I started cipralex (Lexapro) 6 weeks ago (1st week at 5mg and then went to my regular dose of 10mg). I generally feel better especially at night but in the morning i still get some anxiety and sometimes i feel nauseated. I still have some trouble sleeping at night. I fall asleep no problem but i wake up 5hrs later and have trouble getting back to sleep. My Dr. prescribed Restoril for sleep at 15mg but it doesn't help me sleep longer than 5-6 hrs. I'm sure it's all in my head because i am so obsessed with getting enough sleep but it is frustrating. Anyone have any similar experiences?
Discuss the anxiety you still have with the dr. By now the lexapro should be at peek efficiency. As far as sleeping, the worst thing you can do obsess on not sleeping. It takes a long time and practice to be able to stop that. Practicing good sleep habits really help. No lights, not even a lighted clock dial. Go to bed at the same time every night, no television or computer for 2 hrs before sleep ( it stops melatonin) Try a glass of milk before bed. It doesn't have to be warm. When you wake up early, try to get you mind on something pleasant, and not obsess over how tired you're going to be because you haven't slept, or worrying about it.
It's interesting, every ten years or so there's some variety of pill that seems to be in-trend for a lack of better words. In the 1950's there were the barbs, then the tranquilizers, a variety of pre-ssri antidepressants, and now the ssri type medications. Drug companies are now still searching for the next blockbuster drug to take the forefront. Many people of course died from the barbs, and thus paved the way for the next generation of pills to be introduced, the benzos.
To this day benzo type meds such as xanax and klonopin are the most effective medication currently on the market for anxiety. Yes, once taking them for a while, you can not just stop. However, with a slow taper getting off of benzo type drugs is just as hard / easy (depends on how you look at it) as any ssri type drug. The key to stopping it paying listening to your body very carefully, and not stressing it out. This means that a totally pain free taper is easy if done over a couple months (vs. a few weeks).
Today SSRI type meds are in-trend for doctors. This is largely due to the fact that they are not a scheduled medication and as a result are much easier to prescribe than are the benzos (most benzos are currently a schedule IV type drug meaning that they are regulated by the fda). It is often said that SSRI type meds are utilized over the benzos due to risk of dependency. This however makes no sense at all as SSRI type drugs run the very same risk. Once taking an SSRI for a period of time you can not simply just stop without getting withdrawal symptoms, not unlike the benzos (although cold turkey on a benzo can kill).
Lexapro doe help with anxiety, however, rarely does it help 100%, or for that matter, even 50%. In most cases Lexapro utilized in conjunction with a benzo works best for anxiety. Using just a benzo type drug alone isn't a good solution either as it can dull the senses (it works on the gaba in a very similar way as does alcohol). Although... I guess that that would be the entire point of an anti-anxiety type drug. This dulling of the senses however is a problem while driving or at work.
If you have personal reasons for avoiding these types of drugs, you may want to look into some herbal solutions such as valerian. It is not of course anywhere as powerful as xanax or klonopin, however, it does help take the edge off of the anxiety and is not known to cause dependency issues. It also will help you sleep. Valerian is sold almost anywhere that also sells vitamins. Just make sure that it does not contain saint johns wort, a natural ssri that will interact with the lexapro (you'll find this in certain mixed herbal pills).
Something else to consider for anxiety type conditions would be therapy. Anxiety is a curable condition, and once cured, you're done, no need for medications of any sort. It may take a year or two to crack the problem apart, but once you have it's well worth it. Therapy in most cases also works best in conjunction with medications, and to put it another way, your meds will work better if you go to therapy.
I hope that this is of some help to you, and I sincerely hope that you feel better soon!
Hello hawaii. never said hello to a state before! lol. Good advice you are getting. It is quite common to stop a medication when one is feeling good. Have done so myself. As we work with our therapist we can get to the root fear which drives our anxiety. Whether one thing or set of circumstances, as we develop the skills for coping we need less medication. That is probably what happened with you. As you say, something happened and old habits came back. Totally normal when not quite done with our inner work.
I am sure the sleeplessness and feelings are spinning you back to feeling life is out of control. Though it may seem difficult, tomorrow may be an extraordinary day. Preparing yourself for some joy and remembering to celebrate it with a smile or laugh will do a lot for you. You have been there before and will be there again. You have the luxury of choosing which one you want. Mopey. Sad, distressed, or a smile. They say practice a smile every day. Doesn't mean you are happy. But the face remembers and starts producing hormones for joy. See what happens. Don't be shy.
The medication does not cure anxiety. You do that. The medication stabilizes you so you can get back to a better way to be. Then, if you work at it, you may well stay better. It does happen to people who play attention. The hard part is the forgiving the self for the dumb decisions and out of no where events and accepting that there is much to learn whenever something happens. How would you do that?
I do hope the medication kicks in and relieves you of some of the stress. You ought to be in that area now. Remember you know you are doing better when you stop counting the days and hours. Give it a chance to work and continue on finding your answers. Write anytime. There is always support here. Karen
- Lexapro Information for Consumers
- Lexapro Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lexapro (detailed)
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