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My longest road home from Lexapro


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manymoretodays

Thank you Longestroadhome.  And I dub you "Hurdle Jumper".  B)💜

On 3/9/2021 at 3:27 AM, Thelongestroadhome said:

I have no withdrawal symptoms any more. I live a fulfilling and happy life. My marriage got worse before it got better but I am happy to say that we are stronger than ever now. I am back to the normal active person that I was before medication. I FEEL emotions again! I am not a walking zombie 😜 I am still a worry wort and probably always will be but I manage my anxiety in a natural way. 

 

 

And nice!  Very nice.  Feel free to head on over to the Relationships Forum too, if you'd like......as so many would benefit from hearing that it all worked out, and your marriage got stronger.

 

I love your story.  Proud of you!   Giving you the medal we all deserve, and some hugs.  ((((((((Longestroadhome))))))))

Continued wishes for, well.....

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Cocopuffz17
On 3/9/2021 at 4:27 AM, Thelongestroadhome said:

 

Thankfully the investigator in me decided to research my medications. I was led to a book by a woman who had been diagnosed  with post natal depression  like myself and heavily medicated. It was horrific but helped me understand what the drugs were doing to me. I won’t go in to it but some of my behaviour ( excessive online shopping) was clearly linked to SSRI drugs. Dr Peter Breggin talks about it in his books. I

Amazing story :) I am glad to see you are doing amazing!!!  I love to read that you found individuals in similar situations and learned from them. That is exactly how I did it as well. I LOVE seeing this!!! All the best to you in the future  :D  

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

2021 - Feb. 12 - 24 months off paroxetine. I have minor challenges now. Tinnitus/Headaches are still around but are reduced by a massive amount. 

 

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So needed today.  Is there really life after tapering. I guess it is in the after vs during the process. Lots of waves since February 4. Thought I was tapering slowly.  At 5 mil. down to 4.5 mil. Doing a liquid suspension from compounding pharmacist.

I am amazed by the amount of crying I do. Feel so fragile and on edge. Today I will read more testimonials of success. Need to cancel out the doubt and dread and invest in some hope building efforts.

delighted to hear of your success. Kudos to you and happy for your restored marriage as well.

  •  1995 -1998 prozac 20 mg; unsuccessful C.T.
  • 1998-2004 paxil 10 mg ; unsuccessful C.T. 
  •  2004-current  lexapro 10 mg
  •  2009 added drug Wellbutrin 150mg, 2016  bupropian300 mg XL
  • 2019  start taper June-;alternated between 300 mg and 150 mg XL (as per PCP guidelines) until  reached daily bupropian 150 mg XL in December 2019
  • 2020 January-March skipping 1 -4 days in between 150 mg XL then crashed mid month March
  • 2020 March-April resumed skipping every 3 days
  • 2020 April 28 began splitting bupropion 75 mg HCL and taking 37.5 mg am &  pm
  • 2020 April discovered SA and the brassmonkey slide taper; making own pills now
  • 2020 June 10-71.3 mg bupropion HCL (2 pills daily -divided);July 10 -67.7 mg;August 9 -64.3;August 31-61.1;September 21-58.0; October 12-55.1; November 2-52.4 mg bupropion HCL;December 3-8 -49.8; reinstated December 9 -52.4mg,ALL ARE GENERIC
  • 2021 January 7 liquid taper of Wellbutrin done by compound pharmacist . Same amount as before.
  • 2021 January 29 liquid lexapro done by compound pharmacist.
  • 2021 February 4 began  taper at 5% so now at 9.5mg. 
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Thelongestroadhome
20 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Thank you Longestroadhome.  And I dub you "Hurdle Jumper".  B)💜

 

And nice!  Very nice.  Feel free to head on over to the Relationships Forum too, if you'd like......as so many would benefit from hearing that it all worked out, and your marriage got stronger.

 

I love your story.  Proud of you!   Giving you the medal we all deserve, and some hugs.  ((((((((Longestroadhome))))))))

Continued wishes for, well.....

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

I love that nickname, The Hurdle jumper 😜

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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Thelongestroadhome
6 hours ago, Cocopuffz17 said:

Amazing story :) I am glad to see you are doing amazing!!!  I love to read that you found individuals in similar situations and learned from them. That is exactly how I did it as well. I LOVE seeing this!!! All the best to you in the future  :D  

Yes, I am an avid reader ( although I had to swap hard copies for Audible during withdrawal as I couldn’t concentrate on reading) and this probably saved me more than I know. Knowledge is power. So many people are like sheep and follow the mass media view which in the case of psychiatric drugs promotes a ‘chemical imbalance’ theory. 
I also followed The plant paradox diet for a while. I’m mostly still eating that way!

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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Thelongestroadhome
5 hours ago, benesh said:

So needed today.  Is there really life after tapering. I guess it is in the after vs during the process. Lots of waves since February 4. Thought I was tapering slowly.  At 5 mil. down to 4.5 mil. Doing a liquid suspension from compounding pharmacist.

I am amazed by the amount of crying I do. Feel so fragile and on edge. Today I will read more testimonials of success. Need to cancel out the doubt and dread and invest in some hope building efforts.

delighted to hear of your success. Kudos to you and happy for your restored marriage as well.

I definitely recommend reading more success stories. It is what I did and it improved my state of mind. I had to stop reading all the sad testimonies as I just couldn’t cope. The success stories created a huge well of HOPE. I had a few favourites that I would read over and over again. If only those people knew how much it helped me. I will be forever grateful 🙏❤️

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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Cocopuffz17
22 minutes ago, Thelongestroadhome said:

Yes, I am an avid reader ( although I had to swap hard copies for Audible during withdrawal as I couldn’t concentrate on reading) and this probably saved me more than I know. Knowledge is power. So many people are like sheep and follow the mass media view which in the case of psychiatric drugs promotes a ‘chemical imbalance’ theory. 
I also followed The plant paradox diet for a while. I’m mostly still eating that way!

That is great. I was not an avid reader at all. I learned to read more and learn more during withdrawals. I to use audible as my focus isn't the greatest at times. So it is much easier to listen than focus to read. Yes, knowledge is power!!! The problem is they trust the professional and the professional doesn't run a single test to prove any of their claims. It is heartbreaking. 

That is awesome!! I am still going hard at it! How have you found the changes for your body/well being ? 

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

2021 - Feb. 12 - 24 months off paroxetine. I have minor challenges now. Tinnitus/Headaches are still around but are reduced by a massive amount. 

 

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On 3/9/2021 at 1:27 PM, Thelongestroadhome said:

Thelongestroadhome's Introduction topic:  Thelongestroad home: long road back with Lexapro

 

I thought it was about time that I wrote my success story. It has been 30 months since I took my last tiny dose of lexapro in September 2018.

 

I have always been a worry wort! Ever since I can remember I have found something to worry about. It never affected me negatively, yes it was annoying but basically I got on with life and had a happy disposition. All that changed when I surprisingly fell pregnant with my youngest child at 42 years old. My husband was not keen on having another child and our marriage took a downward turn because of his attitude. A work colleague started forming a deep friendship with him which left me feeling insecure and vulnerable. At 32 weeks pregnant I was admitted to hospital with health problems and subsequently delivered by emergency Caesarean section. After the caesarean I had an elective tubal ligation. I felt everything through both operations, not just tugging and pulling but pain. The anaesthetist kept topping up my epidural to no avail. 
 

Once I was taken to the ward I experienced what I now know was a panic attack but at the time was treated for extremely high blood pressure. I later found out through the psychiatrist that the medication they used was linked to depressive episodes in patients. 
 

six weeks later, with a baby in the NICU, and after many dark days and hours I was diagnosed with post natal depression. In retrospect I was emotionally drained, extremely tired and probably suffering from post traumatic stress from an awful birth. I was given a benzodiazepine ( lorazepam) and a 10mg prescription for lexapro. Within four weeks my lexapro was raised to 30mg. 
 

