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

4 posts in this topic

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
Added Link to intro topic & added white space

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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?

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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

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any updates on how you and she are doing?

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