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  1. I have been on the complete cancellation of xanaks for 6.5 months, and my psychological symptoms are driving me crazy, I restored taking cipralex 4 months ago at a dose of 20mg. Before that, I took it for 6 years at a dose of 10 mg. He helped me, I lived a full life, then I also took xanaks, on average 0.5 mg per day for sleep. Now I feel like a soulless person, I have completely no emotions, there is a slight fear, slight anger due to hopelessness, it seems to me that I am doomed, male libido has decreased very much, + anxiety at times. Sometimes my condition improves, there were 4 days of a great window, I even thought I was recovering 100%. I was wrong. Windows and waves appear and disappear in a cycle that is incomprehensible to me, this also applies to increased depression and anxiety, etc. I am very interested in whether a smaller dose of AD can work better in my condition? By partially returning emotions? Today I decided to lower the dose from 20 mg to 18 mg. To understand what will change. I am very concerned about this topic. I'm not completely ready. To leave cipralex until I recover from benzo, but due to the fact that my libido is so much depressed, as well as motivation for life, I do not see a future, anhedonia drives me crazy. Now I have more or less normal sleep from 6-8 hours. I wouldn't want to lose him. But due to the lack of libido, it seems to me that my depression is getting worse, although sometimes everything more or less returns and I feel normal, about 70%. While I'm setting the task, reduce the dose of cipralex to 10mg. And see how I'll feel. Do you think this is possible? Without serious consequences. I've been through a lot during these 6.5 months that I want a little peace. I will be very grateful for your support and advice. Thanks. Sorry, I do not know English, and I have to translate the text through a translator, I apologize for the mistakes.
  2. Hello- as my topic title shows, I have been on anti-depressants for 24 years (20mgs Lexepro, 175 mgs Wellbutrin). It is hard to face. After the birth of my first son, I began having acute anxiety. When I told my gynecologist he told me it was common after giving birth because of hormonal changes. In such cases, he recommends about six months of medication to help with the symptoms and recommended a psychiatrist that he works with for patients such as me. I'm sure none of you are surprised to know that, as is all too common, I never got off the drugs for very long. Each time withdrawel symptoms were interpreted as my illness returning. My mother suffered from anxiety and depression all her sad life, so it wasn't hard to believe that I was ill. Yet, I still tried a few times to stop the drugs. Interestingly, once it became clear how difficult it was to get off the drugs, I knew with certainty that I needed to stop taking them. I Thought I would put if off until I was retired, so I would have less stress, etc. to deal with the WD, but when I learned about the10% taper it gave me hope that I can be AD free by my 60th birthday! I will start with the Lexepro. Getting myself a scale and using a spreadsheet to calculate the decreases. I'm getting my yoga and walking on, and continuing meditation for success! I'm so glad to have this site for reference, information and support!
  3. Conner

    Conner: Help

    #1 Help. I was on lexapro 8 years. Tapered off lexapro onto Effexor in sept 2021. Couldn’t handle it. Stopped taking after 5 days. Started Zoloft. Lasted 30 days. Side effects were bad. Tapered off to pristiq. Lasted 10 days and my psychiatrist said to just stop. I was trying to give my body a break so I could start a new med. 8 days later I went back to lexapro. Took it tonight. I’ve been having slight confusion lately, mental fog, poor concentration and not in touch with reality. I’ve always had panic attacks but what I experienced was not. My brain started to get warm and I almost wanted to pass out following extreme confusion with my heart/pulse racing incredibly fast. It’s like my brain was shutting down. I was so scared thinking i was having a brain aneurysm, stroke or seizure. I called 911. Went to hospital where I got a ct scan of my head. They ruled out a tumor, stroke or seizure: they didn’t check my blood sugar or run blood work. This happened at 10pm tonight. Got back home almost 2AM and went to bed extremely scared. I woke up an hour later in state of confusion to this happening again. The docs say it’s from the meds. I’m so scared I can’t sleep bc I don’t want it to happen again. I feel like it’s more than this and I’m actually going to die from whatever this is. It’s like my brain is broke. I was perfectly fine a few months ago. Idk why the docs couldn’t find an answer to what I was experiencing. I’m so scared this is something else. I’m 34, male, good health.. active
  4. 9 years ago, I was prescribed 10mg of generic Prozac after a traumatic incident in my life that left me nearly catatonic. I continued on that dose for 7 years. Approximately 2 years ago, after a stressful work situation, my primary care doctor suggested I switch my antidepressant as he thought it became ineffective after so many years. He switched me to a dosage equivalent of generic Lexapro for a short time. I complained about a spike in anxiety so he then switched me to 50 mg of generic Zoloft. Shortly thereafter, I experienced major depersonalization and brain fog. I eventually went down to 25 mg of Zoloft and, somewhere in the midst of this, I experienced some other obscure health symptoms (pressure in head, tinnitus, dizziness, fatigue, neck and head pain, etc). I saw many specialists who all said my health checked out. I ultimately decided I wanted off of my antidepressant and my doctor recommended halving my dose for a week, and another, then stopping. I experienced some peculiar insomnia/hypomania, agitation and flatness the first few weeks, but, overall, I faired well. It wasn’t until about 2-3 months later, I would know literal hell. I have been imploding with anxiety, trembling, not eating, experiencing an avalanche of panic attacks, and not sleeping for 24 hours at a time- during which time I have rapid, intrusive thoughts teetering on hallucinations. I can feel my nervous system destabilizing and have an overwhelming feeling of dread. It has felt as if I’m on the precipice of permanent insanity. Sunday, I went to urgent care where I was prescribed Hydroxyzine for sleep and I was told I could not experience withdrawals 2-3 months after discontinuation; I was told I was experiencing a relapse. I have never experienced this kind of insomnia and anxiety prior to antidepressants. Yesterday, I started back on 25 mg of Zoloft. Today, I was prescribed 7.5 of Mirtazapine for sleep until the Zoloft takes effect. I will eventually address tapering again, but it won’t be through the suggestions of healthcare providers. Hopefully, I can rely on another’s experience for a successful taper. For now, I feel highly skeptical and disappointed in modern practitioners. I am hoping to stabilize my nervous system soon.
  5. Amid disparaging anguish, I’m looking for experienced advice about how to move forward for relief and healing. Background: After being on Zoloft beginning in 2000 and Paxil since 2004 (failed taper before resuming at 25 mg in 2007, slow wean to 10 mg and held until 2016 - back up to 20 mg before SLOW liquid wean back to 10 mg), I felt well enough (working with Mensah Medical since fall 2018 and a naturopath since May 2020) to begin very slow descent from 10 mg in November 2020. Used liquid to go down 0.02 mL/0.04 mg per day through early February 2022. Was eating VERY healthy (mostly natural/organic, gluten/dairy free).Noticed sleep issues around beginning of March (waking up 3-4 hours early), OCD symptoms, irritability.Around Mother’s Day 2022, began losing whole nights of sleep in fairly regular succession. Horrible anxiety and panic. *I’m still baffled by what went wrong with my careful, supported wean - so disheartening! After Unisom wasn’t consistently helpful,PCP prescribed both Ambien (took only 3 times) and Trazodone for sleep. Starting May 16, my first 2 nights on Trazodone at 50 mg - ineffective for sleep, went to 100 mg after one night of 10 mg Ambien/50 mg Trazodone. Stayed at 100 mg for about 1 week before coming down (75 mg one night, then 62.5 — 1.25 pill — for two nights, to 50 mg one night, back to 62.5 mg one night, then 50 mg for 9 nights). Tried adding hydroxyzine a bit - had script for that too - but not helpful enough and too blanked out next day. Notes from being on Trazodone: ”Over the past two nights, I’ve taken 2 Trazodone. It seems to be taking a toll on my body (some constipative, raw stomach, alarming clamped feeling in head and arm/leg/feet muscles) while providing partial sleep (~4 hours last night with some resting after). This morning, I woke up about 4 AM!” “Continuing to take this Trazodone has felt overwhelming to my body. It recently seems to hinder my rest. It’s super-alarming to have a pounding heart, electrifying grip on my head/body muscles (writhing/jerking for relief), stomach distress, constipation, and an unpleasant skin warming as I struggle to relax in the night. The sleep support seems to be dwindling while the intensely unsettling body impact continues. I dread nights because of the experience. I feel scared with wanting relief from Trazodone side effects while hoping my body wouldn’t overreact to sudden change. As my function and coping diminish, I feel at a loss. As much as I want good rest, sleeping meds seem to be counterproductive for me.” On 6/9, started going down from 50 mg Trazodone by 1/8 pill with 2 nights at every level - was at 25 mg by 6/17 and totally off around July 4. So, I was on Trazodone for around 6 weeks - definitely less than 8 weeks. In the meantime, some of my closest associates were/are convinced that I need some level of Paxil for the rest of my life. Such negative experiences with Trazodone probably indicated that my Paxil dosage was insufficient. So - bewildered and despondent, I resumed 5 mg Paxil on 5/17, increased to 10 mg around 5/26, tried increasing to 20 mg on 6/6 but scaled back to 15 mg on 6/15 due to Trazodone wean, and went back to 20 mg on 7/8 — twice as much as before I started the wean! I so much wish I’d stopped Trazodone earlier (or never started) and not gone up nearly so high on Paxil! Now off Trazodone and on 20 mg Paxil for about 1 month — sleeping better, BUT …(alarming tinnitus, burning nerve/muscle pain in limbs/extremities/back - want to writhe out of my skin, gastrointestinal soreness, intense pressure headaches - worse in evenings, nauseating dryness in nose/mouth/ears, twitching urge and restless agitation). Symptoms are persistent, worse at times, and can seem so unbearably awful. I struggle to function, think, process, and socialize. Psychiatrist wants to add Remeron and remove Paxil later (I’m disinterested), BUT I wonder if it’s somewhat due toTrazodone withdrawal (some Paxil side effects too maybe but never felt this dreadfully rotten with Paxil before) — have begun 0.02/0.04 liquid Paxil wean again (takes 125 days to drop 5 mg). Is this something to bracingly wait out while I wean down on Paxil again (is there a better/safer way to wean Paxil?), or am I unwise not to reinstate Trazodone for a more gradual wean (how would I do that)? Also, am I correct to avoid adding Remeron to the mix? God bless you for reading and considering what support you can offer in response!
