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Tom37

Tom37: Lexapro taper

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ChessieCat
DaisyBell

Hi Tom, from one former Lexapro user and a kiwi, I know what you are going through. Rumination is pretty nasty (the constant negative thinking) - just try not to act on any of it. Talking with a professional or really supportive person can help. Had a really bad patch myself recently, despite being off Lexapro free for over 4 years. The thoughts are just thoughts... although they feel pretty all consuming.

 

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Tom37

Another 5 or 6 hours sleep last night so that was a positive. Just would be nice to sleep through instead of always waking in the night.

 

Today the ‘flu’ like symptom seems to have gone but of course has been replaced by something else....the body just feels a bit nervous when mentally I’m not so it’s about separating how I feel physically from my mind and not attaching it to anything. Usually this gets better as the day goes on but still a **** way to start the day especially as I’m not a morning person. The aching will probably start once this goes which is the usual trend although always lingering in the back ground.

 

The sensations of anxiety in my tummy/chest where less last night but still showed up. It does make me doubt myself though and wonder if it is ‘me’ creating it but it’s different than any type of anxiety I’ve felt before. 

 

Anyway another beautiful day here meant to be about 25c so will get out and about. 

 

Just trying to remain positive that this will settle down and I will stabilise and this is not my ‘new normal’.

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Altostrata

Hi, Tom. It looks like on average, you have been very gradually improving since reinstatement of 4mg Lexapro on Nov. 7, is that correct?

 

It's "normal" for very gradual, halting improvement after reinstatement. It's also "normal" for withdrawal symptoms to mutate during the process.

 

What time of day do you take your drugs? Do you feel better before or afterward? Are you feeling you might want a bit more Lexapro?

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Tom37

Hi,

 

The symptoms from when I first crashed have definitely eased. 

 

I no longer have the severe constant shaking in my legs, terrible burning sensation , bad agitation, nausea has gone and the flu like symptoms have eased when it comes along. So in that regard yes from then till now they have although just as one symptom goes another seems to pop up.

 

I did have two windows of basically being symptom free which both lasted 7 or 8 days but now in a two week period of ‘a wave’ again. The frustrating part is the symptoms are not consistent at all and while have reduced in severity still can be a struggle.

 

I was more questioning if I needed to lower the dose as maybe going from 3mg to 4mg was too much.

 

But I’m also reluctant to change anything as it could make me worse. Another change may not be good for the nervous system. Others on the forum have said best to hold and stabilising will happen and 7 weeks is still early after having a crash like I did.

 

I take it every morning at approx the same time and I don’t feel any different after taking it. Have always taken it in the morning. 

 

Thanks for your reply. I guess just after reassurance that I will stabilise given time.

 

 

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Gridley

It's very encouraging that your symptoms have eased.  Just as healing is not linear (there are going to be waves and windows), symptoms are not going to be consistent.

 

 I wouldn't make any changes at this point.  Your system craves stability.  You will stabilize.

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Altostrata

I agree with Gridley, I would stay the course for now.

 

Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  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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Tom37

Ok thanks - will do.

 

Only symptom that really has a pattern is the aching bones/joints which is usually not there in the morning but will build during the day and if it gets really bad it’s always at night. Other symptoms wax and wane and come and go and often come back in different variations. Will take more symptom notes.

 

Anyway another day down. Felt ok this morning and went out for a gentle walk and as I didn’t have the ‘flu’ type symptoms like yesterday, had more energy.

 

Had some lunch then headed out to a surf beach about an hour away. Started feeling very average once I got there and just really wanted to come home but made myself go for a walk along it. While it was good to do it couldn’t help but get down at seeing everyone else being so ‘normal’ while I’m struggling away with this.

 

Being getting these random moments of ‘depression’ and kinda want to cry and then it passes and I’m ok again. Never ever experienced it before and doesn’t feel like me. Never have actually suffered depression was put in this for panic attacks and some anxiety.

 

Then caught up with bit of work in case tomorrow is a horrible day, trip to supermarket and now time to try and relax. All in all not a bad day and not a good day I guess just a standard day in a wave that feels like it will never end. 

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RachelSusan

Hi Tom37,

Everything sounds very encouraging. I just had to add one more voice to the positive column. Going through this process is very difficult and very discouraging however you seem to be doing all the right things and with time you should start to feel "normal."  Yes I agree, it's very hard to see people going about their daily life while you are suffering. You aren't asking for a lot, just to feel like everybody else.  I think you will get there.  You appear to be going in the right direction. I do remember a time when I was just wishing for each day to be over. Now there is joy back in my life.  Yes, JOY!  Speaking of joy, I want to wish you a Happy New Year and let's hope that 2019 is good for all of us.

Warm wishes,

Rachel

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Tom37

Hi Rachel,

 

Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. It’s been surprising how much words from others who are or have gone through this actually mean. Definitely helps.

 

Yes frustrating seeing others go about there daily lives without a care in the world and hopefully that will be me soon! I too was just finally finding real joy again in life before this crash. It’s amazing how much emotion these drugs take away from you.

 

You too have a happy new year and all the best for 2019.

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Tom37

So another day begins.

 

Didnt sleep as well last night...still got 4 to 5 hours but my aching bones/joints stopped and that kinda scared me as was left wondering what symptom is next. Still hasn’t come back this morning either. Anxiety waves also stopped which was nice and yet to come back.

 

Still in a wave so will battle through the day.

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Tom37

Question for anyone.

 

Before I crashed my baseline symptoms where quite minor. I would often feel a bit ‘off’ physically and would be quite irritable but that was about it. The feeling a bit ‘off’ would range from just being more tired than normal to maybe feeling a bit different in my head or just feeling not hundred percent. Would say was at around either side of 85 to 90 percent. Never had any anxiety, or aching or flu like symptoms or anything else I have been dealing with.

 

Once I stabilise should my baseline be the same again or due to crashing it won’t be as good? Anyone who has experienced this and got back to baseline let me know.

 

Thanks

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Altostrata
2 hours ago, Tom37 said:

still got 4 to 5 hours but my aching bones/joints stopped

 

This is a good sign.

 

Still would like to see daily notes 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.

 

I hope you get back to that baseline, but the nervous system is a river where you can't step in the same spot twice. It's changed. You may feel better, but different.

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Tom37

Thanks for your comments.

 

4.30 to 5am - wake up....no physical anxiety and generally no aching but know it is still there, start thinking about how I will feel today etc. Always woken at this time since starting the drug. Sometime go back to sleep but often not.

 

7am - Get up and take medication - 3.87mg of Lexapro only. Usually a nervous/jittery physical feeling in the body.   Kinda like first day nerves. Not terrible but not pleasant. Have to then seperate physical feeling from the mind as makes you feel nervous about everything. This was not present during the two windows. Far better though than the horrible constant shaking in my legs when first crashed.

 

8am - Still as above.

 

9am - As above although nervous/jittery feeling easing.

 

10am - As above

 

11am - As above and start to feel the odd bit of aching come through but it’s minor. Anxiety waves that were coming over me have seemed to stopped or are minor. May feel the ‘flu’ type feeling a bit but that is less than before. When it was bad earlier really had to be in bed

 

12pm - As above. Have lunch. Occasionally will have had the odd period of feeling like want to cry but I don’t. Usually passes quickly but not nice. 

 

2pm - Felt a little worse and probably more because of the ‘flu’ type feeling increasing.  Aching still minor. Felt down about current situation. 

 

4pm - As above still feeling bit worse. Aching still minor. Do a bit of work. 

 

6pm - As above. Have dinner and try to then relax a bit. Aching still minor but can increase around this time. Physical anxiety waves not really there at all. If are it’s minor.

 

8pm - Still feeling as above. Usually aching picking up but not last night.

 

9pm - Off to bed to relax then sleep. Aching usually at its strongest at this time but try not to take any paracetamol. Last night no aching at all but still felt ‘not normal’ kind of like the body was releasing the aching if that makes any sense.

 

10pm - Hopefully asleep or close to it.

 

That was yesterday and so far today very similar (11.30am here)  with very minor aching coming and going. The morning nervousness/jittery feeling is the worst symptom for me currently. 

 

The last two weeks have had other symptoms come and go.  Can provide list of symptoms that have been and now gone - hopefully for good.

 

Just so crazy how I felt so good during the two windows when I felt fine.

 

Dont mind feeling different as long as it’s feeling better and any symptoms are more consistent like they use to be.

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Altostrata

It looks like 3.87mg Lexapro is too much for you -- causing jitters, etc. When was the last time you changed the dosage?

 

1 hour ago, Tom37 said:

4.30 to 5am - wake up....no physical anxiety and generally no aching but know it is still there, start thinking about how I will feel today etc. Always woken at this time since starting the drug. Sometime go back to sleep but often not.

 

This is very common. Please read:

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

 

What is the sleep cycle?

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

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Tom37

I updosed from 3 to 4mg 7 weeks ago.

 

At the time only had a scale that measured by the mg. Then got a Gemini scale and settled at 3.87 approx 5 and half to 6 weeks ago. Realised the mg scale wasn’t accurate and the 4mg could have been 3.8 or 4.10. 

 

Not to sure if jittery is the correct word. I’m  not actually shaking or anything and to look at me you wouldn’t know how I was feeling but just don’t feel normal inside....a nervous feeling but it’s inside me....if that makes any sense.

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Tom37

So another day gone or almost gone anyway.

 

Probably best day in the last 3 or 4 days. Mentally felt back almost to normal. No crying spells or feelings of depression. Physically still got this ‘flu’ like feeling inside me a bit going on but it’s not as bad as it has been. Aching bones/joints so far been very very minor, will be interesting to see how that goes tonight after last night. Have had a bit of a headache buts it kind of an extension from the ‘flu’ type feeling. No waves of anxiety at all so far but did have the kinda of nervousness feeling this morning in me but will see how that feels tomorrow to get a better description. 

 

If this flu like feeling and possible nervousness and the way it makes me feel went then would have felt almost normal.

 

All in all a better day.

 

Still working on anxiety related to this whole thing and due to the up and down nature of it makes it hard.

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Tom37

Hello,

 

So last night was an interesting night. Basically no joint/bone pain but could still feel ‘ it’ in me particularly in upper body. Managed to sleep for about 5 hours and when I woke the first time to use bathroom I felt almost completely normal....very weird. Didn’t want to go back to sleep to just enjoy it but I did and actually didn’t wake till 5.30 which isn’t normal for me.

 

The nervous/jittery feeling this morning wasn’t there and was more like the body calming down after all this aching. (Hard to describe) and for the first time in weeks no aching at all today. Body still feels bit weird like this morning but maybe it’s just trying to get back to normal after all the aching and bone pain. Also no anxiety waves or flu type feeling.

 

Did have a few moments of feeling down but I think that’s when I think about this situation as it really does your head in. Will I ever get back to normal? Will tomorrow turn bad again? That type of thinking.

 

So was a good day today, went into the office this morning, couple of walks by the ocean, and visited the parents.

 

The way I’m feeling I dont think the aching /pain will happen at all tonight and maybe tomorrow will feel even better but also know could go the other way.

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Tom37

So no aching bones or joints at all last night or this morning. The feeling of last few mornings in the body is also reduced this morning. Still lie in bed thinking is it going to come back, will ever be back to myself etc😩....doesn’t create any actually physical anxiety symptoms but not a good way to start the day. I guess this has been created by the waves and windows and one symptom going and another coming.

 

Slept again for about 5 hours but woke twice. Is now in middle of summer here with hot nights and no air con in bedroom so that adds to it. Probably why keep waking after only two or three hours last few nights. Did sleep through the fireworks though which were very loud.

 

Anyone got any tips on how they deal with feeling better about the thoughts of getting sick again let me know. Using cbt but it’s just hard. It’s like my confidence in my body is so low after everything it’s been through that can’t trust it. Bit like coming back from an injury....doubt it to start with but confidence grows with time.

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Tom37

So another New Year’s Day down (in NZ)....still no aching bones/joints (apart from a finger which is weird) but do have a feeling of being not well.....I guess a flu type feeling but a different mutation than previously. Don’t need to go to bed with it but it’s enough to be uncomfortable and to slow you down. 

 

Managed to go for a walk this morning and head out to the beach this afternoon....didn’t feel great physically but mentally felt fine. Was good to get out as beautiful day and not too hot like it has been.

