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AllegraRM Want to wean!


AllegraRM

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Hi everyone,

I am 31 years old and have been on an SSRI for 20 years, since I was 11! I was originally prescribed it to help combat anxiety that I now assume occurred with my hormones changing (getting my period). I only visited a psychiatrist one time before being prescribed Zoloft. I was on 200mg of Zoloft for about 18 years when it stopped working. About 18 months ago I was put on 20mg of Lexapro to manage my anxiety but I no longer feel like 'myself'. I have some symptoms that just aren't resolving themselves through diet and attitude changes. I'm not sure where to start but I feel like a lot of my symptoms are secondary to my prolonged SSRI use.

 

Is it possible for me to get off my 20mg of Lexapro? I'm tired of being 'sick and tired' and I really think that a lot of my digestive issues, blood sugar regulation issues, fatigue, heart palpitations etc will subside if I can successfully wean myself off of Lexapro.

 

For so long, I was convinced that I had a 'chemical imbalance' but I'm not so sure that's the case since I have all of these issues and have been doing LOADS of my own research on the topic.

 

I am quite concerned that I'll never feel 'better' or 'normal' and that I've done irreversible damage to my body's ability to heal itself. but I've got to try and get off this. Any and ALL advice, words of encouragement are greatly appreciated; more than you know.

March 2016 Been on antidepressants for 20 years, since I was 11!

Would like to start weaning but have no plan

1996-2014: 200mg Zoloft. Stopped working

Nov 2014-March2016: 20mg Lexapro

Have annoying heart palpitations, irregular BMs, digestive upset with GERD symptoms,

brain fog, fatigue etc

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Allegra

 

Welcome to SA.  It's really great that you have found this site, and I'm really pleased that you have been doing your own research.  The chemical imbalance is a myth and it is the drugs that end up changing our brains.

 

Thank you for completing your signature.  Is Lexapro the only drug you are taking?  It's a good idea to update your signature each time you drop your dose so that the the information remains current and can be seen at a glance whenever you post.

 

This site recommends a slow 10% taper of the previous dose followed by a 4-6 weeks hold.  This holding period gives the brain a chance to adapt to having less of the drug which it has become used to getting.

 

These might help you to understand:  Brain Remodelling and Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Here are the Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Have a read of those links and then ask any questions you may have in your Intro/Update topic.  You can use this topic as a journal to record your progress.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Allegra,

 

I'm glad you found us. I really can't improve on the suggestions and links Chessie posted, but wanted to add my encouragement. You will be able to come off Lexapro if you taper slowly enough, taking note of any withdrawal symptoms and slowing down accordingly. Read through the links and have a look around the site, there is a lot of good information here and friendly, helpful members.

 

Its true that the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness was only ever a theory, never proven and I'm sorry you were diagnosed and placed on these drugs at such a young age, based on this fallacy. This has happened to almost all of us here.

 

I'd highly recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Psych meds can cause harmful side effects and long term, they can worsen health, increasing the risk of other illnesses. In my opinion, they should only be used in the most serious cases and for the shortest amount of time at the lowest dose.

 

I also developed new health conditions while on Zoloft and then Lexapro... GI issues, weight gain, increased infections and I also got diagnosed with GERD and put on a PPI, plus more. Since stopping antidepressants, all these issues have cleared up. Unfortunately I tapered too fast and now have protracted withdrawal syndrome, but you have found this site so don't have to make the same mistake I did.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Is it possible for me to get off my 20mg of Lexapro? I'm tired of being 'sick and tired' and I really think that a lot of my digestive issues, blood sugar regulation issues, fatigue, heart palpitations etc will subside if I can successfully wean myself off of Lexapro.

 

Hello AllegraRM,

 

I think you'll be really pleased with the healing that can happen once you start to get drugs out of your system.  All of those things that you mention are caused by ad's, but can heal.  If you look at our topics on digestion etc there is a lot you can do to help the healing along. 

 

There is also a lot of encouragement to be got by reading about neuro-plasticity and how our brains can heal.  It really helped me at the start. 

 

Welcome to s/a,

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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Wow! I am absolutely floored at the responses! I feel so blessed and fortunate to have found this forum and as I get older, I am, mostly, continually astounded by the willingness of humanity to help each other  :) I do feel lucky that I am only on 1 prescription currently, 20mg Lexapro.

 

After reading LOTS of this site already, and receiving such GREAT support already, I am convinced that I WILL be able to get off ad's for good. I am currently working with a wonderful nutritionist who is helping me with my digestive issues and I is quite excited to help me in my journey of healing my body and coming off my Lexapro. 

 

I am going to wait to taper until I get back from my first International trip to Hong Kong. I have never left the United States and I am quite anxious to be leaving my two kids behind for 10 days.

 

I will bring that book with me to read, Petunia, on my 15 hour flight, thank you for the suggestion! Also, thank you ChessieCat for giving me links to some helpful information and thank you KarenB for your words of encouragement!

March 2016 Been on antidepressants for 20 years, since I was 11!

Would like to start weaning but have no plan

1996-2014: 200mg Zoloft. Stopped working

Nov 2014-March2016: 20mg Lexapro

Have annoying heart palpitations, irregular BMs, digestive upset with GERD symptoms,

brain fog, fatigue etc

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Allegra,

 

Waiting until you get back is a very good idea.  Many members here waited until after Christmas or New Year before we did a drop in our dose.  There was even a Club Thread set up for people to join which I found helpful because it "made" me wait.  It may even be good to leave it for a few weeks after your return until things have settled and are more back to normal and you know that you have at least a week that will be as stress free as possible so that you can take care of yourself during your first decrease.  I found starting my taper was a combination of exciting and scary all in one.  After the first couple of drops it started to fade into the background.

 

Good luck with your trip.  I hope you enjoy it.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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