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Lex1992

☼ Lex1992: 4 months off Lexapro, extreme anxiety/ruminating, can't function properly

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Lex1992

 

Lex1992' success story:  drugfreeprof-my-daughter-lex1992-has-fully-recovered

 

I lost a sister to suicide in 2007 and was put on antidepressants by a justifiably nervous mother. She and I both now realize what a sham the whole thing AD$ thing is, and I have desperately wanted to get off of the stuff for years (I'd only been taking it to avoid withdrawal) but I worry I won't be able to get to a normal state again.

 

I stayed on Lexapro through high school and college and was certainly able to do alright through certain traumas ( I was disagnosed with C-PTSD from the loss and an assault when I was 18. I'm now 24) but here without the Lexapro I'm feeling worse than I ever have in my life, panicking and projecting negativity...

 

I was never like that, I've always been an optimistic high-achiever, and now it's as though my brain just isn't working anymore. I feel slower, as though vocabulary has just fallen out of my brain... Perhaps this is hurting my ego more, having been regarded as "gifted" growing up... I worry that I was on these drugs for too long throughout my developing years.

 

I have worked through so much emotionally over the years in various forms of therapy, but this feels like a complete physiological thing that's just taking control over me. I was able to feel okay in the few months after my final tiny bit of Lexapro taken in February (after a very gradual taper over many months)- I was in another country with few responsibilities, which made the taper relatively easy compared to previous attempts.

 

Near the end of the trip some irrational upset began... Now I'm back home (3 weeks ago) and I'm having a complete meltdown like never before. I am having extreme anxiety especially in the AM, ruminating on negative thoughts, fits of crying (sometimes for hours), suicidal ideation (I won't do it because of my sister), complete self-doubt, absolute anguish.. I can't go on like this.

 

I was never like this, before or during Lexapro. I feel no joy in my work (Which used to be so healing for me) or desire/ability to do what I need to... I'm exercising, meditating, I've tried so many supplements... There was one day of clarity when I took 5-HTP, but the next I was a nervous wreck again... I tried L-tryptophan later... I don't know what to do at this point, I've been so down that I caved and took a Prozac today as some people use it to get off of Lexapro, but I don't want the SSRI's anymore... Today I felt so tired and out of it, my moods are cycling like crazy... Of course it won't work in just a day, but I am so desperate to get away from these horrible feelings...

 

My mom wants to send me to a rehab specializing in this type of thing, but it's insanely expensive and although I'm so grateful that she'd consider that I don't know if a month's worth of help can undo the years I was on the SSRI... Looking back at all of this I feel so ungrateful and unworthy of the goodness in my life that I know of, but cannot feel... I feel so lost and hopeless... Any input is greatly appreciated


Lexapro 2007-Feb 2016

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Bruin

Welcome Lex and I am so sorry that you are having such a tough time. I also have had experience of a suicide in the family 

and partly because of that I got onto the AD merry go round. I am quite new here so will not proffer advice but you have landed 

in the right spot and I am sure that one of the wonderful mods will be along soon to help. In my experience these Meds 

cause so many problems but the good news is that you will recover given time and a measured approach. You are young 

and emotionally aware. I feel sure it is the WD that is causing you the problems , it is the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

I am 15 months of Effexor and it has been hard but there is definite improvement. Hang in there and just get through each day...

in my experience it is the only way.

 

It maybe that some kind of reinstatement may be in order...you can then do the taper slowly 

which is far kinder on the Central Nervous System. I am sure that one of the Mods will steer you in the right direction.

 

All the Very Best to you Lex.

 

Bruin.

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scallywag

Hi Lex -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)!
 
I'm sorry to hear about your family's tragic loss of your sister to suicide. It's a dreadful, dreadful experience to go through. I too lost a loved one to suicide, my fiancé and sweetheart, and that started my current adventure with SSRI/SNRIs. 
 
The panic, anxiety,  difficulty thinking, ruminating on negative thoughts, fits of crying (sometimes for hours), suicidal ideation, complete self-doubt, absolute anguish are symptoms of withdrawal.

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
Although you've tapered off Lexapro already, you may want to read this discussion topic about Lexapro: Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
 
What many doctors, including psychiatrists, consider a slow taper causes withdrawal symptoms in many people. Would you tell us what you remember about how you tapered, i.e.

