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☼ clearday: Off Prozac 12 yrs, off Lexapro 1 yr


clearday

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So I "celebrate" one year of being clear of SSRIs this week.

 

It has been one helluva ride.

 

(my signature shows I had earlier experience with years of protracted WD. All those years no one told me it was withdrawal. But that's another story.)

 

I never knew about protracted withdrawal or slow taper, so I stopped Lexapro CT last February and rode out the first two months of some "standard" WD symptoms - the ones that doctors acknowledge exist. I had brain storms, brain zaps, fatigue. 

 

By May the initial WD symptoms were subsiding, so I thought I was out of the woods.

 

Then in July I got hit with a weird insomnia wave. It arrived with a scary sensation one night when I laid down. 

 

It felt like all the connections in my brain were disappearing one by one. It lasted for about three seconds. 

 

(I never felt anything like that before. I was very frightened. It was only then that I found these forums and discovered that SSRIs were the culprit. Thanks to all of YOU, I know what is causing my current symptoms.)

 

The weird brain sensations were followed by a few weeks of terrible insomnia. Upon drifting off to sleep, my brain would yank itself back to wakefulness. Over and over, for hours. Known as hypnogogic/hypnotic "jerks". Horrible.

 

The insomnia wave lasted for about three months. By the end of the wave, in October, my brain had restored itself to sound, restorative sleep. I now sleep better than I have for all five years I was on Lexapro. Hooray! That is major progress, a GREAT thing. 

 

So November was a GREAT month. So many great days. I thought I was out of the woods.

 

But by December, I was getting ear ringing when laying down to sleep. Not bad during the day. Never had ear ringing before.

 

But the ear ringing got worse, now it is 24/7. Some days worse than others. If I am busy in a noisy environment, it doesn't bother me, but moments of quiet and rest are plagued with this background ear ringing. Laying down to sleep my head is screaming. Wake up to the same.

 

It is not typical tinnitus. It is head ringing. The ear ringing is just a manifestation of something that is going on in my brain. Hopefully it is a recovery process, and will subside over the next few months. Fingers crossed.

 

When the ringing is bad, my head feels under pressure, and my ears feel clogged, they pop.

 

When I wake up, and lay there listening to the ringing, I may get one brain zap. Here I am, one year off of SSRIs, and I still get the occasional brain zap. Very rare, thank goodness. But it is there, a calling card - this is all SSRI WD related. YES, doctors, brain zaps happen one year later. Sorry, your WD guidelines are WRONG. Others here have also testified that they get brain zaps a year or so after being off these drugs.

 

I told my prescribing doctor about it. She said "maybe you need to be on Lexapro". LOL !!! Yeah, like a heroin addict needs to be on heroin because the withdrawals are so bad. These doctors are so clueless. How tragic for all of us. And all that will tread this path.

 

Yes, I am tempted to go back on Lexapro to try to quiet my brain. 

 

NO, I have never even come close to popping a Lexapro pill back in my mouth.

 

The drug DID pull me out of chronic dysthymia (long term, low grade depression) when I first took it.

 

But the side effects and now WD effects are so horrific. I would NEVER have taken this drug if I knew what would happen.

 

Taking Prozac and Lexapro destroyed the quality of my life over the last twelve years.

 

If I could do ONE THING over in my life, it would be to NEVER have taken SSRIs.

 

So here I am, one year clean. I am very hopeful for better days. I have good reason to hope; this head ringing is dynamic,the nature of it changes day by day. My brain is dealing with it in its own way.

 

Years ago, my three-year long brain fog from Prozac WD went away. My years of WD fatigue went away. The sensitivity to light went away. The sweating went away. My insomnia went away, and now I sleep better than ever. 

 

So hopefully this head ringing will go away too. I have had it for two months now.

 

They call it "Protracted SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome" and we are the survivors.

 

Thank you all for being here - YOU have been my main source of comfort. 

 

It is YOU who have showed me what I am going through. Modern medicine has dropped the ball on this one. Big time!

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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What an inspirational post! All credit to you, Clearday for riding out the storm.

 

I am currently on the same journey and experience many of the withdrawal symptoms that you have discussed. I remind myself that these symptoms indicate healing to help me to push through the darker days.

 

I agree that, had I been given an informed choice, I would have never taken SSRIs. I'm looking forward to healing from this poison and getting me back after 14 years on SSRIs resulting in the dilution and distortion of my personality & quality of life.

 

I wish you all the success and the best of everything in your journey.

 

Huge hugs,

 

Tilly x

1999 - 2004 Paroxetine 20mg  -> 2004 - 2007 Citalopram 20mg -> 2007 -  short term Trazedone use (insomnia) -> 2007 - 2009 Fluoxetine 20mg  ->

2009 - Jan 2012 Citalopram 20mg  (Spring / Summer 2012 protracted withdrawal & related agoraphobia) -> 2012 - September Restarted Citalopram - unbearable start up effects. Discontinued in under 1 week -> Oct 12 -   October 2014 Escitalopram - 10mg prescribed. Started on 5mg and worked up to 10mg in 2.5mg increments  -> Oct 2014  - 5mg; 30/03/15 2.5mg; 15/04/15 3.5mg; 20/05/15 2.9mg;  19/09/15 2.8mg; 30/10/15 2.7mg; 13/11/15 2.6mg. Holding until March.

Diet:  mostly pescatarianl & lots of veg. Weekly offal for b vitamins.  Turmeric, nigella seeds, avocados, apple cider vinegar, coconut products daily. Lots of fluids: water, lemon juice, coconut water, herbal & green tea (decaffeinated).

Supplements: vitamin C 4000mg, Omega 3 fish oil - high DPA & EHA, vitamin E 400iu, vitamin D3 5000mg (Winter only - from sun in Spring / Summer), probiotics.

Current Symptoms: chronic fatigue, erratic sleep, extreme photophobia, eye floaters, noise sensitivity, tinnitus, cognitive & speech difficulties, dizziness, irregular gait, poor co ordination, severe facial and upper body muscle tension, head and neck pressure.

Coping Strategies: good nutrition, cooking, gardening & growing my own food, cycling, dancing, yoga, photography, sewing & creative pursuits, self massage, pampering, meditation, journalling, nature, cuddling cats & humans, laughter & humour, gratitude, self care, aromatherapy, audio books, word games & believing in myself, my potential and my future.

 

"Everything I need is within me" - Shakti Gawain

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So I "celebrate" one year of being clear of SSRIs this week.

 

It has been one helluva ride.

 

(my signature shows I had earlier experience with years of protracted WD. All those years no one told me it was withdrawal. But that's another story.)

 

I never knew about protracted withdrawal or slow taper, so I stopped Lexapro CT last February and rode out the first two months of some "standard" WD symptoms - the ones that doctors acknowledge exist. I had brain storms, brain zaps, fatigue. 

 

By May the initial WD symptoms were subsiding, so I thought I was out of the woods.

 

Then in July I got hit with a weird insomnia wave. It arrived with a scary sensation one night when I laid down. 

 

It felt like all the connections in my brain were disappearing one by one. It lasted for about three seconds. 

 

(I never felt anything like that before. I was very frightened. It was only then that I found these forums and discovered that SSRIs were the culprit. Thanks to all of YOU, I know what is causing my current symptoms.)

 

The weird brain sensations were followed by a few weeks of terrible insomnia. Upon drifting off to sleep, my brain would yank itself back to wakefulness. Over and over, for hours. Known as hypnogogic/hypnotic "jerks". Horrible.

 

The insomnia wave lasted for about three months. By the end of the wave, in October, my brain had restored itself to sound, restorative sleep. I now sleep better than I have for all five years I was on Lexapro. Hooray! That is major progress, a GREAT thing. 

 

So November was a GREAT month. So many great days. I thought I was out of the woods.

 

But by December, I was getting ear ringing when laying down to sleep. Not bad during the day. Never had ear ringing before.

 

But the ear ringing got worse, now it is 24/7. Some days worse than others. If I am busy in a noisy environment, it doesn't bother me, but moments of quiet and rest are plagued with this background ear ringing. Laying down to sleep my head is screaming. Wake up to the same.

 

It is not typical tinnitus. It is head ringing. The ear ringing is just a manifestation of something that is going on in my brain. Hopefully it is a recovery process, and will subside over the next few months. Fingers crossed.

 

When the ringing is bad, my head feels under pressure, and my ears feel clogged, they pop.

 

When I wake up, and lay there listening to the ringing, I may get one brain zap. Here I am, one year off of SSRIs, and I still get the occasional brain zap. Very rare, thank goodness. But it is there, a calling card - this is all SSRI WD related. YES, doctors, brain zaps happen one year later. Sorry, your WD guidelines are WRONG. Others here have also testified that they get brain zaps a year or so after being off these drugs.

 

I told my prescribing doctor about it. She said "maybe you need to be on Lexapro". LOL !!! Yeah, like a heroin addict needs to be on heroin because the withdrawals are so bad. These doctors are so clueless. How tragic for all of us. And all that will tread this path.

 

Yes, I am tempted to go back on Lexapro to try to quiet my brain. 

 

NO, I have never even come close to popping a Lexapro pill back in my mouth.

 

The drug DID pull me out of chronic dysthymia (long term, low grade depression) when I first took it.

 

But the side effects and now WD effects are so horrific. I would NEVER have taken this drug if I knew what would happen.

 

Taking Prozac and Lexapro destroyed the quality of my life over the last twelve years.

 

If I could do ONE THING over in my life, it would be to NEVER have taken SSRIs.

 

So here I am, one year clean. I am very hopeful for better days. I have good reason to hope; this head ringing is dynamic,the nature of it changes day by day. My brain is dealing with it in its own way.

 

Years ago, my three-year long brain fog from Prozac WD went away. My years of WD fatigue went away. The sensitivity to light went away. The sweating went away. My insomnia went away, and now I sleep better than ever. 

 

So hopefully this head ringing will go away too. I have had it for two months now.

 

They call it "Protracted SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome" and we are the survivors.

 

Thank you all for being here - YOU have been my main source of comfort. 

 

It is YOU who have showed me what I am going through. Modern medicine has dropped the ball on this one. Big time!

 

 

What an inspirational post! All credit to you, Clearday for riding out the storm.

 

I am currently on the same journey and experience many of the withdrawal symptoms that you have discussed. I remind myself that these symptoms indicate healing to help me to push through the darker days.

 

I agree that, had I been given an informed choice, I would have never taken SSRIs. I'm looking forward to healing from this poison and getting me back after 14 years on SSRIs resulting in the dilution and distortion of my personality & quality of life.

 

I wish you all the success and the best of everything in your journey.

 

Huge hugs,

 

Tilly x

Thank you for your update. One year- CONGRATULATIONS!

The same as Tilly, had I been given more information I would have never chosen any antidepressant. It is only now, after years of taking them that I have realised the damage, which I cannot reverse. I lost years of my life and moreover I am so worried that I will not be able function and keep my new job (starting next week; not that I want to, I have to...and I cannot fail as I will stay with no money, no support...)...

 

At present I have been troubled with a severe fatigue...I also feel like having flu, but I think it is "real", as it has shown in my blood test (infection)...

I am on 2.5mg at present...

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

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I wish you all the success and the best of everything in your journey.

 

Huge hugs,

 

Tilly x

 

Thank you so much. Good luck to you too -

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment

 

 

Thank you for your update. One year- CONGRATULATIONS!

The same as Tilly, had I been given more information I would have never chosen any antidepressant. It is only now, after years of taking them that I have realised the damage, which I cannot reverse. I lost years of my life and moreover I am so worried that I will not be able function and keep my new job (starting next week; not that I want to, I have to...and I cannot fail as I will stay with no money, no support...)...

 

At present I have been troubled with a severe fatigue...I also feel like having flu, but I think it is "real", as it has shown in my blood test (infection)...

I am on 2.5mg at present...

 

 

Ikam - thanks for your reply. 

 

We are always stuck wondering what our symptoms are from, due to our AD history.

 

We feel sick out of nowhere - what is it from? Our WD acting up again? Or is it an infection? Something else?

 

Not only do we have to deal with the symptoms, we are stuck wondering where the symptoms are coming from. 

 

It is so frustrating and exhausting.

 

Good that you are down to 2.5 mg.

 

When you get down to zero - remember that months later, WD symptoms may pop up, the way they did with me.

 

Thanks for being here!

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment

 

 

Thank you for your update. One year- CONGRATULATIONS!

The same as Tilly, had I been given more information I would have never chosen any antidepressant. It is only now, after years of taking them that I have realised the damage, which I cannot reverse. I lost years of my life and moreover I am so worried that I will not be able function and keep my new job (starting next week; not that I want to, I have to...and I cannot fail as I will stay with no money, no support...)...

 

At present I have been troubled with a severe fatigue...I also feel like having flu, but I think it is "real", as it has shown in my blood test (infection)...

I am on 2.5mg at present...

 

 

Ikam - thanks for your reply. 

 

We are always stuck wondering what our symptoms are from, due to our AD history.

 

We feel sick out of nowhere - what is it from? Our WD acting up again? Or is it an infection? Something else?

 

Not only do we have to deal with the symptoms, we are stuck wondering where the symptoms are coming from. 

 

It is so frustrating and exhausting.

 

Good that you are down to 2.5 mg.

 

When you get down to zero - remember that months later, WD symptoms may pop up, the way they did with me.

 

Thanks for being here!

 

Thank you for your answer, it validates what I struggle with, that it is more "normal"...

I keep questioning myself in terms of symptoms, emotions, abilities, etc.

