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Nikita6: off of escitalopram for 4 months (15mg for beginning then 20mg for 2 months)


Nikita6

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I stopped the medication because I found that I couldn't focus after taking it for 4 months. I read online that some other people claim that after using antidepressants: “I stare at the words on the screen and I know what they're saying but I just don't seem to be able to absorb their meaning”. Someone had to decrease their med because they couldn't study for their exams because of this. This sounds a lot like what I'm experiencing. As well, the medication made me want to constantly change my thoughts and how my brain felt (because I thought it was changing how my brain worked), so much that I couldn't do things without interruptions from my brain, I think this also contributed to me not focusing now. I wanted to see if anyone else experienced this when they are taking medications (or even anything less severe like just changing thoughts without the interruptions) and if its normal for the medication. After stopping the medication for 4 months now, my focus is a bit better but still not good. Im wondering also if I should try a different med or what else to do.

Edited by Karma
Name update
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Yiping: off of escitalopram for 4 months (15mg for beginning then 20mg for 2 months)
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.

 

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 vertical 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.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, such as you are having, and why it takes a long time for these symptoms to resolve.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

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

 

On 10/13/2021 at 7:38 PM, Nikita6 said:

I wanted to see if anyone else experienced this when they are taking medications (or even anything less severe like just changing thoughts without the interruptions) and if its normal for the medication.

Yes, I experienced this while I was on escitalopram.  SSRI drugs, of which escitalopram is one, tend to blunt our emotions, as well as our cognitive abilities. For me, it made it hard to focus, hard to fully understand complex ideas, and hard to remember things I had read.   Now that I'm almost off, my ability to think clearly and logically is improved.  My emotions are also much improved.   

 

Not only that, most of us tend to come off the drugs too fast, and so we also have cognitive issues due to withdrawal syndrome.  The good news is that this will resolve, in time, but it usually takes a frustratingly long time for this to fully improve.  Here is a link where others share their experiences with these issues: 

 

Brain Fog, etc

 

On 10/13/2021 at 7:38 PM, Nikita6 said:

Im wondering also if I should try a different med or what else to do.

 

Why were you put on the escitalopram in the first place?  Most of us were put on it for depression and/or anxiety.  There are many other ways to deal with these issues besides antidepressants and psych meds.  All of the psych meds tend to blunt our intellectual capabilities, so you would put yourself at risk of running into this same problem again.  Not only that, the more people get on and off and on meds again, the more other problems they tend to incur.  I believe the best thing to do is to be patient, and give it time.  Time and patience are the key to healing from psych meds.  Eventually, your difficulty with focus will improve.  

 

 

Edited by Karma
Name update

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or 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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 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 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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Hi getofflex, thank you so much for commenting.

I started escitalopram because I was having sleep issues (couldn't fall asleep for the entire night or the next day). Because they weren't improving from changing sleep schedules/melatonin/meditation so I thought maybe I have anxiety so I decided to try antidepressants and see if it it helped me sleep better.  But I tried escitalopram when I had no school (and I wasn't working or anything due to covid) so I didn't notice how they decreased my cognitive abilities until after taking it for four months and I had to return to school did I discover that I couldn't focus and was doing everything like processing info a lot slower. So if I had noticed earlier then I should have just stopped taking escitalopram in the beginning and instead of  taking it for four entire months. So I don't think I had anxiety before taking escitalopram because I could function and do everything perfectly before only sleep was the issue. So I've decided to stop meds and since taking the meds caused me the cognitive impairments. 

 

Its weird my family doctor and my psychiatrist they never said that antidepressants could decrease my cognitive abilities or else I would have never took them in the first place, but I believe you. And when I search online it says nothing about decreasing cognitive abilities as a side effect. I only found out when I digged up a forum of people talking about their own experiences. I believe you though. I'm just wondering why there's such a miscommunication of something so important. 

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  • Moderator

Did you sleep better when you were taking the Lexapro?  It's ironic, because often SSRI drugs activate us, and cause insomnia for many.  The doc put me on trazodone, which I quit years ago, for this reason.  

 

21 hours ago, Nikita6 said:

Its weird my family doctor and my psychiatrist they never said that antidepressants could decrease my cognitive abilities or else I would have never took them in the first place, but I believe you.

This is so typical, unfortunately.  These doctors hand them out like candy.  

 

21 hours ago, Nikita6 said:

I'm just wondering why there's such a miscommunication of something so important. 

Our health care system is pretty corrupt in my opinion.  Many doctors are brainwashed by the huge marketing tactics of the drug manufactures, who make billions of dollars per year on these drugs.  Drug companies get articles published in the medical journals telling them how safe and effective these drugs are.  There is a book by Robert Whittaker called "Anatomy of an Epidemic" that goes into this in detail.  Also, the studies don't go on long enough to see what the effects are of people who are on them long term, like many of us are.  

Edited by Karma
Name update

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or 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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 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 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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  • Karma changed the title to Nikita6: off of escitalopram for 4 months (15mg for beginning then 20mg for 2 months)

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