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Davegirl

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Hello everyone,

 

I am a 40-something female.  I have had anxiety/panic since I was a kid.  Bouts of major anxiety would come and go...sometimes last months at a time, then abate.  Anti-depressants were suggested by my first therapist in my late 20's when I was really struggling.  Started Celexa in 2001.  Don't remember what I started at, but I was on 40 mg Celexa for about 5-6 years.

 

When I moved, the new psychiatrist switched me to 20 mg of Lexapro in 2007.  At the time I believe I might have felt the Celexa wasn't as effective, but looking back, I was having thyroid issues that I believe may have been at play.  the Lexapro 20 mg worked fine, though I always had breakthrough anxiety and depression symptoms over the years on both meds.  Certainly not long-term, but they did happen.  I wasn't completely symptom-free that whole time.

 

In June of this year, I decided to ask my doc about discontinuing.  Many things had changed in my life, and after 15 years I felt better able to handle life.  I was doing very well.  But I was also very concerned about long-term use.  I asked my doc and he said it would be fine to try to discontinue.  I expressed my concern about "withdrawal".  My doc said I would not experience any withdrawal because I was not addicted to the med.  I believed him and agreed to go with his tapering schedule...He told me to go from 20 mg to 10 mg for two weeks, then nothing for two weeks, then come back to see him.  I did.  I felt fine.

 

Looking back, I realize that kind of taper schedule after 15 years is INSANE.  Unfortunately, I just didn't know any better and I trusted the doc I had been seeing for 10 years.  I went back 2 weeks after completely discontinuing.  I told him I felt fine because I did.  The only difference I noticed was that I was slightly more irritable.  I told him "people were getting on my nerves a little more than usual."  What I didn't realize was that I had also gotten a bit more emotional.  I was traditionally NOT a crier...I realize now that was probably due to the meds.  I started to be more emotional, but what others would consider "normal"  tearing up at something sad on TV, etc.

 

There were also several changes that happened that I didn't consider when deciding to discontinue. Sold our home and moved away from friends and neighbors, which made me very emotional.  Still not out of the ordinary.  Irritability was creeping up as well.  I was having allergy issues and was prescribed an allergy med.  After two weeks on that med I started shaking uncontrollably, had severe anxiety, and crying jags.  Also noticed loss of appetite and aversion to food.

 

I called my doc and aksed him if it might be from discontinuing the Lexapro...he said, no it wasn't withdrawal; it was re-emergence of my symptoms and I needed to go back on the meds right away.  He prescribed me the lower dose of 10 mg.

 

I just wanted to hold out and thought it could be related to the allergy meds.  I filled the scrip but didn't take it.  I discontinued the allergy meds and within 48 hrs felt much better.  My appetite improved slightly, but I was no longer disgusted by food.

 

A little over 60 days post-discontinuation now and I realize I am in the throes of withdrawal.  I have times of feeling fine, but most of the time I either have anxiety or feel "flat", or am emotional.  Biggest concern right now is my loss of appetite.  I have lost 12 lbs in about 38 days.  I have to force myself to eat, but it's not a lot.

 

I have been back and forth about resuming the meds.  I read horror stories and feel terrified and hopeless.  I read info about this very real syndrome and I feel hopeful it will all pass.  At the moment I am committed to staying off the meds at this point and trying to get through this.  I will hold on as long as I can.  If I don't improve, or get worse, I may have to go back on the meds and that will probably mean indefinitely.  The moments of clarity make me feel like I can get better, and then the symptoms return and I feel defeated again.  I am also terrified that I might get worse than I ever was.  I was never suicidal but I have read terrible stories about others who got really bad when coming off the meds.  I am terrified that I 'broke" my brain from being on the meds so long.  I am also afraid that if I were to resume the meds because I'm not improving, that they won't work.

 

Trying to just take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I'm hoping to get some support as well as HOPE from this forum.  Thanks for reading!!!

Edited by scallywag
deleted celexa tags - 2007

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Davegirl and welcome to SA,

 

You are right that what you are experiencing is withdrawal symptoms.  We've got lots of really good information here and you can be supported by members and staff.  Use your Intro/Update topic to ask questions and to journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

 

From the information link About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

  • According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.

 

If you do decide to reinstate, please DO NOT reinstate the last dose taken.  The brain will have made adjustments since you have been off the drug.  The idea of reinstating is to take a small enough dose of the drug to alleviate the worst of the withdrawal symptoms

 

We can suggest a dose if you decide that you want to try reinstating.

 

Once you stabilised after reinstatement you could then do SA's recommended taper by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a 4-6 week holding period to allow the brain to adjust to not getting as much of the drug.  Please see:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended slow taper and holding period:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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hello again. don't be alarmed but it appears you have been moderated.  :o the thread you started on your loss of appetite has been merged into this one      Weight Gain, Weight Loss and Appetite Changes     in which you should find information helpful to your situation.

 

so, anxiety huh? there is a saying - among many - about fear. F.E.A.R has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. learn to control your anxiety and i believe you will have greater control over your symptoms, especially your loss of appetite.

 

chessiecat has already mentioned reinstatement so i won't bother going into that too much, however it helped me to do so at a lower dose to stabilize, regroup, and formulate a plan to slowly taper off the meds safely and minimize discomfort. 

 

some info concerning dealing with withdrawal without meds can be found here      Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms     several links to threads about anxiety can be found there. helpful stuff if you're open to it.

 

and as always i have to recommend Acceptance. tricky, but powerful. 

 

you can search the site using the built in search function, however it casts such a wide net the info you retrieve may be difficult to sort through. many find better results by typing "surviving antidepressants" into google along with whatever keywords you're searching for. and example of this would be "surviving antidepressants loss of appetite".

 

feel free to ask any questions you may have right here in your intro thread.

38 year old male

50mg sertraline for seasonal affective in spring of '13 through spring of '16

began uninformed taper mid march '16 ending 6 weeks later around may 1st

withdrawal symptoms began july 4th '16

reinstatement of sertraline at 25mg on july 7th '16

august '16 - present: many setbacks even more victories

currently holding at 25mg and ill hold there forever if I have to

looking forward to the day I can begin tapering

 

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Welcome Davegirl

 

 I asked my doc and he said it would be fine to try to discontinue.  I expressed my concern about "withdrawal".  My doc said I would not experience any withdrawal because I was not addicted to the med.

Sadly this apalling level of medical ignorance is a criminal reality at the moment.

 

So glad you found sa.

 

nz11

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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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

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

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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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ChessieCat,

This is what scares me about reinstating - you mention reinstatement needs to be done immediately. I am 60+ days out...what does that mean for me? Is it too late? What dose would you advise taking? When I called the doc about a month ago and he said it was 're-emergence of my symptoms and needed to be back in the meds ASAP' he prescribed me the last dose I had been on, 10 mg. What would you advise? 5 mg? I would love to hear your suggestions on small dosage reinstatement and taper schedule. Just more info to help me in my decision making. By the way, my doc is a Neuropsychiatrist with the biggest (really only) practice in town...it is crazy to me that his opinion is so different than everything I've been reading! I want to make an appointment to see him and I will have to if I reinstate the meds, but I know he is just going to reiterate what he already told me. I am grateful to have found this forum as well. Thank you.

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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NZ11,

Thank you for the welcome. I'm glad I found this as well!

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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Oops44,

Thank you...need all the help I can get! ????

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Davegirl - Yes, reinstatement is best done as soon as possible. Some people have had considerable success with reinstatement later in the optimal window (immediately up to 90 days) and others have been successful with reinstatement some time after that.

 

Doctors are woefully misinformed about withdrawal symptoms, having been educated about medications by the drug manufacturers who have no inherent incentive to admit to anything unpleasant about their products. Sometimes the most "expert" doctors are the most wedded to orthodoxy. Sorry that you are working with one of these many "low information" medical professionals.

 

We suggest testing your CNS (central nervous system) response to the medication reinstatement with a dose much lower than your last dose, 1 mg.  Reinstatement requires taking your dose at the same time every day and paying close attention to your symptoms. Keep notes about your symptoms and the times of your doses.  It takes about 4 days for Lexapro to reach a steady state in your body. We suggest giving yourself another 3-6 days to evaluate your CNS response to the reintroduction.

 

Let us know what you choose and how things go.

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

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This is what scares me about reinstating - you mention reinstatement needs to be done immediately. I am 60+ days out...what does that mean for me? Is it too late? 

 

i was 68 days off from my last dose until reinstatement. it was 65 days before withdrawal symptoms kicked in, and another 3 days before i figured out what was going on and what to do about it. 

 

What dose would you advise taking? 

 

ill leave that advisement up to you and the more experienced members here. as for me, i was taking 50mg of sertraline before i reinstated at 25mg. i did so out of urgency and simplicity. however it is advised and i probably could have gotten away with reinstating at a far lower dose. results came quickly for me. i experienced a slight easing of symptoms within the first 24 hours, and then little by little i was able to stabilize over the course of about 3 weeks. 

 

today marks 60 days since i reinstated. i bide my time and prepare. learn what i can and heal. when i feel ready to begin my taper…. i pounce! 

38 year old male

50mg sertraline for seasonal affective in spring of '13 through spring of '16

began uninformed taper mid march '16 ending 6 weeks later around may 1st

withdrawal symptoms began july 4th '16

reinstatement of sertraline at 25mg on july 7th '16

august '16 - present: many setbacks even more victories

currently holding at 25mg and ill hold there forever if I have to

looking forward to the day I can begin tapering

 

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Scallywag (et al),

 

How would I go about reinstating 1 mg?  I will try to call my doc tomorrow to see if I can get an appointment, but I didn't think they even made the meds in 1 mg?  Before reading this last suggestion, I thought I would ask my doc to try starting at 5 mg (this is half of what he told me to go back on about a month ago).  I am pretty sure I would get a little resistance even at that.  I know he would prefer I go right back to the "tapered" dose of 10 mg.  I also know that many docs, such as my sister's, say "10 mg is the lowest dose."  How is there so much discrepancy?!  It's crazy to me!!  

 

Anyway, here is my current dilemma:  I have a trip to Europe planned for next month.  It has been in the works for many months - no refund, etc.  On my best days, stable on the meds all those years I had to take Ativan to fly.  It is my one MAJOR phobia (I have several small ones, as most people with anxiety...lol).  I am freaking out that I will have a complete breakdown over this trip.  I am already so anxious in my normal routine...I was just hoping I would be better by the time of the trip. Unfortunately, I am up against the clock. :/  Anyway, the only thing I have access to right now is the 10 mg lexapro my doc prescribed when I started having symptoms (that I didn't know were symptoms).  I filled it but never took it, trying to ride it out and see if it would correct itself.  And here I am. At most I could cut it in half or fourths, but that would only be 2.5 mg at the smallest.   

 

I also want to be clear about how "bad off" I am:  I am functioning.  I am getting up and showering and doing what I need to do around the house (I have kids and pets).  Amazingly, I have MORE energy that I have had in YEARS, but not in a "manic" way.  I can drive and go where I need to go.  I even have moments of feeling like myself before discontinuing!  I have a low-grade anxious feeling, just under the surface, almost always.  I am not in "panic mode", though I certainly could be because I'm already so ramped up with anxiety.  (prior to discontinuing I had no "underlying feelings of anxiety" unless it pertained to flying or something like that, which would kick it into gear. most of the time I felt very "stable").  A few days ago I was so anxious about something that I couldn't sleep and then when I did and woke up my anxiety was through the roof and I was shaking again.  I took 1/4 of an Ativan (my flying pills - about .25 mg) to keep me from completely losing it.  That is the only time I've taken it, but I know I have it if needed.  Just not looking to trade one problem for another.

 

Next biggest complaint is my complete loss of appetite.  My stomach is in knots.  I am sleeping fine, but as soon as my eyes are open I get that pit-of the stomach anxious feeling in my gut. (cortisol?)  I feel I am at my lowest when I wake up, mainly due to that feeling.  I am also more emotionally "flat" and teary earlier on.  I seem to get better as the day progresses.  Better = slightly improved.  Obviously, just getting up, moving around, and trying to stay busy is helpful (my house hasn't been this clean in a while!).  I'm trying to force myself to eat because I know even when I was "stable", low blood sugar was a trigger for anxiety for me.  Unfortunately, I'm just not able to consume a lot at this point.  If people looked at me on the outside, they wouldn't think anything other than that I am thinner.

 

I try to watch comedies on TV to boost my mood and I can smile at them and even almost chuckle, but I have yet to actually laugh.  This is pertaining to the "flat" feeling.  I am irritable, and I think my kids would tell you that's normal for me! LOL  However, I definitely feel more irritable and that was the first thing that started to creep back up after discontinuing.  2 weeks ago I had a huge blow-up fight with my husband...I knew I was more emotional but I really thought it was about some life events.  I recognized I was more emotional since discontinuing the meds but looking back I can see what happened with the argument was completely withdrawal related.  I accused my husband of 20+ years of not being emotionally supportive of me, who was going through a lot of lifestyle changes. I brought up things from the very beginning of our relationship. It got to the point of me threatening to leave and divorce him.  Looking at it now, I know it wasn't rational.  The reason I mention it is because that's where I was 2 weeks ago.  I am not in that phase anymore.  A month ago when the major symptoms started (when I thought it was due to the prescribed allergy med) I was shaking uncontrollably and having crying jags - literally sobbing.  It gives me hope that I am improving.  Would you all agree?  I do not currently work and I am so thankful for that right now.  I had been having a hard time finding a job recently and now I know it was a blessing in disguise!  I do feel I'm not doing as badly as some, but if I had a job right now I don't know if I could handle it.  

 

I want to also mention it, and I will change my signature to reflect it, I had my thyroid removed almost 8 years ago and I take Synthroid and Armour thyroid daily.  In the past I had anxiety problems when those meds were out of wack.  With my recent weight loss and the fact that my levels were slightly low in late July, I imagine that I could also be dipping into the hyper-thyroid area, which could account for some of the anxiety.  Not so much for the crying,etc.  I have been diagnosed with 2 autoimmune diseases in the last 8 years, which is why I was trying to get off the meds.  I've been trying to be healthier all around and not "poison" my body anymore than necessary.  Ironically, the "brain fog/terrible memory" issues I've been blaming on my autoimmune/thyroid stuff has completely lifted since discontinuing the lexapro!  Go Figure!  I also blamed my daily fatigue on those things (could never get enough sleep), and now, even without much nutrition, I'm fine energy-wise all day.  

 

So, bottom line:  I would be interested in testing a small dose to see if my symptoms abate.  And if they don't?  And how do I go about getting as small a dose as 1 mg?   Do I seem "functional enough" that some of you would just push through, or no?  Problem is, I just don't know how long it will take to get through and I have that trip I am concerned about. I also do not currently have a therapist.  The one I saw for years suddenly retired due to health issues about 3-4 years ago and I didn't want to start all over with someone else, and I was very stable on the meds.  I have reached out to some local therapists but it will probably be about 2 weeks or more before I can get in with someone.  

 

Ok, now you have everything you could possibly need to know...lol!  Sorry, I just wanted to make sure I was putting the full picture out there.  Thanks so much to ALL of you...I'm so grateful for this forum right now!        

Edited by ChessieCat
Added a couple of extra paragraph breaks

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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in light of the new info about your situation you have provided, you may want to wait for a moderator to weigh in on the best course of action. in the mean time i can throw more info at you.

 

     Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)    

 

"how do i go about getting a dose as small as 1mg?" you make a liquid solution by diluting the pills you have as described here: How To Make Your Own Liquid from Tablets or Capsules

 

     Using a digital scale to measure doses    

 

check out the Tapering forum for all things taper

38 year old male

50mg sertraline for seasonal affective in spring of '13 through spring of '16

began uninformed taper mid march '16 ending 6 weeks later around may 1st

withdrawal symptoms began july 4th '16

reinstatement of sertraline at 25mg on july 7th '16

august '16 - present: many setbacks even more victories

currently holding at 25mg and ill hold there forever if I have to

looking forward to the day I can begin tapering

 

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Thanks, Oops44.  I hope a moderator will weigh in quickly!  Right now, at the time I am writing this, I feel pretty darn good.  I drank a smoothie and my stomach has relaxed a bit.  Still not craving anything to eat, though my stomach feels a bit hungry.  I feel pretty "stable" in the sense of the underlying anxious feeling.  What seems to happen is I start out bad, get better as the day progresses, then around bedtime I might start to feel a bit shaky, etc. again.  I stay up later than I should, but that has always been the case with me.  I wake up low again, with that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and weepy.  Today is the anniversary of a friend's death 13 yrs ago and I will tear up when I think about it, but I'm not on the floor sobbing uncontrollably.  However, something that would normally aggravate my anxiety would put me through the roof right now.  

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oops has given you the information about getting the 1 mg dose.

 

"Do I seem "functional enough" that some of you would just push through, or no?"

 

The question I ask/ed myself when I was considering reinstating (in my case it was updosing) was:  "Can I handle these symptoms?"

 

A couple of times my answer was No, I couldn't handle the symptoms I was getting.  On another occasion I decided that I was able to put up with the symptom, I didn't updose, and the symptom slowly improved.

 

The decision is one that only you can make, but considering that you have the trip coming up, I would think that reinstating is possibly the better way to go.

 

As scallyway said:  "Keep notes about your symptoms and the times of your doses.  It takes about 4 days for Lexapro to reach a steady state in your body. We suggest giving yourself another 3-6 days to evaluate your CNS response to the reintroduction."

 

The idea of reinstating is to try and get your symptoms to a tolerable level.  Keeping notes about symptoms which have improved, worsened or stayed the same will give us a good idea of whether reinstatement of 1 mg has been successful.  We can reassess 7 days after reinstatement.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The easiest way to get small doses of a tablet or capsule is to make a liquid. oops44 has provided you with links to good information about making a liquid. That could get complicated when you travel if you will be moving from location to location because the solution needs to be refrigerated.

 

Some options:

  1. Start with liquid now; when traveling make the solution from tablets and refrigerate it; discard the solution after 4 days or when changing locations.
     
  2. Get 5 mg tablets, travel with them intact, and dry cut while there. In the US, it looks as if generic escitalopram comes as a tablet. Although the 5 mg tablets are not scored, you could cut a 5 mg tablet in quarters then take ¼ of a tablet to get 1.25 mg.

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

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ChessieCat,

I am a bit nervous about making my own solution of the med, but I suppose it's not that much that I would be taking, right? Others have done this with success? So if the 1 mg is sufficient to help with the symptoms, I just stay on that for a while? If not, and I stop the 1 mg, will thy make my symptoms worse again? Sorry, you know with heightened anxiety comes a lot of 'what if'...

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Unfortunately nobody is able to know what is going to happen.

 

I suggest you try and read About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms which has information about different scenarios.

 

As I said at the bottom of my previous post, after 7 days we can reassess how things are going.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Today is somewhere around 65 days since discontinuation...

 

So, I just made an appointment to see my Neuropsychiatrist, who had been prescribing me the meds for the past 10 years.  The reason is two-fold - I want to ask him about reinstating at a very low dose, though I am certain he will not think that is a valid request given the fact that he tapered me down in one month after 15 years, then said my symptoms were reemergence of my anxiety depression and I needed to be back on the meds ASAP (and prescribed 10 mg, my last "taper dose" after about 5-6 weeks.)  I also want to try to get him to prescribe 5 mg, so that if I want to make the smaller dosages myself as suggested above, to get the 1 mg, I can.  

 

I've been having constant windows and waves, every day.  Early in the day seems to be the worst, and then picks up from there.  By the end of the day, I am back down again.  I have no appetite.  I have lost 13 lbs since 7/29.  I feel "unstable" in every sense of the word.  I am jittery, have a constant low-grade anxiety just below the surface.  My moods go up and down all day in rhythm with the windows and waves.  At times I am hopeful and feel ok or almost ok.  Other times I am regretting ever going off the meds, ever taking the meds in the first place (although I started them because I felt very much like this prior to), feeling hopeless about this withdrawal, and frightened about every alternative.  Frightened about trying to push through and this never letting up.  Frightened that even now it might be too late to reinstate with success, let alone down the line.  Frightened to have to be on the meds for the rest of my life, not knowing what it's doing to my brain and body (but afraid it's nothing good).  I'm scared.  Plain and simple, I'm scared.  And I'm just looking for anything to make me not so scared.

 

Obviously, I am in a "wave" right now.  I don't mean to be so "gloom and doom", I just need to express how I'm feeling.  I had some fitful sleep last night, and I know even when stabilized on the meds lack of sleep didn't help my anxiety.  One good thing is I didn't wake up with that pit-of-the-stomach feeling I've been waking with for a little while.  That made me thankful and a little hopeful.  But I did have more anxiety in general and ended up having to abate it with deep breathing and some other techniques I use when I get anxious (even when I was on the meds). I noticed my body has been very tense and so I did some foam rolling and using a tennis ball to roll out some tension. That helped relax my muscles and I fell back to sleep for a bit.  Upon waking again, I noticed my anxiety was still there, just under the surface.  

 

I've had anxiety/panic for over 30 years, on and off.  The depression symptoms came when the anxiety wouldn't abate.  This is a lot of what's going on now.  Every time my anxiety is still there or comes back, I feel down again.  Defeated and deflated.  Like it's never going to end.  That was the beauty of the meds...I would have anxious episodes but they didn't last.  I would even have bouts of anxiety for 24 hrs straight, vomiting, shaking, crying, in complete panic, but still come out of it.  I didn't wake up every day like that.  Sometimes I would wake in the night and go into panic mode and I would use the tools I had learned to help it go away.  And it would.  I learned to manage certain things like caffeine, etc.  I knew when things were going to cause my extreme anxiety, like flying and I would do what I could to manage it, even if that meant taking a small dose of the Ativan.  I got through.  I buoyed for a while until the next time.  I guess this is what made me want to discontinue the meds...I felt I had a better handle on things.  Better able to manage my anxiety.  Less episodes and less severe episodes of anxiety overall.  The joke was on me.  The difference now is I'm getting hardly any time, if any, in between the anxious feelings.  It is a storm that just won't let up.  I use my tools but it doesn't completely go away.  

 

I know I'm in the midst of withdrawal symptoms.  I know this is to be expected and all the physiological things that are going on making this happen.  It still doesn't make me feel better.  Knowing what's happening isn't stopping it from happening.  And I guess that's what I'm looking for...for the anxiety and feeling this way to stop happening.  Hoping it will happen naturally, but not knowing if I can wait that long.  

 

So this is my "woe is me" post for the day...lol.  I hope I didn't make anyone else feel worse than they already are.  Sometimes I read through things and I feel worse or more frightened, even though I know it's not intended by the writer.  I feel the need to express how I'm feeling so that MAYBE it will serve as some sort of cathartic outlet. Maybe a door to the outside that the anxiety will find and leave, never to return!  How I wish.  And I am feeling slightly better at the end of this post than I was at the beginning.  

 

So, question for those who have been suggesting the reinstatement of 1 mg...I've read all the stuff you suggested.  I'm just wondering, and probably looking for reassurance, even thought I know I will get the standard "everyone is different" response.  Would it be too much to try 2.5 mg?  I'm thinking if I can get my doc to prescribe 5 mg, and cut them in half?  Or I guess I could actually cut them in 1/4ths for 1.25 mg...I believe someone suggested that above.  The issue is if I can even get the pills/if they are made in 5 mg; I'm not sure.  My husband says I'm not functioning well and I need to just go back to a regular dose like 10mg and taper down from there.  He points out he is not a physician...lol.  As far as functioning, I am getting up and around, doing what I have to do.  Taking my kids where they need to go.  I'm just so grateful they are older now and I can be more of a supervisor because I don't think I could handle a lot of "hands on parenting" right now.  I guess I will just have to see what the doc says tomorrow.  Please pray that I will wake up magically cured!!  Just kidding...I don't think I would believe it even if I did wake up 100% better...I would just be waiting for the next wave.  

 

Anyway, thanks for reading/listening to my babble! 

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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Davegirl,

 

So sorry to hear of your struggle.  I am praying for you right now, for peace and a quiet mind.  It sounds far away now, I am sure, but it will happen.  You'll get through just fine.  Just think of the pride in yourself you'll have from accomplishing this major undertaking of getting off of these meds!!

 

My two cents here-I am not qualified to do anything but suggest--maybe try some meditation or prayer as a means of coping.  There are some good resources on here about non drug coping techniques.  I think they were linked in an earlier message to you. 

 

The advice you've gotten from the neuropsych has been poor.  I wouldn't pay too much attention to it.  He is pretty much quoting the "doc speak" for his lack of awareness of discontinuation syndrome.  So he is going to want you back on medication, as he sees it as relapse of original condition.  If you choose to do reinstate see if you can get him to prescribe the liquid so you can only take the very smallest amount to see if it helps your symptoms.  My doc didn't even know sertraline came in liquid...I had to tell him.  My son is a pharmacist, so I knew it was available to me.

 

You sound a lot like me in that you've been pretty functional with the withdrawal symptoms.  It may be worth it to stay off all together and tough it out.  This isn't going to be easy no matter which way you go--that is just the truth.  The upcoming trip does complicate things somewhat.  I am also a fearful flyer, and to be honest, I would rather take an occasional Xanax that to have this poisonous SSRI stuff going to my brain all the time.  I totally understand the evils of benzos too--so counseling and other coping techniques are going to be needed in the future. 

 

The SSRI interferes with the normal feedback loop of thyroid functions, so once you're stabilized, you'll need that all re tested too. 

 

God bless you and I know that it is a difficult time for you...just know many people have succeeded at getting off the meds.  You will too!

 

Steve

Began Paxil for situational panic attacks in 2000. Then psych put me on Prozac to transition me to Lexapro in 2008. I forget the dosage of Paxil and Lexapro. Switched to100mg Sertraline since 2011.

 

75Mg taper began 06/21/2016. 67.5 mg taper began 07/10/2016. 61mg taper began 08/01/2016. 54mg taper began 08/24/2016. 48mg taper began 09/06/2016. 44mg taper began 09/20/2016. 40mg taper began 10/11/2016. 35mg began 10/25/2016. 25 mg began 11/15/2016.  20 mg began 12/03/2016.  12.5 mg began 12/22/2016.  DRUG FREE JANUARY 16, 2017!!

 

Began daily meditation 12/01/2016.  Very helpful!!

 

Prayer, always, and Acupuncture, as needed.<p>Isaiah 50:7 (NLT): Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be dismayed. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will triumph!

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  • Moderator

Hi Davegirl-- I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble. It may be possible to reinstate at 2.5, but there is a reason we recommend a lower dose.  When a person stops taking these drugs quickly it really confuses their brain and nervous system.  It also can make it very sensitive to the drug, especially if some time has passed since the drug was stopped.  Reinstating at too high a dose sometimes causes an adverse reaction which makes normal WD symptoms look like a picnic. So we recommend starting as small as possible to see how your body reacts and then adjust the dose from there.  The adverse reaction doesn't happen to everybody, in fact reinstatement frequently helps, but we know how bad an adverse reaction can be and don't wish it on anyone.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thank you, Wareagle and Brassmonkey. I truly appreciate your input and support. The adverse reaction thing makes me more afraid than ever. (And I know this is my heightened anxiety talking) but what if the very low dose doesn't work? I gradually increase? And if it STILL doesn't work? I'm right back here. My nightmare (other than a complete adverse reaction) would be trying a very small dose, having to keep increasing it, and wind up needing more than I was on before discontinuing. I'm just so frightened of all the what ifs right now. I can't see the light at the end of the withdrawal tunnel right now. Sometimes I think I would've rather just have been completely ignorant to all of the info about the SSRI's and just kept going on my stabilized way. That's just how I feel today.

