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SkyStreamer: tapering off Cipralex / escitalopram safely

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SkyStreamer
23 hours ago, Carmie said:

Just wanted to pop in to say hello . . . . 

 

Hi Carmie! I'm so glad you stopped by. When someone takes the time to check in, see how I'm doing, and offer me encouragement - it really helps out. And, the hugs are a big bonus!! :) Thanks so much!

 

It's funny how I didn't realize I was overdoing it during that day. I had a sneaking suspicion, but was mostly oblivious. It's not until a day or two passed, and I looked over that days' breakdown, that I became aware just how much activity I had done -- too much! It's really quite a task to try and live in the present moment with awareness - especially with the added challenge of AD WDs. 

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SkyStreamer
12 hours ago, Miracle123 said:

Im glad you got your ideal way for your next tapering . . . . 

 

Thanks for stopping my Miracle123! And, thanks for your very encourage words. They really help me stay motivated and committed. 

 

I'm going to hold for a few months, until I stabilize well. Then, I'll start the 10% taper method.

 

Waves are terrible when you reduce too much or too fast. 

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Carmie

Hi SkyStreamer, 

 

Yes, it’s easy to overdo things and then pay for it later. It can ramp up our poor little nervous systems. I have CFS and if I do too much I can end up getting stuck in bed for a month. Just the withdrawals themselves can make the symptoms worse, so I’m not functional a lot of the time.  My bed loves me🛏😃.

 

Remember to take it easy and practice self care. Have a good day💚

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SkyStreamer

Day Breakdown: 01/08/2019

 

NIGHT: slept for 7.5hrs; woke-up one time for about 1 hour with anxiety and racing thoughts; woke up a second time for 10-15 mins (less anxiety & racing thoughts)

8am: woke-up for the day; very tired; lethargic; unmotivated; a little discouraged; lack of hope

8:30am: 30 mins prayer

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralexx

9:30am-10:15am: relaxed with two of my kids (board games)

10:30pm-12:30pm;: worked from home

12:30: 45 mins guided relaxation meditation

1pm: 1 hr of low intensity exercise 

2pm-6pm: worked from home; a lot of tension between my wife and I (anger, annoyance, sexual frustration, irritation - on both of our parts); extreme boredom; very unmotivated; high-level sadness; mid-level hopelessness

7pm: family dinner; very tense and stressful being around my wife (utter agony!!!); 

8:30pm: 45 mins prayer

9:30pm: BEDTIME (I made it!! - big accomplishment!!)

 

Overall

- More tired, lethargic, unmotivated, discouraged;

- Very stressful being around my wife (even with nothing being sad); I felt angry, annoyed, and repulsed at her; I had anger over the fact that I have to live with her; our relationship is always up and down, love and hatred

- First day, in a while, I've experienced mid to high-level sadness; fist day in a while I've experienced extreme boredom 

- No real glimmers of calm, hope or motivation

- I really enjoy spending time with my kids (especially my youngest ones); they give me courage to want to keep trying

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SkyStreamer
8 minutes ago, Carmie said:

Yes, it’s easy to overdo things

 

BTW - I just read your signature last night. It sounds like you've had a tough road. I really felt bad for you when I read it, because I know it must have been a lot of lonely suffering. At the same time, though, I was also very impressed. You endured a ton of challenges, persevered a lot, and have made incredible progress. Your story is so inspiring! Don't ever quit!

 

Thanks for all the work you do on this site! So glad people like you are here helping us out!! 

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Carmie

Thank you for that lovely message SkyStreamer, 

 

Yes, my journey has definitely been a rough one, but I know I will get there in the end. We all will one day at a time, or when it gets rough a minute at a time. We can do this! Take care💚

 

 

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Miracle123
3 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

Waves are terrible when you reduce too much or too fast. 

im agreed this.....dont too hurry to reduce dose too much...this will made withdrawals like a hell and extreme. Always listen to your own body reaction.Take care.

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SkyStreamer

General Breakdown of Day: 01/10/2019

 

Fairly good sleep (7.5-8 hrs)

- Woke up with a little calm, hope and motivation

- Wife left for a day trip; less tension and stress in the house

-  Productive work at home

- End of day: Mid to high-level anxiety, frustration, annoyance, boredom and less hope (eating with a few of my kids without my wife, and having to supervise their bedtime transition by myself)

- Struggled to work less, relax, and to take things slow

- Seem to be continuing to stabilize from WD symptoms (maybe the end of a wave, and another one around the corner; or maybe this is actually the end of waves and I am just stabilizing)

 

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Carmie

That’s great that you woke up with a little calm, hope and motivation, 

 

Best way to waken up I reckon. Just take it a day at a time, an hour at a time, a minute at a time. 

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SkyStreamer

Yes, I'm was so grateful for these positive emotions. 

 

You're right - moment by moment is the best plan of action! There's nothing like WD waves to help teach you about living in the present moment! :)

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SkyStreamer

Day Summary: 01/14/2019

 

NIGHT: slept 9.5 - 10 hrs; very tired & exhausted; didn't wake up much; but had scary nightmares about being very drunk and high my entire dream (confusion, fear, anxiety, disorientation); watched movie about teenage drug addict before bed

- Morning: exhausted, tried, lethargic, unmotivated, disoriented, feeling of unreality, confused, mentally slow

- Mid-day: glimmers of calm, peace and optimism

- Evening: anxiety, frustration, irritability levels rising from low to mid to high level gradually from 5pm onwards; spending a lot of time with wife and kids, and not many breaks in-between; packing for short trip away with wife

- Late evening: 45 mins prayer; decreased from high to mid level anxiety and irritability; still hard to focus and pay attention to things; still feeling tired and exhausted; feel like I need increased rest and sleep; a little scared of going way with wife; wonder when tension and fighting might arise again (constant up and downs)

 

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Carmie
On 1/12/2019 at 12:22 AM, SkyStreamer said:

Yes, I'm was so grateful for these positive emotions. 

 

You're right - moment by moment is the best plan of action! There's nothing like WD waves to help teach you about living in the present moment! :)

 

Yes SkyStreamer, 

 

All we can do is take each moment as it comes, we’re all in the same boat.🚣🏼‍♂️🚣‍♀️ I’m sorry you had times of frustration, this certainly is a frustrating journey. Glad to see though you had glimmers of hope today as well. Sometimes when we are in waves we can’t feel that hope, but as soon as little windows pop through that little bit of hope starts shimmering though. One of these days our windows will be wide open.

 

Hope you have a nice time away with your wife. Sometimes the anticipatory anxiety about something is actually worse than when we are doing the thing we were anxious about. Take care💚

 

 

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SkyStreamer

Someone told me that Niacin (Vitamin B3) is great for people struggling with depression. They gave me this video to help support their claim: https://bit.ly/2FzOYi5.

 

I realize that this forum supports mainly Magnesium and Omega 3. Has anyone every heard of Niacin (Vitamin B3) being good for coping with WD symptoms and waves when tapering off AD? Anyone ever tried this?

 

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ChessieCat

We have many existing topics on this site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

vitamin-b3-niacin-niacinamide

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SkyStreamer
22 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

We have many existing topics on this site . . .

 

Thanks for the link, ChessieCat! I'll try that with google. 

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SkyStreamer

Day Breakdown: 01/18/2109

 

NIGHT: 8 hrs sleep; woke up for 1 hr at 4:30pm with a lot of nausea, dizziness and headache; went back to sleep; woke up again at around 6:30pm for 20 mins; very restless sleep; disturbingly vivid dreams; some disturbing nightmares (when are they not disturbing!!); felt frustration and annoyance throughout my sleep; had not taken magnesium at night for last three nights (usually do!)

7:30am: woke up for the day; felt disoriented, confused, tired, exhausted, irritated, annoyed and unmotivated; also felt a little nausea and dizziness (but less than during the night)

8am: fought with my wife for 30 mins; intense, distressing, and very stressful; felt a lot of anger and hopelessness over my marriage; so tired of marital conflict and tension

9am: took 7.5mg of Cipralex dose (was late with dose by 1 hour on two previous days)

9am-11am: worked from home; mid level anxiety, racing thoughts, discouraged, depressed, hopeless, unmotivated, extremely bored with life; tired of struggling all the time

11am: tried to do guided relaxation for 20 mins; tried hard but couldn't focus or be attentive; felt discouraged, hopeless, and discouraged

12: lunch with wife; fighting stopped; still unpleasant though; bored, unmotivated, and pessimistic

2pm: did 1 hr of cardio exercise; able to do more intense and longer cardio workouts without experiencing anxiety (sign of improving CNS) and feeling overwhelmed

