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  1. 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
  2. Hello everyone! I have been lurking on here for about 2 years just viewing everything and learning as much as possible. Here is my story and introduction! I was put on Lexapro about 1 1/2 years ago when I suddenly hit depression. I had super anxiety before depression but I didnt understand it. I had all these physical symptoms from stress (new job, new house, new wife, had two kids) such as digestive issues, brain fog, etc. etc. so I thought I was dying! I thought I had MS, Cancer, etc.. and I would google all the symptoms. I got in a vicious cycle of fear and worry that I could not get out of and then I hit depression. I really feel that it really started when I was put on antibiotics for a month because of a prostate issue I had. From there I stopped sleeping and was having panic attacks, anxiety, you name it I had it. So my doc put me on Lexapro 15mg and after about 2-3 months things went back to the way it was. I stopped caring and worrying and all my symptoms disapeared (for the most part) but I was able to deal with them better. About 1 year after being on Lexapro it was time to taper off. So about 4 months ago I have gone from 15mg to 1.80mg. 15mg to 10mg was a breeze. No withdrawals at all 10mg to 7.5mg was easy too. No withdrawals. 7.5mg to 5mg was also easy. Slight anxiety but really nothing big. 5mg to 3.75mg was also easy. Same which I got slight anxiety. 3.75mg to 2.5mg was harder. I felt I kept abusing marijuana and alcohol at this time. Anxiety and issues started slowly coming back, then I hit a good window for three weeks. 2.5mg to 1.25mg was hard. Weird physical symptoms came and I talked to my doc and he put me on the liquid version and wanted me to go back up to 2mg. I was on that for about a month and was continuing drinking and smoking marijuana but about a few week ago I just stopped. It was taking a toll on me and I when I smoked marijuana on lexapro I had no anxiety, but now when coming off it seems like it intensified withdrawals x 5. At the beginning of this week I went down to 1.80mg because something inside told me it was time. I was taking this b-complex and it was helping a little but I starting taking two a day and all my symptoms of withdrawals completely went non-existent. Not sure If I can share brand names so I wont unless someone allows me, but its not synthetic b-complex but made from holy basil, lemons, etc. It just has worked so well. Supplement stack now- Betain HCL - For digestion Acacia Gum- Prebiotic Cod liver oil - Omega 3's 2x B complex's Superfood Greens - Overall health I am going to my naturpathic/integrative doctor in a week to get a full vitamin panel done. Maybe its my hypochondria or my intuitions, but I want to get my vitamin levels checked to make sure I am not deficient to give my body the best possible healing it can have. I just find it so weird that this b-complex completely changed me so fast. I feel as if the years of stress has depleted my gut bacteria and vitamins and I am looking forward to getting things checked. Thats my story and thanks for having me everyone!
  3. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved. Currently I'm on 20mg Lexapro & wish to reduce it down to 15mg over the next three months. I find my concentration poor so I would I would be very grateful if you could give me information in simple terms even bullet points. I've been on Lexapro 11 years.This is my goal for 2016.
  4. 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
  5. Hello, everyone. I was going through a rough time in 2017. Went to see a psychiatrist in march 2017 and she prescribed me prozac. 7 days later, i began to experience my very first and most brutal panic attack that lasted all day. It was hell on earth. Dr switched me to lexapro. I am small and was informed lexapro was milder. I took 10mg. As my body adjusted i still felt panic attacks every now and then but they were nowhere near as bad as that 1st time. I got better and better and saw an amazing counselor who helped me through my issues. 1 year later (March 2018) i decided i was happy, mentally healthy and strong. I began to taper. 10mg to 5mg to 2.5mg to 1.75mg. It took me 4 months of tapering with minimal symptoms. I took my last dose on August 16, 2018. I was fine for 6 weeks. Maybe a headache here and there. A 20 min. panic attack sometimes but would be fine 2 hrs later. Well around mid September, i had to get teeth extracted was given amoxicillin. Turns out i was allergic because i grew hives and itched everywhere. I was given hydroxyzine (for itch relief and anxiety. Kind of like a strong benadryl. Took a 7day dose) Ever since my last dose of that hydroxyzine my panic attacks started to become more frequent and more intense. I've been exercising and eating small meals every 3hrs because that normally helps me. Last night (october 4, 2018) was brutal. I begged my family to take me to ER. My family was able to watch over me instead of ER. But the panic attack was so intense i kept thinking i was gonna faint and die. I couldn't lay down, but i couldn't move either. My eyes were so bloodshot and blurry. Today has been better but i feel weak from that experience. Eyes still blurry and bloodshot. My questions are: is it normal to experience intense withdrawal symptoms 6 weeks later? I always thought the withdrawals start from the last day of quitting. I took 10mg which i thought was a low dose. I had tapered slowly (4 months). Was it triggered by the hydroxyzine that was meant for itch relief?? How do you all go back to work if your symptoms last months even years? Please help. I'm so scared.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Healing

    Neuro-emotions

    For many reasons, our emotions are on a hair-trigger, amplified, and perseverative. We probably don't even know all of what's going on physically yet, but it includes diminished prefrontal lobe executive functions, rebound amygdala, dysregulated HPA, over-active adrenals, etc. The neuro-emotions include -- neuro-fear neuro-anger neuro-guilt neuro-shame neuro-hurt neuro-regret neuro-self-criticism neuro-grudge-holding ...and more! It is very, very confusing to have these intense neuro-emotions and try to remember that they are not what they appear to be. Emotions are compelling. Emotions during recovery from psych meds are even more compelling. Sometimes, the neuro-emotion is really totally artificial. Some of my neuro-fears have been so unlikely to come to pass as to bear no resemblance to reality or to my personal history. But, I think a lot of the time, part of what makes it so confusing is that there is a grain of reality to the neuro-emotion. For example, some situation might make you a bit angry under normal circumstances, but the neuro-anger is huge. This is when it's very difficult to 1) catch it in the first place and notice this is a neuro-emotion, 2) convince ourselves, yes, this is really a neuro-emotion, not a real emotion, 3) contain the emotion, try not to act on it, or channel the energy into something safe and constructive -- like exercise or journaling or building a birdhouse. Whenever you're having an intense, disturbing feeling, try to remind yourself that, right now -- even if it does have something to do with reality -- it is largely a neuro-emotion that you wouldn't be feeling if you were fully healed. And you *will* be fully healed. It's happening! Get ready!
  10. Hi, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have slowly been starting to wonder if what I’ve been going through the past 18 months is related to SSRI withdrawal. I managed to successfully withdraw from Lexapro at the end of 2010, after over 13 years of AD use. I had various fluctuating symptoms for a couple of months, but then apart from constant ringing in my ears and a return of occasional anxiety, I seemed to be ok. I was studying to be a chi-ball instructor, was exercising regularly, was eating healthy and was generally quite happy. After getting off Lexapro, I had been diagnosed with adult ADD and been put on medication for that. It worked well for a couple of weeks and seemed to completely cure what remained of my anxiety, but then I started to get extreme restlessness, OCD like symptoms, irritability and an increase in my sensitivity, to sounds and lights. I assumed it was a bad reaction to the stimulant medication. My life has been a confusing nightmare since the end of 2010 really, but until I found this site a couple of weeks ago, it really didn’t occur to me that my ongoing problems were being caused by a medication I stopped taking over 2 years ago. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life starting from an early age and have always been sensitive and anxious. There has been some violent crime and sexual abuse, but I seemed to be ok until I got myself into a psychologically abusive marriage. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and started on Zoloft. For a couple of years it took the edge off my anxiety, but I never thought I had depression, but the Zoloft just made me feel generally numb, so I endured my marriage, for several more years until it became unbearable, tried to communicate with my ex-husband so that things would improve, but he wasn’t interested in change, he was already in his next relationship and had been for a while, I didn’t know that at the time though. Then I went through about 4 years of extremely frightening separation/divorce and ongoing court proceedings. . There were other extremely stressful things I’ve had to deal with over the last 10 years, but I’m not going to go into details. I have been thinking that what I’m going through is a combination of long term stress, anxiety/depression, a ‘dark night of the soul’, menopause and/or some kind of spiritual transformation like kundalini, because I have engaged in various spiritual practises through my life. At times its felt like my CNS is completely burned out or that I have some kind of serious hormonal imbalance, but I gave up trusting the medical profession, including psychologists after years of not being able to get any help from any of them and only ending up feeling worse and that its all my fault for not trying hard enough. I’ve had lots therapy, counselling and done various support groups over the last 15 years, nothing has been any significant help. I went back to college to study psychology and started a business, but that all fell apart when the marital abuse became worse and the divorce proceedings began. Since finding this site, I’ve stopped taking all psychotropic medication, realizing that anything which effects my brain is having an exaggerated negative effect on my recovery. For a long time I’ve noticed that even small amounts of caffeine, half a glass of wine or even an anti-histamine will have a very bad effect on me, but I was thinking it was my imagination. I can’t even eat chocolate any more without suffering the next day. I’m exhausted all the time, but it’s a weird kind of fatigue, its like a combination mental/emotional tiredness, not like anything I’ve ever felt before. I spend most of my time at home, on the internet on my bed, just doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. Its very difficult just getting out to buy a few groceries, but when I do go out, I function perfectly in a kind of dissociated way, like I’m not even in my own body, I’m watching myself like from a distance, wondering who it is that’s behaving so ‘normally’ when I’m feeling so awful. Waves of negative emotions seem to get triggered by almost everything around me and almost every thought, I try not to think about things or do much of anything so I can avoid the emotional pain that thoughts or experiences bring, its like a kind of forced meditation. This symptom was at its worst from November 2011 – August 2012, but its not as bad now, seems to be settling down, I think its improved by about 50%. Please would someone take a look at the details in my signature and give me an opinion if protracted anti-depressant withdrawal might be a factor in my current health problems which include: Waking at 5am with racing thoughts Feeling like I haven’t slept at all Nausea, shaking, dizziness, body pressure, muscle twitches Waves of negative emotion Hot/cold flashes, sweating Constant ringing in my ears Sensitive to sound, light and smells Can’t watch TV or listen to the radio because its too stimulating Most things are too stimulating now, including being around other people too long Loss of appetite and loss of weight Hair falling out Agoraphobia, mostly during the day, I’m able to go out easier late afternoon towards evening Memory problems and mental confusion Loss of confidence. Loss of interest in doing anything or going anywhere Can’t get any pleasure out of things any more Loss of hope I needed to put more detail in my signature, but that’s all that would fit. From about 2006 – 2008 I was also taking duramine (a prescription stimulant weight loss med) to try and lose all the weight I’d put on from being on SSRI meds. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try and provide a clear picture of my situation. Thank you Petu
  11. Hi there, I was started on Remeron in July 2015 for sleeping difficulties due to worsening depression due to an abusive relationship. I attempted to cold turkey the Remeron in Nov 2015 and was up for 7 days. I was also experienced flu-like symptoms, severe anxiety and intense fear. I had to restart the Remeron per my MD suggestion. I was doing ok for a couple months but still battling with depression. By Feb 2016 I had sought out an intensive outpatient program for treatment. I was told it was ok to tape my Remeron AND Lexapro (I have been on an SSRI for 20 yrs, Prozac first, then Lexapro). I was tapered off Lexapro in 3 weeks and the hell began shortly there after. I began to experience the worst nausea of my life, insomnia, balance and co-ordination changes, visual distortion and blurriness, weakness in my arms and legs, burning in my arms and legs, headaches, persistent tinnitus. I was told to restart the Lexapro and to resume Remeron at 15 mg (I was down to 3.75 mg, too). I ended up in the ER 5 times with mild serotonin syndrome. Once discontinuation started my body was unable to tolerate the original doses of medication. After 3 months of literal torture, the inability to drive or work, testing by neurology, emergent ophthalmology, rheumatology, endocrinology and I am still suffering. My testing has come back normal. I had 2 brain MRI's, EEG, visual testing which most recently included a VEP for which I will see a neuropthalmologist at the end of the month. I am devastated. I was NEVER informed about Discontinuation Syndrome. The first time I presented to the ER they thought I was having a stoke. I would have never done such a rapid taper had I known that I could hurt myself in the process. I went from being a high functioning professional who worked out 5x/week to nearly bed-ridden. This has been the most devastating thing that could have ever happened. I was healthy before this. I had NEVER been in an ER. Has anyone else suffered this type of scenario? I feel so alone and broken by this entire process. The visual issues are the most upsetting to me. My vision is blurred and just not quite right I never had any issues with my vision until I attempted to wean off medication. Does anyone else have a similar story? Could you offer some hope. My eyes and vision are very important to me as I am sure they are important to everyone. I have this terrible feeling when I go out to a store or drive due to my vision. It's as if my perception of visual input is "delayed" by my brain. As if I it's not processing the information as quickly as it did before discontinuation set in. Anyone's story would be helpful. Thank you for listening. Peace and love.
  12. 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?
  13. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  14. Hi everyone, I'm not sure if people still get on this site but I really hope so cause my story is similar to many I've read on here. I started nursing school last fall and was very stressed and I was put on lexapro 10mg. About a month later I met an amazing guy. I absolutely adored him and we were head over heels for each other. About 7 months later we were making wedding plans and even talked about having kids not too far after. I decided to stop taking lexapro because I was so beyond happy and didn't think I needed them anymore. I quit cold turkey. Which I knew was bad but I thought I could handle it. I was okay for a while and then about a month later I can't explain what happened. It was like something in my brain literally snapped And I woke up one morning thinking I didn't love him anymore and questioning how I really felt about him. To say it was awful would be an understatement. I spent the next two days in bed crying and vomiting from panic. It was so bad. I finally one day broke down and told my mom the feelings I had been having, and she didn't understand and was trying to figure out what was going on. My whole family knew I was crazy in love with him and this just didn't make any sense. It's been 3 months since then and my feelings will come and go. Some days it's almost back to the old feelings where I know I wanna grow old with him but the next day I'll wake up crying and not wanna get out of bed. I seriously do not know what's going on in my body right now. I just want to be completely in love with him again. This is the most gut wretch in and heartbreaking thing I think I have ever gone through. This is not me. I just hope it's my head trying to get balanced out and once it does everything will go back to normal. Any advice or words would be great. I would not wish this on anyone but it does give me some hope reading other people who have had the same issues with this drug. Thanks so much in advance!
  15. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  16. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  17. MRothbard

    MRothbard: Intro

    Hi Everyone, I've been on and off these drugs for about 7 years. I had almost quit them for good when after taking steroids for an ear infection anxiety returned with a vengeance. This was september 2014. I cut my Lexaprop dose in half about a month ago and seem to be doing fine with it.I'm now taking 10mg of Lexapro and 30mg of Mirtazipine. About a month ago I was feeling sleepy and unmotivated all the time and started drinking coffee again, and then alcohol in the evening. I also thought I could handle cutting the Mirtazipine in half too. Nope. Anxiety and intrusive thoughts big time. ​I've since gone back to my 30 mg dose or Mirt. Quit coffee and alcohol altogether. Eventually I'd like to be off these things but now is probably not the time to start tapering. I'd like to be more stable first. I'm on this forum to get advice on how to do that when the time comes and also to help however I can. Thank you.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Hi All! Sorry for long post, but I just wanted to share my whole story. I've been following this site since my last taper.. but was hoping I would never need to post here for advice.. but here I am... I started Lexapro around 2009 due to depression that was caused by external factors. I was having family issues and struggling in college. I started drinking a lot and smoking cigarettes... that's when I thought something might be wrong with me so after talking to some friends, they recommended I go to a doctor. Well, I ended up at the university's psychiatrists office a left with a prescription of Lexapro. Not sure when I ended up on 20mg but I'm sure I started out with 10mg at 1st. I stayed on the Lexapro even though I still had major depressive episodes in college. I thought I needed the Lex because of the depression, but I later (recently) learned my depression got worse because of the Lexapro. I drank alcohol and smoked weed and cigarettes while on Lexapro. It wasn't until years later that I realized that drinking alcohol caused issues with the Lexapro which made me more depressed. My psychiatrist never warned me about drinking on it.. even though I told him that I did drink on it... However, he was very against weed... I think the only reason I graduated college with an engineering degree is because of weed. It helped me get through all of the hard times and kept my mind at bay. Fast forward... I finally decided to get off the Lexapro right after college. 2013- 1st taper 20mg to 10mg in 2weeks ----------(Got brian zaps. Dr said to stay on Lex) This was a bad idea because I was still drinking. I got a DUI because I tried to speed home late at night because I knew I had to take the Lexapro early in the morning or else I would have a bad hangover. Decided to go back to full dosage so I could handle the DUI situation... The next time I tried to taper, I was doing great in life. Still smoking weed but I cut down alcohol drastically. 2015- 2nd taper 20mg to 15mg to 10mg by 1month on each dose ----------(Got chest pains, Dr said to live with chest pains forever or continue Lexapro) I got scared so I decided to stay on Lexapro... The second reason was because I just broke up with my girlfriend and I was about to start traveling for work... I needed to be functional for work travel. This is where my Dr said I had a General Anxiety Disorder and should stay on the Lexapro my whole life.... yea I didn't believe that but I felt hopeless at the time. 2017/2018- 3rd taper 20mg to 15mg to 10mg by 3months on each dose ----------(Thought I had a seizure, GP Drs said it was not one but probably low blood sugar or pressure. Psychiatrist said to stay on 20mg Lexapro "just to be safe" and focus on quitting smoking 1st) This was the best taper I was doing. However, ever since one night I got dizzy, slowly fell to the floor and my whole body shivered. I got up, used the bathroom (#2), had a panic attack, and then I felt fine afterward so I went to bed. That had me scared. My GP said it was not a seizure since I got up right away. I'm sure it was from smoking to fast and dehydration most likely. I told my psychiatrist and he said to focus on quitting cigs 1st. And that I should stay on Lexapro 20mg for life. This horrible psychiatrist prescribed me benzos to help quit smoking cigs (yea replace 1 drug for another horrible one). I quit drinking alcohol as well. 2018- New psychiatrist. 20mg to 15mg (3weeks) to 10mg(2.5weeks) to 7.5mg(2weeks) to 5mg(2weeks) to 2.5mg(weeks).. now at 0mg since July 27th 2018 ----------(Fast taper due to side effects on full dose or else I would have tapered extremely slower.. starting smoking cigs again to help get through the withdrawals.. now regretting that decision) So I finally quit smoking cigs after 10years. I was smoke-free for two months! Then it all went downhill from there... I started to experience side effects from the Lexapro. Horrible insomnia, night sweats, dry mouth, sensitivity to light and sound... I knew this was not from quitting cigs because I was done with the withdrawals from them. I didn't sleep for almost a week. No natural supplements helped... I panicked. I emailed my psychiatrist and told him what was going on. He said...." THERE ARE NO SIDE EFFECTS FROM THIS MEDS AND IT'S JUST MY ANXIETY"... That's when I knew I had to switch psychiatrist. It took me a while to book an appointment because most were a month waiting list... I panicked more. I started to smoke cigs again to help me finally come off the meds... I didn't know what else to do... Finally found a new psychiatrist and we made a taper plan. We made a taper plan for 3months. 20-15-10-5-0mg.. Well we did the 3month plan but with different dosages. (I didn't tell him I started it for depression but I was on it for anxiety disorder. I also said I was on it for 7years and not almost 9years. To be honest, I was scared he wouldn't help me if I told him exactly why)... I had to take 1 Trazodone one night to finally sleep after a week of no sleep. I used that to restore my sleep schedule. I do not take Trazadone. I had withdrawals/side effects all the way from 20mg to 0mg. Most common symptoms were insomnia and anxiety. Here is a list of other symptoms: Fatigue, dizziness, nausea, muscle twitches, itching, dry eyes (went to an ophthalmologist twice for this one), depression, dry mouth, chest pains, dry itchy throat, mucus in chest and throat. I have been off it for a 5 week now. Now I have constant anxiety.. it is very hard to focus at work without taking a smoke break every hour. I am worried that I smoke way too many cigs now. about 15 a day... I cannot help it at all due to fatigue, stress, and the constant anxiety. I really want to stop smoking cigs but right now is just impossible to cut down and even stop... I tried vaping but the JUUL makes my eyes hurt and the regular vapes just don't do anything. My parents suggested I stick with regular cigarettes bc my body is used to that... I applied for Medical Marijuana. I received my card about a week ago. Have been using high CBD low THC for a week now but doesn't seem to help much. I am going to continue trying medical CBD to see if that helps after some time. I have 5htp but I am scared to try it. I will be seeing a Chinese Herbal doctor/ acupuncturist tomorrow to see if that help. I take GNC multivitamins and fish oil as I have heard that helps with withdrawals. I use high CBD-low THC tincture morning and night. Also, smoke high CBD weed to help with sleep. I feel better at night and I can go to bed now using weed and Bramhi (ayurvedic medicine) with milk. I am hopeless as I don't know what to do... Should I try to reinstate on a lower dosage? Should I go on another AD and try to stabilize on that and work on quitting smoking cigs again? Any advice and or suggestions, please? Thank you, -Cloud23
  21. This is my first time posting in a forum because my psychiatrist told me three months is generally the end of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were on a low dose like I was. Yet I'm still having bad symptoms. I was on Lexapro for about 15 months at 5mg with one month trying 10mg only to drop back down because of bad side effects. Now after nearly four months off the main thing I have is severe anxiety around my period. Two-three days before and lasting through the week after. I get shaky, anxious, panicky, have pressure and pain in my head and face, sore throat. Is this a normal reaction? It seems extreme for four months off of only 5mg, but since I couldn't up to 10mg maybe I'm more sensitive to this type of med? I know this can't last forever but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm literally incapacitated for almost two weeks per month.
  22. Hi, I am new to this side, but unfortunately not new to antidepressants. In 2010 I managed to tapper Effexor, which took me more than two years. I made a terrible mistake and around 2 months ago I have started taking escitalopram. I was fulled by a psychiatrist that this is a safest antidepressant, which does not cause any side effects. I have also been on low dose of Doxepin at night to prevent migraines (this has been for over 2 years, but never caused any major problems...) I started on 5mg of escitalopram and I was ok on this, my anxiety stopped, I slept better, etc. Two weeks ago I increased to 10mg and this is when symptoms started. Firstly it was a weird sensation, each morning I was getting "pins and needles" in my arms, this was going away after getting up. Then I started sleeping badly...I wanted to cut back to 5mg, but a psychiatric said that it was only temporary, so I have stay on 10mg. In the meantime, I had a migraine and took my usual triptan; I almost got serotonin syndrom (at least I think)...This was the time I started to read about escitalopram and discovered horror stories... I want to stop this drug! I wonder if I have taken it for so short I could go with a faster than 10% tapper? Can I cut to 5mg straight away? Thank you Ikam
  23. It has been 8.5 weeks since I ct'd off 30 mgs of generic lexapro and 2mg of Abilify. I was depressed because my father who lived with us had died and marriage was getting rocky from the stress. I had been taking the generic lexapro for 2 years. This doctor added Abilify in Jan '16. I trusted her. I was depressed over life issues. I have no previous mental health diagnosis other than some anxiety which I had taken Xanax over the past 5 years. Most .5 three times per day. varied in usage - often less. I quickly became dysfunctional and family doctor prescribed .5 Ativan twice per day or I would have died. I have only become a bit more functional. but barely. I don't know what to do. I am very scared.
  24. Hi, About 12 years ago I took lexapro 10mg for 18 months and tapered completely off in one month. I had terrible brain zaps, loss of appetite, and was uncomfortable in my skin for about two weeks. I was ok for almost one year and then started having panic attacks, which I contributed to going through menopause. The panic attacks were dibilitating, so I went back on lexapro 10mg, and they stopped very quickly. I took lexapro for another 9+ years (never a good time to go off as I was expecting the brain zaps). I had tried to go off several times over the years but never made it. This time I titrated completely off AND after finding this site I believe I did it too fast. I dropped to 5mg for about one month, then 2.5mg for another month and then stopped. Since stopping I have had bouts with insomnia, feeling like crying all the time, and loss of appetite, but the most concerning symptoms have been a constant feeling of pressure in my chest that is sometimes knife like, and goes through to my back, feeling short of breath (my oxygen readings at the doctor's are good though, at 99%), feeling shaky (innercore shaky) all the time and sometimes my heart rate runs between 125-146, and I have had the chills (acutally more like fluctuations in my thermostat, too hot then too cold, but mostly too cold) I have had and EKG (normal), chest XR (normal) and blood work (normal). I've been on prednisone for possible pleurisy (did nothing to stop the chest pain) and then an antibiotic for possible unknown infection????? (did nothing) The most common stuff has been ruled out. Now the doc wants to do a CT scan. Has anyone else had chest pain (pressure), an increased heart rate, and chills? I know that anxiety and panic attacks can mimic a heart attack and it feels like my body is in a constant panic attack state but without dizziness or lightheadness, or an acute sense of doom. Could it be related to gastrointestinal issues caused by the withdrawl? It's constant no matter what I eat and that hasn't been much. It makes sense to me that my autonomic nervous system could be wacked out and that could account for the temperature fluctuations and the constant feeling of being in fight or flight mode. or....do I continue doing tests???? I have always been healthy. Normal weight, low healthy blood pressure, glucose levels normal, no chronic diseases, I exercise 3-5 times a week and eat 80% healthy with lots of fiber! I don't drink or smoke. I had a normal cardiac stress test 2 years ago (when I went in for chest pain that turned out to be a painc attack, even on lexapro) I'm on no other medications. Anyone else experience this chest pressure and/or increased heart rate? Thanks, GardenShed
  25. 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.
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