Jump to content

Maysun: My story so far (now on zero but it's hard)


Maysun

Recommended Posts

I was in search of some support or help with my withdrawal so I will try and share my story here.

I have been on paroxetin from 14-21 years old and started again at 24. I am planning on becoming pregnant so I wanted to give it one last try to taper down completely. I was on 5 mg for quite some time and went to my GP who told me 5 mg was a 'homeopathic' dosage and basically suggested withdrawal symptoms should be psychosomatic.

 

It makes me really angry, that even in 2016 doctors are STILL not acknowledging the phsyical/chemical imbalance that can occur and still suggest patients to go from 10 to 0 mg or take it 'every other day'. And through that they ignore mine and other people's experiences and knowledge of their bodies and minds. Fact is, whenever I don't take my usual dosage, I get symptoms such as electrical shocks in my head, especially in my tongue, spasms in my belly, I get very irritable and emotional, compulsive thoughts, can't sleep because of music repeating itself over and over again, I get disgusted very easily and I tend to see everything in a pessimistic all-or-nothing way. While nothing has changed in my life and I did not even expect it to happen. What about that doc?

Anyhow, I did get a prescription for a suspension so I could (thank God) taper down real slowly, such as every 0,5 mg. From 3 mg on it became harder but I stabilised every time after a few weeks than tapered down again. I have been at zero for two weeks now. And I should be happy about it but I am scared that the dysphoric state I am in is not part of withdrawal but my actual state.

 

I don't have any physical symptoms anymore such as electrical shocks and I am sleeping well. But my 'resting' state is a dysphoric one. There is no frustration tolerance and when something happens it hurts me and I interpret it as being proof that I am not ok the way I am, that there is no place for me in this world etc. I keep feeling bad for a looooong time. Sounds familiar?

 

So for instance, I wrote to my former manager on LinkedIn to ask how she was and to write a reference for me, something she promised while I was still and employee for this particular corporation. She does not respond. And I end up crying all day and feeling like a complete failure. Then I try to write an update on LinkedIn and it has too many characters. And I again feel like a failure: see, even Linkedin curtails me and I cannot freely express myself and be who I am and this way I can never have a baby etc etc.

I try to be kind to myself and do meditation and eat well and try to do sports but it is really hard and I don't know if it will get any better. I am not seeing a therapist, for one because I cannot afford it, but more so because I doubt it will make much difference. A therapist is usually not there at the moment 'it' is happening and when I am going down I simply can't get out of it every time. It is so counterintuitive, when everything in you is screaming: sit down, don't do anything and feel bad and somehow I have to get the power again and again and again to get up and do something, anything. 

I am really wondering if this could still be withdrawal or if this IS my natural state. And how long am I supposed to take it. And whether again taking the minimal dosage of 0.5 mg would make any difference (I seemed quite stable on 0.5 mg long enough to get to 0). And I just hope I can somehow find some support here to bear it a bit longer.






 

On 20 mgs of paroxetin (Seroxat) from age 14-21 for depression, then tapered down to zero. Started again at age 21 on 10 mgs for depression and panic attacks, I am now 29. Went from 10 to 5 mg and stayed on 5 for a year or two. Tapered down with suspension in about 3-4 months, with about 0.5 mg each time, taking more and more time to settle. At zero since 2 weeks now but emotionally unstable.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

HI Maysun, 

 

Absolutely this is still withdrawal, not YOU.  All that you described was totally familiar to me, both during protracted wd and while I was on Effexor.

 

Would you be so kind as to fill out your signature block with your med history?  Instructions are here:

 

Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

I am adding your name to your Intro title so it is easy to recognize in the cue.  You can bookmark your Intro to find it easily, and use it as a place to ask questions about your particular situation, give updates, etc.  If you click "Follow" you will be notified any time someone responds to your thread.

 

I am glad that you were able to get the liquid paroxetine from your doctor.  Could you add to your sig block how you did the taper?  What was the last dosage that you felt good on?  Reinstating to that last dose as long as it was fairly recent can bring relief, or even to the last dose you were on before you jumped off.  Here's SA's topic on reinstating:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal

 

You are likely experiencing neuro emotions:  Neuro Emotions

 

You probably exceeded your nervous system's rate of healing and it has caught up with you.  Even when someone follow's the 10% taper schedule (Why taper by 10% of my dosage?) we still recommend periodic holds to let the nervous system get caught up, especially down at the lowest doses.  This paper illustrates why the lower end gets so tricky and extra time and care should be taken with the taper:  Why taper?

 

I am glad that you found SA.  You will receive tons of support here and find that you are not alone!  You will find that many folks find themselves feeling the way you do.  I know I had lots of episodes where I was hypersensitive about things like you mentioned, always judging myself and feeling "less than."  It seems to go with the territory, unfortunately.  Being aware that these states of mind are WD goes a long way in helping one to accept where they are at and be more self-compassionate :-)

 

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.

Link to comment
..

 

Thanks for the welcome and suggestions.

 

Sunday was a good day. In fact quite medium, but medium is so much better than bad that I call it a good day. Yesterday was a bit harder because of dissappointments at work and at home. I have to keep recalling my manager to give me certain information for me to move on and she puts down all responsibility on me saying I should just keep reminding her (even if it's about 20 times) and otherwise find a solution myself. Whereas I would find it a much more workable and fair distribution of tasks if I would remind her a couple of times and can then leave the subject. Anyway, I will address the issue today and hope I will not get too emotional.

 

At home I was dissapointed because my former manager, with whom I had a nice working relationship did not reply to my mail. I asked her on LinkedIn how she was, told her a bit about my current job and asked to write a reference. Then two weeks later wrote to her it was rather saddening to not hear back, since I thought we had this good working relationship and if she now felt different it would be better to not stay 'connected'. So she unfriended herself and I am like: how is it possible 1 year and 9 months of extremely hard work can be put aside like that?

 

All the more reason for me to feel hopeless etc but somehow I managed to not go down the drain yesterday. And generally helpful is the fact I have work and I get my mind off things. And fortunately a former colleague did want to meet me again and have a chat, but generally speaking I feel vulnerable and annoyed at everything.

 

Bla bla don't know if I can use this topic as some sort of diary but will anyway.

 

 

 

 

On 20 mgs of paroxetin (Seroxat) from age 14-21 for depression, then tapered down to zero. Started again at age 21 on 10 mgs for depression and panic attacks, I am now 29. Went from 10 to 5 mg and stayed on 5 for a year or two. Tapered down with suspension in about 3-4 months, with about 0.5 mg each time, taking more and more time to settle. At zero since 2 weeks now but emotionally unstable.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You sure can Maysun - this thread is yours to diary in, ask questions in, discuss your situation in.  Let us know when you have some thoughts about reinstating or not.  I see SG gave you the relevant links. 

 

Glad you had a 'medium' day - sometimes they can be such a relief. 

 

Welcome to s/a,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

Link to comment

As I feel now I need my 5 mgs of paroxetin. But I also feel like it would not help, like nothing in the world would help, that is probably part of feeling depressed.

Last couple of days were OK, no big waves anymore, but still very easily annoyed. Cursing in front of the computer a lot.

My parents are on a holiday for a week, I look after their house, the pigeons, the cats and the plants. Nothing seems to 'work'. The last couple of days I have tried a lot of things to keep myself occupied and distracted from any disfunctional thoughts I might otherwise have. I tried to keep the house very tidy, a messy place makes my head messy as well. I tried to relax as well. But yesterday evening I saw a movie and it ended up being quite a scary one. I didn't expect it to be scary but since I was already watching I worked through the whole thing. Result: couldn't sleep. I tried to sleep with the lights on, tried to listen to the tv and took a sleeping pill and tried to meditate and tried to think about anything except scary things. I didn;t think much about scary things but still couldn't sleep. In the end I slept a couple of hours. I felt so bad this morning that I didn't go to work. I like my job and generally I am not ill often so it's nog a big deal. But because of it I really want to make it a valuble day.

No success whatsoever. I feel hopeless and don't know what to do anymore. I tried to do some useful things and felt bad. I have been feeling bad for months because I would just not get to the things that really matter to me and can make me feel good and valuable like drawing and writing, if it's going somewhere. So I even drawed today, and it only made me annoyed because it didn't look the way I wanted it to, even though at first I really gave it some time. I work in the garden because it is soothing. I try to just sit and feel bad and not feel worse about feeling bad BUT IT JUST DOESN't WORK. I don't know if I will ever get a job I feel comfortable with for any longer than half a year and with job security such as a permanent contract, I am hopeless at relationshops and I feel this way it is impossible to ever have a child. I can't seem to be able to change any bad habit as I tried to change some for years, over and over again, with and without help. So I can sit and weed the garden as much as I like, it still feels hopeless.
 

It feels like it doesn't matter **** what I do. Whether I sit down and do nothing I will feel bad, if I try to do something to make me feel better I also feel bad. And I also still think this is more like my normal outlook and feeling without paroxetin and I doubt it has anything to do with withdrawal. I basically was like this before I took the pills in the first place (however still a child and in a completely different situation).

I don't know if I can take this all the way to June, maybe I should just give up and call the GP.

On 20 mgs of paroxetin (Seroxat) from age 14-21 for depression, then tapered down to zero. Started again at age 21 on 10 mgs for depression and panic attacks, I am now 29. Went from 10 to 5 mg and stayed on 5 for a year or two. Tapered down with suspension in about 3-4 months, with about 0.5 mg each time, taking more and more time to settle. At zero since 2 weeks now but emotionally unstable.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Maysun,

 

SG has already given you the link to Neuro emotions.  I just wanted to give you the links to info about doctors:

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

Here are a few more links which you might find interesting:

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Maysun, 

 

I know it must seem like we keep throwing more links at you, but it is because they can be helpful!   

 

I'm sorry you are feeling so discouraged.  Check out this thread.  The videos are produced by Bloom In Wellness and may resonate with you.  You may not think your feelings right now are about withdrawal, but you sound exactly like so many who have come here.  Withdrawal tricks us and makes us feel like it will never end, but it does!

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8631-withdrawal-dialogues-encouragement/

 

So, has it been three weeks since you stopped taking paroxetine?  In reviewing your taper you said it was by 0.5 mg at a time.  Could you review how you went down to zero again? Was it always by 0.5, so 5.0, 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.5, 1.0, 0.5, 0?

 

If you could give us more info on how you came off, that will help us determine whether a very small reinstatement might be the best thing for you to alleviate symptoms.  What was the last dose that you felt ok at?

 

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.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the links.

I think I should be proud on myself because I am still on 0 mg. Since the last (described) depressed-and-anxious episode things have improved.

I now feel that the same triggers do not necessarily result in a downfall anymore. It's like there is more of a foundation that keeps me from sinking. So when something bad happens I may cry or feel bad but it is way easier to snap out of it, it doesn't stay on me forever.

I still have strong upsurges of frustration but they just as quickly evaporate. It would still be easier with the pill I think for this but I can bear it.

The only real remaining issue seems to be anxiety and fear and being easily stressed out. As for the stress I think I will always have that, with or without medication, I can get nervous from nothing. But I am not so happy with the fear. So what happens is once in a couple of days or weeks I can't sleep and somewhat obsessively think (can't stop) about what it will be like to have a baby growing inside of me and doing labor and such. And instead of feeling motherly and warm and full of trust I feel anxious and get scared, really scared, thinking it is out of my control, it is too big of a decision, I can't really predict what it will be like and I am afraid I may not be able to handle it. Apart from the fear itself I have no reason to think I will not be able to handle it, but still it is there. I end up feeling like I will never be ready for it and have to cancel the whole plan, pff. And then follow some days or weeks that I feel ready for it and strong enough to handle whatever will come.

It does mean however I am not ready and stable enough yet. I am still hoping to take a first try in July but I have no idea whether the fear will have subsided sufficiently by then.

At least I know for sure that I will have to keep working on dealing with my anxiety and ruminating thoughts. Frustration, feeling down and angry seems to be under control.

 

On 20 mgs of paroxetin (Seroxat) from age 14-21 for depression, then tapered down to zero. Started again at age 21 on 10 mgs for depression and panic attacks, I am now 29. Went from 10 to 5 mg and stayed on 5 for a year or two. Tapered down with suspension in about 3-4 months, with about 0.5 mg each time, taking more and more time to settle. At zero since 2 weeks now but emotionally unstable.

Link to comment

Haha also if I now read over my last 'depressive' post it seems a world away and very pessimistic and unrealistic. I sure hope I can keep that at bay

On 20 mgs of paroxetin (Seroxat) from age 14-21 for depression, then tapered down to zero. Started again at age 21 on 10 mgs for depression and panic attacks, I am now 29. Went from 10 to 5 mg and stayed on 5 for a year or two. Tapered down with suspension in about 3-4 months, with about 0.5 mg each time, taking more and more time to settle. At zero since 2 weeks now but emotionally unstable.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

That is the beauty of documenting your journey; being able to have hind-sight!  Amazing how waves can impact our perception so dramatically!  I am so glad that you are doing better now, Maysun.  It's early days so brace yourself for the windows and waves pattern of recovery, armed with the knowledge that the waves WILL pass :-)  Knowledge is POWER!

 

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.

Link to comment

Hi there Maysun, 

It definitely is WD what you are experiencing. I understand that you ask yourself all the time if this CAN POSSIBLY be WD-related - and even that is WD-related :D I´ve had so much weird s*** going on since I am off my ADs, and none of it lasted longer than a view weeks. Every emotions come and go like (unwanted) crazy party guests. If it helps you, you can address everything you experience loudly to withdrawal. I do this, and it definitely helps!

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy