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Siderale : One year off meds, two months symptoms-free although I thought I'd never feel like myself again: I overcame Escitalopram withdrawal


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  • Erell changed the title to Siderale : One year off meds, two months symptoms-free although I thought I'd never feel like myself again: I overcame Escitalopram withdrawal
  • Moderator

Congratulations @siderale, I am very honored and happy to read your Success Story !
 

"Eventually, it evens out, and it's worth it when you look back at what you've been through."

 

❤️

 

2006 : 20mg Paxil+Bromazepam. 2008 : cold turkey of both. 2010 : Reinstatement 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam.

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, slow taper to 0mg.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days). 22 Aug 2019 updose to 10mg (was at 8.4mg).

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paxil. 

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate + fish oil

Current medication :

* 7pm Diazepam  : 0.85mg (15 Aug 2022) / 0.95 mg (24 April 2022) / 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* 8am Prozac : 6.16mg (25 oct 2022, feel awful, slight updose) / 6.08 mg (9 oct 2022) / 6.24mg (11 July 22) / 6.44mg (22 May 22) / 6.64mg (4 Nov 21) / 6.72mg (8 oct 21) / 6.8 mg (15 Sept 21)6.88mg (14 Aug 21)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 21)

 

I am not a professional, I don't give medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Congratulations @siderale!!  You are extremely brave to have fought through all of those atrocious symptoms.  I am in awe of what you have accomplished.  All the best for your wonderful future ahead, WR.

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin after 4 mos. Several unsuccessful slow tapers of Zoloft; went up and down in dose a lot

-Spring 2013 back on 1 mg Klonopin to counter WD symptoms; switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to 35 mg citalopram
-Two attempts at slow tapering citalopram, always increased dose due to WD; also increased Klonopin to 1.25 mg in 2014, then to 1.5 mg in 2015

-8/17-9/17: After holding one year at 20 mg, feeling withdrawal symptoms due to stress - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg I 2021: 7.8 mg - 5.26 mg I 2022: 5.2 mg - 3.36 mg 

2023: 1/9/23: 3.3 mg; 1/16/23: 3.2 mg; 1/23/23: 3.16 mg; 1/30/23: 3.1 mg; 2/13/23: 3.0 mg; 2/20/23: 2.98 mg; 2/27/23: 2.9 mg; 3/6/23: 2.86 mg; 3/20/23: 2.8 mg; 3/27/23: 2.75 mg

 

 

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🥳🥳🥳🥳 thank you for your success story ☀️☀️☀️☀️

2021:  started celexa 10mg feb 2nd 

feb 25th took my last 10g; feb 26th 5mg; feb 27th 5mg; feb 28th 2021 cold turkey 

currently taking mag

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yay !!! this is wonderful to read. very happy for you ❤️ thank you for this post 

Sept 2021 - CT sertraline 25mg. told it was a 'placebo dose', knew nothing about the dangers or mechanism of these drugs

Nov 2021 - Jan 2022 - failed reinstatement attempt which exacerbated symptoms as it gave me severe serotonin syndrome, unrecognised by doctors who told me to double my dose (!!!!). this was a very awful period, was still trying to work and go to uni, eventually had to quit everything & move back in with family. horrific 'altered reality' symptoms of dissociation, hallucinations, insomnia, chemical dread, racing heart, agitation, nausea, burning & more 

Jan 14th 2022 - 0mg SSRI

Currently, 2023: in recovery from drug-induced neurological dysfunction/PAWS. only meds- 10mg amitriptyline at night.

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  • Moderator

@siderale I'm so proud of you!!  You did this!  You have learned and grown so much though this ordeal - I hear it in your story.  You maintained a positive attitude and told yourself that you would be better someday. You had hope, strength, and determination.  I hope you keep in touch now and then.  

Please do not private message me or tag me.

 

***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 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: 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!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

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

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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@siderale amazing! you're such an inspiration! xx

May 2016- August 2020 Fluoxetine 20mg (pooped out)

August 2020 - December 2020 Sertraline 50mg (adverse effects)

Dec 2020-Mar 10th 2021 Citalopram 20mg (adverse effects)- STOPPED cold turkey

Fully antidepressant free since 10th March 2021. 

Take occasional propranolol 10mg.

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Hello and congratulations for your success story you had a lot of courage I am full of weaning and I know the difficulty that must be endured.  Reading you does a lot of good, I hope you will get even better with time.  You have to stay away from this drug and try to overcome it every day by being positive.  I have a few questions if you don't mind: are you a man or a woman?  How old are you, did sport help you?  Apart from yoga.  Have you had libido problems or if you are a man premature ejaculation problems?  I myself took seroplex 10mg like you think 1 year then I switched to brintellix.  I'm 3 months out of weaning I have someone symptoms that are leaving like nausea headaches dizziness and I manage to fall asleep faster.  But I wake up around 3am and can't go back to sleep or long after sometimes.  What bothers me the most is the sexual issues like death downstairs.  I also wanted to ask you because it scares me if you feel connected with people?  With reality.  I have a blank stare and very often I can stare at something for a minute elsewhere.  And I no longer have too many feelings for the people around me.  Take care and carry on with that voice again you're really brave

Hello everyone, I was on seroplex 10mg in October 2019 for over a year and then on brintellix from March to September for maybe 8 months. I made several attempts to stop abruptly then I resumed the treatment of brintellix recently for a few weeks because it was too difficult to stop.
Symptom when stopped: premature ejaculation, ejaculation with less orgasm. Severe insomnia, transient headaches, sensitivity to noise and light.
Last intake of brintellix 5mg: Saturday, September 11, 2021

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On 3/23/2022 at 1:00 PM, Parisien said:

are you a man or a woman?  How old are you, did sport help you?  Apart from yoga.  Have you had libido problems

I'm a woman, and I am between 25-30. I was unable to do sports but I made a point of taking a short, brisk paced walk almost everyday, even if it was only 15 minutes. I believe it helped me a lot because at times I felt like I would go out and pass out/panic because of muscle weakness and/or derealisation, but in fact it built my confidence. 

As for libido issues it is not a subject I am concerned with because I never had any libido to start with. It's been like this forever, meds or not, WD or not I did not notice any change because it is almost inexistent to start with, so, sorry I can't answer or reassure you!

 

 

On 3/23/2022 at 1:00 PM, Parisien said:

 I also wanted to ask you because it scares me if you feel connected with people?  With reality.  I have a blank stare and very often I can stare at something for a minute elsewhere.  

 

It took a lot of time to come back and I don't think it's like 100% there becase I sometimes have moments where I just feel off/disconnected still, but I pay less attention to it and I don't overthink it (at least I try not to!). Even "non WD" people have their moments like this. For me it slowly got better and better in the past 3 months or so still.

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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Now that I have replied to the previous person: I am sorry for the late reply, my life has been so hectic lately I haven't had a moment to sit down and properly write here. I don't wanna clog up all of your notifications by thanking every single one of you but know that ALL of your words go straight to my heart. I feel so lucky to be able to share my success with you and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support and kind words 💕

 

I definitely plan to log back in to check on other people, reply to this thread if needed. I don't see myself just giving up on this community, that helped me immensely.

 

My positive attitude (and the fact that it didn't leave me!!) has been a gift, though obviously some days were much much harder and man I've cried out of despair/frustration more in the past year than in... maybe my whole life before WD! 

 

Before WD, and while I was on meds, I already had a more optimistic outlook on life. It took time to shift, I used to be very pessimistic, but it did. So again, I really believe I was lucky to feel really good with the medication from the start, it helped me see this whole thing as me learning to walk by myself without a very helpful crutch. And if anything, I now see life with an even brighter outlook.

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing hope. 

I'm on my way to recovery. 

 

I send you a lot of good energy!

2017 - 2019 Ketazolam (Benzo) and Pregabalin.

2019 Trazadon (for 2 months)

2019 Klonazepam (for a week)

2019 Stoped Trazadon, Started Escitalopram 20 mg.

2019 - 2021 Escitalopram (20 mg for a year and a half, then, I tapered the dosage by 1/8 each month) off by Dec. 2021

Tried: Magnesium + B6, Omega 3, St John’s Wort, Valerian root

Currently taking: Nucleo Forte (supplement for nerves)

B complex vitamins.

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  • Mentor

Congratulations @siderale and thanks for posting your story. I know how I looked to success stories for inspiration and hope and I know many people will find comfort in your story. 

50 mg Sertraline Nov 2016 to Dec 2016

100 mg Sertraline Jan - March 2017

50 mg Sertraline April - June 2017

25 mg Sertraline July 2017 - Sept 2018

12.5 mg Sertraline Oct 2018

0 mg Nov 1 2018

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Congratulations on your recovery, and thank you for coming back to post a success story and give encouragement for those of us still struggling. ❤️

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, co 6/22 - 0.25mg, co 8/22 - 0.5mg, co 1/23 - 0.25mg),

Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg, 7/22 - 11mg, co 8/22 - 5mg, 9/22 - 4mg, 10/22 - 3mg, 11/22 - 2mg, 12/22 - 1mg, co 1/23 - 5mg, 2/23 - 4.5mg, 3/23 - 3.5mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mgProbioticMagnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mg. Melatonin 5mg/3mgXR

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Siderale,

 

Congratulations on your successful tapering !

 

It gives me hope, as I just started my own journey. Getofflex told me your were french just like me :). We're also about the same age. I actually find my experience is quite similar to yours. The drug also really helped me with my anxiety, and I also had a lot of symptoms related to fatigue, nausea and lack of appetite. In my case, it was actually undiagnosed GERD, so omeprazol was a huge help. Anyway, knowing that you were able to heal is great encouragement for me. And your advice on dealing with symptoms was very helpful. So thanks !

 

Hope you're doing okay with your thesis.

December 2020 : got prescribed 20 mg paroxetine (paxil) for an anxiety disorder

Tried tapering in July 2021 by taking 20 mg every other day and failed.

 

Started tapering with the 10% method in January 2022 and switched to an oral suspension. 20 mg = 10 ml

Turned out to be a bit hard. Continuing with 5% drops approx.

 

25 January 2022 : 9 ml / 24 February 2022 : 8,1 ml / 06 April 2022 : 7,3 ml / 2 June 2022 : 7 ml / 11 July 2022 : 6,5 ml / 09 August 2022 : 6,3 ml / 26 August 2022 : 6 ml / 18 Septembre 2022 : 5,8 ml / 17 December 2022 : 5,7 ml / 04 January 2023 : 5,6 / 17 January 2023 : 5,5

 

Xanax from december 2020 to January 2021 / Omeprazol on and off for GERD since december 2020 : 20 mg / Birth control pill since february 2021.

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Hello @souim and thank you for your sweet message ! I am indeed french, and if you want to chat don't hesitate to message me although I may take a bit of time to answer (tunnel-visioning on my thesis indeed, but I'm seeing the end of it in the next months... I hope!)

It's good that omeprazole helped you. My mum has GERD too and it seems so awful! Good luck with it.

 

I am super glad to know that you mind my advice helpful too. We all have our own ways to cope with symptoms so of course it might not work for everyone, but as I was in the thick of WD I was willing to try any piece of advice I came across and found the "recipe" that helped me!

 

Good luck with your tapering, I hope your journey will be as smooth as it can be!

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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Hi @rebeccaannxo, I'm sorry to read you had such a strong adverse reaction. I'm sending you all the strength I can!

- I had photophobia appear brutally 4-5 months after my last dose (sharp pain around the left eye upon looking at any bright surface), as well as issues "focusing" on stuff. I never ever had to deal with it before, I never had migraines. It disappeared after a couple months.

- I had fatigue all along WD I'd say, the intensity varied between phases where I felt barely able to exit my bed to others where I was functional but feeling tired.

- Balance issues, not per se, however I had dizzy spells, a lot of them towards the end of my withdrawal (and not at the beginning!)

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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@siderale congrats on your healing! I wanted to ask you as I am 3 month in, did you have the weird brain sensations? They are hard to explain but I think sensory may be making them worse as in light/sound/stimulation. I had horrible light sensitivity but I’m improving slowly. 

Immediate adverse reaction 

lexapro 5mg 3x 1/27/22, 1/28/22, 1/30/22 

Buspirone 7mg 1x 1/27/22 

last dose 1/30/2022

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Siderale, thank you so much for writing your success story. It's so encouraging to see how much you have come through. I hope you don't mind, I posted a couple of quotes to the "Best ofSA" thread.

 

I'm struggling with anhedonia and being unable to enjoy my hobbies or read a book. Your advice on anhedonia was very helpful and comforting. I do have some windows here and there but when I sink back into it I get very anxious and frightened that I'll never be able to live life again. So thank you for your reassurance. It's so much appreciated.

65 y/o Female

Current meds:

Started:26 February, Propranolol 5 mg 8am and 8 pm

Started: 11 March 2022, Ativan : 0 .25mg 1pm and 9pm

Off Seroquel since early October 2022

Off Lunesta since early September 2022 

 

Other meds: Levothyroxine 50mcg with extra 25mcg Mon. Wed. Fri.

 

 

 

 

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@StarShopping87 , do you mean "brain zaps"? If so, it is a very common symptom and a very scary one it seems but weirdly enough, I haven't had to deal with it at all. However even without it I was moire sensitive to a lot of stimuli.

and @Pollyjay , I am so glad to read that my words can help you a bit. Reading myself, and looking back today - I can confidently say that I am really back to normal on a daily basis *and* that at the time I confidently thought this would never happen.

I saw that you posted a few quotes in the "Best of SA" topic and consider me very honoured! 💜 I am wishing you all the best. 

 

I hope you both recover fast, hang in there!

 

As for me, as a little update. I have been stressed lately (mostly work stuff and "the unknown" of my professional future) and since yesterday I feel super nauseous, dizzy, stressed. I thought I'd pass out outside yesterday and I was barely able to eat at lunch. In three words: the postcard wave for me. I however don't think it's a wave, just a response to stress: I've been taking it slow, yet managing to see friends, I feel a bit weak and my appetite isn't there (which is a major stress factor and reminds me greatly of the hell of WD!!!) but one thing I know for sure is that whether it is a random, very late-breaking wave, or just a "stress period" as it can happen to anyone... It's temporary!

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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2 hours ago, siderale said:

@StarShopping87 , do you mean "brain zaps"? If so, it is a very common symptom and a very scary one it seems but weirdly enough, I haven't had to deal with it at all. However even without it I was moire sensitive to a lot of stimuli.

and @Pollyjay , I am so glad to read that my words can help you a bit. Reading myself, and looking back today - I can confidently say that I am really back to normal on a daily basis *and* that at the time I confidently thought this would never happen.

I saw that you posted a few quotes in the "Best of SA" topic and consider me very honoured! 💜 I am wishing you all the best. 

 

I hope you both recover fast, hang in there!

 

As for me, as a little update. I have been stressed lately (mostly work stuff and "the unknown" of my professional future) and since yesterday I feel super nauseous, dizzy, stressed. I thought I'd pass out outside yesterday and I was barely able to eat at lunch. In three words: the postcard wave for me. I however don't think it's a wave, just a response to stress: I've been taking it slow, yet managing to see friends, I feel a bit weak and my appetite isn't there (which is a major stress factor and reminds me greatly of the hell of WD!!!) but one thing I know for sure is that whether it is a random, very late-breaking wave, or just a "stress period" as it can happen to anyone... It's temporary!

Thanks for your response! It isn’t brain zaps so to say, more of a activated/stimulated feeling. It’s soo. Hard to describe. I’m definitely sensitive to stimulation right now. But my brain feels so weird, and there’s like a weird spinning sensation. When I lay my head back, like in a sitting position, it feels heavy and I feel like I’m spinning. But all throughout the day it’s more of a activated/stimulation feeling. 

Immediate adverse reaction 

lexapro 5mg 3x 1/27/22, 1/28/22, 1/30/22 

Buspirone 7mg 1x 1/27/22 

last dose 1/30/2022

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4 hours ago, StarShopping87 said:

When I lay my head back, like in a sitting position, it feels heavy and I feel like I’m spinning

Oh I do relate to this BIG TIME though!! I had *exactly* this but when I went to lie down. And it lasted for a good while ad a symptom. I would sort of dreading going to bed or lying down at all because of it. But like the rest it eventually wore off. It was weird though, and I felt so much more jumpy because of light and sound too.

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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Congratulations. So glad you made it through.   I can relate to everything you went through.   I'm currently stable on 20 mg prozac  and 10 mg Doxepin, but in the next year or so  I would like to gradually  get off both.     I cold turkeyd  and reinstated prozac a year ago and went through horrible symptoms for about 8 months.   

2010- 3/30/21 CT off 20 mg prozac

5/1/2021 - 5/26/21  20 mg prozac

5/27/21 - 6/17/21 10mg prozac

6/18/21 -  present 20mg prozac 

6/25/21 - 10/15/21 .5 -.25 klon

10/16/21-12/20/21 lowered to 0 klon 

10/13/21-11/18/21  10 mg doxepin

11/18/21-11/25/21  20 mg doxepin

11/25/21-12/10/21 15 mg doxepin

12/10/21 - present  10 mg doxepin

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you so much for writing this. It gives me hope. I am in the middle of the very dark and frightening days of WD.  The anxiety is crippling. I too have lost my appetite and many pounds. I have also become histamine intolerant. 
Thanks again!

Paxil 2008 20mg 2016 40mg feb 21 2022  20mg, feb 28 0mg April 23 20mg April 24 40mg April 26 20mg April 27 10mg April 28 0mg May 7 10mg May 17 0mg

Duloxitine Feb. 21, ‘22-30mg feb 28 60mg March 14 0mg April 21. 30mg April 26 60mg April 28 30mg am/60mg pm May 7 60mg am currently still on

Lexapro 2022 April 14 5 mg April 18 10m

April 21 0mg

Trazodone April 24 50mg 

Currently on 60mg dulox and 50mg Trazadone 

taking hydroxyzine and xanax as needed

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I'm sorry to read this @Jilla it's such a jarring thing to go through. If it can be of any reassurance, it did take a few months after I considered WD to be over but I've gone back to my "normal" pre-WD weight.

Even if it does not feel like so when you are in the thick of it: your brain and body both have a surprising capacity to heal, even when it feels like you'll never feel normal or "like before" ever again. I hope my experience and the other success story can make you keep hope.

Good luck, I hope healing comes to you soon!

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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Thank you so much for this post & im so happy for you. My question is throughout this journey would you say you rested more than you were active ?? Do you think resting helped you recover faster. & did you work at all? If so was it physical work or like at a computer, talking on the phone etc?

April 2022- Only 1 celxa pill 10mg

had an adverse reaction & never took anymore again 

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On 6/23/2022 at 8:46 PM, peaceandlove said:

My question is throughout this journey would you say you rested more than you were active ?? Do you think resting helped you recover faster. & did you work at all? If so was it physical work or like at a computer, talking on the phone etc?

 

In short, even if symptoms were sometimes debilitating, for the most part, in my case, it seems like staying active, going out everyday, helped me both gain confidence in myself and keeping the intrusive thoughts at bay (because I was busy with other stuff). I however know of course that WD is an extremely personal journey and I hope you find your way to cope with your symptoms the best.

 

More details:

It was mostly by "phases": I was working part-time, going to uni for class and working on my thesis at home. My work was at the time completely remote (administrative work: phone calls, emails, excel sheets). Going to uni was sometimes very welcome because it kept my brain and body busy, but sometimes the symptoms were too debilitating and I stayed home. I had however noticed that most of the time I could go on with my days almost normally (despite the dread and nausea and fatigue etc) and pushed myself to continue doing so, except when I was too crippled.

 

Then I had a month long period of "physical rest" where I did next to nothing except work on my thesis from my computer and not leaving my room because I was super late, WD made it impossible to focus and I asked for a delay. This is where the physical symptoms were the worst. I still don't know how the hell I managed to crunch it while half of my brain felt like it was unresponsive, but it worked in the end. Then I traveled and drove a lot while having to socialise, it wasn't easy everyday and I had moments where I felt very "down" even during a window but it went well and helped me gain a lot of confidence. Then after this I have been extremely busy and almost overworked with class and work on-site every day plus lots of work in the evenings. I was on the verge of burnout to be honest but my symptoms at the time were more manageable since I was eating again. It was mostly DP/DR and crying bouts from exhaustion.

 

 

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello ! I guess you won’t read this but still wanted to ask. I have a kind of similar path than you (Escitalopram for social anxiety, but then another ssri). I think we might be from the same European country as well and might be around the same age so I relate to your story even though I don’t have appetite problems during my withdrawal. Anyway just wanted to know how you’re doing now, if you’re still feeling healed? Your story gives me a lot of hope. Did you ever have depressive phases during your WD? (As in depressive feelings that feel 100% weird, chemical, unusual and you just know it’s due to withdrawal). Did you ever have akathesia ? 
Thank you for everything you wrote on this forum, I followed your journey to give me strength. 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello @Nypeaches89! I'm super sorry for the late reply. My life has been incredibly busy lately. I meant to pass by here earlier especially since I very often reflect on WD actually, in a "I can't believe I went through this" way. It feels so eerie, to have been unlike myself for so long.

So to answer your questions;

 

On 8/16/2022 at 12:10 PM, Nypeaches89 said:

Anyway just wanted to know how you’re doing now, if you’re still feeling healed?

More than ever, and I feel incredibly lucky to even be able to confidently say this. I am, simply, back to my normal self.

I do have mood swings, depending on my stress levels, menstrual cycle, and that is just how life is, but none and I mean none of those mood swings feel like WD. I can acutely remember how off I felt during the whole of WD, and 10x worse during waves.

 

On 8/16/2022 at 12:10 PM, Nypeaches89 said:

Did you ever have depressive phases during your WD? (As in depressive feelings that feel 100% weird, chemical, unusual and you just know it’s due to withdrawal). Did you ever have akathesia ? 

I have had very short but extremely intense moments where I felt despair (as opposed to dread/anxiety) and complete anhedonia. I believe it felt even worse for me because I am lucky enough not to be a depressive person, so those feelings were extremely alien to me. I cannot say if I felt they were "chemical" but they were so odd, so intense and so unlike me that I knew it was WD.

I however never had to deal with akathesia, it was more the opposite issue (feeling unable to even move a finger)

 

I hope this answers your questions, I again apologise for the very late reply. I hope by the time you read this, you feel a bit better. I ought to drop by your introduction one day! I wish you all the best and I hope that you, as well as the others who might read this, are lucky enough to feel relief from withdrawal very soon. Being able to give a bit of hope to anyone is the least I can do and a great honour. Hang in there.

