Jump to content

Sstansky, Lexapro Withdrawal: Severe gas & bloating


sstansky

Recommended Posts

I'm so glad to have just found this website!  I don't know where else to turn.

 

I took 10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs, and tapered off of it over 6 weeks.  The first day that I didn't take any, my guts filled with gas.  It's been going on now for 3 months.  All tests for stomach/intestinal conditions have been negative, my PCP says this side effect is not in the literature, and my therapist said this hasn't happened to anyone in her 25 yrs experience.  So I am left with no where to turn in the medical world.

 

My symptoms are evolving.  Started as severe gas pain at night, so I couldn't lay down flat to sleep; slept in the recliner for nearly 3 months.  I would get up every hour or so at night and belch continuously for 1/2 - 2 hours.  I never know what foods will set it off - what I ate yesterday that sat ok may cause extreme gas today.  There is no pattern.  Some days I burp most of the day, some days not much at all.  But each evening around bedtime, I massage my belly before trying to sleep, and enormous amounts of gas comes up.  Belches last maybe 10 long seconds, and just keep coming one after another; usually takes about 20 minutes or so.  I've finally slept laying flat in bed this past week, and a few times I made it all the way through the night without getting up.  But other nights, I woke up to bloating and had to get up to belch and belch and belch.  Then tried to get back to sleep.  It's exhausting.

 

Before this happened, I was a very healthy eater- lots of vegetables, healthy fats like macadamia nuts & avocados, organic protein, absolute minimal sugar, no junk, no soda.  Right weight.  Now I'm afraid to eat, have lost 10 pounds, and only eat what feels right for the moment.  Haven't eaten bread in years, and I have recently eaten a few crackers or tortillas because I craved it.  Very strange.  

 

Will I get over this?  How? What would help?  This just can't keep going on and on, can it?

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi sstansky and welcome to SA,

 

Thank you for putting your drug history in your signature.  It will help people assist you with suggestions.  This is a withdrawal symptom checklist. You will see that stomach bloating is included in this list.  A 6 week taper is very fast.  Here a 10% taper is advised to minimise withdrawal symptoms and allow the brain to remodel itself.  See this link:  Brain Remodelling

 

You may still be able to reinstate a small dose.  Please don't take anything until one of the other more knowledgeable members posts their thoughts.  Whilst you are waiting for a response, you could read the flowing so you understand what and why they suggest what they do.

 

Intro to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Why taper?

 

Tips for Tapering off Lexapro

 

All the best.

 

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Sstansky and welcome to s/a,

 

I'm glad you've found this site - what you're going through sounds awful.  You might like to look at this link:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3413-digestive-problems-nausea-diarrhea-bloating-gerd/  There's good discussion in there about these issues, and further things you can read.  One of the posters in particular did a lot of research into this issue - about what foods to eat etc. 

 

You might also find it useful to learn about the Vagus Nerve.  Our gut, brain and heart are all connected by this nerve, and there are ways to improve it's function.

 

Reinstatement at 3 months out can go either way.  The thread CC posted might help you decide if you want to try it.  It was a very fast taper you did, and often when a person goes too fast, their system just can't cope.  This is when reinstatement of a small amount can sometimes help alleviate symptoms.  Then, when you have stabilised for a good while, you can work out a gentle tapering plan.

 

If you choose not to reinstate, your main goal will be to make things as gentle for your Central Nervous System and gut as possible, and ride it out. 

 

Do you take any supplements?  In w/d these can often make people feel worse, except for Fish Oil and Magnesium which many people find helpful.

 

Please have a read of these links and then come back to this thread to ask your questions.  This can be your journal for your healing journey.  Yes, healing is very possible, you will not be like this forever.  It always feels so bad when we find ourselves in this situation, but you will work through it and find a path that brings you healing.

 

Best wishes,

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.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Sstansky.
 
I can hardly improve on the excellent advice from ChessieCat and KarenB.
 
Antidepressants affect serotonin in the gut, too, where it is an important regulator of digestion. Digestive problems from antidepressants are very common. See Digestive problems: Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, GERD
 
It is possible a very small reinstatement, even 1mg, might reduce your symptoms. You would stabilize for some months then taper off by very tiny amounts. See Tips for Tapering off Lexapro for background.
 
Otherwise, if the digestive symptoms are your only withdrawal symptoms, you might go on an elimination diet -- particularly excluding FODMAP foods -- to see if it is specific foods causing your problem. See Digestive problems: Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, GERD

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

Thanks to all who have offered your very appreciated advice!  I have a lot of homework/reading to do.  I am so very thankful for the links and your taking the time and effort to respond to my post.  Even before reading everything, I find myself feeling some hope.  Warmth and hugs.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yay, hope there is.  The title of this whole forum is because you can Survive it :).

 

Happy reading.

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.

Link to comment

I am reading Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's book, The Antidepressant Solution.  Boy, is that an eye opener!  

 

I had other symptoms that were so relatively minor compared to the extraordinary bloating that I've suffered for 3 months, that I didn't bother to mention them:

* I also had 4 occasions of numbness on the right side of my face that involved my nose and upper lip.  It would come on over a few minutes and last about 1/2 hour.  Occurred over the first month or so.

* I've had about a dozen? occasions of tingling on various places on my face. I would gently rub or scratch, but it didn't do any good.  So I just had to wait until it was over, usually only a few minutes.  Occurred mostly in the 1st month, but maybe once a week still?

* Also, and this feels very embarrassing, I had a few very urgent calls to the bathroom, and once I didn't make it in time; Horrors!  Fortunately that stuff was all in the first month.

 

2 Failed attempts to stop Lexapro:

 

* Fall 2014:  Was falling asleep during the day, and got permission from my PCP and therapist to try reducing the dose from 10 mg to 7.5 mg.  After being on 7.5 for a month or so, and still feeling lethargic and dull (though not sleeping during day), without consulting the PCP or therapist, I reduced the dose to 5 mg.  Holy cow! I got the "crazies" and immediately went back to my original dose.  "Crazies" means irritability and agitation at the slightest provocation.  That was very scary.

 

**Spring 2015: Had been falling asleep in the middle of the day again, as well as feeling dull and lethargic.  I tapered from 10 mg to 7.5 mg, then eventually got down to 5 mg (over maybe a month?), and at that point had bathroom urgency several times, with one time not making it to the bathroom in time. That was enough to make me immediately go back up to 7.5 mg.

** Also during that unsuccessful attempt, when I got to 5 mg, I had two CONTINUAL, LOUD, REPETITIVE songs playing in my head 24/7.  At first, I didn't think it was too serious because I think we all get a repetitive song from time to time. Anyway, I justified it that way.  But when it got extreme, I got really worried that it would never stop. if I managed to shut down 1 song, the other one would immediately take its place. It subsided for a few days, and then a different song did the same thing; I couldn't concentrate on what anyone was saying to me because it was so loud in my head. It was truly crazy-making. It was all over in about 2 weeks since that's when I had the bathroom incident and went back up to 7.5 mg.  

 

 

OMG!  Add this all up, and this drug/withdrawal is just hideous!   I WAS NEVER WARNED ABOUT THESE POSSIBLE WITHDRAWAL EFFECTS. While at the same time I can say it was just what I needed when I started it. I took it for situational anxiety, and being in a constant state of "fight or flight".  Within about 10 days of taking Lexapro, I experienced a sense of calm that was wonderful.But then after two years and the situation that I had reacted to was over, as well as when I started falling asleep in the middle of the day etc., I knew it was time to get off of it.  I had two failed attempts as described above.  The third time however, I was determined to get off of it, and I took supplement 5-HTP (precursor to tryptophan and serotonin), B vitamins, and Zinc while I tapered.  That combination allowed me to get through the tapering with no symptoms for the first time, so I felt this attempt was going to be successful.  But as I said before, the first day with 0 Lexapro, the extreme gas/pain/bloating/belching/urgent bathroom calls/numbness/tingling/irritability started.  Today, 3 mo later, if I recognize the irritability as it's building, I can "take 5" and control it.  But other times I don't catch it, and I say things or say things in a tone that I regret.  Not only embarrassing behavior, but hard on a relationship. 

 

I'm telling you all of this in the spirit of getting all symptoms/experiences known.  Plus, journaling this is such a release. Can't believe I'm doing it publicly, but it is a sign of how much I need help to hopefully overcome it all.  It is so good to get it all out as well as to see it in writing all at once. And to know I'm telling my story to total believers and others who have experienced the possible hideous consequences of this drug. I certainly have empathy for all.  

 

Thank you so much for reading and spending your time helping.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Right, so many people have been on and off so many drugs, and don't have a clue where those weird symptoms are coming from. Then their doctors tell them they're experiencing "relapse" and load them up with more drugs. Many people on this site have been on the drug merry-go-round.

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

Yesterday, I saw my mental health therapist, she's known me for 20 yrs, and said that she never saw me like this (agitated).  I showed her Dr Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom list, and, after studying it, agreed that I had Lexapro Withdrawal Syndrome.  However, she had never heard about it before, and didn't know what I should do about it.

 

Today, I saw my PCP, also showed her Dr Glenmullen's list, she agreed I was in Lexapro Withdrawal although she had never heard of withdrawal lasting 3 months, and then consulted a psychiatrist.  Wouldn't you know, the shrink said that it's very difficult to tell the difference between returning to the original symptoms and having withdrawal symptoms.  Excuse me, but I did not poop in my pants, have a numb face, have tingling nerves, auditory hallucinations, or bloating before I went on Lexapro.  That said, my PCP wasn't quite sure what to do after that consultation.  In her experience, she has always prescribed Prozac for withdrawal and it works.  However, since I'm her first patient that has bloating and she has never had a patients whose symptoms lasted 3 months, she's not sure if Prozac will work.  Her attitude is "try it and see", while I'm scared to death to put another SSRI in my body.  She gave me 2 weeks worth of Prozac and told me to call her and let her know if it works or if I want to stop it or if I want to continue on it.  By concern is what if I get worse???????   Has anyone tried this before?  Results?  Now I'm more confused and scared than ever.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment

I really wish that I could find a psychiatrist in my area that is as knowledgeable as Dr. Glenmullen.  Any suggestions as how I could go about this?

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

sstansky, very few doctors, including psychiatrists, know anything about tapering or withdrawal syndrome. That your doctor had never even heard of it -- well, that's exceptionally ignorant for someone who prescribes the drugs. It's explained in the antidepressant packet inserts.
 
We've given you our best advice. Generally, we recommend going with the devil you know rather than a new drug. If you want to take Prozac for withdrawal instead of reinstating Lexapro, the suggestion of starting out with 1mg to see how it affects you still stands.
 
For titrating Prozac, see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)
 
Psychiatrists like Dr. Glenmullen are rare. (He's retired now.) See our list Recommended doctors, therapists, or clinics

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

Thank you, Alto.  I really do appreciate your recommendations, and sticking with the Devil makes more sense than introducing another dangerous drug to my body.  My fears sometimes get the best of me since being in this hideous withdrawal syndrome.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment

The list of recommended doctors needs to be updated.

 

Albert Celio, D.O. of Westminster, Colorado is no more.  Per the website  http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FCO%2020120223101/U.S.%20v.%20CELIO, " Mr. Celio, a former Doctor of Osteopathy licensed in Colorado, was indicted in 2001 on eight counts of ..."

 

Mark Foster, D.O. of Greenwood Village, Colorado:  A Google search lists many hospital affiliations and various phone numbers.  However, I called each phone number asking for Dr. Mark Foster, D.O. and no one has ever heard of him.  

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Did you try this number for Dr. Foster http://www.sclphysicians.org/find-a-doctor/f/foster-mark-e/

 

Sorry to hear bout Albert Celio. He was on the Safe Harbor list.

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

Yes, I called that number.  It was quite odd to find so many affiliations and office numbers listed on the web for one doctor.  It was stranger still that he was at none of those numbers.

 

The good news is that I did get a hold of Dr. Scott Shannon's clinic, The Wholeness Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.  I think it's very promising.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment

Ironically this weekend I was thinking about how after being off Lexapro nearly 4 years (I've honestly finally lost track of just how long) that I haven't had to take Zantac like I used to. While taking Lexapro, and during withdrawal, I took it almost daily to combat all sorts of irritable stomach issues. I can't tell you when it'll stop for you but I can say it has calmed down for me.

 

I also can tell your that neither my doctor nor my psychologist believed the withdrawal period, but it was a fact for me. This year I did an annual physical and my regular doctor agreed that I am much more relaxed now. He wouldn't go so far as to agree that it was withdrawal but that I was much less nervous than in the 6 years that I've seen him.

 

Float on and there is hope that you'll see relief in the future.

---

Started in June 2004 - Lexapro 10MG

Off and on from 2004 to 2008 - Lexapro 10MG

October 2008 - Lexapro 10MG

Late April 2012 - Lexapro 5MG

Late August 2012 - Cold Turkey

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, NowhereMan76.  I'm sorry that you suffered so much, too.  It's so good to know that I just need to find the patience to get through this.  Thank you for the encouragement.

 

BTW, I saw a holistic psychiatric nurse practitioner that specializes in addiction and withdrawal from antidepressants; Gail Dawson at the Wholeness Center in Ft Collins, Colorado.  For my symptoms, she prescribed a particular blend of amino acids, a passion flower blend tincture, and ashwagandha organic supplements.  It's been about 10 days, and I feel a definite calming of my nerves, my stomach is settling down, and I'm sleeping in bed and get 6-8 hrs of sleep most nights.  I am not "all better" by any means, by I have improved enough that I don't worry so much that the Lexapro did permanent damage to my brain/body.  

 

Yes, I will "float on".  Thank you for your response.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Update for Month 4:

 

As my GI system settles down, I have been overcome with mental symptoms.  For a couple of weeks, extreme irritability that would escalate to off-the-charts agitation would occur at the slightest provocation.  Fortunately, most of my outbursts were aimed at inanimate objects.  However, my spouse watched in horror as these would occur - needless to say, this is hard on our relationship. These episodes have subsided for the most part. Simultaneously, I was misinterpreting things that I read. The words on the page seemed to be moving, and anything in an email that was telling me something personal (You ought to, or This might help You), no matter how kind, sent me reeling with anger. Once I shot back a reply (which I now know was unwarranted) that hurt someone's feelings very badly.  But at the time, I had no grasp of the situation; I was terribly out of whack. The good news is that THAT phase is calming down; ever since that incident, I'm aware now to the possibility that my reactions are unfounded.  My current phase is wildly running thoughts and perseveration. Once I become aware of it, I just try to "hang on" until it's over because it really makes me feel crazy.  I try to do something to get my mind calmed down, some task that takes my attention.

 

As I go through these phases and feel these great waves of symptoms take hold of me, I realize what a fine-tuned biochemical entity my body/brain/mind was until Lexapro screwed up the balance.  "Side effects" of drugs is an understated and belittling term.  "Full spectrum effects of a drug" is a better term. How arrogant of drug companies to think that they can alter just one aspect of our highly complex bodies without their drug affecting every interconnection within.  

 

My heart goes out to each and everyone of you.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Love this:  Full-spectrum effects.  You've hit the nail on the head. 

 

Wow, you've been having a hell of a time with all that.  Emotions can be scary - like wild stormy winds.  Every so often I re-read the 'neuro emotions thread' to remind myself what's going on.  I get much less issues these days, but boy, back at the start - yikes.

 

It's not 'you' - one day you'll feel like yourself again. 

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.

Link to comment

Thank you KarenB.  Your supportive responses definitely help me.  I haven't read much else on this site, but I think I will/can start.  I've been so consumed with my own problems, that even searching for more help has seemed too hard.  But your mention of the 'neuro emotions thread' makes me think that I need to read something like that right now so I'll give it a try.  I hope that I can eventually be of help to someone else.  You all have been a godsend!  I especially like:  "It's not 'you' - one day you'll feel like yourself again."  I need to read that every day. Thank you.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I find the more I read other people's threads or the information threads, the less alone I feel.  And then healing seems so much more possible, and I have less negativity about my own situation.  Also - write the really encouraging stuff out and stick it on your wall.  That's what I do, anyway...

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.

Link to comment

KarenB, You're right.  I do feel alone and negative about what I'm going through -- well said.  I will take your advice about reading some threads and writing out the encouraging stuff. I have to get better.

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment
  • 5 years later...

Update:  January 10, 2021

 

Gosh, where do I start after such a long time away?  My last post was 5 years ago!  

First, I'd like to thank Altostrata; your dedication to posting, emailing, and providing information about recent published papers is most appreciated.  And congratulations on your invitation to consult on the Stopping Antidepressants leaflet.  

 

I wouldn't say that I am 100% recovered, but I am probably at 90-95% or so.  I am SO much better, and have been for about 3 years.  In summary, the first 2 years were hideous.  The severe physical bloating/gas/digestive problems were only surpassed by the severe emotional agitation & inability to sleep.  But as I approached the 2 year mark, there was a marked improvement in all symptoms.  I am left with only occasional occurrences, perhaps twice/year, of a couple of weeks of minimal sleep due to racing thoughts.  And I do have to stay aware that if I get excited over something (e.g. looking forward to an outing or event), I have to be careful not to let the excitement escalate into sleeplessness.  And lastly, I'll have occasional short occurrences of facial tingling and/or numbness, also itching deep in my ear; all very minor. Luckily it passes as quickly as it comes over me.  But basically, I live a good life again.  And for the most part, the withdrawal is over.

 

So for those of you that are going through the worst of it, please hang in there.  It may be a bumpy ride.  But make use of the help available on this website from the wonderful, knowledgeable volunteers.  They give comforting support and great advice.  

10 mg Lexapro for 2 yrs.  Tapered off in 6 weeks.  

First day off Lexapro, my guts filled with gas; major belching.

3 months so far.

4 month update:

  Physical:  bloating is only occasional now (2x per wk); still irregular BMs; face tingling started up again - multiple times/day, goes away

                  in a minute each time.

  Mental:  OMG! Highly irritable, then escalates to total agitation. Anger at dumb things. Trying to catch it as it starts happening,

                trying to control.

                Periods of wildly racing thoughts; perseveration; makes me feel crazy.  When I catch myself doing it,

                I try to chase the thoughts away but am only successful after many tries; I try to focus on a task.

 19 mo update: Body Electric and basically no sleep for 9 mo. Now sleeping again. Leg Zaps - painful!             

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy