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  1. Hi i just thought I’d pop in and give an update about how things are now. i was talking with a friend the other day about what all id gone through with Paxil and I realized, I’m so far from where I was and how much I’d relied on this site as well as npanth’s articles during the very worst of everything. i remember reading success stories and wondering if the mental anguish would ever end for me. I can say, it has and it does. Here is my topic: So, basically I was on Paxil for about 14-15 years. I’m 40 now and have been off Paxil for 6 years. While I was on the drug I still had many symptoms of anxiety, gained a ton of weight and also felt like I was living a sort of half life. I wasn’t fully engaged in my life. Every time I tried getting off Paxil over the years, I’d have terrible symptoms and think that it was just me and I needed Paxil to make me “normal”...! My Dr never ever told me I should taper slowly and over time; I was literally given no advice EVER. When I was about 13 years in to taking the drug I was suddenly beset with a whole new host of symptoms and some quite strong and strange to me. I felt terrible on the inside of myself, something I couldn’t hardly explain. I told my Dr. And he said that Paxil might be no longer working as well and so he upped me from 20mgs to 40 msg. I felt a little better for a bit but still NOT good. I decided to stop the drug cold turkey. i had no idea of how dangerous that was or what would lie ahead. If I’d known, I would have tapered slowly. At first I felt really really good, better than I had in a longgg time, but at about 6 weeks off the drug alllll hell broke loose. I had all the usual symptoms, shaking, flu like symptoms , couldn’t sit still, no motivation, exhausted but major insomnia, heart racing and palpitations, so much pain In my legs, throbbing pain. A tight band around my head that felt like someone was tightening it. I had intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts, panic attacks, jolting awake from when I did sleep, bladder problems, and many more that I’m forgetting I’m sure. Oh! Brain zaps! I had lots of those. forgetfulness and not being able to put in to words what I wanted etc- that was also a thing. 😑 i started googling why I felt like this after stopping Paxil and I found a site called Paxil progress. After that shut down I found this site. at the time it was all I could do to lay in bed and read the stories of others and know that what I was going through would eventually get better. I couldn’t figure out how, or when. I prayed a lot. I had three kids to take care of, so I managed to do what I had to do but often felt very irritated and exhausted, I didn’t know how much longer I could deal with it. Symptoms began breaking up in to a pattern that was called windows and waves. Sometimes a window would be super short and I’d wonder how I could feel so normal for a while only to have it all crash back down around me. Sleep was such an escape when I could get it, but for 2-3 years I had terrible insomnia that lasted hours throughout the night. Those were very frustrating times. I saw bigger improvements when I began sleeping better. Slowly the symptoms dropped off one by one. leg pain was probably one of the first to go i still didn’t know much about how to deal with anxiety and was still fighting that battle when I came across Dr. Claire Weekes book, “hope and help for your nerves” That book was awesome and I highly recommend it and anything else you can read by her. I still have occasional bladder flares (acts like a bladder infection but it isn’t actually) but other than that I don’t think I have one problem that I can say is from Paxil anymore (I don’t think??) lol i think I am finally ready to say, I’m recovered from what Paxil put me through. im still learning how best to cope with anxiety, but I’m doing a pretty good job of it with noooo drugs 😁😁😁 BTW when I was in the process of trying to heal from it all, I used high quality fish oil and B12. I also used trace minerals. I wish you all well. Xo 😘
  2. ADMIN NOTE Pennylane's Introductions topic is here PennyLane26: Need advice-Paxil Withdrawal Happy New Year to all! I figure today would be a great day to share my success story, and hopefully provide some hope to those struggling. First, my drug history: I was put on Paxil 15 mg in May of 2012 for anxiety caused my life circumstances. I had great "success" with the drug and then weened myself off of it a year later (at 25% intervals) in May of 2013. I had the typical withdrawal flu symptoms, but felt pretty much back to normal in about 6 weeks. Then 4 months later, all of my symptoms came rushing back and it terrified me, so back on 15 mg of Paxil I went. I stayed on this dose for another a year before attempting a slower taper in January of 2016. I got down to 5 mg at one point in this taper and was then advised my doctor to come completely off. This is when all hell broke loose. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms; intense insomnia, anxiety, headaches, akathesia,intense depression, depersonalization,; you name it! This continued for several months, so I re-introduced 1 mg of Paxil around May 2017. During this time I was also prescribed Ambien because my insomnia was so bad and was exacerbating all of my symptoms. I stayed on the 1 mg of Paxil and 5 mg of Ambien for several months and then began micro-tapering both medications until I was off both of them on November 27th, 2017. Now, over a year later I can say I am almost completely healed and am no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms. My withdrawal was brutal and long-lasting BUT there is a silver lining. I found meaning in this experience and it completely transformed the person I am today. Now, I will go over what helped me through this dark night of the soul. Like many of you, I spent HOURS upon hours browsing these forums and searching the internet for answers. In May of 2017 I bought Kelly Brogan's book A Mind of Your Own and it completely changed my life. This book helped me to understand that anxiety and depression are symptoms, not a disease. They are messages from your body that something you are doing is not working and it is time to fix it. So, in relative order, here is what helped me on my path to recovery: 1.FOOD. I adopted a paleo lifestyle and saw dramatic improvements in my symptoms within a month Do not put anything in your body than can cause inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of anxiety and depression, so eating a clean diet is imperative. Giving up caffeine and alcohol is extremely important as well. I also made sure to eat often. Blood sugar crashes made my cortisol and anxiety shoot through the roof. 2. Coffee enemas. Yes, you heard that right. They are extremely effective in eliminating toxins from the body and I had great success with them. 3. Meditation. Yes, I know it is insanely difficult to meditate when your brain is on fire and it was no different for me. But you have to find meaning in the experience, because it will change your life. Those of us that have experienced withdrawal have seen the kind of darkness that nobody else on this Earth can ever comprehend. Finding gratitude for this experience and your newfound appreciation for life will make things that much sweeter when you make your way into the light. 4. Exercise- but not too much. I have always loved high intensity exercise, but that seemed to exacerbate my withdrawal symptoms. So, I made sure to take walks and do hot yoga several times a week to get my body moving. Getting outside and moving was very important for me and helped to alleviate some of the intense depression I was experiencing. 5. Reiki. I was not a "woo woo" person at all before this experience. But as you know, you get desperate and you will try anything and I am glad I did. Reiki gave me peace in some of my darkest moments. After my first session, I had my first good night of sleep in a long time and felt more at peace for days after. 6. Stay off the internet and stimulating TV/books,etc, especially for bed. Insomnia was hands down the worst and longest lasting symptom I experienced. Turning off the TV two hours before bed and reading a calm book or meditating helped me to slowly get my sleep back. I also deleted all social media for a good while because it was depressing for me to look at people living "normal" lives while I was in a silent hell. Also, reading some of these forums can be scary and you can start comparing your experience to others. So, I would advise only coming on to ask questions or read success stories. 7. Stop looking for quick fixes, like supplements, herbs, etc. I fell into this trap and had bad reactions to many supplements, etc. Learn to sit with your pain and trust that you absolutely will recover, because you will. The human body is extremely intelligent and very forgiving. But you have to give it time. Looking for a quick fix is how much of us ended up in this situation to begin with. Trust that your body has the ability to heal and look for meaning in your suffering. 8. Community. Withdrawal can be very isolating. Make sure you are getting rest, but also make sure you are making time to be around people when you can. There were many times I just wanted to stay home and wallow in my misery, but I would force myself to go see my family or a friend. I would always feel better after getting out of the house for a bit and would leave if the situation was causing my more stress. 9. Melatonin, Magnesium and Phenbiut. Magnesium seemed to calm me a bit (nothing drastic) and melatonin did help me to start sleeping better and get off the ambien. I did take phenbiut about once or twice a week to "catch up" on my sleep when I would have several days of not sleeping well. Be extremely careful with this one though, you can get addicted and experience withdrawals, so do not use more than 1-2 times a week. So, here I am now 14 months medication free and I feel happy, healthy and have a newfound respect for my body and life in general. My only lingering symptoms are from adrenal fatigue, which I know was caused by withdrawal. I am now working with a Naturopath to correct this and am at a point where I can handle supplements, vitamins, etc. This experience completely changed the person I am today. I am now very careful about what I put into my body and how I take care of myself. I have ended my relationship with western medicine and weaned myself off of birth control and acne medication over the last 6 months as well. I am very diligent about getting to bed early and my sleep has finally gotten much better of the last several months (after addressing my adrenal issues). My insomnia was horrible and I know how miserable it can be walking through life like a melancholy zombie. Just know gradually it gets better and you will be able to sleep again. Spirituality and meditation are now very important to me. My friends and family will sometimes roll their eyes at my newfound "hippie" lifestyle, but it doesn't bother me. They haven't seen what we have seen and the don't how precious every moment is like those of us who have suffered this kind of pain at the hands of pharmaceuticals. Please reach out if you have any questions, I know what you are going through and you are not alone. You too will make your way out out of this dark night of the soul and into the light. I wish you all peace, happiness and healing in the new year!
  3. In short I guess..I was on paxil progress and they HELPED me! Glad I found this site. And maybe to be of some hope for others. I had major anxiety, depression and PTSD. Was put on paxil until I finally hit the "poop out" stage after twelve years. Was also on Klonopin and Xanax. It took me ten months to withdrawal after several failed attempts. Have been off ALL meds for over five years and I have never felt so great! ALOT of exercise and diet make a world of difference. Experienced, brain zaps, blurred vision, major hearing enhancements, cold sweats, constant anxiety, fear and suicide. Running thoughts, always in my head and worrying. I wanted to die... Now just perm. tinnitus. I have learned to ignore the hissing. (quite is not your friend) I now meditate every morning and do tapping. YOU CAN OVER COME!!! YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE YOU WILL. God will guide you or whatever higher power you look to. Little did I know God saved me. This event in my life almost ripped apart my family. It took it's toll. Somehow, someway I made it out of the darkness and YOU CAN to! Thanks, Mario.
  4. I just made a clean exit from SSRI (Paxil CR) for almost 3 years down the line. My journey was really tough. I can help you guyz for the same. I almost studied every corner of Brain and this chemical pathway. I had to first understand about this chemical behavior in order to overcome its effects. I had initially failed twice, once cold turkey during initial 3rd month and 2nd failed instance was after 1.5 years. Doctors never say anything about its ill effects. Later I realized I had to think in terms of Neurosurgeon level. One of the danger zones which I encountered during withdrawal symptoms are Heart Palpitations. Below list might sound crazy but those were the ones which helped me out of SSRi loop. I can write a book upon these lists, each point has its own significance, Continuous Discipline Constant alertness about thoughts and behavior Should completely avoid negative thoughts Should not pull panic button for palpitations as it is temporary. Keep moving until light comes. Walking is must : Around 10km / day Exercise Yoga Completely stop internet browsing/downloads/ Breathing rituals Completely go Vegan (Except for few fish). Meditation is must Sleep well atleast 8 hours Have a healthy diet Drink smoothies every week Ban coffee Initiate Diet plan every month. Stop music’s Stop internet time (being in front of PC) Stop playing CG games. Go to office early and come early Focus on work to deviate unwanted thoughts Watch out for CBT and other health related videos (TTC helped me a lot) Positive self-talk Positive Affirmations before sleep Laugh at least once : Watch out for jokes/comedy Eat Fish once or twice a week. Completely avoid world affair Don’t think of future Watch out for stressors and reduce stressors Reduce salt and sugar intake. For neuroplasticity – avoid all sorts of stress and negativity. Take good care of self. Incrementally grow. What out for emotions. Have military instinct. Spend time with nature. Reduce sedentary life keep moving. Do what would make me happy. Stop whinning. Reduce anger and accept it. Reduce sugar intake, Avoid coke or any such drinks. Be mindful. Drink lot of water. Eat seeds/dry fruits/walnuts/all kinds of nuts Eat fruits in office. Avoid Traffic if possible. Relax your mind and body. Watch out for Brain fogs. Circadian rhythm / Natural clock should be in proper sync. Intake saffron. Eat Mackerel/Sardines/Tuna/Salmon for Omega 3. Eliminate Smoking Eliminate drinking alcohol Eliminate Poor diet Spend time exposing skin to Sun. Drink lime honey water mixed with Turmeric early morning. Last but not the least one of the most important No Porn and No Fap. I may have missed out few points. Let me know if you need any road maps. After successfully quitting SSRi I met my Doctor and he was really happy with my exit journey. 2 years off since taking SSRi, I just came here to say my positive story because I had visited this site during my SSRi intake. EDIT: The medication which a depressed person consumes tricks the Brain generating chemicals from their own, but one should have the will power to override all the chemical settings at any cost. The mental trauma never supports this agony and finally one could fall back to medications again. Heart Palps one would never knew was it a issue from Brain or Heart, this is like impending doom almost like death knocking the door. Fundamental story is rewire the Brain and its chemical pahtways so that the Neuroplasticity kicks in to restore old conditions. What really matters is determination/ tightly bound WILL power. Never fall back. Light comes at great cost. Cheers to all..!!
  5. Hi there:) I was a member of paxilprogress since 2004 and then the site was shut down...I was on paxil for 8.5 years starting in 2001...after a horrible withdrawal ..at 11 months off i went back on paxil again for a few years then did a successful 4 year taper with compounded pills.. i have now been paxil free since June 1, 2014..paxil progress members will know who i am:) Michele aka MapleLeafGirl Admin note: MapleLeafGirl's Introductions topic: ☼ Mapleleafgirl off Paxil
  6. As you can see from the title this is going to be a long and in-depth story, so bear with me. I am going to write this in small paragraphs as well for people who are still having issues with light sensitivity and brain fog (hopefully it will make it a bit easier to read) I was prescribed Paxil back in summer 2003 after having a major depressive episode, i had been out of work for about 3 months by then which i'm pretty sure what the trigger was for this episode. I have always suffered from social anxiety and irrational thinking patterns making me a natural worrier. I started off on 20mg a day and after about 8 weeks or so felt much better and just started to get on with my life again. About a half a year later i went down to 10mg a day with not much of a problem, another 6 months passed and i felt it was time to come off them, i just went cold turkey from 10mg, felt fine for the first few days then it hit me, i felt really low and started climbing the walls so to speak, back on 10mg it was. I carried on on 10mg until winter 2008 where i really felt like it was time to come off these drugs, i went down to 5mg a day by splitting the pill into quarters, then 5mg every other day, then zero, it was now Jan 2009. I was really apprehensive about quitting because of the previous cold turkey experience but i knew this time i had tapered down, but still too quick really, because of Paxil's short half-life. I felt fine though and thought i was home dry, that feeling lasted 2 months. I was hit with depression but didn't really think much to it, i have always had little bouts of mild depression before and even while on antidepressants, but this feeling lasted and lasted and lasted, along with a feeling of being off balanced, sudden vertigo spells, brain zaps, panic attacks, bouts of insomnia and a general sense of impending doom, all of this came in a package of waves and windows, very little windows!. I had these symptoms for the best part of 4 years, 4 years of swearing like a trooper, cursing GSK, pretending to be okay for family, friends and work colleagues (yes i had a full time job though all of this) and moments of wishing i was never born. But you know what, i am glad i took antidepressants because they saved my life. I had moments during that period when i genuinely felt like i was never going to make it through to the other side, that "feeling" of normal was a distant dream, i felt like maybe i had permanent brain damage. 2013 was my year, that was the year i felt like all of my symptoms had finally subsided, i was still working, the sun was shining and i was now cycling 40 miles a week, and when i mean all my symptoms had gone i mean all of them, i couldn't believe it, i was now living that dream and feeling "normal". I am 33 now and i am very content with life, sometimes i look back from my current comfort bubble and wonder whether it was really that bad, i want all of you to be in this comfort bubble. I think what really helped me through it all was acceptance, CBT, throwing out the calendar of time, patience, supplements (omega-3/vit e, magnesium), gentle exercise/fresh air and always remembering the quote "spring always follows winter", hell i would have had that tattooed on my forehead if only i didn't look like a recovering drug addict. I do currently have health issues though, which i have seen a doctor about, he said it was to do with stress and anxiety, what!!, i couldn't be more chilled out nowadays if i tried. So i bypassed his verdict and went and got a private blood test to check my vitamin D levels (my symptoms have gotten worse over the winter just gone and i have been researching a lot recently about diet and nutrients). I am deficient in vitamin D and am starting to take supplements for it. I can honest to God (thank you) say i feel i have fully recovered from Paxil withdrawal despite my current health, which to be fair, i have never had a good diet or been in optimal health, but knowledge is power and i am now aiming for "optimal" health. I want to wish every single one of you the best luck in the universe with this, it is crazy, life is crazy. And i promise to try not to start every paragraph with a "I".
  7. I posted the following this time last year on another forum. It was my 3 year update. Today - I am active, healthy and busy living my life with barely a thought to WD. I feel pleasure and pain, excitement and disappointment, joy and hurt, I cry and I laugh - all the normal range of emotions that are part of the human condition. I have my energy and motivation back. Today - I consider myself a full success story because any more healing will be a bonus only. This, is without question, the hardest thing that I have ever gone through but I do not regret doing it. I am completely 'med' free and have my own mind back (for what that is worth lol) so IF the handful of 'residual issues' (listed below) that remain, happen to stay around I consider the price worth it. Residual Issues Physical Tinnitus - this is by far the worst physical symptom. It started while on Paxil and became considerably and progressively worse once off. There are basically 2 sounds which both vary in intensity - a high pitched whine and a low buzzing. Every month or so I get a few hours break of blissful silence which gives me hope that it will completely go away one day. Can be irritating at times and I am usually aware of it but the overall impact has become minimal. Numb feet - this has stayed with me since coming off and sometimes affects my balance. It too varies in intensity but aside from being more careful in the shower (cannot tell if I am going to slip) this has less than minimal impact on my life. Vision - eyes are healthy but vision problems come and go. Mostly blurring and floaters. Minimal impact. Skin - still have worse acne outbreaks than when I was a teenager. I suspect that the hormonal system could still be adjusting. Impact on my life ....... ZERO Psychological/Emotional Stress tolerance -these have been bad for the duration and up until a couple of months ago I would have said that they were still at very low levels. Recently though, I have found myself in a number of very high stress situations and surprised myself by not falling apart - apparently I just needed some practice LOL. Impact on my life ........... moderate to minimal Anxiety levels - these have vastly improved (how could they not after the ridiculous stuff of acute WD), however ............ I still have times and they have a different 'feel' to pre- med anxiety. Impact on my life is moderate because this only impacts when the levels are bad - the regular anxiety that I have always lived with is now a walk in the park by comparison. Depression - once in a while with months between sessions. This is something that I never had pre 'meds' so I count it as a residual issue. It comes with the usual misery - crying, lethargy, suicidal thoughts etc. Impact is minimal because it happens rarely and only lasts a few days. Update Nothing has changed in the last year except for a bit more anhedonia. Although I said that it doesn't matter above, I now realize that I had hoped for some more healing. I still do not regret coming off these foul poisons and would do it again even knowing what was ahead ........... however ............ is this it?
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