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  1. Dev1322

    Dev1322: Tinnitus

    I was on 20 mg of Lexapro and 1.5 mg of Xanax daily for postpartum depression. In February of 2020 I was down to 1.0 mg of Xanax. I began tapering both medicines as I was having some Serotonin Syndrome issues. Once I taped down to 15 mg and .75 mg I began having tinnitus. I am now on 100 mg of Zoloft and .25 mg of Xanax (I am tapering the Xanax still). I still have tinnitus and want any advice on what to do to help. Will it eventually go away? I have been on the 100 mg of Zoloft consistently for almost 7 weeks.
  2. I am asking for a person close to me.. He has been on Lexapro (10mg- and recentl5 mg) for 5-6- years. While on lexapro he smoked and drank coffee.... last year slowly the nicotine and caffeine was becoming a problem causing anxiety whereas before it had a good effect on him. It came to the point where one ciagarette caused a panick attack that lasted hours and he had to stop smoking. My question is whether this is common , being sensitized to nicotine to the point of having to stop it, and if this can be reversed? thank you to anyone who wishes to answer.
  3. if this isn't allowed I"m sorry. I promised a friend I'd try to get her help. She's 84yrs old and doesn't use a computer. she suffered the tragic loss of her husband 3 yrs ago (suicide, he'd had botched surgery that left him in terrible pain and he couldn't take it any longer) She "fell apart" she said, and went into a psych hospital for 2 1/2 mos. While there, she believes she was given meds to help her sleep and possibly started on lexapro, she's not sure. She thought maybe the lexapro was started some time later. In any case, she took lexapro for at least 2 yrs For some reason, her PCP (who has been prescribing the lexapro) switched her to remeron. She was going thru a hard time with a BF who was stalking her, damaging her car, etc. So it's possible she told her dr that the lexapro wasn't helping. So she was switched to mirtazapine/remeron. it's now Approx 2 mos after being off the lexapro and she's waking up with horrible anxiety attacks as well as severe GI symptoms. She's also dizzy and feels weak , hot and sweaty. She went to the ER and was tested for everything under the sun, nothing wrong. She was started on lorazapam/ativan at 0.5mgs once a day. her PCP has rather quickly upped that dose to 0.5mgs three times a day to now 1mg three times a day and she's been told not to drive which is not going to happen. She refuses to stay home and doesn't understand that the drug that an impair her ability to drive is also the drug that can make her unaware of her impairment (although I think I was able to get that thru to her by comparing it to being drunk) this 84 yr old woman has been active her entire life, kayaking hiking, etc etc, she would not just stay home. she's waking up with more and more anxiety every day and more GI symptoms, including a burning feeling in her stomach and nausea My feeling is that she's going thru lexapro withdrawal (delayed) she takes the remeron at night and she says it helps her to sleep but she's quickly gotten very fond of the ativan. I've warned her about addiction and tolerance and told her she needs to take the warnings about driving very seriously. she's at an age where she believes that only a dr knows best, so it's very hard for me to give her advice. Plus I don't want to cause her any harm she wants me to go with her to see a psychiatrist or other prescribing dr. I don't know that I'd be much good with that, since I HATE these drs so much for what they did to me (over 40yrs on psych drugs, given nearly every mental illness lable, etc etc) Is there anything I can do for her? My feeling was that a tiny dose of lexapro might convince her that her anxiety and GI upset are WD from the CT of lexapro... but I don't know if that would work now that she's got the other drugs in her system........?? what would be her best course of action? she does not want to be on these drugs but she's not been offered therapy!! she wants to go inpatient because she's recently lost her volunteer job and her BF and is lonely and needs things to do. I doubt they'll agree to admit her for that, but she may realize that her anxiety issues might be enough to get her admitted for a short while since she has good insurance I told her that they are likely going to keep her on meds and maybe increase them. They don't know how to get ppl off them. any suggestions welcomed. I'm so upset that she's going thru this. these damn drs dole these drugs out like candy, it makes me sick
  4. Hi, I want to share my story and get some of your advices. I was diagnosed with pure O OCD in November 2019 and I started to take Lexapro (10mg/day) in January because of insomnia linked to intense anxiety. This med helped me to sleep again (but poor quality of sleep) but it increased the intensity of anxiety and it depersonalized me. Also, I experienced many suicidal thoughts while I took this medication so I told my psychiatrist and he thinks I needed to increase my dose while I thought that this medication didn't help me cope with my OCD. So now I decided to stop it after 3 months by tapering (2 weeks at 5mg then 0). I have stopped in the end of April and I still experience the withdrawal syndrom. The main problem I have is impaired concentration (it's very hard for me to read and to think now, as I try to think of something, many random thoughts come and go and they are not even related to the topic I was thinking of). My mind wanders all the time from switching thoughts to thoughts even when I try to stay focused. Also many old memories come back while I thought I forgot them. Did someone experienced impared concentration ? I have seen another psychiatrist and he said that Lexapro can't cause this kind of withdrawal syndrom and he thinks my lack of concentration is a symptom of depression so he told me to take another antidepressant. But I am sure that my impaired concentration is due to the end of Lexapro. What are you thoughts? Regards Christian
  5. My names Noman, 21. I took Anafranil Lexapro Zoloft Venlafaxine Prozac over the course of 1 year. Now i have SSRI and SNRI withdrawl. Putting aside the other withdrawl symtpoms, the worst one it eye It feels as if I cannot open my eyes, when I do my eye muscles from my brain to my eye feel like they want to force shut, and i get this irriation. This leads to eye pressure, eye blood rush, eye weakness, eye cant focus, etc. I know for sure its withdrawl symptom because wheni went on prozac, it went away. Has anybody else experineced this, if so, is it dangeros? does it go away? please share
  6. About six months ago I went to my doctor because I was having chest pain which she shrugged off as anxiety and prescribed 10 mg of lexapro once a day. it ended up being a serious heart condition but that's another story. I wasn't depressed or anxious at the time but I took the lexapro anyways just to prove my doctor wrong. After about 30 minutes of my first dose I felt a rush of euphoria like I never felt before; music sounded so much intense,energetic and wonderful even music that normally felt blah;I couldn't help but dance and sing along. memes,jokes and things on tv were the funniest thing ever at the time and I was laughing at everything; I would rarely laugh otherwise. I couldn't sleep at night because I had too much excitement; my mind was full of different ideas,thoughts and things I wanted to do. I ended up impulse buying a lot of useless things that I felt like I just had to have at the time using my savings. I did a complete wardrobe overhaul and went through a goth,sport,vintage,hipster phase all in the course of a week. ended up completely redecorating my room. it felt impossible to answer question in class or do my homework which would have been easy before taking lexapro; but I kept taking it anyways because of how good it felt, it was like a constant high. I pick up hobbies that I hadn't done in forever like model trains and photography; but there wasn't many interesting things to take pictures of where I lived so I had the great idea of dropping everything I was doing at the time and driving across the country to sight see and take pictures. so I packed my things and went with no real plan of how I was gong to do that. I only ended up diving about 50 miles away before my double vision, lack of coordination and reflexes started to come back a side effect of the lexapro. I ended up crashing into a tree; I walked out with only a few scratches but the car was wrecked. I realized I could have seriously hurt or killed someone. I flushed my medication down the toilet so I wouldn't be tempted to take it again. a day afterwards everything that I had done had hit me at once; I felt flabbergasted and even though I only took it for a week I spiraled into a deep depression that lasted over a month. But I resisted the urge to claim I lost my medication and take it again. I got a second opinion and found another doctor that actually found what was really wrong and just in time too. now it's been about six months since I last took lexapro and recently I've been having urges to take it again for fun; life feels boring sober. Especially with everything closed and being alone stuck in quarantine. I found a merchant on the dark web selling lexapro; so I went to a bitcoin ATM added funds to an account and opened a PO box but I manged to stop myself before I bought it.I haven't tried any illegal drugs so I can't imagine those would make me feel but the drug I have the urge to try is lexapro. So do you guys have any advice on how to stop the cravings.
  7. LCatherine Hello, I am 25 and sometimes feel that my life is over because of Lexapro that was only taken for just shy of two months. I don't know where else to turn, my family and doctors do not believe me and my friends have never been through this hell, so they don't understand. I was a healthy, happy girl for 24 years. Mild anxiety, mild depression, but no severe mental health issues, especially compared to what I've experienced over the last 9 months. It started in September of 2019 when I decided to go on a hormonal birth control for the first time in years. Horrible mistake, I was immediately hit with crippling anxiety and waves of panic attacks. I could barely leave my home and cried all of the time because I didn't know what was happening. I had to go to work so I saw my primary care doctor and he prescribed me Zoloft. I had taken Zoloft roughly a year and a half prior for mild depression (again, NOTHING compared to what I've experienced recently) and it made me feel okay at the time so I thought I would give it another shot. It heightened my anxiety and made me very suicidal the second time, I believe because my hormones were out of whack so it wasn't really ME that it was treating if that makes sense. I went back to my doctor after only taking it for a week and he prescribed me 5mg Lexapro. This was the beginning of October. The first few days I thought maybe it was working, my anxiety was down and I felt calm. Something was instantly not right though, and I felt extremely off. I wrote in my journal that when I was speaking it felt like it was not really me, like there was a space between my thoughts and my words. My inner dialogue was completely silenced which was terrifying. Brain fog set in, things didn't connect or make sense, I felt nothing. I couldn't eat, I couldn't leave my bed and the next two months were a blur that I still have trouble remembering. My head constantly hurt, my ears rang, my vision was compromised, I was dizzy all of the time, had severe depersonalization/derealization and it felt like I had severe inflammation of the brian. I had adverse side effects and it truly felt like I was in hell. I was bumped up to 10mg despite feeling horrible. On Thanksgiving I was sitting with my mom and childhood best friend and her mother. I didn't care if I died, if they died, I just wanted to disappear and I knew I had to get off of Lexapro. I didn't have proper medical guidance and stopped cold turkey. It's been 5 months since stopping, and I would love to say that everything is back to normal, however that is not the case. The bizarre brian sensations, which I later learned were brain zaps, have subsided, but I still have horrible brain fog, waves of DP/DR, my inner voice is much quieter than it once was, and when I get stressed or anxious I feel like I may pass out. I still have ringing in my ears and eye floaters. I have been to the ER several times, I had an MRI done and multiple tests and everything came back fine. I have seen two different psychiatrists who just pushed more drugs, most of which I did not take. I did take a low dose of Amitriptyline briefly but stopped because it made me feel sort of manic and had other weird side effects. I should mention that I have been very sensitive to medication my entire life. I asked my psychiatrist if Lexapro could still be causing these symptoms and he said no, that when people come off of antidepressants they experienced flu like symptoms for 1-2 weeks and then are fine. I had to do research myself, because I never experienced any of these symptoms until I took Lexapro. I could feel it destroying my brain, and it has not recovered. It feels as if my nervous system is wrecked. I take fish oil, D3 daily and occasionally magnesium. My mom believes that the symptoms I'm experiencing are caused from breast implants that I got when I was 22, although I had them for years with no side effects, or due to vaping which I also had no problems with for a year prior to all of this. My question is, will it get better? Sometimes it feels like I will never be myself again. I have lost all pleasure in things I used to love. The idea of going back to school and starting a career seems impossible, and sometimes I feel like I will just be a vegetable and waste away. I try to stay positive most of the time, I have read success stories that give me hope, but other times I feel very hopeless. I don't want to go the rest of my life feeling brain dead and like I have no purpose because of a pill I was prescribed for two months. Please help.
  8. Hello, my name is Jonathan. I’m 21. I started taking Lexapro after being admitted into the hospital for intense panic attacks that resulted in suicidal ideology. The first dose I took of Lexapro I immediately felt this numbing/ quieting effect in my mind, like my internal dialogue was shut off, which then resulted in me feeling so removed from reality I just remember crying and staring at a wall for 2-3 hours before I eventually fell asleep. I feel like I had such adverse effects due to an overall hypersensitivity to medication which was confirmed because I also tried Wellbutrin and switching to Zoloft and both of these medications resulted in me feeling adverse effects immediately. I was on Lexapro 5mg morning 5mg night starting June 2018 and it was miserable the whole time. I felt the emotional numbing, general apathy which I expected. But the worst thing was the dissociation. It was like everything physically was numbed out. Bright light, foggy days, nature in general made me feel like I was stuck in this dream state. I often felt like I had lost all connection to myself, like I was a gathering of vague memories floating through with no meaning. This started bringing lots of panic back and crying spells multiple nights a week. I decided I wanted to come off Lexapro and I stupidly, the spring of 2019, tried cold turkey. Being so sensitive to the drug, after about 3 days I went into a 104 degree fever which lasted 15 days. Luckily my parents came into town and took me home from college. this was the start of an extremely slow taper that lasted until just recently Beginning of April 2020 where I am finally off the drug. I was hopeful for the first time in a while that things might return to normal, like before I was on the drug at all. However, I’ve been feeling a lot of the same feelings I had every time I would taper on Lexapro. Crying spells, the feeling that I am not real. All concepts have lost meaning. Space, time, memory. I wake up in the same familiar bed with the most obvious feeling that it couldn’t be farther from alright. Everything is off. I drive down the same roads I’ve been on my whole life and I can’t help but feel the fog creep in until it has covered my memories, convincing me that my reality has been manipulated and I am no longer able to see things as they truly are, or were. Color is faded. Light is surreal. Overcast days fill me with dread. I’ve lost all connection to the physical world. Those concepts of space and time bring on the most intense feelings of fear and despair. The only sensations I feel anymore, the only ones that remind me that this feels like a nightmare. It honestly feels like hell and I don’t know how to find relief. I’ve started up therapy again but talking about all these feelings make it worse. I’d rather completely numb/ distract myself in my room all day then be forced to relive all these moments. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to feel like things are ok again. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  9. jsiegel

    Is this possible

    Have been on antidepressants since 1990s. I would go to my PCP and tell them what I wanted to try next. Over the years I have been on prozac, paxil, and now the cocktail I want to taper from. Tried to taper in past but gave up quickly thinking there would be a better time. And May 2019 was it. Started to taper from wellbutrin and lexapro ‘cocktail’ under guidance of PCP. She put me on a 2 year taper. In March was down to 150 mg wellbutrin every 4 days. Crashed with current homebound routine. So she suggested I go to every 3 days and wait for the pandemic to ease up before resuming taper. Is it possible after all these years to actually be drug free? Are there any psychiatrists who know about tapering? Ive read allot about the tapering strips. Any psychiatrists willing to prescribe? I want off these meds...but the road sure is daunting at times. Any words of encouragement welcomed.
  10. Well, as someone who abused prescription and street drugs for over 15 years, I do tend to trust drug users over MDs. Thats why I am here. but I'm having trouble believing cold turkey will actually make withdrawal worse or last longer. This post is probably going to not be very cohesive. I am having a lot of trouble concentrating. Anyway, my psychiatrist said that basically I had mild anxiety and depression mostly induced by polydrug abuse. I used, tapered, and relapsed on alprazolam (Xanax) for years. Went cold turkey after a 10 day libriu taper. So much easier than tapering for a long time, in my opinion. It has been 20 months since then. Therefore I am not sold on the antidepressant taper. I cut lexapro in half a few months ago to 10mg. I noticed no change. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist because my GP is an idiot. I trust her even less than most doctors. I went down to 5 mg a week ago and have started to experience a lot of negative symptoms in the past few days. Mainly just irritability, fatigue, and dissociation. Honestly the info on this forum is the only thing thats really lowered my self-efficacy. Could you give me your general thoughts? Thank you
  11. In fall, 2019 out of the blue, without warning, I had two vertigo attacks (different weeks). For 4 days after I had dizziness while driving to work. I learned about maneuvers to re-set ear particles and those helped. 4 days after the 2nd vertigo attack I had my first ever panic attack. Typical first-timer story: had no idea what was going on, went to the ER. All tests came back negative. Was diagnosed with GAD, even though I've never had an anxiety problem or depression diagnosis my whole life (middle aged here). 3 days after panic attack was prescribed lexapro. That's when the hell began. I've never had to take any medications at all my whole life, save for a daily multivitamin. For a few months I took some thyroid medication to reduce some elevated antibody levels but that solved that (about 7 yrs ago). Never been on any psychiatric med at all. The 9 weeks and 2 days I was on lex was the worst experience of my life. At times, unbearable anxiety, exhausted, dizzy every single day I was on it, random intrusive dark thoughts, brain fog... An anxiety attack 4 weeks into lexapro sent me to a psychiatric hospital for 4 days the first time when it caused intrusive passive suicidal thoughts (first time in my life). While there a psychiatrist prescribed a low dosage of lithium for "mood stabilization". After learning what sent me to the hospital the psychiatrist urged me to stop lexapro asap. We agreed on a taper...a very rapid taper. I went from 10mg to nothing over the next 5 wks or so. I couldn't wait to get off- unlike others, I never "settled" on lexapro...every day was bad and the introduction of the dark thoughts was the straw that broke the camel's back. Have been off lex for 5 wks now. For 3 wks main side effects while on the drug dissipated gradually (anxiety, dizziness, brain fog, dark thoughts). Then, in the last two wks, new problems: random nausea (no vomiting yet), often in the morning, but can happens at other times, too. Bladder issues: pain and feeling like I have to pee every 5 min. Insomnia. Random shivering chills, even though my apt is 72 degrees. Dizziness is now back, stronger than ever. Days/parts of days when I'm so exhausted and tired I can barely move around the apartment- a 5 minute walk outside is way too much. Periods of depression every day, with passive, vague dark thoughts. A Dr-on-Demand psychiatrist said to quit the lithium cold turkey about 10 days ago- did that too. Can't tell if some of what I'm experiencing now is from lex or lithium w/d. Am thrilled to be off all these terrible psychiatric drugs but have no idea what my journey will be like moving forward. Missed 6-7 wks of work while on lexapro. Am now working from home due to COVID (a blessing in disguise?). Can't believe that I'm still having problems when I was only on these drugs for a short period, but am now reading about people who never recover and have problems after only being on psychiatric drugs for as short as 3 weeks. That terrifies me. Never been diagnosed with bi-polar or any other mental illness. Have been to the ER 9x since Jan- almost every test you can imagine has been run...everything comes back negative/pristine/clear. I've never felt so awful and am not someone who runs to the ER when I get a paper cut but am tired of hospital Dr's yelling at me when I've gone ("You don't belong here! You have nothing wrong with you! Could you consider these problems are self-created?") even though I've felt I had no other option. Am grateful the blood, lithium, thyroid, CAT, MRI, blood culture, etc. tests all come back looking so good, but that somehow doesn't help how I feel. Hired a nutritional coach who had me try all kinds of supplements, most of which I reacted badly to: seriphos, tryptophan, melatonin, l-phenalalynine, amino acids, inositol. The only things that have helped me (mainly as I tapered) were nutritional supplements: magnesium, vit-C, omega-3, daily multi. Take 4mg zofran if nausea gets bad. Occasionally take .5 ativan if my anxiety is out of control and all my mindfulness, meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, etc. tools don't work. If dizziness and nausea is bad at bedtime will take a 12.5mg meclizine, but it tends to zombie me out the next day so I try to avoid that. L-theanine helps calm me a bit but I don't take those regularly anymore. Have tried chinese herbs- that mix didn't do anything. Have had 5 acupuncture treatments: 3 helped a great deal. Two didn't really do anything, and I actually felt worse in the day/s after (could have been overpowering effects of w/d, vs. the acupuncture treatment itself- can't know for sure). Have 4 acupuncture treatments coming up because those are the only things that seem to move me forward at all, when they do work. I get that most of the serotonin in the body is in the GI, so my current issues may be just the latest place lexapro w/d has decided to manifest itself. Tired of feeling I can't get a break. Tired of feeling that 1 ok day means 4-5 awful days after. Tired of feeling that at times I'm just trying to survive and fixing myself my next meal is a herculean effort. How long can I expect this parade of various side effects to continue after such a short lexapro history? Am I really bound to a lifetime of issues from 9 weeks of one pill? Just moved to NV 10 mths ago from central USA to take a new job. Love the job and new home but don't have any close friends out here yet and am single and alone. My faith in God is sometimes the only thing holding me together. Have never had such a disruptive or frustrating or debilitating health-related experience in my life. Desperately love (and miss) working out, but dizziness prevents me from doing most exercises and many days I'm so exhausted I can barely walk downstairs to pick up the mail. Does anyone on here have a lexapro recovery story involving awful w/d after only being on the drug for a couple of months? Would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading about my struggles.
  12. Hi, I'm not really new to these forums as I have already found so much support and reassurance from reading people's experience and advice in coming off lepraxo in the past. It helped me to come down from 30 mg to 10 mg. Thank you for all the support on these amazing forums. 🤗I'm sorry I didn't feel I could come on board and share or support others as I was going through a hellish time with withdrawal. I was prescribed 30 mg seven years ago for OCD and managed to taper down to 10mg where I have stayed for about a year and a half. I've been in contact with the doctors at my medical practice to talk about my difficulties withdrawing from lepraxo (in my experience, worse than benzos) and my need for going down in teeny increments from now on, thus requiring a liquid formulation, but it falls on deaf ears. It seem it's too expensive for them to prescribe a liquid. So I'm left with 10 mg tablets and have tried making my own liquid the past 2 days, reducing it by 10 percent , to 9mg. I didn't expect to feel any withdrawal effects but I was amazed that on the second day I have been having moderate strength migraines and fluey hot flashes and other typical symptoms I'm all too familiar with. BIG SIGH Im feeling a bit scared now.😬 Anyway I thought I'd complete my withdrawal journey in the company of fellow survivors (or soon to be!!)
  13. Good morning. I can't sleep right now, so I am posting here. Trying to learn as fast as possible, so bear with me if this information is in another thread. Partner has reduced from 200mg buproprion & 20 mg escitalopram to 150 and 15 respectively. I understand that it is only wise to do one drug at a time. We are on day 15 since reducing the dosage and started to notice prior symptoms reoccurring to a lesser extent around day 9. They are bearable. I don't want to cause damage one way or another by making adjustments too quickly. Have read and need to continue to read more about the 10% rule. I am going to ask the doctor for a liquid form to have a more gradual taper. I understand that we need to do our own research for understanding, and that sometimes doctors can only take us so far. Should she go back on her previous doses, stabilize for a month or two, then reintroduce a taper? Does going back on the previous dosage rock the boat too much or should we taper back up? Thank you so much for your insight. I appreciate everyone's posts here, and am looking forward to further educating myself in this newfound wealth of information.
  14. Suffering from severe stress, overthinking and anxiety for over 15 years. Was on cymbalta for about 5 years. Then tried to withdraw from it using amino acids and herbs on my own. But had serious withdrawal symptoms and psychosis. Then I was prescribed Lexapro 20 mg and rexulti 1 mg. I was able to withdraw from rexulti after 2 years. But still currently on Lexapro 20 mg since 4 years. I want to wean off this time. I am so planning to get the SPECT scan done at the Amen clinics soon if it can be helpful. I am currently 35 years old and not going to give up this time. i tried to lower the dose by 15% (approx) 3 weeks back for 3 days and had severe withdrawal symptoms like fever, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, brain zaps, loss of control. I went back to my original 20mg dose and doing fine now since this week. Is it a good idea to take fish oil, multi vitamins, and other natural herbs while tapering off Lexapro so brain can produce new neurotransmitters?
  15. My story is a little different....at 33 years old, I quit smoking. About 6 months later, I ran into a situation that required me to confront someone. As that time approached, I became increasingly anxious about my ability to handle the situation....to the point I went to my doctor for help. He immediately threw 20 mg of Prozac at me which I started taking, not knowing or having been told to taper “on” the drug. In a matter of days, the mild anxiety I was experiencing morphed into catastrophic anxiety....I lost my mind. (I now know, after genetic testing, that my body did not produce enough “glutathione”, a major antioxidant that we need to detox and process chemicals) ....I needed help. I left my GP and sought out the top Psychiatrist in my city...By this time, I was such a mess due to the effects of the Prozac, I was diagnosed with GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I came off the 20 mg of Prozac and we tried several other types of antidepressants over the following months....Each one effecting me the same way. I finally ended up back on 5 mg of Prozac...over much time, my body eventually regulated and absorbed the medication, I healed from the experience and thrived. Over the last 20 years I ran into a few occasions that required the medication to be increased....Again, I would lose my mind! It would take weeks, sometimes months for my brain to absorb and metabolize the increase of Prozac...I was told this was happening because I was “sensitive” to antidepressants and that I’d have to tough it out because I needed to be on them forever. Still not knowing about my lack of the major antioxidant, and hating the Prozac, I suggested to my doctor that we try another brand...He switched me to Lexapro in 2014...same story...massive anxiety...barely surviving...but finally after weeks/months I regulated and made it through to better times. All this time I prayed fervently that God would tell me when I could come off of these horrid drugs that were on the verge of destroying my life....My father and grandfather had both taken their lives. I didn’t want to continue this legacy. I had managed to build a beautiful family and a solid marriage....all I wanted to do is live without the meds....my biggest prayer for myself and enjoy the blessings bestowed upon me. In the spring of 2019, after 20 years, I heard what I was waiting for...not audibly, but in my spirit I heard that it was time. I could come off this medication. I started in March with a razor blade, scraping off “dust” from the 10 mg of Lexapro. I had heard of withdrawals from antidepressants but thought if I took it extra slow I could avoid them..I tapered all year. If I started to develop withdrawal symptoms, I would stop tapering and camp where I was at for awhile until I stabilized. I was doing it! All went well until August of last year. I had gotten down to 2.5 mg and thought I could stop there. So I did. After 4 days I started getting nauseous and dizzy. I called my doctor and told him what I was doing...(He didn’t know I was tapering off...he was the one who told me I would be on them for life) He called in liquid Lexapro and told me to go back on where I left off (2.5 mg) and taper more slowly. The problem with this is...the medicine level had dropped in my system so with the reintroduction of the medicine, I LOST MY MIND YET AGAIN! I became almost suicidal...but I stuck with it. I slowly tapered completely off with the liquid and took my last dose on November 11, 2019. Here I am 4 1/2 months out. If you are on this site, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it has been. I will say that in tapering off that slow (over 8 months) I didn’t experience the brain zaps and nausea as well as some of the other symptoms but I have experienced constant anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, dips of depression and hopelessness at times. I’ve needed constant affirmation from my support group that all that I’m going through are withdrawal symptoms and that I’m NOT relapsing or going crazy. I pushed through even the hardest of days and have not missed a day of work since that last day of meds in November. A friend of mine suggested that I go see her a Integrative Doctor about the time that I reinstated the 2.5 mg due to the withdrawals in August which turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in all of this. This doctor did the genetic testing and found out the root of why I was losing my crap every time the meds were increased and promptly started me on Gluathione IV’s as well as a cream and started me on a protocol of supplements and an anti inflammatory diet (no gluten, dairy, processed foods, or sugar) He also ran a sensitivity test to find out what other foods I was allergic or sensitive to. Did you know that 70 plus % of your serotonin is manufactured your gut? So it is imperative to heal your gut for optimal serotonin production. I will list the supplements that I’m on...of course these are taylored for me and my genes.....B2, B6, B9, B12 (shots), Magnesium Malate, Lithium Orotate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, 3 different probiotics (Megaspore, Florassist Mood Improve, Restore) Lemon Balm tincture, melatonin, and the mother of them all, 5HTP (converts directly into serotonin). I am 4 1/2 months out...I’m about 85-90% healed and my symptoms are decreasing consistently. I’m certain that I will reach 100% at some point this year...but am still having good days and bad days..Aside from the Integrative medicine, the things that have helped me most are: devotions and reading my Bible every morning, journaling, EXERCISING EVERY DAY, drink a lot of water to keep your mind sharp and to detox, anti inflammatory diet, routine, talking to my counselor, and TRYING to get as much sleep as possible....This is hard, because everyone I’ve talked to going through this is NOT sleeping. I don’t want to but I take Benedryl to sleep, however, I have been able to cut back on some of it. I am so thankful and encouraged by the bravery and courage of all of the warriors on this website and looking forward to hearing your success stories. Thanks for reading my story. Blessings to you all...ByTheGrace
  16. 2 months ago I was prescribed 5 mg of lexapro for depression after a 10 minute discussion where all I said was basically I had low energy. I knew I was sensitive to medication so I only took 2.5mg and only a few hours later I started having side effects and decided this was not for me. I thought they would last for the time it took for lexapro to leave my system but boy was that wrong. These 2 months have been the hardest of my life. It's like the side effects come and go in waves, getting worse and worse with small "windows" of feeling sane again. They include digestive upset, at first just diarrhea but that has gone away and now I just have random projectile vomiting usually set off by something so small like even a small magnesium supplement or food that I had no problem taking before. Brain zaps after the first month,have gone away but I thought I was having seizures when they happened my whole body would shake and any head movement or stress would trigger seeing stars and blackouts it was horrifying. Now at the near 3 month mark the emotional symtoms are the worst, every morning it's like I feel my mind spiral out of control as I wake up and become more alert. It's almost like I have to make myself not think because every thought becomes reality and the thoughts are always extreme and terrifying. Sometimes I can meditate and come into reality in the evening with the help of a beta blocker but during the day it is a constant effort to just sit still and not run away or believe the paranoid thoughts and delusions that are terrifying that I even think them. Each day usually ends in hysterical crying and existential terror which exhausts me to the point that I feel some "window" of normal like other people talk about. Thankfully my family is home from work due to the coronavirus but unfortunately the psychiatric place by my home is closed. My family doesn't believe this is caused by the lexapro and I know my doctor would not either. But I've read on sites that people are tapering off it in extremely tiny doses way smaller than 2.5mg So I guess my question is how much longer until I feel normal?? I read the article on this site about how some people try to go back on their drug to get off it slower but idk if this point if I should do that or if I'm too far past the last dose and theres no one to ask because most people believe that I should be fine from the 'small's dose I took. My current physical symptoms are no appetite despite constant stomach gurgling, acid reflux, vomiting, sweating shaking tremors, the worst is the constant pounding heartbeat, at any time of of my eyes is slightly drooping and my brain and face feel like it's hot and on fire. I've tried taking extremely small doses of theanine, klonopin, and 5htp. Nothing really helps longterm because it seems these symtoms are part of withdrawal and theres nothing I can do to stop them. I hope this isnt too long and does not come across as insensitive to others who were on larger doses for a longer time. I would greatly appreciate absolutely ANY support or advice.
  17. Hello everyone, Before I begin, I want to apologize for the length of my first post. While some of the information may seem irrelevant at first, I'm trying to provide context and useful details to be as helpful as possible. I have tried to follow the forum guidlines as much as possible, but there is a lot to read up on, so if I am missing anything or anything needs adjusted please let me know. I am a male student in my early thirties who was first prescribed Lexapro/Escitalopram when I was nineteen for situational anxiety. Following the doctor's taper advice, I went on and off it twice in my twenties. The reason I returned to the drug both times was, again, situational anxiety that became debilitating to daily life. I did not have any problems with these tapers, which were completed over a few weeks. My latest period on the drug started in late 2013. I was on this dose, Lexapro/Escitalopram 20mg, for approximately six years. Last fall, I decided I wanted to taper off for good. I was experiencing some effects such as sleeping long periods, morning anxiety, and a feeling of a constricted nasal passage in the morning that I thought might be related to the drug. More generally, being on the drug made me feel ashamed and I was coming upon a turning point in my life that had made me committed to living healthier. Given my experience with past tapers, I conceived a taper that, at the time, seemed cautious since it was a longer plan. I would alternate days and divide the dose in half every two weeks. When the dose became too small to prepare with a pill cutter, I used a pill crusher and made a water/drug solution that I administered with an oral syringe. This taper was completed from August to December 2019, over approximately four months. The negative effects I remember when tapering was some occasional irritability/emotional oversensitivity. I now realize that, given my situation, this taper was foolish and too fast. In my mind, I was just trying to do what I thought was a more careful version of the method I used in the past. In the middle of January 2020, I noticed one of my testicles was swollen. My PCP had me get an ultrasound, which indicated that I had developed a small hydrocele. A hydrocele is an accumulation of fluid that is generally harmless, but sometimes requires surgery to remove. Accompanying the hydrocele was some penile pain/burning. Although a urine test indicated that this was not from a urinary infection or STD, my doctor prescribed an antibiotic. I presume he was suspecting an infection of another kind. I began the antibiotic on February 13, and after about five to six days, I began noticing some very distressing symptoms: confusion, bad mind fog, short-term memory issues, anxiety, strange vertigo-like sensation behind the eyes, inability to feel emotions. I woke up in the middle of the night on day seven with a panic attack like none I'd ever had before. It was relatively short, but my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, which isn't a symptom associated with my past panic attacks. The symptoms I described would come in waves of a few hours and then attentuate. Around days seven and eight I also was going in out of something I would describe as a dissociative state combined with intense anxiety. It was very bizarre and unlike anything I had ever experienced berfore. I just felt disconnected from everything, the world felt corrupted, and combined with the aforementioned symptoms was very terrifying. At the time the first symptoms (mind fog, anxiety) appeared, I thought they might be connected to coming off the SSRI. This seemed logical considering that they were primarily psychological symptoms. I went online and learned for the first time about the possibility of protracted withdrawal from SSRIs. My understanding prior to this was that talk of "discontinuation/withdrawal syndrome" referred to the brain zaps/flu-like symptoms that sometimes accompany tapering. Nevertheless, on day eight of the antibiotic (February 20), it occurred to me that the antibiotic was the only new factor to be introduced during the preceding week and these symptoms were so qualitatively different than anything I had ever felt before. After looking it up online, I found reports of this particular antibiotic causing the previously mentioned side effects - anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, etc. (see https://www.medications.com/doxycycline-hyclate/39445). After learning this on the evening of day eight, I decided to quit taking the antibiotic, and within two to three days the side effects mostly subsided. The following week (February 23), the penile pain/numbness/occasional paresthesia returned. I had daily anxiety for a couple weeks worrying about this issue until the urologist did a physical examination (March 5) and assured me that everything was normal, but that the symptoms could possibly be coming from an issue with my pelvic floor muscles. She recommended that I look into pelvic floor therapy, which I have yet to look into. Since the urologist appointment, the penile symptoms have largely disappeared, which leads me to believe that they may have been psychosomatic effects combined with lingering antibiotic side effects. Most recently, over the last week (March 9-15), I've noticed a return of some of the psychological symptoms I was experiencing before while on the antibiotic, only not quite as intense: hours-long waves of anxiety, mind fog, heart pounding, memory issues. I'm just generally feeling "out of it" and not "like myself," kind of like a hangover. The last two nights I have had problems sleeping because of anxiety and heart palpitations. I am concerned with what is causing these issues. Some people who took the antibiotic I did said the side effects lasted weeks or months afterwards. This seems possible given that antibiotics can kill a lot of the "good" gut bacteria that have some relation to mood regulation. What is confusing is that some of the side effects of the antibiotic seem to overlap with those of SSRI withdrawal. So could it be that one triggered or exacerbated the other or that it is a combination of both? The last two months have been some of the hardest of my life. From being in the emergency room worried about the antibiotic damaging my brain, to worrying about having a debilitating genital issue that would ruin my ability to form a relationship or have kids, to worrying about the possibility of SSRI withdrawal, it's been one thing after the other. Currently, I'm dealing with trying to finish my semester remotely while holed up with my family because of the coronavirus situation. One family member was recently discharged from the hospital and requires a lot of constant assistance with certain medical procedures and therapies, so that has been stressing everyone out. So it is also possible that I'm just feeling burned out. In the meantime, I have started seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist who is sympathetic to people weaning of antidepressants and transitioning to more wholistic therapy. She thinks it is conceivable that the issue is any or all of the things I described above, and has advised me to live as healthy as possible in the meantime. I have adjusted my diet (including adding probiotic foods), spent time walking daily, cut out caffeine, and started on fish oil, a multivitamin, and gingko biloba. Overall, my purpose for posting here is to get any kind of guidance or perspective that may be helpful. I understand this is a complex situation that doesn't have a clear response. At this point it seems my options are to wait it out or to try to reinstate the Lexapro/Escitalopram at a lower dose which seems successful for some, although from reading here it seems that at three months since the last dose I am approaching the end of the window of opportunity where that seems effective. I found a psychiatrist from the forum's "recommended doctors" section who lives close to me and seems to recognize withdrawal, so scheduling an appointment is a possibility. Finally, I want to thank the administrators and moderators of the forum for their work in selflessly providing a space for those of us in need to receive advice.
  18. First I want to thank this community for providing such critical support to so many in need of informed guidance. I am here to seek advice for reinstating after having tapered of Lexapro WAY too fast (throwing my brain off a bridge). This was my second time on Lexapro for anxiety/depression with a starting dose of 5 mg for 5 months, increase to 10 mg for 5 months. Though Lexapro worked for me the first time (from 2008-2016 at 10 mg) , this second time around it hasn't worked nearly as well to address my anxiety and associated light insomnia. As a result, I decided to take myself off Lexapro (which I realize I should not have done without guidance.) After my taper, I felt okay for about 5 weeks. But around week 6 I started having anxiety and insomnia like I have never experienced before. I tried to ride it out but when severe depression set it, I decided I needed help. Since we had moved overseas during this time, I had to find a new psychiatrist. She put me on Paxil 10 mg, which significantly increased my anxiety and depression so much she took me off after a week. She then put me back on Lexapro 5 mg, which seemed to kick off severe insomnia - 5 nights with less than 2 hours sleep. Now she wants me to stop Lexapro and start Mirtazapine 15 mg since she says it will help with insomnia and weight loss (I am about 8 pounds underweight.). Having read through several SA threads and guides, I think it might be better if I just try and stabilize with the Lexapro. Though perhaps that window has closed and I should just switch to Mirtazapine and stabilize on that for several months before planning your advised 10% taper. I appreciate any guidance.
  19. Hello all, I am new to this forum and found it through looking up antidepressant withdrawal like many of you probably did. Here is my story in short: December/Jan 2019/2020: Lots of life circumstances all sort of happened around the same time and led to me having a couple of panic attacks and some bad insomnia (a few random nights of not sleeping at all, but no more than 2 in a row ever) as well as increased anxiety. 1/16/20: I go to see my GP, tell him about my symptoms, and walk out of there with an Rx for Lexapro 10 mg and Trazodone 50 mg. I was wary of starting the meds so I did not fill them right away. 1/18/20: I didn't sleep the night before and decide that day that I need to "do something about it" so I fill and start taking the Lexapro 10 mg and 50 mg Trazodone at night. 1/18/20-2/8/20: 10 mg Lexapro daily and Trazodone 50 mg nightly. Gradually start to experience anhedonia, decreased social interest, just feeling withdrawn. Also bad short term memory loss. Also sleep was much worse, only 4-5 hours per night. 2/9/20-3/2/20: 5 mg Lexapro daily and Trazodone 50 mg nightly. Symptoms no better. Saw psychiatrist who recommended to just stop taking the Lexapro. 3/3/20-3/12/20: Only taking 25 mg Trazodone nightly now. Sleep has improved but symptoms of anhedonia are worse than they have ever been (note: I was not really depressed before the meds, I was taking them more for anxiety/panic attacks). Also, autonomic symptoms are all over the place--I am either too hot or cold, sweating too much, dizziness, etc. Also have a constant headache and also feeling like I am having some vision changes. Also having to use the bathroom much more than usual. I am looking for advice about what to do at this point. Obviously the past is in the past but I wish I could go back to January and just tell myself never to start the meds. But I am trying to be in the present and do what I can now. I have missed days at work and am fearful of not being able to work/losing my job. Any advice would be helpful/appreciated at this point. My GP and psych will likely be of no use/help at this point.
  20. I know this community seems to be heavily in favor of getting of medicine entirely, but my anxiety and panic attacks are so bad I'd like to get into a calm state before I attempt. I have been on Lexapro for 12 years. The last few years the medicine has not seemed to work very well. My PCP and I decided to add Buspar 10mg while going from 10mg Lexapro to 5mg Lexapro. I had been feeling really well for two weeks after starting the Buspar. I went down on Lexapro and a week and a half later got extreme dizziness / off balance / coordination issues / vertigo / "wooshing" sensations. No other symtpoms. Three weeks of dealing with this I though maybe this was the Lexapro (although I was told with a Cross taper this would not happen) and went back on the Lexapro. It has been an additional three weeks and things have not improved. That's when googling lead me to this site... PCP now wants me to cross taper to Zoloft but I am incredibly afraid of making these symptoms worse. He says there should not be any withdrawl when cross tapering from SSRI to SSRI and these symptoms must be from something else and that we will do further medical testing to determine the cause. In the meantime, wants me to get settled on the Zoloft to calm my anxiety / panic / OCD around the symptoms. Then says when stable for a bit can start to slowly withdrawl the Zoloft. I feel stuck because I'm so afraid to go off the Lexapro (with or without the Zoloft!) due to these symptoms but feel stuck as I'm in a very bad place mentally but the medication is not helping the symptoms at all! I guess to summarize: Is is true that a cross taper from SSRI to SSRI should not induce any sort of withdrawl? Was that NOT that case when I had Buspar (since thats not a SSRI)? Does this sound like withdrawl, and if so, wondering why this is the only main symptom and why I've seen no improvement after six weeks.
  21. Hi! I just joined this site. I'm currently on my 9th out of 25 radiation treatments for stage 2b breast cancer. I've completed a double mascetomy, 4 bi-weekly treatments of A/C Chemo treatments, 12 weekly treatments of Taxo (Chemotherapy) and am now going through radiation treatment. Afterwards, I will be on AI, a type of hormone blockers for estrogen/progesterone positive, HER2-, breast cancer. I started on 10 mg of lexapro while going through chemotherapy. I don't want to be on this forever. I would like some advise for anyone else that is in my situation. I know my brain is starting to heal from the chemo and I'd like it to heal also from using lexapro. What is the safest way to get off of this? Is there any tapering strips that are available for us in the U.S.? Or is measuring the dry pill powder and liquid versions the only way. It all seems so complicated. I started at the beginning of October 2019. This will be my sixth month being on it. Please help? My mind is so consumed with not only cancer but now this drug. I just want the easiest way to do it and from what I've read, reducing by 10% weight seems the best way to do this. But, do I need to purchase empty gel capsules to make at least four weeks of one dose for each taper? Thanks for any help and suggestions!
  22. Hello! So it has been four months since my last dose of Lexapro. I’ve been experiencing pretty bad tinnitus - anyone else experiencing something similar? Anyone know how long this typically lasts?
  23. Hi guys, Long time visitor to the site, but just registered to get some answers if possible. I’ll start with my history on Lexapro. I was convinced back in 2010 I was dying from a brain tumor and got very anxious and scared of what I was feeling. I remember getting the fight or flight sensations and it terrified me and I didn’t know what was happening. Doctor prescribed 5mg lexapro and then that went to 10mg. After about 1 - 2 years on it I wanted to get off it so the doctor recommend half the tablet and taper over the course of 4weeks. Followed his instructions and did that. Maybe 6-8 weeks the withdraw set in, brain zaps feeling of doom etc etc. Doc put me on the tablets again 10mg. So I stayed on them for about 5 more years and I think at 1 point went up to 20mg for about 4 months in 2011. Mainly I’ve been on 10mg. So fast forward to 2019. My anxiety was still here and doctor wanted me on 15mg of lexapro. So I did that, April 2019 started 15mg of Lex, and then in August I decided to taper but slowly. By November 24th I was on 5.5mg of Lexapro. I tried to see if I would stabilise one this dose but come January 2020 I didn’t and began to increase to 6.6, then next week 7.7 and then I stuck on 8mg from January 25th till February 15. I started to feel more anxiety and not only that depression came and I never suffered with depression so it was strange, nothing interests me or it’s just blah feeling. I am now 9 days on lexapro 10mg again and feeing like I failed. I must mention that when I went back up to 8mg from 5.5mg dosage I’m not sure if coincidence but my legs are feeling very heavy. I still have the depression symptoms too and I’m wondering if I am still in some type of withdrawal. Any advice regarding my recent increase? Should I stay on the 10mg ? I really want to get off these meds and will follow the 10% taper from this website but I just ask when would be the time to taper? I feel like the meds are now making me depressed and loss of interest in activities and my job too. thanks for reading if you got through all that lol -Jack
  24. 🙂 I'm new to the site. Couple of questions. Had a couple of bouts with GAD 18 years ago. Lexapro fixed the problem both times and stopped both times with no problems after a few months. June 2018 felt depressed. Doctor prescribed Lexapro for six months (Dec. 2018). Then quit over 11 days by skipping doses as he suggested. Some symptoms returned and we tried Zoloft the end of March 2019. Worked up to 100 mgs. by June 21 but having very loose stools. Quick 6 day taper August 22 with plans to begin Cymbalta. Just quit instead and contacted Doctor to advise her. It's now been 6 months off AD's and the first couple were ok. Began having some problems third month. Experiencing bad mornings (anxiety) and waking early. Also stomach ache and kind of dizzy sometimes. 1. Is anyone experiencing the same symptoms? 2. Can this be withdrawal after 6 months with no AD's 3. Could this be a relapse?
  25. Ive been following and reading on this site for 2 months now , i FT in a month from 10 to 5 and from 5 to 0 as my WD hit me very hard after 5 months i was thinking to resume my 10mg lexapro so i can 10% taper after im stabilized again. I wanted the opinions of u guys ! Any ideo or help is welcome !!
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