My experience with Lexapro / Escitalopram / SSRI

3 posts in this topic

Recently I was having some issues with Anxiety and depression unrelated to my HPPD, which has mostly been under control for a long time (excluding the odd hiccup from weed and tramadol). As I'd read some positive and negative experiences about SSRIs and HPPD I decided to give it a try. After 5 days I had to stop. I had 4 days off and on the 5th day had to go back to work. Here's my experience so far.

Day 1 - Took it in the morning every day. On day one I felt like I'd taken speed. I was wired - jaw clenching, pupils dilated. No change to HPPD. I actually felt great.
Day 2 - More of the same, but slightly less stimulanty. I went for a surf in the morning and felt unsteady. I banged my board into the gate on my way in as I had no spatial awareness. A bit of brain fog. On an un-HPPD related note it also affected sexual function - I couldn't finish.
Day 3 - Slightly less wired again but definitely still there. I didn't have a coffee any morning I took the medication. HPPD starting to creep in, especially in the morning.
Day 4 - Static and after images through the roof. Spacial awareness out the window. DP/DR. Intense closed eye visuals.

Day 5 - back to work. Had to tell a friend that I'd taken them as I was so self-conscious. The acquired dyslexia was a nightmare - words jumbling up on the screen. Struggling to think straight, speak to people normally, and even just walk in a straight line. Absolute hell.

After that I decided to come off them. I took the following day off work.

Two days after stopping I was 40% back to normal. HPPD still severe but spatial awareness improved. Felt more like myself.

Three days after stopping I was 60% back to normal.

Four days after stopping 80% back to normal. Some of the HPPD is still present, but it's definitely much better than it was. I can ignore it and live normally.



People that have been okay on SSRIs have said that it worsened on dose adjustments, and the fact that it got better so quickly after makes me think that if I had 3 weeks off it might have been fine. I just don't have the luxury of finding out.

I hope this is useful to someone considering taking them! I'm seeing my doctor in 2 days and not really sure if I should ask for wellbutrin next or not. No more SSRIs for me. I haven't told the doctor about my HPPD, and I don't really want to.


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You need to tell your doctor about HPPD. If he doesn't (want to) know about it, go see another doctor.

Docs can't give you the proper treatment if they don't know what's happening to you.

It's like asking your mechanic to fix your car but you can't really say what's wrong with it in the first place. He'll start replacing random parts and trying random stuff that might fix the problem or make it worse.


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It's now 3 weeks after my last SSRI. My symptoms are still worse than before (I don't like to use the term "permenantly worse" because they always improve after a few months-years).

My doctor is suggesting valdoxan next, which I might try.

dayum_son - my feeling is that when there's a cure I'll tell my doctor about it. Until then I'll just get on with life.


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