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SupahSet

SupahSet: I can finally say, I've made it!

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SupahSet

-- Here is my intro topic --

It has officially been ONE WHOLE YEAR of all of this discontinuation nightmare since I stopped taking Lexapro as of tomorrow! 364 days no Lexapro. I'm SO excited to finally be able to say I've almost fully healed. Your day is coming too!
I could not have gone through this without this website and because of that, I am forever grateful.

Here is some background on my journey and my healing process. I apologize for the long post, but I want to be detailed in my post so others can hopefully gain some insight / information, and I want somewhere where all of this is documented in one place.

 

Mid March 2018 - Started taking 10m Lexapro (escitalopram) daily when my doctor said it might help with my random chest discomforts. She had some scans done on me and blood tests etc to rule anything serious out, and told me if might be anxiety induced discomfort.

I did a tiny bit of research, and jumped on the SSRI bandwagon.

 

April 8th, 2018 - Stopped taking Lexapro cold turkey because it hadn't done anything for me. This was 3 weeks of taking the Lexapro daily. I didn't know anything about lowering dosages / tapering at all. My doctor didn't mention anything so I just stopped taking it.

 

April 15th, 2018 - This is the exact day my discontinuation symptoms started and it hit like a TRUCK. I had no idea they were from stopping the Lexapro either. I all of the sudden had a TERRIBLE panic attack. My arm felt stiff, my vision started to tunnel, it was hard to focus on my breathing and my heads were ice cold and sweating profusely. I told my wife to call 911 I think I'm having a heart attack. I thought I was seconds away from dying and it was so scary. I'll never forget that moment. The paramedics told me I was fine, checked my vitals and asked me if I take any medication. I said "I don't have a history of medication, but I did just stop taking Lexapro last week, but I only took it for 3 weeks". The paramedics said "Bingo, that's your problem". I kinda shrugged it off and for the next week everything was relatively normal.

 

April 22th, 2018 - My wife and I were going to the park for an earth day celebration. It was beautiful out and everything was great. We took a trolley to the park and it was about a 20 minute ride. We got there, everything was fine, and then boom. Heart started pounding and I got lightheaded. I felt VERY odd. I told my wife I needed to sit down and call my doctor. No answer, it was the weekend. No problem, I said. Let's get back on the trolley and leave, and go to urgent care. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. On the trolley I felt very claustrophobic and a panic attack set in. I did nothing but focus on my breathing and trying to stay positive, but I felt lightheaded, my chest felt very hot and was very tight. We finally got back to my car and went straight to an urgent care down the street. They looked at me like I was an idiot and they gave me some benadryl via IV to "calm me down" This made me incredibly dizzy and more light headed than before. For some reason I was going in and out of panic every 10 minutes. For the rest of the day my wife and I laid outside on a blanket, she read a book and I tried to sleep but woke up in a panic every five minutes.

 

Life for my at this point was VERY, VERY tough and I had no idea what was happening to me and was very, very scared. I thought back to what the paramedics said about the Lexapro inducing that first panic attack. I did some light googling and found a lot of threads on Reddit about SSRI discontinuation and I eventually found this website as well. It finally hit me that I was 100% going through discontinuation. I became a google master like the rest of us trying to figure out why we go through this, how long this will last for, cold turkey vs taper, etc. I LIVED on this website reading every thread I could find. I googled and searched here for every new symptom I got. I developed a VERY, VERY bad health anxiety. I have very good insurance with my company and am very grateful for that because I went to the doctor once every 2-3 weeks when I got new symptoms.

The doctor that initially gave me the Lexapro told me symptoms would only last for up to 2 weeks and they will be mild. I stayed with her until about 1 month off at which point she became annoyed with my visits and basically told me this is all in my head and that I needed therapy. Lol? That was a joke, because my symptoms were very pronounced. I called around and found a new doctor who was younger and might understand more. He was a joke and a waste of my time. I only saw him for one visit. I got VERY lucky and found my new doctor (the one I have now kept for a year and am very grateful for and pleased with). She told me what I'm going through is normal and could last a few months up to around 6 months. In reality, I know a lot of us go through this for a year or multiple years, up to 5 or more years. I had her refer me to multiple specialists (cardiologists, neurologists, etc). I got multiple tests done on my heart such as EKGs, stress tests, and multi-day holtor monitors. I had multiple scans done - CT scans, MRIs, etc. All of these tests and visits were done over the course of 6-8 months and every single test came back clean.

 

Since the start of my discontinuation, I had rotating symptom periods. Every 3 or 4 weeks, my symptoms would change. Either brand new symptoms or previous symptoms came back and my current symptoms would go away. Here is a laundry list of symptoms that I have gone through, in no particular order. General anxiety, Health anxiety, panic attacks, night terrors, fatigue, dizziness, light head, nausea, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, claustrophobia, loss of sleep, brain zaps, head pressure, weight gain, eye pain, heart zaps, jolting awake at night, depression, tinnitus, jaw tightness, head tingles, loss of ability to focus, and many more symptoms that I can't remember.

I tried everything to combat these symptoms and not much worked other than time. I tried vitamins, diet changes, melatonin for sleep, fish oil, exercise (this was harder to do the more severe my symptoms got), CBD oil, therapy, essential oils, and more.I will say, even if it was placebo, CBD oil (no THC content) did seem to help my general anxiety and chest tightness. I would take it sublingually once in the morning and once at night. Melatonin did help a lot with my sleep. Most melatonin comes in 1gram servings but I broke these up and only took 250mg a few nights a week. It was more than enough to help. I will say some of the biggest things that helped was keeping my mind off of reality as much as possible. Focusing extra hard at work, watching comedy TV shows, browsing this website, and cuddling with my wife. There were weekends I didn't leave my bed and we watched TV all day and it was so comforting. Also, when it was warm out, I would walk. I would walk A LOT. Sometimes I walked for 2 or 3 hours and just sweat and sweat and it felt so great. I doubt these had a direct affect on my healing process, but it's all about keeping your mind off of reality in any way you can. After all, as Aeroman said, it really is just time that is the biggest factor in healing.

My healing journey consisted of continuous misery for the first 2 month followed by windows and waves (definitely way more waves than windows) for 3-5 months. Then more continuous misery for 2 months. For the past 4 months I've been in the windows and waves pattern again, but this time, way more windows than waves. There's no way I can pinpoint the exact minute, or day, or even week where I knew I was almost done healing, it happens gradually. But as of today, I've been in a window for a full straight 6 weeks. I have very, very minor symptoms left over, but I am optimistic these will fade over the next few months. I would say I'm 90-95% fully healed. if you asked me 6 months ago, I would say I was at 50-60%. I understand I might still have some waves ahead of me, but I am no longer scared of symptoms to come. I am stronger than this and I've made it through the worst. This journey has changed my life in so many ways, but it's definitely made me appreciate life more now.

Thank you everyone from Surviving Antidepressants. From the bottom of my heart, you guys are sincerely awesome and I couldn't have done this without you guys.

I hope all of you still suffering will get through this, sooner rather than later. Be strong, stay positive, and keep in mind that EVERYONE heals after time.

SupahSet

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pixiecut

Hi SupahSet, great story, thank you so much for sharing!

I cold turkey citalopram after taking it for 2 weeks (adverse reaction) and I'm 2 months off now

 

my main condition is DP/DR, very bad short memory, lack of concentration, cognitive problems, brain fog, head pressure, blurred vision. very little brain activity, not connected with anything around me...

 

did you have similar experiences? if yes, can u say when these symptoms start and how long did they last? 

Thanks in advance!

 

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shawny
Posted (edited)

I loved ur post ❤️

I literally shed a tear ❤️

 

This is likr my story too ( 4 weeks , 10 mg amitriptyline ) 

 

i didnt find any stories o my kinda where within a short usage ur body can have adverse reaction :)

 

 

its 1 pm in India now I can peacefully goto sleep tellin my self i will heal 😊

 

gives me a lot o hope to belive ppl do have adverse reaction on small dosage ❤️

 

Im on my 5 th month now n things have been ok :) but lookin at ur study gives me hope . As u mentioned for every new symptom I have been rushing to the docs and everything has come out clean n my

folks or doctors back home think I’m delusional and withdrawal can’t exist on such strong dosage so I’m Gona send ur Story across to ppl to tell them it’s true 😀

 

 

thsnks a lot for coming back n writing this n I have all the symptoms u goin thru :)

 

im glad ur over the other side :)

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font

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SupahSet

@shawny Thanks for taking the time to read my post :) I'm sorry you're going through this like the rest of us. I'm glad you're already 5 months off of the meds, that just means you're that much closer to healing. Keep your head up :) 

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Sertramean

Great story @SupahSet. The 1-year mark does seem to be the point where recovery becomes a bit more pronounced. I'm sure you have even more improvement to come. 

 

Very best wishes to you. 

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SDOE

Glad you are healed and I appreciate the detailed post.  I read the success stories for the hope that one day I'll be my old self; I really want to avoid reinstatement.  I was shocked to see what havoc this drug did after only a few weeks!  These drugs are awful; can't believe the FDA ever approved them.

Congrats!

 

 

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India
On 4/13/2019 at 5:24 PM, SupahSet said:

I said "I don't have a history of medication, but I did just stop taking Lexapro last week, but I only took it for 3 weeks". The paramedics said "Bingo, that's your problem". I kinda shrugged it off and for the next week everything was relatively normal.

I wonder how many people they see in severe WD. I know at least two ppl who ended up in A and E because of too fast WD. 

 

Amazing and congrats on your success. Very happy for you. 

 

@intothewoods ( don’t know how else to send link)

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intothewoods

Phenomenal story. SO very happy for you, your wife and family after this nightmare is (mostly) over. 

 

Thank you for so thoroughly chronicling your journey. Three short weeks of Lexapro - - and all this. Kudos to the paramedics! Very telling. They see emergency calls for AD withdrawal yet the docs don't??? 

 

If you check my thread, you'll see I'm a lifelong journalist and have a piece - in-progress that progresses only as fast as I do. (in a big wave at moment  🌊). But am interviewing various situations

If it's okay, I'll pm you to see if you might want to share your story at some point. 

 

Again, congrats! 👍👍👍👏👏👏😊

 

And thanks so much @Indiafor the heads up. Success stories have huge healing power! 

 

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Dreamer
Posted (edited)

 

Thankyou for sharing.  Did you ever take anything for the anxiety during the withdrawals?

Edited by Carmie
Removed long quote

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SupahSet

@Dreamer Mainly CBD oil. Its unclear if it actually did anything, but if anything it had a strong placebo affect on me with my anxiety.

 

I did have a small supply of Ativan (0.5mg pills) for severe panic attacks. I had to use a total of 3 pills over the course of a year, but haven't used any in the past 4 months.

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chloee

Hi SupahSet, great story, thank you so much for sharing!

I cold turkey citalopram after taking it for 2 weeks (adverse reaction) and I'm  about 3 months off now

 

my main condition is DP/DR, very bad short memory, lack of concentration, cognitive problems, brain fog, head pressure, blurred vision. a very little brain activity, not connected with anything around me...

 

did you have similar experiences? if yes, can u say when these symptoms started and how long did they last?

Thanks in advance!

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Santino

Hi SupahSet


Now that is what we normally call GOOD NEWS. I am happy you are free.

Enjoy your life buddy.

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