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I'm a 29 year old male and have been suffering from anxiety disorder for the past 9 years and social anxiety disorder due to my extreme shyness since I was a kid. I also have agoraphobia when I'm in public places and while driving. When I am anxious, experience lightheadedness, feeling as if my heart is beating slower than usual, pale hands, perhaps weak pulse, dry mouth and shallow or weak breathing. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety disorder, I was prescribed Xanax but I stopped taking it as I have a low tolerance for medicine due to my sensitivity. Basically anything that makes my body feeling other than normal would cause my anxiety to increase, even drinking coffee, tea and eating nuts.

I work mostly from home with my ebay business, and taking care of my 2 yr old daughter, and I have no social life. Recently I have depression creeping up on me so I started to exercise by jogging regularly 3 days in a week (I never did any physical activities for the past 3 years). A month passed by and I notice things didn't improve as the depression was getting worse by the day.

One evening after my exercise, I had a severe panic attack after noticing my heartbeat could not go down from my working out heartbeat (I try to jog till my 170 heartbeats). It was different from my previous attacks as I never had the tingling sensation on my left arms and later on my right. The air was very dry and I was hyperventilating. I thought I was having a heart attack so my wife called in an ambulance and they did a check-up and then released me after reassuring me that was a panic attack. At this point I was so weak so after eating banana I forced myself to rest.

The next day, went to a gp and my anxiety was so bad that I couldb't even talked to him. He said I caught an infection as my temperature was slightly high. He prescirbed me Lexapro 10mg for one month but told me to start 5mg for the next 7 days.

First day on Lexapro, I took 5 mg at 12 pm after lunch. I had a bit of anxiety after taking it perhaps expecting the worse so I just rested on bed. 4 hours later i was so tired and foggy. Around 8pm, I was in a mania state, perhaps due to my serotonine level being too low prior to taking it. That night I woke up at 2 feeling nausea and shivering cold sweats.

Second day on lexapro, felt foggy after 3 hours after my 2nd dose. Anxiety level increased when I was driving an hour later. Starting to lose my appetite during dinner. Slept with cold sweats, and was very chilly. At this point I wasn't sure if the side effects were aggrevated because of my infection that I had during my check-up with my gp.

Third day on lexapro, increased anxiety during the day. Around 7pm, I felt s burning sensation on my chest and felt like my heart was squeezing. I wasn't sure it was heartburn or the side effect from Lexapro. I did took my third dose an hour late after lunch so it wasn't with food. Was having chills and cold sweats so took a panadol and went to bed early.

Next morning around 7 am I woke up with a very slowed and shallow breathing so it got me into a panic attack state. Air was very dry and I was weak. Called in ambulance and they did a ECG and noticed that I had some irregular heartbeats so they brought me in to ER. At the hospital I started feeling better, did ECG, blood test and chest x ray. All came out fine, and I asked the doctor whether it was a severe reaction to Lexapro but she said no since there is no swelling on mouth and face area then it is not a severe reaction although I convinced tht it was as I read it on the internet on the symptoms of a severe reaction. She told me to continue my medication.

I stopped immediately after my third dose. I was so lethargic for the past 7 days eventhough I was on 5mg for 3 days. I noticed after that I had this slight chest pain around my heart area and was not sure if it was anxiety related or heart related. Went to the gp and was told it is anxiety related although he did not do any test. He even prescribed me Xanax 0.25 for my anxiety due to this incident. It has been 10 days since the incident and but till now I am still having this slight pain and also a bit of shortness of breath. Also I noticed I lost 3 kgs since my first dose. Also, I've been having vivid dreams these past week.

I am feeling physically stronger now, less shortness of breath, but my depression is back. I have took half of tablet of xanax .25 and helped me a bit on my anxiety but still feeling slightly depressed. I am contemplating whether to start taking 2.5g of Lexapro OR get a new SSRI such as zoloft or anything that has less side effects on me. I am not sure wheter the side effects were aggreviated by my infection which I had prior to taking it or simply because I have a high sensitivity to Lexapro. I think I had a severe side effects but the gps thought otherwise. I would appreciate any advice from here before I start taking Lexapro again as Xanax makes me more moody though it helped my anxiety. I am also contemplating to see a cardiologist to check up on my breathing and pain and a psychiatrist next week.

Thank you all for reading. I appreciate your time.





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