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SkyBlue

SkyBlue: Paxil taper

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SkyBlue

Thanks so much, Shep. I really, really appreciate it. 

Today appears to be a good day! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I feel like I'm Back in the Land of the Living. 

 

Definitely am practicing all my skills, meditations, exercises, reaching out to ppl (that one's tricky), and 

for sure hanging on. 

 

Sleep seems to be okay right now, but I am suspicious because I have sleep apnea. A sleep study last fall showed

no problems, but it's something I want to keep an eye on. 

 

I am grateful for your support! ! ! ! :) 

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AmyK

I have these thoughts in waves too. When I am in a window I often write in my diary: "Remember this! This is the real you.". When I feel bad again I come back to the diary to be reminded.

Its always the drugs that contributes to waves. You WILL feel better. You WILL heal.

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SkyBlue

Thank you, Amy! (Sorry, I just saw this now.) I do something similar: I write journal notes to myself, post-it notes, and using the Voice Recorder app to make an audio recording.

 

 

After a 3 month hold … 

Currently doing roughly 10% a month, but doing the Brass Monkey Slide method, 

approx. 2% cuts once a week. I think this will be best, based on my sensitivity and time on the drug.

 

My tiny syringe from Denmark -- all the markings were rubbed off after only about two weeks.  

Surprisingly, the cheap 1 ml syringe from Target is holding up well. It is too microscopic to see the tiny lines so I use a magnifying class. Looking forward to getting to 0.5 ml which is a nice big line! 

 

(With the tiny syringe I was making 2.5% cuts; now with the Target syringe it works out to be 2% cuts, or 1/5 of 10%).

 

So I've made three 2.5% drops and it's been easier than one 10% cut (and much better than the 25% and 50% cuts!!! Grrrr).

I definitely feel some lightheadedness / weirdness / 

and am still dealing with recurring and unpredictable suicidal feelings, most unfortunately. But a) these are NOT related to the most recent 25% drop, and 

also B) my acupuncturist said that I was suicidal at the end of my last menstrual cycle (hope this isn't too much information!!). She said that taking chromium might help with this, since it might be related to blood sugar. 

 

Today is a good day! ! ! ! ! 

I will keep you all posted! Thanks for being here! :) 

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brassmonkey

Best of luck with the Slide Method.  It sounds like it's off to a good start.  It really is gentler than doing 10% all at once.

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SkyBlue

Thanks so much, BrassMonkey! :) 

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keepinghope

Hi SkyBlue, just wanted to stop by to say thanks for your kind words on my thread  :)  Hope your taper is going ok and you're having more good days.

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SkyBlue

Thanks, keepinghope. And you're very welcome! :)

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SkyBlue

Hi all, 

 

Greetings from the land of tiny reductions! 

 

It's going pretty well. I'm continuing 2% decreases about every week. 

 

The symptoms are similar to the more drastic cuts, but much less severe, and more manageable: 

 

- feeling intoxicated / slight dp/dr (severity: low. I can see it as dp, and it is much less scary, versus before with more drastic cuts)

- weird head feeling / waterlogged (severity: low)

- headache for a couple of hours a day (severity: low)

- lightheadedness (severity: low)

 

Pretty soon I'll do a hold to let everything catch up. 

I truly recommend this method! ! !  :)

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Shep

I'm glad you're doing so well, SkyBlue. 

 

"The land of tiny reductions" sounds like a happy place.  :)

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brassmonkey

Glad it's going well Sky.  Do make sure to take the holds and let things settle out.

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SkyBlue

Thanks, Shep! It does seem to be. :)

 

Thanks, Brass! It's tempting to keep on going, so I appreciate your reminder to take holds!! :)

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SkyBlue

Hi everyone,  

 

Just checking in. 

 

The micro, micro, tiny nano-decreases seem to be exactly what I need. Symptoms are manageable and include mainly:

 

- (new) feeling like I'm being stung by a bee, on my cheek. Then disappears. I think that is called a zap.

- at times some dp/dr. Very mild compared to when I was doing more drastic reductions. 

- awakening in the middle of the night (1 am, to be exact) in a rage and feeling suicidal. Bizarrrrre.

 

Possibly or possibly not related to or caused by withdrawal is periods of extreme depression to the extent of having suicidal thoughts, unrelated to my life situation and caused 100% by my brain. I am totally safe so that is not a concern. This has not happened before withdrawal. It is VERY clearly linked to my cycle and I am hoping to learn to predict when it will happen, and of course heal that.

 

However I am having windows like you would not believe. Windows where I am actually engaged in life instead of 

being held underwater by symptoms. I am so grateful for that. One thing that this whole experience has taught me

is being SO grateful for a "normal" day--normal ups and downs, this and that, just doing things and being in the moment.

 

I also read somewhere that the opposite of depression isn't necessarily happiness -- it's vitality. I LOVE that. 

 

Hope everyone is doing well.

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SkyBlue

Trying not to think about how LOOOOOONG doing 2% cuts will take me. Then getting off Zoloft. 

 

Truly, truly, I need to take my own and others' advice: It takes as long as it takes. Holding is a blessing (Jancarol?).

Staying safe and okay is more important than any artificial, self-imposed timeline of becoming med-free.

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Shep

 

 

I also read somewhere that the opposite of depression isn't necessarily happiness -- it's vitality. I LOVE that. 

 

 

I like that line, too. I think happiness is over-rated because it doesn't have enough depth, especially after all we've been through. We also need "meaning" and "purpose". That would solve a LOT of depression issues, I think. 

 

As far as waking at 1 am with rage and feeling suicidal, that may be a cortisol spike. There's a discussion about that in this thread:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/33-waking-with-panic-or-anxiety-managing-cortisol-spikes/

 

One thing that helped me was eating a bit of protein in my late night snack. That seemed to help keep my blood sugar regulated longer. And others list what helped them throughout that thread. Definitely worth a read. 

 

Since you've linked it to your cycle, at least you can tell it apart from your taper-induced symptoms, so that will help guide you in your taper. You're doing an amazing job of analyzing your symptoms and dealing with all of this. There's a very positive vibe coming through the pain, a sign of strength. 

 

Sending healing vibes your way. So glad to hear you're having some great windows. 

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SkyBlue

Thanks so much, Shep! :) 

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SkyBlue

Everyone, I am NOW ON 1 MG OF PAXIL! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 

 

Just did the drop from 1.002 to 1 mg on Saturday. 

 

Wasn't sure if I would make it down to this level . . . And I have! 

 

Main symptom from this tiny dose has been very mild dp/dr, and at times feeling intoxicated.

 

Will be doing a 2-week hold at least while I am on a much-anticipated (and hopefully minimally-interrupted-by-withdrawal) trip to another state.

 

Thanks to all for your friendship and support! ! ! ! :) :) :)  :D  :D  :D  :D

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brassmonkey

Congratulations SkyBlue on making it down to 1mg.  That's quite a mile stone.

 

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

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Shep

Awesome news, SkyBlue. Happy travels on your trip. I hope it's for a vacation.  :)

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Vigor

Hey SkyBlue. Thank you for the kind message on my thread. And congratulations on making it to 1mg, that is a huge milestone. 

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megb

1mg!?!? HOw wonderful!!!!! Get it girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jlynn

You are a rock star!!! So happy for you!

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SkyBlue

Everyone, I am now on less than 1 mg of Paxil! ! ! ! This feels very momentous. 

 

I am on... how many milligrams?… Hmm, I will update , but I'm doing the BrassMonkey Slide (™) and so I'm down about 2% from 1.0. I can just hear my wonderful brain going, "Ahhh, thank you SO much for holding, and for going so slowy." 

 

(I left for vacation and didn't see all of your wonderful responses until now. Thank you, Brassmonkey, Shep, Vigor, MegB and Jlynn!) 

 

Overall, things have been very good--especially in comparison to the dp/dr, cognitive stuff, and other severe symptoms I was having just a few months ago. I am still becoming quite depressed and "suicidal" (not actually suicidal-- I am safe and ultimately my life is worth living, but it feels that bad) at certain points in my cycle. I talked with a friend and she said cycle issues are VERY common in withdrawal. 

 

I have times where I feel hopeless, but tonight is not one of them. Tonight I am acutely aware that it is so vitally important that I am alive. I feel it in my belly. I am so grateful for it, and for all of you.

 

Fittingly, this song came on the radio today: The Beatles' Revolution:

 

"You say that it's the institution… 

well, you know,

you better free your mind instead!!" 

 

Hugs to all.

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AliG

 Sky Blue.  This is so great !  I'm so happy for you. It is momentous and I hope you celebrate that. What an accomplishment. You add a lovely spark of joy that's infectious.

Keep it up , but please come back to write your recovery / success story. 

We need more.  :) 

Hugs,

Ali

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SkyBlue

Thank you SO much, AlgiGintheHouse!!!! 

 

:) :) :) 

 

I plan on hanging around SA long after I am off the toxic meds… to be a ray of hope as so many have for me.

 

I am celebrating it! ! ! ! !

 

(Bc I'm going so slowly it will be a while before I'm off completely… And I also have to get off Zoloft … grrr… but there are definitely days where I can see the light!!!!)

 

Thanks again!!!

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brassmonkey

Hi SkyBlue-- Congratulations on breaking below 1mg. it's a really big deal!!!!! I found it to be a real changing point with steady and marked improvements.  WDnormal improved on almost a weekly basis.

 

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

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ravijaua

Skyblue I tried to do the same thing you are doing and it was great for 4 months. Actually I got down to 15 mg of paxil and 25 mg Zoloft. But then suddenly I started having severe anxiety, abdominal pain, nausea, gerd. I went down to 12.5 of Zoloft but had even more anxiety. I then realized I couldn't tolerate higher doses of Zoloft so I am now trying a Prozac bridge.

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ravijaua

I am currently doing 15 mg paxil and 10 mg of Prozac. So far I am good but I seem overstimulated, maybe too much serotonin. I judge this my when I work out, I sweat profusely, feel hot, sometimes even when it's nice out I feel hot and sweaty.  I'm not sure if I should wait 2-4 weeks to stabilize and then start weaning paxil at the brassmonkey method or 10% methods? any suggestions?

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ravijaua

altostrata suggested per Dr. Pry that you shouldn't stay on paxil/Prozac together for more than 2 weeks and that seems valid. I am thinking to stay on both for two weeks at 10 mg Prozac and 15 mg paxil and then taper paxil with the brassmonkey method but i'm not sure since I'm on Prozac too if that's too slow and maybe 10% is better so as to not get serotonin overload.

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Shep

I have times where I feel hopeless, but tonight is not one of them. Tonight I am acutely aware that it is so vitally important that I am alive. I feel it in my belly. I am so grateful for it, and for all of you.

 

Fittingly, this song came on the radio today: The Beatles' Revolution:

 

"You say that it's the institution… 

well, you know,

you better free your mind instead!!" 

 

Hugs to all.

 

 

This is beautiful, SkyBlue! I can feel your excitement as your dose gets lower and lower. Thank you for sharing it with us. Love the Beatle's song.  :)

 

 

 

 

 

(Bc I'm going so slowly it will be a while before I'm off completely… And I also have to get off Zoloft … grrr… but there are definitely days where I can see the light!!!!)

 

 

 

The skills you've learned while coming off Paxil are transferable to Zoloft. You've already shown you have the patience and the positive spirit that helped you with Paxil, so there's no doubt you'll do great with the Zoloft.

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

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SkyBlue

Thanks, everyone!!!
 

Brassmonkey, Thanks very much for the encouragement! :) I look forward to updating with steady improvements in "WDnormal." :)

 

Shep, Thank you as always! ! ! It is so important for me to hear that what I've done with tapering Paxil can also be applied to tapering Zoloft in the future. :)

 

Ravi, I think slow is definitely the way to go. I will try to stop by your thread. :) 

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SkyBlue

Saving a copy of BrassMonkey's excellent explanation of "WDnormal" and importance of going slow! 

 

brassmonkey, on 28 Jun 2016 - 8:47 PM, said:snapback.png

Just wanted to keep a copy of this here:

 

I see WDnormal as the overall baseline of where you are in general. The place you are when you're not feeling good, but you're not feeling bad. Sorta a rolling average of the past couple of months between the windows and waves.  Watching the level of WDnormal is a good indicator that things are improving.  Over time you should be seeing a raising of the standard for WDnormal.  So how you're feeling now is better than say six months ago. It changes very slowly but is a really good indicator.

 

 Many people have the idea that stability is feeling good again, when in fact it's feeling the same level of blah day after day with no big swings to the better or bad. When a person does a drop in dose there will be a corresponding increase in WD symptoms over the next few days.  These symptoms will resolve themselves over the following several weeks and return the person to a slightly raised baseline of discomfort. The time frame and severity are dependent on a huge number of factors and end up being unique to each individual.  But the pattern remains.  This is why paying attention to your WDnormal is very important.  It is also referred to as listening to your body.  After a drop in dose and the symptoms have resolved to WDnormal the person then should wait a couple of more weeks to let things really settle out (there are a lot of little unfelt changer still going on) before considering doing their next drop.

 

During that waiting time people may think that they're not doing anything and want to get on with it.  When in fact doing nothing is very proactive.  It's those little unfelt things that need to be finished up before the next step can be taken.  It's letting the glue harden, the paint dry, the cement cure.  The things that need to be complete before the path is safe to walk on again.  If these details are ignored then they start to pile up and compound each other, then somewhere down the line the foundation slips out from under us and the whole thing collapses.

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Mammoth

Hi SkyBlue,

 

I wanted to say thanks for your urging the other day on BrassMonkey's thread to discontinue all supplements except fish oil and Mg. I did that this week (well, I'm still taking my probiotic, as well, but that's it) and am already sleeping better than I have slept in months. I also have recommitted to my choice of healthy eating style which is keeping my blood sugar stable, so undoubtedly, that is helping, too. 

 

Starting w/d on Tuesday. A little nervous. 

 

I have a similar issue to you - once I am successful getting off Cymbalta (ETA - minimum of 5 years), then I will still have to wean off Wellbutrin. Sigh. But one thing at a time. Like you said in your introductory post, my primary goal is to stay alive. Secondary goal is to get off these meds.

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SkyBlue

Hi Austinine! Thanks for stopping by. You are very welcome! I'm glad you are sleeping better! And who knows, you probably will be able to return to some of the supplements in the future when your system isn't so sensitive. 

 

I think I borrowed the goal of "staying alive, and getting off these meds" from someone on this forum~ I love the way it's phrased because it emphasizes the most important thing first! It's so easy to want to go, go, go with tapering/withdrawal and that is where we get into trouble. 

 

So glad you are starting tapering on Tuesday! I'm subscribed to your thread so look forward to hearing how it goes! 

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SkyBlue

Hi everyone,

 

Looking for help / encouragement on two things: 

 

1. Grrrrr -- went down another 2% last week, and started feeling weird/intoxicated/lightheaded/head swooshing and very slight dp/dr in the evenings. It's unnerving but I tell myself it's WD because it started on a dime right after dropping. So going to hold for a while until that clears up.

 

2. Mornings are so difficult. I've read that other people struggle with that. In the morning, I often feel hopeless, like I don't care if I go on living (which isn't TRUE -- just feels very true). As the day goes on it usually gets better. It is like dealing with two different realities, as I saw Jose (15 years is enough) wrote in his thread. 

 

Thoughts, hopeful comments? Thanks, friends. 

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SkyBlue

P.S. I believe in being proactive, I'm working with my amazing therapist (CBT and some DBT) on separating from the thoughts. The thoughts aren't real -- just look at what I wrote a week ago about my life being important, and of course it is. I'm making a LOT of changes right now

and need to be gentle with / kind to myself (new concept!!!!!!).

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brassmonkey

Hi Skyblue-- it's a learning and growing process to say the least.  So many aspects to delve into and so many new things to try and make sense of, and all while our minds aren't close to functioning properly. So frustrating, but in the end so worth it.  Continue with learning about new methods and incorporating them into your life, they will serve your well.

 

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

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