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spunhead: 2yrs on Escitalopram 20mg, gonna get off


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Hi ,


After being on escitalopram 20mg for 2 years I have decided it is time to get off of it. I initially started taking it because events in my life had reawakened a trauma while I was in college in a high workload program. The doctor gave me a diagnosis of panic disorder that the counselor later suggested should be changed to PTSD. 


Anyway, at the time I really needed the meds and they put a halt to the daily panic attacks. 


Now, I have developed better coping mechanisms, my life is relatively stable. But I feel almost nothing except sadness. The meds have replaced anxiety with depression. I am tired all the time and have no motivation or drive. I feel lost. This was NOT how I was before the meds. 


I'll be talking to my doctor in a few days and let her know, but in the meantime, I have decided to take a small, regular amount off of every pill (about 10%) and start the taper. 


I will also be taking CBT oil as a supplement. If any of you have experience with that, let me know. 


All the best 

Lexapro 20mg for two years,

Using CBD as needed, no other meds, 

April 6 2017- 10% taper

April 26 2017- 15 mg

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Hi spunhead,


Consider yourself extremely lucky finding this site before any action on getting off these drugs!


Our mods will soon come along with very informative guidance.


here is a good article perfectly fitting your timing.





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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome spunhead,


Thank you for joining and sharing your story. My experience with antidepressants was similar to yours. I started them because of anxiety, but soon found myself experiencing depression for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, I didn't make the connection and ended up stuck on various antidepressants for over 13 years. Whenever I tried to stop, intolerable symptoms would occur. I didn't know I needed to taper.


As LexAnger noted, its fortunate you found us before beginning your taper, you will find a lot of helpful information and support here. Being prepared and understanding the process is an important factor in being able to taper successfully.


Are you taking any other medications?


Please would you fill in your signature with your drug history. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:  Please put your withdrawal history in your signature


It sounds like you are at a good point in your life, to start tapering. I like your attitude regarding your doctor, as in taking control of your own health decisions, rather than asking for permission. You will need the cooperation of your doctor, for continued prescriptions, but you will find good information here about how to complete a safe and successful taper.


I will list some relevant links, and recommend reading through them before you begin.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Preparing to taper


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?
What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


And some information about the supplement you asked about:


cannabis, THC or marijuana to ease withdrawal symptoms ...


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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Hi LexAnger and Petunia, thank you for your replies. I'll make sure to add to my signature and will read through all the info you have posted.


All the best

Lexapro 20mg for two years,

Using CBD as needed, no other meds, 

April 6 2017- 10% taper

April 26 2017- 15 mg

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  • 2 weeks later...



So I've been taking about 10% off of my 20mg escitalopram pills for the last week and a half, and I have noticed an increase in headaches, migraines and in anxiety symptoms. 


I've also been taking the CBD oil, at first because I'm always kinda scared of drugs and off "loosing my mind" when I take it, I get a small rush of anxiety, but when it kicks in about an hour later, the anxiety goes WAAAAY down. I'm able to concentrate better and feel better overall. I take 10-20mg worth of CBD orally. 


I'm limiting how much of the CBD I take so that I can know for sure what the Lexapro withdrawal symptoms are. 


I also had my first major panic attack in god knows how long. It happened when I was on my way home on the subway, around the time I usually take my pill. There were quite a few triggers that I later wrote about in my journal, but the attack itself was awful, it ended up lasting for 3 hours! 


Anyway, I hope they don't become a regular thing again


Lexapro 20mg for two years,

Using CBD as needed, no other meds, 

April 6 2017- 10% taper

April 26 2017- 15 mg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Going down to 15mg tonight.


When I told my doctor I wanted off, at first she tried to suggest I take ADDITIONAL medication to deal with the stuff that Lexapro was doing! Ha! ya right, no thanks!


Anyways, I'm looking forward to being off this stuff.


Withdrawal symptoms tapered off about 2 weeks after the initial taper. So I figure I might be able to stay on each step of the taper for 3 weeks instead of 4. Gonna play it by ear and see how I feel.


Can't wait to get this stuff out of my system.

Lexapro 20mg for two years,

Using CBD as needed, no other meds, 

April 6 2017- 10% taper

April 26 2017- 15 mg

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Hi spunhead welcome

Did you read the link from Petu about 10% tapers.

How do you calculate 15mg to be your next dose?



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.


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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Well, 20mg *0.9 = 18 mg

18mg * 0.9= 16.2 mg


and 15mg is close enough to that

Lexapro 20mg for two years,

Using CBD as needed, no other meds, 

April 6 2017- 10% taper

April 26 2017- 15 mg

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