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MissingMySoul Still a success story, after 7 years

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I was contacted privately by somebody on this site asking if I would be willing to write about mine and my husband's success story.  I have not been on this site publicly for years, but I did used to post on here and on the Topix forum before it was shut down.


I will apologize about several things right from the start.  I was a little bit hesitant about coming on here as our story starts in 2010 and the climax of my husband on the anti-depressants happened in 2013.  We reconciled that year and it took several years to overcome everything.  I continued posting into 2015 and even over the past two years have been contacted privately by several people and rehashed our story.  While it is all so long ago now, I struggle with having to tell the stories over and bring up all of the bad memories of what we went through.  I can handle speaking of it at this point, I don't cry telling a story or go for days with the memories stuck in my head.  However, after 7 years it has become something that I really want to keep in the past as much as possible.  With that being said, I also understand the need that people going through similar situations have in needing to see these positive stories and hear the sequence of events that others are going through so they can be assured that their situation is very much the same.  

I don't know, as of right now, how much detail I will go into with everything, but I will do my best in helping in any way I can.

The other thing I will apologize for is that my memory is not what it used to be.  Back when this was all happening I knew every single date possible, I knew my husband's dosage, when he started what pills, what he weaned down to.  I knew every single date of every single thing that happened that year but, because we have moved on from it, there are some things I just cannot recall anymore.


Anyways, sorry about the long introduction but overall I am here to post about our story, the timeline of it and it being a success in the end. 


My husband and I started dating in 2003 and got married in 2007.  In 2010 he started getting heart palpitations and what appeared, at the time, to be anxiety attacks.  We spent that year trying to figure out what was going on with him.  During the course of lots of different tests and appointments doctors ended up finding an inch and a half whole in his heart.  We assumed that this was causing what was happening to him.  We waited for him to receive open heart surgery.  He was taking Ativan and our GP put him on an anti-depressant at the time.  I don't recall which one he started with or what his dosage was.  In that year and through 2011 he was more irritable, much shorter than usual with me and started getting a lot crueler about stuff.  At the time it was chalked up to everything that was happening to him, being off of work, the stress of it all and waiting for the surgery.  In September 2011 he had his open heart surgery.  The doctor explained to us that the hole in his heart was not an emergency situation.  The surgery would not affect anything he did in the future.  It was just simply a fluke that it was found during all of his tests.  

My husband went into his recovery and what we hoped would be the end of it.


During this time he tried to quit smoking and went onto Champix.  Within a few weeks he was going absolutely nuts.  His personality changed so much.  We went back to the doctor and were shocked that they prescribed this to him.  Anybody that knows about open heart surgery knows that patients can go into a depression afterwards and our doctor did not take this into consideration when giving him these pills which can lead to suicide.  You would think after that, when he was put on different AD's, we would have clued into what was happening with him but we never did.  

Fast forward into late 2012 and by this time my husband was on Effexor.  I want to say he was at 225mg, but I could be wrong about that.  The Effexor was the final pill he went on that really pushed things over the edge.  I believe he went on it around October of that year, maybe a bit earlier.

His personality started changing so much.  His drinking got completely out of control.  He couldn't hold his job because he was still passing out and getting palpitations, so he was on disability at times and then back at work at times.  There was a lot of back and forth with that.  At the start of 2013 we made the decision to move back to our home province of BC.  We were in Alberta at the time.  We moved back home in March 2013.  He was going back and forth for work, as he had been cleared to go back at this point.  We thought maybe being home would help, being closer to hospitals and more family would help, that the stress would die down.  For some naive reason we just did not think the pills were causing all of this to start happening.  We really thought stress was just taking a huge toll.


In March I really started noticing that he would be fine one day and the next just be a completely different person.  No interest in anything, barely talking, wanted to sleep the whole time.  We had our anniversary on April 18th and then on April 28th, while I was in BC and he was in Alberta he called me.  We were having a normal conversation and about 45 minutes into he he told me he wanted to separate.  He was supposed to come down the next day and tried to get out of it.  I made him come down.

I picked him up at the airport and he was so lifeless.  He eyes were cold, he had no emotion one way or another.  Just completely blank.  Our conversation in person was, what would be, for me, the start of thinking something was causing this.  This might sound familiar to a lot of you....I asked him when he decided he wanted to separate.  He said he didn't know.  I asked him why he had never mentioned it to me before.  He said he didn't know.  I asked him why he didn't want to try and fix it.  He said he didn't know.  He couldn't give me any answers.  He said he didn't love me anymore.  I asked how long he felt that way for, and he didn't know.

So he left and a ton of things started to not add up in how he was acting.  Just very distant and cruel.  Not the person I knew for the past 10 years at all.  

He got into a lot of drugs and dangerous situations, drinking excessively, spending extravagantly.  It was in possibly late May 2013 that I started researching AD's.  I remember looking up something along the lines of 'Can AD's cause a spouse to fall out of love'.  The Topix site appeared and I dove into it and read every single story in that topic.  At the time it was about 600 pages of stories.  I started realizing that what people were saying was exactly what he was saying and doing.  I would see what he was doing, read a story and know what his next step was going to be.  


At this time I tried to get him to consider what was going on.  He refused.  He said I was grasping at straws.  When I would try to point out when he was contradicting himself with things in our relationship he said everything he did, he did out of obligation.  Yet the things I told him were so far above obligation, yet he couldn't see it.  I managed to get a hold of his pills and because he wouldn't wean himself, I would sit at my place at night and open up each pill.  I would count out 400 of the tiny white balls in a pill and then take away 10.  I would do that for a whole bottle.  I told him what I did and he said he would talk to the doctor about weaning.  The doctor did put him on a lower dose.  I explained to my husband that he needed to follow this dosage and not do anything too fast.  The only reason he decided to start weaning was because he was still getting attacks and palpitations.  He said the pills were not helping him, he wasn't weaning because he saw anything wrong with his personality at that point.


I want to say he started weaning late June 2013.  In July he told me he had stopped the pills cold turkey.  At that time I was super worried he was going to make himself worse.  I had read horrible stories of people weaning too quickly or just going cold turkey and never coming back to who they were.  But he didn't care what I thought.  In the end, for us, it ended up being the right thing.  Things in July had been going horrible.  His behaviour was out of control and everything I feared was happening.  I was driving myself crazy tracking his credit card and cell phone because we were still linked to all of it.  I made a decision in mid-July to cut ties with him.  For my own sanity.  I had supported him the best I could from April on but it got to the point where I couldn't handle what it was doing to me and what I was seeing him do.  One saving grace for me was his best friend.  The only friend of his that believed me and didn't chalk it up to mid life crisis.  The only friend who would read the posts I showed him and would update me on things.  I sort of kept track of my husband through him a little bit.  

So I did know that my husband was throwing up, getting flu like symptoms, getting major electrical zaps in his brain as part of his withdrawal.  I hoped that he was able to get through that and not go back on the pills and, luckily, he had enough wits about him at that time to realize that if getting off of these pills was doing this to him, they couldn't have been good.

He had been cold turkey off of the pills for a month when I went to go visit his friend.  The friend told me that things were changing.  He was noticing a difference in him and that Jeremy (sorry should have said my husband's name a while ago to make it easier) was starting to talk about me and showing signs of missing me.  His friend, Ryan, told me to just stay patient and hang in there.  He was seeing signs of Jeremy coming back to himself. 

It was so hard but I did nothing.  I waited and sure enough a few days later my phone rang.  Jeremy started contacting me and just would talk.  I made a point to never contact him first.  I wanted him to be contacting me when he felt that he should.  This went on for a few weeks.  He would phone me, we would talk and that would be about it.  On August 25th he was back in the same town as me.  At this point I had not seen him for over a month.  He asked to see me and he came over to the apartment that I had moved into.  It was so weird how awkward it felt with this person I had been with for 10 years.  When he first came over it felt like acquaintances.  He stayed and we talked for several hours and then he went to leave.  At the door he asked if he could hug me.  I said he could and he broke down.  This was the first emotion I had seen out of him in years.  

From that day forward I did the same thing, let him contact me and was there for him.  He was still having withdrawal and still going out super late at night and drinking and probably drugs, but it was dying down and it was just random days that he got those spurts.  In late September I allowed him to move into my apartment with me under certain conditions.  He knew I would have none of the going out and drinking or any drugs.  


September I started to see bits and pieces of him come back.  However, what was super hard at the time was living with him and he admitted to me that he still had days where he felt nothing for me.  Even in October.  I remember one day he seemed really nervous and I asked him what was wrong.  He told me he felt nothing for me.  He said he was sorry that he felt that but he couldn't control it.  What he had in his favour was the understanding of how that wasn't normal.  The day before he had feelings and today he didn't.  When he was on the pills he couldn't see that.  Months after being off of them, those feelings, or lack thereof, still happened but he couldn't understand it now.  

That happened several times.  He would tell me and I would tell him okay you stay here today and relax and hang out, I am going to my sisters for the day.  I tried to be nonchalant about it, but knew that on those days I couldn't be sitting next to him.


In December 2013 he was able to tell me that he loved me.  It was the first time I had heard those words since he went off the pills and the first time I had heard those words since before he left.  It took from July of going off of the pills until December for that to come back to him properly.  He told me later that month that he no longer had days where he felt nothing.  Through 2014 we did a lot of talking and healing.  It was hard.  There was so much pain that was caused to me but at the same time I had to recognize what it had done to him and the guilt he felt.  At first he wouldn't admit it was the pills.  He didn't want to feel like he was blaming something.  He didn't understand how it could do what it did.  I explained to him that if people can take pills to stop voices/thoughts in their head telling them to kill people then why is it so hard to believe that a pill can cause you to stop feeling other feelings and do other extreme things.  

I told him that there is no way he was this person and I wasn't the only one who saw it.  

2014 there were some minor set backs.  He still got random electrical zaps in his brain and on some days, especially if alcohol was involved, you could see this bit of him from on the pills.  The majority of the time he was the man I met and fell in love with.  Outside of the guilt he felt.  He felt he had no right to be upset about it all and I had to convince him that he was allowed.  That it wasn't something that happened to me, it happened to us.  The part he hates, but is also good in some ways, is that he couldn't remember some of the things I told him he did or how he acted.  I would tell him something and he couldn't remember doing it.  He said he felt like he was in a fog that whole time.  Some stuff he remembered and other stuff was hazy and felt like a dream. 


2015, I still had times of trouble.  Random spurts where my head would start thinking too much and my brain would go into overdrive.  I wish I could say when that actually stopped, but I can't.  There was just a point where I know I didn't wake up anymore thinking of things, or recreating images in my head. To Jeremy's credit even a few years afterwards, when I got like that I would tell him that my head was having a really bad day.  He would hug me and tell me he loved me and usually put his hands on my head and gave it a shake to get all of the crap out of it.  I never was told to get over it, or how long am I going to be like this for.  It was just support.


Since then, things have just been how they were before that nightmare happened.  The only trace I see is through drinking.  I have told Jeremy this as well.  That depending on how much he drinks now, his actions are different than they were prior to the pills.  I can see a tiny tiny trace of that guy in him if he gets to a certain stage.  I will take that side effect no problem knowing that is the worst of it.  


We have been together for 16 1/2 years, married for 13 this April coming up and are happy.  We feel grateful for how things ended up going for us in the end, because I know there are people whose brain chemistry permanently changes and I don't doubt for one second that we are very lucky for our outcome.


Just another little fact about something.  Those palpitations and anxiety attacks we found out what it was in 2014.  Not a single doctor or pharmacist linked it.  It was through our research.  Jeremy is a Type 1 Diabetic.  In June 2010, the doctor changed his insulin to a different brand.   In August 2010 he stared getting palpitations and attacks.  He had been diabetic since he was 19 and in 2010 he was 32.  He had changed insulin before and at no point did we ever consider that insulin would be doing that to him.  I kicked myself afterwards for never associating it.  Kicked myself knowing how much pain and heartache we could have saved.  Kicked myself thinking something like insulin started a chain of events that almost ruined our married.  However, the cardiologist, family doctor, pharmacists, work doctor never did either, so I don't feel so bad.  I am happy we pushed forward and kept looking for the cause and that we found it ourselves.


Wow, okay I am sorry for such a novel.  Even though this is super long, I assure you the details were still very limited lol.  I wanted to give a good overview at once and am happy to try and answer what I can if anybody is wondering anything.  The importance of these sites cannot be downplayed and I owe it to so many people willing to share their stories, that allowed me to not give up and to dig deep into what was going on.  I can't say for sure if I would be typing this right now if it wasn't for them and if I can be that for somebody I will do what I can to help someone not give up on their instinct that their spouse/friend/family member is different due to these pills.


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  • Altostrata changed the title to MissingMySoul Still a success story, after 7 years

Thank you, @MissingMySoul for posting. I'm glad to read of your husband's recovery and the continuation and success of your marriage! 

3/21/19 started Bupropion XL 150 mg

3/21/19 started Risperidone 2mg

7/7/19 start Abilify half dose 5 mg. discontinue Risperidone

7/9/19 full dose Abilify 10 mg

7/29/19 discontinued Abilify due to panicky side effects

8/2/19 Began Latuda 20 mg

8/5/19 discontinued Latuda due to similar side effects 

8/10/19 discontinued Bupropion after realizing it was causing the insomnia

From 8/10/19 no drugs whatsoever

Currently taking vitamin D, E, a probiotic and fish oil. 

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Amazing strength on your part. Way to power through. A truly great story! I am glad you made it to the light on the other end of the tunnel!! :)

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

2021 - Feb. 12 - 24 months off paroxetine. I have minor challenges now. Tinnitus/Headaches are still around but are reduced by a massive amount. 


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