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Hello all,

I am new here even though I have been peeking into the forum for a while.

My brief meds history:

Diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2012 (which overturned the previous diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome). Initially put on 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro), 10 mg olanzapine and 75 mg Venlafaxine. I was on this cocktail for about two years until I started to relapse regularly every Spring and Autumn. Since end of 2014 till March 2015 I pretty much lived in the psychiatric hospital and ended up with Lexapro 20mg, 200 mg of Lithium, 75 mg Setrline (?) However, Lithium made me feel so unwell I just could not live with it. I got so fed up and told myself enough is enough. Started to read everything there was on depression and one thing that always kept coming up was weak thyroid. I kept dismissing it as my test were fine but eventually I decided to ignore all medical tests, go by my symptoms and started to support my thyroid – mainly through iodine. High dose of B3 also did magic.

So started to wean myself off of everything in May 2015. I don’t remember the schedule but by the beginning of August I took nothing. However, at the end of August I discovered I was pregnant only to miscarry few days later. Period of horrible anxiety followed. Not sure if it was the hormonal mess up or just delayed withdrawal but I re-instated full 20 mg of Lexapro. Stayed on it for about a month and then started to wean myself off.

I don’t remember how I went from 20 to 10mg but it just shows it was pretty insignificant.

End of December 2015 – from 10mg to 5mg Escitalopram – looking back now I was going through withdrawal after that but because I did not have much issues before, I just thought I was getting tired and stressed out with looking for a new job and then the new job itself. My symptoms were mainly physical.

End of March 2016 – from 5mg to 0 mg Escitalopram – was ok for few days but then it hit me. Realised I was going through withdrawal – no sleep, tight chest, dizziness, weakness, painful joints and muscles, digestive issues. After 3-4weeks went up to 2.5mg (roughly as cutting the pill). I am on that dose still The thing is, even though I had some mild anxiety and some mild anger and irritability issues, my main symptoms were mainly physical. I had few windows. Actually majority of June was pretty good. However, starting week 16 (beginning of July) and I’m getting seriously anxious and also, had few days where I just had to cry too.

So basically, I am freaking out that rather than going through withdrawal, I’m actually relapsing as the physical symptoms are very mild but the anxiety is hitting me biiiiiiiig time.

Is this normal?

I also realised last week I became gluten intolerant (probably allergic to more things but gluten is quite obvious now) so that probably messed me up quite a bit. So in addition to escitalopram withdrawal I’m probably going through gluten withdrawal too. Or simply relapsing?

It’s this insecurity about what is actually happening that is definitely making things more difficult to handle and feeds all the catastrophic scenarios.

Could I be relapsing? Really need some reassurance now. :(

Edited by scallywag
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May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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SquirrellyGirl

Hello katch, welcome to SA!

 

Wow, you have been through a lot!  Or, I should say, your nervous system has been through a lot, having been on the first cocktail, then switching to a new cocktail, and then the cessation of that cocktail!  Add to that reinstatement and then tapering back down with the Lexapro.  By our standards, the taper you did was still fast.  I'm glad you reinstated the 2.5 mg.  Do you feel that the reinstatement helped?

 

It is a pretty common scenario for people to end up on such cocktails because one drug's side effects are interpreted as a new set of symptoms to be treated with yet another drug and so on.  This is how  p-docs work:  complain of emotional symptoms or insomnia and they whip out the Rx pad, not considering that the symptoms are actually side effects of the other meds.

 

Do you know what triggered your initial depression that set all this into motion?  Have you had any therapy to learn skills to handle deep emotions for the future so that you can be med free?  I am assuming that is your goal.

 

Given all you have been through with the meds, it is no surprise that you are experiencing withdrawal from psych meds.  Did the reinstatement of 2.5 mg Lexapro make a big difference?

 

So, nearly a year ago you were on 20 mg of Lexapro and now you are on 2.5 mg.

 

Thank you for filling out your signature block, BTW - very helpful!

 

So yes, it is very typical for withdrawal to present as physical symptoms up front, with the emotional ones developing a bit later, anywhere from a few weeks even up to three months out, it seems.  Doctors insist that withdrawal only lasts 3-6 weeks and so they see these later-developing emotional symptoms as a relapse of the original condition.  The only problem with that is that many develop depression in withdrawal when they never were being treated for depression as the original complaint!  There are many on this forum who went on psych drugs which were labeled for use in nerve pain, PMS, smoking cessation, etc. only to develop anxiety and depression when coming off the drugs!  So, we KNOW that these are withdrawal symptoms.

 

These links may help you develop a better understanding of what has been happening.  Withdrawal happens when we taper too fast as well.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery
What is Happening in Your Brain


Neuro Emotions

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Those will keep you busy for awhile!  In the meantime, we recommend those in withdrawal or tapering to take Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  

 

Once you have had a read of those links, come back here with your questions! This is your thread to document your journey.  You can find it more easily by bookmarking it in your browser, since it will roll off the page as other new members come on or people update their Intros.  By clicking "follow this thread" above, you will be notified of any replies to your Intro.

 

I'm glad you found SA!

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Thank you for your response Squirrelly Girl.

I’ll get reading the links you posted but in the meantime, just to answer your questions.

I believe all the mess was triggered by contraceptive pill – it creeped up very slowly so it took me a while to make a link.  I took it for a about 2.5 years but in that time my body obviously got used to it, so when I stopped taking it, hell broke loose and I ended up pretty much bed-ridden with depression and anxiety.

As for the re-instatement – I think it took the edge of the physical symptoms but did not really help hugely. I’m going to switch to liquid Lexapro and I’m considering taking 3 drops which in the UK formulations is 3mg hoping it might take the edge of the current anxiety. Do you think it’s a good idea? I’m so sensitive to everything at the moment I’m petrified even to eat an apple. L

I used to do mindfulness meditation way back when the anxiety started in 2010 but when medication helped (and I have to admit they really did help) I stopped. Now I wish I did not. Time to start again.

I have been taking magnesium and fish oil…..and bunch of other stuff as and when my body tolerates it (during window I can take pretty much anything, except kefir), now I really am down to magnesium, omega 3, niacin and serrapeptase.

The anxiety now is mind blowing and it really is freaking me out. I have a full time job that until now I somehow manage to muddle through with only few days off but boy, this is mess.

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

What so often happens is that people come off relatively fast and seemingly don't have any real trouble until weeks or months out from jumping off, with anxiety and depression unlike anything ever before experienced being extremely common.  The jump from 5mg to 0 was huge in March.  If you had started doing a 10% taper from 10 mg in December, you'd have been at approximately 6.6 mg in March and 4.8 mg now.

 

Though there is no solid evidence to use this approach, you might need to go as high as 4.8 mg to get lined up with where your nervous system "may" have healed to had you followed the 10%.  We always start you on a tinier dose to make sure it doesn't trigger an adverse reaction; if you were to reinstate at 5 or 10 mg, and had an adverse reaction, it would have been bigger and harder to recover from.  Thankfully, that didn't happen.

 

Though this paper doesn't have Lexapro in it, it shows how the receptor occupancy (blocking) behaves at various dosages of several SSRIs and an SNRI.  The key point to notice in this paper is that at the "minimum effective dosage" of these drugs, receptors are still blocked by about 80%, which is huge when doctors tell people to jump off from there because "that small amount isn't doing anything anyway."  Well, when it comes to the major disturbance of the nervous system caused by going off, 80% to 0 is HUGE!  That is why it is especially important to do the 10% taper below the "minimum effective dose."  Why taper?

 

I am not sure if 5 or10 mg is considered the MED of Lexapro.  I think 75 mg is considered the MED of Effexor even though it comes in 37.5% but you'll see on the last graph in the paper that for Effexor, the occupancy % is maybe 5%.  The main thing to note is how steeply the curve falls off below the MED.  That means small changes lead to large amounts of receptors freeing up which means A LOT of healing needing to be done between steps, a lot of up-regulation of the serotonin system. I think I had calculated that each 10% cut of the previous month's dosage leads to a 5% change in occupancy or there-abouts.  It is also noteworthy that all the drugs tested produced the same curve, which is why the ever decreasing size of the cuts is so important - it matches the curve.

 

As for liquid, yes, liquid is much easier to get the proper sizing for tapering (or up-dosing) but it's a little more complicated.  You aren't yet stable.  Often a direct switch to liquid will cause symptoms to rise up for the fact that the liquid absorbs differently.  For that reason we suggest people do a cross taper to liquid at the same dosage, or at least do a direct switch without messing with changing the dosage at the same time, and to hold there for a couple of weeks (if it doesn't cause problems) before making any changes.  I am not sure whether you should try to stabilize first and then switch to liquid before tapering, or switch to liquid now while you are not yet stable and then micro-dose upward with the liquid if needed...there's no playbook on this stuff, really.  For that reason, I will put this to the team of mods to see if any one approach prevails.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Thank you so much SG. Now I finally understand why coming from 20 to 5 mg was fairly insignificant and why the last 5 mg is such a struggle. And now I absolutely get the need for very conservative taper. How I wish I knew this few months ago!  :(

For the last week or so I have tried to combine liquid with the tablet and took 1mg in liquid but only god knows how much I took in tablet form as cutting it was a bit of a guess work. So I think I’m going to switch to liquid only and pray for the best.

Kat

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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OMG, This is hell! :(

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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This has been a tough day.  Anxiety has been  bad – especially in the morning and even though it eased off, I remained very unsettled all day.  But it has been definitely a crying day. LOTS of crying.  I haven’t cried since my miscarriage almost a year ago so it freaked me out big time. Surely, after 18 weeks, this must be relapse.  I worked from home today and I was so hoping I could hold it together during the phone call with my boss but I didn’t.  She tries to understand but she does not.  And frankly, I cannot blame her. Nobody who hasn’t got through this will ever truly understand.  So, in fact, I hope she will never understand.

 

She tries on a personal level but she is also my boss and she needs to take steps to make sure my ‘workplace fulfils its duty of care’. Which means  - visit to occupational health doctor is looming.  And I know what s/he is going to say – you are relapsing, you have to go back on ssri.  And at the moment that is my biggest worry, my biggest fear – I am actually relapsing.  Why would I start having mental and emotional issues after 16 weeks? 

 

It’s not knowing that’s killing me. I have million questions and about a million answers for every single one of them. So my ever so analytical mind does what it’s like doing – analysing. Making quadrillion of options from all those millions of questions and answers – each one more catastrophic than the previous one.  So I get more anxious and cry more.

 

I keep telling myself – This too shall pass, don’t fight it, accept it, breathe, be grateful.  And it works – for about 5 seconds when another question with million answers comes in and my stupid brain takes the bait. 

 

Waiting for window. I desperately need one. To regroup, to get some reassurance it is still withdrawal and not relapse. To feel human again.

 

Kat

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Katch, it is very common to have emotional fallout at 16 weeks!  This happened to me and many people on this forumj!  The OCD ruminating (overthinking on steroids!) is also part of this.

 

See these threads:

 

Uncontrollable crying spells during and after withdrawal

 

As for the liquid, the concensus is that you might as well switch to the liquid while you are still unstable since switching over can destabilize some.  You might even updose slightly, maybe to 3 mg, at the same time.  How long have you been on 2.5 mg now?

 

The sensitivities are also quite common in withdrawal.  Many can't tolerate sugar, gluten, B vitamins (too activating), and alcohol, finding all make symptoms worse.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4945-food-sensitivities/

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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  • Moderator

Hey Katch, I'm glad you found us (though I'm sorry you had to).

 

Too often - I'd say MOST of the time - withdrawal symptoms are "diagnosed" as "relapse" or "kindling" of a "new diagnosis" when really, it's just withdrawal.

 

This is because the symptoms of withdrawal sometimes don't hit for months:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9451-delayed-onset-of-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

also - you may wish to look here, at people who have asked the same question:  Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

 

Welcome to SA.  Here you will find people with a lot of experience, and people who will not judge you based on any diagnosis or what has happened to you.  Instead, we try and find the best ways of taking charge of our own experience, and seek out the best ways for each of us to get better.

 

It is an individual journey, and it does get better.  

"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!

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SG, JanCarol

Thank you both so much! I’ll get reading once I calm down  enough to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed. It’s been another tough day.  In addition to feeling  horrible mentally I just have this weird feeling as if someone was trying to push my upper teeth from the jaw.  It would be fascinating to observe what ‘amazing’ symptoms body can produce…..if it wasn’t my body.  I hate that feeling but somehow I’m hoping that if I was relapsing I would not have these ‘fascinating’ body sensations.

I guess, I’m just rationalising too much and I should just accept it all and go with the flow…… right now, one minute at a time will be just fine…….

 

Kat

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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  • Moderator

Hey Katch, while you may not find that exact symptom on this list:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

it is a list of "common" symptoms, which include strange muscular manifestations.  It's a good idea, when you get a new symptom, to check against this list to see how common it is.  You can also make copies of the list, and use it to track your own progress, as symptoms change in type and intensity as you heal.  It's like roadworks.  Sometimes certain lanes are closed, sometimes the signals are out, sometimes there is an entire detour while an area is being fixed.  Your brain and nervous system is so much more complex than a roadworks, and as systems "go down," you can be assured that it is being repaired, is healing.  (not "damage" as it sometimes feels like)

 

You are quite right - the weirdness of the symptom is telling you that this is not relapse, it's chemical in nature.  Your ability to observe it, and not get attached to "what it means" - is a key to how well you will transcend this bizarre experience.  Patience and gentleness with yourself will be very helpful, and detaching from the symptom ("it's only a symptom") will help immensely.

 

You may be encouraged to know Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

 

SquirrellyGirl has given you most of the other links I was thinking about - like the video.   If your symptom is not on this list, it's worth going to google and entering:  survivingantidepressants  "jaw pain" to see what comes up.  Yep.  Sure enough, I found this:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7292-face-jaw-tongue-muscle-tension-and-pain/

 

One of my key helpers for "undiagnosing myself" was reading Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic," where he debunked for me that my list of "symptoms" was an actual "medical diagnosis." (instead, it is just a consensus, like a vote, that psychiatrists agree upon)

 

Sure, I still struggle with depressive thoughts and behaviours.  But I'm learning to recognise them, and instead of surrendering to a "diagnosis," I will instead, look at the thought or behaviour, maybe I'll give it some rein and let it run awhile to see if it's trying to teach me something (maybe there is something destructive in my life, and the depression is trying to remove it) - but if it goes into pattern or habit, it's time to go back to my toolkit of coping skills.  Take my daily sun walks.  Get a little exercise, or self pamper (Epsom salts baths are excellent mood shifters for me), choose healthier foods (I have turned around severe fatigue or depression just by eating some eggs or fish), or go to my colouring books.

 

Everybody's toolkit is different because we're all individuals.  

 

Please, talk about your symptoms here.  Likely, nearly every feeling you have, someone here can relate to - and when you express, for example, anxiety that leaving the house doesn't feel safe, then we can share what we have in our toolkits to help you with that feeling.  You can use this thread as a journal, to track your progress.

 

Here's an overview of Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

"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 post

Thank you JanCarol, that is very useful and reassuring. Today my anxiety goes up every time after I eat. Is this normal? I'm so careful about what I eat.

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Eating can be activating, and therefore cause symptoms (including anxiety) to spike.  It's also because digestion and hormones are connected.  There is some good discussion around that here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2840-eating-as-an-activating-factor-increasing-anxiety-or-symptoms/

 

I know it can feel frustrating, especially for those of us who are careful about what we eat.  This is just another way w/d adds a further layer of difficulty to life in general.  With time it should lessen, and you'll probably come to know what your body does better or worse with - there are suggestions in the link above.

 

I hope you find some reassurance there,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to post

Can this get any more tricky and complicated?  :blink:  the food that was sending me through the roof in the morning is fine in the evening - cortisol, i guess. I would soooo need a little break from this.

 

Thank you Karen a lot. I'll go through the thread you send.

 

Kat

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, it's cortisol.  It naturally runs higher in the morning, which is useful for most people, but for us in w/d it just activates our symptoms too much. 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to post

Katch,

I so know how you feel! I've been on these meds for about 14 years all together. When I started to taper, I figured that I would be able to distinguish withdrawal from relapse by remembering what my symptoms had been before I started the meds and comparing them to what I was currently feeling. Problem is that it's been so long I can hardly remember those days.

 

In the beginning of my taper last fall, I came down way too fast, but it didn't really hit me until late spring, and then I was a mess. Crying all day. Barely able to function. But something about it just felt too extreme to be the original symptoms. Even though I couldn't clearly remember what I was like before, I was pretty sure this wasn't it.

 

I decided since it must be withdrawal just to stick it out. I'm still in the middle of a two month hold and feeling much better. I'm so glad I didn't do anything rash like going way back up on my dose or add another med. I learned a while ago not to let any professionals in on my suffering because they'll only try to foist more poison onto my system.

 

Having improved by leaps and bounds this past month or so, I'm almost to the point where I can continue my taper. Since my mind has become so much clearer than it was before I began, I'm very excited to see where further tapering will take me.

 

You and I will make it through this. Brighter days are ahead. Know you are not alone.

 

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 post

Hi Patricia,

 

Wow! I looked at your signature – what a journey you have behind you! Thank you so much for the encouragement.  Today I feel a bit calmer so it’s easier to think rationally and see that, as you nicely put it, this is just ‘ too extreme’ to be relapse.

 

I guess, it just caught me off guard.  I somehow learnt to handle the physical symptoms but stupidly started to believe that I might get away without it hitting me mentally and emotionally.  How silly was I! :huh:

 

On Wednesday I went up from 2.5 mg to 3 mg and I’m going to stay on that for at least a month before I decide if I go up further and stick with 3mg – probably for a while. I have learnt the hard way – either I live a normal life, or I rush. Looks like with tapering,  the two exclude each other.

 

Let me know how you are doing….and thank you again….I really needed the encouragement.  :wub:

 

Kat

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post

I guess, it just caught me off guard.  I somehow learnt to handle the physical symptoms but stupidly started to believe that I might get away without it hitting me mentally and emotionally.  How silly was I!

 

In spite of the fact that 99.9% of the world is constantly touting the glorious healing powers of these "wonder drugs", YOU were brilliant enough to see the harm they were doing. Then without any reliable help from any professionals who should know better, you researched yourself and found SA all on your own. You're not silly. You're AMAZING!

 

Just keep trusting the internal wisdom that has brought you this far. Things will get better. You will improve. I have no doubt.

 

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 post

How amazingly kind you are Patricia! Thank you.

I hope you are progressing and you are feeling well. 

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

I guess, it just caught me off guard.  I somehow learnt to handle the physical symptoms but stupidly started to believe that I might get away without it hitting me mentally and emotionally.  How silly was I!

 

In spite of the fact that 99.9% of the world is constantly touting the glorious healing powers of these "wonder drugs", YOU were brilliant enough to see the harm they were doing. Then without any reliable help from any professionals who should know better, you researched yourself and found SA all on your own. You're not silly. You're AMAZING!

 

Just keep trusting the internal wisdom that has brought you this far. Things will get better. You will improve. I have no doubt.

 

Peace, love and healing.

 

I think this was a brilliant post, PatriciaVP!  

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

Link to post

Brilliant post seconded!

Maybe we should put it into sa favourites.

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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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

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

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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Link to post

Awww...shucks!

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 post

So I had 3-4 reasonable day. Not great but good enough to feel human again. And then the digestive issues came back – every time I ate something I felt like I was going to pass out. It eased off after couple of days and now the anxiety is back!

 

I seem to have become very sensitive to some foods but because the symptoms come and go I struggle to figure out what foods.  Gluten is probably one of them. I’m suspecting tomato too and I got a feeling my new wave of anxiety was triggered by vinegar in my salad.  I sooooo hate all this guessing game!

 

But I am 100% sure that my gut is not right and I desperately need to heal it. But probiotics cause fairly strong detox reactions that are difficult to handle. So I’m going to take half a dose every other day and hope for the best.  Kefir is a definite no-go.

 

Has anyone tried diatomaceous earth to help with digestive issues?

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

Update.

My last wave eased off a bit after my period started followed by about 3 blissful window weeks. I sure needed them and even though i kept telling myself to be realistic and don't think I am ok now it is impossible to keep the hope under control.

And then my next period came and this time it triggered a new wave. Hope crushingly mad.

It looks like everytime my body decides to sort something out it just completely shuts down my digestive system....oh and the anxiety is back too. What's new in this wave is burning sensation on my face and what I suspect is allergy to dust.

I decided I am going to try and do veeeeery gentle mercury detox. Just not sure I should wait until another window or just go ahead with it now as I am already feeling rotten anyway.

I so hate the unpredictability of this process!!!

(Moan over)

I hope you are all healing well. Wishing us all strength and patience on the way to healthy us.

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

A 3-week window?  That must have been delightful! It's a very hopeful sign of recovery.  Sorry that the subsequent wave has been such a contrast. :(

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 post

Katch, 

 

The burning sensation in your face is most likely withdrawal. I have it right now too and I was on Lexapro for 15 years. This symptom showed up about 4 or 5 months after last dose of Lex. It comes and goes, but it's all over my body and feels like I'm sunburned. You aren't alone.  :)

 

Right now, I'm dealing with more physical symptom, like burning sensation, muscle/joint pain, fatigue and insomnia. 

Took 10 mg of Lexapro for 15 years. Started to taper in October 2015. Took last 1mg dose in March 2016. Started having side effects end of March 2016. Symptoms include: anxiety, heart palpitations, shaky, chronic fatigue, body feels like lead(so heavy), brain fog and dizziness and really bad pain especially on right side of body. 

 

Symptoms as of 10/18/16- Burning skin, widespread body pain, some insomnia, some fatigue, some brain fog, anxiety upon waking up, numbing and tremor in pinky and ring finger on left hand, cracking/popping/stiff joints. 

 

Symptoms as of 4/19/17- A little burning skin, muscle pain, FATIGUE, some brain fog, tremor in pinky and ring finger on left hand, cracking/popping/stiff joints, blurry vision, eye floaters, sciatica.

 

Symptoms as of 10/3/17- Physical symptoms-- Very little burning skin that comes and goes, some muscle and nerve pain that comes and goes, tremor in pinky and ring finger, muscle twitches, cortisol spike in the morning(heart palpitations), cracking/popping joints all those this has gotten a little better lately, blurry vision and eye floaters that come and go, sciatica(less intense now), fatigue which is still very bad but better than a year ago. Mental symptoms-- Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of motivation or interest, brain fog(trouble focusing and concentrating), ruminating thoughts. All these come and go. 

 

 

Link to post

Scallywag, yes it was great to have that break and feel like a human again. I try to focus on being grateful and count my blessings. I know that for many on this forum it took much, much longer to reach 3 week window.

At the moment I just want to reach the stage where my windows would be longer than my waves. :)

 

Chicago 77, yes, sunburn is exactly what it feels like. Some days are quite ok but some days it is really annoying and feeds my current anxiety.

For me the symptoms were mainly physical for the first 4 months or so. Now it is a mixture. But every wave seems to be bit different. What all waves have in common for me is digestive issues and chest pains. The rest almost feels like waiting for the lottery draw where you know you are going to 'win' something you just don't know what.

 

During this blissful 3 weeks I was thinking that nothing can suprise me any more. Surely, my body has already produced the full scale of weird symptoms it is capable of of producing. :) Obviously not. :)

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post

Congratulations on the 3 week window!! That's awesome! :D I'm 6 months out since my last dose of Lexapro and have not had a window yet, with no symptoms. I can't wait to have one! It must be such a great feeling to have a window because you know your body is CAPABLE of feeling normal again with no symptoms. That's why sometimes we all freak out thinking something serious is wrong with us because we wake up everyday with 5, 6, 7 symptoms going on at once. I bet it feels great to have a period of feeling good, even if you know you may get a wave again. It makes handling the waves much easier I presume. Congrats again and hopefully that "window energy" will move towards me soon! lol  :)

Took 10 mg of Lexapro for 15 years. Started to taper in October 2015. Took last 1mg dose in March 2016. Started having side effects end of March 2016. Symptoms include: anxiety, heart palpitations, shaky, chronic fatigue, body feels like lead(so heavy), brain fog and dizziness and really bad pain especially on right side of body. 

 

Symptoms as of 10/18/16- Burning skin, widespread body pain, some insomnia, some fatigue, some brain fog, anxiety upon waking up, numbing and tremor in pinky and ring finger on left hand, cracking/popping/stiff joints. 

 

Symptoms as of 4/19/17- A little burning skin, muscle pain, FATIGUE, some brain fog, tremor in pinky and ring finger on left hand, cracking/popping/stiff joints, blurry vision, eye floaters, sciatica.

 

Symptoms as of 10/3/17- Physical symptoms-- Very little burning skin that comes and goes, some muscle and nerve pain that comes and goes, tremor in pinky and ring finger, muscle twitches, cortisol spike in the morning(heart palpitations), cracking/popping joints all those this has gotten a little better lately, blurry vision and eye floaters that come and go, sciatica(less intense now), fatigue which is still very bad but better than a year ago. Mental symptoms-- Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of motivation or interest, brain fog(trouble focusing and concentrating), ruminating thoughts. All these come and go. 

 

 

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Moan:

OMG how much I hate this! Every time I eat the nausea is so bad I feel like I'm going to pass out! Crying. Anxiety. Chest pains. Hate. Hate. Hate.

Moan over

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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Hi Katch! I know What you are talking about, i must always think about What i put in my mouth. Its soooo frustrating not being able to enjoy food or whatever without getting punished severly. Sometimes a bit of ginger can ease up my symptoms, or a fast bicycleride/Walk.

 

Take care!!!

Klomipramin 25-150mg 2002-2013

Sertralin - 6 weeks in 2009

Mirtazapin - 7 weeks 2013

Cipralex -  20mg Nov 2013 - Nov 2014

 

Tapered Cipralex from Nov 2014-Mars 8 2015

 

Thyroid - Low metabolism

 

Levaxin - 2010 - 25ug - 175ug

Liothyronin(T3) -  10ug - Nov 2014 - Nov 2015

 

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Hi Swede, I so feel that!

Even bigger gulp of water would cause a massive nausea. I have ordered some ginger capsules (I'm not a big fan of fresh ginger). For the moment, the only thing that is semi-helping is sipping sparkling water and burping it all out...oh and.......not eating. Wonder how long I can sustain that!  :D  Well, I put on about 38 kg in 2.5 years I was on olanzapine and even though I have already lost more than half of if, there's still a way to go. Perhaps there's a positive side to all that nausea!  :blink:

 

Struggling to find a positive side of the horrible chest pains though. :wacko:

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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Nausea stopped ..... and we are back to crying..... a lot  :( oh well, one breath at a time girl, one breath at a time....

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Few good days and back to square one! :wacko:

Horrible back ache which seems to get worse after I eat! That's a new one!

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

Link to post

Nausea stopped ..... and we are back to crying..... a lot  :( oh well, one breath at a time girl, one breath at a time....

Hi Katch.

 

When I was going through the worst of my withdrawal , I would say to myself : " Just keep breathing". " Just keep breathing".  That's all you have to do is keep breathing !  :)

 

If you can take it moment by moment, it helps to stop the overwhelming feeling.

 

I found the book " The Power Of Now" by Eckhart Tolle  helpful in that regard. I also found distraction a powerful tool. Any activity you can lose yourself in for a while can help you get through the rough spots.

 

There are many and varied coping tools. It is up to you to find out what works for you. It is different for everyone. I found reading, yoga and walking useful.  These links might help :

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Guided Meditations, Calming Videos, Sleep Hypnosis

 

Ali

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

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Katch sorry you're feeling so lousy. That window was a beautiful sign of your recovery. It's so hard to see it close. I know. I just had one slam shut on me, but I believe they will come around again for both of us. We just need to hold on.

Sending healing thoughts.

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 

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AliG - yes, I'm trying to stay in a moment, accept the moment without judgement and take it one breath at a time. But i don't always remember to do that!

I think I need to re-read The power of now. I believe i have it somewhere on my bookshelf. :)

 

Patricia, having that door shut in your face is horrible. I'm finding these ups and downs really difficult to handle right now. It's just mentally and emotionally exhausting to keep re-adjusting your thinking and your hopes.

 

At the moment I'm hit by horrible, horrible fatigue. Digestion is dodgy again too. For some unknown reason I'm freaking out about having SAD. It frustrates me not being able to plan anything. If I plan, i have to cancel. The hardest part of it all is work. I do not mind the actual work. It's getting there that's the problem as well as being around people which is sometimes close to unbearable. I get so sensitive to noises and smells. Just all that extra pressure!!!

May 2012 – 10mg Lexapro, 10mg Olanzapine, 75 mg Venlafaxine


April 2015 – 20mg Lexapro, 200 mg Lithium, 75 Setraline


May 2015 started weaning off - medication free at beginning of August 2015.


Beginning of September 2015 reinstated to 20 mg of Lexapro after miscarriage. 


October – December 2015 – from 20 to 10 mg of Lexapro – no problems.


25th December 2015 – from 10 to 5 mg Lexapro – some withdrawal – mainly physical, did not even realised it was withdrawal.


22nd March 2016 – stopped Lexapro completely and withdrawal hit after few days – mainly physical symptoms – fatigue, muscle and joint aches, digestive issues, feeling faint, weak and dizzy. Very mild anxiety. 


Mid April 2016 – reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro


Mid July 2016 - switched to liquid Lexapro and increased the dose to 3mg after bad anxiety started.


January 2017 - hospitalised after period triggered paralysing anxiety. Upped the dose to 10 mg. 


My hormones seem to be completely off.

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