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  1. Hi, I really don't know how to do this so please bare with me here. I have never used a website like this before - So I am new here. I don't know what else to do at this point. I am looking for some help and support from people that know what I'm going through and have experience in this area. I have been on Lexapro for over 3 years now - 20mg each night. On January 1st I decided I was going to taper off, like I have in the past with other drugs ive been on. It was my choice, I wanted to be completely free of any antidepressant or antipsychotic pharmaceutical, Lexapro was my last step/drug. At first I was doing ok - I went down from 20mg to 15 mg for about 30-35 days, then went from 15mg to 10mg for about another month or so. The 20-15mg was mild and tolerable but when I hit the 10 mg stage, I could really feel a difference. It was not pleasant and I wanted to go down faster but stuck it out for another month before I went down from 10mg - 5 mg. I was still sleeping during this time even tho it was different, I felt like If I was still able to get sleep that that was a good sign. The 10-5mg drop down wasn't too bad, I actually felt better on 5mg then 10 so I stayed on the 5mg for about 3 weeks. At this point I was cutting my pill into a fourth so it didn't feel like much. I felt well during this time I decided to drop down to 2.5mg. I didn't feel too much of a change and felt confident I could finally get off of this drug. So in a matter of about 2 weeks. I continued to go down from 2.5 to half, 1.25 and at that point I was dealing with such a small dose in my hand I just kept cutting the pill into smaller pieces. I probably should have stayed on those small pieces longer than I did, I think that was my error maybe? After 2 weeks I thought there was no point in taking crumbs of Lexapro, I thought it wasn't hurting or helping, so I could just stop taking it. I figured 3 and a half months or so was a patient and slow enough taper right? Well it turns out I was very wrong. The first day or two completely off of Lexapro weren't too much different, I actually felt relieved and like I had finally made it and crossed the finish line. I have been taking melatonin 5mg each night for the past year so this is all I was taking at that point and was still able to sleep even tho it felt different I was happy I could still sleep since I have always struggled with insomnia. But after about 3-4 day mark, I could really start to feel the withdrawals hitting hard. My brain went foggy and I started having what everybody calls the brain zaps, those were terrbible. I kept telling myself I can do this, I can make it, its just part of the process. well during this time now about 4-6 days of no Lexapro, I started getting really angry all of sudden, like full or rage for no apparent reason or if it was for a reason, it wasn't a valid reason to feel the anger and rage I felt. I became severely irritable and mad and ofcourse my best friend, the only one who has helped me through it all, couldn't be there for me. I didn't blame here, but it was very scary and frustraiting to have no help and to feel so helpless. I knew I was hitting a wall and my body was and brain were struggling and I needed help. Well filled with rage, I said some irritable things to my friend, nothing irreparable but very strong worded that I felt like I wasn't getting support that I needed. Whatever I said had a stronger reaction than I thought but all I could think at the time was trying to get through the next moment, one moment at a time. I couldlnt think of anything else. Anywyas this friend has now disappeared and doesn't trust me, but I have this happen before when Ive struggled. Its probably my fault but I do try to be a good person as much as I can but when I'm struggling and have no help I don't know what to do and lash out I guess at the person closest to me. I feel terrible this has happened but not much I can do at this point. Anyways, I continued going through withdrawals the second week. I could feel the brain zaps were diminishing which felt like progress but than the panic attack hit me. Out of nowhere I woke up in the middle of the night after taking melatonin like I always did and I woke up in some sort of half awake/half asleep way full of panic and struggling to breathe. I felt like I was going to die or atleast faint and hit my head on something and no one would know. I didn't know what to do. Ive never called 911 before but it felt like the only option I had. Those 15 minutes were the longest in my life or atleast it felt that way. The kind operator kept me calm and dispatched help on the way but I could hardly breathe and felt like I was going to pass out at any moment. my body at this point was shaking uncontrollably like I was freezing, and I couldn't stop it. all I remember is just trying to stay awake/alive until someone got here. I heard a knock on the door, it opened and the first emt that I saw walk in to my room all of a sudden gave me so many mixed emotions and feelings all at once. I felt extremely relieved and so much of the anxiety dissipated as soon I saw help had arrived. also I was struck with embarrasement and guilt at the same time as I had just then realized I wasn't dying and it was a panic attack and extreme anxiety. They took some tests and talked me through it and told me it was a panic attack. They were extrememely kind. I felt terrible I had wasted their time. But I truly felt like I was going to die. This was a scary wake up call. I knew I had to do something and I was scared it would happen again. The next two nights I would drive 45 minutes to my moms apartment to stay with her and I have no one else here or place to go. I wanted to be around someone. I slept okay that night but the second night only slept a few hours and the panic attack trioed to set in a few times those nights as well but I was able to realize what was happening and ward them . off. At this point I had to try something else for sleep to maybe replace the Lexapro? that's what I thought. So I started taking zzzquil which is just diphenhydramine like Benadryl. for the next week I would take that and melatonin and would have some success and some relapse of panic attacks throughout the night. during week 3 of being completely off of Lexapro, I could feel that my body was anxiety ritten. Just chalk full of it. I was thinking fast, talking fast and anxious about everything and could not relax no matter what I did or what breathing exercises or meditation. I continue to try natural approaches and personally feel I am a strong willed person but at the end of week 3 it became too much to handle. I caved in. I felt my body craving the Lexapro and as much as I didn't want to go back on it, I didn't know what else to do. I decided to take an extremely small dose probably .5 mg to 1mg just to see what would happen. Immediately I could feel the anxiety lessen and the first day or two felt like it was the right choice. Now here we are Monday 5/21/18. It was 10 days ago when I decided this. Since it felt right I continued to take a very small dose approximately 1 mg of Lexapro and the melatonin and now the zzzquil at night. My body and brain have been feeling all sorts of things - headaches all day, brain fog and uncontrollable brain feeling/thoughts at night right before I fade to sleep and yawning all day at work. Ofcourse I started a new job last Monday with delta that I will have to give up since I just cant manage now. This whole last week was probably 4 days of good/ok sleep enough to function/3 days of small panic attacks and anxiety and worry and not great sleep. But I thought this was better than before. I did continue to up the dose slightly each night and last night I think I took 2.5-3mg but its hard to say since I'm pill cutting and they are so small. I thought this was the right thing to do, but last night was the kicker. I was hoping to get sleep to continue my new job today. However I had a severe panic attack much like the one when I called 911. This time I knew what was happening so I didn't call them but it didn't make it any easier. I called my brother just to have someone to talk to. it lasted for about 20 minutes as my body continued to shake uncontrollably and I felt like I couldn't breathe but continued to try to breate and stay calm. This time it didn't go away. I couldn't go to sleep until about 4 am and woke up at 9 and still feel like my brain has this lasting hangover. Its hard to explain but I feel this imbalance in my body/brain, and I feel like panic can hit me at any time, even after I had some breakfast I felt panic and shortness of breathe so I am now afraid almost to eat or drink anything. I had chicken soup and water and have stayed home from work, called in sick and have called a doctor and will most likely go to the local urgent care tonight. Here is where I don't know what to do and would welcome and appreciate any input or help. Thank you for reading this far if youre still here. -- I am out of answers and don't know what to do tonight for sleep or if I should still take the Lexapro, or take less of it or if when I see a doctor I should take a new drug - everything seems not so fun and not like a good idea. So I feel like I am stuck. My health insurance sucks ofcourse my fault, I have some money saved up but that was for all the debt I still have so it will be hard to see that go. I am scarted to take the zzzquiil and have purchased so valerian root, ive heard its good but I'm nervous to take anything new at this point. I hope whoevert I see tonight will have some insight but I am not so sure they will, ive never had much luck with doctors. I am more scared than ive been in a long time. The last time any of this happened was during my divorce. it was an all time low point in my life. I had been on Seroquel for about 8-9 years, Depakote and lithium for about the same. I found myself not caring about my life and my marriage and everything I knew had ended/ust been taken from me. During this time I had more complications than ever with trying new drugs and coming off of these old ones. Klonopin helped but then I became dependant on it every day and used for over 2 years but I successfully withdrew from that last year, it was hell. I'm sorry to ramble on. And I'm sorry for everyone who has to deal with this. I feel incredibly hopeless and alone. I feel like I have failed once again at holding a job and becoming self dependant. Once again I am a man who is sick and troubled and always needs help and cant support myself. I hate this feeling. I just want to get better. I have been striving as much as I could over the last 4 years to become healhty, on less drugs, better eating habits, working harder and making enough money to support myself and all the good stuff that ive wanted in a healthy life but I have failed once again. If you have any input or knowledge of this type of thing or have an idea of what ive done to myself or what I can do I would greatly appreciate your help. Thank you for listening
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