Wareagle, can you explain the SSRI-thyroid connection a little further?

Thank you!

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Davegirl -- It's hard to know what we'll suggest; it depends on how the reinstatement isn't working. If your get extreme adverse effects, it's easy to discontinue from 1 mg -- you just stop.  If the symptoms aren't yet manageable after 10-14 days of a reinstated dose, then we have another check in about your symptoms and propose a next step for you.

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

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  • Moderator

Hi Davegirl-- I didn't mean to frighten you with the adverse reaction talk. It's a possibility IF you reinstate at a high dose. That's why we want you to start so low, so as to avoid it.  Trying to restabilize after a fast taper is a very frustrating and scary process, but it does work. It involves some trial and error and a lot of time, but again it does work.  The first step is to establish a starting/reference point and work from there. I'm always amazed at how effective such a tiny reinstatement can be.

 

"What if" thinking is a very common symptom during this process. The best thing is to gather all the information you can and then make a decision based on that information, then make adjustments as needed. 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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So after much back and forth and crying, I took 2.5 mg of the lexapro last night before bed. At that point my symptoms were mainly the loss of appetite, low level but constant underlying anxiety, and not being able to talk about any of this without crying. I was miserable, hopeless, and scared. I actually felt pretty ok when I went to bed but that could've been for crying about all this to my mom and husband for a couple hours. Woke up around 4:30 am because my dog wanted out and felt a little dizzy. Anxiety was up. I ended up pacing around my room until I could calm down enough to try to go back to sleep. Upon waking an hour and a half later, it was pretty much the same. I got my kids up for school but couldn't manage much more than that. I am struggling to get up and get in the shower. I feel more tired than I have since all of this started. I have a therapy appt today at 2 and I'm just praying I feel slightly better by then, even though a friend offered to drive me. I feel like absolute crap, but in a slightly different way than I was feeling like crap before. I just don't know what to do at this point.

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Davegirl - ok you've reinstated to 2.5 mg. Please hold steady at that dose for 10-14 days. It takes about 4 days for Lexapro to reach a steady state in your body and then another few days or a week for your CNS (central nervous system) to respond. Symptoms easing are a CNS response.

 

Make sure to take your dose at close to the same time every day. Please make notes of the time of your dose of all medications and of your symptoms - which ones arise, when they arise/disappear, when they strengthen/weaken.

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

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


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

Link to comment

Ok, so I wanted to pop in and update.  I have been staying away because I was so overwhelmed with all the info and what I considered to be "negative" or "horror stories" that I just couldn't read anymore. Here's what's going on with me as of now:

 

I was spiraling down with the withdrawal symptoms.  Not only with the constant anxiety, loss of appetite, but the worst depression I've ever experienced.  I was scared as hell.  I still am.  I made an appointment back with my doc and also reached out to a bunch of therapists in my area but went with whomever could see me the soonest.  On 9/7/16 I saw my doc.  I totally played down how bad I was feeling because I was really afraid he would only agree to give me the "taper down" dose of 10 mg, and I was afraid to go that high.  I told him the anxiety had been creeping up and I had no appetite. I explained that I wanted to start back on a very small dose.  He actually agreed to 5 mg.  I asked him if I could start at 2.5.  After a pause he said I could, but if I didn't feel better to then bump it up to 5 mg.  I asked him how long I should wait to see a difference and he said "about a week".  I was actually very relieved that he agreed to give me the 5 mg pills.  I started the 2.5 mg that night before bed (I've taken my Lexpro at night for several years because I take thyroid meds in the morning and can't take things remotely around the same time).  

 

By the time I went back to the doc I was desperate.  Not even about the anxiety.  It seems to have flipped and the horrible depression pushed the anxiety to the back.  Or maybe I have just been used to anxiety my whole life so it doesn't seem as bad as the depression.  When I originally went on the meds it was for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  Yes, I would get "down", but I NEVER experienced depression as bad as I have with this.  I was terrified.  Terrified I won't get better, and terrified I would get worse.  So I reinstated to 2.5.  I honestly don't know if I am feeling different.  I'm keeping track of my symptoms.  There seems to be a rhythm to what I experience.  I open my eyes in the morning and immediately feel the lurching, flip-flop stomach.  I shake a little.  I feel general anxiety just under the surface.  My mood is low.  I drag myself up to take my thyroid meds, get a shower, etc.  I feel low most of the day with intermittent crying...usually because I talk to my mom or someone for support and end up crying.  I do seem to feel somehow better after crying/sobbing.  My mood seems to get a little better and my symptoms improve as the day comes to a close. I take the 2.5 mg around 10 pm, and go to bed in the next hour or so.  I wake up in the morning and it starts all over again.

 

 Late evening is usually my best time, though still not 100%, still not wonderful, I will take it!  It is a glimpse that I'm still in there.  I really need to know that right now because at the depths of the low mood/depression, I was starting to lose sight of myself.  I didn't recognize this person or how the hell I got to this point.  I can't believe this is my life right now.  I can't believe that at the beginning of this summer I was a fully-functioning adult and now I am this...a basket-case trying to get through the day.  It is like a nightmare I can't wake up from.  Sure I feel ok right now, as it is later in the day, but I cry during the day at the physical and emotional state I'm in.  People keep telling me "It'll get better."  People who have not been through anything like this.  I want desperately to believe that, but right now it's very hard.  I still need to hear it every day until I can believe it.  I'm still afraid.  Afraid I won't get any better than this and the only way I will is back on higher dose meds, unable to live without them. I was trying to read the forum to hear things from people who know what this is like.  I was hoping to read some positive things, hoping to find someone who was as bad or worse and has come through it.  Generally what I see is people still really struggling months and months out.  That has only served to frighten me more.

 

So, as of now I am just anxiously waiting for the 2.5 to get in my system steadily and to hopefully stabilize.  I am just hanging on as best I can.  I look forward to the times when I feel better, like now.  No matter how good I feel right now, I still feel overwhelmed by things.  I'm a mom and used to everyone coming to me to ask questions, etc. and it's just been a lot for me to deal with.  Also, My husband and I have been butting heads over all of this.  He doesn't understand at all what I'm going through.  He has blamed me for going off the meds to begin with.  I think he believes that the state I'm in right now is "me" without the meds and I need to be on the meds indefinitely.  I'm terrified that this IS the "new me" after being damaged by meds.  I don't want to believe that, but it definitely scares me.  My husband accused me of "playing doctor" about trying to go off the meds, and then only reinstating at a very low dose.  He said I should at least be on 5 mg and won't hear that I didn't want to "shock" my sensitive system.  He seems to trust the doc who told me I wouldn't suffer "withdrawal" anyway. I don't know what to do about that.  I can't worry about it right now.  I've got to focus on getting better.  Even if I stabilize on the 2.5, or even 5, I think I will be terrified to try to taper off again just because of how low my mood has been and how that terrified me.  I plan to stay on the 2.5 for 10-14 days and then see where I am.  My husband says I shouldn't be "tapering up", I should have reinstated at a higher dose and taper down from there.  He doesn't understand that I'm just trying to stabilize and alleviate the withdrawal symptoms at this point.  I have lost 16 lbs since 7/29 and I still have no appetite and have to force myself to consume anything, mostly smoothies and now my mother insists I should drink "Ensure."    

 

Anyway, if anyone has anything positive, uplifting, or promising to share, please do.  I need all the hope I can get.  Thanks.

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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I know, I too was scared when I read of so many people having long term (years) of withdrawal after stopping their meds. But a lot of time it is the people who didn't know to taper slower and went to fast or C/T and hadn't found this site yet, who have long term w/d. If you look you will find a lot of people who reinstated were able to stabilize and later began a successful taper, holding now and then when their bodies felt a cut too much. I wouldn't be surprised if you stabilized at 2.5 mg or at the most 5 mg since you have been off a while and your body adjusted some. You sound level headed with how you are going about this and choosing your path carefully. That is too bad your husband does not understand what you are going thru. My husband listened to the doctors somewhat the past 5 years I have been on meds but now he sees that some of what I have gone thru is due to the medicine because I did not have some of these problems before meds and he sees the evidence and with examples of others. Perhaps, eventually your husband will understand more too. Take care of yourself.

Medicine History

June 2011 I was put on 10 mg Olanzapine. I stayed on that for 7 months then went down to 5 mg for 3 months and then went down to 2.5mg and slowly went down to less than .3 every few days. I have tried to come off 4 times, each time getting down to less than .3 before having to go back on at 5mg or 2.5mg. I would cut by 50% each taper. From Jan 2015 to June 2015 I reduced from about 5mg to .3 mg. This last time I went on 2.5 mg last June 2015 until July 2, 2016. July 3, 2016 I went down to 1.25mg - withdrawal hit. Up dosed to liquid 2 mg July 23, 2016.

Medicine Current

2 mg Olanzapine as of July 23, 2016

Supplements

Omega 3 1000mg, Vitamin E 400 UI, Vitamin C 1000 mg Time Released, 200 mg Magnesium Bisglycinate, Multi Probiotic, .25 mg melatonin for 3-5 days as needed

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So, here is where I am currently:  Reinstated 2.5 mg Lexapro (generic) 9/7/16.  I believe I am stabilizing, which is a welcome relief.  My day consists of waking up in the AM with lots of anxiety, though the past two days it has been slightly better.  Usually I have a flip-flopping stomach, shaking, and just feeling generally uncomfortable in my own skin.  I often try to lay back down after getting the kids off to school, and my stomach just continually drops.  I am usually “down” early in the day as well.  This tends to last for the first part of the day.  I get very irritable with feeling so anxious.  Or maybe it just goes hand-in-hand.  By halfway through the day I start feeling more like me.  Not 100%, but certainly far better than I was feeling when I was terrified I would slip further and further into the pit and become suicidal.  By the time I take the med at 10 PM, I feel good.  I hate the idea that I will get up the next day feeling like crap all over again, having to drag myself up to a functional level again. 

 

I’ve been eating a bit more, and my appetite seems to slowly be coming around, except in the early part of the day when I feel so rotten. I have a second appointment with a new therapist tomorrow, in the hopes that she can help me get a handle on the anxiety.  I really want to go on our planned trip in a few weeks but I’m kind of afraid that I will feel so crappy, I will ruin the trip.  I guess that’s the anxiety talking and I shouldn’t worry about it until the time comes. 

 

The crying jags and sobbing have subsided…although, after a crying spell I would usually feel a little better.  Now I kind of feel like I’m on the verge of crying or screaming or something, but not quite sure what.  I know it’s the meds because I barely cried in 15 years on them.  During the day, when I’m down, I don’t know what to do with myself.  I haven’t been able to find a job for a while, which turned out to be a blessing.  I don’t have a lot of motivation to do anything, and I feel either really low or anxious (or both), and I don’t really have any distractions but I don’t feel like doing much either.  I don’t know, I’m still just out of sorts. 

 

I also feel like my concentration has been affected by even the low dose of meds.  I am trying to focus on the positive…generally speaking, I’m moving in the right direction.  I guess I just want to feel and BE better now.  Patience has never been my strong suit.  I want to help myself but I don’t really know how.  I am interested in mindfulness, but not sure how to get started.  I plan to stay on the 2.5 mg for a little while and hopefully I won’t have to increase.  Also, one of my kids is sick and I’m desperately trying not to get sick because that’s the last thing I need right now. 

 

So, I’m asking all of you:  Anyone gone through this type of daily cycle like I described?  What can I do to help myself?  How to help lift this depression?  How to help alleviate the physical anxiety (I am doing well with sort of “sitting” with the anxiety and not panicking, but can’t stand the physical feeling). 

 

Any comments on where I am with the meds?  Other suggestions?  At what point should I try to add supplements like Vit D, B12, fish oil?  Right now I feel ok, but I know tomorrow I will battle all over again before getting to this point.  I kind of don’t know what to do because I feel like this sort of just took hold of me out of the blue, so I’m sort of waiting for it to go away in much the same way.  Obviously, I know I have work to do that the meds were masking all these years, I guess I’m just sort of lost right now since I don’t feel like “me.”  Clearly, my tone is not a real happy one.  Encouragement is always welcome…lol.  Thanks, folks!  I’m hangin’ in.  

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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Davegirl,

I am glad to hear you are a bit improved. In 5 days about, see how you feel - if you are feeling good enough on 2.5 mg or need to go up a bit. With your trip to Europe coming up, if you are not feeling good at 2.5 mg then I would go up instead of roughing it - but you may level out at 2.5 mg too.

 

Typically, fish oil and magnesium (magnesium glycinate is easier on the stomach), are recommended here - though try one at a time, at small amount at first to see how you feel. A lot of people find the B vitamins too activating in W/D. I think you can find threads on different supplements in symptoms and self care.

Wishing you a speedy stabilizing :0)

Medicine History

June 2011 I was put on 10 mg Olanzapine. I stayed on that for 7 months then went down to 5 mg for 3 months and then went down to 2.5mg and slowly went down to less than .3 every few days. I have tried to come off 4 times, each time getting down to less than .3 before having to go back on at 5mg or 2.5mg. I would cut by 50% each taper. From Jan 2015 to June 2015 I reduced from about 5mg to .3 mg. This last time I went on 2.5 mg last June 2015 until July 2, 2016. July 3, 2016 I went down to 1.25mg - withdrawal hit. Up dosed to liquid 2 mg July 23, 2016.

Medicine Current

2 mg Olanzapine as of July 23, 2016

Supplements

Omega 3 1000mg, Vitamin E 400 UI, Vitamin C 1000 mg Time Released, 200 mg Magnesium Bisglycinate, Multi Probiotic, .25 mg melatonin for 3-5 days as needed

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Davegirl -- I'll give you some links to the topics about the supplements herewego has mentioned:

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

You can also start playing with other techniques to cope with your symptoms and see which ones work best for you:

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Understanding that anxiety and other emotions can be caused by the drugs or by withdrawal is often helpful: Neuro-emotions

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

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9/16/16

Well, I’ve been on the 2.5 mg reinstatement dose since 9/7.  I definitely feel better than I did in the throes of withdrawal when all I felt was like I was slipping further and further into the black hole, unsure of what was coming next, and completely terrified.  I am happy to say I’m not at that level anymore.  I assume I am stabilized?  I still have a low mood, and lack of motivation.  Not a huge appetite, but better.  The weight loss has slowed.  I even gained ½ lb one day, but then lost a little more since then.  Trying not to let it get me down or scare me.  Still feel anxious a bit every day.  Not as bad as before, but still comes.  I still cry every day, but I don’t sit and sob over nothing.  Yesterday, for instance, I cried because my daughter left to study abroad.  She has been away from home and back at school for weeks now, but I took it hard yesterday.  It also made me a bit anxious.  Maybe that is normal for other people?  I haven’t really cried in 15 years on the meds so I don’t know if I’m just “feeling” what other people would feel because the meds are no longer blunting my emotions, or if it is symptomatic. 

 

I am back in therapy, but I don’t believe this therapist really gets what’s going on.  She’s a dear, and trying to help, so I’m going to see what I can get out of it.  I also have a couple of appointments on the books for two other professionals in my area, in the hopes that maybe one of them will be a better fit.  I am working on myself as well, reading a book right now called, “Escape Anxiety”.  Reading up on mindfulness and meditation.  I am handling things, but unsure if “stabilized” means feeling back to my old self or like I do now, which is still dealing with things, but not completely overwhelmed or getting worse like I was. 

 

Here’s the other thing:  Obviously, not being completed zombified by the meds has opened up a lot of soul searching for me.  Has this happened to others?  I’ve realized that, while I thought I was happy and functional all these years, I was just “medicated.”  I never fixed what was broken in the first place.  I just didn’t feel it anymore.  In the absence of the meds, it has all resurfaced.  Not only do I need to work on the trauma from my past that created an anxious, unhappy person to begin with, but I realized that I have never learned how to be happy.  My childhood was one of a lot of pain and just trying to “survive”.  Throughout my life when I was unhappy, I changed the circumstances.  If I couldn’t change the circumstances, I became depressed.  The meds kept me from spiraling too far down, but I wasn’t “happy.”  At most I was content.  I have realized I need to figure out how to make myself happy from the inside out.  This is why I’ve had a hard time during this withdrawal…I’ve been waiting for better feelings, a happier mood, less anxiety to just magically come over me.  I don’t know how to create those things for myself. 

 

I have also realized I have no identity.  I went from being a messed up young adult, riddled with depression and anxiety and self-medicating with alcohol to suddenly married with a baby.  It definitely put me on a different, more stable path than I was on…my daughter saved me for sure.  But my identity was handed to me in the hospital.  I was a wife and stay-at-home mom for the next almost 20 years to subsequent children.  I had a hard time when my last child entered school full time because I knew change was coming.  I was no longer having babies and my kids were growing up.  Now that my kids are much older, one even in college away from home, I don’t know who I am.  I didn’t know who I was except a damaged young girl before.  I was very comfortable with being a wife and mother all those years.  But who am I now?  I was already starting to struggle with that prior to coming off the meds, it just didn’t bother me as much…nothing did!  I furthered my education while my kids were growing up, in preparation for when they no longer needed me so much, but now I don’t even know if that’s what I want to do.  I know things are fuzzy right now, in the haze of withdrawal and adjusting, and I don’t have to decide anything today.  These are just the things I’ve come to think about now that I’m not so “numb.” 

 

So I guess what I’m asking is:  Can anyone related to feeling like this?  Am I stabilized or should I be increasing the dose?  Again, any positive suggestions always welcome.  Thanks!   

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator

Hi Davegirl-- It's good to hear that things are settling in for you after the reinstatement.  It hasn't been quite two weeks yet so lets not rush things, and an updose is out of the question.  Here is a post I made a while back talking about stability and what we refer to as WDnormal.  It might help you understand how your'e feeling.

 

I see WDnormal as the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves.  Watching the level of WDnormal is a good indicator that things are improving.  Over time you should be seeing a raising of the standard for WDnormal.  So how you're feeling now is better than say six months ago. It changes very slowly but is a really good indicator.

 

 Many people have the idea that stability is feeling good again, when in fact it's feeling the same level of blah day after day with no big swings to the better or bad. When a person does a drop in dose there will be a corresponding increase in WD symptoms over the next few days.  These symptoms will resolve themselves over the following several weeks and return the person to a slightly raised baseline of discomfort. The time frame and severity are dependent on a huge number of factors and end up being unique to each individual.  But the pattern remains.  This is why paying attention to your WDnormal is very important.  It is also referred to as listening to your body.  After a drop in dose and the symptoms have resolved to WDnormal the person then should wait a couple of more weeks to let things really settle out (there are a lot of little unfelt changer still going on) before considering doing their next drop.

 

During that waiting time people may think that they're not doing anything and want to get on with it.  When in fact doing nothing is very proactive.  It's those little unfelt things that need to be finished up before the next step can be taken.  It's letting the glue harden, the paint dry, the cement cure.  The things that need to be complete before the path is safe to walk on again.  If these details are ignored then they start to pile up and compound each other, then somewhere down the line the foundation slips out from under us and the whole thing collapses.

 

Hope that helps.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Brassmonkey - that all makes perfect sense, thank you. I will just keep working on me, adding in some vitamins, etc. won't be concerned about updosing. I wasn't excited about that idea anyway, I just didn't know if I was 'ok' or not. I truly appreciate the advice.

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Davegirl, how are you feeling? It's been about 2 and half weeks since you reinstated - have you improved a bit since your sept 16th posts? Are you still planning to go to Europe? I hope all is going well with you.

Medicine History

June 2011 I was put on 10 mg Olanzapine. I stayed on that for 7 months then went down to 5 mg for 3 months and then went down to 2.5mg and slowly went down to less than .3 every few days. I have tried to come off 4 times, each time getting down to less than .3 before having to go back on at 5mg or 2.5mg. I would cut by 50% each taper. From Jan 2015 to June 2015 I reduced from about 5mg to .3 mg. This last time I went on 2.5 mg last June 2015 until July 2, 2016. July 3, 2016 I went down to 1.25mg - withdrawal hit. Up dosed to liquid 2 mg July 23, 2016.

Medicine Current

2 mg Olanzapine as of July 23, 2016

Supplements

Omega 3 1000mg, Vitamin E 400 UI, Vitamin C 1000 mg Time Released, 200 mg Magnesium Bisglycinate, Multi Probiotic, .25 mg melatonin for 3-5 days as needed

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Hey Herewego,

 

I'm doing pretty well, thanks for asking.  I feel much more like "myself", although it is a different self than all those years on the meds.  I am getting used to it.  I have stabilized on 2.5 mg of Lexapro (generic).  I am heading to Europe in just over a week.  I am trying not to dwell on that too much because my anxiety amps up when I think about the flight.  That has been true on A/D or not.  It's just a little worse not on the A/D.  

 

Here is what I have been doing to help myself:  

 

1.Meditating at least once a day.  Generally guided meditations from youtube.  Usually in the morning and/or before going to sleep.  This is to help my sort of naturally existing anxiety/worry.  To stay more "in the present" and not worry about the past or the future.  I have always had issues with that, since I was a kid.  I would ruminate on things that were over and done with and worry about the future such as death (my own or loved ones), terrible things that could happen, etc.  Don't know if it is nature, nurture, or a little of both, but either way I need to work on it.  

 

2.  I got a book at the library called "Escaping Anxiety."  I've read other books on anxiety in the past, but on the meds I no longer felt the need for them.  This one is from a woman who created a program used by the Betty Ford Clinic.  It is also about what she went through with anxiety/depression/alcoholism and having been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.  I am working on the first exercise she suggests, which is to make a "trauma" timeline and then analyze it in a journal as to what messages you received/adapted, and behaviors that came from it.  I've created the timeline and am working on the journal part.  It's rough stuff from the past, but I have learned so much about how much anxiety became so ingrained in me from such a young age.  

 

3. I am back in therapy with a very generic, vanilla counselor, whom I often refer to as "the dingbat."  I am very educated in the psychology/counseling field as well, and she is by no means an "expert" on anxiety.  She just suggests the usual stuff...diaphragmatic breathing, etc.  I am not totally scoffing, as those tools can be very helpful.  I am trying to get to the root of my anxiety and my traumatic past so I can heal.  I don't think she is the person to help me with that.  She also was completely shocked by my "withdrawal" and "discontinuation syndrome."  she is another one in my small town who think the psychiatrist who threw me into withdrawal is a "God-like creature."  I was trying to explain to her about the withdrawal stuff and she was completely blown away, and really didn't get it.  In the throes of withdrawal when I sat, sobbing in her office, covered in a blanket because I couldn't stop shaking, she told me to "hang in there!" as she sent me out the door.  She also told me a "change of scenery might be just what I need!" when I told her my concerns about going on the trip.  Sigh.  I don't have many options in my town so I'm using her more as a sounding board until I can find someone better.

 

4.  I have implemented a good fish oil into my diet.  I put 1 tsp in my smoothies each day.  It is about 1000 mg of omega 3.  I just started it this past week.  I don't know that I can tell a difference in anything, but it can't hurt.  I needed more omega-3's anyway.  I don't eat any fish (yuck).   

 

5.  I am walking almost daily.  I've always enjoyed walking.  Sometimes it's a challenge to find the time.  Next is to try walking meditation.

 

Here are my concerns:  I am at 2.5 mg and doing fine.  I don't plan to change anything until after our trip, but at what point should I try to taper down?  I don't want to rush anything, and to be honest, I scared to try to taper down again.  I'm terrified of feeling the way I did before stabilizing.  How will I know when it's time to try?

 

Secondly, I am not a big drinker, but I was used to having a cocktail now and again with friends or on vacation.  I don't drink more than 2 drinks at a time, if that.  i have not had a drink in months, since before the withdrawal hit.  Is it ok to have a beer or cocktail while traveling?  Have others done ok?  I'm sort of afraid of what it might do to my sensitive system (if my system is in fact still sensitive).  See...off the A/D's I am a worrier!!! lol 

 

I also plan to take my Ativan along on the trip.  I usually take it when flying, and that's pretty much the only time.  I usually will take .25 mg to .5 mg when needed before or during a flight.  I take just enough to keep from becoming a viral video...lol.  I have no desire to trade one issue for another, but I also don't want to cause myself more issues by adding meds to my system.  I don't think it will be a problem, but, you know, worry, worry.    

 

Thanks for listening and checking in!  Any feedback/suggestions are welcome!

Anxiety/Panic since childhood. Depressive symptoms related to periods of anxiety. Meds suggested by therapist in my late 20's.  

Celexa 40 mg 2001-2007 

Switched by Doc to Lexapro 20 mg 2007-2016

Discontinued after VERY short taper by doc late June '16 - went from 20 mg (reg dose) to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then nothing.

Major withdrawal symptoms started late July '16.

* Other info: Thyroid removed '09, autoimmune diagnoses.  Synthroid 75 mg, Armour Thyroid 30 mg daily. *

REINSTATED 2.5 mg Lexapro 9/7/16.

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  • Moderator

Hi Davegirl-- How exciting about your trip I hope all goes well.  Monica (DW) and I will be flying to London in December and are very excited about it.  Personally I would avoid drinking on the trip.  The effects are just to unpredictable and can be very harsh and long lasting when they show up.  If you're not a big drinker in the first place then it won't be missed.  When I need to make a show of it my "go to" non alcoholic drink is tonic and lime. Most people don't register it if they hear you order, it looks like any other cocktail and I enjoy the taste while sipping it.

 

It's only been a couple of weeks since you reinstated, so at least wait until you get back before considering and decrease.  It's best to get good and stable before making any changes. There's a lot of healing going on in the background that you can't feel but needs to get done before starting to taper.  I'd wait until the holidays at least.

 

Enjoy you trip.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I am so glad you are feeling fairly good and able to go to Europe - it would have been a shame to miss a trip like that. Also great that you were able to stabilize on 2.5 making for a shorter tapering journey. I totally relate to fear of flying. Aside from the flying - have an awesome trip!

Medicine History

June 2011 I was put on 10 mg Olanzapine. I stayed on that for 7 months then went down to 5 mg for 3 months and then went down to 2.5mg and slowly went down to less than .3 every few days. I have tried to come off 4 times, each time getting down to less than .3 before having to go back on at 5mg or 2.5mg. I would cut by 50% each taper. From Jan 2015 to June 2015 I reduced from about 5mg to .3 mg. This last time I went on 2.5 mg last June 2015 until July 2, 2016. July 3, 2016 I went down to 1.25mg - withdrawal hit. Up dosed to liquid 2 mg July 23, 2016.

Medicine Current

2 mg Olanzapine as of July 23, 2016

Supplements

Omega 3 1000mg, Vitamin E 400 UI, Vitamin C 1000 mg Time Released, 200 mg Magnesium Bisglycinate, Multi Probiotic, .25 mg melatonin for 3-5 days as needed

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