Hello I've recently discontinued the SSRI Lexapro after six years and show all the major symptoms of ssri deficiency including severe depression, anxiety, irritability, nausea, and dizziness and I was wondering if you guys had any insights about what I can do or take to help return my brain chemistry and mood to normal.
Obviously, I have talked to several doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. More than 50 at least- I've lost count. None of them have helped me. They've made matters worse. This is a last resort. I had posted on the /adv/ as well.
I was on 20mg of Lexapro for 6 years mixed with Imitrex for migraines which I hear is bad. My doctor cancelled my medicatiom refill appt and I was going to run out before I could get in so I went from 20mg/day to 10mg/day for one week while I tried to get into any doctor that would see me. The appts were all too far out. After a week of cold turkey I ended up in the ER where the dr gave me a script for 60 5mg tabs which I tapered as follows: 5mg for 4wks, 2.5mg for 3 wks, 1.25mg for 4 wks, 1.25mg every other day for a week and a halfish, then none. Every time I went down a dose I had severe flu-like symptoms. Now after getting through the withdrawl part I still have vomiting, widespread pain in skin, muscles, and joints, migraines where my right eye loses vision, dizziness and balance problems and falling, electric shock sensations, muscle spasms, no appetite due to nausea, numbness in my face and extremities, aggitation, amnesia, nightmares, panic attacks that are out of this world, tachycardia, crying for no reason, derealization and depersonalization, and my mood has dropped to an all time low. I've literally been to every clinic in my area and I cant afford to travel right now since I havent been able to work since the beginning of September when I started tapering. During the 6 years I was on it, the drs would sometimes switch me to Celexa and back and I've tried pretty much every antidepressant there is but within a few months they'd put me back on Lex. Thats why I say 6 yrs instead of the 8 I've actually been taking antidepressants. I have severe anxiety disorder which causes me to be depressed. They also had me on Xanax, buspirone, Ambien, Trazadone, Wellbutrin, and a few others I can't remeber in combination with the Lexapro at different points, but it always made it worse. As far as Lexapro helping? I think it masked it, but made my body sick at the same time. Now that my body is sick as well as my mind I'd have to say it didnt help.
Thanks for your detailed report.
It leaves me sad and angry.
"The efficacy of Lexapro in the treatment of GAD beyond 8 weeks has not been systematically studied."
Everything will be
A whole new
Gorgeous world is
Unveiling itself to you
>increase your intake of tryptophan
>do some sports/martial arts specialized in breathing technique and lose some weight (i'm bipolar, was using kalxetin-zyprexa-seroquel, now off for >6 months)
>seek counselor with some insight about your condition, instead fuckers who only get their degree without any empathy
Exercise would help to release endorphins which, for all extents and purposes, elevate mood. A recommended regiment for a beginner from what I've researched is 10 minutes running, one day's rest, 15 minutes running, one day's rest, 10 minute's running. Increasing the minutes of running by 5 minutes the next week.
There's a form of exercise which's been labeled as HIIT that's the best way to procure the benefits from exercising, well, the benefits which aren't the gain of mass, anyway.
Change in diet's also going to be crucial. Green tea and dark chocolate definitely things which'd help your predicament.
Exposure to sunlight's also highly necessary. If you're constantly exposed to fluorescent lights, then less sunlight's needed; though you need more than a few fluorescents!
All you need is sunlight.
That is difficult to find an alternative.Nature walking I know provides many psychologically salubrious benefits. I'm sure you'd be able to find a few articles. From a personal viewpoint, nature's helped me immensely.
It should also be noted that nuts and grains contain these things called 'phytonutrients' or 'antinutrients.' Phytonutrients prevent other vitamins and minerals from being absorbed into the body; so stay clear of those (nuts and grains) too!
Wait op you live in the arctic circle? Have you lived there for most of the time you've been depressed and did you depression start when you were there?
The low levels of vitamin D can mess with many essential hormones including testosterone. Have you had your hormone levels tested recently?
I live in North Dakota so not much sunlight. I have been trying small walks at parks but my arthritis and pain makes it fairly unenjoyable. I still try though! Thank you to everyone who has replied!
Also, I am not sure if ive had my hormone levels tested but the doctors ive seen have done a ridiculous amount of testing and have never said anything other than my white blood cell count is usually very high and they cant explain it. What could this mean? Any relation?
I don't know of any correlation between the high white blood cell count but next time you're at a doctor ask if your vitamin d levels have been checked and how they make effect your hormones and possibly worsen some of your symptoms along with the SSRI deficiency.
You could also buy a kit to test yourself but they're 85$ or so.
For those of you that live in low-light areas, try light therapy.
Try bright light in the mornings. 30mins to a few hours. Some people report a better mood throughout the day, and feeling less tired, when they receive lots of very bright light soon after waking. I myself am trying it out for sleep problems (but not depression).
Make sure it has plenty of blue and green in it, like a pure white (5000K or above) color temperature -none of that dull yellowish-orange light. And make sure it is really really bright -regular indoor lighting is nowhere near as bright as sunlight. Just don't do it in the late afternoon or evening though, or you won't be able to fall asleep.
The thing that helped me the most when I got off my meds was a new hobby.
Preferably, one that's relaxing like hunting, shooting or gun collecting.
Nothing more satisfying than having your jolt back at he fired an AR-15.
Try it op
I was on lexapro 20mg when I was 13-14 years old. felt like shit on it so I asked my parents if I could stop taking it. they said yes thankfully.
I'm not on any antidepressants currently (23 years old). but I've been looking into the drug lexapro for the past few years and I've learned how bad it actually is.
I still battle with depression. For me it comes from overthinking in a negative manner and constantly putting myself down and blaming myself for things.
I watched a ted talk a few days ago about some research done at Harvard on happiness. apparently good relationships keep us living long and happy (not just romantic relationships since some people prefer to be alone in that sense, but relationships with family and friends).
seeing as you're in the arctic circle, vitamin D and sun exposure is a big deal to you.
drink lots of water and regulate your eating habits. have a beer sometimes and smoke some weed.
Most psychiatric medicines are there for people to indulge in their psuedo-understanding of brain chemistry.
"It's just chemicals."
I take antipsychotic, not because I wanted them, or need them. I just like the secondary tranquilizing effect of quetiapine. For the most part though, I am crazy irregardless. It's not the intrusive thoughts that bother me, but more that I either am zoning out, or thinking magically. "Must be a form of antagonistic zoopy zoup fields...", "How am I sure that my doubting is correct?" Silly shit like that...
My issue with pharmaceutical drugs in that from a previous usage of methamphetamine, and a following episode of walking psychosis enlightenment. A lot of shit people assume (mainly myself), is that there is two means to understand things. As a parrot, or as a witness. Science is based upon the control of conditions and an application of mathematics, with an underlying structure of philosophy and metaphysics. The reason I only know of serotonin, and dopamine is because that's what I am educated into knowing, instead of deriving the know how into validating their properties by analytical means involving the techniques given by chemistry. Essentially I am merely given to confidence trick in a field of work by which I only assume I know anything about.
One of the biggest means of showing this is that a majority of people assume the linearity in the passage of time, or the multivariate transitions of a "series" of moments. By this, people bite off a definition from something manifested by the corroborated classification of structured elements, and codefined it into something that lacks any assumable qualities other than the by here and now. The same can be thought of as with psychiatric medicine.
I've noticed that ever since I moved from working outside to a desk job, I am highly anxious, suffering bouts of depression, and trouble sleeping. Also, the sitting in a chair for eight hours is giving me on and off constipation.
No real solution when you need to work.
Surround yourself with healthy munchies like salads with mushrooms (vitamin d) supplemented with water or green tea
Turn of the internet
Pay attention to a good book, film or album
In general no and we are not even sure if the supplements have any real benefits but they are still generally given to those with little sunlight exposure and many report feeling slightly better.
You're in withdrawal—you should've tapered off slowly (pic related, also read this: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/). SSRIs are a hell of a drug for me—the anxiety when starting them (your serotonin levels actually decrease in the first few weeks, because of the body's attempt at maintaining serotonin level homeostasis through activation of serotonin autoreceptors) was so bad and the stupid resident gave me a short acting benzodiazepine, alprazolam, which didn't do shit, taken in a way she ordered, and I had to go a psychiatric ward (which is mostly for schizophrenics), where they gave a longer acting benzoadizepine, lorazepam. I tapered off sertraline slowly after a year because of persistent diarrhea, but I still had to be anally raped by a colonoscopy. Also, found out I have autism.
The pic wasn't relevant to your SSRI (lexapro is escitalopram, which is similar to citalopram, whose dose response curve is pic related), but the concept is identical (linear decrease in dosage leads to exponential decrease in inhibition, read this http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/)
As do I + a few friends of mine, and nothing relaxes us more than toking and discussing science, politics and art after stressing at work/school/home. Anxiety does not exist in one static form to which marijuana is absolutely no help. Also OP hasn't explicitly stated that marijuana exacerbates his problem.
Enjoy yr ideology fàm
Your story makes me extremely frustrated at what our modern version of medicine had become.
Check out a book called the Ultramind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Weil and Dr. Mercola are great resources as well.
Check out Dr. John Breeding as well. His videos on youtube are soothing and help put things in perspective.
Good luck, once you get off those poisons the body and brain start to heal.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), also known as oxitriptan, is a naturally occurring amino acid and chemical precursor as well as a metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan. You can buy it in the vitamin and supplement section of most stores. Drink with a glass of grapefruit juice to increase effects.