Jump to content

Witsend: Hello. I hope someone can help.


Witsend

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone. I would like to introduce myself. I am new to the forum, in fact new to any forum so please excuse me if this rambles! I have been finding this site a massive help and wondered if anyone could help, I would really appreciate any advice as to what to do next.

 

I was diagnosed with GAD/Mild depression about 8 years ago, when I was suffering from severe anxiety. My Doctor prescribed 5mg Escitalopram initially but over about a two year period it was increased up to 20mg which I have been on for about the last 6 years solid.

 

In the last year my anxiety seemed to bubble through and I was increasingly thinking the drug was no longer effective, and after 8 years of negative effects of medication I was fed up with it. So in January this year I stopped taking my prescription. It was alongside a dietary change and positive health regime, but stupidly I did not taper. I think my reasoning (naively and foolishly) was that if I tapered i would never do it and I really wanted to do it while I was feeling mentally strong enough.

 

The first 3 months were okay. I did have some physical effects, but I had a six month sinus infection though (Could Sinus be related?) so I put a lot of the physical ailments down to this. I was also taking a variety of supplements; 5HTP at first but didn't like that, Vit B6 and D3, Magnesium and Zinc supplements and recently L Tryptophan chewable tablets.

 

About three months ago my anxiety problems started to return in bouts, getting progressively disabling. However, it was nothing as bad as it has been in the last month. Recently i have been severely depressed with a sense of hopelessness, I never felt before the medication. Also a sense of 'not being me', which is very hard to explain. Just sort of 'detached' from who I usually am, and with little interest in the things that I usually enjoy.

 

So about 3 weeks ago I decided I had to go back to my doctor. Unfortunately, I moved doctors surgeries between giving up the Escitalopram and now so I had to get my new doctor up to speed about my history, decision to stop etc. At this stage though i was beginning to feel like this could relate to the medication rather than the original condition, as this was different, I was never this low before and the feeling of detachment was definitely new.

 

Although i tried to explain this to the doctor I ended up coming home with a prescription for 5mg Escitalopram again, against my better judgement. Still not wanting to return to the medication after being off for 6 months I decided not to take it.

 

But over the last 2 weeks, the hopelessness and 'not-me-ness' seems to have got worse, and I felt that I had to go back to the doctors again. So I went to see him again this week. This time, after explaining I had not taken the Escitalopram, he instead prescribed me 50mg Sertraline.

 

So here I am. I took one when I came home as I felt I had no choice but shortly after found your forum and felt empowered again to try to stop and the day after I decided not to take these either yet. The day after the single Sertraline tablet, I had a good day, could this have affected me that quick? I thought it would take at least a week to get back in my system. Whereas, the last two days have been a mix of more anxious thoughts and low mood (not as low as I have been though)

 

I would really appreciate some thoughts on whether a) is this likely to be my original condition which has now grown, behind the medication into something worse, or B) is it still long term withdrawal effects that will get better with work and time? Should I take either of the drugs I've been prescribed again?  I really don't know what is for the best.

 

On a good day I am determined never again to go back on SSRI's but on the darkest days, when my doctor is telling me I should take them, its hard to know what is for the best. Thanks everyone for listening i am very grateful for any help/advice/support anyone can give me. Apologies if anything is already covered elsewhere on the site, I am working through the posts, just really wanted to introduce myself first. 

Edited by scallywag
highlight doses and changes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Witsend -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums enlightening and helpful for your taper. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

 

The fact that you had an immediate response to sertraline, an SSRI drug similar to escitalopram, indicates that what you are experiencing is withdrawal.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome  

 

I've highlighted (blue italics) parts of your post so that we can quickly see relevant information. Thanks for creating a signature.

 

You've experienced what many do after a abrupt "cold-turkey" stop of escitalopram.  It's a long jump and the bounces aren't pleasant. Although we can't predict how long your symptoms will last, rest assured that they will diminish over time and will pass.

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

The way through a withdrawal period isn't a straight line. Symptoms come and go, weaken and intensify. It will be helpful for you to keep that in mind. You can read more about that here:

The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization  

 

The next step is up to you.  You may get relief by reinstating.  Your body is used to the escitalopram, I recommend not complicating the situation by reinstating with a full maintenance dose of the sertraline. Read this topic for more information:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread. Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears: select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.

 

Also, setting this web page as a bookmark or favorite in your browser will help you navigate back to it.

 

I've given you a lot to read and take in. Have a look at it and post any questions here in your introduction topic.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Hi Scallywag.

 

Thanks very much for your reply and for all the links to relevant articles. I am really grateful.

 

I had hoped my doctor would advise me on this possibility or at least consider my symptoms to be withdrawal but he only seems to recognise it as the earlier GAD problem. I always knew this felt different this time, much much Bleaker.

 

It is definitely a big comfort to know that my symptoms are likely to be withdrawal and that it will one day stop. The reason I was having to consider going back on ssris was that I really couldnt face living like this forever!

 

Reading your advice about reinstatement, do you think I'm too late now to reinstate (six months after stopping) or based on the marked effect of the sertraline do you think it could be beneficial? I still really want to stop eventually. Is a reinstated taper better for this long term goal?

 

Thanks very much once again scallywag

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Oh, Witsend! You poor, poor dear! Lexapro is one humdinger of a drug and nosediving off of it like you did! I feel so sorry for all you folks who started this journey without SA. How could you know?

 

As far as I understand, reinstatement after more than 3 months is not usually advised, but if you do decide to try it start with no more than 1mg. Often this is more than enough to do the trick. The 5mg script  you were given may not be that helpful. Make sure you read the article on re-instating that Scallywag posted before you take anything.

 

If you read my intro thread, you'll see that I've also had an awful experience with this monster poison. In fact I'm pretty sure it is responsible for my diagnosis of "bipolar disorder" and subsequent poly-drugging.

 

Just remember, no matter what, your brain can and will heal itself. It might hurt like crazy sometimes, but you will get better.

 

Peace, love and healing.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Witsend, six months is outside the time period where *most* people get relief from a reinstatement.  Notice I said most, not all.
 
Of the two drugs, you're better off reinstating the one to which your CNS already adapted -- escitalopram. No point in adding a new and possibly complicating factor.  I'll get back to you about a reinstatement dose to consider.
 
Keep in mind that reinstatement is a risk: it might relieve your symptoms, it might not, it might make your w/d worse. Nobody can predict how you'll respond. This is true about reinstatement even within the "optimal window." 
 
Tapering from a reinstated dose is likely to proceed as any other taper. Because Lexapro/escitalopram is such a powerful drug, you may find it best to make cuts smaller than 10% and take longer holds.
 
Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)  

Please track and record your symptoms on paper.  Some members have found Dr. Glenmullens daily checklist helpful:
Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list
 
To track more detail (drugs & doses, symptom timing and intensity etc.), here's a record template you can use Clicking this link will open a download page on the Mediafire site:
Daily Symptom Tracking Template

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Witsend.

 

I agree with PatriciaVP and scallywag, you might try 1mg escilatopram.

 

Escilatopram is several times stronger than sertraline; 1mg may be quite enough. The Lexapro tapering topic gives instructions about how to make a liquid to take very small amounts.

 

If it helps, you might stay at 1mg for a good number of months, then taper by very tiny amounts.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Dear Patricia VP

 

Thanks very much for your kind words of support.

 

Nosediving as I did does seem incredibly stupid now (with hindsight) I was just so desperate to grab the moment.

I certainly would be quick to advise others not to follow my lead and taper slowly.

 

I so wish i had found this forum back then, and seen the comments on your intro tread with regards to delayed withdrawal effects. 

 

Where are you on your taper now PatriciaVP?  My current thinking is to try not to reinstate, but that thought changes from ohour to hour! Taking it one Day at a time. It's difficult, though isn't it because on one hand I don't want to miss my window of opportunity to reinstate, but on the other if i really want to try to make it through without going anywhere near this horrible drug. I really don't understand how doctors (who we trust) can dish it out, knowing that the repercussions/withdrawals will be so horrific? Makes me very sad.

 

Thank you again PatriciaVP, best wishes to you for your own journey to recovery.

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Dear Scallywag and AltoStrata

 

Thank you both once again for making me feel so welcome on the forum. I can't tell you how much that means to me.

Talking through my situation on here is a lifeline (I'm sure I'm not the first to say that) I have seen so many of my 'friends' go quiet on me when I have tried to talk about how I feel at the moment.

I am fortunate to have a supportive family, but they admit they cannot understand fully. I know everyone on here is 'on the same page' and that is so comforting.

 

I have felt stronger this week, in the large part thanks to this forum. Still suffering heavy bouts of Anxiety that come and go throughout the day (particularly early in the morning about 4am) BUT I have had less depression, which is a major relief. I have been reading through the threads, taking on board everyone's advice and doing my best to follow it.

 

I am currently trying the magnesium supplements mentioned in the self help threads.

 

I bought the Magnesium chloride gel which I am applying to back of neck which seems very soothing and also bought a magnesium citrate drink. I am carrying on with Vit B6 and Vit D3 and flax oil supplements but stopped the chewable L-Tryptopham as I think I read a comment from you Alto that it would be too much at the moment?

 

Also trying to follow 3KIS advice to take it slowly one thing at a time see what helps (although as you can tell from my earlier stupidity re: cold turkey,  I am prone to try to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut I have now learned that slow is best) I am holding off reinstatement at the moment. My thinking is, if i can get though with help of other remedies I would rather do that. As I said to PatriciaVP above, i hope this is not the worng decision and Im missing my window to reinstate? So difficult to know what is for the best (especially when head is so muddled)

 

Thanks again for everything.

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Witsend,  Your cold turkey stop of Lexapro was not stupid; you were never informed properly by your doctor, who by the way was probably never properly informed by the pharma rep who visited his/her office. Pharmaceutical companies provide almost all of the information and education doctor's receive about drugs. It is not in their financial interest to study or publish about gradual tapering.  They are repeatedly compelled by the FDA and other health regulators (who are compelled by reports of harmful side-effects) to include appropriate warnings in patient inserts and prescribing information.

 

In the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, journalist Robert Whitaker details the history of neuropsychoactive drugs. The pharma manufacturers do not come out looking good.  If you can stand having both your eyebrows and blood pressure raised from outrage, the book is worth a read.  I borrowed it from my local library and subsequently purchased a copy. 

 

The likelihood of reduction in symptoms *seems* to decrease with time from last dose.  As I said above, nobody can predict how you will react to 1 mg Lexapro now or in the future.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

I want to apologize for offering you such specific advise on tapering. It really wasn't my place. Please listen to Alto and Scally. They've both had so much more experience with this both personally and with helping other people. They've studied much more widely than I have and gotten a lot of great input from those who are professionals in the field. I know they and the other staff have been a great help to me.

 

I can, however share my personal experiences with you. My prescriber who is actually a psychiatric nurse practitioner didn't want me to go off the Depakote at all but was fine with me cold turkeying off both the Lexapro and the Adderall at the same time! Gasp!! Gives me chills just thinking about it.

 

Apparently I could never stop taking the Depakote because I needed it to control the bipolar just like "a diabetic needs insulin to control their blood sugar". Word for word. I kid you not. That's what he said. It was all I could do to keep from busting out laughing right in front of him. Though if I had, he probably would have tried to add an anti-psychotic to the mix. One of us needs an anti-psychotic, but it's not me.

 

This may leave you wondering why I'm still seeing him. Honestly he's no help at all and may even have some issues himself, but he does whatever I ask. If I am polite and persistent enough he always gives me the prescriptions I want in the dosages and forms I want. Thanks to SA I'm confident enough to decide these things for myself. As long as he is willing to go along, I don't see the point in changing.

 

Tapering hasn't been easy. I've been suffering some serious emotional and physical symptoms. There have been times when I literally wanted to come out of my skin and just could not stop crying and thinking about suicide.This was the inevitable outcome of going too fast. Partly because I was in too much of a hurry to get out of the hell hole the drugs had dropped me in and partly because I was still learning how to control my kamikaze provider.

 

Two things have helped me through the worst. Remembering that the worst of these symptoms will pass. They always have and they always will. When I'm in the worst of it this doesn't feel true. So I just have to keep repeating it to myself over and over.

 

The other thing, and I think this has been the most important, is the decision my husband and I made together at the beginning of this journey that no matter what, I would not go to the hospital. They held no help or hope for me there. Only more of the same poison that got me to where I am. Somehow taking this option off the table has brought me a great deal of peace even during the worst of times.

 

So I still have a long, long, long (how many times can I write long?) way to go, and sometimes the sheer length of time it will take seems so overwhelming. I know I'm on the right track though and the only way to go is forward.

 

Peace, love and healing

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment

Just realized I never actually answered your question - my taper. In August of last year, before I started the taper I was on 30 mg of Lexapro, 750 mg of Depakote, 40 mg of Adderall and 20 mg amphetamine. Now I'm only on 10 mg of Lexapro and completely off the rest. I discovered recently when I missed my allergy meds (Symbacort) for a few days it actually had a similar effect as the Depakote had.

 

I'd suggest following my lead only if someone had a death wish, but I am still here. I think that is testament our ability to heal even if our steps are imperfect.

 

Peace, love and healing. 

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Witsend, how you going?

 

Did your supplement change help?  (If not, consider eliminating the B6, too)

 

Are you starting to stabilize?  Have you decided against reinstatement?  

 

Are you concerned that the script doesn't come in the size dose you need? How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

Please don't reininstate a whole dose.  Even 1/2 mg will let you know if a reinstatement is going to work.  Lexapro is strong stuff.

 

 

Scally and Alto have given you excellent tools - I just checked, and Scally sent you the "daily checklist" as well as the "waves and windows" pattern of recovery, above.  

 

As you are past many of the physical symptoms of withdrawal, perhaps you would be helped by knowing about Neuro-emotion, which is normal emotions amplified by withdrawal.  And if you are having a lot of emotional symptoms, perhaps these will help you too:  Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

Let us know how you are going!

"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!

Link to comment

Dear PatriciaVP

 

Thank you for sharing your story with me and for all your guidance and support. To know you have been able to beat all the drugs you have reassures me that I can beat this one!

