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hoppy

hoppy: reconnecting

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hoppy

I am yet another PP refugee from years ago.  I *think* this is the same name/handle I used back in the day on PP.  I found that site to be a critically important resource for managing meds and an oasis for communicating with others on a similar journey.

 

I have had anxiety disorder nearly all my life, and I staved-off meds for 40 years, while I used various coping mechanisms/strategies to enable a musical career and then a technical career and through the successful and wonderful experience of growing a family.  But, then about the age of 50 I ran into a bout of anxiety at a time when my career, although creative and enjoyable, exerted significant demands and I needed to manage it all.  I needed help.

 

On recommendation from my GP, I started Paxil and have been on a low dose for the most part since.  I weaned-off twice over that time, benefiting from the excellent advice/guidance from the PP forumites.  Coming off was carefully managed and not bad at all.  Coming back on to Paxil twice was extremely difficult just like the initial weaning-on process.

 

I have been on 5mg Paxil for 2 years now and as of last week, I just wanted to ease away from it, so I dropped to 2.5mg, with no real plan for exactly how/when I will get completely off.  This past week has been fine -  some "side effects" of reducing 50%, but it's all minimal and down in the noise.

 

Yesterday, I went to connect with my PP buddies to figure out the best weaning plan, and I eventually found out that site was taken-down.  So I am glad to learn that it re-emerged, in spirit, here.

 

So, I am going do catch up with you folks and determine how long my glide-slope off of Paxil will be.  I am in no rush.  A few months, a year, I really don't care.  It's just that I am convinced that, for me, it's best to be off of Paxil in the long run.

Edited by scallywag
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scallywag

hoppy -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

It must have been discouraging to decide to return to Paxil. That 50% decrease from 5 mg to 2.5 was a MAJOR one. I'm glad you're doing okay with it and hope that you'll stay at the dose for 6-8 before making another reduction.

 

There are a number of "PriorPlace" refugees here, some using the same usernames or slight modifications. Two I can think of right away are brassmonkey and nz11

 

To minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms, we suggest that people decrease 10% or less once per month. You can read up on that here:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

 

Also relevant: Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Because the purpose of the site is primarily informational, we ask that people post questions and updates in their introduction topic so that all their information stays in one place. If you want to connect with others, post in their topics and/or use the Private Message feature.

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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hoppy

Scallywag:

Thanks for the welcome.

 

I am very aware of the gentle/slow weaning strategy from doing this twice before.  I think that using the % model really makes sense when on typical doses of 20-60mg, where lots of people are.  I was never higher than 20mg, I was only at 20mg twice for very short periods, and when I was, I moved down from that level in small 2.5mg increments spread over many months.  I've never experienced bad side effects from my weaning efforts in the past.

 

When 5mg is my starting point from which to wean, I fully appreciate that I can get liquid Paxil and reduce in ever-diminishing (and ultra-tiny) fractions of a mg.  But frankly, last two times I went from 5mg to 2.5mg and then came off - but I did this over the better part of a year, so that probably helped me quite a bit.

 

This time, I'll stay at 2.5 for some number of months, maybe 6 months, I need to figure that out.  But rest assured, I am not bumping down to zero any time soon.  I have far too much respect for what Paxil can do to me.

 

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to exploring this site.

 

If anyone has any questions for me, I'd be happy to help others.

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scallywag

Have a look at brassmonkey's introduction thread to see how he's covered the last 2.5 mg:

  • His first post was in December 2012 when he was taking 13.7 mg.
  • In this post, Dec. 26, 2014, he posts that he's about to "slide to" 2.1 mg.
  • As of December 31, 2016, he was taking 0.16 mg.

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hoppy

Bringing this thread back from zombie status.  😊

In January 2017 I started to wean off Paxil as my post above indicates.  I weaned for nearly 18 months!  I went from 5mg to 2.5 in a year, and then from 2.5mg to 1.25mg in 8 months.  So, in August 2018 I went from 1.25mg to zero with absolutely no side effects - none.  It's been 5 months now and am not claiming success, other than the fact that I feel good about my efforts.

