Hello everybody. I've recently began my first semester of college and was doing great for a while. Going into college I was an extremely motivated, 4.0 / 33 ACT student who loved to learn. However, my college is a couple of hours from home and my relationship with my girlfriend has now gone "long-distance" as we are attending different schools. About half way through the semester, I began having panic attacks. This was strange because I've always had a little bit of anxiety but it never interfered with my daily life. After the first panic attack, I had multiple panic attacks daily for 3 consecutive days.The panic attacks involved not knowing where I was / familiar people and situations feeling unfamiliar to me. My doctor prescribed lexapro in order to stabilize me. The first week I took 5mg daily in the morning and have taken 10mg daily for the past 14 days (21 days total on the medicine). My anxiety has gone away but I have had headaches every waking moment of my life. I also find it hard to concentrate/remember simple things. I can have a conversation with somebody but not even be thinking about the conversation. I cannot focus on anything. I feel like a zombie/robot or as if my body is on autopilot while my brain is simply dormant. The Lexapro has taken my anxiety away but it has also taken away any other possible emotion I could feel. I am 19 years old, 6 foot 155 lbs. with a high metabolism. Since starting the medicine, I've been forcing myself to eat more (despite the decreased appetite) but have still lost 10 lbs. (I'm around 145 lbs. now). I used to stay up until midnight and wake up at 7 or 8 every day, but now I can rarely stay up later than 8pm. Many nights I sleep 12 hours and wake up still feeling tired. Recently I've begun to fall asleep by 8, wake up at 1 am and fall back asleep at three then reawaken at 7. I just do not feel like my normal self. I have no interest in anything and feel no motivation. I would rather deal with my anxiety and still feel all the other emotions (my life consisted mostly of joy) I used to feel. Now I feel as if the Lexapro has damaged my brain. I'm afraid that even when I wean off of the Lexapro I will never have my motivation/focus/feeling ever again. I feel completely "numb" (both emotionally and sometimes physically in my neck or arms) to everything and I hate it. I'm afraid I will fall out of love with my girlfriend because I cannot enjoy the time that I do get to spend with her. Has anybody else experienced this numbing feeling and will it go away after I am off the medicine? I have a month long winter break coming up at the end of the semester and want to use it to get off the medicine and feel back to my normal self, but I am afraid that the Lexapro has changed the way my brain works permanently.
Hi there! You have only been on Lexapro for 3 weeks (2 weeks on the standard dose). All the side affects you are describing are normal. You won't feel the full affects of the medication until you have been on 10mg for about 6 weeks. The tiredness will go (it did for me after about 2-3 weeks on 10mg), and so will the head aches. The weird feeling you feel will stabilise and you will start to feel good in another 4-6 weeks. Hang in there. If the side effects don't ease, then speak to your dr but you are still in the early stages of coming on to Lexapro so all good.
I am not going to tell you to stay with the Lexapro. I am not the one suffering from it. I cannot nor would I be as bold to tell you to stay with it because it will get better. I am not a fortune teller. I can tell you that I tried to stay with Lexapro for 8 weeks and it did not get any better. You are not the first one to report the numbing feeling and side effects. Maybe check if there is counseling offered at the school you attend. There are also other meds you can try for anxiety before resorting to antidepressants. Talk to your doctor.
Hope you feel better soon :)
I felt a numbness on my right arm and seasick for a while. I felt i had out of body experiences, like a puppet on strings so I had no control and didn't care. I even had suicidal thoughts for the first 2 weeks which I discussed with my dr. I weaned off of it for a month and I was so paranoid that my brain had been damaged from Lexapro that as I started a new job, I decided to try 5mg again. It made me super sleepy for 2 months so I switched to night time but all the other side effects were gone. I can successfully say now that after 6 months and just recently taking 10mg, I feel better. I still take it at night time. I feel like my old self without the aggressiveness I was experiencing and the panic attacks. I even feel more focused than before because I'm not worried all the time. I gained weight but I'm now working out again and feeling better about my body. My dr told me that if you can cope with the side effects, it is the best drug for anxiety out there.
