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  1. First I want to thank this community for providing such critical support to so many in need of informed guidance. I am here to seek advice for reinstating after having tapered of Lexapro WAY too fast (throwing my brain off a bridge). This was my second time on Lexapro for anxiety/depression with a starting dose of 5 mg for 5 months, increase to 10 mg for 5 months. Though Lexapro worked for me the first time (from 2008-2016 at 10 mg) , this second time around it hasn't worked nearly as well to address my anxiety and associated light insomnia. As a result, I decided to take myself off Lexapro (which I realize I should not have done without guidance.) After my taper, I felt okay for about 5 weeks. But around week 6 I started having anxiety and insomnia like I have never experienced before. I tried to ride it out but when severe depression set it, I decided I needed help. Since we had moved overseas during this time, I had to find a new psychiatrist. She put me on Paxil 10 mg, which significantly increased my anxiety and depression so much she took me off after a week. She then put me back on Lexapro 5 mg, which seemed to kick off severe insomnia - 5 nights with less than 2 hours sleep. Now she wants me to stop Lexapro and start Mirtazapine 15 mg since she says it will help with insomnia and weight loss (I am about 8 pounds underweight.). Having read through several SA threads and guides, I think it might be better if I just try and stabilize with the Lexapro. Though perhaps that window has closed and I should just switch to Mirtazapine and stabilize on that for several months before planning your advised 10% taper. I appreciate any guidance.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Hi! English is not my first language so I apologize if my texts are confusing, same with my signature. I quit the last 5 mg escitalopram/cipralex 3 weeks ago. When I went down from 10 to 5 mg nothing got better so I started reading about tardive dysphoria which made me very eager to quit my medication completely. I also found out about 6 months ago that quitting 5 mg at a time is way too drastic for someone who has been using the medication for years, but I figured i'd just endure this last time. The problem is that I've now found out from reading on this site and on other places that some of the side effects might become permanent. So my question now is, should I go back up to 5-4 mg, and then slowly go down 1 mg at a time from there? Or should I just wait this out when it has already been 3 weeks. I'm willing to wait it out if it gets better. But if there are big risks about doing what i'm doing right now i'm gonna go back up if that's your advice. Ps: I do feel horrible physically and mentally and can practically not be around people, but as I said i'm willing to endure it if it gets better. I can't trust my doctors anymore, they want to make me go back up to max dosage with both voxra and cipralex + start giving me more benzo for no good reason. Which is why I'm asking here, the people here seem to have good knowledge about this. TL;DR: Go back up to 5 mg and go down 1 mg at a time or endure this and wait for it to get better?
  5. 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.
  6. Hi! I just joined this site. I'm currently on my 9th out of 25 radiation treatments for stage 2b breast cancer. I've completed a double mascetomy, 4 bi-weekly treatments of A/C Chemo treatments, 12 weekly treatments of Taxo (Chemotherapy) and am now going through radiation treatment. Afterwards, I will be on AI, a type of hormone blockers for estrogen/progesterone positive, HER2-, breast cancer. I started on 10 mg of lexapro while going through chemotherapy. I don't want to be on this forever. I would like some advise for anyone else that is in my situation. I know my brain is starting to heal from the chemo and I'd like it to heal also from using lexapro. What is the safest way to get off of this? Is there any tapering strips that are available for us in the U.S.? Or is measuring the dry pill powder and liquid versions the only way. It all seems so complicated. I started at the beginning of October 2019. This will be my sixth month being on it. Please help? My mind is so consumed with not only cancer but now this drug. I just want the easiest way to do it and from what I've read, reducing by 10% weight seems the best way to do this. But, do I need to purchase empty gel capsules to make at least four weeks of one dose for each taper? Thanks for any help and suggestions!
  7. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
  8. Success story: karenrose-i-successfully-came-off-after-years-of-trying Hi everyone. It is great to have a forum like this. I am so grateful to find qualified help. I was given an antidepressant 13 years ago to help with a deep depression that no psychotherapy or alternative approach would help with. Paxil was a godsent at the time. However, with my first attempt to come off, I learned how destructive these drugs can be and had to go to Cymbalta, then Lexapro. I came off again, this time with aminoacids and was succesful for about 6 months. I got very depressed again and went back on Lexapro. After several traumatic events I learned that I had Hashimoto's and finally understood how to treat this. My depression abated. Over the last two years I have tapered off Lexapro - very difficult, but succesful to the point that I am now on 1mg instead of 45. I am struggling with the last mg and have horrible symptoms when I try to go off. Looking in this forum to try to find ways to taper more slowly off 1mg. Will elaborate on this later. This is my quick intro for now. Thank you so much for this life saving forum.
