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starcontrol2


starcontrol2

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Hello everyone,

 

Started Lexapro October 2012, 5mg to start, then 10mg.

If reasons why I started lexapro are relevant I can add later.

Sometime in 2013/early 2014 I started noticing drunk feeling and trouble processing visual information but mood remained good.

September 2014 I dropped to 5mg and drunk feeling/visual stuff went away. It came back a few months later.

I had MRI brain/neck, neurologists, all kinds of tests and blood tests, everything is fine. I can only point to Lexapro but who knows.

I did just like pdoc said cut 5mg in half and then done.

In early May 2015 I cut to 2.5 and quickly lost sleep. I decided to cut another half vs stopping altogether. Eventually ended up on 0.625 by early July.

Repeated telling to pdoc and my general doctor that I must be experiencing severe withdrawal went unanswered, I was sent to sleep study(was fine btw), EEG(was fine) but no mention of updosing or anything.

June 2015 was up and down but I was hanging on, by early July, severe depression and anxiety started. In desperation and on advice of now new pdoc I restarted 5mg Lexapro, it totally wiped out my sleep(as it had somewhat recovered by then) and made things even worse. After about a month of this I was drunk/sleepless zombie, it was unimaginable suffering, I couldn't sleep, I was in a total haze 24/7. It did numb me down a bit though. I gave 5mg a good 6-8 weeks but it just made everything worse.

I was desperate and another mistake, I started to transition to zoloft. It was painful, painful, painful transition.

As of 10/10/2015 I am off of Lexapro and 37.5mg of zoloft.

I am in a really bad place, the drunk/fuzzy/visual feeling is there, sometimes it gets better but I cannot pinpoint why.

The symptoms change up a lot, sometimes calm, sometimes anxiety, depression is there, sometimes really bad, sometimes really really bad. Intrusive thoughts!(sometthing I have never had before). Major sleep problems, even if I sleep ok, I am super sleepy during the day. I am detached from everything, my family, everything, things are not real. My child is just there!! I am heartbroken about all of this. I thought I was bad before lexapro but I guess I didn't know what bad really meant!

I try to do sport no matter how bad I feel, I do something every day. I had to just about stop team sports though because my visual processing and drunk feeling are making it real hard.

My physical shape is still ok.

I have been working with natural doctor, she is a naturally oriented psycho-pharmacologyst, seems like excellent match right? She did blood tests, urine, stool and have been giving me supplements which are more targeted. I don't know maybe I would be even worse.

 

I know I made many mistakes along the way. I know about slow taper, I know about a lot of things.

 

I know I haven't been on drug for long or at high does and luckily on only one but please believe me that the suffering is beyond imaginable even with these seemingly "good" starting conditions.

 

I have resisted ambien or trazodone or anything else.

I know it is recommended to stabilize before tapering but I don't feel I can stabilize, I don't want to up zoloft, 37.5mg is as high as I want to go.

I have been approved for TMS but I am beginning to doubt that's what's needed now.

 

Thanks for reading.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, starcontrol.

 

Have you felt better since taking Zoloft? How was the change made from Lexapro?

 

What supplements are you taking?

 

Please keep notes on paper about your daily symptom pattern.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi altostrata!

 

Thanks for responding. It is very hard to say if I feel better. I generally always feel incredibly bad but some days are worse than others. I guess some days are a little better but is that overall better or not I don't know. I think I was more dumbed down zombie on lexapro and now even small stress really makes things worse. But fog and visual disturbances I would say are about the same unless they get better spontaneously which happens every few days but I think that would happen before.

I don't feel that I am stable in any way, as symptoms change daily, I do have a spreadsheet with symptoms. It may be a combination of lexapro withdrawal and zoloft being here.

I experienced intrusive thoughts, for example, only last week, withdrawal from lexapro or zoloft who knows...

 

I transitioned from 5mg lexapro to 37.5mg of zoloft by adding 6.25mg of zoloft on top for a week then cutting about 1/8 - 1/4 off of lexapro 5mg tablet every week and adding 6.25mg of zoloft every week, i think it took about 5 weeks total transition.

 

All supplements I am taking on advice from natural doctor.

 

Up until yesterday I was taking:

Vitamin C

ISO-PHOS - stool testing showed I was undetectable.

B12

Multivitamin

5MTHF - genetic testing I had sometime back showed something

Some digestive stuff

Fish oil

Passionflower

Melatonin

Epsom salt foot bath

 

I had cardio ION blood/urine test and based on results of that my new supplements are:

Vitamin C

5MTHF

B complex - Bio 3BG

Multivitamin

Betain HCL w/Pepsin

NAC

Nettle Leaf

Beta TCP

Digestive Stuff

Magnesium

Pullstailla 30c

Passionflower

Melatonin

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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Sorry to be bumping my own thread...

 

How can i feel about 3.5/10 one day and then completely horrible the next... I am completely stress intolerable, something small and I fall so far down. Depression is so devastating.

I feel zoloft is not doing much, should I start a taper. I feel I am in massive lexapro withdrawal still...

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Starcontrol.

 

Welcome to SA.  Sorry you are struggling as much as you are.  I know it is of only marginal utility to know you are not alone, but sometimes feeling like nobody understands exacerbates the situation.  While you were not on a very high dose nor were you on the meds for a very long time, this site has many people who are similarly situated.  As you are aware, those two factors bode well for your recovery, although we are each unique and some people will be on high doses for a long time and come off with no problem while others are the exact opposite.  The goal must be to try to find some level of stability from which you can taper.  It may not be a place where you feel great or even good, but daily fluctuations of the type you describe is a tough starting point from which to start a taper.  It is not uncommon for people to go from one day feeling decent (3.5 I guess is decent for you right now) to awful.  There sometimes seems to be very little rhyme or reason.

 

Whether or not what you did along the way are "mistakes" (hard to say because they could have worked and we wouldn't be having this conversation), you are where you are and coming up with a plan to try to get you to a better place is the key.  My concern at this point is that you have made several shifts and transitions and have included numerous supplements along the way.  Your nervous system is probably wondering what is going on and having a hard time recovering from it all.  When you take a slate of supplements as long as your list it can be hard to know what is helping, what is not and what might be causing additional problems.  I understand the desire to work with a naturopath and feel like you have some "professional guidance" to help you along the path.  Unfortunately, this path is not one that has clear and defined road signs.  It is a lot of trial and error and the error sucks. 

 

Having said all that, it seems like there are two options here:

 

First, stay the course on the Zoloft to avoid another switch back to Lexapro which didn't help in June.

 

Second, go back onto Lexapro since that is the medicine from which you are primarily withdrawing. 

 

It is not an easy call, however, I would probably be inclined if I were you to try going back to Lexapro but reinstating it at a lower dose than the 5mg you were at.  See the following on reinstatement at a lower dose:

 

REINSTATEMENT

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

I would love to get the views of other moderators on this subject because it seems to me to be a fairly tricky balance.  Additional input would be welcome.

 

Most importantly, however, you need to try to find means of relaxing your brain and calming down your anxiety levels.  Try things like meditation, relaxation breathing, mindfulness, etc.

 

We are here to support you.

 

Best of luck,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, starcontrol.

 

Since you've been on Zoloft alone, your symptoms have been up and down?

 

How's your sleep?

 

5MTHF

B complex - Bio 3BG

 

 

What is 5MTHF?

 

If you're having sleep problems -- some people, particularly those whose nervous systems are sensitized by withdrawal, find B vitamins are activating, they make sleep and anxiety worse. You might want to pay close attention to how you feel after taking anything with B vitamins in it, including a multivitamin. If you're taking several supplements with B vitamins, you could be taking a lot of B vitamins.

 

For background, please read

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Hi, Starcontrol.

 

Welcome to SA.  Sorry you are struggling as much as you are.  I know it is of only marginal utility to know you are not alone, but sometimes feeling like nobody understands exacerbates the situation.  While you were not on a very high dose nor were you on the meds for a very long time, this site has many people who are similarly situated.  As you are aware, those two factors bode well for your recovery, although we are each unique and some people will be on high doses for a long time and come off with no problem while others are the exact opposite.  The goal must be to try to find some level of stability from which you can taper.  It may not be a place where you feel great or even good, but daily fluctuations of the type you describe is a tough starting point from which to start a taper.  It is not uncommon for people to go from one day feeling decent (3.5 I guess is decent for you right now) to awful.  There sometimes seems to be very little rhyme or reason.

 

Whether or not what you did along the way are "mistakes" (hard to say because they could have worked and we wouldn't be having this conversation), you are where you are and coming up with a plan to try to get you to a better place is the key.  My concern at this point is that you have made several shifts and transitions and have included numerous supplements along the way.  Your nervous system is probably wondering what is going on and having a hard time recovering from it all.  When you take a slate of supplements as long as your list it can be hard to know what is helping, what is not and what might be causing additional problems.  I understand the desire to work with a naturopath and feel like you have some "professional guidance" to help you along the path.  Unfortunately, this path is not one that has clear and defined road signs.  It is a lot of trial and error and the error sucks. 

 

Having said all that, it seems like there are two options here:

 

First, stay the course on the Zoloft to avoid another switch back to Lexapro which didn't help in June.

 

Second, go back onto Lexapro since that is the medicine from which you are primarily withdrawing. 

 

It is not an easy call, however, I would probably be inclined if I were you to try going back to Lexapro but reinstating it at a lower dose than the 5mg you were at.  See the following on reinstatement at a lower dose:

 

REINSTATEMENT

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

I would love to get the views of other moderators on this subject because it seems to me to be a fairly tricky balance.  Additional input would be welcome.

 

Most importantly, however, you need to try to find means of relaxing your brain and calming down your anxiety levels.  Try things like meditation, relaxation breathing, mindfulness, etc.

 

We are here to support you.

 

Best of luck,

 

Andy

 

Thanks Andy,

 

I know we have been conversing privately but for the benefit of others I will write a few things here.

I feel going back on Lexapro is not an option. Since the results are unsure it would be dangerous to introduce yet another switch and another unknown.

I have been meditating and doing sports(best I can) and going to work(also best I can).

I just don't know how long to wait to "stabilize", it may never come.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment

Welcome, starcontrol.

 

Since you've been on Zoloft alone, your symptoms have been up and down?

 

How's your sleep?

 

5MTHF

B complex - Bio 3BG

 

 

What is 5MTHF?

 

If you're having sleep problems -- some people, particularly those whose nervous systems are sensitized by withdrawal, find B vitamins are activating, they make sleep and anxiety worse. You might want to pay close attention to how you feel after taking anything with B vitamins in it, including a multivitamin. If you're taking several supplements with B vitamins, you could be taking a lot of B vitamins.

 

For background, please read

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Hi altostrata,

 

Thanks for your opinion.

First, I want to say that I have read everything and anything on this site for many months and probably many other sites before I decided to register so I am familiar with things.

L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) is 5MTHF

 

Good eye on multiple B-vitamins.

 

Symptoms are yes, up and down, sometimes I have triggers but many times I don't. I have been keeping an excel and I just can't see any pattern. The foggy head/visual thingy is really unpredictable. I can have it for days only to clear up by 25%, 50% at times and then back on again.

About a month ago I had an evening(i was still transitioning from lexapro to zoloft) like I felt like normal me from back in the day from before meds. It was unexpected, unexplainable and surreal. Why it happened I don't know and why it didn't happen since I don't know either. But I know it is a sign that somewhere in there is REAL me.

 

Sleep has been inconsistent but I would say generally better over last month. I have had a routine for sleep for a while but for months it just wasn't working.

Melatonin, passionflower, camomile tea, salt foot bath.

 

But even nights when I sleep better, days are still very foggy, like today ugh :-(

 

I had a number of tests with results that could be of value, I can post here some of it.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I feel going back on Lexapro is not an option. Since the results are unsure it would be dangerous to introduce yet another switch and another unknown.

 

 

Understood, Starcontrol.  As I've said, at the end of the day it is your decision as to how to proceed. 

 

Just to explain my thought process, you were on Lexapro for about 3 years and Zoloft for 1 month.  My thought is that you are largely withdrawing from Lexapro.  While your reinstatement of Lexapro at 5mg in July was a disaster, nothing about the transition to Zoloft seems to have been very good.  The idea was to go back to the med you spent more than 95% of your time on, albeit at a low dose, say 1 or 2mg, to see if that would help you stabilize before tapering.  More of a gut reaction than anything else.  I understand your position that there are risks associated with another switch in meds.

 

Wish there was a good clear cut approach to your situation, but it is very challenging.  Knowing all the other things you are looking into as possible contributing or causative factors, I'm sorry for how frustrating this process has been.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Administrator

This is very difficult. As you know, minimal changes are preferable.

 

Do you have any Lexapro left?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Well, minimal changes are to stick to zoloft and taper from it, not sure when to start.

As Andy correctly noted lexapro reinstatement was a complete disaster. It did eventually numb me to some extent but i was a walking sleepless zombie.

I would say that even though i am up and down a lot i am a bit more "there" and I have been getting some sleep.

 

I do have lexapro left but I would really prefer not to touch it.

 

Just to add one thing back when I was almost off of lexapro in june, tryptophan gave me completely reverse reaction it was scary.

 

Doing any kind of switching is just plain scary :(

 

I know my system will rebalance at some point, it has to!

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Star,

 

If you are sensing even modest improvement, even the smallest of steps, by all means stay right where you are. One of the most powerful aspects of all of this, especially when your symptoms are the psychological kind, is the placebo/nocebo effect. If you believe, as you clearly do, that Lexapro is poison to you, odds are good that a reinstatement of it, at any level, will have a bad outcome.

 

Stay where you are and do all you can to form routines around food, exercise, rest, etc., so your CNS doesn't have to guess. I agree that you will rebalance. Hopefully it will start soon.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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hi Star,

 

Just drop in to say Hi to you as another lexapro victim.

I think your decision staying away from lexapro is a good one. Lexapro has many unique (life threatening heart problems) and/or more severe side effects ( all types of pains) than most other ssir.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Hi Star, and welcome to SA. I am so sorry for the condition that brought you here, but you are fortunate to have found it at such an early stage of SSRI use. I had a very similar experience with Lexapro, after taking 10-15 mg for almost 5 years. After a two month cold turkey (CT), I had unbelievable depression and anxiety and was completely unable to sleep. It was even MORE miserable than my taper to 10 mg of Paxil has been (after 5 more years down the SSRI road). After the CT and seeing a Pdoc, I tried to reinstate the Lexapro, but it made me so nauseous that I absolutely could not reinstate - one really weird drug! So I can empathize completely. I also tried to transition from Paxil to Zoloft early this past year and hated the Zoloft, it also made me feel like a complete zombie. So I tapered off of it as quickly as I could! Seems very similar to your experience thus far.

 

Nonetheless, it sounds as if you are trying to muscle through feeling miserable which is admirable. I had to take 12 weeks of FMLA when I CT off Lexapro. Now I am a stay at home mom, which has made this process more tolerable. My recommendation to you is to ease up a little on the physical activity and as much stress as possible, because both of those are likely exacerbating your symptoms. The same with the vitamins and supplements, I had to cut those out completely as my system is still hyper sensitive to them. GENTLE excercise, like walking, is good for now while your system adjusts to all these changes. Withdrawal is debilitating so the easier you are with the other demands you make on your brain and body, the better.

 

Otherwise, it just takes TIME, and probably a lot more than you may think. Hang in there, be kind to yourself and patient with the process. Your condition is temporary, even though I know it's still miserable, and you will heal and eventually get back to normal. I always recommend Baylissa Frederick and her book Recovery & Renewal, because it really helped me understand this concept. It's especially hard for Americans to wrap our heads around because we are so hard charging as a society. Take care and best wishes to you in this journey, it's worth staying off the SSRI merry-go-round!

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

Link to comment

So Fresh reminded me of a post that I had made a while back and found fitting to re-post for you here:

 

"To many of you, I know it's hard to even fathom feeling "good" when you are in the depths of WD and just trying to get through every day. But hang in there, keep the faith in your body's ability to heal and survive - we are are indeed "marvelously made" and time is the great healer. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you journey through the hell of WD, there is a light at the end of your tunnel!   :)"

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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Star,

 

If you are sensing even modest improvement, even the smallest of steps, by all means stay right where you are. One of the most powerful aspects of all of this, especially when your symptoms are the psychological kind, is the placebo/nocebo effect. If you believe, as you clearly do, that Lexapro is poison to you, odds are good that a reinstatement of it, at any level, will have a bad outcome.

 

Stay where you are and do all you can to form routines around food, exercise, rest, etc., so your CNS doesn't have to guess. I agree that you will rebalance. Hopefully it will start soon.

 

Andy

Truly believe lexapro is one evil pill, it worked i gotta give it that but at what cost?!?!?

Zoloft is green in color though so must be just as poisonous!!

And again appreciate all your support Andy

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment

hi Star,

 

Just drop in to say Hi to you as another lexapro victim.

I think your decision staying away from lexapro is a good one. Lexapro has many unique (life threatening heart problems) and/or more severe side effects ( all types of pains) than most other ssir.

Thanks LexAnger.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Truly believe lexapro is one evil pill, it worked i gotta give it that but at what cost?!?!?

Zoloft is green in color though so must be just as poisonous!!

 

 

Depends on the size.  I think 50s are blue and 100s are yellow.  Only 25s are green.  Not sure about that for all generics.

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

Link to comment

Hi Star, and welcome to SA. I am so sorry for the condition that brought you here, but you are fortunate to have found it at such an early stage of SSRI use. I had a very similar experience with Lexapro, after taking 10-15 mg for almost 5 years. After a two month cold turkey (CT), I had unbelievable depression and anxiety and was completely unable to sleep. It was even MORE miserable than my taper to 10 mg of Paxil has been (after 5 more years down the SSRI road). After the CT and seeing a Pdoc, I tried to reinstate the Lexapro, but it made me so nauseous that I absolutely could not reinstate - one really weird drug! So I can empathize completely. I also tried to transition from Paxil to Zoloft early this past year and hated the Zoloft, it also made me feel like a complete zombie. So I tapered off of it as quickly as I could! Seems very similar to your experience thus far.

 

Nonetheless, it sounds as if you are trying to muscle through feeling miserable which is admirable. I had to take 12 weeks of FMLA when I CT off Lexapro. Now I am a stay at home mom, which has made this process more tolerable. My recommendation to you is to ease up a little on the physical activity and as much stress as possible, because both of those are likely exacerbating your symptoms. The same with the vitamins and supplements, I had to cut those out completely as my system is still hyper sensitive to them. GENTLE excercise, like walking, is good for now while your system adjusts to all these changes. Withdrawal is debilitating so the easier you are with the other demands you make on your brain and body, the better.

 

Otherwise, it just takes TIME, and probably a lot more than you may think. Hang in there, be kind to yourself and patient with the process. Your condition is temporary, even though I know it's still miserable, and you will heal and eventually get back to normal. I always recommend Baylissa Frederick and her book Recovery & Renewal, because it really helped me understand this concept. It's especially hard for Americans to wrap our heads around because we are so hard charging as a society. Take care and best wishes to you in this journey, it's worth staying off the SSRI merry-go-round!

 

Hi Prestorb,

 

Thanks for giving your input. Not to say that I am any kind of star athlete, not at all :-) BUT I used to go grappling 4-5 times a week and play soccer twice, all competitive.

Now soccer isn't really that intensive but grappling is beyond belief.

Now I am very rarely playing soccer because of the stupid visual "stuff" and just being so sleepy that it is hard to concentrate on the game and depression just brings me so down.

I still try to go to grappling 1-2 times a week, I am nowhere near what I could do before but I hang in there with most. I just defend all the time on my back so my visual concentration is not as required.

I have "replaced" with treadmill running which I hate but it is consistent and I go when I want and swimming.

You can't imagine in what sleepless delirium I went to treadmill... But I couldn't lay down to sleep.

But once I get going I don't feel tired and it does have positive affects, mostly calming but on depression not so much...

I don't want to muscle through this at all but I don't know what to do, I am a 1099 contractor, yes I could take off but that would be unpaid so I figured if they start giving me trouble at work and I don't know how they still haven't!!! then I will take unpaid leave. But sitting home is not more helpful it probably hurts more.

It is also very hard for me to lose "gains" like if i have a better day or if i sleep better for a few night and then just to go back to being bad. I know waves and windows but they can't be daily!

I have been in USA for awhile but I am not natively from here and meds are really not in my line of thinking, maybe that's good because  I would probably be put in ssri 20 years ago!

 

Seems like you went to Paxil to alleviate lexapro and it must have worked for you since you stayed on it so long.

 

Also, one more thing, my sister took lexapro for 4 years for anxiety and got off in a few weeks(just like doc told her) and no problems. That's one of the reasons why I kind of "chose" lexapro, i mean MY SISTER and here I am :((((( took for 2.5 years and at rather low dose and BAM.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment

I guess the question remains the same, given my history, do I hold on zoloft for now? or do I start gradual taper. I feel that I am in lexapro withdrawal and some side effects of both meds stocked on top.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I guess the question remains the same, given my history, do I hold on zoloft for now? or do I start gradual taper. I feel that I am in lexapro withdrawal and some side effects of both meds stocked on top.

 

 

Star,

 

Yes, that is the question.  I suppose it's a bit of a toss-up and you are psychologically strongly opposed to Lexapro at this point.  In addition, while perhaps teeny, tiny, you have seen the slightest touch of upside in the last few days.  Nothing to cheer for but it's all relative.  Thus, I would argue at this point to stay on the Zoloft for a couple of weeks (unless you see dramatic downside shifts in which case we can revisit).  If you see even modest improvement I would think you would stay on that in the hopes that the benefits increase and you can stabilize on the Zoloft.  If you saw no benefit whatsoever or got worse, I would suggest the low dose reinstatement on Lexapro while you are still within a window of time where it might do you some good.

 

Happy to hear other thoughts on this, but that would be my notion as of right now.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

Link to comment

 

I guess the question remains the same, given my history, do I hold on zoloft for now? or do I start gradual taper. I feel that I am in lexapro withdrawal and some side effects of both meds stocked on top.

 

 

Star,

 

Yes, that is the question.  I suppose it's a bit of a toss-up and you are psychologically strongly opposed to Lexapro at this point.  In addition, while perhaps teeny, tiny, you have seen the slightest touch of upside in the last few days.  Nothing to cheer for but it's all relative.  Thus, I would argue at this point to stay on the Zoloft for a couple of weeks (unless you see dramatic downside shifts in which case we can revisit).  If you see even modest improvement I would think you would stay on that in the hopes that the benefits increase and you can stabilize on the Zoloft.  If you saw no benefit whatsoever or got worse, I would suggest the low dose reinstatement on Lexapro while you are still within a window of time where it might do you some good.

 

Happy to hear other thoughts on this, but that would be my notion as of right now.

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

 

Hi Andy,

 

I know you just can't put lexapro to rest :)))

When I was tapering lexapro I never got totally to zero, I was down to 1/8 of 5mg pill, I know it was very little but my point is it was never totally out of the system so the reasoning was that I would be able to safely go back to my original 5mg dose and stabilize. I trusted my psych, I guess he didn't know any better. It was a total disaster and I waited a good 6-8 weeks to stabilize. After maybe about 6 weeks it numbed me pretty good but I was total sleepless zombie as it destroyed my sleep upon reinstatement. Perhaps a lower dose would work at that point but that is in the past now. I been finally 3 weeks off of lexapro, to go back now would be to drop zoloft, so that's one jolt to nervous system and get lexapro back in, another jolt.

 

Thanks, and I really appreciate your input.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Administrator
I would say that even though i am up and down a lot i am a bit more "there" and I have been getting some sleep.

 

 

This is a good sign. If I were you, I wouldn't make any more switches, see if you can stabilize on Zoloft.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

I know you just can't put lexapro to rest :)))

 

Yup.  I'm just like the p-docs.  I'm on the Forrest Labs (maker of Lex) payroll.  :o

 

I have no dog in the hunt other than to see you feel better.

 

As I've said, given your aversion to Lexapro and your slight improvements, stay the course.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

Link to comment

Hang in there Starcontrol2, this is just going to take TIME and a whole lot of patience. I know you don't feel it, but from my perspective you are managing incredibly well! You are going to work and exercising, these two things in themselves stave off the depression. I would like to see you getting more rest whenever you can because your body needs it. But if you can't rest, then best to distract yourself with positive activities. This will be a distant memory one day, just stay the course. Sounds easy but it's not!  :)

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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Hang in there Starcontrol2, this is just going to take TIME and a whole lot of patience. I know you don't feel it, but from my perspective you are managing incredibly well! You are going to work and exercising, these two things in themselves stave off the depression. I would like to see you getting more rest whenever you can because your body needs it. But if you can't rest, then best to distract yourself with positive activities. This will be a distant memory one day, just stay the course. Sounds easy but it's not!  :)

 

Hi Prestorb,

 

I see you have been shuffling meds for a few years :( Never able to completely get off?

I "go" to work and I "exercise" I am not really sure how some days are do both...

Yes, right I can't believe the drunk feeling will lift, visual will be normal and I will sort of back to my old self and WITHOUT MEDS :(

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment

Oh, I am on my way off now Star! I just recently (since July) have recovered from a huge Paxil drop (40 mg to 10 mg) at the beginning of this year, so I am taking a break from tapering until January. I was seriously depressed, lethargic, unmotivated, and anhedonic for a solid six months. And I mean not even one little sliver of joy or motivation, EVERYTHING I did felt like I was dragging myself through molasses to accomplish. And that was just the basics of taking a shower, buying groceries, doing laundry - AND I have a husband and 12 year old son to care for! Fortunately, I do not work full time outside of the home - there is no way I could have done it, I was seriously debilitated and it SUCKED. I am normally highly motivated, energetic, etc.. I choose not to work as an engineer because I have a 12 year old son at home and I personally cannot fill both roles successfully (IMO). That's just me, I have pretty high expectations for myself. So being a slug for six months was pretty detrimental to my psyche as well, but I had to find a way to accept the fact that my body needed this "slug" time in order to heal. I slept 10-12 hours a day easily, I sleep 7-8 now.

 

Fall has historically been a stressful time for me - school starts then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas - it's a landslide of change. So I chose to wait until January to start my taper because I would like to be successful with it, but again, I will not hurry it along. I have suffered enough from that and learned my lesson. Somewhere (maybe here), I saw a rule of thumb that said that the amount of time taken to WD from an SSRI should be HALF the amount of time a person has been taking them. In my case, that would be FIVE years! I don't expect it to take that long but if it does then so be it. I want quality of life in the process, these are precious years.

 

Trust me (and others here), your WD symptoms will lift eventually. I personally didn't tolerate the Zoloft well either, but I have heard other people say that they experienced what you are feeling for the first few weeks and then started feeling "normal" again. So hang in there! I pray you will start feeling better soon, your body is still adjusting and staying where you are will pay off. I know it's very difficult to "do nothing" to "fix" the problem when you feel like crap, but apparently that is part of the lesson in this for all of us "tinkerers". Waiting is hard, but distraction is good to help pass the time! Baylissa's book really helped me to wrap my head around this concept. She suffered terribly and for a long time from benzo WD. Hang in there Star!  :)

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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Thanks again!

I am not putting too much hope into zoloft, I am hoping to stabilize just enough to begin tapering.

I think your symptoms are more under control which is great so you can take your time.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

starcontrol2, hey.

thank you for reading my thread, for taking the time. it means a lot to know that you find some of it inspiring. it makes the process feel less like a meaningless pain-fest and more like a contribution to an unfortunate, necessity-driven user-manual for similar makes and models.

i can well-understand why you would say this

 

 

In some ways I feel my struggle would "easier" if I didn't have other people that I am bringing down so much

i felt precisely that innumerable times. i don't know the ins-and-outs of your situation and really needn't because in general, family dynamics are tricky, or at least multi-tiered. they are pulse-driven tapestries that take days, months, and years on the loom to thread. from my experience, when it comes to withdrawal - or let me clarify that when it came to MY withdrawal - relationships - familial and otherwise - were distilled to... expectations. one sword, two blades; expectations others had of me and perhaps more importantly, expectations i had for myself.

who would it be easier on if we didn't have other people that we were bringing down so much? would it be easier on them? would it be easier on us? perhaps both? perhaps neither? the problem is, we can never know the answer to this unless we remove ourselves from our relationships and in my opinion - unless one were in a toxic or otherwise harmful relationship - that would not be a decision one would want to make under the assault of withdrawal. our decision-making capacities may not be particularly agile in withdrawal.

in my view, i failed colossally in most of my relationships during acute withdrawal. there is absolutely nothing i can do about that now. and in retrospect, i truly believe i did the best i could under the circumstances at that time. my every single day during acute withdrawal was a real-time nightmare. fairly early on in the scope of it, i had to give up the expectations - i had to remove them from my field of vision as thoroughly as possible. and i had to operate to the best of my ability and be happy with it. tough terrain for someone who has been a lifelong card-carrying member of People Pleasers Anonymous. the unloading of expectations was not some narcissistic or selfish pursuit - it was necessary to my survival. not to give up motivation. not to give up pushing towards the goal of healing. but to give up trying to achieve levels of expectation i had, to that point, sought to achieve.

what i am suggesting is to take your relationship situations, as they are personal to you, and measure them against the circumstances that now befall you as a result of psychiatric drug withdrawal. under your withdrawal circumstances, are you doing your best for those you love and care for and for those who love and care for you? notice i am not asking if you are doing as well as you did for them pre-withdrawal. but under the weight of withdrawal, are you doing your best? if your answer to that is yes, or even almost yes, then you need to accept that - despite any abhorrent feelings of inadequacy and frustration that may abound.

at the end of the day, i had to accept that withdrawal meant loss. and the level of loss varies for all of us. for some of us, it might be the loss of a job, spouse, friend etc. for others it might be the loss of a few days of sick leave and a level of fitness. still others might have to give up their morning espresso and dietary freedom - it runs the gamut. but i don't think i have encountered a single person in withdrawal who hasn't lost something, or someone - even if that means themselves. it seems to come with the territory. to accept loss, or the prospect of loss, is not capitulation to loss. it seems to me that it is simply familiarizing oneself with certain inevitabilities.

there is so much in withdrawal we don't have control over starcontrol2 (though maybe you have the stars in line for us :) ?). the number of times some symptom in my mind or body forced me to say "i have absolutely no control over what is happening here" is bewildering in retrospect. i have never felt so out of control as i did during withdrawal. but what i always felt i had control over was doing my very best under the circumstances - even if the end-sum of that "very best" was complete and utter failure, of which i accrued plenty.

i hope this makes some sense and is useful somehow. withdrawal is not permanent, particularly as it pertains to levels of intensity. try as best as you can from making permanent decisions during this impermanent time. be gentle with yourself while resolving to push through with whatever fortitude you can muster.

success and failure are not always best measured by the final outcome, but rather by the effort expended and the motivation behind it in practice. know your own power and that in these days, a little can go a long way. for you, and for those you love.

hang in there,

dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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well put dave, thank you. i am going to copy this to Self Care if someone else hasn't already done so. this is such a difficult concept for over achievers and people pleasers to wrap our brains around, and yet, it is essential to healing. and it is very humbling, which is actually a good thing for most of us! we come away from this so much more empathetic and understanding of whatever difficult situations others are going through. personally, my ability to empathize with others needed some deepening so i see this as a very positive thing because i love people better now and more unconditionally than i used to. not always, people still irritate me on a regular basis and i totally bit** about it more than i should but that's human, i will never be perfect her on earth! hang in there fellow withdrawal warriors!!  :)

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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Thanks Dave for stopping by my thread and taking the time to write a detailed response.

I wish I could lineup some stars, Star Control II was a really cool game, well about stars :) I don't think I quite finished it but maybe some day I will...

I hear you about losing something during withdrawal. Mine was so sudden and so crushing, I can't still wrap my head(what's left of it) around how quickly and how badly things became.

I lost a number of things so quickly and still can't get quite "used" to it.

 

I also still can't quite comprehend how a human body is allowing itself to feel so horrible. I probably know the answer: I think it's the meds. I doubt I would ever feel so crushingly bad no matter what with so many symptoms.

 

Another thing that really bugs me is that all this could have been lessened to a big degree if not avoided altogether if I would just taper properly. Yes, I had some side effects I couldn't wait to get rid but I still have those plus a thousand other things.

 

It has been just over a month since I fully transitioned from lexapro to zoloft. I really want off but I know I need to stabilize, although in my case I don't know what that would mean.

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Ground to Starcontrol2 - (trying to get a "Major Tom" in there)

 

You wrote:

 

Thanks for giving your input. Not to say that I am any kind of star athlete, not at all :-) BUT I used to go grappling 4-5 times a week and play soccer twice, all competitive.

Now soccer isn't really that intensive but grappling is beyond belief.

Now I am very rarely playing soccer because of the stupid visual "stuff" and just being so sleepy that it is hard to concentrate on the game and depression just brings me so down.

I still try to go to grappling 1-2 times a week, I am nowhere near what I could do before but I hang in there with most. I just defend all the time on my back so my visual concentration is not as required.

I have "replaced" with treadmill running which I hate but it is consistent and I go when I want and swimming.

You can't imagine in what sleepless delirium I went to treadmill... But I couldn't lay down to sleep.

But once I get going I don't feel tired and it does have positive affects, mostly calming but on depression not so much...

I don't want to muscle through this at all but I don't know what to do, I am a 1099 contractor, yes I could take off but that would be unpaid so I figured if they start giving me trouble at work and I don't know how they still haven't!!! then I will take unpaid leave. But sitting home is not more helpful it probably hurts more.

It is also very hard for me to lose "gains" like if i have a better day or if i sleep better for a few night and then just to go back to being bad. I know waves and windows but they can't be daily!

I have been in USA for awhile but I am not natively from here and meds are really not in my line of thinking, maybe that's good because  I would probably be put in ssri 20 years ago!

 

Dude, do you know what an athletic feat it is to "grow a new brain?"

 

We've had heavy lifters, marathon runners, etc. in here brought to their knees by withdrawal - because there is simply not enough neuron soup to go around!  While I appreciate your desire to stay fit, and it helps with the routine - it may be robbing you of the rest you need to repair your brain.

 

If you'd broken a leg, would you say, "well, I'm just running a mile - I used to run 26.2!"  No.  You would stop and rest your broken leg.  How is a brain different?  Well, it's far more complex than a broken leg, for starters.   See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/931-exercise-what-kind-and-when-is-it-too-much/   Maybe you are one of the few who can exercise full steam ahead while you are in withdrawal - but I urge you to listen to your symptoms, and heal your brain.  You can train later.

 

I had to give up a karate practice this year due to autonomic dysregulation (and a hand injury - how to grapple and punch with a damaged hand?).  I thought:  "I'll never stay balanced and sane without my karate practice!"  It was my anchor, my porpoise, my balance.  It made me a nicer person, a kinder person, and it gave me a healthy outlet to focus, concentrate, be still - as well as training my brain to learn new things.  How did I survive the year without it?  I don't really know!  I've probably had some cognitive loss, since I'm not contorting my body and mind into new techniques and katas - but - I'm nearly out of my taper, and my husband says I'm easier, kinder, more flexible, communicative.  I don't know where he gets it - because I feel very frustrated without my practice.  Even yoga is hurting too much and can shut me down for 2 days.  (and this is NOT power yoga, either)  But I have survived, and improved, without the physical practice I thought I was dependant upon.

 

You cannot out-stubborn withdrawal.  Try a week off, and see if you improve!  (if not, tell me, and I'll shut up)

 

I admire your XL spreadsheet for tracking.  I hope it includes time of supplements (the B-vitamins were a red flag for me, too - additionally, taking complexes are difficult - what if you need B12, and it is okay for you to take, but the B6 is activating?  Or vice versa?  How will you know, when taking a multivitamin and a B complex.  It seems more expensive, but it might be cheaper in the long run when you find out that something is making your withdrawal more challenging.  And you cannot know - when you cannot separate out the elements.

 

LexAnger, who has kindly posted here, said in another thread:

 

 Change, is the biggest harm in this process to success. 

Each time you try a new herb, supplement, or tweak your dose, you are bouncing the basketball (brain) again.  It will take time to settle and be still.  Making changes keeps that basketball bouncing, and it is difficult to stabilise and find a baseline.

 

I'm sorry you are suffering.  I urge you to throw away the calendar.  It will not serve you well in here, the ticking clock, the pages flying off into the wind. Be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait some more. 

 

And when you think you have stabilised - wait another month to taper.

 

Welcome to SA!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

If JanCarol had the time and the bandwidth to go through everyone's thread on SA and post a response, we would all be better off for it.  

 

If your writing reflects your living, JC, your husband is probably right (even if you don't see it) because your perspective is really very wonderful to read as it reminds us all of the challenge we face and the strength we all have to overcome it.

 

Thanks from all of us,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Hi JanCarol,

 

Thank you for your input and taking time to comment on my thread.

 

Thank you Andy for your support, as always.

 

I was going to update with some questions this weekend. I started this thread exactly a month ago and within this months I haven't noticed any change, day to day, yes but overall, no.

 

If growing a new brains means sitting around and not doing much physical I am glad to do it. I don't know if it is true. I don't feel worse after exercise and many times I feel better, even the worst depression retreats and more calm. This has been the only reliable way to deal with worst of the worst. Do I want to exercise? not really, I feel foggy, tired and mentally exhausted but after exercise those symptoms are not worse. I guess the main thing here is that I BELIEVE exercise helps and that is a big psychological meaning for my brain. And routine, yes routine has been really important.

I wish I was on my knees, I am on my knees on "good" days, I am on the ground with my face in manure on my "regular" days.

 

I don't know what it means to stabilize in my case. No depression? no anxiety? sleep back to normal? no fog? I doubt I can achieve that while taking medicine.

I developed fog and visual slowness while on Lexapro and in withdrawal they got worse plus bunch of other symptoms, I doubt I can lift the fog if the medicine itself has caused it.

I do get better, less foggy days and I get nights when I sleep better, do I need to get those to being consistent, would that mean I have stabilized?

 

I have been off of lexapro since October 10, and on 37.5mg of Zoloft. Looking at my tracker, I don't really see any improvement, it is pretty much the same, some better days, when I am on my knees some bad days and some really bad days with my head totally in manure. Stressful events set me of with a few days of really bad days. Those stressful events are not even that stressful for a regular me.

 

I guess, overall I am a little bit better than say August but for about last 2 months it is about the same and it is not good at all, it is pretty bad. How long do I wait till I consider is safe to cut zoloft a little? I was going to give it till after thanksgiving. But a little better doesn't translate into much so far. Also, I hate to think that it is because of the poison zoloft I am doing a little better.

 

As for supplement, yes I thought about it a lot but I was so desperate(still am) that I had to trust someone, she is a psychopharmacologyst but only uses meds as last resort. Even though, she believes in withdrawal, I don't think she has a clue of how bad it can be BECAUSE OF WITHDRAWAL. I don't know if they do anything, these supplements. I changed diet on her advice back in the summer. Now that I think about it, it was probably more stress for my system but it is in the past.

 

I do want to take your advice and moderate exercise and see if that helps, I feel swimming has been absolute crucial, everything else I will try to see if I can get some breaks and see a pattern. Back in August I was only swimming, i couldn't do much more I was so dizzy and disoriented.

 

But my question remains, how long do I wait before I start tapering. No calendar, JC, just strictly symptom-wise. Would be glad to hear people's input.

And another question, if I get a more clear, less foggy and less visual slowness day, less depression, etc. is that considered a window? Sometimes my afternoon suddenly becomes "better".

 

Thank you all!

10/2012 - Lexapro 10mg

2013/2014 - Started experiencing visual disturbances, like visual processing was slow, feeling drunk all the time

9/2014 - Lexapro 5mg, didn't notice any withdrawal, drunk feeling went away

2015 - Drunk feeling came back

5/2015 - Lexapro 2.5mg - 1.25mg - insomnia started

6/2015 - Lexapro 0.625mg

7/2015 - Severe symptoms started, in desperation on advice of pdoc restarted 5mg Lexapro - total disaster

8/2015 - Lexapro 5mg, disoriented, sleepless zombie

9/2015 - Very reluctantly started transitioning to Zoloft

as of 10/10/2105 - no lexapro, 37.5mg Zoloft

12/14/2015 - 35mg zoloft, 1/16/2016 - 34mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

But my question remains, how long do I wait before I start tapering. No calendar, JC, just strictly symptom-wise. Would be glad to hear people's input.

And another question, if I get a more clear, less foggy and less visual slowness day, less depression, etc. is that considered a window? Sometimes my afternoon suddenly becomes "better".

So, Star, as always I can only provide my opinions.

 

With regard to how long you wait, there are definitely some people who only start to show signs of improvement once they begin to reduce their dose, i.e., the medicine is essentially toxic to them. If you show no further real improvement between now and some reasonable date, e.g., end of the year, I would certainly not be opposed to you trying a 10% cut to see how you react. If you are the same or better, I would continue on. If noticeably worse, I would reinstate and reevaluate.

 

With regard to "what is a window?" I sometimes think we place too much emphasis on that word because it signifies some kind of "holy grail" for us. In my view, it's really a question of "moments of feeling noticeably better." Friday and Saturday I had those. That does NOT mean that "all the awful stuff lifted and I could hear angels singing and the sound of babies laughing." It just means that I could notice that I was feeling better than when I'm not feeling good. To me that is a "window" and a sign that I can improve and will improve. So, in your case, if you feel better in the afternoons, that is a good sign. It means that there is a level above baseline that it is reasonable for you to aspire to. Soon, that will hopefully be your "new baseline." From there the goal is simply to have the baseline go up until it is where you can say you are "largely healed." There are some examples of what I would call "spontaneous remission" but they are the exception not the rule. I am encouraged to hear you say that there are times you feel noticeably better.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Moderator

Hey Star - 

 

Thanks for your thoughtful reply! 

 

You are still EARLY EARLY EARLY days yet.  Lexapro has the potential to kick your arse for another ....well, I can't say - it could be weeks, months.  This doesn't mean that it will, but every mod here has seen it.  Over and over. Of course, Alto and the mods tend to see the ones that become difficult.  We rarely get the joy of hearing:  "Oh, I just quit that, it was fine*," or, "I had 1-3 days before withdrawal hit, but it cleared up in three weeks."   (this last one is in all the doc's and pharmas "discontinuation syndrome" literature.) (and I've never heard that one exactly.)

 

(*exception:  I met a friend this weekend who did 3 months of Sertraline and just quit when she "was done."  I do not know her dose.)  

 

This is why I talk so often about waiting, holding, distracting.  And if exercise is your distraction, and gives you the endorphins you need to get through the day - hey, that beats the heck out of a benzo, eh?

 

SS/NRI's are famous for the delayed response.  There are many cases in here where they quit cold turkey.  Felt great.  Then weeks or months later, it hit, and hard.  They thought (and were told by the docs) that it was their "illness returning."  But no.  It was delayed symptoms from withdrawal, because it took that long for the brain to "catch up" to what was happening with the neurotransmitters.

 

So be patient, and kind to yourself.  If I were you, talking to this awesome doc of yours - I would ask for split B vitamins instead of a complex.  I would ask to see if you are really depleted in B12 (most people who are depleted in B12 are also depleted in D3, so it's better to start there - and - D3 won't be helpful if you are magnesium depleted - so it gets complicated - but she should know all this stuff), and need it at all.  For anxiety, niacin has been used for nearly a century.  Some folks find B6 or P5P useful in stabilizing mood.  There's one member here who swears by her B1 (Thiamine).  I'm the same about vitamin D.  But as you read in http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet/ you will see all kinds of different reactions to different supplements.  Maybe take a few relevant pages to your doc, and ask for a split.  There are many people here who have said, "I was a mess until I quit: (insert:  any/all B vitamins, D, Magnesium, probiotic, valerian etc. here)"

 

I'm not one of them (I take trays of supplements, herbs, aminos, vitamins, minerals, etc.). 

 

You've got a great attitude, there's an acronym going around here AAF:  Accept, Acknowledge, and float.  Our own Dalsaan wrote:

 

First the situation/symptoms need to be Acknowledged.  Through no fault of your own you are now very sick and there are going to be a lot of very unpleasant symptoms to deal with, and like any major illness getting better will now be your primary focus.  Mentally explore the situation, feelings or lack there of, symptoms etc. and get to know them.

 

Secondly you have to truly accept that is happening.  The symptoms and feeling or lack there of are going to happen no matter what you say about it, there is nothing you can do about them or the situation.

 

Lastly, let the symptoms and unpleasantness float off as you go on about your life as best as you can, believing that it will get better in time.

 

The Float.  I think that's the key word.  Releasing.  Just letting it be.  Fighting symptoms seems to make them worse.

 

 And inspired by you (and my fitbit) I'm off to my own thread to post my exercise for the week!  Ouch!   :blink:

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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