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  1. Hi all Some of you might remember me from paxil progress. I have not been on these sites for a while. I was doing a very slow taper from paxil over three years and it was quite hard. I had been on the drug ten years and tried to come off too fast and had terrible withdrawals. I got down to 2.8mg and i had to come off the drug very quickly in december as i became pregnant. So i went to 2mg for 2 weeks then 1mg for 2 weeks and then completely off. Unfortunately i had a miscarriage early jan which was very traumatic. Then my grandma died in Feb. At the moment i feel really anxious and low. I dont know how much of this is withdrawal and how much due to these two difficult events. I just dont know what to do. Like feels really hard at the moment. Should i ride it out? Have others dropped as quickly as me at low doses? Jo
  2. Tried numerous times to get off. I noticed the last 2 trys everything goes crazy after I go from 7 to 6mg.. i hold 4 to 6 weeks. My question is I know the breaking point could I be doing something better like going even slower.. Thx Rob
  3. Hi, (this was intended as a reply to Whishes19) well, i´m myself new here, suffering from Paroxetine withdrawal (a few weeks from now, from 20 mg down to zero, taken for +2 Years) in terms of Brain Zaps and i can fully understand those who have Brain Zaps I know a few things in this term, since i know of Brain zaps, triggered by left/right eye movement, without taking SSRIs or anything else, since my entire fourty Years on this planet. Usually they happened in very high stress conditions, when i was sick (specially high temperature influenca) or after a so called sleep paralysis- you proably heard about it before. The interesting thing for me is that the dreams in a sleep paralysis, which triggers those brain zaps afterwards (for a short period of time), have the same bad quality and "real feeling", like those after going the cold turkey on Paroxetine. Their content is always build on the same base - unresolved problems, whishes, things i´m unable to do because it´s simply impossible. Secondly: I have both on withdrawal and usual sleep paralysis, a feeling in the morning, like my brain could not have been sleeped at all. It´s complex to describe. It feels "fresh", i´m better in organizing things or articulate myself , but somehow i feel not "different" to the last evening. Like, the environment does not "feel" different, as it usual is. The first day i did not feel any big side effects, except for the first two days, where i was really restless, an experience which i did not had while taking Paroxetine. For me it is quite "simple": From my point of view is a "Brain Zap" in fact powerful stress, as a result of suppressed problems and stress, which have been damped by the SSRI / not being recognized as they should and not have been worked on. This stress is now unmasked (all Antidepressants are only masking, thats a known fact) and since SSRIs block any actions and the brain has learned to avoid action-packed days in order to keep the stress level down, it is using brain zaps (or bad dreams) as some sort of a valve, especially if you are unable to relax or feel relaxation, like i do. I mean, what is a panic attack - in fact a stress valve, too. Masking by antidepressants=(seemingly) no stress=(mostly) no panic attacks. But masking out does not resolve the problem at all- It proably grows inside more with medicine as without. I am diganosed with several problems, mostly in the fear direction, but the base seems to be a slight Depersonalization in addition with the inability to feel emotions . I have not the entire spectrum of Symptoms (thank god), but the most interesting thing for me is that this sort of mental disorder keeps the brain in the fight and flight reaction, means permanent stress, caused by permament stress. The brain does not know how to fall back from stress to relaxation. So here the gap closes itself to the brain zaps. Stress=Brain Zaps, even if this is not being recognized by oneself, because one has learned how to mask out stress, especially when it becomes a daily issue. So i believe that the "trick" to avoid brain zaps is to "calm down", but, as simple as it sounds, even i don´t know how to do that, because usual things which should relax do not work for me (proably because of the missing emotions, Paroxetine supports this). Masking out by taking Antidepressants is naturally also no solution. Sorry for my English, it is not my native language, but i hope you can understand what i mean. Kind regards and get well soon Stef
  4. At 21 I started taking 10mg paroxetine for 8 months to combat depression, then failed trying to quit it for 4 months, mostly due to intense withdrawal symptoms, only to succeed by taking citalopram to taper it with. After that, I felt decent for 6 weeks, but, as I was making a sandwich, I suddenly endured something it would take me weeks to identify: a panic attack. In a span of minutes, I went from a sound mind to suffering from OCD, GAD and depersonalization/derealization disorder, which took me 4-5 months to identify and link back to the paroxetine use. In those months prior to obtaining that knowledge, I was obsessed with the idea I would go crazy, lose my mind and ruin the life of my family by burdening them with my problems. Every day for months on end I would scrounge through dozens of forum posts and studies relating to developing psychosis, even after my mental health professional basically mocked the idea and wanted to get rid of me as a client, thinking I was a massive hypochondriac. Another, more experienced mental health professional is now treating me for said anxiety disorders and just being taken seriously is a massive relief. My biggest worry right now is having done permanent or long-term damage to my brain, particularly relating to memory, concentration and being able to not feel like I'm playing tennis while the sun blinds me all the freaking time. I don't think the paroxetine even helped to ammeliorate my depression beyond a placebo effect. As is, I have pretty much lost the past 1,5 years of my life to depression and now anxiety disorders. I just want to be who I once was again and get on with my life. Why is this **** still the no. 1 prescribed anti-depressant in The Netherlands? Why did I comply with my mental health professional in continuing taking the medication for so long, despite me not feeling so much better on it? The thing I consider doing is taking citalopram for a couple days and see if that helps, though this time I want to be sure this doesn't expose me to new risks or puts me at the beginning of recovery from the anxiety disorders again. I've gradually improved (no longer am in a derealized state or suffer continuous inner turmoil), but, as is, it would probably take another year to attain 90% recovery. Maybe 3-5mg citalopram for 3-5 days will speed that up?
  5. Hello, Altostrata told me to make a topic literally a minute ago, so I am opening up for help. I am going through a really rough time right now and really don't know what to do. I was prescribed Paxil CR in a rehabilitation facility at the age of 18. Previous to this I had suffered with OCD, panic attacks and depression. While in the facility people told me I seem depressed and should see a psychiatrist. I was taken to the office, and after what felt like a 10 minute consultation was given a script for Paxil CR. After being discharged from the facility I was put on 20-30mgs of generic Paxil. I stayed on that for 11 years and have recently gotten off. I did a one month taper using Prozac. I know this is a incredibly fast taper given the amount of time I was on the medication. But I really did not know any better. I have been off of it for 6 months now in total. I tried to resume Paxil recently but only for a day or two. I was hit with very bad side effects and it scares me to try again. So I am trying to fight through and hoping this gets better. I have tried to get off this drug 3 times in my past. Once at 22 where I did it cold turkey, I did not know about the withdrawal. I was hit with crying spells and depression like I had never known previous to the medication. I reinstated after a couple weeks. I then proceeded to try again at age 26 and was hit with the same symptoms, reinstated again. I am now 29 years old and fighting to stay off this drug. I have a lot of regret for having started this "medication". I can't believe it is even used in that term it feels like poison. In my time using the drug I felt emotionally numb and indifferent to all normal feelings. My childhood dog passed away at the age of 21, 3 years into my treatment with Paxil. I could not cry maybe one tear came out and I felt like I had to force that. I had a lot of anger issues. Where I felt like it was the only emotion prevalent during my time with Paxil. I have ripped doors down in my own home with my mother, punched walls etc. During my stint trying to get off Paxil at age 26 and shortly after resuming it. I was put into a psych ward, their plan of action was to drug me with a bipolar medication known as Depakote. I asked why they were forcing me to take this? The response was that every person needs to be on an anti psychotic. They also made me up my dosage of Paxil to 30mgs, at the time I was on 20mgs. I was in there for a week and was discharged Christmas eve of all times. I took my self off the Depakote immediately, I did not have any withdrawal from that. It was probably because of the short time I was on it. I am a 29 year old man who is living at home with his mother. My drive and hope for a better tomorrow is shattered. I read Dr. David Healy's website where people are not getting better after 6 years off SSRI's. My main symptoms are overwhelming depression and anxiety. I have crying spells for hours on end. During my time on Paxil I never cried like this I was a robot. I have incredible guilt wishing I never took this medication if I knew what I know now. I feel like that is preaching to the choir, I know all of you must feel the same. I have got on my hands and knees and prayed to let me go back and say no to Paxil at that initial psychiatrists meeting. I am flooded with thoughts thinking that my brain and body is permanently damaged. It has driven me to have intense suicidal thoughts. As I was 18 when initially prescribed I thought I had damaged my body's physical development. I was a late bloomer so that is a thought that I am bombarded with. One person on this site who has tried to help me and I thank him so much is Irishwill. We have messaged back and forth and he has reassured me I am OK. I still have that guilt though of wishing I never took this drug, I would do anything to change that decision. I know that cannot happen though. I am trying to stay away from horror stories, but with this condition they become prevalent. I am hoping my body can heal, but it's hard when my mind is so in the negative. I really want to say to all of you I have never met you personally, but I feel I have a bond or kinship with all of you. I am sorry any of us have to go through this. I know we all thought these drugs were meant to help us. I want to have a life, I want to smile I want to be happy. I am really scared my body and brain are beyond repair because of my 11 years on this poison. I recently saw a therapist I have known since I was probably 13. I told him all of what I am saying to you now. His response was to try another medication. He believes in the famed chemical imbalance theory. I think we all know these drugs cause that imbalance. I don't want my entire life story to be one of suffering. I want to be able to do things other people do. I don't want to ramble on here, because I can go on and on. I hope all of you find healing I really do. One thing this experience has given me is a huge amount of empathy for anyone suffering with any illness, medically induced or otherwise. I look forward to your comments. Thank you,
  6. I am 43 years old. When I was 20 years old I had my first depression. They got me on paxil in October 1993. I was 21 years old then. That helped. The next 21 years following I head no depression or anxiety. 21 years I lived a normal live: married, made a career, sported a lot. During my student period (1994-1997) I was sometimes a heavy drinker. Occasionally I was dizzy for a couple of weeks, but that always ended. In those years I tried to quit paxil (20 mg) sometimes, but never succeeded because of the brain-zaps (withdrawal) Flash forward to 2014: I worked way to hard (I was manager for about 100 people) and got a burnout. That's where my tinnitus kicked in. I went to a psychiatrist (for the first time since 1993/1994) and he increased my paxil from 20 to 40 mg. Did not help much for the tinnitus and burnout, so I started slowly tapering from 40 to 0 mg over a period of 12 months in 2015. At the end of 2015 I was on 10 mg and went to 0 mg in one week. All hell broke loose: terrible headaches, heavy increase of tinnitus, suicidal thoughts, dizziness, anxiety an I even fainted a couple of times, etc. Was it the 23 years of Paxil that took its toll? At the end of 2015 I wrote a goodbye suicide note. The withdrawal effects where to heavy especially the tinnitus. I got hospitalized and at the hospital they gave me clomipramine (anafranil) and sulpiride (dogmatil). The effect was terrible. More tinnitus and double vision. Only solution was, according to a psychiatrist: back to paxil. So since the beginning of 2016 I am back om 30 mg paxil. With that I take 1mg lorazepam for the tinnitus and 7,5 mg mirtazapine for sleeping. My head feels terrible. It is extremely sensitive, especially for noise. Besides that I have a constant pressure in my head: most of the tome I feel the electricity in my head. This year I started neuro-modulation for my tinnitus and they made a scan (a QEEG) for the pressure in my brain which saw an overpressure in my brain. I am not sure but I think I have a sort of withdrawal discontinuation syndrome. My marriage ended because of the horrible situation in 2015/2016. Strange thing: I always knew that something would happen. 23 years on paxil took its toll. I am more stable now when I was 1 week off paxil. On the other hand: I have not tried to get off for a longer time and my brain feels so fragile that I cannot work anymore. I am afraid to stop taking paxil again. On the other hand: I want my brain, nerve-system and immune-system to heal. What should I do?
  7. Wow, wish I would have found this sight, before I started my nightmare.... I have been on Paxil 20mg for about 4 years. I finally reached what is called the, "Paxil Poop". They quit working! Bet your Dr didn't tell you that, me either. I started decreasing to 10 mg for 2 weeks, then went to 5mg for a few days. However I just kept getting sick and felt this was the meds so I quit . I know I should have went slower, but I didn't so here I am. I am having the usual nausea, heachaces, internal shaking, brain zapping, swooshing/ringing in my ears. Somedays I can handle it and somedays are bad. I have been using essential oils to help support my body while withdrawing, I feel like these have been a livesaver to me. I'm on here because I want to succeed with this, I know it will be hard, but am looking for success stories. What did you do to help ease the withdrawal symptoms? Don't need nightmare stories, I am living my own. Bless all who are trying to live without antidepressents
  8. I am new to this site I took Paxil for 13 years and Lamotrigine for 3 years. At 31 months out I am still having bad symptoms like tinnitus, brain fog, agoraphobia and a few others. Unfortunately I cold turkey because at the time I had no knowledge of tapering from anyone. Is this a normal pattern? Sure would like feedback. Thanks
  9. Hi, I'm brand new to this site. My screen name is PANAMAMA - I'm from Maryland, but currently living in Panama. Need to keep this short, as my internet here (in the beautiful mountains) is intermittent. I'll do a full introduction later, but for now, I'll briefly say that, after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a type of Dysautonomia (P.O.T.S) 20 yrs. ago, I was on countless psychotropic drugs - all of which made things MUCH worse - and then, of course, would be given yet ANOTHER drug to counteract the side-effects. . . sigh . . . Seven years ago, I finally got off klonopin - which almost killed me. Found a great Benzo Support group at the time, which saved my life. Fast forward to now - I've been slowly getting off every other psychotropic drug since then, and just six weeks ago had to cold-turkey off Paxil (long story) which I'd been on for 10 years. I've had every withdrawal symptom in the book, but have been able to get through it on my own with what I had learned from benzo w/d. Fortunately, most of the physical symptoms (dizziness, balance problems, diarrhea, swishing in head, stomach pain, headache, etc.) have gotten better over these six weeks. However, one thing I am still experiencing (which I did not with benzo w/d, but have read about with Paxil w/d) is overwhelming anger and irritability. I am by nature a very sensitive, loving, peaceful person, and so this intense anger - actually rage at times - is very unfamiliar to me, and I therefore have no coping skills to deal with it. HELP!! I understand that this will eventually pass, and I feel that - having lived through benzo w/d, I can live through ANYTHING. But I need some practical advice on ways to dissipate these overwhelming feelings that seem to take over - body and spirit - before I lash out in some destructive way. Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!
  10. Hi, does anyone have any tips to come off this. I think it was formally called Aropax. I have been on this 18 years and so wish to come off it.!!
  11. lucky12

    lucky12 Brain zaps

    I now have this close to a month and it's driving me crazy. I'm on Paxil 20mg Anafranil 150mg Lamictal 200mg Seroquel 75mg at night. Have not started to taper off of from any medication which is the most disturbing part of this situation. I started to have these incredibly uncomfortable brainzaps. It starts after a few hours from waking up and gets worse the whole day. When I move my eyes and change the direction I am looking, it gets triggered to the peak of this "volt" "electrical shock" and I can not even function at one point. I am afraid to move my eyes and to look somewhere else. I am afraid of any kind of movements. Nothing but sleep seems to help. I am missing my life, got a lot of work to do this week but I simply can't participate in life with this incredibly disturbing feeling. I've waited and waited for almost a month for it to pass on it's own. And my research always ends up with the same thing: "ssri withdrawal" or "tapering off drugs". See the point here is I am NOT withdrawing from anything. Not even tapering off. I am desperate for some help. Went to the neurology department of a hospital but I was feeling well during the EEG MRI and other tests. Everything turned out to be fine. I also sweat A LOT to the point that I get completely wet as a result of a minimum effort movement like climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor. And this is totally new for me too. Any kind of answer, help, suggestion would be very much appreciated. Best regards.
  12. Been taking Paxil since 2006. Went from 30 mg to 20 mg years ago and then to 10 mg. This year I decided to try and come off Paxil altogether. I now realise I may have been tapering too fast. I went from 10 (5th of May) to 5 (on 6th of June). I actually felt good and I decided to jump to 2.5 after a few days. Been on 2.5 since the 11th of June and it has been getting a bit rough at times. The brain zapps I can handle. I can even be happy about being able to cry again. I am not happy about the hypomania (mornings), bouts of anger, the foggy confused state. I have decided to stay at 2.5 for the moment.
  13. Hello, I'm a young adult from Italy (28). My life has never been "OK" since I had problems growing up and with society all connected to my sexuality and shyness that lead to scarfs I never cured until something really traumatic happened in my life and ultimately put me into deep depression that I really didn't know could be possibile. It was an awful period of my life. My main problem was that I never ever talked about my feeling to anyone until I broke and I decided I needed to do something and I started psychotherapy. It all gradually started to get better but it wasn't enough to make me stop crying every day and find "a reason to live and do something" so I was suggested to tried a SSRI... I wasn't really for it until I reached another break point and I started taking paroxetine (20mg a day) in March 2015. It took a few months to settle and it felt really OK... of course it was also (or mainly?) thanks to my sessions with my psychologist that went on on regular basis until last months where he told me I don't need it anymore (I feel the same). I really feel that I fixed all of my major psychological issues and I am able to cope with things since I analyzed and discovered everything about my issues and where they come from. I'm really a different person. I tried to stop paroxetine in September 2015 but 1) it was too soon for me 2) the tapering was too fast (1/2 the does every 7-10 days) 3) seasonal change didn't help So I had to restart. Things have of course now changed again (in the better) since I grew up even more. I decided to stop again but this time I want to make it sure it's for good. I changed doctor. I told him that I'm very sensitive to the dosage and I want to make it slow. Even though I'm not sure, reading about the 10% drop per month advice, he wants to do 15mg per day for 2 weeks and then 10mg for a month and then see how it goes. I read about the exponential drop thing in the other thread and I must say it really describes my last try, the first drops till 5 mg were "ok" meaning that I had withdrawal symptoms like dizziness, nausea and those AWFUL BRIAN ZAPS but I was mentally stable. The worst part came when I went from 5 mg to zero, in a week I went back to basically being blue all the time. We all assume that drops are linear and if we're ok with stupid dosages then we're fine to stop all together. It's clearly not like that. Anyway today I start this new chapter of my life and I would like this forum to be my added support Finally I want to say that I strongly feel these drugs should really be illegal, they change your brain way too much... I'm really scared of what is coming because I have no idea how I would react this time.
  14. ashbrown

    ashbrown: my story

    hello everyone, I am a former member of paxilprogress, i went by the username of no_fear if i can remember. I was on paxil for 5 years and 4 months, starting off on 20mg, but for the most part on 10mg, i tapered down to 5mg/day then 5mg/every other day, then stopped, this was back in winter 08/09. to be honest the tapering part for me wasn't too bad, the real problems started after i stopped, probably about 2 months after. i was hit with depression and anxiety, after that came the brain zaps and dizziness (i felt like i was going to fall backwards all the time) that lasted for a good 6 months. i have had bouts of insomnia and moments lying in bed feeling so low and fatigued i would of asked God to end my life right there. it took me a good 4 years after stopping to get to a place and head space to feel what i could consider normal, i have been off paxil for over 7 years now and have never looked back. i currently do have health issues which are possibly related directly or indirectly to coming off paxil, but i feel it is more to do with my clean but not very nutritious diet and not letting myself recover properly. i feel bad typing this because i can see many of you are still in withdrawal and i think this site is more to do with that, but i just wanted to share my story and let people know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  15. Hi! My name is Dianna. I was a member of Paxil Progress and just found out today the web site shut down. I tried to just stop taking Paxil and made it 10 days. I had no idea how bad it would get. I figured maybe a week but was determined to keep going. I caved because I couldn't handle how awful I felt. Paxil did make a difference for my anxiety but I sure wish I had done research. I am glad this site is here so I don't feel so alone.????
  16. Hello everyone. I found this site a few months ago but only now do I feel I have the mental strength to write anything remotely coherent. I am in no way recovered but I hope my story offers some encouragement to those in acute withdrawal particularly those who cold turkey. As a teenager I suffered anorexia, I was hospitalised several times and things got pretty serious. This was back in the 90s and there was not the specialised care available that there is today. The professionals tried there best but did not know really what to do with me. This went on for years I would put weight on to loose it again, my poor parents suffered terribly. Eventually some bright spark suggested a antidepressant, I was 5 stone and eating nothing and I believe I did not metabolise the drug properly. I became a zombie which frustrated me more as I could not exercise. Roll on 2 years and at 18 I started to improve I gained some weight went back to college but I could fine no happiness in life, I felt flat, empty with little enthusiasm and basically wanted to sleep constantly. Looking back I did not feel depressed I could still work and function I just felt flat and lonely. Anyway on my Drs advise I began seroxat I think it was 20mg but not sure. I took this for 4 years, I have to say it did help I became less withdrawn and got more joy from life, but I had regular periods of unexplained illness, I would became almost chronically fatigued for days on end unable to do anything but sleep. I'm trying to cut this shorter so I will summarise. Seroxat was hell to come off, I tried several times and ended up doing a cold turkey which was rough very rough ( although my standards on rough have recently widened ) It took but 6 weeks to get any improvement but even then I cried constantly and My Dr put me on prozac and lorazepam for the sleeplessness. A week later and I mean a week I had gone from crying all day everyday unable to do much at all to, up at 7am In the gym then off to work, the change was unbelievable and my Dr was slapping his self on the back and I was beside myself with happiness. Roll on 5 years.. I'm still doing great Iv cut down to a prozac every other day and changed lorazepam to diazepam but I only take very small amounts of this maybe 5mg a week. Roll on another 3 years I'm in prozac 20mg every 3 days and same amount of diazepam. I'm ok but get more anxious and worried about stuff but I'm working and functioning ok. 2014 I decided the prozac is done I'm happy I'm working I have 2 kids I don't need 7ish mg of prozac. My Dr says just stop your virtually off it anyway worse you will get if flu like symptoms. So I do. I remember a few days after stopping feeling fantastic so relaxed happy and full of joy. Roll on 2 months and I start to get very stressed with the kids I tenner throwing a plate at the wall and just standing there and crying. I felt angry all the time and I'm the most placid person in the world. Roll on another 2 months and things start to get serious I can't sleep I toss and turn all night, I'm stressed and angry 24-7. 6 month after stopping prozac the sh@t really hits the fan. My whole world turns. I won't go into all the symptoms as from reading on the site I know you have felt them. These are the top 5 though # fear ( I will not use anxiety as it does not convey the true horror of this feeling. A word has yet to be invented to describe it) # severe agitation ( maybe akathesia ) # severe insomnia nights on end without sleep and massive muscle jerks # severe depression and it brought it's friends DP DR and SI # severe neck pain, ear pressure, jaw pain To basically stop you all dropping off I got no breaks for 5 months. I narrowly avoided involuntary hospital admission. I also had a massive reaction to another AD I think it was cirtralopram. After 7months after acute and nearly a year after CT, Im starting to see some improvement and you cannot wipe the smile of my face when i do. It does not last long, the max I have had is 5 days and I still have very poor sleep but I genuinely thought I was the one that would never get a window. There is hope all you have to do is wait.
  17. I need alot of advice on my taper/quitting of paxil. I have been on and off it for about 15 years, I'm 35 now. I have 4 kids, ages 17, 15, 13, and 3. I was dumb in my youth and had myself put on it for a severe and debilitating panic disorder. Well, I have weened a few times, tapering, and would be off for a bit, then I would get major panic attacks and go back on it. Well a few months ago I tapered slowly again, was off for probably about 4 to 6 weeks doing good, then anxiety started hitting me. My brothers wife was on hospice for a very rare cancer and passed away. I got scared of every thing and panic set in. Derealization, I hate that the most. Waking up with panic. I was dumb and put myself back on paxil thinking it would help me. Well, not so much. About 3 weeks in at 20 MG I realized my body is not reacting to it like it used to, which would be quick and effective. Now I'm still panicking, derealization, not eating right, can't function right. Got 4 kids that need me. Wake up with anxiety. Omg I can't take this anymore. I just want off and to feel normal again. I want my life back. My 3 year old needs her mom. I started halving the paxil again, but done really need to ween this time? After only 3 weeks on? I'm so confused and I'm even willing to try the prozac bridge. I'm desperate. Please help me
  18. As I write this, I have just retired from my work as a librarian after 16 years. I have been taking Paxil for the same time frame. After reading a recent study linking Paxil to dementia, I determined this was not the drug for me. My mother was one of 6 siblings - she died before dementia set in, but all 5 of her siblings were diagnosed with it, and her one remaining sibling - her twin sister - is in a dementia ward currently. So, with the drug linked to dementia and a likely genetic predisposition, I determined I no longer wanted to use paxil. I should point out that it appears the paxil was working for my anxiety, but I think that is kind of irrelevant now. I began weaning myself off of paxil a few months ago. This was not really intentional. But, I was taking 60 mg per day, which was 1 1/2 tablets. I just got tired of cutting the pills in half, so dropped down to one, which was 40 mg. This appeared over time to have very little effect on the impact of taking the drug, so I let the lower dosage stand. Over the last couple of months, I determined I would try reducing it even further. I dropped to 30 mg for a couple of weeks, 20 mg for a couple of months, and 10 for a couple of months. I stopped taking it completely around June 1, 2016. I retired from work on June 10, 2016. Since about June 13 I have been really experiencing a lot of withdrawal symptoms, or what I believe are withdrawal symptoms - headache, rage episodes, head zapping, constipation, nausea, etc. My doctor is not comfortable the symptoms I am experiencing are from the paxil, but we have tested for other conditions and nothing has turned up. I may have weaned too quickly, or I am experiencing what it is like to no longer take the drug with my anxiety and depression returning. I am hoping to find some answers with this group on Surviving Antidepressants.
  19. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm in a difficult spot right now as I've just weaned off of Paroxetine 40 mg after roughly 15 years to go onto Bupropion 300mg+. I've had experiences crashing quite badly 'twice' after trying to wean off of Paroxetine - once having to stay in bed for 2 weeks. I'm not trying to stop antidepressants this time because it's not the right time in my life, I just want to try something that doesn't give me as much sexual side effects and Bupropion seems to be the one recommended for that... I'm just scared right now because of tapering paroxetine / side effect of Bupropion: I've issues of memory loss and I lose my temper a lot easier than I used to as I got angry at my boss last week which wasn't my usual reaction to that kind of issue she raised, I also got angry at the yoga teachers because their choreography is too difficult... I am also afraid of a breakdown before Bupropion starts kicking in and that my Doctor would not give me quickly enough the high dose I probably need since I was on a high dose of Paroxetine. Therefore, I'm loading up on benzos and try to get as much help as I can get my hands on... Does anybody with a similar experience have some words of support? Right now, I'm just 'toughing it out', hoping that everything will work out once the new med gets in my brain...
  20. Hi everyone, my name's Clare and I'm a 35 year old female with a longstanding dependency on Paroxetine (Seroxat here in the UK). I take 20mg daily, having first been prescribed it in January 1997 as a 17 year old girl. I was prescribed it for depression with anxiety, after having what I would now describe as a breakdown of sorts. I was bullied quite severely between the ages of 12 and 14, which led to what would probably now be diagnosed as PTSD. I spent a lot of time feeling ridiculously socially anxious, which made forming and maintaining friendships very difficult. I still experience problems in this area now. Things weren't great at home, either. My parents (now long since divorced) had a volatile relationship and my dad had a drink problem. I didn't talk to anyone about how I felt (I tried to pretend it wasn't happening to me and instead reinvented myself as a bit of a "too cool for school" grunge chick). Inwardly, I was crumbling, though, and I ended up being referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) when I was 16 for individual psychotherapy and family therapy. Unfortunately, the therapy wasn't of much help to me at the time because I wasn't emotionally mature or open enough to engage with it and it was too short lived. Fast forward a year and I had my "breakdown". In subsequent years, I've described what happened to a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) and he thinks I may have had a hypomanic episode, followed by a depressive episode, brought on by stress. I was studying for 3 A' Levels and hoping to go to university, but I suddenly changed my mind about one of the subjects (History) halfway through the course, dropped it to pick up a Law A' Level instead, withdrew my UCAS application and fell madly and obsessively in love with one of my teachers - a married man 25 years' my senior. Sadly, he eventually reciprocated (after initially rejecting my advances) and the whole situation - without going into too many details - became incredibly messy, emotionally destructive, etc, etc. After 8 months of being on Paroxetine (September 1997), I decided to stop taking it, so I sought guidance from my GP (now retired), who told me it was fine to stop taking it abruptly (Patient Information Leaflets at the time claimed it was "non addictive"). I experienced 4 weeks of moderate 'flu-like symptoms (aching limbs, nausea, dizziness, brain zaps), followed by a return of my original symptoms of depression. Both my GP and I assumed it was because I wasn't ready to stop taking it yet and he suggested I try again in a few months. Lots of things happened in 1998 (both my grandmothers died, my parents split up, my dad started drinking again, I left one job and started another and my 17 year old sister and I ended up at threat of being made homeless), so it wasn't a good time to try to stop my medication again. The following June, however, my sister and I starting buying a house together (a small, cheap 2 bed terrace) and I felt a lot more positive about doing it. Cue another attempt at CTing the meds! Again, I lasted about 4 weeks, but this time the depression and anxiety were so much more intense! I couldn't stop crying, I lost my appetite, had thoughts of suicide, etc, etc. Kudos to my GP for failing to advise me to taper slowly (even the patient info leaflets advised a gradual reduction by mid '99!) At some point later on that year, I tried to taper again by splitting my pills into halves and quarters (with a butter knife of all things!) and spreading my doses out. A friend of mine advised this method as she'd managed to withdraw that way. Again, it didn't work. Just over 2 years later, in early 2002, I tried to do it again using this method. I was in my first year of university at the time, working part time, and I considered myself to be happy and settled. Bizarrely, I was using this method for some months before it all started to go wrong for me. I'm not sure what happened, but I suddenly found myself crying on the Head of the School of English (I studied English Literature at university) because I hadn't done any of my work for semester 2 and I needed to defer my studies. He was amazingly helpful, very sympathetic and sorted it all out for me. After that, I decided I didn't want to withdraw from my meds until I'd finished university, so I duly spent the next 3 years engrossed in studying, working part time and - I'm ashamed to say - smoking cannabis on a regular basis. It wasn't until 2007 that I again decided to withdraw, but this time I took the sensible option, spoke to more than 1 GP, conducted some internet based research, and obtained Seroxat liquid (and used a very sharp knife this time for accurately dividing pills across the score line!). I devised a tapering regime, which went 20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10.5-10. Beyond that, I played it by ear. The reduction from 20mg to 10mg took about 4 and a half months and wasn't too much of a challenge. I had some withdrawal effects, but fortunately no head zaps whatsoever and only occasional dizziness and feeling unsteady on my feet. Tiredness, aching, irritability, an occasional headache, hot and cold flushes and nausea were the main symptoms I noticed. After that was a bit more of a challenge (more on that later) The main reason I've decided to withdraw at this point in my life is future motherhood. My partner (Mike) and I would like to start a family and I've decided that I'm not prepared to put my unborn child at an increased risk of congenital heart defects, lung problems or neonatal serotonin syndrome. Realistically, with a gradual taper, holistic measures and a support network in place, I know I can reduce my dose to below 10mg before we even start trying. Ideally, I would like to taper off over a long period (years potentially), but I'm realistic about my chances and both my partner and I have done a cost-benefit analysis (severe depression and anxiety in pregnancy is probably more harmful than a low dose of an antidepressant). The plan is to get a GP appointment and commence withdrawal at the beginning of September (I'm going to a festival during the last weekend in August, so then's not a good time) - all being well. I'm sorry for going on for so long (thanks to anyone who's managed to get this far - lol), but I thought it'd be good to put everything into context before I start my withdrawal log. I'll add my email signature as soon as I begin my withdrawal. Thanks for reading Clare.x
  21. Hi all, I'm new to this community and I don't know where else to turn to. I was on Paxil (30mg) for over a year mostly for anxiety and secondary for depression. It worked for a little bit (first 6 months or so) then just became the norm and didn't do much for me at all but make me feel numb and uninterested in things. 2-3 weeks ago I decided to stop taking it completely (I know...cold turkey is bad) and the first week was a little alright, just felt like I was tunnel visioned big time and didn't know what was going on around me at all and I'd get emotional mood swings. Then came the 2nd/3rd week I don't have the tunnel vision anymore (as of late anyways), but I started getting really bad stomach aches/cramps and rarely an appetite for food at all. I always wake up in the morning everyday since then with a stomach ache and a little bit of nausea along with shivers and just feeling plainly cold. I was wondering if there is anything I can do or take to get my appetite back and stop the cramps/nausea from happening every morning/into the afternoon. I'd ask my doctor but she doesn't really understand this I believe and it's really hard to contact her and takes forever to see her as it is.... any help would be appreciated, thanks George~ Edit: actually debating to get back on it just to stop this crap but I really dont want to...go back.
  22. I'm a new member here and am looking for support and community while I continue to taper from Paxil and Ativan. My story is a rather long one, but I will try and keep it short. In 2001 I went to my doctor for advice on quitting smoking. I specifically asked for Zyban, as I had friends who used it and it worked. I was 24 years old. My doctor gave me the prescription and off I went. I took the medication for 3-4 months and stopped c/t. I had no idea that Zyban was actually Wellbutrin and that you aren't suppose to just stop taking an antidepressant. Of course I did realize this until many years later. So the c/t left me with panic attacks, high anxiety, agoraphobia and depersonalization. I obviously thought I had some kind of psychotic break. My parents and fiancé were quite worried. I lost my job be ause i couldn't leave the house and I was worried that we would lose the house we just bought (we didn't). My parents took me to a psychiatrist who "diagnosed" me with Panic, Generalized Anxiety and OCD. That appointment would set me up for 14 years of medication. The psychiatrist prescribed 10mg of Paxil and sent me on my way. I never saw him again. My GP fulfilled my prescription for the next 14 years. After about 6 weeks on Paxil all the awful symptoms go away and I'm so relieved that I actually believed that I did in fact have a chemical imbalance that the medication had/was correcting. Looking back, Paxil just masked/fixed the cold turkey SNRI withdrawal. Fast forward to 2007, I am married and I have 2 beautiful children. I "feel" like I'm happy but at a distance. I feel flat, I've gained a lot of weight (which I attributed to pregnancy), I'm tired/lethargic (chalked up to having young kids) and not overly interested in much at all. At this point I've been telling my doctor for years about these symptoms, along with restless legs/GI distress/headaches, and the dose was continually raised. At one point I was on 60mg (for about 6 months) but mostly spent the years at about 40mg. In 2008 I left my husband. I was a wreck but knew it was the right thing to do. I also had decided I wanted off Paxil to go with my fresh start. I believed the weight gain and lethargy was from the Paxil and was ready to dump it. Over the course of 2 years I "tapered" as per doctors instructions, which always proved to fast. My slowest taper was 6 months. I always had intense symptoms which my doctor told me was my original "condition". Late 2011 I found PaxilProgress and realized what was happening. I was relieved, scared, angry and for te first time in years.....hopeful. Unfortunately, I had just made a large drop from 40mg to 20mg. So I updosed to 30mg and held for 6 months to stabilize. Stabilization eventually happened but it took awhile. By this time I had found a new doctor who supported my new taper plan (10% every 4-6 weeks using a compounding pharmacy). The unfortunate part was that he prescribed me Ativan, as needed, while I was stabilizing. As educated as I had become in AD's I had no clue what benzodiazepines were For two years I took Ativan PRN (2-3x per week) while tapering Paxil. In 15 months I was down to 15mg and functioning relatively well. I was able to continue working, continue all my sports (hockey, yoga), actively engage in parenting, and get married. I was however experiencing a lot of anxiety again, increase in GI upset, blurry vision, dizzy spells, existential thoughts, depression, etc. I figured it was just the natural course of Paxil withdrawal. I figured it was getting harder the lower I got in dose. Hindsight is 20/20 though because I now firmly believe I was having interdose w/d from the Ativan. In Jan 2014 I was hospitalized for a leg injury and prescribed 2mg Ativan DAILY as a (leg) muscle relaxer and to sleep. The day after my discharge I experienced the most horrific w/d. For me, Paxil w/d was a walk in the park compared to being cold turkeyed off a benzo. I was flooded with suicide ideation, I couldn't stop crying, heavy DP/DR, incredible muscle tension, migraines, vibrations, tremors, undulating, sweats, agoraphobia, panic attacks....the list is endless. My doctor immediately told me to start taking my Ativan everyday like the hospital had done. In his defence, he was afraid for me, and didn't know what to do. He wanted me to go back up to 30mg on my Paxil and I refused. So here I am.....a year later. I stabilized back on the Ativan, found BenzoBuddies and I've tapered from 2mg to .37mg of Ativan and it's been a much bigger challenge than my Paxil taper ever was. I feel weary, battle fatigued and plain old worn out. My Paxil taper has been on hold for the last year so I am still at 15mg. I'm terrified of what my future holds. Suffering is getting really tiring. I guess I shouldn't have tried to quit smoking!!! Lol.
  23. Hi, I'm here seeking help after I've come to a realization that my mind is not something to treat recklessly. After a bout of depersonalization, derealization, depression and all around apathy, I decided that I could handle withdrawal from a cold-turkey method of discontinuation -- after all, my perception of reality has been quite flat as of late. Wrong. I made the mistake of outright discontinuing my SSRI a week or two ago. The symptoms hit me hard today. I thought self-medicating with cannabis would be fine, totally normal. But in my opinion, and in my case, this has led to a self-destructive, cocky way of thinking. My position in life is not one that would allow for me to safely use recreational drugs on a regular basis and disregard the responsibilities I need to tend to in order to feel like I'm living a fulfilled life. I have come to believe the objectively best course of action I could take is to discontinue all recreational drug use and re-instate my SSRI, then committing to a slow taper. My lack of education on what constitutes a proper taper has made doing this difficult for me in the past. This is not the first time I've tried withdrawing. However, I have the wisdom now of knowing that there is no magic way out of it. On the subject of what I know about withdrawing -- I understand that using pill cutters and creating your own liquid version of your medicine can be helpful, but I am not sure of how to make sure I am dosing properly, or have the correct version of the pill for creating a liquid form. I was hoping I could find more direction in this area. One thing I am concerned about is re-instating my SSRI usage after roughly 2 weeks of discontinuation. How can I safely do this? Thanks, ikari
  24. Hello everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself and get some insight. I know you guys read story after story, and I could explain all the brutal details of my suffering, but I have a feeling most of you already know so, I will try to make this short. For context, I am now 28 years old. At 13 years of age, my parents were going through a divorce and I was put on Paxil for panic disorder (after a couple of anxiety attacks). I was left on it and no one ever thought to try and take me off. I lived 10 years on Paxil and was happy and healthy (I didn't really have life to compare it to though - so who knows if I was really as healthy as I could have been). At 23 years old, I got pregnant and decided to get off the Paxil cold turkey. I'll let you imagine how that went The actual withdrawals probably lasted a couple of weeks, but then I moved into protracted withdrawal. I had no idea at this time what was going on. I knew nothing about SSRI's and just thought as I was going through copious amounts of stress and anxiety. And honestly, I think the pregnancy hormones actually helped my symptoms. After I had my daughter things became unbearable. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos (autoimmune thyroid condition) and lived the next three years, from ages 24-26 bedridden, agoraphobic, 110 pounds. At this time, I still didn't connect this to the Paxil. I badges off meds by this time, for three years. I blamed everything on my thyroid condition and spent hours upon hours researching thyroid/adrenal fatigue. At some point, I felt so hopeless and suicidal that I allowed a dr to put me back on the Paxil. And wouldn't you know... Within a few months, my body was being to make progress for the first time in years. I won't lie, the break from my hell was amazing. I began to finally make the connection to what happened in my life. I don't feel like I did the first 10 years I was on Paxil. I now have that extremely flat mood and am still dealing with some cortisol issues from the damage the cold turkey created in my body. I have been back in the Paxil for two years now, and finally have put all the puzzle pieces together. At this time, I would like to start a SLOW taper. I know that I read that someone did a four year taper successfully and didn't deal with withdrawal. I've lived that he'll and I don't want to ever go back. Here are my questions: 1. Does my experience sound like protracted withdrawal? 2. What is a loooong taper someone might suggest? I already have a rx for liquid Paxil 3. When I got off cold turkey my cortisol flatlined. Will this happen again if I withdraw slowly? 4. Thinking far down the line, but at some point I would like to have another child. Is it possible to wean for a few years and then hold at whatever dose I'm at during pregnancy (hopefully under 5mcg) and then begin tapering again after baby? I know this isn't ideal but I don't know if I can wait four years... Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm stable now on Paxil 20mcg but ready to start my taper. Lindsay
  25. Saw this on the news tonight and looked up an article on it. On Friday the FDA approved Brisdelle for moderate to severe hot flashes. Brisdelle is low dose paroxetine or Paxil. The committee that studied it recommended against approving it ... but the FDA thought it was a good idea. This is marketed to women who are afraid of cancer due to hormone replacement therapy - I wonder if they bother to tell the patients that there is a risk of withdrawal syndrome when they no longer have hot flashes. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/28/science/la-sci-fda-antidepressant-hot-flashes-20130628 I think this is a really BAD idea. I predict that over some time we will see more visitors to our site looking for help getting off of Brisdelle ... very sad. Karma
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