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Need advice as a carer of an adult child going through AD withdrawal

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#1 DrugfreeProf


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Posted 01 August 2016 - 05:24 PM

This is the link to Lexi's Intro topic:  lex1992-4-months-off-of-lexapro


A few weeks ago, my daughter, Lexi, posted her storu under username Lex1992. I also posted my own story under Drug Free Prof.


My concern is my difficulty coping with my daughter's behavior post-anti-depressants.


Her med history is at the end of her posts, but in short, she tapered herself off of Lexipro 10 mg over the course of a few months but nonetheless too quickly.


She did so because she had been on them for nine years, starting when she was 15, and was now 24, nearing the end of a stint in So America, and feeling fine. She was in Ecuador when she stopped sometime in Feb. 2016.  In May 2016, her stepfather and I came to meet her and her boyfriend in Peru, where we toured around the country together for 10 days. It was a long and tough bus trip, but Lexi generally looked and did fine.  Late in May, however, during the couple of weeks prior to coming back home to the U.S., she became mildly  symptomatic--some crying spells and irritability, which were not typical of her. (She never suffered from anything worse than moderate depression, and always pulled herself out of episodes in a reasonable amount of time.) Then she came home in early June, and that's when the **** hit the fan.  She came across this site and shared it with me, and she matched perfectly the list of symptoms described by everyone else going through the same scenaior--for the first time in her life, she had severe insomnia, akithesia, extreme anxiety, agitation, anhedonia, no motivation, extremly negative rumination, loss of appetite and dark, at times suicidal/homicidal thoughts (with no intention of actually doing so; she is at least able to articulate what she's thinking and see it as unreasonable if not ridiculous).  Around that time, she posted her story on SA (see Lex1992), and I also posted my story of going off prozac around the same time.  Lexi's symptoms got so bad, so quickly that she decided (based on reading posts on SA), to try a reinstatement of the Lexipro, slowly working her way from 1 mg to 5 mg, where she is holding right now.  Hard to say if it is helping or not--maybe a little. She also got her cortisol level measured by her nurse practitioner; her morning cortisol at that time tested at about 3X the upper limit of normal.


Her insomnia and anxiety were terrible. After almost a month of not sleeping much at all and never through the night, her thinking became downright delusional:  she believed she was evil, worthless, and unfit to live int his world; she wanted to do something to get arrested so she could spend the rest of her life in jail; she didn't want to get better--really scary stuff. In fact, this is way too much like what her older sister, Monique, looked like when she (Monique) took her life in April, 2007. (I am now convinced that Monique died from a reaction to the psych meds she was started and stopped on over a four month period, with very little oversight or cautious restraint on the part of the many (15-18?)  mental health practitioners who saw her during this period.  So in consultation with her prescriber (a wonderful, conscious, holistic psychiatric nurse practitioner), she agreed to go on 2.5 mg. Zyprexa, a drug we both hate (we are both very health conscious people), really out of desperation to help get her off the cliff where her thinking was taking her.  This is what she's taken for the last four nights. So far, she has slepped almost or entirely through the night on these nights.  Her thinking and behavior are somewhat more normal, her voice is louder, she is able to plan and engage in some activities.   But she reports still feeling empty, miserable, sad, and depressed.  She also has intermittently distanced herself from me and gotten angry with me (no big deal), but I worry about her  having hostile, negative thoughts about me--as though all this were my fault--again, first time in her life (we have always been closer than white on rice).  She also, at some point over the last month, after posting publicly her anti-depressant story, somehow became convinced that what she was going through was NOT due to withdrawing from Lexipro but rather due to her own deep and terrible unresolved psychological problems! After a minor falling out with a best friend, she became obsessed with the idea that she had borderline personality disorder, which is almost a joke, as she is the farthest thing imaginable from borderline personality (she is gentle, kind, beautiful, loving, amazingly gifted and highly intelligent--but she does not believe this about herself at all right now.)


At this point, I have been living, breathing, eating, and sleeping helping my daughter get better for about six weeks.   I am exhausted, and so I'm asking for advice from those of you who have found themselves in Lexi's shoes, feeling, thinking, and acting negatively, as far as what I and the rest of us can best do to help her.  The news is not all bad: she is going to start an intensive (e.g., 4-5 hrs/day) outpatient program tomorrow, and she is actually doing a little bit more than she has for the last couple of weeks (she is normally a VERY active, outgoing, hard-working artist). However, I am having a hard time with her resistance to doing the very things that she desperately needs to do to get better:  yoga, exercise, walking, meditating, reading and watching positive stuff, etc., all of which are available to her in plentitude.  We feel the need to watch her 24/7, and we do.  


How can we best help her?  What does she need the most?  What advice would you give me, if you know what it's like to go through what she's going through?


As you can imagine, this entire scenario is a TOTAL NIGHTMARE for me, as I went through something way too similar with my oldest daughter, who ended up taking her own life. (I do NOT believe this will happen with Lexi, whose personality is very different and inner strengths/resources are much better than Monique's were.)  Honestly, at times it is more than I can bear, and I have been through a lot in my life. But I am keeping up the good fight. If you have any sage advice for me, please offer your thoughts. I love this site. Thank you.

Edited by ChessieCat, 05 January 2017 - 11:36 AM.
Added Link to intro topic & added white space

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

#2 btdt


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Posted 03 October 2016 - 05:23 PM

I am not up to this now... but I hope to be eventually be up to it maybe... is there an update as it has been a couple of months?

Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 


There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

#3 powerback


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Posted 05 January 2017 - 09:28 AM

hi I'm going into my second year of withdrawl and it is  horrible.From my experience I suggest u just keep up the amazing job of supporting her .I have a partner that has always believed in me and that has been amazing.When I finally stopped listening to my doctor and learned more about withdrawl my partner was beside me and believing me.The rage and bad temper and all the other horrible affects from this poison  she understands were it comes from so she doesn't  take it personlly , because we both understand why it happens.  It takes lots of time for the system to correct its self. If she comes to u with upsetting thoughts try not to freak out .If she is met with more calm and u just listen and  compfort her  that can b enough to reassure her,its worked for me.I could never imagine a drug do this to me but it has and I am empowered every day from learning more about my situation.Great website called madinamerica.com i highly recommend it , it has helped me loads and given me confidence in a more compassionate world out there besides a 10 minute conversation  that ends up with a diaganosis .best of luck

June 2012 citroll 10mg

​July 2012 citroll 20 mg

​September 2013 Lexapro 20mg

October 2014 venlafaxine xl 75mg

January 2015 venlafaxine xl 37.5mg

April 2015 venlafaxine xl 75mg

June 2015 venlafaxine 37.5mg ..this is my current dose to this day at present

IVE had 2 unsuccessful tapers in the last year . 


#4 SkyBlue


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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:47 PM

any updates on how you and she are doing?

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" in July 2015 from 20 to 10 to 5 mg in a month, at doctor's advice. = Essentially a cold-turkey.

*Current*: March: 0.82 mg Paxil. Jan 1:  .88 mg, baby!! …. August 31: Less than 1mg Paxil! ... July 30: 1 mg Paxil! ! ! And 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!!  


On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression likely caused by (then-undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder. 

Rapid "taper" July 2015 and started Zoloft as a "cross-taper". Feb 2016: Found SA!! As of June 2016: Doing 2% cuts (Brassmonkey Slide!). 

Now: fish oil, magnesium; protein; exercise; healthy fats; acupuncture, meditation, & a new doctor.  I am in recovery from an eating disorder!!!  ***Have you had a sleep study?***    *Feel free to message me if I don't respond to a forum thread.*