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SupahSet

SupahSet: Lexapro - cold turkey discontinuation 5 weeks later

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SupahSet

Well SA, I think I'm back to riding the wave, and not in a good way. My head pressure is back to being more constant, same with the dull headaches. Depression is hitting a little bit as well. I took the day off work today, which other than vacations, I've never taken a day off for a stay at home day. I figured a day at home would help me get through this wave a bit easier.

 

I mostly played video games and and watched hulu all day. Show of choice, always sunny in Philadelphia. I've been continuing on my diet improvements. Today has been especially clean, I've snacked on on some nuts, raisins, and granola. For brunch I had 5 eggs, some fresh pico degallo, and some hummus. For dinner im going to have a big fresh salad with some turkey and other veggies.

 

I really do feel like a good diet is key to staying positive. With this recent depression hitting its hard to stay positive, but its a mild depression. I was particularly feeling it about an hour ago, so I'm out for a sunny sweaty walk now to get the endorphins flowing. I'm feeling much better during this walk.

 

I just have to keep reminding myself this is all temporary. I work 40 hours a week. I used to have a side job on top of that before all of this started, but I told them what's going on a few months ago and they said to take all the time I need to heal, they're good family friends. I would say I used to do about 10 hours a week for them on average. I told them this past sunday I was ready to return to work for them. I'm going to start that work back up this weekend. I know the longer work weeks will put extra stress on me, but I'm mentally ready for it. Besides, my wife and I are saving for a house and the extra income is awesome.

 

Speaking of extra income, In the next few weeks I'll be meeting with my performance manager to prepare for a pay raise discussion that will happen with my boss.

 

With these two things coming down my pipeline, it gives me something to stay positive about and look forward to. I try and provide myself other things to look forward to short term as well, it really does help. For instance, after work on Wednesdays I get to get whatever restaurant I want for lunch (healthy stuff of course). It really is the little things that help.

 

A few years ago in college I used to be ripped. Shredded, muscular, and felt great about my self. Ive always had trouble with weight in my life, always having to play a league up in little league due to weight etc. I'm starting to notice improvement in my weight and physique lately, mainly due to drinking less and eating healthier. So my long term motivation is losing weight and being healthier.

 

Sorry for the ramble, sometimes it just helps to vent and get things down on paper. Helps me gather my thoughts and also helps get my mind off of this journey, even if for a minute.

 

I digress, this wave is a bit different than others. I have new symptoms I haven't had yet. Some numbness in the bottom of my left foot and fatigue. The fatigue may just me due to my recent activity level increase though.

 

I just had a fasting blood test yesterday at work (it got me a free 8 hours of vacation time woo!). Blood work came back great and blood sugar levels are normal, so I'm not concerned this could be related to any physical health issues.

 

Thanks for listening again,

Supah

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SupahSet

This wave is pressing harder now. Getting some tougher head pressure, higher anxiety, and symptoms of a panic attack (thankfully I haven't had a panic attack in over a month and a half).

Recently I reintroduced alcohol back into my life, and while I don't think it's really affecting me negatively (with respect to my withdrawal process), I think I might back off on that a little bit just to be certain.
I currently drink two times a week, and when I do drink I have 3-5 drinks (so between 6-10 drinks a week) which is pretty good. I'm going to try and bring that down to once a week with no more than 5 drinks.

As of tomorrow, I will have been tracking my withdrawal symptoms on a 1-10 scale every day. I keep track of this data in Google Sheets (Basically Excel online), and have my symptom severity color coded (green being good, yellow moderate, and orange / red severe).
Take a look at my past month of symptoms below. Keep in mind, I've had symptoms before I started tracking and this chart would have looked much worse 2 months ago.

Hoping this wave will end soon 😞

Here are the past 30 days worth of symptoms
image.thumb.png.0d87b342fb27c9d31fc0d656580835bb.png

 

Also keep in mind that the way I rank my symptoms... I mark down the worst number of the day for each symptom, not a daily average. So If I had no anxiety at all for most of the day, but had a spike of around 5, even for a few minutes, I put anxiety down as a 5 for the day.

Notes about these symptoms:
Anxiety - Has been steady in severity over the past 2 weeks, sometimes shorter lasting than other days though, so that's nice.
Head pressure - Can vary a lot, but today is acting up worse, and it was worse a couple of weeks ago.
Panic attack - I feel like I am able to control these now.
Exercise - You can see I've been exercising more lately. Taking longer walks, and even rode my bike a couple of times in the past 10 days. I've been getting a lot of sun.
Alcohol - Not drinking too much, but I'm going to scale it back a little bit.

Keeping hope for some symptom relief. Happy 4th of July, hope you all enjoy the day tomorrow!

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ChessieCat
7 hours ago, SupahSet said:

I'm on vacation and I've been doing some fishing off shore, and some on a boat. I went on the boat a few times this week, with the last time being last night. Usually the boat dizziness wears off after a few hours (feeling like your body is adjusting to the wavy water). However it's been 12 hours and I still feel like I'm on a boat on water.

 

Has anyone else in WD that went on a boat and felt prolonged dizziness / feeling like you're still on the boat? How long did it last? Anything I can do to help?

 

Adding this on top of other dizziness, fatigue, and everything else sucks. 

 

I've moved your post to this topic:  dizziness-vertigo-light-headedness-rocking-or-swaying-sensations

 

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SupahSet

It's been a weird past couple weeks for me.

 

I've been limiting my drinking to once or twice a week for the past month. I went on vacation for 7 days last week and I drank every day, and I've accidentally picked up the daily drinking habbit from that again. Today is the first dat after vacation I haven't planned to drink.

 

During vacation, I was feeling a wave, but it wasnt a terrible wave. It was small enough to where I could enjoy 85-90% of my vacation, with the exception being I went to bed early and woke up later. During this wave I had some headaches, head pressure, brain zaps, that rapid skin twitching on my face almost like a localized seizure (tardive something perhaps?), dizziness, and a others. For the past two days I've been in what seems like a window. Little to no symptoms. In fact, in symptoms I felt in the past two days I'd like to largely attribute to being hungover both mornings. 

 

It's hard to limit my drinking because I've noticed around the 3 drink mark I feel ZERO symptoms. When Im buzzed, I mean I feel literally zero symptoms. I have to be good to my body though, and my normal WD symptoms come through a little harder when Im hungover of course.

 

I still feel like in the past couple weeks I've madr a lot of progress. Im starting to rationalize things better, which in turn has helped my anxiety immensely. My panic attacks and health anxiety have gotten heaps better as well. I dont think my health anxiety will fully subside until all of these head pressure episodes subside though.

 

I have a checkup doctor appointment next month so I'll keep you guys updated! Things are generally looking up right now 🙂

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SupahSet

Its been just over a month since my last post.

 

The past month has had it's ups and downs, but everything has been trending in the good direction.

 

However just a few minutes ago I had kind of a scary episode. Wife and I took a few minute walk to the gas station, and while inside, I felt this really weird tingle in the back left of my head. It wasnt like any brain zap I've had before, it was more like it started off really subtle, then grew stronger for a few seconds, and then back down. This happened a few times but the later times were less strong. The actual feeling itself was similar to when your foot is asleep, but instead of my foot, it was the back of my head.

 

It was kinda scary and idk what to make of it. Like I said it's not like any brain zap I've felt before, especially because it lasted for about 4 seconds total.

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SupahSet

Welp, I just had my first full blown panic attack in 4 MONTHS. Hot tight chest, arm felt stiff, walls started coming in on me.

 

****. I was doing well for so long. I HATE how that feels. I haven't had to feel that in 4 MONTHS.

 

3 months ago my doctor gave me a script of 10 Ativan pills (0.5mg each), and I havent had a panic attack bad enough to use them yet, but this time I definitely took one. First time I've had to take one. I'm so glad I saved those pills.

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Leo1983

Supaset hi.

 

Im also a victim of Lexapro withdrawal. Started on 10mg told to wait and wait for weeks for the magic to happen. Then up to 20mg for weeks until it "Kicked in" yeh yeh yeh.

 

4 month i stopped cold turkey. Bah gum lad.......... not the best choice. Im now 10 weeks off and it has been hell.

 

My symptoms if this helps you know its not just you....

 

Headaches.

Brain tightness.

Lethargic

Balance problems.

Eye pressure.

Aches.

Anxiety not like before.

 

These drugs are given and you are sent away. They do not work so you go back and they up the dose. You stop cold turkey and feel like ur going crazy. So you go back and they start another. So you take it and the same again not much better. So you stop that.. then you go into withdrawal worse this time. Then you go back...... do you see the pattern?. That has been my pattern for 2 years on and off. Until now!!!!! I will never touch a psych drug again. PLEASE DO THE SAME. it may just be the best advice you get. It is nothing more than a money making, criminal activity that is known by many corrupt people.

 

Drs only know what the makers of the tablets tell them. And this would not be what they would tell them!!! As there sales would not be making billions.

 

Take each day as all of us do and remmeber the longer your off the drug, the sooner you will return to YOU.

 

Tc

 

 

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SupahSet
On 9/1/2018 at 12:43 AM, Leo1983 said:

Supaset hi.

 

Im also a victim of Lexapro withdrawal. Started on 10mg told to wait and wait for weeks for the magic to happen. Then up to 20mg for weeks until it "Kicked in" yeh yeh yeh.

 

4 month i stopped cold turkey. Bah gum lad.......... not the best choice. Im now 10 weeks off and it has been hell.

 

My symptoms if this helps you know its not just you....

 

Headaches.

Brain tightness.

Lethargic

Balance problems.

Eye pressure.

Aches.

Anxiety not like before.

 

These drugs are given and you are sent away. They do not work so you go back and they up the dose. You stop cold turkey and feel like ur going crazy. So you go back and they start another. So you take it and the same again not much better. So you stop that.. then you go into withdrawal worse this time. Then you go back...... do you see the pattern?. That has been my pattern for 2 years on and off. Until now!!!!! I will never touch a psych drug again. PLEASE DO THE SAME. it may just be the best advice you get. It is nothing more than a money making, criminal activity that is known by many corrupt people.

 

Drs only know what the makers of the tablets tell them. And this would not be what they would tell them!!! As there sales would not be making billions.

 

Take each day as all of us do and remmeber the longer your off the drug, the sooner you will return to YOU.

 

Tc

 

 

 

Leo, thank you for your reply. Although I would never wish this upon anyone, it does make me feel better when I find others in the same boat as I. Ive been cold turkey off of Lexapro 10mg for almost 5 months now.

 

Things have gotten much much much better since my first week off. This past week my progress took a deeeep dive. I'm experiencing symptoms I haven't felt in months.

 

Here's to looking forward to recovery!

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SupahSet

Another update for you guys;

 

I'm definitely taking a progress dive this week. Things have been getting sooo much better in the past few months. I was so happy with the week to week progress. I would say about 2 weeks ago I was feeling 75% normal.

 

Then 2 days ago is when the largest wave started hitting me. Since then, a few symptoms have returned that I haven't had in months. These include jitteriness (like how you feel when you havent eat all day and then workout), an extreme panic attack and a few smaller ones, head pressure, and heart palpitations. All of these went away for months, so I'm confident I can beat them again, it's just a matter of time.

 

over the past 6 weeks, I went on a month long drinking binge. It started as a few drinks a day for about 4 days a week, but aoon graduated to 5-10 drinks a day almost every day of the week. I did this because when I waa buzzed and drunk, I felt ZERO symptoms. I was cheating my healing procress for that temporary life-high.

 

The only thing that got me out of that pit of despair was over indulging last weekend. I went on vacation with 10 of my home town buddies and my wife, and for 4 days straight we just drank all day and all night. I probably had about 20 drinks a dat for each of those 4 days. On the day that vacation was ending, I woke up with the shakes from alcohol withdrawal. I realized then the damage I was doing to my body, and i haven't drank since. Its now been a week since I stopped and Im glad I was able to take a step a back and not only realize the damage I was doing to my body, but that I was slowing down my healing progress.

 

I think getting off my alcohol binge is a huge reason for some of these returning symptoms.

 

My birthday is coming up on Sept 11th, and I plan to have a few drinks that night to celebrate, but other than that I have no plans on when I'll be drinking again.

 

Also, next week will make 5 months off of Lexapro, which is one month off of a huge milestone. We CAN do this!

 

Take care all, thanks for reading.

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Leo1983

You may just find that is your GABA receptors going crazy off all the alcohol.

 

It may be that your bender is the cause and that you did in fact heal from Lexapro.

 

Alcohol is your next task.

 

Tc

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SupahSet
1 hour ago, Leo1983 said:

You may just find that is your GABA receptors going crazy off all the alcohol.

 

It may be that your bender is the cause and that you did in fact heal from Lexapro.

 

Alcohol is your next task.

 

Tc

 

Thanks Leo. I'm very optimistic of my road to recovery from alcohol abuse. I just hope that in a few months, my recovery to both is out of the way!

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SupahSet

Well, today marks 5 months cold turkeyed from Lexapro. I would be celebrating that more, but I've been having a really rough week or two. If this is a wave, it's definitely one of the largest waves I've felt yet, and hopefully it ends soon.

I'm getting weird tingling sensations in the back left of my head for a few seconds at a time, a couple of times a day. Last night it was pretty bad.
I've also been waking up in the middle of the night with weird pains again lately. Two nights ago, I jolted awake with a pain behind my left eye like it was being stabbed. The pain only lasted a second or two after waking up, haven't had pain since.
Heart palpitations have also returned, and I'm getting a few of those a day. Damn, this sucks.

My general anxiety and health anxiety has gone way up since these symptoms started up again.

It's SO hard to stay focused on the fact that this stuff must be from ssri withdrawal. It's so hard to stay positive about that, especially in the midst of a wave.

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SupahSet

Well, today marks 5 months cold turkeyed from Lexapro. I would be celebrating that more, but I've been having a really rough week or two. If this is a wave, it's definitely one of the largest waves I've felt yet, and hopefully it ends soon.

I'm getting weird tingling sensations in the back left of my head for a few seconds at a time, a couple of times a day. Last night it was pretty bad.
I've also been waking up in the middle of the night with weird pains again lately. Two nights ago, I jolted awake with a pain behind my left eye like it was being stabbed. The pain only lasted a second or two after waking up, haven't had pain since.
Heart palpitations have also returned, and I'm getting a few of those a day. Damn, this sucks.

My general anxiety and health anxiety has gone way up since these symptoms started up again.

It's SO hard to stay focused on the fact that this stuff must be from ssri withdrawal. It's so hard to stay positive about that, especially in the midst of a wave.

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SupahSet

Also, since I knocked another month off my recovery road, I'll post my daily symptom sheet.
I've been actively keeping track for the past 3 months, and unfortunately, I did not keep track for the first 2 months.

 

 

Capture.PNG

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jozeff

Wow this looks pretty good. I have a sheet like this myself but your schedule is very informative. Thanks for posting!

 

Good luck with your recovery!!

 

Hope you feel better soon

 

Jozeff

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SupahSet

@jozeffThanks jozeff. In a way it kind of gives me something to look forward to, I want to see a whole row of green, for weeks at a time!
 

I've been close before, but that was during a window. Hoping you have a speedy recovery as well. Thank you!

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Leo1983

How long were you on meds all together?

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SupahSet

@Leo1983 I was on 10mg Lexpro for 3 short weeks. I think I missed a dose one day in that 3 weeks as well. Went cold turkey because the medicine didn't make me feel any different, and my doctor told me nothing about tapering or contacting her if I want to stop. How about you?

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Leo1983

Year and a half on and off diff drugs. Lexapro by far the worst.....

 

I just wonder how much of your withdrawal is related to alcohol use. 3 weeks is not along time for 1 drug. I onow it can happen. Just alcohol withdrawal is similar.

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Leo1983

Know

 

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SupahSet

It's been 2 months since my last update. I figured I should at least stop back in for a moment.

 

I've regressed in my healing journey since last time. I think last time I was feeling 70% healed or so, and now I'm feeling around 55-60%. I know we have to take a few steps backwards for our brains to fogure things out sometimes, so hopefully I'm on the up and coming again soon.

 

I used to get a window at least once a month up until month 5 or so. I'm now almost 7 months Lexapro free and I haven't really had window in about 2 months. I'm having some of the typical symptoms still; light headedness, dizziness, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Panic attacks are a lot less frequent, anxiety is getting better, but the light headedness and dizziness are abit stronger. I had an MRI done 2 weeks ago due to some new head pressure and that came back clean. I also had an EEG done and the results were great.

 

I have some symptoms that are new to the past month or so. I've been having crazy weird tinlges in the back of head, new types of head pressure, and my forehead gets hot flashes.

 

New to yesterday, I started having like weird rumbling in my chest area that comes and goes. Not sure whats going on with that, but if it persists for a few weeks I'll call my doctor. We all know how easy it is to cry wolf with all of this withdrawal. I'm guilty of making too many doctor appointments in the past 6 months.

 

Oh well, heres to hoping in the next 2 months Im back over that 75% mark.

 

Til next time

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ChessieCat

These might help:

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

I have found that understanding what is happening helps me to remain patient with the process:

 

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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SupahSet

Thanks for the reply @ChessieCat Ive read that before, but it's always comforting to give it a reread.

 

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SupahSet

I was actually feeling a window earlier for the first time in months. It lasted maybe 5 hours. in those hours, I was motivated / optimistic about a lot of stuff and made myself a cup of coffee. I've been tolerating caffeine alright lately. After my coffee and relaxing for a while, I decided to get my haircut and have an easy day at the gym. 

 

Once I got to the salon, I sat down and BOOM. I got SUPER lightheaded out of no where. I had finished my coffee a couple hours before that, and had just taken some vitamins a few minutes prior to arriving at thr salon. Idk if its just the Lexapro withdrawal, or if its a combination of that / caffeine / vitamins. I also didnt sleep well last night (got about 4 hours of sleep, not due to a withdrawal issue, I just woke up randomly at 3am and felt awake, so I watched tv and relaxed until 7am when I started my day.

 

So it could be a number of things, but it was very unnerving. It felt like I was about to pass out. While getting my hair cut I had some head pressure return for a few mins. The hairdresser was making conversation with me the whole time, as they usually do, and I think focusing on the conversation made my other symptoms back off.

 

I have a feeling I'm in for a wave again here soon. This is all so hard sometimes, especially when everything is seemingly so random.

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ChessieCat
4 hours ago, SupahSet said:

but it's always comforting to give it a reread.

 

Yes, it's good to be reminded.  It is very easy to get caught up with negative thoughts and forget what is happening.  It would be so much easier to be patient if we could see what is happening.

 

My reminder is the Rubik's Cube analogy.

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SupahSet

I'm almost at 8 months off of Lexapro 10mg cold turkey. Its crazy the rollercoaster journey we're put on.

 

In the past couple weeks I've been hit with some undying anxiety. Chest tightness every single day that comes and goes throughout the day. It goes away when I keepy mind busy, as soon as I "notice it", it gets worse until I can focus on something.

 

Earlier this week I was hit with a REALLY weird episode. I was at work feeling fine, maybe even in a window. Joking with co workers, feeling accomplished with the work I was doing, just all around a good day so far. Out of nowhere it felt like somebody was pressing down on the top of my head with their palm. It lasted fot only a second, and Ive gotten really REALLY good about shrugging these little blips off. I'm proud of how good I deal with some of these symptoms lately. However after it went away, it came back after a few seconds and it went off an on for about 10-15 seconds and my mind went full blown panic attack. Heart was absolutely pounding, I felt light / hot headed as If I were going to pass out. luckily I keep an emergency stash of ativan 0.5mg in my work bag. I tool one and after 5 minutes was feeling better, and the rest of the day was fairly normal thanks to the ativan. I've had that emergency script of ativan for about 6 or 7 months now and thats only the 2nd pill I've had to take, and I have 8 left.

 

It's crazy to think we have to experience these incredibly random and sporatic, scary, impending doom episodes. I want my old life back.

 

I think I'm getting there though. I went through waves and windows from months 1-5 or 1-6, and from month 6 until about month 7 or 7.5 I experienced solid dread without windows. The windows are back though and I'm fully embracing them.

 

SupahSet

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Altostrata
On 11/10/2018 at 2:27 PM, SupahSet said:

Idk if its just the Lexapro withdrawal, or if its a combination of that / caffeine / vitamins.

 

How much coffee do you drink in a day?

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SupahSet

@Altostrata I used to drink about 16-20 oz of coffee a day, usually in the morning by noon.

 

I've since made the switch to decaff coffee.

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