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Lexapro: 12 years on, Now 7 months Off
  1. #1
    lewdis is offline New Member
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    Default Lexapro: 12 years on, Now 7 months Off

    I am a 50 yr old professional engineer, normal life with wife 2 kids two dogs and ups and downs, much happiness at times but much pressure financially and emotionally, am I being the best parent I can be to my kids, the best role model, the best partner to my wife, etc. I think I am what is called an empath - where I relate very easily to others and feel their own and my own emotions, overall it is a great thing but times can be overwhelming. I was put on Lexpro when I was 38 (1998) and just stopped cold turkey in April 2011, so I was on it 13 years total.

    I was experiencing recurring pain in my right arm and what I thought to be my heart for over 2 years when I was 38, however exhaustive medical tests indicated no physical issues and my doctor suggested lexapro 10 mg to address what he thought might be general anxiety effecting my muscles around my chest and upper body - I was at the point of really thinking I was going to die of a heart attack, no one believed me etc because the pains and twitches were real and of moderate pain. However, to my great surprise and relief after six weeks or so the Lexpro kicked in and the recurring arm and chest pains went away, and never returned. Score a Big one for my doctor, the Lexpro was my savior!!

    Over the next 12 years as my marriage progressed, the kids grew and I mortgaged my house and future to start and grow a business I relied on my daily Lexapro which slowly grew to 20 mg. I found many friends at work and socially who at some point confided in me that they too took lexpro and found it helpful. It seemed to be at times the "secret cool" in thing to help , the yuppie secret for anxiety and stress. Our version of the 70s valium??

    Over the course of 12 years I gained weight, especially the first two years after starting lexpro - 20 lbs at that time. My sex drive dropped by 50% but I am a sexually driven person so that brought me to what most would consider "normal levels" - not a bad thing I suppose in some folks eyes. The best way to describe its overall effect was to lop off the bottom 25% of the worst depression and the top 25% of any highs so I constantly lived in the more comfortable 25%-75% moderate range, e.g. it made me more stable in dealing with my worst fears and my most ambitious dreams and expectations. That part was good and perhaps helpful. But it also made me more susceptible (I think) to slightly over-drinking on occasion (because I felt less shame about it afterwards than before), spending money (because I worried about it less - the glass is 80% full and 20% empty versus 50-50 before) and making more riskier business decisions going after bigger rewards. My employees and colleagues would tell me they never met a calmer person under pressure or able to make a tough call without blinking an eye.

    It all came crashing down in mid 2010 where I had allowed my life to get out of control because I was so stable and confident that I could handle anything, well reality came crashing in. Without going in to detail, I came to believe through therapy and my own self reflections (once off of Lexapro) that I had become-while on Lexapro- so numb to pressure, warning signs and other "stop and think" moments (that most people recognize) that I ultimately was making poor major life decisions re:cost - benefit risk tradeoff. By reading more about Lexpro online and speaking with my therapist I made a decision to stop it.

    April 2011 - about 12 years after taking Lexpro 20 mg, I stopped cold turkey, only because I wanted to do it. I experienced overall moderate effects noted here - brain zaps, dizziness, crying, sleeplessness, hopelessness for 1-2 months pretty regularly; it was tough and scary at times, especially the first 2-3 weeks, it was bad about a 8 out of 10 scary. But I believed in what I was doing and damn it no one or thing will beat me so I persevered. I prayed, I ate healthier food, I dabbled in yoga , I avoided alcohol very much and took zanax .5 mg if I needed occasionally during the day or 1 mg at night. Note: I took it only 1 day or night at a time, usually at most only once a week or every two weeks. More than that zanax caused its own problem with me re:sleep impact.

    Month 3-4-5 got noticeably better, going steadily from 7 out of 10 bad to 2-3 out of 10 bad, At month 6 and 7 (now - Oct 31 2011) I'm at about 1-2 bad impacts. However, honestly, and this does concern me a little, I occasionally have really black depressing 1/2 days every once in a while - once or twice a month -- which I never had while on lexapro or BEFORE taking lexapro. But now I know how to get through them without freaking out - that they are okay, that my mind and thoughts are not who I am, that the negative images and thoughts will pass and I have ways to minimize them.