3pm-4:30pm: worked from home; watched TV for 30 mins; tried to relax; mid-level anxiety, frustration and discouragement; worn out and exhausted; dark view of life

5pm: watched TV for 1 hour

6pm: Dinner with wife; bored as hell; discouraged, pessimistic and hopeless; not enjoying being around my wife at all

7pm: 1 hour prayer

9pm: BEDTIME

 

Overall

- Morning: tired, exhausted, physically weak (nausea and dizziness); sad, pessimistic, and unmotivated; hurt, angry, and hopeless (after fighting with wife)

- Mid-day: mid-level anxiety, frustrated, pessimistic, and extremely bored and sad

- Afternoon: same as mid-day; spent more time by myself

- Evening: spent a lot of time by myself; low-level anxiety; a small decrease in frustration, boredom, sadness and hopelessness

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SkyStreamer

Please Help!! This is time sensitive!!

 

I forgot to take my regular 7.5mg Cipralex dose at 9am today. It is now 8pm where I live and I'm not sure what I should do now.

 

Should I take my dose now? Or, should I just wait and take my regular one tomorrow morning at 9am? 

 

And, if I do take my dose now, do I just resume my regular 9am dose again tomorrow morning?

 

Thanks!!

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Altostrata

Hello, SkyStreamer, given the timestamp on your post above, it appears you must have missed a dose for at least 24 hours. How are you doing?

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SkyStreamer
2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, SkyStreamer, given the timestamp on your post above, it appears you must have missed a dose for at least 24 hours. How are you doing?

 

Hi Altostrata. Thanks for checking in.

 

I decided not to take the dose I missed last night. I just resumed my normal dose today at 9am. 

 

My sleep was a bit more restless. But, there hasn't been much of difference in my mood or state. Surprisingly, I feel I have a bit more energy today than most days. But, I'm going to try and not overdo it given the missed dose. 

 

If I miss a dose like this again in the future, what would you recommend I should do? Was I right in waiting and just resuming my next regular dose?

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Altostrata

Hopefully, your nervous system will just sail over that irregularity. But if you have odd symptoms over the next few days, don't panic, your system is feeling the gap in dosing and will gradually settle down.

 

Please do not skip doses. This can trigger withdrawal symptoms and a serious setback in your tapering.

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, SkyStreamer said:

If I miss a dose like this again in the future, what would you recommend I should do?

 

Some ideas.  Set a reminder on your phone.  Carry a dose with you if convenient.  Use a day pill box or count out a week's worth of doses into a container so you can see if you have missed a dose.

 

The last suggestion actually worked for me the other day because I couldn't remember taking my capsule.  I was able to count the remainder and knew that I had taken it.

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SkyStreamer
5 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hopefully, your nervous system will . . . 

 

Noted - thanks.

 

In your opinion, was my decision a good one, given my circumstance?

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SkyStreamer
4 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Some ideas . . . 

 

There is so much brainfog and memory lapses with WD that this is probably needed.

 

Thanks!

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SkyStreamer

Day Breakdown: 01/21/2019

 

NIGHT: 8 hrs sleep; very anxious before I went to bed because I missed my morning AD dose (i.e. thinking about possible WD repercussions!); woke up 1 time for 30 mins; woke up 3 more times briefly; very vivid and scary dreams

7am: very tired, exhausted, and disoriented

7:30am: 30 mins prayer

9am: AD dose

2pm:  low to mid anxiety, racing thoughts, and irritability; but also higher level of energy than usual

2:30pm: tried to relax: 30 mins TV; 15 mins guided relaxation meditation

6pm: family dinner; high anxiety and fear; racing thoughts; feeling of unreality

8pm: 45 mins prayer; decrease in all unpleasant emotions from high to low level

9:30pm: BEDTIME

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Altostrata
4 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

In your opinion, was my decision a good one, given my circumstance?

 

If you accidentally forget a dose, take it ASAP.

 

This may still cause some upset. We always caution people to be careful to take their drugs at the same time each day. Irregular dosing can be destabilizing.

 

After you take Cipralex in the morning, what is its effect over the next 3 hours? Observe carefully over the next few days and post here.

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ChessieCat

Another suggestion.  Have a "tick off" chart so that you actually have to do something to indicate you have taken your dose.

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SkyStreamer
6 hours ago, Altostrata said:

If you accidentally . . . .

 

ok - thanks.

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SkyStreamer
6 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Another suggestion . . .

 

That's a good one. I think I'll probably do that. Thanks!

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SkyStreamer

Day Breakdown: 01/22/2018

 

NIGHT: 8 hrs sleep; woke up 1 time with anxiety & had panic attack; woke up 3 more times briefly with anxiety (6/10)

 

8am: woke up for day; tired, lethargic, unmotivated, anxiety (4/10); grateful for sleep

 

9am: AD dose

  • 9am-12noon (3 hrs following AD dose): calm & security immediately after taking AD dose; after, anxiety (7.5/10), fear, racing thoughts, frustration; a bit of panic; was late for an appointment; left myself little time to get ready; drove on a time crunch; was a little late for appointment

 

3pm: 20 mins guided relaxation; more calm, relaxed; low level anxiety and fear (3/10)

 

5:30pm-7pm: work from home; anxiety (6/10), overwhelmed, and racing thoughts

 

7pm-8pm: family time; anxiety (6/10), overwhelmed and racing thoughts

 

8:15pm: 45 mins prayer; a bit calm and relaxed; anxiety (3/10)

 

9:45pm: BEDTIME

 

 

 

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SkyStreamer

Day Breakdown: 01/23/2019

 

Night: 8 hrs sleep; woke up only 1 time briefly with low-level anxiety (3/10)

 

6am: woke up for the day; tired, lethargic, but had glimmers of motivation

 

8am-11:30am: worked; did not take any breaks; mid to high level anxiety towards the end (8/10)

  • 9am: AD dose; did not notice any effects that could have been related to my AD dose

11:30am: 20 guided relaxation meditation

 

12:30pm-2:30pm: worked; no breaks again; mid to high level anxiety

 

3pm: 30 intense cardio exercise

  • Had been able to do intense cardio for this time period before I missed one of my doses three days ago
  • Seems to be a bit of a small wave from this missed dose

 

4pm-5pm: took shower and ate; had a panic attack; high-level anxiety (9/10); racing thoughts, unreality, feel like I'm going crazy

 

5pm-5:45pm: worked; had a panic attack; high anxiety (9/10), racing thoughts

 

6pm: 30 mins breathing meditation; went from high-level anxiety (9/10) to mid-level anxiety (6/10)

 

6:30pm-7:30pm: watched TV; tried to relax and calm down

 

8pm-9pm: family time; mid-level anxiety (5/10); feeling a bit more anxiety towards the end

 

9pm: 30 mins prayer; low to mid level anxiety (4/10)

 

9:30pm: BEDTIME

 

 

 

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Carmie

Hi SkyStreamer, 

 

I’m sorry you accidentally missed a dose. It is so easily done with brain fog. ChessieCat gave some good suggestions as to how to remember whether we’ve taken our meds or not. I’ve accidentally double dosed twice because I forgot whether I had taken my meds or not. Don’t want to be doing that again. It took a while to stabilise after doing that, it ramped up the akathisia.

 

We always stabilise again though, it’s just a matter of when. Take care💚

 

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SkyStreamer

@Carmie Thanks for your kind note, Carmie. Really appreciate it. 

 

How long did it take you to stabilize after you doubled dose? I realize everyone is different, but just curious in your case?

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SkyStreamer

I had an extremely terrifying and difficult day yesterday, Everything was going fine during the morning and early afternoon. Did things as usual. Took AD dose at same time. But, then, in the later afternoon, things took a sharp turn for the worse. I did 20 mins of cardio and about 10 mins of weights. I had been doing 30 mins of cardio before I missed one dose last Sunday, and it was going ok. But, since I missed this one dose, it seems like my CNS has become re-sensitized. Dang. 

 

So, after I did 20 mins of cardio, and a bit of weights, I went down hill fast. I felt mid to high level anxiety toward the later part of my workout. But, I thought it might die down, so I pushed through for the last 10-15 mins. Then I retired to my room to ty and relax and recoup. That didn't turn out too well. I had a big panic attack. Crazy, insane, and scary thoughts pounding me left and right. I felt like my brain was going to explode from these, and from the unavoidable primary layer of stress and fear that comes with panic attacks. This lasted for about 15 mins. I got through it by trying to attentively watch a documentary. I also kept repeating my go-to mantras: 'I don't have to worry about this. 'I don't have to be afraid of this.' Acceptance was also huge here. Then, I came out of the panic attack. Alleluia!!

 

Part of my stress may also have been connected to the fact that I was trying to fit in a workout just before I was scheduled to go out with my wife in the early evening. This caused me a lot of stress, and I was constantly aware of this time pressure factor during my workout. 

 

Then, later on, I went out for dinner with my wife. I was trying to apply my interpretation of Dr. Weekes' advice about not being scared and confronting my fears. Not the best idea, though, in this context - at least for me. We had to drive on the highway, which is always a bit daunting. I had a panic attack once we got on it. Dinner ended up being ok. Was a bit less stressed. But, then we drove on the highway again on the way back. Another panic attack decided to keep me company on this return trip. 

 

Then, when I got back home, we decided to watch a show on tv. For some reason, I had another small panic attack. 

 

My sleep last night suffered as a result of all this. Although I did get 8 hours of sleep, I woke up two or three times with high-level anxiety (8/10). No panic attacks though! Alleluia!!! And, when I woke up for the day this morning, I felt like I got hit by a mack truck, a bus, a train, and then a jumbo jet. Not fun! :( 

 

I guess my lessons from all this chaos are: I am going to have to try and take it easier with my workouts for the next bit, until my CNS stabilizes; I shouldn't workout just before I am scheduled to go out with my wife or for some other reason; I should avoid going out after having a panic attack; and I need to learn to take more breaks throughout the day for the next while.

 

The strange thing about all this is that I am noticing some progress in terms of my response to panic attacks. I am not as afraid of and stressed by them as I once was. When they occurred in the past, I would become extremely scared, stressed and desperate (second layer responses!) Now, I seem to be able to ride them out with much less fear and worry. Also, when they are occurring, I have been able to refrain from giving them a lot of attention. I am now better able to focus on something else, whether it be a tv show, breathing, a guided relaxation meditation. etc. I am very aware that they have a short expiry date, and that they will pass fairly quickly. Additionally, in the past, I used to get so depressed and hopeless after a panic attack. I felt like everything was doom and gloom and that I'd never get better. But, now I am able to accept that I had a panic attack, and realize that things can get better. I remind myself that if I accept this as it is and proceed with hope, and without fear and worry, then things can get improve. I guess I'm able to see it as a very temporary blimp on my road to recovery. My wife as also confirmed that she has seen the same progress in these areas. 

 

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Gridley

It's very possible that missed dose, as you said, resensitized your system.  My rule for myself in WD is to be kind and gentle with myself.  Today my wife and I were supposed to go to the next city for some stressful dealings with a bank and government agency.  I didn't sleep due to worrying about it.  I felt i should go and drive (since I am "the man") but knew that it would be too much for me.   So we had a friend drive, and I am home with the three pups being kind to myself.  

 

You might need to rethink your exercise program.  Generally we recommend a 30 minute gentle walk outside.  Your body is "pushing itself" plenty without addition pressure.

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ChessieCat
5 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

I need to learn to take more breaks throughout the day for the next while.

 

I think it's a good idea to use relaxation techniques throughout the day, even when not feeling the "need" for them.  It gives the nervous system some down time and it can become a habit which can become second nature, which helps us to notice earlier that things are building up.  I suggest setting a reminder.  Even simple things like looking out of the window, stepping outside and looking at the clouds or feeling the breeze.  In other words, stopping and smelling the roses 🌹🌹🌹

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Carmie
7 hours ago, SkyStreamer said:

@Carmie Thanks for your kind note, Carmie. Really appreciate it. 

 

How long did it take you to stabilize after you doubled dose? I realize everyone is different, but just curious in your case?

 

Hi Skystreamer, 

 

I don’t remember exactly how long it took, but it was at least a month or more. I was already going through withdrawals though from tapering. I was in the midst of waves already, and I think the accidental double dosing just prolonged the waves. I did get severe akathisia because of the double dosings, but that didn’t last too long, after that it was back to the waves I was already in.

 

The exercise you’re doing looks too strenuous. It can ramp up your nervous system. I think Gridley’s advice is great, just stick to gentle walking for now. A lot of people have found strenuous exercise ramps up their withdrawal symptoms, and even brings on waves. Take it slow. Also get plenty of rest. We need to dampen down our nervous systems, not ramp them up.

 

Take care, sending hugs🤗

 

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