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Rianon

I need help and didn't know where to turn

Today is 16 days off of Ecsotalipram. I was on 10mg of Ecsotalipram for 11 years I started when I was 15 and I am now 26. I started tapering off in December of 2018 and all went well except for the brain shocks. I tapered all the way down to 2.5mg and then stopped 16 days ago. This has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through mentally. The brain zaps have actually gone away now I am left with the nausea and dizziness if I move my head around, depression the literally makes me feel physically ill and weak, I'm experiencing feelings and emotions I remember having as a child and not good ones, the feeling of being trapped in a dream and not present in my body. I thought my anxiety and panic attacks would be through the roof but I'm feeling everything else. Has anyone experienced this and how long will this last? I just need help. I feel like I've lost who I am. 

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ChessieCat

Hi Rianon and welcome to SA,

 

What you are experiencing, and have experienced (ie brain shocks aka brain zaps) are withdrawal symptoms from reducing your drug too quickly.   Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to reinstate the drug.  Because you have only been off your drug for a short time reinstatement should work.  Please read Post #1 of this topic:   About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

I suggest that you start taking 2.5mg straight away.  It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  However you might feel some improvement in the first 24 hours.  The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a tolerable level.

 

Please keep daily symptoms notes, noting what symptoms improve/worsen, on paper so that you can see how the reinstatement is affecting your symptoms.  If after 1 week you find that your symptoms are unbearable, we will need you to post these symptom notes so we can assess whether you might need to increase by a small amount.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

WDnormal (withdrawal normal)

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Once you have stabilised, which may take several months or longer, you can then taper following SA's recommended protocol. 

 

 

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

 

 

I will provide some more information in the next post.  This is your own introduction topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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Carmie

Hi Rianon, 

 

Welcome to SA from me as well. I’m sorry you are struggling. When I tapered way too quickly once the withdrawals were really unbearable, I felt like I was being electrocuted. After a week of that I just went back to the last dose I was on and within a few days the severe symptoms stopped.

 

Escitalopram is a really potent medication, and jumping off at 2.5mg was way too big a jump. It’s best to taper by no more than 10% a month. I won’t be jumping off my medication until I’m down to 0.0something. 

 

Take care, sending hugs🤗

 

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Rianon

Does anyone have any successful recovery stories from Lexapro?

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ChessieCat

Search results for Lexapro in the Success Stories

 

Search result for escitalopram in the Success Stories

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Rianon
Posted (edited)

I will be fully reinstating the medication today, it's a 5mg tablet. I'm just going to go back on to my regular dose and maybe try tapering again later when I'm ready. Will there be any issues?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

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ChessieCat

Sorry for the delay in responding.  Some posts have not received the alerts which they usually do, which may have happened as a result of a software upgrade.

 

8 hours ago, Rianon said:

I will be fully reinstating the medication today, it's a 5mg tablet. I'm just going to go back on to my regular dose and maybe try tapering again later when I'm ready. Will there be any issues?

 

Please keep notes on paper of what symptoms improve/worsen.

 

Please let us know how you are going.

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Rianon

I am feeling extremely nauseated and anxiety, is this normal?

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Rianon
Posted (edited)

Topic title:  Reinstating Ecsotalipram Will it help?

 

Today is my second day of reinstating Ecsotalipram that I tapered off of for 3 months and spent 18 days completely without. My last tapper was from 2.5mg down to 0mg. So to reinstate I took 5mg yesterday and today. Yesterday and last night went well I felt a little nauseous and jittery. I did feel pretty great for a few hours.

 

Today hasn't been so well I feel very anxious and nauseous. Feeling some of the same symptoms as I did with the 18 days of withdrawal. I'm afraid I took too long to reinstate the drug and now it wont work like it did before.

 

If I am too late and it wont work is there still hope?

Or is it too soon to tell and I should give it a few more days?

 

I have tried to contact my doctor but with no answer. Her office is in Aspen and I am almost 2 hours away from her. Not sure what i should do.

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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Sassenach

Hi Rianon

 

I am sure one of the mods will be in touch but I stupidly cold turkeyed escitaloram and was off for almost 3 months.

Original dose was 10 mgs, reinstated 5mgs and waited.

It was 10 days before I felt a real improvement.

I am now 35 days in and still slowly feeling better but it is very slow.

It is definitely too early to tell.

Info on here says it takes at least 4 days for your brain to register presence of the drug.

Try not to worry, only makes it worse ( easy to say I know).

With luck a few more days and you will feel the benefit.

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Gridley
25 minutes ago, Rianon said:

 

If I am too late and it wont work is there still hope?

 

Eighteen days is not too late to reinstate, so I wouldn't worry about that.  Reinstatement works most predictably within 3 months of last dose, so you're well within the time frame.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  We're talking about 7 to 10 days.  So at only two days it's really too soon to tell.
 
 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Hi Rianon,

 

I've moved the new topic you created and added to your Introduction topic.  Your introduction topic is the place to ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

Please continue to post here in your introduction topic.

 

On 5/15/2011 at 5:22 AM, Altostrata said:

MISSION OF SURVIVINGANTIDEPRESSANTS.ORG

 

Surviving Antidepressants is a site for peer support, documentation, and education of withdrawal symptoms and withdrawal syndrome caused by psychiatric drugs, specifically antidepressants.

The participants on this site have all experienced or are experiencing difficulty in withdrawal from psychiatric medications. We offer peer support to those who are similarly suffering, drawing from our personal experiences.

(No posting on this site should be construed as medical advice. For medical advice, consult a trusted medical caregiver.)

The personal stories on this site are documentation of an iatrogenic condition -- suffering caused by medical treatment -- that is almost always ignored, misdiagnosed, or denied by the medical establishment. Given the widespread prescription of antidepressants to tens of millions of people worldwide, withdrawal syndrome probably affects hundreds of thousands if not millions -- including newborns and children.

Antidepressant withdrawal syndrome can last weeks, months, or years. It can be distressing, debilitating, or even disabling. It may be adding to an increase in what is termed disabling mental illness.

With our documentation of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, we hope to educate the medical establishment about this problem. Case studies are essential; they are evidence understood by doctors, the psychiatric industry, and government regulatory agencies.

Our hope is, eventually, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs will be prescribed rarely, and only in cases of extremely severe mental illness after less invasive treatments have been tried.

Please join Surviving Antidepressants in its mission to support, document, and educate about psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome.

 

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Rianon
2 hours ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Rianon

 

I am sure one of the mods will be in touch but I stupidly cold turkeyed escitaloram and was off for almost 3 months.

Original dose was 10 mgs, reinstated 5mgs and waited.

It was 10 days before I felt a real improvement.

I am now 35 days in and still slowly feeling better but it is very slow.

It is definitely too early to tell.

Info on here says it takes at least 4 days for your brain to register presence of the drug.

Try not to worry, only makes it worse ( easy to say I know).

With luck a few more days and you will feel the benefit.

Thank you for your reply!

I can't believe you stopped cold Turkey for 3 months. I couldn't even imagine. How long have you been taking Escitalopram for? 

I would have never tapered off so fast had I know. But of course I put my trust into a doctors hands once again.

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Rianon
2 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

Eighteen days is not too late to reinstate, so I wouldn't worry about that.  Reinstatement works most predictably within 3 months of last dose, so you're well within the time frame.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  We're talking about 7 to 10 days.  So at only two days it's really too soon to tell.
 
 

 

 

 

Thank you Gridley for your reply,

I was so worried after reading some comments on here that the drug did not work for them after reinstating. 

I just hope this nausea and loss of appetite is normal.

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Sassenach

Hi Rianon

 

Firstly, with Gridley on your case you have someone who has been of enormous help to me.

Like you I was stuck not knowing which way to turn and was my decision to reinstate the right one.

Reassurance is a  ray of hope because I thought I was not going to get out of it.

I had been taking Escit for 12 years.

It is a shame you did not find this site before taking your final 2.5mg dose. You did extremely well to taper from 10 to 2.5 in three months as that is much faster than recommended on here. If you had been able to continue the taper down from 2.5mg there is a good chance you could have got off these terrible things.

I will not ask how you are feeling as I can guess ,but stay positive as the next few days should bring the start of feeling slightly better.

It is a long road but you have already proved you can do it, the Mods on here are great. If you feel the need for reassurance on the bad days there is always someone on here who knows what you are going through.

Always believe you will get through it.

 

Sassenach

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Rianon
4 hours ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Rianon

 

Firstly, with Gridley on your case you have someone who has been of enormous help to me.

Like you I was stuck not knowing which way to turn and was my decision to reinstate the right one.

Reassurance is a  ray of hope because I thought I was not going to get out of it.

I had been taking Escit for 12 years.

It is a shame you did not find this site before taking your final 2.5mg dose. You did extremely well to taper from 10 to 2.5 in three months as that is much faster than recommended on here. If you had been able to continue the taper down from 2.5mg there is a good chance you could have got off these terrible things.

I will not ask how you are feeling as I can guess ,but stay positive as the next few days should bring the start of feeling slightly better.

It is a long road but you have already proved you can do it, the Mods on here are great. If you feel the need for reassurance on the bad days there is always someone on here who knows what you are going through.

Always believe you will get through it.

 

Sassenach

I too have been on Escitalopram for 12 years. I wish I would've found this site before even tapering down from the 10mg. I'm glad I did find it when I did and didn't wait too long on false hope from my doctor that knows nothing.

 

I'm going to continue on the 5mg and see where it takes me. Hopefully I'll get back to myself and maybe in the future when I'm ready I'll taper off. Now I know what to expect and how to taper correctly thanks to this site. 

 

Thank you so much for your positive words they are very encouraging and give me hope!

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mdwstrx

Hi Rianon.  

 

I wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I also tapered to 2.5 mg. Escitalopram.  On Dr.'s advice, I  jumped off from there.  I was off 5 days and panicked when I felt wd symptoms.  I quickly reinstated 2.5 mg. and called the Dr. and then found this website.  If interested, you can read an overview on the bottom of page 9 of my thread.  It took me about 4 months but I did eventually stabilize.  I am about 98% myself again and have resumed tapering.  I up-dosed during withdrawal so am tapering now from 6.2 mg. 

 

I've been on Escitalopram much longer than you.  If that means anything, hopefully you'll stabilize much sooner than I did. :)

 

Alto and the mods know what they're doing so listen to their good advice.  And... as Sassenach says above... 'believe you will get through it"! 🙏💜

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Rianon
29 minutes ago, mdwstrx said:

Hi Rianon.  

 

I wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I also tapered to 2.5 mg. Escitalopram.  On Dr.'s advice, I  jumped off from there.  I was off 5 days and panicked when I felt wd symptoms.  I quickly reinstated 2.5 mg. and called the Dr. and then found this website.  If interested, you can read an overview on the bottom of page 9 of my thread.  It took me about 4 months but I did eventually stabilize.  I am about 98% myself again and have resumed tapering.  I up-dosed during withdrawal so am tapering now from 6.2 mg. 

 

I've been on Escitalopram much longer than you.  If that means anything, hopefully you'll stabilize much sooner than I did. :)

 

Alto and the mods know what they're doing so listen to their good advice.  And... as Sassenach says above... 'believe you will get through it"! 🙏💜

Thank you mdwstrx, 

I haven't heard about stabilizing yet.

What exactly does that mean?

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Gridley
15 minutes ago, Rianon said:

I haven't heard about stabilizing yet.

What exactly does that mean?

 

Stabilizing is not the absence of withdrawal symptoms but rather a steady state a feeling blah without major swings in either direction.  

 


 

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Rianon
28 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

Stabilizing is not the absence of withdrawal symptoms but rather a steady state a feeling blah without major swings in either direction.  

 


 

Thank you Gridley!

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mdwstrx
33 minutes ago, Gridley said:

Stabilizing is not the absence of withdrawal symptoms but rather a steady state a feeling blah without major swings in either direction.  

 

Oops, I should have just said I feel much better and almost normal.  An occasional hot flash but my age allows for that. :)  I think the mods here suggest that people feel stable as Gridley defined before resuming tapering. 

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Sassenach

Hi Rianon

 

I hope you are beginning to feel a little better.

 

Did you experience withdrawal symptoms during your taper from 10mgs to 2.5 ?

 

You live in a beautiful area and exercise is good if you can do it.

 

Great sound too, John Denver ( you fill up my senses )  beautiful uplifting song if you are feeling down.

 

Take care and look after yourself.

 

Sassenach

 

 

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Rianon
16 hours ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Rianon

 

I hope you are beginning to feel a little better.

 

Did you experience withdrawal symptoms during your taper from 10mgs to 2.5 ?

 

You live in a beautiful area and exercise is good if you can do it.

 

Great sound too, John Denver ( you fill up my senses )  beautiful uplifting song if you are feeling down.

 

Take care and look after yourself.

 

Sassenach

 

 

The only symptoms I experienced taperimg down were the brain shocks or zaps.

They were only in the morning and lasted for about 4 or 5 days but that was about it.

Going to the 2.5mg the brain shock were stronger in the morning but again only lasted around 4 days.

That's why I thought I'd be A okay and the fact my doctor said she'd never heard of anyone having any issues coming off of Escitalopram. Haha, and now I'm here.

 

I'm on day 4 of reinstating now, today was a bad day. But I'm staying hopeful. 

 

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Altostrata

Rianon, what was your tapering schedule? Did you go off 2.5mg escilatopram? When did you do this? When did you reinstate, and what dosage?

 

Please update your signature.

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Rianon
59 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Rianon, what was your tapering schedule? Did you go off 2.5mg escilatopram? When did you do this? When did you reinstate, and what dosage?

 

Please update your signature.

I started tapering off of 10mg in December of last year. 10mg has been my original dose for 11 years.

 

I tapered from 10mg to 5mg spent two months on the 5mg then tapered to 2.5mg and spent one month on the 2.5mg. Then jumped from 2.5mg to 0mg for 18 days.

 

I reinstated 5mg on Saturday 4/13. 

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Sassenach

Hi Rianon

 

You did really well with your first taper, the doctors really do not get it.

I just checked back in my diary first good day was day 6, then day 12 ,day 14 which was dreadful, but day 15 was great.

Since then 2 good  days a week and 4 last week.  

Don't think this week will match last but that seems to be the norm.

If you have read the info on this site you will know that no two people seem to heal in any sort of pattern.

I just hope it helps to show that you will get there because I know sometimes it is difficult to believe.

Hope you feel better soon.

 

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composter

Hey Rianon. I did a similar tapering schedule as you when I crashed. Except I was on my drug for three months and I crashed when I made the cut to 2.5 mg. It's a total shame that the pill manufacturers don't create 5 mg, 2.5 mg and even 1 mg increments. If they did that at least folks would know to take it much slower and it would make it easier for us to have the means to taper slower. But this site is a lifesaver for sure. Very crucial information on here that you can't get from a doctor or even a pharmacist.

 

Glad you seem to be doing a bit better after reinstating the 5 mg. I reinstated back up to 10 mg and it took me around eight months to fully stabilize. I highly recommend you hold at your current dose for several months to stabilize, before you start tapering. There are a few Brassmonkey threads that go into more detail about stabilizing.

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Rianon
On 4/17/2019 at 11:42 AM, Sassenach said:

Hi Rianon

 

You did really well with your first taper, the doctors really do not get it.

I just checked back in my diary first good day was day 6, then day 12 ,day 14 which was dreadful, but day 15 was great.

Since then 2 good  days a week and 4 last week.  

Don't think this week will match last but that seems to be the norm.

If you have read the info on this site you will know that no two people seem to heal in any sort of pattern.