    Off of Lexpro I am more concerned as ever about my life's direction and path which I think is appropriate as I am recognizing and reacting to changes and business challenges that I need to address. I am hornier now, I have lost 25 lbs, I drink less frequently and I am more conservative and planfull in my efforts to improve my family finances and life. I am more thoughtful and mindful of my actions I make especially for my kid's future and my wife and what is truly in their long term best interests to become successful and happy adults and partner. I am less self centered, or maybe it is less self-serving??

    In short, Lexpro was helpful at some point short term but became a serious issue long term for me. I believe it over insulated me from learning how to deal with life's pressures constructively and stunted my growth as a person in becoming more mature and wise through those experiences. To wit, while my considerable chest and arm pain was assuaged by lexpro initially in 1998, it has never come back even after I stopped taking it. Why? Because I've learned since then about mind, stress reduction and emotional control that achieves the same thing. In this sense, for me personally, Lexpro was nothing more than a crutch for my anxieties, no different that using alcohol or sex or spending money to assuage the same.

    My personal long term view is that these drugs are dangerous, they do work to some degree but carry many side effects and long terms risks. I truly believe for those that seek alternatives there are valid non-drug ways to achieve the same result in a better way, through proper nutrition, increased physical exercise, therapy, proper sunlight exposure and vitamin d, fellowship with others in meaningful pursuits and spirituality. I did not know that before but know I have lived it now. The only thing I don't know today for sure is how long will it take for Lexpro's effects to be completely gone form me - 2 more months, years or perhaps this is it now?? But I don't WORRY about that, so it is what it is.

    So my advice to anyone weaning off, hang in there, you will survive, don't give up, and the single number one rule is: live in the present moment and learn how to stop negative thoughts and people from intruding in your life and into your mind - negativity will hurt you and zap you. Eastern spiritually teaches us life is only in the exact moment you experiencing it - regarding worrying, do not fret about the past or the future only focus on the present moment .Take control 100%. (A great trick I learned for stopping my racing thoughts is to become absorbed in the present - instead of tossing and turning all night in bed, get up, get comfy and safe on the couch, and pick up a really dry, boring book - like something on quantum physics or the DNA puzzle of the fruit fly - and read it in full concentration, try to absorb it and understand it as best you can. It will distract your mind and maybe even put you to sleep. Do not try and fall asleep, try to stay awake and you will find yourself falling asleep) Don't let fear over rule you, realize occasional crazy-negative-depressed thoughts etc DO NOT make you that - they don't - they are just thoughts!!! These unfortunate and disconcerting Lexapro withdrawal effects are signs that you ARE readjusting and you will eventually be in a stronger more authentic place. Remember we are not what we think or necessarily what we say, rather our character and who we really are is from how we act consistently in our daily actions with others which should be driven from our kindness toward others , our desire to help those less fortunate and our devotion to and safeguarding of the loved ones in our lives.

    Sorry for the length, I just wanted to share hoping this might help someone. Peace and god bless you.

    CARPE DIEM

    PS. Now, Cialis is a drug I would recommend highly if you want to experience being 18 again, but that's another post entirely....
    megzgemz, Deb228 and kellykashmer like this.

  2. #2
    Flinkin is offline New Member
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    Thanks, Lewdis, dry helpful.

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    FarEast is offline Member
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    Real medicine

  4. #4
    kellykashmer is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewdis View Post
    I am a 50 yr old professional engineer, normal life with wife 2 kids two dogs and ups and downs, much happiness at times but much pressure financially and emotionally, am I being the best parent I can be to my kids, the best role model, the best partner to my wife, etc. I think I am what is called an empath - where I relate very easily to others and feel their own and my own emotions, overall it is a great thing but times can be overwhelming. I was put on Lexpro when I was 38 (1998) and just stopped cold turkey in April 2011, so I was on it 13 years total.

    I was experiencing recurring pain in my right arm and what I thought to be my heart for over 2 years when I was 38, however exhaustive medical tests indicated no physical issues and my doctor suggested lexapro 10 mg to address what he thought might be general anxiety effecting my muscles around my chest and upper body - I was at the point of really thinking I was going to die of a heart attack, no one believed me etc because the pains and twitches were real and of moderate pain. However, to my great surprise and relief after six weeks or so the Lexpro kicked in and the recurring arm and chest pains went away, and never returned. Score a Big one for my doctor, the Lexpro was my savior!!

