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  1. Hello people, I came to some insights that i want to discuss. I hope this thread doesn't gets to be deleted. I know here is everything called withdrawal and you will heal (i don't blame that) I just want to dive deeper into the topic. Because it's not as simple as 'withdrawal' there is an underlying pathology. I took Paroxetine for <year but i'm severe disabled by the reinstatement. I'm left with severe crippling symptoms. - i can't barely walk from the neuropathy (burning/stinging/biting/freezing lower legs, feet --> got very worse when walking or standing - heavy pains (like fibro) 8-10 level - heavy nerve pains all over 8-10 level - sometimes feel poured over with gasoline and lit on fire - housebound / bedridden 70% / 30% - can't stand cold/wind/breeze, it feels like 'pain' on the skin - no quality of life left, it's only pain and suffering, i can't even vacuum my house and have trouble preparing food to eat. Luckily my family helps me - obsessive suicidal thoughts chemically induced i couldn't relative them, it was very hard to not give in but finally it dissapeared after 14 months, Thank God. So mentally i'm okay now but i'm left with a disabled body. (but now i understand why the manufacturer had to pay 8billion in lawsuits for suicides) - I feel completely toxic with a burning body when i wake up every morning and stays throughout the day, like there is flowing acid trough my veins. Like many people describe on this website caused by their antidepressant and i have no quality of life left, like many on this website. - lost my job, social contacts, my marriage, hobby's etc. over time because i can't do anything. Of course i have doubted about 'somatic symptoms' caused by anxiety etc. in the past But i have no doubt that it's not a mental health problem, impossible. I also did a pharmacogenetic test that stated my body can't properly metabolise psych drugs and pain meds. (later more about that). + the biggest pharmaceutical lawsuit in the US history was against the manufacturer GSK because of the drug Paroxetine, they paid 8 billion$ in fines (biggest fine ever) for fraudulently marketing this drug, withholding safety data and manipulating safety tests. This drug has made many many victims and i found them all around the web and a lot are not even alive anymore. Many people are completely damaged and crippled like me. Young and old. Many took their own lives because of the suffering. Simple google searches will acknowledge this. Mental health problems can cause a variety of heavy symptoms but this suffering, severity and strange behaviour of these symptoms is indescribable and unbearable as many on this website will acknowledge. Impossible. So now my story: I'm 20 months out and my walking only got worse over the months. My neuropathy is the most disabling problem so i was convinced i had Small Fiber Neuropathy because of the biting/stinging/burning/freezing/heavy pains caused by Paroxetine. I did the tests but they where negative - EMG - Small Fiber Skin biopsy I couldn't believe it because i feel so damaged and everything 'physically' looks perfectly fine. (test-wise) Both where ok... So i researched further and further and stumbled upon a scientific article at the scientific and legit NCBI database with the title: 'Antidepressants, sertraline and paroxetine, increase calcium influx and induce mitochondrial damage-mediated apoptosis of astrocytes' https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777788/?fbclid=IwAR1avrYNU1ESE86V9_UZHCHSMl4C8C7LRFwqz894GhWXoK_9Ni71avGkr2k It's a difficult read for a simple person, but doctors don't have the time or don't want to read into things i bring with me so i researched myself. The first alinea of the article states: After screening 11 different antidepressants, we found that sertraline and paroxetine induced astrocyte apoptosis. We also revealed that sertraline and paroxetine induced mitochondrial damage, ROS generation (reactive oxygen species), and astrocyte apoptosis with elevation of cleaved-caspase 3 and cleaved-PARP levels. Ultimately, we validated these mechanisms in primary cultured astrocytes and neuron cells and obtained consistent results. These results suggest that sertraline and paroxetine cause astrocyte dysfunction, and this impairment may be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. So what the heck are astrocytes then? ASTROCYTES: The most common cell type in the brain is a special type known as the astrocyte. These star-shaped cells play an important role in the survival of nerve tissue as they are among the few nerve cells that can proliferate. Cell-to-cell communication is achieved through neurotransmitters, and the function of neurotransmitters is highly dependent on the proper functioning of astrocytes ASTROCYTE APOPTOSIS: The process of cell death We found that sertraline and paroxetine, two SSRIs, reduced CTX TNA2 astrocyte viability but not the other nine commonly used antidepressants, which include three SSRIs, one SNRI, two TCAs, one TeCA, one MAOI, and one SARI. Sertraline and paroxetine initiated a complex response of astrocyte apoptosis. It is shown that calcium overload induced mitochondrial dysfunction, which eventually leads to the activation of an intrinsic apoptotic pathway Consistent results of sertraline- and paroxetine-induced cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction were also observed in primary astrocytes. In addition, our results showed that sertraline and paroxetine caused mitochondrial hyperpolarization at 3 h. Two peaks respectively represent populations of hyperpolarization and hypopolarization of the MMP. This phenomenon indicated that astrocyte mitochondria were damaged after mitochondrial hyperpolarization, and this may possibly due to calcium overload. other source: Healthy astrocytes have neuroprotective properties, but in order to function, these cells must be able to properly produce and process the neurotransmitter glutamate. But when cells have a toxic amount of glutamate, which kills neural cells, it leads to a condition called excitotoxicity. In excitotoxicity, nerve cells suffer damage or death when the levels of otherwise necessary and safe neurotransmitters such as glutamate, which activate neurons, over-stimulate receptors. This can burn the connected cells and damage the brain. So if i understand the article well, this drug caused a major calcium wave in my system (i did a re-instatement too, that completely crippled me). This calcium rise caused the trouble. An intracellular calcium rise is thought to play a primary role in initiating programmed cel death of neurons and astrocytes. SO WHAT IS CAUSING MY PROBLEM THEN... I always thought i had severe neuropathy, it must be tissue damage because i can't walk and i'm so disabled by it. But the tests didn't acknowledge it. Now this article makes clear that simply said: The drug caused a calcium wave that damaged Astrocytes in the brain, the star formed cells that are necessary for the proper working of my neurotransmitters. The astrocyte removes the neurotransmitter glutamate from the synapse through high-affinity surface transporters, So without these proper working astrocytes my neurotransmitters don't do what they have to do. So my neuropathy, pain etc is most likely caused by a neurotransmitter problem. Same with other symptoms that people have like insomnia, depression, anxiety it's all caused by neurotransmitter disruption. (In this case i can only say this for Paroxetine and Sertraline, because the study checked all 11 and it only showed these mechanisms in these 2 AD's the rest works different). The neuropathy is so hellish, but it's no tissue neuropathy but brain (damage) neuropathy... that explains a lot, problem is, i can't do anything with it. I also can't get a proper diagnosis... They can't measure neurotransmitters, astrocytes etc. So the only thing i hear from specialists is 'you are fine Mr no neuropathy' I don't know a doctor that wants to read or is specialised in this. Basic neurologists wont acknowledge this. What i don't understand because these NCBI articles are written 'for doctors by doctors'... But yes i can imagine it's difficult for them if they can't find anything wrong to believe such story, especially 'when this person was on an antidepressant' and a bit anxious in the past. So that makes it a lonely road, suffering unacceptably every single second of the day without help or acknowledgement. Just biting trough the indescribable pains. My pain levels are always 8-10. another sourch: Abnormal neuronal calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis has been implicated in numerous diseases of the nervous system. The pathogenesis of two increasingly common disorders of the peripheral nervous system, namely neuropathic pain and diabetic polyneuropathy, has been associated with aberrant Ca2+ channel expression and function. Neuropathic pain has a huge impact on quality of life and aberrant Ca2+ channel physiology and expression has been implicated in a number of pain states. If i look on google 'can astrocytes heal': Astrocytes are able to regenerate in response to CNS injury, and glial regeneration and repair are essential for long-term homeostasis and for complete recovery of intgerated functions. So yeah, sounds promising but i'm not that convinced if i see my physical state and neuropathy intensity. It's also a simple 'google' search and not based on (neuro)toxictity. It's also a problem no doctor wants to read into this subject at all. Time will tell. Just interested to discuss this with more people instead of ruminating about it on my own. Tips, Ideas, insights, all welcome. Best wishes. *I also have to state that i did a pharmacogenetic test where they test how your genes respond on pharmaceutical drugs DNA-testing. Outcome was, CYP2D6 gene is not properly metabolising, this gene is the most important gene to metabolise these drugs (SSRI, antipsychotics, pain meds) they control that the body can get rid of it. So that didn't happen in my case and i reached toxic levels i guess... Also GSTM1 gene is 'Poor Metabolising NULL/NULL' This gene is 'glutathion S-transferase (GST) which play a role in the detoxification of foreign body-substances'. i wish i could find a doctor educated in this subject.... I wish they read into it and connected the dots, so they give me at least a diagnosis for disability pay etc. It's not always as easy as 'not visible, so it's not'
  2. Hello guys , please spare a few minutes to read it and help me with this. I am from India 25 male In April of 2019 ,during my 3rd semester break, I had a breathing issue (one side nose block )and a sleep (cycle )problem,so I went to ent doc- dx with right sinusitis (not severe ) . For the sleeping cycle issue ,he told to see psychiatry (his wife ) and she prescribed DEP®@n L combination of ( Le×@pro 5 mg + clo≠zepam 0.25 mg ) for 14 days and told to stop After stopping , I had symptoms like - heart pounding ,anxiety , concentration issues, irritability . So I expected it to go away, but it didn't .So I went to another psychiatrist after 6 month (oct 2019),and he prescribed p®@xil (p®@xidep cr 12.5 mg ) ( oct 2019 to Jan 2020) i took for 3 months. while taking this durg my irritability ,anger increased .After stopping the drug I had symptoms of acid reflux ,pounding heart , muscle twitching,anxiety ,anger issue , irritability , indigestion i couldn't eat like before my food consumption decreased,sweating at night , waking at midnight 2am ,mild erectile dysfunction , orgasm decreased slightly ,mild heat intolerance . These severe affects lasted 6 months (aug 2020) and gradually decreased ,but the following symptoms did not -anxiety ,acid reflux, sexual side affects Somehow, I graduated in 2020 Feb 2021 due to exam pressure my sleep cycle changed - anxiety increased so I decided to take it again p®@xil (p®@xidep cr 12.5 mg ) this was the biggest mistake that i have ever made. . While taking the drug I felt dizzy all the time . on 12 th day I got severe gi distress and complete sexual dysfunction that shocked me so I stopped (Feb 2021) that drug cold trukey after that I had total sexual dysfunction ,can't feel emotion,severe acid reflux, heat intolerance ,throat pain ,blurry vision ,fatigue ,muscle pain , shivering, frequent urination ,fear increased , social anxiety ,panic attack,bloating , inability to burp , indigestion,muscle twitching, heart palpitation , headache,bounding pluse , wake up at midnight , can't able to sleep at right time always varies , exercise ability decreased , anger to the peak , irritability, confusion,can't concentrate ,eyelids felt always tired ,anxiety increased . this lasted about 7 to 9 months severely (June 2021) and gradually decreased .now this is my 17 th month slightly improved i can exercise more than 20 mins but still have most of this symptoms especially total sexual dysfunction ,anxiety ,indigestion ,muscle pain , concentration problem . In my first 2 attempts I couldn't study properly and in my 3rd attempt I did some but not enough, so I failed in all my attempts. I am going to write another one this year .my problem is that i can't study for long (8hrs-10hrs) and have concentration problem .Almost wasted a year and a half of my life .i have read "withdrawal and tapering 101".i am planning to reinstate very low dose ssri ? Anyone here been through something similar and recovered ? What lab tests do I have to take ? Can anyone help me with this ? I am obsessed with my sexual dysfunction always thinking about it makes me sick . My friends passed the exam a year ago ,but I am still struggling . I shouldn't have taken antidepressants 😔 What should I do ? Plz give me some suggestions
  3. Thank god for a site like this, I feel like I have been going crazy for the last few years . I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet. I was put on Paxil when I was a teenager as my doctor thought it would help me get through some difficult years, counseling would of been a much better approach. I was sexually abused as a child but never told anybody so when I was a teenager I dealt with this by using recreational drugs to ease the pain . My parents thought it would be a quick fix being on an antidepressant to help me out. I used Paxil for years upping and lowering my dose from 20mg to 50mg as needed , thinking that I had to take them because I had a chemical imbalance . I never thought once coming of them or did I know the bad effects they can do to you. Only up until I had my last child three years ago everything changed. I was taking only 30mg of Paxil which my psychiatrist told me it would be fine for the baby . I had to have an emergency cesarean and had complications. I got a servers infection and that brought on my first panic attack and severe aniexty. My baby was going withdrawal from Paxil shaking and wouldn't sleep . The nurses was giving me strong painkillers that I think was making me worse , after 2 weeks in the maternity hospital I was then put in a mothers and baby unit at mental hospital . I only lasted a day as didn't won't to harm myself or my child , I just wanted this aniexty to stop ,I was constantly worrying and looking at it now my hormones would have been all over the place. I upped my medication to highest dose under my psychiatrist advice. I felt better in a few weeks. A year later I thought I was doing fine and lowered my dose and I crashed, couldn't eat waves of aniexty , agitation, dizziness, insomnia ,derealization and night sweats the list goes on. My psychiatrist then put me on Seraquel at night which seemed to work, but I was getting up in the middle of the night eating like crazy and then couldn't get up in the morning. So I stopped taking the 25mg of Seraquel. Back to my psychiatrist I went and he told me that he thought it would be a good idea to change to another antidepressant, his chose was Cymbalta and he wanted me to tapper my Paxil in 5 days and 3 days with nothing then start with 30mg of Cymbalta for 1 week 60mg for two weeks then 90mg for 2 weeks. I crashed very bad into my 2nd week in Cymbalta and went to see my psychiatrist again, who told me its my aniexty and depression coming back, which now I know is bullsh*t. I think I was having withdrawals from the Paxil . I went to a new psychiatrist who told me it was Cymbalta that was doing it to me and tapered me off Cymbalta again in a week and started me at 50mg of Zoloft for 3 days 75mg 3 days and now 100mg as well as still taking my 50mg of Seraquel. I feel like I won't to come off all of this and I know my family and friends aren't going to support me, as they don't understand. I halved my dose of Seraquel to 25mg 4 nights ago and my waves of aniexty are getting worse . I would love meet people on this site who can help me out with this. I have two beautiful children that are my life and I just want to be normal again and I think I would be better if a gave my brain a chance to heal itself but I'm very scared.
  4. Hi everyone, So glad to have found this forum in my journey weaning off Paxil. Because of severe withdrawal symptoms during my doctor's recommended tapering schedule, I'm weaning off Paxil painstakingly slowly (liquid prescription, with a syringe). I have a question about tapering at smaller doses. I accidentally missed a dose (just 1.2 mg.) on January 17. Anyone who has taken Paxil knows that you do. not. skip. a dose. I don't know how it happened, but I forgot to take it one night (for the first time in about ten years). For the next TWO WEEKS, I was nauseous, had trouble eating, had mood swings, and worst of all, had some very scary depersonalization (feeling like I was in a dream or on LSD). Very scary. So, this can really happen from just missing a tiny 1.2 mg. dose? I called my doctor and they said this "isn't because of Paxil." Lol. Thanks so much! (This is why I'm so grateful for this forum--people actually dealing with the reality of tapering off these medicines.) Wouldn't tapering get easier as I get down to lower doses? ? What am I going to do at lower doses? The 10% method sounds good in theory, but yikes -- it will take forever just to get off 1.2 mg. My eventual goal is to get off Paxil and Zoloft, but my primary goal is to stay alive. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions! Thanks! I ran out of room in my signature for my quite-lengthy history, so I am expanding it here since this is my intro post: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety and depression. It worked for a while, but had to keep increasing it. 20 mg --> 40 mg --> 60 mg. For years I've wanted to get off it -- it wasn't working anymore, but very difficult to come off. Early 2013--Getting treated for sleep apnea (with CPAP) eliminated about 75% of my anxiety. Who knew?!?!? How long had I had sleep apnea, but treated anxiety with meds? March 2013: Feeling so good with CPAP treatment that I started weaning off Paxil about 10 mg/month: 60mg to 50 mg to 40 mg (NO negative effects whatsoever--if anything, I just felt better and better.) July 2013-- went from 40 mg to 30 mg. Some dizziness; nothing major. Starting a new job; paused taper. June 2014, began Paxil taper again, going from 30 to 20 in one week. (I can't believe that a medical professional actually advised me to do this.) This was very, very bad (dizziness and suicidality--the first time in my life--very scary), so went back to 25mg. Stayed at 25 mg. for another year. Not looking forward to going back down and continuing taper! In June 2015 started a cross-taper while adding Zoloft--went from 25 mg. Paxil to 20, to 10, to [this was the most difficult one] 5.) The cut from 10 to 5 mg gave me akathisia; nausea; suicidal thoughts; rage; and severe anxiety. Most of my time was consumed in dealing with Paxil tapering effects. August 2015 -- obtained a prescription for liquid Paxil. September: 4 mg Paxil October 2015: Suicidality -- doctor advised me to go up on Zoloft; I did so to save my life. Now at 100 mg Zoloft. (But it's not working -- my exercise, eating, meditation, acupuncture, and supplements are.) October to December 2015: 4 mg Paxil --> 3 mg --> 2 mg --> 1.6 mg. Symptoms are tolerable at this rate; the worst is a feeling of being intoxicated for several hours a day. But going this slow makes me feel like it will take forever to get off! ! ! Currently: 1.2 mg Paxil. Also: Vitamin D; Vitamin B complex; magnesium; plenty of protein; exercise; acupuncture; meditation/mindfulness; working with a naturopathic doctor.
  5. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  6. Day 600 (March 11th 2017) 4 months shy of my two year mark. My Introduction: - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10847-%E2%98%BC-rockingchaircat-recovery-from-psychotropic-drugs-that-were-prescribed-willy-nilly/page-1 I’m a male in my early 50’s, and I’ve been on several antidepressants: Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Paxil, and other psychotropics (as prescribed by the pill pushing Docs): Benzos- Xanax and Ativan, and other crap. These pills do not ‘balance your neurotransmitters”, that is a lie- for there is no balance. Instead it’s more akin to a Symphony: Every neurotransmitter has its own part to play at it’s own time and place. My taper strategy was something I came up with in desperation after trying out some boneheaded strategies involving either: A) going cold turkey and then following the advice of a medical doctor. The Route: Cold Turkey- Freak Out. Go on Benzos. Reinstate Antidepressants. Taper off Benzos. Taper off Antidepressants. Lose what’s left of my mind. Try to regain it in recovery. The Cold Turkey route resulted in my freaking out, which segued me into trying out the Benzos on the advice of a medical doctor- which worked GREAT, but only for a short time. Then they stopped working completely. After a while with more of the same useless advice of “give it a few weeks” Or “increase the dose”- I got fed up with the docs and found the website: Benzo Buddies. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=122050.0 There- I learned of the Pharmaceutical Blasphemy- of the necessity of not taking pills. Then I got better advice about how to go about weaning myself off of Benzodiazepines properly. It took a few months but I managed to wean myself off of the Benzos that I was on. Then after a couple of stable months- I decided to taper off of my antidepressant ‘slowly’, as recommended by a different doctor. But, even that was faster than I should’ve tapered-. I thought at the time that my antidepressant withdrawal would take about the same time as it took me to wean myself off of the Benzos. Boy was I wrong. It took me much longer. Which doesn’t come as a surprise now- after all I’d been on more of them for longer than I was on the Benzos. My Coping mechanisms/Strategies during my withdrawal- included the following: 1) Amino acids, 2) Beans, 3) Exercise, 4) A Full Spectrum Light, 5) Hobbies, 6) The Internet, 7) Meditation, 8) Motivation 9) Music, 10) Nature, 11) (Orgasms), 12) & Sunlight. I also found it helpful to cut out chocolate, coffee, and eventually dairy products. Chocolate left me with a severe heartburn. Coffee left me an increased level of anxiousness- cutting it out decreased my anxiety by a measurable amount. And dairy foods made me sleepy- to the point that it was a miniature nasty fatigue day. My Withdrawal Problems: 1) Anxiety 2) Depression 3) Nasty Fatigue Days 4) General Fatigue 5) Cortisol Spikes 6) Mood Swings So- what was it like for me? Hell. I cannot put it any other way- It was Hell- it was the absolute WORST thing I’ve ever had to endure. Anxiety- A general fear that dogged me constantly- from the numerous times I woke up in the middle of the night, dealing with it’s intensity during the day- and then trying to cope with my existence after work and not being too terrible an Ogre to my wife, daughter, friends, and house cats. The fear had grown, to where everything wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t even read a novel- because of fear that the fictional characters were going to encounter hardship. And the boredom, despite the almost constant anxiety waves, I was bored out of my mind. Every hour felt like a day. Every night when I couldn’t fall asleep long enough to catch rest- I stared at the ceiling and tried to get my racing heart to calm down- for hours. Ironically enough- the first few hours of most nights I could sleep- until I started to dream. And when I started to dream- the Cortisol Spikes started up. But dreams are the time when you need the rest the most. Depression- will come back with a vengeance since you don’t have a pill to push it away anymore. So you must fight it. Depression is the Enemy. Depression- Lies. It will do its utmost to deny you reality. It will tell you that it’s not worth trying. But it’s all lies. Because it IS worth it, life is worth it. It’s all worth the trouble. During the early withdrawal phase- I often thought of steering my car into a tree, but I had to fight those thoughts, what I came up with: That driving into a tree was no guarantee of the release I sought. That in fact (knowing my luck) I’d be horribly injured, out of a truck, left with a massive amount of bills to pay with no way of paying for them- and lose my house, my job, and most importantly- the medical insurance my daughter needs to survive on. I refused to let myself end that way – that would’ve been a coward’s way out. In fact- just about anything and everything depression tells you isn’t ‘worth it’: IS. Try to remember this: If depression tells you it ain’t worth it- then you know it is. Nasty Fatigue- That was something I used to get on a regular basis- every two weeks or so during my early days. A depression so extreme that it was torture to get out of bed, and all I could manage was to lie around utterly depressed with existence and stare at the wall in complete and utter despair- for hours, often days. It was an effort to get up and go to the bathroom. I would eat- but only at the behest of my wife, and even then I could only manage a half sandwich- a day. Like so many other symptoms- it’s gone, but it took a while for it to go away. It didn’t so much stop as it melted away. In the depths of it- I would sleep. But it wasn’t in the least restful sleep. And the only way out of it that I could find- was to fight it. I forced myself to get up and stay awake. Words fail me- I simply do not have the words necessary to convey how difficult it was. It was stubborn- I had to out stubborn it. General Fatigue- everything was hard. I had no energy. I went so far as to have my Thyroid hormones checked. ALL of them, not just the usual ones the docs usually pawn off onto you as being ‘comprehensive’ when it’s not. But even that checked out fine. So in the end- no matter how awful I felt about it- I just forced myself to do things. Eventually, my body stopped fighting me so vigorously – and gave in. It was an uphill battle. Cortisol Spikes- During my Benzo withdrawal- I got to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night at FULL ALERT! Often- many times a night. Every time I dreamed- I woke up in a panic. Naturally- this ended up with me not having a decent night’s sleep- so I tried to compensate by increasing my napping. That didn’t work- because invariably I’d wake up after a second or two with still MORE anxiety from another Cortisol Spike. It took me over a year before I could nap again. Alas, I still have a bit of a phobia against naps now. Eventually the Cortisol Spikes increased to the point that I simply wasn’t getting sufficient rest. And in fact I broke down several times at work in hysterics- from sleep deprivation. Most, yet not all, were when no one else was around. Mood Swings- Self Pity- was the biggest one. Which often segued into Furious Rage at the seemingly endless hours of unending mental and physical torture. So how did I endure all of this withdrawal crap? By getting my Neurotransmitter Symphony working again; and how did I do that? Read on. Windows/Waves. I too got the Waves and Windows that just about everyone gets. But along the way I learned of ways to extend the Windows, and shorten the Waves. Full Spectrum Light/Sunlight- I got a window or two even during the beginning. But they didn’t occur often enough- or for that matter long enough- I’d get a few hours once a month- maybe. But there was one thing that initiated my first several day long window: A Verilux Full Spectrum light. It helped pull me out of the winter blahs and the crippling depression that came from decreased sunlight. Now though I never had another several day window start up because of it-even so it has helped in the subsequent recovery process. I’d recommend one for your own use- but I’d also recommend following the instructions- no more than a few minutes a day at first. Why? Because we’re all photo-phobic during our early withdrawal, and you might end up with a sunburn if you’re not careful. Because you need sunlight to help you get better. Our bodies- crave it. Sunlight sets our Circadian Rhythm- that same rhythm that was thrown out of whack by the pills. It helps us release Serotonin (to wake up) and Melatonin (to fall asleep), both neurotransmitters that help us. And I use mine every day. I’ve got the tan to match. Exercise- During all of my withdrawal- I exercised. For me, in earlier days (prior to my withdrawal) I had obtained and used a small work out gym set that I placed in my garage for weight training. I’m hardly buff, let alone ripped, but it has helped keep me fairly strong. And it made for a nice routine 3x a week. Additionally I had a bicycle I used for aerobic activity 3x a week. 1x a week I just didn’t do either- but even then I did something. Usually I did yard work or went for a walk. The point is- do something, anything. Even if all you can manage is one set of pushups- DO IT! Even that little bit will do you good. Walking- Walking is Good. I preferred to do that every day (weather permitting). Walking in a natural setting- it helps. I’m lucky in that I have a pine forest in which I can skirt. And the body needs that. You NEED to get out of the house. You MUST get out and get some fresh air. You’ll hate it at first, I guarantee it. But nonetheless You NEED to do that, Every-Single-Day. (And exercise is excellent dealing with the excess energy that comes with constant anxiety attacks.) Exercise comes with it’s own built in Happy Ending: The Endorphin rush. You’ll eventually get it, and crave it enough to keep going at it. Why? Because the Endorphins are another form of Neurotransmitters that you need. Amino Acids- Along about the time I started getting hysterical due to lack of sleep I was getting desperate. I was grasping at straws- and that’s when I discovered Taurine. It, along with some magnesium- was as close to a god send for my sleep as the Happy Light was for my depression and fatigue. The first couple of weeks taking Taurine/Magnesium- I was able to turn a corner and started getting something akin to a decent night’s sleep. Not much, but even that little was better than none. Nowadays- I still get the occasional middle of the night wakefulness from a Cortisol Spike- but it’s usually after a long stretch of dreaming. And with that success- I started researching into other aminos and eventually settled upon: Tyrosine, Taurine, and Theonine. They all had one thing in common. They were/are Neurotransmitter Pre-cursors. And what is a Neurotransmitter Precursor? It’s something the body can take and create a Neurotransmitter with. Now backing up a bit- what I learned at Benzobuddies- was that our brains and bodies- are inherently Lazy. Our bodies produce a Neurotransmitter called GABA. It’s used by the brain to calm things down. When we use a Benzo- the body adapts to it and stops producing GABA. That would be one thing. But our bodies are fiendish in that after we’ve gotten used to the pill- we develop ‘tolerance’- which is to say- that the pills stop working. The tolerance is when our bodies chose to stop producing the neurotransmitter we were augmenting/replacing with by using a pill. Thus if we stop using the benzo - what little defense we have against overstimulation- isn’t there in the quantities that it was prior to the pill use. This end result creates the waves and windows we all get to ‘enjoy’ during withdrawal. Our bodies still produce the needed neurotransmitters- just not often enough or in large enough quantities. And every now and again- for I’ve no idea reasons why- for a few hours or days our bodies produce just what level of them we need to feel OK. Those are the windows. But they don’t last- and the Waves of symptoms start up again. It’s the same thing with anti-depressants. The pills cause us to stop producing enough Serotonin or Dopamine (depending on what you’ve been prescribed). So what the hell are we supposed to do when we go off the pills? We need those neurotransmitters- yet we don’t produce enough of them anymore. Taking straight neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, or GABA, is counter-productive, when what we need is to get our bodies to produce them again. So after a suitable amount of self-research- I settled on the Amino Acids that are neurotransmitter precursors. Tyrosine is used by the body to create: Dopamine. Theanine is used by the body to create: Serotonin. And Taurine is used by the body to create GABA. And the nice thing is that you won’t overdose on them. Your body will use them to make ‘just enough’. The aminos helped me immensely. They didn’t cure the problem, but they took a LOT off of the rough edges and made my recovery- tolerable. It’s gotten to the point that my body does produce the necessary neurotransmitters on it’s own- that I’ve started tapering off of the aminos I’ve been taking. And on a couple of days- I’ve forgotten to take them without noticing that I hadn’t. Meditation- During all of this- I meditated when I could. Invariably during such meditations- I fell asleep. But even that helped in its own way. It helped me learn how to suppress in a small way the anxiety that did occur- a bit of biofeedback that helped me learn to calm down and distract myself. The suppression techniques still come in handy even now on day 600, and I imagine that they’ll still be doing me good for years to come. Though in the early days I often just wrapped myself in a heavy comforter, turned on the room fan, and stared off into space for hours while sitting on the bed in the middle of the night, and I’d do the same on the weekends both during the day and night. Hobbies- Do something you enjoy- or did. Go back to it. Even if it’s a mighty burden, sit yourself down and work on your hobby. Even if it takes you an hour- to do something that you have done in seconds before- do it. Eventually- you’ll remember the fun that you had with it before. You’ll notice that by immersing yourself into it- you can ignore the pain for a bit. Naturally you’ll look forward to doing it again. Me? I work on spaceship models. And from what I’ve learned- by taking the time to do even 5 minutes a day, and doing it slow- I do a much better job on them now. See- I learned something. Internet- I spent many an hour researching these conditions that fell into my lap. Such research led me to Benzo Buddies and Surviving Antidepressants. But it also made me appreciate how wonderful that the internet can be when it comes to distracting myself from my pain. I read somewhere that we all get a dose of Dopamine when we open another interesting page on the net. Hey- whatever works. Online games- such as Lumosity- give me something to gauge my progress in such things as fine motor skills, memory skills, and Hand/Eye coordination- all of which has suffered during the worst of my withdrawal. Of late- I’ve been trying the stuff I had to cut out: Chocolate, Coffee, Dairy foods. I’m back to eating those things again, and in fact it does make feel better to be able to do so. Chocolate makes me feel good after eating a bit. Coffee makes me feel good after drinking it. I had my first slice of pizza just the other day- it felt good after eating it. (I imagine that if I eat too much of the above I won’t be feeling quite so good- after seeing what my bathroom scale has to say!) Motivation- It’s what kept me going. What kept me going? My Wife, My Daughter- they are what kept me going. (And my Mom- she made me promise to keep going too). (No Dad though- that’s another story) I was needed - my family needed me. It wasn’t much. But sometimes that was the only thing that kept me going- was the thought that they needed me. I cannot remember how many times I woke up just as it was time to get up- and simply didn’t want to keep going anymore. I didn’t want to face yet another day of constant anxiety or fear. But I got up and did it anyways. Snuggles with the wife- helped me, the physical touch was something I needed. And Snuggles releases a neurotransmitter- Oxytocin. And there were some phrases that helped motivate me through many a hard day- and they’re still something I occasionally have to fall back on when things get tough mentally: 1) Be Here Now 2) Accept 3) Pain is Mandatory- Suffering is Optional These three phrases tie in with each other. #1 Be Here Now; is the motivation that you are only in the now- and for you to not fixate upon the timeline of your withdrawal. The past is done, the future will come, but it’s best to focus on the immediate now and what you can do with it. #2 is about the immediate now- refusing to accept what’s going on in withdrawal will just make it worse. By Accepting that this is the way things are- you actually gain a sort of control over it all # 3- There is the Pain of Withdrawal- you can find ways to cope with the pain. Suffering is what comes about when you refuse to accept what is. You can choose to not be the person subjected to an endless misery of withdrawal. Yes I was in Withdrawal- but I choose to be more than a person in withdrawal- I chose instead to try and enjoy life as much as I could in between the wave crests. In both my benzo and antidepressant withdrawal blogs- I griped something fierce about it all. For that I make no apology. For I also chose to try and grab onto whatever little pleasures and triumphs I could garner when I was able to. Nature- There’s something about the forest, or even alone time next to a lake that helped me to calm down after a particularly grueling week or day. I got a few spiritual moments from the interplay of light in the clouds along with the wind in the leaves. Those few moments came at a time that I needed them. Music- I remember reading in a Science Magazine- that Music gets just about every area in the brain running. And that’s something that you need. The pills make our brains ‘soft’, music helps reboot it, it’ll evoke memories both good and bad. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh. And that’s what you need to do to get your neurotransmitters kicking in again. Beans- So what’s the big to do about beans? Gastrointestinal Health is paramount. Even though all of the other stuff I’ve listed above helped- I’ve also still had a number of problems involving Cortisol Spikes, the one thing that helped me well with that (after the Taurine) were Beans. I’ve found that the addition of a couple of tablespoons worth of Black Beans with dinner- seemed to lessen the number and frequency of Cortisol Spikes. I’m not exactly sure why this happens- though I have my suspicions. From what I understand- they’re a good source of something called Oligosaccharides. I learned about them after watching a documentary about Human Breast Milk. Apparently- Human Breast Milks’ primary ingredients include: 1) Water, 2) Fats, 3) Proteins, and 4) Oligosaccharides. So what are they? They’re a form of sugar that humans cannot digest. Now why on earth would humans produce something that babies cannot digest? Apparently the oligosaccharides are digested by a form of bacteria in the human gut- Beneficial Bacteria. The kind of bacteria that not only promotes our health in our guts but also helps us from - amongst other things- getting depressed. Long story short- Beans help you calm down and helps to prevent you from getting depression. Weird huh? Orgasms- Orgasms make you feel better. Orgasms release several feel good neurotransmitters. If you can- go for it. Hitachi wands are helpful in that regard for some folks. What’s it like for me now? I still get depressive. I still have bad days. But I’m also having good days. I’m enjoying life again. My hobbies are fun again. I’m spending time with my wife enjoying the amenities that my house and internet has to offer. (Netflix!) I’m honestly laughing again. For the longest time I forced myself to. After a while- I was able to give an honest laugh. That was a relief. Laughing- makes me feel better. Now- I can laugh spontaneously. Laughter releases Neurotransmitters. Crying- that too was near impossible for me. Now- I cry every few days. Crying- makes me feel better. I’m not up to crying spontaneously- but I’m working on it. I appreciate the time I have with my wife. I appreciate the time I have with my daughter. These times are so precious to me now. Weight loss- I still get hungry and I’m inclined to overeat if I’m not careful. Somehow I’ve still managed to lose about three pants sizes. I’ve still a ways to go, but such is a nice feeling. On the antidepressants- even mild hunger felt like I starving to death. In fact, there were times that I kept shoving food down my throat despite being so full that I was vomiting out food- but I was still famished- I couldn't achieve satiation. Now- it’s not. It’s bearable. I feel hunger, and it’s easily satisfied. I’ve lost a lot of my health due to trusting the medical doctors. I now am short one gall bladder- due to the gastrointestinal upsets my body underwent from the initial cold turkey. It was a journey of discovery for me when I found out that so many medical doctors- just don’t give a damn about folks’ suffering. Compassion Fatigue it’s called. My antidepressants- also caused me to react to allergens even more violently- I now need a CPAP to breathe at night- due to an Emergency Room visit in which some idiot botched my intubation during a visit due to a food impaction in my esophagus caused by a food allergy. During that little escapade they also managed to pierce my esophagus and I came close to needing a transfusion. And it managed to screw up my trachea too, Joy. For some reason- I find I cannot trust the Medicos as much as I did before. Why should I? They give us pills when they know they shouldn’t. During my withdrawal- I ended up going to the ER at least 6 or 7 times for things. On 5 of those visits- they gave me a scrip for Oxycodone tablets. Only two of which I put in for at the time. The other 3 I just tore up and threw away. And of those I kept- I used maybe a half dozen tablets- the rest of the contents of the bottles- I threw away. Day 600. March 11, 2017. 4 months shy of my two year mark. That’s the two year mark after tapering off of my antidepressant. That’s not including the time I spent from going cold turkey to now. Let’s see, including that turns out to be: 1048 days. Nasty. I’ve lost nearly 2 decades of my life to this crap. Thanks for nothing there Mr. Hippocratic Oath. And I’ve found that I’ve been having an issue with a short temper quite often of late. It could be a form of PTSD, it could be part of my personality that I’ve always had but never learned to control or channel. If so- then it’s past time for me to learn some anger/frustration management techniques. Which I'm doing now. Now, I'm having to relearn how to be a mature and responsible adult. It's an interesting time.
  7. hello, this is my first time posting. I have read some of the forums on here but I still am having difficulty on how to proceed. I was on Paxil 40mg for 7 years. I hate it. I cross tapered onto prozac 40 over 9 days. I was stupid and tried to reduce the Prozac’s dose a couple days as well. The withdrawal is so bad now I can barely get up and I haven’t eaten much of anything in days. These are the same symptoms I felt from stopped Paxil before; intense nausea, headache, vertigo, lethargy, brain zaps, depressed. I can’t function at all. today and yesterday I’ve taken 40mg prozac. I’m going to call the psychiatrist on Monday but honestly they have no clue about anything related to withdrawal and never give me guidance. I have very little faith in them being able to help me. Does anyone know if this is just from stopping Paxil? Or starting prozac? Does being on another ssri not stop the withdrawal from another? I’ve tried withdrawal from Paxil on its own and it’s just impossible. I have no idea what to do at this point. If the United States had free healthcare I would go to the hospital but it doesn’t so I’m not doing that. I’m not sure how much they could even do.
  8. Link to BrassMonkey's Intro topic Brassmonkey- A Success Story To some people six and a half years is a very long time to take to accomplish a goal. For me it’s been one tenth of a lifetime, one third of the time I was actively taking psych drugs and one quarter of the total time I was on Paxil. Given where I started six and a half years ago and where I am now I would gladly do it all over again if it meant regaining my life in the manner that I have. Six and a half years seems like a long time, but I can so clearly remember the night I made the decision to “do something about it” I can relive it moment by moment. At the time I couldn’t remember anything for more than a couple of seconds which makes this even more amazing. It’s been 24 some years now since I started taking Paxil. At the time I was in what I though of as a very rough place. I was in an incredibly stressful job, suffering constant pain as the result of several medical procedures and had developed some really bad anger issues. Anger was a learned response I acquired growing up, but this was getting out of hand. Counseling and learning coping techniques would have been the better course of action, but there was this new “wonder drug” on the market that would cure the ”chemical imbalance” that was causing me to lash out in such a destructive manner. And it was indeed a wonder drug. I could feel the difference just a few hours after taking the first dose. My life calmed down and things were much better for many, many years. Then one day I noticed that it wasn’t as effective as it once had been. Talking it over with my doctor we decided to up my dose. Things went back to being fine, almost. During that time there were some big changes that took place in my life. My wife and I had made some good investments and savings and were able to retire early. We went traveling and such and enjoyed life. Until one day the stock marked crashed and we lost pretty much everything. Having to come out of retirement and find a job was a very upsetting experience to say the least. Making it through the next decade plus some was quite a challenge. At first, I was very glad for the numbness that the Paxil was causing. After a while I again noticed that it was not working as well as it should, and we again upped the dose. This put me at 40mgai. It didn’t do much good. The anhedonia was taking over big time, short term memory was going away, and I hurt constantly. I’ve always enjoyed my alcohol and I started enjoying it more and more. In my mind it was helping with the physical pain and it did help distract from the day to day survival conditions we were facing. But it also was getting out of control and I started to spiral down on every front. Yes, you have to hit rock bottom before you decide to do anything about it, and I did. It finally sunk in one night just how bad I had let things become and I knew I had to do something about it. Next stop AA. But there was much more involved than the alcohol. I knew that the Paxil was not working anymore and was very sure that my doctors recommendation to “just stop taking it” was wrong. It took several weeks of researching to learn that “the drug was my problem” and I had to get off it. There was a lot of conflicting information on line and it was quite a slog getting through it. One day I happened on a site called PaxilProgress and my life changed. PaxilProgress or as I often refer to it now “Prior Place” seemed to know what they were talking about. They had reference material and a taper protocol that made sense and would work with you and give support as you worked your way off of the drug. The stories of what some of the people were going through scared the heck out of me though. I envisioned myself sitting in a chair rocking back and forth for months chanting “it’s only withdrawal, it’s only withdrawal”. My lovely wife told me, “if that’s the way it’s going to be, then we will make it through it”. I liked their idea of doing a 10% taper every four to six weeks, but it seemed to me that everyone that was trying it got hit hard with symptoms after each drop. I was struck with the idea of spreading the drop over four successive weeks and rounding it out with a hold to try and lessen the symptoms. I decided to sneak up on each 10% over several weeks and see what happened. This was later dubbed the Brassmonkey Slide Method by one of the other members. Not a whole lot happened. It was almost two and a half years of steady tapering before I noticed that things were starting to change. A year and a half after that, around the four-year mark I knew I was making progress, and the final year and a half was marked with steady improvements. Five and a half years after I started I was able to make the final taper to “0”. In the middle of all this my Prior Place life line was suddenly pulled out of my hands. I had found another site, SurvivingAntidepressants,org during a previous closure of Prior Place and renewed my account. The atmosphere was a bit different, but much more like home. The knowledge and support here has been a major key to my successful taper and recovery. The recovery story doesn’t stop at reaching “0”. In fact, it’s only beginning. Once the drugs have totally left the body it can actually start the real job of recovery. That’s why we like to wait a year before declaring a success story, and that year is up as of April 15, 2018. I’ve glossed over the meat of the taper because there is just too much to write about. The things that happened, what I learned, coping strategies and much more. Most fo which is already in my introduction thread. This post is to declare that I have succeeded in my quest to get off Paxil. I am going to start a new journal thread to talk about the details. For those who have been with me since the beginning, I want to thank you for your support and companionship during a long hard journey. Some of you have long since finished and have moved on, while others are close on my heels and will be writing your Success Stories soon. There are too many of you to name names, but each and every one of you are very dear to my heart. Those of you who have joined along the path; even though it will be rough and bumpy along the way the end destination is so worth it. Keep at it and you will make it. Your company has been invaluable. For all new ones who are joining each day: it’s very scary, rough, and painful journey but it is the only path there is to follow. In just a few short years you will all be writing your own Success Stories too, and I can’t wait to read them. I have worked with many thousands of members over the time I’ve been tapering and have yet to find one who did not have the strength, once they truly set their mind to the task, to be able to see it through to a successful conclusion. (((((((((((((((((((((HUGS TO ALL))))))))))))))))))))))) Brassmonkey
  9. Hi all. I’m thankful I came across this group. Wow - where to begin... well, at age 7 I was given Paxil and 20 years later I am still on it. Throughout the 20 years I have tried ever SSRI and SNRI on the planet. I was given Valium and after five years by the grace of God somehow tapered off it myself. In the past 2 years I was put on effexor, pristiq, viibryd, lexapro, celexa, prozac, and landed back on 20mg Paxil. Four months ago I lowered by dosage to 15mg and it has been pure hell. Suicidal thoughts which I have never had, super strange thoughts, terror like I cannot explain. Reading your success stories on here gives me hope. How long should I hold at 15mg before continuing to do a 5-10% taper? How did you all manage to work during this time? With being put on these drugs at such a young age — is it possible to heal, or am I permanently damaged? How do you let go of your anger regarding this situation. I didn’t choose to take these meds. Much love, Sunflower414
  10. Hello! Very happy to have found this forum. After years of adamant anti-psychiatric drug ideology, I finally caved in and took the pills. My GP and psychologist jointly recommended a low-dose sequence of Paroxetine (Paxil) in order to get me out of the rut I seemed unable to exit on my own. At beginning of treatment, was a bit hypomanic. Gastrointestinal upset, nausea, flight of ideas, almost felt like prednisone or MDMA. Settled into the dose (10mg). Upon recommendation by my GP, increased dose to 20mg for three days. It was intolerable. Resumed low 10mg dose. The whole time I felt "safe" in that I was on the lowest dose, and understood that I could just stop when I felt like it. Gained a LOT of weight. Felt stabilised. Decided to get off the med. After 4.5 months. This is a few days ago. After two days, withdrawal symptoms began. Major mood swings (hypomanic to deeply disinterested/depressed). Crazy gasto-intestinal disruption. Adrenaline bursts. Extreme irritability. Wooshy, woozy feelings. My circulation feels almost electric. I only feel "fine" when I'm asleep, laying down. MY QUESTION: It's been already five days. Should I just plow through, now that the drug has almost completely exited my system? I genuinely thought, and was reassured by my GP, that a slow-taper was unnecessary on such a low dose. (I also read taper systems from 40mg that indicated complete cessation after going down to 10mg). I just don't know how long these symptoms will last. I have tried to offset withdrawal by using Magnesium, multi-vitamin, exercise, and cannabis. Does not seem to be doing the trick. Does anyone have a similar experience? Many threads are about intense drug cocktails, but I haven't found any specifically about low-dose Paroxetine. Any advice would be super appreciated. Thank you!
  11. Firstly hi, i wish someone can guide me, may 2021 i started on paxil 10 mg then 20 mg to the end of mars then i switched to zolof 50 mg then 25 mg but it gave me insomnia and lost my appetite so i switched to lexapro 5mg after 7 weeks on zoloft.. Lexapro always made me lose my appetite so i just stopped then i got into withdrawal so i used prozac to get rid of them after one week like this : one week 5 mg prozac One week 2.5 mg One week 1.25 It got rid off dizziness and zaps but nauaea it still there after i finished prozac ( when i was on it i didnt have much appetite too ) Its 10 days ago So what should i do now plz help me Tough it out ? For how long ? Or reinstate lex 2.5 mg but it will make me lose my appetite anyways Can i taper if i wasnt stable on it and still give me side effects ? Plz help and opinions and thanks..
  12. does paroxetine / Paxil withdrawals get you extreme anger? (and about narcissistic mother) Hello, I am 24 year old male with panic disorder. I was on various anti-depressants for panic disorder from 2017, after my dad passed away on 2016 but from past 4 years (19-22) I am on Paroxetine CR 25mg, But I feel like sometimes it stops working and everything becomes irritating and you see I have a narcissistic mother who will don't let a single opportunity to waste to anger me. I tried many time to get off it by going to lower dose 12.5mg but the withdrawals were worst. Even if I take anything like vitamins or eat have a lemon for C in morning it really get worse. I currently taper myself to 12.5 from 25mg again (I thought I could handle it this time) by doing meditation and it was bit helpful at start but now the things getting now bit tough. and I am kind of worried that withdrawal will stay longer. Questions: should I keep taking the lower dose and suffer for a bit if the withdrawals are not gonna last longer or should I revert to the original dose of 25mg? & Are the extreme anger and irritation a withdrawal symptoms or is it me? (I can't even stay in the same room as my mother) I am literally scared to my core with the anger and irritated I feel with all the taunts and manipulation by my narcissistic mother I had suffer every single day for 24 years. It breaks my heart to see how much I have suffer from her and continuing so, I am 24 and good in programming but currently have no job and until I get my own place which is extremely hard I have to stay with her. Contact me anytime, We could support each other Instagram: onix_fellar Thanks
  13. Hello, I am 24 years old, male and have suffered from anxiety disorder since childhood. The slightest excitement makes me nauseous, causing me to vomit. Over time it got worse and worse until I decided at 18 that I would start therapy. I did this for 3 years, unfortunately without success. At 23 (late 2019) I started taking Paroxetine (20 mg) because I had extreme university stress and was about to graduate. Within a few weeks I was feeling fabulous. The anxiety and nausea were just gone. I found my first job, my first girlfriend, and was able to do things I had never done before. I also had no side effects whatsoever. Anyway, I didn't really notice any changes. The side effects that occurred when I started paroxetine are gone (numb penis). However, I decided to stop paroxetine again and was hoping that I could go on without medication. Within 2-3 weeks, I stopped paroxetine. That was December 2020, however, within a few days I started to suffer of premature ejaculation. But after a few weeks, this side effect was gone. I was then perfectly fine without the drug for the next 6 months. Until I panicked again. So I took paroxetine again. But this time 10 mg. I took this for 2 months and slowly stopped. From 10 mg to 5 mg and then completely stopped after 2 weeks. The reason I didn't want to take paroxetine anymore was that I couldn't have sex. It would have been my first time, however, I had problems to get and hold an erection. Before taking this med, I was kind of hypersexual and aroused easily. I didn't have this problem when I took paroxetine from 2019-2020. The last time I took paroxetine was 08-28-2021. As the last withdrawal, I suffer from premature ejaculation. But it is still difficult to get and hold an erection. I also have the feeling that it actually got worse when I stopped. Also the desire to cuddle is not there. I feel very little love. Something like anhedonia? To me it sounds like PSSD. I don't know what to do. I took paroxetine for 1 year and did not have such problems. And these 2 months have destroyed my brain. I should have never taken the drug a second time. Unfortunately, I was never aware of the side effects. I didn't know that side effects could continue after stopping.
  14. Hi ! I'm 28, I'm French (I live in Paris) and I have been prescribed 20 mg Paroxetine in december 2020 for an anxiety disorder that was getting worse and worse due to a bad break up, and lockdown. I also had PTSD thanks to work harrassment that took place between 2017 and 2019, and despite doing therapy, I still was struggling. After a few hellish weeks of suffering the side effects of starting the medication, the drug actually started working and soon enough, I felt better. In July 2020, I started thinking about going off the medication, since I was doing well and my life felt stable, safe and just generally good. Uninformed, I tried skipping the 20 mg every other day. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work and I abandonned very fast, after getting bad chest pain. The symptoms disappeared as soon as I went back to my regular dosage. My psychiastrist recommanded me to taper by lowering my dosage to 10 mg, and then nothing. But I started questionning this advice, considering my experience starting the drug. That's when I did my research and found this website. Thanks for the amazing work you're doing !! Following the recommandation I found here, I started lowering my dosage my dosage by 10% in January 2022. After two months, I find myself both hopeful and confused. Hopeful because so far, my WS haven't been too bad. They do make my days more stressful, but they don't prevent me from living a normal life. Confused because I have no one to turn to. None of my close friend or family members have dealt with AD. My psychiatrist is night enough, but a bit clueless. For instance, she told me their was no such thing as liquid paroxetine... and I only had to google it to discover she was wrong. Moreover, she seems completely unaware of the existence of WS. For her, any symptom means relapse. But I know I'm doing well in my life right now. The main thing I'm worried about is actually... getting anxious again. Anxiety feels like being trapped in my own head, and it's just... you know. That's why I'm very nervous about tapering, because what if it screws everything up ? But also, I really want to do it. Lowering the dosage, so far I got mainly chest pain, which comes and goes, and bad dreams. I also got night sweats, but I'm not sure if they're due to withdrawal. I did read somewhere that it was a possible side effect from Paxil. For now, it's manageable, but I haven't found a way to relieve the chest pain, which is by far the worst thing. I'm doing yoga quite regularly and have tried meditation and breathing exercise in the past, but I never felt they made much a difference. Advice anyone ? I'm also very tired and sleeping a lot, but I like sleeping so that's okay. Trying to not beat myself up about not being productive enough (I'm working freelance) . I know this is a long shot, but would anyone recommand a good psychiatrist in Paris, France ? Also, I have been wondering : when should you just accept the WS, and when should you up your dosage back to what it was ? I keep wondering if I should just soldier through, since my symptoms are not that bad, or slow the process even more... Thanks for reading my story, and lots of love to everyone who's struggling right now... It gets better (or at least I hope so, haha).
  15. Hi everyone, I am new here so not sure what the protocol is or how to use this site properly, so please forgive me if I have posted in the wrong section. I am looking for some advice from anyone that has done a straight switch on SSRI's. My story is that I was a long term paroxetine user (over 20 years) I was relatively ok on my dose of 40mg for anxiety, ocd. For some unknown reason 2 years ago in my infinite wisdom I decided that it was no longer working for me and that I may lose some weight if I switched to another SSRI, so, as I had a brief experience (1 year) with escitalopram several years ago after my doc decided that I should come off paroxetine (which failed and ended up back on paroxetine) I decided that I should give it another go. I was doing fine on 20mg for just over a year and then Nov 2020 I had a severe panic attack and intrusive thoughts along with some gastric issues, I convinced myself that the escitalopram had stopped working or pooped out. So I have talked my GP and asked him to put me back on paroxetine as of Dec 2020. I did a straight switch from 20mg escitalopram, 2 days at 10mg then onto paroxetine 10mg - 3 days then up to 20mg for 7 days and now currently at 30mg. To be honest, I have never felt so ill in my life. I am suffering constant anxiety, don't want to leave the house, suicidal thoughts, fear of going crazy, terrible cortisol spikes in the morning, diarrhea, nausea, lack of appetite (lost over 14lbs), vivid dreams, auditory hallucinations, pounding, skipping heartbeats, ocd thoughts, internal vibrations, shaking and hot flushes. I suppose my question is, has anybody had this experience with straight switching SSRI's? Is this withdrawal symptoms from escitalopram combined with start up effects of paroxetine? I have spoken to my GP who has prescribed Propanolol for the physical anxiety symptoms or suggested it was my age (46). The beta blockers do stop the shaking, tremors in the morning but I don't really want to keep taking them. I have been on the paroxetine for 5 weeks (3 weeks at 30mg), should I not be feeling better now? Do I need to up the dosage as 40mg paroxetine is equivalent of 20mg Escitalopram. Do I need to give it more time? I am at a loss so any knowledge and advice would be very much appreciated. I am sorry for prattling on but I am getting desperate for some hope. Thank you
  16. Been on/off SSRIs and even a couple antipsychotics for several years. Always had some mild anxiety but major issue and reason for prescription(s) was OCD. None of the meds ever had a huge effectiveness for OCD, but within the last year or so discovered Dr. Michael Greenberg's rumination-focused ERP therapy for OCD and have learned to manage OCD using this therapy (highly recommend for others!). Have been on paxil for over a year and recently tried to taper off. Started at 40mg and went down 10mg per month, although when I got to 10mg I only stayed on for a couple weeks before stopping. Had no idea this med was notorious for withdrawals or what a problem this med is, or wouldn't have even started it. Started having very mild anxiety issues when I was sleeping while I was tapering off, but was able to go back to sleep. Kept getting worse while tapering and still while I was completely off. Symptoms peaked around week 6-7 and was having full blown panic attacks at night and eventually just all day, weird pain in the forehead like a sinus headache but from panic/stress. Had bad hand tremors, dizziness, nausea and had to miss work but eventually just went back on paxil. This time 10mg in the am and 10mg at night according to doc's orders. Now on 30mg paxil. Been back on paxil for about two weeks. Noticed immediately it helped although still have heightened anxiety and twinges of pain like a sinus headache. Feels like no one really knows how long withdrawals from paxil last; have heard 2-3 weeks, 4 months, a year, etc. Don't think its relapsing because never had panic attacks and never had problems like this getting off or switching meds. Really need to get off this med, especially because it makes me so tired which is a big reason I wanted to come off now that I have the OCD under control. Hoping to get stable again and then start tapering slowly, possibly with the liquid form so I taper in smaller increments.
  17. First time on site. Looking for help. I went off my Paxil after 13 years waaaaaaay too fast and am now experiencing horrible PAWS symptoms. Panic, anxiety. My dr is treating it as a relapse, but never felt that was really what was going on. Last night I read about post acute withdrawal syndrome and knew I had discovered what I was experiencing. About 2 weeks ago my dr put me on Duloxitine. Still not helping. Does anyone have any suggestions on drs or clinic that might be able to help? Also, what about going back on a low dose of Paxil again. I am open to all suggestions! thank you
  18. Hi, I'm new to this site. As far as my background, in 2018, after 25 years of taking Paxil and feeling good and stable, I decided to reduce my dose of 40 mg. down to 20 mg. over the course of three months (May-Aug) as I wanted to get rid of sexual side effects. After some back and forth with the dose, I reduced my dose to 20 mg in August and began to experience bad SSRI withdrawal and particularly intense anxiety. It got so bad I eventually ended going back up to my baseline dose of 40 mg of Paxil but it no longer was working to control my anxiety, etc. In addition, I began to experience a new cyclical mood disorder, whereby I could feel fine for several weeks or a month or more and then I would have an episode where for 7-10 days I would wake up with intense suicidal depression that would generally start lifting a few hours after waking. I have been working with a cadre of psychiatrists and other healthcare providers to get stable again, my anxiety is under control but so far nothing has worked to address this mood disorder which has been diagnosed as an atypical presentation of cyclothymia and which has been life-altering. In addition to reinstating the 40 mgs of Paxil, I am now on Seroquel (300 mg), Lamotrigine (75 mg) and recently started Lithium Carbonate (300 mg). My questions: is it possible that my attempts to go off Paxil (including some back and forth with increasing and then lowering dose) after so many years could have instigated this new mood disorder I'm dealing with?
  19. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  20. Hi i just thought I’d pop in and give an update about how things are now. i was talking with a friend the other day about what all id gone through with Paxil and I realized, I’m so far from where I was and how much I’d relied on this site as well as npanth’s articles during the very worst of everything. i remember reading success stories and wondering if the mental anguish would ever end for me. I can say, it has and it does. Here is my topic: So, basically I was on Paxil for about 14-15 years. I’m 40 now and have been off Paxil for 6 years. While I was on the drug I still had many symptoms of anxiety, gained a ton of weight and also felt like I was living a sort of half life. I wasn’t fully engaged in my life. Every time I tried getting off Paxil over the years, I’d have terrible symptoms and think that it was just me and I needed Paxil to make me “normal”...! My Dr never ever told me I should taper slowly and over time; I was literally given no advice EVER. When I was about 13 years in to taking the drug I was suddenly beset with a whole new host of symptoms and some quite strong and strange to me. I felt terrible on the inside of myself, something I couldn’t hardly explain. I told my Dr. And he said that Paxil might be no longer working as well and so he upped me from 20mgs to 40 msg. I felt a little better for a bit but still NOT good. I decided to stop the drug cold turkey. i had no idea of how dangerous that was or what would lie ahead. If I’d known, I would have tapered slowly. At first I felt really really good, better than I had in a longgg time, but at about 6 weeks off the drug alllll hell broke loose. I had all the usual symptoms, shaking, flu like symptoms , couldn’t sit still, no motivation, exhausted but major insomnia, heart racing and palpitations, so much pain In my legs, throbbing pain. A tight band around my head that felt like someone was tightening it. I had intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts, panic attacks, jolting awake from when I did sleep, bladder problems, and many more that I’m forgetting I’m sure. Oh! Brain zaps! I had lots of those. forgetfulness and not being able to put in to words what I wanted etc- that was also a thing. 😑 i started googling why I felt like this after stopping Paxil and I found a site called Paxil progress. After that shut down I found this site. at the time it was all I could do to lay in bed and read the stories of others and know that what I was going through would eventually get better. I couldn’t figure out how, or when. I prayed a lot. I had three kids to take care of, so I managed to do what I had to do but often felt very irritated and exhausted, I didn’t know how much longer I could deal with it. Symptoms began breaking up in to a pattern that was called windows and waves. Sometimes a window would be super short and I’d wonder how I could feel so normal for a while only to have it all crash back down around me. Sleep was such an escape when I could get it, but for 2-3 years I had terrible insomnia that lasted hours throughout the night. Those were very frustrating times. I saw bigger improvements when I began sleeping better. Slowly the symptoms dropped off one by one. leg pain was probably one of the first to go i still didn’t know much about how to deal with anxiety and was still fighting that battle when I came across Dr. Claire Weekes book, “hope and help for your nerves” That book was awesome and I highly recommend it and anything else you can read by her. I still have occasional bladder flares (acts like a bladder infection but it isn’t actually) but other than that I don’t think I have one problem that I can say is from Paxil anymore (I don’t think??) lol i think I am finally ready to say, I’m recovered from what Paxil put me through. im still learning how best to cope with anxiety, but I’m doing a pretty good job of it with noooo drugs 😁😁😁 BTW when I was in the process of trying to heal from it all, I used high quality fish oil and B12. I also used trace minerals. I wish you all well. Xo 😘
  21. Hi everyone! First of all, English is not my native tongue and this is the first post I have ever written on a forum, so please bear with me. Writing this success story and sharing it with you have been a dream of mine for a long time. I never thought I would reach this milestone. I have mixed feelings posting this, as I know some of you might find it discouraging. If you are new to withdrawal, please stop reading here. This is a post for those of you who have been suffering badly for years and need proof that it's possible to recover even after a very long time. There is a brief summary in the end of this post if you can't or don't want to read the whole story. I also listed my withdrawal symptoms. Background I was on Paxil for 8,5 years (15-30 mg) and I made several quick tapers and CTs from low doses during the years. I took my last dose 11 years ago after a fairly slow taper (15 months) I started Paxil when I was 19 after having struggled with anxiety/emotional crisis for a few months. I was very skeptical of psychiatric drugs but my parents wanted me to try and I eventually got desperate enough to give in. I could just quit if it didn't help, couldn't I? I'm not going to describe in detail the long, sad and all too familiar story of what happened next. I tried to quit after five months, developed a delayed wd with intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety, and was told I was close to becoming psychotic. I gave up after half a year of the worst suffering I had ever experienced, and reinstated. I didn't believe in the broken brain-myth but I assumed my emotional problems must be far worse than I first thought and that I needed to solve those problems before coming off. A few years later I tried and failed again, same story but this time I also had severe physical symptoms. And then, after I had lost hope about myself and thinking I would be dead by now without the pills, I raised the dose from 20 mg to 30 mg, became euphoric and saw myself change into a new, much ”happier” person. I deteriorated quickly the following years, and spent more and more of my time in bed with muscle weakness and pain. I started having internal bleedings in my hands that no one could explain. I was somehow too drugged to really understand how serious my symptoms were. By now I had a decent list of ”psychiatric disorders” and had been on disability for years. I was considered a chronic case that should medicate for life, something I refused to accept. I would probably have kept deteriorating and died if I hadn't come across a forum for people struggling to quit prescription drugs. I finally understood what had happened to me. I was in the middle of my third serious attempt to quit, so I just continued to taper. I thought I would be ok if I just did a slow enough taper. I wasn't. Withdrawal hell I can go on and on and list my symptoms (see end of post) but as you all know, these lists don't do justice to the suffering. At 5 mg I started vomiting and it didn't stop. My main struggle during the following 16 months was to keep myself alive, physically. I was underweight and dehydrated, more or less completely bedridden, so nauseous and anxious that I lived minute by minute. Me and my fiancée had no support except the forum I found. I was too ill to write myself, but my fiancée did. (Mixter, if you are reading this: I honestly don't know if I would have made it without your knowledge and support. I am forever grateful.) Some people say that it's terrifying not knowing when the wd torture will end, and I agree. But the worst part for me was that I had lost hope that I could live without Paxil. I was afraid that even if I made it through the withdrawal I would still be tormented by my own mind. I wanted to live so badly, and I was afraid that I would eventually have to end my life to end the suffering. I remember sitting in my bed rocking back and forth and vomiting, or crawling around on the floor with an unbearable sense of impending doom, convinced I would have to die. The only reason I didn't raise the dose again when the wd got really bad was that my fiancée threatened to leave me if I did and I didn't want to live without her. The worst symptom I had is difficult to explain, and makes no sense to me today. I developed a severe phobia towards people, also my fiancée. I missed her so much but I couldn't handle being in the same room. I longed for people, but their presence triggered intense feelings of terror, unlike anything I had ever experienced. The intrusive thoughts, "ocd" and my extreme sensory sensitivity made it worse, but cannot completely explain the terror I felt. I was afraid that this was me without the drug and that I would have to live the rest of my life in complete isolation. This is hard for me to write about and I still have very little hope that anyone will understand what it was like to live with this intense terror for years. Then, about 11 months after my last dose, I had a few better weeks. I was still bedridden and the majority of my symptoms had not improved, but I remember being able to listen to music and eating solid food. I felt how reality and my personality was coming back, and I realised the world around me looked and felt completely different off Paxil. I started to feel glimmers of hope. Shortly after, my fiancée left me. I lost the person I loved the most, I lost my dog, I lost my home. I left without my belongings, too ill to pack, and spent the following nightmarish three years in my parents small guest room in the other end of the country, still far too ill to take care of myself. I was no longer in acute withdrawal, but many symptoms had not improved. I had stopped vomiting but the muscle weakness was still so severe that I couldn't sit up at a table and eat. I struggled with extreme sensory sensitivity, especially movements. I had to eat with my eyes closed as it was unbearable to see my hands move. I was nauseous, paranoid and hallucinating. 1,5 years off I estimated that I had about 0,2 % of my normal physical and cognitive abilities, judged from what I could and couldn't do compared to before Paxil. (automatic functions like heartbeats, breathing and so on not included.) Recovery I have to say that I saw only minor improvements the first years. 2,5 years after my last dose I remember thinking that I now had 2% of my physical and cognitive abilities, which after all, I kept telling myself, was an improvement with far more than 100% since the year before. The years went by. I never really had any windows. My improvements were very gradual, so slow that I had to wait at least six month before I felt certain that there had been an improvement at all. There are exceptions to this rule. A few symptoms cleared up rapidly and more or less completely. The symptom I feared the most, the horrible intrusive thoughts that I suffered the first times I tried to quit, was ironically one of the first symptoms to disappear. After about 3 years, I was able to be in the same room as another human being without fear. Most symptoms improved slightly, became worse again, got better, became worse again, until one day they didn't get as bad as before. And so on. The turning point It's hard to say when exactly I reached the point where I felt that I wouldn't have to kill myself even if I didn't continue to improve, but I believe it was in 2014, five years after my last dose. I would say I literally lived minute by minute during the first three of those five years, with few exceptions. I don't understand today how it was possible for me to live through that time but somehow it was. I wish I could say that I was brave and optimistic, but I wasn't. I was scared and alone. The thing I had that saved me was that I really wanted to live, and that I was lucky enough not to experience depression. I'm also a person with a lot of grit and with a somewhat autistic ability to thrive in complete solitude which I believe saved my sanity (well, whatever was left) those years when I was too ill to socialise with anyone. I remember thinking that I wished I could have been sentenced to five or ten years in prison instead, just to know that I would be free one day. I no longer feel that way. Addiction Most people don't experience this, but some of us do and I think it's important to talk about. I spent a lot of my time in recovery longing back to my Paxil-years. My life on Paxil may have been miserable in many ways‚ with self harm (I occasionally cut myself), aggression and lack of judgement, but I enjoyed being euphoric. Coming back to reality and getting used to having normal feelings again was sometimes as hard as managing the physical torture. I felt as if I had lost the beautiful world I had lived in, that I had thought was reality, and now was forced to live in a world that I recognised from growing up but now longer belonged to. Everything looked and felt so different, and I felt like a complete stranger here. I longed ”home” and had strong cravings at times and the cravings triggered some of my withdrawal symptoms, and that continued to be a big and somewhat embarrassing problem for several years. (The cravings are not gone but they are much less frekvent now) I wasn't consciously abusing Paxil, but I had built my whole life as an adult on a drug and created a fantasy-world where I could enjoy things I used to find boring, like socialising, or watching series, or other perfectly normal activities that just isn't my thing. Where I no longer felt alienated and different, where I no longer hated society, where I either was euphoric from increasing the dose, or hypomanic after tapering, and as soon as either the euphoria or hypomania was wearing off I just increased or decreased the dose, fooling myself than I was trying to quit when I was no longer even trying. The hardest part of going through withdrawal was that I knew deep down that my fantasy-world would fall apart, and it turned out I wasn't really ready to let go. I just wanted back, desperately. I had to be dragged out against my will until I was completely off Paxil and could think more clearly. I owe my life to my ex fiancée but it was a very cruel process at times. It’s hard to explain how you can love a drug that you know has ruined your life completely, but that was how I felt. It was like a once wonderful relationship that had turned abusive. When you realise what is happening you are already to weak to leave. It dosen't help that you know your loved one will kill you if you stay. I often felt like two different persons in one during recovery. The memory of Paxil-me that I still felt was the real me, and real me who I had to get to know again. It took about 7 years until I could accept that Paxil-me was gone for good. Looking at photos of Paxil-me today is more like looking at a younger sister, with a very different personality than mine, that tragically and unexpectedly died at age 28. I have stopped crying over her, but I keep a few of her belongings in a box as a memory. It breaks my heart every time people claim SSRI/SNRI can’t cause addiction. It may be rare, but I'm certainly not the only one. I guess those of us that have experienced this need to be more open about it but it's hard. Choosing reality over drugs was a question of life or death for me for a very long time, and the most difficult part of my recovery. It's the loneliest feeling, knowing that I might have to live the rest of my life unable to explain to people what I have been through. I fear that the most difficult time in my life will never be understood for what it was. Some advice regarding muscle weakness To all of you who have been suffering from debilitating muscle weakness for years, with little or no improvement, don't give up. This symptom was one of the most persistent for me and I remember feeling like my arms and legs were literally dead. I felt like I was damaged for life. I had no windows, although I had days that were worse than others. I know how it feels to be bedridden for years, locked up in your own personal prison, unable to participate in anything or do anything, even unable to write on a forum like this. But please don't give up. I finally did recover, and so can you. Try to remember what it was like being able to stand up normally, no matter how painful it is to remember what you have lost. Try to visualise yourself being able to run and jump, help your brain remember what it was like… When you finally start to see improvement, please be aware that you have probably lost most of your muscle mass and it will take time to regain it, and exercise is the only way to do that. It's not fair, but it will probably take a few years of hard work if you have been bedridden for years and developed severe back- and neck problems like I had. Even taking a walk may be very difficult, but don't let that discourage you. Try exercising in water if you have recovered enough to leave your bed. The water will carry your bodyweight and offer you some resistance. I strongly believe that exercise helps to heal brain damage. Today, I am more fit than most people my age, but it has been a very slow and gradual process. On year 4 I was able to increase my walks from five minutes, to ten. The next year from ten to fifteen, and so on …Walking have been especially hard for me and I'm not back to normal, but I have been able to walk 26 000 steps in one single day, which I think is amazing. Exercise made me worse in the beginning but I slowly got used to it and I never experience any bad reactions now days. Keep trying. A few words on diet You can't cure protracted withdrawal with a healthy diet, but it might speed up your recovery. I can't make a double blind study on myself, but I saw improvements in mood, cognitive abilities and speed of recovery after switching to a raw vegan diet in 2014. I do believe it makes my mind clearer and it makes me happier as well. If you want to try this diet, make sure to take natural (not synthetic) b12 and d3 supplements. Also try omega3 from algae instead of fish. My life today I celebrated 11 years off Paxil this spring. I lost 8,5 years of my life to Paxil, and another 10 years to recovery. Was quitting worth all the suffering? Definitely yes. Am I 100% recovered? No, I'm not, but I'm getting closer. I still struggle with some muscle weakness and cognitive problems. Walking still feels weird at times. I have a bad back and muscle twitches. Some sensitivity to light, sound and smell has remained, but it's very mild. The only symptoms that appears to be permanent are a few that resembles HPPS HPPD. My visual perceptions are still slightly distorted, but no where near what I experienced on Paxil. ( mod note- HPPD is an acronym for hallucinogenic- persisting perception disorder) I wondered for a long time if my lingering psychotic symptoms was wd or if the experience simply drove me mad, but I believe it was wd as hallucinations started shortly after my last dose and became more and more rare and ”mild” during the years (from occasional full blown visual hallucinations with eyes wide open, to waking up from sleep realising I'm hallucinating) I stopped panicking over hidden cameras and spys several years ago but I still struggle with interpersonal paranoia at times, which I actually find more difficult to deal with because it's more subtle and harder to keep at an arms length. This has improved a lot the last years though. This may seem depressing but it's not that bad. I would say I'm more than 95 % recovered and I'm staying hopeful that I will regain all of my former cognitive abilities, the only symptom that still makes me sad at times. (My problems are no longer noticeable to others, but I notice them.) I can live with back pain and a dash of madness if I have to. I even miss my visual hallucinations, the only symtom I actually enjoyed as they gave me a much needed break from reality. They were incredible beautiful too. My emotional life My personality came back to a large extent after 4,5 years, but my feelings started coming back much earlier. I regained an ability to feel ”real” emotions after about 1 year, although I can't say for sure whether I am 100% recovered or not as I don't remember what it used to be like. I do feel intense happiness and a wide range of other emotions, but I sometimes feel detached from them and from other people. I have a hard time relating to others, they seem ”overly emotional” and appears to be ”upset over nothing”. I do struggle a lot with empathy because of this. I’m sometimes puzzled over how I function on a social and emotional level now days, but whether this is my personality as an adult, the result of years of isolation/torture or Paxil itself is hard to tell. To be fair, I did have these tendencies before Paxil but these traits are much more pronounced now. Or maybe I just have a hard time taking my armour off. There were not much room for emotional needs during wd. Being a logic-driven observer was the only way I could handle the situation as I couldn’t trust which emotions was real or wd/psychosis. This is an incredible useful strategy while managing wd but I feel that I would like to become ”human” again. Just not sure how to do it as I more and more have come to believe that emotional reactions are a choice. This also means that I don't really know what to feel about everything I went through, or how to process the whole experience on an emotional level, and my attempts to figure it out with logic has failed for very obvious reasons. The happy end is just the beginning A few people I know of who were healthy and happy while I was in wd hell, have now died in cancer or become ill with no hope of recovery. I have learnt that although I have gone through a difficult time, I am also very lucky. I may no longer be gasping in awe during my short walks, crying of joy and gratitude over being alive and being able to see the birds fly, but that gratitude is always with me. The last 4-5 years have also taught me that you don't need to be completely recovered to live a deeply meaningful and happy life. I can't say that life is back to normal, because I was I teenager last time I was here. It was long ago in another life. Things will never be like that again. But I'm reaching a point where I feel like I don't regret what has been. I'm hoping for a long life and it's far too early to tell whether this journey was a bad life experience or a good and useful one. If I could choose a soundtrack for this post, then it would be Ordinary world by Duran Duran: "What has happened to it all? Crazy, some'd say Where is the life that I recognize? Gone away But I won't cry for yesterday There's an ordinary world Somehow I have to find And as I try to make my way To the ordinary world I will learn to survive" You will learn to survive too. No matter how hopeless things may seem right now, just keep going. You only have to go through this once, and your future self will be so, so grateful that you didn't give in. Being free again and being yourself is worth waiting for, even if it takes a decade, or more. One day you will be writing your own success story. I know you will. Thanks for reading this long post. You can ask me anything you want, I'm happy to help. Aurorax --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Summary and milestones: 2001: Starts Paxil at age 19. 2001-2004: Two failed attempts to quit. 2005: Increases dose to 30 mg. Close ones concerned about me being all wired up and lacking judgement. 2006: Life is falling apart: my carrier, my health, my relationships, my cognitive abilities. My plan to taper over two years is not going well, there always seems to be a reason to raise the dose again. 2007: Increases the dose to 30 mg again but it’s no longer ”working”. I consider increasing the dose to 40 mg but that would be like saying I'm worse than ever and that's a frightening thought. 2008: Third attempt to quit. Finally realising that my ”illness” is side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Decides to make a slow taper. 2009, April: Last dose of Paxil. End of 2008 to beginning of 2010: Lost in withdrawal hell, struggling to keep myself alive. Loses my spouse, my dog and my home. 2010-2012: Still minute by minute most of the time. Bedridden. 2013: 4 years off. I have a home of my own again but struggle with household chores. Too ill to go to the grocery store. Too ill to sit up in a chair. Too ill to do anything else than surviving. Bedridden most of the time. Mourns having been gone for so many years, feels like I came back too late. No one remembers who I am off Paxil, not my parents, not my siblings. Longing back to Paxil-land. 2014: Still spend a lot of time resting in bed. Having a home is manageable but feels like running a small business. Nausea is almost gone. I can read books, browse the internet, write in my diary. I realise that I have survived coming off Paxil. Still a lot of physical symtoms but I’m happy for the first time off Paxil. I can live without drugs! 2015: I'm starting to realise the extent of the damage done by Paxil and the wd experience regarding my personality and emotional life. I no longer feel ”human”. I feel disconnected from everyone, empathy nearly gone. I feel like nothing can really bother me as long as my or others life aren't threatened. 2016- 2017: Year 7-8. I continue to improve. 2018: I have recovered enough to return to the town I had to leave, and start my new life. I don't know anyone here but it dosen't matter, I feel no need for friends. No problems taking care of household or go shopping for the things I need. I feel lika an animal released from its cage. I'm really happy. 2019: Celebrates 10 years off. Working part time from home, self employed. I can sit up in a chair without pain. I eat out, I go to the movie theatre, I travel overseas for the first time. I go to gym classes. It stills feels unreal that the person that is running with high knees, doing burpees and lifting heavy barbells is me. 2020: Life is no longer about recovery. There is so much I wan't to do that I don't even know where to start. I sometimes feel like a young adult making plans for the future. I'm less on guard and my ability to feel empathy is improving. Things that happens to me and other people have an emotional impact on me again. I recently decided to end my lone wolf lifestyle and have just found my first friends here. Feels like I'm in the beginning of a big adventure and can't wait to see what will happen next. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Symptoms are 100% resolved unless otherwise stated: Physical: Air hunger Arrhythmia (Improved but not resolved) Blurred vision Brain zaps Burning sensation in skin Chilling sensation in legs Convulsions Diarrea Digestive system ”shutting down”, unable to absorb water for 1-2 days during worst part of wd Difficulty swallowing Difficulty walking (Still feels a bit weird) Dizziness Dry eyes Exhaustion Exuding small, round wounds, mainly on my back but also arms, chest, head, face (Not from self harm or scratching) Fatigue Feeling of electricity running through my body Feels like hands and arms are gone Feels like muscles are melting (Various other painful or unpleasant sensations all over my body that I don't bother to list) Fever Flashing blue lights inside my head Flu like symptoms Fluid running from nose and mouth Freezing Headache Heart palpitations Heart racing when I’m trying to stand up on my feet Internal bleedings Involuntary movements in jaw and feet, usually when falling asleep or waking up from sleep Itching Legs kicking Loss of appetite Muscle cramps Muscle pain Muscles shaking Muscle twitching (Still have this a few times a day) Muscle tension (Greatly improved but still have this. Could be many other reasons for this though) Muscle weakness/low muscle tone (95% resolved, still comes and goes in waves) Not able to eat solid food Not able to eat fluid food Nausea, very intense and relentless for years Numbness (Still a bit numb in my toes) Out of breath Pain in stomach and chest Passing out Poor balance Poor coordination Pressure over head Restless legs Sensitivity to light, sound, motion, smell (not completely resolved but very mild) Sensation of insects crawling over my skin Shaking Shortness of breath Slurred speech Sounds echoing in head Stress intolerance Sweating Temporary hearing loss Tinnitus (Greatly improved but still there) Vomiting Weight loss Weird attacks/blackouts, not sure what this was. Seizures? First one had me crawling on the floor, my visual field was rotating back and forth and I was vomiting. Second I felt like my foot was stuck to the floor while strong electric current was running through my leg, woke up in bed later after blackout. Whole body jerks Whole body suddenly numb, can't walk Zaps in jaw and legs (still have occasional mild leg zaps) Distorted visual perception: These resembles HPPT HPPD and seem to be permanent with no improvement last years. It's very mild, except the halos (I have had my eyes checked) No prior use of hallucinogens/street drugs. Floaters (Improved) Halos (Some improvement) Seeing sparkling lights (Improved) Things moving in the corner of my eyes (Improved) Things moving in weird ways (Resolved) Trails (Improved) Visual snow (Resolved) World stills looks/feels a bit weird in a way that reminds me of ”Paxil-land” but not near as intense. This comes and goes too) Cognitive: Brain fog, it literally took me half a day to write a few sentences on a postcard. (95% resolved) Confusion, like having to think to remember whether its winter or summer right now Difficulty finding words Difficulty speaking Difficulty understanding speech Disorganised and slow speech Exaggerated three-dimensionality (Still experience this when reminded of wd-hell. Not sure this is a wd-symptom, feels more like dissociation related to the trauma) Feeling drunk in an unpleasant way Feeling like I have lost my intelligence (Still not sure if I’m 100% recovered) Impaired memory Phrases repeating themselves in head, random words and images popping up out of nowhere Panic attacks or nausea while trying to read Poor concentration, could take me half an hour to read a page in a book. Used to be a very quick reader (95% resolved) Unable to process information Unable to se TV/watch movies Emotional: Aggression Akathisia (Most likely resolved. Still pacing and moving feet and hands a lot, but the intense inner torment is gone. Maybe I'm just a fidgety person) Anxiety Crying spells Delusions Drug cravings (Still happens if I'm triggered) Feeling of impending doom Hallucinations, mainly visual Hearing ”silent” voices while resting. Not auditory hallucinations, but not ”my own” thoughts. Usually incoherent and absurd phrases. Always different ”people”. Harming self Harming others (hitting, biting) Helplessness Homicidal ideation Hopelessness Hypomania Insomnia Intrusive thoughts Irritability Mood swings Nervousness (95% resolved) Nightmares and dreams about craving drugs ”Ocd” (Improved but not resolved. I had tendencies before Paxil so could be my personality.) Panic Paranoia (Still experience mild paranoia occasionally) Phobia towards people Psychotic break with reality Rage Ruminating Screaming Strange ”panic attacks”, mostly during night Suicidal ideation Terror Waking up crying/screaming/hitting/kicking (Still happens a few times a year) Walls bending
  22. Hello all, Very excited to have found this forum and realize I am not "the only one." However, my symptoms years later are of a physical (not emotional/mental) nature, and while I have yet to go through more posts, I wonder if there are any members here who relate to the physical symptoms? About me: I was on Paxil 20mg for about 2-3 years with generally good effect on my anxiety, but then I got to a plateau. My doctor wanted to switch me to a new medicine, and the new medicine was also supposed to help with migraines (I have suffered since I was a kid with migraines). I don't remember the name of the medication she wanted me to switch to, but she took me off of the Paxil cold turkey. No taper. Being young and not knowing any better, I didn't think twice or question it. I started the new medication the same day I ended the Paxil. I was at a conference three days later when I suddenly couldn't look at the screen anymore, my computer, anything bright really without feeling like they were moving--which made me feel nauseous and lightheaded. I then went into a two-week-long migraine, the worst migraine I've ever had (as mentioned, I am no stranger to migraines). I couldn't eat or take medication due to the overwhelming nausea, the migraine would not abate, I couldn't read or look at screens, I had to put up blankets over my windows because the small amount of light peering through was too much. My doctor had zero helpful suggestions. My brother and boyfriend (bless them) suggested I smoke in case it helped with the nausea, which it did and finally I was able to take some medicine. A friend of mine who is a doctor suggested I supplement with fish oil, which I also found helped. Since then, my head has just felt off. I can't handle bright lights, I get easily motion sick, I have brain zaps, my migraines are triggered more easily, I continue to have issues with screens (not as bad as before, but I can still get the lightheaded/nausea feeling), I can't look at tight patterns such as checkers or gratings without seeing them move and feeling lightheaded/nauseated. I went to a neurologist who suggested fish oil as well as Migreleif (which has a good amount of magnesium), and while these helped with the migraines, it didn't help with the other issues. I did have my anxiety get to an unmanageable level a few years later, and my boyfriend pushed me to see a doctor, who put me on Prozac 20mg, to good effect. I do have periods of bad anxiety around what I consider anxiety-provoking events (like flying) but otherwise have been fine. It's the physical symptoms I can't deal with, which brought me here. Looking forward to reading everyone's stories and learning more!
  23. hi,all been on &off antidepressants for 20 yrs but never felt this crummy.since stopping Paroxetine have had flu-like symptoms ,then fatigue loss of appetite,taste changes,eye problems(excessive blinking actually started while on it,that's why I quit).depression,anxiety,just miserable,wondering if I should reinstate or just try & hang in there.I was on it about 6 mos.stopped May 4 after about 7 wk taper.thanks for any suggestions
  24. hello im 2 months at paxil 20 mg (first week was 10mg) i want to taper , can someone tell me what i should do and how to do to make it less symtoms for myself? (I used it for GAD) im not sure or its okay to make this topic here but im really need help on this question (it my first drug)
  25. Hi. My story should maybe begin with med history I suppose. Back in 2017 I was hospitalized and put on trazadone, zoloft, and zyprexa. After only barely a year of this cocktail it was determined that I was too tired to function with trazadone and zyprexa caused an odd issue with blood sugar which required immediate discontinuation. After another year and a half of zoloft, I asked my PCP (primary care physician) to manage my meds and help me try something new. I was tired of driving to see my nurse practitioner, who formally managed them. My PCP suggested Paxil, and also placed me on imitrex for chronic migraines. She discontinued zoloft, she felt it was a low enough dose. Shocker. This was the end of January 2020, so covid was nearly upon us. After only one month of being on it she decided to bump it by 10mg, to 30mg. We also decided imitrex sucked so I got put on maxalt which I'm still on today. I felt as though it was helping me with irritability, which is a problem I've had for a long time. Paxil mellowed me out it seemed. It made me not really care much. All visits after February were done via zoom due to covid. In November of 2021 I was feeling at a wit's end with the increase in head pain frequency. Taking all 9 of your maxalts every month and having more migraines on top of it just sucked. I also was having more s******l ideations, I always have had passive ones but having more than usual was bothering me. She said she would add 10mg of amitriptyline because "it helps with migraines and mental health so it'll kill two birds with one stone". Well it seemed to help me sleep. However, I'd been slowly gaining weight while on paxil due to my low motivation and lack of caring... which I think amitriptyline just further encouraged. My pharmacist was a little concerned about the combination. She mentioned serotonin syndrome being a common issue, but my doctor said I'd be fine. Well I continued to just kinda suck things up, my fault, but I just really appreciated how chilled out I was. May 26th 2022 I go to my PCP in person because 1. I developed a twitch in my thumb, tendinitis from typing. 2. Because I finally got the courage to talk about my meds via pro con list. She determined the tendinitis, we got that fixed. However, when I wanted to address meds she actually cut me off and just started talking about my blood pressure and (obvious) 30 pound weight gain. This was the first time she's seen me since increasing the paxil, mind you. I understand her concern. My blood pressure was some kind of record high, I'll admit it was so high I couldn't believe it for my age. She said I needed to get blood work done asap and that after she looks at lab results THEN she will discuss meds. That Friday, may 27th I messaged her on mychart (she's nice about this) about my concern regarding med combination. I told her I was curious about whether paxil in combo with other meds could've been my reason for high blood pressure. She said "well, hold your paxil until you get your blood work and until I can get another blood pressure reading". LOL. I said sure thing, because what could ever go wrong. I got very sick, but got the labs done that next tuesday and sadly couldn't get my blood pressure done until that next Friday due to staffing issues at her clinic..I ended up having my work do it since we have nurses, and just messaged the bp read on mychart. Believe it or not my blood work was pretty emaculent. My blood pressure went down 30 points on systolic and 10 diastolic (idk if points if the right term) but still it was high. She messages me on Mychart that friday afternoon to say she got my results, and wanted me to continue "hold (not take) your paxil because I think it was affecting the blood pressure". Yay. She scheduled to see me June 10th to talk about a beta blocker if my blood pressure was still high. June 10th comes and she still wants me on a beta blocker, it's still high but going down slowly. I have tachycardia on top of it, so she was pretty concerned. I told her about my very horrible experience with paxil withdrawals, to which she said "you're the first to say that. I've never had a patient have a problem or get withdrawals from stopping paxil". So I said, well maybe I'm sensitive and reminded her about my zyprexa problem. I thought it kinda sucked to have her brush off my withdrawals that took two weeks to go away completely. =/ I ended up added omega 3 and magnesium to help with brain zaps, which actually helped me but I can't say how or why. She was fine with the new supplements and said I would now start atenolol (beta blocker). Scheduled me out to see her on June 24th. So I guess that's my story so far. My blood pressure is slowly but surely going down. I'm feeling more energy again, less headaches, less weird hyperthermia feeling, still some issues with motivation but still seeing small improvements. My concern is how my body will adjust to not having paxil in the long run. It very much wasn't good for me, and I feel bad for not getting it check out sooner but I really just didn't care enough at the time. It was kind of scary. I know CTing can have long term effects, but I also JUST started feeling somewhat normal again and don't want to go back to feeling addicted to paxil to ever return. I also just feel alone in this, if that makes sense?
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