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    Old 07-21-2005, 02:34 PM   #1
    MMS1
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    Need Help Desparetly With Lexapro!

    Hi,
    I really need some advise with all the problems I'm having while on Lexapro. I started taking (5mg) once a day (I'm a male 5' 10",, used to be 185 but since I suffered with all this GAD due to a hearing loss problem beginning of Feb. I've lost at least 25-30 lbs in stress). Anyhow, I've been on Xanax (.5mg) a day since Feb. but never been on an anti-depressant since I've been afraid of all the side effects and the stories I've heard about people never being able to get off of them!
    After suffering sleep deprevation for five months and not being able to fight this Anxiety anymore, I gave in to the Lexapro. The first week I felt hightened anxiety, nausea and by the second week was getting these "brain zaps" whenever I turned my head (tingling electrical sensations). I called my doctor who said I should stay on the 5mg. dose for a few more weeks till I got over the side effects. I also noted that I was feeling more depressed while I was on it. Anyhow, after a couple days the ringing in my ears (which is a result from the hearing disorder which set this all off) seemed to be worse!
    I called my doctor and asked if Lexapro has been known to cause ringing in the ears since I've heard that many of these types of drugs will cause tinnitus (noises in the ears). He said he was'nt sure about the ringing and also never heard of the brain zaps. He then suggested that maybe I should up the dose because I may not be getting a theraputic dose with just the 5mg.. First he says stay on the low dose then he says go up a couple days later and has no knowledge of side effects! Like many of these incompetant doctors (GP's and psychiatrists) they just prescribe these brain altering, dangerous drugs with little or no knowledge of what their prescribing (as long as they get their residual profits from the drug companies for pushing these on us)!!
    I tried going up to 7.5mg for a couple days and the brain zaps were worse and so was the ringing. So after two days I came back down to my 5mg dose and that evening had a MASSIVE ANXIETY attack,, is that normal at such a small dose drop off and for such a short time? I then saw a psychiatrist that told me the Lexapro is'nt working and I should have felt a little relief even at that small a dose for a month. He said quit the Lexapro "cold turkey" and take "Effexor". He said if I have bad side effects with the Effexor after a week or so,, we'll stop that one and try another one!
    Well,, strangely enough that evening I started feeling a bit calmer. So I called the psychiatrist to ask if it's possible I'm starting to feel some benefit from the Lexapro and what should I do. He never returned my call, so I figured (being sick of going from doctor to doctor to no avail) that I would just stay on the Lexapro and see what happens. It's been a little over five weeks at 5mg. and I still have the horrible anxiety, depression and sleep deprevation. They'll be times (usually later at night) when sometimes I feel a calming in me and start thinking maybe the stuff is working, but then when I get up in the morning, the HORRIBLE anxiety and low feeling are there with me all day again,,, it's really taken it's toll on me since I can't function, I've lost my career and do nothing all day! The constant noise in my ear and distortion in my hearing only serves to fuel this "endless" condition of Anxiety and stress! I decided to take myself off this garbage since it does'nt seem to be helping and since I'm afraid of going higher on the dose due to how I felt those couple of days!
    I went down to a 2.5mg yesterday and felt lousy today! I don't know if how I feel has anything to do with the dosage drop off or if I'm just feeling this way normally since the dose I've been on has been so small. I was going to stay on 2.5mg. for a few more days then stop. I'm just afraid that I'll never feel better, and I have a definate resistance against taking the Effexor due to all the bad raps I've heard about that one as well as the other AD's on the market! I know each person reacts differently but I can't go through the side effects over and over only to find that none of these work for me. My problem is because of the sudden hearing loss and the side effects (ringing, distortion, muffled hearing, etc.) it put me in a High state of Anxiety from the start, which caused me to lose my sleeping ability and after months of suffering and the losses this has caused me and my family, with no end in sight, it has also developed into depression! Should I stick to the 5mg. for another week (6weeks) or just continue to get off it? As I say, when I tried going up just to 7.5mg, I felt worse. I really don't want to play "trial and error" anymore with these AD's. I know this does'nt leave for much of a solution, but if there is another one I'm willing to listen! I tried therapists but they're also WORTHLESS!! Any suggestions? Sorry for this lengthy story but I'm at my wits end and can't take much more! By the way, I've also gone through the gammit of "Natural and herbal" remedies and various supplements to NO AVAIL!

    Thanks to all!

     
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    Old 07-21-2005, 03:34 PM   #2
    Astroboy529
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    Re: Need Help Desparetly With Lexapro!

    Hi:

    I had pretty much the same experience on Lexapro, i.e. heightened anxiety and insomnia. I've tried several a/ds and at least one from each "class" and had no positive effect. The ear ringing has got to be just hell. I have a friend with ear ringing caused by a minor seizure and he has horrible sleep problems from it. I had horrible sleep issues myself for a while. I was simultaneously going through a nasty, nasty divorce and then business failure.
    Like you, I'm really unable to work right now at anything approaching my prior level of efficacy, so I can relate to that frustration.

    As you pointed out, everyone has a completely unique physiology which determines how well they will tolerate a/ds or whether they will benefit. I'm taking Xanax, too and it has been the only thing that has kept me calm. I've shut down my business and am now just taking a time out from life which is very frustrating, but necessary. I think many of us here have undergone traumas which, more than anything need time to help them heal. I hope you have that time and allow yourself that.

    I had about a six month bout of ear ringing following some scuba diving and I remember how it drove me mildly batty. It just slowly went away, but it caused me enough discomfort to go to the ENT. He prescribed Valium, but it never helped. Just time helped.

    I hope you get some relief soon. Unfortunately, I don't think a/ds help very much with depression resulting from extreme grief and/or loss. Just time. Best of luck!

     
    Old 07-21-2005, 04:53 PM   #3
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    Re: Need Help Desparetly With Lexapro!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Astroboy529
    Hi:

    I had pretty much the same experience on Lexapro, i.e. heightened anxiety and insomnia. I've tried several a/ds and at least one from each "class" and had no positive effect. The ear ringing has got to be just hell. I have a friend with ear ringing caused by a minor seizure and he has horrible sleep problems from it. I had horrible sleep issues myself for a while. I was simultaneously going through a nasty, nasty divorce and then business failure.
    Like you, I'm really unable to work right now at anything approaching my prior level of efficacy, so I can relate to that frustration.

    As you pointed out, everyone has a completely unique physiology which determines how well they will tolerate a/ds or whether they will benefit. I'm taking Xanax, too and it has been the only thing that has kept me calm. I've shut down my business and am now just taking a time out from life which is very frustrating, but necessary. I think many of us here have undergone traumas which, more than anything need time to help them heal. I hope you have that time and allow yourself that.

    I had about a six month bout of ear ringing following some scuba diving and I remember how it drove me mildly batty. It just slowly went away, but it caused me enough discomfort to go to the ENT. He prescribed Valium, but it never helped. Just time helped.

    I hope you get some relief soon. Unfortunately, I don't think a/ds help very much with depression resulting from extreme grief and/or loss. Just time. Best of luck!


    Hi Astroboy and thanks for the input.
    Yea, the problem is that the depression I have was brought on by the Horrible Anxiety (they ususally go side by side after a while) and the fact that I've tried natural and prescription meds and since I'm not keen on going through the "guinea pig" routine of try this one, then if that don't work try this one,, etc. etc. and feel NO BETTER has got me in a horrible state of mind! As a matter of fact,, not only don't I feel better, but I'm actually much WORSE as this continues to continue with no end in sight!! The medical profession has NO CURE for either the hearing loss I've suffered or for ringing or noises (tinnitus) which is what CONSTANTLY FEEDS my Anxiety!!! If I could cure that problem, the Anxiety, sleep deprevation, stress and depression would quickly melt away! I've read so much about these AD's DO NOT help with Anxiety (guess that's why there called Anti-Depressants and not Anti-depressant-anxiety pills)!
    When you take time to think about it,, AD's work on the Seratonin levels which control Depression (Gaba controls Anxiety), how can raising the levels of a chemical which "lifts you up" help with a condition where you need to be "brought down"?!? Guess that's why so many DON'T GET RESULTS but rather feel worse on these "wonder drugs"! If they give AD's to people suffering with Anxiety,, then why don't they give "Benzo's" to people who suffer with Depression? But, I guess they do? If your Down with depression,, you don't want a pill that "brings you further down" such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan or Klonopin? This is why the doctors don't seem to know what the hell they're doing anymore,, it all a big "LET'S PUSH THESE DRUGS ON EVERYONE AND MAKE A FORTUNE OFF THEIR MISERY"!! The dangers of all these AD's is now spread everywhere on the TV News, in everywhere you read and continues to grow! Sure they seem to help some, but to what long term threat? The one that comes immediately to mind is, once you get on one and they work, after staying on it a while,,, YOU CAN'T SEEM TO GET OFF IT without serious reprecution, like horrible withdrawels or just going back to your original state (after all they're not a cure just a costly and mind altering BAND AIDE)!
    What I find ammusing is the new Wellbutrin commercial where they show a group of people on Horses having a GREAT TIME because they're on an anti-depressant!!! Then the announcer finishes of the commerical by rambling off thirty seconds of warnings and dangers about using this Great drug!! My wife told me she read in the newspaper that they've created an anti-depressant for your DOG! What,, is everybody going Drug happy,, people are asking for anti-depressants like people would ask for an aspirin. And,, the doctors are MORE THEN THRILLED to give everybody one for a headache and any problem you have,,!!!! What's going on?
    In the meantime, I don't know if coming off this Lexapro is going to make a difference in my Anxiety and low mood due to the low dose I've been on, or if I should continue at the 5mg. in hopes that maybe I'll get somewhat of a relief by week six, or if I'm doomed to struggling to get through this horror I've been fighting through for Six months! All I do when I wake up is try to fight through the day and get it over with,, this is'nt living!

    Hope you fair well with your problems, and thanks again!

    MMS1

    Last edited by MMS1; 07-21-2005 at 04:56 PM.

     
    Old 07-21-2005, 05:29 PM   #4
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    Re: Need Help Desparetly With Lexapro!

    Hey MMS:

    I didn't mention this in my last post to you, but I've also known people with ear ringing that eventually acclimated to it. I know it sounds crazy but it was like living near a railroad. At first the midnight trains wake you up but then somehow your mind learns to tune it out. I don't know if that will or can happen to you, but I wouldn't rule it out. Unfortunately, it sounds like you've been through hell and when that happens, things that we could handle when our reservoirs are full, we can't handle them when they aren't.

    If the problem is incurable, it's possible you will find it less onerous with time. I realize that doesn't help so much now. I went through a period of many, many months of sleeplessness and literally panicked anxiety as my business failed and very much understand how crippling it is. I also found that the anxiety fed my nervousness about sleep and of course, kept me from sleeping which made me more prone to anxiety!

    As is apparent from my post, I'm not a huge fan of "meds" but had they helped I would have used them to ease the pain of the experience. Having said that, I'm more inclined to now believe that their effectiveness is much lower than is believed or trumpeted by the medical community and I share your frustration with the whole "meds" juggernaut.

    All I can say is that if you aren't working, the use of a benzo to keep you centered and not agitated, while not ideal, is at least effective. If not for Xanax, my situation would have been much, much worse.

    That's all I'm taking now until enough time passes to "heal" and re'emerge.

    Good luck and I hope you can hang in there. I hope to someday be able to come on this board and tell people how I was able to overcome this. It's slow but people do recover and I trust I will be one of them. In fact, I believe quite a few of the people here will be survivors in the future.

     
    Old 07-21-2005, 11:15 PM   #5
    MMS1
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    Re: Need Help Desparetly With Lexapro!

    Hi Astroboy,
    Yea, I agree with you on that. Once you give up hope, you mine as well pull the sheet over your head! All I have now is hope. Hope that somehow I will still regain somemore of my hearing as well as rid myself of this unbearable non-stop noise and distortion I've suffered with all these months! I have the hope that I will regain my strength to fight off this hellish Anxiety which has taken control of my life and regain my sanity!
    I had also gone through a Traumatic loss about five years ago which set me into a horrible state of Anxiety, which was accompanied by depression and some "milder" insomnia (nothing like what I have now). I was given Xanax which at that time I had NO CLUE about what Xanax, Benzo's or Anti-depressants were or even the difference between anxiety and depression (just to put things in perspective between now and then!). I just told my doctor how I was feeling and he gave me Xanax (.25mg). I took them only "as needed" which was'nt on a regular basis either for sleep of during the day,, just "as needed".
    I had no knowledge about withdrawel, weaning, addiction to this stuff or anything else,, my doctor did'nt explain zip to me about any of that, just said "take it as needed" (that simple). I went through the Anxiety and depression for about six or seven months and while using the Xanax, I finally came to a time and space where I did'nt even realize I was'nt taking them anymore, did'nt need them, never "weaned" off,, just slowly got through that time and moved on "Naturally". During that time, I NEVER saw a doctor, never thought I needed one. Therapist, psychiatrist,, FORGET IT,, I never thought you needed to see one unless you were REALLY SICK!! Ahhh pure ignorance of all those things!! It was not knowing about all these crappy drugs (although it was'nt the Craze and "In thing" back then, that is to run to your doctor for these brain pills for any and every reason!!!!)! And not feeling you need a Doctor/psychiatrist/therapist for every little problem that you can't handle, which helped me to get through that HORRENDOUSLY BAD period in mine and my family's life, on my own accord!
    The problem this time is with the loss of my hearing and coming so instantly, it set me into a tail spin! I think it's easier to go through hard times and fight them through (without lots of drugs or DOCTORS) if it does'nt involve a physical impairment. Even with the physical heartship, I fought for months to get through this without the AD's! This time I lost out to the never ending anxiety of the ailment. Yet, with no relief from my first AD experience,, I'm getting off it and going to try and fight this through without anymore experimentation or "brain tampering"!!!!!! It's a hard road, to say the least, but I guess there'll be a stronger person at the end of that road once I get there! Good luck to YOU, ME and all the rest of the sufferers out there that have chosen to Fight this on there own!!

     
    Old 07-22-2005, 08:36 AM   #6
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    Re: Need Help Desparetly With Lexapro!

    It's interesting. I, too got prescribed a benzo, ativan, in the past for anxiety and didn't find that I needed it anymore one day. This time got so bad that I've been living on Xanax like you, and don't know how I'd survive without it.
    I've been off work since the end of May, taking some time off to hopefully heal. I also had horrendous insomnia and was taking various sleeping meds such as Restoril and Ambien. I've managed to get "unhooked" to them, but it took about 2 months to get there with a lot of really bad nights along the way. I still have anxiety issues, almost like post traumatic stress disorder, and just pray that time will put them in the past. Like you, I spend a lot of time at home doing very little to nothing and honestly don't have the energy to do much.

    The worst aspect of this is the anhedonia, or inability to enjoy. I remember what fun was like, but haven't experienced it in a while. I'm alive but dead.
    I have no interest in doing much socially and I hope that comes back at some point. I am fortunate to be able to afford to not work for a while but honestly, I wonder if I'll ever be the same or I've been mentally injured permanently.

    Depression is the worst thing I've ever experienced. It's like a prison sentence for those of us that aren't criminals. Sentences, even for criminals have an ending. I pray, our sentences have a final day, too.....

     
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