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Me and my doc. have been discussing medication for my GAD, severe panic disorder and social anxiety.

I have been on and off benzo's for years with hellish withdrawal syndrome each time.

SSRI has been suggested to treat my anxiety, sertraline or paroxetine.

I know you guys are all suffering from SSRI withdrawal, just like i did with benzo's. I do want to try an SSRI though, my anxiety is out of control and talk-therapy doesn't work! My anxiety is mainly genetic.


sertraline and paroxetine have been suggested, but i could use any other SSRI. So again, according to users of this forum, which SSRI is the easiest to taper? And which one works best for overall anxiety?


Edit: What do you guys think about TCA's? Like mirtazepine?

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Hi Nickneedshelp and welcome to SA,


Surviving Antidepressants is a site for helping members get off or reduce their drug/s.


It is not a site for discussing which drug to try next.  Please see What will get you warned or banned which states:


"- Drug shopping or recommending drugs
This is a site for going off drugs. It is not a site for finding out what drug to take next, comparing drug cocktails, or recommending what drug to add. This could be dangerous. People could be hurt by your advice.  Please do not post on this site asking other members for their suggestions.




All psychiatric drugs change the brain and create a physiological dependence, not physical dependence like caffeine or nicotine.  Psychiatric drugs can actually end up causing problems which they are supposedly meant to solve.  I suggest you read Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin.  Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker is also well worth reading.  It details the history of psychiatric drugs.


Q:  When did you develop GAD, severe panic disorder and social anxiety?


If could be that it is caused or worsened from going on and off benzos.


Please create a drug signature so that we can see your drug history and will be able assess whether this may be the case.  Please use the following format:


A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


Claire Weekes was a doctor who suffered from anxiety.  She learned and taught non drug ways of coping with anxiety.  There are many videos on YouTube.  This is SA's topic:  Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System


Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes


And this is also very useful:  Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)


We encourage our members to learn and use non drug techniques:


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms




Once we have your signature we will be better able to offer suggestions.


This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

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At first i was interested in using an SSRI, but after reading so many sad and negative stories i fear taking it!

I was prescribed paroxetine, now i read it's the most difficult SSRI to come off from.


I have already been damaged by benzo's and i don't want to experience something similar ever again.


Talk-therapy doesn't work for me and my GAD is really bad.


Please convince me not to take an SSRI.

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Hi Nick


I've merged your new Intro topic with the original one.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  Please do not create any more Intro topics.  Thank you.

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Here are some things which might help you to understand about pharmaceutical companies.  Gwen Olsen was a drug rep for 15 years:


Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)


We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)


Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)





Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker (has the history of psychiatric drugs) and Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin are two excellent books.



Video:  Dr James Davies:  The Origins of the DSM (35 minutes)


Video:  The DSM:  Psychiatry's Deadliest Scam (1 hour 20 minutes)


Video:  Prof Peter Gotzsche:  Why Few Patients Benefit and Many are Harmed (50 minutes)

Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect by Irving Kirsch (link to full article)


and the video:  Irving Kirsch:  Emperor's New Drugs:  Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect (1 hour 20 minutes)


Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain.  Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.  But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.  Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.  Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.  Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.  The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.  Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.


How Did These Drugs Get Approved?
The FDA requires two adequately conducted clinical trials showing a significant difference between drug and placebo.  But there is a loophole:  there is no limit to the number of trials that can be conducted in search of these two significant trials.  Trials showing negative results simply do not count.  Furthermore, the clinical significance of the findings is not considered.  All that matters is that the results are statistically significant.
(NB:  emphasis in abstract and excerpt are mine)


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