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Jlrans : 8 year tbi survivor / on antidepressants for 30


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Hi - I am Jlrans -- I've been on antidepressants since my late 20s (almost 30 years +/-). I was on Citalopram for most of this time.

I recall (can't remember exactly) taking somewhere in the 20mg+ range daily.


About 8 years ago, I had a TBI (traumatic brain injury); I fell off my bike while training for long distance (Ironman distance) triathlons and woke up 2 weeks later in a rehab hospital; I recovered fairly quickly - a few months; as of today, no acute physical challenges except for a slightly numb little toe on my left foot; hard for me to quantify TBI related mental challenges.  Lately, I have been more "out of it" and feel like I am in a brain fog. Here's some more info....


About a couple of years ago I experienced what my doc labelled SSRI poop out - i.e. I was getting more depressed and did not feel that Citalopram was working; I switched to Escitalopram & Bupropion . Current dosages are 10mg E and 300mg B (daily of course).


In the past, when I was on Citalopram, attempts to taper were awful - lots of the classic brain-zap type stuff, etc.; early this summer I stopped E & B and didn't have any major side effects but after a few weeks felt unbelievably depressed so my doc put me back on them (with a taper up to my current dosages) -- I actually was at 20mg Escitalopram but was experiences severe "brain fog" so my doc had me go back down to 10mg of E; as noted above. I am currently taking 10mg Escitalopram and 300mg Bupropion. I am still experiencing extreme brain fog, memory problems, confusion, etc... I am consulting with both my doc and my therapist.


I have always been concerned about the long term (almost 3 decades) effects of these mind altering drugs. I am also fascinated by the current research on using psilocybin to treat depression -- haven't taken acid since high school. Haven't smoked dope since high school; haven't used alcohol in almost 30 years. I am very fit and used to do Ironman triathlons (20 years); I still do XC ski marathons.  But am now demotivated and don't train seriously anymore.


Thanks for listening and for any advice.


-- Jlrans

Edited by Gridley
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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Jlrans.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the date you stopped the Buproprion and the Escitalopram and whether you tapered or stopped them cold turkey.  Also indicate what type of Buproprion you're taking, SR, XR or XL.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


What times of day do you take your two drugs and can you tell which is more stimulating or activating?  How do you feel after taking each of your drugs?  It would be helpful to us if you would post daily symptom notes for three 24-hour periods so we can see how these drugs affect you.   Here is the format:


6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep


If you cold-turkeyed or fast-tapered your two drugs this past summer, very likely the symptoms you describe--brain fog, memory problems, confusion--are due to withdrawal.  Lack of motivation--apathy--is also a common withdrawal symptom.



Are you interested in tapering off your drugs?  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.
We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Otherwise, if problems arise, you won't know the cause.  We suggest tapering the more activating drug first.  Escitalopram and Wellbutrin are both activating drugs, which Is why I asked if you could tell which drug was more activating.  
The following two links are specifically about tapering Escitalopram and Buproprion, including how to get the nonstandard doses you'll need for a 10% taper.  Escitalopram comes in a prescription liquid form in the U.S., and this is the easiest and most accurate method.
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. 




Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).


This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, answer my questions, ask your own questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.








Edited by Gridley

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.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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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thank you so so much for your quick and thorough response. I would love to answer your questions and provide more detail.. Will do shortly (and try to give you a 3 day mood/activity history )/

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Thank you JIrans,


i don't know if i understand. are you stopping Citalopram from 8 years ago?

if yes, how much weeks or months duration of Withdrawal effects?

(The dates or durations are experimental after research and reference to some sources)

st john's wort 300 mg (6 months) , Prozac 20 mg (1 year)

Effexor 150 mg + dogmatil 50 mg (6 years)
1 year cepralex 10 mg , wellbutrin 3 month , pristiq 8 months
valdoxan 3 month, lamictal 6 months
stop 1 year

now stelazine 1mg since 9-2020

thinking to take brintellix 2.5 mg or less for anxiety 


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