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kuppy4750: SSRI taper- help with intrusive thoughts


kuppy4750

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Hey guys!

 

So I have started my taper off of Lexapro 20 mg, for Panic Disorder and Pure O. When I spoke to my psych she said to just drop from 20 to 10. I of course looked at her like she had lost her mind! I have already quit cold turkey once and after 3-4 months of it, I had a very severe panic attack and went back on. Needless to say, I am doing this the right way now!

 

I started at 18 mg, and have been here for almost 3 months. Of course, it isn't exact, due to it being a pill and a wonky pill cutter. :)

So far, I have felt great. But then I started my period. Of course I was emotional, but that wasn't the problem.

I have been having intense intrusive thoughts about dying. Yet, the second these thoughts manifest, I am instantly in a panic. Why? Because ONE- I do not like the thought of death, and TWO- I don't like the thought of harming myself. Of course, my conscious side is like "Hello! you are afraid of dying, classic panic, so calm down you're not going to hurt yourself," And I don't plan it out or think of ways to do it. I just simply think ok, im going to die soon and it may or may not be at my own hands. And it freaks me out. I think it is a combo of my hormones and the weaning. 

 

Please tell me this is normal! LOL.

I can tell it is just a combo of things going on in my head, because I can usually talk myself down and after a bit of dwelling on it, I forget about it. 

But again, is this normal?

 

I hate how you can think of one thing, and it spiral into something horrible.

 

Everyone thinks of death and how it may happen, or when, or who will be at your funeral, or who will even notice, things like that. I just take it and run with it and get myself worked up over nothing.  Oh to have an "un-medicated" brain again! :)

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
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Hey y'all!

This is my most fabulous Introduction Post. :)

 

I am a Female, 29 years of age, and living in the South United States!

I am currently taking 18mg of Lexapro, and weaning. 

I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder, and mild depression, and I self diagnosed Pure O, told my psych and he agreed.

 

Hopefully I can wean successfully and not go crazy doing it, with the help of everyone! You guys rock!

 

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post

* post moved from symptoms/self care section because its part of member's history

 

I just wanted to put it out there to please please please be careful if you are thinking about taking Seroquel.

 

When I had my daughter, 6 years ago, I had severe Post Partum on top of my anxiety, depression, and Pure-O.

When I went to the doctor, she said that I was Bi-Polar, and prescribed Seroquel. Of course, I trusted her, and not doing my homework on the meds didn't help. I just wanted the chaos to go away. Went and filled my script and started to take it. The doctor said that I would need to titrate up to the full dose over a couple of days. Luckily, my mom was living with me, and helped me with my children. I took the first dose of 50 mg and couldn't stay awake. I did this for 2 days. Slept for 2 days straight. 

 

After the two days of sleeping,  woke up and took 100 mg. She had me titrate up every other day. So, I took 100 mg on the third day. My mom thought I was dead! LOL. I could not stay awake, at all. At this point, it came to take my other dose and I told my mom that I didn't feel right and my heart was racing. She called the doctor and the doctor said that I was dehydrated and to drink a huge glass of water and lay back down. SO I did. I woke up 2 hours later and felt even worse. I drove myself, my mother, and my kids, with me to the doctor to see her. I walked in and explained the situation and asked them if they could check my heart rate. I was told that I would have to wait, because I was a walk-in. I waited for 5 minutes and felt like I was about to pass out and die. I walked outside and next door to the ER {lucky it was right next door}. 

 

I walked in (still don't know how I was functioning) and asked them to please check my heart rate, because I didn't feel well.

They took me right back and checked it. Next thing I know they are calling a Code Blue and rushing me off on a stretcher. My heart rate was 225! I was about to crash! They rushed me back and hooked me up to all sorts of machines and injected me with medication that would stop my heart in hopes of "resetting" it.

 

After 3 attempts of resetting my heart, and a week long stay in ICU, I was able to go home sans Seroquel.

Two weeks later, I was having heart surgery.

 

All due to the seroquel. And the uneducated MD, AND the uneducated patient.

 

I cannot stress it enough to do your homework! Please!

 

Also, prior to this I only had "mitro-valve prolapse" which was actually ruled out later on. I worked out, I ate well, and I wasn't on any meds. 

Edited by Petu
added note

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post

Hi there! 

 

I think this must be a part of W/D.  I have been having similar thoughts and have never had them to this degree before I started tapering.  They occur mostly at night for me.  I will wake up convinced I am going to die- not right that moment, but just this strong feeling that I am going to die.  It can be from stress, smoking, eating junk food or any other thing I know I am doing that is even slightly unhealthy.  It's almost a panicky feeling but more an unnerving certainty that I am going to die. It does go away and doesn't often last more than thirty minutes or so.  The best I can do at this point is remind myself that the thoughts will pass...  and that they are only thoughts....  

 

I am also quite sure in my case that hormones worsen my symptoms.  I have never had PMS other than maybe being a bit more irritable.  But I have definitely noticed in the past few months that I have waves that coincide with PMS time, even now while I am holding my taper.  Sounds logical to me that hormonal fluctuations can exacerbate symptoms in an already fragile system.  

 

I have found it somewhat helpful just knowing this connection.  I can anticipate and try to plan ahead by getting more rest and taking it easy in general (as much as I am realistically able to). 

 

Hang in there.  Hopefully this stage doesn't last long.  Just wanted you to know that it's not just you!  :)

Previous brief history with Celexa, Wellbutrin (2007? for smoking cessation), one month on Lamictal in 2009, one month on Remeron 2009. Prescribed Cymbalta approximately 2009 initially at 60 mg then 30 mg and finally 20 mg.  

January of 2014 was changed to generic then in February of 2014 I missed two days = severe withdrawal (suicidal thoughts, uncontrollable crying, isolation, etc). February 2014- switched back to name brand Cymbalta and started tapering from 20 mg by counting beads.  Average rate was about ten beads every 1-2 weeks

Approx July 2014 - slowed down taper, removed 3-5 beads every 1-2 weeks. 

October 9,2014 - 13 beads/ January 1, 2015 - 12 beads/ February 13, 2015 - 11 beads/March 13, 2015- 10 beads

May 17- 9 beads/ June 20, 2015 - 8 beads/ October 8, 2015 - 7 beads

 

Supplements:  Vitamin E, fish oil, magnesium. cod liver oild-ribose, sunflower lecithin, DMAE, choline, inositol, ubiquinol coQ10, B-complex vitamin D3

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Montebella I appreciate your reply! It is nice to know that I am not going crazy. And it does help to know that it could be from this. I try to self talk and remind myself that I am putting my body through a major change, whether it feels like it or not. Once PMS hits, it is even more of a change. I don't give myself enough credit to be able to handle this. :) I just have to keep myself in check, but when you're in that moment, it is so hard. It may sound silly, but part of my "keeping myself in check" is to remind myself that if it truly is that bad and if I truly wanted to hurt myself, I can go right down the street to thr ER or Psych ward, then I quickly realize it's just everything screwing with me and I feel better. 

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kuppy

 

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have been looking around but in case you missed this here is a thread on tapering lexapro http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

How are you tapering at the moment and how is it going for you?

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kuppy,

Welcome, I merged your two posts into one topic, its one intro thread member, you can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.

 

Are you having any other symptoms besides obsessive thoughts?  Do you only have this symptom around the time of your period?  How long ago did you try to go CT?  How were you feeling before you began this current taper?

 

Please have a look at the link Dalsaan posted, although it does sound like you are tapering slowly now, with our recommended 10% method.

 

Thoughts are not the truth, they are just temporary 'ideas' which flow through our mind, its our choice if we give them our attention. Obsessive, disturbing thoughts can be part of withdrawal, and those thoughts need to be dealt with like other unwanted thoughts, by briefly acknowledging them and letting them go.

 

Meditation and some forms of therapy can be helpful.  Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to post

These kind of thoughts come and go like any other withdrawal symptom. Whenever I had them I focused on how I was feeling inside, not the actual thoughts. How I felt in my chest, in my legs, arms, how I felt all over. Dwelling on the thoughts just makes things worse.

And it's the feelings that accompany the thoughts-not the thoughts themselves, that tend to bothers us. Turning your thoughts to the non-ideational feelings interrupts the ruminating and calms everything down. Ruminating about the ideas emphasizes the ideas, making them stronger-they get put back in your memory each time a little more powerful than before. But switching your awareness to the feelings weakens their effect a little bit each episode. The other important thing to remember is not to make any judgments about the feelings-when dealing with pure feelings you have to use pure, nonjudgmental awareness. Just sit or lie down and be aware of what you're feeling in different parts of you body or what you're feeling overall. When your thoughts go back to the bad ideas, gently go back to the simple awareness of the feelings. You can do this for a few minutes to a half hour-it all helps. Again,  the ideas seem to be the problem, but are nothing in themselves really-a thought cannot hurt anyone. Still, we naturally place the emphasis on the thoughts as the more important element and so believe them to be the more important part of the symptom, when all along it's the feelings in themselves causing the real suffering. What we don't like about the ideas are the feelings that come with them. Reacting to these feelings each time in the right way reduces the suffering a great deal. 

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Hi Kuppy

 

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have been looking around but in case you missed this here is a thread on tapering lexapro http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tips-for-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

How are you tapering at the moment and how is it going for you?

 

Dalsaan

So far it is OK. I wasn't really able to tell a big difference until PMS came about. Then it was serious intrusive thoughts and anger, and it was not like me at all. But now it is slowly going away. It scared me so bad I almost went back to my 20 mg of Lexapro. But I just have to keep reminding myself that it is the drug itself doing this and this is why I am coming off of it. 

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I'd recommend you get control of your dosing, too. If you're just trying to estimate 18 mg using a pill cutter you could be getting a variation of more than 2 mg on different days. Wobbling dosages like that you will not be able to stabilize and you can actually end up making yourself sicker. It's really important to get control of dosing if you're going to do a 10% taper. Either get or make a liquid, or get a scale and make sure your cuts are regular, reliable and consistent.

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

 

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

Link to post

Hi Kuppy,

Welcome, I merged your two posts into one topic, its one intro thread member, you can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.

 

Are you having any other symptoms besides obsessive thoughts?  Do you only have this symptom around the time of your period?  How long ago did you try to go CT?  How were you feeling before you began this current taper?

 

Please have a look at the link Dalsaan posted, although it does sound like you are tapering slowly now, with our recommended 10% method.

 

Thoughts are not the truth, they are just temporary 'ideas' which flow through our mind, its our choice if we give them our attention. Obsessive, disturbing thoughts can be part of withdrawal, and those thoughts need to be dealt with like other unwanted thoughts, by briefly acknowledging them and letting them go.

 

Meditation and some forms of therapy can be helpful.  Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

Petu.

I am having intrusive and obsessive thoughts, and that is pretty much it. A couple of times I have caught myself worrying about what if i hurt my kids or whatever, but I know that is the Pure O and I dismiss it. Other than the normal PMS blues, that was it. I have this symptom occasionally and I find myself obsessing over it, but mainly because I get no reaction and it is a bit fascinating to me that I am NOT reacting. If that makes sense. But I can usually acknowledge it and move on. But around my period it is almost non-stop. I went CT around January of 2014. Went back on meds around May. Before I began this current taper I felt great. No problems, half of the time I didn't realize I was about to start. But once in awhile while I was on my period, I would be anxious, sad, and hopeless. But I knew it was from PMS. Either way, I NEVER had any of these disturbing thoughts until I started Lexapro. But of course the doc was all "oh its always been there, blah blah blah". I have Always had anxiety, mainly separation anxiety, but it was getting better. It didn't get really bad until I had my second baby and had post partum. I was never technically diagnosed with PP, but trust me. I had it. HA. 

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post

These kind of thoughts come and go like any other withdrawal symptom. Whenever I had them I focused on how I was feeling inside, not the actual thoughts. How I felt in my chest, in my legs, arms, how I felt all over. Dwelling on the thoughts just makes things worse.

And it's the feelings that accompany the thoughts-not the thoughts themselves, that tend to bothers us. Turning your thoughts to the non-ideational feelings interrupts the ruminating and calms everything down. Ruminating about the ideas emphasizes the ideas, making them stronger-they get put back in your memory each time a little more powerful than before. But switching your awareness to the feelings weakens their effect a little bit each episode. The other important thing to remember is not to make any judgments about the feelings-when dealing with pure feelings you have to use pure, nonjudgmental awareness. Just sit or lie down and be aware of what you're feeling in different parts of you body or what you're feeling overall. When your thoughts go back to the bad ideas, gently go back to the simple awareness of the feelings. You can do this for a few minutes to a half hour-it all helps. Again,  the ideas seem to be the problem, but are nothing in themselves really-a thought cannot hurt anyone. Still, we naturally place the emphasis on the thoughts as the more important element and so believe them to be the more important part of the symptom, when all along it's the feelings in themselves causing the real suffering. What we don't like about the ideas are the feelings that come with them. Reacting to these feelings each time in the right way reduces the suffering a great deal. 

Ok. SO the next time I have a disturbing thought, just sit and think about how I physically feel? Basically just "changing the subject" in my obsessive thought conversation? 

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post

I'd recommend you get control of your dosing, too. If you're just trying to estimate 18 mg using a pill cutter you could be getting a variation of more than 2 mg on different days. Wobbling dosages like that you will not be able to stabilize and you can actually end up making yourself sicker. It's really important to get control of dosing if you're going to do a 10% taper. Either get or make a liquid, or get a scale and make sure your cuts are regular, reliable and consistent.

How do i make the liquid form? I strongly feel that this is an issue. Because one day it could be 17, another 18, another 16. And that is not helping at all. Like you said I need to get stable.

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post

Not really. You're not running away from the thoughts, but simply observing the real problem which is the feelings that come with them. I know the ideas Seem like the problem, but that's just because of the feelings behind them. People normally have many bizarre ideas pass through their heads-but they forget them quickly because they don't seem to have any real significance-they're just considered silly thoughts-made possible because we have imaginations that can imagine anything. During withdrawal we are more sensitive because we have more anxiety (cortisol) present and are more apt to associate bad feelings with an idea we, under usual conditions, dismiss as unimportant. During withdrawal these thoughts become important and the more we worry about them the more important they seem to become. We get the cause and effect mixed up. The bad feelings are not caused by the unwanted idea, the bad feelings are causing us to believe the idea has much more significance than it really does, that it alone is the real problem.

This makes the situation worse and worse. We worry about the idea coming back, the worry makes the anxiety associated with the idea worse, and the idea becomes more and more likely to occurred again. So a silly idea grows to be this monster. The exaggerated sense of its importance is entirely driven by the anxiety itself. The only way to break the vicious cycle is to stop worrying about the ideas and paying simple non-judgmental attention to the feelings themselves.

Let the feelings be exactly what they are and just be aware of them. In the beginning, you have to do this a lot-every time the thought appears. But also, don't think of it as "unwanted"-that's a judgment and helps make it stronger. Just notice it's there and turn your focus to how you are feeling at the time. Each time you do this you are putting the idea back on your mind's self, so to speak, slightly less charged (associated with less anxiety) than before. Eventually you'll notice changes for the better. I myself have done this with many so called unwanted ideas. A day comes when you think to yourself, "hey, I didn't have that idea for a whole day". I would also start to realize the thought had no real significance in itself to begin with. What I call being able to "see through" the idea. Now this kind of symptom IS a withdrawal symptom and will eventually resolve with the resolution of the withdrawal itself. So whether you take my advice about dealing with it or not-it's going to pass. Following my advice will only lessen the amount of suffering in the mean time.       

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Not really. You're not running away from the thoughts, but simply observing the real problem which is the feelings that come with them. I know the ideas Seem like the problem, but that's just because of the feelings behind them. People normally have many bizarre ideas pass through their heads-but they forget them quickly because they don't seem to have any real significance-they're just considered silly thoughts-made possible because we have imaginations that can imagine anything. During withdrawal we are more sensitive because we have more anxiety (cortisol) present and are more apt to associate bad feelings with an idea we, under usual conditions, dismiss as unimportant. During withdrawal these thoughts become important and the more we worry about them the more important they seem to become. We get the cause and effect mixed up. The bad feelings are not caused by the unwanted idea, the bad feelings are causing us to believe the idea has much more significance than it really does, that it alone is the real problem.

This makes the situation worse and worse. We worry about the idea coming back, the worry makes the anxiety associated with the idea worse, and the idea becomes more and more likely to occurred again. So a silly idea grows to be this monster. The exaggerated sense of its importance is entirely driven by the anxiety itself. The only way to break the vicious cycle is to stop worrying about the ideas and paying simple non-judgmental attention to the feelings themselves.

Let the feelings be exactly what they are and just be aware of them. In the beginning, you have to do this a lot-every time the thought appears. But also, don't think of it as "unwanted"-that's a judgment and helps make it stronger. Just notice it's there and turn your focus to how you are feeling at the time. Each time you do this you are putting the idea back on your mind's self, so to speak, slightly less charged (associated with less anxiety) than before. Eventually you'll notice changes for the better. I myself have done this with many so called unwanted ideas. A day comes when you think to yourself, "hey, I didn't have that idea for a whole day". I would also start to realize the thought had no real significance in itself to begin with. What I call being able to "see through" the idea. Now this kind of symptom IS a withdrawal symptom and will eventually resolve with the resolution of the withdrawal itself. So whether you take my advice about dealing with it or not-it's going to pass. Following my advice will only lessen the amount of suffering in the mean time.       

Wow. Thank you Hudgens. I really appreciate the tips and advice. I will definitely give it a try. After all, it can't hurt. Anything to lessen the suffering is A-OK in my book. It sucks how hard this is. But, I could take the easy way, but I am choosing to get all of the "Easy way" crap out of my brain. For so long I have used the Lexapro as a crutch and never actually deal with my feelings and fears. I am ready to be done with this. I want this crap out of me and I want to be MY normal self again. I want to feel again and I want to learn how to deal rather than pacifying. Thank you again!

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
Link to post
  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kuppy

 

Am wondering how you are going

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • 6 months later...

Hi Kuppy

 

Am wondering how you are going

 

Dalsaan

Hi Dalsaan,

I am doing well. I haven't been on in awhile, mainly due to life. :) So I have been tapering from 20 mg lexapro for over a year and a half now. I am at a point in my life that I feel that I am more aware and more knowledgeable that I have ever been. I have been doing really well with self talk and just reminding myself that it will pass. Sometimes when im feeling panicky because im alone, I remind myself "would you feel this way if someone you knew was around?" More than likely I wouldnt and it would calm me. Also, I am down to 5 mg of lexapro every 2-3 days. I have about 6 pills left, and will be done after this. I have met with an ND in my hometown and she has me on a liquid for all of my Bach Flowers that are weakend or stressed. I also just recently traveled to TX to meet my new niece and although my mom went with me (security blanket) I still felt anxious before getting on the plane both times and was able to dismiss it quickly. Also, I sat beside strangers on the plane and not my mom and was perfectly fine. I felt anxious once while in TX, and was able to dismiss it. This is a VERY good thing for me! It gives me hope that I dont actually need to be on 20 mgs of lexapro to live. I know I have a rough road ahead, or maybe not. But I slow tapered this time, instead of quitting cold turkey like last time, and am hopeful that it will be a somewhat easy process. It is NEVER easy, I know, but it must be easier than cold turkey. Right? I have been dealing with some WD symptoms, dizziness, brain fog, problems concentrating, feeling detached, insomnia, and of course tummy troubles. But I can easily deal with these. Upon dropping lexapro completely, I have an appointment with my ND to help with the WD and the point in time where the half life wears out. So we will see how all of that turns out. But so far so good. I am just super impatient and cannot wait to feel my normal self again. I never had Pure-O until I started Lex. And the more I taper off of Lex, the less Pure-O symptoms and intrusive thoughts I have. Funny. 

Kuppy :wub: 

 

-Lexapro 10 mg 2008-2012

- Lexapro 20 mg 2013- August 2015

Weened gradually for over a year and a half.

Currently seeing a holistic doctor for withdrawal symptoms, as well as overall health. 

 

 

 
 
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  • Administrator

Hello, kuppy. Please don't skip days when tapering Lexapro. This could undo all your hard work. Skipping doses is a good way to trigger withdrawal symptoms.

 

You might take 2mg a day at this point. Make sure to take it at the same time each day. Lexapro comes in a liquid to enable you to take small amounts, or you can make your own liquid, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

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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  • 2 years later...

Hi Kuppy,

 

how are you doing ? i am curious to know your status. I hope you are doing well. I too am having intrusive thoughts as i am holding a low dose of lexapro. all other symptoms have gone away. 

Current: escitalopram 0.7 mg Liquid in the evening,  Bupropion 300mg in the morning

 

August 2014 escitalopram 10 mg, Xanax 0.25 mg as needed October 2014 Bupropion 150mg November 2014  Increased Bupropion 300mg November 2016   escitalopram 7.5mg January 2017 escitalopram 5.0mg February 2017 escitalopram  3.75 March 2017 escitalopram 2.5mg

April 2017 escitalopram 1.25 May 2017 Converted escitalopram 5 mg tablets into liquid form using distilled water 2:1 ratio. escitalopram 1.0mg liquid form. June 2017 escitalopram 0.85mg July 2017 escitalopram 0.7 mg August 15, 2017 escitalopram  0.6 mg September 11, 2017 up dosed back to 0.7 mg due to returning anxiety. Xanax .025mg as needed.

 

Supplements: magnesium glycinate 400 mg, Just for men multi vitamin, Omega 3 fish oil, Fiber pills, probiotic.

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  • 1 year later...

Thank you so much Kuppy

September 2014 to July 2015 - 20 mg Lexapro, 30mg Mirtazipine

 

August 2015 to November 2016- 10mg Lexapro, 30 mg Mirtazipine

 

Nov. 2016 to Nov. 2017 - 10mg Lexapro, 3.75 mg Mirtazipine

 

Nov. 2017 to Mach 2018 - 5mg/2.5mg Lexapro, 0mg Mirtazipne

 

Mach 2018 to Dec. 2018 - 0mg Lexapro, 0mg Mirtazipne

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to kuppy4750: SSRI taper- help with intrusive thoughts

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