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Nelis: My story with Lexapro


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Hey guys,

 

I want to tell you my story. At the moment I am doing very bad. I have very severe anxiety and I don't have any idea on what to do.

Let me tell you my story first.

 

I was on Lexapro from January 2019 untill August 2019. I was also on Wellbutrin from May 2019 until August 2019.

Although I was doing quite well I for some reason wanted to get off those medications.

I tapered the Lexapro from 10mg to 2,5mg over the span of I would say 2-3 months (I am not exactly sure).

I was decreasing with 2,5mg at a time. At the time I didn't know that this was probably too fast. Also I thought it would be hard and useless to try to divide my 10mg pills into smaller pieces.

Only later I found out that Dutch pharmacies have lexapro in a liquid formulation. One drip from the liquid is 1mg of Lexapro.

Anyways, when I was down to 2,5mg I thought it would be safe to quit. I was on 150mg of Wellbutrin at the same time and since there is no smaller dose available and it's only extended release I thought it would be safe to quit this medication cold turkey at the same time I quit the Lexapro. I thought this was possible, especially since I had dropped it cold turkey before and at the time didn't face withdrawal after doing so.

This time I had severe withdrawal, but I am still kind of convinced that the Lexapro caused this withdrawal not the Wellbutrin.

 

Fast forward 1 year and 3 months later I still feel like I am in some sort of withdrawal.

My perspective on the world is very different from what it was before I took Lexapro, and I live in fear everyday.

Some of the symptoms I have are:

  • I just feel very restless in my body and mind, little things can set me off such as a weird sound or something flashing in the corner of my eye.
  • I worry all the time and I am also quite depressed.
  • I fear that this state of mind will last forever and I can't imagine how it could be different.

 

Still, I have hope. I am a young male with a life ahead of me, and although this drug has damaged me there must be some way I can survive. At least survive until the withdrawal is over, because it must be over some day right? Can someone please tell me I will not face this fate for the rest of my days?

 

I have tried reinstating Lexapro, but to no avail. I have tried a tricyclic antidepressant for 6 days and it made me feel very weird. In hindsight, maybe I should've tried it a little longer.

What can I do now? Is there any drug (a psychiatric one of a herbal/nature one I don't care) that could relieve some of my symptoms? At the moment my life is unbearable and I can't find something that would make it bearable, but is there such a thing?

 

Please, if you had a similar experience, can you help me?

If my story is too brief and you have extra question just ask them here, I'd be happy to answer them. I tried to be as complete as possible haha.

 

Nelis

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Nelis: My story with Lexapro
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Nelis.

 

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.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

The symptoms you describe are typical of antidepressant withdrawal, likely from both the Lexapro and the cold turkey of Wellbutrin.  Withdrawal is not permanent and you will heal.  You will not face this fate for the rest of your life.

 

 

 

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

 

These explain the healing process really well.

 

 

 
23 hours ago, Nelis said:

Is there any drug (a psychiatric one of a herbal/nature one I don't care) that could relieve some of my symptoms? At the moment my life is unbearable and I can't find something that would make it bearable, but is there such a thing?

We don't recommend taking another drug in order to deal with withdrawal from previous drugs.  There is no way to predict how another drug (or herb) will affect you and could make matters worse.

 

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 ae single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).
 
We strongly recommend the use of non-drug techniquesto deal with withdrawal.  Take a look at these techniques and see which you think might help you.
 
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, asks questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 
 
 
 
 


 

 

 

 

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post
Yesyes123
On 1/25/2021 at 7:34 PM, Nelis said:

At least survive until the withdrawal is over, because it must be over some day right? Can someone please tell me I will not face this fate for the rest of my days?

 

Be sure it will be over eventually.

 

You will not feel like that forever.

 

There are many stories here in this website of people who managed to get off Lexapro and have been free of the drug and enjoying life.

 

One thing that might relieve your symptoms is reinsating a small amount of Lexapro - maybe 0.1mg since it's been so long since you stopped. (We have to check the dosage with the mods)

 

Then you can very slowly taper that off too. How are you now?

 

Do you take any supplements?

 

Peace, love and healing

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

Link to post
On 1/28/2021 at 3:58 AM, Yesyes123 said:

 

Be sure it will be over eventually.

 

You will not feel like that forever.

 

There are many stories here in this website of people who managed to get off Lexapro and have been free of the drug and enjoying life.

 

One thing that might relieve your symptoms is reinsating a small amount of Lexapro - maybe 0.1mg since it's been so long since you stopped. (We have to check the dosage with the mods)

 

Then you can very slowly taper that off too. How are you now?

 

Do you take any supplements?

 

Peace, love and healing

 

Thanks for your response! Do you really think that it might be a good idea to reinstate Lexapro? It's been more than a year since I stopped. 

Today I am not good, the past weeks have been very hard, but so has the last year. I am just hoping to get better.

Today I started Omega 3 fish oil and I just bought a container so I will be continuing this. 

I was planning on starting with 2 capsules a day (2 capsules contain 375mg of EPA and 250mg of DHA). I want to increase the dosage to 4 capsules a day soon.

Is that a good idea?

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
Yesyes123

You might be able to reinstate an extremely small amount of Lexapro and get sooo much relief. Like 0.1mg. We need to ask the mods tho!

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

Link to post
  • Moderator
8 hours ago, Nelis said:

Do you really think that it might be a good idea to reinstate Lexapro? It's been more than a year since I stopped. 

Today I am not good, the past weeks have been very hard, but so has the last year. I am just hoping to get better.

Today I started Omega 3 fish oil and I just bought a container so I will be continuing this. 

I was planning on starting with 2 capsules a day (2 capsules contain 375mg of EPA and 250mg of DHA). I want to increase the dosage to 4 capsules a day soon.

Is that a good idea?

After a year of being off Lexapro, reinstating is risky and could make things worse.  RI works most predictably within 3 months of your last dose and you're well beyond that.  

 

Re the omegas, start off slowly (the dose you've chosen seems about right) and increase very gradually as you figure out what dosage works best for you.    

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post
21 hours ago, Gridley said:

After a year of being off Lexapro, reinstating is risky and could make things worse.  RI works most predictably within 3 months of your last dose and you're well beyond that.  

 

Re the omegas, start off slowly (the dose you've chosen seems about right) and increase very gradually as you figure out what dosage works best for you.    

I understand that it might not work anymore, but why would it be dangerous?

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
  • Moderator
27 minutes ago, Nelis said:

but why would it be dangerous?

Your system has become accustomed to functioning without the drug and is also sensitized from your fast taper. Reintroducing the drug at this point could overwhelm your central nervous system and also could have other unknowable effects.  The fact that reinstatement didn't work last time also points to potential problems.

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post
55 minutes ago, Gridley said:

Your system has become accustomed to functioning without the drug and is also sensitized from your fast taper. Reintroducing the drug at this point could overwhelm your central nervous system and also could have other unknowable effects.  The fact that reinstatement didn't work last time also points to potential problems.

Do you have any advice for me? Is there anything which could give me some relief? I am really desperate at the moment, my anxiety is so sky-high...

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
  • Moderator
11 minutes ago, Nelis said:

Do you have any advice for me? Is there anything which could give me some relief? I am really desperate at the moment, my anxiety is so sky-high...

I'd suggest you start with the magnesium and find a good dose for you.  Then you can introduce omegas.  Many members have reported they are calming to the system.

 

These links are helpful with anxiety.  I've found the last link about the restorative yoga pose to be good in the relief of anxiety.  Also check out the techniques in this link:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post
  • Mentor

Hello @Nelis I am sorry you are feeling bad. Gridley has done a good job as usual providing support. Things will get better. Just let more time pass.  So you are now 1+ year off meds right? What are you doing to distract yourself from the bad symptoms? 

 

 

Stay well and take care of yourself!

 

Cymbalta 30 mg- 60 mg 

06/2016-  10/2018 ( Cold Turkey) 

Link to post
34 minutes ago, Amira said:

Hello @Nelis I am sorry you are feeling bad. Gridley has done a good job as usual providing support. Things will get better. Just let more time pass.  So you are now 1+ year off meds right? What are you doing to distract yourself from the bad symptoms? 

 

 

Stay well and take care of yourself!

 

Thanks. Yes, I thank him for that :). I am not completely off meds, I am on 75mg pregabalin twice a day since november/december. I am thinking of going off this as well. It's not helping me I think, and maybe it's making my CNS confused? Is that possible?

 

Anyways, I have been off antidepressants since about 6 months. But my withdrawals started almost 1,5 years ago when I quit Lexapro in August 2019.

 

I have always been working during my withdrawal and still am. I will start working as a teacher 3 days a week soon (just accepted a new job). I am studying as well.

I consciously decided to work 3 days a week because I need some days off every week. I have had very hard days at work because my anxiety was so high. On the other hand, my anxiety is high when I sit at home doing nothing aswell. Sometimes work takes my mind of anxiety.

 

Anyways, can someone help me with a schedule to build off my pregabalin 75mg? I have learned from past mistakes haha, and even though this isn't an antidepressant I still guess it would be wise to taper slowly.

 

Apart from pregabalin I asked my doctor for a script for dexamphetamine. This is a med that has helped me and hurt me in the past. It helps me with productivity though. However, I don't know if it's wise for me to start taking this again. I haven't taken it for months. I can pick up the script tomorrow. Another why I asked my doc for this is because I am hoping it might help me stay awake from coffee. I feel that coffee is causing me major anxiety, but I take it to cover some of my ADD symptoms. I figure an actual ADD med might be a better solution for covering symptoms of bad focus and fatigue. However, I have noticed increased sensitivity to dexamphetamine since quitting lexapro in May 2019.

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
  • Mentor

I am not sure about the medications you are currently taking. I pretty much cold turkeyed so i have no experience in this area. You can ask any of the Admins or moderators and they might help you with this issue though.

 

I understand work can be extremely hard while having wd symptoms. But i am glad you find it distracting. A part time job is less stressful than a full time job, right?

 

Acceptance, patience and a positive attitude are very important during wd. Take care!

Edited by Amira

Cymbalta 30 mg- 60 mg 

06/2016-  10/2018 ( Cold Turkey) 

Link to post

You mention “only Pregabalin”. I experienced total hell being on Gabapentin (a similar drug). It made me manically depressed and agitated. Could you suffering be caused by the presence of Pregabalin as well?

April 2019 ct from Clonazepan (Klonopin) 0.5mg. Chaotic CT

Gabapentin November 2019 600mg Chaotic RT

Nozinan November 2019. RT

ct Gabapentin and Nozinan May 2020

Seroquel in July 2020 90mg. Reduced to 50mg in Feb 2020 over one month. Too fast!!

Lexapro July 2020 5mg

Propranolol to control Tachycardia 2020. 15mg given in December 2020 on Cardiologist recommendation. 

 

Link to post

Hi, maybe it does. I was thinking of tapering it and see if I feel better off it. Now you've mentioned this I will definitely try.

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys, 

 

I updated my signature a bit. I think it's 95% complete now (because maybe I forgot 1-2 meds I took).

 

How am I feeling? Very very bad, I am thinking of suicide every day. I don't know what to do anymore. 

 

I found a study https://bit.ly/2ZoQ746 about this very website. One of the paragraphs was this:

 

''In total, n = 69 individual reports of protracted withdrawal were selected for analysis. At time of the subjects’ most recent reports, duration of PWS ranged from 5 to 166 months, mean = 37 months, median = 26 months. Length of time on the antidepressant causing protracted withdrawal ranged from 6 to 278 months, mean = 96 months, and median = 79 months.''

 

So basically it says that 69 people from this website were studied. Their duration of antidepressants (mostly SSRI's) ranged from 5 to 166 months, with a mean of 37 months. Their duration of PAWS ranged from 6 to 278 months with a mean of 96 months.

 

I have so many questions about this:

 

1) I quit Lexapro 18 months ago (for the first time), but reinstated twice after that. Does that mean I am only 5 months into PAWS (since September 2020, the last time I quit Lexapro), or am I 18 months into PAWS (since the first time I quit Lexapro)?

note: since I quit Lexapro in august 2019 I feel terrible, every single day. I don't have any windows, never had one. Reinstating Lexapro didn't do ****.

2) The mean duration on antidepressants in this study is 96 months. I was only on Lexapro for 8 months, does this mean that my duration of PAWS will also be shorter than the mean of 37 months?

3) How did your PAWS end? Did u suddenly wake up one morning and felt better? Or was it a gradual process?

4) Did anyone try taking an MAOI for relief of symptoms? I read online that MAOI's are considered the best antidepressants. I am wondering if there is any drug that can give me some relief? Or is my CNS so severely impacted that no drug will help?

 

Also, at the moment I only take pregabalin 75mg twice a day (have been doing so for about 3-4 months). I also occassionaly take lorazepam to easen my anxiety (I take it 2 days in a row, then stop for 3-4 days to avoid becoming dependent on this stuff). I know benzo's are bad, but it's the only thing that somewhat helps me find some relief in these very very dark days. Sometimes I think I should just take this stuff regularly for the coming years. At least to survive and not commit suicide. If my PAWS at some point then ends, I'll see what to do with the benzo's. Sounds bad, I know, but I don't really have a lot of options.

 

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next Tuesday. I don't know what to ask him anymore. We can try a drug maybe? 

 

I would really appreciate some insight from you wonderful people.

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
Yesyes123

@Nelis,

 

How long did you hold the Lexapro reinstatement before tapering it off again? It took me about 3-4 months of reinstating it to feel better.

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

Link to post
Yesyes123

Maybe you could try reinstating a small amount and holding it. Just an idea

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

Link to post
1 hour ago, Yesyes123 said:

@Nelis,

 

How long did you hold the Lexapro reinstatement before tapering it off again? It took me about 3-4 months of reinstating it to feel better.

 

I reinstated for ~4 months.

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
1 hour ago, Yesyes123 said:

Maybe you could try reinstating a small amount and holding it. Just an idea

What amount would that be? I sometimes see people talking about 0,1mg or 0,2mg, but how do I even get that small an amount to ingest haha.

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post
Yesyes123

@Nelis

 

You will need a Gemini 20 scale or other similar that measures down to 0.001g

 

https://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-GEMINI-20-Portable-MilliGram/dp/B0012TDNAM

 

You will crush the pill and weight it, removing some powder to make a very small dose.

 

Then you put that powder in a empty gelatin capsule.

 

Here is more info:

 

If it seems complicated at first, don't worry, it's actually very simple. I can explain better to you later.

 

Are you thinking of trying reinstatement of very small quantity like 0.1mg?

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

Link to post
  • Mentor
4 hours ago, Nelis said:

What amount would that be? I sometimes see people talking about 0,1mg or 0,2mg, but how do I even get that small an amount to ingest haha.

I would not reinstate any more than 0.5 mg. You could try 0.1 mg and always increase if needed after a couple of weeks.  Are you able to get liquid Lexapro? It is so easy to taper with if it’s available. If not, @Gridleydid his entire Lexapro taper using a scale and crushing the tablets.

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

Link to post

I can get Lexapro drips. They're 1mg per drop. Is that too much? Otherwise I can get the scale.

 

But assume I take this step. Would it really be of use? It's 1,5 years since I quit the first time. What would doing this achieve for me, or what could it possibly achieve for me?

Okt 2018 - Nov 2018: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

Dec 2018 - August 2019: Lexapro 10mg (from about May 2019 I was decreasing my dose in steps of 2,5mg at a time)

May 2019 - August 2019: Wellbutrin 150mg XR

I quit Lexapro 2,5mg cold turkey in August 2019. At the same time I quit Wellbutrin 150mg XR cold turkey

November 2019: reinstated Lexapro at 5mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

January 2020: reinstated Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after 2 weeks because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

March 2020: sertraline 25mg for 3 weeks

April 2020 - July 2020: reinstated Lexapro 10mg (tapered down after reinstating didn't work)

August 2020: amitriptyline 25mg for 6 days

November 2020 - reinstates Wellbutrin 150mg XR (quit after a month because of increased anxiety, didn't taper)

December 2020 - present: right now I only use pregabalin 75mg twice daily (occasionally I take Lorazepam 1mg)

In between these events I have taken a number of different ADHD-meds (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, vyvanse) for differing timeframes

Link to post

Hi Nelis,

I have a lot experience with withdrawal from Lexapro and Wellbutrin. I am from The Netherlands too, where I was given this cocktail about 15 years ago. Have experience with 3 times quitting (too fast, because I just did not know then how to do it "the right way".

 

I made a lot of mistakes and reinstated several times (I wish I hadn't). When interested read my topic. I am still on a small dosage SSRI (prozac, because I was told a switch to prozac might make things easier, which wasn't the case..) and Wellbutrin.

 

As you can read in my topic there is an important interaction in metabolizing a SSRI in combination with Wellbutrin. Therefor both medicines better should not be decreased in dosage at the same time. But also that I had to find out through making errors.

 

Anyhow you have quit both medications. If reinstating the Lexapro is a good idea, I find very hard to say. But I would like to give you two suggestions which help me in the withdrawal process. Of course we are all different, but it might help.

 

1. I often have periods with anxiety because of the withdrawal. What helps me very good and fast is Lavender essential oil. Take the organic quality only and put 2-3 drops in a glass of water. This helps me extremely good and it works within 15 minutes. No side effects! I just take it when needed. And as said, almost direct effect.

 

2. I read that you have taken dexamphetamine for ADD. Mean stuff IMO. You might try L-Theanine for ADD, when you really need something for that. I took it when having heavy withdrawal effects of Wellbutrin. L-Theanine raises dopamine level, just as Wellbutrin and dexamphetamine do. I would not recommend to take it every day, but only when needed. In my case I feel effect after 1 hour. No side effects either in my case.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg  ,Mar 0,42mg, Apr 0,37

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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