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lexapoison: 3 weeks off Lexapro / escitalopram

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lexapoison
Posted (edited)

Member's benzo topic:  ativan-during-lexapro-wd

 

TLDR at the bottom.

 

4 months ago I was a normal, happy, confident person. I had anxiety but I coped, life was great. Then I decided to quit vaping nicotine (I vaped a lot)  cold turkey and for 5 weeks I had pretty bad anxiety. I went to urgent care one day and I was given lexapro. 

 

I’ve never been one to go to doctors nor have I ever taken medicine before.

 

Long story short I started lexapro at 10mg a few days later, and so it begins. I’m going to try to keep it as “brief” as I possibly can.

 

1st week was horrible I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, increased anxiety, headaches, numb genitals and started getting these scary emotions that send me into a panic. I went to the ER it got so bad and was given 10 Ativan to take as neeeded and was told to keep taking the lexapro until I could get ahold of a primary doctor or psychiatrist and that it was just anxiety.

 

2nd week started to eat and sleep a bit better. But mid week I would start getting suicidal thoughts out of no where it was the strangest thing that sometimes lasted almost the entire day. The source of pretty much all of my anxiety before lexapro was thinking about the fact that I would one day die and it drove me crazy some nights, so having these thoughts were the complete opposite of who I am.

 

3rd week pretty much the same.

 

4th week is when the problems really started. Right as I completed the 4th week, I was at a festival w my girlfriend and I “felt” the medicine for the first time. I felt like any improvement I felt before was probably just placebo. My anxiety felt like it was gone, I felt kind of happy but I felt extremely strange like I was overstimulated, like I drank a big cup of coffee or something. It hit me out of no where and I hated it. It was way too strong. I couldn’t believe this was what I waited 4 weeks for and was lost.

 

5th week that feeling would come and go more and more until it was almost a permanent feeling. I didn’t have anxiety anymore but I was in a haze, felt like I was out of my body, overstimulated and didn’t know who I was and began crying a lot. I also kept getting the strange emotions I mentioned earlier when thinking about regular everyday things. At the end of the 5th week I was at a birthday party my family threw for me and I couldn’t stop crying and told them I wasn’t me anymore. They told me I had to get off the meds and made me promise I’d cut the dosage in half that night.

 

My family said for me to take 5mg for a few days, then 2.5mg for a few days and then quit since I was only on it 5 weeks but I didn’t listen I knew I had to taper a bit slower even though the medicine was destroying me.

 

That night I did in fact cut my dose in half to 5mg though and that week was when all the true hell started. My head began to feel like it was frying, anxiety through the roof and for the first time ever I started experiencing deep, dark depression. Suicidal thoughts came back and I thought there was no way I could come off the medicine and felt trappped and scared. After about a week of that I started “feeling” the medicine again. The overstimulated, somewhat happy feeling, not much anxiety was back and I thought I would just stay at 5 mg since I was too scared to cut the dosage again. But after 2 weeks at 5 mg I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt numb physically and mentally, was talking extremely slow and couldn’t stand the overstimulated feeling. So after exactly 2 weeks I cut the dosage again to 2.5 mg.

 

Again, I felt like my head was frying the next few days, anxiety and deep dark depression was back and would feel out of my body. I couldn’t handle it so I went back to 5mg for 3 days. The “happy” overstimulated feeling came back that I hated and I said I have to get off of this. So after 3 days of 5mg I cut back down to 2.5 mg. I felt really horrible. My anxiety was back at an all time high. I was in a constant daze and I felt there was no way I could cut to 0mg.

 

But after 2 weeks of 2.5mg (with 3 days of 5 mg thrown in there), kind of spur of the moment I said I’m done and quit. My anxiety became surreal and I began having panic attacks and vivid nightmares. My weird dark emotions were back and in full force and it drove me insane.