I can’t remember ever feeling better on the medication. The lorazepam helped initially but I felt no benefit from the lexapro. What it did do was make me very lethargic and apathetic  to all around me... including my newborn son 🥲 I started to gain weight quickly and within twelve months weighed 25kg more than I had at the end of my pregnancy. 
 

Thankfully the investigator in me decided to research my medications. I was led to a book by a woman who had been diagnosed  with post natal depression  like myself and heavily medicated. It was horrific but helped me understand what the drugs were doing to me. I won’t go in to it but some of my behaviour ( excessive online shopping) was clearly linked to SSRI drugs. Dr Peter Breggin talks about it in his books. 
 

I began my own journey of withdrawal starting with the lorazepam. It took me nine months to get off that. Then I started on the lexapro. I immediately cut down from 30mg to 25 and stayed on that for about a year. I was scared to do it any quicker and had no idea what I was doing at the time. All I knew was that I had to take it slowly and coming off the drugs too quickly was not good.  Over the next eleven years I continued to make cuts. Every time I cut my dose the anxiety would ramp up, often lasting for about six weeks. Sometimes I would have flu like symptoms too. Eventually I found this site and received all the information I had been looking for. I just wish I had found it sooner as it probably wouldn’t have taken me eleven years to withdraw! 
 

I tried many supplements but can’t really say that any helped. I spent a lot of money on a machine supposed to help me get the same level of calm as a meditating monk....it didn’t!!  What did help me was self help teaching by authors like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. And to a certain extent Joe Dispenza. Even to this day I still listen to them. They helped me manage my thought process. To re think not overthink my thoughts! 
 

I have no withdrawal symptoms any more. I live a fulfilling and happy life. My marriage got worse before it got better but I am happy to say that we are stronger than ever now. I am back to the normal active person that I was before medication. I FEEL emotions again! I am not a walking zombie 😜 I am still a worry wort and probably always will be but I manage my anxiety in a natural way. 


To anyone reading I just want to encourage you to keep going. Yes, there are hurdles but keep jumping over them and things will get better. There is life after antidepressants 🙏♥️

Thanks for sharing your story. It's very encouraging. 

  • Escitalopram 5mg  13dec 2020 to 23 Jan  2020 for 5weeks each day. 
  • Replaced escitalopram with st. John's wort 500mg 2feb2021 to 13feb 2021 for 10 days. Then again suffered panic attacks, pounding heart and chest pain. Heart rate fluctuations 90 to 100s.. 27days off of escitalopram, 900mg omega 3. Bad withdrawls 
  • Reinstated 1mg escitalopram 27, 28 Feb 2021.. 0.4mg 7march to 2 April, 0.35mg 4 April to 10 April, 0.3mg 10 April to 19 April (heart palpitations, chest pain), reinstated 0.35mg 20 april continued.. 
  •  

 

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Thelongestroadhome
3 hours ago, Cocopuffz17 said:

That is great. I was not an avid reader at all. I learned to read more and learn more during withdrawals. I to use audible as my focus isn't the greatest at times. So it is much easier to listen than focus to read. Yes, knowledge is power!!! The problem is they trust the professional and the professional doesn't run a single test to prove any of their claims. It is heartbreaking. 

That is awesome!! I am still going hard at it! How have you found the changes for your body/well being ? 

I followed The plant paradox strictly for twelve months. It helped me to lose weight for the first time since starting antidepressants! Mainly I did it to support my husband who has psoriasis. It didn’t really help him with that but we enjoyed the diet.

These days I eat mainly  plant based with a little bit of fish. I re introduced certain foods like potatoes and sourdough bread after researching further and reading the book ‘Fiber Fueled’ by a gastroenterologist. I try to eat a wide variety of plants because it makes me feel better. Diet is an important part of my wellness program ♥️

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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Cocopuffz17
47 minutes ago, Thelongestroadhome said:

I followed The plant paradox strictly for twelve months. It helped me to lose weight for the first time since starting antidepressants! Mainly I did it to support my husband who has psoriasis. It didn’t really help him with that but we enjoyed the diet.

These days I eat mainly  plant based with a little bit of fish. I re introduced certain foods like potatoes and sourdough bread after researching further and reading the book ‘Fiber Fueled’ by a gastroenterologist. I try to eat a wide variety of plants because it makes me feel better. Diet is an important part of my wellness program ♥️

That is awesome you lost weight! Ah that is unfortunate, have you found anything to help your husband with his condition?

 

That is great to hear, it truly is a journey to find out what works for each individual person :) Diversity is nice with plant based foods. I need to eat more types of plants!!! 

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

2021 - Feb. 12 - 24 months off paroxetine. I have minor challenges now. Tinnitus/Headaches are still around but are reduced by a massive amount. 

 

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Armorall

Congratulations on your success! It's so inspiring to  hear. And I love to hear that your marriage is stronger. We slowly crawled out of rock bottom from my withdrawal and are much stronger and appreciative as well. I hope to follow in your footsteps! Cheers to you and your life ❤️❤️❤️!

3/21/19 started Bupropion XL 150 mg

3/21/19 started Risperidone 2mg

7/7/19 start Abilify half dose 5 mg. discontinue Risperidone

7/9/19 full dose Abilify 10 mg

7/29/19 discontinued Abilify due to panicky side effects

8/2/19 Began Latuda 20 mg

8/5/19 discontinued Latuda due to similar side effects 

8/10/19 discontinued Bupropion after realizing it was causing the insomnia

From 8/10/19 no drugs whatsoever

Currently taking vitamin D, E, a probiotic and fish oil. 

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Krisseyb

Congrats!!! I am happy for you, and thankful for your success story. I love reading these, as they give me hope. I, too....have got where I can't read much of the sad, horrible stories. I do better reading the good, happy stuff. Thank you for sharing!!! 

Someday, I will have one to share also! 🙂

2005-2017 started on AD for sleep then on and off Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, and others that I can't remember

2017 Lexapro 10 mg

2018 Jan-Tried getting off lexapro. (within about a 4-6 week period) 

2018 March- Got back on Lexapro 10mg

2018 June Switched to Wellbutrin. (don't remember dosage)

2018 August Switched to Sertraline. 25 mg, 50, 75, then back down to 50 

2019 December...back on Sertraline 25 mg 

2020 January-switched back to Escitalopram 5 mg

2020 March-December Escitalopram 10 mg

2021 Jan-started BMS taper w/2 wk hold (using liquid form)

2021 March 7.97mg

Occasionally .25mg Melatonin (as needed)

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waves12

Thank you for posting your success story.  I am over 4 years off AD's cold turkey and still have crippling anxiety which then leaves me very depressed because unable to engage in life, I am still just a shell of who I was all this time late.  The anxiety has got a lot worse and keeps me in the house so much more and sometimes bed, no life at all to speak of.  How did you manage your anxiety and did it just go or did you have help and or therpay to help you? For me it feels so permanent now like it will never go away and I will live this isolated life alone forever in this horribke state of high severe anxiety, not a nice prospect at all.

 

If there is anything you can pass on or you can identify with the extreme anxiety that has you pinned down it would help for me to hear your feedback if you dont mind.

 

Waves

 

Various antipressants from 1991 to 2016, Sertraline and many switches over the years.

Last AD's taken:

Citalopram for two weeks only May 2016  to June 2016, last AD taken and CT'd.

2012 to May 2016 Duloxitine 60mg. Doctor switched to Citalopram 20mg May 2016.

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Thelongestroadhome
11 hours ago, waves12 said:

Thank you for posting your success story.  I am over 4 years off AD's cold turkey and still have crippling anxiety which then leaves me very depressed because unable to engage in life, I am still just a shell of who I was all this time late.  The anxiety has got a lot worse and keeps me in the house so much more and sometimes bed, no life at all to speak of.  How did you manage your anxiety and did it just go or did you have help and or therpay to help you? For me it feels so permanent now like it will never go away and I will live this isolated life alone forever in this horribke state of high severe anxiety, not a nice prospect at all.

 

If there is anything you can pass on or you can identify with the extreme anxiety that has you pinned down it would help for me to hear your feedback if you dont mind.

 

Waves

 

I am so sorry to hear that you are still suffering with terrible anxiety. I know that feeling well as I suffered debilitating anxiety throughout withdrawal. 
 

Anxiety is still in my life but I work hard to manage it. I have always suffered with anxiety, even as a little girl. What I learned during my withdrawal process is that anxiety is very clever and can quickly make a pathway in our brain. It does that by working alongside our thoughts. If you can picture a piece of paper and a pen, the pen going round the paper and making an oval pattern, eventually that pattern is so over coloured by the pen that the paper tears. The pen represents our thought life. If you analyse your thoughts they are often repetitive. They go something like this, ‘ I can’t go on like this’, ‘ I feel dreadful’, ‘I’ve got a pain in my left side... I bet it’s cancer’  Well those thoughts when repeated often enough eventually become ingrained in our mind. They are there when we go to bed and there in the morning when we wake. Anxiety flourishes in this situation. 
 

There are a few ways that you can work at  breaking that thought pattern. One well known and successful way is through meditation. It works by sitting still and learning to not think! To be present. It is impossible to completely empty the mind of thoughts and takes much practice to enter a state of peace.  I personally found that when I was really bad with anxiety I simply could not focus on meditation. But I highly recommended it in the long term and there are many groups you could join. 
 

The way that I started to break the control of the pen on the paper was by listening to Audible books by various self help authors. Some that helped me were by Buddhist Monk Thich Naht  Hahn, his voice was incredibly calming and he explained the act of presence beautifully. I also received much help from Dr Joe Dispenza, especially one called ‘ The Placebo effect’. He talks a lot about changing the way we think and I found it incredible helpful. I spent hours watching YouTube videos of Eckhart Tolle. Often I would be in the pit of despair at the beginning but by the end I’d be laughing with joy! Another great support was Byron Katie, also on YouTube. She taught me how to analyse my thought and re think them. 
 

I can honestly say that this works. I could go from an anxiety ridden state to total peace just by doing my work. It is work, it doesn’t come easily and takes practice but it works! The more I did this the less intense my thought life became. I broke the pen! 
 

Our thoughts always either take us to the past and try to make us feel guilt or they take us to the future and convince us that our circumstances will get worse. Our thoughts  are often far worse than the reality. If and when a bad situation arises we will always cope better than we thought. I can testify that on many occasion. 
 

Drugs don’t cure anxiety they merely numb us. We can’t live life like that. We have to learn how to manage it naturally. May I encourage you today that it is possible. It isn’t easy but nothing worth fighting for is. You will have a lot of work initially but soon it will become second nature. The pen will eventually break and the ingrained lines of repetitive thoughts will get a reprieve. That is the best time to start working on new healthy thoughts. Instead of ‘This is awful’ it will be ‘this is feeling better’ instead of ‘I feel dreadful’ it will be ‘ I feel happier’ and no longer ‘ I have a pain, it might be cancer’ but ‘ I have a pain, must see the doctor about that but no use worrying’. 
 

