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Rand: 1 week in paroxetine, plan on quitting in fears of PSSD.


Rand

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I have dysthymia, and after a month of double depression I started taking a small dose of paroxetine (12.5, half a pill) exactly one week ago. It does improve my mood and even makes studying easier. My sexual sensitivity plummeted, of course, but I thought that was normal and would be better once I quit it, so I didn't mind. However, I recently heard of PSSD and I’m very scared. I’m only a 16 year old girl and I certainly don't want to lose my sexual sensitivity forever. I have a few questions.

How common is PSSD?

Is 1 week enough for irreversible effects?

Can I start tapering now?

 

Honestly I’d prefer to keep my dysthymia and work on other ways to get rid of it than be happy but sexually dysfunctional forever.

May 2–May 9: paroxetine 10mg

May 10–?: paroxetine ~5mg

I just want to feel all normal again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Rand,

 

It's great that you've followed your intuition and looked for some reliable information.  We have had quite a few with PSSD on this site, and I imagine all of them would tell you to steer clear of SSRIs.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/52-post-ssri-sexual-dysfunction-pssd/

 

Luckily, 1 week is not very long, and it would seem to be a good idea to start tapering now.  Normally we recommend tapering by 10% each month, but in cases where the person has taken the drug for a month or less, we usually suggest a faster plan not taking more than the time already spend on the drug.  Which form of Paroxetine are you on (regular, CR or liquid)?  

 

Info about paroxetine:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/405-tips-for-tapering-off-paxil-paroxetine/

 

There are so many ways to manage depression.  I've been dealing with it most of my life (I'm now in my late 30s) and taking antidepressants was the worst mistake I ever made.  Have a look on this thread for ideas:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/  Building up a nest of self-care tools and supports for your life really makes a difference.  My 'nest' includes yoga, dance, healthy food, keeping in touch with friends, getting outside each day, meditation, counseling, writing ... and more. 

 

It also pays to remember that being a teenager is hard work!  Depression and anxiety are common during those years, but medicating them only creates long-term problems.  Learning tools to manage them, and realising that things will ease somewhat as you leave your teens behind, are much more sound approaches.  And it sounds like you've been figuring that out yourself.  Because of your insight, you've given yourself a chance to avoid the long-term trauma of antidepressant use.  So many of us here wish we had that!

 

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.

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Thank you Karen. I’m not sure if mine is CR or regular, if it’s 10 or 12.5. In either case, how should I start tapering right now? I was thinking that since I e been taking it for only a week, I could start tapering taking one quarter of the pill, that is half of what I’m taking now. Would that be too abrupt?

May 2–May 9: paroxetine 10mg

May 10–?: paroxetine ~5mg

I just want to feel all normal again.

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Hi Rand.   Do you have any way of checking to see what you are on ?   Either on the box, or perhaps through the doctor who prescribed it . It will just make it easier for us and you , so that we can consider the best way to taper the drug .

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Rand,

I'm glad you found us. Is this the first psychiatric medication you have ever taken? Are you taking any other drugs?

 

As others have suggested, since you have only been taking the drug for one week, you should be able to stop taking it with a very short taper. If you are already only taking half a tablet, I suggest you take a quarter of a tablet for the next 2 - 3 days, then if possible, an eighth (1/8)  of a tablet for another 2 -3 days and then stop.

 

You might feel a bit odd, with some mild fluctuating symptoms for a few weeks, as your body adjusts from this short exposure to the drug, but don't worry, I'm sure you will be back to normal fairly fast. I think you had a lucky escape.

 

Karen gave you some good ideas for how to manage your moods in a more healthy way, the emotional changes most teenagers experience in the transition to adulthood is normal, its not an illness. Dietary changes, exercise and some healthy lifestyle choices can often work better at improving mood than drugs, which have long term health risks.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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That is indeed the first psychiatric drug I’ve taken. I'll follow your recommendation starting tomorrow and keep you updated. I can't wait to feel something pleasant other than agitation again.

May 2–May 9: paroxetine 10mg

May 10–?: paroxetine ~5mg

I just want to feel all normal again.

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It sounds like the drug might be making you a bit jittery.  It can happen. 

I agree with what the others have said - being a teenager is tough; no power, all pressure/responsibility and all while you are just discovering who you are.  That's why they made so many teen-angst movies in the 80s.   I think it's probably harder than when I grew up too, with all the pressures of social media.   

 

Was there any particular thing that happened to prompt the diagnosis?

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Moderator

Hey Rand - I have nothing to add to the excellent suggestions you've gotten here.

 

Please look through our Symptoms and Self Care section to learn about Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

Different things work for different people.

 

Tell us what you can do:  do you sing, do you dance, do you write?  Healing is multidimensional, and can involve many forms of expression - using those expressions can help you learn and grow into a healthy adult.  

 

To give you an idea, here is my personal "prescription."  I try to listen to music once a day, to feel my heart.  I walk in the sunshine for at least 10 minutes a day.  Twice a week I go to yoga or tai chi.  Once a week I try to meet with a friend to have coffee and a chat.  Once a week I reach out by telephone to someone, to talk, to listen, to share.  These are healthy patterns, that, if I maintain them, my "double depression" (which I had for 40 years) has no power over me.

 

You are fortunate to have found SA - it can save you a lot of grief in the future!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Thank you all. Today I took one quarter of a pill, as Petunia recommended. I felt really bad for a few hours, but then suddenly at 12PM (two hours ago) I started feeling much better. I will keep following Petunia’s recommendation.

 

What happened to prompt the diagnosis was having been permanently blocked by and unable to talk to my ex best friend and boyfriend. That was nearly two months ago, and since then I had been crying and feeling like **** nearly everyday.

 

I got addicted to the paroxetine in a certain way, part of me REALLY doesn't want to be without it, part of me wants to take it forever, but I know I shouldn't.

 

What makes me feel better is writing and reading. Talking to friends, discussing in political forums, reading books, writing a journal. Exercise helps a lot too, and so did masturbation, when I was able to do it.

 

I’m really sorry that so many people here have suffered with depression and anti-depressants for so long! And again, thank all of you.

May 2–May 9: paroxetine 10mg

May 10–?: paroxetine ~5mg

I just want to feel all normal again.

Link to comment

So they gave you Paxil because you were upset about losing a person you love? Did they tell you that you have a chemical imbalance too?

 

I'm really concerned that you have been diagnosed with a disorder, and prescribed a very addictive pill with some fairly hardcore side effects, because you are feeling things that are perfectly normal to feel. It hurts when a relationship ends. It really does. You feel like that for a while and then, when you're ready, you can move on. It's a perfectly normal process that helps us learn resilience to deal with the bumps that life can throw at you on that way.

 

Is everything ok at school and home? If you're no longer in contact with the person who normally supports you then things would naturally seem darker than they really are. Things will feel better over time, meanwhile you are perfectly entitled to feel a sad and lost.

 

I don't know you but I feel sure that there are many, wonderfully individual things that make you a very special person. Please don't let chronic mental illness (that these tablets can cause) become part of that.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

May I second that lovely post by Farout? 

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.

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