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SkyStreamer: tapering off Cipralex / escitalopram safely

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SkyStreamer

Thanks for your responses @Hamster @jozeff & @Gridley

 

Holding off on my tapering for a good while sounds like sound advice. I'm so suggestible in these states that it's almost impossible to differentiate between helpful and unhelpful advice, unless, of course, if it's extreme.

 

This job involves some writing and my brain is not able to write that well in this state. And, I have good writing skills! I just can't seem to form sentences well, think of proper words, or connect sentences and ideas together. Its all so foggy and so frustrating. I used to be so good at writing when not in these sensitive states. 

 

Everything in my day-to-day life right  now is like giving birth. Everything is extremely difficult. In many instances, it feels like life, itself, is an impossible task and some cruel overseeing Being is simply torturing me by allowing me to live and asking me to persevere. Its exactly like the story of Sisyphus, who had to try and roll the circular bolder up the mountain and place it on a very fine point, only to have it repeatedly fall down again and again, over and over.

 

I'm really not sure that I will make it through this job. I'll give it my best shot, but I really don't have a lot of hope in things turning out well. That's the truth. 

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wantrelief
2 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

Everything is extremely difficult.

I totally get what you mean, SkyStreamer.  I really admire that you are even trying the job - that takes a lot of courage.  Wishing you the best with the job and everything else.

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SkyStreamer

Thanks @wantrelief I appreciate your kind comments.

 

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SkyStreamer

I am desperate for books on enduring withdrawal and recovering from it. Does anyone have any recommendations??

 

I'm down to 6.9mg of my Cipralex dose, and just started working part-time at an outside office after working form home part-time for 3 years. I will be moving to full-time at this office in a few weeks.

 

I am going through an agonizing time with a lot of anxiety and depression since I started working part-time in this office job. Before this, my symptoms were tolerable. 

 

So far, I have only come across one book: "Recovery and Renewal" by V Baylissa Frederick.  

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SkyStreamer

I've slowly developed a lot more WD symptoms over the last month: higher levels of anxiety, more intense depression, racing thoughts, lightheadedness, irritability, agitation, sore neck and back, and a big intolerance for stress.

 

I just started working part-time over 2 months ago, and will be starting a 32 hours a week job this coming January. I'm scared that I will spiral out of control once I start working these full-time hours. 

 

I don't know if I should go ahead with this or not? I'm really scared, and my mind is constantly telling me that things will end up very bad for me if I do take on these full-time hours.

 

Is there any way that I can know for sure, before I start, whether this 32 hour per week position will be the ruin of me? Or, is it simply something I will have to try in order to know?

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SkyStreamer

Please help - I really need some advice!

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SkyStreamer

In my three years of withdrawal, there have been many things I've been very anxious about doing, but was still able to do. And, there have been some things that I was very anxious about that I wasn't able to do. The presence of anxiety, for me, isn't an indication of a likelihood of failure - it's merely a sign that I have uncertainty and that I'm scared and worried about one possible outcome. 

 

I've done my due diligence up to this point: I've talked to people I trust; I've tried to listen to my own heart; and, I've taken into consideration all the circumstances and factors related to this situation. In the end, I'm still not sure if working four-days per week is good for me. It may be beneficial or it may not be. So, I'm just going to go ahead and give it a shot. And, I'll try my best not to worry about or fear anything along the way.

 

Worse case scenario, if things don't work out: I end up leaving the job, recuperate for a period of time, and then try something else with the experience and knowledge I gained. 

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Gridley
8 minutes ago, SkyStreamer said:

So, I'm just going to go ahead and give it a shot. And, I'll try my best not to worry about or fear anything along the way.

 

Worse case scenario, if things don't work out: I end up leaving the job, recuperate for a period of time, and then try something else with the experience and knowledge I gained. 

That sounds like a good plan, Skystreamer.

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Hamster
On 11/26/2019 at 2:10 PM, SkyStreamer said:

I am desperate for books on enduring withdrawal and recovering from it. Does anyone have any recommendations??

 

Hi SkyStreamer,

 

no recommendations for books on withdrawal, but two books which helped me to cope with my symptoms (withdrawal-related or not): 

 

The User's Guide to the Human Mind: Why Our Brains Make Us Unhappy, Anxious, and Neurotic and What We Can Do about It / Shawn T. Smith

The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living /  Russ Harris, Steven Hayes

 

The first one was an eye-opener for me to find out why I went into depression in the first place (there are valid reasons for our mind to ruminate ...). The second book basically is about ACT. The focus is on acceptance (of our bad moods e.g.) and thriving nevertheless.  It helped me a lot to stop fighting with my mind.

 

Good luck!

 

Hamster

 

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SkyStreamer

I'm a writer by trade. But, since my last few small drops in my dose, I have found writing to be very challenging. I have a hard time finding the write words, forming good sentences, and creating confluent paragraphs. And, my creativity seems to be at such a reduced level. Is this normal even for the very small reductions of my dose I've made in the last few months (i.e. 2%-3%)?

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Erell

hi Skystreamer, 

 

I don't know if this is "normal" but in WD everything seems "normal" !

Maybe your CNS need time now to adapt to all the changes, even with small cuts : you could hold on your dose for some time to let it work.

 

Best wishes

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SkyStreamer

Well, I've now been at this new job for close to two months. And, although there have been some very challenging times, and toxic people that I've had to deal with, I've survived thus far and seem to be doing better as the weeks go by. 

 

I was very worried about whether I could cope through this, but somehow I've managed. I'm very proud of myself for getting through this challenging period. Starting a new job is never an easy thing to do, and it is all the more challenging when experiencing WD. 

 

 

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SkyStreamer

I was hit today with the most intense unpleasant feelings I've had in a long time: extreme despair, meaninglessness, complete lack of motivation, numbness, emptiness, indifference, anger, and rage. I haven't acted on any of these, but have just been experiencing them internally. It feels like a tsunami of indescribable, limitless pain and suffering. At one point, I tried to just feel it in my body, and it became even more painful and unpleasant. 

 

I don't know what to do in this state, other than to just try and accept and embrace it, and to try not to let it move into my mind where it will manufacture a whole army of negative thoughts. Gosh - It's such a torture of a challenge to even try to do this. 

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SkyStreamer

I just recently lost my job a few weeks ago. It really hit me hard. I had experienced a lot of anger, sadness and despair over the situation, and a complete lack of motivation in terms of ever wanting to go back out in the 'public arena' and try again. The public arena is such a brutal, cruel, unfair and emotionally violent place, and it's tough to want to get back up over and over again and walk back into it. It reminds me of the ancient greek myth of Sisyphus, who had to try and roll the boulder to the top point of a mountain over and over again, only to have it fall back down to the very bottom every time. 

 

Despite my struggles, I have a very strong will to continue to try. But, the constant blows of life and the amount of times that fortune's wheel moves me downward makes it very difficult at times to want to keep trying.

 

Then, there's the constant stream of negative, fear-based and anxious thoughts that are going through my mind. Since I tapered, I always seem to be experiencing these side effects to some degree. It's like I'm constantly in a state of WD that is continually oscillating between high intensity and lower, more manageable symptoms. It's such a dark and difficult place to be in. I didn't realize just how difficult tapering off these pills would be. It's almost like I have to be open to losing everything to come off them because that is what seems to occur. As I continue on this journey, I find it more difficult to function out in society, harder to maintain a healthy relationship with my spouse, and a huge challenge not to give into the fear, anxiety and negativity that constantly arises in my mind.

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SkyStreamer

I ended up forgetting to take my pill yesterday at 8am, like I normally do. Luckily, though, in the evening, I became aware of this. So, I took my pill first thing, which was around 9pm. I was a bit fearful that I would feel more WD from this. But, at least I noticed and ended up taking it on the same day. Will see how things go, and will just try to accept everything as it unfolds. 

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SkyStreamer

I went down another 0.1mg today. It's just a small step, but it's still progress.

 

I had thought about not tapering at all during this pandemic. But, I'd rather do very small cuts, rather than none at all.

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SkyStreamer

I'm experiencing a lot of anxiety and even some panic today. My anxiety today has been about a 9/10. It is normally between 4-6/10.

 

This is probably because of my 0.03mg reduction in the last three weeks (0.02mg three weeks ago & 0.01 two days ago). I didn't think it would affect me this much. Maybe it's a combination between this drop, the effects of isolation during the quarantine, and the fact that I recently lost my job. It's just difficult see, in the moment, exactly why this is occurring. But, it's likely a mixture of all these things.

 

 

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Cocopuffz17

Hey! You have a great attitude towards this! Coming off these medications is very challenging. It sucks to hear you are having a hard time with your most recent drop. Hold, stabilize and drop again! Soon it will be a mere bad memory. I to have gone through this and it is not fun, but it is doable! 

 

Everyday that passes is one day closer to being healed :)

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SkyStreamer
On 4/18/2020 at 2:38 PM, Cocopuffz17 said:

Hey! You have a great attitude towards this! Coming off these medications is . . .

 

Everyday that passes is one day closer to being healed :)

 

Thanks @Cocopuffz17 for your kind words and support!

 

That's a good way of thinking about it: not fun, but 'doable'!

 

I see you're also from Canada. Nice to have a fellow Canadian on here. :)

 

Are you completely off all medication?

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Cocopuffz17
2 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

 

Thanks @Cocopuffz17 for your kind words and support!

 

That's a good way of thinking about it: not fun, but 'doable'!

