Jump to content

belikeabamboo: 18 months off Escitalopram, struggling badly, very desperate and full of doubts (trigger warning!)


belikeabamboo

Recommended Posts

Hello there, @belikeabamboo

Thinking of you <3

A.

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Dear @Ariel@getofflex@slowphie@almuPA,

 

thank you for your beautiful words of compassion, encouragement and love, it means a lot to me. 🙏

 

The last weeks were very tough. I tried to do a little bit more to check if my tolerance level improved. I tried to be more active, to do more and longer walks, I even tried some jogging twice, I tried to drive more and intensify my social activity. But it feels that this journey is not about "wanting", about the "good will" about "pushing through". I want, but I can't. So many things seem to trigger my symptoms: training, driving, screens, too much sensory input, hormonal changes. I am now very symptomatic again, especially the gastrointestinal problems, the pain, the exhaustion, the sensory sensitivity, the cognitive impairement, anxiety and depression are very intense. I am lying in bed again the last days and it feels like day 1. I know it is not day 1 and I hope that a big part of the healing journey is behind me but at the moment the suffering feels endless. I also fight with intense self doubts: "Is this going to end or is this just how it is now for me?" "Are they right and everything is psychosomatic and it is just me without Escitalopram?" It sometimes feels as if these self doubts are also part of wd, perhaps they are indeed wd-symptoms. I had many days I wanted to give in these doubts and go back into the psychiatric system believing people who don't me that I am just mentally sick, at the moment I am close to that again but somehow there is something in me, a very last instance insight me that tells me "You are on the right way, it is not you, it is the Escitalopram that caused this nightmare and you just have to accept, wait, trust yourself and it will become better one day". This instance keeps me going. Perhaps this is the inner wisdom everybody has inside that knows what is best for you, that guides you towards health, towards happiness, towards peace. Perhaps this last instance is what other call intuition. On days like this the only thing I can do is accept, letting go and focus on the positive things even if they are very small (today it is the blue sky with clowds passing when I look out the window and the gratitude for having a save home) and cry as much as I need to. And focus on the deep belief that life is about change, that what know is the reality can be different tomorrow, next week or next month. Also the darkest clowd has a light edge.

 

@slowphieI am so happy that you found support for your tapering process at the charité. I think that it is one of the most important things in this very challenging process to feel supported. I believe in you that you will finish your taper successfully if you do it slowly and listen to your body. Take care!

 

I am very grateful that I can share my thoughts here, thank you again @Altostratafor this forum with so many wonderful, strong and brave people around. I hope you are all finding some positive things in your day that keep you going, even if they are small. 🙏

 

 

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Just do what you can do, @belikeabamboo, and stop berating yourself for not being able to do more. This is an opportunity for you to learn to be kind to yourself and nurture yourself, as you do here:

 

10 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

"You are on the right way, it is not you, it is the Escitalopram that caused this nightmare and you just have to accept, wait, trust yourself and it will become better one day". This instance keeps me going. Perhaps this is the inner wisdom everybody has inside that knows what is best for you, that guides you towards health, towards happiness, towards peace. Perhaps this last instance is what other call intuition. On days like this the only thing I can do is accept, letting go and focus on the positive things even if they are very small (today it is the blue sky with clowds passing when I look out the window and the gratitude for having a save home) and cry as much as I need to. And focus on the deep belief that life is about change, that what know is the reality can be different tomorrow, next week or next month. Also the darkest clowd has a light edge.

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Dear @belikeabamboo

It is good to read your update. 

I'm sorry the last few weeks have been so tough. 

 

You are very brave! I know it may not seem like it sometimes, but you have come so far. When we are in the grips of withdrawal suffering it can feel like that is all there is, and the (un-)reality of a wave can wipe out any sense of perspective. It can feel like we are stuck feeling awful forever, as though we have always felt terrible and always will. But it's not true. This too shall pass. 

 

You describe this so beautifully in your eloquent post. 

 

13 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

I am lying in bed again the last days and it feels like day 1. I know it is not day 1 and I hope that a big part of the healing journey is behind me but at the moment the suffering feels endless. I also fight with intense self doubts: "Is this going to end or is this just how it is now for me?" "Are they right and everything is psychosomatic and it is just me without Escitalopram?" It sometimes feels as if these self doubts are also part of wd, perhaps they are indeed wd-symptoms.

 

I agree with you that this line of thinking and self-doubt are part of withdrawal. That can be difficult to distinguish when we are in the thick of it. Good on you for being able to make the distinction -- that is, in and of itself, a sign of healing! Your ability to be in a symptomatic state and maintain sufficient awareness/distance to observe your thoughts and attribute their origins to withdrawal as opposed to identifying with them -- this is the capacity of a brain that's on the mend. 

 

14 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

somehow there is something in me, a very last instance insight me that tells me "You are on the right way, it is not you, it is the Escitalopram that caused this nightmare and you just have to accept, wait, trust yourself and it will become better one day". This instance keeps me going. Perhaps this is the inner wisdom everybody has inside that knows what is best for you, that guides you towards health, towards happiness, towards peace. Perhaps this last instance is what other call intuition. On days like this the only thing I can do is accept, letting go and focus on the positive things even if they are very small (today it is the blue sky with clowds passing when I look out the window and the gratitude for having a save home) and cry as much as I need to. And focus on the deep belief that life is about change, that what know is the reality can be different tomorrow, next week or next month.

 

Yes. Thank you so much for this. Your inner wisdom is telling the truth. 

I believe that this, too, is a marker of healing -- we become better able to tune in to our intuition, to hear it and listen as its message rises above the noise of withdrawal. Your ability to practice acceptance, letting go, presence, and gratitude is inspiring. You are doing such good, important work taking care of yourself and strengthening those non-drug coping techniques to help get you through. 

 

Dear Bamboo, you are doing an excellent job. This is a very difficult challenge we find ourselves navigating. You are demonstrating great courage, strength, patience, perseverance as you endure so much pain and discomfort. Give yourself lots of credit for your monumental efforts moment to moment. 

 

Not least, in the midst of your own experience of encountering obstacles you reach out and share your struggles, thereby providing support and encouragement to others, such as myself. Please know that it helps me immeasurably to read your words. What you write makes me feel heard and seen and lets me know I am not alone in the wilderness of withdrawal. Thank you for your singular contribution to this special community, you are shining a light and easing the burden. We're in this together.

 

From one escitalopram survivor to another: healing is happening! Healing is happening all the time, even when we don't consciously feel it. 

I hold you in my heart and prayers,

A.

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

@belikeabamboo

 

I just wanted to reach out and see how you were doing today? I can completely feel your pain through your words. Know you are not alone and THIS WILL PASS! I am here if you ever need someone to talk to. Just know that there is someone out here praying for you, thinking good thoughts for you and cheering you on. YOU got this. 

😪Zoloft 20mg 2/21, BuSpar ( bad reaction) 

Klonopin 1mg 2/21 CT Zoloft in hospital put on Remeron, clonodine and Trazadone 75mg 3/21 Taken off Remeron & Clonodine 3/21 put on Prozac 20mg.

Klonopin .50mg take .25mg twice daily 

8/21 crosstapered to Lexapro (highest dose 25mg) Tapered Trazadone 7/21

1/22 tapered down from 25mg to  10mg Lexapro in 3 weeks. (still holding at 10mg)

started Effexor 37.5. ( on Effexor total 5 weeks)

2/22 told to stop Effexor and go directly to 20mg Cymbalta for two weeks. 3/5/22 30mg Cymbalta.
Estradiol .5mg 2016

Started liquid Lexapro 5/10/22

Back to pull form Lexapro 5/22/22 (couldn’t tolerate liquid) 

*Resumed Lexapro 10mg BMS Taper on 6/27/22 2.5% =126mgpw July 9 -2.5%= 123mppw 9.50mg

7/29/2022 increased Klonopin to .75mg 8/1/22 back to .50mg Klonopin (body didn't like the increase)

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/22/2022 at 12:09 AM, Altostrata said:

stop berating yourself for not being able to do more. This is an opportunity for you to learn to be kind to yourself and nurture yourself

@AltostrataI try my best. If there is a sense in this nightmare, then this is it perhaps for me.

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

@Ariel

Thank you again for your beautiful supportive words, it means a lot to me. I see that you try to support many people around here despite your own suffering, this is very impressing. I can't write so much here because it is very exhausting for me but I hope that my posts and updates resonate with some people and they feel understood and not alone through my words. I hope that you see improvements in your recovery and that you feel embraced and loved. 🙏 

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

@Ninabird

Thank you so much for your supportive words and for praying for me! I am still suffering intensely but I try to go step by step, day by day with as less resistance and as much hope in my heart as possible. Where are you in your process? I hope that your symptoms are tolerable and that you can live a somehow normal life. 🙏

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

@belikeabamboo

I empathise with your suffering. We are all suffering in one way or another here. I had a day free from most symptoms yesterday. I owe all the glory to God. Today has started out ok. We shall see what the day brings and go with it. 

There has to be some form of acceptance with what we are going through. It’s really tough when you are feeling awful but with practice acceptance makes it tolerable. Fighting the symptoms in my opinion makes it worse. 
 

wishing you peace and grace to handle what the day brings. 
🙏🏻🌺🙏🏻🌺🙏🏻🌺🙏🏻🌺

😪Zoloft 20mg 2/21, BuSpar ( bad reaction) 

Klonopin 1mg 2/21 CT Zoloft in hospital put on Remeron, clonodine and Trazadone 75mg 3/21 Taken off Remeron & Clonodine 3/21 put on Prozac 20mg.

Klonopin .50mg take .25mg twice daily 

8/21 crosstapered to Lexapro (highest dose 25mg) Tapered Trazadone 7/21

1/22 tapered down from 25mg to  10mg Lexapro in 3 weeks. (still holding at 10mg)

started Effexor 37.5. ( on Effexor total 5 weeks)

2/22 told to stop Effexor and go directly to 20mg Cymbalta for two weeks. 3/5/22 30mg Cymbalta.
Estradiol .5mg 2016

Started liquid Lexapro 5/10/22

Back to pull form Lexapro 5/22/22 (couldn’t tolerate liquid) 

*Resumed Lexapro 10mg BMS Taper on 6/27/22 2.5% =126mgpw July 9 -2.5%= 123mppw 9.50mg

7/29/2022 increased Klonopin to .75mg 8/1/22 back to .50mg Klonopin (body didn't like the increase)

Link to comment
3 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

Where are you in your process?

The best answer to this question is, I am where I am. Some days are really hard and some days are not. 

When I first came on here I was frantically searching to see where my recovery was in comparison to another. No two are alike. Some are completely off all meds, some are still tapering, others have CT'd some have gone slow and steady. I am still learning to accept where I am. I am also learning to focus on what life will be like when I recover. How that will look. It takes some of the awfulness of what I am going through away.

 

Stay as positive as you can. Distract yourself. Try to live as much as you can. I know it's difficult when you aren't feeling well but you'll find that you regret less of the time lost to WD if you are making attempts at living.

 

Positive vibes being sent your way. You have this! This is temporary. 

😪Zoloft 20mg 2/21, BuSpar ( bad reaction) 

Klonopin 1mg 2/21 CT Zoloft in hospital put on Remeron, clonodine and Trazadone 75mg 3/21 Taken off Remeron & Clonodine 3/21 put on Prozac 20mg.

Klonopin .50mg take .25mg twice daily 

8/21 crosstapered to Lexapro (highest dose 25mg) Tapered Trazadone 7/21

1/22 tapered down from 25mg to  10mg Lexapro in 3 weeks. (still holding at 10mg)

started Effexor 37.5. ( on Effexor total 5 weeks)

2/22 told to stop Effexor and go directly to 20mg Cymbalta for two weeks. 3/5/22 30mg Cymbalta.
Estradiol .5mg 2016

Started liquid Lexapro 5/10/22

Back to pull form Lexapro 5/22/22 (couldn’t tolerate liquid) 

*Resumed Lexapro 10mg BMS Taper on 6/27/22 2.5% =126mgpw July 9 -2.5%= 123mppw 9.50mg

7/29/2022 increased Klonopin to .75mg 8/1/22 back to .50mg Klonopin (body didn't like the increase)

Link to comment

Hi @belikeabamboo

I just read the whole threat here. Your symptoms are a lot like mine. However, I am only 15 months off zoloft/sertraline.

can I ask you how you are doing now - more than 2 years after stopping.

Did you see any improvements?

Zopiclone: Summer 2016 - July 1st 2021. 3.75-7.5 mg. Stopped cold turkey.

Sertraline: Sep 2018 - Dec 2019. Max dose 100 mg. Tapered over the last 6 months.

Sertraline: Oct 1st 2020 - Mar 1st 2021. 25 mg. Stopped cold turkey.

Link to comment

Dear @Ninabird,

 

On 6/3/2022 at 5:25 PM, Ninabird said:

I had a day free from most symptoms yesterday

I am so happy for you that you have days where you feel better and you feel the breeze of the future that is in front of you. I hope these days give you optmism, strength and energy for the more difficult days.

 

On 6/3/2022 at 7:27 PM, Ninabird said:

The best answer to this question is, I am where I am.

Thank you for these words full of acceptance, awareness and wisdom. They resonate a lot with me. Whenever I become deperate, hopeless or panic I say to myself: "It takes as long as it takes." These words help me a lot to calm down, relax and accept.

 

You are full of wisdom and strength, I deeply believe that you can go through this and that a fulfilling life is waiting for you. 💪🙏

 

I send you a hug full of positive energy and love!

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
On 2/11/2022 at 2:16 PM, belikeabamboo said:

This question is very difficult to answer because I have had so many fluctuations in the intensity and quality of my symptoms and so many setbacks since I came off completely 04/20. The symptoms are cycling, changing, coming and going. In my case, it is not that my symptoms are gradually improving. I also never had real 'windows' where I felt like my old me again but I had 'better days' where I could do a little bit more. What I would say is that despite intense fluctuations and setbacks my baseline somehow improved very very slowly and little. My tolerance level is a bit higher and I am a little more stable (although very very far away from being functional). I have less I would call them 'nervous breakdowns' where I am crying over hours, completely desperate and hopeless, which I had quite often. And I have less I would call them 'knock outs' with very intense flu like symptoms (extreme headache/toothache, cold/hot showers, full body muscleache, stomach cramps, extreme exhaustion, extreme sensitivity to sound and light) where I can't get out of bed for many hours or the whole day. I had them quite often as well. In general I would say, I have less days where I am completely bedbound, sometimes I even don't have to lay down several hours in the afternoon because of exhaustion, what I had to for a long time. And I would say in general I tolerate longer walks now. Extreme night sweats, headache/toothache and nerve pain in my ears are less frequent and intense at the moment. If you ask me about a symptom that is completely gone I would say it's the flickering lights.

Dear @Hope42, this was my answer when Altostrata asked me which symptoms improved during the last 6 months. This is still how it is. I am still suffering intensely and I am often not functional but compared to 1, 1,5 years ago there is some improvement although it is small and with many setbacks. But don't compare yourself with me, every case is different like every human being is. I wish you from my deep heart that you see some improvements soon! 🙏

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

Hello, @belikeabamboo,

 

I am just writing to let you know that you are in my thoughts. 

 

I have been reading your lasts updates. The fact that you wanted to do more, is a proof of how brave you are. You are not giving up, and in our situation that is very important! Your system may not be ready for that, but the fact that you tried it says a lot about your willing to get better. Please, be gentle to yourself. You will get there.

 

I send you a big hug.

March 2019: 10mg Citalopram

April 2019: 20mg Citalopram

October/November 2019(sorry, I don't remember the exact date): 10mg of Citalopram without tapering, as suggested by my pharmacist. 

March 2020: Started "tapering", taking the 10mg of Citalopram every other day, again, following the recommendations of my pharmacist. 

April 2020: Stopped taking Citalopram.

I haven't reinstall since then. I've tried taking Magnesium a couple of times, but I found out it makes me nervous. I only take Paracetemol when the headache becomes unbearable (2gr every couple of weeks or so). 

Link to comment

Dear @Altostrata

 

I have a question: With your huge experience with people in wd, what is your opinion about psychotherapy in wd?

 

I did cbd after my ct and the therapist did'nt know about wd and treated me for 'normal' depression and anxiety disorder. The therapy was very overwhelming and destabilising for me so that I stopped it. 

 

Now I am thinking again about starting a special trauma-therapy but I am not sure if it would help or would be too intense and more destabilising with my still so sensitive and dysregulated nervous system.

 

People around me push me towards starting a psychotherapy because they think I am not doing enough to get better.

 

What is your opinion about that? Do you know people who became better from wd-induced depression and anxiety without intense psychotherapy?

 

Thanks again for what you are doing. 🙏

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
1 minute ago, belikeabamboo said:

I did cbd after my ct

@AltostrataI meant cbt, not cbd 😅

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

How are you doing @belikeabamboo?

April 2021 - start lexapro 7,5

May - increase to 10

Sept - increase to 15

Oct - increase to 20

December - very quick taper to 0 

reinstalment at 7,5 due to w/d

21st January 2022 - crosstaper to prozac

28th Jan - prozac 20 mg and 0 lexapro

4th February - quick switch from prozac back to lexapro 7,5 

13th April - up to 10 mg because of unbearable and disabling gut pain 

 

 

Link to comment
10 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

Dear @Hope42, this was my answer when Altostrata asked me which symptoms improved during the last 6 months. This is still how it is. I am still suffering intensely and I am often not functional but compared to 1, 1,5 years ago there is some improvement although it is small and with many setbacks. But don't compare yourself with me, every case is different like every human being is. I wish you from my deep heart that you see some improvements soon! 🙏

Ok, thank you very much for answering. I hope that you and we all will get better eith time🙏

Zopiclone: Summer 2016 - July 1st 2021. 3.75-7.5 mg. Stopped cold turkey.

Sertraline: Sep 2018 - Dec 2019. Max dose 100 mg. Tapered over the last 6 months.

Sertraline: Oct 1st 2020 - Mar 1st 2021. 25 mg. Stopped cold turkey.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

@belikeabamboo psychotherapy can be very helpful but it's best if the therapist knows something about withdrawal problems, as you have found out. Trauma-informed therapists may be more sympathetic but still not understand what you're dealing with. You will need to interview therapists about this before engaging them.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

@belikeabamboo

 

On 6/8/2022 at 1:29 PM, belikeabamboo said:

People around me push me towards starting a psychotherapy because they think I am not doing enough to get better.

 

I'm sorry you are experiencing this. It sounds like these people do not understand WD, and they also don't understand how brave you are. 

I wish for you to have better support than that. 

 

You have PAWS post-escitalopram, correct? That's the main thing I'm dealing with, too.

 

Going through protracted withdrawal is NOT a matter of "doing things to get better". Yes, we can work on learning non-drug coping techniques and various symptom management strategies. We can fiddle around with our dietary and lifestyle choices, exercise and nature and a little more of this and a little less of that. Practice patience and acceptance and listening to our bodies, avoid stress and practice healthy habits of mind and learn to take better care of ourselves, etc. etc. These are within the realm of agency.

 

But these are not exactly things we can "do to get better". They are things we can do to help ourselves live through this very difficult experience of iatrogenic illness. These are things we can do to help ourselves manage, to help things not be worse. One might hypothesize and theorize and speculate that good self-care could feasibly facilitate neurogenesis and healing, but mostly we are trying to do damage control and practice harm reduction so as not to not facilitate recovery. We are trying to not get in the way. Ultimately healing takes the time it takes. We cannot will it to go faster or smoother or better. 

 

Are you fielding criticism from people close to you that you are not doing enough to get better, that this is somehow your fault for taking a long time? That doesn't sound like a supportive attitude to receive from others, and I'm sorry. 

You might consider not engaging with those people for a while, if this would protect you from the toxic stress of their implicit blame and invalidation. 

 

Another option potentially is giving these people more information about what WD is and isn't. However, this requires you to exert precious energy on engaging with them, and you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth it. If you feel like they're not open to listening it might be best just to skip it and avoid them altogether. But if you feel like it might be worthwhile, there are some help topics which could provide some inspiration. 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
On 6/8/2022 at 1:29 PM, belikeabamboo said:

I have a question: With your huge experience with people in wd, what is your opinion about psychotherapy in wd?

 

I did cbd after my ct and the therapist did'nt know about wd and treated me for 'normal' depression and anxiety disorder. The therapy was very overwhelming and destabilising for me so that I stopped it. 

 

Now I am thinking again about starting a special trauma-therapy but I am not sure if it would help or would be too intense and more destabilising with my still so sensitive and dysregulated nervous system.

 

People around me push me towards starting a psychotherapy because they think I am not doing enough to get better.

 

What is your opinion about that? Do you know people who became better from wd-induced depression and anxiety without intense psychotherapy?

 

I agree with Altostrata that it's crucial to be highly selective in your choice of therapist. 

 

Also, do you actually want to get back into therapy right now? Or are you thinking about this because you feel pressured by the opinions of the people around you? 

 

In regards to trauma therapy during WD, a lot of members have asked the questions you are asking. There are frequent discussions of this in various help topics as well as in members' own threads. It may be useful to do a site-wide search for "therapy" and read broadly through the many results that pop up. 

 

Quick basic search: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/search/?q=therapy&quick=1&updated_after=any&sortby=relevancy&search_in=titles

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

@belikeabambooDo you still have vivid dreams??

 

After so many months off ??

 

What have done to improve it ? I have tried various things and yet nothing workes. I am worried it is permanent. Because it has not even decreased. It is constantly same intensity. 

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

Link to comment

@belikeabamboo

Good morning.  I’ve read through your thread. I’m so sorry you are going through this hell. How have you been this week? Have you had any windows? 
keeping you in my daily prayers. 
Ninabird

😪Zoloft 20mg 2/21, BuSpar ( bad reaction) 

Klonopin 1mg 2/21 CT Zoloft in hospital put on Remeron, clonodine and Trazadone 75mg 3/21 Taken off Remeron & Clonodine 3/21 put on Prozac 20mg.

