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Bearlyhanginginthere: Help


bearlyhanginginthere

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Hello, thank you for having this site for support for people going through this. I've been on many, many medications throughout my life starting prepubescence so it's a big part of me. So many that I really can't even begin to add them to my signature so I'll just add the things that are the reason why I'm here.

 

I've struggled with depression and anxiety, and it goes on and on from there. Depression was getting particularly bad this year to the point where I wasn't taking care of myself at all. My PCP at the time recommended Lexapro/escitalopram so I began taking that. The first month or so I had some crazy side effects but overall I felt much better, much more energy and motivation. However, I started to realize I had a voracious, insatiable appetite and I was constantly eating. I gained 20 lbs in 2 months and the numbers were going up and up. I've had consistent issues with body dysmorphia including disordered eating, anorexia etc., so this was not going to be tolerable for me. Told my doctor about this and we started a slow taper off of the Lexapro.

 

Then I had my final dose near the end of July. Things were overall okay until a few days later when I felt completely different, extremely uncomfortable body sensation like I needed to rip out of my own skin, flu-like fatigue and nausea, and skyrocketed irritability and anger which I haven't ever had a problem with. I also began having paresthesia, horrible headaches and alcohol intolerance. After about a week, the symptoms started becoming less intense but I now get sudden and extreme waves of symptoms especially during stressful moments. My doctor recommended a new SSRI but I'm very wary of trying again after this experience.

 

Looking for some support as no one around me has any idea what I'm going through and I don't know how long I will be this way. Thanks for reading!

2008 - start lamotrigine

Early Mar 2021 - start escitalopram 20mg

Early Jun 2021 - taper off escitalopram

Late Jul 2021 - last dose escitalopram

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  • Moderator

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.  I'm very sorry you are experiencing these horrible symptoms.  They sound like classic antidepressant drug withdrawal.  Did you have withdrawal from any prior psych meds?  Did the side effects you had on Lexapro go away after that first month or two?  If not, which symptoms persisted?  It sounds as though your nervous system is in withdrawal from doing a too fast taper.  This is not your fault, as fast tapers are what 99% of doctors recommend.  

 

Can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is, and will help you understand why you are having these symptoms: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Here is some info on common psych drug symptoms:  

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen WD Symptom Checklists

 

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  It sounds like this is what you are experiencing now.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Acknowledge, Accept, Float

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

21 hours ago, bearlyhanginginthere said:

My doctor recommended a new SSRI but I'm very wary of trying again after this experience.

 

Unfortunately, many doctors rely primarily on drugs to treat problems.  We at SA do not recommend adding another psych med to try and deal with withdrawal.  There is the danger of kindling, which means even worse withdrawal symptoms.  Then, you would just have to wean off yet another drug in the future.  

 

One possible solution is going back on a small dose of your drug, which we call reinstatement, and is best done very carefully.  This is temporary, and after stabilizing you would then taper gradually off of this.  There is some risk involved, and we need more specifics about your drug history before we can suggest a good dose at which to reinstate.  Here is some information about reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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 comment
42 minutes ago, getofflex said:

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.  I'm very sorry you are experiencing these horrible symptoms.  They sound like classic antidepressant drug withdrawal.  Did you have withdrawal from any prior psych meds?  Did the side effects you had on Lexapro go away after that first month or two?  If not, which symptoms persisted?  It sounds as though your nervous system is in withdrawal from doing a too fast taper.  This is not your fault, as fast tapers are what 99% of doctors recommend.  

 

Can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.   

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is, and will help you understand why you are having these symptoms: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Here is some info on common psych drug symptoms:  

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen WD Symptom Checklists

 

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  It sounds like this is what you are experiencing now.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Acknowledge, Accept, Float

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

 

Unfortunately, many doctors rely primarily on drugs to treat problems.  We at SA do not recommend adding another psych med to try and deal with withdrawal.  There is the danger of kindling, which means even worse withdrawal symptoms.  Then, you would just have to wean off yet another drug in the future.  

 

One possible solution is going back on a small dose of your drug, which we call reinstatement, and is best done very carefully.  This is temporary, and after stabilizing you would then taper gradually off of this.  There is some risk involved, and we need more specifics about your drug history before we can suggest a good dose at which to reinstate.  Here is some information about reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

Thank you for your response and I will read through each article and also update my signature.

 

Shortly after starting Lexapro, the side effects I experienced included night sweats, insomnia, increased anxiety. These went away after about two months, but the side effect I wasn't paying attention to and persisted was increased appetite and rapid weight gain. That persisted throughout taking the medication and after being off of the Lexapro, I'm noticing my appetite returning to normal and I'm no longer gaining weight.

 

I've also been on many medications that either did not work for me or caused unwanted side effects but as far as I can remember I've never experienced the withdrawal, or at least not severely enough to catch my attention. The only medication besides Lexapro I have been on is Lamictal, since about 2008 I believe and I'm still taking that.

 

Thank you for the resources also, I'll read them and I'm also interested in trying omega-3 and magnesium. Something that has worked for me surprisingly enough is chamomile tea also. And I take melatonin at night which helps with my sleep.

 

And thank you for the support and hope! It means a lot! Glad there's also a site to help people that are going through this, I had no idea this was a thing until it started happening to me. Go figure.

2008 - start lamotrigine

Early Mar 2021 - start escitalopram 20mg

Early Jun 2021 - taper off escitalopram

Late Jul 2021 - last dose escitalopram

Link to comment
  • Moderator

If your symptoms are tolerable, and you are able to function, it may be better not to reinstate.  What symptoms are you having at this time?  How bad are they?    20 mg is a hefty dose, as Lexapro is at least twice as powerful mg per mg than other SSRI drugs.  Your doctor tapered you off very quickly.  We at SA suggest tapering by 10% every 4 weeks of the current dose, giving a taper where the reduction becomes smaller and smaller as we get lower in the dose.  Please keep us posted on how you are feeling.  I'm glad the melatonin is helping you with sleep.  Tell me about your sleep patterns.  

 

Hang in there.  You came to the right place.  Someday, this will be a thing of the past, with proper self 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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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 comment
16 minutes ago, getofflex said:

If your symptoms are tolerable, and you are able to function, it may be better not to reinstate.  What symptoms are you having at this time?  How bad are they?    20 mg is a hefty dose, as Lexapro is at least twice as powerful mg per mg than other SSRI drugs.  Your doctor tapered you off very quickly.  We at SA suggest tapering by 10% every 4 weeks of the current dose, giving a taper where the reduction becomes smaller and smaller as we get lower in the dose.  Please keep us posted on how you are feeling.  I'm glad the melatonin is helping you with sleep.  Tell me about your sleep patterns.  

 

Hang in there.  You came to the right place.  Someday, this will be a thing of the past, with proper self care. 

Thank you! I definitely don't want to reinstate... Tolerable or not. Well, I'm alive so that's one success. But these days are difficult for sure. I found I was experiencing "neuro-emotions" some called it? Anger and irritability that I could not control, and I've never had a problem with anger or lashing out in my life. I also have been having headaches and fatigue and increased depression. The paresthesia hasn't been so common recently but when these waves of symptoms are active and they get significantly worse, paresthesia sets in again. The symptoms definitely come in waves and when it's at it's worst I make some big mistakes especially pushing away the people in my life and sometimes even hurting their feelings which I don't want to do but can't seem to control. I'm starting to become isolated which hurts.

 

Also my sleep has worsened and I have trouble falling asleep and sometimes going back to sleep after waking up. Increased nightmares... Waking up in a state of panic... Feeling pretty exhausted. And can't concentrate very well, I want to read more about ways to cope with this and I have trouble with just sitting down and reading something while paying attention to it.

 

So those are the problems, but I'm hoping I can overcome them. I think I can. Thank you for the support!

2008 - start lamotrigine

Early Mar 2021 - start escitalopram 20mg

Early Jun 2021 - taper off escitalopram

Late Jul 2021 - last dose escitalopram

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  • Moderator
On 8/16/2021 at 4:14 PM, bearlyhanginginthere said:

I found I was experiencing "neuro-emotions" some called it? Anger and irritability that I could not control,

Here is a thread on neuro emotions that you may find helpful: 

 

Neuro Emotions

 

On 8/16/2021 at 4:14 PM, bearlyhanginginthere said:

I also have been having headaches and fatigue and increased depression

 

Migraine, Headache, etc.

 

The fatigue can just be from battle fatigue and lack of quality sleep.  Dealing with all the craziness of WD can just plain wear us out - at least it does me.  

 

Paresthesia

 

On 8/16/2021 at 4:14 PM, bearlyhanginginthere said:

Also my sleep has worsened and I have trouble falling asleep and sometimes going back to sleep after waking up. Increased nightmares... Waking up in a state of panic... Feeling pretty exhausted.

 

Withdrawal Insomnia

 

On 8/16/2021 at 4:14 PM, bearlyhanginginthere said:

And can't concentrate very well,

 

Brain Fog, etc.

 

Have you checked out the link I gave with non drug coping techiques?  These can make a significant difference.  

On 8/16/2021 at 4:14 PM, bearlyhanginginthere said:

Thank you! I definitely don't want to reinstate... Tolerable or not. Well, I'm alive so that's one success. But these days are difficult for sure.

You sound like a strong person with a good attitude.  Yes, this WD is definitely a challenge.  Try reading some of the success stories. Go to the home page, and they are about halfway down the page.  

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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 comment
  • Mentor

@bearlyhanginginthere  Welcome to SA.  Unfortunately that means you are in need of help and in pain. Looks like you are in the middle of Withdrawal. I am sorry to see that.  Looks like getoffoflex has given you a lot of information to look at.  If you are able to concentrate enough to get a start, you will be busy for awhile.  It does give some of the power back into your hands when you start learning about what is happening to you.  

 

Post here often, reach out to other members. We are here to help in anyway we can.

Hang in there and know you will heal, all it takes is one day at a time.❤️

 

 

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin 2016  ended back on 2016  Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  through 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  Trazadone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/16 ct

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   Magnesium glycinate 200mg. Omega 3 , Melatonin, Probiotic

Lexapro   09/01/2021  4.90mg  09/25  4.75mg  10/19 4.69mg  11/14 4.20mg

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