 

Just a list of symptoms so far and where they are at so i can see that things have actually got better despite how it feels.

 

terrible leg muscle shaking and leg shaking - gone 

intense burning - gone 

nausea - gone 

going hot and cold - currently gone.

cold sweats - gone 

horrible agitation/restlessness - (needing to pace) gone 

flu symptoms version 1 - gone (so bad)

flu symptons version 2 - gone (horrible)

possible flu symptoms version 3 - may have just started.

Aching bones/joints - gone or very very minor 🤞but has shown its weakness! Hopefully won’t come back in another mutation.

Physical anxiety waves - currently gone.

Headaches - so many different types but a lot better.

Depression - a lot better at moment but may come back - mainly short lived spells of it. Definitely chemical as never experienced it before like this.

Feeling bit disconnected or other weird head feelings - a lot better currently.

Insomnia - odd night of no sleep if symptom starts or is really bad. Average 4 to 6 hours a night but keep waking up.

Feeling in body in morning that makes me feel nervous/on edge - hard to describe that one but still there 

Neuro emotions - once in a while - some times something will trigger a random memory about something which is weird.

Dry mouth - still there slightly.

 

If I could just get rid of the flu type feelings and the morning nervousness type feeling then would be significantly better - so frustrating but I guess other symptoms have gone so surly these will go in time🤞. Thinking my windows/waves pattern may be over and could be a slow reduction in symptoms until better....but who knows.

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Carmie

Hi Tom, 

 

I’m really glad that the aching bones n joints have settled down for now. That’s great news. Yes, when we’ve had certain symptoms we always dread that they will come back again. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but worrying about that just makes our withdrawals worse because of the stress. 

 

I find for myself the two things that help me the most with dealing with ruminating feelings is journaling them down or doing FasterEft. 

 

Wishing you all the best in your recovery💚

 

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Tom37

Got about 6 hours sleep last night which was good but keep waking after about two hours. Didn’t wake till 5.30 which is later than normal for me....been like that since starting the drug.....seems like deep sleep and good but vivid dreams. Was cooler last night so that helped.

 

Most important though was no aching bones/joints last night or this morning (apart from very very minor fingers) and no anxiety waves at all. Can kind of still sense the aching is there below the surface if that makes any sense at all.

 

31 degrees today which is hot for us.

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Altostrata

Is the jittery feeling better at any time of day? How do you feel before you take Lexapro and after you take it?

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Tom37

Alto,

 

i think jittery is the wrong description for how I feel in the morning. Didn’t actually feel it at all this morning and actually felt quite relaxed apart from the reduced aching feeling that is still bothering me. Or the aching feeling could have just changed.

 

Hopefully that eases up like the actual aching has so can really see when it’s at.

 

I don’t feel any different before or after taking the medication.

 

Thanks

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Carmie

Glad you had another night of no aching bones Tom, 

 

Hope you keep cool today. I use my aircon heaps here in Aussie Land. We get really warm summers too. Poor ChessieCat got heatstroke one day and it takes quite a while to recover. I drink gallons of water. I hope you’re keeping hydrated.🥤💦.

 

Sending hugs🤗

 

 

 

 

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Tom37

Thanks Carmie....hope your having a good day.

 

Always keep hydrated so no worries there. It’s more the nights that we don’t enjoy.

 

Off to the beach anyway for a walk and a paddle....having a better day myself so need to get out and enjoy it.

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Tom37

Another day gone.....

 

Actually felt the best I have probably in the three weeks since this wave or if not a wave a significant increase in symptoms started.

 

Finally felt relaxed this morning and didn’t have my nervousness feeling that has been so frustrating. Because actually felt relaxed I didn’t even really feel like doing anything,  just wanted to sit and enjoy feeling like that. So that’s what I did while doing some work.

 

Then headed out to the beach for the afternoon and still felt the same so enjoyed it. Still have this internal aching type thing going on but still not actually aching in my joints or bones like I was.

 

Mentally felt good, just my own odd anxious thoughts to deal with like will tomorrow be the same or go backwards again etc.....no physical anxiety symptoms just thoughts and cbt seems to be working on them.

 

Still 32 degrees at 5.30pm so hot night ahead.

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Tom37

Absolutely horrible night. Far too hot so barely any sleep. Don’t know how I’m going to cope as it stresses me out. Just had enough of everything. Another night like it tonight. My own anxiety about not sleeping now affecting me. This has just taken everything out of me these last 10 weeks....struggling to keep fighting.

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eymen23
5 minutes ago, Tom37 said:

Absolutely horrible night. Far too hot so barely any sleep. Don’t know how I’m going to cope as it stresses me out. Just had enough of everything. Another night like it tonight. My own anxiety about not sleeping now affecting me. This has just taken everything out of me these last 10 weeks....struggling to keep fighting.

 

Sorry to hear about that Tom. In the summer I struggle and I have moments where I get frustrated/irritated with the heat. Do you have any means of cooling down your room? I was looking into portable aircon units (thye're not too expensive) but then the weather cooled down this year.

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Tom37

Thanks for your support.

 

I struggle with noise when sleeping but can sleep with ear plugs so that does help.

 

Only have air con in lounge so may have to try sleeping there tonight or at least downstairs bedroom.

 

Had windows open last night but was a decent breeze which would wake me when I felt it. I’m a fussy sleeper...need quiet, in my own bed and not hot plus same routine.

 

This whole process is just so wearing on you mentally let alone when you aren’t sleeping.

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Altostrata

Heat has a big effect on sleeping -- the body normally wants to cool down to get ready for sleep. Summers can be difficult when people with sensitized nervous systems get too hot, their temperature regulation is off.

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Tom37

Thanks and makes sense.

 

Today is total opposite of yesterday which I think is why I’m struggling so much plus feel bad even though no aching etc.

 

Have to go see doctor this afternoon for routine appointment for prescription renew. Think will have to ask for something to help me sleep for the short term. I don’t want to go down that route but I can’t just tough this out. Have taken the odd dose of Valium at night since this happened and made it over two weeks since last taking one but think I need something stronger to make me sleep for bad periods like this as the Valium was only ever low doses. 

 

I know no one here will support or encourage this but I just can’t add not sleeping to this situation. Broken sleep is ok but no sleep for multiple nights I won’t be able to handle. 

 

Sorry for the negative words but I just can’t see this ever getting better.

 

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ChessieCat

The first thing I would be doing is try sleeping in a cooler area of the house.  You are very fortunate.  You have that option.  You have an a/c in the lounge room.  First choice.  Second choice you have a cooler room downstairs.  Sleep with a fan on.  It doesn't have to be on you, but just so that it stirs the air during the night.

 

If it was me, because your sleep problem seems to be mainly situational, I would be trying every other method possible before even considering taking a sleeping drug.

 

And if sleeping in a different area of the house doesn't work, I'd be trying a tiny amount of Melatonin before using a sleep drug or benzo.  And another lower risk thing you could try is a tiny dose of an antihistamine (the sedative variety).

 

You need to try not to stress about not getting sleep.  That adds to the anxiety and can in itself worsen your sleep.

 

 

 

 

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Tom37

Will be sleeping downstairs tonight. Will have the aircon going in the lounge and hopefully it gets into the bedroom a bit.

 

i know what you mean about not trying to stress about not sleeping but my original condition started after two nights of not sleeping which resulted in a huge and first ever panic attack in bed in the night. Which then lead to really bad anxiety and terrible insomnia before I started treatment. 

 

I just worked sooo hard to get my life back and for nearly ten years have been absolutely fine and then this happens and I’m scared of going back to that place where it all started. 

 

Probably sounds weak and stupid but that’s me. 

 

 

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ChessieCat
3 minutes ago, Tom37 said:

Will be sleeping downstairs tonight. Will have the aircon going in the lounge and hopefully it gets into the bedroom a bit.

 

If you have a box fan or a pedestal fan, I suggest having it on and pointing from the lounge room into the bedroom to help to move the air into the room.  Also close any other doors that don't need to be open, just have the bedroom door open.

 

You might find having a cool shower helps to cool off your body before retiring.  Pat yourself dry, rather than rubbing with a towel.

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Tom37

Thanks for your help....just one of those really difficult days. Hopefully I will bounce back.

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