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Lightatendoftunnel1: Me again


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lightatendoftunnel1

I feel obligated to post my success story for those who might be in the same situation i found myself in.  I think its more common than many people might think for ppl to recover and resume their lives and not talk about their recovery.

 

My story stars my sophomore year in college as i began to experience some anxiety.  Prior to this i was extremely happy and never had any depression or any other issues.  My doctor put me on lexapro and initially i tolerated it well as it took away my anxiety.  After a month or two on lexapro i started to realize it was taking away parts of me that i really liked as well.  The drug made me feel so numb inside that I couldnt feel anything at all.  Having always been a passionate person towards my family and girlfriend this was something that was very troubling to me.  I remember looking my longtime girlfriend( fiance now) in the eye and not being able to feel any love at all.  All of my hobbies and interests no longer interested me and i felt completely dead inside.  I had became extrememly depressed and felt like a zombie living in my own body.  

 

After 6 months i cut my dose from 10 mg to 5 mg and felt better.  Despite this i wasnt fully myself and after another 6 months on the 5mg i decided that i wanted off of it completely.  After this i found out that i tapered way too fast.  My first week of the drug i felt normal and back to the old me.  I came to realize that this was fools gold as I started to experience extreme restlessness.  This restlessness which i came to know as akathisia is the most horrific experience I can imagine.  I didnt know it was possible for a human to feel the way I did inside.  I cant explain it other than extreme internal torment and restlessness.  This akathisia made me not want to be alive. Other than the akathisia I had no energy or desire to do anything i was more depressed than I had every been.  I had weird physical symptoms as well , i felt like every nerve in my body was over active and i had constant muscle twitches, jerks and weird tremor sensations, not to mention the pssd.  Not to mention I was still completely numb i had no passion and couldn't "feel" love at all.  These symptoms lasted a lot longer then i hoped they would .  The suffering was intense for 6 to 8 months and it gradually began to lessen.  Now at 14 months off I feel 80 percent recovered.  Everything is starting to get back to normal and my happiness is returning.  I am truly thankful for others peoples stories when i was in the middle of my suffering which made me realize that somehow, someway this torment would come to and end.  I am very happy I pushed through I can feel love for my fiance and family again and you dont know how good that feels after its gone for a few years.

 

Some things that helped me were my faith in God and faith in my brains ability to heal itself.  Another thing that i found to help me out a lot when the akathisia was severe was benadryl , surprisingly this got me through some of the hardest times.  To everyone out there know that things will get better and that no matter how bad you feel now you will heal and will recover.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for this, so much.

 

I also have many tremors, twitches, and jerks and I did such rapid tapers that they may as well have been cold turkey. I am older than you and was on more meds for longer than you, but there could be hope for me too. I was on nortriptyline for 1.5 years, then doc had me rapid taper down and switch to desipramine for ten months. Plus I was on occasional benzo throughout that time, too.

 

Three drugs, three years. I am 35.

 

You are SO young, so it's no surprise you healed. But, ya know, maybe God's got his chips on me, too.

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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julianfrancois

your story might as well be identical to mine. except the lexapro was the most effective drug ive ever taken. i had a history of anxiety and ocd and it completely evened me out. I started experiencing the symptoms when i tapered down to 10mg and slowly i got diffuse muscle and nerve pain and then full on muscle twitches, cramps and jerks, weakness, brain fog, and now acute akathisia and depersonalization ( which i think was induced by iv compazine i was given in the ER). its been 3 months off of the lexapro which i was on for about 2 and a half years. Im with you with the akathisia, its pretty acute but damn its enough to make me want to die; absolute torture and inescapable. you really take for granted your ability to sit still and chill out when you dont have it. when its at its worst, my sleep becomes more like staring at my eyelids, no rest and constant interruption. ive even contemplated going on something more mild like zoloft to see if it helps with it but ive done so much harm already ive got to ride this out. 

zoloft 200mg, cold turkey w/d depression

wellbutrin, only took for two weeks because of side effects

effexor, 225 mg, cold turkey, w/d depression, anxiety

lexapro 20mg, tapered, side effects, weak muscles, fasciculations, brain fog, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, anxiety, mild tremors

abilify, took one dose, temporary akathisia, and myclonic jerk

compazine 10mg iv, intense anxiety, intense fasciculation, prolonged acute akathisia, depersonalization, dulled processing

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WinningThrough

As an akathisia sufferer, it is wonderful to see this success story. I'm so glad you're getting your life back. Thank you.

The only way out is through.

 

Aug 2013 - Augmentin leading to akathisia

Sept-Nov 2013 - Citalopram 20mg, severe reaction, off at 5mg. Valium 4mg, prn

Oct 2013 - 5 zopiclone tablets, 7.5mg

End Nov 2013-end Feb 2014, Seroquel, top dose 150mg, off at 25mg

End Nov 2013-early march 2014, Zoloft 100mg top dose, off at 25mg

End Dec-2013-early April 2014, lorazepam 1mg prn

April 3rd 2014 zoloft 5mg for a few days. 18/4/14 - zoloft, 1mg. Came off at 0.35 mg,14th June 2014

29 June 2014 - 1mg lorazepam, last ever

29 June 2014 - med free

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Moonlitelotus

How long were you on Lexapro?

I started out on zoloft 50 mg or 20mg (can't remember at that point) and was on it for a few months then decided I didn't want to take it because of the side effects so I cold turkey'd it and then was miserable and reinstated and all my symptoms went away and I felt normal. Stayed on it for a while tried lexapro 5mg for a month or two instead to see if I had less side effects. Then switched back to zoloft 20mg I think and weaned down to 6mg and jumped off too soon because it supposedly wasn't a "therapeutic dose" and was told it would be ok. Then I was going through withdrawal again so I reinstated again after about a month I switched to prozac because it's easier to wean off of supposedly. Weaned off over 9 month from 8mg Prozac. Then two months after stopping it on September 2, 2014. I went into withdrawal.

 

18 months off as of March 2, 2016

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Thanks for posting. I was on Lexapro for 7 years and have been off for 8 months now, after a 4 month taper.

 

The suffering has been tremendous.

 

I've hit a most glorious window that I've been riding for the past 3 days and I truly understand now why people don't write recovery stories.

 

I have been talking about our future, planning vacations, and taking care of all kinds of things I've let slip...I think most people will agree that life is too awesome and precious when you recover to ever want to re-visit a terribly dark withdrawal. So, thank you for writing this and inspiring us on toward wholeness and healing. I know this window will end and I will need stories like yours to keep me focused on the end goal. Blessings. 

9/2006 Began Lexapro

1/2014 Began taper from 15mg 

Cut dose by 2.5 mg every two weeks or until stabilized 

5/25/2014 Last dose 

 

Experienced: Anxiety/depression, intrusive thoughts, dizziness, de-personalization, mood swings, stomach pains, nausea, headaches, gastro upset, anger, many spells of brain fog, chills, water retention, hypoglycemia, heart palpitations, weight gain, light headedness, muscle constriction - jaw, chest, neck, cortisol surges waking me several times at night with heart racing, blurry eyesight / visual snow, neuropathic pain, burning/numbness in hands and feet, muscle twitching, light sensitivity, sinuses, temperature disregulation, ear zaps, FEAR, hopelessness, doom and gloom, muscle spasms and tension across whole body, low energy, apathy, depression, constant post nasal drip, ear pain, jaw pain and cracking, tooth pain, burning/tingling/numbing, right rib cage pain FOREVER, lymph congestion, hypersensitivity to many foods and many supplements, bladder/ urination issues, creaky bones, sallow, yellow skin on hands/feet, emotional dysregulation, back pain, vivid dreams, mucus, peeling lips.

 

What's left: Low energy some days, muscle pain, hormone imbalance, GI stuff here and there, eye floaters, peeling, red lips.

 

 

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Moonlitelotus

I am so very happy for you I can't wait until I have the same experience! Congrats to you!

I started out on zoloft 50 mg or 20mg (can't remember at that point) and was on it for a few months then decided I didn't want to take it because of the side effects so I cold turkey'd it and then was miserable and reinstated and all my symptoms went away and I felt normal. Stayed on it for a while tried lexapro 5mg for a month or two instead to see if I had less side effects. Then switched back to zoloft 20mg I think and weaned down to 6mg and jumped off too soon because it supposedly wasn't a "therapeutic dose" and was told it would be ok. Then I was going through withdrawal again so I reinstated again after about a month I switched to prozac because it's easier to wean off of supposedly. Weaned off over 9 month from 8mg Prozac. Then two months after stopping it on September 2, 2014. I went into withdrawal.

 

18 months off as of March 2, 2016

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  • 7 months later...

Thank you for sharing your stories, this gives me so much hope to recover from Lexapro! You made my day

Started Prozac 20 MG March 2014-Sept 2014

New doctor switched me to Lexapro 10 MG and it helped from Sept 2014-Feb 2015 and then I felt the Lexapro wasn't helping as much so he changed the dose to 20 MG and I took that from Feb 2015-July 2015 when I decided to get off pills completely.I had to reinstate as I was feeling so bad and very pressured to go back on pills. My Dr put me on 50 MG zoloft and I took it for about a week..made me feel brain dead. Went down to 25 before I really learned the trouble of fast tapering..finally got a jewelry scale to properly weigh out my pills. Looking to just feel OK. Unsure where to go next.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Offeverything27

So your pssd went away?? What was it like?? I have no desire and limited function. Emotional numbness. I just read this and felt a little hope. I'm 5 months off Effexor.

 

Was your pssd just minor or complete loss of desire? Please respond!!

Weaned off Effexor XR 75mg after one year of use

 

I'm experiencing the most debilitating symptoms ever imaginable

-pssd

-Emotional Numbness

 

Last dose was in august '15 after  weaning off for 6 months

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  • 3 weeks later...
lightatendoftunnel1

Yes it did.  The physical part for me was present and obviously tough but the part that was the worst was the complete emotional flatness.  I felt absolutely nothing at all. I am an extremely passionate person and having no desire or love for anything was devastating.  I remember feeling like my soul was ripped right out of my chest and I was just a zombie walking around.  Luckily I allowed logic to prevail and wait it out and I started to get better in bits and pieces.  Parts of me would flash back and I would remember "Wow , that's how I used to feel".  I'm still not 100 percent but life is about 1000times better then it was 2 years ago and certainly better than last year as well.  My recovery has been slow and steady but I am confident I will get there.

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so did you recover also the romantic feelings? and the enthusiasm and the excitement about things?

About me ------------------------ College student with a history of anxiety, excessive worrying and health anxiety.

April 2014 - May 2015----------    Prozac 20mg On and Off.  Second time on it I developed apathy, changes in personality, asexuality.

May 2015  -   July 2015-----------------  Tappering off prozac. Still no feelings,anhedonia, apathy, no libido, asexuality.

Current symptoms--------  pssd (asexuality in my case). Anxiety and depression developed some months afer stopping prozac, could have been caused by obsessing and beating myself up too much when I found myself unable to like girls again. The best thing to do with pssd (which in my case is asexuality) is accept it and move on.

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  • Administrator

Thank you for joining us to tell us your success story, light.

 

I believe you are correct, the vast majority, who recover from withdrawal syndrome (if they know what it is), don't look back.

 

Yours sounds like a fairly classic withdrawal syndrome pattern.

 

What are your remaining symptoms?

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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  • 3 years later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from July 2021:  Pristiq 0.13mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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