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  1. I recently got pregnant and went from 10mg paxil to 5mg in one week and then completely stopped. I then had a miscarriage (about 2 months ago) and am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Would it be safe to go back on a low dose of paxil and try to taper off properly, or is it too late? I am miserable! Thanks in advance. Update as of March 29, 2017: Link to post below
  2. I took paxil 12.5 mg for 10 months due to problem of panic attack in closed spaces. then i slowly withdrawn from it in 1 month. I am not taking any medication for 7 months except due to some depressive events i took paxil 12.5 mg for 10-15 days 2 months back. Now i have heart palpitations and stomach cramps. I had headache but now that has gone away in one week since i started eating walnuts. I hope slowly my other physical symptoms will also go away. The only thing which makes me sad is anxiety sometimes due to emotions and also the fear of relapse. Please tell when will i become emotionally stable. I have heard that after 3 months situation starts improving. Is it true?
  3. Hi Everyone! I can't even express in words how glad I am I found this forum! I've been on 25mg CR of Paxil for 11 years now. Started to taper off at the end of last summer as my life is much more stable now and I was tired of feeling numb/like a zombie/tired ALL THE TIME. The difference I've felt since being on such a smaller dose now is day and night. I have energy and am not falling asleep during the day anymore. My anxiety has also been incredibly manageable and I haven't struggled too much with it. I like so many have experienced that my doctor has no idea what she's talking about. She advised first to switch from the 25mg CR version to 12.5mg CR version, which I did, and the first couple weeks were rough. It got better, but then had another relapse of symptoms 6 weeks in. I ended up soldiering through as it was manageable and stayed on the 12.5 through the end of the year. At the start of this year I began to taper off again, first to the non-CR version, then down 2.5mg/week per the advice of my doctor. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms until I hit 3.75 (they were still very mild) then some more intense but still manageable at 2.5mg. The big mistake I made was going down to 1.25 when I wasn't feeling great, because yesterday was a day from hell. I could hardly get through the day, it was so awful. So, after reading the advice here I went back up to 2.5 last night and am feeling much better today. Just mild symptoms (brain zaps mostly, and feeling like I'm going to cry at any point) which are tolerable and am hoping they'll subside soon. I am thankful to have read about the 10% taper off plan because my doctor literally told me I was at such a small amount now that I should be fine to hop off (HA!). Also really thankful to read that I only have to go back up to a little bit to feel okay again. I was worried I would have to reinstate at almost the full dose. I've been managing with a quicker taper due to meditation (headspace app), essential oil blends, running, long walks, pilates and weekly CB therapy (as well as lots of face time with Jesus). I also took a B Complex vitamin for the first time yesterday, which I feel helped too. Was super discouraged yesterday at my set back but am optimistic this new 10% taper plan will have me off in a few months. I am thankful to have found a place where so many are in similar spots to me as they are fairly rare to find in my day to day life. This isn't a race! Tapering off is TOUGH - let's do this together
  4. Female. Anxious disposition even as child. Did well making friends and enjoying life as a child. Struggled with getting to sleep though, due to worries. Displayed some ocd behaviour in teens ( maybe even before). Took and E aged 16 - big mistake. This exacerbated my anxiety and induced subsequent panic attacks. Age 19 ish ( 2001) was put on seroxat (not sure on dosage -it a strange time; experienced a lot of weird goings on with feeling weird, insomnia, - cant remember if this was before or on starting seroxat). started to feel better while on Seroxat. After a year or two, ( age 21) the doc, due to reports of suicidal behaviour on seroxat, decided to swap me to Citalopram ( 20mg i think). On starting Citalopram, I became very suicidal! Not sure why I wasn't swapped back but I perservered and must have evened out. Took Citalopram for 2 years and I felt good. Met my, now, husbandat 23 and thought life was brill and I did not need Citalopram anymore. Didn't follow any kind of tapering ( didnt know I needed to) and must have stopped cold turkey. Felt very suicidal so went back on Citalopram and evened out again. Must have cut fown to 10 mg and stayed on this for 4 years, functioning well. I did my degree. Am a bit of a perfectionist so worked very hard ( too hard), as well as working 16 hours. End of 4th year at Uni, I was burnt out. Overloaded, overwhelmed, run diwn physically and mentally. A 'nervous breakdown' ensued. I tried to go back to uni to finish the last couple of months but couldn't. I finished my dissertation abd transferred my degree so I still gained a 1st class degree but was very ill. I, nearly straight after became pregnant. I, however, suffered a horrid missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. I had told the docs that I thought something was wrong, 5 weeks earlier, but was dismissed. I took 2 months off work and was a mess. The doctor gave me diazepam and zopiclone which helped me ride the worst. Somehow I survived and became pregnant again not long after. Pregnancy was hard ( pains and bleeding) but I lasted. When my baby was born, it was tricky ( so much new to learn; I developed some ocd habits to help me feel in control but it was ok. Things leveled out. I was still on 10 mg Citalopram ( docs aware of this). I was doing well. I had snother baby a couple of years later, aged 29. Pregnancy was s bit better than the previous one but I still had bleeding, so was nervous but it was ok. I continued on 10 mg of Citalopram and was doing ok. When my son was 1 though, I took on too much. ( Lots of voluntary work with high expectations and serious responsibilities. I juggled trying to be a good mum, with several voluntary roles, housekeeping, got a small part time job too. over this time, for some reason i was slowly tapering Citalopram down ( no guidance really other than from the doc that you can take them every other day (? Is this where things started to go wrong?). I thought I was doing ok, although on reflection I was burning the candle at both ends. At the age of 32 I began to experience sciatica and fatigue. Doc suggested I try coming off the pill. This didn't help. This got worse until I developed severe abdominal pain/ heavy periods/ Nausea/ severe IBS - doc queried cfs but i was not yet referred. I was probably taking 5 mg of citalopram a couple of times a week ( not great I now realise as not steady) but as much as I was feeling physically crap, I was still functioning I stopped the Citalopram and took nothing for 10 months. The voluntary work took on another level; I imploded and had a 'nervous breakdown' ( I had a ridiculous amount of stress which was causing me to struggle with sleep and I was beginning to get suicidal ideation and brain fog before this, on top of the other physical issues, then a stressful voluntary work event sent me into a breakdown ( crying/ anxious/ ocd/ sleeplessness/ some kind of sleep apnea where id wake up gasping for breath.. I was put back onto Citalopram. I quit all voluntary work. I requested to start what i thought was low - 5mg. They pushed me to go to 10, saying 5 was ridiculous. At the same time, it was thought I may have endometriosis, so in 2017, aged 35 I had a laparoscopy operation to check; it was not. I think the operation and anaesthetic helped finish me off. The Citalopram made me increading suicidal to the point where I had suicidal ideation 24/7. i was somehow still getting sleep at this point but obe day was so suidsl, I went to A&E. Saw a psychiatrist for the first time in my life ( aged 35). Was tild to stip Citalopram strainght away. Discussed alternatives ( antipsychotics/ Mirtazipine, other ssris etc). I took nothing fir a week then another team of psychiatrists advised on possible meds. It was decided I would try Sertraline ( another Ssri??? why did i do that) I started it on 12.5 mg ( much to dismay of psychiatrists) but I was not given time to level out; They kept bumping up dose so i would get to the 'theraputic' dose of 50mg. Another level of Hell ensured which I hadn't yet visited. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, jitters, suicidsl ideation in the extreme, depression, muscle twitching, increased brain fog, intrusive thoughts, rapid weight loss, hellish insomnia. This on top of the fatigue and pain and ibs i was already experiencing. Despite my reaction, I was told to persist; I think they thought it wss my normal behaviour ( never felt this bad even when I wss 18 before starting Seroxat). Things levelled a bit after about 3 1/2 months. I was able to function a bit and go to my part time work and look after the home but it was tough. I developped tinnitus on Sertraline and had increasing brain fog. I also now suffered from depersonalisation and still had IBS and fatigue and body pain. In November last yesr, Another doc suggested i try the fodmap diet. i tried this and after 2 months it was very apparent that I had a gluten intolerance. Stopping gluten cleared up my IBS and most of the body pain. I still however battled with increasing brain fog and fatigue and severe depersonalisation to the point i couldnt go out at times and battled with it on the way to/ at work. Sertraline was not for me. I decided to cut down. the only advice id had about tapering was every other day from my doc but I thought Id do it slower. i cut miniscule amounts off from April 17, no real structure. I did this slowly but without checking i was stabilising, from April to August when i got to about 25mg. July and August, my brain fog became unbearable; unable to do shopping, unable to have a proper conversation, overwhelmed by simple questions, I became hypersensitive to light and sound. I often wore shades even on cloudy days ( looking back, noide and light sensitivity started with sertraline). I wore earplugs to limit noise at home with loud children. I became snappy due to loud noises. July August this got worse and worse but I was still functioning. I began doing sertraline every other day at 25 mg in August I think, maybe before then BAM one night in early September I had severe anxiety and total insomnia. This was relentless. I was desperate. I needed advice. Do i go back? Stop? go down? even dose to take each day. I was severely suicidal and devepped what seemed to be fit type episodes where i would be breathless, painful stomach, weird tingly head, palpitations, neck pain and lower back pain, loss of appetite, feeling flu like, becoming extremely dehydrated to the point i would guzzle water down cup after cup, My body contorted in painand tension, I eould then becime cold snd shiver. these episodes could last a couple of minutes but up to 16 hours at times. i was desperate for advise. over September/ early october, I visited A&E 4 times, desperately suicidal; I spoke to my doctor, I spoke to the nhs 111 line, I paid to dpeak to a psychiatrist but NO ONE would advise me, passing me round like a hot potato, telling me to do CBT and wait fir an appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist in december! I wouldn't live until then! I stayed with my mum as I felt so out of control with these fit type things ( including one where paramedics came and I was growling/ disorientated/ confused/ dehydrated so my eyeballs snd skin were dry- I was agressive ( never been like this in my life). I didnt want to be near my family due to my behaviour so I stayed with my mum for a few days. she lives in another county. I went to A&E there and they listened to me and made me feel worthwhile. they referred me to their home treatment team, who visited me but once again were unwilling to discuss specifics of medication. i was given zopiclone and diazepam. my husband and i didnt know what to do. we saw this website but I was still confused. I 'evened' out the 25 mg every other day dose to 12.5 in September. This may have made things worse, not sure which is why i wanted advice. The home treatment team managed to get my appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist movef to early october. I saw her and she laughed at my idea that it was withdrawal. she suggested I try an snri or mirtazapine. After reading this site, I wad reluctant. I am still referred with that team of psychiatrists but another appointment is in 2 months and they just want to throw more meds at me without showing any understanding of withdrawal. 5 weeks ago at an extreme point, before seeing the psychiatrist, I stopped Sertraline. I have been off it for 5 weeks. The fits seem to have all but stopped. but my anxiety is through the roof. I have severe stomach pain, reactions to shsmpoo, brain buzzy feeling whch zaps at times, particularly with high pitched loud noises. my sensitivity to sound is horrendous, as are my emotions and sensitivity to stress. I am overwhelmed by anxiety and ocd type ruminating thoughts about the situation and about my children's health. I am in sick leave from work since 2 months ago, as is my husband ( to look after me and the children). I have managed to taper off zopiclone and my sleep varies depending on my anxiety at night ( minutes up to 6 hours, broken sleep). I took dome diazepam but the ladt dose in September affected my breathing and I became severely breathless for 4 hours andmy gums bled so i haven't taken it since. I have applied for pip disability living allowance. we are shortly going to have no miney coming in and do t know if and my husband will be able to go back to work or if he will be fired ( I assume i will). I read this site but felt I couldnt reinstate as I never felt good on Sertraline. what now? do I try to ride it out? So suicidal and hopeless at times. Do I reinstate to citalopram instead? Do i try something else? Low dose mood stabiliser/ antipsychotic? Ps, I was referred a month ago to the ME/ Cfs people for diagnosis. Still waiting to hear.
  5. Hi i wanted to ask if anyone in here experienced extreme fatigue ? All day I feel so tired and the only activity I can manage is an hour walk but even through walking I feel very weak.. the mornings are the worst when I wake up after 10 hrs sleep I have no energy my body just lies in bed but have absolutely no energy did anyone experienced something similar ? Thank you in advance
  6. Hi Everyone, I’m glad to find this forum, which I joined because I’m about to try to get off Paxil, which I’ve been taking for 25 years. I’ve tried twice before and the withdrawal was so severe that I ended up in the ER both times. This was before SmithKlineBeecham admitted there was a problem with withdrawal, and no one, including the doctors I saw, knew anything about it. Of course I tried to taper way too fast. I went back on it because the withdrawal was intolerable and because it did work on my depression, from which I’ve suffered all of my life. Now it has quite suddenly stopped working. I’m taking 60 mgs of Paxil and 300 of Wellbutrin (time-release version). Other drugs I’ve tried over the years include Elavil, Triavil, Pamelor, Valium, Effexor, Celexa, Zoloft, Desyrel, Prozac, Remeron, Brintellix, Viibryd, Lexapro, plus (at various times) Klonopin, Ambien, Trazadone. For about six months I also took antipsychotics because a doc thought I might be bipolar 2. It was a disaster—never have I been so terrified of mental illness. Those drugs included Seroquel, Lamictal, Cymbalta, Quillivant, and Latuda, which caused akithesia (sp?). My poor brain has been under the influence of these substances for a total of 32 years now. I’m deeply anxious about discontinuing all meds, but determined to do it. I want to know the truth about what my mind is like without them. I wish I knew of a specialist in my area (upstate NY) I could consult. My doc is great, but I don’t think he knows more than the average shrink about the withdrawal syndrome. I plan to start the taper on May 1st, and lessen the dose once a month by 5% of the previous month’s dose, a schedule that seems to be generally recommended. I’m scared! And that’s my situation. On a more personal note, I’m a writer and teacher. Hobbies are sewing and gardening.I look forward to exchanging info. With others here.
  7. Summary I'm 25. I was taking paroxetine for 3 years. Started at 20mg, then 30mg, then 20mg. I reduced it to 10mg for a few weeks before stopping it completely. 3 or 4 months have gone by, but I don't feel fine and many objective problems have appeared after cessation. Hyposmia is bothering me a lot, it started after changing the dosage to 10mg or stopping it, not sure which one. I'm also very confused, perhaps because of lack of sleep too. I'm thinking about reinstating, but I'm concerned if it's a mostly risk-free proposition if it doesn't work and I stop taking it. The prospect of everything easily going back to the way it was before is very appealing. I want to go back to normal even if that means tapering will last much longer vs suffering indefinitely. Full story I apologize for the lack of precision, but I've been really confused lately. I did a fast taper at the end of 2018. I had been taking paroxetine since sometime in 2015, not exactly sure when I started but I think it was the 2nd half of the year. I started at 20mg, then increased it to 30mg in the middle of 2016 and changed it to 20mg at the end of 2017 for a few weeks or months, then started taking 30mg again. Sometime in 2018 I reduced the dosage to 20mg once again and kept it there. I didn't notice any withdrawal symptoms at the time, I did become more energetic for a while though. Now I can see the last time there were some of the same effects I'm currently experiencing, although in a much smaller scale. In November, I think, I dropped the dosage to 10mg and took it until the end of the year, it might have been middle December o early January the last time I took it. I had taken paroxetine for a few months almost 10 years ago and stopped cold turkey, which resulted in an awful withdrawal for 1 or 2 weeks, I was 17 then. Since I didn't feel any of the physical effects from the first time, I assumed my tapering was working fine. But now it's clear to me that things have changed for the worse and I started attributing these negative effects to stopping the medication. I work as a programmer and have been finding much difficulty in putting in the same number of hours and achieving the same results, it's like I can't think properly and my brain is not working as well as before. I would say my memory and concentration appear to not be as good as before. When I remember and look back, I would say I was doing best at 30mg / day. The reason I stopped was that I started thinking it was making me dumber, now it's hard to say whether it was the medication or something else that caused that perception. Anecdotally, I found some guy online who reported a similar thing: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/antidepressants-and-iq.590056/post-3832506. It's been 3 or 4 months since I stopped taking it, I thought what doctors say about withdrawal lasting only a few weeks was correct and didn't imagine such a serious problem wouldn't be mentioned. The most worrying thing for me is that I'm experiencing hyposmia and I believe it's because of the withdrawal - the doctor said this might be the case if it started after stopping the medication. I think it started before stopping the medication but after reducing the dosage to 10mg. What I can say with complete certainty started happening after stopping the medication: - I've made many bad decisions, financially and otherwise - in contrast to things going very well before. - I've been confused a lot of the time. - People close to me have actually told me my life started going downhill after stopping the medication - and they are right. - People close to me started mentioning how bad my mood became. - It seems I no longer have time for anything - while I was doing a lot more before and still had more free time. - Work performance has gone down a lot. - I remember the goals I had, but I don't really feel like I have any goals now. I know I have them, but it doesn't feel the same, it's as if I were a bit dead. That's the best description, I feel like some sort of reactive insect now. - My sleep has become worse, but it's hard to say if external factors aren't contributing. - Keeping a train of thought is hard. When I sleep a lot and exercise I feel slightly better, which makes me question if taking the medication again in a small dosage is the right call. But I can't stay like this indefinitely either. Do you think taking 5mg for a week or so to check the difference is too risky based on what you know and other people have reported? Because I feel inclined to do that if it's harmless and might bring me back to normal. I'm considering even increasing it back to the previous dosage over time and start tapering very slowly after 6 months or so. I'm 25 if that matters. Thank you for your attention.
  8. PaxilAbe

    PaxilAbe

    I'm on my third time trying to withdraw from Paxil. Was doing well for about 3 months after complete cessation. Started noticing withdrawal effects which became more severe after 5 to 6 months. Now am experiencing severe physical symptoms (body aches, insomnia, burning sensations) making day to day activities and work difficult. Considering reinstatement of Axil after 8 months just to try to get back to normalcy. Signature: Paxil 1998 - 2018 Tried short term switch to Zoloft in 2013. Tried withdrawal August 2016 - November 2016 Off Paxil November 2016 to July 2017. Severe symptoms. Reinstated. Trying again March 2018 - May 2018 taper. Off until present but strongly considering reinstatement.
  9. I'm bouncing back from two weeks of bad withdrawal, with intense headaches, poor coordination, and unsteady gait. I've started tapering early July 2016 from 10 mg Paxil daily for over twenty years for depression and GAD; I'm at 1,5ml (=3mg) now (I meant) 0,15 ml/0,3 mg. The last reduction hit me hard, so I'm taking more time, once again. Looking back, there seem to be three distinct phases of withdrawal for me. In the beginning, I suffered a lot of physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness, disorientation, sweating, and nightmares. About half way through, waves and waves of emotion were crashing over me. Now, at the tail end, it's a kind of weird cocktail, with plenty more of both to go! I've been supplementing with feverfew, GABA, phenibut, ginger, huperzine A, and B12. They all help to some extent, especially the feverfew, ginger, and GABA, but there's no magic bullet. The challenge for me remains to allow for the time and space for my brain to adjust. Just to allow the process to run its course. With just about every reduction, I have thought, well, the next one can be quicker and bigger. With the nasty implication, of course, of should be quicker and bigger. As if it is all some sort of competition, or battle of will power and discipline. The big obstacle here is my own sense of impatience and judgment. Constantly, I need to re-learn to surrender to the material reality of my brain, an organ that naturally requires the time that it requires. Now, at 1,5 ml (3 mg) 0,15 ml/0,3 mg, the temptation again is to rush, to jump, to have it over with. But it really doesn't work like that.
  10. Hi I am Hopefulstill and new. I started at 20 mg. Paxil...... Now years later on 50 mg. but seems to have pooped out. I am going to try tapering off. Started with 46 mg. yesterday Here goes! Glad I found this site
  11. Hi, everyone! My name is Franny, and I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but I need to just type this out. So I just got over the flu and have just been catching no break, but for some reason, after I recovered, I started having anxiety symptoms I’ve never had before such as waking up in the middle of the night with elevated heart, feeling hot, then trembling and just an overall, very terrible feeling every day. (This is just so out of the blue and just so severe that I’m scared). I haven’t taken paroxetine in a year (quit cold turkey) and was doing pretty well. Life is good, I’m surrounded by good people. However, this panic/anxiety has been so bad recently, that I dug out the paroxetine (20 mg) and took one yesterday and the day before (haven’t taken one today yet). This morning when I woke up with this panic attack, I went to the hospital because maybe it was something else, and of course, I just have terrible anxiety so they gave me a lorazepam. (I did notify them I took paroxetine within the past two days). I felt pretty calm from the lorazepam but now I’m kinda getting anxious again. The only time I could get in with a psychologist is 2 weeks from now. In the mean time, I just don’t know what to do. Do I continue taking this 20 mg of paroxetine everyday until then? I just felt so desperate, and I’m just so upset because college is where I thrive and I just don’t know what’s happening; I could just cry right now. Again, I apologize if I’m not going about this in the right way, but I really appreciate your support and how strong you all are. Thank you.
  12. Hi, I've been on SSRI's now for about 20 years except for a few years in the middle. First it was Prozac with BuSpar, and over the last 10 years Paxil with Klonopin. I'm in search of who I am off of these meds, and I'm sick of the side-effects (mainly sexual side effects of Paxil for me). I successfully tapered off of Klonopin over 1 year from 0.5 mg (finished that in May of '16), and I've been tapering off of Paxil for the last year and a half from 30 mg. to my current dose of 10 mg. This is my second deliberate attempt to get off of SSRI's. The first attempt was done very quickly in 2012 (over about a month) and it was a disastrous fall into extreme anxiety resulting in voluntary hospitalization for five nights in a locked unit. In 2014 I was switched from Paxil to a different drug altogether (Lamictal), and that was also a terrible event because the doctor had me go off of the Paxil too quickly, resulting in a quick descent into anxiety, then the worst soul-crushing depression I've ever experienced. I was out of work for 5 weeks. I'm happy to share more details later, but for now I'll focus on the here and now. So back to the current withdrawal attempt. I was down to 10 mg of Paxil in November, 2017, and I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to continue the slow taper. He prescribed liquid Paxil at the equivalent of 9 mg for 2 weeks, then 8 mg, but when I went to pick it up I was told it would be over $150. Yikes! The pharmacist recommended I look into having it compounded elsewhere to save money. After searching for a compounding facility, calling my doc and writing him a letter, I finally got the prescription for a compounded version of Paroxetine for $70 / month, plus $5 shipping. A couple weeks later it arrived, and I was very happy to continue my slow, controlled taper. That was around Dec. 22, 2017. That's when things went wrong. After a couple days I started feeling a bit cantankerous, fidgety, and my appetite increased. I had just re-started working out, and this adrenaline rush fueled my anger and appetite. You know that feeling when you've run out of fuel and you've got that hungry, angry feeling inside? I was feeling like this almost all the time. About five days after starting the compounded Paxil I had an incident at work where I lost my temper. I apologized and things smoothed over, but I'm pretty convinced that something wasn't right with the compounded medication. Maybe it was measured wrong; maybe the bitter cold affected it in shipping. I don't know, but I strongly doubt it was 9 mg. Paxil. So I went back to the 10 mg., and that's when I've been on for the last 5 nights. But my mind and body are both very much off-kilter. My anxiety's increased and the insatiable hunger continues. I have a high-metabolism which is even higher under this stress, so I can't seem to satiate my appetite. I'm hoping that after a few more days things will even out, and I plan on staying at 10 mg. for at least a couple weeks before I start a taper again. I've since picked up the prescription for the liquid Paxil; I decided that when I continue the taper, I want to make sure I'm very confident of the accuracy of the medication. I don't trust the compounded version now. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement would be much appreciated as I re-stabilize.
  13. Greetings I am a 49 year old male. I was prescribed Paxil 20mg 15 years ago. I was having panic attacks and originally prescribed Zoloft. I reacted badly to that med and immediately took my self off of it. Wasnt on it more than 3 days. Still suffering from gripping anxiety my PCP suggested I try another med in this class as everyone reacts differently to them. Initially I resisted but wanted relief. So I relented and took the sample starter pack of Paxil. Within 2 weeks I was feeling better. There was no question it had an affect. I had mild sexual side effects mainly muted orgasms. In the big picture it was a small price to pay for not living in constant fight or flight mode. I have tried numerous times to get off of this drug. Always failing. Being told that my symptoms where a return of what led me to go on the medication to begin with. I could get down to 10 mg but never any lower before experiencing significant discomfort. I would go into crises and return to my original dosage. I saw a psychiatrist and he prescribed prozac to substitute for the longer half life. That was a huge mistake. This summer I began a new quest feeling more determined than ever to rid myself of this poison. I got down to 10 mg and stayed there for months. I was stable. Using a pill cutter I got down to 5 mg and felt relatively stable. I convinced my PCP to prescribe Paxil in liquid form. This suspension was 10 mg per 5 ml. I started taking 2.5ml/ equivalent of 5 mg. I seemed ok. So I went down to 2 ml and seemed ok. Very little side effects. I was feeling strong so I did the very stupid thing and accelerated my taper. I went down to 1.5 ml. then 2 weeks later went down to 1.2 ml. All hell broke loose. Panic attacks. Flu symptoms. Anxiety. Crying. Anger. pain. Hypochondria. I researched supplements and tried Omega 3's, B Complex, vitamin D. researched tryptophan and 5-HTP but thought better than to try this. It seemingly came in waves. Everytime I hit a window I thought it was over and I was stabalizing just to hit an intense wave again. mornings seem better with waves in the afternoon. Im afraid I damaged my nervous system. Im struggling with what I should do next. I have become fearful I will always have these symptoms. Not sure if I should up my dose or stand pat and give myself more time to stabilize. I recently have had windows where I feel fantastic. Like my old self. Only to hit an intense wave of misery. Its brutal. I do not trust doctors. They are clueless. I have been told to skip doses etc....its unreal the disservice so many people have suffered at the hands of this poison. "Its not addictive" you might feel uncomfortable for a week or two. My god I want to shove this down their throats and let them feel it. Should I up my dose? Stand pat and stabilize? I have been on 1.2 ml for 4 weeks and still feeling symptoms. Maybe just a slight bit of improvement. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Hi, I'm new. Here is a synopsis of my past meds and current issues. Zoloft twice in past, worked once, other gave anxiety. No WD. Then, in May 2014, had tried Paxil for a couple days and didn't like. Used Elavil off-label from neuro for pain. Pain wasn't stopping and felt SI, which I thought came from Elavil. Told clinic and ended up in psych ward (no help from neuro) for SI because of Elavil. In psych ward, doc there said I had created my own pain (I had been working with sore muscles and chiropractor visit with pain that night) because of my divorce. Put me on Risperdal about 1 mg I think, Prozac 20 or 40 mg, Klonopin 0.75 maybe, and a sleep pill a couple nights in the hospital. Also naproxen sodium 550 mg maybe once or twice a day. So, after hospital started to decrease Klonopin and Risperdal when I figured out they were supposed to be as needed, but after a month or so, my body needed them. Was getting symptoms and no help. Ended up back in hospital in July 2015 where they tried to CT the Klonopin. Was there 14 days. Doc said I was neurotic and wanted to increase Risperdal. I left there still on Rispderal about 1 mg, Librium 25 mg to replace Klonopin, and Prozac 40 mg. I tapered off Risperdal by November 2014, Librium by February 2015 where I jumped off the last 5 mg, and I did not keep track of when I got off the last 20 mg of Prozac but probably sometime in April 2015. Looking back, my anxiety started increasing in May 2015, usually more around my period. Had lots of stressors anyway. Then, in July 2015 had some neck pain and was on Flexeril a short while (had tried Tramadol like twice and hydrocodone once). Had a major stressor. Went off Flexeril. Ended up with insomnia and nausea, I think related to Flexeril. Tried Prozac for 1 day at 5 mg in September 2015, and that sent me up the wall. Panic and anxiety worse. Went on Buspar for about 2-3 weeks. That didn't really help much and gave me chest pain and migraines. Insomnia still bad. Tried Ambien a couple days but was afraid of it and went on mirtazapine, big mistake but needed sleep and was having SI. Started mirtazapine 10/9/15 at 15 mg, next day 7.5 mg and for a few days. Caused brain fog, a lot of agitation and anxiety. Was sleeping. Scared. Called doc, who said I could go off, but after 2 weeks was afraid to jump off dose. Started cutting dose every day and got down to 5.8 mg and held until saw doc. Said to stay on, seemed to help. I tried to cut from 5.8 to 5.7 this last week and a half and had some major anxiety symptoms and headache. Now I don't want on at all and don't know what to do. Only been on for a little over a month but scared. Don't know what else to use for sleep. I have a scale to weigh but I know even when it says 5.7 mg every night that can still have some variance because of the small amounts of pill I scrape off. I also tried Ativan for a week about 2 weeks ago. It was horrible. Worked when I took it, but the rebound anxiety was awful. I had to take every day for a week, slowly lowering the dose. I just can't take it prn. It gives me severe rebound anxiety. My family says I am dysfunctionally obsessed with medication. That may be the case, but I seem to be hypersensitive to meds and worse lately. I am having some sensitivity to light and sound and touch. Vision blurry and off in low lighting. Having trouble concentrating. At least no more brain fog from mirtazapine but have headaches almost every single day. I have only been on it a month, but I am scared best way to reduce. I know WD symptoms can take 2-3 weeks to hit. I am waiting to see what will happen next week (third week of reduction from 5.8 to 5.7). AT this rate it will take me forever to get off a med I only started 1 month ago. I have read of some using valium to help with WD symptoms but am scared. Still, I need to function. I'm supposed to be getting a job but how do I work with severe anxiety, agitation, and etc. from small drops in med. I have some valium but haven't tried it yet to see how I react to it. I am scared of these meds but don't know if I can manage the depression/anxiety that came about this time without something. Could maybe go back on Prozac but so hypersensitive right now and need to get off mirtazapine. I am not sure best thing to do. I read on here that some of these programs that help with supplements aren't that safe. I found that now I cannot take vitamin C or vitamin D without increased anxiety/agitation. Even my progesterone cream does that unless I take it at night. I don't know what is going on. I'm worried my vitamin D will get too low because of the mirtazapine if I cannot supplement. I don't know what I will do for sleep going off the mirtazapine. I went on it for new insomnia (hadn't had problems sleeping since I was a kid and very anxious), and also worse anxiety and depression.
  15. Hi, I'm a 29 year old male who suffered from anxiety since 2013. I suffered a traumatic experience as an 18 year old back in 2006 but had no anxiety or panic for 8 years following?? Back in 2013 I had a panic attack in a shopping centre, heart palpitation which lead to sweaty hands, a metallic taste in my mouth and then the impending doom and tight chest.. It was my first experience of a Panic Attack and it was horrible. About 2 weeks late it happened again, and this lead me to become Agoraphobic which ultimately led to me losing my job. I was now feeling physical symptoms of fatigue, nausea, IBS and many more anxiety symptoms and was subsequently given 20mg of Paxil (Paroxetine) from my GP. (I wish I found this site before I ever started). I took this and after 3-4 weeks, I felt like I was getting my life back again. I had used this SSRI from early 2014 until around October 2017 and never suffered a panic attack in that time and thought to myself I was better and doing well. I wanted to come off, so I went from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and then every second day (which I now know was the wrong way to taper) but eventually got off in October last year. I was doing great off the medication, few early symptoms but nothing crazy, until March this year (5 months) and then BANG!!! I got hit with all the same + new crippling anxiety symptoms I never had the first time, shortness of breath, extreme extreme fatigue, body pains and aches, flushing of the face, nausea, headaches, lack of appetite, weird flutters in the chest and butterflies in the stomach, abdomanal pain, lump in the throat, constant cough and trouble swallowing, constant negative thoughts that I was going to have a heart attack, thoughts I just could not stop thinking!! I even get a really weird feeling on my left side under my ribs when my intestines are, I think to myself that's probably where the serotonin is trying to be made but isnt working??? I tried eating completely healthy, no sugar, no caffeine, fish 3 times a week, lean grass fed beef once a week, natural herbal teas and vitamins, CBT but I just couldn't shake off how bad it was getting! I have been to the hospital 3 times for blood tests, scans, the works, each time finding no problem, they say it's my anxiety and panic disorder. I decided last week after 2 months of hell to go back on the paxil to stabilise otherwise my next step was into a psych ward. Early this week I was at an all time high with my anxiety and panic and thought this was it. I was so on edge and tense, so I was also prescribed Ativan, I took 1mg and it eased the tension straight away. I haven't wanted to touch it again because I don't want to get hooked to this drug luckily I found info and withdrawal difficulty online in time otherwise I would be poisoning my brain with another drug. 6 days into my second round of paxil, I'm feeling a little better. Im still having mild anxiety at various stages throughout the day, weather it's a negative thought for an hour, or stomach pain, or nausea but I feel stabilised. Im not sure if I've had a delayed withdrawal from the paxil or if it's a relapse of my old self because not even back in 2013 when I was suffering like this did I get symptoms this bad! I need to get better. I have never felt so stressed, tense, sick and detached. My partner is pregnant and I can't be stressing her out and I need to be healthy here for baby #2. I want to get off this drug, but I think I need some time to get better first. - Generalised Anxiety - Health Anxiety - PTSD - Agoraphobia - Panic Disorder Look forward to chatting
  16. Hello, I have started taking 10 mg paxil in the morning and 2.5 mg rexapin (generic for zyprexa) at night after bankruptcy followed by a break up. I have used paxil for 4.5 months and stopped along with rexapin ( fast taper for paxil and cold turkey rexapin). I had terrible anxiety. It was so bad that i was shaking inside all the time. I have survived for a month and than after talking to my dr i started takinng olanzapine at 5,5 months mark. I immediately started to feel better, now its been a little more than a month on only olanzapine. Last week i started tapering after consulting with my dr who is not a fan of drugs(wants me off this drugs asap) but fast tapering is his favourite i guess. He recomended 3/4 dose for a week , 1/2 for a week and 1/4 for a week and than stop. I started taking 3/4 dose for 4 days now, mentally i am not so bad but i started to feel really tired that i can not leave my bed. Is this a common withdrawl symptom ? BR Gonzi
  17. Hi Ginger, I was very encouraged by your experience with paxil recovery I saw on one of the threads. In January of this year I quit paxil cold turkey. I had been taking it for 24 months, the majority of it at 60 mg. I went through about a good two months of physical withdrawal symptoms. I thought I was in the clear after this but then I was hit by an episode of acute psychosis where I felt I was being stalked by someone. This went away and moved onto a fear of sollipsism "That the world is not real". I was originally taking the paxil for OCD. Now I worry that I have somehow permanently done something to my brain by going cold turkey. or that I have already lost my mind. Can you give me a little bit more detail about your experience or some advice to help me. I had to reinstate zoloft and also take ativan. Ginger's topic: Ginger: how I got here
  18. Hello everybody. I'm not a native english speaker so excuse me in advance for the errors. I started taking paroxetine 20 mg at the end of 2010 when I was 21 years old. My doctor prescribed it because I was a little depressed at that time due to university stress and I was having also some psychosomatic distress, especially in the digestive system. Paxil worked fine, made me happy and relaxed but erased my libido and made me emotionless and numb. My doc said it wasn't addictive (bull****) when I CT'd in 2011-2012 I lasted 8 months feeling like ****, almost completely disabled (didn't know what was going on). When I reinstated the 20mg everything cleared up so I realized that all the nightmare had been withdrawal from the paxil. Now after another year of use (end of 2012 till June 2013) I'm gradually tapering but I crashed when reached the 10mg (anxiety, lack of appetite, terror, nightmares, nausea) so I realized I have to do it more slowly and updosed to 14mg about 2 weeks ago (last stable dose) hoping to get better soon. What is scaring for me is all the journey I have still to face down to 0, but I hope that tapering slowly will not be like when I ct'd and suffered so much. Thank you for your time, hoping to find wise suggestions and support.
  19. Took Effexor 2004-2006 Switched to paxil to jitteriness and increased anxiety on Effexor On paxil 20 mg for 2006-June 2015. Had no problems on it, slept well, functioned well for ten years. Starting in Summer of 2015 starting having insomnia, increased anxiety. Exercised and took otc sleep aids but these had all kinds of side effects, dry mouth, etc. Saw a psychiatrist in Nov 2015, was put on Zoloft low dose. took 2 mg of Zoloft in addition to paxil 20 mg for 3 months, did really well, sleep and anxiety normalized. Suddenly anxiety returned, sleep worsened. Increased Zoloft to 12.5 mg and then 25 mg while tapering paxil down to 15 mg slowly. Did well on this combination for 3-4 months and then suddenly anxiety returned, withdrawal worsened with light sensitivity, sensitivity to sounds, anxiety, etc. Hoping to start lamictal low dose now for glutamergic hyperactivity.
  20. I am yet another PP refugee from years ago. I *think* this is the same name/handle I used back in the day on PP. I found that site to be a critically important resource for managing meds and an oasis for communicating with others on a similar journey. I have had anxiety disorder nearly all my life, and I staved-off meds for 40 years, while I used various coping mechanisms/strategies to enable a musical career and then a technical career and through the successful and wonderful experience of growing a family. But, then about the age of 50 I ran into a bout of anxiety at a time when my career, although creative and enjoyable, exerted significant demands and I needed to manage it all. I needed help. On recommendation from my GP, I started Paxil and have been on a low dose for the most part since. I weaned-off twice over that time, benefiting from the excellent advice/guidance from the PP forumites. Coming off was carefully managed and not bad at all. Coming back on to Paxil twice was extremely difficult just like the initial weaning-on process. I have been on 5mg Paxil for 2 years now and as of last week, I just wanted to ease away from it, so I dropped to 2.5mg, with no real plan for exactly how/when I will get completely off. This past week has been fine - some "side effects" of reducing 50%, but it's all minimal and down in the noise. Yesterday, I went to connect with my PP buddies to figure out the best weaning plan, and I eventually found out that site was taken-down. So I am glad to learn that it re-emerged, in spirit, here. So, I am going do catch up with you folks and determine how long my glide-slope off of Paxil will be. I am in no rush. A few months, a year, I really don't care. It's just that I am convinced that, for me, it's best to be off of Paxil in the long run.
  21. Started 20mg Paroxetine in 1995 for anxiety, I was 18. Been fine for 20yrs with me altering mg summer and winter. Then weaned down to 12.5mg over a couple of months Sept/Oct 16. Crashed in November realising my business wasn't working out. Major insomnia and panic ensued. Then I think I made the worst mistake of my life. I went up to 20mg again, then 25 and 30 a few days later. Went to the doctor and said what I had done. He put me up to 40 without even letting the 30 take effect. 2 weeks later the 40 started to work but I think it left me with worse anxiety and insomnia as a shock to the system. I could not feel a thing. I eventually stabilised and started sleeping after a few months. My anxiety subsided until I suddenly woke with depression. So since then I've had counselling and had bouts of anxiety and depression (Which I never really had prior to going up to 40). In the Summer I had a bout of depression which wouldn't shift. I went to 42.5 and then 45. This had little impact. I discovered if I had a beer it would likely send me into depression but sometimes not. Then if I took L-Tyrosine (precursor amino acid to dopa and norepiphrine) I would come out of depression and go into high anxiety which would subside after a few days. Recently I thought that the high dose of paroxetine was damaging my brain and that may be the root cause of the bouts of depression, (could be the beer though, although I only ever had a few). I also thought it was maybe worth a change after consulting with my PDoc. He gave me Seroquel but I didn't like it. Anyway, I still tried to titrate as I thought I may want to go to another anti-depressant so went down from 45 to 40 and I started to feel something, my positiveness got some nice thoughts to bring feelings. 2 weeks later after a bit of anxiety and a few zaps I went down to 35. That was a week and a half ago. Over the weekend I had 2 pints on Friday and had depression Saturday which shifted Sunday with the LTyrosine. However, the anxiety which hit was way more than usual and came with a muzzy, foggy heavy brain and feeling panic. This felt like major withdrawals from coming down 10mg of paroxetine rather than the L-tyrosine stimulating me. My PDoc has given me pregabalin today and told me to hold at 35 till I feel better but don't want it. I tried one today and it hardly did anything anyway. I think I need the stability on the Parox and to slowly titrate down which will hopefully allow me to feel more and reduce my depressional bouts. I'm really anxious today still should go back up or hold? So it's 3 1/2 weeks since I was on 45mg and 1 1/2 weeks since I came down from 40 to 35. I'm fairly hardy to the anxiety so if you think the worst of dropping has already happened I will hold. Or is it best to get stable on 40 again?
  22. Hi all, First off I'd like to thank everyone for this great community to which I've been lurking on and off since paxil progress shut down (which I frequently lurked as well). I don't know where I'd be with this drug if I didn't have access to others who are struggling with getting off ssri's. I have an insurance-related issue now. My new one no longer covers liquid paxil (a bottle now costs me $547, which may last 3 months) and so the pcp said he'd switch me to 10 mg pills and just cut by quarters. I figured I could just crush them and make my own oral suspension but I remember the transition from tablet to liquid was hard and I don't want to get withdrawal symptoms from switching drug forms (and between generic manufacturers) if I'm not even getting a lower dose out of it. I'm really scared because I have a lot going on in my new career and I can't afford to be sloppy at work. Has anybody here switched back from oral suspension to tablets? I want to call the doctor back tomorrow to ask him to plead a case with my insurance company but he thinks I'm exaggerating because the "amount of drug a body can absorb varies enough every day that these little changes wouldn't affect" but I guess part of the territory of living with a stigma is having my concerns just brushed off. I wish I had done more tapering while I was in school and had week or month long vacations. I have a 3 day weekend coming up and have been contemplating making the switch to pill that Friday before if I have to. I'm also feeling a bit of withdrawals today because I got very stressed last week when I found out my insurance didn't cover so I started a taper down 10% and it hit me quite hard, which is disheartening given the insurance situation. I don't really know what is the best option for me anymore 2011 on paxil 10mg 2013 switched to oral suspension, 10mg No documentation of tapers in this time period 2015 tapered down to 4.8 mg 2016 after enduring extreme depression for 6 months, psychiatrist suggested returning to previous dose. Back up to 5.2 mg 2017 4.8 mg
  23. I have just joined this site from Paxil Progress. I have been withdrawing from 12 years of Seroxat for over a year now. This last few weeks have been a real struggle. I thought that things were improving but the last 2 or 3 weeks have been awful. I haven't slept properly for ages and it feels like WD again. My body pulsates and irritates me. I keep arguing with my partner. Life has no pleasure any more. In the past I tried HTP, acupuncture. I just have camomile tea now, which doesn't seem to help, and Valerian for sleep which doesn't seem to have kicked in yet. Tried some CBT therapy over the phone but without success. I never thought coming off these things would be as bad as this. I went into it with my eyes shut.
  24. Hello... Anybody still out there? I haven't posted in awhile...(okay, maybe years)! I just wanted to update anyone who remembers me from PP as gbass that I am still doing well! I recently ran into a couple guys who were taking paxil and I had completely forgotten how miserable life used to be!! I haven't been on this site in a long time because of that fact, but after speaking to these two men for awhile, I thought an encouraging word about life after Paxil might be encouraging!! It's been about 5 years since my cold turkey, and life couldn't be better! I guess the best thing to say is that there is hope for everyone and the best testimony I can give is that for two years, I remembered every day that I was no longer taking this drug and now I barely remember what it was like! I will try to visit this site more often in the future and offer any encouragement I can as well as just plain chat with old friends (not as in agewise old, just longtime friends! ). Hang in there everybody and as a very dear friend once told me, "If you find yourself in hell, keep walking"!
  25. My story: I started taking anti depressants about 15 years ago for mild anxiety. I saw my doctor and he gave me a prescription after about 15 minutes without any exam. He said I had a guess what? Chemical imbalance. For the next 15 years I switched a few times and increased the dosed so in the end I was on 50mg of Paroxetine CR daily. Through the years I had always had a feeling that something just wasn’t right with me, I was drinking way too much sometimes and I felt like I just didn’t think right, like a normal person. After 8 years dry, I started drinking again following my divorce. I slowly drank more and more and continued to take my 50mgs of paxil every day. I didn’t realize it but I was slowly taking away my conscience. I also didn’t realize it until recently but the paxil was actually giving me the overwhelming urge to drink. It screws up your blood sugar which creates a craving for sweets. Alcohol derived from sugar, so it satisfies this need in your body. But what happens is afterward your blood sugar crashes again which starts a cycle of craving. As a result of the paxil and alcohol I was lying to everyone including myself about my drinking but it didn’t seem wrong to me. Anti depressants and the like are very powerful drugs that not only affect us physically but they do horrendous things to our brains and our personalities. I found myself praying frequently and asking God to help me. I knew I was drinking too much but I also felt something else was drastically wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. God answered my prayer and I guess I wasn’t prepared for what it meant. He sent an angel into my life who when she learned about these drugs urged me to get off of them. We came up with a reduction strategy not wanting to go through the possible severe discontinuation syndrome, which is a nice name for a visit to hell in withdrawal. I started cutting my dose and feeling some minor discomfort every so often but nothing unmanagable. It wasn’t until about 8 months into it that I got hit by a freight train of withdrawal. It turns out that these drugs are stored in our body’s tissue and our blodd levels drop much slower than expected from redu cing the dosage. So when my body caught up my nightmare started. I know this is a benzo site, but I also know that many are in the same situation as I was so I want to talk about antidepressants as well because that is what led me into getting trapped by benzos. They sent me to hell on earth where I met benzodiazapines. So at 8 months I was thrust into full blown a/d withdrawal what seemed like overnight. I was extremely anxious, disconnected, confused and scared. Looking back I don’t know how I got through each day. Well actually it was my angel who was there for me every second that is the reason I made it through this whole ordeal. She talked to me all day long and spent untold hours doing exhaustive research to try to help me in every way possible. Through nutrition, essential oils, anxiety management techniques and on and on. My anxiety and dp/dr got worse every day and after about a month of trying certain supplements and hoping for relief, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore so I went to see my primary care doctor. He was all to willing to prescribe me something to help me with the anxiety. Xanax, .25mg, 3 times a day as needed. I was instantly addicted and very soon right into tolerance so I visited the doctor a few more times. The end result was ending up an 3mg of Ativan a day. It wasn’t long until that wasn’t enough to put a dent in my anxiety and other symptoms so I started adding more pills on the worst days. I also drank periodically to try to get any kind of relief. It got so bad that one day I actually ended up taking 8mg of Ativan along with drinking a lot of beer and wine. I don’t know how I lived through that day but my angel was there to watch over me and make sure nothing happened to me. I thank God for her every day. It takes a special kind of person to be a care taker for someone in a/d and benzo withdrawal. And she never left my side for the 2 years it took me to start the reduction of the a/d to this day as I sit hear and prespare to share my story. The benzo’s were making me crazier and crazier the higher I went. I can’t really provide too much detail for this time in my life because I was in a benzo induced haze and I don’t remember too much. I know I did some really stupid things and couldn’t take care of myself. I was starting to get really paranoid and agoraphobic. I would stay alone in my apartment in the dark, afraid to go anywhere. I was still drinking from time to time and I was also having a lot of phsyical symptoms too. I was dizzy a lot and my vision was out of focus. I felt like I was a small version of myself and that I was inside my own head looking out through my eyes like windows. I was feeling like I didn’t belong in this world and was feeling like what I was going through was surely going to result in my life being over soon. It got so bad and I got so scared I did the worst thing I could have done. I went to the hospital. I knew I needed to get off the benzo’s and I figured they could help me, WRONG!! I spent about a week in the first mental hospital while they took me off the remaining paxil and put me on cymbalta at the same time they were weaning me off of 3mgs of Ativan over the course of a week. By this time I was crazy, I was crying all the time and just thinking that my life was over. I got out of the hospital and immediately starting abusing the benzo’s again in a futile attempt to calm myself down. I was on an adrenaline rollercoaster along with all my other symptoms. After a week I realized what I was doing and went back to the hospital. A different one this time and they tried to wean me off 4mg in 4 days……4, 3, 2, 1 and done. I ended up getting out of the hospital before being completely off but I was an absolute basket case. Going to the hospital once was a mistake. Going back was catastrophic. I am very lucky that I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar or something else. The hospital was determined to get me to talk so they could diagnose me and prescribe more meds. Everytime I had to see the doctor in the hospital they would try to lead me into saying something that would confirm with them that I was mentally ill. I AM NOT mentally ill, there is actually no such thing as mentally ill. The whole of psychiatry is based on lies. These drugs do things to your brain to make you act abnormally. Take away the drugs and take care of yourself and your mental state will heal along with your body. My angel stepped in and helped me reestablish so that I could wean slowly. Right out of the hospital I had to go stay with my angel. I was psychotic and I hadn’t slept for 2 weeks. I was stupid enough to try ambien so that I could sleep. I took 9, 25mg pills over the next three days and didn’t sleep at all. Imaging taking 225mg of a sleeping pill and not being able to sleep!! There must be something seriously wrong with that, it just shows you that once these drugs screw up your brain chemistry there is only one way to heal and that is by weaning off, going through wit drawal and trying to use anything natural to help strengthen your body. At this point I was in the deepest part of my withdrawal. I was reduced to the mental and emotional capacity of a child. I was helpless to take care of myself and I was a physical and mental basket case. I was shaking from head to toe constantly. I was pacing around, smoking cigarettes and I was in a state of absolute continual panic. The benzo’s had taken away my ability to feel any happiness or normality. All I could feel was overwhelming fear and sadness. I cried continually over everything. I felt like my life was over, I could not ever have imagined feeling so bad. I know why they call benzo withdrawal hell. It put me in a state of torment, which I would have as a constant companion for the next year. My fear of everything was so intense I believe my brain shut down to some degree to protect itself but even that did not relieve the fear and sadness. I could stand the slightest noise or any kind of activity. I could watch tv or listen to music. I could barely put 2 words together. I know most of this because my angel filled me in. I don’t really remember much at all from this time period. I was on watch 24 hours a day to make sure I didn’t have a seizure or just plain go beserk. At one point I scratched my face until it was bleeding and I don’t know why. These drugs hijack your brain and body and they don’t let go. I have experience drug and alcohol dependency and withdrawal and they were like a walk in the park compared to what I was to experience with both a/d’s and benzos. With benzos being by far the worst experience I have ever had. I also had a constant fear that I was going to die. I was certain that I had some horrible illness. I was constantly thinking I was going to have a heart attack or find our I had some incurable disease. I was actually so filled with panic I was afraid to go to sleep. I could picture dying in my mind and it seamed so real to me at the time. I was like feeling death over and over. I could picture life going on after I was dead, the thought were torturous. So in this state we reestablished me on 3mg’s of Ativan a day. We started weaning a ¼ of a pill every 7-10 days. This was a pretty fast weaning schedule and I would definitely recommend to anyone going much slower, but we were determined to get me off of benzos as quickly as we could safely. And after have been forced to go cold turkey twice by the hospitals, I don’t know that it would have made a difference to me to go any slower. I was so screwed up and the damage had already been done. It took about 4 months to wean off the benzos and I had been thinking that I would not feel as bad as when I started withdrawal but I was wrong. About a week or so after taking my last dose I starting feeling so much worse. I didn’t think it was possible but it was. My body had finally gotten rid of the drug and all hell was breaking loose. I would spend the next month in the dark locked in my apartment. I would just lay there for days, only getting up to go to the bathroom. I had my shades drawn and I was wrapped in a blanket on my couch. Like a child the blanket gave me some tiny feeling of security. Every noise I heard made me jump and I would be paranoid that someone was going to come and take me away. Everytime I heard an ambulance go by I was certain they were coming for me. My angel took care of me every second. Feeding me and watching out for me, comforting my fear and gently reassuring me every day that I was not going to be like this forever, this was withdrawal and it would end. Despite her encouragement I could not comprehend the concept. I was obsessed with my symptoms and I was absolutely certain that this was the real me. A paranoid basket case. I did not see how it could be possible to ever return to feeling like a human being again while feeling the way I felt. I felt really alone because I was so disconnected from myself, my emotions and the rest of the world. I cried every day for months and I don’t mean a few tears. I was sobbing uncontrollably at the slightest provocation. I tried to distract myself with tv, but I found that the slightest emotion shown would send me into a panic or I would breakdown into the deepest despair I have ever felt. At one point I found that I could watch an animated movie and I watched it over and over again. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I watched it 1000 times. I don’t know how I still have a job today. I was constantly calling in sick and taking off days at a time. My angel is the only reason I am still employed. I couldn’t drive an she drove me back and forth to work and kept me going day after day despite my desire to just give up and loose my job. I am so thankful for what she did I would not be alive today if it wasn’t for her. During this time my angel was doing exhaustive research trying to find anything that might help me in the slightest way. Supplements, healing foods, essential oils and on and on. I didn’t realize it at the time but the foods and the oils saved me from a much worse experience and they were helping repair the damage that I did to my mind and body. I know it was extremely difficult for her because I was very uncooperative and I wasn’t doing what she told me to do with any consistency. When I finally starting following her instruction at the end I realized that I should have been listening since the beginning. Nutrition and natural remedies are the key to any real health. For the next 7 months I barely existed. I was going to work and then going home and then laying in the dark in a state of constant terror. I had a number of physical symptoms but the mental symptoms were the most unbearable. I said every day that I wished I could trade the mental for the physical. I realize I was actually fortunate after hearing of the physical suffering that so many were enduring. My mental state was totally obsessive and focused on my own suffering so I was unable to experience the empathy that I now have for others. My physical symptoms included blurred vision, dizziness, various pains, heart palpitations, night sweats and I had a rash on my face for the entire duration of withdrawal. I still have it but it is fading now. During withdrawal I saw a doctor on numerous occasions trying to explain my withdrawal and the symptoms I was having and the doctors all said they would like me to see a psychiatrist. Basically dismissing what I was telling them. Unwilling or unable to accept the idea that the drugs they prescribe were tearing me apart. They would talk to me with that all knowing condescending town offering their forced compassion all the while insisting that it couldn’t be withdrawal and implying that I had a mental disorder. One doctor told me to consider increasing the paxil. I can’t believe the willing ignorance of the medical profession in the face of such overwhelming evidence of this epidemic. I saw a psychiatrist as infrequently as possible. It was a necessity to avoid having to cold turkey off the last of 20mg’s of paroxetine. I would muster all my inner strength to tell them I was doing fine, knowing full well telling them about the withdrawal would result in a life changing diagnosis. It was until last December I was giving the name of a doctor that was practicing functional medicine. A combination of treatment by short term medicine along with long term nutritional approach to health and well being. I am so thankful because it turned out to be the turning point for me. I started out being given tests for vitamin levels and food allergies along with a complete blood panel. At first I was put on a few supplements. They didn’t have any impact and I felt worse every day. Hopelessness was growing and I was constantly wondering how much longer I could keep going. I ended making another appointment with this doctor in a desperate attempt to find the slightest bit of relief. After talking to the doctor she said she would be willing to prescribe a small dose of abillify to see if the could provide enough relief to enable me to function. What we didn’t know at the time was there was a neurologist in California that was having success treating patients with minute amounts of these types of drugs for short periods of time and seeing results. I took the abilify for 2 weeks and over the course of that time I was becoming more and more aggressive each day. It continued until I got so paranoid and aggressive that I turned on the one person who had devoted herself to caring for me and never leaving my side. I was delusional and this new drug had made me think that she was trying to control me and keep me captive in my apartment. The place that I had confined myself for the last 2 years. I have to take every opportunity I have to express my sorrow for having treated her so badly, because she saved my life and I will never forget what she has done for me. Even though my actions were induced by psychotropic drugs hijacking my thinking I still have no solace in that having turned on her like a rabid dog. That is what these drugs do to people it is disgusting. Because I felt so bad it finally made me see through the psychotic fog and I decided to stop taking the medicine. After 3 days to my absolute surprise I noticed that I actually felt a little better and over the course of the next few days I felt better and better. I actually experienced happiness which was an emotion I forgot how it felt to have. Since then I have continued to fell better and better with the passing time. I changed my diet and stuck to doing what my angel was telling me to do and as a result I am no longer in withdrawal and I am getting ready to start weaning the last of the paroxetine, extremely slowly!! We believe that the small dose of anti psychotic drug stimulated the receptors which had basically been shut down from the a/d’s and benzo’s. As a result I have lost all of my mental symptoms and I only have minimal physical symptoms. My cns is still very sensitive and I am only sleeping 3-4 hours a nite but I am eager to face each day with happiness and an undying gratitude for my life and my angel. I believe that I was divinely guided through every step of this journey and I can see now the reason for everything that happenend. I thank God each day and look forward to the future hoping that I can pay forward the gifts I received
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