it sounds like the side effects kick in right away and get stronger for a few weeks before tapering down over time, and the benefits don't ramp up till several weeks. insomnia and other side effects are really common at first and they say anxiety and depression often get worse before the therapeutic effects start working. hopefully this is the case.
2 Months Off After Somewhat Slow Taper. Really Struggling
Posted 19 August 2021 - 09:28 AM
Sorry it's been a while - I've just had a read through to catch up on where you are MX.
First up - my most important part - is my empathy for you in this situation. I remember the nights that I would manage to get to sleep but worry for that time when I would wake up. It is a nightmare for me being nocturnal and I cannot sleep until after 3am. And living in a communal building, noise starts around 6am; the upstairs neighbour working in France and has to get the shuttle. So typically, there would be something that woke me up around 6am and I would be LIVID as I knew it would be game over.
I know we spoke about it before, but this is where my Kratom came to the rescue - and for the wife. The FDA are at it again in attempting a global ban. Like the first two attempts not succeeding weren't enough. But I sincerely hope that this time around, when it fails again ( and it WILL), that it will become better recognised as a genuine medicinal aid. Everyone is aware that the FDA wants to ban it and then relabel it for themselves knowing just how well it has helped so many people. I digress...
So, you are on the Lexapro and the start-ups have done a number on you. But from one perspective, you can see the clear brain plasticity. You therefore know that your brain is capable of change - albeit this time for the worse rather than the better - but the point is that it CAN change. You had such a tough ride waiting for the symptoms to finally do the off and I think Frog is right - it is the inherent stress that this brings that will cause the neurochemicals to remain static rather than reach their default.
It is the same old story - like when people who have never had a panic attack witness you have one yourself and the say... "try to calm down!". For goodness sake - if I were capable of that I wouldn't be having a f*&king panic attack!!!!
You need something that will force you into a point where you are relaxed against your will. You have a lot of bad experience with allopathic meds, so you are already giving the symptoms a head start. I really do not like to see people suffer like this and I really think a natural path is the one to follow. LDN cannot tolerate meds either and he has been under a naturopath for a long time during his Lymes recovery and some of the stuff that he gets is really strong. Make no mistake, there are plenty more avenues to explore. Fifty years ago, the medical world was so far removed from where we are today, but if you look at what is making a come back, you will notice that we are doing a massive u-turn. Don't wait for the powers to catch up and start respecting the person more than the almighty dollar.
Wishing you all the very best
Posted 19 August 2021 - 10:51 AM
I slept from 12 to 3 last night. this is brutal. its so reminiscent of early withdrawal that its scaring me. my worst fear is having my recovery clock set back and starting over. I wish I knew if pushing through the startup effects was the way to go, or if I'm just digging a deeper hole by continuing. the lack of sleep has me so cranky I keep losing it and yelling at my kids, which makes me feel terrible. I really can't believe this is my reality right now.
Posted 19 August 2021 - 10:57 AM
"It is the same old story - like when people who have never had a panic attack witness you have one yourself and the say... "try to calm down!". For goodness sake - if I were capable of that I wouldn't be having a f*&king panic attack!!!! "
Oh man. you hit on a sore subject for me. I can't remember how many times people told me 'just relax'. No kidding (he said sarcastically) why didn't I think of that!! Geez
Posted 19 August 2021 - 01:09 PM
MX I'm sleeping very badly too. I'm just grateful that even though I'm barely sleeping, I'm not lying awake full of anxiety like I used to. At least I'm just kind of... lying there feeling tired but a little too activated to actually fall asleep and stay asleep. But I feel tons better during the day.
Keep talking to your doc. He gets people on these meds all day long so he's probably seen and heard it all. He should have a good gauge on whether your current experience is pretty typical of startup and will get better or whether you should try another SSRI
Posted 19 August 2021 - 07:14 PM
Irritability is another possible start up side effect You're just really getting all the good ones aren't you?
I'm not getting much sleep. Last night I went to bed at 12 and woke up at 2. Lay awake for a while, then read for a while, got sleepy, tried to sleep but nothing was happening. But I must have dozed off eventually and woke up to my alarm. So maybe 5ish hours altogether? Not great
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Posted 19 August 2021 - 10:28 PM
wow, thats really not good. I'm really hoping the sleep comes back. It would be nice to get at least back to where I was before the lexapro. the sleep I'm getting now isn't even sustainable so it has to get better one way or another. yeah, I keep getting nauseous too, but thats getting better. today turned out to be a pretty good day. pretty good mood, just a little emotional and really tired. I guess I still have some hope after all.
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Posted 23 August 2021 - 02:51 PM
yeah, now I'm ready to feel some positive effects. I've been emotionally reactive and anxious, with a heavy dose of impending doom. I feel like crying like my good life is over. its only been 2 weeks, so I guess I just need to be patient. the sleep is getting a little better again. was able to go back to sleep for a couple nights. last night I was up at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep, but thats still better than 2-3 hours.
Posted 23 August 2021 - 04:02 PM
There is a subreddit on Lexapro with many people saying their various symptoms got worse before eventually getting better.
Will also add that yesterday I got a wave of physical anxiety out of nowhere that hung around through the evening and into today and got me spiraling a little bit. So I guess I'm not out of the woods either (or maybe need to increase dosage)
Sleep unfortunately still sucks. I go to sleep around 12 and then wake up at 2am and sort of toss around and fall in and out of sleep for the rest of the night. I'm going to try to go back to some of the tips I learned for sleep management and try to equalize some of the variables. Maybe that will help a bit. Never a dull moment.
On the other hand I had a very nice weekend laughing and enjoying friends and good times
Posted 23 August 2021 - 05:10 PM
well thats good. I'm glad you are having good times. I usually just feel like my life is falling apart and I'm going to lose everything and I won't be able to cope or handle it, and it makes me want to cry as if its an inevitability, even though things are more or less objectively good. this little foray into worsened insomnia cements the idea for me that its mostly chemical. theres no sleep hygiene that would fix that, theres just acceptance. it does seem like some of the side effects are getting a little better, even the sexual ones. I guess I don't need to worry about it making me emotionally numb though. my emotions have been hypersensitive and powerful lately. I would like them to be numbed out a little bit.
Posted 02 September 2021 - 05:55 PM
well, I think the meds are finally kicking in. my mood has been much better lately. the last few days, my mood was good, but I still felt uneasy and antsy, and a little agitated. today I woke up anxious, but my mood is good and I feel much more at peace. my focus has shifted from how crappy I feel to the love I have for my wife and kids, and how I want to reconnect with my wife and strengthen our relationship. we haven't been bad, but its hard to truly connect with someone struggling like I have been. I feel more love for my kids as well. this is a relief, as I was worried about being numbed out. that doesn't seem like its going to happy. I still cry and my positive emotions are still powerful. hopefully it continues to improve where I can mostly ditch the uneasiness and feel more peace. can't complain about how I feel now though.
Posted 03 September 2021 - 04:33 PM
YAY! I'm so happy to hear that. Yes that is exactly the initial change that I first noticed. My mood changed like a light switch. I felt happy and light and silly and excited again. Stopped dwelling on intrusive thoughts, could let them go and float on by instead of dragging me down and spiraling.
It's only up from here! Give it at least a few more weeks on the 5mg to see where you net out. Maybe 5 will be enough to get you where you want to go, or you can go up. I haven't had any major issues on 10mg. I'd say the worst part is just a stronger sense fatigue and lethargy. It's not severe by any stretch but it does take more effort to motivate myself. And I know if I went up in dosage that part will probably get worse.
Other than that I feel great!
Posted 03 September 2021 - 06:06 PM
the sexual side effects are noticeable now, but completely acceptable. I'd be worried about that getting worse at a higher dose. I'm optimistic 5mg is going to do the trick though. I'm less optimistic the sleep is going to get better, but hopeful.
Posted 04 September 2021 - 06:51 AM
You still have a cocktail of stuff going on there MX. Nothing will be sure at this juncture, but the benefits should be creeping in now as it takes out the work of the Cymbalta. But again, remember that the norepinephrine is not catered for with the Lexapro, and there may be subsequent effects that linger a bit longer.
I recall that they did that exactly with me in the guise of lethargy and shaking. Tough to think that I had three months of that before it starting showing signs of leaving me alone... but it is a case of time and patience - as it often is.
Posted 07 September 2021 - 04:48 PM
I think overall I'm starting to feel better, but today and yesterday have been rough. I woke up in fear both days, and I've been anxious with a sense of impending doom and I feel like crying all day. I've also noticed my memory is back to crap and I'm foggy headed on lexapro, which kinda sucks. I feel like I need my ADD med again, but I'm not going to take it.
Posted 14 September 2021 - 02:46 PM
I've been on 5mg for 5 weeks now and I don't think I'm doing any better. I still wake up nightmarish, I have a feeling of impending doom all the time, and I've been depressed and feel like crying the last 5 days. do you think its time to try a higher dose?
Posted 15 September 2021 - 12:07 PM
10mg has been super helpful for me. Im coming up on 5 weeks on 10mg. But I'm afraid my sleep still kind of sucks I fall asleep ok but wake up multiple times in the night
I'll see if my doc has any thoughts next time I talk to her. But I know it can also take as long as 8 weeks for things to mellow out so who knows.
Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:07 PM
Document your nightly "activity" Frog - it can be difficult to see changes during these periods as they span quite some time, but looking back over a month's worth of data, you should (hopefully) find some correlation to the activity and length of time on the Lex....
Posted Yesterday, 07:20 PM
frog, did 5mg help you at all? I just checked my mood tracker app, and this 8 day stretch of depression is the longest I've had since I started using the app in feb. 2020. before this 4 days was the longest stretch. my sleep has gone back to that bad depression sleep of early withdrawal. I fell asleep at 11 last night and was up for good at 3. this isn't quite what I anticipated with going back on meds.
Posted Today, 04:40 AM
It is such a tough situation MX. Waiting the allotted time to see if the pills work, but you must always remember, as much I don't like to say, that some simply do not work.
Hat and myself have been asked so many times, "Will [drug name here] work?". Our answer is always the same. From our experience, both ourselves and on the forum, the drug is x, y, z, but as you well know it is purely subjective. We can only go on what little we know and retrospective data from previous members.
You are doing the right thing in documenting the symptoms as it will make you confident that you are making the right decisions.
You are a clear, level-headed and intelligent chap - the way forward will become apparent. The one thing I like about our members is they see it like it is. I used to post on another forum, but it was littered with topics such as "Lexapro - positive responses only". I replied positively but rationally. Take the drug as it is. Again as Hat says, flip a coin. But don't try to kid yourself that it is going to be the miracle pill you want it to be. If that were the case, depression wouldn't be the most prevalent health disorder in the world today.
Wishing you well, and please keep us updated.
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