  9. I’m a man in my early 40’s. I grew up an athlete and all around good kid. I learned how to drink in my late teens within the binge drinking culture, and continued to binge drink from probably late 17 to early 40. I could rarely drink casually. I wanted to drink to feel good. I wanted to drink to get drunk. For years, I would binge maybe once or twice a week, as I was poor and still pretty physically fit. Not every day, but toward the end, I was drinking pretty much every day. I drank all through my time on SSRI’s as well. I absolutely CRAVED alcohol when I was on Lexapro. Outside of alcohol, I smoked some pot a handful of times in my late teens and early 20's, but that was a short lived phase. Around 1999, (I was in my early to mid 20’s), my Dr. put me on Paxil. I was suffering some depression following a relationship breakup. I can't recall much about it, other than I wasn't on it for long. I gained a bunch of weight and didn't think it was doing much for me. He had me quit cold turkey, and I don't believe I had many, if any withdrawal symptoms. In 2001, I got engaged to my now wife, Kim, and had some pretty major obsessive and anger issues. I was drinking more regularly at this time and I'd carried baggage into our relationship. When we would argue or fight, I'd get all wound up and become fixated on things that I couldn't let go of. I'd drive them into the ground and keep on driving them. My Dr. suggested Celexa. He either started me on 10 or 20mg, not sure. It seemed to work. In 2002-2004, a friend of mine was on Celexa too, and was switched to Lexapro because it supposedly had more of what we needed and less of what we didn't. I asked my Dr. if I could make the switch too and he switched me to Lexapro, 20mg. I tried a handful of times over the years to come off, but would become a wreck. I didn't know any better, so I tried cold turkey the first few times. Every time, I went back on. Dr's would ask me why I was trying to stop taking it and tell me that it was like a vitamin for some people, that I just needed to take it. Like a diabetic needs insulin, I had a deficiency and I needed my Lexapro, is what they'd tell me. I heard along the way that SSRI's should be tapered off of, not quit cold turkey. Somewhere in there, within the last 5 to 7 years, I went from 20mg to 10mg, by biting my pills in half. I didn't suffer too much, so I stayed at 10mg. 2013-2014, I took on a big home addition project that put me under an immense amount of stress. I was drinking heavily, and pretty much daily. When it came to an end, I decided to clean up my act. I had tried to stop drinking several times over the years, but couldn't. I went to AA meetings, but thought that 'Those People' had some serious problems, I just drank too much. In the summer of 2015, I missed a few days of my Lexapro for whatever reason, so when I started taking it again, I bit my pills in quarters and only took 5mg. I did this for a month or two and then went to zero. I felt weepy and cried from time to time and thought I was having a heart attack one day after drinking a couple of energy drinks and getting my skidloader stuck in a creek behind my house. I came inside and sat down. The feeling passed in time and I continued on. Late October of 2015, I got really drunk at a bonfire that we had for our kids birthdays. We had taken on new friends from church and homeschooling stuff, and they all looked at me like I was the odd ball. It was a party, and I was there to party. That night, I was SO sick. I slept beside the toilet on the cold tile floor. The next day or two were Hell. I got on my hands and knees and begged Jesus to take the burden of my drinking away. I'd never prayed so hard in my life. Something happened. Something changed in me. Jesus Christ answered my prayers. I completely lost my desire to binge drink. So, I quit drinking. Just after Christmas 2015, I had my 1st 'Episode'. I was stressed out about everything. I had been a complete ******* recently. Before bed one night, I was bawling because I thought we were ruining one of our sons by the way we were treating him. Yelling, and such. When I tried to go to sleep, as I'd drift off, my whole body would jolt like I was getting struck by lightning. My brain and body would jump into fight of flight mode. I was having extreme abstract intrusive thoughts and my anxiety was off the charts. I didn't know what was going on and could not get any sleep. I thought I was suffering alcohol withdrawal, or even PTSD from the home project, but I couldn't find anything on jolts and alcohol withdrawal or PTSD on the Internet. Whatever it was, I was in total mania and panic. 3 days and nights of this and I started having my first ever suicidal ideations, so I checked myself into the hospital. I was SO scared!!! I was there through the 2016 New Year, and given an Ambien the last night I was there. I actually slept!!! I met with a psychiatrist, therapist and my DO Dr. regularly afterward. The psych started me out on Prozac and something else that acts as a helper. Maybe Wellbutrin? I didn't like how they made me feel, so I asked to be put back on Lexapro because I knew it had worked for me before. He switched me to Lexapro, wanting me to take 20mg, but I only took 10mg because I knew I eventually wanted to get completely off the stuff. After a while, I leveled out and felt good again. I still wasn't binge drinking, but I could and would have a beer or two occasionally because I wanted the taste, not because I wanted the buzz. I had maybe 5 beers in that first year, total. Zero hard