 

Its amazing that you still use the same physician! but if he works with you and supports you that is worth a million. So far getting a doctor to hear what i want to do seems impossible! This is why I decided not to reinstate for the moment. Getting a doctor to listen and give me the right low dosage here in the UK seems unlikely.

 

Thankfully though Ive had a good patch this last week or so. I have actually felt like me again for first time in months so that's really positive. I still 'over rev' at minor anxietes but I am feeling much less depressed (in fact pretty good at the moment). The windows and waves guidance is so right. I know this is probably a temporary 'up' and a low will follow but from the guidance you've provided I also know another 'up' is possible after that!

 

I also bought myself a kit of alternative remedies and magnesium gels/bath salts for when the waves hit so feel more prepared. I am very grateful for yours, scallywag and Altos help and guidance.

 

I have also been trying a light and sound 'mind machine' which really seems to help me in the eye of the storm. Just as a calming tool and opportunity to reboot really. Don't know if anyone has mentioned them before? I'm sure they have! But perhaps I could share my experience sometime. There is one program which really seems to slow down my heart rate and panic symptons.

 

Thanks again for your kind words PatriciaVP. With all my best Wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Dear JanCarol

 

Thank you for your message and for the further guidance. As I was just saying to PatriciaVP I have had a much better week, so I am sooo glad I didn't reinstate otherwise I would be thinking it was just purely down to that!  I am aware that this is almost definitely a window in a long process but to have a good week is so reassuring. For a while I thought I had changed permanently. I simply just wasn't in my own head. It was an awful feeling and a feeling I had never experienced before going on medication (or in fairness when I was on it) So I know it must have been the withdrawal.

 

Something I have found since stopping is how difficult it is to talk about withdrawal to someone who is still taking the same medication. A family member is also taking escitolopram but she does not accept it is withdrawal I am suffering. She is adamant that it is the same old condition bubbling back through but I KNOW this is not the case. I feel terrible too because I think she started taking them because she felt they had worked with my anxiety problems, which makes me feel responsible. But I cant make her listen. I guess its up for her to find it out in her own way/time.

 

Thank you for the links to the other alternative therapies. I will definitely read up there and continue to bolster my emergency wave kit. The magnesium gel has been the most successful I think. Would you recommend I drop the B6 BTW? All seems to be working at the moment, but it is tricky to know what is working, what is a wave and what is recovery!

 

Thanks again for your caring message JanCarol. All the very best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Witsend,

 

So glad you're feeling better. It may only be a window, but it's a beautiful window isn't it? Whenever I'm in a window, I wish I could capture that me so she could talk to the wave me and remind her of the window. Let you know if I ever figure out how to make that happen.

Dear PatriciaVP

 

Thank you for sharing your story with me and for all your guidance and support. To know you have been able to beat all the drugs you have reassures me that I can beat this one!

 

Its amazing that you still use the same physician! but if he works with you and supports you that is worth a million. So far getting a doctor to hear what i want to do seems impossible! This is why I decided not to reinstate for the moment. Getting a doctor to listen and give me the right low dosage here in the UK seems unlikely.

 

 

 

I haven't exactly "beaten" the drugs yet. I've been having much longer windows and less intense waves, but they still keep coming up behind me, whacking me upside the head and going "Nananananana".

 

I only have a decent med provider because I am an abstinent know-it-all who's figured out how to manipulate. It's not quite as good as having a doctor who knows what they're doing, but almost.  ;)

 

Something I have found since stopping is how difficult it is to talk about withdrawal to someone who is still taking the same medication. A family member is also taking escitolopram but she does not accept it is withdrawal I am suffering. She is adamant that it is the same old condition bubbling back through but I KNOW this is not the case. I feel terrible too because I think she started taking them because she felt they had worked with my anxiety problems, which makes me feel responsible. But I cant make her listen. I guess its up for her to find it out in her own way/time.

 I so know what you mean!  A friend of my husband's and mine came over to visit the other day. When he asked how we were doing, my husband said, "Pat's been making some great breakthroughs with her psychiatric treatment!" which I took as a cue to launch into a whole speech on how I'd  discovered that my drugs were doing more harm than good and why I've started to question the existence of psychiatric diagnosis all together.

 

Very....long.....pause. Turns out he's been on two antidepressants and a PTSD med ( um, since when do chemicals undo trauma?), and he feels better than ever! So good, in fact, he was finally able to leave his overbearing wife. Huh. Interesting.

 

Don't get me wrong. There was absolutely no animosity. Just two good friends in two very different places sharing what drugs have done for and/or to them.

 

I don't make a habit of telling people I'm withdrawing from the meds but when I do I start by making a point of telling them about the terrible place the drugs put me in and how I was sure it WAS the drugs. Then sometimes I'll hint at the difficulty I've had withdrawing.

