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bubble: tapering off Lexapro and Xanax

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Blondiee1915

Hi Bubble, 

 

I started to get palpitations too.  I never had them on lexapro (not that I remember).  I noticed it started last year when I added nortryptoline (silly me) to the mix in hopes of relieving some of the symptoms.  And now since I am going down on it I notice it in the first week or two after I make the cut.  

 

It happens when I lay down/ go to bed.  Basically feels like an increased heart rate or a more pronounced beating pulse.  I am thankful it only happens when I go to bed lay down and try to remind myself it is not dangerous.  Last week I was taking a nap in the middle of the day and I woke up bc of palpitations.  I try to breath slowly and once I got up it went away.  It is very strange.  I however always associated it with nortryptoline but reading your posts makes me wonder 

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bubble
53 minutes ago, Blondiee1915 said:

It is very strange.

 

Thank you for dropping by Blondie! I just visited your the other day to see how you are doing (and how is the fatigue).

 

It sure is strange. But hearing that other people have them (and that it is not dangerous) helps a ton. Especially after reading those scary warnings...

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Meimeiquest

Bubble, I’m sorry just popping in...when I had palpitations I really think they were from food sensitivity. It seemed the stress of WD just made me more vulnerable. It seems when the autonomic nervous system is out of balance it happens.  I “ outgrew” it, for me it was eggs.  I still find that my pulse is higher if I’ve eaten things that I’m sensitive to or too many simple carbs. 80% of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s which has a lot of connection to food sensitivity/leaky gut.  I’m learning a lot of the other is gallbladder disease...my daughter has that. Anyway, forget all that till you feel up to thinking about it, but I do wish you wellness!

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bubble
On 9/25/2018 at 1:45 AM, Meimeiquest said:

Bubble, I’m sorry just popping in..

Oh Meimei, that was such a lovely surprise to hear from you! Soon it will be 5 years since I landed on these shores and not many of the old crowd is still around or updating: only Petunia and Mamma. So it is a special treat to hear from you! How have you been?

 

Your thread was actually the first place where I was reading about the paleo diet, leaky gut, GAPS - I was totally overwhellmed :) but 5 years later I totally get it and for 5 months now follow a low carb/paleo diet. It feels better and I lost 11 lbs which is just incredible.

 

I had an ECG and it was perfect. It seems the actual palpitations abated to a great extent too. But a rather brutal wave continues. I did my 3 % cuts after 3 and once after only 2 weeks in August and it seems I'm getting slammed for it now: awful fatigue, both mental and physical - it feels like I can't even lift my arm, intense anxiety and neuroemotions involving a sense of doom and insecurity, intense worrying about my job and if I will ever heal, intense dp/dr, brain feels so exhausted and overwhelmed that it just wants to shut down and sleep is shallow and fragmented.

 

Coming here and reminding myself that healing does happen means so much.

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Scorpio

Hello bubble

its lovely to see you back and writing again. I’m sorry you are going through such a rotten wave but as you have always been the first to say it will get better again. Minute by minute ....,.  It’s good to read that your ecg was excellent so it’s just the misery of the wave to get through. 

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bubble

Nice to see you Scorpio! I did check up on you recently and saw that things are still rough but you keep going. I should go back to get more details :)

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Scorpio

Hi bubble

yes still struggling but managed to go on holiday to Tenerife for 10 days. Fortunately caught cold second day there which kicked w/d into long grass for a few days so enjoyed it   The flight back though was very hard. 

‘Just holding on this 1mg  until some stability eventually arrives. 

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bubble

Have been yearning to update my thread and connect with the 'tribe'. Not the least for being in desperate need that this wave is a wave, a blip on the journey of healing and not spiraling into an even deeper level of dysfunctionality, watching how my world which has shrunk over the years is getting even more confined and devoid of simple pleasures that make it all worthwhile.

 

It's been 5 years since I arrived here. It is painful to read my initial posts and see how I unnecessarily upped my doses so that after 5 years of tapering I still didn't come down to where I was when I CTed.

 

I tried not to go that route. But a part of this suffocating depression that suddenly hit me is feeling so many regrets, losing the positive spin and wondering if I will make it, from the middle of this tunnel, dark at both sides and so weary.

 

I lost that outlook that I had how I'm getting stronger through this, improving my coping skills. It's just fear and sadness that I can't go to work every day of the week and when I do I suffer dreadfully. I'm running out of explanations about what is happening with me. I miss seeing my friends. Even making a phone call takes too much energy which I don't have.

 

The most prevailing and disabling symptom for the last two years has been this dreadful fatigue and depletion. If I push through it I start dissociating and my brain shuts down with overwhelm produced by a slow day at work followed by the shortest route home to collapse in bed.

 

Ever since my too fast taper of Xanax two years ago my brain is overstimulated and quickly starts racing. As a friend said, it's like driving around above speed while the breaks are not catching.

 

I need so much downtime but at the same time lack of activity and connecting with people make me sad, lonely and depressed. I worry about my future as always. Compared to 5 years ago the progress I see is that I don't feel the compulsion to sugar-coat my despair for myself and others but can be more open about it. 

 

I managed to drag myself out of bed into nature, taking pictures of autumn leaves, just like I did 5 years ago, and all those years in between. Some years, some times were better. For a few months last year I felt better than ever in my life. But I have such difficulty remembering that. It seems like it happened somewhere else, like in some other galaxy. 

 

A while ago I was still keeping things in perspective by reminding myself I pushed my taper a bit in August and this might be a delayed reaction. And was hopefully looking around for a corner to turn. But instead things just got more unpleasant: more tired and overwhelmed. I'm too tired to do my body scan but I must do it. Thinking about Mooji a lot...

 

I again started waking up every two hours fully alert. Was thinking whether to continue to hold. Shep once told me it could be that Lexapro became too activating. So decided to make a miniscule cut from 2.9 to 2.85. 

 

I'm happy I was finally able to get it all out...

 

Sitting here under a tree trying to think of something to end on a positive note but can't. So I remembered that sitting under a tree is positive :) I must start writing a gratefulness list..

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Altostrata

Oh, bubble, I wish our friendship was more than virtual! I would love to visit with you.

 

Do not get lost in regret, the past is what it is.

 

What time of day do you take Lexapro? If in the evening, you might gradually move it to the morning.

 

 

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bubble
10 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Oh, bubble, I wish our friendship was more than virtual! I would love to visit with you.

 

Do not get lost in regret, the past is what it is.

 

What time of day do you take Lexapro? If in the evening, you might gradually move it to the morning.

 

 

Such a welcome visit! I missed you :)

 

I wish I knew how to attached photos... I could sure use company for sitting under trees :)

 

I take Lexapro in the morning. There are times when I sleep through with the same regimen so it seems this is just a general destabilisation. The fact that I'm separated from my husband who works in Asia doesn't help. I was very sad after his summer hols finished and he went back. I have 6 weeks before I travel to visit him and once again consider just moving to Asia and doing something part time instead of struggling so badly at my job of 10 years...

 

Will post a log with my symptoms following the last cut.

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bubble

Cut from 3 mg to 2.9 mg, 21 August

Day 1 - 6 at home on a sick leave following foot injury. But feeling so fatigued and depleted that lying in bed is most welcome. Sad that my husband left and trying to adjust. Overal mood and energy is relatively stable.

 

Schedule of taking drugs:

 

8 am 0.125 mg xanax

2.9 mg dosing times varies between 8-10

1 pm 0.125 mg xanax

6 pm 0.125 mg xanax

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax

 

Day 1 -  8.58 total sleep/2.36 deep sleep
Previous night went to bed late cooking tomatoes, sleepy but feeling calm, pleasant (day 22 after the previous cut) day 18 of the cycle. No waking up throughout the night. Diarrhea, fatigue
Day 2 - was alert and had difficulty falling asleep, fatigue continues but a bit less
9 total sleep/2 deep sleep, after 11 am a bit low. Very dizzy on the train. Heat and low blood pressure
Day 3 - 6.52/50 awake in the middle of the night, alert - probably nutritional yeast and glutamate exotocin. 21.30 - getting very unstable


Day 4 - waking up with high anxiety, too early 7.38/2.04. No waking up at night
9.36/2.38 second sleep. Spaced out at 11 pm
Day 5 - 8.45/1.19 - more energy than previous days although still tired, some anxiety 10 pm, overall very good!
Day 6 - 26.8. Waking up too early with anxiety, 6 pm irritable, unstable and low, 9.17/3 (different in the morning), intense anxiety and difficulty falling asleep
Day 7 - 3.30 am - awake and anxious, will take magnesium. Was waking up several times in the morning with very high anxiety. 9 total sleep/2 deep.

8 am 0.125 xanax, 2.9 Lexapro

10.24 - high anxiety and misearable feeling sitting at my desk at work, mental pain. 10.43 - anxiety strong.

1 pm 0.125 xanax

Very depleted and sleepy for the rest of the day. Low and painful, vulnerable, insecure. Pain in lower abdomen

6 pm 0.125 xanax depletion continues

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax 
Awake at 3 am. Anxiety not so high but can't fall asleep agan, 4.15 still awake. Going to listen to a sleep story
Day 8 -28 August. - 9.22 at work anxious and confused, some kind of mental nausea, hungry. 2h off the 'working day' - take things slow and meditate. Next will be better. Day 25 of the cycle. Poor sleep 1h deep
8.20/1.25 deep
Extremely depleted in the evening, cooked a lot instead of resting. In bed at 9 but can't unwind

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax 
Day 9 -  9.46/1.56 moderate anxiety upon waking up, very sleepy. 9.43 - after initial clarity feeling low and vulberable,
12.40 dp/dr, feel like I can't do anything, very lost and unstable. 8 pm low, depressed, anxious, painful. Feel so lonely and sad. Like when i was crying myself to sleep counting how many days before I go to my grandma...

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax 
Day 10 
9 total sleep/2.46 deep sleep, moderate anxiety upon waking up, Xanax 0.125 mg, Lexapro 2.9 mg, first day of period.

1pm 0.125 mg Xanax

1.20 pm painful anxiety, dp/dr, disorientation, not capable of doing much. 3.10 pmextremely sleepy, cramp releasing.

6 pm - 0.125 xanax

7 pm Utterly misearable, lying in bed in mental pain and confusion. Miss my husband, want to cry

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax 
Day 11 - 4 am awake an anxious, was in bed at 9.

8 pm 0.125 xanax, 2.9 Lexapro

11 am at work, feel depressed - slow, sad, vulnerable, confused but pushing through and getting things done. Feel very insecure, like emotional zombie, detached from work, just doing things mechanically without emotional involvement and motivation
Day 12 - went to bed at 9.30, 11 pm 0.25 mg xanax, waking up to go to the toilet,

 

8 am 0.125 xanax, 2.9 Lexapro lingering anxiety and sadness but getting better. Market, planting lettuce, cutting roses, resting in bed with a book, noon - so tired and sleepy, rest is most welcome. 1 pm xanax

 

Cooked lunch, did dishes, tired and cranky but managing.

6 pm xanax

8 pm tired, sleepy, irritable, low, unmotivated, wired. Agitated at 10.44 difficulty meditating and falling asleep

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax 
Day 13 - woke up too early, very irritable and low mood.

8 am 0.125 mg xanax

9 - feel so tired and unmotivated. Would want to tidy but no energy. Sad and low mood.

10 2.9 lexapro

10.50 curled up in a ball, painful anxiety and low mood, complete misery. (feels more like continuation of the spiral rather than a reaction to the drug)

1 am 0.125 mg xanax

Major upset around 2 am while cooking lunch, severe dp/dr, irritable with my husband, struggling,

6 pm xanax 0.125 mg

sitting by the stream at 6.30. Felt considerably better after that. Did more dishes and tidying, nettle smoothie, bath. Bed at 10 but difficulty falling asleep.

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax

Frequent getting up to pee but solid sleep
Day 14 - woken up by the alarm, 7.30 on the train reasonably well.

8 am 0.125 mg xanax, 2.9 mg Lexapro

11.15 - tired, confused, detached but managing.

1 pm 0.125 mg xanax

Was wiped out the whole afternoon but managed to get out of bed to cook and exercise

6 pm 0.125 mg xanax

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax
Day 15 - woke up with moderate to high painful anxiety.

8 am 0.125 mg xanax, 2.9 lex

Day was relatively ok, did some focused work,

1 am very sleepy towards the end. Got irritated with the boss, uber driver, painful aggressive irritation, very dark mood, nothing makes sense, can't find an anchor. Scary. Physio, lying on the table, people complaining about the effects of the weather

6 pm 0.125 xanax

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax

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Shep
21 hours ago, bubble said:

Thinking about Mooji a lot...

 

You are dealing with a lot right now, Bubble, including a foot injury, being parted from your husband, and tons of battle fatigue. But turning to a favorite mindfulness teacher is always a positive sign. I listened to this one, which was released a few weeks ago, and found it enlightening and wanted to share with a fellow Mooji listener.

 

Mooji dealing with strong emotions video (16 minutes)

 

Remember the power of becoming The Observer, able to "experience" what is "visiting the body" and "not pushing it away", but simply "let it be there". Not sure it's good to listen for "the message in the sensations" at this point, but that's a good idea once you are feeling better. But for now, simply let it wash over, observe without interacting or taking it personally - and remember to breathe! - and know you'll be okay. Because you will. 

 

I know that you are frequently taking the Xanax to prevent interdose withdrawal. Unfortunately, that comes with having a central nervous system depressant in your mind/body throughout the day. This, of course, can add to fatigue. Not saying it's a bad thing to spread the Xanax dose out (it's likely helping with other symptoms), but sometimes, just reminding yourself "well, of course I'm tired, I'm taking a CNS depressant!" can be helpful. The mind is always in the "why? why? why?" mode and having an automatic answer can help squash the anxiety that rushes up.

 

Question - do you feel your sleep is better than it was earlier in your journey? That reducing the Lexapro now and leaving the Xanax steady is helping? If so, then you are moving in the right direction. 

 

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bubble
6 hours ago, Shep said:

The mind is always in the "why? why? why?" mode and having an automatic answer can help squash the anxiety that rushes up

 

I loved your reply Shep. It means so much. To get some perspective. To see I really have a lot on my plate... I very much look forward to listening to this satsang because I do have trouble dealing with strong emotions atm. So it is a great topic!

 

Know you'll be ok - the reason why these states are hard as they are is precisely for the reason we feel we will never be ok again. It's so persuasive and despite all those times when we turned the corner, the present agony feels like: this it! 

 

It was such a valuable reminder that Xanax is slowing me down and depressing. And yes, my brain desperately needs to understand what's going on and why. In that case it can put up with a lot. Probably because it gives it a sense of control...

 

I was thinking of reducing Pedal to to 2.5 mg and then trying to reduce Xanax to see what happens.

 

Something I don't quite understand: 5 years ago I was taking 2 mg Xanax and 5 mg Lexapro and I was slowed down and slept a lot but it wasn't anywhere near as debilitating as now. It was hard but I could work and even have some social life. Now I'm taking half but the fatigue and depletion stop me in my tracks. It's a totally different kind of fatigue. 

 

It started two years ago after my fast taper of Xanax ( "fast" taper meant that for a few months I was reducing by 8% as opposed to 5% and cut a bit of Lexapro in between). The sleeping pattern characterised by waking up every two hours emerged 4 months after my crash. After holding for another 5 months and stabilizing on other fronts you suggested decreasing Lexapro and around that time sleeping normalised also but vicious fatigue and getting tired quickly and radically remained. So sleeping was mostly better but over the last week that interrupted sleep pattern appeared again.

 

Today I spent 5 hours walking in nature and it worked its magic on me again: a few precious hours of feeling calm, clear, having a stable energy and motivation. Sleep was better last night too: slept through but with too little deep REM sleep and waking up too early as tired as I was when I went to bed.

 

I don't understand this interplay of Xanax and Lexapro but have a feeling longer holds won't help much and I should just continue tapering slowly. 

 

Thank you sooo much once again!

Edited by bubble
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Altostrata

My intuition is you're having some adverse effects from Xanax, and Lexapro is activating.

 

Which symptoms get worse after you decrease Lexapro -- which do you attribute to Lexapro withdrawal?

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Shep
15 hours ago, bubble said:

It was such a valuable reminder that Xanax is slowing me down and depressing. And yes, my brain desperately needs to understand what's going on and why. In that case it can put up with a lot. Probably because it gives it a sense of control...

 

"Probably because it gives it a sense of control . . . "   That is VERY insightful, Bubble. Thank you for posting this insight. I think a lot of people who end up on psych drugs are seeking a sense of control. I know that was the case for me, too. 

 

"Control" ~ Satsang with Mooji  video (11 minutes)

 

Some great insights about control from our friend, Mooji.  Let go of "meaning" for those thoughts. As Mooji says, "no thought is self-employed", so if you can keep from attaching meaning to those thoughts (don't hire them! let them stay unemployed), they lose any attachment to you. I like to think of those kinds of thoughts as a commercial break -- it's time to focus elsewhere because I have no interest in purchasing the product being advertised. It has no application to my life and the price to pay is simply too high. 

 

Perhaps letting go of the "control thoughts" will lessen the load you're carrying and you'll feel less fatigue. It's harder during withdrawal because these thoughts can be attached to your symptoms, including repetitive thought-streams, so navigate your way as best as you can, knowing that the skills you are building during the worst waves will become the skills you excel in the most and will serve you well after this difficult journey. We are building up our emotional and spiritual muscles during this journey. That's the grand take-away. That's the treasure sought by the greatest of the heroes and heroines during this Hero's Journey. Don't lose any opportunity to practice this. 

 

And then be grateful for the opportunity to practice! This will give "meaning" to your waves and you'll be more likely to welcome them than to fear them. They are your "teachers". 

 

If you aren't able to shake the thoughts with your brain, then shake free with your body. Get up and move. Go outside and look for nature. Go inside and watch a favorite gentle TV program. Work a jigsaw puzzle. Do a few gentle yoga stretches. Touch something cold. Smell something strong. Turn on your favorite music. Whatever, just break away from the toxic thought-stream and get your senses attached to something "real", not the re-runs of your thoughts trying to get your attention. 

 

I'll leave you with another great video, this one from Dr. Joanna Macy, a Buddhist scholar who writes and speaks about climate justice. 

 

Joanna Macy on Uncertainty video (3 minutes)

 

So it's less that we're losing control, but more that we're coming alive. 

 

And that's a good thing! 

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bubble
23 hours ago, Altostrata said:

My intuition is you're having some adverse effects from Xanax, and Lexapro is activating.

 

Which symptoms get worse after you decrease Lexapro -- which do you attribute to Lexapro withdrawal?

 

I appreciate your insight into this situation so very much. When you are in the tick of things it's very hard to see what is going on...

 

I had my clearest period for a few months over summer last year when I reduced Lexapro to 3.8 (and kept Xanax at 0.625). Then I got so hungry for life and got myself engaged in a number of projects which depleted me severely. It was accompanied by a very bad reaction to dental anesthetic. I held for a few months and resumed my taper when I took a 5 month sabbatical from work. When I was able to follow my natural rhythm I would stay in bed till noon with utter exhaustion (thinking how on Earth I was managing at the office). I often had to nap in the afternoon also. Or just lie down and rest. Basically 2-3 hours of any activity have to be followed by rest, lying down and closing my eyes. I'm too mentally and physically tired to exercise, sometimes even move or meditate...

 

If I can't do that, I get very cranky and irritable and remind myself of a tired toddler who needs his sleep. If I have to push it even further, I start dissociating and it is like my brain is shutting off flashing overload! It has been like this over the last 2 years, tapering or no tapering. A kind of my WD normal.

 

23 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Which symptoms get worse after you decrease Lexapro -- which do you attribute to Lexapro withdrawal?

 

When I cut Lexapro, I get increase in anxiety and ride surges of anxiety, disrupted sleep, irritability and agitation. During cuts when that anxiety was extra severe it would be followed by very low energy and mood before I perk up (stabilize again). 

 

Sometimes there are brief windows where I feel calm and present with stable mood and energy flow and can do housework or complete work tasks with ease. Other times I lock my office and lie down on the floor :( and do body scan which gives my brain a rest.

 

Other symptoms that I have more or less constantly with the exception of brief windows are inner restlessness, struggling with focus and concentration, easily get overstimulated when talking to people or engaged in any kind of activity. 

 

Some three weeks ago I started experiencing very strong heart palpitations, most pronounced when lying in the morning and evening but felt at random times throughout the day. This seems to have lessened over the past week. 

 

I keep a symptom journal but I struggle to describe this better...

 

I guess I will just have to continue tapering while trying to maintain some level of stability.

 

On ‎10‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 9:48 PM, Altostrata said:

My intuition is you're having some adverse effects from Xanax

 

I wonder which are signs of adverse effects... I would like to resume tapering Xanax soon and keep Lexapro at this level and see how that goes. Don't really know...

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bubble
8 hours ago, Shep said:

And then be grateful for the opportunity to practice! This will give "meaning" to your waves and you'll be more likely to welcome them than to fear them. They are your "teachers". 

 

I so needed to read what you wrote and be reminded! I would say I took a break from WD and greedily tried to leave life of a 'regular' person: I studied Mandarin for a semester, joined a wellness group that helped me with my diet so that I lost 14 lbs in 6 months... I even started thinking of looking at the possibility of pregnancy...

 

Now I have to go back to school. It seems I ran away from the teachers and now got caught... 

 

This is another post I need to print out and this thought is so very important for me at the moment: I succumbed to fear and lost that perspective of being in training, perspective that makes this journey bearable and gives it meaning. 

 

And control is such a huge topic for me. Will try to shed more light on it with my therapist. I loved Mooji on strong emotions! Will have to listen to it again and take notes. So very relevant and applicable. Very much look forward to the one on control and uncertainty. 

 

I can't say how grateful I am to have you on this journey. Thank you so very much for sharing all these resources!

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Altostrata
On 10/27/2018 at 3:36 AM, bubble said:

8 am 0.125 mg xanax

10 2.9 lexapro

1 pm 0.125 mg xanax

6 pm xanax 0.125 mg

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax

 

I amended the above to see your drug schedule. I wonder if you're taking too much Xanax between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., which is exhausting, and not enough to cover breakthrough anxiety in the morning, before your 8 a.m. dose takes effect? @Shep what do you think?

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Shep

Let's explore. The half-life of Xanax is 6 - 12 hours (Benzodiazepines equivalency table). 

 

So it's probably okay during the day, as the dosing schedule is 5 hours apart from each dose. But Alto makes a good point that going from 11 pm to 8 am more than likely is causing some breakthrough anxiety. 

 

Bubble, you posted in your latest series of drug and symptoms that you wake up with early morning symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, low mood, etc. Is that a regular pattern?  Also, you don't have your meals listed in your drug and symptoms journal. Are you eating breakfast, especially breakfast with protein to help with overnight low blood sugar? Please note low blood sugar can cause anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, etc. all very, very similar to withdrawal. If these symptoms disappear after eating a high protein, low sugar breakfast, than you'll know it's low blood sugar. 

 

You could space out your doses every 4 hours instead of every 5 hours and take the first dose an hour earlier. This will give you 5 doses instead of 4 . Since you will have a lower peak blood concentration rate for your first 4 doses, you may not get as much fatigue. You may not want to change the night dose if it's helping with sleep. So this is a suggested plan: 

 

7 am 0.093 mg xanax

10 2.9 lexapro

11 am  0.094 mg xanax

3 pm xanax 0.094 mg

7 pm xanax 0.094

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax

 

Please post your thoughts on this. 

 

 

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Shep

Sorry, Bubble, but I had another thought. You are already sleeping about 9 hours a night, which is excellent. But if you feel over-sedated during the day, another option is to take more of the benzo at night and less during the day.  To help with interdose issues, you could still space it out 4 or 5 times a day, but at a lower amount, leaving the bulk to take at night. 

 

Please post your thoughts on this. Sorry to go back and forth on ideas, and you may not want to make a decision until you have more time to post more days of your drug and symptoms notes. The best way to set up a schedule this way is for you to decide how much you think you could handle at night and then divide the remainder of your total daily dose up 4 or 5 times during the day. 

 

I'll be glad to help you with setting up the schedule if this is the way you wish to go. You'll just need to let me know the amount you'd like to take at night. 

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bubble
On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 10:57 PM, Shep said:

But Alto makes a good point that going from 11 pm to 8 am more than likely is causing some breakthrough anxiety. 

@Altostrata and Shep I appreciate it so much that you are looking into my present situation.

 

I'm well aware of the possibility for the breakthrough anxiety... For the first 3 years I had equal dosing which included a dose in the middle of the night. 2 years ago I dropped that so that I wouldn't have to wake up if I was finally sleeping. These morning symptoms come and go. It seems to me it's more connected with the overall situation and state of my CNS. There are times when I feel pretty well under the same regimen. This flare up in symptoms characterised by debilitating interrupted  sleep started some 10 days ago and I can't see what could have caused it (except maybe getting upset with my step daughters and in general being unhappy and worried about many things. And the fact that I have a fairly pronounced seasonal reaction to cold, dark and gloomy days with shorter daylight.

 

On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 10:57 PM, Shep said:

Are you eating breakfast, especially breakfast with protein to help with overnight low blood sugar?

 

I picked up on that advice from you and it is my natural inclination: I prefer eggs for breakfast and in general eat lots of vegetables and protein and have a healthy appetite...

On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 11:09 PM, Shep said:

You are already sleeping about 9 hours a night, which is excellent. But if you feel over-sedated during the day,

9 hours is the time I spend in bed but the sleep is very interrupted and shallow and doesn't make me rested. Then again, when I'm on holidays or at random times under the same regimen I will all of a sudden sleep and feel better. 

 

What I'm working on now is trying to get a permission to work from home for 2 days per week so that I could rest more. Pushing through fatigue and depletion is what stresses my CNS so much that it can't unwind. The more tired I get, the less difficult it becomes to switch off. But getting these 2 days is so complicated here. I have to get a letter from a psychiatrist and find one that will not just insist on upping/changing drugs since I'm not coping. It's easier to take a sick day but that is also very stressful. But I'm working on it.

 

Also exploring the option of moving to Asia and work part time. But these are some very big and again stressful decisions.

 

It's so difficult to describe the state I'm in: I'm very sleepy and fatigued but not sedated. It could be said I'm wired and in a kind of overdrive. I just feel like my neurons are so raw that everything makes them overstimulated.

 

On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 10:57 PM, Shep said:

7 am 0.093 mg xanax

10 2.9 lexapro

11 am  0.094 mg xanax

3 pm xanax 0.094 mg

7 pm xanax 0.094

11 pm 0.25 mg xanax

 

I  might try this! Except that 4 days ago I dropped Lexapro to 2.85 mg after a 2 month hold, thinking that it is maybe overactivating, keeping me awake at night and then this lack of sleep causes all the symptoms I'm dealing with during the day.

 

I don't know if I can tell what are Lexapro WD symptoms and what are possible Xanax adverse effects...

 

I will continue posting my symptom journal and maybe something will appear...

 

Sunday waking up at 4 am, awake for 2 hours, an hour of sleep again

7 am get up, slight anxiety and great tiredness and sleepiness

8 am 0.125 mg Xanax, breakfast - fish and broccoli

8.30 am 2.85 Lexapro

relatively clear and calm but lot of neuroemotions 

10-1 am - swimming pool and sauna, calming 

1 am 0.125 Xanax, lunch - too much food: buffet lunch of meat and vegetables and salads

just want to sleep, lying in bed reading a book but can't nap and too tired to do anything else

6 pm 0.125 xanax

continue lying in bed and reading hoping for sleep

11 pm 0.25 mg Xanax 

waking up every 2 hours, wide awake for an hour, listening to calming videos

 

Monday

6.45 am getting up, no anxiety but very sleepy

8 am 0.125 Xanax

9 am 2.95 Lexapro, a banana

feeling very fragile and sensitive, despair, can't focus on work at all, can't remember what I wanted to do, not hungry

trying to cheer myself up and calm down

11 am - brain switching off, getting disoriented, fish and vegetables

12.05 a bit less of agony

1 pm lunch - vegetables, salad and meat

2 pm - calmer, more present but very sleepy

3 pm lying on the floor 

 

Edited by bubble
typos

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On 10/29/2018 at 10:44 AM, bubble said:

I  might try this! Except that 4 days ago I dropped Lexapro to 2.85 mg after a 2 month hold, thinking that it is maybe overactivating, keeping me awake at night and then this lack of sleep causes all the symptoms I'm dealing with during the day.

 

 

Thanks for your update, Bubble.

 

It might be best to give yourself more time to get used to your recent Lexapro reduction before making any benzo timing changes. But perhaps, something to consider for in the future. 

 

Please let us know how you do with this latest reduction. Hopefully you'll see some improvements in sleep and energy level. 

 

Don't forget to update your signature to reflect your recent Lexapro reduction. ;)

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neroli

Hello Bubble

 

I'm sorry to hear of this wave/blip.  Thinking of you.  Hope things even out for you again soon.  I know how depleting this situation  can get.

 

Neroli 💜

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On ‎10‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 12:08 PM, Shep said:

Please let us know how you do with this latest reduction.

 

I'm so not used to being taken care of but it sure feels nice :)

 

I finally seem to have mustered enough energy to attempt to copy my symptom log from my notebook. I would so much like to lie down and close my eyes instead...

 

continuation of day 4 after my cut:

 

6.45 am getting up, no anxiety but very sleepy

8 am 0.125 xanax

9 am 2.95 Lexapro, a banana

feeling very fragile and sensitive, despair, can't focus on work at all, can't remember what I wanted to do, not hungry

trying to cheer myself up and calm down

11 am - brain switching off, getting disoriented, fish and vegetabes

12.05 a bit less of agony

1 pm lunch - vegetables, salad and meat

2 pm - calmer, more present but very sleepy

3 pm lying on the floor but can't unwind

I struggled to get home from work and collapsed into bed at 5.30,

6 pm 0.125 Xanax reading a book, no change in symptoms

11 pm 0.25 Xanax - in bed form 8 pm till 6 am mostly sleeping, waking up occasionally

 

Day 5

 

9 hours of total sleep, only 1 h deep

only little anxiety when waking up, passes quickly

7 am Lexapro

8 am 0.125 Xanax

more present, calmer and engaged when talking to colleagues, but fatigue sets in soon

10 am feeling fragile and lost, slow sluggish, cognitive difficulties (frequently forgetting what I want to do next), vulnerable, sad and confused, want to hide

11.20 very sleepy

12 in a meeting - clearer

1  pm - 0.125 Xanax

1.20 pm tired and confused again

6 pm - 0.125 mg Xanax 

perk up a bit - did the dishes which were lying around for 2 days

 

Day 6 

only 1 h deep sleep

waking up too early with some anxiety which goes away as I'm moving around before taking Xanax

7 am Lexapro

8 am Xanax

clearer and more focused work

getting more and more depleted towards 1 pm

1 pm 0.125 mg Xanax

short day at work - huge relief!

go to nature and do a short body scan by the stream, depletion is relentless, feel like fainting when walking home

6 pm - 0.125 mg Xanax

difficulty falling asleep despite extreme fatigue

 

day 7

waking up too early at 6 am, 1.54 h deep sleep

no anxiety but as tired as I was when I went to bed, hoping for the sleep to continue but it doesn't happen

8 am 0.125 Xanax

9 am Lexapro

having breakfast and then lie in bed till noon - extreme fatigue, physically feel like every limb weights a ton, thinking of stretching them hurts

12 am taking a bus to visit my sister and nieces - groggy

1 am - 0.125 Xanax

socializing for 3 hours - quite present, very low anxiety

6 pm - 0.125 mg

6 pm - 9 pm - window of clarity: can prepare food

9 pm very sleepy, 10 min body scan

falling asleep with ease, waking up a few times but not fully alert

11 pm - 0.25 mg Xanax

7.47 total sleep/2.16 deep sleep

 

day 8

 7 am - Lexapro

8 am 0.125 Xanax

severe depression - low mood, despair, hopelessness, fragile, insecure, weak, scared, no energy, difficult to move my body, sluggish, mental nausea when doing things, detached from everything, nothing makes sense, want to curl up and hide

10 am - lifting up of the black cloud, can do some focused work

12.30 pm - window closing - confusion, sensitivity, irritability

1 pm - 0.125 mg

2 pm - thick black cloud obscuring everything

5 pm - feel like fainting from exhaustion at the store, eating and hitting bed at 6 pm

6 pm - 0.125 mg Xanax

lying in bed, trying to read and watch TV but can't. fall asleep/pass out from 9 till 11 pm

11 pm 0.25 Xanax

 

day 9 

waking up too early at 6.30

total sleep 8.24/deep sleep 1.54

depletion, despair, inner restlessness, strong neuroemotions, gloom, slow and worried

8 am 0.125 Xanax

9 am Lexapro 

doing more tidying than previous weekends, back to bed after an hour, detached from everything

1 pm - 0.125 mg Xanax

deep depression, despair, slowing down of mental and physical functioning, struggling to orient myself

visiting a friend and swimming through brain fog and gloom

some release from 4 pm till 6 pm

6 pm - 0.125 mg Xanax

release of symptoms

7 pm despair is back and severe confusion

40 minute yoga Nidra brings calm and lifts up my spirits

9 pm return of depression but less severe

 

day 10 

waking up at 6.30 am with intense anxiety which dissipates over half an hour

8 am - 0.125 mg Xanax

9 am - Lexapro

lower depression, less anxiety, less depletion and despair, lying in bed till 10

going to the farmer's market. unpack with difficulty and hit the bed

lying in bed extremely exhausted but feeling pleasant with low anxiety and depression

1 pm - 0.125 mg Xanax

a bit of cooking, mostly lying and moving around the flat slowly the whole day, low symptoms, more clarity, sleepiness and fatigue continue

 

Honestly I can't make any sense of my symptom and can't even say I see a pattern. Most days I don't wake up with anxiety. Dark depression is something I haven't experienced in quite some time. The only constant is severe depletion and sleepiness. The fast that we have plunged into dark and short days doesn't help.

 

@Altostrata I remembered that on 15 October I had a test (my right kidney shrank, probably born like that, works only at 15 % but the other one took over so no problems). They did what is called dynamic renal scintigraphy and injected me with radiophamaceutical Tc-99m DTPA and a diuretic. I have no idea what these are and couldn't find much information on how they work but is it possible they triggered a wave? I was struggling before it but it feels things got worse since then...

 

On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 7:46 AM, neroli said:

Hello Bubble

 

I'm sorry to hear of this wave/blip.  Thinking of you.  Hope things even out for you again soon.  I know how depleting this situation  can get. 

 

Neroli 💜

So sweet of you to drop by Neroli! It means so much: a light from a distant shore to a ship caught in a storm! I can't get enough of reminding that this is a wave/blip and not how things will be from now on (except that it feel they will only get worse, like beginning of the end). Although I have been through so many waves, it is just part of the package. I'll pop round to see what's happening with your cuts...

 

@Shep I  had such an epiphany repeating your words how we can make it through this if we turn it into an opportunity to build our spiritual muscle (my translation of what you meant). When I got home in utmost despair and gloom there was an email from my former yoga club. They have a restorative yoga class right after my working hours and the venue is convenient, there will be a pranayama workshop next weekend led my favorite yoga teacher. They had a video where she leads yoga nidra which is basically a beautifully guided body scan - and it meant so very much to connect. This time of pain is not a wasted time any more but an opportunity to go back to my neglected practice. I just hope I have enough energy. I used to be very regular some 7 years ago. I was also very depleted but after I went there I would both calm down and energise. Even if I won't be able to make it to classes, I always have those videos to work on...

I've lost focus recently. I focused on my functionality, achieving some modest goals and suffered in non-acceptance when those were being taken away from me. I lost ground. But now I feel my center more and know what to do and what is there when all else is gone. Plus I will go to Asia for 2 months in 5 weeks to spend some time with my husband. I was also listening to Tara Brach and loved her messages, energy and voice. Love and light to you :)   

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Altostrata

I am seeing fatigue and low mood from Xanax, also possibly inadequate coverage throughout the night. @Shep ?

 

 

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bubble

Thank you so much Alto! The idea that different spacing of Xanax (or maybe resuming its taper) could alleviate this fatigue is so incredible! 

 

As everybody, I'm scared of touching anything for fear of making it worse but I will conquer fear... I will give it another week following Lexapro cut and then do one of the things Shep suggested: spread my daily Xanax dose into more doses or take more Xanax at night and less during the day. Or there is the third option: could it be time to just start reducing Xanax again?

 

I've been holding Xanax for almost 3 years now while tapering Xanax and fatigue has definitely been the strongest and most debilitating symptom... But I just thought it was a WD symptom from Lexapro...

Edited by bubble
added additional explanation

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Shep
6 hours ago, bubble said:

 

@Shep I  had such an epiphany repeating your words how we can make it through this if we turn it into an opportunity to build our spiritual muscle (my translation of what you meant). When I got home in utmost despair and gloom there was an email from my former yoga club. They have a restorative yoga class right after my working hours and the venue is convenient, there will be a pranayama workshop next weekend led my favorite yoga teacher.

 

This is excellent news, Bubble! 

 

5 hours ago, Altostrata said:

I am seeing fatigue and low mood from Xanax, also possibly inadequate coverage throughout the night. @Shep ?

 

 

3 hours ago, bubble said:

Thank you so much Alto! The idea that different spacing of Xanax (or maybe resuming its taper) could alleviate this fatigue is so incredible! 

 

Oh yes, taking a benzo during the day can definitely lead to fatigue and low mood. It is a powerful central nervous system depressant. 

 

I believe you wanted to give yourself some time to catch up to your last Lexapro reduction, but we were discussing spacing out the Xanax a bit more in this post here. Just a reminder in case this is something you'd like to do at some point. 

 

 

6 hours ago, bubble said:

I remembered that on 15 October I had a test (my right kidney shrank, probably born like that, works only at 15 % but the other one took over so no problems). They did what is called dynamic renal scintigraphy and injected me with radiophamaceutical Tc-99m DTPA and a diuretic. I have no idea what these are and couldn't find much information on how they work but is it possible they triggered a wave? I was struggling before it but it feels things got worse since then...

 

I'm not familiar with that injection, but it doesn't take a lot to rattle the nervous system during withdrawal, so it's very possible it did create a wave. 

 

I hope this wave ends soon and you can take advantage of that restorative yoga class. 

 

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neroli
On 11/5/2018 at 9:27 AM, bubble said:

As everybody, I'm scared of touching anything for fear of making it worse

Hello Bubble

 

I know what you mean!  I think we have similar sensitivities - it seems to me I need to let a week or so go by when I've cut to really see what is happening, though it is early days for me and I haven't got a clear pattern.  I was trying the Brassmonkey slide on the Nortriptyline and I think the second week cut was too much too soon (as you probably know as you responded to my thread.

 

I'm hoping you've evened out a bit and feel more confidence for what the next step in the progress might be.

 

Best of the best

 

Neroli 💜

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