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RoxanneS: Anyone regrets stopping the meds?


RoxanneS

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Hi everybody!

I'm Roxanne from Portugal. 9 years ago I was prescribed Paxil for my mild/moderate social anxiety and the med did wonders for me. I was able to study, travel, face my fears, meet my husband. I was on 20 mg and basically had no side effects.

Since my goal was always to be med free, I went to therapy and worked with myself and really challenged my negative beliefs. I was doing really well and tapered the medicine over the course of 2 years (I didn't know about withdrawal, was mostly worried I couldn't cope without the ad).
I tapered from 5 mg to 0 during 7-8 months and was doing great during all this time.

Long story short, 6 weeks after quitting the withdrawals kicked in with high anxiety, nausea and insomnia and I panicked. My social anxiety came back, worse than before the meds, I had to quit my job, and my withdrawal symptoms are pretty intense.

I really regret quitting this medicin that helped me so much. I am scared I will be stuck with social anxiety for the rest om my life. I keep telling myself that the few milligrams I was taking over so many months were mostly placebo and I can beat the social anxiety by myself but everything seems so hopeless right now.

Has anyone experienced a relapse of their original condition after quitting the meds and were you able to overcome it? Did the widrawals worsen your original condition? Any encouragement would be highly appreciated. I really wished I would have stayed on this medication for life but it's too late now.

Thanks

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Roxanne -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
 
Thanks for posting an introduction and for completing a signature.
 
What you're experiencing is almost certainly symptoms of withdrawal from Paxil not a return of your original condition. Unfortunately the symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety and depression, the exact reasons many people start taking Paxil and other antidepressants.

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

What is withdrawal syndrome

I'm curious about your reinstatement of Paxil in April. What can you tell us about that -- how much and when did you start and stop?

Same questions about Prozac & Zoloft -- when did you start, what dose(s) did you take, when did you stop?

Paxil is a tricky little devil of a drug to stop taking. There are many members here at SA slowly reducing their dose to taper off it.

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

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This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Scallywag, thank you so much for your answer, it means a lot. We are so alone and vulnerable when we feel like this.

 

I tried to reinstate Paxil at 1 mg for 2 days, then increased to 2 mg for a few days, and then 5 mg for 2 days and then I decreased again to 0 over a few days as I didn't get any results from this and the brain zaps were crazy.

 

Started then Prozac 10 mg and gave it 3 weeks but I was constantly dizzy and had insomnia. After that Zoloft, started on 25 mg and was only able to increase to 35 mg or something like that. I then tapered down to 12 mg and stopped. ( total time on Zoloft 3 weeks).

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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  • Moderator

Oh Roxanne, I am so sorry you are suffering.

 

You need to give a reinstatement at least 4 days - you don't know if it worked or it failed, because you kept changing the dose.

 

Changes on these drugs are as bad as the drugs themselves.

 

I don't believe what you are experiencing is relapse.  Especially since you have worked so hard on your own thinking and feeling patterns.

 

Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

 

Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants)  (video)

 

The last 5 mg, should maybe have gone slower, because of this delayed reaction, like you experienced it:

Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms

 

You are 6 months out from your last dose of Paxil (which is the one your body was addicted to) and you threw in a few extra bounces of doses and different drugs after that.  You're not a great candidate for reinstatement, but mods are having a talk about this now, to see if we can suggest a way through this for you.

 

You can learn about how we do reinstatements here:

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Stop Withdrawal Symptoms

 

and maybe you can pick up some new ideas about how to help your symptoms without drugs, here:

Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

Many of us are helped by Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil  (we don't really recommend any other supplements, as they can cause problems in withdrawal, especially B vitamins and complex formulas - are you on any other supplements?)

 

I'm so sorry you are suffering.  I can assure you it is not permanent.  The drugs cause changes, that take time to undo.  Please be patient with yourself - your brain is in withdrawal, and is like this scared baby possum:

pygmy-possum_zpskryl6vcs.jpg

 

Be as gentle and patient with your brain, and yourself, as you would this little baby animal.  It does get better - but it also takes time.

"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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JanCarol, thank you so much for your post. It made me cry actually, that someone understands and cares. People around have no clue. The same with my psychiatrist, who gave me the seretonin defficiency talk and made even my husband think I really need to be on drugs.

 

I'm only surviving because it's summer, I don't have a job any more and I spend the time in parcs with my kids and my sunglasses on. If I could I would hide in a closet and only come out when this is over :(

 

As supplements I take Mg with B6, a low dose. Omega3 gives me acne unfortunately.

 

Thank you again for your kind words.

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Roxanne.

 

One of the tricky aspects of reinstatement is that people take too high a dose, too fast, get adverse reactions, and quit.

 

Because withdrawal can make the nervous system hypersensitive to all psychoactive drugs (and supplements, including B vitamins), a very low dose can be more effective than a higher dose. However, it takes time for the nervous system to stabilize after such a shock, so you'd have to give it months rather than days.

 

Paxil is one of the worst, if not the worst, antidepressant to quit. If I were you, I would reinstate at perhaps 1mg Prozac, give it at least 4 days (unless you have an immediate bad reaction), and see if it helps. If it helps even a little, that's a good sign.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Do you have brain zaps now? What are you symptoms? Do they follow any daily pattern? Are you taking any other drugs?

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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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Hi Altostrata!

 

Thanks for your answer. Should I reinstate with 1 mg of Prozac or did you mean Paxil?

 

The meds I take right now are Atarax maybe once a week when I cannot take the insomnia any more and Alprazolam 0,5 mg maximum twice a week.

 

I have a few brain zaps a day, but they don't bother me so much as the other symptoms.

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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  • Administrator

I would try 1mg Prozac. It is not as difficult to go off as Paxil. If you give a little Prozac a good try and it doesn't work, you might consider 1mg Paxil.

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take drugs, and their dosages.

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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  • Moderator

Oh Roxanne, it is so hard to be surrounded by people who don't understand.  I'm lucky that way - my hubby "gets it," and after listening to me for 3-4 years, my friends at least know better than to argue with me.   :blush:

 

You may be helped by the following discussions:

Chemical Imbalance Is a Myth; Stop the Lies, Please

and 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8979-helping-family-understand/

 

Please, instead of using atarax or alprazolam - which can be addicting and complicate things (and may be why your former reinstatement didn't work) try one of these, first: 

First Aid for Panic

 

Claire Weekes - Self Help for your Nerves

 

If you can delay or eliminate any of these drugs, they also bounce your system.  You are on the borderline of being addicted to them, which means you would have to take them every day, and then taper off of them at 10% (which I'm guessing you really don't want)

 

B-vitamins can be activating in withdrawal.  Please consider not taking it for your reinstatement to ensure better success.

 

If the Omega-3 you took gave you acne (acne is better than screaming akathisia) - then try a different brand.  Please read the thread I gave you.  I know it is long, but there are a hundred different ideas about how to take Omega-3.  It is pure brain food.

 

From Alto's reinstatement - don't expect a miracle.  Like she said:

 

 

 If it helps even a little, that's a good sign.

 

We are trying to "make it better," see if we can get you to a bearable spot - because only time will "fix" it.  Be patient and kind with yourself, and it will get better.

"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 again guys for being so supportive.

 

I still haven't decided about reinstatement as I have thrown away all the meds and I really don't want to go back to my psychiatrist to ask for a new prescription.

 

I understand Atarax acts as a mild antidepressant so maybe I'll go with that instead of a reinstatement of ad.

I took one Atarax 3 days ago and have been sleeping better ever since (5-6 hours a night), it is like it calms down my system a little bit.

 

I will also try to get my benzo use to only once a week. Sometimes I really need to take them, my daughter had her birthday party last Saturday and I couldn't have made it without the benzo. I only take them for situations like this actually.

 

Congratulations JanCarol for being medfree!

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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Someone said Atarax interferes with the healing process and should be avoided but I really need help for my insomnia as I have my 2 children at home for the next 6 weeks until the school start.

 

Atarax gives me 5-6 hours of sleep and calms down my system. Would it be ok to take 25 mg twice a week in the evening? Will I have to taper after these 2 weeks?

 

Thanks for any advice.

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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Lorine, sorry to ask my question here but I got no answer in my thread.

 

Scallywag, I have been taking Atarax to help with my sleep since I have to children to take care of during the day. I have been taking the Atarax once a week and it improves my sleep for 2-3 nights. Do you think that has an effect on my healing from ad? I'm otherwise desperate because of lack of sleep, I average 2-3 hours a night if I don't take anything.

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Roxanne - I've moved the question you posted in Lorinewmi's introduction topic to your own. I'm sorry that we/I missed your question. Thanks for understanding.

 

Antihistamines including Atarax (hydroxyzine) will have an effect. I don't know whether that effect will occur as a troublesome withdrawal symptom for you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Roxanne, I've moved your post to the Introductions Forum so that more people will see your question.

 

Please post questions about your situation -- medications, symptoms etc. here in your introduction topic.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Rocanne, your story has without a doubt struck a chord with me. I as you stopped Paxil in Feb 2016 after 10 yrs of using AD's of one kind or another. I as you have been yo yo'ing somewhat since with different kinds of AD's. And I as you have developed a sensitivity to them.

I am wondering if you did try to reinstate at a 1mg dose as I also have been in limbo wondering if I should do this also. I know exactly why you hesitate , since all other attempts seemed to have worsened your health and well being as they did mine instead of helping it.

I would love to know how you are now...if you reinstated or are trying to tough it out.

 

I wish you and I as well as all of us who have been so unfortunate to have been subjected to this poisonous drug are soon telling of our success in beating the horrible effects we are now enduring.

 

Antionette

 

I did read a wonderful story earlier from Ginger who has beaten them..and from a c/t stop, which I have been wondering if was even possible.

I have been on antidepressants since 2005. Zoloft, Lexapro, cymbalta and then the most evil of them all, Paxil. 60 mg two was and 40mgs the other two. I stopped at a very fast taper within a few months. About 4 wks later the physical symptoms started, now the mental are beginning to take hold as well.

 

2005 Zoloft 100mg

Switched to Lexapro with no lapse, can't not remember dose

Switched to cymbalta with no lapse 120 mg

Oct 2014 switched to Paxil no lapse 40 mg a day 2 wks of the month, 60mg the other 2

Stopped in Feb 2016 after very short tapper of approx 1 1/2 months.

 

Aug 26, 2016 - Reinstated Paxil 1mg dose

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  • 2 months later...

I am 7 months off of cipralex . I was on celexa and then cipralex for 9 years. I tapered for 6 months . I am at my wits end today and will go back on meds. I have tried everything , every test.. Couldn't do it anymore before I lose my job and my boyfriend. Huuuge social anxiety . first 3 months off meds I was fine . my life is horrible now . I cry every day , I feel so physically sick like I have the flu and am so nauseas everyday .

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