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  1. Hi All, I've been reading this forum for a while and the topics here have been indispensable, especially regarding dealing with withdrawal symptoms as I prepare myself for a slow taper off of my remaining dose. Pre-backstory I’m in my early 20s and I just graduated college in late 2014 with a high GPA and a degree in Computer Science. I’ve got a strong resume with projects under my belt. I should be starting my career right now but can’t due to antidepressant withdrawal, but I keep telling myself that I will get better and it will happen, I just need some more time to heal mentally and spiritually. Backstory On January 1st of this year (2015) I suffered the first panic attack of my life. I’ve always had weird heart flutters and missed beats, so I thought I was having a heart attack and dying. The day that I had this awful panic attack, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t eat much that day (triggers, I know). I also smoked pot regularly (I am clean now) which in retrospect I figure could be messing with my seratonin. I had bad depersonalization that day, basically forgot who I was for a few hours, and over the next month or so I was bedridden feeling shaky every day, suffering a chain of panic attacks in bed. I was immediately prescribed ativan (lorazepam) to help dull the panic attacks, and shortly thereafter, desperate for something to stop the chain of panic attacks, I was prescribed Lexapro. I took the Lexapro 5mg for the first week and 10mg for the second week, and basically over the next few months my panic attacks got generally better but my mental health got generally worse. My doctor upped me to 20mg Lexapro and I got so disoriented and out-of-it that my mom had to start walking me up to the door of my therapy appointments, because I didn’t feel like I could do it alone. I decided to taper down off the Lexapro because my panic attacks had basically vanished, the Lexapro was causing some bad side effects (at higher doses making me confused and disoriented all the time, at the lower doses mostly just preventing me from getting decent sleep, so I was feeling tired all the time). I felt like the panic attacks would probably not come back, since I was on a good new pattern of diet, exercise, supplements (fish oil, magnesium, probiotic and multivitamin), and I also stopped smoking weed completely, which I think may have been a big contributor to the initial panic attack. Anyways, I had miraculous success taking the dosage down from 20mg to 10mg, from 10mg to 5mg, and from 5mg to 2.5mg, with almost no withdrawal effects. The side effects improved steadily with each dosage decrease, and I’m very grateful that I had so little trouble getting down this far. The big trouble started happening about a month ago. I had thought that I had tapered down successfully from 2.5mg because I felt pretty great for 3 weeks on 1.25mg (¼ of a 5mg pill) with no discernible withdrawal symptoms (Sept 9 2015 to Sept 29 2015). On my psychiatrist’s suggestion, I dropped the lexapro completely (0mg) on Sept 30 and I felt worse and worse for about 4 days. On the 4th day I almost had a panic attack, and I felt so depressed and shaky that I took a small fragment of my pill to try to stave off the symptoms. Literally 15 minutes after taking the pill fragment I went from feeling terrible to feeling great, browsing the internet on my phone. So I stabilized again on 1.25mg after about 5 days, or so I thought. 1.25mg (¼ of a tiny 5mg pill) is terribly difficult to measure - there was one time I wasn’t sure if I even took my pill fragment or if it fell on the floor, since it was so small I couldn’t feel it on my tongue. So I started pushing it against the roof of my mouth so I could be sure it was actually in my mouth. But that made it start to disintegrate before it hit my stomach, so… basically I think that my true dosage was getting really uneven. I felt really tired some days and needed naps, and other days I felt mostly fine. So I figured I could get a more consistent dose if I switched to the liquid, which my psychiatrist prescribed for me. Latest Chapter So on 10/28/2015 I switched to the liquid. I figured that the liquid form would be much more readily absorbed by my body than the pill fragments and I was right. I started out with 1.2mg of the liquid and it felt like way too much (cloudy head, sleepy all day), so over the course of 2 days I lowered it to 0.9mg, which felt pretty fine for 5 days. I felt like I was getting better and that I could even start driving and running errands around town with my mom again if I just waited a few more days. On 11/4 I made a really, really stupid headstrong decision. I felt like I could reduce my symptoms even more if I just reduced the dose by a tiny bit further. So that day I cut from 0.9mg to 0.8mg (which in hindsight was a HUGE cut especially considering how recently I had changed the dose before that). The depression came back in such full force that I immediately had to put the dose back up to 0.9mg 2 days later, but reupping the dose didn’t help at that point. I continued to get worse and worse (more depression/anxiety) until my mom pointed out that I was only eating like 800 calories every day - I knew that my appetite was shot, but I had no idea I was eating so little. On 11/11 I started counting calories and now I’m getting at least 2000 per day, with an ultimate goal of 2500. I upped the lexapro from 9mg to 9.5mg daily and the crippling depression is partway gone now. Anyways now it’s 11/14 and I think I’m seeing some progress, but I can never be sure, and these symptoms are very difficult to work through every day. Today Over the last few days, every morning I wake up nauseous and depressed, and every night I get anxious and need to take a 0.5mg lorazepam to calm down. Progress is slow for me and I’m impatient, but I keep trying to remind (convince?) myself that my body is working very hard to right itself chemically, and that if I just hold this dose and don’t do anything else stupid with it, I will feel a little better by next week, and yet a little better by the week after. I could really use some reassurance though :/ My First Question I’m taking 0.95mg in 2 doses daily (0.475mg at 11am and 0.475mg at 1:30pm). On 0.95mg I feel like my seratonin levels are very unbalanced (depressed/hopeless in the morning, decent around noon, anxious by afternoon/evening). When I accidentally took my second lexapro dose at about 4pm one day instead of 1:30pm, that night I went into a drug-trip kind of sleep (almost like an alternate reality) which was a little scary but most of all exhausting and made me feel disoriented and confused and anxious the next day. As of the last few days, I wake up after vivid dreams exhausted, not at all rested, depressed, and with a burst of adrenaline. Will my body actually be able to get used to such a low 0.95mg dose taken mostly towards the beginning of the day like this? If I just stick it out for another week or two, my mood will start to level out again so that I’m not getting these big daily mood swings, right? If not, where do I go from here? Thank you everyone for your support.
  2. 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.
  3. Hi all, This is my first time ever on a forum so please be patient with me. 13 years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD and OCD and put on Luvox, which I took for 6 years until it started to not work. Docs then switched me to Lexapro when I became severely depressed, and then when that started losing efficiency at the end of last year they added Valdoxan. I have also been through inpatient treatments, CBT,ACT,DBT and have also tried TMS (didn't work). I finally decided in May this year that I wanted to be AD free so started to taper the Lexapro, went from 20mgs to 10(got a slew of side effects) and then after 6 weeks went from 10 to 5 (no side effects) and then 5mg every other day and then finally at the end of August came off the Lexapro (still taking Valdoxan but it's not an SSRI). The first two weeks were fine, no physical side effects just feeling a bit anxious, however the last two weeks and in particular the last 5 days have easily been the worst in my life. extreme anixety, ocd rituals, crying non stop, no appetite, insomnia, agoraphobia, anhedonia. just no will to do anything. also very snappy at everyone, no patience, very irritable and short tempered. prior to coming off the meds I was calm, peaceful, always the nicest person in the room, non confrontational, positive and happy. even though the meds made me numb I was able to live somewhat a normal life. do you think this is a relapse of whatever I had 13 years ago? or is it just a normal adjustment for my brain going from high doses of SSRIs to nothing at all in a (relatively) short amount of time? help please!! I don't know whether to go back on the drugs or what to do. I am at my wits end. Thank you so much, Rosemary
  4. Hi all, I have followed this forum for some time now and would like to share my story so far, and kindly ask for any advice. I have a history of anxiety, dating back to 2011 after a very unfortunate experience with cannabis. Magnesium citrate saved me (and I mean that) after months of intense anxiety and depersonalisation. At the time, I thanked my lucky stars that I’d found my cure, after no luck with CBT and counselling and being considered too young by my GP to try me on antidepressants (I was 20 at the time). Sadly, despite the remission of the anxiety and depersonalisation, I was never able to tolerate stress in the same way again. Even intense exercise over a period of days would leave me wired, agitated and unable to sleep. After a lot of personal stresses and a demanding job, I finally cracked last October. I ended up taking 5 months leave from work, with a constant low level of anxiety which would often be focused around my breathing (as if I couldn’t quite breathe). I was prescribed sertraline but managed to push it to one side. After trialing phosphatadylserine, I actually got some minor relief from my anxiety and stress levels and headed back to work in April. Sadly, I found myself off work again in September this year, having been pushed way too hard after my return to work. In an attempt to speed my recovery, I tried to do relaxation exercises 3x a day, which actually did leave me incredibly relaxed. Until a week later when I started having panic attacks out of the blue. Suddenly my sleep became broken and short, I’d wake up wired and incredibly agitated. I suspected it was due to immersing myself too quickly into the breathing exercises, having come from a history of chronic stress. After around 2.5 weeks these symptoms seemed to subside, but my family insisted I try an antidepressant as to them it was clear I kept relapsing and not improving. I gave in and reluctantly started Escitalopram at 5mg on November 3rd of this year. To my surprise, I didn’t actually have any of the horror story type reactions to the drug (I was sure I’d go into psychosis or have unrelenting anxiety), but I did feel like I had butterflies in my stomach for almost 3 weeks and as if I could break into a panic without too much of a push. Although unpleasant, I was getting through the days and despite a couple of stomach upsets, I figured I could see this through for a while longer. In the last few days, I have started having different anxiety symptoms. Rather than feeling the butterflies/adrenaline in my stomach for most of the day, I’ve become hypervigilant of my body sensations such as the feel of my lips touching each other and my limbs often feel almost numb. Most of the times I can shake this off, but sometimes I break into a mini-panic for 10 seconds or so. I’ve also had disrupted sleep appear in the last few days. I saw a GP today and was told that I should continue for 2 more weeks and if the dose isn’t working still, up the dose. I’m very reluctant to go with that approach, because this anxiety subset is new to me and if 5mg is potentially causing this, I don’t see how a larger dose will avoid more harm. I’m thinking it would be wise to stick out the 5mg dose for a few more weeks to see if things stabilise a little and then if im not happy with the result, begin to slowly taper off? Does anybody have any advice? It would be much appreciated!
  5. Kristine

    Kristine: Not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  6. Asta

    Asta: Cipralex

    Good day I would like to hear sincere advice. I started taking Cipralex 10 mg after an uterus myomas operation for severe headaches. When I started taking this medicine, I had a serious side effect, I suffered from it and thought it should be. Insomnia occurs, there was high anxiety, inequality, headache, nausea, dizziness. It all lasted about six weeks. Five months later, with the permission of a doctor, I try to stop taking medication, but this is almost impossible. High anxiety and fear (it was not against drug abuse). The burning body, headache and whole body, the doctor does not know what to do. I do not need to take drugs for 10 days. Please advise what to do, how can I overcome these exclusion cases? How long will it last?start to understand why many people take medication for a long time, it is not possible to stop them directly, and feel less well off than before taking medication. When I reduced my medication, I took 5 mg for one month, then in a week at 2.5 mg and I completely stopped. Now I'm taking vitamin c, b vitamins, minerals, omega 3. My doctor's only advice is to go back to medicine. I also go to psychotherapy, KET.If you did not have depression before taking medication, then such a terrible symptom might really occur.
  7. Skeeter

    Skeeter's Journey

    My signature pretty much covers my recent history. For anyone reading this, if you have a short term bout of anxiety, and your doc suggests, Xanax, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, read up on how hard it is to come off of it, and consider that before you ever start the med. I was put on it for short term anxiety, was on it for 4 months, and then my doc switched me from Xanax to less that half of the equivalent dose of Valium in one day (a process that should take several months, according to the Ashton Method, which most say is too fast- and I agree), so I ended up with over 50 signs and symptoms on top of the pain I already deal with on a daily basis that changed from day to day, even hour to hour. April was when I did the switch, and I did not feel human until July sometime. I am just holding now, before I am ready to start a very slow taper on my own, WITHOUT A CALENDAR! I have been on valium for a long time, but at a dose that is still at least 5mg over what I was on for muscle spasms. I would like to get back to PRN (as needed). That is the reason I am here, but if we back up to October of 2016, my doctor took me off of 3 AD's, 2 of which I had been on over 7 years. Wellbutrin (depression from chronic pain), and Trazodone (for sleep), then added Cymbalta for about a year, a clerical error, I was SUPPOSED to slowly switch from one to the other, but because I was feeling better, it got forgotten about. I had 3 episodes of Serotonin Syndrome between September and December of 2015 (was set off by minor to moderate dehydration, I was hospitalized for 3 days, and remember only parts of it, I did not sleep in those 3 days, nor did I eat, but the hospital did not pay much attention to me.. So,I was suffering from poop-out of all of the AD's, and my doc agreed to take me off of the AD's and switch for a new one, only e weeks later, he changed his mind, and refused to switch me to a new one, and gave me the name of ONE psychiatrist. I was suffering from severe anxiety first, and instead of giving me a simple AD, he thought somehow that it was SAFER to give me 2-3mg of Xanax every day (up from the 8mg of Valium I took for 7 years, a drop in the bucket compared to Xanax), then, by month 3, I started to have interdose WD. I found out my GP would prescribe an AD (Lexapro), so I started that, and within a month, i felt human again. I had severe suicidal ideation before I started Lexapro, and tht did stop the AD WD fully, I was given a choice by 2 docs, 1 saud, 12 weeks, no longer, we will remove you from 3mg/day of Xanax. Knowing this might happen, I lowered down to 2mg a day (equal to 40mg/day of Valium. Doc 2 said we switch you in one day from X to V, so of course I picked doc #2's plan. it was awful, but the best of 2 choices. I was lucky, I stayed out of the psychiatrists hands! My biggest issue right now is stopping the messages that were firmly implanted in my head after belonging to other forums, where to me they seemed to clearly be saying in their messages, as I understood them, that if you are not moving forward with your taper, you are failing yourself and prolonging your agony. Again this is the message I took from it. This made no sense to me, because if you go too quickly with tapering benzo's, you are virtually guaranteeing a trip through hell via Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome/Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). And at one forum there are seemingly hundreds of people going through PAWS. I am not saying the forum is wrong, but the only talks about going super slow I could find were years old or there was one forum that talked about taking prolonged breaks once in a while. I also read the liquid micro taper area, where the main moderator in one forum seems to be very clear in her opinion (again if I understood correctly) in saying that not tapering daily (esp taking a break for 3 days or more) seems to be greatly frowned upon... As a result, I got it stuck in my head that I am failing myself somehow by not continually forcing myself to taper when I do not feel ready to, like I am somehow hurting my body. My only remaining symptom out of over 50 at my peak is a severe sensitivity to artificial sweeteners like Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, etc. I had to stop reading one forum because of all of the horror stories, and all of the people with Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome. Seeing people talking and being so confused because they ended up with constant severe disabling symptoms leaving them bedbound for months to years, confused because they did what the forums considered a slow to average taper- following the directions laid out for them, during which they seemed to suffer greatly virtually non-stop only to end up with symptoms that ended up being MUCH worse than the taper itself( and lasting longer than the taper did!). I do not get why at that point you do not reinstate and stay on a very low dose until... I finally saw a ray of light (and felt my first hope since April!!) several days ago when I did a search on the internet named "How slow is too slow to taper off of Valium." What came up was a link from this forum called "The slowness of slow tapers", which was started by Rhiannon. It was the lightbulb moment I needed. I am only 5 pages in, it was started in 2012, and is still going. I also noticed you have a Benzo place here that I look forward to visiting!! Thank you for offering the kind of support I have been looking for this whole time, when I first stated looking for help. On other forums, I saw at least 20 comments from people on one forum who said that they cold not bear to read that forum because there were so many people suffering so awfully. Yes, all of the forums offer support, but I think that maybe with so many people suffering that maybe one might need to look at why so many people who follow the programs and taper schedules supplied end up in such a bad place for so horribly long after stopping the med. I do understand that some of these people did a cold turkey stop of the meds, but so many I found had followed a taper schedule and followed the calendar vs how they were feeling. Ashton is a great place to start, but maybe the schedules she provided prior to her passing are no longer applicable, and are possibly now far too fast for some with the understanding we now have of how the mind and body works, maybe? This is a general rhetorical question, I am not trying to slam any specific forum. I did not read just one forum, and I belonged to more than one. I want to be very clear on this! For the moderators and members offering gentle help and amazing support- thank you so much for your time!! Thank you for reading about my experience, and my questions. I feel sorry that you had to suffer through al of this...lol! UPDATE: After switching Xanax for a low dose of Valium, I had waves of symptoms that lasted until I was 20 months out from my one day switch. My doc even told me he knew the Xanax would not last long for me, and he knew would have to see someone else to get an AD. I loved my doctor, but I still have never forgotten the hell I suffered. Yes I was feeling pretty well by the time I wrote this, but it did not last
  8. My name is Anna, and I'm 35 years old. I was first prescribed an ssri in 2000, when I was 17 years old, for panic attacks and agoraphobia. At the time, I was given paroxetine. I can't remember my exact dosages over the years, but I remember I was on 40 mg for a long time, before going down to 20 mg. In 2008, I was switched to Lexapro because the side effects of paroxetine were very annoying for me (weight gain, flattened emotions, inhibited libido). They definitely outweighed any benefits I experienced from taking the drug... I was still having panic attacks, still agoraphobic, and now also experiencing periods of depression. Lexapro gave me less side effects, but the benefits were the same (pretty much non-existent). The reason I stayed on them for so long regardless? Fear, because psychiatrists had always told me I needed these drugs. That I had a chemical imbalance. And even as I became more and more convinced that the pills weren't helping, I was terrified of what would happen when I went off them, for fear of what they'd done to my brain in the meantime. But I didn't want to stay on them forever, and therapy and positive experiences in my life had finally brought me to a point where I had enough confidence to try to live without them. I'd been on a 20 mg dose for years, first of brand name Lexapro, then generic escitalopram. Early 2017, I went down to 10 mg. After gathering more courage, I went down to 5 mg late July 2018, and after consulting a psychiatrist I quit taking it entirely on October 1st, 2018. The situation with the psychiatrist is a bit complicated. I'm currently seeing a psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy focusing on my phobias. The psychiatrist is the person ultimately in charge of my case, but she'd never seen me before we met that single time to discuss my medication (when I'd previously tapered Lexapro I'd done so under supervision of my GP, because I wasn't seeing a specialist at the time). She was against me going off ssri, but told me she'd "give me a chance". When I told her I'd never really experienced much benefit from the pills and that I'd only started feeling better as I'd tapered them, she didn't really seem to listen. She told me I could just go from 5 mg to nothing if I was so set on quitting, so I did. That was two and a half months ago, and it's been... bad. I immediately fell into a depression. I started experiencing the world differently... everything feels "off". I don't feel like myself a lot of the time. I feel like I'm regressing, years and years of repressed feelings and emotions seem to keep coming up. Not so much traumatic memories as just... so many images from my childhood and teens. Sometimes I suddenly feel as though I'm seeing the world through the eyes of my teenage self again. There have been brief moments where I've felt like myself again, but every time I start to feel better, I fall back down again. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm terrified I'll lose my will to live, though thank God it hasn't happened yet. But I don't know how much longer I can go on like this, I don't know how to cope. I'm trying to stay active, but I get overstimulated so easily... but being alone with my thoughts can send me down a spiral. I've tried staying with my parents for a while, but it made me feel helpless and drained my confidence. Being at home feels better, but I live alone and I don't have a big social network, so it gets lonely very quickly. It's like nothing I do seems to help. The psychiatrist had warned me against a relapse, but she never said a word about withdrawal... when she said relapse, I imagined maybe having more panic attacks for a while. I never imagined the hell I'm currently going through. I don't want to go back on ssri, but I'm terrified for what lies ahead. The things I usually do to cope, like practicing yoga and mindfulness, barely seem to do anything anymore. I'm losing confidence in myself and in my healing process. I know there are no quick fixes, but if anyone has any tips on how to stay afloat during this time, they'd be very welcome. Thank you for reading my story.
  9. Hey guys, First off, thank you for existing. I came home from work feeling pretty down after trying to normalize after my last taper from 10mg of Lexapro to 7.5mg and it was a godsend stumbling across this forum and realizing I am not alone. A bit about me: -Sober/recovered alcoholic who has been sober 2+ years (garbage disposal druggy but never touched anything that was too hard). -Have been on Lexapro since I was 13 (27 years old now) -Only time I have ever came off Lexapro was 4 years ago by a doctor's orders who tapered me wayyyyyy to quickly. Got back on it a few months later. -Have been prescribed uppers (addy, ritalin, vyvanse etc.) in the past for ADD but abused them and landed myself in rehab this last time. Quite honestly I never needed them. My belief is that a very small subset of the community actually does have ADHD and might need them. I just didn't want to focus in US History in high school and a rush of dopamine makes anything more fun ;). -My life now is great on the outside and slowly getting better on the inside. I am sober, have a great paying career, house, car, etc., but something inside still feels like I am being "numbed" and I know its the Lexapro. Every time I ween I feel a little more alive after my brain balances itself out. My goal for coming on here is to learn from your collective wisdom and to do my best to provide support for those still struggling. I am not a doctor, and cannot provide medical advice (obviously), but I understand from wrestling through addiction that being able to relate to another individual who can say "I understand," is sometimes the most refreshing thing in this world.
  10. Hi everyone! 24 yr old here (my birthday is in 7 days though!) had a really horrible reaction with Escitalopram after only 2 1/2 weeks on 10mg around mid-September and i've been struggling with the symptoms since. My body and nervous system is hypersensitive to medication, like even a typical mosquito bite will cause my arm to balloon up. Unsure if it was neurotoxicity or what exactly went wrong but i basically had to cold turkey immediately, the ssri was prescribed for panic attacks and it's giving me a whole ton of anxiety-inducing symptoms that persist like: onset of multiple drifting floaters in my visual field that i've *never* experienced in my life before which are super distracting when having conversations, or looking at bright white surfaces like a phone or computer screen, these seem to have calmed down slightly after 6 weeks off but remain, and i'm worried they're permanent. About 2-3 times per week if i'm overly stressed or fatigued i'll wake up with a blotchy red spot in my field of view that disappears after a few seconds which is absolutely terrifying, this has improved from seeing it daily on the 1st week of withdrawal - i've searched the net and it seems like i'm the only person that has this symptom when driving or looking into far distances there appears to be a mirage haze or heat-wave vision.. the closest thing I can describe it to would be gas shimmering in the air, (in the middle of spring?) and when i'm having a realllyyyy bad day the the walls look like they're shaking until I look away. This is totally a nightmare and taking Lexapro was the worst decision of my young life, before the antidepressant I had never hallucinated, never taken psychedelics, and now I don't even want my friends to see me like this. I can't remain asleep for more than 3 hours without waking up and i'm scared daily but trying to remain hopeful!! I also get hypnic jerks and trembling/shaking while drifting off to sleep but it's rare enough to be manageable, i've found approx~ 100mg of magnesium and two capsules of fish oil in the morning and night really helps. Thanks so much for reading :3 just need some reassurance that all of this will pass!
  11. Gridley

    Gridley

    In 1986 I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, 75 mg Imipramine PM, to slow bowel function and to relieve pain resulting from ulcerative colitis. I was also put on 1 mg Lorazepam. In 1991 I went CT off both the Imipramine and the Lorazepam, resulting in a terrible colitis flare-up. After a few months I reinstated with success. However, these medications, and everything else I did for the colitis ceased work about three years ago, and in January, 2015, I underwent surgery to remove my colon and replace with an internal J-pouch, which cured the colitis. But that left me with the 30-year-long Imipramine situation. In January, 2016, I began tapering the Imipramine 10% every three weeks, which went fine until I got down to 19 mg, then 12 mg, at which point I began experiencing severe anxiety as well as dizziness. Realizing I had tapered too quickly, I updosed to 25 mg a month ago but have not as yet stabilised at this dose, as I am still experiencing considerable anxiety as well as insomnia. Until September 23, my tapers were approximate percentages as I hadn't yet bought a scale. I use the supplements Theanine and Nature's Balance Happy Camper to help with the anxiety, along with magnesium glycinate. It's only been a month, but I'm a little worried that I am never going to stabilise at 25 mg. In 2004, due to depression, I was put on a succession of SSRIs, in addition to the Imipramine, including Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. Lexapro 20 mg seemed to finally work and I remain on it at this time. In 2011 I was prescribed 1 mg Lorazepam for insomnia, now 1.5 mg.
  12. G'day SA community My name is Anthony and I have been lurking on this site for a few weeks and thought it time that I start my contribution. And hopefully get some well needed support without being too selfish. I would firstly like to preface my intro by thanking all the members, staff, moderators and founders of this site. It is helping me get through a dark time in my life that I have never ever experienced before. And it has been and still is scary. My story is long (as is most sufferers) so I will do my utmost to be as concise yet brief as possible without losing the important information. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Aeroman in particular as His success story is what I have needed and his time and investment in answering all the questions from the members relating to his journey has been inspiring to say the least. I won't go into the usual diatribe about how I suffered as a child in a dysfunctional home from physical, emotional and mental abuse of which was the case but my story is more about the incompetent people in white coats we see as all knowing, professional, caring and are in their chosen field because they like helping people and not the money! It all started when I was 21 years old. I had recently finished my apprenticeship with a National Manufacturer as a HVAC & R Technician (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and was around two years into starting my own business. Things were going very well when all of a sudden and out of nowhere my heart started racing and I was feeling faint. It was fortunate and by coincidence that I was working next door to a Medical Centre. I literally crawled into the Medical Centre and was dragged by a lovely receptionist wo a consultation room. She got me glass of water and informed a doctor. Unfortunately by the time the doctor arrived my heart had suddenly reverted back to normal and I was feeling fine. Tired but, well. He did all the usual work up of tests, including a 24hr Holter monitor to check my heart but basically put it down to either dehydration (as it was the middle of summer here in Australia) or anxiety/stress. Anyway, I was given the all clear. A couple of years later, with out any warning, the same thing happened again. And then again. and then again and again and again. There would be sporadic episodes of this that would last from anywhere from 3 minutes to as long as three hours. It would also involve many Emergency Department visits, ambulance call outs, blood tests, tests for this or that, tests for something else more visits with a GP and yet nothing could be found other than that old chestnut. ANXIETY......STRESS......DEPRESSION. Duh...of course I'm stressed out, I am as anxious as all get up because I feel like my heart is either about to stop or beat so fast its going flop out of my chest.......and nobody can find what the...is wrong with me. So fast forward a couple more years and with still no answers I decided to start seeing psychologists, Chinese medicine Practioners, hypnotists, more GP's, more Psychologists, even a Psychiatrist who suggested the bad word.....Anti Depressants.........of which I have never been one to even take a paracetamol for a headache let alone nasty stuff like that. Well, they all promised they could resolve my anxiety and stress related heart problems but none of them ever did. I was eventually convinced by a psychologist (and my wife) to try Zoloft because I was one of those people that was either born with a chemical imbalance or I acquired one due to my childhood traumas. Well lets just say that those three days were what I thought at that time to be pure hell on earth. Stopped CT and straight in the bin with the free sample. With all the money I spent over the years I could have bought my own little Island retreat somewhere in the Pacific Islands. Fast Forward a few more years and continually dealing with my heart palpitations I got married, had two daughters, multiple businesses and generally a reasonably good time even though that this heart issue was hanging over my head constantly my Quality of Life was very restricted. Fast forward a few more years and Feeling pretty bad about this and being at that age where I wanted more out of life I hunted down a new GP who was the mother of my daughters best friend at school, I had known her a few years personally and my wife thought she would be able to help with this trouble that I was enduring. Well now is where trouble really starts but I did know that till recently. Into the first consultation and boom, out comes the Mental assessment questionnaire and what do you know, I have anxiety and stress bordering on depression. WTF? Being tired of all this I caved in, desperate for my heart to be normal I took the free sample of Lexapro with my tail between my legs, went home and told my wife who was ecstatic (in her defence she only wanted the best for me and a happy life with her husband and the big house and cars and white picket fence and she believed all the doctors saying I was mental blah blah blah). Sucked back my first tablet and went back to my life. Yeah, I thought my life was coming back and that these medicines really do work, why didn't I persist last time because I don't even think about my heart anymore.......A year down the track I went back to my doctor and told her that it feels like it wasn't working like it was 6 months ago, boom, up my dosed from 10mg to 20mg. Well well well, wouldn't you know it. 11pm on a Tuesday night I woke up, my heart was going crazy, I was ill, vomiting, fainting and feeling like I was going to die. Told myself to suck it up, it was all mental, I was mental, I have something seriously mentally wrong with me, the doctors and everyone said so.........three hours later I called for an ambulance, woke up my wife and kids and told them what was happening, my kids were freaking out......The ambulance arrived and as the paramedics came into my bedroom a thud and my heart slowed down to normal, I felt okay, all the stress and anxiety and ill feeling gone just like that. A two day stay in hospital with all the usual tests again and the doctor comes to see me, "Yep, unable to find anything, must be stress or anxiety". Great I thought. So much for Lexapro, time to get off this rubbish because I don't feel anything anymore, no fun, no anger, no happiness, nada......Two weeks later I tapered as per doctors advice and against her wishes I was off the AD's for good. Three months later I was back in her office begging for some relief, I was in bad shape, out of work and my wife again seriously wanted to go back on the meds or there would be repercussions maritally speaking. This time the Doctor said I now had Major Depression Disorder, those words alone stressed me out. Anyway, time to start the heavy hitting SNRI now, I was in bad shape she said..........Well two days later I ended up having another heart episode that was the worst I had ever had, I really thought that I was going to die, I screamed at my wife to call the ambulance, my kids started crying immediately, the Ambulance sent an Urgent care Hi-Priority paramedic who was in my bedroom hooking my with ECG leads all over my body, cannulas in both arms and then said quite casually..."It okay mate, no worries, your not dying....you got SVT. Just relax and Ill fix it for you in a minute I just have to get this ECG trace to show the docs and will get it done" What? SVT? Did I eat something bad, what is SVT. Isn't it anxiety? I asked the Paramedic. 'Nah" he says. Got nothing to do with anxiety. you may have anxiety from having this but having this is definitely not from anxiety" Anyway, a few valslva manoeuvres and a couple of jokes when the transport ambo turns up later I'm feeling quite calm. Off to the hospital for further tests and the Paramedics hang around for a while and with the Doctor explain to me what SVT is. Also known as PSVT (Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). 24 years of my life chasing this, never not once did any medical or other professional suggest I go see a cardiologist but they were all too willing to take my money...............For those of you who don't know what PSVT is or don't want to use google, I had AVNRT (Atrio ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia) type of heart arrhythmia, there are several, of which I had an additional pathway next to my AV node causing my heart electrical conduction system to short circuit causing my heart to beat at extremely high rates which was captured on the ECG at 230bpm. Diagnosis meant that it was not life threatening, just very unpredictable and uncomfortable...No Joke! After my hospital stay I was referred to a cardiologist for follow but decided I should see my GP so I can stop the Prisitq because I have found out, after 24 years, that I am not mental, or at least the reason why I am a bit skiddish is because the actual heart problem. Again, my wife and GP convince me to stay on the Pristiq to just help get over the next couple of months until I sort out this heart arrhythmia and me, after all these years being brainwashed what did I do....I agreed, good idea, just to get me over the next hurdle because now I have to go and have a heart operation I need to be in the right mindset..............how stoopid am I? I am now back at home waiting to see the specialist cardiologist and everyday my mood is getting worse and worse. I am constantly crying, panicking, thinking I am going to die and I haven't even seen the cardiologist yet. This snowballs to the point that during my Consultation with the Cardio I was in a very bad emotional state my wife had to talk for me. When the Cardiologist found out I was on Prisitq he asked me why I was on this junk, I should get off it as quickly as possible, and medications like these are only for people who are in dire need of help and in Hospital. The Heart operation, Electrophysiology Study and Cather Abalation will resolve the heart issues and I won't have to worry about heart arrhythmias ever again. I informed him that my GP told me I needed to stay on them, well after that there was some correspondence back and forth from my Cardioligist and GP about this and finally my Cardiologist gave up. Operation day arrives and I go to the hospital, supposed to be a day procedure, should be home that night.......Two procedures and two weeks later I am sent home with some complications that the Electrophysiologist had some trouble sorting out. I wouldn't want to go into detail but I was an emotional wreck, my kids were destroyed emotionally as well I am happy to delve further into the complications during and after the procedure if anyone wants to know but, .Lets just say that I had almost, almost was going to have a pacemaker installed but thankfully it was found out that I had some complications from some "Medications" Namely a SNRI Pristiq. Basically I am still not right after three months and I am diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate sinus tachycardia that needs to be controlled with some heart medications. Hopefully this will resolve with time. Nonetheless, I was totally traumatised by that event and I am struggling with it mentally still. So out of hospital I meet with my GP as I had lots of Chest pain, and irregular heartbeats etc etc and to finally get off the Prisitq. But no. now that I am in pretty much an uncontrollable state she suggests and refers me to a Psychiatrist to re-evaluate and possibly change medications and wants me to look at going to a Mental Hospital and to help get through the next few days while I am waiting for the Psych Doc appointment that I should start on Valium and Sleeping tabs to get me through. Wait, what. Now I'm treating this med with another med. Anyway, I'm so desperate ill do whatever......... Finally see the Psych doctor and she DSM's me as Panic Disorder only, stops the Pristiq immediately, but after three days break I need to start Lexapro again at 10mgs and then three days after that start 20mgs. Oh by the way, its because you have a chemical imbalance disease in your brain, you will need these the rest of your life, its like insulin for diabetics, most people are on these now, its what you need to live and get by........................................These nasty people play on your vulnerability!. Well I stopped the pristiq on a Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up like a new person. No Crying, energy back, no dizziness, my heart was beating regularly and slowly and I felt brilliant. I told my wife that I didn't want to go on the Lexapro again but after some heated discussion, what she and the kids had been through recently and the potential issues going forward I handed my genitals back to her to put in her purse for safe keeping..........Start sucking those poison pills down again as directed by all those who had never been on this rubbish, two more weeks in bed feeling like death warmed up, headache, nausea, sore mouth, teeth sore everything, could not talk could not eat, that's when I woke up one morning and trashed the lot of pills in the bin. That was the day I Cold Turkey again Wrong move I know but boy, was I sick. The suicide ideation, the gory vivid dreams, the grim reaper and death is all thought about for those two weeks mixed in with insomnia. Well, I haven't recovered from these two weeks of Lexapro, they have changed something in me and I didn't get the relief I got from when I stopped Pristiq. This time Lexapro, only for two weeks has done something to me and I feel these withdrawal symptoms are going to take something special from me to get through...................These drug pushers need punishment for their actions. All these years of feeling intimidated by these charlatans and all along I had an issue that should have been resolved with a day procedure. Yes it was heart surgery nonetheless but still, my family and I are in a world of hurt now that was unnecessary. Thank You for letting me to get this out, I needed it. I am struggling with the WD side effects and I am concerned for the future and pain that is coming from this but I will no longer be controlled by these poison pills..........................
  13. Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much <3
  14. 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?
  15. Cipramillion

    Cipramillion: Cipralex

    Hi all! Been hanging around and read up on some of the great posts on this forum over the last week. Impressive work! My english is not that good, so pls bear with me. Here is a summary of my medical background/history. My problems startet after an acute reaction to a vaccine i took 3 months ago. A few weeks later i also found out that i had an Epstein Barr infection, most likely during the same period that i took the vaccine. My symptoms after taking the vaccine were severe with extreme depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and generally feeling very ill. My doc think i might have developed chronic fatigue syndrom/ME as a result of the vaccine/infection, but at this point nothing is certain. I have no previous history of psychiatric problems or other somatic illness. I lived a happy life with my family and enjoyed my work fully at 100%. Now i cant work at all, and the situation is tough with two small kids to look after. As a result of my symptoms, which didnt seem to stabilize after 2 months, i aggreed starting treatment with Cipralex (Lexapro/escitalopram) 5mg. My doc told me to increase the dose to 10mg after 3 days, which i did not do. I noticed just after the first couple of days that i was sensitive to the medication and had lots of side effects (headache, feeling dizzy, mild depersonalization etc). Then tried to stabilize at 5mg for 3 weeks. Felt a bit better the second week, more energy and better mood, but still the side effects were bothersome. I changed to the original brand after using the generic for the first week. It helped a bit on the side effects. Also got parasthesia, a burning sensation in the body and face. Feeling very warm and uncomfortable. Sporadic panic anxiety. So after 3 weeks i decided to reduce the dose to 2.5 mg after discussing this with my doc. I told him to prescribe the liquid version (Lundbeck), which only comes in 20mg/1Ml in Europe, but still makes it more accurate for 2.5 mg. Im not sure how to use this at lower doses. He was a bit puzzled about my sensitivity to the medication. Probably need to take a CYP test to see if im a poor metabolizer. I`ve noticed that im very sensitive in general after i got sick. Cant drink anything with caffeine now. Sugar is also no good. Before i used to drink a lot of coffee. Now i cant take a sip without getting restless and almost dizzy from it. Anyway. After the dose reduction i startet to feel a lot of naseau and dizziness, and after 2 days i woke up in the middle of the night with fast heartbeat and lots of anxiety. My first thought was that this probably was withdrawal from the dose reduction, which surprised me after just taking 5 mg over 3 weeks. I felt better over the next few days, but still got lots of headaches, dizziness and not feeling very well. Depressive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. This was also something i did experience before i took the medication, but somehow it feels a bit different now. Before i would be having crying spells regularily, not happening much now. Feels like everything is more locked up inside. I think the medication does some job at keeping my emotional reaction at bay here.I`ve also been sleeping better after starting taking the medication. Before i barely slept for 2-3 hours pr night. I still wake up a lot, also have very vivid dreams. Im able to fall asleep again after i wake up, which was more difficult before. Im not sure what to do next. I dont think my reactions to Cipralex is good for me, and i really want to stop, but im also very scared of withdrawal symptoms. Feel a bit trapped here. Should i increase the dose just a bit (3,5mg) to help with the withdrawal? Or should i just wait and see if i stabilize before eventually taper down more slowly?
  16. I had been placed on Escitalopram (Lexapro) to help me get off a benzo for anxiety. I had a horrible reaction to it (mood swings, hysterical crying spells, anxiety)...I was told to keep on it as this would level out and I would reach the "therapeutic dosage". I had been on it in the past with good success but this go round, I was non-functional the whole time. I reached the 40mg dosage but could no longer take the constant crying, brain fog/dp/dr...went to Psych or PA under Psych who dropped me to 10mg and added Buspar. When I continued to complain about tearfulness/mood swings, he told me to "Stop it for a week and see what happens". I stopped and it's been hades (more hades) every since then; continued mood swings, hysterical crying, high bp/fast pulse, increased anxiety. I'm wondering what might be the best approach-to ride it out (this has been a month free), try a new med and hope for the best...If I reinstate, it will be the same..b/c on it, I was miserable...had horrible foggy feelings ...Anyone know a time line after stopping a med after having been on it for 3-4 mos?
  17. Good Morning Everyone, I need some confidence despite knowing what I am going through must be withdrawal. My history; I was put on Lexapro (escitalopram) in October of 2012 after the birth of my wife and I's first child. It was a stressful delivery and that coupled with the normal stress of a first time parent and starting a new business, it sent me into anxiety and panic attacks that I had NEVER experienced before. Anyway, after speaking with our friend/family MD he recommended Lexapro. I started in October of 2012 at 10mg. After a month I began to feel better and then in Feb 2013, my MD bumped to 20mg because that was the 'normal' dose for a 28 year old, 185lb man. I obliged because I was feeling better but still not great. By mid March of 2013 I felt back to normal, better than normal actually. June of 2013 I started to feel VERY shaky and weird. It felt like it was just too much. So per the MD's advice I weaned back down to 10mg over 6 weeks time and felt fine. I had few withdrawal effects but not many for a few weeks. I stayed at 10mg from July of 2013 to April of 2014(10 months or so) and felt like 'normal'. I decided in April that I was over the weight gain, the lack of emotions, the lazy attitude and the tiredness. I felt like my anxiety was under control and the small bouts of depression I had were few and far between. I spoke with my doctor and asked if he would call in a script for Liquid Lexapro. I had read a few articles here and at PP about withdrawal and that the Liquid would make it easy to taper. He obliged and at the end of April I began to taper 1mg every 2-3 weeks. This was after my doc said I should go faster and I thought 1mg every 2-3 weeks would be a slow enough taper. (I did not know about the 10% of the previous dose every 3-6 weeks). Anyway, I tapered over 5 months or so and Oct 1 of 2014 I was done. I really didn't have many withdrawal effects while tapering. I felt a little worse the lower I got but nothing I couldn't handle. The first 8 weeks off were not awful. I had dizziness and gastro problems the first few weeks but those went away. Then, the end of Nov and Dec started and holy moly I have been hit with the worst anxiety of my life, shaky, terrible intrusive thoughts, doom and gloom even when I know everything is ok. I can cry at any moment over nothing and terrible irritableness and rage feelings. I still can't shake it. The anxiety is crippling both physically and mentally. My old anxiety before meds I could talk myself out of, this just pounds on me no matter how calm and accepting of it I am. Sleep is getting worse and I can't sit still to save my life. From what I have read, this sounds like WD but I am scared and miserable here. Any words of encouragement, success stories, similar experiences are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  18. Hi everyone. It is great to have a forum like this. I am so grateful to find qualified help. I was given an antidepressant 13 years ago to help with a deep depression that no psychotherapy or alternative approach would help with. Paxil was a godsent at the time. However, with my first attempt to come off, I learned how destructive these drugs can be and had to go to Cymbalta, then Lexapro. I came off again, this time with aminoacids and was succesful for about 6 months. I got very depressed again and went back on Lexapro. After several traumatic events I learned that I had Hashimoto's and finally understood how to treat this. My depression abated. Over the last two years I have tapered off Lexapro - very difficult, but succesful to the point that I am now on 1mg instead of 45. I am struggling with the last mg and have horrible symptoms when I try to go off. Looking in this forum to try to find ways to taper more slowly off 1mg. Will elaborate on this later. This is my quick intro for now. Thank you so much for this life saving forum.
  19. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  20. 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.
  21. Hi everyone, After a week of lurking here, I was motivated to join to ask for some advice for my particular situation. Everyone here is so helpful and supportive, and I'm hoping that someone has some insight into what's been happening to me! I think most of the main information is in my signature, but in short, I've been taking 5mg escitalopram intermittently since 8/2017 for bad PMDD symptoms. I start taking it at D14 of my cycle, and continue until the next one begins. It has been helping me deal with depression and mood swings quite well until recently. The last cycle I thought it may not be working, and would that I had just stopped then!! This past cycle, I again stopped taking it at the usual time, and about a week later felt like I was hit by a truck - vertigo, balance issues, blurry/double vision, nausea. After a few days of suffering, I realized that maybe this was withdrawal, so I reinstated back at 5mg on 6/26, a few days earlier than I normally would have. The vertigo has been more tolerable, but the other symptoms remain in force and are dramatically interfering with living my life. I feel like I walk around drunk and half blind the majority of the time. I'm due to stop taking them again in another week, but I'm so lost on what to do next.. 1- should I take them continuously from here on out & begin to taper if/when everything stabilizes?? or.. 2- stop taking them in a week & just see what happens? or.. 3- modify the dose up/down? I have had multiple blood tests and nothing abnormal has been found, and am waiting on an appointment with a neuro-ophthalmologist referred to me by my PCP. The double/blurry vision is the scariest symptom for me - I have had glasses for years so I'm comfortable with my poor eyesight without them, but this is awful!! I'm worried that it won't get better, even though I know its only been a little over a week. Thank you for taking the time to read all this, and I would love some advice on the best path forward ☺️ -jbird
  22. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Frogie: W/D from Xanax am new here as you can see. I need help!! I'm hoping someone can help me get off 10 mg Lexapro. Every time I try to drop to even 9mg, I end up sick to my stomach. I go back up to 10mg and am still sick to my stomach. I have no other symptoms. In my profile is all my information, I don't know how to get it to the bottom of this page. I'm not very good on the computer. Sorry
  23. Hi Guys. I have been on every SSRI over the past 2 years, apart from Paroxetine. This all started from some situational anxiety at work. Each time i took a medication i was on them for about 3 month without any benefit at all. I would loose time at work, cold turkey and return back to work. Each time i did this i was getting worse and worse. I would then return back to the doctor and ve started on something else. This has basically gone on for 2 years. All this time i have got worse. I have now come to understand withdrawal and the fact i could have well been prescribed numerous medications due to an illness been mistaken for withdrawal. 8 weeks ago after stopping my second attempt of Escitalopram for 3 months i decided to stop for good with a fast taper. I feel anxious, dizzy, fatigued, poor cognition and inability to focus. I know if i take a dose of SSRI that this will improve however i will return to the Zombie state of meds. I am finished with medication!!! On reflection my problems i encountered prior to any medication was far easier than the problems i have had the past 2 years on medications. I think i have been a victim of Psychiatry! I dont think i ever needed medication! My chemical imbalance was created by meds! If i had no knowledge of this i would be stuck in Psychiatry! I just want to know ppls experiences and can i still be in withdrawal at 8 weeks after 2 years of messing about with meds. Thanks Lee
  24. LINK to scottly9999's Success Story Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  25. Hello, I'm new to the forum. I've been having a lot of trouble with sleep. This started 2 years ago (Nov. 2011) after my father passed away. I started waking up panicking every time I would start to fall asleep. I was put on 20 mg of Lexapro and 5 mg of Zyprexa. Everything stabilized and was good for 2 months until I developed a rash on my legs. I was told to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I stayed of of it for 1 1/2 months and wasn't taking any medications. Then I started having fever like symptoms, extreme anxiety and just felt horrible. A psychiatrist introduced Zoloft to me at 50 mg. It drove me out of my mind with anxiety. At this point I was put back on 20 mg of Lexapro and my sleeping problems began again. I was given Xanex to take as needed. Every time I would start to relax and fall asleep I would become shaky, panicky and my heart would race. For the next 3 months I had no natural sleep. I was put on Seraquil, Lithium, Elaville and Trazadone. I had the startling, shaky, panicky heart racing feeling anywhere I tried to sleep except for the spare room. I stayed on 20 mg of Lexapro for quite a while, it was put up to 30 mg but it didn't help so after a few weeks I came back down to 20 mg. Then wellbutrin was introduced, that also made the anxiety terrible so that was discontinued. At this point I decided to wean myself off of the Lexapro dropping 2 1/2 mg every 2 weeks. I got down to 2 1/2 mg in March of 2013 and my anxiety became unbearable. I went back up to 5 mg of Lexapro. I was put on Prozac, stayed on it only a few weeks because of increased anxiety yet again. I remained on the 5 mg of Lexapro until October 2, 2013. At that point I hadn't taken any sleep medication in about a year. I still could only sleep in the spare room without the panicky feeling when I started to fall asleep. 10 mg of Propranolol was added 3 times a day and I dropped from the 5 mg of Lexapro to 2 1/2 mg. The panicky feeling went away when I was relaxing to fall asleep. I decided to drop down to 1 1/8 mg around Nov. 2. Things were getting better, I was able to sleep in my bedroom with my wife again without the panicky feeling when going to sleep. I was feeling great! 6 weeks into that last drop all that changed. My anxiety is horrible, I can't sleep at night without medication leaving me feeling drugged the next day. I'm back to sleeping in the spare room but I even get that startling, panicky, shaky feeling in there now. My heart pounds so hard it makes my hand go numb. Last night was horrible, I had to take 50 mg of Elaville and 50 mg of Trazadone. This is left over from the 3 months of sleeping without natural sleep when they tried so many medications to try to put me to sleep. I'm extremely upset about the progress I feel I've lost with my sleep because now I feel like I'm right back to where I've started. I just don't know what to do about my central nervous system that is triggering the fight or flight response every time I try to sleep. The only thing that works to take away that panicky feeling is xanex but I don't take it that often because I don't want an addiction problem. Thank you in advance for your ideas to help.
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