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Junglechicken

Junglechicken

1,454 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I joined this forum today and wanted to introduce myself.

 

All it took was a family trauma to set off my depression/anxiety (my father's inability to stop spending money he didn't have, led to no money and my having to pay for my parents housing etc.,). 

 

I have suffered from underlying depression and anxiety for many years but managed to keep a lid on it by exercising and I guess being younger and able to forget the darker stuff by clubbing and going out.

 

Then 6 years ago hubby and I moved to Canada from the UK and I dive-bombed into hell.  Daily panic attacks at home and work, I was bullied at numerous work places as well as dealing with the work pressure, feeling of isolation and no support network.  Then in June I lost my job and have been more or less house bound with the exception of having to go out to do chores.

 

Went to my doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Feb 2014) - I was on it for 18 months in total and came off it mid-September 2015 after a 3 month taper at 5mg.  This happened after I had got a job at a large company (Nov 2013), and I had to take 3.5 months medical leave.  Upon my return to work, I was met with resentment and disdain by my colleagues who saw it that I was just looking to get "free vacation" time.  This made my life even more hellish - my Manager had wanted to get rid of me upon my return but couldn't by law.  I lost my job about a year after returning to work due to redundancy.

 

Since then I have experienced extreme fatigue (had to stop marathon training), intense muscle and joint soreness, weird dreams, tinnitus, headaches, sinusitis, pressure changes in my ears and ear pain, sub-clinical migraines, crying spells, GI issues, heightened anxiety and depression.  Despite these things, doctors never seem to find anything actually wrong with me.

 

I honestly feel as though I am in hell - I feel as though someone has taken a photocopy of me and the photocopy is a completely different person (withdrawal).  The weekdays are a drag, and I dread them as my hubby is at work.  I fear the worst will happen while he is away.  I am a total basket case and freak out very easily if there is a withdrawal symptom I don't recognise.

 

If I can survive this, I can survive anything.

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Hi Junglechicken--  Welcome to the group. "If I can survive this, I can survive anything."  You will and you can. I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time of it. If you've been reading around the site then you've probably realized that you came off the drug much too fast.  We recommend 10% every 4-5 weeks as a taper rate. All the symptoms you list are caused by too fast a taper.  Here are some threads you should read through;

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

Please, would you add a signature block, it really helps us to be able to help you.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

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Hi Junglechicken , welcome to the site.

 

Tapering off in 3 months is pretty much the same as stopping "cold turkey" . . . if you stopped the

cipralex just 7 weeks ago you need to understand you're going to be sick like you are now for some time to come.

 

If you want to avoid this , your best bet is to reinstate a small amount of cipralex , get stable , and then taper off

slowly and safely using the 10% guidelines.

 

You're going to get better from this , it's scary but it isn't permanent.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

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Thank you for your responses. 

 

Just goes to show why my MD was pissed off with me then - I had no idea that 3 months was like going cold turkey.

 

I will get my signature ready :)

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totally agree will all of the above, your taper was way too fast.  you will get through this just think of it as one of lifes' journeys. You will be stronger and better able to cope with whatever life throws at you when you are through the woods and on the otherside.

 

Namaste.

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Welcome, JungleChicken.

 

Are you taking Wellbutrin now?

 

As I read your signature (thank you for posting it), you only came off Cipralex in September. There's a fair chance that reinstatement of a low dose, such as 2mg,  might ease your withdrawal syndrome. After stabilizing on that for some months, you may be able to taper off by 10% per month.

 

Please read the links brassmonkey gave you for background information.

 

Skipping doses to taper is a high-risk way to come off drugs, I wish it weren't so popular.

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Welcome, JungleChicken.

 

Are you taking Wellbutrin now?

 

As I read your signature (thank you for posting it), you only came off Cipralex in September. There's a fair chance that reinstatement of a low dose, such as 2mg,  might ease your withdrawal syndrome. After stabilizing on that for some months, you may be able to taper off by 10% per month.

 

Please read the links brassmonkey gave you for background information.

 

Skipping doses to taper is a high-risk way to come off drugs, I wish it weren't so popular.

Just read your post Alto, thanks for your recommendation.  I'm seeing my doctor on Monday - no I haven't started on Wellbutrin.  I'll discuss the 2mg dose re-instatement with him. 

 

Will keep you all posted how this goes. 

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If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

:)

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Thanks Fresh!

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Please do not be surprised if reinstating 2mg doesn't make any sense to your doctor. Very few doctors have any grasp at all of tapering or withdrawal syndrome or what to do about it.

 

We suggest a very low dose reinstatement because your system may be sensitized to higher doses now. That kind of reaction can be very, very uncomfortable.

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Please do not be surprised if reinstating 2mg doesn't make any sense to your doctor. Very few doctors have any grasp at all of tapering or withdrawal syndrome or what to do about it.

 

We suggest a very low dose reinstatement because your system may be sensitized to higher doses now. That kind of reaction can be very, very uncomfortable.

Makes total sense Alto because my Doctor didn't ask about withdrawal, or even if I had been experiencing symptoms since coming off them.  Didn't ask about what doses I had tapered off on etc.,  Re-instating does scare me because of what the reaction could be.

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Update:

 

Looks like I've hit a "Window" of recovery.  For the last 3 days (its nothing short of a miracle), I have had no physical symptoms at all.  I even feel cheerful!

 

This is the first window I have encountered BTW, so have no idea how much of a break I'll get from the misery I have experienced for the past 2 months.

 

Trying to do as much as I can while actually feeling ok.

 

Best,

JC

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UPDATE #2

 

OK, so I went to my doctor.

 

I told him that I did not want to go onto Wellbutrin - that's that one cleared up.

 

You were right Alto, he told me that 2.5mg isn't a dose, however, I explained that I would increase the dose if needed but wanted to see how I would react 8 weeks out from stopping Cipralex.

 

Secondly, he was poised to send me off for a barrage of tests when I explained some of the withdrawal physical symptoms I had had post-stopping Cipralex. i.e. he didn't believe that said physical symptoms had anything to do with withdrawal.  Fortunately though, he gave me the benefit of the doubt.

 

I tried to tell him in the nicest possible way that I wasn't trying to undermine his medical expertise.  I asked him about other patients, and he just said that they only had headaches which lasted a couple of weeks, after coming off ADs.

 

So, I bought a pill cutter and when I hit my next "Wave", I'll re-instate at 2.5mg (cut a 10mg pill into 4 pieces).

 

All I can say is, watch this space.

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QUOTE: " You were right Alto, he told me that 2.5mg isn't a dose, however, I explained that I would increase the dose if needed but wanted to see how I would react 8 weeks out from stopping Cipralex."

 

 

Forewarned is definitely forearmed.  Well done (and I don't mean that condescendingly).

 

Remember - listen to your body.  Just a thought, try not to overdo it and end up in a heap.  It's not just our brains that are struggling, our bodies are too.

 

Take care.

 

CC

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QUOTE: " You were right Alto, he told me that 2.5mg isn't a dose, however, I explained that I would increase the dose if needed but wanted to see how I would react 8 weeks out from stopping Cipralex."

 

 

Forewarned is definitely forearmed.  Well done (and I don't mean that condescendingly).

 

Remember - listen to your body.  Just a thought, try not to overdo it and end up in a heap.  It's not just our brains that are struggling, our bodies are too.

 

Take care.

 

CC

 

Thanks CC, this is all very nerve-wracking.

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Yes, it is stressful, but at least we have the knowledge (see my signature) and also the support of people here, which is really a great help with them understanding what we are going through.  We can't fight an enemy if we don't know the enemy and its tactics.  We have an advantage because we do know.

 

I've got a big week next week and have to do some organising leading up to it.  I'm trying to be sensible in not trying to do to much all at once and have even decided not to do my volunteer work day this week so it will give me an extra day.

 

We'll get there, it will just take time and patience.

 

CC

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I hope next week goes well for you CC, becoming adept at minimising stress is part of the territory.

 

Have realised that the Physio doesn't help my aches and pains (actually made then worse), and that the Osteopath does wonders and I am pain free after treatment.  Wonder if this is an individual thing or whether anyone else has found this.

 

It has been a huge relief to find this site.  For once, no judgement or trolling but genuine support and concern.

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Thanks Junglechicken,

 

And here! here! or is it hear! hear!  It's something you hear (no pun intended) but don't see written.  Anyway, whichever for genuine support and concern.

 

CC

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So far so good.

 

Not counting my chickens (excuse the pun), but am making the most of being in the WINDOW, i.e. having no headaches and other really weird stuff going on.

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I think I am into my next "WAVE" which started on Sunday - body pains seem to start during a stressful conversation with friends about my parents dire financial situation and what I have been doing for the past 15 years to try to get it straightened out.

 

Got aches and pains in the joints and muscles during and after an 8k walk on Monday.

 

Had a bout of diarrhea yesterday, feel nauseaus, headachy, had crying spell first thing in the morning.

 

Have a big meeting next Friday to sort out some financial stuff with my brother which quite frankly is scaring the s**t out of me.

 

Trying to keep a lid on my fears.

 

NB: Managed to sleep through the night without having taken 10mg of Melatonin or pain killers.

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I think I am into my next "WAVE" which started on Sunday - body pains seem to start during a stressful conversation with friends about my parents dire financial situation and what I have been doing for the past 15 years to try to get it straightened out.

 

Got aches and pains in the joints and muscles during and after an 8k walk on Monday.

 

Had a bout of diarrhea yesterday, feel nauseaus, headachy, had crying spell first thing in the morning.

 

Have a big meeting next Friday to sort out some financial stuff with my brother which quite frankly is scaring the s**t out of me.

 

Trying to keep a lid on my fears.

 

NB: Managed to sleep through the night without having taken 10mg of Melatonin or pain killers.

Re-instated 2.5mg Cipralex last night due to horrible headache on right side of brain.  Have no idea how this is going to go 10 weeks out from last dose.  Petrified.

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It will most probably be fine JungleChicken . . .you may even feel some respite in the next few hours. 

 

Good move.  Keep us updated.  Try and relax , it's going to be okay.

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Thank you Fresh.

 

I'm going to see how/if I react badly in any way to that dose. 

 

If I get no reaction, and WD effects don't go away I'll increase to 5mg.

 

JC

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Foot note to my previous message:

 

Current WD symptoms in WAVE #2 (after approx. 2 week "WINDOW") are:

 

Right side headache, pain behind right eye

Right inner ear feeling "full"

Nausea

Loss of appetite - don't want to eat bread, sugared foods (have lost 8Ibs since stopping Cipralex mid-Sept)

Diarrhea - electrolyte drink after exercise seems to cause stomach upset and sessions on the loo

Body aches and pains - though these have eased off completely since yesterday

Tremors in hands (slight)

Crying spells

Akathisia - have to keep moving/busy to take my mind off whats going on

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JC, it will take the 2.5mg reinstatement at least 4 days to reach steady-state in your bloodstream. I would not consider any changes in dosage for a week or more. so you can see if perhaps 2.5mg will be enough.

 

You may still get windows and waves while your nervous system stabilizes on 2.5mg.

 

Can you describe your "akathisia" in more detail?

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JC, it will take the 2.5mg reinstatement at least 4 days to reach steady-state in your bloodstream. I would not consider any changes in dosage for a week or more. so you can see if perhaps 2.5mg will be enough.

 

You may still get windows and waves while your nervous system stabilizes on 2.5mg.

 

Can you describe your "akathisia" in more detail?

Thanks Alto, really appreciate your comments.

 

As for the Akathisia, I am only guessing its that, as I struggle to be still / meditative and tend to try to keep myself occupied throughout the day.

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OK, so I'm 3 days into my 2.5mg Cipralex re-instatement and have the following to report:

 

NO headaches today

NO upset stomach/diarrhea (did not take electrolyte yesterday or today so I think that was the cause)

NO nausea

NO crying episodes

NO hand tremors

MINOR aches and pains

 

NB: This may have contributed to the above, but yesterday I visited the osteopath who specialises in migraines and headaches.  So she may have helped to reduce the cause.

 

Slept through the last 2 nights without melatonin.

 

Not counting my chickens, but will continue to monitor.

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Managed an 8k walk today with few aches and pains.

 

Feeling more upbeat mood wise.

My appetite has returned.

Slept for 10+ hrs last night - didn't take melatonin.

Still have tinnitus.

 

Must be sensitive enough that the 2.5mg of Cipralex is having an effect on the WD symptoms.  Wonder whether I need to updose in a couple of weeks?

 

Still early days, so we'll see how they go.

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So far so good .....

 

Just wanted to thank everyone for their support, and Alto for the re-instatement dosage suggestion.  I have managed to re-claim some of my life back at least :)

 

For now, I'm hanging in there and hoping I remain "stable" and don't need to up-dose.

 

For those worried about re-instating and what it could do to you (like I was), there really is hope, at least I have more hope now than I did 5 days ago.

 

Thank you again to this site and the amazing people on it!

 

P.S  System definitely doesn't tolerate electrolyte - when I was marathon training I never had any issues when I took it.  Now maybe its just too much and I'm rushing to the washroom every 5 mins.

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Just checking in after 2 weeks of having re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg.

 

Seem to be fighting off a cold, and felt a bit shaky today as I think I overdid the green tea on a professional training course.

 

Anyway, other than that I'm sleeping well, feeling more positive and the biggest news yet:

 

After a meeting yesterday, I managed to resolve the very thing that gave me the anxiety in the first place - this has taken 15 years to get resolved!!

 

Will keep checking in with everyone, hope you guys are ok and able to enjoy the lead up to the Holidays.

 

P.S Ang - got your message re: Class Action lawsuits against pharma companies.  Sorry to hear the hell you have been going through. 

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Good for you on all fronts!

 

Please treat your system gently, it's had a shock. It may be sensitive for quite a while.

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Good for you on all fronts!

 

Please treat your system gently, it's had a shock. It may be sensitive for quite a while.

Thank you so much Alto, if it hadn't been for your guidance; and this website, I wouldn't be enjoying a much improved physical/mental state.

 

And yes, I still feel the need to treat my system gently.

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Hi guys,

 

Another quick check in to update you. 

 

Experiencing milder body aches and muscle pain post-exercise yesterday and today - 2 weeks after 2.5mg Cipralex re-instatement.

 

Nothing like what I experienced during the WAVE which was unbearable.

 

JC

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Hey junglchicken,

 

I'm really glad that your reinstatement is working and beginning to provide you with some much needed relief ☺

 

Reading your initial post reminded me that I used to have problems with pressure changes in my sinuses and ears when I was going through Citalopram withdrawal a couple of years ago. I am still at a loss to explain how antidepressants withdrawals can cause pressure changes in your ears! Bizarre huh.

 

Keep up the good work....

Ciao for now

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Thanks FunkyB for your message!

 

Luckily the ear pressure changes and sinus issues I had been having, are no longer present since Cipralex re-instatement 3 weeks ago.

 

I am still experiencing mild body and joint aches and pains post exercise with mild headaches - I am a very active person so I'm not surprised I keep getting these as a reminder.....that I need to be gentler on the body.

 

Also, we are about to move back to the UK from Calgary, which has been a full-time job planning logistics and making sure we are organised. Its super expensive when not being paid for by a company.

 

Anyway, I'm thinking of everyone on this website and will keep checking in with you guys.

 

Hang in there everyone x

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Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Had a cheese fondue on Christmas Eve after several weeks of clean eating and my digestive system is seriously unhappy....could hardly eat anything yesterday or today and have been walking up and down mountain roads to help things along a bit.

 

Anyway, other than that, not doing badly at all and it's been a month since I re-instated Cipralex at 2.5mg.

 

Thank God for this website, Alto and all you amazing people on it.

 

Last week I picked up a year's supply of Cipralex to cover the period when we wont have a doctor etc.,

 

Major life changes lie ahead of me and hubby once again, so hoping we can survive.

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