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Gaebbi: reinstatement gone wrong?

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Gaebbi

Hello to all of you!

I just discovered this forum and I think it's best for me to ask you for advice, since most doctors here in germany don't have a clue about ssri withdrawal..

 

So I'm trying to keep it short. I was prescribed 20mg of escitalopram (=40mg citalopram) in september 2017 after having severe depression, caused by withdrawal from benzos (lorazepam) which I'm off for 16 months now.

The ssri helped me a lot and thankfully my depression went away and never came back.

I tried to get off the ssri in april this year and tapered waaaay too fast. Took 10mg for a week, then 5 for a week and then zero. The withdrawal symptoms were severe but i could stand them. But after 3 months I got some heavy muscle pain and numbness in my forearms and felt so fatigue i couldn't get out of bed anymore.

That led me to reinstating the drug at 6mg at first. I didn't feel much better, so i updosed to 10mg 10 days later. The first 5 days or so i felt pretty well, but after that I felt much worse and I'm feeling worse every day since then. I'm suffering severe anhedonia, brain fog, anxiety and a bit of fatigue. At least the muscle weakness is gone.

 

Honestly I don't really know what to do next. Updosing to 10mg was about 12 days ago and i wonder if I should go back to a lower dose like 5mg or should just wait and hope to get better.

 

Hope some of you can help me

Much greetings, Gaebbi

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Gaebbi.

 

It sounds to me like 10mg has become too much for you, as it ramped up to steady-state in your bloodstream. I would reduce to 9mg right away. Here's our topic Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Please let us know how you're doing. It could be you'll want to reduce a bit further, but see how you do with 9mg first.

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Gaebbi

Hey Altostrata,

Since I'm new here it took two days for this topic to be checked by a moderator, so the last two days I didn't really know what to do and reduced my dosage to 5mg. I'm not doing well, but it's not worse than with the 10mg. But of course, I can't say much after just two days.

I was just thinking, with the 10mg dosage I was MUCH worse doing than before the reinstatement, so I thought it was a way too high dosage, that's why I only took 5mg the last two days.

So I'm wondering if I should still updose to 9mg again or keep the 5mg dosage, or maybe something in between?

Thank you very much for your answer, of course I'll keep you updated!

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manymoretodays

Hi Gaebbi,

I'm sorry.  We really do try to get to newbies within 24 hours.

I think you might do best just holding at the 5 mg. dosage right now..........giving it a full  4 days to a week to evaluate.  If symptoms get markedly worse........please let us know, as if that happens we may want you to reduce your dose.  The brain and CNS really like stability.........and it appears you did a lot of jumping around with dosage, prior to arrival........not your fault as most doctors just aren't well versed in this stuff.  I'm glad you are feeling at least a bit of relief right now.  I reduced from just 5 mg of escitalopram way too quickly and within just a few days felt totally bonkers.  I had read a bit but just was totally unprepared, and fairly uneducated around this stuff still.

 

Are you currently on escitalopram or citalopram 5 mg?

 

And welcome.  I'm going to give you a few links to look over as well as ask you to create a signature, which is the section that you see below people's posts.

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

 
 
 
What is withdrawal syndrome.
 
 
 
 
There's a whole indexed list of some non drug coping in the first post of that last one that are linked up.
 
Happy reading and again apologies for the delay,
 
Love, peace, healing, and growth,
mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays
?

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Gaebbi

Hey mmt,

No need for apologies, I'm sure you as moderators have lots of work to do here!

I'm on 5mg of escitalopram right now. I never took citalopram.

It's day 3 after reducing to 5mg and I'm feeling better, my anhedonia is nearly gone which feels great. Anxiety and dp/dr is up, but I guess I'm used to that, you can imagine that it was way more hell while withdrawing from benzos.

But well, of course it could only be a good wave. Let's see how I will feel the following days.

 

Updated my signature right now and i already read all the articles you linked here, thank you for that!

Greetings and have a nice day!

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Altostrata

Apologies for the error! I agree with manymoretodays, see how you do on 5mg. It could very well be enough.

 

Good to hear that as the amount of drug declined in your bloodstream, you felt better. It will take about a week for your body to register that you're only taking 5mg. Be sure to take it at the same time each day.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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Gaebbi

So i think it's day 9 or 10 now on 5mg. I'm feeling a bit better but not that much. Dr/dp and anxiety / panic attacks are worse and i have headaches, anhedonia and fatigue got better.

Should i stay on the 5 mg dosage and wait or do you think i would do better on a lower dosage?

 

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Gaebbi

Also I tried fish oil and it made my feel much worse! I took 2400mg, do you think it was too much?

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Songbird

Some people find fish oil too stimulating - if it is making you feel worse then don't keep taking it.  If you are having panic and anxiety, you might find magnesium more helpful as it tends to be calming.  Once things have calmed down somewhat, you could possibly try fish oil again at a low dose.  I've found it good for brain fog.  It's best to start any supplement with a low dose to see how your system reacts, and then, if your system tolerates it, slowly increase the dose. 

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Gaebbi

I'll try taking the fish oil again at a lower dosage when I'm feeling better.

I still don't know if the 5mg of escitalopram I'm taking right now is the right dosage.. it's been 2 weeks now and I'm suffering much of anxiety and panic, which I didn't have as much as I cold turkeyed. The reason I reinstated was my muscle pain and soreness, but at least that symptom is gone after reinstatement.

 

I'm feeling like the current dosage is too high and maybe I should try less like 3-4mg, but I won't lower my dosage after some of you tell me to. Could someone tell me his/her opinion on this?

Thank you all very much!

 

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Gaebbi

So It's been a month now on 5mg and my panic an dp/dr is intense. Honestly I feel worse than when I cold turkeyed! There are waves when I'm feeling well, but the waves when I'm feeling bad get more intense!

I really think that 5mg is not the right dosage, but I just don't know if I should go higher or lower.

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Gaebbi

Hey to all of you,


not healing still decrease dosage?  (from new topic heading - topic merged to Intro)

:

I´ll just paste my signature to keep this short:


Panic attacks starting june 2015
Got dependent on tavor (lorazepam).
Started tapering with valium in october 2016 for 6 months until zero, benzo free for 19 months now!
Got severe depression sept 2017, was prescribed 20mg of escitalopram.
Tried to quit ssri in april 2018 (2 weeks taper, way too fast)
3 months later tried to reinstate with 10mg and feeling much worse. Reduced dosage to 5mg after 12 days, I felt a bit better but not well at all. Then reduced to 4mgs after about 6 weeks. I´m still on 4mgs since 3 months but feel bad.

 

So I`ve been on 4mgs for more than 3 months now but it seems like I'm not healing at all.

after switching to 4mgs after 1 week I was feeling extremely well for 2 weeks, but since then I'm suffering many withdrawal symptoms, which still aren't getting better. All the symptoms are existent most of the time and not in waves. There has not been a symptom free time the last 3 months!

I'm suffering much panic and anxiety, also brainfog, depersonalization and derealisation, fatigue, anhedonia and mood swings, also much irritability. Sometimes also insomnia, but not very often. But also everytime when I try to sleep on my back i get something like zaps through my entire body.

 

I just don't know how to go on. I feel like staying on my dosage won't make me any better and I can only heal when I'm completely off the drug, but of course I could also be wrong. I planned to stay on the 4mgs until I feel better and then reduce further, but honestly I don't think that I will feel better anytime soon since I don't feel any improvment over the last 3 months.

 

So whats your opinion on this? Try to reduce with the 10% schedule from now on? or staying on my dosage?

Much greetings,

Gäbbi

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added new topic title to post

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Altostrata

Hello, Gaebbi.

 

What is your daily symptom pattern now? Do you feel better or worse in the hours after you take escilatopram? Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

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Gaebbi

thanks Altostrata, I will do so the next days.

but so far i can tell that taking the escitalopram sometimes doesn't make a change to my symptoms and sometimes they get worse, but never better.

I`m taking it at 11 in the evening right before i go to bed.

I've noticed that especially the depersonalization rises up at around 6pm.

the anxiety and anhedonia is there 24/7, sometimes really really bad and sometimes it's ok, but never completely away. Depersonalization comes as it starts to get darker outside, sometimes also earlyer but not very often.

I also think that the last 2 weeks where my symptoms where more severe than ever, I got a setback from my benzo withdrawal, because there are 2 symptoms I had in this time that I only experienced on my benzo withdrawal: a metallic taste in my mouth and some stomach pain in the morning after waking up. Could be because I had an evening 2 weeks ago where I definitely drank too much alcohol. my bad, of course, but I just wanted to live a normal life again 😕

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manymoretodays

Hi Gaebbi,

17 hours ago, Gaebbi said:

thanks Altostrata, I will do so the next days.

but so far i can tell that taking the escitalopram sometimes doesn't make a change to my symptoms and sometimes they get worse, but never better.

I`m taking it at 11 in the evening right before i go to bed.

I've noticed that especially the depersonalization rises up at around 6pm.

the anxiety and anhedonia is there 24/7, sometimes really really bad and sometimes it's ok, but never completely away. Depersonalization comes as it starts to get darker outside, sometimes also earlyer but not very often.

I also think that the last 2 weeks where my symptoms where more severe than ever, I got a setback from my benzo withdrawal, because there are 2 symptoms I had in this time that I only experienced on my benzo withdrawal: a metallic taste in my mouth and some stomach pain in the morning after waking up. Could be because I had an evening 2 weeks ago where I definitely drank too much alcohol. my bad, of course, but I just wanted to live a normal life again 😕

Healing is happening all the time.  Here's a sample of daily notes.  Even if you are just taking the one medication/drug, it can be invaluable, as a more objective tool for us to look at.

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep


Include all your drugs taken now.  And supplements, as well as your sleep patterns, to the right of the times noted.  Were you able to find a magnesium supplement that helps?

Please at least, consider a long hold, much longer than the 4-6 weeks between 10% drops.  When you went from 5 mg to 4 mg you also did a 20% drop.

10% of 5 mg would result in a 4.5 mg dose taken.

And then 10% of a 4.5 mg dose would approximate a 4 mg dose.

What are you working with for your daily excitalopram dose?  A 5 mg or 10 mg tablet, or are you making your own liquid, or using a pharmacy premade liquid?

My guess is that you may have been a bit overly ambitious with your taper........in the hopes that you would find that illusive "normal" B)

 

Did you feel better at your 5 mg dose?  Unfortunately, you will continue with protracted type withdrawal symptoms for some time.   That was one of the bitter realities that I too, had to come to terms with when I arrived here.  I, personally, find "normality" to be an illusive concept.......in a good way.  I'm thankful you got off the benzo, and realize that you have a pretty dis-regulated nervous system now.......even still........some 2 years out.  

 

We just want to find now.......the best dose possible, for some withdrawal stability.  That may have been 5 mg.   It may be 4 mg.  Perhaps it is 6 mg.  Do a few days of logs/drug and symptom notes.

 

  I know I could function well for many years on just the escitalopram and a dose of 5 mg.  After withdrawing and being in protracted withdrawal from some of my other many more medications.   My personal opinion is that Lexapro/escitalopram withdrawal can be just as tough as many benzo withdrawals.  Maybe just because I've been through that, and on the other side now.  Healing never quite stops. 

 

All for now Gaebbi,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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Gaebbi

Hey manymoretodays, thank you very much for your comment :)

like I said I will track my symptoms and so on the following days and will post them on the weekend!

I've tried magnesium citrate, but after 2 weeks my setback (if it was one) started and I'm not sure if the magnesium contributed to this, since I read storys about people off benzos having problems with taking it. but it could also be because of some alcohol consumption, honestly I don't know and i think I'm better off not taking magnesium or alcohol the next time :) I'll just stay away from any substance that interferes with GABA receptors in any way.

 

Right now I'm using normal pharmagrade liquid of escitaslopram with 20mg/ml, so every drop contains a mg. when I go down further I will try to use an insulin syringe to measure the dosage since taking half drops may be a bit challenging, and unluckily there isn't an escitalopram liquid with a lesser dosage here in Germany.

 

I wasn't feeling better on my 5mg dosage. But I can tell that I was WAY worse on my 10mg dosage after I reinstated. That felt like absolute hell!

 

I'm not taking any other supplements right now, only some vitamin D every other week. At least that doesn't make anything worse than it is.

Oh well, I'm vaping, but with a very very small amount of nicotine. Of course that won't help me in any way, but I really don't want another withdrawal right now ;)

 

much greetings, Gäbbi!

 

 

 

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manymoretodays

The rule of 3KIS

At this point, just try and remain stable with your nicotene intake/vaping usage too.

 

And the type of syringe that you want:

Sometimes animal doctors have good ones, syringes, or just order several from Amazon.

I think it might help with accuracy in the long haul.

Using a syringe : you would presently be at the .2 mL marking to get 4 mg of the active ingrediant of escitalopram. 

20 mg : 1 mL

then 4 mg :  0.2 mL

 

So, your  bottle clearly states that 1 mg is in each gtt(drop).  That's good.

 

Hold the vaping stable.  I'm doing the same now with cigarettes and nicotene.  I'll go further when the holidays have past over I think.

 

Tis weird, yet often true..........for many of us........that our A/D can increase cravings for alcohol.  So just be aware.  And abstinence can be enjoyable.  Opt for non alcoholic beverages with a straw or cinnamon stick in them.  Gives you something to chew on, as an alternative to the vaping, or in my case actual smoking.  It helps. 

 

You might revisit the magnesium topic.  I got a lot of benefit from that supplement.  Still do.

 

Best, Love, peace, holiday healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gaebbi
Posted (edited)

Topic title:  irregular Dosage - how long to recover?

 

Well, I couldn`t figure out a proper title for this topic, so I'll just describe my Problem:
 

I´m on 2mgs of Escitalopram for about 5 weeks now. I won't taper the next few weeks because I want to feel good in my vacation starting end of August.

However, last weekend was a bit of a mess. Saturday I was out with friends, and normally I'm taking my medication at 11 p.m., which wasn't possible that evening, because I forgot to take my medication with me. So I took it as soon as I could, which was 3am.

On The next evening I completely forgot to take my medication (I turned off my alarm accidentaly), I noticed on the next morning and took 1mg, so I won't have too much medication in my bloodstream when taking my regular dosage again in the evening.

 

Well, since Monday I'm feeling like ****. Got depression (which luckily went away after a few hours), and since yesterday I'm feeling like having a migraine, but I'm not sure if it really is a migraine or not. Tried to work a bit today but had to leave after 30 minutes since I got very nauseos and felt like blacking out. Also high anxiety.

 

Just wanted to ask if anyone also has experienced this and knows how long it takes to stabilize again. Definitely learned my lesson

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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Gaebbi

Also I have to mention that my stress level was extremely high on that weekend and the week before. Saturday to sunday I got 2 hours of sleep and had to drive 3 hours in my car in extreme rainfalls and under too high caffeine consumption to stay awake. I Felt like being drunk as I got home. Of course that didn't make anything better. The combination of the high stress level and the irregular dosage was just too much!

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Gridley
12 minutes ago, Gaebbi said:

knows how long it takes to stabilize again. Definitely learned my lesson

 

l can't give you a specific time frame for stabilization, but these dose mishaps are common and generally resolve reasonably quickly.  

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Gaebbi

Thanks Gridley!
Yeah, of course this wasn't the first time something like that happened to me, but normally the symptoms went away after 1-2 days. They're just more severe now and also exist for 3 days now, that's why I started this topic!

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Gridley
25 minutes ago, Gaebbi said:

just more severe now and also exist for 3 days

 

Keep in mind the stress factor, the lack of sleep and the caffeine.  I'd practice some extra self-care over the next few days, avoid stress, cut down on the caffeine if you can, be kind to yourself and don't worry.

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Gaebbi

Thanks Gridley!

Today (despite the 30 minutes of work) I only layed in bed and got some of my sleep back, definitely helped!

I only drink 1-2 coffees a day. On Sunday it was just to keep me awake during the car drive. I new that it‘s bad for my mental health, but it was absolutely necessary in this case!

Don‘t taper and drive I guess 😉

 

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ChessieCat

2 introduction topics merged

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Gaebbi

Ok so I‘m sorry for bothering you again..

I‘m feeling horrible right now, and that has been the case for the last two weeks.. but the last two days were the worst in my life.

i experienced some weird panic, but not like usual panic attacks. It felt like going completely insane while being totally helpless. It‘s hard to describe, but I can tell you that never in my entire timelime of ssri and benzo withdrawal I had a feeling this horrible.

 

And here‘s the thing

I‘m holding my current dosage for 7 weeks now!

normally I go down after 4-5 weeks, just not this time because I wanted to feel good in my vacation starting tomorrow.

I felt pretty Ok during the first 5 weeks of holding my dosage. It started to get worse after that, and it gets worse and worse every day!

 

So I‘m just thinking.. maybe the drug doesn‘t get metabolized fast enough in my body, so that it accumulates? Thats why I feel worse the longer I take the dosage?

Once a few months ago I accidentally doubled my dosage and the next day I felt like dying..

the half life of escitalopram is 30 hours, maybe taking it every 24 hours is too much?

I just don‘t know.

I hope anybody can help me.. If not, I‘ll try to just lower my dosage and see what happens.

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hi Gaebbi,

1 hour ago, Gaebbi said:

So I‘m just thinking.. maybe the drug doesn‘t get metabolized fast enough in my body, so that it accumulates? Thats why I feel worse the longer I take the dosage?

Once a few months ago I accidentally doubled my dosage and the next day I felt like dying..

the half life of escitalopram is 30 hours, maybe taking it every 24 hours is too much?

I just don‘t know.

I hope anybody can help me.. If not, I‘ll try to just lower my dosage and see what happens.

 

Sorry, I missed your arrival back to posting.  And no apologies for "bothering" us again.  So sorry that you are feeling horrible.  Perhaps some additional fears/anxiety around vacation. 

 

No, if I were you I sure would not be skipping any daily doses.  And more on that here: Why taper by 10% of my dosage

That could just confuse and complicate your WD.

 

Have you been basing your 10% or less tapering decreases on each previous dose?

You may have been tapering a bit too fast.   Too fast for you.  Either that, or you are starting to feel the cumulative effects of a 50% or more drop, from the 5 mg dose that you started tapering from around 8 months ago.   It looks like you may have held at the 5 mg dose of escitalopram, after arrival here for 4-6 weeks, which is great.  Then I see that you may have gone from 4 mg somewhere last December to present 1.8 mg dose?  So you might have been going a bit too fast, and/or not listening to your own individual bodies response to each taper drop.

The rule of 3KIS; simple, slow, and stable

 

I wouldn't recommend further tapering now, with the expectation that your WD symptoms will improve.  That's rarely the case.   I mean many of us have this erroneous idea, that faster tapering is the answer, and it rarely, if ever is.   AND, you are getting to more critical doses of escitalopram now........ meaning,  you might even be more conservative with your taper decreases.  Meaning:  HOLDS for longer periods until WD stability, has been achieved, and considering tapering by even less than 10% as well. 


It's possible that a slight updose, might improve your WD symptoms now too, rather than a further taper.  A wee, teeny, tiny updose.  Perhaps going back up to 2 mg, a 0.2 mg updose.  And then, of course, you may not feel immediate improvement, but may feel some improvement after 4-7 days on the same dose. Same dose.  Same time taken.  Can really make a difference too. 

About reinstating and stablizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

^ covers a bit about updosing as well

 

And definitely try to stay away from any other potentially psychoactive substances.  Things like coffee, nicotene, alcohol, over the counter supplements, etc.  Or increased intakes of the coffee and nicotene.  How have you done with your vaping?  Just mentioning, as changes in any of these things can and do often potentiate WD symptoms. 

 

Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take?

Take a look at 5. and 11. in the above ^, where you'll find more on what I mean by WD stability.  And if you can read okay and absorb, go through some of the other topics there.  I'm pretty sure that you'll find the information very helpful in understanding more about how you are feeling now.

 

You are not going insane Gaebbi.  Some pauses and deep breaths may help.  Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercises.  4 seconds in through your nose, hold to a count of 7, and then exhale for a count of 8.  Focus and keep trying if you feel way panicky.  See if you can do 3, 4, 5, cycles of this.  Just keep going back to the breaths as your thoughts go all squirrely(all over the place, as they often do when in WD induced symptoms).  Find that sweet spot between the breaths, or while breathing.  It's there.  Try some visualizations of something calming while you are breathing or look at a favorite picture of something or someone.

 

You might take along some audio meditations, or music for calming and relaxation, too.  On your vacation.  Hoping you are with supportive people so that you can avoid having to push past your limits and just enjoy.

 

Okay.  All for now.  And best.

Send postcard.  B)  From your vacation.  Only kidding and I hope it is grand!

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
oh some spacing, grammer, punctuation

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Gaebbi

Hey manymoretodays,

thanks for helping me out again!

currently I‘m on 2mgs, not 1,8mgs. I don‘t know exactly every step in my taper that i took, but i know that the last 6 times of tapering I always held my dosage for 4-5 weeks before tapering again, and I also felt pretty well in this time!

 

But you mentioned another thing that I didn‘t care enough about: vaping / smoking.

In April I stopped vaping and didn‘t have any adverse effects while doing so. My nicotine dosage was always very low. Normally people vape with about 6-12 mgs of nicotine per ml, and I only took about 1mg/ml.

 

Then about 3 weeks ago I randomly started smoking cigarettes. Don‘t even know why. They didn‘t make me feel good in any way, it‘s just my still underlying addiction for nicotine. One hell of an addiction 😕

I got worse over this time period, so 3 days ago I only smoked one cigarette and after that I stopped smoking again.

do you think it could be the nicotine withdrawal that makes me feel that miserable?

I never had any bad effects when stopping smoking, but I guess my brain is just more f*cked now than a few years ago..

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hey,

I think if you could do a more controlled taper on the nicotene, yes, sure that could make a difference.  And oh boy........don't get into smoking cigarettes......so much other junk and toxins inherent in those, than just the nicotene(which is a chemical insecticide or something, by the way.....!!!!!!).  I can relate, however.  There is some insanity to what we do to cope sometimes......for example, the use of caffiene and cigarettes, bad habits and addictions.  I can't speak or type much on my own journey off the smokes, as it's a bit too acute right now.  It can be done though.  I'm not completely abstinent yet, obstinate might better describe it.  Getting there.  Using all my tools. 

 

Here's Lalochezia! The cursing thread 

I needed that thread, at one time, and oooh.......it would finally just get me to laughing.  Beats tears, or irritable, anyday.

 

To health and wellbeing.

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
spelling

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Gaebbi

So, a small update today..

I‘m still in vacation and should be until Monday, but i had to order an earlyer flight back home today because I feel absolutely horrible.

Not a single day in this vacation was anything near enjoyment because of my messed up brain!

On nearly every night I awake with a feeling of being completely insane. It‘s indescribable. Like not being on this earth or in my body anymore. And it‘s not dr/dp, trust me, I know how that feels because of my benzo withdrawal.

It‘s the worst I‘ve ever felt in my entire life and when it happens the only thing I want to do is to kill myself.

I‘m going to see a doctor as soon as I‘m back home. Maybe there‘s more going on than just the ssri withdrawal.

 

edit: just if you wonder.. I didn‘t take any drugs the last few weeks. Not a single cigarette anymore, no alcohol and nearly no caffeine. And no sign of getting better.

I‘m on my current escitalopram dosage for more than 7 weeks now.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reworded obscenity

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ChessieCat

Tried to quit ssri in april 2018 (2 weeks taper, way too fast)
3 months later tried to reinstate with 10mg and feeling much worse. Reduced dosage to 5mg after 12 days, I felt a bit better but not well at all. Then reduced to 4mgs after about 6 weeks.

 

Please change the bolded times to dates in your drug signature.  Thanks.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

 

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Gaebbi

I did so.

also an update.

Currently I‘m worse than I‘ve ever been. Never in my entire timeline of Panic attacks, depression or benzo withdrawal I felt Anything near as horrible as I‘m feeling now.

I turned myself into a psychiatry last friday. They will start checking me and treating my symptoms tomorrow.

all my friends are supporting me and my best friend and my parents visit me every day. I‘m sorry to say that, but that‘s the only thing keeping me from suicide right now.

 

the feeling of being distracted from reality is still there. And trust me, it‘s not dr/dp. It‘s more like the feeling of being in a horror movie I cant escape.

also I‘m experiencing panic attacks, missensations, especially in my arms, brain zaps and complete body zaps, I somehow can‘t yawn or sneeze anymore, I‘m experiencing true terror and sometimes the only thing I can do is cry of frustration and helplesness. I feel like going crazy because it feels like I dont belong anywhere on this world. I see my hand and it doesn‘t feel like it‘s belonging to my body. It feels like I‘m electrified and have to burst into a thousand pieces.

There are more symptoms but you get the point.

I just don‘t know if it‘s withdrawal anymore. I‘m on 2mgs for over 2 months now and never had such severe problems before.

like I said, the benzo withdrawal I‘ve gone through was a cake compared to this.

 

What are your thoughts about all this? I think the doc wants to updose my lexapro dosage from 2 to 3 mgs to see how i react..

