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reverie: Paxil induced depression?


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Hi everyone.

I've been reading this forum for a while to seek help but this is the first time I'm posting something because I'm losing my hope. 
Sorry in advance if I make some mistakes, English is not my native language.


My story starts with when I first went to a psychiatrist for social anxiety. She put me on Paxil 20 mg. And it worked well, making my physical symptoms like racing heart go away. Then at some point, I think it was during the 5th month of Paxil, I suddenly started to feel constantly bored, but at the same time nothing would interest me.


That was when I first thought paxil was changing me in a bad way because I had never felt that something like that. I was starting to lose interest in my hobbies too. When I told this to my psychiatrist, she raised the dose to 30 mg which gave me large mystery bruises and didn't help with the bored feeling, so I decided to drop the dose to 15 mg by myself (how smart). I actually told this to another psychiatrist because I was studying at university away from home and had to go to the hospital there. Guess what? He was okay with it. So, probably 2 months with 15 mg, and a month(?) with 7,5 mg, I somehow quicky tapered and quit Paxil because I knew it wasn't doing anything good anymore. (I took it for 11 months in total.)


Now, the first withdrawal symptoms... They were terrible. I literally turned into a raging monster for the first two weeks, felt disgusted of myself, wanted to rip my skin off. Like, there was this heavy, disgusting, burning feel in my chest and I just wanted to get rid of it. Those symptoms faded away within a month while loss of interest and anhedonia got stronger.


3 months later, I went to that psychiatrist who said tapering from 30 to 15 was okay and he wanted to put me on Paxil 20 mg again. I was so desperate to get rid of anhedonia so I took one pill and two days later I was already talking with another psychiatrist because I knew Paxil wasn't the answer. She told me that I had MDD and prescribed me Trintellix 10 mg, so I took one pill of that too. It gave me a slightly swollen left eye with a sharp pain inside and I felt the pain was there for 6 days so I thought it's over, I'm done with antidepressants. I started researching online and educating myself. Currently taking supplements like Omega 3, Magnesium and Zinc.


Still it's been 6 months since I quickly tapered Paxil and 3 months since I took those last two pills (1 paxil and 1 trintellix). I don't get windows, it's just some days are more bearable but in general I feel like I'm getting more depressed. I was a brilliant student who enjoyed studying, draw everyday, dance or just watch tv shows and laugh. Now, I don't feel anything doing them even if I force myself to do so. I feel apathetic, like a robot. Paxil stole my emotions, passions, creativity and left me with nothing. I don't even remember how I felt during the times I actually enjoyed things. I have zero appetite, my arms and legs feel so heavy (this is a fairly new symptom). 

Will I ever get my emotions/interest in life back? Is this even normal during withdrawal or is it really MDD? Should I take another supplements?


Any advice would be much appreciated.

I really wish the best for everyone who suffer from withdrawal symptoms. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to reverie: Paxil induced depression?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Reverie, welcome to SA. You experienced what we call 'poop-out' with paxil.  How did you feel when you were taking 15mg, was that any better than 20? Psychiatrists ofen raise the dose when a drug stops working, when reducing can be better. With each change the nervous system becomes more unstable and takes longer to recover.  It is possible that a very very tiny dose of paxil could help.  0.5mg can help to alleviate the symptoms but at 6 months off there are no guarantees.  If you would like to try that you can find details of how to get the tiny dose here. When you are stable that tiny dose will need to be tapered. 




You will recover from this but it takes time. You will likely have windows and waves, and your emotions will come back. I remember when I started to cry at something I saw on tv. I hadn't cried for years. Then I cried happy tears because I was crying and feeling emotion.  Emotions will come back at times you least expect it, then disappear again. There is nothing linear about withdrawal. Healing happens in it's own time but it does happen. You can help by taking good care of yourself, eat as much fresh food as possible, a good range of food groups and plenty of water. Caffeine, alcohol and energy drinks tend to worsen withdrawal, but don't go cold turkey from them, reduce gradually over a few days if you drink them.  My failing is sugar, I cut out the other stuff years ago but if I eat too much sugar I feel sick. This link will explain withdrawal syndrome. The first post contains other links to some excellent topics, especially remodelling the brain. 



You are taking magnesium and fish oil, which are the only supplements we universally recommend. There are many topics on various supplements in symptoms and self care where people have posted their experiences. What may help one can harm another. 


We ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug and tapering history, you can find instructions here. 



Windows and waves





**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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