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Salsawmn: Memory loss


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Hello All.  I used Lexapro and Wellbutrin for about 7-8 years. I've been med free for 1 1/2 years..I got off the meds b/c my memory was becoming horrible and I was losing my personality.  I still struggle with these 2 issues today and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this but has improved.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Salsawmn: Memory loss
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Salsawmn,


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), am glad that you found the site.  Happy to hear that you are off of Lexapro and Wellbutrin but sorry to hear that you are still experiencing symptoms from discontinuing these medications after all of these years.  


I've attached a few links with discussions on why this happens and how people have managed to cope with this troubling symptom years after discontinuing these drugs.  In my opinion, until more is known on how these drugs actually affect the central nervous system, they should be prescribed only in the most serious cases.  Unfortunately, it seems as though they are still being prescribed at an alarming rate and people aren't fully informed of the risks and unwittingly subject themselves to potential long-term difficulties after they have made the decision to discontinue them.  I think the pharmaceutical companies and the governments that allow these drugs to be prescribed should be doing a lot more research and avoid putting these drugs on the market until the long-term effects are better understood.  Unfortunately that isn't the case and all we can do is learn as much as we can on this subject and take steps to help cope with the results.  


I hope that you find the information I have provided below helpful.  


Dr. David Healy on Prolonged Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

Protracted Withdrawal is a Real Syndrome

One Theory of Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS / Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome - How long does it last?


Please feel free to connect with other members of the Surviving Antidepressants community by posting in their introduction topics/threads and if you have any questions or need further clarification, please post back here in your introduction topic and a moderator will be happy to get back to you.

Edited by baroquep

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Hi Salsawmn

I have experiented the same as you with memory loss and that my personality disappears. For the time i have been forced to take the medicication (one year and 9 months) I have completely forgotten how i used to be be and feel because of the memory loss and I have just been high on the medication. It has slowly been coming back to me the last months. How have you been withdrawing? Do you know anything about it? Please feel free to write to me if you dont understand what I say, english is not my original language.

Best wishes, Sara

When I was 15 years old i had a kundalini rising. It was a wake up call from what I had been my whole life, a person who always did what others told me to do and never loved anyone. I was a very scared child because my mother was always very worried. In december 2010 i got locked in a psychiatric hospital. I was there for almost a half year, they felt they could do nothing to help me. Then I got locked in again i august 2011 and got the strongest antipsuchotic drug there is, Cisordinol, its not allowed in the US. I was a zombie for one year, my psychologist said I had got a prefrontal lobotomy, that I had PTSD and the the only thing worse was war torture. My parents did nothing else than bullying me with the things i couldn´t. For a couple of years, I did nothing. I mourned over my life who I had lost and time flew as it does to those who had lost their sence of time. In december 2014 I was close to death because of the drugs. From around march 2015 things started to turn the right way for me, my near death experience was a wake up call for me, I was filled with love and accept and I met my boyfriend. I was also at a psychiatric hospital again from january 2015 to september 2015. When I got out I thought that now was my life starting to go the right way for me. I stopped with the medication from one day to another and it was the worst mistake I ever made. I was in withdrawal and I started to forget and it just continued to be worse and it still does. Along with that I got locked in again from january 2016 to may 2016. I had no other choise than to take medication otherwise they would let me do nothing. The place where I live now forces me to take medication, otherwise I cant live there and I have nowhere else to live. I had left my first boyfriend despite i still loves him and believes that we one day can be together again but I felt that he didnt understood what I was going through. I have a new friend/ boyfriend who I feel understands my feelings and that it is okay to be sad and frustrated. Whenever my mom is visiting me I just wanna vomit and thats one of my main problems. Please write to me if you find me interesting or you have experienced something similar to me.

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I'm also struggling with memory loss and bunch of other cognitive issues 2 years after quitting medication. I have bunch of other unpleasent issues and they are not improving. I sometimes feel hopeless.

Citalopram (Sepram): 2005 10mg, 2008 20mg, 2010 30mg, 2011 20mg, tapered 2012 for two months quit in August 2012, restarted Oct 2012 with 10mg, January 2013 20mg, February 2014 40mg, tapered in August 2014, quit in December 2014

Suprium: Oct 2012 50mg, cold turkey after one month, December 2015 50mg, quit March 2016

Xanax: Oct 2015 2mg used it when needed, quit November 2015

Opamox: January 2016 15mg 3x day, tapered in March 2016, quit April 2016

Tenox: 3 weeks in February 2016 cold turkey

Lyrica: One month in Spring 2016 cold turkey

Abilify: 2 weeks in Spring 2016 cold turkey

Mirtazapine: June 2016 - mid April 2017 cold turkey

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Same here .. memory is dumb after almost 2 yrs .

Past memories dont bring up feelings

08/13 - 01/14
Olanzapine, petril MD (Clonazepam ), Dicorate ER (divalproex). Soza 10 (Zolpidem)

02/14 - 05/14
Flunil ​20mg , Divaa OD 250 mg(divalproex), Amisulpride 50mg (1-0-2), zolfresh 5 mg , Quetiapine
05/14 - 08/14 Venlafaxine 75 xr ( 1-0-1), zapiz 0.25
10/14 Zaptra 12.5mg , Oxetol xr 150mg (0-0-1)
11/14 - 08/15
Paris CR 25 (paroxetine) , Oxetol xr 600 mg (0-0-1), nitrest 5mg , Quetiapine for a month.
09/15-11 Venlafaxine XR 75 ( 1-0-1), Mirtazipine 15, Respiredal 0.5, Lamitor 25, zillion 10.
12/15-02/16 Off Meds (C.T)

03/16-Mid April Sertraline, Aripropazole, Quetiapine, Etizolam.

After that : CT and on OTC supplements (Roadback), now on Ayurveda
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Thank you all for your responses. I'm truly saddened that we have all suffered the after effects of meds. I wish my psychiatrist had told me that memory loss was a side effect.  Though...I was desperate for relief at the time so not sure I would've cared. I have been med free for 1 1/2 years after being medicated for about 7 years.  Feeling good is ongoing battle. However, I do want to share some things that are helping:

I take a slew of supplements....I have been using Dr. Amen's product for the last 2 weeks and it does seem to put me on a more even keel. I also take fish oil, vitamin D3, B12 complex as well.  On top of that, I am taking herbs given to me by an acupuncturist.  Other things that have been helping...I do acupuncture 1x/week, hot yoga, and I've started meditating every morning before work for at least a 1/2 an hour.  I forgot to mention the Fisher Wallace Device...This device was of most service when I was having withdrawal symptoms from the meds.

I'm still not at 100% and my memory is still faulty...but I feel slow progress with regaining my personality dulled by the meds. I am hopeful and am "in it to win it" as I want to lead a productive life and want to be of service to others who are encountering similar challenges.  Keep the faith everyone.

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Same. Hard to remember exactly how I was except I know that it wasn't like this. used to have sharp, 99% photo graphic memory. now it's like half that. also forgetting some words at times, speech isn't as good as it once was. mind is really foggy

Risperidone - started at 10mg

Decreased to 1mg within the month

Abilify - started at 10mg

Decreased to 1mg

[Oct - Nov 2016]

Continued for approx. 2 - 3 weeks upon psych ward release

Invega injection one time

[Feb 2017]

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Hello Salsawmn. It's good that you are managing drug free. I'm sorry that your memory loss persists, and I hope that is the only remaining side effect and otherwise you feel you are you. I can't answer your question, but I wish you well and that this problem disappears eventually as your brain continues to recover. Baroquep, couldn't agree with you more... Even then, their use should be limited to very short periods as well. Good luck.

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