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manymoretodays
On 8/25/2019 at 8:09 AM, Gaebbi said:

currently I‘m on 2mgs, not 1,8mgs. I don‘t know exactly every step in my taper that i took, but i know that the last 6 times of tapering I always held my dosage for 4-5 weeks before tapering again, and I also felt pretty well in this time!

 

Hi Gaebbi,

So......you had 6 months or more, doing pretty well, as you stated......before tapering to 2 mg, as you stated.

Then you had some stress, as well as irregular dosing, skipped doses, varying dose, and good stress- that turned to bad.......referring to your vacation here.

And sweetie, I know.......how this, now, seems to be indescribably really, really intense.......so intense, that you don't want us even label symptoms, and you feel completely the worst ever, out of all your experiences to date, including getting off your benzo.  I lived through the same.  With my own escitalopram withdrawal.  Descriptions of symptoms are fine, in fact that is great.  Even the suicidal ideation......I don't mean that is great that you are having those ideas........of course not. 

 

Okay, you've got a support system going.  Can they keep on with the daily checks, both friends and parents?  Can they help a bit around careful measuring of your dose, and making sure that you have it ready to go, to take at the same time every day?   Help you keep some notes even?  Simple notes for us to help you.  Date.  Then a Time listed on the left.  On the right of the time you list your medication by name, and with the dosage in mg.  Also on the right, list symptoms, eating, sleep, any other additional supplements by name and dosage.

 

Can family and friends help you a bit with some of your practical concerns now?  By practical, I mean, some of the essentials of living.  Bathing, eating, general hygiene, sleep- I'm guessing you can do some of this on your own still.  But some household practical things......some space to begin to get to healing again, as well as some calm, accepting presences, who are not badgering you to get well and back to it......by yesterday.  Perhaps some meals, or helping you to get some easy, healthy meals, and snacks going at regular intervals.  Are you working now?  Can you get a few days to a week or two off?

 

Sure sounds like you have hit that critical dosage, either at the dose you were at before your drop to 2 mg, or you hit it with the drop.  And I understand that you can't cognitively quite figure it all out right now......or I am guessing again, that might be the case.  Because I remember when I hit that critical point with my own Lexapro/escitalopram taper.  And I am so, so very sorry to hear that things have gone from bad to worse.  Don't keep feeding the fear of non-recovery and healing too much though.  Or set yourself up for thinking there is a really quick fix for all this that will come about from another pill.  Fact is, as I see it, you were recovering nicely from a near enough CT, after finding a good reinstatement dose, and may have just gone to quickly once again.  Time. Patience.  Consistency.  And a heck of a lot of non-drug coping, and learning from your own bodies response to things. 

 

By critical point, I refer to this:  from Why taper by 10% of my dosage

And I'm pulling this nugget out of that first post ^.  Might be helpful for your doctor to see. 

In addition, for scientific data supporting a very gradual taper, see this paper Meyer, 2004 Serotonin transporter occupancy of five selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors at different doses: an [11C]DASB positron emission tomography study.   Discussion and full text here
 

On 4/13/2014 at 12:53 PM, Rhi said:

....
When you open the document go to page 4 and look at the charts. You will see that at lower doses you must taper EXTRA slow, not faster. At higher doses, when you cut 1 mg, it only reduces your receptor occupancy by a small amount; but from 1 mg down to 0 you drop from 20% occupancy straight down to zero!
 
That's why we say calculate your cuts based on 10% of your CURRENT dose. (Or a smaller percentage....
....

 
Rhi suggests printing this paper out and taking it to your doctor to show why it's important to taper very gradually.
 
Why decrease by such a small amount?

The risk of severe withdrawal is so great for some people, a very conservative approach to tapering to protect everyone is called for.

 

4 hours ago, Gaebbi said:

What are your thoughts about all this? I think the doc wants to updose my lexapro dosage from 2 to 3 mgs to see how i react..

 

Are you using the liquid now then?  And have you been reducing by drops out of a dropper?  Or using a syringe for your measurements?

Please clarify.  Including concentration of the medication you are taking now, and then how you measure each dose of 2 mg?

 

I think, Gaebbi, that we/you/your consult with psychiatry tomorrow, and your support system now, should opt for harm reduction on any updosing done now too.  If you were last well enough(recovering/healing a bit from your CT) on a 3 mg dose of escitalopram, you might consider.......instead of going all the way back up to 3mg now, that you do a trial of even less.  I'm going to opt for just suggesting 0.5 mg for an updose.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

^ can be applied to updosing as well

 

Which, of course, may require a bit of a creative approach to further dilution of your liquid(if you are on liquid escitalopram now).  And probably best to just further dilute your next couple of days of doses at a time.  And then stay put with what you've updosed with for at least 4-7 days.  Keeping notes again.  And only discontinuing if you feel that you are experiencing some sensitivity reactions, above and beyond what you are describing for symptoms in your last post. 

It's unlikely to bring you back to that baseline that you had for 6 months or so overnight, even some improvement will be great.  And then you could go up the second 0.5 mg after perhaps, 4 -7 days of improvement on the 2.5 mg dose.  Which would be a more cautious approach than going to a 3 mg dose all at once. 

 

And then just HOLD, HOLD, HOLD again for a long time.  Even 6 months or a year.  Until feeling really stable before any taper attempts resume.  And when you do want to taper again, I'd suggest we get you going down in dose by much smaller increments than 10%.........just sneaking down.

 
How to talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?What to expect?

 

Let us know how it goes please, with psychiatry.  And if you can begin to cope, with help of course, you could also consider any kind of doctor to renew your prescription.

Love, peace, healing, and growth,  and hugs Gaebbi,

mmt

p.s. just ask for clarification too, if my written English gets too confusing.

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
basic grammar

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Gaebbi

Hey manymoretodays.. I‘m so thankful that you always try your best to help me! I would be lost without this community! I will be giving a long  detailed answer to your post in a few hours, as soon as I talked to the doc again.

 

just wanted to ask another thing.. here in the psychiatry they try to help me by giving my quetiapine. On the first evening 50mgs since I wouldn‘t stop crying for hours. On saturday I got 25mgs and on Sunday 50mgs again. It helps a bit, especially for sleeping.

I really try not to take it and they‘re not forcing me to do so. But my situation is unbearable.

Do you think it‘s ok to take it for a few days? Hopefully only for a week?

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manymoretodays

Oh Gaebbi,

Perhaps I am misunderstanding a bit.  "Here in the psychiatry".  Does that mean that you have gone inpatient, something like a hospital, for your present concerns then? 

 

If I were you, I would do my best to NOT get started on quetiapine.  And if you do, stay as low as possible with the dose.  If 25 mg gives you some degree of tranquilizer effect, and calming, maybe 12.5 mg will too.  Just stick with none, or the lowest dose possible, until you can feel comfortable enough to go home again.  Although dependency developing around the quetiapine, might take a whole month to set in........with the current state of your nervous system, I'd rather you just get some compassionate care, understanding, and kindness now.......in the largest dosage possible.  And then.....later........some support at home, hopefully family and friends.  Weeping spells or crying.......will and can eventually get better on their own.  When you recover from the unexpected loss of your vacation, as anticipated.......that will help a lot.  I cried or froze every time I went to more intensive psychiatry or hospital here.  Those days are behind me now.

 

Your protracted benzo withdrawal, appears to have been treated with escitalopram(SSRI) and now your escitalopram WD, is getting treated with an AP(antipsychotic)- quetiapine.  Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

 

My hope is that you are surrounded by compassionate kindness for your present situation.  And some willingness of the staff, to perhaps take a different view of your situation.....than the usual.  In essence, at least here in the U.S., the goal of inpatient psychiatry, before releasing anyone from care......is to have assurance that at the time of your departure......they feel confident that no harm will come to you, or anyone else, once you go home.    I don't want to see you......get started.......on more of a merry go round of drug dependencies, than that which you've already had.

 

Try to take advantage of anything at all they offer you now, anything that does not involve more drugs/medications.

And did I read correctly that you've free-ed yourself of the nicotene/tobacco addiction completely now?!  You beat me to the finish line on that one.

 

Oh Gaebbi, I look forward to hearing more from you soon.  Sending light and hope and healing........

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

I should be back around, on site, after about 48 hours.  Possibly sooner.  Will check for your postings then.  :wub:❤️

 

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Sassenach

Hi Gaebbi

Many many more today's has asked us to keep an eye on you.

Are you in hospital or a psychiatric unit.

Did did you admit yourself voluntarily?

If if you admitted yourself they cannot force you to take anything.

Please please let me know.

Sassenach

ps MMT will be back in a couple of days.

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