Hi, I am a 23 year old woman currently taking 10 mg of Lexapro a day. I've been on it for 2 years and my panic attacks and major depression has subsided. However, I am still feeling a major lack of motivation and disinterest in activities that used to engage me. I am able to go about my life which involves substantial responsibilities (I'm a psychology graduate student) and still have an active social life but I do not feel the "love for life" that I felt before the depression and medication. I am wondering if this could be a side effect of the medicine or if it is a residual of my major depressive episode. If anyone has had these symptoms while on Lexapro, advice/thoughts would be much appreciated.
7 Jan 2006
after taking Lexapro for about 8 months I noticed that I was very disinterested in everything. I didn't have the energy for anything. The things that used to be fun for me were a chore. I was taking 10mg. for two months, then increased to 40 for two more months, and then to fifty for two more months. By christmas this last year, 2005, I felt so bad. I felt worthless, like my life was meaningless. My psychiatrist couldn't see me so I went to an urgent care facility and found out that the maximum dosage is usually 20mg for an adult. I couldn't believe it. It was making me suicidal. So I finally got in to see my regular psychiatrist and really didn't care to take me off of it. I told her I wanted to go off of it but she only decreased it to 40mg. I tried to quit cold turkey but the withdrawals are really bad so I have decided to do it slowly. I am feeling better now that I know what is going on. Before finding out about the Lexapro and the dangers of it I thought that I was going crazy. I hope that this has been a little bit helpful for you. I am sure the stuff makes everyone feel differently. It definitly made me feel blah!
9 Jan 2006
Hi. I'm a 54 year old male and I had a small stroke (no such thing) in August of 2005. I didn't lose the use of anything, and have still most of the feelings on the side (left) of the stroke. I was put on 10 mg of Lexapro while still in the hospital and almost started climbing the walls when I came home after the first week. I had to start taking Xanax (.5mg)twice a day to offset the extreme anxiety it gave me, but I also lost interest in most everything. I'm an active person who does a lot of customer interaction supporting computers. I have since changed meds, and am unfortunately still having problems, which I'm working with my physciatrist on, but wanted you to know that the loss of interest was something I also felt . Maybe you should consider a change of meds, and doctor if you don't feel happy. 23 is too young to be 'blah'without trying other stuff. I also have issues with depression and anxiety... don't give up, there are new meds everyday which may be able to help you... good luck... John
9 Jan 2006
Thanks for your responses, it helps to know that there are others who are feeling like me... I just cut back to 5mg a few days ago and haven't really noticed any changes yet but I know it takes a few weeks to get out of your system. I am going to make an appointment with a psychiatrist for next week and see what they recommend.
28 Sep 2009
Hang in there, Anne! :)
I am currently on Lexapro 20 mg. The lower dose initially helped me with the sadness and depression, but eventually the doctor raised it to the 20 mg due to symptoms returning. At first it was ok, but in the past 3 months I too am experiencing the symptoms you described. They kind of sneak up on a person and before you know it - WHAM - you are feeling bad again. As others advise, talk to your physician, tell her/him your symptoms and be your own best advocate. YOU DO NOT NEED TO FEEL LIKE THIS!
7 Oct 2009
I was on Lexapro 10mg for anxiety and panic attacks. I took it for 6 weeks and stopped because of all the side effects. This drug caused me to be unmotivated about pretty much everything. I'm married with 3 kids and I'm a stay at home mom. I have always been very high energy, and ready to tackle most anything. Until Lexapro kicked in. The 1st week on it, I ran a half marathon I trained really hard for. I have run 3 times since that race. Lexapro made me tired, lazy, hungry and very "blah" for lack of a better description.
Long story short, my Dr said the Lexapro sent me into depression and advised me to taper off ASAP! Well, I didn't taper, I just quit cold turkey. Luckily, I haven't had the side effects many people talk about. I had so many side effects from this drug, that I would rather have anxiety and panic attacks than feel numb and not care about anything.
Good luck to you. Please see your Dr and tell him EVERY single thing you are feeling. I hope you feel better soon!
19 Oct 2009
I think it really depends on the person. On one hand, you have drug side effects, but on the other, you have side effects of depression.
I'm 27, and I've been on Lexapro for about 6 years now, currently at 40mg dosage. It has completely changed my life for the better, despite some of the side effects. I have been on so many other drugs, and been to a lot of counseling, as well as therapy sessions, for GAD, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, Depression, and Seasonal Depression.
I've found, that, with the help of my psychiatrist (which it is very important that you get a good one who wants to help you and work with you... been through several), you have to find a balance between the drug dosage, and be aware that your levels of depression and anxiety will change, and change the dosage accordingly.
I'm no professional, but, from what you are describing, it very much sounds like you are still having symptoms of depression, and not drug side effects.
Although I've seen Lexapro at times reduce my motivation, it isn't the sole factor / cause of it. It's always a combination of anxiety/depression and stress, as well as possible lack of sleep.
Talk with your psychiatrist, and see if you may need to up the dosage, or add another anti-anxiety drug or depression aiding drug to help stabilize your emotions.
6 years ago, when my anxiety and depression were at their worst, I was on Xanax, Neurontin, and Celexa (pre-Lexapro days, same chemical compound, but more side-effects.) At that time, Neurontin, which was mainly used as an anti-psychotic, was given to me to help level out my depression and emotional levels.
I use to be on so many drugs, but after things stabilized, and the depression lessened, I do feel more motivated now (although it does change with the amount of stress and sleep, as I mentioned, and seasonal changes.) I'm now on only 2 medications, Lexapro and Clonopin, and, under the direction of my Psychiatrist, reduce and increase the dosage as necessary.
So, in direct answer to your question, yes I have had those symptoms while on Lexapro, but I also had them before, and much worse. Does Lexapro contribute to the problem? I'm sure it does a little, but I really think that, after much discussion with doctors, therapists, etc., it has much more to do with my overall emotional state than it does with the drug.
The main causes of feelings like that, from my understanding, is depression, which can also be accelerated and compounded by lack of exercise, increased stress levels, poor diet, and lack of adequate sleep.
Talk with your psychiatrist, figure out what's going on with your body, and go from there. Most likely, you're still experiencing symptoms of depression.
12 Dec 2009
I have been on lexapro for a couple years now going from a small dose up to 40mg and am now back down to one and a half 20s a day. I have never had any problem with them giving me a lack of motivation. That seems like more of a problem that medicine isnt working for you but im not a doctor so i wouldnt reccomend you to stop taking them. But I have never had a problem with lexapro.
8 Jan 2010
i'm a 20 year old woman and this is only my first week of being on lexapro but i am already finding that i am way way less motivated and although i had no motivation anyway due to my depression, i feel that its getting worse, when i sit down when i finish work or college and i find that have no energy to move and before i know it its 6 hours later and i haven't moved a muscle, the tv isn't even turned on, im just sitting alone in the dark because the sun went down and the light switch seems so much effort to turn on. even when i get up in the morning for my shower, i end up staying in ther for an hour because i end up phasing out every 2 minutes.
but to me it sounds like its just whats left over from your major depression, i'd say wait another few weeks and see how it goes and if it doesn't improve, i suggest you see your doctor
good luck x
13 Jan 2010
I have been on Lexapro 30mg for 4 years, supposedly for panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. after a university student put me on a written death list (along with 3 other professors) and the university did nothing to stop him. The other 3 teachers quit. The university said he was expressing his "freedom of speech" guaranteed by the first amendment, and after nine months of his following me around pointing his hand at his head like it was a gun, I had a breakdown and began having panic attacks so severe that I had to go on disability.
After I moved to another state, the psychiatrist here put me on Lexapro. For the past few years, on Lexapro, I've had no motivation whatsoever, I am more depressed than I've ever been, am constantly suicidal, and planning mass murder. Whenever I've told the Psych doc this, she laughs and says I have a funny sense of humor and need therapy. Guess what? I've been in therapy. I don't need therapy. I needed to get off the Lexapro. After fixing everything that was "wrong" with my life, there was only one thing left: the Lexapro.
I looked up the rare side-effects and guess what they were? Everything I was experiencing and the things you're experiencing. Then I found this group. After reading how to taper off and about the withdrawal symptoms, I began tapering off myself (it was the weekend, so I couldn't reach my doctor anyway).
The withdrawal symptoms weren't too bad. Not as bad as the side-effects of the Lexapro itself. And for the first time in 4 years, I didn't want to kill myself or someone else, and I felt enough energy to actually do something. When I called my doc on Mon, she was out of the office for two wks (again, she's just gotten back from a 3-weeker out of town), but I told her nurse than I was taking myself off the Lexapro so somebody better tell me how to do it. She consulted with another doc who told me to go down .5 mg a week at a time till I got to 10 mg, then add 50 mg Elavil, which is what I'd been taking before (my doc here wanted to try something "new") and take them together until my doc returned.
No way. After reading many medical site written by doctors, I learned that Lexapro, instead of keeping serotonin in the brain, as SSRIs are supposed to do, depletes it, causing all the bad feelings: lack of motivation, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. Each day I woke up, I felt better -- until my daily dose of Lexapro kicked in. It was horrible.
Today is my first day of no Lexapro at all. I took two day on 10 mg along with 50 mg of Elavil, then realized that if Lexapro is destroying the serotonin, I'm never going to feel good while on the Lexapro, so, today I took the Elavil without taking the Lexapro. I've taken Elavil before and felt wonderful (for depression & migraines, before I had panic attacks). I feel wonderful today.
And here's the thing: Lexapro is for depression and GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER, which I do not have, and which it doesn't sound like you have either. It is not for Panic Disorder. No where in the PDR literature or in the FDA literature does it indicate that Lexapro should be prescribed for Panic Disorder. My doc and I are having a serious talk when she gets back in Feb and I see her.
Your lack of motivation and depression are from the Lexapro. It is listed as one of the serious side effects that alerts you to "see your doctor immediately" no matter how long you've been on the medication in order to get off Lexapro as quickly and safely as possible. Do NOT go off Lexapro "cold turkey" as it can cause a heart attack or other serious fatal conditions.
Make your doc put you on another, older SSRI, one that's been around longer and which has more post-marketing data available for patients' reactions AFTER it's been approved by the FDA since drug companies are far too powerful and too quick to release drugs without caring what the drugs do to us.
Blessings on your path, as my Lakhota friend says, and I will send you healing,
22 Jan 2010
Hi anne9900, I am a 30 yr old female, and have been taking Lexapro for 6 years. I would definetly say that for me, it has caused lack of motivation. That zest for life is pretty much gone. I wouldn't consider myself a unhappy person and Lexapro has definetly helped me with my anxiety and panic attacks, but I kinda go through days now without much motivation, which is very unlike me before the Lexapro. I feel like it kind of dull's out my personality, since I am typically and very upbeat and happy go lucky girl. My personal opinion, I would say it's a side effect from the Lexapro. It's kinda like you have to decide would you rather be anxious and depressed or aloof and boring, lol! I have made up my mind that with my dr's help I am going to VERY gradually taper down off of this medicine. I feel like for me, it's been way to long and I don't wan't to be dependent on it for the rest of my life, it's already been 6 years. Hope my answer helped you somewhat, best of luck to you ;)
28 Jan 2010
I have been on Lexapro for approximately four years. I have been on so many anti-depressant/whatever cocktails for my bipolarity (with mixed episodes) I can't remember them all. The majority of the anti-depressants didn't have awful side effects--some of them helped until my body simply became immune to them. (Those medications for other aspects of me being bipolar are mostly horror stories.) The Lexapro seems to keep my bipolarity at bay (I also take Lamictal as a mood stabilizer), but, I definitely feel the lack of motivation you are describing. Strange, I had never even thought that the Lexapro could be the culprit. I've had the best luck with it depression-wise, but, if I were able to get motivation back into my life, I think I would be willing to try something else again, though I am wary, after sooo many previous medications.So, thank you for your question and answers, as they have give me a clue as to my lack of motivation.
10 May 2010
I took Lexapro for 6 years and am currently back on it after a brief period of stressful events. I too had that lack of motivation and love for life you mentioned but found a really great cure for it too. I decided to add a lot of exercise to combat the weight gain and the love of life came right back. Something about getting out and burning calories makes that kind of numb feeling in the head go away. I hope this helps. Now that I am back on 10mg I am back on my bicycle every day.
4 Jun 2010
I have been taking Lex 20 mg for one year now. For me, I have energy. When I first started with Lex, I had the urge to clean. LOL.. I know cleaning. uuhh. For me it was different allI wanted to do was clean. So I did, I also started doing home improvements by myself. I started a garden from nothing. I built a retaining wall. Made up my own designs. I have 2 girls and I keep myself busy by cleaning or gardening. I mean theres day I dont do the dishes but Im pretty motivated. I have other symptoms like terrible mood swings. I dont want to be bothered with at all. I wanna be left alone. Why dont you start doing something positive? Start something that you have never done before. Like I did. Hope this helps..
5 Aug 2010
Hi anne9900, I was on Celexa for 5 years then was switched to lexapro and was on that for the past 5 years I went from getting up every morning and working out for 2 hours every day to taking a half hour walk every day. It has nothing to do with depression. I lacked motivation and felt removed (numb) all the time. I tried to come off it many many many times but, the withdrawal symptoms are HORRIFIC!! I finally found a remedy that's helped somewhat and even though it's only been a short period of time I'm already feeling more energetic!! I'm actual getting up before 9am!!! and not having to nap in the afternoon and staying up past 9pm!!! I know critics would say that my depression is gone that's why I'm more energetic, but I wasn't put on the Meds for depression, I was put on the for anxiety ... and just had to stay on them because I didn't hav the time it takes to go through the withdrawal symptoms...
well, I got laid off and decided it was now or never and I'm soooo happy I did it, now I feel like it's my duty to warn everyone considering this life stealing drug!! I'm going to try natural remedies and even then I'm checking all side effects and withdrawal symtoms before I sart anything!!! Good Luck!!! ">
26 Aug 2010
While I can not exactly say it's the Lexapro, I have pretty much sat at this computer for the past 1 1/2 years. I've been on 10 and then 20mg post surgery and have begun eliminating drugs over the past several weeks trying to find "normal". I'm in my first week without any Lexpro and I've started working around the house again. I'm 54 and won't make the conclusion that Lexapro alone was the problem, but I am feeling better. Please know, that any level of withdrawal from drugs like these is not easy or pleasant
- Lexapro Information for Consumers
- Lexapro Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lexapro (detailed)
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