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Badger25: hoping to connect with people about weaning off escitalopram


badger25

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Hello everyone

I'll try to make this short but also descriptive. I am keen to connect with people and discuss the effects of escitalopram and withdrawing from it. I am a 31 year old female. I started taking escitalopram about 5 years ago due to what would be medically called low level anxiety i guess.

I was on 10mg for 5 years. I started tapering off them 6 months ago. I have done this very slowly but I am having a range of issues and thoughts and reflections and struggling with some of the things that are happening.  I will first just give a short explanation of why i went on them:

 

I had trouble with a lot of ruminating thoughts and basically trouble making decisions about my life. I would like to add that it took a few years of various people coaxing me into starting on anti depressants and I was quite reluctant (two different doctors and some friends and family).

When i started, I found that it really helped with the ruminating thoughts and just helped me to do things without so much worry and I am grateful for the good things that came of it. Its possible that I wouldnt have decided on a career and get through a uni course without them. On the less positive side, I really did not realise what I was getting myself into and the significant effect that the drugs had on my brain. I still dont think I realise what they have done.

 

6 months ago I decided that I was now in a happier and more stable place in my life and that it was time to get off the drugs. I had started to notice some psychological things going on that seemed to be a result of taking the drugs for so long. For example I felt more kind of vague and slow when thinking and talking to people. I noticed that I had this kind of not caring attitude. It is hard for me to concentrate properly and just feel like a normal person.

 

So first i cut down to 10mg every second day and this hardly had any effect at all. After a month of this i started 10mg every 3rd day.. this is when i started to get serious withdrawals. All of the type of withdrawals that i have read about on here such as headaches, dissasociation with my body, feeling terrible about life and super anxious, wanting to smoke a lot and drink a lot of coffee, crying etc etc. My GP suggested that taking it every 3 days would be making me go up and down a lot and perhaps i should try 5mg every second day. This helped and the withdrawals werent as bad.

 

So i took 5mg every second day for another month. I noticed some withdrawals but they werent as bad. Then i went down to 5mg every third day and now I am taking 5mg every 4th day. I have noticed on this forum that there are many many people experiencing very similar things to me. The things I am interested in hearing/talking about are the following:

 

- has anyone experienced a kind of "dirty" feeling as though they have taken a dirty pill? like the day or two after taking one of these pills?

- sometimes i wonder if taking them every couple of days worsens the situation in a way because you basically get a kind of high and then have a come down effect and then get a high again and repeat the whole process.

- what are peoples thoughts on the kind of "dumbing down" effect of the drugs on our brains?

- i kind of feel like i have forgotten what it is like to feel like a normal person. I've noticed since cutting down, that i feel real emotions more, i feel much less stable but wonder if this is more real and realistic as well as kind of human. My boyfriend is finding it hard that i'm ruminating on things again and worrying about stuff but i'm really hoping to get on top of this via other methods such as meditation, mindfulness, exercise etc.  I'm also hoping that my libido and sex drive improves but havent noticed that much of a difference so far.

 

 

Well thank you for reading this. Id be interestsed to hear any thoughts and just chat to people about all of this.

 

 

 

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Badger,

 

You were on escitalopram for about 4.5 years, then tapered over 6 months by skipping doses, and you are now taking 5mg every 4 days?

 

Your instinct that skipping doses may cause issues is spot-on.  It is a very good way to destabilise your Central Nervous System, which in turn causes worse withdrawal symptoms.  Your brain is trying to normalise, so the on-off approach isn't helpful.  It needs stability to heal.  How long have you been taking 5mg every 4th day?  Are you feeling very stable?

 

It would help to even things out by going to 1.25mg every day.  After a while, when you feel more stable, you could then start to decrease by no more than 10% monthly.  Are you taking tablets or a liquid?  Liquid makes it easier to get the small amounts.

 

Tips for tapering escitalopram.  As you can see in that thread, escitalopram is a very strong antidepressant so tapering by small amounts is important.  Keeping daily symptom notes will help you know when you are ready for further reductions.  

 

Thanks for giving us such a clear picture of what you've been through.  Would you be able to fill out a signature so we can see your tapering details at a glance whenever you post?  The more accurate detail, the better.

 

If you have any questions when you read those links please come back to this thread to ask.  This can be your journal to record your tapering progress.  It's good to have you here.

 

Karen.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Badger , welcome to the site , and Happy Australia Day from another Aussie.

 

"- sometimes i wonder if taking them every couple of days worsens the situation in a way because you basically get a kind of high and then have a come down effect and then get a high again and repeat the whole process"

 

I agree with Karen , and with what you've suspected , that this method of tapering is causing it's own problems.

We don't recommend it on this site.

Each time you take a pill , your w/d symptoms are relieved , but as the drug wears off the w/d symptoms come back.

See the Tips for Tapering link that Karen gave you , and come back with any questions about how to get 1.25mg.

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Karen and Fresh

 

Thank you both so much! I feel so happy that someone out there is able to help and all I had to do was ask! I am definitely keen to do as you suggest and go on 1.25mg per day for a while. I suppose i didnt realise how much my brain was depending on it or how strong it was or something.

 

I have the pills, not the liquid. I guess i can just ask my GP for a script for the liquid? or can i use my current prescription and ask the chemist for liqud.

 

cheers again~!

Badger

p.s Karen yep i'll fill out the signature

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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Hi again Karen

I didn't answer your question about if i feel stable. The answer is that no I do not feel very stable. I am definitely keen to be tapering off the drugs though because I do feel like i will be able to do it, but i dont feel stable in this current situation of 5mg every 4th day at all because i go up and down a LOT... hence why i think i will take your advice and take 1.25 each day.

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Badger,

 

So glad you are going to even things out at 1.25mg/day.  Lets see how the stability improves in the next few days - it should help. 

 

Fresh may know about getting the liquid - it's not an area I know much about.  Did you check into the Aussie thread?  There could be info for you there too. 

 

Let us know how things go,

Karen.

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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I never knew that it was a good idea to taper in a way of taking a pill just every second or third day??!?!?! I thought that the only (more or less safe) way is to go down 10% of the amount and take that for at least 1 month before cutting the next 10%. Well anyway, I can tell you from my point of view (I took the same drug as you for 3 years - at the max. amount 10 mg), I tapered over almost a year and sill I am having a really really hard time right now. Every time I reduced the dose I experienced a very bad depressive phase after around 2 weeks. End of August 2015 I quit my last tiny dose and bam- 2 weeks later I fell in a hole worse than ever. Since then I am experiencing everything from anxiety to depression to headaches, brain fog, feeling absolutely weak and unable to deal with my everyday life. Usually I train a lot, work a lot, meet my friends a lot...I am unable now to do any of it. I went to a neurologist few days ago - at least she admitted that there IS something like withdrawl from antidepressants and many many people are having severe problems getting off it. So - I can´t really help you, but maybe it just helps to know that you are not the only one experiencing the same troubles with that S****;) 
I really hope that in a few months we can all say: It is over (or at least a lot better;)) 
Greetings from Vienna! 
 

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Pepita , you're right , alternating days is not the safest way to taper.  It means your brain doesn't get a chance to stabilize.

 

Badger , I'd ask your chemist about the liquid.  At this tiny dose , you need to be precise.

You might also look at the thread on "How to Make Liquid From Tablets"  here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

I've asked the more experienced moderators if you could go to 1mg each day , so stay tuned.  Obviously , the lower

the dose you stabilize on the better.

Either way , after this last 6 months of daily changes , a good long hold is recommended.  Maybe 2-3 months.

The more stable you are going into this last leg of your taper , the better. I believe long holds decrease the likelihood

of having an experience like Pepita's , where you finish the meds. then crash weeks or months later.

 

btw , I used to holiday up in Queenscliff , such a beautiful part of the country.

 

:)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Fresh and Pepita.

Thanks for your messages

Fresh: Thank you, I will definitely ask the chemist as 1mg per day would be a nice low dose and i'll check out that thread too! I think that what you are saying sounds like a good idea.

Yes Queenscliff is beautiful! I have actually only been here for a couple of months now as I've been living in Central Australia for the last two years. I loved it out there but it is also nice to be back in Sydney :)

I had a chat to my GP yesterday, and although she said some different things to what you have said I think that generally what she was saying aligns with what you have said too. She was saying that i could just cut the 10mg pills into 4, so by the time i lose some with crumbs it will be like 4 x 2mg and i could take that every second day.. so that doesnt work in terms of stabilizing and taking some each day but hopefully i can get this liquid or perhaps cut the pills smaller. The other thing she said that does align to what you are saying was to make a plan to do something like that for a few months and then just go off it all... instead of taking months and months to taper. She kind of said to me that i am going to need to make a decision to either stay on this low dose forever or stop and suffer some of these issues... because i have a kind of psychological dependency... each time i'm sufferring withdrawals or hard periods i think i need the meds again.

 

Anyway...i'm ranting.

Pepita: It is impressive and inspiring to hear that you have done this exact thing that i'm talking about, just make a decision to go off them and wear through all the pain and extremely difficult times. I really feel like I know what you are going through, it is so hard!. I'm so impressed that you have made it so far. Yes it is great to hear about others going through the same thing, that is exactly why I joined this website. I have never joined forums before about any topic but I was feeling alone and desparate. So I am more than happy to share stories and chat to you! I am feeling quite concerned about how these drugs have affected me in ways that I may not understand and I'd like to learn more about if anyone else relates to this.

 

I'm sorry to hear about the hard time that you have been going through. If I work out any good tips I will certainly let you know. So you dont find that training helps you? I was hoping that I will be getting more into exercise over the next little while to help me. When i was still in central Aus I asked a good friend to help motivate me with the gym as she went every day. It really helped me to feel like I actually had some ability and control over a part of my life if that makes sense. I have fallen back into bad routines and am hoping to get back into it.

I have just started a new job (since returning to Sydney) and its very difficult doing it with a lower amount of the escitalopram but I'm hoping that if I follow Fresh and Karen's advice, I will feel a bit more stable and be able to cope. I am very lucky as my boyfriend has said that he is more than happy for me to work part time for a little while until i feel a bit better but he is also really struggling with my own negative attitutdes that I have been manifesting and having trouble getting out of.

 

Nice to meet  you :)

 

Badger

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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hi Karen, I will check out the Aussie thread too, thanks! this is  a great place :)

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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P.S Karen, I have been to Raglan. Beautiful place. I was born in Auckland

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ah, another of the NZ-to-Aussie pilgrims.  It is a phenomenon I have no good explanation for ;)

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Badger.

 

Please do NOT skip doses to taper! While doctors frequently tell people to do this, it is a good way to trigger withdrawal symptoms, which you have already.

 

Very few doctors know how to taper these drugs.

 

If you cannot get your doctor to write a prescription for the liquid, please consider making a liquid from your tablets. Or, for the time being, cut your 10mg tablets into quarters and take one quarter (2.5mg) every day at the same time.

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 again Badger,

 

Just a comment on exercise:  gentle is best in w/d because anything too active can really set off your symptoms.  Not very pleasant.  You'll need to experiment to see what level works for you.  I like walking, gentle swimming/floating, and gentle yoga. 

 

The other thing she said that does align to what you are saying was to make a plan to do something like that for a few months and then just go off it all... instead of taking months and months to taper. She kind of said to me that i am going to need to make a decision to either stay on this low dose forever or stop and suffer some of these issues... because i have a kind of psychological dependency... each time i'm sufferring withdrawals or hard periods i think i need the meds again.

 

 

We do NOT recommend a bit of tapering and then 'just going off it all.'  The end of the taper is often the most difficult.  It is important to continue tapering by small amounts in order to reduce w/d effects, and to avoid things crashing down around you later on. 

 

Also. if it's possible to build up what your doc calls a psychological dependence, then it's possible to dismantle it.  I'm sure you are a lot stronger than your doctor gives you credit for.

 

Karen  

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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Hi everyone

Thanks again for being there for me. I am finding the support and advice here so helpful and people actually understand and know what I am going through.

Pepita how are you going??

Fresh/Karen, have you learnt much about the long term effects of being on these drugs? do you ever feel like you wish you never went on them?

they have such weird effects

I haven't asked my doctor yet about the liquid but i have got an appointment in a couple of days. I have cut my 10mg pills up into as small a pieces as I can and been taking one small piece per day.

On the one hand, i feel like i can tell that it is a smaller dose, it doesnt feel as strong (but is still definitely enough to make a difference) and I'm also craving coffee a lot on some days? which is what happened when i "tapered" more drastically in the past. On the other hand, i just feel like i'm back on the drugs again. They make me want to sleep all of the time, i'm not whinging about it as i'm grateful to have the advice, i just want the rollercoaster to be over, but i know its the right thing to do it this way. I feel like sleeping a lot and feel quite vague and dreamy again. Like i can just stare into space and think of nothing for hours... which i never was like ten years ago.

 

ive been struggling a bit with down feelings and i'm wondering how much of this is normal, experienced by everyone on earth, how much is just my issues that i've had my whole life and need to work on (probably the most likely) and how much is related to the anti depressants.

My routine/pattern at the moment is that i have two days a week work (thurs/fri), its a new job, teaching a kindy class. The next day on a saturday i am totally wiped out and just feel like sleeping without the motivation to do much. ive started teaching myself the guitar and if i get some energy i may do that or play piano or cook or something. I dont know if this tiredness is just from starting a new and very demanding job or related to my psychology. by sunday i feel better and spend the next few days being productive and sometimes exercising. Yes it is quite a luxurious life!!! and i am lucky but i'll need to take on some more work soon. i still find it hard to get up the motivation or energy to do things but i always have.

I really want to work on all of these things and have joined a meditation group and will possibly try some hypnosis.

HOpe you are all doing well

any advice is welcome!

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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p.s

I've just read some of the other threads around,and maybe have answered my own questions. So basically it is good that i am trying to taper properly and i have to see how this new 1mg - 2mg daily dose goes... listen to my body to see if it is too fast and just keep trying.

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's really important to take the same dose each day , at the same time.

 

For precision dosing , you can make liquid yourself from a tablet , see instructions here

It's not difficult.

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

Whereabouts in Sydney are you?

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi everyone

Thanks again for being there for me. I am finding the support and advice here so helpful and people actually understand and know what I am going through.

Pepita how are you going??

Fresh/Karen, have you learnt much about the long term effects of being on these drugs? do you ever feel like you wish you never went on them?

they have such weird effects

I haven't asked my doctor yet about the liquid but i have got an appointment in a couple of days. I have cut my 10mg pills up into as small a pieces as I can and been taking one small piece per day.

On the one hand, i feel like i can tell that it is a smaller dose, it doesnt feel as strong (but is still definitely enough to make a difference) and I'm also craving coffee a lot on some days? which is what happened when i "tapered" more drastically in the past. On the other hand, i just feel like i'm back on the drugs again. They make me want to sleep all of the time, i'm not whinging about it as i'm grateful to have the advice, i just want the rollercoaster to be over, but i know its the right thing to do it this way. I feel like sleeping a lot and feel quite vague and dreamy again. Like i can just stare into space and think of nothing for hours... which i never was like ten years ago.

 

ive been struggling a bit with down feelings and i'm wondering how much of this is normal, experienced by everyone on earth, how much is just my issues that i've had my whole life and need to work on (probably the most likely) and how much is related to the anti depressants.

My routine/pattern at the moment is that i have two days a week work (thurs/fri), its a new job, teaching a kindy class. The next day on a saturday i am totally wiped out and just feel like sleeping without the motivation to do much. ive started teaching myself the guitar and if i get some energy i may do that or play piano or cook or something. I dont know if this tiredness is just from starting a new and very demanding job or related to my psychology. by sunday i feel better and spend the next few days being productive and sometimes exercising. Yes it is quite a luxurious life!!! and i am lucky but i'll need to take on some more work soon. i still find it hard to get up the motivation or energy to do things but i always have.

I really want to work on all of these things and have joined a meditation group and will possibly try some hypnosis.

HOpe you are all doing well

any advice is welcome!

<p>Several periods of depression starting in teens. 2010- 2014 escitalopram 20mgs. tapered to 5mgApril 2011- December 2011 seroquel2012-2014 don't know exact dates! 2014/15 Lamactil 200mg. 2015 lamactil 150mg. (Several attempts at coming off escitalopram and lamactil). March 2015 tapered to 37.5mg lamactil- Reinstated. July- Aug 2015 tapered off 5mg escitalopram. Dose reinstated Nov 2015.

7/1/16 Lamactil 137.5mg. Escitalopram 5mg; 24/3/16 lamactil 125mg; 20/4/16 escitalopram 4.5mg. 6/5 escit 4mg. 5/6/16 escit 3.6mg; 16/7/16 escit 3.5mg. 27/7/16 lamactil 112.5mg 18/8/16 escit 3.2mg 10/9/16 escit 3mg 16/9/16 lamactil 100mg 11/10/16 lamactil 112.5mg 28/10/16 escit 2.9mg 4/11/16 escit 2.8mg 10/11/16 lamactil 125mg 11/11/16 escit 2.7mg. 25/11/16 escit 2.4mg 10/12/16 escit 2mg 1/1/17 escit 1.7mg 17/1/17 escit 1.5mg 4/2/17 escit 1.4 19/2/17 escit 1.3mg 13/3/17 escit 1.2mg 22/3/17 escit 1mg. 4/5/17 escit 1.15mg 5/5/17 turmeric 800mg

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Sorry
 

 

Not quite used to the whole quote thing!!

 

I wanted to say I identify with what you're saying about struggling with down feelings, not knowing what is normal and how much is your own issues, and how much is the drugs.

 

I've spent many hours ruminating over this one, and never really come up with an answer.  It really confuses me that some people seem to go through hell and come out the other side without having a breakdown.  I don't know why some of us go up and down, and others seem to be on a level all the time. 

 

And then to add to the mix there's the drugs.  Who knows, but there do seem to be people on this site who've persevered with this journey and learnt to deal with their depressive feelings/ negative emotions in other ways.  I don't know if it's always unresolved stuff, sometimes I think it's just developing the right tools to respond to our feelings and emotions without drugs.

 

Personally, I don't know if I'll ever get completely off the drugs as I've had so many attempts, and I don't know if I have the tenacity to push through the withdrawal, especially not knowing if it is indeed withdrawal, or just my inability to live on an even keel, but I won't know unless I try.

 

Hope things even out.

Ali

<p>Several periods of depression starting in teens. 2010- 2014 escitalopram 20mgs. tapered to 5mgApril 2011- December 2011 seroquel2012-2014 don't know exact dates! 2014/15 Lamactil 200mg. 2015 lamactil 150mg. (Several attempts at coming off escitalopram and lamactil). March 2015 tapered to 37.5mg lamactil- Reinstated. July- Aug 2015 tapered off 5mg escitalopram. Dose reinstated Nov 2015.

7/1/16 Lamactil 137.5mg. Escitalopram 5mg; 24/3/16 lamactil 125mg; 20/4/16 escitalopram 4.5mg. 6/5 escit 4mg. 5/6/16 escit 3.6mg; 16/7/16 escit 3.5mg. 27/7/16 lamactil 112.5mg 18/8/16 escit 3.2mg 10/9/16 escit 3mg 16/9/16 lamactil 100mg 11/10/16 lamactil 112.5mg 28/10/16 escit 2.9mg 4/11/16 escit 2.8mg 10/11/16 lamactil 125mg 11/11/16 escit 2.7mg. 25/11/16 escit 2.4mg 10/12/16 escit 2mg 1/1/17 escit 1.7mg 17/1/17 escit 1.5mg 4/2/17 escit 1.4 19/2/17 escit 1.3mg 13/3/17 escit 1.2mg 22/3/17 escit 1mg. 4/5/17 escit 1.15mg 5/5/17 turmeric 800mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Fresh/Karen, have you learnt much about the long term effects of being on these drugs? do you ever feel like you wish you never went on them?

they have such weird effects

 

I do very much wish I'd never been on them.  I knew, knew, knew they were bad.  I resisted them from age 16 (when my doc first offered them to me for depression) until age 32-ish.  I got desperate, I couldn't make myself function properly, I was raging angry, depressed, horrible to my husband and daughters - a nightmare to live with.  And I had tried for so long, and tried everything I knew.  So I gave up and basically said "I know they're bad, but I don't care, I have to do something."

 

Now days I just kick myself over that decision.  Now I can see that having better understandings of depression and healing, and learning tools like EFT, and creating deeper levels of self-kindness and acknowledgement of my deep griefs were what I actually needed.

 

Drugs put me in a worse place than I'd ever been, and are robbing me of much in my life right now, and are taking me years to get off.  Learning that people who never take drugs always have the best long-term outcomes has galvanised me to be drug-free. 

 

I will do it!  I have an unshakeable belief in my ability to heal - from drugs,depression, everything.  People are born with an innate strength, but we seem to lose sight of it.  So, it's a matter of re-finding it, plugging into it, and creating a life that centers on that strength. 

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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Fresh: Thanks, i'm starting to realise you are right, i've now got a script for the liquid so looking forward to getting into proper tapering and exact amounts.

 

Ali and Karen: It is good to know people are out there with the same struggle. I really appreciate the positive suggestions and attitudes that it is all possible and that people can do it. I am now hearing the stories that people who use other means than drugs have better outcomes than those who do and I am like damn, i wish i'd known or heard that before. It is so helpful to be able to just talk about these things. Ali i'm sorry to hear that you are feeling that way about not stopping them... I know that my GP would say that its no big deal to stay on them for a long time or forever.. and many people do so i dont want to make it sound like a tradgedy that you may stay on them. I guess i just like the idea of getting off them for myself. What happens to you for withdrawals? and which symptoms confuse you about whether they are withdrawals or not? happy to talk about it more if you want to.

 

Karen I really like your attitude and hope that we can all do it, I believe in us too!! I resisted for a couple of years as well before giving in.

 

I think that i have tried tapering too fast but it is so hard to tell. I cut up the 10mg tablets into tiny pieces which i guessed would be around 1 -2mg each but i think it was too fast as the last few days have been hard. But maybe that is inevitable... but i'm getting the impression from what you are all saying that it can be done in a way that is not so hard, so now i'm thinking i'll go either 2 or 3mg a day with this new liquid one.

 

my latest thing is that i just sometimes feel so wired. like clenching my jaw, thoughts racing and stuff.. hard to know if it is to do with the tapering or just me.probably a bit of both really.

 

I have heard of EFT being amazing. That is great that you are getting into it.

 

Badger

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
my latest thing is that i just sometimes feel so wired. like clenching my jaw, thoughts racing and stuff.. hard to know if it is to do with the tapering or just me.probably a bit of both really.

 

Sounds like fairly "normal" w/d symptoms.

 

It's great that you'll be able to get liquid.  You will need to know how many mg per ml your doc has prescribed so that you can work out how many ml to take to get the mg dose you want.  Once you get your liquid, you will need to decide on a dose and stick to it each day for a good long while to allow your body to stabilise on that dose.  You won't need to choose between 2mg and 3mg (there's quite a difference with escitalopram), you could choose 2.5mg, for example, or any other dose, that's the great thing about liquid.  It sounds like you've been taking a lot less than 3mg, so you might not want to go back up that high.  They sound like such small numbers, but escitalopram is powerful, so 3mg isn't really that small. 

 

I think that's why your doc was talking about w/d being "psychological" - doctors think that doses so "low" are not really doing anything so you should be able to just stop, but the combined experience we have here shows that this is just not the case for many people.  Those "low" doses are definitely still doing something, and can't just be stopped abruptly without consequences.  At least your doc did prescribe the liquid for you anyway.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I clenched my jaw so much I developed what they call TMJ (you can google it).  It's lots better since I learned exercises for relaxing my jaw (also on google).  Apparently this is very common in w/d.  For more discussion http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7292-face-jaw-tongue-muscle-tension-and-pain/

 

Another fun club for you to join!!

 

Glad you are seeing the benefits of going slow and careful.

 

Karen

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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  • 1 month later...

Hi Karen

 

Thanks for showing me the link to that site. Sorry it has been a while since I updated and my reply is very late. How have things been going for you?

Things have been going quite well for me recently but lately I've been having a bit of trouble. I thought i'd just do a post on here and hope that you or fresh are able to point me in a direction or give me any tips on where to look on here. I found that link really useful that you sent about the jaw clenching.

 

I got the liquid, the pharmacist only had 20mg per ml so after checking with the doc she told me to take 0.1 ml per day which = 2mg (my doc had prescribed 0.2ml of a 10mg per ml liquid)

Anyway... that is what I have been taking for a few weeks now. I have definitely noticed a lower dose, just because I notice a bit more ups and downs in my days and stuff but it has been fine and i've felt happy that i'm on the lowest dose so far and doing it properly. I suppose I feel a bit more "real" and like i'm feeling normal feelings again.

On the not so good side, I have had a few really down days where i have struggled to get off the couch. I also feel like I am quite manic some days... like today... I just have a ridiculous amount of energy but its a real driving type intense energy. This morning i was craving coffee and had some but wish i didnt as i feel it just made me race even more. I cleaned for a few hours and then crashed and had a sleep, now i just have nervous energy and my jaw has been clenched all day.

 

It is so weird that the jaw clenching happens some days and not others? did you experience that?

This jaw pain is the worst that i've experienced so far and i dont understand why it is only getting this bad now.

Anyway hope things are going well in NZ

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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Hi Songbird

Thanks for your reply

Yes, when I told the doctor that i'm going well on the 2mg now, she said that that is so low that it wouldnt matter if i just stay on that my whole life. well, I dont really want to do that! especially when i know what its doing to me due to these withdrawal symptoms.

She did say that if i want to go lower, i could dilute the liquid, what do you think? because taking 0.1mg is such a teeeeny amount in the syringe that i dont feel i can really go any lower than that. I suppose I could try to get the 10mg per ml (instead of 20mg per ml) anyway... the 2mg is good for now and I need to stay on that for a while as suggested by all of you wonderful people

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Badger ,  it should be fine to dilute the liquid.  If you were making your own , you could make it half

strength so you're taking 0.2 mls.

Check with your pharmacist , you can buy diluting solutions that may be safer than water,

See  Pharmaceutical liquids to make suspensions

 

This link may help you understand why w/d can get more difficult at lower doses.  Some people need to go slower or do smaller drops to minimize symptoms.

Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

Happy Easter ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good to hear from you again Badger,

 

My jaw-clenching seemed to come and go over about a week.  Kind of spend a week feeling it a lot, then a week easing off, then a week easing back up again.  These days I keep it at bay with those exercies (which I now do almost unconsciously) but I do notice I click my jaw a lot.  And my neck.  Learning yoga in order to learn to relax helps me somewhat but not yet completely. 

 

Perhaps yours is worse right now due to the dose change? 

 

The manic and crashing times you are having are very consistent with what happens when people reduce their dose.  It will ease as your system settles again.  What do you think of Fresh's idea?  It could be good to be more in control of your dosing. 

 

Let us know what you think,

Karen

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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Hi Fresh and Karen

Thank you so much for your replies.

Yes I like Fresh's idea a lot to dilute, making it easier to get exact dosages of 2mg. I am definitely going to give that a go.

 

Thanks Fresh for the link to the article. I had a read and it really helped me understand what is going on in my body. Thank you, to both of you, I really appreciate your help!

Karen, it is great to know that the mania and crashing are pretty normal for lowering my dose... I mean, i was telling myself that i wasn't going down very much of a dose since previously i was pretty low anyway... when i was (stupidly) trying to take 5mg every third day.. but i think you are right, I think that now that i am steadily on a lower dose, i am still adjusting. The jaw clenching must be part of it too as you said.

Like you I am trying a range of exercises and yoga too which tends to ease it. I studied acupuncture for a while and i have been doing it on myself to ease some tensions too. I guess its just a matter of being dilligent and caring for ourselves.

 

Happy Easter to you both :)

Badger

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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Hi Kid, I'm on the same journey as you i.e detoxing from this drug.Just want to say your not alone. Antidepressants I must say did help me get through a difficult stage (s) in my life but I now feel I can handle things much better.Tell me how do do acupuncture on yourself ?

I've started taking antidepressants in 2001. I took Cipramil for 3 years. Elflexor for 1 year. Lexapro 10mg - 20mg since 1992 approximately.

 

STARTING DOSE 20mg Lexapro 2016

 

19mg Lexapro (3rd January 2016)-Taper 5%

18mg Lexapro (8th February 2O16)-Taper 5%

17mg Lexapro (? March 2016) - Taper 5% -

16mg (16th May 2016) Taper 5 %

17mg (21st August 2016) + 5%

16mg (3rd January 2017) - 5%

15mg (4th February 2017) -5

14mg (6/02/18) -5%

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Hi Rose

Great to hear from you

I have very similar WD symptoms to you with the pain in head, crying, anger and irritability. In fact they exactly describe me. Man the drugs realllyyyyy do some serious things to our bodies. I'm impressed with your systematic tapering... i'm thinking about staying on thiss 2mg dose for a few months because the crying, anger and irritability would probably get really bad if i try to go down again soon. It  is really good to hear from people in the exact same boat, so thank you for that.

 

With acupuncture.... sorry i mis-read your question as asking "how do you find that acupuncture helps" and i wrote this big thing below haha woops, so i'll leave it there in case you are interested. It is easy to do acupuncture on yourself if you know what you are doing... you would probably need to do quite a bit of reading if you have never studied it.. i'm just lucky that i started a 4 year course in it a while back (i only completed 1.5 years but that was enough to learn some stuff).

 

I mean, I am lucky that i studied it which means that i can kind of do it on myself whenever I want and not have to pay heaps of money, but if you can afford weekley/fortnightly appointments I personally would say that it would help quite a bit. Acupuncture is great for general overall wellbeing, I have always had problems with heat in my body which causes anger, irritibility, sleeplessness, sore jaw and hip and other things, in chinese medicine they call this liver heat or stagnant liver qi or something... so basically i try to treat this same thing... which i feel is just made worse generally by withdrawal..

I use acupuncture points that help me to relax my jaw, helping the jaw and neck pain that I get from clenching my jaw which has got really bad with withdrawal..

I also use points that clear the heat and or blockages in my liver channel.. and just things that i would have treated anyway without this whole withdrawal thing.

 

I'm basically just triyng to look after myself as much as i can to help ease the symptoms from going off the drugs but i havent found (yet) acupuncture to help with the feelings of wanting to cry and feeling angry... I feel like it may be able to help it though, especially if i went to see a real expert.

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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I read a lot about 'liquid escitalopram' but am unsure if I can purchase it in Ireland.My pharmacist tried to put me on the generic escitalopram instead of the brand Lexapro which is way more expensive.I told her that I was getting W/D symptoms & requested the Lexapro brand. I'm trying to taper using 20ml water with 20g of drug... I'm unsure about the accuracy at times....I had a good day today but feel exhausted from the W/D symptoms of the last week....

 

I'm attending acupuncture for the last year & find it excellent for my anxiety.I would love to study auricular acupuncture as it really works on me & would love to teach people an alternative way to calm down then to take medication....I could not insert needles into myself like you I have so much energy in me it''s so so painful I just really trust the lady I go to....

I've started taking antidepressants in 2001. I took Cipramil for 3 years. Elflexor for 1 year. Lexapro 10mg - 20mg since 1992 approximately.

 

STARTING DOSE 20mg Lexapro 2016

 

19mg Lexapro (3rd January 2016)-Taper 5%

18mg Lexapro (8th February 2O16)-Taper 5%

17mg Lexapro (? March 2016) - Taper 5% -

16mg (16th May 2016) Taper 5 %

17mg (21st August 2016) + 5%

16mg (3rd January 2017) - 5%

15mg (4th February 2017) -5

14mg (6/02/18) -5%

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Maybe you could ask your doctor about the liquid escitalopram? I think that sometimes the pharmacy needs a day or two to order it in if they dont have it (here in Aus) but maybe you are right that they don't have it there.

Have you read up on this site about how to create the liquid? sounds like you are doing ok with making it yourself?

 

I really want to just keep tapering my doses rapidly but im nervous about the W/D and the advice i'm getting on here is that it is important to let your body adjust... i'm just so impatient to get off it.. the lower the dosages I go, the more I see the effect of the drug (in not good ways), i feel like in some ways, it stopped me from growing spiritually, if you know what I mean.. sorry to rant to you, It is just so good to be able to talk to people about this stuff. It's like it kills your soul in a way, well for me, because I turned into a bit of a space cadet... just spaced out and stuff. It makes me really sad... i feel like its like any recreational drug in that way. Anyway... as you said... there are good aspects... if it helped you get through hard times in your life.

 

re the acupuncture. Isn't it great, I wish more people knew how wonderful it can be.. I think that its so great that you are doing it so regularly. I wouldn't have had the guts to stick needles in myself at all before doing the course that i did.. so I definitely understand! maybe you could do a short course? or just keep seeing the person you are.. there is so much to know with it that seeing someone who has studied it would be better in the end. I'm just a cheap skate!  When you say that you have so much energy, do you mean that the needles going in really hit the right spots and are painful as they are doing their thing with calming that energy? When I do it on myself and i get the right spot where I can feel it working it is just so satisfying... many times i dont hit the right spot since I am an amatuer but it doesnt really matter.. it just means it isnt as effective.

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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Hi Bager, Lovely to have this forum to connect with individuals on a similar journey.I will donate money when my head gets better....everything takes so much energy my brains are fried I swear... It's hard when your a professional & Ireland is so small so anominity is hard to preserve.

 

How was your day?

I've started taking antidepressants in 2001. I took Cipramil for 3 years. Elflexor for 1 year. Lexapro 10mg - 20mg since 1992 approximately.

 

STARTING DOSE 20mg Lexapro 2016

 

19mg Lexapro (3rd January 2016)-Taper 5%

18mg Lexapro (8th February 2O16)-Taper 5%

17mg Lexapro (? March 2016) - Taper 5% -

16mg (16th May 2016) Taper 5 %

17mg (21st August 2016) + 5%

16mg (3rd January 2017) - 5%

15mg (4th February 2017) -5

14mg (6/02/18) -5%

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator

 

 

I was hoping that I will be getting more into exercise over the next little while to help me. 

 

 

Hey Badger - I'm having trouble with quotes right now.  How are you going?  Have you felt more stable on the 2 mg of liquid?

 

To answer your exercise questions, sometimes, in withdrawal, exercise, especially intense exercise, can make things worse.  Walking is good, the tick-tock motion of walking is good for balancing and healing your brain.  Gentle swimming is good, even light circuit training can be beneficial.  But as soon as you feel the exercise is wearing you down, it's time to scale it back.  (more in my next little section)

 

Most of us enjoy Chi Gung and gentle, restorative yoga.  Some of us find healing in dancing.

Here's my favorite easy Chi Gung exercise:

 

and here is a restorative yoga session:

 

You can do these at home - no need to commit to a gym, or even change clothes; these can be performed in PJ's!

 

My routine/pattern at the moment is that i have two days a week work (thurs/fri), its a new job, teaching a kindy class. The next day on a saturday i am totally wiped out and just feel like sleeping without the motivation to do much. ive started teaching myself the guitar and if i get some energy i may do that or play piano or cook or something. I dont know if this tiredness is just from starting a new and very demanding job or related to my psychology. by sunday i feel better and spend the next few days being productive and sometimes exercising. 

 

 

This is so typical of withdrawal.  When I was younger, I thought I was just a "spurt worker," getting a few days good work in, then collapsing in a heap to recover before going back to work again.

 

I've since learned that because I was trying to come off a drug (I kept cutting dose in half, trying to "get by" on less drug) - coupled with the exhaustion of withdrawal - that was it.  I'm not really a spurt worker.  I like to work a little every day - but I have to pace myself.

 

The tricky part (and this goes for exercise, too) is to pace yourself so that you don't completely collapse or crash.  If you have to give your full energy for 2 days to your kindy kids, that's fine - just plan for Saturday and maybe Sunday, too - for recovery from that effort.  

 

Be kind to yourself - don't beat yourself up if you need to rest.  If you need to rest - then rest.  The dishes won't do themselves, but nobody died from dirty dishes, either.  Let them go.  Get the rest you need so you can be as productive as you can.

 

 

 

It is so weird that the jaw clenching happens some days and not others? did you experience that?

 

Recovery happens in Waves and Windows.  This means that sometimes you will have clear days with fewer symptoms where you might even feel "normal" or happy and healthy.  This is a window.  But it also means that you may still have some waves to go.  

 

The waves and windows are pretty unpredictable, as it depends on which systems you are healing during the wave.  The wave is actually a good sign - it means that one of your pathways is "down for repair," and you may have emotional or physical symptoms while the healing takes place.

 

Some symptoms will come back again and again, then disappear and be replaced by other symptoms.  There are any number of symptoms which can happen in withdrawal.  There is a good list of most of them, here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

Or - there may be a reason it is in your jaw.  Like Karen suggested, there are exercises that can help with jaw tension.  I carry a lot of tension in my jaw - and have ground my teeth down to nubbins as a result!  And it causes headaches!  Work with trying to ease your muscle tension, and wear a bite guard for sleeping to keep your teeth safe while you are suffering this symptom.

 

Please let us know how the 2 mg is working - we always want to know whether our suggestions are helpful or not.  It helps us make better suggestions in the future.

 

Take care!

"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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Hello Jan

Thank you for this thorough and thoughtful reply.

I am going well thank you.

I am amazed at the difference (good) of tapering properly instead of skipping doses. I feel a bit more steady and quite fine really. I've actually gone down to 1.5 mg now by diluting the liquid and that is going well. As tempting as it is to cut down again, I'll stay on this dose for a while.

 

I will definitely have a look at the videos. I do enjoy yoga videos on youtube and do them 3 times weekly now which i find to be great.

All of your suggestions are very helpful and informative. I have been learning about this thing about parts of our brain being down for repair and it is hard to believe or imagine but i do believe it and i like to think that taking care of ourselves will lead to recovery.

Badger

2011 - June 2015: 10mg of escitalopram daily

June 2015 - Sept 2015 5mg per day

sept 2015 - Jan 2016: incorrect tapering methods, trying to take 5mg every second day then every 3rd day, suffered withdrawals

feb 2016 - March 2016: 2mg per day using liquid escitalopram

April 2016: 1.5 mg per day

 

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