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Victoria-Need some answers


Victoria

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Hi All,

 

My first post was in a different place.  I did not realize I probably should have posted here.

So I have been on Lexapro several times in the past and have never had a problem weaning from 10mg.  I went down my 10% Every two weeks. So 10,9,8 etc.  This time I went down by 25% so from 10mg to 7.5mg.  I was at that dose for 2 weeks when I started feeling body aches and headaches so I went back up to 10mg.  About a week after going back up to 10mg I started feeling head pressure and some mild brain zaps and tingling and numbness in my feet and hands.  So I have been back at 10mg for about 2 and a half weeks and am still feeling withdrawal symptoms although I think the head symptoms may be starting to lession a bit. 

 

So with that being said.  I have had so much anxiety about this because I read online that reinstatement can cause more problems and that really scared me and now I am afraid that these symptoms won{t go away.  What should I do.  Should I give it more time or start a slow wean now.  What do you suggest.  Should I try to stablize first.  I am really scared. The symptoms are not extreme.  The head symptoms bother me the most.  I have been so anxious about this that now I cannot tell if I am keeping it all alive due to my anxiety.  I cannot stop worrying about it. Please give me some perspective.

 

PS.  When I tapered in the past I never had any long lasting withdrawal effects. I have been on Lexapro 4 times before and was fine.  Two of the time I experienced brain zaps because I went down faster towards the end because I was pregnant both times.  The brain zaps went away within a couple of weeks both times and I had no other problems,  I was on no medication for 2 years before I went back on this past summer of 2015 and I had no lasting withdrawal symptoms during the two years of being completely off medication.  I am afraid because I have never gone down by 25% and then gone back up.  So I wonder if my body will adjust.  Please advise.  Thanks.

 

Victoria

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Dear Victoria,

 

That sounds awful.  

 

I don't think that reinstating causes more problems. And if you reinstate and the symptoms go away, you know for sure that the symptoms were because of withdrawal. 

 

I highly recommend Joseph Glenmullen's book The Antidepressant Solution. Have you read it? He talks about lowering doses and reinstating, etc. 

 

2020: After 18+ years (entire adult life) on Paxil, a dangerous doctor-led "taper" in 2015, and four years tapering off the last 1 mg thanks to SA and the Brassmonkey slide, 

I AM COMPLETELY FREE OF PAXIL! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Forever.

 

2021: Began conservative, proper, CNS-respecting taper of Zoloft, led by the only expert on me -- me. Making own liquid. 5-10% plus holds.

2022: Holding on Zoloft for now. Current dose 47 mg. Hanging in, hanging on. Severe protracted PAWS, windows and waves. While I may not be doing "a lot" by outside standards, things are graaaaadually getting better

 

Yoga (gentle to medium); walks; daily breath practice; nutrition, fruits/veg; nature; water; EastEnders (lol); practicing self-compassion, self-care; boundaries; connection; allowing feelings; t r u s t ing that I, too, will heal. (--> may need to be reminded of this.)

"You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story." - Baylissa

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Hi Victoria.  Welcome.   You did a fast drop from 10 mg to 7.5mg. You are probably still feeling the effects of that. Someone else can weigh in here, but I think if you hold for a good while , to let your CNS settle down , it would be wise. Then , you should be able to do a slow taper in a few months. We advise , a 10% taper method.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

You were probably wise to reinstate, as you dropped too fast.  It would be a good idea to track your symptoms , over the next few weeks.

Rate symptoms daily to track patterns and progress

This is your thread to ask questions and track your progress. Please come back with any questions , after you've had a read of the links and the site. Thanks for doing your Signature.

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hi Victoria

I too have had problems with Lexapro although my taper has been a micro taper over the last two years or so from 10 mgs. I have on a couple of occasions increased my dose by a miniscule amount when things have got tough. In my opinion 25 % taper is far too big. Lexapro appears to be a difficult one to deal with , many people on this site who are tapering it have had problems, this may be because it is quite potent. 

I am no expert other than the expertise I have gained during my own taper but I would increase just a little and then continue tapering 5-10% when you feel stable. At times I have had to wait longer than the recommended 4 weeks or so between drops too. Whatever you do just listen to your body and take things at a slow pace. Its not important to withdraw quickly it is important to withdraw with the minimum of stress and symptoms. As for the body aches well that has been one of the worst issues that I have dealt with and it seems a common problem with Lexapro withdrawal.

 

Good luck

PN x

1995-1998 various SSRIs then withdrawal

2000 Sertraline

2003 Sertraline then changed to Prozac to attempt withdrawal.

2004 failed at withdrawal so Citalopram.

2010 attempted slow withdrawal over 12 months but failed- sever episode depression 2012

2012 3 days of Mirtazepine with bad reaction so started escitalopram 20mgs

2013 started very very slow taper with a number of slight reinstatements

Currently on between 0.5 and 1mg escitalopram drops at day.

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Hi,

 

I'm not expert, but I think the symptoms are still left over from the initial shock of the drop from 10 to 7.5.    I myself am on day 34 of withdrawal symptoms from only a 10% paxil drop from 8 to 7.2 mgs.  What I have learned from here, is constantly tampering with the dose will do more harm than good symptom wise and I think now that you're at the higher dose you need some time for your brain and Nervous system to settle down and heal.   Praying you feel better soon!

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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What scared me was that I read that if you go back up in dosage after having been at a lower dose for more than a week that it may or may not help the withdrawal symptoms. I was at 7.5mg for 14 days before I went back up to 10mg.  Now I am hoping that my brain will stabilize.  On a positive note.  Today my head felt better.  I did not have the constant head pressure and electric feelings much. Just a Little of that and I think that may be tapering off, I hope.  I am still have tingling in my feet and feel like my right foot keeps falling asleep. I also woke up with my hands feeling like they fell asleep also.  I wonder if the head symptoms tend to go faster than the tingling.  I hope I continue to feel better and stablize so that I can taper in a couple of months. Do you think that two weeks is not too long to go back.  I only did one drop in dosage before I went back up. Plus I have never had any bad reactions to Lexapro and actually always felt very well on it except temporary brain zaps when I dropped too fast towards the end of tapering in the past. Those only lasted a couple of weeks.  Should I calm down about worrying that these symtoms may not stablilize. Thanks all.

 

Victoria

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Victoria,

 

I think you've done a really good job of looking after yourself in this situation.  Up-dosing was the right decision to allow your Central Nervous System to stabilise.  I agree with AliG that the continuing symptoms you are having are a result of the 25% drop. 

 

Two weeks is close enough to up-dose and get good results.  (It is easy to confuse up-dosing with reinstatement.  Reinstatement is done when a person has been totally off drugs, and is therefore a bit trickier). 

 

I'd wait now for, at very least, another month to allow some thorough stabilisation, and then consider tapering.  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% every month, while keeping eye on your symptoms in case you need to wait longer. 

 

Each time you taper will be different from the last, because the effects of drug-changes on our CNS are cumulative.  Your CNS is now in a more fragile state than before, so you'll need to be extra careful with it. 

 

It's a really good sign that your symptoms are improving.  You can build up your self-care to support your way through this.  Omega-3 fish oil and Magnesium are two of the basics that people find useful.  

 

It's good to have you here.  Please come back to this thread to discuss your situation or ask questions. 

 

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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That great news sweetie!  Hopefully you will feel a little better every few days.  But don't panic if it takes a little longer than you hoped!  You're gonna do great!  :D

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Two weeks is definitely not too long.  Just hold where you are and wait to restabilise, which could take several weeks.  Once you restabilise you can plan a nice slow taper.

 

The first two times I was on an SSRI I found it fairly easy to taper off, but the third time was when the real trouble started.  I don't know what you were using lexapro for, but you might want to look into some other options, especially non-med ones.

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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So I noticed that the day before yesterday my head felt a Little better and then yesterday a lot better.  Then today back to the way it was a couple of days ago.  Is that typical. I was hoping the WD symptoms were fading.  Is it typicallh up and down until gone.

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Very typical.  It's called The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilisation.

Also see What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

The improvements you've noticed indicate that you are starting to stabilise.  Keep holding at that dose for at least a month or two. 

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 must admit that reading the posts on this website has really, really scared me.  I went from 10mg of Lexapro to 7.5mg and then after 2 weeks back up to 10mg and now I feel that I may never get better. So many people have WD symptoms for months or years and now I'm afraid that might be me. I don't have many WD symptoms.  It's weird head sensations and head and sinus pressure plus tingling and numbness in feet and hands.  That's it.  But the head sensations are hard to deal with for me.  Like I mentioned above, the head symptoms were very light yesterday and I guess they are not as bad as they were a week ago The numbness in my feet are very bothersome too.  But I am scared that this might last for months over this change in dose.  Please tell me that it doesn't have to take that long to stabilize. I have been back at 10mg for 2 and half weeks and I guess I am being very impatient because I am so scared by what I've read on this site.  People suffering for so long.  I have other anxiety issues not related to the medication that make it hard to deal with these head sensations.  Will they go away so that I can begin a slow taper or will I have to taper in order to make these symptoms go away? So sorry of the impatience tonight.  It's just that I'm scared by everything that I have read here.

Thanks.

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

No need to apologise for feeling scared - it is a scary place you're in right now.  Many of the stories on this site sound scary because they are the result of poly-drugging, cold-turkies, and much more mucking round that what you have done.

 

Please remember that the most difficult cases stick around here for more help; the ones who get sorted quickly, they leave quickly, which makes for some lop-sided reading. 

 

I'd say you'll keep noticing improvements over the next few weeks.  So even though you may still experience symptoms in months, they will not be as bad as they are now.  Healing does happen - and it has started for you already.  More than likely you'll get stabilised, and then be able to taper by the 10% method without too much trouble.  Keep it simple; Keep it slow; Keep it stable is the key. 

 

What do you have in place for dealing with anxiety?  There are many ideas in Non-drug techniques to manage emotional symptoms.  I know it can be tricky to work with - I've had it lots, and even though it's mostly settled down now, I still have to manage it from time to time. 

 

You can build up a nest of resources around you.

 

(((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))))))

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 think the issue may include that you have been on and then completely off of the same medication several times.  I would think you could only do that so many times before your brain "balks", which it seems to be doing.   Your either just experiencing the normal variations of withdrawal or what may have happened is you upped the dose too high, back to original 10 mg, and now your brain isn't able to tolerate that much med anymore.  Your signature doesn't have the dates of when you dropped the dose, and when you re upped it, so it's hard to have an educated guess what it is.  In any case, you have not been on the 10mgs that long to be worried that it is not working, and you should stay with that dose for now that you have been back on it for a few weeks.  I am on day 35 of symptoms from only a 10% drop of a med that I hadn't dropped in 6 months, so you shouldn't panic.

 

The question you have to ask yourself is why do you keep going on it, then off, than on it again, and if this time you plan to stay off it now for good.  If not, I would advise you sincerely rethink the taper to begin with.  As you said, the first 2 times you seemed easy to wean but now not so.  It says this time you were only on it for about 5 months.  It seems your brain has had it's tolerance of the yo yo back and forth with being on and then completely off, and back again.  The next time you try to go back on it, your brain may have had enough and you won't be able to tolerate it.  It seems the damage done to your brain going on and off, on and off is finally manifesting, unfortunately. 

 

So, yes, you will get better, and since you weren't on the lower dose for long hopefully it will be sooner than later, even if going all the way back up to 10mgs was part of the problem.  I just think that now you are manifesting symptoms, you really need to sit down and decide if you want this med in your life or not.  And that if you go off, you may not be able to take it again in the future if your becoming destabilized to it.

