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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
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LOV4K9  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

8 years on Prozac, restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction

 

Here was my recovery timeline:

 

Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings.

 

Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare).

 

Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to.

 

Present (Month 28 ): My life is completely back on track... right where I left off before the adverse reaction. I'm running on all cylinders and happy as can be. The nightmare of the adverse reaction and protracted recovery is just a distant memory now. I still visit this site to see how some folks are doing, but I'm no longer active. In fact, my recovery is so complete that I don't relate to the suffering anymore.....this is amazing because it means that I wasn't permanently scarred by the experience. At the time, the suffering and loss of normal life was devastating and I was convinced my life was ruined forever, but now I view the ordeal as just *blip* in my life.

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Someone named BanjoDan  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 

I can't believe it has been 2 years since i took my last evil little paxil. I posted 1 year ago that after a year of intense suffering I had found success and was virtually symptom free. I have to somewhat reevaluate that diagnosis now being two years off, as I feel much better both mentally and physically now than I ever have.

 

My insomnia is GONE.. I pass out within moments of hitting the pillow not hours, and never wake up early or in the middle of the night.

 

My digestive system is solid enough to handle the toughest tasting menu a restaurant can throw at. I'm ready for the coney Island Hot dog eating contest I think.

 

Anxiety, Depression, FEAR, OCD etc.. ALL completely gone... I thought 1 year ago they were gone but I was wrong, I feel like a zen buddhist compared to then.

 

I could list the rest of the symptoms I don't have anymore but I won't because I had almost all of them at one point from being suicidal to looking and feeling like I was undergoing radiation and chemo.. and they are all gone.

 

To everyone who is suffering right now, I never thought I would heal as I was on such a high dose 60mg.. didn't cold turkey but messed around dropping 30mg at a time that I might as well have, and I am the picture of health. I just got back from a month in Israel and Egypt and hiked my way in 110 degree temps in and around the valley of the kings and pyramids without feeling like a Paxil victim but a normal healthy human being.

 

I don't take supplements or massive amounts of vitamins I never did but my fish oil and a daily organic vitamin... I will say meditation is something I couldn't have done without during all these times and to this day is something I practice daily.

 

 Keep up the hope that you will get there I know you all will on your own schedule.

 

 Avanti,

 Dan

 

 On 60mg Paxil for IBS since 1999

 Paxil Free since July 23rd 2005!

1 Year for full recovery!!!!!!!!!!!

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CHALLENGE   From Paxilprogess, a now defunct site

 

Around end of 2005, i stopped taking Paxil completely. after around 5 years of using AD in total. 3.5 year of which was Paxil and 1.5 years of Celexa. throughout 2005~2006 I was totally messed up. unable to do anything. i thought I was done and I reached the end of the line and i never recover. I thought I've gone crazy. But i got better a little bit. i could go back to school on September 2006. taking only 1 course in the 1st semester and 2 courses in the 2nd semester. my memory was still very messed up. long story short. as time passed, i got better and better. now, i'd say i'm 98% recovered. still have a bit of memory problem here and there. but I can say even comparing to last year, i feed noticeably better now! so i guess after 5 years, i am still recovering!

 

my point is! all you lovely people out there, you lost hope after feeling like hell for a very prolonged time, (I am talking about 4~5 years) there is hope. you will get better. just take a good care of yourself. and treat yourself well. do not resist what is and flow with it! you will get better. keep the faith! i know how it feels. the loneliness, the frustration, the depression, dead emotions, depersonalization, derealization, i had them all for almost about a year! you guys are truly heroes.

 

with lots of love.

 

May you recover quick!

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
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AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE  from Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years

 

Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal.

 

Currently I cope with:

 

arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated.

 

numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement.

 

Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all.  I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time.

 

I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point. I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will.

 

Akaenew

 

 Paxil since July, 1994

 As much as 20mg daily

 10mg daily for most of 12 years

 Alternated 5mg and 7.5mg daily ~ last 2 years

 5mg daily June, July 2006

 2.5 mg daily couple days end of July

 Last dose of paxil 7-31-06

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English Annie : A RECOVERY STORY   From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 

And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg.

 

Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying.

Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011. Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly.

 

When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal. But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out.

 

On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since.

 

At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks.

 

I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now.

 

 "THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher)    

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Shea Carney   From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 

It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred.

 

I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best.

 

The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about.

 

Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed.

 

So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard.

 

AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family.

 

I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit.

 

I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates.

 

So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing. 

 

I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time.

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Iggy records an update from a member form Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 

I just got a phone call from Dottie. Many have asked me how she was doing, after having and posting her horrendous experience with Paxil withdrawal. Her posting ended without us knowing the final result of her story.

 

Well, I'm thrilled to report that she is doing amazing! She was noticing small changes recently, but in the last three days she is completely back to normal. She was agoraphobic for years(6) after getting off paxil(a rapid wean). She was told by a doctor that she would never recover due to permanent brain damage. She was suicidal, hospitalized and despondent. Oh, how wrong he was. This week she went to the 99 cent store and shopped, went to the food store for 3 hours..and shopped. She saw the ducks outside her home with joy, that use to be indifference.

 

She wanted me to tell everyone here that there is hope. Dottie is a "senior" who thought she would die never recovering from the zombie life that paxil had left her with, but now she is joyful once again. Her advanced age may have contributed to the long period of time that this took.

Her and her husband Lloyd are once again back in life. I'm so happy that she reached out with update.

 

Never give up, never accept that this will never end, and never believe that you are permanently damaged. It can take a long time, but if you are patient it will happen.    

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Ricky's Update  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 

I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up.

 

This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care.

 

Ricky

 

Psalms 94:19

Philippians 4:6-7

 

4 Years on SSRI's. C/T on 6/1/07.

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ZOLOFTFREE  From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 Update after 5 years off an extrememly severe cold turkey withdrawal

 

 Hello with blessings to you all! I just logged in for the first time in a while and wanted to share some insights and updates about how I am.

 Here is what my withdrawal years ago was like:

 

To give you my background, I went cold turkey off of Zoloft after being on SSRIs for about 11 years (Zoloft for 7 years and Prozac for 4 years).

Possibly b/c I was pregnant, I had an extrodinarily severe withdrawal. I have heard of very few who had it as bad as me.

For months, I was too sick to even leave my bedroom and could not even come to the computer. My husband and I had to move in with my parents because I was so sick. I often lived moment to moment, hour to hour. For months, I could not even read a book I was so ill. I wanted to die so bad. I wished I had never been born.

 

However, I would not end my life b/c I am very deeply religous and knew that deep down in my soul, this was happening to me for a reason and that I had to endure this. I knew that one day, even if it was not until my life had ended and I was in the next world, I would understand why I had to go through this. My fear and anxiety were so severe, I could often not even hold a conversation. Thankfully, my family did not hospitalize me. I am so grateful they didn't b/c I would have been drugged beyond recognition and I probably never would have recovered! I was so so sensitive to light and sound that many times, I shut myself in a dark closet just to avoid stimulation. I once spent 3 days straight in a dark closet and had all my meals in there too.

 

 I had such terrible akathesia at times that I felt as if I had 20 shots of expresso running through my body. I would pace for hours and just could not sit still. I just wanted to jump outside of my body it was so bad. My heart constantly pounded loudly in my chest! I could not drive a car and when I was in a car, I had to wear ear plugs and an eye mask b/c of the stimulation. The thought of leaping off a building to get out of my body sounded like a welcoming relief at the time.

 

I often could not even have a conversation I was so overstimulated that I could not even speak. It was just too stimulating to hear sound. After being off of Zoloft for about 8 months, I was suffering so much (and it got worse in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy) that I took Klonopin. However, sadly, my metoblic enzymes were so destroyed (from the cold turkey off of the SSRIs) that I had an adverse, toxic reaction to the Klonopin. It affected my vision and made it so my eyes could not focus properly. It made it so my eyes could not converge right. However, the worst side effect of the Klonopin was the severe, crushing headaches. They were so severe that I had to go to the emergency room on many occasions. I was prescribed Vicodin but it did not take the pain completely away and it caused worse rebound headaches. The Klonopin did not help much with the anxiety b/c my body quickly built a tolerance to it. By the time I realized it was the Klonopin causing these effects, I was already addicted to it and could not stop cold turkey.

 

I never ever imagined that I could ever be happy again. I only endured this b/c of my faith in God. So here is the good news:

 

When I was 15 months off of Zoloft, I saw very very small windows of improvement (mainly at night). When I was about 18 months off, I felt much better however, I still had to deal with the terrible side effects of Klonopin b/c I was scared to get off the Klonopin cold turkey. So I spent over 3 and 1/2 years tapering off of the Klonopin and got off the Klonopin at the end of Nov 2009. So I have been SSRI free for about 5 years and Benzo free for about 5 months.

 

Guys, I feel so much better. I did eventually heal alot. However, I am not yet 100%. I consider myself about 90% healed. Each year it gets better and I know it will continue to get better! I still have residual symptoms. My autonomic nervous system is still very very sensitive. I cannot have friendly debates with ppl as I find it is too stimulating and gives me heart palpitations. I have trouble in large crowds b/c of the stimulation. A concert would be out of the question for me. My eyes still suffer from convergence issues with my eyes from the reaction to the Klonopin. I have severe dry eyes and some floaters. I still get bouts of lightheadedness and dizziness. I cannot tolerate any herbs or medications at all. I also feel like my brain is sometimes in a fish tank and I have trouble concentrating. I also at times have trouble articulating my thoughts while it was once very easy for me too. I have stress sensitivity which I never had before I took these meds. This is probably due to minor damage to the autonomic nervous system. I no longer have any severe symptoms. They are only minor and are livable.

 

Btw, please know that you will probably not have the residual symptoms that I still have. I think I have them b/c I had one of the very worst withdrawals. But I am able to be happy and enjoy life even with the residual issues. Most ppl heal almost 100%. But I have faith I will continue to feel better. I still think I will fully heal one day! However, despite all of those residual symptoms, I am able to lead a normal, happy, and fufulling life! I can drive a car again. I can read books. These are things I used to not be able to do. I can be a mom and a good wife! I was even able to work a part time job from home after a few years off the meds. I continue to get better!! I see improvements even years off! If we treat our bodies right, we will see improvements even many years off! I just have to learn when I am pushing myself too much. I am happy again! I can also bring joy to others.

 

 I have faith that I will continue to recover as I have seen so much improvement over the years! Please let me share what has helped me in case this might help you. Please know this is just my opinion and others might have different opinions. In my opinon, the best way to heal is to become as "healthy" as possible. Eating super super healthy. I would recommend no processed foods at all. a diet of many fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and only 100 % whole grains. Avoid any salt. I get my sodium from natural sources like tomatoes and celery. I can not tell you how much of a difference avoiding salt has made! I eat now about a 90% to 95% raw diet. Alot of ppl who have had very severe withdrawals have damage to their gut and cannot metabolize alot of foods well. We are often not only sensitive to meds now, but to food additives, chemicals in foods and etc. I also encourage good food combining for health. You can google to find out about "food combining". I think the key is to make digestion as easy as possible.

 

In my opinion, in order for your body to heal to its best, it is important to let your body rest and and rejuvenate. The best way for your body to rest is to eat foods that are as easy to digest as possible. Our bodies use most of its energy in digestion so if you want your body to focus on healing, I recommend eating as much raw foods as possible and no processed foods. That is what i try to do and it has really really helped. I think it is important to eat both foods that are not processed and are also easy to digest. Even some foods that are not processed can be hard to digest. Red meat is an example of this. If you eat a huge steak, your body will spend hours and hours trying to digest the meat and during that time it cannot focus on healing. I found that eating small, easy to digest, unprocessed meals gave my body a lot of time to heal b/c it did not have to work so hard at digesting the food. When you eat foods like fruits and vegetables, your body can quickly digest these foods and then can go back to the task of healing from withdrawal. So I think the less work your body has to do to digest food, the more time it can spend on healing damaged cells.  Another very important thing is proper elimination. If you are not eliminating frequently enough, the toxins are not leaving your body and are just recirculating. Magnesium citrate is very helpful if this a problem for you.

 

When we cut our finger, it will immediately start to heal if we do not continue to injure it. The same thing with withdrawal! The problem, in my opinion, is that we continue to eat unhealthy foods like packaged foods and non natural foods, our body has to work so hard to digest these foods and that it can not immediately attend to healing from the withdrawal. If we only consume natural foods, avoid meds, get tons of rest, get sunshine, and very gentle exercise, then we are allowing our body to heal because we are not bothering it with having to deal with the toxins we eat. I fear when we continue to put toxins in our body like unhealthy foods and meds, it delays the healing process. I learned alot of this health stuff from reading the works of Dr. Max Gerson and Norman Walker.

 

As a side note, I read that some ppl might get sick if they go on a 100% raw food diet overnight b/c they might detoxify too quickly. Or they might not be able to release their toxins and their toxins will just recirculate and make them feel sicker. The body has to be strong to detoxify. If your organs are not strong enough to push the toxins out, they will just recirculate. I read it can be dangerous to go 100% raw overnight if you are very toxic. Therefore, if you want to eat healthier, you might need to taper into a healthier diet slowly.

 

Btw, I think toxic emotions are toxins too! Holding in anger towards others is toxic to our body. Learn to love and forgive and that helps to heal!

I think if you eat super super healthy, get sunshine (the sun is so healing and gives life to all), and do gentle exercise (like walking or the exercise bike) you will be fortifying your body over time with all it needs to heal. Also, most imporantly, please don't underestimate the power of the mind to heal. Constantly say positive affirmations that you will heal. There is "no seperation" between the mind and body.

 

Please understand how powerful our conscious and especially subconsious mind is! There are diseases like hysterical blindness and hysterical paralysis that are just based on our minds! There is disorder called pseudocyesis where women think they are pregnant and their bodies look and act pregnant and this comes from their minds! The reason I cite these examples is to show how influental your mind and faith is in recovery. I can not emphasize this enough! Our bodies will do what our minds tell it to do!

 

I also feel that having faith in God is so important. I had people read me the book of Job when I was sick (I could not read myself) and other books on healing from God. That really helped give me hope and inspiration.

 Please feel free to PM me anytime. I don't know how often I will be checking my PMs so please don't think I am avoiding your message if you don't hear back right away.

 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

With blessings,

Kim

 

God really does heal! Don't loose hope! I was in bed for about 18 months due to a cold turkey withdrawal from one med and a severe toxic reaction from another med and am now able to almost fully function. During that time I could usually not read a book or use the internet and was often bed bound and now I can do almost everything! It does get better.

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SNOWCHILD   From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 

Well, it's been 1 year and 3 days since my last zoloft. It was rough but I made it. I really have to say that I am completely recovered now. The lingering issues have also resolved. It was hard in the beginning. I had depersonalization, constant anxiety attacks, tremors, twitching, depression, ocd, tinnitus, heart palps...(maybe more) I cant remember anymore. It is amazing how lucid my mind has been the past few months.

 

In the beginning I started to have a lot of memories popping up but lately, my mind is sharp like a knife. Not only that I remember things, i am also quick witted. I remember phone numbers and addresses now without writing them down. What a big difference from not being able to do simple arithmitics before. Anxiety has gotten better too. I no longer have heart palps after drinking caffeine. I didn't drink alcohol for 1 year and started a few days ago. 1st night, I drank 3 and 1/2 glasses of wine and I did not feel buzzed nor did I feel hangover the next day. On zoloft, I used to get really messed up and bad hangovers. Sometimes blackouts too. i am amazed how much better my liver is now that I metablize alcohol much better. I am actually able to enjoy drinks without feeling terrible afterwards. My tinnitus has gone away lately as well. Anxiety and ocd level decreased dramatically lately.

 

I truly feel recovered! I have not tried strenuous exercise lately so i'm not sure if i will still get vertigo from it. Maybe if I am stressed again some symptoms may manifest but as of now. Everything is all good. This will have to you too!

 

 Zoloft 25-200mg 1996-April 7, 2009

 -was put on for major depression

 -during pregnancy in 2003 decreased dosage to 25mg and towards the end of pregnancy stopped taking

 -was put back on after divorce

 -started tapering since 2006 but forced to ct at 25mg on April 7, 2009

 xanax/ativan here and there but probably did not exceed 20pills in the past 13 years

 stayed away from alcohol, caffeine, nicotine

 90% recovered since 9/10/09

 still have tinnitus that comes and goes

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

SCHNAUZERPOWER   From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 2 Year Update

 

Hi everyone,

 

Well, it seems like I just posted my one year update, but here I am posting my 2 year update! All I can say is that things have definitely improved for me. I still have some symptoms pop up every now and then but it's nothing I cannot manage anymore. There have been some nights when I have difficulty sleeping; some days I feel weepy and anxious; and yes my ears are still ringing. But all of these have gone down in intensity which is why I can cope better. And oh yes, episodes of brain zaps have been less and less and it's almost gone now.

 

I used to not be able to tolerate any form of exercise, but now I do walking, 25 minutes on the stationary bike and some free weights. I am steadily losing weight at last. I think what really helped boost my recovery these past few months were the Magnesium caps and Fish Oil. I take 250 mg of Chelated Magnesium and 1200 mg of Fish Oil everyday and it seems to help me a lot.

 

But the best tool that I have learned this past year to help me cope with withdrawal is to make sure that I STOP FEARING THE SYMPTOMS. Early in withdrawal, I was in constant fear of what I will go through and what I am going through. I was afraid of hearing my ears ring, was afraid to lie down and try to sleep, was afraid to eat things, drink medicines for it might trigger another wave. But then I realized that hey, being afraid does not make it easier for me. So whenever I feel a wave coming (which is signaled by my ringing getting louder), I just stop and breathe and say, ok just another hump but it won't kill me unless I let it kill me. So I just look forward to the ride down the hump and to how better I will feel after.

 

So to everyone who helped me get this far, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I hope you guys give me the opportunity to help you in return and change your lives as much as you guys have changed mine. To all those who are just about to hit their "HUMP", hang in there. It will be a bumpy ride, but the ride down will be well worth it, I promise

 

 Started Seroxat 20mgs July 25 '07

 Tapered for 1 month Nov '07

 Restarted Seroxat 20mgs Dec '07

 Tapered for 1 month Feb '08

 Seroxat Free since March 1 '08

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600   
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

NOLEX   From Paxilprogress, a now defunct site

 UPDATE - 3 YEARS TODAY

 

It's 3 a.m. and I'm up because I was hungry and decided to check email while eating my snack. I found I had a message from a PP member asking about my condition these days only to realize what interesting timing it was since exactly 3-years ago today I stopped Lexapro after only a 6-week trial. I had no idea that day what hell was ahead for me. I haven't posted in a long time and I owe this to any of you who have followed my story, and of course, to those of you in the thick of it. I compare my story much to Shea Carney, Lilly and a few others here that probably suffered the worst. If you want more background you can go back and read my old posts. But in a nutshell, my whole life fell apart not long after stopping Lexapro.

 

I became horribly ill with severe depersonalization that lasted about 19 months, massive stomach and digestive issues, headaches, unreal anxiety and fear, apathy, depression...the list goes on. Luckily, I never chased after doctors to diagnose and cure me; somehow I just knew this was some type of severe withdrawal and Paxil Progress, Drugs.com and every book I could get my hands on about this gave me the strength to hold on for a very nasty road ahead.

 

To be honest, I don't know how I made it through except for the fact that I had a loving fiance (now husband) that cared for me every second he wasn't at work. During the first year I was like a prisoner in my own home, and in my own body. In some ways, the 13 - 24 month period was worse because I was still very sick but friends and family were giving up on me. My fiance never gave up on me, but even he started to suffer from some compassion fatigue and I could see the fear in his eyes, wondering whether or not I would fully come through. I was certainly more functional during months 13 - 24 than the first 12, but still I could not work, have obligations, feel truly relaxed and plan my future. I managed to attend some functions and get out on my own and finally drive, but it was a struggle, still baby steps for sure. I guess around 24-months I realized true recovery was indeed happening, but it didn't become real until sometime around the 2 1/2 year mark. It seems like all of the sudden my shattered self started to glue back together and I finally recognized me again.

 

I feel good most days now, but I have a few days a month where I still struggle and even a day here and there that really sets me back. It frustrates the hell out of me when that happens this far out, but I still believe I am recovering. My case was so bad, I would not be surprised if it took a couple more years to get 100% or close to it. Don't worry, I'm doing better now than I even thought ever possible a year ago! Two months ago I got married and let me tell you...the wedding was a much bigger deal than it was supposed to be! I handled the stress pretty well and felt great on my wedding day! We married two years later than we had hoped, but this nightmare actually bonded us and our relationship is stronger than ever would have been, I'm sure of it. In many ways, I'm a much better person having gone through this, certainly more wise. I learned to take care of my body, eat healthy organic food (but do cheat now and then and I can actually drink coffee again without having a negative reaction!), I'm taking my finances very seriously and we are building a large emergency fund because you just never know as we experienced, I'm more compassionate, and more skeptical about consumer marketing, drugs, doctors, etc.

 

An experience as such will smack you in the face so hard your world view will forever change as I found out. There has been a loss of innocence and I am a changed person because of this, but I actually think I may be better. I go back and forth with that one because I still have issues and there is no excuse for what happened to me. And I would never want to go through it again even for the benefits of my new wisdom. But since it happened, at least I see a silver lining. I can't lie, I still worry. I'm too cautious these days and wish I could "let go" like I used to and I still have strange dreams most nights and before this drug I rarely remembered dreams, but I guess I can stand it with the hope it too will abate. There are few other unresolved problems I'm sure, just can't think of them at the moment, but I deal.

 

I still react to the trauma of it all too, but I'm moving away from it all the time. My husband and I were only in our house two months before this happened to me. The house was a major fixer and what I will describe as an inhospitable environment to recover in. We managed to work on it during my recovery, but it has only become the "scene of the crime" for me and so we listed it for sale last week. I wanted to move a couple times before, but for various reasons it did not happen and in fact, I'm glad. I don't think I recovered enough to get a fresh start somewhere else, but now I feel ready. I think it will make a huge difference! I've been excited about the future and anxious for the move!

 

Like Shea said before, there is no magic bullet, just the passage of time...and hope. And if you are still in the stage where you need Paxil Progress for comfort all the time don't beat yourself up over it, it's OK. Never fear, as you heal won't dwell on the crap that happened to you and will no longer need comfort here. You will move on and like me, merge onto your highway of life and PP will be remebered as the crutches that helped you to walk again. I no longer need to come here like before, but I hope this post helps those of you in withdrawal and thank you always to everyone who keeps this site alive and well!

 __________________

 Adverse reaction to 10mg Lexapro. Quit cold turkey after six weeks of use.

 Depersonalization (starting to resolve!)

 anxiety/fear (so, so much better)

 bronchitis (resolved)

 GI upset (much improved)

 vivid dreaming

 headaches (only if overstimulated)

 eye pain (resolved)

 tingling (came back a little bit)

 Depression (resolved for most part)

 fatigue

 slightly dizzy

 Still healing, but starting to feel like old self...tired old self...18 months as of 4/1/08

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oskcajga   
oskcajga

I notice that no one has commented after your posts in a while, but I just wanted to say thank the good lord for your efforts.  When PP went offline, I was very frustrated, because those success stories and the quantity of wisdom that one could search on that website was beyond helpful to me for a very long time.  Lo and behold, here are some of the very success stories that helped me talk myself down off of the ledge countless times, or just made my day that much more hopeful.

 

IMO this should be a stickied topic because this is literally more than a decade of wisdom and hope combined into one post across two very important websites (PP and survivingantidepressants.org). 

 

I'm so glad that survivingantidepressants.org exists as a home for some of these stories, just so glad.

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LoveandLight   
LoveandLight

That account of Dottie is just beautiful

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Prestorb   
Prestorb

Thank you so much CW, for posting all those success stories. We all need all the encouragement we can get, and it means so much to read these and have hope revived. Thank you!!

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AliG   
AliG

 Thank you, for this. It's gold!  very encouraging.

 

I notice that no one has commented after your posts in a while, but I just wanted to say thank the good lord for your efforts.  When PP went offline, I was very frustrated, because those success stories and the quantity of wisdom that one could search on that website was beyond helpful to me for a very long time.  Lo and behold, here are some of the very success stories that helped me talk myself down off of the ledge countless times, or just made my day that much more hopeful.

IMO this should be a stickied   topic , because this is literally more than a decade of wisdom combined in

to one post across two very important websites (PP and survivingantidepressants.org). 

 

I'm so glad that survivingantidepressants.org exists as a home for some of these stories, just so glad.

 

   I agree with this.

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oskcajga   
oskcajga

Still an awesome thread.  I get something from this thread every single time I read it.  It's like reading the bible, I just sort of pick up things I didn't previously.

 

Probably best to focus on success stories than to focus on debilitating and difficult symptoms.

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Mort81   
Mort81

Thanks for posting these stories It means so much

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LexAnger   
LexAnger

In total agreement!

I come here every while to gain strength, hope to continue, especially when in bad waves.

 

These are life saving! Thank you forever CM for your effort helping us!

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oskcajga   
oskcajga

I'm excited right now.  I found an archived version of an old defunct website that contains pages and pages of success stories:

 

Included here are NUMEROUS updates at 3-48 + months off psych meds, and countless success stories - many of which have been posted here by Cymbaltawithdrawal (but not all of the updates were saved by CW).

 

Note:  you can also use this website to look around the paxilprogress website to find various posts you may wish to investigate.

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20140807093729/http://www.paxilprogress.org/forums/showthread.php?t=52449

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oskcajga   
oskcajga

Here's a couple really encouraging success stories I pulled out of that archived thread. 

 

I can remember during my most acute phases of withdrawal back in 2013, reading these stories really helped me out so much - and helped talk me down from the ledge more times than I can count.  I feel very strongly about preserving their existence here on the internet, so here's some that I have not seen posted on SA yet for people to feel optimistic over:

 

Note:  These are all success stories posted by individual users on a now defunct website (paxilprogress.org):

 

#1.

 

TYBR61

 

5 YEAR UPDATE

 

Tomorrow it will have been 5 years since I took my last dose of Paxil. Long story short--I went from 20 mg to 10 mg to 5mg to 0 mg in the course of about a month. Found PP 6 months later when I was searching the internet with raging anxiety. Too late then to go back on the Paxil. Just had to endure withdrawal. For me, the anxiety was the worst part of my withdrawal. I also could not listen to music, watch movies, or read anything during withdrawal. I had several physical symptoms too but I didn't mind dealing with those as much. Except for the heart issues.

A brief timeline went like this:

 

0-6 months off - mood swings, zaps, and fatigue

6-9 months off - moderate anxiety, stomach issues and loss of appetite

10-12 months off - extreme anxiety (began taking Buspar and it was somewhat helpful), stomach issues and loss of appetite, agoraphobia and other common withdrawal symptoms

14-18 months off - heart issues (that resolved once I got further through withdrawal) and moderate to severe anxiety (it fluctuated) mostly due to concern about the heart issues

19-24 months - mild anxiety, began feeling like I was coming out of the fog. Started to feel a little more normal each day. Started getting out and doing a few simple things.

24 months - today - I exercise daily (vigorously) for 30-45 minutes, go places with crowds, go to movie theatres, listen to music, laugh, etc.

 

The one lingering effect I have is my reading. I used to be a quick reader and now I struggle with comprehension some. I think its because I didn't read for so

 

long (while I was on Paxil I wasn't interested in reading and during withdrawal I couldn't so I went about 5 years without reading books, newspapers, etc.) It just takes me much longer to read a book than it used to and I have to reread pages sometimes.

 

Just wanted you that are stuggling to know that there really is a light at the end of all this. It takes awhile and I know all too well that the struggle is minute to minute. It's a tough battle, I know. The best advice I have is to not think into the future. Just stay with the moment. Get through each day, hour, or minute and don't worry about what you will be like tomorrow or a year from now. One day you will realize that you are improving. It's one of the hardest things I have had to do but I will tell you that I am a better and stronger person for having gone through it. Another piece of advice is to walk if you can. I started walking at the worst of my withdrawal just to burn off some of the adrenaline fromt he excessive anxiety.

 

If you want to know more of my story and how I got to where I am, just do a search for all of my posts and you can see my progression through withdrawal.

 

 

------------------

#2

 

Linlou

Totally recovered at One year Anniversary
 

I have made it to the the other side and in actuality I am better than when I started this journey. I began this madness with being polydrugged and freshly diagnosed as bipolar 2 after a too rapid taper from a 15 year use of antidepressants. i entered into what I now know was a hypomanic state from the withdrawal from the Lexapro. My mental and physical health worsened rapidly and a psychiatrist put me on many psych drugs and Klonopin. I just got worse and worse. I began to question the wisdom of my psychiatrist and stumbled upon this forum and became educated and started a taper off all drugs. Make no mistake, this is by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my 55 years. I wanted to end my life many many times over the past 4 years.

 

My taper was very difficult with the mental symptoms causing the most anguish for me. Intrusive memories, irrational thinking, the darkest depression imaginable, and excessive rumination were with me almost 24/7. there were brief respites but they were far and few between. I knew I was going mad and would never be the same person again. I wanted to die. My physical symptoms were fatigue, insomnia, severe neck, shoulder, and back pain and spasms, hot and cold flashes, brain zaps and nausea. I lost 20 pounds during the drugging and the taper (this was a good thing!). The first 10 months after the taper ended were still more of the same. However I did start to get more and more windows but I would continually lose hope when the window closed. I felt defeated and just wished I could escape this torture. Nothing gave me joy and I lost my connection with the world. Depersonalization set in after the taper was over. I was a stranger in my world. Finally after about 7 months the intrusive memories and obsessions left overnight--I awoke one morning and they were gone. Then at about 10 months off I awoke one morning and the depression vanished. A true Miracle. It has not returned. I still have fear that it will come back but I think that will fade as I get further away from the drugs. I'm not sure what aided in my recovery but I will share with you what I did try. I exercised and got outside for fresh air and sunshine everyday. I ran 3 marathons in this journey. I did yoga and and practiced meditation and breathing exercies. I took no supplements, no alcohol (tried it a few times but it caused major depression), tried therapy (do not recommend), spent days on this forum reading, forced myself to get up and go out into the world everyday, forced myself to interact with people, and prayed. I listened to soothing music. I had the complete support of my husband which was crucial to my recovery. I snuggled with my cats. i journaled my feelings daily.

 

Today, I awoke with anticipation of the day outside. I met friends for coffee, went cross country skiing, went grocery shopping, tutored an elementary student at the neighborhood school, cleaned my house and I feel great. I use to envy people who could just go out and be normal. That is what I am doing. Thoughts about the w/d are receding into the background finally. I have full cognitive abilities again. I am still sensitive to stress but it is amazing now that when that happens I immediately start to think about deep breathing and just letting the situation flow through me. My brain has really been trained to not overreact anymore. I appreciate all the moments of my day. Never have I lived this fully before. So yes, there have been benefits to this journey. I thought I would the one who would never heal--but I did. You will also. You must be patient and not add any more drugs to your body. Our bodies are wondrous entities that have have the amazing capacity to heal. Please give yours that chance.
To all the mods, admins and members--YOU SAVED MY LIFE!!

 

--------------

 

#3

 

TIGERLILLY

 

(from what I can tell this is a 6 year update - this was posted in 2013, last drug was at the end of 2007)

 

I am one of those people who has not posted for a long time. My history is too long to go into - if you are interested, my earliest posts detail it. Suffice to say, I had an utterly horrific coldturkey withdrawal from Effexor and a cocktail of drugs in 2006. I weaned off the last drug in early December 2007.

I felt as if I were dead. All the symtoms you list I can fully relate to. I felt complete and utter panic that I would never ever be the same again. I am not exactly the same, but I am so, so much improved. I was in such a bad way after the withdrawal that even a psychologist conceded that it was almost as if I had suffered a stroke. I struggled to speak, could not write or spell properly, could not add and subtract, could not remember the street map of my city, was agoraphobic (which I have never been in my life), had no interest in sex whatsoever, could not watch TV (it was too painful), and generally could not relate to other people at all.

Although I am nowhere near perfect I really want to encourage you because I never thought I would ever get any better. It was a HUGE struggle, and I just tried to get through each day, but gradually I am coming back to life.

I cannot spell or express myself as succintly as I used to, but if I can't spell something, I just substitute another word. It has taught me patience with others I never had before (in fact, I was a spelling snob before). I can speak to others again without stammering. My brain is gradually clearing and I no longer feel constantly ill (previously I felt as if I had been poisoned within an inch of my life). I am no longer agoraphobic. I am not back to travelling out of town much yet, but go out and about now. I am a lot more comfortable in my own skin. It is not at the 100% mark yet, but compared to how I was before it is heaven (I could not even get into a bath of water because it was too painful).

My confidence is gradually returning, and when it deserts me a bit, I am learning to fake it, and people don't notice a thing. Maybe I'm not the "mind like a steel trap" type I used to be. Maybe I'll get back to that, but in some ways it has made me more human. To be honest it's a lesson I would happily have done without, but it has made me more open to other people with some intellectual glitches that I would previously have (very politely) overlooked or dismissed. The other thing that has happened (I don't relish talking about this in a public forum, but I will because I know how much it bothered me) is that my sex drive is returning. I really thought it had gone for good, but it is definitely coming back. It is amazing to discover that this is possible. I really felt that life was not worth living without it. The other thing I have noticed is that it seems to be linked to creativity. As it returns, I can feel that I am looking at the world in a more intense, creative way - like I did before those evil bastard doctors got hold of me.

I also could not read for a very, very long time. While it is not as soothing to me as it used to be, I have gradually been reading more and more. I am now motoring through books. My concentration is not back to normal, but is about 80% of the way there. I am able to watch TV. I have not yet gone out to movies (the last one I saw was in April 2006 before the withdrawal), but am starting to look forward to my first one in over 2 years.

Even my hair is starting to look better. I have cut off all the layers that were messed up by medication. I am heavier than I would like to be, after being bedridden for a year and a half. That is my next task. I have lost a lot of strength and my body has taken a heavy beating, but I am now looking for gentle ways to get moving.

Dan, all I can say is that I NEVER dreamed I would be saying these things. I really was an utter wreck. I was convinced I was permanently damaged. I just knew it. I was wrong! I'm not saying it's all sunshine and roses. If I could choose to never have gone through this I would in an instant. I did not know that such suffering was possible. But I did go through it and I am now so much better than I ever thought I could be. I have moments now where I can see the beauty in life again. Having gone throught the fire, those moments do have a more exquisite sweetness to them. My emotions are back and probably too close to the surface, but I'm sure that will even out. To care about anything at all feels so incredible. I was so indifferent for such a long time.

My relationship fell apart under the strain of everything in February 2007. We tried to reconcile later in the year and it did not work out - we broke up in December 2008. It was a very difficult relationship and there was some violence towards me. I am still trying to deal with that too. My dad passed away at the age of 58 on 1 February 2008. We had a complicated relationship because of his alcoholism. I now wish I had been less tough on him. One of my main motivations for getting through all this was to spite all those awful doctors - not the loftiest of motivations, but strong nonetheless. If they had had their way I would be a drugged up, brain-dead zombie by now. I know that if I bumped into one of them now I would be able to hold my own without stuttering, or crying from anger and emotion. I know that I would quietly and confidently be able to tell them that they are destroying people's lives, and that I have survived despite them.

Dan you will get there. You will get your soul back.

Much love
Tigerlily

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

#4:

 

NOLEX

UPDATE - 3 YEARS TODAY
It's 3 a.m. and I'm up because I was hungry and decided to check email while eating my snack. I found I had a message from a PP member asking about my condition these days only to realize what interesting timing it was since exactly 3-years ago today I stopped Lexapro after only a 6-week trial. I had no idea that day what hell was ahead for me.

I haven't posted in a long time and I owe this to any of you who have followed my story, and of course, to those of you in the thick of it. I compare my story much to Shea Carney, Lilly and a few others here that probably suffered the worst. If you want more background you can go back and read my old posts. But in a nutshell, my whole life fell apart not long after stopping Lexapro. I became horribly ill with severe depersonalization that lasted about 19 months, massive stomach and digestive issues, headaches, unreal anxiety and fear, apathy, depression...the list goes on. Luckily, I never chased after doctors to diagnose and cure me; somehow I just knew this was some type of severe withdrawal and Paxil Progress, Drugs.com and every book I could get my hands on about this gave me the strength to hold on for a very nasty road ahead.

To be honest, I don't know how I made it through except for the fact that I had a loving fiance (now husband) that cared for me every second he wasn't at work. During the first year I was like a prisoner in my own home, and in my own body. In some ways, the 13 - 24 month period was worse because I was still very sick but friends and family were giving up on me. My fiance never gave up on me, but even he started to suffer from some compassion fatigue and I could see the fear in his eyes, wondering whether or not I would fully come through. I was certainly more functional during months 13 - 24 than the first 12, but still I could not work, have obligations, feel truly relaxed and plan my future. I managed to attend some functions and get out on my own and finally drive, but it was a struggle, still baby steps for sure. I guess around 24-months I realized true recovery was indeed happening, but it didn't become real until sometime around the 2 1/2 year mark. It seems like all of the sudden my shattered self started to glue back together and I finally recognized me again.

I feel good most days now, but I have a few days a month where I still struggle and even a day here and there that really sets me back. It frustrates the hell out of me when that happens this far out, but I still believe I am recovering. My case was so bad, I would not be surprised if it took a couple more years to get 100% or close to it. Don't worry, I'm doing better now than I even thought ever possible a year ago! Two months ago I got married and let me tell you...the wedding was a much bigger deal than it was supposed to be! I handled the stress pretty well and felt great on my wedding day! We married two years later than we had hoped, but this nightmare actually bonded us and our relationship is stronger than ever would have been, I'm sure of it. In many ways, I'm a much better person having gone through this, certainly more wise. I learned to take care of my body, eat healthy organic food (but do cheat now and then and I can actually drink coffee again without having a negative reaction!), I'm taking my finances very seriously and we are building a large emergency fund because you just never know as we experienced, I'm more compassionate, and more skeptical about consumer marketing, drugs, doctors, etc.

An experience as such will smack you in the face so hard your world view will forever change as I found out. There has been a loss of innocence and I am a changed person because of this, but I actually think I may be better. I go back and forth with that one because I still have issues and there is no excuse for what happened to me. And I would never want to go through it again even for the benefits of my new wisdom. But since it happened, at least I see a silver lining. I can't lie, I still worry. I'm too cautious these days and wish I could "let go" like I used to and I still have strange dreams most nights and before this drug I rarely remembered dreams, but I guess I can stand it with the hope it too will abate. There are few other unresolved problems I'm sure, just can't think of them at the moment, but I deal.


I still react to the trauma of it all too, but I'm moving away from it all the time. My husband and I were only in our house two months before this happened to me. The house was a major fixer and what I will describe as an inhospitable environment to recover in. We managed to work on it during my recovery, but it has only become the "scene of the crime" for me and so we listed it for sale last week. I wanted to move a couple times before, but for various reasons it did not happen and in fact, I'm glad. I don't think I recovered enough to get a fresh start somewhere else, but now I feel ready. I think it will make a huge difference! I've been excited about the future and anxious for the move!

Like Shea said before, there is no magic bullet, just the passage of time...and hope. And if you are still in the stage where you need Paxil Progress for comfort all the time don't beat yourself up over it, it's OK. Never fear, as you heal won't dwell on the crap that happened to you and will no longer need comfort here. You will move on and like me, merge onto your highway of life and PP will be remebered as the crutches that helped you to walk again. I no longer need to come here like before, but I hope this post helps those of you in withdrawal and thank you always to everyone who keeps this site alive and well!

 

-----------------------------------------------

#5:

 

ONE YEAR

 

MCNABJ

Hello. Well its been 11 months since I've been off the poison. I can't believe the hell I survived. Wow. Its amazing coming back from the insanity of withdrawal and seeing your original personality return. My family says I'm back. I feel back. I dont think I,m 100% healed but I'm very close. I just wanted to thank all them members who have posted their stories on here. This site is what saved my life. I am dealing with the realization that I pissed that last 8-9 years of my life away due to ssri's. This is tough but I feeling an amazing awakening. Most of my neurological symptoms are gone and my paranoia and anxiety are faded. Thank God and thank Paxilprogress. I am serious when I say that this board saved my life. I am scarred because I have to rebuild my life but I feel good mentally. Jesus I thought I was actually going crazy during withdrawal. This site let me know that it was only withdrawals. The doctors never admitted I was going through withdrawals for so long. They actually wanted me to continue these pills for the rest of my life. Once again its like I awakening from a dream. I have destroyed most of my relationships due to my behavior on ssir's. This is the hard part. I will struggle with the bitterness of losing 8-9 of my life. Time will heal these wounds and I have the rest of my life now to make progress and try and help others going through this misery. I am eternally indebted to you all. Thank you for saving my life and bring me out of the depths of hell. Thanks again everyone.

 

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#6:

 

MARBEAR

 

1 year update:

 

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

A quick history of my experience looks like this:

1. Took Paxil for nearly 10 years to control anxiety/depression.
2. Weaned off slowly for approximately 2 years and stopped completely in June 2008.
3. Six months after I was totally Paxil free (March 2009), I started to have a multitude of physical symptoms, including horrible digestion problems, extreme fatigue, muscle/joint pain, general dizziness, nausea, problems with concentration, electric zaps in my face and arms, episode of vertigo.
4. I left my full-time job in April 2010 because it became very difficult to work long hours.
5. Spent the last 3+ years trying to get my health back and I started to see improvement around the 2-year mark. Albeit, slow improvement.
6. Eliminated many food types in an attempt to control my digestion and live somewhat of a normal life (e.g. gluten, insoluable fiber, alcohol).
7. Today, now 3 years and 3 months after I first started to get sick from what I believe was Long Term Withdrawal Syndrome, I consider myself 99% recovered!
8. I am currently looking for work and feel confident I can have a career again.
9. Presently I am able to eat just about anything, but I continue to eat very healthy and I try to avoid gluten when possible. I am even back to eating a large, healthy salad every night for dinner! I enjoy fruits and veggies regularly, which were something I could not eat for a very long time.
10. I have a normal amount of energy these days and I exercise regularly like I once did prior to this epic experience!

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

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

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

Paxil free since June 2008!!! charming.gif

 

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#7

 

PAXHELL

 

3 YEAR UPDATE

 

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

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

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

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

I thought you might like to hear this, if any of you still remember me. Thanks alot and if there is anything you can learn from this post, it's that the best cure for paxil withdrawl is light exercise and faith you will get better. It takes time, but it makes all the differens. When people used to tell me that a walk could change everything I was sceptic. How can one hour of walking really make any difference when you are suffering so much? Well, it really can. And don't spend too much time on the internet, go out, spend time with people and focus on your sense of humor. And remember, walk an hour a day. Wait, have I already said that?
Thank you good people and good luck.
Never lose hope, not even in your darkest moments.

 

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#8

 

AKAENEW

 

5 year update:

 

Hello- I have not been to paxil progress for so long I couldn't even figure out how to post a new thread. I am now 5.5 years off of paxil after a brutal, brutal cold-turkey withdrawal. it has been 5 year since I last took a benzo. I am MUCH better and improving all the time. The turning point came when I began to sleep regularly.

I see life being a happy place again. I have a good job, have traveled half-way around the world, I'm healthy and fit again. It took everything I had to get off paxil- all the way off. But now I am really getting better and I am so proud and peaceful. I though I would never heal, but it comes surely though slowly for some. Why it is so variable, nobody knows. Don't give up hope if you are in protracted withdrawal. I was very far out before I began to see signs of getting better.

I believe faith in yourself is the difference between those that make it and those that don't. You aren't meant to suffer with withdrawal, and if you can keep remembering that, you will ultimately be delivered from the horror. Living can be and will be wonderful again. I feel years younger than I ever did on paxil- and after, when I truly was the walking dead. There are still some not-so-good days, but I can't believe how far I have come.

Peace to all of you. It is worth the journey.

 

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#9

 

3 year update

 

I haven’t posted in a long time…but wanted to give an update to let everyone that is going through withdrawal know that you will get through it. I will be off ssris three years on August 2nd. I consider myself to be one of the worse cases here on pp. I had many symptoms, but the worse for me was the unrelenting akathisia/anxiety. I posted a list early on, but even at that time there were still more symptoms to come later. I started to see some improvement at the end of month 27 although things were still difficult. At the 2 ½ year mark I experienced another improvement and things have continued to improve in a linear fashion since then. I am doing very well and consider myself to be 95% recovered. I still have what I call residual symptoms, but I am confident that they will eventually disappear as they have been continuing to improve. In the last two weeks the “brain fog” cleared. I never thought in the thick of things that I would ever be able to write this post. I’m back to just living life as before Paxil and I can even drink coffee again!

I want to thank Laurie/Scotty for this form as I would have never known what was happening to me had it not been for paxilprogress. Also, there are some pp members that I have communicated with that without your encouragement and friendship I might have given up at some point and started taking the poison again…you know who you are. Thank you with all my heart.

The only advice I can give is that it takes patience and perseverance. Time is the only answer.

 

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#10

 

rickyjohnson

 

5 YEAR RECOVERY:

 

Recovery update...what? almost 5 years...holy cow
I thought I would never get back on this website again, because it would just bring back too many bad memories. You know what? The heck with that. I feel fine now. I went through about 2-3 years of HELL due to a combination of just using anti-depressants in general AND going cold turkey. Please don't ever cold turkey. I about died. OK, enough of the bad stuff. I honestly can say that my brain and body has completely recovered. It was no walk in the park, and it wasn't linear. My healing was up and down and all over the place. But, God has designed the body the heal itself...even when you really screw it up with meds! So, hang in there and don't ever give up. The good windows will get bigger over time, and all of a sudden you're doing OK.

 

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#11

 

6 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY

 

rangerNY

 

When The Impossible Becomes Possible - Some Encouragement From The Other Side

This is for those of you that are struggling and are not sure if you'll ever have a normal life again. I'm gonna ramble here. Just stick with me and I'll get you back home.

After almost 9 full years, my last dose of Paxil was in September 2005. Things at first were not too bad, but by December 2005 I was sliding down a sleep slope and by January 2006 the wheels had completely come off. I was a total disaster. Wracked with almost constant anxiety and panic, overcome with rushes of uncontrollable emotion, dogged 24x7 by irrational intrusive thoughts, and flattened by waves of crushing depression. Sleep was light and never lasted past 4 AM. Everything from the phone ringing to the sound of my daughters playing to the smell of dinner cooking was almost too much to bear.

The business I own is a technical one. It involves working with complex networks and computing systems. I'd been a pretty cool cucumber my whole life, but when I added the numbing effects of Paxil, I was virtually bulletproof. I felt no stress and no pressure. When everyone around me was freaking out and the phones were ringing off the hook because packets were not flowing beween New York and San Francisco, I was the calm guy that just fixed it. Nothing phased me. I reconfigured production routers, switches and servers on the fly with no backups and no plan B. I rarely backed anything up. Some of it was because I'm good at what I do. Most of it was because I was acting like an *** - not uncommon for SSRI users. 90% of the time (maybe more) it all worked out - at least from a technical point of view.

When I hit the worst of withdrawal, that dude was lost. Gone. Nowhere to be found. It was so disheartening for me. I wanted bulletproof Drew back in the worst way. Instead, I had to read things 2-3 times to understand them. I would forgot my passwords, and actually resorted to writing them down. I couldn't recall simple commands that I used hundreds of times every day. I could barely talk on the phone without bursting into tears, so performing advanced operations on complex computing systems seemed completely out of the question. I couldn't enjoy a movie, or music, or a hockey game. Everything I had once been - even before Paxil - was gone.

I recall one day very clearly. Late February 2006. A Sunday morning. I was absolutely beside myself because I had to reconfigure part of my wireless backbone linking three locations here on Long Island. A task that I would have breezed through with no advance planning or forethought seemed insurmountable. I had to actually sit down and write out the exact steps - every keystroke - needed to get the job done. I went over the plan several times before sitting at my desk to get started. I was shaking. Literally. I was cold and hot at the same time. Sweating and freezing. My heart was pounding out of my chest. The task itself was terrifying, but even more so was the notion that if I made a mistake, I might have to actually leave the safety of my house and drive 20 miles to fix it. You might as well have told me that I had to drive to the moon wearing a fishbowl on my head. Same general reaction of complete terror.

I got through it, albeit at a snails pace. It took me probably 10 times longer to finish than it would have a year before. I remember getting out of my chair, basically collapsing on the sofa, and taking 10-15 minutes before I stopped breathing like I'd just climbed the Matterhorn. I was happy it was over, but I was also crushed because it took such an effort to accomplish what was really not that difficult a task. At that moment I figured I'd never be the person I once was.

But, minutes, hours and days do pass, one at a time.

Fast forward 6 years to November 2011.

Today I spent maybe 4-5 hours moving Paxil Progress to its new home on an upgraded server. I had two monitors running, and most of the time I had no less than 8 terminal and browser windows open. I was working on three or four servers at the same time. The move plan was entirely in my head. Nothing written down. I had maybe a six different username/password combinations to work with. There was software to compile, packages to install, configurations to decipher and duplicate, data to backup and move, and a whole mess of geeky stuff going on. Spotify was running in the background, streaming music from the 80s (sorry, I'm stuck there it appears!), and I was bouncing from server to server, from task to task and back again without so much as a missed keystroke.

Everything went just fine, and at no point during the process was I stressed, anxious or nervous about a damn thing. Now I know 6 years is a long time so obviously I should have changed in that many days, but working on Paxil Progress today actually made me realize for the first time that the old Drew is back. He's been back for a while now, and I just didn't realize it. In fact, he's better than the old Drew. I actually keep passwords double encrypted in two places now. Everything I have is backed up. I leave nothing to chance. As I worked today, I always had a plan B in my head in case something went wrong. I wasn't concerned with getting done as quickly as possible. I was actually enjoying the work (and the 80s music). I even took a few breaks to go outside and see what my kids were up to. The old Drew might have gotten the job done, but he would have never gotten it done in as "graceful" a way. With time comes wisdom I guess, and without Paxil comes a clearer more efficient mind.

Laurie has been very gracious about thanking me for the help, but in reality I owe her - and this site - a HUGE debt of gratitude. It helped get me through the darkest of times. Working on it today made me realize that I've been so pre-occupied with life that I've completely missed the fact that what I thought to be impossible in those dark days has actually come to pass. For this - appropriately enough with that particular holiday approaching - I am extremely thankful.

The point is, even if you think that you're lost forever, that you're broken beyond repair and that you're doomed, you're not. I thought that too once upon a time, and I'm here to tell you that its not going to be that way forever. Just keep breathing, keep taking baby steps forward, and keep your eyes focused down the road, not in the two feet of bumpy pavement in front of you. If I can get there, so you can you.

 

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#12

 

32 Month update/RECOVERY

 

GOLDENBAWLS

Hey guys. well it took 32 months but i am finally all good. left it 2 months before posting this post just to make sure all was good but i feel 100% and have constantly during that time. It seemed to happen in space of a week just feeling better and better. I just want to give hope to all you guys, when i first cold turkeyed i sat with my eyes glued to this site day and night and i was a right mess,there were days when i would not leave my bed and was phoning in work sick, god knows how i kept my job but so grateful i did. i owe so much to all you guys in particular zoloft25,swede,dutchguy,pax80,cosette123,claudia76,scotia,maui and akaenew. you guys dragged me thru some very rough times. good luck and much love to all of you.

 

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#13

 

Rob Robinson's recovery

 

3 YEARS

 

At 18 months I was crawling around as it were (with most of the flesh burned off my mind) within a few kilometers of withdrawal ground zero for about 18 months ... but bits and pieces of me managed to make it out of the blast zone. Scraped those body parts up, added a little superglue and duct tape and voila! -- the new me! ("Thanks" GlaxSmithKline ... I go into see my doctor for a tube of Neosporin, a flu shot or whatever -- and manage to walk out with a scrip for a drug that'll unleash the pharma equivalent of The Holocaust in my body. (Yes, all drugs do have side effects, don't they Mr. Garnier. Won't argue with you on that point.) I still see those paroxetine mushroom clouds in the rear view mirror of my mind every day, throughout the day and ocassionally into the night. Imagine that.

At 18 months: 1) my body had largely recovered from the prolonged "shock and awe" nuclear/paroxetine bombing campaign that withdrawal is/was/can be, and 2) I began to feel like I was slowly regaining the essence of a life not warped by Paxil and, as well, a subtle but innate sense of self that existed before I was (literally) poisoned, and then annihilated by Paxil withdrawal.

Here I am now closing in on three years ... and doing pretty darn good, all things considered. I'm still fried from it all, but in good spirits. After all, there's nothing like waking up and ... not being in Paxil withdrawal.

You'll make it to where I am, and in all likelihood sooner than later.

 

--------------------------

 

I hope these stories help bring encouragement to those who are still suffering.  I apologize if I accidentally re-posted one or more of those that cymbaltawithdrawal posted here on this thread.

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oskcajga

Some wonderful and inspiring quotes:

 

 

 

Quotes from the above posts (from paxilprogress.org a now defunct website).


"I find the things that have really helped have generally been doing things to take my mind off it, i choose only to come on here for infomation on supplements and not read the other posts because they put worries in my mind."


"For anyone that is reading and believes that these meds are changing you, just believe in yourself, thats all that matters"


"I still get bouts of anxiety but I have found to manage them using the Claire Weekes method"


"I've been practicing almost daily meditation, mindfulness, relaxation and/or yoga + some cognitive therapy based on "Feeling Good" by D.burns, it has obviously borne fruit!"


"I can feel angry and feel like something is owed to me... or I can focus on being happy and going out and getting the things that I want.


"'Recovery' isn't a secret magical process that only a few of us can attain. It is about time. It is about acceptance. I went through hell too. I thought it would never end. But then, wow it did. At the beginning of the year I went through my first rough patch post-Paxil... and I came out on the other side of that too."


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


"Sometimes this means making drastic changes to how you live, work, and think,
sometimes it requires changing your diet and the products you use,
sometimes this means having patience and faith
sometimes it means forgiving yourself, moving on, and being open to life again
but whatever it takes, don't be afraid -- you can get well!!"


"I've really pushed myself to continue doing the things that I did before this mess, like go to sporting events, get on airplanes, road trips, concerts, crowded restaurants, hang out downtown, meet new people, etc...and while at first it was nearly impossible because the noise and excitement would feel like it literally was crushing me, now I can handle these things much better and even enjoy them."


"Just push yourselves...don't overdo it but do as much as you can, and you'll find yourself doing more and more with each week that passes."


"It's just a matter of time and patience, and it can be hard to muster when you're in the thick of it, but in the end you come out a champion for your strength and perseverance. Hang in there! You'll make it out. If I could do it, you can do it too."

 

"i go to the gym as often as i can, i eat a very healthy diet. im quite thin now which is great. my skin glows. and im generally pretty well. i dont have any specific symptoms or any residual withdrawal to date and i will not allow myself to. i dont think about it and it is no longer a part of my life. its like a distant memory."

"I decided to stop going to the doctors or any providers, took control of my own healthcare, and with the help of benzobuddies.org and this forum, began a slow tapering progress from trazadone (given to replace ambien), paxil and xanax (see signature). It took about 9 months to taper off of everything. I tackled one taper at a time, and took time between each to stabilize."

"While our brains are adaptive and can be changed by negative stimuli to create all these problems, our brains are also influenced by positive stimuli, and negative behaviors/wiring can be undone if given time to heal, and with the help of positive reinforcement. I learned to taper off the drugs that were negatively affecting my nervous system. I learned to control the anxiety and panic feelings the drugs left me with. I learned to let my body and mind work on healing itself. I learned to minimize exposure to situations and substances that may interfere with this healing, such as caffeine, certain foods, and stressful situations."

"It got to the point where I would say to myself, "I know what this is. This isn't real. This is just another wave." There were times that it would sneak up on me and I would find myself having 3 days of anxiety before I figured out what was going on."

"I've really gotten into mindfulness and meditation. I meditate for 10 minutes every day and it's helped my anxiety a lot. I've been reading a ton of books on mindfulness in general and some Buddhism in particular"

 

am, glad to report that I am doing better now. Not great, but certainly on an upward trajectory, with hopefully a 'fully recovered' endpoint waiting for me somewhere in the future." - James

"Wow, never thought i'd be able to say this but I'm Paxil-Free!! I know i did it abit faster then recommended and don't suggest it for others incase they have difficulty but god this feels great. I want others to know that if i can do this, you can too, i really thought my anxiety controlled me but once I learned not to fear it, it went away." - Miranda1


"Since coming off, I've made leaps and bounds. I've made new friends, and I've started to try to conceive having a baby as a single mother. I never would have had the strength and courage to do this before!" - Lenany


"At Month 48 (presently), I find myself 98% recovered and trust me, I practically feel “normal” or “myself” but BETTER." - Aeroman


"5 years off Paxil: All of you suffering from withdrawal, hang in there. I promise it gets better." - ihatzaps


"I want to share this because I remember how desperate I was to find a grain of hope on the internet. Just one person who could say "I've been there, and I made it. Well... I made it. And I thank God everyday. He brought me through. I'm fine, and you will be too." - Aberdeen

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Here's some more - I just can't help but post these, I feel so much hope looking through these stories.  I hope someone else reads these stories and feels the same!!

 

This post includes some unique recovery stories of adverse reactions (I have read very very few recovery stories from those who have had an adverse reaction, so I hope this gives people out there like myself some hope:

 

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#1

 

750 DAYS/RECOVERY FROM ADVERSE REACTION

AGUY (from paxilprogress, a now defunct website)

 

aguy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction

Hi, 

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

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

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

 

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#2:

 

LOV4K9

 

18 MONTHS AFTER ADVERSE REACTION DUE TO KINDLING REACTION

8 years on Prozac
Restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction

Here was my recovery timeline:

Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings.

Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare).

Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to.

 

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#3.

 

5 YEAR RECOVERY

 

HOPE

Hi Everyone, 

I hope all is well and everyone is doing well and making progress. I wanted to check in because I've recently been talking to someone who is needing to get off their antidepressants. I've referred them to this site. 

I was on Paxil for 7 years and it took me about 5 years to completely recover from the discontinuation syndrome. I am doing pretty well. My short term memory took a huge hit and I do miss my brain, but am able to work around it with lists, and post-it notes. I'm working full-time in a pretty rough high school and am managing the stress like any normal person (so much for that anxiety disorder diagnosis). I teach special education. I've been back to work for 4 years. 

I did a lot of alternative medicine. Saw a few quacks along the way. But first and foremost, I would encourage anyone going through this to go slow and be patient with the process. For some people, like me, getting off the drugs wasn't the tough part, it was the part afterwards - getting my brain chemistry nervous system to normalize and recover (HUGE), and to learn to deal with life without something to numb difficult situations. 

We've been through my husband losing his job, my son doing a tour in Afghanistan, and a few other tough life events. And I got through them without drugs. I began allowing myself permission to feel: to laugh out loud at inappropriate moments, to be really happy, to be really angry, to cry, to worry, and to pray. 

I want to add that I've always been sensitive to wheat products. Once I really cleaned the gluten out of my diet, I really began to feel better. I noticed that when I'd eat gluten products, I'd start to feel the blues. A good friend of mine told me about that side-effect of gluten and that was life altering for me. I also don't eat dairy or wheat and try to eat as cleanly as possible. 

I hope you guys are all making progress. I don't go through this site. The process for me was traumatic and I really want to move forward. Going back and looking at what I went through is still tough. But I know my situation can help others. So I do feel an obligation to share and give someone else help and hope.

Take care everyone.

Diana

--------------------------------------------------------------

#4

 

AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE 

My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years 
________________________________________
Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal. 

Currently I cope with:
arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile

upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated.

numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement. 

Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all. 

I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time. I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point.

I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will. akaenew

 

-------------------------------------

#5

 

English Annie (idk?)

 

19 MONTH UPDATE

 

 

English Annie!! God Bless Her!!

WELL, I ASKED FOR IT : A RECOVERY STORY

And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg.
Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying. 

Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011.Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly. When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal.
But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out.

On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since.

At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks.

I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now.

"THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher)

 

------------------------------------------

#6

 

(Seems like 5-7 years later?)

 

Very interesting story, highly recommended reading:

 

 

 

Shea Carney

It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred. I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best. 

The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about. Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed.

So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard. 

AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family.

I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit. 

I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates.

So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing. 

I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time.

~Shea Carney

 

-----------------------------------

#7

 

3 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY

 

I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up. This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care. 

Ricky

 

----------------------

#8

 

 

*Success Story* ~ almost five years since my last pill posted by pinesiskin

Quote:
Hi Paxilprogress Peeps ~

I haven't been on here in ages but was just lying in bed tonight feeling grateful for my journey and for these past few years, and I felt moved to share with you. So here I am! I hope my story gives someone hope that things can get much, much better. I would call myself 500% recovered. I have been recovered for years now...I think I posted about it three years ago, perhaps? But sometimes it's good for people to know that we can improve steadily and permanently!

I love my life, and I feel like I've grown and healed in ways I can't really comprehend. I have a loving family and great friends, a spiritual path that feeds my soul, and I am thankful for every day. My marriage is stronger than it's ever been. I garden, raise chickens and rabbits, and study Chinese Medicine. I am in excellent health and can eat whatever I want! (That has significantly improved over the past few years - I had a lot of sensitivities for a while.) I never thought I'd be here. I want to give my utmost thanks to anyone and everyone who helped me along the way. Please accept my humble gratitude!

So, five or so years ago I was an absolute disaster - after having an impossible time trying to get off AD's and anti-anxiety meds, yo-yo'ing on and off of pills, being hospitalized, put on more pills, and finally cold turkeying off everything, I was in really, really, bad shape. I mean, BAD. Physically, mentally, in just about every way. I attempted suicide. I totally lost touch with myself, with reality, with life...nobody knew what to do to help me. My hair fell out, my body did all kinds of freaky things...I was totally sick, emaciated, and lost for close to a year. It was horrible. The worst of it was, I was caring for an infant and was terrified that I was damaging my daughter, too. I was one of those paxilprogress worst-case-scenarios! Any of my old posts can attest to this (I haven't read them again and don't want to, they are pretty crazy! Please just take my word for it!)

The 'med/med-withdrawal years' were a terrifying time in my life, and it gives me such empathy for anyone who is suffering. Those who haven't been there really can't know. For those of you in the thick of it, I just want to give a gentle reminder that all things really do pass. Sometimes it takes help to get them to pass in a more timely manner, but yes, things really will change. I didn't believe this when I was wrapped up in crisis-mode, and my panic exacerbated my problems. I made all kinds of rash decisions just hoping that something was going to fix it, and I rushed around getting myself further entangled. But I understand how hard it is to not want to run around looking for answers. It's really hard to feel so out of control. I didn't make it through this alone, and I owe much of my success to those who helped me through and kept me on this planet during those dark times.

Yes, healing happens! Miracles happen! Our bodies know how to heal, they want to heal. You can get better. I won't tell you what to do or how to go about it, we are all unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. But please, know that there is another side, and that you can get there.

I don't spend much time thinking about what I went through any more, though when I do it serves as a reminder to be grateful for every day and to help others as best I can. I have three children now, and am a very busy being a mom, a wife, a student, and an urban farmer. My daughter, who was a baby during my dark days, is now a kindergartener. She is strong, empathetic, and grounded, with lots of friends. When she was a baby I was so worried that what I went through would 'mess her up' but she is totally solid. I healed, and our family healed too. Even through all my illness, when my mind was in shambles, when I couldn't feel my heart at all, she knew that my heart and soul loved her. We are very close and our bond is unbroken.

We didn't plan to have more children after what I went through, and had two surprises. Both were born natural, without complications - one in a bathtub! At first I was very scared to find out I was pregnant after all I'd been through, but there was nothing to fear. Birthing my son (our second child) helped me to fully understand that the storm was over, the darkness was really behind me.

Thanks for reading my story. If you are reading this and you are suffering, I hope you know that you have every reason in the world to have hope. Don't give up on it. Let your hope guide you, not your panic, or your fears. Please hold onto that, if you are feeling scared or alone. Know that there is a future waiting for you that you can't imagine, and it might be better than you ever dreamed.

Thank you ~

take care ~

<3

Kate

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LexAnger   
LexAnger

Terrific!

 

Thanks so very much OSK!

You are awesome!

 

Lex

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oskcajga   
oskcajga

I just realized that my previous post retained all the shades of green from the PP website, which I found a little irritating to the eyes, so here's that same post without the green. 

 

 

---------------------------------------------

 

#1

 

 

750 DAYS/RECOVERY FROM ADVERSE REACTION

 

AGUY (from paxilprogress, a now defunct website)

 

 

aguy who suffered badly from a severe adverse reaction

 

Hi,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

--------------------------

 

 

#2:

 

 

LOV4K9

 

 

18 MONTHS AFTER ADVERSE REACTION DUE TO KINDLING REACTION

 

8 years on Prozac

Restarted under a year later for 8 weeks, kindling/adverse reaction

 

Here was my recovery timeline:

 

Adverse Reaction thru month 13: Continuous suffering (see my signature for a list of my symptoms), as I did not experience "windows" or periods of feeling good for a few days or weeks as others on this site have. However, I did note feeling just a wee bit better at night than in the mornings.

 

Month 14: the intense suffering abated by the end of month 14. I was relieved and amazed to be able to feel positive emotions, sleep through the night, eat food and enjoy it, etc. again.....but I was still out of sorts (like waking from a nightmare).

 

Month 18: I started to feel like the old me again and was fully functioning. But the nightmare, while clearly over, was still fresh. I did not feel PTSD from the ordeal, but I had yet to shake off the lingering memories of the adverse reaction and protracted suffering. I continued to visit this site often and was still a somewhat active poster at the time, although I did not feel the need to be here 24/7 like I used to.

 

 

----------------------------------------

 

#3.

 

 

5 YEAR RECOVERY

 

 

HOPE

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope all is well and everyone is doing well and making progress. I wanted to check in because I've recently been talking to someone who is needing to get off their antidepressants. I've referred them to this site.

 

I was on Paxil for 7 years and it took me about 5 years to completely recover from the discontinuation syndrome. I am doing pretty well. My short term memory took a huge hit and I do miss my brain, but am able to work around it with lists, and post-it notes. I'm working full-time in a pretty rough high school and am managing the stress like any normal person (so much for that anxiety disorder diagnosis). I teach special education. I've been back to work for 4 years.

 

I did a lot of alternative medicine. Saw a few quacks along the way. But first and foremost, I would encourage anyone going through this to go slow and be patient with the process. For some people, like me, getting off the drugs wasn't the tough part, it was the part afterwards - getting my brain chemistry nervous system to normalize and recover (HUGE), and to learn to deal with life without something to numb difficult situations.

 

We've been through my husband losing his job, my son doing a tour in Afghanistan, and a few other tough life events. And I got through them without drugs. I began allowing myself permission to feel: to laugh out loud at inappropriate moments, to be really happy, to be really angry, to cry, to worry, and to pray.

 

I want to add that I've always been sensitive to wheat products. Once I really cleaned the gluten out of my diet, I really began to feel better. I noticed that when I'd eat gluten products, I'd start to feel the blues. A good friend of mine told me about that side-effect of gluten and that was life altering for me. I also don't eat dairy or wheat and try to eat as cleanly as possible.

 

I hope you guys are all making progress. I don't go through this site. The process for me was traumatic and I really want to move forward. Going back and looking at what I went through is still tough. But I know my situation can help others. So I do feel an obligation to share and give someone else help and hope.

 

Take care everyone.

 

Diana

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

#4

 

 

AKAENEW 3.5 YEARS UPDATE

 

My withdrawal blog: 3.5 years

________________________________________

Hello to my dear paxil progress friends. Before I write these periodic posts I do not go back to look at old ones as, if I have forgotten anything, I prefer to keep it that way. I welcome you to read my progress after CT withdrawal via previous posts- I think it shows how bad you can be for so long, but then start improving. I still continue to improve- and my sleep is the greatest area of improvement. it still! seems to be normalizing. I can have wonderful nights of deep, long sleep. I still marvel at it and am thankful for this miracle, as insomnia along with massive depersonalization were my worst symptoms. It has been 3.5 years since I have taken paxil and three full years since I took the last benzo to cope with withdrawal.

 

Currently I cope with:

arm pain- better than when I posted 3 months ago and yesterday even pain free for awhile

 

upper back pain and tension- it is kind of a hardness in my upper back. this is my worst symptom now- it just doesn't seem to remit. Back rubs by my husband are therapeutic and much appreciated.

 

numbness and tingling in my feet- left foot worse than the right one. The intensity of this does not seem to have changed, however, in my left foot the numbness/tingling seem to be consolidating in my toes which I will consider an improvement.

 

Every once in awhile I will get clusters of old symptom such as abdominal pain, itching with welts, head pressure, dis-autonomia, even depersonalization - but they seem milder and fewer and farther between. Last night I had the creepy, fearful feeling but I don't have that today. It seems like it gets worse, and then I feel better. Exercise tolerance is improving. On paxil and through much of withdrawal, I was not able to exercise at all.

 

I keep moving forward and feel like a normal life awaits me. I am working a very challenging professional job full time, and enjoy time with my family and friends. I have had a brutal withdrawal- very bad, and I am emotionally shaken by it- but I am confident I will surmount this challenge of recovery as well, given time. I have no time table for myself as I seem to have recovered very slowly- but I know I will be fully whole someday. If you have stopped taking paxil- resolve to stay that way. Literally nothing but my will and my grit got me through to this point.

 

I owe my life and everything I have to this board and to three particularly wonderful friends that I met here. Petrified to even post here more than 3 years ago in the depths of CT withdrawal, I eventually began to communicate with them. Now they are vital to my being and my happiness and are, as so much of my recovery has been, a miracle. peace to you all in your road to recovery. It can happen after a CT and for me, it will. akaenew

 

 

-------------------------------------

 

#5

 

 

English Annie (idk?)

 

 

19 MONTH UPDATE

 

 

 

English Annie!! God Bless Her!!

 

WELL, I ASKED FOR IT : A RECOVERY STORY

 

And I did indeed ask for it. In December of 2010, after being sunk in gloom for 2 or 3 months I finally went to my doctor and asked her if she could give me 'something for depression'. I knew (or thought I knew) exactly what I was doing, having briefly taken ADs before, in 1980 (yes, nineteen-eighty) and stopped them with no trouble at all. The doctor, who I'd never seen before, and haven't seen since, incidentally, prescribed Citalopram, 10mg at first ("because it has to build up in your system") then 20mg.

Back home with the filled prescription, I read the 'patient information leaflet', then put the packet on the hall shelf and hesitated for a couple of weeks, worrying.

 

Christmas came and went, and as soon as it was over, still as miserable as sin, I succumbed and started taking the stuff. I upped the dose to 20mg on January 8, 2011.Very, very slowly, as January went on, I started to lighten up, and life began to seem worth living again. A few minor side-effects, very slight nausea occasionally and some annoying itching, but they cleared up fairly quickly. When the Spring of 2011 came around I was feeling quite a lot better, undeniably.Work got done (although officially retired, I have a large and long-established website on a neglected aspect of medieval culture), friends and relatives were visited. All in all, things felt pretty normal.

But the nagging sense of disquiet persisted (was I really 'better', or was this just artificial contentment? It felt 'artificial' in some vague, indefinable way. Only one way to find out.

 

On March 6, 2011, I chopped the pills in half and then in half again so that I could make 15/10/and 5mg. Armed with these, I took 15mg from March 6 until March 14, 10mg from March15 until March 20, and 5mg from March 21. On March 30, fed up with the whole shebang, I wrote a quotation from Canterbury Tales - "Nae more o'this, for Goddes dignitie" on my study noticeboard. I have taken no SSRIs or other ADs since.

 

At first, all seemed to be well. But full-on withdrawal hit me in the summer of 2011. I found PP and started to read other people's posts. It took me until March 2012 to actually join and start to post myself, trying not to be too much of a moaner. Very slowly, the grosser withdrawal symptoms - the worst one for me was the near-constant feeling that I was coming down with 'flu - lethargy, aching everywhere, complete apathy, no motivation or energy to do anything at all - started to fade and then disappeared completely. As I write this, only my wobbly gait and occasional balance problems remain, but both of those are MUCH, MUCH improved now, and continue to improve daily. I get 'cabin fever' if I can't get out of the house - have done for years - so I insist on walking (about 1 mile normally) every day, with longer walks every couple of weeks.

 

I intend to start regular swimming again after October 31, which will mark 19 months off the Citalopram. Any 'discontinuation effects' I feel after that date I'll regard as merely residual. They will pass. I know that now.

 

"THE WISH FOR HEALING HAS ALWAYS BEEN HALF OF HEALTH" (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher)

 

 

------------------------------------------

 

#6

 

 

(Seems like 5-7 years later?)

 

 

Very interesting story, highly recommended reading:

 

 

 

 

Shea Carney

 

It's been a long time since I posted in the general discussion section of this forum. When I visit PaxilProgress, it is generally to answer private messages about how I am doing today. Have I completely recovered? I have received a great many inquiries, so I thought it best to post an update about how I am and what I've been up to. I want to pay forward the hope I gleaned from this site. I feel a great deal of respect and gratitude toward those who keep this site up and running because had I not been a part of this forum, wherein I could communicate with others who truly understood what I was going through, I can honestly say, I don't think I would have made it. I wish I could tell you I visit the site more than just sporadically, but, to be frank, I do my best to avoid pondering the experience, as the trauma still lingers in so much as the memories can stir dormant feelings of loss and disbelief at what occurred. I wish I could say discussing the subject didn't evoke strong emotion; that I could further distance myself from the abyss, but I am not there as of yet. I find myself in tears, at times, when I read emails from individuals who are suffering so terribly, as I once did. How do you tell someone it might take 2 years to feel human again, three years to start building a new life for yourself and 5-7 years to begin to sleep with some regularity? This was my experience, and by no means does it follow that everyone will take the same path to recovery, however, it was my experience and to convey this possibility is daunting at best.

 

The good news is there is life after Paxil, even after a prolonged, severe discontinuation experience. Good life. You can come through this horror and thrive if given enough time. I am not completely unscathed; I deal with lowered stress tolerance (I am generally more reactive than I used to be) and an aversion to all conventional medicinals, save Tylenol and God bless it, as it got me through my last pregnancy. Mylanta has also been a pal, and I was able overcome my fears and accept that pitocin and an epidural was a necessity (at least for me) during labor and delivery. I cannot say I am surprised by my special brand of hypervigilance. My trauma involved trusting doctors and taking a medication I knew virtually nothing about. Today I ask A LOT of questions, fervently research, weigh the risks vs. the benefits (of any med prescribed to myself or family members) and do my best to cope with whatever somataform physical response occurs when I (or someone I love) try something new, be it over the counter or prescription. This new normal is directly related to my experience and, IMHO, not such a bad thing. If doctor's think I'm nuts, so be it. I endeavor to protect myself and those I love from making the same mistake I did. Always be informed.

 

So there's the downside. Now on to the good stuff. I have two healthy, beautiful children that I love without measure and there was a time that I wasn't sure I'd ever feel love again or anything positive for that matter. I find that now I want to live life to the fullest everyday; some days I don't even want to go to bed because I want to savor the beauty of the moment....the feelings associated with a deep appreciation for those things I had once taken for granted.....the feeling of deep relaxation that comes with lying in the sun or taking a warm bath. The sense of wonder and joyful anticipation of taking a trip cross country or even to Disneyland...just being able to get up and go to new and exciting places. Not feeling sick all the time. Watching my children learn a grow is endlessly rewarding and fascinating. This is not to say I do not have my dark moments. I lost a great deal during the recovery period. Once in a while I find myself mourning the highly ambitious, carefree person I used to be, but that person took a lot of things for granted and perhaps lacked a bit in empathy and understanding of others. I am forever changed by the experience and grateful that I am able to grasp what is truly important in life. I have abundant blessing in that regard.

 

AND I sleep 7-8 hours a night most nights. What a miracle. I lived for so long with only sleeping sporadically and then 4-6 hours per night was a "good night." Usually broken sleep to boot. Sleep is a beautiful thing and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this essential aspect of my being has returned to me. When I wake up in the morning and see that it's 8am...that I'm not up at 3am for a couple of hours and unable to fall back asleep.....I smile and give thanks for such a blessing that I am rested and can enjoy the time I have with my family.

 

I take vitamins & minerals (magnesium, a multi, vitamin D3, selenium, & inositol), a good probiotic, fish oil, and a couple bioidentical hormones (melatonin occasionally and progesterone cream regularly), which I think have added greatly to my general health and well being. These are not quick fixes by any means, and I was not able to tolerate all of these substances early on in my recovery, but, in the longterm, I believe they have been of great benefit.

 

I work part time and completed a documentary about my experience. It premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival over the summer and, God and wallet willing, we will participate in additional festivals. You have to pay to enter each festival and with my stepdaughter attending college in Paris, two little ones, and the current economic climate, we do what the wallet dictates.

 

So this is where I find myself today, far removed from the person who wanted to die every second or every day for so long. That poor individual who could not feel love or enjoyment in life; only fear and searing pain. I was broken, but I am here to tell you that you can put the pieces together again. You will no longer be the same, but you will learn to greatly appreciate the gifts you have been given in life when they return. I remember when I couldn't leave the house. Last summer I went camping...in the rain....slept in.....such a beautiful thing.

 

I sincerely hope this update gives those of you who are suffering hope that you too will recover. Just give yourself enough time. And try not to identify with what you are feeling. It is not you. No matter how real it feels, it is a manifestation of an injured central nervous system and you can and will heal in time.

 

~Shea Carney

 

 

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#7

 

 

3 YEAR UPDATE/RECOVERY

 

 

I wanted to check in one last time. I'm at my 3 year mark since I quit SSRI's cold turkey. It's been one heck of a trip. The first year and a half was total hell. I was on the suicidal edge more than once. I can't thank certain people here enough for talking me through this (you know who you are). I'm not completely recovered, but I will be eventually. Most of the brain fog, lethargic feelings, and anxiety has abated. It all comes down to prayer, time, and taking care of yourself. If you are at the front end of coming off and you feel hopeless, don't give up. This is not an overnight deal. Pray to the Lord for the strength to make it through each day, and eventually...the clouds will start to part and the sun will start to shine. I'm checking out and will not return. I need to move on with my life. Thank you all for all that you have done for me. Take care.

 

Ricky

 

 

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#8

 

 

 

*Success Story* ~ almost five years since my last pill posted by pinesiskin

Quote:

Hi Paxilprogress Peeps ~

 

I haven't been on here in ages but was just lying in bed tonight feeling grateful for my journey and for these past few years, and I felt moved to share with you. So here I am! I hope my story gives someone hope that things can get much, much better. I would call myself 500% recovered. I have been recovered for years now...I think I posted about it three years ago, perhaps? But sometimes it's good for people to know that we can improve steadily and permanently!

 

I love my life, and I feel like I've grown and healed in ways I can't really comprehend. I have a loving family and great friends, a spiritual path that feeds my soul, and I am thankful for every day. My marriage is stronger than it's ever been. I garden, raise chickens and rabbits, and study Chinese Medicine. I am in excellent health and can eat whatever I want! (That has significantly improved over the past few years - I had a lot of sensitivities for a while.) I never thought I'd be here. I want to give my utmost thanks to anyone and everyone who helped me along the way. Please accept my humble gratitude!

 

So, five or so years ago I was an absolute disaster - after having an impossible time trying to get off AD's and anti-anxiety meds, yo-yo'ing on and off of pills, being hospitalized, put on more pills, and finally cold turkeying off everything, I was in really, really, bad shape. I mean, BAD. Physically, mentally, in just about every way. I attempted suicide. I totally lost touch with myself, with reality, with life...nobody knew what to do to help me. My hair fell out, my body did all kinds of freaky things...I was totally sick, emaciated, and lost for close to a year. It was horrible. The worst of it was, I was caring for an infant and was terrified that I was damaging my daughter, too. I was one of those paxilprogress worst-case-scenarios! Any of my old posts can attest to this (I haven't read them again and don't want to, they are pretty crazy! Please just take my word for it!)

 

The 'med/med-withdrawal years' were a terrifying time in my life, and it gives me such empathy for anyone who is suffering. Those who haven't been there really can't know. For those of you in the thick of it, I just want to give a gentle reminder that all things really do pass. Sometimes it takes help to get them to pass in a more timely manner, but yes, things really will change. I didn't believe this when I was wrapped up in crisis-mode, and my panic exacerbated my problems. I made all kinds of rash decisions just hoping that something was going to fix it, and I rushed around getting myself further entangled. But I understand how hard it is to not want to run around looking for answers. It's really hard to feel so out of control. I didn't make it through this alone, and I owe much of my success to those who helped me through and kept me on this planet during those dark times.

 

Yes, healing happens! Miracles happen! Our bodies know how to heal, they want to heal. You can get better. I won't tell you what to do or how to go about it, we are all unique and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. But please, know that there is another side, and that you can get there.

 

I don't spend much time thinking about what I went through any more, though when I do it serves as a reminder to be grateful for every day and to help others as best I can. I have three children now, and am a very busy being a mom, a wife, a student, and an urban farmer. My daughter, who was a baby during my dark days, is now a kindergartener. She is strong, empathetic, and grounded, with lots of friends. When she was a baby I was so worried that what I went through would 'mess her up' but she is totally solid. I healed, and our family healed too. Even through all my illness, when my mind was in shambles, when I couldn't feel my heart at all, she knew that my heart and soul loved her. We are very close and our bond is unbroken.

 

We didn't plan to have more children after what I went through, and had two surprises. Both were born natural, without complications - one in a bathtub! At first I was very scared to find out I was pregnant after all I'd been through, but there was nothing to fear. Birthing my son (our second child) helped me to fully understand that the storm was over, the darkness was really behind me.

 

Thanks for reading my story. If you are reading this and you are suffering, I hope you know that you have every reason in the world to have hope. Don't give up on it. Let your hope guide you, not your panic, or your fears. Please hold onto that, if you are feeling scared or alone. Know that there is a future waiting for you that you can't imagine, and it might be better than you ever dreamed.

 

Thank you ~

 

take care ~

 

<3

 

Kate

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bromor   
bromor

Thank you for taking the time to post these!  I'm going to be honest, I had tears in my eyes reading these... because I do feel that there is hope. I've already gone through so much in CT & too fast tapers...that I feel "semi-healed" just because I'm finally allowing my body to stabilize before beginning my final taper.  Again, just thank you. 

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Mort81   
Mort81

I am reading through it again ..its unreal a true goldmine for us 

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oskcajga   
oskcajga

I am reading through it again ..its unreal a true goldmine for us 

 

If you enjoy reading through these stories, you may wish to read through that archived link on Paxilprogress I posted - there's a lot more updates and such on there that I didn't include in my posts because they were less straightforward in terms of recovery - but they are even more evidence that healing does take place.

 

I know there's more success stories on those archived Paxilprogress websites, maybe someone with more computer literacy than myself can mine that old website for success stories that haven't been posted yet? 

 

Here's a link to the general forum, but you can also search around the old website just as if it were still active:  https://web.archive.org/web/20140806144250/http://www.paxilprogress.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7

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Mort81   
Mort81

Thanks alot Osk! Ill check it out . Ya so much evidence that these things get WAY better like 100% better for most . Its all about time !  1-5 yrs but most people seem to be 2-3 yrs on that site. It seems a minority is longer and im sure lots of shorter ones that never get posted. 

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RoxanneS   
RoxanneS

Thank you so much for posting these success stories, it gives me hope!

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Christian   
Christian

Hi,

I spend way too much time searching for recovery stories online. But every now and then I find one. In this thread I counted three recovery stories. If you are struggling and hungry for something to cheer you up today, I suggest reading this.

 

http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/13607-adverse-reaction-to-prozac-still-recovering/?page=1

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Perhaps you can summarize, Christian?

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