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  1. It’s my first time posting so hello to everyone . I’m so glad I stumbled on this site I’ve been so scared not knowing what was going on with me . ill try and make this as short as I can . In August of 2018 I hit what I believe to be called poop out (reaching tolerance) from taking seroxat for 15 years straight . Anxiety started to creep into my days even though I was on 20mg and hadn’t had problems only minor in the past . A visit to the dr led to him increasing my dosage to 30mg. I didn’t feel happy about this and decreased back down within 3 weeks. I knew for me the answer was to taper off. In November 2018 i went to see a psychiatrist for advice on tapering as my dr hadn’t got a clue (too long to go into) . She said to drop 5mg see how I went for 4 weeks before dropping again . This seemed to go ok . In December 2018 she said to drop another 5mg again I felt ok. Don’t get my wrong I had lots of weird symptoms with some depression and anxiety but didn’t feel too bad I put this down to the 50mg of pregabalin she said I should take three times daily (prescribed in November ) . I take twice daily on the advice of my dr. In January she said to decrease by 2.5 mg which I have done. I am now taking 7.5mg daily . From reading things on this site I now know I am tapering tooooooo quickly and my body is now telling me this too as my symptoms are more pronounced and the depression is really setting in. I don’t know what to do for the best and was hoping for some advice here. Do I stay put and wait to get stable though I have read somewhere on this site that it can take up to 18 months to start to stabilise after poop out. Or do I increase tiny amounts until I feel able to cope better with the symptoms? I am still working every day . my thoughts before finding this site were that I needed to get off seroxat because it had started to make me feel so much worse and that by keep taking it I’m poisoning my body and it will never head towards homeostasis while I’m still taking it no matter what dose. I would be so grateful for any advice .
  2. 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
  3. Hello, I have been on Ssris for the past ten years, different doses and different meds. I started on lexapro 20 mg when I was 18 and get great for years. When I hit 22 I started lowering my meds due to side effects and simply being uncomfortable being on meds. I got down to about 10 mgs and stayed there for a while. 2 years ago I did a fast taper and got down to 5 mgs way too fast. I experienced withdrawal really bad without knowing what it was and thought I was relapsing on anxiety/depression. For a year I messed around trying to find the right med and trying to find the right combo. I now realize meds were a problem all along and all I want is to feel normal and be off of them. I also realize I’m going through withdrawal and have to be patient. Ok, time to backtrack. Eventually I decided to go on paxil about a year ago after trying a slew of other Ssris. The reason being that my dad takes it and I thought it would help me out. Bad idea. I quickly got up to 37.5 mg in only about 4 months bc it didn’t seem to be helping. After this, I decided meds weren’t the answer and started dropping my dose, not knowing the correct method or pace. My first drop was to 25 mg controlled release and it was horrific. I decided to wait for a while before making and other drops. About 5 months. Back in may of this year I dropped again to 20 mgs regular release. I’ve been experience protracted withdrawal for almost 4 months now from that drop. Things seem to gradually be improving, but I just hit another bad wave and am looking for advice/support. Also, I’ve been on different doses of Ssris for a long time. Since I was 18 and I’m 28 now. I’m thinking about jsut holding head until I feel good before tapering the correct way. I just don’t know how long I should wait, or when it’s time to start again. Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks!!
  4. Thank you everyone in advance . I’m am new here and come for some help. I was switched from 5mg paroxetine to 100mg generic Pristiq 5 days ago. Was on the paroxetine for almost 3 years. I’m having a very rough time with increased anxiety, tingling , inner shaking and bad panic attacks. My shrink says I should not be having withdrawal symptoms as I replaced the paroxetine for something better. I am not sure if it is withdrawal or the new medicine or a mixture and don’t know what to do if stick to the new med or go back to Paroxetine , anyone in a similar situation? Today is my 5th day on the new AD. Thank you !!!
  5. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  6. Hello, I a new to the site. I have been on SSRI antidepressants for going on 18 years. I was placed on them at around the age of 26 or 27 years old when my Mom passed with cancer. I have been on 30 mg Paxil ( Paroxetine ) now for several years and have been pretty stable until it recently appears to have quit working. I started to suffer from extreme panic attacks, excessive thoughts of worry, and other physical symptoms as well. These have been coming and going for no apparent reason. I seen my doctor yesterday and she thinks that the Paxil has quit working and also feels that this medication comes with a lot of side effects and would be a good idea to get completely off of the medication. She placed me on a schedule to start tapering off of the medication and she also prescribed me Buspirone if I start to feel like I need to try something else for the anxiety. She has worked with several patients when it comes to getting off of Paroxetine and advised that it is different for everyone, but I should be able to get completely off w/in a month. Then if I haven't started taking the Buspar I can evaluate if medication is even needed. I would love to be able to get completely off of antidepressants all together and get my life back. Just wondering what kind of side effects I can expect and also wondering if there is any advise out there to help out. I do have .25 mg of Xanex on hand in event that I have a panic attack, but I seldom ever take one. I almost wonder if the Paroxetine have started to make my anxiety worsen. I would love to get completely off of the medication and get my life back and just be me. I started my 1st taper yesterday from 30 to 25 and plan to stay there for at least a week.
  7. First off, I am so incredibly thankful for this forum. I would of never ever got off this medication if I had not found this forum. A big thank you to Alto and all the mods that work hard to help everyone. A big thank you to everyone I talked to daily on here as well Here is my intro thread ☼-cocopuffz17-paroxetine-free-but-not-trouble-free When I came to this forum I had no idea what was going on with me after coming off 11 years of paroxetine use @ 20mg. I was told by my psychiatrist that this drug isn't known to cause this, I know that's not true after going through the hell of AW/PAW. My body was being ravaged by chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions and a plethora of AW (acute withdrawal) and PAWS(post acute withdrawal) symptoms. I was terrified and did not think I could get through it at the time. But I constantly read stories of success and knew that it was possible and my mindset slowly shifted. I knew that whatever this would throw at me I would be able to take it after making that decision in my mind. Here is some back story of my battle against depression/anxiety and the war I went to with getting off this medication. In high school I struggled immensely with anxiety. I would have panic attacks almost everyday and missed a lot of school because of it. Shortly after graduating I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder/depression and told I had a chemical imbalance from a psychiatrist that I was seeing and would need an antidepressant (paroxetine) to fix this imbalance. I trusted the psychiatrist as this is what they are educated to do. Never once was nutrition ever mentioned, this will make sense later in my story. Things did get a bit better. I no longer had this terrible anxiety and could function better out in public. So this led me to believe the doctor was right and that I needed medication to function as I was told I had a chemical imbalance. Over time I slowly slid into a deeper depression and struggled with sleeping. I went to my family doctor and he said to just take sleeping pills. So I took sleeping pills to sleep. I now know this was insomnia caused by the medication. I continued my life and took my antidepressant for multiple more years before I had a health condition pop up. In 2011 I was diagnosed with having erythema multiforme. The E.R. doctor told me it was from an allergic reaction to penicillin. I believe it was caused from long term antidepressant use. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced at that point in my life. I had a full body rash that was the itchiest thing you could imagine and every time the rash hit a joint I was unable to bend that joint. It was terrifying and painful as could be. It lasted around 2 weeks. Here is a reference pic before any of these health conditions. I don't remember the exact time frame on this. But it was in the 2013-2015 range. I was feeling way better and decided that I didn't need my AD anymore. So I cold turkey'd. All hell broke loose and I literally went crazy and was uncontrollable. All my anxiety symptoms came rushing back and nothing but pure rage for everything in the world. I reinstated and everything slowly returned back to medicated normal. I tried this twice with cold turkeys, I failed hard both times. The third time I spoke with my psychiatrist and he suggested doing a taper of 3 months @ 25% per month. I made it about 1 month and had to reinstate because the "original symptoms" were too strong, which I now know were withdrawals from coming off the medication. Once again this just supported the psychiatrist's theory of the chemical imbalance and I was like okay I guess I'm on this medication for life. Late 2014 to early 2015, I was having trouble swallowing food. My tonsils were so swollen. I ended up getting a tonsillectomy in 2015. Yet another random health condition that popped up out of the blue. I blame this excessive inflammation on the medication I took long term. Fast forward to late 2015.... I started losing my hair. I ended up going to a dermatologist and he diagnosed me with alopecia. This sucked. I went into a further depression. After recording this video I immediately changed my nutrition to a paleo diet. I saw regrowth on my scalp(not full growth though). The results slowed down and I stopped eating paleo and my condition got worse. I ended up losing all my hair on my scalp and was feeling the worst I had felt in my life and slid into a deeper depression. I was not feeling like my current psychiatrist was helping me. So I asked my family doc for a referral to another psychiatrist. I got an appointment a few months later. I went to it and it just so happened there was two psychiatrists in the room. At first I was like yes! Multiple opinions! I told them I was feeling suicidal and thought about it constantly. They both agreed that this was a normal feeling and everyone feels like this at times. This was the point where I realized I was not going to receive the help I needed to get through this from these doctors. It is not normal to feel like this and absolutely ridiculous that the trained professionals can say that. I now know this was caused by my antidepressant. Shortly after this all happened my alopecia was progressing. It was going from alopecia areata to alopecia universalis. I was slowly coming to terms with having no hair on my scalp and knew I could not handle losing my eyebrows and facial hair. I lost 50% of my leg and arm hair. This is the point when I looked myself in the mirror with tears rolling down my face and said I will never let myself be this depressed again in my life. I had no idea how I was going to do it at that time. But I made myself a promise and I refused to break it. I had some success with nutrition changes when I did the paleo diet a few years prior. So this is where I started reading more on nutrition. So after doing that I started reading a lot on people who had reversed autoimmune conditions and how they did it. There were two main contenders I found. A) ImmunoSuppressants B)Nutrition changes. I refused to be on another drug. I thought I needed to be on an antidepressant for life, like hell I was going on another drug for life with all the side effects associated with it. So I chose nutrition changes. In October of 2018 I started The Plant Paradox by Dr.Gundry! In 6 weeks I felt the best I had ever felt in my life. This gave me the confidence to attempt another taper. So I went back to my original psychiatrist(I was still going to him as I needed prescription refills). He suggested the 3 months at 25% per month. I agreed....I just trusted the doctor for tapering as I knew nothing about it at this time. This is where the hardest year of my life is about to begin. It took almost 5 years and a lot of pain, a lot failing and a lot of learning. But I grew my hair back after being told I would just have to learn to live with it from doctors. I thought this would be the hard part....not the case. Getting off of my antidepressant was. The first drop from 20 mg to 15 mg was not bad. A slight headache. I stayed at 15 mg for 30 days. The second drop from 15 mg to 10 mg was much harder. This is when I started reading forums and found so many struggles of what people were going through and truly how hard it is to get off of these drugs. I had fevers, cold shakes(I would have a hot bath 3-4 times a day to stay warm), headaches were picking up in intensity, fatigue was starting to happen daily and insomnia. I stayed at 10 mg for 30 days The third drop was from 10 mg to 5 mg absolutely wrecked me. I had even worse insomnia, lightning bolts in my visions, headaches got worse, I was unable to focus, fatigue was even more crushing(I was sleeping 14-16 hr days), cold shakes, tinnitus, vertigo, light sensitivity(I was wearing sunglasses at night it was that rough) and lagging vision ( I would turn my head and know my head was moved but by eyes were still seeing the image from 5 seconds before). I stayed at 5 mg for 15 days. I added another drop in here.... because I was suppose to go from 5 mg to 0 mg but I felt so awful and panicked so I went to 2.5 mg for 15 days with all the same symptoms. I know this is way too fast of a taper now. I did not know at the time as I was just following my doctors instructions. CONTINUED BELOW ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓
  8. Much of anxiety coping recommendations, such as Claire Weekes’ (whose advice is so comforting), are about accepting that your body does feel awful and to ‘flow’ with it. Learn to trust that it is only a bodily sensation and you will in time lose the dread of it. That has been helpful for some of my anxiety, but I had an actual embarrassing occurrence brought on by anxiety a couple times in my life (many years ago) that have ‘proved’ to me that in some cases, though rare, more can happen to me than just cruddy bodily sensations. Has anyone else experienced something like this? Does anything work to help? I know my fears of this occurrence are largely ‘mental” but I just can shake it. I had been able to ‘forget’ this fear for a number of years while on Paxil, but once my withdrawal symptoms hit my body back in May of this year, and I got back to work in August (I am a teacher-we are back in regular school, not virtual), my WD anxiety whipped my memories back and I fear it every day that I got to work since I am in front of people all the time. Thanks for any thoughts or shared experiences.
  9. Hi everyone, After many months of reading and gaining some hope and encouragement from the stories here I decided to join your great forum. Sorry, but this is a very long story. Im a 39 year old male from Australia and I have been taking ssri’s for GAD for the last 10 years. I started on Paxil 20mg for around 18 months and was switched to lexapro 10mg due to weight gain, sexual dysfunction and fatigue. Lexapro was a little better but I really didn’t feel like it was doing much apart from keeping the weight up and the motivation down. I am 6’2 and was always skinny, I never could bulk up. Paxil took me from 78kg and healthy to 100kg and always sweaty in around 12 months. I tried a few times to simply stop the meds but had no idea about withdrawal or tapering and always ended up reinstating due to awful side effects (rage, crying spells etc). The drs always said thats just how you are off the meds...... keep taking them for the rest of your life. They also upped my dosage a few times but I quickly went back to 10mg. In 2017 I felt lexapro wasn’t being effective so the dr straight swapped me to Valdoxan for a few weeks and I felt awful. They then straight swapped me to Prozac and around 4 days into taking that I woke in the middle of the night to terrible ringing in my ears. This was my first introduction to tinnitus. I freaked out and asked to be put back on lexapro. I reinstated at 10mg again and everything calmed down after about 7-8 weeks of hell. The tinnitus that was in both ears and the middle of my head reduced to a tiny amount only in my left ear. I now know this was likely my last chance at reinstatement working for me..... more on that soon. So another few years went past and the side effects of weight gain, heat intolerance, sexual dysfunction and the general feeling of “blah” were just too much for me to handle. I began a taper in January of 2019 and went from 10mg to 7.5mg for 4 weeks. I then went to 5mg for 4 weeks and finally 2.5mg for 4 weeks. I felt okay during the taper, my tinnitus was a little bit louder but not enough to bother me, I was more irritable and I had brain zaps. The real “fun” began around 12 weeks after the taper off the medication...... I had a panic attack and fell into one of the episodes that put me on meds in the first place. These were purely anxiety driven and I never felt depressed. I’ve had them since about 13 years of age and I always recovered from them and they lasted from 1 to 3 months usually. They would encompass intrusive thoughts, shakes and shivers, anxiety and panic only. So I decided to jump straight back on the lexapro 10mg thinking all these drs are right and I’m doomed to be on meds for the rest of my life. But something happened that didn’t happen before..... they didn’t work. After a few weeks I felt worse and my ears started to really scream, I had awful insomnia and a really bad eczema rash appeared on my chest and legs. I now know this as a severe reaction to the meds after too fast a taper and too fast of a reinstatement. If I had not jumped straight back on the meds I likely would have had to deal with wd symptoms only and not so many physical ones as well. So after 6 weeks of hell my dr upped my dose to 20mg and I waited another 5 weeks. That didn’t work either, just got worse. My dr referred me to a psychiatrist at this point and things got really bad. He upped my dose to 40mg lexapro, I stuck this out for another 5-6 weeks and it made me no better, actually worse. He then said ssri’s don’t seem to work for you now so let’s try Effexor. We cross tapered that with the lexapro over only a two week period and then all the way to 150mg of Effexor in only 3 weeks. I was desperate and wanted the pain and suffering to just stop. I did consider suicide a lot during this period and I had never been like this before when taking medication. My beautiful partner kept me here with her love and grace. I stuck with the Effexor for 7 weeks and it was just hell, dizziness, insomnia and mini seizure type things were a daily occurrence. I was couch bound and I still had tinnitus screaming away every day. He wanted to up the dose more but by this stage I knew that my body was not accepting any of these meds, I even said to him I think I am having a reaction to these meds. His answer was always that they just make you feel worse before better and that we can keep upping the dose...... That was the last time I saw him, I went back to my GP and asked to try Zoloft in a last ditch attempt to gain some stability and sanity. She cross tapered me to Zoloft and it seemed to calm things down a tiny bit but I was still so, so sick. I made it up to 100mg and was on Zoloft for 3 months before massive amounts of diarrhoea hit me (colitis) plus I was still struggling with SI, tinnitus and now bad depression for the first time in my life. All the fun stuff that comes along with bad reactions to these meds. My Dr CT’d me off the Zoloft and started me on Remeron 30mg..... this one was ok for my sleep issues but made me irritable as hell and didn’t have any effect on the SI, depression and tinnitus. I lasted 6 weeks on it before breaking down again and seeing the Dr. She mentioned Paxil...... like I said, I was desperate and since it worked 10 years ago maybe it would pull me out of this living hell I was in. Since the first episode after WD in June of 2019 and the living hell my life has been, I started Paxil 20mg in April 2020..... this lasted all of 12 weeks and I CT’d the Paxil in July 2020 due to all the above still happening. I happened to come across the SA website in June this year After desperately searching for answers. I’ve read and learnt a lot from everyone and now understand what has happened to me the last 12 months. How I should have tapered waaayyyy slower, how I should have reinstated waaayyy slower and how screwed up our medical system and the makers of these drugs are. I have been med free for 9 weeks and even though I still have loud tinnitus, depression and a host of other Awful symptoms, I have improved more then any time I was on meds. I’m bloody scared of what’s ahead but I will NEVER touch another psych med again in my life. I assume reinstatement is beyond my body now after what it has endured. I hope to be able to vent a little here on my bad days and keep reading the encouraging stories of success whilst pushing on with my life and the healing process. Thanks for taking the time to read my book.... 😂 And thanks to the creators of such a great site.
  10. Hallo. I have been on Paxil for 20 years, 20 mg I went down to 10mg, then I switched to Prozac After 15 months tapering, I am down to 1 mg In my country there is no liquid for Prozac, but I can resolve them in water, just don’t know how to measure. I would appreciate a help with that. Thank you
  11. 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
  12. I had sporadic anxiety issues as a teen, maybe even panic episodes, but I didn’t attribute them to a disorder (I’d never heard of such a thing at that time). I just figured I was an ‘anxious person.’ In my early 30s, sometime after my wife and I had our first child, I began having panic attacks at night. I didn’t know what they were and my fear exacerbated the problem. Panic attacks began happening during work, waiting in lines, at theaters, in my car. Eventually, I started reading books about anxiety, saw my doctor, and then started counseling. I got lots of great non-med help, but still felt like my daily life was a fight from morning to night, so I finally accepted that I needed to try medication. I started on Zoloft and was on that for a few years, maybe 5 or 6. Then I switched, with my doctor’s suggestion to Paxil, which I was on for about 7 years. I don’t know my dosage history anymore, but for the last many years I was taking 10mg a day (half a pill). I can’t remember why I made the switch. Over this time anxiety got better. The daily fight dwindled to weekly and then occasionally and I even forgot it was an issue for periods of time, though I would be reminded when I had to be up in front of people, which my job requires. With my wife’s encouragement, I decided to try to wean off Paxil and, with my doctor’s direction, did so over the course of one and half months from November to December 2019. And...everything seemed great for 4-5 months. I couldn’t believe it. I felt just like I had felt under medication-no big issue at all with anxiety (and now I didn’t have any of those pesky side effects from the meds!). But in May 2020 (about 4-5 months after I weaned off the meds) i started waking up feeling anxious-pit in the stomach, like one feels when going to give a speech. There was no ‘thought’ or actual life worry-I just felt anxious every morning. I hadn’t had that experience since I was a teen/early 20 year old. I am 45 right now. Now I wake up nearly every morning at 3:30-4:30am and cannot get back to sleep, no matter how long I lay there. I either wake with the anxiety in my stomach or, if it’s not there right away, it comes on by the time I get up. That anxious stomach feeling can go all the way until 9-11am, sometimes longer, though it eventually is gone by midday. But even though it is gone by midday, it has triggered my body and mind and I feel so susceptible to anxiety throughout my work day that I feel I have come full circle once more and am seeing every work day as a fight just to make it to the end of the day. It’s so exhausted and I feel so helpless and worry that it won’t change. The Lord is my strength and He has helped me get through, but I hope, and it’s why I came to this site, that He may have taken me to this forum to get some insight here.
  13. Hey, I want to intodruce myself on this site because I´m suffering a lot from the Paxil withdrawal even though I have not taken Paxil for a very long time. I was prescribed to Paxil in January 2016 because of a Burn Out / Depression. While Cipralex has not taken the huge panic from me when my Depression/Burn Out started my Doctor said we should try Paxil. My mood was very quickly a lot better with the help of Cipralex but the panic was huge. I´ve never experienced a depression in my life so it was very frigthening to feel such a huge impact in such a negative way. Anyways after about 1 Month on Cipralex my doctor decided to switch on Paxil because "he made good experiences" with this drug. I asked him on which dose I should take it whereon he answered that 40mg should be fine. At this time I had no experiences with Antidepressents so I completly trusted his words and I took my first pill. I remember the first day on Paxil I woke up in the middle of the night and my whole body was tingling and I´ve sweated a lot. There were a few more symptoms but I can´t really remember this time. So after 5 month on 40mg I decided to quit Paxil. (See from my signature) As the symptoms from my depression slowly dissapeared I felt more and more that new symptoms are getting stronger. At this time I thought that I still suffer from my depression and that it will never ever end although I was doing sports at least 3 times a week and going to the psychologist once a week to talk about my problems which really helped me in a way. It´s hard to put my thoughts and epxeriences since 2015 in proper english so I hope you guys can understand me. So in October 2016 I found a german forum for problems with antidepressent and they were very helpful with me and my symptoms. This was the first time someone told me how dangerous Paxil can be and how tremendous the effects to some people on paxil are. They also tried to convince me to taper the drug really slowly off but I thought the earlier my body is clear from this drug the earlier I get my old life back. The impact when I stopped taking Paxil 6 month ago were massive. While tapering it off it was really hard sometimes as well but the time I reached 0mg felt like the hell on earth. I wake up every morning with the feeling I just came out of a night club where I drank a bottle of vodka and snorted 1 g of cocaine. These are the symptoms I suffered the whole time on paxil. Some became stronger the lower I got, some started to fade away and some dissapeared. I copied some from a success story because it is exactly the same hope its okay: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, lots of preassure in my head, floating head feeling, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, my brain was not able to give the "command" watch left before you cross the street even though I know how to do it ?!, derealization, feeling of never getting healthy again, feeling quite healthy for a few days and then feeling like dying again, intense nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night sweaty with delusions and disorientation, sometimes things seemed to moved very slowly or a street looked like it never ends or I was walking treadmill. As I said some dissapeared but some like the derealization or the dizziness, mood swings, ear buzzing, brain fog and so on are still there. But I´ve the windows and waves which is a good sign, right? I´m writing you because I can´t find something similar in the german forum. Next to the symptoms above I´m suffering a lot from Injuries. Almost every month I have a new injury and today I´m not able to do any sports because of the inflammation of my muscles and tendons. Sport was the only thing besides meditation which helped me to cope with the symptoms. A few days ago I was at my doctor again and we did a full blood analysis. He called me one day later and told me that my blood is totally fine but my CK-Level is very high (1200) normal is ca 200. I called a neurologist which checked me at the same day with a few standard tests. They were all good as well. Last year I checked my thyroid & my brain with MRT everything completely normal. Do you have experiences with injuries during wd? Is it normal to suffer a lot from Paxil even though I´ve taken it only for 1 year? I read that Paxil can cause damage on the immune system? Is this the reason for my injuries? If my immune system is damaged, is it for ever or can it heal like the brain? Best regards, Maggie
  14. Please move if not in the right forum - I was unable to post in tapering! I was placed on 20mg paxil last December after suffering a brain injury. The paxil did not help, but through neurofeedback am now back to 90ish%. In May (after 5 months of being on paxil), I began to taper off as follows: 15mg for 3 weeks - maybe a couple of nights of insomnia, but nothing notable 10 mg for 2 weeks - similar to above 5 mg 11 weeks - had flu like symptoms for a few weeks, which then re-appeared a few weeks later. After about 10 weeks, had a week of headaches and severe insomnia. Overall I was fine, but my most problematic symptom was severe brain fog when trying to study (currently in school) 0 mg for the past 10 days - pretty strong anxiety and depression, as well as insomnia - these are starting to clear up. Also had severe brain fog and flu like symptoms the first few days. I believe that I went from 15 to 5 too quickly, and am concerned that this issue of brain fog when studying will persist. My questions are: given the short amount of time I was on paxil, is it better to tough this out or to reinstate at 10mg and go slowly from there? My goal is to get rid of the brain fog issue. given that its been 12 weeks since I was 10 mg, is it too late to reinstate? I have read that reinstatement should occur quickly, but I am unsure if his means since your last time taking the drug at all, or since the last time you were at a given dose. I.e. because I have only been off for 10 days, can I still reinstate 10mg even though I was last at that dose 12 weeks ago? My main concern is causing a long term issue and want to be conservative. I have miraculously overcome two health issues that I thought would be lifelong, and I am not in a position for another problem to occur. Thank you for all of your help!
  15. I'm wondering if anyone else has or had experienced worsing withdrawal symptoms when switching from Paxil CR and Liquid SOLELY to the Liquid Suspension? I have been tapering slowing Since January by the following: (1 Pill = 12.5 CR) Starting dose of 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG OF CR Jan 21st: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13 10 mg lq until today 7/10 I have a feeling that the liquid isnt nearly as....either effective or has as long a HALF LIFE as the company would have me believe. When I first started the taper I was taking the 1 pill and taking all the liquid at 9 pm at NIGHT. Within 16 hours of the night dose I was having bad symptoms until I took the next dose. This went on for a week. I then experimented by switching the timing of the liquid to the morning at 9 am. Withing 2 days the withdrawal syptoms had switched from the evening to the morning! What clearly was happening, was the liquid was NOT staying in my system anywhere near as long as the CR. After a week of suffering the withdrawl symptoms at the new time, my doctor suggested taking half the liquid dose every 12 hours, since it obviously had a SHORTER Half life than the CR Pill, since my syptoms corresponded to ALMOST EXACTLY 16 hours after the last Liquid dose. With 3 days of splitting the daily dose into every 12 hours the symptoms had mostly resolved. Everything was going ok (not perfect but much better than the horrible symptoms when only taking the liquid once daily) UNTIL I recently finally got below the level of the pill and am ONLY on the liquid. Since I switched to the liquid ONLY I have been taking it every 8 hours -or 3 times a day, but the worsening symptoms have returned. Not as bad as when I was only taking it every 12 hours, but worse when I still had the CR for the majority of the dose. I THINK THIS LIQUID IS CRAP. I've only dropped 2.5 mg's in almost 8 weeks and I'm having WORSE symptoms than when I was dropping a 1mg every 2 weeks no problem. (Again with the CR pill as most of my dose. ) Any ideas? I mean, the fact that I had horrible symptoms correspnding to 16 hours AFTER the liquid dose, regardless whether I was taking it at 9am or 9pm, tells me it has to have a much shorter half life than they are saying, expecially since once I started taking the liquid 5mg ever 12 hours instead of 10 all at once things cleared up within 48 hours. And now that all I have is the liquid, I'm worse even though I'm dropping at only half the speed of when I still had atleast 12.5 CR. And! I'm taking it EVERY 8 hours: 3 mg AM, 3 mg Afternoon, 4 MG Night. I notice the electrical shocks in my head close to the time I am scheduled for the next dose, as if it's only in my system about 6 hours at a time. Help![/size]
  16. hello! im so happy to have found this site. I guess i will introduce myself i have been on Paxil for about 4 to 5 years now, taking a pretty low dose of 20 mg. I tried quitting about a year ago, my doctor was supportive but gave me no information about withdrawal and such. After two days with 10 mg I immediately went back. i thought it was my anxiety, not withdrawal. I am now quitting again. I reduced my dose to 10 mg and i have been on this for about 4 days. I am already getting bad symptoms. feeling depressed, tired, crying for no reason, emotional, intrusive thoughts, and anxiety. But honestly I am so determined to quit this time because I want to live a drug free life. I have been praying a lot as a coping method which helps. Here are a list of supplements i've been taking that help make my symptoms less severe (not saying you should do what i say at all, this is just what helped me. i'm not a doctor) : Magnesium, Niacinamide, D3, Iodine, Ashwaganda, and herbal teas. Thank you for having me in this beautiful community, I hope to contribute to in some way. peace will come starting dose: Paxil 20 mg current: paxil 10 mg
  17. MOD NOTE : Toulouse's Success Story is here ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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
  18. I was told I needed to start an introduction post. I wanted to ask about Depakote anyway. I did a fast taper of paxil from 10 mg to 5 about 13 months ago. I am still having symptoms. My main problems are head pain around my ears, head pressure, ear pain and pressure. I have panic in my sleep. That was present before but it feels more pervasive now. I had tried a slow taper of paxil before the fast taper, starting at 25% which was too much, then 10%, then 2-3%. It wasn't great but was more manageable than this fast taper. This has been pure hell. I added amitryptiline out of pure desperation because I had so much head and ear pain. That was about 7 months ago. I was already taking 1/4 pill of depakote. My question is about the depakote. I want to avoid adding more meds if possible but the brain activity in my sleep has amped up. I feel more irritable kind of the way I used to feel on paxil which is telling me it's probably from the 2 antidepressant (possibly interacting). I am not ready to taper again because I'm still having symptoms and I know I will be much worse. So has anyone increased (or added) depakote a year after a taper to help? What happened? I need something to help my sleep and generally calm down. Thank you.
  19. Hey everyone, I am horrible at getting my thoughts across so please bear with me. When I was 12 years old I was put on Paxil. I had panic attacks and GAD but that was really it. I'm not 100% the Paxil worked but I did seem to have an okay time through high school with panic attacks being rare. Fast forward to 2018. My anxiety started ramping up and I decided I was done with meds. If they weren't helping then I was going to take the therapy route and be med free. I talked to a psychiatrist who helped me wean off of Paxil over a 3 month period. Once I was off my anxiety was understandably worse. I was more anxious and would have panic attacks more often, but they weren't unbearable. Around 4 months after stopping the meds I had a complete mental breakdown, unlike anything I had ever experienced. This was not normal anxiety. I felt nothing but sheer terror for absolutely no reason. I couldn't look at my phone or watch tv without panicking. It was like it was too much for my brain to handle. I could not do anything but sit in bed with the door shut and hope that it would end. I was scared to leave my room. This went on for 2 months and there were no signs of improvement. I finally gave in and got back on Paxil but this time added Lamictal. Well, the anxiety got better and now I'm mostly ok. I still have panic attacks from time to time but at least I don't walk around with a feeling of dread and fear 24/7. I can do most things a person without anxiety could, but I really hate being dependent on meds. I put this out here because I could not find anything about it on google. Most people say that they just have brain zaps and increased anxiety. This was a different monster altogether. Maybe someone is struggling with something similar and can tell me for sure it was the SSRI. I still second guess myself and think maybe that is just how bad my anxiety is off of meds. I really hope someone can confirm that some people experience this. Even if it's super rare. My hypothesis is that because I was put on Paxil long before my brain had finished developing. It never learned to make its own serotonin. I obviously am not a doctor but it makes a lot of sense in my mind. I should say my doctor says this is absolutely not a thing and it's just how I am off of meds. Does this sound like withdrawal to anyone else? Has anyone experienced something so bad randomly after a few months of being off meds. Like your brain just broke. If you read this far, thanks for your time <3.
  20. Hi everyone I was on Paxil 20mg for 19 years- most of which time it worked well (except for some weight gain and bloating). While studying at grad school I started taking Adderall for four years until it developed until a problem and managed to come off it inn July 2017. Went through the PAWs from that which lasted for a long time (and is maybe still ongoing). However, since I came off the Adderall, the Paxil appeared to have stopped working (either than or the PAWs from the Adderall was overriding its effects). So 5 months ago I decided to do the Prozac bridge to see if Prozac would work for me. I did a straight switch to Prozac 20 mg without any tapering and felt some withdrawals and also felt weird most likely from starting on the Prozac as well. While taking Prozac I have been up and down, with good weeks and bad. However, in the last two weeks I have had what seem suspiciously like the 'waves' I hear about on this site. I have felt the worst I have ever felt in my life and it seems very much like SSRI withdrawal to me (I've experienced withdrawals from Paxil several times before when I either ran out or tried to quit). This time symptoms include a sense of impending doom, nausea, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression. It seems unusual to be suddenly hit with withdrawal symptoms 5 months after giving up Paxil and while still taking Prozac right? So my question is- is this some delayed withdrawal to the Paxil I stopped taking 5 months ago or is it some adverse reaction to the Prozac (even though I have had periods of feeling fine on it). I am leaning towards to the possibility of coming off the Prozac and reinstating the Paxil. Even though I was feeling pretty depressed when I was on Paxil last I didn't feel like this now where I basically feel like I'm losing my mind. Any recommendations on what I should do?
  21. 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
  22. Hi everyone, I'm Mark, living in Marseille, south east of France, I'm 36 yo. I began Paxil (Deroxat in France), in 1999, given for a "IBS" (irritative bowel syndrom)... 20mg a day (1999-2014). 2010-2014 were the best years of my life, friends, family, job, music, soccer, etc etc... Mid-2014 I decided by myself to reduce Paxil. So, I started to take 20mg a day, then 10mg next day, then 20, then 10 ... End 2014, jav/fev 2015, I took 10, 5, 10, 5.. then 5mg... 2 weeks after being at 5 mg / day, my life turned to hell. Many symptoms occured weeks after weeks : Nausea, dizziness, lightheadness, belly ache, loss of appetite, tinnitus, electric schocks when moving eyes... Then i thought about my paxil reduction... I re-start 10mg in 2015, then 20mg since january 2016, but my symptoms are still here... Now, I just wanna die with those awful nausea all day, dizziness etc... Sometimes I have 1, 2, 3 days where symptoms seem to reduce, then they retstart awfully... In 2015 I had all medical examination to exclude other problem : Colonoscopie, Pillcam (for small intestine), Ultrasound, 2 Belly MRI, 2 head MRI, tons of blood analysis, eyes tests, inner ears tests, etc, etc... Nothing found... I saw more than 20 doctors in 18 month (gastro, neuro, diagnosticians, ENT, opthalmo, psychiatrists...). None want to listen me, and all say that's not a problem with my paxil, because Withdrawal least no more than few weeks... I'm here, to claim for help. i really need somebody who understands me, who well knows withdrawal problems, etc... I don't understand why I don't feel better since I have re-taken 20 mg... Sorry for my bad english.
  23. Been on 20 mg. of paxil for 20 years. Started due to depression during a difficult marriage that was heading toward divorce.Tried to get off it multiple times, too fast, and could not tolerate the withdrawal symptoms and went back on it. Doctor told me I likely would need it forever. Did not like that advice! In October 2018 I failed to refill my prescription soon enough and cut my pills in half to 10 mg. so they would last till I got the refill. I found I was ok on 10 mg so stayed there for 3 months. That same month I told my doctor that I was going off Paxil, and he said that was a good thing. He prescribed Zoloft if I felt I needed to get back on an AD, but I have never filled that prescription. Over a period of 6 months, Oct. 2018-May 2019, I continued to gradually taper off until completely discontinuing in mid-May 2019. I had no withdrawal symptoms during this period. I have been completely off Paxil, symptom-free, for 3 months. In early August 2019 I began to have recurring insomnia. I have struggled with some degree of insomnia most of my adult life, but this went on for multiple nights. In mid August I got slammed with depression for several days in addition to insomnia. The depression eased a bit, only to be replaced by anxiety. I took .25 mg. of Xanax for 5 nights to get some sleep. Would sleep soundly for 6+ hours with xanax, awaken, and feel the anxiety begin again. I know how addictive Xanax is and will not continue to take it. I have taken only melatonin for sleep the last 3 nights and have gotten very little sleep. Depression and anxiety have eased...just exhausted. I assumed after 3 months being off Paxil with no symptoms that I was home free. I DO NOT want to go back on Paxil. Is this a normal reaction after 3 months drug-free, and if so, any suggestions how to get thru it, particularly the insomnia? My doctor prescribed trazodone for sleep, but I have not taken it. I am hoping that since I have not had all the awful physical symptoms that many on this forum have described , hopefully I can get thru this without restarting Paxil.
  24. I am new to this site I took Paxil for 13 years and Lamotrigine for 3 years. At 31 months out I am still having bad symptoms like tinnitus, brain fog, agoraphobia and a few others. Unfortunately I cold turkey because at the time I had no knowledge of tapering from anyone. Is this a normal pattern? Sure would like feedback. Thanks
  25. Hello, Altostrata told me to make a topic literally a minute ago, so I am opening up for help. I am going through a really rough time right now and really don't know what to do. I was prescribed Paxil CR in a rehabilitation facility at the age of 18. Previous to this I had suffered with OCD, panic attacks and depression. While in the facility people told me I seem depressed and should see a psychiatrist. I was taken to the office, and after what felt like a 10 minute consultation was given a script for Paxil CR. After being discharged from the facility I was put on 20-30mgs of generic Paxil. I stayed on that for 11 years and have recently gotten off. I did a one month taper using Prozac. I know this is a incredibly fast taper given the amount of time I was on the medication. But I really did not know any better. I have been off of it for 6 months now in total. I tried to resume Paxil recently but only for a day or two. I was hit with very bad side effects and it scares me to try again. So I am trying to fight through and hoping this gets better. I have tried to get off this drug 3 times in my past. Once at 22 where I did it cold turkey, I did not know about the withdrawal. I was hit with crying spells and depression like I had never known previous to the medication. I reinstated after a couple weeks. I then proceeded to try again at age 26 and was hit with the same symptoms, reinstated again. I am now 29 years old and fighting to stay off this drug. I have a lot of regret for having started this "medication". I can't believe it is even used in that term it feels like poison. In my time using the drug I felt emotionally numb and indifferent to all normal feelings. My childhood dog passed away at the age of 21, 3 years into my treatment with Paxil. I could not cry maybe one tear came out and I felt like I had to force that. I had a lot of anger issues. Where I felt like it was the only emotion prevalent during my time with Paxil. I have ripped doors down in my own home with my mother, punched walls etc. During my stint trying to get off Paxil at age 26 and shortly after resuming it. I was put into a psych ward, their plan of action was to drug me with a bipolar medication known as Depakote. I asked why they were forcing me to take this? The response was that every person needs to be on an anti psychotic. They also made me up my dosage of Paxil to 30mgs, at the time I was on 20mgs. I was in there for a week and was discharged Christmas eve of all times. I took my self off the Depakote immediately, I did not have any withdrawal from that. It was probably because of the short time I was on it. I am a 29 year old man who is living at home with his mother. My drive and hope for a better tomorrow is shattered. I read Dr. David Healy's website where people are not getting better after 6 years off SSRI's. My main symptoms are overwhelming depression and anxiety. I have crying spells for hours on end. During my time on Paxil I never cried like this I was a robot. I have incredible guilt wishing I never took this medication if I knew what I know now. I feel like that is preaching to the choir, I know all of you must feel the same. I have got on my hands and knees and prayed to let me go back and say no to Paxil at that initial psychiatrists meeting. I am flooded with thoughts thinking that my brain and body is permanently damaged. It has driven me to have intense suicidal thoughts. As I was 18 when initially prescribed I thought I had damaged my body's physical development. I was a late bloomer so that is a thought that I am bombarded with. One person on this site who has tried to help me and I thank him so much is Irishwill. We have messaged back and forth and he has reassured me I am OK. I still have that guilt though of wishing I never took this drug, I would do anything to change that decision. I know that cannot happen though. I am trying to stay away from horror stories, but with this condition they become prevalent. I am hoping my body can heal, but it's hard when my mind is so in the negative. I really want to say to all of you I have never met you personally, but I feel I have a bond or kinship with all of you. I am sorry any of us have to go through this. I know we all thought these drugs were meant to help us. I want to have a life, I want to smile I want to be happy. I am really scared my body and brain are beyond repair because of my 11 years on this poison. I recently saw a therapist I have known since I was probably 13. I told him all of what I am saying to you now. His response was to try another medication. He believes in the famed chemical imbalance theory. I think we all know these drugs cause that imbalance. I don't want my entire life story to be one of suffering. I want to be able to do things other people do. I don't want to ramble on here, because I can go on and on. I hope all of you find healing I really do. One thing this experience has given me is a huge amount of empathy for anyone suffering with any illness, medically induced or otherwise. I look forward to your comments. Thank you,
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