Jump to content
Adili13

Adili13: Paxil withdrawal - questions and concerns

Recommended Posts

Adili13

Hello,

 

I have been on Ssris for the past ten years, different doses and different meds. I started on lexapro 20 mg when I was 18 and get great for years. When I hit 22 I started lowering my meds due to side effects and simply being uncomfortable being on meds. I got down to about 10 mgs and stayed there for a while. 2 years ago I did a fast taper and got down to 5 mgs way too fast. I experienced withdrawal really bad without knowing what it was and thought I was relapsing on anxiety/depression. For a year I messed around trying to find the right med and trying to find the right combo. I now realize meds were a problem all along and all I want is to feel normal and be off of them. I also realize I’m going through withdrawal and have to be patient. Ok, time to backtrack. Eventually I decided to go on paxil about a year ago after trying a slew of other Ssris. The reason being that my dad takes it and I thought it would help me out. Bad idea. I quickly got up to 37.5 mg in only about 4 months bc it didn’t seem to be helping. After this, I decided meds weren’t the answer and started dropping my dose, not knowing the correct method or pace. My first drop was to 25 mg controlled release and it was horrific. I decided to wait for a while before making and other drops. About 5 months. Back in may of this year I dropped again to 20 mgs regular release. I’ve been experience protracted withdrawal for almost 4 months now from that drop. Things seem to gradually be improving, but I just hit another bad wave and am looking for advice/support. Also, I’ve been on different doses of Ssris for a long time. Since I was 18 and I’m 28 now. I’m thinking about jsut holding head until I feel good before tapering the correct way. I just don’t know how long I should wait, or when it’s time to start again. Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

Hello, Adili13 and welcome to SA.  

 

I think it's a good plan to hold until you feel better.  I would hold at 20mg for at least 3 months, but a six month hold to stabilize is not uncommon.  Then, you can start your taper.  

 

At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
 
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

 Yeah, I’ve been holding for a little over 3 months now. Still not feeling 100 percent, so going to probably hold for at least five months in total, possibly more. Thanks for your response! The ten percent method is what I’ll try when I feel ready. Also, thanks for info about supplements. Can’t wait for this to get a bit better 

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

Sounds good, Adili.

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

Hello everyone, this is my first post other than my initial intro post. Lately, I’ve been having a really hard time. I started tapering back in January, thinking my problems would start to resolve after a few months of my taper. I’ve been on ssris for about ten years, but been on Paxil only about 9 months. I decided that meds weren’t working, hadn’t been working, and were a lost cause. Now I find myself in about my ninth month of my taper and am extremely frustrated and heartbroken by my results. I’m only down to 20 from 37.5 and am finding my state of mind and emotional wel-being really suffering. I’m usually ok for a few days, and then I get a surge of massive anxiety for about 2 days or more. This fear/anxiety can be so paralyzing that it makes me feel like my world is crumbling and there’s nothing I can do to talk myself out of it. I’ve been reading stories and am finding it so demoralizing that people take 5 heads 5 years, not heads haha or more to recover from this/some simply never get 100 percent full-functioning back. 

 

Im looking for advice on how to stay hopeful during the bad waves of anxiety. How to not compare myself to others and how to not convince myself that’s I’m going to be stuck in this state for the rest of my life. I know healing comes, but I hear these stories and it makes me feel totally hopeless, feeling like I wanna give up on certain days and I’m only down to 20 mg! Keep in mind, other days I feel pretty hopeful and like I’m making real progress. All to be totally taken away by a wave of massive crippling anxiety. Luckily, I have a job and am able to work, but some days it gets so bad I think about quitting.

 

Any words of wisdom/support would really be appreciated,

 

Anthony 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
edited typo

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

I've moved your new topic and added it to your Intro topic.  Your Intro topic is the place where you can ask questions about your own situation and where you can journal your progress.  It keeps your history in one place.

 

The fact that you are having better periods is a good sign.  I know it can be frustrating when things worsen again but unfortunately that is just the nature of the tapering/WD beast.  Healing isn't linear.  What you are going through is normal.  Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

I have found that magnesium helps with my anxiety.  There have been several times during the last few years when I have stopped taking it and then restarted it and each time I have noticed that it takes the edge off my anxiety.  It's better to take it throughout the day, not just once a day:  Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

I have found that understanding what is happening helps to keep me patient and more accepting of the times when I am feeling worse.

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

It's important to learn and use non-drug techniques to get through these times.

 

AAF
Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  A concept stolen from Claire Weekes.  It is a process for handling situations that you have no control over.  Acknowledging the situation/symptom, getting to know it on a personal level.  Accepting that the situation/symptom is there, its real and there is nothing you can do about it. Letting the Situation/symptom Float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's sort of like dealing with an unwanted house guest.  At first you get to know them and make them comfortable.  Then you realize they are not making any effort to leave and there is nothing you can do, but ignore them as best as you can until they go away.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Acceptance

 

Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

CBT Course:  An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help ...

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

Thanks Chessie! 

 

Its going to take me some time to get though all this material, but it seems very helpful. 

 

I guess the the main thing is trying to keep a hopeful attitude and not giving into doomed/spiraled thinking. 

 

When I think about how long I’ve been on ssris and how young I was(started at 18 now 28) I start thinking my brain is really broken and incapable of healing.

 

Im definitely going to taper with the ten percent method from this point forward. Slow and steady. I’m just having a hard time being hopeful about recovery during waves, which leads to further anxiety. It’s why I have such a hard time floating during the waves. 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

You're welcome.  Just go through it bit by bit as you are able.  The brain remodelling and healing video are both helpful so check those first.

 

And here is another on that is helpful:

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

I would also like to encourage you.  I'm 60 and have been on an AD for 25 years.  I've managed to reduce from 100mg Pristiq (started tapering 3 years ago) and now down to 7mg and during my taper I have only experienced mild withdrawal symptoms.  I am tapering no more than 10% of my current dose.  At 50mg I held for 3 months and at 20mg I held for 7 weeks.  I did this, not because I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms, because I wanted to give my brain a chance to catch up if it needed to.  It's going to take me another couple of years before I am off but I'd rather do it slowly and keep withdrawal to a minimum.

 

When we first start tapering it is a really big part of our life.  As time goes on it fades into the background.  There have been times during the last 3 years when I have become impatient and got frustrated and wanted to go faster and I think that is normal.  Being part of the SA community helps because other members can support you when this happens.

 

It's also important to realise that if you go through a stressful time, eg if you are sick, outside stresses increase, Christmas/holidays, it is better to hold on a dose during that time.  I've recently had dental issues over a few months and stayed on my dose a bit longer than I had planned.  I had realised that my withdrawal symptoms were increasing.

 

Throw out the calendar and listen to your body.  BTW, some members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go, so be prepared for that.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

Thanks Chessie!

 

This website and all that you guys do is such an amazing resource and lifeline to us all! I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your effort/all the info you’ve sent me. 

 

As as I said before, it’s going to take me a little while to digest/understand all this info, but for now, I think I have a good foundation. I understand the ten percent method/the importance of a slow taper and have tools to try to stay positive about the whole experience/stay patient. 

 

It it seems like we are in fact building new brains, if it were an easy task, we wouldn’t need a website like this and we wouldn’t need a very methodical approach to tapering. 

 

I did did two big jumps and that’s what lead my to this site. I jumped from 37.5 to 25, then 25 to 20. I experienced massive withdrawal and discovered that I’m tapered wayyyy too fast and needed to wait a long time before leveling out and really starting a taper. Like I said, my first drop was back in January, and my second one was four months ago. I plan on waiting at least two more months before starting the correct taper. I just hope those two big drops weren’t too much for my system. Anyway, at leas to have the right info now and didn’t CT. It could always be worse, and I have to be grateful for this site and for you. 

 

Thanks so much Chessie! 

 

Anthony 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

You are very welcome.  I was relieved like you are when I first came to SA and discovered that "I'm not the only one" - the title of my Intro topic 😊

 

Yes it is good that you didn't cold turkey.  And I'm really pleased that you understand the importance of a slow taper.  I would encourage you, when you are able, to go through those links.  It is because of what I have learned earlier that when I get impatient or feeling worse that I remember that information.

 

10 hours ago, Adili13 said:

It it seems like we are in fact building new brains

 

The brain automatically tries to regain homeostasis, or factory settings.

 

From What is Happening in Your Brain:

 

"Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made."

                                                                            

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

Thanks again Chessie!

 

I will certainly get around to getting through all of this valuable information. 

 

I just read a good amount of, “what is happening in your brain.” I love the World Trade Center analogy. It makes sense that when we are experiencing symptoms, it means our brains are working hard to heal, and when we aren’t, it means they’ve got it right for a moment. 

 

This is can actually be really helpful in reframing how i look at symptoms and waves. I can’t thank you enough, and really look forward to updating you more on my progress. I’m going to check out your intro now haha.

 

have a good day 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

I'm very pleased that the information is helpful.

 

When you get a chance please create a drug signature.  We've been so busy giving you information that we've forgotten to ask you.

 

For the last 2 years we need details - dates, ALL drugs, doses.  For older than 2 years a summary - years and drugs.  Please keep it simple so we can see your history at a glance.  That is, no symptoms or diagnoses.  And please remember to update it whenever you make a change so it remains current.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

There will be times during a taper when you feel worse.  Those worse periods can vary in length and have different causes.  It is important to try and stay as calm as possible and not to panic (which can make things worse) and to assess the whole situation and ask questions about what has happened that may have caused/contributed to it.  Have you made a reduction recently?  Have you had an argument with someone?  Have you been sick?  Have there been any external stressors?  If nothing jumps out, think about what you have eaten, come into contact with recently.  Things which didn't cause issues previously can suddenly cause a problem, or it could be that a couple of non-issues happen simultaneously and the combination causes an issue.  Unfortunately sometimes we can't work out the cause.  It is important to build up a non drug toolkit of coping techniques to help you get through the worse times.

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

Ok Chessie,

 

I just created a signature. Please let me know if what I created will suffice or if I need to make any changes. 

 

I actually read parts of glenmullen’s book but am a bit more familiar with peter breggin’s work. I love what you sent me though! Try to stay calm and really evaluate why you might not be doing great instead of jumping to conclusions. 

Share this post


Link to post
unclesteve85

Hey anthony. I am also withdrawing from paxil. I am going on about 120 days from much to fast of a taper, but I am sticking to it. If you are having a hard time with those dosage drops, there is nothing wrong with going a little slower. These meds are different for everyone. Some people can cold turkey and have no issue, but most of us are not this lucky :P. Hang in there my friend. There is most certainly light at the end of the tunnel. Just take care of yourself and remember it will get better with time. Feel free to message me if you need someone to chat with. I know sometimes i feel like I am all alone in this and that's the worst thing ever! Just know you are not alone and you will get better!

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
6 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

For the last 2 years we need details - dates, ALL drugs, doses.  For older than 2 years a summary - years and drugs.  Please keep it simple so we can see your history at a glance.  That is, no symptoms or diagnoses.  And please remember to update it whenever you make a change so it remains current.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Thanks for creating a drug signature.  However, there is too much information in it and we need dates / years, not how old you were.  The information is useful but too much for a drug signature.  Please copy and paste what you currently have and post it in your topic.  Then follow the instructs above and simplify it so that we can see the information quickly without having to read through it.  If we need additional information we read through your topic.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

I just recreated my signature. Wasn’t able to fit my whole two years in bc I went through so many changes in the last two years. Prior to that, was just on lexapro. Let me know if you need anything else from me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

I was wondering if anyone experienced thoughts of anger/hate towards big pharma and/or your psychiatrist. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to diffuse these thoughts. It’s not like suing is a viable option. Have there ever even been any successful lawsuits? I’m sure the best course of action is to simply let it go and work on myself. Interested to see what others might think though 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Here's one of SA's discussions:  can-we-talk-about-anger-towards-big-pharma

 

If you go to this forum you will see some related topics (a couple of important ones are pinned at the top of the page):  events-controversies-actions

 

Not long after I joined SA I sent emails to medical professionals, not because I was angry but because I wanted to help educate the medical community so that other psychiatric drug takers don't suffer: email-campaign

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

I've found learning Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT which I have nicknamed Change Bad Thinking) helpful.

 

It's important that we try to keep ourselves as calm as possible.  Adding unnecessary anger and frustration can be detrimental and slow our healing.  There are some things we do have control over.  Even then, some of the things we have control over we need to make a decision about how it may affect our CNS.

 

Think of it this way, if our poor nervous system is busy trying to deal with stress (and this can include good stress) then its attention is taken away from regaining homeostasis/factory settings.  It's off fighting or fleeing the "enemy".  A good, actual example is when we are grieving after a loss.  It's not unusual to come down with a cold or other bug because our immunity is low.

Share this post


Link to post
Adili13

Great advice as per usual, Chessie! 

 

Im going to try to not waste unneeded energy on anger and frustration. 

 

I actuallt go to therapy for CBT already and am quite familiar with the teachings. Challenging negative thinking, refocusing, and recognizing when I’m catastrophizing. 

 

Big pharma and psychiatrists don’t deserve any more attention from me. I need to let my body heal.

 

appreciate all you do Chessie!!! 

 

Ant 

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.