Recovery Success Stories from Around the Web

158 posts in this topic

An anonymous story sent via email, posted with permission 12-31-2014


After horrible withdrawal I found life again!

Paxil was changing me into someone I didn't recognize, unfeeling and distant emotionally so I quit cold turkey consulting only my conscience. I had been told Paxil was safe and non-addictive, so I thought quitting would be no big deal. But withdrawal was hell.

I am not sure how long it took wd to kick in or what hit first--the zaps, the Paxil flu, the weakness. I was pale, cold, sweaty, clammy and emotionally numb. I thought I was going to die. I was irrational. I was paranoid. I couldn't tell anyone how sick I was or what I was feeling or they would lock me up and say I was crazy. I was scared in my collapsing world.

Each morning I made myself get up and pretend I was okay. I couldn't tell my husband life had no meaning and relationships were hollow mysteries to me. Fortunately my children were grown and my family didn't depend on my income or I would have lost everything. Getting out of bed was punishment, going to bed was punishment, everything was a punishment. I didn't know how it would end because I didn't know what "it" was. Zapping and sick I did an Internet search and discovered what "it" was, "it" was withdrawal! The zaps, the Paxil flu, the everything and there were others going through what I was experiencing!

A few days after I found paxilprogress [a discontinued information and recovery support website] I told my husband I had quit Paxil cold turkey and was in withdrawal. He didn't understand but I told him I had found an online community for people like me. I told him one wd symptom-- the zaps and I read to him how someone had described them, then I told him that it was happening to me all the time. Every time I had a zap I would say "zap". He could see I looked sick but I only told him about the zaps, I was still afraid everyone (but fellow sufferers) would think I was crazy. And I was afraid to tell fellow sufferers how bad it was for fear I would be told to reinstate. By now I had thrown my Paxil away, I hated Paxil, I was afraid of Paxil, I couldn't take it again. Reinstate would mean doing all this misery again, twice as much suffering or worse-- I was not rational and felt my only option was to hang on. Cold turkey made me feel that I would never quite fit in the community that saved me. I knew I had done it wrong but was too scared to turn back.

Everyday I spent hours alone looking for meaning in my life. At least I was safe when I was alone, I didn't have to pretend to be okay, in fact I could be brutally honest.

At some point my wd symptoms no longer dominated my thoughts or movement. I noticed I was present to other things in my life besides paxil wd. Life was more than Paxil--how awesome is that discovery?

Somehow the suffering became more distant and it faded in my memory. Lessons learned became treasures to carry forward in my life. It's hard to explain how the joy, the peace and the brightness of life returned. I didn't want my "negative" emotions masked, I wanted my emotions to be full spectrum of emotions. Death of loved ones, profound losses have come my way-grief, agony, struggles have been mine--I claim them--better than paxil numb. My spirit knows peace and stillness again. Relationships are no longer hollow. I became anchored in the land of the living again, it's a great place to be. Certainly my life is not a bed of roses but it is a garden where my spirit rejoices to be.

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CW, THANK YOU!!!  I needed this for the new year.  Still doing the hard work of trying not to freak out because I can't find my exact symptoms, or my exact meds.  

Every light helps and I thank you for showing me more new ones.

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hi all,


being a "long termer" or "veteran", i am searching people who healed after taking 15 years, 20 years. Short termer from PP, i knew since the beginning, but what for long termer? Reliable story, Because even PP put in success story people who were in a window and have residual. 

Having heavy residual is not healing for me, healing is to be able to live as before meds. And until now, i do not find; the opposite, i know personally some french, Benzo people seem heal better than antidepressants people. Thanks to make my mood become high with testimonies...happy new year all

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hi all,


being a "long termer" or "veteran", i am searching people who healed after taking 15 years, 20 years. Short termer from PP, i knew since the beginning, but what for long termer? Reliable story, Because even PP put in success story people who were in a window and have residual. 

Having heavy residual is not healing for me, healing is to be able to live as before meds. And until now, i do not find; the opposite, i know personally some french, Benzo people seem heal better than antidepressants people. Thanks to make my mood become high with testimonies...happy new year all

Totally understand your point of view Stan although it seems quite a few people on Benzo Buddies continue to have insomnia after being off of the meds for several months.   Of course, that isn't a scientific study but it does make me wonder.

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I'm in my 7th year, I've come along way and much better but still not fully recovered, in 2010 I was very bad and then my wife died, these 7 years have been the hardest in my life, but I still have hope for a full recovery. I know a woman in England over 9 years and still real sick.

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testimony to be valid and helpful for people in miseria must have some certain criteria:

original problem, name of medications, duration of medications, people have to not take anything as drugs that act on the 

nerves, duration without drugs;this can be put in signature for example;

it's not perfect, you can surely improve the criteria, but it is a minimum, the testimony which not have these minimum criteria 

are not of great interest, can seem fantasy, we cannot get anything about and they pollute good testimony useful.

i forget, secondary, maybe the taper method

or else we see testimonies from Aeroman (2 years on meds), Goldenbawls(2 years on meds) ouaaaahhhhhh good for newbies 3 years on

what can think the people who were 6 years on, 12 years, 20 years and see how much suffered people only 2 years on???

to see clearer, some rules are needed, if we want members or a doctor who wants understand(they are a few maybe i hope, all are not crazy)


better 10 good reliable full criteria testimonies than a deluge of incomplete stories without signatures

it is my opinion, written in bad english

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testimony to be valid and helpful for people in miseria must have some certain criteria:
original problem, name of medications, duration of medications, people have to not take anything as drugs that act on the 
nerves, duration without drugs;this can be put in signature for example;
it's not perfect, you can surely improve the criteria, but it is a minimum, the testimony which not have these minimum criteria 
are not of great interest, can seem fantasy, we cannot get anything about and they pollute good testimony useful.
i forget, secondary, maybe the taper method
or else we see testimonies from Aeroman (2 years on meds), Goldenbawls(2 years on meds) ouaaaahhhhhh good for newbies 3 years on
what can think the people who were 6 years on, 12 years, 20 years and see how much suffered people only 2 years on???
to see clearer, some rules are needed, if we want members or a doctor who wants understand(they are a few maybe i hope, all are not crazy)
better 10 good reliable full criteria testimonies than a deluge of incomplete stories without signatures
it is my opinion, written in bad english


I agree that we need to see a history of what drugs were taken, for how long, method of stopping (c.t or taper) , if taper how long?  And if partial recovery, at what point did recovery start to be notice and what's not fully recovered.  And so important to list details if sharing about someone else's experience. 

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and another important criteria, 


it is not being off all meds which is a success story, this is a success of tapering, tapering being only one big step, success is being for example 2 years????(for me 6 months is not enough...these meds acting with tardive new problems) off and feeling recovered, with very mild waves, having a " normal" ???  life again

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Stan, I know what you are saying but these people have to first FIND this place after they have been recovered for as long as you would like and then feel like writing a recovery story. It just does not happen that way. Many put this period of their life as far behind them as they can and do not want to revisit it for any reason, they are immersed in their new life.


We make do with the stories we get. For me, CG's story was all I really needed. Truly. And GiaK's. Those 2 were my guiding stars. If they could recover, there was hope for me.


You won't be happy with mine, either.

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you will recover.  It takes time and no one can tell you how long but it will happen.  I think many of us stopped going to sites like PP because we were now wearing a new set of lens and seeing brighter things.  I had gotten back to my wife, family, car stuff, and other hobbies.  Recovery does happen and it will for you, whether you believe it or not.

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When you first realise that you want to stop taking antidepressants and that it’s going to take a long long time because you have to do it very very slowly, it’s an awful time. Awful because you started taking the antidepressants because you were in a bad way to start with and now you find yourself in a bad way because of something you were told would be a solution. And it’s wasn’t and now you have to work to get free of the so called solution.


I was really very sick with anxiety and depression, which was caused by a variety of factors but the main ones were excessive alcohol use and excessive stress and, probably to some degree, age. So I went on SSRIs. And, at first, they worked incredibly well. I know now that that was because I was ‘high’ pretty much in the same way that cocaine causes a ‘high’ – cocaine is a reuptake inhibitor of its own and much of the work done by pharmaceutical companies in producing SSRI’s has been modelled on cocaine, which was first patented by Park Davis, I think, in the 1850s or there abouts.


Anyway, history and the unscrupulous activities of pharmaceutical companies isn’t going to matter much to you, right now, if you’re suffering incredibly and having the darkest thoughts you’ve ever had and worrying that you’re going to make it through. I’m writing this to say that I have made it through. I am completely clear of SSRIs and have been for more than a year now and it took me two years to completely ween myself free from them. I had to take an incredibly slow and painstaking approach to reducing the dose. I remember the anguish I felt when I first calculated how many years it would be before I was finished. I really thought to myself that that would be next to impossible. I felt so sad, so alone, so hopelessly inadequate, but I knew that I wanted to be healthy and I knew that I was angry that I had ended up in this situation. And those to factors were all I needed to make a start.


I see that a lot of people write posts that they want to hear from people who have been through this process and succeeded and that people often say that those who have succeeded move on and want to forget about this period in their lives.I have to say that I really don’t ever want to forget what happened to me. I don’t want to forget because I don’t want to start drinking again and I don’t want to stop living the healthy life I now have, which includes a lot of exercise. Exercise I know that the person I was five years ago would have trouble believing I can now do.


But, back to you. Sure you feel afraid. And you probably feel pretty sad that you’re confronted with such an incredibly daunting task as the slow withdrawal from a drug your brain has grown dependant on. But here’s the thing, you only get one life. And I’m pretty sure if you’ve come to this forum it’s because you want that life to be better than it is right now. Well, it can be. Remember the longest of journeys are just a collection of steps and you can get yourself started by drawing up a plan and slowly making your way along it.


Best of luck.

Edited by cymbaltawithdrawal5600
added line breaks for readability

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Hi steerpike, sincere appreciation to you for sharing your success withdrawal story. This gives everyone here hope and can save many lives!


Do you have an introduction page with more details of your journey with symptoms, good tips etc to help others?

If not, can you share with us more details of your experience and what you feel most difficult and helpful?



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Hi Steerpike,


I found your topic and finished reading the entire thread without a single break. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey and your wonderful experience, knowledge, insight and writing!


I'm in a very similar situation, only that My slow taper started at a much higher dose (4.25mg) of lexapro last August. If everything goes well along the long journey, it will take about 4-6 years to the finish line.


It seems your last post in your introduction was made about one month after your last dose. Did you experience any hardness after that?


Best wishes to you for the most wonderful and fullest life!


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Samarie's Update  Posted 5/3/2011 on Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 My Positive Six Months Out Update 


 Hello all!


I hope everyone’s doing well on their journeys.


 I stopped coming around here as often because, honestly, I started to think it was impeding my progress. Hearing some brutal horror stories really made me terrified as to how my life was going to turn out off these drugs. At the end of March, I had a near mental breakdown and began contemplating suicide, thinking I’d be a slave to withdrawal forever. I called a psychologist the next day, someone who was NOT in a position to prescribe me medication. We’ve been meeting twice a week since then, and she has been more helpful than I could have ever imagined. To everyone who is leery of anyone in a therapeutic environment, there ARE people who are willing to help you without medication. I can promise you.


 My biggest concern in my withdrawal was my inability to lose weight and my constant, never-ending hunger. It just seemed so obvious that these were a result of withdrawal that I never questioned it. To my surprise, two weeks ago I went for a routine OB/GYN appointment, and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Two of the common symptoms? Weight gain and increased hunger, as it puts the body in an insulin resistant state. I have since been on a strict diet under the supervision of my doctor as well as some low-dose birth control pills, and I am happy to report that I feel physically better than I have in a long time. I know it seems easy to just assume any weird thing you’ve been experiencing is a consequence of withdrawal, but I CANNOT stress enough how important it is to get some sort of medical evaluation if anything is persisting after withdrawal. Had my condition not gotten caught sooner, I was setting myself up for some near diabetic episodes.


 Next week will be six months since I started cutting back off Celexa. I am a changed person, both for the better and for the worse as well I’m afraid. But by far the most important thing is that I am still alive. I've survived. And you all will too.


 Much love,



 SSRI free since January 11th, 2011

 "I know I didn't used to be this way. All I want is my life back"

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Gigi's Update  4/24/11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Success story: 5 and a half months off!


Hi everyone,


It has been 5 and half months since I cold-turkeyed off the drugs. I have to say that the first 4 months were a living hell. I had the flu constantly, extreme fatigue, concentration and memory problems, and extreme depression. but after 4 months, I started living like my old self from high school (the kid that was on no drugs). Before I started feeling better, The doctor tried to put me back on paxil after what he "described as the original symptoms returning) I told him to **** off (sorry for the language) and that is was just my brain trying to adjust.


Well after these hard 4 months, I now cry tears of happiness (I teared up while writing this) because I feel to happy now. I no longer get depressed and I doing so much better in my life now. My school work and my training has improved so much because now I have energy to do everything. My metabolism is also much better now, as I have lost all the weight I gained on the meds. The coaches at my University have apologized for calling me lazy because of my tiredness and weight gain. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE THAT COMMENTED ON MY POSTS, AND GAVE ME HOPE.


All my family and friends thought I was an ******* and an non-emotional idiot, when I was on the meds and especially when I was in withdrawal. Sometimes they still think that the side effects were in my head, But I ask them one question. How did I become more rational when coming off meds that were supposed to make you rational. They are then silenced.


For anyone that is reading and believes that these meds are changing you, just believe in yourself, thats all that matters. You can one day be off just keep believing. There is no damn research on these meds, most doctors dont know anything about these meds because of this lack of information. SO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!


 Thank you Everyone! I DID IT!


 Put on a/ds after highschool because of chronic depression and unexplained groin injury

 Paxil 10mg Rispederal .5mg 07-09

 Paxil 20mg Rispederal 1 mg 09-10

 Went up in dose because of unexplained knee pain(WTH)

 C/T NOVEMBER 7 2010-Present

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NicholasG's Update   4/16/11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 20 months update


Hi everybody,


Just a quick update about my current situation after 20 months being psych drug free.  Let's start with the positive points :


The primary psychological/mental symptoms are all but gone! No more anxiety, no more depression, no more suicidal ideation and no more racing thoughts or ruminations. Those were extreme during the first 6 months following the last pill, then intense from month 6 to month 10, moderate from month 10 to 12 and at month 14 almost gone. Of course, it's not exactly that simple because as you know already all the w/d induced symptoms show up with a very irregular pattern, but on the whole that's how it evolved. The only mental problems that are left are directly related to the remaining physical symptoms. I wonder sometimes if I'll ever become healthy again, but those meltdown phases don't last very long. It has a lot to do with the frustration of feeling 'normal" but being restricted by my physical condition.


 Same with sleep: I can enjoy good rejuvenating sleep provided the physical ailments are kind enough to let it happen.  I've been practicing almost daily meditation, mindfulness, relaxation and/or yoga + some cognitive therapy based on "Feeling Good" by D. Burns, it has obviously borne fruit!


 Anger and disbelief about what happened is still a problem but I tend to improve in this area as well.  Cognitive functions (concentration, memory) are greatly improved and are still improving.


Now the negative points.


You guessed it: the physical symptoms.  I still have to endure daily a pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear (appeared at month 9!), burning middle back pain (the burning sensation fluctuates but the pain is almost always there) and the presence of zillions of eye floaters/vitreous opacities that swirl around and give an "aquarium touch" to my field of vision.


Also, I suffer regularly from tension headaches or migraines or it's a hybrid kind, I don't know anymore...whatever they are, they are excruciating, I'm lucky that 1000-1500mg acetaminophen are enough to make them pass. Nevertheless, when I have them, I'm out of order for the whole day.


Also on the list, a pseudo-sciatica: a sciatica-like pain running down the hip and thigh, very debilitating, I can't walk sometimes. It had improved but it's been now 8 days that I suffer from a new bout.  Overall, my physical resistance is way lower than it was before. I just can't work or have any "life projects". My condition is very unstable , I can't plan anything for sure, I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow. Fortunately, even if i m not very dependable, I've managed to reinstate some basic socializing. A great progress too!


Of course, iI'e already investigated medically those various conditions (blood work, MRI, examinations): nothing. But don't tell me it's psychosomatic.  Prior to the psych drugs I had some back problem but it was nothing compared to what I have to deal with today. In fact, I realize now that  was pretty healthy and all I needed was the learning and practice of real therapeutic tools for my depression/anxiety. I was just feeling lost after a few life trauma.


Anyway, that's the way it is. I won't give up and still look forward to still gradually improving in the coming months.. Good luck to you all. In my opinion, everybody can improve with time, patience and dedication. I was exposed to a total of 15 different psych drugs (mainly Paxil and Effexor though), so I can only attest that the human brain is very resilient. I'm on my way to prove that the human body disposes also of this wonderful ability.


 2001-2003: 40-20mg Paxil

 2003-2005:20 mg Paxil

 2005: second attempt to quit (6 weeks tapering)

 2005: up and down (feeling completely lost) , at that point found out about w/d. then tried a one mg/week taper from 30mg...unsuccessful

 2006-09: chaos...several attempts to quit, poop-out, switch to other AD and others (Effexor,Lexapro,abilify..),

 August 2009: finally drug-free after a final 6 monthes taper of effexor.

 At 6 months out, started to feel slowly better!

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WhatisNormal's Update   4/2/11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Adding a dose of positivity


I feel like some people might benefit from that right now.  I am obviously not on here as much as I used to be. I try to stop by now and again to pay it forward.  It so weird in a way to read these threads and have these memories that I was there too and to be so far from that now. It doesn't seem like such a big deal now, even though at the time when I was going through all the craziness it felt like the worst thing ever. I suppose if I really wanted to, I could sit around and dwell on all that I went through. There's obviously no point in doing so.


For a while I did feel pretty angry about all that I felt my anxiety and subsequent SSRI use stole from me, but I am finally feeling over that. Life moves forward. I can feel angry and feel like something is owed to me... or I can focus on being happy and going out and getting the things that I want.  'Recovery' isn't a secret magical process that only a few of us can attain. It is about time. It is about acceptance. I went through hell too. I thought it would never end. But then, wow it did. At the beginning of the year I went through my first rough patch post-Paxil... and I came out on the other side of that too.


No matter what you are feeling today, realize that it isn't permanent. Even when we are feeling on top of the world, that isn't permanent either (sadly enough). It is a constant ebb and flow. If you're willing to bend with that, even just a little, it will help immensely overall.


3/27/09-09/28/10...40mg to 0mg!!!

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Kate’s Update  3/27/11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Please Read ~FULL RECOVERY STORY! ~ Have hope!


Dear Community ~


I am writing to let you know that I am totally, fully, 100% recovered from my experience with Paxil and other pharmaceuticals, and have been for over a year and a half! I am not sure recovery is even the right word, as I feel happier, healthier, and more alive than ever! My life has changed so much, that I feel like a very different person than the girl who began taking antidepressants and benzodiazepines for panic attacks and insomnia years ago, not to mention the totally spastic, obsessed nervous wreck who began posting her nightmares on paxilprogress when the pills brought me over the edge of sanity!!  I barely recognize that person, in large part because it was not really 'me' -- it was me under the influence of some seriously gnarly stuff,  stowing away on a runaway train of worry, disassociation, and fear. I am grateful to be free from that experience, and to have now reached the point where I can look back on it with compassion, forgiveness, and understanding...though I don't look back too often anymore!


I am now living a happy, slow-paced, peaceful life, feeling connected to nature and my own spirit, loving husband and my kids. (Yes! ~ I had my second child, born naturally at our birth center, this summer, and he is so beautiful!!)  We have loads of friends, an active social calendar, and a big garden where we grow much of our food and herbs. We were able to buy a sweet home of our own, and my art helps pay the bills. It's such a blessing and I am thankful every single day -- ever day feels like an absolute gift, a chance to start over. Life goes on, and I am grateful. So, if you are currently suffering, or have been for a long time, please take heart -- you always have the ability and opportunity to heal.




Sometimes this means making drastic changes to how you live, work, and think, sometimes it requires changing your diet and the products you use, sometimes this means having patience and faith, sometimes it means forgiving yourself, moving on, and being open to life again but whatever it takes, don't be afraid -- you can get well!! You would never believe how bad off I was, and to look to me now, you would never know what I went through! (Many of my friends don't.) I think I was one of the 'worst cases' on here -- I had literally been on over fifteen psychiatric meds in two months (on and off paxil numerous times previously) as well as supplements with god-knows-what in them -- all of which, on top of that, I now know I was allergic to-- before totally losing my mind and having to quit everything all together. Also, on top of that, we had a baby to take care of, my husband lost his job, and we moved across the country in the dead of winter to a tiny apartment near my family, who did their best to help but ended up adding to the stress. I talked about suicide numerous times and tried to cut myself before my husband stopped me.


I was such a disaster that I could barely eat or drink, and when I did, I had crazy hot flashes, rapid heart palpitations, and feelings of being toally psychotic and out of my body. (This was due to an undiagnosed sulfite allergy...more about that later...) I had every single symptom described on here, as well as some weird ones I had never heard of before. I went to so many doctors, naturopaths, counselors, and 'healers' that I lost count, and the bills were almost as insane as I was. I lost my ability to care for my infant daughter, lost my job, my mind, my ability to drive, my self-respect, my capacity to think or speak in complete sentences, my memory, a handfull or friends, thousands of dollars, and about fifty or sixty pounds -- to the point where I looked anorexic and every bone in my chest and arms were visible. I also felt that I ahd lost my soul and personality, as I was totally detatched to the point of not even feeling a connection to my name.


My parents had to take care of me because I could barely function, and when they couldn't take it any more, my grandparents tried...then my husband...then my parents... There were points where I didn't eat for days, and didn't sleep for a month, except a few hours here or there. I was hospitalized once, and, thankfully, not again. In the end, (after about ten or eleven months) everyone just gave up, and I ended up holed up in my apartment for a month, sleeping on the couch at night, able to eat only rice and filtered water. Seriously!! While my husband went to work, I somehow took care of our toddler. I forced myself in my total sickness and craziness to be there for that little girl as best I could.


Thankfully, that is also the point where I began to heal, because I was finally forced to look within and rely on myself (even though I didn't even think I was in there!!!) for strength, and lean on God/spirit for guidance. In the end, there were no more chattering voices on a forum, no more family trying to intervene, no more doctors, homeopaths, naturopaths, or counselors -- it was just God and me, and thankfully, we figured it out. Once I turned that corner, I was able to learn Qi Gong meditation from a skilled teacher to help my body heal, and to get my runaway mind under control. It was all uphill frpom there!


One thing that I must mention is that what I assumed was 'withdrawal' was anything but -- and my healing was delayed by the assumptions I began to hold about what I was going through. (Many of which can, unfortunately, easily be reaffirmed, where we can tend to forget to look outside our tunnel. The hyperfocusing is very unhealthy, especially in the highly obsessive, fearful state most of us are in when we are on the forum. We talk about biochemistry of the body and brain as if we know exactly what's going on -- for instance -- labelling the symptoms I was having as 'serotonin induced' or a form or 'serotonin syndrome.' We have to learn that we don't always know, and take each others' words with an ounce of caution. Sometimes it's best to throw all our assumptions out the window, and open ourselves to the various possibilities for what is going on.)


I was actually suffering from an acute sulfite allergy! ...as well as a general hypersensitivity to industrial chemicals. The original panic attacks I had back in college were likely a result of this problem, and the subsequent horrid reactions I began to have to pharmaceutical drugs only compounded the situation. I did experience withdrawal from the meds, but the true, 'classic' withdrawal symptoms did not seem to last very long-- the lingering, horrid mess that followed was due to constant exposure to my senstitivity triggers. I have a feeling that this is true for many people -- I do not wish to diagnose anyone, but I hope my story may help someone on their healing journey.

 I thought I was just allergic to everything. I tried all sorts of allergy treatments like NAET, etc. The reactions I had upon ingesting anything were so frightening, and, of course, to an outsider's perspective, they seemed a figment of my imagination. My counselor told me I was 'reacting' to food because I was anxious. My family, at times, even forced me to eat things I was allergic to, assuming my allergies were 'all in my head.' Then I tried cutting out the wrong foods -- gluten, dairy, salicylates, etc.

 and got much worse because I was eating nothing but foods that were bad for me, and missing out on nutrition...


 I lived in total paranoia and fear, and it took months, even as I began to heal, to learn to trust my food and body, and eat normally. The good news is, as soon as I stopped ingesting things with sulfites in them, I got better almost instantly! I take no supplements, no vitamins, nothing. Less is more for me! I eat a very simple diet, but it is nourishing and healthy, and I use a reverse osmosis filter for the additives in my water (Brita and other charcoal filters contain small amounts of sulfites in the charcoal!) These simple changes have been enough to support me to full health, ans also grow a healthy baby~! It took me so long to figure out what my problem was, and sulfites are in almost everything in the supermarket. There is so much hubbub about gluten nowadays that they label everything, and even overdiagnose people -- not so much with sulfites. Thankfully, there are some great lists online now, which give a good overview of what to avoid. I am so sensitive that I have to avoid even naturally occuring sulfites in onions, garlic, soy, chees, corn, chocololate, and brassica vegetables, as well as the 'usual suspects' for sulfites -- dried fruit, wine, beer, vinegar, corn syrup, molasses, refined products, etc.


 I have to avoid all commercial soaps and beauty products as well, so we use a lot of castile soap around here! Previously, I would have thought it impossible to survive without these things -- it took serious effort to cut it all out and it takes work to make all my food from scratch, to grow and buy only organic food, and cook with the things my body handles best. But I feel GREAT, and that is 100% worth it. It has helped me to slow down my life and focus on simple pleasures, and be thankful for the food. I don't miss processed food at all. Also, I really like the things I can eat -- for instance, potatoes, carrots, fennel, homemade sourdough bread, rice, bulgur, butter, fresh fruit and berries, organic herbs, almond butter... so I am not hurting for tasty meals. I take no supplements whatsoever and have not taken any in over two years-- I use organic loose herb tea but that's it. It has made all the difference in my life -- I had a healthy pregnancy with my son and continue to feel great seven months postpartum, and my kids are doing wonderfully as well.


 Anyhow, I didn't mean to go on for so long here! I have likely said enough for now -- mostly, I just want to let you know that healing is possible, that it may come from something you least expect, that it can happen very quickly, and until it happens, we need to love and forgive, find patience and peace where we can, and hang on.

 We don't know everything -especially the future -- I never would have dreamed how good my future would be, and I am so glad to be here!


 I am living a great life and you can, too!


 Love, Kate

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Jonno’s update  3/23/11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

21 month update


Hi all,


This is a positive update and I hope it will encourage those still in the depths of withdrawal.


It is now 21 months since I stopped meds and I continue to improve. I had most of the usual w/d symptoms after my too short taper. I have never experienced a waves and windows pattern but instead have had slow incremental improvements, which started to accelerate after month 14. This has continued, and problems including d/p and d/r, cognitive fog, poor memory, broken sleep etc have now mainly gone under normal circumstances. I say normal circumstances because one of the main problems that remains is a hyper sensitive cns. My body is very easily and constantly triggered into fight or flight which makes me very anxious, my heart start to thump, and increases all of my other w/d symptoms. I also suspect that my cns is responsible for the other 2 remaining w/d problems that I continue to experience which are PSSD/low libido and food sensitivities. The reason I suspect this is because they seem to be improving at the same rate as my cns has improved. 


What is interesting is that in some ways I feel that I am better now than I was before I went into this whole meds experience. I have started to laugh again at things, but in a more spontaneous, appreciative and fuller sense that I can remember I did before. I notice and appreciate nature, beauty etc. more than I ever did, I am absorbing news and information more avidly and analysing and reflecting positively on that information more profoundly. I feel physically fitter and have more energy ( I still have a controlled diet so no stimulants or processed foods ), and I feel more determined to do things that make me happy rather than 'go with the flow'.


Maybe it is my memory playing tricks with me, but it would be at least 20 years since I have felt like this, when it happens. Unfortunately things come and go a bit with the fight or flight but hopefully the positives will become more permanent as I continue to improve, as I hope they do for all of us going through this difficult journey.


Started Effexor 75mg per day 2002.

Switched to 10 mg Prozac liquid in 2008 when I discovered I was experiencing withdrawal during 2 previous unsuccessful tapers.

Finished Prozac in June 2009 after a 4 month taper - a little too fast probably.

All done without any help or guidance from my doctor.


Argentina are the second best team in the world and there is no higher praise than that - K**** K*****, former manager of England national football team

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Schwanke's Update  3/20/11   From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Almost 6 months off - Update


In short, things have gotten better.  The main things I am still dealing with right now are: Brain fog, still difficult to handle stress/negativity, some anhedonia, depression, occasional crying jags, ringing in ears, floaters.


Things that have improved quite a bit include: obsessive thoughts and constant cycle of negative rumination, anxiety, derealization, feelings of doom/fear, suicidal thoughts.


I've really pushed myself to continue doing the things that I did before this mess, like go to sporting events, get on airplanes, road trips, concerts, crowded restaurants, hang out downtown, meet new people, etc...and while at first it was nearly impossible because the noise and excitement would feel like it literally was crushing me, now I can handle these things much better and even enjoy them. Last night I went to a crowded soccer game in the wind & rain and had a good time with friends.


I really do think you've gotta push yourself to do these things in withdrawal, even though it might feel terrible, because to keep yourself cooped up at home and watching the world go by through a window contributes substantially to the anxiety, excessive rumination, and feelings of worthlessness. For me anyway. But I know how tough it is. I know what it feels like to go outside and feel like nothing is real and feel like you're walking through someone else's dream, just floating there without any joy or emotion at all, wondering why you're stuck in this weird world.


These feelings have gotten better for me, so I have to assume they'll get better for you too. Just push yourselves...don't overdo it but do as much as you can, and you'll find yourself doing more and more with each week that passes. I'm still in withdrawal, and I know it because I my good days are still very limited. But they do come, and there have been more and more lately. So hang in there, and as it is said a lot around here, keep walking.


January '10 Started Lexapro 10mg

August '10 Stopped Lexapro after 1 month taper

September '10 Went on Zoloft, per pdoc suggestion, after awful 2 weeks off Lex.

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Mightywarrior’s update  Posted 3/9/11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site




just thgt id give a quick update. I am doing so well. confident, cocky, social,sex drive came back 100 x and feeling good. no anxiety, no anhedonia, no head pressure and my ears dont feel like they are always plugged. i got a job, quit casue it sucked, went to interviews, everythihg is soo much better. went out with friends. for some reason tho too i cant get to sleep, i think cuz im loving be up soo much. The funny thing is it like all just lifted at once and boom i was back. I even got more paxil like 2 weeks before but ididnt give in. the weird thing is i have never read anything where it all kinda happened at once. I love the things i loved before and i feel like i am back and got the fire in my eyes back. i was on it for 2 years and it took almost 2.5 yrs to get back to normal but i just wanna say everyone HANG IN THERE AND EVERYONE IS RIGHT WHEN THEY SAY U WILL GET BETTER. thnkas for listening.

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Blanket’s update  Posted 3/5/11  From Paxilprogress, a defunct site

It's been nearly 5 years since my last pill, wow.


Hello everyone!

Wow, it's so weird to come back here sometimes. I thought I would write a little update for those who are looking for some hope. I cold-turkeyed 20mg of Paxil after 8 years of use nearly five years ago. I had tried to quit several times before and just couldn't do it, but for some reason the last time the withdrawal didn't start hitting me until about 1-2 weeks later, and it definitely got worse and worse for months.


Every doctor I went to see about it thought I was manic or just not well. They said I needed to go back on drugs and suggested other pills, namely Effexor and an anti-psychotic to accompany. I was pretty sure by then what was going on so I sat there and yelled at the doctor to get me someone to talk to that didn't believe in medication, and he actually did. I never went back to that doctor but I'm glad he listened to me and got me a good psychologist who listened to me. I didn't tell my psychologist what it was that was going on exactly, I didn't want to seem like I was pinning the blame on something outside of me (I know that's what it was, but I needed actual help too) - what I wanted was someone who would listen to what I was saying and give me hope and direction, and that's exactly what he did for me. He convinced me to enroll back into school, and about a year later that's what I did.


I still had symptoms then. It wasn't nearly as bad, but it was noticeable (you can look through my posts if you like, I had WAY too many symptoms all at once and was terrified constantly that I had lost it and was never coming back). Back when I enrolled into university I was still feeling too many emotions all the time (I went from feeling nothing, to feeling everything amplified!) I'm still going through school, although right now I am taking a break.


I have to say, everyday I surprise myself. Every day since the day that I quit Paxil I have proven something more to myself in some way. I live on my own now, in a small apartment downtown. I even quit smoking 6 months ago. I'm literally addicted to nothing right now, I have no need for any drug and am continuously working at independence. I do still have some anxiety and depression, but it doesn't affect me the way that it used to. It just seems easier and easier to challenge myself as time goes on. Also, at the beginning of last year, my very long-term boyfriend left me (well, we left each other). I've been dealing with that for most of the year, and it's been very hard, but it's just another fact of life that makes me stronger.


I'm free to go wherever I like now - move half-way across the world and become a farmer if that's what I wanted. It's kind of liberating in a way, despite that I miss him. I think that anyone who can pull through an intense AD addiction & withdrawal starts to see things differently later on. It's not that life becomes easier. It's just that you already know you can handle it, because you know what you pulled through before. Honestly, I am 100% healed from anything that ailed me due to Paxil. I can't think of a single thing that it caused that is still around. You will all make it too. It's just a matter of time and patience, and it can be hard to muster when you're in the thick of it, but in the end you come out a champion for your strength and perseverance.


Hang in there! You'll make it out. If I could do it, you can do it too.


1998-2006 Stops and starts because of intense w/d.

 Final try - Spaced each tablet out over a period of days before stopping, ended up in a protracted withdrawal for around 14 months.

 Paxil free April 8, 2006.

 I'm pretty much normal again, minus some social problems I need to work on.

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Sarah    From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site


Positive post and encouragement from someone who was on paxil for 10 years


 Hi All.


 Some may remember me i posted on here a while ago. I thought i would update. I was on paxil (aropax) for 10 years. I have dozens of attempts to get off and was very very unwell as many here are. I had multiple complications from withdrawal including heart problems, thyroid problems, blood sugar problems, not to mention some of the other symptoms during withdrawal such as dizziness, nausea etc Anyways i thought i would let everyone know i have not taken paxil now for just over 1 year. THe day i hit my 10 year anniversary of being on paxil i decided i had had enough and i would never take it again. i had weaned down to 2.5mg and just decided to go off it and that was it.


 I did suffer and admitedly through the withdrawal process which took me a few years i had jobs i had to quit because when i would taper down i was so ill.

 However after a short period of time i started to feel better. and ive only got better from there. to a point where i almost forget i was even on the stuff and the hell i went through on it. i go to the gym as often as i can, i eat a very healthy diet. im quite thin now which is great. my skin glows. and im generally pretty well. i dont have any specific symptoms or any residual withdrawal to date and i will not allow myself to. i dont think about it and it is no longer a part of my life. its like a distant memory. I do have some residual things such as low thyroid, not as good blood sugar control and really dry hair and skin. but at the end of the day they may be related to the paxil or they may be random and i dont care.


 My moods can fluctuate a bit. I can occasionally get down. but i just pull myself out and tell myself to get over it. haha generally life is pretty awesome. i never thought i would get of paxil. i was told i never would. and no one believed how sick i got until i found this site. i wasnt sure how i would go off and if i would have to go back on. but im good. im greatful to this site for teaching me how to wean off rather than the dreadful cold turkeys i tried and failed many times.

 i cant wait for the rest of my life. I hope everyone here continues to persue and gets off this dreadful medication




 2000 20mg Paxil for depression/anxiety

 2002 Doc advised stop taking CT - Bad idea

 2002 Recommenced 20mg then increased 40mg

 2003 several failed weaning attempts

 2004 failed C/T again

 2005 Dropped from 40mg to 20mg

 2006 Changed to Lexapro to help wean, symptoms to severe - back to paxil 20mg

 2007 Feb 20mg - 17.5mg

 11 March 12.5

 26th March 2007 - 10mg

 Aug 09 - 9.5mg

 sept 09 8.5mg

 oct 09 7.5mg

 Nov 09 5mg

 december 09 2.5mg

 jan 2010 0mg

 Paxil Free since Jan 2010

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Guitar77  2/18 /11  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Two-year Anniversary


Thought I would come back and give people an update on my condition. Quick backstory: Almost two years ago to the day, I was mis-diagnosed with hypothyroidism after having some heart palpitations at work. The thyroid meds caused mania and a panic attack, but instead of realizing the thyroid med was causing these problems, benzos were added. I quickly and unknowingly became physically dependent on them, and started suffering withdrawals when I'd try to quit them. I was then prescribed zoloft to address the denied benzo-withdrawal symptoms, to which I had severe adverse-reactions and daily trips to the ER for 8 days. This caused SEVERE, CHRONIC insomnia and huge health problems. I cold-turkeyed all meds, and went through hell withdrawing from them (probably mostly due to benzo withdrawal?). I was left with a wrecked nervous system and intractable insomnia, for which I was given ambien.


I went through another hell of non-stop panic-attacks, weeks of a few hours of sleep, and a host of other issues, much of which I now attribute to inter-dose withdrawals caused by the ambien and damage from the previous meds. I was then started on Paxil, which created additional depersonalization, derealization, and a host of other problems. Severe akathisia then kicked in, which I stopped with Xanax. I decided to stop going to the doctors or any providers, took control of my own healthcare, and with the help of benzobuddies.org and this forum, began a slow tapering progress from trazadone (given to replace ambien), paxil and xanax (see signature). It took about 9 months to taper off of everything. I tackled one taper at a time, and took time between each to stabilize.


As I tapered off of each med, symptoms reduced and disappeared. My past posts will tell you how many side-effects I suffered directly because of these drugs--there were LOTS. In the time since tapering off the meds, I have still endured chronic headaches, dizziness, depersonalization, reduced ability to handle stress, and horrible, horrible insomnia. Without a doubt, the days since taking that first med have been, by far, the worst of my life. An absolute, torturous experience.


The good news is that as of today, I am about 90-95% healed, I think. All the side-effects and symptoms that I had during this time have pretty much either disappeared, or are quite reduced. I still suffer from bad insomnia, although most days I sleep 4-6 hours with one or two wake-ups. I still have mild depersonalization that makes me feel like I am a little bit of an observer to my own actions, if you can understand. My head still feels like it is full of cotton at times, and stress makes that feeling worse. Plus, I still have mild jerks as I drift off to sleep.


The myriad of other symptoms are gone, though. No more racing heart in the morning. IBS and appetite problems are gone. No more anxiety or GAD. No being jumpy, or afraid of violent movies or getting anxious seeing emergency vehicles. No more weird internal vibrations in my chest and arms, especially when waking up. No more burning or numbness in my arms and chest. My vision is quite good (outside of floaters, but I think that's LASIK related). No more anhedonia or akathisia. My memory is good; learning is back to normal; creativity is back and suicidal thoughts are gone. I have hope again.


I swear that this experience came close to killing me several times, closer than anything else in my life. I came into this experience with the belief that medicine was sure and true, that doctors knew everything about what they practiced and that the drug companies had their clients' best interests at heart. I had no experience or knowledge of psychiatric drugs or treatments, but had no reason to doubt their application or efficacy. What happened to me taught me to completely change the way I view these establishments and protocols. They don't know what they are doing. Pharmaceuticals do not have our best interests at heart. Providers are mostly well-intentioned, but woefully misinformed. Our current health system in regards to mental health and our nervous systems is broken and primitive. This system still primarily treats neurology and psychology as two unrelated fields, when in fact they are tightly bound to each other. Too often psychiatric problems caused by medications are claimed to be organic in origin; originating in defects in the patient's behaviors and requiring additional medications for resolution. Illogically, medications are seen as only able to cause positive effects, while negative effects are simply anecdotal and become reason to poly-prescribe.


Since, I have studied psychiatric medications more than I imagine most doctors have, probably more than many pharmacists. From personal experience and everything I have read, there is no doubt in my mind that these medications cause neurological damage in many people. Poly-pharmacy only makes it worse. I could go on, but I won't here.  My personal experience also tells me that this damage may mostly be reversible, given enough time and care. I have learned from experience and study that our brains and nervous systems are changeable and plastic: they respond to stimuli in an adaptive way. Both negatively and positively. I believe these medications cause changes/damage at a cellular level, and the effects from these can ripple into higher functions causing adaptations that may be harmful, and can become expressed as behaviors that are related to "hard-wiring" changes to the cores of our nervous systems. Where cold-turkey withdrawal can create PTSD-like changes. Where disorders can be created (incorrectly labeled as "unmasking" by the psychiatric community): GAD, panic-attacks, IBS, anhedonia, etc.


I am doing much better now; nearly back to my prior self. While our brains are adaptive and can be changed by negative stimuli to create all these problems, our brains are also influenced by positive stimuli, and negative behaviors/wiring can be undone if given time to heal, and with the help of positive reinforcement. I learned to taper off the drugs that were negatively affecting my nervous system. I learned to control the anxiety and panic feelings the drugs left me with. I learned to let my body and mind work on healing itself. I learned to minimize exposure to situations and substances that may interfere with this healing, such as caffeine, certain foods, and stressful situations. I had to put much of my life on hold and decide that I may have to ignore some things for a while because they impeded my progress.


I was fortunate to have an understanding boss and work, so I was able to keep working with reduced stress. If not, I surely would have lost my job. This experience has cost me a significant promotion, however. Plus a lot of money in medical bills. The stress may have taken years of my life--I don't know but what can I do?


I see the light at the end of the tunnel now; I hope that in 6 more months I may be back to where I was before this started. I will have a big celebration then; a celebration of being alive and healthy again. A celebration of survival. A celebration of living and being able to enjoy life.


And I will.

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Llhh update  2/13/11  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Withdrawal light at the end of the tunnel


 Been a while since I posted on here but felt I needed to. I had such a hard time withdrawing from Lexapro I thought I would never make it. Without this site and people who already made it, I was barely able to make it through.


I realize that most people once they are finally free from ssri's have no need to post here. It could also be that they are so tired with all the drama that they just want to get on with their living their lives? I don't know but I'm here to leave a little note behind for those searching on this subject or those looking for a little "light at the end of the tunnel".


I am almost 3 years off it and doing much better. I had terrible withdraw symptoms. Almost every symptom listed here. haha. It DID get better and with every "wave" it was a little less every time. Although sometimes the next wave would be worst than the one before. As a whole they did get less every time. They also began to spread themselves out. It got to the point where I would say to myself, "I know what this is. This isn't real. This is just another wave." There were times that it would sneak up on me and I would find myself having 3 days of anxiety before I figured out what was going on.


 What a mess and a nightmare! I truly feel for all of you in the place I was a couple of years ago. Just remember to be strong and that you WILL beat this. Just keep fighting! You WILL win!  I suspect I still may have some really small moments but they are so small now that they don't even warrant my attention.


 So,,,, just thought I would leave something behind for those like myself who were wondering if anyone ever did truly "make it" or get better.

 Stay strong! It will be ok!

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Carolyn's update  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site


Hi peeps!


As of yesterday, I'm 6 months Paxil-free! The best part about that is that I can honestly say it's a total non-event. I mentioned it to hubby and he said, "wow, has it been six months? It's not even a part of our lives anymore."


I had one bad anxiety stint at about three months off; it lasted about three weeks and then disappeared as quickly as it arrived. Since then it's been normal anxiety levels for me -- a spike here or there but nothing crazy.


Between the Paxil taper and my back injury (which is doing much better), I've really gotten into mindfulness and meditation. I meditate for 10 minutes every day and it's helped my anxiety a lot. I've been reading a ton of books on mindfulness in general and some Buddhism in particular and would be happy to share those if anyone is interested. The best one I can recommend is called Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He runs a stress clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Clinic and the book is essentially the clinic curriculum.


I continue to have sleep issues, but I'm becoming convinced that the Paxil masked the existing sleep issues as opposed to Paxil tapering *causing* them, if that makes any sense. I have a new sleep doc and that's going well so far (though my health anxiety has me too creeped out to try the melatonin he suggested...silly alien toe cancer).

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Kathleen  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site


I looked up my "success" post from 2009. I have since coped with the horrors of a major earthquake, which caused the death of friends, the loss of family houses, and ongoing anxiety and stress for all us. Life is still good.


Success - one year from zero.


I think I have been putting off posting this as a success story as it seems to be tempting fate to say “success”, and I superstitiously feel disaster may strike! But I do believe in positive affirmation – so here goes!


A potted history – I had an anti biotic resistant pneumonia which led to chronic fatigue syndrome. I was gradually recovering, when my mother died and my son had a life threatening illness. I was prescribed paroxetine for anxiety, and had a severe paradoxical reaction on taking the first tablet. I was prescribed oxazepam to allay the akathisia, nausea, and increased anxiety (!!!!) until the paroxetine took effect. Six months later I felt my life was on an even keel and stopped the paroxetine. I was fine for two months, and then had what I now realise were withdrawal symptoms, but started paroxetine again. I tapered back on!! I tried again to quit by alternating doses, and was taking 10mgs twice a week when Aropax was replaced by loxamine. Again, I had an adverse reaction; took oxazepam for a few weeks, and was granted a year of Aropax by NZ’s Pharmac. At this stage I found PP and decided to taper slowly. I am very grateful for the wealth of information and support I found here.


 The intensive anti-biotics I took to get rid of pneumonia left me with a fragile gut, and my first reaction to any stress seems to be nausea; so looking back at my diary I see a lot of “queasy” days during withdrawal. My GP prescribed domperidone, which I found really helpful, and Losec for heartburn; both of which I took as needed. Like Carolyn, I had to do a lot of brain training to convince myself I wasn’t about to have a heart attack! Insomnia was a problem at times, although I think the fear of insomnia created a vicious circle that kept me awake. I see from my diary that I did take a tablet of oxazepam several times over my taper, but never for more than one night. I had a working knowledge of CBT, visualisation and relaxation techniques from my professional life; but a theoretical knowledge is one thing, and putting it into practice personally quite another. One really good thing to come out of withdrawal is that I have learnt such a lot about coping with anxiety and stress. CBT and deep breathing and relaxation exercises have become an essential part of my life. I also found EFT and SET techniques helpful (thank you Betsy).


Dropping below the 5mg mark seems to be difficult for many. I must admit I was very worried about this, but as Laurie C. said – don’t worry – it may never happen; and she was quite right. In fact, I found the lower drops easier. I’m afraid I have always been a “what if” person, and as Homerbcool says – That's one of the curses of anxiety--we make possibilities into certainties...... Over the last year any time I have felt off colour I have immediately thought “what if this is a withdrawal wave”. My amazingly patient husband has reassured me each time that we all do have times of not feeling well, and I was probably talking myself into a withdrawal problem by worrying.


I’ve survived the zaps, ear whooshes, night sweats, nausea, insomnia, chest pains, heart flutters, panic attacks, foggy brain etc. etc. that plague most of us during withdrawal.(Though I have to admit that my advancing years may have contributed to foggy brain!!) Nearly all of these symptoms are long gone, and I am sleeping reasonably well, though I still sometimes find myself startled awake at 4a.m. So – a year later I am feeling proud of myself. I recently had surgery to remove a tumour, which was thankfully benign. I had a worrying few months with lots of tests. I have always been rather claustrophobic so the prospect of an MRI test was very daunting, but I found I actually coped without a shot of midazalon by using the techniques I have learnt and practised. My GP prescribed oxazepam for me early in the year, as he was sure I would be having lots of legitimate anxiety and sleepless nights. I did take a few tablets, but the bottle is still nearly full. I do like knowing it is there for an emergency though!!


This whole experience has been a real learning curve for me. I think I am a stronger and wiser person than I was a few years ago. I know I am less ready to judge others; and hopefully am more prepared to admit and share my problems. I am still reluctant to plan ahead – I am very happy and content living from day to day, but my instant reaction to a future plan is wondering if I will be well enough. This is the legacy paroxetine has left me – the self doubts, ups and downs, and uncertainties of withdrawal. Logically and rationally, I know I have coped, I am coping, and I will cope; but I still need to work on the “what ifs”. Thankfully, I now have tools to do so. For those of you starting out on a withdrawal journey – there is light at the end of the tunnel! Okay, there are some terrifying posts here, but there is so much support and help. I would still be muddling along alternating doses, and wondering what was wrong with me if I had not found PP. Thank you, all of you.


PS I know many people have been unable to tolerate alcohol at all, but we have always had a glass of wine before dinner, and when I have had a “nervy” tummy I do find that glass relaxes me!! I have also taken a fish oil pill every morning for years.


02-Chronic fatigue syndrome after anti-biotic resistant pneumonia.

Aropax for anxiety.

2 attempts to quit.

08 - slow taper.

Oct.08 - zero and feeling great!

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Thanks so much for the effort and time posting these stories!

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Marebear  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site


I have not been in this site in some time, but also wanted to relate my success story. 


 A quick history of my experience looks like this:


 1. Took Paxil for nearly 10 years to control anxiety/depression.

 2. Weaned off slowly for approximately 2 years and stopped completely in June 2008.

 3. Six months after I was totally Paxil free (March 2009), I started to have a multitude of physical symptoms, including horrible digestion problems, extreme fatigue, muscle/joint pain, general dizziness, nausea, problems with concentration, electric zaps in my face and arms, episode of vertigo.

 4. I left my full-time job in April 2010 because it became very difficult to work long hours.

 5. Spent the last 3+ years trying to get my health back and I started to see improvement around the 2-year mark. Albeit, slow improvement.

 6. Eliminated many food types in an attempt to control my digestion and live somewhat of a normal life (e.g. gluten, insoluable fiber, alcohol).

 7. Today, now 3 years and 3 months after I first started to get sick from what I believe was Long Term Withdrawal Syndrome, I consider myself 99% recovered!

 8. I am currently looking for work and feel confident I can have a career again.

 9. Presently I am able to eat just about anything, but I continue to eat very healthy and I try to avoid gluten when possible. I am even back to eating a large, healthy salad every night for dinner! I enjoy fruits and veggies regularly, which were something I could not eat for a very long time.

 10. I have a normal amount of energy these days and I exercise regularly like I once did prior to this epic experience!


At one time during this episode in my life, I thought there was no hope. There were days I could barely get out of bed, or I'd spend hours in the bathroom because of my digestion issues. I didn't go places and my social life really suffered, but I just kept believing that maybe it would someday get better. When I discovered about a year ago (around the 2-year mark) that I was seeing small improvements, I started to get really hopeful. I would push my limits when I could and then I'd allow myself to have a bad day if necessary (i.e. let my body feel the fatigue). I practiced yoga and meditation during this difficult time and I received regular acupuncture treatments. I used "mind over matter" a lot. It's hard to believe, but that actually worked sometimes!


The doctors that I saw in the beginning said I have Fibromyalgia. As many of you know, that is a catch-all term that they use when they don't know what is wrong with you. I remember asking one doctor about Long Term Withdrawal Syndrome and they completely dismissed it. Of course! Big Pharma stands to lose too much money if they admit the existence of this syndrome. In the end I stopped seeking advice from western medicine and I'm living a holistic life now. I have not seen a western doctor in almost 2 years and I'm very proud of that! I am probably healthier than I ever was since I eat so much better and I have a very good understanding of my own body. After all, when you spend thousands of hours on the Internet trying to figure out what's wrong, you learn a lot.


Stay strong out there, my friends! It does get better, but I do think part of it depends on our state of mind. I have noticed that my symptoms would flare a lot more when I was feeling depressed. Obviously it's vicious cycle and it's tough NOT to feel depressed when you are feeling so ill. However, this is something we should all consider. I have become the "watcher of my thoughts" and when something pops up that makes me feel melancholy, I immediately try to focus on something else; specifically the good things I have in my life. It may sound silly, but it helps. I also have learned to accept my limitations and I have cut myself some slack for the first time in my life!! If I need to be lazy one day since I'm feeling tired, I just go with it. After all, we are human! Needless to say, I wish the best to all of you out there who are going through this struggle! Never give up hope!! Your mind is more powerful than you think and you would be surprised how much healing power you have within yourself. Keep the faith of good health alive!!


Paxil free since June 2008!!!

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feelin'_wiggy  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

Seven Months Free!!! Life is Good  


It's been seven months since I took my last piece of Paxil. Newcomers generally like to read survivor stories, so I thought I'd post mine to offer encouragement. I'll try to break it down into a month-by-month report. Light did that once, and it was effective.


Month 1 -- In PaxHELL and can barely function! Dropped from 30 to 15 upon doctor's instructions. Too much. Went back to 30 for a few days and then dropped to 20. Still a big drop, but I chose to tough it out. I tapered from Xanax, 1mg/day, and Adderall, 30mgs/day last month. Lithium, too. So I was suffering from multi-drug w/l.

At times, it feels like someone is shaking my head or beating my brain with a stick. No sleep for days, constant zaps, tremors, two bouts of severe vomiting, crying, agoraphobia, can't stand to be touched, skin crawling, craving carbs, begged my husband to allow me to kill myself. Thank God for him and my son. And thank God for the people on this site who helped me get through the nightmare. Used yoga breathing techniques to quell the anxiety, but even that didn't work all of the time.


Month 2 -- Down to 10mgs now. Zaps and tremors still pretty bad, but subsiding a little. A few good hours each day. Able to talk on the phone with friends for a little while some days. Even managed going to a movie. Insomnia still relentless. Confused and usettled much of the time. Grocery shopping is difficult. Everything runs together on the shelves. Hyper sensitive to noise and light. Husband brings home dinner most nights. (Baked a ham and, while slicing it, almost lopped off my left index finger. To this day, I cannot bend it all the way. Tropical storm Cindy was raging outside, and the knife slipped when a clap of thunder sent a zap through my brain.) A few very bad moments of crying and suicidal thinking. Started aking magnesium and fish oil. Tried meltonin for sleep. Didn't work. I still want to be alone most of the time. Don't want to see anyone except my husband and my dear son, who comes by to visit me once or twice a week. I'm very guarded, and protecting/nurturing myself. I've begun treating myself the way I would treat a sick loved one.


Month 3 -- Down to 5mgs Couldn't get liquid, so I went from 5 to 0 after two weeks. Total taper time was 10 weeks. Too fast, wouldn't recommend it, but it worked for me. My birthday marked the beginning of my third month, and by that time, I was able to go out to dinner twice in one week. Soon afterward, I went to Barnes and Noble and Whole Foods in the same day all by myself. Amazing how such routine activities can feel like major feats. BandN was okay, but I did get flustered in WF. I was looking for something with ginkgo in it, and when the clerk asked to help me, I couldn't remember what I was looking for. Something for my memory, I stammered, you know...that stuff. LOL Boy, did I feel brain damaged. I returned a week later, however, and I was like a different person. Still shaky, but far less so. I actually enjoyed myself. (I love grocery shopping. Seriously. Especially in fresh markets.)


By month 3, I had gained more weight. Stopping the Adderall contributed to that. Anyone who has ever taken amphetamines will relate. Amphetamines suppress your appetite. When you stop taking them, the switch in your brain that says you're full has to reprogram itself. Until it does, you gorge yourself.


Month 4 -- Starting to see the light ahead. Insomnia still a problem, but Sound Sleep with valerian, hops, and kava is helping me get a few hours of sleep most nights. Tinnitus and hyperacusia (senstivity to sound) still present. The worst has past, and I'm ready to take control of my healing. Reading a lot. More yoga and meditation. Basic Pilates. Joined the gym and started swimming and steam. Prepared for a liver detox by eliminating meat and juicing daily. Added a 100mg B Complex to the Mag and Fish Oil. Taking each day as it comes. Husband and I agreed to allow several months for me to heal, during which I wouldn't try to work, and would slowly take on stress causing tasks. He even took charge of paying the bills for a few months.


Month 5 -- Five weeks after my last dose, Katrina struck. On Friday, August 26, I went to a 10pm showing of The Aristocrats with my son. It's a hilarious film, and I commented to my son that it felt good to laugh. When the movie let out, his gf, who works at the theatre, jokingly asked "where are we going for our hurrication". Earlier that day, the weather report had Katrina heading due north. Over the evening hours, the course had changed, and New Orleans was the bulls eye. I had been feeling so good, and now this. By the time we got home, hubby was asleep. He hadn't even heard the 10pm news. I stayed up the entire night looking for a hotel room. There were none. By morning, it was time to gear up and make some serious plans. And guess who took charge? Who else? I'm normally a master of logistics, and when there are plans to be made, I'm the one to do it. Somehow, I got it together, and by the time my husband got home from work, I had worked halfway through my checklist. By 3am Sunday morning, we were on the road, with my niece, my pesky friend, two cats in our car, and my son and his gf following behind in his. I did not sleep one wink from the time I awoke Friday morning until Monday afternoon. Not ONE WINK! by Monday afternoon/evening, I dozed an hour here and there, but mostly I was glued to the tv and laptop watching Katrina destroy our hometown.


We spent a month in Atlanta, and were still there at the beginning of Month 6. From that point, September 22, until Christmas, I fluctuated wildly between period of depression and despair, and moments of intense well-being. It's hard to discern what was w/l and what was Katrina related. Here are the things I know were related to w/l:


 -- Unrelenting insomnia

 -- Loss of creative energy

 -- Complete lack of self confidence

 -- Poor outlook for the future (I couldn't see myself ever working again. I felt like I was nearing the end of my life. Not death, per se, but old age. At 49!




 Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage -- Anais Nin


 ...the most you can hope is to be a little less, in the end, the creature you were in the beginning and the middle. -- Samuel Beckett (The Unnamable)


 1998: Paxil prescribed during mother's battle with cancer.

 07/03 thru 05/05: Poop out; 2 botched attempts at wd; bipolar dx; more drugs added

 04/05: quit lithium, Adderall and Xanax

 05/05: Began 3rd attempt at wd

 07/22/05: Liberated!

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"wildirishrose"  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 I have never felt Better!!


 Hi all,


I've been on SSRI drugs for nearly 13 years now, you can see by my signature i'm on a very low dose now SO close to the end i simply cannot wait. My withdrawl from paxil was a living hell and i ended up suicidal and checked myself into a hospital, i then stayed off paxil because there was no way i was going back on it as long as i lived, however because i withdrew so quickly from a high dose my withdrawls and shock to my nervous system left me in a raw state for 6 months, and being naive at the time i thought it was my 'normal state of being' without drugs- panic attacks, anxiety, nightmares, physical symptoms, depression, irriatability etc...


so i went back to the Dr or drug dealer whichever you like and asked for meds to make me stable again

I was put on Luvox and ended up on 200mgs- pretty high

I then withdrew from 200 to 100 fairly quickly because i was unaware of the safe way to withdrawl

i stayed on 100 for some time and tried here and there to reduce my dose- using this site but doing juuust a little bit quicker because 'i cant handle it' bravado shmado

and ended up.... lets guess? a mess.


 So in the last time i did it i did it right, after all isnt the definition of stupidity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?


So i spoke to some lovely people on this forum and did my own research and bit by bit taking the 3-6 weeks stabilising peroid inbetween each drop i came down, when i hit my half way mark all hell broke lose.. it really was a very traumatic time for me, especially after being medicated for so many years i had not felt my real emotions, my sensitivity and my real self in... welll.... 13 years and it was frightening


I did a lot of soul searching and took a lot of supplements to help repair the damage that had been done to my brain, nervous system and body- omega 3 was incredible and i take it daily and will continue to forever. Its natures brain food and its highly beneficial for anxiety/depression. I stayed on my half way dose for 5 months, i stabilised getting to know what the real me was like under the concrete blanket of chemicals i had been covered over with It was hard, NO part of it was easy, most days were a struggle, but the best thing i learnt was to work with myself not against myself Why drop down too fast or too much? to come off quicker? i can tell you .... ive done that more times than i can count with both paxil and luvox... and you may as well pour acid into your brain and set yourself on fire because thats what your quality of life is going to resemble.


I cannot urge you enough to follow this site- take it slow, steady, be kind to yourself.

There is NO rush, you have the all the time you need.

Don't put yourself through it, i beg of you.


Once i stabilised on 50mgs, and got a feel of what life might feel like off medication... i started reducing again, and from 50mgs down for me-and everyone is different, it was (for me) barely any mental symptoms -by that i mean irritability, anger, crying, anxiety, depression, that hasnt even come into it for me because i think my body and mind got used to being nearly chemical free on the low dose of 50mgs that coming down from that has been the easiest part.


What i want to say is, if you've come to a reduction where after the 3-6 weeks you dont feel 100% to drop, then dont.  Stabilising for me for months was the best thing i could have possibiliy done and im so thankful i did because if i didnt and kept reducing i think i would probably still be living in the hell now.


I also want to say... i have never felt better. The last time i felt this alert, confident, healthy, balanced and stable... well i was little a girl playing out in the sandpit!

I have had a pretty rocky journey through my life, i'm an incest survivor and lost my sister to suicide due to our fathers abuse, an unwell mother and i bascially raised myself and then when i had trouble with that, well i was put on paxil with no questions into my behaviour.


 I cannot tell you how incredible it is for me to be this happy and stable and well without drugs. Its been a long battle, with medication and with psychiatry asw im sure so many of you know when you experience any kind of emotionbal instability their job is to diagnose you with things you often are not really sure you agree with, but you accept it because you're vunerable and scared and a lot of time you've forgotten who you are - who that person was before they started having emotional difficulties.


Coming off my medication for me has been life saving, ive realised or rather-remembered who i am, I know me better than anyone. I know i don't need harmful medication or judgemental talk therapy to tell me who i am. I am the person i was before my life got tricky, i am that four year old girl playing in the sandpit before i ever felt sad or confused, angry or evil. Í'm a good person who's had human struggles, i am not unwell, i am not mad and i do not need drugs to 'rebalance' anything inside me.

Being (so close) to med free that confirms everything i've always thought deep down. I really urge you all to listen to that part of you that believes in you and remembers you for who you really are.


 Good luck everyone and WELL DONE!!!


 1999-2006: 60mgs Aropax (paxil).

 2007: Withdrew dangerously fast from Aropax & was med free for 6 months.

 2007:: Hesitantly back on meds- this time 200mg of Luvox.

 2008: Withdrew too quickly to 100mgs of Luvox.

 2010: Started withdrawl safely from 100mgs

 to 87.5mgs

 to 75mgs

 to 62.5mg

 to 56mgs

 25/1/2011: Half way- 50mgs!

 6/6/2011: 37.5mgs

 25/6/2011: 25mgs

 9/7/2011:: 12.5!

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“Sayff”  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 A very good update-16 months


I had made a few brief posts on this site at the beginning phase of my wd, but i had generally been lurking in the background and only contacted a few people privately so my story is not well known to members here. I had pretty much stopped coming to this site about 9 months or so into my wd, mainly because it had become so bad i wasn't really asking for advice any more or even hoping for any assurance. I have almost forgot about this site, and although personally i didn't find any advice helpful to me, i have always been aware of the sense of desperation and hunger in which every one recieves an update, hoping for some assurance. And so, to put my conscionce at rest, i decided to come on here and write this update- well, it's the full story really, long and somewhat strange but try to read it especially since the news is good.


I had been on ssris for about 7 years (40mg). I was put on it because i was grieving for the death of my girlfriend. I had never had depression or anxiety in my life. There is no space or point in going into the rights and wrongs of prescribingf me these devestating drugs, but to cut a long story short, my experience has been similar to the thousands of people who come on this site, trapped inside a vortex of pain for years without knowing what was causing it, then realising it was the drugs, then realising they were hopelessly addicted, then the mythic effort of becoming free. The first 4 months were, with the exception of the serious and countless physical problems, relatively easy. After that, there came an array of crippling psychological effects. I was living in England (not my country of origin) I had lost my design engineering job due to wd, lost my friends and social contacts, lost my interests, was pretty much with no money and was living in complete isolation.


 The worse of the psychological effects was the almost uncontrollable suicidal urge, fed by the isolation and the anger and the utter sense of failure i was feeling i had become. I had always been very confident and never experienced low self esteem either before or during paxil. my body completely stopped working. A bite of food would sit in my esophagus for approximately 2 hrs before it entered the stomach. I was vomitting blood, diarhea full of blood. Once i didn't sleep for one minute for six days. My joints all fell to pieces, the vertebras in my back started to pop out of place, i had three slipped discs, my neck was paralysed. This is not to mention my hair which fell out, my body which was covered in red blisters, my bladder which stopped working, my eyes which were the colour of ox-blood and which had to stay closed for half a day at a time, and my hearing which was gone so i was nearly deaf.


Before this i was a very confident, athletic, good-looking young man, successful in everything i did, sociable. I felt the true me was viciously stolen from me.My one constant thought, in which i soaked every single cell of my body was to take revenge on the medical community and to then kill myself.My passionate and hot blooded nature, the wd pain and the isolation combined with my powerful ability to control myself to create a very strange situation in which, while seeming calm on the outside, i was in fact completely crazy on the inside.


Looking back now i believe that i was actually completely insane after the 5th month into wd. My thinking was completely deranged, i was one big mass of ocd and hallucinations and paranoia and anger and sorrow and pain, in total isolation and for months. But although i know how i felt, if you ask me what i was doing or what i was thinking about i wouldn't have the slightest idea. It seems now like one big gap in my life. I can't remember anything. By the tenth month, my family, with whom i had completely cut of relations ( i don't remember at what point, why and how i did this) finaly got through to me. My aunt who had brought me up (my mother died when i was little) said i must go back and that she didn't want me dead, and over several weeks the family took turns in convincing me that if i wanted to die i should go home and die.


 Eventually i decided to go home. The main reason was that i felt guns where easier to get there and that i could succeed in putting an end to this miserable story. Wd or no Wd, whether i'd be getting better or not, all these things didn't mean anything to me anymore. I threw myself full on in a downward spiral of self-destruction. I was gone. Finished. I was home. Baghdad...a city i had left when i was sixteen back in 94 and never returned to since. Now here i am, 33, broken, on all levels. I spent a couple of months which were as hellish as my life in London but ostensibly somewhat better,e.g. now there was someone to shave me, wash my clothes..etc. I still intended death and was assidiously planning it.


Then came the night which made my story veer off from the usual wd story. I was living in a semi-rural area. It was the night of 26/27th of may and it was very hot. I decided to go out for a walk in the country side. In the distance i could hear the howling of wild dogs, and could smell the nearby canal. The date palms creeked in the soft breeze. Then it began. A strange feeling. I can only decribe it as the feeling of electric charges going up and down my body, a burning in the middle of my forehead and a sense of profound squeezing around the chest area. It was EXTREMELY pleasant. The first time i had felt good in years.


What followed was a deep, powerful experience which shook me right to the core and made even wd look like a joke (if you can believe this). I wouldn't go into what i saw and learned through this experience because, it was transcendental,not really the type of thing that can be decribed in words and because if i do describe it in words everyone would think that i was....well, you can guess what everyone would think i was. It suffices to say that it was a life-changing religious experience.


I went to bed at 3 in the morning. I woke up at 7. I felt that i had been asleep for 3000 years, not the heavy slumber of the sick, but the deep refreshing sleep of someone who is completely well and balanced. That morning i could not understand even what the word depression, anxiety meant, never mind the feelings themselves which had weighed upon my heart like mountains for months. Only the night before i had felt i had the will-power of a cockroach, or two if i felt more upbeat than usual. In the morning i felt i had a will which could break the will of a thousand men. I felt that i had never suffered in my life nor made a single error. My physical symptoms were improved by about 60%.


This must be what Lazarus must have felt. I was very afraid that it was one of these fabled windows which people talked about so i waited. It has been over three months now and i feel just as good. since that night in month 13 i have experienced zero depression, zero anxiety, zero insomnia. I do have some lingering physical problems, mainly digestive, some muscular-skeletal problems, a slight fatigue but only rarely. The only mental symptom which i have is irratibility. But all these are improving. And fast.  I exercise two hours a day, i cook, laugh, and watch movies. I am in love with a beautiful young girl who knows nothing about what i went through.


I am stronger, wiser, more resilient, more inventive, more stable, calmer and happier than every one i know. My life consists of one continuous moment of pure happiness. I sometimes cry because i am so happy all the time. I am of course technically still in wd. But the suffering it brought to me had reached such a critical point, that a complete change in my mode of knowledge took place so that i see everything in its totality now. I no longer see myself as sayff, this young man with hopes, fears and dreams. That man is dead. That this terrible, devestating wd can be beaten, and more, that it all happened in one night is what makes this a true miracle.


I consider my whole saga with paxil to be the luckiest thing that has happened to me in my entire life. Everynight when i go to bed i thank god for all the pain i went through, all the suffering, losses, humiliation, fear that i went through because without this i would have never become the man i am now. NEVER.


I have only one advice: Never Never Never give up, and remember that the more pain you feel the nearer you are to freedom. I have passed what i have experienced on to you and i can put all this behind me. I am a free man.


 May you all feel happy soon



 paxil 40mg 2004-2008

 taapered 2.5 mg every 2 weeks. severe wd

 back on paxil 30 mg within 3wks

 switched to fluoxetine 20mg

 tapered 5mg every 6 mths

 ssri free may 2010


 .....if you are going through hell.....keep going. (churchill)

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"Wendywoo"  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site


When you finally get off seroxat (paxil) it is hard to come back here at times, it is a reminder of very difficult and painful times. I have really just popped in to tell you how life is for me, nearly one year off, and also try to encourage those who struggle with the thought of a very slow taper.


It took me over 2 years from July 2005 to August 2007 to go through my taper. I used liquid seroxat and don't think I could have done it if I hadn't used liquid. The first drops were quite manageable and then I hit a really bad patch as I realised I was dropping by 2mg each time - way too fast. That was when I found paxil progress. The drops were sometimes easy, sometimes hard. Stabilising sometimes took days, others weeks, before I was able to drop again. I learned to listen to my body and work with it to know when the next drop should be made. I refused to go by a schedule, or set myself a goal. It would take as long as it would take, and once I adopted that mindset and was determined to minimise my WD symptoms, it was okay. I managed to work and look after my kids all the way through. Saying that I had some horrendous WD symptoms, the worst being a foul temper like a red rage. Problems with sleep. Restless legs (terrible).Terrible concentration problems.


Here I am, nearly a year off and life is *okay* for me. Physically I don't think I have any long lasting stuff going on. Possibly a general muscular aching all over. Mentally I am much sharper, and only when tired have to search for words (I used to do that all the time in WD) Immediately I finished on seroxat I had 3 weeks off sick with stress. think it all caught up with me and I had terrible anxiety attacks.. these passed. I do have some depression issues but nothing more than I had before seroxat (that's just me!)


I know that not everyone is as lucky. Don't think for a minute that I had a mild reaction to seroxat. When I cold turkeyed I thought I would die and had terrifying akathesia. It put me off trying WD for a very long time (4 yrs) Even going down literally a drop of seroxat could bring out WD symptoms. I am just an ordinary person, and if I could do it, you can too.


I want to thank all at PP who helped me get through. I would NEVER have got through and reached the end without this message board. There are wonderful people here. I also want to tell everyone who thinks they will never make it - you will. But go slowly, so slowly, listen to your body and know that one day there WILL be an end to this. I wish you all, all the best wishes in the world.


 SEROXAT 20mg since 1999/2000 during marriage breakdown.

 Started taper July 2005 from 20mg. Very slow taper on liquid seroxat. Last dose 26 August 2007.

 Now seroxat free!

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paxhell  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

3 years off paxil - my story


I don't know if you remember me but I used to visit this board alot. 3 years ago I quit paxil after taking it for 10 years, since I was 14. I did a stupid 2 month taper and really suffered. I had no libido, erectyle (sic) dysfunction, premature ejeculation (sic), chronic fatigue, severe depression, anxiety, constant headache, stomach problems, brain zaps, cold hands and feet. Now, after 3 years I am finally almost as healthy as I was before paxil. I don't suffer from fatigue, no headaches, no depression, to brain zaps, not even when I'm tired, in fact, my life is great. I've been in a relationship for 2 years now and though my libido could be a little better, I still have sex 3 times a week, no premature ejeculation (sic) and I only have to use cialis sometimes. Actually I use it more to get confidence. Most of the time I have sex without it which is something I thought would never happen 3 years ago. In fact, I was sure I would never be in a relationship again, due to my sexual problems. I'm glad how wrong I was. I am very happy and look forward to the rest of my life.


I remember reading about people saying they would never get better and I was sure I was one of those people. I had no hope for the longest time. When the nice people here said I had to be patient, that I would get better eventually, I didn't believe anything would ever change. I dreaded each day and I pretty much gave up. And after one year of absolutely no change, I couldn't imagine another 2 years would make any difference. I was so sure my life was over, but it turns out the best was yet to come. I now belive that even though people can suffer from withdrawal for years without change, one day, a miracle can happen. And its funny, when one problem got solved, the others quickly followed. I am very grateful to the people here who told me never to give up. This forum might have saved my life.


And what made the biggest difference? Well, I took the advise of many and started to walk one hour a day, and yes, that made ALL the difference. After a few weeks I also started exercising, not too much, just once a week. I can honestly say the first year I didn't see any difference in my recovery but 3 months of walking an hour a day, there was a huge difference. I walked and walked and I could feel my libido getting better and better every day. I would never think that exercising could boost your sex drive, now I can see it can. And soon, all the other problems went away. I wasn't sure if it was the walking so I stopped for a few weeks and my libido went down and I felt a little depressed again, so I stared walking again and all was well again. Getting your blood flowing, spending time outside, exercising just a little is so important, I believe it reversed many of my problems.


I had one rule when I was outside walking, and that was not to think about paxil and withdrawal. Only happy thoughts were allowed. This was my time away from all that. Another thing I did was start seeing my friends. We had alot of fun I realized how important laughter is. I laughed and laughed with my friends and looked forward seeing them again the next day, after my walk of course. I tried to stay at home as little as I could, always keeping me busy, never thinking about how my life was ruined. I tried to see the humor in everything. It may sound stupid but you can do it. And as wonderful as the people here are, spending too much time here searching for horror stories about paxil, only made things worse. When I didn't feel like seeing people, I forced myself to do it. When I didn't have the energy for the walk, I forced myself to walk. Keeping myself busy is very important.


I thought you might like to hear this, if any of you still remember me. Thanks alot and if there is anything you can learn from this post, it's that the best cure for paxil withdrawal is light exercise and faith you will get better. It takes time, but it makes all the difference. When people used to tell me that a walk could change everything I was skeptic. How can one hour of walking really make any difference when you are suffering so much? Well, it really can. And don't spend too much time on the internet, go out, spend time with people and focus on your sense of humor. And remember, walk an hour a day. Wait, have I already said that?


Thank you good people and good luck.


Never lose hope, not even in your darkest moments.

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An update from Wallflower  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site




Some of you may recognise my name, but I have to admit I've not been on here much at all for some time. I am sorry for this as this place was a lifesaver for me, as I have been very, very poory with paxil withdrawal. Coupled with a change in job which meant less access to the internet and a decision to minimise my time spent thinking too much about WD I have not been around. I am going to start by saying thanks to everyone who responded to my posts, there are people who have been so supportive and understanding, even when in difficulty themselves. So thank you!!!!


So an update after 2 years. I would say I'm 80% recovered and that for me is absolutely amazing as cold turkey rendered me totally emotionally and physically in peices. I had more or less every symptom and associated with seroxat withdrawal syndrome. I don't need to convince you guys, but it was unadulturated hell. Don't cold turkey if you're thinking about it. It is not mind over matter. It is endurance which is dangerous and I had so much support from family, friends and professionals. Ok, I think you get the point - sorry. Even when I talk about it now, I get lost in it.


Anyway, back the present - I am living, I am laughing, I am free and in relatively good health. I am able to generally cope with what life throws at me. It has taken so much personal rehabitation - from exercise, meditation, CBT, talking and grit and determination. So there is hope! I am a better person from the experience and I like the person I am now. So never give up hope that life will improve. I know you'll read it again and again here, but I really never thought my brain would recover, but it certainly is getting there.


However, I have to say my memory (both short and long term) and cognitive functioning, including concentration is not great. My sleep is erratic and I have many ADHD-like symptoms. All of which are noticable and commented on. I am not complaining about this, but I feel I need to acknowledge these challenges. I have had to learn to live with it and hope that things will continue to improve. I also occasionally have head-shocks and vibrations, but rarely. I have to tell you I suffer from depression and anxiety disorders too. I did before seroxat, when I was on it and after it. I always bear that in mind and I do not blame everything on seroxat withdrawal. I'm hopeful about improvements in this area too.


Anyway, I could go on and on, but you can read my previous posts to see how desperate I have been. I thought cold turkey would be bad for a short time, I never thought I would step into a personal hell that would last for months and still challenge me today. I am not fully recovered, but I believe I will and you will too. Take care of yourself, slow and steady, be your own best friend and when you can't go on, keep going.


Thanks again to you all. You are my friends, for life



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A guy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site




I couldn't find my old post with my updates on it, but it has been some time (years i think) since I have been on here, and I was just feeling well enough to come on and make a report. Just the fact that I am able to feel calm again while writing would have been enough for me to be happy, I would have settled for semi-functional. I became aware of many things which would aggravate systems in the body, and I cut them out, I just ate natural food as much as possible and basically just allowed my body to do its thing without feeding it extra burdenous waste. There are many things that I believe help the body repair, but many people do not believe the same things that I do so if you want to contact me in private I can give you more information, however many of these things are covered on here at least in part such as Omega 3's etc, but I can go into detail as I know it helps reading things that give you hope.


I am much better, and semi-functional, however I am very sensitive to stress, and assume it will take some time, perhaps years to gain a stress threshold, however it is very likely that my reaction in the first place was caused by sensitivity so just returning to baseline is a huge goal. I just wanted to give people hope because I was under the impression that I would be gone forever because my reaction came from such a small amount, and no one seemed to understand it, so if anyone has such a reaction from a few pills, just know that it has happened to others, probably some of which haven't even found this site, these are just the ones we know of. The good news is that if you make it easy on your body, and if you find some way to get through 750 days etc (counting days makes it seem like you are getting somewhere), then you can likely make progress such as I have. Alot of this came all at once to the point to where you feel like you are not making progress at all 2 years into it but then a month goes by and something subtle happens then the same in another couple. It is very subtle in this sense. I did focus on nutrition, which I consider 100 percent essential, but your body will do its best if you cannot afford the best foods, it will extract what it can.


As far as an exact, I would estimate my homeostasis at around 85% when things are optimal, and perhaps peaking at 90 or so functionality-wise. This is obviously subject to stressors. I will continue on my nutrional pursuit, as some things that I believe were caused by the body making repairs, thus sobbing other areas of nutrients in order to adapt, has taxed my body, but in reality it is worth it even with the effects I have been left with, just to have a relative calm state. I will keep pushing forward and see if I cannot perhaps feel better than I felt even before stumbling down the dark road of pharmaceuticals. I encourage all to pursue your course, and in due time if you do not give up, you will reap rewards.


 Prior to fluoxetine, I ingested a few MAOI cocktails, and had used various stimulants (ephedra) years ago. This is likely why I reacted so badly to this drug.


 7/14/08 - Severe reaction to Prozac & Ativan!

 7/15/08 - Discontinued all meds!


 First 2 years:


 Extreme Derealization/DP

 Extreme agitation & akathisia

 Unable to understand people

 Severe negative thoughts.

 Constant restlessness inside, anxiety & agitation, and anhedonia.


 Now: 85% stable

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