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Scorpio

Scorpio: Will this ever end?

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Scorpio

After successfully being on 20mg citaloprom having become depressed after the sudden death of my mother for about 8 years it pooped out sending me into dizziness,panic attacks etc for a couple of weeks then I felt fine. That was about 2 years ago. Three months later developed rash on face and diarrhoea, sleep disturbances, cramps and bruising on arms. Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to.

 

Sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed cipralex in drop form to build up slowly and then my hell for the past two and a half years started. From the onset of taking the drug increasing by one drop every third day I would have 24 hour panic/anxiety no appetite nausea fatigue. This went on for about three months and then what I now know as a window appeared for about a week only to plunge straight down again. 

 

That is how my life has been until last summer my gp told me I needed to see a psychologist as still suffering badly. Rang my psychiatrist to ask him and he said he felt my problems were not in the head but probably systemic so to see an endocrinologist. After various tests for adrenal thyroid etc he said all fine but felt steroid inhaler I had been on for about 4 years could be causing problems. Looked up side effects of inhaler and yes skin rash anxiety etc all matched.

 

September last year came off the rash, cramps etc all disappeared and even put on a few of the 10 pounds weight I had lost since this started. Felt fine for a couple of weeks then crash back into another wave and that is how it has been ever since with severe waves of anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue. Then paid privately to see a gp in the hope he would help.

 

His decision was the cipralex was aggravating me and to stop the eight drops a day immediately. I dropped a drop every two days and felt brilliant for five weeks apart from the brain zaps, nightmares,insomnia, dizziness then back came the raging anxiety, extreme fatigue, panic, nausea, loss of appetite. 

 

I have given in this morning and taken two drops of cipralex I don't know if I have done a stupid thing or not, whether it is too little or I should have just suffered for longer. 

 

Since this first started I seem incapable of taking any drugs or antibiotics without severe reaction   Can anyone help?  

Edited by KarenB
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mammaP

Hi Scorpio, welcome to SA. Did you stop the citalopram after it pooped out?

9 hours ago, Scorpio said:

Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to.

 

 Can you remember which drugs your doctor gave you to treat the symptoms?  It is horrifying that the doctor diagnosed all those symptoms as anxiety! 

 

How are you feeling after the 2 drops of cipralex? We usually reinstating a drug with a very very tiny dose especially when there has been a reaction to it. I would suggest half a drop, which can be taken by mixing one drop with water, say 10 mls, then taking 5 mls. which would give you 0.5ml or 0.5mg. Cipralex ( lexapro) is a very strong drug and the 8drops would be the equivalent of around 16 mg of citalopram, almost the amount you stopped at when it pooped out causing the nasty side effects. When we have experienced all the side effects we often can't tolerate drugs the same way. Our nervous system just can't take it anymore and that is why you reacted badly.  One doctor saw that and correctly said that it was the cipralex but had you drop it far too quickly.  It is a rock and hard place, stopping causes problems and taking it causes problems but often when a drug is tapered carefully those side effects lessen as the dose lowers.  

 I will get some info for you, so you might be able to understand what is happening, often we feel more empowered when we know what is going on. 

We ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug and tapering history. You can find how to do this here...

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

About reinstating 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Tapering lexapro

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

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Scorpio

Thank you so much for responding to my cry for help. I honestly cannot remember the different ssri's I was put on after the citaloprom pooped but all of them gave me awful reactions. 

Today, having taken the two drops of cipralex, has been awful. Anxiety through the roof , nausea,  fatigue, tinnitus and being unable to function. Although that is the same as yesterday before I had taken the cipralex. 

Until the last dr stated he thought cipralex was aggravating my problems I had no idea withdrawal syndrome existed. Without sites like these I would never have found out it is not just me!  Anxiety had never been a problem for me until the cipralex pooped. 

I take the cipralex in water and always did. 

 

Thank you for the links I will follow them up. 

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Scorpio

Good morning. I am sorry to keep coming back to you but I have nowhere else to turn and feel as if this nightmare will never end. Two and a half years of hell to feel better for five weeks and then to completely crash. 

The anxiety is overwhelming again and dominating everything. I can handle nausea, lack of appetite etc but not the anxiety

i took 2 drops again this morning after a bad night as I'm frightened to go up and down on the dose in case it makes it worse.  Do you know if it will make things worse by dropping another drop or should I stay with two drops. I realise you are not a medical adviser but from experience do you have any advice. 

Thank you 

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Madeleine

Hi Scorpio: Hang in there. Hopefully one of the moderators will give you some suggestions.  It will get better.

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Scorpio

Thank you for replying. I hope it does. Today is even worse. Think I will drop to 1mg as have been having dreadful night with extreme anxiety again. 

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scallywag

Scorpio, would you update your signature with your current dose of citalopram in drops and ml. Please also include the state you reinstated.

 

Have you been keeping track of your symptoms? Please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). This post has a useful format for a daily log:

Take notes of doses and symptoms.

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Scorpio

Hi scallywag

thank you for responding. I am new to the site and seem to be unable to find how to add to my signature. Once I find it I will do as you suggest. That sounds very sensible to start writing a log re side effects. 

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Scorpio

Thank you so much Scallywag. Have now updated. My brain is mushed due to all the side effects and now corrected as well as added to my signature. 

I have also been keeping a log of dose taken and effects during the day. Although today has been dreadful and have just been trying to get through it. Pray tomorrow is better. 

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Scorpio

Can someone please help. Have reinstated cipralex. 2 mg cipralex for two days without realising too high dropped to 1mg for past three days and am now in even more hell. The panic and anxiety is so high, nausea, headaches, awake since 4.00am. Don't know what to do with myself. Desperate 

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scallywag

Scorpio, it's possible that this intensification of symptoms would have happened without the reinstatement on 11 July.  Give yourself another 2 days or so.

 

Are you tracking your symptoms and the time of your doses on paper? Please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). This post has a useful format for a daily log:

Take notes of doses and symptoms.

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Scorpio

Thank you scallywag  yesterday was a complete nightmare. Couldn't do anything but curl up in a ball and wish for oblivion. Extreme anxiety and panic we're the worst symptoms but headaches and nausea as well as a heartburn feeling. 

Awake at 3 this morning with same feelings. Have dragged myself out of bed to try and face the day but terrified. I will take your advice and continue with one drop again today. 

Yes I am keeping a log doesn't make for happy reading at the moment. 

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Scorpio

Hello scallywag

yesterday was a bit easier. The crippling anxiety eased a little and I was even able to eat a little and slept until 5am. Today back to the nightmare crippling anxiety, nausea etc. I took 500mg of vitamin c last night having read on here it could help and another 500mg this morning don't know if it's aggravating or just one of those things. 

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ShakeyJerr

Hi Scorpio -

 

My heart goes out to you. All of us here know about the anxiety that comes with withdrawing from these meds. You have come to the right place to get good advice and support. I want you to know that you will see and end to this. You will recover.

 

There are actually quite a few things you can do to help relieve the anxiety. I don't want to bombard you, so let's start with one that most of us find helpful and that you can do any time anywhere: Mindful Breathing.

 

Mindful Breathing will help focus your thoughts, give your body and brain the oxygen it needs, and help your system begin to calm down.

 

First, take your hand and place it at the top of your chest. Exhale completely, like you are sighing. Feel your hand drop with the contraction of your chest. This will empty out some carbon dioxide.

 

Now move your hand to your belly. Breath in deeply, into your belly, through your nose. Feel your hand rise as your belly fills with air. This is a deep, slow breath into your belly - not a shallow gasp into your chest.

 

Now exhale slowly, letting the whole breath out through your mouth. Slow and steady; do not whoosh or force the air out.

 

Repeat this for at least three breaths.

 

As you become more practiced at this, you will be able to do it without using your hand as a prompt.

 

Here is a great, calming mp3 to walk you through it: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk//music/FirstAidPanicF.mp3

 

Hang in there. Breath. And be secure in the knowledge that you will heal.

 

SJ

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ShakeyJerr
7 hours ago, Scorpio said:

I was even able to eat a little

 

A healthy diet is key to recovery. Yes, eating - especially in the early days of withdrawal - can be difficult. But you do need to keep your strength up.

 

What I have found for me is that the cleaner my eating, the better I feel. That means cutting out as much refined sugar as possible. And it means getting rid of the white rice, the pasta, and refined flour - the simple carbs that turn into sugar in your body. Use whole grains, barley, lentils, and quinoa for better grain-based carbs.

 

Stick with protein sources like beef, chicken, and turkey, and lean pork. Fish is good too.

 

Veggies are better than fruit.

 

And lots of water! Stay hydrated. Stay away from all caffeine, sugary drinks, and even too much fruit juice.

 

SJ

 

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ShakeyJerr
7 hours ago, Scorpio said:

I took 500mg of vitamin c last night having read on here it could help and another 500mg this morning don't know if it's aggravating or just one of those things.

 

Too much Vitamin C can cause extra anxiety. But Vitamin C can be helpful in recovery because science says it can help heal the adrenal glands.

 

Always start any supplement at a low dose. Give it at least a week to see how it effects you - unless you have an immediate bad reaction. Then you can up-dose slowly after you know you are tolerating it well.

 

Also, Vitamin C is not a good idea close to bed time. It can be activating.

 

I started with 250mg Vitamin C in the mornings. Once I saw how I was tolerating that after a couple of weeks, I added a second 250mg dose at around 4pm.

 

Are you using any other supplements?

 

SJ 

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Scorpio

Hi shakeyjerr

thank you for your wise words. I jumped the gun again through sheer desperation. Still struggling with anxiety etc from having to reinstate one drop of cipralex due to withdrawals and suffering with that. It was probably stupid of me to try vitamin c before I even know if this reinstatement will help me. 

I am not taking anything else. I developed the sensitivity to all medicines etc when the citaloprom pooped out two years ago. It is only now having found this site that I can see what on earth has been happening to me. 

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Scorpio

Hi shakeyjerr

your post to me re diet is also really helpful. Unfortunately at the moment the overriding anxiety and nausea makes it so hard to eat. I can drink water all day and this evening when I felt a little better I managed some salad and yoghurt. Hopefully if this calms down I will be able to concentrate on the foods I need. 

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Scorpio

Hi shakeyjerr. 

I am sure there is an easier way to reply to your messages but I still haven't figured it out. Thank for your lovely inspirational words and for taking the time to give me some desperately needed support. It has been a very hard two years on myself and my husband and daughter but it was such an enormous relief to find out what was wrong with me when the only response from gp's and psych was you are anxious. You need tablets!  

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ChessieCat

Hi Scorpio,

 

I've moved the new topic you created to an existing topic:  sensitivity-to-medications-and-supplements-during-withdrawal

 

There are many topics already on the site.  I used google and typed in survivingantidepressants.org sensitivity to find this topic.

 

Each member has only 1 Intro topic.  In the Symptoms & Self Care and Tapering areas of the site there are many existing topics.  Please use the site search or the method above to see if there are existing topics before creating new topics.  Thank you.

 

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Scorpio

Hello scallywag

an update on trying to stabilise. Although yesterday was the same bad start it got better. Anxiety nausea etc were still there but not as crippling.  By about four in the afternoon the anxiety had almost gone my energy returned and I was even able to make a food shop list with enjoyment. Ate a full dinner first time since this started and enjoyed relaxing in the evening. 

Slept until 5.30 and dozed until alarm 6.15. But anxiety nausea back with a vengeance again today 

the fact that a small window appeared- does it mean I am beginning to stabilise as it is a week now since I started the one drop of cipralex?

 

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scallywag

Scorpio, a brief period of lighter or no symptoms is an excellent sign! :)

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Scorpio

Hi scallywag

thank you for taking the time to reply. You have given me hope that brighter days will come in time even though today has been hell again. 

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Scorpio

Hello scallywag

an update to my post on Thursday. Since my brief glimpse into an easing of symptoms on Wednesday I have been struggling badly with the severe anxiety, tinnitus,  etc with hardly any let up. 

I think I am just looking for reassurance that it can take longer than a week to stabilise as I am frightened this will never ease. 

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SidTheButterfly

Hi Scorpio. Thought I'd try reach out with my experience, although we are all different.  

 

I was feeling hopeless and anxious a week ago - one week in stabilising on a reinstatement of 5mg Citalopram, but that was a vast improvement from the rage and depression I felt in the preceding weeks. Now, one week later, I still have some tinnitus but all other symptoms have eased up. I feel okay again. 

 

We're all different so our paths and timelines may differ, but I'm convinced that we will also recover. 

 

I noticed an improvement crept up silently when I relaxed and started distracting myself with activities (even small things) instead of focusing on my symptoms. Tomorrow I'm doing a gentle  hike and seeing family. I'm already back to feeling like myself (although I'm still taking it easy to support my brain in recovering).

 

I have felt windows of relief, but they do get longer. Once I read about the windows and waves, I also tried to set up my schedule flexibly where possible to give me whatever support worked at the time - eg doing something relaxed but fun in windows, or just taking a walk, or having people around in waves. That has been giving me the sense of normality from "having a life" again, while I'm careful not to overschedule or commit myself because I am still fragile.

 

Good luck! Hope you feel better every day!

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Scorpio

Thank you Sidthebutterfly.  For your encouragement and hopefully for me like you my symptoms will ease. I am so pleased that you have found some relief from this hell. I do much the same as you in trying to find ways to distract myself whether in my really bad times it is mindlessly playing games on my iPad or enjoying my eight months old grandson who requires a lot of attention but gives so much back. They all help in different ways. 

I will take your comment as a mantra 'that we all recover' and thank you once again for reaching out. 

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Scorpio

10 days of taking 1mg of cipralex and still struggling badly. Is this ever going to stabilise or have I gone past the point of no return. Spent most of today either crying, trying to control the dreadful anxiety or sleeping because of the fatigue listening to my ears constantly hammering their own noise

 

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brassmonkey

Ten days is just barely into the stabilization period.  Fluctuations in your emotions is a good sign that the drug is helping.  Now that it's been reintroduced the body needs some time to figure out what to do with it.  Making the change in dose will have added to the confusion but shouldn't slow things down too much. Things should start settling out over the next few weeks. 

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Scorpio

Oh brass monkey thank you so much for responding and giving me back my hope that it will settle. As well as the anxiety being sky high the tears and horrible morbid thoughts nearly finished me off today. Spent the afternoon curled up on the settee trying to sleep. Just hoping it would go away. 

Now you have given me some hope and that this is still early days I will keep battling. 

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Scorpio

Hi brass monkey again. Sorry confusion is high too and can see I have repeated myself from earlier post. 

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brassmonkey

Don't worry about repeating ,repeating yourself, repeating yourself. :rolleyes: Your right in the thick of it ATM, and I know I had real trouble keeping my thoughts straight when I was there.  I'm glad I could help.

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Scorpio

Hi brass monkey. Well you achieved the impossible and finally today made me smile. Thank you. 

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Scorpio

Hello brass monkey. An update on my misery. Still struggling. It was my daughters birthday on Tuesday and my and her husbands had arranged the day off so that we could all go out to lunch together with my beautiful 8 month old grandson. I woke up feeling dreadful and very anxious but didn't want to let her down. So attempted a happy face with an internal meltdown. Braved restaurant and shopping and then had my grandson from 5pm to babysit until 11.15pm while they went out. The baby was teething and couldn't settle so spent most of night cuddling and pacifying him. 

Next morning woke at 4 with grumbling stomach, severe anxiety, tinnitus, nausea, bowel cramping and had as bad a day as Sunday. Morbid thoughts planning how to commit suicide I decided drowning would be best - strange, hate being out of my depth, wouldn't ever swim in the dark and frightened of what's in the water that I can't see!!!  Yesterday felt bit better although anxious but was able to eat, even went to Sainsbury's for my food shop on my own, something I am unable to do when in a wave, went to daughters to help with baby.  Felt as though it was getting bit better. 

Today slept til 5.30 (good) but wham, grumbling stomach, nausea, tinnitus, headaches, burning sensations down below and severe anxiety again. 

Sorry to ramble but so frightened and helpless. I know you said give it a few weeks but it is so hard. I had such a bad time on this drug for two years I am terrified it won't balance and I've damaged my brain beyond recovery. 

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powerback
2 hours ago, Scorpio said:

Hello brass monkey. An update on my misery. Still struggling. It was my daughters birthday on Tuesday and my and her husbands had arranged the day off so that we could all go out to lunch together with my beautiful 8 month old grandson. I woke up feeling dreadful and very anxious but didn't want to let her down. So attempted a happy face with an internal meltdown. Braved restaurant and shopping and then had my grandson from 5pm to babysit until 11.15pm while they went out. The baby was teething and couldn't settle so spent most of night cuddling and pacifying him. 

Next morning woke at 4 with grumbling stomach, severe anxiety, tinnitus, nausea, bowel cramping and had as bad a day as Sunday. Morbid thoughts planning how to commit suicide I decided drowning would be best - strange, hate being out of my depth, wouldn't ever swim in the dark and frightened of what's in the water that I can't see!!!  Yesterday felt bit better although anxious but was able to eat, even went to Sainsbury's for my food shop on my own, something I am unable to do when in a wave, went to daughters to help with baby.  Felt as though it was getting bit better. 

Today slept til 5.30 (good) but wham, grumbling stomach, nausea, tinnitus, headaches, burning sensations down below and severe anxiety again. 

Sorry to ramble but so frightened and helpless. I know you said give it a few weeks but it is so hard. I had such a bad time on this drug for two years I am terrified it won't balance and I've damaged my brain beyond recovery. 

hi Scorpio I can relate to so much here ,its a cruel joke someone stop it I often wish for .a simple phone call just now has me ruminating ,its torture .

always believe the suicide ideation is just a thought ,you become your own expert at changing the channel per say .I call on better times and memories when this is bad .

I'm the same as you having a bad time just taking the dam drug for so long  ,its nearly ruined my life and relationships [,somewhat even has ].

I'm on bead number 2 out and its just comical be honest [dark sense of humour ].

 

when your symptoms are the worst is there anything you can try your hardest to focus on ,I was vey bad the other day when out walking and I put my focus into looking at one foot in front of  the other ,before I knew it someone has asked me for directions and I'm back to reality .

changing the channel in our mind can become constant but its better than being stuck on ruminating .think of it like sitting in front of the tv and being forced to watch your worst ever programme ,you'll want to find the remote and switch the station or turn it off.

do you listen to Eckhart tolle ,he does some videos on the addiction to thinking ,now I'm well aware a lot of our thinking can seem impossible to turn off ,especially when this bad ,but I've been  practicing it a while now .something that would sit with me and eat my mind up can be eased or switched off completely .it takes loads of awareness and practice .

tolle puts addiction to thinking up there with alcohol ,drugs ,food, Shopping.i know this doesn't help your pain now  but he has a great understanding of suffering and the human condition .maybe you can find helpful tools when you are better so you never have to go back to drugs in the future .

when you are thinking of brain damage  go to YouTube and see how great the brain is at healing itself [neuroplasticity ]

we cant believe damage is there without evidence, this is extremely toxic for us to believe this .

sorry post a bit long ,I hate how much we have to suffer .

sending your healing vibes

PB

 

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brassmonkey

"Yesterday felt bit better although anxious but was able to eat, even went to Sainsbury's for my food shop on my own, something I am unable to do when in a wave, went to daughters to help with baby.  Felt as though it was getting bit better. "

 

It's these little wins that show that healing is taking place and things are in fact improving.  You had a very active and intense several days, but still managed to do things that you don't normally do and come out feeling a bit better. Congratulate yourself, well done.  There is no longer any need to be afraid of the situations, you have proved that you can get through them and do better.

 

We don't really approve of members talking in detail about suicide plans.  Suicidal Ideation is one of the more upsetting and triggering symptoms that many of us have had to face, but it's only a thought process that is caused by the drugs, nothing more, no matter how upsetting it seems at the time.  From your offhanded description you seem to understand this and were just talking about some feelings you were having.  This might be an opportunity to explore why this conclusion was reached in an attempt to better understand yourself.  Even our  darkest thoughts can shed light on our inner being and help us discover and reinforce our core beliefs.

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