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longing: New here and fighting uncharacteristic rage


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I was put on Paxil more than 22 years ago for general anxiety disorder.  It was at that time a miracle drug for me.  My attacks were debilitating.  I was on a low dose of 20 mg a day for years.  I did try to stop a couple of times but the anxiety returned so with my doctors telling me there should be now problem with my taking the Paxil and my not wanting to have another panic attack I continued taking Paxil year after year.....


6-8 years ago I started not feeling well.  Fatigue, weakness, flu like symptoms, and mental issues resltess leg.  I was having trouble remembering how to do things I had done for years, Kept forgetting appointments, Had trouble learning new skills, even as simple as learning a new board game became a nightmare.  I told my Doctors that something was wrong.  I was told more than once it was my imagination or I just needed to see a psychiatrist.  I did have some tests done.  Blood tests, MRI etc. but everything kept coming back just fine.  Two years ago I lost a very good job because I was unable to learn what was required to function in my position.  My brain was foggy and slow.  At this point I also started having hyperflexia, brain zaps, dizziness, confusion.  I got one neurologist to believe me and he had me go through another set of MRI, blood tests etc....He also had a congintive assessment done.  I was diagnosed with mild neuro-cognitive impairment but they could not tell me what caused it.  He agreed that my reflexes were abnormal but couldn't identify why.  I had to move out of state shortly after that to Colorado.


Last winter while still having these symptoms I had a bout of depression and my Dr. had me increase my Paxil dose to try and reduce the depression.  All my symptoms went wild.  Brain zaps were bad enough to make me faint, my startle response was so extreme it almost hurt, my muscles felt like lead weights, fully body achiness, extreme brain fog.  Fortunately both me and my Doctor recognize suddenly that I was having an adverse reaction to the Paxil.  In retrospect my Dr. agrees that many of my past symptoms could very well have been my body trying to tell me that it was not doing well on Paxil but before this extreme reaction nobody recognized it and I suffered for years.


I started to slowly taper off Paxil and my last dose was on July 1, 2016.  I have had withdrawal symptoms but I had been getting through them one by one.  What I am having trouble dealing with right now is extreme rage.  It just pops up any time I might be even slightly stressed.  I do not have a temper.  I have always been knows as calm and collected.  Now I can cry at the drop of a hat or feel like smacking someone in the face with almost no provocation.  I hate this.  This is not like me and I am afraid I may not be able to control this rage.  I didn't feel this rage until into my fourth month after stopping Paxil.  I was wondering if maybe I was just having a mental crisis but now I'm beginning to see that this also may be my brain adjusting to the absence of Paxil.  What I would like to know is if there is anyone out there that experience this kind of rage and how long it took for that rage to go away or how I can control it until it does go.  I can handle most of the stuff that has come up but this is scary because it is sooooo unlike me.


Thanks so all of you that have shared your story.  I appreciate knowing that I am not going crazy and it is not just in my head.  Sometimes even family members have a tough time understanding and believing.  I am longing for a stop to the rage.

Edited by ChessieCat
Added tags & some extra paragraphs

~ 1992 started Paxil 20 mg

~ 2010 started have adverse symptoms that couldn't be diagnosed.

2014 symptoms grew much worse, sought medical help with no results

Dec 2015 increased Paxil dose to 40mg to fight a bout of depression

Dec 2015 all my symptoms exploded. Suspected I was headed toward Serotonin Syndrome. Started Tapering Paxil

Dec 2015 -July2016 Tapered until completely off Paxil, now dealing with withdrawal especially anger/rage

Currently going day to day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

longing -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA) and thank you for posting!
I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.
Link to discussion topic on rage, anger, and irritability
You'll find topics on other symptoms in our Symptoms and self-care forum. When looking for a specific symptom, people often find it helpful to search with a web search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo) being sure to include the site as a search term, as follows:

It would help us help you if you told us more about how you came off Paxil -- what was your starting dose, what was your first step in decreasing dose, and the subsequent steps.

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly?

  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Any drugs prior to 18 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please don't include symptoms or diagnoses. Feel free to include the initial condition that led to prescribing the first drug.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs, so that we can see and "get" your history at a glance.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post #8 and Post #9

Please feel free to post any questions you have about your situation here in your intro topic.  Let us know how things go for 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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I know exactly where you are coming from with the rage issue. Often just the feeling of cold water hitting my skin makes me want to scream and punch the wall. It feels like I'm being assaulted. I was never a terribly calm person, but this has been torment. I'm often afraid to do anything for fear that the slightest frustration will send me over the edge.


Unfortunately, I have no idea how long this will last. I have had a few reprieves from it for a short time here and there, but I've found it to be one of the most pervasive and disabling symptoms of this whole process.


I can tell you one thing that does seem to help is accepting the rage - letting it in and seeing it as a sign of my brain healing. Oddly enough ceasing to fight or suppress the rage takes the wind out of it. Maybe it's just that choosing to see it in this positive light puts me in a better head space. I don't know, but it does seem to help. It does take some practice. That's where meditation and mindfulness come in handy.


Just remember, no matter what, it does get better. The rage subsides, the other symptoms decrease, and it all comes to an end. We will get through this just as so many others before us have.


Peace, love and healing.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro


Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.


Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 


Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.


Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.


Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.


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