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luvkids

luvkids: What do I do now?

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ChessieCat

There are many existing topics on this site.  I like to use a search engine and add site: survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

There is a discussion about weight gain/loss.  Do a search for weight loss.

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ShiningLight

This takes some discipline, but it worked for me on more than one occasion.

 

If you can't sleep, get out of bed and read the doggone phone book, if you have a paper one. I'm serious. It is incredibly boring. Read the people pages. Start at the top of the page and read a bunch of names like you're reading a book. Once you can't stand that anymore, climb back in bed. Try to sleep for 20 min.

 

If you can't fall asleep, get out of bed. You know what to do.

 

You probably aren't going to go through too many cycles of this before falling asleep out of desperation not to go read the phone book.

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luvkids

So any ideas on how to stop being hyper alert to the start of any symptom on a given day?  I find myself constantly monitoring my body for any symptoms, and when one starts, I get anxious just thinking that it will get worse.  I am sure this is counterproductive, but I don't know how to stop it. I do use deep breathing a lot, which sometimes helps the symptom, but not my obsessing with the start of a symptom.

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bijay

@luvkids  First, give yourself credit for being able to recognize that this is happening, and that this obsessive thinking is counterproductive.
 

Make up a list of things you can do to redirect your mind, and keep it in your back pocket.  When you start to obsess over a symptom, pull that list out and pick something - counting backwards by seven, writing your name ten times with your non-dominant hand, whatever.  Consistency is key;  it will not work at first, but over time you will see improvement.

 

Are you familiar with the idea of brain neuroplasticity? The brain is not static, it can literally be rewired to our benefit, using     techniques like CBT.  It is the subject of Norman Droige’s book called “The Brain’s Way of Healing.”  For me this book was a revelation, and I highly recommend it.

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ChessieCat

bijay has the same idea as me.  I was going to make the suggestion that you find things to do to distract yourself.  If you are able to you could put on some music that you like and dance to it.  Go outside and look for flowers, nice leaves, look at the clouds, trees, look for a certain coloured car driving bay.  There are lots of things that you could do.  Having a list is helpful because the only thing you have to do is to remember to look at it.  If happens first thing in the day or seems to happen at certain times of the day, you could set a reminder.

 

And yes, it can be hard to start but it does become easier.

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luvkids

OK, tomorrow is my appointment with a psychologist....first time for  me.  I wrote out a history for him of what I have been thru and the symptoms I have experienced, including being fine for multiple months and then experiencing withdrawal and how the symptoms are completely different from what I was experiencing before going on Paxil.  I hope to read that to him at the start of the session.  My question for you guys is IF he tells me to restart an AD, (not sure if he can prescribe Paxil....my GP could not at my age, but supposedly psychiatrists have more leeway), and IF I decide that is the route I want to go, what amount would you suggest starting with?  My last dose was May 2019 at approximately 2.5 mg.  I never weighed or real accurately measured the pills.....just kept cutting a 20 mg. tablet in half, in half again, etc.  I am thinking that if I go back on it, I will likely be on it for the rest of my life, as I do not wish to go thru this hell again.  I really thought when I went thru my last withdrawal stage 11 months ago, which lasted about a month, and then was fine for 10 months, that I was done healing.  AS I have said before, I had no problems while on Paxil, unlike the stories of so many on this site who have had horrible experiences going on and off multiple drugs.  There was no real reason to go off it.  I do not like drugs, and am usually resistant to them,  but with the stress from covid continuing into the foreseeable future, and finding even little things like going grocery shopping....which I hardly can even do anymore since I am so exhausted and spacey I can hardly thing straight...or even just seeing an article about the virus (I no longer read the paper or watch the news, but it is impossible to completely aviod it) can start my symptoms up.  The thought of these symptoms going on and on, or never knowing when they may show up again, is very hard to take.  So anyway, would you have a recommended start amount if I do go back on a med?  GP was going to use Celexa a year ago, but I never took it.  I know I will likely feel like a failure if I give up, but.........

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ChessieCat
9 minutes ago, luvkids said:

what amount would you suggest starting with?  My last dose was May 2019 at approximately 2.5 mg.

 

A very tiny amount.  It is very important to get a consistent and accurate dose.

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Paxil is available as a liquid and it lasts up until the expiry date, not 1 month after opening like many other liquid ADs.

 

On 5/27/2011 at 10:52 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Use Paxil liquid to taper

 

(NOTE Paxil Oral Suspension is stable until expiry date when stored correctly - see this post; Seroxat contents to be discarded 1 month after opening - see this post)


This is the easiest and most accurate way to taper Paxil.

 

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

I suggest reading through it and taking notes and then a few hours later read through it again.  And possibly even doing that a third time, because there is a lot of information in that post and it can be hard to digest it all at one time.

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Altostrata
17 minutes ago, luvkids said:

My question for you guys is IF he tells me to restart an AD, (not sure if he can prescribe Paxil....my GP could not at my age, but supposedly psychiatrists have more leeway)

 

Are you seeing a psychologist (provides therapy) or a psychiatrist (provides drugs)?

 

Why could your GP not prescribe Paxil "at your age"?

 

Most medical doctors of any sort are not able to recognize withdrawal syndrome and would say you'd relapsed into a psychiatric disorder. For this, they'd cheerfully prescribe any number of drugs or drug combinations. They might even give you your choice.

 

If you're interested in reinstating an SSRI for Paxil withdrawal syndrome, since you've been off Paxil for so long, I would start with a tiny amount of Prozac, such as 0.5mg. It comes in liquid form so you can take a very low dose to see how it affects you. If I were you, I wouldn't take Paxil again, it's among the worst to go off.

 

On 8/1/2020 at 9:51 AM, luvkids said:

So any ideas on how to stop being hyper alert to the start of any symptom on a given day?  I find myself constantly monitoring my body for any symptoms, and when one starts, I get anxious just thinking that it will get worse.  I am sure this is counterproductive, but I don't know how to stop it. I do use deep breathing a lot, which sometimes helps the symptom, but not my obsessing with the start of a symptom.

 

This is the sort of thing a psychologist or a coach in meditation can help you with. Unlikely that a psychiatrist would do anything but give you a prescription.

 

 

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ChessieCat

However, I think you should consider some things before reinstating. 

 

Paxil, 20 mg. daily for last 20 years

Began tapering October 2018.  Took last dose May 2019.

 

You did a very fast taper of 7 months after being on Paxil for 20 years.

 

You have only been off Paxil completely for 14 months.  This is not very long in the scheme of things.  If you can learn non drug ways to reduce your stress your brain will be better able to stabilise.

 

It is possible to learn life coping skills, self soothing and non drug coping techniques to help us to cope with life stressors.  The drugs don't stop life stressors happening, they just numb our emotions.

 

Even if reinstatement works, Paxil may not work the same way it did when you previously took it.

 

Reinstatement may not work, and it might make things worse.

 

If you start taking Paxil again and you end up going to a "regular" dose, if in the future you need to take medication for a health issue, there could be a drug interaction.

 

If you feel that you have no choice but to take an antidepressant, then it might be better to consider taking a different drug.  If you do decide to do that, then I suggest that before taking anything you do a lot of research on side effects etc.

 

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luvkids

My doctor told me that Paxil has a black box warning for people over 65 for an increased risk of falling. He said he was not allowed to prescribe it.  He was going to give me Celexa.  I did try Prozac for a very short time before going on paxil, but it made me extremely agitated.  I am going to see a psychiatrist.  I totally understand the idea of learning coping skills, and I never felt "numb" while on Paxil....just normal and good.  Had I had a bad experience, I would not be considering going back on something.  Would Celexa be a better choice than Paxil?  Does it come in a liquid?  

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ChessieCat

SA has a Tips for Tapering topic for many antidepressants.  It's easy to do a search, using a search engine and adding site: survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

 

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luvkids

I do intend to address the severe insomnia issue as well to see if there is some help for that before starting an AD.  I just feel like a zombie......so exhausted I sometimes stumble, cannot go do errands, visit with my grandkids, and I never know when the withdrawal symptoms will kick in or when they will stop.  It is just so random without rhyme or reason.

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ChessieCat

When reducing/going off a drug, it can be very easy to think that what we are experiencing is withdrawal when it is possible that there is something else that is causing the symptoms or making withdrawal symptoms worse.

 

2 hours ago, luvkids said:

the stress from covid

 

America has also has/had the riots and you've also got the upcoming election.  There is a lot of external stressors affecting people at the moment.

 

2 hours ago, luvkids said:

I do intend to address the severe insomnia issue as well to see if there is some help for that

 

The insomnia may be being caused/made worse by the stressors that are affecting you, so don't just think in terms of directly  "addressing the insomnia".  Learning and using non drug coping skills as part of every day can help to reduce the stress as well as learning life coping skills because you won't be as worried.

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luvkids
23 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

When reducing/going off a drug, it can be very easy to think that what we are experiencing is withdrawal when it is possible that there is something else that is causing the symptoms or making withdrawal symptoms worse.

 

 

America has also has/had the riots and you've also got the upcoming election.  There is a lot of external stressors affecting people at the moment.

 

 

The insomnia may be being caused/made worse by the stressors that are affecting you, so don't just think in terms of directly  "addressing the insomnia".  Learning and using non drug coping skills as part of every day can help to reduce the stress as well as learning life coping skills because you won't be as worried.

 

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luvkids
Just now, luvkids said:

 

I am not consciously worried about most of the stuff that is going on.  I think that by watching the news daily back in March and April I inundated my mind and soul with fear that may be underlying my insomnia,  plus it being caused by withdrawal.   I am not generally a worrier or anxious.  I no longer watch news, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper.  But my exhaustion level is such that I feel dizzy, sometimes stumble, at times have a hard time articulating or focusing on a task.  I have never felt this way, and it can't continue 

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ChessieCat
On 8/2/2020 at 8:01 AM, ChessieCat said:

bijay has the same idea as me.  I was going to make the suggestion that you find things to do to distract yourself.

 

Just found this fantastic list of ideas.

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/distract.htm#OTHER IDEAS

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Altostrata

Did the insomnia start when you were reducing Paxil?

 

You could reinstate citalopram (Celexa) instead of fluoxetine (Prozac). Suggest starting with the liquid, so you can try 1mg and see how it affects you. A lot of the time, if you have withdrawal syndrome, you can react badly to "normal" dosages. Don't let the doctor force you to take anything.

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ChessieCat

I suggest that you rehearse what you are going to say beforehand.  If you know what you want to do and he suggests something different you can say that you would prefer to try your way first.  Listen to what the doctor has to say.  You need to be assertive without sounding like you know it all.  Also, you need to try and stay composed and not become emotional.  Remember that you are the "customer" and it is you that is going to be affected by what you do, not the doctor.  If he suggests something that you are unsure about you can always say that you would like to think about it before deciding.

 

how-to-talk-to-a-doctor-about-tapering-and-withdrawal-what-to-expect

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