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  1. 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.
  2. Hey y’all! I’m so glad to have found this site. I’ve been on lexapro for 15 years, currently tapering off and holding at 10mg. It’s been four weeks since my last “regular dosage” of 20mg. No withdrawal symptoms for the first three weeks and then BAM! Brain zaps, exhaustion, nausea, one bout of vomiting. Insomnia, which I expected, at least. Symptoms resolving now that I’m taking fish oil, B complex, and magnesium. Docs have always suggested a 50% taper to me and I’m done with that! Hoping to stay here at 10mg for quite a while before doing a nice 10-20% step around my Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation. I slept well last night for the first time in a week. Hallelujah! I have MDD but know how to manage it better now and hope to get off meds because Lexapro was starting to cause me some significant brain fog. I have a better support system than I did 15 years ago, go to church, closer to family, love my work as a psychotherapist where I have the honor to help OTHERS manage depression without meds. My turn!
  3. hi all, I am not sure how much info you want or need, but the short version is: i have been on lexapro for 13yrs. I believe it was prescribed for me just a few weeks after it became available. I had been on the highest dose of celexa before this. my dose was quickly raised from 20mgs to 30mgs to 40 mgs, where it stayed for many years. My insurance balked at the 40mg dose, saying that over 30mgs was not shown to have any additional effect so about 2 yrs ago, my dose was reduced to 30mgs. I don't even know how many times I have tried to go off this drug. I do not believe it is helping me at all. It seems all I have is the side effecs but no benefit whatsoever. I have had several severe depressions in the past couple of years. I am now commited to getting off this stuff for good. For a lot of reasons that I'm too tired to go into now. I am down to taking about 1/8 of a 20mg tablet every couple of days, or whenever the insomnia and/or feelings of rage get to be too much. I am very lucky, this time I have NOT had any of the brain zaps, nor that feeling of losing my balance, etc. Primarily I am dealing with severe insomnia that may or may not be from going off the lexapro- see, I lost my 17 yr old cat on Nov 29th and I have not been able to sleep much at all since. I think it's a really weird grief reaction, but I don't know, maybe it's partly withdrawal too....? the rages are totally out of character for me. Part of me thinks they are due to extreme fatigue but even when I am not feeling too terribly tired, I will have these "episode" of just terrible anger out of nowhere. it scares me. I think of doing awful terrible things, violent things. I screamed at my doctor's nurse. for no reason, really, I just felt out of control and that she was not hearing me about how bad things are. anyway, I did not know a place like this existed, I've been on forums for ppl with mental illness before and they all get totally freaked out when you talk about going off your meds. I hope I can find some support and help for this and mostly I hope to be able to be OFF of this drug for good! thanks for listening to my long rambling post, off to look around the forum
  4. 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.
  5. I hope somebody can help me. I was on Zoloft for eight months at a low-dose of 25 mg during my pregnancy. After the pregnancy, it was not working. I had a lot of anxiety. I tried to go up on the dosage and it did not work, so my doctor prescribed Lexapro. She told me just to cut the 25 mg in half for two weeks and introduce Lexapro. Once I introduced Lexapro I had a bad reaction. Now it's been four months later and Im still withdrawing from Zoloft. I'm having terrible dizziness and feeling off balance still. My anxiety has been through the roof. I've been to the ER multiple times for panic attacks. Not my depression is back with a vengeance. However I'm not tolerating meds very well They tried to start me back on a low-dose of Lexapro at 2.5 but it caused a lot of major major anxiety. I'm also having terrible brains zaps that run from really inside my brain to my neck. When I turn my head I had them when I talk I have them when I walk I have them. I think my nervous system has been shot. I should also mention my feelings are everywhere from confusion to worry and fear. I feel like I'm losing my mind. Do you eventually recover from this? Was their permanent damage to my nervous system when I stop Zoloft so quickly. No other medication is working and I'm trying to work with a psychiatrist on this. Do you think my brain will eventually adjust on Lexapro? It's been now three weeks with Lexapro almost 4.Any help would be appreciated I need some reassurance.
  6. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  7. I lost a sister to suicide in 2007 and was put on antidepressants by a justifiably nervous mother. She and I both now realize what a sham the whole thing AD$ thing is, and I have desperately wanted to get off of the stuff for years (I'd only been taking it to avoid withdrawal) but I worry I won't be able to get to a normal state again. I stayed on Lexapro through high school and college and was certainly able to do alright through certain traumas ( I was disagnosed with C-PTSD from the loss and an assault when I was 18. I'm now 24) but here without the Lexapro I'm feeling worse than I ever have in my life, panicking and projecting negativity... I was never like that, I've always been an optimistic high-achiever, and now it's as though my brain just isn't working anymore. I feel slower, as though vocabulary has just fallen out of my brain... Perhaps this is hurting my ego more, having been regarded as "gifted" growing up... I worry that I was on these drugs for too long throughout my developing years. I have worked through so much emotionally over the years in various forms of therapy, but this feels like a complete physiological thing that's just taking control over me. I was able to feel okay in the few months after my final tiny bit of Lexapro taken in February (after a very gradual taper over many months)- I was in another country with few responsibilities, which made the taper relatively easy compared to previous attempts. Near the end of the trip some irrational upset began... Now I'm back home (3 weeks ago) and I'm having a complete meltdown like never before. I am having extreme anxiety especially in the AM, ruminating on negative thoughts, fits of crying (sometimes for hours), suicidal ideation (I won't do it because of my sister), complete self-doubt, absolute anguish.. I can't go on like this. I was never like this, before or during Lexapro. I feel no joy in my work (Which used to be so healing for me) or desire/ability to do what I need to... I'm exercising, meditating, I've tried so many supplements... There was one day of clarity when I took 5-HTP, but the next I was a nervous wreck again... I tried L-tryptophan later... I don't know what to do at this point, I've been so down that I caved and took a Prozac today as some people use it to get off of Lexapro, but I don't want the SSRI's anymore... Today I felt so tired and out of it, my moods are cycling like crazy... Of course it won't work in just a day, but I am so desperate to get away from these horrible feelings... My mom wants to send me to a rehab specializing in this type of thing, but it's insanely expensive and although I'm so grateful that she'd consider that I don't know if a month's worth of help can undo the years I was on the SSRI... Looking back at all of this I feel so ungrateful and unworthy of the goodness in my life that I know of, but cannot feel... I feel so lost and hopeless... Any input is greatly appreciated Lexapro 2007-Feb 2016
  8. 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.
  9. Hi, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have slowly been starting to wonder if what I’ve been going through the past 18 months is related to SSRI withdrawal. I managed to successfully withdraw from Lexapro at the end of 2010, after over 13 years of AD use. I had various fluctuating symptoms for a couple of months, but then apart from constant ringing in my ears and a return of occasional anxiety, I seemed to be ok. I was studying to be a chi-ball instructor, was exercising regularly, was eating healthy and was generally quite happy. After getting off Lexapro, I had been diagnosed with adult ADD and been put on medication for that. It worked well for a couple of weeks and seemed to completely cure what remained of my anxiety, but then I started to get extreme restlessness, OCD like symptoms, irritability and an increase in my sensitivity, to sounds and lights. I assumed it was a bad reaction to the stimulant medication. My life has been a confusing nightmare since the end of 2010 really, but until I found this site a couple of weeks ago, it really didn’t occur to me that my ongoing problems were being caused by a medication I stopped taking over 2 years ago. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life starting from an early age and have always been sensitive and anxious. There has been some violent crime and sexual abuse, but I seemed to be ok until I got myself into a psychologically abusive marriage. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and started on Zoloft. For a couple of years it took the edge off my anxiety, but I never thought I had depression, but the Zoloft just made me feel generally numb, so I endured my marriage, for several more years until it became unbearable, tried to communicate with my ex-husband so that things would improve, but he wasn’t interested in change, he was already in his next relationship and had been for a while, I didn’t know that at the time though. Then I went through about 4 years of extremely frightening separation/divorce and ongoing court proceedings. . There were other extremely stressful things I’ve had to deal with over the last 10 years, but I’m not going to go into details. I have been thinking that what I’m going through is a combination of long term stress, anxiety/depression, a ‘dark night of the soul’, menopause and/or some kind of spiritual transformation like kundalini, because I have engaged in various spiritual practises through my life. At times its felt like my CNS is completely burned out or that I have some kind of serious hormonal imbalance, but I gave up trusting the medical profession, including psychologists after years of not being able to get any help from any of them and only ending up feeling worse and that its all my fault for not trying hard enough. I’ve had lots therapy, counselling and done various support groups over the last 15 years, nothing has been any significant help. I went back to college to study psychology and started a business, but that all fell apart when the marital abuse became worse and the divorce proceedings began. Since finding this site, I’ve stopped taking all psychotropic medication, realizing that anything which effects my brain is having an exaggerated negative effect on my recovery. For a long time I’ve noticed that even small amounts of caffeine, half a glass of wine or even an anti-histamine will have a very bad effect on me, but I was thinking it was my imagination. I can’t even eat chocolate any more without suffering the next day. I’m exhausted all the time, but it’s a weird kind of fatigue, its like a combination mental/emotional tiredness, not like anything I’ve ever felt before. I spend most of my time at home, on the internet on my bed, just doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. Its very difficult just getting out to buy a few groceries, but when I do go out, I function perfectly in a kind of dissociated way, like I’m not even in my own body, I’m watching myself like from a distance, wondering who it is that’s behaving so ‘normally’ when I’m feeling so awful. Waves of negative emotions seem to get triggered by almost everything around me and almost every thought, I try not to think about things or do much of anything so I can avoid the emotional pain that thoughts or experiences bring, its like a kind of forced meditation. This symptom was at its worst from November 2011 – August 2012, but its not as bad now, seems to be settling down, I think its improved by about 50%. Please would someone take a look at the details in my signature and give me an opinion if protracted anti-depressant withdrawal might be a factor in my current health problems which include: Waking at 5am with racing thoughts Feeling like I haven’t slept at all Nausea, shaking, dizziness, body pressure, muscle twitches Waves of negative emotion Hot/cold flashes, sweating Constant ringing in my ears Sensitive to sound, light and smells Can’t watch TV or listen to the radio because its too stimulating Most things are too stimulating now, including being around other people too long Loss of appetite and loss of weight Hair falling out Agoraphobia, mostly during the day, I’m able to go out easier late afternoon towards evening Memory problems and mental confusion Loss of confidence. Loss of interest in doing anything or going anywhere Can’t get any pleasure out of things any more Loss of hope I needed to put more detail in my signature, but that’s all that would fit. From about 2006 – 2008 I was also taking duramine (a prescription stimulant weight loss med) to try and lose all the weight I’d put on from being on SSRI meds. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try and provide a clear picture of my situation. Thank you Petu
  10. 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?
  11. Hey Guys, m 24 years old.... I was prescribed escitalopram in 2014 10mg,then after my dose was reduced to 5mg...So in December 2017 I quit it without tapering, which m now learning was a big mistake..... Everything was fine till February 5th when I had my breakup.... Suddenly my brain started behaving differently..... I started feeling like everything is Getting away from me.... Anxiety came back.... Slowly slowly symptoms began to get worse.... I used to wake up in the middle of the night, felt like crying most of the time, loose motion, sweaty hands, chronic fatigue.... Now from the last three weeks I feel like my memory is fading, it's like I don't remember all these years wt actually happened, I do remember most of the things but it just feels like I don't remember them with all the feel.... So last week I went to see my psychiatrist and he said it's a relapse case.... I told him maybe it's the withdrawal symptom then he said they only last for 10-15 days..... AND told me to get back on 10mg again.... At night I took my first dose of 10mg, the next day in morning I started shivering and feeling cold..... I went to pee and felt like m gonna faint.... There was a burning sensation under the skin of my arms and back..... I decided not to take these meds.... So m asking you guys wt is the best thing for me to do now.... Should I reinstate with the small dose and then taper it down or just hope that everything gets better with time?
  12. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Kasey: Question about insomnia Hi, I'm glad I found this site. I'm an older male, and have been suffering from depression for much of my life, pretty deep but not major. I was always able to got to work and live but since retiring early some years ago I lost my zest, which would come back when taking Yoga classes, studying music, etc. Anyway, I had some problems starting last summer, and went into a funk. I asked my GP doctor last month for a prescription to Lexapro, which I started about 3 weeks ago (10 mg.) I now have very strong reservations about continuing this drug, due to what I've read about withdrawal symptoms. I have been going for CBT and Mindfullness therapy for a couple of months, which has helped quite a bit. I know nobody can tell me what is right, but I think that I should just cut my doses in half for a week and stop. If I get too far into it, and suffer withdrawals when quitting, in the future, I am afraid that I will return to benzos, besides other problems that quitting may entail. I didn't know that Lexapro withdrawal is comparatively brutal, otherwise I wouldn't have started it. I would appreciate some opinions. Thank you.
  13. mariposa84

    Lack of focus during taper

    Hi Everyone, I'm sure that this post could be merged with another one...but I'm not sure exactly where it would go. I've noticed that as I am in week 4 of my taper...I've seemed to not really get much done...I'm human and I have my own amount of laziness but the lack of focus seems unusual. Is this something others have experienced especially with an SSRI? Tips?
  14. This is my first time posting in a forum because my psychiatrist told me three months is generally the end of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were on a low dose like I was. Yet I'm still having bad symptoms. I was on Lexapro for about 15 months at 5mg with one month trying 10mg only to drop back down because of bad side effects. Now after nearly four months off the main thing I have is severe anxiety around my period. Two-three days before and lasting through the week after. I get shaky, anxious, panicky, have pressure and pain in my head and face, sore throat. Is this a normal reaction? It seems extreme for four months off of only 5mg, but since I couldn't up to 10mg maybe I'm more sensitive to this type of med? I know this can't last forever but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm literally incapacitated for almost two weeks per month.
  15. Hi Everyone, I want to start off saying by what an incredibly tough journey we're all going through... and I'm sorry for all of us here... These drugs were advertised to help our mental health; when in fact it damages our brain, especially when used for long periods. I don't even know what to see, other than the fact I feel pretty hopeless after reading so many articles about brain damage that these drugs did to us (mainly SSRIs). I tried stopped this medication in my mid-20s but eventually relapsed due to the terrible withdrawal symptoms. This time around in May 2017, after reading and acknowledging what these drugs do to us, seeing my drive and passions slowly fade away since I started, I decided it was time to stop poisoning myself. Currently, I feel these effects every day: 1) cognitive problems involving memory , learning, and focus 2) apathy, and lack of anyenjoyment for life 3) deterioration of emotional wellness, and unable to handle stress I am currently 30 years old, but feel my brain has rotted immensely. I truly was a talented individual growing up, was always quick witted, fast, and excelled highly in my activities and passions. Now I feel like I have cognitive function of a mentally disabled person. I feel so hurt, and angry and hopeless about what has happened... that I allowed myself to take this poison for ~10 years, listening to doctors that didn't really have an IDEA about the damage that these drugs could pose in the long-run. We are the guinea pigs that have to suffer, and there does not seem to be an end in sight. This makes me wonder if I have to start my medication again eventually to not feel like walking death every day I wake up. I'm trying to fight this... but there is just more and more recent data about what these drugs do to us long-term and I believe it has caused me brain atrophy... Please, I would love to hear some feedback and Idk, can we start fighting these Big Pharmas or are we just a big experiment for them to profit from? Regards, Ethan (PS: If there is any other info you guys which me to provide, I can do so gladly.)
  16. Hello everyone! I have been lurking on here for about 2 years just viewing everything and learning as much as possible. Here is my story and introduction! I was put on Lexapro about 1 1/2 years ago when I suddenly hit depression. I had super anxiety before depression but I didnt understand it. I had all these physical symptoms from stress (new job, new house, new wife, had two kids) such as digestive issues, brain fog, etc. etc. so I thought I was dying! I thought I had MS, Cancer, etc.. and I would google all the symptoms. I got in a vicious cycle of fear and worry that I could not get out of and then I hit depression. I really feel that it really started when I was put on antibiotics for a month because of a prostate issue I had. From there I stopped sleeping and was having panic attacks, anxiety, you name it I had it. So my doc put me on Lexapro 15mg and after about 2-3 months things went back to the way it was. I stopped caring and worrying and all my symptoms disapeared (for the most part) but I was able to deal with them better. About 1 year after being on Lexapro it was time to taper off. So about 4 months ago I have gone from 15mg to 1.80mg. 15mg to 10mg was a breeze. No withdrawals at all 10mg to 7.5mg was easy too. No withdrawals. 7.5mg to 5mg was also easy. Slight anxiety but really nothing big. 5mg to 3.75mg was also easy. Same which I got slight anxiety. 3.75mg to 2.5mg was harder. I felt I kept abusing marijuana and alcohol at this time. Anxiety and issues started slowly coming back, then I hit a good window for three weeks. 2.5mg to 1.25mg was hard. Weird physical symptoms came and I talked to my doc and he put me on the liquid version and wanted me to go back up to 2mg. I was on that for about a month and was continuing drinking and smoking marijuana but about a few week ago I just stopped. It was taking a toll on me and I when I smoked marijuana on lexapro I had no anxiety, but now when coming off it seems like it intensified withdrawals x 5. At the beginning of this week I went down to 1.80mg because something inside told me it was time. I was taking this b-complex and it was helping a little but I starting taking two a day and all my symptoms of withdrawals completely went non-existent. Not sure If I can share brand names so I wont unless someone allows me, but its not synthetic b-complex but made from holy basil, lemons, etc. It just has worked so well. Supplement stack now- Betain HCL - For digestion Acacia Gum- Prebiotic Cod liver oil - Omega 3's 2x B complex's Superfood Greens - Overall health I am going to my naturpathic/integrative doctor in a week to get a full vitamin panel done. Maybe its my hypochondria or my intuitions, but I want to get my vitamin levels checked to make sure I am not deficient to give my body the best possible healing it can have. I just find it so weird that this b-complex completely changed me so fast. I feel as if the years of stress has depleted my gut bacteria and vitamins and I am looking forward to getting things checked. Thats my story and thanks for having me everyone!
  17. 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!
  18. Hi all! I'm so so happy places like this exist to aid in our recovery! A little background on me - I was prescribed lexapro 10mg August of 2017 after a horrible bout of anxiety. I literally had tried everything under the sun to feel better and I was at the end of my rope, so it seemed like medication was the only option. It felt like a miracle! Within days I felt back to myself and continued to feel great for 4 months - so good in fact that I talked to my doctor about tapering. I had zero withdrawl and felt pretty good until 6 months after starting the taper. My insomnia came back full force and my therapist suggested I start lexapro again since I had such a great experience the first time. WOW... that was a mistake. I had a horrible reaction to lexapro the second time around becoming more and more depressed, feeling disconnected, inner ear ringing, and diarrhea. So after four weeks of feeling awful, I reduced to 5mg and two days later started feeling crazy! Weird vertigo (kinda feeling woozey or like I have sea legs), blurry vision, ringing in my ears, and diarrhea. It's been super terrifying. After a week on 5mg, I decided to stop and have been having the same weird vision and dizziness issues for 3 weeks now. I went to my GP who wants me to go to an ENT to get my inner ears checked. She also started me on thyroid and testosterone hormone replacement since they were both low. My questions is could this be withdrawal even though I was only on lexapro for a month? Could something more serious be going on? Is it just anxiety? I just don't want to get on another drug out of desperation, but I'm starting to feel helpless. 2017- lexapro 10mg + Vistaril (for sleep) 2018 - lexapro 10mg + Vistaril (for sleep)
  19. I 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
  20. 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
  21. hi all my name is Miguel and i have a question about Lexapro here is the medication I took and the time lines Sertraline 50 mg on 5/10/15 and took Trazodona, 150 mg then i stopped continued on sertraline Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15 on 6/6/16 I went to 100 mg Sertraline then 03-10-2016 i changed to Escitalopram, 20 mg and Xanax 0.5 and took it until i stopped on 28/5/2017 by my own bad mistake I did a super fast tampering of 20 15 10 5 0 in 1 mouth ^^ and i whent back on it on 7/08/2017 owe my one whit out saying to the doctor but i am now at 10 mg and i have an appointment whit a psychiatrist and gonna ask him to taper me off slowly But I am afraid that cuz i started whit 16 almost 17 y old that it's gone be hard or that I am hooked for life I did cold turkey and i wasn't dat bad until it all hit me at once ty for your help i will be posting regulary about my situation Love you all Miguel
  22. Hi all, I started tapering about 6-7 weeks ago. My titration schedule was as follows: 1. Alternate 10 and 7.5 for 23 days 2. 7.5 mg for 23 days 3. Alternate 7.5 and 5mg for 45 days I made it to step 3 above and major withdrawal symptoms started when I was within 10 days of being done. I ended up going back up to 10 mg again. I have been on the 10 mg for a week now. The withdrawal symptoms are horrible. Unbearable ruminations, major depression, and unable to sleep very well. All I want to do is stabilize for a couple of months, and then try to titrate again much slower using the liquid. I would welcome any suggestions on anything that might help with the ruminations, depression, and the lack of sleep. Thanks for your help! Very happy to be on this forum.
  23. 10 years ago I started having what I thought were panic attacks diagnosed by my Dr...I was put on 10 mg Lexapro. During the last 10 years I still had the so called attacks but only a few so we assumed the drug was working.....until July 2015 when I had another episode that lasted 4 days... a pulse of 180 that would just not go down...In th ER an attendant looked at the monitor and said casually -oh you have “a-fib”....something I had never heard of..... which convinced me that all those panic attacks were really a-fib attacks...because they all felt the same! Last June 2017 I decided along with my Dr it was time to get off the Lexapro....he told me 6 weeks was long enough to taper off, which I did. During the end of July 2017 I was also in hospital with another a-fib episode.....while there I had what I realize now we’re brain zaps, neck tremors and fuzzy thinking and hard to focus my sight , but attributed them to the cardio medication....the zaps went away, the fuzzy thinking stayed, along with eyesight focus problems.....all of which I thought was brought on by the new medications.....during this time I also experienced insomnia, tinnitus which was off and on until February 2018...since then it has been constant and very annoying. I now listen to “white noise” at night to be able to sleep....I must say my eyesight and fuzzy thinking have somewhat improved the last few weeks...but these brain zaps and the lightheaded feelings are about to get the best of me....I just break down and cry when they happen....but......I will not ever take an antidepressant again! I am so angry at the Dr for ever putting me on that nasty thing when it was not needed.....I am angry and sad for the time it is robbing me from my family....because I just don’t feel good when all this is going on....I keep praying that all this comes to an end soon and I will be able to enjoy my life once more...the last 3 years I have had 2 ablations for the a-fib and since November 2017 I finally started getting my life back from the a-fib problems.....then this withdrawal problem starts....It’s very annoying! I have 4 grandkids that I would love to spend more time with, but I can’t because of these withdrawal symptoms going on right now. I saw my Dr , who is different, today and when I mentioned that I could be experiencing withdrawal from the Lexapro....she looked at me like I was nuts! So here I am tonight wearing a 24-hr holter monitor....then she setting me up an EEG appt and an appointment with ear, nose and throat dr.....I am convinced that there are too many similar symptoms of withdrawal for this to be coincidence.....
  24. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
  25. Hello, I've been on antidepressants off and on for about 11 years. I'm 25 now and started when I was fourteen, just months after I started transitioning into adolescence. My parents put me on them so I didn't have that much of a choice. I also never received therapy while taking medication. I've been in therapy for about 3 years and have a wonderful woman who is willing to help me through all of this. However, I'm having some reservations about coming off of medication because I've tried it so many times unsuccessfully. I have been taking 50mg of Sertraline for the last two years and tried to wean once, while I was living with my boyfriend of the time. It didn't work out at all, and I had to take unemployment for several months because of it. I haven't given up yet, but I don't know when I should even start thinking about trying to come off again. Reasons I want to taper include: -my depression/anxiety have identifiable origins based on life experiences -possible lowered sex drive -stomach problems -lack of emotional coping skills/feelings of inherent helplessness (lack of self-sufficiency) that require more than medication -a desire to feel things fully and work towards developing long term emotional strength -feelings of inadequacy, self-hate, and guilt continue to be prevalent and resurface regardless -I want to use the strengths I already have to overcome challenging life situations and overcome old belief systems Reasons I'm apprehensive about tapering: -still learning to deal with triggers -still unhappy with myself/my relationships -still trying to come out of an eating disorder -need to retain my job to stay financially independent -I don't have a psychiatrist (much less one who will help me with this) -I'm terrified that I'll be doing something irresponsible and cause my family/friends to suffer My goal is to gain sustainable strength of character, and to live my life as fully and lovingly as possible. I'm a little freaked out and isolated feeling, as I can't talk to most of my family about this. If anyone has any messages of hope and some solid advice, please help me. The last thing I ever want to do is to go through this alone again. Obviously I have a lot of mental/emotional baggage to keep working through. If anyone has another forum that would be a safe support for the types of things I mentioned above, that would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks so much for reading this.
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