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reindeer17

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Hello all and thank you for taking the time to read this post :)   My antidepressant experience started in 2014 after my father's passing.  It was shocking, unexpected and I was devastated.  I found out my father had an illness that he did not seek treatment for and as I did not live close to him, he told me nothing about it.   We were extremely close and after not being able to contact him for a day and a half we sent the police to his house as he lived in a remote area.  They had to break down the door and he was rushed to the hospital. 

 

I took the first plane out the next morning.  He was on life support, never regained consciousness and died right before my eyes after an hour of getting there.  The days following were awful and after making the trip to pick out the urn for his ashes I had a massive panic attack.  I couldn't catch my breath, had extreme chest pain and thought I was going to die.  After a trip to the clinic, I was initally put on Paxil and ativan.  

 

The first ativan seemed to help some, however subsequent pills did nothing.  After flying back home and seeing my GP he switched me to Cipralex 10mg.  It took about 3 weeks to kick in and after it did, I was grateful for the way it made me feel.  It pulled me out of the deep dark pit of depression I was in and gave me my life back.  It also took away the anxiety I was experiencing.  For weeks I had felt like an elephant was standing on my chest. 

 

I had a few side effects during this time, however the one that persisted made me taper off after approx. 5 months.  I was lethargic all day long.  Didn't want to get out of bed as I was so tired.  My doctor suggested cutting my pills in half for 2 weeks and being finished after that.  I thought I was fine.  I felt good.  Had brain zaps for a few weeks but after that I was fine. 

 

3 months later I started having ear pain.  I tried over the counter ear drops and when they didn't work I went to the clinic.  They said I didn't seem to have an ear infection but gave me antibiotics in case.  They didn't work and it got worse.  The pain started radiating down my neck.  I was given 3 more antibiotic prescriptions and they did nothing.  The ear pain persisted although the interior of my ear looked fine.  It was on and off for a few months and then strange things started happening.  I woke up one morning and my pinky was numb and tingly....then days later my index finger.  Then the top part of my foot and up my leg.  My calf was so tight one day I thought I had a blood clot.  The numbness/tingling would move around. 

 

My doctor said it was stress but I wasn't stressed at all.  I thought I had some virus from the antibiotics weakening my immune system.  I was on high dose of probiotics and tried a million things from the health food store.  The ear pain went away but the other symptoms persisted.  Burning skin, twitching, skin crawling, head pain, tender scalp.  I went back to my doctor and had a battery of tests.  All came back perfect.  I never get sick other than a cold, have never had a history of anxiety or strees until my father passed and am not one to complain.  All this was driving me mad!! 

 

I started to get this pain my shoulder and I thought it was a pinched nerve and then I had this tingly/wormy feeling in my temples.  I had had enough and went back to the doctor.  I was put on ativan, then valium and back on cipralex but it was the generic escitalopram this time.  The first 3 weeks were hell.  My symptoms went through the roof!!  My body was like a firework.  My ear pain came back and it had been gone for months at this point.  I powered through and after 4 months things calmed down but I weaned off as I had a ton of side effects this time as well as the lethargy again.  Once again my symptoms flared but have slowly gotten better. 

 

Up until I started these meds I was super healthy.  I eat healthy, work out all the time and maybe get a cold once a year.  Is it possible all the weird symptoms I experienced were delayed withdrawal or were somehow caused by the drugs weakening my stress response??  I am still so confused by all of this and it has been SO long since I have felt normal.  It just sucks.  Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  It is much appreciated :)

Edited by KarenB
added paragraph breaks for readability

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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I forgot to also mention that I had electric shock like symptoms all through by body for about a week.  After that I would only get it on my side of my chest.  I also had muscle weakness early on.  My arm was so weak and my wrist would just flop over.  So many symptoms, it's hard to remember them all.

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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  • Moderator

Hi reindeer--  welcome to the group.  I'm sorry to hear about all the trouble you've been having, but it sounds like things are slowly improving.  It looks to me like you're having WD symptoms from all the ups, downs and changes you've made in your drugs over the past year.  These are very powerful drugs and doctors tend to prescribe them and change them with out understanding how they work or how they affect people.  The fact that you've been off for four months and are starting to feel better is a good sign that things are improving.  Here is a link that will help you understand what is going on:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Thank you for taking the time to fill in a signature block, it really helps make things clear at a glance.

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.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     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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Thank you for your reply Brassmonkey!  Much appreciated.  I will take a read through that link you provided.  Just wondering if anyone else has experienced the same symptoms I have months after stopping Cipralex/escitalopram/Lexapro??  It is still so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that these drugs can do so much harm in the long run, when initially they are supposed to make us better.  It's just not right.

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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Hi Reindeer,

 

I am so sorry you are hit too by the most dangerous drug in the whole world and history!

 

Reading your initial post made me 'wow' as all the symptoms you had are part of mine for years and still with me now daily, even your description of those is the same, plus new ones i am still experiencing lately (not yet updated to my thread)--parallyzed feeling the entire left side, head to toe, brain, arm, leg  non-functional/weak (cant even type).

 

I am glad you are feeling better now! That is huge and you will see what I mean after reading more horrible stories for how long ppl are suffering and cant be out.

 

are you still taking any of he meds mentioned in your signature?

when was your last does of lexapro?

 

hope you continue feeling better!

Lex

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 Lex!!

 

Thanks so much for your response!!  WOW!!  I can't believe I have found someone with the same symptoms!  How many years have you been experiencing these symptoms?  Do you find anything makes them better/worse?  As far as lifestyle or supplements?  I have been off completely off everything now for a month and a half approximately I think.  My symptoms are up and down but are gradually getting better on a whole.  I always try to correlate them flaring up to my doing something different or taking a specific supplement, but I honestly think there is no rhyme nor reason.  I just have to ride the waves.  I has been debilitating as this has pretty much consumed my life for months now.  I can't imagine years.  I feel for you!  Are you completely off now?  I hope you start to feel better soon!!! :) :)

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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Hi Reindeer,

 

All these started when I hit to 2.75 from 10 mg lexapro in 2013 and they stayed with me during my rest tapering. I tried everything but nothing touches any of the symptoms especially the severe needling pain all over my head, face, shoulder, back. I have so many other symptoms over the course very complicated but the pain is my main complains until recently when I reduced to 3.2 mg after a dose increase last year now got severe brain non functional, irregular heartbeats, fatigue, paralyzed left side, just name a few on top of the pain. You can see more details on my thread linked below. I'm not even off this life destroying poison.

 

As you read more, you will find lots of us here have been suffering years either off the drug or still tapering. I definitely hope you are not one of us and can get out of this hell successfully without suffering too long.

 

You have been on the drug for relatively short term but be careful still as there is so called protracted withdrawal that can hit months later after stopping. Again I have my fingers crossed for you not to be hit by that.

 

So far I found your pain symptoms are most close to mine. I completely know how you feel!

 

There are tons of great/best information on this site, I have been learning constantly everyday for the past 2 yrs from the mods and every member. I'm glad you found and joined the community.

 

Best luck!

Lex

 

 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6177-lexanger-tapering-or-no-tapering-generic-vs-name-brand-lexapro/#entry85147

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Reindeer.

 

How long have you been off escitalopram? How did you taper off?

 

What is your daily symptom pattern now?

 

You might find acupuncture helpful for muscle or joint pain.

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 Lex!  thank you! :)  Look like you did a slow taper.  Maybe I should've done the same.  Thank you again for all your responses!  Much appreciated!!

 

Hi altostrata!!

 

I have been off for approximately a month and a half now.  I am beginning to think that I may have potentially tapered too quickly both times that may have caused this.  My friend has been on and off antidepressants for years and due to the fact I wasnt on them for long suggested both time I cut my pills in half for 2 weeks and be done.  That is what I did. Currently my daily symptoms fluctuate but lately have been ear pain, head/neck pain and numbness/tingling in my legs.  Worse in the mornings.  Overall things are improving.  the severity improves.  funny thing is that once I tapered off and my symptoms skyrocketed again, I was like....oh...I totally forgot I even had that symptom months ago!  Ugh!!  I just want to feel normal again.  It's so hard. I'm a super positive person and its it's super hard feeling like a person that always has issues.  I feel like people thing I'm full of crap or just dont want to hear it anymore.  It's so frustrating.  Mornings are the worst.  I wake up and put my feet on the floor and feel like prickles/shocks up through my feet and legs as they hit the floor.  I can live with these things at least knowing the cause.  It's just depressing as there seems to be no hope.

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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  • Administrator

Many people find that reinstatement of a small amount of the drug, such as 1mg escilatopram in your case, will reduce withdrawal symptoms. You would stabilize for some months, then taper off by tiny amounts later.

 

See What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
 
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.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Reindeer,


Just wanted to drop in and say hi and suggest a couple of things which helped me.  They might help you to understand what is happening so that you can make a decision about reinstating.

 

Brain Remodelling and Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

 

Best wishes,

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks so much for the links Altostrata and ChessieCat!!  I will check those out :) Thanks for your help!  Much appreciated! :)

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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  • Moderator

Hey Reindeer - 

 

Glad you found us, but sorry you had to look for us.  What has happened to you is not at all rare or uncommon.  

 

Your symptoms are, of course, unique to you - we each get our own set.  And, as we heal, the set of symptoms changes and morphs as we rebuild our brain.  This is discussed more in the "Windows and Waves" topic that Alto posted.

 

It may help you to check your symptoms against this list - it also gives you a means to track your symptoms as they shift and change over time:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

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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Hi JanCarol!! 

 

Thank you for your kind words :)  It is so reassuring to know that my situation is not uncommon or rare as until I found this site, I was certain it was just that.  Having answers now and knowing I am not alone in this has really set my mind at ease.  This site has a wealth of information and is quite invaluable.  I am very grateful to have found it and grateful for people like yourself who take the time to help people like me.  So thank you!!! :)

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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  • Mentor

Paxil?  My god you are tough to survive that one, well done!

 

We are here to support you.  My only experience with paxil was instant psychosis, nearly killed me.......... (if I am correct, called the Viva Zyprexa era in Australia)... but I may be wrong, just regaining my damn brain.

So welcome, write anytime, someone will be here to support you.

 

And yes believe what they say, wellness does happen, but takes time.   When walking through hell, just keep walking!  I wish you a nice Christmas, if you are suffering, remember, next Christmas will be better.  it is true.............................

 

best wishes

Ang

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Hi Ang!!

 

Thanks so much for your kind words :)  I wish you a merry Christmas as well!!  I am not doing so bad in the last few days.  My symptoms seem to be diminishing in intensity and in the number of different symptoms I have altogether.  Hopefully I am on an upswing!!  Thanks again for writing.  Take care.

2014 - 20mg Paxil for one month and switched to 10mg Cipralex for 5 months and weaned off. 

2015 - 10mg Escitalopram for 4 months and weaned off.

Ativan when needed during both bouts and valium the second time when ativan just didn't cut it

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