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savedflower: Currently tapering Lexapro, intrusive thoughts, OCD


savedflower

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First off, I am so grateful for this site. I don't know if I would have had the strength to start the weaning process without this site and all the wonderful information and success stories. It has truly made such a difference in my recovery. I wanted to write a post as soon as I found this site but I waited until I was farther into the withdrawal process.

 

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and late onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in 2015 at 19 years old, and the anxiety turned my world as I knew it upside down because I'd never dealt with it's level of intensity before. I was suffering badly from OCD obsessions of all kinds including POCD, HOCD, ROCD, and the list goes on. I think it was at it's worst when I had no idea what I was suffering from or why it was happening (seemed to have come out of the blue).

 

I was extremely frightened of my suicidal thoughts, so after a hospital visit, I was started on 5 mg of Celexa and 10 mg of Buspirone at the end of 2015. The antidepressant did help a little with the fear but gave me random panic attacks (something I'd never experienced pre-medication).

 

I switched to Luvox for only a few months because it made me more depressed than before.

 

I switched to Zoloft which did pretty well for a while except for the intense tiredness all day, despite how much I slept, and depression at night. It destroyed my sleep schedule because I would sleep for 14 hours some days to try and get rid of the tiredness and depression.

 

In 2017, my symptoms alleviated a lot when I started going to the gym regularly and I cut the Zoloft cold turkey because I thought I didn't need it anymore and had never heard anything about a withdrawal. After a month, I had some of the worst anxiety and panic I've ever experienced and ended up in the hospital again.

 

After reading about antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, I gradually reinstated my Zoloft back to 75 mg over the next week.

 

I was also given Xanax for the panic and told by my psychiatrist to only take the smallest amount possible, only when I need it badly, and not often.

 

In November 2018, the Zoloft stopped working. I knew because no matter how much I increased the dose (with the help of a psychiatrist), it wouldn't work anything like before and I was experiencing the same withdrawal symptoms that I had when I cut the Zoloft cold turkey.

 

I learned about tachyphylaxis during that time and gradually tapered onto Lexapro at 10 mg. I was hoping to stay there, but had to raise it to 15 mg in the beginning of 2020 because the withdrawal symptoms wouldn't calm down, and I didn't know how to combat them.

 

I was tired of going back and forth from marijuana, to Xanax, to Vistaril (which was giving me strange racing heart symptoms) and using medication to run from the anxiety. I had become apathetic and unemotional, unable to cry or feel as much empathy which was really unusual for me. I remember making excuses about it to stay on my medication by telling myself that I didn't need and couldn't handle "overactive" emotions anyway. 

 

When I found this site, I knew this medication wasn't good for me and I became determined to get off of it even though I was terrified of myself and my anxiety pre-medication.

 

I've been doing the 10% taper every approximately every 4 weeks for the past 9 months and I'm finally at a point (almost 5 mg Thank God) that I never thought I would get to in the past. It has been a huge learning process that has changed my life ultimately for the better and I'm excited to keep going to the end. 

 

I definitely will try and keep this account updated as much as possible as I go, but for anyone who sees this, please know that you are capable of so much more than you could ever imagine.

 

Much Love ❤️

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added spacing for easier reading

Celexa 5 mg / Buspirone 10 mg - 9/2015
Started Luvox 25 mg / Buspirone 5 mg - 7/2016
Zoloft 25 mg / Buspirone 5 mg - 10/2016
Zoloft 75 mg / Buspirone 5 mg - 6/2017 
Raised Zoloft to 125 mg / Xanax 0.25 mg as needed - 5/2019
Started Lexapro 10 mg / Xanax 0.25 mg on and off - 7/2019
Raised Lexapro to 15 mg / Vistaril 25 mg (still experiencing withdrawal) - 6/2020
Quit Xanax, vistaril and decided to withdraw for good - 2/19/2021
Lexapro 14.3 mg 3/6/2021
13.5 mg - 3/20/2021, 12.15 mg - 4/10/2021, 10.9 mg - 5/2/2021, 10 mg - 5/30/2021, 8.8 mg - 6/27/2021, 7.8 mg - 7/31/2021, 7.1 mg - 9/10/2021, 6.4 mg - 10/4/2021, 5.8 mg - 10/27/2021

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to savedflower: Currently tapering Lexapro, intrusive thoughts, OCD
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello savedflower and welcome to SA,

 

There are many members of SA who had no idea that psychiatric drugs could/would cause withdrawal symptoms, including me.  However, when I think back, I did get brain zaps when I missed a dose (one I missed 2) but I didn't even consider that reducing my Pristiq 100mg to 50mg would cause any issues.  Sorry, just a bit of musing going on.

 

Thank you for creating your drug signature.

 

I am really pleased to see that you have been doing a 10% taper about every 4 weeks.  Please be aware that as your dose gets lower you might have to reduce by less and/or hold for longer.  If this happens you might consider changing over to the

 

thebrassmonkey-slide-method-of-micro-tapering

 

This topic explains why: 

 

why-taper-sert-transporter-occupancy-studies-show-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration

 

 

Post #1 of this topic has printable and computer versions of Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptom Checklist:

 

dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist

 

Q:  Is there any information in particular that you would like us to provide?

 

Post #1 of this topic has links to some helpful topics.  And there is a link to the Tips for Tapering Lexapro if you need to know how to get non standard doses. 

 

important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq

 

Please update your drug signature whenever you make a change so that it remains current.  This allows the staff to see your drug history at a glance and not have to read back through your posts to get the information.  The following link goes directly to it:

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature
 

This is your Introduction topic.  Each member has only one.  Your Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions specific to your own situation and where you can journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means that you do not have to repeat your story.

 

There are many existing topics on SA where members discuss their symptoms (these are general topics; please remember to post in your Introduction topic as explained above, staff regularly check the Introductions forum but because the site is very busy with a lot of members, they may not see posts made elsewhere).  You can try using the site search function.  Or you can use an internet search engine and add site:survivingantidepressants.org  to the search term.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
39 minutes ago, savedflower said:

 

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and late onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in 2015 at 19 years old, and the anxiety turned my world as I knew it upside down because I'd never dealt with it's level of intensity before. I was suffering badly from OCD obsessions of all kinds including POCD, HOCD, ROCD, and the list goes on. I think it was at it's worst when I had no idea what I was suffering from or why it was happening (seemed to have come out of the blue).

 

 

One thing that is very important to understand is that when we go off our psychiatric drug we may still experience the issues that we initially went on the drug for.

 

If you haven't or aren't already doing so, it is generally recommended to see a counsellor to help you to cope with the original issues.  You might also ask that they teach you general life coping skills too.  This seems to be especially helpful for members who started a psychiatric drug as a younger person and before they ventured out into the big wide world!

 

This is SA's topic:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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