I hope I have explained myself well. I wrote more about this on my thread if you would like to hear more. Good luck😘

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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BooBoo19

@Thelongestroadhome

Thank you for sharing it is so inspiring that success stories are added as we all know it would be easy to just get on with your life, something I look forward to.  I have read your post and had to smile to myself as I could have been writing about me re Health Anxiety.  My HA has increased 10 fold and have been very honest with my GP who has been very supportive, I am going through colonoscopies, CT scans etc.  I have always taken care of my health but this is something else, it is not funny and hard to live with but it is nice to see someone else like me.  How long did it take for your HA to dissipate.  My lovely husband when I get the all clear asks what next.  I have just received notification I can have the Covid 19 vaccination and my husband is laughing stating that will start spiralling me out of control.  You have to laugh sometimes but it is not nice to live with.  

 

Thank you for giving me hope!!

November 2015 0 15mg Mirtazapine for 5 weeks and GP changed me to Effexor 150mg titrated up slowly as very sensitive.  Change was due to GP worried about weight gain on Mirtazapine.

 

Started to wean off Effexor over 16 months period and I had no issues at all. Stopped June 2020.  Unfortunately, I was under chronic stress from 4 deaths (1 was my mother) in the family amongst other things  and sunk back down in October 2020.  Rather than accepting this was chronic stress and grief, I panicked and went to GP.

 

October 2020 prescribed Vortioxetine 10mg for 1 month and then increased to 15 mg on for 7 weeks in total.  Had suicidal thoughts and off the wall anxiety.  Changed to Lexapro in mid December 2020, slow titration from 2.5mg up to 10mg.  After 7 weeks again off the wall anxiety, I did have side effects on all drugs from starting to take them.  I decided to go 'au natural', GP advised to 'lets get it out of your system.' I did 1 week at 5mg and stopped.  Last med was 02 February 2021.  

 

I honestly did not realise after a short period of time I would experience such high anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc.  I was prescribed Diazepam to manage the symptoms but have only taken 3 when absolutely desperate.

I exercise, cold water swim and take magnesium, st Johns wort, valerian, VIt D and B12 and Omega 3.

 

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waves12

Thank you so much for your reply. 

I do actually understand about what you have described but just been unable to do it as in such a sensitized state of anxiety that it is overwhelming with symptoms. I have listened to Eckhart a million times and have Dr Joe's book on audible. 

Did you have any outside help or did you do all this on your own ? 

It's very hard to believe it is just anxiety as it's very crippling. 

My thoughts have become so ingrained and not sure if I can get out of this and this thought throws more fuel on the anxiety. It is so bad I cannot work or go places and wonder if you experienced it to this degree and then used the tools you mentioned to overcome on your own ? 

I hope you don't mind me asking more questions. 

Waves 

Various antipressants from 1991 to 2016, Sertraline and many switches over the years.

Last AD's taken:

Citalopram for two weeks only May 2016  to June 2016, last AD taken and CT'd.

2012 to May 2016 Duloxitine 60mg. Doctor switched to Citalopram 20mg May 2016.

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Thelongestroadhome
9 hours ago, BooBoo19 said:

@Thelongestroadhome

Thank you for sharing it is so inspiring that success stories are added as we all know it would be easy to just get on with your life, something I look forward to.  I have read your post and had to smile to myself as I could have been writing about me re Health Anxiety.  My HA has increased 10 fold and have been very honest with my GP who has been very supportive, I am going through colonoscopies, CT scans etc.  I have always taken care of my health but this is something else, it is not funny and hard to live with but it is nice to see someone else like me.  How long did it take for your HA to dissipate.  My lovely husband when I get the all clear asks what next.  I have just received notification I can have the Covid 19 vaccination and my husband is laughing stating that will start spiralling me out of control.  You have to laugh sometimes but it is not nice to live with.  

 

Thank you for giving me hope!!

Thank you for your kind words. 
My anxiety is purely HA, either regarding myself or my children. It usually flitters between the two! Because I work hard it remains in a very manageable state. By that I mean I spend a lot of time listening to self help books and working on my thought patterns. I can usually get it under control quickly these days. During withdrawal ( especially after a medication drop) it was often more intense and took longer to stabilise. I would love to be totally free of HA but I fear it is in my general make up and instead of constantly fighting it I have to learn to live comfortably alongside it. 

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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Thelongestroadhome
9 hours ago, waves12 said:

Thank you so much for your reply. 

I do actually understand about what you have described but just been unable to do it as in such a sensitized state of anxiety that it is overwhelming with symptoms. I have listened to Eckhart a million times and have Dr Joe's book on audible. 

Did you have any outside help or did you do all this on your own ? 

It's very hard to believe it is just anxiety as it's very crippling. 

My thoughts have become so ingrained and not sure if I can get out of this and this thought throws more fuel on the anxiety. It is so bad I cannot work or go places and wonder if you experienced it to this degree and then used the tools you mentioned to overcome on your own ? 

I hope you don't mind me asking more questions. 

Waves 

I am sorry to hear how much you are struggling. 
From what you are describing you are in a very difficult place with crippling anxiety. 
I have always believed that if I didn’t get my anxiety under control within a few days of it spiking then it would lead to a much more difficult situation. So when I experience surges of high anxiety it requires a lot of work to manage it. 
I tried outside help but never found a psychologist who I was able to gain help from. I know there are a lot of good ones but unfortunately I never found one. 
The only time my anxiety was unmanageable was when I was first diagnosed and put on medication. But back then I had no idea how to deal with it. I do know that the medication I was on (lorazepam) worked initially but then backfired on me and caused me worsened symptoms. 
In my ‘Toolbox’ I kept many things. Audible and self help worked the best for me so I was not utilising the other things but knew they were there if needed. From my research I knew that acupuncture was helpful to many so I had that sitting there waiting but never used it. Please look in to it and if you decide to go down that path find a good acupuncturist. From my understanding weekly visits may be necessary. The other thing I had waiting was float tank sessions, again do your research. 
I also suggest getting your bloods checked. It could be as simple as low B12 or iron. Recently my iron was very low and I definitely felt a dip in mood due to that. 
I also take probiotics as more and more research is coming out about the brain/gut connection. I initially took them for IBS but genuinely feel they have helped with mood. 
I am not a doctor and I can only share what has helped me. Obviously we are all different and what works for one may not work for another. During my initial bout with anxiety I could not read or take in information from Audible. I was too unwell. 
I highly recommend you reading through the success stories here and finding inspiration from them. There was one in particular that helped me, Nadia. Her methods to find healing were often what I took on board for myself. She was the one who inspired me to try acupuncture if and when the time came. There are many others but I can’t remember the names of the ones who specifically helped me. Everyone’s journey is different. 
Take care and please come back and let me know how you are going. 
 

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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Thelongestroadhome

I have been on a downward spiral lately, to the point that I actually considered going to the doctors and asking for medication. I can’t quite believe I even thought that. But I have gone from feeling good most days with the odd bad day thrown in to completely the opposite with the bad outweighing the good. 
 

Thank God for this site! I came here yesterday with the intention of researching acupuncture and it’s effects on anxiety. When I entered ‘ acupuncture’ in the search engine I immediately saw a post by Nadia recommending a book by Johann Hari called ‘lost connections’. I ordered it on Audible and have been listening to it throughout the day. The first few chapters he talks a lot about the false science of antidepressants. I’ve heard it before but really needed to be reminded. He then goes on to talk about other reasons ( besides the false theory of a chemical imbalance) for depression. I can put my hand up to so much of what he says. 
 

Since early 2020 I have been caring for my dad with Alzheimer’s. I had to put him in a nursing home in April 2020. Even though I have two siblings the care of dad has fallen mostly on me. On top of this we have had a worldwide pandemic. Johann Hari has reminded me that it’s ok to feel sad, to feel ‘depressed’ and that the answer doesn’t lie in a pill. He has also opened my eyes to a lack of social activity and self imposed exile, all of which has added to my low mood. My ‘social’ life was replaced by social media and ‘likes’ on a post rather than genuine real life friendships. I was  Dissatisfied with my life and apparent lack of achievements whilst comparing myself to others. I was becoming addicted to the internet and the buzz that came with it. Constantly checking my phone for notifications. I can’t believe how isolated I had become. If it wasn’t for reading this book I quite likely would have carried on like that. Today I deleted Instagram. 
 

