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knelliott9: 18 year old struggling with Lexapro Withdrawals


knelliott9

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Hello everyone,

 

I am 18 years old and from Alabama. I started taking lexapro about 5 months ago due to extreme anxiety, OCD, and slight depression. Ever since I have been taking lexapro my anxiety has gotten worse, I am extremely emotional, I freak out over everything, and am in the last straw of my relationship with someone who has been there for me and loved me through all of this simply because he is frustrated with the person I have become (as am I). So i recently (as in two days ago) decided to talk to my doctor about weaning off of Lexapro. I took 10mg for the first 3 months and have been on 20mg for about 2 months. I currently take 20mg and was advised to cut by 50% so for the past two days I have taken 10mg daily. I currently feel like I am in a fog and have zero emotions. While also dealing with my relationship crisis, him and I have decided to take a break for 3 weeks until I can hopefully be back to normal (so says my doctor). So currently I am dealing with the sadness of that as well as symptoms as well as being away from home at college dealing with stress. I am so scared for the upcoming symptoms because I have read things such as brain zaps (which I have had), nausea, hallucinations, and worse. Please give me advice or someone please just be there to talk to me. I am desperate on all aspects. Please and thank you in advance :)

Started Lexapro 10mg in June 2015

Upped Lexapro to 20mg in August 2015

Started Tapering off by 50% increments November 3rd 2015

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  • Moderator

Hi knelliott-- welcome to the group. I'm so glad you found us in time.  Even though you have been on the Lexapro for a "short time" these are very powerful drugs and only need a month to get their claws into you.  We have found that most doctors have no clue about how these drugs work or how to get people off of them safely.  The method your doctor is recommending is very common and, as many of our members can attest, causes more trouble than good.  Seeing as how it has only been two days I would suggest that you start taking your full dose again and give it several weeks for the symptoms you are now feeling to settle out.  Then we can help you set up a taper schedule that will get you off of them with as little pain as possible.  Here are some things that you should read:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

It would be really helpful if you would fill out a signature block, it makes it much easier for us to keep track of what is happening.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/     

Edited by brassmonkey
Reposted Signature URL

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, knelliot.

 

You may wish to take 15mg Lexapro now, to reduce the adverse effect of a 50% dosage decrease. You might ask your doctor for a prescription for the Lexapro liquid so you can add 5mg to the 10mg you're taking now. After you stabilize on the 15mg -- this can take a month or more -- you may want to taper more gradually.

 

It will be much easier to gradually taper the liquid by 10%.

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 knelliott-- welcome to the group. I'm so glad you found us in time.  Even though you have been on the Lexapro for a "short time" these are very powerful drugs and only need a month to get their claws into you.  We have found that most doctors have no clue about how these drugs work or how to get people off of them safely.  The method your doctor is recommending is very common and, as many of our members can attest, causes more trouble than good.  Seeing as how it has only been two days I would suggest that you start taking your full dose again and give it several weeks for the symptoms you are now feeling to settle out.  Then we can help you set up a taper schedule that will get you off of them with as little pain as possible.  Here are some things that you should read:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

It would be really helpful if you would fill out a signature block, it makes it much easier for us to keep track of what is happening.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/     

i really need to come off of it now, i cannot take it anymore

Started Lexapro 10mg in June 2015

Upped Lexapro to 20mg in August 2015

Started Tapering off by 50% increments November 3rd 2015

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  • Administrator

It sounds like you have withdrawal symptoms from the 50% cut. Going up a little in dosage can reduce that.

 

Then you can go off more gradually later.

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

Hello Knelliot and welcome so s/a,

 

You're really in a tough place right now, feeling the effects of lexapro and the withdrawals, as well as your relationship troubles.  I'm so sorry to hear all that - it's tough enough when you are first away from home.  Is there anyone you trust who could be a support for you through this?  And of course we are all here too... just write whenever you need too.

 

As you are finding out, SSRIs are not drugs that can be suddenly stopped.  I know you hate taking them - we hate it too - but in order to get you off them in a safe and manageable way, what Alto suggests is a really good idea.  Reinstating (putting your dose back up a little bit) can help you to get good and stable. Once that happens, the staff and mods here can help you work out a plan for tapering gently of until you are med-free.  

 

I know this is a longer plan than you have first wanted, but in the long-run it's the better option.  We want you to be as okay as possible through all of this.  Would you like to have a read of http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/ which can help you with some of the symptoms and anxiety.

 

You're going to be okay - the main thing is not to panic or rush into anything.

Hugs,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey KN we all want off the drugs.  We would quit tomorrow if it were safe - but it's not.

 

You may be able to get off more quickly than some of us because you were young, you were on the drug a short time.  But that is still months, not weeks.

 

You are already suffering withdrawal symptoms.  That means you have come off too fast.  The best way to relieve your suffering is to reinstate.  You are in withdrawal from Lexapro, that is what your body is craving.  Alto says 15 mg is good, she is the most knowledgeable of all of us.

 

Please reinstate, then you can clear your head and prepare, get support, and start again when you are stable.

 

Breathe, you've come to the right place.  We know what this is, we've been through it.  And we are getting better.  You can too.

"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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