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apileoftile: Hello


apileoftile

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Hello,

 

I am a 45 year old male & I have been suffering with "Insomnia" now for about 6 years. My wife and children say that I snore so loudly that they cant sleep and I find that I wake myself up snoring constantly through out the night. I am in the construction field and find myself so tired during the day that I am afraid to do my job, especially when up on heights or tall ladders.

Anyway my wife and I just had a baby, and she sleeps in a crib in our room and my snoring has been waking her up all through out the night.

So, I went to see a physician about not being able to sleep, I had tried all of the over the counter sleep aids to no avail. I was told that Insomnia is multifaceted, that it usually deals with racing thoughts, depression and a whole other slew of problems. I ended up coming home with Xanax, Lexapro, Valium and Lunesta and had been diagnosed with depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

After a few weeks of waking up and having conversations with my wife that I could not remember, and waking up in the morning thinking I had been talking on the phone the entire night, my wife & I decided to stop taking the Lunesta, I quit taking the Lunesta cold turkey and for the first several days I had HORRIBLE headaches, but was finally able to manage to feel "Okay" off of them, and was actually starting to sleep, This was about 6 months ago.

Fast forward 6 months and I am finding that the side effects of all of these pills were way more than I could bare, I started to feel depressed, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't find joy in my new child, and was finding myself having fits of rage and was actually having terrible anxiety attacks. I am an x drug addict (Meth) and also smoked for 20 years and quit both of those cold turkey. My wife did a little research and we decided to start trying to eliminate the drugs and go back to "normal". So for about 2 or 3 days I decided to stop taking everything.....couldn't be worse than stopping meth or cigarettes could it? I lied on the floor for an entire weekend feeling like someone was beating me on the head with an axe...more research...and back on the drugs. We felt that the Lexapro was more the culprit than any of the other meds and read somewhere about tapering off, so we decided to tapper off a quarter of the Lexapro pill per week....I am now on week 3 so am now only taking a quarter of the 15mg pill 1 time a day, but have been having horrible head zaps, when I stop moving the world keeps moving, spins, stepping off a ledge feeling while walking, horrible dizziness, I have fallen down the stairs, my anxiety issues are getting worse,

and then I found this site. Seems like maybe I tapered a little too fast? I sure would hate to take a higher dose and go through this hell all over again, should I just stay on a quarter of the pill for a longer period of time or just stop taking the last remaining bit and hope the effects wear off soon?

How do I get off the rest of this stuff? I am scarred to death of my doctor, as it seems to me he only wants to dope me up.

I feel like I am in the middle of a terrible nightmare.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Okay, first, yes, we can probably help you. You're trying to taper too fast, though. We recommend cutting by about 10% of your current dose at a time and waiting at least a couple of weeks between cuts.

 

I'd say for now hang on right where you are with the quarter of a pill and take a deep breath.  Alternatively (this is what I would do) you can go back up to about half a pill (you've cut a lot really fast and I think half a pill would be better). Either way, hold right there for a few weeks until your symptoms settle down and you're feeling better. By then you'll be prepared and you can start a safe taper.

 

We'll need a little more information from you before we can give you more specific advice, and meanwhile you can take some time to read through the information in the Tapering section (the stuff pinned at the top and the stuff linked to in there). 

 

Please tell us what dosages you were started on of what meds and when (month and year). When did you quit the Lunesta (month and  year) and are you still off it? Are you still on the other meds? Which ones are you taking right now and at what dosages? Please put this info into your signature line as explained here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I think we will be able to help you, but as you are discovering, it's going to take a bit longer than you had hoped. People who have come off recreational drugs and psych drugs both always report that coming off psych drugs is much harder.

 

And I agree with your assessment about your doctor and recommend you begin considering looking for a new one. It's outrageous that you went to him with insomnia with snoring and a new baby, and he diagnosed you with depression, that's crazy! and you came out with prescriptions for four powerful psychiatric drugs! That is not a physician I would trust. Eventually you may want to find someone a bit more sane and get a sleep study (which is the first thing that should be done with insomnia with snoring and daytime fatigue). 

 

I also recommend HIGHLY that you get hold of a copy of the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Sounds like something you might need to read, especially if you have to keep dealing with that doctor.

 

I'm glad you got here sooner rather than (like so many of us) later after you had lost 20 years of your life to these drugs due to crazy overprescribing. It can be more of a nightmare than you even imagine.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

apileoftile-

 

Happened upon your intro this morning and just wanted to say, congratulations for getting of meth and cigarettes! That's awesome! You've come to the right place for help getting off the psych-meds. Heeding the advice from the staff here on SA and the support offered will make a huge difference in getting off of them and especially in how you feel as you slowly kick them to the curb. Slow being the operant word.

 

I also want to STRONGLY encourage you to find a new doctor. The fact that your doc scares you is good... Because it seems like he should. To go in with insomnia (and a new baby) and come out with Xanax, Lexipro, Valium, and Lunesta sounds like incredibly irresponsible and uninformed prescribing practices, regardless of whether he was aware of your history with meth.

 

Welcome to SA apileoftile!

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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  • Administrator

Welcome, APOT.

 

You are one of the millions who have been overdiagnosed and overmedicated with psychiatric drugs!

 

Please list all the psych drugs you took, how long you took them, the last dosages you took, and how long you've been of each.

 

I agree with Rhi, if a quarter-tablet of Lexapro helped somewhat, perhaps a bit more might do the trick. You'll want to be fairly precise and systematic with the dosing. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

A foam wedge pillow can help snoring. I put some old pillows under my mattress (for congestion from allergies) and they work fine. A foam shop near where I live sells scraps for a dollar or two -- these can work, too, under the mattress.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Well....okay, here's the deal. I had been having sleeping problems for the last 6 or so years....tossing turning, never fell asleep, was getting so tired I was falling asleep driving home. Well anyway we didn't have insurance, so we just kind of dealt with it....Then came Obama care....I was finally able to get insurance in January of this year, but most of the Doctors were completely booked for months & I could not get an appointment anywhere, but was finally able to get an appointment at an Afterhours care facility, the "Doctor" was really only a Nurse practitioner, First She tried Zoloft, then Prozac, I don't really know what the doses were, they all messed me up and I only ended up taking them for a couple of weeks each, She tried Ambien, as well as Trazadone, but in the end I was taking 15mg or Lexapro in the morning, 5mg of time release Xanax in the morning, 5mg of Xanax at dinner time, 5-10mg of Valium at about 8:00pm and another 5-10mg of Valium at 9:30pm...or bedtime.

About 3 months ago This Nurse Practitioner finally admitted to me that my issues were a little to advanced for her knowledge and she referred me to a Pulmonary Sleep Specialist, he disagreed with the initial assessments and ordered a sleep study at the hospital and also told me that he disagreed with the medications I was on, but wanted to do some tests before he changed anything and messed me up even more.

I failed the first Sleep Study because I could not sleep in the hospital, They did blood work, found nothing of interest and ordered a home study.

I just got the results back from the home study Yesterday. I had 10 instances of Apnea...8-10 is moderate, anything over 10 is high, so I am considered Moderately high for sleep apnea, they also found that my oxygen levels are about 80% most of the night and go as low as 70%, so now I will receive a CPAP Machine as well as oxygen.

For the tapering off part.....this probably goes against everything any of you would recommend, but I woke up this morning and did not take the 1/4 pill of Lexipro....I did have headaches and was dizzy but I slept 50% of the day and other than that I feel fine....I do not plan on taking anymore of that stuff, I think its a wicked drug and I feel like It caused me 6 months of hell.

Once I gain control of the sleeping issues, then I will try to figure out how to taper of the Xanax as well as the Valium.....and I will absolutely take more precautions about what doctors I see and what they prescribe me.

 

Great site by the way, I am sure it gives plenty hope and encouragement. Thanks.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Well, yay Obamacare! And, hang in there. I personally think you'd do better with the reinstatement and taper, but you know yourself and your life, and a lot of people go through withdrawal and then get over it and do okay, so knock on wood you'll be one of those.  I agree, don't mess with the benzos until you've recovered from the Lexapro withdrawal.

 

Good luck with the sleeping issues. Apnea is rough but hopefully you're on the path now and you'll start to get some decent sleep soon. Which will be a huge treat it sounds like--not something you've had in a while!

 

Feel free to check in if you just want some support.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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