I’ve Started My Final Medication Taper – Lexapro!

Lexapro Antidepressant Taper
Scary and exciting!

After mentally preparing to reduce this medication (the fear is intense! This is an SRI, and I’ve been on them for 12 years!) I woke up April 4, 2018 and just KNEW that that was the day.  And since I already came off one med, I know I can face whatever temporary challenges arise!

So I got out ma knife, cut my 20 mg pill into 17.5 mg and swigged it back. I had great energy, so just before noon I went to the gym for a workout.

Discontinuation Symptoms

On the bike ride to the gym, and when seeing bright TV screens, I could tell that my eyes were sensitive and I had blurry vision.

Antidepressant Discontinuation Symptoms
Headache, blurry eyes, tunnel vision, irritable, brain frustration.

In the evening, my eyes felt set back in my head, I had mild tunnel vision, a headache and heaviness behind my eyes, I as crazy irritable and my brain felt an inner frustration.  Likely because I was not giving it the same level of chemical mood-regulating hormones its been used to.  My brain actually felt pissed off!  ha ha!

Then Improvement

On this day 1, I ate all fruit that day, plus a mostly raw salad for dinner.  And I slept great that night.

The next day (day 2) I ate well again all day until dinner when I craved a cooked meal of rice, fried tofu and cooked veg.  Day 3, after a 10 hour sleep, I woke with inflammation, swollen eyes, sinus pressure and body soreness.  But I could tell that this was a build up response to the cooked foods and my body just craved more detox.  Only my eyes were still slightly blurry but they were coming back into focus!

So really, only one half day of any real discomfort, then minor effects over the next 2 days.  It went better than I expected!

Now I’m going to stay taking this 17.5 mg level until I feel my body has come back to great and I’m ready to do another taper.

What Happened Over 20 Days on Mostly Fruit

On February 14, 2018 I started eating only fruit for the most part, with added raw salads and some other food items.  I tried to track as much food, and my moods as well.  I’m going to try to put this into a chart as it would be really cool to see the quantities as they shifted, the mood ups and downs in relation to the foods I was consuming.  Stay tuned for this in a later post.  It’s going to be awesome!

But in the meantime, these are the symptoms I experienced, the changes and adjustments I had to make over 20 days.

The Good

  1. My intense hunger/eat/bloat/pain cycle went away.  Most doctors call this Irritable Bowel syndrome.
  2. I started having bowel movements at least once a day.  (Unheard of for me in over 12 years since my bodybuilding days, being on antidepressants and having to rely on Magnesium Citrate to move my bowels!)
  3. The whites of my eyes got whiter
  4. My skin started to clear, less clogged pores
  5. I didn’t get much “eye goo” in the mornings
  6. I felt happy, balanced, more calm and present (without having to run to a yoga or meditation class to find my happy place)
  7. I became a more engaged, patient and happier mom with my kids.
  8. I went to reach for my morning antidepressants and for the first time I FELT in my body, a knowing that this was poison and not at all helping me heal the root cause of my depression!  I had always wondered before, but never really had an energetic KNOWING!
  9. So two days later, I reduced my evening dose of Quetiapine to 2.5 mgs (from 3 mg).  This felt so empowering, and I felt ready to do this given how my body was already healing in really cool ways)
  10. My energy was going through the roof,  I was walking, doing yoga, workouts at the gym!  After the irritability and depression days, my mood and energy would get even better than they were before I reduced my med dose!

The Bad

  1. I got a really bloated upper stomach at times, especially at the very beginning.  Aryana explained that my stomach wasn’t used to this amount of nourishment.  It needed time to adapt and heal. While I used digestive essential oils (Eater’s Digest from Saje), licked drops of peppermint oil off my hand, and drank peppermint tea during this time to help, I did not have to use any over the counter stomach or digestion medicines.  I was able to trust the process.
  2. I experienced a few nights of insomnia after reducing my Quetiopine.  I fell asleep fine, but would wake up at 2 pm or so for a number of hours.  I used this time to listen to Dr. Morse videos and learn more about Acidosis in the body and depression/anxiety!  On another night, I wrote out 9 pages of blog posts that became this baby! 🙂
  3. I experienced extreme irritability then depression on day 2 and 3 after reducing my Questiopine dose.  But as Anton noted, this was nothing that I hadn’t already experienced continuously over the last 10 years on medication!  These days were hard for Anton, as he had to look after the kids and try to keep my space quiet for healing.  But he is my greatest supporter and was willing to try to help me get better, even if it was just “one more thing I’m trying”.
  4. Lots. Of. Urgent. Bowel. Movements.  But I just had to stay close to bathrooms.
  5. I got really sweaty and couldn’t seem to control my body temperature.  Especially right after eating.  Heat really aggravated me.  So I took afternoon swims in the cooling ocean.  It was my refuge! (So happy to be healing in a location with a cooling ocean!!)
  6. My vision got blurry on my down days.
  7. Headaches on my down days.

The Meh (annoying but easily overcome)

  1. I started to experience fatigue later on and saw darker shadowing around my eyes. I learned that I was deficient in Vitamin B12.   (If you are interested in Energetics, check it out here on another post.  Please be open minded.)  So I got a supplement. No problem. This lifted over a few days.
  2. I went for a morning walk and my legs felt really heavy.  I went for Reiki healing that afternoon at Nomad Yoga and my Reiki therapist confirmed a strange energy in my legs.  I asked a new detoxing friend online (From The Fans of Dr. Morse FB Page) what this was and he said that I was not taking in enough calories. That if I kept not eating enough, I’d end up in bed in a week.  Eek!  So I added lots of fresh orange juice, avocado, coconut meat, coconut milk tumeric lattes and raw chocolate to my plate.  And increased my fruit quantity of each meal. My weak legs went away and I got my energy back!  (March 8, 2018 Update!  My certified detox specialist Kaylie  just updated me to let me know to be careful of having too many fat sources, as they may “weigh me down” emotionally during my detox.  And I’m working hard right now to clear my antidepressants out of my system.  So more juice and greens have been added.)

The Ugly

  1. Now that I know more about the body and how to heal it, a really intense fear developed.  I was going to completely change the way that I eat, what I put in my body, what I put in my kids’ bodies, how I pack lunches, what foods we eat at birthdays and holiday celebrations!!???  What about my extended family? And friends? Sharing meals together!?! Was this all going to become weird and strained??  Sooooo uncomfortable!  I need to let it go as it really freaks me out!  Read my post on The Fear as I work through this.

More Calories for Sore & Weak Legs

Today I woke up with really sore and weak legs.  And feeling weak in general.  I reached out to a detox connection friend on the Fans of Dr. Morse site named Anthony.  He healed his own depression through detox (like many others he says!) after first weaning off of SSRI’s.  (And Benzodiapzepines  which he says are very, very hard to withdraw from.  Sorry you had to go through that Anthony!).

He shared with me the following:

“Your legs feel like that because you are probably not taking in enough calories, which leads to Ketosis.  So your body is pulling glucose from your muscles and if you keep it up your body will begin to use fat for energy.  This is very detoxifying.  Your body wants to conserve energy so your metabolism will slow down and your energy reserves will be used up to clean and repair damaged cells.  Get used to feeling this way because of med withdrawal but it will go away in a few months.”

Fresh OJ for me, and OJ popsicles for the kiddos!

“Just don’t freak out, your body will feel different but it’s okay.  Just up the calories with orange juice and other juices.  You still need to get 1200-1500 calories per day, otherwise you will end up totally depleted in bed after a week or so.  Try adding 1/2 gallon of freshly squeezed OJ per day if you’re not eating enough fruit, you can buy it at the store”.

This information was very helpful, and after a day of adding lots of juice and some avocado, my energy normalized. Whew!

Very grateful for Anthony’s help and advice!

Body Jerks During Reiki

Today I had a Reiki healing session with Nicole at Nomad Yoga here in Hoi An.

I love Reiki.  It’s a calming, do nothing but relax and sleep kind of energy balancing that’s amazing.  You feel so calm and relaxed about life after.

As Nicole started, I felt my body relaxing and getting near a sleep state.  But my body would jerk and convulse each time I got more relaxed.  When Nicole got to my stomach (I have a huge scar from a diastasis repair surgery I had last June) my whole body convulsed so violently that it shocked the both of us.  And the smaller jerking continued the rest of the treatment.

Both of us intuitively felt that this was my body’s way of flicking toxins out of my system.

What’s really interesting too and a link, is that after my surgery when I was bed tied and healing – every time I almost fell asleep my body would jerk me awake really violently!

Nicole also told me that I had a strange energy in my legs.  As I wrote in my March 5 post, I asked a new detoxing friend online (From The Fans of Dr. Morse FB Page) what this was and he said that I was not taking in enough calories.  (Of course I corrected this right after.  See my March 5 – What Happened Over 20 Days On Mostly Fruit – post for more details)

Anyway, this was all very interesting!  I had to share.