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  1. 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.
  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. Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much <3
  4. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  5. Hello, I am looking for some guidance on beginning a taper from Lexapro 20 mg. I have been on a nightmarish roller coaster for the last 7 months, and I'm so glad that I found this forum which has finally given me the answers I've been looking for. Here is my history: I was prescribed Paxil 10 mg back in 2004 by my GP to address social anxiety issues. I'm an anxious person by nature, but I can see now with 20/20 hindsight that my nervous tendencies were nothing that should have ever been blunted by medicine. But nevertheless, I started taking it and it became my crutch. I considered trying to stop several times, but the brain zaps I got after a couple of days off prevented me from following through. As time went on, stopping the med just became something to procrastinate. I felt ok, and believed that I was on a very low dose, so what's the harm? At the start of 2016, I determined that I needed to try getting off for good, after my wife told me she felt the medicine was making me zoned out. I had heard getting off Paxil was difficult, but that once you were past the 6-week mark or so, you should be out of the woods. I had never had an issue with the drug before, so didn't do much research on the topic. I talked to my GP about it and he told me to taper over the course of a couple of months. So beginning in February, I took 7.5 mg for 3 weeks, 5 mg for 3 weeks, and 2.5 mg for two weeks. I took my last dose of Paxil on April 1st. During the taper period and for the next 5 weeks following, I experienced the brain zaps, but that was my only real negative symptom. I thought I had gotten off lucky with a relatively easy taper. Then around the 2nd week in May, after the brain zaps had stopped, the real withdrawal hit. Severe anxiety/depression, ruminating and constant negative thoughts, and insomnia were the worst symptoms. It felt as though someone had flipped a "pain switch" within by body. I lost my appetite completely and quickly dropped 10-15 pounds, which led to health anxiety. Just the thought and feel of how loose my clothes were fitting sent me into an internalized panic. I struggled along for two weeks before going back to my GP as a complete trainwreck. Of course, his diagnosis was that I was relapsing, and suggested switching to Lexapro 10 mg, primarily because it was generally faster acting than other ADs and had less side effects. At this point, I didn't care what I had to do to fix myself, I just wanted to be fixed. In my desperate state of mind, I agreed and started the Lexapro on May 23rd. The first couple of weeks were bumpy as I had heightened anxiety, but I attributed that to starting a new drug. The next two weeks were better, but there was still this underlying feeling that something just wasn't right. At my 1-month follow-up, I told him that I was still having bouts of anxiety and that I just didn't think the Lexapro was working as it should. He offered me two options, switch to Zoloft or bump up the Lexapro dosage. I chose to switch to Zoloft, thinking that maybe Lexapro was just not the right AD for me, and so I did an immediate cut-over. The first two weeks on Zoloft 50 mg were very good, for whatever reason. My mind seemed clear and the anxiety relented. Then by the 3rd week, I had a complete reversal and the "pain switch" got turned on again. At this point, I could barely function. My mind and heart would race so fast at work, I would just have to walk outside so I would hyperventilate. After 10 days of pure misery, I went to see a different GP at the same clinic on July 21st. The new doc recommended (surprise) going BACK to Lexapro and increasing the dosage to 20 mg. Again, out of shear desperation, I agreed, except this doc recommended a 3-4 day "washout" period to allow for the Zoloft to leave my system. So I stopped taking the Zoloft and I immediately got relief from all my symptoms. Very similar to when I cut over from the Lexapro to Zoloft, I had mental clarity and felt more like myself. After a few days of feeling better, I determined that I'd just see how long I could go without any medication at all. So for the next 4 and half weeks, I took nothing. During this period, I felt very similar to when I was fast tapering the Paxil, I had pretty severe brain zaps, but my mood overall was good. Then at exactly one month from completely stopping the Zoloft, the brain zaps ended but I crashed once again. This time, there was more depression than anxiety, and a couple of new symptoms popped up, a thumping in my ear that caused a few sleepless nights and an eyebrow twitch that was a constant reminder of my issues and stoked my health anxiety. I had crying spells unlike anything i had ever experienced. I didn't know what to do and despair and hopelessness invaded my mind. I ultimately decided that I'd give the Lexapro another try, since it was what was last prescribed by the doctor. I started with 5 mg, thinking I wanted to be on the lowest possible dosage, but that only lasted 6 days as I was still in a horrible place. I bumped it up to 10 mg and powered through for about 6 weeks. My symptoms would come and go during this period, but I kept going, clinging to the hope that the medication would kick in at some point. In the 6th week, after trying to convince myself I was feeling better, I had a complete meltdown day that seemed to be as bad if not worse than when I first fast tapered from Paxil. This threw me right back into the trap of fearing the worst, what if I never get over this? I decided that I would get a second opinion aside from my GP and went to a psychiatric clinic where I saw a nurse practitioner. In the end, her recommendation was no different, bump the dosage to 20 mg. So on October 19th, I started taking 20 mg. I had a really bad week the 2nd week taking 20 mg, but have felt pretty good since then, feeling more like how a felt during the 12 years of Paxil. Almost as if I have stabilized on the 20 mg. Around the time of my NP appointment, I started doing what I should have done from day 1: researching how to get off ADs and happened to discover this site (how I wish I would have found it back in February!!) I've spent the last few weeks absorbing the all the info about protracted withdrawal, which is undoubtedly what I have been dealing with. What a bittersweet revelation that, on the one hand I've sent my CNS into pure chaos mode, but at the same time getting the validation that my issues were NOT due to any depressive/anxiety relapse, and that I could repair and heal over time. Since I have confused my system with other meds over the last 7 months, I don't know which periods in my history were windows/waves from not taking Paxil, but I'm sure that this is what I was experiencing in some capacity. When I went back to see the NP earlier this week, I told her I believed that I was going through Paxil withdrawal, and that all my issues stemmed from that. I could tell she didn't necessarily agree, and she thought that I would always need to be on an AD of some kind, but she was willing to work with me on a tapering schedule that I would be comfortable with. I convinced her to write the Rx for the liquid form of Lexapro. So before I begin this journey, I'd like to get some recommendations from this forum about tapering. After reading about reinstatement, I feel like I'm sort of in no-mans-land as far as reinstating the Paxil, as I've had 7 months of healing from THAT med. On top of the fact that I've now got an accumulation of a different drug I have to deal with. If anyone does believe, however, I should reinstate Paxil, I'd welcome your thoughts. Now that I've been on Lexapro for 9-10 weeks (3 weeks at 20 mg), would the 10% taper guideline still apply for it, as well? I understand that patience is required and you simply cannot rush it. But I was just wondering if anyone had a similar scenario where they were able to taper at a faster clip from a "replacement" med because you hadn't been on it as long. It scares me that I am now taking Lexapro at a dosage that is equivalent to four times the amount of Paxil I took for 12 years. I would prefer to lower my dosage as quickly as possible (as we all would I guess), but again understanding that my brain will go only at its own pace. What I had considered is decreasing by 20-25% increments until I reached 10 mg, then applying the 10% the rest of the way. Since I've gone through essentially 2 cold turkeys, I have a really good idea of when my withdrawal symptoms start after a dose cut, which should help in determining the reductions. Another concern I have is that I have not completely turned the corner from the Paxil withdrawal, and that symptoms may pop up complicating the Lexapro taper. Anyone else had a similar scenario? I welcome your feedback, and I can't thank you enough for this site and the hope it has given to me.
  6. 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
  7. Hello everyone! I'm sorry to have been a lurker until now. Your advice and support of each other has been a great comfort to me during my own tapering journey. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression about 2 years ago. It came out of nowhere during my menopausal years, with no personal or family history of depression, and it went undiagnosed for a few months because doctors couldn't figure out why I was so severely physically exhausted (my first and primary symptom). Every test showed I was physically healthy and fine, but obviously I wasn't. A naturopathic doctor even insisted I should take hormones, which made no sense to me since during menopause your body already can't process your natural hormone load. My mental state got worse and worse. I won't go into details, but I'm sure many of you know the kind of thoughts that road leads to. Finally I got a fantastic doctor who took time to listen. He said I was showing all the classic signs of severe depression, and said he didn't know what the root of my problems was but that the depression had to be treated NOW, and fast. I went on escitalopram (Cipralex) that same day. It was a very long and very hard pit to dig myself out of, but eventually I got there. Cipralex is a tough drug to get used to, as I imagine all antidepressants are. But I was lucky and didn't have to try various ADs to find one that worked. I know many, many people are not so lucky. It took about a year to get and stay stable, to the point where my doctor and I agreed I could start tapering off the Cipralex. I was taking 15mg daily. He suggested a 1-month reduction with alternating dosages and said Cipralex was one of the easier SSRIs to taper down. Fortunately I had discovered this site a couple months earlier 😁 and had read a lot about tapering safely. I decided to try the self-made liquid suspension method since liquid escitalopram isn't available here in Canada. The first couple of 10% tapers went well, so well in fact that I got overconfident and thought I could speed it up a bit. Big mistake of course! I crashed hard about 5 - 6 weeks into the larger reduction. I decided to ride it out, knowing from this forum that things WILL get better and that it would take my body a while to recover. It wasn't fun. Once I finally felt stable, I stayed at that dose for an extra month before trying to reduce again. Once I got to 10mg, I stopped and held there too for awhile. I started my taper a year ago at 15mg. I am down to 7mg now. I reached 7mg a few months ago and decided to hold again, because the winters here are difficult for me with the short days and little sunlight. I feel very stable though and will start another reduction in February. I plan to hold again for awhile once I get to 5mg. When I start a reduction, the effects don't kick in until 3 - 4 weeks later. This seems to be my pattern. So I reduce every 6 - 7 weeks instead of the usual 4 weeks. I still have a long way to go. I'm not in any rush, it just seems strange to need such an incredibly long time to come off a drug. I have to keep reminding myself how these drugs work and WHY it takes so long. 😐 Fortunately my doctor support this tapering plan and agrees that some people are just more sensitive to these drugs, if this plan works for me then I should keep doing it.
  8. 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?
  9. Nevertoolate

    Nevertoolate: Lexapro

    I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  10. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  11. 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?
  12. Hi.My name is Adrian.I took Lexapro for 6 weeks of 10mg, 2 weeks of 5mg, and it’s my 9th day off it.Since day 4 off I experience severe vertigo(ground tilting), severe headache, severe derealization and depersonalization, total weekness of body mostly in legs, feeling like my arms are floating, lack of concentration, confusion, flu like symptoms, anxiety, vivid dreams, hot and cold waves over body, tingling in fingers, I almost got into some panic attacks, severe anger, can’t feel my legs while walking, severe brain fog.Hope it all goes soon as i find it very hard to cope with the symptoms.
  13. 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.
  14. I've been meaning to introduce myself for a while now, but getting myself to sit down and actually write something has been so incredibly hard. I just can't focus. Things I want to say or share come in bits and pieces and are gone by the time I can get on this site. I'very been tapering off Lexapro since August and am down to 10 mg fromy 30. I know it's faster than suggested here, but it seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, I've decided to use Twitter primarily #TweetingMyRecovery. My handle is @AbleWriterSays if anyone cares to join me or follow along.
  15. Hello all! I will try to make this nice and short. I have been on lexapro 20mg for about 5 years with great success. However, I recently had been constantly tired, sleeping 10 hours at night, and 3 hours during the day. I got blood work and a sleep study, all negative, so i suspected my medication. This had made things difficult, so i decided to talk to my doctor, who recommended reducing the dose to 15mg. This had went well for the most part, but i began to feel foggy, so he recommended switching to prozac. Here is how he switched me: Week 1: 15mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 2: 10mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 3: 5mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 4: 20 mg prozac only I have been on 20mg prozac only for ~1 weeks, and it has been hell. I have had insomnia, increased depression/anxiety, but most severely, I have had intense brain fog. I have trouble remembering anything. I am in my final year of physical therapy school, in my final clinical rotation, and it has 100% affected my performance. I struggle with simply remembering what my patients have already done, remembering their names, remembering techniques I have learned, etc. I am thinking this intense brain fog is mostly due to coming off the lexapro so quickly after being on it for so long, combined with a small amount of prozac side effects. Sooo, my question is this: Do i stick it out with the prozac and hope my body gets used to it? Do i jump from 20mg of prozac to 40mg (my doctor said it is up to me?), Or do i go back to taking my 20mg of lexapro, and gradually tapering my medication properly using the 10% rule. I am leaning to doing this, but feel terrible, as its like I am addicted to these medications to simply function. But at the same time, this is the most important part of my young career, as suceeding in clinical rotation leads to job offers and is necessary to even graduate. Any advice is greater appreciated!!
