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Getting worse after withdrawing? Or maybe it was never the drugs?

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My story seems to keep changing. Every time I think it fits the pattern, something makes me think I'm wrong. Are you guys able to read my story, including what's going on now and tell me if you think the drugs were just a horrible coincidence or not? Sorry it's so long, trying to be detailed.

Summary: Boyfriend went on SSRI, became distant "I don't love you anymore", I moved out, but we stayed in contact about his taper progress, he was civil and nice for the most part. After he stopped the meds, he became colder anytime I texted him, finally told me to move on. Then he deleted all trace of me from social media and blocked my number. Now he's going crazy on social media, creepliy commenting on models accounts like he knows them, flirting with 21 yr olds (he's 38). He's obsessed with social media now, always on it. Before he was against always being on your phone. 

Detailed story:

My (ex) boyfriend and I were in love, we had been together 1.5 years living together for 6 months, so happy. We had a lot in common and our personalities were perfect together. We both loved being active, loved animals, being outdoors. We didn't like drinking or partying, we preferred cuddling up on the couch to watch netflix and dishing out back tickles. Up until these pills, everything was great...


My boyfriend started SSRIs in mid to late Sept. 2017 for anxiety and panic attacks, mild ocd. By the end of October he was getting distant and irritated easily, he complained about "not feeling himself" "feeling uncomfortable" "might be a side effect of the drug". After having a couple of bad episodes (flashing lights, blurry vision, memory loss, anxiety returning) his doctor switched him to Paxil (nov. 16 was his first pill). Within a few days on Paxil, he became even more distant and became a zombie. He was empty, felt nothing, stared blankly. After a week on Paxil, the usual speech happened "I need to be alone and work on myself, I still love you, but can't be in a relationship." Then couple of days later that turned into "I don't love you anymore, I have felt this way for weeks, I didn't want to pretend anymore. I look at you and feel nothing." Those last two weeks, leading up to the breakup, he was on afternoons. I was working days, so we barely saw each other. The weekend before he ended things he went to his parents for a visit, so I only saw him one day out of the 2 weeks. He had already decided to taper off these meds when he broke up with me, as he didn't like the "zombie" feeling.


The night he ended things, i went to my friends house to give him space. When I came home on saturday, he was gone. I texted him and he had packed a bag and was staying at his friends. He said he wanted a clean break and wouldn't return until I moved out. Told me talking on the phone or seeing each other would just cause unnecessary stress. He had a previous relationship where it was a year of contact before he finally had to cut her off, he didn't want that happening again. I convinced him to talk on the phone, I was confused and hysterical. He was annoyed, sighing. "I know you love me, but I need to work on myself" I could feel the eyerolls. I then convinced him to come home after work on Monday to talk (I wanted to show him the info I found on this site and others).

When he came home on that monday, he seemed to care a little bit. Told me he was sorry, it wasn't easy for him to do. Encouraged me to eat (I wasn't because of the stress). I made him promise to stay clear of other girls until he was off the drugs, and to keep me updated about his progress, he did. He kept saying "I've kept my promises and intend to keep them." Anytime I spoke to him about "us" his demeanour would change, more cold and annoyed, but would say things like "This will get easier, I want you to be happy.". He had said he didn't know if it was the drugs causing his lack of love, there was no way to know, but it wasn't fair to me to sit around and wait to find out. I showed him the forums, he said he could see the similarities, but couldn't connect to them, he still felt no love.
I lived with him for a week after he ended things, he seemed "normal". He was able to laugh and talk about whatever, we watched tv together and such. But if talk turned to the pills, his mental health or our relationship, he was blank and cold. He saw me in my oversized tshirt and underwear one night and looked uncomfortable. I slept in the spare room, we were like roommates. He put jeans on to answer his bedroom door one night (he sleeps in boxers and a tshirt, but he put jeans on)

He couldn't wait for me to leave. When I said "I might not be able to leave till sat instead of sunday, my friend is busy." He'd say things like "why does she have to be there, can't she leave you a key." Or when I said I might not be able to get everything in one go, he'd say "why can't you take everything? Are you leaving stuff here just so you'll have an excuse to come back?"

After I moved out, I would initiate every text conversation, see how he was doing. He would respond, give an update on his doctors appointments and taper. He'd ask how I was doing, tell me it'll get better and such. "I know this is hard for you." Eventually, when I texted him, his answers got shorter and more cold. When I would bring up our relationship, or show any emotion (sadness, hurt), he would get annoyed, but would still respond. He said things like "Nothings changed on my end, so I think space is good." Then later would say "It's not necessarily that I need space, but the thought of putting you through anymore crap gives me anxiety." "I don't want to lead you on." I moved out Dec 1st, his final Paxil pill was Dec 21st. He tapered over two weeks 10mg was original dose, first week he cut the dose to 5mg, second week he did 5mg every other day and then stopped. Said it messed with his brain and emotions, had brain zaps...didn't last long though)

Finally, after one month (Jan 1st) when I tried to get answers about what happened, why he stopped loving me (he had never given me a reason), he said "I don't know what you want from me, I've tried to be nice through this process, but I don't want to drag it on like my ex. I don't want to start 2018 like this. You weren't the one for me, it's time to move on." When I said that I was just confused and wanted closure because i'm hurting so much, he told me that there's nothing more he could tell me that he already hasn't. That he understands that I'm hurting, that's the only reason he's still communicating with me.
After that, I waited a week to see how he was doing with his final taper (To taper off Paxil, they put him on Wellbutrin, so he was now tapering off Wellbutrin). His responses were cold and he told me he quit Wellbutrin cold turkey and had a rough week, but was fine now. I told him that I'd stop texting, that I loved him, but his coldness hurt too much. He said "Take care and be well."

I went to the doctor to deal with the anxiety and depression I had developed, just to get time off work. My doc suggested I write a letter to him, getting out my emotions. I sent my boyfriend an email, let it all out (was kind and caring). The next day he deleted all the pictures of me, and couple pictures of us off of his social media. I texted him asking why he was shutting me out, erasing me. How could his feelings change so suddenly...he blocked my phone number.

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In the last week, he's become overly aggressive with his flirting on social media. He has a few model accounts that he follows (thousands and millions of followers), but he'll like every picture they post, it seems almost right away, then comment as though they are friends and will respond to him. There are a couple of girls he follows that were on his account before we started dating, but he's now liking every picture they post (one is 21 years old, he's 38 this year) For the 21 year old, he comments things like "Beautiful." or "Next time I'm in Florida, we're partying"...she never responds. The other girl, he went back to a picture she posted in MAY and said "You still have the best lips in the game." That same girl liked one of his pictures of him snowboarding and he immediately tagged her and said "you should come ride sometime"...she's in a relationship and has a kid.
While we were dating he was always so against always being on your phone, constantly being on social media "I only check my phone in the morning once, then maybe before I go to bed if I'm bored."...now he's ALWAYS on it. He was never one for PDA or saying flirty things like that on social media, now he's writing creepy comments on models accounts and random girls that never respond, but he'll do it on every picture. He posts pictures on his account all the time now too, before it was weeks in between, now its daily. He adds random girls a lot.

One big thing for us was that he never lived with a girlfriend before, he bought a house with one, but never moved in to it together (it fell apart before the house was built). He had a hard time opening up and showing affection at the beginning, but we communicated about it and we got a lot better. I think with him, he had a hard time with control (ocd, anxiety) so he was set in his ways. When we started dating, for a while it was hard to merge his two lives. The one he had before me and the one with me. It took a while for him to realize that me asking what he got up to, wasn't me saying I had to know his every move. Or if I texted him to see what time he'd be home, it wasn't me checking in on him, I just wanted to know when to start dinner. It took a bit for him to merge his friends with me. Maybe because he was hurt in his last relationship (she became hostile and accused him of cheating, would show up at his guys night out without warning, hacked into his accounts), but he seemed hesitant with letting go and embracing me fully in his life, merging the two together.

We had an argument about this one day, I think it was all too much. I was very patient and understanding when it came to his mental health, but it had been so long that I couldn't do it anymore. We decided to end things, we met up to say goodbye and he broke down (he never cried, but this brought him to tears) He told me he loved me too much and didn't want to lose me. He wouldn't let go of me. He said if he felt this way that it means something and this is special.

Not long after he said he wanted me to move in, since I was there all the time anyways and since this was serious for him. I was hesitant after we just had that little breakup, but agreed. This was HUGE for him, to have to make space for me, lose the control and routine of his house. It was a struggle at first (we had one moment where he didn't think he could handle it. He said his mind was fighting with him "you're not ready for this" and "you love her, everything is going great". I packed a bag to leave that night to go to a friends and he had a major panic attack and didn't want me to leave. Said the back in forth in his head made him feel crazy, but he didn't want to lose me), we worked hard to overcome it. His OCD got better, we became so much closer and stronger. Everything fell into place, we were happy and making plans for the future.

So at this point, I'm confused. He started out with the "I don't feel love anymore", but seemed reasonable with being nice and continuing to stay in contact with me. Then when I kept bringing up "us" he became distant and cold and eventually stopped responding/blocked me. Now he's maybe just acting like a single guy who's desperate for female attention, now that he's got freedom??

It's as if the drugs made him question his love for me. And since we were working opposite shifts those last two weeks, maybe he felt what it was like to basically live alone again. He tasted that control and freedom he had before. Maybe that kicked his mind into "I want her gone, I want my house back and need to be alone." And maybe me pestering him after the fact made him annoyed and he shut down. And now he's just out living the single life?

I talked to his friend and she said he's know to shut people out like this. "If he's over something, he closes the door and doesn't open it." He told me before that confrontation causes him anxiety. 

So is this just a bad breakup, and a horrible coincidence that it happened while he was taking these pills??


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That are drugs/withdrawal for sure.

My ex did it the  same way. 



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I agree with Konjo. This was exactly the way things happened with my girlfriend of 11 years.


i still wonder if t was the drugs or if she just didn’t love me anymore but it all happened in the space of a few weeks. One minute we were blissfully happy, the next minute she wants a break and like your boyfriend she has completely wiped me off the face of the earth. Deleted pictures and blocked me on social media. It’s heartless and cruel but too much of a coincidence for it not to be the drugs.


its almost a year since she left me and I have never heard a thing. I was told by her parents that she stopped the drugs cold turkey 6 weeks after we split but I have no idea if she really did or if she started them again. I expected to hear from her at some point but after a year I have lost hope:

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I was in touch with him through email to split up our camping equipment, maybe talk to get closure on my end. 


He just sent me this:


“Look here it is, my feelings for you changed over the course of some time.  That's a me issue.  Not a you issue.  You didn't do anything wrong  nor was there anything you could have done to prevent it from happening.  I  changed internally.  I tried to change my feelings back for several months, I really tried, but it didn't work.  And after that I really struggled with the breaking up process because I knew how poorly it was going to affect you and I didn't want to put you through that.  This internal struggle greatly progressed my anxiety.  In the end I was unhappy and fighting crazy anxiety and I had to choose between me being unhappy and keeping you happy or getting myself back on track and hurting your feelings.  I had to choose my own happiness.”


Sounds like he was just over the relationship. I mean, that part about too much anxiety at the end is kind of bullsh*t, cause he admitted at the time of the break up that he felt like a zombie, but much preferred that to feeling anxiety. So he wasn’t feeling anxiety when he broke up with me. 


But whatever. My only choice now is to let go, I guess. He’s said all he can, we will have no reason to stay in contact anymore. 

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Zee....when someone shows you who they are, believe them.  Given his age and what history of his that you mentioned, he doesn't seem to be the settling-down type.  While you will never know what might've happened if meds hadn't become a factor, I would say it's still a good chance it might not have progressed how you wanted it to.  I think you're just keeping yourself set up for a continued fall.  If he's the type to move forward, I think he will do that from this, regardless of whether or not the meds are out of his system and he's back to ground zero.  There might be too much water under the bridge for him in this relationship.  


I know that's not what you wanted to hear, and I'm sorry.  Yes, these meds mess with people and cause all kinds of relationship issues.  There's spouses who've walked away from many years of marriage and children.....this guy is walking away from only 6 months of cohabitation.  He won't feel the same "guilt" to try and make things right even if his brain/mind/feelings return to his previous normal.  All you can do is tell him if his feelings for you return, that you would love to hear from him again....and then let him go, completely.  You holding on like you are, wanting answers that he thinks he's already given you, is showing him a side of you that he's uncomfortable with.  Him, a confirmed bachelor so far--this is not making your case for a relationship with him.  Can you see what I'm saying?  He's uncomfortable right now around the subject of "you", and most people will avoid uncomfortable at all cost.  You need to look out for yourself and do what's best for you.  Just because those of us who've been through this can say "oh, it's the meds", it's giving you false hope, and you keep grasping at straws because at some point, it can also stop being "it's the meds."  


I'm sorry, I really am.....




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Thank you TeaBea. Honestly, thank you.

I think you’re right. I think he has problems with commitment, as well as his anxiety and ocd issues. They probably all relate. 


I think he really tried, but it maybe got too real for him. Maybe he missed living on his own, without having to check in with someone. I think he missed the attention from other girls. His self-esteem issues made him NEED it. 


Ill always hold him close to my heart and love him. It’s hard for me to disconnect, as I never left that “we’re in love and doing great” mindset, where as he was out of that mindset for months apparently. It’s hard to hear that those months were fake for him and yet so real for me. I feel foolish. 


Maybe the drugs gave him that extra push he needed, the confidence of not feeling anxiety about breaking up with me. If that’s the case, I’m happy he was able to make that decision and he can be happy now. I can’t imagine feeling “stuck” with someone you don’t love, because your anxiety was too much to end it. 


I’m trying to let him go in my mind and heart now. He apologized a lot after that last email. He said he was sorry for not ending it sooner, and for ending it the way he did. He was sorry for not giving me closure and for shutting me out to avoid it. He seemed genuine. 


We left it at him contacting me sometime next week to pick up the rest of the things we were going to split. Not sure if he actually will, but at least I have some closure now. 


Thank you for your honesty. It’s what I needed to hear!

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You weren't foolish...you were in love.  You deserve more than to have to deal with this--count yourself fortunate in the sense that you weren't married with kids to deal with and have this same ending!  There's many that are hanging on only because of sense of responsibility.  I'm sure many wish they didn't have that.  I know it doesn't make it easier because when you're in love, everything matters...and sometimes nothing makes sense.  You think YOUR love can make anything right, when in truth, it really does take TWO to tango.  You were facing an uphill battle.  No one should start out that way if/when they get married.


Two lessons I wish I'd known when I was younger, before marriage:  1) when people "show" you who they are, BELIEVE THEM; and 2) if someone has to choose between you and someone/something else, pray they choose the other.  


Good luck to you!

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