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baboon Paroxetine withdrawal - scary


baboon

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Hi

 

I had been taking paroxetine for 14 years, and had often thought about coming off but been too nervous to do so (I knew what happened when I missed a few days of the pill, and as many of you will know, it's enough to give you a pretty bad scare). But I knew I had to make the leap eventually. So I gradually tapered down my dosage until I was taking 5mg a day, in preparation for coming off in a sensible, measured way that I thought would reduce the possible side effects. Finally I came off paroxetine last December.

 

Because I've had numerous other changes in my life since then (family illness, new job etc etc), I always put down the anxiety I felt after giving up to things in the world, rather than in my head. It was manageable as well, so I didn't really make any link between it and coming off paroxetine.

 

Then, about six weeks ago, I gave up drinking alcohol in response to a problem with my liver. I expected to feel better, obviously enough, but on the contrary I have felt much worse - since then my anxiety has morphed to a level where it is out of control. On top fo that, I've had self-harm thoughts which feel like they're coming from outside me, in a way I can't explain -  those thoughts are stronger than anything similar I've felt before. It feels like the alcohol was keeping these thoughts under control somehow, but now the lid has been blown off.

 

It's only in the past couple of weeks that I've started to believe there's a real link with my coming off paroxetine back in December. I've looked up SSRI discontinuation syndrome today, and the list of symptoms is uncannily close to what I've been feeling.

 

In one way it's a relief, to have a strong reason for the way I'm feeling. on the other hand I feel scared and lost - I'm very loath to go back on any other drug/SSRI, but on the other hand there's no way of knowing how long this will last. Since the drug has only been about since 1992 (?), then there's going to be no firm idea of what long-term use does to a person. 

 

Any thoughts/advice/experience very gratefully received. Thanks.

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Hi, Baboon,

 

Yes, your symptoms could very well be from coming off of paroxetine (Paxil) too fast. When you have some time, would you please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature, including how you tapered off paroxetine? This will appear in all of your posts so that members who want to help can easily see your history.

 

At this point in time taking another antidepressant could do more harm than good. Generally, reinstatement should take place within 30 days to avoid negative effects.  You might try taking a very, very small dose of paroxetine, such as .5 mg. or even .01 mg., but there's no guarantee that will help, and it might make things worse.  Here's our topic on reinstating: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Your best bet at this point may be to try non-drug means of alleviating symptoms. There are a lot of good ideas in our Symptoms and self-care discussion area: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

There actually is quite a bit known about the long term effects of SSRI antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, although I doubt you'll hear any of it from most doctors.  I recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, a straight-arrow journalist. It's quite an eye-opener.

 

Welcome to the forum, Baboon.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thanks Jemima, I appreciate it. The advice on what to do next is great - every fibre in my being resisted when my doctor recommended that perhaps i try another medication, so it's good to hear another voice suggesting that there was good reason for that reaction.

 

The book looks interesting. As someone also interested in counselling/psychotherapy, I've mostly thought a lot about how the drugs industry/psychiatry/the infamous DSM-IV pathologises and medicates behaviours that either are quite sane and normal (but don't fit in with the hegemonic capitalist system's need to produce, produce, produce) or for which one could strongly draw a causal link with the environment in which a person grew up (very much the case for me). And of course, there is a whole lot of profit in pathologising and medicating people, and then keeping them medicated.

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Welcome from me too baboon!

 

We are here of pretty much the same opinion. 

 

In addition to what Jemima said, it would help us if you could put your withdrawal history in your signature: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

You will find this a very supporting community as many of us have. keep us posted.

 

best,

 

bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Jemima, I appreciate it. The advice on what to do next is great - every fibre in my being resisted when my doctor recommended that perhaps i try another medication, so it's good to hear another voice suggesting that there was good reason for that reaction.

 

The book looks interesting. As someone also interested in counselling/psychotherapy, I've mostly thought a lot about how the drugs industry/psychiatry/the infamous DSM-IV pathologises and medicates behaviours that either are quite sane and normal (but don't fit in with the hegemonic capitalist system's need to produce, produce, produce) or for which one could strongly draw a causal link with the environment in which a person grew up (very much the case for me). And of course, there is a whole lot of profit in pathologising and medicating people, and then keeping them medicated.

 

Bingo! I used to be a psychotherapist, dating way back to the sixties, and while I don't remember if we used the DSM III or IV, I remember reading it in my free moments (I was new to the whole psychotherapy field, having been hired as an art therapist based on my Bachelor of Fine Arts) and thinking that the diagnostic descriptions were nothing but slightly exaggerated normal behavior. I mean, paranoia? Who among us has never been suspicious of another's motives? In addition, I met quite a few patients in my fourteen or so years as a therapist who had every reason to be "paranoid" about their crazy families, spouses, or bosses.

 

And yes, there's lots of money to be made with fifteen minutes or less psychiatric appointments during which the doctor asks a few cursory questions and hands one a prescription. Or two or three. And if those drugs don't make you feel better, you can get even more harmful prescriptions by complaining!

 

You'll find lots of people here who are thoroughly disillusioned with the medical profession.  Count me among them.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Welcome Baboon! There's a lot of support and knowledge here. It's good to hear you can find some respite at your parent's.

 

It was 4 months or so after my last dose of Fluoxetine that my symptoms blindsided me during my last attempt to withdrawal. I now know I tapered much too quickly. I ended up reinstating and starting the taper over again. Slower this time, but still a bit too quickly initially. I slowed way down, under the advisement of the admins and other knowledgable people here. Although I still find myself anticipating being blindsided again, I have to say this taper has been a very different experience. Phew!

 

I also recommend Anatomy of an Epidemic highly.

 

I too believe the DSM pathologizes normal behavior. There's a reason the DSM-5 came under so much attack... And there's areas on the APA minimized the relationships many of the developing team members had (have) with pharmaceutical companies.

 

Again, welcome to SA! You now have a whole community to support you on your journey.

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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