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  1. 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
  2. Female. Anxious disposition even as child. Did well making friends and enjoying life as a child. Struggled with getting to sleep though, due to worries. Displayed some ocd behaviour in teens ( maybe even before). Took and E aged 16 - big mistake. This exacerbated my anxiety and induced subsequent panic attacks. Age 19 ish ( 2001) was put on seroxat (not sure on dosage -it a strange time; experienced a lot of weird goings on with feeling weird, insomnia, - cant remember if this was before or on starting seroxat). started to feel better while on Seroxat. After a year or two, ( age 21) the doc, due to reports of suicidal behaviour on seroxat, decided to swap me to Citalopram ( 20mg i think). On starting Citalopram, I became very suicidal! Not sure why I wasn't swapped back but I perservered and must have evened out. Took Citalopram for 2 years and I felt good. Met my, now, husbandat 23 and thought life was brill and I did not need Citalopram anymore. Didn't follow any kind of tapering ( didnt know I needed to) and must have stopped cold turkey. Felt very suicidal so went back on Citalopram and evened out again. Must have cut fown to 10 mg and stayed on this for 4 years, functioning well. I did my degree. Am a bit of a perfectionist so worked very hard ( too hard), as well as working 16 hours. End of 4th year at Uni, I was burnt out. Overloaded, overwhelmed, run diwn physically and mentally. A 'nervous breakdown' ensued. I tried to go back to uni to finish the last couple of months but couldn't. I finished my dissertation abd transferred my degree so I still gained a 1st class degree but was very ill. I, nearly straight after became pregnant. I, however, suffered a horrid missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. I had told the docs that I thought something was wrong, 5 weeks earlier, but was dismissed. I took 2 months off work and was a mess. The doctor gave me diazepam and zopiclone which helped me ride the worst. Somehow I survived and became pregnant again not long after. Pregnancy was hard ( pains and bleeding) but I lasted. When my baby was born, it was tricky ( so much new to learn; I developed some ocd habits to help me feel in control but it was ok. Things leveled out. I was still on 10 mg Citalopram ( docs aware of this). I was doing well. I had snother baby a couple of years later, aged 29. Pregnancy was s bit better than the previous one but I still had bleeding, so was nervous but it was ok. I continued on 10 mg of Citalopram and was doing ok. When my son was 1 though, I took on too much. ( Lots of voluntary work with high expectations and serious responsibilities. I juggled trying to be a good mum, with several voluntary roles, housekeeping, got a small part time job too. over this time, for some reason i was slowly tapering Citalopram down ( no guidance really other than from the doc that you can take them every other day (? Is this where things started to go wrong?). I thought I was doing ok, although on reflection I was burning the candle at both ends. At the age of 32 I began to experience sciatica and fatigue. Doc suggested I try coming off the pill. This didn't help. This got worse until I developed severe abdominal pain/ heavy periods/ Nausea/ severe IBS - doc queried cfs but i was not yet referred. I was probably taking 5 mg of citalopram a couple of times a week ( not great I now realise as not steady) but as much as I was feeling physically crap, I was still functioning I stopped the Citalopram and took nothing for 10 months. The voluntary work took on another level; I imploded and had a 'nervous breakdown' ( I had a ridiculous amount of stress which was causing me to struggle with sleep and I was beginning to get suicidal ideation and brain fog before this, on top of the other physical issues, then a stressful voluntary work event sent me into a breakdown ( crying/ anxious/ ocd/ sleeplessness/ some kind of sleep apnea where id wake up gasping for breath.. I was put back onto Citalopram. I quit all voluntary work. I requested to start what i thought was low - 5mg. They pushed me to go to 10, saying 5 was ridiculous. At the same time, it was thought I may have endometriosis, so in 2017, aged 35 I had a laparoscopy operation to check; it was not. I think the operation and anaesthetic helped finish me off. The Citalopram made me increading suicidal to the point where I had suicidal ideation 24/7. i was somehow still getting sleep at this point but obe day was so suidsl, I went to A&E. Saw a psychiatrist for the first time in my life ( aged 35). Was tild to stip Citalopram strainght away. Discussed alternatives ( antipsychotics/ Mirtazipine, other ssris etc). I took nothing fir a week then another team of psychiatrists advised on possible meds. It was decided I would try Sertraline ( another Ssri??? why did i do that) I started it on 12.5 mg ( much to dismay of psychiatrists) but I was not given time to level out; They kept bumping up dose so i would get to the 'theraputic' dose of 50mg. Another level of Hell ensured which I hadn't yet visited. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, jitters, suicidsl ideation in the extreme, depression, muscle twitching, increased brain fog, intrusive thoughts, rapid weight loss, hellish insomnia. This on top of the fatigue and pain and ibs i was already experiencing. Despite my reaction, I was told to persist; I think they thought it wss my normal behaviour ( never felt this bad even when I wss 18 before starting Seroxat). Things levelled a bit after about 3 1/2 months. I was able to function a bit and go to my part time work and look after the home but it was tough. I developped tinnitus on Sertraline and had increasing brain fog. I also now suffered from depersonalisation and still had IBS and fatigue and body pain. In November last yesr, Another doc suggested i try the fodmap diet. i tried this and after 2 months it was very apparent that I had a gluten intolerance. Stopping gluten cleared up my IBS and most of the body pain. I still however battled with increasing brain fog and fatigue and severe depersonalisation to the point i couldnt go out at times and battled with it on the way to/ at work. Sertraline was not for me. I decided to cut down. the only advice id had about tapering was every other day from my doc but I thought Id do it slower. i cut miniscule amounts off from April 17, no real structure. I did this slowly but without checking i was stabilising, from April to August when i got to about 25mg. July and August, my brain fog became unbearable; unable to do shopping, unable to have a proper conversation, overwhelmed by simple questions, I became hypersensitive to light and sound. I often wore shades even on cloudy days ( looking back, noide and light sensitivity started with sertraline). I wore earplugs to limit noise at home with loud children. I became snappy due to loud noises. July August this got worse and worse but I was still functioning. I began doing sertraline every other day at 25 mg in August I think, maybe before then BAM one night in early September I had severe anxiety and total insomnia. This was relentless. I was desperate. I needed advice. Do i go back? Stop? go down? even dose to take each day. I was severely suicidal and devepped what seemed to be fit type episodes where i would be breathless, painful stomach, weird tingly head, palpitations, neck pain and lower back pain, loss of appetite, feeling flu like, becoming extremely dehydrated to the point i would guzzle water down cup after cup, My body contorted in painand tension, I eould then becime cold snd shiver. these episodes could last a couple of minutes but up to 16 hours at times. i was desperate for advise. over September/ early october, I visited A&E 4 times, desperately suicidal; I spoke to my doctor, I spoke to the nhs 111 line, I paid to dpeak to a psychiatrist but NO ONE would advise me, passing me round like a hot potato, telling me to do CBT and wait fir an appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist in december! I wouldn't live until then! I stayed with my mum as I felt so out of control with these fit type things ( including one where paramedics came and I was growling/ disorientated/ confused/ dehydrated so my eyeballs snd skin were dry- I was agressive ( never been like this in my life). I didnt want to be near my family due to my behaviour so I stayed with my mum for a few days. she lives in another county. I went to A&E there and they listened to me and made me feel worthwhile. they referred me to their home treatment team, who visited me but once again were unwilling to discuss specifics of medication. i was given zopiclone and diazepam. my husband and i didnt know what to do. we saw this website but I was still confused. I 'evened' out the 25 mg every other day dose to 12.5 in September. This may have made things worse, not sure which is why i wanted advice. The home treatment team managed to get my appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist movef to early october. I saw her and she laughed at my idea that it was withdrawal. she suggested I try an snri or mirtazapine. After reading this site, I wad reluctant. I am still referred with that team of psychiatrists but another appointment is in 2 months and they just want to throw more meds at me without showing any understanding of withdrawal. 5 weeks ago at an extreme point, before seeing the psychiatrist, I stopped Sertraline. I have been off it for 5 weeks. The fits seem to have all but stopped. but my anxiety is through the roof. I have severe stomach pain, reactions to shsmpoo, brain buzzy feeling whch zaps at times, particularly with high pitched loud noises. my sensitivity to sound is horrendous, as are my emotions and sensitivity to stress. I am overwhelmed by anxiety and ocd type ruminating thoughts about the situation and about my children's health. I am in sick leave from work since 2 months ago, as is my husband ( to look after me and the children). I have managed to taper off zopiclone and my sleep varies depending on my anxiety at night ( minutes up to 6 hours, broken sleep). I took dome diazepam but the ladt dose in September affected my breathing and I became severely breathless for 4 hours andmy gums bled so i haven't taken it since. I have applied for pip disability living allowance. we are shortly going to have no miney coming in and do t know if and my husband will be able to go back to work or if he will be fired ( I assume i will). I read this site but felt I couldnt reinstate as I never felt good on Sertraline. what now? do I try to ride it out? So suicidal and hopeless at times. Do I reinstate to citalopram instead? Do i try something else? Low dose mood stabiliser/ antipsychotic? Ps, I was referred a month ago to the ME/ Cfs people for diagnosis. Still waiting to hear.
  3. Dear all, This is my first post on this forum. I just wanted to share my experience with w/d of buspirone. I stopped 30mg/day about 23 days ago. I suffered 10 days, said enough, then went back to 10 mg/day. It didn't make much difference for another week. I gave up and upped to 20mg/day 7 days ago. While some bad stuff decreased, I am having very painfaul headaches since 2 days (tonight it woke me up). W/d symptoms: some that I know from SSRI/SNRI w/d, but some special for buspirone: "hangover" headache, "hangover" dry mouth, "normal" strong headaches, very angry (I have to punch some pillows or do pushups), flu-like chills and fever (for 3 days), strange pain in the neck. I want to emphasize that it seems as bad as paroxetine. For now I can even say it's worse cause when I came back to paroxetine, all symptoms went away. Now I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere (have many terrible symptoms, while still being on high dose). So, 1st I wanted to share, 2nd I'd welcome any ideas what to do (I already bought and am trying Omega-3)... I really don't want to go back to 30/day (for many reasons); besides I don't have guarantee that even that will bring me back to state before w/d. Did anyone was relieved after coming back to original dose after such long time (>3 weeks)? Did any particular supplement help?
  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. Dear all i am happy im not alone, i have read many posts and see that at least in this world i am....not alone. 3rd attempt to taper 20mg paxil.... almost 2 years now and stuck at 3.6 using liquid paxil. my way was 0.2mg every week till now is great but as i reached 3.4 for a few days anxiety creeped , insomnia and waking up sweating and panic . my problem is even updosing 0.2mg which i did makes me feel a different worse.( agitation weird thoughts half the day. immediately updoased 3.5 and was back to normal only 2 days but still not enough so went to previous ( 10 days back 3.6 mg and hoping to stabalize here somewhere. then hold 2 weeks if im ok and then resume slower starting from this dose as i know SERT occupancy is telling my brain whops here is another drop ( had 1 same enstance at 9.2mg ) aggressive running, getting a cold or any fever makes me need to wait and gives WD symptoms. i have no physical WD just panic anxiety and insominia mild depression... usually only feeling down on day3 of a drop and first 2 days sleep is crappy. im interested in the cortisol thing i truley believe its the cause that WD symptoms i have ( awaking in panic and sweating and anxiety waves and windows) this past week trying to stabilise..... so...... vit C 1g and baby ASpirin at bedtime as the pubmed mentioned . an endocrinologist told me L-carnitine too. will start aspirin first and see it lowers in after a week of use ( 1.5mg per kilo so maybe 2 aspirins in 1 week if it didnt work. i get scared when i read some people have extreme trouble after 1mg .... if my experiment works ill still go slower and listen to my body but it feels like im crossing 2 building roofs on a thread holding a pole in my hands to balance.. cant go up or down right now without feeling it big time. any suggestions???
  6. 40 years old, was put on Paxil 40mg 7 years ago. 8 months ago one day I suddenly felt fatigued which didn’t go away after few days of rest, my heart rate dropped below 60 and cardiologist adviced to come off Paxil. A reduction to 30mg restored my heart rate and fatigue after a few days. However same symptoms reappeared 4 months after so my Doc reduced it further to 20mg, same thing happened after 2 months so we reduced again to 10mg and after another 2 months another reduction to 5mg and full stop after a week.(this was 2 months ago end of Sep-18). The psychiatrist put me on 2 times 5ml Diazepam per day. Since the first reduction I suffered insomnia, anxiety, depression which got a lot worse when I fully came of Paxil 2 months ago however 1 month ago things took an uglier turn and I was hit by extreme profound fatigue, jlly legs, muscle weakness and I was rushed to A&E and the blood tests showed hormonal imbalance such as low testosterone and cortisol. Doctors are confused and are coming with scary possible prognosis and want to test me for things like autoimmune diseases or dangerous neurological disorders. My life is falling apart and my psychiatrist is suggesting putting me on Pregabalin as other SSRI’s may induce low heart rate. Question 1- is this extreme fatigue cause of the WD? Question 2- has anyone else experienced hormonal imbalances due to withdrawal? If so will it be restored to normal at some point? Question 3- considering my situation is it wise to stay on Diazepam and allow doctors to start me off on a new antidepressant like Pregabalin or something? Im alone and desperate with no clue where to go next please share any knowledge you have that may help me. Thank you all, Bless you.
  7. Started 20mg Paroxetine in 1995 for anxiety, I was 18. Been fine for 20yrs with me altering mg summer and winter. Then weaned down to 12.5mg over a couple of months Sept/Oct 16. Crashed in November realising my business wasn't working out. Major insomnia and panic ensued. Then I think I made the worst mistake of my life. I went up to 20mg again, then 25 and 30 a few days later. Went to the doctor and said what I had done. He put me up to 40 without even letting the 30 take effect. 2 weeks later the 40 started to work but I think it left me with worse anxiety and insomnia as a shock to the system. I could not feel a thing. I eventually stabilised and started sleeping after a few months. My anxiety subsided until I suddenly woke with depression. So since then I've had counselling and had bouts of anxiety and depression (Which I never really had prior to going up to 40). In the Summer I had a bout of depression which wouldn't shift. I went to 42.5 and then 45. This had little impact. I discovered if I had a beer it would likely send me into depression but sometimes not. Then if I took L-Tyrosine (precursor amino acid to dopa and norepiphrine) I would come out of depression and go into high anxiety which would subside after a few days. Recently I thought that the high dose of paroxetine was damaging my brain and that may be the root cause of the bouts of depression, (could be the beer though, although I only ever had a few). I also thought it was maybe worth a change after consulting with my PDoc. He gave me Seroquel but I didn't like it. Anyway, I still tried to titrate as I thought I may want to go to another anti-depressant so went down from 45 to 40 and I started to feel something, my positiveness got some nice thoughts to bring feelings. 2 weeks later after a bit of anxiety and a few zaps I went down to 35. That was a week and a half ago. Over the weekend I had 2 pints on Friday and had depression Saturday which shifted Sunday with the LTyrosine. However, the anxiety which hit was way more than usual and came with a muzzy, foggy heavy brain and feeling panic. This felt like major withdrawals from coming down 10mg of paroxetine rather than the L-tyrosine stimulating me. My PDoc has given me pregabalin today and told me to hold at 35 till I feel better but don't want it. I tried one today and it hardly did anything anyway. I think I need the stability on the Parox and to slowly titrate down which will hopefully allow me to feel more and reduce my depressional bouts. I'm really anxious today still should go back up or hold? So it's 3 1/2 weeks since I was on 45mg and 1 1/2 weeks since I came down from 40 to 35. I'm fairly hardy to the anxiety so if you think the worst of dropping has already happened I will hold. Or is it best to get stable on 40 again?
  8. 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.
  9. After experiencing blood sugar problems that are obviously linked to the Seroxat, I have been tapering my original 20 mg´s dose to 10 mg´s and have been on 10 mg´s for 60 days, Now I have tapered to 10 mg´s every other day and I feel worse on the days when I take the dose. I have been benzo-free for 7 years now, after taking 3 mg´s of Lexotan for 17 years. Tapered it gradually for 6 months (from March 2011 - September 2011) and felt prolonged withdrawal symptoms for up to 3 years after that - off and on. Last Wednesday I started getting severe dizzy spells if I turn my head, bend etc. and now I have to be extra careful about my posture. I am toying with the idea of dissolving the doze and would like to know if some of you have experience of dissolving Seroxat in water. I am fairly optimistic as I know from experience that drug withdrawal can be survived ⏳ WIth regards, Lexotania P.S. I decided to stick to my old nick from Benzobuddies.org as it sounds better than Seroxatia
  10. Hi, I was initially put on 37.5 mg paroxetine during a postpartum depressive episode in June 2016. My pdoc suspected the dose to be too high and reduced to 25 mg. I held on 25 mg for almost a year, and then my pdoc and I decided to try a dose reduction to 12.5 mg. I had a few brain zaps, but nothing serious, so I held there for a few months. My pdoc and I decided to drop to 0 mg in October 2017 (by taking 12.5 mg alternate days then zero). Again, only brain zaps were experienced. Four months later, at the beginning of March 2018, severe protracted withdrawal kicked in. I had not discovered this forum, so I immediately jumped to 12.5 mg at the recommendation of a doctor friend, and several days later jumped to 25 mg at the recommendation of my pdoc. When I experienced what I now know is a wave, I thought the paroxetine dose was not high enough, and my pdoc increased it to 37.5 mg. I have been on this dose for May and June, but now I have developed really loud tinnitus, and I suspect that the 37.5 mg dose might be too high. My pdoc supports my reducing to 25 mg. However, I don't want to destabilise my system. I have tried to work out the pharmacokinetics of the controlled release tablets, to see how to 'spread' my reduced dose over 24 hours, but have not found much on the internet. My intuition would be to take my 25 mg controlled release in the morning, along with 5 mg immediate release, so that I would have a peak and then a gradual dose over 24 hours. This would reduce my dose from 37.5 mg over 24 hours to 30 mg over 24 hours. Since I strongly believe that my system is flooded with serotonin, I think that this step won't destabilise me as there is an accumulated 'stash' of serotonin floating around my system. Any advice from the seasoned taperers out there? Thanks for hearing my story, Bee5
  11. Benzo topic: pinkfairy-in-ad-withdrawal-possibly-zopiclone-and-now-benzo Hi everybody am new around here....right here goes!i need some advice an help.am a single mum to a nine year old with no family or support.in janurary I was taken off Paxil which I was taking at 40mg...I had no clue about tapering,they took me off in 4 weeks I was on it for 3 an half years.they then gave me diazepam to stop the with drawals...so now am also in the process of weaning off this at 10% a month.have now educated myself on this one!!am in a right state an I feel like am in a deep dark hole!have got real bad depression but they can't get another AD into me,probably because my CNS is in a mess....am I too late to reinstate Paxil?or would you guys keep on going.any help would be amazing!!am really struggling xx
  12. Gidday everyone. I am an ex-Paxilprogresser and when it closed I was very sick of the long horrible process, so I didn't join everyone here back then, but I finally paddled over to the U.S. from Australia. I have to keep reminding myself that the turtle got onto the ark by just keeping going, one step at a time! I started to have some decent days because I found a herbal remedy that has brought my headaches and migraines from 20 a month to 2 over a 12 month period. This means I can actually DO SOMETHING and is a wonderful relief. On those good head days, I always wonder how my old friends are going, so I intend to look you all up! I have decided to put up my history, a bit at a time, or it would be too laborious to read, so that's where I will start.
  13. I have been off of Paxil completely for 3 months now after 13 years. Where do I get more info on the healing process. I am depressed, moody, impatient, tearful and having difficulty working due to the stress in my job. Will normal ever come back? I am so tempted to go back on drugs but after having 4 month terrible months of withdrawal I hate to go backwards. Any words of advice or sites for more info.... I had no idea that after 2 months of being drug free that I would still struggle so much emotionally
  14. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Miko789: Xanax withdrawal/tapering Hi, I'm new to the forum, I have some questions I want to ask. My doctor prescribed effexor for depression, in 2009. Now I'm free of symptoms and I managed to come off with withdrawal symptoms though. That's with the antidepressant. Now I'm on Risperdal consta from November 2013 and seroxat 10mg. My doctor prescribed with risperdal consta 3,3mg/day long acting injection every two weeks. From February 2015 he lowered the dosage to 25mg/every 2 weeks equals 1,66mg/day. I tried to lower the seroxat 10mg but after 40-45h I have withdrawal symptoms vertigo, dizziness. Is it possible to cut down seroxat? How about the Risperdal consta (long acting injection). Has anyone tapered off completely without withdrawals? I read about the 10% harm reduction procedure to taper off and I'm going to tell my doctor and follow. thanks in advance
  15. My third and hopefully final attempt to get off Paxil is here I start March 1st of this year, which is just around the corner. I have a lot of hope It will be over 3 years, but I feel good about my taper plan. Thankful for this site of encouragement and testimonies - I will be praying for freedom for you all! I've included a photo of my handwritten taper plan. The length of time is in months. Will keep this updated for whoever cares to read. Let's do this.
  16. Hello Everyone, Let me introduce myself. You can call me Sebas (38), i'm from Amsterdam. Hope my English is okay. I was diagnosed with anxiety issues around 2004 and then started using Seroxat, I believe it's called Paxil in the US. I'm aware by now of all the problems this medicine is causing. In other words, i've read a lot, and i mean A LOT about it. I can almost graduate about the subject After several attempts to stop, I found out in 2015 or 2016 about the 5-10% reduction rule. That helped me from 20 mg (10 ml) tot 12 mg (6 ml) in about 1,5 years (estimated). I'm using the fluid suspension and some squirts for accurate dosage. From 6 ml down to 5,8 took me 5 weeks to feel allright, then i stabilized for a week and went back down from 5,8 tot 5,6. All the usual withdrawal symptoms occur during tapering periods such as illness, nerve system problems, visual, fatigue, stomache cramps and also i'm countering eye circles. Since the last dosage (from 5,8 tot 5,6) i've been feeling bad for 9 weeks already. Especially my stomache and my energy. So i'm now wondering what to do, wait (and wait...), go back to 5,8, go back to 6,0 of try to switch to another AD. Cause this one is really @#$%&* mainly cause of the fast half-life period. I've read about a cross tapering method. I asked my doktor for a psychiatric consult about it. Or...could it be my body (and mind) is telling me this dose is beneath the minimum that i just need for my personal wellbeing. I'm familiair with magnesium, omega 3/fish oil and multi vitamin for support. I'm looking forward fto exchanging some knowledge. Bye Sebas
  17. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  18. Hey guys my name is Steve and I grew up with terrible anxiety. I found out around age 12 when i was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and started therapy. Nothing worked and eventually I was prescribed to paxil. I was on roughly 40 mg for at least ten years. At some point i switched it to 20 mg and had no issue doing so. I remained at that 20mg dose for the remainder of my time on paxil. There was a few times i tried to quit unsuccessfully and reinstated. I would have the hardest time breathing, that seems to be my biggest symptom(which was never part of my original anxiety). Now I am 33 and have successfully weaned down from the 20 mg to 0 over the period of a few months. The process was terrible but i managed it knowing that I did not want this stuff to be inside my body any longer. My last dose was exactly 76 days ago. As of lately I have had a lot of shortness of breath and intense anxiety. I still am getting brain zaps and vertigo so I am hoping what i feel is still indeed withdrawal/discontinuation as apposed to a emergence of new anxiety symptoms. Once I fall asleep I seem to have no issues. It seems when I can distract myself I can forget how I am feeling. I was not expecting to get hit with a wave like this at nearly 3 months off. I was hoping someone who has been through this before could shed some light on my issues. thanks
  19. Hi Everyone, I’m glad to find this forum, which I joined because I’m about to try to get off Paxil, which I’ve been taking for 25 years. I’ve tried twice before and the withdrawal was so severe that I ended up in the ER both times. This was before SmithKlineBeecham admitted there was a problem with withdrawal, and no one, including the doctors I saw, knew anything about it. Of course I tried to taper way too fast. I went back on it because the withdrawal was intolerable and because it did work on my depression, from which I’ve suffered all of my life. Now it has quite suddenly stopped working. I’m taking 60 mgs of Paxil and 300 of Wellbutrin (time-release version). Other drugs I’ve tried over the years include Elavil, Triavil, Pamelor, Valium, Effexor, Celexa, Zoloft, Desyrel, Prozac, Remeron, Brintellix, Viibryd, Lexapro, plus (at various times) Klonopin, Ambien, Trazadone. For about six months I also took antipsychotics because a doc thought I might be bipolar 2. It was a disaster—never have I been so terrified of mental illness. Those drugs included Seroquel, Lamictal, Cymbalta, Quillivant, and Latuda, which caused akithesia (sp?). My poor brain has been under the influence of these substances for a total of 32 years now. I’m deeply anxious about discontinuing all meds, but determined to do it. I want to know the truth about what my mind is like without them. I wish I knew of a specialist in my area (upstate NY) I could consult. My doc is great, but I don’t think he knows more than the average shrink about the withdrawal syndrome. I plan to start the taper on May 1st, and lessen the dose once a month by 5% of the previous month’s dose, a schedule that seems to be generally recommended. I’m scared! And that’s my situation. On a more personal note, I’m a writer and teacher. Hobbies are sewing and gardening.I look forward to exchanging info. With others here.
  20. I'm another refugee from PP....I was so shocked when I logged in and found it gone! Very upsetting. I found a few people whose names I recognized from PP so that was nice. I'm currently in month 14 of my cold turkey WD.....I was too far out when I found out I should have tapered....PP was a wealth of information and support for me and reading the uplifting posts that "This too shall pass" was so encouraging in the thick of things. I am here if anyone needs an ear, wants to ask what my experience has been like, etc. My name is Gina and I am from Canada
  21. Well I have always had some sort of anxiety my whole life. Of course, nowhere NEAR as bad as the anxiety WD has caused me. I missed school a ton growing up cause it just made me anxious to be around a lot of people and I was very shy. Just the thought of having to go to school gave me a nervous stomachache. This led to me actually dropping out for a while in high school. Thankfully I was able to enroll in an alternative high school with very small classes where we could go at our own pace and make our own hours. I was able to graduate and get my diploma in under 2 years. I've also had OCD for as long as I can remember. I was tormented by my intrusive thoughts and thought there was something very wrong with me or I was possessed. When I was around 11 or 12 I was looking in a psychology book for some answers and when I read the description for OCD I had a Eureka moment. "That's me!" I was so happy I started crying. So I guess I diagnosed myself but it was later confirmed by a child psychologist. Around 1998 (when I was 18 years old) is when I started seeing commercials on TV for Paxil. Again, when I heard the description I thought it sounded a lot like me. I had just been broken up with by a guy for being "too shy". I was hating how reserved I was and my "social anxiety." It had been getting even worse as now I was getting very nervous and racing heart when in restaurants or standing in line at the store. So I went to a psychiatrist and told him I wanted this drug, Paxil. After a LONG questionnaire and hearing my symptoms he agreed it might help me. I asked him if I could stop taking it any time I wanted and he said "Yes." LIE. That was the day I made the worst decision of my life and I will always regret taking that first pill. So I started the Paxil at 20mg and had no start up effects that I can remember. A few months later I took a trip by myself on a bus half way across the country. So I gues the Paxil was "working." I also missed a couple of doses and that is when I found out about the horrible WD. Zaps, crazy sensitivity to noises, nausea, etc. It scared the crap out of me. Felt like I was stuck on this poison. The years start to pass and I begin to become numb to everything. I gain 30 pounds, which doesn't sound like much but on someone 5'2" with a small frame it definitely shows. Although I was in a relationship I became more and more disinterested in sex. My favorite hobby was sleeping. I had zero ambition and zero motivation. In 2002, my BF at the time finally convinced me to try to get off this drug. I started taking 2.5mg drops every month or so from 30-40mg (cant remember exactly). As I got lower my interest in sex returned and I felt good. I decided to go on birth control. Two weeks after starting it I crashed completely. I was at about 10mg of Paxil at that time. One morning I woke up to nausea, some vomiting, a horrible burning sensation everywhere in my body, horrible anxiety, and the dreaded akathisia which was by far the worse symptom. I became suicidal and made an emergency appt. with a psychiatrist (not the one who initially prescribed it) who talked to me for 15 minutes and said this was proof I needed to be on the drug for the rest of my life. She proceeded to up my dose back to 30mg. I slowly started to feel better and the experience was enough to scare me away from attempting to taper off for several years. In Dec. 2006 after I get out of that relationship I feel something needs to change in my life. I was very unhappy with who I was. So I once again start to taper from 37.5mg. In 2008 I make it 20mg and decide to take a break. I go out with friends, I drink ALOT. Sleeping, smoking pot, eating, and drinking alcohol are my favorite activities. The break lasts for a whole year. In 2009 I commence my taper, but I notice it's getting a lot harder, which would make sense since besides the crash in 2002 I have never been on a dose lower than 20mg. I have to reduce my drops to less than 5%. At around 15mg in Aug. 2009 I get a part time job I love but I'm so scared of having WD at work that I take even smaller drops. In a year at that job I drop about 3mg. In 2010 I start to have stomach problems and anxiety increases. I have to stop eating red meat completely as I notice it makes my stomach problems worse. I carry a bottle of Pepto Bismol in my purse with me everywhere I go. Stomach problems give me anxiety and vice versa so it's a vicious cycle. Finally in Aug. 2010 I'm spending most of my time at my job in the bathroom so I decide to quit the best job I ever had. Probably just as well as about a month later is when the crap really hits the fan. In late September I take a 4% drop from 11.8 to 11.4. I get a little depression after about a week. Two weeks after that I try to eat a bit of red meat and visit the website of someone I used to know and it makes me very anxious. Several hours later I begin to feel very nauseous and anxious. I finally make myself throw up and feel a little better. I sleep a lot the next two days. The day after that however I stop sleeping completely. My anxiety goes into overdrive. I have no appetite and can't eat. I feel shaky, and depressed. My brain has forgotten how to sleep all of a sudden although I have never had insomnia in my entire life previous to this. If I do pass out it is for less than a hour. For 9 days I sleep one hour every 3 days. I see weird cartoony things when I close my eyes. I hear things that I know are not there. Once I had an awful bloody image flash into my mind out of nowhere when trying to fall asleep that "woke me up" with a gasp. I try everything over the counter: Benadryl, herbal sleep pills, melatonin, valerian. Nothing works. Finally someone gives me some Xanax and Trazadone. I take .50mg of Xanax and 25mg of Trazadone. Instead of sleeping one hour I sleep two. The next day I am more groggy than the night before and I am FINALLY able to sleep 5-6 very broken hours. I also updose to 12mg. I start to feel a little better but this doesn't last long. Three weeks later my stomach starts acting up again and I am unable to sleep. Not only am I unable to sleep but now every time I am about to fall asleep my body violently jerks awake. It is torture. I decide to start dropping again. I find I feel a little better after a drop but it doesn't last long. I start to drop every 3 weeks. The depression is still so bad cause I don't know what's wrong with me and my body keeps jerking awake, usually all night. I become suicidal and try to suffocate myself one night. Then I realize, I DON'T want to die. I just don't want to keep living like this. By the grace of God I make it through. I lose about 15 pounds in 4 weeks. I guess this brings us up to present, fifteen months after that "rough patch" or "mini crash". I still have no idea what caused it. The jerks are still here and still drive me insane but thankfully they have weakened and are not as relentless (usually) as they used to be. My sleep has never been the same since. I take magnesium and melatonin every night to sleep. If I get even slightly stimulated good or bad I am unable to sleep. Even going out with friends stimulates me too much and I am unable to sleep. I can't exercise for even 10 minutes cause it makes my jerks worse. I am still not working. I have found it has gotten even harder under 10mg. I have gone from tapering every 3 weeks to every six weeks. From 4% drops to not even being able to do 2.5% drops. I taper .1mg every 6 weeks. At this rate it will take me 6+ years to get to off if I can at all. I read on the other forum about someone who was going as slow as me and she STILL crashed at 6mg. I'm very hopeless. I am so freaking sensitive to drops and can't imagine how I will ever get off this poison. It has been three years since I started tapering from 20mg and I'm not even close to being off. I'm too scared to switch to Prozac because of all the horror stories I've heard and the fact that it is notoriously activating. If I try to hold on a dose longer than 7 weeks I feel very bad. I feel like I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. Really don't know how to proceed and if I will ever get my life back. I am 31 now and would very much be able to have kids someday. I'm single and have been for a long time cause I can't even go out anymore and meet people. When I do go out, I don't sleep like I said. So that's it. Thanks if you took the time to read this LONG, LONG introduction. I pray for all you guys and I hope you will pray for me too. XX
  22. Hi, I'm new. Here is a synopsis of my past meds and current issues. Zoloft twice in past, worked once, other gave anxiety. No WD. Then, in May 2014, had tried Paxil for a couple days and didn't like. Used Elavil off-label from neuro for pain. Pain wasn't stopping and felt SI, which I thought came from Elavil. Told clinic and ended up in psych ward (no help from neuro) for SI because of Elavil. In psych ward, doc there said I had created my own pain (I had been working with sore muscles and chiropractor visit with pain that night) because of my divorce. Put me on Risperdal about 1 mg I think, Prozac 20 or 40 mg, Klonopin 0.75 maybe, and a sleep pill a couple nights in the hospital. Also naproxen sodium 550 mg maybe once or twice a day. So, after hospital started to decrease Klonopin and Risperdal when I figured out they were supposed to be as needed, but after a month or so, my body needed them. Was getting symptoms and no help. Ended up back in hospital in July 2015 where they tried to CT the Klonopin. Was there 14 days. Doc said I was neurotic and wanted to increase Risperdal. I left there still on Rispderal about 1 mg, Librium 25 mg to replace Klonopin, and Prozac 40 mg. I tapered off Risperdal by November 2014, Librium by February 2015 where I jumped off the last 5 mg, and I did not keep track of when I got off the last 20 mg of Prozac but probably sometime in April 2015. Looking back, my anxiety started increasing in May 2015, usually more around my period. Had lots of stressors anyway. Then, in July 2015 had some neck pain and was on Flexeril a short while (had tried Tramadol like twice and hydrocodone once). Had a major stressor. Went off Flexeril. Ended up with insomnia and nausea, I think related to Flexeril. Tried Prozac for 1 day at 5 mg in September 2015, and that sent me up the wall. Panic and anxiety worse. Went on Buspar for about 2-3 weeks. That didn't really help much and gave me chest pain and migraines. Insomnia still bad. Tried Ambien a couple days but was afraid of it and went on mirtazapine, big mistake but needed sleep and was having SI. Started mirtazapine 10/9/15 at 15 mg, next day 7.5 mg and for a few days. Caused brain fog, a lot of agitation and anxiety. Was sleeping. Scared. Called doc, who said I could go off, but after 2 weeks was afraid to jump off dose. Started cutting dose every day and got down to 5.8 mg and held until saw doc. Said to stay on, seemed to help. I tried to cut from 5.8 to 5.7 this last week and a half and had some major anxiety symptoms and headache. Now I don't want on at all and don't know what to do. Only been on for a little over a month but scared. Don't know what else to use for sleep. I have a scale to weigh but I know even when it says 5.7 mg every night that can still have some variance because of the small amounts of pill I scrape off. I also tried Ativan for a week about 2 weeks ago. It was horrible. Worked when I took it, but the rebound anxiety was awful. I had to take every day for a week, slowly lowering the dose. I just can't take it prn. It gives me severe rebound anxiety. My family says I am dysfunctionally obsessed with medication. That may be the case, but I seem to be hypersensitive to meds and worse lately. I am having some sensitivity to light and sound and touch. Vision blurry and off in low lighting. Having trouble concentrating. At least no more brain fog from mirtazapine but have headaches almost every single day. I have only been on it a month, but I am scared best way to reduce. I know WD symptoms can take 2-3 weeks to hit. I am waiting to see what will happen next week (third week of reduction from 5.8 to 5.7). AT this rate it will take me forever to get off a med I only started 1 month ago. I have read of some using valium to help with WD symptoms but am scared. Still, I need to function. I'm supposed to be getting a job but how do I work with severe anxiety, agitation, and etc. from small drops in med. I have some valium but haven't tried it yet to see how I react to it. I am scared of these meds but don't know if I can manage the depression/anxiety that came about this time without something. Could maybe go back on Prozac but so hypersensitive right now and need to get off mirtazapine. I am not sure best thing to do. I read on here that some of these programs that help with supplements aren't that safe. I found that now I cannot take vitamin C or vitamin D without increased anxiety/agitation. Even my progesterone cream does that unless I take it at night. I don't know what is going on. I'm worried my vitamin D will get too low because of the mirtazapine if I cannot supplement. I don't know what I will do for sleep going off the mirtazapine. I went on it for new insomnia (hadn't had problems sleeping since I was a kid and very anxious), and also worse anxiety and depression.
  23. Hello everyone, I am a first time poster, long time Paxil user. I have been on Paxil for about 12 years or so, prescribed by my doctor to combat anxiety. My anxiety was never severe, I just fell down the slippery slope of Paxil use after what should have just been a bump in the emotional road for me. Long story short, I've decided to taper off of the Paxil 20mg (down from 40mg a couple years prior). This year my doc advised me to cut from 20mg to 10mg. (I know now, way too much and too fast). I had brain zaps, irritablilty, and vivid dreams (which I actually don't mind since they are usually pleasant) and some dizziness. After a few weeks I was feeling OK enough to go from 10mg to 5mg. I was good for about 3 weeks. But the next two weeks I suffered from severe anxiety - unlike any kind of despairing feeling I've ever had in my life! I suddenly became an emotional wreck and was just at wits end. So I went from 5mg Paxil back up to 10mg. A week or so later - hives. Hives, - small ones, on my neck or forearms. They'd go away after a couple hours so I didn't put too much worry into it. Then a week after these small hive appearances, I had a really bad outbreak of hives on my legs, which I thought was just a heat rash. I didn't take an anti-histamine, I hate the way they make me feel. Big mistake. I ended up waking up at 4 in the morning, itching terribly all over my body. I was searching for Benadryl downstairs when my wife found me - at which point I was getting dizzy and nauseous. I was going into anaphylactic shock. My wife and I both thought I was dying, my children sobbing as they waited by the front door for the ambulance to arrive. I've never had allergies really. I am allergic to cats, it turns out, but I've had my cat for 3 years (a Persian which I found to not feel allergic reactions to in the past- and who has since been living with my brother till this all gets ironed out). So this anaphylaxis was not something I was prepared for. An amulance ride later, they told me I had some kind of allergic reaction. A few weeks later, after seeing an allergist, he suspected my bizarre reaction to be caused by a medicine (not a food or other allergen). I only take Paxil, and Propecia. (which I've stopped last week to try to rule that out as a cause of the hives). I still get small areas of redness on my skin, primarily when I wake up in the AM. And for now I'm on antihistimines, which I dislike greatly. I am wondering if the traumatic, despair-like anxiety feelings I suffered, and then yo-yo-ing back to a higher dosage of Paxil did a number on my body and made me overly sensitive to histamines, or my cat. Since my allergist suspected Paxil as a possible cause of the hives/anaphylaxis, I have since tapered back down to 5mg, and three days ago down to 2.5mg. I suspect its not the actual Paxil causing the hives, but the withdrawal itself, the toll it takes on my body and mind. Just hoping putting my story out there, if anyone can relate to such a physical reaction like what I experienced, and if they too, think it is related to the Paxil withdrawl. Thanks for reading. Cheers
  24. (mod note)link to teePeer1's benzo forum thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/19092-how-to-taper-the-used-as-needed-benzo-or-sparing-benzo-use/ Dear all, I gradually tapered to 10 mg of paxil from 40 and also tapered off benzo (3mg to 0) both slowly over a period of months. Long story short, I thought I was near the fonish line. However, when I taperedd to 10 mg from 15 mg paxil and stopped a doze of less than .25 benzos things got rough after two weeks. My issues are mostly related to night:severe anxiety, hyper alertness, pounding heart. It was so bad a couple of nights that I resorted to taking a small dose of lexatonil. Now I am afraid of what strategy to follow next. My experience with psychiatrists have been pretty bad during my taper and I am afraid if I go back they will put me on more meds. Should I go back to 15 mg paxil from 10 and is it safe to use half a tablet of benzo at night to brave through the night? (Though i am afraid of benzo withdrawals too) I would appreciate any suggestions on how to stabilize my situation at this stage and dosage?
  25. Hello! Finding myself in a temporary reprieve from debilitating apathy, I thought I would introduce myself here as I've been lurking for a while. Like many of you, I'm currently battling a severe withdrawal reaction from paroxetine. During the fall of 2014, I decided to chart a course to discontinue medication I was on (Paxil 60-100mgs for a decade for OCD, Buprenorphine of opiate dependency and mild chronic pain). Unfortunately, as seems to be common, my psychiatrist was entirely unaware of discontinuation symptoms and had me taper from 60mg to zero in the course of a few months. Strangely, I felt zero withdrawal effects during the taper and for approx four weeks afterwards. A few days after the last dose of paxil, I took some time off from work to recover from the foreseen mild opiate withdrawal and stopped taking the buprenorphine. For two weeks I went though a normal opiate withdrawal (cold sweats, chills, aches, etc). However, a few weeks later, my entire world was turned on its head by a new set of symptoms. Severe anxiety, panic attacks, loss of balance and coordination, crying spells, suicidal ideation, debilitating muscle pain, constant overstimulation, derealization, mild paranoia, memory loss, confusion attempting the simplest of tasks, poor word recall and communication ability and a host of other cognitive problems. Along with that horror came a wonder I hadn't experienced before -- akin to being instantaneously launched out of a lobotomy and the removal of years of emotional anesthesia. Everything and everyone in my life had meaning and emotional attachment. I was able to connect with friends and loved ones (and strangers) on a level I didn't heretofore remember experiencing. Music... oh how splendid it sounded. Sunsets and walks in the woods were mesmerizing. Exercise and sex felt fantastic. Empathy and concern for the plight of others was overwhelming. A lifetime of painful memories and grief bubbled uncontrollably to the surface. Due to the timing and the lack of capable professional help, I assumed this was a severe case of post-acute withdrawal from the buprenorphine and had no basis to connect it to paxil. Months into this lovely process, I decided to restart a low dose of paxil for the hell of it. Within 36 hours, the worst of the withdrawal symptoms vanished as if by magic and I suddenly knew something was very wrong. Although the SSRI withdrawal was greatly attenuated, restarting the paxil brought a total loss of affect, inability to experience emotions, severe apathy and anhedonia. These symptoms had been experienced somewhat during the decade of treatment, but at a much less significant level. Having a short college background in neuroscience, I spent weeks reading the latest research on SSRI withdrawal (turns out there is very little) and modulation of dopamine (crap shoot) and with the help of a confused, but helpful psychiatrist, attempted to abate the new symptoms. I tried: Other SSRIs (same lobotomy effect as paxil) Serotonin modulators like Viibryd (zombie state again) SNRIs (massive anxiety, didn't help withdrawal) Wellbutrin augmentation (no change) MAOIs (didn't prevent withdrawal) Low dose antipsychotics (no change, or exacerbated withdrawal) Selective Ht2c serotonin blockers (exacerbated withdrawal) In the end, I realized that, at least for me, I was on a wild goose chase and I might as well dig in the for the long haul and re-instate paxil (without any augmentation) in order to taper slowly. I restarted at 20mg and have been tapering since the beginning of the year. I'm down to 12mg now, and find myself stuck in a partial withdrawal / mostly lobotomized state. I'm very unmotivated and can't seem to squeeze any enjoyment out of life, friends, exercise, music, hobbies, etc despite my best efforts. I've become quite anti-social, and my days have been reduced to working, sleeping, eating and laying on the couch. At the beginning, despite knowing it was a dangerous idea, I would take 3-4 day breaks just to feel human again. I considered crashing off of it again and moving to a warm foreign country to spend a year or more recovering, but unfortunately I don't have the money to not be working right now. Thankfully, even on a steadily declining dose, I have started to have these short windows of time when I seem to awaken out of the haze, and suddenly feel the sun and the breeze, with music and socializing feeling great. It'll last for a few hours before it fades back into the abyss. Exercise, when I can force myself to do it, seems to increase the frequency and duration of these. I don't have advice for anyone, other than to keep pushing through... Even when it's rough and awful. Between the stories I have read here, and knowing that the brain is capable of amazing things, I'm quite confident I will recover. It may take another year to remove this poison from my brain in a responsible and safe way, but I will be so grateful when the time comes to feel alive again. I wish everyone luck with their own journey through this torture...
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