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  1. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    An anonymous story sent via email, posted with permission 12-31-2014 After horrible withdrawal I found life again! Paxil was changing me into someone I didn't recognize, unfeeling and distant emotionally so I quit cold turkey consulting only my conscience. I had been told Paxil was safe and non-addictive, so I thought quitting would be no big deal. But withdrawal was hell. I am not sure how long it took wd to kick in or what hit first--the zaps, the Paxil flu, the weakness. I was pale, cold, sweaty, clammy and emotionally numb. I thought I was going to die. I was irrational. I was paranoid. I couldn't tell anyone how sick I was or what I was feeling or they would lock me up and say I was crazy. I was scared in my collapsing world. Each morning I made myself get up and pretend I was okay. I couldn't tell my husband life had no meaning and relationships were hollow mysteries to me. Fortunately my children were grown and my family didn't depend on my income or I would have lost everything. Getting out of bed was punishment, going to bed was punishment, everything was a punishment. I didn't know how it would end because I didn't know what "it" was. Zapping and sick I did an Internet search and discovered what "it" was, "it" was withdrawal! The zaps, the Paxil flu, the everything and there were others going through what I was experiencing! A few days after I found paxilprogress [a discontinued information and recovery support website] I told my husband I had quit Paxil cold turkey and was in withdrawal. He didn't understand but I told him I had found an online community for people like me. I told him one wd symptom-- the zaps and I read to him how someone had described them, then I told him that it was happening to me all the time. Every time I had a zap I would say "zap". He could see I looked sick but I only told him about the zaps, I was still afraid everyone (but fellow sufferers) would think I was crazy. And I was afraid to tell fellow sufferers how bad it was for fear I would be told to reinstate. By now I had thrown my Paxil away, I hated Paxil, I was afraid of Paxil, I couldn't take it again. Reinstate would mean doing all this misery again, twice as much suffering or worse-- I was not rational and felt my only option was to hang on. Cold turkey made me feel that I would never quite fit in the community that saved me. I knew I had done it wrong but was too scared to turn back. Everyday I spent hours alone looking for meaning in my life. At least I was safe when I was alone, I didn't have to pretend to be okay, in fact I could be brutally honest. At some point my wd symptoms no longer dominated my thoughts or movement. I noticed I was present to other things in my life besides paxil wd. Life was more than Paxil--how awesome is that discovery? Somehow the suffering became more distant and it faded in my memory. Lessons learned became treasures to carry forward in my life. It's hard to explain how the joy, the peace and the brightness of life returned. I didn't want my "negative" emotions masked, I wanted my emotions to be full spectrum of emotions. Death of loved ones, profound losses have come my way-grief, agony, struggles have been mine--I claim them--better than paxil numb. My spirit knows peace and stillness again. Relationships are no longer hollow. I became anchored in the land of the living again, it's a great place to be. Certainly my life is not a bed of roses but it is a garden where my spirit rejoices to be.
  2. Day 600 (March 11th 2017) 4 months shy of my two year mark. My Introduction: - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10847-%E2%98%BC-rockingchaircat-recovery-from-psychotropic-drugs-that-were-prescribed-willy-nilly/page-1 I’m a male in my early 50’s, and I’ve been on several antidepressants: Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Paxil, and other psychotropics (as prescribed by the pill pushing Docs): Benzos- Xanax and Ativan, and other crap. These pills do not ‘balance your neurotransmitters”, that is a lie- for there is no balance. Instead it’s more akin to a Symphony: Every neurotransmitter has its own part to play at it’s own time and place. My taper strategy was something I came up with in desperation after trying out some boneheaded strategies involving either: A) going cold turkey and then following the advice of a medical doctor. The Route: Cold Turkey- Freak Out. Go on Benzos. Reinstate Antidepressants. Taper off Benzos. Taper off Antidepressants. Lose what’s left of my mind. Try to regain it in recovery. The Cold Turkey route resulted in my freaking out, which segued me into trying out the Benzos on the advice of a medical doctor- which worked GREAT, but only for a short time. Then they stopped working completely. After a while with more of the same useless advice of “give it a few weeks” Or “increase the dose”- I got fed up with the docs and found the website: Benzo Buddies. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=122050.0 There- I learned of the Pharmaceutical Blasphemy- of the necessity of not taking pills. Then I got better advice about how to go about weaning myself off of Benzodiazepines properly. It took a few months but I managed to wean myself off of the Benzos that I was on. Then after a couple of stable months- I decided to taper off of my antidepressant ‘slowly’, as recommended by a different doctor. But, even that was faster than I should’ve tapered-. I thought at the time that my antidepressant withdrawal would take about the same time as it took me to wean myself off of the Benzos. Boy was I wrong. It took me much longer. Which doesn’t come as a surprise now- after all I’d been on more of them for longer than I was on the Benzos. My Coping mechanisms/Strategies during my withdrawal- included the following: 1) Amino acids, 2) Beans, 3) Exercise, 4) A Full Spectrum Light, 5) Hobbies, 6) The Internet, 7) Meditation, 8) Motivation 9) Music, 10) Nature, 11) (Orgasms), 12) & Sunlight. I also found it helpful to cut out chocolate, coffee, and eventually dairy products. Chocolate left me with a severe heartburn. Coffee left me an increased level of anxiousness- cutting it out decreased my anxiety by a measurable amount. And dairy foods made me sleepy- to the point that it was a miniature nasty fatigue day. My Withdrawal Problems: 1) Anxiety 2) Depression 3) Nasty Fatigue Days 4) General Fatigue 5) Cortisol Spikes 6) Mood Swings So- what was it like for me? Hell. I cannot put it any other way- It was Hell- it was the absolute WORST thing I’ve ever had to endure. Anxiety- A general fear that dogged me constantly- from the numerous times I woke up in the middle of the night, dealing with it’s intensity during the day- and then trying to cope with my existence after work and not being too terrible an Ogre to my wife, daughter, friends, and house cats. The fear had grown, to where everything wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t even read a novel- because of fear that the fictional characters were going to encounter hardship. And the boredom, despite the almost constant anxiety waves, I was bored out of my mind. Every hour felt like a day. Every night when I couldn’t fall asleep long enough to catch rest- I stared at the ceiling and tried to get my racing heart to calm down- for hours. Ironically enough- the first few hours of most nights I could sleep- until I started to dream. And when I started to dream- the Cortisol Spikes started up. But dreams are the time when you need the rest the most. Depression- will come back with a vengeance since you don’t have a pill to push it away anymore. So you must fight it. Depression is the Enemy. Depression- Lies. It will do its utmost to deny you reality. It will tell you that it’s not worth trying. But it’s all lies. Because it IS worth it, life is worth it. It’s all worth the trouble. During the early withdrawal phase- I often thought of steering my car into a tree, but I had to fight those thoughts, what I came up with: That driving into a tree was no guarantee of the release I sought. That in fact (knowing my luck) I’d be horribly injured, out of a truck, left with a massive amount of bills to pay with no way of paying for them- and lose my house, my job, and most importantly- the medical insurance my daughter needs to survive on. I refused to let myself end that way – that would’ve been a coward’s way out. In fact- just about anything and everything depression tells you isn’t ‘worth it’: IS. Try to remember this: If depression tells you it ain’t worth it- then you know it is. Nasty Fatigue- That was something I used to get on a regular basis- every two weeks or so during my early days. A depression so extreme that it was torture to get out of bed, and all I could manage was to lie around utterly depressed with existence and stare at the wall in complete and utter despair- for hours, often days. It was an effort to get up and go to the bathroom. I would eat- but only at the behest of my wife, and even then I could only manage a half sandwich- a day. Like so many other symptoms- it’s gone, but it took a while for it to go away. It didn’t so much stop as it melted away. In the depths of it- I would sleep. But it wasn’t in the least restful sleep. And the only way out of it that I could find- was to fight it. I forced myself to get up and stay awake. Words fail me- I simply do not have the words necessary to convey how difficult it was. It was stubborn- I had to out stubborn it. General Fatigue- everything was hard. I had no energy. I went so far as to have my Thyroid hormones checked. ALL of them, not just the usual ones the docs usually pawn off onto you as being ‘comprehensive’ when it’s not. But even that checked out fine. So in the end- no matter how awful I felt about it- I just forced myself to do things. Eventually, my body stopped fighting me so vigorously – and gave in. It was an uphill battle. Cortisol Spikes- During my Benzo withdrawal- I got to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night at FULL ALERT! Often- many times a night. Every time I dreamed- I woke up in a panic. Naturally- this ended up with me not having a decent night’s sleep- so I tried to compensate by increasing my napping. That didn’t work- because invariably I’d wake up after a second or two with still MORE anxiety from another Cortisol Spike. It took me over a year before I could nap again. Alas, I still have a bit of a phobia against naps now. Eventually the Cortisol Spikes increased to the point that I simply wasn’t getting sufficient rest. And in fact I broke down several times at work in hysterics- from sleep deprivation. Most, yet not all, were when no one else was around. Mood Swings- Self Pity- was the biggest one. Which often segued into Furious Rage at the seemingly endless hours of unending mental and physical torture. So how did I endure all of this withdrawal crap? By getting my Neurotransmitter Symphony working again; and how did I do that? Read on. Windows/Waves. I too got the Waves and Windows that just about everyone gets. But along the way I learned of ways to extend the Windows, and shorten the Waves. Full Spectrum Light/Sunlight- I got a window or two even during the beginning. But they didn’t occur often enough- or for that matter long enough- I’d get a few hours once a month- maybe. But there was one thing that initiated my first several day long window: A Verilux Full Spectrum light. It helped pull me out of the winter blahs and the crippling depression that came from decreased sunlight. Now though I never had another several day window start up because of it-even so it has helped in the subsequent recovery process. I’d recommend one for your own use- but I’d also recommend following the instructions- no more than a few minutes a day at first. Why? Because we’re all photo-phobic during our early withdrawal, and you might end up with a sunburn if you’re not careful. Because you need sunlight to help you get better. Our bodies- crave it. Sunlight sets our Circadian Rhythm- that same rhythm that was thrown out of whack by the pills. It helps us release Serotonin (to wake up) and Melatonin (to fall asleep), both neurotransmitters that help us. And I use mine every day. I’ve got the tan to match. Exercise- During all of my withdrawal- I exercised. For me, in earlier days (prior to my withdrawal) I had obtained and used a small work out gym set that I placed in my garage for weight training. I’m hardly buff, let alone ripped, but it has helped keep me fairly strong. And it made for a nice routine 3x a week. Additionally I had a bicycle I used for aerobic activity 3x a week. 1x a week I just didn’t do either- but even then I did something. Usually I did yard work or went for a walk. The point is- do something, anything. Even if all you can manage is one set of pushups- DO IT! Even that little bit will do you good. Walking- Walking is Good. I preferred to do that every day (weather permitting). Walking in a natural setting- it helps. I’m lucky in that I have a pine forest in which I can skirt. And the body needs that. You NEED to get out of the house. You MUST get out and get some fresh air. You’ll hate it at first, I guarantee it. But nonetheless You NEED to do that, Every-Single-Day. (And exercise is excellent dealing with the excess energy that comes with constant anxiety attacks.) Exercise comes with it’s own built in Happy Ending: The Endorphin rush. You’ll eventually get it, and crave it enough to keep going at it. Why? Because the Endorphins are another form of Neurotransmitters that you need. Amino Acids- Along about the time I started getting hysterical due to lack of sleep I was getting desperate. I was grasping at straws- and that’s when I discovered Taurine. It, along with some magnesium- was as close to a god send for my sleep as the Happy Light was for my depression and fatigue. The first couple of weeks taking Taurine/Magnesium- I was able to turn a corner and started getting something akin to a decent night’s sleep. Not much, but even that little was better than none. Nowadays- I still get the occasional middle of the night wakefulness from a Cortisol Spike- but it’s usually after a long stretch of dreaming. And with that success- I started researching into other aminos and eventually settled upon: Tyrosine, Taurine, and Theonine. They all had one thing in common. They were/are Neurotransmitter Pre-cursors. And what is a Neurotransmitter Precursor? It’s something the body can take and create a Neurotransmitter with. Now backing up a bit- what I learned at Benzobuddies- was that our brains and bodies- are inherently Lazy. Our bodies produce a Neurotransmitter called GABA. It’s used by the brain to calm things down. When we use a Benzo- the body adapts to it and stops producing GABA. That would be one thing. But our bodies are fiendish in that after we’ve gotten used to the pill- we develop ‘tolerance’- which is to say- that the pills stop working. The tolerance is when our bodies chose to stop producing the neurotransmitter we were augmenting/replacing with by using a pill. Thus if we stop using the benzo - what little defense we have against overstimulation- isn’t there in the quantities that it was prior to the pill use. This end result creates the waves and windows we all get to ‘enjoy’ during withdrawal. Our bodies still produce the needed neurotransmitters- just not often enough or in large enough quantities. And every now and again- for I’ve no idea reasons why- for a few hours or days our bodies produce just what level of them we need to feel OK. Those are the windows. But they don’t last- and the Waves of symptoms start up again. It’s the same thing with anti-depressants. The pills cause us to stop producing enough Serotonin or Dopamine (depending on what you’ve been prescribed). So what the hell are we supposed to do when we go off the pills? We need those neurotransmitters- yet we don’t produce enough of them anymore. Taking straight neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, or GABA, is counter-productive, when what we need is to get our bodies to produce them again. So after a suitable amount of self-research- I settled on the Amino Acids that are neurotransmitter precursors. Tyrosine is used by the body to create: Dopamine. Theanine is used by the body to create: Serotonin. And Taurine is used by the body to create GABA. And the nice thing is that you won’t overdose on them. Your body will use them to make ‘just enough’. The aminos helped me immensely. They didn’t cure the problem, but they took a LOT off of the rough edges and made my recovery- tolerable. It’s gotten to the point that my body does produce the necessary neurotransmitters on it’s own- that I’ve started tapering off of the aminos I’ve been taking. And on a couple of days- I’ve forgotten to take them without noticing that I hadn’t. Meditation- During all of this- I meditated when I could. Invariably during such meditations- I fell asleep. But even that helped in its own way. It helped me learn how to suppress in a small way the anxiety that did occur- a bit of biofeedback that helped me learn to calm down and distract myself. The suppression techniques still come in handy even now on day 600, and I imagine that they’ll still be doing me good for years to come. Though in the early days I often just wrapped myself in a heavy comforter, turned on the room fan, and stared off into space for hours while sitting on the bed in the middle of the night, and I’d do the same on the weekends both during the day and night. Hobbies- Do something you enjoy- or did. Go back to it. Even if it’s a mighty burden, sit yourself down and work on your hobby. Even if it takes you an hour- to do something that you have done in seconds before- do it. Eventually- you’ll remember the fun that you had with it before. You’ll notice that by immersing yourself into it- you can ignore the pain for a bit. Naturally you’ll look forward to doing it again. Me? I work on spaceship models. And from what I’ve learned- by taking the time to do even 5 minutes a day, and doing it slow- I do a much better job on them now. See- I learned something. Internet- I spent many an hour researching these conditions that fell into my lap. Such research led me to Benzo Buddies and Surviving Antidepressants. But it also made me appreciate how wonderful that the internet can be when it comes to distracting myself from my pain. I read somewhere that we all get a dose of Dopamine when we open another interesting page on the net. Hey- whatever works. Online games- such as Lumosity- give me something to gauge my progress in such things as fine motor skills, memory skills, and Hand/Eye coordination- all of which has suffered during the worst of my withdrawal. Of late- I’ve been trying the stuff I had to cut out: Chocolate, Coffee, Dairy foods. I’m back to eating those things again, and in fact it does make feel better to be able to do so. Chocolate makes me feel good after eating a bit. Coffee makes me feel good after drinking it. I had my first slice of pizza just the other day- it felt good after eating it. (I imagine that if I eat too much of the above I won’t be feeling quite so good- after seeing what my bathroom scale has to say!) Motivation- It’s what kept me going. What kept me going? My Wife, My Daughter- they are what kept me going. (And my Mom- she made me promise to keep going too). (No Dad though- that’s another story) I was needed - my family needed me. It wasn’t much. But sometimes that was the only thing that kept me going- was the thought that they needed me. I cannot remember how many times I woke up just as it was time to get up- and simply didn’t want to keep going anymore. I didn’t want to face yet another day of constant anxiety or fear. But I got up and did it anyways. Snuggles with the wife- helped me, the physical touch was something I needed. And Snuggles releases a neurotransmitter- Oxytocin. And there were some phrases that helped motivate me through many a hard day- and they’re still something I occasionally have to fall back on when things get tough mentally: 1) Be Here Now 2) Accept 3) Pain is Mandatory- Suffering is Optional These three phrases tie in with each other. #1 Be Here Now; is the motivation that you are only in the now- and for you to not fixate upon the timeline of your withdrawal. The past is done, the future will come, but it’s best to focus on the immediate now and what you can do with it. #2 is about the immediate now- refusing to accept what’s going on in withdrawal will just make it worse. By Accepting that this is the way things are- you actually gain a sort of control over it all # 3- There is the Pain of Withdrawal- you can find ways to cope with the pain. Suffering is what comes about when you refuse to accept what is. You can choose to not be the person subjected to an endless misery of withdrawal. Yes I was in Withdrawal- but I choose to be more than a person in withdrawal- I chose instead to try and enjoy life as much as I could in between the wave crests. In both my benzo and antidepressant withdrawal blogs- I griped something fierce about it all. For that I make no apology. For I also chose to try and grab onto whatever little pleasures and triumphs I could garner when I was able to. Nature- There’s something about the forest, or even alone time next to a lake that helped me to calm down after a particularly grueling week or day. I got a few spiritual moments from the interplay of light in the clouds along with the wind in the leaves. Those few moments came at a time that I needed them. Music- I remember reading in a Science Magazine- that Music gets just about every area in the brain running. And that’s something that you need. The pills make our brains ‘soft’, music helps reboot it, it’ll evoke memories both good and bad. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh. And that’s what you need to do to get your neurotransmitters kicking in again. Beans- So what’s the big to do about beans? Gastrointestinal Health is paramount. Even though all of the other stuff I’ve listed above helped- I’ve also still had a number of problems involving Cortisol Spikes, the one thing that helped me well with that (after the Taurine) were Beans. I’ve found that the addition of a couple of tablespoons worth of Black Beans with dinner- seemed to lessen the number and frequency of Cortisol Spikes. I’m not exactly sure why this happens- though I have my suspicions. From what I understand- they’re a good source of something called Oligosaccharides. I learned about them after watching a documentary about Human Breast Milk. Apparently- Human Breast Milks’ primary ingredients include: 1) Water, 2) Fats, 3) Proteins, and 4) Oligosaccharides. So what are they? They’re a form of sugar that humans cannot digest. Now why on earth would humans produce something that babies cannot digest? Apparently the oligosaccharides are digested by a form of bacteria in the human gut- Beneficial Bacteria. The kind of bacteria that not only promotes our health in our guts but also helps us from - amongst other things- getting depressed. Long story short- Beans help you calm down and helps to prevent you from getting depression. Weird huh? Orgasms- Orgasms make you feel better. Orgasms release several feel good neurotransmitters. If you can- go for it. Hitachi wands are helpful in that regard for some folks. What’s it like for me now? I still get depressive. I still have bad days. But I’m also having good days. I’m enjoying life again. My hobbies are fun again. I’m spending time with my wife enjoying the amenities that my house and internet has to offer. (Netflix!) I’m honestly laughing again. For the longest time I forced myself to. After a while- I was able to give an honest laugh. That was a relief. Laughing- makes me feel better. Now- I can laugh spontaneously. Laughter releases Neurotransmitters. Crying- that too was near impossible for me. Now- I cry every few days. Crying- makes me feel better. I’m not up to crying spontaneously- but I’m working on it. I appreciate the time I have with my wife. I appreciate the time I have with my daughter. These times are so precious to me now. Weight loss- I still get hungry and I’m inclined to overeat if I’m not careful. Somehow I’ve still managed to lose about three pants sizes. I’ve still a ways to go, but such is a nice feeling. On the antidepressants- even mild hunger felt like I starving to death. In fact, there were times that I kept shoving food down my throat despite being so full that I was vomiting out food- but I was still famished- I couldn't achieve satiation. Now- it’s not. It’s bearable. I feel hunger, and it’s easily satisfied. I’ve lost a lot of my health due to trusting the medical doctors. I now am short one gall bladder- due to the gastrointestinal upsets my body underwent from the initial cold turkey. It was a journey of discovery for me when I found out that so many medical doctors- just don’t give a damn about folks’ suffering. Compassion Fatigue it’s called. My antidepressants- also caused me to react to allergens even more violently- I now need a CPAP to breathe at night- due to an Emergency Room visit in which some idiot botched my intubation during a visit due to a food impaction in my esophagus caused by a food allergy. During that little escapade they also managed to pierce my esophagus and I came close to needing a transfusion. And it managed to screw up my trachea too, Joy. For some reason- I find I cannot trust the Medicos as much as I did before. Why should I? They give us pills when they know they shouldn’t. During my withdrawal- I ended up going to the ER at least 6 or 7 times for things. On 5 of those visits- they gave me a scrip for Oxycodone tablets. Only two of which I put in for at the time. The other 3 I just tore up and threw away. And of those I kept- I used maybe a half dozen tablets- the rest of the contents of the bottles- I threw away. Day 600. March 11, 2017. 4 months shy of my two year mark. That’s the two year mark after tapering off of my antidepressant. That’s not including the time I spent from going cold turkey to now. Let’s see, including that turns out to be: 1048 days. Nasty. I’ve lost nearly 2 decades of my life to this crap. Thanks for nothing there Mr. Hippocratic Oath. And I’ve found that I’ve been having an issue with a short temper quite often of late. It could be a form of PTSD, it could be part of my personality that I’ve always had but never learned to control or channel. If so- then it’s past time for me to learn some anger/frustration management techniques. Which I'm doing now. Now, I'm having to relearn how to be a mature and responsible adult. It's an interesting time.
  3. Hello pug I’ve read your success story a few time now and it gives me real hope I will recover. My journey started last August with poop out on Paxil. a too fast taper left me unstable from Feb this year and I’m now holding. Can I ask you , you said you had some symptoms for years was depression and anxiety two of them and did you have episodes of better and worse months with them for no reason ? As this is what I seem to be having . Last month they were relatively low but this month they are high. Thank you for posting your story it’s a lifesaver . How are you now?
  4. Thanks so much, asjf, for posting this. It's so kind and brave to come back and encourage others still caught up in this nightmare. I'm not very active on this site, as I'm still in the thick of it. I find it all overwhelming and I focus all my strength on just keeping my head on straight and getting through the days, but I come here often to read the success stories. Our timelines and meds are somewhat similar. I did a too-fast taper off Paxil in late 2015, and suffered greatly. I then ignorantly cold-turkeyed off Klonopin (clonazepam) in December 2016. I've been medication-free for almost 30 months now, and 42 months off antidepressants. Of course much has improved, but I'm far from recovered. I echo Jackie's question.... how long did it take for you to feel you'd healed? Did it take the whole five years? I know it's somewhat selfish to always ask, "How long... how long..??" But after 42 months of trying to hold on.... well, any hope you can offer would be very welcome. Thanks again - I hope you have a beautiful life.
  5. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    Sarah From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site Positive post and encouragement from someone who was on paxil for 10 years Hi All. Some may remember me i posted on here a while ago. I thought i would update. I was on paxil (aropax) for 10 years. I have dozens of attempts to get off and was very very unwell as many here are. I had multiple complications from withdrawal including heart problems, thyroid problems, blood sugar problems, not to mention some of the other symptoms during withdrawal such as dizziness, nausea etc Anyways i thought i would let everyone know i have not taken paxil now for just over 1 year. THe day i hit my 10 year anniversary of being on paxil i decided i had had enough and i would never take it again. i had weaned down to 2.5mg and just decided to go off it and that was it. I did suffer and admitedly through the withdrawal process which took me a few years i had jobs i had to quit because when i would taper down i was so ill. However after a short period of time i started to feel better. and ive only got better from there. to a point where i almost forget i was even on the stuff and the hell i went through on it. 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 do have some residual things such as low thyroid, not as good blood sugar control and really dry hair and skin. but at the end of the day they may be related to the paxil or they may be random and i dont care. My moods can fluctuate a bit. I can occasionally get down. but i just pull myself out and tell myself to get over it. haha generally life is pretty awesome. i never thought i would get of paxil. i was told i never would. and no one believed how sick i got until i found this site. i wasnt sure how i would go off and if i would have to go back on. but im good. im greatful to this site for teaching me how to wean off rather than the dreadful cold turkeys i tried and failed many times. i cant wait for the rest of my life. I hope everyone here continues to persue and gets off this dreadful medication Sarah 2000 20mg Paxil for depression/anxiety 2002 Doc advised stop taking CT - Bad idea 2002 Recommenced 20mg then increased 40mg 2003 several failed weaning attempts 2004 failed C/T again 2005 Dropped from 40mg to 20mg 2006 Changed to Lexapro to help wean, symptoms to severe - back to paxil 20mg 2007 Feb 20mg - 17.5mg 11 March 12.5 26th March 2007 - 10mg Aug 09 - 9.5mg sept 09 8.5mg oct 09 7.5mg Nov 09 5mg december 09 2.5mg jan 2010 0mg Paxil Free since Jan 2010
  6. Longroadhome

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Thank you for this post Brass you keep me going can I ask a question please i have been offered steroid injections to some damage I have in my elbow and hip called Bursitis. Is a steroid injection ok to have while going through wd. Im holding on Paxil 8:4 mg from February from a too fast taper . Obviously don’t want steroid if it’s going to make my symptoms worse. one other question can anxiety and depression go up and down in severity during wd even though I’m holding and haven’t made any changes as it has worsened over a few weeks from being low level for no apparent reason ? thank you for continuing to support us .
  7. Part 2 Withdrawal taught me one thing. My body without drugs forgave me everything, but Paxil changed the game rules. I had to change my life style and be patient. Too much stress ?hello new wave. Too much junk food ?Increased dizziness. Don't get me wrong. Waves and windows came and went even when I was living the healthiest I have known, but I realized there were things that actually helped me and made me maybe 10% better than usual. Things that helped in wd: Sport - first walking than later hiit and cardio No alcohol Sleep of 7-8 hours No soft drinks and only one cup of coffee ( bulletproof for a long time with lots of coconut oil ) Healthy food . Reduced carbs. Low histamine foods No fast food Turning up to events and just trying to stay there even if it was for 30 minutes. I was always the first one to leave but I tried. God damn I tried. Working ( full time was indeed horrible, but I had to ...part time work would have been better ) Claire Weekes book ! Read it ! Daily routines .Waking up early, showering, not staying in bed, going out or somehow distracting myself ( vacuuming became my new hobby- kind of sad) Not helped B vitamins and a million other supplements and weird detox teas I bought Crazy liver detox I did at a dr's office Daytime naps . Always woke up sweaty and with a racing heart Stress in general / toxic friends Obsessively googling and spending hours on paxilprogress later on SA. I reduced that time from about 6 -8 hours daily to a max of 30 minutes Gluten, sugar,high histamine foods Nowadays. I am 34 years old, but I feel much older. I walked through hell and somehow survived it. I am deeply grateful for my friends and family and my three cats. My boyfriend broke up with me after 1,5 year of withdrawal hell. I always understood why he did it. It was a horrible time and I pushed people away,because i thought i will never get better. I am in a new relationship, but to be honest men are not my priority anymore. As weird it may sound, but my health is the most important aspect of my life. I love to cook now, I used to live on fast food, chocolate, crisps and litres of coca Cola.I gained 30 pounds in my time on Paxil. Most of it went to my paxil belly. I did lose that gut, but it was hard work. Paxil messes with our hormones and our metabolism. I lost a lot of hair in withdrawal. My doc says it is androgenetic alopecia. It might be or it might be the last present of Paxil, but I will never know and I don't even care. I am lucky to be alive. I work out 5-6 times a week.I have finished most of the beachbody programs and I am currently doing Kayla Itsines. I can read again and watch sad movies without getting suicidal. I work full time, but try not to do overtime hours. I am addicted to instagram now ( we can chat via pm if you want. My account is the_reading_cat ) instead of antidepressant forums. I will always be stress intolerant. When I get stressed out, I get an occasional hint of depression and dizziness. It is a reminder for me to go slow and just breathe. Yesterday we went out for drinks and burritos and I stayed very late and felt awesome. Those little things...drinking a Pina Colada and eating a burrito with double cheese in the sunshine with my friends. They will never understand that those moments are so god damn precious. They haven't been there where we all were. You cannot tell them, you will never find the right words of that despair in your heart that destroyed you every ******* hour. I know most people don't come back here and I guess I know why. Deep down there will always be that small voice that is whispering "maybe it is not over. Maybe a next wave will roll over you soon. It is too early to post a success story" All those recovered people just try to make everything out of their lives right now, because time is precious and we have wasted so many years. There are so many countries to visit,so many new foods to try and so many sun rays to catch. Don't give up now. It will get better.
  8. Hi Mapleleafgirl. Thank you so much for writing your success story. It definitely gives me hope. I've been on paxil for 20 years and hope i will succeed in my taper. Right now I'm trying to stabilize on paxil 7.5mg. I was on 20 mg, but switched over to liquid prozac, hoping the taper would be easier on this. Unfortunately, the switch didn't work. I took this for 5 weeks, but stopped and went back to liquid paxil, but at 7.5mg. I was afraid to go any higher since it is recommended to reinstate at much lower dose. It's been 4 weeks now reinstating the paxil...my anxiety is starting to lift, but i still get burning and tingling in my chest and arms that tends to come and go all day long. Did you get any of this when you reinstated? Also, did you have weight gain on paxil? I gained about 15 to 20 pounds. Did you have any weight lose during your tapering down? Or did the weight come off once you were completely off paxil? I'm so happy for you that you succeeded in getting off Paxil!!! You must feel so proud! I'm certainly proud of you! Ladybug99
  9. Gracee

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Yup, I'm one of those long-time-Paxil-members. I've learned enough over the years to know WD is not a race. I'm so old, I'll probably go to the grave tapering. BTW, T__, I remember you from the PP days. Glad you were able to fulfill your travel dream. Best Wishes, G.
  10. Longroadhome

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Well done on your 2 year anniversary Brass Monkey you should be very proud !! you give all us new Paxil members hope and I thank you for that. Good luck with the ops and may you have a fast recovery !
  11. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    I just realized that I've overlooked a nonevent that was actually pretty important. This last Monday marked the 2 year anniversary of my hitting "0". So much has happened and so much has changed in that time it completely skipped my mind. Other than having an 18 month wave that lasted a couple of weeks there has been nothing really to report. I will admit that I've been rather distracted the past several months with the trip and any physical symptoms would have been over shadowed by the ongoing problems with the kidney stone and shoulder. But really, I haven't felt anything that could be chalked up to WD. I have my preop appointment for removing the kidney stone in a couple of hours and the operation date has been set for several weeks from now, so that is in the works. The constant irritation of the stent is quite bothersome and rather painful at times. Combine that with the daily muscle spams in the shoulder, which can be quite painful, I'm not a happy camper ATM. But there is an endpoint in sight for part of it and once that's out of the way I'll get going on the rest. I've noticed that we have a number of new members who have been on Paxil for a long time. I'll tell you it is possible to get off of it and return to a pretty normal life, but it has to be done in a very slow and controlled manner. And for everyone else out there, please don't talk yourself into the "I want these drugs out of my body now" frame of mind. We have proved time and again that trying to go fast will actually take a longer time then if you do a slow and controlled taper. You will get there and we want you to do it in the least painful manner. So take your time and do it right, do overs take a long time to get under control and sometimes are not an option.
  12. Vonnegutjunky

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Just stopping by to say thank you so much for the hope brass. I know you are not around and are busy living life! I am down to 7.3mg of Paxil after being on for 12 years now. I also experienced poopout. I was down to 6.8 and started having bizarre obsessive intrusive thoughts, I am actually tapering slower than you. So I went back up to 7.3mg, and it stopped 5e intrusive thoughts, but I am afraid to taper, until I read your thread. So I will taper slower than I was in hopes of finally being med free. Thank you
  13. I just realized that my previous post retained all the shades of green from the PP website, which I found a little irritating to the eyes, so here's that same post without the green. --------------------------------------------- #1 750 DAYS/RECOVERY FROM ADVERSE REACTION AGUY (from paxilprogress, a now defunct website) aguy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction Hi, I couldnt find my old post with my updates on it, but it has been some time (years i think) since I have been on here, and I was just feeling well enough to come on and make a report. Just the fact that I am able to feel calm again while writing would have been enough for me to be happy, I would have settled for semi-functional. I became aware of many things which would aggravate systems in the body, and I cut them out, I just ate natural food as much as possible and basically just allowed my body to do its thing without feeding it extra burdenous waste. There are many things that I believe help the body repair, but many people do not believe the same things that I do so if you want to contact me in private I can give you more information, however many of these things are covered on here at least in part such as Omega 3's etc, but I can go into detail as I know it helps reading things that give you hope. I am much better, and semi-functional, however I am very sensitive to stress, and assume it will take some time, perhaps years to gain a stress threshold, however it is very likely that my reaction in the first place was caused by sensitivity so just returning to baseline is a huge goal. I just wanted to give people hope because I was under the impression that I would be gone forever because my reaction came from such a small amount, and no one seemed to understand it, so if anyone has such a reaction from a few pills, just know that it has happened to others, probably some of which havent even found this site, these are just the ones we know of. The good news is that if you make it easy on your body, and if you find some way to get through 750 days etc (counting days makes it seem like you are getting somewhere), then you can likely make progress such as I have. Alot of this came all at once to the point to where you feel like you are not making progress at all 2 years into it but then a month goes by and something subtle happens then the same in another couple. It is very subtle in this sense. I did focus on nutrition, which I consider 100 percent essential, but your body will do its best if you cannot afford the best foods, it will extract what it can. As far as an exact, I would estimate my homeostasis at around 85% when things are optimal, and perhaps peaking at 90 or so functionality-wise. This is obviously subject to stressors. I will continue on my nutrional pursuit, as some things that I believe were caused by the body making repairs, thus robbing other areas of nutrients in order to adapt, has taxed my body, but in reality it is worth it even with the effects I have been left with, just to have a relative calm state. I will keep pushing forward and see if I cannot perhaps feel better than I felt even before stumbling down the dark road of pharmaceuticals. I encourage all to pursue your course, and in due time if you do not give up, you will reap rewards. -------------------------- #2: LOV4K9 18 MONTHS AFTER ADVERSE REACTION DUE TO KINDLING REACTION 8 years on Prozac Restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction Here was my recovery timeline: Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings. Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare). Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to. ---------------------------------------- #3. 5 YEAR RECOVERY HOPE Hi Everyone, I hope all is well and everyone is doing well and making progress. I wanted to check in because I've recently been talking to someone who is needing to get off their antidepressants. I've referred them to this site. I was on Paxil for 7 years and it took me about 5 years to completely recover from the discontinuation syndrome. I am doing pretty well. My short term memory took a huge hit and I do miss my brain, but am able to work around it with lists, and post-it notes. I'm working full-time in a pretty rough high school and am managing the stress like any normal person (so much for that anxiety disorder diagnosis). I teach special education. I've been back to work for 4 years. I did a lot of alternative medicine. Saw a few quacks along the way. But first and foremost, I would encourage anyone going through this to go slow and be patient with the process. For some people, like me, getting off the drugs wasn't the tough part, it was the part afterwards - getting my brain chemistry nervous system to normalize and recover (HUGE), and to learn to deal with life without something to numb difficult situations. We've been through my husband losing his job, my son doing a tour in Afghanistan, and a few other tough life events. And I got through them without drugs. I began allowing myself permission to feel: to laugh out loud at inappropriate moments, to be really happy, to be really angry, to cry, to worry, and to pray. I want to add that I've always been sensitive to wheat products. Once I really cleaned the gluten out of my diet, I really began to feel better. I noticed that when I'd eat gluten products, I'd start to feel the blues. A good friend of mine told me about that side-effect of gluten and that was life altering for me. I also don't eat dairy or wheat and try to eat as cleanly as possible. I hope you guys are all making progress. I don't go through this site. The process for me was traumatic and I really want to move forward. Going back and looking at what I went through is still tough. But I know my situation can help others. So I do feel an obligation to share and give someone else help and hope. Take care everyone. Diana -------------------------------------------------------------- #4 AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years ________________________________________ Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal. Currently I cope with: arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated. numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement. Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all. I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time. I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point. I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will. akaenew ------------------------------------- #5 English Annie (idk?) 19 MONTH UPDATE English Annie!! God Bless Her!! WELL, I ASKED FOR IT : A RECOVERY STORY And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg. Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying. Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011.Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly. When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal. But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out. On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since. At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks. I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now. "THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher) ------------------------------------------ #6 (Seems like 5-7 years later?) Very interesting story, highly recommended reading: Shea Carney It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred. I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best. The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about. Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed. So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard. AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family. I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit. I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates. So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing. I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time. ~Shea Carney ----------------------------------- #7 3 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up. This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care. Ricky ---------------------- #8 *Success Story* ~ almost five years since my last pill posted by pinesiskin Quote: Hi Paxilprogress Peeps ~ I haven't been on here in ages but was just lying in bed tonight feeling grateful for my journey and for these past few years, and I felt moved to share with you. So here I am! I hope my story gives someone hope that things can get much, much better. I would call myself 500% recovered. I have been recovered for years now...I think I posted about it three years ago, perhaps? But sometimes it's good for people to know that we can improve steadily and permanently! I love my life, and I feel like I've grown and healed in ways I can't really comprehend. I have a loving family and great friends, a spiritual path that feeds my soul, and I am thankful for every day. My marriage is stronger than it's ever been. I garden, raise chickens and rabbits, and study Chinese Medicine. I am in excellent health and can eat whatever I want! (That has significantly improved over the past few years - I had a lot of sensitivities for a while.) I never thought I'd be here. I want to give my utmost thanks to anyone and everyone who helped me along the way. Please accept my humble gratitude! So, five or so years ago I was an absolute disaster - after having an impossible time trying to get off AD's and anti-anxiety meds, yo-yo'ing on and off of pills, being hospitalized, put on more pills, and finally cold turkeying off everything, I was in really, really, bad shape. I mean, BAD. Physically, mentally, in just about every way. I attempted suicide. I totally lost touch with myself, with reality, with life...nobody knew what to do to help me. My hair fell out, my body did all kinds of freaky things...I was totally sick, emaciated, and lost for close to a year. It was horrible. The worst of it was, I was caring for an infant and was terrified that I was damaging my daughter, too. I was one of those paxilprogress worst-case-scenarios! Any of my old posts can attest to this (I haven't read them again and don't want to, they are pretty crazy! Please just take my word for it!) The 'med/med-withdrawal years' were a terrifying time in my life, and it gives me such empathy for anyone who is suffering. Those who haven't been there really can't know. For those of you in the thick of it, I just want to give a gentle reminder that all things really do pass. Sometimes it takes help to get them to pass in a more timely manner, but yes, things really will change. I didn't believe this when I was wrapped up in crisis-mode, and my panic exacerbated my problems. I made all kinds of rash decisions just hoping that something was going to fix it, and I rushed around getting myself further entangled. But I understand how hard it is to not want to run around looking for answers. It's really hard to feel so out of control. I didn't make it through this alone, and I owe much of my success to those who helped me through and kept me on this planet during those dark times. Yes, healing happens! Miracles happen! Our bodies know how to heal, they want to heal. You can get better. I won't tell you what to do or how to go about it, we are all unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. But please, know that there is another side, and that you can get there. I don't spend much time thinking about what I went through any more, though when I do it serves as a reminder to be grateful for every day and to help others as best I can. I have three children now, and am a very busy being a mom, a wife, a student, and an urban farmer. My daughter, who was a baby during my dark days, is now a kindergartener. She is strong, empathetic, and grounded, with lots of friends. When she was a baby I was so worried that what I went through would 'mess her up' but she is totally solid. I healed, and our family healed too. Even through all my illness, when my mind was in shambles, when I couldn't feel my heart at all, she knew that my heart and soul loved her. We are very close and our bond is unbroken. We didn't plan to have more children after what I went through, and had two surprises. Both were born natural, without complications - one in a bathtub! At first I was very scared to find out I was pregnant after all I'd been through, but there was nothing to fear. Birthing my son (our second child) helped me to fully understand that the storm was over, the darkness was really behind me. Thanks for reading my story. If you are reading this and you are suffering, I hope you know that you have every reason in the world to have hope. Don't give up on it. Let your hope guide you, not your panic, or your fears. Please hold onto that, if you are feeling scared or alone. Know that there is a future waiting for you that you can't imagine, and it might be better than you ever dreamed. Thank you ~ take care ~ <3 Kate
  14. Here's some more - I just can't help but post these, I feel so much hope looking through these stories. I hope someone else reads these stories and feels the same!! This post includes some unique recovery stories of adverse reactions (I have read very very few recovery stories from those who have had an adverse reaction, so I hope this gives people out there like myself some hope: --------------------------------------------- #1 750 DAYS/RECOVERY FROM ADVERSE REACTION AGUY (from paxilprogress, a now defunct website) aguy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction Hi, I couldnt find my old post with my updates on it, but it has been some time (years i think) since I have been on here, and I was just feeling well enough to come on and make a report. Just the fact that I am able to feel calm again while writing would have been enough for me to be happy, I would have settled for semi-functional. I became aware of many things which would aggravate systems in the body, and I cut them out, I just ate natural food as much as possible and basically just allowed my body to do its thing without feeding it extra burdenous waste. There are many things that I believe help the body repair, but many people do not believe the same things that I do so if you want to contact me in private I can give you more information, however many of these things are covered on here at least in part such as Omega 3's etc, but I can go into detail as I know it helps reading things that give you hope. I am much better, and semi-functional, however I am very sensitive to stress, and assume it will take some time, perhaps years to gain a stress threshold, however it is very likely that my reaction in the first place was caused by sensitivity so just returning to baseline is a huge goal. I just wanted to give people hope because I was under the impression that I would be gone forever because my reaction came from such a small amount, and no one seemed to understand it, so if anyone has such a reaction from a few pills, just know that it has happened to others, probably some of which havent even found this site, these are just the ones we know of. The good news is that if you make it easy on your body, and if you find some way to get through 750 days etc (counting days makes it seem like you are getting somewhere), then you can likely make progress such as I have. Alot of this came all at once to the point to where you feel like you are not making progress at all 2 years into it but then a month goes by and something subtle happens then the same in another couple. It is very subtle in this sense. I did focus on nutrition, which I consider 100 percent essential, but your body will do its best if you cannot afford the best foods, it will extract what it can. As far as an exact, I would estimate my homeostasis at around 85% when things are optimal, and perhaps peaking at 90 or so functionality-wise. This is obviously subject to stressors. I will continue on my nutrional pursuit, as some things that I believe were caused by the body making repairs, thus robbing other areas of nutrients in order to adapt, has taxed my body, but in reality it is worth it even with the effects I have been left with, just to have a relative calm state. I will keep pushing forward and see if I cannot perhaps feel better than I felt even before stumbling down the dark road of pharmaceuticals. I encourage all to pursue your course, and in due time if you do not give up, you will reap rewards. -------------------------- #2: LOV4K9 18 MONTHS AFTER ADVERSE REACTION DUE TO KINDLING REACTION 8 years on Prozac Restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction Here was my recovery timeline: Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings. Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare). Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to. ---------------------------------------- #3. 5 YEAR RECOVERY HOPE Hi Everyone, I hope all is well and everyone is doing well and making progress. I wanted to check in because I've recently been talking to someone who is needing to get off their antidepressants. I've referred them to this site. I was on Paxil for 7 years and it took me about 5 years to completely recover from the discontinuation syndrome. I am doing pretty well. My short term memory took a huge hit and I do miss my brain, but am able to work around it with lists, and post-it notes. I'm working full-time in a pretty rough high school and am managing the stress like any normal person (so much for that anxiety disorder diagnosis). I teach special education. I've been back to work for 4 years. I did a lot of alternative medicine. Saw a few quacks along the way. But first and foremost, I would encourage anyone going through this to go slow and be patient with the process. For some people, like me, getting off the drugs wasn't the tough part, it was the part afterwards - getting my brain chemistry nervous system to normalize and recover (HUGE), and to learn to deal with life without something to numb difficult situations. We've been through my husband losing his job, my son doing a tour in Afghanistan, and a few other tough life events. And I got through them without drugs. I began allowing myself permission to feel: to laugh out loud at inappropriate moments, to be really happy, to be really angry, to cry, to worry, and to pray. I want to add that I've always been sensitive to wheat products. Once I really cleaned the gluten out of my diet, I really began to feel better. I noticed that when I'd eat gluten products, I'd start to feel the blues. A good friend of mine told me about that side-effect of gluten and that was life altering for me. I also don't eat dairy or wheat and try to eat as cleanly as possible. I hope you guys are all making progress. I don't go through this site. The process for me was traumatic and I really want to move forward. Going back and looking at what I went through is still tough. But I know my situation can help others. So I do feel an obligation to share and give someone else help and hope. Take care everyone. Diana -------------------------------------------------------------- #4 AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years ________________________________________ Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal. Currently I cope with: arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated. numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement. Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all. I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time. I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point. I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will. akaenew ------------------------------------- #5 English Annie (idk?) 19 MONTH UPDATE English Annie!! God Bless Her!! WELL, I ASKED FOR IT : A RECOVERY STORY And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg. Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying. Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011.Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly. When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal. But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out. On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since. At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks. I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now. "THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher) ------------------------------------------ #6 (Seems like 5-7 years later?) Very interesting story, highly recommended reading: Shea Carney It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred. I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best. The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about. Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed. So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard. AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family. I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit. I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates. So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing. I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time. ~Shea Carney ----------------------------------- #7 3 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up. This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care. Ricky ---------------------- #8 *Success Story* ~ almost five years since my last pill posted by pinesiskin Quote: Hi Paxilprogress Peeps ~ I haven't been on here in ages but was just lying in bed tonight feeling grateful for my journey and for these past few years, and I felt moved to share with you. So here I am! I hope my story gives someone hope that things can get much, much better. I would call myself 500% recovered. I have been recovered for years now...I think I posted about it three years ago, perhaps? But sometimes it's good for people to know that we can improve steadily and permanently! I love my life, and I feel like I've grown and healed in ways I can't really comprehend. I have a loving family and great friends, a spiritual path that feeds my soul, and I am thankful for every day. My marriage is stronger than it's ever been. I garden, raise chickens and rabbits, and study Chinese Medicine. I am in excellent health and can eat whatever I want! (That has significantly improved over the past few years - I had a lot of sensitivities for a while.) I never thought I'd be here. I want to give my utmost thanks to anyone and everyone who helped me along the way. Please accept my humble gratitude! So, five or so years ago I was an absolute disaster - after having an impossible time trying to get off AD's and anti-anxiety meds, yo-yo'ing on and off of pills, being hospitalized, put on more pills, and finally cold turkeying off everything, I was in really, really, bad shape. I mean, BAD. Physically, mentally, in just about every way. I attempted suicide. I totally lost touch with myself, with reality, with life...nobody knew what to do to help me. My hair fell out, my body did all kinds of freaky things...I was totally sick, emaciated, and lost for close to a year. It was horrible. The worst of it was, I was caring for an infant and was terrified that I was damaging my daughter, too. I was one of those paxilprogress worst-case-scenarios! Any of my old posts can attest to this (I haven't read them again and don't want to, they are pretty crazy! Please just take my word for it!) The 'med/med-withdrawal years' were a terrifying time in my life, and it gives me such empathy for anyone who is suffering. Those who haven't been there really can't know. For those of you in the thick of it, I just want to give a gentle reminder that all things really do pass. Sometimes it takes help to get them to pass in a more timely manner, but yes, things really will change. I didn't believe this when I was wrapped up in crisis-mode, and my panic exacerbated my problems. I made all kinds of rash decisions just hoping that something was going to fix it, and I rushed around getting myself further entangled. But I understand how hard it is to not want to run around looking for answers. It's really hard to feel so out of control. I didn't make it through this alone, and I owe much of my success to those who helped me through and kept me on this planet during those dark times. Yes, healing happens! Miracles happen! Our bodies know how to heal, they want to heal. You can get better. I won't tell you what to do or how to go about it, we are all unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. But please, know that there is another side, and that you can get there. I don't spend much time thinking about what I went through any more, though when I do it serves as a reminder to be grateful for every day and to help others as best I can. I have three children now, and am a very busy being a mom, a wife, a student, and an urban farmer. My daughter, who was a baby during my dark days, is now a kindergartener. She is strong, empathetic, and grounded, with lots of friends. When she was a baby I was so worried that what I went through would 'mess her up' but she is totally solid. I healed, and our family healed too. Even through all my illness, when my mind was in shambles, when I couldn't feel my heart at all, she knew that my heart and soul loved her. We are very close and our bond is unbroken. We didn't plan to have more children after what I went through, and had two surprises. Both were born natural, without complications - one in a bathtub! At first I was very scared to find out I was pregnant after all I'd been through, but there was nothing to fear. Birthing my son (our second child) helped me to fully understand that the storm was over, the darkness was really behind me. Thanks for reading my story. If you are reading this and you are suffering, I hope you know that you have every reason in the world to have hope. Don't give up on it. Let your hope guide you, not your panic, or your fears. Please hold onto that, if you are feeling scared or alone. Know that there is a future waiting for you that you can't imagine, and it might be better than you ever dreamed. Thank you ~ take care ~ <3 Kate
  15. @pug Your story gives me hope!! Im 26 years old and was perscribed this for anxiety. I was on Zoloft for a month then switched to paxil for 2 months and now im off it. I came off these because it made me feel weird disconected from eveything and no emotions. Now im off them for about 2 weeks and still cant concentrate that much having trouble processing thoughts. Seeing weird color blobs out of the corner of my eyes. I also have strange dreams and strange thoughts durring the day. I literally feel like these meds have dammaged my brain after only 3 months on them and im scared i wont go back to my normal smarter self. Does it get better!?
  16. Hi Tom- No problem I am happy to help. I wouldn’t exactly call that a reinstatement as I felt pretty much fine for several months leading up to going back on. I am not sure if it was my original anxiety or withdrawals to be honest, but when I did start to get symptoms again 4 months later I freaked out and went running back to Paxil. I wouldn’t recommend going up that high if you’re already down to 3 mg. Once you have started withdrawaling it’s a crap chute on whether or not it will even work. As I’ve stated previously, self care is the number one thing that will help you get through in my opinion. Let me know if you have other questions!
  17. katieb

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Congratulations Tom. So glad for you and also glad that you are sticking around. As you my or my not remember I am 6 months behind you in my withdrawal. So from being on paxil for 20 years I am now 6months post 0. Things have been OK with a month of anxiety and dizziness (this last month) and mild depression. None of these did I have before I took the drug but things are slowly getting better. I still have muscle pain in neck, shoulder and forearms and very loud tinnitus but I am paxil free. I am also perimenopausel so this may be exacerbating things its too difficult to know at the moment but I too hope to write a success story. I never believed that I would see this day. There is hope. If I can do it then you all can. Thanks to the p p forum and surviving antidepressants site and every one on here.
  18. Longroadhome

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    It’s great to hear from you and thank you. Shooting off to work now can I come back and ask you a few questions later about my experience coming off Paxil so far and will I ever be normal after being on this drug for 15 years . Thanks brassmonkey for continuing to be there for us.
  19. Longroadhome

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Have you documented the post “0” Brassmonkey I’d love to read it as I’m just beginning my journey off Paxil after 15 years . Well done you !
  20. 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.
  21. Thanks for the quick response! Actually a couple more come to mind. Thanks for your patience and tome. You are the first person who I feel has a lot of very very helpful experience. 1) so all hell didn’t break loose until you tried to stop the second time? You had gone back on 15 mg after a scare and it was the second taper that you experienced hell? 1.a. Was it almost immediately the extreme symptoms came on? Or were they delayed? 1.b. You mentioned that you tolerated the extreme withdrawal for a few months before going on 1 mg of Paxil. During those hell months did you see any signs that you were improving? 1.c. I know this will be pure speculation but in hindsight do you think if you “stuck it out” without reinstating the 1 mg that you would have seen improvement/been able to heal? 2. What was the biggest improvement that you noticed when you reinstated 1 mg? Did you experience any negatives to reinstating? 3. When you micro tapered, was it still incredibly difficult at times with the withdrawal? 4. What are the major signs of your adrenal fatigue? Again I want to thank you so much for your time. I’ve felt so alone in this for so long not able to even talk to a doctor and you’ve offered so much hope so again thank you so much.
  22. Hi Gato- Sure! I started having intense insomnia and really bad anxiety. I think it was only a few weeks to a month before I went back on Paxil. In hindsight, it was most likely withdrawal and I wish I hadn’t gone back on. But you live and you learn. Let me know if you have any other questions!
  23. Hi Penny Lane, A quick question: when you say the symptoms came back around month 4 would you mind 1) elaborating on what those symptoms were? 2) how long did you wait until you went back on Paxil?thank you!
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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