SkyBlue

SkyBlue: Paxil taper

284 posts in this topic

Awww, thanks Brass and Karen! ! ! ! :) 

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Pasting something I wrote in Shep's thread, for reference:

 

I love meditation. I've been doing it for quite some time, long before tapering and withdrawal. I do a very simple meditation I learned in the book 8 Minute Meditation. Very simple: you just set a timer for 8 minutes and shut your eyes. There's no special cushion, no doing it right or wrong, just doing it. Some days will be clearer than others. 

 

One thing meditation has taught me is about resistance. As much as I love meditating, I resist it every, every time. Not just sometimes but every single time (!!!). I don't have enough time, I'll do it later, etc etc etc. It must be some kind of mindfulness exercise in itself, because now, every time I feel the resistance I don't try to figure it out, I don't try to convince myself; I just do it anyway and of course feel great after. 

 

I do find that in my worst withdrawal moments I don't meditate because my "withdrawal mind" is unbearable at those moments, but I've been mediating so long that I don't worry about getting back to it--I know I will.

 

I also like finding guided meditations on You Tube. 

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Sky -

hoping on late to your story (as I am a newcomer to this site) but we have a ton of similarities (mainly being on Paxil, but also tapering too fast) so I had some questions for you...

 

1) at what point did you stop your original fast taper? What were the symptoms? Did you ever updose again, or just hold? 

2) Are you still on the Zoloft? 

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Hi Kate, 

Thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry to hear you're in a similar situation. However I do believe there is hope, especially if we are willing to be patient.

 

It does sound like our stories are very similar. 

 

I started the fast-taper (I didn't know that's what it was) in summer of 2015. I went from 20 to 10 to 5. I paused that to try to regain some stability. I then continued "tapering" from 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 1.6 in winter of 2015. I also went up on Zoloft in there (and am still on it) because I didn't know that the awful way I felt was withdrawal -- I was made to understand that it was my "original condition" (aaaaaaiiii!!!!!!). In February 2016 I found this site. I realized that I had been "tapering" way too fast. In the last year, I've done what we call the Brassmonkey slide, named after our group member Brassmonkey, who came up with it. It involves tapering at about 2% at a time (everyone will be different). 

 

My worst symptoms have been feeling suicidal (was never suicidal before or on Paxil); extreme rage bordering on violence; depersonalization/feeling like I was in a dream; not being able to think; nausea. 

 

I did not ever updose; I have done a LOT of holds, even when everything in me is screaming to just get off the stuff already. For me, one of the biggest (self-imposed) stressors is the timeline -- how long has this taken, and will it take, and should I be tougher (no--it's a central nervous system thing) and am I imagining how bad it is (nope--these are very very real iatrogenic injuries that I and all of us are enduring). 

 

I'd be happy to answer any other questions, either here or I will try to stop by your thread as well. I'm glad you found us here! 

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Hi Kate, 

Thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry to hear you're in a similar situation. However I do believe there is hope, especially if we are willing to be patient.

 

It does sound like our stories are very similar. 

 

I started the fast-taper (I didn't know that's what it was) in summer of 2015. I went from 20 to 10 to 5. I paused that to try to regain some stability. I then continued "tapering" from 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 1.6 in winter of 2015. I also went up on Zoloft in there (and am still on it) because I didn't know that the awful way I felt was withdrawal -- I was made to understand that it was my "original condition" (aaaaaaiiii!!!!!!). In February 2016 I found this site. I realized that I had been "tapering" way too fast. In the last year, I've done what we call the Brassmonkey slide, named after our group member Brassmonkey, who came up with it. It involves tapering at about 2% at a time (everyone will be different). 

 

My worst symptoms have been feeling suicidal (was never suicidal before or on Paxil); extreme rage bordering on violence; depersonalization/feeling like I was in a dream; not being able to think; nausea. 

 

I did not ever updose; I have done a LOT of holds, even when everything in me is screaming to just get off the stuff already. For me, one of the biggest (self-imposed) stressors is the timeline -- how long has this taken, and will it take, and should I be tougher (no--it's a central nervous system thing) and am I imagining how bad it is (nope--these are very very real iatrogenic injuries that I and all of us are enduring). 

 

I'd be happy to answer any other questions, either here or I will try to stop by your thread as well. I'm glad you found us here! 

Thank you so much for your answers! So even through your worst symptoms, you always held? Wow, you are freaking TOUGH! And it always balanced out eventually? What was the longest period of time it took for you to stabilize?

 

I am so happy you found a method that works for you! One day we will both be free from this! 

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Hi Kate, 

 

Thanks for your kind words! I'm taking a screen shot to add to my things to look at on a tough day. Although there is no shame in updosing or any of that. 

 

It's hard to say the longest it's taken to stabilize. When I missed a dose last January or Feb sometime, it was weeks of dp/dr for hours a day, along with sleeping any of the time I didn't need to be somewhere. 

 

Yes, someday we will be freeeeeeeeeeee! 

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Hi wonderful friends,

 

Today feels like a challenge. Yesterday too. I'm having all these thoughts like, "Will it even be worth it, going through all this stuff?" I hope that again in the future I will feel without a doubt that life is worthwhile. Of course, challenging sometimes, but worth it. 

 

I'm doing a lot of deep work in therapy. I am doing EMDR which is amaaaaaaazing. I always thought it was for things like violence or horrific accidents. But it can be used for many things. Had a session this week that brought up stuff from decades ago. Trying to be gentle with myself as far as maybe I'm going to be off-kilter, tired, and processing sooooo much stuff (the brain keeps processing memories throughout the week between EMDR sessions). Can I give myself the same compassion as I would a dear friend? Huh. Still working on that. 

 

One of the EMDR resources is putting things (distressing thoughts, memories) in an imaginary container to work on during therapy. It is a way of setting things aside until it is more ideal to work on them. Today I'm putting in my container my concern that "Will this all be worth it? There is no guarantee, and that scares me."

 

Love to all.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences with EMDR, SkyBlue. Sounds like you are finding some powerful non-drug techniques for getting through this. Wonderful to read about.  :)

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Thanks Shep! 

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Hi friends, 

 

Happy St. Patty's Day!

 

After a drop from .88 to .86, I experienced several days of dp/dr. This cleared. 

 

The intrusive, false-suicidal thoughts have persisted for a few days each month. It's incredibly frightening and strange, since no matter how depressed I was before Paxil or on Paxil or during "poop-out," I never, ever felt suicidal for one second. My therapist agrees that it sounds like this is clearly not just "my baseline" or some kind of "underlying condition" (Note to self: if it started on a dime with withdrawal, it's not me, it's the iatrogenic injuries from psych meds and can and will be healed.) As always I am safe. Continuing self-care which includes acupuncture, exercise, being social at times, and getting rest.

 

March 3 I went from .86 to .84…. Last night, March 16, went from .84 to .82. 

 

The windows are getting better and better. I've had at least four withdrawal-symptom-free days in March so far. If you're reading this and barely hanging on…. HANG ON!!!!!! 

 

Current mood… Hopeful! <3 <3

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:D  :D  :D  :D so glad to hear it!!!!

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Hi Skyblue,

I just st wanted to say hi, I too have been on Paxil for a long time and have had lots of failed attempts. I'm starting my journey again and only doing 2% drops every 6 weeks.

You are a very strong person to endure what your been though and I admire you for that. I hope one day we will all be off these terrible drugs. Take care xxx

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The windows are getting better and better. I've had at least four withdrawal-symptom-free days in March so far. If you're reading this and barely hanging on…. HANG ON!!!!!! 

 

Current mood… Hopeful! <3 <3

 

 

Beautiful update, SkyBlue. You are encouraging others with your story, it has a strong vibe of resilience and hope.   :)

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Dear Meg, Cheeky and Shep, thank you very much for your kind words!!

 

The past couple of days have been difficult with dp/dr and hopelessness/ "false" suicidal ideation.

Yesterday (Sat) I wasn't able to really do anything due to dp/dr and feeling intoxicated. Did watch

the state girls' high school championships which was able to distract me a bit on and off,

and it was sunny out, so those are a couple of good things.

 

Hope and love to all! 

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Hi all...

 

I'm finally feeling better after an intense 8 days with severe hopelessness and daily suicidal feelings. . . I never had this kind of suicidal thoughts before withdrawal . . . This time I did confide in two family members (they know I get depressed, but I never let them know how bad it is because I didn't want to worry them -- this time it was so bad, I didn't worry about worrying them.) I didn't have a "plan" but as a safety measure didn't allow myself to be alone for those eight days. I think it's really bad in our society that you have to be honest about suicidal feelings, but have to be very careful sharing those feelings because you can easily be hospitalized and drugged.  

 

I didn't feel good enough to come write here when I felt that way, and now that I feel better I don't want to think about it!!!!!!  :blink: However just wanted to say hi and that I'm still here. Hoping it's a good day--for me and all of you too. 

 

As I feel better I also plan to be more open about SSRI withdrawal in real life. I'll figure out what that means for me, but a) there is no shame in this -- it's something that's happened to us -- and B) people need to know about it. These drugs are powerful and addictive and should be approached with the same kind of caution as any highly addictive hardcore medicine. I know I'm preaching to the choir that these shouldn't be given out like candy. Okay I'm started to spiral so going to get back to my day. <3

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Glad you are feeling better SkyBlue, looking back on a bad wave is like remembering a nightmare but it is over now and I hope you have a lovely long window.  :)

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Thank you so much, sweetheart! <3 

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Hi, SkyBlue.

 

I'm very happy to read you're coming out of that dark place. 

 

Do lots of self care and nurture your nervous system. Sometimes experiences like this can leave you a bit hollowed out for awhile, so please draw on the many non-drug coping skills you've been working on. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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Thank you so much, dear Shep, as always. <3 I like the phrase "hollowed out" -- it describes it perfectly. So important to be gentle with ourselves! I'm learning. 

 

One theme for me in withdrawal (in life, really) is pressure on myself. When will I heal? ? When will I get fully back to life? Change of seasons is a trigger for me to feel pressure, and with spring here, I'm very grateful for the beautiful weather but it also brings up those pressure feelings. Trying to focus on the beautiful weather instead!!  <3

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Hi everyone, I am in need of support today. I am safe and not in danger. I am having a lot of suicidal ideation which I am fighting. I'm fighting it and it's just exhausting. This isn't anything new; I just don't always post here. I have all the crisis lines with me. Going out and doing things; not staying alone. I made myself a list of all the times I've felt this way and then felt better-- so I can look at it during these times and see I've been here before. The tricky thing is that I'm up to my ears with coping strategies that I use all the time in withdrawal -- when it gets like this, nothing feels good, and so much of my beautiful life doesn't seem worth it. My life has always felt worth it. I know this isn't a crisis line and I am not in imminent danger at all. I know ppl here care about me and so any kind words are appreciated. 

 

I hope for a future where I never have these kinds of thoughts anymore.

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Wise of you to post SkyBlue.  ((((hugs))))

 

When I was concerned about myself, I made a phone list of people I could call and/or stay with if things got bad. Knowing that I had a list of names with phone numbers was a relief. 

 

I too hope for a future where you never have these thoughts again.  Please take good care of your lovely, kind self.

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Change of seasons is a trigger for me to feel pressure, and with spring here, I'm very grateful for the beautiful weather but it also brings up those pressure feelings. Trying to focus on the beautiful weather instead!!  <3

 

 

I'm sorry you're struggling so much right now. 

 

Here's an idea - are you able to take short walks in the beautiful spring weather? Perhaps take your cell phone with you to take pictures.

 

Perhaps work on a scrap book of pictures of nature that you find. You can even find free programs online to make a scrapbook with your photography. 

 

I'm just trying to think of something that you could focus on to get you out of the dark headspace you're in. I use music that way and find videos and sounds that "speak" to me and set up bookmarks and organize them. I have playlists for every mood I could possibly be in. It's difficult when you're in the storm, but once you get started with this type of project, it gets easier to use it as a healthy distraction.

 

Are there flowers and trees where you live? Birds and insects? All of these things make great pictures and a way of holding onto healthier thought-streams. And it's a way of grounding in nature and getting a bit of sunlight in the spring weather. 

 

And then you have reminder - you can sort through your beautiful pictures of nature when you're back inside. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. I hope these dark thoughts pass soon. 

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Thank you dear Scallywag and Shep. I will write more tomorrow in response to your great ideas, but for now wanted to let you know I received and appreciate your messages and thoughts. I made it through the day. Each day is a victory. These really aren't "my" thoughts and I try to use mindfulness to separate "me" from my "withdrawal mind." In my actual life (outside of withdrawal mind), I have a lot to live for. It just gets all covered up. All this fighting and mindfulness and trying today -- all worth it-- has been exhausting. Going to bed now  -_- Thanks again.  :wub:

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Hi all, 

 

The suicidal feelings passed after Saturday. In retrospect I was exhausted, which may not have caused the suicidality but certainly didn't help it. When I was able to come home for the evening and rest, I felt almost immediately better. Not 100%, but better and able to be alone. (Side note: I really enjoy solitude normally).

 

Sorry I didn't check in yesterday -- ended up working, which turned out to be good. It's enough of a distraction/challenge/social interaction to be good, and not too much during withdrawal when we are so easily overwhelmed.

 

Scallywag -- I love your idea about the list of contacts. I've done the same-- I have a list of people who I've checked with that I can reach out in difficult moments. I've found the difficult part is actually doing it (I don't want to "bother" people or bring them down or make them feel responsible for my feelings), but I've been doing that and it does help. Nobody's ever made me feel bad for reaching out. So I did that on Saturday and a couple friends chimed in and reminded me I always get better. 

 

Shep -- I appreciate the idea about the photography, especially with nature coming back to life in spring. I like the idea of online scrapbooks for photos. Last weekend when I was also feeling this way, I forced myself to go to a local nature center. I mostly just felt hopeless ("these are all beautiful things that I used to like… now I feel nothing and everything good is in the past"), but I kept putting one foot in front of the other, "riding the wave," so to speak. Even though the beautiful nature around didn't sink in, it was good and important that I went there. 

 

Thanks again for being there for me. <3 

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Hi SkyBlue -

 

Stopping by to say hi and see how you are doing . I just read through your thread and wow you are one strong person. You sound positive and determined even in the midst of a crisis . This is truly admirable . I too battle in my head with thoughts such as 'how long will this last' and feeling bad about myself . But I try to remember the good days I havr and that it is possible to be medication free and live a life where you can feel things and be yourself instead of a drugged person . I also have to remember to be gentle with myself and not to expect much I do the best I can .

 

It is great you implement non drug techniques such as meditation. Every night before bed I listed to a quick meditation. Sometimes I fall asleep sometimes I can't even concentrate but I do it anyways . It is also great you can be open with your family and have a list of contacts with you . That should be comforting .

 

I also want to say that I remember when I was being switched from one SSRI to another for a few days I had very negative scary thoughts and I was terrified . I lived by myself in another state with no family around or friends . I went to my shrink and told her how I am scared I might do something and she said sometimes that happens and that people that are scarred they will do something will actually never do it . Such a crazy explanation but I did believe her . And after educating myself reading online I found out that it could be meds and not me . Anyways sorry I am rambling a bit out of it today . I just wanted to encourage you to be strong and that these negative thoughts are not you. You have been on medication for such a long time it will be a process to heal but it will happen . This is what I tell myself . 9 years on lexapro I can't expect to be cured in 3 months .

 

Hope you are having an okay day

 

Positive thoughts your way

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Hi Skyblue--  I'm so glad those nasty feelings cleared up and you're feeling better.

 

((((((((((HUGS))))))))))

 

Brass

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Thank you so much, Blondie and Brassmonkey! Sorry to be so late in responding. 

 

Blondie, thanks so much for reading through my thread and also for your kind words.

I do think it absolutely makes a difference to know that the thoughts are not "me."

 

I have two new items for my WD toolkit. These are for withdrawal-induced rage.

 

One is a water bottle with magnesium powder already mixed in, that I can take in case of rage emergency.

The other is a jar of water with epsom salts already dissolved in it. I can soak a washcloth in the solution and wrap it around my arm (if I'm at home). Kind of like a portable epsom bath.

 

This will be handy because when my nerves get so jangly, coordination becomes difficult, even opening bottles, etc. without spilling things and making the rage worse.

 

The idea is to get the magnesium in as fast as possible to calm down the visceral (not psychological) rage that crops up.  :wub:

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I love the idea of the rage-liquid!

 

Oh my goodness, I remember one night in the midst of WD - I think it was the sudden drop from 10mg to 5mg - and the trigger was my husband not coming home in time (yes sad but true!) and I was so enraged that to cope - I googled something like 'most rage filled songs ever written' and listened to them on the headphones at full volumn while I cleaned the house like a mad woman - titles included such heavy metal gems as 'everyone is a  **** ******** ***** and I hate them all' type thing until finally - 3 hours later - I was calm and exhausted.  It was so scary and disturbing and thank God I was alone! The apex of WD was terrifying for me as well :(

 

I think your bottle of mag sounds wonderful and I'm glad you've got it at the ready xxx

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Oh, Molly, what a story! I can totally sympathize. <3 

 

Thanks for the kind words! 

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Hi SkyBlue,

 

Stopping by to see how you are doing

 

Hope all is well

 

Xoxo

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Hi Blondiee dear, so kind of you to stop by. I appreciate it! <3

 

Doing okay. Still here! Dealing with continuing suicidal ideation off and on. Wed last week I was very, very, very low and had to reach out, use my strategies, stayed safe, whew. Made it. The next day I woke up totally fine and could never imagine feeling suicidal, ever. It's absolutely hormones and absolutely caused by withdrawal. Nothing happened to make me suicidal and nothing happened to make it go away. I thank God that I am so supported, both here and in "real" life. The days when I feel good or even neutral are so wonderful. 

 

Hope you are doing well. 

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SkyBlue, that is an excellent example of how hormones and withdrawal can cause these kind of dark feelings and thoughts. Nothing external changed, so it's completely chemical. 

 

Once you frame it that way, it's easier to see these dark thoughts as strangers passing by - just let them pass without engaging in them, a chance to practice mindfulness.

 

I'm glad you have such good support in real life. Keep moving forward and eventually, you'll be way past those thoughts and onto a brighter path. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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Thanks so much, Shep. <3 

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SkyBlue - I am here for you if you need to talk to someone ❤️ It is mind blowing what these medications can do . You are so strong and can get through this . You gor this girl !

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Thanks Blondiee. <3 I will definitely take you up on that! 

 

Today is a hard day. Geeeeeez, on Tuesday and Wed., I felt so good and I'd forgotten I could feel that good. No anxiety! No depression (well, very little). Amazing. I did some exercise classes. I felt really present with people.

 

Yesterday I was somewhat leery because I had a new mood every 14 seconds. That's not usual for me. 

 

Today, bam! Hopeless. Suicidal because everything that has given my life meaning, I don't really care about. And only horribleness waits for me. Can I make it through this day? I've made it through tons of days like this before. What's concerning me now is… why? Why continue to go through this torture? I will continue to go through it. But it's so tiring. And exhausting. And I hate it. 

 

What I'm doing/working on (and I work on these things in between the suicidal times): 

 

- a card with people's names on it who have said I can contact them.

- a card with the dates on it of days when I've made it through the suicidal thoughts and have been so glad that I hung on. 

It's a card that says, "Glad I hung on!~" at the top, then all of the dates. 

 

Any positive thoughts, words appreciated. I have plenty of strategies and meditations and mindfulness etc. Right now I just need to remember to breathe, and get through this (lost) day.

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Update: After work I went for a walk by the river (even though there would be "no point" to it). It did shift me a teeeeeeny bit.

And I got a half-caf latte at a coffee shop and came home. Later I'm going to go to a yoga class w a friend and also take a walk. This all sounds amazing and I sure wish/hope my sweet brain and hormones would/will let me enjoy it! ! ! ! ! ! ! At the same time not putting pressure on myself.

 

It is sooooo sunny here (I'm in Minneapolis area). I know that we have to be patient w ourselves but I just don't want to lose any more time. However I am going to make it through this day.

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