 

After 6 days of 0mg the weirdest thing happened. I got the overstimulated, “happy” feeling (at 0mg!!) the feeling that drove me to stop lexapro in the first place, it lasted the whole night. That night the physical symptoms started. Dizziness, lightheadedness, brain zaps, body twitches and my brain felt like jello. I had anxiety and bad depression. The physical symptoms really started to dissipate over a week and by the start of week 3 they were pretty much gone but the mental symptoms were in full force (very strong anxiety, depression, depersonalization and getting those weird dark emotions, they are hard to explain).

 

Midway through week 3 I had this “GREAT” idea that I would try to vape nicotine for the first time in months thinking it would help my anxiety. Worst idea ever. I vaped for the entire day and by night time I was a complete mess. I could barely speak, my short term memory was gone, felt 5x worse mentally and worse insomnia. When I woke up the next day all my physical symptoms came back including new ones. Brain zaps were back, burning sensation in my forehead was back, brain feeling like jello was back and now with this new symptom of random burning sensations all over my body all day. So that is where we are at today:

 

I have been off of lexapro for 3 weeks exactly. I sleep no more than 4-5 hours a night. I wake up to my chest burning with anxiety that lasts almost the entire day. Bad depression. If I’m not dealing with anxiety or depression I am dealing with depersonalization and derealization feelings of not being in my body or head and thoughts, emotions and feelings I’ve never had that make me feel like a different person. Brain zaps, burning tight headache sensation in my forehead, burning sensations all throughout my body and body twitches and jolts. 

 

Most of my time spent is spent sitting on the couch on my phone or trying to distract myself by going out with friends or family. Sometimes I don’t know how I leave the house but I force myself to. I find no enjoyment in anything. For 4 months I’ve done literally nothing but think about how extremely bad I feel and trying to tell myself it will get better but I am losing faith and strength. Every night I go to sleep all I can think about is checking myself into a mental ward the next day but I feel like they are just going to pump me with meds and am terrified of that but I truly don’t see any other alternative. My life is a hell to say the least and I don’t know how much longer I can take. I’m about to lose my girlfriend over this, my family and friends are eventually going to get burnt out on me, I’m supposed to be starting a new job but don’t see how I can spend 9 hours a day at a job in this state so I am reaching out for help from you guys. What should I do? I cannot continue like this. Should I start a new AD? I just want to be happy and normal soon and not lose everything and everyone in my life. Everyday is a nightmare. Since I was only on 10mg for 5 weeks and then tapered down for 4 weeks do you think I have a high chance of all of this going away soon? Thank you guys I don’t have any strength or faith left.

 

 

TLDR

 

Quit vaping and had bad anxiety for 5 weeks. Was put on lexapro and took 10mg for 5 weeks. Had a horrible reaction so tapered down to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 2.5 mg for 2 weeks and then quit. Since then life has been a hell. I’ve been lexapro free for 3 weeks now and I’m suffering from strong anxiety, deep depression, derealization and depersonalization, insomnia burning sensations all over my body, brain zaps and no enjoyment in anything. I’m losing all the people around me including my girlfriend. For 4 months all I’ve done is think about how horrible I feel and when will I ever get better. Literally that’s all I’ve thought about for 4 months. I’m one step away from admitting myself to a mental ward. Should I start a new AD? Do you think since I was only on lexapro for 5 weeks at 10mg and then tapered over 4 weeks there’s a chance I should be fine soon? Thank you guys I don’t have any strength of faith left.

 

 

Best,

Alex

Edited by ChessieCat

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lexapoison
Posted (edited)

4 months ago I was a normal, happy, confident person. I had anxiety but I coped, life was great. Then I decided to quit vaping nicotine (I vaped a lot)  cold turkey and for 5 weeks I had pretty bad anxiety. I went to urgent care one day and I was given lexapro. 

 

I’ve never been one to go to doctors nor have I ever taken medicine before.

 

Long story short I started lexapro at 10mg a few days later, and so it begins. I’m going to try to keep it as “brief” as I possibly can.

 

1st week was horrible I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, increased anxiety, headaches, numb genitals and started getting these scary emotions that send me into a panic. I went to the ER it got so bad and was given 10 Ativan to take as neeeded and was told to keep taking the lexapro until I could get ahold of a primary doctor or psychiatrist and that it was just anxiety.

 

2nd week started to eat and sleep a bit better. But mid week I would start getting suicidal thoughts out of no where it was the strangest thing that sometimes lasted almost the entire day. The source of pretty much all of my anxiety before lexapro was thinking about the fact that I would one day die and it drove me crazy some nights, so having these thoughts were the complete opposite of who I am.

 

3rd week pretty much the same.

 

4th week is when the problems really started. Right as I completed the 4th week, I was at a festival w my girlfriend and I “felt” the medicine for the first time. I felt like any improvement I felt before was probably just placebo. My anxiety felt like it was gone, I felt kind of happy but I felt extremely strange like I was overstimulated, like I drank a big cup of coffee or something. It hit me out of no where and I hated it. It was way too strong. I couldn’t believe this was what I waited 4 weeks for and was lost.

 

5th week that feeling would come and go more and more until it was almost a permanent feeling. I didn’t have anxiety anymore but I was in a haze, felt like I was out of my body, overstimulated and didn’t know who I was and began crying a lot. I also kept getting the strange emotions I mentioned earlier when thinking about regular everyday things. At the end of the 5th week I was at a birthday party my family threw for me and I couldn’t stop crying and told them I wasn’t me anymore. They told me I had to get off the meds and made me promise I’d cut the dosage in half that night.

 

My family said for me to take 5mg for a few days, then 2.5mg for a few days and then quit since I was only on it 5 weeks but I didn’t listen I knew I had to taper a bit slower even though the medicine was destroying me.

 

That night I did in fact cut my dose in half to 5mg though and that week was when all the true hell started. My head began to feel like it was frying, anxiety through the roof and for the first time ever I started experiencing deep, dark depression. Suicidal thoughts came back and I thought there was no way I could come off the medicine and felt trappped and scared. After about a week of that I started “feeling” the medicine again. The overstimulated, somewhat happy feeling, not much anxiety was back and I thought I would just stay at 5 mg since I was too scared to cut the dosage again. But after 2 weeks at 5 mg I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt numb physically and mentally, was talking extremely slow and couldn’t stand the overstimulated feeling. So after exactly 2 weeks I cut the dosage again to 2.5 mg.

 

Again, I felt like my head was frying the next few days, anxiety and deep dark depression was back and would feel out of my body. I couldn’t handle it so I went back to 5mg for 3 days. The “happy” overstimulated feeling came back that I hated and I said I have to get off of this. So after 3 days of 5mg I cut back down to 2.5 mg. I felt really horrible. My anxiety was back at an all time high. I was in a constant daze and I felt there was no way I could cut to 0mg.

 

But after 2 weeks of 2.5mg (with 3 days of 5 mg thrown in there), kind of spur of the moment I said I’m done and quit. My anxiety became surreal and I began having panic attacks and vivid nightmares. My weird dark emotions were back and in full force and it drove me insane. 

 

After 6 days of 0mg the weirdest thing happened. I got the overstimulated, “happy” feeling (at 0mg!!) the feeling that drove me to stop lexapro in the first place, it lasted the whole night. That night the physical symptoms started. Dizziness, lightheadedness, brain zaps, body twitches and my brain felt like jello. I had anxiety and bad depression. The physical symptoms really started to dissipate over a week and by the start of week 3 they were pretty much gone but the mental symptoms were in full force (very strong anxiety, depression, depersonalization and getting those weird dark emotions, they are hard to explain).

 

Midway through week 3 I had this “GREAT” idea that I would try to vape nicotine for the first time in months thinking it would help my anxiety. Worst idea ever. I vaped for the entire day and by night time I was a complete mess. I could barely speak, my short term memory was gone, felt 5x worse mentally and worse insomnia. When I woke up the next day all my physical symptoms came back including new ones. Brain zaps were back, burning sensation in my forehead was back, brain feeling like jello was back and now with this new symptom of random burning sensations all over my body all day. So that is where we are at today:

 

I have been off of lexapro for 3 weeks exactly. I sleep no more than 4-5 hours a night. I wake up to my chest burning with anxiety that lasts almost the entire day. Bad depression. If I’m not dealing with anxiety or depression I am dealing with depersonalization and derealization feelings of not being in my body or head and thoughts, emotions and feelings I’ve never had that make me feel like a different person. Brain zaps, burning tight headache sensation in my forehead, burning sensations all throughout my body and body twitches and jolts. 

 

Most of my time spent is spent sitting on the couch on my phone or trying to distract myself by going out with friends or family. Sometimes I don’t know how I leave the house but I force myself to. I find no enjoyment in anything. For 4 months I’ve done literally nothing but think about how extremely bad I feel and trying to tell myself it will get better but I am losing faith and strength. Every night I go to sleep all I can think about is checking myself into a mental ward the next day but I feel like they are just going to pump me with meds and am terrified of that but I truly don’t see any other alternative. My life is a hell to say the least and I don’t know how much longer I can take. I’m about to lose my girlfriend over this, my family and friends are eventually going to get burnt out on me, I’m supposed to be starting a new job but don’t see how I can spend 9 hours a day at a job in this state so I am reaching out for help from you guys. What should I do? I cannot continue like this. Should I start a new AD? I just want to be happy and normal soon and not lose everything and everyone in my life. Everyday is a nightmare. Since I was only on 10mg for 5 weeks and then tapered down for 4 weeks do you think I have a high chance of all of this going away soon? Thank you guys I don’t have any strength or faith left.

 

Best,

Alex

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Altostrata

Welcome, Lexapoison.

 

You have classic SSRI withdrawal syndrome. If symptoms have been getting worse over the last 3 weeks, if I were you, I'd reinstate 0.5mg right away. Yes, 0.5mg. It seems you are very sensitive to Lexapro -- 10mg was too strong for you -- we don't want to trigger any weirdness with a higher dose. You may wish to take Lexapro's kinder, gentler sibling, Celexa, instead.

 

They both come in prescription liquid form. If you can't get the liquid, you can make one yourself, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

4 hours ago, lexapoison said:

After 6 days of 0mg the weirdest thing happened. I got the overstimulated, “happy” feeling (at 0mg!!) the feeling that drove me to stop lexapro in the first place, it lasted the whole night. That night the physical symptoms started. Dizziness, lightheadedness, brain zaps, body twitches and my brain felt like jello. I had anxiety and bad depression. The physical symptoms really started to dissipate over a week and by the start of week 3 they were pretty much gone but the mental symptoms were in full force (very strong anxiety, depression, depersonalization and getting those weird dark emotions, they are hard to explain).

 

That is hypomania, a known withdrawal symptom. It's usually followed by the bad-feeling withdrawal symptoms later -- which is what you're feeling now.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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lexapoison

Thank you very much for your reply. Is reinstating really the best course of action since I had a bad reaction with Lexapro or do you think this could go away soon? Also, is there an estimate on how long after reinstating do you think I’ll feel better as I literally can’t take another minute? I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Monday, do you mean I should take on a full dose of Celexa or a micro dose? Thank you SO much.

 

 Best,

Alex

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Altostrata

You need to decide if you want to wait this out. If these symptoms have gotten worse over the last 3 weeks, they're probably not going away anytime soon. Your nervous system is destabilized and may be hyper-reactive to normal doses of anything, even supplements and foods.

 

If you want to try Celexa, I'd try 0.5mg. That's a half-milligram. The psychiatrist probably will scoff, I'd request a prescription for the liquid for titrating a reinstatement, you can take the dose you want.

 

We see many people do well with these micro-doses. The drugs are very strong and sensitized nervous systems don't need very much. You'd taper off by tiny amounts later.

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lexapoison

Thank you again so much again. Isn’t celexa half the strength of lexapro shouldn’t I take 1 mg or should I just do the .5 mg? I agree my nervous system is way too sensitive right now. I tried vaping nicotine like I used to and it REALLY messed me up for days now burning sensations all over my body and many other things, so I know for a fact it’s very sensitive right now. Do you think I’ll have the same success or better doing celexa instead of lexapro since I had a pretty bad reaction with lexapro or is it usually better to use the same AD? I’d rather stay away from lexapro but I’m just curious. Thank you again sooo much you’re my light at the end of the tunnel right now.

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lexapoison

Help please...

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ChessieCat
21 hours ago, lexapoison said:

Isn’t celexa half the strength of lexapro shouldn’t I take 1 mg or should I just do the .5 mg?

 

Alto, this site's founder, has already made her suggestion.  If she had meant 1mg Celexa she would have said 1mg.

 

21 hours ago, Altostrata said:

If you want to try Celexa, I'd try 0.5mg. That's a half-milligram.

 

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ChessieCat

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

It is better to start with a small dose and increase if needed than to risk taking too much.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full level (aka steady state) in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  You will need to be patient and try not to panic.  When we panic we can make bad decisions.  Some members here have panicked and taken too much and ended up making things worse.

 

Please keep daily symptoms notes about what improves/worses so you can see what effect reinstatement is having.

 

On 10/9/2012 at 10:17 AM, Altostrata said:

Avoid kindling, start low to see what you need. You can always increase if necessary. If you've been off the drug for a month or more, many people can find some relief from antidepressant withdrawal symptoms by reinstating as little as 0.5mg-5mg. Do not start at a high dose, your nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal and you may make it worse, which is called kindling -- see a fuller explanation below. (click on the link, arrow top right of quote box, to see the additional information)

 

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AlexRussia

Hi. Had similar situation. Escitalopram( Lexapro) one month 5mg.  Even got blood check - normal serotonin before Lexapro, low serotonin after.  When I ct I was much worse that u becose I ct from benzos at the same time...  When u started Lexapro you brain started to lower serotonin level by upregulation of serotonin autoreceptors (common defence mechanism of our brain from excessive serotonine). That's why u felt worse at the beginning.  Problem is that serotonin autoreceptors stayed upregulated for a long period of time after stopping antidepressants. Mental ward wont help u , they probably give u benzos and make u addict. In my opinion only time can heal u. Avoid any stress , avoid sugar, avoid bread, don't exercise to much. Google mindfulness meditation, breathing execises for anxiety. it really works.  Don't think about withdrawal, study medical literature instead if u want but dont trust every article, half of them are paid by lobbists.  Check u gut health, and if u have bad bacterias or low amount of good ones, use probiotics it will boost your serotonin level by increasing absorbed tryptophan.  Good luck

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lexapoison

Thank you guys. Will taking a Ativan every couple to few days when things get bad or to get some sleep going to slow my recovery? I literally can’t do anything without crying and going crazy I literally can’t take this. I sit on the couch all day if I go outside it’ll make me cry.

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Altostrata

When your system is sensitized, benzos can cause very strange reactions, sometimes doing the opposite of what you'd expect them to do. Benzos are a 2-edged sword and we don't recommend getting dependent on them if you can avoid it.

 

For that reason, we suggest reinstatement of a very dose of the original drug rather than adding to your problems with a benzo.

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AlexRussia

if i were u i would not take ativan or any benzos , its very addictive .  4-5 hours of sleep is ok,  nothing to worry about. When i ct i was like u, crying all day, it felt like you ruined your life.  That is not true, look at success stories page ,many people healed after much longer ssri uses.  It will take time to feel better.  Main question is should u reinstate  or not?   Its your decision.

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lexapoison

I’d rather not reinstate but I’m not sure I have a choice. I cannot continue like this. My good times are getting better it feels just very short lived, but the bad times are probably just as worse as ever. I think the vaping really messed me up as that is when things really went south and new symptoms arose. If reinstatement doesn’t work am I back to square one and pretty much wasted 3.5 weeks of withdrawing? Thank you again you guys are literally Angels and deserve to be extremely blessed for helping us out.

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lexapoison

Alexrussia how long until you felt your symptoms became bearable after quitting lexapro and not taking anything else?

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AlexRussia
18 minutes ago, lexapoison said:

Alexrussia how long until you felt your symptoms became bearable after quitting lexapro and not taking anything else?

hard to say, few months maybe but i was on other drugs so cant give u proper answer.  U see, i was on many drugs and its very hard to say what wd was from. I am still in witthdrawal, its bearable, mainly insomnia, burning skin and anxiety, but no depression.  

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lexapoison

No it was unbearable before, just vaping brought in new symptoms. What do you mean by kindling from vaping?

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AlexRussia
19 minutes ago, lexapoison said:

No it was unbearable before, just vaping brought in new symptoms. What do you mean by kindling from vaping?

Its well known that People who heavely drinking in past have high chance of asverse reaction on alchogol or more brutal withdrawal if they start drinking again.  So called kindling effect. Then scientists found that benzos, barbiturates have that effect too becouse alchogol, benzos, barbiturates affect same brain receptors (gaba receptots) . Now there is high pissibility that not only gaba receptors could become victim of kindling effect but other brain receptors too like seroton , glutamate receptors. I  have small knowledge on smoking withdrawal but i think u got kindled on smoking becouse smoking of course affect brain receptors. So u better do not try to smoke ever again, even years later

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AlexRussia

Cant remember name ,but there was one person on forum who took escitaliom 10mg for month and ct. Withdrawal lasted one year and it was bearable in my opinion.  If u reinstate lecapro be sure that u start with very small dose to avoid chance of kindling effect. 

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lexapoison

I think the vaping that day did something with my cns and caused more symptoms. One year?!? For one month?!? That’s insane! But it was bearable you said? If my symptoms were bearable I definitely wouldn’t mind as much.

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AlexRussia

One year doesnt mean that one year was completely in hell, its gradual process of healing.  And we all are different , somebody healing faster then others.lucky ones dont have wd at all.  Dont think about it, thinking about your health  aggravates symptoms and have no good for u. About your symptoms, in my opinion if u can type, can eat, sleep, they are bearable.. First thing u have to do now is to accept your condition.   Try mindfulness meditation, deep breathing right now

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lexapoison

Psychiatrist gave me Zoloft and told me to take 25mg. All I do is cry and yell. Terrified to take it.

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ChessieCat

It is generally not a good idea to take a different drug from the one your brain has adapted to.  Alto suggested Celexa instead of Lexapro because they are similar.  Citalopram and Escitalopram respectively.

 

If you take a different drug you can still get withdrawal from the original drug, get start up/side effects/adverse reaction to the new drug.  Because of there being (at least) two different things in the mix you will not know what is causing any issues.
 

It is important to understand that when it comes to dealing with the medical profession that it is you who is going to be affected by what you take/don't take.  It is not going to affect them and it is you who is going to have to live with what happens.  You are the customer. 

 

You don't need a doctor or other medical professional to be supportive of what you are doing, even though that would be nice.  Not many medical professionals understand tapering and withdrawal from psychiatric drugs which is why this site exists.  All you need is a doctor who will prescribe what you need.  Any doctor can prescribe.

 

If you need to get something specific from a doctor for your tapering then before you see your doctor, you might find it helpful to write a script and rehearse what you are going to say so that you can get what you need to taper.  Be calm, gentle but assertive.  You are the customer, it is your body.  Use words like I'd like to try this, or I'd prefer to do it this way.  If a suggestion is made that you don't want to follow, say I'd like to think about it before making a decision.

 

If it was me, I'd be going back to the doctor and telling them that you would prefer to try citalopram because it is similar to the drug you have recently stopped taking.  You don't need to tell them that you are going to take a small dose.  You can make your own liquid:  Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

I suggest you also check out this topic:

 

how-to-talk-to-a-doctor-about-tapering-and-withdrawal-what-to-expect

 

We can't make the decision for you.  All we can do is offer suggestions.

 

If you do decide to take Zoloft, we would suggest starting with a very small dose to test to see how you respond to it.  You can make your own liquid to get a small dose:  Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

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lexapoison

I wanted to give an update. I did not reinstate, have been way too scared too. Also have not started a new ssri and I don’t think I ever will.

 

I feel like I am having somewhat some improvements but other areas are still EXTREMELY difficult. A lot of my physical symptoms are diminishing. The random crying has toned down a bit. Anxiety and depression are feeling a bit better and lack of interest in things are SLIGHTLY improving I believe. But the really tough spots are my dp/dr (especially the dp) and my sleep. At night I literally close my eyes and begin to dream immediately and fall asleep. I then wake up from what feels like an extremely long sleep to find out I’ve only slept 3 hrs and am unable to go back to sleep because of anxiety. Happens every night, feels like I’ve slept so long but I open my eyes and the sun isn’t out yet and I’ve only slept for 3 hrs and can’t get back to sleep.

 

But the absolute most difficult symptom I’m having is what I believe to be depersonalization. I get these feelings and emotions that I’ve never experienced before. They are, I believe, 2 reoccurring emotions/feelings that I get literally all throughout the day and they drive me insane. They are very hard to describe one is like a “dark” emotion/feeling and the other is like a “dry” emotion/feeling. 

 

Can anyone relate to this and did it get better because I literally can’t handle it it’s hell. 

 

Thank you you in advance.

 

Best,

Alex

 

 

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lexapoison

Also nothing makes me happy.. whenever I start to feel happiness something just shuts it down. It’s literally impossible to feel joy or happiness.

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ChessieCat

It's going to take time.  Much longer than you would like it to.  And there will be times when it is very frustrating.

 

Acceptance

 

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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ChessieCat

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

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

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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lexapoison

I was only on 10mg for 5 weeks and then tapered for 4 weeks. It shouldn’t be so long, right? Every minute is so hard.

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jozeff

Hi Lexapoison,

 

I know how you feel and it seems ridiculous but lexapro and citalopram is nasty stuff.  5 weeks is not a long time but perhaps long enough to initiate some changes in your brain that need to be undone in a couple of months. You expected it to be over in a month and you were absolutely right in expecting that but....unfortunately this is not how this stuff works for some of us. You are lucky you didnt go cold turkey. Once I started zoloft for 1 month but decided to take something else. Doctors wanted me to finish the box of zoloft first and then start venlafaxine otherwise I would have to throw away some unused zoloft! This is, very sadly, the way some medical professionals think. 

 

I bet that almost every doctor would have advised you to just quit taking the lexapro after only taking it for 5 weeks.

 

I hope you will see improvement soon.

 

Keep faith and try not to focus to much on your symptoms and just go in a flow with them. That helped me the most. Accept that you feel like crap sometimes and enjoy the moments you feel good and alive.

 

 

Good luck and cheers!!

 

Jozeff

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lexapoison

I am pretty sure I am going to be admitted to the hospital either today or tomorrow. Any advice? The withdrawal symptoms are too much and I can’t continue like this. I need help as my will to live is gone. Everything is amazing in my life yet I am terrible.

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lexapoison

Has anybody had luck starting a new ad and got stable w such strong withdrawals as I’m having? I’m pretty sure my sister is going to admit me pretty soon.

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lexapoison

Anybody please help? I’m sure they are not going to reinstate me at .5mg of celexa. Is it best to reinstate at the lowest dose possible they will give me of celexa/lex even though I had such a bad experience on lexapro or get on lowest dose possible of a diff ad and hope it works better.

 

Currently off lexapro for 4 weeks and 2 days. Was on lexapro for 5 weeks 10mg, tapered to 5mg for 2 weeks and then 2.5mg for 2 weeks and now 0mg for 4 weeks and 2 days now.

 

Current symptoms are anxiety, depression, derealization, depersonalization, no joy in any activities. These symptoms started while on lexapro and have gotten worse since tapering and being off of lexapro.

 

thank you guys so much.

 

best,

alex

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Petunia
On 8/11/2019 at 7:10 AM, lexapoison said:

I feel like I am having somewhat some improvements but other areas are still EXTREMELY difficult. A lot of my physical symptoms are diminishing. The random crying has toned down a bit. Anxiety and depression are feeling a bit better and lack of interest in things are SLIGHTLY improving I believe. But the really tough spots are my dp/dr (especially the dp) and my sleep. At night I literally close my eyes and begin to dream immediately and fall asleep. I then wake up from what feels like an extremely long sleep to find out I’ve only slept 3 hrs and am unable to go back to sleep because of anxiety.

 

It sounds like you are beginning to recover, this usually happens in a windows and waves kind of pattern. Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Please don't worry about only sleeping for 3 hours, this is quite normal for early withdrawal, you will be fine, over time as you recover more, you will begin sleeping better and for longer. The most important thing is to rest and to avoid secondary anxiety, which is anxiety about your symptoms. I know how difficult it can be, and frightening to suddenly feel so awful, and to have no control over symptoms. But thousands of people have been where you are, experiencing symptoms from withdrawal and adverse effects and have gone on to recover over time.

 

I personally had DP/DR, and know how unpleasant it can. I used to describe it like walking around in a nightmare and bad drug trip combined. Mine went away over time, in the classic windows and waves type of pattern and I don't have any dp/dr at all now. I can't say how long it will take for you, but I can say that it will get better and staying calm, having patience and practicing acceptance will help it reduce faster. Time, acceptance and reducing stress are what I've found most helpful in supporting recovery. Learning how to calm down, in spite of feeling awful, is most important.

 

I'm sorry you are considering going to hospital, I'm wondering how old you are? If you are an adult, then it would be your decision, and if you are truly suicidal, and a danger to yourself, then hospital is the best place, for your own safety. You need to survive first, if you are going to recover. Unfortunately, once you are admitted, you may lose a lot of control over your choices and as you wrote, it's unlikely you would be given a micro-dose of a medication, which is what has been recommended here if you wanted to reinstate.

 

But as I said, your safety and survival is the priority, so you need to decide whether or not you are able to manage your symptoms as you recover.

 

I suggest you read back through all the posts and links here in your thread, and think carefully before making your decision about hospital. I'm almost certain you will be put on a full dose of a medication, which may or may not reduce your symptoms, it may make you worse, but it could possibly help, there's no guarantee how a new drug and a high dose will effect you. But at least you will be in a safe environment.

 

But if you remain drug free, over time you will recover. You have to decide if you are capable of managing your symptoms while you recover.

 

If you decide to go the hospital route and reinstate a full dose, we will be here to help you taper in future, once your symptoms have stabilized and you feel ready to try again.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide.

 

 

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lexapoison

I am 32 years old. Today I had the decision to either go to the hospital or start my new job. I opted to start my new job. From about 10am to 1pm things were slightly “alright” after that my day went really south. Lots of

anxiety, depressive thoughts and dr/dp (the dp being the absolute worst). Got out and cried the whole night don’t know how I’m going to make it tomorrow. Highly considering finally admitting myself to the hospital tomorrow or very soon but am extremely terrified of doing so as all the hospitals around here have terrible reviews. I just want to feel better if that means being on a small dose of another ad or getting back on a small dose of lexapro/celexa I need some relief and would rather do it under the care of a doctor/hospital. If I knew in a month or two I’d at least have a bit of a recovery I’d feel much better but thinking I have to go through years of this, there’s no way. Every waking minute is a hell and I need some relief or else I don’t know what I’ll do. People speak of windows and waves I’m not sure I’ve ever had a window. All I get is like a split second of hope every now and then followed by all the bad immediately again. Is that a window if it’s only about a   couple seconds long?

 

Has anyone ever had success starting a low dose of a new ad to get rid of withdrawal symptoms from another ad? Is this even a thing? I feel trapped because I can NOT continue like this but am terrified of making things worse. I would love to possibly stabilize on a low dose of a different ad since lexapro had adverse effects on me and then taper slowly from there when I’m ready. The only reason I haven’t tried microdosing lexapro is because I’m scared to anything alone and would rather do it under the supervision of a hospital or doctor.

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lexapoison

I’ll do anything guys. Is it too late to reinstate a micro dose of lexapro? Is that still my best option or should I just get put on a low dose of something else and try to stabilize. I know that a micro dose of lexapro was said to be my best option but that was like a week ago and I’ve also read on here that it could make my lack of interest in things even worse. You guys are my only hope.

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