Jump to content
SurvivingAntidepressants.org will be closed to new registrations November 1st through December 31, 2023 ×

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone!


Well, here is my story ...


I am a 21 year old female, and I have been on Paxil since I was 6 years old, and have maintained on about 40-60mg ever since. I was put on Paxil due to my anxiety disorder and OCD, as I refused to eat in a school cafeteria and would be in a sheer panic everyday about going to school. Apparently they tried to put me on Zoloft at some point early on, but it gave me headaches and nausea, so that is why Paxil was chosen. The Paxil worked wonders for me, and I was able to go to school and live a very normal and happy childhood.


In 2010, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease that was making me feel pretty ill. I saw a Lyme specialist in 2011, and he suggested that I stop taking Paxil. It was attempted to switch my medication to another SSRI (I do not remember what it was), and I ended up with Serotonin Syndrome and had to go to the hospital. While following one Lyme doctor's protocol, I was taking over 25 pills and supplements a day, and I accidentally forgot to take my Paxil for a few days in a row. As you all probably know, I began experiencing severe withdrawl from stopping my medication cold-turkey. I could barely stand up unsupported, I had severe dizziness and nausea, I was light-headed and weepy, and I didn't eat for about three days, I just layed in my bed in the dark and slept and cried. My mom thought that I may have been experiencing what is called a "Herxheimer Reaction," which is a periodic exacerbation of symptoms in response to treatment. We later realized that I had been off of my medication for about 3-5 days, and I immediately started taking my Paxil again and was feeling back to my old self within a day.


I experienced some depression and anxiety when my Lyme was diagnosed, and my Paxil dosage was raised to about 80mg for a time. I also experienced some patterns of disordered eating while on some strict diets to help my Lyme's, but for the past 3 or 4 years, I have basically been anxiety and depression free. 


Anyways! I was talking to my Psychiatrist this week, and I mentioned how I have been trying to lose some weight, as I have become quite unhappy with my body. She mentioned that Paxil may very well be causing my metabolism to be slow, and suggested I switch to Lexapro. Thinking ahead about 6-8 years, I asked her if Lexapro would be something I would be able to take during pregnancy one day, as I already knew Paxil would not be safe for having children one day. She said that when I want to have children, I would probably be switched to Zoloft, so I suggested that we just start there, instead of making me change medication again, to which she agreed.


I am a bit scared of switching from Paxil to Zoloft, due to the bad experience I had when forgetting to take my medication before, as well as the experience with Serotonin Syndrome. I am afraid of experiencing withdrawl, and all of the horror stories I have heard about. I am also scared that if the Zoloft doesn't work from me or I am having a hard time, that I will try to go back on Paxil and it will not work anymore. So I joined this site to hopfully learn about anyone else's experience with changing from Paxil to another medication, specifically Zoloft.


So far, here is the plan....


Week 1: Drop 10mg of Paxil (watch for withdrawl)

30mg Paxil morning, 10mg Paxil night


Week 2: Add Zoloft (watch for reaction to Zoloft)

30mg Paxil morning, 10mg Paxil and 25mg Zoloft night


Week 3:

20mg Paxil morning, 10mg Paxil and 50mg Zoloft night


Week 4:

20mg Paxil morning, 75mg Paxil night


Week 5:

10mg Paxil and 50mg Zoloft morning, 50mg Zoloft night



Link to comment

I have a horrible time on zoloft..but that's just me. From what I've read the common antidepressant to bridge to for withdrawal is prozac

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!


On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.


Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.



Nightmare that could have been avoided!

Link to comment

Oh my goodness me, just when i  think i have seen it all a new day arrives and im left speechless once again. 

Paxil for a 6 yr old...sorry that is just criminal. Edit ...reason for edit=Self censoring my language. Later ...


Welcome JJaymes31 sorry for my emotional dumping i just feel so outraged for you.

This is what i fair dinkum reckon..........


You  are a paxil addict. The best game plan imo would be to taper off the drug you are on at the moment. Dont be herded into another ssri paddock.

These are all dangerous chemicals. They are all the same,  'same church different pew' . After 15 yrs of paxil use another drug may not cover the wdl. And all the ssris are dangerous for pregnancy there is no safe one. How come the doc doesnt know this?


"Drug companies like GSK are aware that farmers have known for centuries to keep their herds out of fields in which the serotonin-reuptake-inhibiting St John’s wort grows as it leads to miscarriages, but the same drug companies have still manipulated doctors very successfully into herding woman into the pastures in which their serotonin reuptake inhibitors grow." Healy (Pharmageddon p 250).



taper off following the advise on this site.  Putting aside a couple of years to do it.

Are you currently on 40 mg of paxil ??

Are you currently taking any other psychiatric drugs ? If so can you advise.


Its critical you read this thread on how to taper.



It is rec that one tapers off this drug at 10% of previous dose per month please dont think you are the exception and can go faster than this or allow a doctor to push you off faster than this and personally i would consider starting at 5% imo.


I am also scared that if the Zoloft doesn't work from me or I am having a hard time, that I will try to go back on Paxil and it will not work anymore.

You are very astute. This is exactly a possibility which is another reason to start the taper of paxil.

I am afraid of experiencing withdrawal, and all of the horror stories I have heard about.

But if you taper slowly only dropping monthly if stable and doing small 10% or less drops then the withdrawal will be minimised. Perhaps not zero-ized but manageable. (refer members Brassmonkey aberdeen and songbird)Tapering will also be made easier if you consider going to liquid. Then you can get exact amounts.To taper off 40 mg will take 36 months all going well thats 3 years.


Well done on finding this site i am so glad you have, and i am so sorry that the medical profession have done this to you.

Please it would be very wise to get a second opinion from this site before acting on the advise of a doctor.

imo no child deserves thuggery by psychiatric druggery.

I refused to eat in a school cafeteria and would be in a sheer panic everyday about going to school.

Gee this sounds pretty normal to me ...and probably wise if one sees the junk they serve up at some school cafetarias these days!!

You should have been lauded as  prophetic not drugged.

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.


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



Link to comment

SSRI create illness, and the longer you are in them, the worse is the illness they create. What happens is that this illness is "asleep" and when the person tries to go off the SSRI, the asleep illness wakes up and attacks the person with its full force. This force can be weakened by slow tappering.


Psychiatry says that there is no such an illness, and they prefer to blame the person instead of the drugs. They say that what comes when you go off SSRI is your underlying condition that made you go on them.


That statement is false and the proof is that PEOPLE WHO WERE PUT ON SSRI FOR THE WRONG REASON (i.e. a virus) AND STAY ON THEM FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, WILL STILL GET VERY VERY SICK  FOR A LONG TIME WHEN THEY GO OFF THEM, AND IN THOSE CASES THERE IS NOT AN UNDERLYING CONDITION TO BLAME.   There are plenty of examples of those people in this forum. In those people, you can see clearly how ssri created an illnes on them that didn't exist before.


Psychiatry will tell you that anxiety and depression is a chronic illness that needs to be treated the whole life. This is false in (guessing) the 95 % of the cases.


In my case (I suffer from mild panic disorder and health anxiety) had my first bouts of health anxiety and panic disorder when I was 15 (luckily I was not put on SSRI, but if I had lived in the USA i would have been put on them 100%), but it got better by itself and had almost 0 problems when I was 17-21 and those were the happiest years of my life. Last year (I was 21) had again problems with health anxiety and panic disorder, started prozac, and it disturbed me in many ways.


But my point is that you can recover from anxiety and depression without any medication, and the recovery will be 100 times more valuable than if you recover using ssri.


I think your best shot would be to try to wean yourself very slooooowly from paxil, and don't switch to another one.

About me ------------------------ College student with a history of anxiety, excessive worrying and health anxiety.

April 2014 - May 2015----------    Prozac 20mg On and Off.  Second time on it I developed apathy, changes in personality, asexuality.

May 2015  -   July 2015-----------------  Tappering off prozac. Still no feelings,anhedonia, apathy, no libido, asexuality.

Current symptoms--------  pssd (asexuality in my case). Anxiety and depression developed some months afer stopping prozac, could have been caused by obsessing and beating myself up too much when I found myself unable to like girls again. The best thing to do with pssd (which in my case is asexuality) is accept it and move on.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, JJaymes.


That is an odd way to switch drugs. Here are examples of cross-tapers The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac


All of the antidepressants affect the fetus.


You have been on Paxil for a very long time, on an almost criminally high dosage. Paxil is difficult to discontinue under the best of circumstances. Yes, it can affect metabolism -- as do all the SSRIs.


Frankly, to me, it sounds like you have been diagnosed and medicated inappropriately since you were a small child. Small children sometimes are afraid of school and get emotional about it, because they're children.


If you're taking multiple drugs of any type, you may wish to look at this Drug Interactions Checker -- use it to reduce your drug burden


If your psychiatrist has not discussed all of this with you, she is not being very conscientious.


This is a site for going off drugs, are you interested in minimizing your psychiatric drug dosage?

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.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy