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  1. Hi all! Just wanted to check in here and say hello to everyone- new and old! I am an older member of the old group back on Paxil Progress and I decided to come on here and share my story since I haven't been on in quite a few years. Anyhow- I hope this provides you all with HOPE. As I know in the beginning/throws of my withdrawal journey- HOPE-from the stories of others are the only things that kept me going some days. So to provide you with some background- I was always a rambunctious, vivacious, fun loving personality- with a tendency to be a little anxious-with mild OCD- and sometimes even a little depressed. But looking back now- I think a lot of that could've been chalked up to nutritional allergies, deficiencies and just overall bad sleep/lifestyle habits. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. However back in 1999, when I was 13- my parents decided to put me on Zoloft, which was a new drug on the market back then. I immediately was calmer, sleepier and somewhat content with everything and everyone around me. Then from there I went on to Lexapro, then Celexa then ultimately Prozac. This continued for about 12 years. Then at around the age of 25 (after multiple brief failed attempts to quit SSRI's) I just decided it was 'time.' The years I was on SSRI's I was happy, content and sleepy. ALL THE TIME. Most people would say "well what's wrong with that?" I guess a small part of my soul longed for a life that had a full range of emotions and an appreciation for the ups and downs in life that force us to grow as people. I was ready to look beyond my protective shield of antidepressants and face the world head on. And I knew this was going to be a long road and a process but I knew I had to do it- there was no looking back. October 2011 is when I took my last dose of Prozac- I felt fine for about a week or so following that. And then BAM. I was hit with 24/7 brain fog, EXTREME anxiety, suicidal depression, allergies, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, bloating, adrenal/thyroid dysfunction, low grade fever, hair loss and OCD. I was literally clinging to the thought that 'this will get better, it's just drug withdrawal' for the first three months - changing everything about my life to help me- my diet, my sleeping habits, getting a less stressful job, etc etc. But withdrawal was like a black cloak around me back in those days- it was complete misery and I was so hopeless and helpless back then- NOBODY- and I mean NOBODY understood other than the folks in these forums. In early 2012 I linked up with a TCM doctor and he got me on a regime of vitamins, supplements, Chinese herbs and Bach Flower essences- this did very little at the time- but I clung to the little it did do as hope that underneath all this muck- I could be a 'normal' person one day. I struggled on... Later in 2012 I was introduced to acupuncture- that brought another glimmer of hope into my life and pushed me a little bit further along. I was still underwater- but I was now starting to swim to the surface. In early 2013- I linked up with a homeopath and she took my case and I worked with her consistently for about 2 solid years after that until mid- 2015. Around late 2014/early 2015 I started to realize that I was not needing all these 'interventions' as often as I did in the beginning of my journey. I could go months and months without any acupuncture or homeopathy or even a vitamin supplement and feel FINE. It was GREAT! Nowadays, I am fairly 'normal.' I have more good days than bad days. However though- even though my emotional/mental capacities returned- my physical body never fully recovered. I have chronic fatigue/adrenal/thyroid dysfunction. I have pretty serious food/environmental allergies that forces me to have to be EXTREMELY diligent with my diet or else I suffer bad reactions. I am HYPERSENSITIVE to vitamins, supplements, caffeine, alcohol, you name it, etc etc etc. This is all in direct correlation to my coming off of SSRI's. So it's not all roses- but- I do have hope that sometime in the future these will become less bothersome and hopefully dissipate with time. Only time will tell though. Anyhow, I just wanted to share my experience and recovery - as my journey may look different from yours- we are all trying to reach the same goal in the end! To be happy and healthy! All the best now and in the future! Penny
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