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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. NOSEXscitalopram I am a 23 years old male and I was prescribed antidepressants 2 years ago, which permanently damaged my sexuality. It was Spring 2017, after a stressful period of time caused by anemia, I began experiencing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. I started having depersonalization, a state in which a person feels "detached" from their mind, thoughts, and emotions. I tried psychotherapy for 2 months, but it was not beneficial for me at all, therefore my next decision was to make an appointment with a private psychiatrist. He prescribed me an antidepressant called ‘Escitalopram’ (also known under the brand names of Cipralex and Lexapro) and said that these medications were well tolerated and the ‘only side effects’ that most of his patients experienced was a dry mouth. A couple of days after starting the antidepressant, my genitals became numb and my sexual functioning decreased by around 50%. I literally felt like I was 90 years old! During my second appointment, I reported this side effect to the psychiatrist, and he reacted by prescribing a different antidepressant. Unfortunately, it was causing the same problem. We then tried a third one which caused more sexual side effects. I kept taking it for about 3 weeks and decided to quit as I had had enough. My psychiatrist informed me, that I might get withdrawal symptoms which are mild and last around a week. When I discontinued the medications, I went through hell! I experienced horrible brain zaps, anxiety, sadness, shaking, insomnia, sweating, and severe problems with concentration - it all lasted about 7 weeks. Additionally, the sexual side effects still persisted at that time - I thought that it could not be possible, so I visited my GP. I had all sorts of medical tests that revealed no abnormalities. Furthermore, I got back to my psychiatrist with the issue, who said that in some cases antidepressants cause permanent sexual dysfunctions. I was terrified. Then I got referred to a urologist, who confirmed that my problem was caused by the antidepressant and unfortunately there was no treatment for it. I am now stuck with permanent damage from these medications and there is no help for me and many sufferers at all. This issue was first reported to regulators in 1991 and the first time any regulator actually confirmed the problem and requested updates of all SSRI/SNRI leaflets was the European Medication Agency in May 2019. Still, there is no research into it and many GPs say that PSSD does not exist. How horrible life can be when you have a condition, which existence is denied by pharmaceutical companies and even medical professionals. I am in an anhedonia state, which negatively affected my progress at university, and destroyed my relationship. I do not think that I will ever be able to have my own family that I have always dreamt of. Antidepressants permanently damaged my sexuality and left me suicidal. But of course, these medications are still recognized as safe and there are more and more people who are prescribed and take them worldwide.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. Hello everyone, I'm a 32 year old female from Germany. Over there I'm in quite the similar forum which already helps tremendously. But I finally decided to sign up here, too. For more support, more hope, more people who understand... I have been mildly depressed for some time because I couldn't handle my physical chronic illness well, anymore. I went to a good therapy. But when I experienced some anxiety issues for the first time in my life I got scared and sadly decided to try Escitalopram. While in hospital for some physical diagnostics in August 2015 I was put on 5mg up to 20mg Escitalopram without any big problems. I continued therapy for another one and a half years and actually felt great. I was one of the lucky people who didn't suffer from any side effects other than a bit of weight gain. In 2017 I went down to 10mg without any problems. Then it was finally time for hubby and me to try to conceive. But before that, the meds had to go. My psychiatrist at the time was nice but, as I know now, clueless. She recommended a quick taper, as stated in my signature and told me I could "get some brain zaps". I tapered and was off in June 2018. I know now I definitely had that honeymoon phase. I felt wonderful. Hubby and I started trying for a baby! Over the summer I had some symptoms that I recognized as withdrawal symptoms. Because now I already knew the German forum. But only on the surface. Had I dug deeper and read through some stories, I would have known that you can crash with some delay. Which is what I did. I fell on October 1 and landed on October 2 in a different, nightmarish world. Everything was so different. Everything! I was a happy woman up until those days. My symptoms at the beginning: akathisia, extreme anxiety all the time, insomnia, including two weeks of complete insomnia, extreme fatigue, muscle tension and pain, diarrhea, massive derealization, crying spells, despair, heart racing and palpitations, bladder problems, hopelessness, stomach problems and more which I might have forgotten. By then I knew there was no point in seeing a doctor. I was bedridden anyway. And I knew this was withdrawal hell. The German forum advised me to reinstate. I did, at 0.25. There was a first little window right after the first dose but overall, I was still in hell. Over time I carefully updosed to 0.35, then later to 0.5 and then, right the next day, because I was so desperate, to 0.6. That's when a different kind of hell broke loose. I felt cornered by my symptoms, I had no room anymore, I couldn't breathe. I was so agitated, my nerves tingling, vomiting, pulse up to 160. Never ever could I survive this. I even got scared I might be able to harm myself. This turned into obsessive thoughts and panic, that I might really be able to end my life, without ever really wanting it. German Forum told me to go back to 0.5 after just a couple of days. I did, but it still took time for those very drastic effects to settle... I couldn't be left alone anymore. I've been lucky to have my husband and mother, sister, friends. Someone was always there. In mid December my grandma jumped in. She lives next door but I couldn't have seen her and scared her before then because I was in such bad shape. But from then on she was happy to take care of me whenever needed. So... I've been holding the dose since the end of November and am going to continue to hold. I'm still more or less housebound. I got agoraphobic, the world seems to big for me. Just some little steps outside the door, nothing more. I'm still in a different world. I never feel save. I do sleep okayish at night but never at daytime because I jolt in terror when I try. I'm terrified by the withdrawal. I'm hopeless and anhedonic, don't have any interest and don't do much. I feel bad writing this. But... I had improvements. Like no more non stop anxiety, no akathisia, I eat, I sleep, I'm not bedridden anymore, hardly any derealization... But the thing is. I'm so terrified. Frozen in fear and feel like I can't trust those improvements. Especially because everybody says it's normal that withdrawal takes years. So why should it be different for me? Did reinstating catch me? Or is crashing hard and suffering for years inevitable for me, as it was for most of you? I don't know who I am and where I stand anymore. I can't trust my body anymore. I'm going through typical windows and waves, though somehow faster than others. I seem to improve faster but cannot trust that. And I feel ashamed whining about that because I know you all have been suffering for long and probably wish you'd feel that kind of progress. I don't even know what living and being happy is supposed to feel like anymore. Will I notice it? Will I know when it's over for me, even when I'm now frozen in fear and feel like I'm not really growing with my improvements? Withdrawal turned me into a child, which is not typically me. It's weird. I am still going through this but am already haunted by the very bad memories. Do you know this? I know lots of affirmations, I pray, I read success stories, I follow Baylissa's wise words. But still acceptance is my weak point. I can't seem to do it. Or rarely. I'm floating through all this with a feeling of nothing to hold on to, despite knowing that I have my wonderful family and friends. Like life is over... I don't ever move freely, feel relaxed. I'm so scared I won't be able to find my way back. That I will remain frozen, even after withdrawal is over. I can't really try things or look at things from normal life because it depresses and scares me so much. Desperate... TV, computer and reading are almost impossible for me. So what can I do? I come online on my mobile. What I do to help me: focus on breathing. Taking fish oil and magnesium. Gaba tea. Some game playing with grandma. Eat. Luckily I can eat everything like before. Drink enough. Pray. Have people around me. What I can't do: guided meditation, relaxing music, yoga... Stuff like that. When I try, terror jumps at me. As if there's a door open in my brain that should be closed. Taking baths is a NO. Memories of horrible waves... Will I forever see and feel withdrawal everywhere? My home doesn't feel the same anymore. All that exists is withdrawal and I'm so scared that won't ever change. Phew, that's a lot. Thanks for reading! Oh! Two more things: luckily I didn't get pregnant over summer! Just the thought of it, in this situation! And my screen name. While I feel devastatingly hopeless inside, I think almost all of us have that glimmer of hope in our hearts. That spark that makes us continue, day by day. Even if we don't realize it. I wish you healing! withhopeinmyheart
  9. Teppo125 Hi you all! This is my first post here, but I have been here and reading stuff for many months. Sorry for my poor english, but maybe you will understand. I had many adversities in 2018-2019 and I began to have panic attacks, chest pains and air hunger. I had all of these in 2012 as well, but I was checked and there was nothing wrong with me. The panic attacks and chest pains all got away in a few months. I went to the private doctor which we had because of our job. And he recommended for me to go to the psychologist. The psychologist said that he recommends me to seek psychotherapist, because of my illness. Well I didn't do anything and the panic attacks didn't go away. I had to call an ambulance two times and they took me to the ER both times because I thought I was going to die. I went to the psychologist again and I told him that I would like to get some medications started. He said that he doesn't recommend medication, because I would start to trust the medication and it could be hard to stop (Oh how right he was..). Well I didn't seek a psychotherapist, but I went to the public hospital, because I wanted the medication, because I thought it would help. I called the psychiatric nurse and after the first appointment she sent me to the doctor and mid july in 2019 I was prescribed Escitalopram (Lexapro I think in you're language) 10mg/day. First week 2,5mg. Second week 5mg. And then 10mg. After first week psychiatric nurse wanted to see me and asked how I was doing. I was doing better, but I started to have some mild suicidal thoughts. What I never had before. We didn't notice them at all. At second week the thoughts became louder. Then I lifted the dose to 10mg and after a few days it wasn't only thoughts, but also suicidal behavior. I couldn't think anything else, only that that I'm going to kill myself. I noticed that something was very very wrong. I thought that the same goes for me what my cousin did earlier in the year, because he was deeply depressed and committed suicide. I was diagnosed mild depression and I had those horrible thoughts. I called the nurse and I wanted too se her. At this point the nurse was changed to another person. The previous nurse was only temporary and the right nurse came back from vacation. She didn't know at all what had happened to me, and neither did I. I didn't know that this DRUG could cause this kind of stuff. Also I am pretty good at sleeping and with this drug I had major sleeping troubles. Then we lowered the dose to 5mg and it helped a lot. Thoughts were still there, but I continued eating them and continued my life. I played football and another sports in the summer, but the thoughts were still there all the time. After 8 weeks(I think) I recognize that when I watched a mirror, I became to hate my self. Then I decided to call the nurse and I told her that I want quit this medication, because I was not feeling good with this drug. She said that I'm now fearing the drug and she doesn't want that I quit the escitalopram. Well, after a long conversation she gave me permission to stop the drug and I could do it cold turkey, because such a low dose and I haven't ate it a long time. And you all know what happened then. But I didn't. I have never before ate any drugs. Only ibuprofen for hangovers some times. I quit the medication propably mid september and I feel pretty good. But after 1,5 - 2 weeks I was thrown behind the hell. And the hell last, it last enormously long time. After two weeks of quitting the drug my girlfriend told me to go privat psychotherapist, because I felt so awful. I though that I am insane that I have tilted some way 😃 (I can laugh sometimes now). The psychotherapist said that it is almost impossible that you are insane, because you are too old to become lunatic and it happens almost every time in 20's or earlier(I'm 30 years now). That helped a little bit. After 4 months of quitting CT, I went to psychiatric and told her what I was going throw. She said that the drug(withdrawal) couldn't be anymore the reason how I felt and prescribe me ketiapine (Qetiapin maybe in English?) for that enormous anxiety what I have. But she also said that just last year people and media are been talking about those side effects and withdrawal in Finland caused by antidepressants. I crashed. I didn't want to live anymore, because my life was awful hell. And it wasn't the withdrawal anymore. I took that ketiapin for month or two 12,5 mg or less for sleeping and anxiety and then I quit it, because I don't want eat any drugs anymore EVER. But somehow I find a group at Facebook. It was Finnish(I'm Finnish also)group about SSRI withdrawal and I noticed that maybe I'm not a lunatic. And then I found there also this site. I also went back to another psychotherapist after 5 months of cold turkey and she said that my biggest problem was the drug withdrawal. I wasn't insane because that couldn't be possible. Or it could be possible, but there should be some sings before if I was for example scitzofrenic or bibolar. I was happier than ever. I continued the therapy which is conditional behavioral psychotherapy. Now I'm almost 8 months free of the drug. I'm not fine, but I think that I survive this. This is not a success story yet, but I write that too then when I'm firmly on my feet. If anyone could help me somehow what I should do in this withdrawal please leave me a comment. Or is it only time what heels me?
  10. Hello everybody, I am new and I want to tell my little story about escitalopram (cipralex)and to share some thoughts. I have been using it for about 1,5 years back in 2013/2014 and I am now "clean" from that moment on. So, about 3, 3 years. I want to share some withdrawal symptoms I had and how I treated them ( still treating some of them) and I would love to have some feedback on it. Let's start from the first signals I got once I stopped ( I stopped really gradually and I haven't experience nothing strange at first, I mean in the first months I would say): 1)In about 5 months I gained 10 kg ( 22lbs) without changing any eating or sport habits. I haven't lost them up untill I did some food intolerance tests and I discovered many of them. I stopped eating gluten for a while ( 1,5 years) and I Iost them in the first 3 months of diet. Now ,paradoxically, I'm struggling with the opposite problem, I cannot put weight on anymore, I believe I eat 5 times the calories a normal person eat but nothing change. I am an ex- professional football player and I believe that my body now has problem to put muscles on, I would say I need about 4/5 kg of muscles to be back to normal but there is no way to achieve that. So first consideration for me, beyond the weight gain problem that is well knows, I have the impression that this drug makes it harder to put muscles on again. 2) I have some kind of permanent chronic telogen effluvium, I lost tons of hairs since I stopped that drug, but I'm not going bald. Just hairs everywhere, sometime more, sometime less. I am not able to deal with this problem and I won't go into other drugs at all. Usually hair loss occurs during medication, but for me it started right after the discontinuation... any other with same problem? 3)I have almost all the time a constant feeling of not being comfortable with my body, I mean it is difficult to explain... after that diet it improved a lot, but I still have some "signals" that my body sends to warn me that something isn't going in the right direction.... I find a lot of relief with mindfulness and sports, but still I am feeling strange physically speaking...my skin is drier and other stuff... Just to be clear, I like myself, I still like my body and I do fully accept it as it is, but there is something wrong, I know it better than anyone, it is not responding in the best way. 4) Libido stuff : a light loss of libido, and missing or weak mornig erection...During sex everything is kind of normal, I believe in a scale from 0 - to 10 I would say I feel 8,5 normal down there, but still something is going wrong. I am supplementing with ashwuaganda and I am doing 1 day water fast per week since couple of months, I feel great after it in terms of body sensations, but I am not sure it is helping with libido... 5) Alchool makes me feel a bit weird too... It is a strange effect, like I am poisoned( not drunk !!) after a glass of wine or a beer. I mean, it's not a big deal I am basically not touching alchool anymore, but I used to love wine and alchool in general, with moderation, and now there is this problem. 6) I feel I have lost a lot of motivation in life in general, to better say I need to motivate my self 300% times more than before ssri to do stuff... I am dealing with this problem again with mediatation, sport and with a second job... The sensation is that I am ok whilel I am doing stuff, but when I stop or I rest I do not feel great, I do not enjoy rest anymore as it used to be. To conclude, I would like to say that for me the first year after SSRI has been a nightmare for me.... a proper body shock, I am not sure how I managed not to take them again.... but slowly everything is going in the right direction, I still need to figure out some small problems and deal with them, but I would NEVER take them again for any reasons. I think I want to consider the fasting method more seriously, I would like to do it for 3 or 4 days in a raw in the near future, I read that many people recovering for post-SSRI syndrome found it very usefull. In these years I have taken a lot of supplements too... like curcumin, inositol, various herbs, cbd oil... a lot believe me... but I am quitting them all... I will leave the body free Maybe the post was a bit too long and boring, sorry for that... I appreciate any comments and suggestion.
  11. Gridley

    Gridley

    In 1986 I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, 75 mg Imipramine PM, to slow bowel function and to relieve pain resulting from ulcerative colitis. I was also put on 1 mg Lorazepam. In 1991 I went CT off both the Imipramine and the Lorazepam, resulting in a terrible colitis flare-up. After a few months I reinstated with success. However, these medications, and everything else I did for the colitis ceased work about three years ago, and in January, 2015, I underwent surgery to remove my colon and replace with an internal J-pouch, which cured the colitis. But that left me with the 30-year-long Imipramine situation. In January, 2016, I began tapering the Imipramine 10% every three weeks, which went fine until I got down to 19 mg, then 12 mg, at which point I began experiencing severe anxiety as well as dizziness. Realizing I had tapered too quickly, I updosed to 25 mg a month ago but have not as yet stabilised at this dose, as I am still experiencing considerable anxiety as well as insomnia. Until September 23, my tapers were approximate percentages as I hadn't yet bought a scale. I use the supplements Theanine and Nature's Balance Happy Camper to help with the anxiety, along with magnesium glycinate. It's only been a month, but I'm a little worried that I am never going to stabilise at 25 mg. In 2004, due to depression, I was put on a succession of SSRIs, in addition to the Imipramine, including Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. Lexapro 20 mg seemed to finally work and I remain on it at this time. In 2011 I was prescribed 1 mg Lorazepam for insomnia, now 1.5 mg.
  12. 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. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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!
  18. Brian81 Hi All I am Brian. 38 year old male from Ireland I am an SSRI user of 2.5 years and i am hoping to wean off it altogether Reasons why. I feel too good tbh and i feel like i dont need to take anymore. I want to try and be pharma free I want to be able to try handle the world with my own ups and downs Most of all i want my libido back😊 Anyway Hope to meet nice people here for genuine converations and shared info Brian
  19. 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!
  20. Hi, Just curious if anyone can provide some help. I've had a rough 2015. I was in the ER with a couple of incidents of low sodium. As some of you might know, Lexapro and other SSRIs contribute to that. I've been on Lexapro for 15 years. I also had a night time drinking problem. My Dr told me to quit Lexapro in June which I did cold turkey. They didn't tell me otherwise. I had dizziness for a month but that's it. I tried it back up on my own in September but quit after a week cause of the symptoms. Then with my Dr's help I quit booze. Forgetting about the issues with low sodium he strongly urged me to go back on it cause I would be stressed from quitting booze. I did and gave it up 12/3/15 cause of the side effects again. I had some withdrawal from being on it for only a week. Anyways, due to incredible anxiety and insomnia for a week straight I went back to Lexapro on 1/1/16. Part of the stress is due to a new job opportunity to start in January if I want it. High stress gig. I was given meds to help with the low sodium issues. My long winded question is this? Was the stress due to withdrawal or a relapse of stress? I don't know which is the answer I want but I'm scared cause I'm not myself and have been in bed for weeks. Christian
  21. Hi guys! Its been almost 7 months since I ct Lexapro, having only used it in 1 month om 5 mg. Its only now for the last weeks that the zaps, vertigo, flu-sympthoms and burning are starting, and becoming more severe by each day.. And I have a constant low fever since one month. (No virus.) Im burning all over my body, not sensitive to touch really.. Just feels like im on fire. And feels like breathing.. Sulfur. Not a refluxprob. (Also kinda blushing in face) All worse in my belly. Having attacks where it kinda knocks me with burning nerves all over and then goes back to constant medium-burning.. My cold sheets in bed is a blessing to naked skin! Also, notice aches and getting weaker in all my muscles.. 😕 Im so afraid! Whats going on! Have someone felt like this?
  22. Hi Everyone, So where to start? Guess this forces another time to think back when a fatal turn of my life started. Unlike most of us here, I started the 2 week sample supply of Lexapro pill in 2009 for a severe headache based on recommendation of a friend who has been taking SSRI for years. So I didn't go through any information of side effect or how to take the drugs etc., information you would otherwise get from a pharmacist or dedication insert. Somehow it stopped my headache 2 weeks on 10 mg of lex. I don't remember why I restarted it after the initial doses, but do know it’s not for another headache. It was something only now I can relate that it must be withdrawal of that 2 weeks sample. Anyway, I started feeling anxious and other flu-like symptoms (which I mistakenly thought I do have anxiety) so I have been on and off lex on a dose 1/4--1/3 of the 10 mg pill over 3 yrs. period (so been withdrawal numerous times unconsciously). I was ok then except for some pins/needling sensation on head, neck and back in morning which is tolerable. When the generic Lex was first available in the market mid-2012, insurance switched me to it without my awareness. After half year of the switch (increased from 2.5mg to 10mg in fighting with the side effects), pin and needling getting less to none while jaw pain progresses to a level of daily bothersome. The thought of withdrawal was triggered by the worsening of the jaw pain. I prepared the WD fully (as I thought) by lots of online research and used the program from Point of Return taking their supplement pre, during, post WD along with lower than suggested reduction rate (5%) tapering down from 10mg-5mg quickly and then 5mg-2.5mg (liquid) in 2 months when hell started with the most weird and severe jaw and head pain which took me to the first ever panic attack (Aug.2013), plus constent knifing on my head. I backed up to 2.5-3.0mg since then in fearing of the recurrence of the severe WD. Ever since then, I never had one day or minute free of this pain, along with hot flush companied by occasional anxiety and depression.. I switched back to name brand Nov. 2013 (also liquid) after learning from others that the generic can cause severe jaw pain (it is recognized by many generic takers that the two works differently and the generic is bad or worse). It seems the pain is lessoned after 4 month switch just a tiny bit in severity not even the frequency while stabilizing for the change has been the battle of my everyday life. It’s so crazy how much one drop more or less can do to my poor mind and I have to say I gave up hope to understand weather it’s too much or too less of the med is causing which/what symptoms. Everytime I change (ip or down) just a few drops of the liquid lex, I got handful of strange and new symptoms and lately I have been thinking of suicide, the only way to stop it all. I dont know if when others talking about suicidal thoughts, is it somethign poped up out of blue or more like the terrible feeling/suffering put you into such thought? Putting all the sorrow and agony aside, While in constant search for understanding of the situation for a strategy, from what I learned from publications (one of those linked below) and fellow victims (with same severe WD after many years), I have been asking myself this big question: will it be better off just staying with the med than continuing tapering (which could post greater danger and suffering for long time)? http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/ I understand this means giving up the hope for freedom and live with poor quality life. But this is what I have been struggling lately everyday and really appreciate your thoughts. Hope we all have a good day for the good Friday and getting better.
  23. Hi everyone! I am so happy I discovered your forum last week! I am a stay-at-home mother of three children from 5 to 10, and happily married. I have been on Escitalopram 10 mg for one year, since February 24, 2019. A doctor prescribed it to me because I had been in an acute anxiety condition for many days and it was still increasing. I was diagnosed a burn out too. It was hell for me, I wasn't able to do anything, panicking with difficult breathing. I had been doing everything for my family for 10 years, never taking a break, without fun hobby or social life: a perfect recipy for the break down that happened. Now, thanks to my psychotherapy, all the rest I took and the new way I live (I work less, I involve everyone at home and I have hobbies and friends now), I feel better. I still feel tired and in the process of totally healing from my burn out, but I am on the good way. I plan to tapper off from escitalopram because, in spite I tolerate it well, I'm beginning to have more very small involontary movements and I don't like that. Moreover, the doctor who prescribed it to me told me to take it only for a year, which I agree with. I think I will now be able to control my remaining anxiety with my psychotherapy -- if escitalopram ever helped in my healing process, which I'll never know. So I thought I could tapper off within 6 months. My pharmacist told me to do that within 1 month, but I knew better because I wanted to avoid the withdrawal horror stories I read on Internet. What a surprise when I discovered your forum telling I should go even more slower than that! I am so, so scared of the discontinuation symptoms that, believe me, I will go slow and do the -10% every month, should it take 4 years to be escitalopram free. Now my only worry is that I cannot purchase the liquid form in Canada, it is not available in my country... So I will read your advice about how I can make my own oral solution or how to make powder with my pills and prepare smaller doses myself. I should start next week and I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you for being there! Your work here is a real blessing, and I will share it with the many antidepressant-users I know.
  24. 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
  25. 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
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