    Over the next 12 years as my marriage progressed, the kids grew and I mortgaged my house and future to start and grow a business I relied on my daily Lexapro which slowly grew to 20 mg. I found many friends at work and socially who at some point confided in me that they too took lexpro and found it helpful. It seemed to be at times the "secret cool" in thing to help , the yuppie secret for anxiety and stress. Our version of the 70s valium??

    Over the course of 12 years I gained weight, especially the first two years after starting lexpro - 20 lbs at that time. My sex drive dropped by 50% but I am a sexually driven person so that brought me to what most would consider "normal levels" - not a bad thing I suppose in some folks eyes. The best way to describe its overall effect was to lop off the bottom 25% of the worst depression and the top 25% of any highs so I constantly lived in the more comfortable 25%-75% moderate range, e.g. it made me more stable in dealing with my worst fears and my most ambitious dreams and expectations. That part was good and perhaps helpful. But it also made me more susceptible (I think) to slightly over-drinking on occasion (because I felt less shame about it afterwards than before), spending money (because I worried about it less - the glass is 80% full and 20% empty versus 50-50 before) and making more riskier business decisions going after bigger rewards. My employees and colleagues would tell me they never met a calmer person under pressure or able to make a tough call without blinking an eye.

    It all came crashing down in mid 2010 where I had allowed my life to get out of control because I was so stable and confident that I could handle anything, well reality came crashing in. Without going in to detail, I came to believe through therapy and my own self reflections (once off of Lexapro) that I had become-while on Lexapro- so numb to pressure, warning signs and other "stop and think" moments (that most people recognize) that I ultimately was making poor major life decisions re:cost - benefit risk tradeoff. By reading more about Lexpro online and speaking with my therapist I made a decision to stop it.

    April 2011 - about 12 years after taking Lexpro 20 mg, I stopped cold turkey, only because I wanted to do it. I experienced overall moderate effects noted here - brain zaps, dizziness, crying, sleeplessness, hopelessness for 1-2 months pretty regularly; it was tough and scary at times, especially the first 2-3 weeks, it was bad about a 8 out of 10 scary. But I believed in what I was doing and damn it no one or thing will beat me so I persevered. I prayed, I ate healthier food, I dabbled in yoga , I avoided alcohol very much and took zanax .5 mg if I needed occasionally during the day or 1 mg at night. Note: I took it only 1 day or night at a time, usually at most only once a week or every two weeks. More than that zanax caused its own problem with me re:sleep impact.

    Month 3-4-5 got noticeably better, going steadily from 7 out of 10 bad to 2-3 out of 10 bad, At month 6 and 7 (now - Oct 31 2011) I'm at about 1-2 bad impacts. However, honestly, and this does concern me a little, I occasionally have really black depressing 1/2 days every once in a while - once or twice a month -- which I never had while on lexapro or BEFORE taking lexapro. But now I know how to get through them without freaking out - that they are okay, that my mind and thoughts are not who I am, that the negative images and thoughts will pass and I have ways to minimize them.

    Off of Lexpro I am more concerned as ever about my life's direction and path which I think is appropriate as I am recognizing and reacting to changes and business challenges that I need to address. I am hornier now, I have lost 25 lbs, I drink less frequently and I am more conservative and planfull in my efforts to improve my family finances and life. I am more thoughtful and mindful of my actions I make especially for my kid's future and my wife and what is truly in their long term best interests to become successful and happy adults and partner. I am less self centered, or maybe it is less self-serving??

    In short, Lexpro was helpful at some point short term but became a serious issue long term for me. I believe it over insulated me from learning how to deal with life's pressures constructively and stunted my growth as a person in becoming more mature and wise through those experiences. To wit, while my considerable chest and arm pain was assuaged by lexpro initially in 1998, it has never come back even after I stopped taking it. Why? Because I've learned since then about mind, stress reduction and emotional control that achieves the same thing. In this sense, for me personally, Lexpro was nothing more than a crutch for my anxieties, no different that using alcohol or sex or spending money to assuage the same.

    My personal long term view is that these drugs are dangerous, they do work to some degree but carry many side effects and long terms risks. I truly believe for those that seek alternatives there are valid non-drug ways to achieve the same result in a better way, through proper nutrition, increased physical exercise, therapy, proper sunlight exposure and vitamin d, fellowship with others in meaningful pursuits and spirituality. I did not know that before but know I have lived it now. The only thing I don't know today for sure is how long will it take for Lexpro's effects to be completely gone form me - 2 more months, years or perhaps this is it now?? But I don't WORRY about that, so it is what it is.

    So my advice to anyone weaning off, hang in there, you will survive, don't give up, and the single number one rule is: live in the present moment and learn how to stop negative thoughts and people from intruding in your life and into your mind - negativity will hurt you and zap you. Eastern spiritually teaches us life is only in the exact moment you experiencing it - regarding worrying, do not fret about the past or the future only focus on the present moment .Take control 100%. (A great trick I learned for stopping my racing thoughts is to become absorbed in the present - instead of tossing and turning all night in bed, get up, get comfy and safe on the couch, and pick up a really dry, boring book - like something on quantum physics or the DNA puzzle of the fruit fly - and read it in full concentration, try to absorb it and understand it as best you can. It will distract your mind and maybe even put you to sleep. Do not try and fall asleep, try to stay awake and you will find yourself falling asleep) Don't let fear over rule you, realize occasional crazy-negative-depressed thoughts etc DO NOT make you that - they don't - they are just thoughts!!! These unfortunate and disconcerting Lexapro withdrawal effects are signs that you ARE readjusting and you will eventually be in a stronger more authentic place. Remember we are not what we think or necessarily what we say, rather our character and who we really are is from how we act consistently in our daily actions with others which should be driven from our kindness toward others , our desire to help those less fortunate and our devotion to and safeguarding of the loved ones in our lives.

    Sorry for the length, I just wanted to share hoping this might help someone. Peace and god bless you.

    CARPE DIEM

    PS. Now, Cialis is a drug I would recommend highly if you want to experience being 18 again, but that's another post entirely....
    Wow! Thank you so much for being in a place to communicate this. I have been on Lexapro for about 20 years now and have began the process of weening myself off. I took about a month to get down to 5mg and am on day 8 with nothing. The withdrawals are horrific. It's everything you've mentioned. However, I have great hope after reading your article that it will continue to improve. Thank you again for writing this.

  5. #5
    Anonymous Guest

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by lewdis View Post
    I am a 50 yr old professional engineer, normal life with wife 2 kids two dogs and ups and downs, much happiness at times but much pressure financially and emotionally, am I being the best parent I can be to my kids, the best role model, the best partner to my wife, etc. I think I am what is called an empath - where I relate very easily to others and feel their own and my own emotions, overall it is a great thing but times can be overwhelming. I was put on Lexpro when I was 38 (1998) and just stopped cold turkey in April 2011, so I was on it 13 years total.

    I was experiencing recurring pain in my right arm and what I thought to be my heart for over 2 years when I was 38, however exhaustive medical tests indicated no physical issues and my doctor suggested lexapro 10 mg to address what he thought might be general anxiety effecting my muscles around my chest and upper body - I was at the point of really thinking I was going to die of a heart attack, no one believed me etc because the pains and twitches were real and of moderate pain. However, to my great surprise and relief after six weeks or so the Lexpro kicked in and the recurring arm and chest pains went away, and never returned. Score a Big one for my doctor, the Lexpro was my savior!!

    Over the next 12 years as my marriage progressed, the kids grew and I mortgaged my house and future to start and grow a business I relied on my daily Lexapro which slowly grew to 20 mg. I found many friends at work and socially who at some point confided in me that they too took lexpro and found it helpful. It seemed to be at times the "secret cool" in thing to help , the yuppie secret for anxiety and stress. Our version of the 70s valium??

    Over the course of 12 years I gained weight, especially the first two years after starting lexpro - 20 lbs at that time. My sex drive dropped by 50% but I am a sexually driven person so that brought me to what most would consider "normal levels" - not a bad thing I suppose in some folks eyes. The best way to describe its overall effect was to lop off the bottom 25% of the worst depression and the top 25% of any highs so I constantly lived in the more comfortable 25%-75% moderate range, e.g. it made me more stable in dealing with my worst fears and my most ambitious dreams and expectations. That part was good and perhaps helpful. But it also made me more susceptible (I think) to slightly over-drinking on occasion (because I felt less shame about it afterwards than before), spending money (because I worried about it less - the glass is 80% full and 20% empty versus 50-50 before) and making more riskier business decisions going after bigger rewards. My employees and colleagues would tell me they never met a calmer person under pressure or able to make a tough call without blinking an eye.

    It all came crashing down in mid 2010 where I had allowed my life to get out of control because I was so stable and confident that I could handle anything, well reality came crashing in. Without going in to detail, I came to believe through therapy and my own self reflections (once off of Lexapro) that I had become-while on Lexapro- so numb to pressure, warning signs and other "stop and think" moments (that most people recognize) that I ultimately was making poor major life decisions re:cost - benefit risk tradeoff. By reading more about Lexpro online and speaking with my therapist I made a decision to stop it.

    April 2011 - about 12 years after taking Lexpro 20 mg, I stopped cold turkey, only because I wanted to do it. I experienced overall moderate effects noted here - brain zaps, dizziness, crying, sleeplessness, hopelessness for 1-2 months pretty regularly; it was tough and scary at times, especially the first 2-3 weeks, it was bad about a 8 out of 10 scary. But I believed in what I was doing and damn it no one or thing will beat me so I persevered. I prayed, I ate healthier food, I dabbled in yoga , I avoided alcohol very much and took zanax .5 mg if I needed occasionally during the day or 1 mg at night. Note: I took it only 1 day or night at a time, usually at most only once a week or every two weeks. More than that zanax caused its own problem with me re:sleep impact.

    Month 3-4-5 got noticeably better, going steadily from 7 out of 10 bad to 2-3 out of 10 bad, At month 6 and 7 (now - Oct 31 2011) I'm at about 1-2 bad impacts. However, honestly, and this does concern me a little, I occasionally have really black depressing 1/2 days every once in a while - once or twice a month -- which I never had while on lexapro or BEFORE taking lexapro. But now I know how to get through them without freaking out - that they are okay, that my mind and thoughts are not who I am, that the negative images and thoughts will pass and I have ways to minimize them.

    Off of Lexpro I am more concerned as ever about my life's direction and path which I think is appropriate as I am recognizing and reacting to changes and business challenges that I need to address. I am hornier now, I have lost 25 lbs, I drink less frequently and I am more conservative and planfull in my efforts to improve my family finances and life. I am more thoughtful and mindful of my actions I make especially for my kid's future and my wife and what is truly in their long term best interests to become successful and happy adults and partner. I am less self centered, or maybe it is less self-serving??

    In short, Lexpro was helpful at some point short term but became a serious issue long term for me. I believe it over insulated me from learning how to deal with life's pressures constructively and stunted my growth as a person in becoming more mature and wise through those experiences. To wit, while my considerable chest and arm pain was assuaged by lexpro initially in 1998, it has never come back even after I stopped taking it. Why? Because I've learned since then about mind, stress reduction and emotional control that achieves the same thing. In this sense, for me personally, Lexpro was nothing more than a crutch for my anxieties, no different that using alcohol or sex or spending money to assuage the same.

    My personal long term view is that these drugs are dangerous, they do work to some degree but carry many side effects and long terms risks. I truly believe for those that seek alternatives there are valid non-drug ways to achieve the same result in a better way, through proper nutrition, increased physical exercise, therapy, proper sunlight exposure and vitamin d, fellowship with others in meaningful pursuits and spirituality. I did not know that before but know I have lived it now. The only thing I don't know today for sure is how long will it take for Lexpro's effects to be completely gone form me - 2 more months, years or perhaps this is it now?? But I don't WORRY about that, so it is what it is.

    So my advice to anyone weaning off, hang in there, you will survive, don't give up, and the single number one rule is: live in the present moment and learn how to stop negative thoughts and people from intruding in your life and into your mind - negativity will hurt you and zap you. Eastern spiritually teaches us life is only in the exact moment you experiencing it - regarding worrying, do not fret about the past or the future only focus on the present moment .Take control 100%. (A great trick I learned for stopping my racing thoughts is to become absorbed in the present - instead of tossing and turning all night in bed, get up, get comfy and safe on the couch, and pick up a really dry, boring book - like something on quantum physics or the DNA puzzle of the fruit fly - and read it in full concentration, try to absorb it and understand it as best you can. It will distract your mind and maybe even put you to sleep. Do not try and fall asleep, try to stay awake and you will find yourself falling asleep) Don't let fear over rule you, realize occasional crazy-negative-depressed thoughts etc DO NOT make you that - they don't - they are just thoughts!!! These unfortunate and disconcerting Lexapro withdrawal effects are signs that you ARE readjusting and you will eventually be in a stronger more authentic place. Remember we are not what we think or necessarily what we say, rather our character and who we really are is from how we act consistently in our daily actions with others which should be driven from our kindness toward others , our desire to help those less fortunate and our devotion to and safeguarding of the loved ones in our lives.

    Sorry for the length, I just wanted to share hoping this might help someone. Peace and god bless you.

    CARPE DIEM

    PS. Now, Cialis is a drug I would recommend highly if you want to experience being 18 again, but that's another post entirely....
    Wow, thank you for this. You are a very tough guy. I guess it helps a lot when you don't have to deal with female issues as well So how did you manage through the days? I've weaned down from 20mg to 5mg slowly but this is my second day on 5mg and I feel terrified and already feel the hopelessness and loneliness kicking in. I should have never been put on these drugs, the walk in clinic doctor who did this to me should get her licensed removed, she didn't even know me. I was stupid young and naieve and wanted to get fixed. I trusted her and now fully regret it Praying to God to make this easier then i'm expecting.

  6. #6
    Alwilding is offline New Member
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    Default Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by lewdis View Post
    I am a 50 yr old professional engineer, normal life with wife 2 kids two dogs and ups and downs, much happiness at times but much pressure financially and emotionally, am I being the best parent I can be to my kids, the best role model, the best partner to my wife, etc. I think I am what is called an empath - where I relate very easily to others and feel their own and my own emotions, overall it is a great thing but times can be overwhelming. I was put on Lexpro when I was 38 (1998) and just stopped cold turkey in April 2011, so I was on it 13 years total.

    I was experiencing recurring pain in my right arm and what I thought to be my heart for over 2 years when I was 38, however exhaustive medical tests indicated no physical issues and my doctor suggested lexapro 10 mg to address what he thought might be general anxiety effecting my muscles around my chest and upper body - I was at the point of really thinking I was going to die of a heart attack, no one believed me etc because the pains and twitches were real and of moderate pain. However, to my great surprise and relief after six weeks or so the Lexpro kicked in and the recurring arm and chest pains went away, and never returned. Score a Big one for my doctor, the Lexpro was my savior!!

    Over the next 12 years as my marriage progressed, the kids grew and I mortgaged my house and future to start and grow a business I relied on my daily Lexapro which slowly grew to 20 mg. I found many friends at work and socially who at some point confided in me that they too took lexpro and found it helpful. It seemed to be at times the "secret cool" in thing to help , the yuppie secret for anxiety and stress. Our version of the 70s valium??

    Over the course of 12 years I gained weight, especially the first two years after starting lexpro - 20 lbs at that time. My sex drive dropped by 50% but I am a sexually driven person so that brought me to what most would consider "normal levels" - not a bad thing I suppose in some folks eyes. The best way to describe its overall effect was to lop off the bottom 25% of the worst depression and the top 25% of any highs so I constantly lived in the more comfortable 25%-75% moderate range, e.g. it made me more stable in dealing with my worst fears and my most ambitious dreams and expectations. That part was good and perhaps helpful. But it also made me more susceptible (I think) to slightly over-drinking on occasion (because I felt less shame about it afterwards than before), spending money (because I worried about it less - the glass is 80% full and 20% empty versus 50-50 before) and making more riskier business decisions going after bigger rewards. My employees and colleagues would tell me they never met a calmer person under pressure or able to make a tough call without blinking an eye.

    It all came crashing down in mid 2010 where I had allowed my life to get out of control because I was so stable and confident that I could handle anything, well reality came crashing in. Without going in to detail, I came to believe through therapy and my own self reflections (once off of Lexapro) that I had become-while on Lexapro- so numb to pressure, warning signs and other "stop and think" moments (that most people recognize) that I ultimately was making poor major life decisions re:cost - benefit risk tradeoff. By reading more about Lexpro online and speaking with my therapist I made a decision to stop it.

    April 2011 - about 12 years after taking Lexpro 20 mg, I stopped cold turkey, only because I wanted to do it. I experienced overall moderate effects noted here - brain zaps, dizziness, crying, sleeplessness, hopelessness for 1-2 months pretty regularly; it was tough and scary at times, especially the first 2-3 weeks, it was bad about a 8 out of 10 scary. But I believed in what I was doing and damn it no one or thing will beat me so I persevered. I prayed, I ate healthier food, I dabbled in yoga , I avoided alcohol very much and took zanax .5 mg if I needed occasionally during the day or 1 mg at night. Note: I took it only 1 day or night at a time, usually at most only once a week or every two weeks. More than that zanax caused its own problem with me re:sleep impact.

    Month 3-4-5 got noticeably better, going steadily from 7 out of 10 bad to 2-3 out of 10 bad, At month 6 and 7 (now - Oct 31 2011) I'm at about 1-2 bad impacts. However, honestly, and this does concern me a little, I occasionally have really black depressing 1/2 days every once in a while - once or twice a month -- which I never had while on lexapro or BEFORE taking lexapro. But now I know how to get through them without freaking out - that they are okay, that my mind and thoughts are not who I am, that the negative images and thoughts will pass and I have ways to minimize them.

    Off of Lexpro I am more concerned as ever about my life's direction and path which I think is appropriate as I am recognizing and reacting to changes and business challenges that I need to address. I am hornier now, I have lost 25 lbs, I drink less frequently and I am more conservative and planfull in my efforts to improve my family finances and life. I am more thoughtful and mindful of my actions I make especially for my kid's future and my wife and what is truly in their long term best interests to become successful and happy adults and partner. I am less self centered, or maybe it is less self-serving??

    In short, Lexpro was helpful at some point short term but became a serious issue long term for me. I believe it over insulated me from learning how to deal with life's pressures constructively and stunted my growth as a person in becoming more mature and wise through those experiences. To wit, while my considerable chest and arm pain was assuaged by lexpro initially in 1998, it has never come back even after I stopped taking it. Why? Because I've learned since then about mind, stress reduction and emotional control that achieves the same thing. In this sense, for me personally, Lexpro was nothing more than a crutch for my anxieties, no different that using alcohol or sex or spending money to assuage the same.

    My personal long term view is that these drugs are dangerous, they do work to some degree but carry many side effects and long terms risks. I truly believe for those that seek alternatives there are valid non-drug ways to achieve the same result in a better way, through proper nutrition, increased physical exercise, therapy, proper sunlight exposure and vitamin d, fellowship with others in meaningful pursuits and spirituality. I did not know that before but know I have lived it now. The only thing I don't know today for sure is how long will it take for Lexpro's effects to be completely gone form me - 2 more months, years or perhaps this is it now?? But I don't WORRY about that, so it is what it is.

    So my advice to anyone weaning off, hang in there, you will survive, don't give up, and the single number one rule is: live in the present moment and learn how to stop negative thoughts and people from intruding in your life and into your mind - negativity will hurt you and zap you. Eastern spiritually teaches us life is only in the exact moment you experiencing it - regarding worrying, do not fret about the past or the future only focus on the present moment .Take control 100%. (A great trick I learned for stopping my racing thoughts is to become absorbed in the present - instead of tossing and turning all night in bed, get up, get comfy and safe on the couch, and pick up a really dry, boring book - like something on quantum physics or the DNA puzzle of the fruit fly - and read it in full concentration, try to absorb it and understand it as best you can. It will distract your mind and maybe even put you to sleep. Do not try and fall asleep, try to stay awake and you will find yourself falling asleep) Don't let fear over rule you, realize occasional crazy-negative-depressed thoughts etc DO NOT make you that - they don't - they are just thoughts!!! These unfortunate and disconcerting Lexapro withdrawal effects are signs that you ARE readjusting and you will eventually be in a stronger more authentic place. Remember we are not what we think or necessarily what we say, rather our character and who we really are is from how we act consistently in our daily actions with others which should be driven from our kindness toward others , our desire to help those less fortunate and our devotion to and safeguarding of the loved ones in our lives.

    Sorry for the length, I just wanted to share hoping this might help someone. Peace and god bless you.

    CARPE DIEM

    PS. Now, Cialis is a drug I would recommend highly if you want to experience being 18 again, but that's another post entirely....

    Thank you so much for writing this. Has helped me out a lot!

  7. #7
    shawnk49 is offline Junior Member
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    Mar 2018
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    4 yrs ago i was diagnosed depressed with anxiety. I was prescribed 3 different meds, i dropped script off at Walgreens and went home and researched what they prescribed. From what i read i decided to deal with it naturally. I still have some minor issues but not near the problems i would have if i picked up that script. Its true, eat better and exercise does wonders. Eat >>>> feel like >>>> is true as we get older. Find things enjoyable and do them. Take hot showers every day twice a day even. Get on that treadmill and you will feel better about self. Its not an overnight fix, it takes time for you to stop thinking about the depression and anxiety.

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