Klonopin .50mg take .25mg twice daily 

8/21 crosstapered to Lexapro (highest dose 25mg) Tapered Trazadone 7/21

1/22 tapered down from 25mg to  10mg Lexapro in 3 weeks. (still holding at 10mg)

started Effexor 37.5. ( on Effexor total 5 weeks)

2/22 told to stop Effexor and go directly to 20mg Cymbalta for two weeks. 3/5/22 30mg Cymbalta.
Estradiol .5mg 2016

Started liquid Lexapro 5/10/22

Back to pull form Lexapro 5/22/22 (couldn’t tolerate liquid) 

*Resumed Lexapro 10mg BMS Taper on 6/27/22 2.5% =126mgpw July 9 -2.5%= 123mppw 9.50mg

7/29/2022 increased Klonopin to .75mg 8/1/22 back to .50mg Klonopin (body didn't like the increase)

Link to comment
On 6/8/2022 at 12:25 PM, almuPA said:

I am just writing to let you know that you are in my thoughts. 

@almuPA Thank you for thinking of me, it means a lot to me. I had three horrible days, I was bedbound, could hardly stand up and it sometimes felt as if I would not survive it because the symptoms were so unbearable. At the moment I don't know how to go on. This is torture. My hope is that I get some relief when my menstruation comes because I observed that my symptoms intensifiy extremely the week/days before my menstruation. I try not to fight against the feeling of not being able to go on and try to trust that this will change again when I hopefully get some relief soon. And that knew strength comes with that.

 

How are you doing? I hope that you are better than I am and that have stable signs of healing! I feel that you are a beautiful soul and I am sure that you will make it to the other side! 🙂🙏💪

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
On 6/8/2022 at 9:12 PM, Pezglobo said:

How are you doing @belikeabamboo?

@Pezglobo As you can see in my last post I am really really bad at the moment. But please don't compare yourself with me, you write your own story and deeply believe that your journey will be much different if you follow the instructions of moderators here. What I recommand from my own experience: Never ever go off Lexapro cold turkey, reduce your dosage when you feel realy stabilised and don't rush your taper! All the best for you! 😊

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

@Altostrata@Ariel

Thank you for your feedback! I spoke to different doctors, psychiatrists and therapists since I came off Escitalopram and despite one doctor in Berlin I found nobody who really understands wd. Most of them even don't believe that pws exists. Most doctors and therapists speak to me for some minutes and then think they know who I am, what I suffer from and what I need to feel better. They all believe I suffer from psychosomatic symptoms (some think it is a depression, others it is an anxiety disorder, others it is a somatization disorder, others it is ptsd). This makes it very frustrating and exhausting for me as I often feel misunderstood and that's why therapy is more stress than a relief. One very difficult part of this journey is that it is so lonely. No doctor, now therapist, no family member, no friend really understands what it means to go through this, nobody knows how sick I often feel. How could they? Try this, try that, do this, do that, I believe that most people really want to support me and want me to get better, but this 'only' having to try more therapies with my intense physical and mental symptoms is very hard and stressful for me. I never felt so lonely and not unterstood.

 

@AltostrataI hope you are fine!

 

@ArielI hope, beside supporting so many people here and giving hope you feel embraced, nutured and supported too. You are a beautiful soul and I really hope that your worst part is behind you, that you are going back into life step by step and you have loving people around you! I send you a hug and a lot of healing energy! 😊

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment

@PsychologicalSafe15 Yes I still have vivid dreams, changing in intensity, like I said before. I hope this will improve as time goes by. I wish the same for you! Alle the best! 😊🙏

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
On 6/17/2022 at 4:28 PM, Ninabird said:

How have you been this week? Have you had any windows? 

@Ninabird Thank you so much for asking. The last days were horrible, I was bedbound and it felt closer to death than to life. I really hope that I get some relief and new strength soon (hopefully when my menstruation comes). Thank you for praying for me, it means a lot to me. How are you at the moment? I don't pray but have you in my thoughts to. 🙏

 

Would you please post the conversation with @Estman in his thread? Thank you for that! 😊

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
8 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

Would you please post the conversation with @Estman in his thread? Thank you for that! 😊

 

I think I've moved them all.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

Link to comment

@belikeabamboo

I am so sorry you are in a bad wave right now. It can be so disheartening. I have been waving recently, too, and I feel for you how challenging it can be.

 

I am familiar with the pattern of symptom fluctuation/intensification following the menstrual cycle. Sometimes it brings me a little bit of comfort when it feels like maybe this can make things a little more predictable, but somehow I usually find myself unprepared anyway! The waves can be so overwhelming, even though I can tell myself logically that it is connected to this or that, no level of explanation feels satisfying or helpful. When I am in it I just want it to stop. 

 

Of course I do not wish you to go through these hard times, but since we are both here it brings me comfort to read your words and hear about your experiences. Thank you for sharing what you are going through. It really helps me feel less alone. 

 

Knowing that we are together in this challenge makes it easier for me to see through the wave. It's easier for me to believe in your success than my own, and logically I can draw on my faith in you to also apply to me. So in this roundabout convoluted way we can help each other, both directly through exchanging kind words and indirectly, too. Thank you. 

 

10 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

I spoke to different doctors, psychiatrists and therapists since I came off Escitalopram and despite one doctor in Berlin I found nobody who really understands wd. Most of them even don't believe that pws exists. Most doctors and therapists speak to me for some minutes and then think they know who I am, what I suffer from and what I need to feel better. They all believe I suffer from psychosomatic symptoms (some think it is a depression, others it is an anxiety disorder, others it is a somatization disorder, others it is ptsd). This makes it very frustrating and exhausting for me as I often feel misunderstood and that's why therapy is more stress than a relief. One very difficult part of this journey is that it is so lonely. No doctor, now therapist, no family member, no friend really understands what it means to go through this, nobody knows how sick I often feel. How could they? Try this, try that, do this, do that, I believe that most people really want to support me and want me to get better, but this 'only' having to try more therapies with my intense physical and mental symptoms is very hard and stressful for me. I never felt so lonely and not unterstood.

 

I am so sorry you have had these bad experiences with doctors, therapists, psychiatrists. It's so hard when we are vulnerable to turn to someone for help and experience not only a lack of support but judgment, labeling, invalidation on top of everything we're already going through. It can be so stressful. I'm so sorry that you are feeling so lonely and not understood. I agree with you that that is a very difficult, painful part of this experience.

 

I'm so grateful for SA that it gives us the opportunity to connect with each other when we cannot find this support out in the world. It is not a substitute and cannot replace real-world face-to-face understanding, but for me it can feel like a lifeline when there seems to be little else. It helps me more than I can say to read your story and follow the posts in your thread. Thank you for sharing. 

 

"Most doctors and therapists speak to me for some minutes and then think they know who I am, what I suffer from and what I need to feel better."

 

Your description really hits home. I have had so many versions of this experience. Finally it became so stressful going through the same futile BS when looking for help that I stopped seeking professional support. It's sad that this is how it is for so many of us, and I believe it makes things so much harder, adding to the stress of WD. 

 

It takes so much courage and strength to know your truth and stand fast when so many "experts" question your reality and offer "answers" that you don't believe in. You are very brave! 

 

Do you feel that your professional background makes it easier or harder to talk to these people, who in some sense are your "colleagues"?

(I'm just curious about this aspect of your experience, because of your training, which affords you a unique perspective; but please only answer if you feel like it, no pressure, feel free to ignore my question.)

 

This one doctor in Berlin who understands, are they someone you keep in touch with? (again, just curious; feel free to ignore)

 

belikeabamboo (by the way, have I already told you how much I like your profile name? strong and flexible, sustainable growth -- great inspiration!) I am thinking of you and will be thinking of you. I hope this wave will pass sooner rather than later -- either way it will pass! For both of us, we will come out of this wave and eventually we will get through this WD. We are getting through it, healing is happening, even when we do not consciously feel it. I believe in you. You are working so hard and doing everything you can -- including doing proactive nothing, and resting, and practicing patience and acceptance -- I feel the wisdom and light in your words, the resilience shining through. You're doing a great job! 

It gets better, and we are getting there...

 

Thank you so much for your kind message and for your support. We are swaying together in the bamboo forest. <3 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hello again @belikeabamboo

20 hours ago, belikeabamboo said:

really hope that I get some relief and new strength soon (hopefully when my menstruation comes).

 

Maybe you are already familiar with these help topics in the Symptoms and Self Care forum, but just in case, here are the links:

 

PMS, PMDD, and menstrual cycle issues during withdrawal and after

 

PMDD / Premenstrual depression

 

I've posted there about my positive experiences supplementing with magnesium and how I believe this has alleviated much of my worst premenstrual discomfort, improving my baseline. WD still factors in but physical premenstrual and menstrual symptoms are greatly diminished. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

@Ariel Sorry that I didnt reply yet, will do it when I am a little bit better.

 

I got Covid on the 10th July and I am still very very bad, bedridden. It feels like a mixture of Covid and intensified wd-symptoms. The complexity and intensity of symptoms scares me a lot. Does anyone have had similar experiences with the Covid infection? Is it possible that the infection intensifies wd-symptoms? I am grateful for every kind of feedback. 🙏

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Any stress, even good stress like going on a holiday, can cause withdrawal symptoms to worsen.  Some members find that if they over exert themselves, eg do a bit to much exercise they notice an increase in their symptoms

 

At this time your body is busy fighting the virus so it is under stress. 

 

Please note that I am not posting this with regards to detoxing but it is about how stress affects the body:

 

STRESS

 

Quote from the video:

 

any time that you have a stress response you're going to decrease repair so basically you can  
defend yourself or you can repair stuff but you can't do both at the same time

 

This is a video about liver detox but the part that I would like to you to watch, and this is where the link begins, is the explanation about stress and the body:

 

Sten Ekberg:  #1 Absolute Best FATTY LIVER DETOX

 

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

Link to comment

@belikeabamboo

Oh I'm so sorry to hear you got Covid! 

Yes, it's quite common that a viral infection, e.g. Covid, can intensify/exacerbate WD symptoms. 

It can certainly be challenging to go through. 

Hang in there, bamboo (I was going to write an acronym for your profile name, but that would be BLAB, which seems suboptimal!). 

I'm sorry it's so hard right now. 

Your body is under stress and is doing its best to protect you and heal. 

It might not feel that way in lived experience, but healing is happening all the time, even when we don't consciously feel it. 

You've got a very active, tenacious, fierce warrior of a system working in your favor! 

Take gentle care of yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and tenderness. Rest as much as you need, and then some. 

You will get through this! 

Patience, acceptance, non-drug coping techniques. Distract, acknowlegde-accept-float. Whatever works! 

If you feel like crying or screaming or throwing a tantrum just do what you gotta do.

This is temporary, it will pass. It gets better, and you will make it to the other side.

I'm thinking of you and sending healing vibes <3

In solidarity and support,

A. 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

@ChessieCat @Ariel Thank you from my deep heart for your feedback, I am very grateful for that.

 

Before Covid I felt that there were some small improvements, now I am bedbound again and it is even difficult to take a shower. I am so symptomatic and overstimulated that the only thing I can do most of the time is closing my eyes and breathing. I am so scared that Covid damaged my body in addition and that this is how it is now. Sorry for my negative words but I am at the edge of what I can endure at the moment, so hopeless and desperate. Life running through my hands without knowing if and how I can resume a somehow normal life again. It is now almost 4 years of suffering and fighting and I am vwry exhausted. 

09/2016 start 15mg Escitalopram for stress/anxiety issues (prescribed by a psychiatrist)

07/2017 fast taper 5mg/week, first time off Escitalopram, felt restless, anxious and had stomach issues afterwards

10/2017 reinstatement 15mg Escitalopram because I still did'nt feel well, stabilized again

summer 2018 slower taper to 10mg Escitalopram, felt relatively normal

09/2018 reduction from 10mg to 8mg Escitalopram, 2 days later anxiety/panic and massive exhaustion

10/2018-12/2018 reduction from 8mg to 6mg Escitalopram, up to 15mg Escitalopram again because I felt very bad, stabilized again

03/2019 fast taper 5mg/week, second time off Escitalopram, physical and mental symptoms during tapering, knocked out 3 days after coming off (list of symptoms in my introduction post), unable to work

05/2019 try to reinstate 15mg Escitalopram by going up 1mg every 2 days, had to stop at 6mg because the symptoms were to intense

05/2019 reduction to 2.5mg, try to stabilize (recommanded by a psychiatrist who thought it was wd), could start work part time 07/2019

11/2019  start slow taper, reduction every 2nd week, steps 2.0mg - 1.5mg - 1.0mg - 0.5mg - 0.25mg - 0mg because I did'nt stabilize on 2.5mg Escitalopram within 6 months, felt worse and worse during the tapering process

04/2020-today third time off Escitalopram, suffering intense physical and mental symptoms, unable to work since 07/2020

Link to comment
1 minute ago, belikeabamboo said:

Before Covid I felt that there were some small improvements, now I am bedbound again and it is even difficult to take a shower. I am so symptomatic and overstimulated that the only thing I can do most of the time is closing my eyes and breathing. I am so scared that Covid damaged my body in addition and that this is how it is now. Sorry for my negative words but I am at the edge of what I can endure at the moment, so hopeless and desperate. Life running through my hands without knowing if and how I can resume a somehow normal life again. It is now almost 4 years of suffering and fighting and I am vwry exhausted. 

 

I hear you @belikeabamboo

I'm so sorry for your suffering. 

No need to apologize for your posts. It is good that you're sharing your experience. 

Feel free to come here and vent as much as you need. If it helps you then that's what matters. 

It makes sense that you feel exhausted. You have been working so hard for years. 

The way things are now is temporary. It will pass. 

Just try to get through this as best you can, one breath at a time, one moment at a time. 

If that's all you can do, that's all you need to do. That's everything.

I believe in you, bamboo. You will make it through. 

Healing is happening all the time, even when we don't consciously feel it. 

You are very brave! 

Holding space for your experience and sending healing vibes <3

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy