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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Hello Friends. I'm a 36 year old male with a 15 year old psych meds addiction. My story started after I survived a terrible car crash, and then suffered from panic attacks shortly after. My GP at the time prescribed me Aropax. I took this for close to a year if I remember correctly and then decided to quit. Her advice was to just "stop taking them". I can still clearly remember the horrible dizziness and the debilitating brain zaps! I went back onto them, but never felt that same level of 'normal'. Then I tried Cipramil. Didn't really make a difference. Then I went onto Effexor and this worked great for a while. The very short Half-Life was a problem for me and made it impossible to come off. I went onto Prozac and managed to taper off it. Things went well for some time, until some bumps in the road and a new job brought my anxiety back to life! So onto Escitalopram I went. I've been on it ever since. I tried to get off my pills about 2 years ago, but rather than using the methods described here, I simply alternated dosages, which ended up not working very well. I also didn't pay much attention to my diet and drank alcohol frequently. Since then my life has changed dramatically. I live a rather comfortable life with very little stress and I have a great support system. I have decided to give it another shot. Rather than being a slave to the medication for the rest of my life, I have now made some dietary changes and cut out alcohol completely. I've started with my first round of 10% reductions, and hopefully this is the start of a new life for me.
  4. Can any one please help me! I have been on Lexapro for 1.5years 10mg since i switched from Zoloft 100mg. It was working good for my anxiety and running thoughts, only little trouble with hard to get to sleep at night. However, after tress of my work, i feel little worrying feeling and doctor straight away put me on 20mg of Lexapro. I felt heart palpitation when wake up and didn't care of it, and my heart started to beating faster and faster during the 7 weeks, went to 125 bpm for whole day! That was worse than my original Anxiety symptoms! Also i experienced some bowel movement, no appetite but with happy feelings sometimes. I don't even know what happened to me! I after couple research on the web I noticed it is quite simular to Serotonin Syndrome, but i don't know I am right or not, anyone can tell me? Then i went to see doctor, he wants me to reduce dosage to 10mg, right after 2 days, that feeling was awful! Now it has been 2.5 month after i dropped back to 10mg, for the first month i went back to 10mg, the racing heart was slowly calms down to 68bpm but still feel very strange and anxiety. The second month palpitation feeling was totally gone but still have anxiety feeling and stomach starts to feeling nausia, full and indigestive that makes me more anxious I was worrying my stomach too much now. I went to see doctor, he gave me a medicine call Nexium, I only took for one day and felt extremely nausea and vomitted once then I stopped taking that. I am still not well now and do anyone think i am still suffering from a kind of withdrawal syndrome? I am so worrying and don't know if the symptom will still exists or I should keep waiting till its getting stabilized? I contacted my doctor again he said he might give me some add on medicines, but I don't really want to take additional medicine to cause new symptoms. I have lost my job and I really want this feeling go away soon...
  5. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  6. 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.
  7. 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??
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. In 1986 I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, 75 mg Imipramine PM, to slow bowel function and to relieve pain resulting from ulcerative colitis. I was also put on 1 mg Lorazepam. In 1991 I went CT off both the Imipramine and the Lorazepam, resulting in a terrible colitis flare-up. After a few months I reinstated with success. However, these medications, and everything else I did for the colitis ceased work about three years ago, and in January, 2015, I underwent surgery to remove my colon and replace with an internal J-pouch, which cured the colitis. But that left me with the 30-year-long Imipramine situation. In January, 2016, I began tapering the Imipramine 10% every three weeks, which went fine until I got down to 19 mg, then 12 mg, at which point I began experiencing severe anxiety as well as dizziness. Realizing I had tapered too quickly, I updosed to 25 mg a month ago but have not as yet stabilised at this dose, as I am still experiencing considerable anxiety as well as insomnia. Until September 23, my tapers were approximate percentages as I hadn't yet bought a scale. I use the supplements Theanine and Nature's Balance Happy Camper to help with the anxiety, along with magnesium glycinate. It's only been a month, but I'm a little worried that I am never going to stabilise at 25 mg. In 2004, due to depression, I was put on a succession of SSRIs, in addition to the Imipramine, including Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. Lexapro 20 mg seemed to finally work and I remain on it at this time. In 2011 I was prescribed 1 mg Lorazepam for insomnia, now 1.5 mg.
  11. 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.
  12. Hi guys! I'm new here and I'm really glad to have found this group. I've been on escitalopram 10mg for three years and was recently tapered off of it by a new Pdoc because she believes I belong somewhere in the bipolar spectrum, maybe bipolar II but not bipolar type I. I've never experienced mania. My main problem has always been depression, anxiety, and ADHD (inattentive type). I also have General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and OCD. Which is why my first Pdoc prescribed me escitalopram. Escitalopram worked wonders during the first year especially with my anxiety. I felt "normal" and could accomplish tasks that required leaving the house by myself and talking to people without ruminating before and after. It also worked well for my depression. However, during the second year mark I felt like it stopped working. I was getting depressed again although the episodes weren't as long and I was anxious again. My social anxiety was paralyzing and I had to rely heavily on my husband to take care of chores that required leaving the house and socializing with people. I also felt emotionally blunted but only when it came to positive emotions. I felt like I could feel negative emotions twice as much as much but the positive ones left me feeling indifferent. I know I should have seen my Pdoc at this time but my doctor had a very long waiting list. I should have looked for another one right away but I honestly did not have the energy for it. So I waited and endured and self medicated with alcohol while still taking my meds everyday. I've had three major depressive episodes since January of this year and in early June started getting panic attacks (at worst 3 in a day). So I finally decided to go see another doctor. So anyway, my new pdoc tapered me off the escitalopram in a three week period which now, in retrospect, I think was too quick. During the first week, she instructed me to take 10mg and 5 mg alternately, during the second week I was to take 5mg daily, and during the third week 5mg every other day, on the fourth week I was to discontinue completely. I followed her instructions despite my inhibitions (from having read tapering guidelines online) and now I have severe withdrawal. It started with flu-like symptoms ( muscle aches, feverish but no temperature) ; crying spells that come out of nowhere, low frustration tolerance, headaches, nausea, suicidal thoughts especially at night, depression at night. I don't know why the depression is worse at night. Maybe because I'm inactive at night. Has anyone else experienced having the worst of their depressive symptoms at night? I'm functional in the morning but do get episodes where I'd start crying out of nowhere. I don't know if it's because the mood stabilizers are somehow helping reduce the withdrawal. I read the post on "The Rule of 3KIS". I did ask my doctor even before reading that post if it might be safer to wait until the antidepressants are out of my system before starting the mood stabilizers but she said it was okay to take the new meds while tapering off. If any of you have a similar experience to mine, I would love to hear from you.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. I was on escitolapram for 6 years at a 20mg daily dose. I'm 45, male and had a minor heart attack which involved having a pacemaker fitted. The hospital immediately stopped my escitolapram dosage cold turkey due to this. Im on week 10 of a cold turkey withdrawal and it's a hell on earth. In fairness I was in hospital for two weeks due to the heart condition after starting withdrawal and I never really had the brain zaps or any psychical pain that I have read about here, but boy did I make up for it in anxiety, depression, anhedonia etc etc... I just want to get into a bed go to sleep and never wake up. I sleep soundly but when I wake up the fear and dread of the day ahead is atrocious and brutal. I started escitolapram on the advice of my doctor after I became depressed following the end of a relationship. It worked after about three weeks and I did feel much better. But in hindsight I was really just on autopilot. I could function and get on with my life but I put on 3 stone in weight, isolated myself, poor libido, cold personality etc etc. I never expected to be on it for six years and I did try to come off it within that time but as the withdrawal symptoms kicked in, I thought it was the depression returning so I went back on them.. Has anyone ever been in this position and how long did it take for the withdrawal symptoms to ease. Reading the stories here, have greatly helped knowing I'm not alone but there is no way I could tolerate this for another three years. I cant go back on to them to taper off due to the heart issue. Any advice would be greatly welcomed.... please and thank you....
  17. Hi all! Been hanging around and read up on some of the great posts on this forum over the last week. Impressive work! My english is not that good, so pls bear with me. Here is a summary of my medical background/history. My problems startet after an acute reaction to a vaccine i took 3 months ago. A few weeks later i also found out that i had an Epstein Barr infection, most likely during the same period that i took the vaccine. My symptoms after taking the vaccine were severe with extreme depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and generally feeling very ill. My doc think i might have developed chronic fatigue syndrom/ME as a result of the vaccine/infection, but at this point nothing is certain. I have no previous history of psychiatric problems or other somatic illness. I lived a happy life with my family and enjoyed my work fully at 100%. Now i cant work at all, and the situation is tough with two small kids to look after. As a result of my symptoms, which didnt seem to stabilize after 2 months, i aggreed starting treatment with Cipralex (Lexapro/escitalopram) 5mg. My doc told me to increase the dose to 10mg after 3 days, which i did not do. I noticed just after the first couple of days that i was sensitive to the medication and had lots of side effects (headache, feeling dizzy, mild depersonalization etc). Then tried to stabilize at 5mg for 3 weeks. Felt a bit better the second week, more energy and better mood, but still the side effects were bothersome. I changed to the original brand after using the generic for the first week. It helped a bit on the side effects. Also got parasthesia, a burning sensation in the body and face. Feeling very warm and uncomfortable. Sporadic panic anxiety. So after 3 weeks i decided to reduce the dose to 2.5 mg after discussing this with my doc. I told him to prescribe the liquid version (Lundbeck), which only comes in 20mg/1Ml in Europe, but still makes it more accurate for 2.5 mg. Im not sure how to use this at lower doses. He was a bit puzzled about my sensitivity to the medication. Probably need to take a CYP test to see if im a poor metabolizer. I`ve noticed that im very sensitive in general after i got sick. Cant drink anything with caffeine now. Sugar is also no good. Before i used to drink a lot of coffee. Now i cant take a sip without getting restless and almost dizzy from it. Anyway. After the dose reduction i startet to feel a lot of naseau and dizziness, and after 2 days i woke up in the middle of the night with fast heartbeat and lots of anxiety. My first thought was that this probably was withdrawal from the dose reduction, which surprised me after just taking 5 mg over 3 weeks. I felt better over the next few days, but still got lots of headaches, dizziness and not feeling very well. Depressive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. This was also something i did experience before i took the medication, but somehow it feels a bit different now. Before i would be having crying spells regularily, not happening much now. Feels like everything is more locked up inside. I think the medication does some job at keeping my emotional reaction at bay here.I`ve also been sleeping better after starting taking the medication. Before i barely slept for 2-3 hours pr night. I still wake up a lot, also have very vivid dreams. Im able to fall asleep again after i wake up, which was more difficult before. Im not sure what to do next. I dont think my reactions to Cipralex is good for me, and i really want to stop, but im also very scared of withdrawal symptoms. Feel a bit trapped here. Should i increase the dose just a bit (3,5mg) to help with the withdrawal? Or should i just wait and see if i stabilize before eventually taper down more slowly?
  18. 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.
  19. Hello, After a couple of months of reading some of the posts on this forum, I have decided to join, because basically it seems that I have PSSD. As you will see from my signature strip, I have been on escitalopram at various doses for just over 7 years (finally came off in January of this year (2017)). My history on this drug probably looks a bit confusing. Basically I went on the drug late in 2009 for anxiety that I was suffering. I only intended to be on it for a short time – maybe 6 months – whilst I made some important decisions about my future. But my doctor at that time provided no guidance on coming off the drug. I came off very quickly and crashed. It basically took me about 3 attempts like this to finally realise I could not come off it quickly. In the end it has been a long and slow process with some bumps along the way, but finally I am off the drug – but it took 7 years. I am male and now in my mid-thirties. Anyway, whilst on the drug I suffered from sexual side effects, which from what I have read is very common. But it was in late 2013 that I found out just how much the drug was affecting me. I started a relationship with a girl who although I liked much, I could feel no deep emotion with. Basically I could not fall in love with her. At first I could not understand what was wrong with me, but one day shortly into our relationship I suspected the drug. After a simple ‘Google search’ I had the answer. This combined with the sexual side effects of the drug just made it impossible for me really and in early 2014 we split up. It was at this point that I realised no matter what, I had to get off the drug. It took 2 further attempts of slow tapering but finally I have managed it. I am now almost 5 months off the drug, but seems I have PSSD. At the end of December 2016 I reduced from 10mg every other day to just 5mg every third day. A few days after doing this I could feel something changing sexually – more normal feeling was coming back. And about a week later I had a couple of days of what I would say was completely normal function returning. However this only lasted a couple of days. Shortly after this I took the last tablet. I was now off the drug. About 2 weeks later I once again had a couple of days of everything returning to normal sexually. Again this only lasted temporarily. Then a period of 3 weeks of the numbness and erection difficulties. Then - 5 weeks after taking the last tablet - I again had a period of 2 days of normal functioning – this time I thought it was going to be for good, but unfortunately not. And that was the last time I experienced what I consider everything being normal. Since then I have returned to the numbness, lack of drive and erection difficulties that I had whilst on the drug. I have had the odd day or two in recent weeks where the numbness reduces a bit and there is a little bit of sensitivity, but only a very tiny improvement for a day or so. Then back to full numbness. Also I have developed a ache/pain in my testicles that radiates at times into the top of my legs and buttocks. I can’t remember exactly when this started but I think it was around 6 weeks after being off the drug. I also feel emotionally flat – I don’t think I could fall in love with somebody. I think that issue is still there. I can cry at times, but can’t feel any real happiness for anything. I guess like so many people here I feel the most desperate I have ever done in my life and just looking to talk with others in a similar situation. These past months have seemed like an eternity and every day is such a struggle. I am hoping somebody can give me some hope, because right now I can’t feel much of it. Also I do have a few questions which if anybody can give some sort of an answer to I would be so grateful. 1) Why did I have 3 separate periods of normal sexual function in the immediate period of coming off the drug (first 5 weeks) and then nothing further? 2) the ache/pain that I feel in the testicles – is this part of PSSD? 3) one of the things that really worries me is the fact that I noticed a change to my sexual function after taking just one tablet (God only knows why I did not stop taking them there and then) but as I only planned to be on the medication for a short time, it did not bother me too much. Does this immediate reaction to the drug combined with my long-term use of it mean it more likely my recovery will be a very long time, or worse still that I never recover? Thanks very much for reading.
  20. Hi Everyone, I’m a male in early 40s from Europe (Sorry for my English - it is not my native language), father of two wonderful children and married with loving wife. On year 2012 I started with generic escitalopram 10mg due to depression (lack of energy, motivation and loss of interest into the things I used to enjoy). Felt better and stopped taking them after about 10 months (two-week tapper). Had some anxiety, but that was all. After a few months, I slowly relapsed back to initial down filling. Reinstated 10mg of escitalopram, felt better and stopped (two week tapper) again after 18 months. That time I experienced more severe symptoms like anxiety, panic, fear, severe depression so I freaked up and reinstated. Felt better again, but this time continued with treatment for two years. I again felt ok and had much more energy but I also noticed emotional numbness, and that was the main reason I stopped taking ADs again after two years. This time I tapered 25% every three weeks and took last quarter of a pill in the end of January 2017. After a few days, I started to experience strange insomnia (on average I only slept 2-3 hours per night) but I was still full of energy and happy. All this changed suddenly after one month when I was introduced to the withdrawal hell that was severe beyond something I could ever imagine. Severe depression attacks mixed with panic and fear, severe insomnia, blurred vision, eye floaters, muscle twitches, constant nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, depersonalization-derealization, concentration problems, brain fog… This mixed symptoms eased a little after 2 months and I felt a little better for 2-3 weeks. After that, symptoms gradually worsened again. This time the biggest issue was crippling depression and anhedonia, but it was still mixing with other symptoms, but other symptoms was not so extreme anymore and also now I manage to sleep 6 hours per night mostly. However, depression is really bad right now and I’m really scared that I’m relapsing again with stronger than pretreatment depression. The only positive thing is, that last two months I started to experience some short windows (a few minutes to max a few hours) long windows when I suddenly fill great, optimistic and when I am able to experience emotions in such intensity that it makes me cry. This happens every few days, but then I get hit again with severe depression and tension which I think it gets deeper and deeper. Right now, I have filling that this moments of joy are only some interferences between relapsing to depression. I’m really scared right now and so tired of constant struggle to stay alive and try to function as much as possible, to be a father, husband and to somehow function in my job. I’m so afraid of relapse and I want my emotions back so much!
  21. I want to know if anyone has ever experienced EXTREME episodes of panic while coming off Effexor XR and/or Lexapro. I will share my history in order to give you more details of what's going on. Put on Effexor XR 150 mg at age 16 due to mood swings while taking birth control for hormonal imbalance. Slept 10 years of my life away. Begged for help from family. No one gave a ****. Tried to come off medication summer of 2013. Experienced extreme panic. Went back on lowest dose 37.6 mg Effexor. Acquired cosmetology license, worked for four years, still depressed and slept all my days off. suicidal thoughts. 2nd doctor Took me off Effexor 37.5 mg -----> put me on Lamictal Experienced EXTREME anger Took me off Lamictal -----> put me on Depakote Was highly motivated and accomplished. No depression or anxiety. Saw some things out the corner of my eye that wasnt there Insomnia Metallic taste in mouth I tapered myself off Depakote and experienced anger Doctor put me on Lexapro Day 2 experienced panic attack when waking Also experience return of depression, loss of motivation After the panic episode, I stopped taking it and refused to be put on any more meds Experienced high anxiety in the mornings and evenings, however, motivation came back, depression and suicidal thoughts were gone. I had a lot of hope for myself. I was still accomplishing a lot. A month later experienced the highest level of panic I have ever felt, which lasted 2.5 months without relief. Went to the hospital, put in group therapy where I was ignored and treated like I was crazy. A 3rd doctor put me on 75 mg Effexor, then 150 mg Effexor xr....even after I told him I didn't feel comfortable. My concerns were dismissed, treated like I was stupid and crazy.I am now back to feeling extremely depressed, sleeping all day with little control over it, suicidal and on top of it still anxious but not full blown panic. I desperately just want my life back. I fear that it may be impossible to come off these drugs and that I am damaged for life.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.