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withhopeinmyheart: crash and reinstating after escitalopram quick taper

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12 hours ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

Dear @India and @JackieDecides and everybody else, 


it's hard. I think WD normal is constantly improving. I try to focus on that. 


But I stopped living, I lost all trust, I have trouble coping and I'm the one who yells for help the loudest over at the German forums. 

You might've thrown me out of here if I did that here. 


Yes I have family and yes I talk to my therapist on the phone. But I need the reassurance of those who know, who understand. 


I'm so sorry if I'm too much work, really! I used to be a giving person but now not anymore. 


This uncertainty of this process scares me so much. 


I keep reading pug's success story and I ask him questions which he so kindly answers. 


I'm not doing good. But it's getting better. I just over and over need the guarantee that everybody can leave this behind one day. 



Dear @withhopeinmyheart I remember this terror. Nothing could appease it. Not trees, not walks, not my mother’s hugs, not meditations, nothing could soothe it. I have to admit that even now I have dark evenings and nothing will appease the depression and depression about my loss of abilities, to read, to write, to feel something in my body and soul. That awful terror is gone though, I get anxiety but relative to what it was , it’s different.

i am so angry for all us. This terror, this marginalisation. For every hour you go through, that is heroic. It may not be “positive” but this protracted withdrawal has ruined and decimated my life. I am so isolated. Even from myself. However, there are improvements. Things do now comfort me whereas when they didn’t I contemplated suicide on a daily basis. Paradoxically , having had to fight so hard to live has left me less inclined to feel I would actually do it though I am more depressed than I have ever been in my entire life. No one outside of this understands the level of hell that is experienced. My friend told me I was weak today. Anyway. Keep fighting. We have to believe we will find a way back.


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On 3/31/2019 at 5:32 AM, withhopeinmyheart said:

I'm not doing good.


I'm so sorry it's this bad. but things never stay the same, so this will change. ❤️


what kind of things do you do to distract yourself from feeling bad?


when other reading was too hard, I liked to re-read Children's books that I loved decades ago. 

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 Thank you @India and @JackieDecides


Distraction is still hard but got better. 

I can read a bit in the late evenings. 

TV. Still playing games on the phone. 

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it's very good you can read! 🙂

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Hi Hope, 


That’s wonderful news that you’re able to slowly tolerate a small amount of other distractions. That’s progress. 


Sending hugs🤗

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Thank you so much! 


I'm trying hard to be proud of myself. Because yesterday I had my blood drawn which was long overdue for my thyroid. 

This meant hubby and I took a cab and had to maneuver around crowded streets.


I've never been a good passenger so we had to stop twice because I had to vomit quite a bit. 


Then the blood drawn... I'm usually scared of needles but this was the easiest thing yesterday. I laid there a while longer and then we had to decide how to get home. 

Taxi... Just the thought made me almost sick again. 


So guess what? We went home by metro. First time in ages. 


I've been exhausted since and hardly left the bed. 


I try to be good to myself, to pet my shoulder, that I made it. 


But I'm so sad. Being out there just showed me how different and bad everything still is. I'm detached from everything and nothing around me can really get to me. 


Also, I had an intrusive thought at the beginning of the cab ride. That I wanted to throw myself out of it. But I managed to quickly make fun of that thought by instead thinking something silly that rhymes with the original thought. 


Well, that was my adventure... 

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Thank you, Mary! 


Got my blood results over the phone. I'm a little surprised that everything's fine. 

Thyroid, vitamins, everything good. 


I now started folate again. So far it doesn't seem to do anything bad. 

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Hi Withhope, I just read through your thread. I'm glad there's a German forum that exists for people to converse and support each other in German. I often wonder how people get along if they don't know English and can't find this site. Most members here are from English-speaking countries with the occasional non-English speaker but I wonder about those in Spanish-speaking countries or in Asia who may not have support in their language. 


I have also had symptoms increase during menstruation as you had described. And I also reinstated and found much stability after 8 months. Have you found that any higher dose reinstatements are not good for you? I'm glad you can read books and do simple activities. I have found benefit from EMDR therapy for processing the more traumatic experiences and thoughts associated with withdrawal. EFT sounds like another similar technique.


Hoping for better and brighter days for you.

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Hi @composter


Thank you for writing. 


I updosed in late November from 0,35 mg to 0,6 mg. It was unimaginable hell I had to fight for my life... 


I'm scared... It's close to eight months now. Nothing is normal or stable.... 


I can barely leave the house due to weakness, anxiety and traumatic memories. 

I'm not at a point where I could get help... Not even watch a therapeutic video or being able to follow that... 


I'm unable to be positive, though I want to be... I feel hopeless. 

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On 18/4/2019 at 21:14, composter said:

Hola Withhope, acabo de leer tu hilo. Me alegro de que exista un foro en alemán para que las personas conversen y se apoyen en alemán. A menudo me pregunto cómo se llevan las personas si no saben inglés y no pueden encontrar este sitio. La mayoría de los miembros aquí son de países de habla inglesa con personas que no hablan inglés ocasionalmente, pero me pregunto acerca de aquellos en países de habla hispana o en Asia que pueden no tener apoyo en su idioma. 


También he tenido un aumento de los síntomas durante la menstruación, tal como lo describiste. Y también reinstalé y encontré mucha estabilidad después de 8 meses. ¿Ha encontrado que algún restablecimiento de dosis más altas no es bueno para usted? Me alegra que puedas leer libros y hacer actividades simples. He encontrado beneficios de la terapia EMDR para procesar las experiencias más traumáticas y los pensamientos asociados con la abstinencia. EFT suena como otra técnica similar.


Esperando días mejores y más brillantes para ti.

I'm from Spain, i dont speak English but I traduce all of the information. Is the best option. Greetings 

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I don't think I can survive this. The trauma goes deep I'm haunted by it all. Cannot leave the house to get help, can't focus, can't hope... Life seems so incredibly meaningless... What's the point... 

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I'm so so sorry. The pain, especially the emotional pain, of all this goes so deep.


What is your support system like?


Mods, do you think a higher reinstatement is warranted for Withhope to find stability?

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Dear composter, 


I have a wonderful support system. Husband and understanding family. Even an acknowledging doctor. 

Does nothing when it gets that bad... 


Cannot updose. I react extremely to dose changes. It almost killed me in late November. 

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Hi withhopeinmyheart,


And I am so sorry that the intensity of your symptoms have just not let up.


On 5/26/2019 at 5:31 AM, withhopeinmyheart said:

Cannot updose. I react extremely to dose changes. It almost killed me in late November.

What happened in November of 2018 with your updose?

And were you doing okay at all in October of 2018?


Are you using a liquid Lexapro/escitalopram presently?

And what is the strength in milligrams per millileter(or drops(gtts))?


Any other changes recently?  Supplements tried, etc.?


I am very glad to read that your blood work, and I assume thyroid lab results, were all okay.


Is there anything that feels is helpful for you right now........that you ARE able to focus and concentrate on a bit. 

How's your diet and eating? 

Are you able to get outside a bit each day and do some gentle exercise like walking? 

What does a day presently look like for you, in other words?


Would you give us a brief summary of what a day looks like?

Keeping notes on paper

^ this link may help with that

Then after noting a day on paper, go ahead and share that with us here.

Keep it simple when you post it on your introduction page, right here.

Note the time on the left, and then to the right of the time, note your drug(s) and supplements taken by name and the dosage. 

Also include on the right side of the time notation, any symptoms, and even rate them(a one to ten scale often works well), as well as sleep, and activities.


This might help us, to figure out, what might help you the most right now. 

So.....give it your best effort.


Meantime......are you able to read much, here or anywhere?

You might find something in our Finding Meaning forum that helps or interests you.

Also Symptoms and Self Care is packed with all sorts of information.

Stick with the top pinned topics for now in those sections, just to look for things that might help.......possibly starting new practices that may help lead to healing from WD, on a daily basis.  Sometimes it's as simple as writing, or prayer, or daily mediation........or finding some distractions that you can participate and enjoy.  And then, if/when comfortable doing so......sometimes beginning to comment on, and getting involved in discussions here, or supporting other members can really help too.


I too, had a heck of time, after a rapid taper off Lexapro/escitalopram.  It did get better for me though.  Much, much better.  I think it can for you as well.



Love, peace, healing, and growth,








Edited by manymoretodays
puncuation, spacing

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Dear @manymoretodays


thank you for taking the time. 


It's already evening here so I will start detailed notes tomorrow. 


I'm making my own liquid Escitalopram, 1 10mg tablet in 200 ml water, then take 10 ml. I take it every day at 11 am. 


Well, when it all started I was advised to reinstate 0,25 mg. About four weeks later 0,35 mg. Then late November 0,5 but I got desperate and updosed to 0,6.


It got me vomiting, rage, worsened the akathisia. Pulse lying down 160 and more over long periods of time. Restless, weird suicidality that I felt physically. Couldn't be left alone for weeks. Nerves burning, severe, severe agoraphobia. Couldn't even look out of the window because everything looked too wide, too wrong. It wasn't the world I knew. This was all after the updose. 


As I said, will start the detailed notes tomorrow but just gonna tell you more now. 


My husband cooks, he's a chef. I noticed no sensitivities to any foods. Our meals can include anything from not so healthy homemade pizza to really healthy like salad and chicken. Or veggie soup. 


I take fish oil capsules before bed. 


The worst feeling for me is the terror, the strange feeling of being detached from the world and that I will never feel safe again. I lost all of that natural trust. 


Plus massively traumatized by everything that happened in withdrawal. I have memories coming back of things I tried and how horrible it felt. 


I haven't been for a walk in about six or eight weeks. 

I know it sounds so weird but I'm frozen in terror. Physically. Like I even have difficulty going into another room. I'm just glued to the couch. 


I read a lot in all the support groups but have trouble focusing on longer texts and understanding what it's saying. 


I spend all day on the couch. Sometimes a moment on the balcony. The TV is on even if its just for background noise. I distract with phone games, no matter how silly. I tried to give support to others but often feel too weak and overwhelmed. 


I have this intrusive thought going on that I can only heal if I'm able to do what others do. 


Like meditation, exercise, listening to people like Claire Weekes or Evkhardt tolle.  I tried so much but it all felt like it fired back at me. Like adverse reactions to things that are supposed to help. 


I'm not able to do anything. Everything is full of fear and without interest. I don't feel safe in the world. At all. 


I seem to have a bit of relief late in the evening. So often I am in bed at 2 or 3 am. Then have very bad sleep with nightmares and wake up a lot and it takes very long to fall asleep. 


As I'm really weak physically I stay in bed till around 1:30 pm then get up, try some toilet routine, then on the couch, some bread for breakfast... 


And it's the same every day. 

The fear is always there. It's mostly not panicky. Like it doesn't feel hectic.. I really feel stuck and frozen. I try to breathe calmly. 


Sometimes I get up to move a little, like circling my legs, move arms and neck. 


I drink around 2 liters a day. Mostly apple juice thinned with water or pure water. 


Some days I go see my grandma who lives next door and we play dice. 


But it's always, always with fear. 


I feel lost, I am not able to remember what it felt like when it was good. Almost as if it has always been this hell. 


I am unable to enjoy anything. And weirdly the thought of trying something new terrifies me so much. That's not typically me. 


I don't recognize the world and fear I'm going crazy. I'm on another hellish planet. 


I lost every and all connection to anything that could ground me... 


I try and do some visualization like healing light surrounding us and I pray for us all. 


But overall it feels like I can never come back. 


Thank you for reading! 

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Oh and you asked about October. 

No. I was completely gone. Ripped out of life. 

No distraction, no reality, no music, TV, reading. Just surviving. 


I DO have improvements but I haven't been able to notice windows or waves lately. The improvements are hard to explain and don't seem to change the situation much. Which leaves me desperate that maybe I'm doomed to stay like this no matter what improvement there is. 

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I am so sorry you are suffering so intensely. People have got better after withdrawal from escitalopram, so you definitely have reasons for optimism! I’m sorry it’s taking a long time, but that unfortunately seems to be a common experience.


sending you warmest wishes,



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1 hour ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

I DO have improvements but I haven't been able to notice windows or waves lately. The improvements are hard to explain and don't seem to change the situation much. Which leaves me desperate that maybe I'm doomed to stay like this no matter what improvement there is. 


Withhope, I've had much the same experience. I’d had six months of steadily worsening symptoms and then, in February, I got stuck in a wave that went on and on with no relief that I could recognise. When I made my first post here I was getting really frightened and desperate, not feeling able to leave the house unless I absolutely had to buy food, unable to work or do anything more than the absolute essentials to stay alive, and feeling like I was never going to get any relief.


The moderators and a couple of other members were able to reassure me that what I was experiencing was, actually, pretty typical for someone in my situation - I’d tapered off Citalopram far too quickly - and that I should, eventually, feel some improvement.


Then, a week ago, I had a four day window. It wasn’t a case of returning to anything close to normal, but my out of control emotions calmed down to the point that I was able to go out and enjoy the sunshine. It gave me hope.


I’m back in another wave now: meals out of the freezer, sat in a chair all day, feeling very down and frightened about the future. But at least I know it’s not going to be like this all the time.


The Windows and Waves topic has posts from a lot of people who cycle between the two states in a matter of weeks or days, but it seems some of us may have much longer waves that can leave us feeling like we’re stuck in the depths for good. But the windows do, eventually, happen.


One day you’ll wake up and find a window has arrived. I hope it comes soon.

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Great post Alanc

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Thank you so much @RichT and @AlanC! Thank you, thank you! 


It might be hard to understand, I don't know... 


But there is this tiny improvement. At least noticeable when looking back. But this gives me fear like, there are improvements, shouldn't I be able to do something? I'm so scared of being stuck... 


In the beginning I noticed windows and waves. A wave was levels below hell, a window was hell. 


But now I don't have that anymore. I notice progress but am still frozen. Feel so traumatized... 

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Withhope, I see a lot of similarities between what’s happened to both of us and I wonder if it’s correct to think of what happened on the way down as windows and waves. The pattern was the same, but the trend was downwards instead of upwards: the symptoms would get bad, then there’d be some respite - but it wouldn’t be a return to feeling normal - then everything would get worse, followed by some relief - although not as much as the previous time - until we got stuck in what seemed to be a never ending wave.


The fact you can see some improvements, even if they’re not enough for you to feel like you’re coming out of the wave, is very hopeful. I saw the same, but was feeling so unrelentingly horrible that it didn’t mean much at the time. But now I think it most likely marks the point where the overall trend has changed from down to up. So I don’t think you’re stuck in the wave any more than I was, it’s more that the symptoms as a whole are still so bad that they hide the improvements, and because of that you don’t feel able to do anything. But as you continue to improve it will become noticable.

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Gosh, thank you, especially for the second part! Thank you, I'm crying. I want to hope but even that is hard. You're right, I hope, the symptoms hide the improvement. I hope so! 


My fear is that I'm stuck in real trauma from all this, that will stay long after withdrawal syndrome and THAT'S the reason I can't do anything. 


I hope you are the one who's right and not my too convincing brain. 

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Here's my day. Please let me know if I should do it differently or if something's missing. 



0:17 extreme misophonia 10/10
Brain burns like acid 2/10
Heart palpitations 7/10
General anxiety 7/10
Taking 4 fish oil capsules 


0:55 almost forgot thyroid hormone. L-Thyroxin 50 mcg 


1:00 am flashback memories of horrible withdrawal moments. Trying to distract with games on the phone (with bluelight filter) 


3:15 am weird rushes of undescribable sensations

Anxiety 4/10

Tired enough to hopefully sleep 

Derealization 7/10 

Woke up countless times with racing  heart


11:00 am husband wakes me for Escitalopram 0.5 mg 

Keep sleeping after


1:00 pm Awake with anxiety and despair 8/10

Feeling absolutely hopeless 

Moving to the couch, drink water, TV on 

Brain burns like acid 3/10

Dreading the day

Frozen in silent terror 10/10 



1:35 pm eating two slices of toast with cheese


2:35 pm physical anxiety in my stomach  


2:45 pm having a piece of chocolate  


3:30 pm many random things trigger horrible memories 
Slight headache 2/10
Hopeless crying 
Derealization 3/10


4:50 pm short visit at grandma's. Trying to be calm. Ate blueberries with vanilla sauce


5:30 pm eating homemade pizza 


6:45 pm L-Thyroxin 50 mcg


7:15 eating a banana 


8:55 Anxiety 8/10 


9:20 pm another bad crying spell. Then fed the cats, now glued to the couch. 

The paralyzed with fear feeling 10/10 

Anxiety in my stomach 9/10

Brain burns like acid 6 /10


9:40 pm taking blend of magnesium taurate and glycinate. 


10:45 pm dizzy and exhausted. 

Derealization 6/10

Snacking on some pretzel sticks


11:35 headache 4/10


0:10 am misophonia 10/10  


0:50 am 4 fish oil capsules 


2 am feeling completely empty and detached. 

Brushing teeth and off to bed



Some symptoms are constant and I wouldn't know how to rate them. Like feeling completely ripped out of life. And the being paralyzed with fear. It's a huge "I can't"... 

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Hello, withhope.


What do you mean by misophonia?


Did you always take thyroid hormone at night?

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Hi Alto, 


misophonia is when you can't stand certain sounds like eating sounds. Chewing, swallowing. Or in my case, even the cats grooming. Got extreme during withdrawal. 


It kind of moved there over time that I take it at night. 

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I feel like the only one who stopped so completely. I truly do nothing because of all the fear and agoraphobia and meaninglessness and disinterest... 

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2 minutes ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

I feel like the only one who stopped so completely.


You're not the only one. It's normal in WD.   I've cut way down on my activities for the same reasons you listed.  It'll get better.

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Thank you Gridley! My brain wants to say "but", to tell you why it's surely different for me. 


But I try not to. I'm already scared enough to be a burden for everyone... 

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13 minutes ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

I'm already scared enough to be a burden for everyone... 


withhopeinmyheart, you are not a burden.

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Thank you! 

Crying again... 


I'd love to be more helpful for others but currently can't... 

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Just wanted to send you many good wishes....been following you; myself not fighting the escitalopram fight, rather the citalopram one. 

Hoping you have a window very soon, one which feels good rather than just respite from symptoms.

It's coming for you.

Best wishes,


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Thank you so much, Ruth! 


May 29


11 am 0.5 mg Escitalopram 
Then continue sleeping 


12:40 pm up and crying. Racing heart. 
Anxiety 8/10
Extremely tired and exhausted 


1:10 pm on the couch, having slice of bread with tea sausage 


3:30 pm reading and writing in support groups. Looking for similarities. Crying  


4:30 pm having pasta with tomato sauce  


6:30 pm top of skull burning 4/10

Feeling desperate and lost

Paralyzed with fear constantly 10/10 


7:25 pm L-Thyroxin 50 mcg


7:45 slice of bread and an apple 


11:40 pm 4 fish oil capsules 

Completely disconnected, desperate

Derealization 8/10 


1:45 am bathroom and bed. 

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Do you think my taper was actually so fast it equals a cold turkey? Maybe that's why it's so extremely bad... 

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It was pure survival. Life or death, every second. Nothing was good or normal. Perception.... The world wasn't the world I had lived in before the crash. Nothing, nothing, nothing feels safe. I'm prisoner in a nightmare. 

I feel much pressure in me to work on that trauma. But I can't. Because I'm paralyzed with fear. So much so that I can't do a thing. 

And then I feel I'm the one to blame that it's that bad because I can't help myself one bit. 


How am I supposed to live with this...? How did others make it through...? Like pug. I grasp on to pug's success story. How is he not traumatized anymore..? 

This is unimaginable to me. To make it through and be happy again. 


I don't even recognize the world anymore. Everything is unsafe... 

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Withhope, please don’t blame yourself. It’s not you, it’s the effect of the escitalopram. And you can see the truth in this from the fact that the Royal College of Psychiatrists here in the UK have, finally, recognised the problems SSRI’s can cause.



So while it’s cold comfort for those of us who have to deal with the process of stopping these drugs, it’s good that the reality is receiving some official recognition.


I haven’t been posting for a couple of days because I’m in another wave and have been feeling horrible. I’m so sorry to see that everything is continuing to be terribly bad for you, but try to hold on to the thought that what’s happening is a direct consequence of having been prescribed the escitalopram. And you couldn’t have known in advance that this was even possible because the official line has always been that SSRI’s don’t cause dependence.

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On 4/2/2019 at 1:34 PM, withhopeinmyheart said:

 Thank you @India and @JackieDecides


Distraction is still hard but got better. 

I can read a bit in the late evenings. 

TV. Still playing games on the phone. 

Hi.You can read my thread, i’m in EXACTLY same situation as you.Exactly every symptom you have, I have.I’m bedbound most of the day, but I had a window a month ago, lasted 3 weeks, bearable symptoms and guess what.I wasn’t even thinking about withdrawal.I’m 5 months off tomorrow, right now i’m worse than ever, can’t even reach the toilet, but I’ve seen improvements and there will be more.Keep faith, things really get better.

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