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tryingtosurvive330: Extreme hunger but no appetite - coupled with high cortisol levels upon waking, dark thoughts and hopelessness, upset stomach


tryingtosurvive330

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tryingtosurvive330

Hello everyone,

 

I'm so grateful to have found this group. I believe I just began the delayed onset WD Syndrome as I've read so much about here...I came here because I was desperate to have my symptoms not be a "relapse" or just me. I always had a feeling that antidepressants screwed me up beyond what I would normally be, had I powered through the initial reason for my starting them with just therapy and support of family and friends. Now I feel like these horrible feelings are part of me. I'm so upset at the doctors who told me weight gain was "not a thing" with antidepressants and that discontinuation syndrome is not that bad and only lasts a little while.....this must just be "you."

 

I was working extended hours for about two years due to my company going through an acquisition and being part of that process. When it was done it was still bad for a year because our new owners were hard on us. Around the holidays I had an especially difficult time because we weren't able to visit my brothers family due to covid. The dynamic between my parents stresses me out greatly and on top of missing my brother immensely, usually his family is a good buffer between overall family tensions because there are two young kids we all love.

 

Right after Christmas I had a full day of extreme hopelessness and crying (after a long talk with my friend I found out a dear old ex coworker had died), and the next day I confronted my boss and said I'm burned out and can't work these hours anymore. He was incredibly supportive and we hired a consultant right away to help. He understood that me just taking a bunch of time off would mess with my head emotionally. But as the week progressed, I had a couple more bad crying days, but a couple ok days. I felt like "I should be grateful for this help from work, they care about me" but really I felt like I have all these bubbles of problems in my head. When this one popped, the space just filled up with another bubble.

 

The following week (right now), additional symptoms threw me off a cliff. Suddenly I have zero appetite even though I am extremely hungry. I woke up at the dreaded 4:20am which indicated to me the high cortisol levels. Because of the anxiety and lack of food in my belly, my stomach has been so upset. when I woke at 4ish my stomach felt so hungry and messed up I ate a banana, then had a bunch of trips to the toilet because of it.

 

-Does anyone have tips on making yourself eat anything (preferably something healthier as I don't want to exacerbate my anxiety with carbs even though they are the easiest to eat) when you really don't feel like you can stomach it? I also feel so dehydrated and not thirsty, it feels so paradoxical. I try to drink water but it's the same as food. I feel like I just don't like it. By the way, when I feel good I adore food, so this is really a bad sign for me. It was exactly what happened before the first and second times I decided to go on ADs.

 

-On the sleep side, I'm driving myself crazy because it's this horrifying cycle of: you can't sleep because the cortisol wakes you up and ANXIETY. But not enough sleep, you get more anxiety. It just goes in a circle. I have been documenting my days and I know that I feel a little better for like, an hour in the afternoon. But today that meant 9 hours of wakeful terror and dread until I finally felt just "ok". Now it's creeping back in and I'm dreading the new night and morning. Same as above, this was a signal the first and second time I went on ADs.

 

-I finished what I realized was a poor taper (even though I thought I was taking the right steps after the first time coming off ADs a couple years ago, which of course the doctor said 2 months was enough. So awful). I completed this about a month and a half ago and wondering if it's worth it to reinstate. I came off of 10mg Lexapro after taking it for 2 years. From what I've read on here, I can see that the longer you wait, the less chance the reinstatement will even help. I'm teetering on the edge. Today I could not work at all and basically ghosted my work today. If I do reinstate, what dose? What do you all think I should do?

 

I spent about 4 hours on the phone today with a friend, my mom, and my brother, crying the whole time about how awful I feel. I don't want to get to the point where I feel suicidal with a plan. I have a few people that care about me very much but I'm really struggling with the loneliness I feel and trying to always bring myself down from the heightened fear and terror, and the insane discomfort from being hungry/upset stomach. 

Edited by Shep
added username to title

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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tryingtosurvive330

Last night I slept for a couple hours, woke up in a sweat and moved to the couch. Took 2 Benadryl and listened to a sleep meditation and slept a few more hours and woke at 6:30am. Today was much better, I had a therapy appointment during the day and only cried during that, and stayed on a video call with my mother all day so that we could just see each other all day. I had a little appetite today so I tried to take advantage and ate a decent amount and enjoyed a little bit of it. 
 

Then I went to sleep at 11pm and woke up in an hour, sweat and full of anxiety and panic and fear. I feel it in my chest and I’m so uncomfortable. Trying to accept it for what it is but I feel really scared. Took 2 Benadryl to see if I would calm down or be able to sleep a little bit but I’m on here writing this out. Tv is on because I’m scared of the silence. Today I was really hopeful I would not have to reinstate but right now I’m so anxious I’m wanting to again. 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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  • Shep changed the title to tryingtosurvive330: Extreme hunger but no appetite - coupled with high cortisol levels upon waking, dark thoughts and hopelessness, upset stomach
  • Administrator

Hi, tryingtosurvive.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. 

 

Since you stopped the Lexapro at 1.25 mg every 24 - 36 hours in mid-November, you may want to try a very small reinstatement of not more than .125 mg - .25 mg. Lexapro is an extremely potent drug, so it won't take a lot. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Please note this about skipping days for tapering:

 

NEVER SKIP DOSES TO TAPER

 

You may find some helpful information to handle your symptoms here: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Please post your thoughts on a possible reinstatement. Are you currently taking any supplements or other drugs? If so, please list them. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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tryingtosurvive330

Thank you for looking at my post and your reply, Shep. You did mean .125 - .25mg, right? Even though I ended at around 1.25, you meant .125?

 

Towards the end I was feeling off and struggling to come off the last dose. Just felt a little on edge but it wasn't anything I felt I couldn't handle, it felt like normal everyday stress.

 

For a few months before and during the taper I was taking Garden of Life B-complex, then I got the Thorne Basic B-complex and took 2 in the morning most days, I would forget sometimes. 

 

I also got the Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate a few weeks ago when I was still feeling ok and just felt a little bit stressed/anxious from work. I would drink a cup with 200mg of the powder with lemon at night. I stopped doing this, and stopped taking the Thorne B-complex about 3-4 days ago because I was reading on here about possible sensitivity and I was worried some of this I may have been hypersensitive to (but, prior to this episode I felt nice drinking the Magnesium).

 

I also infrequently take Zyrtec for some allergies. And the last 2 nights, I took 2 Benadryl around 2am the first night, and 12:30am last night, totaling 50mg each night (not for allergies. to try to sleep). Both nights I was able to fall back asleep for about 4 hours, and it felt deep but I woke up groggy as I usually would if I ever took Benadryl.

 

I think I will try to reinstate, once I clarify with you what the amount is. Also, hopefully I can get the liquid Lexapro from my GP or a psychiatrist. Cutting them to that 1.25 was really difficult and I wasn't sure if they were the right amounts because they came out jagged.

 

Last night I felt so resigned to the fear I felt in my chest. This morning I'm trying not to be frustrated that I'm tired, I did wake up a little bit anxious but did a Calm meditation, which didn't seem to help much. But now I don't feel as much anxiety. This cycle is exhausting and has me thinking I should just keep taking the ADs because it did wipe out the fear. But I want so much to not be on this.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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tryingtosurvive330

Also, my Lexapro was the generic. Would this affect anything? If I am able to get the liquid, should I make sure it's generic or does it only come in brand name?

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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  • Administrator
17 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

You did mean .125 - .25mg, right? Even though I ended at around 1.25, you meant .125?

 

Yes, that is correct - just a tiny .125 - .25 mg. Please read the first post in this thread, as it explains the reason for starting at a very low reinstatement dose due to being sensitized: 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

For a few months before and during the taper I was taking Garden of Life B-complex, then I got the Thorne Basic B-complex and took 2 in the morning most days, I would forget sometimes. 

 

B vitamins can be stimulating for a lot of people going through withdrawal. Please see:

 

Vitamin B12: essential for mood, nervous system

 

Hypersensitive to B vitamin or B vitamin complex?

 

18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

I also infrequently take Zyrtec for some allergies. And the last 2 nights, I took 2 Benadryl around 2am the first night, and 12:30am last night, totaling 50mg each night (not for allergies. to try to sleep). Both nights I was able to fall back asleep for about 4 hours, and it felt deep but I woke up groggy as I usually would if I ever took Benadryl.

 

Please be careful about using Benadryl for sleep. See:

 

Antihistamines for withdrawal insomnia (diphenhydramine, doxylamine, hydroxyzine)

 

18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

Also, my Lexapro was the generic. Would this affect anything? If I am able to get the liquid, should I make sure it's generic or does it only come in brand name?

 

Please consult with your pharmacist to see what's available (the first post in the tips for tapering off thread gives some general information on liquid). We generally recommend switching from tablet to liquid gradually at 25% at a time. But since you're reinstating a very, very low dose, that won't be possible. The goal is to see if a small reinstatement will take the edge off the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

You may find this helpful for information on generic versus brand name:

 

Myths About Your Drugs

 

 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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tryingtosurvive330

Thank you for all the detailed comments, Shep.

 

I did not take anything yesterday except for Tylenol for some mild back pain, as I've been slouched on the couch most days. I had been drinking some green tea in the afternoon too, and did not do that yesterday. At night, I did fall asleep for about an hour, woke up, but this time no/low anxiety. Fell back asleep and woke up at 4am - but again, this time really no anxiety. I slept again until 6:30 and when I woke up I felt a tiny bit anxious and started reading on here. Last night when I was preparing to go to sleep, I left the hallway light on and I left on my two lamps on a warm setting, as I felt very scared in the previous nights waking up in the dark with the terror. When I woke at 4, I put on my eye mask, knowing that I still had the warm light but not the daylight coming through yet.

 

I also realized, I had been using a SAD lamp basically since I completely came off. I forgot to use it/did not have it from Jan 2 -Jan 7. I used it for a few minutes this morning. Has anyone on here had experience with these? I know that the light can be triggering, but having used it since November, I didn't want to suddenly stop (even though I accidentally already did). I've read minimal info on stopping this abruptly. When I was appreciating waking up while it was dark and relaxing a bit before work, I felt like it was helping me be more awake.

 

I had stopped taking the B-complex for a couple weeks, I think. I have historically had a b-12 deficiency so perhaps as the article you provided said, it was the other parts that were triggering me?

 

Reading back on my journal I had thought I was still okay enough before Jan 2, and had thought "I'm getting help before this gets bad." Then I went off a cliff. It happened so suddenly where I couldn't sleep and had the crippling fear. I have had 2 appointments with a new therapist. One was nice. the second uncovered a lot of trauma and I felt pretty bad after, but this was yesterday....also the night I had the "best" sleep this week.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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  • Administrator
18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

I also realized, I had been using a SAD lamp basically since I completely came off. I forgot to use it/did not have it from Jan 2 -Jan 7. I used it for a few minutes this morning. Has anyone on here had experience with these? I know that the light can be triggering, but having used it since November, I didn't want to suddenly stop (even though I accidentally already did). I've read minimal info on stopping this abruptly. When I was appreciating waking up while it was dark and relaxing a bit before work, I felt like it was helping me be more awake.

 

Please see:

 

Light boxes / light therapy for depression and sleep disorders

 

18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

I had stopped taking the B-complex for a couple weeks, I think. I have historically had a b-12 deficiency so perhaps as the article you provided said, it was the other parts that were triggering me?

 

 

You may want to eat foods high in B vitamins. If you aren't a vegetarian, red meat can be helpful for getting B vitamins. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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tryingtosurvive330

Thanks Shep, I did happen upon the Light Box thread yesterday as I was scouring the site. Still not sure what to do about mine but out of fear of stopping something abruptly, I used it for a few minutes today and yesterday.

 

I have been able to eat very small amounts later in the day, but some foods still really disgust me right now and I can't stomach a lot. When I do eat, I'm able to enjoy very minimally and I'm mainly doing it because I know if my stomach feels bad I will feel worse. I will try to eat red meat which I normally enjoy, but I just don't know how to do this right now.

 

Last night I woke up every single hour. Every hour, I restarted the sleep hypnosis for anxiety youtube that is about 45 minutes long. I don't feel like I got any real sleep. Except I did have one disturbing dream. I did not wake with much anxiety, but I was really trying to push it out. I know i should try to "sit with it" but my stomach turns thinking about it. I have anxiety about the anxiety.

 

Right now, really low mood and so tired. Feeling dejected.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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tryingtosurvive330

Today is really hard.

 

I took my dog on a very slow walk. It took me 20 minutes just to go down the street and back. My body feels starved but I have zero appetite. I drove down the street to pick up chicken soup. When I walked out, I started crying in the parking lot. I sat in my car, embarrassed if anyone saw me just heaving crying. Now back at home and forced some soup down but I just feel so bad. Now is the time around 1pm that I thought I had been seeing lifted mood and I feel awful. Is it because I couldn't sleep last night?

 

I thought the fear and dread were the worst but if it's not that, it's this. The suffering is so painful.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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Hi Tryingtosurvive,

 

I can't help with advice on drugs, but I did want to compliment you on how you're trying to deal with this. Eating small bits, videocalling with your mom, tv as background, meditation. To me they are signs that you are looking for ways to handle your situation, you're not throwing in the towel.

 

It's really hard when you're in the middle of it, but it will get better. :)

2006 - Paroxetine, 20 mg

2008 / 2018 - Several mostly unsuccessful attempts at tapering, without knowledge of withdrawal

2019 - Decrease from 20 mg to 15 mg (June), from 15 mg to 10 mg (December)

2020 - Switch to 10 mg liquid citalopram (February), decrease to 8 mg (April), 6 mg (June), 4 mg (July) without symptoms. 3.2 mg (September 9), 3 mg (September 23), 2.8 mg (October 10), 2.6 mg (October 26), 2 mg (November 13).  Tapered to 1.68 mg in steps of 0.16 mg (December 3). Withdrawal kicked in.

2020, December - Increase to 1.8 mg (December 8), increase to 1.92 mg (December 18)

2021, January - Increase to 2.2 mg (January 1)

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tryingtosurvive330

@Jolene Thank you so much, because I am a wreck right now. Thank you for responding to me so quickly. I feel absolutely horrible. People are telling me I am doing the right things but it feels like nothing works, it feels like it's for nothing at times. Like right now.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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Jennings

Hey Trying,

 

I was up all night also listening to guided meditation.  Totally nuts.  Almost every hour.

 

However, I’ve been waking with immense anxiety and fear.

 

Hang in there.

Med History

 

March 2014 - June 2014: Zoloft 100mg?

August 2014: Effexor for 3 days

August 2014 - October 2017: Lexapro 20mg, three month taper (jumped at 5mg)

January 2018 - August 2020: Reinstate Lexapro 20 mg, six month taper (jumped at 1mg)

August 2014 - December 2019: Klonopin from 1mg to 1.5mg, year long taper (jumped at .125mg)

 

Supplement: Magnesium 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

@Jennings thank you. I'm really trying. I feel like such a loser and it sucks to always be crying when calling up a friend, and to feel like it's always for help. I'm having a real problem leaning in and requesting help that goes further than a phone call, I'm very afraid of the rejection I might face. I know a lot of people are dealing with their own issues right now.

 

I did speak with my friend and she said you know what, isolation and sleep deprivation are torture techniques. You are not crazy for reacting in this way. It validated me, but also made me wonder...I mean I have been trying to hard to not be in these two situations but it's near impossible during this process and with covid and my living situation.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post

You're not a loser at all. :) Your nervous system is out of whack, so it's not weird you're feeling the way that you do.

 

Try not to be to hard on yourself. You don't expect a bus driver to go to work if his or her hip is broken, right? Give yourself time and space to heal. :)

 

What has helped me with dealing with anxiety is a couple of realizations:

- Thoughts are just that: thoughts. Thinking I'm a loser doesn't mean I actually am a loser. Thinking something bad might happen doesn't mean that it actually will.

- Bodily symptoms can be just that as well. The fact that my heart is racing doesn't necessarily mean that I'm scared.

- Fear is about the future, about what might happen. There are very few cases where I need to do something in that specific instance in order to avert disaster. Normally, right now, in this moment, I'm safe. I might be agitated, I might feel crappy, but I'm okay enough to try to take a deep breath and relax. Perhaps something should indeed be done to get a good outcome, but it can wait a while.

- Things will always change, there are always ups and downs. There will be times in the future when I feel good. There will be times I'll feel bad. None of situations will last forever.

 

The above has taken me quite some time to get ingrained in my head. I've forgotten and rediscovered them countless times. I'll likely forget at some points again as well. Hopefully some of it will give you something to hold onto, so you can forget and rediscover them as well, until it has solidified.

 

If you like meditation, then perhaps mindful compassion is something to look into. It's something I've benefited from quite a bit.

2006 - Paroxetine, 20 mg

2008 / 2018 - Several mostly unsuccessful attempts at tapering, without knowledge of withdrawal

2019 - Decrease from 20 mg to 15 mg (June), from 15 mg to 10 mg (December)

2020 - Switch to 10 mg liquid citalopram (February), decrease to 8 mg (April), 6 mg (June), 4 mg (July) without symptoms. 3.2 mg (September 9), 3 mg (September 23), 2.8 mg (October 10), 2.6 mg (October 26), 2 mg (November 13).  Tapered to 1.68 mg in steps of 0.16 mg (December 3). Withdrawal kicked in.

2020, December - Increase to 1.8 mg (December 8), increase to 1.92 mg (December 18)

2021, January - Increase to 2.2 mg (January 1)

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

@Jolene thank you. I do feel like I am trying all/most of the things you suggested, with such limited benefit. But I still do it because I am desperate. Thanks for your support.

I never felt like a loser before. I was fairly confident and had no major issues with myself growing up. Knowing that I feel like this now makes me feel even worse. It's a vicious cycle.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

@Shep I had an awful day yesterday. I tried not to but I took a Zyrtec at 8:18pm because I was feeling itchy around my shoulders, arms and head. I'm staying away from Benadryl. But, do you know if Zyrtec is in the same class of the other antihistamines people use to sleep, that were in the article you posted above? I did sleep for about 5.5 hours but still feel tired because the previous night basically slept none. From Jan8-Jan10 morning (now):

 

4am: woke but no anxiety. Put on eye mask and fell back asleep until 6:20am, then on/off until 7:30am. Did Calm meditation during this hour with slight anxiety. Bathroom issues.

