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getofflex: weaning of Lexapro

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getofflex

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I'm attempting to get off psychiatric drugs.  I do not believe that I was mentally ill, but that I was deeply affected emotionally by a significantly abusive childhood coupled with a disability of my own called High Functioning Autism, not to mention a family member being murdered when I was a child, and my dad becoming permanently disabled when I was a child.  

 

I first got put on psych drugs after the birth of my first son, who was born with Hirschsprung's disease.  I was seriously stressed by being a new mom of an infant with special needs, and I had no help or support myself.  The psychiatrist put me on Paxil, and then Trazodone because I couldn't sleep.  At the same time, I joined a support group for new moms, and I felt much better.  Fortunately that doctor took me off the drugs less than a year later.  I didn't have any major issues coming off these drugs. 

 

Due to lots of stress factors in my life, I had anxiety.  (I had never learned skills to cope with stress and pressure as a child).  I was put on Serzone for a few years, then got off this without major problems.  

 

When I got pregnant with my 2nd child, my husband totally freaked out, because he was afraid this baby would also have health problems.  I became very sad and cried a lot because of my husband's reaction to my pregnancy, and perhaps hormones too.  I saw a psychiatrist, and he, with my OB/GYN's permission, put me on Paxil when I was 5.5 months pregnant with my 2nd child.  He was born perfectly healthy.  The Paxil caused me to gain lots of weight.  I was up to 215 pounds.  So my primary care doc switched me to Lexapro, thinking it would be more weight neutral.  I was also put on Trazodone because of Insomnia.  (I've had insomnia off and on all my life, probably due to my high functioning autism.  There is a high correlation between autism and sleep issues).  

 

I tried several times in the past to get off these drugs, but each time, I had trouble with severe insomnia.  I would call the doctor, and he would say I needed to go back on the drugs, so I did.  

 

Finally, I decided that I was definitely going to get off the drugs.  I came to realize that these doctors don't know what they are doing.  When I asked my psychiatrist why I was having such severe insomnia when trying to get off, he said to me "I don't know.  Go back on it".  (shaking my head). 

 

I started to wean off Lexapro 16 months ago, but 4 months into that my mother became severely ill, and so I went back to 1/2 of my original dose, which was 5 mg. I stayed on the 5 mg for about 9 months.  Then, I started to wean off of it again.  This was back in August of 2018.  I've been very gradually coming off it.  I'm on the liquid now, and have been dropping the dose by 0.5 milligrams each month.  

 

I did manage to wean off the Trazodone a year ago, while I was still on the 5 mg of Lexapro.  

 

The other thing that is complicating this withdrawal is that I'm menopausal and in my upper 50's.  When I haven't changed the dose of Lexapro I don't have the hot flashes, but every time I reduce the lexapro the hot flashes return.  I don't want to put off getting off of this toxic chemical.  I don't think there will ever be a perfect time to get off these drugs.  I'm so so close to being off of it.  In the past 3 days, the hot flashes have been especially bad, and I've had little sleep because of that, and probably also because of being agitated by my drug withdrawal. 

 

The issues I'm having recently are: insomnia, agitation, anxiety off and on, tiredness and fatigue.  The insomnia is the worst, but the hot flashes are contributing significantly to the insomnia.  

 

Any help or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.  I'm doing many things to learn to cope.  I've been to therapy to deal with my past trauma and abuse issues.  I'm reading books on how to cope with stress and anxiety and depression.  I'm walking daily, eating healthy, cultivating healthy friendships, and best of all, cultivating a strong and deep spiritual life with prayer and bible reading.  

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Gridley

Hello, getofflex, and welcome to SA.  

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Be sure to include your current dosage and taper rate and when you started the current taper.
 
 
The symptoms you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.  Insomnia is especially common.  These links will help you understand what you are experiencing.
 
 
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
 
It's important to try and remain as calm as possible and not to panic.  It's important to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

The anxiety you mention is another extremely common withdrawal symptom.  You might find these techniques helpful:

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 
 
This link contains helpful information about insomnia as well as non-drug coping skills.  Some members have found Melatonin helpful with insomnia.   
 
 
 See Melatonin for sleep   It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.  If taken at too high a dose melatonin can cause a paradoxical effect (agitating instead of calming).
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
If you will Google "SurvivingAntidepressants.org menopause" you'll find several posts dealing with menopause and antidepressants.

You have a great attitude.  Congratulations at getting so low on Lexapro.    
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, getofflex.

 

While a 0.5mg reduction from 5mg Lexapro is a 10% reduction and gradual to begin with, reducing by that amount at each step quickly becomes a higher and higher percentage of your daily dose. We advocate a more gradual exponential taper, see Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

You've been going faster than that, withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia are a result. Your nervous system has had time to accommodate to the lower dosage. If I were you, I'd stop tapering for the time being and let your nervous system settle down.

 

How much Lexapro are you taking now? Are you using the liquid to taper?

 

How often do you have insomnia? What's your current sleep pattern?

 

These techniques can help your sleep:

 

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

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

Long-term, you may be interested in these techniques to manage your anxiety:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system

 

Ways to cope with daily anxiety

 

 

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getofflex

To Gridley, I'm deeply grateful that you took the time to read and respond to my post in such a thorough and thoughtful manner.  Thank you very much!  I have had no guidance as to how to wean off this stuff, and realize I've been trying to wean too fast.  I decided I'm going back up to 0.9 mg of my Lexapro tomorrow, as I was on 1.0 the month before,  and that is a 10% taper.  My husband is a pharmacist, but they are not trained how to wean off these drugs.  The doctors have no clue.  I'm just shaking my head at the poor state of healthcare when it comes to psych meds.  My current doc, who is an internist (my psychiatrist retired), doesn't know the best taper rate, and has been leaving it up to me and my husband to figure out.  Thank GOD I found this forum.  It took me lots of searches over the weeks to finally find this place.  I saw a link in a comment on a youtube video, that is how I found you all.  I have updated my signature with my drug history.  I'm going to spend some time this weekend reading and learning from all the links you have given me.  I read your sig, and saw your history with the Lexapro.  Let's see if I can get my nervous system back to some state of semi equilibrium.  These past 3 days have been quite rough, so I'm going back up to 0.9, or should I just go back up to 1.0 mg?  

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getofflex
3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Welcome, getofflex.

 

While a 0.5mg reduction from 5mg Lexapro is a 10% reduction and gradual to begin with, reducing by that amount at each step quickly becomes a higher and higher percentage of your daily dose. We advocate a more gradual exponential taper, see Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

You've been going faster than that, withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia are a result. Your nervous system has had time to accommodate to the lower dosage. If I were you, I'd stop tapering for the time being and let your nervous system settle down.

 

3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

How much Lexapro are you taking now? Are you using the liquid to taper?  I'm currently on 0.5 mg.  Yes, I'm using the Liquid.  I plan to return to 1.0 mg tomorrow for a while, due to severe sleep issues, and agitation.  

 

How often do you have insomnia? What's your current sleep pattern?  My sleep pattern is all over the place.  Last week, I slept well for the entire week.  Then the last 3 nights I've slept very poorly, last night, not at all.  My hot flashes are a big part of the problem, I believe.  For some reason the hot flashes got much worse over the past 3 days as well, and seem to occur every hour day and night.  Once every 4 nights, I use 1/2 mg of Xanax to help me sleep. My pharmacist husband and doc say this would not pose a risk for addiction. 

I

3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

I plan to read through your links over the next few days, in addition to the ones that Gridley gave me.  Thanks so so much for having this forum.  You are a Godsend to me.  I feel like I've just been one my own until I found this place, and had no idea about the 10% taper.  I've done lots of internet searching, and have not come across the 10% taper plan until I found this place.  I'm going to do that, and take a much slower tapering approach.  I will go back to my previous dose for a while, which was 1.0 mg. daily, and see if my sleep improves on that.  My husband believed that reducing the drug is triggering the hot flashes, which could be possible.  There does seem to be a positive correlation between my tapering and these hot flashes.  

3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

 

 

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Gridley

 

 
14 minutes ago, getofflex said:

These past 3 days have been quite rough, so I'm going back up to 0.9, or should I just go back up to 1.0 mg?  

 

You've been on 0.5 for about two weeks, and in that time your system has made some adjustments to the lower dose, so I wouldn't go back to your previous 1.0 or even 0.9.  I'd suggest 0.6 to start, because you don't want to overwhelm your system.  That might be enough to give you some relief.  The relief could come quickly, but remember it takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  If after a few days you don;'t feel some relief, you can edge up a little higher.

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mdwstrx

Hi Getofflex.  Just dropping by to say hello and I too am glad you found this site.  Unfortunately, I found it after tapering escitalopram and being advised by my doctor to stop at 2.5 mg.  That did not go well.  I updosed a bit to stabilize and will begin tapering again in April. I think your husband is correct about the hot flashes.  We're about the same age and as I tapered lower, hot flashes began.  One of the meds prescribed for hot flashes is ADs :( .  Wishing you well as you get lower.  

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getofflex
2 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

 

 

You've been on 0.5 for about two weeks, and in that time your system has made some adjustments to the lower dose, so I wouldn't go back to your previous 1.0 or even 0.9.  I'd suggest 0.6 to start, because you don't want to overwhelm your system.  That might be enough to give you some relief.  The relief could come quickly, but remember it takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  If after a few days you don;'t feel some relief, you can edge up a little higher.

Then that is what I will do tomorrow - 0.6 mg liquid lexapro. 

 

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getofflex
1 hour ago, mdwstrx said:

Hi Getofflex.  Just dropping by to say hello and I too am glad you found this site.  Unfortunately, I found it after tapering escitalopram and being advised by my doctor to stop at 2.5 mg.  That did not go well.  I updosed a bit to stabilize and will begin tapering again in April. I think your husband is correct about the hot flashes.  We're about the same age and as I tapered lower, hot flashes began.  One of the meds prescribed for hot flashes is ADs :( .  Wishing you well as you get lower.  

Thanks for your feedback.  It does seem that tapering off this lexapro does something to the hormones.  Ack.  Fortunately, my hot flashes improved today.  Hopefully they will stay away tonight too. Jennifer

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Altostrata

getofflex, sorry for overlooking you have been taking 0.5mg Lexapro for 2 weeks. I agree with Gridley, I'd try a tiny updose to 0.6mg and hold there for a while.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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getofflex

I decided to up dose back to 0.8, because my sleep has been so jacked up, and I can function only at a basic level in my life at this time.  I still feel very good about having gotten down to this amount.  I believe that, after reading your post about exponential tapering, and reducing the dose by 10% of the previous dose, this might help me.  I think I will wait a while before I taper again.  

 

Last night, I took 50 mg of Trazodone I had left from last year, and even then, I still slept very fitfully.  I was up about every hour or two.  I was a bit worried about my 16 year old son being out late at night.  I was relieved when he got home.  I was slammed with hot flashes starting at 6 PM, and having them every 30 - 45 minutes.  I think they settled down in the middle of night.  

 

As far as sleep goes, on my good nights, it takes me an hour or two to go to sleep, and then I sleep fitfully, meaning I wake up every hour or two.  On my bad nights, it takes me 3 or 4 hours to fall asleep, then I sleep fitfully after that, so maybe 3 - 4 hours at most, and I feel terrible the next day.  I'm exhausted, yet I have that feeling of being wired and agitated and unable to relax and rest.  I also struggle with disturbing thoughts on occasion, and occasional anxiety.  The main issues are the insomnia and feeling wired.  I was born with a jacked up nervous system, probably because my mother abused alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics on a daily basis when she was pregnant with me.  Therefore, I think my nervous system was already damaged from the start, and is probably extra sensitive.  So, I've decided to be a lot more gentle on myself, and taper off this stuff extremely slowly and carefully. I'm going to spend some time today reading the links you all gave me and taking some notes on how I can help myself. 

 

I feel very reassured to have found this forum, and and deeply appreciative for your help, Gridley and altostrata.   

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getofflex

Now I'm feeling a bit guilty for not following your advice of only slightly upping my dose to 0.6.  I am feeling much better today than I did yesterday.  I've spent several hours reading the links that Gridley and Alto have provided.  I just found out about the windows and waves concept, and now see why you both recommended the 0.6 dose.  I'm feeling much less terrified by this strange roller coster ride called withdrawal.  It is very reassuring to read that what I'm going through is normal for SSRI withdrawal.  thanks for all the hard work you've done here. J 

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getofflex

Three days later, and I am sleeping better.  My hot flashes have reduced significantly, so I have one less complicating factor.  I've been eating tofu every other day and taking Estrogen, so perhaps that is helping.  At any rate, I slept at least 6-7 hours last night, for which I'm very grateful.  Another thing I've done is cut out artificial sweeteners, and not eating chocolate late in the day.  

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getofflex

Hello.  I hope someone responds to my post.  It has been several months since I last posted.  I have been in a holding pattern of 0.4 mg of liquid Lexapro.  Overall I'm sleeping better, but I have become very emotional.  I'm not acting out, but I've felt a lot of sadness for the past 4 days, ever since I got home from the trip to see my son.  I was always an emotional person when not on psych meds. But I cannot tell if this is just neuro emotion, or true emotions.  Perhaps it is both.  I just got back from seeing my older son who lives far away, and I've been feeling sad for missing him.  Also, today is the anniversary of my father's death.  There has been a lot going in my life.  Two trips in the past month, plus stress with  weight loss group due to drama and difficult people in that group, hence I quit the group.  I just spent the afternoon applying to an important artist group.   Lots of stress and things happening.  So I've been in a holding pattern with my current dose of Lexapro. 

 

I'm getting worried that my depression is returning.  How can I tell whether the emotions are just from the withdrawal, genuine emotions, or from the original depression for which I was put on meds?

 

Feedback anyone?  

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Gridley
14 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Feedback anyone?  

You've had a number of strong emotional stressors--missing your son, the anniversary of your father's death, difficult people in your group.  Plus travel can be an enormous stressor.  It seems to me these are a more likely cause of your sadness than return of your depression.  Neuroemotions can have a grain of real emotion but with an exaggerated reaction, so what you're feeling could be a combination.  From what you've described, given that you are in withdrawal, your responses are quite natural.

 


 

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getofflex

Thank you so much for responding.  Yes, I believe you are correct.  I've had so much going on.  I'm going to make a point to slow down and try to take it easy, and not do anything I don't have to do.  Missing my son is the hardest part.  It's also a relief to know that the w/d is probably exaggerating the emotions.  

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Gridley
9 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I'm going to make a point to slow down and try to take it easy, and not do anything I don't have to do.

That sounds good.

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getofflex

I'm shocked at how difficult this lexapro is to get off of.  I was on 0.4 mg for the past 5-6 weeks.  5 days ago I went down to 0.3, and I'm reeling just from that tiny adjustment down.  

 

Is this stuff especially hard to get off of at the very end of the taper?  I'm having insomnia, fatigue, spaciness, and feeling very jumpy and anxious.  Hard to function.  

 

 

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ChessieCat

You've made a 25% reduction.  SA's recommendation is no more than 10% of current dose.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

To calculate the dose you multiply 0.4 x 0.9 = 0.36

 

If it was me, I'd start taking 0.36 from the next dose, which is what you would have been taking if you had made a 10% reduction.

 

 

 

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getofflex

Yes I see your point.  However I am on such a tiny dose, that 0.4 ml was only 6 drops of liquid.  At this point, I think it will be very hard to cut each dose by 10% of the previous dose.  I will say I felt 100% better the day after I wrote my previous post.  

 

So now my question is, how to taper when you are on very low doses, and it's impractical or impossible to keep doing 10% of the previous dose? 

 

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ChessieCat

Are you taking prescription liquid or making your own?

 

If it is the prescription liquid, is it 1mL:1mg ratio?

 

From the Tips for tapering Lexapro topic:

 

On 5/27/2011 at 12:16 PM, Altostrata said:

Special considerations
A significant characteristic of Lexapro is that milligram for milligram, it is much stronger than other SSRIs. Chemically, Lexapro is a variation of Celexa; the molecule was re-engineered to be patentable as Celexa's patent was about to expire. The streamlined molecule is a more potent SSRI, 2 to 4 times stronger than others. (Wikipedia has a good explanation of this at https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Escitalopram.)

However, many doctors are unaware that escitalopram is stronger than other SSRIs and dose it as though it were the same strength. Although the so-called usual starting dose of escitalopram, 10mg, is equivalent to 20mg-30mg or more of, for example, paroxetine (Paxil), your doctor may have moved you to an even higher dose. If you are taking 20mg of escitalopram, you are taking a hefty dose of an SSRI.

If you are taking 5mg, it's not tiny, it's equivalent to 10-20mg Paxil or Celexa.

Consequently, when you taper off escitalopram, you should be careful to decrease by small amounts, as each drop is magnified by escitalopram's extra potency. If you find withdrawal symptoms from a 10% decrease to be too difficult, after 3-4 weeks decrease by a smaller amount.


Cold-turkeying off Lexapro is not a good idea. It's like throwing your brain off a cliff.

 

 

From https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2003/21323se1-003,se8-007,21365se8-001,se1-004_lexapro_lbl.pdf

 

Quote

 

LEXAPRO oral solution contains escitalopram oxalate equivalent to 1 mg/mL escitalopram base. It also contains the following inactive ingredients: sorbitol, purified water, citric acid, sodium citrate, malic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol, methylparaben, propylparaben, and natural peppermint flavor.

 

 

This means that you would be able to dilute the prescription liquid.  You would only dilute a small amount at a time, do not dilute the whole bottle.  If you need help with the maths, there are mods who are able to help with this.

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

 

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getofflex

I'm taking the prescription liquid. It is 1 ml = 1 mg.  I'm using a 1.0 ml syringe with increments of 0.1 ml, and tiny increments of 0.01.  However, I find that there is always a slight air bubble in the syringe even when I try to eliminate the air repeatedly, so it makes it hard to get an exact dose.  I like you idea of diluting it with water, that would help.  

 

I was hoping to get off this stuff altogether in a a few weeks, but now I realize I'm going to need a lot more patience.  I'm going to hold at my current dose of 0.3, since I've been on that a week, and I can feel myself stabilizing on that.  I'll stay on that for a few weeks, and then if I'm stable, do another slight taper. 

 

I had no idea Lexapro was so potent.  That explains a lot.  Thanks for the information, is is very helpful. 

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Altostrata

To get the bubbles out of an oral syringe, point the syringe upward and tap it with your fingernail. The bubbles will float up and out.

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getofflex

Thanks!  

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getofflex

So it's been 2 weeks since my last Lexapro taper (from 0.4 to 0.3 ml, which I learned was too big a taper), and I've been hit by a wave in the past 12-18 hours.  I seem to remember reading in the past that it's common to get hit with a wave 2 weeks after a taper.  I tried to search it out but couldn't find the post that said that.  Can anyone enlighten me on this?  Is it common to have a wave 2 weeks after a taper?  

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Gridley
9 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I seem to remember reading in the past that it's common to get hit with a wave 2 weeks after a taper.  I tried to search it out but couldn't find the post that said that.  Can anyone enlighten me on this?  Is it common to have a wave 2 weeks after a taper?  

 

This isn't exactly what you described, but it may be helpful.   Brassmonkey posted the following in Rabe's thread today.  

 

"After a reduction there will be a spike in symptoms.  This can start to happen the next day up to several week later.  This spike will work itself out and things will stabilize back into their normal pattern. ... After a reduction is made we have to work our way
through the spike of symptoms which indicates that body is confused and having to make changes to adjust to the different dosage.  Once that spike has passed there is still healing going on, even if we don't feel it.  We need to allow time for that healing to happen before we make the next reduction."

 

So for you the spike may be two weeks after the taper, for others a shorter time, for others a longer time.  I've found for me that the spike in symptoms varies in tie from the time of the taper, with other factors like external stressors and where I am in the taper playing a part.

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getofflex

Gridley, thanks so much for your answer.  It is very helpful.  This forum has been a godsend to me in this confusing and labyrinthine experience of getting off SSRI's.  I'm going to go VERY slowly in getting off this last little bit of Lexapro.  Yes, there have been lots of stressors this summer - 2 trips, and 2 college visits, not to mention dealing with some toxic people.  Also trying to grow my usual vegetable garden, which I've mostly been neglecting this year.  The garden is the least of my concerns at this time.  

 

I have been enjoying sitting out on the back deck and watching the birds.  There was a hawk earlier today, and I noticed all the other birds flew to another part of the yard, and their chirping had a different quality to it than normal.  I also see hummingbirds every day, plus finches, chickadees, cardinals, etc.  I'm fortunate that I don't have to work outside the home at this time.  

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Gridley
3 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I have been enjoying sitting out on the back deck and watching the birds.  There was a hawk earlier today, and I noticed all the other birds flew to another part of the yard, and their chirping had a different quality to it than normal.  I also see hummingbirds every day, plus finches, chickadees, cardinals, etc.    

 

Your ability to enjoy life and notice subtleties is a very good sign of healing.  Congratulations on getting so low on the Lexapro!

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getofflex

Hello All.  As you can see, I have been at a very low dose of Lexapro (0.3 ml/mg) for almost a month.  I'm having a bad day today.  Is it normal, during withdrawal, to get obsessive thoughts that just won't stop, and seem to take over your mind?  I'm beginning to wonder if I'm OCD, or is this just part of withdrawal?  For example, someone says something to me that seems like a put down, and I just can't get the thought out of my mind.  Today it is especially bad.  Other days, not so bad.  Please advise.  

 

Also, I seem to have been on a real rollercoaster ride with W/D this summer.  This past spring was actually easier for me, even though I did more tapering in the spring.  What is up with that?  I'm wondering if the extra traveling and activities of the summer could be triggering more waves in my recovery?  Or, have I just gotten to a low enough dose, that my nervous system needs some time to adjust before I do another taper?  I'm feeling very confused.  My sister is coming into town in a few days, and she tends to come and go like a tornado, she is somewhat narcissistic. Please any guidance or advice is much appreciated. 

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Gridley
2 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Or, have I just gotten to a low enough dose, that my nervous system needs some time to adjust before I do another taper?

 

It's common when you get to the really low doses that it's necessary to slow down. You might want to hold a bit longer at 0.3mg, especially with your sister visiting.

 

Traveling can definitely be a stressor.  

 

Rumination and obsessive thoughts are common WD symptoms.

 

There are going to be ups and downs, windows and waves, throughout withdrawal.

 

In withdrawal, expect the unexpected.  

 

 

 

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getofflex
9 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

It's common when you get to the really low doses that it's necessary to slow down. You might want to hold a bit longer at 0.3mg, especially with your sister visiting.

 

Traveling can definitely be a stressor.  

 

Rumination and obsessive thoughts are common WD symptoms.

 

There are going to be ups and downs, windows and waves, throughout withdrawal.

 

In withdrawal, expect the unexpected.  

 

 

 

Thank you thank you Thank you!  I'm so relieved to hear that obsessive thoughts and ruminating are common in W/D.  I was getting worried I was losing my mind.  I really feel reassured.  Thank you also for letting me know I need to slow down my taper as I get to the lower doses.  

 

I don't know what I would do without the support of Gridley and this forum!  I have no support in real life except for my husband, who is a pharmacist. The poor guy.  

 

The unpredictability of W/D sure can be vexing.  I felt so good yesterday.  

 

I'm going to go read about how to deal with the emotional symptoms of W/D.  I've been weepy and emotional today, in addition to the exhaustion, confusion, fogginess, and obsessiveness.  

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1 hour ago, getofflex said:

My sister is coming into town in a few days, and she tends to come and go like a tornado, she is somewhat narcissistic.

 

Is she going to be staying with you?  If yes, I suggest that you try and take time out throughout the day to get a bit of quiet time to settle yourself down so that it doesn't build up as much.  It's also important to try not to get swept up with her, which I know might be hard to do.  If a suggestion is made and you can't make a decision on the spot, say that you need to little bit of time to consider it and remove yourself so you can think better even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom 😉.  You need to take care of yourself, so try to be gently assertive.  Yes, I know it is easier said than done.

 

withdrawal-causing-intrusive-or-repetitive-thoughts-rumination-and-increased-panic

 

obsessive-compulsive-disorder-or-ocd-repetitive-intrusive-thoughts-compulsive-behaviors

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

neuro-emotions

 

46 minutes ago, getofflex said:

The unpredictability of W/D sure can be vexing.

 

You might find it helpful to set a reminder and take time out during the day and do some deep breathing and/or relaxation.  This can help to stop things building up.

 

During any taper, there will be times of discomfort.  We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

www.getselfhelp.co.uk:  this site has excellent information and videos on various topics.  I've found it a bit hard to find things so I use google and add the website to my search term.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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getofflex

Thankfully she will not be staying with me.  She stayed with me one day back in April, and that didn't work out.  I'm going to set some boundaries as to how much time I spend with her, and if she gets offended, hubby is going to run interference for me and have a talk with her and tell her that I'm stretched to the limit, which I am.  Thanks for all the information. I'll read the links tomorrow when I have time.  

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7 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Thankfully she will not be staying with me.

 

I'm pleased about this.

 

9 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I'm going to set some boundaries as to how much time I spend with her, and if she gets offended, hubby is going to run interference for me and have a talk with her and tell her that I'm stretched to the limit, which I am.

 

And this is good too.  He doesn't have to be specific.  It's none of her business.  Even just saying that you are run down at the moment, or have a lot on your plate.  Something really general that happens to anybody.

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14 minutes ago, getofflex said:

My takeaway from this is that I need to accept my W/D symptoms, and just flow with them, instead of fighting them or getting upset by them.

 

Acceptance

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On 2/18/2019 at 3:43 PM, ChessieCat said:

 

But it is what it is and it's not going to make the time go any quicker.  In fact it will most probably feel like it is taking longer than it actually is.  Improvement is happening, albeit much slower than you would like.  For your own good it is better to accept your current situation and learn to sit with any discomfort.  Things are going to improve with time.  The choice you now have is how are you going to spend that time?

 

Use the image of waiting in a queue, the line gradually gets shorter.  When you are in a queue you can't make it move any quicker than it does.  You have no control over it.  All you can do is wait in the line.  How you wait is what is going to make a difference.  You can either be impatient and start getting irritable and think bad things and complain to the other people who might start swearing at you which makes you feel worse or you can try to be patient and calm and try and think of nice things and look at the things around you.  It's going to take the same amount of time for you to get to the head of the queue but you can either make the experience of waiting pleasant or unpleasant.

 

 

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