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Pieuw & the Lexapro-monster


pieuw

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm new to this forum, but I have read topics all day, and feel really encouraged by it. It's good to know that I am not the only one having to go through this!

 

My AD history is in my signature: it looks pretty simple when I read it, but the last few weeks, it seems to have become my own personal hell.

Unfortunately, my doctor has no idea what he is talking about. Now, I thought I was tapering slow enough. Seems that is not the case...

 

My main issues are the recent anxiety attacks: these only occured when I tapered from 2mg to 1,5mg, about 3 weeks ago. These are the reason that I have come to this forum. I drag myself to work, but this anxiety prevents me from functioning (& sleeping) normally. 

As I quickly read some topics: would it be wise to reinstate a 2mg dose again to make my brain settle down a bit? I am not in a hurry to taper, yet I am very determined to quit Lexapro, especially after reading these topics and realizing what a nightmare these drugs are.

 

If I have posted this question in the wrong topic, please excuse me!

 

I will try to give a more detailed description of my tapering/WD process as soon as I can, though it is only now that my eyes have opened and I see what has happened to me all these months.

 

Thanks in advance for your helpful reactions! (and for trying to read my bad English ;-)

 

Pieuw x

 

 

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

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LoveandLight

Hi welcome to this forum :). Your English is great!

 

Someone with more experience will be along soon..

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • Administrator

Welcome, P.

 

Yes, you are correct, most likely going back to 2mg escilatopram would be helpful. You might want to stay there for some months to give your nervous system time to recover from drug changes.

 

Then, you might very, very carefully go off by 10% per month, see Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA pieuw, your English is fine and this is the right place to post, thank you for starting an introduction topic and for filling in your signature.

 

I'm sorry you have been struggling with bad symptoms the last few weeks, from what you wrote, it does sound like withdrawal.  It looks like you have been tapering too fast.  For some people, as the dose gets lower, it becomes more difficult and you need to slow your taper down.

 

You are not alone with having a clueless doctor, most of them don't know how to taper safely.

 

We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.  Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)

 

If your symptoms are still getting worse, or at least not getting better, I agree that it would be a good idea to go back up in dose a little and then hold for at least a month, maybe longer until your body settles down again.

 

Its good that you are not in a hurry.  A slow taper will not only minimize withdrawal symptoms, it will give you the best chance at getting through the post-withdrawal year or two without having to go back on the drug.

 

When you have stabilized again, and are ready to continue your taper off Lexapro, please use our save 10% method.  Here is the link to our lexapro tapering topic:

 

http://survivinganti...o-escitalopram/

 

I see that Alto already replied while I was typing, I'm glad we both agree on the fact that going back up to 2mg would be a good idea.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide.  Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petunia.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone for your quick responses!

I will updose from today on and see where that gets me. 

Fingers crossed!

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  Pieuw ,  welcome to the site.    My only additional thought to the above is that you may want to stop the Supradyn for a week or so.    Many people

find multivitamins stimulating during withdrawal , and you don't want to exacerbate anything just now.

 

Good to have you on board ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  Pieuw ,  welcome to the site.    My only additional thought to the above is that you may want to stop the Supradyn for a week or so.    Many people

find multivitamins stimulating during withdrawal , and you don't want to exacerbate anything just now.

 

Good to have you on board ,  Fresh

In particular a lot of us find B vitamins particularly stimulating. Can you get a formulation of magnesium all by itself? We generally find in withdrawal it's best to take supplements that have only one ingredient so if there's a problem it's easier to sort out what might be causing it and what's still okay.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Thanks for the advice on the vitamine B and other supplements.

 

I am a bit desperate for the moment (probably because of all the anxiety and because I'm not the most patient person): I am really worried that updosing will not work for me and that this anxiety will last forever. I have only updosed since yesterday though...  When is it likely for me to feel if this will work?

I am also thinking about getting back to 10mg (the full dose) just to make this all go away. 

 

I am sorry to say that I am not so brave and a warrior like some people are... 

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi pieuw ,    my understanding is that it takes four days after updosing to reach a steady state in your blood , so hopefully you will notice some improvement

within the week.

 

Going back to 10mg could be way too much for your highly sensitized nervous system , you risk having a bad reaction.  Hopefully you can get stable on a lot

lower dose , so it will be less to taper from when you're ready to do that.

 

You ARE a warrior pieuw . . . I can see it in your signature.

 

 

Fresh  <_<

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thank you Fresh, for believing in me. It brought tears to my eyes (but I am happy that at least I can cry :-) )

 

I must admit I already had "windows" yesterday and this afternoon, which give me a necessary break. I realize I am very lucky with this, more lucky than some of you, and I am very grateful for it.

Really strange though, these windows, because this morning I was going on a hike with my horse, which normally gives me a good feeling (no matter how downI am), and I was thinking about easy ways to commit suicide... 

 

My problem with having a windows is: when I am in one, I think "I have to hang on to this feeling as long as I can", and while/because of thinking this, I slide back into my old fears... It's like a vicious circle? I am scared to let my thoughts run loose, because they seem to penetrate even in the windows, and drag me back to the dark side. I really feel like I'm ruining everything for myself, and that feels like a too big of a responsibility to bear.

 

Does anyone have tips on how to break this circle?

I try to apply some CBT, which says: "they're only thoughts", and "accept that a window will come and go", but it really feels like I am sabotaging myself :-/ And then I become desperate and think that I will never do fine, because even when I have a window, I mess it up! :-(

 

Nevertheless, I try to be grateful for every 5 minutes of window that is granted to me...

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I know what you mean piuew. 

  

When I had akathisia and couldn't lay down for weeks ,  I considered it a window when I was able to lay my body down for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.  Ok , the windows were pretty grubby , but I held onto them cause that was all I had.

When you're really better , you won't have intrusive thoughts in your windows . . . you won't be thinking about death and dying and all the other stuff.

 

It's great to hear you've had a good response to the updose.

 

In the meantime , check out the section on Symptoms and Self Care - lots of helpful ideas and resources which help you to coral your mind like you do your horse.

Don't let it run wild and free.  Give it things to concentrate on and calm it.

 

Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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NowhereMan76

As a survivor of quitting Lexapro the only thing I can offer is to remember it's not going to kill you.  Well at least it didn't kill me... yet.  This last stint of Lexapro, I used it for approximately 4 years straight.  It took just over 2 years for the on again, off again, symptoms to stop.  Windows came and went along the way, but then one day it all just seemingly went away.

 

I know many people believe in the 10 percent rule, and it probably is a good thing.  I didn't exactly know about it, and certainly didn't follow it since I didn't know, and in the end... as most success stories attest... it's all about time.  If you are doing CBT with a counselor, you should certainly continue.  I did that up until 3 months ago, and the CBT makes you feel a little more sane, assuming that the counselor isn't harping on the fact that this can't be happening to you even though it really is.  

 

Just try and remember that it's not going to kill you.

---

Started in June 2004 - Lexapro 10MG

Off and on from 2004 to 2008 - Lexapro 10MG

October 2008 - Lexapro 10MG

Late April 2012 - Lexapro 5MG

Late August 2012 - Cold Turkey

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After the usual morning dread - which always surprises me, since yesterday I had a large window and I finally had a normal night of sleep - I had a day of feeling almost normal. Wow, what a relief! 

I can't believe that just a day ago, I was in really dark places...

 

With my therapist, I have thought up a "mantra" for myself, which in my case is (free translation): "I am who I am. I am alright, being who I am. I trust in the course of life. Therefor I am safe."

When I get a window like today, I truly believe that this is what meant by "trust in the course of life". Life knows when to give you something that you are in need of. I find this a really calming thougth.

 

I have also made use of this window to observe my "normal thoughts". Fresh, you are right: when our brains works the way it should, intrusive thoughts do not even get a chance. It is like my brain is neutralizing these anxious or negative thoughts without any intervention of me. Even if I would try, I cannot "think" myself into anxiety.  I'm glad it still works, good brain! :-)

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
LoveandLight

Haha that's great :). Totally know what you mean..life seems much simpler w/out the constant intrusive thoughts,,which I thought were 'just who I am'..

Yes good brain :)

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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NervousKitten

Yay for the normal night of sleep pieuw! That's great news as sleep is so important to our recovery. It sounds like you have a good therapist to help you sort through some of the intrusive thoughts and that you have good tools to use to stop the thoughts.

 

Something that helps me when I go to dark places is to shift my focus from the intrusive thoughts to what I'm actually doing. Instead of, "I can't stop thinking this terrible thought" I say, "I'm walking. I'm lifting my foot up and putting it down." This puts my thoughts back in the present.

1999 Prozac with occasional Xanax 

2002 Effexor Xr with occasional Valium

2010 Off Effexor (slow taper)

2010 Prozac rx to help with Effexor withdrawal. Activating, so stopped.

2011 Zoloft rx

2013 Zoloft stops working after a few increases, decide to stop taking it

2013 October last Zoloft dose after a 6-9 month taper

2014 January, April, May, June ER inducing anxiety attacks

2014 June Ativan prescribed as needed. Last taken Nov 2014, but still have pills just in case

 

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*topic moved from symptoms section

 

Hi everyone,

 

I was having some windows the last few days, yet it seems my luck has run out... since there is a huge deadline coming up in my job. All the stress that I have been trying to avoid, is now very present again.

I wonder how most of you deal with work-related stress?

 

For me, the main problem is that I have a profound feeling of failure at work, even for tasks that I already did a hundred of times. I am also a perfectionist. I believe that what I do is never enough. And that when I make a mistake, I will surely be fired. Like most women, I also am familiar with the "Imposter-syndrome"... This combined, made me crash 5 years ago into a one-time anxiety attack, which lasted for 5 days in a row (because I didn't know what was happening to me), and for which my doctor prescribed me Lexapro. 

Since then, I have been working a bit on this unhealthy work-attitude of mine, but since the Lexapro did his job, me and my therapist didn't really work on this any further.

 

However, since this feeling of failure is now mixed up with w/d-anxiety, I am now truly paralyzed at work. 

I want to avoid the stress from deadlines, and I want to avoid the feeling of failure because it gives me stress... It is difficult enough already to have a feeling a failure, but now it feels like it is magnified. I want to work on my work-attitude so that it makes me more confident and at ease in what I do, but it seems like an impossible job when beeing in w/d.

 

Does anyone else has experienced these work-related issues, and how do you deal with it? 

How do you manage to keep doing your job in a decent way, but not get stressed out too much by it, to prevent you from healing?

 

I really fear that my healing will never even come into sight as long as I have these pessimistic thoughts about my working performances. Or is this - again - part of w/d...?

 

Thanks x

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post

That's interesting NervousKitten, I should indeed read a bit more about mindfulness, or maybe the Power of Now by Tolle...

 

The intrusive thoughts are really giving me a bad time, though. Sometimes these are the only things that prevent me from having a window for the rest of the day. :-( So I really feel as though I am preventing myself from feeling OK.

 

Or maybe... this is my underlying condition for which I needed to take Lexapro in the first place (I remember telling myself to the doctor "that I couldn't stop thinking anymore").

The same goes for the constant "what-if"-thougths that I have: how can I ever determine whether these are caused by w/d, or that this is my normal issue (general anxiety) and I should apply all my learned CBT-techniques on them. (which is tricky in itself, because real w/d-anxiety seems to be immune for CBT-counterthinking)

 

Anyone has an opinion on that? Pffff... I shouldn't want to wrap my head around this, but I guess that is part of w/d-messed-up-brain too.

 

And I am not even experiencing physical symptoms, like some of you poor sweethearts. So I shouldn't complain too much, although I think I could manage physical symptoms better than mental ones.

 

Good night x

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

We have a thread in 'off topic' which discusses this, here is the link:

 

Anyone have to deal with work while withdrawing?

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to post

Thanks Petunia for showing me around. I'll post my questions there (maybe this topic can be closed then).

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
The same goes for the constant "what-if"-thougths that I have: how can I ever determine whether these are caused by w/d, or that this is my normal issue (general anxiety) and I should apply all my learned CBT-techniques on them. (which is tricky in itself, because real w/d-anxiety seems to be immune for CBT-counterthinking)

 

Anyone has an opinion on that?

 

This is true, you can't think yourself out of w/d, and often, racing, intrusive thoughts are withdrawal.  CBT techniques can help with secondary anxiety, like worrying that we wont recover or thinking that this is something besides withdrawal, things like that.

 

I noticed in your signature that you are taking magnesium with vit B.  Some people find that the B vitamins are too activating for a nervous system sensitized by withdrawal, you may do better with magnesium alone.  See:  Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

 

Something else that may possibly help calm racing thoughts is taurine.  I find it helps with this, and some others do too, but it doesn't work for everyone.  Here is a topic about it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2670-taurine-l-taurine-amino-acid/

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to post

Yay, I was able to take a nap today! This really reminded me of my normal self, who could sleep wherever and whenever she would like.

 

Does it make sense that I am starting to feel like 2 weeks ago? It would really give me some hope and reassurance that I am "on the way up" again...

 

This is the chronology:

weekend 1st of March: started to experience the first W/D symptoms from going from 2mg to 1,5mg on the 14th of February

weekend of 7th March: hit rock bottom --> was adviced here to reinstate 2mg again

this weekend: starting to feel like I did in the weekend of 1st of March again.

 

This looks quite lineair (though I suspect the brain doesn't do lineair). Could I expect more stabilizing as the weeks go further?

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, I think you can expect more stabilizing as time goes along, but I think it will probably be in a roller coaster fashion and not straightforward.

 

You're doing great, pieuw.

 

The obsessive thoughts are typical in withdrawal, and not being able to change your thinking. Often people get stuck in a place where they can't really grasp that it's ever been better and will be better again, and all they can see in their lives is the badness. In that stuck place, it's very difficult to use the tools we ordinarily can access to work with our thoughts. I think it's because the "executive" parts of the brain that we use for that are kind of gone offline due to withdrawal. That's when we cling to the reassurance of others here, and just do what it takes to get through one day to the next.

 

I would anticipate that you are going to continue to have ups and downs but the ups will gradually overtake the downs and in a few more weeks you'll be feeling pretty solid and ready to taper again. At this point you need to find a way to  make smaller cuts; from 2 mg, a 10% cut would take you to 1.8 mg and 5% would be 1.9 mg. (I would recommend the latter.)

 

It's not time to taper yet, of course, but if you're feeling well enough you can start gathering information and resources now.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

Link to post

Thanks Rhiannon. And all of you wonderful people who are helping me here. If you were all living in Belgium like me, I would bake a cake and throw a little w/d-teaparty for you guys ;) So for now: virtual cake!

 

If if if (or when when when) I stabilize again, I will definitely take the 5% option rather than the 10%...

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post

I feel so mentally weak today. I am really afraid that it will stay like this forever because I just can't let it go and just go and live my life.

I am worrying about my mental health every minute of the day. And that makes me so scared that it is "just" my underlying anxiety causing all of this since I do not really have physical symptoms, apart from shivers and insomnia (but which can also be caused by anxiety).

I feel so lost.

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

This is a wave pieuw.    Read the "Windows and Waves" thread. , they always pass.   Look at what you wrote yesterday.    It will be like that again soon , it's

a matter of time.

 

If you click FOLLOW THIS TOPIC at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

You're on the right track , hang in there.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to post

Yeah, I thought so, but do the waves also come when I should be stabilizing after the reinstatement?

I thought the reinstatement would make these waves go away :-(

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

That's the objective , but they won't go away immediately.   Hopefully less intense and with decreasing frequency over the next few weeks , until you're settled again.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

That's the objective , but they won't go away immediately.   Hopefully less intense and with decreasing frequency over the next few weeks , until you're settled again.

 

Yep, what she said. Recovery and stabilizing is typically a roller coaster process. You've had some better moments, even if you can't remember them during the bad moments (which is normal and typical).

 

I recommend keeping a daily journal where you rank your withdrawal symptoms that day on a numerical scale, say 1 to 5. We think our brains will remember accurately but in withdrawal for some reason, they don't. It's good to have this objective information to look back at later. You can also make a note (later when you're tapering) of your dose that day and any big stressors or dietary or supplement changes. The journal will make it easier to track patterns.

 

Have you read our section on neuro-emotions? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/137-neuro-emotion/

 

This phenomenon of not being able to even see that you're doing better, when you hit a wave and things drop down again, is very common. You can't trust your brain. That's why a journal is good. Also if people around you say you are doing better, they are probably right.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

Link to post

I am weighing my options here: could it be that the updose of 0.5mg was too small to make me stable again?
Right now I feel I should go back to my original dose of 10mg if that would make this all go away...
In 4 months time, I have to move to a different city and in 6 months time I have to start a new job. So there is a lot of pressure on me right now, and w/d clearly does not listen to time frames.
I don't want to do anything stupid in a panic, but I want to secure my future as well...

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hi Piew,

 

Ah, waves.  waves.  waves.  (window?) waves.  waves.  Just imagine a dice, at first it is all black.  Every day you roll the dice, and something comes up.  You may have had it before, it may be new.  

 

As you get stable, maybe one side of the dice is painted white, and when it comes up, you can see the dots, and understand, and it is clear.  But the next day there is a 5/6 chance that you will have more symptoms, and a 1/6 chance it will be clear.  BUT - each week that goes by, you get another clear side, and your odds improve.  It's still random, it's never linear - it can depend on so many other intervening factors - like the Vitamin B, or alcohol, or a night without sleep, or stress on the job or in the family.  (these kind of weight the dice against your favor)

 

Maybe it won't be days, it will be hours.  The dice rolls at random times.  Maybe it isn't a 6 sided dice, maybe it's a 20 sided dice.

 

You have only been on 2 mg for just over a week.  Would you say that you see the sky 1 day of the week?  Or part of one day?  Then you are healing.  I think you have seen enough improvement to stay there.  Hold is my favorite word!  If you want to hold for 2 months, you may be having mostly windows.  But don't expect it for awhile yet.  This is a slow process.

 

Adjusting, adjusting, adjusting puts the dice back to all black.  Or, bounces your brain like a rubber ball, and makes it difficult to heal.

 

You can get through this, remember the moment - I like Nervous Kitten's advice:  Now I am breathing, now I am hearing the phone, now I am lifting my foot, now I am cleaning a dish, and then another dish, now I am shaking like a leaf, Now I am breathing.

 

If you want to read Tolle - a lot of people have gotten good from it.  You can watch Tolle videos on YouTube for hours, it may be easier than reading.  

 

Good to meet you pieuw!  You can do this!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

Link to post

Thanks Jancarol.

 

I do feel a window sometimes, but it is really tiny and they seem to have been reducing in quality. So I am really not sure whether the updosing to 2.0mg did anything good (enough), or whether I should go up again.

 

I have been thinking about ending my life throughout the last two days. I don't want to, because it would break my parents' and my husband's heart, but I feel so trapped in this nightmare which is my life. It feels like being in a prison. Is this normal, does this come with withdrawal? Does it go away in time, or is it something that I have talked myself into? Because I have very few physical symptoms, but in my mind there is this stubborn thought that it will never get better, and therefor there is no way out of this except death.

I did not have any suicidal thoughts before, not before taking the Lexapro and not while I was taking it. I really don't understand where this comes from.

 

My parents tell me to hold, and that this is only temporary suffering. But when I read the stories of all these people here, I fear that I will never become stable on this dose, unless I hold it for months or even years.

And that even when healing is happening, I will not notice it, because I am so caught up in despairing that none of this shall ever improve. I am my own worst enemy. How do I deal with that?

 

I'm seeing a pdoc on saturday, and another one on monday. I made these appointments in times of panic. The monday-one has worked with doctor Healy, but she said that since I had updosed, I should have experienced improvement rather quickly (which I think didn't happen, because I have suicidal thoughts now?). 

 

I feel like just a cry-baby here, asking the grown-ups for constant reassurance and help. I'm so sorry for that, I just don't know how to play this dice game. 

 

Thanks anyway, for all your much appreciated support. x

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

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Hi pieuw ,   I'm sorry that you haven't had a quicker response to the updose.

Is the past 2 days the first time you've had suicidal ideation?

Has anything improved at all since updosing - decrease in any symptoms at all?

 

I know it's hard to believe , but the despair is part of withdrawal , it's your mind literally "messing "with you and tricking you.  Of course you feel despairing - who

would want to live like this?

Your parents are right that it's temporary.   Your job now is sit it out , to stay alive.    Otherwise , how will you ever know when you feel like your old self again?

 

Sending you a big hug honey.

 

xxx

 

p.s.  if you click FOLLOW THIS TOPIC at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hello Pieuw,

 

I'm another victim of Lelaxpro (and other things before that). I can recognise many things I have been through in what you write. They have taught me among other things what your parents are telling you: that this is temporary. But when we feel like this, we feel things will never change or only change for worse. These are called neuroemotions. Understanding this and reading about other people's experiences helped me a lot: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/137-neuro-emotion/ Weare all different so there is no point in comparing and getting scared with stories of other people. But if you want to do so, look at me ;) - I feel a lot better now, I work, I enjoy spring (true, I have my own issues but I've been on these drugs much longer than you).

 

After I stopped Lexapro at 2.5 mg (and my other drug at the same time), it took me a few months to get better. This is not your story but I would just like to let you knwo that things can take time. 11 days is not so much time although every day feeling so horrible is too much. The way I knew reinstating was working at first was just because I stopped getting worse. It is possible that all those months of too fast taper are still catching up with you. I would wait with furher updosing because I saw that it's not a particular dose that heals as much as stability over time. 

 

I had a few situations when I felt suicidal and that scared me awfully. And this is a good impulse. Here is our thread on that:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7619-help-for-those-who-are-feeling-desperate-or-suicidal/. I was seeing a therapist (she doesn't know anything about withdrawal but she is learning from me and is very supportive. That's all I need. She told me to write down the numbers of crisis centers on a piece of paper and a close friend I can call. It made me feel better because I felt protected. 

 

You will strat feeling better soon, bit by bit. At the moment it's just important to survive. (And it's ok to be a cry-baby once in a while ;) We've been there and we understand. These are some of the worse things a human being can experience so give yourself some credit for being brave although you don't feel like that. But you are! 

 

Big hug,

Bubble

Current: 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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Your parents are right that it's temporary.   Your job now is sit it out , to stay alive.    

 

Fresh and I have been wriitng at the same time but we reached the same conclusion ;) Once agian tt's great and brave that you are reaching out and sharing with us. But it is also very helpful to have a live support. By the way, my therapist is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist because most of them can only prescribe drugs...

Current: 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi pieuw ,     how have the last couple of days been for you?

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus
pieuw, hello.

 

thanks for checking in, reading some of my thread, and taking the time to write - it's much appreciated. i'd like to clarify however that i've never used lexapro. i tried several drugs, but my core drugs that precipitated my personal withdrawal issues were ativan, xanax, and currently mirtazapine (remeron). 

 

considering your question and in reviewing your thread, i'd probably choose to sit a bit (maybe lot) longer at 2mgs. it looks like you up-dosed to that level a mere 13 days ago if i am reading correctly, and that is a very short amount of time in the scheme of things. i'd give stability a better window of time than that. Alto actually said to give it "some months" at 2mg, which sounds very wise to me. basically, for all the unpleasantness you are experiencing now, sometimes sitting still without making any changes is the wisest move of all.

 

your symptoms sound so unpleasant. i am sorry you are experiencing these withdrawal issues. it is great, although i realize extraordinarily difficult, that you are still managing to work. i did too, and it was probably one of the hardest things ever to maintain a job when withdrawal's special breed of hell is raining down upon us. you will improve.

 

did you see that Rhi and Petu and i think Fresh too had mentioned the stimulating quality of b-vitamins? even now, i must take breaks from my b-vitamins when things get difficult. they activate, and that is no help. it would be an interesting experiment for you to purchase some magnesium, i prefer magnesium glycinate, and take that independent of the b-vitamins. try that for two weeks and see if any of the anxiety-related symptoms subside for you with the b-vitamins out of the picture for the short-term. you might be throwing petrol on the fire by continuing to take the b-vitamins.

 

oh, and i wanted to quickly mention what you are experiencing w/ the CBT - in terms of it seeming powerless against your current fear. that was the same for me. therapeutic solutions to withdrawal problems were not effective for me. however that's not to say that they are useless. in fact, i was able to glean some good coping skills that if anything at least gave me a few more tools for my toolbox when things got hard. and having someone to talk to in a group setting or one-on-one can be reassuring. the acupuncture is also a very good move in my opinion.

 

i'll tell you what the reward of holding when you should, cutting when you should, and managing your symptoms properly is, pieuw. the reward is healing. and further, when you being actually noticing palpable healing from withdrawal (windows), which sometimes takes months or longer to achieve, you will find your life to be far more manageable and richer than you ever thought possible. that has been my experience, even as i still suffer some lingering symptoms from my current cuts. after getting through the tough stuff of withdrawal, the every day stress-nonsense we humans get up to seems temporary and relative and best of all, manageable.

 

the lexapro monster will not prevail! pieuw will!

 

hang in there.

 

dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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