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notalwaysso one year after full withdrawal - learnings and conclusions

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notalwaysso

Dear SA members

 

September 1, 2017 will mark one year of full withdrawal from Lexapro. ( I withdrew completely after 9 months of gradual tapering, after which I had very bad WD symptoms for about 10 months. please see my signature). I am very happy to say that things have gotten much much better, and that one year after full withdrawal I am almost symptom free! All the symptoms I had, waves, zaps, anxiety attacks, feelings of doom, insomnia, sweats, depression, are all but gone. 

 

I am enjoying a feeling of stability and well being for the first time in a couple of years. 

 

The past year has been enormously difficult. I am an older person and had my share of difficult times in life. And yet this was  different, and yet taught me so much.

 

 I would like to share with you my learning and some of the processes  I have been through.

 

As you will see below, one of the main factors for my improvement was actually this forum. So, I  write with deep gratitude to you people, for sharing your suffering and your knowledge, and with a profound wish for health and well-being for all of you. It IS possible to get better.

 

Below is a  list of the factors which have helped me overcome WDS.  They are not necessarily in any specific order. It will be a bit long, so, I apologize in advance. 

 

I think this list just reaffirms everything I learned from this website, but still, I think it is important to hear everyone's version...

 

1. THIS FORUM.  I stumbled into this forum accidentally, while searching the web for information about withdrawal (it was my second attempt.)

 

I found this forum extremely important in providing information, support , ideas, and HOPE. It opened for me a new way of thinking. There were days this year when signing in and reading was a life saver. I didn't feel so alone and crazy. I guess there are other forums and sites, but SA did it for me, no doubt.

 

My learning from this is: Get as much information as possible about your condition and symptoms! Knowing is power. Second: Don't be alone with your condition.

 

Being alone weakens and frightens you. Sharing, asking questions, reading about others' experience is a powerful source of support. 

 

2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.  It was one of the most powerful tools during hell time: Being in contact with my body, via daily physical activity.

 

In my case: daily walks (with intermittent jogging) and yoga practice.  This activity was very helpful to get me out of spiraling anxiety and depression. 

 

Just being outside, seeing and breathing some nature, has an enormous tranquilizing effect. Please note: DAILY! I haven't stopped daily exercise, even though I am better now, and I never will stop. I enjoy it so much.

 

I learned to build up a strong connection with my body, as much as possible. Although our body is suffering during WD, it is one of our most powerful allies. Our body knows! 

 

3.  MINDFULNESS. Mindful meditation was also a main pillar of strength. I have been meditating for a couple of years, but this year I took up to it regularly, (meaning, first thing in the morning, everyday, for at least 15 minutes, up to 45 minutes). Its effect is not only relaxing, but it builds a consistent, stable, observing YOU that doesn't go through the emotional rollercoaster. Slowly but surely, I developed  a tiny me that could say, even during the worst moments: I see that I am feeling like hell...and not identify with the bad feelings. Just observe them and let them dissolve in time. A big part of this is being kind and nonjudgmental to yourself. 

 

Learning: If anything, this horrible WDS is a golden opportunity to know and befriend yourself. Mindful meditation is something that will stay with me for good. Not only it is enormously  helpful, but it is a revelation. It is no less than re-discovering yourself and the meaning of life. 

 

BTW, there is a ton of literature about the use of mindfulness in anxiety and depression. You can research the web about it. I really recommend Jon Kabat Zin. Check him out in youtube. He wrote some very good books.

 

4. KINDRED SOULS.  Being around people was not easy during the last year.  I pretty much distanced myself from anybody that gave me, even slightly, bad vibes for whatever reason. I didn't go out to busy and noisy places. BUT I was lucky to have a couple of good and generous friends whom I told about my condition and were there for me in many ways: sharing, phoning, being with me, encouraging ..My family was a great source of hope and sense of meaning.

 

My learning is that It was, and is, very crucial not to be alone, if at all possible. I learned to ask for help (wasn't my strong side up until then). In fact I learned to accept I NEED help from people. So, actually, this bad withdrawal trip caused me to be more close to my loved ones. 

 

5. MEDICATION AND FOOD SUPPLEMENTS.  About medications: During the course of withdrawal I also withdrew from PPI's which I was taking for 10 years ("thanks" to doctor's recommendations). So I am, for now, completely free of medications which makes me very very happy. My attitude to medications, pharma, doctors, and that whole department has changed radically. Although I realize that there are good and  life=saving medications and procedures, I am now in the view that I will use them only if there is absolutely no other way. I really lost my trust in the medical system and will try to stay away from it as much as I can.  I will avoid visiting a doctor as much as is in my power. I opt for alternative health care (naturopathy, chinese medication etc.)

 

Supplements:  Omega helped with brain zaps. These continued for a long while, and still pay me a little weakened visit  here and there, especially before falling asleep. Magnesium helped with  muscle pains at night. Taurine helped with morning anxiety. Information about supplements was obtained via SA forum. I think it is important to check on your vitamin-mineral levels and inform yourself about the benefits and effects of supplements. There is so much help obtained from supplements, and the doctors usually know nothing about it. Or dismiss it. 

 

6. EATING WELL.  My experience is that a good diet was really helpful: For me the main thing was eliminating sugars from my diet, including sugars coming from  certain carbohydrates, alcohol, etc. Clearing the sugar was really powerful in stabilizing my physical-mental system. The main elements in my diet were (and remain):  Vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, fish. Tons of water. 

 

7. SLEEPING AND RESTING.  For the first time in my life I had sleeping problems during WD. I never experienced this before, and therefore was terrified.  I worked this out by trying all kinds of natural supplements and an occasional sleeping pill when things got really bad.  For a while melatonin helped. Sometimes Valerian. Then taurin and magnesium taken together.  The main thing for me was NOT TO PANIC when I couldn't sleep!  I learned, like with any other symptom, that it will resolve itself after a while. 

 

I stayed away from computers before sleep, took warm showers, had tea, read good books, darkened my bedroom.  

 

Even more important, - I tried not to exert myself at work or anywhere else.  Resting was crucial. Not demanding anything from myself that felt too difficult. 

 

Trying to give your body and mind as much rest as possible, is I think really important.

 

8. SYMPTOMS. Most of my symptoms are gone. They disappeared gradually and slowly. Still a weakened form of brain zap here and there. Nothing like before. 

 

The waves and windows grew more distant until completely gone. In the process, anxiety gave place to depression, So I had depressive bouts towards month 10 of withdrawal. 

 

At the moment I still suffer from tinnitus, which developed during tapering. I don't know whether it is withdrawal related or not. I try to ignore it. 

 

I remain quite  sensitive to: loud noise, strong light, certain anxiety producing events (separations and endings of all sorts), toxic people, crowded places.  

 

___________________________________________

 

So, I think this about sums it up. (I might have forgotten something) As I wrote in the beginning of this message, I now enjoy a general feeling of well being. I feel happy to have overcome this syndrome. I keep a cautious attitude though, because who knows, a "wave" may reappear at any given moment.  But I feel more confident, as time goes by, that by now my body has pretty much recovered, and that I have obtained some resilience and some tools to deal with what may come. 

 

I don't feel euphoria or a feeling of "happy end" at all! Life goes on, with its setbacks and frustrations and good and happy moments, that's all.  But the very dark and frightening feelings and sensations are gone. 

 

Paradoxically I can feel grateful for having learned so much, for having discovered new meanings for my life, for having been challenged and having taught myself to meet a serious challenge. And there will be more to come...

 

Thank you again people for being here. I know a little bit about your suffering. Please hold on to hope and be patient. Things will change,  as they always do. Even if you don't believe in it now. 

 

Thank you moderators for doing such an important and generous work. You made an enormous difference for me. 

 

I wish recovery for all of you. May you be healthy and safe. 

 

Much love to all

Notalwaysso

 

BTW  I am not leaving the site. I feel part of this virtual community. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added spacing

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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Madeleine

Thank you so much for sharing the story of your recovery and for taking the time to provide us with these valuable helpful tips. I am sure I will be rereading your success story over and over to give me hope as will others.


Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg
Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pw4tjImAJ92OIVyRvZoZYjqxiKMk7wvp-ljiIi1olRo/edit#gid=0

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Oran

Thank you so much for coming back and giving us hope, so much appreciated!


I started Effexor/venlafaxin august 2014: 1st year 75 mg 2nd year 37.5 mg.

Taper: first try 37.5 to 0 in one month. Second try: 18.75 to 0 in two months.

Completely off effexor since 26-11-2016 with severe withdrawals such as blurred/constrained vision, brain fog and vertigo.

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peng

Priceless write up, friend.

Generous of you to share your time and thoughts.  Many will hang on to these and cherish them through their own struggle.

Good work on your part for others who need reassurance and comfort.

 

Best wishes


Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

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Susanm

Thank you for taking the time to write this!  You just validated my healing path, my friend.  Bravo!  


Started on Effexor and Xanax after an unexpected hysterectomy in 1998.  

2000-2008 - Changed to Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, no benzos, more benzos (lots of benzos) up and down never stable

2006 back on Effexor up to 150 mgs I don't remember a benzo, but was drinking a lot

2010? Switched to Pristiq 50 mgs, increased quickly to 100 mgs, plus up to 3mg clonazepam

2016 Diet and life change to "get healthy", started using medical cannabis when it became legal in my state

October 2016 - Wanted off meds.  Was instructed to taper the clonazepam *I had already tapered to 1.5 mg daily*, .5 less until I was at .5mg for a few months, continue 100 mg Pristiq, slow decline into hell...

April 2017 - Started experiencing more severe serotonin syndrome symptoms, but didn't know what it was.  I was losing my mind!!  Saw pdoc and she told me if I could show her my desire was real (WTF?) and completely stay off the clonazepam for 30 days, she would consider tapering the Pristiq.  Deepest spiral I've ever experienced.  Seriously wanted to die and thought I was!  

July 2017 - 75mgs desvenlafaxine current taper,  up to 1.5mg clonazepam .25 per dose, start with .5 mgs morning use as needed, medical cannabis with knowledgeable and trustworthy (experienced) support

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Hibari

Thank you for sharing your story, it is very inspirational.  I relate to much of what you have written.

 

May I ask about your sweats?  Was it daily or nightly?  I am having lots of hot flashes and sweating and I know on some level it's wd, I would like to hear your experience.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
extracted response

Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper Total: .625mgai   26 May, 2019  4% taper Total: .575 mgai,   24 June, 2019 2.5 % taper  10 Clonzapam tablets weigh1.999 mgpw  Average  200 mgpw.  0.0073mgai 9AM, 0.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai, Total: 561mgai,  10 July, 2019 (Compounded pills) .0073mgai 9AM,.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai,

Total .561mgai   26 August, 2019 (Back to regular pills due to bad reaction) .0078mgai 9AM, .01075mgai 3PM, .360mgai PM, Total: .545mgai   26 Sept. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .1mgai 3PM, 0.350mgai PM: Total: .5275mgai   31 Oct, 2019 .0750mgai 9AM, .0925mgai 3PM, 0.340mgai 930PM, Total: .5075mgai,   30 Nov. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .0825mgai 3PM, .3325mgai 9:30PM, Total:.490mgai   31 Dec. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM,  .080mgai 3PM, .3225mgai 9:30PM,  Total: .4775mgai   31 Jan. 2020 .0725mgai 9AM, .0750mgai 3pm, .315mgai 9:30PM, Total: .4625mgai    29 Feb. 2020  .0675mgai 9AM, .0675 3PM, .305 mgai 9PM Total: .440mgai 31 March 2020 .065mgai 9AM,  .065mgai 3PM, .2925mgai 10PM, Total: 4225mgai  30 April 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM, .2775mgai 10PM  Total: .4025mgai 31 May 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625 mgai 3PM, .2526 mgai 10PM, Total: .3775mgai  30 June 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM  .2175 mgai 10PM Total .3425mgai.   31 July 2020 .0575 mgai 9AM .0550 mgai 3PM .180mgai 10PM Total .2925mgai  31 August 2020 .00475mgai 9AM, 0.0045mgai 3PM, .01475mgai 10PM Total: .2375mgai  30 September 2020 0.0375mgai 9AM 0.035mgai 3PM 0.110mgai 10PM  Total: .1825mgai

 

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate

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yaya

Thank you so, so much for sharing your story with us! god bless you. 


2002: 20mg paroxetine for anxiety and depression - can't remember how long I took it- app. 1 year maybe? CT.

2003-2004: prozac 20 mg, then switched to celexa.

2004-2015: celexa 20 mg. 

2015-2017: celexa 20 mg every other day approximately, until april 2017- one pill every 2-3 days, and then may 2017, 2 pills a week, then 2 half a week. June 2017, took 2 half and then stopped completely with psychiatrist's blessing. Xanax 0.25 sometimes to help me cope with WDs.

4.9.2017: reinstated celexa 5mg
11.9.17: updosed to 10 mg celexa.

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notalwaysso
On 30/08/2017 at 5:29 AM, Hibari said:

 

May I ask about your sweats?  Was it daily or nightly?  I am having lots of hot flashes and sweating and I know on some level it's wd, I would like to hear your experience.

 

Dear Hibari, 

 

The sweats were daily. It took me some time to realize that they are anxiety related. For a while I thought they were a weird comeback of menopause. Which was really strange, as I had finished with those some years ago. The sweats would

come suddenly and were really strong. If I was in the middle of a work meeting, it was quite embarrassing. 

 

Then I realized that with, or after the sweats I experienced either pit-stomach contractions, and-or palpitations. Those I could identify as clear signs for an anxiety tiny "wave". Once I understood that, I began to really look for the moment they begun, and I discovered it was usually related to some anxiety provoking thought, even a passing thought, that I hadn't even payed attention to. Or was provoked by something someone said at that moment.

 

So I realized my body was very finely tuned to my mind...and reacting to thoughts I wasn't aware of.  

 

At that point I began to apply mindful thinking and breathing. Every time the sweats happened, I deliberately began deep breathing (even quietly while in a work meeting), and saying inwardly: "I am sweating. I may have had an anxious thought.  Breath. It will pass..". I would completely accept the sweat, BE in it, sometimes not even wipe my face (which was admittedly difficult when in front of other people). But this accepting stance helped and slowly, the sweats stopped. I believe in my case they were totally related to anxiety, provoked by WD. (I never experienced this before.).

 

This is my case, but I guess there may very well be various reasons for sweats, though I believe they all lead to the main culprit - drug withdrawal.  

 

HOpe this information has helped. 

 

Notalwaysso.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
spacing

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks

Wow... thank you so very much for posting this update. It gives one hope that the "waves" will slowly diminish. I have been going thru a 9-day window and (just knocked on wood) hope it continues. I am almost thru Month 5, so I realize that there are probably more waves to endure but posts like this give me strength.


  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017, quit coffee October 2017, quit cannabis 😩 July 2018
  • Magnesium powder, fish oil, estradiol, kombucha, gluten/dairy/histamine-lite
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini practice

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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notalwaysso
On 30/08/2017 at 4:18 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

Wow... thank you so very much for posting this update. It gives one hope that the "waves" will slowly diminish. I have been going thru a 9-day window and (just knocked on wood) hope it continues. I am almost thru Month 5, so I realize that there are probably more waves to endure but posts like this give me strength.

 

Hi FarmGirl,

 

I am glad to be able to share some of my experience and know this helps others in any way. The waves will diminish. Meanwhile, not only enjoy your windows, but hold on to them as solid proof and evidence that good days DO HAPPEN and even if you have another wave, they will happen again, more and more. As was mentioned in this forum so many times, the waves get weaker and more distant. In my experience, month 10  was a dip, (this time I could recognize the trigger), and then - no more, for two months now. As I said, I keep a cautious attitude. Not sure I am out of the woods completely, but, feeling stronger and better. 

 

Be well and safe!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
spacing

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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Rose9

I'm in the thick of it now, and it is posts like these that keep me going. Thank you thank you thank you.


1999 on BCPs. 2000-2006 on and off Celexa & Lexapro.

2006 a stint on Wellbutrin, Prozac, Klonopin, ending in medical emergency

2006-2017 on and off Celexa & Lexapro; since 2010, therapy, DBT, mindfulness meditation, exercise, plant-based diet

Began taper off Lexapro Fall 2016 30 > 20 mg over two months (easy) ;  20 > 15 mg over two months (easy) ; 15 > 10 mg over two months (easy)

(Discontinued BCPs, huge lift in mood, drive)

10 > 5 mgs  over two months (easy) ; 5 mgs for 5 days (easy); 2.5 mgs for 5 days (flu-like symptoms began)

0 mgs 8/21-8/30, experienced debilitating vertigo, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, ear ringing, diarrhea, sensitivity to sound, head pressure, brain zaps; could no longer work/drive.

8/30 reinstated 2.5 mg Lexapro; relief within hours, symptoms much more manageable. 9/2 started omega supplement.

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Hellbutrin

Hi Notalwaysso,

 

I really needed to read what you wrote today. I recently completed my taper off of Wellbutrin and I think that I am going through the worst of it. I haven't had a pleasant window or relief from my symptoms in a while, so it starts to feel like I am going to feel this way forever. Hearing stories from people that have recovered from these drugs is tremendously encouraging. When you were going through your symptoms of withdrawal did you struggle with memory loss also? That's the main symptom that I'm worried about, along with anhedonia and feelings of depersonalization that don't seem to want to go away. Thank you for your dedication to supporting those of us who are still recovering from these drugs, your voice is powerful and encouraging. I don't have words to express my gratitude. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

  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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scottly9999

Hi NotAlwaysSo.

Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your experience... as although the forums are a godsend - we are all struggling together, and trying to support each other, but barely keeping our heads above water ourselves.

As invariably this happens when somebody comes online to post their recovery - here goes:

 

I really would LOVE to ask you about your depression and anxiety.

SHORT version of my history... you can read my thread if you like...

I'm 42 year old male.

When I was in my early 20's suffered with what was looking back depression and anxiety - it seemed really set in - and my withdrawal feels SO MUCH LIKE IT - I moved on, but never really resolved a lot of it.. my life picked up after some radical changes - lived in another country - met the girl of my dreams - started my family etc.

Moved back to Australia... everything was pretty good - wasn't perfect - but was mostly content.

Had a stressful period when daughter was young and work was extremely stressful.

GP put me on Lexapro..

felt blah for years... couldn't shake it - couldn't get my little moments of joy and contentment that I normally had daily - look forward to things, and just being at home with the family.. stuff like that.

Gradually that started to fade - and I felt worse and worse, in a yucky way I couldn't describe.

Had a thought - realized I THINK it's the Lexapro... 

While tapering I started to "wake up" in the emotions.

and just wracked with anxiety and depression swirling around each other - one dominating for a while, then the other.

I had what I THINK were almost a constant feeling of panic for a few months - that has eased back now.

It's almost as if my worst fears have been realized.

During my time on Lexapro I lost my Dad - BIG part of my life..

right at end of taper - lost my Mum... she wasn't well, but was still unexpected.

So the confusing emotions are playing havok with me currently...

is it grief?  delayed grief?

