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Lexapro - Withdrawal symptoms
06-09-2012, 01:51 PM #151
I have been taking 10mg Lexapro for only about 6 months and I have never felt better. When I called my doctors office for my next refill they told me that he would not give me any more medication refill and that he wanted me to try to get off the medication. But by this time I only had like a weeks worth of pills left. So I took one tablet every other day which lasted about 2 weeks. Now its been about 1 week of no medication. I have been crying daily, I continually have dizzy spells all thoughout the day. And to top it all off I am so tired that I have been sleeping hours in the afternoon. I was starting to think that there was really something wrong with me but now after seeing everyones posts I feel better already knowing its not just me.
08-16-2012, 02:40 PM #152
Have you tried this?
First time poster, long time Lexapro user. So I've been on Lex for over 10 years and I currently take 10mg/day. I've read hundreds of posts now and feel better about how difficult it has been for me to get off of this stuff. So I'm a teacher and have the luxury of having summers off to try and taper, but my withdrawl symptoms are always the same and include all of those symptoms that I've seen in the posts I've read; so I don't need to reiterate here. Even after tapering over 3 or 4 month stretches, my withdrawl symptoms remain horrific and render me useless when I go back into the classroom, which means I have start taking the Lexapro again. So my question to all of you out there comes from the fact that I have not seen a single post that mentions THC and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with it in the context of withdrawl alleviation. I'm not a partier, I rarely even drink and it's been 15+ years (college days) since I've had any pot. Does anyone here think it would be worth looking into getting a license to use THC products to try and alleviate some of the side-effects of getting off Lexapro? Please understand that I have no intention of taking these products while in the classroom, I am interested in easing the pain during the tapering period in the hopes that I can be chemical free by the fall of next year (since I couldn't quite make it off the meds...again )
Any constructive thoughts would be appreciated...Thanks.
08-22-2012, 09:03 PM #153
I also started to experience a tingly lightheaded sensation towards the end of my workday that would subside when i came home and took the rest of my dosage. but this annoyed me because i knew the meds were the reason i was having that feeling in the first place. i guess there was some confusion because i thought i was having that feeling because the meds were in my system too much, only now realizing that my body was telling me i needed to take more.
08-26-2012, 03:19 AM #154
I think my metabolism has slowly been repaired too, although it has also taken months and months. I can't eat any less than i do now and i have found that now the weight comes off from exercising more - which i couldn't do when i was on escitalopram or straight after due to the lethargy it causes.
Originally Posted by Patience
08-26-2012, 11:08 AM #155
I am a 53 year old male. My MD perscribed Lexapro for depression. I took 5mgs a day for 1 week then 10mgs a day for 4 days. I had severe side effects. I then reduced to 5mgs every other day for 4 days. I have been off lexapro for almost 5 weeks. I have been having severe anxiety attacks, shaking and cold sweats since quitting the lexapro. I have been taking Zanax to combat the anxiety. At first it worked but I seem to need more and I'm switching between increasing dosage and trying to cold turkey. I can only sleep about 3 hours a night and I have no appetite and have to force feed myself. I have horrible fear of loosing my job. My wife is at her wits end and can no longer help me. My children need their father back. Please help.
09-01-2012, 04:03 PM #156
I was on Lexapro 5mg for the first week, then 10mg for 3 weeks. Every day I had terrible headaches and ended up taking 8 tylenols with 8 advils only to endure the same misery. I had no appetite and felt "stoned" yes, my anxiety vanished but so did my motivation to do anything. When it got to a point where I started to feel suicidal, I quit cold turkey. The withhdrawal, even after using it only for 3 weeks!! was no fun. I was very, very dizzy, not well overall, and every time I turned my head - I got those electric shocks. It sure didn't work for me, but then no SSRI ever did.
09-07-2012, 10:31 PM #157
This is my experience and my experience alone. I am not trying to do anything below, except to share what i have gone through as it helps me and it would be great if it helped even just 1 person. I apologize for the length in advance.
I have been on lexapro twice over 6 years. The first time I was on it was for about 2 years, but I really don't recall any withdrawals at all. However, I never even sought out information after taking it and I did quit cold turkey. It was years back. The most recent experience was a period of 10 months and I was on 10mg. I actually quit it cold Turkey too as I had no idea there was a need to taper. I only had a few days of irritability and trouble sleeping this last time, but I didn't think much of it. To be quite honest, after a few days of irritability, I felt AMAZING and couldn't have been happier. I had soooo much energy and felt like myself again. My mind seemed clearer and my "innovative, creative ideas" started to flow again. I was 100% positive Lexapro was doing me more harm than good. Nothing could have changed my mind that it was the right choice to jump off it. However, after several weeks, actually almost 1.5 - 2 months, things changed. My emotions got craaaazy out of nowhere. I was crying over the littlest things and I can count how many times I have cried in my life. I started getting the worst panic attacks and it got to the point where I couldn't even eat all day because of stress and anxiety. I had to force myself to eat (not easy), and even would throw up at times because of panic and stress.I was hungry, but had NO appetite for anything. Nothing. After roughly 2.5 months, I got back on and actually feel good again....
Believe it or not, as I was writing this, I just recalled that I was taking an all natural supplement called Panicyl shortly before quitting lexapro because I was wondering if there was something else out there that wasn't a strong SSRI. Take it as you will, but I am blowing my mind right now because I really wonder if I may not have had withdrawals because of that supplement. I remember starting it a week or so before deciding to quit lexapro and continued it until the body was gone (maybe 30-45 days or so because i didn't take it every day. Always been skeptical of the all natural stuff). However, it seriously may have played a role in no withdrawals, giving me energy, and motivation for the period up until I went downhill again, which is about the time I ran out - probably two or three weeks after though. When the bottle was gone I didn't buy another because I 100% thought, and assumed, I was feeling so great because I was off Lexapro and it wasn't the panicyl. So I assumed the withdrawals were finally hitting me as I read on another thread that they were find two until month after stopping. The reason I ended up taking the whole bottle of Panicyl was because after you take it, you really do get a surge of energy after 10 minutes or so, but I am sure its because of the abundance of b-vitamins.
Regardless, long story short, I am back on Lexapro and feel great. Haven't had a Panicyl since, but am truly considering getting another bottle to see if it really did play a role. And NO, I am in now way shape or form affiliated with Panicyl, know anyone who has taken it, or know anyone with the company. I am merely someone like most of you who scour the internet for information for help. If anything, I am sure you can get the majority of the ingredients at a health food store and try them. It has plenty of b-vitamins, folic acid, GABA, L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine, and other good stuff for the brain. Very well could have been what kept any withdrawals at bay for so long - at least until I ran out and didn't order again since I felt just being off leaper was what made me feel great.
Not everything works the same for all of us, but if you want to, I recommend giving Panicyl a shot and seeing it helps. I just thought I would post this in case people out there were like me and were searching for an alternative to the strong SSRI's out there. And I am sooooo happy i posted this because i really didn't think much of the Panicyl until writing this and seeing things fall into place.
Another one I have researched is called "Attend" because it seems to have a lot of good stuff for the brain too, but haven't given it a shot. Someone I know has and they said they feel great. Energy, motivation, clear/focused mind, and most of all don't obsess over the little things anymore nor get upset about them. Apparently it is really for people with ADD who want the all natural alternative, but many people with depression do have the hyper brain, unfortunately we focus our hyperactivity on the negative thoughts instead of positive.
Personally, I am content on Lexapro at the moment, but would honestly love to go the natural route.
Wish you all the best. My best advice is to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. If it's not God you pray to, then pray to whomever you wish. Power of prayer is strong, powerful, and can truly change your life. I am battling some other issues as well in life, but I just feel good getting it all out in posts. My apologies for the length.
09-25-2012, 06:47 PM #158
You know what? I posted something to this thread and I cant find my post no more. Something inside me is saying that I hit a nerve and upset someone on the truth about Doctors...The sad part is, is that I posted it just today, so here I am writing my post again and resending it out. If it comes up missing again. I would be careful everyone. Big Brother is pissed off...lol...
Getting off the Drug Lexapro, OMG...The things I have learned today when I was reading on forums about the affects of getting of the drug...I will and am now totally drug free and that means all Medical drugs...This is what I wrote on the f
orums and yes, I am a little upset on how our government and doctors use us as lab rats...http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...62-6.html....I am a former victim of the Drug we all know as Lexapro, This drug is hands down the worst drug I have ever walked away from. If I didn't have people who love me around, I would be worse off at this point. I went to the Chiropractor and he has been doing C-1 Adjustments and low and behold, it has been working, It is like my brain is rebooting its self on a safe natural mood. I just quit two weeks ago and the brain zaps Suck, in fact I call it the rubber bad syndrome. It feels like when I turn my head just slighting, I get a rubber ban snapped in my brain. Guys, take a lot B12 Vitamins and go see a Chiropractor, your brain will feel a HUGE difference.
The sad part is, is that our country is fighting a drug war and the war isn't with street sellers, but the actual government who allows all of these drugs used on us as rats in a cage. And the part that pisses me off is that I have to pay for the dam drugs and doctor visits to get what? MORE issues...Thanks to our Government and their not looking out for our best interest, we are now all walking Zombies...Isnt that how the world wants us to be? It is like the Matrix, we can take the blue pill or the red pill....but just remember, when you stop taking the pill you end up in another world.
Come on guys, the doctors get a bonus for shoving the drugs down our throats. They are the biggest drug dealers in the world and the sad part is, is that our body is made to heal from all things and what controls it? Our brains and what better way to prepare us for old age is to kill our brains so we die faster so that the government doesn't have to pay our retirement. It is all a plan, just stop and see the big picture guys...I know, this is how it is.
If you don't want to heed my warning, the Look up Alex Joes, David Icke...OUR doctors are just BIG kids being told what to do with BIG money in their pockets. They don't care about us, they just care about the bonus and the money... Sorry I am ranting, but I AM NOW PISSED at our medical industry...They suck and they should learn some care from Canada and England, at less they all live longer then us Americans.......Extremely Upset...Nina
10-27-2012, 03:35 AM #159
hi not sure if i am doing this right but needed to talk about my lexapro experience..i was on lovan for 2 years and was assaulted several times at work...won't go there at the moment!! and my anxiety level went through the roof so my long term dr put me on 10 mg of lexapro and my life has never been the same..although the anxiety has ceased i felt like a zombie..could barely make it through the day with out sleeping...weight gain..insomnia..metallic taste in mouth..wanting to isolate myself from peopls..palpatations..last week it got so bad that mydr told me to go off lexapro and back on the lovan..i was a mess...have gone off lexapro and feel hideous..pounding headaches..dizzyness. sweats...flu like symptoms..all of which i had researched and thought i could cope with!! silly me..this is day 5 and i have only just left the house for a walk which left be breathless..any hints and tips would be great..is nice just to tell people whi know what i am going through..i have a very supportive husband but he cant feel what i am going through..jay
10-27-2012, 04:24 AM #160
i felt the same as you..stoned and tired and completely lacking in motivation..was hard jsut getting through the work day..had this constant buzzing sort of thing going on in my head..the withdrawel is tough as i am going cold turkey off the lexapro but am back on the lovan..thought i would have it easier..mmmm...good luck.
11-13-2012, 04:30 AM #161
i've been taking 5thp suplements and therefore no withdrawl sympthoms
i've been taking 5thp suplements and therefore no withdrawl sympthoms
Originally Posted by shadieangel74
01-01-2013, 07:23 PM #162
First post and hoping that someone still looks at this link. My husband has been going through withdrawal of Lexapro for probabably about 2 months. He doesn't want to be on medication anymore and doesn't like the way it makes him feel. However, I'm very concerned watching him sleep all the time. He'll come home from work, sometimes eat and then just pass out on the couch until I can coach him to bed eventually. He'll be awake really early sometimes 4 then eventually around 6 when we get up for work. He'll be tired all day still after sleeping 12 hrs. I've been trying to find supplements that he's willing to take. I just bought 5 HTP 200mg. He took one at night when I coached him awake. I gave him one in the morning and he threw it up. I guess it was too strong on an empty stomach? Is this a good approach? What I really want to know is how long is this going to last???? I can't take it much longer. I'm getting some serious anxiety over the issue.
04-14-2013, 04:25 PM #163
Thanks for this.....I was put on Lexapro for heart palpitations about 2 years ago....first 10 mg then after a year I cut down to 1/2 of a pill - I was not depressed, just going through menopause & experiencing the "normal" symptoms - when one night out of the blue I woke up and my heart was racing...I am a runner, but this scared me to death....long story short, after all the heart tests, workups, etc that the heart doctor could think of...I was told they had no idea what caused my heart palpitations & they put me on Lexapro. I quit cold turkey 6 days ago as this drug was turning me into a zombie...no emotions, couldn't laugh, cry .... nothing seem to move me at all.
The first 3 days I didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms, but the 4th day off I started with the sinus headache, brain zaps, nausea, diarrhea, and it seems to be getting worse...not better. It is such a relief to know that I am not alone in this. I continue to run (as I gained 25 lbs on the Lex) & refuse to go back on this horrible medication. Your post gave me hope that I can get through this.... the fish oil and suggested supplements do seem to take the edge off of the withdrawal symptoms.....just hang in there all of you who are going through this.....doctors need to SERIOUSLY educate themselves and their patients BEFORE prescribing this medication on a whim.......
04-14-2013, 04:33 PM #164
I also worked out 6 days a week and gained 25 lbs in the 2 years I was on Lexapro 10mg (the last 6 months only 5mg - cut the pill in half)....I have only been off for 1 week but already can seem some of the belly weight coming off....keep your head up and keep exercising!!
04-15-2013, 01:40 PM #165
I started off lexapro a about month ago and wanted to share that I was successful. It can absolutely be done with patience and commitment.
My suggestion is to absolutely wean off. I tried to go cold turkey but that was horrible.
So I broke my pills in half for a week then started skipping days. Then I broke those in half more. Then skipped more days. I went by how my body felt. I would not wean further if the withdrawal symptoms were still there. I just went slow steady and listened to my body. It has been two weeks without a pill and no symptoms left except a little anxiety at night and insomnia.
For a few days I had dizziness and felt close to tears for no reason but all of these went away.
Don't despair. It can be done. Keep the faith! And don't go cold turkey. Wean off slowwwwwwly.
04-19-2013, 06:00 AM #166
I found a chewed old bottle of Lexapro and don't know if there was anything in it. she is sleeping but also has a very active day.
04-25-2013, 12:15 AM #167
I took name brand Lexapro from April 2005 through May 2009 (4 years).
I tapered off Lexapro summer 2009 and went without it for 6 months.
Then I took name brand Lexapro and generic escitalopram from January 2010 through April 2013 (3 years).
Now I'm tapering off it again.
Don't be afraid to taper off and quit Lex or esc if you no longer need them or the side effects are too extreme for you.
Summer 2009 taper off was name brand Lexapro start at 10 mg tablet daily every morning, then 7.5 mg (3/4 of tablet) daily every morning for two weeks, then 5 mg (1/2 of tablet) daily every morning for two weeks, then 2.5 mg (1/4 of tablet) every morning for two weeks then none.
Literally I had no problems and no side effects from that taper off.
Current April 2013 taper off was generic escitalopram start at 20 mg tablet daily every morning, then 15 mg (3/4 of tablet) daily every morning for two weeks, then 10 mg (1/2 of tablet) daily every morning for 12 weeks (not sure why I stayed at 10 mg so long, that's just the way it was) and now 5 mg (1/4 of tablest) for a week so far. It will be 5 mg for two weeks, then 2.5 mg for two weeks.
Again, I've had no problems and no side effects with this taper off.
You might need to taper even more slowly than I did.
09-02-2013, 09:52 AM #168
I've been on Lexapro for 4-5 years. Before that I was on Prozac for about 10. Prozac worked very well, until one day it didn't. I feel like something similar may be happening with Lexapro.
I initially started out at 15 MG but after a year, I tapered down to 10. I recently had a bad experience with a generic version which I think may be a sign that these drugs are just too complicated for my body. Now after getting back on the branded version, it just doesn't seem to work. Apparently, the slightest difference in the formula from one manufacture to the next seems to have an impact. Thus, I've decided that it's time to taper off. I'm terrified, but don't see an alternative. I went down to 7.5 MG today. As sensitive as I am to these drugs, I'm sure I'll go through some kind of withdrawal. Funny thing is, after reading all these horror stories, I'm already anxious - two hours into my taper! This shows me that it's not only the withdrawal that causes these feelings...there is an element of psychology involved as well.
I hope I can do this. It's a little scary. I probably shouldn't be posting this so soon, because if I fail, it will be embarrassing. However, reading that others on this board have come through periods of discomfort helps a lot.
09-03-2013, 06:53 AM #169
Well, now I'm really scared. Last night was terrible. Actually the whole night wasn't terrible, but starting at 4 AM, I awoke with a terrible withdrawal feeling. man, if I'm already feeling it after one day, what in the heck will the 5th day be like when I'm completely down to the 7.5 MG? Based on the half-life of this drug that's how long it will take. It's only then that I'll be at a steady state of 7.5MG and THEN my mind will need to adjust to THAT. ugh. For some reason, my mind is having a tough time already. This means that I'm going to go through hell before I even get to the new lower dose. I'd expected to feel a little strange, but nothing this dramatic. I'm wondering if I should go back to 10 and then reduce a smaller amount. Instead of a 25% reduction, something like the 10% that others on the the board have suggested.
I reduced before, after my first year, and had very little trouble. Now it seems like my chemistry has grown too accustomed to the drug.
It would be OK if I could just lay around the house, but I've got a job and a mortgage, etc. I can't just check-out from life for 6 months. God, I feel like I'm screwed.
Last edited by nycsmf; 09-03-2013 at 06:55 AM.
09-03-2013, 07:41 AM #170
Ok....so I'm not sure anyone's reading this site, but I seem compelled to share. As you probably guessed, I took the remaining .25 MG after my last post. So I'm back to 10 MG. My brilliant idea in the shower was to reschedule my doses to evenings going forward. I've read that the drug is fully absorbed into the blood >>>>>> 5-6 hours after administration. So, I figure that if I take it during the evening, I'll have the benefit of the drug in my system at night. I would rather go through the worst of the withdrawal during the day when I'm a work, not when I'm alone in a dark apartment. Anxiety sucks when you're at work, but it's a lot lot worse when you're alone at night, eyes wide open in a dark bedroom.
I also need to buy a graduated ML container and some kind of syringe to start a 10% titration reduction. I'll grind up the pill and dissolve in water. Where does one buy this kind of container? I don't recall seeing them in the drug store, but I'll check it out during lunch today. Is there an SSRI withdrawal section at the drug store? lol.
Last edited by nycsmf; 09-03-2013 at 07:43 AM.
09-03-2013, 07:52 AM #171
Wow... I'm so glad I found this thread! I have recently begun seroquel and stopped lexies but for some reason didn't even think I was experiencing withdrawals from them. As my symptoms were new and so was the seroquel, I blamed them on that. But now I am certain it's the lexies withdrawal.
Firstly, thank god for people sharing their experiences! Thank you everyone.
Since stopping the lexies I have been experiencing constant tinnitus and a sort of headachey, 'hollow headed' feeling. From reading this I found out the "brain zaps" I have are common. Not wishing anyone anything bad, but it has sure been a comfort to know others have experienced the same. I think the best description of this was someone saying it was like a bolt of electricity going from one ear to the other right through your brain.
I am now sure (and very hopeful) I stopped the lexapro too abruptly. So I will reintroduce them at a lower dosage and commence a much more astute weening off scheme.
09-03-2013, 10:15 AM #172
I think I'll see if my doctor will prescribe the liquid and just go very very slowly. I made an appointment to see him at his next evening appointment - this Friday. I'm so mad that I'm in this situation. How awful. I vacillate between anger and suicidal despair. How on earth did I let this happen!?
Does anyone like Celestial below, waaay back in 2007, have any advice on the liquid? Is it really measured in drops?! I mean, how on earth can you measure out drops? drops come in all sizes. Or am I complicating this?
Originally Posted by celestial
Last edited by nycsmf; 09-03-2013 at 10:17 AM.
09-03-2013, 11:13 AM #173
I took Seroquel for a short time when I was getting off of Trazodone for insomnia about 4 years ago. As soon as I was stable on the Seroquel (about a month), I instantly started titrating down, by grinding up the pill and dissolving it in water. I tapered 1/4 of the dose for the next 4 weeks. I was terrified of getting hooked on another sleeping aid. If you read the boards about Seroquel, you'll see that it also has a nasty withdrawal. I also started Lexapro soon afterwards. So I guess I did the opposite of you. However, you should have tapered the Lexapro. It's like Prozac to the 3rd power, with a much shorter half life. 10 MG of Lexapro is like 20-30 MG of Prozac but exits your system 2-3 times faster...meaning your brain is left with little time to adjust.
Last edited by nycsmf; 09-03-2013 at 11:15 AM.
09-03-2013, 10:59 PM #174
well. after reading this thread last night i took some lexapro and the effect has been immediate. i am surprised that just doing that once has had such a dramatic impact on me. pretty scary really. in any case, the brain zaps have 90% gone.
Originally Posted by nycsmf
i feel so much better today!
i do have a question though: how long do the withdrawal effects last? hypothetically, if i had simply stopped taking the lexies how long would i have had to deal with the constant tinnitus? and now i am tapering off more wisely, what time frame should i give before ceasing them completely?
i know everyone is different, but averages are useful.
09-28-2013, 03:06 AM #175
Yes I have withdrawal symptoms, very afflictive, can't sleep well at night, back slowly quit, replaced by candy or gum. I hope you can overcome.
09-28-2013, 03:51 AM #176
thank you coolyman.
i am tapering off, but wow, it is a very slow process.
10-11-2013, 02:47 PM #177
Hope this helps-
My daughter, age 24, was having some anxiety going from undergrad to graduate school. no history of anxiety or major depression. Her GYN suggested Lexapro - she said it's mild, it's safe and has no side effects. HA!! She weaned from Lexapro (10mg for 18 months) by taking a pill, skipping a day for 2 weeks, then take a pill, skip 2 days for 2 weeks, then take a pill, skip 3 days...this was the instruction from her GYN but THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG. You need to wean the amount down by 10% ( you can get liquid lexapro to control the weaning amount) and stay this amount for 3-4 weeks. Then wean down 10% more. It should take you 6 months to a year to come off it - NOT a month or a few weeks. You need to keep a consistent level of this drug in your system and wean VERY SLOWLY.
You will experience brain shocks, vertigo, speech problems, nausea, light sensitivity, headaches, wild dreams, teeth clenching during the night, rages and major depression if you come off too quickly.
The month after she took her last dose (10 weeks ago), she was extremely irritable to the point of going into rages. The next month, she went into a serious depression - to the point that she had to quit her job. Crying 6-8 hours a day. Totally disfunctional. Now seeing psychiatrist and psycho-therapist because of this. I truly feel this drug should be taken off the market!!!
She had to go back on it and we plan for her to be back on it for 3-4 months until she levels out and feels somewhat normal again, then we will decrease her dosage for 10% at each weaning level ? every month. Hopefully she will not through what she is going through now.
I feel for each of you. This has been the most horrible experience for us!
This is a great article that describes how Lexapro works and why you feel withdrawals:
SSRI works by blocking receptors that absorb Serotonin between neurons, thereby increasing the available Serotonin in the brain. The theory is that depression, obsessive behavior, anxiety, and psychotic behavior are caused by a lack of sufficient Serotonin in the brain.
The method that SSRI use to increase Serotonin levels in the brain is at the heart of the withdrawal problem. By blocking Serotonin receptors on neurons, the brain becomes dependent on the drug to maintain consistent levels of Serotonin. As the brain becomes accustomed to the drug, it no longer has to produce or regulate Serotonin as it did before. When the drug is removed, the receptors that stimulate Serotonin production are still blocked, and levels of this neurotransmitter begin to fluctuate. Since Serotonin is closely involved in mood and the ability to cope with emotions, this fluctuation causes wide mood swings and uncontrollable emotions.
It seems that the level of Serotonin in the brain is not as important as consistent levels. As the brain adjusts to the need to self regulate levels of Serotonin, many patients experience a cascade of extreme emotional and physical symptoms. Analogous to the stages of grief or joy, these symptoms don?t always come all at once. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms come and go as the user lowers their dose of the drug. Some common emotion symptoms include depression, anxiety, anger, confusion, insomnia, and memory loss. For most people, these are symptoms that they experience in every day life. Under normal circumstances, they are manageable and temporary. The difference for the withdrawal sufferer is that these emotions become unmanageable and intense. The regular mechanism that we use to control our emotions no longer works during withdrawal. It?s hard to imagine the loss of control that accompanies withdrawal symptoms. When a normal person succumbs to anger, it is still a conscious decision. In withdrawal, there is no spiral that precipitates the uncontrollable rage, it springs fully formed in the mind and propels itself without any input from the person experiencing it. The other emotional symptoms of withdrawal act in a similar way. Even when the patient exercises mindfulness and self awareness, anxiety, depression, and the other symptoms come on with little warning. They have a realness and power that most people are not used to. Since the brain?s balance has been disrupted, reality itself has been changed for the patient. Instead of an emotional wave that must be conquered or endured, these emotions become reality, with no alternative.
As time goes by, the patient will eventually be able to self regulate each emotion at a level similar to before they began taking an SSRI. One of the frustrating things about weaning off an SSRI is that the patient is only aware of progress after a phase has passed. They may feel extreme anxiety, but realize that the rage they experienced a few months before no longer bothers them. ( this is kind of where you are at. August was irritability and raging? Sept seems to be crying? ) While they are experiencing a phase, there is no context to compare their emotions to. Since the emotions are so powerful and uncontrollable, emotional self awareness is short circuited, leading to mental relativism. The patient doesn?t realize the whole range of emotions, just the small extreme range that they are experiencing at the moment. The alternative to blind rage isn?t calmness, as it would be in a normal person. Instead, irrational anger is the lower end of the emotional range.
During withdrawal, these realities change and evolve as some emotions become dominant. Patients may experience uncontrollable rage for a few weeks, then enter a stage where depression dominates. These emotional tides are outward signs of the brain readjusting to the need to self regulate neurotransmitter levels. It is almost as if the mind is going through the entire inventory of emotion trying to catalog what?s necessary to regulate each one. Some people will experience several uncontrollable emotions at the same time, but the uncontrollable aspect of them will fade away one at a time. The variety and severity of symptoms often lead doctors to prescribe other drugs to mitigate the effects.
The best strategy for dealing with SSRI withdrawal symptoms is time and slow weaning. A prolonged weaning schedule will reduce the severity and number of withdrawal symptoms. The brain requires a certain amount of time to adjust back to a natural balance of neurotransmitters which can?t be rushed. By slowly weaning off an SSRI, the brain does not have to deal with a sudden change to Serotonin levels, and can adjust at a natural rate.
It takes a great deal of time for receptors in the brain to regenerate. A schedule that reduces the drug by 10% each month is usually sufficient. Schedules can vary depending on the patient. Some will be able to reduce their dose more quickly, others may have to go more slowly.
Good luck to all of you.
10-11-2013, 02:56 PM #178
I started my daughter on 5-HTP, Omega 3 and vitamin B after she finished weaning. She did OK, until she stopped the 5-HTP. Manic, depressed, cries 6 hours a day and finally had to quit her job.
Seeing a pscyhiatrist now. Now former issues with depression or anxiety. She is 24 now, took Lex 10 mg for 18 months during college grad school for anxiety. I don't think she needed it, but doctors are so quick to throw you on a drug. Her new doctor put her back on Lexapro and we will wean off correctly and use the supplements. Hopefully this will work out for her.
10-13-2013, 06:22 AM #179
Hi, I have been on prothiaden at 75 mg at night and lexapro 10 mg for the last 8 weeks. I was feeling bad nausea daily and talked to my specialist who told me to drop the lexapro to 5 and the to 2.5 for 5 days whilst prothiaden to 100 mg . I am now on no lexapro since last Thursday and am still taking the prothiaden at 100 mg. I feel shocking i have waves of nausea and cramps and brain zaps and have tried to talk to my specialist about it , he told me to take a valium and a largactical at night and then go for a walk. ,what sort of idiot woud tell me that when I can hardly move....... My arms and legs both ache and I have no energy. Has any one else experienced this. ....this drug lexapro is poison , maybe some of these doctors need to take some and see what it does to them and what is is like to come off it. .....please post reply if you have felt like this also .....
10-14-2013, 11:55 PM #180
thanks very much for that. i have since gone a lot slower with my weaning off and am down to 2 tabs a morning, which is a third of my previous dose.
thankfully now it is only at night i get the tinnitus i was suffering from so i think it is working well.
yes, it is a horrible drug to try to get off, which is greatly advertised incorrectly.
best of luck to your daughter. i hope she feels better very soon!