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Aiki seeking support, help, guidance


Aiki

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Hi, 

Thank you for this support site.  

In a nutshell, I have done everything wrong and I’m looking for some hope.

I am a 58-year-old widow.  I live alone near a mountain town.  Friends nearby but no family. 

 

I was prescribed 10mg Lexapro daily in 2010, for grief & anxiety, after my husband died unexpectedly (preceded by both my parents in a short interval). I took Lexapro & no other meds until 2012, when I did an amateur taper in 2-ish months with my dr’s knowledge (but no guidance whatsoever).  Considering I had no idea what I was doing, it’s amazing I did not crash & burn.  I had heightened anxiety, return of grief, some physical symptoms but I was totally ignorant of the subject of a/d w/d and I don't remember much from then.

 

In 2014, when my companion dog died, I was prescribed Lexapro again (10mg) for grief and anxiety again. Different dr, who said I could start tapering @ three months if I was okay (again, no taper guidance except don’t go c/t).  I started tapering in 10/2014 over 11 months (with dr’s knowledge) but I did it wrong:  I would take 10mg for 2 days, then drop to 7.5; repeat until I felt like I was doing okay and could drop to 7.5 for 2 days and 10 for the 3rd, repeat – you get the picture.  Would stay at a new dosage for awhile before dropping again. I probably had withdrawal symptoms during the taper (headaches come to mind) I just didn’t realize what they were.  By July 2015 I was down to 2.5 mg daily, feeling good, and stopped taking Lexapro at the end of July after a month at 2.5mg.  Did not know better nor do I think my dr did.  No excuse for my ignorance, I just stupidly trusted the doctors & failed to do my homework.

 

Physical symptoms of w/d started promptly (GI bloating etc, allergy-like sinus & nasal inflammation, sleep disturbance, restlessness, episodes of flu-like symptoms, electrical sensations, increased tinnitus, etc etc), but it took me awhile to associate all of these symptoms with w/d. More symptoms at 3.5 months (nausea, disequilibrium, visual annoyances, brain fog), and then the insomnia hit at the end of the 5th month.

 

I am in my 8th month post-Lex. I take no meds, stopped alcohol & caffeine several months ago (was not a big consumer anyway). Have stopped taking supps to try & figure out what is activating to my CNS.  I can function enough to do the basics from day to day but the insomnia is brutal, and the disequilibrium, vision annoyances, and brain fog continue, plus heart thumping and some palpitations, brain sensations occasionally at night (more of a shudder than a zap) and the roller coaster of neuro-emotions.  Blood and urine labs done recently came back normal.  Blood pressure and heart rate seem to always register at normal. 

 

The more I read about Lexapro (belatedly) & w/d I understand there is no way to know if things will get worse but I’m reluctant to re-introduce Lexapro or any other drug for relief, w/my CNS in such a state.  My new internist wants to keep me off SSRI’s and all pharmaceuticals, which is my wish too, if I can survive.  He has referred me to a sleep MD for evaluation of the insomnia and I will ask that MD for an EKG (my internist seemed unconcerned about the heart thumping & palpitations – I guess he thought it was the anxiety.)

 

I feel hopeless, like I did everything wrong out of sheer ignorance at the most vulnerable times in my life,  and things will just get worse. Can anyone offer guidance or encouragement?

I am a 58-yr-old widow of healthy habits.

2010 prescribed Lexapro 10 mg daily for grief & anxiety after husband's death.
2010 - 2012 on same dosage, amateur taper over 2 months w/drs knowledge; w/d symptoms but not recognized as such at that time, more psychological than physical as I recall. No guidance from MD other than warning against c/t.
2014: prescribed Lexapro 10 mg daily for grief and anxiety after companion dog's death.
Amateur taper over 11 months, 2.5 mg at a time (but stupidly staggered the steps in between plateaus rather than keeping it even), ending July 31, 2015 on 2.5 mg daily. Was ignorant about how to taper and received no guidance from MD altho he supported my decision to taper & knew about it.
Array of physical symptoms & heightened anxiety started immediately, worsened at 3.5 mos w/disequilibrium & vision annoyance, then severe insomnia began @ month 5.

Still taking no meds; no caffeine, no alcohol.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Aiki and welcome to SA,

 

Firstly, stop beating yourself up for not knowing any better.  You did the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time.  There are many here who didn't know and are suffering because of it, but it is not their fault.  And many doctors have been duped by Pharma.  Interview with author Gwen Olsen - Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher.   It's very disappointing that your were given ADs for grief when you probably would have done well with counselling.

 

Just so you have the information to make a decision these are some links to read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If you do decide to try reinstating, you will only need to try a very low dose.  One of the voluntary staff should be able to offer a suggestion about the dose to try.

 

To help you understand why you are getting symptoms check out these: 

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling

 

And list of symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

You can use your Intro topic to ask questions about your own situation and to journal your progress.  This site has lots have helpful information and very supportive members.  I'm sure someone will give you some more links to read.

 

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Aiki welcome.

You have come to the 'we have all done everything wrong site' so you are in good company.

We need to remind ourselves that it is totally not our fault. The doctors are to blame it is there negligence and ignorance.

Healy is right when he says 'The ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of  medicine.'

 

Ive been reading about the history of thalidomide...did you know that doctors started to blame the mothers saying oh if it wasnt for the drug your baby wouldnt even have been born. The drug company blamed pollutants in the atmosphere.

 

Nothing has changed has it. But for Healy to use the definite article and the superlative form of the adjective he is placing ssri era in an even darker place than thalidomide!

 

I would like to tell you that i also did a similar taper to you. Doc simply said oh you want off ok take as much as you want. I had no idea at what i was about to have to endure.

 

You are doing so well to be 8 months drug free.

My personal opinion is stay the course drug free. Many report improvements in yr1-2 and more so in yr 2-3.

 

What an excellent internist you have . (dont know what an internist is but if they are adverse to taking drugs then stick with them )...you are in a safe place.

 

Im with cc grief should not be drugged.

 

In fact seeing a person with prescribing ability for anything for which an ssri can be given from sore toe to headache and anything in between is one of the most dangerous things a person can do.

 

Heres some info on coping drug free with symptoms.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

See if you can get hold of a terrically informative book  'anatomy of an epidemic ' by whitaker.

 

Are you able to make a complaint to the appropriate bodies regarding your experience.

 

Welcome aboard .

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Thank you both for your insight and support.

I am a 58-yr-old widow of healthy habits.

2010 prescribed Lexapro 10 mg daily for grief & anxiety after husband's death.
2010 - 2012 on same dosage, amateur taper over 2 months w/drs knowledge; w/d symptoms but not recognized as such at that time, more psychological than physical as I recall. No guidance from MD other than warning against c/t.
2014: prescribed Lexapro 10 mg daily for grief and anxiety after companion dog's death.
Amateur taper over 11 months, 2.5 mg at a time (but stupidly staggered the steps in between plateaus rather than keeping it even), ending July 31, 2015 on 2.5 mg daily. Was ignorant about how to taper and received no guidance from MD altho he supported my decision to taper & knew about it.
Array of physical symptoms & heightened anxiety started immediately, worsened at 3.5 mos w/disequilibrium & vision annoyance, then severe insomnia began @ month 5.

Still taking no meds; no caffeine, no alcohol.

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