I just hope it helps to show that you will get there because I know sometimes it is difficult to believe.

Hope you feel better soon.

 

I am also keeping notes everyday since I reinstated just to look back on on the especially bad days. Haven't had a good day yet since reinstating but I'm only on day 6 now. 

Yes that is the unfortunate part everyone of us is different and has different symptoms. So we cant exactly compare. 

It's really hard to be hopeful. I'm going back to work next week I'm hoping all goes well. Maybe it will be a distraction from myself.

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Rianon
52 minutes ago, composter said:

Hey Rianon. I did a similar tapering schedule as you when I crashed. Except I was on my drug for three months and I crashed when I made the cut to 2.5 mg. It's a total shame that the pill manufacturers don't create 5 mg, 2.5 mg and even 1 mg increments. If they did that at least folks would know to take it much slower and it would make it easier for us to have the means to taper slower. But this site is a lifesaver for sure. Very crucial information on here that you can't get from a doctor or even a pharmacist.

 

Glad you seem to be doing a bit better after reinstating the 5 mg. I reinstated back up to 10 mg and it took me around eight months to fully stabilize. I highly recommend you hold at your current dose for several months to stabilize, before you start tapering. There are a few Brassmonkey threads that go into more detail about stabilizing.

Were you also taking Escitalopram?

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composter

@Rianon no I was (am) taking Amitriptyline. Prescribed for headaches.

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Gracee
On 4/15/2019 at 4:36 PM, Gridley said:

 

Stabilizing is not the absence of withdrawal symptoms but rather a steady state a feeling blah without major swings in either direction.  

 


 

 

@Gridley,   I love your  definition of stabilizing....."A steady state of feeling blah".    LOL.   So true.

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Gridley
14 hours ago, Gracee said:

 

@Gridley,   I love your  definition of stabilizing....."A steady state of feeling blah".    LOL.   So true.

 

Thanks, Gracee.  Credit for originating the definition goes to Brassmonkey.

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Sassenach

Hi Rianon

 

I should maybe define good days as I feel them during withdrawal.

Good means better than the current average and a time when you can sense small changes, not always pleasant but part of the healing.

I know it does not sound much but it feels nice and helps you  to keep believing when the less good arrive.

It seems very individual but every feeling of being slightly better is one tiny step towards healing.

Have you experienced the extreme and unprecedented anger and depersonalisation ?

I hope your work is not too stressful.

If it is try and make some quiet time for yourself when you have a break.

Your first post said you felt as though you had lost who you are, you haven't, you are just inside yourself at the moment and you will be back🙂

 

All the best

 

Sassenach

 

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Rianon
2 hours ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Rianon

 

I should maybe define good days as I feel them during withdrawal.

Good means better than the current average and a time when you can sense small changes, not always pleasant but part of the healing.

I know it does not sound much but it feels nice and helps you  to keep believing when the less good arrive.

It seems very individual but every feeling of being slightly better is one tiny step towards healing.

Have you experienced the extreme and unprecedented anger and depersonalisation ?

I hope your work is not too stressful.

If it is try and make some quiet time for yourself when you have a break.

Your first post said you felt as though you had lost who you are, you haven't, you are just inside yourself at the moment and you will be back🙂

 

All the best

 

Sassenach

 

I've always had depersonalization even before tapering and going off. 

As for anger not yet I've felt to awful.

 

I'm wondering if I should take the medication at night before bed instead of first thing in the morning. It makes me feel nauseous, weak and anxious. Ruins half of my day all I want to do is sleep. 

 

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Rianon

Once I reach stabilization I doubt I'll taper down again.

I never want to feel like this again in my life.

I'm so upset I ever started to taper down. 

 

My quality of like is at this moment is 0. 

All because I thought it would be easy to get off my medication. I'm so mad at myself. 

 

So I went through almost 3 weeks of hell withdrawal.

Now I'm going through the hell of getting back on and stable. Who knows how long this will take.

Al I want to do is hide and sleep.

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