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  1. Hi all! Just wanted to check in here and say hello to everyone- new and old! I am an older member of the old group back on Paxil Progress and I decided to come on here and share my story since I haven't been on in quite a few years. Anyhow- I hope this provides you all with HOPE. As I know in the beginning/throws of my withdrawal journey- HOPE-from the stories of others are the only things that kept me going some days. So to provide you with some background- I was always a rambunctious, vivacious, fun loving personality- with a tendency to be a little anxious-with mild OCD- and sometimes even a little depressed. But looking back now- I think a lot of that could've been chalked up to nutritional allergies, deficiencies and just overall bad sleep/lifestyle habits. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. However back in 1999, when I was 13- my parents decided to put me on Zoloft, which was a new drug on the market back then. I immediately was calmer, sleepier and somewhat content with everything and everyone around me. Then from there I went on to Lexapro, then Celexa then ultimately Prozac. This continued for about 12 years. Then at around the age of 25 (after multiple brief failed attempts to quit SSRI's) I just decided it was 'time.' The years I was on SSRI's I was happy, content and sleepy. ALL THE TIME. Most people would say "well what's wrong with that?" I guess a small part of my soul longed for a life that had a full range of emotions and an appreciation for the ups and downs in life that force us to grow as people. I was ready to look beyond my protective shield of antidepressants and face the world head on. And I knew this was going to be a long road and a process but I knew I had to do it- there was no looking back. October 2011 is when I took my last dose of Prozac- I felt fine for about a week or so following that. And then BAM. I was hit with 24/7 brain fog, EXTREME anxiety, suicidal depression, allergies, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, bloating, adrenal/thyroid dysfunction, low grade fever, hair loss and OCD. I was literally clinging to the thought that 'this will get better, it's just drug withdrawal' for the first three months - changing everything about my life to help me- my diet, my sleeping habits, getting a less stressful job, etc etc. But withdrawal was like a black cloak around me back in those days- it was complete misery and I was so hopeless and helpless back then- NOBODY- and I mean NOBODY understood other than the folks in these forums. In early 2012 I linked up with a TCM doctor and he got me on a regime of vitamins, supplements, Chinese herbs and Bach Flower essences- this did very little at the time- but I clung to the little it did do as hope that underneath all this muck- I could be a 'normal' person one day. I struggled on... Later in 2012 I was introduced to acupuncture- that brought another glimmer of hope into my life and pushed me a little bit further along. I was still underwater- but I was now starting to swim to the surface. In early 2013- I linked up with a homeopath and she took my case and I worked with her consistently for about 2 solid years after that until mid- 2015. Around late 2014/early 2015 I started to realize that I was not needing all these 'interventions' as often as I did in the beginning of my journey. I could go months and months without any acupuncture or homeopathy or even a vitamin supplement and feel FINE. It was GREAT! Nowadays, I am fairly 'normal.' I have more good days than bad days. However though- even though my emotional/mental capacities returned- my physical body never fully recovered. I have chronic fatigue/adrenal/thyroid dysfunction. I have pretty serious food/environmental allergies that forces me to have to be EXTREMELY diligent with my diet or else I suffer bad reactions. I am HYPERSENSITIVE to vitamins, supplements, caffeine, alcohol, you name it, etc etc etc. This is all in direct correlation to my coming off of SSRI's. So it's not all roses- but- I do have hope that sometime in the future these will become less bothersome and hopefully dissipate with time. Only time will tell though. Anyhow, I just wanted to share my experience and recovery - as my journey may look different from yours- we are all trying to reach the same goal in the end! To be happy and healthy! All the best now and in the future! Penny
  2. I believe I am a success story. I took Paxil for 12 years. I weaned down but have been off medication since Aug 2012, so it was 5 years on Aug 15 2017. I was SEVERELY sick for a long time , but I refused to go back on the meds,I have the majority of my life back. I continue to teach full time, I play hockey, I hike daily. I am on a very restrictive diet,( Paleo with no grains and I really restrict sugar) I do have a chemical sensitivity but I live a very clean life. I did 1 full year of the Dynamic Neural Retraining System which has helped me big time. I have had an MRI and I have developed a small lesion in my right hemisphere. I am not able to eat things like everyone else but I look at it as though I am going to be healthier in the long run and it keeps me trim. I do yoga, i see a naturopath every month, I see a massage therapist every month. I eat well, exercise, drink alot of water, do brain retraining 20 min a day. The way I look at it there is no quick fix to withdrawal. It is an absolute hell that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Everyday it is something else but I do WHATEVER it takes and I am living a great life. So there is no quick fix. It takes time and alot of hard work. I also had my faith and knew that I was going to be well one day. I hope this shows that there is life after meds.
  3. I see those of Us who walk in Hell. On the streets. In the stores. White knuckled behind steering wheels. In passenger side seats eyes sad, but glad to be out of the house... Thank Jesus my new Christian Wife found my hidden stairs so I could climb back into the Light. We prayed on our knees then went to the supplement store and put Her research and God's Love to work. 1996-1month Prozac 20mg (horrible-intolerable) 1996-Dec 2010 Paxil 20mg/Klonopin 2mg CRASH/HOSPITALIZED freakish WD 2011-2 months 40mg Celexa, 3mg Klonopin. (felt brain fry) 03/2011 Self Prescribed 20mg Celexa/ 3mg Klonopin (bad brain zaps/OCD) Sept 1st 2014, 1 week taper then CT. 500mg X 2 Inositol and 300mg Alpha GPC for 2 months. Horror Movie OCD down 99% 1st month and brain shocks down 99% by 2nd week. Dec/2014 cut Inositol by half and stopped GPC. Able to drive and Work. Jan/2015 1 x Inositol every 2 weeks. No GPC. Feeling GREAT. I realize most think the slow taper is the only way. But I've realized we all have our own unique stories.
  4. 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!
  5. Regarding body wanting homeostasis, didn't happen in my case. I started developing circadian rhythm problems a year before I started tapering and they have only gotten worse. The other night, after consuming 1/2 can of sardines at 7pm, I felt like I had taken several ambiens and unfortunately crashed without putting on my bipap mask. Unfortunately, was only able to sleep 2 hours which has been typical of a severely fragmented sleep pattern. I have researched every possible answer so you folks who don't think I am doing enough, you might want to reconsider that. Asking if someone is investing in being a chronic patient is an extremely condescending statement. It reminds me of how people suffering from long term damage were discounted on Paxil Progress. Do you all really want to take after them? No, I don't want the sleep doctor that I am seeing in a few weeks to fix it for me. I want him to give me some ideas of why I might be having these strange difficulties and what might work to alleviate them. If he suggests light therapy, then he needs to explain why when I have tried this in the past, I fall asleep when using it, particularly in the afternoon. Do I need to just keep working the program or is something else going on? Maybe I am using it at the wrong time and he can suggest better ones? Regarding telling someone they have to work at neuroplasticity, again, that is an extremely condescending statement. Again, it sounds like this board is unintentionally becoming like Paxil Progress. If you are struggling long term, it is our own fault. You mentioned curiosity and because of that, I found out about irregular sleep wake disorder which sounds very similar to my situation. Unfortunately, having that has not solved the problem in spite of my constantly rereading articles to make sure I am not missing anything. That is why I am consulting a sleep doc who knows about circadian rhythm issues. Again, regarding telling someone to have positive thoughts, that comes across as very condescending. And as I jokingly tell people, if that really was the solution, I would have solved my mysterious sleep issues years ago. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. And by the way, my cousin several years ago was the most positive person you can think of. She still died of cancer. My mother who I considered to be a negative person although she had a very productive life, died at 93 in spite of smoking for 30 years. I think the fact she took drugs sparingly was the key although of course, I can't prove it. In summary, there seems to be the assumption that if someone is still struggling after several years, they haven't tried hard enough to get well. That really needs to stop unless you want to be seen in the same way as the old Paxil Progress Boards were. Obviously, I can't tell you all how to run your boards but I am just stating things as I see them.
  6. oh Leo I didn't have anyone specific in mind, sometimes I just look at signatures without connecting them to the member's name, to get an idea of how long people have been on lexapro. it's a horrible horrible drug! they are all bad, but it seems like paxil and lexapro are two of the hardest to get off of. you were on 4 different drugs prescribed over a short period of time! that complicates things! the more drugs you've been on, the more you have to recover from. you also had some severe problems with side effects right away. I had almost no side effects when I went on lexapro, at least very few that I noticed (there was the lexapro yawn and some tightness in my jaw, neck and shoulders, that's all I can recall) anyway we are all so different, it doesn't do much good to make comparisons then again, it's hard not to make comparisons when you're trying to gauge where you are in recovery and how much further you might have to go. I guess it's one of those things where you prepare for the worst and hope for the best, I don't know. I'm just very very fortunate (knock wood) that things went better for me that I could have hoped, is all.
  7. You mean me? On it for 3 months and still suffering 6 months later. That drug is the new Paxil from my findings. There is something that drug does to folk. Anyways i am better than i was 6 months ago. So lets see. Well done happy
  8. elbee

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Hey BrassMonkey . . . you were the first person to respond on my intro thread back in 2016, and I've appreciated your support and inspiration ever since! Congratulations on reaching so many important milestones along the way, including 1 year past zero. And thanks for continuing to share your "past zero" life experiences. One thing that's becoming increasingly clear to me is that I'm learning so many lessons and skills through my WD process that I know I will be using for the rest of my life. I place most of these skills under the umbrella term of "self-care" but there are probably many words that could be used to describe all that we are learning ("life skills" . . . "Tao," etc.). I also appreciate you sharing your continuing life challenges, some of which may be directly related to your experience / wounding with Paxil, some perhaps not. But being human isn't always easy. Life presents challenges and paradoxes. Sometimes it comes in the form of anhedonia . . . sometimes a migraine aura, sometimes depression or anxiety, sometimes shoulder injuries. It seems to me that part of the process of "healing" / "recovery" is trying to reduce discomfort, and part of the process of is learning how to work with discomfort when it presents itself. I really appreciate you being REAL -- fully human. I don't think expecting life to be all "rainbows and unicorns" post WD is a realistic expectation . . . life just doesn't work that way. Those in the throws of severe WD do need hope knowing that they can and will survive the immediate hell they are in . . . and you help to provide that in the ways you honestly share about your life . . . bumps and warts and all! Thank you for continuing to share your Tao
  9. Reading a book called Lost Connections by Johann Hari subtitle: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the unexpected solutions (He also wrote "Chasing the Scream" - haven't read that yet, and did a Ted talk about addiction, I need to see that too) I"m only about 40 pages into the book but like it so far. The author was prescribed Paxil as a teenager and was on it for 13-14yrs he chronicles in detail how he felt on it as well as his BELIEFS about the the chemical imbalance myth, and his belief that the drug was a miracle cure for him, in spite of how ineffective the drug was (as his therapist kept pointing out) and how he slowly came to realize that there were questions neither he nor his prescribing drs ever asked. Things that were never done. I'm very interested to see how the book unfolds.
  10. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site 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 Paxil since July, 1994 As much as 20mg daily 10mg daily for most of 12 years Alternated 5mg and 7.5mg daily ~ last 2 years 5mg daily June, July 2006 2.5 mg daily couple days end of July Last dose of paxil 7-31-06
  11. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    paxhell from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site 3 years off paxil - my story I don't know if you remember me but I used to visit this board alot. 3 years ago I quit paxil after taking it for 10 years, since I was 14. I did a stupid 2 month taper and really suffered. I had no libido, erectyle (sic) dysfunction, premature ejeculation (sic), chronic fatigue, severe depression, anxiety, constant headache, stomach problems, brain zaps, cold hands and feet. Now, after 3 years I am finally almost as healthy as I was before paxil. I don't suffer from fatigue, no headaches, no depression, to brain zaps, not even when I'm tired, in fact, my life is great. I've been in a relationship for 2 years now and though my libido could be a little better, I still have sex 3 times a week, no premature ejeculation (sic) and I only have to use cialis sometimes. Actually I use it more to get confidence. Most of the time I have sex without it which is something I thought would never happen 3 years ago. In fact, I was sure I would never be in a relationship again, due to my sexual problems. I'm glad how wrong I was. I am very happy and look forward to the rest of my life. I remember reading about people saying they would never get better and I was sure I was one of those people. I had no hope for the longest time. When the nice people here said I had to be patient, that I would get better eventually, I didn't believe anything would ever change. I dreaded each day and I pretty much gave up. And after one year of absolutely no change, I couldn't imagine another 2 years would make any difference. I was so sure my life was over, but it turns out the best was yet to come. I now belive that even though people can suffer from withdrawal for years without change, one day, a miracle can happen. And its funny, when one problem got solved, the others quickly followed. I am very grateful to the people here who told me never to give up. This forum might have saved my life. And what made the biggest difference? Well, I took the advise of many and started to walk one hour a day, and yes, that made ALL the difference. After a few weeks I also started exercising, not too much, just once a week. I can honestly say the first year I didn't see any difference in my recovery but 3 months of walking an hour a day, there was a huge difference. I walked and walked and I could feel my libido getting better and better every day. I would never think that exercising could boost your sex drive, now I can see it can. And soon, all the other problems went away. I wasn't sure if it was the walking so I stopped for a few weeks and my libido went down and I felt a little depressed again, so I stared walking again and all was well again. Getting your blood flowing, spending time outside, exercising just a little is so important, I believe it reversed many of my problems. I had one rule when I was outside walking, and that was not to think about paxil and withdrawal. Only happy thoughts were allowed. This was my time away from all that. Another thing I did was start seeing my friends. We had alot of fun I realized how important laughter is. I laughed and laughed with my friends and looked forward seeing them again the next day, after my walk of course. I tried to stay at home as little as I could, always keeping me busy, never thinking about how my life was ruined. I tried to see the humor in everything. It may sound stupid but you can do it. And as wonderful as the people here are, spending too much time here searching for horror stories about paxil, only made things worse. When I didn't feel like seeing people, I forced myself to do it. When I didn't have the energy for the walk, I forced myself to walk. Keeping myself busy is very important. I thought you might like to hear this, if any of you still remember me. Thanks alot and if there is anything you can learn from this post, it's that the best cure for paxil withdrawal is light exercise and faith you will get better. It takes time, but it makes all the difference. When people used to tell me that a walk could change everything I was skeptic. How can one hour of walking really make any difference when you are suffering so much? Well, it really can. And don't spend too much time on the internet, go out, spend time with people and focus on your sense of humor. And remember, walk an hour a day. Wait, have I already said that? Thank you good people and good luck. Never lose hope, not even in your darkest moments.
  12. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    AmyHate'sPaxil's Success Update 5/6/2011 From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site I made it! Finally! I have been Paxil free for a couple months now and I wanted to share with everyone that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am much much better now. I have no symptoms of w/d anymore other than a bit of irritability/impatience but I suppose I had those before I went on Paxil. lol! I feel like I'm back to my old self again. The bad things I did while under the influence of paxil in a hypomania state are all gone now. I have no desire to do those things anymore. I am FINALLY not having sugar cravings. In fact I'm ready to get a gym membership. I wouldn't say I'm jumping off the wall with energy but I'm not nearly as tired as I used to be. I'm starting to get myself back together spiritually. If I had to do it all over again I would have NEVER taken Paxil. I was a TOTALLY different person on it. I don't care for that person at all. I have some residual guilt left over, however the more I've read the Bible, the more I realize guilt is a tool of the devil if you have confessed your sin and been forgiven. So I'm learning to let it go and not let the devil win. This thread was IMMENSE help to me going through w/d. I learned so much. I realized I was not alone at all. I'm very thankful to you all. And I hope that my short note of success will give hope to those of you who are going through a difficult time now. There is an end to your suffering and life can be very good. Good luck and God bless. On paxil for 3 1/2 years 20 mgs Jan 1, 2011- 10 mgs Feb 1, 2011- 5 mgs March 16, 2011- paxil free
  13. Hi Maplegirl! I'm very happy to find your success story! Is it all still going well for you? I am just about 5 weeks off Paxil. I started tapering in November 2014 and took my last dose on March 22, 2015. After reading this site and your post, I know that what I thought was a slow taper was actually very, very fast. However, the WD was manageable until 3 weeks Paxil free. I guess that I should probably go back on some dose of Paxil, but I am hesitant for two reasons: First, I feel like a failure going backwards and secondly, I don't know how much Paxil to start back on. I was on 60 mg for about 15 years. My last dosage was 10 mg. Then I went to 0 in just a couple weeks time because I was excited to be off of it. Do you or anyone else have ideas for me? If I don't got back on Paxil now, am I going to wind up where you were at 11 months off? I hope you still read this site. Thanks for any help that you can give me.
  14. What a glorious recovery. I say glorious cause I literally imagined Angels singing as clouds part, letting sunlight in. Congrats on the end of your journey. I wanted to ask when did you start working out? I am 3 years out by January and after my short stint with benzo withdrawal I cannot for the life of me do any cardio. When I do any running, I get hit with waves and my stomach distends even further. I think the heightened cortisol from cardio creates water retention or visceral fat around belly. I am only able to do weights at the moment as it prevents my heart/adrenals from overworking but I am now building muscle under my fat. I would love to be able to burn that layer of fat. Did you push through your workouts and just bear with the waves that come with it?? Maybe I can attempt cardio after my 3 year mark. If you can't do cardio, do not do it. I started around when I was 14 months off Paxil, BUT I didnt feel like I was "ready" ready at that time at all. The first workouts were done (free workouts on youtube, search for fitness blender) and instead of resting for 1 or 2 days I had to rest for 5-7 days. It got easier the more I worked out. I read Claire Weekes book at that time and she always says "just do it, what can happen anyway?" I had the wildest things in my head. I was sure I would faint during workout or even die. But it didn't happen. It was hard for me to workout, because at that time I had this nasty 24/7 dizziness and I couldnt hold my balance, but I still pushed through. I think your comment regarding rising cortisol and water retention is pretty accurate. I, too, had this feeling that I retented more water than usual. If you are a cardio beginner, everyone will retent water, that is indeed quite normal. But I thought something was really "off" with my body. The way you describe it might be absolutely right. Maybe just continue with your weights and eat healthy. You can do toning cardio when you feel you can manage. Or try one of those fitness blenders workouts and just do the shortest one? 15 Minutes ? Take care Thanks for clarifying. It's good to know i'm not going nuts when I see my belly growing after exercising. I think I will stick to weights till my body says otherwise. I also wanted to ask, did u experience monophobia or agoraphobia? If so, how long till it vanished? Monophobia definitely NO. Regarding agoraphobia: I have been suffering from it for years- even before I took Paxil, so in this case I cannot blame it on Paxil. It did get worse in withdrawal, but like I said it started very early when I was a teenager and this is certainly one thing I cannot blame on SSRIs. I am an offical member of the "stay at home club" if I am not working If you suffer from agoraphobia, I would advise you to read Claire Weekes book "Hope and help for your nerves".
  15. Some wonderful and inspiring quotes: Quotes from the above posts (from paxilprogress.org a now defunct website). "I find the things that have really helped have generally been doing things to take my mind off it, i choose only to come on here for infomation on supplements and not read the other posts because they put worries in my mind." "For anyone that is reading and believes that these meds are changing you, just believe in yourself, thats all that matters" "I still get bouts of anxiety but I have found to manage them using the Claire Weekes method" "I've been practicing almost daily meditation, mindfulness, relaxation and/or yoga + some cognitive therapy based on "Feeling Good" by D.burns, it has obviously borne fruit!" "I can feel angry and feel like something is owed to me... or I can focus on being happy and going out and getting the things that I want. "'Recovery' isn't a secret magical process that only a few of us can attain. It is about time. It is about acceptance. I went through hell too. I thought it would never end. But then, wow it did. At the beginning of the year I went through my first rough patch post-Paxil... and I came out on the other side of that too." "No matter what you are feeling today, realize that it isn't permanent. Even when we are feeling on top of the world, that isn't permanent either (sadly enough). It is a constant ebb and flow. If you're willing to bend with that, even just a little, it will help immensely overall." "Sometimes this means making drastic changes to how you live, work, and think, sometimes it requires changing your diet and the products you use, sometimes this means having patience and faith sometimes it means forgiving yourself, moving on, and being open to life again but whatever it takes, don't be afraid -- you can get well!!" "I've really pushed myself to continue doing the things that I did before this mess, like go to sporting events, get on airplanes, road trips, concerts, crowded restaurants, hang out downtown, meet new people, etc...and while at first it was nearly impossible because the noise and excitement would feel like it literally was crushing me, now I can handle these things much better and even enjoy them." "Just push yourselves...don't overdo it but do as much as you can, and you'll find yourself doing more and more with each week that passes." "It's just a matter of time and patience, and it can be hard to muster when you're in the thick of it, but in the end you come out a champion for your strength and perseverance. Hang in there! You'll make it out. If I could do it, you can do it too." "i go to the gym as often as i can, i eat a very healthy diet. im quite thin now which is great. my skin glows. and im generally pretty well. i dont have any specific symptoms or any residual withdrawal to date and i will not allow myself to. i dont think about it and it is no longer a part of my life. its like a distant memory." "I decided to stop going to the doctors or any providers, took control of my own healthcare, and with the help of benzobuddies.org and this forum, began a slow tapering progress from trazadone (given to replace ambien), paxil and xanax (see signature). It took about 9 months to taper off of everything. I tackled one taper at a time, and took time between each to stabilize." "While our brains are adaptive and can be changed by negative stimuli to create all these problems, our brains are also influenced by positive stimuli, and negative behaviors/wiring can be undone if given time to heal, and with the help of positive reinforcement. I learned to taper off the drugs that were negatively affecting my nervous system. I learned to control the anxiety and panic feelings the drugs left me with. I learned to let my body and mind work on healing itself. I learned to minimize exposure to situations and substances that may interfere with this healing, such as caffeine, certain foods, and stressful situations." "It got to the point where I would say to myself, "I know what this is. This isn't real. This is just another wave." There were times that it would sneak up on me and I would find myself having 3 days of anxiety before I figured out what was going on." "I've really gotten into mindfulness and meditation. I meditate for 10 minutes every day and it's helped my anxiety a lot. I've been reading a ton of books on mindfulness in general and some Buddhism in particular" am, glad to report that I am doing better now. Not great, but certainly on an upward trajectory, with hopefully a 'fully recovered' endpoint waiting for me somewhere in the future." - James "Wow, never thought i'd be able to say this but I'm Paxil-Free!! I know i did it abit faster then recommended and don't suggest it for others incase they have difficulty but god this feels great. I want others to know that if i can do this, you can too, i really thought my anxiety controlled me but once I learned not to fear it, it went away." - Miranda1 "Since coming off, I've made leaps and bounds. I've made new friends, and I've started to try to conceive having a baby as a single mother. I never would have had the strength and courage to do this before!" - Lenany "At Month 48 (presently), I find myself 98% recovered and trust me, I practically feel “normal” or “myself” but BETTER." - Aeroman "5 years off Paxil: All of you suffering from withdrawal, hang in there. I promise it gets better." - ihatzaps "I want to share this because I remember how desperate I was to find a grain of hope on the internet. Just one person who could say "I've been there, and I made it. Well... I made it. And I thank God everyday. He brought me through. I'm fine, and you will be too." - Aberdeen
  16. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    "wildirishrose" from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site I have never felt Better!! Hi all, I've been on SSRI drugs for nearly 13 years now, you can see by my signature i'm on a very low dose now SO close to the end i simply cannot wait. My withdrawl from paxil was a living hell and i ended up suicidal and checked myself into a hospital, i then stayed off paxil because there was no way i was going back on it as long as i lived, however because i withdrew so quickly from a high dose my withdrawls and shock to my nervous system left me in a raw state for 6 months, and being naive at the time i thought it was my 'normal state of being' without drugs- panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, physical symptoms, depression, irriatability etc... so i went back to the Dr or drug dealer whichever you like and asked for meds to make me stable again I was put on Luvox and ended up on 200mgs- pretty high I then withdrew from 200 to 100 fairly quickly because i was unaware of the safe way to withdrawl i stayed on 100 for some time and tried here and there to reduce my dose- using this site but doing juuust a little bit quicker because 'i cant handle it' bravado shmado and ended up.... lets guess? a mess. So in the last time i did it i did it right, after all isnt the definition of stupidity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? So i spoke to some lovely people on this forum and did my own research and bit by bit taking the 3-6 weeks stabilising peroid inbetween each drop i came down, when i hit my half way mark all hell broke lose.. it really was a very traumatic time for me, especially after being medicated for so many years i had not felt my real emotions, my sensitivity and my real self in... welll.... 13 years and it was frightening I did a lot of soul searching and took a lot of supplements to help repair the damage that had been done to my brain, nervous system and body- omega 3 was incredible and i take it daily and will continue to forever. Its natures brain food and its highly beneficial for anxiety/depression. I stayed on my half way dose for 5 months, i stabilised getting to know what the real me was like under the concrete blanket of chemicals i had been covered over with It was hard, NO part of it was easy, most days were a struggle, but the best thing i learnt was to work with myself not against myself Why drop down too fast or too much? to come off quicker? i can tell you .... ive done that more times than i can count with both paxil and luvox... and you may as well pour acid into your brain and set yourself on fire because thats what your quality of life is going to resemble. I cannot urge you enough to follow this site- take it slow, steady, be kind to yourself. There is NO rush, you have the all the time you need. Don't put yourself through it, i beg of you. Once i stabilised on 50mgs, and got a feel of what life might feel like off medication... i started reducing again, and from 50mgs down for me-and everyone is different, it was (for me) barely any mental symptoms -by that i mean irritability, anger, crying, anxiety, depression, that hasnt even come into it for me because i think my body and mind got used to being nearly chemical free on the low dose of 50mgs that coming down from that has been the easiest part. What i want to say is, if you've come to a reduction where after the 3-6 weeks you dont feel 100% to drop, then dont. Stabilising for me for months was the best thing i could have possibiliy done and im so thankful i did because if i didnt and kept reducing i think i would probably still be living in the hell now. I also want to say... i have never felt better. The last time i felt this alert, confident, healthy, balanced and stable... well i was little a girl playing out in the sandpit! I have had a pretty rocky journey through my life, i'm an incest survivor and lost my sister to suicide due to our fathers abuse, an unwell mother and i bascially raised myself and then when i had trouble with that, well i was put on paxil with no questions into my behaviour. I cannot tell you how incredible it is for me to be this happy and stable and well without drugs. Its been a long battle, with medication and with psychiatry asw im sure so many of you know when you experience any kind of emotionbal instability their job is to diagnose you with things you often are not really sure you agree with, but you accept it because you're vunerable and scared and a lot of time you've forgotten who you are - who that person was before they started having emotional difficulties. Coming off my medication for me has been life saving, ive realised or rather-remembered who i am, I know me better than anyone. I know i don't need harmful medication or judgemental talk therapy to tell me who i am. I am the person i was before my life got tricky, i am that four year old girl playing in the sandpit before i ever felt sad or confused, angry or evil. Í'm a good person who's had human struggles, i am not unwell, i am not mad and i do not need drugs to 'rebalance' anything inside me. Being (so close) to med free that confirms everything i've always thought deep down. I really urge you all to listen to that part of you that believes in you and remembers you for who you really are. Good luck everyone and WELL DONE!!! 1999-2006: 60mgs Aropax (paxil). 2007: Withdrew dangerously fast from Aropax & was med free for 6 months. 2007:: Hesitantly back on meds- this time 200mg of Luvox. 2008: Withdrew too quickly to 100mgs of Luvox. 2010: Started withdrawl safely from 100mgs to 87.5mgs to 75mgs to 62.5mg to 56mgs 25/1/2011: Half way- 50mgs! 6/6/2011: 37.5mgs 25/6/2011: 25mgs 9/7/2011:: 12.5!
  17. Thank you everyone, I want you all to know it gets better. I don’t think it goes back to pre-withdrawal, you really grow as a person and learn a lot. Whether or not this experience ruins you is up to you and only you. Alto, correct, I have been off since May of 2012. I was reinstated on Paxil as well as many other drugs. Once I realized nothing was going to help, after about 6 months of new things, I decided to quit it all and start the healing process. I don’t recommend this to anyone, go slow and take your time. Stabilizing wasn’t an option for me. Paxil is very unforgiving and I believe since I had tried to quit before the drug never “worked” again the same. As far as my symptoms. I literally had everything. What hurt me the most was feeling stuck inside my body and not being able to get out and stop all the madness. I couldn’t control my thoughts, I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t feel love. I could only feel scared, alone, and confused. It was like an out of body experience to just watch me go downhill and not be able to help. I experienced depression for the first time, albeit a chemical depression caused by the drugs. It was like there was no happiness and never could there be happiness again. I struggled with intense body pain in my neck, head, back, legs, and arms. I still have pain but in contrast to then, I can’t complain. I worry I won’t be able to work out intensely again but time will prove that. I couldn’t sleep more than 3-4 hours for a year and a half. Once sleep starts to improve you know you are on your way. I can now sleep 8 hours. I do have an occasional sleepless night but that’s to be expected. I use to not be able to even take a multivitamin, now I take for the most part whatever I want. That is how I know improvement is happening, the little things. As far as waves and windows. I don’t really know how that works anymore. I use to get windows at night and wake up and have morning anxiety and crying spells. I haven’t cried out of context in over a year and a half, I can’t say if that is good or bad. I do tear up during sad movies which makes me feel good. I was worried I couldn’t feel love anymore for family, friends, or girlfriends. I now know I can. It is different than how I “loved” while on Paxil. It is more mature in a way. I love people for the right reasons and the love I feel for my family is deeper than I could ever imagine. I can say, I didn’t experience a lot of anger outbursts towards people when I was in withdrawal. I do still get a temper from time to time but I am working on that. My personality pre Paxil was fierce and competitive, it feels good to get some of that back. I do feel I am tired a lot but it’s more a relaxing tired, like easy going. I wish I could play sports and run marathons again but maybe in time. I don’t experience waves really anymore aside from perhaps physical. I would suggest my waves are feeling a little melancholy, not even depressed. I have not felt the withdrawal depression in over 1.5 years. That was absolutely awful and I feel for everyone who is in that. I am not longer angry at the world or for others who take for granted their health. Everything is relative. I am far from a perfect person but I am a person I can be proud of. I try my best to do the right things and realize I am a human and I will make mistakes. I want people to know this is a very lonely thing, but when you learn to lean on yourself and love yourself when you need it most, you will do it. Sometimes you have to cut yourself a break and just chalk the day up as survival. As far as posting as a success story, well, this is a success story. Any “healing” beyond this point is a bonus. I can tolerate what’s left, I am extremely grateful to be in the state I am in now. My nervous system is still a bit shot but I know what triggers it and I can try my best to avoid it. So yes, I consider this a recovery success story not merely an update. Yes it is an extremely odd process and at times you may ask yourself, “how can I forget this”, and the answer is you don’t forget you just stop caring once you get better. I am sorry any of you have to go through this, I am sorry I had to. But you are going through it and I went through it and you know what, we come out on the other side. I wish the best for each and every one of you, just remember you have to do it for yourself, no one else can do it for you.
  18. Hey RealMe... I just signed up today and yes there are!! I'm 72 and just starting my journey up the "SSRI FREE MOUNTAIN". Not sure I have the will (or wont) power to see this through a multi-year process but, according to my cardiologist, I'd best at least reduce my dosage. At my age there seems to be a risk associated with ADs called "QT prolongation" which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Past 20+ years has included Zoloft, Paxil and now Celexa. Dropped from 20 to 10 mg. 1 month ago and even that has been somewhat difficult. Usual symptoms found all over this forum including worsening tinnitus. Going to stick with it though! At GP's suggestion I might start Wellbutrin to help the anxiety. OLD DUDES RULE!!!
  19. I'm 61 years old. I took Paxil and then Celexa for a total of about 21 (consecutive) years. Of those 21 years, I spent the last three years and eight months tapering. I am now in recovery. My three-month point post-jump is coming up. I'M GETTING A LOT BETTER. 😃 Look up "myndfull" in Introductions.
  20. I'm 61 years old. I took Paxil and then Celexa for a total of about 21 (consecutive) years. Of those 21 years, I spent the last three years and eight months tapering. I am now in recovery. My three-month point post-jump is coming up. I'M GETTING A LOT BETTER. 😃 Look up "myndfull" in Introductions.
  21. Peachy -- I took three years, eight months to get off Celexa. I was on the stuff for about 21 years, and that includes the time I tapered. Most of that time I took Paxil. I got very low in my daily dose and finally stopped taking the medicine about three month ago. I'm healing nicely, though my recovery will probably take another year or two. There were many times when I wanted to give up. I didn't. I'm happy I didn't. I can tell you without a doubt that we heal and we get better. I'm aware of that now, in recovery, especially. I see lots of positive change just in the last month. Myndfull
  22. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    It appears to be almost a month since I've posted here. It's primarily because there isn't much to report. Things are going very smoothly. I had a bit of an off day last week with some depression starting in the afternoon and building through the next evening. No reason for it, it just happened and then went away. I've been taking time each day to work on rebuilding the shelves in the living room. We removed them a while back during the kitchen remodel when we put in the new floor. I originally built them about thirty years ago and they are in real need of cleaning up, new paint and new molding. It's turning into quite a project but I enjoy the work and don't have a fixed schedule I have to meet. We've been having quite a heat wave the past few days (100+ F/38+C) so I haven't been able to work outside. So I've been working on some inside projects as well. When I worked for the Disney company many years ago I fell in love with making animatronic figures, robotic characters used at Disneyland. I've combined this with our Halloween Haunt and I'm currently making a Trio of Singing Jack-o-lanterns. After all this time off of Paxil, 15 months now, my body is finally starting to relax and unwind. This has lead for a lot of sore muscles and a need to be careful with exercise and lifting things. I had let my yoga slide for a while so I've started that back up again and am feeling a lot better for it. I am always amazed at how slow and brutal a process this is, but I can feel the ol' bod doing it's job and getting better and better.
  23. Lexapro 12.5 mg May 2013 to July 2013 (3 Months) Paxil CR 25 mg July 2013 to November 2015 (Nearly 2 years 4 months) After completely quitting starting from Nov 2015 had serious withdrawal symptoms for next 4 to 6 months. Then symptoms completely started to fade away around July 2016 time frame. By Nov 2016 I was a new person. for what you took paxil? did you have insomnia in the wd? Lots of time spending in traffic which had led to over sensitivity of ears and Irritation to honking. This has lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Never had any insomnia since I used to spend lot of time walking in sun, and I used to do lots of exercise atleast 10km/day and 25 floors/day. This was one of the ways to combat any issues that would occur in the night. so you had insomnia before the Exercises? How long have you been in the sun? Nopes, I never had insomnia anytime.. rigorous exercises made to tiresome and used to get complete 8 hours of sleep. Every day I used to walk upto 10km mid noon for atleast 1 to 1.5 hours. Dont forget to look at the sun for atleast 30seconds every day early morning. What did you learn about the sun and its connection to the state of mind and chemistry? Where did you learn that? Healthful exposure to sunlight can help elevating mood by keeping healthful levels of serotonin resulting in balancing the circadian rhythm. When eyes are directly exposed to sunlight, one of the brain’s center hypothalamus gets activated which takes care of body clock and is also the nexus for our nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system. Balanced exposures to light and darkness are the key to creating circadian rhythms for a healthy body and good mind. Serotonin levels are known to increase with brighter light. Healthful normal circadian rhythms reveal high morning cortisol which is an adrenal stress hormone generally decreases as the day goes on. Lowest levels are in the evening when melatonin responsible for sleeping. Unbalanced cortisol levels tends to dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which plays a central role in the pathophysiology of anxiety and depressive disorders. These takes deeper understandings of biology, chemistry and psychology of Anxiety/Depressions disorders.
  24. Lexapro 12.5 mg May 2013 to July 2013 (3 Months) Paxil CR 25 mg July 2013 to November 2015 (Nearly 2 years 4 months) After completely quitting starting from Nov 2015 had serious withdrawal symptoms for next 4 to 6 months. Then symptoms completely started to fade away around July 2016 time frame. By Nov 2016 I was a new person. for what you took paxil? did you have insomnia in the wd? Lots of time spending in traffic which had led to over sensitivity of ears and Irritation to honking. This has lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Never had any insomnia since I used to spend lot of time walking in sun, and I used to do lots of exercise atleast 10km/day and 25 floors/day. This was one of the ways to combat any issues that would occur in the night. so you had insomnia before the Exercises? How long have you been in the sun? Nopes, I never had insomnia anytime.. rigorous exercises made to tiresome and used to get complete 8 hours of sleep. Every day I used to walk upto 10km mid noon for atleast 1 to 1.5 hours. Dont forget to look at the sun for atleast 30seconds every day early morning. What did you learn about the sun and its connection to the state of mind and chemistry? Where did you learn that?
  25. Lexapro 12.5 mg May 2013 to July 2013 (3 Months) Paxil CR 25 mg July 2013 to November 2015 (Nearly 2 years 4 months) After completely quitting starting from Nov 2015 had serious withdrawal symptoms for next 4 to 6 months. Then symptoms completely started to fade away around July 2016 time frame. By Nov 2016 I was a new person. for what you took paxil? did you have insomnia in the wd? Lots of time spending in traffic which had led to over sensitivity of ears and Irritation to honking. This has lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Never had any insomnia since I used to spend lot of time walking in sun, and I used to do lots of exercise atleast 10km/day and 25 floors/day. This was one of the ways to combat any issues that would occur in the night. so you had insomnia before the Exercises? How long have you been in the sun? Nopes, I never had insomnia anytime.. rigorous exercises made to tiresome and used to get complete 8 hours of sleep. Every day I used to walk upto 10km mid noon for atleast 1 to 1.5 hours. Dont forget to look at the sun for atleast 30seconds every day early morning.
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