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Wallace123: Can't think properly

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I have been on all kind of meds for the last few years, on and off of them. I won't remember all of them, one of the longest that I have taken was fluoxetine, around 2 years ago, lately Escitalopram.

(I have quite bad memory, maybe caused by a traumatic event, maybe by meds, I still can't figure it out.)


I have been on Escitalopram 10 mg. At some point I had difficult time at work that required lots of focus, so I have also taken magnesium, some natural brain enhancers such as ginkgo and in the end freely available nootropics.

I'm quite sure I didn't mix them, at the time when I was taking them, or if I took some together, I did research if they didn't influence each other.


I have decided to come off Escitalopram, slowly, by 5mg and eventually was without meds for few months. Things gotten worse, I started taking meds again, slowly with 5 mg for few weeks. I need a new job, so I need to attend job interviews, on which I am confused and can''t remember basic things, so I stopped taking it again.


Now it's few days, over a week and can't even write properly, this message is taking extremely long to type out(not an issue of foreign language, it's the same in my native).

Can this be withdrawal symptom? I feel like it's short term memory or something.

Besides that I feel moments of extreme sadness, which I guess are classic symptoms. However the inabilty to type form proper sentences, speak properly, remember thigs and do mental work is ruining me. Should I meanwhile try to just take natural brain enhancers? 

Anyone got experience with that? I'm so stuck at the moment, don't know what to do, should I go back, should I taper off? I need to move on with my life :(


Hope this is readable, I'm not English native speaking. 



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Welcome to SA, Wallace23.


Yes, you are experiencing withdrawal from going on and off the escitalopram and from stopping the drug cold turkey.  Cognitive (mental) difficulties such as those you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.


What is withdrawal syndrome.


See numbers 4, 19 and 20 in the following link:


Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF)


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.  


I have a question.  If I understand correctly, you stopped taking 5 mg escitalopram approximately one week ago and you are not taking it now.  Is that correct?


Your central nervous system is destabilized due to withdrawal, and nootropics or brain drugs will not help your condition.  Reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  


Reinstatement isn't a guarantee of diminished symptoms for everyone but it's the best tactic available.  If you just stopped a week ago, you're still in the time period where reinstatement predictably works, up to 3 months after last dose.  It is best to reinstate as soon as possible after withdrawal symptoms occur. We usually suggest a much smaller reinstatement dose than your last dose.  These drugs are strong, and when reinstating it is better to start with a small amount and increase if symptoms remain unbearable. Your system has become sensitized and If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you become more unstable.  Then, once you've stabilized on the reinstated  dosage, which can take several months,  you can begin a 10% per month taper down to zero.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Please read:


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic



If you are interested in reinstatement, please let me know and answer my question above about when you stopped taking 5 mg and whether you are taking it now.  Then I can suggest a dose to reinstate.  Do not reinstate before letting me suggest a dosage.  This is very important.


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


This is your Introduction topic, where you can answer my questions, ask your own questions and connect with other members.

We're glad you found your way here.





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Hi and thank you for warm welcome, 

5 hours ago, Gridley said:

I have a question.  If I understand correctly, you stopped taking 5 mg escitalopram approximately one week ago and you are not taking it now.  Is that correct?

So before I was taking Escitalopram 10mg for around a year, I cut it half to 5 mg for a while and then stopped taking them alltogether for few months, I thought I was doing well, but not really, I started forgetting everything, was extremely sad lots of times, I was drinking which probably didn't help much.


It's stupid that I didn't write it down when I stopped and when I started again, because now I don't remember when exactly have I stopped.


I guess it could be around few months that I was tapering off meds, maybe 4. After that I went for few weeks back on 5 mg. Then stopped and started for few weeks again.

Now it is approximately one or two weeks  since I didn't take any.


I have gotten out of the phase which was interrupting my sleep, it's so amazing I can sleep until morning and not be in distress throughout the night.

However the short term memory not working is terrible, today I got a call for interview invitation and while on the phone speaking to the manager I was so out of place, couldn't form and finish sentences.

She didn't even send me e-mail with information she was supposed to, looks like she changed her mind, I''m not surprised.


But I guess there's no other option than just start taking them. I try to read the topics in your post, but can't really focus and remember what is in them.


I'm jobless back at my parents and it's taking too long now , I need to find something and do something,  but I'm not sure what will help with my situation anymore, that previous time that I was on 5 mg for few weeks, I also had some interviews and totally blew them.


I guess resistating is faster way to get back on track? since I have taken all kinds of meds, and as I understand it correctly it can take months-years util my brain rebuilds itself. 


However even reinstating can take some time for them to start properly working? maybe if I find some manual work meanwhile would help.




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I suggest you reinstate 1mg escitalopram--no more.  Do not reinstate 5mg.  Your central nervous system is very sensitized now and too much can over whelm it.  It takes a little over a week for the reinstated dose to reach full state in your blood but you should start slowly feeling better as the days pass.  It will take several weeks or months for you to stabilize.


It is not good to start and stop the drug.  Your brain needs stability.


This link explains how to get a 1mg dose from your 5mg tablet, either by making a liquid or cutting and weighing the tablet.


Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)


If you cut and weigh the tablet you will need a digital scale for consistency and accuracy.  Many members use the AWS Gemini-20 scale, available on Amazon (I hope in Slovakia).

The GEMINI-20 Scale


Here is information on using a scale:


Using a digital scale to measure doses


And for making liquid, please see:


How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules


I know you are not doing well. If you can't manage weighing or making liquid, you can cut the 5mg tablet into 5 pieces as accurately as you can to get the 1mg dose.  But using the scale or making the liquid is preferable.


How to cut up tablets or pills



Edited by Gridley

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I have made the liquid form of the pill, and started with 1mg today.


By the way, I have question and want to see opinion of more people, what would you do?

I am unemployed, looking for job or something to do with my life.

Do you think it wiill be better/faster to reinstate back to some level, settle somewhere and then taper off? I'm in my late 20s and don't have any gf, when i find something, will be probably moving to some new place/city, where I don't know anyone. Right now I have support of mz parents atleast, but staying here is making me feel like I'm wasting time and also being an burden to them


I guess reinstating takes shorter time than tapering off?

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32 minutes ago, Wallace123 said:

Do you think it wiill be better/faster to reinstate back to some level, settle somewhere and then taper off?

That is what you're doing with the 1mg.  If it is enough to make the withdrawal symptoms better, you will need to hold there at 1mg for several weeks or months, depending on how you feel, until you've stabilized.  Once you've stabilized, you'll taper off no faster than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Remember, it takes a little more than a week for the 1mg reinstatement to get to full state in your blood.  It's a good idea to keep daily notes on paper to see how the reinstatement is working.  Please keep us updated on how you're doing.


39 minutes ago, Wallace123 said:

I guess reinstating takes shorter time than tapering off?


Reinstating and tapering are two different things. It's a two-step process. The purpose of reinstating is to bring your withdrawal symptoms down to a tolerable level.  Then, once your withdrawal symptoms are better and you stabilize on the reinstated dose, you taper slowly to get off the drug

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On 2/3/2020 at 6:34 PM, Gridley said:

Remember, it takes a little more than a week for the 1mg reinstatement to get to full state in your blood.  It's a good idea to keep daily notes on paper to see how the reinstatement is working.  Please keep us updated on how you're doing.

First night nightmares, after that it's not bad, I even start to feel a bit better. However throghout the day I keep being in extremely deppressed mood.


I think I will try to raise my doses again, to get in to socially functional state, and will start tapering ..don't know when.

So if I want to start updosing, is it ok to start raising already now? by 1 mg




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22 minutes ago, Wallace123 said:

s it ok to start raising already now? by 1 mg



I would say no, don't increase now.


If you updosed on Monday or Tuesday, it's only been 2-3 days.  Give the present updose more time.   Please remember that in updosing more is not better.  Be patient  and let the current updose do its work.  If your updose too much it can have a negative effect.  


If you are starting to feel better it is an indication that the 1mg updose is working. There is an expression in English, "Don'r rock the boat," which mean if thing are going okay, don't endanger the improvement.  I would stay where you are for a few more days and then report how you're doing.

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