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Celexa / Lexapro's Success Stories

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Good to read your post nathand. I started on Cipralex two weeks ago. It's my fourth antidepressant. I started with clomipramine 22 years ago. Initial side effects were like having the flu for four straight weeks and then suddenly one day it was gone and I felt great. Later I moved to Effexor and later still Cymbalta.  No side effects with those switchovers.

 

Last August with my 60th birthday imminent I thought I would try life without the meds. My GAD kicked in very quickly. I stuck it out, got into therapy, mindfulness and meditation. Finally, two weeks ago after nearly 9 months of trying, I realized that while other aspects of my life were improving the anxiety was not. Clearly it's hardwired and confirmed for me why I had addiction troubles with prescription tranquilizers in my 20s and 30s.

 

The first two weeks have been pretty miserable — general feelings of unwellness, severe insomnia (which I was actually experiencing in the last weeks before I went on the meds), high blood pressure, palpitations and anxiety. It was like a caricature of what I'm actually taking the drug to help with. Of course I expected this, even though I hoped I might get off scot free.

 

The last couple of days I've had afternoons of great tranquility and peace. These came after a midday crash of debilitating fatigue. I think one thing that is helping a bit with these initial side effects is that the doctor put me on Metoprolol to bring down my blood pressure which was getting dangerously high. This is a beta blocker that tends to reduce anxiety as well as control heart rate. It's doing its job. The blood pressure is down and the anxiety is down as well. No more racing heart and roiling guts. Whether the Cipralex is contributing to the anxiety reduction yet or not I don't know, but I'm pretty confident that ultimately it will work since all three antidepressants I've tried over the 22 years have all worked.

 

What I least like is that I'm taking a sleeping pill every night about 1 AM that gives me about four hours of sleep, maybe five if I'm lucky. If I don't take the pill I don't sleep. I've also got a benzo for when the anxiety gets unbearable, though in the first five days I've only taken a total of 4 half-tablets.

 

I've combed forums like this one for hours just as though one were having a friend talk one through a difficult time. I know it will get better, but after eight months of struggling with anxiety on my own I have this irrational feeling that I'm always going to be like this.

 

More than happy to read more reports if people will keep posting…

 

J

Edited by jimmcg

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I am not sure if Lexapro is my issue or if it is just me. I have been taking it for a month for chronic anxiety. I still have anxiety despite the medicine! I have no appetite and I constantly worry about my health! I am very nervous and frankly, I feel like I am nuts. I just want to be ok and feel better. I pray about it all the time. Any other meds you think might help me?

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Hi Peace7:

 

I'm no doctor and I don't know what dosage of Lexapro you are on. It's possible that the beneficial effects haven't kicked in yet (it can take 4 to 8 weeks) and it's also possible that your dosage isn't high enough.

 

I'm on 50 mg for chronic anxiety as well. Sixteen days after starting, my side effects are finally decreasing. One week after starting my blood pressure was way high (it had been high before I started the antidepressant but got higher still) and I had palpitations, so the doctor put me on a beta blocker, Metoprolol. That brought my blood pressure and heart rate back to normal and has helped with my anxiety immensely. That can be part of what beta blockers do. In truth, at this point I don't know if my reduced anxiety is because of the anti-depressant or the beta-blocker, or both. My plan now is once I get to the six-week point with the Cipralex (Lexapro) and know it's had time to work I will cut back on the beta blocker and see how my anxiety/heart rate/blood pressure shape up.

 

So, it's possible you need more patience or more of the drug, likely the latter. Discuss with your doc.

 

J.

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This has been a great thread.  I've read it all from the beginning.  I'm only at the beginning of part two of my own journey so I won't put the details here, as this is for success stories.  But I'm feeling hopeful that once I'm through the period of side effects, I will be back to the sunlight.  :)

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I have had good sucess with this medication 10mg a day seems to stabalize me very well anything more is to much anything less is not enough. That in combination with xanax at night to help me sleep. Hope that can help someone else

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I have been on 20mg of Celexa (started with 10 mg for the first 2 weeks, then splitting a tablet for 15 mg, now 20) and I have to say after 5 weeks I am feeling better after being diagnosed with major depression and anxiety.   In the past I had take Paxil, Lexapro and Prozac but that was years ago.  I'm starting to face the fact I may have to be on meds for rest of my life.  Anyway, here is my experience with Celexa:  The first week I was totally zonked out and even after sleeping 8-10 hours I had to take a nap during the day!   I was so sleepy but that has gotten better.  I yawned constantly for the 1st 2 weeks and had jaw clenching but that too has subsided quite a bit.   I have hardly any appetite and have lost 12 lbs but that's cool since I needed to lose weight.    Some of the things I love about Celexa is that I'm not as sad nor as obsessive - but be aware this med does dampen your emotions.  I don't feel happy or sad.  Things don't bother me like they used to.  I feel I can function better in society and in my work.  This has helped my relationship in terms of my mood and communication, but I feel no sexual desire at all...but these side effects aren't that big of deal since I don't feel suicidal and not crying etc.   It is a relief to have a flat emotional state, so me anyway.   I am also getting therapy.    No one in my life knows about my depression struggle, so this forum is important to me.  

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I have been on 20mg of Celexa (started with 10 mg for the first 2 weeks, then splitting a tablet for 15 mg, now 20) and I have to say after 5 weeks I am feeling better after being diagnosed with major depression and anxiety.   In the past I had take Paxil, Lexapro and Prozac but that was years ago.  I'm starting to face the fact I may have to be on meds for rest of my life.  Anyway, here is my experience with Celexa:  The first week I was totally zonked out and even after sleeping 8-10 hours I had to take a nap during the day!   I was so sleepy but that has gotten better.  I yawned constantly for the 1st 2 weeks and had jaw clenching but that too has subsided quite a bit.   I have hardly any appetite and have lost 12 lbs but that's cool since I needed to lose weight.    Some of the things I love about Celexa is that I'm not as sad nor as obsessive - but be aware this med does dampen your emotions.  I don't feel happy or sad.  Things don't bother me like they used to.  I feel I can function better in society and in my work.  This has helped my relationship in terms of my mood and communication, but I feel no sexual desire at all...but these side effects aren't that big of deal since I don't feel suicidal and not crying etc.   It is a relief to have a flat emotional state, so me anyway.   I am also getting therapy.    No one in my life knows about my depression struggle, so this forum is important to me.  

awesome! hugsssss.

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Lexapro did not help at all for me it just made it worse  :glare:. (I took 20mg for about 4 months.) It made me really irritable and sleepy all of the time and when I did not take it I would feel disconnected with reality....

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Hi

I am on my 18th day of Escitalopram 10mg in the morning. Waking up depressed no incentive to do anything other than go back to bed. Last couple of nights its been hard to fall asleep before that was taking phenergen and slept well. It seems like an eternity waiting for this to work.  I was on avanza mirtzapinefor about 5 yrs, 12mths ago went off it, and had a bad relapse 3mths ago when I gave up smoking.any info on this would be great.

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I have also been on Celexa for a while and a few days ago I have completely stopped from using it and this time is my final decision. I have been on it for nearly a year on and off and in the past there have been more attempts to stop using it but I sincerely couldn’t. I’ve tried to get off it because of my extremely and sudden mood swings, a lot and often crying spells, I have been nauseated and generally sick feelings all the time. surely it was because of the drug as I just have been put on it and all started. Went off it – a few days passed and all the side effects disappeared. And the same each time when restarting it. I have also been feeling and even seeing the entire world different while I have been on the med. all the attempts being put on it failed and i don’t know why my doctor keeps insisting that it is a drug that I need when I feel that I don’t. also, one of my friends have been put on Effexor – I tried it once and I was all good. really think about being put on Effexor right now… this depression is already ******* me. is there somebody who used Effexor for a long time and can tell me something more about it?

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I've been taking Celexa for a couple months now. It's helped me a lot and I haven't had any panic attacks anymore. I've been sleeping a lot better since I've been on the medication my Dr. has given me: Seroquil,  Celexa,  Ativan,  & Elavil

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I have been taking Citalopram for about two or three months now. I've always had anxiety but it got way worse after I had major knee surgery. There was one day I forgot to take it (I always take my medication right when I wake up in the morning) and I got extremely anxious that day and had to fight the beginnings of a panic attack when I was at work. I feel like it's helped but I still feel sad and discontent most of the time, especially since I'm still recovering from my injury.

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Hi,

'I have been on and off celexa for 12yrs and it has worked wonderful for me. It gave me my life back however at the time of an illness when all this happened I was sent away with the meds and offered no other help. Now the celexa doesn't seem to be as good as it once was and I've had limited coping skills through a relapse so I'm switching over to lexapro with the hope it'll work a bit better. Plus I am starting cbt so I'll be better prepared in the future, so yes take meds but get help elsewhere too. 

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As I've said in the topic for stopping Lexapro, I've tapered off Lex without any withdrawal symptoms (very gradually and with the support of my therapist).

I've stopped taking it because I overcame my depressive episode and I'm feeling much better. To be completely honest, I'm not sure if it was the meds that helped me, or was it the psychotherapy, yoga, meditation, practicing gratefulness and mindfulness, support forums, listening to podcasts, support from my mother, keeping a journal, eating healthy, exercising, etc. Most likely it was the combination of all those things. I definitely remember feeling very depressed, anxious, and suicidal before taking Lexapro and that I felt improvement after a month. I'd say that it helped me most in those early days when I was in a critical state.

My advice to anyone considering Lexapro or any other antidepressant is the following: it should be one of the last options you try for treating depression, but if your doctor agrees that you should take the meds, don't hesitate to do so. Save yourself the trouble of going through at least two weeks of side effects and try finding a good therapist first. Try to develop a healthy lifestyle with enough sleep, exercise, healthy food, and socialization. Practice meditation, yoga, mindfulness, gratefulness, keep a journal every day, listen to some good podcasts on mental illness (Wrestling With Depression is my favourite). However, if those methods fail, you should definitely give antidepressants a try.

Good luck everyone and feel free to send me a private message if you want to (I still visit this forum a few times monthly).

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