Jump to content
jwells

jwells: Needing some hope and advice on my Lexapro WD journey

Recommended Posts

jwells

Hello, my name is Jonathan. I’m 21. I started taking Lexapro after being admitted into the hospital for intense panic attacks that resulted in suicidal ideology. 

The first dose I took of Lexapro I immediately felt this numbing/ quieting effect in my mind, like my internal dialogue was shut off, which then resulted in me feeling so removed from reality I just remember crying and staring at a wall for 2-3 hours before I eventually fell asleep. I feel like I had such adverse effects due to an overall hypersensitivity to medication which was confirmed because I also tried Wellbutrin and switching to Zoloft and both of these medications resulted in me feeling adverse effects immediately. 
I was on Lexapro 5mg morning 5mg night starting June 2018 and it was miserable the whole time. I felt the emotional numbing, general apathy which I expected. But the worst thing was the dissociation. It was like everything physically was numbed out. Bright light, foggy days, nature in general made me feel like I was stuck in this dream state. I often felt like I had lost all connection to myself, like I was a gathering of vague memories floating through with no meaning. This started bringing lots of panic back and crying spells multiple nights a week.
I decided I wanted to come off Lexapro and I stupidly, the spring of 2019, tried cold turkey. Being so sensitive to the drug, after about 3 days I went into a 104 degree fever which lasted 15 days. Luckily my parents came into town and took me home from college. 
this was the start of an extremely slow taper that lasted until just recently Beginning of April 2020 where I am finally off the drug. 
I was hopeful for the first time in a while that things might return to normal, like before I was on the drug at all. However, I’ve been feeling a lot of the same feelings I had every time I would taper on Lexapro. Crying spells, the feeling that I am not real. 

All concepts have lost meaning. Space, time, memory. I wake up in the same familiar bed with the most obvious feeling that it couldn’t be farther from alright. Everything is off. I drive down the same roads I’ve been on my whole life and I can’t help but feel the fog creep in until it has covered my memories, convincing me that my reality has been manipulated and I am no longer able to see things as they truly are, or were. 

Color is faded. Light is surreal. Overcast days fill me with dread. I’ve lost all connection to the physical world. Those concepts of space and time bring on the most intense feelings of fear and despair. The only sensations I feel anymore, the only ones that remind me that this feels like a nightmare. 

It honestly feels like hell and I don’t know how to find relief. I’ve started up therapy again but talking about all these feelings make it worse. I’d rather completely numb/ distract myself in my room all day then be forced to relive all these moments.

I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to feel like things are ok again. 
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

Welcome to SA, jwells.  I'm sorry you're suffering.  Congratulations on being drug-free.

 

A question: are you feeling worse now, or during your taper, or when you were on your full dosage?

 

Your system is very sensitized from a number of causes: your hypersensitivity to drugs, the cold turkey and also the taper.  If I'm reading correctly, you tapered 10mg Lexapro over the period of a year.  Though this does seem like a slow taper, it is a good bit faster than what we recommend.  Your symptoms, including the depersonalization and derealization, are typical of withdrawal. You will heal, but it's going to take some time and, unfortunately, we can't predict how long it will take.  I know you were hopeful things would return to normal once you were off the drug, but these drugs are very powerful and it takes some time to heal from them.  

 

   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. 

So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

When we take psychiatric 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.  

 

This explains the healing process really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

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 ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

Share this post


Link to post
jwells
1 hour ago, Gridley said:

Welcome to SA, jwells.  I'm sorry you're suffering.  Congratulations on being drug-free.

 

A question: are you feeling worse now, or during your taper, or when you were on your full dosage?

 

Your system is very sensitized from a number of causes: your hypersensitivity to drugs, the cold turkey and also the taper.  If I'm reading correctly, you tapered 10mg Lexapro over the period of a year.  Though this does seem like a slow taper, it is a good bit faster than what we recommend.  Your symptoms, including the depersonalization and derealization, are typical of withdrawal. You will heal, but it's going to take some time and, unfortunately, we can't predict how long it will take.  I know you were hopeful things would return to normal once you were off the drug, but these drugs are very powerful and it takes some time to heal from them.  

 

   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. 

So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

When we take psychiatric 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.  

 

This explains the healing process really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

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 ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

I definitely felt worse each time I would taper, although what I’m feeling now is comparable. Being on the drug at the full dosage was always uncomfortable with the DP and DR but there wasn’t as much panic/ low feeling behind it. Thank you for the resources. I am unfortunately on quite a few herbals and supplements because of an ongoing battle with Lymes disease as prescribed by a doctor. 

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy