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I was on Paxil for 11 years, from 1994-2005. I tried to quit around 1997 - my idiot doctor told me I could just stop taking it, and within 24 hours I was in a black pit of depression and nonstop crying. Went back on, and then a couple years later tried again, this time doing a taper (on my own, without advice of a doctor) but went too fast and again pretty quickly started feeling withdrawal. I didn't have any physical symptoms that I remember, just horrible sadness and crying. I ended up reinstating again as I just couldn't handle it. In 2005 I tapered again, this time over 4 months in 2.5 increments, and stuck with it though I now realize it was way too fast. I had a lot of anxiety and depression in withdrawal, some mild dizziness, lack of appetite and trouble sleeping. Things smelled weird sometimes and I was very irritable and sensitive to noises. Most of that cleared up within a few months, although the episodes of depression kept happening for about a year and a half. Post-Paxil I was hypersensitive to a lot of things ... couldn't handle caffeine, B vitamins, scary movies or TV, etc. It's been 6 years now and I'm much better but I don't feel that I have ever returned to my "normal" state, the way I remember feeling before Paxil. I am more prone to anxiety and don't sleep as well. However, menopause has kicked in so it's hard to say what role that is playing. I do think that the trauma of my withdrawal has left a lasting scar.

Edited by surviving
clarified topic title

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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Hi Maddie,

 

I am palm from PP in case you hadn't guessed.

 

Great to see you here. I have always loved your posts from PP.

 

I am so sorry that the trauma of Paxil withdrawal has left a lasting scar. Those wonderful parting gifts. :angry:

 

Again, welcome.

 

Comp Sports

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Hello Maddie

 

I'm a pp old timer although i haven't posted there for many years.

So sorry to hear that Your still having problems after so long. It would seem that for some, as yet unknown reason, that some of us take much longer that others to heal from this.. I seem to have a similar time frame to You.. 12 years on seroxat/paxil and 7 years off in august..

 

I'm still hopeful we will get better... Druid

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hello Maddie,

 

welcome, i am stan from stan

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Hi there Maddie :) i too am 6 years off the poison now and still have major issues not present prior to seroxat use, like yourself, yes i have improvements in way of raging anxiety,early morning waking ect but i am still far from being anything like i was prior to taking drugs :(, hoping recovery comes to us all

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Hi Maddie, welcome aboard!

Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

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Hiya! Good to see you here! Hope you're doing OK-ish. My hat's off to you for all you've done while still dealing with the residual effects. Very, very impressive.

 

Are you, by any chance, named after a hamster? :D

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Are you, by any chance, named after a hamster? :D

 

Haha .... how did you remember that? There must be a sad thread on PP about her demise. I don't know why I picked a new screen name here, since I'm freely admitting I'm Babs.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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That's so funny... I remb that thread also. Soon as I saw what Healing said, I thought... oh yeah... Maddie! May she rest in peace.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Hey, Maddie. A bit belated welcome to you! We know each other from PP. ;) Great to see you here. So sorry to hear about this residual anxiety, but be patient. Just give it a bit more time and it will all clear up eventually.

2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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Maddie the hamster clearly lives on in our hearts and is a symbol of what we are fighting for... ;)

 

No, seriously, not to get too mushy, but she really does symbolize love, and that's a good thing to be reminded of.... :)

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Warm Welcome to you Maddie!

 

 

So sorry for all you have been through and continue to go through!

 

 

Cineph (another member) shared a thought, in another thread re: I've always enjoyed your balanced approach. I very much feel the same and thus, so glad to see you here.

 

 

In regard to menopause. I truly believe that this is contributing to your present state. You will feel so much better once you complete the transition.

 

 

There are options to manage meno eg. natural progesterone cream. I used it with much success. You may wish to explore this option via further research.

 

Again, welcome to the forum.

 

 

Punar

To Face My Trials with "The Grace of a Woman Rather Than the Grief of a Child". (quote section by Veronica A. Shoffstall)

 

Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly. Be Afraid of Only Standing Still.

(Chinese Proverb)

 

I Create and Build Empowerment Within Each Time I Choose to Face A Fear, Sit with it and Ask Myself, "What Do I Need to Learn?"

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Thanks Punar ... I've been using progesterone cream for a while now. I find that it helps with my mood, but not the hot flashes. I've tried just about everything for those with no luck. I try to just accept them and count myself lucky that I don't break out in a sweat. At least nobody knows when I'm having one! But they wake me up all night long.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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Hi Maddie (babs)

 

Welcome and thankyou for sharing your story here.

So sorry to hear your story and you lasting scars of the demon drug paxil,

i too am in the exact same place, as i hit meno during my horrendous taper too.

 

Wishing us all many more good days and continued healing.

Can someone explain this progesterone cream, and how it helps??

And is it safe for use in early wd?

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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Angie, my understanding is that a lot of menopause symptoms are caused by a hormone imbalance - so it's not just the drop in estrogen but the ratio of estrogen to progesterone that messes things up. If the level of progesterone gets too low you can become "estrogen dominant" which seems weird since you are losing estrogen, but you still have too much estrogen in comparison to the amount of progesterone. This is what causes those PMS-y feelings - sore boobs, irritability, etc. Since I've started using it I notice that if I skip a day I am cranky as hell the following day. I've used different brands but am currently using Pro-gest by Emerita. They say to use it 21 days and stop for 7 even if you don't have periods any more, but I use it every day because I can't stand how I feel when I don't. I've seen other brands say you can go either way, taking a break or using it every day, so I'm not too worried. It's kind of ironic that I'm back on being addicted to something to regulate my mood, though. :wacko:

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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Thanks Punar ... I've been using progesterone cream for a while now. I find that it helps with my mood, but not the hot flashes. I've tried just about everything for those with no luck. I try to just accept them and count myself lucky that I don't break out in a sweat. At least nobody knows when I'm having one! But they wake me up all night long.

 

 

Maddie, despite being in the throws of C/T WD from xanax, and being extremely perimenopausal, the utilization of several things simultaneously, afforded me the freedom of having a relatively uneventful menopause as well as post-menopausal experience during the mid to latter stages of my WD experience. This would never have been the case had it not been for several things.

 

 

daily multi-vitamin

B-complex

Vit C (3 times per day)

zinc (once per day)

Calcium and Magnesium (twice per day)

 

most of all EVENING PRIMROSE OIL (2 - 3 capsules each night before retiring).

 

I never had even a twinge of a hot flash nor any night sweats. The progesterone cream helped immensely with so many other symptoms.

 

I was able to tolerate all of these during Xanax WD although my CNS cannot tolerate any of these vitamins during this present AD WD experience. I no longer need to utilize the progest cream. Stop using that a long time ago and only implemented it recently for a very short period of time.

 

It appears, based on your post to Angie, that you're aware of many things. If I may share a few thoughts, and forgive me if I'm relaying info that you're already aware of, but standard recommeded dosages for progesterone, are not also kosher for everyone.

 

Dosage needs to be tailorized to suit the individual. So, some experimentation may be required to obtain the correct dosage and thus, to reap more positive results.

 

As per your post to Angie: yes, one can become addicted to hormone therapy (even natural hormones). The receptors that receive progesterone can also become desensitized and thus, it is important to take a break (1 or 2 weeks) every month.

 

It appears that you are aware of the WD like mood effects that result when you immediately stop the progesterone.

 

 

Gosh, I could write pages on this subject but long story short, hormones act like drugs on the brain and thus, one can develop tolerance to the hormone as well as WD effects IF stopped abruptly. So, it's important to TAPER from hormones once one decides to permanently cease the use of such hormones,especially if one has been using for a very long time and without regular breaks in use.

 

Also, as you discussed with Angie, not all progesterone creams are created equal. So, this is another factor that needs to be considered. Progest by Emerita, as you mentioned, is the only natural progesterone cream that has been proven, via clinical study, to produce positive effects. I have a paper/report on this. Angie, it's important to use a cream that is of "USP" grade (written on the label). This means that it is a "standardized dose".

 

Many progesterone creams do not contain standardized dosages and thus, if one switches from one cream to another, one's hormonal system can fluctuate, not to mention one may not obtain positive beneficial therapeutic effects, since the "quality" and "quantity" of progesterone is compromised.

 

Oh, forgive the poor wording of my thoughts but my brain is clear on the info. but challenged in way of writing skills ATM (lol).

 

I also apologize for sharing thoughts with Angie within the same post but I'm limited as to how much time I can spend on the computer many days and thus, this is the fastest way to relay my thoughts.

 

 

Have you tried adding evening primrose oil? That really helped me a lot. Worth mentioning, I couldn't take it on an empty stomach since, it would produce nausea so, I would have a little snack before hand.

 

Anyway, hope some of this helps and if you're already aware of these points then just disregard my thoughts (LOL).

 

 

It is important to do extensive research on this subject accessing multiple sources.

 

Also, I believe it's important to stay away from the progest creams that contain estrogenic herbs and parabens (which are estrogenic chemicals) since, they will compromise the integrity of the effectiveness of the progesterone.

 

I better post this since, I could be writing pages on this subject. Sorry for the the hap-hazzard presentation of thoughts and lack of editing but i'm going to have to get off-line. My system's in on overload. (lol).

 

Angie, try to buy books by Dr. Lee. His books are very informative/eduational in way of explaining the biolgocial functions of female hormonal system (in lay terms). You'll learn a lot and be glad you purchased the book. His books are available on Amazon.

 

 

Punar

To Face My Trials with "The Grace of a Woman Rather Than the Grief of a Child". (quote section by Veronica A. Shoffstall)

 

Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly. Be Afraid of Only Standing Still.

(Chinese Proverb)

 

I Create and Build Empowerment Within Each Time I Choose to Face A Fear, Sit with it and Ask Myself, "What Do I Need to Learn?"

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Hi Guys,

 

Maddie and Pun,

Thankyou so much for trying to explain to me, it helps a lot,

it is difficult to tell sometimes what is caused by what, wether its menopause

or wd, and as i havent had a period since 14/2/09, im wondering wether my issues

are more related to wd than menopause.

Im thinking maybe menopause would have been a doddle now lol.

Maddie so sorry to hijack your thread buddy.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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  • Administrator

For a time, I was using Source Naturals (USP) progesterone cream, just the tiniest dab a day, and it was helpful.

 

I have a Menostar estrogen minidose (14mcg/day) patch now, it's helped with withdrawal sleep issues.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Angie I also have not had a period since March of 2009 but the hot flashes have not let up at all and I feel in the throes of menopause. I wish I could take estrogen but with my family history of breast cancer it is out of the question. I'm a little worried about my progesterone use after reading about its addictive nature (I was just joking above) but damn, I may commit an act of violence if I don't take it.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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  • Administrator

Okay, I know this sounds funny, being the Fish Oil Queen, but I hear fish oil (with 400iu vit E daily) can help hot flashes. Also walking or regular exercise every day.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I'm way ahead of you ... been taking fish oil for over five years now, and walking just about daily as well (I've cut back a bit since going back to work full time). I'm telling ya, I've tried everything. About the only suggestion in this thread that I haven't tried is evening primrose oil; I know I've taken it before but probably not for an extended period. I've tried black cohosh, soy shakes, and bioidentical estrogen cream but none of it helped. I take magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, potassium, melatonin and fish oil, and use progesterone cream. I limit my caffeine to one Diet Pepsi a day (should probably cut it out altogether) and don't smoke. I eat a pretty decent, semi-vegetarian diet although I do eat way too many sweets. That's one connection I've made ... if I eat candy I will immediately get a hot flash. I don't mind the daytime ones, though; it's the nighttime ones that wake me up that are so annoying. And they seem to be getting worse rather than better.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi it's Maddie again ... I have been off Paxil for 7-1/2 years now. Nothing is that different from what I have written above ... I feel that Paxil withdrawal is long behind me except for a residual hypersensitivity, which I think will be with me forever. And I honestly cannot say whether that's actually a physical thing caused by withdrawal, or an emotional thing caused by the trauma of going through withdrawal. Probably the latter. And the menopause stuff has not gotten any better although it's been 3-1/2 years since my last period. I'm feeling mildly depressed at the moment just because of the season, and because I am out of work again. I desperately don't want to go back to work but I am going to run out of money, and I need health insurance. The thought of working again terrifies me. I guess I got into my comfort zone of living a relatively stress free life, volunteering at the zoo and having tons of free time to do whatever I want. My last job was a nightmare; I had a terribly abusive boss who yelled at me all the time and treated me like crap. It was almost a relief when I got laid off. But because of that, I am even more loathe to get back in the workplace. So, life is not perfect but I definitely enjoy it on a day to day basis, when I can forget about my worries about the future.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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  • Administrator

Good to see you again, Maddie.

 

Well, only one more year and we'll have Obamacare!

 

The economy is perking up, maybe you can find a job that fits well and doesn't stress you out.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I'm struck by how many of us who seem to have ongoing issues (well, I'm only at 2 years so far) are women over 40, with possible hormonal changes affecting recovery.

 

I've started to think a lot of what is impeding progress with me is now a kind of rut my mind is stuck in... the horror of going through this, how I relate it now to everything around me. I improve enormously when I am in different surroundings. Have you ever experienced that to be the case?

 

I am now looking into ways to encourage neuroplasticity to "train" myself out of anxiety, poor sleep, etc. Have you tried these approaches?

 

Volunteering at the zoo sounds amazing. And I hear you about not wanting to go back to work! I'm thinking of a career change of some sort myself...

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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  • 2 years later...
  • Administrator

Babs, I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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