Jump to content

headup: Introduction and question concerning pressure headaches and brain fog

Recommended Posts


Hey everybody,

even though i've been snooping around for quiet a long time - this is my first post on the forum

so, in a nutshell (i will post an introduction soon) i am 8 months into protracted withdrawal from paxil (which i only took for 4 months, but still reacted in a severely negative way to the drug, from day 1)


on the positive side - alot of my symptoms diminished or went away. including derealization, night time hallucinations, panic attacks, mild insomnia, brain zaps, weird spasms and overall i've seen a great improvement of the mental symptoms (anxiety, DP, weird thoughts etc'). i hope this will encourage some of you. i know that during the peak of the symptoms it helped me to read stuff like that.


on the negative side i'm still suffering from 3 persistent and major problems  : 1. cognitive problems (Bad brain fog, memory problems, concentrations problems ) 2. Pressure headaches which i feel 24\7 3. Tinnitus -  whooshing sound all day , all the time. i do have amazing (and short) windows. but these are my most persistent and debilitating symptoms. also it's important to add that each day i wake up with a terrible headache, stuffed nose and bad mood :(  (these lessen in intensity during the day). sometimes (more rare these days) i wake up with a cortisol spike at sunshine.


So. i have a couple questions for you guys :

1. it would be nice just to hear from people that share my symptoms (and mostly people who have healed from them) :)

2. did any body find a correlation between nutrition, food sensitivities etc' - and the symptoms i mentioned ? (brain fog, headaches , tinnitus)

i have cut gluten, sugar, dairy and high histamine foods from my diet. because , overall i am healing - i don't know what's helping and what not.

3. if anybody has any advice on healing and treating those symptoms - please share . it's been so hard... the cognitive problems are the worst. i just wish i could function normally :rolleyes:


and i've been meaning to write this a long time ago , but it's really important for me too really thank all of the members of this forum , and especially the moderators and veterans of this forum - for forming a haven for us people dealing with this bizarre problem. 50 % of the hardship i've been feeling along the way concerns the lack of acceptance and understanding for this thing called ssri withdrawal that i'm going through. at times i even doubted myself that there is such a thing (not anymore of course). so what i mean to say is that this forum gave me a sence of community which helped alot during my way. even during writing these words i'm getting so sentimental..... wow, it's been a way. thanks.


much love and healing to everybody. 




Share this post

Link to post

Hi Headup,


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), I am really glad that you finally joined!  Firstly, I want to assure you that you will recover but you will need to practise extreme patience and self-care.  Withdrawal syndrome is very real despite what most in the medical community would like everyone to believe and this site is testament to just how many people deal with the very real issues surrounding withdrawal from SSRIs (as well as other drugs).  Antidepressants can and do cause damage to the central nervous system when not discontinued properly.


It sounds like you have done a lot of reading about anti-depressant withdrawal and that is amazing to see.  In my opinion, the more you know about what to expect and what you can do to help alleviate your symptoms, the better prepared you will be to ride this out.  It is good to hear that most of your symptoms have resolved, and in due time the severity of your remaining symptoms should also slowly start to resolve.  


It is going to know that you are interested in learning more, so I am attaching a few links with discussion around nutrition, tinnitus and some of the other symptoms you are still dealing with.  I hope that you find the information here useful and glad that you are open to connecting with other members in the community.  SA has very supportive members who know what you are going through and are here to help.  Please feel free to connect with other members, it would be great if you could share your experience as well as look for ways to help you to find different ways of managing the symptoms you are still dealing with. 


Tinnitus - What does all that noise mean?
Migraines, Headaches, Neck Ache Pain & Head Pressure


We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature



Edited by baroquep

Share this post

Link to post

(Excuse me for my english , it's not my native language)


So it's been 13 months since i quit paxil - and i just feel like i need to ventilate a bit. i hope it will be interesting for you to read.


An important change occurred for me recently:  a certain loss of naivety. i mean it in a good way and in bad way as well. (i'll explain)

only recently have i fully understood the magnitude of the immense journey i'm going through... and only recently have i understood that the journey is still long. in loss of naivety i mean, stoping to look for a definite end or closure for the symptoms i'm experiencing and a deep acceptance and realization of what is happening to me. in the early stages of withdrawal, as i was still educating myself about what is going on , every time i would set up a new "finish line", thinking to myself "ok so it takes 3 months to heal", "ok so , maybe it takes 6 months", "in a year i would surely be healed..." etc. but something changed in the one year mark - there is no new "finish line" , only a deep acceptance that there is no "going back" to who i was and that this journey is part of the new me, for better or worse. 

it's important to say that my embrace  of this  new attitude of acceptance is based on a couple of things : 


1. that i have educated myself so i could live in a kind of manageable base line (including healthy diet, no sugar , gluten , msg , alchohol , caffeine etc ,  exercise regularly , never go to sleep after 12 pm and wake up after 8 am)

2. that my symptoms , though still very present and debilitating , have lost there edge in a sense. withdrawal rarely "Swallows" ( it's a saying in my language , i hope it's clear) me anymore . by saying that, i mean that 98% precent of the time i feel that i am in control, even if i have a wave of anxiety, weird emotions etc' - i can watch it and know it as it is - a withdrawal symptom. thinking back on these early stages , when i was "washed" by  these crazy waves of ocd, derealization , weird thoughts , panic , thinking that i have gone completely mad - makes me very happy that i have made alot of progress. on the other hand , the memory of the mental states that i have suffered because of withdrawal - frightens me. this experience was surely traumatic - in the most clinical way. i would be happy to hear your opinions on this issue. do these scars heal with time ? i feel that some things that i have suffered will stay with me for a long time...


well, back to my point - loss of naivety and acceptance. another thing that has happened recently (two months ago) is that i  stoped to try to cure myself. well, it sounds bad - but it's far from that. in the early stages of withdrawal i've tried it all - vitamin b6, fish oil, gaba  , low histamine diet, acupuncture, carnio sacral therapy, homeopathic medicine etc' etc' (there's like a thousand more things)  but slowly , as my acceptance grew and i had fully realised what is the journey that i am facing , i have stoped to obsess about trying to find that "magic pill" that would end it all. and , for me , that's very important and  big step up. for me , out of all the medical treatments \ supplements etc' - only magnesium before going to sleep , has really proved itself  (other than that i've stoped it all) . the lesson is - only time and , unfortunately, alot of time. alot more than i have ever thought. but this isn't supposed to be a pessimistic idea , far from it. since stoping to try to cure myself with "magic pills" of sorts  - i continued to heal as usual. 


and this brings me to another point. speculation. as humans , i mean, as seekers of causation and meaning, we speculate all the time. especially us , those suffering  with the weirdest undiagnosed phenomena in the world (it really is:rolleyes: )  -we hunt for every piece of causation , every piece of information. now look, maybe 13 months out isn't that much, but for me , the acceptance also comes with a lessening of constant obsessive speculation . thinking maybe it's histamines causing my brain fog , or is it lack of vitamin b , is my head pressure because of bruxism or because of allergies... it's endless. don't get me wrong , as i said , i have learned which conditions have helped me to keep a sustainable base line. but other than that, there's something in me that is just tired of speculation. it doesn't really matter if i eat that piece of cheese or not. the wave \ or window will come any way - at there own time. and healing , and suffering, will take their own course as well. there's something beautiful in  true acceptance... like a stance of  monk, a mixture of feeling of accepting things as they are , stoping to try to fight them , but in the same time also harnessing a spirit of a warrior in the face of the journey you are walking.


it's very important for me too say , that's only my thoughts , and maybe that is not very  responsible to say....  because maybe somebody will really suffer more from eating a piece of cheese (:lol: i mean that maybe understanding  some causations is important) ... . for me , if i could see obvious correlations in different things.. i would pursue speculations - and i just didn't.  waves  and windows  just come and go.


to sum it up - there's something hard in accepting . it's hard to glance at the magnitude of all this. i mean, this is big. :) it's such a hard process . and it's alone and without recognition. so bizarre and infuriating... 

but the acceptance and loss of naivety have their beautiful side as well. there's something liberating to stop fighting . in an ironic way, when you stop fighting you harness your inner warrior and you tell a deeper , more honest story about yourself, as a warrior , waking through a long journey... this is who i am 


ok before i finish ,  i guess that this is important information :


symptoms i have had  and do not get any more (or extremely rarley) 

* panic \ extreme anxiety

* derealization  ֿ\ depersonalisation 

* ocd thoughts

* morning cortisol spikes

* nights sweats 

* extreme nighttime hallucinations 

* vivid dreaming and nightmares

* brain zaps (very distant memory)

* crying spells 

* vertigo


----- all of these i did not experience for at least 2 months. (some of them much more) but who knows what a new wave will bring :blink:


symptoms i still have

* head pressure (alot better- yay)

* memory impairment (better)

* tinnitus... unfortunately getting worse 

* tingling in hands (new)

* nausea and loss of apetite (new and pretty rare)

* flu with allergic reaction (periodically happens every two weeks)

* numbness of feeling (somedays better than others)

* morning depression (better)



for those early in withdrawal that are reading this and are getting discouraged  - don't. well it's hard to explain .. this post is pretty bittersweet. yes u have to get ready for a long journey , and the sooner you do, the better. but , and that's an important but , today more than every , i know i will heal. because i feel i have a wide enough perspective to know that. i'm improving all the time, and each day is an improvement. now i'm allot better than  a month ago, and surely better than two months ago.life is not simple at all - but i maintain a steady job and an academic career etc' ... just felt important to say that...


much love and healing to everybody

Share this post

Link to post

I've moved your new topic to your Introduction topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  Please bookmark or click Follow at the top right so you can find it again.

Share this post

Link to post
On 2/27/2018 at 5:05 PM, headup said:

it doesn't really matter if i eat that piece of cheese or not. the wave \ or window will come any way - at there own time. and healing , and suffering, will take their own course as well. there's something beautiful in  true acceptance... like a stance of  monk, a mixture of feeling of accepting things as they are , stoping to try to fight them , but in the same time also harnessing a spirit of a warrior in the face of the journey you are walking.

Hi headup,

I'm so impressed with the way you explain your process of acceptance.  I feel I am in that process as well although I am still early in the journey!  The first acceptance I experienced was the realization that no psychiatric medications could help me.  I was finished believing the chemical imbalance theory.  They were only damaging me.

I constantly look for techniques that will help me in the withdrawal recovery process, and I have found many here on this forum.  It's not the only place I look for answers, but it is the main one.

I just wanted to mention that someone told me he found diet to be a very important aspect of dealing with tinnitus (sorry I can't remember his name.  Will try to find it).  I have eliminated salt, nitrates (JanCarol pointed this out), tomatoes, sugar, flour, aspartame, all soda including diet and club.  I cut down on caffeine and dairy.  I try little bits of certain foods to test out whether they affect the level of noise.  I'm learning different techniques to help me with habituation.  I have had some windows where the noise doesn't drive me completely berserk which gives me hope.

You said so much in your post that I'm sure I will go back and read it some more.  Good luck with your tapering and healing, and thank you for your good ideas, especially on acceptance.





Share this post

Link to post

interesting post. 

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.