8-12pm: small waves of nervousness and anxiety, emailed doc about getting liquid Lexapro.

12pm: Talked to boss and he offered to restructure my work and said leave of absence is possible. Knowing that it's there is good but afraid to take it.

5:40pm: ate small salad. Only meal of the day. It wasn't easy to eat but I didn't have to force it as much.

8pm: mild headache. Did not take anything for it.

11pm: tried to sleep.

12 and 12:45am: woke up

1:30am: woke up a little anxious, pushed it out. Michael Sealey anxiety hypnosis youtube.

3:30am: woke up, had disturbing dreams. Restarted Michael Sealey youtube.

4:30am: woke up and a different meditation was playing, the unfamiliar voice made me nervous.

6:30am: awake. Don't feel at all like I slept in those 2 hours but I may have, I know I kept restarting the youtube video.

7:30am: took a long shower

9:30am: fell asleep lightly 15 mins

9:54am: Vit D supplement (weekly dose of 50,000IU)

10:25: Extremely slow dog walk. 20 minutes just to go up and down the street (should take 5-10mins)

11am: 2 Tylenol for mild back pain. Also just felt really low.

12:15pm: picked up soup and broke down in parking lot. came back and ate soup (forced it).

3:30pm: called friend sobbing and asked her to stay with me for a couple days...she will, after taking care of some stuff. Maybe after a week.

4:30-5pm: Fell asleep really lightly in and out, sitting up.

5:47pm: Felt really low.

6:30pm: Ate a different soup. Was ok but forced half of it down.

8:18pm: Itchy so took Zyrtec

11:30pm: Had small appetite so ate a few crackers and cheese with deli meat.

12am: fell asleep. I know that I usually sleep on Zyrtec.

5:30am: woke up, put on Michael Sealey. slight upset stomach

6:30am: woke up because dog howled in her sleep (2 days in a row) and I felt worried. Tried to sleep but was very very light

7:55am: Calm meditation. Didn't help much but I sat there still with the tv on and my eyes closed.

8:45am: "woke up" from the sitting still with eyes closed. Maybe I fell asleep a bit but felt aware of tv.

9am: Feels like an hour has gone by but it's been 15 mins. I've had to use the bathroom three times now because of my stomach. Every morning for a few days this has happened. I feel very flat and depressed because of the flat feeling.

 

 

 

 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

Forgot to add I used the light box for about 10-15 mins last 3 mornings Jan 8-Jan 10.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post

Sorry you're going through this Trying.  Your symptoms sound very similar to mine.  I actually slept last night for six hours, where it's been 0 to 3 all week.  

 

And your friends right, it is torture.  Compete and utter torture.  I also can't eat, no appetite.  

 

I hope you feel better soon.

Med History

 

March 2014 - June 2014: Zoloft 100mg?

August 2014: Effexor for 3 days

August 2014 - October 2017: Lexapro 20mg, three month taper (jumped at 5mg)

January 2018 - August 2020: Reinstate Lexapro 20 mg, six month taper (jumped at 1mg)

August 2014 - December 2019: Klonopin from 1mg to 1.5mg, year long taper (jumped at .125mg)

 

Supplement: Magnesium 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

@Jennings Did you do anything different yesterday? I think I slept only because I took the Zyrtec.

You're completely off ADs right now, right? I know I am reading your signature and I have read your intro topic, but my brain just doesn't register a lot. It's so frustrating. Are you taking any magnesium/fish oil? I was trying hard to not take anything and now I'm afraid to reintroduce the magnesium because it's been slightly different every day.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post

I took an Epson Salt bath last night and I supplement called Sleep3.  My aunt has had severe insomnia for about 30 years and she has taken everything and has a lot of knowledge in how to sleep.  I told her I did not want any type of z drug.  She suggested Sleep3 to me.

 

The Melatonin dose is way higher than I would usually take, my Max is 3, but I still took it bc I was at my wit's end.  

 

I am taking fish oil and slowed down the magnesium because it was making me a little anxious.  I've been on magnesium for years with no problems until just recently, I don't know why.

 

And yes I'm off ADs since August after a six month taper of liquid lexapro.  

Med History

 

March 2014 - June 2014: Zoloft 100mg?

August 2014: Effexor for 3 days

August 2014 - October 2017: Lexapro 20mg, three month taper (jumped at 5mg)

January 2018 - August 2020: Reinstate Lexapro 20 mg, six month taper (jumped at 1mg)

August 2014 - December 2019: Klonopin from 1mg to 1.5mg, year long taper (jumped at .125mg)

 

Supplement: Magnesium 

Link to post
  • Administrator
3 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

@Shep I had an awful day yesterday. I tried not to but I took a Zyrtec at 8:18pm because I was feeling itchy around my shoulders, arms and head. I'm staying away from Benadryl. But, do you know if Zyrtec is in the same class of the other antihistamines people use to sleep, that were in the article you posted above? I did sleep for about 5.5 hours but still feel tired because the previous night basically slept none. From Jan8-Jan10 morning (now):

 

I'm not familiar with Zyrtec. You can use the search box or google "surviving antidepressants" + [drug or supplement you are researching] to find other members' experiences. I found this post in the "allergies" thread about the possibility of getting dependent on it: 

 

Allergies, sneezing, stuffed up, nose, sinus - antihistamines and what to use for allergy relief

 

3 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

9:54am: Vit D supplement (weekly dose of 50,000IU)

 

That is a very high dose of vitamin D, which some people find stimulating during withdrawal. Please see:

 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol or calcitriol)

 

On 3/13/2011 at 10:33 PM, Altostrata said:

NOTE: Vitamin D is a daytime vitamin. Even if you take it in the morning, it can keep you awake at night. Be sure to start low and don't take too much.

 

 

 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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.

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

Thank you Shep. I was prescribed the Vit D large dose to fix a deficiency, but it has been over a year. I think I go on a normal dose.

 

I did experience the same thing with Zyrtec as I was taking it every day during the spring and noticed I was extremely itchy when I stopped. I did some research and found the same, that it can create itchiness after. I tried taking it every other day and only when the itching got bad and now I rarely need it.

 

Tonight is another night I'll be sleeping with no supplements, aids, or anything. Wish me luck. If it goes poorly I will try magnesium again tomorrow.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Hello, trying. You might consider very low reinstatement, such as 1mg to start, of escitalopram's milder sibling citalopram for your withdrawal syndrome. Prescription liquids are available for either. You would taper off by tiny amounts later.

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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tryingtosurvive330

Thank you Alto. Shep suggested reinstatement of a low amount too, but .125-.25mg. I'm not sure, even with reading everything, what the lower risk is. Any thoughts?

 

I just got the prescription for the liquid Lexapro, and it will be filled tomorrow or Tuesday. It sucks how expensive it is even with insurance, but with the low amounts I'll take it will last much longer. I also use an app my friend suggested to get coupons which should cut it down to a third of the cost for me.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post
  • Administrator
8 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

It sucks how expensive it is even with insurance, but with the low amounts I'll take it will last much longer.

 

Please check the expiration date and the amount of time you can use this after the bottle is opened. 

 

If it's too expensive, you can always make a liquid yourself. Please note the instructions are in the "tips for tapering off Lexapro" thread. Scroll down to the subheading Do-it-yourself liquid.

 

 

 

8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

You might consider very low reinstatement, such as 1mg to start, of escitalopram's milder sibling citalopram for your withdrawal syndrome.

 

8 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

Shep suggested reinstatement of a low amount too, but .125-.25mg. I'm not sure, even with reading everything, what the lower risk is. Any thoughts?

 

I just want to clarify that the 1 mg dose is for citalopram, which, as Alto wrote, is a milder sibling of Lexapro, which is why the recommended dose is higher for that drug than the recommended reinstatement dose for Lexapro. Lexapro is much more potent. Start low and you can updose slowly if needed. 

 

From a medical journal article comparing Lexapro (escitalopram) with it's sibling Celexa (citalopram) Citalopram and Escitalopram: MOA, Indications, Pharmacokinetics and Dosing":

 

Regarding prescribing tips, escitalopram equivalent dose is half that of citalopram.

 

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking with: "I'm not sure, even with reading everything, what the lower risk is. Any thoughts?"

 

Please ask more questions if what you're asking hasn't been answered. 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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.

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

Thanks Shep. I read it several times but it didn't register that Alto was suggesting citalopram, I read it as "or" not "of".

 

When I asked "what the lower risk" is, I meant to say that I wasn't sure between the .125-.25mg, and the 1mg, which had less of a chance of harming me and making me feel bad (before you pointed out you were talking about 2 different medications).

 

I'm hesitant to mix my own solution because of the unknown stability issues. I don't think I have the energy to redo every day.

 

Do you know if there is anyone on here with a similar experience of switching from escitalopram to citalopram? I tried to search it, but couldn't figure it out.

 

 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

I asked my doctor about citalopram and she did not want me to switch. So, I’ll move forward with liquid escitalopram. I just got it from the pharmacy right now. Shelf life is about a year for my bottle. 
 

My coupon cut down the cost by 70%. It’s ridiculous what they charge. 
 

