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EtaCarinae

EtaCarinae: introduction

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EtaCarinae

Hello, my fellow men and women in this important battle.

I'm 25, I live in Luxembourg and I've chosen to call myself EtaCarinae because that's a name that has always stuck with me.  I'm fascinated by astronomy, astrophysics, space stuff.

I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder at 16, but a recent diagnosis by a reputable service in the field has found that I am on the autistic spectrum. I have Asberger's syndrome, a "mild" form of autism. Sometimes, when my meltdowns get really bad, I may get suicidal if I don't have anyone to talk to, but my symptoms are not caused by depression, but rather by my autism.

Anyway, this is the second time I'm weaning off escitalopram 10mg. First time was when I was 18, I had been on 10mg for 2 years during ambulatory therapy with a children's psychiatrist, and he advised me to halve the dose, to take 5mg daily for two weeks, then quit altogether. I, being the stubborn young man I am, decided to speed that up by a factor of two, so I took 5mg for a week, then I quit.

This... worked really well for me. I experienced very mild withdrawal symptoms, all I can really remember is a feeling of derealization and some transient vertigo, all of which resolved within a week.
 

This time, I admitted myself to a psych ward after two days of intense suicidal ideation (the exact context isn't really important, but I'll say my family played a role to put me into that situation), where I was put back on escitalopram 10mg. That was on new year's eve, and now, 3 months later, I've decided to throw out the pills again, as they never made me even feel any better. I plan on doing the 50% taper again (as a matter of fact, I've started my taper today), and I plan to alleviate any withdrawal symptoms with CBD oil (10%), which seems to take effect very quickly.

I'm very aware that I can count myself lucky for being someone who can come off these meds without any large problems.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added some information about member name

Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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ChessieCat

Hi EtaCarinae and welcome to SA,

 

To get you started please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

Once we have the details of your drug history we will be better able to offer suggestions.

 

Please post telling us that you have created your drug signature so that we don't miss seeing it.  Thank you.

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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EtaCarinae

Good Morning, ChessieCat. (Or good evening depending on what time it is in the land down under 🤔)

I've changed my signature to what I hope will be a bit more helpful.

 

Day 3 of my taper to 50% original dose:

 

Everything appears to go smoothly (yet), I sometimes "zone out", so I get these times where I feel disconnected from everything around me. This usually lasts for 15 minutes, and to be quite honest, I almost enjoy the sensation. Vertigo hasn't set in yet. Emotionally, I appear to be rather stable at the moment, I got some bad news from a good friend yesterday, but I took it very well. I did have some trouble concentrating yesterday, though, but I had also slept poorly. Thanks for waking me up at 3 am, kitty.

I haven't felt the need to use my CBD oil yet. I am tempted to quit the Escitalopram cold turkey,but I know that that's probably not a very good idea.

 

So far so good, on I go!


Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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ChessieCat

Escitalopram, taken from 17 to 18 years of age, tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week

 

Please include years for the above.

 

Have you taken any other psychiatric drugs?  If yes, please include those too.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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EtaCarinae

I have included the years in my signature for that period, and I have never taken any other psychiatric drug other than escitalopram 10mg.


Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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Altostrata

Welcome, EC.

 

Although it seems you went off escilatopram very quickly before with few problems, please do not assume that will be the case again. We see that going on and off psychiatric drugs tends to make people more sensitive to dosage changes. This site is full of people who thought they could quit fast.

 

We recommend a very gradual taper Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration
 

If I were you, I would go back to 7.5mg, don't slide down that curve so fast. Don't look forward to vertigo or withdrawal insomnia, they can be quite debilitating. 

 

We haven't seen CBD oil be of consistent benefit, sad to say.

 

Please let us know how you are doing.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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EtaCarinae

Hello again, Altostrata and anyone else reading this.

 

I'll begin this update by saying that I appreciate your interest, your concern and your willingness to help. You are an amazing person and you're doing an amazing job at helping those in dire need of your advice.

I am, however, as I already said, an incredible hard-head with these things, to the extend that I will take a stroll through Hell before I'll take your advice, not to spite or disrespect you or to show off, but because I'm a head-first-into-the-wall type of guy who can only accept advice if I feel I can't handle the consequences of not doing so.

 

That's why I dropped the Escitalopram completely after a week of half a dose. So far, the withdrawal symptoms are pesky, but I feel I can manage them, but from now on I will try to write a small update daily. Hey, if documenting what may become a trip through Hell helps just one other bone head like I am to take things slower, I consider that a net benefit for this community.

So, here goes.

The first two days after discontinuing Escitalopram, I basically didn't feel much different, as would be expected. I got a little dizzy here and there, but nothing bad. Also, a few problems concentrating.

Day three was also very easy, but the dizzyness was starting to ramp up Instead of feeling like spinning a quarter turn, it now felt more like being in an airliner hitting turbulence. It's kind of a floaty feeling, less of a spinny thing. During these episodes of floating, it's kind of hard to concentrate, but semi-automatic tasks like driving or weightlifting work fine. The latter seems to help with the symptoms. I also feel tired during these episodes

Day four (today) is where things get a little crazier. The dizzyness has returned on the second half of the day with a certain vengeance, still giving me a floating feeling, very similar to what you feel when you start falling asleep and then jolt awake when your muscles relax. Interestingly, even during the peak of this dizzyness, I can still walk perfectly straight. I lose track of my thoughts during my re-enactments of life aboard the ISS if I don't pay attention, but it's all right. Another symptom seems to be crazy thoughts like pouring my coffee in my buddy's neck, but there's no impulse to actually act on that, just "you could do that now" in the back of my head. I get these kinds of intrusive thought also when I'm not on any meds or in withdrawal, so I'm not considering it a direct withdrawal symptom.

 

So far, I feel that this is manageable, albeit uncomfortable. I sleep well, I have a healthy appetite and I'm remarkably stable on the emotional front even when life gives me the good ol' kick in the d*ck, so I don't consider myself to be in any trouble.

 

On I go!


Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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EtaCarinae

Day five:

There's no difference to yesterday, so I feel the withdrawal symptoms have peaked, however, there's some positive effects. For instance, it appears as if the drug has affected my sex drive in a way that I only notice now that the blunting effect is gone. There's been quite a few random erections happening today, and I see more interest in women. Another effect which I find fascinating is that colors stand out more to me. It's hard to describe, but imagine having watched the first half of a movie with low color saturation, and cranking it up for the second half.

 

I think I'll just update if there are major changes, as I'll be cluttering this forum otherwise.


Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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EtaCarinae

Day eleven:

As far as I can tell, my symptoms have gone away. Concentrating is pretty easy again, and I only get very rare dizzy spells.


Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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EtaCarinae

Hey guys, thought I'd post an update two months down the line.

 

Man, thinking back to it, that withdrawal was Hell. Now that I'm me again, now that I feel normal again, now I realize just how horrifying it was. I still get occasional withdrawal symptoms during times of stress at work and a few brain zaps every blue moon, but it seems to be all good now.

 

The hardest part, though, wasn't the "active" withdrawal, feeling like garbage and experiencing all those symptoms, the hardest part was when the drug induced euphoria fizzled out, and I was back to normal levels of motivation and happiness again. It took a good while to get used to it, and even now, I still get cravings sometimes. Yes, that's right, every so often, I want to get back on the drugs so I can feel that high again, just like any other recovering drug addict. So much for my former opinion that SSRIs (and other psychiatric drugs) "only" cause physical dependence, not full blown addiction.


Recent History:
ESCITALOPRAM
01/01/2019 - 11/03/2019: 10mg each morning 12/03/2019 - 20/03/2019: 5mg each morning 21/03/2019 - counting: Discontinued

Pantoprazole 2016 - 2017 (exact dates unknown), 10mg each morning
Loperamide As needed, about 4mg per week on average
Caffeine 3-4 small cups a day, exact dosage unknown
Cannabidiol As needed, 3 drops of a 10% oil under the tongue (As of 12/03/2019)

Recreational cannabis Used very rarely, maybe once per year
 

Past History:
Escitalopram,
2011 - 2012: 10mg daily tapered 100% -> 50% -> 0% over one week
Loperamide and Caffeine, as described in Recent History

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