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☼ Thelongestroadhome: long road back with Lexapro

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Thelongestroadhome

I was diagnosed with post natal depression ten years ago. The psych put me on 10mg lexapro and told me to see him again two weeks later. When I went back he asked if I felt better and I said no. He put my dose up to 15mg. Two weeks later I went back again and answered the same question with another no. He put me up to 20mg. This continued till I reached the dose of 30mg. By that stage I had learned to lie....I told him I felt much better so that he would stop increasing my dose. I later learned that the recommended dose of lexapro is 20mg. 

 

After twelve months on 30mg I cut myself down to 25mg. Basically over the following years I did the same thing until I got down to 5mg. That was two years ago. That is when my problems began. Increased anxiety and ocd. No physical symptoms thankfully. But the anxiety and ocd is awful. I have read extensively and know my symptoms are withdrawal. There are definite windows and waves. I am currently at 2mg and life is hard. I honestly can’t see how I am going to get off this drug. The withdrawal sets in about one month after a cut and honestly seems to be endless in intensity. At this stage I am in no hurry to cut any further. 

 

During a window My anxiety and ocd seems laughable and I can’t believe how silly I have been getting upset about everything. But during the waves the fear and terror is so real. It is as though my central nervous system is damaged beyond repair. I live in a constant state of hyper alert. 

 

 

Edited by Altostrata
added screen name to title

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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Altostrata

Welcome, Longestroad.

 

Yes, you have withdrawal syndrome. Please stop tapering for now.

 

When was the last time you reduced Lexapro?


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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Thelongestroadhome

I reduced from 3mg to 2mg eight weeks ago. Anxiety has been intense for six of those eight weeks. The obsessive thoughts are constant, apart from when I sleep. I need at least eight hours of sleep or else everything is magnified in intensity. Lexapro has always made me very sleepy. 


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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Thelongestroadhome

I have always been a worrier but the anxiety and worry I am feeling now is extreme. I wake every morning in a constant state of panic. I hate this. 

I thought that by the time I reached 2mg It would be an easy stretch. I honestly can’t imagine how I am going to be free of lexapro. 


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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Altostrata

Welcome, Longestroadhome.

 

Since you are having withdrawal symptoms from reducing 1mg at a time, that amount of reduction is too much for you. 

 

If I were you, I would hold at your current 2mg for a good while and let your nervous system settle down. There is no need to rush off Lexapro.

 

How are you measuring 2mg?

 

We recommend a 10% reduction per month, calculated on the last dosage. At 3mg, a 10% decrease would be 0.30mg. That's how gradual a decrease should be at that level.

 

Please read

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
 


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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Happy2Heal
On 12/28/2017 at 5:43 PM, Longestroadhome said:

I have always been a worrier but the anxiety and worry I am feeling now is extreme. I wake every morning in a constant state of panic. I hate this. 

I thought that by the time I reached 2mg It would be an easy stretch. I honestly can’t imagine how I am going to be free of lexapro. 

 

Hi

I've just finished a taper off of lexapro, and I can tell you that the lower the dose is, the harder it gets. This is true for many of us (maybe most, I don't know)   

 

when you get to the lower doses, you need to go SLOWER!

if you do that, the symptoms will not be so bad.

 

I can also say with certainty that you CAN get off it, it will just take a bit longer, maybe a lot longer, than you'd hoped. But it's not a race, there's no prize for getting there quickly. Take your time and it will be a lot more manageable, ok?


 

do NOT do what I did, as you can see from my signature, I made all kinds of mistakes and suffered greatly because of those mistakes. I had acute withdrawal symptoms that lasted about a year, all because of going too fast!!! 

 What you can't see from my signature, however, because I deliberately left it out,  is that I was on psych drugs for approx 40 yrs. of my life, from the age of 18.

 I am now off all psych drugs and doing very well. I mention this  to give you hope and encouragement as you go thru this journey.  it's not pleasant but it's very doable. There are many others who have done it and are doing great now. 

 

if you read thru some of the other threads here, you will find that those who went SUPER SLOW in their tapers generally had the fewest symptoms and the easier time of it.  Everyone is different of course, but in general, slower is better.

 

 

I hope you're doing better today. There are ways to deal with the feelings you are having, there's several threads on here about self care etc that can help you.

 

 

 

 


  • 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, lamictalBrief 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 tapered 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 
 

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Thelongestroadhome
On 03/01/2018 at 5:04 PM, Altostrata said:

Welcome, Longestroadhome.

 

Since you are having withdrawal symptoms from reducing 1mg at a time, that amount of reduction is too much for you. 

 

If I were you, I would hold at your current 2mg for a good while and let your nervous system settle down. There is no need to rush off Lexapro.

 

How are you measuring 2mg?

 

We recommend a 10% reduction per month, calculated on the last dosage. At 3mg, a 10% decrease would be 0.30mg. That's how gradual a decrease should be at that level.

 

Please read

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
 

Thank you Alto. I will not be changing my dose any time soon. I realise that my cuts have been too big and have impacted me badly. 


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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Thelongestroadhome
On 05/01/2018 at 2:24 AM, Happy2Heal said:

 

Hi

I've just finished a taper off of lexapro, and I can tell you that the lower the dose is, the harder it gets. This is true for many of us (maybe most, I don't know)   

 

when you get to the lower doses, you need to go SLOWER!

if you do that, the symptoms will not be so bad.

 

I can also say with certainty that you CAN get off it, it will just take a bit longer, maybe a lot longer, than you'd hoped. But it's not a race, there's no prize for getting there quickly. Take your time and it will be a lot more manageable, ok?


 

do NOT do what I did, as you can see from my signature, I made all kinds of mistakes and suffered greatly because of those mistakes. I had acute withdrawal symptoms that lasted about a year, all because of going too fast!!! 

 What you can't see from my signature, however, because I deliberately left it out,  is that I was on psych drugs for approx 40 yrs. of my life, from the age of 18.

 I am now off all psych drugs and doing very well. I mention this  to give you hope and encouragement as you go thru this journey.  it's not pleasant but it's very doable. There are many others who have done it and are doing great now. 

 

if you read thru some of the other threads here, you will find that those who went SUPER SLOW in their tapers generally had the fewest symptoms and the easier time of it.  Everyone is different of course, but in general, slower is better.

 

 

I hope you're doing better today. There are ways to deal with the feelings you are having, there's several threads on here about self care etc that can help you.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Happy To Heal. It is good to hear from another lexapro survivor! I didn’t realise just how hard it would be once I hit the lower doses. I had it in my mind that it would be easy once I reached 5mg but it has not been the case. I will go on my computer and read your story. I am on my phone right now and it isn’t easy. 

 

Anxiety through the roof. Insomnia...that’s a new one. Just reading stories here to try to give me some hope that this too will pass.....

 

 


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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Altostrata

Don't forget, you could always updose slightly, to 2.25mg for example. This might be all that's needed to roll the tape back to when you were sleeping.


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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Thelongestroadhome
1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

Don't forget, you could always updose slightly, to 2.25mg for example. This might be all that's needed to roll the tape back to when you were sleeping.

Thank You, I had been leaning towards doing something like that. I just wasn't sure that it was a wise decision being three months since my last cut. I might give it a go.


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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Thelongestroadhome

Last night I slept better. I think in part it was due to the contemplation I did before bed. I am listening to a podcast by a Catholic priest on contemplation. Contemplation is the Christian version of meditation. Basically I used a word, a mantra, as a centring point and did some deep breathing leading in to a period of silence. I felt very calm. 

 

It it is easy to think that a pill will take the pain of anxiety away but from my experience it is a letdown. If you like feeling groggy and unmotivated, with little emotion about ANYTHING then take that path. 

 

I woke up up with heightened anxiety. It always scares me. But I quickly returned to my breathing pattern of the night before and it lessened in intensity rather quickly. It is still there but maneagable. 

 

Today I plan on listening to more of the podcast. Perhaps doing some watercolour drawings and basically trying to do th best self care I can in order to get me through this period. 

 

I hope everyone is doing ok. Love and 💡 


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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Thelongestroadhome

The anxiety really hit once I reached 5mg lexapro. I have battled it on and off ever since. Sometimes I wonder if it is a return to the real me prior medication. For twelve months prior to meds I struggled with severe anxiety. It was a build up of stress in my life. Meds did bring me relief from that but at a cost.... weight gain, lethargy, lack of motivation, lack of emotion. 

 

But I know what it is like to be happy, even through withdrawal. The windows come at regular intervals and they feel good. Right now I am in a wave and am finding it hard but remembering the windows gives me hope. 

 

I do do believe that we can wire our brains for happiness just as we can wire them for negativity. Long periods of anxiety often lead to depression so that proves to me that our thoughts can cause harm to the wiring of our brain. Therefore the opposite must be true, positive thoughts can change the wiring of the brain. Perhaps that is why Dr Claire Weeks teaching on acceptance and drifting through the process without fear or worry works. Not giving power to the thoughts! Not feeding them! And without food they can not grow. 

 

I belive Anxiety during withdrawal is more chemical in nature. Although I have always been a somewhat anxious person I have never experienced the intensity that is reflected in withdrawal. It is only when I look back during a welcome window that I can see it for what it is. 

 

So so my thoughts for the day are to try and not feed the monster within. By that I mean not googling symptoms, not entertaining the thoughts for any length of time, not sitting and dwelling. Contemplation, gardening, drawing, all tools at my side. 


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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Thelongestroadhome

Today I don't feel positive. I don't feel strong. I feel like anxiety is eating me alive. I can't believe that my cut was three months ago and yet the worsening of symptoms is hitting me now. Well I can believe it because it has happened before. I seem to survive the first two months after a cut and then suddenly the withdrawal hits. This time last year I was on 4mg Lexapro and now I am on 2mg. It doesn't sound much but for me it has been a huge drop. Right now I can't see me dropping again for a long time. I want to stabilise, to find some kind of 'normal' whatever that may mean. 

 

Health anxiety is my thing. I know it is withdrawal because it all makes no sense. I get the all clear from my doctor over one issue of concern only to find something else to worry about the next day..........sometimes sooner than that. I remember my recent fear of bowel cancer. I went through all the testing and everything came back clear. I was on a high until about forty five minutes later when I started thinking about another terminal illness that I could possibly have. It just goes on and on. I think the doctor is sick of seeing me. I have spent the year in hospitals having MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasounds of every part of the body. Nothing is wrong with me except for the FEAR of something being wrong. I am not living. This is not life. I live in fear and it is ruining my life.


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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Kristine

Hi LRH,  I have just read your thread and I am truly sorry you are suffering.  Just thought I'd say a quick hello from one Aussie to another.  I know you are struggling but you have come such a long way and you should be very proud of yourself.  Just try to hang on and ride this wave.  It will end.

 

27 minutes ago, Longestroadhome said:

I feel like anxiety is eating me alive.

😞 gee, that's a feeling many on SA can relate to, including me. Very powerful description LRH

 

I'm going to hit the hay soon...but I look forward to getting to know you. 

You are going to be ok. K 🌻


  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 -.31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg 
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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Thelongestroadhome

Hi Kristine

 

Thank You for your sweet reply. It is nice to meet another Aussie. I am glad that I am not talking to myself! I will check your thread shortly. 

 

This morning I feel better. The impending doom and gloom seems to have lifted. I keep going through everything, wondering what I did or did not do to cause such intense anxiety. I always  blame sleep. Sleep can be my greatest friend or worst enemy depending on the quality of it. I guess it is human nature to want to find an answer. But in withdrawal I don’t think there are any answers. No rhyme or reason to the ups and downs. I guess the brain is working hard at restoring itself...well that is what I comfort myself with. 


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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Thelongestroadhome

I need to write this down because if I don’t then I won’t remember this the next time I am in the pit of anxiety. Today I awoke and it feels as though a huge weight has come away from me. I look back at the dreadful anxiety of this past week and question why I was so fearful. I know the fear was real but right now it makes no sense to me. The dread and the terror has left. That convinced me that this is purely a withdrawal symptom. Something was happening in my brain, some major readjustment was taking place. 

 

Note to myself...... you will survive this. The dreadful fear does pass. It is not the new you. It is not a return of the original diagnosis. Hang in there, be strong and have faith in the process. 


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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Littlegrandma

Hi LRH

i like your attitude!!


Lex  4.3mg,  3/2/18  Ativan ,5 mg,  lunesta 2 mg , toprol  25 mg                                                            

 

Oct 16-28 2018 C/O to 19 mg V from 1.5 mg Ativan, 1.3 mg lunesta 

jan 22 2019- 11 mg V

jan 23 - pneumonia, 2 AB’s. 

    Hold taper

july 5- 10.72 V

July 6- 11 mg V- ugly bad

july 11- 10.72 mg V, 4.3 lex, 

              25 mg toprol

 

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Kristine
1 hour ago, Longestroadhome said:

Note to myself...... you will survive this. The dreadful fear does pass. It is not the new you. It is not a return of the original diagnosis. Hang in there, be strong and have faith in the process.

You are a wise lady LRH...you will do well ☺️ Thank you for your kind words on my thread. K 🌻


  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 -.31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg 
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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Thelongestroadhome
13 hours ago, Littlegrandma said:

Hi LRH

i like your attitude!!

Thank you Littlegrandma. I try to stay optimistic but it isn’t always easy. I find that if I can stay positive my day seems to run smoother. 


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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Thelongestroadhome
12 hours ago, Kristine said:

You are a wise lady LRH...you will do well ☺️ Thank you for your kind words on my thread. K 🌻

Thank you Kristine. It’s been a long journey with lots of ups and downs. Sometimes I can’t see the end in sight but have to keep walking in faith believing I am heading in the right direction. 


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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Thelongestroadhome

Recently I had a conversation with someone who found out that I was withdrawing from antidepressants. She expressed concern and told me that there was nothing wrong with taking medication. I think it irked her. I didn’t mean to sound judgemental but perhaps that is how it came across. 

 

Something she she said made me ponder.  She told me that she continues with medication because if she doesn’t manage the anxiety it leads in to depression. An alarm rang in my head! That is so true. And vice versa too. But I don’t think medication is the answer. 

 

If I don’t work hard on dealing with the anxiety I find that it definitely leads to depression. And fighting two demons at the same time is NOT good. 

 

Someone here mentioned a toolbox. A box full of tools to help manage the symptoms. My toolbox consist of :

1. Audible. An online Audible book  store where I listen to self help books. For me, being read to is much easier during withdrawal. 

 

2. YouTube. I watch Eckhart Tolle videos and other self help gurus. 

 

3. Watercolour pencils. I draw whilst listening to Audible. I find it very soothing. 

 

4. Contemplation. A Christian version of meditation. I am still a learner driver at this!

 

All of the above help me deal with anxiety. If I don’t use these tools then anxiety often rages dangerously high and leads to depression. Been there done that... not nice. Withdrawal anxiety is awful and sometimes the best of tools don’t help. It is not fail proof advise by any means!

 

I write this, not as someone who is free from the sufferings of withdrawal ( I am not!) but someone who has seen the benefits of a tool box to manage symptoms. 

 

 

 

   


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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Thelongestroadhome

At the risk of talking to myself again (which is what some would say is the first sign of madness) I am going to write down some thoughts in the hope that one day in the not too distant future when life is a bit brighter I can look back and see how far I have come. I said that with tongue in cheek. 

 

If I could go back in time and talk to the ghost of my past I would tell me to slow down. To not be in a rush to cut the medication and definitely not to make such big cuts. My biggest regret has been making such big drops because the subsequent withdrawal symptoms have been awful. I guess I can't be too angry with myself. I am still new at this. I used to think that going from 10mg to 5mg was a reasonably low cut. How stupid of me! that was when my problems began. So I thought I would make smaller cuts and go from 5 to 4 then 4 to 3 then 3 to 2. Insignificant is a word I think I used. It is NOT insignificant. It is HUGE. And those insignificant cuts have caused me a lot of trouble. I have been in a constant state of anxiety for three months since my last cut. Just 1mg. 

 

Every day is in survival mode. I survive the moment in hope of reaching the next moment. I try to distract myself. I keep busy. And finally in the evening I get my first window. Then I go to bed. And wake up to start it all over again. Intense anxiety. My nerves are on edge. Fear. 

 

I have a list of things that I want to try in the hope that they relieve some of the anxiety. One is a floatation tank. There is one quite close to me. The other thing that I want to give a go is acupuncture. But I am aware that one acupuncturist is not the same as another. I need to do some homework in that area. The only thing stopping me is money. Damn Christmas and overspending. I seem to spend every January in poverty recovering from the madness. That adds to the flatness of my mood, of that I am sure. 

 

I must reach out to others. Not be so insular. I know that when I feel bad it is easy to be self absorbed. I don't want to be that person. 


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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Kristine

Hey LRH,  I didn't see your latest posts. You probably did feel like you were talking to yourself!  Sometimes there are so many new posts/members that things get missed.  

On 17/01/2018 at 3:52 PM, Longestroadhome said:

Every day is in survival mode. I survive the moment in hope of reaching the next moment. I try to distract myself. I keep busy. And finally in the evening I get my first window. Then I go to bed. And wake up to start it all over again. Intense anxiety. My nerves are on edge. Fear. 

Yes, survival mode.  every single day....it's a tough gig 😞  I also feel a little better in the evenings.  I lie in bed wanting sleep to come....but there is a part of me that doesn't want to sleep because Morning will come faster with worse symptoms, and the thought of getting through yet another day can be overwhelming.  This is one of my ruminating, night time, thoughts which I have learnt to acknowledge as just a 'thought' and then turn my attention to my breathing. Much more calming!

On 17/01/2018 at 3:52 PM, Longestroadhome said:

I have a list of things that I want to try in the hope that they relieve some of the anxiety. One is a floatation tank

That sounds intriguing! Have you tried this yet? I'd be interested to hear about your experience.

On 14/01/2018 at 10:20 AM, Longestroadhome said:

Someone here mentioned a toolbox. A box full of tools to help manage the symptoms. My toolbox consist of :

1. Audible. An online Audible book  store where I listen to self help books. For me, being read to is much easier during withdrawal. 

 

2. YouTube. I watch Eckhart Tolle videos and other self help gurus. 

 

3. Watercolour pencils. I draw whilst listening to Audible. I find it very soothing. 

 

4. Contemplation. A Christian version of meditation. I am still a learner driver at this!

This was lovely to read LRH.  It is so important to find whatever coping tools work for you.  I've been listening to podcasts but I hadn't thought of audio books..great idea...thank you for sharing 🙂  I love to draw as well but my hands shake too much at the moment and the creativity is out the window!!!

 

How have you been feeling for the past few days?

K 🌻


  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 -.31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg 
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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Thelongestroadhome

Hi Kristine, thank you for visiting! Your words mean a lot to me, it is nice to talk to someone other than myself!!

 

Has a good weekend which was very much appreciated. Terrible sleep last night due to the awful heat wave we are having. Got woken up at 5.00a.m by my daughter ringing to tell me her water pipe in the bathroom had burst. Her husband walked out on her two months ago and life has been rocky for her. 

 

I awoke suddenly and my CNS is going crazy right now. I am on hyper alert with fight or flight in full force. Sick feeling in my stomach. My son just came in to tell me he feels sick so that has added to my emotions. I literally can’t seem to deal with anything at the moment. I am neither use nor ornament to anyone wanting my support. 

 

I will turn on my Audible and listen to the calming monk... his voice often works wonders. 


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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Thelongestroadhome

 


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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Thelongestroadhome

Thank God for windows. Friday was dreadful, by far the worst day I have had in a long time. Literally thought I was going to break down with the debilitating anxiety. Saturday morning I woke and the heavy weight had lifted. I felt happy with an inner sense of peace. How can you go from feeling so bad to feeling normal in the space of 24hrs? 

 

The windows are so refreshing. I imagine it  as though after a heavy period of intense work by my brain in its recovery it takes a break and allows me to recuperate. Some much needed respite. Of course I know this time will end and once again I will be thrown in to chaos as the work recommences but at least I can remember the windows. 

 

It can only be withdrawal healing. There is no other explanation for this crazy roller coaster I am on. 

 

Sometimes I spend too long trying to connect the dots. Looking back and wondering what I ate or didn’t eat, what was different in my daily routine. As if there were an answer to the madness! I have a draw full of supplements that I wasted my money on over the years in an attempt to heal myself!  These days I take nothing.... zilch. 

 

I try try to eat well every day, even on days where I don’t want to get out of bed. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and feel it benefits me to do so. I try to keep moving, I walk and cycle. I go to church as often as I can because it gives me a sense of comfort. 

 

Anyway, I am waffling! But this is my journal and one day I hope to look back and see how far I have come.  Perhaps my story will help others in the future.... I really hope there is a happy ending. 


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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Thelongestroadhome

As a lifelong vegetarian ( religious and ethical) I am unable to take fish oil. From what I have researched a good source of EPA is where fish get their EPA.... sea plants. Algae Omega. Not cheap though. 

I found a good vegetarian option on iherb.  Any opinions? Please don’t tell me I have to take fish oil, I simply can’t. 

Turns out, there is a sweet spot: between 1000 mg and 2200 mg of unopposed EPA per day. One study noticed benefits with just 200 mg of unopposed EPA per day.

Too much unopposed EPA, and no benefit.

702210D7-D2E8-4403-8902-98AAEDC244CB.png

2DAB4C88-4FF3-440D-BA96-058667ED1D59.jpeg


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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brassmonkey

Flax seed oil. Vegetarian and just as good as any fish oil, if not better.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thelongestroadhome
4 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

Flax seed oil. Vegetarian and just as good as any fish oil, if not better.

Flax seed oil! I eat a lot of flax seed in my diet. Much cheaper too! Does it contain the necessary EPA.... must research!


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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Thelongestroadhome

Making a note of current symptoms for my own benefit....

 

#Intrusive thoughts.... 

#high cortisol mornings

# aching feet

# sore joints on waking

# pounding heart  in the early evening

# can’t get to sleep. Toss and turn for hours

# blurry eyes ( had them tested.... nothing wrong)

# forgetful, tell the same story to people who have already heard it

# episodes of vertigo. Last one in November. 

 

 

 


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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Thelongestroadhome

Not sure if all of the above listed symptoms are from withdrawal but wrote them down anyway. Will be interesting to see if they leave eventually. 

 

I am 15 months sober in a few days. I am a recovering alcoholic. I am ashamed to say that I used alcohol to help me cope with LIFE. Obviously the AD weren’t doing a good job 😝  I started drinking shortly after being diagnosed with generalised anxiety and post natal depression. I increased my drinking to the point where I am too ashamed to tell anyone how much.. but it was a lot. I started having memory blackouts which scared the hell out of me. I was becoming aggressive. I tried to stop a number of times but failed. Then 15 months ago I tried again and thank God I am here today telling my story. 

 

They say say that alcohol withdrawal is associated with PAWS. I found the first six months very hard but nothing compared to lexapro. 

 

Alcohol is a lousy lover. Yes, it makes you feel better initially but then comes back to haunt you three or four hours later. Increased anxiety is the after effect! The thing you want to conquer comes back to hit you on the head. 

 


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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Kristine
4 minutes ago, Longestroadhome said:

Not sure if all of the above listed symptoms are from withdrawal but wrote them down anyway. Will be interesting to see if they leave eventually. 

Hi LRH,  I have everything on your list but they increase and decrease in intensity and some symptoms have stopped altogether.  

6 minutes ago, Longestroadhome said:

I am 15 months sober in a few days. I am a recovering alcoholic. I am ashamed to say that I used alcohol to help me cope with LIFE. Obviously the AD weren’t doing a good job 😝  I started drinking shortly after being diagnosed with generalised anxiety and post natal depression. I increased my drinking to the point where I am too ashamed to tell anyone how much.. but it was a lot. I started having memory blackouts which scared the hell out of me. I was becoming aggressive. I tried to stop a number of times but failed. Then 15 months ago I tried again and thank God I am here today telling my story. 

Congratulations!!!  Many of us have used alcohol to cope with LIFE.  It is also such a sociably acceptable part of the Australian culture. Nowadays there is a bottle shop on every street corner.  It is hard to escape from...you should feel very proud of yourself!!

 

Sending you Hugs

K 🌻


  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 -.31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg 
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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Thelongestroadhome

Thanks K 💖 it sure is socially unacceptable not to drink in Australia. I think one day the dangers of alcohol will be more widely recognised and hopefully advertising and promoting it will decrease. My husband sees the devestating results of children born to mothers who drank throughout pregnancy (social worker) 

Nice to talk to someone other than myself! Thanks K for popping in. 


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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Kristine
On 29/01/2018 at 12:38 AM, Longestroadhome said:

Thanks K 💖 it sure is socially unacceptable not to drink in Australia. I think one day the dangers of alcohol will be more widely recognised and hopefully advertising and promoting it will decrease. My husband sees the devestating results of children born to mothers who drank throughout pregnancy (social worker) 

Nice to talk to someone other than myself! Thanks K for popping in. 

Hey LRH,  I'm so sorry I just saw this post now.  Thank you for the sparkly love heart! It helped me smile!  Your husband has a tough gig...total respect to him.  I have worked with many social workers...this world is so terribly broken but I'm sure he also sees the incredible strength of humanity shining through. How are you travelling? Love to you. K xo


  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 -.31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg 
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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Thelongestroadhome
12 hours ago, Kristine said:

Hey LRH,  I'm so sorry I just saw this post now.  Thank you for the sparkly love heart! It helped me smile!  Your husband has a tough gig...total respect to him.  I have worked with many social workers...this world is so terribly broken but I'm sure he also sees the incredible strength of humanity shining through. How are you travelling? Love to you. K xo

Thank you K for always being so supportive and sweet. I don’t really get any comments on my thread from other members so it is always nice to see you here. 

 

I think most people here are so caught up in their own pain that it is hard to reach out to others. I understand. The reason I continue to write is that I believe that one day I will heal and my story will be here to encourage others. 

 

I am travelling ok at at the moment. The anxiety has lessened but been replaced by a depressive state. I seem to struggle through most days with low energy and a general feeling of apathy. Happiness seems to be alluding me. Usually I am someone who always looks to the future with positivity but can’t seem to do that right now. There are a lot of real life situations which are difficult and probably contributing to how I am feeling. 

 

I am re watching Game of Thrones from season one. There is a lot of drinking wine in the show, especially in Tyrion’s role. I find it quite triggering. Every time he sips his cup I find myself wanting a drink. I know I won’t do that but it surprises me that the temptation is still within me. 

 


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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Happy2Heal

hi LRH, 

I am sorry I haven't come back to your thread til now

 

you are doing a fantastic job, assembling a toolkit to help you thru the symptoms and giving yourself positive self talk

 

also congratulations on your sobriety.

 

you are going to get thru this. It can be very lonely at times. I am glad you are continuing to write, it does help others who read it, I'm sure.

yes many who are going thru this don't have the energy to respond, it's the sad truth of how hard withdrawal/recovery can be.

 

I am one of those ppl who could not take fish oil, it made me extremely anxious. I do eat ground flax seed and during the past year, I've eaten fish but am now trying to go back to being vegan. I sadly found that I felt better when I added fish and eggs to my diet and at a few very bad spots, when I was losing so much weight, so fast, I needed to eat meat to slow down my digestion. I can't explain it any other way. Meat seems to sit in my intestines and muck everything up- it always has. I had terrible issues with constipation when I ate meat in the past. I am an ethical vegan and it was hard to eat meat, but I was so sick and had to do something to get thru it.

 

sorry this is kind of scattered... I will try to come back to your thread more often and keep you company ok?

 


  • 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, lamictalBrief 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 tapered 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 
 

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