Hello, I'm Chad. I'm 28, male.
My current diagnosis' are major depressive disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder. I'm on disability, no longer go to college or work.
I've been on anti-depressants since 2001 starting with Zoloft.
In 2009, returned to a psychiatrist for re-evaluation, switched to various other anti-depressants, finally settling on Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) at 100mg.
Also was put on benzodiazepines, with 3 slow taper attempts, I've always ended up reinstating. I've battled addiction with strong painkillers but for me, nothing could compare to the horrors of benzo withdrawal and I was hospitalized at the end of my last taper attempt for making an attempt on my life only to be put back on 4mg of clonazepam inside the facility. I've been on this dosage ever since and have not considered any further taper attempts since.
Why Pristiq to Paxil:
My quality of life is at a minimum. I'm not suffering from any withdrawal but I'm also not getting any better. Things are incredibly dark for me. I can't imagine anyone else who could hate themselves more than I do. I have a fear of death but also a fear of putting my family in any similar situation that I'm in now if I were to end my own life. That may be the only thing I respect about myself, the willingness to endure in the most harrowing times.
Pristiq isn't working anymore so why should I be on it? The first action I took was adding mood stabilizers/anti-psychotics to my cocktail but I didn't tolerate any of them well whatsoever. The one I was on the longest with Abilify and I ended up with frightening hand tremors where my psychiatrist at the time called me and told me to stop immediately (cold turkey) and I was put on a drug called Congentin. The tremors went away but I guess that fear was that I could have been developing a potentially permanent side effect called tardive dyskinesia. It also caused weight gain.
The other option was to speak to electro-convulsive therapy specialist. I denied twice. MAOIs were ruled out for their dangerous side effect but to be honest, I would have tried an MAOI before ECT.
I did try to switch to another SNRI at one point, it was called Cymbalta. Another terrifying experience that I could not handle. Instead of trying to switch to Cymbalta again, I asked my doctor about switching back to an SSRI and asked if that could even work and his reply was something along the lines of "of course..." so I he suggested Prozac or Paxil as I've never tried either and I chose Paxil.
The schedule he gave me was:
Week 1- 20mg of Paxil w/ 100mg of Pristiq (my normal dosage)
Week 2 - 20mg of Paxil w/ 50mg of Pristiq
Week 3 - 20mg of Paxil w/ no Pristiq
It's rapid and I cannot make cuts with this drug, I cannot dissolve this drug, there is a lower dose of 25mg but for whatever reason, he did not add that to the schedule and changing doses is also a financial issue right now. He only had samples of 50mgs and he gave me those for week 2. I am going to follow this schedule and try to document (journal) it here as coherently as I possibly can.
I've also ordered a supplement called Phenibut that could ease anxiety as I feel tolerant to 4mg of clonazepam. I've decided to try the lowest dose and only once a week.
I currently live with my mother as I cannot afford housing on disability. She is aware of the situation. Neither of know what could possibly happen but I do know that it could be similar to/ or worse than the transition to Cymbalta that I tried about 5 years ago. I'm terrified but the only place I have to drive to is my next doctor's appt. which is in mid February.
The one symptom that worries me most is brain zaps/shocks. I experience them if I miss even a day of Pristiq and they are debilitating, you're not able to do much.
So this is day 1. I've taken my first 20mg of Paxil about an hour ago.
Please feel free to add your input, comments and I could absolutely use any support or encouragement to get through this.
My main goal is to be off all medications one day but unfortunately, it's not such an easy path. I don't know if it's a possibility to do it and live normally either.
Edited by scallywag, 11 January 2017 - 09:56 AM.