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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 04-06-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
jr1985
 
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Getting back to your old self?

Those of you who tapered slowly, did you find you gradually became more and more like your pre-SSRI self as you reduced your dose, or was it not until after you stopped completely?

I'm convinced Effexor has made my memory, concentration, motivation, etc worse and dulled all of my emotions, so I never really feel very happy or sad, just kinda meh. I'm hoping this will improve as I begin my taper (eventually).
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2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Effexor -> Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine -> Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
20/2/12: Updosed 75mg
9/3/12: Dropped 37.5mg
30/4/12: 33.8mg
1/5/12: 37.5mg
4/5/12: 35.6mg
19/6/12: Dropped 2.5%
23/6/12: 35.6mg
29/6/12: 37.5mg
30/6/12: 35.6mg
17/7/12: 37.5mg
Yes, I know it's messy...
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
LCrawford67
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

No, I am not like my old self pre SSRI and no one should expect to be. First, I was on Paxil over 10 years, no one is the same person they were years prior, drugs or no drugs. Second, this experience, like any other life changing experience, changes you. Hence the term "life changing."

I'm a stronger, smarter, and healthier person than I ever was pre Paxil and although Paxil w/d left me with health anxieties and higher anxiety in general, I still feel I'm better off now than before Paxil.

As for the emotional part, yes; that absolutely did come back. I have much more energy than I did on Paxil and probably before, quite frankly. But, that's because I believe I'm a much healthier person than I was prior to and while on Paxil. It took me several months, even after that last dose, to readjust to my full range of emotions.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Oh absolutely! There has definitely been positive aspects to this whole experience - discovering mindfulness techniques, Claire Weekes and I've been exercising more since this whole ordeal. All of these aren't just useful during withdrawal but for any future stress I will no doubt encounter.

I'm glad your emotions came back. I had a small glimpse of this after I came off the Effexor and before the withdrawals hit. I felt like I could actually enjoy doing something rather than just going through the motions. I hope I can get back to that.
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2003-2005: Paroxetine
2006-2009: Citalopram
2009-2011: Effexor
Aug/Sept 11: Effexor -> Mirtazapine
Oct: C/T Mirtazapine -> Effexor
Nov/Dec: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell
5/2/12: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg
20/2/12: Updosed 75mg
9/3/12: Dropped 37.5mg
30/4/12: 33.8mg
1/5/12: 37.5mg
4/5/12: 35.6mg
19/6/12: Dropped 2.5%
23/6/12: 35.6mg
29/6/12: 37.5mg
30/6/12: 35.6mg
17/7/12: 37.5mg
Yes, I know it's messy...
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

You will It takes some folks longer than others and for others, the emotional stuff is never an issue. As hard as it is; be patient, go easy on yourself...the rest will fall in to place.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCrawford67 View Post
I'm a stronger, smarter, and healthier person than I ever was pre Paxil and although Paxil w/d left me with health anxieties and higher anxiety in general, I still feel I'm better off now than before Paxil.
Does this apply to everyone? I don't recall having anxiety issues before paxil, only now in w/d - and hate to think I will still have that after I am off it??!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:44 PM   #6
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr1985 View Post
Those of you who tapered slowly, did you find you gradually became more and more like your pre-SSRI self as you reduced your dose, or was it not until after you stopped completely?
I am still tapering and cannot say I am gradually becoming more and more of my pre-SSRI self. This is such a long, drawn out process! It sure does require a LOT OF PATIENCE. My experience has been that the w/d symtoms keep getting more and more with new ones appearing all the time, which really throws me. My only hope is that ONE DAY I will get there and sometimes I despair of that happening, but I just plod along, one day at a time. I have determined that I don't want to be on any medication and have lost all faith in Drs. as a result of this.

I think I am becoming a different person - more wise, not so gullible!
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2011-10mg: 10% drops from 10mg to about 7.7
over 6 weeks-crashed after 6 mos
June 2011 - 8mg 5%
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July-Oct 8mg/9mg (inacurate scales)
Oct 2011 - 8.6 caps
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:06 AM   #7
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandmaD View Post
Does this apply to everyone? I don't recall having anxiety issues before paxil, only now in w/d - and hate to think I will still have that after I am off it??!!
I too am left with more anxiety post-Paxil than I had before. But it was horrendous in withdrawal, and got much much better as time went by. Grandma, you won't have this horrible withdrawal anxiety after you recover, but you may have some residual anxiety. But, there are plenty of tools for dealing that on this site and elsewhere.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #8
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandmaD View Post
Does this apply to everyone? I don't recall having anxiety issues before paxil, only now in w/d - and hate to think I will still have that after I am off it??!!
Nothing applies to everyone. Again, don't get caught up in anyone else's experience. Like Babs, I went through some major hell before finally tapering properly. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, your experience will be your own.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:53 AM   #9
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

I can imagine if you had health anxiety before going through this, that would be a real challenge! I can see how it might increase it afterwards. Is this something CBT could eventually tame? We need more people to come in and say they feel like themselves again after this experience. You feel so UNLIKE yourself during this that it's so good to hear that you can get back to YOU again. I know when I have windows I feel like me again, so I hope that when this is over I feel like me again too.
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2005-2010 Effexor XR 112.5mg-262.5mg for PPD
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3 month cross taper off Effexor onto 40mg Cipralex, switched to 20mg Celexa, switched to 20mg Paxil
Nothing helped except waiting 7 months to stabilize on Paxil then starting to taper:
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:59 AM   #10
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Babs and Lcrawford: is the anxiety higher now postpaxil then it was when you were on paxil?
And what kinda anxiety are you experiencing now? Can you function "normally" in life now?
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:11 AM   #11
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Yes, in my previous WD, at around 18 months off and to 24 months off, I felt connected to my past. I also started to feel like I am myself and not someone else.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:30 AM   #12
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilo76 View Post
Babs and Lcrawford: is the anxiety higher now postpaxil then it was when you were on paxil?
And what kinda anxiety are you experiencing now? Can you function "normally" in life now?
I didn't have anxiety on Paxil...didn't have much of anything on Paxil. That's the joy of these drugs, you don't have a care in the world.

I function just fine and it's truly not a big deal. I just get more anxious than I use to, I can't blame all of it on Paxil, a part of it is hormonal as well. The health anxiety is absolutely Paxil related and because when I was going through the worst of w/d, I monitored everything because I was so sick. But, that's also something I've learned to control and don't let it get the best of me. It's also something that's gotten much better as the years go by.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:03 AM   #13
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

These are the kinds of posts that scare me I want to be my old self 100% even with all my virtues and defects (those were NOTHING compared to the monster I am now )
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75 mg -> 37.5 (12d)
Imipramine:
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:09 AM   #14
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

I don't know why you'd be scared, miriza. There's nothing scary about any of these posts. You've been polydrugged and are, as I stated before, going through a life changing experience. Again, any life changing experience is going to change you and I just don't understand why that's a bad thing.

No one is saying you're going to be ruined and never be who you were but you can't expect to be the same, 100% person you were before this experience. It's just not going to happen and again, that's not a bad thing. As I stated in my first post in this thread, I'm better off now than before Paxil, so how is that scary?
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:13 AM   #15
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Hi LC! I just don't want to end up with any residual issues especially these intrusive thoughts and akathisia I was always very mentally stable (except for normal situational things that every human being goes through)...and I want to be like that again. If this changes me for the better by making me wiser and more compassionate, less naive, etc. then I would welcome it...
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*Poly-drugged since May 2011 (14 meds in 4 months-paradox. reactions to all). From mild anxiety to almost psychosis on meds. IT IS THE MEDS, NOT ME!
*Elavil:
75 mg -> 37.5 (12d)
Imipramine:
37.5 mg -> 0 (1 mo,10/08/11): akathisia!
5 mg -> 0 (1 mo,11/29/11)
Now in w/d hell and missing my old self.
Please go to http://www.askapatient.com and leave a review of your med(s) and w/d experience.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #16
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Like Laurie, I had virtually NO anxiety on Paxil. I didn't have much before it either (I was put on it for depression, not anxiety). I think the residual anxiety I have now is kind of a post-traumatic stress thing. Withdrawal was SO hard and dominated my life for such a long time, it left its mark. Having said that, I am and have been fully functional both during withdrawal and after. Since quitting Paxil I have gone through the death of a sister, empty nest syndrome, menopause, loss of a job I'd had 21 years, selling my condo and moving 500 miles to a new city, long term unemployment, and living in a hotel for a month due to an arson fire at my apartment building, resulting in having to find an apartment and move in the space of a few days. All pretty much by myself, I might add. I did feel anxious and stressed out plenty of times but I dealt with it all anyway. Like Laurie said, you are not always exactly the same person after withdrawal than you were before, but it many ways you can be better. It's a "new normal."
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:40 AM   #17
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Wow Babs! You are an inspiration!! This is what I like to hear. I'm a little worried that a life event will send my anxiety/nerves so high I'll have no choice but to reinstate. Perhaps because I'm still in wd, I'm so hypervigilant and anything REALLY stresses me out. I'm always worried that this is what I'm like now. Can't handle my emotions or life in general!
Sorry about your sister. I too lost mine (my only sibling) almost 2 years ago. Of course I was on paxil and felt nothing at the time, until I tapered off and was grief stricken!!
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #18
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miriza View Post
These are the kinds of posts that scare me I want to be my old self 100% even with all my virtues and defects (those were NOTHING compared to the monster I am now )
Me too. I think the original poster was wanting to hear about people who don't feel so alien anymore. DP/DR and anhedonia can make you feel so far from who you know yourself to be. To think that could be permanent is very upsetting (for me). I can't see how an SSRI can create anxiety disorders, personally. It might temporarily worsen certain types of fears related to experiences in withdrawal but I imagine they could be overcome eventually.
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2005-2010 Effexor XR 112.5mg-262.5mg for PPD
June-Dec 2010 Poop-out (crash)
3 month cross taper off Effexor onto 40mg Cipralex, switched to 20mg Celexa, switched to 20mg Paxil
Nothing helped except waiting 7 months to stabilize on Paxil then starting to taper:
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March'13 to Feb'14 9mg -4mg
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #19
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmac View Post
I'm a little worried that a life event will send my anxiety/nerves so high I'll have no choice but to reinstate.
That's something we all worry about, but it's not anything in our control. During my taper, my grandmother passed, my uncle passed, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed 34 days later and I was his only caretaker. All of these things happened in about a year and a half time span and all while I was tapering. Through it all, I just kept going and kept tapering and I lived to tell about it

We have no control over these things and what did we do before drugs? Life sucks at times, but when life events happen I want to experience them - good and bad! Taking a pill isn't going to bring your loved one back, pay your bills, get you a job, etc. and having a doctor tell us (or us just wanting) to take a pill so we can avoid sadness and grief, is exactly what got us in to this situation. It was a hell of a lot easier to deal with things on Paxil, but I'll take the emotions and all that goes with them, any day!
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Last edited by LCrawford67 : 04-07-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:32 AM   #20
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

The thing that I did not have a clue about (and perhaps others are in the same boat) is that while on paxil, we did not feel a thing! For all those years I was on it I thought I was just a placid person. Nothing phased me! I had no idea that I was "doped".

The scarey part is facing these issues now in w/d, but the thing that helps is knowing it is w/d and that one day it will pass. The hope that one day we will get through it all and not have all these sympoms is what keeps me going.

For that reason, it is scarey to discover there may be some residual issues that remain - especially issues we never had prior to paxil!

I take your point Laurie, that we are all different and therefore we should not worry NOW about something in the future that may not happen.
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1995-2001 20mg
2008-2010 alt doses/skipping doses/switching med/CT
2011-10mg: 10% drops from 10mg to about 7.7
over 6 weeks-crashed after 6 mos
June 2011 - 8mg 5%
July 2011 - 9mg
July-Oct 8mg/9mg (inacurate scales)
Oct 2011 - 8.6 caps
Nov 2011 - 8.1 caps
Dec 2011 - 8.1 tab
Dec 14 - 7.7
Jan 11 - 7.3
May 2012 - 7.0
Jun 6.6
Aug 6.4 2.5%
Oct 6.2
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:46 PM   #21
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Re: Getting back to your old self?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr1985 View Post
Those of you who tapered slowly, did you find you gradually became more and more like your pre-SSRI self as you reduced your dose, or was it not until after you stopped completely?

I'm convinced Effexor has made my memory, concentration, motivation, etc worse and dulled all of my emotions, so I never really feel very happy or sad, just kinda meh. I'm hoping this will improve as I begin my taper (eventually).
I'm a better version of me!!
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