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Panamama: Help with Paxil Withdrawal


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Hi, I'm brand new to this site.  My screen name is PANAMAMA - I'm from Maryland, but currently living in Panama.  Need to keep this short, as my internet here (in the beautiful mountains) is intermittent.  I'll do a full introduction later, but for now, I'll briefly say that, after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a type of Dysautonomia (P.O.T.S) 20 yrs. ago, I was on countless psychotropic drugs - all of which made things MUCH worse - and then, of course, would be given yet ANOTHER drug to counteract the side-effects. . . sigh . . .


Seven years ago, I finally got off klonopin - which almost killed me.   Found a great Benzo Support group at the time, which saved my life.  Fast forward to now - I've been slowly getting off every other psychotropic drug since then, and just six weeks ago had to cold-turkey off Paxil (long story) which I'd been on for 10 years.


I've had every withdrawal symptom in the book, but have been able to get through it on my own with what I had learned from benzo w/d.  Fortunately, most of the physical symptoms (dizziness, balance problems, diarrhea, swishing in head, stomach pain, headache, etc.) have gotten better over these six weeks.  However, one thing I am still experiencing (which I did not with benzo w/d, but have read about with Paxil w/d) is overwhelming anger and irritability.


I am by nature a very sensitive, loving, peaceful person, and so this intense anger - actually rage at times - is very unfamiliar to me, and I therefore have no coping skills to deal with it. HELP!!  I understand that this will eventually pass, and I feel that - having lived through benzo w/d, I can live through ANYTHING.  But I need some practical advice on ways to dissipate these overwhelming feelings that seem to take over - body and spirit - before I lash out in some destructive way.


Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Panamama -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)


I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums enlightening and helpful for your taper.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.


In your next post, please let us know what your history is with Paxil:

  • when you started taking it
  • how many mg were you taking before you started reducing dosage
  • what your in-between doses have been and how long you were at them
  • what your current dose is and on what date did you reduce dosage to the current level
It's also often illuminating to review symptoms. Please post your symptoms, when they occur during the day, any changes in intensity and when those changes occur.


Some relevant reading topics for you:


What is withdrawal syndrome


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)


The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization


Many people find 2 supplements helpful during tapering and withdrawal:


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)


This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.


Have a look at the topics I've linked above. Come back here with any questions and answers to the questions I've asked you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hi Panama i join with SW in welcoming you.

Well done on getting off the benzo


Wow ...you cold turkeyed off paxil after 10 yrs use. That's a very brave thing to do. You say that you 'had' to do it so maybe inferring your doctor had reasons.

Symptoms are delayed so it may get very rough for a while.


I'd be interested in your opinion of benzo wdl compared to paxil wdl.


Anger/rage issues are a  very common withdrawal symptom.

I kept myself safe by keeping a low -people- profile  for a season.


Stay safe.


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Panamama. Welcome to the forum from me, too. And congratulations on getting off of benzos. I also came off them a little over two years ago, so I know your struggle. 


The "rage" withdrawal symptom is very common. As NZ11 so wisely wrote, keeping a low-people profile can help. Give yourself as much time and space to heal as possible. Surrounding yourself with "calm" - gentle music, walks in a nearby park, gentle yoga - can all help. 


This thread explores the concept of "neuro emotions" and may be helpful: 


Neuro Emotions


And this is a link to a blog with really great information on SSRI withdrawal regarding rage: 


Dealing with anger during SSRI withdrawal



I found mindfulness to help with not only anger issues, but also sleep problems, dealing with depersonalization / derealization, and a range of symptoms. Mindfulness links are given in this section, as well as a ton of other non-drug coping skills you may wish to explore: 


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Again, welcome to the forum. You'll find a lot of information and encouragement here. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Please Help!!!  I joined a few weeks ago after I went off Paxil cold-turkey (yeah, I know - long story) 8 weeks ago.   I was asking about the anger/irritability/rage issue.   Thank you for the responses.   Since then, I've developed terrible itching - and once again, this site has been very helpful in terms of understanding excess histamine.  I've started on a low-histamine diet and taking some supplements which seem to be helping.


HOWEVER, the emotional issues are becoming unbearable, and I'm seriously considering reinstating - at a much lower dose - just to keep myself alive.  I would appreciate any advice!!


I haven't been able to type out my history in my signature - sorry.   I'm in the mountains of Panama (originally from Maryland) and have very limited and intermittent internet.  I got of benzos and several other drugs seven years ago.   Weaned myself off Trazadone a few months ago.   Now (besides atenolol - which I need for my dysautonomia) Paxil was the last drug I was taking.    I had intended to begin slowly weaning, but a bad reaction to the Panamanian brand made me cold-turkey.  I was taking Paxil CR 25mg for ten years.


Has anyone reinstated Paxil?   After eight weeks off?  How many mg. had you been taking before and how many mg. did you reinstate?


Thank you in advance!!



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  • Moderator

Hi Panamama-- Welcome to the group.  I so sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble with the paxil (and other  drugs, it's all related) We really need more details about your drug history. Don't worry about doing a signature, but rather write it out in a regular post right here.  The information is what's important, not the format.


It's still possible to reinstate after 8 weeks off, and will probably really help you to feel better.  Once we have your information we can work out what a good dose would be.  Is it possible for you to get the brand name drug instead of the local generic? 


Here are some links with helpful information:


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 


Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


What is withdrawal syndrome? 


That will get you started and tax your limited connectivity.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017


"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Panamama and brassmonkey -- I've moved your posts to the introduction topic Panamama started 2 weeks ago.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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