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unreal: Going insane after quitting Lexapro


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Hi everyone,


I am 24 years old and 2 months ago I stopped taking lexapro. I was on 10mg for 3 months, then felt like I needed more so doc prescribed 15mg while I was feeling alright and slightly more happy on lexapro, i decided to quit because of 'numb' feeling, did not feel like doing anything, did not want to see friends, did not want to get out of bed, was careless about everything etc


I was cutting my 15mg pill to half for 3 weeks (7.5mg) I won't lie but I missed doses of the half-pill as well, then got really sick (2 week flu) and decided to ride the wave and quit lexapro (cold turkey).


first month was okay, I survived the brain zaps. they were potato chips compared to Paxil..  but since then my anxiety and depression came back, worse than they ever been combined with many psychosomatic symptoms.


my insurance stopped last month and i cannot see a doctor yet, I will see a psych soon to maybe get on new treatment (considering paxil which helped alot in the past)


anyway 2 months off and symptoms only seem to get worse, i have heart palpitations, extreme sensitivity to noise, when people laugh next to me I feel like my brain is shrinking and the world collapses, even putting my toothbrush down after brushing my teeth triggers a pulsation in both ears, it is followed by tinnitus on both ears while right ear tinnitus is far worse.  headaches and brain fog almost 24\7, back and neck pain coming from tightened muscles, head pressure and behind-eye pressure, blurry vision.  numbness and tingling in front part of the head, extremies, waking up with my toe completely numb sometimes both toes... and the list goes on I also feel like my memory is completely destroyed, and I cannot handle conversations with anyone because words just wont flow... then i'll get angry and extremely depressed.


I am freaking out and don't know what to do.


so far I am trying to stay calm and breath well, but it doesn't help. it is hard to breath all the way in and I feel like i'm limiting my air intake without meaning to I am also shedding way too much hair, and scale keeps showing decreased body weight


I'm taking coq10 every morning, vitamin d3 5000iu every two days with fatty meals, 400mg magnesium glycinate every night before bed.  I have also ordered high epa\dha fish oil and zinc in order to assist. so far I feel no relief from supplements.  I make sure to eat healthy every day and stay hydrated.


I have a question for people with experience in this field.


Did I make a mistake quitting lexapro cold turkey. have I done irreversible damage to myself? what can I do to feel better until I meet a psych?


if I still have lexapro lying around. can I use it to relieve the symptoms? I have a 0.01g scale. I could microdose maybe? what are your thoughts?


I would really appreciate any help because I am in pain and there is no one to listen at the moment.


Also really sorry if my english is messed up. 




Edited by ChessieCat
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to unreal: Going insane after quitting Lexapro
  • Administrator

Welcome, unreal.


It sounds like you have severe withdrawal syndrome. Reinstating a very low dose of Lexapro or its milder sibling Celexa (citalopram) may help, see About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

You might reinstate 1mg Lexapro (or 5mg generic citalopram, for example) to start, then stabilize and "do-over" a very gradual taper by tiny amounts later. (That scale will come in handy!)


Your nervous system is sensitized by withdrawal, it's important to treat it gently, be very consistent with your dosing, take the drug at the same time each day, and not skip any doses. 


Is this something you can do? Please let us know how you're doing.

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi unreal and welcome to SA from me too,


We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  


This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 


I'm going to give you lots of links to check out.  Please don't feel overwhelmed, just work your way through them one at a time as you feel able.


Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  If at any time you don't feel stable, are unwell or life circumstances are a bit more stressful than usual (for example the Christmas period, winter time, or job change) it is better to stay at that dose for a bit longer until things settle down.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

Keep Notes on Paper


Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online


The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.  It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  


Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope


There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.


As I said, lots of information, but I really want you to have what you need so you can have a successful taper.


This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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