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  1. Well, here it goes. I was on Zoloft for 8 years following a year of intense anxiety after my 1st son was born. I generally felt good on Zoloft, though I would have blips in which I would up or lower my dose and I would balance back out. For the majority of the 8 years I was on 50mgs (the "lowest" dose according to my doctor). Well almost exactly a year ago I was doing so well, and figured since I was on the "lowest" dose I would simply stop taking it. Felt a little weird (light-headed, tearing up for no reason, spacey) for about 3 weeks, then I felt normal. Had a great holiday season with my family and so happy to be off meds and doing well. I started to feel a little bit of an anxiety blip at the end of February and figured I would be proactive and resume my 50 mgs of Zoloft for the rest of the winter, then get off again in the spring or summer...then disaster struck. I woke up the next morning with my mind racing, feeling like adrenal glands had been switched to overdrive, and 10 months later, I still haven't been able to turn them down. From the 1st night of taking the Zoloft I have not had a day without a huge wave on anxiety hitting me at some point. For most of these 10 months I have been waking at 4-5 AM with anxiety bordering or exceeding panic. Since I was prescribed the Zyprexa, I still wake feeling "keyed up" but it is not as bad and not as early (usually don't wake til 7 or 7:30AM). I was on the Zoloft for 6 weeks, being told that it can increase anxiety at the start, but then it will subside and I will go back to normal. When that didn't happen at 6 weeks I was told Lexapro works faster and is better for anxiety anyway...so I started it. One week at 5mgs then 10mgs for 7 weeks. When that didn't help I decided "enough of these meds, I have never had anxiety this bad, I will just get off." Well unfortunately my month off of Lexapro was no better, still waking early, still having extreme anxiety, wondering what the heck had happened to me. I was talked into giving Paxil a try by my doctor saying "it was the least activating" of the SSRIs and it could actually help me sleep...I didn't and I really felt no different on it than the other two. After two months of Paxil and feeling no better the doctor decided I just hadn't got to a "therapeutic" dose of Paxil for my severe anxiety, so he recommended going up to 40 and then if no improvement 60 on Paxil, in the meantime he gave me Zyprexa to help sleep and morning panic. To be honest I have been better since August, I am assuming the Zyprexa is calming down my overactive nervous system, but I am far from "stable." I went to 60 MGs of Paxil and felt a little better than I did at 40 for a week or two (probably placebo) then back to how I have felt since August (which admittedly is much better than Spring and Early Summer). Since I don't think the Paxil is helping, and actually may be "activating" and counteracting the Zyprexa (I hate even typing Zyprexa, I NEVER thought I would ever take an anti-psychotic, but here I am, and unfortunately I have to admit it has helped) I want to go lower and off the Paxil. From looking over this site it seems I have attempted what you would call a "reinstatement" of Paxil, that clearly hasn't worked. Seems I have four choices and would welcome and recommendations you could give. 1. Stay at 50mgs of Paxil with the 2.5mgs of Zyprexa hoping I will "stabilize" even though I haven't yet in my two months at both 40mgs and 60mgs of Paxil. 2. Realize the Paxil has never helped me and could in fact be "activating" and further hurting my chances to let my brain heal from my Zoloft CT and simply quit. 3. Go back up to 60mgs of Paxil and stay there until I "stabilize" even though I am two-months at this dose with no sign of leveling out. 4. Slowly wean myself off the Paxil, even though I am not stable as it is just a likely it is doing as much harm as good. I have read on this site that I shouldn't get off the Zyprexa until after dealing with the Paxil as it is a "brakes" medication and could help with whatever has happened to me this year. I really hate that I am taking Zyprexa and honestly the side-effect profile terrifies me, I have already gained about 15 lbs, but noticed this quickly and have been able to maintain my weight at 205 at 6'2", so it isn't a HUGE problem...yet. I welcome any thoughts, opinions, and insights. I have been very impressed with this site and am learning a lot about what has happened to me and what may be the best course of action moving forward.
  2. Thank god for a site like this, I feel like I have been going crazy for the last few years . I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet. I was put on Paxil when I was a teenager as my doctor thought it would help me get through some difficult years, counseling would of been a much better approach. I was sexually abused as a child but never told anybody so when I was a teenager I dealt with this by using recreational drugs to ease the pain . My parents thought it would be a quick fix being on an antidepressant to help me out. I used Paxil for years upping and lowering my dose from 20mg to 50mg as needed , thinking that I had to take them because I had a chemical imbalance . I never thought once coming of them or did I know the bad effects they can do to you. Only up until I had my last child three years ago everything changed. I was taking only 30mg of Paxil which my psychiatrist told me it would be fine for the baby . I had to have an emergency cesarean and had complications. I got a servers infection and that brought on my first panic attack and severe aniexty. My baby was going withdrawal from Paxil shaking and wouldn't sleep . The nurses was giving me strong painkillers that I think was making me worse , after 2 weeks in the maternity hospital I was then put in a mothers and baby unit at mental hospital . I only lasted a day as didn't won't to harm myself or my child , I just wanted this aniexty to stop ,I was constantly worrying and looking at it now my hormones would have been all over the place. I upped my medication to highest dose under my psychiatrist advice. I felt better in a few weeks. A year later I thought I was doing fine and lowered my dose and I crashed, couldn't eat waves of aniexty , agitation, dizziness, insomnia ,derealization and night sweats the list goes on. My psychiatrist then put me on Seraquel at night which seemed to work, but I was getting up in the middle of the night eating like crazy and then couldn't get up in the morning. So I stopped taking the 25mg of Seraquel. Back to my psychiatrist I went and he told me that he thought it would be a good idea to change to another antidepressant, his chose was Cymbalta and he wanted me to tapper my Paxil in 5 days and 3 days with nothing then start with 30mg of Cymbalta for 1 week 60mg for two weeks then 90mg for 2 weeks. I crashed very bad into my 2nd week in Cymbalta and went to see my psychiatrist again, who told me its my aniexty and depression coming back, which now I know is bullsh*t. I think I was having withdrawals from the Paxil . I went to a new psychiatrist who told me it was Cymbalta that was doing it to me and tapered me off Cymbalta again in a week and started me at 50mg of Zoloft for 3 days 75mg 3 days and now 100mg as well as still taking my 50mg of Seraquel. I feel like I won't to come off all of this and I know my family and friends aren't going to support me, as they don't understand. I halved my dose of Seraquel to 25mg 4 nights ago and my waves of aniexty are getting worse . I would love meet people on this site who can help me out with this. I have two beautiful children that are my life and I just want to be normal again and I think I would be better if a gave my brain a chance to heal itself but I'm very scared.
  3. Hi I am Hopefulstill and new. I started at 20 mg. Paxil...... Now years later on 50 mg. but seems to have pooped out. I am going to try tapering off. Started with 46 mg. yesterday Here goes! Glad I found this site
  4. I'm another refugee from PP....I was so shocked when I logged in and found it gone! Very upsetting. I found a few people whose names I recognized from PP so that was nice. I'm currently in month 14 of my cold turkey WD.....I was too far out when I found out I should have tapered....PP was a wealth of information and support for me and reading the uplifting posts that "This too shall pass" was so encouraging in the thick of things. I am here if anyone needs an ear, wants to ask what my experience has been like, etc. My name is Gina and I am from Canada
  5. hi,all been on &off antidepressants for 20 yrs but never felt this crummy.since stopping Paroxetine have had flu-like symptoms ,then fatigue loss of appetite,taste changes,eye problems(excessive blinking actually started while on it,that's why I quit).depression,anxiety,just miserable,wondering if I should reinstate or just try & hang in there.I was on it about 6 mos.stopped May 4 after about 7 wk taper.thanks for any suggestions
  6. MOD NOTE: contains content which may be triggering for some members Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community. Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history; I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly. Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars." I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss) But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. It was such a shock. I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. No side effects. No nothing. Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use. again, no side effects, I was blessed. I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August. It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell. I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess.. I have been though enough. Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.
  7. Hello all, I believe I am withdrawing from Paxil, Clonazepam or both. I thought I was over with the Paxil withdrawal, and started decreasing my Clonazepam. Lately I can't go for quiet walk without anger and bad memories driving me to quit. I have nightmares, am irritable, angry..I feel like I can't be around anyone. The Paxil quickly lost its effectiveness in treating my depression. I tried to get off of Clonazepam and Paxil years ago, but was having waves of repeating panic attacks. 24/7. At the time I was on 60 mg of Paxil and 3 mg of Clonazepam. Before I was on these drugs, I had anxiety issues, but only 1 full on panic attack. The drugs have made me so much worse. I resumed the medication as quickly as I could. Currently, I thought I was able to get rid of the Paxil, I seemed to be fine. I had to come off of 30 mg, rather than the previous 60. The weaning off period lasted a few months. I don't think reducing the clonazepam is the problem, because taking the full dose doesn't help. I am wondering if I am still having a residual withdrawal issue from the Paxil. I really don't like what it happening to me, and I'm really afraid I won't be able to recover.
  8. Hello. I'm "Trinity" from PaxilProgress, which shut down last year without my knowledge. I'll try not to go into a long-winded summary of my life, but.... Depression began to manifest itself during puberty; episodes became more dramatic the older I got. I began Paxil in 1998, during a depressive episode that had taken total control over my life. I started on 10mg and went to 20mg perhaps a week later. I changed into a new person almost immediately. I could be jovial and outgoing, but lost all sense of priority. I lost most sexual function within two weeks of starting the drug. I was reckless and exhibited very poor decision-making. I couldn't think clearly or quickly. I slept poorly. While I had enough energy for work, I could spend entire days and weekends sleeping. It was as if I were drunk most of the time. I had them before, and I continued to have ugly temper tantrums regularly, just like a two-year-old. Around 2006, I fed up with being tired and stupid, so I dropped from 20mg to 10mg. I suffered the “electrical shocks,” dizziness, and other typical withdrawals, but I got through them and achieved a greater presence of mind—though I was absolutely not myself. I still had temper tantrums at least monthly. The side-effects I described, above, improved, but did not disappear. Not at all. I planned the next withdrawal for summer vacation, when I would have less stress. In June of 2014, I went from 10mg to 5mg. The withdrawals wore the same face, but weren’t as strong as before. This was an awful time for me, as I had an abusive, hostile boss who clearly took delight in tormenting employees she didn't "like." I became exceedingly emotional. Once I got upset, I stayed upset for a long time, unable to bounce back from anything. I would obsess over setbacks, conversations, and my professional standing in the community. This obsessiveness caused me a lot of heartache. On the positive side, the temper tantrums largely stopped, and I didn’t feel tired all the time. I didn’t need to sleep or nap like before. I planned the next withdrawal for summer vacation, when I would have less stress. In June of 2015, I stopped taking Paroxetine altogether. I suffered very little in the way of physical side-effects, just a little something for a few days. My mind is gradually clearing, as if someone had taken a wet, heavy blanket off my brain. My perception and reasoning has improved by leaps and bounds. I experience a wider range of emotions. I cried while listening to a love song that reminded me of my wife, when I had not been able to cry in years. Though she continues trying, my boss isn’t able to upset me as easily as before. I don’t care about her the way I used to. I’m more able to recognize what she is doing and dismiss it. Things that would wound me so deeply before aren’t much more than noise, now. I am able to see my past from a new perspective, with renewed clarity. I apologized to people I had offended over the years with my clumsy, highly emotional and unreasonable behavior. I am far from happy-go-lucky, and I doubt I’ll never be just that. There is a darkness that calls to me. I think my mother had this, as well, and would busy herself like a madwoman, because that sort of behavior works very well to preoccupy the mind. I really need some productive obsessions right now! A lot of emotional improvement I’m enjoying could just be the effects of age—I’m not a kid, anymore. However, and without a doubt, the drug was confining my emotions to a certain range and limiting my ability to overcome adversity. I feel it heightened negative emotions and fears and robbed me of the emotional recovery normal people enjoy. My mind is free, which is at once liberating and terrifying. “What if?” That creeps into my brain more often than I would wish. I want a new job. Not so easy a thing to do, here in a cesspool of economic despair, but I want to make the world a better place, and I don’t think I can do that where I am, doing what I do now. A bucket of crabs comes to mind, and that’s not the sort of energy I want in my life right now. So, there we have it: A rambling summary of my nearly two decade dependency upon psychotropic medication. While it saw me through a particularly hurtful period in my life, the loss of cognitive, emotional, and sexual function for the following 17 years was NOT worth the price of admission. I clearly should have been doing something different, because people aren’t meant to live life in a stupor.
  9. Hi, I'm new to the forum, I have some questions I want to ask. My doctor prescribed effexor for depression, in 2009. Now I'm free of symptoms and I managed to come off with withdrawal symptoms though. That's with the antidepressant. Now I'm on Risperdal consta from November 2013 and seroxat 10mg. My doctor prescribed with risperdal consta 3,3mg/day long acting injection every two weeks. From February 2015 he lowered the dosage to 25mg/every 2 weeks equals 1,66mg/day. I tried to lower the seroxat 10mg but after 40-45h I have withdrawal symptoms vertigo, dizziness. Is it possible to cut down seroxat? How about the Risperdal consta (long acting injection). Has anyone tapered off completely without withdrawals? I read about the 10% harm reduction procedure to taper off and I'm going to tell my doctor and follow. thanks in advance
  10. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Hi all, I have been checking out this website for a long time but have never posted before. I have been on Paxil for 12 years at a dose of 20 mg. After a failed attempt at stopping the drug in 2012 and thankfully finding this site, I have been reducing slowly for nearly 5 years. I have been reducing using 10% drops every 6-8 weeks. However, there have been times when I have struggled and stayed at a dose for longer periods. I am now at a dose of 0.8 mg. I could really use some advice as I have been really struggling ever since I have dropped below 1.2 mg. My symptoms are sll purely physical and I can't seem to find any 'windows'. I can't help but wonder if I should just stop taking the drugs. Maybe I am experiencing side effects rather than withdrawal at this stage. Has anyone experienced real trouble at such low doses? Thanks for any advice!
  12. Hi All--I go by Brassmonkey, but you can also call me Tom. I new to this group but mnot new to WD. I started on 20mg of Paxil 19 years ago and over the years built up to 40mg. Aboth three years ago it stafted causing mre problems than it helped. I was constently in a fog, couldn't remember anything more than a few seconds, had balance problems and very heavy night sweets. My drinking was also out of control. After some serious "discussions" with my wife I decided I had better do something. My Dr said "if you want off, then just quit." I knew better from when I had to change from 30 CR to 30 regular and there was a problem with the Rx. Some web research lead me to a forum that suggested tapering at 10% a month. Sounded good to me, not being one to leave a good thnig alone, I decided to sneek up on the 10% by dropping 2.5% a week for 4 weeks and then holding for an additional 2 weeks. In the past 14 months I have dropped from the 40mg to 13.7mg and have to say that I have had very little trouble with the WD symptoms. They are there, but are fairly easy to handle. A few weeks after starting my taper I joined AA and CTed the 15 oz a night vodka habit I had developed. I'm technically not sober 'cause I still enjoy 2 beers on most nights, but it's nothing like I was drinking. I recently switched from AA to DDA (dual diagnosced anon) and find that they tend to understand the AD problems a lot better. Oh yes, and my wife is very happy with the positive changes I have made. That's the basics, I'll blither on more as the topics arise.
  13. 40jack: Hello

    Hi I'm new to this site. I joined basically because I want to get off my seroxat so I came here for some support. I've been on seroxat since 1994 and although I have been off meds in the past this last stint which is seven years is proving the most difficult to date.
  14. MollyN

    Hi everyone, I'm extremely glad to find this group. I burst into tears when I found it. Most of my antidepressant journey is in my signature, but my greatest fears are these: Honestly as I withdraw I become the meanest most vicious woman you've ever met. I am mentally all over the place and filled with bitterness and hate. I'm so embarrassed, I was never like this prior to the drugs. I worry that is who I actually am now?! My husband just wants me to keep on taking them
  15. Gidday everyone. I am an ex-Paxilprogresser and when it closed I was very sick of the long horrible process, so I didn't join everyone here back then, but I finally paddled over to the U.S. from Australia. I have to keep reminding myself that the turtle got onto the ark by just keeping going, one step at a time! I started to have some decent days because I found a herbal remedy that has brought my headaches and migraines from 20 a month to 2 over a 12 month period. This means I can actually DO SOMETHING and is a wonderful relief. On those good head days, I always wonder how my old friends are going, so I intend to look you all up! I have decided to put up my history, a bit at a time, or it would be too laborious to read, so that's where I will start.
  16. This site has been a sanctuary for several months and I would like to thank AltoStrata, her fellow Admins and all posting members for the invaluable information shared in the various forums. In this most confusing and isolating phase of my life so far, you have all helped me to feel less alone, less confused, and important teachers. I believe I may have created a meds signature line in my sign-up form, but if not I will correct that shortly. Briefly, I realized I was in a polypharmacy rut in February of this year. Prozac 10 or 20 mg (?) from early 1997 to early 1998. Newly sober, the Paxil caused "speediness" and I was switched to Paxil - Paxil 20mg/day (depression/anxiety) from 1998 to approximately Spring 2007. I simply stopped taking it after running out, was in long-term therapy and did not think twice about leaving such a "small thing" behind. Even though there were large stressors at work. The state of lability, extreme depression, dysphoria, DP, DR (terms I did not know then) were horrendous. I returned to the original psychiatrist who tried me on various other meds for a hellish 2 months, never once mentioning I might be in withdrawal from stopping the Paxil. The last straw was an Effexor trial, which put me in a state of agitation, physical heat, and inability to leave bed beyond imagination. It took months to find a new Psychiatrist, which happened about February 2008. He felt I had simply been on too small a Paxil dose - I had heard about "poop out" by that time but he dismissed it - I had not heard about withdrawal on Paxil cessation and he did not mention it. He put me back on Paxil and built up slowly from 10 to eventually 60mg. Unfortunately I don't remember the timeline for that buildup. However, 60mg became the maintenance dose at which I remained until Feb. 2017 of this year - nearly 10 years. He also became my psychotherapist and had a wonderfully humane aspect to him to which I attribute most of the great healing that happened over the first 3-4 years. My life became strong and rich and fulfilling again - in all areas. In 2010 there was a collision of traumatic stressors in work and family. As well, somatic experience of panic, high anxiety and heart palpitations such as I'd never experienced since childhood episodes of severe abuse became frequent. I made certain decisions in my life. We continued the meds and the therapy. In June (?) 2012 - after months of persistent inner agitation, weepiness, anxiety (following death of family member), he added Ativan 0.5 at night. A year later he added another 0.5 in the am. A year after that he added another 0.5 at noon. I can not know with any certainty but based on everything that I have read about tolerance and withdrawal with Paxil and Ativan, I believe that I experienced pre-taper withdrawal-like symptoms for several years. I wish I had known then - when he began adding the benzo to the Paxil - what I know now. I had trusted him so completely as a person and a professional. Fast forward to February 2017. He announced abruptly that he was closing his practice - in 3 months. We had been working together for about 9 years. The anxiety caused by the announcement led him to increase my RXs for Paxil to 80 and to double Ativan to 1mg 3 times a day. He acknowledged that the 2 drugs did not appear to be "working" or "ideal" anymore. Sadly I think his priority at that point was to get to the end of the three months without liability - so it was easier to simply up the meds and "explore referral options." Two months on the upped prescriptions saw me living like an outpatient in a chemical straightjacket - as a full on zombie. I found my way to Mad in America and the literature on iatrogenic psychotropic drug injuries, the psychiatric profession's blind faith in the hypothesis of the "chemical imbalance", and the frightening stories about withdrawing from SSRIs and benzodiazepines - especially the 2 I was prescribed. This was all quite frightening and overwhelming. I was able to find a wonderful and sympathetic therapist. The zombie straightjacket was too much. I decided to taper myself back to my "baseline" though no-longer-working (even according to the Psychiatrist) polypharmacy of Paxil 60mg and Ativan .05 3 times a day. I did that from April to August. Symptoms ranging from extreme loss of appetite, acute DP/DR, extreme and sudden heart palpitations and anxiety, and a slow-motion hyper depressive grey movie in the background looping "this is the end of the road for me" movies - but always behind a screen. The gestalt in terms of doing anything is a 1000 mile distance between a flourishing idea or thought and any action to carry it out. Including washing dishes! The search for a meds doctor who is sympathetic to a patient wishing to taper off psychotropic drugs that no longer work and are causing is still on. I will be meeting one next week, and I believe his name does appear on a list of potentially knowledgeable providers somewhere on this site. I will report back. He appears to be familiar with tapering patients off psychotropic drugs and he is also a holistic treater with experience in acupuncture, something called "functional psychology" (?), and other holistic practices. Thanks to SA I shall have with me a lot of information to discuss - very calmly - with him, including the formula of tapering 10% (vs. last dose), listening to the body even within a tapering protocol, and the question as to whether the Paxil or the Ativan should be tapered first. (I saw a psychiatrist one month ago who wrote out a taper schedule for Ativan that was very aggressive - I modified it and have "held" at an early stage after feeling my body rebelling and reading here about the 10% recommendation. Same psychiatrist was ready to have me start tapering Paxil simultaneously until I mentioned perhaps it was not a great idea and he very quickly agreed. Those fancy degrees, Research Hospital affiliations, decades of experience .... That's another story.) I wish to thank you all from the bottom of my heart - for being here.
  17. Hi, I will try to keep it brief, but I am in desperate need of advice. I am a 34YO Male, my 1st bout of anxiety happened 10 years ago when I experienced a very stressful time in my life. I had my 1st child, started MBA school, and opened my own business all within a 3 month span. Had a panic attack one night, and what followed was a year of high general anxiety, with some intrusive OCDish thoughts sprinkled in. After a year I decided I would give meds a try. Tried Buspar...did nothing except make me dizzy. Tried Zoloft, and this was the magic bullet for me. Felt my anxiety lesson (after a brief increase) after about 3-4 weeks and after a few months I was back to myself. During this time I would have blips (one to two week periods when my anxiety would resurface, usually requiring a dose tweak and then would go back to normal. These would usually happen when I was eating bad, not exercising ect). At the start of my Zoloft experience I at one point got up to 150mgs, but in the last 4-5 years was on the minimum dose of 50mgs after I got generally healthier and added a multivitamin and fish oil supplement. Because of these blips, and the fact I was afraid to go back to the year of anxiety, I stayed on the Zoloft probably longer than I should have. It was 8 years later (October 2016) when I finally said, "heck I don't need these anymore". My prescription ran out and I just decided not to refill it. I went through most of the withdrawl symptoms, some brain-zaps, lots of light-headedness and dizziness, ect. That went away after about 3 weeks and for 3 months I felt great, totally off meds and totally back to normal. At the end of January this year, I started to have another "blip." I wasn't eating healthy and not exercising as much and decided I would be "proactive" and resume the Zoloft at my previous dose of 50mgs to nip it in the bud. This sent my anxiety through the roof but thought my body would adjust so I continued taking them. I was so scared of the increased anxiety though I didn't give it a fair shot and kept increasing and decreasing the dosage from 25 to 50mgs every week or so. Finally got into a p-doc and he gave me Lexapro, 5mgs for the 1st week and 10mgs after that...long story short, it did the same thing as the Zoloft and wasn't much better after 7 weeks. At this point I figured, "wow I wasn't this bad before, I will just go off of these!" Well unfortunately my month of no meds did not return me to my January self, in fact it was probably worse than on the meds! So then the doctor gave me pregabalin, which helped a little, but is crazy expensive and not covered by insurance. So on June 1st I started Paxil, 10 mgs for the 1st week and 20mgs after that, hoping the pregabalin can help me to get on them. I really want to be off meds, but don't think I am mentally able to at this point. It seems quitting the Zoloft cold turkey, then reinstating, I am much more sensitive to these drugs, does that make any sense? So I am hopeful I can eventually give a med (Paxil) enough time that my body will desensitize to it, and I can be on it for a bit to get stable again, then get off. Anybody experienced anything like this? Will my body desensitize? I am so desperate to feel normal again, I am a father of 3 (10YO Boy, 7YO Boy, 3YO Girl), a husband to an amazing wife, and they need their Dad and Husband back! What should I do? Give Paxil the time to desensitize, then get off after a few months? Is the fish-oil supplement that I still take that helped me reduce my dose of Zoloft causing me to be more sensitive? Quit everything and see what happens? Thanks in advance for reading my story and giving any advice or encouragement.
  18. I started taking Paroxetine 20mg in 2012. Prescribed by my GP for what was then mild anxiety and low mood. I decided to come off of the paroxetine in Januay 2016. Had enough of being an asexual zombie. The drugs did little for me anyways. Started a slow taper and got down to 10mg once weekly by September 2017. If I didn't dose for longer than a week I would get agitated and angry. 10mg was enough to make me calm for a week or so.... On 24th September 2017 I decided complete withdrawal would be impossible and that maybe I would be better off going back on the paroxetine full-time. I started taking 10mg daily without a doctor's supervision. Five days later I became suicidal for the first time in my life...bearing in mind before this I had always been pretty much emotionally stable. I went to A & E suffering severe agitation/depersonalisation and several other worrying symptoms such as intrusive thoughts about attacking loved ones (something which I would never do or ever think about before). I was given diazepam to get me through the next few days. I vowed never to touch SSRIs again. I have not taken any paroxetine since the crisis on 29th September. The last 2 weeks have been the worst 2 weeks of my life. I went to see a psychiatrist privately - he diagnosed me with bi-polar and prescribed me Seroquel (quetiapine). I am NOT bi-polar, my brain has been destroyed by paroxetine. My daily symptoms are: psychomotor agitation, intrusive thoughts about violence, feeling empty, no emotion at all, electric shock sensations all through my body, panic, crying etc I know the sensible thing would probably be to go on prozac for a while, but after almost throwing myself in front of a bus after just a few days on paroxetine, to me, it's not worth the risk. I just want to ride this out and hopefully get better. I want to be in control of my thoughts and emotions again. At the moment my thoughts and emotions are controlling me. This is not a problem I had before paroxetine. I'm just worried that I'll remain this nervous wreck forever. Can anyone relate to this? Especially the intrusive thoughts, which is what worries me most. Does it get better? Regards, Clearmind
  19. Prestorb

    Hello, I am encouraged to find this site as I feel like I am on an island alone in this effort to withdraw from SSRIs. I'm sure my husband is sympathetic, but he doesn't understand and he is probably just really tired of dealing with it. So I basically don't talk to anyone other than my therapist about it. It sucks, and yet I know the SSRIs need to go. I asked for a change in SSRI about six weeks ago, so my Pdoc recommended I taper off the 40 mg of Paxil at 10 mg per week, while starting Zoloft at 25 mg per then up to 50 mg. So now I am off the Paxil (generic) and only on the Zoloft at 25 mg - I didn't tolerate it well at all. I know I am having a lot of WD symptoms, and I am just trying to manage them as best I can, which is okay some days and not good other days. I also have an 11 year old son, although I am not working outside the home right now - which I often feel is part of the problem. But I am afraid to commit to anything until my emotions stabilize. I start crying for no reason and can't stop. Sorry to ramble, I'm not sure what else to write, just hoping to find support here. Thank you.
  20. Here I go again, was finally over the withdrawal from the last drops and felt great for a month then decided to taper the paxil by 1.5mg and two weeks later here I am, morning anxiety, ears blocked, depression, irritable and a feeling of having sinus problems in my head. I just hate this and I realise I have so far to go.I read that a lot of people find it easy at the beginning of there taper but I’m finding it difficult and I think that’s because ever since that stupid DR cold turkey me off the paxil 3 years ago and had 3 months of servers withdrawal, it has done something to my nervous system. Now I’m so sensitive. I feel disheartened because someone said to me in another forum to stay on it if it makes me happy becouse that is what he would do, but I’ve been on this drug for 22 years and I’m only 40 years old and want to get as low as my brain will let me. When I’m in withdrawal I feel like giving up on tapering but then when I stablize I’m determined again. I think I just need some reassurance that I’m doing the right thing . Feeling disheartened ☺️
  21. Hi everybody am new around here....right here goes!i need some advice an help.am a single mum to a nine year old with no family or support.in janurary I was taken off Paxil which I was taking at 40mg...I had no clue about tapering,they took me off in 4 weeks I was on it for 3 an half years.they then gave me diazepam to stop the with drawals...so now am also in the process of weaning off this at 10% a month.have now educated myself on this one!!am in a right state an I feel like am in a deep dark hole!have got real bad depression but they can't get another AD into me,probably because my CNS is in a mess....am I too late to reinstate Paxil?or would you guys keep on going.any help would be amazing!!am really struggling xx
  22. I'm wondering if anyone else has or had experienced worsing withdrawal symptoms when switching from Paxil CR and Liquid SOLELY to the Liquid Suspension? I have been tapering slowing Since January by the following: (1 Pill = 12.5 CR) Starting dose of 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG OF CR Jan 21st: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13 10 mg lq until today 7/10 I have a feeling that the liquid isnt nearly as....either effective or has as long a HALF LIFE as the company would have me believe. When I first started the taper I was taking the 1 pill and taking all the liquid at 9 pm at NIGHT. Within 16 hours of the night dose I was having bad symptoms until I took the next dose. This went on for a week. I then experimented by switching the timing of the liquid to the morning at 9 am. Withing 2 days the withdrawal syptoms had switched from the evening to the morning! What clearly was happening, was the liquid was NOT staying in my system anywhere near as long as the CR. After a week of suffering the withdrawl symptoms at the new time, my doctor suggested taking half the liquid dose every 12 hours, since it obviously had a SHORTER Half life than the CR Pill, since my syptoms corresponded to ALMOST EXACTLY 16 hours after the last Liquid dose. With 3 days of splitting the daily dose into every 12 hours the symptoms had mostly resolved. Everything was going ok (not perfect but much better than the horrible symptoms when only taking the liquid once daily) UNTIL I recently finally got below the level of the pill and am ONLY on the liquid. Since I switched to the liquid ONLY I have been taking it every 8 hours -or 3 times a day, but the worsening symptoms have returned. Not as bad as when I was only taking it every 12 hours, but worse when I still had the CR for the majority of the dose. I THINK THIS LIQUID IS CRAP. I've only dropped 2.5 mg's in almost 8 weeks and I'm having WORSE symptoms than when I was dropping a 1mg every 2 weeks no problem. (Again with the CR pill as most of my dose. ) Any ideas? I mean, the fact that I had horrible symptoms correspnding to 16 hours AFTER the liquid dose, regardless whether I was taking it at 9am or 9pm, tells me it has to have a much shorter half life than they are saying, expecially since once I started taking the liquid 5mg ever 12 hours instead of 10 all at once things cleared up within 48 hours. And now that all I have is the liquid, I'm worse even though I'm dropping at only half the speed of when I still had atleast 12.5 CR. And! I'm taking it EVERY 8 hours: 3 mg AM, 3 mg Afternoon, 4 MG Night. I notice the electrical shocks in my head close to the time I am scheduled for the next dose, as if it's only in my system about 6 hours at a time. Help![/size]
  23. Hi there:) I was a member of paxilprogress since 2004 and then the site was shut down...I was on paxil for 8.5 years starting in 2001...after a horrible withdrawal ..at 11 months off i went back on paxil again for a few years then did a successful 4 year taper with compounded pills.. i have now been paxil free since June 1, 2014..paxil progress members will know who i am:) Michele aka MapleLeafGirl Admin note: MapleLeafGirl's Introductions topic: ☼ Mapleleafgirl off Paxil
  24. Hello, I am new to the forum. Long story short... I have been on Paxil for 15+ years now. I was started on it after developing anxiety/depression after acquiring visual snow syndrome vs persistent migraine symptoms at age 18. It seems the visual may have been triggered by panic after illicit drug experimentation. Prior to starting the Paxil, I had developed trails off of moving objects, a feeling of depersonalization/derealization, and the illusion of objects wavering if I stared long enough. My psychiatrist placed me on Zoloft to start along with as needed clonazepam. I eventually switched to Paxil and most of my symptoms came under very good control. At least, my anxiety about the visual phenomena was well controlled. Eventually, I stopped clonazepam alltogether. Things went relatively well for the following 15 years. I graduated from college, had plenty of friends and enjoyed my life, rarely thought about the visuals, eventually went to grad school, met a great girl, and have been practicing in medicine for the past 3-4 years. All the while, I remained on Paxil at ~ 15 mg daily. Unfortunately, there was a period of extreme emotional stress 2-3 years ago when the girl and I were "on the rocks". It was an awful time as we were living in separate states and were seeing other people. I couldn't sleep, couldn't focus at work, wasn't eating, etc. I ended up increasing my Paxil dosage to 20 mg and taking a clonazepem nightly to get some sleep. During that turmoil, I stupidly smoked some pot with friends to try and forget things. I hadn't done that in like 8 yrs so it was a shock to the system. On one occasion, I experienced a sort of panic attack and had a migraine the following day. About 1-2 months later, I started to notice severe photophobia, followed by prolonged afterimages, trails, and a constant daily headache that seemed to stem from my palate/jaw. Ironically, the girl and I worked things out and are now engaged to be married!! We have been doing relatively well except all the sxs have continued to worsen. These recurrences of symptoms reminded me of those I had experienced from 15 yrs earlier, but much worse. They have persisted for the past 2+ years!! It seems that in moments of heightened stress, the visual symptoms become much worse. I have tried a few treatments, mainly targeting the headaches (Lamictal, Nadolol, Verapamil, Nortriptyline), none of which helped. I have even tried slowly tapering the Paxil, thinking it may be the culprit. I have only made it from 15 down to 10 mg. This brings me to my question... I have started Gabapentin 300 mg at night in hopes that it will ease the facial pain/headaches. I have been on it for 1 month now and only experiencing worsening visual symptoms including longer trails/afterimages and now significant blurred vision. I have grown MUCH more anxious over the worsening of symptoms and general despair of the situation. I am not sleeping well and fear things will continue to worsen. My neurologist wants me to switch from Paxil to Lexapro in hopes that it may help with the pain and facilitate coming off the Paxil once and for all. She is certain that it is safe to do a sudden switch, dropping 10 mg of Paxil and starting 10 mg of Lexapro in the same night. My fear is that I will go into an awful w/d from the Paxil while the Lexapro is ramping up. She is certain this won't happen since they work on similar receptors so the Lexapro should't take 6 weeks to get into the system. Is this true? Is it wiser to cross-taper? Should I continue to taper Paxil completely before starting Lexapro? Should I stop the Gabapentin as it may be worsening the visuals? I fear that I will develop worsening visual symptoms regardless. I am aware go the horror stories about SSRIs causing visual snow, etc. I just know from my history that the Paxil HELPED the visual symptoms initially. Thanks for any and all advice.
  25. 6 months off Paxil/Prozac

    Hi, I started this topic a while ago and it has been 6 months now since my last dose of Prozac, so I'd like to share the way I used to taper so may be someone out there benefit from it, However I'd like to point out that I'm not a doctor and that this worked for me merely through trial and error, so here we go. As I mentioned in my first topic my first tapering attempt was too fast that I had awful withdrawal symptoms and had to reinstate, and the 10% approach was too slow for me as I was able to make larger drops without much symptoms, I then found the following research paper here on the forums: It's a paper on the percentage of serotonin transporter occupancy of Prozac (and other SSRIs) in the brain, in other words it basically measures the amount of serotonin receptors in the brain blocked by the medication, at 20mg most SSRIs will block 75%-85% of these receptors. After going through the paper I found that the percentage for Prozac occupancy follows the following equation: Occupancy% = 86*dose/(1.94+dose) So for example, if you take 20mg Prozac, the approximate occupancy% = 86*20/(1.944+20) = 78%, and so on. What I did next was finding the maximum percentage I can go down without suffering too much withdrawal symptoms, and with some trial and error I found this percentage to be 8%, meaning if I'm currently at 78% I can go down to 70% without much withdrawal symptoms, any higher and the symptoms are unbearable. So I prepared a table with 8% drop downs, calculated the dosage for every percentage and stayed on every dosage from 2-4 weeks depending on the symptoms, this worked perfectly for me as I was able to calculate the next dosage that wouldn't cause much symptoms, for example I was able to drop directly from 20mg to 10 mg and from 10mg to 5mg, however as the dosage decreased the drops where slower to maintain the 8% drop, this also allowed me to know when to stop taking the medication completely, for example at 0.5mg I was still at 18% so I had to drop to as low as 0.1mg before stopping completely. My last dose was on 17/4/2017, I had to make 14 drops over the course of a year, and although I had a couple of hiccups toward the end I was able to get through them by staying a little longer on the dosage and doing lots of exercise.
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