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christianjw12: took Lexapro /escitalopram for 3 months, stopped it, experiencing withdrawal


christianjw12

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@christianjw12! Happy to read about your improvements!ūüí™ūüŹĹ Continue to give us some updates ūüėä

July 2015: the 20mg citalopram for great stress begins

After two years I start tapering (slow but without medical advice) and I guess wrongly. First up to 10 mg, then 5 mg and 2 mg (liquid solution) and skips

January 2020 (I don't remember exactly the day): off citalopram (last dose 2mg).

June 2020: adrenal crash. The beginning of Hell on Earth

 

Current supplement: saffron pill (30 mg) + 1 mg melatonin + vit. E, EPA + DHA, magnesium bisglycinate, theanine, folic acid, iron and vit. D3.

Try meditating / mindfulness, running every day, CBT, weekly acupuncture (anxiety protocol) and massage.

 

"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" ("And so we went out to see the stars again")

(Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy , Inferno, XXXIV, 139)

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  • 2 weeks later...
christianjw12

Hi ! 

Quick update for these two past weeks ! It's been 28 weeks since I took my last pill of Lexapro (5mg)

Definitely more windows than waves these two weeks !

Symptoms are:

- brain fog

- fatigue

- headache

- depersonalization

- intrusive thoughts

 

But it's very manageable, sleep is improving ! I can feel it,

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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Altostrata

That's good to hear, thanks for letting us know.

 

Did we talk about find fish oil and magnesium supplements? See
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Many people find them helpful. You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

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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christianjw12
36 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

That's good to hear, thanks for letting us know.

 

Did we talk about find fish oil and magnesium supplements? See
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Many people find them helpful. You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

 

Hi @Altostrata, I tried magnesium but it didn't help, instead it gave me constipation.

I haven't tried fish oil yet maybe I should try ! but I eat a lot of fishes, does it give the same result (like salmon and tuna) ?

 

Christian

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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Altostrata

It would be very unusual for magnesium to cause constipation. If you take too much of it, it will give you loose bowels. You need to drink lots of water with it.

 

It's best to take magnesium in small amounts throughout the day.

 

Eating fish is very good but taking the omega-3 supplements delivers a more concentrated amount of EPA and DHA.

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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3 hours ago, Altostrata said:

It would be very unusual for magnesium to cause constipation. If you take too much of it, it will give you loose bowels. You need to drink lots of water with it.

 

It's best to take magnesium in small amounts throughout the day.

 

Eating fish is very good but taking the omega-3 supplements delivers a more concentrated amount of EPA and DHA.

 

What form of magnesium?  If christianjw12 is taking magnesium oxide (often branded as "magnesium" in drug stores), this can cause gut pain that can be mistaken for constipation.

 

I would suggest talking to a provider about magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate.  These are chelated variants and are more absorbable.  Always start low to gauge response and prevent side effects.

Celiac, Seizure Disorder, Cluster Headaches

 

Previously - Escitalopram ("Lexapro") (dangerous substance, do not start taking this): 03 - 05/2018 - 10mg // 05/2018 - 12/2019 - monthly recursive dose reduction to 0.

 

Always consult a qualified medical professional before taking any substance.

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christianjw12
8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

It would be very unusual for magnesium to cause constipation. If you take too much of it, it will give you loose bowels. You need to drink lots of water with it.

 

It's best to take magnesium in small amounts throughout the day.

 

Eating fish is very good but taking the omega-3 supplements delivers a more concentrated amount of EPA and DHA.

 

Well, when I started to take 300mg capsules of magnesium, I noticed in the following weeks, I would have difficulties to poop. Then when I stop, it would be normal again. And it didn't change my withdrawal symptoms even though the pharmacist told me it should help with my tremors and spasms. She was very understanding about antidepressant withdrawals, she told me it's hard but it will pass in months.

I will try with some fish oils, but for the moment I feel like the withdrawal is very manageable. The lockdown in France doesn't help but what helps me is really acceptance. I noticed my withdrawal used to be very bad because I didn't accept it, I refused my lack of concentration, I refused feeling anxious so it worsened my situation. Then I started to fully practise mindfulness acceptance, being mindful of my own thoughts and feelings. I noticed no matter of bad I'm feeling, if I just let go my thoughts and feelings, it's not that bad as I thought. We suffer more in imagination than in reality.

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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  • 2 weeks later...
christianjw12

Hi, quick update of these two weeks.

I'm 30 weeks off (so almost 7 months), these two weeks have been bad, definitely in a wave.

The symptoms are :

- anxiety

- muscle spasms

- joint pain

- hand numbess and cold hands

- brain fog (but lessened so much compared to before)

- head pressure

- internal tremor

- random aches which come and go

- shortness of breath

- mild brain zaps (feeling I have electricity inside my head)

- feeling I'm going to have an heart attack (but not a panic attack)

 

So some old symptoms returned but it's manageable. When I am feeling very very bad, I would go out and walk 1 hour randomly in my city then I would feel much better.

Hang out guys, don't give up ! ūüí™

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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The walking every day is very helpful for me too - in terms of productivity and mood. 

 

And I don't live in Paris either.  I can imagine walking there being really nice... lol

Celiac, Seizure Disorder, Cluster Headaches

 

Previously - Escitalopram ("Lexapro") (dangerous substance, do not start taking this): 03 - 05/2018 - 10mg // 05/2018 - 12/2019 - monthly recursive dose reduction to 0.

 

Always consult a qualified medical professional before taking any substance.

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christianjw12
3 hours ago, CCFB said:

The walking every day is very helpful for me too - in terms of productivity and mood. 

 

And I don't live in Paris either.  I can imagine walking there being really nice... lol

@CCFB are you healed yet ? I read your intro and I understand you're healed from your withdrawal symptoms already ?

Indeed Lexapro is a very very dangerous drug... I read some opinion about this drug on the internet and strangely, some people say that it was salvation for them and it cured their anxiety or depression. I had problem with anxiety but never with depression. When I started Lexapro, I experienced dark depression. I had no reason to be depressed, I have a great job, a lovely girlfriend and a family. I couldn't understand what was happening to me, my psychiatrist said that it will help me cure my anxiety and my sleep issues. It had indeed helped me with my sleep but the quality of sleep was so bad.

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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1 minute ago, christianjw12 said:

@CCFB are you healed yet ? I read your intro and I understand you're healed from your withdrawal symptoms already ?

Indeed Lexapro is a very very dangerous drug... I read some opinion about this drug on the internet and strangely, some people say that it was salvation for them and it cured their anxiety or depression. I had problem with anxiety but never with depression. When I started Lexapro, I experienced dark depression. I had no reason to be depressed, I have a great job, a lovely girlfriend and a family. I couldn't understand what was happening to me, my psychiatrist said that it will help me cure my anxiety and my sleep issues. It had indeed helped me with my sleep but the quality of sleep was so bad.

 

Yes, I'm doing almost 100% better.  My headaches aren't 100%, but they probably are the best they have ever been - ~1/20 as bad as they were a few years ago.  And the Lexapro withdrawal is gone now.

 

My Lexapro prescription story is similar, only for headaches.  The doctors kept pushing for me to try this medication for my headache condition.  This was after botox and a CGRP mAb treatment failed.  They were running out of options and throwing the kitchen sink at me.  I never had depression or anxiety, but I was under stress.  I think they figured that if they could treat the stress, they could treat the headaches.  I didn't question them enough or do enough independent research when they insisted Lexapro was safe, non-addictive, and had very few side effects.

 

Lexapro caused major issues for me - largely with motivation, but in other areas also.  It was a very poor experience, and the withdrawal was profound.  The withdrawal improved for me once I was 100% off the medication, especially after a few months off the med.  Daily exercise, daily meditation, and sleep phase tracking were transformational changes for me.  

Celiac, Seizure Disorder, Cluster Headaches

 

Previously - Escitalopram ("Lexapro") (dangerous substance, do not start taking this): 03 - 05/2018 - 10mg // 05/2018 - 12/2019 - monthly recursive dose reduction to 0.

 

Always consult a qualified medical professional before taking any substance.

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christianjw12
15 minutes ago, CCFB said:

 

Yes, I'm doing almost 100% better.  My headaches aren't 100%, but they probably are the best they have ever been - ~1/20 as bad as they were a few years ago.  And the Lexapro withdrawal is gone now.

 

My Lexapro prescription story is similar, only for headaches.  The doctors kept pushing for me to try this medication for my headache condition.  This was after botox and a CGRP mAb treatment failed.  They were running out of options and throwing the kitchen sink at me.  I never had depression or anxiety, but I was under stress.  I think they figured that if they could treat the stress, they could treat the headaches.  I didn't question them enough or do enough independent research when they insisted Lexapro was safe, non-addictive, and had very few side effects.

 

Lexapro caused major issues for me - largely with motivation, but in other areas also.  It was a very poor experience, and the withdrawal was profound.  The withdrawal improved for me once I was 100% off the medication, especially after a few months off the med.  Daily exercise, daily meditation, and sleep phase tracking were transformational changes for me.  

I see, but my case is a little bit different because I didn't make a slow taper. I started with 5mg for one week then I upped to 10mg. I stayed on 10mg for 2 months and a half then I went to 5mg again for 2 weeks before reaching 0. I'm almost 7 months off Lexapro, I am indeed better than compared to 7 months ago but some days are still struggle. But there's no meaning in getting angry, because there's nothing I can do other than accepting the situation and let time do its job.

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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24 minutes ago, christianjw12 said:

I see, but my case is a little bit different because I didn't make a slow taper. I started with 5mg for one week then I upped to 10mg. I stayed on 10mg for 2 months and a half then I went to 5mg again for 2 weeks before reaching 0. I'm almost 7 months off Lexapro, I am indeed better than compared to 7 months ago but some days are still struggle. But there's no meaning in getting angry, because there's nothing I can do other than accepting the situation and let time do its job.

 

Yeah there may be some who will tell you that matters a lot.  I'm not so sure.  I followed the taper at the speed that my body would tolerate it.

 

I tried 10mg -> 5mg, and I got sick.  So I knew I had to go much slower, with a liquid.  But I felt better after eventually stopping the med, from a fractional dose - having had a very long and intense conversation with both of my doctors.

 

My only advice at this point would be that this far off, the healing is happening every day.  To increase its speed, I would:

 

  1. Go for long walks every day (or shorter ones twice per day) - preferably among nature... although Paris is so beautiful you could probably just walk anywhere (the point is consistency);
  2. Meditate at least 10 minutes per day - there are a bunch of free guided meditation courses on YouTube that are really helpful, if you don't want to splurge on one of the apps.  Meditation has been shown to increase neuroplasticity and even reverse-age the brain.  Again, consistency is everything - at least 10 mins/day;
  3. Track your sleep with a wearable if possible - if not, go to bed at the same time every day and maintain good sleep hygiene (i.e. same bedtime every night, good screen discipline, blue-light filters after 7 p.m., etc.);
  4. Train your brain to focus on tasks, starting at short intervals and increasing to 25 mins at a time with 5 min breaks (with countdown timers) - I've found this a big help to concentration issues; and
  5. Learn something new each and every day - try watching TEDx talks on YouTube - they are really interesting and fun.  Learning physically changes your brain.

 

 

Celiac, Seizure Disorder, Cluster Headaches

 

Previously - Escitalopram ("Lexapro") (dangerous substance, do not start taking this): 03 - 05/2018 - 10mg // 05/2018 - 12/2019 - monthly recursive dose reduction to 0.

 

Always consult a qualified medical professional before taking any substance.

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2 hours ago, CCFB said:

 

Yeah there may be some who will tell you that matters a lot.  I'm not so sure.  I followed the taper at the speed that my body would tolerate it.

 

I tried 10mg -> 5mg, and I got sick.  So I knew I had to go much slower, with a liquid.  But I felt better after eventually stopping the med, from a fractional dose - having had a very long and intense conversation with both of my doctors.

 

My only advice at this point would be that this far off, the healing is happening every day.  To increase its speed, I would:

 

  1. Go for long walks every day (or shorter ones twice per day) - preferably among nature... although Paris is so beautiful you could probably just walk anywhere (the point is consistency);
  2. Meditate at least 10 minutes per day - there are a bunch of free guided meditation courses on YouTube that are really helpful, if you don't want to splurge on one of the apps.  Meditation has been shown to increase neuroplasticity and even reverse-age the brain.  Again, consistency is everything - at least 10 mins/day;
  3. Track your sleep with a wearable if possible - if not, go to bed at the same time every day and maintain good sleep hygiene (i.e. same bedtime every night, good screen discipline, blue-light filters after 7 p.m., etc.);
  4. Train your brain to focus on tasks, starting at short intervals and increasing to 25 mins at a time with 5 min breaks (with countdown timers) - I've found this a big help to concentration issues; and
  5. Learn something new each and every day - try watching TEDx talks on YouTube - they are really interesting and fun.  Learning physically changes your brain.

 

 

 

I have been asked by the moderators of this site to correct the word "advice" to "suggestion" here.  It's past the one-hour deadline, so I can't edit the post.

 

I thought it was very clear from context that this was not medical or other professional advice - but rather the sort of colloquial advice that one patient would give another on a peer support site.  In case it wasn't - this does not constitute medical advice or any other professional advice.  This is only a suggestion.  I'm only a layperson. 

Celiac, Seizure Disorder, Cluster Headaches

 

Previously - Escitalopram ("Lexapro") (dangerous substance, do not start taking this): 03 - 05/2018 - 10mg // 05/2018 - 12/2019 - monthly recursive dose reduction to 0.

 

Always consult a qualified medical professional before taking any substance.

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Altostrata

"Advice" in that context is fine.

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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