Jump to content

Ngenesis: emotional blunting and anhedonia


Recommended Posts


During my first semester of college, I developed debilitating social anxiety which became mixed with periodic episodes of depersonalization/derealization. When I came home for winter break, I was seriously considering not returning to school. Seeing the condition I was in, and at the urging of my mother, I started to see a psychiatrist and was prescribed 10mg of Lexapro. Within the first few weeks, I felt rapid improvement in my symptoms and shockingly felt ready to take on the semester. When I got back I found that I still had some social anxiety, but I was more able to cope with it, and a period soon followed where I started to feel really good, although I had bad days interspersed. By the summer, the initial boost I felt from Lexapro was gone, although I still felt that the drug was alleviating my anxiety. This may have been when I started to experience symptoms of emotional blunting and anhedonia, but I am not certain. At my regular checkup with the Psychiatrist I told him that I wasn't feeling "great" anymore, and we upped the dosage to 15mg. By the start of first semester of sophomore year, I really started to notice some symptoms of emotional blunting and anhedonia, and I came to the realization that what I was feeling wasn't "normal". In particular, I realized that the things that used to fascinate me no longer felt like they had that "edge" and life felt less vivid. I decided about halfway through the semester that I would start the process of getting off of Lexapro. I had read some info from this forum and decided to do it slowly, but as you will soon see, I still probably wasn't careful enough in my taper.


I went from 15mg to 12.5mg over the course of two weeks, cutting 1.25mg per week by alternating 15mg and 12.5mg every other day for the first week. I maintained 12.5mg for a while.

I believe it was over winter break that I cut my dosage from 12.5mg to 10mg in one decrement after consulting with my psychiatrist and telling him about my symptoms.

After I felt during 2nd semester sophomore year that the emotional numbness wasn't going away, I decided to cut my dosage in half to 5mg. I maintained that for 3 weeks probably until finally going down to 2.5mg. I held out this dose for ~1.5 months until late last June, when I went directly to 0.

Withdrawal Symptoms:

Aside from experiencing some acute anxiety/sleep disturbances about a week after a dose adjustment, I don't think I experienced any debilitating symptoms of withdrawal. In this respect, I think I got lucky, although I still probably should have conducted my taper much more slowly to be safe.

Lingering Symptoms:

So why am I here? Overall, I would say I feel extremely similar to how I felt on Lexapro. It's actually kind of shocking; I expected at least some change to materialize after discontinuing. After reading some posts on this forum, I realized that it may take a considerable amount of time for symptoms of the AD to abate (if that is indeed what they are... it's potentially unrelated). I no longer feel like the person I was before starting Lexapro or even during the first 8 months - a year of being on it. I feel like after that point the emotional blunting symptom only got worse. I believe its stabilized now, but it's quite bad. I'm able to get myself through the day and complete whatever tasks I need to, but I no longer feel a sense of motivation or purpose. I used to be very passionate about diet and exercise, but now I feel like I just do these two things in order to increase my chances of recovery... which is a good reason of course! It's very rare that I really get immersed in things which used to captivate my interest like movies and books, although I still read books even if my pleasure from doing so is limited.

Current Choices:

I just recently started seeing a therapist (LCSW) to see if that could be helpful for my recovery. My psychiatrist knows of my symptoms and wants to wait a while to see if they reduce. If not, he wants to either prescribe me Lexapro again, or possibly an atypical antidepressant like Wellbutrin or Remeron. I'm completely opposed to going back on Lexapro, so a choice I am currently facing is whether or not to try a different antidepressant. I am now leaning on the side of learning to get by without an AD and seeing what happens to my symptoms over the course of the next few years.

For some additional background on myself, I am a Neuroscience major intent on going to grad school. I feel like my primary motivation is to make findings which would improve people's mental health, although I have difficulty feeling this motivation most of the time. Luckily i'm a naturally good student and so even without a feeling of high motivation, I should be able to tell myself that things will only get worse if I do not do my best academically, and this will keep me earning good grades next semester... hopefully, that is.

Thank you for reading my introduction. I will post periodic updates in this thread. I look forward to collaborating with all of you on our individual recoveries. Feel free to ask me any questions if you have any desire to.

I hereby give full permission for my case story to be used for research into AD drugs and their effects.

Ngenesis Introduction




10mg: 1/17 - 7/17

15mg: 7/17 - ~10/17
12.5mg: ~10/17 - 1/18
10mg: 1/18 - 4/18
5mg: 4/18 - 5/18
2.5mg: 5/18 - 6/18
0mg: 6/18 -

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hello, Ngenesis, and welcome to SA.


Emotional blunting and anhedonia are also symptoms of withdrawal, which explains why you are not feeling very different from when you were on the Lexapro.  You tapered very fast and also did every other day dosing, both of which are extremely destabilizing.


At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  


It is not a question of waiting for the symptoms of the AD to abate.  These drugs alter the architecture of the brain, and the time necessary to heal the brain and return to homeostasis is, unfortunately, impossible to predict.  The link below on brain remodeling is particularly informative.


When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
Sometime withdrawal symptoms don't appear immediately after a too-fast taper.
To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.
Please include the dates of your taper, the rate at which you tapered, and whether you did every-other-day dosing.  Please keep your signature as simple and easy to read as possible.
Unfortunately, very few doctors know anything about slow tapering or withdrawal.  They will usually suggest a far-too-fast taper.  Here are some tips for taking with your doctor.

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.





Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to comment

Thanks for the useful info Gridley. I will make sure to read these links and create my signature.

Ngenesis Introduction




10mg: 1/17 - 7/17

15mg: 7/17 - ~10/17
12.5mg: ~10/17 - 1/18
10mg: 1/18 - 4/18
5mg: 4/18 - 5/18
2.5mg: 5/18 - 6/18
0mg: 6/18 -

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ngenesis: Emotional blunting and anhedonia
  • 6 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Ngenesis, 


How are you doing?💚

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️ Oct21=3.60✔️Dec8=3.55✔️ 2023➡️Jan 26=3.50✔️March 17=3.45✔️ THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ngenesis: emotional blunting and anhedonia

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy