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  1. Hi All, I apologize in advance because i'm not a good writer but i'll do my best. I also much admit i have a selfish intention for signing up, I have a question and need help but i'll get into that later... on with the introduction. I've been lurking on this site and the old Paxil site for a very long time and I guess i've been scared to officially sign-in and say Hi because that would solidify that I was indeed going through Paxil withdrawal. But here i am. That being said It's been 6 years since i last took paxil... I was on and off different meds for 14 years but was mainly on Paxil (at least for the last 10) and ended up being @ 40mg before i finally decided to stop. It's been a very rocky road. Before i get into that I wanted to mention the choices/experiences that led to me getting off medication. I remember having a conversation with my wife and her saying that, "It's been a long time honey and you probably don't need to be on meds anymore." I didn't really think they were doing anything for me anyways and it was a pain in the butt going to see my psychiatrist every few months and have the same 2 min conversation about nothing... sports etc just so i could get a prescription for a drug i didn't think i needed anymore. So i decided to finally tell him that I'm thinking of getting off my meds. Surprisingly he agree and felt that i'd probably be fine and gave me the whole 30 day weaning script. I had been off meds before for small periods of time (days) and kinda knew what to expect, or at least i thought I did. I went through the whole brain zaps and crying spells for the first 30 days and figured I was well on my way to recovery. Boy was i wrong. I wasn't prepared for what happened next. I remember getting ready to have family over for a super bowl party (Super Bowl XLVII) and having this strange feeling in my chest... like there was a softball there. I had a labored breathes and a hard time catching my breath. I immediately went online to see what was happening to me and found that i was having a panic attack. I tried sitting still with it and doing the suggestions online but nothing was working despite my best efforts. I immediately went to the ER and got a prescription for klonopin. When i took my klonopin and finally started to relax i started googling what on earth caused this to happen. Thats when i found the paxilprogress site and found out what my real problem was. I called my psychiatrist and assured me that it's not possible I'm going through withdrawal and that this is the old me returning. I remember telling him that if this was the old me i wouldn't of made into my teens. Of course it made no difference to him and I decided to not follow his advice anymore. So, what do i do? I started reading PaxilProgress topics and saying, "Yes that's me!" to my wife. I had her read it in hopes that she'd confirm that this was indeed was wrong with me. I hoped beyond hope that when i read those stories and people would say the healing depends, some people feel better after a year or so; that that would be me. But it wasn't. That first year for me was hell, I remember wanting to check myself into a psychiatric ward because i couldn't drink water, take a bath or get underneath the covers without having intense fear and anxiety. I remember falling asleep and then having surges of anxiety shooting through me like a volcano to wake me up. It was awful. I'm so glad my wife was there to help me through it. I'm not even sure how i got through the first year or two. It did slowly get better and what helped me be sane was one concept i took from this website and paxilprogress and that is the concept of waves and windows. It gave me hope in my times of darkness that it would pass and afterwards i'd feel slightly better. As it turns out, my pattern of recovery and crashes matched the waves and windows. I also remember reading a post from a guy who had been through the withdrawal process who said the process is kinda like a Rubik's cube. You shuffle around all the pieces until you get one in the right place and then go back to it again until you have 2 in place and so on and so on. I truly truly find this to be the case with me in my recovery because even after 6 years in i still get extreme symptoms every now and again but i know that afterwards i'll have more pieces in place and i'll be slightly before than i was before. I have a take on this concept to which is I look at baseline emotions/moods as a bar, which sat very very low when i got off meds, that after each big crash would get permanently shifted up a little . And during my crashes, it would dip slightly below it's current position but when it came back up it would again be sitting a little higher than before. I should also mention that slowly over the years those waves and windows did spread out. And surprisingly throughout all that, my wife and i conceived a beautiful baby girl who is now 2 years old who means the world to me. Whew that was a lot. I'm sure i'm leaving out pieces because i could go on forever about this process. Maybe i'll come back and update this post as time goes with more insights as I look back. Who knows. But now to today. Like i said before, it's been 6 years and for some reason I've had a huge setback that takes me back to year one times. I have raging anxiety panic attacks that i can't deal with and haunt me daily which i haven't had in a very long time. In the past 5 years or so i've been very adamant that I can't take any drugs that work on gaba or serotonin because that will lead to a dependency or something i will eventually have to withdrawal off of and i don't think i can do that again. Well today has been exceptionally hard and the thoughts of waking up again to a surge of anxiety and trying to sit with it convinced me to take something. I had been taking benadryl and tylenol the last few nights which had helped but i came to find on this website that antihistamines are what SSRI's were fashioned after. So i knew i couldn't take benadryl anymore... So i kept lookin online and found Ashwagandha. Out of desperation i took some and am now feeling incredibly guilty like i gave up because i was too weak... after all these years of pain i've gone through, to throw it all away today and take Ashwagandha. Do you think this will set back my healing? Have i failed? I should also mention that i'm definitely in the middle of a wave and i had hoped to ride it out and be good but i wasn't able to this time... god forgive me. I feel like an absolute failure. Thanks for listening and putting out all this information. It's the only thing i've found that's true and i'm just absolutely astonished how oblivious counselors and psychiatrists are to antidepressant withdrawal. Thanks,.
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