Hi WD... My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on Anxiety Zone.
Lexapro is an excellent anti-depressant, and hopefully you will have good results from this selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). I am on Celexa, which is Lexapro's sister drug. I have been on it for some 5-6 months now, and would say that I am 90%+ better.
One thing of importance that I would like to point out to you... There are a lot of physicians out there that really don't understand how anti-depressants work. If they did, they wouldn't prescribe them the way they do.
Your doctor was wise to start you out at 5 mg. Starting an anti-depressant at a low dose can help to diminish side effects.
Now, here is the important part. You shouldn't stay at 5 mg, as this is a sub-therapeutic dose, and can end-up doing more harm than good. For Lexapro, 10 mg is considered the lowest therapeutic dose, with 20 mg being the max.
Anti-depressants don't work like other medications you are familiar with. They actually stimulate the growth of new brain cells and their connections in the hippocampus region of the brain. Cells in this region can become damaged or destroyed by stress hormones such as cortisol. In order to stimulate this growth, an individual must take a therapeutic dose of an anti-depressant.
Also, unlike many medications that dosages are prescribed in relationship to a person's weight, anti-depressants are not. So whether you weigh 100 pounds, or 200 pounds, you still need at least 10 mg of Lexapro to be considered getting a therapeutic dose.
I hope this information helps you out, WD.
The very best to you!... Chuck