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  1. Hello all! I will try to make this nice and short. I have been on lexapro 20mg for about 5 years with great success. However, I recently had been constantly tired, sleeping 10 hours at night, and 3 hours during the day. I got blood work and a sleep study, all negative, so i suspected my medication. This had made things difficult, so i decided to talk to my doctor, who recommended reducing the dose to 15mg. This had went well for the most part, but i began to feel foggy, so he recommended switching to prozac. Here is how he switched me: Week 1: 15mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 2: 10mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 3: 5mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 4: 20 mg prozac only I have been on 20mg prozac only for ~1 weeks, and it has been hell. I have had insomnia, increased depression/anxiety, but most severely, I have had intense brain fog. I have trouble remembering anything. I am in my final year of physical therapy school, in my final clinical rotation, and it has 100% affected my performance. I struggle with simply remembering what my patients have already done, remembering their names, remembering techniques I have learned, etc. I am thinking this intense brain fog is mostly due to coming off the lexapro so quickly after being on it for so long, combined with a small amount of prozac side effects. Sooo, my question is this: Do i stick it out with the prozac and hope my body gets used to it? Do i jump from 20mg of prozac to 40mg (my doctor said it is up to me?), Or do i go back to taking my 20mg of lexapro, and gradually tapering my medication properly using the 10% rule. I am leaning to doing this, but feel terrible, as its like I am addicted to these medications to simply function. But at the same time, this is the most important part of my young career, as suceeding in clinical rotation leads to job offers and is necessary to even graduate. Any advice is greater appreciated!!
  2. Hi All, I've been reading this forum for a while and the topics here have been indispensable, especially regarding dealing with withdrawal symptoms as I prepare myself for a slow taper off of my remaining dose. Pre-backstory I’m in my early 20s and I just graduated college in late 2014 with a high GPA and a degree in Computer Science. I’ve got a strong resume with projects under my belt. I should be starting my career right now but can’t due to antidepressant withdrawal, but I keep telling myself that I will get better and it will happen, I just need some more time to heal mentally and spiritually. Backstory On January 1st of this year (2015) I suffered the first panic attack of my life. I’ve always had weird heart flutters and missed beats, so I thought I was having a heart attack and dying. The day that I had this awful panic attack, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t eat much that day (triggers, I know). I also smoked pot regularly (I am clean now) which in retrospect I figure could be messing with my seratonin. I had bad depersonalization that day, basically forgot who I was for a few hours, and over the next month or so I was bedridden feeling shaky every day, suffering a chain of panic attacks in bed. I was immediately prescribed ativan (lorazepam) to help dull the panic attacks, and shortly thereafter, desperate for something to stop the chain of panic attacks, I was prescribed Lexapro. I took the Lexapro 5mg for the first week and 10mg for the second week, and basically over the next few months my panic attacks got generally better but my mental health got generally worse. My doctor upped me to 20mg Lexapro and I got so disoriented and out-of-it that my mom had to start walking me up to the door of my therapy appointments, because I didn’t feel like I could do it alone. I decided to taper down off the Lexapro because my panic attacks had basically vanished, the Lexapro was causing some bad side effects (at higher doses making me confused and disoriented all the time, at the lower doses mostly just preventing me from getting decent sleep, so I was feeling tired all the time). I felt like the panic attacks would probably not come back, since I was on a good new pattern of diet, exercise, supplements (fish oil, magnesium, probiotic and multivitamin), and I also stopped smoking weed completely, which I think may have been a big contributor to the initial panic attack. Anyways, I had miraculous success taking the dosage down from 20mg to 10mg, from 10mg to 5mg, and from 5mg to 2.5mg, with almost no withdrawal effects. The side effects improved steadily with each dosage decrease, and I’m very grateful that I had so little trouble getting down this far. The big trouble started happening about a month ago. I had thought that I had tapered down successfully from 2.5mg because I felt pretty great for 3 weeks on 1.25mg (¼ of a 5mg pill) with no discernible withdrawal symptoms (Sept 9 2015 to Sept 29 2015). On my psychiatrist’s suggestion, I dropped the lexapro completely (0mg) on Sept 30 and I felt worse and worse for about 4 days. On the 4th day I almost had a panic attack, and I felt so depressed and shaky that I took a small fragment of my pill to try to stave off the symptoms. Literally 15 minutes after taking the pill fragment I went from feeling terrible to feeling great, browsing the internet on my phone. So I stabilized again on 1.25mg after about 5 days, or so I thought. 1.25mg (¼ of a tiny 5mg pill) is terribly difficult to measure - there was one time I wasn’t sure if I even took my pill fragment or if it fell on the floor, since it was so small I couldn’t feel it on my tongue. So I started pushing it against the roof of my mouth so I could be sure it was actually in my mouth. But that made it start to disintegrate before it hit my stomach, so… basically I think that my true dosage was getting really uneven. I felt really tired some days and needed naps, and other days I felt mostly fine. So I figured I could get a more consistent dose if I switched to the liquid, which my psychiatrist prescribed for me. Latest Chapter So on 10/28/2015 I switched to the liquid. I figured that the liquid form would be much more readily absorbed by my body than the pill fragments and I was right. I started out with 1.2mg of the liquid and it felt like way too much (cloudy head, sleepy all day), so over the course of 2 days I lowered it to 0.9mg, which felt pretty fine for 5 days. I felt like I was getting better and that I could even start driving and running errands around town with my mom again if I just waited a few more days. On 11/4 I made a really, really stupid headstrong decision. I felt like I could reduce my symptoms even more if I just reduced the dose by a tiny bit further. So that day I cut from 0.9mg to 0.8mg (which in hindsight was a HUGE cut especially considering how recently I had changed the dose before that). The depression came back in such full force that I immediately had to put the dose back up to 0.9mg 2 days later, but reupping the dose didn’t help at that point. I continued to get worse and worse (more depression/anxiety) until my mom pointed out that I was only eating like 800 calories every day - I knew that my appetite was shot, but I had no idea I was eating so little. On 11/11 I started counting calories and now I’m getting at least 2000 per day, with an ultimate goal of 2500. I upped the lexapro from 9mg to 9.5mg daily and the crippling depression is partway gone now. Anyways now it’s 11/14 and I think I’m seeing some progress, but I can never be sure, and these symptoms are very difficult to work through every day. Today Over the last few days, every morning I wake up nauseous and depressed, and every night I get anxious and need to take a 0.5mg lorazepam to calm down. Progress is slow for me and I’m impatient, but I keep trying to remind (convince?) myself that my body is working very hard to right itself chemically, and that if I just hold this dose and don’t do anything else stupid with it, I will feel a little better by next week, and yet a little better by the week after. I could really use some reassurance though :/ My First Question I’m taking 0.95mg in 2 doses daily (0.475mg at 11am and 0.475mg at 1:30pm). On 0.95mg I feel like my seratonin levels are very unbalanced (depressed/hopeless in the morning, decent around noon, anxious by afternoon/evening). When I accidentally took my second lexapro dose at about 4pm one day instead of 1:30pm, that night I went into a drug-trip kind of sleep (almost like an alternate reality) which was a little scary but most of all exhausting and made me feel disoriented and confused and anxious the next day. As of the last few days, I wake up after vivid dreams exhausted, not at all rested, depressed, and with a burst of adrenaline. Will my body actually be able to get used to such a low 0.95mg dose taken mostly towards the beginning of the day like this? If I just stick it out for another week or two, my mood will start to level out again so that I’m not getting these big daily mood swings, right? If not, where do I go from here? Thank you everyone for your support.
  3. Hi, I will try to keep it brief, but I am in desperate need of advice. I am a 34YO Male, my 1st bout of anxiety happened 10 years ago when I experienced a very stressful time in my life. I had my 1st child, started MBA school, and opened my own business all within a 3 month span. Had a panic attack one night, and what followed was a year of high general anxiety, with some intrusive OCDish thoughts sprinkled in. After a year I decided I would give meds a try. Tried Buspar...did nothing except make me dizzy. Tried Zoloft, and this was the magic bullet for me. Felt my anxiety lesson (after a brief increase) after about 3-4 weeks and after a few months I was back to myself. During this time I would have blips (one to two week periods when my anxiety would resurface, usually requiring a dose tweak and then would go back to normal. These would usually happen when I was eating bad, not exercising ect). At the start of my Zoloft experience I at one point got up to 150mgs, but in the last 4-5 years was on the minimum dose of 50mgs after I got generally healthier and added a multivitamin and fish oil supplement. Because of these blips, and the fact I was afraid to go back to the year of anxiety, I stayed on the Zoloft probably longer than I should have. It was 8 years later (October 2016) when I finally said, "heck I don't need these anymore". My prescription ran out and I just decided not to refill it. I went through most of the withdrawl symptoms, some brain-zaps, lots of light-headedness and dizziness, ect. That went away after about 3 weeks and for 3 months I felt great, totally off meds and totally back to normal. At the end of January this year, I started to have another "blip." I wasn't eating healthy and not exercising as much and decided I would be "proactive" and resume the Zoloft at my previous dose of 50mgs to nip it in the bud. This sent my anxiety through the roof but thought my body would adjust so I continued taking them. I was so scared of the increased anxiety though I didn't give it a fair shot and kept increasing and decreasing the dosage from 25 to 50mgs every week or so. Finally got into a p-doc and he gave me Lexapro, 5mgs for the 1st week and 10mgs after that...long story short, it did the same thing as the Zoloft and wasn't much better after 7 weeks. At this point I figured, "wow I wasn't this bad before, I will just go off of these!" Well unfortunately my month of no meds did not return me to my January self, in fact it was probably worse than on the meds! So then the doctor gave me pregabalin, which helped a little, but is crazy expensive and not covered by insurance. So on June 1st I started Paxil, 10 mgs for the 1st week and 20mgs after that, hoping the pregabalin can help me to get on them. I really want to be off meds, but don't think I am mentally able to at this point. It seems quitting the Zoloft cold turkey, then reinstating, I am much more sensitive to these drugs, does that make any sense? So I am hopeful I can eventually give a med (Paxil) enough time that my body will desensitize to it, and I can be on it for a bit to get stable again, then get off. Anybody experienced anything like this? Will my body desensitize? I am so desperate to feel normal again, I am a father of 3 (10YO Boy, 7YO Boy, 3YO Girl), a husband to an amazing wife, and they need their Dad and Husband back! What should I do? Give Paxil the time to desensitize, then get off after a few months? Is the fish-oil supplement that I still take that helped me reduce my dose of Zoloft causing me to be more sensitive? Quit everything and see what happens? Thanks in advance for reading my story and giving any advice or encouragement.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Hi all, This is my first time ever on a forum so please be patient with me. 13 years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD and OCD and put on Luvox, which I took for 6 years until it started to not work. Docs then switched me to Lexapro when I became severely depressed, and then when that started losing efficiency at the end of last year they added Valdoxan. I have also been through inpatient treatments, CBT,ACT,DBT and have also tried TMS (didn't work). I finally decided in May this year that I wanted to be AD free so started to taper the Lexapro, went from 20mgs to 10(got a slew of side effects) and then after 6 weeks went from 10 to 5 (no side effects) and then 5mg every other day and then finally at the end of August came off the Lexapro (still taking Valdoxan but it's not an SSRI). The first two weeks were fine, no physical side effects just feeling a bit anxious, however the last two weeks and in particular the last 5 days have easily been the worst in my life. extreme anixety, ocd rituals, crying non stop, no appetite, insomnia, agoraphobia, anhedonia. just no will to do anything. also very snappy at everyone, no patience, very irritable and short tempered. prior to coming off the meds I was calm, peaceful, always the nicest person in the room, non confrontational, positive and happy. even though the meds made me numb I was able to live somewhat a normal life. do you think this is a relapse of whatever I had 13 years ago? or is it just a normal adjustment for my brain going from high doses of SSRIs to nothing at all in a (relatively) short amount of time? help please!! I don't know whether to go back on the drugs or what to do. I am at my wits end. Thank you so much, Rosemary
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. SadDad88

    SadDad88

    I felt betrayed and poisoned by my psychiatrist. A little short brief history. Two years ago I had a series of panic attacks. GP suggest Lexapro, so I take 10mg and panic gets extremely worse. Kept on that dosage for almost a week and suffered from 24/7 panic. After many trips to the ER, I saw my now psychiatrist which prescribed 1mg a day clonzepam, (Benzo). Anxiety and panic started to reduce but after reading about benzos, I wanted to get off. I tried buspar later that year of 2017, it seemed to work for a while but then I experienced muscle rigidity and weakness. So doc stopped that med this early August. I definitely had withdrawal from Buspar, which included, anxiety, agitation, depression, changes in body temperature, tremors, etc. So my pysch suggest an ultra low dosage of Lexapro again. I expressed my hesitation with great concern because of previous usage of the same medication. He assured me it would help and that since is was an ultra low dosage .5mg oral solution I would feel no side effects whatsoever. Eventually every week I would increase it by .5mg. I almost made it two weeks before things spiraled out of control. I woke up with my hamstrings and glutes super tight (which started happening to a lesser degree when I started) it was then followed by leg agitation, like RLS which then encased my entire body. I couldn't stop trashing around. I had extreme short term memory loss, denationalization, brain fog, anxiety, very odd mental state change, shaking, tremors and probably more things that I can't even remember. I quit that pile of s**** medicine and filed a grievance. My question is, how long is this crap going to last? I made it to almost two weeks on a "low" dosage which seemed to affect me severely. Its been about two weeks since I stopped. Since stopping, I've had extreme muscle contractions, anxiety, depression (which I never get) malaise, a great sense of mental and physical sickness, waking to my hands vibrating and other odd feelings. I'm seriously pissed off at my doctor. It was even written in my medical record as that med possibly as me having an allergic reaction to it. I did have an amazing day on Friday, no symptoms whatsoever and it was refreshing. It then started back up with depression, anxiety, etc. Anyone experience this kind of crap? Any help or suggestions? Thanks all.
  11. 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
  12. Skeeter

    Skeeter's Journey

    My signature pretty much covers my recent history. For anyone reading this, if you have a short term bout of anxiety, and your doc suggests, Xanax, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, read up on how hard it is to come off of it, and consider that before you ever start the med. I was put on it for short term anxiety, was on it for 4 months, and then my doc switched me from Xanax to less that half of the equivalent dose of Valium in one day (a process that should take several months, according to the Ashton Method, which most say is too fast- and I agree), so I ended up with over 50 signs and symptoms on top of the pain I already deal with on a daily basis that changed from day to day, even hour to hour. April was when I did the switch, and I did not feel human until July sometime. I am just holding now, before I am ready to start a very slow taper on my own, WITHOUT A CALENDAR! I have been on valium for a long time, but at a dose that is still at least 5mg over what I was on for muscle spasms. I would like to get back to PRN (as needed). That is the reason I am here, but if we back up to October of 2016, my doctor took me off of 3 AD's, 2 of which I had been on over 7 years. Wellbutrin (depression from chronic pain), and Trazodone (for sleep), then added Cymbalta for about a year, a clerical error, I was SUPPOSED to slowly switch from one to the other, but because I was feeling better, it got forgotten about. I had 3 episodes of Serotonin Syndrome between September and December of 2015 (was set off by minor to moderate dehydration, I was hospitalized for 3 days, and remember only parts of it, I did not sleep in those 3 days, nor did I eat, but the hospital did not pay much attention to me.. So,I was suffering from poop-out of all of the AD's, and my doc agreed to take me off of the AD's and switch for a new one, only e weeks later, he changed his mind, and refused to switch me to a new one, and gave me the name of ONE psychiatrist. I was suffering from severe anxiety first, and instead of giving me a simple AD, he thought somehow that it was SAFER to give me 2-3mg of Xanax every day (up from the 8mg of Valium I took for 7 years, a drop in the bucket compared to Xanax), then, by month 3, I started to have interdose WD. I found out my GP would prescribe an AD (Lexapro), so I started that, and within a month, i felt human again. I had severe suicidal ideation before I started Lexapro, and tht did stop the AD WD fully, I was given a choice by 2 docs, 1 saud, 12 weeks, no longer, we will remove you from 3mg/day of Xanax. Knowing this might happen, I lowered down to 2mg a day (equal to 40mg/day of Valium. Doc 2 said we switch you in one day from X to V, so of course I picked doc #2's plan. it was awful, but the best of 2 choices. I was lucky, I stayed out of the psychiatrists hands! My biggest issue right now is stopping the messages that were firmly implanted in my head after belonging to other forums, where to me they seemed to clearly be saying in their messages, as I understood them, that if you are not moving forward with your taper, you are failing yourself and prolonging your agony. Again this is the message I took from it. This made no sense to me, because if you go too quickly with tapering benzo's, you are virtually guaranteeing a trip through hell via Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome/Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). And at one forum there are seemingly hundreds of people going through PAWS. I am not saying the forum is wrong, but the only talks about going super slow I could find were years old or there was one forum that talked about taking prolonged breaks once in a while. I also read the liquid micro taper area, where the main moderator in one forum seems to be very clear in her opinion (again if I understood correctly) in saying that not tapering daily (esp taking a break for 3 days or more) seems to be greatly frowned upon... As a result, I got it stuck in my head that I am failing myself somehow by not continually forcing myself to taper when I do not feel ready to, like I am somehow hurting my body. My only remaining symptom out of over 50 at my peak is a severe sensitivity to artificial sweeteners like Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, etc. I had to stop reading one forum because of all of the horror stories, and all of the people with Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome. Seeing people talking and being so confused because they ended up with constant severe disabling symptoms leaving them bedbound for months to years, confused because they did what the forums considered a slow to average taper- following the directions laid out for them, during which they seemed to suffer greatly virtually non-stop only to end up with symptoms that ended up being MUCH worse than the taper itself( and lasting longer than the taper did!). I do not get why at that point you do not reinstate and stay on a very low dose until... I finally saw a ray of light (and felt my first hope since April!!) several days ago when I did a search on the internet named "How slow is too slow to taper off of Valium." What came up was a link from this forum called "The slowness of slow tapers", which was started by Rhiannon. It was the lightbulb moment I needed. I am only 5 pages in, it was started in 2012, and is still going. I also noticed you have a Benzo place here that I look forward to visiting!! Thank you for offering the kind of support I have been looking for this whole time, when I first stated looking for help. On other forums, I saw at least 20 comments from people on one forum who said that they cold not bear to read that forum because there were so many people suffering so awfully. Yes, all of the forums offer support, but I think that maybe with so many people suffering that maybe one might need to look at why so many people who follow the programs and taper schedules supplied end up in such a bad place for so horribly long after stopping the med. I do understand that some of these people did a cold turkey stop of the meds, but so many I found had followed a taper schedule and followed the calendar vs how they were feeling. Ashton is a great place to start, but maybe the schedules she provided prior to her passing are no longer applicable, and are possibly now far too fast for some with the understanding we now have of how the mind and body works, maybe? This is a general rhetorical question, I am not trying to slam any specific forum. I did not read just one forum, and I belonged to more than one. I want to be very clear on this! For the moderators and members offering gentle help and amazing support- thank you so much for your time!! Thank you for reading about my experience, and my questions. I feel sorry that you had to suffer through al of this...lol! UPDATE: After switching Xanax for a low dose of Valium, I had waves of symptoms that lasted until I was 20 months out from my one day switch. My doc even told me he knew the Xanax would not last long for me, and he knew would have to see someone else to get an AD. I loved my doctor, but I still have never forgotten the hell I suffered. Yes I was feeling pretty well by the time I wrote this, but it did not last
  13. December 15 started lexapro 5mg for panic attacks and anxiety. One week after notice mild hamstring soreness two weeks after severe hamstring soreness, (maybe restless leg)?, and full body joint pain. I was basically bedridden and went to a clinic where they tested me for the flu, I tested negative. I quit taking the pills after two days of this. The symptoms subsided a bit over the next week then suddenly got bad again a week after discontinuation. I had Burning skin sensation, severe restless legs or hamstring pain, and joint pain that feels like theflu. Currently I'm a few days from three weeks after stopping and can barely sleep because the pain is so great. I'm terrified this is something else because no Dr will admit that this **** drug is poison and "there is no documented case of this happening" WELL ITS HAPPENING TO ME SO DOCUMENT IT! The pain I would describe is me, a 27 year old male, feels like I just turned 99 years old. I'm calling my mom daily crying about not being able to sleep and being in constant pain. Has anyone had anything like this after a short and low dose? I'm really afraid I have some other terminal illness. Besides anxiety about this pain, I haven't actually had a panic attack in a while.
  14. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  15. Hey guys, First off, thank you for existing. I came home from work feeling pretty down after trying to normalize after my last taper from 10mg of Lexapro to 7.5mg and it was a godsend stumbling across this forum and realizing I am not alone. A bit about me: -Sober/recovered alcoholic who has been sober 2+ years (garbage disposal druggy but never touched anything that was too hard). -Have been on Lexapro since I was 13 (27 years old now) -Only time I have ever came off Lexapro was 4 years ago by a doctor's orders who tapered me wayyyyyy to quickly. Got back on it a few months later. -Have been prescribed uppers (addy, ritalin, vyvanse etc.) in the past for ADD but abused them and landed myself in rehab this last time. Quite honestly I never needed them. My belief is that a very small subset of the community actually does have ADHD and might need them. I just didn't want to focus in US History in high school and a rush of dopamine makes anything more fun ;). -My life now is great on the outside and slowly getting better on the inside. I am sober, have a great paying career, house, car, etc., but something inside still feels like I am being "numbed" and I know its the Lexapro. Every time I ween I feel a little more alive after my brain balances itself out. My goal for coming on here is to learn from your collective wisdom and to do my best to provide support for those still struggling. I am not a doctor, and cannot provide medical advice (obviously), but I understand from wrestling through addiction that being able to relate to another individual who can say "I understand," is sometimes the most refreshing thing in this world.
  16. Hi everyone! 24 yr old here (my birthday is in 7 days though!) had a really horrible reaction with Escitalopram after only 2 1/2 weeks on 10mg around mid-September and i've been struggling with the symptoms since. My body and nervous system is hypersensitive to medication, like even a typical mosquito bite will cause my arm to balloon up. Unsure if it was neurotoxicity or what exactly went wrong but i basically had to cold turkey immediately, the ssri was prescribed for panic attacks and it's giving me a whole ton of anxiety-inducing symptoms that persist like: onset of multiple drifting floaters in my visual field that i've *never* experienced in my life before which are super distracting when having conversations, or looking at bright white surfaces like a phone or computer screen, these seem to have calmed down slightly after 6 weeks off but remain, and i'm worried they're permanent. About 2-3 times per week if i'm overly stressed or fatigued i'll wake up with a blotchy red spot in my field of view that disappears after a few seconds which is absolutely terrifying, this has improved from seeing it daily on the 1st week of withdrawal - i've searched the net and it seems like i'm the only person that has this symptom when driving or looking into far distances there appears to be a mirage haze or heat-wave vision.. the closest thing I can describe it to would be gas shimmering in the air, (in the middle of spring?) and when i'm having a realllyyyy bad day the the walls look like they're shaking until I look away. This is totally a nightmare and taking Lexapro was the worst decision of my young life, before the antidepressant I had never hallucinated, never taken psychedelics, and now I don't even want my friends to see me like this. I can't remain asleep for more than 3 hours without waking up and i'm scared daily but trying to remain hopeful!! I also get hypnic jerks and trembling/shaking while drifting off to sleep but it's rare enough to be manageable, i've found approx~ 100mg of magnesium and two capsules of fish oil in the morning and night really helps. Thanks so much for reading :3 just need some reassurance that all of this will pass!
  17. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  18. Nevertoolate

    Nevertoolate: Lexapro

    I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  19. Healing

    Neuro-emotions

    For many reasons, our emotions are on a hair-trigger, amplified, and perseverative. We probably don't even know all of what's going on physically yet, but it includes diminished prefrontal lobe executive functions, rebound amygdala, dysregulated HPA, over-active adrenals, etc. The neuro-emotions include -- neuro-fear neuro-anger neuro-guilt neuro-shame neuro-hurt neuro-regret neuro-self-criticism neuro-grudge-holding ...and more! It is very, very confusing to have these intense neuro-emotions and try to remember that they are not what they appear to be. Emotions are compelling. Emotions during recovery from psych meds are even more compelling. Sometimes, the neuro-emotion is really totally artificial. Some of my neuro-fears have been so unlikely to come to pass as to bear no resemblance to reality or to my personal history. But, I think a lot of the time, part of what makes it so confusing is that there is a grain of reality to the neuro-emotion. For example, some situation might make you a bit angry under normal circumstances, but the neuro-anger is huge. This is when it's very difficult to 1) catch it in the first place and notice this is a neuro-emotion, 2) convince ourselves, yes, this is really a neuro-emotion, not a real emotion, 3) contain the emotion, try not to act on it, or channel the energy into something safe and constructive -- like exercise or journaling or building a birdhouse. Whenever you're having an intense, disturbing feeling, try to remind yourself that, right now -- even if it does have something to do with reality -- it is largely a neuro-emotion that you wouldn't be feeling if you were fully healed. And you *will* be fully healed. It's happening! Get ready!
  20. Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much <3
  21. 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?
  22. I was on lexapro for 10 years and tapered off. I have been completely off for 3 months. At first I felt pretty good but anxiety has been creeping back, that feeling like you are watching yourself in a movie instead of real life. I feel agitated, my memory is scary and wake up every morning around 5am regardless of what time I go to bed, and lastly, just not happy. How do you know if this is withdrawal still or relapse? I know withdrawal is difficult but relapse is also a real possibility. My doctor will be of no help. He already told me before I tapered I would be done with withdrawal very quickly....drug half life etc. etc. I would appreciate any advice.
  23. Cipramillion

    Cipramillion: Cipralex

    Hi all! Been hanging around and read up on some of the great posts on this forum over the last week. Impressive work! My english is not that good, so pls bear with me. Here is a summary of my medical background/history. My problems startet after an acute reaction to a vaccine i took 3 months ago. A few weeks later i also found out that i had an Epstein Barr infection, most likely during the same period that i took the vaccine. My symptoms after taking the vaccine were severe with extreme depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and generally feeling very ill. My doc think i might have developed chronic fatigue syndrom/ME as a result of the vaccine/infection, but at this point nothing is certain. I have no previous history of psychiatric problems or other somatic illness. I lived a happy life with my family and enjoyed my work fully at 100%. Now i cant work at all, and the situation is tough with two small kids to look after. As a result of my symptoms, which didnt seem to stabilize after 2 months, i aggreed starting treatment with Cipralex (Lexapro/escitalopram) 5mg. My doc told me to increase the dose to 10mg after 3 days, which i did not do. I noticed just after the first couple of days that i was sensitive to the medication and had lots of side effects (headache, feeling dizzy, mild depersonalization etc). Then tried to stabilize at 5mg for 3 weeks. Felt a bit better the second week, more energy and better mood, but still the side effects were bothersome. I changed to the original brand after using the generic for the first week. It helped a bit on the side effects. Also got parasthesia, a burning sensation in the body and face. Feeling very warm and uncomfortable. Sporadic panic anxiety. So after 3 weeks i decided to reduce the dose to 2.5 mg after discussing this with my doc. I told him to prescribe the liquid version (Lundbeck), which only comes in 20mg/1Ml in Europe, but still makes it more accurate for 2.5 mg. Im not sure how to use this at lower doses. He was a bit puzzled about my sensitivity to the medication. Probably need to take a CYP test to see if im a poor metabolizer. I`ve noticed that im very sensitive in general after i got sick. Cant drink anything with caffeine now. Sugar is also no good. Before i used to drink a lot of coffee. Now i cant take a sip without getting restless and almost dizzy from it. Anyway. After the dose reduction i startet to feel a lot of naseau and dizziness, and after 2 days i woke up in the middle of the night with fast heartbeat and lots of anxiety. My first thought was that this probably was withdrawal from the dose reduction, which surprised me after just taking 5 mg over 3 weeks. I felt better over the next few days, but still got lots of headaches, dizziness and not feeling very well. Depressive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. This was also something i did experience before i took the medication, but somehow it feels a bit different now. Before i would be having crying spells regularily, not happening much now. Feels like everything is more locked up inside. I think the medication does some job at keeping my emotional reaction at bay here.I`ve also been sleeping better after starting taking the medication. Before i barely slept for 2-3 hours pr night. I still wake up a lot, also have very vivid dreams. Im able to fall asleep again after i wake up, which was more difficult before. Im not sure what to do next. I dont think my reactions to Cipralex is good for me, and i really want to stop, but im also very scared of withdrawal symptoms. Feel a bit trapped here. Should i increase the dose just a bit (3,5mg) to help with the withdrawal? Or should i just wait and see if i stabilize before eventually taper down more slowly?
  24. Hello, everyone. I was going through a rough time in 2017. Went to see a psychiatrist in march 2017 and she prescribed me prozac. 7 days later, i began to experience my very first and most brutal panic attack that lasted all day. It was hell on earth. Dr switched me to lexapro. I am small and was informed lexapro was milder. I took 10mg. As my body adjusted i still felt panic attacks every now and then but they were nowhere near as bad as that 1st time. I got better and better and saw an amazing counselor who helped me through my issues. 1 year later (March 2018) i decided i was happy, mentally healthy and strong. I began to taper. 10mg to 5mg to 2.5mg to 1.75mg. It took me 4 months of tapering with minimal symptoms. I took my last dose on August 16, 2018. I was fine for 6 weeks. Maybe a headache here and there. A 20 min. panic attack sometimes but would be fine 2 hrs later. Well around mid September, i had to get teeth extracted was given amoxicillin. Turns out i was allergic because i grew hives and itched everywhere. I was given hydroxyzine (for itch relief and anxiety. Kind of like a strong benadryl. Took a 7day dose) Ever since my last dose of that hydroxyzine my panic attacks started to become more frequent and more intense. I've been exercising and eating small meals every 3hrs because that normally helps me. Last night (october 4, 2018) was brutal. I begged my family to take me to ER. My family was able to watch over me instead of ER. But the panic attack was so intense i kept thinking i was gonna faint and die. I couldn't lay down, but i couldn't move either. My eyes were so bloodshot and blurry. Today has been better but i feel weak from that experience. Eyes still blurry and bloodshot. My questions are: is it normal to experience intense withdrawal symptoms 6 weeks later? I always thought the withdrawals start from the last day of quitting. I took 10mg which i thought was a low dose. I had tapered slowly (4 months). Was it triggered by the hydroxyzine that was meant for itch relief?? How do you all go back to work if your symptoms last months even years? Please help. I'm so scared.
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