I don’t know why I’m thinking this, but I thought I’d try .15mg to start. It’s kind of in between the range you gave me, Shep. While I want to start right away, I will wait until morning because it might be somewhat stimulating, I’m assuming? Wish me luck...I got the smallest syringes I could but with this small amount I’m slightly paranoid I will be .001mg off and will have some adverse effect. I read the thread on how to use a syringe and asked the pharmacist just in case again. It’s totally the opposite of what I would have naturally done (which side of the plunger to line up to the amount marking). 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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  • Administrator

Yes, taking it in the morning is best. Please continue with your drug and symptoms notes and let us know how you do with the reinstatement. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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.

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

Started today 9am on .15mg (as close as I could get it) liquid escitalopram. 
 

last two nights, really didn’t sleep much but didn’t wake up with crippling anxiety. But very low mood. 
 

I have probably read it but my brain is so foggy I can’t remember. What constitutes as “stabilized”? I think I saw you can start tapering back down after you stabilize. Is it a time...or a feeling?

 

I tried to look for people who reinstated at a microdose and saw results and couldn’t find anything. Many said they reinstated but not what dose. Some did and didn’t follow up on if it worked. Is that the general feeling based on what all the moderators have seen over the years, that this was the best bet when things are so bad?

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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  • Administrator
17 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

I have probably read it but my brain is so foggy I can’t remember. What constitutes as “stabilized”? I think I saw you can start tapering back down after you stabilize. Is it a time...or a feeling?

 

This post by Brrassmonkey may help explain what he calls "withdrawal normal":

 

WDNormal

 

In a nutshell, withdrawal normal is "the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves."

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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tryingtosurvive330

Thank you. Day two of reinstating at .15mg. Do you know how long it took for most people to start feeling better, if they did?

 

my anxiety is not as bad as it was, for about 2-3 days. But I just don’t want to talk, answer anything, want my face to just be blank...can’t even try to smile. Angry at everything and nothing. 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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tryingtosurvive330

I don’t want to be at a higher dose but I feel a little desperate. I feel like this microdose couldn’t possibly help. But it has for others? 
 

Feeling no hope for the future in general. Personally and just everything about the world. Working on it with my therapist but everything that I know I should do to reframe my thinking just feels like it’s nothing and in the moment I have low motivation to believe in stuff or even to want to. I just feel really lost. 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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  • Administrator
18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

Thank you. Day two of reinstating at .15mg. Do you know how long it took for most people to start feeling better, if they did?

 

It takes 4 days for your nervous system to register the reinstatement and it can take a week or longer for your nervous system to adjust. 

 

18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

my anxiety is not as bad as it was, for about 2-3 days. But I just don’t want to talk, answer anything, want my face to just be blank...can’t even try to smile. Angry at everything and nothing. 

 

The "angry at everything and nothing" is a neuro-emotion. Please see:

 

Neuro emotions

 

Toxic Antidepressants - Neuro-emotions

 

It's good that your anxiety is reducing and these other feelings will fade out in time. You're several days away from that very high vitamin D dose you took, so if that had ramped up any anxiety, the farther away you get from that dose, the less anxious you'll feel. As you continue being consistent with your drug and supplements, your nervous system will settle down and stabilize. 

 

17 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

I don’t want to be at a higher dose but I feel a little desperate. I feel like this microdose couldn’t possibly help. But it has for others? 

 

Yes, it's best to start low and then increase. With a sensitized nervous system, you may hyper-react to higher doses. You could bump it up a bit to 0.25 mg and see how you do, but I wouldn't increase any more than that to start. 

 

18 hours ago, tryingtosurvive330 said:

Feeling no hope for the future in general. Personally and just everything about the world. Working on it with my therapist but everything that I know I should do to reframe my thinking just feels like it’s nothing and in the moment I have low motivation to believe in stuff or even to want to. I just feel really lost. 

 

"Feeling no hope for the future" is catastrophic thinking and can spiral down to despair. Instead of forcing yourself to change your thinking, I would work with distraction and then build out from that. For example, pick a list of activities such as video games, a favorite show or movie, favorite music, go for a walk with your cell phone and take pictures of nature, etc. - anything to break you out of your current headspace and give you a new activity or environment to focus on. Please see:

 

"Change the channel" - dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

As you practice distraction and not engaging in negative thinking - let your thoughts be like clouds in the sky passing by - you'll feel a lot better. Carrying around unwarranted catastrophic thoughts is a heavy weight to carry and very unnecessary. 

 

If your therapist is ignorant of withdrawal and is blaming your symptoms on you, you may want to avoid therapy until you've recovered more from withdrawal. Some people find therapy to be more harm than good during withdrawal. 

 

If you want more targeted tapering advice, please continue with your drug and symptoms journal so the moderators can go through it with you.

 

How is your sleep? 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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tryingtosurvive330
5 hours ago, Shep said:

If your therapist is ignorant of withdrawal and is blaming your symptoms on you, you may want to avoid therapy until you've recovered more from withdrawal. Some people find therapy to be more harm than good during withdrawal. 

 

If you want more targeted tapering advice, please continue with your drug and symptoms journal so the moderators can go through it with you.

 

How is your sleep? 

Hi Shep, thank you for reading my post.

 

My therapist initially thought that this was relapse and that I might need to go back on meds. But then she asked why I felt this was different. I also sent her Alto's interview with Mad in America and she said it was really interesting and was going to send it to a psychiatrist she knows. So she hasn't blamed me. But she does think the microdosing back on escitalopram is a good idea, and that I should still see a psychiatrist. She said she understands that I don't want to be on meds and suggested a psychiatrist and holistic GP.

 

By the drug and symptoms journal you're referring to the hourly documentation of my day?

 

My sleep is pretty bad. The 6th and 7th of Jan I was waking up with lower anxiety whereas before I was waking up with the "doom cloud". From the 8th on, I've usually been falling asleep or having trouble falling asleep around midnight. Always wake up between 4-6:30am but with lower/no anxiety unlike before, but very low mood. Then it's a cycle of restarting sleep hypnosis youtubes or something similar every hour until I finally wake up. I've been so drained during the day, breathless from doing anything, having to always sit down to catch my breath. Always want to nap but know that I shouldn't, and I wouldn't be able to fall asleep well anyway.

 

From the night of Jan 12th:

11:20pm Went to bed

11:45pm Awake

12am Fell asleep

4:51am Woke up - Michael Sealey youtube

5am Woke up, Michael Sealey

6am Woke up, Michael Sealey

7am Woke up but had already been in state of consciousness. Small anxiety in chest

7:30am Got up to use restroom, small bowel movement

8-810am SAD lamp

8:30am Second bowel movement (felt sick)

9am .15mg escitalopram

9:40-11am sat in sun, talked to boss

12:30pm Ate lunch. First time in about a week and a half I was able to eat something at normal lunchtime

1-3pm worked

3:45pm No real feelings, but aware I am putting off fixing things like plumbing issues, etc. Pushed out of my head

4pm fell asleep for five mins, jolted awake by thoughts of others being happy which made me feel bad about myself. Tried to push out and kept watching tv.

7:15pm small dinner

9:50pm slice of cheese

11:15pm ate more small leftovers

12am went to bed

3:38am woke up. Took 1 Benadryl. I hadn't taken any since the night of Jan 6th but I felt somewhat desperate last night and wanted to see if it would help. 

5:12am woke up. Previously it seemed like the Benadryl kept me asleep for 4 hours, since I only took 1 maybe thats why I slept for 2-ish hours. Put on Calm sleep story

6:30am woke up. Restarted Calm sleep story

7:15am woke up. Tried to keep eyes closed

7:30-7:50am woke up. Small bowel movement, for the first time in a couple weeks didn't feel "sick" from needing to use restroom

8-8:10am Calm meditation

8:25-8:35am SAD lamp

9am .15mg liquid escitalopram.

 

Now just sitting here with tv in the background zoning out.

 

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

Link to post
tryingtosurvive330

Shep, based on my initial story, do you believe I am in WD?

 

I knew that I had started feeling funny and like I was heading for a crash towards the end of this big project I had at work. I knew I was burned out and suddenly didn't want to keep pushing through. I felt as though that was the tipping point for me. That was December 18th.

Zoloft 25mg - June 2015-April 2018 - 2 month taper, had extreme antsiness (different from my normal anxiety)

Xanax 0.25-0.5mg - Aug 2018- Dec 2020 - Rarely took, probably less than every other month. Over 2020 holidays took 0.5mg 5-6times

Escitalopram 10mg - Aug 2018 - Nov 2020 - tapered over 5 months:

June 25 2020 - Aug 14 2020 - Can't remember what I did but assuming it was 5mg this whole time.

Aug 14 2020 - Oct 24th 2020?? - 2.5mg for awhile, then tried every 27 hrs...did some weird thing where I kept trying to extend the length of hours, up to 36. This is where my symptoms got bad but I was able to tolerate as it was more fatigue and irritability.

Oct 25 2020 - mid Nov 2020 - 1.25mg ever 24-36 hours, then I stopped completely. These are also estimates because I was cutting the pills and this is an eighth of 10mg but by this time, it was basically dust. I tried just having the dust toward the end.

Dec 27 2020 was when I began having major crying spells and depressive, empty/hopeless feeling dead thoughts. Had a couple ok days and a couple more really bad ones a week out.

Reinstated Escitalopram 0.15mg - Jan 12 2021 - doing my best to measure 0.15mg but it may be closer to 0.14-0.145mg

 

 

 

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