 

When talking to someone who is currently on the drugs I've found it helpful to remember what a relief it was when I first started the meds and how everything I'm saying now would've sounded back then. It helps me to be more patient, and kind of temper my whole little spiel.

 

As far as feeling guilty for getting someone started - been there too. Although she didn't just get on because she saw how well it was working for me. I actually suggested she try them and gave her some extras I had. Funny, a few months later we stopped talking to each other. The drugs weren't the only reason of course. A lot of stuff had been brewing for a long time, but I'm sure it didn't help. Since coming to appreciate all the problems the drug caused, I've struggled with many bouts of guilt over this.

 

The truth is, however, I was just trying to help and there was no way I could've known then what I know now. As adults, we alone are responsible for what we put in our bodies.She chose to take the drugs just like I did. When I hit bottom, I chose to figure it out and make a change on my own. Knowing absolutely no one who had ever done this before. If I can do it, so can she. I'm done feeling guilty. At least for the moment. 

 

I hope you continue to feel better and better, but know if another wave hits, the window is still there just waiting.

 

Peace, love and healing.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment

Ha PatriciaVP! You are so right about 'capturing the window you' please do tell me if you work it out! I so need that technique.

 

I had a major crash yesterday after posting my reply to you. A semi-minor 'person to person interaction' with a neighbour sent me into the worst spiral of anxiety and rumination.

Argh, I wont bore you with it! But wanted to ask you a question, its kinda obvious I guess, but I'll ask it anyway. ALCOHOL.

 

Since I've given up my tablets I've found the negative effects of Alcohol hit me far worse. Now I know Alcohol is a downer, so what do I expect I suppose, But it really brings on my negative brain worse than ever now. And after minor day to day events like yesterday its too easy to grab that bottle of wine and 'block it out' with a few glasses...

 

And it sort of works for a few hours but the night after argh.. No sleep, really disturbing dreams when I do drop off and next day further rumination overload, majorly low self esteem etc etc.

 

I just wondered is that to be expected? Will alcohol always have a heightened effect on my nervous system from now on?

Will the effects wear off as my system recovers or is it pretty much a given from now on in, and I'm going to have to grow up and stay teetotal (and find a new less damaging emotional prop!)

 

On a different note, I'm listening to the audiobook of 'Anatomy of an epidemic' that scallywag recommended. Have you read it? It is so worrying but confirms for me i am doing the right thing

 

Thanks PatriciaVP. As usual, I appreciate your thoughts. Best wishes

 

PS I love your Nemo quote in your signature. I need to add something positive to mine. Yours made me smile, its going to help me today!

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

A thought about capturing yourself in the window:  Could you record "window self," audio or video, talking to and encouraging your "wave self"? Keep the file on your mobile, on your laptop, etc. and play it daily or as often as needed when in a wave. 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

I had a major crash yesterday after posting my reply to you. A semi-minor 'person to person interaction' with a neighbour sent me into the worst spiral of anxiety and rumination.

Argh, I wont bore you with it!

 

Uck! Neighbors! These irritating people on the periphery of our consciousness that we have to "learn to get along with". Whose idea were they anyway? I've been known to physically hide in my house to avoid confrontations with them. And they SAW me do it! Knock, knock, knock- "Pat, I know you're in there."  I haven't been able to deal with even the most mild of confrontations in years without days of ruminating and self berating afterward. Unfortunately, I think some of this may be my natural state, but it was definitely magnified ten-fold by the medication then further magnified by withdrawal. Can't wait till I'm just my regular non-drugged, overly emotional self again.

 

Feel free to bore away. Getting it off your chest might help, and believe me, after all the outrageous things I've done and thought - no criticizing here.

 

Since I've given up my tablets I've found the negative effects of Alcohol hit me far worse. Now I know Alcohol is a downer, so what do I expect I suppose, But it really brings on my negative brain worse than ever now. And after minor day to day events like yesterday its too easy to grab that bottle of wine and 'block it out' with a few glasses...

 

And it sort of works for a few hours but the night after argh.. No sleep, really disturbing dreams when I do drop off and next day further rumination overload, majorly low self esteem etc etc.

 

I just wondered is that to be expected? Will alcohol always have a heightened effect on my nervous system from now on?

Will the effects wear off as my system recovers or is it pretty much a given from now on in, and I'm going to have to grow up and stay teetotal (and find a new less damaging emotional prop!)

 

I really can't speak to the alcohol thing. Since being on these drugs I haven't been able to have even one drink without getting an excruciating headache almost instantly. I do look forward to the day, after withdrawal, when I can again enjoy a social drink or two again. Alcohol is such a big part of my family get-togethers, I always end up feeling left out.

 

I can speak to my experience with caffeine. While I was on the drugs I could drink two cups of coffee in the morning and a caffeinated drink or two in the afternoon and be fine. In fact, when I was on all the drugs, I could drink all that, take amphetamines and STILL sleep all day. (Anyone see a problem here?) Now, just a half a cup of coffee in the morning can make me jittery and irritable. I know this wasn't the case before I was on the meds. So this has to be withdrawal related. According to everyone on here that have reached the end of they're journey and know far more than me, withdrawal related symptoms ALWAYS pass once the withdrawal does. I have to believe this for my own sanity.

 

So, using that round about logic, I would assume that since both caffeine and alcohol are psychoactive substances, it's probable that reducing other such substances has temporarily heightened our responses to them. It should return to normal after we're done.

 

In the meantime, though, if the alcohol is having such a negative effect on you, you might want to avoid it for now. Safest thing to do might be to cut it out altogether until you've gotten through this. There are some great ideas for non-drug ways to deal with intense emotions here.

 

On a different note, I'm listening to the audiobook of 'Anatomy of an epidemic' that scallywag recommended. Have you read it? It is so worrying but confirms for me i am doing the right thing.

 

That's the book that got me started on this whole journey. I saw myself in so many of the personal stories and was so disgusted by the rest of it, I knew I had to get off. If you want to be further freaked out when you get done with that, read The Book of Woe by Gary Greenberg. It's about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual that's used by most clinicians (at least here in the US) to deem us "ill" and medicate us up the wazoo. It's the stuff nightmares are made of.

 

PS I love your Nemo quote in your signature. I need to add something positive to mine. Yours made me smile, its going to help me today!

 

Yep, gotta love Dory. It's just that simplistic positivity that keeps me going when things get tough. Even if I'm just swimming in circles, at least I'm not floating upside down at the top of the bowl.  :P

 

Gotta get ready to see my pdoc so I can tell him what he's going to do for me this time.

 

Peace, love and healing

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment

Hi Witsend

I was just thinking about you this afternoon, and the ruminating thing you and I seem to struggle with.

 

I was having an awful morning. Couldn't get myself out of my head. Buried with guilt about all the things I can't get myself to do right now. Finally forced myself to shower and get to my dentist appointment. Get there, turns out I have the wrong day!

 

When I got home, all I wanted to do was go to bed, but I knew that if I did that I'd just work myself into a tizzy thinking about what a worthless idiot I am. So I decided to distract myself with zentangle.

 

I'm sure you know what therapeutic zentangle is, but just in case - It's the practice of taking pen to paper and making lines. There are a few key elements:

1. You're not supposed to have any final design in mind. It sort of emerges as you go.

2. Paying close attention to each line as you make it (squiggly, straight, diagonal, whatever)

3. Use pen instead of pencil so you can't go back and obsess over it. This teaches us to accept whatever comes and see the beauty in imperfection. A lesson I need over and over.

 

I was just amazed today at how it stopped the ruminating and put me in a much better place. Maybe you could put some paper and a pen next to your wine stash just so you have another option next time.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment

Dear Scallywag

 

Thanks very much for your suggestion re: Capturing windows. It is a good idea, but I think in my case that maybe the last person I would listen to when I am feeling that low is 'me'. This forum has been a godsend though for reminding me that, at the worst times, best times are always waiting. Maybe that is capturing a window in some ways?

 

Thanks again for your help. Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Dear PatriciaVP

 

Sorry to hear you've had a wave this week. Hope you have come out the other side now?

 

I like zentangle too, i think its maybe the randomness of it that means we cant self critiscise the end result!? Well actually I probably do! My daughters are always much better than mine! :) I find a few activities in that vein quite good for distracting away from negative thoughts for a few minutes. I also went through a phase of making friendship bracelets in the evening.

 

I know, its an activity generally considered to be for kids and I am a little older than that :) but i think its just the sorting randomness into order that works. And, in truth it is quite complicated, this string over that etc etc (well, complicated for me) so takes a bit of concentration which can help to block out the nagging brain!

 

You should try it, most craft shops sell the kits. And like your zentangle, the end product can be kept on hand (sorry about the pun :blush: ) to show that order can be made from chaos and a window from a wave. I hope that makes sense?

 

I've had a mixed week really. We're house swapping with relatives for a holiday and I'm not entirely sure they are 100% happy about the arrangement.  From what they've told us we're not going to be able to move for pickpockets and speed cops! Which is a great help as my usual travel anxiety is kicking in. I keep telling myself that it will be nice when we get there!  :blink: 

 

I got up early this morning to sort some relaxing CDs to put on my player to chill me out whilst traveling. Stacked them up to transfer the songs and then remembered no CD drive on my PC!

 

On a different note, I remembered this week another medication i was prescribed last year. Don't know how i missed it off the list so will have to amend my signature. Pregablin? It came as sort of a prequel to my disasterous cold turkey! End of last year I started crashing on my escitolopram and went to docs and was given this to add to the mix. Didn't get on with it and so stopped it after a month or so.. I think stopping this was what gave me the foolish idea I could stop everything.. I suppose, not that disasterous, I'm still here just about!

 

Thanks for listening PatriciaVP hope you are feeling better. Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

We have been recommending " Anatomy of an Epidemic " for a long time . I'm glad that it has been helpful. It's not a new concept .I hope it helps. 

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
.
         

Link to comment

Friendship bracelets might be an activity intended for kids, but I've found them incredibly complex. I tried using some leftover cross stitch thread that I had and patterns from Pinterest. I just got so discombobulated that I totally gave up. I like the kit idea, though. That might just work for me.

I hope your holiday goes well. Sometimes just getting away from the same old sights for a change can make a big difference even if the location isn't all that exciting.

 

Sorry to hear about your traveling anxiety. Did you ever get the CD transfer worked out?

 

I'm doing a lot better thanks. It's the weekend and the house is full again. I think that helps. I was in a minor car accident on Friday. No injuries, able to drive the car still and it wasn't my fault, but I'm still surprised how well I'm handling it. It kind of worries me though. Whenever I handle things really well, I keep wondering if it will come back to get me in some weird way.

 

I hope you enjoy your holiday. Let me know how it goes.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Everyone.

 

Had a really bad weekend of Panic and depression. Its weighing so heavy on me that I think I am going to have to give in and go back on something for a while.

 

Question I really want to ask is what I should take? I have two unstarted boxes of SSRIs here.

One is a low does of Escitalopram 5mg (as per my signature I was on 20Mg) the other is Sertraline 50mg (which I've never taken before)

Or, a lower still reinstatement dose? Happy to consider anything to get my head back.

 

I just feel I cant carry on feeling this anxious,  I've got to the stage where being off the medication feels like its doing more damage to my body (heart palpitations, sweats, panic attacks) than being on them is, so I've got to do something. I've tried my usual box of alternative tricks but this wave really doesn't want to shift, and the waves are becoming more frequent.

 

As i said Ive really tried hard to ride this one out but its not getting any better!

 

Any advice really appreciated. Thanks

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Hi Witsend,

 

Sorry you're having such a difficult time of it. Do you think anything in particular set it off. Sometimes getting things off your chest can help relieve symptoms as well as any drug can.

 

My aunt has been in the hospital for two weeks now and it looks like she might not survive the day. She has mental retardation and I am her guardian so all her medical decisions are up to me. I really don't feel like I'm in a very good place to be making life or death decisions. Especially long distance because she lives in a home about 8 hours away from me. I'm feeling a little guilty about not being there in person during this time. I've had an awful stomach ache since this whole thing began and now I'm developing this weird rash on my arms. I think it might be stress related.

 

So, anyway, that's what I mean. Get stuff off your chest. Wow! I feel better already!

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Witsend - You're better off trying the hair of the dog that already bit you than feed yourself to another dog. ;)  In other words, the escitalopram is what your CNS (central nervous system) adapted to, so escitalopram will likely be a better fit.
 
It's best to test your CNS response with a tiny dose to make sure that you haven't become hypersensitive to escitalopram. Given that your last dose was in January 2016, 1 mg would be a reasonable test/probe dose.
 
Please keep in mind:

  • If you have a negative response to the reinstatement, stop taking it. A negative response would be a strong new symptom or the strong intensification of an existing symptom.
     
  • No guarantees come with a reinstatement:
    • Some people get relief in the first few days, for others it takes time.
    • Some people experience no improvement. 
    • For the unlucky ones, not as few as one would hope, symptoms worsen.
  • It takes 4 days or so for the drug to reach steady state. Experienced observers of this process note that it can take another 4-7 days for your CNS to respond and to stop sending the "major construction underway" signals, i.e. for symptoms to ease a little bit.
     
  • It is important to keep track of your symptoms and your doses: times of both and any intensity changes in your symptoms.

Creating a 1 mg dose from a 5 mg capsule or tablet can be a challenge. Most people find it's easier to use a liquid. With escitalopram, you'll need to make your own.

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules

Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques]
 
Six months is a long time to be dealing with cold-turkey w/d symptoms. I hope the reinstatement works for you. Let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Hi PatriciaVP

Thanks for your reply and thoughts.

Unfortunately I don't think talking about it will help at the moment. There is nothing concrete just a mish mash of every bad thing that could happen.

I seem to have a brain that likes dreaming up bad endings! So anything that happens, at work or at leisure, can be reconfigured to a have a negative outcome where I am to blame.

One of my worries at present is that I haven't really had anything more than life's spanners of late and I'm reeling. What if a real issue did arise?

This is the main reason I took a 5mg escitolopram last night. I felt I had to do something. Its too hard on my family to have me in a useless state. I feel like a quitter now on top of everything else though for reinstating after I'd gone 6months.

The biggest issue is still (and I know I've said this a lot before) 'is this me?' Am I just an nervous/anxious/depressive person and it's always been lingering under the medication waiting? Its so difficult to know isn't it.

Sorry to hear about your aunt. That's very difficult to deal with when you're fighting anxiety, it must be very difficult for you. So fair play PAtriciaVP you have my respect. I can only hope I could deal with it as well if I were in your shoes

Thanks again PatriciaVP. Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Thanks very much for your guidance and advice Scallywag. It is much appreciated.

As I said to PatriciaVP above though, i did end up taking a 5mg last night, as I felt I had to do something, would you reduce to 1mg as suggested above or stick with the 5mg now for a few days and see how i go? I seem to be lurching from one bad decision to the next at the moment, and not doing a very good job of following advice (like my poor cold turkey decision 6mths ago)

I will check in again in a few days and let you know progress. Sincerely, thank you again. Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Witsend,

 

If you choose to reduce to take the reinstatement 1 mg we suggested that you consider, make that change and HOLD at that dose. I hope you'll understand that I'm both reluctant to suggest a next step for you and puzzled about why you want another suggestion from me.

 

Whatever you choose, I hope it goes well for you. Let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Dear scallywag

 

I do understand your reluctance.

 

I apologise if it seems like I'm not following your advice. I just had such a terrible low this weekend I went to bed last night and thought I had to do something. I didn't see your reply until this morning.

 

I will reduce to the 1mg as suggested and hold.

 

Once again, I am grateful of your advice and must apologise for appearing gung Ho. I'm not purposely trying to not follow advice I'm just desperate to start feeling better.

 

Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for replying and for understanding my hasty post, in which I omitted several words.(since added.)

 

Please take your dose at the same time every day and keep notes on paper of your symptoms -- when they arise, intensify, weaken, and/or disappear.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Thanks Scallywag. Ive made the suspension now and will take first 1mg tonight as advised. best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Please don't feel like a failure because you had to reinstate a small dose of your meds. Making a wise decision to reinstate a small dose when you are in such emotional pain is not failure. It's just plain smart.

I just reduced my dose by 1 mg the night before I found out my Aunt had passed away. I've decided to stick with the drop anyway, but I am feel a little frazzled. Since I just dropped, I'm having trouble sorting out the withdrawal from the stress.

 

At the rate I am going, it'll be close to two years before I'm all the way off. My only choice at this point is to be patient with myself and the process.

 

Be patient and kind with yourself as well. Things will improve.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to comment

I'm not so cross with myself today PatriciaVP as I had a window last night. First one in a week. I assume, as much as I don't want to give the drug credit, I've got to put that down to the reinstatement?

 

Yesterday felt pretty sick and a bit dizzy. Foolishly I decided to go trim trees to keep my mind busy and felt the ground slope under me, so decided best to put down the trimmers and go lay down.

 

My wife took over with cooking dinner etc and I had a pretty lazy evening. Felt pretty sick all night and a head that felt like someone was doing renovations inside. Very odd. Like random aches in different spots? But I'm calmer!

 

The way I described it to my wife (probably because we were watching the TV show Haven at the time!) is like a harbour full of boats. For days it had felt like the harbour was so stacked no one could move to sail out, but as evening progressed the harbour got quieter and boats more spaced apart. The negative thoughts still came in and out but it wasn't so crowded. I had head space and even managed to read a little (it hurt my head a bit but it went in without constant negative thinking anxiety distractions that usually have stopped me reading lately.)

 

I slept a bit better too. Slept in til 6am, which is better than my usual 4am and MUCH better than Saturday nights 1 hour sleep tops (Worst anxiety night of my life and why I had to do something)

 

So... Still cross I've had to take this evil stuff again but not cross with myself now for making the decision, just feel a bit stupid for not following scallywags earlier advice messages about 1mg reinstatement *sorry again scallywag*

 

But I've got my little bottle of 1mg solution prepared in the fridge now so onwards and upwards..

 

One question. Now I've reinstated should I continue all my supplements?

 

Actually another question (which I might put on a general board) My worst withdrawals have started at 8mths, well, withdrawal kicked in at 3mths but got progressively worse up to this weekend, 8mths later. Is that normal?

 

That reminds me I better update my signature with reinstatement and supplements.

 

Thanks again PaticiaVp/Scallywag for support. I welcome any comments/thoughts from everybody. Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Sorry to hear your aunt has now passed away PatriciaVP. Hope you are coping okay and looking after yourself. Best wishes

Prescribed Escitolopram for GAD disorder about 10 years ago. Initially 5mg but quickly moved up to 20mg

Was on it until January this year when I decided I had had enough.Went back to doctors and was prescribed back onto Escitolopram 5mg.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy