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Dietz: Need some help


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I need some advice to my situation.


I have been having mild panicattack since I was 21. I have been taking Paroxetin 20 mg for 11 years. When I started it, I did not have any start up sideeffects. Over the years I still had panicattacks, not many but still there. I then began a cognitive therapy course too deal with the panicattacks. It was a big succes.


Last year I decieded to stop Paroxetin. I startede tapering in january 2014 with 2.5 mg each time and with 1 month between the tapering. It went well. In the summer 2014 I was on 10 mg paroxetin. In summer I had some stress and had a mild panicattack, after I had this I suddenly got a strange headache, like a pinched nerve in the head. I have never experience this before. The headache was there 24/7. I figured that it was because off the stress. Therefore I deciede to go back on the 20 mg paroxetin. Some days later the headache change to a more pressure in the head. Also I startede to have some panicattack when I was sleeping. I have never tried this before. I went to the doctor, and she told me that it was my anxity. I told her that I never have had anxity this way before. She wanted me to take 30 mg paroxetin and I did. Then hell broke loss. I startede to have extreme panicattack all day long, I startede to throw up every day, I loss my appetit, I began to be afraid off the dark, and too be alone. The headache became extreme and no painkillers could take it away. I also started to have strange thoughts, and getting confused in head and forgetfull. Also I had a strange felling of restlessness, as if I couldt sit still. Normaly I am a person thats loves the dark, and loves to be alone. I dident get it.


At this point I was a mess. I really thought that I was really sick of depression or anxity. Then again to the doctor, then she wanted me to stop the 30 mg and then just 20 mg. 

When I did the decrease I suddenly startede to have a burning sensetion in my left arm and head. Also I felt so sick. At this point I was so sick that I was living tempery with my mother ( Iam 35, so thats says a lot, how bad I was) My mother works with mentally ill people and she knows and have seen alot in that area. She began to think it was the medication that was doing this to me.


I again contacted the doctor, and they dident believe that the medication could do this. Then they wanted me to start Venlafaxin. A this point I dident care I just wanted it to stop. I then began a cross taper from paroxetin to Venlafaxin 150 mg. The Venlafaxin did stop the panicattacks but instead I was left with an extreme headache, burning sencetions, spaced out fellings, could fell my self at no point, and wasent functional also I had a bad diarria every day, and still bad nausea.


Then 3 mounth later I startede at a psychiatrist to find out what was wrong with me. He told me that I had a mixed between depression and anixty. I told him all above. He then wanted me to stop the Venlafaxin and start Sertralin. Again a cross taper. First week 75 mg venlafaxin off and 50 mg Sertralin. Next week O Venlafaxin then 100 mg Sertralin. Oh my god, this was hell. The first week I was not ok but the second week I lost it. I startede to have extreme panicattacks, strange thoughts again, I startede to have suicide thoughts, felling paranoia and so on. I told my doctor about this, and he said to wait time out to the Sertrailin to work. But 30 days later I was still no felling better. I suddenly exetreme depresse and had strange thoughts, my headache became like an extreme presurre ind the head, my ears were hurting, my jaw were hurting, my left side of the face hurts, eye presurre, the diarria dident stop, I throw up every day, I coundent eat, and so on.


When I came to day 30 on 100 mg Sertralin I had enoug. I said to the doctor that I really dont think I can handle that much medication. And I noticed that when I startede the Paroxetin and Venlafaxin and Sertralin I just not getting better. He agred with me. He then wanted me to stop the Sertralin and start the Paroxetin 20 mg again.


I did not agree with him about starting the Paroxetin again. Simply because I am now so scarred about starting a new medicin. And also if the Paroxetin dosent work, then I have to quit that again, and is not a nice think to go throug.


So now 20 days ago I started tapering the Sertralin. First 50 mg in 11 days. Then down to 25 mg. I am on day 8 now at 25 mg.


Right now I fell awfuld. My head hurts all day long, I have brain zaps, strange sensetions in my head and neck, I have tremors, I have some unwanted movements in my legs. I have a blurred vision, some ear pain, head noise (ear rings) my head fells like it felt with something. But I dont have diarria anymore, or throwing up.


Have any of you any idea want went wrong here? I am acually really scarred about all of this. I am scarred if I dont ever gonna be normal again. I scarred about having this presurre ind my head for the rest of my life. And these brain zaps.


I hope someone write their advise. 


Greetings from Denmark ( sorry about my spelling)


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Welcome. Hopefully someone with more experience will be along to answer your questions. Sounds to me like initial issues were due to withdrawal, and that all the changes in your medication have made it (much) worse. Often, doctors do not recognize withdrawal symptoms.


Hopefully a mod will be along shortly!

Zoloft 100 mg. daily for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since Oct. 1994 / Synthroid 88 mcg. daily / Supplements: Neptune Krill Oil-1,000 mg. twice daily/Astaxanthin 10 mg. twice daily/Ubiquinol 100 mg. twice daily (These 3 have allowed me to discontinue (approved by doctor) bp meds I was on. Calcium Citrate 500 mg. daily/Vitamin D3 2,400 iu daily/K2 (MK7) 100 mcg daily (osteopenia and fam. hist. of severe osteoporosis). Stress B Complex (1/2 dose)/Quercetin (for allergies/asthma)/Magnesium (400 mg. oral glycinate and about 50 mg. magnesium chloride spray oil a day, divided throughout day).

Tapered Zoloft about 6 wks. Totally off since the end of July (25-29, 2014). 3 wks. vertigo at end of taper, then 3-4 wks. OK, followed by withdrawal symptoms increasing in severity (nausea, gastric disturbances, loss of appetite, insomnia, restlessness, jitters, anxiety, agitation--jumping out of my skin--possible akathisia?) Seem to have paradoxical reactions to everything new, even Vitamin C. Severity of akathisia comes and goes, but is constant to some degree. Hard to leave house, and cannot be home alone. (Retired)

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Welcome to the site, Dietz, and sorry to hear you are having so many problems. Just my guess (based on the first few lines of your post) that your decrease of paroxitine was way too fast for your body to handle since you had been on it for so many years. It seemed like problems began to show up after you had tapered down to half of your customary dose for all of those years and that when it happened, you went back up to the full dose. Your body became sensitized to the dose change and the increase, instead of bringing you back to the way you were, made you feel ill. It was at that point that going up a bit in the dose until your body readjusted and then beginning the taper again (at a much slower rate) might have been ok. It is hard to tell.


Your doctors tried switching meds and dosages in a futile attempt to help you feel better which did not have the desired effect. If I am reading your story correctly, you have been on 3 different drugs in the past year: paroxitine, venlafaxine and now sertaline, right? My suggestion at the moment is that you immediately stop trying to change the dosage of sertraline to see if some of the symptoms will level off. If you can stabilize at a low dose of 25mg (which may take many months) you will not have a really high dose to taper if you decide you want to come off the drugs completely.


Could you flesh out your story a bit more by listing the dates and dosages for all of the drugs you were taking? And are you taking any other drugs or supplements at this time? These can all be summarized in a signature, the instructions on how to do that are in the link that follows my post.


You will eventually feel much better but it will take some time. Are you still staying with your mother? If so that will take some of the stress away from your living situation. And she is probably right that it was the medication that caused you to feel this way. The doctors still do not believe these medications can cause you to feel so bad when you start reducing the dose or stop taking them, they cannot ever be stopped cold turkey.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878


July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.


Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Thank you for your answers.


Yes I have the dates for it all. I startede 20 mg Paroxetin July 18 2014, then the doctors wantede me to do 30 mg at August 4 2014. Then I really got worse. I havent the accurate date when I stopped the 30 mg to 20 mg but it was in late August. September 8 2014 I was cross tapering to Venlafaxin and september 27 I was just on Venlafaxin 150 mg. Then december 5 2014 I was told to stop Venlafaxin to Sertralin. December 5-13 only 75 mg Venlafaxin and 50 mg Seertralin. Then december 13-20 no more Venlafaxin just 50 mg Sertralin, December 20 100 mg Sertralin.


From december 20 to january 22 been on 100 mg Sertralin. January 22 I was told to cut down to 50 mg Sertralin. As I did. Then they wanted me to stop complely 7 days later. And here I said no. I have taking 50 mg from January 22 to February 1 then 25 mg to now.


I have notice that my diarria has gone and my vommiting also has stopped. Thats a good thing. I really do think it a mix between withdrawing and not tolerating the medication /high dose.


My goal is to stop completely, cause I can and will deal with my normale panic attacks.


So I dont know when the next tapering is going to be or how much it would be. I will see how the next couple of days goes.


How do you react when you taper down in your medication and how long does these symptomes last?


Greating from Denmark

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Oh by the way I dont live with my mother anymore, it was just in August. I also aint afraid of the dark and being alone anymore and dont have these strange thoughts. So I am being more my self again.


And I dont take any other medication other than I have some Benzodiazepin that I dont really take. I do take fisholie and vitamins B´s and vitamin d.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Dietz,


That is a lot of drug changes over a small amount of time, no wonder your system was struggling to cope.   Could you please put the details of your drug history in a signature.   Here are the instructions on how to do that - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/  


Completing a signature means that your drug history appears at the bottom of every post you make and so it is a quick reference for us, we don't have to keep going back to find the post you made above which details your history.


I'm wondering whether you could have had drug interaction issues.   Were you on any other medication at this time?  Sometimes we are prescribed medications that react to each other and can have significant effects.


If you were on other medications, can you please put them into this drugs checker - http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html 

and post the answers here in your thread.



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Dietz.


Like dalsaan, my guess is your system has become sensitized to psychiatric drugs through all your drug changes. You are now reacting badly to average doses of any antidepressant.


It's a good sign the diarrhea has stopped. What has your tapering schedule been? Please read Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)


You may also wish to try magnesium for its calming effect, see

and http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

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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