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☼ Irishwill 2015 Extremely positive and long overdue update


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#1 Irishwill2015

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 02:00 PM

It’s finally time.

I wanted to stop back in (formerly a PaxilProgress member) and do what I should have done a while back. I want to give an extremely positive and 100% true update.

 

I think before getting too far ahead, it’s important for me to tell you all my history. I began suffering panic attacks as a teenager after a horrific injury during a sporting event. Everything else in my life was fine, never abused, always loved, it was just one of those things that happen to everyday people.

 

After my first panic attack I freaked out, being a kid and never experiencing anything more than the flu, I had no idea what was going on. I began missing school and suffering from what I now know to be agoraphobia caused by the panic attacks. This was extremely difficult for my family as I was always extremely outgoing, athletic, and a leader within my friends. My biggest fear was passing out in front of people and people thinking I was weak, silly to me now as an adult but being a teenager and concerned with image, this was hard for me.

 

We were finally told that I should go to a psychiatrist, which I did and within 2 visits I was placed on Paxil, up dosing to 40 mg at the age of 15. At this age it was hard to say how much Paxil changed me since I was going through so many changes as these are such impressionable and transformative years.

 

I got back into school and back into sports and life continued on. I was simply told by the psychiatrist, “you don’t have enough serotonin, and this will make more, it is quite common”. I was told I could probably get off by the age of 25 but for now my body needed this like…yup you guessed it, a diabetic needs insulin.

 

I began to transform into a different person. I remained very social and lived a comfortable high school life, but I began to notice I was becoming more cold and callous. I had zero sexual drive, except when I was inebriated which was often. I would go out and get into fights, something that earned me a reputation, one I am embarrassed by now looking back. I was still very sensitive but the Paxil and the alcohol made that sensitive person go away. I often blamed being sensitive as the problem.  It was at the age of vulnerability and transformation, so people just wrote the negative behavior off as youth. I was also quite charming, so I seldom was held accountable for anything I did anyways. I never was into drugs or anything like that, I just had my fun and was a bit mischievous.

I had great success with the sport the caused the injury but eventually it caught up to me. Without going into too much detail, I was very good before the injury and not as good but still decent after, but my attitude was awful and anger would get the best of me and ultimately cost me a scholarship to play at the next level.

 

My parents, both very caring and loving people, did what they thought was best for me. They had divorced right before this all started and many thought I just couldn’t handle the divorce since it got messy, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. My parents did all they could for me during the initial panic attacks. After all, your kid hiding out in the house all day is concerning. I ended up staying on Paxil between 20mg-40 mg until I was 25, attempting to get off only once around age 21 with disastrous results. I eventually started having extreme anxiety with the inability to tolerate alcohol with extreme eye pain. I went back to college and after having many crying spells behind closed doors I decided I needed to go back on or else people would start to notice. Ruminating thoughts during philosophy 101 were unrelenting, don’t quit a psych drug during a psych class either, you turn into an immediate hypochondriac. It definitely hurt damaged my CNS and I could tell this drug had a grip on me and was causing some serious damage. I felt like I was going insane.

 

Upon graduating college, instead of searching for a serious job, I worked meaningless side project construction jobs. Now, there is nothing wrong with this type of work but everyone was baffled by this seeing as I did incredibly well in college and had a bright future. About 6 months after graduation I fell ill with a horrendous case of mono. I can truthfully say I have never been the same physically since. I also started to develop atrial fibrillation, which I feel Paxil contributed to.

 

I finally got a “real” job and fought through the aches and pains as well as the extreme fatigue what I felt was after effects of returning to the gym too soon after having mono. I always thought it was Paxil in the back of my head but I didn’t want to experience what I did a few years back quitting so I tolerated it and moved on. I accepted it as a way of life and that pain was a part of living, plus nothing would show up when I went to the doctors on any of their tests so it was time to toughen up and just deal.

Things started to look up as I had a steady girlfriend and despite working at jobs I felt were pointless and a waste of time, I paid my dues and I took my standarized entrance tests and was admitted into a top graduate program and would soon never look back at the only terrible jobs I could get post 2009 recession. It was 2011 and I felt this was my year. Maybe everything does happen for a reason and finally I was getting what I deserved.

 

Then the bottom fell out. I wanted to feel again, I wanted to get the poison out of my system, I wanted to know who the “real” me was. I was already down to 20 mg of Paxil for the past few years so I decided to get off once and for all. I quit drinking heavily, which was no small task considering I was binge drinking quite frequently on Paxil from the age of 17.

I began reducing the dosage on a “see how I feel” basis. If I felt ok for a couple weeks I would keep going, if not I would go back on. I finally got down to 5 mg and I began to feel again. It was a double edged sword. I began to feel things I had not felt in quite some time. I felt pain, I felt happiness, I just felt. With all of these new emotions it was hard to take this all in. I loved it though. I was working out feverishly training for a triathlon as well. Running, Biking, and swimming had taken over my life and for the first time in a long time I felt like things were looking great and I owed it all to getting that dirty drug out of my system. I also remembered feeling love for my then girlfriend, love like a first crush type love. I couldn’t help but ask myself, had I just been going through the motions before? Had I not felt what it was like to love, to have empathy, to understand emotions at a deep level? I did begin to experience something I had not felt in a while, crying. I had some serious crying spells but it felt great, I didn’t cry for years.

 

Not everyone thought the new me was better and after months of fighting with my girlfriend, we decided to call things off. Once again, how to deal with these emotions?

 

I felt like my world had turned upside down. I never knew someone could feel like this. It seemed nothing I did could make it better. I was in a 24/7 constant state of panic and survival. I tried to not scare my family but they were starting to notice. I pushed off starting school because I couldn’t focus and began having incredibly frightening thoughts. My family was bewildered as to why I would call off something I had worked so hard for and wanted so badly, like throwing out a winning lottery ticket knowingly.

 

I found PProgress website and received news I didn’t want to hear. I was told this was going to be a horrendous battle and no other drug could mask what Paxil was doing. I didn’t want to hear it. I kept going back to the doctor and tried to be as subjective as possible trying to express my thoughts that Paxil was doing this, a tough task considering I was sweating and freaking out basically from withdrawal while I explained this all to her. Despite her only have knowing me for a month, she seemed to know what was best for me, Effexor, then Zoloft, add in some benzos and a couple false promises and you have full blown chaos in your brain.

There are no words to describe what I went through, I still can’t fathom it now a days, despite living it and keeping a journal. It’s as if the brain digs deeper and deeper into a dark hole, it takes you to a place you didn’t know could exist, a place below death. I kept a journal and that really how I know it was all real, otherwise I would have never been able to remember the fear, pain, sadness, inhumane torture I went through.

 

The doctor retired leaving me with a small tidbit of advice to go to the emergency room if things got really bad. Thanks doc, all those years of schooling really paid off.

A month before I was training for a triathlon, fully employed, newly admitted to a top full time MBA program, girlfriend, you name it I had it and now I was a vegetable, incapable of putting two thoughts together. “This is what it is like going mad”, I often thought to myself.

 

Knowing full well it was the drugs, screaming this to people, but no one would listen and the louder I yelled the less responsive they became and the crazier I sounded. Even my supportive family had quickly grown tired of the excuses, and god forbid I bring up what I read on the internet. I could go on and on about the doctors and how poorly treated I was and how aloof they truly are but that’s not what this post is about. Just take the meds my family said, you are chemically imbalanced. There is nothing as  soul crushing as when your family begins to lose faith in you and you go at this battle alone.

 

You name a symptom, I had it. I went Cold Turkey essentially off of 40 mg of Paxil for 10 years then began a 6 month cocktail of everything a doctor thought was a good idea, like a guinea pig. Typing that makes me sick, makes me sick I felt my best option was to let some “professional” feed me drug cocktails not suitable for an animal. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t want to be awake, and so I lay in a fog wishing life away.

With my only thought, “how did I let it get to this”, praying every night before a battle for just an hour or two of sleep, praying I would wake up from this nightmare and sometimes hoping I didn’t wake up at all.

 

You quickly begin questioning your own sanity, “well maybe I am nuts”, despite all the previous years of evidence pointing to the contrary. I began thinking one sided about my childhood, trying to identify times I displayed OCD, anxiety or depression. If you go looking for something, especially in your memory, you will give yourself enough ammunition to start a war. Here’s the secret, everyone is a little messed up.

 

I have to tell you all, I thought I was already dead, but at that point death seemed like a gift.

I crawled through days, seconds seemed an eternity. I was not functional. I did the last resort and I went to the ER and stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks. Many of the staff members were upset I was taking up a bed because I seemed fine, I had no trauma, I was articulate to them. They had no idea what I was going through and what many of you are going through. I cried when I could cry, which was daily for about 2 years. I had anger outbursts by myself, I woke up to morning anxiety that was worse than any panic attack I ever had, and I was dead inside. My body ached worse than after a half marathon, neck pain, eye pain, everything hurt. I couldn’t focus on one area because it was everywhere. I just kept dwelling on the irony of who I use to be and what I had become. I kept thinking to myself, “what if people could see me now?” I remember I cried the whole night, repeating over and over again, I will never get to be a husband or a Dad. That absolutely crushed me.

 

I went back to a new hospital and they removed me off the cocktail I was on. They couldn’t believe someone who wasn’t DX anything besides anxiety could be put on antipsychotics and at such a high dose. I literally sat there and drooled. To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of this time period. I also am not bothered about talking about any of it, it seemed like a distant nightmare that was never real. Acceptance is a big thing and eventually like anything the memory fades. Even typing that I sit with an awkward facial expression almost as to ask “did I really experience that”? Accepting what happened is the only way to move on. Not dealing blame or hatred, but allowing yourself to move on and begin life again.

 

I quickly learned I needed to get off everything and stay off no matter what. I would rather die trying than die on these drugs drooling and disgracing my previous self. Slowly I got off everything and by May of 2012 I was what I call RAW. I was scared all day every day, but things couldn’t get any worse. I was in the hospital a total of 4 weeks and was ashamed and embarrassed. My family did a good job keeping it from other family members and my friends per my request. I hated myself for doing that to my family, I hated myself for being sick. To this day, I have no idea why I didn’t give up, I wouldn’t have blamed myself. Knowing what I know now though, that happiness to survive, I am glad I fought. If you won’t fight for yourself fight for those love you, or those that will love you in the future. Fight for those memories you will have down the road and know this will all be temporary.

 

Where am I now? You would never guess, I would never have guessed. The whole time I had to fight my own mind telling me who goes through something like this and achieves anything?

 

Well. I ended up getting back into my graduate program somehow after a yearlong medical leave. I started with a night class which tortured me every Wednesday night. I couldn’t focus to do homework and I THOUGHT I sounded dumb in class when I did manage a few words to say. I felt broken and my brain severely damaged. I honestly felt like the most unintelligent person, not just in that school but out of everyone I came into contact with and I felt ashamed I went back and wasted what money I had left. Homework took me hours longer than what would have previously. I kept thinking, “I don’t deserve to be here, “you’re wasting your time”.

I fought, pleaded my case to stay in school against my family’s wishes for me to just get a minimum wage job and work 15 hours a week. I told them I needed a year, I could show them this is withdrawal. They let me do it and for that I thank and love them infinitely, my parents even giving me the remainder for the money I owed to continue going to school out of their 401k.

 

I matriculated back into the full time program and 2 years later I graduated from one of the best programs in the world, and no one had a clue I was struggling. No one notices what is so obvious to us. Midterms, Finals, Internship, interviews, stress, stress, stress. At times, I thought I was going to drop dead or have a stroke. I competed well, and did very well. My damaged brain wasn’t as damaged as I thought, it was just different. My brain lied to me and yours is probably doing the same. The test scores didn’t lie, the professors didn’t lie. I developed a stutter early on in withdrawal where I would mispronounce words, the oddest thing, that is now gone entirely.  I can now work through the brain fog. I honestly think our brains rewire and albeit they don’t work the exact same as before, they find a way to get the job done.

 

I traveled around the US for interviews, as if flying wasn’t hard enough during withdrawal, hell even driving is nuts, I also went on 4 hour intense interviews. My whole mantra was, “whatever happens happens but I won’t let this beat me.” I did an internship with a company you would all know and before that I worked for another big company by chance an opening became available. I also forced myself to do jobs that were absolutely not what I wanted to be doing painting people’s houses and doing construction. You may think, this guy didn’t have it that bad if he could do any of these things, I FORCED myself and when I got home cried some more. I felt like I couldn’t talk to people, I would think about withdrawal 24/7 while I was there. One of my lowest points was eating lunch with a work crew and they all were joking around and I couldn’t find words to say to fit in, I just sat there wanting to cry, wondering how my life had gotten to this point and why I couldn’t get past it.

 

I ended up accepting a job with a company I would have only dreamed of working for 4 years ago. I moved across the US and I am in a great, healthy relationship.

 

Why do you I tell you this? Because I was as good as dead, sitting where you are now. I know your pain, I understand. Some may think again, well he must not have had it bad because he can do all this now, or you may be thinking, “well I’m different, my case is the worst ever”. I was a horrific case. When I was on the PProgress forum I wouldn’t tell people a lot of what I was going through because it was worse and I was scared I was experiencing things no one else was. I have been off the forums for close to 2.5 years. I had to go it alone after a while, reading the forums stopped helping me and started to become an obsession. I waited for healing to occur rather than being an active participant in my recovery.

 

I want you all to know, you don’t have to go to a top school, or get a high paying job, and truthfully, just being alive is great to me, you just have to make a choice, a choice to start living or at the very least keep surviving, because I sure as hell know sometimes all you can do is hang on.

 

 I used those examples because you have to know you will get better, a lot better.  There is no way I could have accomplished what I did if I wasn’t healing.

I sleep pretty damn good, no morning anxiety, no suicidal thoughts, none of that. Every once and a while I will have a panic attack and laugh at it. I made a decision that I wasn’t going to hide anymore, I wasn’t going to let this consume me, because if I did, well I was already dead. I moved forward and went inch after inch crawling.

 

I am 4 years into withdrawal with a little over 3 years clean from any drug. I have quit drinking. I stay away from anything than can alter me, including sleep meds of any sort. I take Magnesium to relax and to stay asleep and vitamin C, the only two things that I feel make a difference. I spent thousands on other supplements and doctors, this is the only combo that worked for me. I don’t mess around with other stuff. I hear fish oil is good, I can tolerate it but I only take it periodically as well as a good probiotic. I literally was so sensitive to everything, even a multivitamin would set me off.

 

I am still sensitive to perfumes (cologne) and for some reason, I get goosebumps when I touch paper or in a mail room. I still get nervous at times (just about every day) but after going through what I did, that doesn’t scare me one bit.

My biggest issue is not being able to work out and my body not feeling 100% coordinated. I use to train really hard. Believe it or not, about a year into withdrawal I forced myself to go to the gym every day. I was able to run and lift weights and slowly it stopped hurting but not after every bone and nerve in my body begged me to stop. I would hurt for days after but I just kept doing it. Now I can’t run more than a mile or else I will feel sick for a week after. It sucks but you know what, it will get better. My body at times feels like an 80 year old man and other times normal.

 

I am sorry I waited this long to post, but I wanted more traction and I wanted a complete story, and I felt I was at a good enough point to give you an update. I don’t have days where I feel like I am back at day 1 and the bad ones I do have I know will be gone quickly.

This is me, and this is my story. I am not ashamed of beating this, I am proud and I want others to know they are not alone. I also thought staying off these sites would help me, and it did. Don’t get me wrong, the sites did help early on, but after a while you need to take ownership of your life and move forward and focus on getting better. If this helps you, then keep going, but treat yourself and get better in real life too.

 

Like so many others, I too disappeared upon getting better.  I guess I was afraid I would stop getting better or perhaps disillusioned to think I really wasn’t that well off, but I am and I can’t deny it. This is once again another way our brains play tricks on us and prove everything is relative. During withdrawal, we yearn for what people call windows, during post withdrawal or the very end, we start to worry once again about petty things, like what’s for dinner or getting 10 more minutes of sleep.

I will hang around for a couple days and answer anyone’s questions they might have at night when I get home. I owe this to each and every one of you. I had several people from the old site who may be on this site as well help me early on. If I can be a beacon of hope for anyone, I want to be. I don’t want anyone to feel alone in their fight, because you’re not.

 

“It’s not about how you feel, it’s about still doing what you want to do despite not feeling well that will make the difference, accomplishments still feel great even when you don’t”

 

Thank you to the many people who helped me, special thank you to Alto for committing your time to this, I know it must not be easy.



#2 LoveandLight

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 02:14 PM

Great story :). Ha I laughed when you mentioned worrying about petty things - please give me something petty to worry about..those were the days!
2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

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

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


Nightmare that could have been avoided!

#3 Altostrata

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 02:19 PM

Thank you, Irishwill, for registering here and recounting your progress.

 

You've been off all drugs and healing since 2012, is that right? How did you finally go off the last batch?Did they take you off drugs in the hospital?

 

What were your worst symptoms and how did they resolve? How often do you have waves now?

 

I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#4 pug

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 02:46 PM

Wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing and helping all of us that are still in the thick of it.

20+ years of Zoloft 50-100 mg CT 03/2014 for 5 months
Back on Prozac 20 mg for 4 months CT since 11/2014
Found this forum the last day of 2014
Experiencing Windows and Waves
I know that I will someday be completely healed and healthy




#5 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 03:14 PM

What an amazing story! Few are privileged enough to to be privy to the struggles of other human beings. I could feel every bit of the agony in your words and am so happy you never gave up. I'd shine your shoes any day. Thank you for sharing with us.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#6 DeeDee

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 05:00 PM

Wow!!! What an incredibly inspiring story. It seems we need reassurance over and over again that we will heal. It seems so impossible and yet you did! Amazing...thank high SO much for coming here to tell us this.

#7 Irishwill2015

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 06:47 PM

Thank you everyone, I want you all to know it gets better. I don’t think it goes back to pre-withdrawal, you really grow as a person and learn a lot. Whether or not this experience ruins you is up to you and only you.

 

Alto, correct, I have been off since May of 2012. I was reinstated on Paxil as well as many other drugs. Once I realized nothing was going to help, after about 6 months of new things, I decided to quit it all and start the healing process. I don’t recommend this to anyone, go slow and take your time. Stabilizing wasn’t an option for me. Paxil is very unforgiving and I believe since I had tried to quit before the drug never “worked” again the same.

 

As far as my symptoms. I literally had everything. What hurt me the most was feeling stuck inside my body and not being able to get out and stop all the madness. I couldn’t control my thoughts, I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t feel love. I could only feel scared, alone, and confused. It was like an out of body experience to just watch me go downhill and not be able to help. I experienced depression for the first time, albeit a chemical depression caused by the drugs. It was like there was no happiness and never could there be happiness again. I struggled with intense body pain in my neck, head, back, legs, and arms. I still have pain but in contrast to then, I can’t complain. I worry I won’t be able to work out intensely again but time will prove that.

I couldn’t sleep more than 3-4 hours for a year and a half. Once sleep starts to improve you know you are on your way. I can now sleep 8 hours. I do have an occasional sleepless night but that’s to be expected. I use to not be able to even take a multivitamin, now I take for the most part whatever I want. That is how I know improvement is happening, the little things.

 

As far as waves and windows. I don’t really know how that works anymore. I use to get windows at night and wake up and have morning anxiety and crying spells. I haven’t cried out of context in over a year and a half, I can’t say if that is good or bad. I do tear up during sad movies which makes me feel good.

I was worried I couldn’t feel love anymore for family, friends, or girlfriends. I now know I can. It is different than how I “loved” while on Paxil. It is more mature in a way. I love people for the right reasons and the love I feel for my family is deeper than I could ever imagine.

I can say, I didn’t experience a lot of anger outbursts towards people when I was in withdrawal. I do still get a temper from time to time but I am working on that. My personality pre Paxil was fierce and competitive, it feels good to get some of that back. I do feel I am tired a lot but it’s more a relaxing tired, like easy going. I wish I could play sports and run marathons again but maybe in time.

 

I don’t experience waves really anymore aside from perhaps physical. I would suggest my waves are feeling a little melancholy, not even depressed. I have not felt the withdrawal depression in over 1.5 years. That was absolutely awful and I feel for everyone who is in that.

I am not longer angry at the world or for others who take for granted their health. Everything is relative.

I am far from a perfect person but I am a person I can be proud of. I try my best to do the right things and realize I am a human and I will make mistakes. I want people to know this is a very lonely thing, but when you learn to lean on yourself and love yourself when you need it most, you will do it. Sometimes you have to cut yourself a break and just chalk the day up as survival.

 

As far as posting as a success story, well, this is a success story. Any “healing” beyond this point is a bonus. I can tolerate what’s left, I am extremely grateful to be in the state I am in now. My nervous system is still a bit shot but I know what triggers it and I can try my best to avoid it. So yes, I consider this a recovery success story not merely an update.

 

Yes it is an extremely odd process and at times you may ask yourself, “how can I forget this”, and the answer is you don’t forget you just stop caring once you get better. I am sorry any of you have to go through this, I am sorry I had to. But you are going through it and I went through it and you know what, we come out on the other side.

I wish the best for each and every one of you, just remember you have to do it for yourself, no one else can do it for you.



#8 DeeDee

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 07:05 PM

Printed and posted on my mirror !!!

#9 Vonnegutjunky

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 07:44 PM

I love your words Irish well- I have such a difficult time expressing how wd feels - you do such an amazing job explaining it - I recently doubled my Paxil to 20mg 3 mos ago - I have only felt normal this last week ( since January) my doc was also going to try a new med but after listing to alto and others I stayed on Paxil and it's paid off as I am now stable -
I wonder if docs and patients give their meds longer to work after reinstatement if maybe they would see more success, as opposed to trying new meds-

I also completely agree that I felt like I was in a psychosis, yet I was aware of it -
I also think I had protracted wd with start up effects - further down-regulating my receptors, making things worse -

Thank you for the post and the hope -

I know that I have a new appreciation for life, after going through what I just went through-

Thank you again xo
Started 20mg Paxil 2006 due to postpartum depression- went to 10 mg no problem in 2008 -
May 2014 10 mg alternating days 7.25 mg- July 2014 7.25 every day
September 2014 7.25 alternating days 5 mg- November 2014 5 mg day
January 1 2015 back up to 10 mg - April 23, 2015 15mg
May 13, 2015 20mg - (tabs weight 25.0mg) February 26th 7.5mg off 25mg tablet
Sept 4th 2015 2.5 off 25mg tablet | March 18th. 8mg off 25mg tablet
October 30th. 3.5 off 25mg tablet. | April 11th. 9mg off 25mg tablet
November15th 4mg off 25mg tablet. | May 5th. 10mg off 25mg tablet
December 12th 5mg off 25 mg tablet | May 19th. 11mg off 25mg tablet
January 4 6mg off 25mg tablet |. June 7. 11.5 mg off 25mg tablet
January 25th. 6.5 off 25 mg tablet. July 11. 12 mg off 25 mg tablet
February 15th. 7mg off 25mg tablet. August 7 back down----October 13 2016 - omega 3 4800 mg per day - October 13, 2016--- vitamin d 4000mg per day

#10 gemini

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 10:10 PM

Thanks so much for your story, irishwill. I have lost everything in wd but I oddly,as I experience my body/mind healing, I look forward to a future of memories as a generic human with flaws, sans meds. Yay!
off cold turkey:zoloft, trileptal, stratteracurrently on:<p>latuda .05 milligrams latuda (to stabilize cns) from 20 mgs 4 months ago.

#11 gemini

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 10:23 PM

What I would like to add also is no matter what, convincong myself that my chemical-induced depression is not an underlying condition helped me to push through until it abated.
off cold turkey:zoloft, trileptal, stratteracurrently on:<p>latuda .05 milligrams latuda (to stabilize cns) from 20 mgs 4 months ago.

#12 raul

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 10:28 PM

amazing story, i am very surprised. Best wishes irishwill.


history:

 

2004-2009: paroxetine 20 mg.

may 2009 to december 2009: mirtazapine 30 mg

january 2010-july 2010: prozac 20 mg

september 2010-december 2011: escitalpram 10 mg and march 2012 to december 2012: escitalopram 15 mg

march 2013-16 june 2014: venlafaxine 75 mg: cold turkey

6th september 2014 escitalopram 10 mg tapering it in 1 mg /month until june 2015: tapering made in 6 months but have no respected 10% result: w/d symptoms  

20 july 2015 reinstated 5 mg escitalopram and decided when stable to taper only 10%/month. I also take Mg, fish oil, vit C, E and multivitaminic with minerals,. Increase to 6 mg escitalopram on 14th august. Increase to 7 mg on 23th august, with 1 mg klonopin to help sleep. Updose to 10 mg on 28th august ( because of horrible depression and suicidal), and pray i made a good choice.


#13 AliG

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 01:24 AM

Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.  It means so much to us , still "in the trenches", "going through hell".  :unsure:  Hope is so important, in this "journey".


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

 

                                                            Drug free since May, 2014
.
             "Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain" - Joseph Campbell


#14 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 02:52 AM

 

As far as posting as a success story, well, this is a success story. Any “healing” beyond this point is a bonus. I can tolerate what’s left, I am extremely grateful to be in the state I am in now. My nervous system is still a bit shot but I know what triggers it and I can try my best to avoid it. So yes, I consider this a recovery success story not merely an update.

 

I thought as much when I first read this very moving account and think this whole thread should be moved to the Recovery Stories forum. The OP is not planning to continue regular posting here and this story will soon move off the first page of the Intros forum and be largely forgotten and I don't think it should suffer this fate.

 

Please move this to the Recovery Stories forum.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#15 manymoretodays

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 04:01 AM

Yay.  Needed.  Definitely printing off too!


Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once?, Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= approx. 1200/day. Magnesium citrate orally,diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C and E.  B12, melatonin 3mcg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=300 mcg. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.

 


#16 servadei

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:34 AM

There are no words to describe what I went through, I still can’t fathom it now a days, despite living it and keeping a journal. It’s as if the brain digs deeper and deeper into a dark hole, it takes you to a place you didn’t know could exist, a place below death. I kept a journal and that really how I know it was all real, otherwise I would have never been able to remember the fear, pain, sadness, inhumane torture I went through.

This. I'm also keeping a journal.
I hope I will have a chance to read it one day and cry. Cry from happiness that it's over.

Jan2014-July2015 Escitalon (escitalopram) 10mg

10/10/2015- 4 months in withdrawal, coping very hard, praying for a window


#17 NoMeaning25

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:40 AM

I remember you!!!
What wonderful news. Im so happy for you thanks for coming here to share your story and that you are doing so much better. We used to talk at PP

#18 Altostrata

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 12:43 PM

Done. This is now a Success Story, Thanks again, Irishwill.


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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

#19 darktimes

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 12:47 PM

Hi irishwill just wondering if you haf a spaced out kinda dazed and detached feeling and hissing kinda noise in your head ?

#20 Mort81

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 03:06 PM

Irishwill that is one heck of a story! I can relate to all of it. You give people hope and that is truly amazing. Being in the depths of WD and hearing your story only makes me believe that healing is on the way for everyone. Thank you
Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th Clonazapam. Currently 0.10mg daily. PPI Dexlant 20-30mg for last 29 months currently at 30mg

#21 Mort81

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:59 AM

Irishwill that is one heck of a story! I can relate to all of it. You give people hope and that is truly amazing. Being in the depths of WD and hearing your story only makes me believe that healing is on the way for everyone. Thank you
Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th Clonazapam. Currently 0.10mg daily. PPI Dexlant 20-30mg for last 29 months currently at 30mg

#22 KT38

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 07:10 AM

You spoke to my heart.  I, too, started having panic attacks (after a cancer diagnosis for my 5 yr old and 2 Drs telling me she will not live another year....so who wouldn't get them!?).  I tried Zoloft for 1 week, got off due to high heart rate and high anxiety (never had anxiety in my life) and then became very dizzy with extreme anxiety......Drs and friends/family told me this dizziness was from anxiety and I needed to get on something to fix it.  I kept telling them it was a bad reaction and now I'm in withdrawal, but no one believed.  Went through 2 months of more misery trying 4 more drugs...each med switch telling the Dr I am going insane....completely out of my mind and went to the hospital and whipped me off cold turkey after they saw my DNA test that showed I don't metabolize these drugs well.  So, essentially I was being poisoned.  I finish up month 5 off in a couple weeks and each day is a little different.. internal electric currents, vibrations, agitation, anger, panid, etc.....still bad and scared as to what will pop up next.  The sick, depressing feeling started a week or so ago and anything I try to do is too overwhelming and the end of the world feeling.  Just by making a sandwich or anything!  Irrational fear and anxiety is up the ying yang.  I can't be alone as I would freak.  I keep holding on and know there will be better days soon.  Thanks so much for sharing your story.  There is so much pain on these sites, and you don't hear many people coming back on telling us how life will be in the future.  You made my day and am feeling a little better!


<p><p>Started getting panic attacks mid-Dec and was told to take Xanax when I got an attack. After four days I was scared of the Xanax, so I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a secondProzac 10mg (15 days) - dizziness went away in week 2, so I know now it was withdrawal after Zoloft, ugh!!!!Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this)Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitationLexapro 7.5mg (2 days)Lexapro 10mg (16 days)Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it.Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!!Zoloft 50mg (6 days)<p>Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30th (my last dose). I am 21 months off SSRIs as of Jan. 8, 2017 and 18 months off benzos as of Dec 30 and I have had tiny windows. Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, can't regulate emotions, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, electrical dizziness, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).


#23 Irishwill2015

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:14 PM

I am extremely happy this is helping you all. I needed stories like this when I was what seemed like my wits end. I think it is important to note, that despite not coming back regularily, I want to pay it forward and help anyone who needs it. I don't think it is that people don't want to help once they get better I think for numerous reasons they try and stay away, perhaps staying away was key to improving. I checked in randomly and saw one post in particular that bothered me. Someone who was around my time in WD saying how they had not improved at all and are even worse. I could not let people be scared by that.

 

I am not saying everyone recovers the same time but I was on Paxil for over a decade, during young years, higher dosage, then poly drugged for 6 months. People would say I needed 10 years to heal. Don't believe that. Treat yourself right and stay away from things that are toxic and you will see improvement guranteed.

 

After I had posted, I started thinking a lot and did a lot of reflecting. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit in withdrawal. Small steps are crucial to recovery.

 

I will answer any questions people have asked but it may be easier to inbox me (I am not sure how that works on this site) Like I said, I plan on checking every once in a while after this weekend but I would never turn my back on this experience.

 

 

As I read each of your emails I envisioned being in similar situations so let me answer the questions best I can.

 

Hi irishwill just wondering if you haf a spaced out kinda dazed and detached feeling and hissing kinda noise in your head ?

 

I do not feel spaced out anymore. Sometimes when I am extremely tired I can be but I think that's normal. As far as detached, I got that really bad. I would be in a room with people talking and I would feel a million miles away and feel like I would hear the conversation on a lag and not know how to respond.

 

Hissing nose in head is very specific. I did have ringing in my ears and I guess I still do sometimes, especially after being in a loud place. It fades but you don't really notice because other things flare up and take priority.

 

What I would like to add also is no matter what, convincong myself that my chemical-induced depression is not an underlying condition helped me to push through until it abated.

 

Gemini-100% I couldn't agree more. You have to know yourself, which in WD is really hard to do. I knew I never had depression but my mind would try and convince myself maybe I was always like this. I was not, and I have not had even a minor episode of depression since it went away.

 

Please feel free to inbox me with any questions.

 

Lastly, I have to tell you, it means a lot to me to see people feeling hopefuly from this. You should. Do the right things and treat yourself with empathy you would treat anyone else going through this.

 

Irish



#24 Irishwill2015

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 12:16 PM

I am extremely happy this is helping you all. I needed stories like this when I was what seemed like my wits end. I think it is important to note, that despite not coming back regularily, I want to pay it forward and help anyone who needs it. I don't think it is that people don't want to help once they get better I think for numerous reasons they try and stay away, perhaps staying away was key to improving. I checked in randomly and saw one post in particular that bothered me. Someone who was around my time in WD saying how they had not improved at all and are even worse. I could not let people be scared by that.

 

I am not saying everyone recovers the same time but I was on Paxil for over a decade, during young years, higher dosage, then poly drugged for 6 months. People would say I needed 10 years to heal. Don't believe that. Treat yourself right and stay away from things that are toxic and you will see improvement guranteed.

 

After I had posted, I started thinking a lot and did a lot of reflecting. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit in withdrawal. Small steps are crucial to recovery.

 

I will answer any questions people have asked but it may be easier to inbox me (I am not sure how that works on this site) Like I said, I plan on checking every once in a while after this weekend but I would never turn my back on this experience.

 

 

As I read each of your posts I envisioned being in similar situations so let me answer the questions best I can.

 

Hi irishwill just wondering if you haf a spaced out kinda dazed and detached feeling and hissing kinda noise in your head ?

 

I do not feel spaced out anymore. Sometimes when I am extremely tired I can be but I think that's normal. As far as detached, I got that really bad. I would be in a room with people talking and I would feel a million miles away and feel like I would hear the conversation on a lag and not know how to respond. I don't have that issue what so ever anymore.

 

Hissing nose in head is very specific. I did have ringing in my ears and I guess I still do sometimes, especially after being in a loud place. It fades but you don't really notice because other things flare up and take priority.

 

What I would like to add also is no matter what, convincong myself that my chemical-induced depression is not an underlying condition helped me to push through until it abated.

 

Gemini-100% I couldn't agree more. You have to know yourself, which in WD is really hard to do. I knew I never had depression but my mind would try and convince myself maybe I was always like this. I was not, and I have not had even a minor episode of depression since it went away.

 

Please feel free to inbox me with any questions.

 

Lastly, I have to tell you, it means a lot to me to see people feeling hopefuly from this. You should. Do the right things and treat yourself with empathy you would treat anyone else going through this.

 

Irish



#25 darktimes

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 01:52 PM

Thank you very much for your feedback irishwill you give me great hope ☺
Are you irish ? Im from ireland

#26 Irishwill2015

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 01:53 PM

I have Irish heritage but I am not from Ireland, I am American. Looking to make a trip there in the near future though!



#27 caperjackie

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 01:14 AM

Irishwill!! I remember you well from PP and thought of you after you left the site. This is a well written (extremely well written) story. Congratulations on getting off and surviving the horrors of WD - it is wonderful to hear that you have done so well despite all that you went through. Good luck in all you do and my best wishes for your future! Thank you so much for posting .......



#28 Irishwill2015

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 06:48 AM

Irishwill!! I remember you well from PP and thought of you after you left the site. This is a well written (extremely well written) story. Congratulations on getting off and surviving the horrors of WD - it is wonderful to hear that you have done so well despite all that you went through. Good luck in all you do and my best wishes for your future! Thank you so much for posting .......

Caper, thank you for saying hello and the kind words, I remember you too! I was in pretty rough shape early on at PP. It was hard to look back at those posts before and not cringe.

 

I hope you are doing well. It's weird being back and seeing all these familiar names.Thanks for saying hello and I wish you the best.

 

Irissh



#29 caperjackie

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 07:01 AM

Irishwill ........ you have a great attitude, even under adversity ....... this will take you a long way in life. Love what you said about any further healing will be a bonus only - I have said it many times myself. Yes, there are what I refer to as 'residual issues' (off over 4 years now) but you are so right ......... we (and the brain) move on, albeit a little differently. Your story gives hope to so many here that are still in the midst of this horror - it was really good of you to take this time and 'pay it forward'. One question .......... what have you learned (about yourself, life, the world) from this experience?



#30 Irishwill2015

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 12:58 PM

Caper,

 

That is an awesome question.

 

What I have learned about life is that I am not the center of it. I am a part of it and a very important part to many people. With that said, we have to live our lives for ourselves. The caveat being we have to live with others in mind so we don't inhibit their well being to progress our own.

 

A good example of this was my relationships with my family before withdrawal. I leaned heavily on them and I think I knew I was in real trouble with withdrawal when even they had to pull back and when their help wasn't enough. I realized a lot of it was on me. At the time that seemed daunting, but now it is liberating to think I am capable of being self reliant with respect to getting things done but also "owning" my emotions and being responsible for my actions. I learned never to let anyone else dictate your entire happiness. People can add to your happiness but they must never be the sole source.

 

I learned how to live healthy and be kind to myself. I abused my body in sports as well as drinking at times. I will never do that again. I have a new respect for myself.

 

Maybe most importantly, everything is perspective. Here is an example to better illustrate what I mean.

 

Right now, I could easily focus on the fact I can't work out to the degree I would like, that I can't go out and drink and that I am in pain during stressful situations, that I, in simplest terms, am fragile in the physical sense at times. But I don't.

 

What I do focus on is how fortunate I am to see my family, friends, and my own life grow. I think I started to feel deeply again when I stopped trying to, albeit that seems counter intuitive. The world is what you make it. It is very easy, especially in today's age to look at others and compare.

 

For example, I watch my friends go out and get inebriated then wake up and go for a 5 mile run. I wish I could even run (and I will run again) but they take everything for granted, especially their health. But instead of getting upset about this or comparing, I realize that they will never feel things as deep as me or have the appreciation I do for everyday things. They have no idea how lucky they are. I do know how lucky I am and as I gain things back I feel like I am gaining gifts, gifts I will appreciate and cherish.

 

I believe this experience changes us but only for the worse if we let it. If we change our perspective and stop the victim mentality, we can grow into people we would never have dreamed we would become had we not gone through this experience.

 

Lastly, what I learned about myself. That I am a pretty resilient person who has a lot of love, courage, and wisdom. I am getting to know myself more and more each day and I feel I am right where I am supposed to be. This is something I struggled with on Paxil. I will always have areas for improvement but that's the beauty of life, it's a moving target.

 

Thank you for the great question.

 

Irish



#31 caperjackie

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 01:06 PM

Brilliant and well thought out response! Thank you!



#32 Jaywill

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 01:45 PM

Thanks so much IrishWill,

 

I so relate with " the being thankful' thing. I am 3 years off and just starting to feel that I can do things again. I can golf 18 holes, I am very sore for a week, but I can do it. I don't think I will ever look at life the same again. I was a very self sufficient person where things came quite easily for me. I was a kind person but didnt have much patience. After all the physical issues, not being able to have my muscles work etc i looked at people who have mobility issues with such compassion. After being in the hospital with withdrawal and heart and kidney issues I looked around at all the people that were never going to get better. I live every moment " in the moment" and I am so extremely thankful for everything. When I wake up and can take a full breath, without air hunger, when I cry at a movie. When i don't twitch . Paxil may have been Hell but I am 44 years old and I am changed. Withdrawal taught me to love the little things and that is priceless


12 year on Paxil 20mg. Dropped to 5mg a few years before weaning, Was on 5mg weaned over a few months and then went off Aug 15, 2012. Severe withdrawal started Nov 2012 and have been slowly recovering. Have had all physical symptoms especially muscle, immune and food sensitivities!


#33 Irishwill2015

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 01:53 PM

Thanks so much IrishWill,

 

I so relate with " the being thankful' thing. I am 3 years off and just starting to feel that I can do things again. I can golf 18 holes, I am very sore for a week, but I can do it. I don't think I will ever look at life the same again. I was a very self sufficient person where things came quite easily for me. I was a kind person but didnt have much patience. After all the physical issues, not being able to have my muscles work etc i looked at people who have mobility issues with such compassion. After being in the hospital with withdrawal and heart and kidney issues I looked around at all the people that were never going to get better. I live every moment " in the moment" and I am so extremely thankful for everything. When I wake up and can take a full breath, without air hunger, when I cry at a movie. When i don't twitch . Paxil may have been Hell but I am 44 years old and I am changed. Withdrawal taught me to love the little things and that is priceless

 

Jaywill,

 

Interesting you use golf as a metric, I do as well. In the beginning I couldn't do it. The physical was too much and the openness of the course was awful for me at that time. Now I golf without a worry. I don't even get sore from it anymore, went out 18 times this year which I never did even before WD. I still struggle with running so I try to walk as much as I can. I too have had heart and kidney problems and to my knowledge I still have elevated kidney function and I also have Atrial Fibrillation, which I suspect is an issue caused by Paxil since I have no family history and I am also young it is rather odd.

 

But you are so right, the little things, crying while watching a movie feels...well...great. I actually teared up last night watching a movie. Feels good to be human really. I think a lot of this stuff will sort itself out.

 

And for the record, my golf game hasn't improved much but I enjoy it none the less!

 

 



#34 DavidStone

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 05:27 AM

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is very inspiring to read about your transformation. My experiences are a fraction of what you went through. So when I read your account I was very encouraged about the future. That you cared enough to come back post recovery and share hope with others...is top notch.
Lexapro four times in the last ten years. Each time 6 month use. Two week taper.
Lexapro 20mg August 2014 until Feb 28 2015. Two week taper

#35 Irishwill2015

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 03:51 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is very inspiring to read about your transformation. My experiences are a fraction of what you went through. So when I read your account I was very encouraged about the future. That you cared enough to come back post recovery and share hope with others...is top notch.

 

Thanks David. It was hard to decide whether or not to come back or just leave things in the past but I really feel it is important to share success especially during something as horrific as WD can be. The last thing I would want is for someone to lose hope when they don't have to.

 

Cheers



#36 MRothbard

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 07:43 PM

Hope you don't mind a newbie chiming in. But I wonder if quitting alcohol was a big part of your difficulty as well. What do you think?  Seems I can get "addicted" to caffeine after drinking just two cups a day for a week.


September 2014 to July 2015 - 20 mg Lexapro, 30mg Mirtazipine

 

August 2015 to November 2016- 10mg Lexapro, 30 mg Mirtazipine

 

Nov. 2016 to present - 10mg Lexapro, 3.75 mg Mirtazipine