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  1. Good Morning Everyone, I need some confidence despite knowing what I am going through must be withdrawal. My history; I was put on Lexapro (escitalopram) in October of 2012 after the birth of my wife and I's first child. It was a stressful delivery and that coupled with the normal stress of a first time parent and starting a new business, it sent me into anxiety and panic attacks that I had NEVER experienced before. Anyway, after speaking with our friend/family MD he recommended Lexapro. I started in October of 2012 at 10mg. After a month I began to feel better and then in Feb 2013, my MD bumped to 20mg because that was the 'normal' dose for a 28 year old, 185lb man. I obliged because I was feeling better but still not great. By mid March of 2013 I felt back to normal, better than normal actually. June of 2013 I started to feel VERY shaky and weird. It felt like it was just too much. So per the MD's advice I weaned back down to 10mg over 6 weeks time and felt fine. I had few withdrawal effects but not many for a few weeks. I stayed at 10mg from July of 2013 to April of 2014(10 months or so) and felt like 'normal'. I decided in April that I was over the weight gain, the lack of emotions, the lazy attitude and the tiredness. I felt like my anxiety was under control and the small bouts of depression I had were few and far between. I spoke with my doctor and asked if he would call in a script for Liquid Lexapro. I had read a few articles here and at PP about withdrawal and that the Liquid would make it easy to taper. He obliged and at the end of April I began to taper 1mg every 2-3 weeks. This was after my doc said I should go faster and I thought 1mg every 2-3 weeks would be a slow enough taper. (I did not know about the 10% of the previous dose every 3-6 weeks). Anyway, I tapered over 5 months or so and Oct 1 of 2014 I was done. I really didn't have many withdrawal effects while tapering. I felt a little worse the lower I got but nothing I couldn't handle. The first 8 weeks off were not awful. I had dizziness and gastro problems the first few weeks but those went away. Then, the end of Nov and Dec started and holy moly I have been hit with the worst anxiety of my life, shaky, terrible intrusive thoughts, doom and gloom even when I know everything is ok. I can cry at any moment over nothing and terrible irritableness and rage feelings. I still can't shake it. The anxiety is crippling both physically and mentally. My old anxiety before meds I could talk myself out of, this just pounds on me no matter how calm and accepting of it I am. Sleep is getting worse and I can't sit still to save my life. From what I have read, this sounds like WD but I am scared and miserable here. Any words of encouragement, success stories, similar experiences are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  2. 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.
  3. SadDad88

    SadDad88

    I felt betrayed and poisoned by my psychiatrist. A little short brief history. Two years ago I had a series of panic attacks. GP suggest Lexapro, so I take 10mg and panic gets extremely worse. Kept on that dosage for almost a week and suffered from 24/7 panic. After many trips to the ER, I saw my now psychiatrist which prescribed 1mg a day clonzepam, (Benzo). Anxiety and panic started to reduce but after reading about benzos, I wanted to get off. I tried buspar later that year of 2017, it seemed to work for a while but then I experienced muscle rigidity and weakness. So doc stopped that med this early August. I definitely had withdrawal from Buspar, which included, anxiety, agitation, depression, changes in body temperature, tremors, etc. So my pysch suggest an ultra low dosage of Lexapro again. I expressed my hesitation with great concern because of previous usage of the same medication. He assured me it would help and that since is was an ultra low dosage .5mg oral solution I would feel no side effects whatsoever. Eventually every week I would increase it by .5mg. I almost made it two weeks before things spiraled out of control. I woke up with my hamstrings and glutes super tight (which started happening to a lesser degree when I started) it was then followed by leg agitation, like RLS which then encased my entire body. I couldn't stop trashing around. I had extreme short term memory loss, denationalization, brain fog, anxiety, very odd mental state change, shaking, tremors and probably more things that I can't even remember. I quit that pile of s**** medicine and filed a grievance. My question is, how long is this crap going to last? I made it to almost two weeks on a "low" dosage which seemed to affect me severely. Its been about two weeks since I stopped. Since stopping, I've had extreme muscle contractions, anxiety, depression (which I never get) malaise, a great sense of mental and physical sickness, waking to my hands vibrating and other odd feelings. I'm seriously pissed off at my doctor. It was even written in my medical record as that med possibly as me having an allergic reaction to it. I did have an amazing day on Friday, no symptoms whatsoever and it was refreshing. It then started back up with depression, anxiety, etc. Anyone experience this kind of crap? Any help or suggestions? Thanks all.
  4. 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?
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. This is my first time posting in a forum because my psychiatrist told me three months is generally the end of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were on a low dose like I was. Yet I'm still having bad symptoms. I was on Lexapro for about 15 months at 5mg with one month trying 10mg only to drop back down because of bad side effects. Now after nearly four months off the main thing I have is severe anxiety around my period. Two-three days before and lasting through the week after. I get shaky, anxious, panicky, have pressure and pain in my head and face, sore throat. Is this a normal reaction? It seems extreme for four months off of only 5mg, but since I couldn't up to 10mg maybe I'm more sensitive to this type of med? I know this can't last forever but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm literally incapacitated for almost two weeks per month.
  8. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved. Currently I'm on 20mg Lexapro & wish to reduce it down to 15mg over the next three months. I find my concentration poor so I would I would be very grateful if you could give me information in simple terms even bullet points. I've been on Lexapro 11 years.This is my goal for 2016.
  9. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  10. Healing

    Neuro-emotions

    For many reasons, our emotions are on a hair-trigger, amplified, and perseverative. We probably don't even know all of what's going on physically yet, but it includes diminished prefrontal lobe executive functions, rebound amygdala, dysregulated HPA, over-active adrenals, etc. The neuro-emotions include -- neuro-fear neuro-anger neuro-guilt neuro-shame neuro-hurt neuro-regret neuro-self-criticism neuro-grudge-holding ...and more! It is very, very confusing to have these intense neuro-emotions and try to remember that they are not what they appear to be. Emotions are compelling. Emotions during recovery from psych meds are even more compelling. Sometimes, the neuro-emotion is really totally artificial. Some of my neuro-fears have been so unlikely to come to pass as to bear no resemblance to reality or to my personal history. But, I think a lot of the time, part of what makes it so confusing is that there is a grain of reality to the neuro-emotion. For example, some situation might make you a bit angry under normal circumstances, but the neuro-anger is huge. This is when it's very difficult to 1) catch it in the first place and notice this is a neuro-emotion, 2) convince ourselves, yes, this is really a neuro-emotion, not a real emotion, 3) contain the emotion, try not to act on it, or channel the energy into something safe and constructive -- like exercise or journaling or building a birdhouse. Whenever you're having an intense, disturbing feeling, try to remind yourself that, right now -- even if it does have something to do with reality -- it is largely a neuro-emotion that you wouldn't be feeling if you were fully healed. And you *will* be fully healed. It's happening! Get ready!
  11. Hello, everyone. I was going through a rough time in 2017. Went to see a psychiatrist in march 2017 and she prescribed me prozac. 7 days later, i began to experience my very first and most brutal panic attack that lasted all day. It was hell on earth. Dr switched me to lexapro. I am small and was informed lexapro was milder. I took 10mg. As my body adjusted i still felt panic attacks every now and then but they were nowhere near as bad as that 1st time. I got better and better and saw an amazing counselor who helped me through my issues. 1 year later (March 2018) i decided i was happy, mentally healthy and strong. I began to taper. 10mg to 5mg to 2.5mg to 1.75mg. It took me 4 months of tapering with minimal symptoms. I took my last dose on August 16, 2018. I was fine for 6 weeks. Maybe a headache here and there. A 20 min. panic attack sometimes but would be fine 2 hrs later. Well around mid September, i had to get teeth extracted was given amoxicillin. Turns out i was allergic because i grew hives and itched everywhere. I was given hydroxyzine (for itch relief and anxiety. Kind of like a strong benadryl. Took a 7day dose) Ever since my last dose of that hydroxyzine my panic attacks started to become more frequent and more intense. I've been exercising and eating small meals every 3hrs because that normally helps me. Last night (october 4, 2018) was brutal. I begged my family to take me to ER. My family was able to watch over me instead of ER. But the panic attack was so intense i kept thinking i was gonna faint and die. I couldn't lay down, but i couldn't move either. My eyes were so bloodshot and blurry. Today has been better but i feel weak from that experience. Eyes still blurry and bloodshot. My questions are: is it normal to experience intense withdrawal symptoms 6 weeks later? I always thought the withdrawals start from the last day of quitting. I took 10mg which i thought was a low dose. I had tapered slowly (4 months). Was it triggered by the hydroxyzine that was meant for itch relief?? How do you all go back to work if your symptoms last months even years? Please help. I'm so scared.
  12. 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
  13. Hello, I will run through my history as quickly as possible. In my early 20s after having moved for probably the 15th to 20th time with my parents I was having a lot of stress and crying fits. I started on Prozac which I took for a year or two and then stopped taking it for a few months. Unfortunately I had anxiety after doing so and fearing a relapse (I didn't know this could be a withdrawal symptom) started on it again. I began to feel like my skin was numb and it wasn't working so I was switched to Paxil. The Paxil gave me the worst headaches if I didn't take it exactly on time and I ended up switching about a year ago to Lexapro. Lexapro made me very constipated and I felt my anxiety get far worse. The last few months I switched off the 20 mg of Lexapro to 20 mg Prozac. I've been back on just Prozac for 2 weeks. It wasn't hard during the switching process but my first period on just Prozac was extremely hard. I was crying for the last few days nearly 10 times a day and feeling very anxious. I did cave two days ago and took Xanax after panicking all day just to sleep. My goal is to not increase my Prozac dosage because I specifically went onto it so I might have an easier withdrawal. I plan to stick to this dosage for another few weeks and try to slowly withdraw. I'm having a lot of trouble even going outside or getting out of bed without panicking. I am not sure why it is like this now when Prozac was generally effective for me before.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. Moderator Note: link to Moonpie's benzo thread - Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering My name is Moonpie. I feel so blessed to have found this site. I was put on Ativan and BuSpar and Lexapro, one at a time for a medication thyroid mess up. For eight months my thyroid was going crazy in my anxiety was off the charts. It normalized in March and I am trying to take her off the Ativan. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I just realized I have been doing a 5 per cent reduction instead of 10 and I have still had withdrawl symptoms! I am using a file and a jeweler scale. My taper started at .069 in weight and I am down to .035 in all three doses. But I think I took a little too much off last time and for the past week I've had panic anxiety nausea and depression. I am holding this reduction on the third dose for 3 weeks now as strong symptoms started the end of last week and continue. I had labs done to see if it was thyroid and am waiting on results. My 1st question is, should I be tapering on only one dose until it goes to zero instead of doing 1 every two weeks. Because if I continue this way I will go off of all of them at the same time. I appreciate any help. Have really been discouraged and frightened With this past symptoms
  17. Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  18. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  19. Mort81

    Mort81

    Hello everyone glad I found somewhere to find good information and support . I'll just give a little introduction. I've been off Ciprelex 30mg for 6 months now after being on the ssri for 7 years.The side effects were far out weighing the benefits. My doctors seemed clueless when it came to the tapering, from what I know now as well as the withdrawal I am currently feeling . I tapered fairly fast from what I read on this forum.My main symptom at first was abdominal pain,panic, discomfort and very poor digestion. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and I know for some people that's good but for my build, not so good. Most of my symptoms at first were digestive related and my doctors didn't suggest withdrawal. Has anyone in here experienced horrible digestive issues right away ? So I had a million tests run, which came with months of worrying about every disease in the book. My tests came back clean which was good. However I am still feeling alot of discomfort, sensitivity in the stomach(feels like I'm bruised) coupled with fatigue, vivid dreams and insomnia. I have been experiencing all this while working a Fulltime job, which I love. I have missed more days than I wanted to for the obvious reasons. However I've decided to ask for time off because my body hasn't recovered and I feel the only way for a better recovery is to get away from my schedule and take extra time for myself. I see two different doctors. The one I saw today wants me to start a pain med and believes my stomach pain is related to migraines I used to get, which at times still show up. I am so scared of all medication but want this stomach pain to go away. I have improved over the 6 months so I'm leaning towards staying the natural course. Does 5HTP help for withdrawal?? After all the suffering I have gone through in the last 6 months you would think my doctor would give a note to go on sick leave,but apparently that's like pulling teeth. They just see a healthy young man complaining . Either way I need time for myself and recovery and sorry if I'm ranting. I'm glad to be hear in this forum and look forward to have a place for support and information because I feel my doctors are out too lunch on this topic. Mort
  20. Hello, Im a 28yo male, from Brazil, and Im desperate! - 2005 start taking Paroxetine 40mg, no big deal, worked quite nice. - 2006 stopped cold turkey, not more than a week with brain zaps and I was fine. - 2007 anxiety and depression came back, like when I wasnt on Paroxetine. - 2007 back to Paroxetine. I was "normal" again. - 2013 depression started again, transitioned to LexaPro 15 + Wellbutrin XL 300 with very few problems, 2 weeks and I was fine. - 2015 dropped Wellbutrin cold turkey without problems. - 04/2017 Transition to Pristiq 50, for five days I took half lexapro pill + half pristiq, the problems started, nausea, headaches, muscle stifness, neck pain, after these 5 days, things were the same... starting feeling miserable =(, I talked to my MD, she said to taper off Pristiq, 25mg for 5 days than 12,5 for five more than, stop taking. First drop and the brain zaps started, insomnia kicked in hard. - 05/12/2017 one week without Pristiq, I cant handle what Im feeling anymore, the zaps are driving me insane, I cant sleep properly, my body and head aches, my concentration is gone. Called my MD and she prescribed me lexotan to help ease the symptons. Still not taking it. I dont know if what Im experiencing is withdrawal from Lexapro or Pristiq, I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!, should I go back to Lexapro and try tapering it slowly or should I keep going like I am? I just want to get rid of the freaking zaps! Im quite desperate, sorry for my bad english!
  21. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  22. 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.
  23. It has been 8.5 weeks since I ct'd off 30 mgs of generic lexapro and 2mg of Abilify. I was depressed because my father who lived with us had died and marriage was getting rocky from the stress. I had been taking the generic lexapro for 2 years. This doctor added Abilify in Jan '16. I trusted her. I was depressed over life issues. I have no previous mental health diagnosis other than some anxiety which I had taken Xanax over the past 5 years. Most .5 three times per day. varied in usage - often less. I quickly became dysfunctional and family doctor prescribed .5 Ativan twice per day or I would have died. I have only become a bit more functional. but barely. I don't know what to do. I am very scared.
  24. MRothbard

    MRothbard: Intro

    Hi Everyone, I've been on and off these drugs for about 7 years. I had almost quit them for good when after taking steroids for an ear infection anxiety returned with a vengeance. This was september 2014. I cut my Lexaprop dose in half about a month ago and seem to be doing fine with it.I'm now taking 10mg of Lexapro and 30mg of Mirtazipine. About a month ago I was feeling sleepy and unmotivated all the time and started drinking coffee again, and then alcohol in the evening. I also thought I could handle cutting the Mirtazipine in half too. Nope. Anxiety and intrusive thoughts big time. ​I've since gone back to my 30 mg dose or Mirt. Quit coffee and alcohol altogether. Eventually I'd like to be off these things but now is probably not the time to start tapering. I'd like to be more stable first. I'm on this forum to get advice on how to do that when the time comes and also to help however I can. Thank you.
  25. Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
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