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  1. Hi all, In 2013 I received the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I started having therapy for the first time in my life - I was 23 then. I've been anxious through my teens and early adulthood, and also suffered from bouts of low mood, but did not think much of it - I thought it was just how I was. In 2013 because I was at a particularly bad phase in college, I went to a psychiatrist through which I started taking 20mg Lexapro (I take the generic - Escitalopram). Everything improved a lot. Anxiety greatly reduced, mood also better, more drive to do stuff. And basically no side effects. So I kept taking it religiously, and basically forgot about it. About 3 years later, it started to bug me that I was taking a drug to keep myself mentally stable. I knew nothing about how bad the withdrawals from this type of drug were, and I felt good, so I just cold turkey'd - 20 to 0. You can imagine how this goes. After some days I was hit by what I thought was the worst flu I had ever had. I could not leave bed. That was odd. Didn't think just stopping that drug would cause that, as the effect of the drug is pretty much non-noticeable (it's not like taking a benzo where you feel drowsy and so on) and you just feel pretty much like the normal you. Either way, just to be safe I went back on the 20mg and all the symptoms disappeared after some time and again I did not think much about it anymore. I think I attempted cold turkeying again after some time just to experience exactly the same symptoms. So I thought "alright, this really is the Lexapro, not a flu". From then on I started being more uncomfortable for taking the Lexapro. Here's this drug that apparently makes me feel stable, but I stop taking it and I'm completely wrecked. This doesn't feel right. So in 2018 I started a slow tapper, or at least what I considered a slow tapper. I was reducing around 2.5mg every month or every other month. I was going linearly - no percentage reduction. That was the logical thing for me to do as my doctor never told me about the liquid form of Lexapro and with the tablets available where I live it's impossible to do a precise lower division lower than 2.5mg. Throughout the tapper I felt what I now acknowledge as withdrawal symptoms, but again I did not think much of it. I was in a difficult life situation, living abroad and always extremely stressed, so I thought the life situation was what was causing that. In May 2019, I was down to already 2.5mg. Not feeling that well, but that was such a low dose that I thought it was insignificant and dropped to zero. This overlapped with a break-up and with starting a job that was really quite demanding. That's when I got into hell. I started waking up at night with panic attacks. In the morning my arms and legs were burning - I felt the anxiety burning my body. I just wanted to leave my body and my mind, that feeling was just too unbearable. Crying non-stop, huge feelings of rage - I just wanted to destroy stuff and just felt this huge urge sometimes to beat up anyone that did something even mildly annoying (and mind that I've always been quite a controled person - this was not at all me). I also had muscle spasms, couldn't digest anything properly and lost a bunch of weight. I had never been so thin in my life. That's when I started thinking I had to have something serious in my brain - I even forgot about the Lexapro then - I thought I was developing a neurological disease. This person was not me. My psychiatrist had tried to put me on other antidepressants - Fluvoxamine and Mirtazapine. None of them worked. Then I was put back on the Lexapro (only 10mg). And I wasn't seeing much improvement on my state. I started becoming suicidal. I did not want to go through the realization that I had a disease that would invalidate me for the rest of my days. I was going to doctor after doctor, doing exam after exam, and they didn't seem to find anything wrong which left me feeling even more helpless. I thought that was never going to end. I started thinking every day about suicide. That's all I thought about. I just could not bear that reality. That's when I told my parents - "I need to be checked in at the hospital. I won't last much longer like this." So I was checked in at the hospital. Even the doctors who checked me in did not believe I was in such a bad state - I guess even in that state I kept my composure. I spent 2 weeks there, in what was the most horrible experience of my life. The people there were for sure much worse than I was - most of them had even lost touch with reality. But deep down I know this was the experience I needed to snap out of it. While I was there the doctor who was supervising me increased my Lexapro dose to 20mg. I became reeeaally sleepy after that. Just as I had become the first time I went into 20mg back in 2013. By then I still did not believe I did not have a horrifying disease. It was really hard to believe this was coming just from a psychological source. And it took quite long for me to become convinced that was the case. The months right after the hospital were tough. I was sleeping a lot - around 12 hours a day. Very, very slowly things started improving. Too slowly for me to even notice a difference. But little by little I started sleeping less, recovered my appetite, some days even saw a glimpse of contentment. At some point I was feeling good more often than I was feeling bad. I started exercising every day, having psychotherapy twice a week, taking supplements, getting sun light, meditating. Everything I could do to improve, I did. Around April of this year, I was already entering a pretty stable stage. Some days I still had energy and mood breaks which I had no idea where they came from and were pretty demotivating - now I realize they are likely something akin to the "waves" that I've seen mentioned here at SA. I also still had some lingering symptoms such as some vague leg pain here and there, as well as teeth pain. But those bad days and lingering symptoms started becoming more and more rare. So for some months I was doing really good. Feeling drive and contentment with life. Optimistic. Last month I had an appointment with my psychiatrist, and as I really want to be med-free he suggested that I attempted a new reduction again. At first he suggested me to drop to 15mg, but I thought it was better to go first down to 17.5mg instead. And that's the dosage I'm at right now. The reduction was not that large, but I can for sure feel the withdrawals - even though I know the reduction was larger than the 10% recommended here at SA - my next drops I will follow that guidance. After the drop to 17.5mg, I started having more of those down days. Also the days right afterwards I had rebound anxiety, which has already disappeared. Some days my energy and mood breaks. And I'm more irritable, less drive, etc. Also those lingering pains I mentioned are back sometimes. Furthermore, I feel like I can't train at the gym at the same level I did - even though my body weight and composition is exactly the same as it was before the drop to 17.5mg, I feel significantly less strength some days. So for now I will stick with cardio. Now I know much better than I did in the past and will wait to fully stabilize from the current withdrawal until I attempt another reduction. I am also building a sauna at my place, which I have read has many benefits for mood, so that's another resource I will have to deal with the tapering process. Hope this post can be useful for someone.
  2. Looking for some advice on what I should do with my Escitalopram (technically taking Escitalopram but Lexapro is easier to remember so I'm using that a lot here) dosage.. Made a lot of mistakes last week. Basically I'm a short-term Klonopin user (3 months total) who had a very rough time getting off of it. I had very extreme anxiety and burning sensations where I was basically limited to a couch. I was taking it as needed, and didn't realize I was putting myself through inter-dose withdrawals every few days. Doctor said it was my anxiety returning, and then I ended up on Lexapro because of that which made me take more Klonopin. Thankfully I found this forum else I would be in an even worse place with no hope. I tapered off the Klonopin roughly 1 month ago and I felt great for 3 weeks after. However, I'm pretty sure I've screwed up my withdrawal from Klonopin or my Lexapro taper or both. I'm hoping for a second opinion to guide me in what I should do next. Long story short I knew much better but I drank alcohol only 3 weeks after jumping off Klonopin and while fast-tapering Lexapro. I tried alcohol 1 night, thought I got away with it. And got excited to feel normal again and then drank a few more times over the week 1 or 2 drinks a night. Never felt bad the next day. Roll around to last Monday. I had a dentist visit for a cavity and received novocaine (or something like it, I don't know what they gave). A few hours after the novocaine I started getting some returning anxiety. I thought nothing of it, until the next morning I woke up feeling like I was going back into acute benzo withdrawal with extreme anxiety again. I've now been in this state for 5 days. At first I blamed myself for drinking and the novocaine, but now I've realized I've tried to taper my Lexapro too fast as well. I dropped from 9mg to basically 3mg in about a month. I know the 10% rule, I guess I just felt invisible since I was dropping fast and was a short-termer (1 month or so on 10mg when I started tapering) and seeing no withdrawal effects. My questions: 1) Is Lexapro withdrawal as anxiety intense as benzo withdrawal? Or do they feel the same? I have severe burning in my back / neck /arms and basically either sit in a ball, lay down, or have to pace the house. 2) Given that I definitely tapered Lexapro too fast, what amount of Lexapro should I updose to, to start over @ the 10% every month? If I should be updosing at all. Right now I have a pretty bad headache from going up today. I feel like I'm making all sorts of mistakes trying to fix this problem since the anxiety is pretty unbearable and unlike my previous withdrawal a few weeks ago it lasts all day with basically no windows. Any help is appreciated. I left my complete notes below. But if they need to be improved let me know. 5/24 - Started .5mg - 1 Klonopin as needed 7/20 - Started Lexapro 5mg (still on Klonopin) 7/27 - Lexapro 10mg 8/5 - Started tapering Klonopin stabilizing on a daily dose of .25mg 8/17 - Jumped at .065 (fast taper... but it seemed to work) 8/17 - Lexapro to 9mg (time to get rid of the next drug..) 8/29 - Lexapro to 6.5mg from 9mg (probably too fast but I had only been on Lexapro for a month so I felt like I could get away with it) 9/8-9/13 - Had alcohol all week sporadically (1 to 2 drinks) because I was feeling so much better. I tested with 1 drink, got away with it, and just kind of got excited.. ugh 9/13 - Lexapro was down to 2.78mg (so 8/29-9/13 6.5 to 2.78mg) way too fast I know. 9/14 - Had a dentist appointment, received probably Novocaine 9/14 - Had mild anxiety in the afternoon after Novocaine wore off 9/15 - Feels like I'm starting back into acute benzo withdrawal 9/16 - Definitely very back into acute something, feels like Benzo withdrawal with extreme feeling of anxiety and burning sensation on skin, doing laps around the house. 9/17 - Updosed Lexapro to 3.9mg 9/19 - Updosed Lexapro more to 4.46mg
  3. Fightinghard

    Fightinghard: overcoming

    Hello everyone- my story began in early April when coronavirus was just shutting everything down. The quick story is I have a history of anxiety that I managed with exercise(gym)and diet, etc. When everything shut down, my anxiety went through the rough and my coping mechanisms were all hampered. I had a panic attack. My sleep was suffering. A good friend is a pcp and I reached out to her on a Saturday (April18) for help and she started me on Zoloft 100mg and buspar 10mg 2 x a day. My initial 2 days of buspar were actually only 5 mg total per day. At her request, I followed up with my pcp that Monday April 20. This PCP was new to me as mine had retired. Anyway, my sleep actually got worse when I started the meds. My PCP added trazadone 50mg as needed To help with sleep. I took that on april 20 but it did nothing so I called my new pcp on Tuesday April 21. I told her what happened and I asked could the Zoloft be affecting my sleep? I told her I had taken it at night and maybe that was the issue. Her answer was probably not and I needed to relax. She switched me to lexapro at that point. So I started 5 mg of lexapro April 22nd. she also added ambien. I took ambien for 3 nights total. I also tried trazadone maybe 2 more times as well in April. i switched my care to a psych NP as I thought it made sense. Starting in May 1st I was upped to 10 mg of lexapro. It was in May I started to think the meds were the root of my sleep issue. I was having a completely different sleep pattern than when I started the meds. Before meds it was more I couldn’t fall asleep. After meds it was I could stay asleep and it was very light sleep. So decided to taper off buspar for about a week where I took 5 mg 2x a day. I finished taking it on May 27. June 1 I asked my psych NP to come off the lexapro. He recommended I cut down to 5 mg. I did this for 2.5 weeks and at that appointment my psych NP told me I could stop. I decided to cut down to 2.5 mg for 1 week and then 1.25 for 9 days. I came off on July 4. April 18-Zoloft 100mg and 20 mg buspar April 20- trazadone 50mg April 21 - change to ambien 2.5 mg April 22- started lexapro 5 in place of zoloft April 25- stopped ambien April 27,28- tried trazadone 50 mg But stopped May 1- Lexapro 10 mg May 18- buspar reduced to 5 mg 2 x a day May 27- stopped buspar June 1- lexapro reduced to 5 mg June 3-5- trazadone - when I realized it was an SSRI I stopped. June 18- lexapro 2.5 mg June 25 - lexapro 1.25 mg July 4 - off My current withdrawal pattern seems to have windows and waves. My sleep quality seems better but duration fluctuates. Typically I sleep 4-5 hours then have a hard time falling asleep. Occasionally I have fallen back to sleep and I’ll get 7-8 hours total which is encouraging. I was having nightmares, vivid dreams and some very light sleep but that seems better. I’ve had some days with depression, anxiety, joint pains, brain fog, memory issues, ruminating thoughts, GI issues, weakness and fatigue. Things seem to fluctuate. Yesterday was a good day. I felt tired but almost normal. Today not so much. So I’m thinking waves and windows? Supplements: omega 3 1000 mg 3x a day magnesium glycinate 400-600 mg melatonin 1 mg vitamin C 1000 mg probiotics i walk 4-5 miles per day. any thoughts? thanks!
  4. Hello all. I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg for heart palpitations and blood pressure. Never struggled with anxiety but the cardiologist determined my heart rate issues were from anxiety and I even argued with him over it and his reply was that my heart was anxious. So I attempted the Lexapro as the palpitations were uncomfortable. 3 hours after taking the first dose I had my first ever panic attack. Kept having panic attacks upon waking and started having bad anxiety. Stopped the lexapro after a week. It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve been off the lexapro. The anxiety is bad still. It’s interfering with my work and life. I have moments I feel like I’m going to pass out and get really dizzy. I’m 26 and have been married for a year. I was loving my life and now I don’t feel happiness towards much of anything. My husband is out of town for work and so I’m living with my mother because I don’t even care enough to take care of my dog and cat whom I love more than anything. I loved my job and was saving for a house, now the idea of going to work makes me anxious and the idea of being off work makes me equally as anxious. How long until I get back to normal?
  5. Hi good people🙂 Sten from Norway here. Living outside Oslo, am 59 years old, and have 2 kids ( 24 and 27). English is not my native language, so please bear with me. I have always been a very senitive person and did grow up in a familiy with 5 brothers. I am nr 3. My father was struggling with mental issues, and my mother was a emotional distant person. Not much comfort and love there. I got meningites age 10 and almost died, but came back. When I started to get anxiety problems ehan I wast 18-19 years, my father took med to his doctor to get this fantastic pills. That is where my Paxil period started. I was using them for many years, while studying, but still had a lot of problems with anxiety. Worked with som psycoterapists, but it did not help much. After 10 years I was told that it was a new drug that wast much better, and I started with Seroxat. It is hard for me to remember how long iI did use them, and how many times I managed to stay off, but in 2001 and managed to quit. I then started on a acupuncture education, much because I thought it could save me from the drugs and help with my anxiety. Ii was hard, and I also had a wife that never understood my problems, so in 2012 my GP said it was best if I started with Cipralex, that was sooo much better than Seroxat. I used them for 5 years, felt totally numb, flat, did not feel anything. I then tried to taper and quit, went through hell, so my brothers that also use Cipralex convinced me to restart. That was the worst month in my life. Then after attending av Joe Dispenza workshop in Scotland I decided to try quitting again. I tapered down from march to September, and tomorrow it is one year without any drugs. What is special is that I was allowed to move in to the acupuncture school where I had been a student 15 years ago. After I quit I have had a lot of Acupuncture treatments, with focus on cleansing my blood, reduce stress and strengthen my Water energy. This is where fear and anxiety is signals of imbalance. I have had tinnitus for 20 years, and also Insomnia during this winter. It really did help with liquid melatonin from the health food store. I also take Ashwagandha - an ayurvedic supplement, and also Vit D, Ginko Biloba, and after reading this site, I have started with Milk Thistle, Vit B Complex and Fish Oil. Have had a lot of muscle pain, and it is so good to read that many of you have the same. I am optimistic, and must say it is interesting to start feeling again, having all kind of emotions and my kids tell me that I am much calmer and nice to be with. I hope that I can manage the coming waves, and also that I can enjoy the windows. Sending love and good energy from now colder Norway.
  6. hi all my name is Miguel and i have a question about Lexapro here is the medication I took and the time lines Sertraline 50 mg on 5/10/15 and took Trazodona, 150 mg then i stopped continued on sertraline Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15 on 6/6/16 I went to 100 mg Sertraline then 03-10-2016 i changed to Escitalopram, 20 mg and Xanax 0.5 and took it until i stopped on 28/5/2017 by my own bad mistake I did a super fast tampering of 20 15 10 5 0 in 1 mouth ^^ and i whent back on it on 7/08/2017 owe my one whit out saying to the doctor but i am now at 10 mg and i have an appointment whit a psychiatrist and gonna ask him to taper me off slowly But I am afraid that cuz i started whit 16 almost 17 y old that it's gone be hard or that I am hooked for life I did cold turkey and i wasn't dat bad until it all hit me at once ty for your help i will be posting regulary about my situation Love you all Miguel
  7. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Frogie: W/D from Xanax am new here as you can see. I need help!! I'm hoping someone can help me get off 10 mg Lexapro. Every time I try to drop to even 9mg, I end up sick to my stomach. I go back up to 10mg and am still sick to my stomach. I have no other symptoms. In my profile is all my information, I don't know how to get it to the bottom of this page. I'm not very good on the computer. Sorry
  8. angelicus

    Angelicus: intro

    Hello all, Let me first say that finding this site (mentioned on Dr. Brogan's own site) has been incredible! I've been scrolling through a bit last night and today and finally thought to make an intro. Here's a history. In 2017 I experienced a panic attack on a flight back to school. Was out late drinking the night before, had some fast food at the airport. Took a nap at the beginning of the flight. Woke up feeling quite odd, shooting sensation up my left arm, heart was beating like crazy, thought it was a heart attack. Luckily, there was a doctor on the flight (he said it was a panic attack) and another passenger had Klonopin, so the rest of the flight was just about getting me calm. Not fun. After we landed I went to the ER to see if it was anything with my heart, all was well. Next few weeks was constantly on edge, worried I was going to have another attack. Then one morning I woke up with some derealization. Again, had no idea what was going on at all. Went to the ER maybe a few days later, was given some ativan, doctor told me it was just high anxiety. A few months later (after I graduated), I went to my PCP and told him about my derealization symptons, to which he promptly prescribed me lexapro (10mg). Since this was a long time ago I'm not sure how I exactly took it at first, I think I started only taking 5mg to start and then worked my way up to 10mg. Don't recall any terrible side effects besides maybe just feeling "odd." Derealization didn't fully go away, Doctor prescribed me with 20 mg. However, I kept only taking 10mg (I don't know why, maybe some intuition?). Anyways, the derealization eventually went away after I drove back to school for my master's program (a 12 hour drive, quite on edge for the first hour or two!). I kept taking the lexapro throughout the year. Things were fine, but again I'm really not sure whether it was the lexapro or just my brain being fine with the derealization being over. Anyways, that summer, I was having some sleeping problems (caused by the lexapro, in my view), and I went to see a psychiatrist and she prescribed me klonopin (a neighbor gave me some one night after I told him about lexapro issues). Was prescribed 0.5mg. After finishing my master's that summer, I went to another school to get another master's (overkill, lol), and was running out of klonopin so I was naturally worried I wouldn't be able to sleep. Went to school doc who prescribed me the klonopin and referred me to a psychiatrist. Continued on this (intermittently, I could go a month or so without it and be okay) and the lexapro for the whole 2018-2019 school year. Took 20mg of lexapro for a month or two but it was too much and went back down to 10mg. I was pretty consistent with my doses of lexapro, though occasionally would miss a few (and would avoid taking it some nights I knew I was going to drink; I never drank on klonopin). In January of this year, I decided, without the advice of my psychiatrist (imprudently, I know) to taper myself off the medication. I believe it was a quicker taper (my memory is just so hazy). Went from 10mg to 5mg for a bit, then just managed to stop. Same with klonopin, started to take only .25mg and then just stopped when I ran out. The withdrawal was real, and I wish I tapered more carefully, but I was just in such a rush to get off the meds. Went through a strong depression for 1-2 weeks after stopping, but tried to eat a lot healthier and exercise (weightlifting, walking). Both of those helped and I eventually got out of the depression funk, though I still experienced anxiety (even it wasn't fully calmed during all the medication). Fast forward to about a few weeks ago, I was driving back home from my apartment by my school and had a panic attack on my drive back, which freaked me out. Was on edge for a bit, constant fear of driving alone. Called my psychiatrist to see if I should go back on medication which, to no surprise, he said yes and prescribed 10mg Lexapro and 0.5mg klonopin (I tried to only take 0.25mg even when necessary) which I began on 8/11. The first few days were fine, but on the fourth day I had some severe anxiety and stomach problems (a frequent theme throughout my anxiety/panic attacks). Anyways, went for a walk, came home and ate some lunch, but a few minutes after I threw it all up. Body felt like it was on fire and I had an intrusive suicidal thought that just freaked me tf out. Luckily, I'm here with my family so I went to the ER because it felt like the worst panic attack ever. ER trip wasn't really fruitful, high BP (148/89 or something close to that), they took blood and urine but didn't do any tests. Next few days were horrendous, same high anxiety symptoms/panic attacks/stomach problems and I started to develop depression. I called my psych asking if I could stop taking the meds, he advised me to just split my dose. I thought that would cure everything, but could not be more wrong. Next two days were extremely brutal, same problems of debilitating anxiety/depression/stomach issues. Wanted to split my dose again into 2.5mg thinking that would do the trick, but woke up the next morning with extreme stomach pain and was back in the ER again. Took the klonopin (0.25mg) in the morning and later when I got home. Thankfully, some actually tests were run (urine/blood) and everything came back fine. Called my psych to see if I could stop and he said yes. Rest of the day I felt extraordinarily depressed, called my psych again to see if I should check myself into a psych ward as I was having intrusive suicidal thoughts. He advised I take my actual dose of klonopin of 0.5mg to see if that would help. It did a bit, the depression went away after I napped, but was still extremely jittery. Called my psych again to see if there was anything else I should try, he prescribed my seroquel which I picked up and absolutely refused to take. These past 6 days of the lexapro have been...not fun. Anxiety high, depression (a very physical one, feeling it throughout my whole body), intrusive/obsessive thoughts, and terrible GI condition. Each day I've really wanted to reach for the klonopin, but I fought it off, knowing it would be worse in the long run. Finally went to see a naturopath today. She was great, but I'm not sure of the supplements she gave me. One is "GI Revive" which contains a bunch of different herbs (I feel this might be too much for my system to handle, and I felt odd after taking it earlier, though less anxious, perhaps due to the chamomille in the mix) as well as glycine (powder, take ever morning). She also gave me magnesium glycinate if the glycine didn't help after two weeks. Based on what I'm reading here I think it might just be better to go straight for the magnesium and ask her for just gluminate for the GI problems. Hoping these will at least help during this process. I was just really freaked out over all this, as I had no previous adverse reactions to lexapro and for my system to react this way after only 10 days just reallllly has me freaked. But reading stuff here has been extremely helpful as I'm seeing these adverse reactions can happen. My psych was also perplexed calling it "odd." Anyways, my main symptoms seem to be High Anxiety Hyperarousal/Hypersensitivity Depression No motivation Intrusive thoughts Obsessing over my future (I had to take a term withdrawal this semester, which I'm fine about), but just constantly ruminating over "will this happen again in future?" "will I ever be able to function again?" "will these feelings last forever?") Catastrophizing (which I've always done, even before my first 'official' panic attack) Intense GI problems (I think the Lexapro exacerbated these, as I've been dealing with some problems here for the past month or so) I've definitely been trying to cope with all this. Like I said, it was and is such a weird and quite debilitating. My main coping mechanisms have been prayer, walking, distracting myself on the Internet (kind of good, kind of bad) and reading a bit. I've always tried to adjust my diet to maximize mineral/vitamin content from food. I've always begun psychotherapy with my psychiatrist, but am contemplating looking for a Catholic therapist to help with the spiritual dimension of this (I'm Catholic). Unfortunately I am a smoker (pack/day), but I am working to taper off that as well, as I know the stimulant exacerbates things. it's an awful coping mechanism. The past three days have been better, though I definitely have my ups and downs throughout the day. Any advice/encouragement you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated. Again, I'm really glad I found this forum and disappointed I didn't see it years ago when I was first going through the stuff and I know me not consistently taking the doses at times was not the smartest. Nevertheless, ruminating on my past mistakes isn't the most beneficial, so I'm trying my best to look towards the future. I don't expect it to be easy, but just trying to take it one day at a time. I've probably missed some aspects of my history/symptoms/etc., but this post has been quite long so my apologies! Thankfully, I'm with family, and they have been so accepting/understanding. I appreciate all that ya'll do here, and will definitely recommend it any friends who think about taking these meds. -angelicus
  9. Hi everyone, After many months of reading and gaining some hope and encouragement from the stories here I decided to join your great forum. Sorry, but this is a very long story. Im a 39 year old male from Australia and I have been taking ssri’s for GAD for the last 10 years. I started on Paxil 20mg for around 18 months and was switched to lexapro 10mg due to weight gain, sexual dysfunction and fatigue. Lexapro was a little better but I really didn’t feel like it was doing much apart from keeping the weight up and the motivation down. I am 6’2 and was always skinny, I never could bulk up. Paxil took me from 78kg and healthy to 100kg and always sweaty in around 12 months. I tried a few times to simply stop the meds but had no idea about withdrawal or tapering and always ended up reinstating due to awful side effects (rage, crying spells etc). The drs always said thats just how you are off the meds...... keep taking them for the rest of your life. They also upped my dosage a few times but I quickly went back to 10mg. In 2017 I felt lexapro wasn’t being effective so the dr straight swapped me to Valdoxan for a few weeks and I felt awful. They then straight swapped me to Prozac and around 4 days into taking that I woke in the middle of the night to terrible ringing in my ears. This was my first introduction to tinnitus. I freaked out and asked to be put back on lexapro. I reinstated at 10mg again and everything calmed down after about 7-8 weeks of hell. The tinnitus that was in both ears and the middle of my head reduced to a tiny amount only in my left ear. I now know this was likely my last chance at reinstatement working for me..... more on that soon. So another few years went past and the side effects of weight gain, heat intolerance, sexual dysfunction and the general feeling of “blah” were just too much for me to handle. I began a taper in January of 2019 and went from 10mg to 7.5mg for 4 weeks. I then went to 5mg for 4 weeks and finally 2.5mg for 4 weeks. I felt okay during the taper, my tinnitus was a little bit louder but not enough to bother me, I was more irritable and I had brain zaps. The real “fun” began around 12 weeks after the taper off the medication...... I had a panic attack and fell into one of the episodes that put me on meds in the first place. These were purely anxiety driven and I never felt depressed. I’ve had them since about 13 years of age and I always recovered from them and they lasted from 1 to 3 months usually. They would encompass intrusive thoughts, shakes and shivers, anxiety and panic only. So I decided to jump straight back on the lexapro 10mg thinking all these drs are right and I’m doomed to be on meds for the rest of my life. But something happened that didn’t happen before..... they didn’t work. After a few weeks I felt worse and my ears started to really scream, I had awful insomnia and a really bad eczema rash appeared on my chest and legs. I now know this as a severe reaction to the meds after too fast a taper and too fast of a reinstatement. If I had not jumped straight back on the meds I likely would have had to deal with wd symptoms only and not so many physical ones as well. So after 6 weeks of hell my dr upped my dose to 20mg and I waited another 5 weeks. That didn’t work either, just got worse. My dr referred me to a psychiatrist at this point and things got really bad. He upped my dose to 40mg lexapro, I stuck this out for another 5-6 weeks and it made me no better, actually worse. He then said ssri’s don’t seem to work for you now so let’s try Effexor. We cross tapered that with the lexapro over only a two week period and then all the way to 150mg of Effexor in only 3 weeks. I was desperate and wanted the pain and suffering to just stop. I did consider suicide a lot during this period and I had never been like this before when taking medication. My beautiful partner kept me here with her love and grace. I stuck with the Effexor for 7 weeks and it was just hell, dizziness, insomnia and mini seizure type things were a daily occurrence. I was couch bound and I still had tinnitus screaming away every day. He wanted to up the dose more but by this stage I knew that my body was not accepting any of these meds, I even said to him I think I am having a reaction to these meds. His answer was always that they just make you feel worse before better and that we can keep upping the dose...... That was the last time I saw him, I went back to my GP and asked to try Zoloft in a last ditch attempt to gain some stability and sanity. She cross tapered me to Zoloft and it seemed to calm things down a tiny bit but I was still so, so sick. I made it up to 100mg and was on Zoloft for 3 months before massive amounts of diarrhoea hit me (colitis) plus I was still struggling with SI, tinnitus and now bad depression for the first time in my life. All the fun stuff that comes along with bad reactions to these meds. My Dr CT’d me off the Zoloft and started me on Remeron 30mg..... this one was ok for my sleep issues but made me irritable as hell and didn’t have any effect on the SI, depression and tinnitus. I lasted 6 weeks on it before breaking down again and seeing the Dr. She mentioned Paxil...... like I said, I was desperate and since it worked 10 years ago maybe it would pull me out of this living hell I was in. Since the first episode after WD in June of 2019 and the living hell my life has been, I started Paxil 20mg in April 2020..... this lasted all of 12 weeks and I CT’d the Paxil in July 2020 due to all the above still happening. I happened to come across the SA website in June this year After desperately searching for answers. I’ve read and learnt a lot from everyone and now understand what has happened to me the last 12 months. How I should have tapered waaayyyy slower, how I should have reinstated waaayyy slower and how screwed up our medical system and the makers of these drugs are. I have been med free for 9 weeks and even though I still have loud tinnitus, depression and a host of other Awful symptoms, I have improved more then any time I was on meds. I’m bloody scared of what’s ahead but I will NEVER touch another psych med again in my life. I assume reinstatement is beyond my body now after what it has endured. I hope to be able to vent a little here on my bad days and keep reading the encouraging stories of success whilst pushing on with my life and the healing process. Thanks for taking the time to read my book.... 😂 And thanks to the creators of such a great site.
  10. I’m a man in my early 40’s. I grew up an athlete and all around good kid. I learned how to drink in my late teens within the binge drinking culture, and continued to binge drink from probably late 17 to early 40. I could rarely drink casually. I wanted to drink to feel good. I wanted to drink to get drunk. For years, I would binge maybe once or twice a week, as I was poor and still pretty physically fit. Not every day, but toward the end, I was drinking pretty much every day. I drank all through my time on SSRI’s as well. I absolutely CRAVED alcohol when I was on Lexapro. Outside of alcohol, I smoked some pot a handful of times in my late teens and early 20's, but that was a short lived phase. Around 1999, (I was in my early to mid 20’s), my Dr. put me on Paxil. I was suffering some depression following a relationship breakup. I can't recall much about it, other than I wasn't on it for long. I gained a bunch of weight and didn't think it was doing much for me. He had me quit cold turkey, and I don't believe I had many, if any withdrawal symptoms. In 2001, I got engaged to my now wife, Kim, and had some pretty major obsessive and anger issues. I was drinking more regularly at this time and I'd carried baggage into our relationship. When we would argue or fight, I'd get all wound up and become fixated on things that I couldn't let go of. I'd drive them into the ground and keep on driving them. My Dr. suggested Celexa. He either started me on 10 or 20mg, not sure. It seemed to work. In 2002-2004, a friend of mine was on Celexa too, and was switched to Lexapro because it supposedly had more of what we needed and less of what we didn't. I asked my Dr. if I could make the switch too and he switched me to Lexapro, 20mg. I tried a handful of times over the years to come off, but would become a wreck. I didn't know any better, so I tried cold turkey the first few times. Every time, I went back on. Dr's would ask me why I was trying to stop taking it and tell me that it was like a vitamin for some people, that I just needed to take it. Like a diabetic needs insulin, I had a deficiency and I needed my Lexapro, is what they'd tell me. I heard along the way that SSRI's should be tapered off of, not quit cold turkey. Somewhere in there, within the last 5 to 7 years, I went from 20mg to 10mg, by biting my pills in half. I didn't suffer too much, so I stayed at 10mg. 2013-2014, I took on a big home addition project that put me under an immense amount of stress. I was drinking heavily, and pretty much daily. When it came to an end, I decided to clean up my act. I had tried to stop drinking several times over the years, but couldn't. I went to AA meetings, but thought that 'Those People' had some serious problems, I just drank too much. In the summer of 2015, I missed a few days of my Lexapro for whatever reason, so when I started taking it again, I bit my pills in quarters and only took 5mg. I did this for a month or two and then went to zero. I felt weepy and cried from time to time and thought I was having a heart attack one day after drinking a couple of energy drinks and getting my skidloader stuck in a creek behind my house. I came inside and sat down. The feeling passed in time and I continued on. Late October of 2015, I got really drunk at a bonfire that we had for our kids birthdays. We had taken on new friends from church and homeschooling stuff, and they all looked at me like I was the odd ball. It was a party, and I was there to party. That night, I was SO sick. I slept beside the toilet on the cold tile floor. The next day or two were Hell. I got on my hands and knees and begged Jesus to take the burden of my drinking away. I'd never prayed so hard in my life. Something happened. Something changed in me. Jesus Christ answered my prayers. I completely lost my desire to binge drink. So, I quit drinking. Just after Christmas 2015, I had my 1st 'Episode'. I was stressed out about everything. I had been a complete ******* recently. Before bed one night, I was bawling because I thought we were ruining one of our sons by the way we were treating him. Yelling, and such. When I tried to go to sleep, as I'd drift off, my whole body would jolt like I was getting struck by lightning. My brain and body would jump into fight of flight mode. I was having extreme abstract intrusive thoughts and my anxiety was off the charts. I didn't know what was going on and could not get any sleep. I thought I was suffering alcohol withdrawal, or even PTSD from the home project, but I couldn't find anything on jolts and alcohol withdrawal or PTSD on the Internet. Whatever it was, I was in total mania and panic. 3 days and nights of this and I started having my first ever suicidal ideations, so I checked myself into the hospital. I was SO scared!!! I was there through the 2016 New Year, and given an Ambien the last night I was there. I actually slept!!! I met with a psychiatrist, therapist and my DO Dr. regularly afterward. The psych started me out on Prozac and something else that acts as a helper. Maybe Wellbutrin? I didn't like how they made me feel, so I asked to be put back on Lexapro because I knew it had worked for me before. He switched me to Lexapro, wanting me to take 20mg, but I only took 10mg because I knew I eventually wanted to get completely off the stuff. After a while, I leveled out and felt good again. I still wasn't binge drinking, but I could and would have a beer or two occasionally because I wanted the taste, not because I wanted the buzz. I had maybe 5 beers in that first year, total. Zero hard alcohol. And about the same for the next 2 years following. I can actually have a beer or two casually and not want to binge. Right now though, I am not drinking a drop of alcohol. The summer of 2018, I've really cleaned up my act. I'm back in the gym regularly, eating pretty darn healthy, not drinking and feeling pretty darn good. My 25 year class reunion was coming up in June and I got stressed or felt weird about it for whatever reason. A couple of days out from it, and I had my 2nd 'Episode'. Not quite as bad as the 1st, but pretty darn bad. Since my 1st, I had determined that it was more due to SSRI withdrawal than it was alcohol withdrawal or PTSD, so I couldn't figure this 2nd one out. I was on a steady dose of Lexapro 10mg a day and took it like clockwork. I weathered the storm that lasted about 7 days. It was almost identical to my 1st, except the brain/body jolts weren't quite as bad. I started working with a Naturopathic Dr. that has been treating our son for a few years. My Naturopathic Dr. started me on a remedy of arsenicum album and a bunch of vitamins and probiotic. I told her that one of my goals was to get completely off of Lexapro. About a month into treatment, I'd leveled out and met with my Dr. again. She asked if I still wanted to quit Lexapro and I said yes. So in July 2018, I started splitting my pills again and went from 10mg to 5mg. THIS WAS A MISTAKE!!! It was too much, too quickly. I had my 3rd 'Episode' in July or August. I had my 4th 'Episode' in mid-October. My 5th in November (Thanksgiving), and now my 6th over Christmas. They still last about 7 days, but they're getting closer together and I'm not fully recovering from the last one before I roll into the next one. I'm still on 5mg of Lexapro (but full 5mg pills now) and all of my vitamins, probiotic, and my remedy from my Naturopathic Dr. I've lost a ton of weight that yo-yo's between when I'm doing well and not doing well. When I'm in the throes of an 'Episode' I completely lose my appetite. I have to force feed myself. I wake up around 3:30 with my first jolt or adrenaline rush and extreme anxiety, unable to go back to sleep due to other jolts and abstract intrusive thoughts and extreme anxiety. I go to suicidal thoughts pretty quickly now because I'm exhausted from all of this and am going quite mad. I am completely restless and go from pacing the floors to crying and praying to God, to hugging and telling my wife how scared I am and how much I love her. I LOVE God and my family and do NOT want to kill myself. It is sickening to know how suicidal I am feeling.
  11. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  12. First I want to thank this community for providing such critical support to so many in need of informed guidance. I am here to seek advice for reinstating after having tapered of Lexapro WAY too fast (throwing my brain off a bridge). This was my second time on Lexapro for anxiety/depression with a starting dose of 5 mg for 5 months, increase to 10 mg for 5 months. Though Lexapro worked for me the first time (from 2008-2016 at 10 mg) , this second time around it hasn't worked nearly as well to address my anxiety and associated light insomnia. As a result, I decided to take myself off Lexapro (which I realize I should not have done without guidance.) After my taper, I felt okay for about 5 weeks. But around week 6 I started having anxiety and insomnia like I have never experienced before. I tried to ride it out but when severe depression set it, I decided I needed help. Since we had moved overseas during this time, I had to find a new psychiatrist. She put me on Paxil 10 mg, which significantly increased my anxiety and depression so much she took me off after a week. She then put me back on Lexapro 5 mg, which seemed to kick off severe insomnia - 5 nights with less than 2 hours sleep. Now she wants me to stop Lexapro and start Mirtazapine 15 mg since she says it will help with insomnia and weight loss (I am about 8 pounds underweight.). Having read through several SA threads and guides, I think it might be better if I just try and stabilize with the Lexapro. Though perhaps that window has closed and I should just switch to Mirtazapine and stabilize on that for several months before planning your advised 10% taper. I appreciate any guidance.
  13. Took and stopped prozac and abilify with not much problem. Following ocd depression and a panic attack took them again. After a week constant panic attack and insomnia. Doctor gives lexapro(10) and zyprexa(5). A Week later i decide i have to stop. Tried tapering zyprexa but because of the ocd coming back failed badly. Took 3 months.Some kindling in the stopping process hurt me. Quit after like a 1 mg a week and at 0.6 mg. After 2 days at 0 mg i had very good energy just breathing made me smile. Then the energy decreased and 4 days later sleep problems started so i took zyprexa again 0.6 mg maybe. After two days sleep kinda stabilised so i stopped. 10 days later im worse than i started but not taking the drug is helping me cope. I pray i didnt do damage. Should i reinstate? Also currently trying to lower lexapro.
  14. Hi, I want to share my story and get some of your advices. I was diagnosed with pure O OCD in November 2019 and I started to take Lexapro (10mg/day) in January because of insomnia linked to intense anxiety. This med helped me to sleep again (but poor quality of sleep) but it increased the intensity of anxiety and it depersonalized me. Also, I experienced many suicidal thoughts while I took this medication so I told my psychiatrist and he thinks I needed to increase my dose while I thought that this medication didn't help me cope with my OCD. So now I decided to stop it after 3 months by tapering (2 weeks at 5mg then 0). I have stopped in the end of April and I still experience the withdrawal syndrom. The main problem I have is impaired concentration (it's very hard for me to read and to think now, as I try to think of something, many random thoughts come and go and they are not even related to the topic I was thinking of). My mind wanders all the time from switching thoughts to thoughts even when I try to stay focused. Also many old memories come back while I thought I forgot them. Did someone experienced impared concentration ? I have seen another psychiatrist and he said that Lexapro can't cause this kind of withdrawal syndrom and he thinks my lack of concentration is a symptom of depression so he told me to take another antidepressant. But I am sure that my impaired concentration is due to the end of Lexapro. What are you thoughts? Regards Christian
  15. Hi I was on lexapro 10 mg for 6 years. I tapered off starting Feb 2017 following my doctors advice. I took 5 mg for 2 weeks then 5 mg every other day for 1 week then stopped completely. 3 days after my last dose the brain zaps started. Now after 8 weeks I have a continuous feeling like a sparkler is firing off in my brain, all day long. Sometimes it is more intense than other times, but it never goes away. It feels like a shower of sparks is swirling around in my brain, it is so hard to describe. It is not in my ears, but in my brain. I went back to my doctor to see if I should go back on and taper off more slowly. He said no, to just try to ignore it like you would ignore a back ache. I tried ignoring it for 2 weeks then returned to him, he referred me to a neurologist. Today I saw the neurologist who looked at me with wide eyes and said he never heard of this. He said he will order a test of brain waves but doubts it will show anything. His suggestion is to go back on the 10 mg to see if it goes away. My question is: is 8 weeks too long to be off it to reintroduce the drug and then taper off slower? I have read that reinstating the drug will get rid of symptoms IF YOU DO IT IMMEDIATELY. I am afraid that after 8 weeks, it could make it worse. I just want to be off the drug. I never had these sensations before using this drug. I don't know what is causing them and if they are benign. I tell my self they are not hurting my brain, that it is just my brain "coming back on line" but as they persist it is harder and harder to believe this. I really do not want to go back on, but if it is the only way to make them go away I will and then taper more slowly. Then I wonder if this counts as "time served" and if I go back on and taper more slowly, I will just have to serve this time again. Also, is it just the addicted part of me telling me to go back on, like how I used to lie to myself when quitting smoking? (By the way quitting smoking cigarettes after smoking for 10 years was infinitely easier than what I am going through with this.) I appreciate any wisdom, any body live through months of zaps? do they ever go away? are they harmful? Thank you so much
  16. Hi everyone. Thank you for reading my introduction. I've had an odd initiation to psyche meds. I'm middle aged and was rather healthy prior to my breakdown. I exercised five days a week, numbers were good, was generally 'relaxed' and comfortable in my skin and had a great marriage. Then, in the summer of 2015, I decided to try meditating. I had been studying Buddhism for awhile and a book I was reading stated that, if you really want to study Buddhism, you need to start meditating. So, that's what I did. I went to our local community meditation center and began a small meditation practice. About six months into it I started getting very anxious. I had no idea why. My blood pressure went up and I was put on the first regular prescription I've ever been on: Lisinopril. The anxiety continued and began increasing. My blood pressure kept rising. I asked my doc if it could be the meditation. He said "Not possible: meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety." I started seeing a therapist (first time) and asked the same question. I received the same response. I knew I should quit meditating, but everyone I talked to said that couldn't be the issue. So I continued. In the winter of 2016 I had what I call my 'Long Night' which was actually a week of altered mental states, completely unbalanced thought patterns and anxiety that went through the roof. I kept working and tried to keep my act together, but it was very difficult. The meditation teacher at the community meditation center said I was going through something called 'Dissolution' and congratulated me. He put me in touch with a more authoritative teacher (a person widely known in meditation circles) who confirmed this. Unfortunately neither of these people were much help. I looked all over the Internet and in books for answers, but the altered states kept occurring (even without meditation), my blood pressure was through the roof, I wasn't getting any sleep and my personal life was falling apart. I kept going to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. One morning my wife asked me if I was going to work and I broke down crying. She took me to the ER. The doctor there had compassion and said he thought he knew what was wrong with me and gave me an Ativan. For the first time in months, my blood pressure went down and I felt better. I went to see a psychiatrist in the spring of 2016. He put me on Celexa and Klonopin. He gave me some Ativan for my panic attacks. The Klonopin was needed until the Celexa reached a therapeutic dose. When I was ready to get off the Klonopin he introduced Buspar. Tapered off the Klonopin (no problems). I was on both of those for about two years after I quit the Klonopin. Everything seemed OK. In January of 2019 I started getting nausea and a headache. Just low-grade stuff, but consistent. And they slowly were getting worse. By the summer of 2019, it was pretty bad. I talked to my psyche doc about coming off and he agreed. We started with the Celexa and that taper went fine; however, Buspar was another story. I tried coming off that and I got very sick: felt like I had the stomach flu. I was home for three days. And that was just by cutting Buspar down to 30 mg from 45 mg. So we reinstated and decided we'd try Lexapro. I was sick on Lexapro, but gave it a couple of months. Quit it cold-turkey. He moved me to Zoloft in January 2020 (which I had high hopes for as my wife takes it), but that also made me sick. I decided to 'ride it out' for 3 months to see if the side effects went away, but they didn't. During this time I reinstated Klonopin (0.5 mg per day) as only the Buspar was treating my anxiety. I finally decided I was done with Zoloft and tapered off. My psyche doc retired. I got a new psyche doc. He decided we should wipe the slate clean and start new. He recommended I get off the Buspar as I may be experiencing 'Serotonin Resistance'. Began tapering that this summer (July 2020) and, after three months, I am off it (last dose 9/8/2020). I feel terrible, but not all the time. Depression seems to be 'soul crushing' around lunch, but slowly gets better. I feel anxiety when I wake up, That slowly gets worse, but kind of 'ebbs and flows' throughout the day. Muscle pains, cramps, dizziness, but no problem sleeping. Seems like I have problems breathing at times, but I actually don't. I feel bloated and full most of the day, but still manage to eat a bit. My chest hurts (I have a cardiologist so my heart is fine), guts burn and stomach is as hard as a rock at times. Other times (like now), not so much. I exercise when I can (was on the treadmill yesterday and took a long walk Monday). Evening and night seem to be OK. That is when I typically exercise (summer in AZ). My wife and I watch our shows and go to bed. I took 7.5 mg of Buspar this morning just to see what would happen. It seems like I had less physical symptoms such as my stomach, chest and gut felt fine most of today. The 'soul crushing' depression came and went. For that I usually just disassociate with the feeling, watch it as a disinterested third party and it eventually goes away. At least that is what works for now. The anxiety: that remains fairly consistent. Comes and goes in waves. I've been anxious since I was a kid, so I'm kind of used to it. I feel it a lot more since I had my breakdown. The depression SUCKS! I'm not used to that at all. Buspar withdrawals SUCK! Not used to those either. My marriage is still great. It would be nice to have sex again. That is my story. Thanks, again, for your time.
  17. When I look back on some of the 'major life decisions' I made while I was 'spellbound' by all those psych drugs, I am filled with regret and even shame. Anyone else relate to this? These tides rush in, frequently in the mornings, and just crush me against the rocky shore. For example, I was in a management role at my last company and essentially demoted myself. I was so sick and frankly out of my mind that I thought it was the 'right' thing to do. The new role turned out to be a complete disaster that eventually drove me out of the company. I left on my own terms but I now wonder if I could have found a way to stay. I blame myself for not 'seeing' the complexity of executing a job move like that. I was so numb and disoriented by the drugs and WDs I just couldn't see anything clearly. Now looking back I wonder if I should have been more honest with the people I worked with about what I was going through. At the time, I didn't fully understand how powerful those drugs were and what havoc WDs cause on our interior lives. I thought I was just 'defective' and that it was 'all my fault' so I did the best I could and never told anyone what I was struggling with. Another example is while in the fog of ADs, we built a house that we really couldn't afford. My 'normal' alert systems were completely offline due to the drugs. If I had been in my right mind, I would have been able to feel the 'warning' signs like anxiety and such that could have informed my wisdom that 'maybe this ani't such a great idea' or 'slow down and think about this' but it was like I was mesmerized and totally fixated on accomplishing the task. I've not had suicidal thoughts that all the warnings talk about but I think these things were similarly spellbinding. Over so many years of those drugs, I didn't realize that I had become a different person. That person did a lot of things that I still can't understand...and yet wasn't that 'me'? If not, who the heck was it? Part of what makes this journey off of drugs so hard is it can feel so 'unique' and lonely... Any and all thoughts welcome. Thanks.
  18. Hello everyone, I am currently still in benzo withdrawal from 3.5 years (Clonazapam 2mg) and was on lexapro (10-20mg) the entire time. I felt that since the benzo wd was taking so long, lexapro may be influencing recovery, and decided to taper it off 2 months ago. I did a very quick taper as the ashton manual said 1-3months and symptoms should be mild, and came off in 2 months from 20mg. After a few weeks I had severe terror panic attacks derealisation and agitation and was completely suicidal and had was taken into the hospital and was given benzos for 3 days. After that i visited a doctor and he told me to reinstate the lexapro and he was wanted me to return to 20mg fast and wanted to possibly increase it to 30mg, but i refused. I took for 5, 10, 15 for 2 days each and then 20mg for 2 weeks now. I felt better when i was taking 10mg on the 4th day of reinstatement although still very ill the suicidal and agitation lifted a bit. However now on since entering the 2 week of 20mg, everyday after that a specific symptom the dr, gradually increased in intensity and right now I feel like Im nearing psychosis from the intensity of derealisation where the unrealness and metaphysical crisis feeling is horrific, and the terror felt is absolute insane, and Im severely suicidal and not sure if I can make it even for a few more hours. In desperation, i found survivingantidepressants.com and read the reinstatement feeling something is going wrong. it suggests that maybe my dosage is too high (to not reinstate the original). but I'm not sure what to do; I was off for around 1month before the reinstatement, and I have been on the reinstatement for 3 weeks, with 2 weeks on 20mg. What should I do? Thank you so much. I'm so scared. ANy help is appreciated
  19. Hello, Have been on lexapro for approx 11 years now and began tapering around a year ago. So far its gone quite well with no major issues until now. About and a half weeks ago dropped from 4 to 3 mg. Did this as have been having hardly any symptoms previously at almost same percentage decrease. However on Monday I started not feeling right and then last night I got hit hard with symptoms I haven’t really had.....feel like I’m constantly shaking like when you have the flu....head just feels totally weird and horrible.... was having cold sweats big time......horrible neuron emotions that definitely are not me....poor sleep mainly cause by the shakiness and head. What I want to know is that should I expect these symptoms to settle down soon or could it be more months than weeks? Also if they don’t start to improve in the next week do I up dose back to previous amount or try to ride it out? Thanks
  20. Moderator Note: link to Moonpie's benzo thread - Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering My name is Moonpie. I feel so blessed to have found this site. I was put on Ativan and BuSpar and Lexapro, one at a time for a medication thyroid mess up. For eight months my thyroid was going crazy in my anxiety was off the charts. It normalized in March and I am trying to take her off the Ativan. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I just realized I have been doing a 5 per cent reduction instead of 10 and I have still had withdrawl symptoms! I am using a file and a jeweler scale. My taper started at .069 in weight and I am down to .035 in all three doses. But I think I took a little too much off last time and for the past week I've had panic anxiety nausea and depression. I am holding this reduction on the third dose for 3 weeks now as strong symptoms started the end of last week and continue. I had labs done to see if it was thyroid and am waiting on results. My 1st question is, should I be tapering on only one dose until it goes to zero instead of doing 1 every two weeks. Because if I continue this way I will go off of all of them at the same time. I appreciate any help. Have really been discouraged and frightened With this past symptoms
  21. Hi there! Thanks for your help! I took lexapro for about 5 months (Jan 2020-June 2020 including 1 month of taper) for some physical symptoms I was going through last year Oct- this year Jan. The physical symptoms included lump in my throat, racing heart beat that came on for no particular reasons, headache... so my doctor put me on lexapro starting at 5mg for about 1.5 months and the dosage was increased up to 10 mg for 2 months). Two weeks into medication, I developed physical symptoms including weak legs (thighs), sluggishness, vivid dreams, jaw muscle pain, muscle twitching. First I thought they were some side effects that would go away, but they never went away during my medication. At two months into medication, I asked my doctor whether these were side effects, he said no, these were just results of depression and anxiety, so I kept on taking until I realized that these physical symptoms were making more anxious. During my medication, due to these physical symptoms, i became worried and was coming down with an illness so I went through many clinical tests including MRIs (brain, shoulder and knee) and whole body x ray, 6 times of blood tests, 2 urine tests and NCS, EMG and many more. But all the test results came back normal, so then I realized that I was not sick, but lexapro was making me ill. So I talked to another doctor and he took me off lexapro through a month of taper. I thought stopping lexapro would resolve all the physical symptoms soon, but till this date (it's been already close to two months), I still am still suffering from the same physical symptoms and developed more physical symptoms. Currently I am suffering from the following; 1) weak legs (thighs) - this has improved slightly but still there and this was started after beginning lexapro 2) muscle tremor/twitching - this has improved slightly but still there and this was started after beginning lexapro 3) jaw muscle pain - this has improved slightly but still there and this was started after beginning lexapro and I have been seeing a chiropractor for this. 4) swelling on my upper left eye lid only - I started to get this during my taper and it's been two months since and have gone to two eye doctors, they both said there's nothing wrong with my eye. during a day, the size of the swelling varies (worst in the morning, towards the day, it gets better but it has never gone away for the last two months) 5) Low energy - I started having this after I came off lexapro, my arms and legs feel really heavy, sometimes it gets better during a day, but I have been getting this since coming off the medication. 6) Nerve pain/muscle tiredness - started having this since the stopping of the medication, mild - intermittent level of nerve pains in arms and shoulders, it comes and goes. 7) Random eye strain/nausea - started having this since the stopping of the medication, it comes and goes.. I was wondering whether the physical symptoms are the side effects or WD of lexapro, given that I was on it for 5 months, how long will these last? I hope these physical symptoms are just from lexapro, and praying that they will go away eventually. Thank you so much for your help! PS: I have been exercising by walking 8-12 km for my mood/health.
  22. Hello all, I am fairly new this forum. Im a 35 yo female living in Singapore, currently Im facing challenges on tapering off Lexapro. back story : I was prescribed a mixture of medicines in October 2017 for GAD. Back then I have never think of anything wrong with it as I trusted my psychiatrist (BIG horrible mistake). My mixture is listed below : amytriphiline 7 mg frixitas (alprazolam) 0.25 mg lexapro (cipralex) 10 mg I took it as prescribe without even knowing the dangers of coming off these devils. in April 2020, I was ready to be off this medicine because Im planning to get pregnant, I told my psychiatrist and She said I can just stop it CT. The next day I was feeling angry and easily agitated, and I feel so weak. I didnt even know that these all are withdrawal symptoms.. In early June 2020, I started to get really depressed and suicidal, and my anxiety skyrocketed. I cannot sleep anymore, I lost my appetite and I kept losing weight. I feel like dying, It was extremely horrible and I wouldnt even want to wish it on my worst enemy. I called 5 psychiatrists (the wellknown ones) and describef my symptoms, ALL of them said I was in relapse. They confidently told me it was not withdrawals. I trusted them and went back to my original psychiatrist and reinstate the whole thing. But only for 10 days I weaned off the amytripiline and alprazolam. I waited and listen to my body, I was unwell and I have this weird headache that is constantly bothering me. It was tightening my scalp. August 19, 2020 - I have commited myself to wean off the Lexapro. I was on 10 mg and my psychiatrist told me to taper off as below : 1 month : 10 mg to 7.5 mg 1 month : 7.5 mg to 5 mg 1 month : 5 mg to 2.5 mg 2.5 mg to 0 I googled and got alot of informations thus I found this site. so August 19, I cut 25% to 7,5 mg. So far I have experienced : -constant headache -sensitive to light -irritability -vertigo (this is the worst so far) -nausea -dizzyness Some days are okay but these 2 days when the vertigo hit I am practically bedbound. I read the 10% very slow taper method. But I am sad because it will take sooooo long to get rid of this poison as my time is ticking and I really want to have a baby. I am sad right now and I regretted the day I went to the psychiatrist and took their advice.. how could they do this to us.. My life is deteriorating now as I am feeling very down and confused. I dont want to struggle with these for many years as I grow older the chances of having a baby will be lessened.. please help me....
  23. Hello, I was hoping someone could give me some advice about some severe symptoms I've been experiencing since switching from Lexapro to Prozac and back again. Here is my story: Diagnosed with OCD and depression at 18. Prescribed 60 mg Prozac which I eventually manage to reduce to 30 mg. Continue taking this dose of Prozac for about 20 years. At the end of last year Prozac seems to have lost its effectiveness so I speak to my doctor about switching to Lexapro which I've heard has less side effects. As instructed by my doctor I reduce my Prozac dose to 20 mg for two weeks, wait 5 days without medication, and then start on 10 mg Lexapro. Soon after starting Lexapro I develop some very unpleasant side-effects, most notably heart palpitations and tinnitus. I speak with the doctor who tells me not to be concerned because the side effects are caused by "anxiety". Against my better judgment I continue taking the Lexapro for a total of 25 days. At this point the palpitations are so bad I have to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I wait two days and then reinstate the Prozac at 40 mg. Things seem to be reasonably okay for about 3 weeks before all hell breaks loose. I wake up in the middle of the night with such extreme palpitations and dizziness that I end up in ER. However, the doctors find nothing wrong with my heart, conclude its anxiety and send me home. Two hellish weeks of palpitation induced insomnia and intermittent akathesia follow. During this time I have a number of medical tests but nothing abnormal shows up in the results. The palpitations are worse when I lie down and though they cause some anxiety I am convinced they are not caused by anxiety. It feels like the part of my nervous system responsible for controlling my heart has been physically damaged in some way. When I try to explain this to my psychiatrist and cardiologist they don't understand. The psychiatrist gives me Valium and the cardiologist gives me a beta blocker. None of these seem to make much difference so I'm given some Ambien to help me sleep. I take the Ambien for about 5 nights before I decide I'd rather deal with the insomnia. Eventually I get some kind of sleep, but it is still very fragmented and the palpitations persist. My chest feels really tight as if my heart is being pushed up against my chest bone and the palpitations are worsened by lying down, eating or feeling cold. I lose my appetite and drop from 78 to 69 kgs in weight. I start filming my sleep so that I can show my doctor what happens. The footage shows me suffering from hypnic jerks and muscle twitching. These jerks are accompanied by electric shock like sensations that wake me up. During the day I am still tortured by this uncomfortable feeling in my chest and the ongoing palpitations. It feels like my heart has a mind of its own and has been knocked out of sync with the rest of my body. The tinnitus (a loud, high-pitched ringing) also continues. After 18 years at the same company I have to take sick leave for the first time. I have been off work for a month now and have no idea when I'll be able to go back. I continue to take 30 mg Prozac because I feel things would be even worse without it. During the day I walk because this seems to help with the palpitations. I've started taking Magnesium L Threonate and krill oil supplements. I desperately want my life back.
  24. Hi.My name is Adrian.I took Lexapro for 6 weeks of 10mg, 2 weeks of 5mg, and it’s my 9th day off it.Since day 4 off I experience severe vertigo(ground tilting), severe headache, severe derealization and depersonalization, total weekness of body mostly in legs, feeling like my arms are floating, lack of concentration, confusion, flu like symptoms, anxiety, vivid dreams, hot and cold waves over body, tingling in fingers, I almost got into some panic attacks, severe anger, can’t feel my legs while walking, severe brain fog.Hope it all goes soon as i find it very hard to cope with the symptoms.
  25. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - Nolongeranxiousbut: lexapro/klonopin which to taper... see pdoc tomorrow hi all, I'm a new member. I had a medical incident (still dealing with but a lot has gotten better) that caused anxiety and insomnia back in October. Things got worse and I started medicines with a psychiatrist Jan 2nd for the first time. Was started on klonopin and Lexapro. Tapered lexapro two weeks up to 10mg. Klonopin was also increased to try and help with sleep up to 1.125 mg a day - 1 mg at night and .125 in the morning. Didn't help sleeping through the night. I did have 5 days above 1.125 mg a day - 1 day at 1.75, 1 day at 1.625 and 3 days at 1.25. Those were nighttime increases to 1.25 and 1.5 which didn't help. My pdoc is new (less than 1.5 years in practice) and had only ever heard of a klonopin withdrawal once when one of her 20+ year patients at .5mg at night didn't get her script refilled. She believes I feel what I feel from my one klonopin cut - down to .75 at night setting alarm to take at 2:30 in the morning as found Feb 21 that I no longer had anxiety keeping me from falling asleep which was a huge improvement and I enjoy sleeping naturally 4 hours... but hate getting up to take the required klonopin - she said... you can cut from 1 mg to 0! so no issue cutting .75 to .5 uhm, no. I had brain fog some of those early post-taper days but now down to headaches mostly from jaw clenching and gassiness (treating with beano and gasX). No increased anxiety. The stomach and jaw clenching (saw dentist and fitted for night lower mouthguard which I'll get this week) but also feel like want to clench and have to focus not to clench during day - started Feb 19th. I dropped the klonopin 10 Feb. I did go back up to 1 mg a night Feb 18 and 19 and .875 at night Feb 20. I had been sleeping with addition of benadryl and it had dried out my mouth so I had stopped and was hoping the klonopin .25 early in the evening would help with falling asleep. Anyhow... my pdoc doesn't think the jaw clenching is from the klonopin drop and wants me to reduce my lexapro. She suggested 10mg to 7.5mg but was open to liquid so I have 5mg pills and 1mg/ml liquid now. I haven't started. I still have good/bad days of headaches and gassiness - mostly don't start until late afternoon and better by the time I go to bed. The last 3 days I had two days completely good and then yesterday with headache and stomach upset from the gassiness. Has anyone here had relief reducing lexapro from 10 to 7.5 for jaw clenching? With two drugs it's hard to really know which it's from. If I drop I'll only do 5 or 10% on the lexapro and hold to wait to see if withdrawal symptoms. But I've also been trying to decide if I should try and reduce the klonopin a little more. So hard to figure out what to do first! And I expect I should wait longer although I read the stomach problems might be long term so not sure I can outwait that if I want to do another taper of something.
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