  6. I dont have anything to say about myself because I have nothing to reflect on unfortunately. So I am sorry but this is a pretty heavy post. I have severely kindled myself beyond repair. Is this possible? I dont have anything left. I forgot to mention in my history that after going off my antidepressant rapidly a second time that I took benzos twice weekly along with other gaba supplements and took other supplements that raised serotonin and dopamine. Kindling everytime withdrawing from gaba meds/supplements .And not consistently taking them. I believe messing with my gaba system is what did me in. I also came off progesterone very quickly late February and that's what ended my life. After that I used benzo again once to sleep because I had complete insomnia for 4 days. I probably withdrew just from one dose. Was getting horrible sensations in my gut like terror/tickling/stabbing. Took more supplements to try to help...made it worse. The last supplement I knew it was the end. Took NAC which I have before in the past. For 5 days and I became so agitated I was beyond suicidal. The problem is I was already mildly anhedonic on meds then coming off I had more anhedonia and dp/dr. So it was hard to know what I was feeling when doing all this damage. The more changes I made the worse it got. Now I hit the end. I'm completely lobotomized but can feel this severest internal anxiety. Complete apathy.I feel Like in dying 24/7 but it's not a panic attack. Everything looks and feels exactly the same and I mean that at the severest level. And everything I do keeps making it worse. Everyday I eat, sleep, do anything...the internal Agitation and anxiety and anhedonia/brain dead feeling gets worse. I never feel comfort and dont feel anything except pain. I dont have normal anxiety anymore with physical symptoms. I do not connect at all to anything at any level. I dont know what it means to do anything. I think I've lost many connections in my brain. I have nothing to do. I look at the tv and see nothing and I mean with my mind. I cant talk about anything. I have no soul left. No recognition of who I was. I no longer get comfort out of anything at all. I don't know what i look like. I dont recognize myself..cannot see myself in the mirror like a person with dementia. I am so bored because there is nothing I can do. I cannot engage in anything. But the severe internal restlessness is the worst. If I never went off my med the second time last summer I would be so okay. Everything I do makes it worse. Even positive thoughts. Any stimulation. MRI made me 10x worse. I'm stuck in some void with severe panic and no person inside to help save me or reflect on past memories or emotions. Cant feel time at all, dont register days/nights/months. Brain doesn't register going from one place to another. It's all the same. I never relax ever. Extreme restlessness beyond anything. This last time I messed up my brain knew it was the end and i completely lost all connections. Cant use any higher thinking to help. I didnt want my life to end at 33 with a 2 year old daughter. I wish I was never put on meds in the first place. I was a highly emotional person who was sensitive. Musically inclined. I loved nature and connected to nature and animals. All that completely taken away since ive done all this. But even on antidepressants I still had me, although I was becoming less emotional over time. But emotions were still there. There is no feeling more dead than this. Theres nothing left for me to do and my brain has seen everything that has happened and cant unsee. At least in February before the coming off progesterone and then messing with those last few supplements I had something still. I could still eat with only minor problems and was working a couple days a week and slightly enjoyed going to friends house and I connected at some level with my daughter and could feel empathy. Is there anyone who can tell me what may be going on with my CNS?
  7. I tapered from 10mg to 5mg in 4 weeks. Was doing ok. 4 weeks later I got hit with 2 weeks of bad anxiety. I got better. 8 weeks after that I got hit again and it hasn’t let up. After 2 weeks of suffering I went up to 7.5mg. That was 8 days again and I’m still suffering badly. My appointment with the psychiatrist is next week. I wish I could talk to her sooner. Not sure if I should stay at 7.5mg or go to 10mg.
  8. I'm a 60-Year-old male, ex-smoker for 30 years ~1 pack per day. Quit smoking on March 1, 2022. I started taking antidepressants in 2000. Tried various antidepressants that didn’t work (i.e. Prozac, zoloft). At some point I started taking Adderall. I can’t remember for how long and the dosage. In ~2013 I started taking 20mg Lexapro and 50mg Vyvanse, which worked like a charm. Prescription history: Lexapro 20 mg 2013 through October 2019 Lexapro 10 mg October 2019 through April 2021 Lexapro 5 mg April 2021 through March 2022 Vyvanse 50 mg 2013 through May 2022 In February I was prescribed 1mg Finasteride for hair loss, which I took for 40 days. When I realized the side effects (mainly Low Libido), which triggered my anxiety. blood test revealed low levels of Free Testosterone and Estradiol. Approximately a month later I started feeling my Tinnitus which became increasingly bothersome as time progressed. My depression and anxiety levels were becoming increasingly elevated. June 27th - I tested positive for Covid and had to stay in isolation for 7 days. This added to my depression and anxiety which became frequent panic attacks. In the beginning of July I went back on Lexapro and Vyvanse in hopes to reverse the severe reaction that I was having. I'm now on 20mg Lexapro and 50mg Vyvanse. Still experiencing brain buzz, anxiety and depression as well as dizziness and vertigo. Anybody with insights to what I am going through and advise would be greatly appreciated!!!
  9. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  10. Hello all .. I do not speak English so I will write and do the translation and paste the conversation here so that you may understand my words ... My story began exactly 15 years ago, I don’t know exactly whether it was a sudden fear or of my father’s death I don’t know but I was very worried and went to the psychiatrist He gave me a prescription for a variety of medicines, but I settled on Seroxat with a dose of 20 mg per day, then a year ago, I replaced Seroxat with Cipralex, a dose of 15 mg, and now I want to get rid of it because of lethargy, laziness and lack of sexual desire completely, so I started a week ago with a dose of 10 mg Cipralex and now I suffer from depression and sad feelings, by God Success
  11. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  12. Medication HIstory: Prozac 1993 to 2016 for anxiety and depression (actually have Complex PTSD) Switched to Celexa in 2016 and took until Feb 2022 Switched to Lexapro in Feb 2022 then Zoloft in June. Switches were due to bad anxiety and now tapering off because SSRIs seem to be causing anxiety rather than reducing it. At 25 mg Zoloft presently for 3 weeks. Symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, stomach ache, anxiety. Also taking Lorazepam 1 mg and Zolpidem 10 mg. Just started Accel for nausea and it's helping.
  13. Hello all, My name is Alex and I was prescribed 1/2 x 10mg Escitalopram (Cipralex), 0.5 x Clonazepam (Rivotril aka Klonopin) for about 5 months now, for mostly anxiety. After already 2 months I hit tolerance / dependence with Clonazepam and from that point, for the little I knew, I should have give up on it, but my psychiatrist pushed it even more from 3/4 to 1 (0.5 Clonazepam). Clonazepam is the "horror" benzo of them all, but I did not knew back then and would have been fantastic if I removed it since month 2, instead of keep it in 3 more months. Escitalopram did not help me either, as if it had did, I would not been feeling worse after 5 months, than I was in the first place before taking the medicine. I really I very sad of my decision to actually go to the psychiatrist in the first place, but I did now knew much then. As I know now, the symptoms that I had then where really easy compared to the ones I have now (after 5 months of "treatment"). But that is what usually people do, driven by fear, instead of actually be a little realist and powerful and first, at least, document yourself of what you are doing in the first place. I have found At last a life book, by Paul David and I can say it's a life saver for the anxiety suffering people out there, but I just found it 3 weeks ago, after that I decided to start tapper the benzo. All this being said I am now on this schedule of benzo withdrawal attached in the picture. Unfortunately I got to 0.3 from 0.5 in 3 weeks instead of 8 and I feel quite a lot of withdrawal symptoms ( mild depression, mild / intermediate anxiety (but much longer than before), mild headaches, dizziness, mild blurred vision. I thought as I was just 5 months on these 2 drugs would make it to a fast withdrawal, now I know it is not the case and I need to listen to my body. Will hold benzo for now at 0.3 to stabilize. The big question is : Should I start the Escitalopram taper as well ? I read a lot already on the forum and I see usually people take it 1 by 1. Of course I asked a psychiatrist of tapering both at the same time and she said if I do it slow it's ok as I did not took them for long time and the doze is quite small. But I know you guys know better and would be much appreciated if you give me a hint here. So a small taper from the 1/2 x 10 mg Escitalopram , like 10-20% each month at the same time with the benzo taper would make sense ? Of course I will try to listen to my body / brain response, but I am unsure how much time will be needed to feel the withdrawal from Escitalopram, from Clonazepam is easy, in 2-3 days you feel the "response" of the cut, because of the 18-50 hours lifetime of it. Cheers !
  14. Hi, I'm 20 years old male from Canada, and I was prescribed Cymbalta for depression back in November of 2019. I took Cymbalta on and off and didn't like it at all, it made me feel really dumb, I could stare at simple math questions and nothing would come to my mind for 5 minutes straight, I felt jittery and anxious, numbing in genital and it just wasn't helping at all, so I didn't stay on it for longer than 1-2 weeks max, and whenever I quit it, my old self would always return to normal, however Lexapro is a different story. Later down the road when my anxiety got really bad, and I was desperate so I return to my doctor and told him Cymbalta didn't work and I needed something else, he gave me Lexapro for GAD and this was around December 2020. This time I was more determined and so I took Lexapro for 2 months straight at 10 mg daily, but I believe due to my undiagnosed ADHD, all Lexapro did was made me a zombie, unable the positive feelings or negative feelings, it made me feel flatline which then got kicked out of my online course because I procrastinated the entire time and lied on my bed the entire day and didn't care about a thing, also it gave me gynecomastia (man boobs). I decided to quit Lexapro, I first cut the pill in half to 5 mg and took it for 1 week then stopping completely like an idiot, because I'm supposed to do this taper for as long as months. The first month of discontinuation was cool, I didn't notice much of withdrawal effects, but when the second month came in, everything felt as though it just flipped a switch, I couldn't focus or concentrate, I felt very brain dead, reading was impossible, my short term memory was extremely bad that my digit span went from 10 to 5 (how many numbers I can remember at once = https://timodenk.com/blog/digit-span-test-online-tool/), I lost emotions, motivation and pleasure, got PSSD (orgasm weakness), anhedonia, slow processing in information and reaction time (https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime, I could get 210 ms consistently prior to lexapro, now it's 210 ms one moment, and 400 ms next moment, so focus issues), very bad fatigue, and my video gaming skills went down the drain, I just felt as though my dopamine got depleted which is weird because this drug acts on serotonin. Now it's 3 months out and I still feel different, never the same again, though oddly enough, there was a window of 2 weeks where I felt completely recovered, orgasm was extremely powerful and my cognition was powerful, then after those 2 weeks, it's back to withdrawal symptoms. I just feel like it made my undiagnosed ADHD symptoms worse. I really hope within this year, everything will be back to normal.
  15. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  16. I had been on Lexapro about 16 years and am 57 years old. Tried to quit several times, would taper from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg, then go off. But had horrible bouts of uncontrolled outbursts due to having a short fuse and wasn't worth being on edge and getting angry easily. But for the past year, I've been at 5mg. And would forget to take a pill every few weeks. That got me thinking that maybe I can quit. So in mid June I stopped. And it's been difficult. I've had lots of sadness, find myself getting irritated quickly and have to really watch myself that I don't react immediately (and have failed a few times, which increases level of sadness due to regret of actions). I just don't think it's healthy for a person to take this drug for this long. My brain is probably screwed up now. But I want to try to fix it the best I can, naturally. So as I understand it, Lexapro increases serotonin levels, right? So going off Lexapro would create a shortage of serotonin. My question is what about supplementing with Mucuna Pruriens and/or Ashwagandha to help offset this? Does anyone on here recommend this? Also, for a person who has been on Lexapro for 16 years - how long would the withdrawal symptoms typically last? Thank you so much!
  17. Hello, I quit drinking alcohol 11 years ago and a doctor at that time thought the anti depressant Zoloft would be beneficial for my "anxiety" from quitting. This is how I started using these drugs. It has taken me forever to finally quit. I'm a 43 year old male. I've quit Lexapro 2.5 mg 24 days ago and have had the worst three day stretch to date. I feel extremely tired and fatigued. I feel symptoms of brain fog, memory failures, cognitive decline, crying spells, sadness, slight headache, head pressure, eyes tired, some body ache, and slight brain zaps. I'm trying to stay positive and day to day but this is brutal. I feel like a zombie and would just want to sleep. I also have mild sleep apnea in which I have started using a cpap machine a week ago but have found no relief. I think I'm going to stop using the Cpap machine for a month to rule out the machine being the cause for recent three day stretch. I want to believe that the withdrawal symptoms are what is causing me to feel this way but I'm unsure now. I have always had some of the described symptoms on a day to day basis before. These symptoms went as far back as the last two to three years. They weren't nearly as severe. I haven't heard of anyone having the described symptoms as a result of actively taking the antidepressant drug. If this is something that can be confirmed I would feel much more at ease as I would have to wait out the withdrawal process. I guess I am looking for words of encouragement and hopefully some validation that these symptoms are from the withdrawal and this is a normal process. Last night I started myofacial exercises as an alternative to the cpap. I know it will be sometime before I see any benefit from them. I also ran 2 miles yesterday. This morning I practiced some Pranayama and will continue this daily. I'd appreciate any feedback and thank you for reading my story. Matthew
  18. Hi Thank you for this forum! I am in a mess right now and need some advice. In february I decided to give lexapro 10 mg a try as I struggled more and more with ocd. That decision took everything away from me! Drug history prior to this: Paxil 20- 40 mg from 1991-2000 and 2003-2015. Prozac 5 mg 2015 to february 2021 (plus 5 mg valium as needed for anxiety, 2 to 4 times a week ) Back to lexapro and 2021: I experienced adverse effects after 4 weeks: motor dysfunction in teeth/jaw. But I hoped it was initial side effects that would go away. So I continued. After lowering my dose to 5 mg, then 2,5 then 1,25 with problems still there, I quit on May 7th. I am now in WD worse than ever! I am in anxiety-terror 24/7 and have terrible insomnia. The physical symptoms are many and terrible, I never had physical symptoms in WD before. I got so sick I eventually wanted to end everything - and my family couldnt cope. I was then voluntarely commited to a psyciatric hospital. Both the hospital and my family wanted me to start medication again. I refused, which was unpopular. Then they wanted me to get ECT treatment in stead. So, being desperate to do something, I started a small dose of paxil. I started with 0,2 mg, went up to 1,7 mg in hope of a positive effect. (Why paxil? Not daring to reinstate lexapro(adverse effect) , and the prozac never helped my anxiety, and I was desperate for something to work) I almost immediatly regretted it. But now I was terrified to quit. What if things got worse? Also my family kept begging me to be on medication, as I behave in a crazy way. Its been close to five weeks on Paxil now. (Yesterday I learnt on your forum that I may could have just quit it if I i did it sooner. My regret ocd is terrible, so I have to try to forgive myself). So now my question is: how do I taper from here? Or is it unsafe to change anything now? I think I have gotten back a side effect from Paxil, (the irony - no benefits, just downsides). So I really want to get off it. Thanks for being here for us! (I didnt figure out how I put my Drug history in the footer? Only have an iPhone available right now. )
  19. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  20. InChristAlone

    InChristAlone

    I was in Lexapro 10 and 20mg (mostly 10) for 15 years. I was put on it when I was 19 after going through a breakup with my high school girlfriend. Also , I have dealt with minor anxiety issues most of my life and have a family history of anxiety and depression. Everything was going ok until I herniated a disc in Jan 2018. What felt like a nervous breakdown ensued. My GP stopped Lexapro cold turkey and started me on Luvox and this made things worse. I cold turkey quit everything for a couple months and things continued to get worse. My GP then put me on Effexor 150mg and Klonopin 1mg twice daily. Things improved for a while. After 6 months, I decided to taper Klonopin because I had found this site and benzobuddies. I am down to 0.25 mg of Klonopin daily and still on Effexor. I am living a life of waves and windows now. I am a middle school teacher and coach. Thankfully, God has strengthened me enough to continue to work through this WD process.
  21. Hello guys , please spare a few minutes to read it and help me with this. I am from India 25 male In April of 2019 ,during my 3rd semester break, I had a breathing issue (one side nose block )and a sleep (cycle )problem,so I went to ent doc- dx with right sinusitis (not severe ) . For the sleeping cycle issue ,he told to see psychiatry (his wife ) and she prescribed DEP®@n L combination of ( Le×@pro 5 mg + clo≠zepam 0.25 mg ) for 14 days and told to stop After stopping , I had symptoms like - heart pounding ,anxiety , concentration issues, irritability . So I expected it to go away, but it didn't .So I went to another psychiatrist after 6 month (oct 2019),and he prescribed p®@xil (p®@xidep cr 12.5 mg ) ( oct 2019 to Jan 2020) i took for 3 months. while taking this durg my irritability ,anger increased .After stopping the drug I had symptoms of acid reflux ,pounding heart , muscle twitching,anxiety ,anger issue , irritability , indigestion i couldn't eat like before my food consumption decreased,sweating at night , waking at midnight 2am ,mild erectile dysfunction , orgasm decreased slightly ,mild heat intolerance . These severe affects lasted 6 months (aug 2020) and gradually decreased ,but the following symptoms did not -anxiety ,acid reflux, sexual side affects Somehow, I graduated in 2020 Feb 2021 due to exam pressure my sleep cycle changed - anxiety increased so I decided to take it again p®@xil (p®@xidep cr 12.5 mg ) this was the biggest mistake that i have ever made. . While taking the drug I felt dizzy all the time . on 12 th day I got severe gi distress and complete sexual dysfunction that shocked me so I stopped (Feb 2021) that drug cold trukey after that I had total sexual dysfunction ,can't feel emotion,severe acid reflux, heat intolerance ,throat pain ,blurry vision ,fatigue ,muscle pain , shivering, frequent urination ,fear increased , social anxiety ,panic attack,bloating , inability to burp , indigestion,muscle twitching, heart palpitation , headache,bounding pluse , wake up at midnight , can't able to sleep at right time always varies , exercise ability decreased , anger to the peak , irritability, confusion,can't concentrate ,eyelids felt always tired ,anxiety increased . this lasted about 7 to 9 months severely (June 2021) and gradually decreased .now this is my 17 th month slightly improved i can exercise more than 20 mins but still have most of this symptoms especially total sexual dysfunction ,anxiety ,indigestion ,muscle pain , concentration problem . In my first 2 attempts I couldn't study properly and in my 3rd attempt I did some but not enough, so I failed in all my attempts. I am going to write another one this year .my problem is that i can't study for long (8hrs-10hrs) and have concentration problem .Almost wasted a year and a half of my life .i have read "withdrawal and tapering 101".i am planning to reinstate very low dose ssri ? Anyone here been through something similar and recovered ? What lab tests do I have to take ? Can anyone help me with this ? I am obsessed with my sexual dysfunction always thinking about it makes me sick . My friends passed the exam a year ago ,but I am still struggling . I shouldn't have taken antidepressants 😔 What should I do ? Plz give me some suggestions
  22. I suffer from severe depression. I don't remember not feeling depressed (being 6 and just crying and crying). Prozac was prescribed at the age of 21. Stopped working after 6 months. One and off for years until a steady dose of well button 150 ml for years, celexa for 6 months, and eventually lexapro 20mg for the past 10 + years. I tried to taper off the lexapro last year during a very vulnerable time. Even went to a psychiatrist who gave me the 7 day taper regimen. I quickly threw in the towel and went back up to 20mg. January 2022 I decided I was in a better place and time to taper again. I went way to fast, from 20 to 10. After severe side effects with no idea why, I found this group. I slowed down my taper and found a nurse practitioner who is much more understanding with my taper. I keep a calendar of my taper which is so important. Of course I thought I'd be able to taper more quickly then I read, but absolutely no way. Not to mention after my brain has been taking this for 10 years, how can I expect it to successfully withdraw in under 1 year? Of course my n.p. wasn't so accepting of the smaller increments, but after describing my symptoms she changed her tone. Besides the mood swings, dizziness, nausea, body sweats, headaches, anxiety, diarrhea, stomach aches, depression, my sexual side effects have had me scared. Not much is mentioned about sexual side effects during tge taper process. For 10 years my inability to orgasm was the norm. The constant numbness and hypersensitivity took hours to achieve an orgasm. Now that I'm tapering, I have to figure out how to have an orgasm. I've had to increase the pressure but still struggle with numbness. I've read the forums where people never get their sexual ability back, but I will not accept that. I noticed that recently I was on 6.25 for about 3 weeks and it took less time to achieve an orgasm. But, then I decided to continue the taper with 5mg and bye bye easier orgasm. Back to my taper, I've thrown in 2 days with the 5mg during the week (spread out) And i was okay, but I started the every other day and I'm not doing so well. I may have to do 2 days 6.25 then 1 day of 5. This taper has been such a nasty roller coaster of physical and mental challenges which only motivates me more to get off of this. Once I get down to 5mg, I think I may stay there for several months before I start to taper again. If I can handle this roller coaster of tapering, I can handle my depressive symptoms once off the lexapro.
  23. Hello! New here! I'm going to make my story as short as I can. 3 years ago I started having panic attacks and chronic symptoms of anxiety (depersonalization, derealization, dizziness, light headeadness, burning skin sensations and a lot more). As a result I developed health anxiety, panic disorder and agoraphobia). After refusing antidepressants for 4 month and getting worse, I finally bit the bullet and took them. My dose was 22.5mg lexapro (one and half pill of 15mg) for around 1 year. My symptoms slowly dissipated after about 2 month and I came back to living normally, I did this in conjuction with CBT therapy and a lot of self-help books). Anyway, I never wanted to be on those meds long term as I was very skeptical of how safe they are and they actually work. So with the help of my psychiatrist I tappered off within a duration of around 6 month. The taper was okay at first but the last few doses where hard, a lot of symptoms came back but I pushed threw because I was addamant to being medication free. 4 month later of being free of meds, I started getting worse again, feeling light-headed, couldn't tolerate exercise, dp/dr and feeling generally anxious. At the time i was taking magnesium citrate, vitamin D and k2. I decided to stop the supplements thinking they might making things worse and had the worst relapse ever. Symptoms now were 10 times worse, was having daily panic attacks and disabling symptoms and could barely function. I was very confused of why that had happened. Symptoms were a lot worse than before I took lexapro. The worst symptom that I still struggle with now but on a less frequent basis is the feeling of high alertness (my visual sense is usually stronger, I feel annoyingly awake and keyed up and my body feel like having lots of nervous energy). So i bit the bullet again, this time with a new psychiatrist and went back to lexapro for 8 months (the dose was 25 mg that time). The medication barely helped that time but it made me more functional. To make a long story short, I tappered again during a duration of 4 months and now have been med free for 2 weeks. I have been seing a functional doctor now who focused on gut issues and has been helping me. My symptoms are a lot better , I am taking magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zink, vitamin d and k2 and something to kill parasites in my stomach. My question and concern is, why is this hyperalertness still happening and why it got a lot worse after antidepressant use? It is brain damage? Will it completely dissappear with time? Although I feel generally better, I still have some really bad days and wonder if there is something I could be doing to help or is this permanent. So sorry for the long story and thank you very much . ❤
  24. Hello! First of all I want to thank all the beautiful heros around here, who share their storys, it helped me a lot to read the success storys again and again to stay focussed and motivated, to keep hope and not give up during the last 2,5 years. I am 35, female. Last friday I hit the 18 months mark after coming off Escitalopram for the third time in April 2020. Most people, especially professionals doubt that the physical and mental symptoms I experience are due to coming off Escitalopram and think it is all in my head. I am very exhausted of the horrible symptoms and having to fight all the time for being supported or even believed. Probably loosing my job and getting no financial support any more at the end of this month, the pressure becomes higher and higher and I am close to giving in and going back in the psychiatric system...and back on meds. I don't know what to do at the moment and hope to get some helpful advise here. Here is my whole history especially of the last about 3 years of struggling: - On holiday in Spain in 2011, while on a city tour, I had a panic attack after feeling faint. After that, I developed agoraphobia with panic attacks – something that has become manageable after psychotherapy. - Having sat the medical exam in 2012, I worked in internal medicine in a hospital setting from 2015 to 2016, with enormous workload and pressures, constant understaffing and a feeling of being out of my depth and overwhelmed while also having incredibly high expectations of myself and my care for the patients. Having reached exhaustion, the panic attacks returned 12 months into the job, and I left. - I restarted psychotherapy, and in September 2016 started taking 15mg Escitalopram (prescribed by a psychiatrist) - I stabilized quickly and took a job as an occupational GP in a very large company in November 2016. I enjoyed that job, felt valued by my colleagues and managers and did’nt feel overwhelmed. It gave me a good work-life balance, and I started volunteering at a charity offering medical support to homeless people, something I thoroughly enjoyed. I had a great relationship, supportive family and friends, enjoyed being active and sporty. - In July 2017, after about 9 months, I attempted to come off the drug, having discussed it with the psychiatrist, tapering by 5mg/ per week over 2 weeks. After that, I felt unwell, was restless, anxious and had stomach issues. The psychiatrist said this was a sign I wasn’t stable enough and 15mg Escitalopram was reinstated. I stabilized and felt better. - In summer 2018, I made a second attempt to come off the drug, but tapered much more slowly. Having reached 10mg we celebrated a beautiful wedding in August 2018, and I then reduced further to 8mg before going on honeymoon in September 2018. A couple of days later I began experiencing panic attacks again, along with exhaustion. I reduced further to 6mg, but then went back up to 15mg because I felt too bad, following psychiatrist advice. I stabilized again. - In March 2019, I attempted tapering for a third time, reducing by 5mg/week over 2 weeks, because the psychiatrist thought the slow tapering might be introducing a psychological issue that was making me feel worse. During the tapering process I started experiencing symptoms, and 3 days after I reached 0mg I was completely floored, with massive physical and mental symptoms. I was unable to work for 3 months, having never been off sick in the 2.5 years before. - There was no improvement after 6 weeks, and so after taking advice from 2 psychiatrists, I started taking the medication again – increasing the dosage by 1mg every 2 days. I had to stop that at 6mg because my symptoms became too severe. - I found a psychiatrist in Berlin who is aware of withdrawal issues, and he recommended to reduce to 2.5mg, which I did in July 2019, the aim being for me to stabilize. At that dosage, I was able to work reduced hours (20-24 hours/week), but it was a constant battle and I felt unwell all the time. - I began to think that maybe I had developed an intolerance to the medication, and so after months of no improvement, I began to taper off it again, following the Horowitz-paper, and reaching 0mg in April 2020. The symptoms got continuously worse as I tapered and got more severe when I reached 0mg. I have been unable to return to work since July 2020. This is a list of my symptoms – although their intensity and the range I may be experiencing on any given day varies. While I never experienced all of them, I haven’t felt “normal” or really well. - autonomic dysregulation: stomach and gut issues (nausea, reflux, stomach cramps, abdominal tension, gut-hyperperistaltic, flatulence and many more), incontinence (in 2019, I wet myself 3 times during the night), difficulty breathing, orthostatic dysregulation, palpitations/irregular heartbeats, sweating - adrenalin rushes/overstimulation of the autonomic nervous system, even smallest stimuli can lead to a fight and flight response - emotional dysregulation: crying fits, extreme mood swings, overwhelming emotions - extreme anxiety: general, agoraphobic, social, paranoia (can’t stand someone walking behind me, feel observed and judged all the time) - depressive symptoms: feeling extremely down, hopeless, desperate, coming and going randomly - myalgia (legs, back, neck, shoulders, arms, whole body) - neuralgia (toes, fingers, earlobes, shoulders, neck…) - headache, neuropathic face, jaw and toothache - abdominal pain - tingling paresthesia (legs, neck, head) - trouble regulating temperature (very sensitive to heat or cold, feeling very hot, shivering with cold), hot flushes, hot skin and feet - extreme sweats at night - trouble swallowing - extreme sensitivity to light, sound, movement and smells, quickly overwhelmed with sensory input, driving or cycling has become difficult, often impossible - dizziness, vertigo - vivid dreams, horrible nightmares, oversleeping - restlessness, agitation - panic, flush, palpitaions, sweating, muscleache in the morning - eye-issues (trouble focusing, burning, dry feeling) - ear-issues (pain, sore feeling) - issues with perception (flickering lights, colour distortion, static items appear to be moving, the floor goes blurry, sounds where there are none) - depersonalisation, derealisation - extreme exhaustion, lack of energy and strength - brain fog, confusion, desorientation, like being on a drug (not off) - cognitive issues with memory, concentration, finding or writing words, reading, understanding - flu-like symptoms - trouble regulating stress (feel overwhelmed quickly) - trouble calming my thoughts, very intense, ruminating thoughts, interrupting cognition - flashbacks (to all kinds of situations, some totally banale) - travel sickness Trigger that provoke/intensify symptoms: - stimuli of any kind, such as light, sound, movement, noice - multitasking - driving (also being a passenger) - eating - physical activity (exercise almost impossible and has been for months, but even walks or getting dressed can overstimulate the autonimic nervous system and lead to a fight and flight response) - screen time - reading - being on the phone - music - conversation, especially talking myself - being in the sun - period and ovulation - social contact of any kind - napping during the day Of course, there have been issues in my life along the way, if that was not the case I would not have started taking Escitalopram in 2016. I struggle with anxiety, but it is something I am addressing. What I have been living through for the last 2,5 years does not compare to anything I have previously experienced, and most of the symptoms I experience I never experienced before I started to take the SSRI. The anxiety I feel since tapering is extreme, complete terror. It is, to be honest, hell. Since April 2020, it has got worse, and I alternate between days where I can cope and do things like take care of the household, go for walks or go to the supermarket, to days where I have to rest a lot, and days where I am house- and bedbound for most of the day. I have found nothing that eases the symptoms, having tried a whole range of things from homeopathy and acupuncture to food supplements (fish oil, magnesium). I meditate daily, do Yin Yoga a number of times a week, eat healthy, don’t drink alcohol or have caffeine, and try to walk out in the fresh air whenever possible. I sleep and rest plenty, but nothing has led to a lasting easing of the symptoms so far. I have had a neurological checkup, including an MRI, have had my bloods and heart checked, all results were great. After all this time, I can’t help but feel huge doubt whether the path I have chosen – accept and hang in there – is the right one. I was convinced I could live without the drug, but 3 years of fighting coming off and the intensity of the symptoms have taken me to the edge of what I can suffer through. My goal to lead a normal life feels a very long way off. I am terrified that I have misjudged this and overestimated my mental health and am questioning myself and my decisions constantly. I am hoping that with your experience, you can give me your objective assessment of whether this indeed is withdrawal, and if I am right in that, if there is anything that might help with the symptoms or move the healing process forward. Thank you in advance from my deep heart for your time and advice. 🙏
  25. 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.
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