 

The thing that I struggle with the most, is a self of I have lost my identity somehow, like I'm not quite sure who I am now.

 

Can you describe what your depression and anxiety were related to?

Was it "real" to you?  Was it things you would have felt a *little* anxious or depressed about?

Or was it NEW things - that BECAME new fears or depression??

What I'm experiencing feels like a mix of OLD stuff, and NEW stuff...

 

Did you find you had to "resolve" them or just use mindfulness to accept them and they slowly faded?????

 

My current windows seem to be more of a slightly UP mood - as opposed to feeling normal.

I'm only 4 months into fully off Lexapro after 2.5 year taper.

 


2008 (approx) Lexapro 10mg.  2009 attempted cold turkey 5mg for 2 weeks - crash and burn.  2009 back on 10mg.

2012 - pooped out - but didn't know.   2014 - poop-out got worse.  2014 sept 20mg, 2014 oct 15mg, 2014 nov 10mg

2014 dec 7.5mg,  2014 dec 23rd crashed.  Dec 24th 10mg - trying to stabilize

2015 Jan Stabilized as much as thought I would, 2015 Jan 9mg, 2015 Late Feb, 8mg, 2015 late Mar 7mg.  22nd May 6.3mg

2015 small "slide" down to 6mg.  19th June 5mg. 15th Aug 4.5mg - slid down to 4mg.  Sept 20th 3.8mg.

2015 gradual decrease between Oct and Nov 10th to 3mg:  Dec between 3-2mg.  2016 Jan15th 2mg  Feb: 1.8mg, somewhere got to 1.6mg.

2016 Feb 25th crashed!  Not sure if sick or WD, back to 2mg.

2016 During March - gradual decrease to 1.8mg, then 1.5mg.  April 19th 1mg

2016 June 8th 0.8mg   July 1st 0.6mg:  Sept 0.4mg (long hold)

2017 Jan 0.2mg

2017 May 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAY

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notalwaysso

Hey Scottly,

 

I can really relate to your questions.  Had them myself. So here goes some of my thoughts. But try to remember that each person is so different, and one of the important things in the process of healing is to tune in really respectfully to your own way of doing it. Even if you don't know which way that is, you will find out. One of the big problems we have endured in life is people (doctors, friends, parents, etc.) telling you the "truth" about yourself, about who you are, or who you should be, what is good to be and bad to be.

 

Sadly, these opinions coming from outside often become solid truths in our minds, thus messing with our own personal and unique sense of how to live our lives. We get really confused by ideas of what we are "supposed" to feel and be. 

 

So much for a disclaimer...

 

Your write about "waking up" emotionally. That sounds really good to me! It means you are alive. One of the reasons I stopped the Lexapro was because I felt so flat emotionally. I didn't cry (something I really like to do when I am sad, or angry or watching a movie) for two years! I really missed that. 

 

So, firstly,  welcome your emotions. We all have them and need to deal with them, let them be and let them go. Although they are a mixed bag now, because of the withdrawal, I believe in the end it's a good thing. 

 

Now, about depression and anxiety which are withdrawal related: They are frightening, indeed! I had intermittent anxiety, panic, feelings of doom, depression, anhedonia, depersonalization and derealization. All of it. At moments I believed this to be the real new me. I felt I am going mad, was irritable, have crying attacks, at times became really explosive, had palpitations, the works.

 

As they suggest in this forum, please remember they are effects from withdrawal. Don't believe in them. Just try to relax as much as you can, in any way you like, and be patient. Those feelings are not you. In this forum they call them "neuro-emotions". Not even real emotions...

 

Then, of course, comes up the question "who am I, with and without the drug". Questions of identity. In my case, I did have previous issues related to separation (always caused me depression and anxiety, and mostly dealt with by ignoring them or suppressing them). Worked over the years on these issues, with partial success. The Lexapro came in after a major loss I had (someone really close to me died). What I discovered the past year, after withdrawal, is that, at the time,  the drug didn't let me FEEL and experience the grieving and bereavement. So indeed, during this year when feelings began to show in full technicolor, I got really panicky and overwhelmed. In fact, I had to go through a much belated mourning process.

 

Like you, I didn't know what is due to withdrawal and what is the "real me". 

 

And, as each and everyone of us has personalities, bodies, histories, losses and suffering, we all relate to withdrawal symptoms with our individual physical and emotional makeup. I had to pave my own path to restabilize, as I wrote in my first post. It took time, was very gradual, with quite a few setbacks. But always getting a little bit better and the crazy feelings getting weaker and less convincing.  The up mood you describe, well, yes, I would be exhilarated to have a few good days...it felt so good.  Then another wave would occur. And so on.  As I wrote above, in the first months after withdrawal I felt more anxious and panicky and the last three months I felt more depressed (I had "waves" of depression that would begin suddenly and then, as suddenly, clear)

 

So here are my insights  at this point:  It doesn't matter who is the "real" me. In fact, I don't believe such a thing exists. We just make it a solid idea in our thoughts. 

 

I believe what matters is feeling real in the now. Striving to feel real and alive, to enjoy ourselves and  our precious lives in our own special unique way - I believe that's the way to go. I think we all KNOW instinctively when we feel deeply content and alive. We recognize those moments (which are mostly just simple moments) and we need to hold on to them because they are our teachers and they show us the way. They tell you who you are, what you want, and what you need in order to thrive.   In other words, you can see this as an opportunity to learn to trust yourself and open up to who you are. Or, become your best friend. 

 

You asked whether I resolved things or used mindfulness to just accept. Well, I would reverse the order..:)

 

I found that when I really began to accept myself, my feelings, moods, thoughts, whatever and however they appeared,

things began to resolve themselves! So, in other words, I didn't need to DO something with some great effort. I didn't need

to RESOLVE, SUCCEED, ADVANCE, FIGHT, DEAL WITH, etc. I just had to accept myself at every given moment. To listen to 

whatever is going on with me with respect and acceptance (and gradually, with more self- love and friendship). Then things, very naturally and gracefully, fell into place. It became much easier to make decisions, to create a benign environment for myself, to let go of things and people that were making me feel bad.  That's when I stopped asking who I really am. I began to feel I  just am. It didn't have a name or a title, or a definition. But it felt very real and peaceful. 

 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write this. It is very healing to me to be able to see this process with 

some perspective. And  I do hope it contributes some hope and strength to your path. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
spacing

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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3birdsandrobin

Congrats! Wonderful story.


Injured from one dose of Zoloft 50mg 

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scottly9999

THANK YOU SO MUCH for replying with excellent descriptions.

 

The depths of despair and negative feelings in W/D are just so intense it's frightening - even as a grown man.

It feels so real, so complete - and you just can't *think* your way out of it... so you feel doomed to this painful, twisted existence forever.

 

BUT we do get small windows of respite that remind us that we are healing and getting better.

 

I completely agree with your statement about how our whole lives we are told WHO WE ARE - when in fact, we are who we are already.

 

And if what you're told doesn't MATCH with what you FEEL about yourself already - there is a choice to make, choose yourself, or choose the outside version?

 

I'd hazard a guess that nearly all of us have fallen into that trap of listening to the external voice - as it MUST be right if they're TELLING me.

 

Sometimes it's not even an external voice, sometimes its your OWN voice seeing differences in others - what they're wearing, what their life "looks like" and you compare to yours, and it's not good enough and different, and doesn't measure up..

 

Thats what has been plaguing me currently - as if I'm a bl00dy teenager again.

 

What I've been reading and during introspection is mindfulness and trying to get in touch with the inner me (currently blocked by severe anhedonia!!!) which makes the process quite confusing - as I don't have a strong inner guide currently.

 

Same conclusion with me with reason to stop Lexapro - the flatness was (is) unrelenting.  Which is something in myself I recognized as not right.

 

I remember a very specific evening (can't remember WHEN in time it was) but was sitting on the couch, late evening around Xmas time - being super bored, restless and just empty inside - I had just finished a game on Xbox I'd been playing on and off, but mostly not really enjoying it overly... and my wife put my daughter to bed, and I just wanted to goto bed and somehow not wake up... yet, I should have been quite happy and content... and I remember thinking at the time, I'd been this way for months and months and months...

 

The waking up process has been incredibly overwhelming - it feels like a lot of sadness and stuff I've missed while being drugged... so it's all with a tinge of melancholy and nostalgia - about things I shouldn't even BE that way over.

 

The one thing I have taken away from the whole process - is exactly as you have described, a level of acceptance.

Not take the feelings as truth - that they will pass, in their own time.

 

This first came from The Happiness Trap book - about acceptance and LETTING the FEELING BE - not pushing them away - but to have them flow.

 

It's harder than I thought - and I didn' trealize that a lot of the time when I was trying to breath in and around the feelings, I was trying to push them away - I didn't get it at first.

 

Still working on it.

 

The concept of "me" and identity - which I've struggled with for a few years now - while in my withdrawal, I'm pretty sure is really anhedonia.

 

it's hard to put a label on something that practically doesn't exist!!

 

Even just realizing this - is giving me a small sense of peace..  that once the brain wires up correctly for positive feelings (naturually occuring ones) then my "identity" will sort itself out - and I'll feel "me" again - it's nothing you have to put back together - it's the result of your brain / mind working correctly!

 

I'm listening to the audio book You are the PLacebo too - and it's talking about effectively changing your thinking.

 

Reading your post, it really does solidify in my mind that one of the biggest and most confusing aspects of this is the feeling of anhedonia.

 

It's those little things inside you that you can look to - but aren't there.

 

For years, after I met my wife - I felt complete, and whole.

 

I had an almost child-like quality about enjoying stuff, like computer games, tv shows, tech, gadgets, audio systems... lots of things... retro computer games, and arcade gaming.

 

I made new friends easily - as I was pretty enthusiastic about stuff.

 

The Lexapro blunted that - and it only got worse over time.

 

Sure it seemed to take away some of the blues, and mild insecurities, but gradually it eroded the GOOD stuff too - and started to get - what I NOW know to be mild withdrawal / tolerance.

 

I too have endured 2 massive losses in my life WHILE on the stupid drugs too.

 

Losing my Dad was epic for me - we were both so close and instrumental in each others lives.

 

So I can sense that my mind is trying to grapple with that grief.  The monumental shift in my world and trying to find my place in it again - on top of the nasty withdrawals.

 

It's an extremely difficult and challenging time for sure.

 

Thank you again so much for writing a lovely worded reply - it really was exactly what I needed to hear now.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
spacing

2008 (approx) Lexapro 10mg.  2009 attempted cold turkey 5mg for 2 weeks - crash and burn.  2009 back on 10mg.

2012 - pooped out - but didn't know.   2014 - poop-out got worse.  2014 sept 20mg, 2014 oct 15mg, 2014 nov 10mg

2014 dec 7.5mg,  2014 dec 23rd crashed.  Dec 24th 10mg - trying to stabilize

2015 Jan Stabilized as much as thought I would, 2015 Jan 9mg, 2015 Late Feb, 8mg, 2015 late Mar 7mg.  22nd May 6.3mg

2015 small "slide" down to 6mg.  19th June 5mg. 15th Aug 4.5mg - slid down to 4mg.  Sept 20th 3.8mg.

2015 gradual decrease between Oct and Nov 10th to 3mg:  Dec between 3-2mg.  2016 Jan15th 2mg  Feb: 1.8mg, somewhere got to 1.6mg.

2016 Feb 25th crashed!  Not sure if sick or WD, back to 2mg.

2016 During March - gradual decrease to 1.8mg, then 1.5mg.  April 19th 1mg

2016 June 8th 0.8mg   July 1st 0.6mg:  Sept 0.4mg (long hold)

2017 Jan 0.2mg

2017 May 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAY

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Hibari
On Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 0:08 AM, notalwaysso said:

 

Dear Hibari, 

 

The sweats were daily. It took me some time to realize that they are anxiety related. For a while I thought they were a weird comeback of menopause. Which was

really strange, as I had finished with those some years ago. The sweats would

come suddenly and were really strong. If I was in the middle of a work meeting, it was quite embarrassing. 

Then I realized that with, or after the sweats I experienced either pit-stomach contractions, and-or palpitations. Those I could identify as clear signs for an

anxiety tiny "wave". Once I understood that, I began to really look for the moment they begun, and I discovered it was usually related to some

anxiety provoking thought, even a passing thought, that I hadn't even payed attention to. Or was provoked by something someone said at that moment.

So I realized my body was very finely tuned to my mind...and reacting to thoughts I wasn't aware of.  

At that point I began to apply mindful thinking and breathing. Every time the sweats happened, I deliberately began deep breathing (even quietly while in a work meeting), and saying inwardly: "I am sweating. I may have had an anxious thought.  Breath. It will pass..". I would completely accept the sweat, BE in it, sometimes not even wipe my face (which

was admittedly difficult when in front of other people). But this accepting stance helped and slowly, the sweats stopped. I believe in my case they were totally related to anxiety, provoked by WD. (I never experienced this before.).

 

This is my case, but I guess there may very well be various reasons for sweats, though I believe they all lead to the main culprit - drug withdrawal.  

 

HOpe this information has helped. 

 

Notalwaysso.

It was very helpful. I believe sweats are Both physical and emotional.  The anxiety trigger resonates with me.  Thank you. 


Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper Total: .625mgai   26 May, 2019  4% taper Total: .575 mgai,   24 June, 2019 2.5 % taper  10 Clonzapam tablets weigh1.999 mgpw  Average  200 mgpw.  0.0073mgai 9AM, 0.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai, Total: 561mgai,  10 July, 2019 (Compounded pills) .0073mgai 9AM,.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai,

Total .561mgai   26 August, 2019 (Back to regular pills due to bad reaction) .0078mgai 9AM, .01075mgai 3PM, .360mgai PM, Total: .545mgai   26 Sept. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .1mgai 3PM, 0.350mgai PM: Total: .5275mgai   31 Oct, 2019 .0750mgai 9AM, .0925mgai 3PM, 0.340mgai 930PM, Total: .5075mgai,   30 Nov. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .0825mgai 3PM, .3325mgai 9:30PM, Total:.490mgai   31 Dec. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM,  .080mgai 3PM, .3225mgai 9:30PM,  Total: .4775mgai   31 Jan. 2020 .0725mgai 9AM, .0750mgai 3pm, .315mgai 9:30PM, Total: .4625mgai    29 Feb. 2020  .0675mgai 9AM, .0675 3PM, .305 mgai 9PM Total: .440mgai 31 March 2020 .065mgai 9AM,  .065mgai 3PM, .2925mgai 10PM, Total: 4225mgai  30 April 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM, .2775mgai 10PM  Total: .4025mgai 31 May 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625 mgai 3PM, .2526 mgai 10PM, Total: .3775mgai  30 June 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM  .2175 mgai 10PM Total .3425mgai.   31 July 2020 .0575 mgai 9AM .0550 mgai 3PM .180mgai 10PM Total .2925mgai  31 August 2020 .00475mgai 9AM, 0.0045mgai 3PM, .01475mgai 10PM Total: .2375mgai  30 September 2020 0.0375mgai 9AM 0.035mgai 3PM 0.110mgai 10PM  Total: .1825mgai

 

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate

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notalwaysso
On 8/31/2017 at 0:24 AM, Hellbutrin said:

 

Hi Notalwaysso,

 

I really needed to read what you wrote today. I recently completed my taper off of Wellbutrin and I think that I am going through the worst of it. I haven't had a pleasant window or relief from my symptoms in a while, so it starts to feel like I am going to feel this way forever. Hearing stories from people that have recovered from these drugs is tremendously encouraging. When you were going through your symptoms of withdrawal did you struggle with memory loss also? That's the main symptom that I'm worried about, along with anhedonia and feelings of depersonalization that don't seem to want to go away. Thank you for your dedication to supporting those of us who are still recovering from these drugs, your voice is powerful and encouraging. I don't have words to express my gratitude. 

 

Hi Hellbutrin

About memory loss - yes I did, but it felt mostly like lack of concentration and focus, or a feeling of fogginess. All of those are gone now. 

Had also anhedonia and depersonalization in a major way. These were very frightening, as I felt like a stranger to myself and also because

I was afraid they will be there for good. But they are gone too. Even if it feels like this will go on forever, it won't! Just be patient and trust the

process. In the meantime, be kind and respectful to yourself.

Best wishes for recovery!

 


2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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notalwaysso
3 hours ago, scottly9999 said:

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for replying with excellent descriptions.

The depths of despair and negative feelings in W/D are just so intense it's frightening - even as a grown man.

It feels so real, so complete - and you just can't *think* your way out of it... so you feel doomed to this painful, twisted existence forever.

BUT we do get small windows of respite that remind us that we are healing and getting better.

 

I completely agree with your statement about how our whole lives we are told WHO WE ARE - when in fact, we are who we are already.

And if what you're told doesn't MATCH with what you FEEL about yourself already - there is a choice to make, choose yourself, or choose the outside version?

I'd hazard a guess that nearly all of us have fallen into that trap of listening to the external voice - as it MUST be right if they're TELLING me.

Sometimes it's not even an external voice, sometimes its your OWN voice seeing differences in others - what they're wearing, what their life "looks like" and you compare to yours, and it's not good enough and different, and doesn't measure up..

Thats what has been plaguing me currently - as if I'm a bl00dy teenager again.

 

What I've been reading and during introspection is mindfulness and trying to get in touch with the inner me (currently blocked by severe anhedonia!!!) which makes the process quite confusing - as I don't have a strong inner guide currently.

 

Same conclusion with me with reason to stop Lexapro - the flatness was (is) unrelenting.  Which is something in myself I recognized as not right.

I remember a very specific evening (can't remember WHEN in time it was) but was sitting on the couch, late evening around Xmas time - being super bored, restless and just empty inside - I had just finished a game on Xbox I'd been playing on and off, but mostly not really enjoying it overly... and my wife put my daughter to bed, and I just wanted to goto bed and somehow not wake up... yet, I should have been quite happy and content... and I remember thinking at the time, I'd been this way for months and months and months...

 

The waking up process has been incredibly overwhelming - it feels like a lot of sadness and stuff I've missed while being drugged... so it's all with a tinge of melancholy and nostalgia - about things I shouldn't even BE that way over.

 

The one thing I have taken away from the whole process - is exactly as you have described, a level of acceptance.

Not take the feelings as truth - that they will pass, in their own time.

This first came from The Happiness Trap book - about acceptance and LETTING the FEELING BE - not pushing them away - but to have them flow.

It's harder than I thought - and I didn' trealize that a lot of the time when I was trying to breath in and around the feelings, I was trying to push them away - I didn't get it at first.

Still working on it.

 

The concept of "me" and identity - which I've struggled with for a few years now - while in my withdrawal, I'm pretty sure is really anhedonia.

it's hard to put a label on something that practically doesn't exist!!

Even just realizing this - is giving me a small sense of peace..  that once the brain wires up correctly for positive feelings (naturually occuring ones) then my "identity" will sort itself out - and I'll feel "me" again - it's nothing you have to put back together - it's the result of your brain / mind working correctly!

 

I'm listening to the audio book You are the PLacebo too - and it's talking about effectively changing your thinking.

 

Reading your post, it really does solidify in my mind that one of the biggest and most confusing aspects of this is the feeling of anhedonia.

It's those little things inside you that you can look to - but aren't there.

For years, after I met my wife - I felt complete, and whole.

I had an almost child-like quality about enjoying stuff, like computer games, tv shows, tech, gadgets, audio systems... lots of things... retro computer games, and arcade gaming.

I made new friends easily - as I was pretty enthusiastic about stuff.

The Lexapro blunted that - and it only got worse over time.

Sure it seemed to take away some of the blues, and mild insecurities, but gradually it eroded the GOOD stuff too - and started to get - what I NOW know to be mild withdrawal / tolerance.

 

I too have endured 2 massive losses in my life WHILE on the stupid drugs too.

Losing my Dad was epic for me - we were both so close and instrumental in each others lives.

So I can sense that my mind is trying to grapple with that grief.  The monumental shift in my world and trying to find my place in it again - on top of the nasty withdrawals.

It's an extremely difficult and challenging time for sure.

 

Thank you again so much for writing a lovely worded reply - it really was exactly what I needed to hear now.

Scottly

It is really tough to go through wd AND mourning for your dad and mom. I believe that unresolved mourning and separation issues are one big cause

for depression in the first place. So, maybe letting your heart feel all that sadness and loss is a way of finally finding your place in the world.

Strangely, accepting the inevitable fact of loss in my life made my living experience lighter and more precious and beautiful. 

In retrospect I can see that this bad trip had for me some major insights in it, and the seeds for a better existence. 

Take care and sending you lots of strength

 


2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 

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scottly9999
4 minutes ago, notalwaysso said:

Scottly

It is really tough to go through wd AND mourning for your dad and mom. I believe that unresolved mourning and separation issues are one big cause

for depression in the first place. So, maybe letting your heart feel all that sadness and loss is a way of finally finding your place in the world.

Strangely, accepting the inevitable fact of loss in my life made my living experience lighter and more precious and beautiful. 

In retrospect I can see that this bad trip had for me some major insights in it, and the seeds for a better existence. 

Take care and sending you lots of strength

 

 

Thank you NotAlwaysSo.

It does seem like I've been dealt a double-whammy for sure.

 

I guess I get so caught up in my inner dialogue in my mind - as we all do, but it's SO MUCH MORE intense and harder to shake in WD.

My obtrusive thoughts run the line of I think about my current life situation and think "i can't cope".

The situation being an only child orphaned, my lovely wife is under the weather - and between the 2 of us - no parents and her from UK - means no access to family to keep us company on the "special occassions".

It really does feel as if this is something I need to address as opposed to just a WD fear.

It is illogical though - as even the thought of going on a family holiday in about 6 weeks kinda fills me with a feeling of mild dread - being AWAY from everybody we know.

That doesn't make a lick of sense of me - and I NEVER EVER thought like that before.

So here I am on the round-about of my mind - thinking it's WD, then thinking it IS a real fear.

I'm leaning towards it's W/D!!!

<facepalm>......

Hey - just had a thought... in 12 months time I'll know!

It'll be like Christmas!.. except the wrapping paper will be slowly peeled off.

 

I do have some guided meditation I need to do that are about releasing grief... I'm expecting that to be quite painful and sad... and I haven't had the time to do them of late - even though I don't have a particularly busy life.  I work full time, and looking after the meals and daughters bedtime - so daily I'm busy.


2008 (approx) Lexapro 10mg.  2009 attempted cold turkey 5mg for 2 weeks - crash and burn.  2009 back on 10mg.

2012 - pooped out - but didn't know.   2014 - poop-out got worse.  2014 sept 20mg, 2014 oct 15mg, 2014 nov 10mg

2014 dec 7.5mg,  2014 dec 23rd crashed.  Dec 24th 10mg - trying to stabilize

2015 Jan Stabilized as much as thought I would, 2015 Jan 9mg, 2015 Late Feb, 8mg, 2015 late Mar 7mg.  22nd May 6.3mg

2015 small "slide" down to 6mg.  19th June 5mg. 15th Aug 4.5mg - slid down to 4mg.  Sept 20th 3.8mg.

2015 gradual decrease between Oct and Nov 10th to 3mg:  Dec between 3-2mg.  2016 Jan15th 2mg  Feb: 1.8mg, somewhere got to 1.6mg.

2016 Feb 25th crashed!  Not sure if sick or WD, back to 2mg.

2016 During March - gradual decrease to 1.8mg, then 1.5mg.  April 19th 1mg

2016 June 8th 0.8mg   July 1st 0.6mg:  Sept 0.4mg (long hold)

2017 Jan 0.2mg

2017 May 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAY

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Hellbutrin
10 hours ago, notalwaysso said:

Hi Hellbutrin

About memory loss - yes I did, but it felt mostly like lack of concentration and focus, or a feeling of fogginess. All of those are gone now. 

Had also anhedonia and depersonalization in a major way. These were very frightening, as I felt like a stranger to myself and also because

I was afraid they will be there for good. But they are gone too. Even if it feels like this will go on forever, it won't! Just be patient and trust the

process. In the meantime, be kind and respectful to yourself.

Best wishes for recovery!

 

Thanks so much for your response. Can you give a rough estimate of how long your memory/concentration and anhedonia issues lasted from withdrawal?


  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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gigi63

Hello Notalwaysso,  thank you so much for your wonderful success story and Congratulations!!!!  I am so pleased for you.  I would like to ask you about the insomnia issue.  If I may, was there a pattern? How long did it take for yours to regulate? And, what did you find helpful?  I cannot tolerate any herbs or amino acids. I was super sensitive before WD and even more so now.  Thank you and congratulations again.  I am praying your healing just continues to become more and more solid!!!  Gigi.  

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gigi63

Hello Notalwaysso, I see you did address part of my question already.  May I also ask, did you work full time through WD and recovery? And how was that?  Thank you.  

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Nena59

Hello Notalwaysso,

Thank you so much for posting. You give me so much hope. I feel stuck right now. I am in month 12 of withdrawal from almost 20 years of prozac and welbutrin. My anxiety is controlled, but anhedonia and depression are killing me. I do all the right things with diet, exercise (I've lost 15 pounds) yet I have to push myself to do anything. I sometimes get a little relief in the evening, but windows are not very long lasting. I have no joy really. Last week I laughed, it was so weird, it had been so long. I have been feeling like I will always be like this and then I read your post and all those that followed...thank you so much.

What particular meditation do you do, whole body scan? 

Thanks,

Nena


Oct 2016. 20 years fluoxetine (20 mg) and bupropion (400 mg). Ceased fluoxetine without taper and bupropion after 4 wk taper. Initial extreme fatigue resolved into moderate fatigue and depression with occasional brain zaps and tingling skin.
Oct 2017. Anhedonia, 90% of my day. Occasional anxiety. Milder brain zaps. In past two weeks, 3 window days and 11 wave days.
May 2019. Anhedonia, infrequent anxiety, mild brain zaps. Sleeping 6 hours nightly after lifetime of 8 hours. Typical daily pattern is wave until late afternoon, window until bedtime. Occasional full day windows.

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TheWayBack

Just read the thread. Gaveme a lot of hope! Thank you so much.


Origin of Panic Attack and Anxiety Disorder: Overdose of Hallucinogenic HOT-7.

2013-09 20mg escitalopram. In the 4 first months 0.5-1mg/day Alprazolam for sleep & difficult situations.

Tapered the first time from 20mg to 0mg in 17 months or so. Withdrawal 6-8 weeks after last dose. Didn't taper enough to low enough doses (+-1mg).

2015-01-02 Back on 10mg after one week of delayed withdrawal. Stable in 8 days.

Second time tapered 2 years from 10mg to 1.6mg. Stable for half a year in range 2.5mg-1.6mg.

2017-07-28 Measurement errors: went for 1-2 weeks on 2mg. Restlessness and anxiety. Tried back to go back to 1.7mg for 5 days. Anxiety stayed.

2017-08-03 - 2017-08-20 Switched to liquid Lexapro 20mg/ml (1 drop is 1mg). Updosed to 2mg hoping to stabilize. Horrible Panic and Anxiety. Hold for 17 days hoping to stabilize. Didn't work enough for me at the time.

2017-08-20 End of holiday approaching. No more time. Decision to up dose to 5mg escitalopram. Back to the pills. Tapering alprazolam.

A lot of side effects: Akathisia, more anxiety, very troubling sleep, every thought and movement gave me panic attacks. Worst time of my life. I did learn coping skills in this period. A lot. Mastering meditation, mastering floating technique and more Claire Weekes stuff... Can handle extreme anxiety pretty decent now.

2017-09-30 Going down again because holding got worse almost every day. ADVICE TO OTHER ESCITALOPRAM PEOPLE, if updose doesn't work in two weeks, go down again!!! WD is not as brutal as adverse updose effects! After every taper (while tapering pretty manageable, after couple weeks holding, akathisia and extreme anxiety came back)

2018-01-29 Got to ZERO. A hard way down for sure. And now hoping for improvements along the way... Tapering melatonin gave me dystonic reactions however.
14 months after zero: Alternating akathisia, dystonic reactions and WD. Very unstable. No meds whatsoever. 31 months after zero: dystonia got worse, still very high anxiety, and many symptoms... no healing in sight. Adverse reaction destroyed me.

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RachelSusan

Hello Notalwaysso,

Thank you for taking the time to write your story. It means so much for me to hear that others have made it to the "other side."  It also give me an idea of what to expect which is very helpful. Not that we will all have the same reaction, but if I have something similar I can at least say, Ok this is what Notalwaysso went through, and then it isn't as shocking.

Thank you again.

Rachel 


Find my story here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12649-rachelsusan-my-zoloft-story-on-off-reinstated-in-trouble/?hl=rachelsusan

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 100mg to 150mg Zoloft. 

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 19, 2017 reduced to 12.0 mg (4%).   Feb 9 2017 reduced to 11.0 mg (8%). March 1 2017 to 10.0 mg (9 %).  March 21 2017  to 9.5 mg (5%). April 1 2017  to 9.0 mg (5.3%). April 10 2017 to 8.5 mg (5.6%). April 22 2017  8.25 mg (2.9%). April 29 2017  8.0 (3.0%). May 6 2017  7.75 mg (3.1%).  May 14 2017  7.5 mg (3.2%). May 20 2017 to 7.25 mg (3.3%). May 27 2017 reduced to 7.0 mg (3.4%). June 10 2017  to 6.75 mg (3.6%). June 17 2017 to 6.5 mg (3.7%). June 24 2017 6.25 mg (3.8%). July 1 2017 reduced to 6.0 mg. July 8 2017 5.75 mg. July 15 2017 5.5 mg. July 22 2017 5.25 mg.  Aug 5 2017  5.0 mg.  Dec. 9, 2017  4.75 mg (5%).  Feb. 10, 2018 4.50 mg.   March 15, 2018 4.375 mg (2.8% decrease). April 3, 2018 4.25 mg (2.9%). May 14, 2018 4.125% (2.9%). June 16, 2018 4.0 mg (3.0%).  July 21, 2018 3.875mg. August 11, 2018 3.75mg (3.2%). Sept. 12, 2018 3.62mg (3.3%).  Oct. 13, 2018 3.5mg (3.4% decrease). Nov. 29, 2018 3.375mg (3.6% decrease). Jan. 20, 2019 3.25 mgFeb 16, 2019 3.125mg (3.8%). April 7, 2019 3.0mg (4.0%).  May 18, 2019 2.875mg (4.2%). June 22, 2019 2.75mg (4.3%)July 27, 2019 2.62mg (4.5%). August 18, 2019 2.5mg (4.8%). Sept. 14, 2019 2.375mg (5.0%) Oct.19, 2019 2.25mg.  Nov. 16, 2019 2.12mgDec. 7, 2019 2.00mg (5.9%). 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.

OTHER MEDICATIONS: Gabapentin - 900 mg since July 2016, Prednisone  5mg.  QVAR Inhalant,  Supplements: Vitamin D, Probiotic, and Fish Oil.

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC


REMINDER TO SELF:

I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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Jazz7099

I know this post is old but I've just come across it. I am currently withdrawing from Lexapro as well. In a day of desperation you have given me hope. I think your very brave to share your story and I just wanted to let you know that you have helped me get the courage to continue. Thankyou 


May to June 2018...Zoloft 25mg

June 2018... Cymbalta 30mg for 1 week.

August 2018... Mirtazapine 15mg for 2 weeks

August to Nov 18 Lexapro 7.5mg (included 4 week taper to stop)

Feb to Aug 2019 citalopram 20mg

Aug to March 2020 Lexapro 10mg. Including 12 week taper to 5mg. Then swapped to valdoxan for 2 weeks.

June 2020 until Present 30mg Mirtazapine.

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