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  1. Moderator note: added link to Gato123's Introduction topic: Gato123: withdrawal from Cymbalta and Prozac; Introduction topic Gosh, I don't even know where to start. The short of it is, you WILL get better if you do not give up. I entered into withdrawal 14 months ago and was absolutely debilitated. Fast forward 14 months and most of my physical symptoms I was presenting are much less intense and the paralyzing anxiety and black depression I sank into are much more manageable. When I was in the middle of withdrawal "hell" I truly didn't know if I believed recovery was possible and it.was.terrifying. No medical professional knew what to do to help (Note: This was if they even recognized the "discontinuation syndrome" (which the very terminology makes me so angry because it's SO misleading but that's for another post) other than recommended I reinstate the drug. I refused. All I kept thinking during this time was, "What is going to happen to me?" "When will this end?" "Will it end?" "What has chronic, long-term exposure done to my body? My brain? My Central Nervous System?" These were constant questions running through my mind for a long time. But I am here today to share my experience with you. No matter how bad you feel in the middle of it, your body IS capable of healing and WILL! I will share my experience in more detail below if you are interested to know more. I am a female in my 30s. I was prescribed Wellbutrin over 17 years ago to help with the side effects of the birth control pill I was taking. In the last 17 years I've been on most of the "common" SSRI/SNRIs/benzodiazepines/sleeping pills including but not limited to: Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lorazepam, Alprazolam (Xanax), Ambien, and more. Each one brought new side effects, and in general, made me sick. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and never quite at peace. I am 14 months out and much better than where I was day 1. It is has been the hardest, most trying, exhausting experience of my life but I have survived. And YOU will too!
  2. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    The increase in visual migraines correlates with the time I was taking the highest dose of paxil and continues on through out my taper and has increased even more since I stopped taking the drug. Correlation doesn't prove causality but it does make me wonder if things are related.
  3. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    I can still remember having my first one in 7th grade while sitting in World History Class. My second one was a few years later. I didn't have any more until I was well into poopout on 40mgai paxil. Then I got one and again six months later. They started happening more frequently while I was tapering and even more so since I've been drug free. Now I seem to be getting two or three over a couple of days period every few months. The time line makes you wonder. For most of my life I've gotten regular migraine headaches that were just killer. I seemed to grow out of them in my mid 50s and have only had a few mild ones since.
  4. Happy2Heal

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    just curious, did you have visual migraines before taking paxil? was this a symptom you had during WD? or is this a totally new thing for you?
  5. Hopefulstill

    Happy2Heal my Victory statement

    Hi H2H, You are welcome and deserve it and thanks for asking how I am! I was on 50 mg. Paxil and have reduced to 37 mg liquid Paxil. It's been 2 years reducing to that point. I don't have the side effects that others talked about, but I do notice much more anxiety than usual. I get irritated and angry a lot more. I don't brush things off as much and speak my mind more. I am trying to control that. I also notice I am thinking of past hurts quite a bit and feeling the anger. Maybe it was blocked out before. I will stay at 37 for awhile longer. By the way, I am 69 and have been on Paxil for 24 years. Keep that good attitude!!
  6. Dear Excuse, I am extremely inspired by your recovery story. It is a great feat you have achieved. I started taking Paxil CR 25MG since December 2012 to treat my Panic Disorder and have been pretty lenient with my lifestyle so far. Since the last 10 days I noticed that I have built tolerance towards the drug and my anxiety symptoms such as tension headaches, higher heart rate, panicy feeling, and restlessness have come back to haunt me. It was like the last 6 years of my happy life were a joke and unreal. I want to start living again drug free. I am too scared to go cold turkey. However, I have a few questions for you. I will be very glad if you could answer them. 1. You said stop worrying about one's future and stop following current affairs. I am a 29 year old male and I am at a stage where, probably, some of the most crucial decisions and actions about my career need to be taken from now to within a couple of years. What are your recommendations for this while I am stilling withdrawing from Paxil? 2. What was the diet regimen you followed? It does not have to be specific. Details such as nutrition-wise break up of your meal, your supplements, preferred frequency and time, important eating habits/ practices, et al will be awesome. 3. How much time did you dedicate to physical activity and what were those activities and at what time did you carry them out and for how many days in a week? 4. What relaxation techniques did you follow? 5. How did you manage your career progression and Paxil withdrawal simultaneously? What were the toughest challenges you faced and how did you overcome them? 6. Finally, now that you have successfully withdrawn from Paxil, do you wish to go back to some of your 'Not to do' items again? For Ex: Would you go back to alcohol or occasional indulgence in junk food? The reason behind this question is that I am currently weak hearted and if I were normal tomorrow, I would, in no time, indulge in alcohol and junk food. But, having said that, if the withdrawal journey's experience has made you numb to these artificial joys of sugar, drugs, alcohol, and indiscipline, it would be another great motivator to me personally to go ahead and embrace this journey.
  7. G'day! I took Carmie's advice and went to FlyLady. Egads. I felt shamed, judged, scolded - very much like my Mom made me feel. Oh no, FlyLady is not for me. Then she wants you to buy her stuff while she's scolding people who "don't commit." Oh no, no thank you. Sorry Carmie, but I did give her a look. Bubbles responds to my post elsewhere: I saw this in another thread, but thought I'd respond to it here. How did she take that 3 years? Was it doctor recommended? OK. She has been on Paxil / Arapax for less than a year. I cried when I found out that she went on it. I was like, "why didn't you call me?" and "why THAT drug?" (supposedly it had no interactions with the NSAID she was taking for pain, I'm like WHATEVER - I thought they were DONE prescribing Paxil...) (RANT MODE: why is it more acceptable to take these kinds of problems to a Doctor, than it is to call your friends and ask for help?) I managed to get a "Dear Doctor" letter to her practitioner, and because I used science-y talk, and references, the doctor was impressed. But of course - our SA techniques of crushing and weighing tablets or making liquid were not accepted. So it was 1/2 tablet, then 1/4 tablet - but with longer holds than the doctor would normally have suggested. So her taper went like this: 2 months on 50%, 3 months on 25% - then she forgot to take it and CT'd off of that - only a month ago. (from a mod perspective, this is a nightmarish taper - and - I get to watch my friend do this!). So this was a doctor supervised taper - sort of. She's my friend, she has access to me. She didn't listen to me, but she did understand that if she was making larger cuts, she needed longer holds. But she didn't have the patience to hold as long as she should have. How did she take the news that it might be 3 years of symptoms? She doesn't believe me. She's only one month out, and you know there's a "honeymoon period." She said "oh yeah, I've been moodier lately." Paxil is a real bear to come off of, I'm hoping because this was her first time putting her hand in the badger hole, that she might come out okay. But Paxil has some nasty teeth. So another one to pray for a smooth, successful ride. OKAY, finally, Phenibut tapering notes: Cut to 125 mg on 26th July. My dreams are buried again, I sometimes wake up reaching out for something - dancing, smiling, something - but can never remember what it is. The PVC's continue to get more intrusive. I have an appointment with the new, snotty Orthomolecular doc later this month (she scolded me for being on a "banned drug" and was in general quite judgy, but I don't have anyone else to manage my thyroid right now)...but I doubt she will have helpful suggestions that I haven't already come up with. Diet, breathing, exercise, meditation, magnesium....yea. Got that. Not interested in her melatonin solution, though may try it again out of desperation. Sleep is slipping - I've been watching it happen. One night it was pain. Another night it was getting up at 5:30 to see the lunar eclipse. Gradually, the sleep slips until now it is 2 am to 10 am, or even noon. And there's the "got nothing done again today" feeling that causes me to spend "just a little time" on the computer after hubby goes to bed. And so the sleep slips into delayed cycle again. Mood is mostly good - I don't have the anger of a month or two ago, and I feel more hopeful about the way things are shaping up in my life. I need to reach out and offer my shaman services to other venues. Scary, but - perhaps that's what is next. I saw the moon rise over some beautiful mountains - the Glass House Mountains - on the night of the full moon. Breathtaking! Here's the whole range (from the ocean, so these two mountains are on the left) I hiked around the big one - 3rd from the left - the day after the moonrise (it's considered bad form to climb them, but white people still do). These are less than an hour from my house, and about the same distance from Saint Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. (in fact the road to get there is Steve Irwin Way, named in his honour.)
  8. Hi And congrats!!. how did you get off lithium?? I take 900mg - 600 at night and 300 morning. Along with lexapro 10mg and Wellbutrin xl 150 in the morning. Currently in withdrawal from Paxil and zoloft - I know it’s nuts!! been 90 days on lithium and my stomach was sour, I’m stunted physically and intellectually as a result, have a rash, an just a Slogging through life. I take liquid so went from 600 to 540 at night and 300 to 240 in the morning. So from 900 to 780. Felt fine at first and then I stopped sleeping, my body started burning, and my chest started constructing unbearably - so tight in my sternum. Also dizzy and couldn’t stop crying. How’d you get off it?
  9. nick1990

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Wow, this is interesting Tom. When you say similar to what started the whole thing , do you mean as in prior to taking Paxil ? Im sure it’ll pass soon and you’ll handle it just fine bro ! Hugs 🤗
  10. Happy2Heal

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    thanks so much for your reply Brass. Funny I had one around 11-12 mos but not 10. I can't recall how things were at 8 mos though. it would be interesting if we could get enough people past zero together to do a survey to find out what the most common time frame is. Also would be interesting to see which drug(s) were implicated. It appears that paxil is one that causes some long term issues. Lexapro is pretty intense to get off of, but it seems to get out of the system faster, for lack of a better way to describe it. Who knows? When I let myself believe that my current issues are WD related, I instantly felt *better*....probably for a couple of reasons. I feel much more confident in my ability to handle WD symptoms, and I know that WD symptoms end. Plus I almost always end up in a better place after the wave is over. When I think of my symptoms as related to life events, my symptoms ramp up considerably- I would guess because I feel a lot less confident in my ability to handle life events "un-medicated". I suddenly feel like I've let things get out of control, and the pressure to do something to fix things is intense and unrelenting. I suddenly feel like i"m doing "life" all wrong. So better for me to consider this a wave. I know waves end and I know that they are out of my control. That helps me relax.
  11. You are very welcome! I am coming up on two years off and still struggle with fatigue too. I think w/d really messes with the adrenals in a lot of people. Yes, I totally understand. I have tried to help family members or friends by giving nutritional advice and most people won’t listen. It’s hard for a lot of people to own up to the fact that you are ultimately responsible for their own health. It’s easier to blame genes and not address the bad eating, lack of exercise, and the nightly glass of wine. I wish I realized that before Paxil, but I guess sometimes it takes going through hell to make lasting changes. We will all be better for it in the end!
  12. It actually wasn’t. I was terrified of trying to get off of it. What I did was really work on sleep hygiene and stopped watching TV, etc several hours before bed and started taking melatonin. I made sure I was really relaxing and calming my body, I also got blue blocking glasses. Then I slowly weaned off the ambien like I did with Paxil. I was cutting off tiny bits every week until I wasn’t taking it anymore. Hope that helps!
  13. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    I Think I Have Anhedoina, But I Don’t Care Anhedonia is one of those symptoms that really upsets people, and not with out cause. It can be very unpleasant and disheartening. It is, however, a very important part of the healing/recovery process and needs to be embraced rather than feared. I experienced anhedonia to some degree for a lot of my time on Paxil and during my taper off of it. As I have mentioned before, I have done two major up doses while on Paxil. From 20mgai to 30mgai and again from 30mgai to 40mgai. I first started to notice the anhedonia about a year into the change to 40mgai. I had been going through a rough patch “life wise” for several years and thought that my lack of caring was due to the cumulative effects of life’s hard knocks. During my downward spiral with the high dose of Paxil, drinking and continued life challenges, the anhediona continued to increase. About the time I decided to do something about my life I pretty much didn’t care about anything. I didn’t care enough to care about not caring. Until that flash of insight that set me on the path of righting my life. It took getting sober and about two and a half years of tapering before I noticed any changes. Another year and a half would pass before I really saw my emotions start to return. From there it was a stead climb out of the black hole of emotionlessness. Once I made the jump to “0” things really started to improve. Today I still get small bouts that last for a few hours, but they are nothing like what it was in the beginning. Now it’s more just normal emotional fluctuations like anyone would experience. So, what did I do to get through it. Not a whole lot. I found that fighting against it only made things a whole lot worse. I found that accepting the anhedonia was much preferable to the alternatives of unrelenting anxiety and panic. I learned to look at anhedonia as a blessing in a way. Without it I would have been feeling the over whelming panic and anxiety that is so common in WD. Sure, I wasn't enjoying life, but I wasn't suffering either, and the loss of a happy life to it is only temporary. When it comes to WD, anhedonia is nature’s way of protecting us from the excruciating experience of constant panic attacks, nonstop anxiety, adrenaline rushes, cortisol spikes, palpitations, suicidal ideation, intrusive thoughts, and the like. Your mind decides that it is better to feel nothing at all than to be put through the ringer 24/7 with emotions and sensations that wrack the body and soul and slow the healing/recover process to a snail’s pace. When the mind is allowed to feel nothing, the body is then allowed to relax and direct its energy to where it really needs to be used. This provides for faster more complete healing, less painful WD symptoms and a better quality of life. Yes, anhedonia is no fun. Primarily because we make it that way. We all want to regain our feelings as fast as possible. But we are in a healing situation where the body needs to be allowed to do what it needs to do, because it knows best how to put itself back together. Once we understand this, accept it, and stop fighting it we will start to heal at a faster rate and life will be much more pleasant as we do so. You can't fight against it. This is a drug induced sensation that we have no control over. Trying to fight it or overcome it just burns a lot of precious energy and causes a huge amount of frustration and anxiety because it doesn't help anything. The emotions, feelings of joy, happiness, love, and excitement as well as creativity, ambition, and a whole lot more are being chemically suppressed and for the time being are just not accessible. Acceptance of the situation is the best path to follow. As you reduce your dose further and your body has a chance to heal your emotions and all will slowly start to come back, but it does take a lot of time. One thing I did learn was to look for and cherish all the little moments of joy. They are popping up all the time but are very fleeting and easily overlooked. When you look at a flower, instead of thinking "darn, I can't enjoy this flower", watch for the momentary little flash of joy that that flower brings when you first see it, and acknowledge it when it happens. Stop and try to see the beauty in things, even if you don't feel it. "Wow, the sun on those clouds is really pretty, one day soon I will feel it again". Stop and recognize the joy/wonder in the scene, but let your body react in its own manner. This exercise will help reestablish the neural pathways and little by little dig out and strengthen the feelings. It is one of the symptoms that is really good to practice AAF on, as there is nothing you can do about it but live with it as best as you can. Like a bad house guest, ignore it long enough and it will eventually go away. Anhedonia can be a real relationship challenge. I went through that for quite some time. I learned that even though I couldn't call up or experience the feelings they were still there inside, just not accessible. At the time I had been happily married for 33 years but couldn't summon up any of the feelings I had for my wife. I mentioned this, and it lead to several "late night discussions". Once we both understood that it was a manifestation of the drugs things started to improve. After I had been tapering off of the Paxil for a while the feelings slowly started to show themselves, until, now I am more in love with her then ever. We celebrated number 39 a couple of months ago. It's a big test of a relationship, but if the feelings are true in the first place and both people trust each other it is something that can be gotten through and make the relationship all the stronger. Like everything else we feel or don't feel in WD, Anhedonia comes and goes in waves and windows. It is, however, frequently one of the last things to go. Some people have it bad until after they jump off, while for others is clears up as they taper. Given a lifetime, the time spent in ADWD/recovery is insignificant. We have all had our "life" cruelly taken from us and want it back now. But to get it back fully we need to let the WD/recovery run its course, put on a brave face, and accept whatever it throws at us, whether we can feel it or not. With time, the healing will happen and when it knows we are ready, our minds will allow us to feel our full range of emotions again and life will be even better.
  14. ☼-branyan-from-pp-genital-anesthesia-and-pssd Hey guys! Branyan here from the old PP forums. I haven't written in any SSRI or related forum in almost 2 years now. The reason being? Things for the most part have been pretty damn great. My actual life is great. I have a great career started. I am finally independent and financially stable. I've had a couple of short relationships in between now and when Paxil Progress ended. During that sexual relationship I almost NEVER had one problem. Not only that, things were pretty freaking great in that department. I never had any problems getting it up, and sex was frequent and very good. Now there is still some of the genital numbness, and spotty libido, but was scarcely a worry. So. fast forward. We broke up. Not the right time in our lives, etc etc blah blah. Now the libido and functioning goes right back down to nothing good. This has been the pattern in the post SSRI/PSSD world for almost 5-6 years now. In the relationship things work great. Outside of that relationship, even when by myself things just dont feel very good. I realize how lucky I am. I'm grateful to have what I have. I'm so lucky. I'm not even really complaining. I just kind of needed to vent because its kind of scary. And in the past the one habit I've made is obsessively trying to hook up with girls or look at porn to keep testing if things are working. And I want to be a lone for a while and do some more soul searching. The last girl i was with I was very upfront about the PSSD stuff, and we took our time to get to sex and that made all the difference. I cannot discount the emotional and psychological part of it. It's almost as if the PSSD has made those components so strong that I am now 'demi-sexual". If you look that up it basically means you can't be aroused without an emotional connection.. I've got a lot of work to do in therapy to deal with this. I need to listen to my rational mind and not the fearful part. I can do this. I'm of course open to any and all questions as I know that my story has been used as a success story for many people fearful of PSSD around the internet.
  15. 1. Yes, correct. I had already been off Paxil for 4 months before any symptoms came back, so it wasn't as bad. Plus, I hadn't been on Paxil as long the first time. 1a. It took a couple of weeks for the symptoms to come from what I remember. 1b. I don't think I gave it enough time to see improvement. I can't really remember if there were improvements, I am sure my symptoms were ebbing and flowing as they do. 1c. Absolutely. I don't think you have to reinstate to get better. It may take a little longer to heal, OR it may not. I tried reinstating a second time, to go up to 2 mg two months after the 1mg reinstatement and THAT was even worse than the initial withdrawal. I got really bad after the second attempt, so it is really a crap chute. You could end up getting worse if you try to reinstate, I think how long you have been off is a big factor of whether or not it will go well for you. 2. The biggest thing I noticed was that my constant cortisol surges seemed to go down a bit. BUT I still had that ongoing high cortisol/anxiety feeling even after the reinstatement, it just seemed a little less severe. 3. I had the typical "waves and windows" pattern with microtapering. I don't actually know if micortapering is the right word. I think I was still tapering 5-10%, but the dose was so small that I was taking tiny bits of the drug at the very end. I definitely didn't have any drastic changes in symptoms, like when I first went off. 4. My main issue is that my adrenals were SO taxed for a year+ that they now have a hard time regulating my cortisol levels. So, when I get stressed I feel it more intensely than I should and the feeling lasts longer than it should. I still have that high cortisol feeling quite frequently, the biggest difference is I don't have the mental anguish that comes with withdrawal. It takes a long time to truly get back to 100%, so you just have to be patient. I am still working towards that but the mental part is so much better and for me that was definitely the worse part of withdrawal. Now I feel like everything is going to be okay and I don't freak out if I have a less-than-perfect day. Hope that helps, let me know what other questions you have!
  16. Hi Mogfish, thank you very much for returning to update. And a great update it is too. Looking at your drug signature, you've done well to get off a tablet that is not easy to make into small doses. I'm "cheating" and getting my Pristiq compounded. And the pharmacist even uses different coloured capsules 😊 I've always been thankful for that but am more so seeing your method. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for your future. You might find this topic helpful. BrassMonkey has now been off Paxil at least 1 year now and wrote some excellent observations after being a member of Paxil Progress and a moderator here on SA: are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take See especially: It doesn’t end at “0”
  17. Thanks, PennyLane. Please update your signature with the date you finally went off Paxil (and Ambien?). Looking back, what do you think reinstating 1mg Paxil did for you? How difficult was it to finally go off? Do you have any residual symptoms now?
  18. Hi! As I have mentioned, I am a paxil and diazepam survivor and suffered horrors from those poisons for years. starting them in 2001 for a neck pain, switching to paxil afterwards, went to hell and back, almost killed myself due to akathisia, had some good waves meanwhile and in 2013 full recovery started taking place. Hugs and kisses to paxilprogress friends and stay strong people here on surviving antidepressants! You can do it! It just takes too much time!
  19. Hi all, I'm 24 from Italy and I'm sorry for my English, I'll do my best. I want to share my story because I think this could give hope to other people. I've been on fluvoxamine for six months in 2013 and stopped in the early 2014 and after a months my first withdrawal started. At that time I didn't know anything about withdrawal and my doctor told me I was bipolar. So, after three months of strange symptoms, he decided to put me on Paxil. The symptoms subsided very quickly and I took Paxil till February 2015 and again, after a months with no med, I had my second withdrawal. But this time fortunately I found this forum and i've been able to understand what was happening to my body. I said good bye to my doctor and I started my healing process alone. I had a classical withdrawal with the pattern of windows and waves and all those symptoms morphing month by month: Panick attacks, DP/DR, anhedonia, weight loss, couldn't go out, memory loss, mood swings, sensation of burning brain, no libido, insomnia but also lethargy, light sensitivity and so on...The first year I've been like a vegetable, in my bedroom all the day, unable to function and also to empathize with my family or my dog. But I have to say that my first window started very soon, maybe after three months in the withdrawal and I've seen a lots of improvement also during the first year. Slowly the windows have become frequent and longer while the waves have become less intense and shorter. Anyway i'm not able to tell you specifically how my symptoms have changed every month because I can't remember and frankly, I prefer to forget it. All I can say is that during the second year my emotions started to came back and the panic attacks subsided completely, but i've seen also a constant improvement of all the other symptoms. Now I'm on month 23 and I can go out when I want, I'm doing sport, I have my sexuality back, I can empathize with people, I'm sleeping very well. I can hit a short wave every two or three months, especially after a stressful period. It last one or two weeks and generally my only symptoms are extreme tiredness, fatigue and low moods. Of course I'm not completely recovered but I'm also doing a very slow benzo's taper and I'm sure that part of my residual symptoms are from it. So, all I want to tell you is that there is hope. It is a long and painful process but as I've seen, the brain is really able to heal itself and time will adjust everything.
  20. Hello... Anybody still out there? I haven't posted in awhile...(okay, maybe years)! I just wanted to update anyone who remembers me from PP as gbass that I am still doing well! I recently ran into a couple guys who were taking paxil and I had completely forgotten how miserable life used to be!! I haven't been on this site in a long time because of that fact, but after speaking to these two men for awhile, I thought an encouraging word about life after Paxil might be encouraging!! It's been about 5 years since my cold turkey, and life couldn't be better! I guess the best thing to say is that there is hope for everyone and the best testimony I can give is that for two years, I remembered every day that I was no longer taking this drug and now I barely remember what it was like! I will try to visit this site more often in the future and offer any encouragement I can as well as just plain chat with old friends (not as in agewise old, just longtime friends! ). Hang in there everybody and as a very dear friend once told me, "If you find yourself in hell, keep walking"!
  21. Part 1. Sorry it is long. English is not my first language so please ignore spelling mistakes. 2012 was the year I cold turkeyed Paxil. It went good for about six weeks and then withdrawal kicked in. It started in New York when we made my birthday present trip. Imagine a long flight from Germany to New York and an excited boyfriend that wants to see every side of this city. It is hard to describe my trip back then, because I was just so weak.I couldn't walk and talk properly. Mentally and physically exhausted. My brain fog was so bad I thought my brain was permanently damaged. I was sitting on a park bench in brooklyn wanting to die while my boyfriend was busy taking photographs. Imagine you are in the city of your dreams and you just want to return to your hotel and sleep. Sleep as long as it may take to wake up and feel normal. The years of my withdrawal are just a blank space. Most of it I can't even remember. I was traumatised and a mess. Paxil flu hit me hard in my waves. Didn't matter if it was winter or summer I was wearing layers of clothes and shivering under my blanket. I still wear socks to bed after all those wd years because I might get cold. It is a habit I can't stop. I could not read. I didn't read for maybe three years. I cried when I watched Ally Mc Beal reruns. Most of the time after work I just stared at the walls or googled symptoms. I became Dr Google. I don't know how many scientific articles I have read, but I was desperate. Desperate to find an answer and desperate to get better. I would have sold everything for the magic healing pill, but pills got me here in the first place. The irony of life.
  22. wow I so admire your patience, going slow in your taper! I sure wish I'd had the sense to do that but I guess us "young'uns" are wild and foolish, hahahaha 24 years on paxil, that's a long time. It's interesting that a lot of ppl going thru wd/recovery mention the irritation and anger- I had that but it was really bad and intense because I had tapered far too quickly. I had rage, really, that came out of no where and scared the daylights out of me! that is actually what prompted me to do a search that led me to finding this forum and finding out that I was in withdrawal. I had no idea what was wrong with me! I'd been told for decades that I was "mentally ill" and the diagnosis kept changing, and for all I knew, I 'd "come down with" some new illness! that seems absurd to me now, but at the time I was really scared. Well, plus the withdrawal induced anxiety didn't help either. It's interesting that you say you "speak your mind more" but that you're "trying to control that"..... as long as you're being respectful when you speak your mind, I would think that is a healthy thing to do.....? I have always been fairly passive and not one to rock the boat, so I think I immediately see myself in what you wrote and wonder: what is wrong with speaking one's mind? so it's not a judgement or anything like that. if you don't mind me asking, why were you given paxil in the first place? for anxiety or depression or both?
  23. First off, THANK YOU for sharing your experience. I am in the middle of total hell and your experience is the first one I've read that has really been "wow-someone has been through almost exactly what I've been through and has made it." I was wondering what kind of difference you noticed by going back on 1mg of Paxil? I have been contemplating whether or not to put any of these chemicals back in my body. I'm assuming you were able to get some form of liquid paxil? Again, a sincere thank you.
  24. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    WDNormal I see WDnormal as the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves. Watching the level of WDnormal is a good indicator that things are improving. Over time you should be seeing a raising of the standard for WDnormal. So how you're feeling now is better than say six months ago. It changes very slowly but is a really good indicator. Many people have the idea that stability is feeling good again, when in fact it's feeling the same level of blah day after day with no big swings to the better or bad. When a person does a decrease in dose there will be a corresponding increase in WD symptoms over the next few days. These symptoms will resolve themselves over the following several weeks and return the person to a slightly raised baseline of discomfort. The time frame and severity are dependent on a huge number of factors and end up being unique to each individual. But the pattern remains. This is why paying attention to your WDnormal is very important. It is also referred to as listening to your body. After a decrease in dose and the symptoms have resolved to WDnormal the person then should wait a couple of more weeks to let things really settle out (there are a lot of little unfelt changer still going on) before considering doing their next drop. During that waiting time people may think that they're not doing anything and want to get on with it. When in fact doing nothing is very proactive. It's those little unfelt things that need to be finished up before the next step can be taken. It's letting the glue harden, the paint dry, the cement cure. The things that need to be complete before the path is safe to walk on again. If these details are ignored then they start to pile up and compound each other, then somewhere down the line the foundation slips out from under us and the whole thing collapses. As good as it gets for that moment. WDnormal is a sliding scale of reference for tracking overall improvements in one’s condition. As you're learning this is a very slow process and at first changes in WDnormal are very small and slow in coming. As time passes and one’s body heals those changes become more pronounced and more frequent. But it can be frustratingly slow at first. I'll bore you with a bit of my history, so you can see how I came up with the idea of WDnormal. Many people find the time frames upsetting but I truly advocate going very slowly. I'm one of the "lucky ones" in that I was only been on one drug, all be it for 23 years, which makes things a lot easier to sort out. I originally started on Paxil for Spontaneous Outbursts of Violent Anger and it really helped. In reality I should have been through counseling instead of being drugged, but that's an irrelevant part of the story. After many years on the drug it wasn't working as well so I updosed. That helped sorta but a few years later I needed to updose again. That helped for a few months, then I started downhill. It took several years and becoming totally messed up to figure out I was in severe tolerance, or what we lovingly call "poopout". Just making the decision to do something about it was a terrifying experience but after 18 years of being drugged, my marriage on the rocks and about to lose everything (probably even my life) I decided to do something about it. Again, I was lucky and found a site called PaxilProgress before I made any changes. That started the entire process. I liked the idea of the 10% taper but made a couple of modifications to make it gentler and started with that. Nothing happened. I felt as bad as I had been. Six weeks passed, and I did my second drop. Nothing happened, except maybe I felt a bit worse. This pattern kept up for about 18 months. When one day it hit me, "I hadn't felt as crappy for the past several weeks". It took another six months before I again noticed that things had improved. During this whole time all I could do was move doggedly forward making the best of it and learning to put up with and work around the symptoms. I really had no other choice. A little after two years I had my first widow. It lasted about fifteen minutes, and it wasn't until several hours later I realized it had happened. That was the point that it sunk in that the process really did work. Except for that window the rest of the time was heavy brain fog, DR, no short-term memory, dizziness, all the symptoms we know and loath. Another window opened briefly a few months later, and I noticed that I wasn't as "out of it" all the time and that I was gaining a little control over the symptoms by Acknowledging them, Accepting them and letting them Float off as I went about my life. Finally, after three years of tapering I felt like I was making progress. I could see that I was improved from where I had started even though I knew I was by no means better. I also could see that I was doing better that I was just six months before. I realized that my "base line of feeling like crap was improving or how my WD symptoms normally felt was improving. Hence WDnormal. The last two and a half years, it will be a total of five and a half for the entire taper, brought fairly steady improvement. I was able see improvements on a month over month and sometimes week over week basis. To the point that many people would say I'm back to normal by the way I function. The last several months I know I wasn’t because I was still taking the drug. During my time on and tapering off of paxil I have learned a huge amount about myself, life and how to deal with things. So WDnormal is a pretty easy concept once you think about it. In a nutshell it’s ”as good as it gets at that time.” It’s not feeling really good, it’s not feeling really bad, but rather a consistent level of feeling crappy that doesn’t change a lot from day to day for weeks at a time. The length of time involved in seeing changes in your WDnormal is the most frustrating part. The improvements don’t happen from day to day, week to week or at times month to month. In the beginning it can take six months to a year of more just to find what your WDnormal is and another six months to a year or more to see any significant improvements. However, it is the best baseline for noting that improvement
  25. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    I want to give shout out to my number one fan. My wife, Monica, has been by my side for a bit over 40 years now and I couldn't imagine life with out her there. Over the years we have faced many challenges together, one of the biggest has been my journey while on and getting off of paxil. The turn around in my life over the past eight years has been amazing. I am feeling the best I have since I started paxil all those 26 years ago. We were talking about this late last night and I was telling her about some of the friends I have made on SA and earlier on PP, and some of the things I written and people I'v helped. She has her own account here, but never uses it. She got it to lend support, but it was "your journey and I don't want to interfere", so she rarely posts. But she does get a weekly digest to see what I've been up to. While we were talking I felt a hand on my arm, we have a double wide recliner so we can sit side by side in the evening, I turned to her and saw tears streaming down her face as she said "I'm so proud of you and all you've done sniff, sniff,, sniff". We couldn't say too much for several minutes. In fact the computer is quite blurry right now as I'm trying to type. Any way, I want to say to her and everyone else, "I couldn't have done it without her, her love and support, and thank you for all of it". Now we're getting ready to go on another journey together, literally to the ends of the earth and back and I can't wait to take those next steps.
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