Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ThisTooShallPass

ThisTooShallPass Introduction

Recommended Posts

ThisTooShallPass

Hello All! :)

 

I am glad to have found this website, it has helped me to know that I am not alone in all this craziness and has helped me though some difficult withdrawal symptoms. I finally decided to become a member as I want to talk with others going through similar things. It is important to have support.

 

So here is a bit about my story.

 

When I was in high school, I started having these horrible, disgusting, debilitating violent intrusive thoughts. They mainly seemed to focus on the people I love most, which was so incredibly distressing to the point where I would feel phsyically sick to my stomach. I was so freaked out about what was going on that I barely talked to anyone about it, my doctor included. The most I would say is that I had "bad" thoughts. I eventually told my parents they were violent thoughts. I wanted medication because I thought that was the answer. I didn't consider therapy because I didn't want to talk to anyone, I feared I would be put in a mental institution. The doctor diagnosed me with GAD as I of course had high anxiety due to the OCD thoughts, and put me on Lexapro. I was on this for 7 years, gradually tapering by 5 mg increments this whole time, purely because I knew I didn't want to be dependent on medication for my entire life. The Lexapro did take my thoughts away, although I have a suspision that they were still there in the back of my mind and the medication just made me not notice them? Sounds weird but idk. After being completely off Lexapro for a month or two (after tappering in a sporadic, almost cold turkey method from 5 mg), I had a severe panic attack. Before the attack being off the Lexapro, I actually felt better in ways. I felt i could feel real emotions such as being truely in love with my boyfriend. I had libido for what felt like the first time ever, it was intense. And this made me happy because i felt like I was feeling real human emotions! But after the panic attack, I was in a constant severe state of panic, anxiety, and psychosis. I honestly have no idea how I didn't miss a day of work due to all this. Finally after a couple of weeks I put myself back on low doses of the Lexapro until I could get into my doctor. She recomended going to 10 mg so that is what i have been on for about a week and a half, started on May 27th, 2015. I've had times of starting to feel better but have still been struggling. Feeling doom and darkness often, some derealization/depersonalization, and return of the awful intrusive thoughts, they are constant and debilitating. They make me so sad and I feel like a horrible person for having them. And I've been dealing with the fear of acting out on them, even though I know I never will it is a debilitating fear. I read the book "The Imp of the Mind" by Lee Baer, and that helped me to know I am not alone in my fears, I would definitely recommend it to anyone going though this sort of thing.

 

My boyfriend said that for a very short time after coming off of the Lexapro completely that it was like he could "see" me. Like he could see the real me for the very first time. I realized then that the meds seemed to make me a complete zombie. I also have been realizing multiple negative thought patterns that I have been practicing that I didn't even realize on the medication. No wonder I have become such a miserable person! It was as if the medication made me unable to think for myself, have opinions or make decsisions.

 

Has anyone else felt this way on an antidepressant? I want to taper off for good once I stablize on 10mg, but the hellish withdrawal symptoms are the worst thing I think I may ever experience in life.

 

Also, does anyone else struggle with violent intrusive thoughts? I want to connect with others going through the same thing and also to let you know that you are not alone!!

 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this!

 

Hope, peace, and love to you <3

 


Started taking Lexapro in 2008 for intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Have been on it for about 7 years. Went from 20 mg for a couple years, to 15 mg for a couple years, to 10 mg for a couple years. Finally went to 5 mg in probably either 2013 or 2014, I never kept great track of what I did. Late in 2014, took 5mg every other day rather than every day. Then, just took it whenever I thought to, I got really careless with it. This is BAD. DO NOT do this. When one day I realized I hadn't taken it for awhile, I stopped completely. Had milder withdrawal symptoms for 1 or 2 months and then had a horrible panic attack. Experienced panic, severe constant anxiety, psychosis for about 2 weeks until going back on to 2.5 mg for 5 days. Then 5 mg until I could see my doctor. Doctor put me back on 10 mg and that is where I am at since May 27th, 2015.

Share this post


Link to post
ThisTooShallPass

Also I wanted to add that I feel terrible because my boyfriend was expressing to me how hard it has been on him to basically live with a zombie the past four years of his life. It has taken a huge toll on him and it hurts to see him hurt and see how negatively this has been affecting our relationship for a long time.

 

Has anyone else had relationship difficulties due to an antidepressant medication?


Started taking Lexapro in 2008 for intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Have been on it for about 7 years. Went from 20 mg for a couple years, to 15 mg for a couple years, to 10 mg for a couple years. Finally went to 5 mg in probably either 2013 or 2014, I never kept great track of what I did. Late in 2014, took 5mg every other day rather than every day. Then, just took it whenever I thought to, I got really careless with it. This is BAD. DO NOT do this. When one day I realized I hadn't taken it for awhile, I stopped completely. Had milder withdrawal symptoms for 1 or 2 months and then had a horrible panic attack. Experienced panic, severe constant anxiety, psychosis for about 2 weeks until going back on to 2.5 mg for 5 days. Then 5 mg until I could see my doctor. Doctor put me back on 10 mg and that is where I am at since May 27th, 2015.

