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diana53

Diana53

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diana53

Hi I wanted to share my story about my long journey with Seroxat.

 

From a young age, I have suffered with mild social phobia. I struggled at times with this but managed to cope like many people do with a phobia. When I started a new job with a very critical employer, I found the anxiety was too much to cope with so I researched a drug called Seroxat, which was promoted in a phobic society magazine. It seemed too good to be true but I decided to try it as I had never had problems with any drugs before. Well after the initial phase of feeling like my head was full of cotton wool, I took them at night and found that I started to feel better. The sweating, weight gain and nightmares, I didn't take too much notice of as I thought my body would settle down once I had got used to the drug.

 

Over the next 7 years I tried to withdraw but each time I would get horrible symptoms so this made me carry on with a promise I would come off them in the future. My doctor told me that I had an imbalance of chemicals in my body and I was like a diabetic and these drugs would not cause dependence and I could come off them any time. I actually thought the withdrawal symptoms I was getting was something to do with the menopause and believed the Seroxat was calming this down. After all, I knew many women who took anti depressants for menopause so thought I needed them.

 

How my marriage survived my personality on Seroxat i will never know. I became a highly sociable person with very little awareness of my behaviour. I was almost manic at times and sought constant fun. My constant need to be the centre of attention put a huge strain on my relationship. However, I believe now that I had an overactive thyroid problem at this time and taking seroxat just exacerbated this problem.

 

Due to the 3 stone in weight that I had put on, I cut my 20mg dose down to 10 mg and this seemed to cure the nightmares and with excessive amounts of exercise, I gradually lost weight. I felt really good apart from a disabling need to sleep all the time.

 

After 7 years (2006) when I was at a time in my life when I wanted and needed some personal control and due to the weight starting to creep on, I believed the 10 mg I was taking had stopped working for me so I decided to stop altogether. This proved to be the worst decision I have ever made and is totally alien to the cautious person I am now.

 

I can only say that the first few months were like living in a dark room where any thoughts of happiness were a distant memory. At this time I tried, St Johns Wort but this seemed to make me more depressed. I then tried 5HTP which gave me heart arrhythmia's. My weight continued to increase and I looked old and very tired all the time. I lost all interest in life, food, my appearance, the future and I seemed to be very irritated by noise. My social phobia came back but much, much worse than I have ever had it before. I searched for reasons as to why I was like this but could find no answers. I truly believed that my body would readjust wtihin a month or two. After 6 months, in desparation, I went back to my doctor and asked to be put on another antidepressant, believing that I had come off Seroxat too quickly and needed something to stabilize myself. I took a 10 mg dose of citaopram and this is when my mind and body seemed to go into shock.

 

I developed, severe IBS, akethsia, dizziness, nausea, head zaps, insomnia and most importantly, I became very allergic to medication and vitamins. Interestingly I was able to eat junk food quite easily but anything which was nutritious and full of vitamins were alien to my body and caused more problems. At this time I had no knowledge of what was wrong with me or what effects food would have on my symptoms. It was at this time, I started having feelings of wanting to die as never in my life had I ever experienced anything so physically and mentally hard and what was worse, I had no idea how long this would last and if it would actually get better.

 

Over the 5 years I have been suffering this withdrawal, the one thing which stands out more than anything is how much stress affects my already hypersensitive nervous system and how food and 'hands on therapies' also affect my nervous system. I have spent a fortune on trying different treatments and badgering my doctor for validation that I am suffering from the effects of Seroxat. When I was diagnosed finally, with an over active thyroid, it was good news for me at the time as I had something substantial I could say was wrong with me. Sadly the treatment for this is medication (which gives me panic attacks) or radiation to destroy the thyroid and make it go underactive and then take medication for this. This is still not an option for me so at the moment I am living with the knowledge that I could damage my heart or develop osteoporosis but this is my choice and I would rather go with this option that take something which will inevitably change my hormones to goodness knows what state, at a time when my body is already trying desparately to find a balance.

 

I do not believe that all my problems are simply related to IBS and a mildly over active thyroid. I have developed a keen instinct to what is wrong and it would be too simple to focus on these two issues and ignore the other endocrine hormones which I believe have been upset from taking this drug.

 

Many symptoms over the years have improved although the improvements are so slow that you almost miss that they have happened. My sleep is a lot better than it was. Unless I am in a period of hyper overactivity with my thyroid, my anxiety is bearable. I have put on weight again which I had lost after the citalopram and looked very ill and anorexic. My energy levels have come back unless I do too much (a couple of years ago the doctor tried to suggest I had chronic fatigue) I can now walk 3 miles most days, maybe not at the speed I used to be able to, but this has improved a lot. Most importantly, I feel my senses have come back and I can feel emotions now which were lost for a few years. Also I am pleased to say that I have once again found my sense of humor and realize how important this is in healing the mind and body.

 

A constant hope that I will get better has kept me going though some very dark times. I am by no means back to the person I was and I may never achieve that, I still suffer from what I class as withdrawal symptoms, but I have to be thankful that because of this horrendous journey, I am fortunate to have found people who are genuine and are willing to support me through the worst times. Sites like this one are so helpful and hi-light the problems others have and make this journey less lonely.

 

 

 

Sorry for the hugely long post.

 

:rolleyes:

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angie007

HI diana,

 

Welcome good to have you here, and thankyou for sharing your story,

its wonderful to note that you are improving, albeit slowly, but none the less

it is happening, and im very happy for you.

Im also sorry you had to experience all that, from a legal prescription drug.

 

I hope you will find some comfort in the fact that everyone here will empathise,

as most of us are in simialar positions, and you will find so much support and comfort here,

you will not feel alone again.

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Neuroplastic

Beautiful post, Diana. Welcome to SA! It's been for you a long long way, but the most important thing is that you've been improving. It's slow, it's painfully slow, but it's already much better and it will keep improving further. I put in bold the most important phrases in your post. Remember about them every time you feel worse. Keep improving till the day all this nightmare becomes the past. And the past only.

 

Many symptoms over the years have improved although the improvements are so slow that you almost miss that they have happened. My sleep is a lot better than it was. Unless I am in a period of hyper overactivity with my thyroid, my anxiety is bearable. I have put on weight again which I had lost after the citalopram and looked very ill and anorexic. My energy levels have come back unless I do too much (a couple of years ago the doctor tried to suggest I had chronic fatigue) I can now walk 3 miles most days, maybe not at the speed I used to be able to, but this has improved a lot. Most importantly, I feel my senses have come back and I can feel emotions now which were lost for a few years. Also I am pleased to say that I have once again found my sense of humor and realize how important this is in healing the mind and body.

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alexjuice

Hey Diana,

 

Thank you for sharing your personal story. I'm glad that you're here.

 

I myself have a social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) and was put on different medications to try to treat it. These, as you might expect, did not work as well as I had hoped based on their advertisements.

 

I am happy to hear that some of your symptoms have improved, however gradually. It is good news for continued hope, I say.

 

Welcome to SA!

 

Alex.i

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diana53

Thank you for the encouraging words to both of you. It is a slow process and is never the same two days running but its good to put my story down to see how far I have come.

 

Love and healing ;)

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diana53

Thanks Alex. Social phobia can be debilitating but I would take it any day over Seroxat withdrawal. :angry:

 

Keep well. Diana

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Healing

What a beautifully written, poignant, compelling account. You're so crystal clear about what happened to you! You must -- and will -- keep on healing, because I have a sense that you're going to do something very creative with this journey once you feel better.

 

I, too, would hold off on any thyroid treatment. I think our entire endocrine system gets out of whack and goes through different stages as we heal. Your thyroid situation will probably change for the better all by itself. (I'm not a doctor, but this is what I would do for me.)

 

I'm so glad you have found genuine people willing to support you through the worst times. That's a big deal. Welcome, and we look forward to your engagement here!

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diana53

Ahh thank you healing. What lovely words and very comforting to know that you think its all about rebalancing, which is what I think. There is always something to learn with every experience and I have learned a lot about myself through this.

:)

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