Lexapro & short-term memory - Anxiety and Depre...

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Lexapro & short-term memory

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Hi all

I’m 4 months on 10 mgs of Escitalopram for moderate GAD. All very good but I’ve noticed recently that my conversations are littered with “you know that guy from that movie who was also in that other movie with that girl .." It's incredibly frustrating. I just can’t seem to retrieve the words as before. Anyone else noticed this? 😊

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I have not taken lexapro but I have been on antidepressants for over 10 years and have a very poor memory. I have no idea if it is linked or not but my memory was good before. I hope that is helpful.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hi Autumnday. Thanks for replying. It’s mainly being lost for words! Remembering I need to add something to my shopping list and by the time I open it, forgetting what it was I wanted to add! It's kind of pleasant to stop worrying, however, I don’t want the trade-off to be my memory. 😊

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

I can understand it. The numb feeling is a lot more pleasant but the memory loss not so. I also struggle with words and forget things. I never thought that bit could be as a result of an antidepressant but maybe that is too. I thought I was just getting less intelligent. :)

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

I am 💯 sure the memory/word recall loss is down to the ADs. As in everything there’s a trade off isn’t there? It’s difficult for me to recall how dreadful I felt before I started with escitalopram even though it was only 4 months ago that I started. I’m planning to stick with it for the time being. Maybe review next year but I’m seeing my doctor so I’ll see if he has any thoughts. Thanks very much for your feedback. Greetings from London! I hope you have a good day 😊

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

I guess we cannot be totally sure although we were fine before taking them and now we are not! I am glad it is going well for you and you are happy to carry on. Have a lovely day. :)

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Hi, that has happened to me. And I’ve only been on lexapro for two weeks 10mg I hope it takes my unwanted thoughts away.

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Lismar

I’m happy about being on Lexapro (escitalopram). As I’m sure you’ve been told and read on here, it takes longer than 2 weeks for the positive changes in your brain (for me it was after 6-8 weeks). I do like the medication overall so give it time. Just not mad about this being ‘lost for words’. Keep me informed as to your progress. What was the background to you being prescribed lexapro? 😊

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hi, I was prescribed lexapro because of moderate depression and anxiety. I have been like this for 3 months and is the first time this has happened to me and im 37 years old. It all started for googling the after life since my brother in law passed away and I got scared not sure what I read can’t remember but it developed other thoughts fear of loosing my family, kids. It’s scary

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Lismar

I’ve also been diagnosed with GAD. I’ve probably always been of an overthinker but this diagnosis was triggered by a negative situation at work. I will see where the lexapro takes me. As I said it has really helped, still myself (more levelled out) and the overthinking has diminished. Just the short term memory bit. 😊

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Thank you, I hope my over thinking fades away a long with the creepy thoughts 🙏 have you tried CBT therapy? I’m on my 3rd session

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Lismar I’m positive the overthinking will fade as well as the scary thoughts. It’s what lexapro is good at! I haven’t tried CBT as I’m doing fine on lexapro. 😊

Sun8
Sun8 in reply to Hidden

I started taking Lexapro ( Escitalopram) 10mg 1 aday at dinner from my doctor for anxiety. Today, Monday will make 20 days of being on it & I'm still having the anxiety. I was told it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 & up to 6 weeks before it starts to work & I know everyone's body chemistry is different. The anxiety is horrible, especially during the daytime for me. I'm currently on Zoloft & my doctor reduce me from 150mg 1 aday down to 50mg 1 a day when I started the Lexapro & said, since I been on the Zoloft since 2003, it probably isn't working for me & I think he wants to wean me off the Zoloft, but not sure. My doctor is a psychiatrist recommended by my family doctor. I see him again on the 15th of this month. I'm glad you like the Lexapro & hope I don't have any major side effects from it? I don't like taking a lot of medication for mental health, but in this case with anxiety & depression it's better to take it, than suffer all the time mentally & emotionally. Prayers for all here!❤️🙏🙌🙏

Hi slf

I am on Velafaxine or Effexor in the States and have noticed memory loss. I have also read it is commonly experienced but there is no research evidence currently that it is permanent.

In my case I have noticed that it is temporary and is linked to certain states of mind usually.

It happens if I am a little high in the sense that for example I am on holiday and therefore already very happy so the med exaggerates the happy feeling and can also then lead to me becoming a bit confused. It is then more than just forgetting words, I can suddenly for a split second not know where I am etc. I was bothered by this at first but found it to be a temporary state that goes away completely when my equilibrium returns. I find it also happens a bit if I am very upset or angry in a hyper aroused state.

Again disappears afterwards.

Like you I have gained great benefit from starting antidepressants after developing GAD and depression very suddenly after a trauma over two years ago.

I have been on Venlafaxine for two years now and after a difficult start it caused my depression to lift completely in 4 months then after a further year and two dose increases removed my anxiety completely also and like you I have benefited greatly from not over thinking in the way I did even before I became ill. I did not consider myself socially anxious before but am more sociable now and more able to take on new challenges.

I see the memory issues as a small price to pay by comparison and so far there is no research evidence to indicate they are permanent changes.

By the way I also find tiredness makes the memory loss worse as well. When I am a little high sleeping can be more difficult and I become too alert and very forgetful in a similar way to tiredness as a result of jet lag in long haul travel used to make me forgetful. Trying to get enough sleep and relaxation, eating regularly and having a healthy diet and regular excercise really help to reduce the problem I find.

Regards

Kim

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Hidden in reply to Kkimm

Thanks Kim

I possibly might be ‘overthinking’ the word loss thing too! Would be in my nature to analyse everything. It is annoying rather than debilitating so if stays as it is, and doesn’t get worse, I suppose it’s manageable. So long as it doesn’t trigger Alzheimer’s..... It would be good to know if one returns to ‘normal’ recall after stopping ADs.

Sleeping - I’ve found that reading historical fiction greatly helps. Takes me to a different mind-set and place and helps me switch off. I now read most every night in bed no matter whether I feel sleepy or wide awake.

Good to hear from you. Have a good day. I’m in London and it’s Sunday morning here and I’m looking forward to seeing my family for lunch!

😊

Kkimm
Kkimm in reply to Hidden

Hi slf

Nice to hear from you too. I am near London also, up in the wilds of Suffolk.

Thanks for the tip about reading at night, I will try that again when I need to.

There is no evidence at this time to suggest it triggers Alzheimer's. It is a pity it always has to be said that "there is no evidence at this time" rather than "it doesn't" you don't get better than that really. I am a lay member on a NICE panel that writes guidelines for all medical practice so am familiar with health research which is to very exacting standards so that is the best you can get. So many drugs we have to take do cause long term side effects. It is about balancing harm and benefits. For example many people have to take blood pressure medication for life and that can damage their kidneys. Not taking it they risk damaging their arteries and causing stroke and heart attack.

If I need to remain on ADs for life to stay well I will do so. Sadly so many people come off them too early and can get into a negative spiral of stopping and starting and become very confused about whether it is their illness or the antidepressants themselves causing their symptoms. If one has GAD and have reached stability it is usually the right decision to remain on them.

Hope you have lovely lunch with your family.

I am nursing a mild hang over having over indulged in the fruit of the vine last night at a BBQ for friends.

Certainly not to be advised but had a great time. I am starting to clear up ready for building work on an extension on my home today so that will be fun, not!

All the best

Kim

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Hidden in reply to Kkimm

Kim

Your comments are very useful. On BP tablets possibly causing damage, the thing is you don’t physically actually feel any side effects usually so it’s easy to forget about them whereas with Escitalopram (for me) I am balancing the pros and cons on a daily basis. Just had to replay the news headlines as I was driving myself to distraction trying to remember some unimportant comment!! Sorry to hear you have a bit of a hangover. Know the feeling! I try to keep to a maximum of two glasses of wine but sometimes the party takes over!! For reading matter, look out for CJ Samson ‘The Shardlake Series’. Best read on a kindle I think so you don’t need the light on as they are backlit. Good luck with the building works. I’m afraid that the weather looks pretty wet in your part of the UK. 😊

Kkimm
Kkimm in reply to Hidden

Hi

Hi

Thanks for the reading tip.

With regards to memory problems, I think it is like all symptoms in that the more you focus on it or worry about it the worse it is. I try to completely ignore it and that helps but easier said than done.

I finished up in hospital on Sunday and was kept in overnight due to an SVT attack so did not get much packing up done. It is a physical heart problem I live with.

I am taking it quietly this morning then will start the packing up today.

Very best wishes

Kim

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Hidden in reply to Kkimm

Hi Kim

I believe you are right on the not focussing on symptoms advice. I am taking the attitude that the memory thing is something to amuse me and not worry about. I am sorry you ended up in hospital because of your SVT. Strangest thing, I was talking to someone only yesterday who was admitted to hospital for a catheter ablation for the same condition which has cured them. Can you get this procedure?

Wishing you a beautiful day

😊

Kkimm
Kkimm in reply to Hidden

Hi

Yes I am now on the waiting list for it. I was not sure whether I wanted to go through it as I was coping with the condition but after the weekend I have decided it impacts on my life too much and have been offered it so will now have to wait until they can do it.

I think it will be a few months at least.

Hope all is going well for you, yes humour is a good way to see the memory lapses. I tend to do that with my condition/s. I could really make a funny story out of my hospital admission which was scary but also a bit ludicrous really as it is a condition I have been dealing with all my life but suddenly became a medical emergency apparently because the episode had gone on too long so I had to present myself at A and E.

Have a good day.

Kim

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Hidden in reply to Kkimm

Kim

If it’s any consolation my friend who had the procedure is 💯 cured. Keep smiling! 😊

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