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notalwaysso: afraid of my own anxious thougts

anxiety ruminative thoughts escitalopram Lexapro

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#1 notalwaysso

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:14 AM

Hello everyone
 
I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given.
I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) 
 
The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing.  I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms
 
I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. 
 
I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening,  and a lot of support from a few friends and family members.
 
Sometimes I am afraid this will never  end. 
At times I get more hopeful.
 
At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home.  Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. 
 
Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? 
 
Thank you everyone for the  support.

Edited by scallywag, 19 March 2017 - 03:40 AM.
tags

2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 


#2 AliG

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:33 AM

Hello Notalwaysso. It sounds like you already have some insight into the withdrawal process. You tapered at 10 % of current dose over ten months- what dose Lexapro did you start / & finish on ? What amount did you taper to before you hopped off ?

 

Could you please put your withdrawal history in your signature - all dates/ drugs / dosages etc. so that we can see your situation easily whenever you post. This link explains how to do that :

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

At 7 months off it seems that you are most probably experiencing withdrawal and associated symptoms.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization is the normal pattern at this point and can go on for an extended period. The pattern varies individually and no one can say how long it will last.

 

Fear, in various forms can also be a withdrawal symptom : there is a discussion about this topic here.

http://survivinganti...ic-and-anxiety/

 

Some do find a small reinstatement to be successful , even this far out. It's not normally recommended after 3 months but it's a decision only you can make. It carries some risks at this stage. It's worth reading through this topic so as to be informed on the subject.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

We do recommend magnesium and fish oil but many find B complex to be too stimulating in withdrawal. It might pay to drop them for a while.

 

Your activities are positive for recovery as long as you keep them gentle and don't overdo it. The CNS needs calm and can sometimes react badly with too much stimulation. It's great if you can find a balance that works for you. 

This thread will give you more ideas :

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

These topics will help explain a little more about what's happening to your body and brain :

Brain Remodelling

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery/

 

This can be your thread to journal progress and ask questions. This is a process and everyone has their own timeline for healing. Have a read of the information and come back with any questions or concerns.

 

Welcome to SA,

Ali


Many SSRI's &SSNRI's over 20 years . Zoloft - 7 years .  Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and many more - on and off . No tapering. Cold turkey -  Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                            Drug free since May, 2014
.
             "Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain" - Joseph Campbell


#3 powerback

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:19 AM

Hello everyone

 

I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given.

I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) 

 

The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing.  I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms

 

I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. 

 

I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening,  and a lot of support from a few friends and family members.

 

Sometimes I am afraid this will never  end. 

At times I get more hopeful.

 

At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home.  Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? 

 

Thank you everyone for the  support.

 

Hi notalwaysso .

U are very astute at describing the torture we are experiencing .the moderators will guide u excellently .

I am going through a particularly bad time with a lot of the same symptoms .

 

I like to think after each window it makes us stronger to deal with the waves . 

I also love to do hill walking ,a simple rustle in the bushes makes me jump out of my skin and I'm getting to the point were I laugh [my poor CNS must be fried ].

 

I am also furious with doctors but I'm thankfully like yourself finished listening to them .

 

PLEASE never give up that hope ,we have amazing strength to be getting through such adversity.

 

​Like u say getting informed is a huge bonus for me also,its taken such adversity for me to wake up and inform myself on all levels of life not just questioning doctors .

 

I have had the darkest month of my life and we can learn so much about ourselves that others will never have the opportunity to do that .

Its so hard and painful at times but it will pass ,I will never give up believing that.

 

Have u tried mindfulness ,I love it ,it really helps me stay calm and sane in situations that would really be inappropriate to snap[very bad irritability] 

Take care and best of luck


21​/06/2012 citrol10mg for stress, constant urination ,diazepam 2mg 26/07/2012 .12/07/2012 citroll 20mg,

​24/09/2013 Lexapro 20mg.didnt take them for a week during this year felt extremely strange ,had no idea down to drugs at the time .

​20/10/2014 venlafaxine xl 75mg.09/01/2015 venlafaxine xl 37.5. questioned doctor about drop in dose ,I was told no problem.

​13/04/2015 venlafaxine xl 150mg NEVER TOOK THEM getting wise?.20/04/2015 venlafaxine xl 75mg.19/08/2015 Xanax 250mcg [agitated]

​10/06/2015 venlafaxine 37.5mg.02/03/2016 five beads out for taper only lasted till 06/06/2016 extreme irritability and anxiety. 

​11/11/2016 Xanax 250mcg took them for few days ,fairly distressing time [working nearly impossible].11/11/2016 I was given a prescription for  Zyprexa 2.5mg AND DECIDED  NOT TO GET IT FROM CHEMIST.[my doctor gave them a great sales pitch ,talking about other patients that have benefited ,in witch it just annoyed me ]


#4 notalwaysso

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:40 PM

Hello Notalwaysso. It sounds like you already have some insight into the withdrawal process. You tapered at 10 % of current dose over ten months- what dose Lexapro did you start / & finish on ? What amount did you taper to before you hopped off ?

 

Could you please put your withdrawal history in your signature - all dates/ drugs / dosages etc. so that we can see your situation easily whenever you post. This link explains how to do that :

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

At 7 months off it seems that you are most probably experiencing withdrawal and associated symptoms.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization is the normal pattern at this point and can go on for an extended period. The pattern varies individually and no one can say how long it will last.

 

Fear, in various forms can also be a withdrawal symptom : there is a discussion about this topic here.

http://survivinganti...ic-and-anxiety/

 

Some do find a small reinstatement to be successful , even this far out. It's not normally recommended after 3 months but it's a decision only you can make. It carries some risks at this stage. It's worth reading through this topic so as to be informed on the subject.

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

We do recommend magnesium and fish oil but many find B complex to be too stimulating in withdrawal. It might pay to drop them for a while.

 

Your activities are positive for recovery as long as you keep them gentle and don't overdo it. The CNS needs calm and can sometimes react badly with too much stimulation. It's great if you can find a balance that works for you. 

This thread will give you more ideas :

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

These topics will help explain a little more about what's happening to your body and brain :

Brain Remodelling

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery/

 

This can be your thread to journal progress and ask questions. This is a process and everyone has their own timeline for healing. Have a read of the information and come back with any questions or concerns.

 

Welcome to SA,

Ali

Thank you Ali for the helpful comments, especially the thread on anxiety and fear. The theme of "anticipatory anxiety" was new to me, and I realized how indeed i am so  hypervigilant looking constantly for symptoms (a new form of anxiety/fear?). I think it is a very good suggestion to try and accept the situation in a more benign way. 

 

I am trying to be more calm and accepting, yet, there is always that (scary and anxiety provoking) question in my mind: will it end one day? Will I ever go back to who I was before the meds? The thought of having become wrecked and wasted by that pill, which, knowing what I know now, I would have NEVER taken, is very debilitating. 

 

I find it difficult to "measure" improvement. I began a log for symptoms and mood, so I can keep track of what's happening, but - am I the same person I was before? Have I lost my joy of life? Forever? Terrifying.


2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 


#5 notalwaysso

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:54 PM

 

Hello everyone

 

I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given.

I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) 

 

The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing.  I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms

 

I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. 

 

I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening,  and a lot of support from a few friends and family members.

 

Sometimes I am afraid this will never  end. 

At times I get more hopeful.

 

At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home.  Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? 

 

Thank you everyone for the  support.

 

Hi notalwaysso .

U are very astute at describing the torture we are experiencing .the moderators will guide u excellently .

I am going through a particularly bad time with a lot of the same symptoms .

 

I like to think after each window it makes us stronger to deal with the waves . 

I also love to do hill walking ,a simple rustle in the bushes makes me jump out of my skin and I'm getting to the point were I laugh [my poor CNS must be fried ].

 

I am also furious with doctors but I'm thankfully like yourself finished listening to them .

 

PLEASE never give up that hope ,we have amazing strength to be getting through such adversity.

 

​Like u say getting informed is a huge bonus for me also,its taken such adversity for me to wake up and inform myself on all levels of life not just questioning doctors .

 

I have had the darkest month of my life and we can learn so much about ourselves that others will never have the opportunity to do that .

Its so hard and painful at times but it will pass ,I will never give up believing that.

 

Have u tried mindfulness ,I love it ,it really helps me stay calm and sane in situations that would really be inappropriate to snap[very bad irritability] 

Take care and best of luck

 

Hi  Powerback,

Thank you for your comforting words. I appreciate your faith and hope even after having had "the darkest month of your life". It is really encouraging to meet other people who are undergoing those symptoms and misery. I find it very frustrating when I talk to people about WDS (even my psychotherapist!) and they don't know anything about it. Maybe they think it's all in my head, etc. and that leaves me feeling even more alone and doubting myself.

When I am in nature I actually feel LESS anxious. There is something about being immersed in nature which really calms me down and I am in touch with inner peacefulness and joy, as well as puts me in touch with my body (I feel less derealization). 

In fact, anything to do with body activity (washing dishes, walking, taking a shower, excercising etc.) has an immediate calming effect. Maybe it is related to mindfulness which you mentioned. It is being in the now. I also try to practice mindfulness and it is a very powerful technique and mindset. I guess the anxiety is related to incessant projections about the future. Which, in fact, we know nothing about. 

 

But sometimes I feel I am exhausted from the neverending monitoring of  my own state/symptoms/moods. I wish I could just forget about it and simply BE.. But I guess that is NOT mindfulness (:), wanting and wishing something else...Just being here and now, with whatever arises, trusting...

Cheers and thanks


2011 - Started Lexapro 10 mg. Did help with anxiety due to stressful circumstances

2012 (about 6 months later) - Taper for about 3 weeks, following Dr. instruction. Horrible WD symptoms, so

reinstated after about 3 months. (also Dr. instructions. ) No idea about protracted WDS

September 2012-November 2015 - Back to Lexapro 10 mg. which balanced the anxiety off. 

November 2015 - August 2016 - Gradual taper (10% at a time, then staying on new dose for three-four weeks).

Tapered for 9 months and it was ok. 

Last dose before I jumped off - about 1/25 mg. a week!

Then - Terrific WD symptoms. (Immediate, then protracted).

Spetmeber 2016 - Off meds 

Supplements: Fish oil, B complex, Magnesium

 

 


#6 powerback

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 12:58 AM

Hi notalwaysso.

At the beginning of my symptoms  the hardest aspect to accept was the non existent validation of my symptoms .I believe this is a terrible thing for us to experience ,it really held me back ,so much time spent questioning my own self belief .

In my opinion it comes down to a power/authority attitude in society .

We live in a world with so much access to information now,we can change this power towards  ourselves

 

I WOULD NEVER PROMOTE ANYONE TO STOP LISTENING TO DOCTORS ,but we have to inform ourselves and educate ourselves much more,we are an example of having to find a different way to help ourselves .

I really believe an experience like what we all go through on this site can shape our lives for the better .[its dam hard though ],in respect to empowering ourselves and building our self actualization in relation to coping with adversity .

 

I believe the future of all medicine and psychiatry is in evidence based research and then the correct path for the "patient" can follow.

Just look at Robert Whitakers madinamerica.com ,brilliant .

Wanting and wishing something else is something I need to watch out for myself ,I catch myself doing this also.i especially shouldn't be doing it in a wave .

Eckhart tolle is just one of the many people that talk about nature also ,I'm a big fan of this man ,he has some great insight into human suffering and experience .

take care


21​/06/2012 citrol10mg for stress, constant urination ,diazepam 2mg 26/07/2012 .12/07/2012 citroll 20mg,

​24/09/2013 Lexapro 20mg.didnt take them for a week during this year felt extremely strange ,had no idea down to drugs at the time .

​20/10/2014 venlafaxine xl 75mg.09/01/2015 venlafaxine xl 37.5. questioned doctor about drop in dose ,I was told no problem.

​13/04/2015 venlafaxine xl 150mg NEVER TOOK THEM getting wise?.20/04/2015 venlafaxine xl 75mg.19/08/2015 Xanax 250mcg [agitated]

​10/06/2015 venlafaxine 37.5mg.02/03/2016 five beads out for taper only lasted till 06/06/2016 extreme irritability and anxiety. 

​11/11/2016 Xanax 250mcg took them for few days ,fairly distressing time [working nearly impossible].11/11/2016 I was given a prescription for  Zyprexa 2.5mg AND DECIDED  NOT TO GET IT FROM CHEMIST.[my doctor gave them a great sales pitch ,talking about other patients that have benefited ,in witch it just annoyed me ]






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