 

I see you're also from Canada. Nice to have a fellow Canadian on here. :)

 

Are you completely off all medication?

You are welcome! 
 

Yes! Mindset is everything ! 
 

Sure is! How’s your moose running ? 
 

Yes, I am just over 14 months drug free! 

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SkyStreamer

I just started practicing the Wim Hof (Iceman) method. This involves three rounds of breathing each morning, followed by a cold shower. 

 

I've been doing it now for about 2 weeks. And, although it's difficult to establish any cause-effect relationship, I have noticed some benefits since I started this. I have a bit less stress and depression in the mornings, and more motivation for my daily tasks and routine. I also find that I have a little more power of deliberation to refrain from ruminating over negative thoughts.

 

I've only been doing this for about two weeks. But, I've heard that the longer you do it, the more benefits you experience.

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SkyStreamer

As I've been accumulatively decreasing my dose, I've been noticing some different positive experiences from time to time: a bit more energy, more motivation to do things I won't have usually done before (i.e. baking), professional ambition, vivid flashes of memories from my childhood, and a more frequent enjoyment of life. 

 

I still have my challenging symptoms of withdrawal. But, before, that was really all I ever had. Now, the positive experiences are starting to sprout and appear more regularly. All very strange, but also very encouraging. 

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Cocopuffz17

That is great to hear. These drugs literally turn you into a zombie and when you start feeling great normal human emotions you are on your way to being healed! I’m happy for you 😁.

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Cici

I'm really happy for you too Skystreamer! Im going through this exact same thing too. I felt like the lepraxo was a smothering blanket over me, I felt that in the first few days of taking it. I never felt like any thing resembling 'me' the whole time on it and actually more anxious, paradoxically, as I was taking it for anxiety related OCD. Since coming down from 10 mg Im feeling more 'real', thats been a dose threshold for me. I love the image of things 'sprouting' like you  said, and also feeling my little child in me wake up after all this time. Welcome back xx

 

 

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SkyStreamer
On 6/9/2020 at 8:36 PM, Cocopuffz17 said:

That is great to hear. These drugs literally turn you into a zombie and when you start feeling great normal human emotions you are on your way to being healed! I’m happy for you 😁.

 

Hi @Cocopuffz17 !

 

Thanks for your warm comments. You're right - the ADs do turn you into a zombie. The funny thing for me is that I wasn't really aware of this effect until I began tapering. It's only been recently that I look back and am able to recognize just how unmotivated, lethargic and apathetic I'd become.

 

You've also made a lot of progress. 75% improvement is significant progress. Congrats!

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SkyStreamer
On 6/10/2020 at 11:52 AM, Cici said:

I'm really happy for you too Skystreamer! Im going through this exact same thing too. I felt like the Lepraxo was a smothering blanket over me . . .

 

Hi @Cici 

 

I appreciate your encouragement!

 

I started noticing flashes of light too after dropping below 10mg. 

 

I never realized that the tapering/withdrawal process could be so challenging. It's probably been the most difficult thing in my life I've ever done. But, totally worth it. And, in some strange way, I think it helps prepare us for the difficult rawness of life we'll probably experience when we're completely off our ADs.

 

I like the idea of our 'little child' returning. All of my windows and moments of progress have made me feel like a child again in some way.

 

What is your current Lexapro dose? And, how long have you been tapering for?

 

I've been tapering for about close to 4 years. I'm taking it very slow, but that seems to suit me better.. 

 

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Cocopuffz17
5 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

 

Hi @Cocopuffz17 !

 

Thanks for your warm comments. You're right - the ADs do turn you into a zombie. The funny thing for me is that I wasn't really aware of this effect until I began tapering. It's only been recently that I look back and am able to recognize just how unmotivated, lethargic and apathetic I'd become.

 

You've also made a lot of progress. 75% improvement is significant progress. Congrats!

 

Hey!

That resonates so much with me..... While I was medicated I did not know any different. SOOO true... looking back I was like wtf...... But now know all that was caused by the meds and now that I am healing from it I feel soooo much better 

 

Thank you! Still lots to go... but I am functional almost everyday now so that is great to what I was like before. 

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Cici

I can relate sooo much to what you're  experiencing Skystreamer💜💜. Its so lovely to see it written down by another fellow voyager on this incredibly difficult journey. Yup, if we can make it through this we are going to come out of it with huge resilience and strength to face anything "out there".  

 

I'm on 8 mg, using the home - made solution method, coming off from 30 mg initially. Started 30mg in 2013 and been tapering from about 2017 (very chaotically at the beginning -not to be recommended!!!). Am doing it really slowly like you since getting to 10mg, literally only by 5 per cent and very long holds between. Being kind to that "little child" these days!!

 

Best of luck and healing wishes on your journey xxx

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