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☼ Feelingitall: Introduction. Paxil 25mg 7 years, 2 years Paxil free


Feelingitall

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Hello Everyone, 

 

I'm very happy to be here!

 

I was on paxilprogress.org years ago, but stopped posting when my posts started getting deleted by the site administrator who did not like that I told my story which involved cold turkey as opposed to tapering. 

It really made me feel alienated so I stopped online support altogether. I hope this site is different :)

I am not in the place to recommend cold turkey to anyone but I think it's important for everyone's story to be heard as i am not the only one and we appreciate support too :)

 

Anyways, Im a late 20's female living in California.

 

​I was prescribed Paxil 10mg and Ativan about 9 years ago after going to my primary care physician when i had my first panic attack. My doctor then had be see a psychiatrist who also prescribed me Wellbutrin. The Wellbutrin made me feel very manic so that stopped quickly. 

 

The 10mg of Paxil eventually became 25mg. It was never really explained to me why these drugs were being prescribed as opposed to others, and i was too young to know that I had to be my own medical advocate. Through therapy, i was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression. 

 

Fast forward to 2013 (7 years after first Paxil dose) and i was not a happy camper. I was no longer noticing a reduction in my anxiety symptoms while at the same time noticed I felt a regular emotional "numb" feeling that was oftentimes mixed with frustration and/or anger. I was frustrated that i felt incapable of feeling the true spectrum of emotions. I was also concerned that i was becoming dependent on the drug as a means to cope, while invariably retarding my own ability to develop coping skills. 

 

After trying to taper, I made a conscious decision to quit cold turkey. I wanted to be Paxil-free before my birthday. I told my family and employer what I was up to because, having experiences withdrawal symptoms before, I knew my withdrawal would sometimes be noticeable. 

 

​I also want to mention that marijuana use also was very therapeutic to me during this time.

-I know marijuana use can be a controversial topic to some and i want to reiterate that I am just telling my story and what worked for me, not saying that everyone should do what I do. I also live in a city where use is not criminalized and legal to possess and use with doctor prescription. 

 

Fast forward to today: I have had a stable supportive relationship for the past 1.5 years, have always been able to support myself through all of this (even through withdrawal) and am happy to be Paxil free :)

 

I have had a couple panic attacks but have learned how to calm myself and regularly put energy into learning how to cope with my anxiety and depression and move forward with a smile on my face!

 

I don't regret using Paxil, but I wish I would have quit it sooner. It seemed to me that without regular dosage increases, the therapeutic effects of the drug plateaued after the first couple years. 

 

Thanks for reading <3 

Was prescribed Paxil 25mg (starting with 10mg) for 7 years, along with wellbutrin for a short time. 

Rare Ativan use

Quit Paxil cold turkey 8 years ago

Doing great  :)

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi feelingitall--  Welcome to the group.  Around here a success story is a success story no matter how you got there, and I so glad you've got one and have taken the time to share it with us.  No, we don't advocate CT here, but we have plenty of members who have made that decision and they get just the same support as the fast tapers, the slow tapers and the micro tapers.  The attitude here is quite different from Prior Place (as I refer to PP), CT, protracted WD and the like are all open for discussion.  Please make yourself at home.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, feelingitall.

 

As you know, cold turkey is a high-risk way to come off psychiatric drugs.

 

In your case, it might have worked out, but if it hadn't, you'd be here posting a very different story!

 

When you went off Paxil, did you have any withdrawal symptoms? If so, how long did you have them and how did they go away?

 

Did you have panic attacks prior to taking Paxil?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi :) I'm so glad you're doing well!

 

lol I sure would be 'feeling it all' too if I stopped my paxil CT.. feeling it all the way to divorce, all my children force-ably removed, and a cosy psych hospital...

 

As for dope - lol  that's a whole 'nother game in 'feeling it all'... recently I've been hanging with the folks at NA, and yep, I have enough of my own problems without adding any further mind altering substances to my mix :) Pretty sure I'd go as crazy as the man who painted your avatar... but without the creative genius :D

 

Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)

 

I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Feelingitall, 

 

So your CT was back in 2013?  You are one lucky gal to get away with it unscathed!  I guess we hear mostly about the negative aftermath of CTs here, and not from those who were able to do it successfully.  I'm glad you were able to get off Paxil and not suffer horribly in the process!

 

I am also glad that you saw the negative side of taking Paxil, the emotional blunting, and will be able to steer clear of psych meds for all that you have learned to cope without them.  We hear stories here about people getting off fine the first time but then they go back on (curious about that - was it due to protracted withdrawal neuro emotions that everyone thought was relapse?) and that's when the problems begin.  Our systems become sensitized, and future attempts to get off are much harder, it seems.  Hopefully you will never feel the need to take these meds again!

 

Thanks for sharing your story - welcome!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Hi feelingitall--  Welcome to the group.  Around here a success story is a success story no matter how you got there, and I so glad you've got one and have taken the time to share it with us.  No, we don't advocate CT here, but we have plenty of members who have made that decision and they get just the same support as the fast tapers, the slow tapers and the micro tapers.  The attitude here is quite different from Prior Place (as I refer to PP), CT, protracted WD and the like are all open for discussion.  Please make yourself at home.

        This warms my heart- Thank you brassmonkey, funky monkey lol :)

 

Welcome, feelingitall.

 

As you know, cold turkey is a high-risk way to come off psychiatric drugs.

 

In your case, it might have worked out, but if it hadn't, you'd be here posting a very different story!

 

When you went off Paxil, did you have any withdrawal symptoms? If so, how long did you have them and how did they go away?

 

Did you have panic attacks prior to taking Paxil?

             Hello Altrostrata!       I understood it was risky, but at the time I did not like the tapering regimen my doctor had me on, to me it felt like i was prolonging withdrawel symptoms, which were tingly mouth and full feeling in head, and emotional lability. Because i took such a hands on approach (researching what to expect and how long to expect to feel the withdrawel, etc..) I felt prepared and sort of "Zen" about the withdrawel symptoms that i experienced. What i mean by "Zen" is that i accepted the feeling, welcomed it as a step closer to no Paxil, and eventually the symptom would go away as i expected it too. It may sound ''crazy" (pun sort of intended ;) )but I was invigorated by my withdrawal- it meant I was feeling again and that made me feel motivated to continue. To me, i knew each symptom was not forever, but a part of a step forward. 

 

Noticeable symptoms were pretty strong for the first 3 months, the diarrhea kicked in around month 2 but after month 6 everything started to subside. And the symptoms below were NOT debilitating for me in any way. I was still able to socialize, work, and have fun! And again, the marijuana was VERY therapeutic during this time and helped alleviate all of these symptoms. 

 

Symptoms were as follows: 

      -emotional lability

      -speech: felt difficult at times to form sentences, like the "on the tip of your tongue" sensation. But it wasn't noticeable to others. - 4 months

      -diarrhea 

      -dizziness: this one was only for about a month

      -blurry vision: if i moved my head quickly my sight would get a bit blurry

      -sweating: noticed i was a bit sweatier 

       -depersonalization: actually got better after STOPPING the Paxil

       -teeth grinding

      -hot flashes

 

What has also been fasinating to me is learning what anxiety physically FEELS like after 7 years of numbness. About 6-8 months in i started to think i had IBS or urininary track issues, or spinal issues but turns out the tight feeling in my stomach, frequent urination, and body tingles were all just a anxiety symptoms. And pretty much as soon as i realized it was anxiety, the symptom would go away, very psycho-somatic. And now i know when i am feeling anxious because my body tells me. I am grateful for these feelings because i can now learn what my triggers are. 

 

OH! and only had one panic experience pre-PAxil. But earlier this year i experienced two panic attacks that actually stopped me in my tracks to where i couldnt move or breath etc, but i knew what was happening and had support around me and the whole ordeal was over in 5 minutes. I discovered that pain pills+too much edible marajuana+alcohol= panic attack for me. lesson learned!

 

You also asked: "How did they go away?" 

To answer your question: they just slowly but surely, over the course of about 9-12 months, subsided into nothingness. 

 

Sure, i still have anxiety and have experienced depression post-paxil. But, i also feel wiser and more self-aware and know that i am able to move past it. I know that occasionally i will get depressed, and anxiety is a day-to-day thing. But, those issues don't feel like black holes to me, they feel like bumps in the road that i climb over and feel stronger and more knowledgeable each day. 

 

<3

 

 

Hi :) I'm so glad you're doing well!

 

lol I sure would be 'feeling it all' too if I stopped my paxil CT.. feeling it all the way to divorce, all my children force-ably removed, and a cosy psych hospital...

 

As for dope - lol  that's a whole 'nother game in 'feeling it all'... recently I've been hanging with the folks at NA, and yep, I have enough of my own problems without adding any further mind altering substances to my mix :) Pretty sure I'd go as crazy as the man who painted your avatar... but without the creative genius :D

 

To each his own :) I used to think I couldn't live w/o Paxil and even felt that way about weed in times in my life.    

And i totally had my crazy times during the CT, and i was a nanny to a 4 year old, but thats not like being a mother- props to you for working through it all with kids in tow!

My Mom is manic depressive and dad has depression, so im used to crazy mom-ness...we all have our issues, right! :)

Not that you should go the route i did, but i bet youre a lot stronger than you think you are <3 and congrats on attending NA! i wish my BF would go!

 

 

Hi Feelingitall, 

 

So your CT was back in 2013?  You are one lucky gal to get away with it unscathed!  I guess we hear mostly about the negative aftermath of CTs here, and not from those who were able to do it successfully.  I'm glad you were able to get off Paxil and not suffer horribly in the process!

 

I am also glad that you saw the negative side of taking Paxil, the emotional blunting, and will be able to steer clear of psych meds for all that you have learned to cope without them.  We hear stories here about people getting off fine the first time but then they go back on (curious about that - was it due to protracted withdrawal neuro emotions that everyone thought was relapse?) and that's when the problems begin.  Our systems become sensitized, and future attempts to get off are much harder, it seems.  Hopefully you will never feel the need to take these meds again!

 

Thanks for sharing your story - welcome!

 

SG

 Thank you SG! I think the prolonged Paxil was scathing, not the withdrawal. the withdrawal was physically intense but by no means do i feel like a wounded bird or that i am brain damaged, or anything of that sort. I feel more capable than ever  <3 Thank you again for the warm welcome!   

 

 I see Paxil withdrawal knowledge as being in it's infancy. I don't see the amount of people discontinuing Paxil comparable to the amount of people included in research in any way. i feel so grateful to have found this site so that my story can be heard. I don't want to be thought of as "lucky'' or a freak accident because i wasn't debilitated by CT. I also don't want to say to people that it would work for everyone. But I can't say CT won't work for some because it did for me. Maybe it was my level of hands-on self-awareness? who knows!

Was prescribed Paxil 25mg (starting with 10mg) for 7 years, along with wellbutrin for a short time. 

Rare Ativan use

Quit Paxil cold turkey 8 years ago

Doing great  :)

 

 

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  • Administrator

Thank you, Feelingitall.

 

Very happy to hear how well you coped with withdrawal. I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Great story, Feelingitall.  Very inspiring.

 

Love the avatar.  Had to help my daughter with an AP English essay based on that painting so I'm very familiar with its nuance.  Not planning to hack off an ear or anything but familiar.

 

Your case is especially of value for our younger members who can look to you and see that getting on these meds as a teenager does not cause "brain damage" to the still-developing brain as some like to speculate. 

 

So happy you are off and thriving.

 

Please add your story to the success stories on this site.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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I like the way you let the normal anxiety you feel come and go without catastrophising it, that's such a significant lesson and one I'm learning too.

 

I suppose for me tapering and slowly removing paxil (et al) is a pragmatic decision based on harm minimisation. I'd rather my children not have to own a legacy of 'mom crazy-ness' and as long as I do this slowly they won't have to. 

 

Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)

 

I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • 5 years later...

Not sure if this will be seen but wanted to update after receiving an email notification pop-up.

 

Still doing well have quitting Paxil CT 8 years ago.  Still have not used any antidepressants since 2013. Steadily employed, had a nice long 5 year relationship. Life is never perfect, but I feel more synergy with my body and mind now. I truly value being able to FEEL when my body is experiencing anxiety. Sometimes those feelings are a good warning to follow my instincts in situations, and sometimes the feelings show me what is triggering me so I can explore it in therapy or alone. If it ever gets overwhelming, I make a therapy appointment. If that doesn’t do enough, I ask my doctor for a few low-dose Ativan to help relax and reset. 

 

I see a therapist a few times a year if-needed, other than that I’ve experienced no long-term issues after cold turkey withdrawal. And yes, still smoke marijuana,  but I think peoples disapproving feelings around that may have changed in the past 6 years since I posted, I still wonder how CBD and THC helped me along the way to combat the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

I still look back and wish I only took Paxil for two years tops, as opposed to seven. It’s an intense drug that I believe patients should be intensely advised on BEFORE undertaking. Sadly, that’s not the type of healthcare system we have in USA.

 

I know alot of you are in the thick of withdrawal right now. I see you, I hear you, I believe you, and support you ❤️

 

Wishing you all well from the west coast, 

Z

Was prescribed Paxil 25mg (starting with 10mg) for 7 years, along with wellbutrin for a short time. 

Rare Ativan use

Quit Paxil cold turkey 8 years ago

Doing great  :)

 

 

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