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  1. Thanks for your kind words, @LostRunner! I read about your adverse reaction. I can relate a lot to your symptoms, and I, too, wondered if I had permanent nerve damage. The muscle weakness/low muscle tone/lack of postural stability can be very debilitating and may not respond to anxiety management techniques. I know myself very well by now, and these symptoms didn't get worse by stress. I had felt happy for a long time, and I was still unable to stand up normally or sit in a chair without effort. Walking was difficult. I struggled to open lids. I could be filled with energy and still have these problems. These symptoms may seem to be permanent for this reason or to have more in common with brain damage after a stroke than withdrawal, but they too heal eventually. That's my experience, at least. Keep moving as much as you can, but don't push yourself too hard. It's easy to become frustrated and impatient and end up falling or injuring oneself. Wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to reading your Success story eventually! Aurorax
  2. Hello, I also had an adverse reaction and wonder if anyone in this thread has recovered?
  3. I guess I get confused as to whether to call someone a CT or taper when they have a history of CTing but their last attempt was a slow taper. I've seen several of those success stories and it makes me question my own situation. If those situations are so successful, then wouldn't it be better if I (who is a CT) go back on something and then slow taper it down? Also, I get frustrated when I see taper people mention that CT is the cautionary tale, or like Jan Carol who says she's the poster child for why you should slow taper. I can't think of a single CT/fast taper person on the board (Ok maybe there's one or two) that chose CT/fast taper *over* the slow taper (unless it was a severe adverse reaction). The whole "poster child" thing implies that there was a choice in the matter. I had no choice, as most people who are in my situation would say, we never knew about slow tapering, or else we would have done it. Now I'm ranting and I'm going to be quiet. Thanks for explaining, H2H, I am overjoyed for your success.
  4. I loved ur post ❤️ I literally shed a tear ❤️ This is likr my story too ( 4 weeks , 10 mg amitriptyline ) i didnt find any stories o my kinda where within a short usage ur body can have adverse reaction its 1 pm in India now I can peacefully goto sleep tellin my self i will heal 😊 gives me a lot o hope to belive ppl do have adverse reaction on small dosage ❤️ Im on my 5 th month now n things have been ok but lookin at ur study gives me hope . As u mentioned for every new symptom I have been rushing to the docs and everything has come out clean n my folks or doctors back home think I’m delusional and withdrawal can’t exist on such strong dosage so I’m Gona send ur Story across to ppl to tell them it’s true 😀 thsnks a lot for coming back n writing this n I have all the symptoms u goin thru im glad ur over the other side
  5. Here's some more - I just can't help but post these, I feel so much hope looking through these stories. I hope someone else reads these stories and feels the same!! This post includes some unique recovery stories of adverse reactions (I have read very very few recovery stories from those who have had an adverse reaction, so I hope this gives people out there like myself some hope: --------------------------------------------- #1 750 DAYS/RECOVERY FROM ADVERSE REACTION AGUY (from paxilprogress, a now defunct website) aguy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction Hi, I couldnt find my old post with my updates on it, but it has been some time (years i think) since I have been on here, and I was just feeling well enough to come on and make a report. Just the fact that I am able to feel calm again while writing would have been enough for me to be happy, I would have settled for semi-functional. I became aware of many things which would aggravate systems in the body, and I cut them out, I just ate natural food as much as possible and basically just allowed my body to do its thing without feeding it extra burdenous waste. There are many things that I believe help the body repair, but many people do not believe the same things that I do so if you want to contact me in private I can give you more information, however many of these things are covered on here at least in part such as Omega 3's etc, but I can go into detail as I know it helps reading things that give you hope. I am much better, and semi-functional, however I am very sensitive to stress, and assume it will take some time, perhaps years to gain a stress threshold, however it is very likely that my reaction in the first place was caused by sensitivity so just returning to baseline is a huge goal. I just wanted to give people hope because I was under the impression that I would be gone forever because my reaction came from such a small amount, and no one seemed to understand it, so if anyone has such a reaction from a few pills, just know that it has happened to others, probably some of which havent even found this site, these are just the ones we know of. The good news is that if you make it easy on your body, and if you find some way to get through 750 days etc (counting days makes it seem like you are getting somewhere), then you can likely make progress such as I have. Alot of this came all at once to the point to where you feel like you are not making progress at all 2 years into it but then a month goes by and something subtle happens then the same in another couple. It is very subtle in this sense. I did focus on nutrition, which I consider 100 percent essential, but your body will do its best if you cannot afford the best foods, it will extract what it can. As far as an exact, I would estimate my homeostasis at around 85% when things are optimal, and perhaps peaking at 90 or so functionality-wise. This is obviously subject to stressors. I will continue on my nutrional pursuit, as some things that I believe were caused by the body making repairs, thus robbing other areas of nutrients in order to adapt, has taxed my body, but in reality it is worth it even with the effects I have been left with, just to have a relative calm state. I will keep pushing forward and see if I cannot perhaps feel better than I felt even before stumbling down the dark road of pharmaceuticals. I encourage all to pursue your course, and in due time if you do not give up, you will reap rewards. -------------------------- #2: LOV4K9 18 MONTHS AFTER ADVERSE REACTION DUE TO KINDLING REACTION 8 years on Prozac Restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction Here was my recovery timeline: Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings. Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare). Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to. ---------------------------------------- #3. 5 YEAR RECOVERY HOPE Hi Everyone, I hope all is well and everyone is doing well and making progress. I wanted to check in because I've recently been talking to someone who is needing to get off their antidepressants. I've referred them to this site. I was on Paxil for 7 years and it took me about 5 years to completely recover from the discontinuation syndrome. I am doing pretty well. My short term memory took a huge hit and I do miss my brain, but am able to work around it with lists, and post-it notes. I'm working full-time in a pretty rough high school and am managing the stress like any normal person (so much for that anxiety disorder diagnosis). I teach special education. I've been back to work for 4 years. I did a lot of alternative medicine. Saw a few quacks along the way. But first and foremost, I would encourage anyone going through this to go slow and be patient with the process. For some people, like me, getting off the drugs wasn't the tough part, it was the part afterwards - getting my brain chemistry nervous system to normalize and recover (HUGE), and to learn to deal with life without something to numb difficult situations. We've been through my husband losing his job, my son doing a tour in Afghanistan, and a few other tough life events. And I got through them without drugs. I began allowing myself permission to feel: to laugh out loud at inappropriate moments, to be really happy, to be really angry, to cry, to worry, and to pray. I want to add that I've always been sensitive to wheat products. Once I really cleaned the gluten out of my diet, I really began to feel better. I noticed that when I'd eat gluten products, I'd start to feel the blues. A good friend of mine told me about that side-effect of gluten and that was life altering for me. I also don't eat dairy or wheat and try to eat as cleanly as possible. I hope you guys are all making progress. I don't go through this site. The process for me was traumatic and I really want to move forward. Going back and looking at what I went through is still tough. But I know my situation can help others. So I do feel an obligation to share and give someone else help and hope. Take care everyone. Diana -------------------------------------------------------------- #4 AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years ________________________________________ Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal. Currently I cope with: arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated. numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement. Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all. I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time. I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point. I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will. akaenew ------------------------------------- #5 English Annie (idk?) 19 MONTH UPDATE English Annie!! God Bless Her!! WELL, I ASKED FOR IT : A RECOVERY STORY And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg. Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying. Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011.Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly. When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal. But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out. On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since. At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks. I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now. "THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher) ------------------------------------------ #6 (Seems like 5-7 years later?) Very interesting story, highly recommended reading: Shea Carney It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred. I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best. The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about. Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed. So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard. AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family. I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit. I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates. So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing. I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time. ~Shea Carney ----------------------------------- #7 3 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up. This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care. Ricky ---------------------- #8 *Success Story* ~ almost five years since my last pill posted by pinesiskin Quote: Hi Paxilprogress Peeps ~ I haven't been on here in ages but was just lying in bed tonight feeling grateful for my journey and for these past few years, and I felt moved to share with you. So here I am! I hope my story gives someone hope that things can get much, much better. I would call myself 500% recovered. I have been recovered for years now...I think I posted about it three years ago, perhaps? But sometimes it's good for people to know that we can improve steadily and permanently! I love my life, and I feel like I've grown and healed in ways I can't really comprehend. I have a loving family and great friends, a spiritual path that feeds my soul, and I am thankful for every day. My marriage is stronger than it's ever been. I garden, raise chickens and rabbits, and study Chinese Medicine. I am in excellent health and can eat whatever I want! (That has significantly improved over the past few years - I had a lot of sensitivities for a while.) I never thought I'd be here. I want to give my utmost thanks to anyone and everyone who helped me along the way. Please accept my humble gratitude! So, five or so years ago I was an absolute disaster - after having an impossible time trying to get off AD's and anti-anxiety meds, yo-yo'ing on and off of pills, being hospitalized, put on more pills, and finally cold turkeying off everything, I was in really, really, bad shape. I mean, BAD. Physically, mentally, in just about every way. I attempted suicide. I totally lost touch with myself, with reality, with life...nobody knew what to do to help me. My hair fell out, my body did all kinds of freaky things...I was totally sick, emaciated, and lost for close to a year. It was horrible. The worst of it was, I was caring for an infant and was terrified that I was damaging my daughter, too. I was one of those paxilprogress worst-case-scenarios! Any of my old posts can attest to this (I haven't read them again and don't want to, they are pretty crazy! Please just take my word for it!) The 'med/med-withdrawal years' were a terrifying time in my life, and it gives me such empathy for anyone who is suffering. Those who haven't been there really can't know. For those of you in the thick of it, I just want to give a gentle reminder that all things really do pass. Sometimes it takes help to get them to pass in a more timely manner, but yes, things really will change. I didn't believe this when I was wrapped up in crisis-mode, and my panic exacerbated my problems. I made all kinds of rash decisions just hoping that something was going to fix it, and I rushed around getting myself further entangled. But I understand how hard it is to not want to run around looking for answers. It's really hard to feel so out of control. I didn't make it through this alone, and I owe much of my success to those who helped me through and kept me on this planet during those dark times. Yes, healing happens! Miracles happen! Our bodies know how to heal, they want to heal. You can get better. I won't tell you what to do or how to go about it, we are all unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. But please, know that there is another side, and that you can get there. I don't spend much time thinking about what I went through any more, though when I do it serves as a reminder to be grateful for every day and to help others as best I can. I have three children now, and am a very busy being a mom, a wife, a student, and an urban farmer. My daughter, who was a baby during my dark days, is now a kindergartener. She is strong, empathetic, and grounded, with lots of friends. When she was a baby I was so worried that what I went through would 'mess her up' but she is totally solid. I healed, and our family healed too. Even through all my illness, when my mind was in shambles, when I couldn't feel my heart at all, she knew that my heart and soul loved her. We are very close and our bond is unbroken. We didn't plan to have more children after what I went through, and had two surprises. Both were born natural, without complications - one in a bathtub! At first I was very scared to find out I was pregnant after all I'd been through, but there was nothing to fear. Birthing my son (our second child) helped me to fully understand that the storm was over, the darkness was really behind me. Thanks for reading my story. If you are reading this and you are suffering, I hope you know that you have every reason in the world to have hope. Don't give up on it. Let your hope guide you, not your panic, or your fears. Please hold onto that, if you are feeling scared or alone. Know that there is a future waiting for you that you can't imagine, and it might be better than you ever dreamed. Thank you ~ take care ~ <3 Kate
  6. I just realized that my previous post retained all the shades of green from the PP website, which I found a little irritating to the eyes, so here's that same post without the green. --------------------------------------------- #1 750 DAYS/RECOVERY FROM ADVERSE REACTION AGUY (from paxilprogress, a now defunct website) aguy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction Hi, I couldnt find my old post with my updates on it, but it has been some time (years i think) since I have been on here, and I was just feeling well enough to come on and make a report. Just the fact that I am able to feel calm again while writing would have been enough for me to be happy, I would have settled for semi-functional. I became aware of many things which would aggravate systems in the body, and I cut them out, I just ate natural food as much as possible and basically just allowed my body to do its thing without feeding it extra burdenous waste. There are many things that I believe help the body repair, but many people do not believe the same things that I do so if you want to contact me in private I can give you more information, however many of these things are covered on here at least in part such as Omega 3's etc, but I can go into detail as I know it helps reading things that give you hope. I am much better, and semi-functional, however I am very sensitive to stress, and assume it will take some time, perhaps years to gain a stress threshold, however it is very likely that my reaction in the first place was caused by sensitivity so just returning to baseline is a huge goal. I just wanted to give people hope because I was under the impression that I would be gone forever because my reaction came from such a small amount, and no one seemed to understand it, so if anyone has such a reaction from a few pills, just know that it has happened to others, probably some of which havent even found this site, these are just the ones we know of. The good news is that if you make it easy on your body, and if you find some way to get through 750 days etc (counting days makes it seem like you are getting somewhere), then you can likely make progress such as I have. Alot of this came all at once to the point to where you feel like you are not making progress at all 2 years into it but then a month goes by and something subtle happens then the same in another couple. It is very subtle in this sense. I did focus on nutrition, which I consider 100 percent essential, but your body will do its best if you cannot afford the best foods, it will extract what it can. As far as an exact, I would estimate my homeostasis at around 85% when things are optimal, and perhaps peaking at 90 or so functionality-wise. This is obviously subject to stressors. I will continue on my nutrional pursuit, as some things that I believe were caused by the body making repairs, thus robbing other areas of nutrients in order to adapt, has taxed my body, but in reality it is worth it even with the effects I have been left with, just to have a relative calm state. I will keep pushing forward and see if I cannot perhaps feel better than I felt even before stumbling down the dark road of pharmaceuticals. I encourage all to pursue your course, and in due time if you do not give up, you will reap rewards. -------------------------- #2: LOV4K9 18 MONTHS AFTER ADVERSE REACTION DUE TO KINDLING REACTION 8 years on Prozac Restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction Here was my recovery timeline: Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings. Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare). Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to. ---------------------------------------- #3. 5 YEAR RECOVERY HOPE Hi Everyone, I hope all is well and everyone is doing well and making progress. I wanted to check in because I've recently been talking to someone who is needing to get off their antidepressants. I've referred them to this site. I was on Paxil for 7 years and it took me about 5 years to completely recover from the discontinuation syndrome. I am doing pretty well. My short term memory took a huge hit and I do miss my brain, but am able to work around it with lists, and post-it notes. I'm working full-time in a pretty rough high school and am managing the stress like any normal person (so much for that anxiety disorder diagnosis). I teach special education. I've been back to work for 4 years. I did a lot of alternative medicine. Saw a few quacks along the way. But first and foremost, I would encourage anyone going through this to go slow and be patient with the process. For some people, like me, getting off the drugs wasn't the tough part, it was the part afterwards - getting my brain chemistry nervous system to normalize and recover (HUGE), and to learn to deal with life without something to numb difficult situations. We've been through my husband losing his job, my son doing a tour in Afghanistan, and a few other tough life events. And I got through them without drugs. I began allowing myself permission to feel: to laugh out loud at inappropriate moments, to be really happy, to be really angry, to cry, to worry, and to pray. I want to add that I've always been sensitive to wheat products. Once I really cleaned the gluten out of my diet, I really began to feel better. I noticed that when I'd eat gluten products, I'd start to feel the blues. A good friend of mine told me about that side-effect of gluten and that was life altering for me. I also don't eat dairy or wheat and try to eat as cleanly as possible. I hope you guys are all making progress. I don't go through this site. The process for me was traumatic and I really want to move forward. Going back and looking at what I went through is still tough. But I know my situation can help others. So I do feel an obligation to share and give someone else help and hope. Take care everyone. Diana -------------------------------------------------------------- #4 AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years ________________________________________ Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal. Currently I cope with: arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated. numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement. Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all. I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time. I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point. I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will. akaenew ------------------------------------- #5 English Annie (idk?) 19 MONTH UPDATE English Annie!! God Bless Her!! WELL, I ASKED FOR IT : A RECOVERY STORY And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg. Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying. Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011.Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly. When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal. But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out. On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since. At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks. I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now. "THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher) ------------------------------------------ #6 (Seems like 5-7 years later?) Very interesting story, highly recommended reading: Shea Carney It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred. I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best. The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about. Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed. So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard. AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family. I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit. I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates. So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing. I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time. ~Shea Carney ----------------------------------- #7 3 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up. This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care. Ricky ---------------------- #8 *Success Story* ~ almost five years since my last pill posted by pinesiskin Quote: Hi Paxilprogress Peeps ~ I haven't been on here in ages but was just lying in bed tonight feeling grateful for my journey and for these past few years, and I felt moved to share with you. So here I am! I hope my story gives someone hope that things can get much, much better. I would call myself 500% recovered. I have been recovered for years now...I think I posted about it three years ago, perhaps? But sometimes it's good for people to know that we can improve steadily and permanently! I love my life, and I feel like I've grown and healed in ways I can't really comprehend. I have a loving family and great friends, a spiritual path that feeds my soul, and I am thankful for every day. My marriage is stronger than it's ever been. I garden, raise chickens and rabbits, and study Chinese Medicine. I am in excellent health and can eat whatever I want! (That has significantly improved over the past few years - I had a lot of sensitivities for a while.) I never thought I'd be here. I want to give my utmost thanks to anyone and everyone who helped me along the way. Please accept my humble gratitude! So, five or so years ago I was an absolute disaster - after having an impossible time trying to get off AD's and anti-anxiety meds, yo-yo'ing on and off of pills, being hospitalized, put on more pills, and finally cold turkeying off everything, I was in really, really, bad shape. I mean, BAD. Physically, mentally, in just about every way. I attempted suicide. I totally lost touch with myself, with reality, with life...nobody knew what to do to help me. My hair fell out, my body did all kinds of freaky things...I was totally sick, emaciated, and lost for close to a year. It was horrible. The worst of it was, I was caring for an infant and was terrified that I was damaging my daughter, too. I was one of those paxilprogress worst-case-scenarios! Any of my old posts can attest to this (I haven't read them again and don't want to, they are pretty crazy! Please just take my word for it!) The 'med/med-withdrawal years' were a terrifying time in my life, and it gives me such empathy for anyone who is suffering. Those who haven't been there really can't know. For those of you in the thick of it, I just want to give a gentle reminder that all things really do pass. Sometimes it takes help to get them to pass in a more timely manner, but yes, things really will change. I didn't believe this when I was wrapped up in crisis-mode, and my panic exacerbated my problems. I made all kinds of rash decisions just hoping that something was going to fix it, and I rushed around getting myself further entangled. But I understand how hard it is to not want to run around looking for answers. It's really hard to feel so out of control. I didn't make it through this alone, and I owe much of my success to those who helped me through and kept me on this planet during those dark times. Yes, healing happens! Miracles happen! Our bodies know how to heal, they want to heal. You can get better. I won't tell you what to do or how to go about it, we are all unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. But please, know that there is another side, and that you can get there. I don't spend much time thinking about what I went through any more, though when I do it serves as a reminder to be grateful for every day and to help others as best I can. I have three children now, and am a very busy being a mom, a wife, a student, and an urban farmer. My daughter, who was a baby during my dark days, is now a kindergartener. She is strong, empathetic, and grounded, with lots of friends. When she was a baby I was so worried that what I went through would 'mess her up' but she is totally solid. I healed, and our family healed too. Even through all my illness, when my mind was in shambles, when I couldn't feel my heart at all, she knew that my heart and soul loved her. We are very close and our bond is unbroken. We didn't plan to have more children after what I went through, and had two surprises. Both were born natural, without complications - one in a bathtub! At first I was very scared to find out I was pregnant after all I'd been through, but there was nothing to fear. Birthing my son (our second child) helped me to fully understand that the storm was over, the darkness was really behind me. Thanks for reading my story. If you are reading this and you are suffering, I hope you know that you have every reason in the world to have hope. Don't give up on it. Let your hope guide you, not your panic, or your fears. Please hold onto that, if you are feeling scared or alone. Know that there is a future waiting for you that you can't imagine, and it might be better than you ever dreamed. Thank you ~ take care ~ <3 Kate
  7. I hope I can give some encouragement to someone with my small contribution. I have finally recovered 100%. No lingering symptoms, nothing. I'm back to who I was when I started this 7 year ssri journey back in 2009. I used to hate when some people had a habit of saying something vague like we'll never be the same people and that everyone changes. That is to say that my original issues were never solved (mainly situational social anxiety), but they are unrelated to the SSRI madness I endured. The drugs never helped but they sure as hell threw my life into a mess. My original issues are a walk in the park compared to that hell you all know. And I am finally in the past two years making huge leaps in those with actual proper treatment (non-drug). I've been a member since 2012 but I've never posted here. I used to be a regular at PP (PaxilProgress) until it shut down and also on IAWP (International Antidepressant Withdrawal Project). I see some familiar names post here, but most of you won't remember me. I stopped posting alltogether as I started improving. The downside of these forums is that as you get better, you REALLY want to put such a traumatic experience behind and move on so the forums tend to become an echo chamber of those still suffering and it can give a really negative vibe. BUT I would not have made it through without all the info here so a big thank you to Alto and everyone for still keeping at least this forum running. This is going to be LONG, but it's my 7 years on ssris 4 of which I spent tapering condensed. It has a happy ending. 2009: In 2009 I had a lot of school(high school in english?)&other stress and went to a doctor (cardiologist) for heart palpitations. I was quickly given a prescription for 20mg citalopram. I suffered a very harsh adverse reaction consisting of tacticle hallucinations - my limbs felt like they were stretching several meters, akathisia, anxiety and agitation ramped up to unnatural levels and complete insomnia for 3 days. I was a mess and my emotions were all over. Finally contacted the doctor who prescriped oxazepam (benzo) for "start up symptoms". Eventually it passed and I turned into a lazy but content dough boy, gained about 15kilos weight in a few months. I slept most of the time and remember once when I was out biking I fell asleep on a bench. 2010: First attempt to discontinue ssri with doctors orders: half dose for a week, quarter for another and then off or something along those lines. Head zaps and a tic in my left eye were the initial symptoms. The late onset WD was only about to start later. Main symptoms that only seemed to increase in the first 2 months (I'm not sure if I remember all of them): Derealization: (felt like I was detached from the world, alone in some sort of purgatory looking the world through a glass) Anhedonia&Dysphoria: I couldn't feel any pleasure but I also felt like there is normally a sort of endorphin cloud protecting us and with this missing everything felt horrible. Like nerves being completely raw. Everything felt uncomfortable, clothes, air, light, sound.. just constant unreleting discomfort and pain. Burning skin: Sort of addon to above. Awful suffering like every atom in my body was on fire. Weird OCD thoughts: Normal things seemed scary/creepy/weird and I couldn't stop thinking about them. I remember looking at people and visualizing their intestines and skeletons and thinking how creepy this world is. Other times it was gravity.. these automatic ruminations seemed to pop up and then I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Lack of concentration & Rumination: Ties to the above. Because I had these thoughts going on in my head ALL the time I couldn't concentrate at all. I couldn't read, I couldn't watch tv and on the worst days I remember I couldn't have proper conversations because I couldn't "hear" what the other person was saying as I was so busy inside my head. All sorts of sexual dysfunction: Lack of any sensation&pleasure was the most noticeable.. but also libido issues - sometimes zero interest and capability and sometimes compulsive masturbation despite not ufeeling anything. Mood: Insane&unnatural anxiety/agitation and depression beyond anything I could have imagined possible. Anger, irritability.. Insomnia: I think I slept every other night or so and waking up multiple times, a lot of nightmares and more creepy thoughts when lying in bed eyes closed. Nausea I managed to finish school before I "peaked" symptoms wise but not with as good grades as I would have. After that for about 6 months I saw NO windows. I dropped out of society and lived with my mom. I thought I had suffered some sort of a mental break down/early psychosis. If I left the house I had earplugs and sunglasses to avoid any extra stimulation. I quit our band and my days consisted of trying all kinds of self help remedies to find any respite and a lot of fetal position+relaxation tapes. I tried eating healthy, meditating, breathing, supplements all that but nothing seemed to make a change. Eventually I saw brief windows... the first one I remember was when I was walking from the kitchen to my room and the carpet felt soft. It wasn't like a moment of AHHH how comfortable but I hadn't felt anything nice until then. Not even a tiniest bit of runners high from jogging or anything. These windows started appearing more and I could sort of start paying attention to tv shows especially stand up comedy which requires a short attention span. Next 6 months I improved more and found some coping ways and things that helped me but I was still unable to work, study etc. 2011 Remember that at this point I did not know that the ssri had done this. Any doctor I visited during the beginning stages completely dismissed that possibility like it was ridiculous. I made the critical error of re-instating the very same drug that caused this as after a year I felt like I had to do something, I couldn't just watch my life slip away and a year of torment felt like 10 years. Again I had some start up symptoms followed by the idgaf-lazy attitude and drowsiness. I still had some lingering symptoms but I felt good and could start participating in the world. I finished the mandatory military service in my country. 2012 Second time trying to get off. Less zaps this time. But when the WD hit this time it hit HARD and sudden. There was the same calm before the storm. One evening I felt a little off and canceled meeting my friends and went to bed early. I jolted up early morning with all the same symptoms as before but to such extreme degree I jumped out of bed and ran out the door. I was so confused but sort of in that moment I realized what had happened. The SSRI. It was a few weeks - a month since I quit. I almost jumped under the metro as I knew that I could not tolerate this. Not again here in this hell. I ran around the running track of my home in this confused state sort of trying to put together what was going on. I eventually got home and took the ssri... I think I took some more and in a panic frenzied state crushed a pill rubbing it to my gums trying to get it to work. I don't remember much of this but I think it was a day or two when it started kicking in. During this time I was lying in bed constantly kicking with my feet to release the tension. I was googling on my phone and found the forums for the first time and my eyes finally opened. This time the reinstatement didn't work fully but enough that I wasn't suicidal or in that bad of a shape. I didn't feel good but much better than the 2 times off in complete WD. My mood was unstable to say the least and I had these occasional headache/eye pain attacks when I felt like I was stabbed in my eyes/brain and had to lie in bed with the lights off. Also had some odd pressure sensations in my head. This is when I joined PaxilProgress and started absorbing all the info I could. I was sort of functional but traumatized and so for a long time I just played video games and read/posted on the forums, occasionally going to the gym. I could have started working but I just couldn't believe this new world I had entered where the people I trusted were now completely against me (doctors, family) in the most horrible experience of my life. This is when I started tapering properly, with the support of you amazing people. (Special thanks to brassmonkey's slide method) 2013-2014 Wow, time flies. I honestly don't remember much of this time. Part of it is because I was on the drug and in that hazy ssri state, part of it is because I didn't do much.. I was so afraid of what was going to happen as I got lower on the dose. I found a compassionate therapist but I'm not sure how much help that was overall. At a snail pace I tapered. And I read more, and more. I exercised and ... was a lazy ssri zombie. The reinstatement stabilized at some point & the slow taper kept me ok. It wasn't anything like the previous attempts. I could have worked some simple job at least but.. well, I just didn't. I was scared I would crash eventually. I was one of those who wasn't going to recover, I could always think of some reason to think the damage would be permanent or at least I would forever be left with lingering issues. The recovery stories were inspiring but there was always the nagging doubt I wouldn't be one of those: my history was too messy, my symptoms too severe - my brain has to be fried and I'll forever be crippled, too many reinstatements, too many adverse effects, the recovered ones had different symptoms, I had started using the drugs when I was still developing.. etc etc. But sure enough things got better. By the end of 2014 I applied for a few jobs and got one. It was simple manual labour. I had such a low self esteem for being an outcast for so long and having a CV with a hole so big you could drive a truck through. I felt a bit like an alien among normal people. So I overcompensated maybe a bit and I guess that got noticed and I got a few raises and ended up in a managerial position despite my social anxiety. My self esteem grew, I even met a girl through work that I had a short relationship with. I was still tapering, sloooooooooowly. 2015 While I was working I started studying again in my freetime and during lunch breaks. Basic math.. and I applied and went to study HVAC&electrical engineering. It had been 6 years since I had read any sort of a school book but I passed barely and got accepted. It was a bit of a struggle at first considering most of my classmates came straight from high school but I did ok. It was a struggle keeping up and paying attention in lectures but I kept improving. My dose at this point was miniscule. I tapered down to the tiniest crumb my scale could weigh and then started carving it by eye.. it was eventually the size of a needle tip. When that got too hard I started halving a pill, scraping a tiniest amount with my nail and licking it. I was STILL deathly afraid of letting go. I'm pretty sure I was already off at that point, but I've always been a bit of a pessimist.. I started going out with friends and got drunk the first time in forever. At this point I don't think I had any or at most barely noticeable WD effects. 2016 The summer of 2016 I worked at a construction site and by the end of the summer I realized I had forgotten my "lick the ssri" habit for a week or so. I was terrified but thought maybe I'd let it go. The first month or so whenever I felt anything odd I would get the thought "Oh no is it going to start, why did I stop that" etc. School had started again. It's now 4+ months since I've touched the ssri. Nothing has happened - it's over! I survived. Not with style but I got through. Despite being negative, despite feeding myself with all kinds of bad thoughts I recovered COMPLETELY. And I'm getting pretty decent grades. Average to above average. My taper was quite possibly way longer than it needed to be (4 years total) but it worked. And honestly if any of you have a semi stable taper just go slooow.. I know you know all this and there are much smarter and more knowledgeable people here but I want to emphasize that. Because in the end there is no parade waiting. Nobody in the real world except my therapist and my roommate knows I finished. There was no great celebration. Nobody cares and life goes on. BUT inside I have the biggest party ever. I can't believe I'm here on the other side. NEVER again am I going to be there in that living hell or touch any psych med. Like I said at the beginning I recovered 100%. During my taper I of course adopted a very healthy lifestyle, but this is the greatest part (and it's very politically incorrect, but screw it): I don't have to live like a patient anymore. I still try to eat healthy and exercise and whatnot but it's F-ing amazing to be able to not give a crap about every small decision of what to put in my body. I don't advocate any of the following to anyone but I can pull all nighters with coffee flowing in my veins like any other student to finish projects for deadlines. I can drink coffee (couldn't have imagined during WD - even tea or coke threw me for a loop for days). I can get drunk with my friends and I'll have a hangover, like anyone else. But nothing more. While writing this I drank a cup of coffee and smoked 2 cigarettes (habit I picked up recently, should quit). And I'm sitting here in my comfy chair and I feel great, listening to good music, completely relaxed and feeling great despite being in the most stressful school period before Christmas vacation. I'm not sure if I should mention this and I'm not proud of it but in the summer I went to a 3 day music festival and there were a lot of recreational drugs going around and well yep... My point being that I am OK. I'm not left with any sort of hypersensitivity or "scars". I can do stupid things and it won't send me back into a wave. There's nothing special about me, I'm not a genious and I certainly didn't do things right or with the greatest attitude but I. Recovered. Completely. I hope so badly that this gives at least a bit of respite to anyone in a bad place right now. Tears welled up a bit while typing this as I haven't thought about any of this in quite a while. I wish I had more to give. There were some things that helped alleviate my symptoms at times but I'm sure you have a wealth of knowledge beyond mine on this forum. Thank you for having the patience to read through this, sorry for my english (non native) and stay strong guys! Or don't .. just stay in there.
  8. As far as I can remember I stopped taking my meds around November 2017 and only really experienced worsening depression until September of this year when I woke up one day with a vision disturbance. What was your adverse reaction when you tried zoloft again? I reinstated in september for about two weeks with 25mg and didnt notice any reaction at all, I may have gotten lucky but that was also before I found this site so I could have very well had symptoms I wasn't paying attention to
  9. Hi SupahSet, great story, thank you so much for sharing! I cold turkey citalopram after taking it for 2 weeks (adverse reaction) and I'm about 3 months off now my main condition is DP/DR, very bad short memory, lack of concentration, cognitive problems, brain fog, head pressure, blurred vision. a very little brain activity, not connected with anything around me... did you have similar experiences? if yes, can u say when these symptoms started and how long did they last? Thanks in advance!
  10. Vonnegutjunky

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Long, i am am not having a lot of symptoms but the symptoms I am having are very very intense- I feel like I am losing my mind - I don’t know if it’s from the anxiety or what but I feel so mentally unstable - I am having partial seizures but I’ve always had those - they are now changing - and I taper much less than 10% it took me a year to drop down 1mg - i am also tapering after experiencing an adverse reaction -
  11. Hi SupahSet, great story, thank you so much for sharing! I cold turkey citalopram after taking it for 2 weeks (adverse reaction) and I'm 2 months off now my main condition is DP/DR, very bad short memory, lack of concentration, cognitive problems, brain fog, head pressure, blurred vision. very little brain activity, not connected with anything around me... did you have similar experiences? if yes, can u say when these symptoms start and how long did they last? Thanks in advance!
  12. hey Happy!! yeah serzone, one of the ones that got yanked pretty quick, i had a bad adverse reaction to it the first time they gave it to me in the hospital also. sigh. but most the baddies are still on the ,market. ugh i hate seroquel. i'm having peripheral neuropathy in my hoohah of all places, i went through it in my feet and hands in the past on higher doses and had to use a cane and a walker to ambulate cause i couldn't feel my feet. the neurologist loved using the safety pin prick test on me. although i never felt nor flinched at all while he poked those safety pins into my feet and legs knee down! i thought he was playing a joke but the next day after those tests the tiny pinprick bruises would show up on my legs where he'd stabbed me lol. neuropathy is no joke. thanks for welcome and i'm gonna go read your story! hugs
  13. That's terrible. Hyponatremia is a known adverse effect of Trileptal. You must have had a hypersensitive reaction to the drug.
  14. Hi Gato- You are so welcome, I am glad what I had to say resonated with you. I too was searching for someone who had similar stories to mine during my darker hours. I did get some relief after reinstating, however, I did reinstate within two months of going cold turkey and I think that made a difference. It think the longer you wait the more likely it is that you will have an adverse reaction. I tried reinstating again a month later to 2 mg (I think) and all of my symptoms got WAY worse, so it is a gamble. At some point you do have to make the decision that there is no going back and just commit to seeing it through until the end. Mindset is very important, tell yourself you WILL get better not "if's" or "but's", tell yourself it is only a matter of time. I know it is so disheartening when you are getting better and then have a set back, but KNOWING that you will get better during these times can be so reassuring. In the meantime, take self-care to the extreme and try to respect your body and the process. Let me know if you have any other questions and hang in there! PS. I didn't use liquid paxil, I bought scale of Amazon and did my own measuring, which I know is not recommended!
  15. Hi H2H I jumped off my med between 5.6-5.4mgs. I had to make the reinstatement last night afte 18 days off Lamictal. I had tapered the med down from 200mgs over 3 years but also was tapering a second medication, Remeron, along with it, which I completed tapering in April 2017. I was advised to reinstate 0.25, which is what I did. I was having every other day acute withdrawal symptoms and then not sleeping on top of it. I was mentally exhausted and have not been able to really function. This is after 2 months of not functioning due to an adverse reaction to the medication in the fall. That's why I jumped at the dose I did. I have no idea if I will stay at this low dose or have to go up more. But I am okay with it to stay out of that acute withdrawal state. Thank you for letting me know it helped and that you then tapered again. Did you use liquid? Because you had a small dose as well. Hibari.
  16. Hi Happ2Heal I am facing the reinstatement issue myself after jumping off my med at 5.4mgs. I was having an adverse reaction to it, which has as bad as my current 18 day withdrawal from Lamictal. When you reinstated and before you began tapering again, did you experience relief from the withdrawal symptoms? I dont care how long I have to stay on a low dose as long as I can function. Then when the time is right, I can move down again. I am scared to reinstate but also scared to stay in this acute withdrawal state. Thank you.
  17. Hi Pug, I'm always so happy to real your story and responses. Did you have temperature fluctuations once you stopped taking the medication. While I did not cold turkey my last medication, I did have to jump off higher than I would have to due to an adverse reaction to the medication. Besides the usual withdrawal horror symptoms, I have been having major flashes and sweating. I'm asking because I know you are a man and was curious if you experienced them. I don't want to have to do anything with my hormones now that I am post menopause. Thanks.
  18. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    LOV4K9 From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site 8 years on Prozac, restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction Here was my recovery timeline: Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings. Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare). Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to. Present (Month 28 ): My life is completely back on track... right where I left off before the adverse reaction. I'm running on all cylinders and happy as can be. The nightmare of the adverse reaction and protracted recovery is just a distant memory now. I still visit this site to see how some folks are doing, but I'm no longer active. In fact, my recovery is so complete that I don't relate to the suffering anymore.....this is amazing because it means that I wasn't permanently scarred by the experience. At the time, the suffering and loss of normal life was devastating and I was convinced my life was ruined forever, but now I view the ordeal as just *blip* in my life.
  19. Hi and Good Morning everyone (im in the UK ) Long time lurker but first time poster - decided to take the plunge and register an account really just give comfort to other posters going through severe withdrawal that you do recover... eventually after some awful teenage years and coming out of it with severe anxiety, in 2011 i attemtpted to take my own life for the first time... i was self medicating with a lot of illicit drugs (cocaine... esctacy... ketamine) at the time (which was making my anxiety worse), had a lot of pressure at work, plus my historical issues as well, so i had a breakdown and tried to take my own life... luckilly i survived and my best friend cared for me (took me to hospital, doctors, appointments) etc... this was then i started 20 mg of prozac... initially i was against the idea but after a failed suicide attempt and crippling anxiety i decided it was for the best a few months later i had another blip (yet again copious amounts of drugs, with pressure at work and my insecurities) contributed to ANOTHER suicide attempt... this was worse... i had really damaged my wrist in the attempt and had to go to surgery and go off work for a few months... during my time off work i did what any normal person would do... go back to my parents... go travelling (did the west coast of america for 3 weeks) and tried to look after my self as best as i could.... enter 2012 and life was good... i was stable on prozac... was very sociable... work was going well and was getting a lot of female attention ... it was at the end of 2012 that i decided i wanted off prozac and did about a 1 week taper and was fine!!! no side effects... nothing... wasnt even aware of SSRI discontinutaion syndromme existed (we'll come back to that later) however during this period my own drug use continued to increase... which of course was making my anxiety worse... start of 2013 went to thailand for 3 weeks (which was amazing)... but noticed at the end of the holday my crippling anxiety came back (probably because i knew i had work)... in the april of 2013 i went back to the doctor again and he put me on setraline (zoloft) the first 6 weeks were fine... my body was adjusting to it but still had anxiety... but then on the 7th week i woke up being sick and having diarrhea... i then stopped taking the medication, then over the course of 2 weeks my apetite went... then i couldnt sleep, concentrate, had heart palpatation, stomach was in knots, had severe tremors, zaps, my mouth was tight, was in physical pain, insomnia, tinnitus (all the usual) symptoms... it was TERRIBLE... my poor parents thought i was dying i then had to come back to my parents and find out what was wrong with me and what could i do... i searched the internet day and night at the start and suddenly became aware of "adverse reactions" and "SSRI discontinuation syndromme"... i believe mine was "SSRI discontinuation syndromme" bought on my an "adverse reaction" the doctors didnt know what to do... first they tried to put me on prozac again, then mirtazipine... then at the end of the first month i found this article... this was a life save for me " http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/reaction.htm" the above article was my holy bible for my recovery... i followed it by the book... no alcohol... no stimulants... no coffee... light exercise... lots of rest, eat healthy and time is the only healer in this situation my reaction occured 3 years ago this may (wow thats gone fast) and its been a terrible ordeal... i had to take another 4 months off work at the start, move back to my parents, cut out 90% of my friends and just do the basics every day... there has been plenty of ups and downs...and frustations... tears... but im now finally coming out the other side... i would say 80-90% healed... i just basically where i was at 5 years ago before i had my first prozac med... i still have some side effects... the only lingering side effects left are my tinnitus and i have a sensitive nervous system... my body still cant take anything stimulating (luckilly my cocaine days are behind me ... but other than that im all good i moved back into my own apartment in May... i have a beautiful girlfriend who i met in June and wants to have a family with me even though she knew what i was going through... i will never be that young care free party loving lad i was a few years ago... my body couldnt handle it... but i am stable and soooooooo glad im not in the dark place i was nearly 3 years ago when i was tremoring and crying what has helped me??? i started doing a lot of running (i did my first half marathon in october) and try to run 3 times a week still... i used to take a benzo on a as needed basis (no more than 3 times a week) this meant i could function when in bad withdrawals while not building any tolerance... i take 0.25mg melotonin for sleep (as suggested by ALTO)... i cut out a lot of bad negative friends... i took a stress free role at work... i spent time walking my dog, volunteering at the dogs home... helping my parents and went through a programme of CBT to get me through it... i would never wish SSRI withdawals on anyone... they are nasty and at times you feel hopeless... but i remember 3 years ago sifting through the pages trying to find a success story and not being able to find one as people had just disappeared or not come back well this is mine... i still have a little way to go yet but i reckon over the next year my CNS should be were it was before all this happened just hang in there guys.. it does get easier p.s. massive shout out to Alto - your posts have helped me so much... you have incredible knowledge of this subject and i thank you for your help Thanks Tom
  20. Hi pug. I am not sure if you check this site anymore but I have been on anti-depressants for two-and-a-half years. I quit cold turkey when I was pregnant. And then my doctor took me off very quickly off of Zoloft after taking it for 8 months after the pregnancy. I tried to reinstate but had an adverse reaction. Now I'm in the Thrones of withdrawal and the dizziness and brain sensations, especially in the morning are extremely intense. I feel like I've damaged my brain way too much. The sensations and the spins and the falling Sensations in my head are unbelievable.How did you exercise and workout during the vertigo and dizziness? I try to do some simple stretches but walking right now just seems impossible. I feel like I am just in a huge wave with a cluster of symptoms. I honestly don't know how you worked through all the symptoms. It's hard to even walk to my kitchen and back. Thank you for your success story. It does give me hope. I'm not sure how long my recovery will be but I'm hoping for some windows here soon. I'm sure you're living your life now good and well. Thanks for checking back in if you could.
  21. I have a complicated history. Took Zoloft for 4 years and quit ct. wd showed up a year later but I didn't know it was wd as it was physical symptoms. My doctor told me it was probably stress and to restart Zoloft after being off of it for 1.5 years. I had an adverse or kindling reaction to it, then tried paxil and Celexa and each reaction was worse. Anyways... I haven't taken an AD for 4 months now.. its honestly torture every day. Just looking for the hope that it gets better at some point, even if bearable again. Thank you!
  22. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!! I had an extreme adverse reaction to Sertraline about one month ago and ever since then I have developed almost like a phobia of sugar! Every time I eat anything sugary I start making myself panic, fortunately I am not anywhere near underweight so it’s not that concerning right now but just the idea of going out to eat or having a family meal stresses me out really bad
  23. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    A guy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site Hi, I couldn't find my old post with my updates on it, but it has been some time (years i think) since I have been on here, and I was just feeling well enough to come on and make a report. Just the fact that I am able to feel calm again while writing would have been enough for me to be happy, I would have settled for semi-functional. I became aware of many things which would aggravate systems in the body, and I cut them out, I just ate natural food as much as possible and basically just allowed my body to do its thing without feeding it extra burdenous waste. There are many things that I believe help the body repair, but many people do not believe the same things that I do so if you want to contact me in private I can give you more information, however many of these things are covered on here at least in part such as Omega 3's etc, but I can go into detail as I know it helps reading things that give you hope. I am much better, and semi-functional, however I am very sensitive to stress, and assume it will take some time, perhaps years to gain a stress threshold, however it is very likely that my reaction in the first place was caused by sensitivity so just returning to baseline is a huge goal. I just wanted to give people hope because I was under the impression that I would be gone forever because my reaction came from such a small amount, and no one seemed to understand it, so if anyone has such a reaction from a few pills, just know that it has happened to others, probably some of which haven't even found this site, these are just the ones we know of. The good news is that if you make it easy on your body, and if you find some way to get through 750 days etc (counting days makes it seem like you are getting somewhere), then you can likely make progress such as I have. Alot of this came all at once to the point to where you feel like you are not making progress at all 2 years into it but then a month goes by and something subtle happens then the same in another couple. It is very subtle in this sense. I did focus on nutrition, which I consider 100 percent essential, but your body will do its best if you cannot afford the best foods, it will extract what it can. As far as an exact, I would estimate my homeostasis at around 85% when things are optimal, and perhaps peaking at 90 or so functionality-wise. This is obviously subject to stressors. I will continue on my nutrional pursuit, as some things that I believe were caused by the body making repairs, thus sobbing other areas of nutrients in order to adapt, has taxed my body, but in reality it is worth it even with the effects I have been left with, just to have a relative calm state. I will keep pushing forward and see if I cannot perhaps feel better than I felt even before stumbling down the dark road of pharmaceuticals. I encourage all to pursue your course, and in due time if you do not give up, you will reap rewards. Prior to fluoxetine, I ingested a few MAOI cocktails, and had used various stimulants (ephedra) years ago. This is likely why I reacted so badly to this drug. 7/14/08 - Severe reaction to Prozac & Ativan! 7/15/08 - Discontinued all meds! First 2 years: Extreme Derealization/DP Extreme agitation & akathisia Unable to understand people Severe negative thoughts. Constant restlessness inside, anxiety & agitation, and anhedonia. Now: 85% stable
  24. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    Kathleen From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site I looked up my "success" post from 2009. I have since coped with the horrors of a major earthquake, which caused the death of friends, the loss of family houses, and ongoing anxiety and stress for all us. Life is still good. Success - one year from zero. I think I have been putting off posting this as a success story as it seems to be tempting fate to say “success”, and I superstitiously feel disaster may strike! But I do believe in positive affirmation – so here goes! A potted history – I had an anti biotic resistant pneumonia which led to chronic fatigue syndrome. I was gradually recovering, when my mother died and my son had a life threatening illness. I was prescribed paroxetine for anxiety, and had a severe paradoxical reaction on taking the first tablet. I was prescribed oxazepam to allay the akathisia, nausea, and increased anxiety (!!!!) until the paroxetine took effect. Six months later I felt my life was on an even keel and stopped the paroxetine. I was fine for two months, and then had what I now realise were withdrawal symptoms, but started paroxetine again. I tapered back on!! I tried again to quit by alternating doses, and was taking 10mgs twice a week when Aropax was replaced by loxamine. Again, I had an adverse reaction; took oxazepam for a few weeks, and was granted a year of Aropax by NZ’s Pharmac. At this stage I found PP and decided to taper slowly. I am very grateful for the wealth of information and support I found here. The intensive anti-biotics I took to get rid of pneumonia left me with a fragile gut, and my first reaction to any stress seems to be nausea; so looking back at my diary I see a lot of “queasy” days during withdrawal. My GP prescribed domperidone, which I found really helpful, and Losec for heartburn; both of which I took as needed. Like Carolyn, I had to do a lot of brain training to convince myself I wasn’t about to have a heart attack! Insomnia was a problem at times, although I think the fear of insomnia created a vicious circle that kept me awake. I see from my diary that I did take a tablet of oxazepam several times over my taper, but never for more than one night. I had a working knowledge of CBT, visualisation and relaxation techniques from my professional life; but a theoretical knowledge is one thing, and putting it into practice personally quite another. One really good thing to come out of withdrawal is that I have learnt such a lot about coping with anxiety and stress. CBT and deep breathing and relaxation exercises have become an essential part of my life. I also found EFT and SET techniques helpful (thank you Betsy). Dropping below the 5mg mark seems to be difficult for many. I must admit I was very worried about this, but as Laurie C. said – don’t worry – it may never happen; and she was quite right. In fact, I found the lower drops easier. I’m afraid I have always been a “what if” person, and as Homerbcool says – That's one of the curses of anxiety--we make possibilities into certainties...... Over the last year any time I have felt off colour I have immediately thought “what if this is a withdrawal wave”. My amazingly patient husband has reassured me each time that we all do have times of not feeling well, and I was probably talking myself into a withdrawal problem by worrying. I’ve survived the zaps, ear whooshes, night sweats, nausea, insomnia, chest pains, heart flutters, panic attacks, foggy brain etc. etc. that plague most of us during withdrawal.(Though I have to admit that my advancing years may have contributed to foggy brain!!) Nearly all of these symptoms are long gone, and I am sleeping reasonably well, though I still sometimes find myself startled awake at 4a.m. So – a year later I am feeling proud of myself. I recently had surgery to remove a tumour, which was thankfully benign. I had a worrying few months with lots of tests. I have always been rather claustrophobic so the prospect of an MRI test was very daunting, but I found I actually coped without a shot of midazalon by using the techniques I have learnt and practised. My GP prescribed oxazepam for me early in the year, as he was sure I would be having lots of legitimate anxiety and sleepless nights. I did take a few tablets, but the bottle is still nearly full. I do like knowing it is there for an emergency though!! This whole experience has been a real learning curve for me. I think I am a stronger and wiser person than I was a few years ago. I know I am less ready to judge others; and hopefully am more prepared to admit and share my problems. I am still reluctant to plan ahead – I am very happy and content living from day to day, but my instant reaction to a future plan is wondering if I will be well enough. This is the legacy paroxetine has left me – the self doubts, ups and downs, and uncertainties of withdrawal. Logically and rationally, I know I have coped, I am coping, and I will cope; but I still need to work on the “what ifs”. Thankfully, I now have tools to do so. For those of you starting out on a withdrawal journey – there is light at the end of the tunnel! Okay, there are some terrifying posts here, but there is so much support and help. I would still be muddling along alternating doses, and wondering what was wrong with me if I had not found PP. Thank you, all of you. PS I know many people have been unable to tolerate alcohol at all, but we have always had a glass of wine before dinner, and when I have had a “nervy” tummy I do find that glass relaxes me!! I have also taken a fish oil pill every morning for years. 02-Chronic fatigue syndrome after anti-biotic resistant pneumonia. Aropax for anxiety. 2 attempts to quit. 08 - slow taper. Oct.08 - zero and feeling great!
  25. Yes I had a very adverse reaction too. I was only on Prozac for a couple of months. At 6 months I still couldn't look anyone in the eye and I wanted to jump out of my own skin every night. I also used to have a drinking problem so I tried to drink the pain away a few times, everything made it worse, I wanted to die. At month 9 I made it out of the depersonalization phase along with every other symptoms in the book I can't even remember half of them because I was so messed up (depersonalization being the most scary, literally nothing felt real, I kept wondering if I would be stuck in some sort of dream state forever). I still had migraines, food sensitivities and a buzzing noise in my head whenever I talked which makes relating to people near impossible. Now i'm at month 12 I have those symptoms but they're all very manageable. My life is mostly normal at this point. Hang on, you have this i'm 25 and you definitely heal a lot faster than someone in their 40's! I was in my mid 30s when I went through this lol. I'm 41 now. I don't think age makes a difference with regards to SSRI wd recovery. Depends on how you manage your time while waiting to cross the tunnel.
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