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Horns85

Horns85: Lexapro withdrawal

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Horns85

It's awful..at it's worse my stomach would be churning and I felt that I'd be stuck in this perception permanently but it passes each time.

Thanks LoveandLight! Just to hear it passes eases it so much! Thank you for your reply. It's amazing how each and everytime we get a new symptom or a new wave we think we will be stuck like this. It always passes but somehow we always seem to forget.

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Dan998

Had the same myself. Constant anxiety with tight chest, breathlessness and numb legs. It lasted for about 2 months and has slowly decreased. I remind myself that wdl anxiety isn't real and this helps keep me calm.

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LoveandLight

Yes, I don't want to trigger you but when I have severe suicidal depression days, I think I'm stuck like that but the most it's ever lasted is 2 days..touchwood lol

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Horns85

Had the same myself. Constant anxiety with tight chest, breathlessness and numb legs. It lasted for about 2 months and has slowly decreased. I remind myself that wdl anxiety isn't real and this helps keep me calm.

Thanks, Dan. Gosh 2 months? I'm just a week in and it's debilitating! Good to hear it has lessened for you as well. I like the idea of telling myself that WD anxiety isn't real. Thanks for that!

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Horns85

Yes, I don't want to trigger you but when I have severe suicidal depression days, I think I'm stuck like that but the most it's ever lasted is 2 days..touchwood lol

O no! When you have those suicidal days you feel you are stuck like that? Thank goodness that's never lasted more than two days!!

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LoveandLight

Yes, I've felt that I'm gonna be stuck there forever..I always come back on here and the first word is..phew! made it

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Horns85

Yes, I've felt that I'm gonna be stuck there forever..I always come back on here and the first word is..phew! made it

Phew is that right word! I feel that same way with so many symptoms after coming back to this site!

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Dan998

Had it real bad. My doctor thought I had asthma or COPD. Had loads of tests (xray, ECG, bloods, spirometry) all came back negative.

 

Hope you find some relief soon.

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Horns85

Had it real bad. My doctor thought I had asthma or COPD. Had loads of tests (xray, ECG, bloods, spirometry) all came back negative.

 

Hope you find some relief soon.

Wow, thanks Dan! It is good to hear that nothing was seriously wrong with you.

 

So you had the spacey/tunnel vision feeling too? Seems like, and from what I've read, it's basically your brains self defense mechanism?

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Dan998

Never had tunnel vision, but did get derealisation. A horrible feeling, like being in an alien world. It didn't last long. A week or two.

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clearday

During months 10 - 12 after I stopped Lexapro, I was in a phase where my nerves were extra sensitive to stress and substances.

 

I would get tightness in the chest in the evening.

 

I never had any problems with panic type anxiety in my life, but during those two months I was "on the doorstep of panic" a couple times, and it sucked.

 

That phase went away, I am no longer so sensitive to stress and substances.

 

This Lexapro withdrawal has its phases, and it is unique for everyone.

 

But a common thread seems to be that the phases pass, and over time, things get slowly, ever slowly, better -

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Horns85

Never had tunnel vision, but did get derealisation. A horrible feeling, like being in an alien world. It didn't last long. A week or two.

I guess tunnel vision isn't right word. More like a dreamlike, spacey, alien as you said feeling. Very very terrible.

 

Glad to hear it passed!

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Horns85

During months 10 - 12 after I stopped Lexapro, I was in a phase where my nerves were extra sensitive to stress and substances.

 

I would get tightness in the chest in the evening.

 

I never had any problems with panic type anxiety in my life, but during those two months I was "on the doorstep of panic" a couple times, and it sucked.

 

That phase went away, I am no longer so sensitive to stress and substances.

 

This Lexapro withdrawal has its phases, and it is unique for everyone.

 

But a common thread seems to be that the phases pass, and over time, things get slowly, ever slowly, better -

Thanks, Clearday! The doorstep of panic is exactly how I feel. Never had his before, either!

 

I seem to be super sensitive right now, too. It seem to get better in the afternoon and then I go and workout after work and it makes it much worse for a couple hours. I haven't experienced this yet in WD. Very frustrating.

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Horns85

So along with this "fishbowl" feeling with my vision, my vision feels extra extra sharp. It varies throughout the day but is this part of derealization? Anyone experienced this?

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Horns85

So along with this "fishbowl" feeling with my vision, my vision feels extra extra sharp. It varies throughout the day but is this part of derealization? Anyone experienced this?

Anyone experience this? All colors seem extremely vivid as well.

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clearday

No - overall everything is duller and out of focus during my withdrawal. 

 

Occasionally everything comes together in nice 3-D focus and color, but those times are rare. 

 

Sounds interesting. Is it a bad thing? How long does it last?

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Dan998

I have only had the super-sharp 3D vision once. I believe this was a taste of what my real vision will be like after recovery. Like Clearday my eyesight generally seems worse during wdl with lots of floaters and far less colour. It has significantly improved since re-instatement. 

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Horns85

No - overall everything is duller and out of focus during my withdrawal.

 

Occasionally everything comes together in nice 3-D focus and color, but those times are rare.

 

Sounds interesting. Is it a bad thing? How long does it last?

I guess it's not necessarily a bad thing! It has coincided with my DR/Brain fog and now the floaters and sensitivity to light.

 

It's been constant with my DR for the last 2 weeks. Though sometimes it feels like it's my pupils not dialating correctly because when I'm in the dark, everything tends to be blurry.

 

I'm choosing to believe that since it all came on suddenly, it's just my brain reworking and healing.

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Horns85

If exercise makes a symptom worse, my derealization for example, does that pretty much mean that it's a WD symptom? Up until this point exercise made every bring better. It's somewhat disheartening because I love to exercise. Am I hurting myself by continuing to exercise though it?

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clearday

I would bet that your DR is part of withdrawal, especially at 9 months out from Lexapro.

 

And since you have all those other symptoms, it makes sense that DR is part of it.

 

I exercise a lot too, for some reason exercise never affected my WD symptoms.

 

So many things can aggravate WD symptoms, and for many people, exercise is one of them. 

 

This could be a phase where your nervous system is extra sensitive to many things, including exercise. I went through that during 10 -12 months, and now I'm not extra sensitive anymore.

 

Just use your judgement. As time goes by, you'll see how much exercise your body can handle. Hopefully this extra sensitive phase will run its course in a month or so.

 

These symptoms are going to hang around for some time. Keep an eye out for windows when they come. Over the next few months, you should settle into a pattern of brief windows and long waves. The windows should get longer and the waves should get shorter and less intense over time. That's where I'm at, 16 months after stopping Lexapro. 

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When91

I'm nine months away and the main symptoms who are worrying about are different heartbeat and respiration panting ... you guys felt something?

thanks ...

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clearday

I'm nine months away and the main symptoms who are worrying about are different heartbeat and respiration panting ... you guys felt something?

thanks ...

 

Yes, at seven to eight months out I had irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, tightness in chest, and shortness of breath. It went away after a few weeks. It's very common -

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Horns85

I would bet that your DR is part of withdrawal, especially at 9 months out from Lexapro.

 

And since you have all those other symptoms, it makes sense that DR is part of it.

 

I exercise a lot too, for some reason exercise never affected my WD symptoms.

 

So many things can aggravate WD symptoms, and for many people, exercise is one of them.

 

This could be a phase where your nervous system is extra sensitive to many things, including exercise. I went through that during 10 -12 months, and now I'm not extra sensitive anymore.

 

Just use your judgement. As time goes by, you'll see how much exercise your body can handle. Hopefully this extra sensitive phase will run its course in a month or so.

 

These symptoms are going to hang around for some time. Keep an eye out for windows when they come. Over the next few months, you should settle into a pattern of brief windows and long waves. The windows should get longer and the waves should get shorter and less intense over time. That's where I'm at, 16 months after stopping Lexapro.

Thanks, Clearday. Thank you for all your advice. It all makes perfect sense!

 

One question, when you were in your sensitive state for those few months, did loud noises, crowded rooms, any kind of caffeine or sugar bother you SO much more?

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clearday

I had a few cigars per week during my first 9 months of withdrawal. I didn't have much problem with them. I didn't know anything about protracted SSRI withdrawal for the first seven months, I didn't even know I was in withdrawal, that is why I smoked cigars, I didn't know I should have been taking better care of my brain back then. 

 

When the sensitive phase hit at 10 months, I experienced chest tightness and inability to catch my breath for hours in the evening. It was bad, and came out of nowhere.

 

It took awhile, but I finally figured out that the cigar I had during the day was causing those symptoms at night.  Once I stopped the cigars, those symptoms went away. It wasn't the smoke causing breathing problems (cigars aren't inhaled, and I am a runner), it was the nicotine that was adversely affecting my sensitive nervous system at the time.

 

Yes, during that time I also stopped having my second cup of coffee in the afternoon for similar reasons. I was also sensitive to stress and other substances. It was during that time that I felt "on the doorstep of panic" a couple times, never felt that before or since.  Loud noises did affect me during that time also.

 

It only lasted a couple months. I can have that second cup of coffee or a cigar now, with no problems.

 

But it was also during that time that my head pressure and tinnitus began. I have had that now for 7 months, and it is challenging.

 

But even that is improving a lot. I hope you don't get the head pressure/tinnitus thing. Some people get it, some people don't. 

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When91

Thanks clearday!!

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Horns85

Man I am sensitive right now. I took a Tylenol Sinus PM last night because I'm congested. About 10 min after taking it felt dizzy. I got in bed and my heart started racing. Anxiety rushed over and it took me hours to fall asleep. I then woke up with the worst cortisol filled morning in a while. It's crazy what WD will do.

 

I can't even take sinus meds!

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clearday

Yeah, I'm in a bad wave right now too. Someone turned the gas up on my simmering brain (head ringing). All night it was like my head was caught between two crashing cymbals. Wavy brain too. Lexapro, what a lovely drug. What sadistic moron invented this poison? 

 

Disconnect and loss of mental focus increases at these times too.

 

The weather just turned very hot and humid here. They say changes in weather can trigger symptoms. Whatever, I'm riding this out.

 

Waiting patiently for the next window. 

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Horns85

Yeah, I'm in a bad wave right now too. Someone turned the gas up on my simmering brain (head ringing). All night it was like my head was caught between two crashing cymbals. Wavy brain too. Lexapro, what a lovely drug. What sadistic moron invented this poison?

 

Disconnect and loss of mental focus increases at these times too.

 

The weather just turned very hot and humid here. They say changes in weather can trigger symptoms. Whatever, I'm riding this out.

 

Waiting patiently for the next window.

How are you feeling Clearday? Hopefully better?

 

Do you experience with your vision where it feels like one eye is more blurry than the other? Even though when I close the eye it's not actually blurry. Just kind of a distorted vision. Feels like anxiety but I was curious if you had this.

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clearday

Thanks for asking - I'm a little better -

 

No, I haven't had one eye different from the other.

 

But it doesn't sound surprising, since your eyes have been affected by your particular WD.

 

My ears have been affected. The symptoms gradually go back and forth from ear to ear (ear pressure, popping, tinnitus).

 

My right ear was very bad for four months. Then one day that cleared up, and slowly moved to the left ear.

 

Then back to both ears equally.

 

It might have to do with left and right brain hemispheres, and the repair work being done on each at any particular time during recovery. 

 

That's just my guess.

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ikam

I have had problems with vision as well...one eye is more blurred than the other one...I have new glasses (reading and distance), it helped but not completely...

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Horns85

Well, I am 8 1/2 months post Lexapro. I developed Derealization about 2 1/2 weeks ago and it has been by far my worst symptom because it is so anxiety provoking. Which is the cause of symptom! It does get a little better in the evening but it always feels like I am somewhat looking through a glass window. It's so hard to describe. On top of that I am going through terrible anxiety wave which only makes the DR worse. This is the first time in WD I have questioned my sanity, had full on panic moments and considered going back on the drug. I'm not, but it has been that bad the last few weeks.

 

I know I will make it through this wave as so many of you have. Anyone else have advice on how they managed the DR/DP? I know it is the brain's self defense to stress/anxiety. If I remove the anxiety it will slowly fade, but how do you not constantly think about it when everything feels weird? Then you throw in the WD anxiety and it's very difficult. 

 

I will remain positive and know that I will come out on the other side, but reassurance is always nice! 

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clearday

They don't call this withdrawal "persistent" for nothing. These symptoms can really linger.

 

I have persistent ear/head ringing from Lexapro WD now for 7 months. Sometimes it is strong as it ever was, and it seems it will never heal. It is very disheartening and often it is difficult.

 

When I think that maybe I'm stuck with this for life, I get a panicky feeling in my chest.

 

But then I remember, this is protracted SSRI withdrawal, and part of this process is having symptoms seem like they are not getting better, yet over time we know that they will eventually get better. We know this because others have gone through horrible, long term withdrawal, and have healed.  That is the fact of protracted SSRI WD. 

 

Then I also remember that my symptoms are constantly changing, sometimes very noticeably, other times subtlety. This is also part of the healing, the "morphing of symptoms".

 

I must give this a fair shot at healing. I am going to wait this out for a long time, as long as others have taken to heal, based on reading success stories.

 

I've been through this before with Prozac, I have my own success story, it took a long time.  

 

I am waiting it out just like you, and hoping. With real reason for hope, based on what we know about this process.

 

I do know that I have read stories of people having persistent DP/DR who have healed from it.

 

The amount of patience that this takes is almost inhuman in some cases. 

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clearday

I love this video - 

 

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Horns85

They don't call this withdrawal "persistent" for nothing. These symptoms can really linger.

 

I have persistent ear/head ringing from Lexapro WD now for 7 months. Sometimes it is strong as it ever was, and it seems it will never heal. It is very disheartening and often it is difficult.

 

When I think that maybe I'm stuck with this for life, I get a panicky feeling in my chest.

 

But then I remember, this is protracted SSRI withdrawal, and part of this process is having symptoms seem like they are not getting better, yet over time we know that they will eventually get better. We know this because others have gone through horrible, long term withdrawal, and have healed. That is the fact of protracted SSRI WD.

 

Then I also remember that my symptoms are constantly changing, sometimes very noticeably, other times subtlety. This is also part of the healing, the "morphing of symptoms".

 

I must give this a fair shot at healing. I am going to wait this out for a long time, as long as others have taken to heal, based on reading success stories.

 

I've been through this before with Prozac, I have my own success story, it took a long time.

 

I am waiting it out just like you, and hoping. With real reason for hope, based on what we know about this process.

 

I do know that I have read stories of people having persistent DP/DR who have healed from it.

 

The amount of patience that this takes is almost inhuman in some cases.

Thank you, Clearday. You are a saving grace.

 

You are correct in every way. I guess what gets me this time is that the symptoms I have had previously( GI Stuff, Jaw Clenching, Ruminating thoughts etc) have mostly gone away or given me a good window of relief all after about 10 days. The fact that this has lingered longer is what causes me despair. BUT as you said, this is protracted ssri withdrawal. This is what happens.

 

I had brief window last Friday night from the DR. It was basically as if I was able to say, 'I'm not worried about this right now' and it pretty much subsided. Unfortunately, I can't get to that mindet right now no matter how hard I try. I will get there eventually.

 

I will heal and so will you, Clearday!

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