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Hazel

Hazel: struggling with Paxil to Prozac bridge

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Hazel

Hi grandma D,

 I have also thought that my issues are probably large in part to withdrawal from the Zoloft.  It has been 15 months now since I’ve taken Zoloft, so I think it’s too late to go back to it.  Right now my plan is to hold for another two weeks as long as I continue to feel better.  I will then try a .1 drop and hold for 2 weeks to see how that goes.  I will continue with small drops over the next few months and if things go well, I may try a 5% drop and see how I do with that.  I am happy to say things are much better now and I hope it continues.

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Hazel

Had a good few days there, but last night was up again around 2:00/2:30 with anxiety and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I do so much better when I am off from work.  I was feeling anxious about my job last night.  I question if it is the right career path for me.  I’m not sure if it is the anxiety that makes me question my abilities or my work that makes me anxious.  I tend to believe that it is the anxiety, because it tends to make me question myself in a lot of areas.  It’s so hard when you think you are getting back on track and then go back to feeling awful.  I hope this is just a short setback.

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grandmaD

 

I think the anxiety is ramped up by many things and we don’t realise it.  I do better when I just stay in my normal, regular routine.

I would say that the thoughts you are having about work, self, etc are from the anxiety.

As you said before, just thinking about having to stay on this drug causes anxiety. 

I have just realized now that symptoms are starting to come and go and not all day every day, to see how I “react” when the symptom returns.  It is like a fear or panic thing.  Only now, the odd thing is it might go away the next day which is weird (not used to that) so I see my reaction to them probably made it worse!

Yeah, it like two steps forward and one step back!  Hope you go forward again soon!

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Hazel

Thanks grandmaD,

I am hoping this passes soon.  It is crazy how ther is no rhyme or reason to how symptoms hit.  I really thought I was passed the worst of it, and today went back to feeling bad.  Like you said, two steps forward one step back.  Perfect description.

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Hazel

I am really beginning to feel hopeless again.  I was up at 2:30 this morning and unable to get back to sleep.  I even took a hydroxezine and that didn’t help.  I feel exhausted but anxious right now and have to get ready for work and the kids off to school.  I feel like this has to be more of Zoloft withdrawal than from the Paxil.  I just hope either way things smooth out soon.  I don’t know how much longer I can function like this.

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Hazel

I just need to vent this morning.  I have been up and down since I last posted.  I have days where I feel really good and nights where I sleep pretty well too.  I also have nights where I barely sleep at all and days where I feel lousy.  I am so sick of this roller coaster ride and just want off!  I barely slept Saturday night and last night was up after a few hours with high anxiety-the worst I’ve had in a while.  Now I have to go to work and somehow manage to function.  This is just really wearing on me.    I thought I would be feeling better by now. I guess I will just continue to hold, likely for the next couple of months in hopes that I will eventually stabilize.  I am just really tired of living like this😪

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miT

You perfectly wrote down my passed month. We can only hang in there and strengthen our coping techniques. Surrender to the pain. To feel is to heal.

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Hazel

You are so right miT.  I am really working to accept things as they are and let go.  When I have acceptance it brings down the anxiety quite a bit.  I just get really frustrated and tired of all this sometimes and it makes it difficult to incorporate my coping skills.  

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miT

Acceptance is the ultimate coping skill. It really is a fear killer.

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Hazel

Yes, very much so.  At least when I am able to do it;)

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grandmaD

!!! I just wrote this in my journal this morning "accept life the way it is and not how you think it should be!"

And the other one was stop, rest, be still ...

hanging in there with you!

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Hazel

Thanks grandmaD 😊

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DaveB
On 12/14/2017 at 5:49 AM, Hazel said:

I wanted to post an update.  I had been feeling pretty good for several weeks there, and so thought I could get away with having a small glass of wine at a social gathering this past Saturday night.  Well, I am definitely paying for it now, and I didn’t even finish the whole glass!  I never thought such a small amount of alcohol would set me back this far but it has.  I am mad at myself for messing things up since I had been doing so well.  I also had a regular latte that day, which I haven’t had in months.  That’s my problem I guess.  When I feel good I think I can go back to doing the things I used to be able to.  I am learning the hard way it’s not true.  I have been waking early with anxiety and it seems to increase as I am first up and getting ready for work.  I don’t really calm down till later in the morning and even then have anxiety that creeps up throughout the day.  I haven’t felt like this in over a month.  I just hope and pray this passes soon.

