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  1. Yes, but I still want specifics. From this article, are the second phase of withdrawal symptoms indicative of the "brain damage" I question? http://www.cchrflorida.org/ssri-withdrawal-effects-are-brutal-and-long-lasting/ Am I looking at the tardive akathisia described below: https://www.madinamerica.com/2013/08/ssri-discontinuation-is-even-more-problematic-than-acknowledged/ I know my doctor never mentioned what would happen if and when I quit Paxil. I know other doctors denied and trivialized side effects I described while I was on Paxil. The kickbacks doctors receive from pharmaceutical companies must be fantastic and conscience-easing.
  2. I really appreciate everything you’ve written on this site..it seems that you’ve been through a lot and have learned a lot...you are now generously sharing with us. I am very intrigued by the lectin free diet. I’m 65 and have been on antidepressants for 25 years..mostly Paxil and Effexor for awhile. I’m in the process of tapering and feel like I’m living in a type of fog most of the time. I look forward to when this time is behind me. I wondered how you ended up seeing an orthomolecular doctor. It seems like there just aren’t enough of the right kind of doctors around, where I live, to help explain and guide during this process. I’m finding my own answers here. thanks again and good luck!
  3. Thanks Brassmonkey! I will try and be as helpful as possible. Hi there Altostrata. I VERY slowly weened off of Paxil over a period of almost a year. I used liquid Paxil. It works the best. I went down in doses of .5mg or even 1mg-4mg every 3-5 weeks. I was at 60 mg on my highest does of Paxil. And yes I had major withdrawal symptoms. Brain zaps, blurred vision, major hearing enhancements, cold sweats, constant anxiety. Almost like living outside of my body. My wife took care of me. The withdrawal affects only lasted about 3-4 weeks though. My wife took care of me. God bless her! Please try and be with someone or always talk with someone when withdrawing. I made it through and to a brighter side of life!! I worked out during my withdrawal. I think it helped. Now I meditate and work out and try to eat right when I can. Good luck and keep us posted. Mario
  4. Aeroman, so nice to hear from you again. I remember your original AD recovery on PP and clung to that. Was so sad for you when it all crashed in again with the cipro. I'm very encouraged to see that you have recovered- again! I still have the anhedonia as well. It is not as "thick" anymore, but it is there in the sense that everything feels like a joyless chore, with small flickers of time where the heart catches on and I feel positive or excited about what Im doing. I am 9 months drug free now, after a 4 year nice and slow 10% taper from 20mg Paxil. However i was in acute wd from CT-ing Effexor prior to the Paxil taper so it was a rough ride. Hoping for continued improvement. I'm happy you're working on your cars again, good for you!!!
  5. I am still waiting to stabilize on Paxil and Zyprexa. How stable were you when you started your Zyprexa taper? Were you taking anything else at the time?
  6. mammaP

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Thank you for posting this Tom. You and I must have started paxil around the same time, mine was 1994 but went on to many many drugs over the years. I am so glad that you developed the sliding scale of tapering and shared it here. We have to be creative with tapering and yours is brilliant. I am so glad you joined us, and really happy for you that you are living life and still so much in love wih your lovely wife. Feeling love after being numb for years is the very best feeling in the world.
  7. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    Someone named BanjoDan From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site I can't believe it has been 2 years since i took my last evil little paxil. I posted 1 year ago that after a year of intense suffering I had found success and was virtually symptom free. I have to somewhat reevaluate that diagnosis now being two years off, as I feel much better both mentally and physically now than I ever have. My insomnia is GONE.. I pass out within moments of hitting the pillow not hours, and never wake up early or in the middle of the night. My digestive system is solid enough to handle the toughest tasting menu a restaurant can throw at. I'm ready for the coney Island Hot dog eating contest I think. Anxiety, Depression, FEAR, OCD etc.. ALL completely gone... I thought 1 year ago they were gone but I was wrong, I feel like a zen buddhist compared to then. I could list the rest of the symptoms I don't have anymore but I won't because I had almost all of them at one point from being suicidal to looking and feeling like I was undergoing radiation and chemo.. and they are all gone. To everyone who is suffering right now, I never thought I would heal as I was on such a high dose 60mg.. didn't cold turkey but messed around dropping 30mg at a time that I might as well have, and I am the picture of health. I just got back from a month in Israel and Egypt and hiked my way in 110 degree temps in and around the valley of the kings and pyramids without feeling like a Paxil victim but a normal healthy human being. I don't take supplements or massive amounts of vitamins I never did but my fish oil and a daily organic vitamin... I will say meditation is something I couldn't have done without during all these times and to this day is something I practice daily. Keep up the hope that you will get there I know you all will on your own schedule. Avanti, Dan On 60mg Paxil for IBS since 1999 Paxil Free since July 23rd 2005! 1 Year for full recovery!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    “Sayff” from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site A very good update-16 months I had made a few brief posts on this site at the beginning phase of my wd, but i had generally been lurking in the background and only contacted a few people privately so my story is not well known to members here. I had pretty much stopped coming to this site about 9 months or so into my wd, mainly because it had become so bad i wasn't really asking for advice any more or even hoping for any assurance. I have almost forgot about this site, and although personally i didn't find any advice helpful to me, i have always been aware of the sense of desperation and hunger in which every one recieves an update, hoping for some assurance. And so, to put my conscionce at rest, i decided to come on here and write this update- well, it's the full story really, long and somewhat strange but try to read it especially since the news is good. I had been on ssris for about 7 years (40mg). I was put on it because i was grieving for the death of my girlfriend. I had never had depression or anxiety in my life. There is no space or point in going into the rights and wrongs of prescribingf me these devestating drugs, but to cut a long story short, my experience has been similar to the thousands of people who come on this site, trapped inside a vortex of pain for years without knowing what was causing it, then realising it was the drugs, then realising they were hopelessly addicted, then the mythic effort of becoming free. The first 4 months were, with the exception of the serious and countless physical problems, relatively easy. After that, there came an array of crippling psychological effects. I was living in England (not my country of origin) I had lost my design engineering job due to wd, lost my friends and social contacts, lost my interests, was pretty much with no money and was living in complete isolation. The worse of the psychological effects was the almost uncontrollable suicidal urge, fed by the isolation and the anger and the utter sense of failure i was feeling i had become. I had always been very confident and never experienced low self esteem either before or during paxil. my body completely stopped working. A bite of food would sit in my esophagus for approximately 2 hrs before it entered the stomach. I was vomitting blood, diarhea full of blood. Once i didn't sleep for one minute for six days. My joints all fell to pieces, the vertebras in my back started to pop out of place, i had three slipped discs, my neck was paralysed. This is not to mention my hair which fell out, my body which was covered in red blisters, my bladder which stopped working, my eyes which were the colour of ox-blood and which had to stay closed for half a day at a time, and my hearing which was gone so i was nearly deaf. Before this i was a very confident, athletic, good-looking young man, successful in everything i did, sociable. I felt the true me was viciously stolen from me.My one constant thought, in which i soaked every single cell of my body was to take revenge on the medical community and to then kill myself.My passionate and hot blooded nature, the wd pain and the isolation combined with my powerful ability to control myself to create a very strange situation in which, while seeming calm on the outside, i was in fact completely crazy on the inside. Looking back now i believe that i was actually completely insane after the 5th month into wd. My thinking was completely deranged, i was one big mass of ocd and hallucinations and paranoia and anger and sorrow and pain, in total isolation and for months. But although i know how i felt, if you ask me what i was doing or what i was thinking about i wouldn't have the slightest idea. It seems now like one big gap in my life. I can't remember anything. By the tenth month, my family, with whom i had completely cut of relations ( i don't remember at what point, why and how i did this) finaly got through to me. My aunt who had brought me up (my mother died when i was little) said i must go back and that she didn't want me dead, and over several weeks the family took turns in convincing me that if i wanted to die i should go home and die. Eventually i decided to go home. The main reason was that i felt guns where easier to get there and that i could succeed in putting an end to this miserable story. Wd or no Wd, whether i'd be getting better or not, all these things didn't mean anything to me anymore. I threw myself full on in a downward spiral of self-destruction. I was gone. Finished. I was home. Baghdad...a city i had left when i was sixteen back in 94 and never returned to since. Now here i am, 33, broken, on all levels. I spent a couple of months which were as hellish as my life in London but ostensibly somewhat better,e.g. now there was someone to shave me, wash my clothes..etc. I still intended death and was assidiously planning it. Then came the night which made my story veer off from the usual wd story. I was living in a semi-rural area. It was the night of 26/27th of may and it was very hot. I decided to go out for a walk in the country side. In the distance i could hear the howling of wild dogs, and could smell the nearby canal. The date palms creeked in the soft breeze. Then it began. A strange feeling. I can only decribe it as the feeling of electric charges going up and down my body, a burning in the middle of my forehead and a sense of profound squeezing around the chest area. It was EXTREMELY pleasant. The first time i had felt good in years. What followed was a deep, powerful experience which shook me right to the core and made even wd look like a joke (if you can believe this). I wouldn't go into what i saw and learned through this experience because, it was transcendental,not really the type of thing that can be decribed in words and because if i do describe it in words everyone would think that i was....well, you can guess what everyone would think i was. It suffices to say that it was a life-changing religious experience. I went to bed at 3 in the morning. I woke up at 7. I felt that i had been asleep for 3000 years, not the heavy slumber of the sick, but the deep refreshing sleep of someone who is completely well and balanced. That morning i could not understand even what the word depression, anxiety meant, never mind the feelings themselves which had weighed upon my heart like mountains for months. Only the night before i had felt i had the will-power of a cockroach, or two if i felt more upbeat than usual. In the morning i felt i had a will which could break the will of a thousand men. I felt that i had never suffered in my life nor made a single error. My physical symptoms were improved by about 60%. This must be what Lazarus must have felt. I was very afraid that it was one of these fabled windows which people talked about so i waited. It has been over three months now and i feel just as good. since that night in month 13 i have experienced zero depression, zero anxiety, zero insomnia. I do have some lingering physical problems, mainly digestive, some muscular-skeletal problems, a slight fatigue but only rarely. The only mental symptom which i have is irratibility. But all these are improving. And fast. I exercise two hours a day, i cook, laugh, and watch movies. I am in love with a beautiful young girl who knows nothing about what i went through. I am stronger, wiser, more resilient, more inventive, more stable, calmer and happier than every one i know. My life consists of one continuous moment of pure happiness. I sometimes cry because i am so happy all the time. I am of course technically still in wd. But the suffering it brought to me had reached such a critical point, that a complete change in my mode of knowledge took place so that i see everything in its totality now. I no longer see myself as sayff, this young man with hopes, fears and dreams. That man is dead. That this terrible, devestating wd can be beaten, and more, that it all happened in one night is what makes this a true miracle. I consider my whole saga with paxil to be the luckiest thing that has happened to me in my entire life. Everynight when i go to bed i thank god for all the pain i went through, all the suffering, losses, humiliation, fear that i went through because without this i would have never become the man i am now. NEVER. I have only one advice: Never Never Never give up, and remember that the more pain you feel the nearer you are to freedom. I have passed what i have experienced on to you and i can put all this behind me. I am a free man. May you all feel happy soon Sayff paxil 40mg 2004-2008 taapered 2.5 mg every 2 weeks. severe wd back on paxil 30 mg within 3wks switched to fluoxetine 20mg tapered 5mg every 6 mths ssri free may 2010 .....if you are going through hell.....keep going. (churchill)
  9. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    Carolyn's update From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site Hi peeps! As of yesterday, I'm 6 months Paxil-free! The best part about that is that I can honestly say it's a total non-event. I mentioned it to hubby and he said, "wow, has it been six months? It's not even a part of our lives anymore." I had one bad anxiety stint at about three months off; it lasted about three weeks and then disappeared as quickly as it arrived. Since then it's been normal anxiety levels for me -- a spike here or there but nothing crazy. Between the Paxil taper and my back injury (which is doing much better), I've really gotten into mindfulness and meditation. I meditate for 10 minutes every day and it's helped my anxiety a lot. I've been reading a ton of books on mindfulness in general and some Buddhism in particular and would be happy to share those if anyone is interested. The best one I can recommend is called Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He runs a stress clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Clinic and the book is essentially the clinic curriculum. I continue to have sleep issues, but I'm becoming convinced that the Paxil masked the existing sleep issues as opposed to Paxil tapering *causing* them, if that makes any sense. I have a new sleep doc and that's going well so far (though my health anxiety has me too creeped out to try the melatonin he suggested...silly alien toe cancer).
  10. cymbaltawithdrawal5600

    Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

    Blanket’s update Posted 3/5/11 From Paxilprogress, a defunct site It's been nearly 5 years since my last pill, wow. Hello everyone! Wow, it's so weird to come back here sometimes. I thought I would write a little update for those who are looking for some hope. I cold-turkeyed 20mg of Paxil after 8 years of use nearly five years ago. I had tried to quit several times before and just couldn't do it, but for some reason the last time the withdrawal didn't start hitting me until about 1-2 weeks later, and it definitely got worse and worse for months. Every doctor I went to see about it thought I was manic or just not well. They said I needed to go back on drugs and suggested other pills, namely Effexor and an anti-psychotic to accompany. I was pretty sure by then what was going on so I sat there and yelled at the doctor to get me someone to talk to that didn't believe in medication, and he actually did. I never went back to that doctor but I'm glad he listened to me and got me a good psychologist who listened to me. I didn't tell my psychologist what it was that was going on exactly, I didn't want to seem like I was pinning the blame on something outside of me (I know that's what it was, but I needed actual help too) - what I wanted was someone who would listen to what I was saying and give me hope and direction, and that's exactly what he did for me. He convinced me to enroll back into school, and about a year later that's what I did. I still had symptoms then. It wasn't nearly as bad, but it was noticeable (you can look through my posts if you like, I had WAY too many symptoms all at once and was terrified constantly that I had lost it and was never coming back). Back when I enrolled into university I was still feeling too many emotions all the time (I went from feeling nothing, to feeling everything amplified!) I'm still going through school, although right now I am taking a break. I have to say, everyday I surprise myself. Every day since the day that I quit Paxil I have proven something more to myself in some way. I live on my own now, in a small apartment downtown. I even quit smoking 6 months ago. I'm literally addicted to nothing right now, I have no need for any drug and am continuously working at independence. I do still have some anxiety and depression, but it doesn't affect me the way that it used to. It just seems easier and easier to challenge myself as time goes on. Also, at the beginning of last year, my very long-term boyfriend left me (well, we left each other). I've been dealing with that for most of the year, and it's been very hard, but it's just another fact of life that makes me stronger. I'm free to go wherever I like now - move half-way across the world and become a farmer if that's what I wanted. It's kind of liberating in a way, despite that I miss him. I think that anyone who can pull through an intense AD addiction & withdrawal starts to see things differently later on. It's not that life becomes easier. It's just that you already know you can handle it, because you know what you pulled through before. Honestly, I am 100% healed from anything that ailed me due to Paxil. I can't think of a single thing that it caused that is still around. You will all make it too. It's just a matter of time and patience, and it can be hard to muster when you're in the thick of it, but in the end you come out a champion for your strength and perseverance. Hang in there! You'll make it out. If I could do it, you can do it too. 1998-2006 Stops and starts because of intense w/d. Final try - Spaced each tablet out over a period of days before stopping, ended up in a protracted withdrawal for around 14 months. Paxil free April 8, 2006. I'm pretty much normal again, minus some social problems I need to work on.
  11. Centime

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    Thank you Brassmonkey. Your posts have helped me already—given me hope. I’ve been on Paxil for 30 years.
  12. brassmonkey

    Tao of the Brassmonkey

    This is the third journal thread that I have had during my travels with the drug Paxil. Each one has been indicative of the state I was in at the time I was posting. My first, "Letters from the Island of Anhedonia", documented my early years of learning about tapering and the variety of experiences, feeling and lack there of and surviving one day at a time until thing started to improve. Sadly it was lost with the closing of PaxilProgress. My second journal, "Brassmonkey- Talking About Myself", is still available here and is about to be closed to further posting. In it I have chronicled the day to day experiences of a long taper. I have also added bits of wit and wisdom about "life, the universe and everything". It has served well as a record of my thoughts, but it's time has come to a close also. Having reached a full year of being drug free it is time to move on. No, I'm not leaving, you can't get rid of me that easy. Rather it is time to start a new discussion documenting the post "0" experience, how I got here, what worked and what didn't during my taper. I am also going to throw in a lot of my philosophy of life, beliefs and ways of living that have gotten me to this point of my life. Which is why I'm titling it "Tao of the Brassmonkey".
  13. I ve been off Paxil completely after a short taper from 10mg for six and a half years. I had a hellish withdrawal as many of you describe. 3 years post and starting to heal I went through a very stressful period and started having a couple of glasses of wine each night to help cope. Big mistake. I stopped it when I realized what was happening and was catapulted back to the beginning but WORSE. 6 months later picking up a bit someone bought me a Nutribullet and for three days I was drinking smoothies made with lots of fruit/berries, straight back to hell. At this point I learned about histamine intolerance, modified my diet and have slowly but steadily improved since. I don't believe it would have taken me this long if I hadn't had those two mammoth set backs. So where am I now ? Hugely improved from the early days when I not only could not set foot outside my house but was completely terrified inside it. I have a discernible windows and waves pattern. Windows of months when I am almost my old self, about 80%. The ear pulsing that started with the wine episode has been with me 24/7 since then, but is now only in one ear, not as loud and the volume goes up and down with muscle tension. My waves are rather like other people get cold sores, triggered by stress. Am in one now. Had a bit of a medical emergency, lost blood, now anaemic (on iron) but tons better than if it had happened in the early days. So, in a wave I return to cortisol mornings ( and during the night ) but not as bad, my anxiety goes up, I feel crap. I nurture myself, eg asked a friend to do my banking for me yesterday as the whole parking queuing thing would not have done me any good.Had a couple of days when felt so awful and frightened that I got up and showered, dressed before my partner went to work like the bad old days. But this morning I stayed in bed drank tea and watched the news. In a week after high stress the wave is starting to subside. From being unable to leave the house I have recently driven myself to the other end of the country to stay with my son, alone, a massive achievement for me ( triggered a month long wave). I used to sit in the hairdressers feeling so awful I wanted to call an ambulance. I enjoy going now. I realise I was horrible to my husband for years with neuro emotions , now am back to normal . So I am much improved but not out of the woods completely. If I reach the point where all my symptoms have gone I won't be the same person I have been through too much. I don't mean worse or diminished, but I take steps as far as possible to avoid stress. I lead a sensible life. I rejoice when spring comes and the daffodils come as I ve made it through another year. If I reach the point of considering myself completely healed I couldn't identify with the word "success". I may have somehow endured and made it out the other side but I have gone through years of hell when I could have enjoyed a normal life and I can't get that time back. Maybe that's why people don't write success stories. Don't get me wrong much of the time I am enjoying myself, I only dip in here when having a wave but don't really identify with what most of you are saying because I am not in that place anymore. Most of you will heal a lot faster than I did and I do hope so . It does get better. I believe complete healing is not only possible but likely. But success ? Not the word I would choose.
  14. 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.
  15. I've been travelling. Today was a beautiful cruise in an old oak Danish ketch sailing ship. The ship crossed the oceans from Denmark to Australia, so even though it is not a big ship, it was beautiful and comfortable, and sailed 3/4 around the world (they went the long way). I'd like to do one of their 3 day or 7 day overnight cruises. Anyhow, on the ship, I met a psychiatrist. FIrst he was talking about studying anthropology in London (he had a British accent), then it went on and he told me he was a doctor, an MD. I thought - OH! I will take a chance, and got out a "Surviving Antidepressants" business card that I hand out to help people find the website when they tell me their stories. (hint: I hand more of these out than I do my own business card). I said - this is what I do - the card doesn't have my name on it because I'm not that important but the website is. We help people come off antidepressants. I was thinking he was a GP - and was hoping to gain another tapering doctor, or at least - bring a contrary opinion to the table. He took the card with interest, and said, "oh, but I'm a psychiatrist, how did you know?" (heh, because I'm ........spooky!) I said "really? Just an instinct I guess" He said, "The drugs are awfully hard to come off of," and I gave him an example - Effexor - and how the drug companies don't give us the right doses to taper 10%, so we open the capsules and count beads. And he said - get this - "Oh yes! I had a patient where we did that - got a knife and a mirror and separated the beads out to taper!" OMG. Then he said, "Is it just my experience, or is Effexor the hardest one to come off of?" I said, "It's evil, but each of them have their own challenges" - and cited Lexapro for being so damn strong, and Paxil for having such an awful short half life. So I told him that we have different methods for different drugs, and that we have trouble finding doctors to support our methods. He asked for my name, and seemed excited to find out that we had many case studies here, and that I write here, and asked for my name so that he could find my story. I told him a bit about what it was like meeting my biological family and being convinced that it was genetic, that I had a broken brain. I used the "like insulin for diabetes" line and he rolled his eyes and said "Pharmaceutical companies!" Reminder: This is a PSYCHIATRIST I was talking to! I went on to tell him that I came off all of my drugs, and that I learned that he can't help me with my mood, and that hubby can't either. Only I can help me with my mood. He really liked that. I said, "I now don't consider it any doctor's business what my mood is," and he said, "oh, you'd be safe telling me!" I told him how frightening it was to unpatient myself and undiagnose myself, and that I was so afraid that if I came off the drugs I would ruin my new marriage in a new country. He seemed eager to read my story. Remember, I'm talking to a PSYCHIATRIST here...... Anyhow, he talked about how he likes to taper his patients off the drugs - he finds that their lives are a wreck on the drugs, and that they get better when they are off the drugs. I talked about Whitaker's studies that the drugs actually increase the chronicity of the problems. He talked about CBT, and how that's popular now, but that he's mostly an old fashioned psychoanalyst, and how he wants to hear about the person's life and struggles and work on practical steps to improve. He mentioned the growing tragedy of child psychiatry, and how they now just get out the prescription pad instead of working with coping skills and talking to the child to see what's happening. He complained about overdiagnosis, and was even willing to say that his most violent cases were probably drug related. He talked about how bizarre it is that people are getting multiple diagnosis - and each diagnosis is so rare - how wrong is it that they end up with 4 separate incredibly rare psychiatric disorders? We talked about akathisia and impulsivity. He said he only works one day a week (mostly retired) but that he has colleagues, and works in a psychology centre where they seem to operate from the same playbook - and that he knows OTHER PSYCHIATRISTS who practice like he does. I asked him if he wants referrals, and he gave me his card. (I will post more about his details in the "Recommended Doctors" thread. He talked about taking seminars and education in tapering drugs in Sydney (he practices in Melbourne), and recommended a doctor and hospital there. I told him how rare he is, and that not even my own psychiatrist would give me the time of day when I talked about s-l-o-w tapering. Hubby asked him: How do you get them off the drugs? He said - as slowly as possible! (and I believed him, after all, he knew about bead counting, and I've never met an MD of any stripe who understood that concept). I dropped a few names - Whitaker, Breggin, Healy - he knew none of these. He was just a gentle, compassionate guy who tries to do his best by his patients. I hope he comes to visit SA! (my mind is a little blown and I'm beginning to wonder if that was real, or if he was just mirroring me as a technique to see "what makes me tick.") (but we also talked about anthropology - and he talked about how some of the sayings in Ireland matched some of the Middle Eastern customs he had seen...but he only studied anthropology for a year.) ADDENDUM Sep 2019: Reference to his practice, here.
  16. Hi Real – My SSRI journey started at age 18 after the death of my father on first day of college. Paxil was originally prescribed to me for tension headaches (then Zoloft, then Lexapro). I was unaware that I was taking an antidepressant until my early 20s. Shame on me. I’m now 41. I often talk about my “top 3” symptoms that bring me to my knees (derealization, insomnia, and sound/light/motion sensitivities). Tinnitus is hell. Mine can get so bad, it often enters the top 3 list. It’s relentless and nothing makes it go away. I find it’s much worse in the morning. The only thing that seems to help is white noise…you can find these sounds on YouTube. From what I’ve heard, treatment for tinnitus has gotten somewhat better over the years but not much. If you haven’t already done so, maybe see an ENT to see if there are any treatments you haven’t tried. Like you and many others, I pray that I get a reprieve from all of this someday. I have a full life in front of me and I need to be there for my wife and kids. PLEASE don’t tell yourself that you are too old or give up. I believe in you if that means anything. Stay strong and God bless YOU.
  17. The only advice that I can give is live as healthy as you can- see above under "things that helped." Be careful with supplements. I reacted very very strongly to supplements from vitamin B to fish oil. So be careful when you take stuff like that. And last but not least. I have my own weird theory when it comes to wd. I am by no means a dr or a scientist, so maybe others can weigh in if they have made similar experiences: I got considerably better when I lost the majority of weight, as if (dont know if it is true) part of Paxil /residue of Paxil was still stored in my fat cells ? Does that make any sense?
  18. I wish they hadn't closed paxil progress. I had a detailed timeline and it is gone. I can only speak from my bad memory and try to be accurate. I had my first real windows that went longer than some hours after 1.5 - 2 years. SymptoMs like paxil flu went completely away after two years and never returned. Brain fog and neuro emotions got considerably better too but took some more healing. I would say for those it took approximately 3 years. Exhaustion and every day fatigue got only better when I stopped eating junk and worked out. My sleeping problems and waking up at 3 am every damn morning due to rising cortisol went completely away after1,5- 2 years. So you can really see that some symptoms get away earlier and never return but other symptoms take more time.
  19. One update 4 years later! Can't believe this took so many years of my life, and finally I cane to a point that my horrible PAxil wd ride is something of the pasts now. I hardly read forums about the matter and have resumed my life. Though it was very hard ti find a job after being off regular work for about 8 years, I found a nice job in my former (ICT) area almost 2 years ago and I managed to keep it and even get good remarks. Still have some residual issues however, now more than 10 years after the last dose! I can handle overstimulation less well than before but it still improves albeit very slowly. And I hit my 50th year birthday recently and that has a hard impact on me. not having been able to start a family still bothers me a lot but that is not related to the WD but rather one of the reasons starting an SSRI... But I have a good social life and feel mentally stable. Anyway, I want to make clear that healing continues also after 5-6 years or more and I want to tell you I am doing fairly well and consider the WD experiience as history. All the best, Claudius
  20. Hi, I am not sure how to answer your question regarding the claustrophobia however, the acute symptoms ended for me around month 10-12ish. Like I said above, my timeline may be different than yours but you will recover, give it TIME. I tried all sorts of stuff and NOTHING helped except TIME. I am not sure about your Paxil question. From my experience from talking with others, TIME is what helped us recover regardless of how long, what one took, etc. Everything you've described about the anhedonia, morning cortisol, etc I went through and those were horrible. The anhedonia for me lingered. My mornings were the worst compared to the evenings. My sleep was really bad in the beginning...I would average 30min of unrestful sleep each night and that lasted for about 5 to 6 months. The sleep finally came back. I did a sleep study and that didn't help. They just said I was restless - really?! Hang in there.
  21. Hi Mapleleafgirl, I remember you from Paxil Progress and I'm happy to see you here at this time. These SSRIs are no joke and to think that jumping from only 1 mg can cause such a wave puts into perspective just how powerful these drugs are. I started my second attempt at a taper around 2014 from 20 mg and four years later, I'm only down 5 mg but I've figured this isn't a race and while I'd like to be off this medication faster, I also need to be able to function both mentally and physically.
  22. Yes, I was on 10mg Paxil for about 3 years, including a failed cold switch to Lexapro in the middle. I went off Paxil over about 3 weeks. It took me about 11 years to recover. At about 4 years off, depersonalization and poor sleep started to lift. But I changed to a high-stress job and got a lot worse very fast, completely losing the ability to sleep. In the nick of time, I found a doctor who recognized my problem and prescribed micro-doses of lamotrigine to settle my nervous system. I took this for more than 2 years. Along the way, I developed a heart condition. After this was treated, it took me several more years to recover. For the lamotrigine part of the story, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/392-one-theory-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/ I can now sleep more or less normally, my nervous system is fairly stable, and I do not have waves of symptoms.
  23. Hello. Has anyone had success reinstating paxil at a very low dose after reaching zero. I was at zero for 2 months then reinstated 1 mg for 4 months, but this didn't help. I then increased to 2.5 mg and am still on this dose after 6 months, but am finding no relief from chronic anxiety, diarrhea, brain zaps and insomnia. Do you think I need to updose again or start to taper? I really want reinstatement to help me. Thank you Nada
  24. hello maple, thankyou for telling us your story... well done. If only I had known to give up my stuff, over four years! Too late now. Hope I am better in a year or two. Yes, halving a dose is way too fast, damn doctors...xxx Obviously you are going for a gentle landing, instead of the crash.. Did you jump off at 1mg? I was put on Aropax (Australia) alias Paxil by an uninformed gp. (For being exhausted and thin, yes, time to tear up old hospital notes?)................ had been drug free for about 9 years (yep AD stuff)... Paxil quickly sent me completely psycho, then followed 8 years on effexor, helping me recover from the paxil.... Then the zoloft, recovering from the Effexor.............. all the time thinking I was well, it it all did way fry my brain. Difficult, but grateful, getting my old personality back, horrible the person i was while on all this crap. Ten years of hell.....
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