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  1. Wookie

    Wookie :)

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

    Mort81

    Hello everyone glad I found somewhere to find good information and support . I'll just give a little introduction. I've been off Ciprelex 30mg for 6 months now after being on the ssri for 7 years.The side effects were far out weighing the benefits. My doctors seemed clueless when it came to the tapering, from what I know now as well as the withdrawal I am currently feeling . I tapered fairly fast from what I read on this forum.My main symptom at first was abdominal pain,panic, discomfort and very poor digestion. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and I know for some people that's good but for my build, not so good. Most of my symptoms at first were digestive related and my doctors didn't suggest withdrawal. Has anyone in here experienced horrible digestive issues right away ? So I had a million tests run, which came with months of worrying about every disease in the book. My tests came back clean which was good. However I am still feeling alot of discomfort, sensitivity in the stomach(feels like I'm bruised) coupled with fatigue, vivid dreams and insomnia. I have been experiencing all this while working a Fulltime job, which I love. I have missed more days than I wanted to for the obvious reasons. However I've decided to ask for time off because my body hasn't recovered and I feel the only way for a better recovery is to get away from my schedule and take extra time for myself. I see two different doctors. The one I saw today wants me to start a pain med and believes my stomach pain is related to migraines I used to get, which at times still show up. I am so scared of all medication but want this stomach pain to go away. I have improved over the 6 months so I'm leaning towards staying the natural course. Does 5HTP help for withdrawal?? After all the suffering I have gone through in the last 6 months you would think my doctor would give a note to go on sick leave,but apparently that's like pulling teeth. They just see a healthy young man complaining . Either way I need time for myself and recovery and sorry if I'm ranting. I'm glad to be hear in this forum and look forward to have a place for support and information because I feel my doctors are out too lunch on this topic. Mort
  3. Hi all, I recently completed a taper of Valium over the Feb - Sept 2019 time period via a daily liquid microtaper (sooo glad to be done with this!), but from my siggy, you can see I am also currently on Lexapro and Mirtazapine (both of which I have been on now for around a year). I would like to taper off of both of these (not the same time, but lexapro first, mirtazapine second) over the coming months and am just looking for more information from those who have successfully walked this path before me. If anyone is tapering a benzo, I am an open book regarding my experience and what has helped me (fish oil and kefir are the two supplements that helped me the most, by a mile). I am wondering if there is a way I can taper my antidepressants in a similar manner - very very slowly, gradually, and consistently, but also a pace that is based on symptoms / experience as opposed to a pre-set path. Thankfully, none of these are controlled substances, and I have a doctor that is very supportive of working with me, so I am all ears to this community and look forward to joining and learning in advance of my remaining tapers. Thanks, Jim
  4. I was recently directed to this site from someone who has gone through a withdrawal journey. I figured it would be helpful to gain more support and get some feedback on this process In April 2018 I experienced severe panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and suicidal thoughts. A routine doctors appointment describing my panic attacks and my high heart rate landed me in the ER and an overnight observation. Prior to being discharged I was seen by a psychiatrist who recommended me starting Effexor. Immediately I panicked and discussed it with my mom who is a lexapro user and my husband. My husband isn’t a fan of medications and typically I am not as well but I couldn’t imagine going through my days with the constant thoughts and fears. I decided to give the lexapro a try. It took me 3 months to adjust to being on lexapro, it was a horrible period of thoughts, feelings, and depression but my family and therapist helped me through. Since January, I’ve been feeling less anxious and more like myself. Less thoughts and feeling as though I could overcome my anxiety and depression with exercise and therapy. In June I had an appointment with my primary doctor whom took control of my lexapro following my hospitalization. He has always supported me coming off of the drug and trying natural vitamins, exercise, and therapy. In June I went from 10 mg to 5 mg for 4 weeks. Then in July I went from 5mg every other day. August began 0mg. Now throughout the titrating process I felt great, minimal anxiety and intermittent thoughts but I was coping well. As of September 5th, four weeks of no lexapro I began experiencing increased irritability, a massive panic attack, depression, fear. Last week I started having big periods of crying, which I have never experienced. This past week it has gotten worse, whole days of crying spells and severe anxiety with fear of thoughts and dread. My mom is away in Europe for 2 weeks leaving me to care for my dad, I’m off on PTO. I feel so horrible. My husband is between our home and my parents house. I’m trying to stay busy by exercising and playing video games but the feelings just come back and it’s frightening. Now I’m experiencing increased nausea and difficulty sleeping. I recently stopped therapy two weeks ago, I’ve decided to seek help from a new therapist in two weeks. I have a doctor appointment Thursday in which I’m hoping to get some answers, mainly that this is withdrawal and I will get through it but it is harder than I thought. Any help or advice during this time would be so appreciated
  5. Hi, 59 yr old female, came off Paxil (on 10yrs) and previous Lex (on 2 yrs) with fast tapers and got through. Due to life crises's went back on Lex 2 yrs ago. Tapered, obviously too fast in June to July and w/d hit me in August. The only other med I take is clonazepam at bedtime to sleep, so I'm only dealing with w/d from lexapro. I should have found this site before I did this too fast myself! I'm in the same mindset as many on here; Is this forever? Do I have permanent brain damage? I have the awful fatigue, hot/cold and nausea too, 3-4 months now. I just talked to my Dr. as she has been on and off these same meds-she immediately knew what I was going through. Very supportive, she will be monitoring me. She said that this is not brain damage, it is withdrawal and it will go away, it takes time, probably much more time than we'd like. If I can get done what I need to get done in a day, even with the fatigue etc., then do not reinstate, I am to keep close watch of my symptoms, give it one month (which will make it abt. 4 months of no Lex) and contact her good or bad or if worse immediately. She explained how these meds change the brain and that it can take time for the brain to regulate itself-she was quite detailed so I'm not going to go into all that but she gave me hope that I won't feel like this the rest of my life and that I don't have brain damage. She is a neurologist and keeps track of her patients withdrawing and gave me hope that all of her patients coming off these meds do eventually get better and suffer no brain damage from the w/d. I was wrong to fast taper and now I'm paying for it. All I need is more support and hope.
  6. Hi there, I was started on Remeron in July 2015 for sleeping difficulties due to worsening depression due to an abusive relationship. I attempted to cold turkey the Remeron in Nov 2015 and was up for 7 days. I was also experienced flu-like symptoms, severe anxiety and intense fear. I had to restart the Remeron per my MD suggestion. I was doing ok for a couple months but still battling with depression. By Feb 2016 I had sought out an intensive outpatient program for treatment. I was told it was ok to tape my Remeron AND Lexapro (I have been on an SSRI for 20 yrs, Prozac first, then Lexapro). I was tapered off Lexapro in 3 weeks and the hell began shortly there after. I began to experience the worst nausea of my life, insomnia, balance and co-ordination changes, visual distortion and blurriness, weakness in my arms and legs, burning in my arms and legs, headaches, persistent tinnitus. I was told to restart the Lexapro and to resume Remeron at 15 mg (I was down to 3.75 mg, too). I ended up in the ER 5 times with mild serotonin syndrome. Once discontinuation started my body was unable to tolerate the original doses of medication. After 3 months of literal torture, the inability to drive or work, testing by neurology, emergent ophthalmology, rheumatology, endocrinology and I am still suffering. My testing has come back normal. I had 2 brain MRI's, EEG, visual testing which most recently included a VEP for which I will see a neuropthalmologist at the end of the month. I am devastated. I was NEVER informed about Discontinuation Syndrome. The first time I presented to the ER they thought I was having a stoke. I would have never done such a rapid taper had I known that I could hurt myself in the process. I went from being a high functioning professional who worked out 5x/week to nearly bed-ridden. This has been the most devastating thing that could have ever happened. I was healthy before this. I had NEVER been in an ER. Has anyone else suffered this type of scenario? I feel so alone and broken by this entire process. The visual issues are the most upsetting to me. My vision is blurred and just not quite right I never had any issues with my vision until I attempted to wean off medication. Does anyone else have a similar story? Could you offer some hope. My eyes and vision are very important to me as I am sure they are important to everyone. I have this terrible feeling when I go out to a store or drive due to my vision. It's as if my perception of visual input is "delayed" by my brain. As if I it's not processing the information as quickly as it did before discontinuation set in. Anyone's story would be helpful. Thank you for listening. Peace and love.
  7. Well where do I start. ..A brief history I suppose. I am a 31 year old mother of two beautiful girls. I was first put on ADs as an 18 year old when I went into a random GP claiming to be a bit down. She prescribed me Effexor XR im unsure of the dose. After a year on these meds I started questioning how they had changed me and going through a tough time with a boyfriend, began having suicidal thoughts. Completely out of the blue. Upon mentioning this to my sister she suggested I stop taking them and on the advice of another doc I went cold turkey with the help of perscribed valium. This was done with the intention of reinstating another ssri, zoloft. The hell that followed wss unimaginable. I was so sick and scared I thought I would die. Needless to say I never filled the script for the zoloft! These drugs were bad. Why hadn't I been warned. I felt like I had just weaned of heroin initially I started off feeling 100 times better but in hind sight I had some really low times and made some really bad desisions in the months that followed. Fast forward to 2009 I fell pregnant with our second child, O, I fell into a depression whilst pregnant with her and had probably been suffering PND after my first child in 2007. After O s shock birth I was fine until the dreaded 3 day blues kicked in and never really left. I was an anxious mess and was barely able to function let alone look after two young children. I was beside myself with stress over whether to go down the root of anti depressants. In yhe end I caved. Reassured it was small dose I was gradually weaned onto 20mgs of Lexapro and dxd with a panic disorder...from a few months in I hated how they made me feel so numb and emotionless. All anxiety was gone of course but I struggled to give a damn about anything. I just wasn't me anymore. I knew all about slow tapering but six months in I was desperate to gey of this drug and dropped from 20 to 15 then to 10mgs. Telling myself id cut down slower from here. I tryed desperately to stabilize but 6 months later I was still suffering debilitating wd symptoms. I had told myself I would increase to 15 mgs and slow taper from there. The next day I was to up my dose will be a day I will never forget. We found out that day that our 3 year old daughter, I , had cancer and was days from losing her life. All my worst nightmares instantly became true! The next week was pure hell as we came to terms with her diagnosis and I battled the weaning anxiety increasing my dose of Lexapro. Over the nect 10 months the Lexapro was a godsend I could not have gotten through the hell that is seeing your child fight for their life without it. But when she graduated to a maintainence chemo I knew I had to get off these meds. Afterall it was not normal to have no feelings when on a childhood cancer ward. I had been gaining weight like never before and had no ability to enjoy a healthy sex life. I wanted the old me back. I started a slow taper by grinding the tablets and weighing them into capsules. A tedious process! In the following year I managed to get down to 9 mgs but struggled with angry outbursts constant anxiety and bouts of depression all of which were 10 times what they had been previously to taking lexapro. I was able to do one 10percent drop ( which coincided with my cacer child breaking her leg) but the rest had been only 5 percent drops. A few weeks back I had to attend my friends childs funeral. I hit rock bottom and have been struggling ever since. I have Reinstated back to my previous dose am seeing a psychologist, exersising and practicing breathing techniques but my anxiety and depression are unbearable at times and again I feel trapped on this drug. Not to mention I may be pregnant again and had hoped to be off the meds before that happened. Help will I ever get off this! I am so scared to drop the dose again
  8. Where to even start with this....I've been on lexapro and trazodone since June 2019. I recently moved earlier this year to a new part of the state and got a new PCP once I got here. My sleep had been pretty garbage for a few weeks. Rewind a little.....I had gone to the gym on Tuesday March 5th and had a pretty good workout. That morning I woke up at 1am feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I went to the ER and was told my potassium was low. I was also told I was hypothyroid, which later turned out to be false. After that was when I noticed a significant uptick in general anxiety and significant decrease in quality of sleep. I wasn't able to sleep more than an 2-3 hours before waking up and having to go to the bathroom. I tried most everything I knew to improve my sleep: keeping the same routine, drinking tea, taking supplements. Not much really helped. I got engaged in May and as soon as the wedding planning started everything continued to get worse. Sleep was restless and I started to have more anxiety throughout the day because of it. I was never really an anxious person (other than with stuff like public speaking and what not). But after continued worsening of my sleep and not being able to figure out anything to help I went back to my new PCP, and he put me on lexapro 10 mg and trazodone 50 mg. The trazodone would knock me out but I'd still wake up a few hours later having to go to the bathroom and just feeling like a zombie. The sleep was never restful and I continued to get more frustrated about the situation. Since I had been to this new MD twice and spoken to him for a total of less than 10 min, but he still felt confident about putting me on two meds, I decided it was time for me to find a new PCP. (I had blood work down as soon as I moved and he said "everything looked good." I got a copy of my blood work and there were a few things I was a little worried about, cholesterol levels primarily. This also made me want to find a new PCP since he didn't even take the time to discuss anything he found on the blood work. Just a little about my background, I have a master's degree in exercise physiology and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and spend a lot of free time reading about nutrition.) So because of this I decided to get an online MD, someone I follow online and look up to. The first time I talked with them, we were on the phone for almost an hour discussing my current situation and past medical history. I already felt 10x more confident in my new MD and had a lot more faith in getting through the situation. He asked me about the trazodone and if I thought it had been helping at all, I told him no. He recommended coming off it if I wanted to. At this point I had only been on it for about 10 days. I came off the 50 mg of trazodone and felt absolutely terrible that whole week. Anxiety was through the rough, I felt like I was constantly peeing, and sleep just got worse. Not to mention the heart palpitations, gastric distress, stomach cramping, jaw clenching, nasal congestion, headaches, blurred vision, change in appetite. I didn't sleep longer than 2 hours and couldn't remember the last time I had a dream. I normally had a few dreams per week and was often able to recall them. That Friday I ended up in the hospital thinking I was having a bad reaction to the lexapro since I was started out on 10mg rather than 5mg. Only later did I learn it was from quitting the trazodone. Because of this I dropped from 10mg to 5mg of lex and reinstated 50mg of trazodone. Over the next month I tried to get my exercise schedule and diet on point. Before all this started I felt like I was pretty healthy. Went to the gym 4 days a week and lifted for ~2ish hours, ate what I thought was pretty healthy, enjoyed my morning coffee every day (probably had a bit of an unhealthy relationship with that haha), didn't smoke, rarely drank, no recreational drugs. So all of this was extremely foreign to me. When I tried to start exercising more I noticed that my heart rate stayed elevated for hours after I got done working out, my sleep would be garbage that evening, and the next day always resulted in a lot more anxiety. It would take 2-3 days before I felt like I was back to this "new normal." So at this point I decided to read more about both of these medicines and really buckle down on improving my sleep, diet, and stress levels before returning to the gym. As of writing this point I haven't stepped foot in the gym since early July, which is really killing me. I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror. My body weight has dropped around 15lbs and it seems like I've lost every bit of muscle I've ever put on. I am so ready to get back into the gym and squat something but at the same time I'm also worried about never getting back to where I was physically before all this happened. Fast forward to September and I'm exactly 2 months away from getting married. My sleep has improved greatly, I can sleep for 6+ hours straight before waking up most every night, I'm having vivid dreams almost every night of the week, the side effects have decreased significantly, and I'm starting to see that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm still on 5mg of lex and down to 6mg of traz. My spiritual life has improved significantly during this time. I have spent more time in my bible, more time praying, and more time listening to spiritual discussions/sermons online. My fiance is great and has been there every step of the way with me! Supporting me during those terrible days and not getting upset when I just don't feel like doing anything and only want to watch TV all afternoon. As someone who hasn't relied on people in the past for emotional support this has been a big change for me. The lack of ability to contribute as much to the wedding planning and being able to concentrate long enough to be of help has been one of the worst things. I have hated that so much of this process has fallen on her. And even though it should be one of the happiest times in our lives, right now it has this dark stain on it. I know this is a lot of rambling but I want to lay out of a few the things in the following posts that have helped me the most during this process. One thing I keep telling myself is that this is a season of life that will pass and because of it I will be able to help someone else in the future. I'm sure there's a few things that I've missed or left out during this post.
  9. Hello everyone! I have been lurking on here for about 2 years just viewing everything and learning as much as possible. Here is my story and introduction! I was put on Lexapro about 1 1/2 years ago when I suddenly hit depression. I had super anxiety before depression but I didnt understand it. I had all these physical symptoms from stress (new job, new house, new wife, had two kids) such as digestive issues, brain fog, etc. etc. so I thought I was dying! I thought I had MS, Cancer, etc.. and I would google all the symptoms. I got in a vicious cycle of fear and worry that I could not get out of and then I hit depression. I really feel that it really started when I was put on antibiotics for a month because of a prostate issue I had. From there I stopped sleeping and was having panic attacks, anxiety, you name it I had it. So my doc put me on Lexapro 15mg and after about 2-3 months things went back to the way it was. I stopped caring and worrying and all my symptoms disapeared (for the most part) but I was able to deal with them better. About 1 year after being on Lexapro it was time to taper off. So about 4 months ago I have gone from 15mg to 1.80mg. 15mg to 10mg was a breeze. No withdrawals at all 10mg to 7.5mg was easy too. No withdrawals. 7.5mg to 5mg was also easy. Slight anxiety but really nothing big. 5mg to 3.75mg was also easy. Same which I got slight anxiety. 3.75mg to 2.5mg was harder. I felt I kept abusing marijuana and alcohol at this time. Anxiety and issues started slowly coming back, then I hit a good window for three weeks. 2.5mg to 1.25mg was hard. Weird physical symptoms came and I talked to my doc and he put me on the liquid version and wanted me to go back up to 2mg. I was on that for about a month and was continuing drinking and smoking marijuana but about a few week ago I just stopped. It was taking a toll on me and I when I smoked marijuana on lexapro I had no anxiety, but now when coming off it seems like it intensified withdrawals x 5. At the beginning of this week I went down to 1.80mg because something inside told me it was time. I was taking this b-complex and it was helping a little but I starting taking two a day and all my symptoms of withdrawals completely went non-existent. Not sure If I can share brand names so I wont unless someone allows me, but its not synthetic b-complex but made from holy basil, lemons, etc. It just has worked so well. Supplement stack now- Betain HCL - For digestion Acacia Gum- Prebiotic Cod liver oil - Omega 3's 2x B complex's Superfood Greens - Overall health I am going to my naturpathic/integrative doctor in a week to get a full vitamin panel done. Maybe its my hypochondria or my intuitions, but I want to get my vitamin levels checked to make sure I am not deficient to give my body the best possible healing it can have. I just find it so weird that this b-complex completely changed me so fast. I feel as if the years of stress has depleted my gut bacteria and vitamins and I am looking forward to getting things checked. Thats my story and thanks for having me everyone!
  10. So I have been a member of this cite since i started my taper in May of 2018. Almost 6 years ago (age 18) I went into a deep depression from panic attacks that were induced by weed. The anxiety from that was so unbearable. I was in fear of everything. felt like i lost control of my body and my mind! Hid under my covers praying that it would all end. A year into not being functional, dropping out of college, and having suicidal thoughts I got placed on an SSRI along with Xanax (as needed). At the age of 19 I was on medication for my anxiety and got sober after getting out of a treatment center (forced upon my parents since i didn't stop smoking pot and drinking). I remember trying so my medications, a lot of them not on my signature because i forgot or got off of them easily with a switch to another medication. It started with one SSRI! then i started to have side effects. the main side effect was low sex drive, ED, and no orgasms. I couldnt have that being a young adult male. NO THANK YOU. so my psych added Remeron to the mix. Dont know why? probably because it has less sexual side effects, and was good for sleep. Remeron, though came with a handful of side effects too. GREAT! started with crazy tiredness. I remember starting this stuff and sleeping 16 hrs a day because i was so knocked out. I also couldnt stop eating carbs and sweets. I little felt like i was high with the munchies without the paranoia of being high. Kind of awesome until the weight gain started to come into play. Im a Fitness Trainer and very cautious with my weight and what i put into my mouth. So i started to really hate that all i was eating were sweets an hr before bed, felt sugar hangover and literally couldnt stop munching!!! The only thing I loved about Remeron was it put me to sleep fast. SO after I have been on Lexapro and Remeron, my psych added Wellbutrin to counteract the side effects of Remeron. Great... So now, somehow i went from 1 to now being on 3, WTF? I stayed on this combination of meds for a couple of months until I said "I quit, i dont want to do this anymore". What really turned my opinion, a couple of things that came into my life that opened my mind to new possibilities: #1 I told myself I live to much of a healthy lifestyle to be on all these meds. I workout everyday, I eat extremely healthy with a side of fun, I'm sober, etc. #2 I started to read literature about SSRI and psych meds. (Dr. Joe Dispenza's You are the placebo , MAD in America Anatomy of an Epidemic, Lost Connections) This really got my motivated to look at my life and see what action i could take. I didnt want to become dependent on medication for the rest of my life, I wanted to at least try to come off of this stuff. #3 And this PAGE!!!! Reading a lot of people's success stories and seeing what people were going through, I could relate. On May 20th 2018, I started my taper. my plan was to go the 10% taper a month, alternating between each medication. because I wanted to equally reduce all three as i went through my taper instead of doing one drug at a time, (Dont know if that was the best decision but it has worked so far) The taper has gone pretty well, Im actually impressed and proud of myself for taking this journey and getting through the problems with tapering so far. I have had all the WDnormal symptoms. some of them manage others not quite so much. I think some of my worse symptoms have been the psyhological symptoms. I was in relationship before the start of my taper, I was so sick of not being able to perform in bed that i decided to taper. Well during my taper my emotions have been all over the place! have you had this problem? It scares me so much, i scared im bipolar or crazy, i just try to keep telling myself its the taper. I had to end that relationship, the stress of the relationship was hurting me. I have thoughts to this day about what if i just stayed on the medication? and dealt with the side effects, could the emotions have not gotten so out of control for me to break up with her? Who knows, All i know is that this is something that i need to do for ME and my life (To try and come off of these medications). So its September 21st 2019, and im now on: Lexapro 2.2mg (started 10mg) Remeron 9mg (started 22.5mg) Wellbutrin SR 0mg (started 250mg) Im taking a break from tapering at the moment, because honestly im overwhelmed with the taper and im in fear that my panic is coming back because i have had a couple of small panic attacks that have hit. Im praying that its just the medication adjusting, and not my passed coming to haunt me again. Its very concerning!!! Would love to hear if you have had thoughts of this? I will say that though even so the anxiety and panic has been a little high, i also have had great moments of clarity and connection, sometimes tears or joy. Also I feel like im digging up emotions that were trapped when the medication was numbing me. Crying a lot, don't really care if its bad or not, just lots of emotions. I so badly do not want to be depressed, or have anxiety. But i guess those are natural things in life that we all go through and need to combat. This forum has helped me alot more times when i'm down and hopeless and scared that i won't be able to live a drug free life. I'm scared, I know God is telling me to be strong and show bravery, and Im doing but its just hard guys, do you ever feel like this? My next step: is to stay stabilized on the above dosages for a couple of months and see if my symptoms stay the same or get a little better hopefully. All the reasons i had for wanting to get off the medication (Sexual dysfunction, numbness, weight, excessive eating, to tired, lack of emotion, unempathetic) those have all really gone down as i have lowered the dosages, Which is a really good thing! Im grateful for that! So there is no rush to get off these medications at the moment, i dont want to be not functional, because i was there 6 years ago and it was the worst place to be. Thank you for taking the time to read my intro! I hope i get some positive words from you guys right now because honestly i need hope . Thank you i Dont even know you put i feel you and i can say i love you guys, i see, i hear, i feel your struggles, but i also see feel and hear all your little wins! Keep it up! One day ill be a success story.
  11. Nevertoolate

    Nevertoolate: Lexapro

    I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  12. I’ve been anxious since I can remember. I think it’s in my DNA. I went on lexapro the first time in 2013 after some bad experiences that left me feeling depersonalized any time I was in social situations. Super weird considering I’ve never had social anxiety before in my life. Fast forward to 2016 and I finally feel ready to come off lexapro. I had barely any withdrawal symptoms, aside from brain zaps, and I came off pretty easily in about 3 weeks. I was successfully off lexapro for two years with minimal anxiety, until last summer hit out of nowhere. The anxiety came back full force summer ‘18, and by December it was either go back on lexapro or quit my job. With the latter not being an option, I went back on lexapro. The second time around, the lexapro didn’t work as well, and I felt like it almost made me have some depression, which is something I’ve never dealt with. At that time I had worked my way up to 10 mg and stayed there for about 2 months before starting to lower again. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant soon, so I decided to try to wean off lexapro the beginning of June. I finally stopped completely last Monday and seemed to be ok for about a week, until yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks. My head feels like there’s tons of pressure built up, my eyes are having a hard time focusing and are extremely sensitive to light, I feel dizzy and light headed, I’m disoriented and can’t focus when people are talking to me and it honestly feels like I’m losing my mind. I had to leave work early because I kept feeling like I was going to black out. Is this normal? I had none of this the last time I weened off lexapro. It’s honestly to the point where I want to get an mri to make sure there’s nothing seriously wrong with me. After reading around a bit on this site, it looks like I may have tapered too quickly. I feel so stuck and don’t know where to go from here. Do I just try endure these horrific side effects until eventually they may subside, or do I reinstate a low dose and try to taper again? I actually took about 2.5mg this afternoon but immediately after I started to question why I did that. (Edit: I’ve been crying and have felt sick all afternoon. I don’t know if taking the 2.5 mg had anything to do with it, or if I would still be in this state anyways had I not taken it?) Someone help!
  13. Topic title: In the middle of lexapro taper - let’s discuss please Hi all - 6 years on lexapro 20 mg. Taper started December 13, 2018. Got down to 10 mg in April. Waited for a bit and recently got to 5 mg 3 weeks ago. Here Is my story and any help would be appreciated - thank you so much! about 6 years ago I was put on 20 mg lexapro. I do not have clinical depression or anxiety. I had been going through a situational hard time in college. Wish I came off sooner but I was too scared. Finally in December of this past year I was ready and so over being on it! . * note I was also a heavy Cannabis user and quit at the same time starting to come down from 20 mg. From Dec to April I went from 20-10 mg. It was very hard but in s different way in which I am struggling now. I was anxious and crying a lot during the first ten mg. Also I made a conscious decision to use benzos. During this entire process. And I would never be able to do it without it. I work a full time high powered job. So please respect the fact that I will be getting off benzos AFTER my taper is over. i was then prescribed the 10 mgs. I was very much stabilized at this point. As I waited to come down more. The pill was much smaller making it harder to make smaller cuts. To be honest I also am sick of being on this damn lexapro. So I went a bit too fast from 10 mg to 5 mg. All was okay and almost easier than the 20 to 10. Until I got to 5 mg. Two weeks after hitting 5 mg I am in full panic mode a lot of the last 10 days. So - if I have been on 5 mg for 3 weeks now - does anybody have any idea when the panics will go away and when I will likely stabilize? How long does it take on lower dosages to feel ok? I know everyone is different but if I can have some experiences on thr lower doses ? Thank you!! dana
  14. Hi everybody, My mom started taking lexapro 10 mg a month ago, after two week Dr increade to 20 which is now two week. When want to taper the pill because she is having terrible effects, Jelly leg, she cannot be in her feet, cannot walk, confusion,vivid dreams, and hallucinations. Why she starter Lexapro, because she was taking Diazepam for many years, and yes she was working her way out with few symptom here and there but never happened what is happening now, it seen that Lexapro is increasing everything. So I am looking for information to take the pill away since the Doctor is out of town and she is no taking the pill for so long .
  15. Hello introduction here I have been on SSRIs for about 6 years due to fairly significant anxiety with some depression. Everything was going great until I started to feel like I was putting on weight and losing my libido. I was on 10mg of lexapro and went down to 5mg for 3 weeks and the stopped which was end of may. Initially I felt not too bad just really irritable and dizzy for the first week and a half but then I felt ok. For whatever reason I now feel absolutely terrible. my anxiety is really bad and j just have such a dark feeling In me that really bad things are going to happen to me soon. I'm not sure if I'm relapsing or this is normal and I should wait it out a bit more ? I have been seeing a counselor monthy and exercising almost every day but nothing seems to help me feel better. I keep telling myself my thoughts are irrational and I'm just only focusing on the worst case scenarios but it doesnt seem to help as I still seem to believe the worst is coming. Any tips on what to do?
  16. Hello, I have been lurking around this site for months now and want to thank everybody here . It really is a supportive community and as helped me through my tough times and continues to do so. I have tried to think about what to write in this post may times as it seems there is so many things/experiences/ incites that I would want to share during my road off Lexapro. I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg about 10 or 11 years ago after getting depressed at University. Looking back at it now it was loneliness, shyness and social anxiety that where causing my issues. One day after spending most of my final year in bed, not attending lectures I realized I needed help. Went back home and saw doctor. Fast forward 10 years my drug pooped out ( a horrible experience) so a started on what was a very fast taper. I had no idea at that point what I was doing and just started by skipping doses and doing huge cuts. Around mid August 2018 I started by a reducing on alternative days. I don't remember the exact dosing but it went something like taking 10 for 6 days, 7.5 one day, then 10 for 5 days, 7.5 for 2 days per week. Then when at 7.5 start again with 7.5 and 5 mg. I realize now that this is completely the wrong way of doing things. This process has cased havoc for me at although I have been lucky enough to keep my job from working online from home, I have been crying, raging, depressed and have had some of the worst anxiety in my life . The first few months of withdrawal were hell, with everything from fatigue, crying, nerve pain, bring skin, pins and needles all over body and eyes as well becoming more Isolated socially, insomnia etc. I somehow just toughed it out. It was the hardest thing I have done in my life I have not been in so much emotional and physical pain. ( However after a traffic accident this I was involved in 2 years ago I did have some pain scale to use. Ie comparing withdrawal pains to the pain of my accident which was. So now I'm here at about 9.5 months off my last dose and things do seem to be better in some respects and still very difficult. Physically my symptoms come and go although I do still get very fatigued, have some burning in the feet and legs and pins and needles now and again. My biggest hurdle at the moment in the nano emotions ( which I learnt about using this site), regrets and anxieties about the past and the future. My actual life its self has changed as well as I decided to move back home to live with my parents in the UK. I am a 32 year old male and have spent the last 8 years living in Thailand. So there are a few things there that would be difficult for most to handle. Yes living back at home is harder than expected, I dont have huge amounts of friends here anymore and just being back here is strange to me . There is a lot more to this than oh withdrawal oh lets go home, it might seem that way and to some extent it was but there were other factors involved. I still work online which I good and I think its good that I can still work through this, however i'm very aware of the fact that at some point soon I will need to move forward. Sorry if that's a ramble but thats it. One last thing that I have noticed is my body has changed and healed a lot which always gives me hope. I have become more masculine, muscular and just appear more like my actual age rather than the a immature boy. I just wanted to share my story and join this community. Much love...
  17. Hi, Very grateful to have found this site. I have successfully come off lexpro earlier this year. The brain zaps have stopped, my depression is being managed through exercise (hence my screen name) and I have had a surge in anxiety that I am currently trying to manage through meditation. My main issue relates to sleep. Has anyone else dealt or faces insomnia/light sleep since stopping medication? The long deep sleeps I had on lexapro was by far the best side effect. It would be meaningful for me to know someone else has dealt with this particular issue... I have melonine to help me sleep but I am keep to be medication free (or more honestly side effect free) as quickly as I can. Thank you
  18. Hi all. Long time lurker, thought I’d finally join in. Age =30, Male. Straight to business: Had what you might call a nervous breakdown after quitting my job and also dropping out of University mid 2016. I was having suicidal thoughts, disordered thinking and I stopped sleeping. - Started on a low dose of Valium for 2 weeks to help sleep. This unfortunately exacerbated my depression, anxiety, insomnia, agitation. - started on Lexapro. Again, made my symptoms worse. Didn’t sleep for a week straight. Yikes. - finally prescribed seroquel 25mg. Took it before bed for 1 week. Had 1 week break. Took it again for 1 week. Calmed me down, gave me decent sleep. Didn’t touch it again. - Finished up the 6 months course of lexapro (can’t remember the dose but it was the lowest you can be clinically prescribed). - Afterwards, suffered withdrawal insomnia and anxiety/agitation, doc prescribed 7.5mg mirtazapine nightly. - finished up the mirtazapine after 9 months. Went through 3 months of hell to finally get to 0mg. Drug free for roughly 1.5years so far. I had a LOT of withdrawal symptoms getting to where I’m at now. I’m happy to discuss these so do hit me up. Mirtazapine withdrawal was incredibly difficult. Current state: - Poor short term memory recall (this is slowly getting better) - Chronic tension headache. This is my number 1 gripe. Sometimes better sometimes worse, always low level. Mostly pressure/ache forehead along hat-line but can be top of head. Started 1-2 days into mirtazapine and hasn’t gone away since. - General anxiety (worse in morning, better in evening). - Low stress tolerance - Difficulty with speech, wrong order or words, stumbling over words. If my headache is bad my speech is usually bad as well. - Brain fog - Sleeping pretty well surprisingly. Usually get my 8 hours. - starting to notice photosensitivity. Bright lights in shopping malls in particular cause me to squint a lot. what I’ve tried: Getting a dog - highly recommend. My dog is my best friend. Jaw/Head/Neck/Shoulder dry needling - this works to relieve my tension headache but only temporarily. I carry a lot of tension in my jaw. Breathe right Nasal strips - really helped my sleep and reducing severity of my headache. Thyroid testing - all results within normal range. Chiro - helped loosen up my neck and back but no discernible difference in my tension headaches. Both eyes checked by optometrist - excellent vision Running 3-4 times per week Jiu Jitzu 2 times per week Hot yoga 1 times per week Future: - have just completed a sleep study, based on the improvement I had with headache with the nasal strips. Possibly have sleep apnoea & bruxism. - acupuncture - thinking about having a weekly acupuncture session to relieve muscle tension for my headaches instead of weekly Acupressure massages. - work hard on improving personal relationships. A final note. The fact that I was on Seroquel really bums me out and I attribute most of my current symptoms to it. Despite it effectively saving my life at that time I really really regret taking it Reading about the effects of it in various websites/research papers upsets me a lot still to this day. Anyway, big ups to this website. I couldn’t have tapered and ultimately came off mirtazapine without it. Just reading everyone’s stories gave me the determination to get drug free. If anyone has any thoughts on tension headaches in particular would love to hear from you.
  19. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Pattypan: Benzo Taper when it's only PRN Hello, I am new here. I have a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive DIsorder- I have had this for as long as I can remember. I was first medicated for it ( in my teens) 20+ years ago. I was on and off meds throughout my teens/20's. In 2015- I had an OCD "episode" that scared me to death and back on medications I went. After a few trial and errors I was stable on Lexapro for 4.5 years. I recently took myself down from 30mg to 20mg ( over the course of 1 week- yes- i had headaches, involuntary movements and brain zaps). As of yesterday I tapered to 15mg. I am feeling pretty bad today... and I understand I should be decreasing by 10% but for some reason that seems unreasonable to me.... ( in the past I have successfully tapered off of prozac, wellbutrin, celexa, zoloft and don't recall any of those being notable- I DO remember tapering off of Luvox was terrible) Any supplements or advice you may have to ease these taper symptoms? My goal is to be completely off of Lexapro in 1 month. Too soon? also- No i am not involving my doctors in this decision or this taper... I just don't trust that they know enough in regards to how to taper and they wont respect my decision to taper. Thanks in advance!
  20. Hi new to the group I’m Day 6 off Lexapro after weaning off for 6 weeks from 20mg 15mg 10mg and then 5mg. I’m having bad side effects brain zaps constantly. Anxiety and heart palpitations and so emotional and teary. I’ve started taking omega supplements and b12 and completely cut caffeine and alcohol out. I know I’m early in but would really love any tips or encouragement on how to get through. 🙏
  21. hello guys, that's my story (coming from Italy, sorry for bad English): I was suggested in October 2014 to take Risperdal 1mg/day for my social anxiety and paranoia...took it for 23 days from November, that day I suddenly felt a great fear of death and a 'strange void' in my head. From that moment (23 November 2014) to present day I have had no emotions, I have lost all my interests, my mind is empty now (very slow thinking), I speak few times only to answer a question, I have no energy or motivation so I'm lying down on my bed all the day. Before taking Risperdal I had some issues with social anxiety and paranoia, but I loved going to gym, walking, thinking freely, reading and gaming. Now I don't have any desire, I also experience discomfort when eating or taking a shower. I read many posts about this like-being dead existence after taking risperdal. Please help, also jim24 your story is similar to mine, please update me on your situation...I will do the same.
  22. Hi everyone. Long story short, I lost someone close to me and was having a difficult time dealing w/ the grief. Went to my GP who prescribed Lexapro. I only took a small dose for 3 months. Like immediately, my genitals went numb, especially my clitoris area. I dealt with it for a while because my doctor said it should get better with time. When I realized it wasn't improving at all, I came off of it, tapering fairly quickly. Fortunately for me, I didn't experience withdrawal symptoms. Then again, I didn't really experience much improvement in depression anyway. I suspect I was never depressed. Just sad. I expected the sexual numbness, no libido, and lack of orgasm/very weak orgasm to improve upon stopping but I am 4 months out with very little improvement. I feel like vaginally, I'm less numb but it's as though my clitoris isn't even there still. I can climax with my BF but it takes so much time (and A LOT of pressure ... feels like I'm wearing like 2 layers of clothing over that area is the best way I can describe it!) A lot of times I seriously just fake it. It's so discouraging. I feel bad for him because our sex life has totally changed. I was a very sexual person prior to this. I could orgasm very easily and quickly and had so much sensation. I hate to say it, but I don't even feel as attracted to him as I used to. I mean I am, but overall, I'm just so much less sexual and sensual now. I'm angry at myself for taking the Lexapro. I wish I could've been strong enough to not even mention it to my GP. I replay that scenario a lot in my mind. Of course, I've read a lot of horror stories about PSSD, so I'm very scared that this will be permanent for me. I did come across some of Altostrata's posts though, which were very comforting. In my research I haven't come across as many women's stories, so it was refreshing. Overall I am doing much better emotionally now- that's the annoying thing. Like I feel like I probably never needed the stupid Lexapro in the first place, but here I am with these lingering effects from it. I would appreciate any hope or encouragement because this whole thing keeps me awake some nights, as much as I hate to admit that. I just feel like it stole a part of who I am. I should add that I also have Lupus and worry that that complicates my recovery further. I don't know though. Thanks for listening. I wish everyone well.
  23. Moderator note: link to Linus' benzo thread - Linus: Klonopin question Hi everyone, I like this forum, I think the moderators are sensible people who give good advice, compared to some other websites. I have already come a long way with regards to withdrawing from Escitalopram, from 30mg to 1.8 mg. It has been hell but hey here I am I know that by now even small cuts are problematic. My first question would be if anyone has a clue as to whether there comes a point in the withdrawal where things get easier (like at 1mg or 0.8 mg) or does it stay funky all the way down to zero?
  24. Hi all, I live in Canada, I have two kids; my second is very bright, sensitive, avoidant, kind, impulsive, rigid, funny, explosive... a really complex package. (His older sister is too, but supporting her has been a more straightforward proposition.) He has never done well in school -- testing shows extremely high intelligence and extremely poor processing speed and working memory. (Or, as my husband said when he saw the results, "It's like he's got a screaming CPU, but he's on dial-up. And his peripherals need upgrading.") The psychologist said privately, "I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to live in that brain." He's classic for ADHD but none of the standard meds have worked. We get all the side effects, none of the benefits. He tanked hard going on two years ago, couldn't even get out of the house to school, and when the doctor offered antidepressants, we decided together to try them. Well, it's been a ride on the side-effects merry-go-round. He's been off school since April, and decided in June that he was done and wanted off the escitalopram. The psych-pediatrician halved his dose from 10mg to 5, and the phrase from elsewhere on this site -- "like throwing your brain off a cliff" pretty much describes it. Unbelievable insomnia, nausea, body floppiness, brain fog, numb legs, emotional meltdowns, and lots of miscellaneous horrible. Of course that was when the doctor had gone off on a week's vacation without giving us anyone to reach out to. Cue Mom and Dr. Google, and I've been bingeing scientific literature and this site. Marched back in to the doctor to ask for a prescription for compounded liquid so that we could (once he's stabilized) taper more appropriately and gradually. She just shrugged and said, "lots of people just chip the pills". Um, no. I'd change to a more withdrawal-conversant doctor, but we're in an underserved semi-rural area and there aren't a lot of options. So I'm gathering more info for the next appointment and if she won't cooperate then we'll have to work with the family doctor, who is a childhood classmate and knows me well enough to trust my research skills (rural location has its upsides). I don't intend to be confrontational with her -- a collaborative working relationship is far better to have -- but I need to show her that this approach is valid and appropriate for this situation. I'm still "drinking from the fire hose" of information here, so I don't have a question to put to the group as yet, but I am unbelievably grateful to be able to tap into the resources and accumulated wisdom here. I feel like I have a plan, and that this can be done, and it can get better. My son is also participating in the process more than he ever has, working on ways to describe how he's feeling and what he's willing to tolerate in pursuit of his own goal(s), and that's important steps towards him owning his "stuff" in the long term too. We thought about up-dosing, but at this point (three weeks from dosage cut) the WD symptoms are still slowly declining, so we've decided to hold here for a while instead. (Ah, to be young again, with a nice neuroplastic brain!) So in the meantime, greetings all, and best wishes to everyone on their various journeys, and thank you for sharing your experiences and your knowledge. Because Knowledge is Power. (I will do up a proper signature soon, but work awaits, so it'll have to be in a little while.)
  25. Katch

    Katch

    Hello all, I am new here even though I have been peeking into the forum for a while. My brief meds history: Diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2012 (which overturned the previous diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome). Initially put on 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro), 10 mg olanzapine and 75 mg Venlafaxine. I was on this cocktail for about two years until I started to relapse regularly every Spring and Autumn. Since end of 2014 till March 2015 I pretty much lived in the psychiatric hospital and ended up with Lexapro 20mg, 200 mg of Lithium, 75 mg Setrline (?) However, Lithium made me feel so unwell I just could not live with it. I got so fed up and told myself enough is enough. Started to read everything there was on depression and one thing that always kept coming up was weak thyroid. I kept dismissing it as my test were fine but eventually I decided to ignore all medical tests, go by my symptoms and started to support my thyroid – mainly through iodine. High dose of B3 also did magic. So started to wean myself off of everything in May 2015. I don’t remember the schedule but by the beginning of August I took nothing. However, at the end of August I discovered I was pregnant only to miscarry few days later. Period of horrible anxiety followed. Not sure if it was the hormonal mess up or just delayed withdrawal but I re-instated full 20 mg of Lexapro. Stayed on it for about a month and then started to wean myself off. I don’t remember how I went from 20 to 10mg but it just shows it was pretty insignificant. End of December 2015 – from 10mg to 5mg Escitalopram – looking back now I was going through withdrawal after that but because I did not have much issues before, I just thought I was getting tired and stressed out with looking for a new job and then the new job itself. My symptoms were mainly physical. End of March 2016 – from 5mg to 0 mg Escitalopram – was ok for few days but then it hit me. Realised I was going through withdrawal – no sleep, tight chest, dizziness, weakness, painful joints and muscles, digestive issues. After 3-4weeks went up to 2.5mg (roughly as cutting the pill). I am on that dose still The thing is, even though I had some mild anxiety and some mild anger and irritability issues, my main symptoms were mainly physical. I had few windows. Actually majority of June was pretty good. However, starting week 16 (beginning of July) and I’m getting seriously anxious and also, had few days where I just had to cry too. So basically, I am freaking out that rather than going through withdrawal, I’m actually relapsing as the physical symptoms are very mild but the anxiety is hitting me biiiiiiiig time. Is this normal? I also realised last week I became gluten intolerant (probably allergic to more things but gluten is quite obvious now) so that probably messed me up quite a bit. So in addition to escitalopram withdrawal I’m probably going through gluten withdrawal too. Or simply relapsing? It’s this insecurity about what is actually happening that is definitely making things more difficult to handle and feeds all the catastrophic scenarios. Could I be relapsing? Really need some reassurance now.
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