Hi and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your question...
Forte is actually a combination medication - containing Escitalopram 10mg (an anti-depressant) and Clonazepam
0.5mg (a sedative). Anti-depressant medication do not have an addictive potential, but when stopped suddenly can result in withdrawal symptoms
. Sedative medication, on the other hand, can have an addictive potential and withdrawal symptoms, which is why they are prescribed only for short periods
of time and are tapered down and stopped thereafter. Your current symptoms seem to be most likely due to sedative dependence.
I am not sure whether you had suffered from any depressive symptoms (like low mood, lack of interest, decreased energy, easy fatiguability, negative thoughts, etc.) in addition to the sleep problems, which might have be a reason why your doctor felt the need to start you on an antidepressant at that time.
I am also not sure why you had to be on this medication (including the sedative) continuously for 2 years if you were doing well. By protocol, we usually advice periodic reviews to monitor improvement and if the patient is symptom-free and doing well after about 6 months to 1 year on regular medication, we then consider the option of tapering the medication (unless the initial depressive symptoms had been severe or there were recurrent depressive episodes)
My advise would be to taper down the medication gradually, as sudden stopping can not only lead to withdrawal symptoms but sometimes, can cause a relapse of depressive symptoms as well. Your doctor will be able to give you a tapering schedule and it may extend up to a few months, but it it safer that way. During this time is important to practise proper 'Sleep Hygiene' in order to get your biological rythms back in place. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and try to avoid stress
. Also, keep a watch for any relapse of depressive symptoms, if any.
All the best.
- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar