I have been on Lexapro for over 7 years, tried unsuccessfully to wean off several times. My doctor emphatically states that I will be on it for the rest of my life.... I am determined as heck to prove him wrong. Right now, I have weaned myself from 20 mg to only 2.5, and I am almost ready to go off altogether.
Is there anyone else in my shoes? Are you taking meds, weaning off, or have successfully remained med free for any period of time? I would love to hear your story.
I was diagnosed with Depression when I was about eight or nine. I am 18 now. I took meds for a few years and then weaned myself off of them because I gained a lot of weight from them. I was almost obese, only 13 years old, and miserable. By the time I was 16, I had only lost about half of the weight I had gained from the Zoloft. I became anorexic/bulimic and exercised for about five hours a day. I became vegetarian as a way to lose even more weight. A year and a half later, I became vegan and started eating right again. I was put on Prozac as well. Thankfully, I am not having anymore eating disorderr problems, but I am still dealing with the Depression. I want to become HCRV someday and I definitely do not want to be dependent on scientifically altered chemicals to be myself.
This looks like a long discussion and I may not be providing any new insight here, but I wanted you to know that I was on Paxil, which eventually got switched to Lexapro, for about 10 years. I just weaned off of the meds a few months ago and I could not be happier. I am way more energetic and alert through the use of proper diet and exercise than I ever was on medication. I was on the drugs for panic attacks and depression, and I am still dealing with some bitterness because of the way I was diagnosed and treated - that is to say, my doctor barely gave me an examination before tossing a handful of free Paxil try-outs at me. Having worked in a hospital pharmacy, I know the insidious collaboration between doctors and pharmaceutical representatives (salesmen) and should have been wary, but I had suffered from crippling panic attacks for a long time and just wanted something to take them away. It worked - for a while. Eventually, they came back, but I could not get off the meds. Every time I tried I would experience horrible brain zaps, hallucinations, cold sweats, you name it. The doctor switched me to Lexapro, saying that was easier to get off of, but my previous experience made me afraid to try. I cut down my dosage to as low as possible and stayed that way for a long time. Finally, I found a wonderful therapist who helped me to understand what panic attacks are and why our bodies bring them on. That and the major switch in my diet and upping my exercise finally got me off those horrible drugs. Also, I took a week off of work to do this, and I needed it - as low as my dosage was at that point, I still experienced consistent dizziness and all-around weirdness. My girlfriend encouraged me to do this and without her help I may not have had the courage to finally get off the meds. I would say, look to those around you who you love and trust to help you through this. I feel better today than I have in a decade!
Thanks for letting me share my story. To anybody out there who is trying to get off their meds, I would heartily recommend a good therapist who deals directly with anxiety/depression/panic attacks and stay with this diet and get plenty of exercise and sunshine.
Good luck! -KD
Thanks for sharing your story, are you completly of all meds now.
"I would say, look to those around you who you love and trust to help you through this" is so very true, when you are going through something like you experienced, it shows up those who really care for you.
It is a shame the health system will subsidise dangerous drugs but to put money into subsidizing the cost for a good therapist is not an option.
It was my introduction to Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy that gave me real tools to not have to submit to medication
Yes, I am completely off all medication now and feeling wonderful. My first therapist introduced me to CBT, as well, and man did it help!
It is a shame about our health system. When I worked at the hospital pharmacy I became appalled at the casualness the reps and doctors had when it came to distribution of medication. I wish more people had access to information about nutrition - but the pharmaceutical companies are the ones who get millions of $$$ for advertising.
I am not at all in your shoes. I was put on 10 mg of Lexapro, and took the medication for 10 days, in which I was in an inpatient psychiatric ward for not taking the medication. I immediately stopped it when released. Now, 5 days later, I am having extreme withdrawal symptoms. I am not able to sleep, vomiting, dizzy, and have had two episodes of such low serotonin levels and such strong depression that I was uncontrollably crying and babbling. I felt pretty bad with the medication, worse than before, noticing that I could not feel strong positive emotions, but could feel negative emotions. I have to continue to pretend to take the pill, however I am having trouble with these symptoms and having to act completely fine when around family, as I am a minor and they are constantly pressing me now, that if I do not have perfect behavior, they threaten me with the hospital. I care about my father but am very uncomfortable in this position. I cannot say the same for my mother. Anyhow, can I expect these symptoms to go away?
I am currently weaning off Luvox, very slowly. I first experienced depression as a child of about 7, and it's been with me ever since to varying degrees. I was diagnosed at 23. I have been on Luvox for 7 years now and am nervous about coming off them, though determined to push on through. I think with this lifestyle I can do it. I have only been HCRV for 2.5 months but am feeling capable of much more than previously. I also have a stock of 5-HTP, B12, Tyrosine, Saffron and Mucuna to take initially, and am growing St John's Wort. I am pretty sick of supplements but having worked in Natropathy I have alot of them still. The more I read about Natural Hygiene the more I see that these are just another drug that I want to be free of as soon as I can, but for now they are a safety net for me. I have come off anti-depressants in the past and crashed badly so am feeling some trepidation, however my life circumstances and health are much improved from then so I believe I can succeed. I will let you know how I go.
I am a couple of weeks off anti's now. Coming off them was hard, I had a week ok, then a few days very depressed, and on in a cycle. Once I identified the cycle it was easier to accept and ride out.
Now I am off them, I feel pretty good. I started taking 5-HTP once I was a week off the drugs. I am taking a bunch of supplements, actually, and hope to not have to forever but just so I can succeed in staying off the anti's. I am taking Tyrosine, Mucuna Dopa, Saffron, the 5-HTP, a B-12 spray, Niacin and also some chinese herb combo's that I find excellent, Dragon Herbs Lighten Up in the morning and Pearl Shen in the evening.
I exercise daily and find heavy weights in particular seems to give me a mood lift for the day, more than yoga or running, although I do these too.
I follow the 80/10/10 lifestyle (not just the diet) as closely as possible other than the supplements.
I feel like I can manage without the anti's though I do notice the difference.
So good to read you are off the drugs warataraw I have not had to come off of a depression medication as I just refused to get on it even though I told quite bluntly by practitioners that I had to and it was the only thing to do.
I spent a lot of time curled up in a ball in a dark room trying to make sense of things... the never ending arguments in my head and overwhelm of emotions.
I know now the involvement I have with sport, and my adherence to a plant based raw diet was part of my management program after I released the other coping mechanism of alcohol I was able to respond better and more effectively to the exercise and diet regime.
I have mentioned it before but the final tool in my trilogy story of a fruitful raw lifestyle was discovering the practice of Mindfulness. This is for me a glue that holds it all together mindfulness meditation, and the practice of loving kindness.
I have been a student of Bruno Cayoun at the mindfulness insitute http://www.mindfulness.net.au/ for me this has been a powerful and indispensible healing protocol.
All the best on your journey Russell