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  1. Hello! I started on 2,5mg escitalopram in december 2018 for GAD and severe clinical depression by my GP. I gradually increased the dose up to 7,5mg and was on this dose for a couple of weeks (until january 7th) I then decided to taper down again, as the drug made me careless, emotionally numb, impaired my cognition and significantly decreased my libido. So I stopped it after 2 months (last 2,5mg pill taken 8th of february). Since stopping I suffered two weeks of accute physical withdrawal (flu-like symptoms, nausea, dizziness etc) but I thought that it would be over and I would go back to «normal», but now it is clear to me that I also suffer from protracted withdrawal (permanent brain damage) and the symptoms are scary and debilitating. I suffer from parasthesia, brain zaps, tinnitus, severe derealization, emotional numbness and extreme apathy to a point where I can’t force myself to get up and eat. I feel completely braindead and my cognition is ruined, the past month has gone by in a haze and I can’t remember or recollect much of it. This is extremely terrifying and almost worse than the original depression. I feel dead, even tho I’m alive. I am a masters student and I can’t function and have no support in my student town. My GP seems to be totally oblivious to the fact that this can happen. I am very distressed (logically, because I can’t really FEEL it) and I would be very grateful if someone here could come with some advice or similar experinces on lexapro that has «recovered» or gotten significantly better and how long it took them. Thank you in advance.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hello, I am looking for some guidance on beginning a taper from Lexapro 20 mg. I have been on a nightmarish roller coaster for the last 7 months, and I'm so glad that I found this forum which has finally given me the answers I've been looking for. Here is my history: I was prescribed Paxil 10 mg back in 2004 by my GP to address social anxiety issues. I'm an anxious person by nature, but I can see now with 20/20 hindsight that my nervous tendencies were nothing that should have ever been blunted by medicine. But nevertheless, I started taking it and it became my crutch. I considered trying to stop several times, but the brain zaps I got after a couple of days off prevented me from following through. As time went on, stopping the med just became something to procrastinate. I felt ok, and believed that I was on a very low dose, so what's the harm? At the start of 2016, I determined that I needed to try getting off for good, after my wife told me she felt the medicine was making me zoned out. I had heard getting off Paxil was difficult, but that once you were past the 6-week mark or so, you should be out of the woods. I had never had an issue with the drug before, so didn't do much research on the topic. I talked to my GP about it and he told me to taper over the course of a couple of months. So beginning in February, I took 7.5 mg for 3 weeks, 5 mg for 3 weeks, and 2.5 mg for two weeks. I took my last dose of Paxil on April 1st. During the taper period and for the next 5 weeks following, I experienced the brain zaps, but that was my only real negative symptom. I thought I had gotten off lucky with a relatively easy taper. Then around the 2nd week in May, after the brain zaps had stopped, the real withdrawal hit. Severe anxiety/depression, ruminating and constant negative thoughts, and insomnia were the worst symptoms. It felt as though someone had flipped a "pain switch" within by body. I lost my appetite completely and quickly dropped 10-15 pounds, which led to health anxiety. Just the thought and feel of how loose my clothes were fitting sent me into an internalized panic. I struggled along for two weeks before going back to my GP as a complete trainwreck. Of course, his diagnosis was that I was relapsing, and suggested switching to Lexapro 10 mg, primarily because it was generally faster acting than other ADs and had less side effects. At this point, I didn't care what I had to do to fix myself, I just wanted to be fixed. In my desperate state of mind, I agreed and started the Lexapro on May 23rd. The first couple of weeks were bumpy as I had heightened anxiety, but I attributed that to starting a new drug. The next two weeks were better, but there was still this underlying feeling that something just wasn't right. At my 1-month follow-up, I told him that I was still having bouts of anxiety and that I just didn't think the Lexapro was working as it should. He offered me two options, switch to Zoloft or bump up the Lexapro dosage. I chose to switch to Zoloft, thinking that maybe Lexapro was just not the right AD for me, and so I did an immediate cut-over. The first two weeks on Zoloft 50 mg were very good, for whatever reason. My mind seemed clear and the anxiety relented. Then by the 3rd week, I had a complete reversal and the "pain switch" got turned on again. At this point, I could barely function. My mind and heart would race so fast at work, I would just have to walk outside so I would hyperventilate. After 10 days of pure misery, I went to see a different GP at the same clinic on July 21st. The new doc recommended (surprise) going BACK to Lexapro and increasing the dosage to 20 mg. Again, out of shear desperation, I agreed, except this doc recommended a 3-4 day "washout" period to allow for the Zoloft to leave my system. So I stopped taking the Zoloft and I immediately got relief from all my symptoms. Very similar to when I cut over from the Lexapro to Zoloft, I had mental clarity and felt more like myself. After a few days of feeling better, I determined that I'd just see how long I could go without any medication at all. So for the next 4 and half weeks, I took nothing. During this period, I felt very similar to when I was fast tapering the Paxil, I had pretty severe brain zaps, but my mood overall was good. Then at exactly one month from completely stopping the Zoloft, the brain zaps ended but I crashed once again. This time, there was more depression than anxiety, and a couple of new symptoms popped up, a thumping in my ear that caused a few sleepless nights and an eyebrow twitch that was a constant reminder of my issues and stoked my health anxiety. I had crying spells unlike anything i had ever experienced. I didn't know what to do and despair and hopelessness invaded my mind. I ultimately decided that I'd give the Lexapro another try, since it was what was last prescribed by the doctor. I started with 5 mg, thinking I wanted to be on the lowest possible dosage, but that only lasted 6 days as I was still in a horrible place. I bumped it up to 10 mg and powered through for about 6 weeks. My symptoms would come and go during this period, but I kept going, clinging to the hope that the medication would kick in at some point. In the 6th week, after trying to convince myself I was feeling better, I had a complete meltdown day that seemed to be as bad if not worse than when I first fast tapered from Paxil. This threw me right back into the trap of fearing the worst, what if I never get over this? I decided that I would get a second opinion aside from my GP and went to a psychiatric clinic where I saw a nurse practitioner. In the end, her recommendation was no different, bump the dosage to 20 mg. So on October 19th, I started taking 20 mg. I had a really bad week the 2nd week taking 20 mg, but have felt pretty good since then, feeling more like how a felt during the 12 years of Paxil. Almost as if I have stabilized on the 20 mg. Around the time of my NP appointment, I started doing what I should have done from day 1: researching how to get off ADs and happened to discover this site (how I wish I would have found it back in February!!) I've spent the last few weeks absorbing the all the info about protracted withdrawal, which is undoubtedly what I have been dealing with. What a bittersweet revelation that, on the one hand I've sent my CNS into pure chaos mode, but at the same time getting the validation that my issues were NOT due to any depressive/anxiety relapse, and that I could repair and heal over time. Since I have confused my system with other meds over the last 7 months, I don't know which periods in my history were windows/waves from not taking Paxil, but I'm sure that this is what I was experiencing in some capacity. When I went back to see the NP earlier this week, I told her I believed that I was going through Paxil withdrawal, and that all my issues stemmed from that. I could tell she didn't necessarily agree, and she thought that I would always need to be on an AD of some kind, but she was willing to work with me on a tapering schedule that I would be comfortable with. I convinced her to write the Rx for the liquid form of Lexapro. So before I begin this journey, I'd like to get some recommendations from this forum about tapering. After reading about reinstatement, I feel like I'm sort of in no-mans-land as far as reinstating the Paxil, as I've had 7 months of healing from THAT med. On top of the fact that I've now got an accumulation of a different drug I have to deal with. If anyone does believe, however, I should reinstate Paxil, I'd welcome your thoughts. Now that I've been on Lexapro for 9-10 weeks (3 weeks at 20 mg), would the 10% taper guideline still apply for it, as well? I understand that patience is required and you simply cannot rush it. But I was just wondering if anyone had a similar scenario where they were able to taper at a faster clip from a "replacement" med because you hadn't been on it as long. It scares me that I am now taking Lexapro at a dosage that is equivalent to four times the amount of Paxil I took for 12 years. I would prefer to lower my dosage as quickly as possible (as we all would I guess), but again understanding that my brain will go only at its own pace. What I had considered is decreasing by 20-25% increments until I reached 10 mg, then applying the 10% the rest of the way. Since I've gone through essentially 2 cold turkeys, I have a really good idea of when my withdrawal symptoms start after a dose cut, which should help in determining the reductions. Another concern I have is that I have not completely turned the corner from the Paxil withdrawal, and that symptoms may pop up complicating the Lexapro taper. Anyone else had a similar scenario? I welcome your feedback, and I can't thank you enough for this site and the hope it has given to me.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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!
  8. 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
  9. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved. Currently I'm on 20mg Lexapro & wish to reduce it down to 15mg over the next three months. I find my concentration poor so I would I would be very grateful if you could give me information in simple terms even bullet points. I've been on Lexapro 11 years.This is my goal for 2016.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Hello everyone, I'm a 32 year old female from Germany. Over there I'm in quite the similar forum which already helps tremendously. But I finally decided to sign up here, too. For more support, more hope, more people who understand... I have been mildly depressed for some time because I couldn't handle my physical chronic illness well, anymore. I went to a good therapy. But when I experienced some anxiety issues for the first time in my life I got scared and sadly decided to try Escitalopram. While in hospital for some physical diagnostics in August 2015 I was put on 5mg up to 20mg Escitalopram without any big problems. I continued therapy for another one and a half years and actually felt great. I was one of the lucky people who didn't suffer from any side effects other than a bit of weight gain. In 2017 I went down to 10mg without any problems. Then it was finally time for hubby and me to try to conceive. But before that, the meds had to go. My psychiatrist at the time was nice but, as I know now, clueless. She recommended a quick taper, as stated in my signature and told me I could "get some brain zaps". I tapered and was off in June 2018. I know now I definitely had that honeymoon phase. I felt wonderful. Hubby and I started trying for a baby! Over the summer I had some symptoms that I recognized as withdrawal symptoms. Because now I already knew the German forum. But only on the surface. Had I dug deeper and read through some stories, I would have known that you can crash with some delay. Which is what I did. I fell on October 1 and landed on October 2 in a different, nightmarish world. Everything was so different. Everything! I was a happy woman up until those days. My symptoms at the beginning: akathisia, extreme anxiety all the time, insomnia, including two weeks of complete insomnia, extreme fatigue, muscle tension and pain, diarrhea, massive derealization, crying spells, despair, heart racing and palpitations, bladder problems, hopelessness, stomach problems and more which I might have forgotten. By then I knew there was no point in seeing a doctor. I was bedridden anyway. And I knew this was withdrawal hell. The German forum advised me to reinstate. I did, at 0.25. There was a first little window right after the first dose but overall, I was still in hell. Over time I carefully updosed to 0.35, then later to 0.5 and then, right the next day, because I was so desperate, to 0.6. That's when a different kind of hell broke loose. I felt cornered by my symptoms, I had no room anymore, I couldn't breathe. I was so agitated, my nerves tingling, vomiting, pulse up to 160. Never ever could I survive this. I even got scared I might be able to harm myself. This turned into obsessive thoughts and panic, that I might really be able to end my life, without ever really wanting it. German Forum told me to go back to 0.5 after just a couple of days. I did, but it still took time for those very drastic effects to settle... I couldn't be left alone anymore. I've been lucky to have my husband and mother, sister, friends. Someone was always there. In mid December my grandma jumped in. She lives next door but I couldn't have seen her and scared her before then because I was in such bad shape. But from then on she was happy to take care of me whenever needed. So... I've been holding the dose since the end of November and am going to continue to hold. I'm still more or less housebound. I got agoraphobic, the world seems to big for me. Just some little steps outside the door, nothing more. I'm still in a different world. I never feel save. I do sleep okayish at night but never at daytime because I jolt in terror when I try. I'm terrified by the withdrawal. I'm hopeless and anhedonic, don't have any interest and don't do much. I feel bad writing this. But... I had improvements. Like no more non stop anxiety, no akathisia, I eat, I sleep, I'm not bedridden anymore, hardly any derealization... But the thing is. I'm so terrified. Frozen in fear and feel like I can't trust those improvements. Especially because everybody says it's normal that withdrawal takes years. So why should it be different for me? Did reinstating catch me? Or is crashing hard and suffering for years inevitable for me, as it was for most of you? I don't know who I am and where I stand anymore. I can't trust my body anymore. I'm going through typical windows and waves, though somehow faster than others. I seem to improve faster but cannot trust that. And I feel ashamed whining about that because I know you all have been suffering for long and probably wish you'd feel that kind of progress. I don't even know what living and being happy is supposed to feel like anymore. Will I notice it? Will I know when it's over for me, even when I'm now frozen in fear and feel like I'm not really growing with my improvements? Withdrawal turned me into a child, which is not typically me. It's weird. I am still going through this but am already haunted by the very bad memories. Do you know this? I know lots of affirmations, I pray, I read success stories, I follow Baylissa's wise words. But still acceptance is my weak point. I can't seem to do it. Or rarely. I'm floating through all this with a feeling of nothing to hold on to, despite knowing that I have my wonderful family and friends. Like life is over... I don't ever move freely, feel relaxed. I'm so scared I won't be able to find my way back. That I will remain frozen, even after withdrawal is over. I can't really try things or look at things from normal life because it depresses and scares me so much. Desperate... TV, computer and reading are almost impossible for me. So what can I do? I come online on my mobile. What I do to help me: focus on breathing. Taking fish oil and magnesium. Gaba tea. Some game playing with grandma. Eat. Luckily I can eat everything like before. Drink enough. Pray. Have people around me. What I can't do: guided meditation, relaxing music, yoga... Stuff like that. When I try, terror jumps at me. As if there's a door open in my brain that should be closed. Taking baths is a NO. Memories of horrible waves... Will I forever see and feel withdrawal everywhere? My home doesn't feel the same anymore. All that exists is withdrawal and I'm so scared that won't ever change. Phew, that's a lot. Thanks for reading! Oh! Two more things: luckily I didn't get pregnant over summer! Just the thought of it, in this situation! And my screen name. While I feel devastatingly hopeless inside, I think almost all of us have that glimmer of hope in our hearts. That spark that makes us continue, day by day. Even if we don't realize it. I wish you healing! withhopeinmyheart
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. Hi, Ive been taking Antidepressants since January 2016(I was 22 then, 25 now), when i had hard time focussing at work & broke down in office in front of everyone, out of nowhere. The symptoms although had been showing up since 2013, when I started feeling vague, blank & angry,frustrated. I also started having panic attacks (2 times) in august & october, 2015. Most bad thing about depression is lack of confidence, ability to make firm decisions about academics ,job. Constant body aches have also worsened my mood, function. My limbs ache a lot; Ive gradually given up on physical activities, jogging, playing soccer,cricket,etc..these days i force myself to gym thrice a week, cause i had put on a lot last year. I grew up in a clumsy, difficult family , I grew up watching quarrels,skirmishes between my parents & was always very sensitive..Kind of people pleaser, not offending but also very harsh on myself kind of person. My first psychiatrist(Jan,2016-June,2018 ) : He started me with sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline), and later added on escitalopram in the mornings. There were other drugs too, for brief periods like miratazapine,etc.. Mood would improve/boost, i would function well for about a few weeks, & then would crash down. sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline) is something that was constant throughout that period. I soon realized it's something more than antidepressants that i should be looking for, something holistic to solve the problrems that i had in personal family life, my nature, my worklife, etc...Medicines seemed to hit a plateau, but my doctor wouldnt listen to my continual requests to wean off. Only when i developed serious constipation, weight gain(12 kgs in 8 months..also abruptly gave up my job due to fatigue,lack of direction ) that i decided to switch my doctor. My second psychiatrist (June 2018 - present ) : Constipation did ease, my new doctor is more willing to lend an ear..Alprazolam 0.25 in the morning &{ Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)} is something that ive been taking since... But confidence, work issues still persist, I also started to work with my dad around the same period to present day. it's very stressful, demanding on my dad's part, but this atleast is keeping me moving, pass my life, however miserable, painful it is. I also cocooned at home for 3 months before reluctantly joining him at work. It's a blue collar job at a paint shop, wherein im required to match paints, deal with diff customers(throat dries up in fear,anxiety). in stark contrast to the desk job that i had prior to this, im now standing for 7-8 hours a day, experiencing wrenching fatigue when i get back home. My life feels very poor, miserable. Ive never seriously contemplated suicide, despite wanting to when in ruins(wincing bodily pain, scolded upon)! I get to work with iso-cyanide containing accelerators at my shop, that could painlessly kill me in milliseconds (As lab people claim.), but ive always collected myself into believing that my life could turnaround for the better. Fast forward, feb 2019, i decided to also take up homeopathy treatment for my problems, slowly my homeopath asked me to give up(cold turkey, 4-5 weeks on, now) alprazolam 0.25 in the morning, as my mood improved. I witnessed increase in pain, twitching, weight loss(something i like), upon giving up alprazolam 0.25, psychytrist says i must put up with this pain, & ill soon get used to it(Good & frank on his part, most psychiatrists never want you to wean off)... Meanwhile, with my homeopath it's work in progress, & down the line, when my cold turkey symptoms normalize, Ill also think about giving up my evening dose of { Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)}, slowly tapering this time... My increased sleep, due to fatigue is something that i must overcome to become a regular at work. This forum, has given me immense hope & ideas about how people like me are dealing with their stuff. Like 10 % tapering rule, success stories by hope2heal, etc.. are heartening to read. I wish to thrive and function normally in life, rather than just miserably slogging,surviving that i have been doing now. Thank & Cheers, entcian24 Mumbai, India.
  20. Wondering if anyone has had problems with switching to liquid lexapro. i have been tapering off 5mg of lexapro (after 7 yrs at 10 mg i stopped too quickly 2 yrs ago and got very sick). over the past year i have gone from 5mg tablet to 1/4 tablet (1.25 mg) and now trying to use liquid. feeling more muscle tension, jaw clenching, carpal tunnel. i also am still dealing with gut issue. been tested for everything and all is good but 2-3 hrs after a bowel movement i can have dizziness, nausea, reflux, anxiety and increased hot flashes. days that i am constipated i have very low symptoms. tried Dr. Hinz amino acid protocol for 10 months and it was interesting, i had some very good days but ended up being very up and down on it so tapered off. it seemed to help some because once i got off it i felt better. now just trying to find some level of lex to feel ok on so i can continue with taper. i was playing around with cutting tablets up but hard to be accurate with that so my holistic dr. gave me script for the liquid. been 5 days at .70 mg and not sure if i need to go up a bit or just stay here for awhile. confusing since the muscle and gut sympoms are aggravated. when i initially went off 10 mg lex one thing i noticed was that the muscle issue and constipation went away. but then i got really sick - like really sick. so now i am perplexed as to why the muscle issue has returned. it was pretty low when i was tapering from 5 mg. had some ups and downs with it on the amino acid protocol. i am a bit freaked that my nervous system is damaged and really want to believe it can heal. it certainly has healed some. i am much better than i was a year ago when i couldnt even work. this is my first post - so alot of info. thanks!
  21. 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
  22. Hi all, I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA. I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms. I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise. In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years. By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families). Here is a history: 2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017 Below is tapering instructed by doctor 6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms 12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is tapering by myself 7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms 8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. OTHER INFO: Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale Supplement: fish oil Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me. Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support. Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.
  23. Hey everyone! Im a male dental student in my early 20s and began taking 20mg of Paxil at the age of 18 for anxiety, depression and anger issues (The typical teenager phase, slightly elevated ). Anyway, I felt better for around a year, and then the drug started pooping out on me theoughout the second year. I decided it was time to get rid of the drug, and went cold turkey (having no knowledge whatsover about the withdrawal syndrome). For the first week or so, I felt fine. However, after a while, I started getting severe anxiety,hypersensitivity, agarophobia and panic attacks. ( I dont quite remember the physical symptoms I had, but they were mild). After 2 months of enduring this phase, I started researching, and found this forum (and other sites). I then reinstated at 20mg, but ignorantly did not wait to stabilize on that dose. My nervous system was still in shock, and although my symptoms were not as severe as they were when I was completely off the drug, they were still present. I then tried to taper off the drug (10% per month) but I still couldnt do it. I repeated that process a few times but it never worked. (I now realize that it was most probably due to the fact that I never gave my nervous system enough time to stabilze following reinstatement. I tried tapering off after around a month of reinstatement). Anyway, following the failed attempts of tapering off the drug, I went to a psychiatrist. As in most cases, he told me to switch to another drug (Citaloptam at 30mg). I followed his advice and tried to stabilize on it for 2 months but felt there was no progress. I then went to another psychiatrist and he advised me to switch to Lexapro 15mg. Ive been on that dose for 4 months and am starting to see progress. My symptoms (which were severe) have noticebly decreased. I am feeling quite a lot better than before and just wanted to send you guys positive information and hope! I do have one question though. How much longer would you advise me to stick to the drug, before trying to taper off again?
  24. Katch

    Katch

    Hello all, I am new here even though I have been peeking into the forum for a while. My brief meds history: Diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2012 (which overturned the previous diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome). Initially put on 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro), 10 mg olanzapine and 75 mg Venlafaxine. I was on this cocktail for about two years until I started to relapse regularly every Spring and Autumn. Since end of 2014 till March 2015 I pretty much lived in the psychiatric hospital and ended up with Lexapro 20mg, 200 mg of Lithium, 75 mg Setrline (?) However, Lithium made me feel so unwell I just could not live with it. I got so fed up and told myself enough is enough. Started to read everything there was on depression and one thing that always kept coming up was weak thyroid. I kept dismissing it as my test were fine but eventually I decided to ignore all medical tests, go by my symptoms and started to support my thyroid – mainly through iodine. High dose of B3 also did magic. So started to wean myself off of everything in May 2015. I don’t remember the schedule but by the beginning of August I took nothing. However, at the end of August I discovered I was pregnant only to miscarry few days later. Period of horrible anxiety followed. Not sure if it was the hormonal mess up or just delayed withdrawal but I re-instated full 20 mg of Lexapro. Stayed on it for about a month and then started to wean myself off. I don’t remember how I went from 20 to 10mg but it just shows it was pretty insignificant. End of December 2015 – from 10mg to 5mg Escitalopram – looking back now I was going through withdrawal after that but because I did not have much issues before, I just thought I was getting tired and stressed out with looking for a new job and then the new job itself. My symptoms were mainly physical. End of March 2016 – from 5mg to 0 mg Escitalopram – was ok for few days but then it hit me. Realised I was going through withdrawal – no sleep, tight chest, dizziness, weakness, painful joints and muscles, digestive issues. After 3-4weeks went up to 2.5mg (roughly as cutting the pill). I am on that dose still The thing is, even though I had some mild anxiety and some mild anger and irritability issues, my main symptoms were mainly physical. I had few windows. Actually majority of June was pretty good. However, starting week 16 (beginning of July) and I’m getting seriously anxious and also, had few days where I just had to cry too. So basically, I am freaking out that rather than going through withdrawal, I’m actually relapsing as the physical symptoms are very mild but the anxiety is hitting me biiiiiiiig time. Is this normal? I also realised last week I became gluten intolerant (probably allergic to more things but gluten is quite obvious now) so that probably messed me up quite a bit. So in addition to escitalopram withdrawal I’m probably going through gluten withdrawal too. Or simply relapsing? It’s this insecurity about what is actually happening that is definitely making things more difficult to handle and feeds all the catastrophic scenarios. Could I be relapsing? Really need some reassurance now.
  25. Hi all. I've been tapering off escitalopram/lexapro for the last six weeks, gradually reducing the dose every two weeks. I'm down from 20mg to 12.5mg and not going any further for now. the last two weeks I've been feeling a few old symptoms creeping back - vivid dreams, reduced concentration, low energy and unhelpful thought patterns. My doctor's great and has advised me to slow down, which I'm doing. Anyone else been in a similar place? Pep talks and cheer leading is all very welcome!
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