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Hopetobefree: and put this all behind me


Hopetobefree

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Hi, this is my story

 

I was put on Clonazapam (Klonopin) in May 2014 after suffering my first Atrial Tachycardia episode by my local G.P. 3 months later i was feeling so much worse being on them I asked my dr i wanted to stop and if i should taper. He said no you're on a low dose 0.5mg you can just stop.
 
This is when my life changed into a horrible hell. I went through 5 months of benzo withdrawal hell and with no end in sight to the mental and physical torment. I was told by another dr that I would need to go on an antidepressant to help ease the suffering i was in. I started on a low dose 2.5mg Lexapro which sent me into severe agitation and irritability. The dr then said to take Valium to offset the start up side affects and kept increasing my Lexapro till I reached 30mg. Meanwhile the irritability never went away even with the Valium so Lamictal was added to hopefully reduce the irritability. It worked somewhat.
 
Over the next few years I never felt normal, happy or that i was out of the mental torture, life was just more manageable. In October 2017 i ran out of my 30mg and only had 20mg so thought maybe ill just start taking 20mg instead as it had been a couple of years by now and I was feeling a lot more stable with the withdrawals from Clonazapam. I wish I'd researched antidepressant withdrawals. I tapered down from 30 to 0 in 4 months which i now know was way too fast. Ive been off Lexapro since the 14th of February 2018. I'm still on 100mg of Lamictal at night and not going to reduce this for a long time until I'm well healed from the Lexapro withdrawals.
 
While i was tapering i felt fine and started to get more zest for life back at 2.5 Lexapro I was even thinking of travelling. So I didnt think I'd any problems once off for good I was looking forward to it. I was crying for the first time in years too it felt good. For the first few weeks off I had some symptoms such as irritability, stress, and crying but accepted them as normal withdrawals and looked forward to getting though the next few weeks and being my old self again.
 
Well I was so wrong. Around 4-6 weeks my sleep started to get worse and i was having trouble going to sleep and staying asleep and then the horrible 24 hr anxiety began. I questioned at this time if i should go back on Lexapro but as it wasn't making me feel great just like I was managing to get by in life I pushed on hoping it would be a short term pain for long term gain. Added with horrible anxiety I lost my appetite and was losing weight and felt nauseas then the intrusive thoughts negative thoughts began. This symptom has continued to stay and some days is stronger than others. Some days/hours i could be crying and feel so hopeless then the next have extreme anxiety and wait till around 8 for it all to die down. Ive experienced depersonalisation/anehdonia, intense irritability, stress pressure in head, and just recently an intense fear that comes out of nowehere and stays for a day or 2 then goes. I wake up every day either with extreme fear, panic or anxiety.
 
There has been some very small positive changes but there so small its hard to hold on to them as positive reminders that I'm healing. I haven't really had any windows as such just feel a rough stable day to day and never know what symptoms I'm going to wake up with. Even though its only been 4 months I was also struggling and never my old self since before May 2014 when my biggest concerns in life were deciding what i wanted to do with my career I was booked in to study social work and was really looking forward to that. I was living in Perth, running, loving being a mum to my 2 baby girls and looking after myself. Mental illness was never something i had experienced. Now its something that tortures me everyday. I lost my brother to suicide last year and some days it easy to see why he had to do it. But ive got to beautiful girls and a loving husband that keep making me get up every day and try all i can to get through this.
 
Right now it feels like I'm not healing and how can my mind ever come back from this. This site has helped pick me up and validated my feelings so much and I'm so grateful it exists. Hopefully we can help each other together. Thank you for taking the time to hear my story.
 
Hopetobefree 
 
 
Medication History
May 2014 started 0.5mg Clonazapam
July 2014 cold turkey
Sept 2014 took beta blockers for 1 month
Dec 2014 started 2.5mg Lexapro tritated up to 20mg
Dec 2014 started Valium 2-6 mg daily
January 2015 began 30 mg Lexapro
January 2015 began Lamictal tritated up to 100mg
April 2015 started tapering Valium from 6mg
July 2015 stopped Valium 0mg
October 2017 reduced Lexapro to 20mg, reduced every 2-4 weeks till stopped completely (0mg) 14th February 2018
Current 100mg Lamictal 
 
Edited by ChessieCat
bolded drugs and added spacing

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Hopetobefree: and put this all behind me
  • Administrator

Welcome, Hope.

 

Very sorry you've experienced rather typical withdrawal misdiagnosis and overdrugging. Probably the best way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to take a small amount of the drug, such as 1mg Lexapro, stabilize for some months, then taper off by tiny amounts.

 

This topic explains how to take a very small dose Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Also see What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

If you have any questions, please post here in your Intro topic. 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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you Altostrata for the kind advice about reinstating but I still felt horrible on Lexapro. I don't want to gamble that going back on it will ease much of the symptoms as after nearly 4 years of being in protracted withdrawal from clonazapam and 4 months of intense withdrawal symptoms, today I've had my first window!! I really can't believe it because I've suffered and been in a subnormal state for so long. After a hour walk with my dog this morning lots and lots of the old me came back. Good memories, how I really feel about things, my zest for life. I still have the baseline withdrawals in the background but I feel like my brain is waking up!! After a whole day of intense crying yesterday and waking up with intense cortisol fear I definitely wasn't expecting this. I'm back to having hope again!!!

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
10 hours ago, Hopetobefree said:

Hi Mel, I will. I would love to be there right now just to escape the freezing cold Melbourne weather! It doesn't help that I'm also getting constant weird chill sensations randomly at times through my body. They could be another withdrawal symptom because I've never had them like this before. 

 

Here is SA's topic:  body-temperature-dysregulation-fever-chills-shivering-too-hot-too-cold

 

 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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Thanks Chessiecat it makes sense now. 

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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Hi Hopetobefree,

So sorry to hear about your ordeal.

I can relate to your story. 

I saw my doctor because I had anxiety. 

Since December 2013, my life has completely changed too.

I am doing much better these days.  

You are experiencing windows and that is great. Unfortunately,  what this experience has taught me,  is not to trust doctors.

Are you experiencing night time /early morning adrenaline surges?

I don't get them any more,  but I did for a long time. 

Never lose hope.  You will get through this. Best wishes,  Hopefull. :)

 

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Altostrata, 

Would you happen to know whether the 100mg Lamictal I'm currently taking will be hindering the withdrawal from Lexapro which I stopped this year in February. Will I still heal to feeling 100% normal while still on Lamictal or not completely. I'm unsure when I should start reducing the Lamictal. I was going to wait at least a year after getting through the Lexapro withdrawals. What are your thoughts? 

Regards,

Hope

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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@Hopetobefree how are u feeling these days? 

13 months on 25 mg of sertraline.

Fast taper in march 2018, reinstated 12.5mg

Cold turkey sertraline april 17,2018

Zyprexa 5mg april 17,2018

Zyprexa taper to lamictal May 4-13 (life threatening rash)

Back on zyprexa 5mg for 10days & tapered over 5 weeks.

21 months off sertraline 

19 months off zyprexa

22 months into withdrawl 

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I thought I was slowly progressing with my healing having what i guess were WD normal days where there was a pattern to the day and symptoms stayed roughly the same. Not good just that i was managing. The sleep had started to get a bit better the past week as well. But then yesterday I had a panic attack while TM mediating (i know how crap!) then this set my nervous system off so all of yesterday day and night i had constant anxiety, panic and agitation in head. I couldnt go to sleep has my mind was feeling wired and with lots of dark intrusive thoughts. During the night i slept on/off with lots of horrible fear and woke with it strong in the morning. I feel like ive gone backwards and undone all the healing that was starting to happen. really questioned my sanity yesterday hoping that today things settle a bit. How are you today?

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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6 hours ago, Hopetobefree said:

I thought I was slowly progressing with my healing having what i guess were WD normal days where there was a pattern to the day and symptoms stayed roughly the same. Not good just that i was managing. The sleep had started to get a bit better the past week as well. But then yesterday I had a panic attack while TM mediating (i know how crap!) then this set my nervous system off so all of yesterday day and night i had constant anxiety, panic and agitation in head. I couldnt go to sleep has my mind was feeling wired and with lots of dark intrusive thoughts. During the night i slept on/off with lots of horrible fear and woke with it strong in the morning. I feel like ive gone backwards and undone all the healing that was starting to happen. really questioned my sanity yesterday hoping that today things settle a bit. How are you today?

 

Hi Hopetobefree,

How are you feeling today?  Are you feeling a bit better?  Everything is going to work out at the end.

Take care, Hopefull.  :)

 

 

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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Hi Hopefull, today was pretty much a write off. All day i had an agitated head feeling and felt emotionless along with the pain of intrusive thoughts. It finally let up around 6pm - thank god!  Some days you just never know what state of mind you'll wake with and nothing you can do can shake it. I'm now listening to some beautiful but sad songs to help can some emotion out and reduce some of this pent up cortisol inside. I find this helps a bit when I'm suffering lots. Cross my fingers for a better sleep tonight. 

Hope

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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On 8/4/2018 at 6:52 PM, Hopetobefree said:

Hi Hopefull, today was pretty much a write off. All day i had an agitated head feeling and felt emotionless along with the pain of intrusive thoughts. It finally let up around 6pm - thank god!  Some days you just never know what state of mind you'll wake with and nothing you can do can shake it. I'm now listening to some beautiful but sad songs to help can some emotion out and reduce some of this pent up cortisol inside. I find this helps a bit when I'm suffering lots. Cross my fingers for a better sleep tonight. 

Hope

 

That is true. You just never know how the brain is going to react from one day to another. I hope you have had a better sleep.

Take each day as it comes and hope for a better day the following day.

That is all that you can do. The process of healing can not be hurried along.

As clichéd as it sounds,  time is a healer.

When people are going through the worst part of the healing process,  it is really hard to keep your head above the water and think clearly. 

You will come out of this experience as a winner. 

Cheering you on along the way. 

Best wishes,  Hopefull. :)

 

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Hopetobefree,

How are you doing?  

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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Hi Hopefull,

im hanging in there. Some days it's so hard to keep the faith that this is a process and that recovery will eventually occur especially as you know Ive been suffering psych med damage like yourself for many years. I havnt had any real beautiful windows giving me the confidence to believe that I will be me again. Just lots of waves, symptoms and sometimes days or hours when the symptoms are more manageable. Sleep is still hit and miss but I had a good night last night where I didn't wake with cortisol fear during the night. I'm getting flashes of old me and who I used to be than they go another second later. It's so very hard especially when the intrusive thoughts keep tormenting me making me feel like I'm a horrible person. I go to bed each night though telling myself of any positive changes Ive noticed in the past 6 1/2 months, the list is short at the moment but I'm hoping it continues to grow.

 

How are you today? Has the anxiety settled?

 

Take care,

 

Hope

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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On 9/6/2018 at 7:17 PM, Hopetobefree said:

Hi Hopefull,

im hanging in there. Some days it's so hard to keep the faith that this is a process and that recovery will eventually occur especially as you know Ive been suffering psych med damage like yourself for many years. I havnt had any real beautiful windows giving me the confidence to believe that I will be me again. Just lots of waves, symptoms and sometimes days or hours when the symptoms are more manageable. Sleep is still hit and miss but I had a good night last night where I didn't wake with cortisol fear during the night. I'm getting flashes of old me and who I used to be than they go another second later. It's so very hard especially when the intrusive thoughts keep tormenting me making me feel like I'm a horrible person. I go to bed each night though telling myself of any positive changes Ive noticed in the past 6 1/2 months, the list is short at the moment but I'm hoping it continues to grow.

 

How are you today? Has the anxiety settled?

 

Take care,

 

Hope

 

Hi Hopetobefree,

It is hard but you have to keep faith that it will work out in the end.

If you are seeing glimpses of your former self that is a good sign..

It means that you are still there, but your brain is trying to heal.

I know how daunting and frustrating this process is. Even I still experience unexpected twists and turns, after so many years. But I do try to remember how far I have come and that is what keeps me going. 

Sometimes you will hit a bump in the road, but you eventually you get over it.

It is a hell of a bumpy ride,  but hang in there. 

The anxiety has settled,  a feel a bit better.  I slept better last night. 

I am trying to cut out sugar,  and eat more veggies. 

I am going to look into following  Dr Whals Protocol eating plan, for better brain health. 

I really hope that it helps. 

Those pesky intrusive thoughts will disappear eventually.  

Keep reminding your self that your brain is healing.

Take care,  Hopefull. :)

 

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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  • 5 months later...

Hi everybody,

 

Today is my 1 year anniversary off the horrible Lexapro poison. I was on 30mg for nearly 3 years before I did fast taper of around 5 months and jumped off at 1.25mg so pretty much a cold turkey.

 

I am nowhere near healed unfortunately. This past year has been torturous and still continues as right now I'm in a pretty bad wave worrying if this will ever end. But I continue to have hope because I know everyone does heal eventually Ive just had to move my goal posts again. I was hoping to be healed by the 1 year mark but I'm now hoping for the 18 months to 2 year mark. I can only go one day at a time though especially during waves.

 

I still have many symptoms and the main ones that never seem to leave are fear, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and low depressive moods and they have really restricted how I live my life. I try to push through it as much as I can like taking the dog for a walk when my brain says no its too dangerous. Recently my daughters are doing 2 days with activities after school which is a 10 min drive down the road and I'm pushing through the fear and anxiety to take them. I'm trying really hard to not let withdrawal take all my life away from me. It's extremely hard to be going through this when you have little ones to look after the guilt is overwhelming at times. 

 

There have been some small  positive changes in the last year like the 24/7 anxiety eased up so I got my appetite back and more calm around the 4 month mark. My senses have been returning so things smell more beautiful and look more clear and beautiful. I can really feel and appreciate the wind on my face. Lovely memories of life before meds have been returning even though they only last for a few seconds. My sleep has been starting to improve a lot and the adrenaline surges have pretty much gone but last night the nightmares and racing heart beat returned again. I would love to wake up not feeling scared and everything is wrong in the world. 

 

As I enter the second year I feel a lot more hope though as this could be my year that I'm me again! I love this acronym that I read today:

 

H.O.P.E  Hold On Pain Ends

 

My heart goes out to you all especially the ones that are just starting out on this painful journey know that you have the courage to do this as courage is not the absence of fear but feeling afraid and doing it anyway.

 

Hope xo

 

 

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi hopetobefree, 

 

Thanks for the update. I’m sorry you’re in a wave, but I’m glad you’re still keeping your hope alive. I’m glad your sleep is improving and your adrenaline surges have lessenedtoo. Each day is a day closer to healing. 

 

I’m too braindead to read through your entire thread, but are you still on the Lamictal? Could you please do a drug signature so we can see your medication history at a glance. Thanks. ChessieCat will send you a link.

 

Wishing you all the best in your continued healing.💚

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, ADs and opiates for chronic pain. 

Was cold turkeyed and put on and off lots of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward due to akathisia from WDs. When released I still had severe akathisia n was suicidal. Back to the ward and more meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. Many years of tapering. 

Tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./2019:➡️ March 10=7.25mg ✔️  
April 17=7.0✔️ June 5th=6.75✔️ July 14th=6.50✔️Aug 28=6.25✔️

Oct 10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️                                
 2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April 2=5.40✔️May 29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep 29=4.80✔️
 2021➡️ Jan 31=4.60 mg✔️April 24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov 1=4.10✔️ Nov 21= 4.05✔️ Dec 13= 4mg✔️

  2022➡️Jan 8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March 2=3.85✔️ April 4= 3.80✔️I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

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 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • 5 months later...
On 2/14/2019 at 10:19 AM, Hopetobefree said:

Hi everybody,

 

Today is my 1 year anniversary off the horrible Lexapro poison. I was on 30mg for nearly 3 years before I did fast taper of around 5 months and jumped off at 1.25mg so pretty much a cold turkey.

 

I am nowhere near healed unfortunately. This past year has been torturous and still continues as right now I'm in a pretty bad wave worrying if this will ever end. But I continue to have hope because I know everyone does heal eventually Ive just had to move my goal posts again. I was hoping to be healed by the 1 year mark but I'm now hoping for the 18 months to 2 year mark. I can only go one day at a time though especially during waves.

 

I still have many symptoms and the main ones that never seem to leave are fear, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and low depressive moods and they have really restricted how I live my life. I try to push through it as much as I can like taking the dog for a walk when my brain says no its too dangerous. Recently my daughters are doing 2 days with activities after school which is a 10 min drive down the road and I'm pushing through the fear and anxiety to take them. I'm trying really hard to not let withdrawal take all my life away from me. It's extremely hard to be going through this when you have little ones to look after the guilt is overwhelming at times. 

 

There have been some small  positive changes in the last year like the 24/7 anxiety eased up so I got my appetite back and more calm around the 4 month mark. My senses have been returning so things smell more beautiful and look more clear and beautiful. I can really feel and appreciate the wind on my face. Lovely memories of life before meds have been returning even though they only last for a few seconds. My sleep has been starting to improve a lot and the adrenaline surges have pretty much gone but last night the nightmares and racing heart beat returned again. I would love to wake up not feeling scared and everything is wrong in the world. 

 

As I enter the second year I feel a lot more hope though as this could be my year that I'm me again! I love this acronym that I read today:

 

H.O.P.E  Hold On Pain Ends

 

My heart goes out to you all especially the ones that are just starting out on this painful journey know that you have the courage to do this as courage is not the absence of fear but feeling afraid and doing it anyway.

 

Hope xo

 

 

 Hi Hope, 

You got this. One step at the time.  It is admirable that you are still taking your daughters to after school activities,  dispite your anxiety issues. 

I have done that too. Driving would give me anxiety.  It was terrible. 

But you will heal. Don't let WDS take over your life completely. 

Take care,  Hopefull. :)

 

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Chessie, I hope you're well. I'm still in the thick of withdrawals with no end in sight. I'm really worried that the Lamictal I'm on may be preventing me from healing as it works on the serotonin receptors as well. So I would really like to taper off this at some point in the next 6 months. Im nervous that the taper may destabilise me even more but I will do the 2.5% a week method. I was wanting to know how has your slow taper gone? Did you actually feel better as the years went by? 

 

May 2014 - July 2015 0.5 Clonazapam (cold turkey off)

October 2014 - November 2014 took Beta Blocker Propranolol (fast taper off)

December 2014 - began 2.5mg Lexapro worked up to 30mg Lexapro over 3 months

December 2014 - 2 mg Valium started sometimes took up to 6 mg Valium

April 2015 - started 25mg Lamictal worked up to 100mg Lamictal

April 2015  - began taper 4mg Valium. Stopped Valium 

July 2015 - stopped crumb of 2mg Valium

September 2017 began taper 30mg Lexapro.

February 2018 last dose Lexapro 1.25mg

Current 2019 - 100mg Lamictal at night.

October 2020 - Began 10% taper Dec 2019. was going ok until tapered from 45mg - 40mg. 1 week later all hell broke loose. Updosed to 45mg Hoping to stabilise 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please add the details of your drug history to your drug signature using the following format.  This way mods and members can see your history at a glance whenever you make a post and not have to read your intro topic to find the information.

 

Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
9 hours ago, Hopetobefree said:

I was wanting to know how has your slow taper gone? Did you actually feel better as the years went by?

 

It's going well.  I still get symptoms but they are generally mild but do increase at times of stress/illness.  I was suffering mild serotonin toxicity when taking a high dose of Pristiq (no other drugs involved) so I did notice a big difference as my dose got lower and the serotonin toxicity abated.  I didn't realise how numbed I had been emotionally until my emotions started returning.  I've had 3 instances of note with the returning of emotions.  When I got my new car 2 years ago I was mildly excited, about 6 months later I got very excited (normal excitement) over something.  About 1 year after that I was confronted by decisions that I am going to have to make about my future (selling my house and moving) and got overwhelmed negatively by emotions.  Recently I've felt a bit overwhelmed negatively but nothing like the last time.

 

But remember, each one of us here is different in a wide variety of ways.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

@Hopetobefree

 

Putting this here so you have the history in your Intro topic:

 

16 hours ago, Hopetobefree said:

Hi @Rhiannon, @brassmonkeyI was hoping you could help me with my Lamictal taper. I was doing fine with reducing my dose of Lamictal by 10% every 4 weeks or more until I got to 40mg and I went into a bad wave. I updosed to 45mg Lamictal and I'm starting to stabilise again at this dose. Its been 2  weeks at 45mg and I wont taper again until I feel more stable.

 

I've decided to try micro tapering (brass monkey slide method) and have bought a jewelers scale but I'm unsure if I can taper the Lamictal tablets this way. Can I crush the tablets into powder? Once I've crushed the tablet how long can they last in gel caps for?

 

Thank you.

 

1 hour ago, brassmonkey said:

Unless it is the extended release type there should be no problem with crushing you tablets. I would continue to stabilize just as you are for a few more weeks and then try the homemade gel caps at the same dose. Some times people have a reaction to changing the form of their medication and need a few weeks with no other changes to settle in. After you've settled in on the homemade  gel caps you can start your Brassmonkey Slide.

 

The crushed material will stay good for several weeks if you keep it in a dark bottle in a cool dry place. I usually made up my capsules a week at a time, but when I was traveling I would make six weeks to two months worth and had no problems.

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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