I just recently went back on lexapro. I don't think I should have been prescribed the drug to begin with (in 2002), but at the time I was naive and did not do any research (I was 22). Now, I am a 32 year old married female, I have a good job and a stable life. In 2008, I had a traumatic episode in my life, which made me decide to get back on the lexapro. I was doing fine before then, having been off of it since 2005. So, I started taking it again in 2008 after said traumatic event, and had been taking it up untill january 2011. I then decided, along with my therapist and my physician (not psychiatrist - because he wants me on it for the rest of my life) that I would come off of lexapro since my life is stable and I now have the "tools" and techniques to promote positive thinking and good life strategies. Recently, in May, I had to make a change within my job; I work for a very moody employer, and he has a bad temper; this was very difficult for me. I was now off the lexapro and had to deal with it all myself. It didn't work. My employer got upset, this change was to take about a month to be decided, and I was "agonizing" over it. I was very anxious and I started having severe stomach cramping, loose stools, could not sleep, felt burning in my abdomen and lost 5lbs in about 3 days without trying (how's that for a diet, huh?).
The job thing is now resolved. So, I have no reason to stay on Lexapro. But I'm scared to come off it. I am worried that my brain may have lost the ability to heal itself. What do I do? I don't want to be on Lexapro, I don't laugh as hard when things are funny, my sex drive is not the same, and I have gained weight that I really didn't need to gain. I don't want to take this for the rest of my life. I am currently taking 10mg a day. What's a good amount of time to gradually taper off the Lexapro? I have weened myself off of it before, so I can decrease to 5mg and then stop, but what about "down regulation" have I lost it? Is that why this job modification has been so intense for me? What can I do to retrain my brain to heel itself?
I really need some guidance.