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  1. Hello everyone, Before I begin, I want to apologize for the length of my first post. While some of the information may seem irrelevant at first, I'm trying to provide context and useful details to be as helpful as possible. I have tried to follow the forum guidlines as much as possible, but there is a lot to read up on, so if I am missing anything or anything needs adjusted please let me know. I am a male student in my early thirties who was first prescribed Lexapro/Escitalopram when I was nineteen for situational anxiety. Following the doctor's taper advice, I went on and off it twice in my twenties. The reason I returned to the drug both times was, again, situational anxiety that became debilitating to daily life. I did not have any problems with these tapers, which were completed over a few weeks. My latest period on the drug started in late 2013. I was on this dose, Lexapro/Escitalopram 20mg, for approximately six years. Last fall, I decided I wanted to taper off for good. I was experiencing some effects such as sleeping long periods, morning anxiety, and a feeling of a constricted nasal passage in the morning that I thought might be related to the drug. More generally, being on the drug made me feel ashamed and I was coming upon a turning point in my life that had made me committed to living healthier. Given my experience with past tapers, I conceived a taper that, at the time, seemed cautious since it was a longer plan. I would alternate days and divide the dose in half every two weeks. When the dose became too small to prepare with a pill cutter, I used a pill crusher and made a water/drug solution that I administered with an oral syringe. This taper was completed from August to December 2019, over approximately four months. The negative effects I remember when tapering was some occasional irritability/emotional oversensitivity. I now realize that, given my situation, this taper was foolish and too fast. In my mind, I was just trying to do what I thought was a more careful version of the method I used in the past. In the middle of January 2020, I noticed one of my testicles was swollen. My PCP had me get an ultrasound, which indicated that I had developed a small hydrocele. A hydrocele is an accumulation of fluid that is generally harmless, but sometimes requires surgery to remove. Accompanying the hydrocele was some penile pain/burning. Although a urine test indicated that this was not from a urinary infection or STD, my doctor prescribed an antibiotic. I presume he was suspecting an infection of another kind. I began the antibiotic on February 13, and after about five to six days, I began noticing some very distressing symptoms: confusion, bad mind fog, short-term memory issues, anxiety, strange vertigo-like sensation behind the eyes, inability to feel emotions. I woke up in the middle of the night on day seven with a panic attack like none I'd ever had before. It was relatively short, but my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, which isn't a symptom associated with my past panic attacks. The symptoms I described would come in waves of a few hours and then attentuate. Around days seven and eight I also was going in out of something I would describe as a dissociative state combined with intense anxiety. It was very bizarre and unlike anything I had ever experienced berfore. I just felt disconnected from everything, the world felt corrupted, and combined with the aforementioned symptoms was very terrifying. At the time the first symptoms (mind fog, anxiety) appeared, I thought they might be connected to coming off the SSRI. This seemed logical considering that they were primarily psychological symptoms. I went online and learned for the first time about the possibility of protracted withdrawal from SSRIs. My understanding prior to this was that talk of "discontinuation/withdrawal syndrome" referred to the brain zaps/flu-like symptoms that sometimes accompany tapering. Nevertheless, on day eight of the antibiotic (February 20), it occurred to me that the antibiotic was the only new factor to be introduced during the preceding week and these symptoms were so qualitatively different than anything I had ever felt before. After looking it up online, I found reports of this particular antibiotic causing the previously mentioned side effects - anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, etc. (see https://www.medications.com/doxycycline-hyclate/39445). After learning this on the evening of day eight, I decided to quit taking the antibiotic, and within two to three days the side effects mostly subsided. The following week (February 23), the penile pain/numbness/occasional paresthesia returned. I had daily anxiety for a couple weeks worrying about this issue until the urologist did a physical examination (March 5) and assured me that everything was normal, but that the symptoms could possibly be coming from an issue with my pelvic floor muscles. She recommended that I look into pelvic floor therapy, which I have yet to look into. Since the urologist appointment, the penile symptoms have largely disappeared, which leads me to believe that they may have been psychosomatic effects combined with lingering antibiotic side effects. Most recently, over the last week (March 9-15), I've noticed a return of some of the psychological symptoms I was experiencing before while on the antibiotic, only not quite as intense: hours-long waves of anxiety, mind fog, heart pounding, memory issues. I'm just generally feeling "out of it" and not "like myself," kind of like a hangover. The last two nights I have had problems sleeping because of anxiety and heart palpitations. I am concerned with what is causing these issues. Some people who took the antibiotic I did said the side effects lasted weeks or months afterwards. This seems possible given that antibiotics can kill a lot of the "good" gut bacteria that have some relation to mood regulation. What is confusing is that some of the side effects of the antibiotic seem to overlap with those of SSRI withdrawal. So could it be that one triggered or exacerbated the other or that it is a combination of both? The last two months have been some of the hardest of my life. From being in the emergency room worried about the antibiotic damaging my brain, to worrying about having a debilitating genital issue that would ruin my ability to form a relationship or have kids, to worrying about the possibility of SSRI withdrawal, it's been one thing after the other. Currently, I'm dealing with trying to finish my semester remotely while holed up with my family because of the coronavirus situation. One family member was recently discharged from the hospital and requires a lot of constant assistance with certain medical procedures and therapies, so that has been stressing everyone out. So it is also possible that I'm just feeling burned out. In the meantime, I have started seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist who is sympathetic to people weaning of antidepressants and transitioning to more wholistic therapy. She thinks it is conceivable that the issue is any or all of the things I described above, and has advised me to live as healthy as possible in the meantime. I have adjusted my diet (including adding probiotic foods), spent time walking daily, cut out caffeine, and started on fish oil, a multivitamin, and gingko biloba. Overall, my purpose for posting here is to get any kind of guidance or perspective that may be helpful. I understand this is a complex situation that doesn't have a clear response. At this point it seems my options are to wait it out or to try to reinstate the Lexapro/Escitalopram at a lower dose which seems successful for some, although from reading here it seems that at three months since the last dose I am approaching the end of the window of opportunity where that seems effective. I found a psychiatrist from the forum's "recommended doctors" section who lives close to me and seems to recognize withdrawal, so scheduling an appointment is a possibility. Finally, I want to thank the administrators and moderators of the forum for their work in selflessly providing a space for those of us in need to receive advice.
  2. I have had an account here for a long time. I do not believe I ever did an introduction. I was just speaking with someone who recommended I come here. I am suffering in so many ways and I feel so alone. I am becoming more hopeless every day and am afraid I am going to end up in a hospital. I have little time to even write now because there is way too much going on in my life. I need help. There is no where to go for help. 1- I was started on high doses of xanax in 1997 and continued until they switched me to 4mg klonopin in 2013 during a hospitalization. CT off xanax for a few days which I thought I was going to die. Then Klonopin, which has wreaked havoc in my life and mind and body. 2- Besides these two benzos, doctors have tried their "cocktails" on me. I do not remember every drugs, but these I remember: First, the xanax and the klonopin. Plus they have pulled me off, put me on, rearranged etc over and over the following drugs: remeron, cymbalta, zyprexa, celexa, serzone, brintellix (I think they renamed trintellix), lexapro, effexor, prozac, trazadone, abilify, wellbutrin, ritalin, seroquel, latuda, pristiq, melatonin, ambien, paxil, zoloft, vistaril, vyvanse, lamictal, cogentin, rexulti, and more. I cannot remember all. Life is a blur for these past almost 25 years of polydrugging. Now I am on here for my son as well - we both need help 3- Recent trauma: 2014 youngest son starts becoming delusional and episodes of psychosis. 2015: my father is euthanized in front of me and my family because of other family member's decisions for him - even though he was not dying, was completely alert and had his mind. He was not in hospice. It is a long story and traumatic. 2015: son's psychosis getting worse with son and he moves to another state to live with his brother. 1-4-2016: my son (youngest of four) parked a car and sliced his throat open with a knife- cutting through his trachea. Somehow lived. Got out of car, ran up 7 flights of a construction zone to jump. Construction workers stop him. I get call from hospital and fly to that state the next day. Son had to have 4 hour surgery to put his throat back together. He was in medical for 40 days with trach and feeding tubes. Then in psych. Then they sent him home with me. The rest of 2016 was complete chaos of hospitalizations for him - did not realize it was the drugs they were forcing on him. I was stupid. They messed him up so badly - 30 days of overdrugging in a "stabilization" unit. (he was the MOST unstable here!) Upon D/C, they discontinued his meds and gave him an injection of Abilify Maintena. Severe reaction to this. No sleep, severe akathathsia, pacing the floors night and day, hardly eating -- exactly 2 weeks later - he was arrested. In jail 14 months where they tried multiple drugs on him. Finally putting him on Clozapine and Effexor. Then he was court ordered to a residential treatment center. The doctor there increased the Clozapine from 300mg to 500mg. 225mg effexor. He was getting through the court ordered program for 10 months. Then they ran out of his Clozapine. I really do not know all details because I have learned how corrupt they are. He was forced hospitalized. Day 1: forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, Geodon X1. While he was suffering withdraws from the abrupt CT cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and now the cessation of 225mg of Effexor - both forced upon him by the "professionals". Day 2: Forced injection of Haldol and ativan. I informed the hospital that he cannot tolerate haldol. But they continued to drug him up. Day three: Forced injections of Haldol X 3 and ativan X 3 and then they started giving him Benztropine. By the time I saw my son at visitation, he was almost dead and it was a gruesome sight. I will not give details but I know I suffer post traumatic stress from it all -- I had to argue with nurse to get help for him. He finally was rushed to CV-ICU. He had DX of respiratory failure, acute kidney failure with rhabdomylosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws. The ICU doctor noted that they had to work on my son for 48 minutes to "stop vital organ system failure and stop further life-threatening deterioration of patient's condition". After ICU, it was awful - he was soon thrown back into psych. All visitation and phone rights denied him. He was kept in restraints, completely naked, hours on end. Med techs would hold him on the floor while other techs kicked and beat him in the head. They continued to forcibly drug him with thorazine, restoril, ativan, even adding depakote and eventually starting the clozapine again. I had to fight for him for three months. He still has health problems today. I am his caretaker but I need help. He currently is taking: 500mg Clozapine, 150mg effexor. 4- Me- I cannot even remember when I started to taper my meds. Everything is a blur. I started realizing how bad they are for me. Knew very little. I cut the lexapro dose in half - I think this was early 2017. And I cut the klonopin dose by 1/4. Still, since then, a few different meds were started but I would stop them CT. Then I started learning more. I read parts of the Ashton Manual. I have been on FB groups. I have actually received a lot of harsh treatment from some people in the FB groups, so I rarely go on any of those groups anymore. I have a scale now. I shave off my klonopin. I tried lowering the lexapro but ended up going back up to 10mg and holding. Want to get off klonopin. But I am not doing well at all. I am exhausted. cannot write anymore. I have waited years to even get this put in here. I hope it makes sense. I have tried liquid titration with klonopin - disaster for me. I hardly have time to even care for myself - son is urgent. I am just barely functioning. So that's that. Not how I would have liked to write it. but mind is jumbled I think. I feel misunderstood. Hope I am not misunderstood here. I feel very much alone. NIghtmares- terrible. depression like I have never experienced. extreme fatigue, but high demands on me. I have to function. No one cares or understands about my son or about me. My son needs to taper but I think he needs to wait until off probation - maybe April or May this year. Everything I read and see about Clozapine and the horrible labels they have assigned to him - it seems hopeless. I feel hopeless of ever getting off klonopin and lexapro. This is no way to live. I am making no sense. Not even painting the right picture...for people to understand. How does anyone successfully get off these drugs and get out of the control of the system? We live in FL and they are "Baker Act" crazy here. Baker Act is forced hospitalization. They even have police come handcuff and take children right out of schools to a psych facility. It is only getting worse. I do not know what to do. I want to be free of these drugs. Also, my son wants to be free of the drugs. We both want to be free from the control of this holocaust type system call psychiatry. I know a moderator has to approve. Maybe this was not written correctly. Just let me know what I did wrong. This took a lot of effort. Even reading takes a lot of effort and I even forget. So maybe i am not supposed to put all this in here. Just let me know.
  3. Hi guys! Its been almost 7 months since I ct Lexapro, having only used it in 1 month om 5 mg. Its only now for the last weeks that the zaps, vertigo, flu-sympthoms and burning are starting, and becoming more severe by each day.. And I have a constant low fever since one month. (No virus.) Im burning all over my body, not sensitive to touch really.. Just feels like im on fire. And feels like breathing.. Sulfur. Not a refluxprob. (Also kinda blushing in face) All worse in my belly. Having attacks where it kinda knocks me with burning nerves all over and then goes back to constant medium-burning.. My cold sheets in bed is a blessing to naked skin! Also, notice aches and getting weaker in all my muscles.. 😕 Im so afraid! Whats going on! Have someone felt like this?
  4. 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.
  5. Hi, I am new to this side, but unfortunately not new to antidepressants. In 2010 I managed to tapper Effexor, which took me more than two years. I made a terrible mistake and around 2 months ago I have started taking escitalopram. I was fulled by a psychiatrist that this is a safest antidepressant, which does not cause any side effects. I have also been on low dose of Doxepin at night to prevent migraines (this has been for over 2 years, but never caused any major problems...) I started on 5mg of escitalopram and I was ok on this, my anxiety stopped, I slept better, etc. Two weeks ago I increased to 10mg and this is when symptoms started. Firstly it was a weird sensation, each morning I was getting "pins and needles" in my arms, this was going away after getting up. Then I started sleeping badly...I wanted to cut back to 5mg, but a psychiatric said that it was only temporary, so I have stay on 10mg. In the meantime, I had a migraine and took my usual triptan; I almost got serotonin syndrom (at least I think)...This was the time I started to read about escitalopram and discovered horror stories... I want to stop this drug! I wonder if I have taken it for so short I could go with a faster than 10% tapper? Can I cut to 5mg straight away? Thank you Ikam
  6. It started in December 2018. On 17th of December I took my first (and only pill) of lexapro 10 mg. I have never taken drugs (not even alcohol). I desperetely took an AD because I was depressed and suffered from extreme anxiety attacks, due to malnutrion, being out of work and the loss of what I felt was the love of my life. I wanted talk therapy but the waiting list was so long and I got desperate. 1 pill made me suffer terrible insomnia and crazy mania. I was so afraid because I couldn't feel any emotions and I started sweating like crazy. My doctor ignored my, and after a few days without sleep I ended up in the hospital where they drugged me with Olanzapine for my anxiety. I wook up feeling even more terrible. This time I had vision problems, metallic taste in my mouth, angry violent impulses rushing in combination with being like a zombie. I was numb in the left side of my body, had poor co-ordination and couldn't move the fingers in my left hand. I told doctors this, but they didn't listen. "You really need your meds" was the answer.After 4 days on olanzapine I quit CT. During this period my health anxiety and mania around it skyrocketed. I ordered a lot of supplements to heal my brain, went to the ER asking to get my brain was damaged from the stroke. The reason I believed it was a stroke was that when I googled my symptoms "intense headache like you never experienced before" , "numbness on one side of the body", so I thought my brain One of the supplements I ordered was Mucuna Pruriens, an indian medicine with L-dopa. And with the effects of the other drugs still in my system I reacted really badly. I got this extreme euphoria from nowhere and then I totally crashed. I ended up in hospital, after trying LLLT-therapy. No doctors believed my theory that the drugs had done this, and that I got an dopamine-overdose, and now a broken reward system. At first I at least had some energy in January. But after the hospital, where they gave me a cicordinol injection along with benzos, I completely disconnected from my self. There is no now anymore, and the damage/experience is so much worse than it was when it started with Lexapro (which was an enough traumatic experience). No one has listened and only now do my family believe me, when they got to witness live how i developed tardive dyskenisia from the injection at the hospital. My lean and healthy--looking face and body, is now pluffy/swollen. I have gained weight despite excellent dietary habits. I have never before been able to gain weight, no matter what I eat. My hospital stay was in February-April. The injection was against my will, my family and doctors aswell. The doctor said I'm not psychotic. The doctors on the otherhand gave me "delusional disorder" and other labels for simply criticizing modern medicine and how telling them how sick I became because of the drugs. One of the sleeping meds made me totally loose my vision and I got muscle spasm, but the nurse's didn't bother. After the injection my neck starting twitching and I couldn't hold it straight. I could not talk. I was drooling and couldn't open my jaw. I stood drooling in front of the whole medical staff team, and they ignored me and told me to go back to my room. The doctor didn't give me any meds after that, stating, "Well you are obviously sensitive to drugs". Well, that should have been plain, given the reason I was there in the first place. During this time I also suggested to be treated with Zoloft. I think it was for 2-3 weeks, can't really remember anything from this time really. Only didn't to escape more antipsychotic poisoning and because I felt my life was already over anyways. Been free of medicines since April. 1 pill Escitalopram (10mg) December. 4 pills olanzapine (10mg) December. Sleeping meds: imovane (december-march/april). Benzos: Mitrazepan 1-2 times. Theralen, 2 times. (Really damaged me) Cicodirnol injection (don't now the dose, but low dose). Reasoning for it was that I stopped showering at the hospital. Why? Well it was traumatic to see yourself naked and in front of a mirror, and not being able to feel the water on your body... I live at home. With wellfare (thanks Sweden, but your healthcare is like the medieval ages). Every day I'm slowly loosing touch with reality.I have friends and family. A yoga teacher supporting me to go to an Indian Ayruvedic hospital in June. But my health is detoriating. I can barely move my neck (that problem I didn't have before when the worst of the injection was behind me). I have no feelings whatsoever. Anhedonia. Nothing gives me pleasure. I am against porn, but tried it to see if I react, I did react at the hospital (not a normal reaction, but something happened), no nothing. Porn was an easy test due to dopamine and how powerful it is on our brains. But nothing happens. I have no higher concioussness. No feeling of the now or my-self. This was severely damaged by the drugs in the first place, but it is just getting worse. When it all started I had racing thoughts, flashbacks, anxiety etc. And even hope when I started to improve after quitting Olanzapine. But the Mucuna Pruriens sent me back to something that is not worthy a life at all. So body has shut down. Memory. IQ. Everything declining. I have a hard time writing and coordinating everything I do. I don't know if this post belongs here, but I most say it does. Everything started with Lexapro. Got worse with Olanzapine. And finally ended me with the dopamine overload and later on injection. My background: 26 year old from Sweden. Musician, graphic designer, have master's degree in Media Production, worked as a teacher, have been a top-performer but also really anxious and low sense of self, I have not valued my self at all despite everything external going great for me. Loving, caring and really emotional. Now I'm flat and liveless. My face has changed. Eyes are dead.No curiosity for life. Deaf in one ear after the meds. I can't read or listen to music, or watch films. That was possible in the beginning before my self medication. It feels lonely. Lonely to have had such a strong reaction, not being taken seriously which made the situation much worse than it should have been. I know some of you have been on theese drugs for years, I have not, but the damage has been imense. What has happened? Can this be turned around? I am lonely in this? I just want my life back. So I wanted to share this. I should have done that in December. Maybe then I could have been warned, tapering, avoiding interactions etc. Need your support. Hope everything makes sense. I can't remember what I have written and have no energy to proof-read. / Albin
  7. 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.
  8. My story is a little different....at 33 years old, I quit smoking. About 6 months later, I ran into a situation that required me to confront someone. As that time approached, I became increasingly anxious about my ability to handle the situation....to the point I went to my doctor for help. He immediately threw 20 mg of Prozac at me which I started taking, not knowing or having been told to taper “on” the drug. In a matter of days, the mild anxiety I was experiencing morphed into catastrophic anxiety....I lost my mind. (I now know, after genetic testing, that my body did not produce enough “glutathione”, a major antioxidant that we need to detox and process chemicals) ....I needed help. I left my GP and sought out the top Psychiatrist in my city...By this time, I was such a mess due to the effects of the Prozac, I was diagnosed with GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I came off the 20 mg of Prozac and we tried several other types of antidepressants over the following months....Each one effecting me the same way. I finally ended up back on 5 mg of Prozac...over much time, my body eventually regulated and absorbed the medication, I healed from the experience and thrived. Over the last 20 years I ran into a few occasions that required the medication to be increased....Again, I would lose my mind! It would take weeks, sometimes months for my brain to absorb and metabolize the increase of Prozac...I was told this was happening because I was “sensitive” to antidepressants and that I’d have to tough it out because I needed to be on them forever. Still not knowing about my lack of the major antioxidant, and hating the Prozac, I suggested to my doctor that we try another brand...He switched me to Lexapro in 2014...same story...massive anxiety...barely surviving...but finally after weeks/months I regulated and made it through to better times. All this time I prayed fervently that God would tell me when I could come off of these horrid drugs that were on the verge of destroying my life....My father and grandfather had both taken their lives. I didn’t want to continue this legacy. I had managed to build a beautiful family and a solid marriage....all I wanted to do is live without the meds....my biggest prayer for myself and enjoy the blessings bestowed upon me. In the spring of 2019, after 20 years, I heard what I was waiting for...not audibly, but in my spirit I heard that it was time. I could come off this medication. I started in March with a razor blade, scraping off “dust” from the 10 mg of Lexapro. I had heard of withdrawals from antidepressants but thought if I took it extra slow I could avoid them..I tapered all year. If I started to develop withdrawal symptoms, I would stop tapering and camp where I was at for awhile until I stabilized. I was doing it! All went well until August of last year. I had gotten down to 2.5 mg and thought I could stop there. So I did. After 4 days I started getting nauseous and dizzy. I called my doctor and told him what I was doing...(He didn’t know I was tapering off...he was the one who told me I would be on them for life) He called in liquid Lexapro and told me to go back on where I left off (2.5 mg) and taper more slowly. The problem with this is...the medicine level had dropped in my system so with the reintroduction of the medicine, I LOST MY MIND YET AGAIN! I became almost suicidal...but I stuck with it. I slowly tapered completely off with the liquid and took my last dose on November 11, 2019. Here I am 4 1/2 months out. If you are on this site, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it has been. I will say that in tapering off that slow (over 8 months) I didn’t experience the brain zaps and nausea as well as some of the other symptoms but I have experienced constant anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, dips of depression and hopelessness at times. I’ve needed constant affirmation from my support group that all that I’m going through are withdrawal symptoms and that I’m NOT relapsing or going crazy. I pushed through even the hardest of days and have not missed a day of work since that last day of meds in November. A friend of mine suggested that I go see her a Integrative Doctor about the time that I reinstated the 2.5 mg due to the withdrawals in August which turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in all of this. This doctor did the genetic testing and found out the root of why I was losing my crap every time the meds were increased and promptly started me on Gluathione IV’s as well as a cream and started me on a protocol of supplements and an anti inflammatory diet (no gluten, dairy, processed foods, or sugar) He also ran a sensitivity test to find out what other foods I was allergic or sensitive to. Did you know that 70 plus % of your serotonin is manufactured your gut? So it is imperative to heal your gut for optimal serotonin production. I will list the supplements that I’m on...of course these are taylored for me and my genes.....B2, B6, B9, B12 (shots), Magnesium Malate, Lithium Orotate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, 3 different probiotics (Megaspore, Florassist Mood Improve, Restore) Lemon Balm tincture, melatonin, and the mother of them all, 5HTP (converts directly into serotonin). I am 4 1/2 months out...I’m about 85-90% healed and my symptoms are decreasing consistently. I’m certain that I will reach 100% at some point this year...but am still having good days and bad days..Aside from the Integrative medicine, the things that have helped me most are: devotions and reading my Bible every morning, journaling, EXERCISING EVERY DAY, drink a lot of water to keep your mind sharp and to detox, anti inflammatory diet, routine, talking to my counselor, and TRYING to get as much sleep as possible....This is hard, because everyone I’ve talked to going through this is NOT sleeping. I don’t want to but I take Benedryl to sleep, however, I have been able to cut back on some of it. I am so thankful and encouraged by the bravery and courage of all of the warriors on this website and looking forward to hearing your success stories. Thanks for reading my story. Blessings to you all...ByTheGrace
  9. 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.
  10. Hello and welcome to my hell. Lexapro 2 years along with heavy marijuana use, CT ... Fine for 5 months then all hell broke loose. April 2019 Took 1 10mg lexapro and woke up vomiting and diahrea. Cut back to 5mg for 2 days but couldnt move and also had the flu. Dr. Says try again when flu gets better. May 2019 took 2.5mg lexapro and awoke two hrs later7 in sheer panic and full blown akathesia. No good. Ended up in mental hospital and put on 10 mg celexa. After 5 days thrown back into full blown akathesia. No good so stopped and got worse. Second hospital stay now on lithium and zyprexa which lasted less than a week. 3 weeks later back in another mental hospital. Third time not the charm .. Put on Zoloft 25 and 3 days later up to 50. Did okay for 4 weeks then got really ill, could not get out of bed. Tapered off over 2 weeks. That was 3 weeks ago from today (Sept 1 2019). Felt pretty good first week, slowly declining 2nd week and now I am in a lot of body pain, sweats, tingles, head pressure, si, inner restlessness, trouble sleeping, crying spells, anger, and at times just ok. Supplements are Lions Mane, l theanine, B vits, methyl b12 and folinic acid since I am a mthfr! Vit D. Omega's and mag.
  11. 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
  12. 2 months ago I was prescribed 5 mg of lexapro for depression after a 10 minute discussion where all I said was basically I had low energy. I knew I was sensitive to medication so I only took 2.5mg and only a few hours later I started having side effects and decided this was not for me. I thought they would last for the time it took for lexapro to leave my system but boy was that wrong. These 2 months have been the hardest of my life. It's like the side effects come and go in waves, getting worse and worse with small "windows" of feeling sane again. They include digestive upset, at first just diarrhea but that has gone away and now I just have random projectile vomiting usually set off by something so small like even a small magnesium supplement or food that I had no problem taking before. Brain zaps after the first month,have gone away but I thought I was having seizures when they happened my whole body would shake and any head movement or stress would trigger seeing stars and blackouts it was horrifying. Now at the near 3 month mark the emotional symtoms are the worst, every morning it's like I feel my mind spiral out of control as I wake up and become more alert. It's almost like I have to make myself not think because every thought becomes reality and the thoughts are always extreme and terrifying. Sometimes I can meditate and come into reality in the evening with the help of a beta blocker but during the day it is a constant effort to just sit still and not run away or believe the paranoid thoughts and delusions that are terrifying that I even think them. Each day usually ends in hysterical crying and existential terror which exhausts me to the point that I feel some "window" of normal like other people talk about. Thankfully my family is home from work due to the coronavirus but unfortunately the psychiatric place by my home is closed. My family doesn't believe this is caused by the lexapro and I know my doctor would not either. But I've read on sites that people are tapering off it in extremely tiny doses way smaller than 2.5mg So I guess my question is how much longer until I feel normal?? I read the article on this site about how some people try to go back on their drug to get off it slower but idk if this point if I should do that or if I'm too far past the last dose and theres no one to ask because most people believe that I should be fine from the 'small's dose I took. My current physical symptoms are no appetite despite constant stomach gurgling, acid reflux, vomiting, sweating shaking tremors, the worst is the constant pounding heartbeat, at any time of of my eyes is slightly drooping and my brain and face feel like it's hot and on fire. I've tried taking extremely small doses of theanine, klonopin, and 5htp. Nothing really helps longterm because it seems these symtoms are part of withdrawal and theres nothing I can do to stop them. I hope this isnt too long and does not come across as insensitive to others who were on larger doses for a longer time. I would greatly appreciate absolutely ANY support or advice.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  16. Hi! English is not my first language so I apologize if my texts are confusing, same with my signature. I quit the last 5 mg escitalopram/cipralex 3 weeks ago. When I went down from 10 to 5 mg nothing got better so I started reading about tardive dysphoria which made me very eager to quit my medication completely. I also found out about 6 months ago that quitting 5 mg at a time is way too drastic for someone who has been using the medication for years, but I figured i'd just endure this last time. The problem is that I've now found out from reading on this site and on other places that some of the side effects might become permanent. So my question now is, should I go back up to 5-4 mg, and then slowly go down 1 mg at a time from there? Or should I just wait this out when it has already been 3 weeks. I'm willing to wait it out if it gets better. But if there are big risks about doing what i'm doing right now i'm gonna go back up if that's your advice. Ps: I do feel horrible physically and mentally and can practically not be around people, but as I said i'm willing to endure it if it gets better. I can't trust my doctors anymore, they want to make me go back up to max dosage with both voxra and cipralex + start giving me more benzo for no good reason. Which is why I'm asking here, the people here seem to have good knowledge about this. TL;DR: Go back up to 5 mg and go down 1 mg at a time or endure this and wait for it to get better?
  17. Hi! I just joined this site. I'm currently on my 9th out of 25 radiation treatments for stage 2b breast cancer. I've completed a double mascetomy, 4 bi-weekly treatments of A/C Chemo treatments, 12 weekly treatments of Taxo (Chemotherapy) and am now going through radiation treatment. Afterwards, I will be on AI, a type of hormone blockers for estrogen/progesterone positive, HER2-, breast cancer. I started on 10 mg of lexapro while going through chemotherapy. I don't want to be on this forever. I would like some advise for anyone else that is in my situation. I know my brain is starting to heal from the chemo and I'd like it to heal also from using lexapro. What is the safest way to get off of this? Is there any tapering strips that are available for us in the U.S.? Or is measuring the dry pill powder and liquid versions the only way. It all seems so complicated. I started at the beginning of October 2019. This will be my sixth month being on it. Please help? My mind is so consumed with not only cancer but now this drug. I just want the easiest way to do it and from what I've read, reducing by 10% weight seems the best way to do this. But, do I need to purchase empty gel capsules to make at least four weeks of one dose for each taper? Thanks for any help and suggestions!
  18. 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.
  19. 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?
  20. Hello all, I am new to this forum and found it through looking up antidepressant withdrawal like many of you probably did. Here is my story in short: December/Jan 2019/2020: Lots of life circumstances all sort of happened around the same time and led to me having a couple of panic attacks and some bad insomnia (a few random nights of not sleeping at all, but no more than 2 in a row ever) as well as increased anxiety. 1/16/20: I go to see my GP, tell him about my symptoms, and walk out of there with an Rx for Lexapro 10 mg and Trazodone 50 mg. I was wary of starting the meds so I did not fill them right away. 1/18/20: I didn't sleep the night before and decide that day that I need to "do something about it" so I fill and start taking the Lexapro 10 mg and 50 mg Trazodone at night. 1/18/20-2/8/20: 10 mg Lexapro daily and Trazodone 50 mg nightly. Gradually start to experience anhedonia, decreased social interest, just feeling withdrawn. Also bad short term memory loss. Also sleep was much worse, only 4-5 hours per night. 2/9/20-3/2/20: 5 mg Lexapro daily and Trazodone 50 mg nightly. Symptoms no better. Saw psychiatrist who recommended to just stop taking the Lexapro. 3/3/20-3/12/20: Only taking 25 mg Trazodone nightly now. Sleep has improved but symptoms of anhedonia are worse than they have ever been (note: I was not really depressed before the meds, I was taking them more for anxiety/panic attacks). Also, autonomic symptoms are all over the place--I am either too hot or cold, sweating too much, dizziness, etc. Also have a constant headache and also feeling like I am having some vision changes. Also having to use the bathroom much more than usual. I am looking for advice about what to do at this point. Obviously the past is in the past but I wish I could go back to January and just tell myself never to start the meds. But I am trying to be in the present and do what I can now. I have missed days at work and am fearful of not being able to work/losing my job. Any advice would be helpful/appreciated at this point. My GP and psych will likely be of no use/help at this point.
  21. 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
  22. Hi guys, Long time visitor to the site, but just registered to get some answers if possible. I’ll start with my history on Lexapro. I was convinced back in 2010 I was dying from a brain tumor and got very anxious and scared of what I was feeling. I remember getting the fight or flight sensations and it terrified me and I didn’t know what was happening. Doctor prescribed 5mg lexapro and then that went to 10mg. After about 1 - 2 years on it I wanted to get off it so the doctor recommend half the tablet and taper over the course of 4weeks. Followed his instructions and did that. Maybe 6-8 weeks the withdraw set in, brain zaps feeling of doom etc etc. Doc put me on the tablets again 10mg. So I stayed on them for about 5 more years and I think at 1 point went up to 20mg for about 4 months in 2011. Mainly I’ve been on 10mg. So fast forward to 2019. My anxiety was still here and doctor wanted me on 15mg of lexapro. So I did that, April 2019 started 15mg of Lex, and then in August I decided to taper but slowly. By November 24th I was on 5.5mg of Lexapro. I tried to see if I would stabilise one this dose but come January 2020 I didn’t and began to increase to 6.6, then next week 7.7 and then I stuck on 8mg from January 25th till February 15. I started to feel more anxiety and not only that depression came and I never suffered with depression so it was strange, nothing interests me or it’s just blah feeling. I am now 9 days on lexapro 10mg again and feeing like I failed. I must mention that when I went back up to 8mg from 5.5mg dosage I’m not sure if coincidence but my legs are feeling very heavy. I still have the depression symptoms too and I’m wondering if I am still in some type of withdrawal. Any advice regarding my recent increase? Should I stay on the 10mg ? I really want to get off these meds and will follow the 10% taper from this website but I just ask when would be the time to taper? I feel like the meds are now making me depressed and loss of interest in activities and my job too. thanks for reading if you got through all that lol -Jack
  23. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved. Currently I'm on 20mg Lexapro & wish to reduce it down to 15mg over the next three months. I find my concentration poor so I would I would be very grateful if you could give me information in simple terms even bullet points. I've been on Lexapro 11 years.This is my goal for 2016.
  24. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - xyz: valium questions Hi, i am new on here. (english is not my first language so pardon the gramma) i was on various benzo for 9 months and stopped taking them once i read about depency. 10 months later i had a health scare and went onto a panic attack and had severe insomnia (5 days of 0 sleep), and akathisia- i was put on remeron for 10 weeks but it gave me tinnitus so i went into a really bad panic attack and was suicidal. at the hospital, they reinstated me on a low dose of valium (4mg) and put me on lexapro 10mg. my panic attack was so bad and my insomnia so severe that i had to take xanax 0.25mg to calm down with lunesta at night for sleep for 3 months. over several months, i was able able to ditch the xanax and lunesta and reduce my valium down to 2mg and i am still on 10mg of lexapro. i still have severe anxiety and insomnia. i have been holding my dose for 3 months now. i was reading on benzobuddies a thread on long long and that gave me hope that if i hold i can give my CNS time to stabilize. i have good days now but on bad days, i wonder how i can even lower my meds and i keep thinking that i have paradoxical effect on them. a term i kept reading on benzobuddies. will it get better if i hold longer? i also have 2 kids (6 and 2 years old) and i am going through early perimenopause- my panic attack, and insomnia get worse around my periods.
  25. 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.
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