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Peachdream: Can I beat the panic?


Peachdream

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I have finally decided to start a journal to set some goals for the New Year and to hopefully find some hope in any progress I make.  Long first post, but I think I need to get it all out there to get some perspective back in my life.

 

I started having panic attacks in 1999 and spent the next five years barely leaving the house.  I chose to suffer in silence, being too scared to go to a doctor and too ashamed and embarrassed to look elsewhere for help.  During that time I gave birth to my two daughters and was married to my ex-husband, who seemed easily to ignore the fact there was clearing something wrong with me.  Finally in December 2003 I visited my GP for help.  My sister was getting married at the other end of the country in 6 weeks time and I knew it was going to be a huge problem having to fly there.  The doctor prescribed me 20mg Aropax (Paxil) and referred me to a therapist nearby.  Within a couple of weeks I felt a huge improvement in my panic attacks and was extremely grateful to my new friend Paxil.  I saw the therapist three times before the wedding and felt it was a waste of time.  He gave me a sheet of positive affirmations and kept asking why I wasn't very close to my family.

 

Over the next 9 years I was taking the same dose and felt I completely had my life back.  I had no side-effects physical or psychological but looking back I was still using the avoidance strategies and was not really getting out much.  Two young children and no money seemed to explain that away at the time.  There were several different doctors at the practice and a couple of them suggested I came off the meds, while others assured me I could stay on for life since it was working so well.  The first time I tried to come off I gave up after 3 months because I couldn't get past the dizziness and vertigo.  The doctor changed me to Prozac and suggested that would make it easier to come off the paxil.  It worked and I was off quickly and without side-effects.  The only problem was the first panic attack that came along and I raced back for a new prescription.  During the 9 years I came off for 3,5 and 9 months only to go back on as soon as the panic attacks started again.

 

Finally at the end of 2012 the doctor thought putting me straight onto Prozac would be short cut so I didn't need to change again  if I wanted to come off.  I had a bad reaction to it this time and the activating effects gave me intense panic attacks that seemed to go on for hours. When I went back she told me to persevere and things would settle down.  They didn't and after one night with a 6 hour panic attack I was pretty much resigned to telling my new husband that I was a mental case and taking my own life.  Yes even though I was now happily married again after ditching the first loser I had not told my husband about my anxiety or that I was taking medication.  I rang the local hospital mental health service and made an appointment to see my first psychiatrist.  He promptly put me on 40mg Paxil and told me the GPs were idiots, although in all fairness he referred me to the CBT team there and I learnt a lot from the psychologist.  The increase to 40mg gave me a lot of side effects and I suddenly realised from the mania and alcoholism it produced that these were very powerful and scarey drugs.  I dropped straight back to 20mgs and I found Paxil Progress and started to taper steadily over the next 12 months using the 10% method (for the most part).

 

So here I am 8 months after finally reaching 0mg.  The panic attacks started again by the time I got down to 5mg so I have been using all the CBT I have learnt to fight them off for the last 12 months.  I'm just not feeling like I am winning at this point. A couple of weeks ago I had a setback and reacted really poorly when I had to go to a workshop for work  to a large city an hour away, through the morning peak hour traffic.   Instead of calming myself down when I hit the bumper to bumper traffic I took an off-ramp and drove around lost for an hour in a right state!  I drove all the way back to where I had gotten on the motorway and drove again into the city, by now the traffic had cleared a bit and I embarrassingly snuck into the workshop very late.  Now the anxiety/agoraphobia is triggering off all the time and I feel so disappointed and exhausted from battling it.  I am writing this journal to set myself the goal of staying med free for the next 12 months and to beat this terrible cycle of the panic.  Some days I don't know what is the original condition and what is still remnants of my years on the drugs.  I'm scared and anxious and only just hanging in there!  I hope this journal works to show me I am making progress and to give me hope! 

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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Hang in there.  I have been where you are various points in my Paxil story / withdrawal.  You have to listen to your body.  If it requires safety, calm and being home.  It is okay.  Unfortunately, sometimes life requires us to get out there and we do.  I don't want to start a big debate about meds vs. no meds, but I can tell you I have anxiety that was crippling and hospitalized me in the past.  (Thank you Paxil.)  I still struggle with it.  Finally a couple years ago my psychiatrist recommended a nonaddictive antihistamine to take to head off the anxiety attacks.  I try to manage them on my own and do mostly, but when I feel it is too much, I will take 1/4 or 1/2 a tablet or if I need to sleep.  It is like super-Benadryl and calms you down without any benzos.  It has been very helpful.  It is called Vistaril / Hydroxyzine HCL.  You are not a mental case.  You have some issues - and who doesn't?  Yours are just in these specific areas.

 

Oh, BTW, I also have the caffeine intolerance.  It comes and goes.  Mainly now I have so much energy I don't need it and if I have it, it makes me anxious and jittery.  I have waves of being tired where I can have a coffee, but now I am so energetic I forget to eat!  I imagine it will all even out in the end energywise when my mind and body heal.

 

Glad you are here and had found PP.  It has been a lifesaver for me :)   Paula

1998- Began taking 20 mg. of Paxil for homesickness 2001-CT and crash/hospitalized 1 week for anxiety. Tried quitting, changing to other ADs, gave up. 2014 -Weaned @ 10% every 4 weeks. Latest 5-14 11.7 mg., 6-14 10.5 mg., 8-21 9.5 mg., 9-17 7.7 mg.,10-14 6.9 mg., 11-14 6.2 mg., 12-14 5.6 mg., 1-15 5.0 mg. 2-15 4.5 mg. (miscalculated may actually be 3.3), up-dosed to 3.7 3-17-15. Hydroxyzine HCl 25 mg. as needed (antihistamine) for anxiety.

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Oh, and one more thought.  I have realized I can't beat the panic.  ( I know it is your title and very visual.)  It is more of just acknowledging that it is there, putting it in perspective and going on with life, waiting for the wave to pass.  If it doesn't, you may need something to help it reset.

1998- Began taking 20 mg. of Paxil for homesickness 2001-CT and crash/hospitalized 1 week for anxiety. Tried quitting, changing to other ADs, gave up. 2014 -Weaned @ 10% every 4 weeks. Latest 5-14 11.7 mg., 6-14 10.5 mg., 8-21 9.5 mg., 9-17 7.7 mg.,10-14 6.9 mg., 11-14 6.2 mg., 12-14 5.6 mg., 1-15 5.0 mg. 2-15 4.5 mg. (miscalculated may actually be 3.3), up-dosed to 3.7 3-17-15. Hydroxyzine HCl 25 mg. as needed (antihistamine) for anxiety.

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Thank you for your kind words Alaskamom!!  I am trying to get some perspective but I guess the stress and rush of the xmas holidays has made things harder.  Thanks for the suggestion for hydroxyzine.  I will look into that and see if it is available here.  It might help with my hayfever too, which has come back since coming off the meds.  

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Peachdream,

Thank you for sharing your story, I'm sorry for everything you are going through, I know its hard. But you will get better in time. Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

The best I can offer by way of advice is to listen to your body and avoid those things that set off symptoms as much as possible. Aside from a high quality fish oil and magnesium, avoid supplements and drugs. (See King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker). They've been helpful to many of us.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thanks Petu, I have been reading heaps of great information here!  I found magnesium seemed to make my insomnia worse so I stopped taking it, but it was part of a combined supplement so I was never completely sure if it was the magnesium or the vitamin c but didn't want to take the risk. I have become almost phobic and wont take anything at the moment.  I have purchased some Epsom salts though and will start with a few foot soaks which couldn't hurt!

 

I had a much better day today after a few filled with anxiety and panic attacks.  For the first time in ages I felt like the small exposure tasks I had set myself had been accomplished and I had handled things well.   This recovery things is definitely not linear but it is nice to feel ahead once in a while.  I have restarted to record all my panic attacks and mood charts.  I haven't done that properly for a while so getting back in the habit hopefully will give me a bit more sense of control over this 'loose cannon' of a CNS.

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Petu, I have been reading heaps of great information here!  I found magnesium seemed to make my insomnia worse so I stopped taking it, but it was part of a combined supplement so I was never completely sure if it was the magnesium or the vitamin c but didn't want to take the risk. I have become almost phobic and wont take anything at the moment.  I have purchased some Epsom salts though and will start with a few foot soaks which couldn't hurt! 

 

Hi Peachdream, welcome to SA.  You are right in thinking that the added vitamins could worsen insomnia. 

The first mag I bought was a combo and worsened the insomnia instead of helping!  I now take magnesium glycinate 

and find it really helps me.  We are all different though so what works for one might not help another. 

Foot soaks are good, the only thing I don't like about them is getting rid of the water afterwards without sloshing it

everywhere   :blush:

 

I'm glad that you are feeling a bit better, that is great and a step forward is going the right direction however small! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

to beat this terrible cycle of the panic.  Some days I don't know what is the original condition and what is still remnants of my years on the drugs.

It is likely a combination of original condition plus withdrawal.  Have you tried any books or recordings by Dr. Claire Weekes?  Her approach is to learn to accept the anxiety/panic rather than trying to beat it.  The key is to learn to not fear it.  It does take practice and is not an instant fix, but can be very effective.  I've also found it helps to calm the nervous system by doing relaxation exercises, and avoiding anything stimulating such as caffeine, scary movies, etc.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

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Hi Songbird!  I am a big fan of Claire Weekes, I probably found out about her from one of your posts when I first found PP nearly 2 years ago, so thank you for that!:)  I love her book and am trying to read a few pages of it every day at the moment. I have another half dozen CBT workbooks I am reading on and off too.  I don't like exercise really but I tried a yoga class quite recently for the first time and almost enjoyed that, once I got over the claustrophobia of course:)  

 

Thanks for dropping by mammaP!  I will stick to individual supplements when I feel ready to start trying them again.  Its a really hot summer here right now so they will have to be lukewarm foot soaks for a while.  I always try and convince someone else to have a soak after me so they get to carry the bowl and tip it out!:)

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been having a rough week.  The panic attacks seem to be increasing in intensity and regularity and despite making progress on my 'heirachy of exposure' (drove on the motorway three times and went to the movies once) there has been an inner agitation that I have not experienced before which was not part of my original condition.  Sleep has been patchy for 6 months and the last 2-3 weeks have bee back to 1-2 hours per night only and I don't feel tired like I should and cannot nap during the day.  The last two nights were full of hour long panic attacks that none of my CBT could handle.  I was so desperate last night I rang the local mental health service to see if they could fit me in as our local doctors are not open over the weekend.  Two nurses came out and dropped me a couple of lorazapam and said they would book me in to see their doctor next week.  I explained how my goal was to be psych drug free and they seemed supportive.  They actually believed I had been working well without the paxil with my CBT.  They thought some short term sleep support and some blood test for my thyroid and hormones etc might be enough to get me back on track without any other medication.  I have become so phobic about taking any drugs at all that I cut the lorazapam in half and it did give me some relief.  We have a house full of overseas family here at the moment for a wedding next weekend, so falling apart now was my worst fear and maybe became a self fulfilling prophesy? My biggest worry now is that I need to be functional for my children and my job and that for me is my first priority.

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Peachdream.

 

....I dropped straight back to 20mgs and I found Paxil Progress and started to taper steadily over the next 12 months using the 10% method (for the most part).

 

So here I am 8 months after finally reaching 0mg.  The panic attacks started again by the time I got down to 5mg....

 

This indicates to me that your taper from perhaps 6mg to zero was too fast, and that part of what you're feeling now is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Been having a rough week.  The panic attacks seem to be increasing in intensity and regularity and despite making progress on my 'heirachy of exposure' (drove on the motorway three times and went to the movies once) there has been an inner agitation that I have not experienced before which was not part of my original condition.  Sleep has been patchy for 6 months and the last 2-3 weeks have bee back to 1-2 hours per night only and I don't feel tired like I should and cannot nap during the day.  The last two nights were full of hour long panic attacks that none of my CBT could handle.  I was so desperate last night I rang the local mental health service to see if they could fit me in as our local doctors are not open over the weekend.  Two nurses came out and dropped me a couple of lorazapam and said they would book me in to see their doctor next week.  I explained how my goal was to be psych drug free and they seemed supportive.  They actually believed I had been working well without the paxil with my CBT.  They thought some short term sleep support and some blood test for my thyroid and hormones etc might be enough to get me back on track without any other medication.  I have become so phobic about taking any drugs at all that I cut the lorazapam in half and it did give me some relief.  We have a house full of overseas family here at the moment for a wedding next weekend, so falling apart now was my worst fear and maybe became a self fulfilling prophesy? My biggest worry now is that I need to be functional for my children and my job and that for me is my first priority.

 

I had a pattern similar to this, after going off Paxil too fast (though no pre-existing anxiety). You may wish to look at this: One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

Had your thyroid, etc. ever been checked before? It sounds to me that your original anxiety might be hormone-related.

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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Thank you Alto!!  Yesterday my husband has pointed out to me that my panic attacks started very early on in my first pregnancy.  I was about 6 weeks pregnant and starting to get morning sickness and the panic attacks came along with it.  They fairly quickly turned into agoraphobia.  I got prenatal depression that was out of this world which resolved when my daughter was born, the same cycle happened when I got pregnant with my second daughter.   As far as I know the doctors have never checked my hormones or thyroid.  I have had two yearly blood test that they said were for liver function.  I am seeing the doctor tomorrow at the mental health service.  The same nurse said he would be there too so I will make sure he remembers to tell the doctor to check my hormones and thyroid.

 

Luckily the lorazapam they gave me worked well and I actually got 6 hours sleep last night, which is the most I have had since July last year.  I feel dramatically better today, no cortisol or adrenaline surges, and the headache I have had for the last month seems to have lifted also.  I almost feel like I am back on track again but I know the anticipatory anxiety could well be worse after this set back.  Thanks again Alto!

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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  • Administrator

Do not be surprised if the doctor at the mental health service insists you have a psychiatric problem. You must stand firm in your request to have all your hormones checked.

 

Prior to your doctor visit, please read the links I gave you above.

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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Last night I didn't sleep at all again and didn't want to take any more lorazapam until finally at 4am I was a panicking mess and took half a tablet.  That gave me 1 1/2 hours sleep before I had to get up and go to the doctor.  Luckily I had made lots of notes last night so although my brain was not engaged I was able to discuss all my options with him for an hour.  He was not a fan of SSRIs at all and instead was recommending 10mg clomipramine.  He mentioned two others mirtzipine and Seroquel which I had only heard of from here and which I immediately said no to.  He was also happy for me to take nothing at all and use the lorazapam prn for a week but said that was clearly not a long term solution and he was not going to be making an addict out of me:)  I am so tired today but again when I tried to sleep it will just not come.  I just wish I had a crystal ball, because I am back at work tomorrow and the way things are going I may not be able to go back at all if I cant get functional again.  Anyone with any experience with clomipramine?  I have checked out the search function and can't really find any information at SA relating to it. 

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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"It worked and I was off quickly and without side-effects.  The only problem was the first panic attack that came along and I raced back for a new prescription.  During the 9 years I came off for 3,5 and 9 months only to go back on as soon as the panic attacks started again."

Actually panic attacks ARE wdl side effects this is exactly what sent me running back to my doc to ask whats going on ...only to be put back on no questions asked.

 

I dropped straight back to 20mgs and I found Paxil Progress and started to taper steadily over the next 12 months using the 10% method (for the most part).

You have tapered to fast ...this is not a 10% taper unless i am missing something...a 10% taper from 20 mg will take 30 months not 12months.

So here I am 8 months after finally reaching 0mg. 

Peachdream this is a massive accomplishment. you are doing so well.

I'm just not feeling like I am winning at this point.

8 months is early days ... you are winning believe me......it is taking me years to recover and i am not alone for i too was on for 10 years. Dont listen to the lies that you are not winning ...you are. And you are holding down a job ...oh my! that is a phenomenal achievement. I couldnt have done that.

I also was given lorazepam ..went home and googled it discovered it was a sister of valium and threw it straight out. If you can resist the urge to reach out and take something for this i think that will be the best way to go. I'm all for leveraging placebo effects so why not take omega 3 i think they may even be helpful ..i took them ...when i remembered.

Instead of calming myself down when I hit the bumper to bumper traffic I took an off-ramp and drove around lost for an hour in a right state!

I have to smile because i did similar kinds of things in acute wdl ...

I had to learn that setbacks are not to be frightened of, they cant kill you and just try to relax and go with the flow. Brassmonkey has a good saying AFF,- acknowledge accept and float. I kind of like that idea. Its strange that in wdl we sometimes get fixated on a thought and it seems to get amplified out of all proportion.

Now the anxiety/agoraphobia is triggering off all the time and I feel so disappointed and exhausted from battling it.  I am writing this journal to set myself the goal of staying med free for the next 12 months and to beat this terrible cycle of the panic.

As i say dont let this scare you ...i always found it would settle back down on its own accord.  i applaud you on your resolve to stay med free and i assume keep away from doctors in this time ..great plans.

You will do it.

 

I don't know what brought on panic attacks prior to ssri use ( you have mentioned pregnancy) but i really think this is wdl.

I also think rightly or wrongly the delete button needs to be pushed on all previous conditions until at least 5 or so years off the drug.

 

mirtzipine and Seroquel which I had only heard of from here and which I immediately said no to

Good for you. Seroquel is an antipsychotic ...you definitely dont need this in your life.

Anyone with any experience with clomipramine?

Its hard not to think that there is something that one can take to remove wdl suffering but you need to resist this urge to take something ..keep saying no to anything from a doctor imo. I'm not sure doctors have any useful help to offer at this time imo. They are just playing games of hit and miss with dangerous chemicals.

My reading tells me clomipramine (anafranil) is an older antidepressant. I really dont think this is the way to go these drugs also have severe wdl reactions.

One of my favourite sayings is 'You cant swallow good mental health'.

Keep banking drug free days ......its not easy ...it was the hardest thing i have ever had to do....hang in there...you can do it.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Just want to mention it seems to be pretty common for folks who come off ADs and do okay at first, to get hit further out with a delayed withdrawal. This seems to be pretty common around six months out but can be anywhere from three months to, according to Shipko, twelve months. This is usually diagnosed as "relapse" but is actually another manifestation of withdrawal.

 

Since you're eight months out you're right in that window. Hopefully you'll be able to ride this out. It can be tough, I know, but it's not permanent.

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 

 

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

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Thanks Mark and Rhi.  I really had a trouble free taper and any anxiety that started I pretty much assumed was my original condition which was only masked by the paxil.  I just felt I was not suffering like everyone else on PP so it was unlikely to be fully withdrawal for me.  I made it into work yesterday, with a lorazapam hangover and only lasted an hour before I had a complete meltdown and had to leave.  I want to work because I get a lot of fulfilment out of it and I get depressed sitting at home, and because the income provides after school activities for my kids and pays their school fees.  I decided yesterday I was going to reinstate paxil or start the clomipramine.  After obsessing over it 400 times a minute for the last four days I decided on the clomipramine and took 10mg before bed.  I gave my husband the crisis team phone number, packed a bag and told him which hospital to take me to if I woke him suicidal from a bad reaction.  I had to take another 1mg lorazapam to get off to sleep at 1am and dragged myself again into work today.  Managed to get locked out of the work banking system with the wrong password, stuff up some other financial reports and left 'sick' before I destroyed the place any further.  I am filled with guilt about my decision and what the rest of my life will become.  I actually felt like eating today for the first time since last Thursday so I will count that as a blessing and return to kicking myself for ever being talked into taking this poison in the first place. 

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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Hello, Peachdream. Please do try the fish oil and magnesium, they tend to be calming.

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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The magnesium supplement I had worsened my insomnia considerably, probably because it had Vit C in it (it was a powder so I thought it would be easy to take).  I have just bought another mag supplement last week and the darned things are huge they will stay on the shelf too:)

Been on the 10mg Clomiprimine for a week and a half now and the panic attacks have improved a lot and I feel I am stabilising well.  The all day adrenaline dumps have stopped and I'm back to the situational anxiety/panic attacks I had previously.  It did make me pretty sick for about 3 days before I could stomach it but that is much better now.  It has done nothing for my insomnia and I am still taking 1mg lorazapam at night which seems to only give me a couple of hours so I am going to stop that in the next few days before it becomes a problem.  Its been nearly two weeks since I started it so I am expecting some rebound insomnia or anxiety.  I went back to the doctor yesterday and he was happy to leave things as they are for another few weeks.  He never brought up the subject any other drugs for sleeping so I guess he took the hint last time.  I had to take this week off sick but am hoping to be back at work next week.  I am still completely exhausted from all these months of poor to no sleep.  It really drains you not just physically but I have little psychological resource to deal with any stress right now.  Only one week left til the overseas visitors leave. 

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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Had my second session with my new CBT psychologist.  I was a bit unsure of her after the first visit but decided to give it another session to see if we would 'click' after all.  I almost cancelled the session given how dreadful I have been feeling these last two weeks but somehow getting out of the house into the real world seemed like just what I needed.  My brain was definitely not functioning very well, sleep is still a real problem and side effects from the clomipramine seem to have reared their head again.  She did a guided meditation instead once she saw I was struggling to keep up with the self analysis and I felt quite good afterwards.  She does something else called EMR?? something to do with healing traumatic memories through some eye movement thingie...must read up on that before the next session to see what its all about.  I came away from the session feeling some much needed support and will see her again in a fortnight.  Back to work again tomorrow after only working a few hours last week.  Really worrying I might not be able to keep my job through this and not sure how I feel about that.

On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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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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