It is hard on people who are not used to these types of drugs but it does help eventually. Headaches are normal. Just drink more water. I think any medicine will tend to dehydrate you... Hope this helps!
Hi dgchf7! I agree with cherrub. I know we are all individually different, and of course we all respond to meds differently. However, it is very important to try to hang in there with anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressants for about 6 to 8 weeks before stopping them (if necessary). It can take that long for the positive effects of these kinds of meds to take effect. It often takes 6 to 8 weeks for them to fully enter your system. I will now share my story. I am one of the very, very lucky people who have basically never had any negative side effects from my meds. I take 30mg of lexapro and 450mg of welbutrinXL once a day. These are very, very high max doses for each med. With my psychiatrist's guidance (of course), I needed to slowly increase my doses of these meds over a period of about 6 months to get the best help from these meds. I have been on both of them since March of 2015. I started with lexapro 1st, and then added on the WelbitrinXL.
I am primarily diagnosed with clinical depression, along with some anxiety. I am now at a point of contemplating adding on another med, Abilify. Even though these 2 meds have helped me immensely (I could barely cope before), I still suffer almost every day with sadness, and painful ruminations of my past, thus, the contemplations of adding on Abilify. I may incur side effects from having been on these meds for long periods of time, perhaps even indefinitely, who knows!? But for me, any potential future side effects that I may incur, far outweigh my debilitating existence of trying to live with depression and anxiety without meds! I'll just have to take my chances! I hope my story and advice will be helpful to you. Please hang in there and take care!
I do agree that generally it's best to wait a bit longer before properly being able to tell if a medication is working for you or not. There are usually always some side effects when starting a new medication and these generally subside after about 6-8 weeks in most cases. However, my experience with Lexapro was a very negative one and I stopped using it after only 4 weeks because I just knew that it wasn't right for me. The side effects were so horrible and I believe that your body tells you when it's not happy and I had that overwhelming feeling telling me to get off these meds immediately. Once I had weaned off them all the side effects and negative feelings completely disappeared. So don't stress out thinking that the Lexapro will leave you with permanent damage.
Do make sure that you consult your doctor about coming off it though if that's what you decide because it is important that you wean off the meds correctly and don't just stop taking them suddenly. I'm no doctor or psychiatrist but i would definitely stop the Lexapro. Some minimal side effects are normal but when side effects are severe that is not a good thing in my opinion. Everybody is different and all medications work differently for everyone so just make sure that you listen to your body & consult with your doctor! Take care of 'you' and all the best :)
Well I was reading your question I had so much empathy for you, I could of been reading about my daughter who went to university this fall. She had some anxiety in the last year of high school but I thought it was the pressure and would go away, I was wrong.
She had high grades and a yearly scholarship that she will lose if she dosen't keep them up.
But her anxiety and then tiredness from new medication is making that very hard.
You have got some very good advice, it is true tiredness and side effects get better around the 2-3 week mark and feeling good happens around 4-6
BUT some where around 3-4 you should feel like you are on the up swing and if you still feel awful at 3 weeks ( especially since you say your already have relief from your anxiety) then you may want to talk to your doctor about other choices.
Most university have counselling services,cognitive therpy can really help with anxiety! I have had to work thru a positive thinking program with one of my younger kids.
Please see if you can get some help with that.
Also although it is notorious for being hard to stop you might want to talk to your doctor about trying Effexor rx. It is dosed much differently 75 mg is a common starting dose and 225 what my doctor says is needed usually for anxiety, some just depressed folks get away with 125.
If you decide to try it start slow and expect tiredness. A bonus for you is Effexor does make some folks gain weight, and is not know for weight loss.
I worried so much about her starting a anti depressant away from me because anyone can have a bad reaction to one kind or another and younger folks are more likely to have thoughts even if they didn't before suicidal. So please let someone near you know about your condition& meds and stay in touch here.
- Lexapro Information for Consumers
- Lexapro Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lexapro (detailed)
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