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Iowan

Iowan: Lexapro / escitalopram taper, need help and support, reassurance

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Iowan
11 minutes ago, Kostas said:

What if you simply try gradually to sleep later on, towards midnight, and thus wake up much later, around 6 a. m? 

 

Yes, this sound great in theory, but when I'm suffering these bouts of insomnia, it doesn't seem to matter how late I go to bed, I'll still wake up at roughly the same time. So, if I force myself to stay up until midnight, I'll only get 3 hours of sleep when I wake up again at 3:00 AM. It's like my internal clock is screwed up. At least when it comes to my internal wake up alarm. So, I go to bed early when and because I'm exhausted.

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RichT
9 hours ago, Iowan said:

Ugh! Insomnia sucks! Fell asleep around 9:00 PM and woke up a touch after 3:00 AM. 6 hours of sleep is much better than no sleep, but these repetitive 3 o-clock mornings wipe me out. Too groggy to read in the early morning hours, so I watch a lot of TV to pass the time. Any suggestions for the insomnia I'm enduring? I've read that low doses of melatonin, such as 0.3-0.5 mg at bedtime, will be helpful. Is melatonin a no-no, like 5HTP is, at least until I get completely off of my Lexapro? Lack of sleep exacerbates all of my other crummy withdrawal symptoms, so if I could just get some help in this area, I feel it would greatly help my withdrawal and recovery process.

 

I updated my signature just now too.

 

Hi Iowan,

 

I’m Sorry you’re suffering insomnia. It’s such a horrible, draining experience.

 

There’s a thread on insomnia here 

best wishes,

 

Rich

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Iowan

@RichT, thanks. There's some really good info in here. I believe I'm going to give melatonin a try, (starting out with small doses). I just need to get some ordered.

 

Insomnia is a horrible symptom of AD withdrawal that so many of us suffer together. From the many stories / testimonies that I've read, I feel like I may be one of the luckier ones when it comes to my insomnia and waves & windows. I can at least get 3 to 6 hours of sleep nightly and my waves don't last months on end. My heart is broken for others who are suffering more than I am. I feel like God is only giving me as much as I can take, and I see others being able to take WAY more than I can. You are all so outrageous!!!

 

Last night, I went to bed a little past 10 and woke up around 3:40. I took some Ashwagandha, watched a little TV and fell back asleep until 5. Anxiety and despair are pretty high this morning, but I'm thrilled to have been able to go back to sleep. I pray I'm rolling out of this at least a little bit. My oldest son and I are participating in a 'Helping Hands' project through our church today, where we help people in the community with household projects. We're leaving here in 5 minutes. As much as I'd like to be a home body today, I made a commitment and we need to get rolling. Praying for a good day.

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Iowan

I'm officially tapered to 46 mgpw of Lexapro today. Early morning insomnia that brings on feelings of AM despair are getting old, but again, are manageable. I'm taking time now to order some Melatonin. For Father's Day today, I've just laid around and cat napped while watching TV. Trying to catch up on a little sleep, if possible. It makes me feel worthless, so I don't do it often, but I needed it.

 

One thing that I haven't mentioned until now is my back pain that I've been experiencing. I have developed what I believe is a buffalo hump at the top of my back / base of my neck. It swells and contracts. When it's swelled up, it burns like it's on fire. My hands and feet get a bit tingly too, and sometimes I get some mild shocks shoot down my arms. I can also flex my back to stretch it out and I get a few good audible pops and cracks. I even get a good crack my chest, about where one of my upper ribs attaches to my sternum. When I tuck my chin to my chest, my entire spine burns. It's like my spinal cord has shortened or something and I'm stretching a rubber band too tightly. I've experienced this off and on for the past few months, but it's pretty constant now. It's manageable too, but unpleasant. When it's bad, I get deep headaches in the back of my skull too.

 

In searching for SA stories about insomnia and back pain associated with withdrawal, I see that I'm definitely not alone. This is comforting to a point, but still concerning to me. It baffles me how withdrawal from an antidepressant can have this many long lasting side affects and it's still on the market. Anyway, back to the neck/back pain. I find that exercise does help. I sit in front of a computer screen 40 hours a week and am certain I don't have the best posture all the time. If I get to the gym or even get some type of physical activity like walking or yard work in, I tend to loosen things up a bit. I've never injured myself or had back problems before, so I believe this is also related wot WD symptoms. Yuck.

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mdwstrx

Hi Iowan.

What is your present dose strength in mgai with this new cut?  Praying for you it goes smoothly.

 

Im still holding waiting for things to settle down. Doing well but still have this unsettled nervousness inside.   Mods suggested I wait two weeks and reassess.  

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Iowan
12 hours ago, mdwstrx said:

What is your present dose strength in mgai with this new cut?  Praying for you it goes smoothly.

 

If I'm calculating it correctly, I'm currently at 3.83 mgai with this new cut. My weekly cuts are small, but add up to roughly 10% per month and I feel like they are starting to have an accumulative affect on me. I may be about ready to hold for a couple of weeks too. I went to bed around 10:30 last night and woke up at 2:20. After I went to the bathroom, I decided I'd try an Ambien. I went back to sleep relatively quickly but woke up again a touch past 5. I'm groggy and my anxiety or feeling of despair is relatively high, but I should be able to manage everything throughout the day. I worked on stretching my neck and back yesterday as I relaxed. The lump isn't as prominent and it feels better this AM.

 

I'm praying things settle down for you @mdwstrx. I totally understand what you're going through. I've got nearly a full year down since my Lexapro 'poop-out' in June of 2018, which spurred me to begin my taper. I've made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot over the course of the last year. I pray the next 2 to 3 or so years treat me better as I continue through this WD process. When I first began reading recovery stories about it taking people years to taper, withdrawal and recover, I thought there's no way that would be me. I could push through this at a much quicker pace. NOPE! I was wrong... I've accepted that I'm in this for the long haul, like it or not, so I made peace with it and stopped fighting it. If things continue to get better and more manageable, I find it encouraging that I could be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of the way done with this. I find that encouraging!!!

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mdwstrx

3.83 is very good!  Slow and steady with long holds as needed.  Before my last cut, I'd just started the BM slide.  I was trying to cut to whole numbers.  So the monthly taper looked like this. 

5.900 3.28%
5.750 2.54%
5.600 2.61%
5.500 1.79%
           Total 10.22%

At the 3rd cut, I had a few days of feeling bad.  Was advised to hold and did for a couple days until I felt better.  Then made the last cut and 4 days later, another round of wd hit hard.  So, I think if I'd listened to my body the first time I felt funky, I may have avoided the need for this longer hold.  But who knows?  

 

If you're feeling the cuts, check with mods.  Like you, I suspect a hold is in order.

 

Lastly, a concern I have is coming off of this too fast resulting in what Dr. Shipko refers to as tardive akathisia occurring within several months of stopping.  I haven't been able to get a read on if it's due to fast tapering or not.  So, go slow, as your body adjusts.  :) 

 

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Gridley
4 hours ago, Iowan said:

I may be about ready to hold for a couple of weeks too.

 

Sounds like a good idea, just to let things catch up.   When I got to the mid-3's, I noticed an increase in symptoms and held for an additional week (in addition to the regular Brassmonkey 2-week hold).  I'm also starting to feel an accumulation effect on weeks 3 and 4 of the taper.  Then during the regular 2-week hold the symptoms decrease.  My 2-week hold begins this Thursday and I may hold longer after the two weeks--will see how I feel at that point.

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Iowan

I got some better, all natural, sleep last night! Went to bed before 10. Woke up around 2:30 to go to the bathroom. Was able to go back to sleep until roughly 5:30!!! I'd have liked to have slept even a bit later, but that's nearly a full 8 hours, so I'm not complaining. YES!!! I had some feelings of despair, but not much of anxiety this AM. It's still fading as I start my day. It should continue to get better as the day moves along. I think that this is what my waves are becoming. 5 to 7 days of sleep-maintenance insomnia, with back/neck pain and feelings of despair and anxiety. Then a slow roll out into a window. Then a quick onset of another wave. If I'd never had a debilitating week long full blown panic attack type wave, these waves would bother me quite a bit. But, since I have experienced quite a few of those debilitating waves in the past, I am on my hands and knees thanking God for this vast improvement!!!

 

Below is my taper to date. After years of Lexapro use (10-20mg) I spent some time in the hospital in late 2015, following a rapid taper to zero. I was put back on Lexapro (10mg) in February of 2016. I suffered Lexapro poop-out in June of 2018 and had a really bad wave. In response to that, at the recommendation of my nat Dr., I made a 50% cut on 7/22/18, after I felt that I'd stabilized. HUGE MISTAKE!!! It was too late for me to updose once the waves started hitting, so I held at 60 mgpw for 8 full months, with slow little signs of improvement, before I forced myself to begin tapering again on 3/17/19. I also tried tapering by whole numbers monthly, and this again was too much of a cut for me (16.67%), so I updosed pretty quickly and leveled out a bit. Then on 4/28/19, I began the BrassMonkey taper method, where I'm tapering a small percentage every week, that equates to close to 10% total every 4 weeks. I'm in a MUCH better place today at 46 mgpw than I was in April when I tapered to quickly to 50 mgpw. That's proof to me that the slow, gradual weekly taper is the best approach for me.

 

Date                      mgpw   WK%                     Mth%

02/21/16              120                        

07/22/18              60           50.00%                  50.00%

03/17/19              50           16.67%                  16.67%

04/07/19              55           -10.00%                -10.00%

04/14/19              55           0.00%   

04/21/19              55           0.00%   

04/28/19              54           1.82%   

05/05/19              53           1.82%   

05/12/19              52           1.82%                    5.45%

05/19/19              51           1.92%   

05/26/19              49           3.85%   

06/02/19              48           1.92%   

06/09/19              47           1.92%                    9.62%

06/16/19              46           2.13%   

 

Before poop-out, I had resigned to the fact that I would be taking Lexapro for the rest of my life. When it quit working for me, I had 2 choices. Either I run the gambit of trying to find another AD to take in its place, in an attempt to stop the waves, or to taper off of Lexapro completely. I chose the latter, but wish I had found this site earlier and performed my taper at a much slower pace. I believe I am battling this withdrawal process on 2 fronts. On one front, my brain/body grew tolerant to Lex, so it's not doing anything beneficial for me and my body is actually rejecting it. On the other front, my brain/body still needs Lex in order to function, and needs the SLOW taper time to gradually recover and adapt to functioning without it. I've been learning and maturing throughout this entire process, just like the rest of you. I so desperately want to just stop taking Lexapro today, but realize and accept the ramifications of what would happen if I did. I'm not completely ruling out ever going back on another AD, if I absolutely NEED it, but I will have to be 100% recovered from my Lexapro withdrawal before I'd even consider it, and then would do a ton of research before going that route.

 

I am kind of a gruff, independent guy. I've never had much empathy for others. Any time I've ever encountered a problem or a goal in the past, I'd become laser focused and work/push through it, quickly and efficiently. THIS has completely f-d up my entire world. It has shaken me throughout my entire being. It is forcing me to rethink everything, and to rewire/rebuild who I am from the ground up. I have gained empathy for others along the way, and I have truly found and come to love God with all of my mind, body, heart and soul. I thank Him for ALL things, both good and bad. I can embrace the 'bad' now because although this WD process has literally nearly done me in, I see how it is making me a better person. A visualization for me is picturing the entire process iron ore has to go through in order to become steel, and then manufactured into something useful. I see myself starting out like a lump of iron ore pulled from the earth. Going through the process of being melted down, other substances added to me to improve my quality, and having the impurities literally pounded out of me... Eventually, due to enduring this torture, I will become something much better than what I was when I started this process.

 

I know, that last bit is kind of corny, but I felt like talking about it this morning, so there it is...

