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Old 07-10-2014, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lexapro Experiences ?


Seeking information on peoples experiences with anti-depressants - specifically Lexapro for anxiety disorder (but would love to hear any others that either worked or didn't)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My depression began in my late teens (long before I began drinking) and it took me decades to get it sorted out. I tried three different antidepressants before I found one that worked for me. That's not unusual.

I am still taking it because for me, it simply levels the playing field. I have no side effects, and I never want to go into that dark place again.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I started taking bupropion to facilitate quitting this time. My doctor said it fills the very same receptors that alcohol plugs into. So far so good. No withdrawal symptoms, no cravings.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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AO, I took lexopro briefly. My friend says it saved his life. It froze up my bowels. Mean, I never had constipation before and this was impossible. After nine days, I called my doc and he said to try a mild laxative. Didn't work. I was having other side effects but don't remember what.

But like I said, my friend had very good results with minimum side effects. And I don't do well on most western meds. So, please don't consider this a warning. you might give it a try and just see. my friend says he felt better in about two weeks. Took it about a year and then got off it. mo particular sides effects from that either.

Love to you my dear friend!

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Old 07-10-2014, 02:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It took me about a yr. to find what work well
with my own system. There are side affects
with many and affect each individual differently.

I worked closely with my physician letting
him know what was working and what was
not.

Finding a happy medium for a chemical
embalance in our own bodies can result
in living a healthier life in recovery.

What works for one may not work for
another.

Keeping It Simple in all areas of our life.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I started to take Celexa (another SSRI) many years ago. Basically it was more for anxiety and mood swings. Alcohol is really the only thing that made me depressed. I was drinking alot because of my anxiety etc, and basically that's how I got on that.

I was never happy about having to take it forever. Some years ago I was sober for 7 months. A month or two earlier, I had stopped taking the Celexa because I felt better because I was sober. But at the 7 months sober point, my anxiety/mood issues came back and I relapsed to alcohol. I had to go back on it. This year I tapered off the SSRI again in January. I felt great. But at the 3 month off it point, the anxiety/mood swings were back. I went back on in May and I feel great now. I now know that I definitely NEED to take it. However, if you are drinking, you will have problems because of drinking and the anti-depressant will not work. RIght now I feel great back on the medication and not drinking (AGAIN) for over a month. So to answer your question, Yes, it helps.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was on Lexapro for 2 months recently. I found that the smaller dose actually helped me to get out of bed and deal with my life and deal with so many other huge things. The first few days i had to adjust. My body is sensitive to meds. My point: It helped. I was functioning. Also, its not permanent. Nothing is really.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Im super super sensitive to meds as well. With my last surgery, the doctors were shocked at how little of the self pump I used. I wasn't being a hero, believe you me, I was just able to manage with a small dosage.

Now, if those same doctors viewed my alcohol consumption, they would be rather gobsmacked I imagine.

A few friends, one is actually studying to be a nurse, has started Lexapro and touted its magic. However, she is drinking borderline alcoholically, and that, from what I understand, is a recipe for early retirement. Permanently.

I have to be assured of myself that my sobriety is intact before I venture down this path.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I took Lexapro for a bit years ago and it did help me with my anxiety/angst/rage. Exercise is also a big help and what I use primarily now. For me though at that time the Lexapro was good and it helped with sobriety. I think from the other comments you see that there are differences with how these things work.
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I started on Lexapro about 5 months ago. I also am prescribed the lowest dosage of xanax for anxiety. Initially I experienced the side effect of feeling tired, yawning a lot, etc which my md said would happen. Then just gradually it started to work. It's like I lived a long time in a tunnel, and I'm out. It's like being able to recognize your feelings, instead of being at their mercy. No side effects, except possibly restless legs in the evening, which may be too much coffee. No weight gain or loss of sex drive.

The most surprising thing to me has been that I now have a complete range of feelings. I kind of expected the pills would make me artificially happy or placid or something. Quite the contrary -- I can laugh, I feel sympathy and sadness, I get annoyed and angry -- where before my range of emotions was either jittery excitement or more usually bleak flatness.

Another funny thing is that I get odd, brief headaches now. It's a headache unlike anything I've ever felt before, and not actually painful, but quite distracting. It's kind of like a snake oozing around in the back of my skull. The doctor told me it was anxiety that the Lexapro wasn't reaching, and I should use the xanax then. I don't really think he knows. It mostly happens when I think about negative stuff, so I just try not to think about negative stuff! Also it was more frequent around months 2-3 on Lexapro than it is now. Last time it happened was when I was laughing really, really hard. I haven't laughed hard in years and years, so if I laugh so hard my head hurts, I think that's a good thing!
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have been taking Lexapro for 2 years. It really works well for my depression and mild anxiety. I've been on a bunch of stuff - you have to work with a good doctor and keep trying until you find the one that works for you. Good luck...
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Alpha.

I've been on pretty much every SSRI available since my first episode of Major Depression about twenty years ago following two nearly simultaneous traumatic events, including Lexapro. My belief is that neither event caused my depression, but that they triggered something that was always there. I've also been on Effexor (a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor/SNRI) and Wellbutrin (the only available norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor/NDRI that I'm aware of, and marketed as Zyban for smoking cessation).

I've never been pill happy, and my psychiatrist would often comment that, unlike most patients who come in begging for something to make them feel better, I took a more measured approach before finally surrendering to my chronic and no-longer-tolerable depression that did not respond to intensive psychotherapy alone after about a year before hitting a very formidable wall. But virtually all antidepressants stop working at some point, and it's all but impossible to know this unless you continue to experience symptoms when they stop working.

I tolerated Lexapro better than most antidepressants, carrying as it does a relatively mild side-effect profile. But then, with the notable exceptions of Prozac and most certainly Effexor and Wellbutrin, I rarely had any significant problems with any of them. I was also experiencing anxiety for a time, which is unusual for me, and which is why my doc prescribed Lexapro. It did the trick until it didn't. With most antidepressants, side effects (if any) are most intense in the beginning, which is a major reason why people stop taking them. But when we get through this early stage (when the mind and body are adjusting to dramatic changes), a good many of us are symptom-free.

As for weight gain, a concern you expressed in an earlier thread...Some experience changes in weight in either or both directions, and some not at all on SSRIs.

Though no depressive symptoms have broken through for the past several years, including during my relapse, I'm loathe to discontinue the meds since the times between the meds that didn't work and the new meds have been pure hell for me, though I do believe I will someday stop altogether, unless doing so provokes another episode.

It is, I believe, important to talk to your doctor/therapist about any reluctance or concerns you may carry about any medication, if only because feeling as though one has no choice or is being forced to take such medications is a recipe for failure. I've learned over the years that many people who dismiss medication as a treatment option harbor not-always-conscious fears around the medications "not working." It's a kind of psychotropic procrastination that, if put to words, would say something like, "I'm such a mess! If even the medications don't work, where does that leave me?!" For many people, yet another traumatic event that's perceived as one among many failures in life is simply too much to bear. Here's the paradox that both drives and frames the procrastination: "As long as I don't take the meds, I can always take the meds if things get bad (worse, actually). But if I take the meds and they don't work, then I'm done."
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'll add that my first known episode of major depression occurred when I was sober for about eleven years, fourteen years prior to my relapse. For many people, SSRIs produce cognitive benefits: clarity of thought, heightened awareness (not to be confused with hypervigilance), and increased decisiveness, among others. Again, I don't believe that they cause these conditions, but stimulate something that is already there.

As for people who report that antidepressants "changed who they are" or made them "feel like zombies," I at first learned -- with the help of both a very well trained psychiatrist and therapist -- and then came to believe that my feeling as well as I did once I started on the meds was something I had never before experienced, and was therefore alien to me. But my core personality was in no way changed.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
For many people, SSRIs produce cognitive benefits: clarity of thought, heightened awareness, and increased decisiveness, among others. Again, I don't believe that they cause these conditions, but stimulate something that is already there.... my core personality was in no way changed.
As always, great post. The way of I think of it, the anti-d's have revealed my personality, which was buried before I hit puberty under drug and alcohol abuse, and depression, and maybe other stuff I don't even know about yet. That isn't without its challenges -- for one thing, I don't know my own personality, so it's confusing. For another, my personality is flawed to say the least, and comes with a lot of bad acquired cognitive habits of mind (see above about decades of abuse). But it makes life interesting.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi AO,

From personal experience with maximum trial time, dose, effort and desire for results, I found that SSRIs do not work for me - nothing good, nothing bad. SSRIs have worked very well for friends and one sibling (and countless others), so I am careful to never poo-poo the class. My trials have coincided with periods of abstinence from alcohol.

After trying 2 different SSRIs over a long time period I (secretly) developed a fear that I might be a treatment resistant person and was a bit perplexed. Reason being that I get an obvious 'runner's high' sense of well being from minimal exertion. I also felt that I understood the subtleties of what felt good versus bad within myself in a variety of situations. But I also have tended to get paradoxical responses from other types of medications which fed my fears.

As it turns out, with openness regarding my history, fears and skepticism, I tried Wellbutrin. It worked like lock and key with my brain and body. Since that time there have been dosage adjustments and an addition of another SNRI. With my body and mind circumstances I cannot imagine having to go without med help. After the initial adjustment period it definitely just feels like I am somehow supporting my entire self through challenging times. If this was not the case then I would be willing to stop what does not work and try again.

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Old 07-10-2014, 05:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hey AO

I took Lexapro for several years at a low dosage. I think I was at half the standard. I had never taken any form of anti-depressants before then but after a year of therapy my depression, though mild, wasn't improving. Initially, the Lexapro did work well in that it removed a lot of the depression. I wasn't skipping down the streets but I did wake up without any feelings of dread or despair. I simply felt balanced, maybe a little more on the happy side. After a few months, I became accustomed to the dosage and also felt "normal". However, I never liked the idea of taking meds so after a few years I stopped taking it. By that time my alcoholism was becoming worse (and the alcohol negates any effect of the meds anyway). So, in summary, Lexapro did work as long as I didnt drink. I didnt feel addicted to Lexapro or sense any form of dependency, it was just a pill I popped. I just dont like meds
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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As noted by Endgame, I find it incredibly curious that Wellbutrin is the only available norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor....as dopamine deficiency is often indicated in addiction/overeating etc. It made sense to me that LeTheVerte found success finally with wellbutrin if dopamine deficiency was at issue. I have looked at amino acid and all that stuff for a variety of reasons..and the fact that Wellbutrin was the only thing I seem to find that addressed dopamine...well, why is that.

In my work in the weight loss industry, almost all of the morbidly obese clients I have deal with..have all been on SSRI's, and it is my feeling that there issue has been more dopamine related than serotonin.

Are you able to address this EG? I know that typically when folks go to their doc's with depression they are prescribed something for serotonin...yet it's not the only issue that can be in play here? And very little time has ever been spent addressing what specifically the symptoms are.

I have questionairres for all my clients that have certain questions that address key things like Serotonin, Acetylcholine, Dopamine and Gaba deficiencies..
The dopamine questionairre is almost ALWAYS off the charts. Serotonin, based on the questionaire is rarely all that much at issue.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I've been taking Lexapro for about 5 years.
I put off taking it for a couple years while I suffered in a dark place.
Today I'm so thankful to my doctor for recommending it. No side effects and I'm really just like my old self.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
Seeking information on peoples experiences with anti-depressants - specifically Lexapro for anxiety disorder (but would love to hear any others that either worked or didn't)

Thanks in advance.
Alpha, I discussed my use of Lexapro and Paxil in the following thread. My anxiety was limited to moderate social anxiety, but both of these SSRI anti-depressants helped me greatly, and I expect to take them for the rest of my life (and I'm more than ok with that).

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...o-anxiety.html
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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What happens if you drink on SSRI's ?

This is absolutely not my intention, but I AM an alcoholic who hasn't had much success in abstinence. And this is a major concern of mine.

Thanks, also, for everyones willingness to share their experiences and knowledge. This is such a wonderful oasis.
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