  • What was your starting dose?
  • What month did you start reducing the dosage?
  • How long did you stay at each reduced dose?

The best way to stop the symptoms is to take the drug that your brain and central nervous system got used to having. Are you open to testing whether a tiny dose of Lexapro eases your symptoms?

 

Typically people test this for 5-7 days to see if how it affects their symptoms. It's important to track your symptoms when reinstating; some SA members have found using a checklist helpful in this:
 
Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list
 
Here's a discussion topic on the SA forums About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements? 
Please put your withdrawal history in signature

A suggestion: 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.
 
Setting this web page as a bookmark or favorite in your browser will help you navigate back to it.

 

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

 

Please have a look at the threads I've posted. Come back here and ask any questions that come up.

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Petunia

Welcome Lex1992,

I'm sorry about what you've been through, especially the loss of your sister.

 

I also had problems stopping Lexapro after having taken if for years. It sounds like you tapered for longer than me, but many people have to taper much slower than is suggested by doctors. We recommend reducing no more than 10% per month. If you would provide a few more details of your taper, that would help us understand.

 

Are you still taking Prozac? What dose? Is this the first time you have taken Prozac since stopping Lexapro? Is it helping?

 

We usually recommend a small reinstatement of the original drug, but after 5 months, there is no guarantee that it will work. Please read through the link on restatement that Scally posted for you.

 

But if you have already started taking Prozac, and its helping, then its probably best not to make any more changes for now. We can help you taper off Prozac once you have become stable again.

 

I'm glad you found us and posted, there is a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.

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daveycrocket

Hi Lex. I just wanted to say welcome and that I 100% understand what you're going through; the experience of withdrawal has brought me to a non-functioning status. I do my best to remember these symptoms are just withdrawal and that everyday I am in fact healing. However, there are days where I get desperate and would do anything to feel a sense of relief. I am clinging onto a hope that it will in fact get better and things will slowly improve. "This too shall pass."

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Lex1992

Thanks so much for the responses. I added my info to my signature; I'm definitely experiencing some serious protracted withdrawal.  Thinking back over my tapering makes me think maybe it was a bit fast and not precise enough, as I was breaking it down and eyeballing it by the end. The past few weeks have been intolerable. Yesterday and today I caved and decided to take 5 mg Lexapro. Yesterday I took one in the AM, felt some relief from my anxiety, but later I took another and I think that was a mistake; in the middle of the night I woke up experiencing some weird hot/cold sensations running through my brain, and my heart rate was up... I had to drink a ton of water to calm my body down. I took one this AM and am feeling as I was before- ruminating, anxious, but this time too drowsy and too out of it to do much of anything but lie down. I'm reminded of why I hated the SSRI's in the first place, they give me so much fatigue that I can't really do the things I must to supplement my healing (exercise, meditate, etc.). I'm going back and forth between deciding to attempt a new antidepressant or going inpatient at a holistic rehab center to stay off. The center, though it seems wonderful, is insanely expensive and I worry that a month is not enough time to get better after being on these drugs for so long. All I know for sure is something has to be done, because I can't function feeling like this. 

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scallywag

Hi Lex, sorry your trial of 5 mg left you wobbly. It sounds as if that amount was too much for you.

 

If you want to try the Lexapro tomorrow/tonight, you'd be better off trying a much lower dose -- 1 mg once a day -- and holding there for at least a week to see if your symptoms resolve. If you have a strong negative reaction to a reinstatement, of course, don't take any more.

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Lex1992

I've been taking a very small amount of Lexapro the past few days, probably between 1-2 mg, and I'm so so SO exhausted, brain is slowed, still getting the high anxiety or just plain cortisol running through my body... Does anyone have any advice?? I'm so miserable

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scallywag

Are the symptoms you describe new since reinstating? New since reducing to 1 mg?  You've had them throughout and they're still bad?

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Lex1992

I've been having these issues for over a month now but I reinstated for the past 4 days and I'm so exhausted, that's a new thing since restarting 1 mg. I'm thinking it's not worth it to get back on this drug that's so royally screwed me, I really want it out of my system... A psychiatrist just gave me deproloft hf, it's natural and supposed to help... I just can't stand these cortisol surges.. Is it a problem to just stop taking the small amount of lexapro after these past few days? I was off for 4 months and was doing alright, then month 5 things got bad

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Dina

Hi Lex,

 

I haven't been on the forum for about a year but just looked in and have seen your topic. I've spent 6 years on lexapro and i've been lexapro-free for almost 3 years. I spent about 15 months to decrease my dose and it took 4-5 months to get into horrible horrible withdrawal. It took me around 10 months to feel better than acute ALL THE TIME, and another year to get more resistent to stress. But I can say i'm doing good, i do have my moments but definitely much much MUCH better. It's been a hell of a journey but looking back, there was no way around it, the only way was through withdrawal. I have also tried to reinstate 1 mg of Lex at a certain point but i got , just from that 1 mg, bad akathisia (the horrible sensation that one is connected to the plugs and is very restless) so i just could not reinstate, even if i wanted to. I tried to to RI other drugs as well but to no avail, i would become very very sick on them since day 1 or 2. Acute withdrawal was much much more than anxiety for which i took lexapro, it was the pits of the hell, and the horrible thoughts that would only occasionally stop. A food that i feel helped me is raw garlic taken with food. I started it since month 9 off and then at month 10 off i was much better. It is not a coincidence for me. Even nowadays, after i spend 2-3 months with no raw garlic, i would feel some residual symptoms such as bad mood, anxiety, anger. Well this stops if i eat a clove of raw garlic at least 3 days in a raw. It is not a recipee for all i know, but i did and does help me personally and if you want to try some, at least it's a well spread food item.  Another thing that helped me was long long walks, preferably with a family member or friend who knew and were not afraid to hear once more about my symptoms and my despair.

 

Do not be too scared of the lengthy withdrawal time, it sound very bad i know but the alternative on drugs is likely to make you quite instable for life, so better what you started. Many, just like me, report to feel much better after 1 year or 2. Some need 3. Those who took ssrI-s for longer usually. But this has an end or at least acute has an end and things will get better.

 

I'm around if you want to PM me.

 

a hug, Dina

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LexAnger

Dina,

I'm so glad to hear you kicked the but of this horrible beast, Dina! I'm so very happy for you!

 

Lex,

I am in total agreement with Dina, being a lexapro victim still on the road of tapering this poison. In creasing dose always put me into a new hell even it is a common way to get relief from WD for majority others. I read many others having the same problem in particular with lexapro. No one knows how this drug works differently from others but the statistics says NO so far but again it's statistics not good for prediction of each individual case.

 

I hope you are doing a bit better,

LexA

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KarenB

I've been taking a very small amount of Lexapro the past few days, probably between 1-2 mg,

It's important to be exact in your dose when your CNS is this sensitised.  Can you measure it exactly, and take it at the same time each day?  It is available in liquid form, or you can make your own using instructions here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

If your dose has been changing, then that would possibly explain the exhaustion.  I think that taking exact amounts would be a better move than simply stopping again.  What are your thoughts?

 

Karen

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Altostrata

Lex, how are you doing now?

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DrugfreeProf

Anyone, moderators or otherwise, could you please offer your comments re: my struggles with Lexi's (Lex1992) current situation?

 

As a parent, I'm feeling completely flummoxed.

 

Lexi is currently having delusional thinking after going off Lexipro and Concerta too quickly this past February.   I need some hope, support, and guidance. She posted her story earlier on SA at http://survivinganti...o-escitalopram/   However, she then got into a mental state where she does not believe her terrible withdrawal symptoms are coming from withdrawal from her meds. She got it into her head that it's all her fault and that no one likes her and she has a terrible personality, etc. All, I know, a meta-symptom of withdrawal.
 
She started with emotional symptoms like crying, irritability, and depression at about 2 months after stopping Lexipro 10-20 mgs (she did wean for a while but still way too quickly), then starting having insomnia, ;like no sleep for a month, restlessness, etc. from about three months to fourmonths post-ADs, and she is now about 6 months past withdrawnig from Lexipro (she weaned from 10 mg - 0 mg over several months) and also c/t from Concerta 56 mg, which she took about one year less (8 yrs) than she took the AD (9 years). Her main symptoms for the past couple of months has been EXTREMELY negative thinking, no one likes her, she has no friends, etc. when in FACT, she is wildly popular and a very attractive young woman (she's 24).  Her thinking is so false, negative and rigid that it is downright delusional.
 
Latest event: She got herself tossed out of Alternatives to Meds in Sedona, AZ today by WALKING OUT (with medical approval) of an ER/med center where the center sent her when she had a fainting spell. What they did NOT do was accompany her and stay with her at the ER, so she took the opportunity to experience some freedom while freaking out the entire treatment staff and the police force of Sedona,AZ, who went looking for her.  She was missing for about six hours.  I pictured her dead.  It was one of many terrible experiences I've had since she withdrew from her meds.  
 
She will be coming home in two days after barely two weeks' worth of treatment. WHAT NEXT?  Any advice, suggestions, directions, or guidance?  How can I help her regain hope that she will improve and her understanding of what happened to her?  I would so much appreciate it. Thank you for this truly amazing site.
Edited by scallywag
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JanCarol

Dear Prof and Lexi - 

 

I am so sorry it has gone this far. 

 

Sometimes they need to go through the rough stuff before they come good.  I hope she didn't wait as long as I did (I was 50 when I started tapering).

 

Have you read "Anatomy of and Epidemic" and "Mad in America" by Robert Whitaker?

 

In there he talks of the Quaker "moral treatment" of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

There were no doctors involved.  

 

They just fed and listened and played games with the sufferer.  And listened and put them in the sunshine and nature.  And listened some more.  When the person in crisis started to get better, they wanted to leave.  No one was coerced or locked in.  

 

I'm sure not all the houses were this rosy, but it was a model that better served "patients" (they weren't called that) than hospitals do.

 

The Sedona Clinic is well famed for its natural detox program - but I fear for antidepressants, they may go too fast - but she was already off the antidepressants when she got there?  Detoxing, too, can throw someone who is sensitive into a deeper crisis.  It's not about how quickly you get the chemicals out of the body, but how you can rebuild the brain.

 

And that takes engagement, discipline and stamina.  Sometimes people are not ready for it, and need to stay on the drugs longer.  I know she expressed above how toxic she believes they are, and I respect her position - but - sometimes in order to remove a thorn, you must use a needle.  She may need to go back on a small amount, a steady amount, to stabilise.

 

She can get better, we all can.  There is much you can give her in the way of support, non-judgemental view, listening, listening, listening (or, if she won't talk to you - someone she will talk to).  But you are in a position where you can lead her to water, but she has to choose to drink.

 

Please keep us posted on her progress.  She has left the clinic now?  How long did she last there?  What was it like?  We have so many people who want to go there - but we've never heard from anyone who went.  Is she with you?  Is she on any drugs or supplements?  How is her state of mind after her vortex experience at Sedona?

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DrugfreeProf

Thanks so much for the response and the support. It's weird, being in this situation, because I myself was on Prozac for a long time and had some difficulty getting off--but nothing like what my daughter is going through.

 

I had really, really high hopes for Alternatives to Meds Center (ATMC); I really hoped it would work for her. it was an ordeal coming up with the money (expensive) and plane tickets and arrangements to get her there. We (Lexi's stepfather and I) found the atmosphere at ATMC really beautiful and peaceful; the home where residents stay has lots of moving water, fountains, and flowers--a really nice atmosphere, and I think they treat their residents quite well (from my brief experience of checking her in there).

 

From the minute she got there, she wanted to leave, sometimes desperately, but it, and she, seemed to get better as days went on. She still complained to some degree about being there, texting me asking to be picked up. But she stayed and got treated for just under two weeks. Then she pulled the stunt with walking out of the ER where the ATMC had shipped her WITHOUT SUPERVISION (which is the part I really object to).  The hospital staff said they literally turned their backs for a few minutes, and she was gone.

 

Now, before Lexi was admitted, the treatment team had evaluated her suitability for the center twice, on two separate occasions, and we were up front about the fact that her thinking was way off and delusional, and they approved her admission regardless. Also, another point, when we had her admitted, there was a nurse who did the admission, and she spent about a half hour talking Lexi into agreeing to be admitted--so she did a really good job in that way.

 

HOWEVER, one of the things that bothered me about this staff person (and maybe the center) is this:  I had been very clear about providing the history of Lexi's problems, starting with her weaning too fast off Lexipro and Concerta back in February and how the symptoms had started a couple of months later and that she had spiraled down into this delusional, everyone-hates-me kind of thinking. But after this nurse spent the half hour talking to Lexi, the nurse actually denied that Lexi's problems were due to antidepressant withdrawal!  That is one of the meta-symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal, that the person going through withdrawal thinks that their anguish is "all about them" and not about the withdrawal.  So that worried me from the get-go--do they really understand at ATMC what protracted withdrawal looks like? In any event, after the stunt Lexi pulled yesterday, the center medical director asked her to leave--which is probably why Lexi did this in the first place!  Seems to me that they should have anticipated the possibility of this happening, leaving a patient in her shape unsupervised. 

 

Again, I am very grateful for any support and input I can get from readers and mods there. This is one of the hardest things if not the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life, and I'm almost 64 and have been through a lot!

Edited by JanCarol
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DrugfreeProf

p.s. She is coming back from ATMC this weekend; haven't seen her yet.

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DrugfreeProf

And I meant I am grateful for support and advice I can get from readers and mods at this site, Surviving Antidepressants!

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Shep

HOWEVER, one of the things that bothered me about this staff person (and maybe the center) is this:  I had been very clear about providing the history of Lexi's problems, starting with her weaning too fast off Lexipro and Concerta back in February and how the symptoms had started a couple of months later and that she had spiraled down into this delusional, everyone-hates-me kind of thinking. But after this nurse spent the half hour talking to Lexi, the nurse actually denied that Lexi's problems were due to antidepressant withdrawal!  That is one of the meta-symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal, that the person going through withdrawal thinks that their anguish is "all about them" and not about the withdrawal.  

 

 

Thanks for the update, DrugfreeProf.

 

Lexi, I'm sorry that you have once again been told by a medical professional that your problems are not caused by withdrawal.  Having this reinforced by a so-called medical professional feeds into your own belief system in a way that nothing else can.

 

I hope one day the medical establishment will realize the massive harm they are causing. 

 

Jan mentioned Robert Whitaker's book "Anatomy of an Epidemic" and I also highly recommend it. Here's a short video that explains a bit about what these drugs do:

 

Robert Whitaker, author Anatomy of an Epidemic

 

Lexi, I hope you feel like checking in here yourself and posting. If you did leave this facility because they were encouraging you to believe that your symptoms are not due to AD withdrawal, than that's actually a good sign. It's healthy to walk away from medical "professionals" who are leading you in the wrong direction. 

 

When you feel up to posting, let us know if you are on any meds or supplements now. 

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DrugfreeProf

Hi, guys, so I really need some input now!  Lexi is at an airport with her stepfather coming back home from just short of 2 weeks at Alternative to Meds in AZ.  I wrote some about that experience earlier in this thread. She has been, and continues to be, delusional. The delusions started after she went about a month with no sleep due to w/d from Lexipro and Concerta three months earlier.

 

First her delusions revolved around how she had "borderline" and "narcissistic" personality disorders, then she became delusional that I had the same disorders, then she decided no one really likes her and that she has no friends (she has tons), and then she said she felt like she was going to do something to get herself arrested, and things along those lines.

 

Today, her fear is that the police are after her and that she is going to get arrested and put in prison the rest of her life once she gets back home tonight (upstate NY).  Of course, none of any of this is the least bit true; she's never done anything wrong and certainly nothing illegal, and no one is after her. We are now faced with the next phase of helping her.

 

I think Alternative to Meds would have helped if she had been further along the healing road. She is more or less 6 months post-withdrawal, although we did try reinstating up to 5 mg of Lexipro for about 4 weeks in July, with no relief (she seemed to get worse).  

 

If she stays delusional like this, I really don't know what options we have other than getting her into the local inpatient facility (Four Winds in Saratoga Springs, NY). She is at times really hard to manage. But if we check her into the inpatient facility, I am very afraid that no matter what we say, they will give her drugs. Is it possible that a very small dose of an anti-psychotic under supervision in an inpatient setting might help?  

 

By the way, this "illness" is completely new; she never had delusions or any serious mental or emotional difficulties prior to getting off her meds, although she did have some bouts with depression. Never anxiety, though, and her anxiety, since coming off the drugs, has been through the roof.

 

Please, mods, I need some advice--should we do everything in our power to keep her out of the hospital?  She is at a critical threshold, I think. What else can we try? I would have her write on her own thread but she is in no shape to do so; she still is in the phase of rejecting the idea that all of this came on as a result of withdrawal.  Her judgment is really bad (see earlier post re: how she got dismissed from Alternative to Meds.)  Thanks.

Edited by scallywag
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Shep

DrugFree,

 

Lexi mentioned in an earlier post being on a supplement called deproloft hf. This contains 5 HTP - https://www.thorne.c...dp/deproloft-hf

 
Here is some info off the forum on 5 HTP stating it's not recommended to combine a SSRI with 5 HTP - http://survivinganti...d-l-tryptophan/
 
Did ATMC place her on any supplements or medications? 
 
Also, did her delusions start - or get worse - after her Lexapro reinstatement and the use of this supplement?
 
This is important to know, especially if she was placed on supplements in the treatment center. If this did cause serotonin syndrome, it may take awhile to work its way out, especially if the treatment center added in more supplements. 
 
 
 

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scallywag

DFP, an inpatient facility will -- without a doubt -- prescribe medication(s) that they believe are necessary.  It is unlikely that medical staff will prescribe anything less than a recommended dose of a neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medication. You may get lucky and find a unicorn, that rare psychiatrist who is familiar with drug-induced or withdrawal-induced paranoid delusions.

 

I'm terribly sorry that Lexi is suffering from this horrific iatrogenic damage. I wish I had something helpful -- anything else -- to say.

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DrugfreeProf

Thank you for these responses. She did not continue on the 5-HTP or any other supplements except fish oil and magnesium while she was on the reinstatement. She had mild self deprecating delusions prior to reinstating the Lexipro. The reinstatement only made her and her delusions and insomnia worse so we stopped it beginning of Aug. in early Aug she tried small amounts of Zyprexa (few days, then stopped), a few Xanax and finally a few Valium to get hrer to the point of leaving for the Sexona center. At the center they gave her no meds but i don't yet have any info on which if any supplements she took there. I will learn soon. Any thoughts? Such a scary situation for us.

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Shep

Once you have a list of what they gave her at the treatment center, we can get a better understanding.

 

If she can stay at home and recover, that would be best. Like scallywag posted, an inpatient hospital will most likely use drugs.

 

If she's really trying to stay off meds, this may be enough motivation for her to remain calm enough at home. Try to make her return home as calming as possible. Someone in an agitated state will absorb any nervous and tense energy around them. 

 

Try not to blame her - or let her blame herself - for leaving the treatment center because that will feed into her delusions. She left because it wasn't the right place at the right time. And that's okay. She still can recover from this. 

 

Crisis states are also difficult, but if she's not a danger to herself or others, hopefully she'll be able to recover without another hospitalization. 

 

Please keep posting updates. 

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Altostrata

I am sorry Lexi and your family are going through this. I would not recommend the Alternative to Meds Center for tapering or withdrawal symptoms.

 

Can you reason with Lexi? If she continues to act out, chances are high that she will end up getting poly-drugged with a cocktail including antipsychotics. Most outpatient facilities and definitely all hospitals will do this.

 

Lexi needs to consciously take responsibility, she can continue to be dramatic (which will lead to a drug cocktail) or she can do the difficult work of coping with symptoms.

 

In addition, the drama is stressing her already stressed nervous system even more, so if she has control over it, she's making herself worse.

 

Since 1mg Lexapro made her tired before, my guess is that's the way to go, but she has to be precise and regular with her dosing. It will take some time, perhaps several weeks or more, for her nervous system to gradually stabilize from the upset.

 

Fish oil, magnesium, perhaps some GABA tablets can help. Learning meditation would be a very good thing to do; self-soothing is essential.

 

How is her sleep?

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DrugfreeProf

Thank you for this, Altostrata.  She is pretty delusional right now. She really believes that she is about to be arrested, with no basis in reality whatsoever. This is someone who is normally totally down to earth and relatively ego-less. Have you ever seen withdrawal symptoms from the drugs she was on present in this way?  She really believes this is "all about her."

I would so much prefer her recuperate at home with no drugs. All of us so much are behind her doing that. I just don't know right now if we can keep her safe. Yes, it is up to her, and I will do my ultimate to pass on the wisdom of the posts from you and others. Thank you. I will post again soon with updates.

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JanCarol

Oh Prof, I am on my way out the door to yoga class.

 

I just wanted to let you know I've read your description of the Sedona Center, thank you for going into so much detail.

 

I'll read the rest when I return, and see what other mods have said.

 

Just thinking of you.  She is young, it can get better. 

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JanCarol

Hey Prof - 

DFP, an inpatient facility will -- without a doubt -- prescribe medication(s) that they believe are necessary.  It is unlikely that medical staff will prescribe anything less than a recommended dose of a neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medication. You may get lucky and find a unicorn, that rare psychiatrist who is familiar with drug-induced or withdrawal-induced paranoid delusions.

 

 

In fact, I'll say it more strongly than Scally did - neuroleptics are commonly protocol for drug-induced and withdrawal-induced side effects, whether delusional or not.  

 

But it is not the end of the world.  You can hospitalize her and fight to keep the doses low, if she is in too much distress, or is too much for you to handle at home.  24 hour watch can be exhausting!  And if you cannot keep her safe - if a hospital will save her life - then it is a small price to pay!  

 

She is young, even if she needs short term hospitalization in order to stabilize, she still has most of her life ahead of her, and should have fairly potent neuroplasticity with which to heal.  Just ensure that the drugs are used short term, enough to calm her down, but not long enough to dull her mind.

 

If you keep her at home, it will help if she can reinstate the tiny 1 mg dose Alto mentioned.  Make sure she has someone safe to talk to besides yourself - you may be part of the trauma, now.  In paranoia, anyone is fair game.  Can you bring in patient, caring friends to listen to her talk - just listen?  Non judgementally?  Caringly?  Let her know she is loved?

Also you may wish to peruse this list for helpful practitioners and ways to find them:

Recommended doctors, practitioners and clinics

 

In particular, you may wish to consider this:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/page-8?p=193502#entry193502

 

I do not know anyone who has been there, but they promise a Soteria / Quaker like setting, access to creative therapies, and awareness of "psychosis" as spiritual awakening - that is - a thing to be learned from rather than feared.  (though spaces there are limited, and I have no idea about finances at such a place)

 

 

 

Have you ever seen withdrawal symptoms from the drugs she was on present in this way?  She really believes this is "all about her."

 

Yes.  All the time.  Most of us, on at least one occasion have fallen into Neuro-emotion and often when it is coupled with akathisia, it can drive a person to do things and behave in a way they wouldn't normally.   Akathisia vs. Restlessness & Agitatation, and Akathisia Nightmare  

 

Neuro emotion takes normal emotions, like fear, and explodes them into huge events until they become the entire content of the brain, and they are sticky and hard to reason with.  It is a chemical symptom of withdrawal, which is why we coined the phrase "neuro-emotion" - because the way it is being felt, isn't real (even if there is a seed of truth at the heart of it).

 

It is yet another symptom which must be passed through.  Here is a list of common withdrawal / side effects from these drugs (an Lexapro was a very strong one!):  Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's Most Common symptoms of Withdrawal

 

So Lexi - are you on any drugs at all?  Was your last dose on July 4?  

 

Please consider:  About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Stop Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Are you open to a 1 mg reinstatement?  It's a small amount, and should not have the side effects that you had on a higher dose, and like the "hair of the dog that bit you," is the most likely thing to settle down your distress.  Then, when you are more stable, you can work again towards coming off of it.  Sometimes, in order to remove a splinter, you must use a thorn.  A micro-reinstatement is a way to do that.

 

And it can get better.  

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DrugfreeProf

VERY helpful--thanks so much, Jan Carol.

I trust that some day soon Lexi can make her own posts here on SA.  Right now, she is not capable.

What a nightmare. Current status:  Last night (Sunday), Lexi was in Chicago with her step-father on a plane to go back to Newark and then back home.  She became very agitated on the plane because of her delusions, and the flight staff got notified. They were ordered OFF the plane!  Paramedics at the airport were called; they evaluated Lexi, and her and her stepfather ended up going to the ER at a local hospital (Christ Hospital, I think). At the ER, the doctor deemed her too delusional / unsafe to fly or even be released. They gave her a valium to sleep and a shot of an antipsychotic (Lexi has NOT been on antipsychotics before, except for a very tiny dose of Zyprexa a few times).  She and stepfather ended up sleeping at the hospital. Hoping she will be released today so we can get her home and to next phase of treatment.

These antidepressants clearly cause iatrogenic illnesses, including psychosis.  I had no idea, and I am a psychologist.  I will never recommend people go on these except in extreme emergencies. Drug companies seem criminally negligent to me.

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Altostrata

Well, that injection of an antipsychotic will last for a good while. Please let us know how she's doing.

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DrugfreeProf

Well, despite the shot of the antipsychotic, she is at this moment still delusional, although calmer. And they KEPT HER at the hospital in Chicago--a Catholic private hospital, I think (Christ Memorial, or something like that) because they deemed her too psychotic to leave!  I didn't know that hospitals actually could do that--commit you just because you show up in their ER with delusions. Wow. Fortunately, her stepfather and I (he is there with her, I am at home, couldn't travel to pick her up this past weekend) were able to speak with the doctors there about her med withdrawal history and how this whole terrible ordeal played out over the last few months since she withdrew from her meds. We got them to agree to use as little meds as possible to get her out of this state. The psych doctor was pretty nice, very encouraging, said he saw this kind of thing all the time and predicted it would take her up to a week to come out of the psychosis, but that he was sure she would. WHAT a mess. I am in close touch with Alex by pay phone at the hospital. Sounds like they are taking care of her and keeping her safe. But this has been one of the hardest thinga I've ever been through in my life short of her older sister taking her life at the age of 20, 9 years ago.  I got past that one and hope to get past this one, too.  I cannot express how much I appreciate getting the support of people on the SA boards.

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scallywag

I'm glad the doctors at the Chicago hospital are sympathetic and familiar with psychiatric drug withdrawal issues.  That must be a relief.

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JanCarol

Hey Prof - that sounds like a dramatic layover in Chicago. 

 

I've been stuck at airports before, but that's ridiculous!  Sorry for the travel problems - so is step-father staying in Chicago?  Or returning home and going back when time to pick her up?

 

I'm sorry she got "caught," but on the other hand, it saves you the agony of trying to decide how to assuage her agony.  She has been to hospital.  She will get put on drugs, but we'll deal with that when we get to it.

 

It would be nice if we could reinstate a tiny amount of Lex, but we'll see what she comes back with.  With any luck, she will come to you calmer (if very low self esteem - for she fought her battles, and may feel lost), and you can always gently taper any neuroleptic she comes home with.  

 

At least the unknown isn't quite as unknown as it was.  Every day it gets a little better, for her, for you.  And you are spared the 24 hour watch thing, at least for now.

 

Deep breaths, she is safe, she is fine.  She'll be home and you can deal with it then.

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DrugfreeProf

Thank you, JanCarol. We just got word that they are discharging her from the Chicago hospital this Friday (day after tomorrow), so we are both going to fly out there to pick her up and get her back home late Friday night.

I spoke with the social worker there this a.m. and she informed me that the only meds they have been giving her is 2.5 mg resperdal.I I have to assume that it is helping her at least enough to allow her to be released on Friday. I had nightmares about them keeping her a long time, even though I know it's a short-term facility and most hospitals just do not do that anymore.  The place she has been in really doesn't seem too bad at all; they seemed to treat her quite humanely and kindly, and they did seem to exercise vigilance as far as how much medication they were giving her.

Her symptoms have gotten pretty weird; recently, she has been in the frame of mind where everything is "fake," the doctors, the pills, the plane, the passengers, etc. (Maybe she has a point there--lots of fakery in the world these days.)

I thought they might try to reinstate her on Lexipro at this Chicago hospital, but apparently they did not do so.  Good thing, because I shudder to think of the possible side effects she could experience upon reinstating Lexipro (last reinstatement of 5 mg did not work).  Once she's home, we will be seeking care for her (again) at Four Winds hospital in Saratoga Springs, NY--probably partial hospitalization (five days/week all day therapy) or maybe intensive outpatient (4-5 hours/day). 

Again, I'm so grateful to get support and feedback from folks on this site. Thank you!  I welcome any and all suggestions. This has been the nightmare of the decade for us and, especially, for her.  God, I hope she'll start posting on these boards herself someday soon.

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Altostrata

DrugFreeProf, you will need details of that injection.

 

5mg Lexapro might have been too much for her. Depending on her symptoms, we might suggest 1mg Lexapro.

 

However, she will be under the influence of antipsychotics, so it will be hard to tell what she's experiencing in terms of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.

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