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  1. Are the doctors right? Insomnia. I gave birth to my son in March 2019 and experienced terrible postpartum anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on 20mg Lexapro (escitalopram) which I commenced on the 17th June 2019. In October I saw my psychiatrist and told him I wanted to taper off Lexapro - he told me to take 15mg for one week, 10mg for one week and then 5mg for the final week (three week taper). My last pill was on the 14th November 2019 and the day after my last pill I couldn’t sleep. Ever since then I have experienced terrible insomnia. I either find it hard to fall asleep or I wake a few times per night. My psychiatrist and doctor believe that my anxiety is waking me during the night but I think the insomnia is a withdrawal symptom. What are your thoughts? And is there anything I can do to ease my insomnia? Do I need to go back on Lexapro (6 weeks without the meds) and then taper more slowly? I have had my anxiety under control but the lack of sleep is sinking me downhill again.
  2. Hello everybody, I apologize in advance for my English writing, it wil not be perfect but i hope you can understand me! My name is Andi and i am from The Netherlands, i am 31 years old! I have a history with social anxiety and panic disorder although i can honestly say that as for as the social anxiety goes im doing a lot better, the only major problem i have is the fact that i have a lot of fear for the fear if that makes sense! Anyway i started using Lexapro in 2012 and the first 2 years i was doing fine, no issues whatsoever, after 2 years i started to get severe neck nerve pain, i went to the doctor many times and the only thing he said was that is was due to stress! After walking around with crazy nerve pain for about 4 years and ruling out everything i then thought it had to be the Escitalopram! So then i made the biggest mistake ever!!! I quit cold turkey in 2017! For the first couple of weeks i was feeling kinda sick like the flue but it was actually not really that bad! My neck was starting to feel better so i was actually happy about it and thought that i was gonna feel fine in a couple of weeks! Wow was i wrong!! After 4 weeks i woke up with tinnitus, and after about 5 weeks the bomb exploded! I had the worst anxiety and panic attacks ever!! Whey worse than before the medication! I had severe restless legs and could not sleep! I was extremely emotional and also agressive! I had never been like that before!! I then obviously started googling these issues and came across this site as many others, i read a lot of different stories and thought wel maybe i will get better in time! But after 4 months of hell i had enough! I basically made an appointment with a psychiatrist and the first day they gave me Effexor! They could have given me anything because i didn't wanna go a day longer! Anyway after 2 weeks i went up to 75mg of Effexor and yes my emotional problems where a lot better but once again i got extreme neck pain, even worse than before so i had to go back to 37,5 mg! After a couple of days my neck was feeling a lot better but anxiety wise i was not great! Not as bad as before but also not great! The biggest issue i had with the anxiety that came was this weird thing where i felt like i could not breath!! That was horrible! Everytime the doorbell rang at home i immediately could't breath! Before the medication my anxiety was never like this!! Anyway after dropping to 37mg of Effexor i still felt like choking sometimes however i was sleeping a bit better (not longer than 4 hours in a row) but atleast the restless legs where gone! Emotional wise i was still doing oke. So because i was to scared to come off Effexor i was on it for about a year until the end of 2018! At that moment i felt reasonable and the anxiety was also a bit better so i decided to gett off the meds because i was getting some annoying side effects once again! So i tapered down over the course of 3 months, i know some people will say that this is to fast but i was done with the medication because of the very annoying side effects like teeth grinding, not being able to sleep long and once again neck pain! Anyway in February of this year i had my last pill! So the first 6 weeks i was doing okay! I definitely felt some withdrawal issues like restless legs and emotional, irritated and things like that but not as bad as last year when i came off lexapro! But once again after about 7 weeks things got bad, i got a lot more anxiety and emotional and somehow my neck started hurting again, i also feel extemely irritated and annoyed very fast! I can get really angry if something goes wrong and i hate this because i have never been like this before! My anxiety is also through the roof and once again i cant sleep! So its been 4 months now and still no progress! I still feel like im surviving and have no life! I talked with many people, i have a new psychiatrist and when i explain my problem she looks at me like she doesn't care, she keeps saying that i am probably one of the very few people with these issues! The only option she gives me is to take other medication! I really don't want to do it but i will probably take an other medicine in August because i just cant do this anymore! Nobody reassures me or anything! They act like i had these issues before the medication but i know that is such bulls... I really start to hate doctors!! Anyway the only option i see is to wait until August because then i have been off the meds for 6 months, if by then there is no progression i have no other choice but to try an other medicine! Again i really don't want it but right now my life is horrible! I need reassurence, i still cant sleep! Why is it that when i started taking Effexor i could not sleep longer than 4 hours in a row and now i am off this medicine and i still have the same issue!? Is this permanent? Can these meds really damage you for life? Can anybody tell me will this get better and what is the timeframe? Thank you for reading!
  3. Junglechicken

    ☼ Junglechicken

    Hi, I joined this forum today and wanted to introduce myself. All it took was a family trauma to set off my depression/anxiety (my father's inability to stop spending money he didn't have, led to no money and my having to pay for my parents housing etc.,). I have suffered from underlying depression and anxiety for many years but managed to keep a lid on it by exercising and I guess being younger and able to forget the darker stuff by clubbing and going out. Then 6 years ago hubby and I moved to Canada from the UK and I dive-bombed into hell. Daily panic attacks at home and work, I was bullied at numerous work places as well as dealing with the work pressure, feeling of isolation and no support network. Then in June I lost my job and have been more or less house bound with the exception of having to go out to do chores. Went to my doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Feb 2014) - I was on it for 18 months in total and came off it mid-September 2015 after a 3 month taper at 5mg. This happened after I had got a job at a large company (Nov 2013), and I had to take 3.5 months medical leave. Upon my return to work, I was met with resentment and disdain by my colleagues who saw it that I was just looking to get "free vacation" time. This made my life even more hellish - my Manager had wanted to get rid of me upon my return but couldn't by law. I lost my job about a year after returning to work due to redundancy. Since then I have experienced extreme fatigue (had to stop marathon training), intense muscle and joint soreness, weird dreams, tinnitus, headaches, sinusitis, pressure changes in my ears and ear pain, sub-clinical migraines, crying spells, GI issues, heightened anxiety and depression. Despite these things, doctors never seem to find anything actually wrong with me. I honestly feel as though I am in hell - I feel as though someone has taken a photocopy of me and the photocopy is a completely different person (withdrawal). The weekdays are a drag, and I dread them as my hubby is at work. I fear the worst will happen while he is away. I am a total basket case and freak out very easily if there is a withdrawal symptom I don't recognise. If I can survive this, I can survive anything.
  4. I found this site after I had been off of Escitalopram (Lexapro) for a couple of weeks. I thought I had tapered it properly, but after visiting this site, seems I have come off too fast. I'm a couple of days out from my 7 week mark which is great for me, but the process hasn't been fun... not that I was expecting it to be. I'm definitely over the acute phase of WD. My zaps weren't too bad and only lasted about a week or so. I felt completely over the first phase by about week 3. I've been logging all of my progress as I have been going which helps quite a bit, especially when I'm having a bad day. I can look back at my journals and see that they aren't all bad days, even though when I get a bunch of bad days in a row it feels like I've never felt good in my entire life, nor will I ever feel good again. I know it's not true, but that's where my mind goes when I start to get caught up in these waves of anxiety. My current symptoms are weird burning mouth symptoms, and feel like my blood is hot running though my veins. I have a general uncomfortable feeling, and I know my breath smells bad... I can sense it. Does anyone else get this weird mouth feeling when anxious? Like you're dehydrated? You tongue feels weird and gross, and gets this awful white coating on it? Maybe I am dehydrated. I also react terribly to fasting these days. I used to be able to fast no problem, but now fasting makes my anxiety worse. I feel like my blood sugar is all over the place. I'm angry, so angry, road rage... ear phone rage (when you're wearing headphones and they get caught on stuff and pull your head) I got a parking ticket yesterday, I was so mad I tried to rip it up... you can't rip up tickets anymore, they're made of some kind of super paper or something. Point is, I'm angry a lot... which I think then feeds my anxiety. So ya, Protracted Withdrawal? Or return of my anxiety? Funny thing is, before SSRIs all I had was a panic disorder... I don't mean to minimize the seriousness of panic, but I didn't have anxiety until after I tried to quit SSRIs the first time. So what's going on? My brain is still adjusting? I guess 7 weeks is still pretty early in the grand scheme of things, just sucks. I wish I had known... oh wait, here comes another headache... I wish I had known that panic disorder will go away without drugs if you just face them in the correct way. Seems going the drug route just gave me a more complex problem that I now have to navigate. Ugh, anyway. Hi everyone. I've been sideling for a while now. Thought I would finally introduce myself.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Hi, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have slowly been starting to wonder if what I’ve been going through the past 18 months is related to SSRI withdrawal. I managed to successfully withdraw from Lexapro at the end of 2010, after over 13 years of AD use. I had various fluctuating symptoms for a couple of months, but then apart from constant ringing in my ears and a return of occasional anxiety, I seemed to be ok. I was studying to be a chi-ball instructor, was exercising regularly, was eating healthy and was generally quite happy. After getting off Lexapro, I had been diagnosed with adult ADD and been put on medication for that. It worked well for a couple of weeks and seemed to completely cure what remained of my anxiety, but then I started to get extreme restlessness, OCD like symptoms, irritability and an increase in my sensitivity, to sounds and lights. I assumed it was a bad reaction to the stimulant medication. My life has been a confusing nightmare since the end of 2010 really, but until I found this site a couple of weeks ago, it really didn’t occur to me that my ongoing problems were being caused by a medication I stopped taking over 2 years ago. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life starting from an early age and have always been sensitive and anxious. There has been some violent crime and sexual abuse, but I seemed to be ok until I got myself into a psychologically abusive marriage. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and started on Zoloft. For a couple of years it took the edge off my anxiety, but I never thought I had depression, but the Zoloft just made me feel generally numb, so I endured my marriage, for several more years until it became unbearable, tried to communicate with my ex-husband so that things would improve, but he wasn’t interested in change, he was already in his next relationship and had been for a while, I didn’t know that at the time though. Then I went through about 4 years of extremely frightening separation/divorce and ongoing court proceedings. . There were other extremely stressful things I’ve had to deal with over the last 10 years, but I’m not going to go into details. I have been thinking that what I’m going through is a combination of long term stress, anxiety/depression, a ‘dark night of the soul’, menopause and/or some kind of spiritual transformation like kundalini, because I have engaged in various spiritual practises through my life. At times its felt like my CNS is completely burned out or that I have some kind of serious hormonal imbalance, but I gave up trusting the medical profession, including psychologists after years of not being able to get any help from any of them and only ending up feeling worse and that its all my fault for not trying hard enough. I’ve had lots therapy, counselling and done various support groups over the last 15 years, nothing has been any significant help. I went back to college to study psychology and started a business, but that all fell apart when the marital abuse became worse and the divorce proceedings began. Since finding this site, I’ve stopped taking all psychotropic medication, realizing that anything which effects my brain is having an exaggerated negative effect on my recovery. For a long time I’ve noticed that even small amounts of caffeine, half a glass of wine or even an anti-histamine will have a very bad effect on me, but I was thinking it was my imagination. I can’t even eat chocolate any more without suffering the next day. I’m exhausted all the time, but it’s a weird kind of fatigue, its like a combination mental/emotional tiredness, not like anything I’ve ever felt before. I spend most of my time at home, on the internet on my bed, just doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. Its very difficult just getting out to buy a few groceries, but when I do go out, I function perfectly in a kind of dissociated way, like I’m not even in my own body, I’m watching myself like from a distance, wondering who it is that’s behaving so ‘normally’ when I’m feeling so awful. Waves of negative emotions seem to get triggered by almost everything around me and almost every thought, I try not to think about things or do much of anything so I can avoid the emotional pain that thoughts or experiences bring, its like a kind of forced meditation. This symptom was at its worst from November 2011 – August 2012, but its not as bad now, seems to be settling down, I think its improved by about 50%. Please would someone take a look at the details in my signature and give me an opinion if protracted anti-depressant withdrawal might be a factor in my current health problems which include: Waking at 5am with racing thoughts Feeling like I haven’t slept at all Nausea, shaking, dizziness, body pressure, muscle twitches Waves of negative emotion Hot/cold flashes, sweating Constant ringing in my ears Sensitive to sound, light and smells Can’t watch TV or listen to the radio because its too stimulating Most things are too stimulating now, including being around other people too long Loss of appetite and loss of weight Hair falling out Agoraphobia, mostly during the day, I’m able to go out easier late afternoon towards evening Memory problems and mental confusion Loss of confidence. Loss of interest in doing anything or going anywhere Can’t get any pleasure out of things any more Loss of hope I needed to put more detail in my signature, but that’s all that would fit. From about 2006 – 2008 I was also taking duramine (a prescription stimulant weight loss med) to try and lose all the weight I’d put on from being on SSRI meds. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try and provide a clear picture of my situation. Thank you Petu
  10. I was diagnosed with post natal depression ten years ago. The psych put me on 10mg lexapro and told me to see him again two weeks later. When I went back he asked if I felt better and I said no. He put my dose up to 15mg. Two weeks later I went back again and answered the same question with another no. He put me up to 20mg. This continued till I reached the dose of 30mg. By that stage I had learned to lie....I told him I felt much better so that he would stop increasing my dose. I later learned that the recommended dose of lexapro is 20mg. After twelve months on 30mg I cut myself down to 25mg. Basically over the following years I did the same thing until I got down to 5mg. That was two years ago. That is when my problems began. Increased anxiety and ocd. No physical symptoms thankfully. But the anxiety and ocd is awful. I have read extensively and know my symptoms are withdrawal. There are definite windows and waves. I am currently at 2mg and life is hard. I honestly can’t see how I am going to get off this drug. The withdrawal sets in about one month after a cut and honestly seems to be endless in intensity. At this stage I am in no hurry to cut any further. During a window My anxiety and ocd seems laughable and I can’t believe how silly I have been getting upset about everything. But during the waves the fear and terror is so real. It is as though my central nervous system is damaged beyond repair. I live in a constant state of hyper alert.
  11. Hi I withdraw Lexapro for 1 year completely facing unbearable withdrawals and again started for 6 months slowly tapered to 5 and was on 2.5 for 1 year and again quit for 5 months .. crashed very badly again and now reinstated 5 mg for 1 month .. when will my symptoms improve .. and is there anyone who really quit this hell and leading their life again .. PKEASE PKEASE OKEASE HELP ME
  12. 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.
  13. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
  14. MOD NOTE: This is Gemma92's topic. Before Gemma joined SA her sister icerose posted requesting assistance. I've merged the two topics so that all of Gemma's history is in one place. _________________________________ Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
  15. This is really more like a side-effect from taking SSRIs rather than the symptom of WD itself, but some of those who are still on drugs and are getting ready for tapering may find it really helpful. Weight gain While on drugs my body weight went up by about 55-60 pounds. I was able to get rid of it thanks to lowering my carbs intake. What worked in your case? Interestingly, no amount of physical exercise was enough in my case to help lose weight - the whole endocrine system, metabolism, and what not, was so much out of whack, that even running three marathons a day wouldn't do a thing.
  16. I've been meaning to introduce myself for a while now, but getting myself to sit down and actually write something has been so incredibly hard. I just can't focus. Things I want to say or share come in bits and pieces and are gone by the time I can get on this site. I'very been tapering off Lexapro since August and am down to 10 mg fromy 30. I know it's faster than suggested here, but it seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, I've decided to use Twitter primarily #TweetingMyRecovery. My handle is @AbleWriterSays if anyone cares to join me or follow along.
  17. Hi all, I'm glad to have finally found a place that provides an explanation for everything I have been going through. Anway, let's get to it I guess. I first started taking antidepressants when I was 17 years old (2010) due to a development of Panic Disorder which I now know was caused by trauma as a child from various things, my mother dying being the main reason I suspect, she was also a drug addict so I grew up around a lot things a child shouldn't, I also had no father present. As long as I can remember I have also suffered from OCD, I obviously wasn't aware what it was as a child but the characteristics were there. I originally was started of on Zoloft for a couple of months but it had no effect, moved onto Citalopram, again didn't work. Finally I found my golden ticket, Lexapro. It provided me with the much needed relief I was seeking from my panic and compulsions/rumination. It worked great. At the beginning I don't really remember suffering many side effects except for dampened emotions and a slightly decreased libido. Since beginning on Lexapro I was on and off it a lot to be honest and from memory never experienced much difficulty withdrawing, nothing acute anyway although I did always get some brain zaps, thinking back now I always welcomed the return of a natural emotional range, It was like I could breathe again. I have not been on it full time since I started and the longest I spent off it was 2.5 - 3 years and was seemingly doing okay. I went back on medication when I went overseas at the beginning of 2018 as travelling seemed to heighten my pre-existing mental health issues, again, it worked a treat. OCD and rumination out the window! I had a bit of dramatic year in 2018 and was out partying a lot to ease the pain and by the end of the year I decided I wanted to make real change, tackle my demons head on, come off meds, get super healthy and focus hard on my acting. This is when my hell started. The first two months of 2019 were great, I was running every second day, I had started a course at uni and I was sober and enjoying it! By May my rumination and OCD skyrocketed, existential dread, a loss of purpose and hope, you name it. I was plagued by what I can only describe as feelings of tension all throughout my guts and inner body. My torso just became ( and still is ) so tight and stiff, lots of pain in my back, neck and shoulders, restricted movement, it's by far my most uncomfortable symptom, especially my diaphragm. I now know this is due to my nervous system taking such a hit by being exposed to such change so quickly but Its left me confused as I have always fast tapered and never experienced anything like this. I went back to my doctor assuming that I needed to go back on medication, my theory was the combination of quitting substance abuse and medication had opened the floodgates to a lot of pent up unresolved trauma and overloaded my system ( I will also add from 17-21 I pretty much did 0 drugs and 21 onwards dabbled very rarely) truth is, I had every intention of feeling my emotions properly and still do but something was different this time round. I have been in physical hell for over a year now, stiff, sore, restless, you name it. I started back on Lexapro around June - July last year but I found it didn't do too much. My new psych had me try Fluoxetine for a bit but it didnt do anything at all. By the end of the year I started to come off it again and truth be told, the lower I got in dosage, the better I was feeling. I might also mention that for the majority of 2018 I was at a dose of 10mg, nothing too high. In the past when I was younger I had gone up to 20-25 but haven't been on that high of a dose consistently for a long time. I did go back up to 20 briefly last year after reinstating as I was desperate and thought the more the better but it didnt change anything. I have now been off Lexapro again for around 6 weeks, I have definitely experienced what I now know as waves and windows, I'm a pretty intuitive person and I can tell you that my mind and body scream at the idea of ingesting that drug again. I only found this website last week so I have only just found out about reinstatement and all of the things that are discussed here. Reinstatement at a low dose has crossed my mind as an option so I can begin a slower taper down the track and stabilize my symptoms however based on the fact that I stopped and started again last year without too much alleviation from the negative symptoms I feel as though I should just keep going, as tough as it is. My psychological symptoms have largely improved, I have had a slight decrease in the general tension I have talked about which is good. I also have moments where I feel real emotion which I actually like, sure it feels like I may cry sometimes (although I never really truely do) but thats all i have ever wanted for a long time, to let go off all this weight I have carried from my trauma. Anyway I thought I would get some opinions from you guys as to whether I should try reinstating or just keep fighting the good fight. I don't know if I am extremely resilient or if my symptoms are bad but not AS bad as other peoples but I have somehow managed to hold down a job, try my best at exercise, stay sober for 90 percent of the last year and work hard towards my goals. Its been so so uncomfortable, but I'm a battler and i fear if I stop I won't start again. I wonder if the worst is over? I mean I reinstated for 5 months and have honestly noticed more positive changes since stopping the medication all together once more. I am thankful for my positive mindset, at the moment I am not feeling suicidal which I was for a time, I want to be alive, I meditate a lot, write a gratitude list every day and do what I can to keep moving forward. I really really don't want to take meds again but I understand it may help... I will mention again that I have ALWAYS fast tapered under the advice of my old Psych and never had this happen before, why now? Anway, some direction may help, I'm thinking about sticking it out, im certainly not feeling comfortable but currently doing all I can besides actually taking the tablets themselves. At this point the physical is more unbearable than the mental but im pushing forward, any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
  18. Hello, I started lexapro for mild social anxiety and was on it for 6 years (3 of those years I was on 60mg which I found out later was 3x the Max dose). I never had any issues on the medicine if I skipped a dose or went up or down in dosage. I abruptly stopped taking it about 2 years ago and had horrible withdrawal symptoms. I went right back on the medicine but was never able to have coffee after that and had palpitations. After that scare I wanted to get off the medicine so last year starting in January i weaned down from 10mg to 0mg in a 4 month period. I never had any issues while tapering off. Then in June (3 months after stopping) one day I randomly felt 2 sharp electric shocks in my head while reading and started to have an onslaught of symptoms after. Dizziness (feeling like a bobble head when walking), extreme fatigue, heart issues which caused me to go to ER a few times, sensitiviy to noise, visual disturbances etc. I went to many doctors and everything was normal. In September my symptoms got progressively worse to the point where I had to move back home to my parents. For the past 2.5 months I have basically been bed ridden am developing POTs type symptoms and have extreme fatigue and dizziness. I tried taking Xanax for 3 days in September, lexapro for 4 days at 1mg in nov and this past weekend I took Zoloft at 25mg for two days and I had a bad reaction to each, especially the Zoloft. I now have brain zaps and shocky like sensations whenever I move my head or eyes. I wanted to get advice to see if this sounds like it’s attributed to lexapro as every doctor has assured me it’s not and if so, if there’s any hope for healing. Thanks.
  19. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  20. 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.
  21. So let me get into this..always had anxiety and depression my whole life.. I spent year sick to my stomach then started to get though it.. the 2013 hit.. a dentist ruined my life.. I ended up with nerve damage in my face.. trigeminal neuropathy.. is was put on lexipro 10 mgs.. and trileptal and anticonvulsant.things started to settle down and I had a pretty happy 4 yrs.. i started smoking cannabis and the combo keep my pain down but at the time I didn’t know it.. i weaned off the trileptal cause it made me sick as hell and things were ok compared to the hell I went through for 2 yrs.. but I still suffered for anxiety but I just wasn’t in pain.. so.. fast forward 4 yrs.. I thought hey I just want to come off my antidepressant.. my dr at the time said.. your on a low dose.. just cut the pill in half for 3 days then stop.. I continued to smoke cannabis and got thru the brain zaps then started feeling good after about 2 months.. the I started getting pain on my left side and thought it was a tooth.. then the pain or maybe parasethsia exploded over the whole front on my face..had a root canal and that didn’t help. smoking pot started causing anxiety so my dr put me back on lexipro thinking that would help. And started gabapentine for nerve pain.. that helped for 7 months..then put me on Ativan because I wasn’t sleeping and I started smoking cannabis again.. so I thought the pain was caused by my root canals.. got those pulled.. slowly weaned off my lexipro but would be terrible parastesia across my face at night.. long story shorter . When I went off the cannabis and lexipro I would shake at night. I tapered myself to fast.. I have burning in my jaw and face and am having a hard time.. I’m on a low dose of trileptal 75 mg twice a day and it allows me to sleep a few hours.. I’m in a rough spot.. I have nerve damage in my face that is typically treated with antidepressant and anticonvulsants but I have done a great deal of investigation and these drugs are bad.. the research is there.. I think my brain has been harmed by them and by my poor decision making as well.. When I’m off the drugs I have my mind clear and I like that.. it hasn’t been clear for a long time.. I didn’t take my trileptal yesterday and I felt alive but had more pain.. could the emergence of my pain in my face be a result of the medication.. do I trust the people at Johns Hopkins.. I have much doubt and I fear for my life.. I have made too many mistakes on my own... insight would be very useful.. thank you.. in hindsight being as sensitive as I am I wish I had never touched a drug in my life and taken care of the mind god blessed me with.. I think I really screwed up.. I see a therapist mon..
  22. Hello All, I am a college student who has been on 400mg of Wellbutrin for 5 months and 10mg of Lexapro for a bit less than six weeks. I didn't want to be put on Lexapro. I had been experiencing mild anxiety but for the most part, I was doing really well. (Sleeping and eating better, more energy, basically what one hopes for when being put on antidepressants.) In late November, my doctor insisted that I needed to start Lexapro. I pushed back and he insisted further - basically almost threatened to drop me as a client unless I took this medication but never gave a clear reason as to why. This whole thing was so suspicious that I actually researched him to see if there was any connection he may have had to the pharma industry. (Couldn't find anything.) Now, 6 weeks later, I'm not doing well at all. My anxiety hasn't decreased at all and I've been experiencing headaches and extreme fatigue. I went from sleeping 7-8 hours a night to 11 hours a night in addition to an early evening nap. I feel like a zombie. Basically, I'm very convinced this is medicine is not for me. I told me doctor all of this in an email and he essentially refused to even consider me stopping the medicine. He said that if I wanted to even discuss the subject, I needed to come in for an early appointment (I would be charged extra $50). He refused to give me any details on how to taper off Lexapro. I really don't want to see him again. Therefore, I was hoping some of you may provide me with some advice on tapering off Lexapro. Beginning in early December I took 5mg for a week and then 10 mg since then. Therefore, I've only been on 10mg for a bit over a month. I feel like tapering off by 10% every 3 weeks is a bit too extreme for my case - seeing as I've only been on it for a bit. I was considering doing a week of 7.5mg, a week of 5mg, a week of 2.5mg and then nothing. If you tapered off lexapro after being on it short term I would love to hear your advice, experience, and side effects. Thank you very much! Also, I get my Wellbutrin from my PCP so no worries about losing that prescription.
  23. I started taking lexapro about 5 years ago was on 20mg. I tapered off over the course of 9 weeks by 10mg each. I've been off for 12 days. I've been feeling the brain zaps which I expected, I was tired and irritable which I expected. One night I woke up in a dead slee with pgad symptoms. Who would have thought that an anti depressant withdrawal would have caused this? I do not have it as bad as what I read but it is there. Im also feeling itchyness all over my body. Tingling everywhere, did anyone have pgad from withdrawal? Did it go away? How long did it take? I came off the lexapro to try and have a baby with my husband. Iam now devastated. Please give me some positivity! (mod note: Original title: Pgad help! Does it ever go away!)
  24. 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
  25. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
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