10years. I was smoke-free for two months! Then it all went downhill from there... I started to experience side effects from the Lexapro. Horrible insomnia, night sweats, dry mouth, sensitivity to light and sound... I knew this was not from quitting cigs because I was done with the withdrawals from them. I didn't sleep for almost a week. No natural supplements helped... I panicked. I emailed my psychiatrist and told him what was going on. He said...." THERE ARE NO SIDE EFFECTS FROM THIS MEDS AND IT'S JUST MY ANXIETY"... That's when I knew I had to switch psychiatrist. It took me a while to book an appointment because most were a month waiting list... I panicked more. I started to smoke cigs again to help me finally come off the meds... I didn't know what else to do... Finally found a new psychiatrist and we made a taper plan. We made a taper plan for 3months. 20-15-10-5-0mg.. Well we did the 3month plan but with different dosages. (I didn't tell him I started it for depression but I was on it for anxiety disorder. I also said I was on it for 7years and not almost 9years. To be honest, I was scared he wouldn't help me if I told him exactly why)... I had to take 1 Trazodone one night to finally sleep after a week of no sleep. I used that to restore my sleep schedule. I do not take Trazadone. I had withdrawals/side effects all the way from 20mg to 0mg. Most common symptoms were insomnia and anxiety. Here is a list of other symptoms: Fatigue, dizziness, nausea, muscle twitches, itching, dry eyes (went to an ophthalmologist twice for this one), depression, dry mouth, chest pains, dry itchy throat, mucus in chest and throat. I have been off it for a 5 week now. Now I have constant anxiety.. it is very hard to focus at work without taking a smoke break every hour. I am worried that I smoke way too many cigs now. about 15 a day... I cannot help it at all due to fatigue, stress, and the constant anxiety. I really want to stop smoking cigs but right now is just impossible to cut down and even stop... I tried vaping but the JUUL makes my eyes hurt and the regular vapes just don't do anything. My parents suggested I stick with regular cigarettes bc my body is used to that... I applied for Medical Marijuana. I received my card about a week ago. Have been using high CBD low THC for a week now but doesn't seem to help much. I am going to continue trying medical CBD to see if that helps after some time. I have 5htp but I am scared to try it. I will be seeing a Chinese Herbal doctor/ acupuncturist tomorrow to see if that help. I take GNC multivitamins and fish oil as I have heard that helps with withdrawals. I use high CBD-low THC tincture morning and night. Also, smoke high CBD weed to help with sleep. I feel better at night and I can go to bed now using weed and Bramhi (ayurvedic medicine) with milk. I am hopeless as I don't know what to do... Should I try to reinstate on a lower dosage? Should I go on another AD and try to stabilize on that and work on quitting smoking cigs again? Any advice and or suggestions, please? Thank you, -Cloud23
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