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MillerPeter92 off Paxil, on Seroquel and gabapentin


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Hello all,


I have never posted on a discussion forum such as this. But I googled "Alternative to Meds Center" and this discussion forum came up. It is quite amazing how hard it is to find information on an institution that claims to have helped over a thousand people.


I'm glad I came here, though. I had a lot of issues with Paxil last year, a popular and powerful SSRI. And for the the men who were on it or have been on it, they know the dark world (and terrible side effect) on being on such a drug as Paxil. But, getting off it, was one of the worst experiences of my life.


I was at college while I was trying to get of it, and for the third time had to drop out because of this terrible psychoactive drug. I actually tried to kill myself because of how hard it was to get off of it. I did a prescription overdose, which knocked me out for 3 days. Surprisingly, I woke up.


The cocktail I OD'd contained Paxil, Zyprexa, Seroquel, and Gabapentin- I had in total about 200 pills. The reason I had that many was because I had been stockpiling them for a while in my medicine cabinet. Paxil, though claiming to help with OCD, actually made mine much worse. This was causing me to check and recheck things, constantly think about the same thing over and over again, and cause me to store unneeded things.


Part of me thinks now, though, that I was subconsciously planning this suicide attempt. Maybe I was stockpiling because these drugs were making my life a living hell. I only survived because I had kept my apartment door unlocked. A neighbor, who saw me the day before, had a slight hesitation something was wrong with me- she also knew I had a psychiatric history.


That night, after I had been laying there (she thinks 4 hours), she opened the door- which she has never done before- and found me there, unconscious. I was rushed to the hospital, in a coma 4 days, and eventually woke up. After 4 days of being awake, I was committed to a psych ward in Hartford, CT. For the first three days there, I was still in a limbo. I could barely put on my socks or brush my teeth. The nurses had to come to my room to give me my meds, which I was sure was the same as before my overdose.


On the fourth day, which was my 24th birthday, I was finally able to make coherent thoughts. So, that day, I went to the Med window and asked for my meds. To my amazement, I was only on Seroquel and Gabapentin. There was a great joy for a second, and then I thought- what the heck? Well, it seems as if because i was in a coma (without paxil) for three straight days, the doctors didn't think it necessary to put me back on it.


I was in the psych ward for about 10 days total. But, skip forward a bit less than a year, and man, I am experiencing so many issues. The worst one is insomnia- since then, I had to go to the ER and a psych ward for insomnia. I didn't sleep for 17 days once. The result was putting me on more Seroquel and Gabapentin.


Now, I am tapering those two- because, they are finding a lot of these psychoactive drugs increase CK levels, which produce so many debilitating effects. Today, I researched places out there to get me off them- I'm glad I came here. It seems as if the Alternative to Meds Center isn't the place they catalog it to be. I actually talked to them a few months ago and found they didn't even have an MD working there. I haven't been a big fan to psychiatrists for the past couple of years, but if you don't have an MD at a place that deals with the powerful withdrawal effect as Paxil or Seroquel, something smells very fishy.


Then Reading DrugFreeProf's account with her daughter made me even more hesitant to go. It seems these stories keep popping up about this place- about how the 24/7 care isn't actually there. I haven't read everyone's posts, but was wondering if anyone has heard of different programs out there- I am still trying to go to a residential program, but it does not seem that most programs are aimed at getting people off of meds- they are aimed putting you on meds. At least, that is what I have seen or heard. Any comments, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening and God Bless.


- Miller

Edited by Altostrata
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  • Moderator Emeritus



We don't know of any clinics or residential programs that we would recommend.  The protocols they use are based on alcohol, opiate and street drug addictions where a significant part of the problem is chemical dependency.


Antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants do not create chemical dependency; they physically alter one's neurology. The brain and CNS (central nervous system) respond to these medications by downregulating serotonin/dopamine/GABA receptors. (downregulating = making them less sensitive and/or blocking receptor functioning) Stopping the medications can bring months of suffering until the upregulation is complete rather than days/weeks spent recovering from chemical dependencies.


Please see these topics for more information:

What is withdrawal syndrome.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling".

Recommended doctors, therapists or clinics.


In a day or so, I'll move these posts to the Recommended doctors, therapist and clinics topic linked above.


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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Welcome, Miller.


I moved your post to start your own topic in the Introductions section. Your Intro topic is a kind of a journal, where you can ask questions about your particular situation and track your progress. The mods respond to questions in the Intro forum first.


We don't know of any good clinics to get people off psychiatric drugs, or we would send a lot of people there. We provide extensive information about tapering and peer counseling online to the best of our ability.


How much Seroquel and Gabapentin are you taking now, at what times of day, and for how long have you been taking those dosages? How long had you been on Paxil? How did you come off, and when?


What is your current daily symptom pattern?



This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for the post. That is what i am coming to understand- it's amazing how quickly some of these places taper you- even if you did withdrawal from some of these drugs in 10 weeks or less, they don't understand how bad of withdrawal effects come after. I guess it's not how fast you taper, but how well you do it. And, yes, it seems many of the programs follow this drug/alcohol detox outline- the brain needs simply time to recover from the psychoactive drugs.


I am still looking for places, though, that taper you down off the drugs (not in 8 weeks or less) in a manner that is organized and safe. I keep seeing people at NAMI groups who find tapering in a program setting is more productive than at home because there is 24/7 care, rather than trying it with a psychiatrist you see every 1 or 2 weeks. Also, it's just plain hard to do it at your house where you're close to your family, who gets involved in the process.


I went to a place in Vermont two years ago called Spring Lake Ranch- although they said they would help people with Mental Health issues using labor/ work, they didn't mention how little mental health issues would be covered. I was severely disappointed. It was almost like a sweatshop in Early New York City- Long hours of work, hardly any money, and little engagement  with oneself. Seeing the psychiatrist was on a first come first serve basis! And it was 10 grand a month- all money put into us working jobs that made them money.


So, if there is a place- one that does the taper process, one with an actual MD (The alternative to Meds Center doesn't have an MD on the job site), and one that doesn't use the alcohol/drug detox outline, I would love to know.....Thanks again for the response!

Edited by scallywag
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I have been off Paxil for about half a year. Going off it basically made me have to go higher on Seroquel and Gabapentin dosages. Maybe this was something that helped the withdrawal effects, but now getting of Seroquel and Gabapentin has it's own withdrawal effects. I am on 550 mg of Seroquel, and I take 200 mg in the morning and 350 mg at night. I take 700 mg of Gabapentin at night. I have been on Seroquel for about a year now and the Gabs for a little less than a year. Right now I have been decreasing dosages very slowly. I decrease Gabapentin by 100 mg every 4 weeks and and Seroquel by 50 mg every 4 weeks. I do it interchangeably so basically every 2 weeks I am lowering something. I went to the Amen clinics in New York City, a place where people can get Spect Scans done to see underlying issues which psychiatrists these days don't really take into account. The results were very fascinating, although they didn't talk about programs to help taper. But, they did mention it might be a good idea to taper off Gabapentin first, then the Seroquel. I thought this was interesting, and it has been working. The worst side effects, though, are the elevated CK levels, which Seroquel and Gabapentin are studied to do. The side effects are huge amounts of weakness in the legs. I like to work out and take jogs to tire myself out so I can sleep- that is the problem, right now. These drugs have not only stopped working for sleep, they also render me incapable of exercising (which also helps with sleep). The pain in my limbs has really made my depression bad. My paranoia has also increased. I have huge amounts of resentment towards my mother, which is really destroying our relationship. My anxiety has skyrocketed, too.


Thanks for the quick response and helping start a blogpost- much appreciated. If there is any way to change the Blog post forum to "Looking for a Residential Program" in order to expand the responses, I would appreciate that. Hope all is well with you and God Bless.



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