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Hopeful

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I am an SSRI Protracted w/d survivor! From everything I have read I think I was one of the worse case scenarios. I am doing very well now after being off for 5 1/2 years. I hope I can be encouragement for those who are in the middle of this horrible experience.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Hopeful! Good to see you here.

 

Your story gives me hope. It's so good to hear about someone who's turned the corner in this awful condition.

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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Thanks, Surviving!

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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Hey, Hopeful! Your story will be great inspiration for so many out there!

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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Thanks, Neuroplastic! I hope so!

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

Link to comment

Hi, Hopeful! Good to see you. It's been awhile. So glad you are doing so well!

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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  • 1 month later...

Hi Hopeful,

 

Thankyou, your story has been nothing short of miraculous for me,.

stuck in the middle of a rock and a hard place - for now.

Thankyou for the inspiration and support you have given me.

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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Good to read Hopeful! can you give an indication how the timeline of your recovery was? When did you feel yourself again? I am now 3.5 years in protracted WD after a horrendous cold turkey and still have many problems...

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Good to read Hopeful! can you give an indication how the timeline of your recovery was? When did you feel yourself again? I am now 3.5 years in protracted WD after a horrendous cold turkey and still have many problems...

 

 

Hi Claudius,

 

I started to turn the corner at the 2 ½ year mark…but, it was by no means over. Improvement for me was more “linear” from that point on. In the last six months or so I can say that I feel pretty much like myself. What I feel I am dealing with now I call “residual” and it seems like it is related to stress. I tend to over react in stressful situations which gives me muscle tension and irritability still, but not always. Nothing I am experiencing now keeps me from living my normal life. I think it is just “neuro- emotion” as Healing discussed. I also have quite a bit of stress in my life right now so I know that is a contributing factor.

 

I came off of the drugs pretty quickly…about 2.5 months from the Paxil and 4 months from the Lexapro. Interestingly enough I did not have any tapering problems from the Lexapro. W/d hit after I was off the the drug. I was very “wired” and head “swooshing” coming off the Paxil.

 

I will eventually put my experience up on the site, I journaled the first year and posted a little on the other board. I recently read over a list I had compiled of symptoms at the 10 month mark and felt like it was a little overwhelming to try and get it all together right now. But, I will sometime in the future…

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

Link to comment

Hi Claudius,

 

I started to turn the corner at the 2 ½ year mark…but, it was by no means over. Improvement for me was more “linear” from that point on. In the last six months or so I can say that I feel pretty much like myself....

 

I am so happy for you Hopeful.

 

I am 14 months off a pretty quick taper of Effexor and Risperdal. My taper was about 10 weeks, and I made 50% cuts every two weeks or so. THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT!

 

I've had a rollercoaster year since then. W/d was unbearable so I got a benzo. Things got better but certain symptoms lingered. And recently things have gotten quite a bit worse.

 

I struggle a lot with stress. STRESSFEAR! i call it. It seems I can't do anything without stress overload. My days are exercises in managing this.

 

I've turned to TV a little bit lately to try to find some relaxing programs that both interest me and don't stress me out. I pretty much dropped TV in the first weeks of w/d because the whole thing (noise, violence, news, light, commercials) was too much to take. And now, coming back to it, I can't imagine what I ever liked about it. Other than the reruns of old sitcoms from decades ago: Golden Girls, Cheers, Seinfeld, Cosby Show... there is nothing on TV that meets my requiremenets. TV has gone to hell. All the channels that used to show old movies now show reality TV programs. I guess the reality shows are cost effective for the companies to produce. But they are not appropriate for me.

 

Bravo channel, in the US, is the saddest. It used to show all sorts of great old movies and some reruns of interesting dramas like The West Wing. Now it seems it only shows reality shows about unlikable housewives. Now I am really digressing but it seems all the channels have, to some degree, fallen off in this way.

 

Thank God that in the 80s, reality TV hadn't been invented yet! I'll take me some Golden Girls. Harmless and a good distractor when things very tense.

 

Alex.I

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Yes! Golden Girls! This is my wallpaper. I put it on in the evenings without sound to keep me company. I've seen the episodes so many times, I can just look at the screen at any moment and know what's happening. Learning to read lips, too!

 

Love them! I read that this was a revolutionary sitcom in its day, in that it revealed that older women had feelings, ambitions, and....sex!

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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I always detested the commercial $h1t on TV, and since in WD I mostly look at National Geographic and Discovery. Though sometimes I get fed up by Cesar Milan (the Dog whisperer)... ;) But my core interest were always about nature and technique, and I can still follow thwse programs. Watsching movies is still hardly an option for me because of the concentrational and cognitive difficulties.

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Hey Alex,

 

I have to laugh… I LOVE all those unlikeable housewives on Bravo TV and some of the other reality shows. My kids and I have been up to Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ (Cake Boss on TLC) a couple of times already. :D I love to watch and think are people really like that??? It is amazing to me just how big some egos really are! I find them very amusing. It’s interesting you say coming back to TV you can’t imagine what you ever liked about it. I felt the same way as I was slowly getting back to it. But, I guess I’m up to the latest now because it doesn’t bother me anymore. It was a bit like being away for several years and coming back and everything had changed.

 

When I came off the Paxil I was able to watch my favorite shows on Food TV, but once I came off the Lexapro I couldn’t watch TV at all for the first year. During my w/d my son who was probably about 12 at the time(he is now 18) got interested in the NBA. My husband purchased a projector TV where you looked at a screen rather than a TV. The lighting was not as harsh as a regular TV…somewhat muted and you could place the speakers at a distance or wherever you wanted so the sound was more muted also. Because I was very concerned about being “present” with my children (I couldn’t take them to school or cook at that time) I started to watch the basketball games with my son. After awhile I was able to watch some movies and some low key TV shows.

 

One weird thing for me was I couldn’t watch anything “old” like the Golden Girls or the old sitcoms…things from the past evoked that horrible fear feeling. (Hopefully you haven’t experienced the fear feeling.) After a while it was just a creepy feeling. Around the 19th month mark I was able to volunteer at my kids school in the library a few hours a couple of days a week. History books and anything from the “past” did the same thing to me. It took a long time to go away, but after awhile it would come on at dusk briefly (not every day) until I now no longer experience it at all. I do know one other person I correspond with that has experienced this. I would love to know the science behind it.

 

Anyway, I can watch any TV or movies now…so this miserable symptom does go away. I understand what you are saying about the stress that is a part of the process and even though I experience it to some degree it is getting better.

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

Link to comment

One weird thing for me was I couldn’t watch anything “old” like the Golden Girls or the old sitcoms…things from the past evoked that horrible fear feeling. (Hopefully you haven’t experienced the fear feeling.) After a while it was just a creepy feeling. Around the 19th month mark I was able to volunteer at my kids school in the library a few hours a couple of days a week. History books and anything from the “past” did the same thing to me. It took a long time to go away, but after awhile it would come on at dusk briefly (not every day) until I now no longer experience it at all. I do know one other person I correspond with that has experienced this. I would love to know the science behind it.

 

This is interesting. On the one hand, old sitcoms were the *only* thing I could handle. The first TV show I was able to tolerate after about a year of zero TV was The Andy Griffith Show.

 

On the other hand, I still cannot listen to any music from my past. None of it. It's too painful a reminder of how my life has turned out so different from how I thought it would when I first met that music. So, I have to wait until my life is better, I think, before I can make friends with my old music again.

 

Also, for the first year or so post-taper, sunset would terrify me and crush me with depression. It was like I was dying. Every day. Now, I don't have that at all. Although, I feel more scared when I'm alone at night than I used to. I'm sure that will continue to improve, too.

 

I'm really interested by the fact that even things that are not about your personal past -- history books -- used to trigger you.

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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On the other hand, I still cannot listen to any music from my past. None of it.

 

I can't say I had problems with music other than not listening for awhile due to over stimulation. I have always liked music, but at the same time I could take it or leave it so that may have played a part too. Like everything else you will get back to it eventually.

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

Link to comment

 

Also, for the first year or so post-taper, sunset would terrify me and crush me with depression. It was like I was dying. Every day. Now, I don't have that at all. Although, I feel more scared when I'm alone at night than I used to. I'm sure that will continue to improve, too.

 

 

 

This was different for me, Healing, for the most part (not always) in the early bad w/d I had what I called a "Sunset transition" where the ungodly anxiety let up and I felt somewhat better in the evening. I even posted a "poll" about it on the other board.

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

Link to comment

It's complicated, because during most of the six years, I have felt better in the evenings. With occasional episodes of the reverse. What I meant is that I expect to feel even better in the evenings as I recover more.

 

But during that first year post-taper, the sunset transition was very bad. Now, I can't remember if it then got better as the evening progressed? I think so....

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

Link to comment

Now, I can't remember if it then got better as the evening progressed? I think so....

 

 

This is a good sign...when you start to "forget" the chain of symptoms...you know you are moving on.

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I couldn't listen to music or watch TV at all for a long time. Interesting.

 

Now I'm quite picky about what I listen to or watch, but it's more because I'm picky about what I put into my brain. I still can't listen to all the old music that has associations with my past though. I don't know if that will change. But I've started being able to listen to new stuff and enjoy it.

 

Thanks for sharing about this, you guys. Once again I am not alone.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Now, I can't remember if it then got better as the evening progressed? I think so....

 

 

This is a good sign...when you start to "forget" the chain of symptoms...you know you are moving on.

 

Truly! :)

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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  • 2 years later...

Hopeful, I hope you don't mind my asking, but did you get surgery in the midst of withdrawal? I have this looming, was wondering if you'd experienced it. How are you doing these days, are most symptoms gone and getting back to normal, I sure hope so. Hugs. Fizz. Xxxxxxx

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  • 1 year later...
  • Administrator

Hello, Hopeful. I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



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

Please come back and 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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