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  1. I started 5mg lexapro 3 weeks ago and decided it wasn't for me because my anxiety wasn't too bad to begin with, and it was stopping me from reaching orgasm. My PCP prescribed me 150mg Wellbutrin to see if that worked instead, and I couldn't take more than 3 days of that as it caused extreme anxiety and borderline mania. I immediately stopped both the day after that (exactly 3 weeks on lexapro), as my PCP told me it should be fine. The next two days, I experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms and spent all day online doing research before seeing that I'll need to taper off of this medication and finding this forum. My PCP has been hard to get ahold of with scheduling, so I reinstated and began a slow taper (from 5mg to 4.3mg creating my own liquid) and flew home to be with my family. I have set up appointments with a new psychiatrist/prescriber (via Cerebral) and am hoping to have more guidance on a tapering plan. I am looking for advice and help with getting off this stuff after being on it for such a short period of time but still suffering increased anxiety, low mood, frequent crying, nausea, low appetite, tingling sensations at the base of my neck / feet / and arms, diarrhea, headaches, overheating, feeling of a racing heart rate, lightheadedness, and changes in blood pressure. I'm also having trouble sleeping, but I had pretty rough insomnia before going on lexapro. I started lexapro for some mild anxiety and depression/compassion fatigue and after experiencing 2 bad panic attacks at the beginning of October during a bug infestation in my apartment. I have never been on an SSRI or much other medication besides blood pressure meds so I'm feeling really lost.
  2. Hello everyone. I want to start this off by stating that I'm not a native english speaker so if something is unclear in my wording, please let me know! I'm gonna tell my story a bit because I'm hopeful I'm on the right track, but I need to exchange a bit and maybe be reassured. Medication really did help me on many levels. I have had anxiety problems forever, even as a kid although I wasn't aware it was anxiety at that time. It grew worse with teenagehood, saw diffrent therapists, and the only thing that put me on the "healing track" was in 2017, at 21, when I started seeing another therapist who told me I did not need benzodiazepins but antidepressants - to which I answered "but I'm not depressed!", but turns out I did need those antidepressants for anxiety lol. I have also mild OCD/intrusive thoughts, which I wasn't aware of at the time. Long story short: I took Escitalopram for a bit under 1 year, from 2017 to 2018. It really helped me, and we tapered with 1 month on 5mg per day, then 0mg. I had 0 withdrawal syndrome, but sadly relapsed 6 months later with the obsessive thoughts coming back full force. So I saw another therapist (I had moved cities for my studies) and went back on Escitalopram 10mg + cognitive behavioral therapy, from november 2018 to january 2021, so 1 year and 2 months. It went well, I spent the most stable year despite the pandemic and a lot of isolation (I live very, very far from my closest friends). I learnt to accept anxiety and control it (rather than straight up try to suppress it), to focus my thoughts when I have intrusive thoughts, took healthy habits, fixed my sleep schedule. In january, we reduced to 5mg. In february and to mid-march I only took 5mg of escitalopram one day out of two: I did notice at that time I was weirdly tired when taking 5mg one day out of two although I did not change my sleep schedule, but that was it. I figured it was maybe the change of season or something like this. As for right now: I therefore stopped Escitalopram completely around march 13 (I don't remember when I took the last pill!). Things went fine and after one week of calm began what I figure are the withdrawal symptoms, that I never experienced after my first treatment -although I did stop it way more brutally than this one!-. I had a lot of gastrointestinal symptoms (I thought I ate something bad, maybe it's the case, maybe it was both things mixed together..), nausea and trouble sleeping. 10 days after stopping Escitalopram, I had a VERY weird episode of night tremors that I talked about in this reddit post, at that time I was very confused and a bit scared because I never had anything like this before. Luckily this only happened once. But since this particular night, I have general anxiety again, sometimes in big spikes, bouts of crying (my intrusive thoughts come back although I can control them way better than before), trouble eating (loss of appetite). But I figure it is withdrawal because this is not how I was before, even with my then-anxiety. But I keep going : I'm in the middle of my masters' studies with a thesis I'm invested in, exams are coming in a week, I try to go out for a walk every day, I clean around, I do my stuff despite the pandemic and the lockdown. I still feel in control (which is reassuring and helps me looking forwards) but I am "physically" so, so unwell. Waking up with your stomach heavy and your head heavy with unshed, unexplained tears is tiring and still, those are quite "mild" symptoms compared to what I could read in here It's gonna be one month I completely stopped Escitalopram in 2 days, and I know withdrawal can last for much longer, so I'm trying to prepare for lasting symptoms still - but gosh, it's hard. It's so hard. On april 2nd I finally could see my therapist, who told me withdrawal syndrome shouldn't be *that* bad, and prescribed me amitriptylin (because I can take it in very small doses) BUT I did not take it because things were going a bit better and I wanted to believe I could pull through without it, I had 2-3 good days but fell back into this weird state... It seems like my state "evolves" by waves. I am in a huge "anxiety" wave these past 3 days. I see my therapist again on friday - sadly can't reach him before, I live in a very busy city and you cannot contact therapists outside of appointments. I'm afraid he's gonna tell me I should have taken the amitriptylin but for some reason my stubborn self doesn't want it. It seems more adapted to evening/night anxiety and troubles and it's not my case I reckon (but I'm not a doctor!...). So that is about it. I have no idea if this works as a (long!) introduction post. I hope to read about similar cases that hopefully recovered from this syndrome, especially because I am aware that my symptoms are very mild compared to people trying to taper off way longer, way heavier treatments. I wish to be reassured about the mood swings and bouts of crying, the uneasiness. I wonder if temporary but regular benzos could work since it seems like it's mostly anxiety, but I'd very much like to avoid it. I want to hold on to the idea that it'll get better. I hope you all are doing well in your recovery, and wish you a good day! Thanks for reading me!
  3. Hello- as my topic title shows, I have been on anti-depressants for 24 years (20mgs Lexepro, 175 mgs Wellbutrin). It is hard to face. After the birth of my first son, I began having acute anxiety. When I told my gynecologist he told me it was common after giving birth because of hormonal changes. In such cases, he recommends about six months of medication to help with the symptoms and recommended a psychiatrist that he works with for patients such as me. I'm sure none of you are surprised to know that, as is all too common, I never got off the drugs for very long. Each time withdrawel symptoms were interpreted as my illness returning. My mother suffered from anxiety and depression all her sad life, so it wasn't hard to believe that I was ill. Yet, I still tried a few times to stop the drugs. Interestingly, once it became clear how difficult it was to get off the drugs, I knew with certainty that I needed to stop taking them. I Thought I would put if off until I was retired, so I would have less stress, etc. to deal with the WD, but when I learned about the10% taper it gave me hope that I can be AD free by my 60th birthday! I will start with the Lexepro. Getting myself a scale and using a spreadsheet to calculate the decreases. I'm getting my yoga and walking on, and continuing meditation for success! I'm so glad to have this site for reference, information and support!
  4. Hello, I am new to this forum. I am married with two wonderful adult daughters. I have attempted titration twice previous and experienced two episodes of discontinuation syndrome. As terrifying and hellish as the withdrawal was I am determined to remain positive as I desire and to be off my medication. So much so when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said a miracle. I want to be free from all medication. The only psychiatrist I can find to write tapering scripts told me I was "N of one." Meaning he had NEVER had anyone experience withdrawal. I am no longer giving energy to the flaws in the medical community but rather seeking to heal. My last crash I was almost there. I was down to .7mg of Lexapro. I believe the effect of potentiating supplements such as 5HTP, Skullcap, Passionflower and the CBD oil my psychiatrist recommended contributed to interfere with my successful completion of titration. I was on a higher dose of Lexapro on the days I used a sleep patch due to potentiating of the ingredients and the CBD oil and when I did not use the supplements, I was lower. I am sad about starting all over again. I grieve all the work I did, yet I tell myself I am courageous and strong. I have been stable, albeit with side effects of sedation, tinnitus, and dizziness for over a month. I began titrating of the Lexapro and I am now at 4mg of Lexapro from a dose of 5mg. I am staying with the 15mg of Remeron at night. I am titrating down 10% for the next month starting tomorrow. I am considering staying stable at that dose of Lexapro and shifting to titrate of the Remeron which I have only taken for a month due to significant side effects! My thought is to go down 10% on the Remeron every 30 days? Thoughts? Keep the Lexapro at the 3.8mg dose until 30 days after I made it completely off the Remeron. After I am a month or two stable off the Remeron start with 10% titration down on the Lexapro every 30 days. I am trying to find all information on how to create my own compounding liquid. I do have an appointment with my psychiatrist at the end of January, I spend my time trying to educate him on the realities of antidepressant discontinuation. I also want all knowledge to be armed to help myself. I do not know any of you, yet, I pray all people coping with the challenges of getting off antidepressants are healed and supported in this universe. May we all be well. May we all feel peace. Deb 20 years Pamelor 20mg 2017 began titration / 2019 off Pamelor 2017 due to discontinuation syndrome -Lexapro 5mg added 2019 Began titration Lexapro 2021 Lexapro .7mg discontinuation syndrome 2021 Lexapro 10/5/21 5mg 2021 Remeron 15mg 10/11/21 2021 Lexapro 11/15/21 4mg Lexapro; 15 mg Remeron
  5. Hello and nice to meet everyone. I have been reading as much as I can the past two days and feel like it is time to introduce myself. THANK YOU for everything you all have contributed, this site is a game changer. So many questions answered and a new journey begins. You can see my drug history and four month taper in my signature over the spring/summer (my psychiatrist at the time recommended two weeks, go figure). I had planned on a few crappy months going into this. Oh if I had only found this site first... Withdrawal didn’t kick in for at least two weeks, and slowly at first. I spent all of September and October dodging and weaving through good days and bad days, which I observed simply as “anxiety” (my original diagnosis) but with unusual physical symptoms. I journaled and kept calendar entries, mostly to record when I had to resort to Ativan (usually 0.5mg, occasionally 1mg). Other than for flight anxiety (two trips), I can count 17 times I took it over those two months, and only as a last resort. I had two sudden midnight “surges” (after feeling great) with shivers, out of control heart rate, even some diarrhea, which would last hours. I was convinced it was Serotonin Syndrome. The second one took me to urgent care the next morning for a heart checkup. A few days later a new psychiatrist then put me on Propranolol (beta blocker) as my primary concern was my heart. Propranolol immediately helped me observe and evaluate the “anxiety” I was experiencing which helped a lot. The new psychiatrist also had me stop 5-HTP after only a few weeks which was probably smart. I speak to him again this Friday, not sure what to share/ask given what I am learning here. I am now clear on the fact that I am riding waves of withdrawal symptoms, anxiety responds to the unusual feelings and emotions created by the withdrawal and adds its own icing to the cake, but I am focused on observing and not reacting, and doing my best to “ride it out”. The most unusual part of this “pattern” has been the timing of it all - usually kicking into high gear in the evenings after dark (earlier and earlier in my part of the world). I am nervous about traveling this weekend (short flight) but also realize I need to try and have as “normal” a life as I can stand under these conditions. My wife is awesome, understanding and super supportive. At 12 weeks in, I am not sure reinstatement is an option for me, even though I still have 5mg Trintellix in my drawer, and could try taking microdoses. Leaning toward a no, but I realize I may have run out of time to make that decision? I have read almost all the “required reading” but would still appreciate an opinion on that one. Also considering stopping my multivitamin, turmeric and mulberry leaf extract and taking only my “Super Omega-3 Plus” (Fish Oil) and picking up magnesium pills. I just started the Probiotic so I could drop it too, but not feeling like it would impact all of this either way? I am intrigued by the Reishi 415 blend to get some non-psychedelic mushroom love. Lastly my wife and I are thinking about therapeutic float tanks (she would love to do it again) and I have begun using our hot tub as part of my daily routine, along with many failed attempts at meditating. Anxiety was never something I handled well to begin with, and I realize now I must absolutely be on my game to dance this intricate dance. I will post any new thoughts, findings and curiosities on this thread as appropriate. I appreciate everyone’s support! PS- I opted to not use the appropriate abbreviations as I wanted to easily share this summary with family
  6. Hello everyone, Im new to this forum and I would like to introduce myself to you all with some of my history. 2010: Put on zyprexa after repeated psychotic episodes induced by marijuana. 2013: Changed Psychiatric drugs ( a variety of them)after psychotic episode without use of marijuana ( ended up one night in hospital). Finally put on Akineton due to moving leg syndrom, Trifluroperazine, Escitalopram, Mirtazapine. Cant remember dosages. Was reducing for the next 6 years with resistance from my psychiatrist. I was paranoid and have been having minor psychotic episodes throughout the years. I also developed synchronicity due to marijuana. 2019: Cold turkeyed of all drugs previously mention and developed withdrawals. By the third month off them i developed deja vecu or constant deja vu. Went to emergency at the hospital and was given Valium. Took valium for three months still experiencing withdrawals, valium also made me more anxious which I increased dosage until I decided to Cold Turkey of valium ( was taking 5-20mg a day for three to four months). A week later I ended up sectioned in a psychiatric ward for 1 month after a psychotic episode. I was put on 10mg of Valium, 10mg of Zyprexa and an epileptic drug I dont remember which. 2019-2020: Went to see a psychiatrist and was taken off the epileptic drug. Dr. wanted me to change to abilify and take escitalopram which I refused, however I did try escitalopram for a week and stopped as I had racing thoughts. 2020-2021: Reduced from 10mg to 5mg of olanzapine without withdrawals. Stopped at 5mg olanzapine and decided to withrawal valium which I had been increacing to the point of 60mg and therfore thought that this was getting out of hand. I used the Ashton Manual and reduced from 20mg to 0mg in 6 months, 10%reduction from 20mg to 10mg of the original dose, then 10% from 10mg to 5mg from original dose and finally 10% from 5mg to 0mg from original dose. Throughout this time I have been experiencing Pure OCD due to a religious book that scared me and had a strong impression on me. 2021-present moment: I went to a facility for help due to intrusive thoughts Pure OCD, fear, despair, impending doom, no emotion- locked chest, couldnt feel empathy, thought i lost my soul and going to hell and all hopeful words woud turn negative and against me, scared to even think. Wake up with fear every morning. Im on 3mg zyprexa( which im reducing at the moment), 15mg escitalopram for Pure OCD which has helped, 10 mg valium, melatonin mixed with herbs for sleep and magnesium citrate. I have been taking psychiatric drugs for almost 12 years and want to get off as I feel it hasnt truely helped and taken my humanity away. I hope I can do it with caution and prudence and with your help and support. I would also like to note that i have not taken alcohol or narcotics in 10 years.
  7. Hello, I quit drinking alcohol 11 years ago and a doctor at that time thought the anti depressant Zoloft would be beneficial for my "anxiety" from quitting. This is how I started using these drugs. It has taken me forever to finally quit. I'm a 43 year old male. I've quit Lexapro 2.5 mg 24 days ago and have had the worst three day stretch to date. I feel extremely tired and fatigued. I feel symptoms of brain fog, memory failures, cognitive decline, crying spells, sadness, slight headache, head pressure, eyes tired, some body ache, and slight brain zaps. I'm trying to stay positive and day to day but this is brutal. I feel like a zombie and would just want to sleep. I also have mild sleep apnea in which I have started using a cpap machine a week ago but have found no relief. I think I'm going to stop using the Cpap machine for a month to rule out the machine being the cause for recent three day stretch. I want to believe that the withdrawal symptoms are what is causing me to feel this way but I'm unsure now. I have always had some of the described symptoms on a day to day basis before. These symptoms went as far back as the last two to three years. They weren't nearly as severe. I haven't heard of anyone having the described symptoms as a result of actively taking the antidepressant drug. If this is something that can be confirmed I would feel much more at ease as I would have to wait out the withdrawal process. I guess I am looking for words of encouragement and hopefully some validation that these symptoms are from the withdrawal and this is a normal process. Last night I started myofacial exercises as an alternative to the cpap. I know it will be sometime before I see any benefit from them. I also ran 2 miles yesterday. This morning I practiced some Pranayama and will continue this daily. I'd appreciate any feedback and thank you for reading my story. Matthew
  8. I cold turkeyed off Lexapro 10mg in august of 2020. Big mistake. After a year of taking every supplement known to man I relapsed really bad. My relapse was triggered by chronic UTIs, numerous rounds of antibiotics, and hypothyroid. I relapsed into severe depression, anxiety and insomnia. It’s been six months now and docs have tried to reinstate me four times on the ADs including the one I cold turkeyed off of. I got really sick on all of them and quit within a week. Also on lorazepam daily for severe anxiety which I still take. Finally my psych put me on trintellix and was able to eat again and felt like maybe it could work. I did four weeks on five mg and started to sink again. Doc moved me up to 10 mg two days ago and I feel the worst anxiety Ive ever had. I’m losing hope. I think im permanently damaged from quitting cold turkey. I dont think I will ever be the same again and don’t want to live this way anymore. Im now on two drugs that are both very hard to quit and feel like Ive taken 10 steps backwards. I have no interest in anything. Im not myself and haven’t been since I quit the AD. My psych doc doesn’t call me back when im having a crisis. I’ve been to the ER for severe anxiety three times. I need help real bad.
  9. Hello all, My name is Alex and I was prescribed 1/2 x 10mg Escitalopram (Cipralex), 0.5 x Clonazepam (Rivotril aka Klonopin) for about 5 months now, for mostly anxiety. After already 2 months I hit tolerance / dependence with Clonazepam and from that point, for the little I knew, I should have give up on it, but my psychiatrist pushed it even more from 3/4 to 1 (0.5 Clonazepam). Clonazepam is the "horror" benzo of them all, but I did not knew back then and would have been fantastic if I removed it since month 2, instead of keep it in 3 more months. Escitalopram did not help me either, as if it had did, I would not been feeling worse after 5 months, than I was in the first place before taking the medicine. I really I very sad of my decision to actually go to the psychiatrist in the first place, but I did now knew much then. As I know now, the symptoms that I had then where really easy compared to the ones I have now (after 5 months of "treatment"). But that is what usually people do, driven by fear, instead of actually be a little realist and powerful and first, at least, document yourself of what you are doing in the first place. I have found At last a life book, by Paul David and I can say it's a life saver for the anxiety suffering people out there, but I just found it 3 weeks ago, after that I decided to start tapper the benzo. All this being said I am now on this schedule of benzo withdrawal attached in the picture. Unfortunately I got to 0.3 from 0.5 in 3 weeks instead of 8 and I feel quite a lot of withdrawal symptoms ( mild depression, mild / intermediate anxiety (but much longer than before), mild headaches, dizziness, mild blurred vision. I thought as I was just 5 months on these 2 drugs would make it to a fast withdrawal, now I know it is not the case and I need to listen to my body. Will hold benzo for now at 0.3 to stabilize. The big question is : Should I start the Escitalopram taper as well ? I read a lot already on the forum and I see usually people take it 1 by 1. Of course I asked a psychiatrist of tapering both at the same time and she said if I do it slow it's ok as I did not took them for long time and the doze is quite small. But I know you guys know better and would be much appreciated if you give me a hint here. So a small taper from the 1/2 x 10 mg Escitalopram , like 10-20% each month at the same time with the benzo taper would make sense ? Of course I will try to listen to my body / brain response, but I am unsure how much time will be needed to feel the withdrawal from Escitalopram, from Clonazepam is easy, in 2-3 days you feel the "response" of the cut, because of the 18-50 hours lifetime of it. Cheers !
  10. Hello, looking for guidance. 2013-Nov 6 2021 I was on lexapro 7.5 mg Cannabis 2015- Nov 6 2021 Had a panic attack, Dr took me off Lexapro and to stop cannabis and said it wasn't working well and advised Buspar 10 mg 2x per day. (Nov 12). He should have never took me off lexapro after that many years... Tried Buspar for 2 weeks. Mild symptom relief. But then withdrawal symptoms happened. Head has always burned after stopping Lexapro. Then Developed burning throughout body, brain zaps, hot flashes/then shivering, derealization, fast heart rate, trouble sleeping, decreased mood, hypersensitive to sound and light, trouble concentrationing, can't watch TV or listen to music at 1.5 weeks of stopping Lexapro. Stopped working my job. Reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro 3 days (some improvement). Then 5 mg 1 day, 3 mg? 2 days.. Had Akathisia bad. Really bad. Increased anxiety. Was told to take klonopin .25 mg each day. Reduced Lexapro to 1.25 mg (Dec 1-3). Akathisia went down some on Dec 3. Still feel very antsy in chest, head and arms when I wake up. Burning on head all day. Still sensitive to sound and light. Body temperature has improved. I have 5 mg Lexapro pills I have been cutting into quarters for 1.25 mg. I have read about low reinstatement after I experienced Akathisia and that's why I lowered. Do I continue with 1.25 mg? I was off Lexapro for 20 days. 14 days of withdrawal symptoms before Reinstatement. I really want my life back. Thank you for any help.
  11. I find the greatest irony in all of this is that I didn't experience clinical depression until I was in medical school. I still have some regret over pushing myself and being so ambitious. I know I've got a victim mentality going on and it'll be apparent in the summary below. I'm trying to change my narrative but it's a process. Fall 2013 - first diagnosed with adjustment disorder, not sure what diagnoses I actually got next but pretty sure it all neatly fit into major depressive disorder successfully treated with therapy, group therapy/support groups, daily exercise, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, meditation, leave of absence from school, spending time with family and friends naively assumed that it was just a one-time thing and that depression does not necessarily have to be "chronic" Fall 2017 - started feeling poorly and knew I didn't have time for self-care when working 12+ hours/day and wanted to keep chugging along in my medical career and at least get a license to practice so only solution seemed to be drugs started on zoloft but experienced bad side effects so switched to lexapro 10mg and started therapy again, even took time off work for an intensive month of therapy Spring 2018 - decided to leave my toxic medical training program and put in my letter stating I'd be resigning after completing this first year of training, felt immensely better but waited a few weeks to make sure it wasn't a temporary relief before approaching my psychiatrist to wean off medication he agreed it seemed like a situational depression and we tapered off somewhat rapidly, had occasional dizziness but mostly when descending stairs in the hospital Fall 2018 - expected to feel so happy after quitting that position but immediately fell into a very deep and the deepest at that point in my life, depression really didn't want to be on medication again, continued therapy, tried to go on runs a doctor I was shadowing and hoping to work with noticed something was off and gave me a sample of the latest antidepressant which he took himself and thought was great; I tried it but had nausea/vomiting each time so only took it for a few days; might have had some dry heaving afterwards too went back to psychiatrist to restart on lexapro and we upped it to 20mg pretty fast since my depression was so severe saw PCP who could manage this as well and wanted to taper but he didn't recommend it; I went against medical advice (yup, docs really do make the worst patients ) and waited for a few months, then planned a really slow taper myself while acquiring healthier habits like exercising again and eating a more plant-based diet; finally off of it completely in February/March 2020 May 2020 - I think that's when I started stressing again and in July/August, I hit what is now my worst level of depression. I've never had so many and such intense suicidal thoughts. This is the first time I've planned and even attempted. Each time, there was still an essence in me that wanted me to live so here I am. I've also been experiencing a high level of anxiety and what felt like a slow long burning panic attack and panic attacks. I've never had any of this before. I started seeing a new therapist who at first suggested and then strongly urged me to go back on lexapro. I luckily had 1 more refill left on the medication so I didn't have to find a new doctor as I just moved to a new area. Placebo effect or perhaps being back on an SSRI which the body was so used to must be strong because I felt better the first day after I took my first pill. It's still been hard but a lot better too. I've created and been able to stick to a system of getting out of bed and exercising. This time, I've kept more detailed track of my medication and tonight should be day 20 of taking it. I have a pretty immediate question though. I read through the post on whether now is a good time to taper or not and I'm undecided on where I fit. While I am going through a tough transition right now, underemployed and currently interviewing for a better job that will certainly bring back some small level of PTSD since there will be some medical practice involved, I also am "young" in starting this new trial of lexapro so I want to quit while I'm "ahead." I am hopeful I will get this new job and even if I don't, either way will be stressful because I'll either have to learn a new position or I'll have to apply for more jobs (each job search and application leads me to panic attacks and shutting down completely). Perhaps it's better I stay on the medication so I don't even have to worry about withdrawing/relapsing again. Ugh, I'm so confused and lost. I hate this and I feel like ever since I started on medications, I've lost my previous ability level to cope. It's like my emotional pain threshold is lower. Perhaps it's because I have a diagnosis to fall back on and instead of seeing things as just another life stressor or bump in the road, I'm conditioned to see it as another relapse. I don't know. Frustrated and annoyed and hate meds.
  12. Hello everybody. I was referred to this forum after trying to find answers about my problem on other websites for almost a year now. To somewhat quickly sum up my story. I was put on psych meds at 16 after a breakdown related to OCD. I am not sure how long I have been on Lexapro, but probably since around 2013/2014. I first started taking psych meds at 16. I was dealing with a bad APRN (who I saw for years but became worse and worse over time) who had me on 30mg of Lexapro for at least 2 to 3 years. I cannot remember how long I was on 20mg before that, and for how long. I apologize. I couldn't get a refill due to problems with my computer for an online meeting, they didn't give me enough to taper off safely (didn't even tell me to taper off or warn me about withdrawal symptoms), so I ended up having a breakdown about 3 months later, but not any cognitive issues at all. I was very paranoid and anxious, but my memory was fine along with my memory and ability to talk eloquently. I was put back on 10mg of Lexapro about 2ish weeks after the incident. I remember having a dull pain at the very top of my head for a little bit, and since that week, I've had breathing problems, sinus issues such as dryness and pain (watery mucus too, now my sinuses feel very dry recently), memory loss, brain fog, fatigue, dry mouth, chest pains, face/neck pains and a warm/tingling feeling on the left side of my face (sometimes numbness too), vomiting, throbbing headaches, high blood pressure (this has mainly gone away I think, could have been from withdrawal) jaw stiffness (my teeth would clench subconsciously while awake, that's gone away) and ear ringing. I also now have sleep apnea. I had to immediately stop taking it again due to these issues, I lasted about a week on the new dosage. It almost feels like I had a TBI without having a TBI. I don't know if the SSRI caused it or the stress of the breakdown (was put on a psych hold) and personal family problems such as my mom getting sick with cancer that eventually killed her caused it, or both. I've been feeling like this for about 10ish months now and it's not getting any better. I have sexual dysfunction problems, emotionally I feel numb, and when I try to think deeply it feels like my brain is a stalling car. My memory is also as bad as ever, and the neck/face problems are still here, I can feel them as I'm typing this. It also feels like when I speak to people, my mouth is speaking faster than my brain can think. This is something very new, and it causes me to stutter/not talk as eloquently as I used to. I used to be very well spoken and now that's gone. I can recall events in my life/childhood, but now I can no longer remember specifics of the events, such as words said. It's very odd. I've had CT/MRI scans done of my brain and neither showed real problems. I'm seeing my PCP in September because my problems are getting worse, and I'm supposed to see a neurologist in November, and I'm thinking of asking for a qEEG, SPECT, and a nerve conduction study. I'd just like some advice on what to do to feel better. Not sure if my APRN is liable for the damage done to be or not, either, but this isn't a legal forum, so I'm not expecting any advice on that front. My former APRN, who I had gone to for years, slowly became worse and worse, and got angry at my mom at times for scheduling my appointments with my APRN. When I saw my APRN again after my breakdown/psych hold, she didn't seem to care about me going off 30mg cold turkey, her not telling me to taper off of it or warning me about the problems etc. She just put me back on 10mg, and when I had to stop taking it due to my side effects, she refused to help me any further, saying she would only see me if I saw a therapist, and even when I did, she refused to talk to me about my problems because "legally I [The APRN] can't because [The APRN] doesn't see me as a client anymore". She's the one who won't see me anymore, so I don't get it at all. She was very cold and uncaring about my mom getting sick and dying of cancer, only saying "getting a job helps with anxiety" and "Medicaid is hard to get on". It's so horribly depressing to feel like you've lost what made you, you. My memory is awful, my emotions are all over the place, I stutter sometimes now when I never used to, my cognitive thinking is awful. My voice actually sounds different to me. I don't know what's going on. My personality feels so neutered. I just want some help to get a definite answer on what's causing all of this.
  13. I suffered with undiagnosed/untreated Postpartum Depression for over a year after my first child was born. I was able to get it mostly under control with therapy, until the 3rd trimester of my second pregnancy, when the symptoms resurged and continually worsened as I approached my due date. After much research and many discussions with my therapist/OB, I finally decided to start 5mg Lexapro at 34 weeks in December 2020. Lexapro and Zoloft were my only options because I was pregnant. This was my first introduction to antidepressants, and it was incredible; it helped me so much. It pulled me out of the darkness and despair of PPD, allowed me to be fully present with my family, and helped me weather all the sleepless nights that come with having a newborn. Then, around July 2021, 6 months postpartum, I started feeling like my PPD symptoms had been slowly creeping back, so we changed my dose to 10mg. It seemed to help for a while, but after 3 months, I felt the PPD symptoms returning again. We changed my dose to 20mg in October 2021. Six weeks later, the weekend of 11/13 and 11/14/2021. I started realizing I was having intense side effects: agitation, confusion, restless legs if I sat or laid down for more than 2 minutes, rocking, hand wringing, inability to think logically from point A to point B, obsessive behaviors. I decided I needed to reduce my dose, so based on a Reddit post I saw, I was going to do a week at 17.5mg, then a week at 15mg, then a week at 12.5mg, before going down to 10mg. My reasoning was that since I wasn't going off completely, I could do a relatively quick taper. I spoke to my prescribing doctor on 11/15, and she agreed we should reduce the dose, but did not think I needed to taper because I’d only been on 20mg for 6 weeks and I wasn’t going completely off the drug. We also decided that since 10mg Lexapro wasn’t fully controlling my symptoms, we would add 150mg Wellbutrin XL. I decided to do an even shorter taper after our discussion and just did 1 day each of 17.5mg, 15mg, 12.5mg, and finally 10mg on 11/18. I took my first dose of Wellbutrin at bedtime on 11/16, and I slept better than I have in years. Also, my chronic pain was incredibly low on 11/17 - I could move almost like a normal person! I was so hopeful and excited for the future. Then on 11/19 I was officially told my chronic pain/chronic illness diagnosis - non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, so I started sulfasalazine on 11/20. That day I felt emotionally unstable, cried frequently, had severe depression, and had some loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. I thought I was having side effects from the sulfasalazine so I discontinued it. I felt mostly normal on 11/21 and most of the day on 11/22. Then at 6pm on 11/22, I started having nausea and depression symptoms. And it just kept getting worse until I vomited at 8:30p and 10:30p. I couldn’t get out of bed but I couldn’t sleep. My list of symptoms started rapidly increasing: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, muscle cramps, sensitivity to light and sound, tinnitus, depression, crying, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, confusion. I decided to take 15mg of Lexapro on 11/23 to see if it would help my symptoms. I don’t know why; I just thought it was the right thing to try. Slowly, over the next 5 hours, my symptoms started to lessen in intensity. I was able to go feed the baby and go to a doctor’s appointment, but I could still barely eat. At the doctor’s office I saw a PA because my doc was out of town for the thanksgiving holiday, and he seemed confused by my assessment that I was having SSRI withdrawals, almost as though he’d never heard of it, though he seemed to have experience with antidepressants. Regardless, he was supportive and called in 60 tablets of 10mg Lexapro to help me do a bit of a taper. His recommendation was to stay at 15mg until the Wellbutrin is at full effectiveness (~3 weeks from now), and then drop to 10mg. I don’t think I’ll be doing that. I also got an appointment with a psychiatrist for 1/12/2022. I’m hoping I can get some liquid prescribed by her to help me taper down to 10mg more slowly. Last night (11/23) I finally was able to get a mostly good night of rest, and I actually felt sort of hungry this morning (11/24). I was able to get out of bed and feed the baby on my own. I have hope that I’ll be able to get through this. My questions right now are: Am I on the right path? Did I catch the withdrawal symptoms and increase my dose early enough to hopefully avoid most of the long term withdrawal side effects? About how long should I hold at 15mg before trying to taper down again? I do think I’m having some of the high dose side effects (like restless legs) again at 15mg, so I don’t think it’s sustainable long term, but I can probably hold out until my psych appointment in January. I’m so grateful I found this community. Any advice or experience you can share with me would help me so much.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. I took lexparo for 1.5 years, I quit taking it regularly a few months ago and started break my 10 mg into 5 mg every other day, [ I know] =/. Then when I attempted to take 10, had a bad reaction , burning allover, quit entirely 11 days ago. my doctor knows, I have an appointment on Monday to discuss what now, I started messing with my dosage because for these few months prior I had alot of heart tests, and I sort of freaked out and thought my medication might be effecting my ekg. In the end, I just have a normal variant difference, with no actual heart issue. My symptoms have been, tired, light headed and sort of sad, I haven't been really bad so far and would like to ask for help in maybe keeping to this being gone from my life. I know it was unwise not to taper. Any opinions would be appreciated, especially if you've successfully cold tapered.
  17. 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.
  18. I have always been anxious, but it was manageable. Until I started working in 2000. I was 1st put on blood pressure meds (perindopril). Then around 2002 I had my 1st panic attack and was put on benzodiazepines, which I of course needed more of as time went by. Then in 2005 escitalopram was added. I managed to stop the benzodiazepines in 2007 cold turkey (severe withdrawal for about 3 months). I am still on escitalopram 10mg, but it feels like it stopped working. Reading this site I am 100% sure I should not increase the dosage and is considering tapering off, but I have seen many horror stories (although there are some succeses), so fairly scared, even though I do think the meds are not doing anything for me( may even be the reason for my sleep issues and health anxiety). I am the UK and as far as I know we only have the tablets (20mg, 10mg and 5mg). Any suggestions in how I should taper?
  19. Hello! Here is my story: Started taking Lexapro in 2012 and it really helped me to function in life during a stressful time. Decided to go off Lexapro in 2017. It was a fast taper, and I ultimately ended up staying at 5mg. Acute withdrawal symptoms were brain zaps, agitation, anxiety but they subsided after the first month, and over the course of the next 6-8 months, I slept a lot. I planned to ultimately finish the withdrawal process in the future. October 2020, I started putting a withdrawal plan together. Instead, I ended up going CT on Nov. 1 when I had a dental surgery and infection. This was an impulsive decision and a poor one. I thought that I just needed to get through the first month and then I would be okay. November 25, 2020, I got vertigo out of the blue and fainted/threw up. I thought this might have something to do with the withdrawal, so I kind of freaked out and took 2.5mgs of Lexapro. This knocked me out for 24-48 hours (headache/body aches/dizziness) and I stayed in bed. Everything checked out okay with the Doctor and when I asked if this was related to the Lexapro withdrawal, she said no, told me to throw away the pills. I received a diagnosis of Benign Positional Vertigo and was given a maneuver to do. The dizziness cleared up, it lasted 2-3 weeks Late December, work was stressful. I didn't eat really well and ended up with hives. I was taking Benadryl on and off. I took Allegra one day. There was one night the last week of the year where I didn't sleep at all and this was strange for me. Work stress seemed to be getting to me, but I pushed through. January 4, I started what was to be a month long meditation retreat at home, but something went wrong. I wasn't sleeping well, I was pushing myself, I had a lot of fear and resistance. I was crying uncontrollably. I was spinning out. By the end of the week, I decided to stop the retreat and now I'm in a very strange place. I'm super alert, anxious, fearful, tightness in my chest and I am not sleeping for more than 30 minutes at a time. I can't seem to calm down and I am not functioning well. I can't even imagine going back to work like this. Have an appointment with my Dr. tomorrow, and will try to possibly see a psychiatrist. My question - at just over 2 months out, do I try to reinstate at a very low dose of Lexapro, or should I try the sister drug Celexa (I think that is it)? I'm worried about how to present to my Doctor. I am trying to make the best of this, but am really very scared. Thank you for your time, Crochet
  20. Hello! First of all I want to thank all the beautiful heros around here, who share their storys, it helped me a lot to read the success storys again and again to stay focussed and motivated, to keep hope and not give up during the last 2,5 years. I am 35, female. Last friday I hit the 18 months mark after coming off Escitalopram for the third time in April 2020. Most people, especially professionals doubt that the physical and mental symptoms I experience are due to coming off Escitalopram and think it is all in my head. I am very exhausted of the horrible symptoms and having to fight all the time for being supported or even believed. Probably loosing my job and getting no financial support any more at the end of this month, the pressure becomes higher and higher and I am close to giving in and going back in the psychiatric system...and back on meds. I don't know what to do at the moment and hope to get some helpful advise here. Here is my whole history especially of the last about 3 years of struggling: - On holiday in Spain in 2011, while on a city tour, I had a panic attack after feeling faint. After that, I developed agoraphobia with panic attacks – something that has become manageable after psychotherapy. - Having sat the medical exam in 2012, I worked in internal medicine in a hospital setting from 2015 to 2016, with enormous workload and pressures, constant understaffing and a feeling of being out of my depth and overwhelmed while also having incredibly high expectations of myself and my care for the patients. Having reached exhaustion, the panic attacks returned 12 months into the job, and I left. - I restarted psychotherapy, and in September 2016 started taking 15mg Escitalopram (prescribed by a psychiatrist) - I stabilized quickly and took a job as an occupational GP in a very large company in November 2016. I enjoyed that job, felt valued by my colleagues and managers and did’nt feel overwhelmed. It gave me a good work-life balance, and I started volunteering at a charity offering medical support to homeless people, something I thoroughly enjoyed. I had a great relationship, supportive family and friends, enjoyed being active and sporty. - In July 2017, after about 9 months, I attempted to come off the drug, having discussed it with the psychiatrist, tapering by 5mg/ per week over 2 weeks. After that, I felt unwell, was restless, anxious and had stomach issues. The psychiatrist said this was a sign I wasn’t stable enough and 15mg Escitalopram was reinstated. I stabilized and felt better. - In summer 2018, I made a second attempt to come off the drug, but tapered much more slowly. Having reached 10mg we celebrated a beautiful wedding in August 2018, and I then reduced further to 8mg before going on honeymoon in September 2018. A couple of days later I began experiencing panic attacks again, along with exhaustion. I reduced further to 6mg, but then went back up to 15mg because I felt too bad, following psychiatrist advice. I stabilized again. - In March 2019, I attempted tapering for a third time, reducing by 5mg/week over 2 weeks, because the psychiatrist thought the slow tapering might be introducing a psychological issue that was making me feel worse. During the tapering process I started experiencing symptoms, and 3 days after I reached 0mg I was completely floored, with massive physical and mental symptoms. I was unable to work for 3 months, having never been off sick in the 2.5 years before. - There was no improvement after 6 weeks, and so after taking advice from 2 psychiatrists, I started taking the medication again – increasing the dosage by 1mg every 2 days. I had to stop that at 6mg because my symptoms became too severe. - I found a psychiatrist in Berlin who is aware of withdrawal issues, and he recommended to reduce to 2.5mg, which I did in July 2019, the aim being for me to stabilize. At that dosage, I was able to work reduced hours (20-24 hours/week), but it was a constant battle and I felt unwell all the time. - I began to think that maybe I had developed an intolerance to the medication, and so after months of no improvement, I began to taper off it again, following the Horowitz-paper, and reaching 0mg in April 2020. The symptoms got continuously worse as I tapered and got more severe when I reached 0mg. I have been unable to return to work since July 2020. This is a list of my symptoms – although their intensity and the range I may be experiencing on any given day varies. While I never experienced all of them, I haven’t felt “normal” or really well. - autonomic dysregulation: stomach and gut issues (nausea, reflux, stomach cramps, abdominal tension, gut-hyperperistaltic, flatulence and many more), incontinence (in 2019, I wet myself 3 times during the night), difficulty breathing, orthostatic dysregulation, palpitations/irregular heartbeats, sweating - adrenalin rushes/overstimulation of the autonomic nervous system, even smallest stimuli can lead to a fight and flight response - emotional dysregulation: crying fits, extreme mood swings, overwhelming emotions - extreme anxiety: general, agoraphobic, social, paranoia (can’t stand someone walking behind me, feel observed and judged all the time) - depressive symptoms: feeling extremely down, hopeless, desperate, coming and going randomly - myalgia (legs, back, neck, shoulders, arms, whole body) - neuralgia (toes, fingers, earlobes, shoulders, neck…) - headache, neuropathic face, jaw and toothache - abdominal pain - tingling paresthesia (legs, neck, head) - trouble regulating temperature (very sensitive to heat or cold, feeling very hot, shivering with cold), hot flushes, hot skin and feet - extreme sweats at night - trouble swallowing - extreme sensitivity to light, sound, movement and smells, quickly overwhelmed with sensory input, driving or cycling has become difficult, often impossible - dizziness, vertigo - vivid dreams, horrible nightmares, oversleeping - restlessness, agitation - panic, flush, palpitaions, sweating, muscleache in the morning - eye-issues (trouble focusing, burning, dry feeling) - ear-issues (pain, sore feeling) - issues with perception (flickering lights, colour distortion, static items appear to be moving, the floor goes blurry, sounds where there are none) - depersonalisation, derealisation - extreme exhaustion, lack of energy and strength - brain fog, confusion, desorientation, like being on a drug (not off) - cognitive issues with memory, concentration, finding or writing words, reading, understanding - flu-like symptoms - trouble regulating stress (feel overwhelmed quickly) - trouble calming my thoughts, very intense, ruminating thoughts, interrupting cognition - flashbacks (to all kinds of situations, some totally banale) - travel sickness Trigger that provoke/intensify symptoms: - stimuli of any kind, such as light, sound, movement, noice - multitasking - driving (also being a passenger) - eating - physical activity (exercise almost impossible and has been for months, but even walks or getting dressed can overstimulate the autonimic nervous system and lead to a fight and flight response) - screen time - reading - being on the phone - music - conversation, especially talking myself - being in the sun - period and ovulation - social contact of any kind - napping during the day Of course, there have been issues in my life along the way, if that was not the case I would not have started taking Escitalopram in 2016. I struggle with anxiety, but it is something I am addressing. What I have been living through for the last 2,5 years does not compare to anything I have previously experienced, and most of the symptoms I experience I never experienced before I started to take the SSRI. The anxiety I feel since tapering is extreme, complete terror. It is, to be honest, hell. Since April 2020, it has got worse, and I alternate between days where I can cope and do things like take care of the household, go for walks or go to the supermarket, to days where I have to rest a lot, and days where I am house- and bedbound for most of the day. I have found nothing that eases the symptoms, having tried a whole range of things from homeopathy and acupuncture to food supplements (fish oil, magnesium). I meditate daily, do Yin Yoga a number of times a week, eat healthy, don’t drink alcohol or have caffeine, and try to walk out in the fresh air whenever possible. I sleep and rest plenty, but nothing has led to a lasting easing of the symptoms so far. I have had a neurological checkup, including an MRI, have had my bloods and heart checked, all results were great. After all this time, I can’t help but feel huge doubt whether the path I have chosen – accept and hang in there – is the right one. I was convinced I could live without the drug, but 3 years of fighting coming off and the intensity of the symptoms have taken me to the edge of what I can suffer through. My goal to lead a normal life feels a very long way off. I am terrified that I have misjudged this and overestimated my mental health and am questioning myself and my decisions constantly. I am hoping that with your experience, you can give me your objective assessment of whether this indeed is withdrawal, and if I am right in that, if there is anything that might help with the symptoms or move the healing process forward. Thank you in advance from my deep heart for your time and advice. 🙏
  21. Hi all, I have been a lurker on this forum for a while and I think it’s finally time I tell my story as I’m started to get very scared. I underwent gallbladder surgery in October 2020. I always was an over thinker and an anxious person but it never affected my life. I started to develop a little bit of health anxiety due to the surgery and I also found out from having gallstones that I had an ovarian cyst (it eventually went) so I became stressed about my health. My surgery went really well but I was stressed about blood clots afterwards etc. And I noticed I developed shortness of breath. At first I thought it was from the surgery and it went away about a week later. It then came back again (after I convinced myself that my cyst had returned) and I started to panic thinking something was truly wrong. After a trip to the GP and then to hospital to undergo tests I was told it was anxiety. I actually didn’t believe it at the time as I have never experienced any sort of physical symptoms associated with anxiety. I had asked my doctor for a Xanax to test this theory but instead she prescribed me lexapro 10mg for a month. I took the prescription but decided I wouldn’t take it just yet. However over the weekend I became so fixated on my SOB that I couldn’t leave the house and started to get really sad panicked about it not going. I decided I would start taking lexapro. Looking back I wish I had never even taken that step but little did I know what would happen. the first two days I was a complete zombie and my mam told me to cut the pill in half to 5mg. So for 6 weeks I was on 5mg. I had the first week of horrible flu like symptoms but a week in I got the worst heightened anxiety. My time on lexapro was absolutely horrendous (with the odd few days of feeling great from time to time) and I kept sticking it out to the 6 week mark as I kept telling myself and reading things that suggested that i just needed to adjust to it. I ended up getting depressive crying episodes on it and I just said enough is enough. My SOB actually did go but that was after I found out my cyst was completely gone and I had nothing to worry about. I went to my gp and see agreed i quit and told me to drop to 2.5mg for 2 weeks. Because I had 2 weeks off work and I knew I would have some sort of withdrawals I quit a little earlier after 10 days. Looking back I should have quit more slowly but I just thought I had only been on them 6 weeks. the first 2 days off were fine. I felt no different. Then the feeling of on edge hit and feeling so nervous. This feeling of heightened anxiety I had experienced throughout taking lexapro. The first 2 weeks were awful and I felt very depressed. The next week it got better and then I hit a slump again. Some symptoms have come and gone, some have lingered. I now know what’s been happening is the waves and windows. My windows recently had been a lot better from my symptoms becoming manageable to feeling nearly 100% with the odd symptom here or there. Recently because my windows had been so great I thought I was getting out of it. The past few days I am having a wave. The thing about this wave is mentally I’m just exhausted. The past few weeks in my waves I was still rational and had hope and even when I was crying in despair it would only be for a few minutes and I’d be back to being rational. This time I’m having negative thoughts about never getting better and scared and really fearful for my future ( job, losing people). I wouldn't say I am suicidal but sometimes I have scary thoughts about not being able to get through the days or overcome this. Now I feel like it’s consuming me and I just need some reassurance. I’m scared that maybe it’s not withdrawal and that maybe its just me and I need to get help for it before it gets worse. I feel like I can’t reinstate because I was never myself on this drug and I fear it is the cause behind all of this. I am going to CBT and she has suggested that between the trauma of surgery and adverse affects from getting on lex and coming off of it my whole nervous system is oversensitised which would make sense I guess. basically my symptoms right now are tingling arms and shoulders, jolts at night where I am about to fall sleep and get jolted awake, negative thoughts, pins and needles in my legs and feet, thumping heart and the worst one is this deep emotional sadness in my chest that becomes so overwhelming that I end up having crying spells. The sadness and the constant crying spells are the worst and with that comes the negative thoughts. Im just so scared that I won’t be able to get though this. I was only on lexapro for 6 weeks for crying out loud and at such a low dose. I literally looking back didn’t even need it. I was never this type of person before lexapro. I was such a happy person. I had never experienced depression. EVER. None of the symptoms I have now I ever had before lex. I just feel like it’s never ending. I just want my life back and to stop crying. I haven’t felt fully myself consistently since my surgery back at the beginning of October. I am now coming up to 3 months off. any success stories are most welcome.
  22. I am a 33 year old mother of 3 and it has been 2.5 months since my last dose of escitalopram. So many downs with a few ups. I wake up with extreme anxiety. Fear of death and dying for me and my family. I have so many physical symptoms I feel like a hypochondriac. I've had stomach pain side pain, neck pain, knee pain, and hand pain these go away occasionally and then come back. Constant fatigue, dizziness, brain zaps, and headaches. My palpitations have calmed down a bit. I am able to sleep I think that is my saving grace though all this. I try to walk 30 minutes on my treadmill most days and then I'm too wiped out to do much else. I'm on long term disability for some other health problems I don't think it would be possible for me to work as an RN in any capacity. I feel like I lost complete faith and confidence in my ability to do much of anything anymore. I'm just hoping things will get better.
  23. Hi everyone, I started to take AD in Jan 2019 further to what was diagnosed as a burn-out. My symptoms were mostly insomnia ahead of anything which was out of a quiet routine. For instance, planning to see a friend or planning a week end with family or friends. It was just too much and that would stress me out and impossible to go to sleep until the event would go away. Had other symptoms like some pains etc... These insomnias had started back in 2016. After putting my life on order (sold my business , sought divorce which went rather peacefully with ex-wife, and a few years of therapy which still continues) in November 2020 started to reduce escitalopram to 5mg from 10mg and that was fine, did not see much difference at all. Had ups and downs but big up from June to july 2021 still on escitalopram 5mg so from August decided to taper every other day. September I was fine so psychatrist advised to switch to 5mg every 3 days. Then september 2 stressors came up, one of which was a crush which was short-lived but nonetheless disturbing. Rollecoaster emotions for 3 weeks and then felt depressed and anxious and felt like something I had not experienced before. Had to end the relationship. Would be curious on what you guys think and whether this is withdrawal symptoms or too much emotions causing these depressing and anxiety symptoms? I am back not to escitalopram 5mg every other day and might increase more before tapering but much slower. Also I still feel emotionally sensitive and still experience insomnia ahead of some event when there is some kind of commitment. I think burn out is very long to overcome and even though I feel my body has recovered somewhat, I am still very vulnerable to emotions. I can still afford not to work (since nov 2020) and rest more but tend to want to do new things everytime I feel better which bottom line is not helping as impairing the healing. Thank you for reading and your thoughts are welcome!
  24. Hello, I was taking Escitalopram for 2.7 months (including taper) at 5mg, so the lowest dose, i tapered off in a couple weeks and had no noticeable withdrawals like brain zaps etc. I started taking it for anxiety i had about my body and just general low moods. In the beginning it was amazing, i almost felt euphoric during the time on it for a while although i felt emotional blunting and things just didn't feel that good to do which i assume is anhedonia, i stayed on it as it absolutely helped me feel calm about mostly everything which i did like at the time. My sex drive was decreased but not by all that much. I got off it as i couldn't deal with the emotional blunting any longer. I've now been off it for 4 months and the past couple weeks i seem to be just getting worst and worst with no end in sight. It wasn't untill about 2 months after stopping where my sex drive literally disappeared overnight and seems to be getting worst as time goes on which is called PSSD. as well as the emotional blunting, cognitive issues, memory problems and Anhedonia which got 100x worst than when i was on the meds. another concern i have is a blank mind which is exactly how it sounds, nothing really goes on inside my head anymore, even "thinking" has become sometimes impossible. I just feel this flat/neutral feeling about everything where i just cant "feel" anything no matter how hard i try, complete apathy with no desire to really do anything anymore. I would have never got on this drug if i knew there was a possibility to be ridded of all my emotions. I go through the days just feeling like a complete zombie now and there just doesn't seem to be an end in sight when everyday feels the same if not worst than the day before. Sleep is also terrible since being on and off lexapro. Its taking me forever to fall asleep no matter how tired i feel and waking up in the morning NEVER feels restful. I'm groggy and tired regardless of hours slept. Sleep feels very shallow now. I know im probably not thinking correctly in my state but i have read MANY stories of people with similar symptoms and see years have gone by and they still dont feel completely like they were before the meds and that just makes me feel like there is no hope for me. I cant live like this, it would be utter pointless being in existence with how i feel. Its not even depression, Its a complete absence of the human experience and i feel like a robot with no emotions. I was also on lexapro same 5mg dose for a couple weeks in 2017. Come off from i remember the emotional numbness but i went back to normal fairly quickly from what i can remember. WILL i recover?
  25. Gridley


    In 1986 I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, 75 mg Imipramine PM, to slow bowel function and to relieve pain resulting from ulcerative colitis. I was also put on 1 mg Lorazepam. In 1991 I went CT off both the Imipramine and the Lorazepam, resulting in a terrible colitis flare-up. After a few months I reinstated with success. However, these medications, and everything else I did for the colitis ceased work about three years ago, and in January, 2015, I underwent surgery to remove my colon and replace with an internal J-pouch, which cured the colitis. But that left me with the 30-year-long Imipramine situation. In January, 2016, I began tapering the Imipramine 10% every three weeks, which went fine until I got down to 19 mg, then 12 mg, at which point I began experiencing severe anxiety as well as dizziness. Realizing I had tapered too quickly, I updosed to 25 mg a month ago but have not as yet stabilised at this dose, as I am still experiencing considerable anxiety as well as insomnia. Until September 23, my tapers were approximate percentages as I hadn't yet bought a scale. I use the supplements Theanine and Nature's Balance Happy Camper to help with the anxiety, along with magnesium glycinate. It's only been a month, but I'm a little worried that I am never going to stabilise at 25 mg. In 2004, due to depression, I was put on a succession of SSRIs, in addition to the Imipramine, including Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. Lexapro 20 mg seemed to finally work and I remain on it at this time. In 2011 I was prescribed 1 mg Lorazepam for insomnia, now 1.5 mg.
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