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Henosis: long road with Paxil ...


Henosis

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Hello! Finding myself in a temporary reprieve from debilitating apathy, I thought I would introduce myself here as I've been lurking for a while.

 

Like many of you, I'm currently battling a severe withdrawal reaction from paroxetine. During the fall of 2014, I decided to chart a course to discontinue medication I was on (Paxil 60-100mgs for a decade for OCD, Buprenorphine of opiate dependency and mild chronic pain).

 

Unfortunately, as seems to be common, my psychiatrist was entirely unaware of discontinuation symptoms and had me taper from 60mg to zero in the course of a few months. Strangely, I felt zero withdrawal effects during the taper and for approx four weeks afterwards. A few days after the last dose of paxil, I took some time off from work to recover from the foreseen mild opiate withdrawal and stopped taking the buprenorphine.

 

For two weeks I went though a normal opiate withdrawal (cold sweats, chills, aches, etc). However, a few weeks later, my entire world was turned on its head by a new set of symptoms. Severe anxiety, panic attacks, loss of balance and coordination, crying spells, suicidal ideation, debilitating muscle pain, constant overstimulation, derealization, mild paranoia, memory loss, confusion attempting the simplest of tasks, poor word recall and communication ability and a host of other cognitive problems. 

 

Along with that horror came a wonder I hadn't experienced before -- akin to being instantaneously launched out of a lobotomy and the removal of years of emotional anesthesia. Everything and everyone in my life had meaning and emotional attachment. I was able to connect with friends and loved ones (and strangers) on a level I didn't heretofore remember experiencing. Music... oh how splendid it sounded. Sunsets and walks in the woods were mesmerizing. Exercise and sex felt fantastic. Empathy and concern for the plight of others was overwhelming. A lifetime of painful memories and grief bubbled uncontrollably to the surface.

 

Due to the timing and the lack of capable professional help, I assumed this was a severe case of post-acute withdrawal from the buprenorphine and had no basis to connect it to paxil.

Months into this lovely process, I decided to restart a low dose of paxil for the hell of it. Within 36 hours, the worst of the withdrawal symptoms vanished as if by magic and I suddenly knew something was very wrong. Although the SSRI withdrawal was greatly attenuated, restarting the paxil brought a total loss of affect, inability to experience emotions, severe apathy and anhedonia. These symptoms had been experienced somewhat during the decade of treatment, but at a much less significant level.

 

Having a short college background in neuroscience, I spent weeks reading the latest research on SSRI withdrawal (turns out there is very little) and modulation of dopamine (crap shoot) and with the help of a confused, but helpful psychiatrist, attempted to abate the new symptoms. I tried: 

  • Other SSRIs (same lobotomy effect as paxil)
  • Serotonin modulators like Viibryd (zombie state again)
  • SNRIs (massive anxiety, didn't help withdrawal)
  • Wellbutrin augmentation (no change)
  • MAOIs (didn't prevent withdrawal)
  • Low dose antipsychotics (no change, or exacerbated withdrawal)
  • Selective Ht2c serotonin blockers (exacerbated withdrawal)

In the end, I realized that, at least for me, I was on a wild goose chase and I might as well dig in the for the long haul and re-instate paxil (without any augmentation) in order to taper slowly. I restarted at 20mg and have been tapering since the beginning of the year. I'm down to 12mg now, and find myself stuck in a partial withdrawal / mostly lobotomized state. I'm very unmotivated and can't seem to squeeze any enjoyment out of life, friends, exercise, music, hobbies, etc despite my best efforts. I've become quite anti-social, and my days have been reduced to working, sleeping, eating and laying on the couch.

 

At the beginning, despite knowing it was a dangerous idea, I would take 3-4 day breaks just to feel human again. I considered crashing off of it again and moving to a warm foreign country to spend a year or more recovering, but unfortunately I don't have the money to not be working right now. Thankfully, even on a steadily declining dose, I have started to have these short windows of time when I seem to awaken out of the haze, and suddenly feel the sun and the breeze, with music and socializing feeling great. It'll last for a few hours before it fades back into the abyss. Exercise, when I can force myself to do it, seems to increase the frequency and duration of these.

 

I don't have advice for anyone, other than to keep pushing through... Even when it's rough and awful. Between the stories I have read here, and knowing that the brain is capable of amazing things, I'm quite confident I will recover. It may take another year to remove this poison from my brain in a responsible and safe way, but I will be so grateful when the time comes to feel alive again.

 

I wish everyone luck with their own journey through this torture...

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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  • Administrator

Hi, Henosis. Welcome to SA. 

 

You've already survived a lot and I like your positive attitude. I agree - the brain is capable of amazing things. It looks like your Paxil reinstatement is working at 12 mg. 

 

Sounds like you were bombarded with almost having classification of psych drugs available to deal with the Paxil and Buprenorphine withdrawal. When did you last stop taking the other medications? If you can provide more information such as a timeline of each drug, dose, and the date you stopped taking them, it may help separate those symptoms from your current Paxil reinstatement symptoms. 

 

Here are a few links about Paxil and reinstatements to get you started:

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

This is information about the withdrawal process, although you sound like you've already researched this:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

And a link for the non-drug coping skills section:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Many members report fish oil and magnesium to be helpful for calming down the CNS. Please research all supplements carefully and only add in one at time and at a small dose. 

 

King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

 

Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

 

Epsom Salts - Another Way to Relax with Magnesium

 

Please place your medication history in your signature. This link will show you how:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in signature

 

We have a number of members withdrawing from Paxil, so I'm sure you'll find a lot of information and support here. This thread is where you can list your symptoms, provide updates, and ask plenty of questions.

 

Please let us know how you're doing as you continue your reinstatement. 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello from me, too, Henosis!

 

I also find your positive attitude refreshing and will probably direct people to your thread to give them hope, if you don't mind!  I, myself, can really relate to your experience thus far. I am tapering but my emotions, motivation, and ability to experience joy are still somewhat on lock-down. I did have a window a week ago where I woke to feel energized and more inspired, so hoping for more of those moments as I taper.  At least the full-blown nastiness of protracted WD is in the past.

 

Thank you for sharing your story!  I'm happy you have found SA!

 

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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  • 3 weeks later...

I figured I'd add more of my trial and error experience here for others:

 

I'm still in the strange zone of experiencing apathy, fatigue, and anhedonia simultaneously with withdrawal symptoms (muscle aches, memory issues, trouble thinking clearly.

 

- adderall to offset SSRI fatigue/apathy/amotiviaton didn't go well. It worked, but as soon as my brain adjusted to it, the benefits faded and I found myself feeling both more severe SSRI withdrawal symptoms and a significant increase in apathy/anhedonia for days following the dose.

 

- I tried cyproheptadine to try to selectively block the Serotonin receptors (mostly ht2c/ht2a) that cause anhedonia, and while it worked somewhat, it also caused more withdrawal. Not surprising, as besides being an antihistamine, it is a serotonin antagonist.

 

+ the recommended 10% per month taper is right on the money. I'm at 10mg, decreasing 1mg per month. Anymore causes severe withdrawal.

 

+ the ONLY thing that has helped apathy/anhedonia so far has been aerobic exercise and/or weight lifting. The endorphins / dopamine release post workout will normally provide a few hours of feeling normal - able to enjoy friends, music, hobbies, etc. this literally works better than adderall.

 

+ L-Tyrosine (dopamine precursor) has helped a little with the anhedonia/apathy.

 

Down to 10mgs and pressing on...

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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A few more thoughts

 

- I'm sure this frustration has been seen a million times, but it's quite astounding how few psychiatrists are even aware of SSRI withdrawal syndrome, and even fewer have any idea how to treat it. I've had to essentially do all the research myself and bring it to my P doc. I think I may end up writing a short book about this nightmare.

 

- as noted, compounding pharmacies are happy to make custom pills. My Paxil liquid was $650!! But the compounded pills were readily covered by insurance and much more convenient.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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Welcome Henosis,

Gee 100mg of paxil a month ive never heard of such a large dose.

 

+ the recommended 10% per month taper is right on the money. I'm at 10mg, decreasing 1mg per month. Anymore causes severe withdrawal.

You are going to taper by 10% of the previous dose per month, with each successive drop getting smaller,  right? 

Gee after 10 yrs of paxil at 60 -100mg id go real slow and even consider a 5% taper from here on in.

 

 I'm sure this frustration has been seen a million times, but it's quite astounding how few psychiatrists are even aware of SSRI withdrawal syndrome, and even fewer have any idea how to treat it. I've had to essentially do all the research myself and bring it to my P doc. I think I may end up writing a short book about this nightmare.

You are onto it.

There are now 16,000+ members on this site and i think you just spoke for all of us.

You're talking to the choir here.

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.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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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Welcome Henosis,

Gee 100mg of paxil a month ive never heard of such a large dose.

 

It was in the normal range until seeing a "specialist" at a research university for OCD.

 

You are going to taper by 10% of the previous dose per month, with each successive drop getting smaller, right?

Gee after 10 yrs of paxil at 60 -100mg id go real slow and even consider a 5% taper from here on in.

 

Being stuck in this brutal anhedonic state, I'm going to be as aggressive as possible without losing the capacity to work. Going to try 1mg/month, but I'm assuming somewhere around the 5mg mark il have to slow down.

 

You are onto it.

There are now 16,000+ members on this site and i think you just spoke for all of us.

You're talking to the choir here.

I've found a few research papers on withdrawal syndrome, yet they either use patients who were on the meds for 4-8 weeks (or less) or they simply discuss finding online anecdotal reports from websites like this one. It is criminal that the industry hasn't put any effort into researching this, although not exactly a surprise...

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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oops i meant to say 100mg a day not a month.

 

Being stuck in this brutal anhedonic state, I'm going to be as aggressive as possible without losing the capacity to work. Going to try 1mg/month, but I'm assuming somewhere around the 5mg mark il have to slow down.

 

If you're priority is to keep the job and work then it might be very dangerous to be aggressive about this.

Why not be overly cautious. Ssri wdl is well known for ripping jobs off people and here is the thing once full blown wdl is triggered it may be difficult to reign this nightMARE back in.

Keep this in mind a brutal anhedonic state beats a brutal akathisic state hands down.

 

What do you think about  proceeding ultra cautiously.

 

What are your thoughts about doing a drug sig. (I guess i cant talk can i.)

 

nz11

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.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I've noticed that you have been posting in other topics regarding anhedonia.  I can understand your frustration.  Taking another drug or supplement may end up causing other issues or your current issue to remain for longer.  The only supplements that SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try one at a time and start with a low dose.

 

I found that as my dose got lower I started being able to laugh again and enjoying life more.

 

I believe that being anxious and stressing over symptoms diverts the brain's attention from healing, which then lengthens the time it takes for symptoms to improve.  Learning non-drug techniques for coping is helpful, especially learning to accept.  Please see the following links especially #1 and #2:

 

  1. Acceptance
  2. Acceptance and Mindfulness
  3. Acupuncture - Posts #6 & #8 (not detox or stimulation)
  4. Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System
  5. "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms
  6. Change cognitive framing - Redirect - Another Way
  7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression
  8. Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons
  9. Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms
  10. Yoga for calming (very simple poses can help greatly)

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

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Thank you for the response. Yes, The anhedonia and loss of emotions has been truly horrific. I have confounding factors, such as a brief stint of Librium (which I believe down regulated GABA and made anhedonia worse), and stint of adderall because I couldn't get off the couch to work and have ADHD (which probably downregulated dopamine activity in the VTA furthering the problem).

 

Like all of us, I'm looking for the quick fix, and appear to have been quite reckless augmenting and switching ADs (with advice of confounded psychiatrist). I am thankful my final Paxil reinstatement has kept me functional and employed.

 

As to your recommendations, I'm trying diet/exercise/CBT/meditation with little luck. Mostly distracting myself from the sheer soul-sucking existence with work and research.

 

Your comment about this getting better at a lower dose is the first one I've found about re-in statement anhedonia and brings me great hope.

 

what were you tapering and at what dose did the anhedonia start to abate?

 

Thanks!

 

 

I've noticed that you have been posting in other topics regarding anhedonia. I can understand your frustration. Taking another drug or supplement may end up causing other issues or your current issue to remain for longer. The only supplements that SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil. Try one at a time and start with a low dose.

 

I found that as my dose got lower I started being able to laugh again and enjoying life more.

 

I believe that being anxious and stressing over symptoms diverts the brain's attention from healing, which then lengthens the time it takes for symptoms to improve. Learning non-drug techniques for coping is helpful, especially learning to accept. Please see the following links especially #1 and #2:

 

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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Also, I take magnesium and fish oil. No massive effect with the magnesium, and slightly increased emotional blunting with the fish oil.

 

Last thing, I've seen the "numbness on and off meds thread", but Is there a topic dedicated to anhedonia and emotional numbness that specifically developed after re-in statement? It so confusing because you have those who developed it oN SSRIs, during withdrawal, or only during re-instatement. Would be nice to these separated as their causation and possible treatment is possibly different.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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Update...

Stabilized down to 7mg.

- Still extremity anhedonic/emotionally anesthetized/disinterested

- fatigue has somewhat improved

- trying my last pharmaceutical solution to the anhedonia by adding low dose Nortryptaline to the Paxil. So far it's been very stimulating and anxiolytic from its NRI effect (taking gabalentin and small amount of benzo to control that) and possibly making withdrawal worse by blocking the same serotonin receptors that are responsible for SSRI induced anhedonia. So obviously mixed results so far a few days in. Going to give it a few weeks, and if anhedonia doesn't improve, going to taper off. On the plus side, it has helped concentration and motivation at work (and ADHD symptoms immensely) and reduced nicotine desire.

 

If the Nortryptaline trial fails, I guess I will just continue with Paxil taper and live as a soulless zombie until it hopefully improves at a lower dose, doing my best to avoid suicide, drug addiction and the crazy scenario of quitting my job, quick-tapering, and moving somewhere warm and cheap to ride out the WD (with anhedonia gone at least) until my brain returns to a state of minimum functionality where I'm able to continue my career.

 

The soul crushing frustration continues....

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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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

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In my continuing quest to alleviate horrific anhedonia and apathy caused solely by Paxil re-Instatement, I tried 5mg Nortriptyline (which is 10x lower dose than normal)

Pros: Motivation/energy improved

Cons: Terrible anxiety and restlessness, and *increased* withdrawal symptoms (cognitive deficits, physical pain, mild depression)

 

Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do in combination with SSRIs to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia auccesfullu) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.

 

Also reaffirmed I can't tolerate strongly noradrenergic drugs which are also used to help with anhedonia (Wellbutrin, Nortryptaline, Atomexetine, strong SNRIs)

 

All of this despite the fact that I can pound coffee and nicotine all day without anxiety.

 

.... Giving up on the panacea search for now after exhausting 99% of options.

 

Frustrated, but I find solace in vanilla ice cream granting me some pleasure occasionally.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

Just read your story. im amazed by how brave you are trying out various things!

Are you still reducing Paxil? If so, did you find some lifting of anhedonia from dose reduction?

 

What is your current dose?

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

Link to comment

Down to 7mg from 15-20mg. Anhedona and emotional anesthesia is just as bad but moments when it passes ("Windows of normalcy") started appearing once I reached 10mg or so. They only last a few minutes or hours at most, usually in the morning, and appear approximately once every week or two. Most amazing feeling when it happens, and most frustrating feeling when it suddenly reverts.

 

The Last window hit me around midnight one time. I jumped out of bed, threw on headphones (as music suddenly sounded almost orgasmic) and I walked around the lake I live by at night and felt the awe of staring at all the stars in our incredible universe. Lasted about 30 mins before reverting to my emotionless, chemically lobotomized, anhedonic state. Honestly, it was better than any drug or alcohol induced high I've ever had. What a thing it was to FEEL again, and feel awe and amazement in particular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just read your story. im amazed by how brave you are trying out various things!

Are you still reducing Paxil? If so, did you find some lifting of anhedonia from dose reduction?

 

What is your current dose?

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

Hey Honosis,

 

Glad to hear back from you immediately!

Guess what, what you described is what I just did right after posting to your thread! I got that same moment of feeling connected to the world and immediately got out for a walk in the darkness and the drizzle with my headphone on for my favorite music. feeling the coziness and old emotion and beauty of the music and the surroundings for like 10-15 minutes, then right before I tried to do a a jam dance the dreadfulness creeped back making my move lack of the usual energy and spirit, also left me with racing heart and short breath.

 

I took my 1.3 mg liquid over many hours as I can only bear very tiny drop each time otherwise would be knocked to a coma status. So I know for me, it's the drug reaction causing all these.

I hope you will get more and longer such windows, and will think of you next time I have one and running around for bits of living.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

Link to comment

Thanks for sharing that story... I'm jealous! But what a feeling it is when it "kicks in"... Can't wait to have that return once this poison is out of my system again.

 

Can I assume you were taking Lexapro by your username?

 

 

Hey Honosis,

 

Glad to hear back from you immediately!

Guess what, what you described is what I just did right after posting to your thread! I got that same moment of feeling connected to the world and immediately got out for a walk in the darkness and the drizzle with my headphone on for my favorite music. feeling the coziness and old emotion and beauty of the music and the surroundings for like 10-15 minutes, then right before I tried to do a a jam dance the dreadfulness creeped back making my move lack of the usual energy and spirit, also left me with racing heart and short breath.

 

I took my 1.3 mg liquid over many hours as I can only bear very tiny drop each time otherwise would be knocked to a coma status. So I know for me, it's the drug reaction causing all these.

I hope you will get more and longer such windows, and will think of you next time I have one and running around for bits of living.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

Yes, as you can see my med history in my signature.

I never had this particular problem during my early stage of taper. It only started after I got a reaction to the same drug from increasing doses couple times.

 

I thought reinstate induced drug reaction mainly occur to Lexapro users, but seems untrue per your case.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

Link to comment

Thanks.. Been using mobile version, which apparently doesn't show the signatures. I'm far less confused now lol

 

As far as your comment, I'm still very confused about the causation of adverse reactions or new side effects that occur when re-instating or up-dosing to a level where you were at previously. Very confusing neurobiology here, and probably never studied by academia. I wish I had access to a PET scan to show frontal lobe and VTA inhibition, and the (hopefully) restoration of it when I've finally tapered off. Although it would probably look crazy if I end up in bad withdrawal again. Too bad we can't measure important criteria like serotonin/dopamine levels and receptor densities/sensitivities without actually dissecting our brain. I should make a living will in case I randomly die so someone can study it. Perhaps even in the absense of neuron firing, it would show something.

 

 

Yes, as you can see my med history in my signature.

I never had this particular problem during my early stage of taper. It only started after I got a reaction to the same drug from increasing doses couple times.

I thought reinstate induced drug reaction mainly occur to Lexapro users, but seems untrue per your case.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

Somehow I feel it will never been measured.

What is your taper schedule? And WD symptoms?

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

Link to comment

In order from most benign to disabling

- Random itching all over my body at times (anti-histamine rebound effect from lower paxil? WHO knows, right

- Physical pain in back and hips that is exacerbated by tapering

- slight to moderate cognitive impairment depending on the day (cloudy thinking, memory loss, etc) altough 75% improved by re-instatement but made slightly worse temporarily when I make taper jumps)

- severe anhedonia and emotional anethesia, to the point I don't cry at funerals, can't get interested in old hobbies, or even simple distractions like TV at this point. Socially I'm useless, have zero desire for hanging out and speaking with friends (probably the hardest aspect of this all). This seems like an inconvenience to many or better than withdrawal, but its honestly made me the closest to suicide or becoming a full blown drug addict than withdrawal ever did.

 

Taper schedule is 7 to 6 to 5 and then stabilizing... may have to go to 0.5 increments once I reach 5. This is hell....damned if I take paxil, and damned If I don't at this point.

 

Also, it appear there are mixed results on lower doses bring back emotions. some people have good luck as their serotonin transporters become unoccupied by SRRIs at minimal doses (~5mg, but depends on the SSRI), others suffer with anhedonia until the last 0.1mg. (And then some get anhedonia from stopping SSRIs.) Possibly the least treated and most confusing aspect of psychopharmacology. Most psychiatrists see it as a depressive symptoms, despite voluminous studies indicated the emotional and anhedonic effects of SSRIs.

 

All I know for sure is that I have stop taking paxil for four days, I go into withdrawl anxiety/cognitive problems, but FEEL the world/reconnect to people/feel emotions again and the anhedonia fades entirely.

Edited by ChessieCat
edited obscene abbrev, deleted other curse

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

Those are quite similar to mine, with all due to WD except for the last one-- severe DR and disorientation which is caused by reinstate.

Plus the most torturous needling pain all over.

 

At this point, focusing on live each day might be the best strategy, even it's so hard for such a long haul.

 

When in deep desparate, reading success stories provide me with strength and hope to continue.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Update: Paxil taper disrupted, went back into withdrawl, cognitive difficulties, memory issues, word recall, etc.

 

still determining the cause.

- extreme stress at work

- lingering Nortryptaline effects that was attempted for anhedonia (and ADHD which is currently untreated)

- glumate regulating supplement (n-acytle-cystine, very unlikely)

- had to temporarily switch from compounded pills to scale method with conventional Paxil. Was calibrated, and dosing was perfect.

- random wave

- solar flare ????

 

Awful few days, but holding tough.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

I also want to let you know it will pass eventually. My brain was dead the past year since reaction to reinstate/ dose incraese. but now at 1.3 mg it picked up a lot and I am highly productive at work.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • 6 months later...

I'm much more active on Facebook, but I thought I should post an update. I'm still tapering Paxil, down to 3.5mg now.

 

Most of the horrific withdrawal effects are still kept at bay, but experiencing the following:

  • Mild-moderate cognitive issues (short term memory, concentration issues, confusion)
  • Mild digestive issues
  • Strong apathy and anhedonia (although much better now at 3.5MG that at any time after re-instatement)
  • Emotional anesthesia 
  • Joint and muscle pain unresponsive to NSAIDs

Although still a nightmare, I'm looking forward to being off Paxil by the end of the year.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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  • Administrator

Don't be in a hurry, Henosis, you've worked so hard and come such a long way.

 

Please do check in with us more often, your voice is welcome.

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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  • 4 months later...

Down to ~1.2mg after switching back to liquid for more accurate dosing.

feeling slightly more alive, but the persistent anhedonia and apathy still continues.

 

The last few milligrams seem very difficult, as I've sort of run into a wall the last eight weeks or so. But still mostly functional and pressing on...

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I'd post an update.

my attempt at switching to liquid Paxil didn't work out, withdrawal symptoms came on very strong within a few days.

 

After months of effectively being "stuck" at my current dose, with any reduction causing severe symptoms, I've decided to cross taper over to Prozac.

 

Dose will be 1.6mg of Paxil, and ~2.5mg of Prozac. Going to allow Prozac to build up for the next few weeks, and then start tapering the Paxil again.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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  • 1 month later...

Update: no change at 2.5mg Prozac. Tittering to 8mg over the next few weeks, then hope to start Paxil taper again.

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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Thanks for the update Henosis.

Maybe might want to update the drug sig.

Wishing all goes well in the Prozac bridge.

 

 

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.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Henosis: Long road with Paxil ...
  • 4 weeks later...

Henosis any update on the Prozac bridge you are doing.

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.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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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Didn’t notice much at 8mg, so I upped the dose to 14mg Prozac. Cognitive issues at work have improved steadily, so I’m gettig ready to slowly start tapering Paxil again. 

I’ll update the thread when I do. 

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

Link to comment

Thanks for taking the time to update.

 

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.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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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  • 1 month later...

March update:

 

after repeatedly struggling to drop below 1.6mg, I realized that my crappy little scale may be the problem. After some repeated measurements, it was clear that it was far too inconsistent (+-15%) at this dose.

 

I was able to purchase a used laborary balance off of eBay in February, which is accurate to 2/10 of a milligram. After some calibration, it is amazingly precise. I have since been able to steadily reduce by 0.5mg (total pill weight with binders, of which I’m currently taking 21mg) a week and have become *far more stable* than before. 

 

It seems absurd that such a small amount of change in such a small dose of Paxil could cause such problems, and that one would have to resort so such a solution,  but it is what it is.

 

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Henosis,

 

The good and not so good news about the scale.  It's good that you discovered the issue, good that you were able to get a second hand decent one but not good that it all happened in the first place.

 

Hopefully things will go more smoothly from now on.

 

Please update your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Henosis: long road with Paxil ...

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