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  1. Hi, I joined this forum today and wanted to introduce myself. All it took was a family trauma to set off my depression/anxiety (my father's inability to stop spending money he didn't have, led to no money and my having to pay for my parents housing etc.,). I have suffered from underlying depression and anxiety for many years but managed to keep a lid on it by exercising and I guess being younger and able to forget the darker stuff by clubbing and going out. Then 6 years ago hubby and I moved to Canada from the UK and I dive-bombed into hell. Daily panic attacks at home and work, I was bullied at numerous work places as well as dealing with the work pressure, feeling of isolation and no support network. Then in June I lost my job and have been more or less house bound with the exception of having to go out to do chores. Went to my doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Feb 2014) - I was on it for 18 months in total and came off it mid-September 2015 after a 3 month taper at 5mg. This happened after I had got a job at a large company (Nov 2013), and I had to take 3.5 months medical leave. Upon my return to work, I was met with resentment and disdain by my colleagues who saw it that I was just looking to get "free vacation" time. This made my life even more hellish - my Manager had wanted to get rid of me upon my return but couldn't by law. I lost my job about a year after returning to work due to redundancy. Since then I have experienced extreme fatigue (had to stop marathon training), intense muscle and joint soreness, weird dreams, tinnitus, headaches, sinusitis, pressure changes in my ears and ear pain, sub-clinical migraines, crying spells, GI issues, heightened anxiety and depression. Despite these things, doctors never seem to find anything actually wrong with me. I honestly feel as though I am in hell - I feel as though someone has taken a photocopy of me and the photocopy is a completely different person (withdrawal). The weekdays are a drag, and I dread them as my hubby is at work. I fear the worst will happen while he is away. I am a total basket case and freak out very easily if there is a withdrawal symptom I don't recognise. If I can survive this, I can survive anything.
  2. hi all, I am not sure how much info you want or need, but the short version is: i have been on lexapro for 13yrs. I believe it was prescribed for me just a few weeks after it became available. I had been on the highest dose of celexa before this. my dose was quickly raised from 20mgs to 30mgs to 40 mgs, where it stayed for many years. My insurance balked at the 40mg dose, saying that over 30mgs was not shown to have any additional effect so about 2 yrs ago, my dose was reduced to 30mgs. I don't even know how many times I have tried to go off this drug. I do not believe it is helping me at all. It seems all I have is the side effecs but no benefit whatsoever. I have had several severe depressions in the past couple of years. I am now commited to getting off this stuff for good. For a lot of reasons that I'm too tired to go into now. I am down to taking about 1/8 of a 20mg tablet every couple of days, or whenever the insomnia and/or feelings of rage get to be too much. I am very lucky, this time I have NOT had any of the brain zaps, nor that feeling of losing my balance, etc. Primarily I am dealing with severe insomnia that may or may not be from going off the lexapro- see, I lost my 17 yr old cat on Nov 29th and I have not been able to sleep much at all since. I think it's a really weird grief reaction, but I don't know, maybe it's partly withdrawal too....? the rages are totally out of character for me. Part of me thinks they are due to extreme fatigue but even when I am not feeling too terribly tired, I will have these "episode" of just terrible anger out of nowhere. it scares me. I think of doing awful terrible things, violent things. I screamed at my doctor's nurse. for no reason, really, I just felt out of control and that she was not hearing me about how bad things are. anyway, I did not know a place like this existed, I've been on forums for ppl with mental illness before and they all get totally freaked out when you talk about going off your meds. I hope I can find some support and help for this and mostly I hope to be able to be OFF of this drug for good! thanks for listening to my long rambling post, off to look around the forum
  3. hello guys, that's my story (coming from Italy, sorry for bad English): I was suggested in October 2014 to take Risperdal 1mg/day for my social anxiety and paranoia...took it for 23 days from November, that day I suddenly felt a great fear of death and a 'strange void' in my head. From that moment (23 November 2014) to present day I have had no emotions, I have lost all my interests, my mind is empty now (very slow thinking), I speak few times only to answer a question, I have no energy or motivation so I'm lying down on my bed all the day. Before taking Risperdal I had some issues with social anxiety and paranoia, but I loved going to gym, walking, thinking freely, reading and gaming. Now I don't have any desire, I also experience discomfort when eating or taking a shower. I read many posts about this like-being dead existence after taking risperdal. Please help, also jim24 your story is similar to mine, please update me on your situation...I will do the same.
  4. Hi, I will try to keep it brief, but I am in desperate need of advice. I am a 34YO Male, my 1st bout of anxiety happened 10 years ago when I experienced a very stressful time in my life. I had my 1st child, started MBA school, and opened my own business all within a 3 month span. Had a panic attack one night, and what followed was a year of high general anxiety, with some intrusive OCDish thoughts sprinkled in. After a year I decided I would give meds a try. Tried Buspar...did nothing except make me dizzy. Tried Zoloft, and this was the magic bullet for me. Felt my anxiety lesson (after a brief increase) after about 3-4 weeks and after a few months I was back to myself. During this time I would have blips (one to two week periods when my anxiety would resurface, usually requiring a dose tweak and then would go back to normal. These would usually happen when I was eating bad, not exercising ect). At the start of my Zoloft experience I at one point got up to 150mgs, but in the last 4-5 years was on the minimum dose of 50mgs after I got generally healthier and added a multivitamin and fish oil supplement. Because of these blips, and the fact I was afraid to go back to the year of anxiety, I stayed on the Zoloft probably longer than I should have. It was 8 years later (October 2016) when I finally said, "heck I don't need these anymore". My prescription ran out and I just decided not to refill it. I went through most of the withdrawl symptoms, some brain-zaps, lots of light-headedness and dizziness, ect. That went away after about 3 weeks and for 3 months I felt great, totally off meds and totally back to normal. At the end of January this year, I started to have another "blip." I wasn't eating healthy and not exercising as much and decided I would be "proactive" and resume the Zoloft at my previous dose of 50mgs to nip it in the bud. This sent my anxiety through the roof but thought my body would adjust so I continued taking them. I was so scared of the increased anxiety though I didn't give it a fair shot and kept increasing and decreasing the dosage from 25 to 50mgs every week or so. Finally got into a p-doc and he gave me Lexapro, 5mgs for the 1st week and 10mgs after that...long story short, it did the same thing as the Zoloft and wasn't much better after 7 weeks. At this point I figured, "wow I wasn't this bad before, I will just go off of these!" Well unfortunately my month of no meds did not return me to my January self, in fact it was probably worse than on the meds! So then the doctor gave me pregabalin, which helped a little, but is crazy expensive and not covered by insurance. So on June 1st I started Paxil, 10 mgs for the 1st week and 20mgs after that, hoping the pregabalin can help me to get on them. I really want to be off meds, but don't think I am mentally able to at this point. It seems quitting the Zoloft cold turkey, then reinstating, I am much more sensitive to these drugs, does that make any sense? So I am hopeful I can eventually give a med (Paxil) enough time that my body will desensitize to it, and I can be on it for a bit to get stable again, then get off. Anybody experienced anything like this? Will my body desensitize? I am so desperate to feel normal again, I am a father of 3 (10YO Boy, 7YO Boy, 3YO Girl), a husband to an amazing wife, and they need their Dad and Husband back! What should I do? Give Paxil the time to desensitize, then get off after a few months? Is the fish-oil supplement that I still take that helped me reduce my dose of Zoloft causing me to be more sensitive? Quit everything and see what happens? Thanks in advance for reading my story and giving any advice or encouragement.
  5. For many reasons, our emotions are on a hair-trigger, amplified, and perseverative. We probably don't even know all of what's going on physically yet, but it includes diminished prefrontal lobe executive functions, rebound amygdala, dysregulated HPA, over-active adrenals, etc. The neuro-emotions include -- neuro-fear neuro-anger neuro-guilt neuro-shame neuro-hurt neuro-regret neuro-self-criticism neuro-grudge-holding ...and more! It is very, very confusing to have these intense neuro-emotions and try to remember that they are not what they appear to be. Emotions are compelling. Emotions during recovery from psych meds are even more compelling. Sometimes, the neuro-emotion is really totally artificial. Some of my neuro-fears have been so unlikely to come to pass as to bear no resemblance to reality or to my personal history. But, I think a lot of the time, part of what makes it so confusing is that there is a grain of reality to the neuro-emotion. For example, some situation might make you a bit angry under normal circumstances, but the neuro-anger is huge. This is when it's very difficult to 1) catch it in the first place and notice this is a neuro-emotion, 2) convince ourselves, yes, this is really a neuro-emotion, not a real emotion, 3) contain the emotion, try not to act on it, or channel the energy into something safe and constructive -- like exercise or journaling or building a birdhouse. Whenever you're having an intense, disturbing feeling, try to remind yourself that, right now -- even if it does have something to do with reality -- it is largely a neuro-emotion that you wouldn't be feeling if you were fully healed. And you *will* be fully healed. It's happening! Get ready!
  6. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  7. Hi Y'all, I have been taking an SSRI since 1993 ????. I was prescribed Prozac for Panic D/O. I am now committed to ending my addiction to this poison. Knowing there are many others that are going through the same process is very comforting. I am grateful for this forum and everyone's contributions. With trepidation and hope.
  8. I'm new here. I have been on various SSRIs for 22 years and depressed since I was at least age 12. I went off the latest SSRI, generic Lexapro, because I have gained 30+ pounds over the last few years, needed at least 12 hours per day of sleep and still wasn't happy. I am on the max of Bruproprion. It doesn't seem to have any unwanted side effects. It is supposed to be at least weight neutral when taken without other drugs. The physical withdrawal effects are brain zaps, ringing in the ears, dizziness and nausea. These aren't 24/7 and they may be subsiding. Hard to say. I tapered from 10mg of Lex to 5mg to 5 every other day. I did this starting beginning mid-June. My struggle is that I fear my depression is returning. I feel like I will never be OK. I also don't want to become anti-psych med or anti doctor but I wonder if I wasted years of my life on meds that never worked or if this is the way it will always be.
  9. Hello everybody. I was on lexapro 20mg for 20 months due to a high stress situation. after months of therapy for stress management I decided to come off lexapro as I felt I had dealt with the issues. Both my therapist and doctor came up with a 6 week taper method . I am now 6 1/2 months off and I am suffering dearly with severe anxiety , fear , depression , and a very odd depersonalized state , plus other symptoms. I know now I tapered way too fast and I am very much past the window for reinstatement. I've had to quit work and can barely function at all. I have noticed that everyday seems like it's getting worse. I used to get windows that were half of a day long , but those have stopped two weeks ago. I'm looking for hope and encouragement as I have a little girl who needs her daddy to be alive. I fear that I'm going to die or become severely disabled for EVER. I'm trying to accept that this will take a very long time to heal from , but I am very very scared that I'll never be the same. I don't take any other drugs , but I do use an ecig with only 1 mg of nicotine. which is about 5% of a regular cigarette. Is it normal to get worse after 6 months off ? Will it get even more worse later ? Does it reach a peak and then get better ? I am very grateful for this site. I only wish I found it before I chose to come off.
  10. Hello all. I'm not sure my signature will show up. I'm on 0.33 mg Lexapro (liquid) and 25 mg Bupropion SR. I have been serious about tapering over the last year. My highest doses were 150mg Bupropion and 20mg Lexapro (2008). I started on Wellbutrin to offset the sleepiness caused by Lexapro. My goal is to get off both drugs, but my tapers over the last year have all been from Lexapro. I've noticed my PMS is much worse than before and in general my lows are much lower now than when I was on higher doses. But otherwise I feel ok most of the time. Questions: Should I focus on quitting Bupropion instead of Lexapro for a while? At what point can I stop taking Lexapro? I've been reducing about 10% with each taper, but this could go on forever. At what point is it ok to end it completely? Thank you in advance for your help.
  11. Hello, I was hoping someone could give me some advice about some severe symptoms I've been experiencing since switching from Lexapro to Prozac and back again. Here is my story: Diagnosed with OCD and depression at 18. Prescribed 60 mg Prozac which I eventually manage to reduce to 30 mg. Continue taking this dose of Prozac for about 20 years. At the end of last year Prozac seems to have lost its effectiveness so I speak to my doctor about switching to Lexapro which I've heard has less side effects. As instructed by my doctor I reduce my Prozac dose to 20 mg for two weeks, wait 5 days without medication, and then start on 10 mg Lexapro. Soon after starting Lexapro I develop some very unpleasant side-effects, most notably heart palpitations and tinnitus. I speak with the doctor who tells me not to be concerned because the side effects are caused by "anxiety". Against my better judgment I continue taking the Lexapro for a total of 25 days. At this point the palpitations are so bad I have to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I wait two days and then reinstate the Prozac at 40 mg. Things seem to be reasonably okay for about 3 weeks before all hell breaks loose. I wake up in the middle of the night with such extreme palpitations and dizziness that I end up in ER. However, the doctors find nothing wrong with my heart, conclude its anxiety and send me home. Two hellish weeks of palpitation induced insomnia and intermittent akathesia follow. During this time I have a number of medical tests but nothing abnormal shows up in the results. The palpitations are worse when I lie down and though they cause some anxiety I am convinced they are not caused by anxiety. It feels like the part of my nervous system responsible for controlling my heart has been physically damaged in some way. When I try to explain this to my psychiatrist and cardiologist they don't understand. The psychiatrist gives me Valium and the cardiologist gives me a beta blocker. None of these seem to make much difference so I'm given some Ambien to help me sleep. I take the Ambien for about 5 nights before I decide I'd rather deal with the insomnia. Eventually I get some kind of sleep, but it is still very fragmented and the palpitations persist. My chest feels really tight as if my heart is being pushed up against my chest bone and the palpitations are worsened by lying down, eating or feeling cold. I lose my appetite and drop from 78 to 69 kgs in weight. I start filming my sleep so that I can show my doctor what happens. The footage shows me suffering from hypnic jerks and muscle twitching. These jerks are accompanied by electric shock like sensations that wake me up. During the day I am still tortured by this uncomfortable feeling in my chest and the ongoing palpitations. It feels like my heart has a mind of its own and has been knocked out of sync with the rest of my body. The tinnitus (a loud, high-pitched ringing) also continues. After 18 years at the same company I have to take sick leave for the first time. I have been off work for a month now and have no idea when I'll be able to go back. I continue to take 30 mg Prozac because I feel things would be even worse without it. During the day I walk because this seems to help with the palpitations. I've started taking Magnesium L Threonate and krill oil supplements. I desperately want my life back.
  12. I am new here as you can see. I need help!! I'm hoping someone can help me get off 10 mg Lexapro. Every time I try to drop to even 9mg, I end up sick to my stomach. I go back up to 10mg and am still sick to my stomach. I have no other symptoms. In my profile is all my information, I don't know how to get it to the bottom of this page. I'm not very good on the computer. Sorry
  13. Hi, I am new to this side, but unfortunately not new to antidepressants. In 2010 I managed to tapper Effexor, which took me more than two years. I made a terrible mistake and around 2 months ago I have started taking escitalopram. I was fulled by a psychiatrist that this is a safest antidepressant, which does not cause any side effects. I have also been on low dose of Doxepin at night to prevent migraines (this has been for over 2 years, but never caused any major problems...) I started on 5mg of escitalopram and I was ok on this, my anxiety stopped, I slept better, etc. Two weeks ago I increased to 10mg and this is when symptoms started. Firstly it was a weird sensation, each morning I was getting "pins and needles" in my arms, this was going away after getting up. Then I started sleeping badly...I wanted to cut back to 5mg, but a psychiatric said that it was only temporary, so I have stay on 10mg. In the meantime, I had a migraine and took my usual triptan; I almost got serotonin syndrom (at least I think)...This was the time I started to read about escitalopram and discovered horror stories... I want to stop this drug! I wonder if I have taken it for so short I could go with a faster than 10% tapper? Can I cut to 5mg straight away? Thank you Ikam
  14. Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  15. Hi everyone. I am new here, and I am so thankful for this forum. I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice or input into what I am going through with Prozac withdrawal right now. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Here is my history with meds: I am a 29 year old female (well, 30 this month). At age 20, in college, I took 5 mg of Lexapro for a year (prescribed 10 mg, but I am very sensitive to meds, so I broke it in half). I weaned off of it very slowly. I took 2.5 mg for several weeks when weaning off, then half of that for a couple weeks, until I was done. Withdrawal for me was miserable, but thankfully the worst of it only lasted for maybe a week or so (it basically made me psychotically enraged at everyone until I was totally off of it). Once I was off of it, I lost weight quickly, I was sleeping better at night, and my only remaining symptom that lasted about 2 years was just this random facial twitching. Then around age 26, I started experiencing horrible panic attacks several nights a week that left me paralyzed in fear and unable to sleep. The panic was situational—I was faced with making some major life decisions, and I felt really stuck, and very alone and depressed and scared of making the wrong decision. I finally decided to try an AD again to see if it would help me to get over my panic attacks, sleep, and move forward. I tried a low dose of Lexapro again; for a few weeks, it worked well and I slept well, then all of a sudden I began having an adverse reaction—the most horrible anxiety and insomnia you could imagine. It was a living hell. I got off of it quickly and switched to brand-name Prozac 10mg. It worked great! I was sleeping well at night, my panic attacks completely stopped, and I took some huge steps forward. I took it for maybe 9 months or so and weaned off of it very easily. A couple years later, after some stressful life events, I felt I should go back on the Prozac for a period of time since it had helped calm me so much in the past, enough to make some changes and move forward. I felt it was harmless since I had no problems on it before and it was very easy to get off of. This was at the end of May of last year (May 2016). Since I have been so sensitive to meds in the past and could do well on a low dose, I started by breaking the Prozac capsule in half and dissolving it in juice and drinking half for 5mg (I used to do this the first time I took it when I felt I didn’t always quite need the full 10 mg, and it worked very well). Part of me was concerned that I may have an adverse reaction (I can’t remember why I was afraid of this, since I had done well on it before) so I thought it was good to begin with 5 mg for a few days/weeks and see how I did. I began experiencing terrible, terrible anxiety in my stomach, as if my stomach was constantly doing somersaults that never stopped. It was also the beginning of horrible, horrible, nightly insomnia. I figured this was just a normal start-up effect, and that it would soon stop once the Prozac built up enough in my system. 8 weeks later, the anxiety and insomnia were as horrible as ever, so I quit the med. I was literally on it for no longer than about 8 weeks. So I was done with it by the end of July of last year. I have been off of it for about 6 or 7 months now, but the anxiety and insomnia are still as horrible as ever. They never resolved, and I don’t understand why. They did not begin until I began the medicine. It is like my body has been tricked into thinking it is still on the Prozac. I also wonder if those symptoms would have gone away had I built up to a high enough dose of the Prozac (I know 20 mg is the lowest therapeutic dose, and I was only taking 5mg). Do you think my anxiety and insomnia will ever be resolved without meds? Could going back on Prozac, only a higher dose, help me? Why would I have done so well on Prozac years ago, only to do horribly on it this time? And . . . why would I still be having symptoms after being off of it for 7 months, especially when I was only on 5mg for 8 weeks? I am really not sure what to do. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks for any input. I am really at a loss.
  16. Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much <3
  17. Hi everybody, Some background on myself. I'm 22 years old, female, and live in Chicago currently, but I'm from New Orleans. When I was seventeen years old and a junior in high school, I was struggling with severe social anxiety (the can't-look-people-in-the-eye kind), disordered eating, and violent attacks of depression coinciding with the beginning of my period every month. My mother had just lost her mother, and was going through her own period of struggle, and we fought constantly about my burgeoning abuse of alcohol and drugs, and my increasingly obvious eating issues. My mother has always struggled with her hormones and periods as well, so she brought me to an OBGYN to talk about options for dealing with these difficult monthly episodes. I think I must've described my issue to this doctor for 30 seconds, a minute tops, and I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg. That easily. My mom was so happy that I was getting some form of help that she cried, but this wasn't exactly the end of it all, as I'm more than sure y'all know. My last year of high school saw a huge improvement in my baseline mood and social life, but my friend circle got further entangled with drug problems, and I lost a friend right before I graduated. I went to a high-pressure, high-anxiety liberal arts college in the Fall. My anxiety "returned," and my dosage of Lexapro was bumped up to 20mg by January. Long story short, it didn't go well and I was hospitalized before finishing out my freshman year. My hospitalization and decision to take time off was about 2 and a half years ago. I've since returned to and "dropped out" of college 2 more times and added Bupropion to my regimen for so-called ADHD. Currently, I live in Chicago and am trying to finish out school here, at a different university than the one I started at. In general, I'm doing a lot better—in all honesty, I think getting some distance between myself and my hard years in high school and growing up a bit (along with getting the hell out of that miserable college) have helped as much as anything. I'm visiting my parents in New Orleans in about a week and a half, and I really want to take advantage of my down time to start tapering Lexapro. I really have no idea how getting off Lexapro will go for me because I've been on it for so long. I've gotten extremely sick from just forgetting to take it for a couple days, so I know I need to do things methodically, and I've been going through this forum and reading up about the safest approaches. My mom and my current psychiatrist are both extremely supportive of my hoping to get off of Lexapro. Hopefully when I get home in August I'll be able to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist and discuss tapering, but I can tell that this forum will be really helpful in the meantime.
  18. Hello all, I am new here even though I have been peeking into the forum for a while. My brief meds history: Diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2012 (which overturned the previous diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome). Initially put on 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro), 10 mg olanzapine and 75 mg Venlafaxine. I was on this cocktail for about two years until I started to relapse regularly every Spring and Autumn. Since end of 2014 till March 2015 I pretty much lived in the psychiatric hospital and ended up with Lexapro 20mg, 200 mg of Lithium, 75 mg Setrline (?) However, Lithium made me feel so unwell I just could not live with it. I got so fed up and told myself enough is enough. Started to read everything there was on depression and one thing that always kept coming up was weak thyroid. I kept dismissing it as my test were fine but eventually I decided to ignore all medical tests, go by my symptoms and started to support my thyroid – mainly through iodine. High dose of B3 also did magic. So started to wean myself off of everything in May 2015. I don’t remember the schedule but by the beginning of August I took nothing. However, at the end of August I discovered I was pregnant only to miscarry few days later. Period of horrible anxiety followed. Not sure if it was the hormonal mess up or just delayed withdrawal but I re-instated full 20 mg of Lexapro. Stayed on it for about a month and then started to wean myself off. I don’t remember how I went from 20 to 10mg but it just shows it was pretty insignificant. End of December 2015 – from 10mg to 5mg Escitalopram – looking back now I was going through withdrawal after that but because I did not have much issues before, I just thought I was getting tired and stressed out with looking for a new job and then the new job itself. My symptoms were mainly physical. End of March 2016 – from 5mg to 0 mg Escitalopram – was ok for few days but then it hit me. Realised I was going through withdrawal – no sleep, tight chest, dizziness, weakness, painful joints and muscles, digestive issues. After 3-4weeks went up to 2.5mg (roughly as cutting the pill). I am on that dose still The thing is, even though I had some mild anxiety and some mild anger and irritability issues, my main symptoms were mainly physical. I had few windows. Actually majority of June was pretty good. However, starting week 16 (beginning of July) and I’m getting seriously anxious and also, had few days where I just had to cry too. So basically, I am freaking out that rather than going through withdrawal, I’m actually relapsing as the physical symptoms are very mild but the anxiety is hitting me biiiiiiiig time. Is this normal? I also realised last week I became gluten intolerant (probably allergic to more things but gluten is quite obvious now) so that probably messed me up quite a bit. So in addition to escitalopram withdrawal I’m probably going through gluten withdrawal too. Or simply relapsing? It’s this insecurity about what is actually happening that is definitely making things more difficult to handle and feeds all the catastrophic scenarios. Could I be relapsing? Really need some reassurance now.
  19. I was on Prozac and amitryptyline for 25 years the last three of those Xanax was apart for Fibromyalgia. A year and a half ago I was in such bad shape , thought I was dying. Mainly from Xanax interdose withdrawals. I started taper of Xanax but I checked myself into a rehab drug detox center as my doctor at the time wanted to add more drugs etc. the center stopped Xanax and Prozac cold turkey . They put me in neurontin to prevent seizure. Needless to say I was in worse shape. Horrific withdrawals. And sensory overload . A few months later I stopped amitryptyline. But couldn't cope. So I was put in lexapro. I was on that the whole time through withdrawals, paws, discontinuation syndrome. Due to side effects if lexapro I tapered off lexapro last February . Which was another horrific withdrawal. It's been 5 months now without any drug and I'm a mess. My brain is toast. I can't even type correctly half the time . I feel so physically sick, depressed, anxious etc. I can't do anything , can't read a book, which I always did, I am physically wasted. Can't do much of anything. I've lost friends , family, my life! I am a shell of who I used to be. Each day I wake up in panic, can't breath etc. will I ever get better, will I ever be normal or sane again, drs say I have to go back on the drugs. I fight it every day. But I'm so alone and afraid . The damage these drugs have done to me is horrific and no one, I mean no one helps me or understands. I feel crazy. I am so afraid of the future and just how much damage has been done to my brain and body physically and emotionally. I am 64. I'm not young any more. Will this horrific nightmare end?
  20. I've been meaning to introduce myself for a while now, but getting myself to sit down and actually write something has been so incredibly hard. I just can't focus. Things I want to say or share come in bits and pieces and are gone by the time I can get on this site. I'very been tapering off Lexapro since August and am down to 10 mg fromy 30. I know it's faster than suggested here, but it seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, I've decided to use Twitter primarily #TweetingMyRecovery. My handle is @AbleWriterSays if anyone cares to join me or follow along.
  21. Hi there everyone, so I've managed to come off Lexapro 10mg with no issues at all (or so I thought). The first week I had the usual Brain zaps and palpitations, which are now thankfully completely gone. I'm now one month into the process and have been having a surge of anxiety which started last week, so the fourth week. I keep feeling like old symptoms are manifesting again, such as: - Feeling my heart beat all the time - Anxiety - I dont want to say depression, but sadness. Is this normal withdrawing from AD, Lexparo specifically? I want to add that, I have some good hours and then some really bad hours. Would really appreciate the advice. Cheers, Sam
  22. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  23. Hi everyone, I want to express my gratitude for this online community. I have returned to this site multiple times over the past six months and have left it *somewhat* more reassured. I am a childhood incest survivor and when I was in high school my mother died and left me behind with my father abuser. At 18, I somehow made it out of my town of origin to attend UCLA. When I was 21, I was hospitalized (UCLA medical system) for 3 months for an eating disorder (bulimia) + suicide attempt and while inpatient, was force-fed prozac 60mgs. About a year or so in on the Prozac, I developed severe irritable bowel syndrome to the point where medical professionals thought that I had Chron's disease. I was given a battery of tests and everything came back negative. For the following two years, I had to drop out of pursuing my undergrad degree at UCLA because I was so severely ill. It was a miracle that I was able to return and complete my B.A. education. At around 25, I moved up to San Francisco and decided to taper off of the Prozac. At the same time, I began teaching 1st grade at a Jewish school and dating a man 20 years my senior and this combination triggered many memories of the childhood abuse that I had pushed down in order "to survive" resurfaced as did severe PTSD. My IBS did go away though. Oh the joys of trading one ailment for another. I was barely able to hold down my job so I sought out a mental health professional who suggested that I start EMDR with her to release some of the trauma I had experienced as a child. The sessions were so/too intense. She suggested that I start Lexapro to buffer/titrate the incredibly difficult material that I was processing. Healing and progress was made. From age 25-34 I have been on 10 mgs of Lexapro. Unfortunately, life has not been much easier these past nine years. In 2010, I was the victim of a targeted drug-facilitated stranger rape that I reported and that law enforcement ignored. I had to write a play and perform about my mishandled rape investigation publicly PLUS sue the city of San Francisco in order for them to pay any attention to my case. The lawsuit is still ongoing. In 2016, my sister had a baby and despite having zero sex drive as a result of the Lexapro, I still got massive baby brain. I decided that I wanted to get off the Lexapro sooner than later because- god willing (I'm still dating and 100% single) - I'd like to have a child of my own. At 34, I began tapering down in August of 2016 and by December 15th, 2016 I was totally off. Fast forward to today, July 5th, 2017. WHAT THE **** HAVE TWELVE YEAR OF MEDS DONE TO MY BRAIN?! This process might be actually harder than the aftermath of my assault. Or at least on par. Everyday, I long for that 10 mg of Lexapro pill to dull the onslaught of life all away. Here are the symptoms I am having: - derealization - depersonalization - complex post traumatic stress - depression (waking up feeling a ton of bricks on me and not feeling any semblance of alertness until the afternoon) - anxiety that easily progresses to emotional crying fits - NO resiliency to everyday stress like, whatsoever - massive acne outbreaks on my upper back, neck, and in between my breasts (the only way i got this under SOMEWHAT control was by cutting out carbs, dairy, sugar, alcohol, weed, caffeine. I basically eat healthy fats, meat, veggies and a little bit of fruit/low sugar ark chocolate BECAUSE WE HAVE TO HAVE SOME PLEASURE IN LIFE, RIGHT?! - brain zaps have returned a bit. had them at the beginning, then they went away, now they've resurfaced. The only progress I seem to have made since stopping the meds is my sleep. I sleep 7-8 hours every night. THANK GOD. In terms of supplements, I take Inositol 6-8 Grams a day and vitamin D3. I'm doing acupuncture 2x a week and trying to do high interval training workouts 3-5x a week to get my endorphins going. I also try to meditate everyday for at least 5 mins. So after reading through these forums, is the main takeaway that "time is a healer?" Am I just to remain "mindful" of all of these symptoms and hope for the best while doing "self-care?" If only there were a way to sue these drug companies. Thanks for reading!
  24. I came to this in hindsight as I was niave about withdrawal. I tapered to 1 mg Lexapro and stopped. 5 days later noticed insomina, change in appetite, thoughts coming back so I started back on 2.5mg as I didn't realize i needed to start back on the last dose used. Added anxiety and no changes in symptoms 2 weeks later the dr told me to increase to 5 mg. This has been for 5 weeks and I notice no stabilization of symptoms, almost worse then before. I'm not sure if I'm stuck in withdrawal because I am sensitized to lexpro and the high dose is too much and will become toxic because it isn't being reabsorbed? Im worried that at my next appt the dr. will want to increase my dose or switch to new med. I don't know if I can taper back down being this unstable.
  25. Hello, I was diagnosed with fibro in 1994. I was just diagnosed by a rheumatologist with CSS - central sensitivity syndrome. A central nervous system disease/disorder that makes people hypersensitive to almost everything. Here are two studies that might be of interest: Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes by Muhammad B Yunus, MD -also: clinical review and education- JAMA April 16, 2014 volume 311, number 15 - Fibromyalgia A Clinical Review by Daniel J Clauw, MD. These articles show how the central nervous system plays a huge role in why so many of us have fibromyalgia CFS/ME, MCS-Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, etc. This explains why I've had so much trouble with antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and withdrawals, along with so many other physical and emotional symptoms