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  1. Hello everyone! First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Thomas. My native language is not english (I'm hungarian) so sorry if I misspell stuff....but I'll try my best. I decided to write here because it seems that this is the only place where I can get some good advice from experts. I really need it right now. I am quite new on this forum but I rad quite a lot of good info here (and other places too) in the past months. But I am tired and frustrated of just reading and researching and trying to figure out things by myself. It would be immensely helpful if you could hear my specific situation. So here is my story I hope I can remember the details as much as possible. My first treatment with these crazy meds started like 2.5 half years ago. Because I was quite depressed I've been prescribed a combination of an SSRI and benzo in relatively low dose for the sake of “prevention” (whatever that meant) First it was Sertaline (I think it was the standard 50 mg dose) with Lorazepam in low dose. I can still remember the first dose of the benzo (I almost passed out on the street). Anyway I took these two for a short time(two or three months) but the side effects were so bad (after my doc raised the Seltraline to 100mg I got the serotonin syndrome) that I got scared and just stopped taking them without asking my doc. It was a very quick taper and as I can remember I became relatively well quite soon. Of course back then I did not have any knowledge about these medications but know I think that that period was too short to really have a long term harm on me.... I think we can say that this period does not really “count” into my preset situation. Anyway time went on I was quite well for a good time. I mean of course I was still fighting depression to some degree, but now I know for sure that all this was because of problems I had in my life negative thinking, low self-esteem, etc....) and nothing that I had to take medications for. Anyway after like almost a year because I had a very bad period one of my best friends suggested me to contact that doctor again (huge mistake). He made another “cocktail” of meds for me. Now an SNRI, a benzo, and a sleeping pill. It was 75mg Effexor XR with 1mg of Rivotril (divided in two doses) and 10mg of Ambien for sleep. Of couse I had some relief...mainly that I could sleep again. So I took this crazy combo for around 6 months. Then another doc made an adjustment to this so the effexor was raised to 150mg, I had to stop the Ambien and take another 1mg of Rivotril instead of Ambien. So I took this combo for another 6 months. Things were not going well as you could imagine. Then I had to go to another doctor who finally said me that I was over-medicated and instructed me that we should change to less powerful meds, which seemed like a good idea but the way he told me to do it was so inappropriate and wrong that it is still making me more and more angry as a read more about tapering and prolonged withdrawal symptoms. First he basically said to stop cold turkey the benzo. This was hard but not that crazy. But then he told me to stop the effexor cold turkey (150mg). That was absolutely crazy as I'm sure you know. After two crazy days he told me to start taking 20mg of Lexapro. This turned to be a good move because my withdrawal symptoms eased very quickly. I took lexapro for like a good 1-1.5 moths. But during this time I was experiencing more and more the memory and cognitive problems that were not new but more severe. So really then I started researching on the internet and finding that the long time use of these meds cause this. I became very angry again and decided to stop as soon as possible, so I made a fast taper from Lexapro and I was done. It was very hard but what I did was that I started to use a little bit of Ambien during the day to combat the withdrawal symptoms. I did this for a week maybe. Now I know that this was quite risky but it surprisingly helped me. I am one of those people that when I take even a little of Ambien it makes me super fearless, motivated, happy, agile, funny(even crazy). I think you heard about this. So this was in August. Since then I am recovering slowly. There were some better days, short periods but mostly I am suffering from most of the symptoms related to the prolonged withdrawal syndrome. I tried and still try some supplements out of desperation. Some of them seem to work. I tried to figure out what to fix and how to help fix (neurotransmitter levels, receptors, etc). Anyway as you can see in my case it is very hard because it seems to me that everything was affected directly (GABA even with two pills) Okay now about my experiment with supplements. I know the ones generally considered to help, I know how they work. I tried a lot of stuff in different combinations. My main problems of concern was the anxiety, numbness, apathy, low motivation, insomnia, and the cognitive and mental problems. I tried 5 htp, passionflower, GABA. These did not seem to have any effect. My thinking is that I maybe with these I can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters. What seems to help the most is L-tryptophan (I take it with 2mg of Melatonin) I take it before sleep and it seems to really help. It takes some time to fall asleep but I this way I can sleep a good 7-8-9 hours sometimes even with almost no wake ups. Another thing that I take is the “king” omega-3 Because of my extra low motivation I was thinking that maybe that has to do something with my dopamine. So after a research I ended up that I need to try Gingko Biloba, Rhodiola. They also rave about these restoring mental functions such as memory and concentration which I desperately want. I started Gingko a week ago it does not seem to help yet, hopefully will. Then I also took Rhodiola for two days but it was weird (some reports already warned me about this) A quite new discovery for me is the effectiveness of Valerian Root. It seems to help with the anxiety. I discovered it in an interesting way. The story is that when I was not taking the tryptophan some weeks ago I almost could not sleep at all, and my appetite almost gone entirely. Then out of frustration I started taking a little Ambien again(just 0.25mg) Of course all the amazing effects kicked in which I enjoyed(and did not want to sleep because I was feeling so good) but I knew I did not want to get it for long so after a week I stopped. But I was thinking: why is that ambien affects me so positively?? If only I could find a natural solution that does the same..... So after researching I came to the conclusion that I need to find something that has that effect on the GABA-A receptors as Zolpidem(Ambien) does. The only solution seemed to be benzos but in the gaba-a antagonist list I found two herbs too: kava and valerian. I also read a very good article with illustrations about how valerian binds almost the same way to the gaba-a receptor as benzos do(with only a little difference of which sub receptor they bind to) I was so thrilled!! I went to buy Valerian immediately and even taking 100mg seemed to help me very quickly. Now I take that three times a day. Yesterday I found some very helpful articles that Alto wrote. It seemed to explain a lot of things that I could not find answers for or I was confused about. But still I became puzzled about some things and even more confused..... so it would be helpful if you could explain some things also concerning my situation. It would be tremendously helpful for me.... The article called "Introduction to psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome" http://beyondmeds.com/2012/05/17/introwithdrawalsyndrome/ This was a very helpful summary for me about what does withdrawal mean and it gave me hope and I wish I have found this sooner.... but still I will post some questions from this one later... Another article is this http://beyondmeds.co.../gabaglutamate/ Most of the article seems clear and logical to me but there are some concerns and questions about how this applies to my situation I am thinking that first I need to know If I am doing something wrong in my recovery....so that way I can adjust things....stop doing things, taking things.....so please guys this is why I need your help now!! My first question is concerning this: (I would be very glad if Alto too could give some advice here “Noradrenergics — buproprion or Wellbutrin; mirtazapine or Remeron; SNRIs such as Cymbalta, Serzone, Effexor; and St. John’s Wort, rhodiola — and stimulate “fight or flight” activation, as will most SSRIs. Drugs and substances that are stimulating should be avoided.” Actually before I rad this article yesterday I had a St. John Worth tea twice and it seemed to help....a lot actually. But basically you say that I should avoid it along with Rhodiola? But even if it seems to help me positively? What about the other supplements? “My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea. The second phase is when the serotononergic receptors are repopulating, with waves of depression and anxiety. The third phase is when glutamatergic disinhibition and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes hypersensitivity to drugs and certain supplements. Out of control, the glutamatergic system sends signals to the adrenals, which produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.” I am trying to figure out what phase of withdrawal I am now. I cannot decide if it's the second or the third. It is not clear to me what the third is but maybe I am in that phase. I might not be hypersensitive to supplements but maybe the Ambien experiement shows that I am to psych drugs (when a small dose made me feel extra good maybe even paradoxical) This might be a sign that I am already in the third phase? Is that a good thing in my situation? So this is about it for now. I am immensely thankful for people like you... Thank You in advance for your help!! Thomas
  2. Hi there, I guess I'm just looking for support in knowing that things will get better. Also wondering if people think it is withdrawal I'm experiencing. Tried to taper lexapro from 20mg to 10mg over a period of four months. Went in 2.5mg increments with at least 3-4 weeks between each drop. Withdrawal symptoms were mild, peaking at about two weeks after the drop. Most symptoms were mental (tailspins of anxiety about being fired or my boyfriend leaving when there was no evidence of either). Then, after the 12.5 to 10mg drop I totally crashed--worst anxiety I've had in years, and unlike anything I ever had. Vomitting, diarrhea...awful. I rapidly began reinstating, going to 12.5 for 4 days, then 15 for 4 days, then 17.5 for four days until I could see a psychiatrist. The symptoms dramatically improved but were still there. Saw the doctor, and she added 10mg Prozac. It helped immensely. I felt 95% normal. Then we tried a cross-taper, upping the Prozac to 20 and dropping the lexpro over a short period (I think a week). I was ok for a few days and thought we were in the clear so we startwd 75mg Wellbutrin, but then had more waves of anxiety and thoughts of self harm, so upped the Prozac to 40mg for a week, then dropped to 30 for a week, and was supposed to drop to 20 but couldn't. Had horrible crying spells, thoughts of self harm, etc. bumped back up to 40 and have been there a week. Obviously the Wellbutrin addition was a mistake, but I think we thought I was in the clear from wothdrawal, and the idea was I would switch from Prozac to Wellbutrin. I wanted off lexapro (and onto Wellbutrin) because of slow and steady weight gain and had been on it for 8 years. I have a diagnosis of bipolar 2 and also take 100mg of lamictal. Used to take lithium and topamax too, but a lot of lifestyle changes have helped me get off those. I quit caffeine and smoking marijuana, and I'm limiting alcohol to a couple drinks once a week. I'm on fish oil and magnesium. Just wondering what else I can be doing. Still having lots of anxiety and feeling like my head is too big for my body, and occasionally like it is buzzing. I have lorazepam to take when the anxiety is out of control. Is this withdrawal from lexapro combined with start up of Prozac? One month later I'm still having withdrawal symptoms and have upped the Prozac to 40mg to try to counteract it.
  3. I've suffered from generalised anxiety and depression since I was about 13. My parents were against medication, so it was diagnosed but it was never really addressed. I was first started on Lexapro at 17 because of a serious eating disorder. The Lexapro was amazing in helping my anxieties around food, within a couple of months I was able to eat with fairly normal regularity. Before the Lexapro I wasn't eating anything more than an apple or a slice of bread a day. I was taken off Lexapro after a year because I felt I didnt need it anymore. The anxiety continued, just not around food. Over several years I was diagnosed by different doctors with a variety of disorders including PTSD and Bipolar disorder, neither of which rang true to me. I developed compulsive self-harming behaviours and severe social anxiety. I was reluctant to use medication again, but over the past four years now I've been tried on Lexapro again and Zoloft several times in varying doses. At times they've helped for a somewhat but not how I hoped they would. At that time I wasn't always great at always taking the medication, and my tendency to self-medicate with alcohol didnt help. I still felt unable to function normally day-to-day. Studying was impossible, social situations were still incredibly difficult. I turned over a new leaf this year, really wanting to see a change. After being on a high dose of Lexapro the past six months I've been feeling its not right. When on a low dose I didnt feel notably better at all, and on a higher dose my sleep is terrible, I cant eat, I have trouble leaving my house, have trouble looking people in the eye I have awful nausea and no energy at all. I've now been prescribed Cymbalta, I'll start the course tomorrow. I think this is the first time I've tried a SNRI rather than a SSRI. My worry is that I'm going through a really difficult time emotionally right now, my partner unexpectedly left me. I'm scared that the strange symptoms that often occur during the first few weeks of a new drug might make everything a lot harder. I'd just be very interested to know what anyone else's experience has been in starting Cymbalta, how it felt, and how long it was before you noticed an improvement. Thank you for any advice or support you can give, I hope I can do the same for others.
  4. Hello. I am 55yo female, stay at home mom. I've always struggled with depression and anxiety. I don't like to use self diagnosis, so please forgive these labels...if I were to look at a collection of things that have caused me to have trouble in life, they could be clustered around sensory integration disorder and some aspergers tendencies. I live in a community full of high achievers, and many have the aspergers tendencies, so I don't feel so bad about that anymore, but for 54 years, I did. The sensory integration issues were a hot bed for the exhausting anxiety and resulting depression. I went on Lexapro 5 or 6 years ago when my 11 year old son's learning disability (rooted in sensory integration disorder) was completely overwhelming me. I was freaking out over not being able to help him and my husband's complete inability to help or even participate--for my son or for me. I went on the Lexapro to help me to stop screaming at and physically grabbing and charging at my children, esp the 11 year old, but the then 6 year old was watching. The Lexapro helped, but soon, I realized that anxiety was a useful fuel for me in my days and I missed it. I also became completely depressed over my situation (having given up my outside the home career, husband whose expectation that I seamlessly transition from highly educated executive to laundress), so I went on Wellbutrin. I have also always kept some Lorazepam in my purse for anxiety attacks. Having it available has usually been remedy enough, so I scarcely ever use it. Less than 10 pills per year which I break in half for 50-75% of a whole pill. The apathy that has come with my treatment has gotten way out in front of me. My husband changed jobs, not unusual in his field or in our lives (but tiresome as he is a pain in the --- during the transition), but the insurance transition was annoying so I ran out of Wellbutrin and figured I'd just stop it. Time for the apathy to go away. This was 3-4 months ago, and while initially it was wacky, I feel I am over that. I did, however, gain 15 pounds. On top of the 20+ I had already gained since starting Lexapro and the 20 I gained prior to starting medications with the anxiety with my son, I now have 55 pounds to lose, which of course, makes me depressed and overwhelmed. I want off the Lexapro. I cut 20 mg pills in half and have been on 10 mg for a while. I sometimes forget to take the pill and pay the price with tingling, dizziness, blurred vision. I was going to trim down to 5 mg, but after reading these posts, I will go for 7.5 for a month. Looking for recommendations for supplements for getting through this. Sounds like vitamins, omegas are a starting point. Also the dreaded diet and exercise. I just turned 55, and came up with a program called 55Alive for myself. Shooting for 55 minutes a day of: walking, focused mothering, focused wife-ing (this will be the hardest one), focus on friends, focus on faith, focus on housework & home improvement. Not trying to do all at once, but as much and as many as I can per day. Trying, also, to keep a log. My member name refers back to the year in my life where I was most happy and confident with myself, the most optimistic, and the most energetic in my life. So much exercise involved in that, but it was wonderful. I want to be the person that person would have been at age 55. Thank you.
  5. this may be long but its a complete overview of how psych drugs have destroyed my life(hopefully temporarily) I was put on zoloft at 14 for depression and severe OCD. the effects were actually extremely therapeutic and healing. I havent had any compulsions since( 6 years ago). so I do not regret going on it looking back, but i had no idea i was going destined to go down the rabbit hole of psychotropic meds. zoloft made me develop a duodenal ulcer and berets esophagus which made me feel nauseas all the time, thankfully nexium seemed to fix it and I haven't had gastrointestinal problems since. fast forward 3 years after i moved away to start my first year of college. amongst the workloads and new experiences i accidentally cold turkeyed my meds and decided to stay off. I slowly started to experience depression which seemed managable until i began to feel the anxiety creep back in. it got to the point where i was freaked out enough that my OCD would return that went to my psychiatrist, he thought the logical thing to do was to be put back on the zoloft but i was not keen on that idea because of my fear of furthering my gastro problems in starting the medication back up. I was also tired of feeling exhausted all the time, so he suggested an SSNRI and put me on wellbutrin. i only managed a couple weeks on it i believe as it aggrivated my anxiety, so he took me off and put me on effexor. the effexor worked pretty well for me as i increased my doses. i believe i was on 225 mg. after my freshman year i moved back home because i had made changes to my degree path that the university i was attending couldn't fulfill. I again began taking my meds sporadically and feeling the effects of it, some brain zaps, slight change in though process, anxiety and pretty bad depression. i eventually cold turkeyed the effexor(idiotic) and felt the depression worsen by the weeks. thankfully i was at home where i could be as upset and weird as i needed to be thanks to the worlds most understanding mother( dealt with two of her siblings' bipolar disorder). as i waited for my appointment with a new psychiatrist in my home town, things got to the point where i was ready to take any medication in order to feel better, so i went into my sessions with my new psychiatrist with a completely open yet naive perspective about meds, considering it was the effexor that that screwed me up. he immediately pointed out the other doctors mistake in changing drug classes too quickly. so he decided i should stick with the ssri's. I was hesitant because i thought i was so messed up i was beyond that. boy was i wrong. he put me on lexapro and said it was one of the more heavy duty ssri's. i began taking the medication and felt a slow leveling of my mood as i worked up to 20mg( 3 years ago). however, i was not satisfied with my progress after about a month, so he decided that adding abilify would help things. after taking one abilify pill i would never underestimate the power of psych meds again. I took the abilify at night and went to bed but the abilify would not let me sleep a wink. everytime i would doze off i would jerk awake as if i had a nightmare. there was also a slight feeling of restlessness and anxiety. it was torture but thankfully only lasted that night as i never took a second pill. at this point i figured that the lexapro was enough and it was for about 2 years as my well being kept increasing and i felt completely in control of my emotions. at the time i had bad cystic acne and wanted to go on accutane as a last resort. my psychiatrist approved despite my worries of the potential psychological effects, he thought the lexapro was a good enough safety net. so i went on a 7 month cycle of accutane and developed no psychological issues. however i did feel a dulling to my mental processing nothing too extreme but something i was aware of. I thought it was without a doubt the accutane because at the time i was sold on the effectiveness and benefits of psych meds. 4 months after stopping the accutane i decided to taper down to 10mg, and i did as my doctor instructed, but as we all know now, standard medical protocol for tapering off meds is pretty inaccurate. i started noticing diffuse pain in my body. i thought i was just working out too hard, as i exercised and lifted weights 6 days a week. but the pain progressed to a point where my workouts had to be compromised and my muscle movement became slightly rigid and my connective tissue was snapping and popping, so i eventually went to the doctor. i was referred to a rheumatologist who did a full work up and found no signs of inflammation. which was both relieving but also unsettling because the nonspecific diagnosis of fibromyalgia was not good enough for me. I was also told that i may or may not be developing an autoimmune disease which scared the **** out of me( ha if only i knew how much worse things were going to get). the popping and snapping made me believe i was developing rheumatoid arthritis. the fear drove me to an alternative and proactive approach to healing. I began eating vegan, then paleo/anti inflammatory. the diet was difficult and made me lose a lot of muscle mass. but i kept on it until i was invited to a friends 21st birthday party in vegas. during that weekend i threw away all dietary restrictions all at once and payed for it. the very first night of heavy drinking exacerbated all of my symptoms and added a neurological flavor to it; i began to experience weakness and tremors.this occured eveyrtime i drank in the future. i didnt want to miss out so i powered through it. I managed to come back and continue my diet temporarily before i moved for school again. fall of 2014, I moved to SF for school and was so excited about the possibilities awaiting me in the city. i was still on 10 mg of lexapro at the time and felt mentally sound accept for a and clear increase in brain fog which i thought was related to whatever mysterious illness was brewing in me. still, i never thought to attribute it to the lexapro because in my mind, there was no way an antidepressant could manifest such physical symptoms but I weaned off the 10 down to 5 over a couple weeks to be sure. my time in SF only lasted 2 months as the symptoms progressed and I fell more ill. I began experiencing reccuring fevers of 104 and missed a lot of class. the health center doctors there swore is was just a bad virus. but i wasnt getting better and I began to notice twitches in my muscles at rest. I missed so much class, i had to come back home and get my health back in line. the possibilities were extremely distressing. i was reffered to an infectious disease specialist who believed i might have contracted HIV or Lyme disease. after some blood tests, he ruled out HIV but wanted to be absolutely sure it wasnt lyme or some other infection he might have missed. he decided a spinal tap would be the best way to confirm. it made complete sense that i would have lyme disease since my symptoms matched the criteria completely however the results were negative. the spinal tap procedure was pretty much painless, but the spinal headache and back pain drove me to pop Vicodin like dr. house. it would only subside when i was completely flat. this lasted a little over a week. the hole in my spine was leaking so much that i temporarily lost my hearing while visiting my brother in chico. i woke up and my right ear was not picking up anything and the headache had worsened. I informed my mother and we drove to the ER. after waiting 5 hours in the waiting room a nurse took us back to a hallway gurney. I'll never forget this nurses name because of what she put me through. my options were an emergency blood patch, or fluids and pain medication. I went with the latter because i was done with needles going into my back. the nurse hooked me up to an iv and told me the drug cocktail she was going to give me was a non narcotic combination of muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories, and antiemetics. after all the vicodin i was done with narcotics so I agreed to the cocktails administration. even now as i write this I get an overwhelming feeling of regret. the cocktail contained, benadryl, toradol, and compazine. little did i know that compazine was first generation antipsychotic. I immediately felt the effects. horrid akathisia radiating from my chest, agitation, terror, anxiety, increased twitching, and instantly put into a state of depersonalization where i became unable to think with any clarity. I felt as though i needed to run up and down the hospital hallways but i was too terrified to even speak to my mother and the benadryl was making my body weak and drowsy. the attending came back and asked how i was feeling, I wanted to get the hell out of there so i told them better. after i was discharged we drove back to my brother's place where i unsuccessfully tried to sleep off the meds. I woke the next day still feeling high as i called it at the time. after we came back home I had a panic attack over not being able to unwind to sleep. I just couldn't relax and sit still. so i took more benadryl which did nothing and i researched other people's experiences with compazine. this was both a mistake and a tool as i found out about my experiencing akathisia and depersonalization. i kept waiting for the drugs to wear off but weeks went by and there was not change. I went back to my psychiatrist and he said that the compazine would eventually work its way out of my system. its been 2 months since the IV compazine and 3 months since i weaned off the lexapro and things have only gotten worse. i still felt mentally sound after i came of the lexapro despite the physical symptoms everything changed when i was given the compazine. everyday now is a struggle. I cannot be a functioning member of society in this state, my sleep has now become affected, it feels like im in an initial state of sleep and staring at my eyelids. im constantly uncomfortable and few things are helping me cope. this experience has taught me about the true harm of psychotropics. I wouldve never thought the lexapro was actually causing my lyme disease symptoms. my question is, has anyone experienced a recovery from compazine and or lexapro or acute drug induced akathisia and depersonalization??? since drugs got me here in the first place i plan to ride things out as long as i can on my own, are there any supplements worth taking to help ease or heal me? this really is what hell on earth feels like. if you read all of my story, thanks for your interest.
  6. Hi Everyone. I am grateful to have found this forum. Something has been wrong with me for a long time. I feel broken. Hollow. I can only really feel anger and it's very volatile and quick. This is not like me. I am not myself. Recently I read something on XOJane and came across the term Tardive Dysphoria. I have no idea if this is actually what is wrong with me, but when I read the author's description it just clicked. I've been depressive since I was very young. I cut myself and cried a lot. I tried to be a functional adult, and was successful for a while. Something happened and I dropped everything in my life and moved across the country. I thought about suicide. My first medication was a generic for Wellbutrin. I'm unsure of the dosage, but it was a sunny yellow. My insurance appointed therapist wasn't given enough time for each patient and talk therapy was limited to group therapy. Pills seemed easier at a time when my life was falling apart. Next was a stronger dosage, a pale purple pill. Finally, I sprung for time release, which was only available in the brand. Wellbutrin XL 300 mg. I started rebuilding my life, relying on that little pill every morning. The thing that has messed me up the most was the Lexapro. I was feeling tremendous anxiety all the time. A hard knot lived in the pit of my stomach. My primary care doctor gave me a prescription for Lexapro, 10 mg. She insisted that I not read the side effects, her concern was that I'd ruminate over all the possibilities and negate its positive effects. She ended up increasing my dosage to 20 mg and this is where I stayed for 7 years. Last year, I decided to get off the Lexapro. My sex drive has been dead and buried thanks to this drug. I want a healthy sexual relationship with my husband. Not wanting sex sucks. I cut my 20 mg pills in half last summer and became a terror to be around. I was not a nice person. The difficulty of reducing my dosage prevented me from trying to reduce it further for another year. Three months ago I quartered my 20 mg pills. I know I'm still messed up. My brain is foggy. I feel wrong. I know this feels like depression. my husband doesn't understand. Where should I start? Could someone please help me?
  7. Several months ago I started tapering off of lexapro. I have been on SSRI’s, off and on for a long time, so I expected to get a bit depressed and anxious. I told my 4 closest friends. I didn’t make a big deal of it, but I thought I was concise and to the point. Only one friend seemed to not want to talk about it, but, generally, I felt my friends were respectful and empathetic. The only thing I asked of them is to understand that I might not want to hang out with big large groups of people and that I cannot make definite plans to do anything this summer. My friends do not seem to understand the severity of my depression and it’s really hurting my feelings. I try to talk to one friend, but her solution seems to be to “just relax and have fun” and she will not discuss it any further. Normally, this would amuse me, but I am highly sensitive right now. I was talking to one of her friends about depression and anxiety and my friend actually told us to stop talking about negative things because we were at the beach, having a bbq. My friend ignores emotional suffering in her own life, so I understand that she is just not one of those people you can really talk to. She is able to distract herself from her own sadness and that works for her. It’s totally admirable, but because of this she cannot relate to my complete debilitation. Another friend seems to completely ignore the fact that I am going through this. She told me I have to come visit her, two states away, “no excuses”. she’s calling my anxiety and depression an excuse? She has been inviting me to do things constantly and I physically and mentally can’t, but she thinks I’m just lazy and unmotivated…or I’m lying? How the hell do I explain to the common person that a drug a “doctor” said would help me actually hurt me, without them thinking I am the cliché “mental patient” that is irrationally stopping my medication? How do I get people to understand that withdrawing from these drugs is dangerous and scary and serious? These are rhetorical questions. I don’t want to explain it, because I already did. I’m tired of feeling guilty for not being as involved in life as I would like to be. My friends are very supportive when I am who they want me to be. I am a very happy person, normally, I have anxiety and I’ve been sad, but I’ve always been able to joke about it and find solace in my friends. Things are more severe now, and my friends are making me feel bad. I decided three says ago that I can’t talk to anyone for a while. I cannot have a conversation when I am having suicidal thoughts. I cannot pretend to be happy to make others comfortable. Most importantly I am afraid of how sensitive I am and being and I do not want to take something my friends say the wrong way. People aren’t perfect. They are not always going to say the best things. I am not completely withdrawn. I really like people and I need them. I found a peer support group that I have been going to the past two weeks. It’s so relaxing and refreshing to be around people that understand and the people are super cool and nice. It’s not like I want to talk much about my depression. I just want to talk to people who understand and respect that I don’t feel well right now. I want to be with people that make me feel good. Is it bad to withdraw from friends when they end up making me feel bad and crazy and weak?
  8. Hello, I have a question for everyone. Why would starting Zoloft (6 weeks, 75 mg) give me a side effect of severe increased anxiety but when I started Lexapro in the past (which worked great for years then it pooped out on me) had no side effects at all? They both elevate serotonin which can cause anxiety as a side effect, but why is one doing something different than the others? I would like to know. I can't ask my doctor because it's a holiday/weekend. Thanks!
  9. Hello, my name is Dave and this is my introduction. I have quite a long medication background. I have been on medication for nearly my whole life. When I was seven, I was put on Ritalin for ADHD, and from that point, I have been on psycho stimulants until the age of 25. At 25, something odd happened when I took my usually 10mg dose of adderall. I got my prescription from a mail order pharmacy and they gave me adderall but it was from a different manufacturer. The brand was different. I noticed when I took this new brand the drug didn’t have the same effect. I didn’t feel the intense focus and attentiveness that I usually felt from the usual brand I took. Moving forward, I didn’t think too much of it, I just decided that when I get my next prescription I will make sure to ask for a certain brand. In January 2010, I ran out of the “weird brand”, and went to the pharmacy and requested my usual one. However, when I took my usual brand I began feeling very uncomfortable; it was as if my brain was too over stimulated from the adderall. The symptoms I felt were confusion, panic, and paranoia. I had felt these symptoms before but they passed. This time they were very strong and overpowering and I couldn’t tolerant it. It was at this point that I decided I couldn’t take adderall anymore. So I stopped and for a few weeks, I was doing well. I just felt now more prone to inattentiveness and decreased focus but I pushed my way through it. By the way, at this time I was still in college, I started late. So a month off adderall, I was in my bed at night surfing the web on my phone and I began to notice thoughts racing through my mind and I could not stop them. These thoughts, some random and some logical, were racing through in a steady stream. Just the fact of this happening really freaked me out. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. It made me panicky for the simple fact that I could not control it. I go about the next month feeling on edge and anxious because of these thoughts. Then in March of 2010, I was at school. I stopped by the bookstore and bought a bag of candy. From there I went to the library, sat down, and started studying. As I’m studying I was drinking a coke and I ate a piece of candy. As soon as I ate the candy, I felt this rush come over me and in that moment, I thought I have been drugged, haha. I laugh about it now because it sounds so silly. But as soon as that happened I rushed out the library and went to the ER because I felt I was really in danger. I was checked out and it was confirmed to be just a panic attack. Fast-forwarding, the next week I go to a psychiatrist and he puts me on Zoloft 50mg. I took it only about one month. It made me feel better but I didn’t like the side effects so I stopped taking it. In my mind, I knew coming off the adderall had done something to my brain and I didn’t want to keep adding new medications for it to handle, I just wanted my brain to reset itself. Well from April 2010 until August, I suffered from depersonalization and random thoughts entering my mind. This is when my real antidepressant history started. I become desperate for relief and I went to a psychiatrist and he prescribed me Lexapro 10mg. Annnnd boy did it do the trick! Once I started the Lexapro all my symptoms cleared up in about a month and I felt completely normal again. This feeling went on until March of 2014. This is when the Lexapro seemed to stop working and I suffered a panic attack. My panic attacks seem to center around food. Like whenever I eat something, I suspect that there could have been something in it and then I feel drugged and panic. Well this is what happened when I ate a McDonald’s chicken sandwich. Right afterwards, I felt drugged and I called the EMS to come check me out. They did and confirmed that it was a panic attack. I felt so embarrassed. So after this I go back to my doctor and he up’s my dose of Lexapro to 20 mg. I take it for a few days and I couldn’t tolerate it. It just felt too strong for my system. So then on my own I started cutting the pills and took 15mg. I took this dose until September, which is when I decided that I wanted to go to a different medication. At 15mg, the Lexapro still made me tired and I just felt like I had a foggy brain. I changed my psychiatrist, and the new one gave me Prozac. I took the Prozac 10mg for one month. During this month, the side effects from the Prozac were bad. I felt intense vertigo and dizziness, especially while driving. Other than this side effect, I was functioning well. In the back of my mind, I felt elated that I had successfully got off Lexapro by switching to Prozac. That is, when I first started Lexapro, I knew it was going to be tough to get off of because I had read the stories about the brain zaps and extreme anxiety. When I got off it, I felt I had been spared those symptoms because I never got them. This was a big win in my book. Also at this time, I was in CBT therapy. I told my therapist how the Lexapro had stopped working and that my new psychiatrist switched me to Prozac. I asked her, with the problems that I’m presenting, does she think I need anti-anxiety medication. She told me no and that it was possible to manage my symptoms without the medication. It was at this point that I decided I was going to stop taking the Prozac. So I asked my psychiatrist if I can stop taking the Prozac and she said yes. She told me that since I was only taking such a small dose that stopping that amount would not cause me much distress. I was so elated when I heard this. I finally felt I had my chance to become medication free in life and just function normally without medication. So for the next two months I was med free and I felt really good. Like I had won the championship. But boy was I wrong. I stopped taking Prozac October 24th, 2014. On December 25, 2014 the withdrawal symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. The next day I had low mood, low energy, and no appetite. I felt lethargic. These last few weeks, my mood has been up and down. Some days my mood will be low and then sometimes it comes back to near normal. However, I also have this new symptom, depersonalization. This is accompanying the mood fluctuations. In sum, I feel like I have a low mood and then normal mood but always on autopilot. These last few days the depersonalization has got very bad. Sometimes at moments, I feel like I’m about to lose control and separate from my body, (Is this normal in depersonalization?). When this happens, it really freaks me out and makes my anxiety go through the roof. During this withdrawal time, I’ve tried not to panic. It’s just really distressing. I really don’t want to take medication again but I also want to feel normal. So what do you think is going on with me? What can I do to feel better? I’ve described my full psychiatric drug history so you all can have the full picture. Do you all have any ideas as to why I started getting the intrusive thoughts after I stopped the adderall? Also, I know I didn’t really taper off my Prozac, I basically just went off cold turkey. A few months ago, I didn’t know what I know now about tapering (this website has taught me alot). Nevertheless, do you all know how I can get better and back to enjoying life again to its maximum potential? Will I be stuck like this for months or even years? I’m really looking for answers because I’m tired of feeling like this. Also I’m afraid to go back to the doctors because I know they will just throw more medication at me. Thank you for reading my story.
  10. Hey folks First time poster. Went through a very difficult spell two years ago and began taking some meds for anxiety and depression - anxiety moreso - on 20mg Lexapro and 75mg Lyrica. After 18 months of feeling really good my doctor asked was I ready to taper down on the Lex. I said sure - he cut me from 20mg to 15mg. It was okay for the first week or two but now (week 4) I have found myself very anxious, ruminating, experiences I haven't had for more than 18 months. I went to the doc today and he said it would be best to go back to 20mg, which is fine by me - if it's not broke don't fix it etc. He said I should start feeling like I was in about 8 days or so. Just wondering if anyone has had experience of this? Does it take around that time period? Thanks so much for your help in advance. I read this forum lots two years ago when I first began going through a rough patch. Thanks.
  11. Hello anyone here, first of all please excuse my english and thanks for letting me ask here for some mental support! I'm a 40 year old woman from Germany, where is unfortunatedly nearly no professionally qualified and/or medical help and knowledge about tapering of and really getting off antidepressants - anyway I can't even find it. My medical history and my problem now: Cause of a "anxiety disorder" in the past I got several antidepressants (although they didn't even help me with my problem - and unfortunately whether I not my docs really know or tell me about the crass impact to my body), ca. about 1994 to ca. spring of 2005. I think the last one in this period was Trevilor. Accompanying to the death of my friend in 1997 I got Tavor - but tapered it out completely at about 2000 - and then up to today Tranxilium Tabs (now a half a day) and Beloc zoc 95 mg retard (1 a day). In spring 2005 I got a new job with a much of psychic stress and til end of 2005 I slim at about 20 kilogramm (my normal weight was just about 70, now about 78), couldn't sleep, couldn't eat normally etc.pp. and became totally exhausted and anxious - so that I got a rehabilitation in a clinic from end of January 2006 to March. Clinic was a personal horror for me and when I was another week in the job in end of March/beginnning of April I finally quit the job. (Was really a bad one, but today I think my desolate feeling at that time was strenghtened by a withdrawal from Trevilor - but that's not my problem today.) The following time a had much stress with finding a new job perspective, recover myself from the clinic and so on. Worse luck in this emotional hard time my neurologist persuaded me to get a new "very very good, helping and totally harmless" (ha, ha, ha :-P ) antidepressant - its in German called Cipralex (my dosage: 10 mg) , USA called Lexapro as I knew now. Since 2008 I've a new job. And since three years I try to get off the 'Teufelszeug' Lexapro - three failed attempts, two with horrible withdrawing symptoms and one with the liquid dosage form, but horrible burning oral mucosa though I'd diluted it with more than a litre of water at least. So last year I started another way to taper it off - I let make me in the pharmacy (for really much money, but whatever) capsules with 9 and 8 Milligramms and so on... Now being on 8 mg since middle of September last year (after going slowly down to 9 before) since October I'm not really feeling well (for example headache, sleep problems, muscle pain, exhaustion). More often I consider if it could be possible that this is some kind of withdrawal syndromes from the just 2 mg and my only choice could be to go to 9 or 10 again and never in my life get rid of the Lexapro. Perhaps its possible that I feel so bad cause of other reasons, but it seems a bit strange to me. Does it's worth it to face it just another days or weeks on 8 mg and hoping it becomes better??? (If not, I've no more 9mg - capsules - could I try to get every four or five days a 10mg tablet - or would this be to 'crass'? - Or another possibility, should I let make me 8,5 mg capsules? Worth it?) So what do you experts mean? (I've a psychological coach as well.) Greetings and thanks for just reading it... German doctors say, 'oh, it's all no problem, just get off it in three weeks or months, if you're very slowly' - arghhh :-P , 'Elli' from Germany
  12. I am typing this with newly assembled hindsight. Hindsight that I have only (within the past few weeks) been able to piece together. Ive been sober since July 2001. in 2003 I met a woman (who is also sober about as long as I). We fell in love but were not totally compadible with each other. As a result of our couples therapist's belief that I was suffering from depression and anxiety, I was prescribed Lexapro in 2005. I was very hesitant to go on Lexapro and argued with our therapist, as I was in a recovery group at the time that preached against Medication. I began taking Lexapro, partially because I wanted to save my relationship and knew that the symptoms of this "deperession" and "anxiety" were destroying it. My symptoms cleared immediately and we enjoyd some piece together. I felt tremendous relief. We bought a house together, got engaged and got married in 2007. Our relationship began to suffer again. I began to look for all sorts of external conditions to explain this. I was also in a high-stress, deadline oriented career (for over 2 decades) which matched and even cooperated with my anxiety. Without this base level of anxiety (removed by the Lexapro) I could no longer function in this career and I quit my job in 2008. Having some freedom from my anxiety and depression, I was craving more creativity in my life and took up photography and started a small business as soon as I left my corporate career. WIthout the very subtle and very specific mental and moral compass (that I belive lexapro shut off) I made a series of very poor and very poorly timed decisions which all but destroyred my entire life. One week after I left my job we found out that we were pregnant. Three weeks after I left my job the economy crashed. I made the decision to cash out my sizable retirement fund to support the business and our mortgage. Although I was not able to feel or recognize it, the poor timing of these decisons caused myself and my wife much finacial stress. Our Daughter was born in 2009 and I fell in love all over again. Coupled with the reality that I had become almost totally withdrawn and obsessed with my small business, but not feeling any of this, my relationship with and marriage to my wife began to suffer at a time when we needed to be more together than ever. When my daughter was 9 months old, my wife and I separated. I went to live at my office under my desk. I could not access any of the emotions througout any of this and was convinced this was all my wife's fault. I began to see an individual therapist who doubled the dosage of the Lexaro from 10mg to 20mg My wife and I divorced in 2011. My ex-wife got our home all of our possessions and full cusdody of our daughter. Not becuase of a court battle but because I gave everything to her. I was not able to access any emotions, sencse of urgency or any deep sense of reality. My business began to fail and in 2011 I went back to a corporate position while operating my small business. I could not at the time understand the apathy and the despair that I was living with. I closed my business and took a different corporate position. I moved into an apartment 3 blocks from my Ex-wife and Daughter. I lost the ability to get out of bed in the morning. Luckily my new job was work-from-home. I answered many emails from bed and often went days without turning in any work. I rarely left the house. Not recognizing the apathy brought on by years of being on Lexapro, I started to wonder if I had ADHD as the symptoms I was experiencing seemed to be a match. I was prescribed Adderall. My natural motivation to work was replaced with a the hyper-active, speedy-ness of the Adderall. I became very productive but hated the Adderall crash, which made me sleep for 48 hours every 2 weeks. I swithced from Adderall to the Nootropic Nuvigi. I expereinced more productivity than ever before and I found myself working my corporate job as well as taking on large freelance assignments. The incresed productivity was no match for the finacial ruin I caused myself. I more than exhausted my retirement fund, my credit score crashed and I was working only to pay rent and child support. I could no longer afford nor was I interested in paying any of my bills. Meanwhile, my ex-wife and daughter re-located out of state. I gave up my apartment to crash at a friends vacant apartment (that had no kitchen) to save money. I was now on Lexapro and NuVugil. The focus and increased energy from the Nuvigil was only countering the apathy from the lexapro. Soon the apathy from the lexapro won and I quit my job. Luckily I was offered a freelance position in Los Angeles and with only my car and a suitcase with some clothing to my name I relocated. I have been technically homeless for almost 3 years, (I have free living quaters at my job) I lost a marriage, I lost custody of my daughter, I lost two careers, I lost all my posessions, I lost all my money and I have filed chapter 7 and lost my credit. WIth no more insurance and a desire to get off all medications and try to rebuild my life, I tapered off of Lexapro for 3 months and quit Nuvigil cold turkey. By September of 2014 I was off all medications for the first time in 9 years. I went through the very difficult few months of emotional rollercoaster and crying jags. Most profound was the years and years of unprocessed emotions that have attacked me and continue to haunt me in my quiet hours. This has almost desroyed me. I have begun a very serious Yoga practice. Changed my diet drastically and have returned to my 12 step groups. (During my time on Lexapro I had also lost the ability to identify in my recovery groups and all but stopped attending.) Today, My personality is still far from what I believe to be normal, I have much fear, guilt and shame and overall I am still feeling totally defeated. However I have my health, my sobriety, and although separated, I have a very strong relationship with my 6 year old Daughter. I have a new career that doesnt pay much but is incredibly rewarding in other aspects. I also have some hope. What I have found most shocking thorugh all of this is that I am only within the past few WEEKS begining to make the connection to Lexapro and the total and complete collapse of my entire life. I am writing this because although medication free for 9 months I have experiecned as recent as last week, waves of extreme negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. This latest wave made me wonder if getting of medications has done any good what-so-ever. I discovered this forum and was given much hope as a result. My hope is that this disclosure will help someone.
  13. Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum, but I have read topics all day, and feel really encouraged by it. It's good to know that I am not the only one having to go through this! My AD history is in my signature: it looks pretty simple when I read it, but the last few weeks, it seems to have become my own personal hell. Unfortunately, my doctor has no idea what he is talking about. Now, I thought I was tapering slow enough. Seems that is not the case... My main issues are the recent anxiety attacks: these only occured when I tapered from 2mg to 1,5mg, about 3 weeks ago. These are the reason that I have come to this forum. I drag myself to work, but this anxiety prevents me from functioning (& sleeping) normally. As I quickly read some topics: would it be wise to reinstate a 2mg dose again to make my brain settle down a bit? I am not in a hurry to taper, yet I am very determined to quit Lexapro, especially after reading these topics and realizing what a nightmare these drugs are. If I have posted this question in the wrong topic, please excuse me! I will try to give a more detailed description of my tapering/WD process as soon as I can, though it is only now that my eyes have opened and I see what has happened to me all these months. Thanks in advance for your helpful reactions! (and for trying to read my bad English ;-) Pieuw x
  14. Hello all! I am a 24 year old male seeking to rid myself of SSRIs for good. My poison (so to speak) is lexapro and have been on it for 6 years. My issue has been anxiety since I was a small child. I would say it is pretty generalized although it started with a fear of vomiting when I was young. Now it is anxiousness towards more normal things in life such as finding a career, doing what I want to do etc. I decided to make this account after a very rare sleepless night. I normally don't have any issues sleeping whatsoever but I was reading about the sexual side effects (I might be experiencing some) of coming off of SSRIs and some issues that people have after discontinuation and I'm pretty sure I've scared myself half to death lol. My current dose on my bottle of lexapro is 20mg but I have been off that for sometime now taking 10 for I believe 3-4 months. Just recently (1-1.2 months) I have taken a more drastic approach to tapering of going down to 5mg every other day with 10mg the other days then 5 everyday for a short time, then only 5 every other day for the past 2 days but I believe that is starting to have some adverse effects. I might go back to 10mg a day and start using the 10% method. I hope to progress my knowledge in this subject using this forum and become a helpful member of this community. Btw Im not seeing how to edit my signature.
  15. Hi, I'm new here. I took lexapro for 10 months and decided (with GP help) to switch to pristiq because I was always tired and wanted to get energy back. I tapered off lexapro 20mg quickly (<1 week) because I was impatient. Now on pristiq was good for 3 days now hell. Nauseous within 30 mins of taking it, often vomiting, spinning head, it wears off about 4 hours too quickly and I feel like I get withdrawals (nausea, headache, head spinning, panic, paranoia, horrible visual images, nightmares. Have had to have 3 days off work. I want to stop pristiq. I've only been on it 2 weeks, 50mg daily. My doc doesn't believe my symptoms, thinks I've got a virus. After only 2 weeks any ideas on how to taper? Should I transition back to lexapro? If so how? Thanks
  16. Hi, My name is Erica and I am 23. I was prescribed lexapro 4 months ago for anxiety and minor panic attacks I was suffering from. I was only having issues with this for about 6 months when I sought my doctors help. I had went through a really tough time with a family member and I feel I did not process the negative things I went through. It seemed to hit me all at once and I had an emtional breakdown. I did not stop crying for a week, it was hell. I really did not want to go on the medication (I know it helps so many, but the idea of these chemicals in my body was concerning) but I knew I needed the help and I have a family history of women with anxiety disorders. After 4 months on this medication I am experiencing extreme constipation and night sweats. I have also rapidly gained about 10 pounds. Another really uncomfortable side effect is being hungry ALL the time, to the point where its painful and I feel like I will go crazy if I dont eat, note: I may have just eaten 10 minutes ago. This could not be father from the truth before I started the meds. I almost had to remind myself to eat because I really wouldnt get that hungry. Now that I am in a stable place in life, living with my fiance, have a great job, and just bought a new car, I feel I can slowly come down off my medication. I have nothing that would trigger any issues coming up in the near future, I am actually the happiest I have been, probably ever with my life. So after discussing it with family (they were a little wary and told me the reason I feel like I can go off the meds, is because Im on the meds) and my doctor I have begun the tapering down process. I am scared of the withdrawl symptoms. I have went down to 10mg for the past 4 days and one major thing that I have noticed is what I call a nervous stomach, or I always feel like I have butterflies or Im nervous like Im going to make a speech or interview for a job, kind of uneasy. Thats it so far. Im wary of what is to come and how bad I am going to feel, and whether its withdrawal or my anxiety coming back full force already. Im hoping it wont be as bad because I was on it for such a short period of time. Any advice or experiences is welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read my story...so far.
  17. Hi everyone. I'm here hoping to get some feedback about the various symptoms I've been having since coming off of Lexapro. First, I believe my taper was too fast after having been on the drug for about 7 years. I am very sensitive to medications and often need a smaller dose than what would be effective for the average person. Before I was even finished the taper off of Lexapro, I started experiencing dizziness or vertigo. It was the type of dizziness where I felt like I was weak, lightheaded, or about to pass out. It was more of a field of vision thing, with my eyes moving on their own, the world tilting, that sort of thing. This went on for several weeks and I treated it with over the counter meclizine twice a day. It seems to have resolved, as I haven't had the dizziness for the past couple days. Previously, it was all day every day. Hopefully, that symptom is done with. I have gastrointestinal issues to begin with, but I feel they have been made worse since stopping the Lexapro. My issues with acid seem worse and more frequent. I was recently diagnosed with IBS-C, but that has been going on for a long time. I am frequently nauseated. I seem much more sensitive to stress (I was already under a lot of stress before going off the Lexapro). This has been compounded by the fact that I have felt unwell the majority of the time since May. I've now developed breathing issues. My nose will feel like it's swollen inside and I can't get enough air. I also have sensations in my chest that make me feel like I can't breathe in enough. Breathing in through my mouth seems to lessen the feeling of heaviness. This is very distressing and anxiety-provoking. I've never had the "chest" type of panic - it has always been the gastro type for me, meaning when I was anxious or having a panic attack, it would go right to my gut. I didn't get the cardiac symptoms some other panic sufferers get. Therefore, I don't believe these symptoms to be anxiety-related, though they do cause me a great deal of anxiety. I do have allergies for which I am being treated. But this has never been part of my sypmtom set for allergies, either. Has anyone else has these experiences? I am seeing a GI doc next week and an ENT tomorrow. I'm at my wit's end with these symptoms and constantly feeling badly. It's making it hard to function.
  18. bluestates

    bluestates

    Hello all. For over 10 years now I have been on some sort of medication or combination of them for depression. I think the very first one was Paxil way back when. It has been a roller coaster ride. I had been on Abilify (5mg) and Lexapro (10mg) for several years until a little over a month ago. The reasons why I stopped taking them are a bit complicated. I may go into them at another time. I tapered off the Abilify but not nearly to the extent I should have. I had no idea the withdrawal symptoms would be this severe. Thankfully I came across this site while searching Google. The first few weeks after stopping both the Abilify and Lexapro I was mostly fine. Then about a week or so ago I got a minor head cold. No big deal... normally. But between being sick and working I assumed I had simply gotten run down. I'm now over the cold but am dealing with lethargy and my brain feels a bit scrambled at times. I have experienced some of the typical "brain shocks". I know them all too well from years of different SSRI's. I'm convinced that the discontinuation of Abilify is what is dragging me down at the moment. I wish I had never started taking it. Despite the fact that it put me in a state of pseudo-happiness whilst taking it. I'm pretty sure I feel much worse right now than I ever did actually depressed. I'm very thankful to have found this site as it gives me hope that I can get through this. Even though it is currently very difficult. I would appreciate any input or even just some positive vibes!
  19. Hello. I am very happy to find this site. I'm turning 37 in a week. I feel lost in a Forrest as surely many of you here have. I have been on Lexapro for about 10 years. I was on Zoloft for a few years but mainly just Lexapro and Wellbutrin. Lately, things have been getting weird. I have experienced minor bouts of depression starting early in the year. It was a kind of depression I have never felt before- a dark, physical, heavy feeling that sounds a lot like "clinical depression." Before I started the meds in my mid 20s I never felt that, despite a ton of anxiety and moodiness most of my life. This feels like a whole 'nother level. Lately, around 12pm to 4pm, the brain has been feeling weird. Just... weird. The same kind of feeling that I used to get when I first went on the drugs- that bizarre feeling at the base of the skull in the back, towards the spine, and linked with the stomache it feels like. Fast-forward. I've done the research, freaked myself out sufficiently, and here I am. Today is the first day of my taper. I am tapering at the recommended 10% per month, so this will take me about nine months. I'm pretty scared that I have done irreversible damage to my brain, but I have hope after reading some of the stories on here. I have had the "talk" with my girlfriend about what she is going to expect when I start to withdrawal. I just hope that the stories I hear about tardive dysphoria being irreversible are not true. I look forward to working with some of you and sharing our experiences together. Thanks! Jonathan
  20. Hi I'm Lauren, I'm 24, and have been on and off meds since I was 18. I was put on 5mg of lexapro at 18, with strattera 70mg for ADD. I was on both for about 2 years, strattera did nothing for me. And I tapered off lexapro slowly after two years with no problems except brain zaps for a few weeks. Depression never came back. I had a baby when I was 21, and came down with post partum depression and was put on Wellbutrin for 2 months. It made me feel crazy, very up and down and much more depressed so I tapered off quite fast, and was fine afterwards. Suffered no real withdrawal. I was then put on adderall xr 10mg twice a day for ADD the end of 2012, it helped my anxiety and my focus immensely, but I then became allergic and stopped December 2013; I was then started on concerta 30mg for about a week, but it made me feel like a zombie, and also became allergic..so my doctor switched me to Vyvanse 30mg, and after 2 months, I am now on vyvanse 50mg and lexapro 10mg. In January this year, I was put back on escitalopram (lexapro) , due to depression and anxiety returning from home issues. I was then upped to 10mg lexapro (actually escitalopram) and began feeling better... Than I felt nothing after about 2 months, and two weeks ago decided I didnt want to be on antidepressants anymore, and started (by myself) alternating my dosages. Huge mistake. I did 5 mg one day, 10mg the next, then 5mg... For only about 5 days. I began to feel VERY depressed and teary and spoke to a friend who uses this site and she told me alternating was very wrong. So deep in depression last week (Wednesday) I drank beer and liquor. Ended up getting too drunk and blacking out very quickly. Quicker than usual. I became erratic, and bumped my head a few times and woke up with a bruise on my head.... Since then, Ive been back on 10mg every day. But have been having headaches since Wednesday, dizziness, listless, depressed, No energy or motivation, and not feeling like myself... Not wanting to converse, I feel out of it, unable to smile.. But this alternates. Two days ago I felt like myself again, and then this comes back. I feel as if Ive been hungover for a week. I am also still on vyvanse, and some days since then, my add meds work and sometimes dont. Today I took my meds like normal, and my vyvanse felt stronger than usual... I just want to feel like myself again. I dont know if this is from drinking with my meds, bumping my head or alternating my dosages for 5 days. Please help. I was fine when it was just me and the vyvanse.
  21. I'm a husband posting on behalf of my wife: My wife was on Lexapro (5mg) for 4 years. She cut back to 2.5mg a couple of years ago, then dropped to 1.25mg, then to 0.625mg over a 2- month period before stopping altogether after a dose on April 29 , 2014. Withdrawal began within 6 days of the final dose, mostly physical in nature, but some anxiety. Six tough weeks passed and some of the symptoms went away, but then she had a week with heavy "brain fog", was too weak to hardly stand up, and was very dizzy. She kind of panicked, thinking it was about to get really bad, and took a 0.2mg. dose on Wed., June 11. She didn't like how it made her feel that day and the next (mostly brain fog). She also had some restless anxiety on Thursday night, but doesn't know if that was caused by the Lexapro or the fact that she did not repeat the dose. Fri. through Sun. after taking the 0.2mg dose were horrendous (like a mini withdrawal), but the next 2 weeks the withdrawal symptoms were much less pronounced other than bad anxiety like she had not experienced before. This last week, however, the restless, chemical anxiety has progressed, and at times caused her to claw at her legs, bite the knuckles of her fingers, kick walls, etc. Besides this anger, she is also dealing with depression that wasn't there before taking the 0.2mg dose. The nausea has progressively gotten worse during this last week (which wasn't present before), and she believes she is starting all over again with withdrawal and is not sure she can survive doing it all again, especially with possibly worse symptoms to come. As a result, she is in anguish over whether or not to reinstate, possibly at a much reduced dose at first. Here are the questions we have: 1. Did she have a bad reaction to the 0.2mg dose based on Fri., Sat., and Sun. which were horrendous, or was that related to cold-turkey withdrawal from that dose? 2. Following those very tough days, is it possible for the dose to have kicked in and helped starting day 6 and for a couple of weeks after that, to some extent? It seems very strange that 3 days of bad withdrawal symptoms could become 2 weeks of diminished withdrawal symptoms resulting from taking 1 dose, much less a small dose. All along since early May, she has been anguishing over whether or not to reinstate for real. She is worried about potential side effects with getting back on (kindling effect?), but also worried about what could be coming down the road if she doesn't reinstate. She has so much to live for NOW, and needs to be healthy again, but doesn't want to have a bad reinstatement and then have to withdraw all over again. Your thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!!
  22. I started tapering off my Lexapro (20 mgs) in mid-December. About halfway through my tapering off from Lexapro a few weeks ago, I noticed that I was getting *very* angry within a few hours of taking it. I suppose I am an angry person by nature and having 5 y.o. twins with a mostly absent father isn't helping things. But I noticed that when I didn't take the Lexapro, I was more easily able to control my temper. As I said, I have young twins, so I had to stop the taper halfway through my plan and go cold turkey off the Lexapro because things were getting too intense with the kids. I've been off the Lex completely for a week and it's noticeably easier to control my rage (except for being exhausted from a viral infection with no rest breaks). Has anyone else noticed that problem when tapering off of Lexapro? It's hard to find a *good* list of examples of what one can expect from tapering off of various meds and what folks do to work through them.
  23. I am new to this forum but not new to depression or antidepressants. Spent 2 months tapering off Lexapro. Finished last October. Have been struggling with terrible irritability, low mood and occasional intense suicidal urges. I am at a loss as to how to muddle thru this time period and feel hopeless about it getting better. My doc never even scheduled any type of followup visit once he gave me the tapering instructions. And I had no idea of the hell I was going to fall into. I am concerned about long term use of Lexapro so I am determined to keep trying life without it. I just hope I can. :/
  24. Hello! I am so glad to have found this site and even just to read a post by another member who was in hell at the 5 day post withdrawal of Lexapro. (Where I am now). After a real meltdown yesterday I am seeing my Dr this afternoon but had some questions I was hoping someone could help with, based on their experience? I started Lexapro for post natal anxiety 3 years ago. After a year on and feeling wonderful I slowly tapered off and did fine. I recall some mild brain zaps and tears each time I stepped down the dose but nothing that did not pass within 72 hrs. I was on a 10mg dose but do not recall how I tapered. 3-6mths later I had some big issues in my life and was a mess. I missed my coping mechanism and went back on. My Dr said some people stay on, and at 10mg thats ok, I could stay on for life if need be. And I probably would have except 2 years on my life is stable, I feel much better and the only real reason I want OFF is the weight gain. Vain yes, but its getting me down and bringing up all kinds of self image issues I never had before as I have always been a skinny person. Anyway - My Doc said take 5mg for 2 weeks then stop. I stopped Saturday and the symptoms have been worsening since. Brain zaps, vertigo, cannot handle bright light, sounds, I am dizzy and then the emotions started. Tears and panic and anger and things I have not seen in a looooooooooooooong time. I couldn't make the drive to work yesterday and pulled over, called in 'sick' with a migraine which is not far from how I feel and booked to see the Doc. I don't want to go back on and slow taper. I am so upset and angry that I am going through this and my stubborn side says push on,get this hell over with faster but the physical symptoms such as the headaches do have me screaming for help. My research indicates I would be best going back to 5 and slow tapering OR trying a taper with Prozac due to its longer half life. I'm leaning towards Prozac. I guess you could say after this I never ever want another Lexapro in my system. I have heard to reinstate with Prozac at equivalent to lowest dose of Lexapro (5mg) or that taking just one 20mg Prozac will relieve these symptoms and it then tapers itself off. I am throwing down fish oil, vitamin b, and Benadryl but no relief so I'm thinking I need some form of SSRI to make it go 'back to normal' yes? Would love your experiences with the Prozac substitute. I just can't believe the happy me that I was only a week ago could get so lost, so quickly.
  25. Hello, This is Blueflower. I am not sure where to go from here. After the birth of my daughter, I noticed weird mood symptoms during the pregnancy like waking up every night at 3 am and seeing ghosts and feeling terror. I would eat something and fall back asleep. After her birth something was completely off in the hospital. I felt empty and completely terrified. I was trying to breast feed her on demand and this some how ended up in me staying awake for a week straight. I had the inability to sleep at all. I would pass out and then an electric shock from my spinal cord would zap me awake. I was having hallucinations of monsters going over the baby and of her head contorting. I was having severe panic attacks and terrible intrusive thoughts like maggots crawling out of the trash can. My Obyn put me on zoloft and ambien. The ambien saved my life. I stayed on the ambien for awhile because the zoloft made me feel wired. I saw one horrible psychiatrist who told me to just keep taking the ambien and zoloft together. I got my obgyn to switch me to lexapro. That made me feel drowsy and allowed me to quit the ambien. I substituted this for a little melatonin. The lexapro, while calming, gave terrible intrusive thoughts of their own color. Like I would be falling asleep and my brain would be like, "Hey check out this torture scene!" I knew this was from the lexapro and not the post partnum anxiety because it really had nothing to do with the baby. My own post partnum issues are mainly intense worry about the baby. I stayed on lexapro for 3 months and was told I would not have any withdrawal symptoms. I found a psychiatrist who helped me taper. She said to cut it at 50 percent for a month and then 50 percent for another month. She had me take a lot of supplements like 5htp and vit D. My first month was hell and included suicdality. My second month was also hell and I did taper a little more slowly for that month by doing a 30 percent decrease. I did not really know how to cut a pill at 10 percent so I did the 30 percent and used the supplements. I saw a counselor as well. It has been 4 months since my last dose of lexapro. I have definitely gotten better, no more brain zaps. I still have panic attacks but am not sure what is from withdrawal or is still post partnum anxiety. I still have the inability to tall asleep without tryptaphan and melatonin. I feel an increase in nervousness like clock work every evening. I feel like I am getting wired and hyper vigilant. I tried taking seriphois just recently and that just made me feel more wired. I don't know when it is ok to taper from these supplements. My goal is to take them on an as needed basis. I also do not have mental health benefits anymore so no more counseling. Are there any women in this situation? I did not find any support on the postpartum mood disorders board. It seems those women are all happily medicated. It has been 8 months, when will I be able to have a glass of wine, go out on a date with my husband and fall asleep like a normal person? It seems I am battling the hormonal disorder that came from pregnancy and then the withdrawal from lexapro. I feel emotionally ok and can get out of panic attacks and am doing ok with worry over the baby. I now just have all the physical discomfort or withdrawal and evening anxiety.
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