I've read this link many times this week. What is not standing out to me are any indications of how long the intensity of crying and panic lasts for, for other as well as some strategies that help.
I think the intensity and duration of crying spells will be different for everybody. We're all on different medications, dosages, and duration. We all have highly individual body and brain chemistry, which affects every aspect of withdrawal.
For me, the crying spells became progressively worse with the tapering of medication. If I went below 2 mg Lexapro I go worse, if I went back up, I got better. After I finished the taper, and developed severe insomnia, I was crying pretty much all day. This wasn't just the kind of crying where you just tear-up a little on and off. No, this was full-blown uncontrollable inconsolable out-loud sobbing that felt like my soul was being ripped out of my chest. Tragic. Intense. Awful. My eyes hurt every day and my vision was blurry because I was crying so much. Then came night time which did not offer any respite from the suffering of the day. The unrelenting insomnia kept me tossing and turning, wide-eyed and panicked.
I tried everything. Nothing helped. I tried every supplement suggested here and many prescription meds. I tried hypnosis, deep breathing, meditation, qigong, guided imagery, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, talk therapy, and more.
Attempting to withdraw from psychiatric drugs after being on them for 10 years was a HUGE MISTAKE. It robbed me of years off my life, my livelihood, money, friends, and worst of all my health. Because of the inordinate amount of crying that I engaged in everyday and the breakdown of my nervous system, I wound up with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a Movement Disorder.
I have since mostly recovered from all of the above. The only way to achieve this recovery was to go back on Lexapro. Aside from not going on antidepressants in the first place, this is the antidepressant I should have been on, not Effexor or Pristiq, which raised my anxiety and were barely effective.
As I went back on Lexapro, I used liquid generic Lexapro * to taper UP. Within 3 weeks there was a marked improvement in my sleep. (I also stopped Klonopin and Ambien cold turkey). My crying spells significantly decreased at 2 mg. And my depression slowly began to lift. At 2.5 mg there was still occasional crying spells, but my sleep was steadily improving. However it wasn't until I reached 4 mg where I really started to see a difference. There have been no crying spells at 5 mg. Still I continued to be plagued by trauma memories of all my torturous experiences due to withdrawal. I wish I had never attempted getting off antidepressants.
Being on Lexapro 5 mg for 5 months now, I do not have crying spells anymore and I'm sleeping 8 to 10 hours per night. My nervous system has recovered and I don't have panic attacks or anxiety for no reason. I can drink strong coffee again! My movement disorder, Functional Spinal Myoclonus, has almost disappeared. It has taken me almost a year to get to this point. I still have lingering depression, but I think at this point it is mostly due to my isolation, (no friends, no job). But at least now, I am mentally well enough to think about trying to volunteer somewhere and eventually get a job again.
The fact is that I was in denial about the severity of my depression for a long time. I've had crying spells and melancholia since I was a teenager. I have been plagued by thoughts of death all my life - fearing the death of my loved ones, and being chronically suicidal. I have always suffered from "love addiction" and completely fall apart when lovers or close girlfriends leave me. This was my reality BEFORE I ever took an antidepressant.
Some people on this website claim that depression is a symptom of abusive childhoods or a side-effect of medication. My mental problems can definitely be contributed to an emotionally abusive parent. However, no amount of therapy has helped. I have tried so many things over the years. And I started so young. I picked up my first psychology book at age 13 and started learning about mental health! So sad. All those hours of journaling, self-inquiry, meditation, reading self-help books, talk therapy, trying to alter my beliefs and become more positive thru various spiritual modalities, group therapy, CBT workshops, art therapy, hypnosis, and on and on.... Sure, there were short term benefits, but nothing ever worked in the long run.
This doesn't mean that those things aren't worth doing. I still suffer from a flat down mood on some days as well as negative thoughts and low energy. But I'm not willing to raise my medication dose, and so I must try to use these non-medication therapies to improve my mental state. This is now possible, since I am finally mentally and physically stable due to antidepressant therapy. That is my foundation. You cannot build a house without first laying down a foundation that can support the structures above. I am ready to start building the rest of my house.
I have accepted the fact that I might have to take an antidepressant for the rest of my life. As long as it keeps working without causing me any major side-effects, then I'm ok with that.