Stephygrrl

Stephygrrl: Need help getting off low dose Lexapro after 2 months

139 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I am very sensitive to SSRIs post pregnancy but was put on one for anxiety. Prior to,I was taking 20mg Lexapro with no side effects. Now, I am on 5 mg (took me two weeks at 2.5 mg to get up to this). I have been on for about 2 months. I haven't even been on a high enough dose long enough to feel full benefits...some glimmers of hope now and then but I have experienced some very dark clouds and worsening anxiety since starting and I have lost so much weight. My head feels like it is going to explode and I just want out. I have never felt this way on it before. However, every time I try to stop, my body aches and I start panicking. I tried stopping before after just a month and crashed big time so I started the low dose again.

 

Will I be worse off if I try to stop now since I haven't even stabilized or reached a therapeutic level? Any tips are GREATLY appreciated!

 

Stephygrrl

Lexapro-5mg, Klonopin .5, Lunesta 300

Edited by scallywag
tags

Share this post


Link to post

Stephygrrl -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
 
Your body, specifically your CNS (central nervous system), is telling you that stopping Lexapro all at once isn't a good idea -- body aches, anxiety.  Even if you're not getting therapeutic benefit, your CNS has adapted to the drug and it's better to sneak the drug away instead of stopping all at once.
 
On the other hand, you might be experiencing adverse effects from the Lexapro. What patterns, if any, do you notice with your symptoms -- do they occur or worsen at any particular time of day?
 
I'll bring your question to the attention of other moderators to get their thoughts about your situation. Your symptom pattern will be helpful for us as will your medication history.

Please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). You can either post your notes daily here in your intro, or collect 3-4 days worth and post them all at the same time. This post has a useful format for a daily log:
Take notes of doses and symptoms.

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • Link to signature settings page.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Steph and welcome to SA,

 

Scallywag just beat me to posting!  Here are some helpful links:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommended tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug:

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  Click 'Follow' top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

 

Once we have the additional information about we will be able to give you so

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Stephygirl, welcome from me too. I am sorry to see that you are feeling so awful with side effects from lexapro. Unfortunately there can be reactions from a drug that has previously been fine. Can you tell us when you took lexapro before, and when you stopped, was it recently? Sometimes women stop a drug because of pregnancy, then hormones take over and they can feel ok but when baby is born the withdrawal can start. Reinstating a drug is best very very low. I would reduce the dose by 10% and see if it makes a difference. Tapering down to a level where you feel more comfortable will be the best thing. Most often doctors will keep increasing doses when it is a reduction that is really needed. You can use liquid to get the lower doses, or you can make your own liquid. You can find the instructions in the link for tapering that has been posted for you. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Stephy, how are you?  What have you decided to do?

 

Did you read the links that Scally and Chessie gave you?

 

Are you feeling better?

 

I hope you see the sun today.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi all, I went off lexapro completely as my pdoc wanted me to switch to remeron. I took 7.5 remeron at night and when I took my 2.5 lexapro in the morning, my head felt like it was full of ants. The next day, I did not take it and felt better. After that, I thought I could get away from lex but the wd hit me 10 days later. I can't sleep and am incredibly anxious, nautious, and stuck in hypervigilent mode. I have needed klonopin to calm me. Should I reinstate lex at 2.5? Or lower dose? Or try to stay away? Please help!!!

Share this post


Link to post

I will work on adding my history tonight.

Share this post


Link to post

I should add, I was only on meds for about 2 months total, but the side effects have not allowed me to get to a therapeutic dose of anything. I need to know if I should try to reinstate lex at a low dose or just push through withdrawals. No one thought I would have withdrawals as I wasn't on long, or a high dose. Or should I wait it out and move on to a different med? I do still need treatment as I have postpartum anxiety/depression still. Have not been able to tolerate anything long enough to receive benefit and my central nervous system is super sensitive right now. When I lay down to sleep, I get drowsy and then these waves of panic hit me, not allowing sleep even with klonopin/remeron.

Share this post


Link to post

Here is a complete history that I sent to Alostrata-didn't realize she couldn't respond to personal messages. I have taken lexapro, up to 20 mg in the past without any trouble going on and off. I gave birth 9 months ago. 6 months ago I tried to go on Zoloft for postpartum anxiety. I was on it 3 weeks and found it too agitating, so dr changed me to lexapro. I took the 10mg tablets for 10 days. I was having more agitation and side effects than I had before but it was manageable. i didn't sleep well on it which is odd because I used to be fine on it. Dr prescribed trazedone. I took the two too close together one night and got sick and very shaky, resembling seratonin syndrome. It passes after I took two Ativan the next day. After which, I had to reduce my dosage to 5mg then to 2.5 mg for about a week because I was more sensitive and the lexapro was making me super anxious. I stopped after that to regroup. So I was on Zoloft for 3 weeks, and lexapro for about 2 weeks. I crashed into a depression after stopping so my dr put me back on lexapro 2 weeks later at 2.5 mg to go up to 5 mg the following week. I stayed at 2.5 for 10 days. I had many side effects for such a small dose-dizzy, anxious, shaky. Then I went up to 5 mg and felt like my head was going to explode and anxiety was very high that, so back down to 2.5 mg for a few days. Dr prescribed remeron at 7.5 to add on and keep the 2.5 lexapro. I did fine on day 1, day 2 I felt like I had ants in my head after taking lexapro so we stopped it and kept the remeron, which I also discontinued a couple of days later because I felt like a zombie. About 10 days later, I started experiencing withdrawal from lexapro-anxiety/depression, shakiness, and complete inability to sleep even with strong sedatives. I restarted the remeron as well at 7.5 mg. This whole ordeal of going on and off from beginning of story to end lasted about 2 months. After reading the threads I am wondering if I should reinstate lexapro at 2.5mg or if my body is too sensitive to it at this point. Please help!!! 

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Stephy - You had a lot of huge bounces in Feb and March.  This may take a few months to settle.  

 

I'm thinking you will need to be on some small amount of Lexapro, but I've asked other mods for help.  Because Lexapro is so strong, I'm reluctant to suggest that you "soldier on through," because months can be a long time to feel this way.

 

Before you go running to your doctor, consider this.  He put you on twp drugs with a major interaction.  Just because it's low dose, doesn't mean they don't interact!

 

I put Lexapro and mirtazapine into the Drugs.com Drug Interaction checker and this is what came out.

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

Major mirtazapine  escitalopram

Applies to: mirtazapine, Lexapro (escitalopram)

Using escitalopram together with mirtazapine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms during treatment. In addition, combining these medications can increase the risk of an irregular heart rhythm that may be serious and potentially life-threatening, although it is a relatively rare side effect. You may be more susceptible if you have a heart condition called congenital long QT syndrome, other cardiac diseases, conduction abnormalities, or electrolyte disturbances (for example, magnesium or potassium loss due to severe or prolonged diarrhea or vomiting). Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations during treatment with these medications, whether together or alone. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

I would consider getting a new doctor.  This one isn't quite paying attention.

 

But now you've been on the mirtazapine for a month, and your body is craving lexapro.  So you need to continue the mirtazapine, and should likely reinstate a tiny amount of Lexapro.  Now, thanks to your doctor, you have a more complex situation.

Please watch this video (it's short, I promise):  

to understand how these drugs work.  They aren't like aspirin - they can continue to affect you long after the drug is gone, because they make changes to your brain and nervous system - and then, when you pull them away, your nervous system is dependant upon them.  This isn't a detox situation, it's a restructuring situation.

 

If you are able to read, Alto has written an excellent article here:  Intro to Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

 

and if you want to learn by watching cartoons, there are some really good Q&A sessions here, to help you understand what you are going through:

Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you

 

If your symptoms really really bad, you can shave off a tiny, tiny amount of Lexapro (like what would fit on the very end of the tine of a fork) and take it to quell symptoms (only once per day!), while we try to find a reinstatement dose we can suggest that will be better in the long term.  

 

We would not suggest reinstating the whole 2.5 mg.  Especially with the drug interactions, and we want to prevent side effects and reactions.  The trick is to find a dose which is low enough to quell your nervous system without side effects.

 

I'm sorry you are struggling.  I'm glad I checked in last night, and thank you for responding today.

 

Also, while we are waiting for answers - it will help you immensely to start learning Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms (they help with physical symptoms, too).

Share this post


Link to post

Lexapro-5mg, Klonopin .5, Lunesta 300

 

Hi, Stphygrrl.

 

Welcome to the forum from me, too.

 

Please tell us more about your Klonopin and Lunesta use. Also, please add these drugs to your signature. It will be very helpful to know how long you've been using them. 

 

Please also double check the Lunesta dosage, as that 300 dose sounds extremely high. Did you mean 3 mg? 

 

Once we know more about how often you're using these drugs, we can offer some suggestions and information.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks. I actuallly have only been back on remeron for 3 nights. Should I discontinue now? The only issue is that I still need treatment for my depression and anxiety. I just started using klonopin daily .5 morning and night to get through anxiety.

Share this post


Link to post

And I don't use lunesta frequently

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, Stephy.

 

Please list the date you received your first prescription for Lunesta and Klonopin. 

 

Also, it will be helpful to post when you take them. It only takes 2 - 3 weeks to develop a dependency on benzodiazepines (Klonopin) and z-dugs (Lunesta) and dependency can develop even with "as needed" use. 

 

When you say, "you just started using Klonopin daily" is key, but we really need to know how long you've been using Klonopin and Lunesta, how often, etc. 

 

If it's only a brief encounter, you may want to stop those drugs first, but we do need more information. 

Share this post


Link to post

I have been using klonopin a couple times a week for about a month but just started daily use two days ago.

Share this post


Link to post

What about the Lunesta?

 

The reason I'm asking about both is because they both have a similar effect on the nervous system and they both hit GABA receptors.

 

If you are not dependent on either of them, I would stop using them. Benzos and z-drugs are tricky drugs that after the first couple of weeks can actually ramp up insomnia and anxiety. This is how many people end up polydrugged.

 

Are you able to use non-drug coping skills to help with your anxiety?

 

non-drug coping skills

 

If so, with only the limited time you've been on Lunesta and Klonopin and with the infrequency of use, I would stop before dependency sets in. 

 

Let us know how you feel about that and if any of the non-drug coping skills in that link are something you can work with.

 

I'll get you started with one of my favorites. It's the 4-7-8 breathing technique:

 

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise by GoZen

 

These non-drug coping skills don't work right away, but with practice, they will serve you will into the future. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry, Stephy, I meant to add to the above post:  If stopping Klonopin and Lunesta is too abrupt, you may wish to do a rapid taper of 25 - 50% and come off over the next week, but I wouldn't stay on them any longer than that. 

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you. I don't use lunesta right now. I am going to try to cut back on klonopin quickly. It is the only way I can function right now. Here is what I am currently taking....

Klonopin-.25mg am, .5mg pm

Remeron 7.5 pm (have only been taking 3 nights so far)

 

The remeron was originally prescribed for sleep, but I feel it has a stronger effect on me. I don't sleep at all without remeron and klonopin right now. The Lexapro withdrawals have hit pretty hard...trembling, nausea, anxiety, insomnia

 

My Pdoc wants to prescribe a new med, not sure what yet (waiting for the genesight test to come back) to help with anxiety and depression. As much as I don't want to take anything, I need to. I have a 9 month old baby to care for and a husband that is getting fed up.

 

If I start a new med during Lexapro withdrawals, will it backfire?

 

I do use CBT etc. and was in an intensive anxiety program recently.

Share this post


Link to post

I should also add that I wasn't eager to go back on Lexapro because I wasn't doing well with it. Constant headache, low mood, made depression worse, dark thoughts, etc. If I need to reinstate I will, but it just didn't agree well with me. I couldn't even get past 2.5 mg, when normal dose is 10mg

 

What would be the plan, to reinstate and stabilize, then withdraw Lexapro slowly and swap in a new med?

 

As much as I don't want to be on meds, I have a daughter, husband, and full time job to attend to. Starting these drugs has messed up my chemicals and I need to balance them. Is that incorrect thinking? Without anything, I don't feel stable

Share this post


Link to post

I should also specify lexapro and Zoloft sent my anxiety sky high so I think any ssri will do the same....hence the remeron

Share this post


Link to post

In regards to reinstating lexapro, my reaction to when I reinstated most recently at 2.5 was consistent headache, fogginess, insomnia, restlessness, worsening of depression. And when I tried to increase to 5 mg I had such Terrible anxiety and I truly felt like my head was going to explode. I reduced and kept on 2.5 for a few days until remeron started and then. Is that an adverse reaction? If so, should Inge reinstating again?

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Stephy - 

 

The only issue is that I still need treatment for my depression and anxiety. I just started using klonopin daily .5 morning and night to get through anxiety. 

 

Here's the deal with these drugs:  they only seem to work.  They make a change in your brain, and you think it's working because it's different.  But then, it is really difficult to come off.

 

In reality, the antidepressants are only marginally better than placebo.  Walking on the grass in the sun every day is better than placebo, and has no side effects (except that you get wet in the rain).  Walking for 20 minutes a day is better than placebo.  Again, no side effects.  Having a dog is better than placebo - with the side effects that you have to pick up the poo.  I can point to studies which say this - but our culture has taught us that the "drugs are what is needed" in these situations - 

 

- and it's just not true.

 

If you have anxiety, you are better off learning new ways of dealing with it, and you will be a stronger person for it.

 

Okay - I talked about the antidepressants - what about anxiety drugs?  That story is worse.  I was just reading about a study that was done in the 80's.

 

Two groups of people.  One on benzo, one on placebo.  At 3 weeks, the benzo people were better.  But at 6 weeks, not only were the placebo people better, the benzo people were worse.  They suffered from a phenomenon called rebound anxiety, where the drugs actually made them more sensitive to their anxiety, and even invoked greater states of anxiety like panic attack and agoraphobia.

 

The same is true of antidepressants - they will sensitise you to being more depressed in the future.  

 

So please take care with using the benzos to get through this.  If you have only been using Lunesta occasionally, and Klonopin 2x a week, and only daily for the past few days - this is an excellent opportunity to get away from them before you get trapped (like you are with the antidepressants).

 

Learn more here:  http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/07/benzos-a-dance-with-the-devil/

 

In fact, since you are a new Mom, this article is by Kelly Brogan, who specializes in Women's Issues - you can read the first chapter of her book here:  http://kellybroganmd.com/amindofyourown/ 

 

She has some excellent ideas about nutritional support during and after pregnancy.  Are you breastfeeding?  

 

She also has a broad and varied non-drug toolkit for managing mood.    I recommend you look all over her page, read in her blog, search terms that you are concerned about (like anxiety, for example) and see what she says.  She is a powerhouse of support for women, and men benefit from her work, too.

 

My Pdoc wants to prescribe a new med, not sure what yet (waiting for the genesight test to come back) to help with anxiety and depression. As much as I don't want to take anything, I need to. I have a 9 month old baby to care for and a husband that is getting fed up

 

Can you join a New Mum Support Group?  This is vital to your well being, your marriage, and your babies.  A high percentage of post natal trouble is due to lack of support for the Mom!  Do you have family nearby who can help you?

 

Your P-doc wants to prescribe you a new med, but what you need is the drug that threw you into withdrawals to begin with.  That would be Lexapro.

 

HOWEVER, there is another drug which is similar to Lexapro which might work for you, its weaker cousin, Celexa.  Of course, depending on your gene profiles.

 

If I were suffering, like you are, I would reinstate 1 mg of Celexa.  If that takes the edge off of symptoms, then stay there.  The dose is low enough that it should not cause side effects, and may take the edge off of your symptoms.   

 

That way we can satisfy your p-doc.  It is a related drug, but weaker.  Tell him you want a low dose because of how strongly you reacted to Lexapro.  Tell him you want a low dose because you are a new Mom.   Celexa (or citalopram) is available in a liquid, too - so that you can take these tiny doses.  If he insists on a stronger dose - then you can insist on liquid so that you can choose a dose which is safe for you.

 

 How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal? and

What Should I Expect From My Doctor About Withdrawal Symptoms?

 

In regards to reinstating lexapro, my reaction to when I reinstated most recently at 2.5 was consistent headache, fogginess, insomnia, restlessness, worsening of depression. And when I tried to increase to 5 mg I had such Terrible anxiety and I truly felt like my head was going to explode. I reduced and kept on 2.5 for a few days until remeron started and then. Is that an adverse reaction? If so, should Inge reinstating again? 

 

Stephy, you went up and down in dose so many times - these drugs can have effects sometimes 3-6 months after a change - so your reaction would be complicated by changes you made back in January and February.  Most of your changes were in March - so - you still have some time to wait.  Be patient, stay steady, and your symptoms will settle.  It will get better.

 

If and when you pick a reinstatement, plan to stay there, hold the dose, and give your system a chance to settle.  I am suggesting a dose which is so low, you should not suffer these side effects.

 

This is a great time to learn some Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symnptoms

 

and here are 2 links which are helpful for anxiety:

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/music/FirstAidPanicF.mp3

 

Dr. Claire Weekes - Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

I hope you see the sun today!

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you! What dose is suggested to reinstate? Since I was not doing well on it in the first place (bad headaches, anxiety, gastro issues, weight loss, worsening depression) (the reason for so many adjustments) is it best that I not reinstate at all and wait it out?

Share this post


Link to post

I just saw the top note about what to reinstate and how much. My insomnia is so bad, and I need to sleep with having a baby. How can I get through that without meds? Remeron has helped to settle my system and get me to sleep.

Share this post


Link to post

When I try to sleep without meds, waves of panic go through me every time I try to relax. Will that go away? I am just trying to figure out if I should reinstate at the low dose or wait it out. Both seems risky and I am not sure which is better. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post

Stephy, are you still taking Klonopin and Remeron, how much, and when?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

When you say you need treatment for anxiety and depression, what exactly do you mean by "anxiety and depression"?

 

When did this sleep problem start?

 

It sounds to me like you have classic withdrawal syndrome, including a grueling insomnia.Doctors often interpret this as the kind of "anxiety and depression" that can be treated by psychiatric drugs -- but it's actually an adverse effect of the drugs and often more drugs makes it worse.

Share this post


Link to post

Stephy, I'm not suggesting that you stop the mirtazapine.  It will help you get to sleep - but you will do well to learn more about Sleep Hygiene, and keeping your eyes away from lights after 8 pm.

 

Important Topics about Symptoms Including Sleep Problems

 

If you can take the Lunesta less than 2x a month, to "catch up," can you do it?  Only 2x a month?  If you have to take it more than that, you run the risk of getting hooked.

 

Taking a benzo daily is going to ramp you up and make it worse, and then you will have to deal with benzo withdrawals.  Not a pretty picture.  I just read a story about Geraldine and her pregnancy, In "Anatomy of an Epidemic," by Robert Whitaker:

 

 

Geraldine Burns, a thin woman with dark red hair, still lives in the house she grew up in.  She tells me her story while we wit in her kitchen, her elderly mother darting in and out.

Born in 1955, Geraldine was one of six children, and theirs was a happy family.  Her father was Irish, her mother Lebanese, and their Boston neighborhood was known as "Little Lebanon," a place where everybody definitely know your name.  Aunts, uncles and other relatives lived nearby.  At age eighteen, Geraldine started dating a boy who lived down the block, Joe Burns.  "I've been with him ever since," she says, and for a time, their life unfolded just as Geraldine had hoped.  She had a job that she enjoyed in human resources at a rehabilitation center, she and Joe had a healthy son (Garrett) in 1984, and they basked in their close-knit neighborhood. Geraldine - outgoing and energetic - was the constant hostess for gatherings of family and friends.  "I loved my life," she says, "I loved working, I loved my family, and I loved this neighborhood.  I was the one who organized the reunion of my grammar school.  I still had friends from kindergarten.  I couldn't have been more normal."

However, in March 1988, Geraldine gave birth to a daughter, Liana, and she felt physically unwell afterward.  "I kept telling the doctors and nurses that I felt like I weighted a thousand pounds," she says, and after a doctor ruled out an infection, he figured she must be ancious and prescribed Ativan. (a benzo similar to Klonopin)  Geraldine came home from the hospital with a prescription for that benzodiazepine, and although it helped for a short while, months later, she still felt something wasn't right so she went to see a psychiatrist.  "She immediately tells me I have a chemical imbalance," Geraldine recalls, "She says that I should keep taking the Ativan and assures me that it is harmless and nonaddictive.  She tells me that I will have to take this drug for the rest of my life.  Later, when I questioned her about this, she explained it this way, "If you were a diabetic, you would have to take insulin for the rest of your life, wouldn't you?"

Soon, her psychiatrist added and antidepressant to the Ativan, and as Geraldine struggled to take care of her daughter that first year, her emotions seemed numbed, her mind fogged.  "I was in a daze half the time.  My mother would call and I would tell her something, and she would say, "You told me that last night." And I'd say, "I did?"  Worse, as the months wore on, she found herself becoming ever more anxious, so much so that she started staying inside her house.  Going back to her job in human resources at the rehabilitation center was now out of the question.  At one point, after she stopped taking Ativan for a day or two, she had a "massive panic attack."  The federal government agreed that she was disabled by "anxiety" and thus eligible for a monthly SSDI payment.  "Me, who was the most social person on the planet, is not able to go out," Geraldine says, shaking her head in disbelief. "I wouldn't go out unless my husband would take me."

Over the next eight years, Geraldine cycled through an endless combination of anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications.  None worked.  The anxiety and panic remained, and she suffered from a medley of side effects - rashes, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, tachycardia (from the panic attacks), and excessive menstrual bleeding, the last leading to a hysterectomy.  "All of the women I know who were on Ativan long-term ended up having a hysterectomy, every single one of us," she says, with evident bitterness  At last, in October 1996, she went to a new physician, who, after reviewing her medical history, identified a likely culprit.  "He told me, 'You are on one of the most addictive drugs known,' and I thought, 'Thank God.'  I was in tears.  It was the drugs all along.  I had been made iatrogenically ill."  

 

That's what we are trying to prevent.  You want to be present for your baby.  You don't want to get trapped, based on a feeling you are having now.  The feeling is - as Alto said - a withdrawal effect from all the changes in your Lexapro.  Please read the link about talking to doctors before you see your p-doc.  He may not believe that your symptoms are withdrawal, but we've seen this time after time here in SA.

 

You are in withdrawal from Lexapro; a reinstatement should help settle the worst of your withdrawals.

Are you a stay-at-home Mom?  Can you sleep when you sleep, and wake when you wake?  (not force it to a schedule?  Baby will probably like that, too).  We can survive and even do pretty well on less sleep than you might think.  

 

Also - I thought about your husband being "tired of it."  I understand, it's hard for someone who hasn't been through it to be compassionate - it seems impossible that it can be so extreme.  But it is.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8979-helping-family-understand/

I think there's also a cartoon about family here:  Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you

 

 I hope you see the sun today.

Share this post


Link to post

I took a genesight test after I quit lexapro that showed an issue with my seratonin reuptake pump which could be causing the reverse lexapro reaction. Also my body won't accept the drug like it used to. I am terrified to go back on it. Can you please advise if the symptoms will go away if I wait it out? Or do I really need to go back on a low dose? Could it backfire and make the issue worse?

I work full time so I can't go days without sleep.

Also, altostrata said she would be by to discuss remeron and alternative ideas to calm my nervous system.

Share this post


Link to post

Alto-I take klonopin .25 am as needed, .5 at night, remeron 7.5 at night. I stopped sleeping well after I started ssris, but the hypervigilence at night started a week after i quit lexapro. I will be drowsy and falling asleep after taking the remeron and unless I add klonopin to the mix at night, I get woken with waves of panic.

 

Still needing treatment is i was only on this mix for a

Couple months. My anxiety prevents me from making decisions and enjoying my daughter and sleeping. Depression only came after I stopped the meds. I feel like the drugs have thrown my chemicals off and I don't know how to get them balanced. Please advise.

Share this post


Link to post

I have now been off lexapro for over 2 weeks. Have I missed my window to reinstate? Just need to determine if I should wait it out or not. My system is very confused because I was on and off of it with several dose changes and I am worried i add it back, it could make things much worse.

Share this post


Link to post

Symptoms right now are insomnia, waves of panic at night, mild nausea, mild headache, anxiety-especially in morning

Share this post


Link to post

Alto-I take klonopin .25 am as needed, .5 at night, remeron 7.5 at night. 

 

Hi, Stephy.

 

I received your PM where you asked about reinstating the antidepressant, but I'm going to answer here on your thread, as all of the mods involved need to be privy so we give you the best and safest advice.

 

You mentioned in this post  that you have only been using Klonopin daily for two days in that April 17 post, which would be a total of 5 days at this point, is that correct?

 

How do you feel about discontinuing it now?

 

If I were you, I would work on getting off the Klonopin before reinstating the AD. If you do both at the same time, you won't know which drug change is causing any uptick in symptoms. 

 

Are you able to get a short leave from work? If that is a possibility, I would look into doing that and dealing with this without having that extra stress. With only a couple month's use of these drugs, you have a better chance of dealing with it now, especially with only a few days use of Klonopin. 

 

Just a thought, as I would really hate for you to develop a benzo dependency in addition to the antidepressant. 

Share this post


Link to post

I have to work and can't take a leave. I can stop the klonopin but I am worried that if I miss the reinstatement window, my withdrawal symptoms won't go away. Thoughts? Ideas for sleep?

Share this post


Link to post

Can anyone help offer guidance as to how I can get my chemical levels back into balance without going back on AD? How about sleep without benzos?

Share this post


Link to post

Stephy, you may want to look into a very small dose of melatonin:

 

Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

Please read the first post of that thread carefully, as it explains why a very low dose is the most effective. 

 

Melatonin won't keep you asleep, it only helps you fall asleep, so early morning awakenings may still happen, but it might be worth using as opposed to Klonopin. 

 

And you may find more helpful information here:

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

Share this post


Link to post

Stephy, you have some time to reinstate.  We have had successful reinstatements as late as 18 months out.  But you are in the "window of opportunity" - the best time to reinstate.  

 

"Serotonin pump?"  really?  Where in your body is that located?   I was just reading an article in the NYTimes about how genetic testing is not giving us the success and precision in drugs that they had hoped.  (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/opinion/moonshot-medicine-will-let-us-down.html)

 

Stephy, you need to learn to self soothe.  Mods here are all volunteers, and help in our free time.  We're not therapists or counselors.  If you need a therapist or counselor, I encourage you to seek one out in your community.  We've given you our best suggestions, and cannot go round and round defending our suggestions to every objection your mind creates (which in withdrawal is infinite).  Here are those suggestions, summarized:  

  • To reinstate Celexa or Prozac 1 mg (both available in liquid).
  • To address your Klonopin by eliminating it, or choosing a dose and taking that dose daily (knowing you will need to taper and withdraw later).
  • To eliminate Lunesta, or at least limit it to 2x a month.

The only other thing which I could suggest, besides Shep's suggestion of melatonin for sleep (remember less is better with melatonin), is Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil and Epsom Salts - Another Way to Relax with Magnesium

 

To call mods back to your thread to answer the same questions over and over - does not help your panic, and it makes our job harder.  We are not counselors, we are more like curators to this website and the masses of information contained here.  I live 14,000 miles away - how can I be more than a voice on the internet?   We can only guide you to help yourself.  It's up to you to actually help yourself.   Change the Channel and Redirect: Another Way To Change Cognitive Framing

 

To learn about self soothing, consider the following topics.

Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symnptoms

Breathing for Well Being

http://www.brainline.org/content/2008/07/how-clean-stinking-thinking-and-cope-better.html

Redirect with Timothy Wilson - Video

 

You say you "still need treatment," but I'm telling you that the treatment (drugs) is likely to do you more harm than good in the long run.  Please re-read "Geraldine's Story" that I typed out for you above.  Please, when you want to PM a mod, or feel panic - re-read the posts here, and go visit the links that we have curated for you.  The best treatment - is to unpatient yourself, and take the reins in your own process of managing your anxiety and depression.

 

If you need face-to-face help (counseling), then please seek that out locally.  If you have a church, seek fellowship for comfort.  You don't have to tell them what's going on with you, just that you are afraid and need support.  We are not counselors or therapists here.  We're more like librarians.

 

Do you have an appointment to see a doctor about reinstatement?  Have you read the links we've given you?  Watched any of the cartoons or videos?  These will help you more than I can.

 

I hope you see the sun today.  

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now