  16. Lex1992' success story: drugfreeprof-my-daughter-lex1992-has-fully-recovered I lost a sister to suicide in 2007 and was put on antidepressants by a justifiably nervous mother. She and I both now realize what a sham the whole thing AD$ thing is, and I have desperately wanted to get off of the stuff for years (I'd only been taking it to avoid withdrawal) but I worry I won't be able to get to a normal state again. I stayed on Lexapro through high school and college and was certainly able to do alright through certain traumas ( I was disagnosed with C-PTSD from the loss and an assault when I was 18. I'm now 24) but here without the Lexapro I'm feeling worse than I ever have in my life, panicking and projecting negativity... I was never like that, I've always been an optimistic high-achiever, and now it's as though my brain just isn't working anymore. I feel slower, as though vocabulary has just fallen out of my brain... Perhaps this is hurting my ego more, having been regarded as "gifted" growing up... I worry that I was on these drugs for too long throughout my developing years. I have worked through so much emotionally over the years in various forms of therapy, but this feels like a complete physiological thing that's just taking control over me. I was able to feel okay in the few months after my final tiny bit of Lexapro taken in February (after a very gradual taper over many months)- I was in another country with few responsibilities, which made the taper relatively easy compared to previous attempts. Near the end of the trip some irrational upset began... Now I'm back home (3 weeks ago) and I'm having a complete meltdown like never before. I am having extreme anxiety especially in the AM, ruminating on negative thoughts, fits of crying (sometimes for hours), suicidal ideation (I won't do it because of my sister), complete self-doubt, absolute anguish.. I can't go on like this. I was never like this, before or during Lexapro. I feel no joy in my work (Which used to be so healing for me) or desire/ability to do what I need to... I'm exercising, meditating, I've tried so many supplements... There was one day of clarity when I took 5-HTP, but the next I was a nervous wreck again... I tried L-tryptophan later... I don't know what to do at this point, I've been so down that I caved and took a Prozac today as some people use it to get off of Lexapro, but I don't want the SSRI's anymore... Today I felt so tired and out of it, my moods are cycling like crazy... Of course it won't work in just a day, but I am so desperate to get away from these horrible feelings... My mom wants to send me to a rehab specializing in this type of thing, but it's insanely expensive and although I'm so grateful that she'd consider that I don't know if a month's worth of help can undo the years I was on the SSRI... Looking back at all of this I feel so ungrateful and unworthy of the goodness in my life that I know of, but cannot feel... I feel so lost and hopeless... Any input is greatly appreciated Lexapro 2007-Feb 2016
  17. Wondering if anyone has had problems with switching to liquid lexapro. i have been tapering off 5mg of lexapro (after 7 yrs at 10 mg i stopped too quickly 2 yrs ago and got very sick). over the past year i have gone from 5mg tablet to 1/4 tablet (1.25 mg) and now trying to use liquid. feeling more muscle tension, jaw clenching, carpal tunnel. i also am still dealing with gut issue. been tested for everything and all is good but 2-3 hrs after a bowel movement i can have dizziness, nausea, reflux, anxiety and increased hot flashes. days that i am constipated i have very low symptoms. tried Dr. Hinz amino acid protocol for 10 months and it was interesting, i had some very good days but ended up being very up and down on it so tapered off. it seemed to help some because once i got off it i felt better. now just trying to find some level of lex to feel ok on so i can continue with taper. i was playing around with cutting tablets up but hard to be accurate with that so my holistic dr. gave me script for the liquid. been 5 days at .70 mg and not sure if i need to go up a bit or just stay here for awhile. confusing since the muscle and gut sympoms are aggravated. when i initially went off 10 mg lex one thing i noticed was that the muscle issue and constipation went away. but then i got really sick - like really sick. so now i am perplexed as to why the muscle issue has returned. it was pretty low when i was tapering from 5 mg. had some ups and downs with it on the amino acid protocol. i am a bit freaked that my nervous system is damaged and really want to believe it can heal. it certainly has healed some. i am much better than i was a year ago when i couldnt even work. this is my first post - so alot of info. thanks!
  18. 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.
  19. StarEyes

    StarEyes

    Hi, I've been on 20mg Lexapro almost 20 years. I've tried 4 times to taper off, but I was cutting the dose 50% at a time; waiting weeks or as much as 9 months and then cutting another 50%. As soon as I got off, I would wind up totally unable to sleep and in fight or flight 24/7. From the information on this website, it looks like the tapering was far too rapid. I have managed to get off Klonopin and Trazadone in the past by pill-cutting without too much trouble. The last time I tried quitting Lexapro was a year ago with the help (and many, many supplements) from a naturopath, but, alas, with the same results. Until I saw The Withdrawal Project website and this site, it seemed I would need to stay on Lexapro forever, since all my attempts to get off it failed. Now that I see there's another way, I'm trying to decide whether to try the slow taper, or leave well enough along and stay on it, because I do feel good, despite some very annoying side effects. I had sleep and anxiety issues before I got on it, but not like I get after tapering off. It seems like I've made good mental health progress over the past 20 years with therapy, yoga, meditation and following a behavioral sleep program from a book, but maybe I need the support of the drug to feel good. As an aside, I have chronic back pain that is much better managed than it was in the past, but the very helpful bodyworker I see for it says the Lexapro is drying up the fascia and interfering with healing, so she'd like to see me get off it. My life is in a calm, non stressful place, for the most part. My question is: if I switched to liquid Lexapro and reduced my dose 5% a month, what do you think are the odds of a smooth ride off? Thanks in advance for your advice.
  20. Hello everybody. I was on lexapro 20mg for 20 months due to a high stress situation. after months of therapy for stress management I decided to come off lexapro as I felt I had dealt with the issues. Both my therapist and doctor came up with a 6 week taper method . I am now 6 1/2 months off and I am suffering dearly with severe anxiety , fear , depression , and a very odd depersonalized state , plus other symptoms. I know now I tapered way too fast and I am very much past the window for reinstatement. I've had to quit work and can barely function at all. I have noticed that everyday seems like it's getting worse. I used to get windows that were half of a day long , but those have stopped two weeks ago. I'm looking for hope and encouragement as I have a little girl who needs her daddy to be alive. I fear that I'm going to die or become severely disabled for EVER. I'm trying to accept that this will take a very long time to heal from , but I am very very scared that I'll never be the same. I don't take any other drugs , but I do use an ecig with only 1 mg of nicotine. which is about 5% of a regular cigarette. Is it normal to get worse after 6 months off ? Will it get even more worse later ? Does it reach a peak and then get better ? I am very grateful for this site. I only wish I found it before I chose to come off.
  21. Hello everyone! On February 1st of 2019 I began taking Lexapro 5mg which was prescribed to me by my doctor to help treat my anxiety which was causing chest pain. From my start date to February 5, 2019 I have experienced an abundance of horrible side effects which has taken a severe toll on me emotionally and mentally. I felt like I was going insane and losing touch with reality. I didn't know if I'll improve and I felt alone. I was not myself and was in a very scary place. I called my doctor and informed him of my well-being and he suggested that I discontinue my medication immediately. It has been around 90 hours since my last dosage and the whole process has been rather hard. Luckily I have a great support system of friends and family who are helping me get through all of this. Looking online for others who have experienced the same symptoms as me and there stories of quitting has resulted in very few results. Finding this community has made me happy knowing that I am not alone and that we are all on a journey together.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  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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