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General Discussion Open discussion about Paxil, Paxil Withdrawal, successes and progress, good stories and bad, with and without.

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Old 01-23-2014, 11:12 PM   #1
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How long for emotions to come back?

Hello all,

I was just wondering how long until I can truly feel emotions!!!! like hahahhahahah that was funny or .... oh my im sorry that was sad,... or Oh boy I cant wait.......

I am 12 months out.... forced myself to go snowboarding today. Sun on my face,.. freshly fallen 8 inches of snow,... no one on the mountain....sat down by myself at the highest peak to try and take in the beautiful view and feel that emotion of WOW... or THIS IS SO PEACEFUL.... I sat and sat and sat...... then I sat some more, I looked at everything,.. the view, the snow freshly sitting on the trees,... the sky with sun shining and sporadic clouds and blue sky.......................I felt nothing. I felt that my hands were cold.

Anyone else got some wisdom on when emotions started to come back after paxil in protracted withdrawal etc.?
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:58 AM   #2
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Does Anhedonia go Away?

About 12 months off the paxil now. However have only been going through withdrawal since about August of 2013. I was just wondering if anyone who took paxil for more than 5 years or close to it ever got their emotions back? Their ability to feel love, their ability to enjoy a beautiful sunset or a nice day. To just feel enjoyment? I can't feel emotion,... does it return?
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Hi GTC, I think that emotions can go back, but I don't know how long it will take to have them in a stable manner.
Today I had some windows in the gym, I felt good while I was training although I have used microscopic weights, Tomorrow I hope to not have terrible muscle pain, but the workout today looked like a pre workout adverse reaction.
Then I came home, and I felt the symptoms of PSSD improve, I put on a song by Chris Burrows, my favorite folk punk singer, and I started jumping on the bed, for the first time in 51 days I felt real emotions, and is the first time that I did to jump and my face not turns red, and my eyes not burned(miracle), I hope that this window continue.
However tomorrow I have a first date with PSSD, I met a girl in the course of antipsychiatric self-help, I like her very much and I hope will be fine in some way.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

see,... thats the thing. If i met a girl i couldn't even feel the emotion of liking her. I have complete emotion loss and pssd. So its like I am destined to be alone forever.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

From anecdotal reports, I can tell you that emotions come back for a lot of people within the second or third year of withdrawal. I know that some of mine hit me when I'm in PMS mode. I get weepy and feel some emotion but not a whole lot, do you get like that? Anywho, I can relate to the long wait. Stay strong.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

The elt 712,... you are going to be fine in a matter of weeks or months.... you were only on zoloft for 5 weeks. I was on paxil for 6 years.

I can experience depression from being unable to have emotion if that makes any sense. I can't enjoy anything however. I cant enjoy a beautiful day,... I can't enjoy taking my dog for a walk who Ive loved for so long. I can't feel anything and I am wondering if those of us who have been on long term are kidding ourselves that we will get better?
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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Long term Paxil Users.. R We Kidding Ourselves

I am a year off, after a very quick taper of paxil under dr's orders. So I am in protracted withdrawal. I have no emotions, I cannot enjoy anything no matter how hard I try. I have pssd. I still have some anxiety.

My question is.... Are we kidding ourselves that we will get better? I mean,... people who tapered well are even saying it took them 4 years to feel semi better. I had a fast taper and a protracted withdrawal..... How am I supposed to believe I will ever get better off such a fast taper.

The only good results from people I see are from people who tapered correctly. Well by the time I crashed I was 5 months off,... and had an adverse reaction to reinstatement. Is there hope? I have not seen or heard of one person who was on for a long time and had a quick taper come back on here and say they healed a lot.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

I've merged your 3 threads since the topic in each is the same. Better to keep similar topics in one thread to make it easier for people to respond in once place.

Yes, people recover all the time. Don't take the experiences here as all the experiences out there. People who have no problems getting off ssri's don't post about it on the internet.

But...obsessing over this will lock you into that line of thinking.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

I can tell you from experience and time that Scotty's right. I have plenty of friends that have gotten on and off SSRI's and they were just fine. People just have different experiences recovering.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:22 PM   #10
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Yes,... I see that some people have no problems getting off. What I am saying is that obviously I am having huge problems in WD so do the people that DO have horrible WD ever really recover. I mean seriously. Who has been on paxil for around 5 years basically c/t and has gotten better??? I have seen no one who has.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #11
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Re: Long term Paxil Users.. R We Kidding Ourselves

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTC View Post
The only good results from people I see are from people who tapered correctly. ... I have not seen or heard of one person who was on for a long time and had a quick taper come back on here and say they healed a lot.
IMO You are not looking hard enough and/or not reading the responses you've been given. I was on multiple meds for 13-14 years.

My actual drug history:
1995-1997 - SSRI (Zoloft)
1997-2000 - SSRI (various brands) & Stimulant (Ritalin then Dexedrine)
2000-2003 - SSRI (various brands) & Lamictal (anti-seizure) 100-300mg
2003-2004 SSRI (Celexa then Lexapro) & Lamictal & Trileptal (another
anti-seizure med)
2005 - SSRI (Lexapro) & Lamictal (anti-seizure)
2006 - SSRI (tried Wellbutrin, Effexor, Topamax, back to Lexapro) & Lamictal
2007 (Jan.) - SNRI (Cymbalta) & Lamictal

9/2007- 3/2008:
Cymbalta Dosage was doubled in Sept. 2007 (40mg)
Lamictal Also doubled (200mg) in Sept 2007 (after reducing earlier that year)
Lithium Added in October 2007
Vyvanse Added in Nov. 2007

My withdrawal:
3/2008 - I quit Cymbalta, Lithium and Vyvanse within a few week period and cut Lamictal in half. Then I tapered the remaining Lamictal over 7 months. (not a slow correct taper by any means)

I'm fine now and have been fine for at least a year, maybe two. The 1st year was rough, the 2nd year was rough, improvements happened slowly, but they happened. I have healed A LOT

Now you have heard from at least one.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:32 PM   #12
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

yes,... but you were not on paxil,.. and I am assuming you did not taper in like 9 weeks as I did. I am sorry if I sound frusterated,... it is just that I am 28 years old, All I ever wanted was to get married and I can't because I do not feel emotion. My mother is 64 years old and It is horrible that at this age I cannot make her happy because I am suffering and have no emotion. I want to know what is like to feel love for my mom before she is too old to recognize me.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:00 PM   #13
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Quote:
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yes,... but you were not on paxil,
Whoa...did you read the list of drugs that NoRxForMe was on? That list is massively worse than what you've been on and recovery has happened. If you only see disasters, even when the story is positive, then that's something you have to work on.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:38 PM   #14
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

I was on Paxil for 11 years, didn't cold turkey but did a too-fast taper (20mg to zero in 3-4 months) and recovered. There are TONS of success stories on this site. Not everyone's situation will be the same as yours, but I can tell you that I have seen some pitiful situations here, suffering far worse than what you describe, and they recovered. I've never seen anyone NOT recover, actually, although some people go away and you never know what happened. But I haven't seen anybody here who is years off and still in withdrawal and not improving. So don't listen to your confused brain trying to tell you it's permanent.

For my first year off I don't think I felt too many positive emotions at all, although I could deeply feel the negative ones.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:18 PM   #15
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTC View Post
yes,... but you were not on paxil,..
Why does that matter? It doesn't matter what the drug is, it matters what the person goes through in recovery. People who took Paxil don't all have the exact same withdrawal symptoms or severity. We are all different. Besides, NoRx was on a whole cocktail of drugs which is much more brain altering than one.

And you need to stop thinking you are the worst case. If I had a $1 for every one who has said that I would be a billionaire. You are not. What you are doing, however, is stressing over every single little thing and that is the thing you need to change. You may not be able to do a lot about the physical but you can certainly change the way you approach it. And the first step is to stop starting a gazillion threads asking a million questions - and recognise what people have been telling you all along - it is withdrawal and it it going to take time but you WILL heal.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:58 PM   #16
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Junior, first of all I think it matters because NoRX was on a bunch of different ones mainly switching every year. So the brain isn't pummeled by the same poison and doesn't get used to it. I feel the ssri's are like cement on the sexual side of your brain... if you pour cement but only let it sit for a short period ie a year... then wipe it and pour a different cement and let it only sit for a year then wipe it... the cement will never harden.

So I am saying that paxil is the same stuff pouring over the brain and letting it harden over the par that contains the sexual response or emotional response. Plus I was on lamictal and that tends to boost sex drive almost out of this realm. I also think after viewing many pssd sites and ssri sites that PAXIL seems to be the culprit for most of the pssd or permanent anhedonia. So that is why I am asking for the long term paxil user pssd recovery stories. zoloft does not seem to cause pssd as much, maybe citalopram. but Paxil seems to be causing the most permanent pssd symptoms.

As far as starting a bunch of threads,... it is for feedback obviously because this is the only place where one can get it in this type of situation. you have 8,000 posts,.... I have 151.... so I think I am allowed some space to ask questions and try and figure this out.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:22 AM   #17
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Not much point giving feedback to those who don't want to listen. NoRx has been through a lot more than you can ever imagine and she is willing to come back to this site and try to offer advice to support and others. How sad that her words are falling on deaf ears. As for my 8000 posts - many of those have been in response to people like you, with the knowledge I've learned during my FIVE YEAR (so far) journey.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:40 AM   #18
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

I am/was almost 10 years on zoloft (so that cement was hardened ;-) ) and i can say that my emotions/sex drive have much, much improved, i am now on a relatvely low dose. I really perceived improvements from the point when i hit the 50% of the dosage, from there on, improvements were strikingly. Now when i have windows, i feel so great, mainly because it's been so long that i could feel that way, so i know what you mean!

I think it's already good that you are aware of not having emotions. When i was on zoloft, i was NOT aware of it, so maybe that's the first step in recovery? And you cannot force yourself to feel emotions, so go out snowboarding, do nice things, but don't expect to feel anything, cause you'll only be frustrated when you don't.

Your taper was way to fast, i'm always astonished that people can taper so quickly! The first time i tapered, I tried a 25% decrease, but after 7 days i was feeling soooo indescribable intense bad in all ways, both fysical and mental, that i only wanted to throw myself from a bridge. So my advice, give it time, don't think to much about it, try to relax yourself and do some fun stuff, and probably there will come a moment that you will feel a glimpse of emotion returning.
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March 2012: started the withdrawal, with tiny, but relatively frequent drops. Dosage at the beginning of each month.

2012:
1:50,0 - 2:50,0 - 3:47,5 - 4:41,5 - 5:38,2 - 6:34,4 - 7:32,3 - 8:29,0 - 9:27,2 - 10:24,2 - 11:22,9 - 12:20,7

2013:
1:19,4 - 2:18,1 - 3:16,1 - 4:15,2 - 5:14,5 - 6:14,5 - 7:13,5 - 8:13,2 - 9:12,3 - 10:11,3 - 11:10,7 - 12:10,0

2014:
1:9,4 - 2:8,4 - 3:8,1 - 4:7,1 - 5:6.8 - 6:6,1 - 7:5,5
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:46 AM   #19
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

on paxil several years. also no emotions for a couple years afterwards. now many emotions and much improved. hopefully this answers your questions and leaves you with some degree of optimism.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:52 AM   #20
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Quote:
Plus I was on Lamictal and that tends to boost sex drive almost out of this realm.
That was the opposite of my experience and I was on Lamictal for 8 years.

Your cement analogy might make a little sense if I had had any time off meds in those years. Really, it's like pouring different brands of cement.

I agree with Babs. Be thankful you can snowboard, many people feel they can't leave the house the 1st year off.

My last piece of advice regarding not feeling emotions, etc. is to fake it until you make it. You will recover. And don't tell your mother you don't "feel" anything for her. You obviously love her deeply.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:45 AM   #21
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

The anhedonia...I know. Its awful. I've had it since the summer of 2010.
I am seeing gimpses of it lifting now and then. I will have a few hours where I have not only positive memories and associations come to me, but the positive *feelings* that occured when the memories were made (if that makes sense). It's a beautiful peaceful feeling, it comes from inside, regardess of external circumstances. The last time it happened was january 7, I spent an hour outside with my dog in a sunny snowy morning and FELT it, but it didn't last long. Before that it had been a couple of months. I know its not much, but when it happens I hold onto it as proof that my brain is still able to be normal. I assume this is whats going to happen more and more until it's just always there again. As I heal. The only thing that works is to go do the nice things anyway, because when you heal you will be able to look back on the nice things you did and experience them again, only in a real way, with feelings. This has happened to me...in a window I'll have a wonderful memory and feel joy thinking of the time I, say, went to the beach with my kids and made a castle...then I'll think...whoa...I had anhedonia that day and the experience was flat and joyless and I was really down at the time...weird. So do the stuff anyway and store it up for later. The cement will chip off and nothing was damaged underneath.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:56 AM   #22
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Dear GTC,

I think there has been a misunderstanding in the reduction protocol that you followed.
You reduced Paxil definitively too fast. You should have planned a reduction in 4 years and not in 4 months !
You should contact a very good psychiatric. I fear that at this point the safest decision would be to go back to full dosage of Paxil (i.e. 30 mg) or at a similar dosage of a newer SSRI.

This is the reduction protocol that I apply for myself.
REDUCTION PROTOCOL
1) reduce extremely slowly the SSRI (in the order of 4 years)
2) If you enter in a serotoninergic crisis (strong anxiety and/or depersonalization) stop immediately the reduction and take Klonopin for about 2 months. Then reduce Klonopin very slowly in other 3 months. If after 6 months you are without Klonopin and without panic attacks, then you can start again the reduction from where you have left it.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:05 AM   #23
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atari View Post
Dear GTC,

I think there has been a misunderstanding in the reduction protocol that you followed.
You reduced Paxil definitively too fast. You should have planned a reduction in 4 years and not in 4 months !
You should contact a very good psychiatric. I fear that at this point the safest decision would be to go back to full dosage of Paxil (i.e. 30 mg) or at a similar dosage of a newer SSRI.

This is the reduction protocol that I apply for myself.
REDUCTION PROTOCOL
1) reduce extremely slowly the SSRI (in the order of 4 years)
2) If you enter in a serotoninergic crisis (strong anxiety and/or depersonalization) stop immediately the reduction and take Klonopin for about 2 months. Then reduce Klonopin very slowly in other 3 months. If after 6 months you are without Klonopin and without panic attacks, then you can start again the reduction from where you have left it.
I have to strongly disagree. I quit 3 drugs in a 2-3 week period and at 1 year off, I didn't feel like I was on my way to getting better, but I was.

I'm so thankful that once I made that decision that I was done with psych docs and drugs, I never changed my mind. They were making me crazy, stealing my emotions, memory and physical health. I wasn't going back.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:09 AM   #24
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

2 months of Klonopin sounds like a new problem brewing to me.
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Tapered over 3 months, switched 3 different ADs. It took 7 months for the hell to subside. Paxil taper began:
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:16 AM   #25
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Re: How long for emotions to come back?

I'm with NoRx again... and Junior.. etc
Let's be honest here right... GTC isn't going through something totally uncommon, unusually severe, etc.. I know the level of suffering is always subjective but i mean.. I was on a handful of drugs for 2 years and my taper was barely even existent. I myself along with many others on this site are exactly where GTC is, if not worse. at 10-12 months off, i think its much wiser to tough things out. Like he could start to feel better in the next 6 months - why risk reinstating, only to wait yeeaars to come off for good...? It makes no sense.
I truly believe that no matter what direction you take, things will get better and that you will recover. Fast taper may result in more suffering but doesn't automatically make things permanent. A 4 month taper isnt even all that bad compared to someone who C/T'd completely.
GTC, we're both having a miserable time. I think its time to realize that things could be worse though. You could be bed bound, but you're still able to go snow boarding, have a few drinks, laugh, etc... Like for real you can do this. You're not going to have this forever. Dont pretend you're a unique case because honestly i dont think you are. Many people were/are in our position and got better. The chances of this being forever are very slim if not existent. Listen to what we're saying man...
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20mg Celexa, to 40mg
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PSSD symptoms

Clonazepam for 1 month. 1 month tapper. took when needed for over a year.
Off Elavil
Zoloft 25mg to 50mg about 6 months + Buspar
Smoking MJ

DONE WITH MEDS SEPT 2012

Tapered inconsistently for 2 weeks
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