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MysticalCat: Long-term neurological damage from withdrawal?


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Hello to all, I'll try to keep this short. Paxil (10-20mg) worked very well for me from 2010 onward (for nervous exhaustion and depression), but I gained significant weight and became pre-diabetic. As I've been getting older, the metabolic side-effects have become increasingly intolerable. Made the mistake of tapering abruptly from 10-0 in late 2014 (something I had done before without issue, many years ago during college) and had one of the worst experiences of my life. Worked with a psychiatrist, played with the dose, tried substitution with Prozac, but with eventual loss of work and limited health coverage, I was on my own. 


Even after reinstating the old stable dose (10mg), I am not the same. Cannot function in many social situations anymore, my brain just freezes up. I didn't have this problem ever in my life. It is not even anxiety, I feel like my brain just stops working ("neuro-anxiety"?). 


Has there been long-term neurological damage? 


The good thing is, I recently did an experiment and went up to 20mg. I began to function in social situations again, no more "neuro-anxiety", but like I said before it wreaks havoc with my metabolism. So maybe the old circuits for social functioning are still there (thank God) but now I need a higher dose to access them after withdrawal-related neurological disruption.


My plan now is to stay on 10-12.5mg Paxil and request that a MD prescribe low-dose Celexa (10mg) to boost the SSRI activity in my brain. Hopefully, this way I can get the serotonin boost I need without having to deal with the metabolic disturbance caused by 20mg of Paxil.


Would be curious to hear thoughts from anyone with some insight on what I've described. Thank you!



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So glad you found sa mysticalcat

Hopefully the mods will be in soon to point you in the right direction, give info on safe tapers, correct false paradigms, link you in to some choice threads, and advise how to keep clear of looming minefields

In the meantime you might like to do a drug signature.



Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mysticalcat, welcome to SA.  I am sorry it took so long to get to your topic, so many new members and topics soon fall off the page!


When did you reinstate 10mg of paxil, and how long were you off it?  Did you take prozac for long? We ask our members to fill out their signature with details of drugs and doses, with dates if you can remember, particularly the last year. This appears at the bottom of every post and helps us to see the history at a glance without having to go back through all posts.   There are instructions how to do that here..




I would not add another drug, the problem is not that you need a serotonin boost, but that your brain and nervous system are unstable because of withdrawal.

Your brain has been working around drugs for years, and to suddenly have them yanked away has left it struggling to rebalance. 

The old chemical imbalance is something that was thought up by the drug companies to sell their drugs and for years we have been told we need them to correct that imbalance. Recent studies and research have proved that it is not true. You can read about that , with links to studies and papers  here..




It's good that you found a dose that helped the withdrawal, are you still taking 20mg?  It would be better to resist changing doses and adding more drugs because you are already fragile and more changes will confuse your brain and nervous system even more.  You need stability, the same dose every day at the same time. When you are stable you can then start to taper slowly and avoid any further withdrawal. It could take a while to stabilise but you will get there.  Side effects tend to be dose related and can get better as the dose lowers, so you wouldn't be waiting until completely off to feel better. 


Here is a link to the topic on reinstating and stabilising. 




We recommend tapering 10% of the  CURRENT DOSE with 4 weeks between drops, this reduces the risk of withdrawal.  




About withdrawal syndrome






Any questions, you can search the site easier by using google, type in survivingantidepressants followed by  the term you want to search. This will bring up topics on the site, the search engine onsite is not very good. 

Any questions, just ask  :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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