alcohol. And about the same for the next 2 years following. I can actually have a beer or two casually and not want to binge. Right now though, I am not drinking a drop of alcohol. The summer of 2018, I've really cleaned up my act. I'm back in the gym regularly, eating pretty darn healthy, not drinking and feeling pretty darn good. My 25 year class reunion was coming up in June and I got stressed or felt weird about it for whatever reason. A couple of days out from it, and I had my 2nd 'Episode'. Not quite as bad as the 1st, but pretty darn bad. Since my 1st, I had determined that it was more due to SSRI withdrawal than it was alcohol withdrawal or PTSD, so I couldn't figure this 2nd one out. I was on a steady dose of Lexapro 10mg a day and took it like clockwork. I weathered the storm that lasted about 7 days. It was almost identical to my 1st, except the brain/body jolts weren't quite as bad. I started working with a Naturopathic Dr. that has been treating our son for a few years. My Naturopathic Dr. started me on a remedy of arsenicum album and a bunch of vitamins and probiotic. I told her that one of my goals was to get completely off of Lexapro. About a month into treatment, I'd leveled out and met with my Dr. again. She asked if I still wanted to quit Lexapro and I said yes. So in July 2018, I started splitting my pills again and went from 10mg to 5mg. THIS WAS A MISTAKE!!! It was too much, too quickly. I had my 3rd 'Episode' in July or August. I had my 4th 'Episode' in mid-October. My 5th in November (Thanksgiving), and now my 6th over Christmas. They still last about 7 days, but they're getting closer together and I'm not fully recovering from the last one before I roll into the next one. I'm still on 5mg of Lexapro (but full 5mg pills now) and all of my vitamins, probiotic, and my remedy from my Naturopathic Dr. I've lost a ton of weight that yo-yo's between when I'm doing well and not doing well. When I'm in the throes of an 'Episode' I completely lose my appetite. I have to force feed myself. I wake up around 3:30 with my first jolt or adrenaline rush and extreme anxiety, unable to go back to sleep due to other jolts and abstract intrusive thoughts and extreme anxiety. I go to suicidal thoughts pretty quickly now because I'm exhausted from all of this and am going quite mad. I am completely restless and go from pacing the floors to crying and praying to God, to hugging and telling my wife how scared I am and how much I love her. I LOVE God and my family and do NOT want to kill myself. It is sickening to know how suicidal I am feeling.
  10. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - Nolongeranxiousbut: lexapro/klonopin which to taper... see pdoc tomorrow hi all, I'm a new member. I had a medical incident (still dealing with but a lot has gotten better) that caused anxiety and insomnia back in October. Things got worse and I started medicines with a psychiatrist Jan 2nd for the first time. Was started on klonopin and Lexapro. Tapered lexapro two weeks up to 10mg. Klonopin was also increased to try and help with sleep up to 1.125 mg a day - 1 mg at night and .125 in the morning. Didn't help sleeping through the night. I did have 5 days above 1.125 mg a day - 1 day at 1.75, 1 day at 1.625 and 3 days at 1.25. Those were nighttime increases to 1.25 and 1.5 which didn't help. My pdoc is new (less than 1.5 years in practice) and had only ever heard of a klonopin withdrawal once when one of her 20+ year patients at .5mg at night didn't get her script refilled. She believes I feel what I feel from my one klonopin cut - down to .75 at night setting alarm to take at 2:30 in the morning as found Feb 21 that I no longer had anxiety keeping me from falling asleep which was a huge improvement and I enjoy sleeping naturally 4 hours... but hate getting up to take the required klonopin - she said... you can cut from 1 mg to 0! so no issue cutting .75 to .5 uhm, no. I had brain fog some of those early post-taper days but now down to headaches mostly from jaw clenching and gassiness (treating with beano and gasX). No increased anxiety. The stomach and jaw clenching (saw dentist and fitted for night lower mouthguard which I'll get this week) but also feel like want to clench and have to focus not to clench during day - started Feb 19th. I dropped the klonopin 10 Feb. I did go back up to 1 mg a night Feb 18 and 19 and .875 at night Feb 20. I had been sleeping with addition of benadryl and it had dried out my mouth so I had stopped and was hoping the klonopin .25 early in the evening would help with falling asleep. Anyhow... my pdoc doesn't think the jaw clenching is from the klonopin drop and wants me to reduce my lexapro. She suggested 10mg to 7.5mg but was open to liquid so I have 5mg pills and 1mg/ml liquid now. I haven't started. I still have good/bad days of headaches and gassiness - mostly don't start until late afternoon and better by the time I go to bed. The last 3 days I had two days completely good and then yesterday with headache and stomach upset from the gassiness. Has anyone here had relief reducing lexapro from 10 to 7.5 for jaw clenching? With two drugs it's hard to really know which it's from. If I drop I'll only do 5 or 10% on the lexapro and hold to wait to see if withdrawal symptoms. But I've also been trying to decide if I should try and reduce the klonopin a little more. So hard to figure out what to do first! And I expect I should wait longer although I read the stomach problems might be long term so not sure I can outwait that if I want to do another taper of something.
  11. My story is a little different....at 33 years old, I quit smoking. About 6 months later, I ran into a situation that required me to confront someone. As that time approached, I became increasingly anxious about my ability to handle the situation....to the point I went to my doctor for help. He immediately threw 20 mg of Prozac at me which I started taking, not knowing or having been told to taper “on” the drug. In a matter of days, the mild anxiety I was experiencing morphed into catastrophic anxiety....I lost my mind. (I now know, after genetic testing, that my body did not produce enough “glutathione”, a major antioxidant that we need to detox and process chemicals) ....I needed help. I left my GP and sought out the top Psychiatrist in my city...By this time, I was such a mess due to the effects of the Prozac, I was diagnosed with GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I came off the 20 mg of Prozac and we tried several other types of antidepressants over the following months....Each one effecting me the same way. I finally ended up back on 5 mg of Prozac...over much time, my body eventually regulated and absorbed the medication, I healed from the experience and thrived. Over the last 20 years I ran into a few occasions that required the medication to be increased....Again, I would lose my mind! It would take weeks, sometimes months for my brain to absorb and metabolize the increase of Prozac...I was told this was happening because I was “sensitive” to antidepressants and that I’d have to tough it out because I needed to be on them forever. Still not knowing about my lack of the major antioxidant, and hating the Prozac, I suggested to my doctor that we try another brand...He switched me to Lexapro in 2014...same story...massive anxiety...barely surviving...but finally after weeks/months I regulated and made it through to better times. All this time I prayed fervently that God would tell me when I could come off of these horrid drugs that were on the verge of destroying my life....My father and grandfather had both taken their lives. I didn’t want to continue this legacy. I had managed to build a beautiful family and a solid marriage....all I wanted to do is live without the meds....my biggest prayer for myself and enjoy the blessings bestowed upon me. In the spring of 2019, after 20 years, I heard what I was waiting for...not audibly, but in my spirit I heard that it was time. I could come off this medication. I started in March with a razor blade, scraping off “dust” from the 10 mg of Lexapro. I had heard of withdrawals from antidepressants but thought if I took it extra slow I could avoid them..I tapered all year. If I started to develop withdrawal symptoms, I would stop tapering and camp where I was at for awhile until I stabilized. I was doing it! All went well until August of last year. I had gotten down to 2.5 mg and thought I could stop there. So I did. After 4 days I started getting nauseous and dizzy. I called my doctor and told him what I was doing...(He didn’t know I was tapering off...he was the one who told me I would be on them for life) He called in liquid Lexapro and told me to go back on where I left off (2.5 mg) and taper more slowly. The problem with this is...the medicine level had dropped in my system so with the reintroduction of the medicine, I LOST MY MIND YET AGAIN! I became almost suicidal...but I stuck with it. I slowly tapered completely off with the liquid and took my last dose on November 11, 2019. Here I am 4 1/2 months out. If you are on this site, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it has been. I will say that in tapering off that slow (over 8 months) I didn’t experience the brain zaps and nausea as well as some of the other symptoms but I have experienced constant anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, dips of depression and hopelessness at times. I’ve needed constant affirmation from my support group that all that I’m going through are withdrawal symptoms and that I’m NOT relapsing or going crazy. I pushed through even the hardest of days and have not missed a day of work since that last day of meds in November. A friend of mine suggested that I go see her a Integrative Doctor about the time that I reinstated the 2.5 mg due to the withdrawals in August which turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in all of this. This doctor did the genetic testing and found out the root of why I was losing my crap every time the meds were increased and promptly started me on Gluathione IV’s as well as a cream and started me on a protocol of supplements and an anti inflammatory diet (no gluten, dairy, processed foods, or sugar) He also ran a sensitivity test to find out what other foods I was allergic or sensitive to. Did you know that 70 plus % of your serotonin is manufactured your gut? So it is imperative to heal your gut for optimal serotonin production. I will list the supplements that I’m on...of course these are taylored for me and my genes.....B2, B6, B9, B12 (shots), Magnesium Malate, Lithium Orotate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, 3 different probiotics (Megaspore, Florassist Mood Improve, Restore) Lemon Balm tincture, melatonin, and the mother of them all, 5HTP (converts directly into serotonin). I am 4 1/2 months out...I’m about 85-90% healed and my symptoms are decreasing consistently. I’m certain that I will reach 100% at some point this year...but am still having good days and bad days..Aside from the Integrative medicine, the things that have helped me most are: devotions and reading my Bible every morning, journaling, EXERCISING EVERY DAY, drink a lot of water to keep your mind sharp and to detox, anti inflammatory diet, routine, talking to my counselor, and TRYING to get as much sleep as possible....This is hard, because everyone I’ve talked to going through this is NOT sleeping. I don’t want to but I take Benedryl to sleep, however, I have been able to cut back on some of it. I am so thankful and encouraged by the bravery and courage of all of the warriors on this website and looking forward to hearing your success stories. Thanks for reading my story. Blessings to you all...ByTheGrace
  12. Hi, I am new to this side, but unfortunately not new to antidepressants. In 2010 I managed to tapper Effexor, which took me more than two years. I made a terrible mistake and around 2 months ago I have started taking escitalopram. I was fulled by a psychiatrist that this is a safest antidepressant, which does not cause any side effects. I have also been on low dose of Doxepin at night to prevent migraines (this has been for over 2 years, but never caused any major problems...) I started on 5mg of escitalopram and I was ok on this, my anxiety stopped, I slept better, etc. Two weeks ago I increased to 10mg and this is when symptoms started. Firstly it was a weird sensation, each morning I was getting "pins and needles" in my arms, this was going away after getting up. Then I started sleeping badly...I wanted to cut back to 5mg, but a psychiatric said that it was only temporary, so I have stay on 10mg. In the meantime, I had a migraine and took my usual triptan; I almost got serotonin syndrom (at least I think)...This was the time I started to read about escitalopram and discovered horror stories... I want to stop this drug! I wonder if I have taken it for so short I could go with a faster than 10% tapper? Can I cut to 5mg straight away? Thank you Ikam
  13. LCatherine Hello, I am 25 and sometimes feel that my life is over because of Lexapro that was only taken for just shy of two months. I don't know where else to turn, my family and doctors do not believe me and my friends have never been through this hell, so they don't understand. I was a healthy, happy girl for 24 years. Mild anxiety, mild depression, but no severe mental health issues, especially compared to what I've experienced over the last 9 months. It started in September of 2019 when I decided to go on a hormonal birth control for the first time in years. Horrible mistake, I was immediately hit with crippling anxiety and waves of panic attacks. I could barely leave my home and cried all of the time because I didn't know what was happening. I had to go to work so I saw my primary care doctor and he prescribed me Zoloft. I had taken Zoloft roughly a year and a half prior for mild depression (again, NOTHING compared to what I've experienced recently) and it made me feel okay at the time so I thought I would give it another shot. It heightened my anxiety and made me very suicidal the second time, I believe because my hormones were out of whack so it wasn't really ME that it was treating if that makes sense. I went back to my doctor after only taking it for a week and he prescribed me 5mg Lexapro. This was the beginning of October. The first few days I thought maybe it was working, my anxiety was down and I felt calm. Something was instantly not right though, and I felt extremely off. I wrote in my journal that when I was speaking it felt like it was not really me, like there was a space between my thoughts and my words. My inner dialogue was completely silenced which was terrifying. Brain fog set in, things didn't connect or make sense, I felt nothing. I couldn't eat, I couldn't leave my bed and the next two months were a blur that I still have trouble remembering. My head constantly hurt, my ears rang, my vision was compromised, I was dizzy all of the time, had severe depersonalization/derealization and it felt like I had severe inflammation of the brian. I had adverse side effects and it truly felt like I was in hell. I was bumped up to 10mg despite feeling horrible. On Thanksgiving I was sitting with my mom and childhood best friend and her mother. I didn't care if I died, if they died, I just wanted to disappear and I knew I had to get off of Lexapro. I didn't have proper medical guidance and stopped cold turkey. It's been 5 months since stopping, and I would love to say that everything is back to normal, however that is not the case. The bizarre brian sensations, which I later learned were brain zaps, have subsided, but I still have horrible brain fog, waves of DP/DR, my inner voice is much quieter than it once was, and when I get stressed or anxious I feel like I may pass out. I still have ringing in my ears and eye floaters. I have been to the ER several times, I had an MRI done and multiple tests and everything came back fine. I have seen two different psychiatrists who just pushed more drugs, most of which I did not take. I did take a low dose of Amitriptyline briefly but stopped because it made me feel sort of manic and had other weird side effects. I should mention that I have been very sensitive to medication my entire life. I asked my psychiatrist if Lexapro could still be causing these symptoms and he said no, that when people come off of antidepressants they experienced flu like symptoms for 1-2 weeks and then are fine. I had to do research myself, because I never experienced any of these symptoms until I took Lexapro. I could feel it destroying my brain, and it has not recovered. It feels as if my nervous system is wrecked. I take fish oil, D3 daily and occasionally magnesium. My mom believes that the symptoms I'm experiencing are caused from breast implants that I got when I was 22, although I had them for years with no side effects, or due to vaping which I also had no problems with for a year prior to all of this. My question is, will it get better? Sometimes it feels like I will never be myself again. I have lost all pleasure in things I used to love. The idea of going back to school and starting a career seems impossible, and sometimes I feel like I will just be a vegetable and waste away. I try to stay positive most of the time, I have read success stories that give me hope, but other times I feel very hopeless. I don't want to go the rest of my life feeling brain dead and like I have no purpose because of a pill I was prescribed for two months. Please help.
  14. InChristAlone

    InChristAlone

    I was in Lexapro 10 and 20mg (mostly 10) for 15 years. I was put on it when I was 19 after going through a breakup with my high school girlfriend. Also , I have dealt with minor anxiety issues most of my life and have a family history of anxiety and depression. Everything was going ok until I herniated a disc in Jan 2018. What felt like a nervous breakdown ensued. My GP stopped Lexapro cold turkey and started me on Luvox and this made things worse. I cold turkey quit everything for a couple months and things continued to get worse. My GP then put me on Effexor 150mg and Klonopin 1mg twice daily. Things improved for a while. After 6 months, I decided to taper Klonopin because I had found this site and benzobuddies. I am down to 0.25 mg of Klonopin daily and still on Effexor. I am living a life of waves and windows now. I am a middle school teacher and coach. Thankfully, God has strengthened me enough to continue to work through this WD process.
  15. Hi, I'm not really new to these forums as I have already found so much support and reassurance from reading people's experience and advice in coming off lepraxo in the past. It helped me to come down from 30 mg to 10 mg. Thank you for all the support on these amazing forums. 🤗I'm sorry I didn't feel I could come on board and share or support others as I was going through a hellish time with withdrawal. I was prescribed 30 mg seven years ago for OCD and managed to taper down to 10mg where I have stayed for about a year and a half. I've been in contact with the doctors at my medical practice to talk about my difficulties withdrawing from lepraxo (in my experience, worse than benzos) and my need for going down in teeny increments from now on, thus requiring a liquid formulation, but it falls on deaf ears. It seem it's too expensive for them to prescribe a liquid. So I'm left with 10 mg tablets and have tried making my own liquid the past 2 days, reducing it by 10 percent , to 9mg. I didn't expect to feel any withdrawal effects but I was amazed that on the second day I have been having moderate strength migraines and fluey hot flashes and other typical symptoms I'm all too familiar with. BIG SIGH Im feeling a bit scared now.😬 Anyway I thought I'd complete my withdrawal journey in the company of fellow survivors (or soon to be!!)
  16. In fall, 2019 out of the blue, without warning, I had two vertigo attacks (different weeks). For 4 days after I had dizziness while driving to work. I learned about maneuvers to re-set ear particles and those helped. 4 days after the 2nd vertigo attack I had my first ever panic attack. Typical first-timer story: had no idea what was going on, went to the ER. All tests came back negative. Was diagnosed with GAD, even though I've never had an anxiety problem or depression diagnosis my whole life (middle aged here). 3 days after panic attack was prescribed lexapro. That's when the hell began. I've never had to take any medications at all my whole life, save for a daily multivitamin. For a few months I took some thyroid medication to reduce some elevated antibody levels but that solved that (about 7 yrs ago). Never been on any psychiatric med at all. The 9 weeks and 2 days I was on lex was the worst experience of my life. At times, unbearable anxiety, exhausted, dizzy every single day I was on it, random intrusive dark thoughts, brain fog... An anxiety attack 4 weeks into lexapro sent me to a psychiatric hospital for 4 days the first time when it caused intrusive passive suicidal thoughts (first time in my life). While there a psychiatrist prescribed a low dosage of lithium for "mood stabilization". After learning what sent me to the hospital the psychiatrist urged me to stop lexapro asap. We agreed on a taper...a very rapid taper. I went from 10mg to nothing over the next 5 wks or so. I couldn't wait to get off- unlike others, I never "settled" on lexapro...every day was bad and the introduction of the dark thoughts was the straw that broke the camel's back. Have been off lex for 5 wks now. For 3 wks main side effects while on the drug dissipated gradually (anxiety, dizziness, brain fog, dark thoughts). Then, in the last two wks, new problems: random nausea (no vomiting yet), often in the morning, but can happens at other times, too. Bladder issues: pain and feeling like I have to pee every 5 min. Insomnia. Random shivering chills, even though my apt is 72 degrees. Dizziness is now back, stronger than ever. Days/parts of days when I'm so exhausted and tired I can barely move around the apartment- a 5 minute walk outside is way too much. Periods of depression every day, with passive, vague dark thoughts. A Dr-on-Demand psychiatrist said to quit the lithium cold turkey about 10 days ago- did that too. Can't tell if some of what I'm experiencing now is from lex or lithium w/d. Am thrilled to be off all these terrible psychiatric drugs but have no idea what my journey will be like moving forward. Missed 6-7 wks of work while on lexapro. Am now working from home due to COVID (a blessing in disguise?). Can't believe that I'm still having problems when I was only on these drugs for a short period, but am now reading about people who never recover and have problems after only being on psychiatric drugs for as short as 3 weeks. That terrifies me. Never been diagnosed with bi-polar or any other mental illness. Have been to the ER 9x since Jan- almost every test you can imagine has been run...everything comes back negative/pristine/clear. I've never felt so awful and am not someone who runs to the ER when I get a paper cut but am tired of hospital Dr's yelling at me when I've gone ("You don't belong here! You have nothing wrong with you! Could you consider these problems are self-created?") even though I've felt I had no other option. Am grateful the blood, lithium, thyroid, CAT, MRI, blood culture, etc. tests all come back looking so good, but that somehow doesn't help how I feel. Hired a nutritional coach who had me try all kinds of supplements, most of which I reacted badly to: seriphos, tryptophan, melatonin, l-phenalalynine, amino acids, inositol. The only things that have helped me (mainly as I tapered) were nutritional supplements: magnesium, vit-C, omega-3, daily multi. Take 4mg zofran if nausea gets bad. Occasionally take .5 ativan if my anxiety is out of control and all my mindfulness, meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, etc. tools don't work. If dizziness and nausea is bad at bedtime will take a 12.5mg meclizine, but it tends to zombie me out the next day so I try to avoid that. L-theanine helps calm me a bit but I don't take those regularly anymore. Have tried chinese herbs- that mix didn't do anything. Have had 5 acupuncture treatments: 3 helped a great deal. Two didn't really do anything, and I actually felt worse in the day/s after (could have been overpowering effects of w/d, vs. the acupuncture treatment itself- can't know for sure). Have 4 acupuncture treatments coming up because those are the only things that seem to move me forward at all, when they do work. I get that most of the serotonin in the body is in the GI, so my current issues may be just the latest place lexapro w/d has decided to manifest itself. Tired of feeling I can't get a break. Tired of feeling that 1 ok day means 4-5 awful days after. Tired of feeling that at times I'm just trying to survive and fixing myself my next meal is a herculean effort. How long can I expect this parade of various side effects to continue after such a short lexapro history? Am I really bound to a lifetime of issues from 9 weeks of one pill? Just moved to NV 10 mths ago from central USA to take a new job. Love the job and new home but don't have any close friends out here yet and am single and alone. My faith in God is sometimes the only thing holding me together. Have never had such a disruptive or frustrating or debilitating health-related experience in my life. Desperately love (and miss) working out, but dizziness prevents me from doing most exercises and many days I'm so exhausted I can barely walk downstairs to pick up the mail. Does anyone on here have a lexapro recovery story involving awful w/d after only being on the drug for a couple of months? Would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading about my struggles.
  17. 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.
  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. 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.
  20. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  21. if this isn't allowed I"m sorry. I promised a friend I'd try to get her help. She's 84yrs old and doesn't use a computer. she suffered the tragic loss of her husband 3 yrs ago (suicide, he'd had botched surgery that left him in terrible pain and he couldn't take it any longer) She "fell apart" she said, and went into a psych hospital for 2 1/2 mos. While there, she believes she was given meds to help her sleep and possibly started on lexapro, she's not sure. She thought maybe the lexapro was started some time later. In any case, she took lexapro for at least 2 yrs For some reason, her PCP (who has been prescribing the lexapro) switched her to remeron. She was going thru a hard time with a BF who was stalking her, damaging her car, etc. So it's possible she told her dr that the lexapro wasn't helping. So she was switched to mirtazapine/remeron. it's now Approx 2 mos after being off the lexapro and she's waking up with horrible anxiety attacks as well as severe GI symptoms. She's also dizzy and feels weak , hot and sweaty. She went to the ER and was tested for everything under the sun, nothing wrong. She was started on lorazapam/ativan at 0.5mgs once a day. her PCP has rather quickly upped that dose to 0.5mgs three times a day to now 1mg three times a day and she's been told not to drive which is not going to happen. She refuses to stay home and doesn't understand that the drug that an impair her ability to drive is also the drug that can make her unaware of her impairment (although I think I was able to get that thru to her by comparing it to being drunk) this 84 yr old woman has been active her entire life, kayaking hiking, etc etc, she would not just stay home. she's waking up with more and more anxiety every day and more GI symptoms, including a burning feeling in her stomach and nausea My feeling is that she's going thru lexapro withdrawal (delayed) she takes the remeron at night and she says it helps her to sleep but she's quickly gotten very fond of the ativan. I've warned her about addiction and tolerance and told her she needs to take the warnings about driving very seriously. she's at an age where she believes that only a dr knows best, so it's very hard for me to give her advice. Plus I don't want to cause her any harm she wants me to go with her to see a psychiatrist or other prescribing dr. I don't know that I'd be much good with that, since I HATE these drs so much for what they did to me (over 40yrs on psych drugs, given nearly every mental illness lable, etc etc) Is there anything I can do for her? My feeling was that a tiny dose of lexapro might convince her that her anxiety and GI upset are WD from the CT of lexapro... but I don't know if that would work now that she's got the other drugs in her system........?? what would be her best course of action? she does not want to be on these drugs but she's not been offered therapy!! she wants to go inpatient because she's recently lost her volunteer job and her BF and is lonely and needs things to do. I doubt they'll agree to admit her for that, but she may realize that her anxiety issues might be enough to get her admitted for a short while since she has good insurance I told her that they are likely going to keep her on meds and maybe increase them. They don't know how to get ppl off them. any suggestions welcomed. I'm so upset that she's going thru this. these damn drs dole these drugs out like candy, it makes me sick
  22. My names Noman, 21. I took Anafranil Lexapro Zoloft Venlafaxine Prozac over the course of 1 year. Now i have SSRI and SNRI withdrawl. Putting aside the other withdrawl symtpoms, the worst one it eye It feels as if I cannot open my eyes, when I do my eye muscles from my brain to my eye feel like they want to force shut, and i get this irriation. This leads to eye pressure, eye blood rush, eye weakness, eye cant focus, etc. I know for sure its withdrawl symptom because wheni went on prozac, it went away. Has anybody else experineced this, if so, is it dangeros? does it go away? please share
  23. I started taking lexapro about 5 years ago was on 20mg. I tapered off over the course of 9 weeks by 10mg each. I've been off for 12 days. I've been feeling the brain zaps which I expected, I was tired and irritable which I expected. One night I woke up in a dead slee with pgad symptoms. Who would have thought that an anti depressant withdrawal would have caused this? I do not have it as bad as what I read but it is there. Im also feeling itchyness all over my body. Tingling everywhere, did anyone have pgad from withdrawal? Did it go away? How long did it take? I came off the lexapro to try and have a baby with my husband. Iam now devastated. Please give me some positivity! (mod note: Original title: Pgad help! Does it ever go away!)
  24. servadei

    ☼ Servadei

    First, I'd like to say I choose this site because people seem really nice and non-judgemental (hope I won't see 'your dose is too small, you've been on antidepressants only for a year etc.) I decided to share my story, not to ask for pity, but to maybe get better tips. So in summary: -since childhood I've always been a bit of deep thinker, though I've never had problems making friends etc. So i would say i had happy childhood, with no big traumatic events -when I was 12 my mother died (she had cancer) -at that time I was stepping into the puberty and as my dad was drinking and my brothers went to college, I was left alone and maybe with too much freedom. My mother was strict but caring and full of love so I often wonder if I would end up like this i she was still alive -I smoked weed a couple of times and drank every weekend, also took my dads normabel when he yelled at me or something -my dad is now alchol free, and he even stopped smoking, but he used to beat me...well not much but still enough to leanight me emotional scars I guess. I thought it did not bother me until recently when I talked with a psychologist ad started crying, so I guess I kept it buried? (she also told me to report him but I assure you it's not that bad, also, I really love my dad, he supports me...everyone has flaws, and it's not my dads fault he went to war and has a mild ptsd) -at that time I could not rely on my dad, my brothers were everything...till the day the train hit our car and they both ended in hospital, one of them almost died. We were never sentimental or emotional around each other (kind of a family thing) but I cried all night thinking I would loose them. I found about the accident through internet article my friend sent me, and I had to wake up my dad who was very drunk that night -so all in all I was a confused teenager but i didn't had problems until summer 2013 -I was diagnosed in Jan 2014 with phoboc-anxiety disorder and put on meds (Escitalon-escitalopram-10 mg) -Currently coming off of them and going through withdrawal (it's my 12th day without them) This is all for now. I have a lot of questions but I'll take it slow. P.S. for my fellow christians, my fate helped me a great deal (it's the reason I didn't break down), so tips and prayers are very welcomed.
  25. Dev1322

    Dev1322: Tinnitus

    I was on 20 mg of Lexapro and 1.5 mg of Xanax daily for postpartum depression. In February of 2020 I was down to 1.0 mg of Xanax. I began tapering both medicines as I was having some Serotonin Syndrome issues. Once I taped down to 15 mg and .75 mg I began having tinnitus. I am now on 100 mg of Zoloft and .25 mg of Xanax (I am tapering the Xanax still). I still have tinnitus and want any advice on what to do to help. Will it eventually go away? I have been on the 100 mg of Zoloft consistently for almost 7 weeks.
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