Share this post


Link to post
clearday

Welcome -

 

Sorry to hear that you're having difficulty coming off Lexapro.

 

I also had difficulty coming off Lexapro, but my withdrawal symptoms are getting much better as I heal over time. It's a long road.

 

It's nice to know that your boyfriend recognized the "real you" during that window after you stopped.

 

We are there, underneath our withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Here is someone who has similar symptoms as you do:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7904-martina23-lyrica/


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  

Share this post


Link to post
JanCarol

Hey This Too - Welcome to SA!

 

I'm sorry you are having troubles - I need to leave my computer for a few hours, but I'll leave this up and get back to you just as soon as I can.


"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!

Share this post


Link to post
JanCarol

Hey again, Shall Pass (I do love your handle),

 

Lots of us have had "effects" from these drugs.  The link that ClearDay sent you is of someone else who has obsessions, and must cope with them daily. It is actually a difficult read, but you might contact her directly to share your experiences.  You are not alone.   I would recommend, rather than reading Martina's thread, that you look at non-drug ways of coping with your thoughts and feelings:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

There are a number of meditations, and ways of "changing the channel" that can help.   Change the Channel - dealing with Cognitive Symptoms   Many of us do yoga, or watch meditation videos on YouTube.  There are many resources available on this site, as well as on http://beyondmeds.com - a sister site.

 

You have been very careful with your tapers, and that is rare.  You are also aware of what "intermittent dosing" can do to you!  You've learned some of the hard lessons, already.  And you are well on your way to understanding your thoughts - I just ordered the book you quote, it sounds brilliant!

 

The drugs will "smooth" and "flatten" things out - leaving you detached, or as your partner said, "like a zombie."  So many people find that their lives are indeed, easier on the drug.  But some people find that the complications from long term use are not worth it, and many of us have lost our health and years of our lives because of these drugs.  I sense that you are trying to make a decision, whether to continue or not.  How can we help?

 

I'm not sure if this applies, or not - but this woman, hears voices.  I know you say you don't hear voices, but the thoughts are intrusive, aren't they?  What if they are coming from a place of meaning?  This woman, Eleanor Longden, learned to hear the meaning behind the words, and was able to take control of her life.  She doesn't drug or numb the intrusions - she listens to them, and uses them for guidance.  Have a listen to her - and if this does not apply, then tell us how your experience is different.  https://www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head?language=en

 

You are not alone.   I used to think I was "possessed by the devil" because my family was religious and I was different from them.  I thought that my urges and stuff weren't "from Jesus" so they must be from the Devil.  This is very black and white thinking.  Maybe it's more like a rainbow? A prism?   I later learned, that, maybe I am genetically different - and maybe some of the things about my childhood were stressful for me - but we all muddle along the best we can.  This body, this brain, this family, don't come with a User's Manual!

 

Now that I'm an old fart, the urges are much weaker - I've been drained by the drugs and don't have anything left over for drama or action.  I cannot work.   Most of my inappropriateness falls out of my mouth.  But the people who love me, somehow forgive me, and recognize me for the strange bird that I am.  I'm trying to come off medication totally.  And it's frightening, because there's a very real possibility that I'm one of the few who is actually "disordered," (at least 4 generations of madness behind me, genetically)  who really might "need" the drugs "for life."  But I've decided that I don't want to be 70 years old and numb and drooling - I want to live for whatever life I have left!  But that is my choice.

 

A number of factors which may have contributed to sending me over the edge were - commonsense at the time.  An adopted child with allergies, given antihistamines, becomes extremely rebellious at teenage, perhaps not processing vitamins properly, several traumatic events, extreme behaviour (some of it extremely degrading) and drug use as a young adult, divorce, smashing of dreams, and always seeming to do exactly the wrong thing.  Am I crazy?  Or just another human trying to struggle with the cards I've been dealt?

 

I like your description that the thoughts were still there - you just couldn't hear them.  I felt like I was wrapped in sheep's wool.  I could feel nothing, it was dark and warm and it was oh-so-safe except I couldn't feel anything and so lost complete motivation and pleasure (anhedonia).  

 

Two things that we recommend to nearly everyone are:  Magnesium    and Omega-3 fish oil    They seem to help the brain heal from the drugs.  There is a limit to what we can do over the internet - we can't see you, we don't know what your life looks like - but there have been many people helped to take better control of their mental wellness through this site.

 

What do you want?  Do you want off the Lexapro?  Are you feeling better on it?  Was there an awareness you found on the lower doses that you miss when you are on it?  Was there a safety in the drug, a peace of mind that you wonder how you will find without it?  What do you want?

 

Again, welcome!


"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!

Share this post


Link to post
Marta

Hi!

My story is kind similar of yours......

3 weeks after quitting cipralex ofter 2yr half (kind of lexapro I think): creepy super huge painc and anxiety....never had it before....I still have them and other horrible physicsl symptoms...I'm so scared.

Also my doctor said to return to it but I'm taking it again 10mg maybe too fast and I'm feeling totally destroyed, I suffer a lot physically and mentally.

I want to quit this poison!!!!!!

 

Oh, when you say "I felt i could feel real emotions" I totally agree, also my fiancee noticed....but now my life is destroyed again   :( 


Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can SURVIVE!06/2012 - 02/2015 CIPRALEX 10mg (for master degree last year deep stress and abdominal pain somatization) 02/2015 - 04/2015 tapering from 10mg to 0mg for 4/3 weeks FREE feeling totally "normal" then SUDDENLYnever-had-before huge anxiety, burning skin sensation, painc, fear, not able to cry, never-had-before insomnia, totally lost appetite, little loss of vision in one eye, sweating, chest pain, short breath, restlessness, accelerated heartbeat for ONE MONTH ZERO IMPROVEMENT30/05/2015 CAN'T bear anymore => reinstated 8mg 06/2015 same symptoms (my GP gave me also benzo for anxiety but I threw them away) 07/2015 same, few tiny improvemets 08/2015 general improving + trying a phosphate supplement (LOW dose) 09/2015 quite stable (supplement finished, no effect) 10/2015 start tapering 7mg 11/2015 6mg 12/2015 5mg 1/2016 4mg 2/2016 4mg 3/2016 3mg (hopefully) ->fail back to 4mg AGAIN....8/2016 3mg stable<p>

Share this post


Link to post
Dan998

Hi ThisTooShallPass,

 

The early stages of cold turkey are particularly cruel. It seems like you've got your life back and then, wham, all hell breaks loose. Try not to think of this as a negative, more like a re-awakening of your brain, for a brief time, before the full effects of withdrawal kicked in. This should give you some hope that the real you is still in there somewhere. A taste of the good things to come once you're finally off the drugs. 

 

I'm pleased that you are starting to stabilise after re-instating. You will be in a difficult phase at the moment, getting both withdrawal and side effects. It can be hard to untangle which is which, but you should start to feel almost human again soon. It has taken me six weeks to get over the horror of cold turkey. I'm still not back to anything resembling normal, the anxiety comes and goes, as do the crippling headaches, brain fog, memory problems and insomnia. These are all slowly getting better, it's three steps forward, two steps back. 

 

You will probably have to deal with lethargy, anhedonia and emotional blunting now that you are back on the lexapro. It seems so unfair to have to become a zombie again. But, the alternative would probably have been many months or years of terrible withdrawal symptoms. 

 

The violent intrusive thoughts must be terrifying. I've no experience of those, I tend to magnify small problems and catastrophise. I think you are right when you say that these drugs only mask our problems. We'll still have to deal with our issues, and rebuild our lives, once we are off them. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, right now it's about getting stable enough to begin the process of tapering.

 

There are some wonderfully supportive people on this site who will help you through the difficult days ahead. We are all going through this together. 

 

Good luck with your journey.


2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

 

I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

Share this post


Link to post
ThisTooShallPass

Thank you all for your replies! I haven't been on this site since a few hours after I posted this last year. I was in such a bad state that I am not sure what happened. Anyway, I really appreciate your replies and support. I will have to look at your suggested links. I have been back on 20mg of Lexapro since about July 2015. Feeling infinitely better than last year, however still struggling with some depression, which I realized I think I had all along and didn't realize. Sometimes I wonder if the medication caused me to be depressed? And of course with what I went through psychologically it threw me into depression. I feel it's important to mention that not only was I going through withdrawal at this time, but I ate one of those hard candy marijuana edibles.  I think that this combined with my withdrawal symptoms is what caused my panic attack, that literally lasted for a few months. I went to counseling for awhile which did help. I think more than the Lexapro, just taking a look at my patterns of thinking and taking better control of my mind is what pulled me out of this mess. I still would like to wean off the Lexapro in the near future, but this time I will stay away from marijuana at all costs while tapering!

 

JanCarol, you mentioned anhedonia. I didn't realize there was a word for this, but this is exactly what I have always been battling while ON the medication, and I have been on if for the majority of my life that I have in my memory. I complain about wanting to do something better with my life because I don't like the job I am stuck at. I have plans to better my life, ideas of what I want to do, yet it is SO HARD for me to get up and do those things. I am so lazy all of the time and it makes me depressed. Because there are things I know I want to do, but I don't want to do them enough to make myself do them, if that makes sense. It is soo hard for me to motivate myself outside of things I have to do (like going to work). It's difficult for me to even do basic chores. I am trying to push myself a bit more. It is hard to know whether it is me or the medication. I think it must be both because I don't think all problems like this can be blamed on medication, even if it does make the problems worse. I feel I am getting a bit better just by changing my attitude and mind set.

 

Anyway, thank you all for your kind words. :)


Started taking Lexapro in 2008 for intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Have been on it for about 7 years. Went from 20 mg for a couple years, to 15 mg for a couple years, to 10 mg for a couple years. Finally went to 5 mg in probably either 2013 or 2014, I never kept great track of what I did. Late in 2014, took 5mg every other day rather than every day. Then, just took it whenever I thought to, I got really careless with it. This is BAD. DO NOT do this. When one day I realized I hadn't taken it for awhile, I stopped completely. Had milder withdrawal symptoms for 1 or 2 months and then had a horrible panic attack. Experienced panic, severe constant anxiety, psychosis for about 2 weeks until going back on to 2.5 mg for 5 days. Then 5 mg until I could see my doctor. Doctor put me back on 10 mg and that is where I am at since May 27th, 2015.

Share this post


Link to post
ThisTooShallPass

Marta, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I felt completely destroyed too and was terrified beyond belief. There are truly no words to describe the feelings, and I feel like your feelings must be similar to what I went through.I was afraid that my mind was completely broken and wondered if it would never be fixed. But this only exacerbated the problem. And it DID get better! It always will. Stay strong, and know that there are tons of people who love you and want to see you better. You will get there! When it comes to these things, thankfully nothing lasts forever. You will find a way to get better, where there is a will there is always a way.


Started taking Lexapro in 2008 for intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Have been on it for about 7 years. Went from 20 mg for a couple years, to 15 mg for a couple years, to 10 mg for a couple years. Finally went to 5 mg in probably either 2013 or 2014, I never kept great track of what I did. Late in 2014, took 5mg every other day rather than every day. Then, just took it whenever I thought to, I got really careless with it. This is BAD. DO NOT do this. When one day I realized I hadn't taken it for awhile, I stopped completely. Had milder withdrawal symptoms for 1 or 2 months and then had a horrible panic attack. Experienced panic, severe constant anxiety, psychosis for about 2 weeks until going back on to 2.5 mg for 5 days. Then 5 mg until I could see my doctor. Doctor put me back on 10 mg and that is where I am at since May 27th, 2015.

Share this post


Link to post
ThisTooShallPass

And JanCarol,

 

I also came from a religious family, it is crazy how what I went through last year with the panic attacks changed my mind on so many things. It made me see the world differently, and I am not sure that I really believe in what I was taught growing up anymore. I never was 100% sold on it anyway. But anyway, I think that this religious background helped to make my intrusive thoughts worse to me. I felt extreme guilt because I feel like so much of what I was taught growing up inflicted guilt, because if you were not doing or thinking things the "right" way, then you are supposed to feel guilty. So definitely was not helpful for my mental issues. I am glad I recognize that now.

 

And in answer to your questions, "Was there an awareness you found on the lower doses that you miss when you are on it?  Was there a safety in the drug, a peace of mind that you wonder how you will find without it?" Yes, the way I described my boyfriend saying he could "see me" while off of the medication, that was a huge awareness which is mainly what is driving me to want to taper off again at some point. I feel like the medication is helping to be a barrier between us and our relationship. However it has gotten better, since we have both come to an understanding of where each other is coming from. But I still want to feel real feelings again, everything feels so dull and lifeless on the medication. I have almost no motivation, but I also don't really remember if I had motivation before I ever was on it, I've been on it for so long. So I don't know if that is the medication causing it or just my own laziness. Also, I am afraid of getting off the medication again as I am scared of my intrusive thoughts coming back as strong as they were. It is the most difficult thing I can imagine ever going through. But I feel that I can be more prepared this time, knowing how difficult it may be, and that gives me a little peace of mind, knowing that I made it through this once before! :)


Started taking Lexapro in 2008 for intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Have been on it for about 7 years. Went from 20 mg for a couple years, to 15 mg for a couple years, to 10 mg for a couple years. Finally went to 5 mg in probably either 2013 or 2014, I never kept great track of what I did. Late in 2014, took 5mg every other day rather than every day. Then, just took it whenever I thought to, I got really careless with it. This is BAD. DO NOT do this. When one day I realized I hadn't taken it for awhile, I stopped completely. Had milder withdrawal symptoms for 1 or 2 months and then had a horrible panic attack. Experienced panic, severe constant anxiety, psychosis for about 2 weeks until going back on to 2.5 mg for 5 days. Then 5 mg until I could see my doctor. Doctor put me back on 10 mg and that is where I am at since May 27th, 2015.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy