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jay1989: 5 months Lexapro free and then my anxiety came back


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Hi Everyone!


I started taking Lexapro three years ago at the age of 24 after therapy sessions and the occasional Xanax were no longer working for my anxiety.  My psychologist diagnosed me with OCD and GAD.  Dread is the only way I can explain it.  Vicious thoughts and dread.  I wasn't depressed nor had I ever been and this hit me like a ton of bricks.  I would be out and then this wave of panic would come out of no where.  Dizzying and all consuming.  I would start crying, become dizzy, and just be in an all out panic.  It got to the point where aside from getting up and going to work everyday (getting out of the door was the hardest) I would basically refuse to do anything.  Otherwise I would shake and feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  I started with my general physician putting me on 5mg of Lexapro and then eventually going all the way up to 20mg.  Aside from noticing a drop in my libido, slight dulling of feelings, and mild tiredness I felt like a new person.  I actually remember the exact place I was where I felt those all consuming mind racing thoughts turn off.  For the next three years I was perfect.  Lexapro pretty much saved me.  Recently in November of 2016 I decided that I wanted to go off.  I was in a different place in my life.  I was working, going to grad school and nights and living on my own.  In hindsight I probably should have waited until I finished grad school since I was/am at one of the most stressful times in my life.  Full time job, while taking a full three classes per semester at nights.  But hey hindsight is 20/20 right?  I tapered over three months.  Probably too quickly, and by the end of January I was entirely off.  My only immediate withdrawal symptoms were dizziness  (not enough to stop me from driving) and I remember for about a week and half every time I would shift my eyes it felt like it took my brain a second to catch up.  Finally nothing.  I thought I was free.  I was feeling again, my emotions came back, but all without that feeling of dread.


Two weeks ago, about five months after I've been Lexapro free, I got the worst stomach virus I've had in years/gastritis/my period all in one week.  I wasn't eating and I had lost 10lbs.  I'm small to being with so I went from 118 to 108 quick. Then...  It hit.  Sick on a Wednesday and by Sunday I had the worst panic attack I've had in years.  To get up from my bed was crippling.  Am I relapsing?  My mind was flooded.  The PTSD was so bad from the thought of me relapsing into what I was pre-Lexapro crippled me.  And since then I haven't been able to stop crying.  My dizziness had returned along with chills, mind racing, feeling like I wanted to jump out of my own skin and rip it off, and the non stop crying.  To the point opening my mouth and talking about a plain wall would make me start crying. I also have no appetite.  The thought of eating makes me feel sick. I called my doctor and during my virus check up visit he gave me .25mg of Xanax.  I thought this would kick it but it hasn't.  It actually made me feel worse.  


I see my psychologist tomorrow to now talk about whats happening to me.  My doctor said if this doesn't go away I cannot be reliant upon Xanax and I would have to go back on my Lexapro, but I DON'T WANT TO.  I only took the Xanax once and I really am fighting to not take another, even though I feel like I am being tortured by my own mind.  I want to be medicine free.   I know what SSRI's can do to the body.  That five months of freedom of no drugs and no anxiety were amazing.  


My questions are:


Am I relapsing? or am I still withdrawing?  Any advice?  I am so scared that this isn't going to go away and that I am going to be right back to square 1.  


Thank you!! xx

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  • Administrator

Welcome, jay.


Did you get any prescriptions for the stomach virus, such as an antibiotic? Did you take any supplements? Any other dramatic change in your environment?


How is your gut now?


Please do what you can to stay calm while we sort this out.



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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to jay1989: 5 months Lexapro free and then my anxiety came back

Thank you! No prescriptions and no supplements. The only thing I've been taking was Prilosec and Tylenol. My environment has been the same although I think the lack of being able to eat what I want has killed my apetite making me lose so much weight. I know for me in the past getting sick and and having to restart my apetite has always been an issue and I feel like that's affecting my moods. It adds to my all over feeling of weakness. 


For the past couple days my gut has been completely normal but I still am eating bland, which hasn't exactly got me excited about food. 


I had two major panic attacks on lexapro and the Xanax jolt got me out of them both. 


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