Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Function: noun
Date: 1749
1 a: the act of taking back or away something that has been granted or possessed b: removal from a place of deposit or investment c (1): the discontinuance of administration or use of a drug (2): the syndrome of often painful physical and psychological symptoms that follows discontinuance of an addicting drug as in a heroin addict going through withdrawal

In my case, the drug is Lexapro, and is known as an SSRI drug. (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).

It's been just over a week and silly me thought things would be getting better by now, but instead they seem worse. I slowly weaned myself off of a 20mg a day dose down to 10mg for a month, then 5mg for another month, then 5mg every other day or so for a couple of weeks, then decided to heck with it and stopped it altogether. I have to say that a pill cutter is a must with this drug to get the dosage as exact as possible! My first couple of days without Lex was hardly a noticeable difference, then on day 3 or more, I had dizziness and a lightheaded feeling throughout the whole day. Then Thanksgiving came and I panicked and wondered how I'd get through it with lots of family coming over. I doubt everyone knew just how agitated, anxious, and disoriented I felt. To family who might be reading this, please do not take this personally. This is my deal, my problem and my obstacle to overcome. I had a great time over the holidays despite my odd off balanced feelings. Not long after Thanksgiving, I began feeling angry for no reason, then could not get enough rest and sleep. Today I feel much the same and very very foggy headed and hard to concentrate even on typing this post. I've started and edited it several times now. Last night I experienced the dreaded brain zaps that I've horrifiyingly been reading about. Gee and I thought I'd lucked out by not having them for over a week. Not true! They start on the left side of my head behind my ear with a sudden shock like a jolt of electricity, then travel a bit across my head. Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little. Afterward I feel drained and scared. They come unexpectedly and only last a second or few, but the unexpectedness and sudden shock of them make for a very unhappy me. I'd say that last night they were coming as often as 2 or 3 times in a 5 minute period, so just going to bed and lying in the dark with the covers over my head was a slight relief until I fell asleep. Not moving and no lights does help. Almost like a migraine but not really. That didn't make sense to anyone unless you've experienced this I bet. Today, the zaps happen every hour or so, not as frequent, but I've been a lazy person on purpose to see if that would help and it has. Can't afford to have too many of these kind of days though :o(
Backing up a bit on why I started taking this good/evil drug in the first place.... it was not for depression as some people take it for, but for anxiety instead. I have GAD and it has ruled my life for far too long. My decision to go on it was still a good one and I don't regret it because it did help me. Now over a year later, I just decided it was time to be me again and see if things might be better without it. Time will tell, but until these side effects cease I won't really know. Please, if anyone out there that might read this has suggestions or ideas to help a person through this feel free to leave a comment. I'd welcome genuine advice or just a note knowing someone else has gotten through this. I don't feel hopeless or worried yet, but sometimes the things you "google" when looking for advice is really disturbing. Surely people have the tendency to exaggerate a bit or over analyze on some of the forums that I've come across on this subject?


susan said...

i am a doll maker and happened upon your blog. i read with interest your withdrawal post. are you doing this with a doctor's procedure? or was this something you thought you'd do on your own. i have family members on meds and also have a dr in the family and drugs can be very useful and complicated. i hope you are taking a dr's advice.

Greeneyez2 said...

Hi Susan,
Tried to reply to you via a blog, but found none. Anyway, I appreciate you commenting and the concern :) Yes, I am doing this will full approval from my doctor and found that taking supplements of B12 and Lecithin on advice of others from forums found online. The dizziness has ceased and brain zaps are now gone. However, my anxiety is back.....maybe not quite as strong as before, maybe the same. It's been awhile so I'm undecided on that. More time will tell and until then, things are going pretty great for me. I still do not regret taking Lex at this point and don't think I'll go back to it, but glad to know it's available just in case.
-Sharon J