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hippiechick95

Hippiechick95: stalling on taper during winter

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hippiechick95

I have been trying to get off of paroxetine since spring of 1998.  

Started paroxetine when I was 32, 10 mg, dropped back to 7.5 mg within that first month.  Paroxetine made me very sleepy, at first, so I had to take it at night, otherwise, I couldn't drive safely.  A brief nap usually fixed it.  Paroxetine really helped with depression.

Number of depressive episodes since 1995:  just 5 in 24 years.  Three when trying to taper.

Age 35, tried tapering too fast to 5 mg (33% decrease), got irritable, partner said I should go back up to regular dose, so I did.

Age 36, breakup with partner.  Sad and grieving, but not depressed.  

Age 37, work stress led to severe insomnia.  Tried Ambien, made me hallucinate. Tried valerian, got severely depressed.  Had bad CBT (Cog Behav Therapy), got more depressed: "Even therapy won't fix me!"  Felt hopeless, but not suicidal. Depression lasted about 2 months.

Insomnia continued, so psychiatrist (who saw me for 15 minutes in a group med check appointment - ridiculous!) prescribed trazodone 50 mg.  Instantly fixed insomnia problem.

Age 41, moved to a new city where I didn't know anyone, got depressed again.  No chg to meds.  Saw a good therapist, depression resolved in 4 months - not as severe a depression.  New relationship.

Age 42, saw a new psychiatrist.  Switched me from trazodone to mirtazapine.  Still sleeping well, but mirtazapine gave me the most bizarre relationship to food.  I constantly wanted to be chewing something, munching on something, shot up 15 pounds (I'm short, so this was a significant percentage of my body weight).  I tried chewing gum to deal with this weird behavioral urge.  The psychiatrist, who would see me for 20 minutes (individually at least!) for med checks every 3-4 weeks, would try to do psychoanalysis on me in the 10 minutes we had left after discussing meds. NOT helpful. Broke up with partner.  

Age 42, tried tapering off of paroxetine, back to 5mg (33% decrease), got depressed.  After a month, went back up to 7.5 mg.

Age 43, went back on trazodone, 62.5 mg.  I don't remember a taper with switching between trazodone and mirtazapine, since they were chemically similar.  Still sleeping well.  New relationship, sill in that one.  

Ages 46-52, had good CBT, and learned how to manage thoughts and behaviors to prevent depression from getting severe or lasting too long.  

Ages 52-53, very slow gradual taper over 9 months from 7.5 mg to 2.5 mg paroxetine, kept trazodone at 62.5 mg.  No depression!  Brain shivers every time I dropped dose slightly, but those lasted only about a week.

Age 53, OB-GYN put me on progesterone for perimenopausal symptoms.  I was fetal-position, immobile depressed within a month.  Stopped progesterone and went back up to 5 mg paroxetine.  (Why, oh why, didn't I just wait and see if taking the progesterone away would have fixed things?)  Still on 62.5 mg trazodone.

Age 53 going on 54, moved back to MN, to where I knew lots of people, but also where winters are cold and dark and long.  Got a severe infection, took Cipro, which cleared infection but destroyed gut microbiome.  Just as the days were getting shorter and darker, and I was commuting to and from work in darkness.  2016 election happened, work supervisors were harsh and critical, had a cancer scare.  Too much bad stuff at once, got the most depressed I'd been since my early 30's.  I did not feel like myself.  Unable to use CBT skills.  Over one week, increased paroxetine to 7.5 mg, next week 10 mg.  Within 3 days of taking the 10 mg dose, the black, horrible depression lifted.  Still on 62.5 mg trazodone.  But, this was also after winter solstice, do days were getting longer, and I also increased Vit D and got a sun lamp close to the same time.  So was it the drugs or the season?  Had 6 weeks of CBT for insomnia, realized I don't need trazodone to sleep. Why didn't anyone offer me this instead of drugs?!  Realized true gender identity - maybe that's why progesterone made me depressed, I'm not female or male, even though my body was annoying me with menopause.  Still on 62.5 mg trazodone - why mess with meds while sorting out gender?

Age 54.  Mild winter depression.  Thought to myself, 10 mg of paroxetine and 62.5 mg trazodone isn't doing anything!  

Age 55.  Moved back to the sunny state of CO.  From Jan - July of this year (2019), slowly, slowly tapered from 10 mg to 7.5 mg paroxetine.  No depression.  Brain shivers every time I dropped a level, but those lasted only about a week.  Spent 4-6 weeks at each level of dosage as I tapered. Still on 62.5 mg trazodone.  

Plan:  Hold stable at current doses of paroxetine and trazodone through early Feb, when days start getting longer.  Eat a non-inflammatory diet, start exercising more.  

Maybe try very slow taper back to 50 mg trazodone over winter, since I know how to sleep well without it.  Then taper paroxetine.  Then complete taper off trazodone.  Be drug-free!

 

 

 


Currently 55, gender non-binary.  

Imipramine resolved depression twice in early 30's w-in 3 mos, easy to stop once better, no taper. 
Paroxetine started age 32, 10 mg. Didn't like SE's at 10, dropped to 7.5 w-in first mo, no more SE's.  Age 35, tapered from 7.5mg to 5mg, irritable, went back to 7.5 mg. Age 42, down to 5 mg, depressed, back to 7.5 after 1 mo, then not depressed. Ages 52-53, 9 month taper from 7.5 mg to 2.5 mg. Depression recurred (medical reason), back to 5 mg. Age 53-54, severe depression (unable to use CBT skills), multiple risk factors, back up to 7.5 then 10 mg. Depression better. Age 55, 7-month taper down to 7.5 mg.  No depression.

Trazodone/mirtazapine  Age 37, insomnia.  Ambien=hallucinating. Valerian=blocks action of SSRI's, got depressed. Trazodone 50 mg fixed insomnia. Age 42, trazodone to mirtazapine. Age 43, mirtazapine to 62.5 mg trazodone.

Want to continue to taper both paroxetine and trazodone.

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, hippiechick95.

 

Your taper over six months from 10mg to 7.5mg was commendably slow.  We recommend tapering no faster than 10% of current dose every four weeks, but certainly tapering more slowly is fine, especially at the low doses.

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

This link is specifically about tapering Paroxetine/Paxil:

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Your plan to wait until longer days sounds like a good idea.  We generally recommend first tapering to zero the more activating drug, in your case Paroxetine, while keeping the more sedating drug to act as a buffer to be tapered later.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

However, we have had members who successfully tapered one drug down to a certain point, then switched the taper to another drug.  Read the link above and see what you think.  

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.
 
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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hippiechick95

Thanks Gridley.  I thought I had set up a signature, but it wasn't showing up - too long.  I re-entered one, hopefully it shows up with this message.


Currently 55, gender non-binary.  

Imipramine resolved depression twice in early 30's w-in 3 mos, easy to stop once better, no taper. 
Paroxetine started age 32, 10 mg. Didn't like SE's at 10, dropped to 7.5 w-in first mo, no more SE's.  Age 35, tapered from 7.5mg to 5mg, irritable, went back to 7.5 mg. Age 42, down to 5 mg, depressed, back to 7.5 after 1 mo, then not depressed. Ages 52-53, 9 month taper from 7.5 mg to 2.5 mg. Depression recurred (medical reason), back to 5 mg. Age 53-54, severe depression (unable to use CBT skills), multiple risk factors, back up to 7.5 then 10 mg. Depression better. Age 55, 7-month taper down to 7.5 mg.  No depression.

Trazodone/mirtazapine  Age 37, insomnia.  Ambien=hallucinating. Valerian=blocks action of SSRI's, got depressed. Trazodone 50 mg fixed insomnia. Age 42, trazodone to mirtazapine. Age 43, mirtazapine to 62.5 mg trazodone.

Want to continue to taper both paroxetine and trazodone.

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