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Truthseeker - Paxil Withdrawal


Truthseeker

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Hi, I'm new here and just seeking support from others who have tapered off paxil and survived the post-taper depression phase. This is my second attempt to get off 60 mg of paxil. I survived the withdrawal effects as I went really really slow. But now that I'm off the drug, my depression is the worst it has ever been. Basically I'm at the point of questioning life and whether all this suffering is really worth it. I do have real issues to deal with (on disability leave from work, limited social network, limited money, etc.) but I've always been able to bounce back in the past even in severe depressive states. But this post-paxil phase is really emotionally tough. Any suggestions from those who've survived this hell?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi there truthseeker and welcome to the forum.

 

is it possible to tell us how slow your taper was and how long you were on Paxil? It is possible that your slow was still not slow enough. How long have you been completely off? It may be necessary to go back on to a low dose of Paxil and stabilise for a while and then attempt an even slower withdrawal

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Hi Truthseeker. Welcome.

 

Im right there with you and a few others seem to be hitting this "shutdown/exhaustion/nothingness" stage. It's extremely difficult for me because I cant find anything of interest or pleasure. Also, it's a stark contrast to early withdrawal characterized by anxiety, energy, 'too much energy'. I kept moving during that time and actually drove myself across the US, from California to the east coast, not realizing I was powered by withdrawal.

 

Ive been diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion/failure (Addisons and preexisting autoimmune endocrine probs). Im not suggesting that's the case with everyone, but I do think there's a strong adrenal component to the dysautonomia of withdrawal. I still have cortisol mornings/days although they lean more toward impending doom/dread than extreme anxiety.

 

The physical and emotional shutdown now is very different than anything I experienced before or during drugs. I hold onto that realization to know that it is, indeed, withdrawal and not some return of mood. I hesitate to use the term "depression" because I was originally drugged with Zoloft for lethargy and general malaise. I realize now that it was a manifestation of endocrine disorder.

 

I'm not pushing myself right now as I think my body needs recuperation from nearly 20 years of bad drugging. It's difficult. I find myself constantly asking why im here, why bother, etc. I lost my career over 10 years ago and have no family or solid social support. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is feeling that I was given this challenge for a reason. I've met incredible people here on this site and thru similar networks. People with knowledge and strength and perseverance I would have never thought possible.

 

I always strived to "live in the moment" before this experience. Now, I live moment to moment, day to day. I can't seem to think beyond the next hour. A friend asked if i would be attending a wedding in November and I couldn't conceptualize that. My thought: "I'll be glad to get through TOMORROW!"

 

Sorry to get all existential on you. ;)

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Hello, Truthseeker, thanks for joining our community.

 

How did you taper off Paxil? When did you last take a dose?

 

A very deep "depression" may be a withdrawal symptom. What is it like? Does it come and go? Are there daily patterns to it?

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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hi there truthseeker and welcome to the forum.

 

is it possible to tell us how slow your taper was and how long you were on Paxil? It is possible that your slow was still not slow enough. How long have you been completely off? It may be necessary to go back on to a low dose of Paxil and stabilise for a while and then attempt an even slower withdrawal

 

Hi Silver Star,

 

Thanks for such a quick reply. I started to taper in Jan 2012 in 5 mg increments every 2-3 weeks. When I got down to 10 mg, then I reduced the dose by 2.5 mg every 2 weeks. I had my last paxil dose one month ago. At first all was fine. I did encounter some life disappointments this past month that would cause normal grieving in anyone (bad timing I guess), and I think that the real life issues combined with my body/mind's adjustment to being paxil free, is causing the depression. I'm afraid to go back on paxil. I was thinking in the worst case scenario that maybe I would try another anti-depressants but I am going to see if I can weather this storm for the moment:-)

 

I appreciate your support.

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Hi Truthseeker. Welcome.

 

Im right there with you and a few others seem to be hitting this "shutdown/exhaustion/nothingness" stage. It's extremely difficult for me because I cant find anything of interest or pleasure. Also, it's a stark contrast to early withdrawal characterized by anxiety, energy, 'too much energy'. I kept moving during that time and actually drove myself across the US, from California to the east coast, not realizing I was powered by withdrawal.

 

Ive been diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion/failure (Addisons and preexisting autoimmune endocrine probs). Im not suggesting that's the case with everyone, but I do think there's a strong adrenal component to the dysautonomia of withdrawal. I still have cortisol mornings/days although they lean more toward impending doom/dread than extreme anxiety.

 

The physical and emotional shutdown now is very different than anything I experienced before or during drugs. I hold onto that realization to know that it is, indeed, withdrawal and not some return of mood. I hesitate to use the term "depression" because I was originally drugged with Zoloft for lethargy and general malaise. I realize now that it was a manifestation of endocrine disorder.

 

I'm not pushing myself right now as I think my body needs recuperation from nearly 20 years of bad drugging. It's difficult. I find myself constantly asking why im here, why bother, etc. I lost my career over 10 years ago and have no family or solid social support. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is feeling that I was given this challenge for a reason. I've met incredible people here on this site and thru similar networks. People with knowledge and strength and perseverance I would have never thought possible.

 

I always strived to "live in the moment" before this experience. Now, I live moment to moment, day to day. I can't seem to think beyond the next hour. A friend asked if i would be attending a wedding in November and I couldn't conceptualize that. My thought: "I'll be glad to get through TOMORROW!"

 

Sorry to get all existential on you. ;)

 

Thanks so much for sharing. I wondered about the adrenal exhaustion issue.I have Hashimoto's disease and from what I understand this can also put stress on the adrenal glands. I admire your courage and strength, and ability to view your situation as a challenge and not some curse. This is my first time using one of these networks,and I can see how encouraging a place it is to be. Hang in there as I try to do the same :-) Thanks again for your support.

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Hello, Truthseeker, thanks for joining our community.

 

How did you taper off Paxil? When did you last take a dose?

 

A very deep "depression" may be a withdrawal symptom. What is it like? Does it come and go? Are there daily patterns to it?

 

 

Thanks for the warm welcome! I started to taper in Jan. 2012 and went slowly down in 5 mg increments each 2-3 weeks. When I reached 10 mg, then I went down in increments of 2.5mg every 2 weeks. My last dose was taken one month ago. I wondered as well whether what I am feeling is still withdrawal since it has only been one month. As lousy as I feel, I really do not want to go back on paxil ever again.

 

The "depression" is pretty constant - it does not come and go. I have been dealing with some real life disappointments too re: career situation, so I'm thinking it's a combination of my brain adjusting to no paxil and normal grieving issues.

 

Have you ever taken paxil and experienced "depression" after you completely stopped the medication? Just wondering.

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Truthseeker,

 

Alto will have the best advice for you as you are still very fresh off of Paxil. She tapered off of Paxil also and has a wealth of information and real world experience in helping many people.

Stay tuned.

 

B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

I can't say I tapered off Paxil properly. I did it too fast.

 

TS, one way you can tell if your symptoms are from Paxil withdrawal is to go back on a very small amount of Paxil. Do you have the liquid?

 

Paxil is one of the worst offenders for withdrawal syndrome. It is possible going from 2.5mg to zero was too fast for you. I suggest you try 1mg Paxil to see if it helps, and stabilize for about a month.

 

Then, using the smallest .5mL or 1mL oral syringe, go very, very slowly off that small amount of Paxil over several months.

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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I can't say I tapered off Paxil properly. I did it too fast.

 

TS, one way you can tell if your symptoms are from Paxil withdrawal is to go back on a very small amount of Paxil. Do you have the liquid?

 

Paxil is one of the worst offenders for withdrawal syndrome. It is possible going from 2.5mg to zero was too fast for you. I suggest you try 1mg Paxil to see if it helps, and stabilize for about a month.

 

Then, using the smallest .5mL or 1mL oral syringe, go very, very slowly off that small amount of Paxil over several months.

 

Thank you, I actually don't have the liquid form but perhaps that would help. I've heard others suggest this as well. I've wondered as well if 2.5 mg was too fast. Thanks for the advice and support. Are you paxil free now?

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  • Administrator

I've been Paxil-free since October 2004. It's taken me this long to recover from tapering too fast, and I'm still not completely out of the woods.

 

So be careful out there!

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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I've been Paxil-free since October 2004. It's taken me this long to recover from tapering too fast, and I'm still not completely out of the woods.

 

So be careful out there!

 

 

Thanks for your honesty, words of wisdom for sure!

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