• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Depression and Anxiety - possibly triggered by medication



Feb 6, 2021
Hello. About two weeks ago, I unwittingly took an expired Lexapro and began experiencing severe depressive mood swings, anxiety, and a desensitized sensation. I had to look up a name for what I was experiencing for the latter, and I found "derealization". I felt like I was in a fog, and I had trouble absorbing my surroundings. The derealization was uncomfortable and mildly disorienting, but it subsided after a few days.

For some background: I am on the spectrum but am high-functioning. I have taken Lexapro and Adderall for the past several years but have not been taking them as regularly in a few months since I am not in school at the moment. Two Sundays ago, while I was stressed going over some paperwork for my school, I took 1 expired Lexapro and experienced nausea and a headache, however it went away by the end of that day. Fast forward to that Saturday and I get hit with derealization and depression. I have never experienced something like this. I take Lexapro for anxiety, and have never really gone through a serious, prolonged bout of depression.

The depression has decreased in severity over the past several days, although my symptoms seem to be flatlining in a way, not getting worse or better, but still in the back of my mind. I keep ruminating over past memories, lamenting decisions I've made, dwelling on negative thoughts, and most of all, feeling a profound sadness over the thought I've never really connected with anyone on a deep, personal level. I get anxiety over hypothetical situations where I have to be in public or out and about, which hasn't happened to me in years. Thinking of the city or even sunsets, makes me anxious and slightly uncomfortable. Then I get a moment of clarity, where I feel relatively fine and optimistic, only to wake up the next morning feeling depressed. I don't have suicidal thoughts, which I'm glad. Usually I get a moment of normality at least once a day, though today I did not really have that, which worries me slightly.

My doctors seem to think it has nothing to do with ingesting expired medication, though I find it odd that I experienced these symptoms that are more or less related with exactly what Lexapro is supposed to treat. All my symptoms seem to fall under SSRI withdrawal, from what I've looked up. Could it be the social isolation due to Covid, or a combination of both? I really don't know what else could have triggered this, as I was feeling well and normal before this whole ordeal began. I finally got a proper refill of my medication and have been on it for a few days, thought it'll take a little longer for me to possibly feel any change. I hope it helps. I'm worried and anxious that the expired meds triggered something in my brain and it won't be an easy fix. I'm having trouble enjoying things like reading books or listening to music. My family has started to notice. I'm feeling so alone. My doctors have not been super helpful and were reluctant to prescribe me anything, instead referring me to therapy, which I planned to do anyway. Only after some prodding, did they finally prescribe me the Lexapro. My biggest fear is that these have been my true feelings all along, and the medication has been suppressing them, and now that I'm going through withdrawal, they're coming out stronger and fresher.

I'm reaching out because my therapy isn't for another couple of weeks, and I can't wait that long. I was hoping if anyone had a similar experience with derealization, or an anti-depressant or spoiled/expired medication that created severe side effects. Is my depression exaggerating my feelings? Any help, advice, or coping mechanisms are greatly appreciated.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
kisamokichi Memory Loss possibly due to depression+anxiety Depression Forum 3
Fioletovayalien Cold water swimming to treat depression/anxiety Depression Forum 5
R It's not working... Depression and anxiety need help Depression Forum 20
L Acute anxiety & Moderate/Severe Depression Depression Forum 17
O Chronic Depression & Anxiety now leading to physical problems! Depression Forum 10
A Depression and anxiety Depression Forum 5
F Depression or maybe anxiety... looking to control it before it gets worse Depression Forum 8
whyme88 Overthinking/anxiety leading to depression? Depression Forum 11
C Depression... and anxiety? Depression Forum 13
S anxiety and depression, does it ever end?? Depression Forum 6
whyme88 Anxiety leading to depression? Depression Forum 7
W My Partner Suffers from Depression & Anxiety Depression Forum 6
LostNorthernStar Physical Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety? Depression Forum 12
A What is your bigger struggle, depression or anxiety? Depression Forum 53
D Why do I seemingly not want to get better? Loneliness, failing university, depression, severe anxiety, and not doing anything about it Depression Forum 7
Dais Workbook about anxiety and depression I personally found useful. You may like it too. Depression Forum 2
TylersOutlet24 Depression/Anxiety - never ending emotional rollercoaster you DONT want to be on. Depression Forum 3
S besides self talk what actually reduced your severe depression or anxiety? Depression Forum 17
S Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem? Depression Forum 7
TylersOutlet24 How I experience Depression/Anxiety and coping mechanisms to help. Depression Forum 2
Mrs Tiggywinkle Nutrition for depression and anxiety......very good video. 🙂 Depression Forum 3
J Depression with Anxiety Depression Forum 10
Jam1990 Do medications really work for depression/anxiety Depression Forum 24
L Effects of anxiety and depression? Depression Forum 2
L Relocation Anxiety/ Depression Depression Forum 6
bluestar ocean I've never had depression or anxiety until the last three weeks. There is no threat it's perceived not real Depression Forum 4
T Possible anxiety/depression? Depression Forum 1
C Fear of anxiety-induced depression Depression Forum 6
B Sports and depression / anxiety Depression Forum 3
L Starting to lose hope with my depression and anxiety Depression Forum 2
K Overwhelming regret from an anxiety riddled bad decision causing chronic depression Depression Forum 5
J anyone try magic mushrooms for there anxiety depression? or treatment besides medication? Depression Forum 10
S Anxiety and depression from past and not getting cured and dragged into more and more problems. Depression Forum 7
J What do u think about this problem with depression and anxiety returning? Depression Forum 1
A My Girlfriend (23F) has anxiety, depression, and is suicidal. How can I help her? Depression Forum 6
J what treatment snapped you out of sever anxiety and depression? Depression Forum 20
Charmayne Can Anxiety fuel Depression? Depression Forum 6
Tanya2020 Depression and anxiety Depression Forum 6
S Depression and anxiety affecting physical appearance Depression Forum 26
L Depression, anxiety maybe more? Depression Forum 5
L Severe depression and anxiety - what do you do for work? Depression Forum 11
Z I got kicked out of a liquor store... (adhd, caffeine addiction, anxiety, depression, depression) I DON’T understand why I can’t get over it... Depression Forum 3
wollie Depression and anxiety test Depression Forum 2
L I have suffered from anxiety and depression for nearly 14 years. Depression Forum 12
T Depression and Anxiety for Months Depression Forum 5
R Anxiety, depression, derealization.. Books? Tips? Depression Forum 3
stability issues about depression,anger,anxiety,low self esteem etc... Depression Forum 5
C Recurring episodes of depression and anxiety - pls share experiences. Depression Forum 3
S Suffering from sudden major depression (also OCD and anxiety). Almost giving up. Depression Forum 5
M Ex girlfriend has depression and anxiety Depression Forum 7

Similar threads