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siderale: escitalopram healed me, and I'm trying to live without it again: overcoming withdrawal symptoms


siderale

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Yesyes123
32 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I think this is wise of you to let your body adapt on its own.  In my opinion, time and God are the best healers.  

 

I agree too. This is a great attitude. 

 

Although I must say our body is fueled by the things we put in our mouth and we have to put in some sort of fuel. 

 

I see omega 3 supplementation with fish oil as a type of natural fueling that aids our bodie's natural abilities to heal.

 

It is a completely different thing than taking a synthetic man made drug - natural supplements or just dietary changes can aid our bodies in healing with substances that we naturally need for proper functioning.

 

It's not like adding something that changes completely the functioning of our brains and bodies like an antidepressant.

 

But if you can heal without adding any supplement, of course that's fantastic. 

 

I take about 2000mg fish oil daily and I believe it helps me a lot. But I am unsure of whether I'll take it on the long term or not.

 

Peace 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

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You have every reason to feel sad, and I can empathize.  These lousy drugs have stolen your normal way of life from you for a time.  I do believe that you will recover.  Unfortunately it can take a ve

Yes, I would do that if I were you.  I had a crying spell last night myself.  It's exhausting, but it's also very purgative.  It cleanses the soul - at least for me it does. 

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  What you describe sounds like classic psychiatric drug withdrawal symptom

siderale

It's been one week today I feel tired, nauseous, and having a weight on my chest (but no lump in my throat anymore). It feels as if I'm in a wave, but mellower (my anxiety isn't out of the roof)... and longer. My breathing "feels" labored, but my heartbeat is normal and it seems like I can breathe in and out fully, but it feels "manual" or at least "semi-automatic", I don't know how to explain. I was thniking it was maybe spring/summer allergies but I don't recall feeling that trouble breathing beforehand...

 

I see my therapist in 15 days from now: I really hope I do notice an improvement by then. I have to admit that amidst of exams and regarding my physical wellbeing (eating is a hassle) I'm getting a bit exhausted. It was definitely worse last month, but I'm not doing good either and I can't consider myself in a window, I feel "less worse" than before but still bad! I see myself thinking "I wouldn't mind reinstating if it means feeling normal again". I know it's not a "fail" in any way, and I'm not there yet, but I believe lots of you are familiar with this. For now, I continue pushing through.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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getofflex

Hello @sideraleI'm sorry that you are feeling bad.  Reinstatement can help reduce symptoms, but it probably won't make you feel normal again.  We use it in cases where people have unbearable symptoms.  However, if you would like to try reinstatement, that's fine.  🙂. It could be that the stress of the exams is making your withdrawal worse.  Stress definitely does that to me.  I'm glad you are feeling less worse than before.  Hopefully after the exams are over, you will have less stress, and this will help.  Take care, and hang in there.  

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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Yesyes123
29 minutes ago, getofflex said:

Hello @sideraleI'm sorry that you are feeling bad.  Reinstatement can help reduce symptoms, but it probably won't make you feel normal again.  We use it in cases where people have unbearable symptoms.  However, if you would like to try reinstatement, that's fine.  🙂. It could be that the stress of the exams is making your withdrawal worse.  Stress definitely does that to me.  I'm glad you are feeling less worse than before.  Hopefully after the exams are over, you will have less stress, and this will help.  Take care, and hang in there.  

 

Hey @getofflexit seems @siderale has tapered quite fast right?

 

I would reinstate a small amount in order to prevent harsher withdrawal symptoms to kick in. That amount would be then tapered off slower. 

 

I think this is safer, and that is what I would do in this situation. What do you think?

 

Peace 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

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getofflex

@Yesyes123I'm leaving it up to siderale whether or not she chooses to reinstate. Sometimes reinstatement works, but not always.  Please refer to my original response (post #2) and read the link about reinstatement.   

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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@siderale it’s a good sign that symptoms are getting a little better! You mentioned labor breathing feeling. I have felt this also while on lexapro even when I am stable. Like I am out of breath doing a small task. I know indigestion will cause this feeling and ssri can cause indigestion. 
And  you mentioned allergies. As a lexapro side effect I have terrible sinus problems and brain fog dizziness in allergy season. 
hang in there!

09/2000 paxil 20mgs, 06/2006 stopped Paxil crashed, 10/2006 progressed back up to Paxil 20mgs, 2012 -2013 Paxil 12 month taper crashed, 09/2013 Zoloft 50 - 100, 2015-2016 Zoloft taper crash, 2016 cymbalta, 01/2017   lamictal , 05/2017 Prozac 20 mgs, 06/2017 Prozac 40mgs, 02/2018 Prozac 20 mgs, 05/2018 Prozac 30 mgs, 11/2018 lexapro 10 mgs, 01/2019 lexapro 15 mgs, 12/07/2019 lexapro 13.75 mgs ,01/04/2020 lexapro 12.5 mgs, 02/08/2020 lexapro 11.25 mgs, 03/07/2020 lexapro 10 mgs, 07/25/2020 7.5mg pill&2.5ml liquid, 08/04/2020 5mg pill&5ml liquid, 08/17/2020 2.5mg pill 7.5 ml liquid, 08/24/2020 10 ml liquid lexapro, 09/05/2020 9 ml liquid lexapro, 10/05/2020 8.5 ml liquid lexapro,10/12/2020 9 ml, 04/17/2021 8.78 ml, 04/24/2021 8.56 ml, 05/02/2021 8.34 ml, 05/09/2021 8.10ml, 05/29/2021 8 ml, 06/15/2021 7.80 ml,

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siderale

Hello everyone, and thank you for your encouragements. @Yesyes123, I am hesitant about reinstatement because my symptoms aren't unbearable per se, and it's already been a bit more than two months, so I figure it won't be miraculous, but I will for sure talk about it with my therapist when I see him. We will discuss it (31st of May), he won't force anything nor oppose anything! I'm just unsure whether it would be the right decision.

I did taper quite fast compared to a lot of what I see here. I believe in my country it's definitely not common to taper super gradually. In my eyes it was slow, especially compared to the first taper off antidepressants I had in 2018 (and had 0 withdrawal!! Brains are strange) but I had no idea it could (and most likely should) be even slower.

@getofflex , I am indeed side-eyeing my exams as something that makes everything worse, although I worked correctly and they're almost all done save from my thesis, but I'm finally able to work a bit on it (I am taking care of myself and not overworking!). I don't "see" the exams stress as stressful, for once, I just feel bad all around but again, withdrawal is a bumpy road. Maybe it is weighting on me unconsciously.

@Heath Yes, I thought about it too. It's likely that withdrawal is worsening my allergy symptoms, but as I am someone who worries easily, this labored breathing being very new in allergy symptoms, I was thinking it was stress. Maybe it indeed is both... I see my GP tomorrow and will talk about this with her. Best of luck to you

 

Yesterday was a bit better on me. I ate normally, despite some uneasiness all around. But today (it's 11AM) I woke up after a normal night, no big change, but crippled with anxiety again :( I could tone it down and started my day but I feel so uneasy. I weighted myself and I'm still losing weight which is concerning as I do eat almost normally: I'm seeing my GP tomorrow, to try and be reassured that there isn't an underlying cause...

 

I'm in a better place than 1-2 months ago for sure, but it's so exhausting, especially since it's been one full week without change when I used to have shorter waves. I still have hope this stabilises as june arrives and I try to remain hopeful, trying to not dwell on the "lost time" (which is a good thread on this forum).

Thanks all, I wish you the best

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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siderale

I make a second post today because although I had a rough day, it's also important that I update my symptoms as a whole, for whoever read this and might relate, and also to "archive" my journey. Also allows me to look back at my progress and its pattern(s).

 

The "emotional" symptoms are the clearest improvement in my case, and what gives me hope that yes, I am on the path to recovery. I haven't had any crying bout in well over 2 weeks. My intrusive thoughts, or 'OCD crumbs' as I like to call it (because the thoughts are not as paralysing as they were before I took antidepressants), are very rare now. As a "reminder", they came back to me 10 days after stopping Escitalopram (after that night tremors episode I had), and went back and forth in my head multiple times a day until like 1 or 2 weeks ago.

I also notice that when they come back, I can rationalise them better. I'm less trying to push them away, and more towards "letting them in" but reminding myself that they are negative/intricate thoughts that anyone can have and that they should not impact me so much. That much is the proof, despite the withdrawal, that antidepressants helped me build more strength to fight them. And I know that no matter what I do, should I push through withdrawal, reinstate or not, I have taken a step forwards in healing from what I initially took the antidepressants for.

 

The waves, like the one I am currently in if it's not an underlying physical cause, are now mostly physical symptoms. My appetite comes and goes, with or without nausea, prompting stress (and I believe it's not, or rarely anymore, the other way around). I have some dizziness still, especially after eating, like when your blood pressure drops. This I will talk about with my GP tomorrow of course. My weight is concerning, and it doesn't help that I still have some GI problems, kinda like irritable bowel syndrome.

I'm also very tired, and my eyes yellowish, though again this point probably isn't the withdrawal's fault directly lol. Maybe it is the fact that I am very underweight, though I apparently don't lack any specific nutriment, I don't even have anemia. I still eat 2-3 meals per day with a varied diet, and try to hydrate a lot (herbal infusions help me drink despite nausea).

 

I'm like... tired of being tired, basically. As would anyone, of course. My mood drops when I feel the extreme exhaustion waves, because they are "not normal" and tend to make me worry about an underlying cause even though, I know it by now, withdrawal definitely comes in all shapes and sizes - including waves of brand new symptoms you've never had in previous waves.

 

Despite all of this, I also work slowly but surely on my finals - almost all done by now, and my thesis.

I'll get there. Thanks for reading me, as usual.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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siderale

I'm back from my GP. She has been very reassuring with my physical symptoms, nothing is alarming.

I got prescribed nutritional supplements : hypercaloric/proteinated fruit juice, also has vitamins and minerals in it but I believe it is a smaller amount than actual other complements. I don't know if I should include it in my signature : the idea here is for me to put back on some weight and energy, my doctor told me it won't have any secondary effect apart from hopefully helping me gain some energy back!

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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siderale

Although I'm in a better place than 2 months ago, today I'm just sad, afraid of not feeling "normal" ever again, even if I reinstated.

It's been almost 2 weeks I'm in a wave, although kind of mild compared to the first ones I had, it's way longer and exhausting on my nerves. Waking up with fast heartbeat, belly ache, nausea, you can never get used to this. I feel like crying but can't manage to (this is the opposite of the crying bouts I had in the first month of withdrawal, lol)

 

I see my therapist in 8 days. I wonder what I will tell him. I do remember him telling me it was good that I decided against reinstating one month ago, as it lets my brain forge its own "independence" towards the drug but I'm just so damn sad to be feeling like this (oh the tears do come out a bit as I write this lol). And here I am wondering if reinstating would help, but maybe it's "too late" now. 

 

I was literally just my normal self with escitalopram as it allowed me to learn to heal from OCD, and said OCD still is under control thanks to how I learnt to deal with it, but now I constantly feel there's something wrong somewhere, and although I'm aware I'm very lucky to have only mild withdrawal symptoms, I'm so afraid of never feeling normal again. All of this while the fast taper off after 2017-2018 went well, without any symptom. Every little task still is a hassle and my academic year feels so botched, and I don't want this to prolong into next year but I can't do much about it, apart from continuing to push through.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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Jadenatalie

Hey Siderale, I wrote that me and you were at the same place in withdrawal a couple of week ago too. I'm the same as you really, I've had the odd good couple of moments but overall it's still bad, I have nausea everyday like you, my stomach symptoms are the worst at the moment, gurgling, churning etc. I also feel very achy and my sleep is still disturbed. I'm also very emotional, everyday. Friday I felt suicidal also but that has passed now. It's very difficult. With regards to reinstating, I'm not wanting to reinstate at all with the hope that in time my body will heal itself, I just think it takes time. I also think if I went on antidepressants again, I'd only want to come off again in the future and have to go through all this again. I think the stage we are at which is 10 weeks off, we are in the thick of withdrawal, I'm hopeful to see much better improvements at the 6 month mark and that's what I'm holding out to in my head. X

2016-2020 Fluoxetine 20mg 

August 2020 - December 2020 Sertraline 50mg

December 2020 - March 10th 2021 Citalopram 20mg 

 

Fully med free since 10th March 2021. 

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siderale
25 minutes ago, Jadenatalie said:

With regards to reinstating, I'm not wanting to reinstate at all with the hope that in time my body will heal itself, I just think it takes time. I also think if I went on antidepressants again, I'd only want to come off again in the future and have to go through all this again

I do think roughly the same and this is also what my psychiatrist seems to agree with.

It's tough, sometimes like today I just believe I'm too tired to continue pushing through without any medication, but it is the way to go to heal properly. I can't say I'll never go back on escitalopram (never say never!) but I'll try my best to overcome this WD, wave after wave until it gets better. It will be a huge step.

 

Best of luck @Jadenatalie with the withdrawal. Stomach truly is "the second brain", a good bunch of my symptoms still are the GI problems. Hope it gets better for you soon!!

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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getofflex
7 hours ago, siderale said:

today I'm just sad, afraid of not feeling "normal" ever again, even if I reinstated.

You have every reason to feel sad, and I can empathize.  These lousy drugs have stolen your normal way of life from you for a time.  I do believe that you will recover.  Unfortunately it can take a very long time, and the healing is very gradual.  

 

7 hours ago, siderale said:

It's been almost 2 weeks I'm in a wave, although kind of mild compared to the first ones I had, it's way longer and exhausting on my nerves.

We have another member here from France who has also been in a long wave.  She is a very brave and courageous person, and she is a very kind and supportive person. Here is a link to her thread:  

 

Erell Struggling with Paroxetine

 

 

Please hang in there, and stay with us.  We are here to help and encourage you. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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siderale

Thank you @getofflex for pointing me to this other thread, I will definitely give it a read as soon as I can allow time for it.

 

Along with these past two weeks of feeling "physically unwell", stress has made a notable comeback in the past days. I know it's "pure" stress (withdrawal induced or not) because I could recognise anytime that specific lump in my throat, and the "knotted stomach" feeling.

 

But... I'm starting to blame the stress of my thesis, almost more than withdrawal itself: a vicious circle of me having lost nearly one month of work when I was in the worst of withdrawal mid march to mid april, and me right now having to write a lot before the deadline on june 10th.

I really think stopped the meds at a bad time, because 2-3 weeks ago I had noted a notable improvement of my state, while it has been very hard for me for two weeks now, and so I'm starting to believe that the thesis stress is "prolongating" withdrawal longer than it "should" have lasted had I been in a more relaxed context... I don't know if that's possible but I'm sure it does play into account. But I gotta admit that I'm someone who likes finding a reason to my state: maybe it's just my longest wave yet. I would like to think it's my thesis, and that afterwards I'll be able to bounce back.

 

For the past 2 weeks I have had trouble eating especially at lunch. I'm very thankful I have caloric/protein supplements to help me remain in shape. I don't have dizziness anymore, but stress headaches all the way! (being in front of my computer 10 hours a day for my thesis doesn't help!).

 

I try to focus on relaxation, and work hard while also taking breaks of course. I just want to look forwards, june 10 and onwards. I still don't know what to tell my psychiatrist regarding reinstating, I will discuss it with him.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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getofflex
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, siderale said:

I'm starting to believe that the thesis stress is "prolongating" withdrawal longer than it "should" have lasted had I been in a more relaxed context.

I  agree.  I know that stress has prolonged my withdrawal.  In the past year I've dealt with many losses and stressors.  When we get stressed I believe our bodies produce adrenaline and cortisol, and this activates our nervous system for fight or flight.  That can affect our withdrawal symptoms, at least for me it does.  I increases my anxiety, insomnia, and neuro emotions.  I have noticed that I'm not as adversely affected by stress as I was 7 months ago, so that shows progress.  I believe the same will be true to you as well.

 

3 hours ago, siderale said:

I still don't know what to tell my psychiatrist regarding reinstating, I will discuss it with him.

 Just be aware that the longer we go without the drugs, the more our system will adjust to being without the drugs, and the less likely it is that a reinstatement will help us.  Read this:  About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms. Please be very careful with psychiatrists - they tend to want to put people on drugs.  We've seen many people here whose situation is made worse by going back on the drugs.  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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Yesyes123

I would personally reinsate small dose and taper off much slower. I find that a lot safer, but some will probably say otherwise.

 

Also pure distraction and focusing on how time passes fast are things I find very helpful.

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

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siderale
13 hours ago, getofflex said:

Please be very careful with psychiatrists - they tend to want to put people on drugs.  We've seen many people here whose situation is made worse by going back on the drugs.  

I do take note. So far mine has been very encouraging towards me not reinstating. We will see, I'm thinking about asking for other stuff to help reduce stress since it seems like it is the major thing preventing me to heal right now. A friend of mine was prescribed etifoxine which seems to be lighter than regular benzodiazepins and doesn't induce withdrawal, I have no idea if it would be helpful. I will exchange with my therapist regarding other options, but might not do anything. I'll see!

@Yesyes123 I am definitely thinking about reinstating, I am honestly not "in favor" particularly of either reinstating or continuing like this. I will of course keep this thread informed with what happens and what I decide along with my doctor on may 31st.

 

I must say that by now the anxiety/pure stress, that comes with its best friend with me - nausea, is practically the only symptom I have left.

 

Yesterday the day went mostly well, but I was honestly basically having an anxiety attack from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. It has been like this for the past 72 hours, just pure stress in the very core of my body. My GP mentioned the fact that I might be able now to deal with the mental stress (as in, I don't have racing thoughts, I don't have crying bouts) but not the physical one.

 

I woke up 30 minutes ago with the same strong anxiety as the past days. So I took one oxazepam (benzodiazepin) 10mg, five mins ago. It takes time before working anyways, I think I have heard it has the slowest delay of action, and the expiration date was february 2021, so might not even work so well.

Be assured that I am extremely cautious with it, and that I absolutely do not intend to take it everyday (mostly because it has never been miraculous, even at the worst of my stress, before antidepressants, I really do take it once every blue moon). I mean I am only on the one oxazepam pack I was prescribed in 2017. I just want to see if it helps reduce the stress for today as it can be a good indicator of what exactly I am dealing with. Now, on to continue working on my thesis for today. I will probably give a small update tonight.

 

Best of luck to anyone reading this and struggling with withdrawal, we'll get there.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
getofflex
3 hours ago, siderale said:

A friend of mine was prescribed etifoxine which seems to be lighter than regular benzodiazepins and doesn't induce withdrawal, I have no idea if it would be helpful.

Just be aware that when we are in withdrawal, any drug or chemical, (especially psychotropic drugs, which etifoxine is), added to our system can make our withdrawal worse.  Things like this tend to be unpredictable for people in WD.  What helps one person can make things worse for someone else.  I personally don't trust that an anxiolytic, which etifoxine is, would not cause dependency.  

 

I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with high stress right now.  I know how difficult that makes it for healing from the psych drugs.  Here are some links that might help: 

 

Stress and Trauma During Recovery

 

Reframe Stress

 

Meditation for Stressed Out Nervous System

 

Music for Self Care

 

Hang in there.  I believe that when your thesis is over, things will settle down for you.  Keep us posted, and take care. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to post
siderale

Thank you @getofflex for checking up so often and always offering ressources. I figure it is the middle of the day for you; I hope you are doing alright today!

The "reframe stress" post & linked TED talk were very interesting. I don't agree with everything in the TED talk however some very interesting points were brought up, as well as in the post. It reminds me of one thing my psychiatrist said that really reshaped my own relationship to stress and anxiety, which is that it's so much healthier to "accept" stress as a normal reaction, accept that we may be more stressed than another person, but rationalise said stress, re-shape it rather than try to suppress it.

I am so glad I began practicing yoga when I started feeling bad (a good thing in this whole withdrawal experience! I may not have began yoga without it), I might try meditating one day.

 

As for me, after a day working and a relaxing shower, an update as promised. (I'm sorry I always give such lengthy updates -- I gotta admit this thread is a good exutory for me, to monitor my evolution, and hopefully share my experience as it may help or maybe reassure someone.)

 

The oxazepam I took this morning helped me today. It's not miraculous (as in, I was not "wow I am healed and I feel normal!") but it definitely helped me relax. Kinda like a crutch when you sprain your ankle. I still had nausea/had difficulty eating, and I still have a lump in my throat, but I felt less literally crippled by anxiety, for the first time in a good while. I took it at 10:30AM, it's now 8PM and I don't have the stress headache I usually sport non-stop from 1PM til I go to bed. And I know that, similarly to how one stressful event can stress you out for the next days, sometimes a window of calm can allow you to de-escalate the stress for the next few days, so I sure hope it will be the case.

 

This is reassuring in so far as it shows that it's mostly the anxiety alone that makes me feel ill now, and is related to the stress of my thesis and academic year.
I absolutely do not plan to take benzos every day: if I feel like I should take even just one 10mg pill every day to function, I'll address the matter with my therapist, as there might be "milder" solutions that might allow me do deal with this. But I might not even need it, for now that I know it's "just" stress and I am familiar with stress, I believe I can deal with it. I might ask for benzodiazepins in case, as it reassures me to have some under my hand, but again, I know myself and trust myself to not take those every day. I am aware of the dangers of it, and I absolutely do not want to risk any interaction with my current state.

 

Even way, way before taking antidepressants, when I was experiencing my first actual panic attacks (in 2011, 2012, I was 16 and bullied at school) I was afraid of benzos dependendency when a psychiatrist at that time prescribed some to me. I have since only been taking benzos extremely scarcely, I believe a grand total of less than 20 pills of the lowest possible dosage in the span of 9 years lol, and intend to keep it this way.

In short, it's tough, but I'm hopeful and holding on. I am so determined to heal and to be part of the people lucky enough to come back year(s) after and post their success stories.

 

I'm still a bit concerned with my trouble eating (100% due to nausea and lack of appetite) as it impacts my weights a lot. And past experiences taught me that even when my sense of appetite comes back, a stomach takes a lot of time before becoming as "elastic" as it was. But now that I have the nutriments supplements I don't stress too much about it, and also even if I eat in small quantities I pay attention to having a varied diet. Having eliminated underlying physical conditions definitely helps me think "alright, I'm only now dealing with my brain, and my brain only".

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
siderale

So this morning I woke up earlier than usual at 8:10AM, feeling actually almost normal. No anxiety, no nausea, no vertigo. For the first time in a very long while. I got up at 8:30AM.

I took my pollen allergy medication (I have to take it 1hr before eating anything), did 35mins yoga (I usually never do it because of the nausea), drank my proteinated fruit juice (the sheer concept of it amuses me, lol), replied to a few messages.

 

And then, around 10:20AM, it's like my brain and/or body suddenly went "oh my, I forgot to be stressed !!!" and now it's been 30 minutes that the usual morning anxiety is back, along with the nausea - I am currently struggling to finish my green tea. Nothing in my routine will change, I'm starting to work on my thesis, and plan to go for a walk after I eat around 1-2PM depending when the nausea gives me a break. But I had a very short window upon waking up, which is great!!

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
getofflex
23 hours ago, siderale said:

I absolutely do not plan to take benzos every day:

I'm glad to hear this, as benzos withdrawal is pretty nasty, I hear.  I've heard dependency can develop in some people

even if you only take it a couple of times a week - just something to be aware of. 

 

23 hours ago, siderale said:

total of less than 20 pills of the lowest possible dosage in the span of 9 years lol, and intend to keep it this way.

 

That should be no problem as far as developing dependency goes.

 

23 hours ago, siderale said:

I am so determined to heal and to be part of the people lucky enough to come back year(s) after and post their success stories.

I'm the same way!  I'm bound and determined to get off these drugs, and get my normal brain functioning back.  

 

I'm glad you had the window, but I'm sorry you had the stress response.  Keep in mind this is normal, and it will eventually get less intense.  Here is an amazing link on radical acceptance.  I just read through this myself yesterday.

 

https://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/radical_acceptance_text.html

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to post
siderale
On 5/27/2021 at 7:45 PM, getofflex said:

I'm glad to hear this, as benzos withdrawal is pretty nasty, I hear.  I've heard dependency can develop in some people even if you only take it a couple of times a week - just something to be aware of. 

I do take note. I aim to be very very cautious with it like I have always been. Like a lot of people, it is true that I am "virtually reassured" by the sole fact of having some under my hand, just in case, even if I don't take them.

 

The text you linked on radical acceptance definitely is radical. But it rings very true, for some parts I already apply a bit of what is said in it. I don't know what the future is made of, but it's a resource I shall keep in mind for sure.

 

--

 

An update from me. So, I took one oxazepam 10mg on wednesday that really helped me. Friday I didn't take any, I was as anxious as usual, nothing more, nothing less. Yesterday I also woke up crippled with anxiety, the nausea was extremely strong. I was able to work anyways but eating was extremely difficult. Today is similar to the past days, although I believe the anxiety is slightly less strong. I was able to eat a full plate despite the nausea, I've found that eating absentmindedly while watching a video or working on my thesis helps as I don't focus on the fact that I really don't feel like eating.

 

Right now it's the middle of the afternoon. I'm not mentally stressed despite working slower than planned today.

I have a very noticeable lower jaw pain, as well as pain on the base of my tongue. I believe that is definitely a physical manifestation of stress.. I don't clench my teeth, but I believe my jaw muscles are contracted a lot without me noticing. I also have to remind myself to take deep breaths, sometimes: this all to me really sounds like "traditional" stress symptoms.

 

So far it has been approximately 3 weeks since my appetite is gone, and 1-2 week since I can really tell that what I experience is stress, and not something "new" that I could blame withdrawal for. My current state is of course worsened by withdrawal and my vulnerable brain. But I firmly believe that the hardest part of withdrawal itself, is now behind me.

I hope, after I hand back the first part of my thesis on june 10th, that I significantly improve. I know it's probably not very "healthy" to have so much expectations while our brains heal slowly, but I'm a hopeful person by now. We'll see how it goes, in the meantime I continue working!

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex
On 5/29/2021 at 8:54 AM, siderale said:

But I firmly believe that the hardest part of withdrawal itself, is now behind me.

That's wonderful.  It is natural to be stressed when you have a thesis due in just 11 days.   

 

On 5/29/2021 at 8:54 AM, siderale said:

I hope, after I hand back the first part of my thesis on june 10th, that I significantly improve

I believe it will.  I always feel much better when stress is alleviated.  

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to post
siderale

I saw my psychiatrist today. Yesterday was one of the best days in a while, I ate almost normally.... but today was awful !! I barely ate at lunch, the nausea was so strong. I was so horribly anxious, feeling weak, and the weather (suddenly it's +30°c celsius around here) did not help. I believe it was particularly rough because I was expectant/stressed for this appointment (a classic of mine, I have always been stressed for medical appointments), and afterwards had to move + drive. Also, commuting when it's hot outside, stuffed and you're anxious... yeah. But I made it!

 

Anyways. Hi @getofflex ( I was typing as you replied! I hope you're alright!) ! I really do think, despite this very awful day, that the hardest part of withdrawal is behind me, and I am aware that for this I am very lucky to have such a path. What follows now is recovery itself.

 

I got a prazepam 10mg prescription: one box of 40 pills. My psychiatrist basically "forbid" me from taking them regularly, which I of course completely agree with: I don't want no dependency to any chemical. I am reassured to have them in case, but I do not aim to take them as if they were painkillers. For now the box is still sealed with the little pharmacy sticker.

 

For my remaining symptoms: the random anxiety spikes are always here, sometimes even for a few seconds while I'm doing alright. In the morning it's almost always insufferable (this is what exhausts me the most) mostly because of the super strong nausea. Sometimes it gets better, but it's very random! So I try to ride the waves. I do have some dizziness sometimes but I blame the weather and the fact that I don't eat much, more than withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
siderale

I'm so tired of the nausea honestly. As I look back into this thread, I see that it was almost gone one month ago, end of april, I was steadily hungry again. Since I don't seem have other withdrawal symptoms by now, and that the nausea has been strong for 3 weeks, I figure it is now stress that has "taken over". It's so weird though, as my "emotional" stress is mostly gone save from some spikes during the days, but I feel so nauseous all the time. It's exhausting. I eat in small quantities still, I am not in any danger, but it's so tiring. I'm always afraid it'll never go back to normal, but I know it will eventually.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
Willfinish

You’re gorgeous @siderale

Cipralex 2 years treatment (January 2017 to March 2019, with a brief interruption). 

 

Cipralex 10 mg : January 2017 - July 2017.

Cipralex 5 mg: August 2017 - March 2018.  Start tapering 1 mg a month. 

Off the medication: August 2018.  Too fast tapering, crashed, doctor reinstated considering relapse. 

Cipralex 5 mg: September 2018 - December 2018.  Tired of emotional numbness, start tapering again, 1 mg a month (didn't know it was so fast, following my doctor advice). 

Off the medication: March 2019. 

PSSD and painful withdrawal symptoms: January 2020 until now. Some improvements but still struggling. 

 

Supplements: some Omega 3 and probiotics, a bit better. 

Link to post
siderale

Thank you, @Willfinish, you are, too.

 

I have to admit it's very hard for me. I have been feeling excruciatingly bad for the past 2-3 days, all of this while seemingly being in some sort of wave for the past three weeks, with no clear improvement. I'm so lost, because during march-april it felt like I started from the bottom and felt better at the end, some days were awful, but some were better, the variations were quicker, and at the end of april things were looking good, I was hungry again and my obsessive thoughts were gone for a solid 2 weeks.

 

And it seems like there has been a regression, since the beginning of may. The nausea is so strong, and in the evenings I get surges of sadness and some of my previous obsessive thoughts come back, although they don't rush me into panic attacks. But I feel so vulnerable. I don't think I can put up with this for much longer before trying to reinstate 5mg, but I am aware that it's not a miracle solution, it has been long already, and so I'm despaired at the prospect of being stuck in this state for very long.

 

Thing is I still don't know if my current state is just a response to stress, or withdrawal itself still having a grip on me, despite it being lighter last month. My next psychiatric appointment is on june 15th and after that it'll be beginning of august, one month and a half later... I just want to see a window before the 15th, I'm so exhausted and sad and afraid. I feel bad for not reinstating the first week withdrawal appeared, maybe stopping meds later would have helped. I'm a hopeful person but I'm struggling to remain so right now, everything is taking a toll on me.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post

 

Hello. I’m sorry you feel so bad and I share that feeling. This sad feeling of depression is the worst. unfortunately I have no solution to the problem. I wish you strength and perseverance. I'm running out too

2011-2019 április cipralex 10mg 

2019 május 7,5 

2019 június 5 mg 

2019. június 26. Boom (depresszió, álmatlanság, verejtékezés, adhedonia, üres elme)

2019. június 26. - sok 10 mg (adhedonia, szorongás)

2020.11.05. 5 mg😁😁 2021.01.28. 4,4mg. 2021.05.08 4mg , 

 

Link to post
Willfinish

@siderale i stopped escitalopram in march 2019. My worst withdrawal symptoms started in march 2020. And i’m still struggling. These drugs are hellish and you’ll need years to recover. So no surprise. I can see the difference from past but i must still recover fully. 

Cipralex 2 years treatment (January 2017 to March 2019, with a brief interruption). 

 

Cipralex 10 mg : January 2017 - July 2017.

Cipralex 5 mg: August 2017 - March 2018.  Start tapering 1 mg a month. 

Off the medication: August 2018.  Too fast tapering, crashed, doctor reinstated considering relapse. 

Cipralex 5 mg: September 2018 - December 2018.  Tired of emotional numbness, start tapering again, 1 mg a month (didn't know it was so fast, following my doctor advice). 

Off the medication: March 2019. 

PSSD and painful withdrawal symptoms: January 2020 until now. Some improvements but still struggling. 

 

Supplements: some Omega 3 and probiotics, a bit better. 

Link to post
siderale

Thank you @Johni, and good luck, I'm sure that despite our different paths we will all end up healing for good. It's tough but we will get there.

 

@Willfinish, this may be a dumb question from me, but couldn't it be a relapse you experiences rather than PSSD? Though the difference mustn't be easy to make. I understand that the experience must be awful, I wish you best of luck towards the path of recovery. This might explain I could be having "different" patterns of withdrawal symptoms right now.

 

As for me I took half a pill (5mg) of prazepam sometime before writing my previous message. It's helping a bit (the nausea has calmed down, my brain is "racing" less into despair) but the unease is still there, though those pills aren't miraculous in healing and I still don't aim to take them often.

I'm thinking about seeing my previous psychiatrist (the one that first prescribed me Escitalopram in 2017) as I felt more at ease with him and the appointments might be easier to get... The 2-3 months delays with my current psychiatrist are unbearable.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
Willfinish

@siderale this is the plot of modern Psychiatry : it’s a relapse. It is not, it’s withdrawal. I never had PSSD disfunctions before starting escitalopram. I did not have emotional numbness, confusion, dizziness, anhedonia and so on. Have attention.

Cipralex 2 years treatment (January 2017 to March 2019, with a brief interruption). 

 

Cipralex 10 mg : January 2017 - July 2017.

Cipralex 5 mg: August 2017 - March 2018.  Start tapering 1 mg a month. 

Off the medication: August 2018.  Too fast tapering, crashed, doctor reinstated considering relapse. 

Cipralex 5 mg: September 2018 - December 2018.  Tired of emotional numbness, start tapering again, 1 mg a month (didn't know it was so fast, following my doctor advice). 

Off the medication: March 2019. 

PSSD and painful withdrawal symptoms: January 2020 until now. Some improvements but still struggling. 

 

Supplements: some Omega 3 and probiotics, a bit better. 

Link to post
siderale

My bad, I thought PSSD was PAWS I misunderstood the acronym.

 

This afternoon was okay, I even had laughs and genuine smiles, but I still feel there is something wrong with me somewhere. Tonight I ate well despite not being hungry, and right now I'm on the verge of crying because I just feel so sad, tired of feeling like this.

 

I doubt I can push through much longer before reinstating if I remain in this state. It's been 3 weeks with zero improvement, even a worsening that got absolutely awful these past 3 days, and during all withdrawal I used to have improvements as the day went by and it's becoming the opposite.

But now, I have none of the withdrawal symptoms I used to have. I don't have panic attacks, no sweats or palpitations, no tremors, no dizziness, no crying bouts, just a huge nausea 24/7, a knotted stomach and what feels like liters of unshed tears in my head. It might not be the best idea to reinstate, it may indeed not work, but I'm just so, so tired of being a shadow of myself, it legitimately doesn't feel like withdrawal anymore, because even in withdrawal if I felt bad is was different, I was seeking other people, now it feels rather like a relapse. I was so stable, so normal with escitalopram, I refuse to demonise it, if anything I just stopped too abruptly or at the wrong time.

 

I only will be able to have a zoom meeting with my psychiatrist on june 15th, 5 days after handing back my thesis, but at this state I'm really lost. My thesis cannot be the reason for such an unease. I just want to have a window and become hopeful again. I really, really thought I was on the right track.

 

My psychiatrist, on the 31st, suggested that what could also be worsening my state was stopping my usual hobbies but thing is - I have no energy for them anymore. No willingness to play video games or draw like I used to. I just feel so bad overall, it's like I don't even want to distract myself.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

Link to post
siderale

Haven't felt the need to take prazepam today (and I'm glad!), no anxiety. The nausea was there all day, though maybe less strong than before, but eating still is a struggle. I cried at lunch because my mom made me my favourite food, but I can't even enjoy it. I haven't been able to enjoy foor for 3 weeks now.

I feel a despair/sadness I have rarely felt before. I literally feel so empty, so sad, I have no idea why. I felt like I had brain fog all day, I tried meditating but couldn't because I felt like I was losing balance although I was sitting..

 

I'm an anxious person, I'm not depressive (as far as I know, never had "actual" depression symptoms), and so I am very unfamiliar with an emptiness that aches to the very core of my body. It's been around 1-2 weeks I don't have the will to distract myself, play video games with friends, or draw, my usual creative outlet. There is just my thesis, that I have trouble writing because I cannot focus, and emptiness. If I was in a wave these past 3 weeks, it keeps going down and worsening. I feel so, so sad, and I am really thinking of reinstating if I see no improvement until june 15th. I'm afraid of the adverse effects of course but this doesn't even feel like withdrawal. I just feel like an empty shell and it hurts, because I have a locing family, loving friends and hobbies I used to adore. Should I reinstate, I would taper off again later and much slower, following advice from there. But in the meanwhile... I can only wait and man, I feel so terrible.

 

I still have hope it changes until my next appointment june 15th, and I hang on this hope to have a window. Even one day would give me so much hope. I'm so exhausted.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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getofflex

It sounds as though you may be experiencing sadness or grief, possibly.  You say you have liters of unshed tears inside.  I, too, have this experience at times.  When I do, I allow myself to cry.  Sadness and grief is part of the human experience.  I believe that the Lexapro numbed my emotions, so the grief and sadness were suppressed.  I was taught growing up to repress and not express my feelings.  Part of my recovery now is allowing myself to express and face my emotions head on.  When I feel sad or grief, I allow myself to cry.  After that, I feel much better.  I have had many losses in my life, and several major losses in the past year, so I have a reason to be sad.  There are other losses besides a person dying that can cause us to grieve.  One thing is the loss we had of a normal life while on these psych meds, and the loss of a normal life while we are in withdrawal. I do think my sad emotions are amplified by WD, but I think they are also genuine emotions.  Here is a thread about emotions and AD WD.  

 

 Grief and Loss of Capacity from Adverse Drug Effects

 

Neuro-Emotions

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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Willfinish
3 hours ago, siderale said:

I went off from lexapro like you (almost cold turkey from 3mg). My withdrawal, after 2 years, is not passed yet, although i have huge improvements.  So think that the process will take years. 

Cipralex 2 years treatment (January 2017 to March 2019, with a brief interruption). 

 

Cipralex 10 mg : January 2017 - July 2017.

Cipralex 5 mg: August 2017 - March 2018.  Start tapering 1 mg a month. 

Off the medication: August 2018.  Too fast tapering, crashed, doctor reinstated considering relapse. 

Cipralex 5 mg: September 2018 - December 2018.  Tired of emotional numbness, start tapering again, 1 mg a month (didn't know it was so fast, following my doctor advice). 

Off the medication: March 2019. 

PSSD and painful withdrawal symptoms: January 2020 until now. Some improvements but still struggling. 

 

Supplements: some Omega 3 and probiotics, a bit better. 

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siderale
33 minutes ago, getofflex said:

It sounds as though you may be experiencing sadness or grief, possibly

It definitely feels something like this. I am sorry you grew up repressed, again I'm so thankful to have two loving and understanding parents whom I'm very close to. I hope you slowly find a way navigating those "new" emotions. You've been through so much and dedicate so much of your time to help other people on SA, I hope things get easier for you and that you also feel surrounded with love and support. Thank you for passing by so often.

 

As for me, for now it just feels like pure emptiness with no source, I can't find an exutory for that sadness, if it makes sense. But what you said about the loss of a "normal life" definitely rings true, especially in my case where Escitalopram truly, sincerely helped me heal and become the best version of myself for the past years. I cannot wait to feel full of life again.

My therapist, the other day, mentioned that I should get back into my hobbies that I dropped the past weeks. It's so hard, but I will try to. It's hard to do yoga with debilitating nausea, but I must remind myself that said nausea is "in my head". Changing my mind helps (like benzos the few times I took them when it's too unbearable, another proof that it's in my head), so I must push through, get back to my hobbies to unwind from my thesis.

 

The link about neuro-emotions is very interesting, especially the emotional spirals part. I will be sure to read it again when needed. Especially useful in the case of an ex-clinical hypochondriac such as me lol. I also used to deal with terrible misophonia (absolutely could not stand the noise of people coughing somehow, I would legit have angry physical reflexes while I'm notoriously known for never being angry/temperamental lol) that meds helped control, for now it's still under control but I'm more irritated than with meds. I ought to pay attention (or, not pay too much attention actually) not to fall down this rabbit hole again.

 

I think I have to allow myself to cry (I fear it because, I figure you are familiar - a crying bout leaves you exhausted) but maybe it would be good. Yesterday evening I followed a short guided meditation on emotions and I cried a lot, I couldn't say I felt better but I didn't feel worse. Maybe I should do it more often. meditation is a powerful tool.

 

Sorry for the walls of text but again, thank you @getofflex for the support and resources.

 

@Willfinish, I admire you (much like a lot of people here!!) for pushing through. I truly don't believe I would be able to wait this long. I mean, I can't talk for future me, I'll see where I get and how. Best of luck to you: I hope your improvements will become bigger and bigger and that you feel normal again soon!

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10mg. April 5mg, and then stopped. Absolutely no withdrawal symptoms.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10mg. Jan-Feb 2021 - 5mg, daily (1 month).  Feb-March 2021 - 5mg, one day out of two (2-3 weeks). No withdrawal symptoms during taper.

-- Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg.

Withdrawal syndrome appeared 8-10 days after last dose. Still fightin'.

Benzodiazepins occasionally: Prazepam 5mg (last intakes: june 02, june 09)

 

 

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