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DeterminedAnna

DeterminedAnna: long time Seroxat / Paxil / paroxetine user

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DeterminedAnna

Thank you Alto and Chessie.

 

I've now thrown out the lorazepam. I'm too scared of becoming dependent on it.

 

I'm angry that my GP last week, in nothing more than a 5-minute call, told me first to increase to 10mg, then on declining that, asked ME what I thought was best. Upon which she issued the lorazepam. She didnt even suggest it might be worth booking a face-to-face appointment a few days after to see how I am.

 

I'm scared the anxiety will ramp up as the lorazepam wears off.

 

Once I feel the lorazepam effect has faded, I will provide a daily symptom chart as requested. I'm guessing this will be Thursday.

 

Thank you again. 

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ChessieCat

It would still be a good idea to keep daily symptom notes.

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DeterminedAnna

Hello Chessie and Alto,

 

Thank you again for your help.

 

I am going to keep daily symptom notes on paper as suggested.

 

I had a walk in the sunshine with my mum yesterday, with the intention of it being therapeutic. She drove to me, via the motorway, which for her is a big deal.

 

I love her to bits, but she has always been a believer in tough love and sometimes shows that tough love at the wrong time and in a misguided way.

 

For example, she told me that I should 'just go cold turkey and be done with it', citing her experiences as a nurse 40-odd years ago dealing with alcoholics. This made me furious. She also said there's only so much my partner will take of this [me and the Seroxat withdrawal], which obviously didn't help anything. It all descended into a row, which saw me shout at her about how she raised us, and how she refuses to accept any part in how I and my siblings turned out as adults.

 

I think a lot of her comments stem from feeling helpless and frustrated. There's no textbook for this stuff. Not for the people directly affected by withdrawal, and perhaps even less so for loved ones, who have to do the impossible task of imagining something that is often indescribable. If there was a textbook, my mum wouldn't read it anyway. This refusal to acknowledge and understand does upset me, but perhaps this isn't really coldness on my mum's part. Perhaps it is because she herself cannot handle the heartbreak of certain things.

 

Throughout our walk, I think I just wanted her to say 'yes, this is terrible, but you can get through this'.

 

We'd made amends by the time we parted ways and she later sent me an SMS to say she will consider my points, and listen more without immediately replying with the harsh words. She also said – unprompted – 'what you're going through is terrible'. It was as if she had read my mind.

 

During our walk, she did ask me about how much time I am spending on the internet reading about Seroxat withdrawal. Knowing where she was going with this I brushed that aside, as I knew telling her that I read anything at all would prompt her to criticise me, which I couldn't handle. She's anti-internet per se, which I don't agree with.

 

But, I have since looked at the web history on my phone and computer and realised I am spending hours every day reading and re-reading. I am analysing, ruminating, searching desperately, looking for validation and answers. More information leads to more questions and more ruminating and more anxiety, feeding my symptoms. I've mentioned this before in my thread, but I didn't really appreciate the extent I am doing this.

 

I don't think this behaviour is helping me. It wouldn't help anyone, withdrawal or not.

 

I can't confidently say whether the updose is having any effect right now because it has been muddied by my taking lorazepam. But irrespective of this, I am going to cut back on the online stuff. So I am going to sign off for now and return in a week or two with those daily symptom notes and hopefully to report some more consistent improvements.

 

This isn't a reflection of this website and the people on it. I genuinely believe it is a lifesaver that offers more insight and help than the medical community – particularly the 'professionals' I have encountered.

 

This isn't me saying 'thanks for the help, see ya later alligator'. This is me saying I need to cut back on the obsessive internet use and start actually, really, regularly, practising the advice I've been given here.

 

I'm also explaining this because I didn't want to go radio silence and worry anyone.

 

For now, one more HUGE thank you.


 

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ChessieCat

i notice that you are in England and wonder if you are from English parents.  I was born in Australia from English parents, an Aussie-made POM my husband called me.  They came to Australia in 1954.  My mother was born in 1927.  She always seemed to criticise me, but I found out that when she spoke to others about me she was also proud of my accomplishments.  Even though I think she cared, I don't think she was the type of person who was able to show it and she wasn't able to be tackful and couldn't understand when I told her that something she said had upset me.  I made the decision that I wasn't going to see her again, but after a bit of time I backed down but asked her if she was going to apologise  (after I had explained it all to her) and she just said apologise for what.  That was a real eye opener for me.  I realised that she just didn't get it, so I let it drop but was more careful about what I said to her and how I reacted to what she said to me.  I knew I had to be the one to bear with it for the sake of peace and I'm glad I did because she died several years later and I don't have any regrets.

 

I'm wondering if it might be the English stoicism and not show emotions in the older generation, which is why I told you my story.

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

Taking a break is a good idea.  There comes a times when withdrawal etc needs to take a back seat in our lives.  It's part of the learning to accept that it is what it is at this time and focusing on it isn't going to change anything. 

 

Use the image of waiting in a queue, the line gradually gets shorter.  When you are in a queue you can't make it move any quicker than it does.  You have no control over it.  All you can do is wait in the line.  How you wait is what is going to make a difference.  You can either be impatient and start getting irritable and think bad things and complain to the other people who might start swearing at you which makes you feel worse or you can try to be patient and calm and try and think of nice things and look at the things around you.  It's going to take the same amount of time for you to get to the head of the queue but you can either make the experience of waiting pleasant or unpleasant.

 

Thank you for letting us now that you are taking a break.  That is very thoughtful of you.  It can be worrying when a member disappears.

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DeterminedAnna

Hi Chessie

 

Well, I'm back with an update.

 

Firstly, thank you again for your thoughts, guidance and your story. There are definite similarities with your mum and mine. And you are right about the generational thing. I've seen other people who are around my age have similar difficulties with their parents.

Yes, my parents are both English – my mum is a proper London Cockney type, with a real 'just get on with it' attitude. She is one of four siblings, and was raised by my nan, who was widowed soon after her fourth child. So my mum's upbringing was tough, and even though my nan was by all accounts a great woman who despite having little income always made sure her four children were well fed and clothed with a roof over their head, I always get the impression that my mum and her siblings were left to fend for themselves. My mum once said of my depression and anxiety something like 'well I didn't get any help, so why should you?'. She denies she ever said this, but I know she did. It explains a lot.

 

My dad too is from London, but he has always had a gentler way. Strangely, although my mum's attitude has at times made me anxious and angry and frustrated, my dad has a tendency to be maudlin and melancholy, which doesn't help either. Throughout my life, I think I've just wanted my parents to say 'it will be all right' and give me hope and gentle encouragement. 

Like you have described, I think my mum cares, but she often struggles to show it. It was one of the factors, I believe, that made my teenage years very anxious and depressive, during which time I was badly bullied at school. Then in my late teens, I met and moved in with a man who turned out to be violent, and after 18 months of physical and mental abuse, two house moves to escape him, I had a breakdown in my early 20s, which is when I was first prescribed Seroxat.

 

After my last post here, I sent my parents a long email explaining about Seroxat withdrawal in basic terms, as well as nudging them towards what will help and not help me and what will make our relationship work through this. My mum in the past has described such actions – talking about oneself – as selfish and self-centred, so I pre-empted that in my email by asking them to not immediately judge me and instead read and consider with an open mind.

 

I sent that email on 24 February and they read it the same day, sending me text messages of agreement and support soon after. And ever since that email, they have been a whole lot more considerate and open-minded.

 

Your queue analogy is excellent. It's a strong one to keep in mind...

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DeterminedAnna

Sorry, that wasn't really an update, more of a brain dump and because your last post got me thinking.

 

I've gone through all of the above with therapists in the past, through CBT and hypnosis. But withdrawal seems to have made all this stuff resurface in a much more painful way than ever before, which makes me wonder if talking therapy of any kind, while in the numbed state of taking antidepressants, is ever really useful.

 

I kept my symptom lists as requested, and have provided them below.

 

In desperation, I further increased my Seroxat dose to 7mg daily since our last discussion. I know I should have stuck it out on the lower updose (6.16mg) but I hit a crisis point on the weekend of 23/24 February as the notes below describe.

 

So my daily doses of Seroxat the past few months have gone like this (I will update my signature):

 

27 December 2018 to 13 February 2019: 5.96mg
14 to 23 February 2019: 6.16mg
24 February: 6.8mg
25 February to date: 7mg – and due to some morning commitments, I changed taking at about 11am to about 8am in the morning.

 

I am now only taking magnesium citrate as a supplement – 200mg, split into 100mg in the morning and 100mg in the evening. I suspect the bigger dose was making my diarrhoea worse.

 

On the point about diarrhoea because that could affect how my Seroxat is being absorbed – I have diarrhoea within minutes of waking but not after I take my Seroxat (or not until the next morning, some 21+ hours later).

 

I had a doctor appointment with a different, much more supportive doctor, on 27 February. My partner joined me and we took a prepared list of points to discuss. I sobbed throughout most of it. She has ordered a load of blood tests to make sure everything else is ok. My blood pressure is a bit high. She mentioned taking a beta blocker – propranolol – and I am seeing her again on 14 March to discuss the results of my blood test and make a decision about propranolol. I am in a dilemma about using a beta blocker. She said it is not addictive like benzos, but can instead calm the physical symptoms of anxiety.

 

I am getting my blood taken and blood pressure rechecked today (5 March).

 

**WHERE I AM NOW, 5 MARCH 2019**

 

  • I am sleeping from about 11pm to 4am, when I wake with jittery panic. It is not as bad as it was in January and February and I am able to get back to sleep within an hour, after deep breathing.
  • I wake again at about 7.30am, feeling miserable and with the same old anxious thoughts racing round my head. 'When is this going to end?' is the overriding question.
  • I feel traumatised by the past few months and can't get it out of my head.
  • I feel like all the non-drug methods of coping barely scratch the surface. It's as if the positive (or even just the rational) thinking side of my brain is completely switched off, along with my sense of humour and ability to think about anything other than Seroxat withdrawal and associated things.
  • I am able to eat a little more than in January and February. Although I'm overweight and eating less is no doubt helpful in one sense, I am concerned I am missing out on nutrients. But I am now too scared to take any supplements and my tub of multivitamins hasn't been opened for about a month now.
  • I am not drinking caffeine at all and am only drinking sugar-free fruit squash, or chamomile tea.
  • I have switched my e-cigarette to a lower nicotine formula as I know nicotine does not help the adrenaline rushes. I don't think I can stop nicotine entirely at the moment.
  • I am walking at least half an hour every other day. And on the days I don't walk, I make a point of being active with housework (e.g vacuuming everywhere, scrubbing the bathrooms etc).
  • I have still been declining new freelance work as I can't get my head around new clients or projects. This is impacting my income, and I fear it will only be so long before I need to dip into my small amount of savings, which I'd been building up for moving house. This makes me anxious.
  • I have been going to every Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday afternoon of my part-time job as a maths/English tutor for children. It is about the only thing that properly distracts me from all this.
  • My partner is suffering too. He has become more distant – he is scared of saying something that will cause me anxiety – and he is showing his typical signs of stress, like diarrhoea, poor sleep. He is doing all he can to help me (and is the kindest person I know) but it is inevitable that it is affecting him. For the first time in our nine-year relationship, I've been fearing that he might leave me.
  • EVERYTHING triggers anxiety and over analysis. I'm indecisive because of this – every option poses a threat to me and as a result I get stuck. And concentrating is really difficult too.
  • My partner, parents and I are going away together this weekend (8-11 March). This was booked last autumn. It should be lovely, but all I can think of is the possibility of me having a heart attack (now I know my blood pressure is high) in the middle of nowhere (we're going to remote countryside). My mind thinks about dying in terms of the trouble it would cause my loved ones – I literally go through the scenario of how my partner and family would suffer, almost like I'm being anxious for them by proxy.
  • I am coming to the conclusion that I might not ever be able to stop taking Seroxat, or certainly not before I reach the menopause. This means my chances of having a child with my partner seem ever less likely, which breaks my heart.
  • I desperately want to have a few minutes of feeling carefree and relaxed, not thinking about these issues.


**SYMPTOM NOTES – I STOPPED RECORDING THESE (FOR NOW) BECAUSE THINKING ABOUT IT / ANALYSING MADE ME MORE ANXIOUS**

Ratings:

0 = low, so good / 10 = high, so bad


Wednesday 20 February 2019 (no caffeine, used e-cigarette throughout day)

7:00 – wake, have diarrhoea – anxiety 5/10; low mood 3/10
9:45 – took 6.16mg Seroxat and 200mg magnesium citrate with Belvita 'soft bake' breakfast bar – anxiety 4/10; low mood 3/10
10:40 – slight headache, drink lots of water
13:30 – lunch of feta, walnut, beetroot and lentil salad, with Mini babybel cheeses and cheese straws pastry twists – anxiety 4/10; low mood 4/10
14:00 – walk – anxiety 3/10; low mood 5/10
14:30 – drive, start crying to music at 14:45, doesn't affect mood, seems to improve it
15:00 – relaxed, deep breathing and fiction – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
17:30 – housework – anxiety 3/10; low mood 5/10
19:00 – watched vet programme and hungry – anxiety 5/10; low mood 3/10
20:00 – dinner of lamb, mint, pea salad and one pitta bread; natural yoghurt, blueberries and crushed meringue
20:30 – watched TV – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
22:00 – progressive muscle relaxation exercise – anxiety 1/10; low mood 2/10
22:30 – in bed - anxiety 4/10; low mood 4/10
00:00 – sleep 


Thursday 21 February 2019 (no caffeine, used e-cigarette throughout day)

6:30 – wake, have diarrhoea – anxiety 6/10; low mood 4/10
7:00 – deep breathing, then read LinkedIn posts on phone with blue filter – anxiety 5/10; low mood 4/10
7:30 – Belvita 'soft bake' breakfast bar, 200mg magnesium citrate, sugar-free flavoured water and text mum – anxiety 4/10; low mood 4/10
8:30 - 9:30 – various relaxation exercises - anxiety 2/10; low mood 3/10
10:05 – took 6.16mg Seroxat with Belvita 'soft bake' breakfast bar, sugar-free flavoured water – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
12:45 – work call about change to a long-term contract, and hungry – anxiety 6/10; low mood 6/10
13:30 – lunch of feta, wheatberries and beetroot salad, Mini Babybel cheeses and cheese twists, 200mg magnesium citrate, sugar-free flavoured water – anxiety 6/10; low mood 6/10
14:00 - 15:30 – walk, then gardening – anxiety 5/10; low mood 6/10
15:30 - 17:15 – work (writing article about telecoms) – anxiety 3/10; low mood 4/10
17:15 – 17:45 – housework – anxiety 3/10; low mood 4/10
17:45 – hungry – four Brazil nuts and two clementines
18:00 – call to mum, cried – anxiety 5/10; low mood 6/10
18:30 – more housework – anxiety 5/10; low mood 6/10
19:45 – dinner of steak, salad, wholemeal toasted bread, 200mg magnesium citrate – anxiety 6/10; low mood 5/10
20:00 – watch TV – 6/10; low mood 5/10
21:15 - progressive muscle relaxation exercise – anxiety 5/10; low mood 5/10
21:30 - chamomile tea – anxiety 5/10; low mood 5/10
21:45 – hypnosis track for calming overactive mind – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
22:45 – about 0.3mg melatonin – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
23:00? – sleep

 

Friday 22 February 201* (no caffeine, used e-cigarette throughout day)

4:10 – wake up, severe nausea and dry gagging, diarrhoea – anxiety 9/10; low mood 8/10 [on hindsight, I think I had nausea and dry gagging the morning after taking melatonin – but never from chamomile – before. So no melatonin for me.]
4:30 – deep breathing exercises – anxiety 5/10; low mood 9/10
5:00? – sleep
6:30 – wake up, feed cat, deep breathing, consider updosing, but talk myself out of it – anxiety 7/10; low mood 8/10
7:45 – Belvita 'soft bake' breakfast bar, four Brazil nuts, 200mg magnesium citrate, sugar-free flavoured water – anxiety 7/10; low mood 8/10
8:30 – cried to partner, saying that 'I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread' - anxiety 7/10; low mood 8/10
9:00 – work reading – anxiety 6/10; low mood 7/10
9:30 - positivity hypnosis track – anxiety 4/10; low mood 5/10
9:45 – took 6.16mg Seroxat with Belvita 'soft bake' breakfast bar, sugar-free flavoured water – anxiety 4/10; low mood 5/10
10:30 – 12:45 – housework, including top-to-bottom vacuum cleaning – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
12:45 - 13:30 – five Brazil nuts and big glass of water for hunger, shower and dress. Tell myself if things haven't got better in 30 days then I will updose, giving myself a not-totally-ideal plan B – anxiety 4/10; low mood 4/10
14:00 - 15:15 – walk with mum and dad, then talk with them at home; mum and dad positive and caring, but I cry lots - anxiety 5/10; low mood 5/10
15:15- 15:40 – late lunch of mixed bean and sweetcorn salad, sour cream, cheese pastry twists - anxiety 5/10; low mood 5/10
15:40 - 16:10 – played piano to funky music - anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
16:10 – 19:00 – partner home, watched TV and did pencil drawing; chamomile tea – anxiety 5/10; low mood 5/10
19:00 – dinner of sausages, mashed potato, kale and carrots – anxiety 6/10; low mood 6/10
19:30 – watch TV (with blue light filter, low volume) in bed – anxiety 4/10; low mood 4/10
22:30 – Michael Sealey sleep hypnosis for anxiety track – anxiety 3/10; low mood 3/10
00:00? – sleep


Saturday 23 February 2019 (no caffeine, used e-cigarette throughout day) INTENSE ANXIETY AND PANIC TODAY
4:00? (didn't want to check time) – wake to panic – anxiety 8/10; low mood 8/10
4:00? – 5:00? – two Brazil nuts, deep breathing exercises – anxiety 5/10; low mood 6/10
5:00? – 6:30 – sleep
6:30 – wake, deep breathing exercises – anxiety 8/10; low mood 8/10
7:30 - 8:00 – Michael Sealey sleep hypnosis for anxiety track – anxiety 4/10; low mood 4/10
8:00? – sleep
9:20 – wake, no diarrhoea, reading about Seroxat withdrawal and related topics – anxiety 8/10; low mood 8/10
10:00 – scrambled eggs and brown toast, took 6.16mg Seroxat and 200mg magnesium citrate – anxiety 6/10; low mood 7/10
10:15 – 11:00 – more reading about Seroxat withdrawal and related topics, journaling – anxiety 7/10; low mood 6/10
11:00 – 11:45 – housework – anxiety 7/10; low mood 8/10
11:45 - 12:30 – long shower, dress and do makeup and hair – anxiety 7/10; low mood 8/10
12:30 - 13:15 – heart-to-heart with partner, ask him to join me in forthcoming doctor's appointment and tell him I'm worried about my income so my parents are going to help; partner gets stressed – anxiety 8/10; low mood 8/10
13:15 – headache, take 500mg paracetamol
13:15 – 14:00 – drive 30+ miles mostly in silence with partner to meet my parents for walk – anxiety 8/10; low mood 8/10
14:00 – 14:50 – walk with partner and parents; bright sunlight makes me feel sick, dry heaving – anxiety 7/10; low mood 9/10
15:00 – parents' house for non-alcoholic drinks (I have sugar-free Fanta) and two fig rolls; have a few laughs, but also go hot and cold, very agitated, bawling – anxiety 9/10; low mood 9/10
15:50 – panic symptoms, dry gagging - anxiety 10/10; low mood 10/10
16:00 – headache, take 500mg paracetamol
16:45 – drive home with partner, eat half a Belvita softbake bar – anxiety 9/10; low mood 9/10
17:30 – gave in, took 0.5 lorazepam to calm anxiety (fished out of bin from when I threw them out a few days earlier; have diarrhoea – anxiety 8/10; low mood 8/10
17:30 - 18:45 – journalling, more reading about Seroxat withdrawal and related topics, journaling – anxiety 7/10; low mood 6/10
18:45 – 19:00 – dinner of chimichurri steak, salad and two white pitta breads (can't eat a lot of it) - anxiety 5/10; low mood 6/10
19:00 – forget to keep notes for rest of day, but 

 

Sunday 24 February 2019 (no caffeine, used e-cigarette throughout day. spent most of day in bed) LESS ANXIETY THAN SATURDAY, BUT STILL INTENSE
4:15 – woke, took 1mg lorazepam (entire packet of 7x 1mg tablets now gone) – decided to soon restrict journaling symptoms for a while and give myself a break from one aspect of thinking about Seroxat withdrawal – anxiety 6/10; low mood 6/10
9:00 – took 6.8mg Seroxat (increase from previous day); desperate - anxiety 4/10, low mood 6/10
Decided to stop recording notes for a while.
 

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DeterminedAnna

One more post from me. I'm sorry the above has been really long and rambling – there's a week or so of stuff that's been building up.

 

My questions:

  • Considering I updosed some time (about two months) after my last drop (in December), have I passed the cut-off date for this updose to have an effect in reducing withdrawal symptoms? I see this is talked about with people who have completely stopped their antidepressants and consider reinstating, but is this the same for people who updose?
  • My feeling is to now stick it out at my new 7mg dose for some months, but part of me cannot accept that stabilising happens and I somehow can't believe my symptoms will improve. If they don't, say after a month (that will be late March), should I consider a further updose? Right now, the side effects of Seroxat seem far more appealing than the withdrawal effects.
  • I have read the pages here on beta blockers. I have also read that beta blockers lower blood pressure which might be beneficial for me, but I have also read that beta blockers can cause insomnia. So I am very confused. My feeling is to give propranolol a go, because I am sure my anxiety – with the shallow breathing, shakes, heart palpitations and racing thoughts – is driven by high adrenaline. But I'd only want to try this for a short time. Does this sound wise?
  • I know fish oils are championed on this site, and I am convinced they are beneficial, but I am so terrified of taking supplements at the moment. And I am also trying to limit my spending, because I need to make my money stretch further at this time. So, am I missing out by not taking fish oils? (My experience in the past of fish oils is that they ramped up anxiety, although I wasn't very scientific about monitoring the effects, and it might just have been coincidental).

 Many thanks for your help and thoughts. 

 

 

 

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DeterminedAnna
On 2/18/2019 at 3:21 PM, Shep said:

 

Benzo dependence takes 2 - 4 weeks.  You can safely stop after 5 days. 

 

I would not take it any longer than 10 days total (including a rapid taper) so you don't risk developing a dependency. 

 

Shep, I never said thank you for your kind advice and quick response. So big thank you.

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Altostrata

DA, please keep daily symptom notes to track the effects of any drug change. This is the only way you can tell if the increase to 7mg is helping or hurting. This is very important.

 

Withdrawal syndrome is tough on you and your loved ones. They don't want to see you suffering, but they don't know what to do. Unfortunately, there are no clear paths, you have to try things, see what works, and be patient. Perhaps you can let your mother and husband know you will be making difficult decisions, you don't expect them to have answers, but you'd like their emotional support while you go through this.

 

Not being able to see ahead in this process is scary. You'll need to find internal resources to calm your anxiety, because that makes it all worse. See

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Neuro-emotions

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system

 

Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism

 

Ways to cope with daily anxiety

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

The early morning waking is common in withdrawal. See Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

What is the sleep cycle?


Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

That calming music may help you get back to sleep after your cortisol surge. Eventually, it will calm down.

 

When did this daily diarrhea start?

 

Blood pressure readings vary all the time. One reading that's "a little high" doesn't mean much, you might have been nervous because you were at the doctor's office. See

and read up on propranolol side effects on drugs.com

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DeterminedAnna

Hello @Altostrata, thank you for your reply and all the really useful information.

 

I really like the idea of saying to my loved ones that I 'don't expect them to have answers'. I think this will be reassuring for them, because inevitably those who love us want to fix things and as we all know there isn't a simple fix for antidepressant withdrawal. Allowing those close to me to know I'm not expecting a fix will help them not feel helpless or frustrated.


I haven't yet tried calming music to help me sleep. I will give this a go. Music has always been therapeutic for me. At the peak (hopefully) of my symptoms a fortnight ago, I was listening to Michael Sealey hypnosis and meditation tracks from YouTube. These were really helpful.


I've learned that I need to continue these non-drug techniques even when I'm feeling better (my partner has said this too). The catch for me is that the techniques I've been using – hypnosis tracks, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, gentle walks – have now got an association in my mind with anxiety. Yesterday, feeling better and knowing I should keep up the meditation, I started playing one of the tracks and within moments I started to feel anxious. I think I'll need to look into how to break negative associations...


I will resume taking daily symptom notes. I find it tricky, because in many senses I'd like NOT to think about all of this, as it definitely ramps up my anxiety – in the past couple of months I've become almost obsessive about it all, being the first thing that comes into my mind on waking, and the last thing I think about. I'm going to have to get better at distraction in order to get through this.


Although I've not continued the symptom lists in the same detail as above, I have been noting milestones on my calendar. Here's what I've noted over the past week or so – as sleep is such a strong indicator of everything for me, I've focused on this:

 

  • Tuesday 26 February (I switched from an 18mg to a 12mg nicotine e-cigarette from this day onwards)
    From lunchtime onwards: less anxiety and panic, more rational and positive thinking, less rumination, less temperature sensitivity, more appetite.
  • Thursday 28 February
    Slept better through night of 27/28 February, with much less panic, and a more normal bowel movement.
  • Friday 1 March
    Slept better again through night of 28 February/1 March, with again less panic.
  • Tuesday 5 March
    Similar, reduced levels of anxiety and panic, compared to a fortnight ago. At 22:00 on this day, I took 225mg aspirin.
  • Wednesday 6 March
    Slept almost entirely from 23:00 to 6.30 the night before. Much less anxious, with sense of humour and positive thinking returning. Less itchy scalp. Took 225mg of aspiring at 22:35 on this day.
  • Thursday 7 March (22 days since updose to 6.16mg Seroxat / 11 days since updose to 7mg)
    Night of 6/7 March I slept from about 23:30 to 6:45, with perhaps one five-minute wakeup.


As you can see from above, I have also tested aspirin at bedtime (I've been taking it with a small handful of mixed nuts as I know aspirin is hard on the stomach). I read something on this site where you mentioned taking a baby aspirin before bed can reduce morning cortisol levels. As I am convinced my morning panic surges are cortisol related, I thought I'd try this. I also found these studies – apologies if you've seen them before or they are duplicated...


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19404617


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19805643


https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04980


The morning (6 March) after the first night I took (225mg) aspirin, I did wake up around 4:00, but with very little panic. I think I fell back asleep within minutes. It's almost as if my 4:00 wakenings have become a habit as much as anything else.


This morning (7 March), again I woke up realising that I'd slept from 23:30 to 6:45. I don't think I woke up at all, but if I did, it was so minor I can't remember it.


You asked about diarrhoea – I have had this within minutes of waking every morning since mid-December 2018. I had it particularly bad on the morning of 22 February, which was the day after I took 3x my normal 200mg daily dose of magnesium, which made me think the magnesium was too much. I eat almost a plate full of greens (rocket, spinach, kale, watercress), which I believe are high in magnesium, with every evening meal – as well as a breakfast bar every morning, with has magnesium oxide in it. So I think I don't need to superdose on magnesium supplements. But on the other hand, I understand diarrhoea and stress causes the body to lose magnesium...


I have had diarrhoea occasionally (though not as bad as past months) throughout my taper, which started February 2018.


I've never analysed what's causing this diarrhoea but instinct tells me it's related to panic surges and all the physical processes that go with that – particularly the extreme panic (maybe adrenaline, cortisol) surges I've had over the past couple of months. I have always had a 'robust' digestive system that can handle any food, so I don't think it's dietary. That said, I did follow a ketogenic diet in 2016 and lost about 40lbs, during which time my toilet habits were much more solid (sorry), so perhaps cutting out carbs (especially bread) was beneficial.


I do get myself in a confused tangle analysing and over-analysing this.


Regarding my blood pressure – I had a second reading taken on Tuesday (5 March). It was 134/86, and I was very panicky while it was being measured. My feeling now (how different I am to a week ago) is not to worry too much over it. All the females in my family have low blood pressure, my mum especially so. I'm overweight, which doesn't help, but I've been losing weight in the past few months and as I've upped my exercise (from virtually nothing) and my appetite has dropped, I am hoping this will continue, which will surely lower my blood pressure. 


I will accept the script of beta blockers next week when I return to my doctor, but if I continue to feel like I am now (much better), I plan to keep the beta blockers in my drawer and tell myself they're there for emergencies. I'd rather not take any drugs, but knowing I have that available to me might be another thing (along with non-drug techniques) to ease the panic about panic.


I am convinced that the past few months for me have been dominated by adrenaline. It's as if I've been getting the physical symptoms of anxiety without any thoughts causing anxiety – the thoughts have been happening AS A RESULT of the physical processes and symptoms (I'm probably late to the party on realising this). It's prompted me to read about adrenaline and one of the interesting things I've seen is the relationship between this hormone and memory...


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3907/


For me, I've noticed in the past few months that bad memories have been flooding back to me in more vivid detail than ever before. This of course has then caused a vicious cycle of feeling more anxious and agitated (that feeling of needing to escape). Memories that I haven't had for years have resurfaced. This has got me thinking I'm not over all the situational things that happened to me in my early 20s that prompted me to start taking Seroxat. But I think this is a trick of my thoughts.


As I've settled in the past few days (fingers crossed) another quirk has happened – my tendency to hum and sing while doing things has reappeared. And it's been songs that I've not listened to in ages.


Sorry for the long update. I tend to write loads.


Here's what I'm going to do from now:

 

  • Stay on 7mg daily Seroxat for some months. At least until summer. Put any thoughts of having a baby to the back of my mind, as a bridge to cross in the distant future.
  • Continue the nightly aspirin, but over the next week, reduce it down. They're 75mg tablets, so will aim for one of these a night.
  • Accept the propranol prescription next week, but keep it only for desperate emergencies. I prefer this option to benzos.
  • Consider adding fish oils to my supplement regime at the end of March, if I'm stable.
  • Consider resuming my vitamin D supplement (I was deficient in this last February) AFTER trialling fish oils. One thing at a time.
  • Continue my non-drug coping techniques, including trying out relaxing music.
  • Continue losing weight slowly. Challenge the all-or-nothing thinking that has failed me in the past. A little walk may not be an intense fat-burning workout, but it is better than nothing. Half a small pizza and the rest of the plate of salad, with no dessert, is better than an entire, big, pizza and a heavy dessert.


I think I'll leave it there as my update for today.


This site is amazing. Thank you Alto from the bottom of my heart.

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Altostrata
9 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

You asked about diarrhoea – I have had this within minutes of waking every morning since mid-December 2018.

 

This may be related to your accidental dosage reduction 22 December.

 

Too much magnesium can aggravate loose bowels.

 

It sounds like you are doing better. I would give your nervous system a break for a while and hold at 7mg for a couple of months. Please let us know of significant changes in your symptom pattern.

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DeterminedAnna

Hello @Altostrata,

 

Thank you for your reply. I totally agree with you about holding at 7mg for a couple of months. I will keep checking in here though.

 

And as such, here's an update after a GP appointment today. I'd had a wide-ranging blood last Tuesday (5 March), and results were discussed today.

The following were normal – these were the ones I asked about, but I think there were more that she looked through on her screen:

 

  • Female / reproductive hormones
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Electrolytes – potassium, sodium
  • Calcium and magnesium
  • B vitamins, including folate
  • Iron
  • Cortisol (but I did say that I was only tested at one time of day, late morning, which she brushed aside).

 

The following were abnormal, and she made a point of discussing these:

 

  • Low vitamin D
  • Slightly elevated liver enzyme(s) – I didn't ask which one(s) (oops)
  • Slightly low blood platelet count

 

She asked me to take a vitamin D supplement every day from now on. 2x 10μg every day for next month, then 1x 10μg thereafter. I'm going to take this in the morning as I've seen on here that vitamin D can be stimulating. I have been vitamin D deficient before, prior to tapering.

 

She also wants me back in a fortnight to re-test liver function and platelets.

 

I forgot to tell her in my previous appointment (of 27 February 2019) that I'd been having diarrhoea every day since mid December. So she asked me to give a poo sample which I'll do tomorrow.

 

I was also prescribed 10mg propranolol during today's appointment, to take only in an emergency. I've collected them, but they're going in the back of my drawer and will only be used if I have extreme panic.

 

She has also asked me to self-refer myself to a local NHS-run counselling scheme to talk through my experiences. To do this, she asked me to complete a survey about my mood on her computer – a very familiar questionnaire – which I duly did, but kept insisting to her that my symptoms have been related to Seroxat withdrawal.

 

Nonetheless – and partly to be an obedient, cooperative patient – I've self-referred myself to this counselling scheme via an online form this morning. I suspect there will be a long waiting list, so we'll see...

 

To my relief, she did not at any point suggest increasing Seroxat. I told her that I want to remain on my current dose (7mg) for some months now before even considering resuming my taper.

 

Today I have been relatively calm. Last weekend – 8 to 11 March – I was away on a short break with my partner and parents. I felt really anxious throughout. Not as anxious as during January and February – and not with as many physical symptoms – but I couldn't relax and enjoy the break, feeling on edge at all times. I guess waves have ripples.

 

For the past two nights before bed I have taken 2mg of loperamide (Imodium) as I started thinking the diarrhoea was what was waking me, not the anxiety. I'd previously thought the diarrhoea was resulting from the anxiety...

 

The loperamide seems to have stopped my morning diarrhoea. I don't think I should take this in the long term, and won't be taking it tonight so I can provide a sample tomorrow.

 

I am still taking 150mg or 225mg aspirin before bed, at about 10:30 every night. I have been taking this since and including Tuesday 5 March. I can't say for sure if it's helped reduce morning cortisol effects or it just coincides with symptom relief from my updose of late February, but I'm reluctant to try going without the aspirin.

 

I realise I should only be adding one supplement or medicine at a time. So this is my plan:

 

  • Continue on 7mg Seroxat daily, for a few months
  • No more loperamide from today onwards (last taken 2mg 10:30 last night). Give poo sample tomorrow.
  • Phase out the nightly aspirin over the next week (I said I'd previously do this, but haven't had the courage to try it – it's been nice not having such extreme panic on waking)
  • Follow the GP's regime regarding vitamin D (I've never noticed it to be activating anyway). I have already taken 2x 10μg today.
  • Not obsess about my blood results – the GP herself didn't seem too concerned. I'm returning for further testing on 4 April.
  • Continue the non-drug coping methods and other steps to improving my health.

Any observations and experiences on this update will be hugely appreciated.

 

Big thank you.

PS. I will update my signature.

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Altostrata

It could be your liver is healing from earlier drug reactions. I wouldn't worry about it, but remind your doctor for a follow-up liver test for your next visit.

 

For the time being, I would stop magnesium until the diarrhea goes away. Magnesium can contribute to this.

 

The rest of your plan seems quite sound. Please let us know how you're doing.

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DeterminedAnna
Posted (edited)

Thank you @Altostrata – and yes, I'll stop the magnesium until things get a bit more solid! 😉

 

I should have added up there that my blood sample was taken before I started my nightly aspirin. My blood sample was taken 12.30pm 5 March 2019, and the first time I took aspirin in ages was that night, at 10:00pm 5 March 2019. I say this because I'm aware that aspirin affects platelets.

 

I'm getting a re-test of liver function and blood platelets on 4 April. 

 

Edited by DeterminedAnna
Clarity

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DeterminedAnna
On 1/3/2019 at 2:43 PM, DeterminedAnna said:

Hello Surviving Antidepressants team,

 

I am so glad and grateful you exist. One of the most challenging things about withdrawing from antidepressants is the feeling of loneliness. Although I'm new to the site today, I used Paxil Progress in 2013 and have often browsed SA since. I cannot overstate how comforting it is to know I am not alone and to see people with such kindness and wisdom.

 

Here is my introduction. I'm sorry if it's long, rambling or all over the place. It's kindof cathartic putting this down, even if it does stir some uncomfortable feelings and memories.

 

I have wanted to stop taking Seroxat since 2006, when I was 26 years old. I believe like most psychiatric drugs it blunts all emotions, and has turned me into a zombie that craves carbs and sleep, making me fat and unhealthy. It's also killed my libido for many years. Then in 2010, aged 30, I met my partner and knowing he was the one, I have since wanted even more desperately to stop Seroxat as we'd like to have children. I'm 39 now, and fear time is running out, but would never want to get pregnant and force this drug on a developing baby.

 

I hope I have correctly set up my new account today and am right in doing this introduction. As per my history below, I have been tapering using the 10% method since the middle of last February. I am using liquid Seroxat, which here in the UK is formulated so that 10ml = 20mg. This means practically that I consider my doses in millilitres. I use a two different types of oral syringes – the larger has 10ml total capacity broken into 1ml / 0.2ml increments, and the smaller syringe has 1ml capacity broken into 0.1ml / 0.02ml increments.

 

My latest programme of tapering has been very comfortable and I have very little to report. I suspect I have had occasional symptoms but I have been very careful not to catastrophise or ruminate, having learned that from my previous taper and various psychological therapies (e.g. CBT) in the past. I also believe that some health complaints are part and parcel of human life, whether antidepressants or involved or not. However, I am introducing myself here as I have had an unexpected crisis in the past two weeks.

 

Possibly because it's been a busy Christmas and I was not paying much attention, but for my latest reduction of 22 December, I took 2.92ml instead of the 2.98ml I was meant to take every day. I did not realise this until five days later, on 27 December, when my other half happened to notice I'd written 'take 2.98ml daily' on the bottle box but saw me measuring out 2.92ml. This means for five days I had made a something more like a 11.2% drop than the 9.9% drop that was planned.

 

As it happens, on Christmas day, I felt very poorly with massive anxiety and chest tightness, repeating again on 26 December. By 27 December – the day I realised I had been taking too little Seroxat – I was having horrible digestive issues with lots of heartburn, despite avoiding all the usual food causes of this and eating very conservatively for the festive period.

 

On 27 December and every day since, I have taken the amount I was meant to take for this cycle – 2.98ml, or 5.96mg. But this is where the real difficulties have emerged. My sleep has become very broken, and I am waking every couple of hours in a state of awful panic, with a feeling of inner trembling and bizarre, disturbing memories, phrases and thoughts – thoughts that are feel like they're written in bright neon light and someone is turning them on and off randomly with no logic and no intention by me. Physically, my breathing is shallow, despite consciously trying to practise deep breathing, and my digestive system feels like it is burning. This feeling is continuing into the day and although I'm trying to 'change the channel' and do something else, it's distinctly there in the background.

 

As the panic awakenings seem so reminiscent of my 2013 taper, I quickly realised what was happening, even if on this occasion it has felt milder. I consider that period of my life extremely traumatic, and so it's not something that I like to revisit in my mind. And this in turn fuels the panic – I'm praying that history is not repeating itself – I find that prospect terrifying.

 

My GP is useless and point blank refuses to acknowledge withdrawal exists, and has a 'told you so, you should stay in it for life' attitude if I ever get into discussion with her about my difficulties in coming off Seroxat. Fortunately, I can request the repeat prescription for liquid Seroxat online, so I don't have to have any interaction with her. In fact, I'd rather not have any interaction with medical professionals on this subject. In my own experience since I moved to a new area in 2013, I've only encountered hostility and cynicism.

 

I've already decided in my mind to remain on 2.98ml (5.96mg) and not drop again for a few months (my plan would ordinarily be to drop to 2.7ml / 5.4mg from 19 January and continue onwards). My questions are related to this episode, but also more general questions that have weighed on my mind for ages:

 

1. Do you think my excess drop could have had an effect on me? Even if, in my case, it was a tiny difference?

2. Do you think I've technically updosed, considering I noticed my mistake after just five days?

3. Is this tiny excess drop plus subsequent updose a possible cause for my pronounced symptoms? Can such tiny variations really have such a strong effect?

4. Does stabilising really happen? Could my plan to remain on 2.98ml for a while now offer stabilisation? 

5. My sleep pattern for the past week has been extremely disrupted. Is broken sleep better than no sleep? Should I give in to the urge to nap in the day because at the moment some sleep is good, and if my body is craving it, should I listen to it? (I'm self-employed and work from home so this is possible for me).

6. Do medical professionals resist recognising the problem of antidepressant withdrawal – especially now in the face of such strong evidence – because they'd effectively be admitting they got it wrong, and fear it will open the floodgates for legal action? (I get very angry about this).

7. My partner and I plan to move house in 2019 and get married soon after. Should I put further tapering on hold until after these stressful events? (I hate having to put my health plans on hold like this, but I'm also a realist who doesn't want a repeat of my 2013 trauma). If so, considering I'm now on 5.96mg, would getting to a round figure – e.g. 5mg – be sensible, since I could ask for 10mg tablets and simply cut them in half? Getting from 20mg to 5mg and being stable would still be a positive achievement!

 

I appreciate that some of my questions are really more for me to find the ultimate answer, but I'm still very grateful for people's thoughts and experiences.

 

Many, many thanks. This website and Paxil Progress back in 2013 is a genuine life saver.

 

______________ MY HISTORY______________

 

2002 to 2007

22 to 27 years old

- First prescribed Seroxat 20mg daily and taken properly, fully compliant. Do not have records, but attempted to stop by alternating doses around 2006, age 26. Was awful with terrible brain zaps and vomiting. Reinstated by psychiatrist, and pushed up to 40mg by early 2007, age 27.

 

2013 failed Seroxat taper

33 years old
- January to October 2013: 40mg to 0mg Seroxat, by dropping 2mg every fortnight. Did not know of the 10% method. Terrible reaction soon after hitting zero.

- November to mid-December 2013: took various drugs prescribed by doctors who would not recognise withdrawal, including diazepam, quetiapine, zopliclone. I did not continue with any of these drugs after mid-December 2013.

- January 2014 was back fully on Seroxat, and worked quickly back up to 20mg from mid-December 2013.

 

Latest, 2018 taper, following 10% method, starting with 20mg Seroxat

38 years old
- Saturday, 17 February 2018 – 9 ml / 18 mg
- Saturday, 17 March 2018 – 8.1 ml / 16.2 mg
- Saturday, 14 April 2018 – 7.3 ml / 14.6 mg
- Saturday, 12 May 2018 – 6.58 ml / 13.16 mg
- Saturday, 9 June 2018 - 5.92 ml / 11.84 mg
- Saturday, 7 July 2018 - 5.34 ml / 10.68 mg
- Saturday, 4 August 2018    – 5 ml / 10 mg
- Saturday, 1 September 2018 - 4.5 ml / 9 mg
- Saturday, 29 September 2018 - 4.06 ml / 8.12 mg
- Saturday, 27 October 2018 - 3.66 ml / 7.32 mg
- Saturday, 24 November 2018 - 3.3 ml / 6.6 mg
- Saturday, 22 December 2018 – Meant to be 2.98 ml, but between 22 and 27 December, believe I took 2.92ml by mistake / Meant to be 5.96 mg but by mistake, probably took 5.84mg daily between 22 and 27 December

 

During this latest taper: 
- No other pharmaceutical drugs.
- Rarely drink alcohol.
- Drink between 1 and 3 cups of (black) tea or coffee a day.
- Take vitamin D supplement as was found to be deficient in it in spring 2018 (my guess is due to not liking/eating oily fish, not being a fan of sunshine and being overweight – I'm about 18 stone, or 252lbs).
- Also take a general multivitamin/mineral approximately every other day.

- I use an e-cigarette lots. I gave up smoking in 2015 after a chest infection and so vaping is my nicotine source.
 

 

 

I got my dates wrong in the above account.

 

I have wanted to stop Seroxat since I was 24, and in summer 2004 (naively) attempted my own withdrawal using alternate day dosing. It was terrible and by late 2004 I was back on 20mg daily. And because I didn't know about waiting to stabilise, and wanted the reinstatement to hurry up and take effect, I took it upon myself to up the dose to 40mg, which is where I stayed from end of 2004 to early 2013.

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Vonnegutjunky

Hello Anna, just wanted to say your not alone, I hope you find stability soon, I am rooting for you! 

Will be watching for your updates! 

 

 

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DeterminedAnna

Thanks VJ (great name)

 

Very kind of you to drop by – I am rooting for you too, especially as we're both at similar doses of Paxhell.

 

xx

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DeterminedAnna
Posted (edited)

Here's my latest update and thank you once again to Alto, Chess, LongRoadHome, VonnegutJunky, and everyone on this immensely-valuable site.

 

I've been low over the past few days (having had a few days of relative positivity last week – 14/15/16 March). I have little motivation, low-level anxiety, and a sense that the past few months, with the withdrawal symptoms, have been traumatic and my body is recovering from that trauma.

 

Sleep hasn't been perfect, but nowhere near as bad as before my updose in February. I'm falling asleep from about 11pm to midnight, waking at 5am-ish, and then falling back asleep about 6:00 to 7:30. I'm wearing a blackout mask as I have done for the past few months, and it is especially useful because it's now spring in the UK and is getting lighter earlier in the day. My cat gets lively at about 5am, jumping on and off the bed until he gets his breakfast, so I suspect it's him that wakes me as my sleep gets lighter. In my peak symptoms in February, I toyed with the idea of shutting him out the bedroom, but that would stress him and he'd only meow at the door. Can't do that to him.

 

I'm not waking with those distinct, dreadful panic surges that I had throughout February. So that's a good sign of stabilisation.

 

I'm still getting diarrhoea every morning. Again, not as extreme as in February, and without cramps – so another sign of things settling.

 

Still taking 7mg Seroxat every day and will continue until at least the end of May.

 

Didn't take magnesium on Alto's advice on Friday 15 / Saturday 16/ Sunday 17 / Monday 18 March to see if it improved diarrhoea, but it didn't make any difference. So because I know it helps the jitters – which I got again on the evening of Monday 18 March – I restarted it yesterday, Tuesday 19 March.

 

Still taking vitamin D3 on doctor's orders, due to deficiency. Couldn't get my same product at the pharmacy last week, so my normal dose of 2x10μg has today been switched to another product, which is 25μg. I'll update my signature.

 

Overall, today, I am just flat and really demotivated, with moments of anxiety that is thought-based, not with the physical symptoms of January and February.

 

The demotivation is affecting my non-drug coping techniques. For example, I've not walked or done any deep breathing / muscle relaxation exercises since the weekend... I've been procrastinating over a piece of straightforward work... and not doing those things makes me feel guilty, which leads to a cycle of more demotivation.

 

My partner and I haven't been intimate for many months now, because I just cannot face it, and have zero libido. I've never really had any libido for the whole 17 years of taking Seroxat, but because anxiety has been numbed throughout, I've never really cared emotionally about not having a sex drive (I've always cared about not having libido on a logical level, as I know this isn't right). Now I'm on the lower doses, anxiety creeps through and not having a sex life with my partner makes me fear for the future of our relationship. Right now, it wouldn't bother me if I never had sex again in my life, but I know I can't inflict that view on my partner, even though he is the kindest, most patient, honest and faithful person I know. It's the impact on my partner that makes me anxious.

 

I hope this low mood will clear up with further stabilisation. And I hope this update will serve as a reminder of progress in the future.

 

I have an initial phone counselling session this Friday (22 March) following my self-referral (as requested by my GP) to a local NHS-run counselling scheme. I hope the therapist will be open minded about antidepressant withdrawal. As I've said in my intro thread before, I've had all kinds of therapies in the past, and irrespective of the type of therapy, I've always found a benefit from getting things off my chest to someone objective – not a family member, friend or colleague. The phone session will hopefully lead to regular face-to-face sessions, which however cynical I am about the medical establishment, I will take with open arms.

 

I'd really like to put the trauma of the past few months behind me, find some optimism and motivation, and have a few more moments of relaxation in my day.

 

Thank you for reading, and for any thoughts or shared experiences.

Edited by DeterminedAnna
Legibility

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Vonnegutjunky

This is a good update? You sound hopeful. And I also feel demotivated. Maybe your mind is telling you to just relax for a bit? You’ve been through a lot. 

 

I give myself days on the sofa, then force myself to take care of house and kids. 

 

No no shame in spending days in doing nothing, just don’t do it for too long. 

 

Also meditation may be difficult now, what about coloring or puzzles instead? I know when I feel like everything sucks I force myself to do just one small thing like color one page or do one small puzzle. 

 

What is your favorite British food? Or clothing brand? 

I love the U.K., almost all of my favorite bands are from there :) 

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Sarahbarah

Hi Anna,

 

I've been radio silent for a bit, but I did want to stop by and check in. I'm so glad to hear you've gotten some relief from the past traumatic months. I, too, have experienced demotivation, and it's almost impossible to get off the sofa once I'm home from work. Other than that, I haven't experienced other withdrawal symptoms.

 

Thanks for your posts. It's always encouraging to see your updates.

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DeterminedAnna
11 hours ago, Sarahbarah said:

Hi Anna,

 

I've been radio silent for a bit, but I did want to stop by and check in. I'm so glad to hear you've gotten some relief from the past traumatic months. I, too, have experienced demotivation, and it's almost impossible to get off the sofa once I'm home from work. Other than that, I haven't experienced other withdrawal symptoms.

 

Thanks for your posts. It's always encouraging to see your updates.


Hi Sarahbarah, thank you for stopping by.

 

I'm glad I've given you something encouraging to read. I just read your intro thread and saw how slowly you're going. I'm envious! I wish I had a time machine (WHY OH WHY HASN'T A TIME MACHINE BEEN INVENTED YET?) so I could go back and do my latest taper more slowly. I've a strong hunch I wouldn't have hit the problems I've hit in the past few months. BIG lesson there to you and to me!

I know the feeling about not getting off the sofa. I do that every night at the moment (until I swap the sofa for bed).

 

I'm glad you've not experienced withdrawal symptoms. That's a good sign you're doing your taper at the right pace. But if you experience anything unusual – especially within the first four days after a drop – my advice is to consider going back up to your last dose and hold for a longer time. Although there might be more 'official' advice on this forum, so ask questions of the mods quickly if you do get any withdrawal symptoms.

 

I notice you're taking propranolol. I've been issued this but as you can see from my thread I've put it to the back of my drawer to be used only in emergency panic situations. How does it affect you (I know we're all different)?

 

Many thanks again for dropping in and saying hello, virtual hug to you x

 

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DeterminedAnna
14 hours ago, Vonnegutjunky said:

This is a good update? You sound hopeful. And I also feel demotivated. Maybe your mind is telling you to just relax for a bit? You’ve been through a lot. 

 

I give myself days on the sofa, then force myself to take care of house and kids. 

 

No no shame in spending days in doing nothing, just don’t do it for too long. 

 

Also meditation may be difficult now, what about coloring or puzzles instead? I know when I feel like everything sucks I force myself to do just one small thing like color one page or do one small puzzle. 

 

What is your favorite British food? Or clothing brand? 

I love the U.K., almost all of my favorite bands are from there :) 


Hey VJ, I'm glad it came across as a good update. I wouldn't say I'm feeling 'good' but yes, looking back, it is relatively good.

 

And yes, perhaps subconsciously my mind is forcing me to have a period of nothingness. Kind of like computer shutdown for a bit after my couple of months of crap. Hopefully I'll reboot soon and things will be working more smoothly.

 

You're right in there not being shame in doing nothing – it doesn't come naturally for me to think this way, but I have to accept that I may somehow need this period of flatness and demotivation as part of stabilising.

 

Funny you mention colouring or puzzles. I did lots of jigsaw puzzles when I went through awful withdrawal in 2013. That means now I associate jigsaws with that period in my life, so I can't face them. I really believe withdrawing from these drugs is a trauma, and I run from trauma. That's why, I think, it's taken me five years to try tapering again after my crash in 2013.

 

...But... I now do a part time maths and English tutoring job. It's a sort-of after-school club for youngsters that need extra help with their studies and it's such a great thing for me. It's three afternoons a week, and through it I've acquired a long-lost love for maths problems. So I've borrowed some maths books from the lady who runs it and it's my equivalent to puzzles or colouring. It's all pencil and paper (no computers) and brainpower. I'm currently doing algebra.

 

I've read your intro thread and see you've been really going through s**t in past few weeks, including liver concerns and some seemingly strange anxiety reactions. I don't know if it's of any comfort, but I read somewhere on this site, possibly from Alto, that all bets are off when it comes to symptoms. I guess that means there's much more chance the symptoms are related to the medical poisons than they are to any fundamental bodily thing that's wrong with you. And I keep telling myself those symptoms are signs my body is trying to put things right, so in a way I should be thankful for the symptoms (yes, very very very hard to be thankful though).

 

I saw in your thread that you described anxiety over the most peculiar things and that your iPad looked warped. So how about this one for weirdness – I sometimes got a feeling that my arms and legs are round, really bulky cylinders when I'm lying down. Being a curvy girl, my legs are big yes, but the feeling I get is like they're HUGE cylinder shapes – like a giant's rolling pin – and I have to feel my legs to make sure they're really my legs, with knees and ankles and feet at the end.

 

(I investigated this online and suspect it something to do with my brain's spatial / bodily awareness and maybe along the lines of phantom limbs).

I've not had this feeling for a while. I'm laughing at this symptom now because it is just so ridiculous, but at the time, I was very anxious and restless about it.

 

*Sorry I write long, rambling updates*

 

To answer your questions, which are lovely and made me smile...

 

- Favourite British foods: crisps (I think you call them potato chips in the US) – Pickled Onion monster munch are the BEST as are cheesy Wotsits.

- Favourite British clothing brand: being a big girl, I can't get into anything I really love, but when I was slimmer I loved French Connection and Coast. I mostly get my clothes from Simply Be and Navabi nowadays. Somehow, Paxil took away my sense of caring about my appearance.

 

And questions back to you, VJ

- You mentioned it, so what are your favourite British bands?

- Favourite US food from your way?

- Best US homegrown TV show?

 

I feel like a 10 year old writing a penpal letter answering and asking these questions, but it's a lovely feeling. Thank you for asking XXX

 

And the biggest hug to you too x

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Vonnegutjunky
8 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

.

 

*Sorry I write long, rambling updates*

 

To answer your questions, which are lovely and made me smile...

 

- Favourite British foods: crisps (I think you call them potato chips in the US) – Pickled Onion monster munch are the BEST as are cheesy Wotsits.

- Favourite British clothing brand: being a big girl, I can't get into anything I really love, but when I was slimmer I loved French Connection and Coast. I mostly get my clothes from Simply Be and Navabi nowadays. Somehow, Paxil took away my sense of caring about my appearance.

 

And questions back to you, VJ

- You mentioned it, so what are your favourite British bands?

- Favourite US food from your way?

- Best US homegrown TV show?

 

I feel like a 10 year old writing a penpal letter answering and asking these questions, but it's a lovely feeling. Thank you for asking XXX

 

And the biggest hug to you too x

I like your long rambling updates - they are good to read and good to see you have the capacity to write them- often times we feel brain damaged but we ha e our ability to read and write -‘ that at the very least is comforting - 

 

I love love love chips! (Crisps) my favorites are sour cream and onion - provsvly

simliar to pickled onion- 

 

French connection is one of my favored clothing brands too - you have a company over there called “Friday on my Mind” that I adore - lots of retro style designs - I am bigger too so often I can’t find brands that I love in my size - 

 

lately i I dress like I live in an institution- sweat pants and slippers everywhere I go- I feel bad for my family- I look and feel so feeble minded - 

 

my facote bands-  

Blur 

lush 

elastica

belle and Sebastian 

oasis 

the stone roses 

courtney Barnett

 

many are are no longer together but I still love them- 

 

my favorite American food is probably meatloaf and mashed potatoes - with lots of ketchup! I have used brown sauce on my meatloaf before and I really like it but it’s expensive to buy here - 

 

best tv show I still think, hands down is Breaking Bad, but there are many others that I love - 

 

The handmaids tale (drama on Hulu)

harlots (drama on hulu) 

the walking dead  (drama) 

community (comedy) 

superstore (comedy) 

seinfeld (comedy) 

 

also so we watch keeping up appearances here - we love it - 

 

i hoow your having a good day😊

i am in the middle of waves of anxiety rolling through my body as I lay here and watch my daughter play video games on her computer - I feel frozen and like I don’t want to move - I always feel like if I move my anxiety gets worse :( 

so I wait for another day to get over with so I just sleep- 

 

i hooe for better days For all of us - 

 

love from across the pond ! 

 

One day day I will make it over there for some real blood pudding! 

 

 

 

 

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DeterminedAnna

Ahhh, such a lovely reply @Vonnegutjunky

 

And thanks for reading my long rambling updates.

 

You inspired me to do some research about UK foods and getting them overseas. But first off, I have to set the record straight – sour cream and chive, as lovely as that is, is nothing like pickled onion Monster Munch. You have to taste it to understand – they're tangy and sour and addictive and no doubt full of artificial chemicals and very bad for you 😉

 

I found a place that does British food for international delivery. So here's a guilty-pleasure shopping list for you if you ever fancy trying some weird and wonderful British food:

 

- The best crisps ever (suitable for vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/monster-munch-pickled-onion-6-pack

- For your love of sour cream and chive crisps, these are lovely and not too unhealthy (suitable for vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/popchips-sour-cream-and-onion-chips

- And another crisp favourite – these are bacon flavour (but suitable for vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/walkers-frazzles-8-pack

- Try this with your meatloaf and mash (suitable for vegans and vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/branston-small-chunk-pickle (another yummy way is with a hard cheese like Cheddar in a sandwich)

 

Apart from the sour cream and chive Pop Chips, I don't really eat any of these things nowadays as it would be tooooooo easy to live off them.

 

I'd never heard of Friday on My Mind, but now I see why you like it so much – such funky patterns. You might also like https://www.joebrowns.co.uk/.

 

Dressing like you live in an institution isn't so bad....in a way, we all do (even wearing a smart suit for work is institutionalised). My day wear is pyjamas. I need to get some more so I have a different set for every day of the week to do PJs in true style 😂

 

LOVE all your bands, especially Blur. Damon Albarn is also behind The Good the Bad & the Queen, which is also the name of their debut album.

 

And I love Breaking Bad too, but probably couldn't watch it right now because chemistry and drug stuff sets me off, as does medical shows. One of my favourite programmes here is 24 Hours in A&E, but it's just too much to watch. And I can't watch horror films at all at them moment, even though I've loved them all my life.

 

Also, the Handmaid's Tale is one of the best TV shows I've seen in recent times, although I've not heard of others on your list (well apart from Seinfield and Walking Dead which my partner watches a lot). Comedy is good for me at the moment, so I'll try tracking down Community and Superstore.

 

One comedy that's working for me at the moment is Fleabag. You might be able to get it over there as the writer and main actress in it, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is making waves internationally – she's behind the show Killing Eve. Fleabag is quite bittersweet, so it could make you cry as well as laugh.

 

I know what you mean about moving and anxiety. But sometimes for me, moving helps. It's so unpredictable... if there was a pattern it would be more manageable.

 

Yes, I too hope for better days for all of us, and I have to keep reminding myself of the body's amazing, innate ability to heal itself. It's something we all probably don't give enough credit to, and something that we don't think much about when life is ticking along ok. So I keep telling myself I am closer today than yesterday to healing and even though the healing process is s**t, my body knows more than my conscious mind about what to do to get better.

 

Love back to you from across this side of the pond XX

 

 

 

 

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Vonnegutjunky
On 3/22/2019 at 4:11 AM, DeterminedAnna said:

Ahhh, such a lovely reply @Vonnegutjunky

 

And thanks for reading my long rambling updates.

 

You inspired me to do some research about UK foods and getting them overseas. But first off, I have to set the record straight – sour cream and chive, as lovely as that is, is nothing like pickled onion Monster Munch. You have to taste it to understand – they're tangy and sour and addictive and no doubt full of artificial chemicals and very bad for you 😉

 

I found a place that does British food for international delivery. So here's a guilty-pleasure shopping list for you if you ever fancy trying some weird and wonderful British food:

 

- The best crisps ever (suitable for vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/monster-munch-pickled-onion-6-pack

- For your love of sour cream and chive crisps, these are lovely and not too unhealthy (suitable for vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/popchips-sour-cream-and-onion-chips

- And another crisp favourite – these are bacon flavour (but suitable for vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/walkers-frazzles-8-pack

- Try this with your meatloaf and mash (suitable for vegans and vegetarians): https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/branston-small-chunk-pickle (another yummy way is with a hard cheese like Cheddar in a sandwich)

 

Apart from the sour cream and chive Pop Chips, I don't really eat any of these things nowadays as it would be tooooooo easy to live off them.

 

Oh thank you so much for these links I am going to order some tonight! I love trying new food! It’s one thing I actually have control over during this whole mess of withdrawal. 

On 3/22/2019 at 4:11 AM, DeterminedAnna said:

I'd never heard of Friday on My Mind, but now I see why you like it so much – such funky patterns. You might also like https://www.joebrowns.co.uk

.

these are super cute!!!!!!

 

Dressing like you live in an institution isn't so bad....in a way, we all do (even wearing a smart suit for work is institutionalised). My day wear is pyjamas. I need to get some more so I have a different set for every day of the week to do PJs in true style 😂

 

I love pajamas too! So much! A fresh new set after a shower in the evening on a summer day is so cozy to me!!! And then sit on my porch swing in the warm night air is one of my most favorite simple pleasure in life. And I am so grateful for those moments when I can enjoy life and feel ok for a moment. 

On 3/22/2019 at 4:11 AM, DeterminedAnna said:

LOVE all your bands, especially Blur. Damon Albarn is also behind The Good the Bad & the Queen, which is also the name of their debut album.

 

Ive not heard this band! I will check it out! 

Than

On 3/22/2019 at 4:11 AM, DeterminedAnna said:

And I love Breaking Bad too, but probably couldn't watch it right now because chemistry and drug stuff sets me off, as does medical shows. One of my favourite programmes here is 24 Hours in A&E, but it's just too much to watch. And I can't watch horror films at all at them moment, even though I've loved them all my life.

 

Also, the Handmaid's Tale is one of the best TV shows I've seen in recent times, although I've not heard of others on your list (well apart from Seinfield and Walking Dead which my partner watches a lot). Comedy is good for me at the moment, so I'll try tracking down Community and Superstore.

 

One comedy that's working for me at the moment is Fleabag. You might be able to get it over there as the writer and main actress in it, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is making waves internationally – she's behind the show Killing Eve. Fleabag is quite bittersweet, so it could make you cry as well as laugh.

I will look for fleabag, I love killing eve, waiting for season 2 to come to Hulu - the girl who plays villanelle is so pretty and interesting!!! And I was shocked that Constantine actually died!!! He was such a good character ! 

On 3/22/2019 at 4:11 AM, DeterminedAnna said:

 

I know what you mean about moving and anxiety. But sometimes for me, moving helps. It's so unpredictable... if there was a pattern it would be more manageable.

 

Yes, I too hope for better days for all of us, and I have to keep reminding myself of the body's amazing, innate ability to heal itself. It's something we all probably don't give enough credit to, and something that we don't think much about when life is ticking along ok. So I keep telling myself I am closer today than yesterday to healing and even though the healing process is s**t, my body knows more than my conscious mind about what to do to get better.

 

I love your thoughts on this - the body knows more than the conscious mind- it’s so true - I have to remember this- 

 

lately keeping busy has been helping my anxiety too which before was so bad nothing helped - so I see this as something positive - I am going to try to stay busy and not dwell on my thoughts-

 

 

for me the meds are a crutch- I feel like I will have no power over my anxiety and depression without them - no one has ever taught me good and effective coping skills - so now I have to learn them on my own and this is difficult - I remember as a child going to Sunday school and each week I would feel so happy and content, I grew up in a very abusive home and Sunday school was so full of positivity - 

 

once I got older I believed religion was for the weak and for those who wouldn’t think for themselves - but during grad school I took some biology labs, and I started believing in god again- and now I am extremely spiritual, but do not adhere to any specific religion, I like them all, anyway I am thinking maybe finding a church with a positive and uplifting message about life could help me again- at the very least it won’t hurt - 

On 3/22/2019 at 4:11 AM, DeterminedAnna said:

Love back to you from across this side of the pond XX

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the replies - it’s a very nice distraction and welcome socializing- I hope your having a pleasant day and evening ❤️❤️❤️

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DeterminedAnna

Hello @Vonnegutjunky


Thank you again for all your lovely comments and thoughts. I now have an image of you sitting in your swing chair, in funky retro pyjamas, on a warm summer evening, eating sour cream and onion crisps. Make me a promise, and do that some time this summer... 😀

 

I'm not ignoring all your comments, but I've now got an update on my symptoms, with a few questions for the mods who have been so helpful on my thread already.

 

As I've mentioned above, the past week has seen me really demotivated, with low mood. This has escalated over the weekend (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March).

 

One of the things my partner and I were hoping to do this year is move house. But to do this, we have a lot of old stuff in our spare bedrooms and the garage to sort out. In the front spare bedroom, there are boxes of paperwork which I've had for years. A small portion of it should be kept and simply filed in the right place – I always deal with paperwork and bills promptly – while a larger portion of it represents years of paperwork – schoolwork, notes, car / insurance / health / banking paperwork, old photos...

 

On Saturday, feeling a need to restart the clear-out process I'd started last year when I had a much better mindset, I decided to tackle some of the old paperwork.

 

By sheer coincidence the first box I picked had papers related to an incident, now 10 years ago, where I was assaulted by a man I was dating. It was not sexual assault, but violent. We'd both had too much to drink and he accused me of being a 'prick tease' because I'd not yet had sex with him. He dragged me down a dark alley out of sight, pushed me to the ground and kicked my head and chest. I managed to escape, flagged a passing van down and the man called the police. The police encouraged me to press charges and some months later I ended up in court seeing my attacker plead not guilty and walk free due to a lack of evidence.

 

As you can imagine, seeing even a folder labelled with the name of the man and 'assault case' stirred up my memories in a very graphic way, making me cry. I didn't even open the folder and instead shredded all the papers inside.

 

The next folder I found contained letters from my psychiatrist – who I'd seen from about 2004 to 2013 – to my GP. Again, I purposely didn't look at them, but put them all straight into a box file I now have for health documents. I actually want to keep those letters given what I'm going through now. But again, the mere sight of the papers stirred up all the painful conversations I'd had with that psychiatrist.

 

There were lots of other papers that were more innocuous. In all, I cleared two big bin bags of old paperwork. But by the end of a five-hour session of clearing out old stuff, I was drained, crying and depressed.

 

I subsequently had a chat with my partner about this and in the course of our conversation we again talked about plans to move house. I should say one of the main reasons we want to move is that we live in a street with some dubious characters – one deals drugs and has the police regularly turn up in loud, aggressive incidents. This is stressful in itself.

 

As we were talking about house moving plans we discussed finances and our joint savings account. I manage it, so my partner asked me how much was in there and I confessed I'd dipped into it over the past few months to supplement my income which has taken a hit while I've been unwell. This made him panic and say words to the effect of 'how are we ever going to afford to move house?'

 

He then asked me to be honest about my income, which I was, and he said something like 'we could be earning so much more'. What he meant is that by me earning more, we could qualify for a bigger mortgage and move into a much nicer house in a better area.

 

My partner is extremely kind, gentle and patient. And I know he didn't say anything with the intention of hurting me or making me anxious...

...But by Saturday night, after the memories and flashbacks I'd had earlier in the day, and the uncomfortable conversation I'd had with my partner, I was a bawling wreck.

 

Yesterday - Sunday 24 March – I spent a large part of the day in bed, sleeping on and off with lots of nightmares, crying and ruminating when I was awake. It was sunny and going to the sunlit bathroom instantly made me gag – I couldn't stand the bright light. 

 

At no point during the past week or the more emotional weekend have I really felt the intense terror / panic symptoms of January and February, but last night, fearing nightmares and bad sleep, I took, for the first time, one of my emergency 10mg propranolol before bed. Within moments I was dry heaving, which was probably psychosomatic as I know propranolol doesn't affect the body that quickly.

 

Last night – 24/25 March – I woke every two hours after nightmares, feeling rigid with painfully tense muscles. This morning, I've felt nauseous (but haven't vomited) and again extremely tearful.

 

As I reminder, it's been a month to the day since I updosed to 7mg – a total of 1.04mg increase from the 5.96mg dose I was taking throughout January and February. I believe I saw some improvements within a fortnight of the updose, but I now fear I'm levelling out and finding my 'normal', which appears to be depressed, demotivated and tearful. 


The past week in particular has been bad with depression symptoms. I have looked at my calendar of health notes and noticed from 14 March, after my GP appointment where I found I was vitamin D deficient, I have been taking 25μg (1000 IU) of vitamin D3 every day. I know vitamin D increases the amount of calcium available in the body, so I'm wondering if this has played a part in the emergence of depressive symptoms.

 

Hypercalcemia has depression and anxiety listed as symptoms, e.g. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322012.php I'm not suggesting I have this condition, but could the inevitable extra calcium resulting from my vitamin D supplements be a factor?

 

I ask this because the past week has had a distinct 'feel' to it.

 

I have not taken my vitamin D3 this morning as I would normally, to test this theory.

 

I'm sorry this has been a long update (again). I appreciate you mods are very busy and in demand. I thought I should give context, but I realise you aren't here to offer psychological counselling. I am due to see a counsellor soon and the signs are that the scheme is very open-minded and receptive to the problems of antidepressant withdrawal, so I hope, and plan for that to be my place to offload.

 

My questions:

  • Could vitamin D, and its calcium-releasing effect, be at play with me here? Would it have such a quick impact? I have read the thread on vitamin D, and some people say it is activating, but in my case on this occasion, it feels like the opposite has happened. (I took a much higher dose vitamin D supplement this time last year, when I was right at the start of my taper and had been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. At that time, supplementing it didn't seem to have any effect).
  • If my vitamin D theory does prove true and stopping taking it improves my depression symptoms, how do I reconcile the fact I'm deficient in this vitamin (which poses risks to my bones) with the fact it doesn't agree with me?
  • Would increasing my magnesium intake help offset the calcium – is this how it works? (I know the calcium thing is just a guess). I stopped taking magnesium before, for about five days, to see if it improved my daily diarrhoea, but it made no difference, so I don't have any issues with increasing magnesium. As per my signature, I'm taking 100mg magnesium citrate every day, which isn't a huge amount.
  • Is my calcium theory just the manifestation of me being paranoid and obsessive about symptoms? I should also say that I'm in the fortnight before my period is due, and I wonder if PMS symptoms are more likely to be at play (I have read the thread on PMS in withdrawal).
  • Could my mood and symptoms still be levelling out after my updose? Will there be any point where I can conclude this is my baseline to work from?

Thank you for reading all this. And thank you again for your thoughts and experiences.

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Longroadhome

Hi Anna I don’t know the answers to your questions regarding supplements but what I can tell you is that I’m exactly the same regarding mood and symptoms after my up dose of Paxil. I think it’s almost impossible to get off lightly with few withdrawal symptoms when coming off Paxil. I’m no expert but coming off the same antidepressant as you I think at some stage it hits your system when there isn’t a sufficient amount of the drug in yr body to maintain equilibrium and neurotransmitters are depleted beyond their capabilities  (I liken it to a plane that has lost its alerons (prob misspelt) and becomes almost impossible for the captain to control due to severance of its main support system for keeping it up in the air. This to me is how  withdrawal feels: im the captain yet not in control of the functions of my body and yes it’s scary).    This happens at a different stage of tapering for each one of us as we are all unique. Hence the sudden onset of symptoms you had from Christmas and I had from January this year. So I think the next step is for us to wait it out until we show clear indications of stabilisation . And yes symptoms can get worse before they start to calm so I have read. 

The only difference between you and I is that I developed poop out (tolerance withdrawal) in August of last year . So I may be waiting a lot longer than you for stability to occur according to the thread I have read from Brass Monkey and the reply I have just received from him.  You can check this out on my thread.

 Hope I have been of some help Anna x im sure the mods will be along soon to answer your questions. 

 

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DeterminedAnna

Thank you @Longroadhome, for your reply and reassurance. 

 

It's been a while since my last update.

 

In that time I have been absolutely miserable, with worsening of the situation described above.


All I want to do is sleep, because it is the next best thing to dying. I'm overwhelmed with the thought that life is pointless. Vivid ideas about suicide appear in my mind throughout the day and the only thing that is stopping me is that it would only pass on my problems to my partner and family. I cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel.


Generally I'm sleeping from about midnight to 5am, waking shortly, then again until 7.30am, staying awake until my partner leaves for work at 8.30am. Then I sleep again from about 9am to 10am. So I'm getting about 8 hours of sleep every day, but it's very broken.


Sometimes I nap in the afternoon, waking after about an hour. So I am getting much more sleep than when I went through my panic/anxiety phase of January and February this year. But it's not good quality. I have nightmares every day.


I'm taking my Seroxat (still at 7mg) between 10.30am and 11am, along with 100mg magnesium citrate and 50μg (2000IU) vitamin D.


I take 75mg aspirin and 200mg magnesium citrate before bed, usually between 10pm and 11pm. It typically takes me about an hour to fall asleep.


I still have diarrhoea every day, usually in the morning.


Since Friday (12 April) I have had a bad cold, sneezing lots with a sore, dry tickly throat. I have been sucking Strepsils throat lozenges, which contain hexylresorcinol to numb throat pain. And at 1.45am on Monday (15 April) I took cough syrup containing 10mg pholcodeine as my throat was so tickly I couldn't stop coughing. I haven't taken any decongestants, or decongestant-containing products like Lemsip, as I know they contain adrenaline-like chemicals.


Part of me wonders if I haven't had an infectious cold, but rather a rebound effect to diphenhydramine, which I took on three occasions (each time 25mg) last week – 11.45pm 9 April, 12.30am 10 April and 9.50pm 11 April. I took this because I just wanted some unbroken sleep.


My partner has not caught my cold even though I've been around him, which again makes we wonder if I have a genuine cold. But I did go out last Wednesday (10 April) with my mum and sister – we went to a country park and while playing with my niece and nephew on swings and in the playground I was exposed to a lot of children and their germs.


As you can see, if I'm not sleeping, I'm ruminating about withdrawal and my health issues, analysing, re-analysing and trapped in a cycle.


It's the Easter break here and that means I have not had my afternoon tuition work (I return to it on Tuesday 23 April). So from 8.30am to about 6.30pm weekdays, I am on my own. I live about 45 minutes' drive from my family. And my closest friends all work during the weekdays – in any case I've retreated back from those friendships in the past few months because I'm rubbish company.


The black 'life is pointless' mood is there whatever I do. I have zero motivation. Logically I know I should do things – go out for walks, be around people, change scenery – but it all feels like massive effort, with no reward. I don't get any joy from ANYTHING. I can't sustain conversation with my partner, because I have nothing to talk about. Nothing to talk about because my days are empty and miserable, and nothing to talk about because my brain feels dead to any topics other than the misery I am going through – and the misery is deadening my mind. I can't remember the last time I felt relaxed or positive. If I do, I note it down in my calendar. There are no entries like this since 2018.


There is so much around the house that I could be doing with my time. As described in my last post, we have plans to move house but to do that requires a lot of clearing out. I have had another couple of sessions doing this since my last post, but each time I am flooded with bad memories.


I know I sound pathetic. I am ashamed of myself for being like this. Weekends could be better for me as my partner is not working and having some company makes me feel safer from suicide, but then I'm overtaken by guilt because I have no desire or energy to do anything. This was particularly so during the most recent weekend (13/14 April) during which time I had my cold and was not fit to do anything other than rest in bed. But I felt guilty the whole time.


I wonder if my updose (from 5.96mg to 7mg, of 25 February 2019) has now levelled out and I've reached my withdrawal 'normal'. I find this strange, because when I was actively tapering last year, I reached a comparable amount – 7.32mg – at the end of October. I did not feel this depressed at that amount and was relatively free of symptoms.


My suspicion is my updose has taken the edge off the anxiety, panic and insomnia symptoms I had in January and February, but the depressive symptoms were there all along during that time, and the updose hasn't the power to counter those more persistent symptoms.


I am now wondering if I should updose further. I know this website is about helping people get OFF medication, and I know I should be using more non-drug methods to tackle my symptoms, but I feel like I am in a catch-22 situation where I need a just LITTLE motivation and positivity to get going with non-drug methods.


I have another GP appointment this afternoon. As per my intro thread, my blood test in late February revealed I had abnormal liver function and low platelets. I had those retested a fortnight ago and it came back with the same abnormalities, so was asked to book another GP appointment.

 

 

I'm sorry this is such dark update and thank you for reading. 

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR MODS:

 

- I am in a dark hole of suicidal depression. Should I make another updose?

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Shep
1 hour ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Since Friday (12 April) I have had a bad cold, sneezing lots with a sore, dry tickly throat. I have been sucking Strepsils throat lozenges, which contain hexylresorcinol to numb throat pain. And at 1.45am on Monday (15 April) I took cough syrup containing 10mg pholcodeine as my throat was so tickly I couldn't stop coughing. I haven't taken any decongestants, or decongestant-containing products like Lemsip, as I know they contain adrenaline-like chemicals.


Part of me wonders if I haven't had an infectious cold, but rather a rebound effect to diphenhydramine, which I took on three occasions (each time 25mg) last week – 11.45pm 9 April, 12.30am 10 April and 9.50pm 11 April. I took this because I just wanted some unbroken sleep.

 

1 hour ago, DeterminedAnna said:

QUESTIONS FOR MODS:

 

- I am in a dark hole of suicidal depression. Should I make another updose?

 

I would not updose yet. Please let the effects of the pholcodeine (an opioid cough suppressant) and the other remedies run their course. Being sick can also trigger upticks in withdrawal symptoms, but if you can find more natural remedies to help you get through these types of colds and coughs, you may not need these stronger drugs. 

 

I would let your mind/body heal from the bad cold before updosing. Hopefully, some bed rest, healthy foods, plenty of liquids, and you'll feel good enough to continue without increasing.  However, if it continues, it could be AD flu, explained here:

 

Flu-like withdrawal symptoms or real virus flu, how to tell?

 

But I would give your nervous system time to recover from the other drugs you've taken. 

 

Colds, cold remedies, and the flu

 

Antihistamines for withdrawal insomnia (diphenhydramine, doxylamine, hydroxyzine)

 

Using a nettie pot, peppermint oil, steam, vitamin C (or foods high in vitamin C if you can't tolerate the supplement), raw garlic, etc. can all be helpful.

 

Please do a bit of research and see if you can find some gentler remedies.

 

1 hour ago, DeterminedAnna said:

As you can see, if I'm not sleeping, I'm ruminating about withdrawal and my health issues, analysing, re-analysing and trapped in a cycle.

 

 

Some ideas to not get trapped in a cycle.

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms 

 

Within an hour of going to bed, try listening to a guided meditation on how to let go of thoughts. This is one that got me through acute withdrawal and if you don't like this one, there are thousands of them out there on YouTube.

 

Guided Meditation for Detachment From Over-Thinking (Anxiety / OCD / Depression) video (42 minutes)

 

If you can master this technique, you'll be golden when you exit withdrawal. This is the kind of teacher that withdrawal symptoms can be if you listen to them. 

 

And if you can do this, you will lower your stress levels. And this will help protect you from colds and many other ailments. So it's not just meditation for the mind, but also for the body. 

 

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Longroadhome
8 hours ago, DeterminedAnna said:

Thank you @Longroadhome, for your reply and reassurance. 

 

It's been a while since my last update.

 

In that time I have been absolutely miserable, with worsening of the situation described above.


All I want to do is sleep, because it is the next best thing to dying. I'm overwhelmed with the thought that life is pointless. Vivid ideas about suicide appear in my mind throughout the day and the only thing that is stopping me is that it would only pass on my problems to my partner and family. I cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel.


Generally I'm sleeping from about midnight to 5am, waking shortly, then again until 7.30am, staying awake until my partner leaves for work at 8.30am. Then I sleep again from about 9am to 10am. So I'm getting about 8 hours of sleep every day, but it's very broken.


Sometimes I nap in the afternoon, waking after about an hour. So I am getting much more sleep than when I went through my panic/anxiety phase of January and February this year. But it's not good quality. I have nightmares every day.


I'm taking my Seroxat (still at 7mg) between 10.30am and 11am, along with 100mg magnesium citrate and 50μg (2000IU) vitamin D.


I take 75mg aspirin and 200mg magnesium citrate before bed, usually between 10pm and 11pm. It typically takes me about an hour to fall asleep.


I still have diarrhoea every day, usually in the morning.


Since Friday (12 April) I have had a bad cold, sneezing lots with a sore, dry tickly throat. I have been sucking Strepsils throat lozenges, which contain hexylresorcinol to numb throat pain. And at 1.45am on Monday (15 April) I took cough syrup containing 10mg pholcodeine as my throat was so tickly I couldn't stop coughing. I haven't taken any decongestants, or decongestant-containing products like Lemsip, as I know they contain adrenaline-like chemicals.


Part of me wonders if I haven't had an infectious cold, but rather a rebound effect to diphenhydramine, which I took on three occasions (each time 25mg) last week – 11.45pm 9 April, 12.30am 10 April and 9.50pm 11 April. I took this because I just wanted some unbroken sleep.


My partner has not caught my cold even though I've been around him, which again makes we wonder if I have a genuine cold. But I did go out last Wednesday (10 April) with my mum and sister – we went to a country park and while playing with my niece and nephew on swings and in the playground I was exposed to a lot of children and their germs.


As you can see, if I'm not sleeping, I'm ruminating about withdrawal and my health issues, analysing, re-analysing and trapped in a cycle.


It's the Easter break here and that means I have not had my afternoon tuition work (I return to it on Tuesday 23 April). So from 8.30am to about 6.30pm weekdays, I am on my own. I live about 45 minutes' drive from my family. And my closest friends all work during the weekdays – in any case I've retreated back from those friendships in the past few months because I'm rubbish company.


The black 'life is pointless' mood is there whatever I do. I have zero motivation. Logically I know I should do things – go out for walks, be around people, change scenery – but it all feels like massive effort, with no reward. I don't get any joy from ANYTHING. I can't sustain conversation with my partner, because I have nothing to talk about. Nothing to talk about because my days are empty and miserable, and nothing to talk about because my brain feels dead to any topics other than the misery I am going through – and the misery is deadening my mind. I can't remember the last time I felt relaxed or positive. If I do, I note it down in my calendar. There are no entries like this since 2018.


There is so much around the house that I could be doing with my time. As described in my last post, we have plans to move house but to do that requires a lot of clearing out. I have had another couple of sessions doing this since my last post, but each time I am flooded with bad memories.


I know I sound pathetic. I am ashamed of myself for being like this. Weekends could be better for me as my partner is not working and having some company makes me feel safer from suicide, but then I'm overtaken by guilt because I have no desire or energy to do anything. This was particularly so during the most recent weekend (13/14 April) during which time I had my cold and was not fit to do anything other than rest in bed. But I felt guilty the whole time.


I wonder if my updose (from 5.96mg to 7mg, of 25 February 2019) has now levelled out and I've reached my withdrawal 'normal'. I find this strange, because when I was actively tapering last year, I reached a comparable amount – 7.32mg – at the end of October. I did not feel this depressed at that amount and was relatively free of symptoms.


My suspicion is my updose has taken the edge off the anxiety, panic and insomnia symptoms I had in January and February, but the depressive symptoms were there all along during that time, and the updose hasn't the power to counter those more persistent symptoms.


I am now wondering if I should updose further. I know this website is about helping people get OFF medication, and I know I should be using more non-drug methods to tackle my symptoms, but I feel like I am in a catch-22 situation where I need a just LITTLE motivation and positivity to get going with non-drug methods.


I have another GP appointment this afternoon. As per my intro thread, my blood test in late February revealed I had abnormal liver function and low platelets. I had those retested a fortnight ago and it came back with the same abnormalities, so was asked to book another GP appointment.

 

 

I'm sorry this is such dark update and thank you for reading. 

 

 

QUESTIONS FOR MODS:

 

- I am in a dark hole of suicidal depression. Should I make another updose?

Hello Anna so sorry to read you are feeling so bad but glad you have come back to the site for advice. 

 

It sounds like you’re  not getting out of bed until 10am each day and then spending an awful long time on your own in the house until your partner returns. While I know your depression is very bad spending so much time alone can only exasperate your situation. 

I think if it was me I’d get up when my partner leaves the house do myself a warm drink and put the tv on for the morning news even if I really didn’t want to get out of bed I’d force myself to. I’d get dressed and then go for a walk. 

You can break your day up by going for a coffee and people watching. 

You could also go and visit your family on certain days making sure you have a timetable of things to do and places to visit each day that takes you outside the house and among people . The worst thing for depression is spending time in bed once awake and time on your own in the house. 

I know for me the depression is much worse weekends when I am not in work and in the house on my own I feel so bad. So I devised a timetable that gets me up by 8:30am each Saturday . I go to my slimming world class to be weighed (don’t have to now as life member but it starts my day off among people and this distracts me from myself) I then go gym for two hours and go with a friend after the class to costa for an hour . Afterwards I walk the dog rest on my settee for a while and then make sure I have made plans for the evening to go out with my partner or friends . This helps to  rationalise the  all encompassing negative emotions that come with depression .

believe me I really don’t want to do this stuff most Saturdays  and more often than not force myself to but always at some point during the day even if for a few seconds my mind will be taken off myself and I may smile or appreciate a little spark of interest that has taken me away from my suffering . 

Please try .  

 

 

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Longroadhome

Anna thinking of you how are you ? 

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DeterminedAnna

Hello dear @Longroadhome 

 

Thank you so much for thinking of me. I've been thinking of you since your message, especially the final words of 'please try' at the end. Those words really stayed with me. You are right, and your description of how you go about your day, filling it with activities yet still fighting the fight, made me feel inspired.

 

My bad cold has gone and with it, my mood seemed to have improved. But that might also be because as I've got better from my cold, I've got more active and out and about again. And being back at my part-time tutoring job is therapeutic too – it's a COMPLETE distraction because I'm reading, writing and doing maths with children and there is symptoms don't get a chance to sneak in while I'm doing those things.

 

I have had a few appointments with mental health nurses, and today, with a psychiatrist as part of an NHS-run local scheme for urgent mental health needs. I am completely amazed that they all readily acknowledged the problems with coming off Seroxat and sympathised wholeheartedly. Not one of them has impulsively said 'well go back on it' or 'just stop taking it' or 'here, try this drug'. So my experience of health professionals has been changed since my last taper in 2013 when a psychiatrist aggressively told me 'I've got far more ill patients than you' and coldly denied antidepressant withdrawal existed.

 

Alongside this, my GP has arranged for me to start CBT (again – I've had it in the distant past) at the end of of May, but in the meantime I'm under the care of the urgent team who are contacting / visiting me every day. I know there's a cynicism towards psychiatrists on this site, and I agree with it. But on this occasion, the NHS people I've been dealing with have been brilliant. I feel like attitudes are changing, and to my satisfaction there's a diminishing of the 'antidepressants fix everything' attitude that I met when I first started Seroxat in 2002. I believe in the UK the NICE guidelines (that dictate how the NHS deals with stuff) for antidepressant withdrawal are being updated and are due to be re-issued later this year. Here's a bit of background: https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/news/nice-guidelines-on-antidepressant-withdrawal-in-urgent-need-of-correction-say-researchers/20205540.article?firstPass=false and http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/clinical-specialties/mental-health/nice-antidepressant-withdrawal-guidance-misleading-and-without-evidence/20037572.article

 

How are you LRH? How is holding working for you? Did you get to reduce to pregabalin? I recall that you were holding, both on the Seroxat and the pregabalin, and will be for some time until you're 110% ready to reduce again. So hopefully the more days holding, the more stable and stronger you're getting.

 

I'm going to give it until the end of May, when I start my CBT course, until I resume my taper. I'm probably going to do the BrassMonkey slide as I can see it can be much gentler.

 

While I'm writing, big thank you too to @Shep with some sound advice. You were right about allowing myself to stabilise after the cold and the meds I took. I didn't take any more diphenhydramine, or any other pharma drugs and took your advice about using a neti pot for congestion and vitamin C, which I took in the form of lots of fresh orange juice. I felt better within a day! So thank you so much for this. Once I felt better, I re-read those links you sent me and I feel like they've really embedded themselves into my subconscience. And probably most importantly of all, you were right – no updose. I resisted it. BIG BIG thank you.

 

Not much of an update from me (no change in the Seroxat), but hopefully more positive post – and something I can look back on too.

 

Many many thanks LRH and Shep (and the whole SA community). You seriously keep me going and fighting the fight, more than anything.

 

X

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Longroadhome

Anna great to hear from you and I’m so glad you’re  up and about. It’s the only way to handle what we’re going through. 

Good to hear you are getting support it’s such a lonely place to be in wd and we need outside help on our journey through to recovery. 

im going to group CBT arranged by myself from info I gathered from my surgery.   Some of the practice they teach is very useful.

im still holding at 8.5mg. Still getting old and new symptoms appear . Every day different . Like being on a roller coaster but I’m soooooo determined even as I write this early morning which is my worst time I’m coming off this medicine come what may!  

I’ve  cut down on the pregabalin even though I’d been adviced not to. Down to 3x 25mg tabs per day which is half the original dose I started on. I’m going to stay at this dose for a while and cut again in a month or two . Just very slowly. 

No caffeine no alcohol as both have an adverse reaction on me. 

Dont know about you but I seem to have waves of intense symptoms for days and days and in between one or two days where I cope better. The symptoms don’t disappear but remain in the back ground . 

Haven’t read the new guidelines from NHS that you have posted yet but will do.,

Keep in touch Anna we are going to get there you and I ! 

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DeterminedAnna
Posted (edited)

Hello SA people,


Unexpectedly, I have very recently seen a psychiatrist and explained my problems with withdrawal. She initially appeared to be open to all of it, saying 'Seroxat is a nightmare to get off' but then started talking about treatment of my underlying anxiety and depression. Even though I'd made it very clear that the anxiety and depression that I've experienced over the past months is undoubtedly resulting from withdrawing Seroxat rather than me being an intrinsically depressed / anxious person. (How would she know anyway – especially after speaking with me for only 10 minutes - I haven't been drug free for 17 years?).


She recommended switching to fluoxetine with the view that it will be easier in the long run to stop taking. She also said fluoxetine was more safe taken during pregnancy than paroxetine. I have my concerns about both points. And I'm strongly against taking psychiatric drugs during pregnancy.


I am currently taking 7mg paroxetine daily and have been since the end of February. My signature is still up to date.


Her plan was for me to start taking 20mg fluoxetine right away, then reduce the paroxetine over no more than two weeks, while keeping the fluoxetine at a steady 20mg.


This made alarm bells ring for me for the following reasons:


1. Pushing me back up to such a relatively high dose of an unknown SSRI (I have never taken fluoxetine in my life) has risks for my already sensitive nervous system.


2. Pushing me back up to 20mg of any SSRI undoes all the progress I've made in getting down to 7mg of paroxetine. I want to be off antidepressants. Period.


I told her that the most fluoxetine I would consider taking is 10mg. She then repeated the same plan – take the 10mg fluoxetine from now to act as a 'safety net' (her words) and drop the paroxetine over a short period.


I asked her about cross-tapering (i.e. increasing fluoxetine while decreasing paroxetine). She wasn't totally receptive to this, despite saying that I'm the patient and should feel empowered to make my own decisions yada yada. Nonetheless, she's prescribed liquid fluoxetine to let me do this, as well as tablet version of fluoxetine to take beyond the cross taper.


I am now sitting here with these new unfamiliar meds, in a big quandary.


Do I try the unknown, or do I continue, as I was going to until now, with my plan to resume a 'straightforward' slow taper from paroxetine – the devil I know? I have been holding at 7mg paroxetine since the end of February with the view to start the Brassmonkey slide from the end of May, allowing myself those three months of relative stability (March and April haven't been great, but they've been better than January and February).


As I've had such a rubbish time tapering paroxetine – and have a clear history of this, especially at the low doses – I was willing to try the Brassmonkey slide, but sad that it could take me many years. I want to start a family, and at 39, time is running out.


Alternatively, switching to fluoxetine might allow me to stop taking paroxetine, and antidepressants per se, more quickly or with less intense withdrawal effects that paroxetine. (Although I'm not deluding myself – I know it won't be plain sailing).


My partner and family are really supportive and say they will stand by me whatever choice I make. My partner has also said that this is my third time of withdrawing from paroxetine and that it might now be the time to try something different. He does have a point.


I am terrified of the start-up effects of fluoxetine. And that it is supposedly more stimulating than paroxetine so it might ramp up my anxiety. And every time I've started or restarted paroxetine (this is my third attempt at stopping paroxetine) I get what I now realise is akathisia – I can't keep my legs still, and I clench my jaw and make involuntary groaning noises through gritted teeth. I am worried that fluoxetine is going to cause this too, even if it's a low dose of fluoxetine that I might be taking.

 

(I also now realise it was akathisia that I was experiencing in January and February, although at the time I put it down to extreme anxiety).

 

I have put below in italic the two options I am contemplating. I know there aren't any clear-cut answers. I know there isn't a crystal ball into the future. But I'd be really grateful for some advice and if possible some reassurance.

 

The thing I am lacking from all of my experiences of the past few months is hope and belief that I can do this. If I could have a shred of hope, I think I could cope much better. 


I have read this thread many times now: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/19373-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/


I really don't know what to do.

 

Thank you as always for your wisdom and thoughts X

 

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

 


OPTION 1: to get to 10mg of fluoxetine. Apparently 20mg paroxetine is equivalent to 20mg fluoxetine.


Method: half the amount of paroxetine every week, and increase fluoxetine from 0mg to 10mg through the same period, with the amount each week totalling 10mg.


Week 1: 7mg paroxetine (as 3.5ml of liquid Seroxat*) + ≃3mg fluoxetine (as 0.76ml** liquid Prozac***)


Week 2: ≃3.5mg paroxetine (as 1.76ml of liquid Seroxat) + ≃6.5mg fluoxetine (as 1.64ml liquid Prozac)


Week 3: 10mg fluoxetine – can switch to the more convenient tablet form at this point. But will ideally need liquid form again when I decide to taper from fluoxetine.


Pros


- The extra fluoxetine might give me the 'kick' to lift me out of the continued withdrawal symptoms I am getting.


- It might be a way to get off paroxetine, which I hate, more quickly than if I continued my paroxetine taper.


- Fluoxetine has a much longer half life, which means in the long run it might be easier to stop taking than paroxetine???


- Fluoxetine is apparently safer than paroxetine when taken during pregnancy???


- Fluoxetine does not have the same high level of anticholinergic effects that paroxetine has. This means some of the side effects I get from taking anticholinergic paroxetine – e.g. dry eyes – may be reduced or even disappear.


- I have never tried fluoxetine. It might actually be a more suitable SSRI for me, since it is apparently more stimulating than paroxetine which might be more helpful for my tendency towards apathy, demotivation and procrastination (although those three traits might have been paroxetine side effects all along).


- Fluoxetine might be more often associated with weight loss than paroxetine – which is more often associated with weight gain. As I am overweight, fluoxetine's weight loss association might be beneficial to me.

 

Cons


- Overall, I am effectively increasing the amount of SSRI I take and therefore backtracking on the work I've done so far to get down to 7mg Seroxat


- Fluoxetine has a slightly different profile to paroxetine – for example it is more active on the H1 (histamine receptor) but it is less active on the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 (acetylcholine) receptors. Consequently, it isn't guaranteed to compensate for the symptoms caused by paroxetine withdrawal. Part of the specific paroxetine withdrawal symptoms might be related to the cholinergic aspects – fluoxetine isn't necessarily going to compensate for this.


- Probably due to these different receptor binding profiles, fluoxetine is apparently one of the more stimulating SSRIs, while paroxetine is one of the more sedating. And consequently, switching to fluoxetine might make me less lethargic, but it could make me more anxious.


- My brain and nervous system has no doubt been destabilised and traumatised, by the experience of withdrawing from paroxetine. Introducing an entirely new drug carries the risk of further and unfamiliar symptoms of an unstable brain and nervous system. Tapering only from paroxetine is a 'better the devil I know' situation.


- Cross-tapering in this way carries more risk for dosing mistakes. It is more confusing than taking the same amount every day.


- Switching to fluoxetine isn't my ideal situation. I ultimately want to stop taking antidepressants. I don't believe any antidepressant is fully safe in pregnancy.

 

_______________________________________


OPTION 2: to get to 7mg of fluoxetine as an equivalent to 7mg paroxetine. Apparently 20mg paroxetine is equivalent to 20mg fluoxetine.


Method: reduce the amount of paroxetine every week, and introduce then increase fluoxetine to switch from 7mg paroxetine to 7mg fluoxetine.


Week 1: 5.25mg paroxetine (as 2.62ml of liquid Seroxat) + ≃1.75mg fluoxetine (as 0.44ml liquid Prozac)


Week 2: 3.5mg paroxetine (as 1.76ml of liquid Seroxat) + ≃3.5mg fluoxetine (as 0.88ml liquid Prozac)


Week 3: ≃7mg fluoxetine (as 1.76ml of liquid Provac) – will need to continue here on with liquid form to maintain this same dose.


Beyond week 3 – perhaps 4-6 weeks after the initial cross taper but only if I'm stable– look to start tapering off from fluoxetine.

 

Pros

 

- Largely the same as the pros above, but with this option, I would NOT be increasing the amount of SSRI drug I am taking. I am switching one for the other, so I don't feel like I am backtracking on all the tapering I've done to date.


- Specifically with this option, I have the slack to increase the dose of fluoxetine to 10mg (which is in a more convenient tablet form) should it be necessary. 
 

Cons


- Largely the same as the cons above, but with this option I might not get as much withdrawal relief from the fluoxetine as option 1 above.


- Switching 7mg paroxetine to 7mg fluoxetine means I will have to continue taking a liquid medicine, which isn't as convenient as tablets.  For example, with liquid medicine, I have to buy oral syringes and routinely wash them out, liquid medicine doesn't have a long shelf life once the bottle is opened. Liquid medicines are harder to transport while travelling etc. Also the act of measuring out liquids is more involved than gulping a tablet – and the process of measuring reminds me every day of the horrors of withdrawal.


* Liquid Seroxat is 20mg per 10ml
** The smallest increment on my oral syringe is 0.02ml, hence I've had to round to even numbers dosage amounts that are to two decimal places.
*** Liquid Prozac is 20mg per 5ml

Edited by DeterminedAnna
Grammar

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Longroadhome

Good luck Anna with whatever you decide to do ! 

I don’t have s choice to re direct to another antidepressant because of poop out which usually means other SSRIs won’t work either but I’ve heard it can work  so fingers crossed if you decide to go ahead . 

 

I have also got very dry eyes have done since poop out didn’t realise you did too that’s really interesting can you tell me when yours started and why Paxil does this ? 

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DeterminedAnna

Hello @Longroadhome

 

Thank you always for your messages and kindness.

 

About dry eyes – paroxetine (Seroxat/Paxil) is an anticholinergic drug (more so I think than other SSRIs). As such, it produces side effects as shown here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticholinergic (see side effects).

 

I've always had the side effect of dry eyes while taking paroxetine. So much so that I occasionally get very irritated, inflamed eyes (the whites of my eyes swell up like jelly). The psychiatrist mentioned above acknowledged this and said it was likely that my eyes haven't been producing enough tears to flush out irritations due to the anticholinergic effects of paroxetine.

 

Another thing anticholinergic drugs tend to do is slow down bowel movements. My theory is that this explains why I've had worsening diarrhoea as I've reduced paroxetine (in particular, every day since things went pear-shaped for me mid-December 2018). I've had my poo tested and it all came back fine, so I suspect it has something to do with a reduction in anticholinergic action. Only a theory of course.

 

I'm not sure why the dry eyes came on when you hit poop-out. Perhaps you've had it all along, but it was only when you reached poop-out that you started to become more aware of symptoms.

 

How are you doing? Really appreciate your messages x

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