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Lenny00001Looking for answers


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I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this but I've been looking for answers and not sure where to turn. My brother was recently prescribed escitalopram in August 2015 suffering temporary work related stress from bullying. He complained the meds gave him a brain fog so whilst he tried he took them on and off. Shortly thereafter my brother began to deteriorate and articulate suicidal thoughts so was taken to Hospital on two occasions and on both occasions he was declined admission just given a wafer of Olanzapine and sent home. Complaining of a brain fog from the drug and given his growing mistrust of the medical treatment prescribed my brother fled interstate to stay with his father and sought the services of a naturopath to get himself off the medication and went cold turkey. Suffering withdrawal symptoms, my brother tragically took his life about a week after going cold turkey about and only 30 days after starting the course. An act completely out of character. I believe abrupt withdrawal from these drugs drove him to do this and am hoping to find the truth and understand what going cold turkey can do to you but it is hard to keep faith when the medical establishment tells you many people take antidepressants and so they would not cause this. I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum for this kind of question but it is hard to find answers at bereavement groups because many have not linked it to the meds and make you doubt yourself. Thanks for listening.

* escitalopram - less than 30 days

* 10 Imovane (Imrest) 7.5mg tab x 2 repeats

* Diazepam 5mg 50 tablets

* Olanzapine

(Imovane, Diazepam & olanzapine were provided early on but he only used these for a short while – girlfriend threw these out)

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Whtat a tragedy! I'm so sorry for your brother and your family.

It is no doubt it's the poison lexapro accountable for his action. Thousands are damaged and many lost their lives from taking these drugs either from side effects or withdrawal from them.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Yes if he went cold turkey, it would not surprise me in the least. It's horrible.

I did it not knowing the problems it can cause and I have always said since going through that I can understand why some people have taken their life. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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Going cold turkey will cause very distressing symptoms, having done so myself while hospitalized.  Even tapering too fast can be distressing to the point of giving up.  I've had to fight my way back from throwing in the towel a few times ( not suicide), just not wanting to continue with the tapering because if is so hard.  I hope you can find some peace in knowing it was not your brother's fault, it was the drug.  

July Medications: Started taking antidepressants in 1981, also benzos off and on; antiphychotics , anti-seizure for years.   Trazodone, Lamotrigine, Klonopin for over 10 years   all at maximum dosages,:Disconcontinued Klonopin in month of February 2011,  discontinued Trazodone and Lamotrigine   in month of March 2011 while in hosptial.  Given Seroquel to "help" go off Klonopin  gradually increased to 600 mg ; doctor took me off 600 mg. Seroquel in two weeks, and switched to Resperidal  because of weight gain on Seroquel, went off Resperidal quickly,   then gradually reinstated  Seroquel to 600 mg. at my request.   Went off Seroquel by myself at 25mg. per month in 2014.     Last medication Seroquel completely off since May 2016. Also went off Morphine at the same time as last 25 mg. of Seroquel in May 2016. Started tapering Celexa 40mg. to 35mg.  on 11 Aug. 2016  ; 16 Oct. Celexa 32.5 mg.; 6 Nov. 2016:  30mg. , 50 mg abt. Feb 26 with occasional 30mg.  , : May 10, 2017 began tapering rapidly because of adverse reaction to Celexa;, 40 mg. Celexa;   May 24, 2017: 35mg Celexa.;  June 8, 2017, 30 mg. Celexa, June 22, 2017 25mg.Celexa,; July 6,2017 20mg. CELEXA, July 20: 15mg.; August 10: Sep 29 2017: 10mg. Celexa + 10mg. Prozac, 5 Oct, 2017:  5mg. Celexa + 10mg. Prozac.; Oct. 14 Celexa 0., Prozac 10mg.Took last Prozac on November 22, 2017, Jan. 31 30mg. Cymbalta........ May Cymbalta 90mg.


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Medications presently taking:    Lyrica 150mg. 2x day  , Synthroid 175mcg, Nasonex 2 sprays each nostril, once a day ,     Tylenol  1,000 mg. 2x day., , Restasis eye drops 2x day,  Trazodone 100 mg, Cymbalta 90 mg. Arthrotec 50 mg., Plavix

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lenny I lost someone dear to me from suicide. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this -- it's a group nobody wants to join. :(


A family friend told me about a program run by a local suicide distress centre that supports surviving spouses, family members and other loved ones.  I found it a relief to talk with and be with people who understood, who weren't waiting for me to be change the topic or to stop talking.  If you're in London UK, there may be a similar bereavement program.

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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Thank you for your kind words. I have been to some counseling and suicide bereavement groups which have helped but can also be difficult because many haven't made the link to the antidepressants. So many I met seemed to be clearly linked in one case it occurred very shortly after changing the medication but the bereaved did not think it could be meds because there was a note and I wanted to let them believe what gave them comfort. Deep down I know it was the meds because I've been close to my brother for over 30 years and it was not like him. He survived 30 yrs without the meds and lasted lass than 30 days once he was put on them but it still hard to believe how withdrawal can make a person do that but I could imagine it is like being out of your mind and he didn't know what he was doing.

* escitalopram - less than 30 days

* 10 Imovane (Imrest) 7.5mg tab x 2 repeats

* Diazepam 5mg 50 tablets

* Olanzapine

(Imovane, Diazepam & olanzapine were provided early on but he only used these for a short while – girlfriend threw these out)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

This might help:  What is Happening in Your Brain

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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