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ashbrown

ashbrown former pp member (no_fear) 7 years off paxil - success! (long)

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ashbrown

As you can see from the title this is going to be a long and in-depth story, so bear with me.

 

I am going to write this in small paragraphs as well for people who are still having issues with light sensitivity and brain fog (hopefully it will make it a bit easier to read)

 

I was prescribed Paxil back in summer 2003 after having a major depressive episode, i had been out of work for about 3 months by then which i'm pretty sure what the trigger was for this episode. I have always suffered from social anxiety and irrational thinking patterns making me a natural worrier.

 

I started off on 20mg a day and after about 8 weeks or so felt much better and just started to get on with my life again. About a half a year later i went down to 10mg a day with not much of a problem, another 6 months passed and i felt it was time to come off them, i just went cold turkey from 10mg, felt fine for the first few days then it hit me, i felt really low and started climbing the walls so to speak, back on 10mg it was.

 

I carried on on 10mg until winter 2008 where i really felt like it was time to come off these drugs, i went down to 5mg a day by splitting the pill into quarters, then 5mg every other day, then zero, it was now Jan 2009.

 

I was really apprehensive about quitting because of the previous cold turkey experience but i knew this time i had tapered down, but still too quick really, because of Paxil's short half-life.

 

I felt fine though and thought i was home dry, that feeling lasted 2 months. I was hit with depression but didn't really think much to it, i have always had little bouts of mild depression before and even while on antidepressants, but this feeling lasted and lasted and lasted, along with a feeling of being off balanced, sudden vertigo spells, brain zaps, panic attacks, bouts of insomnia and a general sense of impending doom, all of this came in a package of waves and windows, very little windows!.

 

I had these symptoms for the best part of 4 years, 4 years of swearing like a trooper, cursing GSK, pretending to be okay for family, friends and work colleagues (yes i had a full time job though all of this) and moments of wishing i was never born. But you know what, i am glad i took antidepressants because they saved my life.

 

I had moments during that period when i genuinely felt like i was never going to make it through to the other side, that "feeling" of normal was a distant dream, i felt like maybe i had permanent brain damage.

 

2013 was my year, that was the year i felt like all of my symptoms had finally subsided, i was still working, the sun was shining and i was now cycling 40 miles a week, and when i mean all my symptoms had gone i mean all of them, i couldn't believe it, i was now living that dream and feeling "normal".

 

I am 33 now and i am very content with life, sometimes i look back from my current comfort bubble and wonder whether it was really that bad, i want all of you to be in this comfort bubble.

 

I think what really helped me through it all was acceptance, CBT, throwing out the calendar of time, patience, supplements (omega-3/vit e, magnesium), gentle exercise/fresh air and always remembering the quote "spring always follows winter", hell i would have had that tattooed on my forehead if only i didn't look like a recovering drug addict.

 

I do currently have health issues though, which i have seen a doctor about, he said it was to do with stress and anxiety, what!!, i couldn't be more chilled out nowadays if i tried. So i bypassed his verdict and went and got a private blood test to check my vitamin D levels (my symptoms have gotten worse over the winter just gone and i have been researching a lot recently about diet and nutrients). I am deficient in vitamin D and am starting to take supplements for it.

 

I can honest to God (thank you) say i feel i have fully recovered from Paxil withdrawal despite my current health, which to be fair, i have never had a good diet or been in optimal health, but knowledge is power and i am now aiming for "optimal" health.

 

I want to wish every single one of you the best luck in the universe with this, it is crazy, life is crazy. And i promise to try not to start every paragraph with a "I".

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Oh Ash, you are the best!

 

This was a great story and saw that little line you snuck in there about ADs saving your life. They saved mine too but I (and all of us) should be weaned slowly off them when our crises are over. My life was ruined because of the length of time I was on them, a bit late to start marriage, career, etc over when you are collecting soc sec.

 

I am so glad you came and gave us your story and stay in touch, ok?

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FightingForHope

It's great to hear of your success! Thanks Ash!

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LexAnger

Thank you so much Ashbrown for taking time sharing your successful story!

It is so precious and desparately needed. This gives me hope and strength contupinuing the journey.

 

It sounds your recovery was quite sudden instead of gradual. That was a miracle!

I'm so proud of you being so strong and patient going through the hell for so long but I'm more thrilled for you to get your life back! Biking is one of my favorite hobbies which I could not do any now even for 20 minutes. That sounds wonderful you bike 40 miles a week!

 

I believe you will Live your life the fullest and never look back.

 

Thanks again for helping the community!

 

Best,

Lex

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scallywag

Hi Ash

 

Thanks for writing such a complete story -- the benefits & downsides of Paxil and the ups and the downs of going off it. I too had very positive early responses to Effexor & Cymbalta, keeping me employed/employable in 2 instances.

 

Thanks for the short paragraphs. I usually skip online reading when there are long paragraphs, dense "walls of words."  There's something different about reading online vs. off paper.

 

Living in the UK, you're very likely to be Vitamin D deficient. Deficiencies increase with distance from the equator -- it's harder to make it ourselves from the sun all year round.

 

There are mineral deficiencies in our food too because of large scale farming techniques, which have increased food production but sometimes at the cost of its full nutritive quality. Magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids are high on the list of nutrients that have decreased with Western diets and modern farming. If you're looking for further health enhancements, that's an interesting and productive topic to investigate.  

 

My English Grandpa was born in New Barnet. Years ago I was there with him and my dad standing outside the house he was born in and spent his childhood. Wish I could remember or had a record of the street name.

 

Best of luck as you enjoy the adventure of a drug-free life.  Send us a postcard every now and then!

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AmyK

Ash, thankyou so much for sharing your story! It gives hope. I wish you all the best! ⭐️

Amy

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ashbrown

Thank you all for your kind replies. I am glad i came onto this website because it reminds me of how far i've come and how long it's been, but i am especially glad that i am helping some people by giving them hope for their futures, it means a lot to me actually.

 

I think everyone deserves to be happy in this life and certainly experiences i have been through have made me into a much better, wiser person. I have practically cured my social anxiety, and that was without antidepressants, in actual fact CBT really helped me with that.

 

I have had tests for vitamin b12, that was fine apparently, but i am sceptical because i found out the reference range is quite low here in the UK, so i am taking b12 supplements anyway. Maybe it just stems from the fact that i don't really trust doctors anymore either, but thats a different story.

 

Wishing you all the best

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Vonnegutjunky

Thank you for this ash I needed hope - I am 10 years on 10mg of Paxil - I hope I can do it too! Exercise and therapy are 2 habits I need to start

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dowdaller

Brilliant story, well done

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ChessieCat

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

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