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mdwstrx

Iowan, this brought an understanding tear to my eye.  You spoke it so eloquently, the process of being remolded to the likeness of our Lord.  Sounds like you and I have a lot in common.  Not corny at all but a glimpse into the truth of His love. 

Walking with you.💜

 

 

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Iowan
12 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

Iowan, this brought an understanding tear to my eye.  You spoke it so eloquently, the process of being remolded to the likeness of our Lord.  Sounds like you and I have a lot in common.  Not corny at all but a glimpse into the truth of His love. 

Walking with you.💜

 

Thank you @mdwstrx. I was hoping someone else could relate, or at least gain some positive outlook on this horrific AD WD process. Before this began, I felt like I was the one in control of most aspects of my life. I'd quickly get angry if something didn't go as I'd planned it. In an old church group, I told another member that I wasn't interested in having a relationship with Jesus Christ, I just didn't want to go to Hell when I died. Today, I can't believe I ever thought that way and am ashamed I said it. I replay it daily in my head. Jesus has pulled me up and carried me through the roughest patches during WD. I couldn't have done and didn't do it on my own, because it turns out that I'm not nearly as strong as I used to think I was. The love and mercy I have personally experienced is indescribable. It's like I had been bumbling around in the dark for 40 some years, and didn't know it, and then just recently, someone turned the lights on. I'm still no saint, but I almost don't even recognize the person I was just a little over a year ago.

 

All glory be to Christ.

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Iowan

I received some Superior Source Melatonin (MicroLingual 1mg) from Amazon yesterday and tried 0.5mg last night before bed around 10:00. I fell asleep quickly and woke up at 3:30 to pee. Then fell right back to sleep, as I was extremely groggy and tired. I ended up waking up for the day around 5:40. I still felt groggy, but rested, if that's possible. I'll see how the next few nights/days play out before I label Melatonin as a winner, but I liked the results I got last night. I feel pretty darn good right now. Very low anxiety. Low despair. Little neck/back pain. I'm wide awake and feel rested. I'm in an overall good mood and feel well. It could be that I'm rolling out of a wave, but it could mean that the Melatonin helped me sleep better, in turn helping me recover better. Whatever the case, it's a step in the right direction. And the world keeps spinning on...

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Iowan

I took 0.5 mg of melatonin for 3 nights and it seemed to help me sleep better throughout the night. I'm sleeping pretty well without it now. The past 4 or 5 days have been almost completely 'normal' for me again. Almost a little too high, but not like a manic high. I have been waking up and starting my day around 5:30, which is still a little earlier than I'd like, but I'm in my mid 40's now, so it's to be expected. My neck and back pain have dramatically diminished. Headaches are gone. I'm not real grumpy or tired. I feel as close to 'normal' as I have in over a year. I realize this could be, and probably is, a window, but I'll take it!!! I tapered to 45 mgpw on Sunday 6/23. I was about out of my powdered Lexapro, so I ground up some more 20 mg pills. Before I did, I weighted each of them. I was off a bit on remembering what my 5 mg pills weighted.

 

20 mgai = 310 mgpw

 

Below is my updated taper to date:

Date                      Weight                   mgpw     mgai       Wk%       Mth%     Tot%

02/21/16              0.155     g              155         10.000                                  

07/22/18              0.078     g              78           5.000     50.00%  50.00%  50.00%

03/17/19              0.050     g              50           3.226     35.48%  35.48%  67.74%

04/07/19              0.055     g              55           3.548     -10.0%   29.03%  64.52%

04/14/19              0.055     g              55           3.548     0.00%    29.03%  64.52%

04/21/19              0.055     g              55           3.548     0.00%    29.03%  64.52%

04/28/19              0.054     g              54           3.484     1.82%    1.82%    65.16%

05/05/19              0.053     g              53           3.419     1.82%    3.64%    65.81%

05/12/19              0.052     g              52           3.355     1.82%    5.45%    66.45%

05/19/19              0.051     g              51           3.290     1.92%    1.92%    67.10%

05/26/19              0.049     g              49           3.161     3.85%    5.77%    68.39%

06/02/19              0.048     g              48           3.097     1.92%    7.69%    69.03%

06/09/19              0.047     g              47           3.032     1.92%    9.62%    69.68%

06/16/19              0.046     g              46           2.968     2.13%    2.13%    70.32%

06/23/19              0.045     g              45           2.903     2.13%    4.26%    70.97%

 

It's obvious to me why my initial couple of tapers were so bad. I was kind of just winging it back then. I thought I was tougher than the rest and could handle these bigger cuts. NOPE! Ever since 4/28/19, (when I implemented the BM Slide Taper Method), my AD withdrawal has been improving daily. I'm stoked!!! As long as I play the long game here, and stay on top of my super SLOW taper, I'm going to pull through this!!! YES!!! It's just going to take time.

 

Today, I'm 71% complete with 29% left to go to being Lexapro free!

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mdwstrx
On 6/25/2019 at 9:12 AM, Iowan said:

 Today, I'm 71% complete with 29% left to go to being Lexapro free!

 

I am so excited for you, Iowan!  

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Iowan
13 hours ago, mdwstrx said:

 

I am so excited for you, Iowan!  

 

Thanks @mdwstrx. I am too. I woke up with some anxiety this morning that's still hanging around, but I think it's due to the 4 hour 'team' job interview I have coming up on Monday. It's got me a little nervous. I'm sorry that your Dr. recommended you discontinue from 2.5 mg to zero in late 2018. You had made tremendous progress tapering down from 20 mg before that. I completely empathize with your crash and eventual reinstatement following your initial discontinuation. But... It sounds like you're making good progress again, and that's fantastic news!!! It's only a matter of time now. Just stick to the taper program and pause if/when things start getting rough.

 

If I had this to do all over again, I would have paid closer attention to everything and recorded details more accurately. I also would have approached my taper process more scientifically and planned it out better, following the BrassMonkey weekly taper method from the very beginning. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, and there's no going back, but these are the things that I would suggest to anyone just getting started on this WD journey. I believe it could save a ton of unnecessary suffering.

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Iowan

Sunday 6/30/19, I reached 43 mgpw / 2.774 mgai. I had 3 or 4 kind of rough mornings with sadness and anxiety, but manageable. Today, I'm feeling better. I've been stressed about my job and applying / interviewing for new positions. Good news is that I've been landing a ton of interviews internally, within my company, and I've become a finalist candidate for a better fitting position within my current department. I've got my 3rd and final interview for that position scheduled for mid-next week, and that hiring manager is contacting my current manager. That usually only happens when the hiring manager is going to offer the position, as a courtesy to the employees current manager. I'm trying not to let myself get too excited, but I am excited... I'm also super pumped that I haven't had a major wave since my brain and body have adjusted to the BM weekly taper that I implemented on 4/28/19. I pray I never have another one of those major debilitating waves, but feel I'm better equipped to handle it now if I ever do.

 

Happy belated Independence Day to my fellow Americans, and have a wonderful weekend to everyone. Life is improving every day!

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Iowan

I took a little time today to work on an auto populating Excel spreadsheet for the BrassMonkey Slide Taper method. Please see my attached doc and feel free to download and use. There are 2 tabs. The 1st (4_Wk) tab is if you want to taper every week all the way through to zero. The 2nd (6_Wk) tab is if you want to taper every week for 4 weeks and then hold for 2 weeks before beginning your taper again, (per what's suggested by the original BM Slide Taper method).

 

Obviously, this is just an initial plan that does not take into any account for any unexpected or longer hold times.

 

Once you pick which tapering plan you want to go with, all you need to do is populate the 4 Yellow highlighted cells with your own information. The doc will automatically populate the rest and show you when you will reach zero, if you stick to the plan. Whatever row that the mgai, Weight and mgpw columns zero out is the date that you will be Anti Depressant medication FREE!!!

 

I've pre-populated the the 4 Yellow highlighted cells, to demonstrate how it works. Just write over my pre-populated values with your own, in these 4 cells ONLY.

 

20 mgai = 20 milligrams of active ingredient, (e.g. a 20 mg pill of Lexapro).

0.310 g Weight = The physical weight of your current dosage, (e.g. a 20 mg pill of Lexapro).

Sunday Day = Day of the week you begin your taper.

07/07/19 Date = Date you begin your taper.

 

God bless!

BM Slide Taper.xlsx

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manymoretodays

Happy 4th to you too Iowan.  And summertime!

 

Best on the possible job changes.

And an oh wow......it looks like you have worked the mgai into your spreadsheet now too!  Good job.

Does it do the all the calculations too, once you have the beginning numbers in?

I'm going to check a few.......the long way......B).......with my trusty calculator.

And keep in mind, that now might be more of a crunch time, that you are below 3 mg or 3 mgai. 

If you need a longer hold time.....take it.

 

Take some time for you Iowan, too.  And I'm so proud of you!

Lot's of insights with this whole process, eh?

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

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Iowan
On 7/7/2019 at 3:52 PM, manymoretodays said:

Does it do the all the calculations too, once you have the beginning numbers in?

 

Correct. Once you plug in your beginning information into the 4 yellow highlighted cells at the top of the doc, all of the calculations will populate themselves and your entire plan will be mapped out for you. It works off of the BM framework of 2.5% weekly tapers within 4-week groupings, equating to 10% total tapers every 4 weeks (or monthly). This doc gets as close to the BM framework as possible. Sometimes the percentages are under and sometimes they're over, but they're within tolerance. Once the dosage gets so low, towards the end of the plan, it's impossible to stay within tolerance of the 10% monthly taper, due to the limitations of the scales we measure our dosages with, so that's why those last few monthly percentages stair step up to 50% and then eventually 100% at the very end.

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brassmonkey

The spreadsheet is looking pretty good. I PMed you some notes.

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pattypan

@Iowan I have been reading your thread and am rooting for you! 
I am at the beginning of a Lexapro taper. and am very type A- planning-mode type person so I am trying to gather as much info as possible for when I get to the smaller doses. I have requested to access your google Docs spreadsheet.
Please continue to document your journey- it really helps to know that others are going through this. ie: I dont feel so alone. 
thank you. 

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Iowan
3 hours ago, pattypan said:

@Iowan I have been reading your thread and am rooting for you! 
I am at the beginning of a Lexapro taper. and am very type A- planning-mode type person so I am trying to gather as much info as possible for when I get to the smaller doses. I have requested to access your google Docs spreadsheet.
Please continue to document your journey- it really helps to know that others are going through this. ie: I dont feel so alone. 
thank you. 

 

Let me know if you still don't have access. Google Sheets is still new to me. My personal words of advice to you is go SLOW and steady. Taking years to get off of this poison is so much better than rushing it and taking the chance of enduring waves debilitating anguish and despair. You certainly are not alone. Good luck!

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pattypan

Thank you @Iowan!!!

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Iowan

I was supposed to hear back last week about the new inter-departmental position that I interviewed for, but didn't receive any word. I woke up GRUMPY Saturday AM and found myself getting angrier and angrier as I walked around and saw what a disaster our house was. I put the kids on pick-up and vacuum duty and went to the garage before I blew my top. I worked all day in the garage and outside on projects. It was HOT and extremely muggy. I fell asleep on the couch early last night only to be woken up by all 4 kiddo's that were certain something they needed had been kicked under the couch. It hadn't, but then I couldn't go back to sleep until after 1:00 or 1:30, and got spotty sleep between then and 5 something. I'm feeling pretty blue this Sunday morning. Tired. Grumpy. Sad. Anxious. etc. Almost like a hangover. The past few weeks have treated me well, so I knew that a bump or few in the road were just around the corner. Overall, I'm remaining extremely positive and consider myself blessed to be where I'm at today. I'm confident this will run it's course today or over the next few days.

 

Today may just be a blah day for me. A day to nap and maybe catch up on some paperwork.

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mdwstrx

Hi Iowan.  So sorry to hear about your blah day.  While I was recovering from my last 10% taper, I had many like it.  Just wasn't pleasant to be around and very negative. 

I think you're right in the matter that it must run it's course.  You're getting into those low numbers they warn about. 

It's great but you may want to consider whether smaller reductions/longer holds would be beneficial.  Mods would know best.  

 

I resumed my taper last Thursday going from 5.5 to 5.35 (2.7%).  It's not awful but I can feel the difference with some slight wd symptoms today, only 3 days out.  What fun we're having. 😕

 

 

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Iowan

@mdwstrx, Sunday is the day I adjust my taper and I just went from 0.041g to 0.040g today. It's a 2.38% cut for me, so nothing too drastic. If I don't pull out of my funk by next Sunday, I will skip that taper and hold for at least a week. I anticipate pulling out of it though, per my previous track record with them. The waves are getting better though, so I'm not really complaining. Just sharing. It's cooler here today, so I forced myself back outside and into the garage to continue working on projects. I'm able to work on stuff, so that's a plus. It takes my mind off of things, helps to pass the time, and gives me a sense of accomplishment when I finish something.

 

I'm happy to hear that you leveled out enough to being tapering again. That's great news! My WD symptoms usually don't manifest until 3 or 4 days after I've tapered to a new lower dosage, if I have any. I've read that's pretty common. Oh my, SO much fun... ;) About as much as fun as a sharp poke in the eye.

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Iowan

So, Monday morning started out kind of rough and then ended up being a pretty good day. Then I pulled a bonehead move and totally spaced off my Lexapro all together. A while back, I switched from taking it 1st thing in the mornings to taking it between 2:00 & 4:00 PM. So this morning, when I woke up at 4:00 AM and realized what I'd done, I stressed on top of already feeling cruddy. I ended up taking it at 10:00 AM today, and won't take my next dose until tomorrow (2-4 PM). I am praying that it doesn't throw me into a nasty wave. I guess time will tell. I imagine, I'll know if it does super early tomorrow AM. Doh!

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Iowan

Well, that didn't take long. I woke up this morning at 3:30 with some nasty anxiety and racing intrusive thoughts. Ugh... I did get spotty sleep through 6:30, so I'll take that over the full blown insomnia that I have experienced. This just helps to solidify to myself just how important it is that I stay methodical with my personal taper schedule. Looking back thorough my notes, it's clear to see my worst waves have been associated with too large/fast tapers and missing daily doses. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to withdrawing from ADs. I may have a rough handful of days, but feel confident it won't get much worse than I felt this morning.

 

My father has a 70th birthday party this weekend. I'm taking my 2 oldest boys camping and canoeing at my dads before we meet up with the rest of my family to attend his party. Looking forward to it. Hopefully I've concurred this wave prior to Friday afternoon.

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planifolia

Hello Lowan. I am a fellow lexapro taperer as well :) i haven’t been able to read through all your intro yet but just popping by to send you my support. This is pure hell but we will make it through

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Iowan
16 hours ago, planifolia said:

Hello Lowan. I am a fellow lexapro taperer as well :) i haven’t been able to read through all your intro yet but just popping by to send you my support. This is pure hell but we will make it through

 

Yes it is, and yes we will!

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PH1

Iowan,

Thanks for sharing your journey.   As you stated it’s not a pleasant one but God is using it for good in your life and in mine.   I too am much more empathetic and compassionate toward others because of this experience.   

 

I'm working my way off of two meds and have learned the hard way to keep things slow and steady.  We’ll get there eventually, it just won’t be any time soon!

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Iowan

2.323 mgai / 36 mgpw: The last few weeks have been pretty good. Last week was really good. I took my oldest son, (soon to be 13), on a 3 day father-son camping trip. Talking, fishing, canoeing, bicycling, camping, and finished things up with parasailing. I was able to actually fully relax for the first time in like a year or 2. We both had a great time. I love the young man he is becoming.

 

I wasn't looking forward to coming back to work on Tuesday. Without going into to much detail, I am performing my work duties well, but I still lack a deep understanding of the inner workings within and between the systems that I work with. I have a more mechanical knowledge base than a true understanding. It's very complex and it's a long story that I won't go any deeper into. I heard the disappointment in my managers voice when we talked yesterday, and I may have shared more than I should have, but I feel I had to in order to improve.

 

I feel that my job may be in jeopardy. I fell into an emotional pit pretty quickly. Cried a few times. But, I worked the entire evening on a template that I sent to and asked my manager to help me fill in, in order to help close the gaps in my knowledge base. I went to sleep around 10:30 and had pretty good uninterrupted sleep until 3:30, when I woke to use the restroom. I've been up ever since, extremely stressed out and high anxiety. I dry heaved this morning, and I haven't done that since my last MAJOR wave, and that was over 3 months ago (thank GOD!).

 

I know that this is situational, and not a full blow AD withdrawal wave, but I'm sure my AD withdrawal adds a lot to it. This feels similar to a major wave, but is different. I'm more with it, if that makes sense. Within the insomnia this AM, my stress did morph into some abstract intrusive thoughts, but not to the degree that I've battled in the past. I know that this will pass and that I just need to weather the storm and face whatever comes.

 

My AD withdrawal has made me fragile. Even though I have been feeling pretty good these past few weeks, it doesn't take much stress to slam me into a panic and kick off a wave or at least mimic a wave. Oh, how happy I'll be when this is all over and I'm strong enough to better handle this type of daily stress. Please send your prayers my way. I'll take all I can get. My family lives on my income and I don't want to lose it. I also genuinely desire a deeper understanding of the intricacies within my work environment.

 

So, in general, things have been progressing well, but I've hit a bump in the road yesterday with some relatively heavy work/life stress.

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mdwstrx

I'm sorry for the stress.  Saying prayers for you Iowan.  From your post, you're doing all you can.  Let Him do the rest.  Have faith.  Whatever way, He will come through in a manner best for you and your family. 💜

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Iowan

2.129 mgai / 33 mgpw: I've had a couple of 3-4 day rough patches over the past couple of weeks. Mainly due to situational stress within my job. The GOOD news is that I officially accepted an offer for an internal position transfer at the end of the day this past Wednesday!!! I'm getting back into my wheelhouse with the work that I will be performing within this new position and I am SUPER EXCITED!!! Because it's an internal transfer, my current manager has to work with my new manager in order to determine a definitive transition date and there is the possibility that I will be a 'shared' resource for a few weeks between the two positions. If it were up to me, I'd make the transition NOW, or provided no more than the standard 2 weeks. Unfortunately, it's not up to me. I'm not allowed to talk to anyone about it until the transition date has been determined, which sucks. So, I've got anxiety going on now about the knowledge transfer that I'll need assemble and present, along with the idea that something could derail this transfer, and also that I'll be starting a new role... It's all manageable, but I know it would be better if I weren't going through SSRI withdrawal.

 

My goodness, I have been miserable at my job for the past 2 years, since they completely changed-up my work and responsibilities. This will be such a good change for me! Even if it takes me a few days or weeks to get into a good groove. Many a prayers have been answered!!!


On a different note, when I have my patches of high stress and anxiety, my spine, at the very base of my neck, (about level with the tops of my shoulders), burns like it's on fire. The entire region around it burns. I'm constantly trying to stretch and pop it. It also inflames like I have a 'buffalo hump' or 'tech neck'. I don't know if it's a symptom or the cause of my bouts of high anxiety/stress, (my bet is it's a symptom), but I do know that the two directly coincide with one-another. I've read about back pain associated with SSRI withdrawal, but nothing that specifically matches up with what I'm experiencing. Has anyone else encountered this? Has anyone else figured out how to alleviate the pain and stiffness? It's not crippling, but it's not pleasant and it tends to turn me into an old grumpy bear.

 

Thanks and God Bless!

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mdwstrx

Hi Iowan!  Good to hear things are looking up with the job!  :)

 

Your getting lower and lower on the mgai/mgpw.  Congrats!  

 

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