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NoMoreLexapro: short time on Lexapro - still hell being off


NoMoreLexapro

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1 hour ago, NoMoreLexapro said:

I finally have a therapist I like (3rd one this year).

That's great, NoMore Lexapro.  Very good to hear this.

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.

 

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

Nov.27, 2020 Begin 6-week Ativan-Valium crossover.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% 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.

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Altostrata

Often, you need to take 6 fish oil capsules per day to take 3,000-4,000mg EPA + DHA, which is what we recommend.

 

You might be able to take magnesium 3 times a day.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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NoMoreLexapro
3 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Often, you need to take 6 fish oil capsules per day to take 3,000-4,000mg EPA + DHA, which is what we recommend.

 

You might be able to take magnesium 3 times a day.

 

Are there any side effects or dangers from taking too much omega 3?

Was on Lexapro for 66 days starting in early January.  5mg for a week, 10mg for 3, 7.5 for 3 days, then 5mg and 2.5mg for approx two weeks after.  

Was on Lithium for 60 days starting in late January. 1 300mg ER pill a day.  Stopped CT

Was given a .5 ativan script in early Jan.  Took it maybe 20x total from early Jan to beg of June, 2020.

 

-Fall of 2019:  had two vertigo attacks for the first time with no warning, each followed by 4-5 days of morning dizziness.

-Last Friday of 2019:  had first ever, out of the blue, panic attack.  Went to ER- didn't know what was happening.  Was diagnosed w/GAD, even though had never had anxiety or depression problems before.  Basically no health problems at all prior to this, and in very good shape emotionally, physically, and mentally.

-4 days after panic attack given lexapro.  That's when the hell began.  Was on it 66 days.  Reacted badly to it.  Gave me suicidal ideation 4 wks after starting it, plus exhaustion, off the charts anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue.  Did a fast taper over 5 wks.  Was on it 66 days total.

-been off lexapro completely since mid-March, 2020.  First 3 weeks I got better and better.  Then, week 4 into WD got slammed.  Since then, over 64 side effects/symptoms.  Can't drive.  At times, barely surviving.

-since Jan., have been to the e r 16x.

-was given lithium after experienced SI from lexapro to as a "mood stabilizer".  Never really noticed anything from it, nor anything after stopping it, except for a few days of heightened depression about a week after.

-was given low dosage ativan script 2nd week into lexapro to deal with the anxiety/panic spike caused by the lexapro.  Took it perhaps 20x between Jan and June, 2020.  Always made me feel better, but last time it was taken (early June) experienced intrusive thoughts after so stopped it.  Didn't feel any negative reaction from stopping it, perhaps b/c it was taken so infrequently and the dosage was so low. 

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Please read the links!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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NoMoreLexapro
17 hours ago, Gridley said:

That's great, NoMore Lexapro.  Very good to hear this.

She's very understanding, has been through a chronic illness herself, and really distrusts the mainstream medical establishment (as do I, after the hell I've been through).  Having her, plus my bible study group, plus Baylissa and a few ppl I've met through her community who are in WD is helping me.  Before that I was completely alone in going through this and it almost broke me.  I still have really hard moments, and the isolation of not having friends or family to help me through this, especially in my town, is very hard, but I appreciate every small bit of support i can get.

Was on Lexapro for 66 days starting in early January.  5mg for a week, 10mg for 3, 7.5 for 3 days, then 5mg and 2.5mg for approx two weeks after.  

Was on Lithium for 60 days starting in late January. 1 300mg ER pill a day.  Stopped CT

Was given a .5 ativan script in early Jan.  Took it maybe 20x total from early Jan to beg of June, 2020.

 

-Fall of 2019:  had two vertigo attacks for the first time with no warning, each followed by 4-5 days of morning dizziness.

-Last Friday of 2019:  had first ever, out of the blue, panic attack.  Went to ER- didn't know what was happening.  Was diagnosed w/GAD, even though had never had anxiety or depression problems before.  Basically no health problems at all prior to this, and in very good shape emotionally, physically, and mentally.

-4 days after panic attack given lexapro.  That's when the hell began.  Was on it 66 days.  Reacted badly to it.  Gave me suicidal ideation 4 wks after starting it, plus exhaustion, off the charts anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue.  Did a fast taper over 5 wks.  Was on it 66 days total.

-been off lexapro completely since mid-March, 2020.  First 3 weeks I got better and better.  Then, week 4 into WD got slammed.  Since then, over 64 side effects/symptoms.  Can't drive.  At times, barely surviving.

-since Jan., have been to the e r 16x.

-was given lithium after experienced SI from lexapro to as a "mood stabilizer".  Never really noticed anything from it, nor anything after stopping it, except for a few days of heightened depression about a week after.

-was given low dosage ativan script 2nd week into lexapro to deal with the anxiety/panic spike caused by the lexapro.  Took it perhaps 20x between Jan and June, 2020.  Always made me feel better, but last time it was taken (early June) experienced intrusive thoughts after so stopped it.  Didn't feel any negative reaction from stopping it, perhaps b/c it was taken so infrequently and the dosage was so low. 

 

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  • Moderator
ChessieCat

  FLU SHOT follow up:

 

3 hours ago, NoMoreLexapro said:

 

Yesterday was better than Friday (the day I got my shot) and today is back to normal (well, WD normal) so I think all the bad stuff Friday was just a 24 hr, initial thing.

 

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

 

ADs:  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  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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

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  • 1 month later...
NoMoreLexapro

Hi All.  An update---

 

On Friday I will have been off lexapro 8 mths, off lithium over 7 mths, and haven't had one ativan since June 1 (took maybe 20 .5 mg ativan pills between Jan and June 1...never regularly).  Sometimes I wonder if I'm actually in the middle of 3 WDs.  I never felt anything on the lithium and the ativans always made me feel better but I don't need a benzo habit and so I use natural techniques for anxiety now (breathing, EFT, affirmations, etc.).  I can usually knock out the anxiety faster w/these techniques than the time it takes for the ativan to kick in anyway.

 

Now, almost 8 mths into WD I would say my WD baseline is about a 5/10.  Back in the summer and late spring, after I first went off the drug totally, I'd say it was a 3-4.  I haven't had to cancel any work appts (zoom) due to illness from WD in about 9 wks and I haven't had to go back to the ER due to sxs in about 10 wks. 

 

When I first heard about windows and waves I thought it described periods where a person felt normal and then felt bad.  With me, the windows/waves thing is a lot more symptom dependent.  For ex., one hour the nausea is better but the DR is worse.  I never really have any moment when I feel "normal"...its just that certain sxs are weaker while others are stronger.

 

That said, of the 70 sxs I've had there's no question some have gotten better (for now, at the present moment, anyway).   The dizziness isn't as bad in general, and neither is the anxiety.  When the DR isn't bad my mind is more stable and can comprehend more than in the acute period.  Some sxs recede for a few weeks only to return with a bad, debilitating attack randomly, which then takes several days-2-3 weeks to subside.  I can never predict anything.  There is nothing linear about this.  I can detect very little cause-and -effect.

 

The main sx problems currently are:

1.  Insomnia:  I still wake up 3-6x each night.  Waking up just 3x and getting back to sleep quickly after I wake up (I get up and use the bathroom when I wake up- if I don't do that I lay in bed awake for a longer pd of time) is a good night.  If I turn in around 930pm and get up in the 6am hr I can still get 5-6 hrs of sleep even w/3 wakeups in the middle.  For now, I'm fine w/that.  Strangely, amount of sleep often has no impact on how the nxt day goes.  I've had horrible nights when I barely slept at all and then had one of my better days after and vice versa.

2.  Exhaustion/fatigue:  this has generally improved since I first started this thread and I have had a couple days where I was actually able to take 3-4 brief (5 MIN) walks, but there are often days when one 5- min walk will result in me panting and out of breath.  Exhaustion/fatigue was also present even when I was on the lexapro.  This is a very slow climb.  My physical limits are still low.  Many times I'm also sniffly and just feel run down at the same time- like I'm catching a cold.  I've gotten tested for covid at least 20x this year b/c of these symptoms.

3.  DR/DP/Anhedonia:  again, this comes in waves.  A typical day includes 2 waves, each lasting 30 min-a few hrs.  When this happens often my head feels tight and I can barely read or cognate.  I've found that there are a few things that help bring me out of DR:  taking a walk, lying on my back with my legs up in the air against a wall, being outside, practicing mindfulness, playing my violin for a bit, or standing in grass/anything sensory. 

4.  Intrusive thoughts:  these vary widely depending on day and time  Some days they are barely there.  Other times they are stronger.  Keeping my mind busy and occupied is the thing that helps the most, as is messaging others or just doing mindfulness/breathing exercises. 

 

Every night I rate individual symptoms and my overall condition on a scale of 1-10.  I've never had a day that was an 8, 9, or 10.  The past few wks I've had about 1 day a week that was a 7.  I haven't had anything below a 4 for about a month, which is the first month I've been able to say that. 

 

Many physical symptoms have seemed to have let up for the time being:  body pain has been better since the early acute days, nausea is generally better (though can vary a lot), the dizziness has improved, and sometimes my vision issues aren't as bad.  Again- this could all change tomorrow, but these have been the trends in the last 4-6 wks.

 

Sitting outside on my patio in the sun is a real Godsend and helps my mood.  Other things that help:

1.  Meditation- I have to do this for at least 15 min each morning.  The whole concept of neuroplasticity is one I've dived into a lot.  If there's one thing that WD has taught me it is that there is an immense mind-body connection.  I cant control what sxs will arise, but how my mind reacts to these can make a huge impact.  That leads me to:

2.  Observing/Accepting/Letting Go/Breathing:  Baylissa- "this too shall pass".  The whole idea that I encountered this before and I survived before, so I can survive again.  Distracting my brain onto something funny, positive, or work-related.  Moving my body.  These things help.

3.  Prayer:  more than anything my faith in God and my prayer life has been my lifeline.

4.  Finding a support network:  I didn't have one when this all started and live alone.  I have a therapist I like a lot now (took me 3 tries- just keep at it- it's worth it).  I have a bible study that meets weekly that is great.  A few friends in WD are good supports too.  I wish I had more but I've got more than before and I'm so grateful for that.  WD is absolutely something that cannot be endured alone. WD has really humbled me and taught me about limits and the need of the support of others.

5.  Eating safe foods:  I never had food insensitivities b4 WD.  I have to be very careful, and even if I eat "safe" (e.g. healthy) food I may still get waves of nausea.  But the days of taco bell pig outs, whole pizzas, and spicy spicy spicy are gone.  Needs to be green and bland.  I was losing weight at an alarming rate but finally, a few weeks ago, it went back up and has now stabilized at an acceptable level.  I was really skin and bones (and am still lean) but I'll take the 5 pd improvement and stabilization.

6.  Finding a body balance: I have to listen to my body (absolutely cannot push it) but within limits...I can't let it push me into panic or anxiety or worry. 

7.  Yoga:  I have a gentle instructor who helps me w/simple things 15 3x a week.

8.  Chiropractor:  in WD I have so many more aches, pains, creaks, and pops.  I see a chiro every Thursday am and it helps.

 

 

The one thing that terrifies me more than anything is covid.  I'm still so weak that I'd die if I got it.  I'm able to isolate (live alone) and am working from home but finding the balance between isolation (not as much worry about covid) and mental sanity (can't be too isolated) is hard.  With forecasts for covid to explode these next 4-5 mths I am really praying for help. 

 

Some very brief moments of some days my mind almost feels back to normal.  I hold onto those moments.  I was actually able, for the first time in ages, to drive my car for a brief 4 min drive around my apartment parking lot.  I was a bit nauseated after but the feeling of joy and self-accomplishment that I got from that was off the charts and was an incredible boost to my self esteem. 

 

I'd feel a lot better about the future if there wasn't covid going on concurrently but all I can do is take things 1 min at a time and keep trusting God.  Someone once said that WD is like filling a bathtub up with water 1 drop at a time.  That is so true.  A friend I met on here who had almost the same lexapro experience is now 13 mths off and feels about 70% healed.  If I can go from being a 5/10 to a 7/10 in the next 4-5 mths I'll be very grateful...then the concept of seeing an end to this, seeing the end of the journey will be possible.   For now, I'm grateful for the small improvements that have happened and I keep at it, bit by bit.

 

 

Was on Lexapro for 66 days starting in early January.  5mg for a week, 10mg for 3, 7.5 for 3 days, then 5mg and 2.5mg for approx two weeks after.  

Was on Lithium for 60 days starting in late January. 1 300mg ER pill a day.  Stopped CT

Was given a .5 ativan script in early Jan.  Took it maybe 20x total from early Jan to beg of June, 2020.

 

-Fall of 2019:  had two vertigo attacks for the first time with no warning, each followed by 4-5 days of morning dizziness.

-Last Friday of 2019:  had first ever, out of the blue, panic attack.  Went to ER- didn't know what was happening.  Was diagnosed w/GAD, even though had never had anxiety or depression problems before.  Basically no health problems at all prior to this, and in very good shape emotionally, physically, and mentally.

-4 days after panic attack given lexapro.  That's when the hell began.  Was on it 66 days.  Reacted badly to it.  Gave me suicidal ideation 4 wks after starting it, plus exhaustion, off the charts anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue.  Did a fast taper over 5 wks.  Was on it 66 days total.

-been off lexapro completely since mid-March, 2020.  First 3 weeks I got better and better.  Then, week 4 into WD got slammed.  Since then, over 64 side effects/symptoms.  Can't drive.  At times, barely surviving.

-since Jan., have been to the e r 16x.

-was given lithium after experienced SI from lexapro to as a "mood stabilizer".  Never really noticed anything from it, nor anything after stopping it, except for a few days of heightened depression about a week after.

-was given low dosage ativan script 2nd week into lexapro to deal with the anxiety/panic spike caused by the lexapro.  Took it perhaps 20x between Jan and June, 2020.  Always made me feel better, but last time it was taken (early June) experienced intrusive thoughts after so stopped it.  Didn't feel any negative reaction from stopping it, perhaps b/c it was taken so infrequently and the dosage was so low. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
NoMoreLexapro

36 weeks off lexapro...

 

November has been worse than October.  Hit a bad wave two weeks ago- the DR/DP/dizziness/confusion has been awful and there are periods of the day when cold/flu symptoms flare (feel hot, even though my temp stays at 98 or below), sometimes sniffly, tired, cough, nausea, fatigue. 

 

 

Was on Lexapro for 66 days starting in early January.  5mg for a week, 10mg for 3, 7.5 for 3 days, then 5mg and 2.5mg for approx two weeks after.  

Was on Lithium for 60 days starting in late January. 1 300mg ER pill a day.  Stopped CT

Was given a .5 ativan script in early Jan.  Took it maybe 20x total from early Jan to beg of June, 2020.

 

-Fall of 2019:  had two vertigo attacks for the first time with no warning, each followed by 4-5 days of morning dizziness.

-Last Friday of 2019:  had first ever, out of the blue, panic attack.  Went to ER- didn't know what was happening.  Was diagnosed w/GAD, even though had never had anxiety or depression problems before.  Basically no health problems at all prior to this, and in very good shape emotionally, physically, and mentally.

-4 days after panic attack given lexapro.  That's when the hell began.  Was on it 66 days.  Reacted badly to it.  Gave me suicidal ideation 4 wks after starting it, plus exhaustion, off the charts anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue.  Did a fast taper over 5 wks.  Was on it 66 days total.

-been off lexapro completely since mid-March, 2020.  First 3 weeks I got better and better.  Then, week 4 into WD got slammed.  Since then, over 64 side effects/symptoms.  Can't drive.  At times, barely surviving.

-since Jan., have been to the e r 16x.

-was given lithium after experienced SI from lexapro to as a "mood stabilizer".  Never really noticed anything from it, nor anything after stopping it, except for a few days of heightened depression about a week after.

-was given low dosage ativan script 2nd week into lexapro to deal with the anxiety/panic spike caused by the lexapro.  Took it perhaps 20x between Jan and June, 2020.  Always made me feel better, but last time it was taken (early June) experienced intrusive thoughts after so stopped it.  Didn't feel any negative reaction from stopping it, perhaps b/c it was taken so infrequently and the dosage was so low. 

 

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  • Moderator
ChessieCat

Q:  Are then any symptoms which have improved?

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

 

ADs:  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  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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

Link to post
NoMoreLexapro

Many, at least since the horrible acute period this summer.  For 4-5 mths it was absolutely awful- just barely holding on.  October was noticeably better--- my avg was prob 5/10, vs 3/10 this summer.  About a mth ago my best friend, my kitty Tommy, died.  That was a horrible blow.  I had him for 11 yrs and he was my soul mate.  I got a kitten a few days after he died.  That has been good (my intrusive thoughts are vastly reduced b/c the kitten is on my mind now) but also bad (requires a lot of energy and he tends to wail and cry a lot so that grates on me)...so there's some more stress w/that, plus covid is out of control where I'm at so that always lurks in the background.  I am terrified that if I got it I'd die or be gravely ill b/c my WD symptoms have weakened me so much. 

 

Plus, it is winter now so the decreased sunlight, colder temps...all of that too. 

Was on Lexapro for 66 days starting in early January.  5mg for a week, 10mg for 3, 7.5 for 3 days, then 5mg and 2.5mg for approx two weeks after.  

Was on Lithium for 60 days starting in late January. 1 300mg ER pill a day.  Stopped CT

Was given a .5 ativan script in early Jan.  Took it maybe 20x total from early Jan to beg of June, 2020.

 

-Fall of 2019:  had two vertigo attacks for the first time with no warning, each followed by 4-5 days of morning dizziness.

-Last Friday of 2019:  had first ever, out of the blue, panic attack.  Went to ER- didn't know what was happening.  Was diagnosed w/GAD, even though had never had anxiety or depression problems before.  Basically no health problems at all prior to this, and in very good shape emotionally, physically, and mentally.

-4 days after panic attack given lexapro.  That's when the hell began.  Was on it 66 days.  Reacted badly to it.  Gave me suicidal ideation 4 wks after starting it, plus exhaustion, off the charts anxiety, dizziness, and fatigue.  Did a fast taper over 5 wks.  Was on it 66 days total.

-been off lexapro completely since mid-March, 2020.  First 3 weeks I got better and better.  Then, week 4 into WD got slammed.  Since then, over 64 side effects/symptoms.  Can't drive.  At times, barely surviving.

-since Jan., have been to the e r 16x.

-was given lithium after experienced SI from lexapro to as a "mood stabilizer".  Never really noticed anything from it, nor anything after stopping it, except for a few days of heightened depression about a week after.

-was given low dosage ativan script 2nd week into lexapro to deal with the anxiety/panic spike caused by the lexapro.  Took it perhaps 20x between Jan and June, 2020.  Always made me feel better, but last time it was taken (early June) experienced intrusive thoughts after so stopped it.  Didn't feel any negative reaction from stopping it, perhaps b/c it was taken so infrequently and the dosage was so low. 

 

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