Lexapro induced depersonalization (Is it a common side effect?)

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In this blog, we are going to talk about lexapro induced depersonalisation. This is indeed a disturbing condition and a few people have reported it just after a week or two of using Lexapro. 

This blog will help you understand the symptoms associated with depersonalisation and things that may help you stop feeling this way. 

Does Lexapro cause depersonalisation? 

Several surveys have revealed that lexapro can cause depersonalisation or the feeling of detachment from one’s own self. Studies have also indicated that this condition can make people unresponsive and unreachable as they don’t feel like being a part of their own body.

 They start seeing themselves and the things around them as a third person. This effect is, however, a little controversial. Several studies indicate that lexapro can be helpful in depression and anxiety induced depersonalisation and derealisation. 

Researchers have studied the effects of this antidepressant and stated that it is hard to predict when you suffer from depersonalisation while being on lexapro or any other antidepressant. 

This is because the feelings of depersonalisation can relate to your worsening depression or anxiety disorder. This problem was seen in people who were not responding well to lexapro and the drug was not curing the mental health condition. 

Some studies have linked depersonalisation with lexapro withdrawal and stated as the amount of drug starts to decrease gradually, the chemicals present in your brain can also start decreasing which might make you feel detached or emotionally blunt. 

Several other research projects came up with variable conclusions. Some stated that lexapro can cause depersonalisation, while others stated that it can help get rid of depersonalisation. This indicates that the drug affects people differently. 

It’s extremely hard to predict your side effects as the combination of drug + body is unique for everyone. If you suffer from detachment as a symptom of your mental health illness, then there’s a chance that lexapro might make it better. 

How does depersonalisation affect you? 

As discussed earlier, depersonalisation creates a sensation that you’re not present in your body. You’re not mentally aware and feel totally disconnected with your outside environment. It’s like you don’t exist. It interferes with your daily life activities. 

People suffering from this condition often report that they can’t control their speech and motor movements. Their limbs don’t feel like a part of their body. They find it difficult to move them at times and feel total numbness when they move them. 

Such people are also reported to act in an emotionless manner. Researchers suggest that such people don’t feel being a part of their body so they don’t feel obligated to the needs of their loved ones. 

This creates multiple problems in their personal lives and detachment from their friends, family members, partners, children etc. 

Is there anything you can do to get rid of depersonalisation? 

There are a few things that might help make you feel a little better and connected to your body. These include:

Psychotherapy 

Psychotherapy or behavioural therapies can help you overcome your detachment from everything around you. Such therapies usually involve letting all your issues out and you can talk to someone without the fear of getting judged. 

One survey indicated that a huge number of people don’t come forward and discuss their thoughts by simply thinking that people will not understand and will start judging them. 

This fear and the fear of getting mocked for being worried all the time, make people suppress their innermost feelings which later start to eat them alive. 

Improve your sleep quality 

Studies suggest that improving your sleep quality can help make your brain more alert and can significantly improve your mental functions. Make sure you sleep properly. 

Some guidelines suggest not to use your phone or any electronic device once you get on your bed to sleep. It is also encouraged to keep a journal and write about things in it which can help tone down your overthinking that keeps you from having a good night’s sleep. 

Try to understand your feelings

Try to understand what you’re going through. Look around you, go touch your stuff and see you’re still you and everything’s just the same. 

Studies suggest that depersonalisation can make some people step in denial which can further worsen your condition and you feel even more detached from yourself. 

Accept the situation and try to understand your feelings. Seek help if you think that things are getting out of your control. 

Try to listen to a song or watch a movie that once moved you

We all have a list of favourite songs and movies that move us and we don’t really mind watching or listening to them over and over again. Try listening to your favourite song or watching your favourite movie. 

Studies suggest that distraction can really help you get rid of depersonalisation. If you keep thinking about your condition, you’ll start sinking more and more in it. It is best to divert your mind and do something that makes you feel good. 

Relax your mind

Try to calm yourself down and manage your stress levels. There are many different relaxing activities that can help you, including yoga, meditation, tai chi, gardening or swimming. 

You can also try going to a spa which can really help you relax. Some studies suggest that massage in the presence of aromatherapy can really help clear your messed up mind and make you fresh and alert. 

Talk to a loved one

Talking to a friend, family member, partner or your children can help calm you down. You can talk about your past experiences and the enjoyable memories you have. 

This can make you go back in time and show you what your happy version looks like. It can also help you relax as you can easily share your worries with your most trusted people.

Exercise 

Studies suggest that exercise can really help you reconnect with your body. It releases happy chemicals in your system and you can feel your heart pounding and your muscles working. 

This makes you realise how you’re still inside your body and makes you understand things around you in a much better way. Exercise can also reduce stress levels by releasing the negative energy piled up in your system. 

When to call your doctor

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Breathlessness 
  • Extreme cloudiness of mind
  • Inability to speak or understand 
  • Inability to recognise surroundings
  • Abnormal behaviour 
  • Detachment from social gatherings 
  • Emotionless behaviour 
  • Allergic reactions to the drug

Make sure you monitor your symptoms and immediately report back to your healthcare provider. If you experience abnormal side effects, there might be a possibility that your drug is not working that efficiently. 

In that case, your doctor might alter the dose and even if that doesn’t provide enough therapeutic response, your doctor will change your drug. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have discussed lexapro induced depersonalisation. Lexapro can cause the feeling of detachment from one’s own self and can make people unresponsive and unreachable as they don’t feel like being a part of their own body.

However, several studies indicate that lexapro can be helpful in depression and anxiety induced depersonalisation and derealisation. 

Some studies have linked depersonalisation with lexapro withdrawal and stated as the amount of drug starts to decrease gradually, the chemicals present in your brain can also start decreasing which might make you feel detached or emotionally blunt. 

This indicates that the drug affects people differently. We have also discussed how depersonalisation affects you and what you can do to help relieve some of the symptoms. 

Make sure you discuss your side effects with your healthcare provider, who can help you determine whether your mental health condition is getting worse or your drug is solely responsible for making you feel that way. 

FAQs: lexapro depersonalisation 

Can Lexapro cause dissociation?

Lexapro may cause dissociation in some individuals. It is hard to predict how this antidepressant will work in different individuals. People respond differently to increased serotonergic activity in their brains. 

Do antidepressants help with depersonalization?

Several studies suggest that antidepressants can help relieve the symptoms of depersonalisation associated with depression or generalised anxiety disorder. 

Few studies have specifically indicated the effects of fluoxetine and sertraline for the treatment of depersonalisation-derealization disorder. 

Is feeling weird on Lexapro normal?

It is considered normal to feel a little weird during the first few weeks of your treatment with lexapro. However, if your side effects worsen or you feel confused and anxious continuously, talk to your healthcare provider.

Lexapro is not for everyone as people react differently to this antidepressant. Make sure it’s the right choice of antidepressant for you and you can actually gain long term therapeutic efficacy from this drug. 

What are the worst side effects of Lexapro?

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Angle-closure glaucoma causes symptoms like eye pain, vision changes, or swelling or redness in your eyes.
  • It could cause low sodium levels which can result in psychological symptoms like confusion, agitation, inability to understand surroundings, memory loss etc.
  • It can cause elongation of QT interval, causing increased heartbeat or arrhythmia
  • Teeth grinding
  • Convulsions 

How do you stop depersonalization instantly?

There are a few things you can do to stop depersonalisation. These include:

  • Psychotherapy or behavioural therapies can help you overcome your detachment from everything around you. 
  • Make sure you sleep properly. Studies suggest that improving your sleep quality can help make your brain more alert and can significantly improve your mental functions.
  • Try listening to your favourite song or watching your favourite movie. Studies suggest that distraction can really help you get rid of depersonalisation. 
  • Try to calm yourself down and manage your stress levels. There are many different relaxing activities that can help you, including yoga, meditation, tai chi, gardening or swimming.
  • Talking to a friend, family member, partner or your children can help calm you down.
  • Stay active. Studies suggest that exercise can really help you reconnect with your body. It releases happy chemicals in your system and you can feel your heart pounding and your muscles working.  

How long can depersonalization last?

Depending on the cause, depersonalisation can last from several hours to several months. If it is caused by an underlying health condition then it will begin to subside once your doctor will start treating your condition. If it’s a side effect of some medicine, then your doctor might reduce the dose or discontinue the treatment to stop depersonalisation. 

References 

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