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Antidepressants Lexapro Withdrawal

Lexapro withdrawal can become nightmarishly difficult. It could be compared to exiting a burning building without an exact escape route and alert, trained support to show you the way out.

Alternative to Meds Center specializes in helping our clients in getting off Lexapro and other medications. The processes used are gentle, gradual, and clients are meticulously monitored every step of the way. For some, getting off Lexapro is a journey from hell to health and at Alternative to Meds Center you do not have to travel alone.

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For 15 years, Alternative to Meds has been the only licensed center helping people find alternatives to antipsychotic medications. We have published evidence regarding our long-term success. While each case is different, many times we find that, frequently, there were medical conditions like hypoglycemia or food allergies, or that the crisis had multiple factors and may have been diagnosed prematurely or even misdiagnosed.
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Why is stopping Lexapro so difficult?

Lexapro is thought to target certain receptors in the central nervous system, which change the way a natural body chemical, called serotonin, is distributed along nerve pathways.1 This manipulation is considered the reason that SSRI antidepressants can temporarily lift a person’s mood. There can be several ramifications of this artificial change. As the serotonin is made to lodge itself, or pool along the nerve channels, a person will begin to feel a dampening of emotions and less sensitive to environmental stimuli. Thoughts, heart rate, and breathing may seem to slow down and a person will likely feel calmer and less stressed, even happier, less concerned by troubles. These and similar reactions are due to serotonin being an inhibitory neurotransmitter, one that dampens or inhibits sensory information and signals from being passed along.

One could liken this effect to putting on sunglasses to reduce glare. Eventually, the eyes will accustom themselves to the lack of light. When you have been wearing sunglasses for some time and then you take them off, wow, the glare can seem blindingly, intensely bright. That is often the way it is with Lexapro withdrawal. In stopping Lexapro, especially if done too quickly or abruptly, the person is now precariously close to the edge of sensory overload after becoming accustomed to an artificially reduced sensory input. In extreme cases, Lexapro withdrawal can be completely overwhelming because the functions that serotonin was monitoring, which can number in the hundreds if not thousands, now go into overdrive. Racing heart, or tachycardia, feeling paranoid or fearful for no discernable reason, emotional outbursts or bouts of crying, feeling extremely irrated or angry are just some of the symptoms that are commonly reported during Lexapro cessation.

Other symptoms may be more physically painful and hard to bear, such as migraines, nausea, cramps, and the particularly troubling side effect known as brain zaps. Insomnia can emerge or become worse. Depression can significantly worsen and a person may become suicidal as a result. The more abrupt the Lexapro cessation, the more harsh these symptoms may become, and the longer they may linger. There needs to be enough time allowed for the body to transition gradually. Slowing the process also dampens and softens the harshness and sensory overload that can sometimes be experienced during Lexapro cessation.2

Surround Yourself With Calm, Quiet, Reassuring Care

lexapro withdrawal

Stopping Lexapro doesn’t have to be such a traumatic experience. Alternative to Meds Center can help a person safely navigate around the rough patches, and provides a wealth of comforting adjunctive therapies along the way which can significantly ease a person through the experience. When experiencing the mental fog, dizziness, trouble coordinating one’s walking, speaking, and other difficulties that are common when trying to quit Lexapro, this is when being surrounded by caregivers who are familiar with what you are going through can offer their steady hand and calm, quietly reassuring assistance.

A person going through the challenging process of stopping Lexapro may eventually crave a bit of light socializing and pleasant company, and this is also provided in our warm social setting. Everyone there focuses on health, help, wellness and positive improvement. Social outings are arranged which take advantage of the awesome photogenic beauty of the majestic Red Rock Mountains nearby, and touring the lovely town of Sedona with its pleasant, welcoming, artisan-rich culture can be an extroverting and memorable experience.

Getting Off Lexapro Comfortably Needs Specialized Protocols

At Alternative to Meds Center, our program is focused on how to get off Lexapro as comfortably and gently as possible. Toward this aim, clients are offered the very best in physical comfort and relief with therapeutic massage, cranial-sacral therapy, Reiki, soothing mineral baths, foot baths, low-temperature sauna, nebulized glutathione treatment, bentonite clay treatments, and much more.

One of the more popular features in the program is our Assisted Equine therapy. Therapy horses are chosen for their exceptionally gentle nature, and for their people-loving character, a talent that horses of this caliber particularly excel in. Your time spent getting to know and connecting with your horse is always therapist-guided. You will never be asked to do more than you are comfortable doing, or to interact with your horse in a strenuous or taxing way. Equine therapy is designed to be emotionally soothing and personally empowering, never intimidating. For many clients, Equine therapy has opened the door to beginning to feel “in charge” of their life again. The results can be life-changing.

Call us for More Information

Please contact us at Alternative to Meds Center, to find out more about the nutritional, educational and counseling that is also provided so that your or your loved one’s Lexapro tapering experience is made as comfortable and as gentle as possible, and how your journey toward natural mental health and other improvements can be gotten safely and securely back on track.

  1. Article entitled, “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) Pathway,” authors K. Sangkuhl, T. Klein, R. Altman, published April 2010 in the US National Library of Medicine and online, accessed October 19, 2019
  2. FDA label information, accessed October 18, 2019


This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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