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RandyJames: need support

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RandyJames

Hello everyone.  I'll try to organize this as best as I can.  There is a lot going on. 

 

I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36.  Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare.  Absolute pure hell.  I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel.  Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve.  I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac.  I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago.  I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago.  I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse.  My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness.  I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7.  I am so depressed and fearful all of the time.  I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me.  It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. 

 

My doctor wants to take me off  the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro.  The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in.  I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case.  I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta.  My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together.  It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill.  There were so many. 

 

I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come.  If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen.  I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare.  If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again.  If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain.  The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia  and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac.  I don't want to go through this again!  Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar.  Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well.  I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated.  It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed.  Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't.  I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. 

 

I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope.  I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get!  I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then. 

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AliG

Hi James. Welcome to SA. I'm glad you found us and shared your story. Before we go much further, could you please do a drug history signature? This appears below each of your posts and enables members and mods to see your situation at a glance.

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

I'm sorry for what you have been through but often doctors have no real clue about withdrawal or safe tapering ~  it's always best to keep that in mind throughout this process.

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RandyJames

Hi everyone. My name's Randy and I'm 45.

 

I don't know how to make this short but I'll try my best.  I posted here once or twice in 2017 when I quit my Prozac CT.  Had bad withdrawal and tried going back on it with no effect.  I was here at that time asking for advice as my psychiatrist wanted to try me on Lexapro again.  I ended up starting the Lexapro and after 2-3 weeks it worked to stop withdrawal but I was never great.  I have remained on Lexapro since but in early February I began to slowly feel the withdrawal feelings creeping back. 

 

I started waking up with that feeling of icy dread and began having the same kind of cognitive problems, forgetting every little thing, word finding and total brain fog.  I can not enjoy a single thing and the worst is interactions with my loved ones as they are bringing me no comfort as they normally would and it makes me feel so isolated and sad.  It has progressed and I am having anxiety all day and feel like I am back in withdrawal land, though not as bad as before when I had no SSRI's in me.  But I am already in hell again.  I bumped my Lexapro up 3 days ago from 20mgs to 30 to see if I can stabilize.  No help yet.  I am way to tolerant and I fear it wont give me any relief and only make my coming taper all the worse.  

 

I also have tons of non medication issues going on.  I lost both my parents in 2017.  my Dad in march and my mom in December.  My Prozac withdrawal occurred right before she passed and I had to go through that while in full withdrawal and set up the funeral and deal with the lawyer.  Utter hell.  My wife and two children were living with my parents since around 2012 as my first withdrawal from 16 years of Restoral and 2 years of Cymbalta left me wrecked and unable to work.  My drug signature can give a timeline for this.  We had to sell the house as we needed the money and we need to be out in late april and move into a temporary apartment until me can find and buy a house in Portland Or.  We live in San Jose Ca and have for our whole lives. We can not afford to live here as it is so expensive and I am not working.  Thankfully the home sold for a good amount as home prices have skyrocketed here so we will at least have some finances for awhile.  I have to get well before they run out.  My Daughter is graduating from Highschool in June and we can't move until after that but then it has to be quick and I need to be functioning.  I am terrified of moving and the future.  I am so worried for my family and feel so much guilt and sadness.  

 

So I am currently at 30 mgs of Lexapro and am already feeling the tolerance withdrawal symptoms.  I Know that I can not keep going like this and that I will have to come off of them.  I am hoping to get to a somewhat better place by bumping up the dose and then once we have moved in June and have settled in to start weening.  My biggest fear is how bad the process is going to be since I am feeling this bad while still on the pills.  When I start to decrease the dosage, especially as I get way down I feel I will be destroyed.  I am so afraid I can't even express it adequately.  I need to get well for my family.  I love them so much.  My poor wife has dealt with my medication issues for so long.  When I came off the benzos and Cymbalta in 2009 she went through hell with me but stuck it out.  We are each others best friends and she lost me for so long.  I hate to put her through all of this.  She doesn't deserve it and neither do my kids.  

 

I just need some support from people who know what this is all like and are going through it themselves.  Any stories of getting through it especially from people who had tolerance withdrawals like I am would be greatly appreciated.  I am going to stay with this site as I try to reclaim my life.  When I was in Benzo withdrawal I was on a similar site but its been so long I can't remember which one it was but It helped to be with people who were struggling with the same thing. 

 

One thing I have to add is that when I came off benzos I also came off 2 years of Cymbalta and I never really attributed any of my symptoms to the Cymbalta but looking back with more SSRI withdrawal experience I have to say  a lot of it was most likely the Cymbalta and as going on Lexapro 2 years into that withdrawal helped so much that I think I beat the Benzos along the way but the Cymbalta WD just stayed.  that was for 2 years and a couple months and it never stopped.  I am terrified that when I get off these meds I'll be ruined.  I know everyone is afraid of the same thing.  I also know I am in the right place here and really need some support guys. 

 

Thanks

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RandyJames

just noticed this typo in my post

 

"My wife and two children were living with my parents since around 2012 as my first withdrawal from 16 years of Restoral and 2 years of Cymbalta left me wrecked and unable to work."

 

I meant to say that my wife and I and our kids were living with my parents.  My wife and I have been together for 25 years and married for 18.  We have never been apart and god forbid ever will.  She is so amazing and I could never be without her or my children.  

 

"

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RandyJames

Hi all.  I am basically new here as I only posted once in late 2017 when I was in withdrawal from Prozac.  Going back on the Prozac did nothing to stop it and I listened to my doctor and tried switching again to Lexapro which is what I was on before switching to Prozac.  It helped after couple of weeks or so but never like before. I have remained on Lexapro 20mgs ever since and since February have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms again.  I have been through withdrawal twice now and I know the feeling.  I didn't miss any doses at all either.  To combat this my doctor put me up to 30 mgs 3 days ago and so far it hasn't improved.  I am having tons of anxiety; especially in the morning,  lots of brain fog and no concentration as well as anhedonia.  I just can't enjoy a single thing and feel really cut off from the world.  I can't stand not feeling like I am me While the times I tried to quit this crap were much more intense with more symptoms, what I'm going through right now while not having stopped at all is still really bad.  My goal at this point is to try and see if the increased dose of Lexapro will help me stabilize enough to get me through the coming couple of months while we move to a new state, and then to taper off very slowly.

 

My question is, do any of you guys have experience with feeling withdrawal even while not messing with your dose at all?  If so did any of you get any relief by raising your dose as I am trying.  I am very afraid that I am just so tolerant at this point that raising it will not have any benefit and will just make it harder for me to taper down as I will have more of it in me.  Also If the raised dose doesn't work I will still be tolerant to the point of feeling WD symptoms while on the meds then having to go through a taper which I can only assume would be extra intense because if while being on the meds is this bad, what will the taper and eventual 0mgs be like?  OMG it scares me so much.   The cognitive issues I am having even now are driving me nuts.  I'm so sick of all of this crap.  I'm trying to be positive but it's really hard.  The only thing that gives me hope is that unlike my other two times trying to quit the ADs I didn't taper them.  This time I most certainly will taper them but with the tolerance I just don't know.  

 

Thanks and I'm sorry everyone here is going through all of this.

 

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Altostrata

Hello, Randy.

 

I am sorry you're still going through this. When do you take Lexapro? How has increasing the dosage to 30mg affected you?

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RandyJames

Hi Alto. Thanks so much for helping.  I will keep my response much shorter than this in the future.

 

I am taking my Lexapro at night like I always have.  I upped the dose from 20 to 30 mgs 4 days ago.  I don't feel like it has helped at all and in fact I am feeling more anxious.  Since February when I started feeling my WD symptoms coming back the one thing I had going for me was that once I was asleep I slept pretty well if it was quiet until the morning when awakening feels like a startling adrenaline rush.  Last night however I woke up 2 times and thought I would have a panic attack.  I didn't get much sleep last night at all.  In the past when I have been completely off the meds I had terrible sleeping problems and would wake up with my arms and legs, even my torso jerking pretty hard and get at best a couple of hours sleep, sometimes none.  It isn't that bad yet but I am still on the meds and am so scared of how bad it will get when I am tapering and then completely off of them.  I need to make a post about all of the symptoms I have had during my previous WD experiences.

 

With the way the pills have pooped out on me I fear that when I begin my taper there will be no safety net of reinstating because they just don't work anymore.  I may be being too pessimistic but I feel like I am in for a worse time going off them than I have experienced the other two times.  I have so much coming up as well and my family needs me.  That is the biggest stressor outside of the meds.  My family deserves a father and husband that can function.  After my first WD from benzos and Cymbalta I didn't work for close to 3 years.  I am an artist and I just couldn't create or even keep my hands from shaking and then I basically just went bed ridden for 2 full years except to go to numerous doctors to see what the hell was wrong.  Then after 2 years I started taking Lexapro and improved and I started creating and selling my work again and worked at Whole Foods until my father got dementia in 2015 and could no longer drive or even take care of himself or my mother who on top of heart failure and diabetes wound up with lymphatic leukemia and had never drove in her life so I quit my job to care for them.  We were already living with them for a year into my WD so at least I was there for them at the end.  But I really didn't work on much art at the time and now I am back to where I just can't even create anymore.  Since February my ability to think creatively is totally gone again as I am having brain fog and racing thoughts and am simply cut off from feeling anything other than anxiety and worry.  We have sold the house and are moving out in late April into an apartment until my daughter graduates Highschool in June and before then my wife and I have to go up to Portland to find a new house.  After that I intend on tapering off of the meds.  I will be wrecked while I need to be there for my family as they settle in to the new life.  During all of this I will be there but I wont either as I am just not even in my own head if that makes sense.  I want to be able to experience this as myself not as the way I am.  When I come off the pills I will be in a really bad way and this is how we are going to start in our new lives.  It's a nightmare.  

 

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RandyJames

Topic title:  Feeling really hopless right now

 

Hi all.  I have been having tolerance WD from my Lexapro 20mgs since Early February and my doctor upped it to 30mgs 4 days ago.  His plan is to attempt to stabilize me at 30 mgs and then to slowly taper me off completely.  I have been in withdrawal 2 times over the years but have never experienced it while remaining at a dose that was "normal".   I fully recognize these feelings from both WD's I went through.  I feel really afraid and can't even imagine the future from here.  

 

I am currently having bad morning anxiety; waking up in a start with a rush of adrenaline.  Very negative and fearful thoughts.  Anxiety throughout the whole day but less than upon waking and sometimes less in the evening as well.  Complete lack of enjoyment in anything.  I feel no comfort from anything.  I feel cut off from my wife and kids because my emotions aren't working right.  I am sort of lightheaded.  All of this and I have not only stayed at the same dose but actually increased it 4 days ago.  

 

The two times that I actually came off SSRIS and experienced withdrawal I went CT both times.  The symptoms slowly kicked in in a delayed fashion both times and were more intense than I am experiencing right now.  At those times I had the brain zaps really bad as well as bad head swimming.  I cried a lot.  I had constant inner restlessness; extra bad during my first withdrawal from Benzos and Cymbalta when it got so bad I rocked constantly even while laying down.  I could barely sleep at all and would wake up from my arms legs and body jerking really hard.  I had muscle twitches all over the place that would go on and on.  The feelings of dread and hopelessness were excruciating.  Terrible cognitive problems and practically no concentration.  Very sensitive to noise and smells.  From the benzo WD I also had a lot of nerve pain and a feeling of almost like electricity running through my body causing a very weird feeling that was there for the first year or so.  I was basically in bed or on the couch for 2 years straight.  I should have fought harder I'm sure but I was so sick.  

 

Can anyone tell me if it is likely to feel some kind of relief soon from increasing from 20 to 30mg?  It has only been 4 days so far so I'm trying my best to feel hopeful but it's pretty hard right now. I am so fearful as even if I do get some relief I will still be beginning a slow taper in a few months after we move and get settled.  If I am this tolerant now what will happen to me as I begin lowering my dose again?  I am terrified.  

 

Has anyone experienced relief from such a large updose in a similar situation?  

 

Do you think it's possible that If I can begin to feel better on this higher dose that when I begin a very slow taper that I may avoid the really nasty stuff this time?

 

Do you think it's possible that I can ever fully recover.  When I quit the benzos and Cymbalta 9 years ago I was only on Cymbalta for around two years.  I know I got over the Benzos somewhere along the way but not the Cymbalta as going on Lexapro slowly eased me into a much better, all be it temporary, place.  I am afraid that since 2 years of Cymbalta gave me a 2 year withdrawal that didn't stop until I went back on something else that this time being on around 7 years of Lexapro, then Prozac, then back on Lexapro that there is no hope for me.  Staying on the meds isn't an option as even if I feel any better soon from updosing that it will poop out again, most likely fairly quickly.  Coming off and hoping for recovery at some point is my only option left and I feel backed into a corner and terrified. 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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Altostrata
4 hours ago, RandyJames said:

I upped the dose from 20 to 30 mgs 4 days ago.  I don't feel like it has helped at all

 

It sounds like 30mg Lexapro is too much for you. You may wish to go back to 20mg. Sleep is important.

 

When you say the drug "worked," what do you mean? When you say it's "pooped out," what are the symptoms you attribute to that?

 

Emotional anesthesia is a common side effect of antidepressants. You might say it's the way the drugs work. "Poop out" occurs when the drug has caused serotonin receptors to shut down. Adding more drug doesn't help, the receptors can't feel it.

 

Some doctors would switch you to other antidepressants. I cannot predict how this will "work" for you, we advise people to taper off to let the nervous system return to normal. This can take a long time.

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RandyJames
15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

It sounds like 30mg Lexapro is too much for you. You may wish to go back to 20mg. Sleep is important.

 

When you say the drug "worked," what do you mean? When you say it's "pooped out," what are the symptoms you attribute to that?

 

Emotional anesthesia is a common side effect of antidepressants. You might say it's the way the drugs work. "Poop out" occurs when the drug has caused serotonin receptors to shut down. Adding more drug doesn't help, the receptors can't feel it.

 

Some doctors would switch you to other antidepressants. I cannot predict how this will "work" for you, we advise people to taper off to let the nervous system return to normal. This can take a long time.

 

I just figured out how to use the quote feature sorry.

 

When I say the Lexapro was working it was when I was when I was in Cymbalta and benzo withdrawal.  That lasted for two years and then I went on Lexapro because I hit a plateau and stayed feeling really bad.  Like within a couple of months of Lexapro I had started feeling better and was actually quite happy and relieved to be feeling better.  I know I beat the Benzo WD because going on Lexapro shouldn't have helped anything related to Benzos.  I fully believe that if I had just waited it out and never started the Lexapro that I would have been much better by now if not fully recovered and I really regret giving in and taking it.  It was such a temporary fix as here I am  at square one.

 

When I said pooped out I was referring to the tolerance WD I am going through now.  I guess poop out wasn't the best term for that.  I would say that poop out would fit better with when I first switched Lexapro to Prozac for awhile because I was just feeling down and crabby but with no morning anxiety or any other symptom I have experienced before in WD.  The symptoms I relate to the tolerance I have built are...

 

bad morning anxiety

anxiety throughout the day but less than early morning

brain fog

the emotional issues

racing thoughts

lack of interest.  I get worse anxiety even trying to do the things I had enjoyed.

Fearful thoughts and hopeless feeling

 

I've had this since February and it has been slowly increasing.   I had spent summer last year getting the house ready for eventual sale and was even doing some art projects and still enjoying music and TV and the company of my wife and kids.  For the rest of the year and into January of this year I was busier with the house than ever and quit my artwork but was still feeling like myself.  I was stressed about various life issues but not feeling like this and with none of the symptoms above.  Then in February, possibly late January, these symptoms started.  I am definitely depressed at the moment but am not a depressed person.  I only ever went on the Cymbalta for back pain that I now attribute to having been on the benzos.  I started having the back pain shortly after starting the Restoral when I was 20 and I do not have it anymore and have remained benzo free since I tapered them.  

 

Thanks so much for your help!

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Altostrata
7 hours ago, RandyJames said:

bad morning anxiety

anxiety throughout the day but less than early morning

brain fog

the emotional issues

racing thoughts

lack of interest.  I get worse anxiety even trying to do the things I had enjoyed.

Fearful thoughts and hopeless feeling

 

It's very possible that some of these symptoms are drug side effects. Antidepressants commonly cause emotional anesthesia. Then, you get anxious and distressed about your lack of feeling, so you may be adding that to the side effects. Given what you've reported since the updose to 30mg, you have increased the side effects, which are related to dosage.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages? Are any of these symptoms better or worse at any particular time of day? Please keep daily notes on paper with times of day for when you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right. Post your notes here in your Intro topic.

 

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RandyJames
1 minute ago, Altostrata said:

 

It's very possible that some of these symptoms are drug side effects. Antidepressants commonly cause emotional anesthesia. Then, you get anxious and distressed about your lack of feeling, so you may be adding that to the side effects. Given what you've reported since the updose to 30mg, you have increased the side effects, which are related to dosage.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages? Are any of these symptoms better or worse at any particular time of day? Please keep daily notes on paper with times of day for when you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right. Post your notes here in your Intro topic.

 

I take them at night usually at around 9:00 pm.  I took my up dose of 30mg last night.  I had problems with my teeth snapping shut and my arms jerking around while I was falling asleep which I haven't really had since I had CT'd the Prozac back in Nov 2017 and throughout the day I have been having little twitches in my muscles which I also haven't had since then. 

 

Could it be the higher dose of 30 from 20 mg for 5 days now causing this?  As I said I had only had these particular symptoms while in full WD before so could my tolerance WD just be progressing? 

 

You had previously suggested going back to 20mg.  Do you feel that after 5 days at 30 that there could be a WD flareup from dropping down by 10?  It's only been 5 days so I am willing to try and see if it eases up.  Like you said, when the receptors shut down 

they can't get the drug so maybe dropping down wont hurt.  

 

Thanks

 

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Altostrata
29 minutes ago, RandyJames said:

Could it be the higher dose of 30 from 20 mg for 5 days now causing this? 

 

Yes, we often see that when people go on and off psychiatric drugs and have adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs, their nervous system become hypersensitive to drugs and sometimes supplements and even foods. You might have an adverse reaction to "normal" dosages, even if you were fine with them before. More is not necessarily better when it comes to psychiatric drugs.

 

It takes at least 4 days for your body to fully register a dosage change of most antidepressants. If you have been feeling progressively worse since you increased to to 30mg, it's because the effect of the drug is getting stronger.

 

You may feel a change if you go back to 20mg Lexapro, but a reduction now should not cause withdrawal symptoms.

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RandyJames
13 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

You may feel a change if you go back to 20mg Lexapro, but a reduction now should not cause withdrawal symptoms.

Thanks so much.  I'll try that tonight.

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Altostrata

Please let us know how you're doing.

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RandyJames
14 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Please let us know how you're doing.

I only took the 20mg last night and actually didn't have as much jerking at all.  Just a couple of tiny ones.  I did wake up like 4 times but not quite as anxious until it was morning and I am just as bad with it as usual so I don't think I have had a bad reaction from going back down yet.  

 

I am trying to be positive but it's really hard.  I am anticipating having to move out of my home and into the temporary apartment and then finding another home and moving and it's all to much with the way I am feeling.  I am overwhelmed.  

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Altostrata
Leo1983

Hi mate.

 

It is awful. I know how you feel. 

 

Please try to stay as calm as you can. It is a slow process but it gets better. 

 

Try all of the suggestions to help you along. 

 

Lee

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RandyJames
26 minutes ago, Leo1983 said:

Hi mate.

 

It is awful. I know how you feel. 

 

Please try to stay as calm as you can. It is a slow process but it gets better. 

 

Try all of the suggestions to help you along. 

 

Lee

Thanks man.  I'm trying.  I took a walk earlier and I'm going to do so house work now and try and be a little productive.

 

Take care

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, RandyJames said:

Does anyone else have songs stuck in your head from morning to night that just keep looping unendingly?  I have had this for awhile now and never thought of it as a symptom.  For a couple of months it's been the same couple of songs and only the chorus of both.  It's so annoying especially when I'm already thinking poorly and I have to contend with the songs "playing" over my thoughts.  I'm not hearing music or anything, just thinking it but can't make it go.  Ugh.

 

I've moved your post to an existing topic: intrusive-repetitive-song-symptom-or-ear-worms

 

And yes, I've had, and actually currently got, this issue.  I'm actually taking advantage of it.  Recently I had been having looping thoughts.  intrusiverepetitive-thoughts-rumination-and-increased-panic

 

I started playing an mp3 of clever, well written (very clever word rhyming and not childish) children's songs in the car and have learned many of them and find myself singing them during the day.  It's much better than the looping thoughts.  I've also found that it's helping to improve my memory.  I've posted about it here and also listed the songs with links to YouTube

 

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ChessieCat
4 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

clever, well written (very clever word rhyming and not childish) children's songs

 

As an example  "The Solar Powered Practical Combustible Compactable Responsibly Recyclable Machine"

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RandyJames
3 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

I've moved your post to an existing topic: intrusive-repetitive-song-symptom-or-ear-worms

 

And yes, I've had, and actually currently got, this issue.  I'm actually taking advantage of it.  Recently I had been having looping thoughts.  intrusiverepetitive-thoughts-rumination-and-increased-panic

 

I started playing an mp3 of clever, well written (very clever word rhyming and not childish) children's songs in the car and have learned many of them and find myself singing them during the day.  It's much better than the looping thoughts.  I've also found that it's helping to improve my memory.  I've posted about it here and also listed the songs with links to YouTube

 

Thanks so much.  I'm sorry you're having this but it's nice to no someone else is too. 

 

I see you are almost to 0.  May I ask if you are significantly improved since the start?  I've been bugging people all day on here with the same question.  I'm just very scared of tapering as I'm having tolerance WD while still at my 20mg Lexapro dose.  I'm looking for anybody's experience with improvements over the course of WD.

 

Thanks so so much.

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RandyJames
3 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

As an example  "The Solar Powered Practical Combustible Compactable Responsibly Recyclable Machine"

That title would definitely test the memory!  

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ChessieCat

Because of the large number of variables it is very difficult to compare our own situation with other people.

 

Q:  Did you make any doses changes after starting on Lexapro?  If yes, please add the information.

 

Please also add doses and dates to the following information in your drug signature:

 

Switched to Lexapro DATE DOSE again and it took most of the issues away in around 2-3 weeks

2019 Lexapro has pooped out and WD feelings back.  DATE Upped my dose to 30 mgs 3days ago to see if I stabilize.

 

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RandyJames
2 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

As an example  "The Solar Powered Practical Combustible Compactable Responsibly Recyclable Machine"

It's a very cheerful song!  Reminds me of when my kids were small.  I really miss those days.

 

6 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Yes, you are in a bad spot. Try to stay calm, let your nervous system stabilize as best it can. This may take some time. See



Hi Alto. I have some tapering questions please. 

 

I was just attempting to calculate a 10% taper from 20 mgs and what I came up with would take me 35 months to reach just under.5 mgs.  Can this be right?  Holy crow that's a long time.  Also would it be safe to drop to 0 from .5mg, or would I have to keep going at 10% until it's like .1?  How would I even measure it at such a small amount?  

 

If I switch to escitalopram liquid are there syringes accurate to measure down that small?

 

Also, has anyone had trouble with symptoms by switching from tablets to liquid in your experience?  

 

Do you think there is hope for me to begin feeling any better before I'm done tapering?  

 

Thanks so much

 

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RandyJames
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

Because of the large number of variables it is very difficult to compare our own situation with other people.

 

Q:  Did you make any doses changes after starting on Lexapro?  If yes, please add the information.

 

Please also add doses and dates to the following information in your drug signature:

 

Switched to Lexapro DATE DOSE again and it took most of the issues away in around 2-3 weeks

2019 Lexapro has pooped out and WD feelings back.  DATE Upped my dose to 30 mgs 3days ago to see if I stabilize.

 

Thanks ChessieCat.  I think I fixed it now.  

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ChessieCat

 

59 minutes ago, RandyJames said:

I was just attempting to calculate a 10% taper from 20 mgs and what I came up with would take me 35 months to reach just under.5 mgs.  Can this be right?  Holy crow that's a long time.  Also would it be safe to drop to 0 from .5mg, or would I have to keep going at 10% until it's like .1?  How would I even measure it at such a small amount?  

 

If I switch to escitalopram liquid are there syringes accurate to measure down that small?

 

Also, has anyone had trouble with symptoms by switching from tablets to liquid in your experience?  

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

Doing a 10% taper of current dose every 4 weeks starting on 1 Apr 2019 would have you at 0.52mg on 24 May 2021, which is 28 x 4-week cycles.  The BrassMonkey Slide would take longer because for each 4 week period you are adding an extra 2 weeks, so it would be 50% longer or 28 + 14 = 42 x 4-week cycles.

 

The 10% taper method is a harm reduction method which suits most people.  Some might be able to go faster, some need to go slower.  However, we don't know which group we belong to.  It is better to listen to your body and symptoms and go as slow as your brain needs you to go.  It's better to get off your drug with minimal discomfort than to go too fast and suffer with withdrawal symptoms.

 

You might need to go lower than 0.5mg.  For me personally, currently at 4mg, I'm going to wait and see what happens when I get down low.  I'm prepared to go as low as I can get my compounding doses if needed.

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

Some members have experienced issues when changing form of drug.  If it is possible to do it, we suggest doing a cross over, each of the following combos 3/4 + 1/4, 1/2 + 1/2, 1/4 + 3/4 for 3 to 7 days.

 

If necessary, you can always dilute your DIY liquid or prescription liquid so you can measure small amounts.

 

Where to get oral syringes

 

questions-and-answers-about-liquid-medications-use-by-date-expiry

 

using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques

 

how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat

Some members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go, reducing less and/or holding longer:

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves  

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RandyJames
9 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

Doing a 10% taper of current dose every 4 weeks

 

 

It's better to get off your drug with minimal discomfort than to go too fast and be miserable with withdrawal symptoms.

 

Thanks Chessiecat.

 

I am trying my best to understand this.  Thanks for all your help and patience.   I used the calculator and it says I'll be done in 6 years?  Can that be right?

 

Here's my big question on this.  So according to the calculator If I started tapering on April 1st 2019 at 20 mg I will reach .5 mg on December 6th 2021. 

 

From there the calculator shows tiny tiny drops that go on until 9/08/2025.  That means that I would be lowering from 0.5mg to 0 for 4 years. One half a mg to zero for 4 years?  I feel like I must be figuring this wrong.    I have starting dose as 20mg, reduction cycle as 28 days and %cut as 10 so it seems right.  

 

I realize that .5 mg to 0 would be a 100% drop but does one need to keep going down by 10% from 0.5mg?   The dose gets down to like .05, .04 etc. for months on end.  

 

Is there a dose above 0.01mg that you can just cut to 0 from?  Like .5 or even .25?  And if not do syringes even measure doses as small as .01mg?

 

It's the last 4 years of this schedule that are confounding me.  I just think I must be making a mistake somehow as I'm pretty foggy and flustered.

 

Thanks so much for all the help!

 

 

 

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Altostrata

The 10% taper is exponential, it never reaches zero. At some point probably when you're taking less than 1mg, you can judge when you'll want to go off.

 

Very sorry so little is known about adverse effects of these drugs.

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RandyJames
2 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

The 10% taper is exponential, it never reaches zero. At some point probably when you're taking less than 1mg, you can judge when you'll want to go off.

 

Very sorry so little is known about adverse effects of these drugs.

OK thanks so much.  That makes sense.  I was very scared lol. 

 

The calculator Chessiecat linked me shows that if I start on April 1st that I'll reach .5mg on Dec 6th 2021 which isn't to to bad.  Hopefully I'll  be feeling well enough then to drop it to 0.  

 

A couple of questions..

 

With Lexapro being unusually strong could I feel bigger effects from 10% drops?

 

Is  switching from tablets to liquid Lexapro usually an easy process or has it caused any symptoms in people?  The liquid route seems easier but I'm still worried about how accurately I could use the syringe.

 

Thanks

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ChessieCat

Switching to liquid may seem daunting but there are many other members here using that method.  It is a more accurate way of tapering.  You can get assistance to learn how to do this.

 

The cross over from tablets to liquid makes it gentler on your system.  Obviously if you get to one of the combinations and you start feeling symptoms you would stay at that combination for longer.

 

When tapering it is important to listen to your body and your symptoms.  If you find that a 10% reduction is too much then you would reduce by less than 10%.  The 10% reduction amount is a general guide.  If you experience external stressors (eg job change, relationship issues, moving house, travelling, Christmas season) or get sick (eg cold, flu, broken bone, operation, dental issues) then it is better to stop tapering and wait until things settle down before reducing again.

 

A more positive way of looking at tapering is to focus on how much you have reduced not how much longer it is going to take.

 

And remember that it has nothing to do with how strong, determined and disciplined we are as a person.  It is entirely to do with how quickly the brain adapts to the reduction of drug and we have no control over that.  All we can do is sneak the drug away carefully to give the brain a chance to adapt bit by bit.

 

A word of caution.  Some members of SA have tried to go too fast and it has back fired on them and it has ended up taking them longer to get off than if they had stuck to the 10% taper.  Updosing should not be thought of as a back up.  Please read Post #1 of this topic which is relevant to updosing as well:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

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RandyJames

Mornings are so hard.  Woke up to the same anxiety rush and a rush of frightful thoughts.  It's day 2 of dropping back to 20mgs.  I still had less limb jerking last night so that's good.  SA has been giving me a degree of hope and I am so thankful to you all!  

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RandyJames
11 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 If you experience external stressors (eg job change, relationship issues, moving house, travelling, Christmas season) or get sick (eg cold, flu, broken bone, operation, dental issues) then it is better to stop tapering and wait until things settle down before reducing again.

Thanks Chessiecat.  

 

We sold the house this month and will be moving into temp apartment until june so my daughter can graduate highschool and then will be moving to a new state, possibly not but most likely.  It's really hard to be going through the med issues while all of that is happening. It kills me that I am so emotionally gone as I should be trying to look forward to a new house and life but it just feels like my life is over already from the meds.  I wish I could be more of a companion to my family through it all.  It's really hard.

 

I'm having to really think about the tapering schedule.  With how bad my tolerance to 20mg is making me feel I just feel like I'll be in limbo waiting almost 4 months to start tapering as I just feel I need to proactively do something about it.  Like you said, however, if I start tapering and get worse while moving I could really wind up in a bad way.  I'll think hard on this.

 

Thnaks so much

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Leo1983

Keep it up! Keep going! Its going to get better i promise. 

 

You have alot going on around you. Try to focus on that and try to get it put behind you so ypu can relax and focus on your withdrawal. 

 

I can assure you slowly is your best way off this drug. I Cold Turkeyed and i can only say the first 7 month i DO NOT know how i did it. I really dont! It is not a place to venture.

 

Just keep the faith and take your time. Have self compassion, its not your fault what these drugs do.

 

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Altostrata

Psychiatric drug adverse effects are difficult for everyone who experiences them. It's too bad doctors know so little about them.

 

We're not going to be able to predict what will happen for you. All I can see right now is that 30mg was too high a dose. You'll have to assess how you feel on 20mg. It could be that's too high, as well.

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