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anona: Claire Weekes and others

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anona

Hi everyone,

 

I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for any books and/or videos on fear/phobia. I have Claire Weekes' book, Hope and Help For Your Nerves and while it has been of great help, I'm looking for something related more to dealing with fears.

 

TY

Edited by scallywag
update title with member's username; move topic to introductions forum

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scallywag

anona -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Thank you for posting. I've moved your post to the Introductions Forum so that more people will see your question.

 

This site, Surviving Antidepressants.org, is focused on assisting people with tapering off psych medications and dealing with symptoms of withdrawal that arise.  One of the symptoms that occurs for some is increased anxiety, fear and panic. Here are a few topics where you'll find that discussed:

Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety

Rebuilding self-confidence, accepting anxiety

Neuro-emotions

Best CBT techniques for anxiety and/or depression?

The Dr. Claire Weekes Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.

 

Are you currently taking a medication for anxiety, fear or panic?

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anona

Thank you for the reply, scallywag.

 

I'm currently on 15 mg of Paxil and wanting to taper further. 

I'm also benzo-free since 2012! That was a tough taper from such a small dose (1 mg, once per day) but for others going through a hard time, it's tough but doable. I promise. :-)

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nz11

 

5 hours ago, anona said:

on 15 mg of Paxil and wanting to taper further. 

Great idea.

You might want to read this thread on tapering paxil.

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

 

 

Welcome to sa on joining you are asked to complete a drug sig.  

Are you able to do that.

You say you want to taper further please tell us from where you have tapered from and how you have got to current levels.

 

You have come to the right place if you want to get off paxil that's for sure. And so many people here to cheer you on.

Well done on getting off the benzo.

 

 

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anona

Hi nz11,

 

Is the signature mandatory? I would like to keep myself as anonymous as possible but I'll break down my progress below based on the documentation I have kept.

 

I've been on Paxil since 2003 and although it did bring me some relief, several years after initially taking it, symptoms of panic, anxiety and phobia returned. I take part in CBT on and off. 

 

Dec. 11/2016 - 16.25 mg.

Mar. 26/2017 - 15.9375 mg.

Jul. 23/2017 - 15 mg.

Oct. 30/2017 - 13.75 mg. 

Dec. 24/2017 - 15 mg. 

 

 

 

 

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nz11

Well I'm pretty sure its next to impossible for anyone to know who you are anona. Its guaranteed imo you will remain an anona-(mouse.)

Only members can get to see the drug sig anyway is my understanding.

There are probably millions on paxil worldwide so I wouldn't worry.

I guess its up to you if you do the drug sig.

 

So you are saying you have never been on or currently taking any other drugs then?

 

Well I have to say your taper looks like you know what slow means. 

Sorry you had to do an updose in dec though. ugh!! You didn't think of holding for longer? 

Maybe 5 % is the way to go from here on in. 

A local person I know has just taken 8 yrs to taper off paxil and did lots of long holds so slow is the way to go.

 

Heaps of great stuff to read around here.

Thanks for adding your voice to the site.

nz11 

 

 

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scallywag

anona, a signature with current dose(s) and medication history isn't mandatory. Creating one so that the information shows below each of your posts means that we can help you faster and more accurately. Moderators and other members don't necessarily have the time to read every post you've written to get "a handle" on your situation. 

 

If you're comfortable posting only your Paxil doses as below and not anything before Dec. 2016, then please do that.

12 hours ago, anona said:

Dec. 11/2016 - 16.25 mg.

Mar. 26/2017 - 15.9375 mg.

Jul. 23/2017 - 15 mg.

Oct. 30/2017 - 13.75 mg. 

Dec. 24/2017 - 15 mg. 

 

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anona
On 1/7/2018 at 8:35 PM, nz11 said:

Well I'm pretty sure its next to impossible for anyone to know who you are anona. Its guaranteed imo you will remain an anona-(mouse.)

Only members can get to see the drug sig anyway is my understanding.

There are probably millions on paxil worldwide so I wouldn't worry.

I guess its up to you if you do the drug sig.

 

So you are saying you have never been on or currently taking any other drugs then?

 

Well I have to say your taper looks like you know what slow means. 

Sorry you had to do an updose in dec though. ugh!! You didn't think of holding for longer? 

Maybe 5 % is the way to go from here on in. 

A local person I know has just taken 8 yrs to taper off paxil and did lots of long holds so slow is the way to go.

 

Heaps of great stuff to read around here.

Thanks for adding your voice to the site.

nz11 

 

 

I'm kicking myself for not making the cut in October, less. :-/ I seem to be that kind of individual who's sensitive to every cut which is why I'm tapering even less than 10% each time and only 1-2x per year. I could've held on to the 13.75 mg. dose but I chose not to as the symptoms were starting to interfere immensely with my daily functioning and work attendance. 

 

I'm also on a blood thinner (for life), an anti-blood pressure medication, baby Aspirin and an iron supplement. 

 

My issue right now is that I'm experiencing a cross between lightheadedness, dizziness and weakness in my footing/wobbly feeling. Keep in mind, for three days I took 15 mg of a 30 mg tablet and have now switched back to my usual one 10 mg tablet plus a 5 mg tablet (split in half from another 10 mg tablet). Add the cut in October and then the updose on the 24th of December and I think I may be in the middle of re-stabilizing? 

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nz11
59 minutes ago, anona said:

I think I may be in the middle of re-stabilizing? 

I'm sure you are correct in your thinking. 

Be patient it will settle down. 

And then you can plan a new taper attack.

Slow and steady wins the race as they say.

You might like to check out the Brassmonkey taper. 

 

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anona
23 hours ago, nz11 said:

I'm sure you are correct in your thinking. 

Be patient it will settle down. 

And then you can plan a new taper attack.

Slow and steady wins the race as they say.

You might like to check out the Brassmonkey taper. 

 

What is the Brassmonkey taper? I Googled it but nothing to the likes of tapering comes up. 

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nz11

Did you google it in Russian ?

Sorry BM is a moderator member and you can look up his intro and have a read.

 

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anona

LOL

 

Got'cha!! I figured it may have been a member on here but I wasn't sure.  I'm already following MapleLeafGirl and Brassmonkey.. Thank you!

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anona

Since my last post, I find myself struggling but also doing my best and utilizing CBT techniques to get myself through the days. 

 

I have tried several times to slowly wean off of Paxil and each time I have crashed miserably which then takes several sessions of CBT, an updose in Paroxetine and medical leave from work. I've grown tired of this cycle and I'm now searching for some solid guidance. 

 

I'm currently on 18.75 mg but I'm also tapering off from a low dose of Ativan which I started to take back in February for a few weeks. Right now I'm at 0.375 mg and make a 5.5% dry cut every 10-14 days. Symptoms mostly emerge in the evening but sometimes they start in the afternoon. I find that when I take my Paxil dose, I feel better but because of the withdrawal from Ativan, I cannot tell which medication my symptoms are coming from. With this said, I'm worried that I'll never be able to remove Paxil from my life and have even caught myself telling family that I'm going to be suffering with these symptoms for the rest of my tenure on earth. 

 

I don't know what to do anymore or where/who to seek help from. My doctor, although a very nice man, is not knowledgable in the withdrawal process of ADs and I say this because I was once told to taper off in two months. 😮

 

Please help me. 

 

 

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Songbird

Hi Anona, I hear you!  I've also tried several times to slow taper and crashed miserably and updosed.  It is very frustrating.

 

Please can you update your signature with your Paxil doses and dates, and also add your Ativan doses and dates.  That will help us get a good picture of your situation so we can help you.

 

Are you currently tapering both Paxil and Ativan or just the Ativan?  What times of day are you taking your doses of Paxil and Ativan?  What symptoms are you having? 

 

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anona

Songbird, this Paxil business has unfortunately become the story of my life. 

 

Currently, I'm holding on the Paxil and only tapering off of the Ativan. Paxil I take once a day in the evening and Ativan I take once a day in the evening as well. 

 

 

 

 

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anona

Any suggestions or thoughts?

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Songbird

What symptoms are you having and at what times of day?  Are the symptoms severe or tolerable?

 

Ativan is a benzo - I'm not experienced with it, but there will be other mods who can help more.  We also have a benzo forum here.

 

 

Edited by Songbird

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anona

Most of my symptoms emerge in the early to late afternoon or evening and include sensations like:

-panic but not full blown

-anxiety 

-dizziness

-fear (not sure how much of a symptom this is but more of a feeling created from my symptoms)

-feeling faint

-feeling "unwell" --lethargic, tired, putting off/avoiding personal care

 

My symptoms, when I haven't crashed are tolerable but I have to push myself just to be able to live with them. I feel like most days are a battle that I just need to get through. Many, many times I wonder how I'm going to continue living like this. 

 

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Songbird

So your worst symptoms are in the evening and you're taking your dose of Paxil and Ativan in the evening.  What happens after you take your doses?  Do the symptoms subside?

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anona

Yes. Worst symptoms seem to be in the evening and after I take the Paxil and Ativan, the symptoms subside. 

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Gridley

At SA we recommend that you taper only one drug at a time.  This is because if problems develop in your taper and you're tapering two drugs at the same time, you won't know the cause of the problem.  We recommend tapering the activating drug first, known as an accelerator (in your case, Paxil) while waiting to taper the sedating drug  (in your case, Ativan).  That's what I'm doing, tapering Lexapro first.  This link provides details:

 

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anona

Does anyone know what the best method for cutting pills is so that the dose is as accurate as possible? 

 

Also, is it costly to have a compounding pharmacy make your dose for you?

 

I'm struggling immensely with symptoms at this point in time. 

 

 

 

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anona

bump

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bubbles

I'm not in the US, and not on ativan or paxil, so I can't comment on cost, but I have found having my doses made up into capsules at a compounding pharmacy has made things very easy.

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anona

Hi SA members,

 

I recently met with a Psychiatrist (very first time in my life) for a discussion on Paxil. I mentioned that I had tried several times in the past to taper off of this drug however all attempts failed. I was told that Paxil is notorious for being difficult to withdraw from and that if in the future I want to come off of it, I'll have to start taking another drug such as Zoloft. 

 

I'm thankful and relieved that this doctor was able to acknowledge "discontinuation syndrome" that surrounds SSRIs but I'm not sure how I feel about introducing another SSRI as a means of withdrawing from Paxil. 

 

Any thoughts or input is greatly appreciated. 

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ChessieCat

Generally it is better to taper off the drug you are currently taking.  The new drug might not "cover" withdrawal from the old drug and/or you could get start up issues from the new drug and/or a bad reaction to the new drug.  Because you changed drugs, you would not know what had caused the issues.

 

On 1/8/2018 at 8:02 AM, anona said:

I'm also benzo-free since 2012

 

Please add the information about the above benzo to your signature.

 

Q:  Were you taking Ativan at the same time as the Paxil?  If yes, please add the start date and dose to your signature.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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anona

ChessieCat, I'm quite scared about the possibility of starting another SSRI to get off of an existing one. I see it as ending one nightmare and starting another. 

To answer your question, I started taking Ativan in 2010 and then crossed over to Clonazepam in order to complete my taper in September of 2012. I was benzo-free for approximately five and a half years. 

 

I wonder if there's anyone on here who has found him/herself in the same situation as me, using the same medication. Is there a way out of Paxil or are some of us destined to be on it for a lifetime? 

 

 

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, anona said:

I'm quite scared about the possibility of starting another SSRI to get off of an existing one.

 

You may have misread what I wrote.  I said that it is generally better to taper off the drug you are taking now instead of changing to a different.

 

I'm a bit confused because this is what your signature says:

 

Ativan taper started March 2018 from 0.5625 mg. 

Mar. 7th - 0.53125 mg., Mar. 19th - 0.5 mg., Mar. 29th - 0.46875 mg., April 10th - 0.4375 mg., April 23rd  - 0.40625 mg., May 2nd - 0.375 mg., May 22nd - 0.3125 mg.

Taper completed in September, 2018. 

 

Please add the date and dose that you started taking Ativan again

 

I would like to know if you were taking Ativan when you were trying to taper Paxil.  If you were, it might be that it was Ativan causing issues, and not that you were having difficulty with the Paxil reductions.

 

Because you have only recently got off Ativan it might be better to hold for several months before tapering the Paxil.

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anona

I did understand what you wrote. :-) I was just adding more of what I was/am feeling about it. 

 

I've been on Ativan twice and both times I was also on Paxil. 

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Altostrata

Hello, anona.

 

On 5/11/2018 at 11:23 PM, anona said:

Most of my symptoms emerge in the early to late afternoon or evening and include sensations like:

-panic but not full blown

-anxiety 

-dizziness

-fear (not sure how much of a symptom this is but more of a feeling created from my symptoms)

-feeling faint

-feeling "unwell" --lethargic, tired, putting off/avoiding personal care

 

My symptoms, when I haven't crashed are tolerable but I have to push myself just to be able to live with them. I feel like most days are a battle that I just need to get through. Many, many times I wonder how I'm going to continue living like this. 

 

 

On 5/12/2018 at 2:34 PM, anona said:

Yes. Worst symptoms seem to be in the evening and after I take the Paxil and Ativan, the symptoms subside. 

 

Is this still your symptom pattern? If yes, it sounds like you are having breakthrough withdrawal symptoms in the early part of the day. When did this start? How are you sleeping now that you've stopped Ativan? How do you feel after you take Paxil in the evening? What time do you take it?

 

You may be a fast metabolizer of Paxil. When you take Paxil in the evening, you metabolize it overnight and there's not quite enough in your system in the morning, so you get withdrawal symptoms. A divided dose of Paxil might work for you, taking part in the morning and part in the evening.

 

If I were you, I'd ask the psychiatrist for the prescription Paxil liquid, to take part of your daily dose in tablet form and part in liquid form. For example, if you're taking 19.375mg Paxil now, you can take 10mg in tablet form and 9.375mg in liquid form.

 

If you divide the dose into morning and evening doses, I would make a transition to 10mg (tablet) at night and 9.375mg (liquid) in the morning gradually.

 

First, gradually replace the 9.374mg part with the liquid. Let that settle for a few days, then replace the rest.

 

Then move 1mg in liquid to a morning dose, taking 18.375mg in the evening. Let that settle for a few days. By similar steps, move the liquid dose by 1mg or less at a time.

 

This is important: While you make any drug changes, please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

 

You can then micro-taper the liquid part of the dose, see

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

The slowness of slow tapers

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

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ChessieCat

This is an example:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

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anona

Hello Altostrata,

 

Thank you for the informative reply. I'm feeling much better these days (the post you quoted was back in May) but currently, I'm worried about my future with Paxil. Being told that I'll need to take on Zoloft in order to withdraw from Paxil has me in knots. 

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anona

So, is it possible to taper off of Paxil and at the same time live a productive life without having to take another SSRI? 

 

Songbird?

 

Anyone?

Edited by anona
added more detail

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Songbird
On 11/22/2018 at 5:31 PM, anona said:

So, is it possible to taper off of Paxil and at the same time live a productive life without having to take another SSRI? 

 

Songbird?

 

Anyone?

 

Hi Anona.  In general, it is possible.  There have been people who have found tapering a particular AD extremely difficult (often Paxil or Effexor) and have switched to another AD (often Prozac or Celexa) before tapering - this technique is often called a "bridge".  In general, we recommend tapering the drug you are on, and only using a "bridge" as a last resort.

 

I wouldn't worry about switching to Zoloft or anything else at the moment.  It might be best to hold for a few months to stabilise.  Please reread Alto's post above about switching to twice daily dosing.  It's possible that your tapering troubles may have been from fast metabolism of Paxil, but it's hard to say because you also had Ativan in the mix.   

 

From your signature it looks like you've been off Ativan for a couple of months - correct?  Are you still taking 19.375mg of Paxil once per day in the evening?  Are you currently having any symptoms?

 

 

 

 

 

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anona

Hi Songbird,

 

Sorry it took me a while to respond to your message. I underwent emergency surgery last week and I'm just now starting to return to my usual routine. 

 

I've been off of Ativan since September however I did take 0.5 mg twice while in hospital and 0.25 mg once while at home. I'm still on 19.375 mg of Paxil once per day in the evening. I'm having some symptoms at night (anxiety) but I'm also left a bit frightened by my surprise medical event. 

 

I hope I can taper Paxil successfully even if it means only two cuts per year. 😕

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