 

Looks like there was a time you got pretty stable on the Paxil, so remember it CAN happen with a long hold. You will get there! Thank you for posting on my thread, we have such similar stories, I hope for stability for both of us soon!

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Hazel

Thanks Dave,

I am trying to stay positive, but as I’m sure you know, it’s not easy when dealing with symptoms. I hope for stability soon for both of us as well!

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nz11

Hi Hazel

Was just wondering if you would consider making a submission for the Scottish government. No pressure

see drug sig for the details. IT doesn't have to be long. 

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Hazel

I will check it out-thanks.

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Hazel

I am still struggling.  I think I put myself in a wave by taking hydroxyzine to sleep.  I took it last Sunday night and have had increased anxiety and sleep problems since.  I didn’t sleep at all last night.  Just laid awake with anxiety trying to accept, but it just didn’t help.  I am so tired of this and am seriously considering talking to my doctor about going back to Zoloft.  It’s been 16 months now since I was on it, but it is the only drug I felt stable on.  I really don’t think I can stabilize on Paxil and just want to feel well again.  I have a job and 3 kids and am tired of struggling each day to function.  I am okay with staying on medication indefinitely at this point as long as I am stable.  Do you think it’s too late for the Zoloft to work for me?  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Hazel

Just bumping this up to hopefully get some feedback.  Would it be a horrible idea to switch back to Zoloft at this point?

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ChessieCat

I've asked the other mods for their input.

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Hazel

Thank you Chessie!

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grandmaD
On 2/20/2018 at 12:09 AM, Hazel said:

I am still struggling.  I think I put myself in a wave by taking hydroxyzine to sleep.  I took it last Sunday night and have had increased anxiety and sleep problems since.  I didn’t sleep at all last night.  Just laid awake with anxiety trying to accept, but it just didn’t help.

I was taking sleeping tablets, started off at just a quarter and only 2-3 nights a week.  Pretty soon I need a half and then a whole one.  It took only about 3 weeks to need MORE.  That was one problem, and i was not about to take the plunge to take two!

Secondly, after taking them for 2-3 nights in a row THE ANXIETY DEFINITELY RAMPED UP NO END.  I had to decide whether the calm of 2-3 nights was worth the kick back anxiety afterwards.  I think benzos interfere with the brain and its natural healing.  I stopped taking them and it took a good 6 months just to resist the urge to keep taking them.

 I am so tired of this and am seriously considering talking to my doctor about going back to Zoloft.  It’s been 16 months now since I was on it,

I should think 16 months is too long to change back now.  I went back to my original drug after about 6-9-12 months, I know it was definitely 6 months but could have been longer, I wasn't keeping good records back then, but 16 months is quite a while and it may not work.  I guess that call is up to you!  When I went back on the original drug I saw an amazing difference in just days and definitely within a week.  I don't know if it is worth the risk to try it and see if there is any change and if not, swap back again!  No-one can really tell you what to do I'm afraid!

but it is the only drug I felt stable on.  I really don’t think I can stabilize on Paxil and just want to feel well again.

The one gross thing about Paxil is that it is the hardest of all a/d's to get off whereas I have noticed Zoloft can be much easier, but then again, that depends on the person too sometimes!

 

 

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grandmaD

You might want to post exactly what your symptoms are, how often you have them and what intensity they are?  Can you do that?  That might also help the mods.

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grandmaD

Another suggestion I have is based on my recent nightmare of being switched to a generic and going into a hell hole for a good 6-12 months.

 

I have finally stabilised from that but it has taken 15 months.  You might find that you just need to stay on Paxil and put up with the symptoms ujntil you do stabilise.  How long have you been stabilising now?  From my experience with my switch, you might find it will take you at least 6 months or up to 12 months.

 

It's hard to make these decisions, I know.  In my case I didn't know I had been switched, so I didn't have the chance to make a decision and even if I had the chance, I could not go back to the Paxil because GSK has sold it to other companies now and it is all gone generic and not the original.  You cannot buy the original anymore, well not here in Australia anyway.  I had no choice but to stay on the generic!  It was dreadful, but in my case I don't have children, so I just feel for you if you are trying to cope and raise a family and understand the difficulty!  I wish you the best!

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Hazel

Thanks for responding grandmaD.

I know it’s probably too late for me to go back to Zoloft at this point, but I really don’t know if I will be able to stabilize on Paxil.  

My symptoms have been that I wake early-typically around 2:30-3:00am and have high anxiety that prevents me from going back to sleep.  That last two nights I have had trouble falling asleep as well.  My anxiety sticks around till about 9:00-10:00 am and I tend to feel better during the day into the evening.  I have anxiety that comes and goes throughout the day, but not as bad as the morning anxiety.  Lately I start to feel anxious again later in the evening as it gets closer for me to try and go to sleep.  I feel like I used to get more breaks from the anxiety, but that last week and a half or so it has been worse-since taking the hydroxyzine.

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Hazel

I have been holding at 7.5 mg since January 6.  I had tried going down to 7mg at the end of December, but it did not go well so I went up to 7.3 mg after 2 days and then back to 7.5 after another 4 days.  I have no plans to drop anytime soon and am fine with holding for as long as it takes.  It helps to know that you were able to stabilize after your ordeal.  I guess I have to remain positive that I will eventually stabilize as well.

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Cheeky

Hi Hazel, I've just read your thread and want to say I think your doing great considering all the changes.

I completely understand you thinking about going back on the zoloft, as when you were on it you were  stable.

You have to remember you were on zoloft for a long time and you have had alot of changes in the last 15 months. The positive thing is your not at a high dose of paxil and I know from reading peoples stories the last 6 years since this all began with me is that we do eventually get stable.

I know how hard it is especially when your a mother who has to work, I just wonted to let you know that I'm here for your support and I think your doing an amazing job. Hang in there hun

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Songbird

Hi Hazel.  I can understand why you might want to try returning to Zoloft, but at this point there have been so many changes in between, it would be another big change that could rock the boat even further, so I think it would be very risky.   It sounds like you were eventually feeling okay at 7.5mg Paxil (hence your decision to try the drop to 7mg).  I think your best bet is to hold at 7.5mg for as long as it takes to restabilise.  Don't even think about a timeframe for this at the moment.  It will take how long it takes. 

 

In the meantime, I think it would be good to work on some non-drug coping skills to help you get through the tapering rough times.  I know how hard it is not to worry (about your symptoms, about whether you'll ever stabilise, etc.) but it is possible to teach yourself to worry less.  It is worth investing some time in learning some relaxation techniques.  There are many around, try experimenting a bit and see what works best for you.  For example: meditation, relaxing yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, massage, affirmations, and so on.  These can work well for both anxiety and insomnia (for example, I find progressive muscle relaxation helps me get to sleep).  There are relaxation and sleep CDs and recordings available, just search around and you can find plenty of options.  (I have some on YouTube if you want to try them out, just search for Minnie Silver).  Don't give up if you don't like the first thing you find, as there's a huge variety available.  Additional benefits are that when you feel impatient and want to change something, you have options other than dose changes or other meds, plus you feel more empowered being able to help yourself.

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Hazel
4 hours ago, Cheeky said:

Hi Hazel, I've just read your thread and want to say I think your doing great considering all the changes.

I completely understand you thinking about going back on the zoloft, as when you were on it you were  stable.

You have to remember you were on zoloft for a long time and you have had alot of changes in the last 15 months. The positive thing is your not at a high dose of paxil and I know from reading peoples stories the last 6 years since this all began with me is that we do eventually get stable.

I know how hard it is especially when your a mother who has to work, I just wonted to let you know that I'm here for your support and I think your doing an amazing job. Hang in there hun

Thank you so much Cheeky for your support.  I am thinking going back to Zoloft would be too risky at this point.  I just need to stick it out and allow my system more time to stabilize.  I do freak out when I’m not doing well and scramble for some sort of solution that will make this all go away, when really I believe the only answer is time.

Hope you are feeling better?

Hazel

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manymoretodays

Hi Hazel,

 

I just read back through your introduction/journal a bit.  And am so happy to read your response to Cheeky above.

 

One thing that did stand out when I read through........was oftentimes after you tried something psychoactive for relief(be it a benzo, or alcohol, or most recently the hydroxyzine) you often experience some INCREASED symptoms of what I often like to call the......"I need another medication to fix this" or "should I go back in time to when I think I felt better and use that medication again".  And not to be too hard on you here.......it's a pretty average response for many of our members.  Honest.

 

15 hours ago, Hazel said:

Thank you so much Cheeky for your support.  I am thinking going back to Zoloft would be too risky at this point.  I just need to stick it out and allow my system more time to stabilize.  I do freak out when I’m not doing well and scramble for some sort of solution that will make this all go away, when really I believe the only answer is time.

Hope you are feeling better?

 

It could be a bit risky right now to go back to Zoloft....... I think so too.  I'm seeing a lot of changes up and down and around and really encourage you to just hold a bit longer.  And try some of the more natural alternatives.  I still do go to using some magnesium and I see that listed in your signature as well.  Looks like your a working ?single Mom with 3 kids as well?  And so I say Wow, spectacular, awesome, and manymore accolades to you.  I found great relief with using magnesium, especially the Epsom salts(magnesium sulfate) in a nice tub of warmish water.  Not sure if this is an option for you and hope you don't want to ream me for the suggest......:rolleyes:

 

Tea perhaps as well?  Something mild like chamomile?  I use honey with my tea and haven't had any problems with that as a sweetener.

 

Also.......try to stay away from the hydroxyzine as well.......as I certainly think that your intuition that it might be causing difficulties, even in the days following it's usage.........could be spot on.  It doesn't appear to be all that great in combination with your Paxil either.

 

I think that grandmaD had a good suggestion above as well, in posting your symptoms........describing them as best you can as well, rather than just giving them broad terms helps us a lot, to further help you.  I'll include a link on the how to, for you to journal symptoms, with times, and medications listed as well.  Just do your best as you can.....

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1008-before-you-begin-tapering-what-you-need-to-know/

 

It's at the bottom of the first post in that link......."keep notes on paper".

 

And just a final question for you........or something to think about, as I'm not all that certain.........what brought you here initially, to survivingantidepressants?  I mean were you already disillusioned with AD's or had you just had no real lasting positive effect from them(maybe luck)?

 

Okay, all for now.  Update us soon though.

 

Love, peace, healing/inrecovery, and growth,

manymoretodays

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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Hazel

Hi Manymoretodays,

 

I completely agree with your assessment of how I have handled the backlash of trying something psychoactive to “treat” my symptoms.  I think I’m finally learning.  I will definitely stay right where I am and not make any changes.  

 

I have been feeling quite a bit better the last two days, so I am feeling more hopeful.  I just wanted to correct that I am a mom of three, but not on my own.  I am married and my husband does a lot to help care for the kids😊

 

I do use magnesium tablets every night before bed and take a bath with epsolm salts once or twice a week.  I do enjoy drinking a tea with lavender and chamomile.  I feel like it does help somewhat to ease morning anxiety.  I will continue to stay away from the hydroxyzine and use more natural ways to calm and try to sleep.  Like I said, the last two nights were a big improvement.

 

What brought me here initially was I was going through the nightmare of trying to find an AD that worked after coming off of Zoloft too quickly.  I had tried Lexapro, which was awful and then got switched to Paxil.  I felt better after initially coming off the Lexapro, but started feeling awful again as I increased the Paxil.  I finally had enough of AD’s and decided to taper off.  Unfortunately I was told to come off to quickly, but thankfully found SA and was able to go up a little more in my dose and somewhat stabilize.  I only wish I had found this site years ago, but am grateful I found it at all.  I hate to think where I would be if I hadn’t.

 

Hazel

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed long quote changed font and added spacing

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grandmaD

Hazel, I'm glad you have decided to stay put and I agree with the advice from the others that 16 months is probably way too long to go back now.  Also, based on the switches you have made since then and recent dose changes. 

 

After reading your symptoms, I was glad to see Songbird post some ideas to help with the anxiety aspect of it all, as these things do help too.

 

Yes, we all wish we had found the site a lot sooner, I probably would have been off this stuff 10 years ago! 

 

Look how far you have come, from 20mg to 7.5 that is pretty good.  Keep plodding along!

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Hazel

Thanks so much grandmaD!  Hope you are doing well😊

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Hazel

Just needing to vent and keep track of my symptoms.  I am feeling so alone and hopeless right now.  I was starting to feel really good toward the middle to end of last week and through the weekend.  I thought I was finally stabilizing, but then Sunday night I didn’t sleep well and last night I was up all night with anxiety.  I feel horrible right now-anxious and very discouraged.  I did start taking inositol last Tuesday night as I read on here that it helped people with sleep.  I thought it was helping, but now wonder if I’m having a bad reaction to it?  I am also due to start my monthly cycle and that always seems to cause problems for me as well.  This is just so frustrating!  I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day at work, but somehow I have to manage.  These waves are just so hard-especially after having a good window.  Sorry for all the negativity, but I really don’t have anyone I can talk to about this who understands.

Hazel

 

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DaveB
4 hours ago, Hazel said:

Just needing to vent and keep track of my symptoms.  I am feeling so alone and hopeless right now.  I was starting to feel really good toward the middle to end of last week and through the weekend.  I thought I was finally stabilizing, but then Sunday night I didn’t sleep well and last night I was up all night with anxiety.  I feel horrible right now-anxious and very discouraged.  I did start taking inositol last Tuesday night as I read on here that it helped people with sleep.  I thought it was helping, but now wonder if I’m having a bad reaction to it?  I am also due to start my monthly cycle and that always seems to cause problems for me as well.  This is just so frustrating!  I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day at work, but somehow I have to manage.  These waves are just so hard-especially after having a good window.  Sorry for all the negativity, but I really don’t have anyone I can talk to about this who understands.

Hazel

 

 

I am so sorry Hazel, you are NOT alone! In the last 2 months I have had SO many times I was like "this is it, I am starting to stabilize!" Only to come crashing down into a wave again. I agree, a good window can make the wave feel harder and more frustrating. There is literally no amount of money I wouldn't give to be able to close the book on this chapter of my life and be done with it, but obviously, that is not the way this works.

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Hazel

Thanks so much Dave for your support.  It is so helpful to be able to share with people who really understand this process.  I also would give anything for this to be over, and hold on to the hope that it won’t be too much longer now until I stabilize for good.  I don’t even care at this point if I stay at a small dose of Paxil for years-I just want to enjoy life again!  

How are you doing today?

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DaveB
On 1/29/2018 at 5:25 AM, Hazel said:

I just need to vent this morning.  I have been up and down since I last posted.  I have days where I feel really good and nights where I sleep pretty well too.  I also have nights where I barely sleep at all and days where I feel lousy.  I am so sick of this roller coaster ride and just want off!  I barely slept Saturday night and last night was up after a few hours with high anxiety-the worst I’ve had in a while.  Now I have to go to work and somehow manage to function.  This is just really wearing on me.    I thought I would be feeling better by now. I guess I will just continue to hold, likely for the next couple of months in hopes that I will eventually stabilize.  I am just really tired of living like this😪

 

These have been my experiences as well, so know YOU ARE NOT ALONE, we can do this together! I have to think we will eventually stabilize...right mods? I mean it seems like everyone who perseveres  come out the other side, why is it taking so long for us? 

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