Jump to content

Chris90: story and Lexapro withdrawal


Chris90

Recommended Posts

I’ll keep the introductory story short since this is a forum about antidepressants and withdrawals.  In June 2018, after being physically unhealthy and constantly stressed out for a couple years, I got depersonalization/derealization after smoking some marijuana.  I kept having panic attacks because I wasn’t aware of what was happening with me, and those made the symptoms worse, inducing more panic.  The downward spiral led to a visit to the doctor.  I couldn’t take the nightly panic attacks anymore.  He prescribed me 10mg Lexapro, thinking I just had depression and anxiety, which was bumped up to 20mg after a couple weeks.  

 

The side effects were exactly what you’d expect. I felt zoned out all the time, blunted emotions, increased appetite, gained 30 pounds, sexual dysfunction, fatigue.  All of these side effects lessened after a couple months, but remained to an extent.  The panic attacks stopped, the anxiety gradually calmed down, but the zoned out feeling became sort of indistinguishable from the depersonalization and derealization, which sucked and is why I really wanted to get off the medication, along with the weight gain and sexual side effects.  The psychologist I see biweekly said this would be fine, and that 6-7 months on the 20mg dose was enough.

 

I started my taper on February 1st, cutting down from 20mg to 15mg.  The withdrawals were really mild.  Basically I felt like I was coming down with a cold for 2 days, that feeling went away, and I didn’t feel any different than I had on 20mg.  March 1st I cut down to 10mg.  This time I had some electrical-like feelings in my face for a week, which went away.  I started feeling a little bit more like myself.  April 1st, cut down to 5mg.  The electrical-like feelings spread to my arms, but went away after a couple weeks.  On May 1st I stopped taking Lexapro.

 

Here are the withdrawals I’ve gone through since stopping Lexapro:

 

Electrical-like sensations throughout the whole body.  These have almost entirely gone away now and are usually isolated to a hand or my face.

 

Brain zaps.  For some reason I only got these when moving my eyes from side to side.  When they happened, my sense of hearing would momentarily change.  The fan in my room would briefly sound like the ocean.

 

Loss of appetite.  When I was on Lexapro, I used to kill a mountain of food no problem.  This was way higher than my appetite before Lexapro, so I guess this loss of appetite is somewhat normal, although sometimes I don’t care to eat now, even when hungry.

 

Anger.  This comes and goes, but wasn’t a big part of my personality before or while on Lexapro.  I’m usually very agreeable.  Most of my anger is towards the doctor who put me on this medication in the first place, in fear that the medication has put me into a deeper hole than I would be in right now had I been given an accurate diagnosis of panic attacks and depersonalization.

 

”Cortisol mornings”.  Last week I had a few of these and they were devastating.  I became obsessive about every withdrawal symptom and was convinced I will never recover from any of them.  I had one this morning and it sucked.  The fear is near the intensity of a panic attack, but not high enough to start one.

 

No more insomnia.  I’m a night person.  Have been most of my life.  Now I’m sleeping 9pm to 5am every night, with no difficulty getting to sleep.  This could also be because I cut my caffeine from 4 pops to 2-3 pops daily.  Caffeine just isn’t doing much for me right now, and I don’t want to ramp up my intake in fear of inducing a panic attack and getting thrown back into the worst of depersonalization, which has somewhat alleviated.

 

Burning sensations.  These typically occur in my feet very intensely, and moderately in my genitals and wrists.  I suffered a bout of this last week for a few hours, and am suffering from it a little bit right now.

 

Ear ringing.  This happened quite frequently when starting the medication and would go on for around 30 minutes.  Now it only lasts maybe 20 seconds at a very low intensity.  This may not even be a withdrawal symptom.

 

Sexual dysfunction.  I won’t say I didn’t have genital numbness while on Lexapro.  I most certainly did.  But as I tapered this gradually reduced.  Then after 2 weeks off of Lexapro completely, they went numb.  After experiencing the burning sensations last week, I regained some feeling, and over the next couple of days I regained even more.  Then a lot of feeling went away, but not totally, and some seems to have come back today as I’m experiencing the burning sensations again.  I haven’t had any of the other sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, or delayed/no pleasure orgasms since the first few weeks of starting Lexapro.

 

Floaters.  Hate them.  They’re also part of derealization.

 

Flat emotions.  This comes and goes like many of the other WD symptoms.  Some days I’m pretty content, other days I feel complete dread, and sometimes I feel totally flat.  Combined with depersonalization, this is a tough one.

 

That’s pretty much it as far as my WD symptoms go.  I’d have to agree with the observation here that most WD symptoms tend to come and go, but they’re less severe and don’t last as long during each wave, and my baseline seems to move towards recovery.  Anyways, I know 10 months on antidepressants is baby level stuff to a lot of the members here and I just wanted to ask some questions about withdrawal because I’m kind of anxious.

 

How long would you estimate my recovery from WD will take given the dose I took and the length of time I took it?  I know there is no definitive answer, and giving me one would heighten my anxiety if that time came and went and I still had some WD symptoms, but a ballpark would be helpful.  I’m 28 years of age.

 

What can I do to speed up the process of recovering from WD symptoms?  Right now I take a multivitamin daily, as well as some fish oil 2-3 times per day, and get 8 hours of sleep per night.  I will admit my diet is crap, also tfw no exercise.

 

Do any of the WD symptoms, such as burning sensations, numbness followed by feeling, leg tingling, etc indicate my nervous system is repairing itself?  What can I do to help my nervous system go back to normal?

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Chris90.

 

To start, please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Please include the dates and dosages of your taper.  Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

The symptoms you described are all very typical of antidepressant withdrawal.  It's a good sign that your baseline is moving toward recovery.  Here is some information on withdrawal so you'll have an understanding of what you're 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.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  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.

 

It's impossible to predict to time it will take for your recovery.  These drugs alter the architecture of the brain, and the time necessary to heal the brain and return to homeostasis differs from person to person.  Though withdrawal time doesn't necessarily correlate with the time you were on the drug, the relatively short time you were on it is a factor to your benefit.

 

There is no way to speed up the process of healing.  We don't favor a lot of supplements because our systems are too fragile in withdrawal to handle them and they can often have a negative effect.  We don't recommend multiple vitamins, since there's no way to tell which ingredients might be having a negative effect.  B-complex vitamins can be very activating (anxiety-causing) in withdrawal.  We do recommend omegas and magnesium (magnesium glycinate is a good form).  They won't speed up the process but they can have a calming effect and make the process more bearable.  

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
Things you can do to help are improve your diet, continue to get good sleep, do mild exercise like walking, and avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
 
Now that you're off the drug, and also during the tapering period, healing is ongoing.  The symptoms you're experiencing are signs the brain is rebuilding and reactivating.
 
This is your Introductory topic, the place for you to ask questions, provide updates and connect with other members.  I'm glad you found your way here.
 
 

 

 

 

  

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

Thank you, Gridley.  I’ve added my signature.

 

I really appreciate the time that has been taken to research and organize all of the material here.

 

Today I began exercising(40 minute relaxed bike ride), which I will continue daily, and eating 1 salad and 1 fruit per day.

 

I will cut the multivitamin out and start taking magnesium, and continue my 3 grams of fish oil per day.  Do you think the calcium/magnesium/zinc tablets are okay, or should I only use magnesium glycinate?

 

The sodas may take some time for me to reduce or quit.  When I was having panic attacks I switched my 4 daily coffees with 4 sodas to reduce any caffeine induced anxiety but not suffer a lot of caffeine withdrawals.  What do you think about replacing 2-3 sodas with 2 weak cups of black coffee to reduce my sugar intake?

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
planifolia

Hello Chris, welcome to the forums! 

 

I am sorry you are having a rough time. Just wanted to reassure you that with time, your WD symptoms will inevitably disappear as your brain repairs itself. Don’t underestimate the resilience of the nervous system. And like Gridley said, the short time that you were on drug is at your advantage and hopefully healing is not too far away. The feeling of never being able to heal is also part of the cognitive symptoms of WD - I call it “Murphy’s Mind” because it behaves like murphy’s law. When in wD, we are in fight flight freeze mode and are constantly looking for threat and unreaistically catatrophizing things - the “what ifs” obsessions. Don’t believe them, they are only thoughts and you should treat them like you would treat your ear ringing, burning - just another symptom

 

💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿

 

 

Clonazapam:  01/2015 - 03/2015 2mg; 03/2015 Cold Turkey

Lexapro:  07/2007 - 08/2018 10-20mg; 08/2018 - 10/2018 Tapered to 0mg; 10/11/2018 Reinstated 7 days taper up to 20mg (took 3mg xanax/day first 3 days of reinstatement); 17/11/2018 20mg; 2/12/2018: 15mg; 3/12/2018 10mg; 5/12/2018 Developed violent spasms, back to 15mg;

6/1/2019 13.5mg; 27/3/2019 13mg; 2/4/2019 12.5mg; 11/4/2019 10mg; 25/5/2019 9mg; 8/7/2019; 8.75mg; 15/7/2019 8.5mg; 22/7/2019 8.25mg; 5month taper of 10%/month to 5mg on 12/2019;

Link to post

Thank you, planifolia.  Catastrophic thinking is definitely a symptom with me.  It helps to hear that these withdrawal symptoms will go away.

 

As an update I woke up to another cortisol morning today.  The burning in my feet and groin spread to my lower legs last night and became fairly intense.  I also started feeling really warm throughout my while body,  but isn’t present at the moment.

 

Normally I play video games most of the day but for the last few days I’ve lost all motivation and have been just laying in bed.  I’m gonna try to spend some time on the computer today.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • Moderator
17 hours ago, Chris90 said:

Do you think the calcium/magnesium/zinc tablets are okay, or should I only use magnesium glycinate?

 

Calcium can compete with magnesium for absorption.  Also, we advise that it's best to keep it simple, with single-ingredient supplements so you know what's causing what.  So the plain magnesium glycinate would be better than the combination tablet.

 

I understand the lack of motivation.  It's a common symptom.  I hope you feel better today.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

I think the withdraws slowly reduce once off any drug when you replace the mind with other things other than the feelings of withdraw. Sounds like you are doing some good things like the bike riding etc. The more you fill your head with other more positive things the more you forget about withdraw so there is no time limit on this its all about retraining your mind. I think that often you can come off a drug but find it hard to move on if you constantly focus on it and that goes for spending too much time on forums or internet searching. I'm not saying that seeking advice and getting support is not helpful, it is very helpful, but I think you can do too much of it and not allow yourself a break from negative thinking. You mind has been buffered by meds for sometime so it takes a while to retrain it and you can't put a timeline on that its when your ready.

Been on Mirtazapine 30mg for 3yrs and want to come off due to weight gain & morning hangover.

Mid March 2019 went to 15mg one night 30mg the next for a week

Was feeling ok so dropped to 15mg per night but anxiety came back so tried to get back to 30mg but body didnt like it so I panicked and found this site. Dr told me to get stable at 22 1/2mg for a month but have stuck at 15mg and plan to get stable on this, its day 3 on 15mg.

 

Reinstated back to 30 mg of Mirt and have been on this for a few weeks. Now feel leveled out to a point where I can function and work at a level of anxiety I can cope with. 

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Maca44 said:

I think the withdraws slowly reduce once off any drug when you replace the mind with other things other than the feelings of withdraw. Sounds like you are doing some good things like the bike riding etc. The more you fill your head with other more positive things the more you forget about withdraw so there is no time limit on this its all about retraining your mind. I think that often you can come off a drug but find it hard to move on if you constantly focus on it and that goes for spending too much time on forums or internet searching. I'm not saying that seeking advice and getting support is not helpful, it is very helpful, but I think you can do too much of it and not allow yourself a break from negative thinking. You mind has been buffered by meds for sometime so it takes a while to retrain it and you can't put a timeline on that its when your ready.

 

I think the idea of trying to shift mindset is a useful one, Maca, but it can be extremely difficult for people to do when they are in a bad with with withdrawal.  It is essential, therefore, that we practice self-compassion and recognize that we are, at times, simply unable to "forget about withdrawal" and that, in those moments, it is not our fault and we should not feel "guilty" that we are ruminating on the negativity.  Time is the thing that allows us to slowly get past the point where we are self-focused on the horrible sensations withdrawal brings.  It is only with time that we can develop the skills of acceptance that allow us to "live with" the suffering and move forward.  So, while I agree with the sentiment of your post that over time one will slowly find their way out of the self-assessment and rumination of withdrawal, Chris needs to have the space to allow himself to feel however he feels in the moment and not feel compelled to do anything beyond what he is able to do at that time.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

Link to post
2 hours ago, apace41 said:

 

I think the idea of trying to shift mindset is a useful one, Maca, but it can be extremely difficult for people to do when they are in a bad with with withdrawal.  It is essential, therefore, that we practice self-compassion and recognize that we are, at times, simply unable to "forget about withdrawal" and that, in those moments, it is not our fault and we should not feel "guilty" that we are ruminating on the negativity.  Time is the thing that allows us to slowly get past the point where we are self-focused on the horrible sensations withdrawal brings.  It is only with time that we can develop the skills of acceptance that allow us to "live with" the suffering and move forward.  So, while I agree with the sentiment of your post that over time one will slowly find their way out of the self-assessment and rumination of withdrawal, Chris needs to have the space to allow himself to feel however he feels in the moment and not feel compelled to do anything beyond what he is able to do at that time.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Dont think I suggested for a moment that you just forget withdraws and move on. I know how hard it is believe me, but in time things do change and the more your able to focus on other things is the time you realise that your healing. I suggested that it is possible to dwell on things for longer than perhaps is healthy and you can slow recovery, but this is a personal thing and different for each of us. Chris needs space for sure and I hope things get better over time. 

Been on Mirtazapine 30mg for 3yrs and want to come off due to weight gain & morning hangover.

Mid March 2019 went to 15mg one night 30mg the next for a week

Was feeling ok so dropped to 15mg per night but anxiety came back so tried to get back to 30mg but body didnt like it so I panicked and found this site. Dr told me to get stable at 22 1/2mg for a month but have stuck at 15mg and plan to get stable on this, its day 3 on 15mg.

 

Reinstated back to 30 mg of Mirt and have been on this for a few weeks. Now feel leveled out to a point where I can function and work at a level of anxiety I can cope with. 

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
5 hours ago, Maca44 said:

Dont think I suggested for a moment that you just forget withdraws and move on. I know how hard it is believe me, but in time things do change and the more your able to focus on other things is the time you realise that your healing. I suggested that it is possible to dwell on things for longer than perhaps is healthy and you can slow recovery, but this is a personal thing and different for each of us. Chris needs space for sure and I hope things get better over time. 

 

Yes, Maca.  Understood.  Given the medium we are dealing with -- static online posts -- I wanted to clarify that so that we are all singing off the same sheet of music.

 

Your thoughts are very good and very much appreciated.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

Link to post

You guys are both right here.  I absolutely need to keep track of my withdrawal symptoms, but I do tend to ruminate and obsess, which kicks up my anxiety.  I did this all the time when I got depersonalization, thinking it would never go away or get better, and all that obsessive worrying did was make it worse since it’s an anxiety/trauma related disorder.  Once I stopped doing that, it began to fade.

 

For the last couple of days I’ve been freaking out about PSSD because I still have some numbness.  Having anxiety over it just makes the numbness worse.  Back in my panic attack days I remember trying to do uh, you know, while I was extremely anxious, and literally nothing worked properly, and that sent me into a panic attack.  Two hours later after I had calmed down, everything worked fine again.

 

Anyways I realized how ridiculous I was being today, thinking I will surely suffer from life long problems that will get drastically worse, and managed to calm myself with some self talk and reasoning.  It’s incredible what the prefrontal cortex can do to shut the amygdala up for a while. 

 

Thank you for your encouragement and understanding.  It’s so nice to have a support group.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
9 hours ago, Chris90 said:

You guys are both right here.  I absolutely need to keep track of my withdrawal symptoms, but I do tend to ruminate and obsess, which kicks up my anxiety.  I did this all the time when I got depersonalization, thinking it would never go away or get better, and all that obsessive worrying did was make it worse since it’s an anxiety/trauma related disorder.  Once I stopped doing that, it began to fade.

 

For the last couple of days I’ve been freaking out about PSSD because I still have some numbness.  Having anxiety over it just makes the numbness worse.  Back in my panic attack days I remember trying to do uh, you know, while I was extremely anxious, and literally nothing worked properly, and that sent me into a panic attack.  Two hours later after I had calmed down, everything worked fine again.

 

Anyways I realized how ridiculous I was being today, thinking I will surely suffer from life long problems that will get drastically worse, and managed to calm myself with some self talk and reasoning.  It’s incredible what the prefrontal cortex can do to shut the amygdala up for a while. 

 

Thank you for your encouragement and understanding.  It’s so nice to have a support group.

I totally understand the times when my mind is so badly turning on itself that not matter what you try nothing works and you think it will never end, but as you know, it does end. Its finding that balance of focusing on other things and focusing on how we feel which allows recovery. 

Been on Mirtazapine 30mg for 3yrs and want to come off due to weight gain & morning hangover.

Mid March 2019 went to 15mg one night 30mg the next for a week

Was feeling ok so dropped to 15mg per night but anxiety came back so tried to get back to 30mg but body didnt like it so I panicked and found this site. Dr told me to get stable at 22 1/2mg for a month but have stuck at 15mg and plan to get stable on this, its day 3 on 15mg.

 

Reinstated back to 30 mg of Mirt and have been on this for a few weeks. Now feel leveled out to a point where I can function and work at a level of anxiety I can cope with. 

 

 

Link to post
11 hours ago, Maca44 said:

I totally understand the times when my mind is so badly turning on itself that not matter what you try nothing works and you think it will never end, but as you know, it does end. Its finding that balance of focusing on other things and focusing on how we feel which allows recovery. 

 

The catastrophic thinking is so annoying, but I’ve had a lot of relief from it today.  The cortisol wasn’t as bad this morning either.  I think the self talk I did last night really helped, and you guys did, too.

 

I spent a couple hours out of bed and on the computer today, which was nice.  Afterwards I felt wiped for some reason.  My arms felt tired.  I can’t possibly be this weak, this has to be withdrawal lol.

 

I’m about to go for a bike ride here.  Thanks again for your support.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post

Enjoy the bike ride.

Been on Mirtazapine 30mg for 3yrs and want to come off due to weight gain & morning hangover.

Mid March 2019 went to 15mg one night 30mg the next for a week

Was feeling ok so dropped to 15mg per night but anxiety came back so tried to get back to 30mg but body didnt like it so I panicked and found this site. Dr told me to get stable at 22 1/2mg for a month but have stuck at 15mg and plan to get stable on this, its day 3 on 15mg.

 

Reinstated back to 30 mg of Mirt and have been on this for a few weeks. Now feel leveled out to a point where I can function and work at a level of anxiety I can cope with. 

 

 

Link to post

Just wanted to check in and post an update.  

 

My cortisol morning once again lessened in severity.  I’m actually able to sleep past when the tiniest bit of sunlight comes through the window in the morning now.  I did a 20 minute bike ride this morning and that seemed to end all of the cortisol induced anxiety. 

 

I also spent much more time on the computer playing video games today, and my ability to concentrate seems to have improved, even a bit beyond where I was on 20mg Lexapro and during the taper process.

 

Some of the downstairs numbness has decreased, and libido has become higher than pre SSRI the last couple days.  Strange, but I’ll take it.

 

I’m still really tired though.  Maybe this is due to the exercise, who knows.

 

Thanks again for your support.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • Moderator

@Chris90

 

Great update, Chris.  Glad to see things are better.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

Another update.

 

The cortisol this morning was almost non existent, but my level of anxiety throughout the day is higher.  The last couple of days have been really hard because of this.

 

Looks like you were right, the symptoms do morph over time.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Chris90: Story And Lexapro Withdrawal

And just like that, all the anxiety went away about a half an hour ago.

 

Last night I had to calm myself down with self talk for around an hour because I was on the verge of a panic attack.  I knew if I let that happen I’d end up back at square one in regard to depersonalization.  Nevertheless my sleep was horrible and I woke up too early with high anxiety.  Had a few sips of pop this morning and a bologna sandwich, then all the sudden around 10AM the anxiety just disappeared completely.

 

I think I need to work on cutting pop out entirely, I’m just scared of the massive headaches I know are coming if I do that.

 

I should probably stay away from PSSD discussions since that seems to be driving my anxiety through the roof.  I think 1 month off Lexapro, which is more like 3 weeks considering the half life, is far too early to worry about any numbness I have, especially considering how well off I already am in terms of sexual dysfunction during withdrawal.  High anxiety actually makes it worse, which drives me to read worst case scenarios, which drives my anxiety up, and the spiral leads to panic.  I feel like a complete moron now.

 

Anyways I’m going to enjoy this window of no anxiety and go for a bike ride.  Thank you for all of your support.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post

Jaw clenching just started about an hour ago.  I remember this happened when I started taking Lexapro.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
ChessieCat
On 5/31/2019 at 12:55 AM, Chris90 said:

go for a bike ride

 

1 hour ago, Chris90 said:

Jaw clenching just started about an hour ago

 

Did you overdo the exercising?  The jaw clenching may be related to either overdoing things or you concentrating and not being relaxed whilst riding.

 

Just a thought.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Current from 9 Jan 2021:  Pristiq 0.405 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

Link to post

It could be, although I try to be gentle with the bike ride.  I think it may be more related to my nervous system adjusting to not having the medication.  I remember when I was getting started on Lexapro my jaw began clenching automatically about a week in.  I was convinced of course that this was brain damage, since I was in the early days of severe depersonalization, but within a few days it stopped.

 

Anyways, things have been hard.  I’ve been extremely anxious most of the week, up until last night.  My mom came over and I told her what was going on.  Got a 4 hour back scratch and that really calmed me down, but left me with a feeling of hopelessness of ever recovering.  Torturous thoughts of prolonged withdrawal and suicide bite at me incessantly, and the anxiety is creeping back.  I’m going for my biweekly visit with a psychologist tomorrow. I think he’ll be able to help me.  He’s been through withdrawal before, especially with Effexor.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Chris90 said:

extremely anxious

 

Just a thought - you might consider seeing how you do without the multivitamin.   B vitamins can be overstimulating (anxiety producing) in withdrawal.  It might not make a big difference but every little bit helps.

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post
3 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

Just a thought - you might consider seeing how you do without the multivitamin.   B vitamins can be overstimulating (anxiety producing) in withdrawal.  It might not make a big difference but every little bit helps.

 

 

I think you may be right, although I did stop taking that a few days ago.  

 

I’m just having a tough time in general here.  A lot of emotions are coming up that I’ve bottled up, which I tend to do.  

 

My grandmother passed at 90 from lung cancer a couple months ago.  I lived here with her for 3 years while finishing school and working  because I couldn’t be around my father anymore.  I couldn’t even attend the funeral because I couldn’t stop crying so hard at the calling hours.  It was very hard and I was in the middle of my taper.  It was so painful I did everything I could to keep my emotions surpressed, and that was a lot easier when I was still on Lexapro.  Now I can’t keep this in anymore, and the grief is strong and more in my face right now than it was before.

 

I’m also really afraid of PSSD and my other symptoms.  I had a window from PSSD today after it had gotten much worse over the last few days.  The jaw clenching last night was also very painful.  The only positive was that the burning feet went away last night and I could feel the cool air on them.  It’s like all the withdrawal symptoms are the initial side effects I experienced that went away after a while, but in reverse.  

 

Every negative emotion you can think of is coming up right now.  Thanks again for your support, you guys really are incredibly generous people. 

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post

my situation is somewhat similar to yours in being on lexapro for 6months around 20mg, and having problems coming off.

i havent been on any meds prior in my life nor do drugs.

 

basically tried to quit once Jan-Feb 2019, but gave up due to intensity of symptoms, my taper also was quite fast 4weeks.

reinstated to 10mg mid march, then dropped 2.5mg per fortnight.

going through 2nd time now at 0mg (6 weeks)... seems a bit better than first time

 

Lexapro

10mg 11/2018 -  4 weeks

20mg 12/2018 - 4 weeks

20mg - 0mg - 01/2019 - 02/2019  - taper 6 weeks - WD symptoms

10mg - 03/2019 - 6 week reinstate

03-04/2019 taper 10,7.5,5,2.5,0mg as instructed by dr.

0mg - 04-06/2019 - WD symptoms again.

accute symptom cleared follow by protracted symptoms still ongoing

Link to post

Time to post an update I guess.

 

Yesterday I went to my biweekly visit with a psychologist.  As embarrassing as it was, I told him all about my PSSD issues.  He basically told me that because I’ve been reading and obsessing about this so much and increasing my anxiety levels, it has become psychogenic, and that what I was describing wasn’t possible.  He guaranteed me these problems will go away(specifically promised on his left nut lmao), but that I needed to get back to the lifestyle I was living while I was on the SSRI, start eating and drinking again, which I haven’t been doing much of for a couple weeks, and to keep away from anything related to PSSD.  I didn’t really believe him.  In fact I was pretty crushed to hear his response based on his level of experience.  He also told me I couldn’t be going through withdrawal anymore, which I 100% disagree with him on, since today I’ve had some mild shocks.  He also told me my 3 month taper off of 20mg Lexapro was considered slow.

 

So I followed his advice since yesterday, and I’m happy to report that I just experienced a 90% reduction in PSSD symptoms.  The only real issue I had was finishing, but I still got there without too much trouble.  Everything else was in the 90%-100% normal range.  Maybe the psych is onto something.  I’m still having the cortisol mornings, and general anxiety throughout the day though, which really sucks.  I think the high cortisol has probably messed up my hormones for the time being.  It’s almost like it has hijacked my brain.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
PatriciaVP
57 minutes ago, Chris90 said:

Time to post an update I guess.

 

Yesterday I went to my biweekly visit with a psychologist.  As embarrassing as it was, I told him all about my PSSD issues.  He basically told me that because I’ve been reading and obsessing about this so much and increasing my anxiety levels, it has become psychogenic, and that what I was describing wasn’t possible.  He guaranteed me these problems will go away(specifically promised on his left nut lmao), but that I needed to get back to the lifestyle I was living while I was on the SSRI, start eating and drinking again, which I haven’t been doing much of for a couple weeks, and to keep away from anything related to PSSD.  I didn’t really believe him.  In fact I was pretty crushed to hear his response based on his level of experience.  He also told me I couldn’t be going through withdrawal anymore, which I 100% disagree with him on, since today I’ve had some mild shocks.  He also told me my 3 month taper off of 20mg Lexapro was considered slow.

 

So I followed his advice since yesterday, and I’m happy to report that I just experienced a 90% reduction in PSSD symptoms.  The only real issue I had was finishing, but I still got there without too much trouble.  Everything else was in the 90%-100% normal range.  Maybe the psych is onto something.  I’m still having the cortisol mornings, and general anxiety throughout the day though, which really sucks.  I think the high cortisol has probably messed up my hormones for the time being.  It’s almost like it has hijacked my brain.

Your psychologist may have come off the drugs himself, but he seems to have very little understanding of how widely the experience can very from person to person. Some people are on it for years and come off quickly and easily, and others suffer tremendously after only having been on it for a few months. There's simply no way he can gauge your progress by his own. Lexapro seems to be a particularly difficult drug to get off also. If he was tapering off a different drug that may explain some of his ease.

 

Don't let anyone tell you how long this should take. It'll take as long as it takes. It's different for everybody. This is one reason I don't bother with therapy. None of them get it.

 

BTW 20 mgs of Lexapro is a very high dose, and a three moth taper is stunningly fast. Take a look at my taper to see just how slow slow can be.

 

Peace, love and healing.

 

Withdrawal will get better and worse and better and worse until it is no more. Just trust your brain and body to bring you back to optimal health. You've got this.

 

A note about exercising - I do cross fit 4x a week. When I feel good, I'm in there dead lifting and planking like it's nothing. When the symptoms hit I sometime feel like I can barely stand. I try to go no matter how I feel because, like you said, it alleviates the anxiety. Just don't be discouraged if your stamina fluctuates significantly day to day. It doesn't mean you're not getting healthier.

 

Peace, love and healing. 

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

Link to post

He knows about protracted withdrawal but doesn’t think that’s the case with me.  I’ll follow his advice and see where it gets me, as it really can’t hurt to try.  So far it has helped me, and today is the first day I’ve really had an appetite and not had super high anxiety all day long.  The PSSD relief was great, too.  I agree with you though.  A lot of professionals gained their understanding of antidepressants in the 90’s and early 2000’s, when information was limited, and they seem to think anything that deviates from what they read 20 years ago must be false.

 

I’m really suspecting I need to increase my dopamine and let my dopamine receptors sensitize, and build new ones if possible.  I’ve engaged in a lot of dopamine releasing activity over the last few years, way more than most people, and desensitization and poor diet may have led to my original problem with depersonalization.  I’m going to try to cut back on everything, especially vaping, eat a protein rich, dopamine increasing diet, and increase my exercise.

 

I think what happened to me over the last couple weeks here was withdrawal coupled with lack of food and water, as well as catastrophic thinking that kept me in fight or flight mode constantly.  Desensitized receptors left with very little to work with kept me anxious, which turned into negative thought loops, which increased cortisol drastically, and all of these things just spun in a continuous loop.  What may have been a quick recovery turned into a crash because I wasn’t getting the food and relaxation I needed for my brain to adjust to not having the drug.

 

Thank you for your support, and I wish you the best in your recovery from these evil pills from the pits of hell.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post

 

 

AChris90: you have not been taking lexapro for a long time, like me, so while you will still get withdrawals a lot of it can be caused by your anxiety over it and also your reaseaching. I was the same as you. 

 

Its unlikely you would have protracted withdrawals and your brain may have already recovered but neuroplasticity matters and a first step in not focusing on the symptoms is a good start. My psychiatrist tells me to consider it as no big deal and it will pass and recover with time. The more you are concerned about it the harder it is for your brain to try to rewrire and regenerate itself to the normal state.

 

in addition your CNS needs time to also adjust and putting yourself in an anxious fight flight state will cause stress which actually inhibits your recovery.

 

the fastest way to recovery is to keep yourself active positive and stress free and just feel you have worked or achieved something in your day. A good hobby or job helps. I know this is not always possible, but it’s not a perfect solution and we cannot expect perfection but in time symptoms will alleviate. Optimism is hard in this state but it’s one thing that most benefits recovery... even placebos work amazing but they don’t last. So I guess the most realistic thing I can suggest is to just accept some uncertainty and look at the positive improvements however small and try to keep stress free and busy as much as you can... giving it time is also helpful.

 

not being able to ejaculate was what I had on lexapro but everything else was fine, if you are having this it probably means you still some time to recover, it’s a hormone issue and not to do with your receptors. The body needs a lot of time to re-establish the balance. It’s my view that they say 4-8weeks of WD symptoms does not include the minor secondary symptoms that can linger for months after , but these are tolerable if you don’t obsess over it causing stress, and I believe they will all go away in months.. not weeks

 

it is also very clear that the first thing to go if you are stressed is your appetite. I experienced this myself. When we are in fight flight our body and mind focuses on survival and food is low priority, as is sex. So all your thinking and researching is just telling your body you are in danger, and so it acts by suppressing your appetite and also any sexual desire.

 

a final thing, from my own experience.. stay away from vitamins and supplements, your CNS is probably in a sensitive state and will react badly to anything you put in other than whole foods. It. Just taking vit b and fish oil caused me a lot of agitation and I only realised this after 3 weeks, when I stopped them I felt a lot better. Now I just stick to a normal diet free of junk food or processed foods

Lexapro

10mg 11/2018 -  4 weeks

20mg 12/2018 - 4 weeks

20mg - 0mg - 01/2019 - 02/2019  - taper 6 weeks - WD symptoms

10mg - 03/2019 - 6 week reinstate

03-04/2019 taper 10,7.5,5,2.5,0mg as instructed by dr.

0mg - 04-06/2019 - WD symptoms again.

accute symptom cleared follow by protracted symptoms still ongoing

Link to post
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Chris90 said:

eat a protein rich, dopamine increasing diet, and increase my exercise.

 

A protein-rich diet is a very likely a good idea.  It's very encouraging that your appetite has returned.

 

Monitor how you do with the exercise.  Some people in WD thrive on strenuous exercise while others do better with a gentle 30-minute walk.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover and change from 3 daily doses to one 18.75mgai dose (0.311mgpw). Jan. 11, 2021 begin hold at current bedtime 18.75mgai dose.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

his tapering doesnt look right...

From 15mg - 5mg in 3months has little effect as the drop should be at the LOW doses. 

if he drop from 5mg to 0mg in 1month in April/May it means he is dropping at a 60%+ 5HTT blockage to 0% in 1month, thats almost cold turkey.

 

Id ask did he felt anything from 20mg - 5mg, I doubt he did - thats only 80%-60% with 60% still buffering ... but it would hit hard at 5mg - 0mg.

probably going through WD now and another 1-2+ months because of this taper, its commonly prescribed but its WRONG.

final taper should be 5mg, 2.5mg, 1.75mg, 1mg, 0.5mg, 0.25mg, 0mg .. id suggest over 3months.

 

See my attached PDF...

 

Chris90

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

 

 

Doc2.pdf

Lexapro

10mg 11/2018 -  4 weeks

20mg 12/2018 - 4 weeks

20mg - 0mg - 01/2019 - 02/2019  - taper 6 weeks - WD symptoms

10mg - 03/2019 - 6 week reinstate

03-04/2019 taper 10,7.5,5,2.5,0mg as instructed by dr.

0mg - 04-06/2019 - WD symptoms again.

accute symptom cleared follow by protracted symptoms still ongoing

Link to post
51 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

A protein-rich diet is a very likely a good idea.  It's very encouraging that your appetite has returned.

 

Monitor how you do with the exercise.  Some people in WD thrive on strenuous exercise while others do better with a gentle 30-minute walk.

It was tough at first, but once I forced enough food in, feeling like I was ready to throw it back up, I was hit with a nearly insatiable hunger.  My adrenals were probably thrilled they no longer needed to regulate my blood sugar with massive cortisol spikes.  Now my appetite is pretty close to normal, although I still can’t eat as much Taco Bell as I could on 20mg Lexapro.

 

The psych also recommended the high protein diet, and hey, I don’t mind eating more steak, chicken, fish, eggs, or ribs at all.  In fact, I have a new grill I need to start using here.

 

I seem to do pretty well with more intense exercise.  It kills cortisol quickly, and positive emotions follow afterwards.  Splitting it into short sessions every day also seems to be a better route for me than a single, long session.

 

21 minutes ago, TriD said:

his tapering doesnt look right...

From 15mg - 5mg in 3months has little effect as the drop should be at the LOW doses. 

if he drop from 5mg to 0mg in 1month in April/May it means he is dropping at a 60%+ 5HTT blockage to 0% in 1month, thats almost cold turkey.

 

Id ask did he felt anything from 20mg - 5mg, I doubt he did - thats only 80%-60% with 60% still buffering ... but it would hit hard at 5mg - 0mg.

probably going through WD now and another 1-2+ months because of this taper, its commonly prescribed but its WRONG.

final taper should be 5mg, 2.5mg, 1.75mg, 1mg, 0.5mg, 0.25mg, 0mg .. id suggest over 3months.

 

See my attached PDF...

 

Chris90

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

 

 

Doc2.pdf 90.09 kB · 2 downloads

 

That makes sense.  I could definitely feel WD symptoms after each reduction, but none were as intense as when I went from 5mg to 0.  My doctor, not the psychologist, actually told me I could go from 10mg to 0.  Needless to say I was too scared.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post

Chris90, just my view but I think you might still be going through physical WD's.

try your approach but if you find that the symptoms are very hard to cope with, a good test is take your last dosage eg. * 5mg of lexapro, and if all the symptoms clear up very quicky, then you know its physical and not so much psychological.

It is difficult to tell which is which, but you can deduce that just be taking 1 dose and see the effect.

 

*  5mg Lexapro might be too much and make things worse.  Please see this post.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added note to post

Lexapro

10mg 11/2018 -  4 weeks

20mg 12/2018 - 4 weeks

20mg - 0mg - 01/2019 - 02/2019  - taper 6 weeks - WD symptoms

10mg - 03/2019 - 6 week reinstate

03-04/2019 taper 10,7.5,5,2.5,0mg as instructed by dr.

0mg - 04-06/2019 - WD symptoms again.

accute symptom cleared follow by protracted symptoms still ongoing

Link to post
53 minutes ago, TriD said:

Chris90, just my view but I think you might still be going through physical WD's.

try your approach but if you find that the symptoms are very hard to cope with, a good test is take your last dosage eg. 5mg of lexapro, and if all the symptoms clear up very quicky, then you know its physical and not so much psychological.

It is difficult to tell which is which, but you can deduce that just be taking 1 dose and see the effect.

I have no doubt I’m still going through physical withdrawals based on the nervous system shocks I had today, although they were mild in comparison to when I first stopped the medication.

 

The PSSD symptoms seemed to largely clear up today, which coincides with lowering my cortisol, rehydrating, and eating enough calories to sustain my blood sugar.  In fact, most things were much better today after I got the anxiety down significantly, but there is absolutely still withdrawal going on here.  I had a much more dramatic case of sexual dysfunction when the anxiety and panic attacks that landed me on Lexapro started.  Nothing worked, not even with porn.  Hours later after having calmed down, eaten quite a bit of food, rehydrated, and taken a nap, everything was in working order again.  There is no doubt a psychological aspect here as well.

 

Since I’ve made this progress so quickly in the last couple days, I’m very hesitant to reinstate.  This could just be a nice window that will be followed by a nasty wave, or it could be a linear path to recovery if I continue doing what I’m doing.

 

I really appreciate your insight and your graph of 5HHT blocking with respect to dosage.  I had a feeling the effects of increasing the dosage depreciated, because when I started at 10mg it was like being taken to another planet, with nasty side effects, but going from 10 to 20 just made me a bit more foggy.  You confirmed my suspicions.

June 2018 - Began 20mg Lexapro, multivitamin(1 daily), fish oil(3 x 1g daily).

February 1st 2019 - Tapered to 15mg Lexapro.

March 1st 2019 - Tapered to 10mg Lexapro.

April 1st 2019 - Tapered to 5mg Lexapro.

May 1st 2019 - Stopped taking Lexapro.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
ChessieCat
On 5/24/2019 at 9:25 AM, Chris90 said:

On May 1st I stopped taking Lexapro.

 

Please add the date to your drug signature.

 

1 hour ago, TriD said:

if you find that the symptoms are very hard to cope with, a good test is take your last dosage eg. 5mg of lexapro

 

When reinstating SA recommends starting with a small dose.  Because it has been over 1 month since Chris last took 5mg Lexpro, which is a strong drug, our suggestion would probably be to try 0.5mg or 1mg.  Please see Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Current from 9 Jan 2021:  Pristiq 0.405 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

Link to post

glad its working for you, my psychiatrist recommended a tapering similar to yours. I think many people can use this tapering. However, its not a linear relationship.

I dont mean to ask you to reinstate, hell I would never recommend that that is just going back to the beginning and all the pain again.

I mean it as just take ONE dose and see if it clears, then stop, just to verify that there is some physical withdrawal to go through if you need to know that.

 

A lot of it is psychological, and no surprise when you get all these crazy feelings and symptoms. for me I always put it to 80/20. 80% is psychological self inflicted, and 20% symptoms - if you havent taken the drugs for a years and years.

if you get over the thinking and anxiety it causes, behind it could only be 20%, which will clear in a few months and only minor discomforts

 

Lexapro

10mg 11/2018 -  4 weeks

20mg 12/2018 - 4 weeks

20mg - 0mg - 01/2019 - 02/2019  - taper 6 weeks - WD symptoms

10mg - 03/2019 - 6 week reinstate

03-04/2019 taper 10,7.5,5,2.5,0mg as instructed by dr.

0mg - 04-06/2019 - WD symptoms again.

accute symptom cleared follow by protracted symptoms still ongoing

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
6 hours ago, TriD said:

I dont mean to ask you to reinstate, hell I would never recommend that that is just going back to the beginning and all the pain again.

I mean it as just take ONE dose and see if it clears, then stop, just to verify that there is some physical withdrawal to go through if you need to know that.

 

This is really not a good idea.  For some people, just one dose is enough for an adverse reaction.  For others, it can take weeks after reinstatement to see significant improvement, so one dose wouldn't "clear" anything.  See ChessieCat's post above - when reinstating we recommend starting with a very small dose, as this reduces the risk of adverse reactions.

 

 

Edited by Songbird

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Chris90: story and Lexapro withdrawal

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy