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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Hi everyone. It is great to have a forum like this. I am so grateful to find qualified help. I was given an antidepressant 13 years ago to help with a deep depression that no psychotherapy or alternative approach would help with. Paxil was a godsent at the time. However, with my first attempt to come off, I learned how destructive these drugs can be and had to go to Cymbalta, then Lexapro. I came off again, this time with aminoacids and was succesful for about 6 months. I got very depressed again and went back on Lexapro. After several traumatic events I learned that I had Hashimoto's and finally understood how to treat this. My depression abated. Over the last two years I have tapered off Lexapro - very difficult, but succesful to the point that I am now on 1mg instead of 45. I am struggling with the last mg and have horrible symptoms when I try to go off. Looking in this forum to try to find ways to taper more slowly off 1mg. Will elaborate on this later. This is my quick intro for now. Thank you so much for this life saving forum.
  4. Where to even start with this....I've been on lexapro and trazodone since June 2019. I recently moved earlier this year to a new part of the state and got a new PCP once I got here. My sleep had been pretty garbage for a few weeks. Rewind a little.....I had gone to the gym on Tuesday March 5th and had a pretty good workout. That morning I woke up at 1am feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I went to the ER and was told my potassium was low. I was also told I was hypothyroid, which later turned out to be false. After that was when I noticed a significant uptick in general anxiety and significant decrease in quality of sleep. I wasn't able to sleep more than an 2-3 hours before waking up and having to go to the bathroom. I tried most everything I knew to improve my sleep: keeping the same routine, drinking tea, taking supplements. Not much really helped. I got engaged in May and as soon as the wedding planning started everything continued to get worse. Sleep was restless and I started to have more anxiety throughout the day because of it. I was never really an anxious person (other than with stuff like public speaking and what not). But after continued worsening of my sleep and not being able to figure out anything to help I went back to my new PCP, and he put me on lexapro 10 mg and trazodone 50 mg. The trazodone would knock me out but I'd still wake up a few hours later having to go to the bathroom and just feeling like a zombie. The sleep was never restful and I continued to get more frustrated about the situation. Since I had been to this new MD twice and spoken to him for a total of less than 10 min, but he still felt confident about putting me on two meds, I decided it was time for me to find a new PCP. (I had blood work down as soon as I moved and he said "everything looked good." I got a copy of my blood work and there were a few things I was a little worried about, cholesterol levels primarily. This also made me want to find a new PCP since he didn't even take the time to discuss anything he found on the blood work. Just a little about my background, I have a master's degree in exercise physiology and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and spend a lot of free time reading about nutrition.) So because of this I decided to get an online MD, someone I follow online and look up to. The first time I talked with them, we were on the phone for almost an hour discussing my current situation and past medical history. I already felt 10x more confident in my new MD and had a lot more faith in getting through the situation. He asked me about the trazodone and if I thought it had been helping at all, I told him no. He recommended coming off it if I wanted to. At this point I had only been on it for about 10 days. I came off the 50 mg of trazodone and felt absolutely terrible that whole week. Anxiety was through the rough, I felt like I was constantly peeing, and sleep just got worse. Not to mention the heart palpitations, gastric distress, stomach cramping, jaw clenching, nasal congestion, headaches, blurred vision, change in appetite. I didn't sleep longer than 2 hours and couldn't remember the last time I had a dream. I normally had a few dreams per week and was often able to recall them. That Friday I ended up in the hospital thinking I was having a bad reaction to the lexapro since I was started out on 10mg rather than 5mg. Only later did I learn it was from quitting the trazodone. Because of this I dropped from 10mg to 5mg of lex and reinstated 50mg of trazodone. Over the next month I tried to get my exercise schedule and diet on point. Before all this started I felt like I was pretty healthy. Went to the gym 4 days a week and lifted for ~2ish hours, ate what I thought was pretty healthy, enjoyed my morning coffee every day (probably had a bit of an unhealthy relationship with that haha), didn't smoke, rarely drank, no recreational drugs. So all of this was extremely foreign to me. When I tried to start exercising more I noticed that my heart rate stayed elevated for hours after I got done working out, my sleep would be garbage that evening, and the next day always resulted in a lot more anxiety. It would take 2-3 days before I felt like I was back to this "new normal." So at this point I decided to read more about both of these medicines and really buckle down on improving my sleep, diet, and stress levels before returning to the gym. As of writing this point I haven't stepped foot in the gym since early July, which is really killing me. I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror. My body weight has dropped around 15lbs and it seems like I've lost every bit of muscle I've ever put on. I am so ready to get back into the gym and squat something but at the same time I'm also worried about never getting back to where I was physically before all this happened. Fast forward to September and I'm exactly 2 months away from getting married. My sleep has improved greatly, I can sleep for 6+ hours straight before waking up most every night, I'm having vivid dreams almost every night of the week, the side effects have decreased significantly, and I'm starting to see that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm still on 5mg of lex and down to 6mg of traz. My spiritual life has improved significantly during this time. I have spent more time in my bible, more time praying, and more time listening to spiritual discussions/sermons online. My fiance is great and has been there every step of the way with me! Supporting me during those terrible days and not getting upset when I just don't feel like doing anything and only want to watch TV all afternoon. As someone who hasn't relied on people in the past for emotional support this has been a big change for me. The lack of ability to contribute as much to the wedding planning and being able to concentrate long enough to be of help has been one of the worst things. I have hated that so much of this process has fallen on her. And even though it should be one of the happiest times in our lives, right now it has this dark stain on it. I know this is a lot of rambling but I want to lay out of a few the things in the following posts that have helped me the most during this process. One thing I keep telling myself is that this is a season of life that will pass and because of it I will be able to help someone else in the future. I'm sure there's a few things that I've missed or left out during this post.
  5. 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.
  6. Hello I live in Saudi Arabia. Male, mid 50s, married. I had taken SSRI (Cipralex 25mg) for 6 years. I tapered it for 5 months, then stopped it completely on March 29, 2016. Just to give you some background, I was living happily, never thought of taking AD drugs ever. However, one day, I was subjected to severe conditions that was beyond my control. This situation has caused me insomnia, because of the tremendous stress, and therefore, I started taking SSRI. The doctor, who prescribed it, was not so professional, because he wanted to give me any drug that would work for me, performing trial and error on me. I know that AD drug is not a treatment, but rather a chemical stuff that would screw up brain chemicals to calm me down so that I can go to sleep, and also to improve my mood. I was very much concerned with the withdrawal symptoms, but the doctor reassured me that it would last only 2 to 3 weeks. I believed him, but I wish I did not. He did not provide me a true honest advice. While taking the AD drugs, I developed some side effects: such as fever and PVC. Six years down the road, I noticed that I always want to go to sleep, even if I had just woken up in the morning and had my coffee. This has annoyed me and scared me, as I was afraid that this drug would cripple my life. At this point, I decided to quit and live my life free of AD drugs. The journey of WD suffering started on October 31, 2015. I tapered it for 5 months, and stopped it completely on March 29, 2016. Here is a time line along with my WD suffering: 1-6 months: things were bad, but tolerable. I experienced difficulties falling asleep, with anxiety. 6 mo-1.5 years: Severe symptoms began. It was so severe that I was thinking of going back to AD. I took it for one day, but then regretted that I did, and felt so bad for going back to the drugs. I decided to fight and continue my journey no matter what. I am glad I did. I do not know how I was able to cope with WD symptoms, but it has to do with my faith. Prayers, reading Quran, and reading positive comments that I used to write to myself. 1.5 – 3.25 years: Incremental improvements. Now, I can enjoy coffee and tea, and do my hobbies. I am not 100% recovered. I still have nasal congestion and tinnitus both of which have improved slightly.
  7. I was diagnosed with post natal depression ten years ago. The psych put me on 10mg lexapro and told me to see him again two weeks later. When I went back he asked if I felt better and I said no. He put my dose up to 15mg. Two weeks later I went back again and answered the same question with another no. He put me up to 20mg. This continued till I reached the dose of 30mg. By that stage I had learned to lie....I told him I felt much better so that he would stop increasing my dose. I later learned that the recommended dose of lexapro is 20mg. After twelve months on 30mg I cut myself down to 25mg. Basically over the following years I did the same thing until I got down to 5mg. That was two years ago. That is when my problems began. Increased anxiety and ocd. No physical symptoms thankfully. But the anxiety and ocd is awful. I have read extensively and know my symptoms are withdrawal. There are definite windows and waves. I am currently at 2mg and life is hard. I honestly can’t see how I am going to get off this drug. The withdrawal sets in about one month after a cut and honestly seems to be endless in intensity. At this stage I am in no hurry to cut any further. During a window My anxiety and ocd seems laughable and I can’t believe how silly I have been getting upset about everything. But during the waves the fear and terror is so real. It is as though my central nervous system is damaged beyond repair. I live in a constant state of hyper alert.
  8. 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.
  9. I was recently directed to this site from someone who has gone through a withdrawal journey. I figured it would be helpful to gain more support and get some feedback on this process In April 2018 I experienced severe panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and suicidal thoughts. A routine doctors appointment describing my panic attacks and my high heart rate landed me in the ER and an overnight observation. Prior to being discharged I was seen by a psychiatrist who recommended me starting Effexor. Immediately I panicked and discussed it with my mom who is a lexapro user and my husband. My husband isn’t a fan of medications and typically I am not as well but I couldn’t imagine going through my days with the constant thoughts and fears. I decided to give the lexapro a try. It took me 3 months to adjust to being on lexapro, it was a horrible period of thoughts, feelings, and depression but my family and therapist helped me through. Since January, I’ve been feeling less anxious and more like myself. Less thoughts and feeling as though I could overcome my anxiety and depression with exercise and therapy. In June I had an appointment with my primary doctor whom took control of my lexapro following my hospitalization. He has always supported me coming off of the drug and trying natural vitamins, exercise, and therapy. In June I went from 10 mg to 5 mg for 4 weeks. Then in July I went from 5mg every other day. August began 0mg. Now throughout the titrating process I felt great, minimal anxiety and intermittent thoughts but I was coping well. As of September 5th, four weeks of no lexapro I began experiencing increased irritability, a massive panic attack, depression, fear. Last week I started having big periods of crying, which I have never experienced. This past week it has gotten worse, whole days of crying spells and severe anxiety with fear of thoughts and dread. My mom is away in Europe for 2 weeks leaving me to care for my dad, I’m off on PTO. I feel so horrible. My husband is between our home and my parents house. I’m trying to stay busy by exercising and playing video games but the feelings just come back and it’s frightening. Now I’m experiencing increased nausea and difficulty sleeping. I recently stopped therapy two weeks ago, I’ve decided to seek help from a new therapist in two weeks. I have a doctor appointment Thursday in which I’m hoping to get some answers, mainly that this is withdrawal and I will get through it but it is harder than I thought. Any help or advice during this time would be so appreciated
  10. 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.
  11. Topic title: In the middle of lexapro taper - let’s discuss please Hi all - 6 years on lexapro 20 mg. Taper started December 13, 2018. Got down to 10 mg in April. Waited for a bit and recently got to 5 mg 3 weeks ago. Here Is my story and any help would be appreciated - thank you so much! about 6 years ago I was put on 20 mg lexapro. I do not have clinical depression or anxiety. I had been going through a situational hard time in college. Wish I came off sooner but I was too scared. Finally in December of this past year I was ready and so over being on it! . * note I was also a heavy Cannabis user and quit at the same time starting to come down from 20 mg. From Dec to April I went from 20-10 mg. It was very hard but in s different way in which I am struggling now. I was anxious and crying a lot during the first ten mg. Also I made a conscious decision to use benzos. During this entire process. And I would never be able to do it without it. I work a full time high powered job. So please respect the fact that I will be getting off benzos AFTER my taper is over. i was then prescribed the 10 mgs. I was very much stabilized at this point. As I waited to come down more. The pill was much smaller making it harder to make smaller cuts. To be honest I also am sick of being on this damn lexapro. So I went a bit too fast from 10 mg to 5 mg. All was okay and almost easier than the 20 to 10. Until I got to 5 mg. Two weeks after hitting 5 mg I am in full panic mode a lot of the last 10 days. So - if I have been on 5 mg for 3 weeks now - does anybody have any idea when the panics will go away and when I will likely stabilize? How long does it take on lower dosages to feel ok? I know everyone is different but if I can have some experiences on thr lower doses ? Thank you!! dana
  12. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Blondiee1915: Xanax taper. Need help Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much ❤️
  13. After being on Abroad for 10 years, I had a stomach ulcer and an eroded stomach lining. The doc changed me to Mirtazapine 30mg about 9 years ago. It has a gentler effect on the stomach... I did have trouble with side effects but persisted .. I was getting worse panic attacks, anxiety and phobias so the doc changed me to escitalopram.20mg. CT. No taper or wash out. My nightmare started from that night onwards. Symptoms : brain zaps fried brain feeling couldn't think to even make breakfast, drive a car, remember anything at all from one moment to the next, couldn't even think of anything to say to anyone. sweats, insomnia tinnitus loss of balance constant pain in the cheek bones pins and needles pain in the stomach nausea burning mouth and tongue constant itching and redness constipation, still using movicol to keep things moving lots of other things but you probably know those already. it wasn't till nearly 6 months before some of these things started to settle. I felt Ill the whole time. My GP didn't believe me and said I'd googled the symptoms. I was too scared to go to the hospital in case they changed my drugs and id have to go through another round of symptoms. I had to give up work and basically lost the whole of 2017. then I'd get an odd say where I didn't feel too bad.. but not for long. 2 years on and I'm just starting to be able to remember a bit. Still have a buzzing head, terrible insomnia. Only sleep for 1.30 ~ 2 hour stints. my whole life has changed. I could always do 3 things at once before. Now I'm flat out doing much at all. I tried taking magnesium L~Threonate but after a couple of weeks I had nausea etc so have dropped the dose on that. If too much happens, I get a terrible headache, my eyes can't focus and my tinnitus gets worse.. I still have itching and a gripping feeling on my back, like some one is touching my left ear and around my chin... also am worried as my tongue feels like I've bitten it really hard every now and then.. any help or advice would be most welcome as I feel like I'm struggling along without any advice... I get told I'm just super sensitive to the meds.. like its my fault all this happened. It so frustrating. cheers.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. Hi, I'm Sean, I'm in Hampshire, England and I'm a newly arrived member on this forum. I hope to share experiences with others who have suffered the anguish of iatragenic illness and the horrendous withdrawal associated with SSRIs. There is much I could tell about my ten years on escitalopram and it's impact on day to day living and but this would itself probably turn into War and Peace! I'll furnish the details in future posts. As of now, the wonderful thing I can tell you is that after two years of tapering, I've been successfully SSRI free for 8 months. Withdrawing from these drugs is the most difficult thing I have ever done, but it is possible and the act of writing this confirms my experience is proof. To those of you struggling, please don't lose heart. I can positively report that certain things that were significantly impacted by the drug are returning; a return of motivation, energy, cognitive clarity, libido and a sense of purpose. All really positive. Any return of anxiety is managed through mindfulness, exercise and healthy living. However, something that has thoroughly blindsided me and for which I was totally unprepared, is the re-awakening of my emotional system. This has been particularly excruciating as I have been brought to the devastating realisation that my feelings of attachment and love in a particularly precious recent relationship were blunted and numbed to the point of apathy and resignation. So much so, that all the feelings that should have been there at the time are now resurging in the most painful way, leaving me experiencing extraordinary regret and sorrow at the eventual disintegration of this (partly due to SSRI-induced lack of vitality and libido on my part). I have no adequate way of explaining this to the dear soul in question, whom I certainly loved before but now feel for more deeply than I could ever imagine. Prior to this, seven years ago, I lost my spouse in unexpected and tragic circumstances and it seems that the grief cycle, which was again, blunted, is also taking hold in the way it should have when she passed away. I am so often gripped by bouts of weeping in sorrow and deep regret. I had no conception that I could feel love in such a profound and extraordinary capacity. It is excruciating and utterly consuming as, it seems I am mourning the loss of two cherished relationships, which I was never able to adequately grieve for. This, combined with the loss of career due to escitalopram-induced apathy and fatigue is haunting and devastating. It feels as if these drugs have stolen everything that was once beautiful and promising in my life. I'm now in my early forties, alone and struggling to make ends meet, it's a really challenging time. I'm wondering if anyone has any similar stories to tell regarding the resurgence of emotion? Does this echo with any of you brave souls out there? I feel very much alone in this and many don't seem to really understand. On the one hand, I'm so grateful being able to feel emotion again but on the other, I'm devastated at the utter wasteland these drugs have left in their wake. It's truly akin to emerging from a coma. Any advice would be gratefully received. I also have much to give and share on enduring withdrawal successfully, which I intend to do here over the coming weeks and months. Thanks for reading. The best of my wishes and courage to all of you fighting this battle; never lose heart and please always remember the light!
  19. Hi everyone, I am new here, but have been reading many posts and would like to wish everybody well. I started to experience panic attacks in October 2017 following emigration to another country. We had been in this country a year and I had been finding it difficult with a very young child. At the time I started with panic attacks I had been having anxiety and acid reflux following two bouts of gastroenteritis earlier the previous year. My partner is a physician and by May 2017 was very worried about my state of mind and dwindling appetite. I therefore saw a colleague of his and agreed to start Mirtazapine. I titrated up very slowly over two months and found it helped with sleep. But on reaching 15mg severe akathisia set in. This was then augmented first by Abilify (which caused me skin burning) and then Seroquel, which coincided with the onset of SI. By August of 2017 I had deteriorated in my state of mind and was anorexic through severe anxiety and nausea. I had become non-functioning and agoraphobic. I was admitted to a psych unit and referred to a psychiatrist. This was truly frightening to me. I was then cross-tapered to 20mg of Lexapro (Escitalopram) and augmented with Ativan for start up. I avoided being tube fed by agreeing to protein shakes. We left this country in September 2017 as an emergency to be home with family. As many will know, the start up of Lexapro was terrible (even with benzo cover) and although the panic attacks stopped I felt very unwell throughout the course. I had lost over 28lbs in weight and this did not start to go back on until well into 2018. I managed to start tapering the Ativan and by February 2018 crossed over to Diazepam. From there, frightened by how long I had needed the benzo, I tapered fairly quickly down to 2mg by June. Each month I felt I crashed around the same time and was never sure if my hormones were involved in this as well. In hindsight I should have slowed down, I know. I then started to taper the Lexapro by approx 2mg a month. During both tapers (which I know now I should not have contemplated), I have frequently crashed, then picked up again and been somewhat functional, although not working, whilst my child started school. At at present I have stopped the Escitalopram, but have a micro amount of Diazepam, which I am holding. I had planned to jump off at the end of the month. I apologise sincerely for the rambling story. I do not want to go into too much detail concerning how I feel I have suffered, albeit in a relatively short space of time compared to others. Suffice to say, I feel that I was hit with a sledge hammer by the medication and am only alive because of my child. The medication (being on it and tapering off it) has left me with extremely strong and persistent SI through out the last two years, and this influenced my very stupid dual taper. At at this moment I have crashed badly, cannot eat, have lost significant weight, am very low functioning and have strong SI. Through my partner being a physician I should have used my knowledge better, and like others, I feel betrayed by an apparently well-meaning medical profession. In moments of clarity I see now the different course I could have taken, if, at the time, I had been a stronger advocate for myself. I have continued to feel vulnerable throughout the entire process. My partner has been through a vertical learning curve and now no longer prescribes in the same way as before. That is something at least. I guess i am I am looking for guidance as to whether I should wait out this crash. The symptoms mirror those on start up for severity. I am so frightened that I have done so wrong by dual tapering at the pace I did. I would have liked more input from my partner, but he was and is doing the best he can with work and our child. I have a widowed mother, who believes you should cope with anything and does not understand SI. My my plan is not to jump of the Diazepam, but I was not sure whether to reinstate the Escitalopram at a very low dose to try to stabilise the SI feelings and severe anxiety/loss of appetite. Thank you for any help at all. Best wishes to everyone.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Junglechicken

    ☼ Junglechicken

    Hi, I joined this forum today and wanted to introduce myself. All it took was a family trauma to set off my depression/anxiety (my father's inability to stop spending money he didn't have, led to no money and my having to pay for my parents housing etc.,). I have suffered from underlying depression and anxiety for many years but managed to keep a lid on it by exercising and I guess being younger and able to forget the darker stuff by clubbing and going out. Then 6 years ago hubby and I moved to Canada from the UK and I dive-bombed into hell. Daily panic attacks at home and work, I was bullied at numerous work places as well as dealing with the work pressure, feeling of isolation and no support network. Then in June I lost my job and have been more or less house bound with the exception of having to go out to do chores. Went to my doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Feb 2014) - I was on it for 18 months in total and came off it mid-September 2015 after a 3 month taper at 5mg. This happened after I had got a job at a large company (Nov 2013), and I had to take 3.5 months medical leave. Upon my return to work, I was met with resentment and disdain by my colleagues who saw it that I was just looking to get "free vacation" time. This made my life even more hellish - my Manager had wanted to get rid of me upon my return but couldn't by law. I lost my job about a year after returning to work due to redundancy. Since then I have experienced extreme fatigue (had to stop marathon training), intense muscle and joint soreness, weird dreams, tinnitus, headaches, sinusitis, pressure changes in my ears and ear pain, sub-clinical migraines, crying spells, GI issues, heightened anxiety and depression. Despite these things, doctors never seem to find anything actually wrong with me. I honestly feel as though I am in hell - I feel as though someone has taken a photocopy of me and the photocopy is a completely different person (withdrawal). The weekdays are a drag, and I dread them as my hubby is at work. I fear the worst will happen while he is away. I am a total basket case and freak out very easily if there is a withdrawal symptom I don't recognise. If I can survive this, I can survive anything.
  23. Hi everyone, I have been on one antidepressant or another since I was 16; I am 38 now. I have been on Cipralex for at least 13 years. Five days ago, I reduced my Lexapro/Cipralex from 20 to 15 mg (depending which country you are from - shoutout to the Canadians in the forum). My new psych suggested I wouldn’t notice a 5 mg drop, and I didn’t at first, but today I felt low and this evening, I was extremely irritable. A few hours past the time I usual take my dose, I had nervous system hypersensitivity (head zaps, reaction to noises, etc). That’s when I put two-and-two together. Withdrawal. I was never one that could miss a dose without repercussions. Even if I took it late I noticed withdrawal start to set in. After my son was born, they suspected I had serotonin syndrome and I had to drop from 30 mg to 20, with no tapering. I had hot flashes for months and moths, but thankfully no brain zaps. When I was a teenager, I went off Paxil and forgot who I was for almost a day. But I don’t recall any long-term symptoms. Maybe I have forgotten. At this point, I am concerned about the impact tapering may have on my life, especially on my already strained marriage and on my work performance and young son. I want to be healthy and as unencumbered by a drug as possible - I don’t want withdrawal leading my behaviour. So much so, that sometimes I think staying on lexapro forever is a better option. i still wrestle with this, but the main reason I want to go off my meds is that I think the strange side effect feelings i attribute to lexapro is a main instigator for my continued anxiety and panic attacks. I think the cure is worse than the disease, so to speak. I am also dismayed by the new research that suggests SSRIs change how the brain works. I have been on them for so long... Thanks for listening. Good luck to you all.
  24. hello guys, that's my story (coming from Italy, sorry for bad English): I was suggested in October 2014 to take Risperdal 1mg/day for my social anxiety and paranoia...took it for 23 days from November, that day I suddenly felt a great fear of death and a 'strange void' in my head. From that moment (23 November 2014) to present day I have had no emotions, I have lost all my interests, my mind is empty now (very slow thinking), I speak few times only to answer a question, I have no energy or motivation so I'm lying down on my bed all the day. Before taking Risperdal I had some issues with social anxiety and paranoia, but I loved going to gym, walking, thinking freely, reading and gaming. Now I don't have any desire, I also experience discomfort when eating or taking a shower. I read many posts about this like-being dead existence after taking risperdal. Please help, also jim24 your story is similar to mine, please update me on your situation...I will do the same.
  25. 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!
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