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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On 9/20/2022 at 9:18 PM, siderale said:

Hello @Nypeaches89! I'm super sorry for the late reply. My life has been incredibly busy lately. I meant to pass by here earlier especially since I very often reflect on WD actually, in a "I can't believe I went through this" way. It feels so eerie, to have been unlike myself for so long.

So to answer your questions;

 

More than ever, and I feel incredibly lucky to even be able to confidently say this. I am, simply, back to my normal self.

I do have mood swings, depending on my stress levels, menstrual cycle, and that is just how life is, but none and I mean none of those mood swings feel like WD. I can acutely remember how off I felt during the whole of WD, and 10x worse during waves.

 

I have had very short but extremely intense moments where I felt despair (as opposed to dread/anxiety) and complete anhedonia. I believe it felt even worse for me because I am lucky enough not to be a depressive person, so those feelings were extremely alien to me. I cannot say if I felt they were "chemical" but they were so odd, so intense and so unlike me that I knew it was WD.

I however never had to deal with akathesia, it was more the opposite issue (feeling unable to even move a finger)

 

I hope this answers your questions, I again apologise for the very late reply. I hope by the time you read this, you feel a bit better. I ought to drop by your introduction one day! I wish you all the best and I hope that you, as well as the others who might read this, are lucky enough to feel relief from withdrawal very soon. Being able to give a bit of hope to anyone is the least I can do and a great honour. Hang in there.

Thank you for your reply :) 

Well in the meantime I got much better, for no reason- just time doing it’s job. I haven’t had the short intense depressive episodes since I quit the birth control pill, I don’t have anxiety waves anymore. My last thing is clearly anhedonia, I feel “meh”. I hope it’ll pass cos it feels weird to not get excited about anything. If worries me too. Anyway thanks again for your testimony, and your answer. I’m happy to hear you’re healed. I’m on my way 🐎
best. 
 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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Hi thanks so much for posting your story, mine is on this thread My Introduction Story; you are giving me some hope, as I'm really struggling right now.  I'm so glad you've healed 🥰

  • August 2004:  Citalopram 20mg for "postnatal anxiety".  
  • May-Sept 2011:  Adverse reaction to the contraceptive pill, causing severe anxiety and panic.  Was switched from 7 years on Citalopram to Lofepramine briefly, then Mirtazapine 30mg.  Was an anxious, depressed, suicidal wreck and got misdiagnosed with GAD by a psychiatrist.  I now realise my symptoms were all medication related, as opposed to so-called psychiatric diagnosis.
  • October 2011:  Pregabalin 450mg and propranolol 40mg TID added by psychiatrist. 
  • Feb 2013: Tapered off pregabalin 450mg; stopped propranolol.
  • July 2013: Switched from Mirtazapine 30mg to Cipralex 10mg in a two-week cross titration, which caused horrific withdrawal symptoms lasting months.
  • April 2015: Increased to 15mg Cipralex. 
  • 2017:  Was treated by a clinical psychologist for medication-related trauma and slowly tapered down to 2mg Cipralex over the next four years. 
  • December 2021: Switched from Cipralex tablets to drops to facilitate further tapering; this caused withdrawal reaction lasting approx 6 weeks. 
  • May 2022: Experienced severe withdrawal reaction after inadvertently taking expired drops.  
  • 3rd June 2022: Reinstated 2mg Cipralex drops. Stabilisation hindered by drinking alcohol socially; didn't realise impact of this. Nil alcohol since September 2022.
  • Supplements: Cycling Magnesium, Omega 3, Evening Primrose, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Zinc, Ashwagandha, Sage.  Had been taking these prior to withdrawal incident.
  • Feb 2023:  Relatively stable and aiming to hold on 2mg Cipralex and with a view to tapering down in 2024.  Tapering off Ashwagandha.
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  • 1 month later...

Hello @siderale… you’re an absolute inspiration. Your success story and journey (which I fully read, wow) is absolute harrowing and difficult yet a show of super human strength and fragility. It made me feel normal for going through what I’m going through seeing your posts about getting back on lexapro months later and then holding strong and saying no. I go through a similar issue every few days/weeks where I question just giving in and taking meds for my symptoms (insane headaches and nausea) and seeing your battle gives me a sense of shared humanity and resolve.

 

I hope you still check this every once in a while since I have a few questions for you.

 

I’m  dealing with what I think is an adverse effect of Effexor (so a bit different from you) and but my recovery path and symptoms feel very similar to yours. I wanted to ask

 

- What else aside from small meals plain meals did toy do for nausea (if anything)? The abuses is driving me insane. I think it’s mostly tied to the headaches, and I can still eat ok, but feeling nausea often is killing me and nothing has really worked: eating more often smaller portions, ginger, etc

 

 

- How did you handle the headache? I have daily headaches (and nausea) and they’re killing me. It’s been 4 months of this and I’m starting to lose it. I’m trying my best to avoid meds and hope they go down in strength but after a really bad week of this I’m doubting my resolve. occasional Tylenol hasn’t helped at all and B2, acupuncture, massages haven’t seemed to kick in. This is making life beyond miserable. I’m wondering if you had any luck with headaches so I can mirror it 

 

Thanks for your time and I hope that the rest of your life is absolutely grand and that this one day is legit just a crazy ass thing you look back at with very little emphasis on it as the rest of life has been that amazing. 

Sep 2019 - March 2022 Trintellix | 5mg > 10mg Oct 2019 > 20mg Jan 2021. Taper over 1-1.5months Feb-March 2022 (psychiatrist offered no real guidance)

2020 - July 2022 Gabapentin (on and off) | most recently took 300mg for a few days in July to offset body burning from Effexor 

2017 - 2022 Bupropion (on and off) | 75-150mg. Stopped cold turkey ~ Feb/March 2022

2021 - 2022 Apriprazole | 1mg end 2021 > 2mg 2022. Stopped cold turkey ~Feb/March 2022

May 18, 2022 - June 17, Rexulti | .5mg > 1mg May 27 > 2mg June 3 > 1mg June 10 > off June 17

June 24, 2022 -July 4, 2022 Effexor | 75mg > 37.5mg July 2 > off July 4 (problem drug)

June 2022 - 1 week Vyvanse | 30MG

End June - July 4 Methylphenidate Er | 18MG

------------------------------------------------------

2020 - now Levothyroxine | 75mg @ 6:30am

July 2022 - now Klonopin | .5mg @ 8:30am and .5mg @ 8:30pm (thanks @Frogie!) for Effexor/Lithium adverse reaction/withdrawal

April 2022 - Jan 12 2023 Lithium now 0mg | 300mg > 600mg May > 750mg June > 600mg July > 450mg August 22, 2022 > 300mg September 22, 2022 > 150mg October 22, 2022 > 75mg December 12, 2022 > 0mg January 12, 2023. | Migraine Vitamins: B2 400mg October 15, 2022 - Magnesium 100mg November 15, 2022 > 200mg Dec 3 > 400 mg Dec 15 - DHA+EPA (Trader Joe’s) 1200mg December 15, 2022 > 1800mg Dec 15

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello @Bertoh and my apologies for this very late reply! I do come by this forum still although it's less frequent. I care a lot about members and seeing their progress, as well as answering questions if I can!

 

Thank you so much for your sweet words. It makes me really emotional to know my journey can bring anyone a small glint of hope, it's everything I wish to be able to do because again, I still look back at that year and wonder how the hell did I soldier through! I was so firmly convinced I'd never feel like myself and here I am, 1 year and almost 9 months off and I've never felt more stable.

 

On 11/9/2022 at 5:43 AM, Bertoh said:

What else aside from small meals plain meals did toy do for nausea (if anything)?

When the nausea was too much for me to even eat something super plain, I'd take a spoonful of sugar or fruit jam, eventually drank soda or syrup + water. Watch out, because some people are extremely sensitive to sugar during WD, it wasn't my case. It was sufficient sometimes to give me a small boost of energy sometimes, which sometimes lessened nausea, because as you may know, your body's reaction to hunger is... also nausea!

Dealing with nausea truly was the most jarring part of WD for me.

I don't have anything miraculous to advise. I did as I could with plain meals that still brought sustenance & stuff that you make quickly and don't need to chew on too much, for example plain semolina, mashed potatoes,creamy spinach, broths, etc.

 

For the headaches, I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. I didn't deal with debilitating headaches, but it was quite anoying. Taking frequent breaks closing my eyes and massaging my temples helped a bit, as well as drinking lots and lots of water but again nothing was miraculous. I looked up Tylenol which seems to be paracetamol. I did take ibuprofen sometimes or aspirin, perhaps you could try if your health allows it (one can be allergic to those).

 

I can only with you strength during these times. I really hope all your symptoms ease off progressively, be proud of yourself for being there already, it will get better - and the thing I hope the most is that it happens soon for you! Take great care.

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just a little update. So today I felt weird, uneasy, nothing major but I kept noticing my jaw was clenched super tight and it lasted the whole day, for literally no reason at all.

It reminded me of the odd days of withdrawal, and it made me realise - this month marks a year since I consider myself symptom-free and fully recovered from WD.

 

I reflected a bit on how the past year, I've felt the most stable I've ever felt, maybe even more than when I was on antidepressants (as a reminder, in my case escitalopram was extremely helpful in helping me heal from things, and brought me durable relief when I needed it the most).

I still have days where I feel bad, sometimes even for absolutely no discernible reason (like today), but this is... normal. All of us have bad days, bad weeks, it's human and it does not have to have a specific cause, even if it's frustrating, it just is like that sometimes. And now that I know both that these emotions happen but are not my "normal", and that they come and go, I feel more free and serene than ever! No matter how long it takes for withdrawal to go away, in the end it is worth it.

 

Take care, all of you, there is healing for each one of us.

Better days are ahead. If you read this and are still struggling - hang in there. It'll be worth it. My success story: I recovered from Escitalopram withdrawal.

Aug 2017 - May 2018 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. 

Nov 2018 - Jan 2021 -> Escitalopram 10 mg. Feb 2021 - 5 mg.  Feb-March 2021 - 5 mg, one day out of two.

Since March 13th, 2021 -> Escitalopram 0 mg. Withdrawal appeared 1 week after last dose.

Profile image: Edward Robert Hughes' "Night"

 

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Ty @siderale for reminding us that when we do get through that finish line….life is still life. 
 

Good, bad, ugly, beautiful. The struggle from this though will make us so much stronger and able to handle those sad days…at least that’s what I’m taking from your post above. I’m in the middle of a big setback in my journey (now have stomach issues, my emotions are all over the place) but I’m also doing better in a big way (headaches are starting to improve some)…your message comes at just the right time for me. So thank you…you taking those few mins to check in has helped at least one person, prob will many more who lurk (in mainly a lurker lol).

 

I can’t wait to join you on the other side of the battle with hopefully your same outlook soon! 

Sep 2019 - March 2022 Trintellix | 5mg > 10mg Oct 2019 > 20mg Jan 2021. Taper over 1-1.5months Feb-March 2022 (psychiatrist offered no real guidance)

2020 - July 2022 Gabapentin (on and off) | most recently took 300mg for a few days in July to offset body burning from Effexor 

2017 - 2022 Bupropion (on and off) | 75-150mg. Stopped cold turkey ~ Feb/March 2022

2021 - 2022 Apriprazole | 1mg end 2021 > 2mg 2022. Stopped cold turkey ~Feb/March 2022

May 18, 2022 - June 17, Rexulti | .5mg > 1mg May 27 > 2mg June 3 > 1mg June 10 > off June 17

June 24, 2022 -July 4, 2022 Effexor | 75mg > 37.5mg July 2 > off July 4 (problem drug)

June 2022 - 1 week Vyvanse | 30MG

End June - July 4 Methylphenidate Er | 18MG

------------------------------------------------------

2020 - now Levothyroxine | 75mg @ 6:30am

July 2022 - now Klonopin | .5mg @ 8:30am and .5mg @ 8:30pm (thanks @Frogie!) for Effexor/Lithium adverse reaction/withdrawal

April 2022 - Jan 12 2023 Lithium now 0mg | 300mg > 600mg May > 750mg June > 600mg July > 450mg August 22, 2022 > 300mg September 22, 2022 > 150mg October 22, 2022 > 75mg December 12, 2022 > 0mg January 12, 2023. | Migraine Vitamins: B2 400mg October 15, 2022 - Magnesium 100mg November 15, 2022 > 200mg Dec 3 > 400 mg Dec 15 - DHA+EPA (Trader Joe’s) 1200mg December 15, 2022 > 1800mg Dec 15

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you so much for your post @siderale. After reading I went through your introduction post and it made me feel hopeful. I feel like I have so many similarities with you (just finished degree, have health anxiety and ocd), and I’m constantly in the back and forth of whether or not to reinstate. I’m still pretty early in my journey, I stopped my last dose of escitalopram in early January 2023 (1.25mg—just halving multiple times from 10mg), and have been feeling so down with my WD symptoms. The weird and horrible feelings of despair (also never had this sort of thing before!), OCD flare ups, general anxiety, and feeling sooo hypersensitive. The worst is the hypersensitivity to sounds because I feel like I overreact and then feel guilty for overreacting . 
 

I also wanted to commend you and say how inspiring your strength is—your story gave me hope, thank you. I’m so glad you are feeling well now. ♥️

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey siderale

It's so nice of you to tell your story and congratulations for your success 

Can you please tell me how long (months or years) after stopping escitalopram did you feel your memory and cognitive level

Returned to normal

I'm 6 months off lexparo completely 

And suffer from memory and Sharpness in thinking along with other symptoms.

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