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  1. Hi, I will try to keep it brief, but I am in desperate need of advice. I am a 34YO Male, my 1st bout of anxiety happened 10 years ago when I experienced a very stressful time in my life. I had my 1st child, started MBA school, and opened my own business all within a 3 month span. Had a panic attack one night, and what followed was a year of high general anxiety, with some intrusive OCDish thoughts sprinkled in. After a year I decided I would give meds a try. Tried Buspar...did nothing except make me dizzy. Tried Zoloft, and this was the magic bullet for me. Felt my anxiety lesson (after a brief increase) after about 3-4 weeks and after a few months I was back to myself. During this time I would have blips (one to two week periods when my anxiety would resurface, usually requiring a dose tweak and then would go back to normal. These would usually happen when I was eating bad, not exercising ect). At the start of my Zoloft experience I at one point got up to 150mgs, but in the last 4-5 years was on the minimum dose of 50mgs after I got generally healthier and added a multivitamin and fish oil supplement. Because of these blips, and the fact I was afraid to go back to the year of anxiety, I stayed on the Zoloft probably longer than I should have. It was 8 years later (October 2016) when I finally said, "heck I don't need these anymore". My prescription ran out and I just decided not to refill it. I went through most of the withdrawl symptoms, some brain-zaps, lots of light-headedness and dizziness, ect. That went away after about 3 weeks and for 3 months I felt great, totally off meds and totally back to normal. At the end of January this year, I started to have another "blip." I wasn't eating healthy and not exercising as much and decided I would be "proactive" and resume the Zoloft at my previous dose of 50mgs to nip it in the bud. This sent my anxiety through the roof but thought my body would adjust so I continued taking them. I was so scared of the increased anxiety though I didn't give it a fair shot and kept increasing and decreasing the dosage from 25 to 50mgs every week or so. Finally got into a p-doc and he gave me Lexapro, 5mgs for the 1st week and 10mgs after that...long story short, it did the same thing as the Zoloft and wasn't much better after 7 weeks. At this point I figured, "wow I wasn't this bad before, I will just go off of these!" Well unfortunately my month of no meds did not return me to my January self, in fact it was probably worse than on the meds! So then the doctor gave me pregabalin, which helped a little, but is crazy expensive and not covered by insurance. So on June 1st I started Paxil, 10 mgs for the 1st week and 20mgs after that, hoping the pregabalin can help me to get on them. I really want to be off meds, but don't think I am mentally able to at this point. It seems quitting the Zoloft cold turkey, then reinstating, I am much more sensitive to these drugs, does that make any sense? So I am hopeful I can eventually give a med (Paxil) enough time that my body will desensitize to it, and I can be on it for a bit to get stable again, then get off. Anybody experienced anything like this? Will my body desensitize? I am so desperate to feel normal again, I am a father of 3 (10YO Boy, 7YO Boy, 3YO Girl), a husband to an amazing wife, and they need their Dad and Husband back! What should I do? Give Paxil the time to desensitize, then get off after a few months? Is the fish-oil supplement that I still take that helped me reduce my dose of Zoloft causing me to be more sensitive? Quit everything and see what happens? Thanks in advance for reading my story and giving any advice or encouragement.
  2. Hello everyone. I'll try to organize this as best as I can. There is a lot going on. I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36. Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare. Absolute pure hell. I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel. Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve. I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac. I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago. I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago. I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse. My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness. I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7. I am so depressed and fearful all of the time. I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me. It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. My doctor wants to take me off the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro. The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in. I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case. I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta. My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together. It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill. There were so many. I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come. If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen. I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare. If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again. If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain. The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac. I don't want to go through this again! Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar. Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well. I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated. It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed. Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't. I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope. I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get! I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hi.My name is Adrian.I took Lexapro for 6 weeks of 10mg, 2 weeks of 5mg, and it’s my 9th day off it.Since day 4 off I experience severe vertigo(ground tilting), severe headache, severe derealization and depersonalization, total weekness of body mostly in legs, feeling like my arms are floating, lack of concentration, confusion, flu like symptoms, anxiety, vivid dreams, hot and cold waves over body, tingling in fingers, I almost got into some panic attacks, severe anger, can’t feel my legs while walking, severe brain fog.Hope it all goes soon as i find it very hard to cope with the symptoms.
  6. Thanks for this forum. Lots read, first post. In September 2017, the 20 mg of Prozac that I had been taking for the 25 years since my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis started to poop out. In December 2017, my neurologist increase to 30 mg Prozac. In January 2018, I stared seeing. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner PNP. She wanted me off the Prozac. Tapered from 30 mg to 5 mg from January 2018 to March 31, 2018. Stayed on 5mg with rough, but bearable tapering side effects. In September, 2018, life got more stressful, big move, new job, family illness. On September, PNP discontinued last 5mg prozac and started 5mg lexapro. Did ok, again, rough but bearable tapering side effects. In January, I had to switch to a new MS med and felt ok to do it. In March, 2019 starting having unbearable discontinuation side effects. Anxiety, stomach issues, dizziness, insomnia, unable to sit still, and so on. I went to the ER April 8 for high blood pressure and rapid pulse. Nothing wrong with heart. Told me to take gerd medication! I had to stop my MS med temporarily due to my condition. Very scary and will have to resume next week. My PNP increased the lexapro to 7.5 mg on April 16th. Still having bad anxiety and took .25 Ativan twice this week. My neurologist said that I should increase the lexapro and manage my anxiety symptoms more effectively, meaning take meds. I don’t know what my next action should be and I am coming to the end of my ability to cope. I would love any advice, feedback to get me through this. Thanks
  7. I’m a man in my early 40’s. I grew up an athlete and all around good kid. I learned how to drink in my late teens within the binge drinking culture, and continued to binge drink from probably late 17 to early 40. I could rarely drink casually. I wanted to drink to feel good. I wanted to drink to get drunk. For years, I would binge maybe once or twice a week, as I was poor and still pretty physically fit. Not every day, but toward the end, I was drinking pretty much every day. I drank all through my time on SSRI’s as well. I absolutely CRAVED alcohol when I was on Lexapro. Outside of alcohol, I smoked some pot a handful of times in my late teens and early 20's, but that was a short lived phase. Around 1999, (I was in my early to mid 20’s), my Dr. put me on Paxil. I was suffering some depression following a relationship breakup. I can't recall much about it, other than I wasn't on it for long. I gained a bunch of weight and didn't think it was doing much for me. He had me quit cold turkey, and I don't believe I had many, if any withdrawal symptoms. In 2001, I got engaged to my now wife, Kim, and had some pretty major obsessive and anger issues. I was drinking more regularly at this time and I'd carried baggage into our relationship. When we would argue or fight, I'd get all wound up and become fixated on things that I couldn't let go of. I'd drive them into the ground and keep on driving them. My Dr. suggested Celexa. He either started me on 10 or 20mg, not sure. It seemed to work. In 2002-2004, a friend of mine was on Celexa too, and was switched to Lexapro because it supposedly had more of what we needed and less of what we didn't. I asked my Dr. if I could make the switch too and he switched me to Lexapro, 20mg. I tried a handful of times over the years to come off, but would become a wreck. I didn't know any better, so I tried cold turkey the first few times. Every time, I went back on. Dr's would ask me why I was trying to stop taking it and tell me that it was like a vitamin for some people, that I just needed to take it. Like a diabetic needs insulin, I had a deficiency and I needed my Lexapro, is what they'd tell me. I heard along the way that SSRI's should be tapered off of, not quit cold turkey. Somewhere in there, within the last 5 to 7 years, I went from 20mg to 10mg, by biting my pills in half. I didn't suffer too much, so I stayed at 10mg. 2013-2014, I took on a big home addition project that put me under an immense amount of stress. I was drinking heavily, and pretty much daily. When it came to an end, I decided to clean up my act. I had tried to stop drinking several times over the years, but couldn't. I went to AA meetings, but thought that 'Those People' had some serious problems, I just drank too much. In the summer of 2015, I missed a few days of my Lexapro for whatever reason, so when I started taking it again, I bit my pills in quarters and only took 5mg. I did this for a month or two and then went to zero. I felt weepy and cried from time to time and thought I was having a heart attack one day after drinking a couple of energy drinks and getting my skidloader stuck in a creek behind my house. I came inside and sat down. The feeling passed in time and I continued on. Late October of 2015, I got really drunk at a bonfire that we had for our kids birthdays. We had taken on new friends from church and homeschooling stuff, and they all looked at me like I was the odd ball. It was a party, and I was there to party. That night, I was SO sick. I slept beside the toilet on the cold tile floor. The next day or two were Hell. I got on my hands and knees and begged Jesus to take the burden of my drinking away. I'd never prayed so hard in my life. Something happened. Something changed in me. Jesus Christ answered my prayers. I completely lost my desire to binge drink. So, I quit drinking. Just after Christmas 2015, I had my 1st 'Episode'. I was stressed out about everything. I had been a complete ******* recently. Before bed one night, I was bawling because I thought we were ruining one of our sons by the way we were treating him. Yelling, and such. When I tried to go to sleep, as I'd drift off, my whole body would jolt like I was getting struck by lightning. My brain and body would jump into fight of flight mode. I was having extreme abstract intrusive thoughts and my anxiety was off the charts. I didn't know what was going on and could not get any sleep. I thought I was suffering alcohol withdrawal, or even PTSD from the home project, but I couldn't find anything on jolts and alcohol withdrawal or PTSD on the Internet. Whatever it was, I was in total mania and panic. 3 days and nights of this and I started having my first ever suicidal ideations, so I checked myself into the hospital. I was SO scared!!! I was there through the 2016 New Year, and given an Ambien the last night I was there. I actually slept!!! I met with a psychiatrist, therapist and my DO Dr. regularly afterward. The psych started me out on Prozac and something else that acts as a helper. Maybe Wellbutrin? I didn't like how they made me feel, so I asked to be put back on Lexapro because I knew it had worked for me before. He switched me to Lexapro, wanting me to take 20mg, but I only took 10mg because I knew I eventually wanted to get completely off the stuff. After a while, I leveled out and felt good again. I still wasn't binge drinking, but I could and would have a beer or two occasionally because I wanted the taste, not because I wanted the buzz. I had maybe 5 beers in that first year, total. Zero hard alcohol. And about the same for the next 2 years following. I can actually have a beer or two casually and not want to binge. Right now though, I am not drinking a drop of alcohol. The summer of 2018, I've really cleaned up my act. I'm back in the gym regularly, eating pretty darn healthy, not drinking and feeling pretty darn good. My 25 year class reunion was coming up in June and I got stressed or felt weird about it for whatever reason. A couple of days out from it, and I had my 2nd 'Episode'. Not quite as bad as the 1st, but pretty darn bad. Since my 1st, I had determined that it was more due to SSRI withdrawal than it was alcohol withdrawal or PTSD, so I couldn't figure this 2nd one out. I was on a steady dose of Lexapro 10mg a day and took it like clockwork. I weathered the storm that lasted about 7 days. It was almost identical to my 1st, except the brain/body jolts weren't quite as bad. I started working with a Naturopathic Dr. that has been treating our son for a few years. My Naturopathic Dr. started me on a remedy of arsenicum album and a bunch of vitamins and probiotic. I told her that one of my goals was to get completely off of Lexapro. About a month into treatment, I'd leveled out and met with my Dr. again. She asked if I still wanted to quit Lexapro and I said yes. So in July 2018, I started splitting my pills again and went from 10mg to 5mg. THIS WAS A MISTAKE!!! It was too much, too quickly. I had my 3rd 'Episode' in July or August. I had my 4th 'Episode' in mid-October. My 5th in November (Thanksgiving), and now my 6th over Christmas. They still last about 7 days, but they're getting closer together and I'm not fully recovering from the last one before I roll into the next one. I'm still on 5mg of Lexapro (but full 5mg pills now) and all of my vitamins, probiotic, and my remedy from my Naturopathic Dr. I've lost a ton of weight that yo-yo's between when I'm doing well and not doing well. When I'm in the throes of an 'Episode' I completely lose my appetite. I have to force feed myself. I wake up around 3:30 with my first jolt or adrenaline rush and extreme anxiety, unable to go back to sleep due to other jolts and abstract intrusive thoughts and extreme anxiety. I go to suicidal thoughts pretty quickly now because I'm exhausted from all of this and am going quite mad. I am completely restless and go from pacing the floors to crying and praying to God, to hugging and telling my wife how scared I am and how much I love her. I LOVE God and my family and do NOT want to kill myself. It is sickening to know how suicidal I am feeling.
  8. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Hello everyone! I'm sorry to have been a lurker until now. Your advice and support of each other has been a great comfort to me during my own tapering journey. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression about 2 years ago. It came out of nowhere during my menopausal years, with no personal or family history of depression, and it went undiagnosed for a few months because doctors couldn't figure out why I was so severely physically exhausted (my first and primary symptom). Every test showed I was physically healthy and fine, but obviously I wasn't. A naturopathic doctor even insisted I should take hormones, which made no sense to me since during menopause your body already can't process your natural hormone load. My mental state got worse and worse. I won't go into details, but I'm sure many of you know the kind of thoughts that road leads to. Finally I got a fantastic doctor who took time to listen. He said I was showing all the classic signs of severe depression, and said he didn't know what the root of my problems was but that the depression had to be treated NOW, and fast. I went on escitalopram (Cipralex) that same day. It was a very long and very hard pit to dig myself out of, but eventually I got there. Cipralex is a tough drug to get used to, as I imagine all antidepressants are. But I was lucky and didn't have to try various ADs to find one that worked. I know many, many people are not so lucky. It took about a year to get and stay stable, to the point where my doctor and I agreed I could start tapering off the Cipralex. I was taking 15mg daily. He suggested a 1-month reduction with alternating dosages and said Cipralex was one of the easier SSRIs to taper down. Fortunately I had discovered this site a couple months earlier 😁 and had read a lot about tapering safely. I decided to try the self-made liquid suspension method since liquid escitalopram isn't available here in Canada. The first couple of 10% tapers went well, so well in fact that I got overconfident and thought I could speed it up a bit. Big mistake of course! I crashed hard about 5 - 6 weeks into the larger reduction. I decided to ride it out, knowing from this forum that things WILL get better and that it would take my body a while to recover. It wasn't fun. Once I finally felt stable, I stayed at that dose for an extra month before trying to reduce again. Once I got to 10mg, I stopped and held there too for awhile. I started my taper a year ago at 15mg. I am down to 7mg now. I reached 7mg a few months ago and decided to hold again, because the winters here are difficult for me with the short days and little sunlight. I feel very stable though and will start another reduction in February. I plan to hold again for awhile once I get to 5mg. When I start a reduction, the effects don't kick in until 3 - 4 weeks later. This seems to be my pattern. So I reduce every 6 - 7 weeks instead of the usual 4 weeks. I still have a long way to go. I'm not in any rush, it just seems strange to need such an incredibly long time to come off a drug. I have to keep reminding myself how these drugs work and WHY it takes so long. 😐 Fortunately my doctor support this tapering plan and agrees that some people are just more sensitive to these drugs, if this plan works for me then I should keep doing it.
  10. Hello, Have been on lexapro for approx 11 years now and began tapering around a year ago. So far its gone quite well with no major issues until now. About and a half weeks ago dropped from 4 to 3 mg. Did this as have been having hardly any symptoms previously at almost same percentage decrease. However on Monday I started not feeling right and then last night I got hit hard with symptoms I haven’t really had.....feel like I’m constantly shaking like when you have the flu....head just feels totally weird and horrible.... was having cold sweats big time......horrible neuron emotions that definitely are not me....poor sleep mainly cause by the shakiness and head. What I want to know is that should I expect these symptoms to settle down soon or could it be more months than weeks? Also if they don’t start to improve in the next week do I up dose back to previous amount or try to ride it out? Thanks
  11. Hello everyone, I am currently still in benzo withdrawal from 3.5 years (Clonazapam 2mg) and was on lexapro (10-20mg) the entire time. I felt that since the benzo wd was taking so long, lexapro may be influencing recovery, and decided to taper it off 2 months ago. I did a very quick taper as the ashton manual said 1-3months and symptoms should be mild, and came off in 2 months from 20mg. After a few weeks I had severe terror panic attacks derealisation and agitation and was completely suicidal and had was taken into the hospital and was given benzos for 3 days. After that i visited a doctor and he told me to reinstate the lexapro and he was wanted me to return to 20mg fast and wanted to possibly increase it to 30mg, but i refused. I took for 5, 10, 15 for 2 days each and then 20mg for 2 weeks now. I felt better when i was taking 10mg on the 4th day of reinstatement although still very ill the suicidal and agitation lifted a bit. However now on since entering the 2 week of 20mg, everyday after that a specific symptom the dr, gradually increased in intensity and right now I feel like Im nearing psychosis from the intensity of derealisation where the unrealness and metaphysical crisis feeling is horrific, and the terror felt is absolute insane, and Im severely suicidal and not sure if I can make it even for a few more hours. In desperation, i found survivingantidepressants.com and read the reinstatement feeling something is going wrong. it suggests that maybe my dosage is too high (to not reinstate the original). but I'm not sure what to do; I was off for around 1month before the reinstatement, and I have been on the reinstatement for 3 weeks, with 2 weeks on 20mg. What should I do? Thank you so much. I'm so scared. ANy help is appreciated
  12. Hello everybody. I was on lexapro 20mg for 20 months due to a high stress situation. after months of therapy for stress management I decided to come off lexapro as I felt I had dealt with the issues. Both my therapist and doctor came up with a 6 week taper method . I am now 6 1/2 months off and I am suffering dearly with severe anxiety , fear , depression , and a very odd depersonalized state , plus other symptoms. I know now I tapered way too fast and I am very much past the window for reinstatement. I've had to quit work and can barely function at all. I have noticed that everyday seems like it's getting worse. I used to get windows that were half of a day long , but those have stopped two weeks ago. I'm looking for hope and encouragement as I have a little girl who needs her daddy to be alive. I fear that I'm going to die or become severely disabled for EVER. I'm trying to accept that this will take a very long time to heal from , but I am very very scared that I'll never be the same. I don't take any other drugs , but I do use an ecig with only 1 mg of nicotine. which is about 5% of a regular cigarette. Is it normal to get worse after 6 months off ? Will it get even more worse later ? Does it reach a peak and then get better ? I am very grateful for this site. I only wish I found it before I chose to come off.
  13. Hello Everyone, I am so grateful I found this SA forum. I am tapering liquid Lexapro, after 6 years struggling with it without adequate doctor's advice. (Did CT and restarted and so on). I found out that the drops coming from the bottle are not measuring each the same amount. Bottle says, one drop is one mgr. It is not. Bottle contains 15 ml, equivalent to 20 mgrs Lexapro. This is the Lundbeck Lexapro available here in Holland. I bought the medicine scale, I've been reading about here, and began to weigh the drops. It's terrifying. None of them measures the same weight. Now I know for sure why I didn't stabilize for such a long time. English is not my first language but I hope you understand. Reading all your stories en experiences are helping me a lot. Thank you for that. I try to survive too, it's hard but I really want to deal with it. O, the AD was given to me because of menopause issues... I wish I would have known what I know now...
  14. StarEyes

    StarEyes

    Hi, I've been on 20mg Lexapro almost 20 years. I've tried 4 times to taper off, but I was cutting the dose 50% at a time; waiting weeks or as much as 9 months and then cutting another 50%. As soon as I got off, I would wind up totally unable to sleep and in fight or flight 24/7. From the information on this website, it looks like the tapering was far too rapid. I have managed to get off Klonopin and Trazadone in the past by pill-cutting without too much trouble. The last time I tried quitting Lexapro was a year ago with the help (and many, many supplements) from a naturopath, but, alas, with the same results. Until I saw The Withdrawal Project website and this site, it seemed I would need to stay on Lexapro forever, since all my attempts to get off it failed. Now that I see there's another way, I'm trying to decide whether to try the slow taper, or leave well enough along and stay on it, because I do feel good, despite some very annoying side effects. I had sleep and anxiety issues before I got on it, but not like I get after tapering off. It seems like I've made good mental health progress over the past 20 years with therapy, yoga, meditation and following a behavioral sleep program from a book, but maybe I need the support of the drug to feel good. As an aside, I have chronic back pain that is much better managed than it was in the past, but the very helpful bodyworker I see for it says the Lexapro is drying up the fascia and interfering with healing, so she'd like to see me get off it. My life is in a calm, non stressful place, for the most part. My question is: if I switched to liquid Lexapro and reduced my dose 5% a month, what do you think are the odds of a smooth ride off? Thanks in advance for your advice.
  15. 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?
  16. 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
  17. Hi, everyone, I just joined today, after lurking for the last week. I am coming off a 9-month course of 5mg escitalopram tablets. I probably would have stayed on this medication because I felt it was helping me to cope, but blood work showed slight hypothyroidism and slightly high cholesterol (quite shocking as these #s have been great for many years, since I am a vegan health nut for decades). Also, I experienced constant exhaustion/lack of energy while on this medication - overwhelming and intractable, and often depressing. But the blood results are what made me decide to get rid of this from my body and my life (I have always mistrusted pharmaceuticals of any kind, for a variety of reasons.) I had a conversation today with my therapist about the hysteria and emotional spirals I have been experiencing, and he kept reassuring me I would be back to myself in a month, or three at the most - likening this to a cold or flu that needs to run its course. I get the analogy but the comparison would be laughable if it were not so downright wrongheaded and dismissive. He was so sure of his assessment from his 20+ years in practice, that it felt flip and a bit egotistical. I finally got it out of him that he has not experienced this himself. I have been on the receiving end of my share of iatrogenic neglect and damage over my life, so to me this is inexcusable. The fact that he was combing his bookshelf during our session for info on this (and was surprised he couldn't find any!), after I'd told him I'd done about 15 hours of research, shows me he was talking out of his "hat." The one good thing about going through this withdrawal is that I seem to have recovered most of my physical energy and stamina as the dosage decreases. Unfortunately I feel old and feeble somehow (inexplicable in the face of my consistent hardcore gym workouts). I am very grateful to the admins and everyone here for this web site, and for everything that folks here have shared and made freely available. I have been voraciously reading in an attempt to (a) convince myself I am not going insane and (b) feel less alone.
  18. 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.
  19. Topic title: Reinstating Ecsotalipram Will it help? Today is my second day of reinstating Ecsotalipram that I tapered off of for 3 months and spent 18 days completely without. My last tapper was from 2.5mg down to 0mg. So to reinstate I took 5mg yesterday and today. Yesterday and last night went well I felt a little nauseous and jittery. I did feel pretty great for a few hours. Today hasn't been so well I feel very anxious and nauseous. Feeling some of the same symptoms as I did with the 18 days of withdrawal. I'm afraid I took too long to reinstate the drug and now it wont work like it did before. If I am too late and it wont work is there still hope? Or is it too soon to tell and I should give it a few more days? I have tried to contact my doctor but with no answer. Her office is in Aspen and I am almost 2 hours away from her. Not sure what i should do.
  20. 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?
  21. supahset-i-can-finally-say-ive-made-it I went to the doctor for chest discomfort. I got a chest X-Ray, blood work, and an EKG and everything came back fine. My doctor thought it could be anxiety related. So she prescribed me Lexapro, 10m daily. I took this everyday for about 3 weeks, and tried to keep an open mind, but the drug wasn't doing anything for me, felt no different other than some side effects. I noticed weight gain an irritability. I decided this wasn't for me. When my doctor prescribed this to me, she did so with no hesitation, no warnings of side effects from taking it, absolutely nothing about tapering, and certainly nothing about letting her know if I wanted to stop the medicine or that there were going to be discontinuation symptoms. One week after stopping the medicine, I had the first panic attack of my life. We called 911 and I was checked out and was told I was fine. Paramedics told me it was probably because I stopped the Lexapro cold turkey. The following week was okay, but I started to get some general anxiety. A week after my first panic attack, I got light headed out of no where and then panic and anxiety symptoms sank in. I went to urgent care with my wife. They did another blood test, a full torso CT scan with contrast, a saline IV drop for fluids and electrolytes, and some benadryl to try and calm me down. After my second panic attack, I started getting pretty bad general anxiety and BAD health anxiety. I mean EVERYTHING felt like it was going to trigger my death. Random thumb twitch? ****, I'm having about to have a seizure. Random arm or leg numbness? Omg I'm having a heart attack. Even now, I have some dizziness, head pressure, and eye pressure and it's hard to shake the thought of having a brain tumor, even though I know how unlikely that is. It's been 5 weeks and 1 day since I stopped the Lexapro cold turkey. I feel like I'm progressively getting a tiny, tiny bit better every few days, these waves are hitting me hard. I went back to the same doctor last week and explained all of this and she basically told me that I'm full of ****, that all these symptoms are nothing, that Lexapro / SSRI discontinuation symptoms aren't real, and if they are, they only last for a few days after stopping, definitely not for longer than a week. She even prescribed me ANOTHER SSRI (this time Zoloft)... I'm switching primary care doctors now, and will continue to switch until I find a doctor that knows what I'm going through is real, and will actually listen to me. I just went to a cardiologist a few days ago to make sure my heart palpitations aren't something I need to be worried about. They had me do a stress test on a treadmill while taking my blood pressure and constant EKG, and the cardiologist called the same day to say everything was A-OK there. That same day, he strapped me up with a 48 hour Holtor monitor (a heart monitor that you wear and carry around for a certain number of days). I turned that back in yesterday and the cardiologist will call me back in about a week with results. About two weeks ago I started taking some supplements to try and combat some of these symptoms. I started taking fish oil (3 times daily), vitamin-B complex (once daily), and a magnesium complex (once daily). I've also tried to clean up my diet. I used to drink about 25-35 drinks a week (beer, wine, hard liquor, whatever really), though I did drink less while actually on Lexapro. I completely cut out alcohol of my life 14 days ago today. Woo-hoo! I also started taking a full spectrum CBD oil (twice daily) a week ago. It has almost zero THC in it, and the effects on my anxiety are LIFE changing. Unfortunately, anxiety is the only thing the CBD oil has targeted. Since taking it, my appetite has come back as well. But I'm still experiencing many of my other symptoms in waves. I know I was only on the Lexapro for 3 weeks, which compared to other people's 3 months on, or 1 year on, or even 15 years on, is such a negligible amount of time, but I feel it was long enough to rewire and screw my brain up. I just want this hell to be over. Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences based on a short length of taking the SSRI or stopping cold turkey and being able to stay off and get better?
  22. Hello everyone! I have been lurking on here for about 2 years just viewing everything and learning as much as possible. Here is my story and introduction! I was put on Lexapro about 1 1/2 years ago when I suddenly hit depression. I had super anxiety before depression but I didnt understand it. I had all these physical symptoms from stress (new job, new house, new wife, had two kids) such as digestive issues, brain fog, etc. etc. so I thought I was dying! I thought I had MS, Cancer, etc.. and I would google all the symptoms. I got in a vicious cycle of fear and worry that I could not get out of and then I hit depression. I really feel that it really started when I was put on antibiotics for a month because of a prostate issue I had. From there I stopped sleeping and was having panic attacks, anxiety, you name it I had it. So my doc put me on Lexapro 15mg and after about 2-3 months things went back to the way it was. I stopped caring and worrying and all my symptoms disapeared (for the most part) but I was able to deal with them better. About 1 year after being on Lexapro it was time to taper off. So about 4 months ago I have gone from 15mg to 1.80mg. 15mg to 10mg was a breeze. No withdrawals at all 10mg to 7.5mg was easy too. No withdrawals. 7.5mg to 5mg was also easy. Slight anxiety but really nothing big. 5mg to 3.75mg was also easy. Same which I got slight anxiety. 3.75mg to 2.5mg was harder. I felt I kept abusing marijuana and alcohol at this time. Anxiety and issues started slowly coming back, then I hit a good window for three weeks. 2.5mg to 1.25mg was hard. Weird physical symptoms came and I talked to my doc and he put me on the liquid version and wanted me to go back up to 2mg. I was on that for about a month and was continuing drinking and smoking marijuana but about a few week ago I just stopped. It was taking a toll on me and I when I smoked marijuana on lexapro I had no anxiety, but now when coming off it seems like it intensified withdrawals x 5. At the beginning of this week I went down to 1.80mg because something inside told me it was time. I was taking this b-complex and it was helping a little but I starting taking two a day and all my symptoms of withdrawals completely went non-existent. Not sure If I can share brand names so I wont unless someone allows me, but its not synthetic b-complex but made from holy basil, lemons, etc. It just has worked so well. Supplement stack now- Betain HCL - For digestion Acacia Gum- Prebiotic Cod liver oil - Omega 3's 2x B complex's Superfood Greens - Overall health I am going to my naturpathic/integrative doctor in a week to get a full vitamin panel done. Maybe its my hypochondria or my intuitions, but I want to get my vitamin levels checked to make sure I am not deficient to give my body the best possible healing it can have. I just find it so weird that this b-complex completely changed me so fast. I feel as if the years of stress has depleted my gut bacteria and vitamins and I am looking forward to getting things checked. Thats my story and thanks for having me everyone!
  23. 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 ❤️
  24. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - xyz: valium questions Hi, i am new on here. (english is not my first language so pardon the gramma) i was on various benzo for 9 months and stopped taking them once i read about depency. 10 months later i had a health scare and went onto a panic attack and had severe insomnia (5 days of 0 sleep), and akathisia- i was put on remeron for 10 weeks but it gave me tinnitus so i went into a really bad panic attack and was suicidal. at the hospital, they reinstated me on a low dose of valium (4mg) and put me on lexapro 10mg. my panic attack was so bad and my insomnia so severe that i had to take xanax 0.25mg to calm down with lunesta at night for sleep for 3 months. over several months, i was able able to ditch the xanax and lunesta and reduce my valium down to 2mg and i am still on 10mg of lexapro. i still have severe anxiety and insomnia. i have been holding my dose for 3 months now. i was reading on benzobuddies a thread on long long and that gave me hope that if i hold i can give my CNS time to stabilize. i have good days now but on bad days, i wonder how i can even lower my meds and i keep thinking that i have paradoxical effect on them. a term i kept reading on benzobuddies. will it get better if i hold longer? i also have 2 kids (6 and 2 years old) and i am going through early perimenopause- my panic attack, and insomnia get worse around my periods.
  25. Wondering if anyone has had problems with switching to liquid lexapro. i have been tapering off 5mg of lexapro (after 7 yrs at 10 mg i stopped too quickly 2 yrs ago and got very sick). over the past year i have gone from 5mg tablet to 1/4 tablet (1.25 mg) and now trying to use liquid. feeling more muscle tension, jaw clenching, carpal tunnel. i also am still dealing with gut issue. been tested for everything and all is good but 2-3 hrs after a bowel movement i can have dizziness, nausea, reflux, anxiety and increased hot flashes. days that i am constipated i have very low symptoms. tried Dr. Hinz amino acid protocol for 10 months and it was interesting, i had some very good days but ended up being very up and down on it so tapered off. it seemed to help some because once i got off it i felt better. now just trying to find some level of lex to feel ok on so i can continue with taper. i was playing around with cutting tablets up but hard to be accurate with that so my holistic dr. gave me script for the liquid. been 5 days at .70 mg and not sure if i need to go up a bit or just stay here for awhile. confusing since the muscle and gut sympoms are aggravated. when i initially went off 10 mg lex one thing i noticed was that the muscle issue and constipation went away. but then i got really sick - like really sick. so now i am perplexed as to why the muscle issue has returned. it was pretty low when i was tapering from 5 mg. had some ups and downs with it on the amino acid protocol. i am a bit freaked that my nervous system is damaged and really want to believe it can heal. it certainly has healed some. i am much better than i was a year ago when i couldnt even work. this is my first post - so alot of info. thanks!
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