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  1. Hi everyone. I’m looking for some advice on two things. I’m on Cipralex drops 20mg/1ml. I’ve managed to wean myself from 15mg to 2mg. But I need to know how I can safely dilute the drops so that I get the accurate dosage of the active ingredient. Also does anyone know why you have to throw away Cipralex drops after eight weeks? If you keep them longer, does this have an impact on the active ingredient? Thank you so much in advance.
  2. Hello all .. I do not speak English so I will write and do the translation and paste the conversation here so that you may understand my words ... My story began exactly 15 years ago, I don’t know exactly whether it was a sudden fear or of my father’s death I don’t know but I was very worried and went to the psychiatrist He gave me a prescription for a variety of medicines, but I settled on Seroxat with a dose of 20 mg per day, then a year ago, I replaced Seroxat with Cipralex, a dose of 15 mg, and now I want to get rid of it because of lethargy, laziness and lack of sexual desire completely, so I started a week ago with a dose of 10 mg Cipralex and now I suffer from depression and sad feelings, by God Success
  3. Junglechicken

    ☼ Junglechicken

    Hi, I joined this forum today and wanted to introduce myself. All it took was a family trauma to set off my depression/anxiety (my father's inability to stop spending money he didn't have, led to no money and my having to pay for my parents housing etc.,). I have suffered from underlying depression and anxiety for many years but managed to keep a lid on it by exercising and I guess being younger and able to forget the darker stuff by clubbing and going out. Then 6 years ago hubby and I moved to Canada from the UK and I dive-bombed into hell. Daily panic attacks at home and work, I was bullied at numerous work places as well as dealing with the work pressure, feeling of isolation and no support network. Then in June I lost my job and have been more or less house bound with the exception of having to go out to do chores. Went to my doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Feb 2014) - I was on it for 18 months in total and came off it mid-September 2015 after a 3 month taper at 5mg. This happened after I had got a job at a large company (Nov 2013), and I had to take 3.5 months medical leave. Upon my return to work, I was met with resentment and disdain by my colleagues who saw it that I was just looking to get "free vacation" time. This made my life even more hellish - my Manager had wanted to get rid of me upon my return but couldn't by law. I lost my job about a year after returning to work due to redundancy. Since then I have experienced extreme fatigue (had to stop marathon training), intense muscle and joint soreness, weird dreams, tinnitus, headaches, sinusitis, pressure changes in my ears and ear pain, sub-clinical migraines, crying spells, GI issues, heightened anxiety and depression. Despite these things, doctors never seem to find anything actually wrong with me. I honestly feel as though I am in hell - I feel as though someone has taken a photocopy of me and the photocopy is a completely different person (withdrawal). The weekdays are a drag, and I dread them as my hubby is at work. I fear the worst will happen while he is away. I am a total basket case and freak out very easily if there is a withdrawal symptom I don't recognise. If I can survive this, I can survive anything.
  4. Hi.. About year ago October 2020 I joined uni I had a lot of stress and chronic diarrhea for months with severe physical symptoms which did not go with physiological med... I went to a doctor in may 2021 ,he gave me cipralex 10mg.. And I was supposed to take it for a months as he said.. He gave me buspar too, the first day I took cipralex I feel like iam not normal but I thought itis a fatigue or just we can stay up in the morning not in the mood.. Until one of my friends said why you are like that?? I was laughing at everything.. I thought it was something like cocaiine! I cannot even describe the feeling.. I continued until the third day then I closed it on the fourth.. This day I got a bad headache then I had uterus bleeding for about 20 days.. I went to a phaychologiat and I had sessions I thought that my sudden confident was from the sessions but after some months I recognised that I cannot feel I cannot even concentrate or feel iam very numbed.. I went to another psychologist this months she said work ve emotional numbness and adhd.. And she wants to give me stimulants.. I need your help I cannot think anymore.. And if I told anyone that this symptoms are from med they do not believe me cause the med need month to work iam now 21 sep 2021 and I cannot feel anymore or just focus u feel like iam not real or iam dreaming just a bad feeling... Sorry for any mistake iam not English
  5. Hello! New here. Reddit thought this would be a more supportive place for me. I’ve been on escitalopram (brand cipralex) equivalent to Americas lexapro, for 12 years. Cipralex History Started: 2009 -2012 Reason: University, panic attacks *successfully provided relief* Stopping Attempt #1 Cold-Turkey: December 2012 Reason: never intended to be on this long-term *no serotonin withdrawal symptoms, no relapse of anxiety or depression* felt normal! Started: 2014 February Reason: back in University second semester of grad school panic attacks relapse. In abusive relationship from 2014-2018. *successful no panic attacks * Supports in 2019: Therapy Financially stable Friend/family support Going to gym/exercising Eating healthy Stopping attempt #2 taper: January 2019 Reason: in a very healthy and stable place in life- No anxiety/depression or panic attacks. Never wanted to be on SSRI this long. I decided to taper instead of cold turkey because my doctor recommended it. 6 months post-breakup from ex. Schedule: January 2019: 20mg February 2019: 15 mg March 2019: 10 mg April 2019: 5 mg *went to the emergency department and was diagnosed with serotonin withdrawal. Symptoms that brought me to the emergency department include: dizziness, feeling “drunk”, blurred vision or shaky vision, light headed. Doctor advised to go back onto 10 mg. Gave up on taper went back to 10mg. I went to the hospital because I thought something was seriously wrong with me because the first time when I did cold turkey I didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms. First time learning about serotonin withdrawal. Also important to note that there were no emotional withdrawal symptoms during this time. *unsuccessful * Increased dose: July 2020 Reason: increased dose to 20mg during pandemic panic attacks relapse. Dosage increase didn’t prevent attacks. *I participated in EMDR therapy which helped my panic attacks stop* Supports in 2022: Continued therapy Breath work Yoga Journaling Financially stable healthy romantic relationship Friend/family support Eating healthy: increased animal protein, added fermented foods (kefir, sauerkraut). Limited processed/sugar foods. Naturopathic doctor supplements: vitamin d, b complex, lavender oil, NAC, l-theanine, lemon balm tea, nettle tea, magnesium. * these are medical recommendations specific to me based on my test results * also based on supporting detox from SSRI. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is sit in the morning sun and drink water before making breakfast. I also go for walks Meditation Stopping attempt #3 taper: Reason: I want to get pregnant and off this medication in general. Schedule: January 2022: 20mg February 2022: 17.5 mg March 2022: 15 mg April 2022: 12.5 mg May 2022: 10 mg June 2022: 10 mg July 2022: 7.5 mg August 2022: 5mg - 2.5mg September 1 2022: ended * I ended the taper at 2.5mg because the symptoms that I experienced back in April 2019 hit me* Current symptoms of withdrawal: 1. A “drunk” feeling, fishbowl?, dizziness, light headed, vision blurring/shaking when I look around. I have not lost my balance or got nauseated or anything like that, I just feel kind of disoriented and like I’m intoxicated simply trying to walk around my house. This is severe, I cannot drive. 2. migraines and headaches 3. My moods have definitely been crazy during the eight -month taper down— frequent/ explosive rage (not normal for me pre-ssri or while on ssri), frequent irritability, sadness upon waking. These symptoms suck but nothing is as bad as the physical symptoms listed in #1. Regarding pregnancy: physicians, psychiatrist and fertility doctor all said to me it’s “safe” to get pregnant on cipralex— The doctors said that the reason they tell women to stay on this medication during pregnancy is because; if your anxiety or depression is so bad that the risk to your mental well-being is high and the medication risk to the baby is low, it’s about cost benefit. The pharmaceutical packaging that comes with my perception states differently. ”It may harm an unborn baby. Also, babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last three months of pregnancy may rarely develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding and breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying”. And I can say that my anxiety and depression is not bad enough to risk any of those things to an innocent baby, it is extremely important to me to part ways with this drug. I’m not looking for anyone to try to change my mind on this point. Concerns: Some people on Reddit suggested that I tapered too quickly. The liquid form of escitalopram is not available in Canada. I also feel in disbelief that if I had of done it any slower that it wouldn’t still result in what I’m experiencing now once I got to zero. I’ve read that serotonin withdrawal can last months (upwards of six months to a year) for this “drunk-like” feeling to resolve. I am blessed in that I was able to afford to take the month off work September 2022 to try to deal with some of this serotonin withdrawal but now I’m scared a month won’t be enough. I’m feeling devastated about the information I’m reading online about ssri brain damage, it’s hard to know what’s true there’s so much conflicting information. Regarding psychiatry: Psychiatry was also completely useless at giving any kind of advice for serotonin withdrawal. Psychiatrists idea of help was to use Abilify to cope with serotonin withdrawal symptoms. Abilify is a whole other animal in my opinion. I am 100% against using another “pharmaceutical“ to cope with my withdrawal symptoms. I have tried to be as inclusive as possible of my history, experience and efforts towards healing. My main concern presently is the severity of the physical withdrawal symptoms I am experiencing.
  6. Hey, I want to intodruce myself on this site because I´m suffering a lot from the Paxil withdrawal even though I have not taken Paxil for a very long time. I was prescribed to Paxil in January 2016 because of a Burn Out / Depression. While Cipralex has not taken the huge panic from me when my Depression/Burn Out started my Doctor said we should try Paxil. My mood was very quickly a lot better with the help of Cipralex but the panic was huge. I´ve never experienced a depression in my life so it was very frigthening to feel such a huge impact in such a negative way. Anyways after about 1 Month on Cipralex my doctor decided to switch on Paxil because "he made good experiences" with this drug. I asked him on which dose I should take it whereon he answered that 40mg should be fine. At this time I had no experiences with Antidepressents so I completly trusted his words and I took my first pill. I remember the first day on Paxil I woke up in the middle of the night and my whole body was tingling and I´ve sweated a lot. There were a few more symptoms but I can´t really remember this time. So after 5 month on 40mg I decided to quit Paxil. (See from my signature) As the symptoms from my depression slowly dissapeared I felt more and more that new symptoms are getting stronger. At this time I thought that I still suffer from my depression and that it will never ever end although I was doing sports at least 3 times a week and going to the psychologist once a week to talk about my problems which really helped me in a way. It´s hard to put my thoughts and epxeriences since 2015 in proper english so I hope you guys can understand me. So in October 2016 I found a german forum for problems with antidepressent and they were very helpful with me and my symptoms. This was the first time someone told me how dangerous Paxil can be and how tremendous the effects to some people on paxil are. They also tried to convince me to taper the drug really slowly off but I thought the earlier my body is clear from this drug the earlier I get my old life back. The impact when I stopped taking Paxil 6 month ago were massive. While tapering it off it was really hard sometimes as well but the time I reached 0mg felt like the hell on earth. I wake up every morning with the feeling I just came out of a night club where I drank a bottle of vodka and snorted 1 g of cocaine. These are the symptoms I suffered the whole time on paxil. Some became stronger the lower I got, some started to fade away and some dissapeared. I copied some from a success story because it is exactly the same hope its okay: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, lots of preassure in my head, floating head feeling, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, my brain was not able to give the "command" watch left before you cross the street even though I know how to do it ?!, derealization, feeling of never getting healthy again, feeling quite healthy for a few days and then feeling like dying again, intense nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night sweaty with delusions and disorientation, sometimes things seemed to moved very slowly or a street looked like it never ends or I was walking treadmill. As I said some dissapeared but some like the derealization or the dizziness, mood swings, ear buzzing, brain fog and so on are still there. But I´ve the windows and waves which is a good sign, right? I´m writing you because I can´t find something similar in the german forum. Next to the symptoms above I´m suffering a lot from Injuries. Almost every month I have a new injury and today I´m not able to do any sports because of the inflammation of my muscles and tendons. Sport was the only thing besides meditation which helped me to cope with the symptoms. A few days ago I was at my doctor again and we did a full blood analysis. He called me one day later and told me that my blood is totally fine but my CK-Level is very high (1200) normal is ca 200. I called a neurologist which checked me at the same day with a few standard tests. They were all good as well. Last year I checked my thyroid & my brain with MRT everything completely normal. Do you have experiences with injuries during wd? Is it normal to suffer a lot from Paxil even though I´ve taken it only for 1 year? I read that Paxil can cause damage on the immune system? Is this the reason for my injuries? If my immune system is damaged, is it for ever or can it heal like the brain? Best regards, Maggie
  7. Hi there, I am glad that I found this forum and as I am at a very desperate state in my life right now - I am glad that I can find some people relating to my topic. I have first been prescribed Cipralex 5 mg about 10 years ago, when I was 20. I changed from high school to university and started having panic attacks from time to time and a very weird way of feeling myself (like being in a vacuum). Looking back, it was not THAT horrific but a general practitioner prescribed it to me after having a 10 minute-chat with me. I didn´t have any idea what antidepressants were back then - also he did not tell me anything about it. So I took it. I must say that - whether it was placebo or not - it helped. So I got off them (5mg, very small dose). 2 years later I had a similar phase, already working at an agency where I experienced panic attacks and felt very anxious in general. So I thought to myself: Hey that stuff worked the first time - I´ll take that again. I don´t really know if it did anything for me this time because I also quit my job and took a long vacation - I guess that would have done it as well. After maybe a little less than a year I quit again - this time it seemed harder. I always tapered - even with this little dosage. When I quit- the first time in my life ever, I had sort of depressive phases. But it went away. Then again some years later I had a very stressfull time in my life and a trigger-event that got me really freaked out and depression kicked in ...this time I did not want to start medication again but I could not see another way. thankfully shortly after I found my coaching technique that reeeallyyy helped a lot, did some family constellations and really started to understand the whole reason WHY I was dealing with all those problems. I understand now and I don´t feel crazy anymore for having experienced what I have experienced. But okay. So at the maximum I took 10 mg of Cipralex ( i always refused the neurologists wish of taking more and more) because I did not feel that the antidepressants helped. While taking 10 mg I still had very depressive phases, so I thought: Okay, if I take more, will it get better or will I just be damaging my body more and more? I continued working with my coach, working on myself, getting to know myseld and really digging into the hurtful past and reasons. This helped A LOT and was the only reason I felt better. So soon I reduced again to 5mg ( in steps) Eeeevery time I reduced my dose I got a depressive phase following, about 3 weeks later that would last around a month. Including sweating a lot, feeling like having a feaver, being depressed,feeling anxious, feeling like I can´t go to training, feeling weak, etc. but I always got better again. So I did this really slowly..always allowing my body to adjust to the next step. In late August (2015) i took my last „powder 0,000xx mg“ and boom...after 3 weeks I started feeling HORRIBLE. ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE! I had troubles I never had before (or still have) lik e being totally paranoid, feeling completely deprersonalzed, having terrible brainfog, headaches, ...all that in addition to having all the old **** I am used to when having a down. So for 2 months I felt horrible, then it got a lot better for month, now it is completely terrible again since mid-december. I AM GOING CRAZY! I am very well informed and very convinced that all that is due to withdrawl and that my brain needs time to adjust but OH MY GOD how can one stand this horrible times?I feel so terribly weak! All the time I have to push myself really hard: To get out of bed, to talk to friends, to go outside, to go to work, ...everything is a huge struggle...it is sooooo exhausting. Luckily I do have all the support I could wish for from friends and family and boyfriend! I am very thankful for that! But still I feel alone with all this war inside of me because I feel like they don´t know what I am going through. If I feel really bad for two weeks and then have a window – okay, at least you get a break. But feeling that awful for over a month is draining all my energy. How do you cope? How do you get through this? What do you do when you sit alone at home, feel to weak and terrible to call someone..how do you drag yourself out of this? Ps.: Sorry if my English is not that good:)
  8. I have been on the complete cancellation of xanaks for 6.5 months, and my psychological symptoms are driving me crazy, I restored taking cipralex 4 months ago at a dose of 20mg. Before that, I took it for 6 years at a dose of 10 mg. He helped me, I lived a full life, then I also took xanaks, on average 0.5 mg per day for sleep. Now I feel like a soulless person, I have completely no emotions, there is a slight fear, slight anger due to hopelessness, it seems to me that I am doomed, male libido has decreased very much, + anxiety at times. Sometimes my condition improves, there were 4 days of a great window, I even thought I was recovering 100%. I was wrong. Windows and waves appear and disappear in a cycle that is incomprehensible to me, this also applies to increased depression and anxiety, etc. I am very interested in whether a smaller dose of AD can work better in my condition? By partially returning emotions? Today I decided to lower the dose from 20 mg to 18 mg. To understand what will change. I am very concerned about this topic. I'm not completely ready. To leave cipralex until I recover from benzo, but due to the fact that my libido is so much depressed, as well as motivation for life, I do not see a future, anhedonia drives me crazy. Now I have more or less normal sleep from 6-8 hours. I wouldn't want to lose him. But due to the lack of libido, it seems to me that my depression is getting worse, although sometimes everything more or less returns and I feel normal, about 70%. While I'm setting the task, reduce the dose of cipralex to 10mg. And see how I'll feel. Do you think this is possible? Without serious consequences. I've been through a lot during these 6.5 months that I want a little peace. I will be very grateful for your support and advice. Thanks. Sorry, I do not know English, and I have to translate the text through a translator, I apologize for the mistakes.
  9. Hi survivors! I'm looking for help and encouragement. Already have been fallowing SA site for years but now I reached a point when situation starts to get out of control. For the last month I started experience low mood and anxiety. I started to spiral now and can't stop the WD even though I know it is recommended to wait after dose reduction but I'm all over the place and can't focus or think straight. First noticable WD I experienced in 12/08/21 but after reinstating stabilised, another one was in 01/2022 but somehow again stabilised. I think my main driver for stabilisation was information search and different programmes, coaches, nutritionists that distracted me - basically search for silver bullet. It has become of obsession to search and read none stop in order to help me, like an addiction. I have my doctors appointment only after 2 weeks but I am really worried how I will manage to get through this period because of spiralling. I have been slowly tappering Cipralex (Lexapro) for 1.5 years already and after reached 2.60mg (from initial 20mg) dose, I'm experiencing crazy WD. I reinstated already 5 days ago without any success. Now plan to reinstate tomorrow again and wait for a bit. I really need your help! Anyone?
  10. Marta

    Marta: Intro

    Hi all! Please sorry if my English is not perfect but it's not my mothertongue. My story is short: -"normal" (nobody is normal) life until 2011 -developed very painful abdominal pain, did all medical exams nothing came off....(now think it was a somatization...last year of university stress, end of long relation, new relation, no job opportunities) -06/2012 really tired of pain, my gp decided to gave me cipralex 10mg -I started gently, no side effects, pain slowly disappeared....but I started to gain weight +8kg, NO libido, NO intense feelings -02/2015 started to stop it one drop per week, around 01/04/2015 free -end of April, first days of May sudden, huge, creepy anxiety(Never had it before) heart punds super fast suicide thoughts blurry vision sounds in brain high sensitivity to low sounds zero appetite insomnia(Never had it before) -tried to resist until end of May, my gp said to take it again, in 5 days I was again in 10mg and things got worse all previous symtomps plus ****ing burning skin sensation (I'm going mad) can't stop to move legs (creepy) zero sensitivity "over there" ----that's my present condition, tomorrow I'll ask to stop these horrible meds, why the hell, why the hell I have accepted then, nobody told my about these effects. I'm sacred to death it will last FOREVER, I'm so terrified by the words forever chronic permanent... my questions are: is it possible to develope these symptoms after 2-3 weeks quitting? have you ever had burning skin sensation? will these things lasts forever? Thanks to all, who will reads and who will answer, I'll also try to answer others! Sincere hugs, M.
  11. Hi, new member here. This forum is a God-send. A few years ago I was casually put on Cipralex (a.k.a Lexapro) within 15 minutes of talking to a shrink and stayed on it for 2 years. Although I tapered off it slowly, I had a panic attack for the first time in my life when I went off it, followed by a period of mild anxiety, then all of a sudden many months later I was hit with a variety of bizarre physical and psychological symptoms such as electromagnetic sensitivity, brain fog, a bizarre and persistent throbbing sensation in the right side of my head, a nervous tick in my right eyebrow, hyperacusis, rage, and suicidal thoughts. Psychiatrists and psychologists passed it all off as extreme stress and anxiety (They all said "You developed a new psychological illness, anxiety, and it's merely a coincidence that you developed it after going off the medicine. Your symptoms are all psychosomatic.") I have resisted being put back on SSRIs and chose to trust my instincts, insisting that these symptoms are clearly related to the Cipralex. Online readings and seeing the feedback of others who withdrew from antidepressants have given me the reassurance to continue on my journey of healing naturally, without falling back into the cobwebs of the psycho-pharmaceutical industry. I was merely a little bit sad when I visited a shrink and needed to talk to someone, not endure a journey of medical hell. I am so happy to have come across a compassionate and immensely useful forum to help me continue my brave healing journey which, essentially, I am undertaking on my own. I have endured several recent months of indescribable agony. Some of the coping techniques that are helping me out at the moment include adding a little apple cider vinegar and honey to water first thing in the morning, supplements (rhodiola rosea in the morning and magnesium before sleep), Reiki, deep breathing, walking, and Somatic Experiencing (a form of alternative therapy to relieve mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on perceived body sensations), as well as chewing gum (helps a lot with the need to grind my teeth which is one of my withdrawal symptoms). I have also cut out gluten, coffee and alcohol from my diet. I also bought a teddy bear recently and holding it helps in anxious moments and makes me feel that I am not alone. Prayer is helpful too as it is immensely reassuring to turn to a higher power for help. I have ups and downs on this healing journey and I am literally trying everything to help me out. If anyone has been on Cipralex and has any other tips that can help me in my withdrawal process I'd be most grateful if you could please share them. May we all recover soon from our withdrawal experiences 🙏
  12. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  13. Hello, everyone 👋 I'm Bogdan from Romania. I'm here because I've been struggling with constant heart palpitations after getting off of Cipralex (escitalopram) 20mg, which I was taking for 1.5 years for social anxiety (panic attacks at work). The doctor recommended the "slow tapper" strategy of 25% every 2 months (which I've now found is not slow at all). I've been off of it since 8th of June 2021, but have since had constant heart palpitations, dizziness at times and maybe somewhat bad memory. My only real problem now is the constant heart palpitations, which by the way, I've never had before. This is one thing that's very depressing to me, because I took Cipralex for social anxiety (panic attacks at work) and ended up with these heart palpitations which I never ever had, after getting off of the medication. The first few weeks I had some really bad heart palpitations, every single day, at times I had to just go and lay in bed, I couldn't work or do anything. After a few weeks they went completely away, then they came back again for 1-2 weeks, then they went away again, after the first 3-4 months they went away completely again and I believed that was it, I got rid of them for good. I had no problems for multiple months and then, somewhere at the beginning of March this year (2022), around the same time I got Covid, they came back. Since then they never went away again. It's been 3 months of heart palpitations, the first 2 months I had them every single day again, and afterwards I did have some very easy days, almost no palpitations, but not more than 2-3 days in a row (I believe only once it went more than that, for a week). They intensity and frequency of the palpitations has decreased, I would say maybe they are at 60-70% of what they where in the beginning, but still enough to make me not enjoy life anymore, make me cry at times and make me more depressed than ever, because now I can't see the end of it and I don't know what to do. Needless to say I went to cardiologists and had all tests done (endoscopy, EKG, plus I had EKG holter on me for 24 hours) and the palpitations are indeed recorded, but there's nothing wrong with my heart, the doctor even went to suggested it could be from Covid, but I had them long before I got Covid and right after getting off the medication, which is very clear to me. Otherwise I'm having the best period of my life, which I find ironic, because I had some really rough times growing up and now when I got everything together, got married in January and are content with my life and have good family/friends relationships at last, now I got these palpitations which make me not able to enjoy life. I went back to my doctor last year, after the first 3 months off of the medication and he recommended going back on the last dose of Cipralex that I was stable on, that is 5mg, but then my heart palpitations disappeared and I decided not to, I didn't feel good about going back either, I felt like I've suffered too much for 3 months to go back on it. Now I'm here, I am 1 year off of it and feel like I've suffered even more than enough to go back on it now, but I'm losing hope at this point and wonder if I shouldn't just go back on this 5mg dose for a while and tapper even slower from there, because this seems never ending. Did anyone experienced the same with Cipralex/Lexapro (escitalopram) and can give me an advice what should I do? Should I go back on the dose I was stable on (5mg) after 1 year not taking anything, or it's too late now and I should just try to be patient and wait for the heart palpitations to go away, is there any hope for them to go away even? I'd greatly appreciate your advice, as I'm troubled and a bit hopeless at the moment. Thank you for reading, God bless.
  14. Hello, I'm 45 years old female. I've been on SSRI drugs from 1997 because of anxiety. At work my hands would start to shake, my mind would stop functioning and I would not be able to work. So I ended in the psychiatrist office and was put on drugs. I felt deeply ashamed of myself for being like this and kept it hidden from everybody. The feelings of shame, unworthiness and fear were my everyday companions after a very traumatic childhood. In 2018 I started reading about the SSRI drugs (Kelly Brogan's book: A Mind of Your Own) and decided to slowly stop taking the drugs that have been destroying my brain for 21 years. In the beginning (March 2018) it was fairly easy, but in December 2018 some very unpleasant symptoms started to surface: strong anxiety in the mornings, painful nervous feelings in my legs and arms, irritability, nervousness, anger, lack of energy...I went back from 2.5 mg of Cipralex every other day to 2.5 mg every day. Back then I thought it was ok to alternate doses every other day. I also started to take better care of myself by: - eating an anti-inflammatory diet (dr. Gundry's diet - no sugar, no grains, no lectins), - taking supplements: fish oil, cod liver oil, magnesium, D and K vitamins, - exercising or going on long walks with my lovely husband every day after work, - carefully avoiding stressful situations and stressful people, - postponing all important decisions, - making sure that I sleep and rest enough, - taking it one day at a time and being grateful in the evening that I managed to finish my work day, - making recovery my top priority. I'm very grateful to all the people that share their knowledge and help each other on this website. I've learned a lot from you and will continue my tapering using the 10% method (when I feel ready). I'm not stable enough right now. I don't mind waiting, I'll give myself as much time as I need. Even if it takes years to come to 0 mg. I want to be patient and kind to myself. Thank you. Please forgive any mistakes; English is not my native language. Love, peace and good health to everybody 💛 Mimi
  15. YamsAreGood

    YamsAreGood: Hypomania

    I was feeling good on my combination of Cipralex and Wellbutrin, but was still experiencing tiredness. I consulted a Naturopath and went on Omega 3s, Vitamin D and a probiotic. I experienced what I felt was serotonin syndrome so to get relief I stopped wellbutrin. However, I do not feel alert and had tunnel vision. To the point I dont feel like I should drive. I took Wellbutrin again to circumvent these feelings, but now again am feeling crazy. Like my nervous system is overactive. I feel like I am in limbo of serotonin syndrome and antidepressants withdrawal. I feel crazy. How can I get some relief?
  16. Hello, I was on 10 mg of Cipralex for 3 years (2011). Then, increased to 15 mg of Cipralex for 5 years (2016). 2 years ago, I started tapering off this 15 mg dosage by reducing my amount by 2.5 mg (12.5 mg) for two weeks. Then, I tapered off another 2.5 mg (10 mg) for two weeks immediately thereafter. That was pretty tough experience. Not exactly like 'throwing your brain off a cliff,' but definitely like playing pro-football everyday for two months without wearing a helmet or any protective equipment. About 2-3 months after finishing this tapering off of 5 mg, I experienced a ton of unpleasant feelings. Irritability. Anger. Over-sensitiveness to minor insults and rude people. And, a bunch of minor physical health issues (chronic body aches, muscle/tendon tears & soreness, etc.) As a result of these unpleasant effects, I did not taper off for another year. Then, recently (i.e, 2 months ago), I mustered up enough courage and resumed tapering off my remaining Cipralex dose (10mg). But, this time I decided to taper off using a new dose schedule that seemed a bit more balanced and safe. I tapered off another 2.5 mg gradually (7.5 mg) over the course of 7 weeks. The dose schedule was as follows: Week 1- 6 days at 10 mg, 1 day at 7.5 mg Week 2- 5 days at 10, 2days at 7.5 Week 3- 4 days at 10, 3 days at 7.5 Week 4- 3 days at 10, 4 days at 7.5 Week 5- 2 days at 10, 5 days at 7.5 Week 6- 1 day at 10, 6 days at 7.5 Week 7- 7 days at 7.5 A woman online said she used this dose schedule to taper off 10 mg of Cipralex on the advice of her Doctor. And, she said she had no withdrawal symptoms at all. She called her Doctor a "genius." For the 2 months I tapered off on this does schedule, things seemed a bit better than my first tapering off experience a year ago. I still had irritability, anger, etc. But, it all seemed less intense and long-lasting. I went through a short period of heightened negative emotions (anger, irritability, lack of hope, etc.). But, this was also around the time when experienced a few very stressful life events in the same period of about two weeks. So, I get a hunch that this short period of intense negative emotions was more a result of my life situation than the reduction of my Cipralex dose. I have remained on 7.5 mg of Cipralex now for about one month after completing the initial phase of this current dose schedule. But, I would like to continue tapering off the rest of my dose on this same dosage schedule as early as next week. The rest of this continued dose schedule would look like this (following from the first round mentioned above): Week 8- 6 days at 7.5, 1 day at 5 Weeks 9 to 14- follow the schedule Week 15- 6 days at 5, 1day at 2.5 Weeks 15 to 21- follow the schedule Week 22- 6 days at 2.5, 1 day no pill Week 28- you are finished. I am aware that Cipralex is one of strongest SSRIs on the market. I am also aware that this site strongly recommends a schedule of tapering off 10% of a dosage over the course of two months. However, my preference is to continue with the most recent dosage schedule. This is because I can only obtain 10 mg Cipralex pills in Canada, and I find it too difficult to cut the pills by a 10% size with exact, or close to exact, precision. (There is always a bit of guess work when using a razor or pill cutter). I also find making a liquid version of the remaining dosages much too cumbersome. Moreover, my current dosage schedule doesn't really seem that much different in terms of the amount of the reduced dosage. For example, even though I am reducing by 2.5 mg, the fact that I am gradually integrating this amount over the course of two months would seem to be somewhat equal to doing 1.25% for two months (which is almost 10% of my dosage). This all leads to my question: given the approximate similarity of my dosage schedule to your site's recommended dosage schedule, do you think continuing with my dosage schedule to be a reasonable and safe decision? Or, do you consider a consistent 10% reduction of my dosage over the course of two months (your site's preference) to be the better option? Any sound thoughts, advice, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  17. Hi all., I am from South Africa, new to this site and hopeful that I will get advice on continuing my extended Lexapro taper. I have been on an extended Lexapro-taper since Nov 2016. I also have tapered off successfully from multiple other psychiatric medications (including Olanzapine, Clobazam) and I am now on 1.55mg Escitalopram per day (20mg of 10mg tablet weight). I taper using a small digital scale. I am ready to start another taper (10% of previous dose) but I need advice. At some point during my taper process, (Jan 2020) I thought it was a good idea (I know better now) to take my medication for 6 days and skip the 7th day in an effort to taper this way. I was at that time not yet aware of the 10%-guideline of tapering or the effect that skipping a dosage day will have. I have since just kept going with this, meaning, I take my daily dose of Lexapro for 6 days per week, and then I skip the Sunday-dose. I didn't want to change this later since I thought it would result in too much of a change in dosage over time, so I have kept at it since 2020 throughout my tapers. To be clear, I take 1.55mg Escitalopram for Monday until Saturday and then skip the Sunday dose, continuing again on Monday. I am now wondering if I should rather take my dosage for 7 days a week in stead of 6, but then adjusting for the amount that is not taken on the 7th day. Meaning, mathematically, that I would go from 1.55 mg Escitalopram for 6 days, to 1.33mg Escitalopram for 7 days a week, if staying at the same dosage. I hope that I am making sense. If my calculations are correct, then the dosage per week will be the same however I know that a change will bring side-effects, especially since I will be adding a dosage either at the end or the beginning of the week, so I add the adjusted smaller dosage on Sunday and then keep going with that dosage for the rest of the week and eventually everything will stabilise, or I start taking the lowered daily dosage on a Monday, continue with this lowered dosage until Sat and then add the Sunday dosage). I would appreciate any sort of insight in helping me determine how to continue from here. I was planning to start another taper this week, but I am now unsure of whether I should continue with the 6-days a week-dosing or change it to 7 days a week dosing? In making this change I will first stay at my current dosage and wait to stabilise before I undertake another taper. I am very weary of the resultant side-effects that an alteration of my meds will bring but at the same time I am wondering if this will help with future tapers in that it will ease future dosage changes (make them smoother) since I am not skipping a dosage every week. I would appreciate any insight or advice on how I should continue. I am a bit at a loss. Thank you.
  18. Hello everyone. I have been struggling from withdrawal syndrome after "treatment" with various antidepressants /Venlafaxine, Zoloft, Cipralex/. I have severe PSSD (numb genitals, dead libido, almost no erections), anhedonia, bad nausea and some gut issues, lost appetite, altered taste and smell, over sensitivity to light and sound, pressure in my body, brain fog and fatigue, some blurry vision, occasionally cold hands and feet and pain in my right foot. I have read a lot about withdrawal syndrome and it looks to me that these poorly studied drugs have damaged my autonomic nervous system. My shi**y doctor neglects all of this and says it is somewhat anxiety or mental issue (she asked me what withdrawal syndrome was)... It's good that I have found this forum where the truth about these neurotoxic poisons is being said.
  19. Hi All I found this website 2 years ago and it has been of tremendous help. Here is my story. Until age 24 (12 years ago) i have had a perfect metal and phisical health, always a very happy and joyful person. I moved due to work out of my country, destination far north scandinavia. Two year after, winter is terrible, absolutely no sunlights for long month and polar nights. This time it takes a mental toll and i get depressed for first time in my life. I get cipralex from the doctors and 1 month after i am back to work. This is the beginning of everything. I am able to function well, however zero emotions of any type. I function but i am not myself anymore within 2 months. I am alive but not living, even if from outside everything seems normal. After 1 year i started on suggestion of the doctor to taper. Obvioulsy too fast. Within 6 months hell breaks loose. Everything started with much dizzyness, headeche, pains and with few days i was not able to function. I avoid to tell much details but you know, hell on earth. Going insane and losing the mind. No words can describes how bad it was. Moved back to my parents. The doctor put me back on 10 mg because he said i am still depressed. Within few weeks i am ok and back to work. However a suspect come in my mind. The symptoms i got this time were extremely different from the depression i previously got. Life goes on, and during next 8 years i tried other 2 times to quit with the same devastating results (usually at the beginning is fine, but symptoms kick in after 5-6 months). Doctors keep saying i am depressed and have to stay on drugs. When i try to raise the issue if it can be the drug every doctor tell me: no way, it s you that are depressed, symptoms dont kick in that far out after you have quit. Destiny wants that 2 years ago i met a girl who shares her story of antidepressant and withdrawn symptoms. SUDDENLY I CONNECT ALL THE DOTS. Everything fall in place and makes sense. I was always right since the beginning, it was the drugs, and the incompetence of doctors has kept me 10 years under these drugs. I am speechless of the total ignorance of the doctors , even psychiatrics on this topic. I start researching and thanks God i find this webside, where i can recognize everything you describe. Specially the waves and windows patterns, the symptoms, etc.. I started using your method. In 2 years i am down from 10 mg to 2 mg at the moment. Many ups and downs, many waves and windows. Sequences of weeks and months of zero symtoms and almost great mental health alternated with period of 5-10 days of dizzyness, headaches and pains that happens out of the blue, and out in the blue they desappear, however still tolerable and that allows a normal life. Now that i am down to 1-2 mg per day i see waves are coming more often than before, and i see these last steps are more challenging than it s been until now. My question for you people is: I use liquid drops of 1 mg , where 1 mg is the minimum amount. How do i go from 2 mg to 1.80 mg? Since i can divide only for 1 mg , in order to taper now i started to do like this per week: 6 days 2 mg and 1 day 1 mg, and so on, after a month i do 5 days 2 mg and 2 days 1 mg. However i started to get more frequent and longer waves recently and i am wondering if it is because of this method. Do you have any advice on how to taper smaller dosage? Thanks very much for this website and all your efforts.
  20. Hello to anyone reading this, I was on cipralex 10-15mg for about 11 yrs. Last summer it felt like it completely stopped working and i was in full-on WD. Suddenly i was in constant panic mode which focused on my hypochondria. The family dr told me to up it to 20mg. I did feel a little better after about a month. The constant panic attacks stopped but i also noticed a few troublesome side effects that i did not have at 15mg like inability to orgasm, no desire, tremors, muscle jerks. My hypochondria was still strong on 20mg. I decided to go back down to 15mg in January after about 6 mths. I tapered to 17.5 mg and then to 15. I had some pretty mild withdrawal symptoms at first. Then, after a couple of weeks it hit me like a tonn of bricks. Extreme fear, heart palpitations lasting all day (in waves), balance problems, insomnia etc. There was days when i feel better but today for example was a day of constant palpitations. It has been 2.5 mths since i started cutting down. I'm not even at 10mg (where i don't mind stating i guess for a while). I just want to see a light at the end of this wd tunnel. Any advice for the constant palpitations aside from meditation, exercise and staying calm? Thanks for reading. In Despair.
  21. I am taking cipralex 10 mlsince 9 months and my depression getting better so my dr decided to stop my medication she told me to start taking 5 ml everyday for one month then 5 ml every 2 days but am getting terrible symptoms from two weeks now pain on my neck headache can’t even walk i started to vomiting do i have to stop the medication?
  22. Hello I live in Saudi Arabia. Male, mid 50s, married. I had taken SSRI (Cipralex 25mg) for 6 years. I tapered it for 5 months, then stopped it completely on March 29, 2016. Just to give you some background, I was living happily, never thought of taking AD drugs ever. However, one day, I was subjected to severe conditions that was beyond my control. This situation has caused me insomnia, because of the tremendous stress, and therefore, I started taking SSRI. The doctor, who prescribed it, was not so professional, because he wanted to give me any drug that would work for me, performing trial and error on me. I know that AD drug is not a treatment, but rather a chemical stuff that would screw up brain chemicals to calm me down so that I can go to sleep, and also to improve my mood. I was very much concerned with the withdrawal symptoms, but the doctor reassured me that it would last only 2 to 3 weeks. I believed him, but I wish I did not. He did not provide me a true honest advice. While taking the AD drugs, I developed some side effects: such as fever and PVC. Six years down the road, I noticed that I always want to go to sleep, even if I had just woken up in the morning and had my coffee. This has annoyed me and scared me, as I was afraid that this drug would cripple my life. At this point, I decided to quit and live my life free of AD drugs. The journey of WD suffering started on October 31, 2015. I tapered it for 5 months, and stopped it completely on March 29, 2016. Here is a time line along with my WD suffering: 1-6 months: things were bad, but tolerable. I experienced difficulties falling asleep, with anxiety. 6 mo-1.5 years: Severe symptoms began. It was so severe that I was thinking of going back to AD. I took it for one day, but then regretted that I did, and felt so bad for going back to the drugs. I decided to fight and continue my journey no matter what. I am glad I did. I do not know how I was able to cope with WD symptoms, but it has to do with my faith. Prayers, reading Quran, and reading positive comments that I used to write to myself. 1.5 – 3.25 years: Incremental improvements. Now, I can enjoy coffee and tea, and do my hobbies. I am not 100% recovered. I still have nasal congestion and tinnitus both of which have improved slightly.
  23. English is not my first language! I am panicking from 2009 to 2018, taking clonazepam 5 mg Lexapro. I got used to the cold turkey lexapro, I tried the cbd oil. I got really bad. I can never go back to Lexapro again, I have had watery diarrhea ten times a day for months. I tried Zoloft, 25mg for 3 weeks, 50mg for 1 week. I’ve never felt so much from any medication before, I can’t get out of the apartment, I can’t get up, my whole body hurts, I’m anxious, I’m really sick. I stopped taking Zoloft cold turkey 2 days ago, today I started taking 2.5 mg of lexaprot to avoid more trouble. But I feel like I'm starting to feel bad. What to do?
  24. Hi everyone, I come from Italy and this is my first post here. First of all, I would thank Altostrata ad all the members of this site for your incredibile work. You are saving lives from all over the world, giving a glimpse of hope against the hellish world of drug companies and psychiatry. I'm very grateful for it, your stories and experiences helped me a lot to understand and trying to face this journey. Here my story. In my '20s, I started Escitalopram - Lexapro - Cipralex on January 2017, after a period of anxiety and insomnia. I took 10 mg per day (with good results) until July 2017 (for 6 months). Then, following my doctor advice, I started tapering to 5 mg, holding it until january 2018. After that, I tapered dropping 1 mg every month just to be off the medication on august 2018. In that period I had severe withdrawal symptoms (with the wisdom of hindsight) like intrusive thoughts, big anxiety, permanent rage and mood swings . My doctor said It was a relapse so in September 2018 I gave up and reinstated 5 mg of escitalopram until December 2018. Being tired of the medication and of the emotional numbness, I Started tapering again using the same reduction scheme (I didn't know It was so fast) and I was again off on March 2019. To sum up, I took the medication for about 2 years (January 2017 - March 2019, with a brief interruption). By surprise I hadn't many symptoms until January 2020. I was having a lot of water retention but this was the only effect lasting and I thought I was over the withdrawal process. How you can imagine, I was wrong. Since January 2020 and until now, I have been crashing. I had many heavy and sufferings symptoms and it was really a Hellish period. I had to face intense intrusive thoughts, big depression, several mood swings, Depersonalization and Derealization, inability to focus, severe brain fog and different sexual dysfunctions. I had big pain and strong headaches, periods of Lethargy, water retention, sensibility to water and foods, crying spells, mania, anhedonia and so on. During Quarantine I was almost not able to function and living was impossibile but thanks to the Lockdown I was able to wait and fight without losing too much. In May my doctor wanted to put me on Vortioxetine, but I refused and tried to resist. I don't know how I went through. Today, after 15 months off (from the beginning of the withdrawal, 24 months about from the last medication) I am still struggling. Most of the symptoms I mentioned passed but I am always struck with a bit of anhedonia, lack of emotions, brain fog and sexual dysfunctions. It seems like I am still struck in a sort of Serotinergic Homeostatis (no production of Noradrenaline, Adrenaline and Dopamine), although I have beated the water retention and have gone down a lot. I have had only brief windows in which I felt normal-ish but they lasted only some hours. I'm still suffering from this and it is really frustrating. Thanks to this forum and reading some experiences I have hope this could be healing (with the wisdom of hindsight there have been many improvements) but I'm exhausted and I can't lost time anymore. Omega 3 and Pro-biotics helped a bit but it's a very hellish journey. I am always in my twenties and I think this could help with improvements, I say to myself to resist cause i have a lot of time ahead but it's very difficult to accept. I've already lost 4 years of my life for this medication. What I can do ? What do you think about ? Could anyone tell his story and how much time he took to fully recover ? Thank you guys for all your attention and for your sharing, Hope there will be a reward for all our suffering and a punishment for psychiatry and drug companies for all the harms they do. God and history will save all of us A big Hug, WF.
  25. Hey there, This is my first post and I'm feeling rather desperate. I'm a 26 year old woman and have been on Lexapro for over 6 years now. Around that time, I also became chronically fatigued (could easily sleep 12+ hours, couldn't keep my eyes open on the bus, work etc...) and no doctor told me that antidepressants could be the main cause. During that time, I tried adding Wellbutrin to no avail, and also got various blood tests, sleep studies, changed times of day I took my meds, tried supplements, different diets etc... and nothing seemed to help. Only after doing some research on Reddit am I realizing that Lexapro causes this chronic fatigue for a lot of other people and after trying Wellbutrin one more time with no increased energy, I've decided to taper. It is nearly impossible to find a doctor where I live, and my current GP told me I could taper from my current 10mg dose in 2 weeks which seems insane from what I've read. I went on 5mg for 2 months and am currently taking 5mg every second day, and my fatigue is only getting worse and I'm at the point where I'm unable to function. Is there a better way I could be tapering? How long should I expect this fatigue to last? Thank you so much.
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