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Eric: Another Lexapro-er here


eric

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Hello all!

 

Details are in my sig, but here's the latest for me... in a nutshell... I think I'm on my way to recovery (knock on wood).

 

I'm well past the tapering stage and have been experiencing PAWS, although I didn't realize it until just recently (within the past couple weeks).

 

I didn't find this site until I had already experienced a LONG "wave", a "window" and very quickly another "wave." In fact, I had basically come up with a "windows/waves" theory of my own (although I didn't use those exact terms in my mind). Then I found this site which basically confirmed that I was on the right track with that viewpoint.

 

During the worst of it (which I hope has passed?) I thought that my mind was permanently damaged... somehow I reached a point where I "accepted" that and somehow things got better quickly then, to the point where I now realize that the damage isn't permanent, ha! Having now listened to Dr. Claire Weekes' theories, it's not as surprising. But at the time it seemed a "miraculously ironic" turn of events.

 

Currently "floating through" the waves thx to Dr. Claire Weekes' advice -- and enjoying the windows :)

 

There are so many helpful posts on this site that I don't think I need any specific advice (this is "window me" talking right now BTW). But I also know that I'm not ready to post a success story yet either. So I'm getting my Introduction post out there -- this thread might prove useful as the erratic waves / windows pattern progresses.

 

That said, I'm open to any advice anyone wants to offer up. On the flip side, I don't mind answering questions about my experiences so far, if there's anyone out there who wants some "misery loves company" type therapy... knowing that I'm not alone has surely been helpful for me!

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Eric: Another Lexapro-er here
  • Administrator

Welcome, Eric.

 

Thank you for being so willing to help. You might look around in the Introductions forum for other Lexapro taperers and share what you're learned.

 

Many people recovering from PAWS do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

How are your symptoms now?

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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Alto,

 

First of all, thank you SO much for starting this site. I'm not embarrassed to admit... I literally cried when I discovered it ~a month ago (33 yr old male here).

 

It was just such a relief to find that I wasn't alone with what I have been / am going through.

 

That said, things have been going REALLY well lately. Sorry for the delayed response BTW. When I'm feeling good, it's hard to prioritize coming here and reliving the awfulness of the past. But of course if it helps others, it's worth it.

 

I've only had a couple minor waves recently -- I wouldn't even categorize them as waves though, just fleeting negative thoughts. I just try to "float" through them instead of "fighting" them or fixating on them. Occasionally I'll have a few straight hours of low energy or "brain fog". But NOTHING like it was before.

 

Again, I don't feel comfortable saying I've fully recovered yet... but I set a calendar event for December (one year after last dose) -- maybe I'll come on and post a success story then.

 

For now, in the interest of time (and to avoid reliving the bad memories), I'll just say that Aeroman's post here: 

was a lifesaver because it pretty well outlines what I went through... in fact that was the thread that really brought me to tears. And as far as recovery, things seem to be playing out for me exactly like they did for Aeroman (maybe a little faster actually).

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post

Nice to hear your story Eric! Well done!

 

Positive news is so good to hear :-)

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Eric, 

 

Wanted to say hi to a fellow lexapro user .  I am glad to read a positive intro on your profile hopefully you  I'll continue to improve .  I also suffer from low energy actually more of a debilitating fatigue and brain fog .  I am viewing your thread on my phone and can't see your history.  How long were you on lexapro and did you withdraw slowly ?  Also, if you don't mind me asking - do you suffer from fatigue and dizziness ? These two are my biggest symptoms and I also get DP and DR .  

 

Hope all is well

 

04/10 Luvox 25 mg PM, Nortriptyline 1 mg PM

03/08/19: Buspar 2.5 mg AM, 5 mg PM

01/01/19: Xanax 0.125 AM 5 times a week. Occasionally, 0.125 twice a day AM & noon

12/18 Armour Thyroid 60 mg (for hypothyroidism) 

 

Supplements: B Complex, B12 (adeno), multi-vitamin, D, Adrenal Cortex, iron

  • Lexapro 20 mg 2007 - 2013 with various attempts to stop
  • 2013 found a new Dr and started trying other meds: Prozac, Notryptoline, Effexor, Buspar, Gabapentin, Paxil, Nardil
  • Lexapro 15 mg 2015 - 04/2016
  • Vibryiid 10 - 15mg 05/16-06/16 
  • NO MEDS 07/16 - 10/31/16
  • Reinstated 10/31/16 at 2.5 mg lexapro, increased to 5 mg   
  • 1/13/17 switched to Luvox 50 mg before bed
  • 1/20/17 Luvox 37.5 mg PM
  • 12/18 Luvox 10 mg PM, Nortriptyline 2 mg (started Nortriptyline 06/17 at 10 mg)
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Hi Blondie,

 

I am at work so this will be short, but just want you to know that yes, I did have awful fatigue and brain fog... Still do sometimes but nothing like it used to be.

 

Occasionally I would get dizzy, like walking up stairs, but nothing debilitating. I don't get that anymore at all.

 

I was on lexapro for 5 years and I did try to taper but probably not slowly enough.

 

Will check back later tonight and can be more responsive then.

 

Hang in there, you will reach a window eventually. Just be confident in that and otherwise don't think about it because ironically thinking about it may delay it. :)

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post

Oh I also went through a DP and DR phase fyi. And had suicidal thoughts briefly. 

 

It's scary stuff but it passes and then it feels like it was all a dream (nightmare).

 

But... It passes I promise. It just takes time.

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post

Thanks so much Eric .  I really appreciate your response it helps tremendously to know the symptoms I experience are typical to lexapro WD .  Have a good day at work and thanks again 

04/10 Luvox 25 mg PM, Nortriptyline 1 mg PM

03/08/19: Buspar 2.5 mg AM, 5 mg PM

01/01/19: Xanax 0.125 AM 5 times a week. Occasionally, 0.125 twice a day AM & noon

12/18 Armour Thyroid 60 mg (for hypothyroidism) 

 

Supplements: B Complex, B12 (adeno), multi-vitamin, D, Adrenal Cortex, iron

  • Lexapro 20 mg 2007 - 2013 with various attempts to stop
  • 2013 found a new Dr and started trying other meds: Prozac, Notryptoline, Effexor, Buspar, Gabapentin, Paxil, Nardil
  • Lexapro 15 mg 2015 - 04/2016
  • Vibryiid 10 - 15mg 05/16-06/16 
  • NO MEDS 07/16 - 10/31/16
  • Reinstated 10/31/16 at 2.5 mg lexapro, increased to 5 mg   
  • 1/13/17 switched to Luvox 50 mg before bed
  • 1/20/17 Luvox 37.5 mg PM
  • 12/18 Luvox 10 mg PM, Nortriptyline 2 mg (started Nortriptyline 06/17 at 10 mg)
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No problem!

 

Your history looks more complicated than mine, and obviously each person is different (withdrawal experiences and timelines will be different), but it's all about believing in neuroplasticity!

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post
  • 2 months later...

Wanted to post a quick update here to say that I'm doing extremely well compared to when I first discovered this forum. I would post more but I'm enjoying the holidays with my family :) Will try and post a more thorough update after the holidays.

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/24/2017 at 9:00 PM, eric said:

Wanted to post a quick update here to say that I'm doing extremely well compared to when I first discovered this forum. I would post more but I'm enjoying the holidays with my family :) Will try and post a more thorough update after the holidays.

Hi Eric,

 

I'm so ecstatic to hear that you are doing well! I look forward to your next update and I hope you had a stellar time with your family over the holidays :) 

  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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Thelongestroadhome

It is very encouraging to find someone who is doing well after withdrawing from Lexapro. No two stories are the same but it is always nice to read of a success story. It gives people like me hope!

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update: Still doing well here :) TBH I think I'm in a (relatively) minor wave right now. Thoughts of inadequacy, etc. But on the whole, things are good. It's just so hard to find time to really chronicle my journey, especially when I am feeling "normal" -- it's hard to prioritize this site over other (frankly more exciting) things in my life, haha.

 

So for now, just want to say, I am still here, and still recovering I think, but hopefully on the "tail end" of recovery now (shallow waves, long windows).

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post
Thelongestroadhome

Good to hear from you. Looking forward to the day when I no longer come here for advise or support.... mean that positively!!

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another quick update... I came back here after reading about the Florida school shooting :( (was just wondering if anyone was discussing it)

 

While I'm here, I might as well give another "I'm doing fine" update.

 

I feel that my memory, cognitive abilities, and energy are VERY close to what they "should" be. I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy ("imposter syndrome") and have to keep reminding myself that I am worthy of having self-confidence. I can tell I'm improving in that regard.

 

I remain SO much better than the "dark days" of last year. I'm feeling upbeat about the future, and looking forward to continued healing and self-improvement.

Sep 2011 - Diagnosed with GAD. Started Lexapro 10 mg. Helped with physical anxiety symptoms.

Nov 2013 - Mother passed away after 6 years of fighting rare neurological disorder.

Mar 2016 - Started tapering. Felt that the Lexapro was causing fatigue and weight gain.

  For whatever reason, I alternated b/w days, e.g. 10mg, 5mg, 10mg...

  Near end I was taking one 1.25mg dose every 2 weeks (not sure why I did it this way)

Dec 2016 - Finished tapering, Phase I acute symptoms weren't really significant

Apr 2017 - Phase II begins: depression, anxiety, fatigue, depersonalization, cynicism, brain fog, memory issues

Jul 2017 - First real "window" (lasted a few hours only)

Aug 2017 - Found this site

----

Shortening waves and broadening windows since. Lost 30 lbs. Outlook positive thanks to this site.

Link to post

great update Eric! thanks so much for stopping in to let us know how you're doing

 

Your story gives a lot of hope to people!

 

:)

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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  • 10 months later...

hi eric

I hope this finds you well and doing as well or better, if possible! than you were the last time you stopped in!

 

:)

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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