I've been here twice before for brief periods and went back to Paxil both times.  There's no guarantee that I will remain off antidepressants forever, and for me I don't feel that antidepressants are inherently bad, so I can accept whatever comes.  That said, I am better prepared than ever before to live without Paxil due to years of dedicated mindfulness meditation practice.  I also learned a breathing technique that is very effective to calm the parasympathetic nervous system.  I practice that daily as well.  Lastly, I've found that rigorous exercise (running, cycling) is amazingly grounding for me.

 

The Paxil Progress site was a Godsend for me back in the day, and I am very happy to see that this site is here for those who are new to anxiety treatment, or in the midst of an anxiety episode looking for answers.  Some very generous Paxil Progress forum members helped me early on, and I hope that my experience is in some way helpful to others.

-bk

 

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ChessieCat

Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed, and it sounds like this is what has happened to your several times resulting in you ending up back on the drug.   Withdrawal Symptoms - Delayed Onset

 

EDITED to add: 

SA considers 1.25mg too high a dose to jump off at:  When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

Please see:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

On 1/31/2017 at 9:15 AM, scallywag said:

Have a look at brassmonkey's introduction thread to see how he's covered the last 2.5 mg:

  • His first post was in December 2012 when he was taking 13.7 mg.
  • In this post, Dec. 26, 2014, he posts that he's about to "slide to" 2.1 mg.
  • As of December 31, 2016, he was taking 0.16 mg.

 

BrassMonkey has now been drug free for over 1 year and is doing very well.

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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hoppy

Thanks ChessieCat.

 

I'll remain vigilant regarding delayed withdrawal symptoms.  At this point I will coast forward and roll with what comes my way.

-bk

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Carmie

Hi hoppy, 

 

Glad you’re hopping on okay at the moment. I hope you continue to do so.🐰🐰🐰🐰

 

Could you please put in your signature. Thank you. Wish you all the best with your continued recovery.💚

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hoppy

Carmie,

Done!

-bk

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Carmie

Thanks hoppy, 

 

Keep us updated with how you’re doing.💚

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hoppy

Will do Carmie.

 

Years back, I would haunt the Paxil Progress site, reading about everyone's experiences moving off SSRI's, and learning how to reduce and eliminate my use of them.  For me, going slow with weaning off was a key thing to learn, and it made it possible to move off Paxil with absolutely no withdrawal or side effects of any kind.  My return to Paxil in two prior cases (2011 and 2014) had nothing to do IMO with delayed withdrawal - or any such thing - I just had the same level of anxiety that I had prior to taking Paxil.  For me it's just been a decision that at two previous points in my Paxil experience, once I stopped, my anxiety level returned to what is was pre-Paxil, and taking Paxil again was a total relief - a very welcomed relief.

 

My difficulty with Paxil - by far - has been weaning on to it.  My body sees Paxil as a strong stimulant - even at just 10mg - and it predictably makes my anxiety symptoms much worse for the first 8 weeks or so.  Sleeping is very difficult during that time.  Then it works, and I am grateful to have the option of taking it.  My dosage got as high as 20mg for a couple of short periods, but I found the "emotionally isolating" feeling that I got to be actually just as bad as my initial anxiety, so I'd drop to 10mg for a while, then 5mg and lower, always taking it in small increments. Over time, I become focused on just getting off of it b/c I'd rather be drug free whenever possible.

 

I will offer that over the past 5 months of being off Paxil, even though it's be a very dose (5mg and less) for the past 2 years, that I definitely notice subtle feelings of heightened happiness as well as sadness in my day-to-day living.  It's the extremes that have been shaved off by Paxil over the years.  Both extremes are welcomed as they are a natural part of life, and I always stop to notice that "hey, this is really profound" and there's a familiar "feel" or "color" in the moment that is amazing to experience.  I am grateful to be able to access this very subtle part of me again.

 

As I said earlier, this time around I have a dedicated meditation practice, a breathing technique, and a strong focus on rigorous exercise that may carry me out of this transition time.

Again, I hope that my experience helps others.

-bk

 

 

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Gracee

Hi Hoppy,

Thank you for posting on my thread.   You really helped settle me down in my concerns about occasional use of Ambien for sleep.  I was also a member of the Paxil Progress site.    Thanks for sharing your experiences.  Best wishes and HUGS.

 

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