 

I tapered Effexor years ago, and other meds as well. I was meds free and felt free...I did not know that time that certain symptoms were "just" related to Effexor...I had various pains and problems, such as ibs type, stabbing pain in my knee, chronic rectal pain and inability to sit, migraines, headaches, stomach problems...

As I did not know I was going to doctors who were treating me with stronger and stronger painkillers, pancreatic enzymes, PPIs, antybiotics...This led to re-starting using Doxepin, PPIs, beta-blocker...and this led to looking for medication to treat side effects, then self-medicating and then reaching out to consult with a psychiatrist who prescribed cocktail of meds, including Lexapro...

Then I had an adverse response---maybe good as it stopped me...

Since then I have been researching matter by reading here, reading other webpages, contacting people...

But most of all, analysing my life...

 

I am so worried that I will fail my new work which I start next week, as I am not yet completely well...I feel kind of weak and exhausted...But I am almost with no money, so I have to...

 

With best wishes :)

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

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Thank you for your answer, it validates what I struggle with, that it is more "normal"...

 

I keep questioning myself in terms of symptoms, emotions, abilities, etc.

 

I tapered Effexor years ago, and other meds as well. I was meds free and felt free...I did not know that time that certain symptoms were "just" related to Effexor...I had various pains and problems, such as ibs type, stabbing pain in my knee, chronic rectal pain and inability to sit, migraines, headaches, stomach problems...

As I did not know I was going to doctors who were treating me with stronger and stronger painkillers, pancreatic enzymes, PPIs, antybiotics...This led to re-starting using Doxepin, PPIs, beta-blocker...and this led to looking for medication to treat side effects, then self-medicating and then reaching out to consult with a psychiatrist who prescribed cocktail of meds, including Lexapro...

Then I had an adverse response---maybe good as it stopped me...

Since then I have been researching matter by reading here, reading other webpages, contacting people...

But most of all, analysing my life...

 

I am so worried that I will fail my new work which I start next week, as I am not yet completely well...I feel kind of weak and exhausted...But I am almost with no money, so I have to...

 

With best wishes :)

 

 

Yikes, I had a brief stint with Effexor, I hated it. It is known to be a nasty drug. The half-life was so short that I would take the pill in the AM and be zapping away by nightfall. But the vivid dreams were amazing. When I woke up, it was like I was leaving the movie theater after watching an adventure film.

 

Best of luck with your new job. All you can do is take it one day at a time. 

 

Just start with getting to work that first day. Just get there. Then deal with it when you get there.

 

In fact, even healthy people have to deal with life that way. Everyone can only do one thing at at time, take one step at a time.

 

Healthy people may become sick like us when they habitually try to tackle huge tasks all at once. It takes a toll, and they get overwhelmed.

 

Healthy people stay healthy when they take life... one....step....at....a....time....... 

 

Now, if only I could listen to my own advice.... :lol:   

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment

Yes, you right, one step at a time...i tend to catastophise and make the worst possible scenarions...i see myself with no work, with no money...but I have not started yet...

I think I have an ear infection, that takes my energy away...

 

I have scheduled and appointment with naturopath...i trust her...she got me out of the mess before...

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

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  • Administrator

Welcome, clearday.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

This might reduce the head ringing. You could try acupuncture also.

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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Welcome, clearday.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

This might reduce the head ringing. You could try acupuncture also.

thank you!

 

BTW, is there a way to edit posts once we post them? 

 

On some blogs, you have an hour to edit before the post becomes permanent...just wondering.....

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment
  • Administrator

You have an hour to edit posts here.

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.

Link to comment

.

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Look at the bottom part of the post, there should be an "Edit" link.

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.

Link to comment

ok - thanks!

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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Hi Clearday,

 

Congratulations on being a year off SSRI's. It sounds like you are healing slowly but surely! Your story gives so many of us here hope!

 

Sunflower

1998-2010. Zoloft 100 mgs.

3/2010. Switched to generic Z and began not to feel well.

7/2010. Estrogen patch added which caused severe depression.

8/2010 to 10/2010. Zoloft increased from 100 mgs to 200 mgs., Klonopin .25 mgs in am; .50 mgs pm; Remeron

.25 mgs. added by new doc

1/2011. Began tapering K; last dose of K 7/2011.

11/2011 Began Remeron taper; last dose of R 1/2012 (Tapered K & R by dry cutting)

1/2013 Began tapering Z from 200 mgs to 100 mgs by dry cutting

3/2013. Experiencing wd sx...took break

9/2013. Down to 150 mgs.

2/2014 - Present. 100 mgs Z

1-21-15. Began dry cutting 100 mgs.

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Congrats on the year! I went cold turkey too bc I didnt know any better...if only i'd known. Anyway, I'm glad you are doing decent, things will improve more over time as I'm sure you know.

I am 15 months out now and looking back where I was and where I am tbe difference is like night and day.

The symptoms I have now are following the windows/waves pattern and come and go. Hopefully one day they'll be gone for good!!

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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In 1996, while in my early 30s, I went to a psychiatrist for the first time, complaining of moderate stress symptoms and insomnia. I had no history of mental illness. He immediately put me on Prozac. I took the bait.

 

I really didn't feel much benefit, but when I looked down at my nails one month later, I saw that they had grown, for the first time in my life. So I knew Prozac stopped me from biting my nails. So I figured it was helping me, and I stayed on the drug. 

 

Also, one month after going on the drug, I developed an insatiable thirst for alcohol, a common side effect. I would learn later that Prozac acts "synergystically" with alcohol. That means that Prozac and alcohol together may create a unique intense euphoria. I went from being a lifelong moderate drinker to full blown alcoholic overnight. In order to save my own life, a year later I dragged myself into AA, and got sober.   

 

About six years later, stress really began to bother me. I was developing an inability to handle stress. The Prozac was taking its toll on me, it was now weakening my system's natural ability to handle stress. I told my doctor I was going to stop, he said fine. He said nothing about tapering. So I cold turkeyed. I felt normal upon stopping. For four months.

 

Then one night, eleven years ago, I was in a stressful situation, and my nervous system collapsed. You couldn't tell by looking at me - I was in a group of people, and no one knew I was in distress. But I felt the sensation of warm water rushing into the top of my head, through my body, and out my feet. I never felt that before or since. It lasted about five minutes. 

 

I laid down for bed that night, my body and brain were humming, pulsing. I knew something terrible had just happened to me. I just didn't know what it was. And would not know what it was until eleven years later.

 

What followed was two months of extreme mental exhaustion and other symptoms: excessive sweating, sensitivity to light, inability to handle stress, depression, apathy, anhedonia. Restless legs syndrome while falling asleep.

 

Then one morning, the severity of all the symptoms lifted somewhat. The initial severe phase was over. But all the symptoms still remained. For about four years. All while raising a toddler. I clawed my way through existence on a daily basis. I was fatigued all the time, and had brain fog. My eyes were sensitive to light, and they would dry out. 

 

I had no idea what happened to me, and four doctors didn't either. I researched chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal burnout, Epstein-Barr, heavy metal toxicity, etc, etc. All tests revealed nothing. 

 

The psychiatrist gave me Zoloft and Effexor to try to deal with the WD symptoms. I went off both of them after a brief period. Zoloft made me feel weird; Effexor caused horrible daily brain zapping due to its short half-life - take a pill in the AM and go into WD by nightfall.

 

Months later, I continued to tell my psychiatrist that "something very bad happened to me". He finally got sick of hearing me discuss it, and he snapped at me, he yelled "Knock it off!" I couldn't believe my ears. This guy was so impressed with his own intelligence, yet he failed to have the intellectual curiosity to learn about SSRI withdrawal - to inform himself. The SSRI drugs that he so loved to prescribe have turned out to be wolves in sheep's clothing, extremely powerful brain-altering drugs, as all of us here have come to learn. Astonishing. 

 

I had been sober for six years before I got sick with these mystery symptoms. I valued my sobriety more than anything else.

 

But after  a year and a half of feeling very sick, I reluctantly went back to alcohol, hoping it might trigger some changes in my biochemistry, to get me feeling the way I felt before I got sick. That's how misguided and desperate I was. Four different doctors failed to recognize that my symptoms were CLASSIC SSRI WD.

 

So I figured I was doomed with some unknown terrible illness, or "stress damage", and gave up all hope of getting better. 

 

It was horrible. My alcoholism came back with a vengeance. I terribly abused my body and mind for two years until I hit another bottom and got sober again. The alcoholism came with all the associated reckless behaviors. It was a disaster.

 

So rather than helping my body heal, I probably prolonged my recovery from SSRI WD. The brief stints with Zoloft and Effexor also probably prolonged my recovery. 

 

It would take me another few years of finally taking care of myself before all of my Prozac WD symptoms went away. 

 

I gave up all sugary foods and avoided processed foods, trying to eat whole foods. I had to quit my stressful job.

 

If these doctors had told me back then that I was going through SSRI WD, I would not have resorted to desperate measures out of despair.

 

If I had found a website such as this one, I would NOT have almost killed myself through an alcoholic relapse.

 

Every day I replay what has happened to me over the last twelve years thanks to SSRIs, trying to make sense of my life. I still can't believe what modern psychiatry has done to me and thousands more like me. 

 

I am to blame for trusting them. But that is how I was raised, to trust doctors and not to question authority. 

 

A friend of mine was suffering from anxiety and depression. He asked his doctor to give him medicine. His doctor said no way, that the SSRIs cause more harm than good. That doctor said SSRIs should only be used as an extreme last resort. I wish I had that doctor!!! 

 

I will also take blame for resorting to alcohol and other destructive behaviors to cope with the despair, as others would have dealt more constructively with it; yet others would have taken their own lives. I took the middle road - a self-destructive track of alcohol-based escapism which would have led to death if I didn't get myself sober again.

 

I was a highly productive professional, highly educated, I was at my peak of productivity when I was hit with debilitating protracted SSRI WD. It took me down.

 

And just when I was recovering from years of Prozac WD, by 2009 - the doctors pushed Lexapro on me to deal with dysthymia (mild depression).

 

Since I never knew that all those years of sickness was due to Prozac WD, I went on the Lexapro because - get this - "It has the least side effects"....LOL!!!!

 

And now here I am, twelve years later, one year off Lexapro, in WD AGAIN, and contemplating going back on alcohol to drown out the grinding daily tinnitus and head pressure.

 

I only learned it was all due to SSRI WD  FOUR MONTHS AGO when I stumbled upon PP. That probably saved me. Where would I be now if I STILL didn't know this was all due to these poisons I have been basting my brain in for years??? Likely back to alcohol and a one-way ticket to destruction.

 

Prozac WD slammed me out of nowhere 4 months after stopping it.

 

Lexapro WD slammed me out of nowhere 7 months after stopping it, then another terrible wave out of nowhere TEN months after stopping it.

 

And STILL modern psychiatrists insist that WD lasts no more than six weeks.

 

All these thoughts are in the back of my mind on a daily basis. I never want to forget or minimize what has happened to me. 

 

And when I get better, will I minimize all this, or be in denial about what happened to to me? That's human nature. We want to heal, and move on.

 

I wouldn't be here ranting if I wasn't in WD again.  

 

I want to stop thinking about this SSRI crap, but these waves keep rubbing my nose in it.

 

But just like AA, when I do get better, I should keep coming back to inform those who have yet to tread this path of horror.

 

Because thanks to all of you being here, I finally know what caused my sickness, and can take the proper, responsible steps to heal.

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome clearday!

 

Wow. I just went through what you described, however I couldn't holdout and started reinstatement of Fluoxetine within a couple of months of collapsing, or crashing as I put it. I was lucky enough to have been a member here so I knew what was happening. I hadn't cold turkeyed, but made some errors during my taper and didn't account for the effect of the Wllbutrine I was also taking. I won't be starting from square one when I start tapering again, but the psychological impact of my crash has been pretty profound.

 

You have constructed your signature so I'm assuming you've looked over the threads here. Have you read the the thread on tappering Lexipro?

 

there are also threads that suggest some natural remedies to help mediate some of the symptoms your experiencing, such as fish oil and Magnisium.

 

A moderator will be along shortly and will be able to help with guidance and suggestions. In the meantime, Welcome to SA.

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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Welcome clearday!

 

A moderator will be along shortly and will be able to help with guidance and suggestions. In the meantime, Welcome to SA.

 

thanks for your warm welcome - 

 

good luck with your Prozac taper, after reading my story you can see why it is a good idea to do a long, slow taper!

 

I am off Lexapro for one year now, and will never go back on. I'm done with these drugs for good.

 

I just have the head pressure and ear ringing for two months right now, seems to be slowly improving, but otherwise I am doing great -

 

I sleep better than ever, I am physically and mentally active -

 

I have many great days these past few months - 

 

I am on fish oil and magnesium -

 

this is my second thread, the other addressed my current Lexapro WD -

 

moderator has already welcomed me -

 

Lucky me, I have TWO distinct separate episodes of Protracted SSRI WD to tell, separated by years.......

 

Each one very different since one was Prozac and one was Lexapro -  

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello clearday,


 


I have merged the new thread you created with your introductory thread: there is one thread per person here so that it is easier to follow one's progress since everything is in one place. It doesn't matter how many AD stories we have-it is still one person and one brain. Whenever you want to post an update, just look for your thread and it will immediately move up on the board and cover both your experiences.


 


Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hello clearday,

 

I have merged the new thread you created with your introductory thread: there is one thread per person here so that it is easier to follow one's progress since everything is in one place. It doesn't matter how many AD stories we have-it is still one person and one brain. Whenever you want to post an update, just look for your thread and it will immediately move up on the board and cover both your experiences.

 

Bubble

 

 

Ok, thank you -

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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Hello there, 

 

Just wanted to say hi and welcome.  Your story breaks my heart.  It never ceases to amaze me how these drugs rob people of their livelihood.  

 

Out of curiosity, would you say that the time you spent on Lexapro "helped" your depression?  I'm wondering if with the withdrawal, etc. if there was a kindling effect or if you stabilized at that point?  I'm on Lexapro and trying to understand the beast....the WD is brutal!  Also, did you do anything special for the insomnia or did it subside on its own? 

 

Loads of love for your journey...

HISTORY: Lexapro 10mg (current and for approximately 7 years; Prozac 20mg for 5 years and Zoloft 50mg for 5 years)

Lexapro (too fast taper) 9mg 09/13; 8mg 10/13; 7mg 12/13; 6mg  02/14; 5mg  04/14; 4mg 06/14 2.5mg 08/29/14 2.25 mg 12/04/14;

 

Re-instatement - 2.5mg 12/17/14; 03/01/15 3.0 mg; 04/01/15 - 5mg;  05/01/15  6mg; 5/15/15 6.5mg 6/01/15 7.5mg

 

2nd attempt at micro taper: starting dose is 7.5mg using liquid compounded rx: 12/16/17 - 7mg;  02/05/18 - 6.75mg 04/06/18 - 6.5ml  05/31/18 re-instate back to 6.75mg 

 

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Hello there, 

 

Just wanted to say hi and welcome.  Your story breaks my heart.  It never ceases to amaze me how these drugs rob people of their livelihood.  

 

Out of curiosity, would you say that the time you spent on Lexapro "helped" your depression?  I'm wondering if with the withdrawal, etc. if there was a kindling effect or if you stabilized at that point?  I'm on Lexapro and trying to understand the beast....the WD is brutal!  Also, did you do anything special for the insomnia or did it subside on its own? 

 

Loads of love for your journey...

 

Hello, SSRI Warrior - thanks for taking the time to read my story -

 

I suffered from dysthymia - in case you haven't heard that term,

 

Dysthymia is long-term, low grade depression. It is just as fatal as major depression, because you can have it for years, and it slowly grinds you down.

 

And I did have it for years, at some level, my whole life. It was on the back burner for long stretches, but it was always there, waiting to pounce.  

 

The Lexapro lifted my dysthymia right away. And kept it away for the five years that I took it. I was very stable for those five years.

 

I even halved the dose to 5 mg two years after starting Lexapro, because I felt so well, I felt I did not need it so much. 

 

I'm very thankful I did that, or my current protracted Lexapro WD due to CT would probably be worse.

 

I remember feeling fatigued for two weeks when I halved it. I was very surprised that I was so fatigued. I didn't know much about SSRI WD until recently. 

 

Two years after halving the dose, I went completely off Lexapro by mistake, I was on vacation and had some hectic days and missed three days of doses without realizing it.

 

So I figured  since I had a three day head-start, I might as well just stay off it. My brain was stormy every night initially - zapping, whooshing and shooshing - but I noticed right away that I had more energy for exercise, so I figured I'd just stay off. Then two months of overall WD fatigue. Still not knowing about what lay ahead with protracted WD ! 

 

For the five years I used it, Lexapro interfered with the quality of my sleep. I did not sleep deeply enough. I had too much non-restorative sleep.

 

Lexapro also took away some of my energy for exercise. I now have more energy for exercise since I stopped taking Lexapro.

 

So I guess there was no kindling effect after my years long ordeal with Prozac. Overall, Lexapro side effects seemed pretty mild those five years.

 

After stopping Prozac, I was mostly SSRI free for about six years before going on Lexapro, which I took for five years.

 

The Lexapro insomnia wave was bizarre. It hit me seven months after CT when I laid down one night with strange, scary brain sensations, like all the connections in my brain were dissolving one by one. I never had that before or since. I heard another person in SSRI WD describe that, they called it a momentary "blackout".  

 

That heralded the beginning of the 3 month long insomnia wave. My brain would constantly prevent my body from falling asleep with "hypnotic jerks", over and over, for hours. Like some kind of sadistic torture.

 

My heart would race, I would have palpitations. It was pretty scary some nights. 

 

After three nights of this, I felt I would go psychotic if I did not get some sleep, so it was either go to the ER, or take a small amount of Xanax.

 

Thankfully I had some Xanax on hand. I took .25 mg that night, and it did the trick.

 

I took .25 for two nights after that, then .125 for a while until things got better. 

 

I was about to go back on Lexapro, because I knew serotonin had something to do with sleep, but first I did a quick Internet search to get the latest on Lexapro - THAT is when I stumbled on PP and realized that it was all just SSRI WD. 

 

I was assured by folks on PP that the wave would pass in time, and it sure did. 

 

Realizing that Lexapro WD was CAUSING this intense, scary insomnia, I decided NOT to go back on it. I wanted to get away from any drug that would do such a thing to me. So much for Lexapro having "the least side effects"....LOL 

 

And after three months of the insomnia wave, I found myself sleeping deeper and longer than I have in more than five years.

 

The wave was over, and I was thrilled! I had a month window symptom free, and I felt better than I have in ten years - 

 

Then came the head pressure/ear ringing thing.....two months now....

 

That has been improving the last few days; fingers crossed.

 

It's still worst when in bed. 

 

We have a similar SSRI history, except you had a longer time with Zoloft than I did - 

 

I sure hope you continue to move away from these meds, you have come so far -

 

I am so happy that these meds are getting further and further away in my rearview mirror -

 

BTW  I'm off Lexapro for a year and my dysthymia has not come back - it's lurking, but I have it at bay -

 

And, to that point - we know that Lexapro instantly "bumped" me out of dysthymia, putting it back on the shelf. Why keep someone on Lexapro for five years or longer, so that the brain becomes completely dependent on it?

 

Why not put someone on these drugs just for a very short duration? I have heard that sentiment from others here.

 

Or how about this - why not let the patient give informed consent to take the drugs, by WARNING them that if they stay on for a long time, that brutal long term withdrawal will probably happen? None of my prescribing doctors ever gave any warning.

 

Why leave them on these drugs until horrific protracted WD syndrome is almost guaranteed, if they want to stop the drug?

 

When the patient develops tolerance or other bad side effects from long-term use, they are screwed because they face either staying on the drug and getting more damaged OR going off the drug and facing protracted brutal WD.

 

I have many great days the last few months. I wish the same for you -

 

How are you doing?

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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I just read ssriwarriors thread, and it made me think of something -

 

Regarding supplements, alcohol, nicotine, sugar intake, etc during WD -

 

I quit sugary foods six years ago, and that was a great thing; it reduces anxiety and has other benefits.

 

I've been off alcohol for over six years now -

 

But I can say that upon ten months after quitting Lexapro, all of a sudden my nervous system is going through an "overly sensitive" phase.

 

The head pressure/ ear-ringing wave has also made my ears unusually sensitive to sounds.

 

Also, normally I can have a cigar now and then, with no side effect.

 

BUT all of sudden, with this recent wave, if I have a cigar, I get tightness in my chest like you wouldn't believe. 

 

So my system is now overly sensitive to nicotine.

 

I also remember having weird reactions to alcohol during my Prozac WD years.

 

And this is old news to many of you - I am just affirming the common knowledge on here that during WD, it is best to avoid some of the more fun substances in life until our systems stabilize off the SSRIs.

 

And that probably applies to many supplements too. I think it is more important to AVOID things during this time than to add things, as a general rule.

 

I am taking fish oil and magnesium, but that's it. Otherwise a balanced healthy diet should give my body what it needs to heal - IMO.

 

When my nervous systems settles down in a few months, you can bet that I will see if I can handle a cigar now and then.

 

(I sure hope it settles down in a few months!)

 

Fingers crossed!

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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So one year after stopping Lexapro, I continue to have one brain zap immediately upon waking. It occurs during the transition from the sleep state to the wakeful state. It happens when my brain is still awash in the biochemical environment of sleep. I'm just curious about it. It is not causing discomfort, it's just that I just have an immediate thought when I get the zap, "Are you kidding me, a brain zap a year later?" and takes me back to the early stages of WD. It feels like a setback, but it might not be.

 

So I did a brief Internet search of the causes and theories of what are brain zaps. And like every other topic about SSRIs and their wonderful side effects, the literature states: 

 

"There are several theories in regards to what may cause brain zaps. While certain factors are suggested as causes, the specifics are unknown."

 

I also include the following from one website, which may apply to my case: 

 

"How long do brain zaps last?

 

There is no set “timeline” that says how long brain zaps will last. The zaps people experience are generally subject to individual variation. One person may experience them for a significant duration (e.g. weeks or months), while another may find that they go away in short order (e.g. hours or days). There are a number of factors that can influence how long these “zaps” may persist including: your physiology, duration you took your medication, the dosage, and whether you quit cold turkey (oh,ok - that would be ME)  or tapered.

It should also be noted that while some individuals experience a bulk of the zaps immediately following discontinuation, some experience the zaps during more protracted phases of withdrawal (me again). In other words, some individuals may have no zaps for weeks, and then experience them seemingly out of nowhere. (again, me.)

 

REM Sleep and Serotonin

One hypothesis is floating around the internet that suggests brain zaps are linked to both REM sleep and serotonin. Some people experience brain zaps after waking up from sleep (me!) and/or when they fall asleep. A theory is that REM sleep (rapid-eye movement) may influence serotonergic processes in the brain, and the “zaps” during sleep are a byproduct of the rapid-eye movement. Whether this has any credibility is debatable. Those who have felt the zaps while sleeping may be able to provide more insight into this experience." (oh, ok - that would be me. I am now providing that insight. I feel so honored. :wacko: )

source:   http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/11/29/brain-zaps-causes-treatments-for-electrical-shock-sensations/

 

And BTW, I sleep MUCH deeper and have more REM sleep these days than I EVER had during my five years on Lexapro. And since non-restorative sleep has dogged me ever since I started SSRIs 18 years ago, you can bet that I am one Happy Camper being off this drug, even with the lousy protracted withdrawal.  

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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rather than hijack Zvezda's thread, I continue my response here, since this part is all about me - ( still getting the hang of things here..I guess this is what I should do?)

 

thanks, coldturkeymamma and Zvezda, for the vote of confidence -

 

After reading so many stories of suffering on these blogs, I consider myself one of the lucky ones, for sure.

 

I never had the horrific anxiety that plagues so many on here. I can totally understand why someone would disrupt their taper or even reinstate after a long period of hard-earned SSRI abstinence if they were encountering impending panic attacks. I was never faced with that kind of dire feeling. My ordeal was largely just a terribly long, drawn out life of brain fog,fatigue - made much worse by not knowing what caused it. Seriously, some of the suffering revealed on these blogs is heart wrenching.  

 

Thank you for reading my story, one of my purposes here is to let people know that these WD symptoms can indeed last for years and years, but they also can actually go away in time. Or at least largely go away so that life is enjoyable again. I wish that for everyone here.

 

I look back at these last 12 years, and I focus on the good things. I had no choice but to function, I was raising a toddler. And to that point, the severe WD forced me out of work, and to be a Mr. Mom for all those toddler years and beyond.

 

So rather than spending what should have been my most productive employment years away from home, achieving out in the world, networking and rubbing elbows with high functioning people, I was isolated at home, raising my child.

 

I developed a true respect and admiration for at-home Moms - for the tedium they endure day-in and day-out. For the brain-numbing daily chores of boring housework that is never done, always piling up. It's hard to feel a sense of gratifying achievement when stuck with doing all that on a daily basis with no real escape. Fellow men I used to work with admitted that they were often happy to come to work to escape the boring grind of family home life. The movie "Hurt Locker" makes that point, when the lead character chooses to abandon his family and go to Iraq to diffuse bombs rather than stay at home and raise his toddler. He'd rather risk blowing himself up, getting the adrenaline rushes, than talking baby talk and changing diapers for a few years. As an adrenaline junkie myself, I can relate. 

 

The blessing of this protracted WD in disguise, is that I have been with my child now for many years, 24/7, for over 95% of the days of her life (other than her being at school, at a playdate, etc). I was changing her diaper when her umbilical cord finally dried up and fell off into my hand. I was there when she first threw up at age 3, I saw it about to happen, and she threw up in my hand, I was there to catch it. We were in IHOP, it was just some eggs, and she looked at me and said, "So, this is what happens now?" as if it was a normal thing to happen on a daily basis. I got to know every little part of her personality, I know what she's feeling and thinking. I had daily front row seats to such an amazing thing, the growing of a child over years and years. No one can take this away from me, ever. She is my world, and I try to cherish every moment I am here with her. Some day soon she will be a teenager and I will no longer be enmeshed with her daily activities. If I never got sick with WD, she probably would have grown up before I knew it, and I would have missed out on a lot (Cats in the Cradle....). I have only one chance to experience this - she is my only child.  

 

I know that working fathers also have very integral, involved, healthy, close relationships with their children, and that is how it should be. But my situation allowed me to focus all my energy on parenting, and I could be there for her all the time. I know that many fathers would like to spend even more time with their children, but my situation forced me into being a parent 24/7/365. And I am trying to see the good in that.  

 

I still push myself to be physically active, and I do enjoy many days and activities. I just wish I didn't have this "flat tire" of protracted WD to drive around on. Quite often I am my old self, but too often I am dogged by the long term effects of SSRI use.  Now that I know what caused all this - SSRIs - I look forward to my life a few years from now, when SSRIs will be even further in my rearview mirror. I can't believe I spent eleven years not knowing what caused my symptoms! But thanks to all you here, I now know. I'm thrilled about that! I thought I had some inherent weakness, some damage or disease. But, duh - of course, it was due to being basted in these brain altering drugs. So now I can move on.   

 

Yes I certainly miss being an integral part of a working community, out there in society. I used to have an important, stressful, exiting, dangerous job. I miss it terribly. I have been away from it for over 10 years, and I still have dreams that I am back at work, and wake up very sad that I will never be able to go back to that particular job again. I have tried a few times to launch another rewarding career during these past ten years, based on my skill level, but I was always knocked out by the fatigue.

 

But of course, the working world is full of stress and tedium, and I only remember the benefits of being active at work as opposed to being stuck at home. Those dealing with the daily grind of the workplace would probably love to be able to stay at home. So the grass is always greener......  

 

But life is what happens to us when we're busy making other plans.........

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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OK, time for some comedic relief. Not to be taken seriously…

 

I hope you enjoy the following humor:

 

Need help – suffering from Winter.

 

Not sure if it’s protracted WD from being on Summer for three months. Tried to taper by using 3 months of Fall before going fully off.

 

At first Winter was not so bad, but it just got worse and now it’s unbearable. I don’t even remember what it’s like to be Summer anymore, or if I’ll ever see Summer again. Worrying that this Winter may be permanent.

 

I suffered from Winter off and on as a child; seemed like it came once a year and lasted for 3 months. Somehow I always came out of it ok. I have a history of Winter in my family too.

 

The symptoms are horrible: so much darkness and cold. Ineffective sunlight. I wake up to Winter, feel Winter all day, and at night, it’s worse, I feel so much Winter. And the snow shoveling is constant and unrelenting. I feel like I'm going to lose it! Will this never end?

 

I was considering reinstating back to October, but I don't want to go through Fall and early Winter again. I might just ride it out until Spring and see what happens. Who knows? Summer may return after that. 

 

My doctor says it’s not really Winter, that Winter really can only last a few weeks. He says whatever I am feeling is in my head. He said I need to take a pill, and that the pill will bring on Summer overnight. And he promised if I take his pill, it will stay Summer forever, and that I will never feel Winter again.

 

But I talked to a groundhog on this blog, and he said there will definitely be six MORE weeks of winter.

 

I trust the groundhog!  :P

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment

Hahahaaaa. I always lament to my family, when they ask how I'm doing, "Just another Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney." Well, if your doctor said it, it MUST be true!

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

Link to comment

lol - goodnight and thanks for stopping by!  :lol:

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment

I know what season it is by looking at the food stuck to my bathrobe, as in gee, I haven't had oatmeal since last Fall.

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

Link to comment

G'night, Clear. I'll be thinking of you when my cortisol surges at 3am.

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

Link to comment

lol - goodnight and thanks for stopping by!  :lol:

I wanted to stop by yesterday, but was a bit busy...I am finding your journey fascinating, the way you try to get better understanding and meaning...

I think we all are in our individual journeys to recovery. But it is great to do it in the group and share our experiences...Although, it would be much nicer just to meet up and don't share this experience...

 

I struggle the most at present in accepting what happened, that I did not know until now...and as you can see my AD story is so long. I guess I have always been in a state of WD...

So, will I ever recover???

I also struggle, that I cannot do any repairs in the past. I am left with what is present...

 

I see from your time line that you had time of severe tiredness...This is what I am dealing with at present...I don't know how to deal with this, as I need to restart working tomorrow...I am really worried that I will fail...But I may be also tired from not doing much. I have been of work for three months, mostly sitting at home. Each time I got out  feel more energised, so maybe there is hope for me?

 

What is CT?

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

Link to comment

(edited: sorry I see I answered twice, I thought I did not sent the previous one)

 

Hi I see you suffered from severe fatigue. This is what I have at present. I can sleep 12 hours a night and still feel tired...

 

But it may also relate to me being so inactive, spending last three months indoors, doing practically nothing...

 

I have to start working tomorrow and I am so worried that I will fail...

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

Link to comment

 

lol - goodnight and thanks for stopping by!  :lol:

I wanted to stop by yesterday, but was a bit busy...I am finding your journey fascinating, the way you try to get better understanding and meaning...

I think we all are in our individual journeys to recovery. But it is great to do it in the group and share our experiences...Although, it would be much nicer just to meet up and don't share this experience...

 

I struggle the most at present in accepting what happened, that I did not know until now...and as you can see my AD story is so long. I guess I have always been in a state of WD...

So, will I ever recover???

I also struggle, that I cannot do any repairs in the past. I am left with what is present...

 

I see from your time line that you had time of severe tiredness...This is what I am dealing with at present...I don't know how to deal with this, as I need to restart working tomorrow...I am really worried that I will fail...But I may be also tired from not doing much. I have been of work for three months, mostly sitting at home. Each time I got out  feel more energised, so maybe there is hope for me?

 

What is CT?

 

 

Yes, I too wish we could all meet for a different reason than sharing this misery!

 

I was sick for so many years without knowing what was causing it. So when I finally found out that it was the Prozac and the Lexapro - I was actually THRILLED to finally have figured it out. It took a while to sink in - I had to make sure that the SSRIs were the culprit. I had ruled out so many other possble causes.

 

Clearly, all my symptoms this whole time were due to these drugs. after reading so many stories of other people going through the exact same thing as me, the conclusion was undeniable. So at first I was thrilled to finally know, that I did NOT have some terrible chronic illness, that I did NOT have a nervous breakdown simply from life. It was an outside agent, a POISON that took me down. 

 

After the euphoria, the "eureka!" moment of knowing what had harmed me - then the anger and outrage followed. How could this happen in modern society? I was raised to trust doctors - how could they have been so, so negligent and reckless by dishing out these poisons? And if only my doctor could have recognized that my misery was WD, I would not have been left in the dark for eleven years as to the cause. And how do they continue to get away with it? The answers to those questions are also clear, and a topic for another discussion.

 

If you sleep for twelve hours and are still tired, it is possible that you slept too much. But if you sleep for 8 hours on a regular basis and still feel tired, that could be from non-restorative sleep. That is what I had for years and years. Non-restoratvive sleep. I always felt that there was just one chemical that wasn't restored, and if I didn't get that right type of sleep, I was very fatigued. Even while using the Lexapro, I knew that I wasn't getting proper restorative sleep. I believe that Lexapro and other SSRIS reduce the amount of REM sleep we get. Sleep quaility is much more important than quantity. Serotonin is a key player in sleep architecture, so it makes sense that messing with serotonin can screw up our sleep patterns. After my recent 3-month insomnia wave, I have now had 3 months of the best sleep I have had in over six years. My insomnia wave appears to have been my brain getting itself back to a natural restorative sleep pattern which the Lexapro had robbed me of. I sleep so deeply now. This is absolutely key for how I feel during the day. But this is just my experience.

 

I had a few years of severe Prozac WD fatigue, and I was working full-time in a highly stressful job. I thought I would not make it, but I did. I clawed my way through it. 

 

I would actually draw a mini-calendar of the next three days, and carry it with me. I would write out for each day what I had to do. I tackled life in blocks of three, four or five days at at time. I couldn't handle staring at a monthly calendar. Too daunting. I would X-off each day on my handly little mini-calendar once I got through it. Each day X-d off was a mini success. Hooray! I got through a day. I quickly discovered that if I could get through one day, and tough ones at that, then I could survive this thing. In fact, that is how life is lived anyway. Even the healthiest of people can only live one day at a time. This illness forced me to face that.

 

And that was for a few years, thinking I would be like that forever, yet holding out some hope that someday I might recover, but having no reason to believe that. At least you have a reason to believe you may get better in the future, because you made it HERE. Now you know what has caused your misery, and how to stop the damage and recover.

 

My years long ordeal with unrelenting fatigue is GONE, it is over. I hope the same for you. Your journey will be your own, based on your genetic make-up, lifestyle, and drug history - like you said!

 

YES, we are stuck with what has happened to us. It is our reality. Yet, I have had days where I felt as good as I did before I ever took SSRIs.  You can just imagine how thrilled I feel on those precious days. I just cry. It all comes out. The suffering, The pride of having toughed it out. I count my blessings. There are so many people with so much worse afflictions. Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. 

 

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal. This WD process has a timetable of its own. Mostly I'm just a spectator, watching my body heal from what poisons I have put into it. But I'm really not just a spectator. I do some things to slow the healing down, by indulging in substances that I know may not help. For instance, I am going through a wave right now where all my nerves are overly sensitive. One day I was hit with chest tightness and palpitations that I never felt so bad before. It lasted for a few days. I had been smoking occasional cigars, which I have for a long time. But now, with this wave, it seems my nerves were reacting to the nicotine, and in some weird ways. It took awhile to identify the cigars as trigger. I stopped the cigars, and within a week I was ok. So it's always a learning process. I bet that in a few months, once this wave is over, I may enjoy the occasional cigar again. We'll see.

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

Link to comment

 

 

lol - goodnight and thanks for stopping by!  :lol:

I wanted to stop by yesterday, but was a bit busy...I am finding your journey fascinating, the way you try to get better understanding and meaning...

I think we all are in our individual journeys to recovery. But it is great to do it in the group and share our experiences...Although, it would be much nicer just to meet up and don't share this experience...

 

I struggle the most at present in accepting what happened, that I did not know until now...and as you can see my AD story is so long. I guess I have always been in a state of WD...

So, will I ever recover???

I also struggle, that I cannot do any repairs in the past. I am left with what is present...

 

I see from your time line that you had time of severe tiredness...This is what I am dealing with at present...I don't know how to deal with this, as I need to restart working tomorrow...I am really worried that I will fail...But I may be also tired from not doing much. I have been of work for three months, mostly sitting at home. Each time I got out  feel more energised, so maybe there is hope for me?

 

What is CT?

 

 

Yes, I too wish we could all meet for a different reason than sharing this misery!

 

I was sick for so many years without knowing what was causing it. So when I finally found out that it was the Prozac and the Lexapro - I was actually THRILLED to finally have figured it out. It took a while to sink in - I had to make sure that the SSRIs were the culprit. I had ruled out so many other possble causes.

 

Clearly, all my symptoms this whole time were due to these drugs. after reading so many stories of other people going through the exact same thing as me, the conclusion was undeniable. So at first I was thrilled to finally know, that I did NOT have some terrible chronic illness, that I did NOT have a nervous breakdown simply from life. It was an outside agent, a POISON that took me down. 

 

After the euphoria, the "eureka!" moment of knowing what had harmed me - then the anger and outrage followed. How could this happen in modern society? I was raised to trust doctors - how could they have been so, so negligent and reckless by dishing out these poisons? And how do they continue to get away with it? The answers to those questions are also clear, and a topic for another discussion.

 

I had a few years of severe fatigue, and I was working full-time in a highly stressful job. I thought I would not make it, but I did. I clawed my way through it. 

 

I would actually draw a mini-calendar of the next three days, and carry it with me. I would write out for each day what I had to do. I tackled life in blocks of three, four or five days at at time. I couldn't handle staring at a monthly calendar. Too daunting. I would X-off each day once I got through it. Each day X-d off was a mini success. Hooray! I got through a day.

 

And that was for a few years, thinking I would be like that forever, yet holding out some hope that someday I might recover, but having no reason to believe that. At least you have a reason to believe you may get better in the future, because you made it HERE. Now you know what has caused your misery, and how to stop the damage and recover.

 

My years long ordeal with unrelenting fatigue is GONE, it is over. I hope the same for you. Your journey will be your own, based on your genetic make-up, lifestyle, and drug history - like you said!

 

YES, we are stuck with what has happened to us. It is our reality. Yet, I have had days where I felt as good as I did before I ever took SSRIs.  You can just imagine how thrilled I feel on those precious days. I just cry. It all comes out. The suffering, The pride of having toughed it out. I count my blessings. There are so many people with so much worse afflictions. Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. 

 

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal. This WD process has a timetable of its own. I'm just a spectator,watching my body heal from what poisions I have put into it. But I'm really not just a spectator. I do some things to slow the healing down, by indulging in substances that I know may not help. For instance, I am going through a wave right now where all my nerves are overly sensitive. One day I was hit with chest tightness and palpitations that I never felt so bad before. It lasted for a few days. I had been smoking occasional cigars, which I have for a long time. But now, with this wave, it seems my nerves were reacting to the nicotine, and in some weird ways. It took awhile to identify the cigars as trigger. I stopped the cigars, and within a week I was ok. So it's always a learning process. I bet that in a few months, once this wave is over, I may enjoy the occasional cigar again. We'll see.

 

I was raised to trust doctors as my father was the one! So I was on antibiotics sometimes twice a year...

He used to take lots of meds himself, suffered from depression, alcoholism and I think some personality problems. I suffered from the abuse from him...

My mother believed in doctors as well. She herself takes lots of meds. She would be taking me to doctors and panicking with any cold I got...

 

Because I had prolonged traumatic experiences (physical, emotional and sexual abuse, emotional neglect and witnessing abuse) my autonomous nervous system is weaker anyway...

All my life I struggled with being hypersensitive, questioning my own responses, being tired, etc.

 

I struggle at present with accepting what happened...typical response to kind of shock...I did not see my problem as clearly as now. And at the same time I feel it is quite late for this awareness...awakening...

I wish I was much younger...

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

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You inspire me. I smoke. I'm determined to quit. I know I'll feel better. Maybe my cortisol surges and heart palps will subside. I need to do something different.

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

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