I need to be kind to myself. Allow the sadness to have a space without overwhelming me. I need to re connect with lost friends. I need to move more. I need to re join activities  that I let slip in my busyness with dad. I need to bathe in Epsom salts, schedule acupuncture sessions, have a foot massage, get my hair done. I need to look after this body that has looked after me. 
 

I feel like a fraud for writing this on my ‘success thread’ as if I am letting people down. But I think it is important to let you know the truth. I’ve always said that this is a journey and every step is a chance to learn. The link between loneliness and lack of social support in depression is very real. It’s very easy to become isolated, friends may not understand and so you withdraw. Just beware that it can have  a negative impact. 
 

I’m also wondering if after two years cold Turkey it is still possible that my brain is healing. Who knows. 
 


 

 

Current...Drug free since September 2018

December 2007 30mg Lexapro and a benzodiazepine December 2008 25mg, December 2009 20mg, December 2010 15mg Lexapro, December 2011 10mg Lexapro. Long hold as I felt happy with the dose and saw no need at the time to reduce further. September 2015 dropped to 5mg. Terrible anxiety started two months later. June 2016 dropped to 3mg and terrible obsessive thoughts and anxiety so ten days later I reinstated back to 5mg. October 2016 dropped to 4mg. April 2017 dropped to 3mg. September 2017 dropped to 2mg. Terrible obsessive thoughts. Anxiety through the roof. OCD.  September 2018 quit cold turkey 2mg Lexapro. March 2019 feeling better than I have in years. 

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2 hours ago, Thelongestroadhome said:

I feel like a fraud for writing this on my ‘success thread’ as if I am letting people down. But I think it is important to let you know the truth. I’ve always said that this is a journey and every step is a chance to learn. The link between loneliness and lack of social support in depression is very real. It’s very easy to become isolated, friends may not understand and so you withdraw. Just beware that it can have  a negative impact. 

 

I’m also wondering if after two years cold Turkey it is still possible that my brain is healing. Who knows. 

 

You are definitely not a fraud, you are still a bright success story and a beautiful inspiration.

 

How could you not be ? You are a human being who once took medication to deal with intense emotions, then decided to withdraw going through difficult symptoms and is now re-learning to live with emotions and difficult time.

You definitely are inspiring to me ☀️

 

Yes it's ok to feel depressed or sad or overwhelmed while living a hard time. You don't sound like a failure to me, you sound like a human being.

 

Being human means dealing with uncertainty, emotions, a monkey mind, lost,... And learning to deal with all this is probably a lifetime job, particularly acceptance.

Sounds to me like you are already doing a great job !

 

Oh and yes I do think that 2 years after CT of 2mg of lexapro your body might still be on his road to recovery ☺

 

Sending hugs ❤

2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) 2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

April 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details topic/21457-

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

 

Current medication :  7mg Fluoxetine (since 20 Aug 2020)

+ 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

(Toothpick Paroxetine from September 2020 to 17th March 2021)

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@Thelongestroadhome

Echoing Erell response.
You are not letting people down. There is no perfect way of living and we for sure don’t get a manual on how to live it.
Keep moving forward, and be kind to yourself. You are a survivor and a success, don’t forget it🙏
 

 

 

 

 

Prescribed Paxil 20 mg year 2000 for panic attacks.

Many attempts through out the years to quit.

2019 tapered from 20 mg to 10 mg. Got stuck there, decided to bridge with Fluoxetine. 
2020 March off Fluoxetine 

2020 Oct- nov started deteriorating, followed by severe crash. 2021 Reinstated fluoxetine by small amount, until I reach 9 mg (current) and stabilised. Holding 

 

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