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  1. Hi. I was on Lexapro for 20 years, 20 mgs at the end. I went off pretty much cold turkey about 6 weeks ago - tapered for about two weeks to try other meds. Didn't know about this site or the implications. Did not really go forward with other meds. Using small doses of Mirtazapine to sleep. Went on Lexapro 20 years ago for Anxiety. Depression kicked in a year ago and has gotten much worse. Hence, time for a change from the Lexapro. Was told it "pooped out." Since going off, Anxiety is back. Also dizzy and nausea. Symptoms not as bad as I have read about from others, but I don't want to go back to the Anxiety for sure. Very hard to explain some of the withdrawal effects, but not pleasant. Don't know what I should be doing at this point. I would like to try and reinstate. The Anxiety was well dealt with on the Lexapro. Can I reinstate parts of the 20 mg tabs with a pill splitter? Or should I ask for a low dose Rx? Can I reinstate after 6 weeks? Should I Reinstate? I would reinstate to go back on, not to taper off. I stopped at the worst point of the depression. Completely upside down logic. I wish I just stayed on.
  2. Looking for some advice on what I should do with my Escitalopram (technically taking Escitalopram but Lexapro is easier to remember so I'm using that a lot here) dosage.. Made a lot of mistakes last week. Basically I'm a short-term Klonopin user (3 months total) who had a very rough time getting off of it. I had very extreme anxiety and burning sensations where I was basically limited to a couch. I was taking it as needed, and didn't realize I was putting myself through inter-dose withdrawals every few days. Doctor said it was my anxiety returning, and then I ended up on Lexapro because of that which made me take more Klonopin. Thankfully I found this forum else I would be in an even worse place with no hope. I tapered off the Klonopin roughly 1 month ago and I felt great for 3 weeks after. However, I'm pretty sure I've screwed up my withdrawal from Klonopin or my Lexapro taper or both. I'm hoping for a second opinion to guide me in what I should do next. Long story short I knew much better but I drank alcohol only 3 weeks after jumping off Klonopin and while fast-tapering Lexapro. I tried alcohol 1 night, thought I got away with it. And got excited to feel normal again and then drank a few more times over the week 1 or 2 drinks a night. Never felt bad the next day. Roll around to last Monday. I had a dentist visit for a cavity and received novocaine (or something like it, I don't know what they gave). A few hours after the novocaine I started getting some returning anxiety. I thought nothing of it, until the next morning I woke up feeling like I was going back into acute benzo withdrawal with extreme anxiety again. I've now been in this state for 5 days. At first I blamed myself for drinking and the novocaine, but now I've realized I've tried to taper my Lexapro too fast as well. I dropped from 9mg to basically 3mg in about a month. I know the 10% rule, I guess I just felt invisible since I was dropping fast and was a short-termer (1 month or so on 10mg when I started tapering) and seeing no withdrawal effects. My questions: 1) Is Lexapro withdrawal as anxiety intense as benzo withdrawal? Or do they feel the same? I have severe burning in my back / neck /arms and basically either sit in a ball, lay down, or have to pace the house. 2) Given that I definitely tapered Lexapro too fast, what amount of Lexapro should I updose to, to start over @ the 10% every month? If I should be updosing at all. Right now I have a pretty bad headache from going up today. I feel like I'm making all sorts of mistakes trying to fix this problem since the anxiety is pretty unbearable and unlike my previous withdrawal a few weeks ago it lasts all day with basically no windows. Any help is appreciated. I left my complete notes below. But if they need to be improved let me know. 5/24 - Started .5mg - 1 Klonopin as needed 7/20 - Started Lexapro 5mg (still on Klonopin) 7/27 - Lexapro 10mg 8/5 - Started tapering Klonopin stabilizing on a daily dose of .25mg 8/17 - Jumped at .065 (fast taper... but it seemed to work) 8/17 - Lexapro to 9mg (time to get rid of the next drug..) 8/29 - Lexapro to 6.5mg from 9mg (probably too fast but I had only been on Lexapro for a month so I felt like I could get away with it) 9/8-9/13 - Had alcohol all week sporadically (1 to 2 drinks) because I was feeling so much better. I tested with 1 drink, got away with it, and just kind of got excited.. ugh 9/13 - Lexapro was down to 2.78mg (so 8/29-9/13 6.5 to 2.78mg) way too fast I know. 9/14 - Had a dentist appointment, received probably Novocaine 9/14 - Had mild anxiety in the afternoon after Novocaine wore off 9/15 - Feels like I'm starting back into acute benzo withdrawal 9/16 - Definitely very back into acute something, feels like Benzo withdrawal with extreme feeling of anxiety and burning sensation on skin, doing laps around the house. 9/17 - Updosed Lexapro to 3.9mg 9/19 - Updosed Lexapro more to 4.46mg
  3. Basically I have been on and off antidepressants for 15 years. But, the last 3 1/2 years have been on them constantly. I have tried to get off two times (within a 6 week period) and after about 6 weeks it was way worse than before. So I got back on. I'm so glad to have found this site...because I have hope that I can actually get off Lexapro for good this time! This site is hard for me to navigate...but I'm learning.
  4. Fightinghard

    Fightinghard: overcoming

    Hello everyone- my story began in early April when coronavirus was just shutting everything down. The quick story is I have a history of anxiety that I managed with exercise(gym)and diet, etc. When everything shut down, my anxiety went through the rough and my coping mechanisms were all hampered. I had a panic attack. My sleep was suffering. A good friend is a pcp and I reached out to her on a Saturday (April18) for help and she started me on Zoloft 100mg and buspar 10mg 2 x a day. My initial 2 days of buspar were actually only 5 mg total per day. At her request, I followed up with my pcp that Monday April 20. This PCP was new to me as mine had retired. Anyway, my sleep actually got worse when I started the meds. My PCP added trazadone 50mg as needed To help with sleep. I took that on april 20 but it did nothing so I called my new pcp on Tuesday April 21. I told her what happened and I asked could the Zoloft be affecting my sleep? I told her I had taken it at night and maybe that was the issue. Her answer was probably not and I needed to relax. She switched me to lexapro at that point. So I started 5 mg of lexapro April 22nd. she also added ambien. I took ambien for 3 nights total. I also tried trazadone maybe 2 more times as well in April. i switched my care to a psych NP as I thought it made sense. Starting in May 1st I was upped to 10 mg of lexapro. It was in May I started to think the meds were the root of my sleep issue. I was having a completely different sleep pattern than when I started the meds. Before meds it was more I couldn’t fall asleep. After meds it was I could stay asleep and it was very light sleep. So decided to taper off buspar for about a week where I took 5 mg 2x a day. I finished taking it on May 27. June 1 I asked my psych NP to come off the lexapro. He recommended I cut down to 5 mg. I did this for 2.5 weeks and at that appointment my psych NP told me I could stop. I decided to cut down to 2.5 mg for 1 week and then 1.25 for 9 days. I came off on July 4. April 18-Zoloft 100mg and 20 mg buspar April 20- trazadone 50mg April 21 - change to ambien 2.5 mg April 22- started lexapro 5 in place of zoloft April 25- stopped ambien April 27,28- tried trazadone 50 mg But stopped May 1- Lexapro 10 mg May 18- buspar reduced to 5 mg 2 x a day May 27- stopped buspar June 1- lexapro reduced to 5 mg June 3-5- trazadone - when I realized it was an SSRI I stopped. June 18- lexapro 2.5 mg June 25 - lexapro 1.25 mg July 4 - off My current withdrawal pattern seems to have windows and waves. My sleep quality seems better but duration fluctuates. Typically I sleep 4-5 hours then have a hard time falling asleep. Occasionally I have fallen back to sleep and I’ll get 7-8 hours total which is encouraging. I was having nightmares, vivid dreams and some very light sleep but that seems better. I’ve had some days with depression, anxiety, joint pains, brain fog, memory issues, ruminating thoughts, GI issues, weakness and fatigue. Things seem to fluctuate. Yesterday was a good day. I felt tired but almost normal. Today not so much. So I’m thinking waves and windows? Supplements: omega 3 1000 mg 3x a day magnesium glycinate 400-600 mg melatonin 1 mg vitamin C 1000 mg probiotics i walk 4-5 miles per day. any thoughts? thanks!
  5. In fall, 2019 out of the blue, without warning, I had two vertigo attacks (different weeks). For 4 days after I had dizziness while driving to work. I learned about maneuvers to re-set ear particles and those helped. 4 days after the 2nd vertigo attack I had my first ever panic attack. Typical first-timer story: had no idea what was going on, went to the ER. All tests came back negative. Was diagnosed with GAD, even though I've never had an anxiety problem or depression diagnosis my whole life (middle aged here). 3 days after panic attack was prescribed lexapro. That's when the hell began. I've never had to take any medications at all my whole life, save for a daily multivitamin. For a few months I took some thyroid medication to reduce some elevated antibody levels but that solved that (about 7 yrs ago). Never been on any psychiatric med at all. The 9 weeks and 2 days I was on lex was the worst experience of my life. At times, unbearable anxiety, exhausted, dizzy every single day I was on it, random intrusive dark thoughts, brain fog... An anxiety attack 4 weeks into lexapro sent me to a psychiatric hospital for 4 days the first time when it caused intrusive passive suicidal thoughts (first time in my life). While there a psychiatrist prescribed a low dosage of lithium for "mood stabilization". After learning what sent me to the hospital the psychiatrist urged me to stop lexapro asap. We agreed on a taper...a very rapid taper. I went from 10mg to nothing over the next 5 wks or so. I couldn't wait to get off- unlike others, I never "settled" on lexapro...every day was bad and the introduction of the dark thoughts was the straw that broke the camel's back. Have been off lex for 5 wks now. For 3 wks main side effects while on the drug dissipated gradually (anxiety, dizziness, brain fog, dark thoughts). Then, in the last two wks, new problems: random nausea (no vomiting yet), often in the morning, but can happens at other times, too. Bladder issues: pain and feeling like I have to pee every 5 min. Insomnia. Random shivering chills, even though my apt is 72 degrees. Dizziness is now back, stronger than ever. Days/parts of days when I'm so exhausted and tired I can barely move around the apartment- a 5 minute walk outside is way too much. Periods of depression every day, with passive, vague dark thoughts. A Dr-on-Demand psychiatrist said to quit the lithium cold turkey about 10 days ago- did that too. Can't tell if some of what I'm experiencing now is from lex or lithium w/d. Am thrilled to be off all these terrible psychiatric drugs but have no idea what my journey will be like moving forward. Missed 6-7 wks of work while on lexapro. Am now working from home due to COVID (a blessing in disguise?). Can't believe that I'm still having problems when I was only on these drugs for a short period, but am now reading about people who never recover and have problems after only being on psychiatric drugs for as short as 3 weeks. That terrifies me. Never been diagnosed with bi-polar or any other mental illness. Have been to the ER 9x since Jan- almost every test you can imagine has been run...everything comes back negative/pristine/clear. I've never felt so awful and am not someone who runs to the ER when I get a paper cut but am tired of hospital Dr's yelling at me when I've gone ("You don't belong here! You have nothing wrong with you! Could you consider these problems are self-created?") even though I've felt I had no other option. Am grateful the blood, lithium, thyroid, CAT, MRI, blood culture, etc. tests all come back looking so good, but that somehow doesn't help how I feel. Hired a nutritional coach who had me try all kinds of supplements, most of which I reacted badly to: seriphos, tryptophan, melatonin, l-phenalalynine, amino acids, inositol. The only things that have helped me (mainly as I tapered) were nutritional supplements: magnesium, vit-C, omega-3, daily multi. Take 4mg zofran if nausea gets bad. Occasionally take .5 ativan if my anxiety is out of control and all my mindfulness, meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, etc. tools don't work. If dizziness and nausea is bad at bedtime will take a 12.5mg meclizine, but it tends to zombie me out the next day so I try to avoid that. L-theanine helps calm me a bit but I don't take those regularly anymore. Have tried chinese herbs- that mix didn't do anything. Have had 5 acupuncture treatments: 3 helped a great deal. Two didn't really do anything, and I actually felt worse in the day/s after (could have been overpowering effects of w/d, vs. the acupuncture treatment itself- can't know for sure). Have 4 acupuncture treatments coming up because those are the only things that seem to move me forward at all, when they do work. I get that most of the serotonin in the body is in the GI, so my current issues may be just the latest place lexapro w/d has decided to manifest itself. Tired of feeling I can't get a break. Tired of feeling that 1 ok day means 4-5 awful days after. Tired of feeling that at times I'm just trying to survive and fixing myself my next meal is a herculean effort. How long can I expect this parade of various side effects to continue after such a short lexapro history? Am I really bound to a lifetime of issues from 9 weeks of one pill? Just moved to NV 10 mths ago from central USA to take a new job. Love the job and new home but don't have any close friends out here yet and am single and alone. My faith in God is sometimes the only thing holding me together. Have never had such a disruptive or frustrating or debilitating health-related experience in my life. Desperately love (and miss) working out, but dizziness prevents me from doing most exercises and many days I'm so exhausted I can barely walk downstairs to pick up the mail. Does anyone on here have a lexapro recovery story involving awful w/d after only being on the drug for a couple of months? Would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading about my struggles.
  6. First I want to thank this community for providing such critical support to so many in need of informed guidance. I am here to seek advice for reinstating after having tapered of Lexapro WAY too fast (throwing my brain off a bridge). This was my second time on Lexapro for anxiety/depression with a starting dose of 5 mg for 5 months, increase to 10 mg for 5 months. Though Lexapro worked for me the first time (from 2008-2016 at 10 mg) , this second time around it hasn't worked nearly as well to address my anxiety and associated light insomnia. As a result, I decided to take myself off Lexapro (which I realize I should not have done without guidance.) After my taper, I felt okay for about 5 weeks. But around week 6 I started having anxiety and insomnia like I have never experienced before. I tried to ride it out but when severe depression set it, I decided I needed help. Since we had moved overseas during this time, I had to find a new psychiatrist. She put me on Paxil 10 mg, which significantly increased my anxiety and depression so much she took me off after a week. She then put me back on Lexapro 5 mg, which seemed to kick off severe insomnia - 5 nights with less than 2 hours sleep. Now she wants me to stop Lexapro and start Mirtazapine 15 mg since she says it will help with insomnia and weight loss (I am about 8 pounds underweight.). Having read through several SA threads and guides, I think it might be better if I just try and stabilize with the Lexapro. Though perhaps that window has closed and I should just switch to Mirtazapine and stabilize on that for several months before planning your advised 10% taper. I appreciate any guidance.
  7. I was diagnosed with post natal depression ten years ago. The psych put me on 10mg lexapro and told me to see him again two weeks later. When I went back he asked if I felt better and I said no. He put my dose up to 15mg. Two weeks later I went back again and answered the same question with another no. He put me up to 20mg. This continued till I reached the dose of 30mg. By that stage I had learned to lie....I told him I felt much better so that he would stop increasing my dose. I later learned that the recommended dose of lexapro is 20mg. After twelve months on 30mg I cut myself down to 25mg. Basically over the following years I did the same thing until I got down to 5mg. That was two years ago. That is when my problems began. Increased anxiety and ocd. No physical symptoms thankfully. But the anxiety and ocd is awful. I have read extensively and know my symptoms are withdrawal. There are definite windows and waves. I am currently at 2mg and life is hard. I honestly can’t see how I am going to get off this drug. The withdrawal sets in about one month after a cut and honestly seems to be endless in intensity. At this stage I am in no hurry to cut any further. During a window My anxiety and ocd seems laughable and I can’t believe how silly I have been getting upset about everything. But during the waves the fear and terror is so real. It is as though my central nervous system is damaged beyond repair. I live in a constant state of hyper alert.
  8. Hello all, Several months ago I was brought to the ER for bad vertigo, nausea, and vomiting. Had a pretty traumatic experience in the hospital room when I was gave an anti nausea med. I had extreme akathesia towards the point when I needed to escape!! The doc said all of the results came back fine.... the next day I had panic attacks due to the experience. Contacted another doc and told him that I used lexapro like 12 years ago and it helped panic. He prescribed me Lexapro. The next 2 months on Lexapro was crazy. Depression, increased panic attacks, GI issues, DP/DR, and the lost goes on. I continued taking them for the weeks because I was told it can be worse before it's better. After those 2 months, I did a quick taper in about a week. I was only on 5mg. I've been completely off Lexapro for about 3 weeks, and I am still having these symptoms but they've kinda morphed. These past few weeks I've been having extreme intrusive thoughts, and some paranoia. I've been thinking "what if I am the only person who is alive, and everyone else is basically just a robot". I question whether my family is truly alive, and can really feel me... Those thoughts lead to this feeling of hopelessness... Ive never had these feelings before. I am thinking that Lexapro changed there ingredients, because I didn't have these issues years ago... I feel like there have been some windows, but i am still scared.... would appreciate some input. Thanks Zach
  9. When I look back on some of the 'major life decisions' I made while I was 'spellbound' by all those psych drugs, I am filled with regret and even shame. Anyone else relate to this? These tides rush in, frequently in the mornings, and just crush me against the rocky shore. For example, I was in a management role at my last company and essentially demoted myself. I was so sick and frankly out of my mind that I thought it was the 'right' thing to do. The new role turned out to be a complete disaster that eventually drove me out of the company. I left on my own terms but I now wonder if I could have found a way to stay. I blame myself for not 'seeing' the complexity of executing a job move like that. I was so numb and disoriented by the drugs and WDs I just couldn't see anything clearly. Now looking back I wonder if I should have been more honest with the people I worked with about what I was going through. At the time, I didn't fully understand how powerful those drugs were and what havoc WDs cause on our interior lives. I thought I was just 'defective' and that it was 'all my fault' so I did the best I could and never told anyone what I was struggling with. Another example is while in the fog of ADs, we built a house that we really couldn't afford. My 'normal' alert systems were completely offline due to the drugs. If I had been in my right mind, I would have been able to feel the 'warning' signs like anxiety and such that could have informed my wisdom that 'maybe this ani't such a great idea' or 'slow down and think about this' but it was like I was mesmerized and totally fixated on accomplishing the task. I've not had suicidal thoughts that all the warnings talk about but I think these things were similarly spellbinding. Over so many years of those drugs, I didn't realize that I had become a different person. That person did a lot of things that I still can't understand...and yet wasn't that 'me'? If not, who the heck was it? Part of what makes this journey off of drugs so hard is it can feel so 'unique' and lonely... Any and all thoughts welcome. Thanks.
  10. Hi everyone, I am glad I found this web-site. I did read some of the topics similar to mine, still it seems each case is unique. Thank you for reading my post. I was on 10 mg of Lexapro from July 2017-July 2018 for anxiety and mild depression. Felt good right from the start, no side effects from taking it. From July 2018- June 2020 I was on 5 mg of Lexapro. Felt good too. I started tappering in June 2020 with very little knowledge as I can see now. I was impulsive and wanted to get it over with. So, over the course of the next 3 months ( or little less since I can’t say for sure) I would take 5 mg every second day for a couple of weeks, then 5 mg twice a week for a couple of weeks, and lastly once a week until I stopped August 1st 2020. First 2 weeks after I stopped were emotionally hard since all the fears that I haven’t had before, like losing people I love, to getting dying old in matter of seconds, to just being scared for no reason. Next 2 weeks were physically horrible, from the constant trips to the restroom, nausea, my whole body tingling, chills and just wanting to reap my skin off. I survived it. I must mention that during this time I visited homeopath and was given some kind of remedy that possibly made it worse for me as remedies of this type tend to do. Next 5 weeks has been just mix of everything, with physical sympthoms lessening but also changing. Like my body doesn’t tingle anymore ( hands from time to time) but back of my head feel tight and I feel chill there too. Emotionally, it just seems that I can’t shake off some of the fears I mentioned at the begining of my post and sometimes I think they make my body feel worse. It feels like I am getting better but it feels like micro mini steps. I need to be patient I realise. I am still wondering, do I just continue like this with no drugs OR should I try to go back on a smaller dose then tapper much more slowly??? 10 mg Lexapro from July 2017–July 2018 5 mg Lexapro from July 2018– June 2020 Tappering from June—August with 5 mg August 1st 2020– drug free
  11. Hello all. I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg for heart palpitations and blood pressure. Never struggled with anxiety but the cardiologist determined my heart rate issues were from anxiety and I even argued with him over it and his reply was that my heart was anxious. So I attempted the Lexapro as the palpitations were uncomfortable. 3 hours after taking the first dose I had my first ever panic attack. Kept having panic attacks upon waking and started having bad anxiety. Stopped the lexapro after a week. It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve been off the lexapro. The anxiety is bad still. It’s interfering with my work and life. I have moments I feel like I’m going to pass out and get really dizzy. I’m 26 and have been married for a year. I was loving my life and now I don’t feel happiness towards much of anything. My husband is out of town for work and so I’m living with my mother because I don’t even care enough to take care of my dog and cat whom I love more than anything. I loved my job and was saving for a house, now the idea of going to work makes me anxious and the idea of being off work makes me equally as anxious. How long until I get back to normal?
  12. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Blondiee1915: Xanax taper. Need help 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 ❤️
  13. Are the doctors right? Insomnia. I gave birth to my son in March 2019 and experienced terrible postpartum anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on 20mg Lexapro (escitalopram) which I commenced on the 17th June 2019. In October I saw my psychiatrist and told him I wanted to taper off Lexapro - he told me to take 15mg for one week, 10mg for one week and then 5mg for the final week (three week taper). My last pill was on the 14th November 2019 and the day after my last pill I couldn’t sleep. Ever since then I have experienced terrible insomnia. I either find it hard to fall asleep or I wake a few times per night. My psychiatrist and doctor believe that my anxiety is waking me during the night but I think the insomnia is a withdrawal symptom. What are your thoughts? And is there anything I can do to ease my insomnia? Do I need to go back on Lexapro (6 weeks without the meds) and then taper more slowly? I have had my anxiety under control but the lack of sleep is sinking me downhill again.
  14. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  15. Currently 70 yr old On psychiatric meds most of my adult life ie.benzos and antidepressants. Started weaning off ER .5 mg 2x day in June 2018. Finished taper Sept 2 2019. Started weaning Lexapro 20mg 1x day in July 2020. Took last one Aug 18,2020. Took both Meds for Appx 15 Yrs. currently on NO psychiatric meds. Hoping my age doesn’t make withdrawal more difficult. Insomnia most nights. Everything irritates me. Digestive issues, Depersonalization. Developed a psoriasis type very itchy rash on scalp, and collarbone area. 2 months after my last Xanax. Have no clue if skin and digestive issues are indicative of withdrawal. Hoping this sight gives me more insight. Will it all eventually stop?
  16. Hi there- Looking for reinstatement advice. After having a panic attack in mid-March 2020, I was prescribed klonopin for acute episodes, along with Lexapro to take on an ongoing basis. Before the panic attack, I was having symptoms of general anxiety (difficulty relaxing, circular thoughts, insomnia, etc), though I never felt depressed. I did not heavily research these drugs before taking them. The klonopin was effective in calming me down and allowing for sleep, and in late March 2020, I began taking a very low dose of the 10mg Lexapro that I was prescribed- about 2.5mg for a week, up to 5mg for 5 weeks or so. At first, I felt great-- I could sleep, my thoughts were logical and clear, and I was able to remain positive despite being in NYC during the height of the pandemic (and working an incredibly stressful job). In early June 2020, I increased the dosage to the full 10mg pill. By late June, my brain was hazy, I had rapidly gained about five pounds, I was extremely tired, and I was having a difficult time orgasming and decreased sexual thoughts- though I still had some libido, lubrication, arousal, etc. I consulted with my doctor and decided to come off the Lexapro, and though she said to decrease the dose over 2-3 weeks, I did not think too much of it. I dropped down to 5mg for a week and felt improvements in my sexual desires/sensitivity. The week after I dropped to 2.5mg, and then stopped altogether. For about a week or two, I felt the withdrawal- I felt anxious, depressed, and agitated, but attributed it to coming off the drug. August 2020 until about 14 days ago, I felt incredibly flat- no strong emotions, along with severe sexual dysfunction (numb clitoris, inability to orgasm, no libido, no lubrication, no sexual thoughts, etc). Upon reading this and other forums, I have concluded that I must have PSSD. I decided to reinstate with my doctor's guidance; I started at 2.5mg 14 days ago. The first two days I felt an increase in my libido and emotional functioning, but that initial bubble has since stopped though I have continued to take the low dose. I'm looking for advice if I should continue at this dose, increase to 5mg, or try to slowly taper back down? This has been incredibly distressing so appreciate any guidance (and hopeful stories!). Many thanks.
  17. Can any one please help me! I have been on Lexapro for 1.5years 10mg since i switched from Zoloft 100mg. It was working good for my anxiety and running thoughts, only little trouble with hard to get to sleep at night. However, after tress of my work, i feel little worrying feeling and doctor straight away put me on 20mg of Lexapro. I felt heart palpitation when wake up and didn't care of it, and my heart started to beating faster and faster during the 7 weeks, went to 125 bpm for whole day! That was worse than my original Anxiety symptoms! Also i experienced some bowel movement, no appetite but with happy feelings sometimes. I don't even know what happened to me! I after couple research on the web I noticed it is quite simular to Serotonin Syndrome, but i don't know I am right or not, anyone can tell me? Then i went to see doctor, he wants me to reduce dosage to 10mg, right after 2 days, that feeling was awful! Now it has been 2.5 month after i dropped back to 10mg, for the first month i went back to 10mg, the racing heart was slowly calms down to 68bpm but still feel very strange and anxiety. The second month palpitation feeling was totally gone but still have anxiety feeling and stomach starts to feeling nausia, full and indigestive that makes me more anxious I was worrying my stomach too much now. I went to see doctor, he gave me a medicine call Nexium, I only took for one day and felt extremely nausea and vomitted once then I stopped taking that. I am still not well now and do anyone think i am still suffering from a kind of withdrawal syndrome? I am so worrying and don't know if the symptom will still exists or I should keep waiting till its getting stabilized? I contacted my doctor again he said he might give me some add on medicines, but I don't really want to take additional medicine to cause new symptoms. I have lost my job and I really want this feeling go away soon...
  18. 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
  19. Hi, I am 18 and have been on Lexapro for 12 months. I tried to come off about 5 months ago, but now reading this site, i realized i didnt taper/went too fast. (it was what my doctor told me to do). the main reason i want to stop lexapro is it makes me very tired. i saw a different doctor today who practices more integrative medicine. She suggested I consider medicinal cannabis to help 'mask' the symptoms of Lexapro as i slowly taper off over a 10 month period (0.5 MG every 2 weeks). She is a a trained psychiatrist and can prescribe it legally. does anyone have experiences, positive or negative, in using cannabis under guidance from to taper off lexapro? is it something i should try?
  20. 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
  21. hey everyone! how can i put this mildly. mom of 2 handsome boys and a wife to a husband who has stood by me through helllllllllll. life evaporated. in a heartbeat. off the offending meds now for 1.5yrs but Jesus. my symptoms are long and probably some of the worst youve ever heard. did wayyyyy too much reaching for help that is for sure and it bit me like a snake. ooof. lost my loved career and my motherhood and marriage as i had it has been ripped away. went to the behavioral help hospitals a few times. we all still live together but ive been sick so long and done so many unforgettable things. in a nut shell. not the mom i set out to be. anyway im going to take a peek around and probably just camp out in the success stories. maybe one day i can be one! i feel like ive touched the 40% healing line. maybe? symptoms that have fallen away or are fading: psychosis (gone) paranoia fading terror gone akathisia fading nightmares are rare intrusive thoughts somewhat better but how could i know for sure whem the memories are so fresh? emotional lability ehhhhh better burning feeling (now having huge windows) not being able to recognize family is getting better i can cook again (dang it lol) i can drive yay connection to family is getting better but it all feels like its been through a hail storm. feel less than (not really a symptom) constantly think (everyone knows im mentally ill) wasnt before this though sometimes it feels like someone is pulling a rubberband from the right side temple area. feel evil is getting better but still there looping words names thoughts i am missing a ton of symptoms i know but they all blur together. oh and ocd symptoms agoraphobia cannot look at myself in the mirror which is weird dp/dr hard to say bc im in so much shock for lack of better words. not sure that life will ever be ok again but im willing to find out. still struggling hard most days. my support system sucks. thanks yall! off to take the kids to soccer and other assorted Thursday activities. doing my best to ignore my symptoms problems and bad memories. i have aged 15yrs i bet any tips, chatting, and love from those who have been this bad and are better would be great...if there is a better. my brain is healing but will my broken heart? love ya- K
  22. 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.
  23. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  24. Moderator Note: link to Moonpie's benzo thread - Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering My name is Moonpie. I feel so blessed to have found this site. I was put on Ativan and BuSpar and Lexapro, one at a time for a medication thyroid mess up. For eight months my thyroid was going crazy in my anxiety was off the charts. It normalized in March and I am trying to take her off the Ativan. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I just realized I have been doing a 5 per cent reduction instead of 10 and I have still had withdrawl symptoms! I am using a file and a jeweler scale. My taper started at .069 in weight and I am down to .035 in all three doses. But I think I took a little too much off last time and for the past week I've had panic anxiety nausea and depression. I am holding this reduction on the third dose for 3 weeks now as strong symptoms started the end of last week and continue. I had labs done to see if it was thyroid and am waiting on results. My 1st question is, should I be tapering on only one dose until it goes to zero instead of doing 1 every two weeks. Because if I continue this way I will go off of all of them at the same time. I appreciate any help. Have really been discouraged and frightened With this past symptoms
  25. 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
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