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JSC7: Paxil withdrawal


JSC7

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Hello all,

 

My story and medication history is pretty simple. I'm currently 27 years old as of last month, and was prescribed Paxil (20mg) at the age of 15. I don't recall 100%, but I believe I was going through typical teenage stuff at the time like mood swings, depression and social anxiety even though the anxiety part wasn't terrible. My GP recommended that I take Paxil and go to therapy. I felt the Paxil work for maybe up to a year, then it kind of streamlined and I noticed most of my symptoms came back and I've been dealing with it ever since. After years of taking it, I read about the atrocious withdrawal symptoms so I was too afraid to get off it so I just stayed on it.

 

Well about 2 years ago, I was experiencing bad depression again and irritability on almost a daily basis. Getting up in the morning has ALWAYS been extremely difficult for me, regardless if I sleep 7 or 9 hours. I usually feel good at about 10-12 hours. Well, my new psychiatrist recommended a medication called Amantadine to see if it helped me. I felt no difference while on this. He then put me on Deplin, which I felt no difference. He then recommended Ritalin (10mg). I was skeptical about getting on a new medication, but considering it's a stimulant for adults, I decided to give it a try. It worked wonders for my energy and mood for a while then I seemed to get a tolerance. He bumped it up to 20mg, and I've been on that for about 2 years now. I take 20mg every morning, and either 20 or 10 in the afternoon depending on how I feel. Since I'm rested on weekends I usually skip the second dose completely.

 

As this is about Paxil, I won't delve too deeply into Ritalin (even though I want to be off it hopefully by the end of the year). Early this year I decided I wanted off of Paxil due to it deadening my will to enjoy things I used to, affecting my energy severely and the fact I still suffered from depression which is almost made no positive difference in me for 90% of the time I've been on it. My psychiatrist supported my decision. Initially, he recommended just cutting my 20mg tablet into half so I'd be on 10. I felt fine for 2 days, then on the 3rd and 4th day I experienced horrid withdrawal. Fatigue, extreme mood swings, random thoughts of suicide, and overall just not stable mentally. He told me to go back to 20mg asap, and we'd figure out a new plan. He then recommended I taper while taking Prozac (10mg) to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Basically, I started Prozac with Paxil for about a week. After that was in my system, I cut the Paxil again in half to 10mg. This time, almost no withdrawal symptoms which was amazing. Took this dose for about 2 weeks I think, then he said to continue, but instead take Paxil every other day. I did this for about a week or week and a half with almost no symptoms. He then said to take it every 2 days, then every 3 days, then every 4 then once I was at about taking Paxil once a week he said to stop. Within a few days I also stopped Prozac.

 

I was SSRI free on June 3rd, 2015. Initially after stopping both, I felt ok. First symptoms I felt were brain zaps, tingling sensations in arms and hands and dizziness. After those were gone, it was mainly headaches and nausea. As of about 3 weeks ago, I've been dealing with an odd symptom which is my appetite. The hunger was there normally, but my appetite and will to eat almost  disappeared completely. I noticed that if I bit into something I didn't really like, or even something I did like, after chewing it I'd gag if I tried to swallow the food. I just get this sensation in the back of my throat and the few times I've tried to swallow has ended it throwing up. I've threw up maybe 4-5 different times since this started. It usually happens with thicker or food you have to chew like meat or something like that. Softer foods or shakes go down without a hitch mainly. Has anyone else dealt with any appetite related issues? Is this common? My psychiatrist told me it's common earlier on after stopping, but not too common 2 1/2 months later. I've noticed it's somewhat improving, but some days are worth than others. Also a note, my appetite on Paxil was a lot more than it is now. I could eat and stomach way more food while on it. Another bad thing, is that I don't usually have a very wide group of foods I eat. Almost zero vegetables and fruits and sometimes I feel like I suffer from some type of selective food eating disorder and stopping Paxil has intensified it.

 

I'll update this as needed and am willing to talk about anything related to SSRI's since I'm trying to learn more about all of this.

 

Thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello JCC7 and welcome to SA.

 

Thank you for sharing your story and adding your drug history in your signature.

 

Reading your story reminded me of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker for excessive use of pychotropic drugs... 12 years on Paxil is a long time. It seems other drugs were added to try to address the side effects of the first drug which is a common scenario.

 

Your story also shows that even when doctors are aware of the need to taper these drugs (which is not that common), they are at a loss as to how to go about it.

 

I will share some threads with you which will explain what we know about this process. Unfortunately, after the initial "acute" phase we see people being hit by debilitating symtoms as far out as 6 months to a year. Your tapering is a more unusual than what we normally see so I don't feel comfortable adding any suggestions but others might have some ideas.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

I'm glad you have found out. This site has gathered an amazing amount of information and knowledge on coming off of psychiatric drugs and I'm sure you will benefit from it.

 

What we usually recommend in cases of fast tapers is reinstating a small amount of the drug and taper it at 10 % rate every 30 days after stabilisation. After taking a drug for 12 years, coming off of it in a few months is considered a fast taper (even with the help of Prozac which people in such situations usually continue taking).

 

Maybe you will be an exception and have a smooth sailing but if your symptoms intensify you will know what's going on and what is the best course of action:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

I believe somebody will be able to relate to your problems with eating which seems to be mst bothersome for you at the moment.

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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Hello thank you for replying.

 

I definitely agree that 12 years is a long time. The funny thing as well is that I don't recall every being told that this would be a temporary thing or that I'd be off it at this time or anything a long those lines. I basically got prescribed the medication and sent on my way. I was also hesitant to get on Ritalin because I didn't want to add another medication to Paxil, my whole plan was to be prescription free but my depression and fatigue was worsening on Paxil so I felt stuck. I will admit that Ritalin has helped my energy, it's boosted my mood while it's in my system but then again it's a stimulant and it's damaging to the body. I'm 27 years old now, but at the ages of I'd say 20-24 I had a pretty good addiction to energy drinks because of my weak energy levels on Paxil. They worked until I developed a pretty nasty Caffeine tolerance. Good thing is I've been energy drink free since February 2012. I would just love to rely on my natural energy and workout again and not have to rely on a pill or any chemical to feel functional.

 

The tapering was also interesting to me. During the tapering, I definitely felt that it worked. Prozac definitely helped the withdrawal symptoms and they were very minimal. But it seemed like once the Prozac was out of my system, which I heard can take a few weeks, was when most of the discontinuation symptoms started. I do agree and feel that I should've tapered slower, and if I knew then what I do now, I would've brought that to my psychiatrists attention. My Mom went with me to a session once, because at least 10+ years ago she had her run of taking anti-depressants like Lexapro, Zoloft and a few others I don't remember so she asked a few questions. She asked him if he thought doing a slower taper would be preferable since these pills have such bad withdrawals and he claimed that it wasn't neccessary to taper so slowly so I took his advice. Now that I recall, I think my full tapering was maybe 2 months tops.

 

I feel a little scared and apprehensive about reinstating Paxil because deep down I feel like my brain and body is healing itself, and some days are really good and normal. Like today for example, my mood was fairly good and my energy was surpsingly good but it's very random on a day to day basis. I was also able to eat food today and yesterday and had no feeling of gagging or throwing up which felt awesome. I feel like if I keep pushing and taking it day by day eventually my body will power through and recover but the main thing that's bothering me is time frame. I know it's impossible to determine what someones complete recovery time will be because everyone is different, but I hope mine doesn't last very long.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, JSC.
 
I believe you went off the Prozac too fast. Do you have any Prozac left? If you took just 1mg of it, it might help.
 
It comes in a liquid by prescription, or you can make a liquid yourself, see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine) for instructions.

 

After your nervous system settles down, you can taper off by tiny amounts.

 

I find it incredible that you could be scheduled for a lifetime on psychiatric drugs because of teen angst. But that's the way it is in the US.

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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  • Mentor

Hi SJC7          I have found the stomach, nausea thing very common during my withdrawals.................   at the moment, I almost vomit, every damn morning, and sometimes feel just as bad afternoons.  I also have no appetite, dont each much, but I am not getting thin,  so I am not worried, sometimes the appetite comes back now and again.............  it is nice to enjoy food!

 

Good luck!

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Welcome, JSC.

 

I believe you went off the Prozac too fast. Do you have any Prozac left? If you took just 1mg of it, it might help.

 

It comes in a liquid by prescription, or you can make a liquid yourself, see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine) for instructions.

 

After your nervous system settles down, you can taper off by tiny amounts.

 

I find it incredible that you could be scheduled for a lifetime on psychiatric drugs because of teen angst. But that's the way it is in the US.

 

Hello, thank you.

 

I actually do not have any Prozac left and when I stopped, I believe I had only a few left in the bottle but I no longer have them.

 

I also felt that it should've been temporary, at least maybe during school. During high school I did feel overwhelmed with just maintaining my self esteem and friends, and keeping half decent grades. I also used to suffer from a social anxiety where I'd never like to be the center of attention, or walk in any area where I was isolated and everyone one else would turn to look at you. I'm sure this one is a lot more common, because I don't really know of anyone that likes to walk into a room or office and EVERYONE looks at you, it's just uncomfortable.

 

But I will keep that information you mentioned about the Prozac. The last few days have been pretty decent so hopefully this continues.

 

 

Hi SJC7          I have found the stomach, nausea thing very common during my withdrawals.................   at the moment, I almost vomit, every damn morning, and sometimes feel just as bad afternoons.  I also have no appetite, dont each much, but I am not getting thin,  so I am not worried, sometimes the appetite comes back now and again.............  it is nice to enjoy food!

 

Good luck!

 

Hello and thanks for the reply. I'm sorry to hear that and hope your situation improves! Nausea and vomiting are just the most terrible symptoms to have period. I was drinking Ensure shakes for nutrition so I'd highly recommend those if you're able to keep them down since they're a lot easier to consume than food. Also, are you experiencing hunger all day but you just don't have the appetite or are you not even hungry either? I was hungry constantly, but my appetite was very low.

 

I've been pretty good the past couple which I'm extremely happy for. I don't feel like my appetite is 100% yet, but it's a big increase over last week so I hope this keeps improving. Again, good luck and keep fighting!!!

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Glad your doing good! Was also prescribed for normal life problems at 17 now 32 and have had nightmarish years on off it..unbelievable isn't it..the way they are prescribed..in the uk too.

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!

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Glad your doing good! Was also prescribed for normal life problems at 17 now 32 and have had nightmarish years on off it..unbelievable isn't it..the way they are prescribed..in the uk too.

 

Thanks! I'm sorry to hear that. Do you currently have any plans to try to get off medications or is the withdrawal too severe for you? I wish withdrawal wasn't so bad with these medications so people could stop taking them.

 

Just a quick update over the last week or so. My appetite is still fluctuating but it's still improving and hasn't gotten any worse. One thing I've definitely noticed, is how much I can actually stomach now. I had Pizza last night, which most people go crazy and have a bunch of slices. Well, after I finished the first one, I noticed my appetite was dropping quite a bit. I still had a little hunger, so I finished the second but I was done completely done after that. I know 2 sounds normal, which it is but for all those years on Paxil I could easily eat 4-7 pieces if I was really hungry :D lol. This isn't bothering me too much, but I hope I just get used getting full so quickly because it is an odd feeling. Over the past 1-2 weeks I've also been experiencing random headaches and nausea still. Nothing too severe that a pain reliever or Pepto Bismol/Tums won't relieve, but they've been happening randomly usually daily but not for very long periods of time.

 

I also feel stuck right now, since I'm still taking Ritalin, around 20-40mg daily but averaging 30mg right now. Since Ritalin has a stimulant affect on adults, I'm afraid it's affecting my appetite too. It has the same feeling that a good dosage of Caffeine gives you, that feeling of appetite suppression. Obviously, I can't stop taking it cold turkey or I feel super fatigued and irritable. One thing at a time I guess, trying to quit these 2 so close together might not be the most intelligent idea.

 

I have another appointment with my psychiatrist in October, so I'm going to discuss all these symptoms and see what he recommends about the whole Ritalin situation with me getting off that. I remember him saying it doesn't really have to be tapered for most people, but I know better than to try getting off this cold turkey lol.

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  • Administrator

Interesting. You might want to add some digestive enzymes and maybe probiotics, in case your stomach is in confusion from the changes.

 

Yes, Ritalin may suppress your appetite (it's an amphetamine analog) and it needs to be tapered systematically. It is addictive. See Why taper by 10% of my 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.

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Interesting. You might want to add some digestive enzymes and maybe probiotics, in case your stomach is in confusion from the changes.

 

Yes, Ritalin may suppress your appetite (it's an amphetamine analog) and it needs to be tapered systematically. It is addictive. See Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Thanks for the recommendation, I may have to look into those. And when I start tapering Ritalin it'll definitely be slower since I notice withdrawal symptoms even though they're small, even going down to 30mg a day instead of the usual 40mg. A weird thing too, is on the weekends I almost NEVER need the full dose of Ritalin. On weekdays, I sleep usually 7-8 hours a night. Normally 11:30PM-7:15AM give or take, and I always feel like I need it after waking up. On weekends, let's say I go to sleep at 11:30 or 12:30 right, if I sleep until 9:30AM to noon the next morning I can usually go all day on 10mg or sometimes 20mg of Ritalin cause I have more energy from sleep. I just feel bummed out that if I applied that to my weekdays I'd have to go to sleep at 8 or 9PM and I get off work at 5PM so I'd have like no relax or time to do anything after work :( . For the last 10-15 years though, I've had extreme issues waking up in the morning if woken up by someone, or by an alarm. If it's natural and my body wakes up on my own, I'm usually good 90% of the time.

 

A small update regarding my withdrawal from Paxil - I've noticed for the past couple days, after I eat a meal, I'll start to feel odd about 20-45 minutes after. Sometimes my stomach will feel upset, like it doesn't hurt but it feels active with almost a little nausea. It's usually coupled with a small headache. I haven't had a terrible headache yet, but it's minor stomach discomfort and a minor headache. Last night I ate at 5:30PM or so, and by 6 my stomach and head were upset, and I had leg discomfort. The leg feeling was like they were restless but they almost hurt as well. Basically that feeling you get when you have a fever and your legs ache. I took almost a 2 hour nap, woke up and felt better for the most part. Stomach was still a tad upset, but not much.

 

I'm sure this is common, but I keep getting feelings that something else is wrong with me. Like do I have a stomach condition, or something else physical? I read that it's common to think these things even though it's all tied to withdrawals because besides this, I've never been diagnosed with any other health problems in my life besides Asthma, and even that isn't a big problem for me anymore.

 

I'm just going on 3 1/2 months but I'm getting tired of these random symptoms that happen at the most random of times. I want it to end already. Knowing that people have encountered worse and survived gives me hope, but I've never been one to handle any illnesses well :(

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  • Administrator

You may have food sensitivities. Please go to our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about various non-irritating diets.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

You may have food sensitivities. Please go to our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about various non-irritating diets.

 

Thanks.

 

The issues with me eating has improved quite a bit in the past week or two. I'm not getting nausea or headaches as often after eating as before, but they're still happening it's just more spread out. Today after lunch for example, I had a small headache that started within 30-45 minutes after.

 

A new symptom has seemed to arise however. Now, ever since I was young I've suffered from anxiety in some way, shape or form. It was never severe, but more like mild-moderate. After being on Paxil for 12 years, it kept the anxiety in check somewhat. It didn't get rid of it completely, but it didn't affect my life all that much. Well, as of about a full week ago, I seem to be getting symptoms of anxiety out of nowhere. I'll feel anxious and worrisome more often, and I seem to be feeling symptoms of OCD. When I have something distracting me, like being at work, talking to someone, listening to music or playing a game it seems to keep it in check but at random times I'll just feel that nasty anxious feeling.

 

Alto, I saw a post I think you had and I don't recall which thread it was in but you made a statement of a sort that was interesting to me. Something along the lines of it seems like our brain tries to heal a certain part, and then it has to rebalance all over again, then it'll heal another spot and repeat etc. That honestly makes sense to me, because it seems like everytime I deal with a symptom for 2 weeks or so (which seems to be the average per symptom for me personally), it's always something different and new.

 

The reason why this anxiety is bugging me a little more than usual, is because since I take Ritalin twice a day, obviously that isn't going to alleviate any anxiety symptoms. It's weird, but sometimes after I take it it'll put me in a better mood and I won't be anxious, it's just a mess honestly. I called my psychiatrist to move my appointment up since I've been having these symptoms and I got in on October 1st. I'm going to be very interested to see what he says considering all these symptoms I've had since the last time we spoke. If anything new pops up with me before then, I'll update but otherwise I'll post back next Thursday with how the appointment went.

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Another update...

 

I just got back from the doctor right now, and here's basically what happened. He never mentioned re-instating Paxil or Prozac to relieve any symptoms so that won't be happening. He also told me that getting off Ritalin right now is still not a good idea since I'm still going through withdrawals, stopping that would just add more issues. He also mentioned that I'm a rare person, in the fact that I get uncommon symptoms and he claims that I'm a slow metabolizer when it comes to pills/medications and that it's good because I don't need a high dose, it also means I'm more prone to side effects and symptoms. I asked him about the fact that some people tend to have withdrawal symptoms for many months or even years, and he basically said that's not common and most of the people he's dealt with have gotten over their withdrawal within a few weeks to a few months. I'm not really sure I believe that's really common though.

 

Now, the interesting part. Because I've had a decent increase in anxiety lately, and for the fact my appetite is still having issues, he went ahead and prescribed me Xanax 0.25mg. I told him I've taken that dose before once when I had a really bad panic attack years ago, so he said to cut that into half so 0.12mg about because the 0.25mg really really sedated me. He said it'll help anxiety and also should relax me enough to be able to eat without problems. Now I've never wanted to take a pill from this class of drugs, but I guess I can try it I don't know. I'm also not supposed to take it everday, just when I need it and he claims since it's such a low dose, I won't get addicted or my brain won't get reliant on it. I seriously hope that's the case.

 

I also kind of cried on the drive back because I had a slight anxiety attack again. What happened was, I went by a food place to get some food, and as I was driving out there was a homeless guy or maybe a drug addict/alcoholic (he was acting a little funny), and he waved me down and walked up to my window. He had his hand out like he wanted to shake my hand so I shook it, and he was like "hey I'm selling these cookies for $1, and it was like 2 little cookies in a bag", and I was like "oh no it's ok but here's $1 keep the cookies" and he kinda said thanks and walked off. But then I got a surge of anxiety after shaking his hand. I was thinking, what if he had something on his hand, if it was dirty, what he did touch previously, does he have a disease? My Mom was with me and gave me this anti-bacterial to use cause I was kind of freaking out thinking that he might've got something on me. I was continuously thinking about it, and since I shook his hand with my right hand/arm, my right arm starting aching a little bit which made it even worse. These spiraling thoughts after something triggers my anxiety is starting to really annoy and affect me. Did the guy have anything on his hand? Probably not, but my brain just.. once it gets going it just won't stop. My Mom kept telling me to relax and I was fine and it helped, but anxiety is so terrible.

 

I'm conflicted, because I don't want to take drugs but maybe this very small dose of Xanax won't hurt me and may be beneficial for the time being until my body recovers from discontinuing Paxil. I'll update again once I've taken Xanax and let you guys know how it affected me.

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  • Administrator

Very few doctors know anything about withdrawal syndrome, which is not rare.

 

As you've had it since June, it's unlikely that it's going to resolve any time soon.

 

Your doctor's assumption that you are a poor metabolizer is founded on nothing.

 

Prior to going off Paxil, did you worry about germs a lot?

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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Very few doctors know anything about withdrawal syndrome, which is not rare.

 

As you've had it since June, it's unlikely that it's going to resolve any time soon.

 

Your doctor's assumption that you are a poor metabolizer is founded on nothing.

 

Prior to going off Paxil, did you worry about germs a lot?

 

Yeah I felt that since it's almost been 4 months, it isn't going to be a quick recovery which really bums me out but if it's reality then I'm going to have to deal with it. I'm also interested in what he said about the metabolizing of medication. Funny thing is, my mom was told the exact same thing by her doctors. I'll have to read more about it since I'm not too familiar with it.

 

And to answer your last question, no I've never been worried about germs like that. This has seemed to come out of nowhere once I started getting anxiety symptoms within the last 2 weeks or so. Speaking of Xanax, I had a 0.25mg pill, and I cut in half twice so I guess it was 0.06mg and I took it a little over an hour ago. It actually helped a little bit and I don't feel as much anxiety. Reason I took such a low dose is cause the last time I took 0.25mg I was almost drooling on myself I was so sedated lol.

 

Hopefully I don't have to take this stuff all the time cause I don't really enjoy being sedated but anxiety is the LAST thing I want to feel. I handle depression a LOT easier than anxiety.

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  • Administrator

Please read Neuro emotions

 

You'll need to manage those feelings so you don't make yourself anxious -- withdrawal syndrome is making you more sensitive to that. See Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

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

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Please read Neuro emotions

 

You'll need to manage those feelings so you don't make yourself anxious -- withdrawal syndrome is making you more sensitive to that. See Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

 

Thanks for your response and I will definitely read through those threads.

 

A few days ago, I started taking a multivitamin again because my diet isn't very great and I don't eat fruits or vegetables except a very few occasionally. I have read that some Fish Oil pills aren't that great of quality, or there's certain ones that are better for you. When I was at Target a few months back, I decided to get their up&up brand of pills, but I'm not sure if they're really good or not. They are 1,200mg per pill, and it says to take twice a day with food. It just says Omega-3 fatty acids 720mg (EPA and DHA). I haven't started taking them yet however.

 

I know it's only been a couple days, and I haven't taken a Xanax since Thursday so I've been trying my hardest to handle anxiety on my own and been pretty successful but I still get bouts of it every day. But as of a couple days ago, I developed another odd symptom which I'm assuming is related to withdrawal. It's kind of embarassing, but I started getting a weird tingling sensation in the tip of my penis. No pain or anything like that, but it felt like it was kind of tingling and like there was something inside but obviously there isn't. Then I sort of noticed a slight increase in how frequently I'm urinating as well. Just to state as well, I'm not sexually active and unfortunately never have been due to my issues so I know I don't have an STD of course. It only lasted for maybe 2 days and today was better and I don't really feel the sensation anymore, but I've urinated about 4-5 times since I've got off work and it's been about 3 hours. I may just be overthinking it because today I've drank 16oz of soda, and 1.5L of water in the past 7 hours. I'm sure this is nothing and I'm probably overthinking it just like everything else but I have absolutely zero clue if this is related to withdrawal or not.

 

I'm just kind of scared at how immensely in touch the brain is with everything in our body and I just feel like it's struggling to heal itself, even though that may not be the case it could just be taking its time. I'm trying my hardest to stay positive, and force myself to think my brain is tough and it'll handle the years and years of Paxil, but almost everytime I get a new symptom, I feel like I've developed an actual new health condition that I've never had and it freaks me out. There's conflicting thoughts in my head daily, but I'll continue fighting.

 

Also, I'm making an effort to incorporate working out into my life again. When I was between the ages of 17-22ish, I worked out 5 days a week for 1-2 hours a day, weight lifting and cardio. All of this while I was on Paxil. For the last couple years, I stopped completely and I know for a fact it hasn't helped my situation. I took a walk yesterday, maybe 1-2 miles and when I got back I felt pretty good. Felt fresh blood moving through my body and just felt a overall clean and relaxed feeling. When I seen my psychiatrist last week, he didn't have many answers for me regarding my withdrawal, or when or if it'll get better, but he basically told me getting in shape would be my best bet so I'm going to try my hardest to make that a priority even if it's something small to start.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all,

 

It's been a tad over a month since I've last updated but I've got some new news and I'm happy to announce most of it is positive. I'm currently at 5 months and 1 week off Paxil, and the last 3-4 weeks have been fairly good! My anxiety and OCD severity has dropped quite a bit over the last few weeks, and I feel like I'm pretty much stablizing quite well now. I'm still suffering from both of them, but it's not too severe and I'm coping with it but I am realizing that they're going hand in hand with eachother.

 

Depression has been pretty much non-existent. I get tiny bouts of it here and there depending on the situation, but they're usually minor and don't last very long at all. Back in the day they'd last hours if not days. My energy level has improved, my sleep has seemed to improve but there's one weird thing about my sleep. I've noticed during the past 2-3 weeks, I haven't been sleeping as long because I don't feel tired until quite late at night. During a work week, I've been going to sleep around 11:45PM-1AM, and getting up at 7:20AM usually. I feel tired in the morning, but not extremely bad like I used to. I used to feel super wiped out over 8-9 hours of sleep, and now I'm feeling even less tired than that and only on 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep so there's definitely some changes that have gone on but I'm still aiming for 7-9 a night if possible.

 

My overall mood has improved. My sense of well being has seemed to improve a bit and I don't feel like I experience too many drastic ups and downs like I did while on Paxil or within the first few months of withdrawal. Mentally, I'm just more stable but definitely not 100% yet but it's a huge improvement now than when I was on Paxil.

 

Now physically is where I was getting the majority of my symptoms. For the past few weeks to a month, physically I've felt basically normal. Not really any weird senstations, pains or anything like that. Obviously I don't know if my brain is almost done healing itself from Paxil or if I'm going to still deal with tiny issues from now on but it almost seems like the worst is over and I HOPE that's the case.

 

For a while now, I've been slightly lowering my Ritalin dose because I want off that as well. I was taking 30mg a day, or 20mg in the morning, 10mg after lunch. As of Saturday, 10/31 I lowered my dose to 20mg a day, or 10mg in the morning and 10mg after lunch. Saturday and Sunday I felt fine because I slept enough, but Monday-Wednesday I felt a little off. Moody, excessive yawning usually between 1PM-4PM and just irritable. However, as of about Thursday to current I feel like my brain has already adjusted to 20mg a day. I'm doing this on my own, but doing it slowly. The withdrawal literally feels very similar to Caffeine withdrawal (I used to drink 1-2 energy drinks a day for about 4 years when I was in my early 20's).

 

I just want off all of this crap. Maybe half a year or longer after I got on Ritalin, my vision at a distance got blurry and I used to have really good eyesight. Usually now I can't read something on an object 10-15 feet in my front of me cause it's blurry. I also now have eye floaters which is extremely annoying when I'm in a brighter room or at work looking at my computer screen. I'm just going to keep fighting through and hopefully be prescription free soon!

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JSC,

 

Our stories are shockingly similar (I'm a 30 y/o male) , though I wasn't on the Paxil for quite as long.  I rapid tapered off of Paxil and 8 months later quit the Adderall c/t. I also have some experience with benzos and will say that if you are a highly addictive person, then use them with EXTREME caution.  My whole nightmare started with benzos and not being told of their potential for physical dependence when used at low doses as prescribed. 

 

I will say as well that I think the Adderall masked much of my withdrawal symptoms I would have been suffering in the months after I quit Paxil.  It wasn't until I stopped taking the Adderall that I nose dived and really began having issues.

 

It's funny you should mention the vision issues because I was just going to update my journal with my continuously worsening sight.  Before all of this I had 20/15, awesome vision.  At present, I have become nearsighted, issues with my night vision,sensitive to daylight, ever increasing number of floaters and black splotches and I stopped taking Paxil over a year ago.  

 

Anyways, best of luck. 

Year 0:      Social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, NO depression, NO suicidal ideations

Years 1-2: Ativan (benzo) <1mg as needed, not abused but developed physical dependence

Years 2-3: Paxil (20mg) augmented with Adderall XR (10-20mg) due to withdrawal from Ativan

Years 3-Present: Severe depression, headaches, psychiatric hospitalization, lost job, etc.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Current update...

 

Overall physically I feel pretty good. Energy levels are pretty stable, and I'm sure the 20mg of Ritalin per day is contributing to that but I am going to make an effort to get off that starting on the new year. I'm going to have a fairly busy month and I don't want to give myself more stress and issues if I try to lower my dose. Nausea and headaches are basically gone completely, and no weird aches or pains, or sensations of any kind.

 

Mentally, it's iffy. Most of the time, I'm in a good stable mood which I'm extremely thankful for that my body has regulated as much as it has going on almost 6 months now. However, I do still experience anxiety just about daily, and OCD type symptoms. I don't want to say that they're severe, but definitely moderate. Stuff like worry, my mind creating scenarios, and sometimes I'll feel anxious in my stomach. I will say, that while I was on Paxil, anxiety didn't affect me very much at all but ever since I've been off it, I've noticed my anxiety has returned quite a bit and I haven't felt this type of anxiety in over 10 years.

 

As I posted in response under this, I'm just trying to figure out what's going on with my eye floater situation. That it also causing me stress and anxiety because I don't know what's causing it and don't know if it's related to me taking those pills or not. I've read that taking Omega 3's and getting certain vitamins can reduce or get rid of floaters (not proven but people have said it works apparently), so today I started taking Fish Oil and my multivitamin to see if they have any effect or not. I don't have the best diet in the world which I know isn't helping me, so I kind of have to resort to a vitamin.

 

I'll update again soon.

 

 

JSC,

 

Our stories are shockingly similar (I'm a 30 y/o male) , though I wasn't on the Paxil for quite as long.  I rapid tapered off of Paxil and 8 months later quit the Adderall c/t. I also have some experience with benzos and will say that if you are a highly addictive person, then use them with EXTREME caution.  My whole nightmare started with benzos and not being told of their potential for physical dependence when used at low doses as prescribed. 

 

I will say as well that I think the Adderall masked much of my withdrawal symptoms I would have been suffering in the months after I quit Paxil.  It wasn't until I stopped taking the Adderall that I nose dived and really began having issues.

 

It's funny you should mention the vision issues because I was just going to update my journal with my continuously worsening sight.  Before all of this I had 20/15, awesome vision.  At present, I have become nearsighted, issues with my night vision,sensitive to daylight, ever increasing number of floaters and black splotches and I stopped taking Paxil over a year ago.  

 

Anyways, best of luck. 

 

Hello,

 

Sorry for the delayed response. Ouch, I've read that Adderall is a pretty potent stimulant, so that's great that you don't take it anymore but I'm sorry you're still having symptoms from it. In regards to benzos, I've only taken Xanax a few times and it's been probably 1-2 months since I've taken one. If I get anxiety and I feel that it's manageable, I tough it out and eventually it settles down.

 

I was also told about them not being addictive in small doses. I was prescribed 0.25mg of Xanax, and he said if I took that, or even cut that in half to 0.12mg, my body wouldn't get reliant on them. That may be true for some people, but I think it's a possibility for anyone to get addicted to something even at a low dose.

 

Sorry to hear you're having a lot of vision issues, that's terrible. I hope you or your doctor can figure out what's going on and get your vision back. My whole life I've had basically perfect vision, even for someone that is in front of a screen anywhere from 8-14 hours a day on average. I would say about a year ago (this is about 1 year before I even started getting off any medication, at age 25/26), one random day at work I noticed 1 tiny floater. It kind of annoyed me but it wasn't too common so I pushed it aside and didn't really pay attention to it. But I've noticed as of recently, I've been seeing quite a bit more. When in a bright area, like outside or inside with bright lights sometimes I can see upwards of 4-5 of them. As I already suffer from anxiety, seeing these makes my anxiety worse because I feel like I can't stop focusing on them. It's making me feel like it's going to get worse, because I had 1 before, now there's more?

 

I've tried researching them online, and apparently there seems to be no "cause" per say, unless you have a couple medical conditions which I'm sure I don't have. I do have an appointment on Monday with an eye doctor to get them checked out just to get some guarantees. I have absolutely no idea if these floaters can be related to me taking Paxil for 11-12 years, Ritalin for a little over 2 years or what and it worries me.

 

Thanks and good luck to you too!

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  • 1 month later...

Been about a month since I've updated previously so I thought I'd update now.

 

Well, I've been still been maintaining and functioning ok and still working 40 hours a week. However, I've been going downhill for the last month or two suffering from anxiety. It's seemed to come back in pretty good force, and it's becoming a daily thing for me again. Before I got on Paxil, I used to suffer from social anxiety pretty heavily but mainly around people I didn't know or barely knew. Now, since I've had two jobs and with my current one I deal with strangers basically everyday I somewhat eliminated my social anxiety, at least a good portion of it. But now, I seem to suffer from something different. I feel paranoid about irrelevant things at random times of the day and I feel anxious and worry about things that won't happen, but I think they could happen but deep down I know they won't. I'm just struggling to maintain control of my thoughts and force out things that are making me feel anxious.

 

I thought of something and I'm not sure if it's related but it has to be in some way. Basically, when I was on Paxil for all those years, I remember I didn't suffer from anxiety almost at all. I mean, if there was a circumstance that warranted anxiety or anxious feelings, then of course I'd feel them but they wouldn't linger and would be gone in a healthy amount of time. I'm not saying Paxil is wonderful, or didn't harm my body or brain in other ways, but it definitely managed my anxiety no questions asked. Obviously the bad side of it was that it had negative effect on my personality, emotions and will. I had very low motivation and drive, and was way more prone to depression while on it. Now, I'm suffering from anxiety daily, but am almost experiencing no depression and my motivation and drive are decent.

 

I feel conflicted. Part of me feels like if I would've never got off Paxil I wouldn't be dealing with this right now. Part of me feels like I really suffer from anxiety and all Paxil did was mask the symptoms and now they won't go away because I don't take anything. I know I'm still recovering and I know I need to rely on natural things to alleviate these issues but I've never had to in my entire life and it seems like so much work. My mind just continuously keeps focusing on things that cause my anxiety or worry and I don't understand why.

 

In terms of what pills I'm still taking... I'm taking 20mg of Ritalin daily, 2,400mg of Fish Oil, and a multi-vitamin. I will say, that Fish Oil makes a difference. There was a few days when I didn't take it, or only took 1 and I felt worse. I start taking 2 a day again and I feel better so that's really good stuff.

 

Besides the anxiety, I'm stable. Better moods, better energy levels on average even though I'm getting 6 1/2-8 hours of sleep a night on weekdays which I know isn't helping my situation much. I feel much better between 9 to 10 hours and I usually sleep 10 or 11 hours on Friday and Saturday night.

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J.S.

 

That's a pretty good update.  You're working , and feeling better. You have anxiety, which is why you were prescribed Paxil,originally , I think . You might have to work on that, with meditation and C.B.T.  Your sleep is good. I wouldn't complain about that.  You're stable .Better mood ,better energy.  You're travelling well. Keep it up.

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • 2 months later...

J.S.

 

That's a pretty good update.  You're working , and feeling better. You have anxiety, which is why you were prescribed Paxil,originally , I think . You might have to work on that, with meditation and C.B.T.  Your sleep is good. I wouldn't complain about that.  You're stable .Better mood ,better energy.  You're travelling well. Keep it up.

 

Ali

 

Thanks! 

 

It's been about 3 months now since my last update so I decided it's time for another. 

 

I have nothing to say but good things. As of March 3rd, I am also Ritalin free and since getting off of that my anxiety has lowered quite a lot. I feel like a normal person again. My moods hardly fluctuate to extremes, my anxiety is usually minimal and doesn't persist for hours like it used to and overall I'm just in a better mood much more of the time. 

 

My sleep has improved drastically. This is something I have struggled with for at least 10 years. I've always felt wiped out upon waking, and now I actually feel refreshed and I wake up way quicker than I used to. I won't ramble on here but I will say this for people going through withdrawal, you will improve. It may take weeks, months or even longer but there will be a time when you will stabilize. I struggled to be optimistic when going through withdrawal, and I didn't think it would ever end but it does. My withdrawal for Paxil alone in my opinion was easily 6 months. Surprisingly, my Ritalin withdrawal lasted for maybe a week tops which shocked me but I did taper for a few months. 

 

Good luck to everyone out there, and please believe in yourself and that you will improve because you will, it just takes time. I am not 100%, but I will say that I've improved so much that I know all of you will too with time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi JSC,

 

What a wonderfully positive post.  Congratulations on being off Ritalin.  And I'd like to say thank you for coming back and posting your progress.  It certainly gives hope to other members trying to get off drugs.

 

I can see that you have updated your signature for Ritalin.  Are you still taking Xanax as needed?  If yes, how often have you had to take it?  Thanks.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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