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Scared to start Lexapro and Valium

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Very scared to start Lexapro and Valium?
scared198698
Currently I am in Zoloft withdrawal after having been forced to stop taking it. I took the zoloft on and off for years. Like all SSRIs it's a very nasty drug that I regret ever starting in the first place. I have had some "unexplained" rashes, swelling, rectal bleeding (zoloft induced) and have to stop taking it again. That would be all fine and dandy except because of all the swelling I had to get an awful steroid shot which has put me in an awful tailspin.

There is no way I can get completely through the zoloft withdrawal on top of the mental havoc the steroid has caused. To give you an idea, I now have failed two different cortisol tests and am having to go to an endo to see if I in fact have steroid induced Cushings. (If you ever get bored look up literature on steroid induced psychosis and Cushings. Never again will I allow anyone to give me steroids.)

Anyway, because of the high cortisol and withdrawal increasing my stress to new unimaginable heights, the doctor made me see a psychiatrist because it is imperative I keep my stress down so my cortisol, bp, and heart rate don't keep climbing. However, I was drugged and now have PTSD and panic disorder so I have a huge problem taking any new medications. And I know from experience every time I start a new SSRI I will have the worst panic attacks of my life that include physical flashbacks of when I was drugged with LSD. (Most physical pain I have ever experienced to date.)

The psychiatrist wants me to take 10 mg of Lexapro. He claimed it was the smallest dose. Obviously not true since it comes in 5 mg tabs. (Sad if I don't do my own research I won't get the truth.) 10 mg of Lexapro is the equivalent to 75 mg of zoloft which is WAY too high for me or anyone else. I never made the mistake of going on high doses of zoloft like they wanted before and certainly won't be tricked into it with another drug. Therefore, the absolute max dose of lexapro I would even consider is 5 mg and that would be pushing it. (I know some people think the "therapeutic dose" for panic is 50 mg of zoloft. This isn't true. According to the drug manufacturer themselves 25 mg is the starting dose for panic disorder which is why they make the 25 mg pills.) Anything over 50 mg for anything other than untreatable depression is overkill. SSRIs essentially deaden and destroy your receptors so the more you take the more likely you will have relapses in your depression.

With all that being said, the only thing I can do now is try and start the Lexapro and then after about 6 months taper again and never put these medicines back in my body. I am just sooo scared to try it. Does it feel different from other SSRIs? It has a slightly different structure chemically. The doctor also switched my tiny emergency xanax rx for valium. I am also scared to take this because I had a bad reaction with klonopin. (Severe muscle pain and dysphoria. It actually gave me anxiety.) So now I don't know which one to take first. I don't want to take the Lexapro and have a bad attack and then take a valium and it make me feel worse. I do have a few xanax left, but not enough to waste because I am saving them for dental appointments.

Can anyone tell me the differences in how xanax and valium feel? I take a very small dose of xanax so I don't really feel it. Just knocks the edge off and doesn't make you drowsy. I've heard valium on the other hand is more likely to make you drowsy. That makes me nervous too, mixing it with Lexapro which also apparently makes people drowsy. I have asthma so I cannot over sedate myself. I tried to tell the psych this, but he didn't really seem interested in anything I had to say just kept saying I was one of the worst anxiety cases he's seen in a long time.

Sorry you can probably tell from reading this that my anxiety is out of control. To make matters worse I tried to check myself into inpatient for zoloft withdrawal, but bc I have this unexplained swelling and possible cushings that I cannot go into inpatient until my other health problems are taking care of because they think that alone can cause severe stress. (I feel it is a strong possibility the swelling is from the zoloft but they won't admit it. Pharmacist even told me it causes it especially in face and hands. And the swelling gets worse whenever I change the dose.)

Please help the zoloft withdrawal is so bad. My body is burning and keep feeling like I'm choking. I can't sleep without being jolted awake. Last time I came off zoloft it lasted two months and I had to go to the er 3 times. I've got to replace it with something fast.
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You have a lot of misconceptions about how these drugs work.  I think you've also gotten a very odd sense from someone that Zoloft caused your rectal bleeding but you say you were told it didn't cause the swelling.  Lots of things can cause rectal bleeding, including hemorrhoids but also harder to find and diagnose anal fissures (had one, so I know).  The thing is, no other drug is guaranteed to do a thing about your withdrawal from the Zoloft -- the only thing that most often works is to go back on the drug and taper off of it at a speed that suits you.  That can only be done if the bleeding isn't attributable to the Zoloft, so the best thing you can do to start with is make sure this diagnosis is correct, especially if it's your suspicion and not the doctor's conclusion.  From what I know from being on saris for years and years, they only cause bleeding on occasion when combined with NSAIDS.  Doesn't mean you're wrong about it, just means it's rare if it's happening and there may be another explanation.  As for your comparing equivalencies between drugs, there are no such things.  You will see this discussed but it isn't true.  The starting dose of Lexapro might be 5mg, but 10mg is the recommended dose for treating anxiety and 20mg for treating depression (I know because I was on it for a while).  There is no equivalence between any dosage of any other antidepressant and Zoloft or any other antidepressant, as the key isn't that but how well you metabolize it.  Remember, your body thinks this stuff is toxic and doesn't want it in your body, so all drugs have to be engineered to get around this problem.  How well your liver and the rest of your system allows this to happen determines whether a drug will work at all and how much you need for it to work.  The longer you're on a drug, many people find it poops out, and need more for it to work.  Ssris also don't destroy receptors -- but they do cause the brain to determine many receptors are no longer needed because the drug has blocked the normal breakdown of serotonin and targeted it to wash around longer in the targeted receptors.  Others shut down, and withdrawal is thought to be in large part the dormant receptors trying to turn on again.  Sometimes, this doesn't ever work when someone has been on saris for a long time and sometimes this withdrawal can last a long time or forever, a condition called PAWS.  You don't want this, so if you can go back on the Zoloft and successfully withdraw before starting a new drug it will be better for you.  If you can't, you can't, and we can only hope the Lexapro will work for you.  But all these drugs work differently from one another -- they have to or they wouldn't be able to get a patent.  As for the difference between Xanax and valium, valium lasts longer in the body, though not as long as klonopin, but how well any drug will work is, again, dependent on you individually, so no one can tell you how it will feel.  We have different brains and we experience drugs differently.  Lots of people get tired when a benzo wears off, it's just the way it is.  Many get tired while it's working.  Others don't.  Your particular body, how energetic you are, how much you exercise, how well your body metabolizes it, etc. will determine that, not a pamphlet or somebody else's experience.  My own addition to this is only that, if a bad LSD trip was the cause of all this, therapy and not more drugs would have been the best thing -- most often, when drug use causes anxiety, it's because the experience was so bad you expect it to happen again and that becomes your way of thinking.  If you get to it early enough, you can learn that you don't have to keep thinking like that, you just need to stay away from that particular drug.  I have no idea if that can still happen, but I hope you're at least pursuing it.  Most of us with chronic anxiety have no idea why it's there and so have little to work on in this way.  
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Well, the rectal bleeding is a rare side effect of the zoloft and it only happened on it when I was restarting it. Zoloft is known to cause diarrhea and other stomach issues also.  When there is a risk for the receptors to never work again, this is definitely what I would certainly consider destroying them. Again, my second biggest regret in life was ever starting an SSRI. I know that a lot of the swelling can only be from the zoloft because swelling especially on hands and feet is a zoloft side effect. And the swelling didn't begin until I lowered the dose. Remember that serotonin is a hormone and screwing with one hormone will automatically throw off the balance of others.

When I first took zoloft originally there was no generic and I was told it was "safe" and not "habit forming." Which I obviously found out later was a lie. It is also shown in their own clinical trials that it was barely effective over a placebo. And that was only for people with very severe depression. SSRIs were never meant to be taken long term. They were only meant to be taken 12-18 months at the absolutely most. I never knew that originally either, which explains a lot. As far as the conversion, that comes from two different doctors and four different pharmacists. It's an estimated conversion. Obviously, there has to be some type of idea of a conversion between them, how else would they change between them after a long period of time and know what dose to give?

I was asking more about the effects of xanax vs valium. The valium was absolutely terrible and made me legs quiver along with some of the worst panic attacks I've ever had. Valium's half life is much longer than klonopin which it one reason I was so hesitant to take it and I paid the price because I was miserable for hours. (How long the effects last are different from the half life.) The half life of valium can be up to 100 hours vs 12 hours for xanax. I am now going to try ativan, but I am pretty traumatized after taking the valium. I still haven't been able to start the lexapro.
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Sadly, I really wasn't introduced to psychotherapy originally when I first had the initial panic attacks. Zoloft was just throw at me. That was around 2001 I think when I was drugged and the attacks began
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