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  1. 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
  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. 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.
  4. Hi guys, I’m new but I have been reading a lot and this seems to be really good info. Especially the stuff I read from Altostrata. My story: i took escitalopram for 4.5 month, the last month being an accelerated taper bc lexapro never worked in the least for me and looking back now I believe it gave me akathisia when I increased to 20mg. Anyway, about 3 weeks after I hit 0mg, after the physical stuff subsided, I got hammered with emotional turmoil and I’m pretty sure the akathisia came back 5 fold. I couldn’t sit still, horrible anxiety followed by depressive fits that seemed to cycle and sadness/hopelessness. It almost seemed like I was bipolar and thus I ended up on lamictal a month ago. I can sit still now but Im still emotionally wrecked. Mainly I just can’t quit hyperfocusing on how bad I want to feel normal and be off this stuff. I started questioning everything and researching on my own. I now believe it was just lexapro withdrawal I was dealing with and now I’m on lamictal at 50mg. I did 25 mg for 2 weeks and have since been on 50mg for around 31 days total. What do you guys recommend for me in terms of a taper. I don’t want to compound the ssri withdrawal with another medicine. note: I also take 50mg of trazodone to sleep bc it’s been the only way I could get any sleep for this entire process. Thanks in advance, J
  5. 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
  6. 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..........................
  7. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
  8. I've been meaning to introduce myself for a while now, but getting myself to sit down and actually write something has been so incredibly hard. I just can't focus. Things I want to say or share come in bits and pieces and are gone by the time I can get on this site. I'very been tapering off Lexapro since August and am down to 10 mg fromy 30. I know it's faster than suggested here, but it seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, I've decided to use Twitter primarily #TweetingMyRecovery. My handle is @AbleWriterSays if anyone cares to join me or follow along.
  9. Hello to all of you! I just discovered this forum and I think it's best for me to ask you for advice, since most doctors here in germany don't have a clue about ssri withdrawal.. So I'm trying to keep it short. I was prescribed 20mg of escitalopram (=40mg citalopram) in september 2017 after having severe depression, caused by withdrawal from benzos (lorazepam) which I'm off for 16 months now. The ssri helped me a lot and thankfully my depression went away and never came back. I tried to get off the ssri in april this year and tapered waaaay too fast. Took 10mg for a week, then 5 for a week and then zero. The withdrawal symptoms were severe but i could stand them. But after 3 months I got some heavy muscle pain and numbness in my forearms and felt so fatigue i couldn't get out of bed anymore. That led me to reinstating the drug at 6mg at first. I didn't feel much better, so i updosed to 10mg 10 days later. The first 5 days or so i felt pretty well, but after that I felt much worse and I'm feeling worse every day since then. I'm suffering severe anhedonia, brain fog, anxiety and a bit of fatigue. At least the muscle weakness is gone. Honestly I don't really know what to do next. Updosing to 10mg was about 12 days ago and i wonder if I should go back to a lower dose like 5mg or should just wait and hope to get better. Hope some of you can help me Much greetings, Gaebbi
  10. 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.
  11. Hi all, I'm glad to have finally found a place that provides an explanation for everything I have been going through. Anway, let's get to it I guess. I first started taking antidepressants when I was 17 years old (2010) due to a development of Panic Disorder which I now know was caused by trauma as a child from various things, my mother dying being the main reason I suspect, she was also a drug addict so I grew up around a lot things a child shouldn't, I also had no father present. As long as I can remember I have also suffered from OCD, I obviously wasn't aware what it was as a child but the characteristics were there. I originally was started of on Zoloft for a couple of months but it had no effect, moved onto Citalopram, again didn't work. Finally I found my golden ticket, Lexapro. It provided me with the much needed relief I was seeking from my panic and compulsions/rumination. It worked great. At the beginning I don't really remember suffering many side effects except for dampened emotions and a slightly decreased libido. Since beginning on Lexapro I was on and off it a lot to be honest and from memory never experienced much difficulty withdrawing, nothing acute anyway although I did always get some brain zaps, thinking back now I always welcomed the return of a natural emotional range, It was like I could breathe again. I have not been on it full time since I started and the longest I spent off it was 2.5 - 3 years and was seemingly doing okay. I went back on medication when I went overseas at the beginning of 2018 as travelling seemed to heighten my pre-existing mental health issues, again, it worked a treat. OCD and rumination out the window! I had a bit of dramatic year in 2018 and was out partying a lot to ease the pain and by the end of the year I decided I wanted to make real change, tackle my demons head on, come off meds, get super healthy and focus hard on my acting. This is when my hell started. The first two months of 2019 were great, I was running every second day, I had started a course at uni and I was sober and enjoying it! By May my rumination and OCD skyrocketed, existential dread, a loss of purpose and hope, you name it. I was plagued by what I can only describe as feelings of tension all throughout my guts and inner body. My torso just became ( and still is ) so tight and stiff, lots of pain in my back, neck and shoulders, restricted movement, it's by far my most uncomfortable symptom, especially my diaphragm. I now know this is due to my nervous system taking such a hit by being exposed to such change so quickly but Its left me confused as I have always fast tapered and never experienced anything like this. I went back to my doctor assuming that I needed to go back on medication, my theory was the combination of quitting substance abuse and medication had opened the floodgates to a lot of pent up unresolved trauma and overloaded my system ( I will also add from 17-21 I pretty much did 0 drugs and 21 onwards dabbled very rarely) truth is, I had every intention of feeling my emotions properly and still do but something was different this time round. I have been in physical hell for over a year now, stiff, sore, restless, you name it. I started back on Lexapro around June - July last year but I found it didn't do too much. My new psych had me try Fluoxetine for a bit but it didnt do anything at all. By the end of the year I started to come off it again and truth be told, the lower I got in dosage, the better I was feeling. I might also mention that for the majority of 2018 I was at a dose of 10mg, nothing too high. In the past when I was younger I had gone up to 20-25 but haven't been on that high of a dose consistently for a long time. I did go back up to 20 briefly last year after reinstating as I was desperate and thought the more the better but it didnt change anything. I have now been off Lexapro again for around 6 weeks, I have definitely experienced what I now know as waves and windows, I'm a pretty intuitive person and I can tell you that my mind and body scream at the idea of ingesting that drug again. I only found this website last week so I have only just found out about reinstatement and all of the things that are discussed here. Reinstatement at a low dose has crossed my mind as an option so I can begin a slower taper down the track and stabilize my symptoms however based on the fact that I stopped and started again last year without too much alleviation from the negative symptoms I feel as though I should just keep going, as tough as it is. My psychological symptoms have largely improved, I have had a slight decrease in the general tension I have talked about which is good. I also have moments where I feel real emotion which I actually like, sure it feels like I may cry sometimes (although I never really truely do) but thats all i have ever wanted for a long time, to let go off all this weight I have carried from my trauma. Anyway I thought I would get some opinions from you guys as to whether I should try reinstating or just keep fighting the good fight. I don't know if I am extremely resilient or if my symptoms are bad but not AS bad as other peoples but I have somehow managed to hold down a job, try my best at exercise, stay sober for 90 percent of the last year and work hard towards my goals. Its been so so uncomfortable, but I'm a battler and i fear if I stop I won't start again. I wonder if the worst is over? I mean I reinstated for 5 months and have honestly noticed more positive changes since stopping the medication all together once more. I am thankful for my positive mindset, at the moment I am not feeling suicidal which I was for a time, I want to be alive, I meditate a lot, write a gratitude list every day and do what I can to keep moving forward. I really really don't want to take meds again but I understand it may help... I will mention again that I have ALWAYS fast tapered under the advice of my old Psych and never had this happen before, why now? Anway, some direction may help, I'm thinking about sticking it out, im certainly not feeling comfortable but currently doing all I can besides actually taking the tablets themselves. At this point the physical is more unbearable than the mental but im pushing forward, any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Are the doctors right? Insomnia. I gave birth to my son in March 2019 and experienced terrible postpartum anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on 20mg Lexapro (escitalopram) which I commenced on the 17th June 2019. In October I saw my psychiatrist and told him I wanted to taper off Lexapro - he told me to take 15mg for one week, 10mg for one week and then 5mg for the final week (three week taper). My last pill was on the 14th November 2019 and the day after my last pill I couldn’t sleep. Ever since then I have experienced terrible insomnia. I either find it hard to fall asleep or I wake a few times per night. My psychiatrist and doctor believe that my anxiety is waking me during the night but I think the insomnia is a withdrawal symptom. What are your thoughts? And is there anything I can do to ease my insomnia? Do I need to go back on Lexapro (6 weeks without the meds) and then taper more slowly? I have had my anxiety under control but the lack of sleep is sinking me downhill again.
  15. 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.
  16. Hi! I will keep this post pretty plain for now, as my WD symptoms (the pains, mainly) make it hard to even use a computer for long. I will also try to make a short "signature" version of my history later today. When I was signing up, I was asked to provide a history of my case. I'm gonna paste it below. So, here goes. ---------------------------------------- All of the following changes/switches were done in 1-2 weeks each (except where otherwise noted). I.e., very quickly (which is bad). - Started Amisulpride 600mg and Escitalopram 30mg in 2014 for OCD. - In 2017 Amisulpride dose became 500mg. A few months after that, I developed tardive dystonia (cervical). - In 2018 autumn switched from Amisulpride to Abilify (about 15mg), to combat the dystonia. Indeed the movements stopped, but I was very sleepy (was taking lots of baclofen too). So I moved back to Amisulpride 500mg. - In 2019 february made another attempt at switching to Abilify (22.5mg). It was successful. But since then, I gradually developed disabling joint pain. - In 2019 (around July) reduced Abilify to 15mg, and nothing much changed. - In 2019 September switched from Escitalopram to Paroxetine (40mg) to combat the joint pain. Got a slight improvement in joint pain. Since the first day of Paroxetine, I began having eye problems. - About 3-4 weeks later I reduced Paroxetine to 20mg and Abilify to 7.5mg. Nothing much changed. - About a week later, I reduced Paroxetine to 15mg and Abilify to 3.75mg. Finally the joint pain was almost gone. - Soon, the joint pain reappeared so I started taking 4x3.75mg Abilify and since then, my joint pain is quite minor. - About 3-4 weeks later I switched (Cold Turkey) back from Paroxetine to Escitalopram (7.5mg) to combat the eye problems. That did not help, and I started getting disabling muscle cramps (in quadriceps). Then I found the "paroxetine withdrawal support" FB group. - About 4 days later, I switched (Cold Turkey) back from Escitalopram to Paroxetine (15mg), because of the cramps and because of what I learned from the FB group. - That didn't reduce the cramps. So I increased Paroxetine back to 20mg, which did help somewhat. - 1-2 weeks later, we're at the present moment (24 Dec 2019). ---------------------------------------- I'll be happy to communicate with you guys in order to help one another in this journey! In Facebook I'm actually afraid to help other people, because Facebook is too addictive with the "likes" and "loves" etc. Especially for lonely people like me. I hope this forum will be different in this regard!
  17. 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
  18. I am french. My english is not fluent. 9 months ago, i quit ad and bzd In 1 monte and a half. I was having those médecine since 20 years because of panic attac. I felt very good. So i quited.Big mistake. I took it all again: ecsitalopram 10mg+ tranxene 10mg. Then, started maniac crises. So my psychiatre told me to stop ecsitalopram. What i did in 1 month. 5 months later i am still suffering ouf brain zap, panics attacs etc... i went to see a new doctor Who wants to give me another ad to stop my suffering. To stand my state, since 2 week, I murs take 30mg tranxene by day ! But, I am anxious about having maniac attac again if a take an ad again ! I am not maniac, juste suffering of panic Attac, do you have any advice that could help me ? Thanks so much
  19. 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.
  20. hi all my name is Miguel and i have a question about Lexapro here is the medication I took and the time lines Sertraline 50 mg on 5/10/15 and took Trazodona, 150 mg then i stopped continued on sertraline Mexazolam, 1 mg 1/12/15 on 6/6/16 I went to 100 mg Sertraline then 03-10-2016 i changed to Escitalopram, 20 mg and Xanax 0.5 and took it until i stopped on 28/5/2017 by my own bad mistake I did a super fast tampering of 20 15 10 5 0 in 1 mouth ^^ and i whent back on it on 7/08/2017 owe my one whit out saying to the doctor but i am now at 10 mg and i have an appointment whit a psychiatrist and gonna ask him to taper me off slowly But I am afraid that cuz i started whit 16 almost 17 y old that it's gone be hard or that I am hooked for life I did cold turkey and i wasn't dat bad until it all hit me at once ty for your help i will be posting regulary about my situation Love you all Miguel
  21. bonjour, je suis aj Femme française de 39 ans. voici mes médicaments pris: ecitalopram en 2013 a 10 mg (1 an) d'arrêt brusque tranxène en 2013 20 mg, 15 mg, 10 mg, 5 mg pendant 3 ans d’arrêt brutal. prise sans faire attention et sans atterrissage. laroxyl pendant 5 mois, 10 gouttes au début et j'ai une goutte de goutte d'une semaine aujourd'hui, je prends 4 gouttes le soir. Après mon arrêt soudain du tranxène, j'ai toujours des problèmes d'anxiété et surtout de déréalisation. J'ai donc redémarré l'escitalopram en pensant qu'il allait réduire cette déréalisation, mais c'est pire depuis que j'ai recommencé. J'ai commencé à 5 mg et déjà ça a empiré, alors je voulais essayer 6 mg et 7 mg mais ce n'était pas mieux. J'ai repris l'escitalopram depuis le 3 janvier. Je ne sais pas comment réduire ou augmenter la dose. aidez-moi s'il vous plaît, j'ai un bébé de 6 mois et c'est dur. Google translation of above post: hello, I'm aj French woman of 39 years. here are my medications taken: ecitalopram in 2013 has 10 mg (1 year) of sudden arrest tranxene in 2013 20 mg, 15 mg, 10 mg, 5 mg for 3 years of sudden arrest. taken without paying attention and without landing. laroxyl for 5 months, 10 drops at the beginning and I have a drop of gout a week today, I take 4 drops at night. After my sudden cessation of tranxene, I still have problems of anxiety and especially derealization. So I restarted the escitalopram thinking it would reduce this derealization, but it's worse since I started again. I started at 5 mg and it got worse, so I wanted to try 6 mg and 7 mg but it was not better. I have resumed escitalopram since January 3rd. I do not know how to reduce or increase the dose. help me please, I have a baby of 6 months and it's hard.
  22. 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?
  23. 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!
  24. readyfortheworld

    Introduction from Texas

    Hello everyone, I’m a 25 year old male from Texas. My journey started January 2016, when I experienced a panic attack (that appeared to come out of the blue) on my way to visit my sister while I was riding a bus. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was about to pass out. From that day on, I started to have panic attacks that would last all day for several days. I wasn’t sure what was going on so I asked my mom to take me to the doctor. The doctor said I was having panic attacks and also anxiety. He prescribed me a Mexican medication named Adepsique (I live in a border town and decided to go there since health care is way cheaper there than in the US). I took that medication for around 6 months and started to have suicidal ideation and just felt in a low mood most of the time. I attributed those symptoms to the medication and “tapered” off it fairly quick. Once I was fully off it, I started to have unbearable insomnia/anxiety and wasn’t able to sleep for about two days. I felt like I was going crazy so I asked my mom if she could take me to an actual psychiatrist and she obliged. The psychiatrist prescribed me 10 mg of escitalopram and 2.5 mg of olanzapine. I don’t really feel like it helped that much but I felt better on it. I decided I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life so I decided to start tapering it off. I might’ve tapered too quickly off it but I was just anxious to get off those medications. I don’t really remember how long the taper lasted but I was off both medications by the last week of April 2018. I dealt with several withdrawal symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, anxiety, mild motion sickness, insomnia, irritably, aggression and intrusive thoughts. That lasted most of 2018. Around October of that year, I started dealing with IBS-like symptoms such as stomach pain, frequent gas, constant bowel movements and urgent bowel movements. Most of my other withdrawal symptoms have been reduced but I’m still stuck with the IBS issues to this day. Although I’ve been suffering for these last couple of years, I’ve felt like I’ve grown a lot as a person. I have changed my diet to a whole-foods plant based diet, I exercise daily, and do things I wouldn’t have thought I would do when I was younger. Sorry if this post is too long.
  25. Hello everyone I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given. I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing. I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening, and a lot of support from a few friends and family members. Sometimes I am afraid this will never end. At times I get more hopeful. At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home. Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? Thank you everyone for the support.
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