 

But you're gonna be ok!   :D HUGS!  :)

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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Thank you both. Colonial I was feeling well at 10mg and decided to taper so I went to 7.5mg for exactly 2 weeks when I went back up to 10mg. It has been 2 and half weeks since I have been back at 10mg.  So if it is the case that my brain can't handle the medication anymore then doesn't that mean that I won't stabilize?  What do I do then? Do I need to come off of it? Don't know what to do.

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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Also, if I'm having a bad day with head pain and pressure is it ok to take something like advil or will that set me back?

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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Going all the way back up to 10 mg is NOT the reason your having symptoms, it just may be why it "may" be taking longer to stabilize.  Maybe. HOWEVER, now that you are back on that dose, I would NOT change it again.  That will just prolong how long it takes.  You may only be days or another week from feeling better and even a slight change now could turn that week into 3 or 4.  Only being back on the 10 mg for 20 days is too early to panic.  In the overall scheme of things, that isn't very long.  

 

My concern was with the going completely off and then back on what seems like, at least 3 times now?  Once you're feeling better, you can have that discussion with yourself and your doctor now that it's obvious you can no longer tamper with ease if you really want to continue with the taper or not.  You just need to realize the next time you want to go back on it, you may not be able to.

 

You also have to take into account the rather large drop all at once.  You wrote:  "So I have been on Lexapro several times in the past and have never had a problem weaning from 10mg.  I went down my 10% Every two weeks. So 10,9,8 etc.  This time I went down by 25% so from 10mg to 7.5mg.

 

No once can say after the fact if you had only dropped 1 mg again if you would have been ok, or if your yur time was just "up" for easy tapers.

 

I haven't read any problems with over the counter pain meds but, I don't know.  The vexing issue is that what may be ok with one med may not be ok with another.  Like I have no problem with tylenol with the Paxil withdrawal.  But since I'm allergic to the NSAIDS I don't have any idea how they act in your brain, or if a large group of people withdrawing from lexapro have trouble. You may want to wait and see what one of the moderators think.  I'm still a newbie too.  :)

 

You're gonna make it!   :D

 

PS: And karen is right, my horror story came from trying to withdraw from 2 different anti depressants at once, and if you look at a lot of the horror stories, there is a lot more to them.  That is why I'm confident you will do fine. 

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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Hi Victoria...just wanted to pop in to say that I'd be careful with the Advil/Ibuprofen...after my adverse reaction to Zoloft (Sertraline) and Haldol, I have been unable to take it.  I noticed in a couple of my earlier "windows" that I would get foggy after taking the liquid ibuprofen capsules, but seemed to be okay on the soild pills.  (That seemed very strange to me, but I thought maybe they had different "inactive" ingredients that were affecting me). So I took the solid pill form Ibuprofen with my headaches occasionally when I got them.  However, by taking just a couple rounds during a very painful menstrual cycle, that is what set off my current month long wave (at least, that is what I suspect)...

 

Obviously everyone is different...but just be careful!  I took it a couple times and seemed to have no effect, but then took again, and it did.  So you just never know.

 

I still don't know if I am okay on acetominophen/Tylenol, and I suspect it would probably be okay.  I'm just not willing to take the chance at this point.  All my pain I have decided I will just deal with without meds.  And I have a chronic pain issue that I've been dealing with for two years.  No longer able to take my as needed pain pills either.  Sucks.  But, oh well.  Probably better in the long run.  Less drugs, the better, I figure nowadays!

 

Oh, and also, I'm pretty positive that a cold medicine set off my second wave...so you just have to be super careful what you are putting in your body from now on.  OTC drugs, supplements, even some foods. 

 

I have gotten advice and read from others that those who become hypersensitive (like myself) need to avoid many things...the aforementioned included.

 

You'll get things figured out.  It sounds like you are on the right track and have wonderful people to help guide you. 

History of Wellbutrin, Neurontin, Buspar, Paxil and others in 1990's - teenage years

Xanax .5 mg as needed 2010-2015

One injection of Haldol in ER 10/9/2015 - dystonic reaction (ongoing issues)

One 50 mg pill Zoloft 10/31/15 adverse reaction/s that are ongoing

Xanax .125 mg every 3 hours as needed, .25 mg at bedtime 1/8/16-1/21/16Xanax .25 mg every 3 hours (1.25 mg/day) 1/22/16 - 2/9/16Xanax .25 mg/5 times a day (1.25 mg/day) starting 2/10/16, then tried 6 times/day (2x.25, 4x.1875)Xanax .25 mg/6 times a day (1.5 mg/day) starting 2/19/16

Tapering off of Xanax, switching to Diazepam, starting June 29, 2016, then starting taper soon there after

Completed Xanax taper early Sept 2016, crossover to 20 mg/day Diazepam

Currently at 2 mg Diazepam/day = 1 mg bedtime, 1 mg morning

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Hi Victoria.

 

Just wanted to say that I also suffer from head pressure and a woozy feeling which gets worse when I am stressed.  It is hard to contend with but if you don't concentrate on it then it will subside and you will not be aware of the feeling.  It is highlighted in CBT practice that you "pay no attention" and the feelings diminish.

 

You will stabilise and then be able to work on a plan where (if you want to), you can withdrawal slowly.  It may take a couple of years but in the end it is definitely worth doing. You will feel in a better place and know that the drugs are no longer controlling you.  My wife has often commented on how "you were zombified".  You never really see it until you start to come out from the fog.

 

I wish you well and Namaste.

 

DC.

1997 - 2001 Seroxat 10mg

2001 - 2013 Escitalopram 10mg

Gradual taper from 10mg to 5mg over 2.5 years (between 2011 - 2013)

Last taper from 5mg to 0 under advice from doctor done in 1 month (too damn fast!) - included missing out days.

Have been drug free since Oct 2013.  - Yep 5 years drugs free

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I was feeling well at 10mg and decided to taper so I went to 7.5mg for exactly 2 weeks when I went back up to 10mg. It has been 2 and half weeks since I have been back at 10mg.  So if it is the case that my brain can't handle the medication anymore then doesn't that mean that I won't stabilize?  What do I do then? Do I need to come off of it? Don't know what to do.

 

I think it is very unlikely that going back to 10mg after two weeks at 7.5mg is causing most of your problems.  Going back to original dose can be a problem for people who come off too quickly and have been off for a while, but your drop wasn't that huge and two weeks isn't long.  I think you just did too big a drop, and got hit by withdrawal.  It's possible the updose might have confused things in your brain a little more, but I think it was the right thing to do to alleviate withdrawal, and you should restabilise in time.  You might find things are a bit up and down over the next few weeks, but overall things should improve. 

 

Regarding the OTC pain meds, it is hard to say if these could cause you problems, as individual responses vary a lot, but the risks seem to be higher for those who cold turkeyed or had adverse reactions, whose systems become highly sensitive and react to many things.  If you are in a lot of pain, it might be worth trying a small dose of a painkiller to see if you can tolerate it and if it is going to be effective for your symptoms.  Being in less pain might also help to reduce your anxiety.  Just be careful not to let worry about taking it ramp up your anxiety symptoms so that you then blame the med.

 

I think it would be a good idea to build up a toolkit of techniques to help you deal with anxiety, as Karen has suggested.  If anxiety was your original reason for using the Lexapro, now would be an opportune time to learn some non-pharmaceutical methods to deal with it, both to help you through withdrawal and to prevent you having to return to meds in future.  There are plenty of options other than meds.

 

You are going to be okay, you just need to be patient and give it time.  I've found keeping up some good positive self-talk helped me through - pick some positive phrases you find calming and repeat them to yourself all the time, it really works.

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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  I  agree with Songbird  .Positive self - talk ! :)   Try and stay away from Advil Etc, Try to go natural , if you can .

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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"... My wife has often commented on how "you were zombified".  You never really see it until you start to come out from the fog..."

 

I as well, am sad to report, that for many years I misinterpreted the "side effects" of Paxil as actualy depression, and thus proof that I needed to stay on the drug.  All these years I thought I was still depressed, until I found out what I was dealing with verified side effects of being "zombified", like not caring one way orthe other about anything, couldn't find any pleasure or meaning.  Since dropping under around....I would say around 12 mgs, a lot of those negative side effects have lessened.  My sense of humor is back, I am able to find things funny, I'm actually INTERESTED in participating in things, etc.  The problem is just getting through the withdrawal symptoms. 

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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It's a matter of sticking with it for now to let your system settle.  It is at this stage people get into bigger complications - trying to fix w/d by making more and more dose changes.

 

Just stay where you are.  Things should continue to improve.

 

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 have a dilemma.  I can't tell the difference between withdrawal and anxiety symptoms.  Right before I started tapering I was going through a very stressful time so I picked a wrong time to taper. The anxiety came rushing back during the two week mark where I was at 7.5mg of Lexapro from 10mg and then I went back up. Lexapro never did much for my anxiety so I know it was triggered from the stressful events.  My problem now is that I don't know which symptoms are due to anxiety or withdrawal.  I feel so frustrated because I have numbness and tingling in my feet and hands and head pressure and discomfort.  I thought I was getting better but now I don't feel that way.  My husband feels that I am keeping the symptoms alive because I am so focused on them and I wake every day checking to see if they are gone.  Could this be a part of it too.  I am afraid of the symptoms which in turn creates anxiety.  Could I be intensifying withdrawal symptoms or keeping them here longer by my fear and focus on them? Kind of like what DaddyCee mentioned above about ignoring them? I was just hoping my body would have stabilized by now but the symptoms are all still there and it's now 3 weeks since I've been back at 10mg.

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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Hi Victoria.

 

It may take a little bit longer than 3 weeks to stabilise.  You will find it hard to ignore or pay no attention to the thoughts, emotions and sensations, but in time you will start to relax and re-train you brain to work that way.  It isn't something that will happen overnight. I use to say to my wife "how do I seem to you?", she would always say "fine, a little bit anxious but fine" or at least words to that effect. Then 5 minutes later I would ask the same question ultimately looking to get a different response but as it was such a short period of time between asking it would always be the same response.

 

This isn't a bad thing and checking in with yourself was definitely a WD symptom for me. 

 

It got my wife down and at points she stated that she couldn't cope any longer, but time did change things and life for both of us started to get easier and is still getting easier.

 

You will get there, believe and it will happen.

 

Take Care, DC. 

1997 - 2001 Seroxat 10mg

2001 - 2013 Escitalopram 10mg

Gradual taper from 10mg to 5mg over 2.5 years (between 2011 - 2013)

Last taper from 5mg to 0 under advice from doctor done in 1 month (too damn fast!) - included missing out days.

Have been drug free since Oct 2013.  - Yep 5 years drugs free

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I agree, 3 weeks is too early to panic.  I'm now day 37 of symptoms after only a 10% drop of a med I hadn't dropped in 6 months.  I also can say that for me, the "thinking" about the situation did make the anxiety worse.  It's called an "anxiety loop".  The original trauma causes anxiety, and then the memory of the event can trigger the same emotions when you're rethinking.  For example, yesterday I tried to re read my thread, from the beginning.  It was the first time I tried to do that.  I had to stop by the end of the 2nd page.  Just reliving what I had wrote was already making me nauseous and anxious by the end of the 2nd page. 

 

The trick is learning that fine line between the legitimate amount of time you need to mentally deal with any issue, and when going past that is unproductive and just causing anxiety.  Like for me, I had to "learn" when the worst parts of my day would likely be, and make sure I had everything done before then BUT then not allow myself to worry about the fact that in 3 hours I may start having symptoms.  That fine line between legitimate learning and preparation and excessive worry will be different for each of us, especially considering on any given day or week or symptoms might be worse.

 

But yes, at least for me, at the beginning, I think some of the anxiety I blamed I the withdrawal was a result of that anxiety loop.

 

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/addressing-anxiety-and-the-negative-feedback-loop-0124137

 

AND my friend sent me this yesterday.. just to remind me:  :P

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/pointofgrace/photos/a.477961354695.264058.11357264695/10153083520909696/?type=3&theater

 

HUGS!

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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I have a dilemma.  I can't tell the difference between withdrawal and anxiety symptoms.   My problem now is that I don't know which symptoms are due to anxiety or withdrawal.

 

The thing is, it really doesn't matter, so try not to keep torturing yourself by wondering whether you are creating your symptoms or not.  I know the logical mind wants to keep going over everything and analyse it and find causes and reasons for everything - this ruminating is in itself a w/d symptom.  So is the constant checking of symptoms.  Anxiety isn't necessarily a black and white thing, with a simple single cause.  It can be a combination of multiple factors.  Whatever the causes, there are ways to deal with anxiety that can be very helpful.  For example - see if you can find books or recordings by Dr. Claire Weekes, such as "Hope and Help For Your Nerves'.

 

Could this be a part of it too.  I am afraid of the symptoms which in turn creates anxiety.  Could I be intensifying withdrawal symptoms or keeping them here longer by my fear and focus on them?

 

Absolutely, yes.  This is what Claire Weekes talks about - she calls it "adding second fear".  It creates a vicious cycle of anxiety symptoms - fear - more anxiety symptoms.  The trick is not to try to fight them or ignore them, but to accept them.  Go into them one by one, and just feel them and understand what they are - just some uncomfortable physical sensations produced by some chemicals in the body doing what they're designed to do, not something weird and spooky and scary.  For example, numbness and tingling in your hands and feet is just because adrenaline is making the blood vessels there contract - it's a normal body process and not dangerous, so nothing to fear there.

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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Thank you all.  Actually I am familiar with Claire Weekes and I have her book.  Her method actually helped me with my anxiety.  What happened was the fear of having withdrawal symptoms through me back into the anxiety loop.  I started being afraid of my symptoms and now I am thinking that most of my symptoms may just be plain anxiety but I'm not sure.

 

I have another question.  Do you think that being in the anxiety loop of adding second fear makes it harder on your nervous system to stabilize from withdrawal symptoms? Also, like mentioned above.  What we resist persists, so can that play a role too? So if we accept and allow our symptoms even if they are withdrawal symptoms they tend to diminish or lesson? Thanks.

 

Yvette

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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Victoria.    I think, in a way , if you can surrender to this process with a certain acceptance, it does help recovery , even if it just gives you peace of mind in the moment ,  which in turn lowers the anxiety factor.  Adding extra angst over withdrawal symptoms, is certainly not going to help.  It can definitely  ramp up symptoms.  I do believe that if you can find non- drug ways of dealing with your emotional symptoms now , it will stand you in good stead for a drug- free future, once you do taper off. As has been said previously , if you can manage to acquire the skills needed to manage emotionally as you're withdrawing , by building up a " toolbox" of ideas and coping skills you should be in a good place to deal with said emotions , by the time you're off the drugs. This is a goal worth working towards, in my opinion.

 

This link could be helpful :

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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(...I have another question.  Do you think that being in the anxiety loop of adding second fear makes it harder on your nervous system to stabilize from withdrawal symptoms? Also, like mentioned above.  What we resist persists, so can that play a role too? So if we accept and allow our symptoms even if they are withdrawal symptoms they tend to diminish or lesson? Thanks...)

 

It has to.  Your body doesn't differentiate between external or internal stress.  I had a violent "external" stressor Sunday, which upped my "physical" symptoms the next 2 days and then "internal" stress from having to deal with that issue yesterday, which upped my "physical" withdrawal symptoms MERELY from having to do stuff to deal with the external situation.  When your central nervous system is destabilized any stressor will delay its recovery.

 

My concern is you "might" be too worried about the symptom because you're "blaming" yourself for it, thinking that you "should" be in control of your reactions.  To a large and meaningful extent this isn't possible at the beginning. Your body is having reactions at a molecular level and you're blaming yourself for it, which will make it worse.  And then you blame yourself for making it worse, thus making it worse again.

 

I becomes a matter of taking your thoughts captive and rejecting the self blame.  It's not easy at first, especially when the symptoms are so alarming they do, legitimately, demand attention.  I just think we all have to be learn to be "kinder" to ourselves and not blame ourselves when things don't resolve overnight.

 

HUGS!  :) 

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Do you think that being in the anxiety loop of adding second fear makes it harder on your nervous system to stabilize from withdrawal symptoms?

So if we accept and allow our symptoms even if they are withdrawal symptoms they tend to diminish

 

Adding in second fear keeps the nervous system sensitised.  Accepting the symptoms might help them to diminish, or it might not (since some of it may be chemical, from w/d), or it might not help immediatetly but might eventually.  Encouraging the relaxation response is also very helpful for calming the nervous system, e.g. relaxation exercises.

 

My concern is you "might" be too worried about the symptom because you're "blaming" yourself for it, thinking that you "should" be in control of your reactions.  To a large and meaningful extent this isn't possible at the beginning. Your body is having reactions at a molecular level and you're blaming yourself for it, which will make it worse.  And then you blame yourself for making it worse, thus making it worse again.

 

This is so true - been there done that too!  When you can't control it and make it better, you feel like you must be doing something wrong.  It's the conscious mind in problem-solving mode, it always wants to fix things, and keeps trying even when they can't be fixed.  It is hard to reach true acceptance, where it really doesn't matter if the problem goes away or not.  That's when I found it quite helpful to do positive things, such as relaxation exercises, so I knew I was at least doing something to help my nervous system, even if it didn't make me feel better instantly.

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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I feel that my situation is not so complicated.  I was taking 10mg of Lexapro for about 6 months. Tapered down to 7.5mg for two weeks and then updosed back to 10mg.  Have been back at 10mg for 3 weeks and I feel that the pins and needles in my feet are getting worse.  What is going on? What do I do?

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

Link to comment

Victoria.  Do you have any other symptoms ?  Do you feel worse than before you  updosed?

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Other than wait it out, I'm not sure.   I'm day 40, almost 6 full weeks of symptoms.  It "may" have been that going all the way back up to 10 was too much but at this point if you have been back at that level for 3 full weeks my gut tells me not to tamper with the dose.   I know 3 weeks "seems" like a long time with no improvement.  But I'm afraid any further changes will just prolong feeling better.   I think the good news is the "worst" of it is close to being behind you.  

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs 8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs, 1/03/22: 0.18mgs, 3/5/22: 0.16mgs, 5/5/22: 0.14mgs.

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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I have had head pressure and zaps along with the pins, needles and numbness.  My head actually feels a lot better today. I haven't had much head symptoms today. At least not yet. Thinking about it now I don't remember it I had the brain zaps yet when I updosed.  I know that I did not have the pins and needles before I updosed. I updosed because some other anxiety symptoms that have nothing to do with the medication returned after a stressful event and I didn't feel ready to taper. I'm just kind of figuring this out now. The pins and needles started after going back to 10mg. The head symptoms I can't really remember. I should have taken notes. I know I still had some brain zaps yesterday but not today. But the pins and needles in my feet are really bothering me more than ever. How could I be getting worse? I guess I still am feeling some odd thing in my head as I type just not as badly yet today. Very Mild.

Have been on and off of Lexapro several times. Never had trouble weaning.  Always did it by 10%. 

Was on no medication from Sept 2013 to July 2015

Started taking Lexapro in August 2015

In January 2016 I started to taper from Lexapro. Went from 10mg to 7.5. Stood there for 2 weeks when withdrawal symptoms began.  Went back up to 10mg.

Feb 2016 Still experiencing withdrawal symtoms. Head pressure, elictrical current feeling in head, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

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You might be sensitized, to the drug. Keep notes, for now.  It's hard to tell , as you say your head is better.

 

Rate symptoms daily to track patterns and progress

 

When did the " pins & needles" start ?  Was that a symptom you had , previously?

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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