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Itzakadoozee: withdrawal nightmare


Itzakadoozee

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10 years of antidepressants. Four months of recent hell and counting from trying to get off of them. Lets save some time and say about five months ago I decided to get off my antidepressant (escatalopram). Went from 20 mg, two weeks later 10 mg, two weeks lather 5 mg, two weeks later 0 mg then a hellish destabilization occurred. I managed about 1 month off  then I decided to restart on 5 mg which I have been on for about two months until now 9/5/2016. Not doing much better from reinstating the drug but leagues better then the depths of cold turkey.
 
Looking for advice. Should I go up a dose? I really don't want to but its starting to affect my work and I have a very promisinbg career coming up if I can keep my head on straight. If I just stay on this dose would I feel better in time? should I stick with it? And how when I know when I should reduce my dosage again?
 
Anyway these questions i am hoping to get help with because this place is the only place where people even remotely know what they are talking about with regards to these topics.

Edited by scallywag
Added paragraphs (CC), tags added

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Mentor

Hello Itzakadoozee,

I am not a moderator and not very experienced at this so I can't give you any advice.  However a moderator will be along shortly and they can advise you.  I did want to say welcome and you have indeed come to the right place for help. I too went off of my antidepressant too fast and ended up in a world of hurt in July.  I too had to go back on to stabilize. After going back on it took me two to three weeks to stabilize.  Weeks that felt like years. Please try and hang in.  You will get good advice here and lots of support.

Rachel

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Itzakadoozee and welcome to SA,

 

You have most definitely come to the right place.  There is lots of information and support here.

 

Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Details for the last 12-18 months and a summary of anything prior to that.  Please include all drugs, dates, doses and how you decreased/increased.  This will help us to make suggestions based on your individual situation.  So that it remains current please update whenever you make a change.  Have your drug history in your signature means that we can see it at a glance.  Thank you.

 

The fact that you are feeling improvement after reinstatement means that reinstating worked.  It's good that you didn't go back up to 10 mg or 20 mg.  The idea of reinstating is to make withdrawal symptoms bearable.  Healing is not linear:  Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization.  It's also important not to jump around with your doses and Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable.

 

If you are able to cope with the symptoms you are currently getting it is usually recommended to try and stay on the dose you are on.  However, only you can make the decision about whether you can handle the current symptoms.

 

What are your current symptoms?  Please keep daily notes on paper.

 

If and I mean IF you made a decision to increase your dose please DO NOT jump back up to 10 mg.  It would be much better to increase by a very small amount for example an additional 0.5 mg or 1 mg depending on what drug you are taking.  I can't give the direct link for your drug but this topic has links to most of the ADs (scroll down through post #1 or search by Ctrl + F and type in your drug name):  Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Here are some other links for you to check out and you can then ask questions here in you Intro/Update top where you can also journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified whenever someone responds.

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

These really helped me to understand about the brain having to adapt to not getting as much of the drug:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hello Itzakadoozee,

I am not a moderator and not very experienced at this so I can't give you any advice. However a moderator will be along shortly and they can advise you. I did want to say welcome and you have indeed come to the right place for help. I too went off of my antidepressant too fast and ended up in a world of hurt in July. I too had to go back on to stabilize. After going back on it took me two to three weeks to stabilize. Weeks that felt like years. Please try and hang in. You will get good advice here and lots of support.

Rachel

. When you stabilized did you feel normal? Or just less crappy. I haven't felt remotely normal since I destabilized so I was wondering if I should go on a higher dose to more normalize.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Mentor

It took me weeks to get close to what I would call stabilized after going back on medication, and even then I continued to get symptoms.  I too considered going on a higher dose but after reading everything here I decided not to.  In retrospect that turned out to be the right thing for me to do, however everybody is different. What I hated the most was not having a crystal ball that would let me see into the future and tell me what the next decision about medication should be.  When we feel so desperately ill all we want to do is get it fixed. Not knowing what is the right course of action is the worst, at least it was for me. What did help was for me to read as much as I could on this website.  I still reread things over and over because every single time I come away with something new. I've got my fingers crossed for you, I don't want you to suffer.  Please keep positing because even though only a few might reach out to you, there are people reading what you post, silently cheering you on and learning from you as well.

RS

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nicely said, RS!

 

I am tapering after crashing badly, having come off Effexor too fast.  These days I am feeling pretty stable, but what is that, really?  Our beloved mod Brassmonkey calls it "withdrawal normal."  For me, as long as I can a) sleep well  B) not feel low/depressed and c) not feel anxious, I consider myself pretty stable.  However, low motivation and energy remain constants, and cognitive problems are ongoing from even when I was on higher doses of the med.  If I waited for memory and concentration to be much improved, I'd never be "stable!"

 

I would not want to begin tapering if I were having cortisol surges in the night, and the others I mentioned.  I can put up with some digestive upset and the occasion head swim and still be pretty happy with how I'm doing.

 

As to updosing?  Well, you have to decide how incapacitated you really are by your current symptom set.  Once destabilized by withdrawal, you may experience windows and waves even after reinstating.  Of course, this will continue to improve with time.  We often recommend to hold for months before resuming tapering, especially if you had severe withdrawal from a cold turkey or fast taper.  More time is never a bad thing!

 

Think of it this way:  10 years on a drug, so brain set in its dependency.  If you were to have followed the 10% plan, it would take 13 mo to get to 5mg!  So, if it isn't bad, I'd stay there for a good many months and let your nervous system get caught up before resuming.   If the symptoms are bad enough to get in the way of your functionality, you could updose again, but we're talking maybe 1-2 mg.  Don't want to trigger an adverse reactions or overshoot your level of healing in the event you are more fortunate than most of us here!

 

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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  • 1 month later...

So I'm still going through hell. I feel confused all the time. I feel like I am walking through a madhouse in that things look out of proportion. Working full time as a med nurse at a psychiatric ward (sometimes I feel like admitting myself) and the stress is unbearable I have to take xanex just to make it through the day. I thought things would be much easier by now but they are so hard. The only positive I had is about three weeks ago I had two days where I felt absolutely normal and it was the most amazing experience ever.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Itzakadoozee. Would you take a moment to create a signature with your medication and withdrawal history?

From ChessieCat's post above:

 

Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Details for the last 12-18 months and a summary of anything prior to that.  Please include all drugs, dates, doses and how you decreased/increased.  This will help us to make suggestions based on your individual situation.  So that it remains current please update whenever you make a change.  Have your drug history in your signature means that we can see it at a glance.  Thank 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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Someone please help me. I need some reassurance has any one had severe withdrawals from escatalopram and at least didn't feel debilitated. And if so how long? I know everybody's different but I'm feeling desperate that my mental health has been destroyed. I feel extremely strange and depersonalized and don't know what to do anymore. I feel like quitting my job and going to find a bush to live in.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Itza, you can find others who have taken escitalopram or successfully tapered off it by clicking on the tag at the top of this page. There are also links to several recent intros with the tag "escitalopram" that posted at the bottom of this page.

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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  • Mentor

Hi Itzakadoozee,

I saw your last post and thought it would be time for me to touch base with you again. I am sorry you are suffering so.  From my reading, your medication, escitalopram, is a hard one to get off of, as is mine.  I know I am going through a lot trying to get off the setraline, also an SSRI.  I did have stabilization a month after up-dosing, but stabilization to me meant that it was bearable, I still wasn't "normal".  I am in the process of tapering and still don't feel good.  I am here to say though that I have shown improvement and there is indeed life after a big withdrawal.  I hope that helps you in some small measure. Feel free to ask me anything you would like if it helps you.  While we are taking different medications they are both SSRIs so I think there might be some similarities between the withdrawal, however you will find that every single person has a slightly different experience. Yes I too wanted to live under a bush, or hide in my closet....

 

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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So recently at work I have been really stressed out and when under a lot of stress I feel like I become disassociated with the environment. Meaning that I can't really understand what's going on around me and feel really disoriented and detached from the environment. Does this happen to anyone else? It's only been happening since my brain went haywire from a fast taper where now I feel weird, confused and dizzy all the time.

Edited by scallywag
merged from new topic in Symptoms fourm

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved your topic & post about disassociation to your intro because you're most likely to find my reply.

 

There's a topic about Depersonalization or Derealization in the Symptoms forum. Often people refer to it as "dp/dr" or "DP/DR"

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
  • 9 months later...

Still on 3 mg of liquid Escatalopram. I still have all of the symptoms that I wrote about in my introduction mainly DP/DR, dizziness, poo-brain and feeling like I lost some marbles but over the year I feel like it is slightly less hellish. Like crawling out of a lower depth of hell. Still hellish but very slightly less so. Waiting till Sep 1st to reduce my dose again.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Itzakadoozee: withdrawal nightmare
  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator

Hey Itza - please put your doses of escitalopram in your signature.

 

What month/year were you on full dose, and what was your full dose?
How long has it taken to get from that - to your current dose of 3 mg?

When was your last taper?

It is important for us to have this information before we can consider what is contributing most to your symptoms.

 

Other culprits can be other supplements like 5HtP (commonly given for withdrawal but often makes it worse) or B vitamins.  Please list any other supplements or medications for us - these could be contributing to your instability.

What sorts of Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms have you been doing?  That was the key point of my post, here:  JanCarol Undiagnosed post, that it is vital to have a toolkit of things that you can do when you are overwhelmed with symptoms. 

Here's just a few things in my toolkit when I have symptoms (depending on the symptoms, I can choose whatever tool fits best):

 

Yoga

Mindfulness

Researching, learning on the web

Gardening

Walking
Sitting in Sun

Pets

Phone a Friend

Get a massage

Acupuncture

Karate - or Circuit Training, but gently!

Stupid Games on Facebook

Listen to music

Watch a DVD (avoid commercials, horror, anything stimulating) or TV show

Craft - for me it's colouring books

 

What are your tools?

"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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On 12/15/2017 at 7:53 AM, JanCarol said:

Hey Itza - please put your doses of escitalopram in your signature.

 

What month/year were you on full dose, and what was your full dose?
How long has it taken to get from that - to your current dose of 3 mg?

When was your last taper?

It is important for us to have this information before we can consider what is contributing most to your symptoms.

 

Other culprits can be other supplements like 5HtP (commonly given for withdrawal but often makes it worse) or B vitamins.  Please list any other supplements or medications for us - these could be contributing to your instability.

What sorts of Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms have you been doing?  That was the key point of my post, here:  JanCarol Undiagnosed post, that it is vital to have a toolkit of things that you can do when you are overwhelmed with symptoms. 

Here's just a few things in my toolkit when I have symptoms (depending on the symptoms, I can choose whatever tool fits best):

 

Yoga

Mindfulness

Researching, learning on the web

Gardening

Walking
Sitting in Sun

Pets

Phone a Friend

Get a massage

Acupuncture

Karate - or Circuit Training, but gently!

Stupid Games on Facebook

Listen to music

Watch a DVD (avoid commercials, horror, anything stimulating) or TV show

Craft - for me it's colouring books

 

What are your tools?

Currently at 2.7 and feel like poop. Is my signature better?

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Moderator

Hey Itza, thank you for updating, that's much better, I can now see better what has happened to you.  It looks like you tapered steadily (and carefully) from May.  

Did your symptoms sneak up on you and stack up?  You may want to hold for at least another 6 months, or until symptoms abate.  

But - I didn't ask if you felt like poop.

I asked you - what are your tools?

Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

I just made a cup of soothing tea.  It seems like a small thing.  Coloring in my coloring book is also a small thing.  But enough small things, and I forget about the poop.  Sometimes I have to go from one small thing to the next one.  Maybe I'm not focused enough for the colouring, so I will watch manta rays on YouTube.  

 

What are your tools?

 

 

"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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5 hours ago, JanCarol said:

Hey Itza, thank you for updating, that's much better, I can now see better what has happened to you.  It looks like you tapered steadily (and carefully) from May.  

Did your symptoms sneak up on you and stack up?  You may want to hold for at least another 6 months, or until symptoms abate.  

But - I didn't ask if you felt like poop.

I asked you - what are your tools?

Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

I just made a cup of soothing tea.  It seems like a small thing.  Coloring in my coloring book is also a small thing.  But enough small things, and I forget about the poop.  Sometimes I have to go from one small thing to the next one.  Maybe I'm not focused enough for the colouring, so I will watch manta rays on YouTube.  

 

What are your tools?

 

 

Symptoms to seem to have snuck up on me. They are really bad at times. My main tool is exercise (best physical shape of my life) and trying to be positive and accepting. And I do do many little things like soothing tea, baths and things like that. They help only in the brief moment they are used and truthfully I don’t think anything like CBT or meditating will work at the moment because my main distressing symptoms feel like I’m on some sort of drug (guess I am) and I really just need to start feeling closer to normal again to truly feel comfortable again. I’m willing to try in the future when I’m more stable. Planning to hold for a while.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Moderator

Hey Itza - sorry it snuck up on you like that.

 

It can happen.

 

What is a minor symptom in the first month of taper can be a major symptom by the 5th month.  It's because of the brutal Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms.  

 

You might consider a 5% updose to see if symptoms diminish.   My calculations puts that at 2.83 mg - so not a huge loss.  Or - you can just plan on the long hold.

When you get to the low numbers of escitalopram, there's good reason to go very slowly.  It's an incredibly strong drug, and those last few milligrams can be tedious.

 

So would you say that the symptoms are more mental/emotional than physical? 

 

Congrats on being in the best physical shape of your life!

 

Though - here's a thought -  it raises a concern for overtraining, too - if fatigue is part of your symptoms, then you might ease off the training some.

 

I don't think there is much about the human condition which is "comfortable," so appreciate what moments of comfort you have. 

Thanks for responding - hang in there!

 

I hope you see the sun today!

 

"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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1 hour ago, JanCarol said:

Hey Itza - sorry it snuck up on you like that.

 

It can happen.

 

What is a minor symptom in the first month of taper can be a major symptom by the 5th month.  It's because of the brutal Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms.  

 

You might consider a 5% updose to see if symptoms diminish.   My calculations puts that at 2.83 mg - so not a huge loss.  Or - you can just plan on the long hold.

When you get to the low numbers of escitalopram, there's good reason to go very slowly.  It's an incredibly strong drug, and those last few milligrams can be tedious.

 

So would you say that the symptoms are more mental/emotional than physical? 

 

Congrats on being in the best physical shape of your life!

 

Though - here's a thought -  it raises a concern for overtraining, too - if fatigue is part of your symptoms, then you might ease off the training some.

 

I don't think there is much about the human condition which is "comfortable," so appreciate what moments of comfort you have. 

Thanks for responding - hang in there!

 

I hope you see the sun today!

 

By far most of my symptoms seem to be mental. At times it truly feels like I’m going crazy. I do have physical and emotional symptoms such at muscle twitchs, pin prick feelings, dizziness and vertigo (feels like I’m on a boat or walking on a trampoline), sensitivity to light and food (when i eat I feel out of it), some insomnia on certain days, anger, easily annoyed, some anxiety, feel inpatient, have cognitive impairment such as loss of words or inability to understand complex things, no memory, sexual dysfunction. I could go on and on. NONE of which I had before withdrawal and SSRI’s except anxiety and some depression which I had because of my brother passing away. But yeah feeling like I’m mentally ill is by far my most distressing symptom which I guess I would say is that DP/DR stuff. It feels like a nightmare.

 

I was really doing well with the taper up until got down to 2.9 and hit the terrible two’s. Gonna just hold for now and resume around July 2018

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Moderator

Hey Itza - it sounds like you might benefit from working with your vagus nerve:


There are many ways to do this - gentle acupressure, breathing, singing.


Singing is the best, as it vibrates the entire nerve and helps to improve communication between gut, brain and all the organs in between.  Even singing along to the radio is enough to get some activation going!  If you sing one song a day, your vagus nerve will thank you!

Here's a pretty picture describing all of the things the vagus is connected to:

 

vagus-nerve.jpg

 

I think that is why withdrawal can affect so many systems!

Good plan to hold for a long time - and - if July 2018 rolls around and you're still struggling - hold some more.

 

Your doses are low enough to avoid the worst of the effects from them.  

And - I hope you see the sun today!

"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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  • 1 month later...

So my girlfriend broke up with me and I am in severe withdrawal. I AM IN HELL! Someone please I beg of you does this withdrawal end!? I need some reassurance. 

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Mentor

HI Itzakadoozee,

It looks like you have been tapering slowly from May to December, however it is still taper.  Now your girl friend has broken up with you. It sounds like a heck of a lot going on that is rough on you.  Both situations are bad enough on their own, but the two together and you must really be suffering. It will get better. It will.  I am so sorry you are going through this.  It's horrible now but it will get better.

RS

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

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I feel hopeless the more I search through this site the worse I feel. I feel like I will never feel normal again and I will always feel mentally ill now. Please is there many that recover from protracted withdrawal. Seems most still suffer year after year after year it’s unbearable.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • Administrator

Hello, Itzaka. When you went from 2.7mg to 3mg, what happened? Did you notice any change?

 

How did you feel on 5mg?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, Itzaka. When you went from 2.7mg to 3mg, what happened? Did you notice any change?

 

How did you feel on 5mg?

i Never went back to 3mg I actually went lower from 2.6 one month to 2.5 recently. I did it because one day I accidentally took more then I should like 3.3 something mg because I miscalculated on a 1mg syringe. I use two syringes one that maxes out at 3ml and a 1ml one. So during the month I might drop 0.05 two times during the month making up a 0.1 drop for that month. So I filled one syringe up to 2.6 then add the lil drop of 0.05 usually. But that day I was trying to just use the 3ml syringe to just go to 2 ml and use the lil syringe to add the 0.65  but I still filled the big syringe to 2.6 out of habit and still filled the lil syringe up to 0.65.Thus overdosing. That little bit made me feel terrible and felt like if going up makes me feel worse then down may feel better. Kinda did cognitively expect insomnia and DP/dr increased driving me into a constant surviving antidepressants searching man looking for good news I didn’t find it and felt like I went through all the success stories and was down to reading through profiles of people still struggling and it sucked to read. AND my girlfriend broke up with me. Made me feel hopeless. 5mg was still a struggle.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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Went back up to 2.7 and my sleep improved a little. 

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • 1 month later...

Can anyone find a chart like this one for escatalopram?

3668DC89-762F-4C94-9E6D-72ACEE25FC6D.png

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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Use google and type in escatalopram  escitalopram sert occupancy then click on Images.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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  • 4 weeks later...

Reached the point where I can clearly feel windows and waves of symptoms. A year ago it was just pure misery without any discernible windows. I think that’s good. Down to 2.4 mg liquid escatalopram. Still employed. Overall life is still very hard but I can see gradual improvements.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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This process takes so long! Argh!

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/7/2018 at 10:45 PM, Itzakadoozee said:

I have almost very little physical symptoms also. Almost all mental symptoms. I would rather have physical symptoms.

Do you think that the mental symptoms eventually go away as well?

  1. Started Wellbutrin 75 mg IR the end of 2015.
  2. Tried quitting cold turkey in June 30th- July 3rd 2017.
  3. Had severe withdrawals.
  4. Was placed on Wellbutrin 100mg SR so I could taper without withdrawal.
  5. Stabilized on 100mg SR for most of the month of July.
  6. Started tapering on July 17th,  2017.
  7. Completed taper on August 8th, 2017.
  8. Currently experiencing severe withdrawal.
  • Symptoms- Currently experiencing anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization, concentration/memory issues, chronic congestion, chronic dry eyes, dry skin, dislocated TMJ joint from teeth grinding during C/T withdrawal, waves of depression, anxiety, nausea, morning cortisol spikes, insomnia, agitation, food sensitivities, no tolerance for caffeine and chronic fatigue, burning muscle pain in upper and lower back and occasional tinninitus.
  • Supplements- Omega-3 fish oil supplement twice daily, 100 mg of magnesium once daily. 
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I wonder why some of us get mainly mental symptoms and some of us get mainly physical symptoms...

  1. Started Wellbutrin 75 mg IR the end of 2015.
  2. Tried quitting cold turkey in June 30th- July 3rd 2017.
  3. Had severe withdrawals.
  4. Was placed on Wellbutrin 100mg SR so I could taper without withdrawal.
  5. Stabilized on 100mg SR for most of the month of July.
  6. Started tapering on July 17th,  2017.
  7. Completed taper on August 8th, 2017.
  8. Currently experiencing severe withdrawal.
  • Symptoms- Currently experiencing anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization, concentration/memory issues, chronic congestion, chronic dry eyes, dry skin, dislocated TMJ joint from teeth grinding during C/T withdrawal, waves of depression, anxiety, nausea, morning cortisol spikes, insomnia, agitation, food sensitivities, no tolerance for caffeine and chronic fatigue, burning muscle pain in upper and lower back and occasional tinninitus.
  • Supplements- Omega-3 fish oil supplement twice daily, 100 mg of magnesium once daily. 
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3 hours ago, Hellbutrin said:

Do you think that the mental symptoms eventually go away as well?

I sure as hell hope so or the rest of my life will suck big time. I’m 32 and I’ll have a long life (god willing) to suffer.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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3 hours ago, Hellbutrin said:

I wonder why some of us get mainly mental symptoms and some of us get mainly physical symptoms...

Well this WD affects the central nervous system which can control anything about a person  be it physically, mentally or emotionally so it could just be by chance or stage of withdrawal. Might start physically then mentally then emotionally at random.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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  • 1 month later...

Is it normal during taper for vision to become so wonky? Floaters everywhere with vision very intense and bright, it’s very hard to explain but just feel overwhelmed. Makes me want to close my eyes or wear sunglasses all the time. 

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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