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Old 11-13-2011, 10:28 AM   #1
IMISSME
 
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experiences post paxil with windows and waves

I am looking for other people's experiences with the windows and waves effects and their duration in between. The trouble with these waves is that they seem so normal. I know the feelings I am having and I have had them before paxil. It's not like we all never had ups and downs pre-paxil. The problem here is because they are so real they just seem to be normal. In the past I have had these waves and windows but they would be less then a week. Maybe 5 days bad then a day or 2 good. Has anyone experienced them where the waves might last for weeks?

I have plenty to be stressed about so I just wonder if this is a "normal" wave. Funny, prior to paxil I had never heard the term windows and waves. I seem to be examining the down times in my life in the past and just how I dealt with them. I don't think my entire life pre-paxil was one big wave. But the way I feel now is so real and so familiar. I guess it should be familiar because it is me.

Once again I'm going to answer my own question and say, yes, this is me but the reason for it is not the usual reason meaning just life. It is chemically induced due to the withdrawal. So, the normal ways of "coping" just don't have the same affect.

So, does anyone remember who is long past paxil just how these waves went? Do they vary greatly in length from one wave to another? Are the waves always longer then the windows?

To recap, I have a great girlfriend, 4 great kids, a business that is functioning but very stressful, and extended family and friends. It just seems that life is very "heavy" right now but it all seems so real. Is it my coping skills that aren't working or are my problems just completely overblown in my head due the the withdrawal?
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-13-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post

To recap, I have a great girlfriend, 4 great kids, a business that is functioning but very stressful, and extended family and friends. It just seems that life is very "heavy" right now but it all seems so real. Is it my coping skills that aren't working or are my problems just completely overblown in my head due the the withdrawal?
It's interesting you say this. Yesterday, I was sharing the same thing with friends over lunch. That my life it is filled with good things. But since w/d, I can't seem to feel the way I used to feel about all the blessings I have, which are plentiful. I mean, I thank God every day for my health, my solid marriage, my family, my good friends, our home, and on and on, but frequently, I feel like a trauma survivor.....but no trauma has occurred. Frequently, I feel like I'm at a funeral, like I've experienced some huge loss, like I'm living in a nightmare that I can't get out of. This is the reality of withdrawal. I do have some windows, some good periods when I can feel genuine happiness and peace. The past few weeks have been the toughest so far....not many windows so I am slowing things down. Quality of life is more important than a faster taper.
Anyway to get back to your question....yes, I believe that withdraw definitely causes the brain to lie to us. The trick is to recognize this and not be fooled by it.....and never stop believing that healing is on the way. Patience is not my strong suit, so in some ways this w'd has helped me to learn patience and acceptance of things the way they are right now.
That said, without this community, I could not do this. This journey is far too scary and painful to take on alone....just would not be possible for me.
So yeah, it's been tough, but do-able because of my brothers and sisters here.
Sending you best wishes and good thoughts,
joanne
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusflower View Post
It's interesting you say this. Yesterday, I was sharing the same thing with friends over lunch. That my life it is filled with good things. But since w/d, I can't seem to feel the way I used to feel about all the blessings I have, which are plentiful. I mean, I thank God every day for my health, my solid marriage, my family, my good friends, our home, and on and on, but frequently, I feel like a trauma survivor.....but no trauma has occurred. Frequently, I feel like I'm at a funeral, like I've experienced some huge loss, like I'm living in a nightmare that I can't get out of. This is the reality of withdrawal. I do have some windows, some good periods when I can feel genuine happiness and peace. The past few weeks have been the toughest so far....not many windows so I am slowing things down. Quality of life is more important than a faster taper.
Anyway to get back to your question....yes, I believe that withdraw definitely causes the brain to lie to us. The trick is to recognize this and not be fooled by it.....and never stop believing that healing is on the way. Patience is not my strong suit, so in some ways this w'd has helped me to learn patience and acceptance of things the way they are right now.
That said, without this community, I could not do this. This journey is far too scary and painful to take on alone....just would not be possible for me.
So yeah, it's been tough, but do-able because of my brothers and sisters here.
Sending you best wishes and good thoughts,
joanne
Patience. I doubt any of us who have taken these meds have patience as a strong personality trait. Maybe that's why we were so willing to find an answer in a pil. Quick fix. I wish someone would have recommended some alternatives to me prior to jumping on this band wagon.

I see a lot of people tapering very slowly. Some I see have down this time and time again. What is the deal with those who taper slowly and then being free of the meds only to find themselves trying something else even a year later. Does that mean they may never get off a med?
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Maybe this should just become my journal. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as to why I ended up on paxil. I specifically went to the doctor because I was having some sleep issues. I have had "night terrors" since I can remember. These were not insomnia producing just freaky dreams that woke me up anxious. Generally though I fell back to sleep. I have always been tired during the day and craved naps. I always wanted to have my 8 or so hours of good sleep and then be energized during the day. I have never been energized during the day no matter how much sleep I get. In college I used to take naps all over the place, benches, the library. I did a sleep study but did not have apnea. My ex-wife couldn't stand my snoring and said I must have apnea. Funny, my girlfriend has no problem with my snoring.

So, I went to the doctor thinking he would just prescribe some sort of temporary use sedative. But he came out with this new word for me, Paxil. My first instinct was hell no once I learned it was an anti-depressant. Well, he talked nice about it and the rest, I guess, is history. So, now that I am in this chemically produced deep depression I am trying to figure out if I have been depressed all my life. I have had episodes of depression. They all happened when I was alone (no girlfriend) and kind of directionless. But having been on Paxil for 13 years (I am 48 now), it's hard to get a good handle on all this. The 13 years on Paxil I was very busy. I helped produce 5 kids (one died of SIDS at 10 weeks), I helped build my business, I left my wife after 15 years, setup a new house very close by and have continued raising my kids. Regrets, you bet. Hindsight is always 20/20. But my new signficant other is like no other women I have ever been involved with. She has heard a lot of what I have read on this site so whenever I get really bad she just recites some of these things. She is definitely one of those that does naturally.

So, I want to "rise to the challenges" that are presently in front of me but this depression seems so real that I feel I can't see anything clearly. I just don't know how long this will last. Nothing I do seems to get me through it like in past depressions. Like I said before, I was only depressed to this extent when I was alone (and probably not to this extent). I am not alone so why do I feel so lonely? God I hate this Paxil crap.
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-13-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post
What is the deal with those who taper slowly and then being free of the meds only to find themselves trying something else even a year later. Does that mean they may never get off a med?
Some folks simply can't function without medication. For some, it's just easier than to swallow a pill. For others, tapering "slowly" isn't necessarily the way we recommend here. I was the first person to taper 10% all the way down many have followed, but none before me did it so what is a slow taper to most, isn't really a slow taper. And again, that's where patience comes in to play. Unfortunately, some just think tapering 10% every 3-6 weeks is too slow and thus, they aren't successful and go back on something.

However, that doesn't mean they never get off of medication. Maybe a year or so down the line, they try again and are successful.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Hi IMISSME

The word 'depression' means different things to different people so I thought I'd try to illuminate your understanding:

normal sadness - having the 'blues', feeling down, can function and sometimes laugh and be happy

the depression that goes with grief - this can sometimes be quite intense but it comes in waves; between the waves people function normally and enjoy life

dysthymia - a clinical condition; people aren't happy, they don't enjoy life, but they can function normally

major depression - a clinical condition; the two major symptoms are anhedonia and low mood (continuously) for at least 2 weeks; other symptoms can include things like sleep disturbance, appetite changes, changes in sexual behaviour .. there is more info on the net if you look

The important distinction between the clinical forms of depression and the depression that is part of normal mood is that when suffering from a clinical form, the person CANNOT snap out of it.

Hope that helps with your understanding of your past
Junior
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Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:36 PM   #7
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior View Post
Hi IMISSME

The word 'depression' means different things to different people so I thought I'd try to illuminate your understanding:

normal sadness - having the 'blues', feeling down, can function and sometimes laugh and be happy

the depression that goes with grief - this can sometimes be quite intense but it comes in waves; between the waves people function normally and enjoy life

dysthymia - a clinical condition; people aren't happy, they don't enjoy life, but they can function normally

major depression - a clinical condition; the two major symptoms are anhedonia and low mood (continuously) for at least 2 weeks; other symptoms can include things like sleep disturbance, appetite changes, changes in sexual behaviour .. there is more info on the net if you look

The important distinction between the clinical forms of depression and the depression that is part of normal mood is that when suffering from a clinical form, the person CANNOT snap out of it.

Hope that helps with your understanding of your past
Junior
so, how does that relate to withdrawal depression. I was never majorly depressed prior to paxil. I had my moments but always popped out of it. years went by in between any of these types of episodes. They were always "situational" generally being related to a relationship breakup. During this time of withdrawal, 6 months now, I have always had "windows" that lasted between 1 and 2 days. This most recent "wave" has lasted 9 days. This is the longest. So, I feel I owe it to myself to ride this out for at least 12 months. 6 to 12 months has been the "norm" for most to think there may be an end in sight. I have had this confirmed by a pdoc as well (amazingly so) but not in a lengthy discussion. She just indicated that paxil withdrawal, for those who suffer from it, can last 6 to 12 months. I was never in this much grief prior to paxil. I do have stressors but I don't think they should result in this level of despair. I also think that if I weren't in this withdrawal depression that therapy would have begun to show some effects, it's been 5 months in therapy now.
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior View Post
Hi IMISSME

The word 'depression' means different things to different people so I thought I'd try to illuminate your understanding:

normal sadness - having the 'blues', feeling down, can function and sometimes laugh and be happy

the depression that goes with grief - this can sometimes be quite intense but it comes in waves; between the waves people function normally and enjoy life

dysthymia - a clinical condition; people aren't happy, they don't enjoy life, but they can function normally

major depression - a clinical condition; the two major symptoms are anhedonia and low mood (continuously) for at least 2 weeks; other symptoms can include things like sleep disturbance, appetite changes, changes in sexual behaviour .. there is more info on the net if you look

The important distinction between the clinical forms of depression and the depression that is part of normal mood is that when suffering from a clinical form, the person CANNOT snap out of it.

Hope that helps with your understanding of your past
Junior
So, if you suffer from GAD and MDD what are you planning to do since you are now weaning off Paxil?
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post
so, how does that relate to withdrawal depression. I was never majorly depressed prior to paxil. I had my moments but always popped out of it. years went by in between any of these types of episodes. They were always "situational" generally being related to a relationship breakup. During this time of withdrawal, 6 months now, I have always had "windows" that lasted between 1 and 2 days. This most recent "wave" has lasted 9 days. This is the longest. So, I feel I owe it to myself to ride this out for at least 12 months. 6 to 12 months has been the "norm" for most to think there may be an end in sight. I have had this confirmed by a pdoc as well (amazingly so) but not in a lengthy discussion. She just indicated that paxil withdrawal, for those who suffer from it, can last 6 to 12 months. I was never in this much grief prior to paxil. I do have stressors but I don't think they should result in this level of despair. I also think that if I weren't in this withdrawal depression that therapy would have begun to show some effects, it's been 5 months in therapy now.
From what you describe, you have never suffered from Major Depression in the past. Just normal sadness, the blues, difficulty coping with life type stuff. Stuff that can respond really well to ordinary counselling if not talk therapy. Just so you know, counselling deals with life issues generally while therapy aims for personality change.

In terms of w/d, the depression you are experiencing is chemical depression. SSRI's work by preventing the sending neuron from recycling serotonin, thereby leaving the serotonin in the synapse (gap between neurons) longer and in theory, allowing the receiving neuron longer to take it up. When you have been on an SSRI for a long time, the serotonin receptors become downregulated, that is, they no longer do what they are supposed to do and in w/d need time to heal. That healing is not linear either. I believe the receptors fluctuate so sometimes we feel great and other times have symptoms.

I'd just to point out, also, that serotonin is not the only neurotransmitter that is affected by this medication. If you alter the levels of one chemical messenger (neurotransmitter), the brain/ body will alter the levels of others in order to find homeostasis. This is why people generally feel start up effects when going on psychotropic medication, and why w/d is an issue. All of that needs time to heal.


The reason therapy /counselling is not as successful while is w/d is this: by changing the way we think, we can actually change the way our brain functions. This is why CBT is so good. But in w/d the brain is on its own timetable and is much harder to influence this way. Having said that, therapy can provide the tools to help you get through w/d and beyond and is still valuable.

Oh..and if you're wondering how I know so much - I've done four years of study in psychology Not a know it all... just have some knowledge that I like to share when it helps others.
__________________

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:42 PM   #10
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post
So, if you suffer from GAD and MDD what are you planning to do since you are now weaning off Paxil?
I'll be honest. I didn't WANT to come off Paxil. For me it was a wonder drug. But I developed a tolerance to it and have no choice. I tried switching -3 times in 6 months - and learned my lesson. I will NEVER do that again.

The GAD I can manage. After all I had it for 20 years before finding out what it was It wasn't in the DSM when I was 16 [late 1970s] and doctors had no answers other than to give me short term doses of benzos (which I took responsibly) or a certificate for a couple of days off work. I 'discovered' GAD when I was studying 3rd yr psychology in 2003 and it was a real revelation. Other people suffered from this too! I wasn't weak. I had / have a disorder. To cut a long story short, I'd learned to live with it, since I had no choice. Mind you, I had several months of therapy about 12 years ago for other reasons and I know I've changed since then. It will be interesting to see how I go when I do eventually get off this drug.

For the record, my nervous system is probably more sensitive in w/d than it was before so it might not be too bad

With the major depression: Because of what I have learned about the course of this illness both in study, by working in community mental health (for a year), and from my family history of bipolar, depression and GAD, I know i'm likely to suffer at least one more episode in my life. I'm hoping that Prozac will help if /when that time comes. If it does I will definitely come off once I am stable. On the other hand, I have far better coping skills than I used to and may not find myself in that situation again. I hope!!!

Sorry for the long post. I hope all that helps.
Junior
__________________

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:47 AM   #11
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior View Post
I'll be honest. I didn't WANT to come off Paxil. For me it was a wonder drug. But I developed a tolerance to it and have no choice. I tried switching -3 times in 6 months - and learned my lesson. I will NEVER do that again.

The GAD I can manage. After all I had it for 20 years before finding out what it was It wasn't in the DSM when I was 16 [late 1970s] and doctors had no answers other than to give me short term doses of benzos (which I took responsibly) or a certificate for a couple of days off work. I 'discovered' GAD when I was studying 3rd yr psychology in 2003 and it was a real revelation. Other people suffered from this too! I wasn't weak. I had / have a disorder. To cut a long story short, I'd learned to live with it, since I had no choice. Mind you, I had several months of therapy about 12 years ago for other reasons and I know I've changed since then. It will be interesting to see how I go when I do eventually get off this drug.

For the record, my nervous system is probably more sensitive in w/d than it was before so it might not be too bad

With the major depression: Because of what I have learned about the course of this illness both in study, by working in community mental health (for a year), and from my family history of bipolar, depression and GAD, I know i'm likely to suffer at least one more episode in my life. I'm hoping that Prozac will help if /when that time comes. If it does I will definitely come off once I am stable. On the other hand, I have far better coping skills than I used to and may not find myself in that situation again. I hope!!!

Sorry for the long post. I hope all that helps.
Junior
Thanks junior, no, your posts are not too long and very informative. I almost minored in psychology (Business major). I find in very interesting. We appear to be similar in age, I am 48. I never had major depression just situational depression that always came when I was without a girlfriend or friends in general. I learned how to cope at a very young age being along as my father was in the navy and we moved around. Your insight into this being chemical depression seems to make sense. I just hope that in the long run I can get back to tackling the challenges I was always able to handle. 9 years into Paxil my marriage fell apart and several months later my old residence burned to the ground. I was able to handle this without any emotional stress for the most part (that should have been a big warning). Now I can't seem to handle the most minor stress and am depressed most of the time. I believe Paxil began to poop-out on me around the 11th year or 2009. If I had had any inclination that this was the reason I may have done some research and found out about tapering properly.

So, from what you have learned about depression, this withdrawal depression is really just that, withdrawal? I think I can handle the normal kind of depression I had prior to paxil because I had done it before. I went to a therapist in my late 20s when I was alone and as I recall it was a positive experience. Funny, as soon as I met my future wife I decided I didn't need the therapist any more. I had never seen a psych dr prior to this experience of withdrawal. I went to one in late July and she prescribed Remeron. She seemed to "show her cards" a bit about the Paxil withdrawal but didn't really give it any credit. She just said that exercise would be my savior going through this. The next time I saw her she referred to what I had as a disease. This offended me of course. I believe she diagnosed it as MDD and GAD but no OCD. In fact the next pdoc I saw also said no OCD. That is always what I felt my primary issue was. I won't be going back to the 2nd dr as he prescribed Celexa like my primary dr back in early July. I tried the med for 2 days each time and had tingling feet and face. I decided my body wanted no part of these meds. I never really had any side effects from Paxil other then delayed orgasm.

I am debating on whether to have my follow up with the original pdoc in two weeks. Depending on whether I am in a window or a wave might determine that. If I am in a wave it would probably be pointless as she would most likely just give me a hard time about trying to not take the Remeron since that was her solution. I also found it telling that she prescribed Remeron instead of another SSRI. Sleeping was my primary issue at that time and the Remeron took care of that. If I am in a window I sure I could show up and just be great as if I was all better.

Thanks for sharing your opinions, they all help...
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-14-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusflower View Post
It's interesting you say this. Yesterday, I was sharing the same thing with friends over lunch. That my life it is filled with good things. But since w/d, I can't seem to feel the way I used to feel about all the blessings I have, which are plentiful. I mean, I thank God every day for my health, my solid marriage, my family, my good friends, our home, and on and on, but frequently, I feel like a trauma survivor.....but no trauma has occurred. Frequently, I feel like I'm at a funeral, like I've experienced some huge loss, like I'm living in a nightmare that I can't get out of. This is the reality of withdrawal. I do have some windows, some good periods when I can feel genuine happiness and peace. The past few weeks have been the toughest so far....not many windows so I am slowing things down. Quality of life is more important than a faster taper.
Anyway to get back to your question....yes, I believe that withdraw definitely causes the brain to lie to us. The trick is to recognize this and not be fooled by it.....and never stop believing that healing is on the way. Patience is not my strong suit, so in some ways this w'd has helped me to learn patience and acceptance of things the way they are right now.
That said, without this community, I could not do this. This journey is far too scary and painful to take on alone....just would not be possible for me.
So yeah, it's been tough, but do-able because of my brothers and sisters here.
Sending you best wishes and good thoughts,
joanne
Joanne, I believe that if you surveyed all AD users patience would not be a strong point for any of us. I doubt I would have had the patience to taper the recommended way. If I had known about it my girlfriend would have seen to it that I complied but that is all "water under the bridge" at this point. Thanks for your good thoughts my way. I just want to look forward to the future again. That was what always got me through each day. This anhedonia is the worst.
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #13
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior View Post
I'll be honest. I didn't WANT to come off Paxil. For me it was a wonder drug. But I developed a tolerance to it and have no choice. I tried switching -3 times in 6 months - and learned my lesson. I will NEVER do that again.

The GAD I can manage. After all I had it for 20 years before finding out what it was It wasn't in the DSM when I was 16 [late 1970s] and doctors had no answers other than to give me short term doses of benzos (which I took responsibly) or a certificate for a couple of days off work. I 'discovered' GAD when I was studying 3rd yr psychology in 2003 and it was a real revelation. Other people suffered from this too! I wasn't weak. I had / have a disorder. To cut a long story short, I'd learned to live with it, since I had no choice. Mind you, I had several months of therapy about 12 years ago for other reasons and I know I've changed since then. It will be interesting to see how I go when I do eventually get off this drug.

For the record, my nervous system is probably more sensitive in w/d than it was before so it might not be too bad

With the major depression: Because of what I have learned about the course of this illness both in study, by working in community mental health (for a year), and from my family history of bipolar, depression and GAD, I know i'm likely to suffer at least one more episode in my life. I'm hoping that Prozac will help if /when that time comes. If it does I will definitely come off once I am stable. On the other hand, I have far better coping skills than I used to and may not find myself in that situation again. I hope!!!

Sorry for the long post. I hope all that helps.
Junior
Junior, isn't anhedonia a big part of depression? When ever I am in a window I can listen to music and have it move me the way it always did, even while on paxil. Listeneing to music is a huge part of my emotional life. It always has been. Now with the terrible anhedonia it just seems to be gone.
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-14-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Yes, anhedonia is one of the two major symptoms of depression BUT it is also VERY COMMON in withdrawal.

For major depression to be diagnosed (bearing in mind that pdocs are diagnosing it when they are not qualified to do so) there has to be the two major symptoms of low mood for at least 2 weeks and anhedonia, as well as several others.

Quote:
This disorder is characterized by the presence of the majority of these symptoms:

•Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (In children and adolescents, this may be characterized as an irritable mood.)
•Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
•Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5 of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
•Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
•Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
•Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
•Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
•Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
•Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
http://depression.about.com/cs/diagnosis/a/mdd.htm


I know what you mean about not being able to enjoy music. I went through that after switching a/ds 3 times in 6 months and I love my music. It has always helped me to get through the worst / hardest emotionally difficult times. I also experienced almost a total lack of emotions when I first went back on Paxil. It was really weird because I am an emotional person! But none of this was major depression. Technically major depression cannot be diagnosed if you are on medication that alters mood - be it an a/d or not. It is all about the brain healing from the time spent on brain-altering medication.
__________________

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #15
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior View Post
Yes, anhedonia is one of the two major symptoms of depression BUT it is also VERY COMMON in withdrawal.

For major depression to be diagnosed (bearing in mind that pdocs are diagnosing it when they are not qualified to do so) there has to be the two major symptoms of low mood for at least 2 weeks and anhedonia, as well as several others.



http://depression.about.com/cs/diagnosis/a/mdd.htm


I know what you mean about not being able to enjoy music. I went through that after switching a/ds 3 times in 6 months and I love my music. It has always helped me to get through the worst / hardest emotionally difficult times. I also experienced almost a total lack of emotions when I first went back on Paxil. It was really weird because I am an emotional person! But none of this was major depression. Technically major depression cannot be diagnosed if you are on medication that alters mood - be it an a/d or not. It is all about the brain healing from the time spent on brain-altering medication.
Wow, that sheds some light on things. I was diagnosed by both pdocs with MDD and GAD. However, at the time of the first pdoc visit I was complete full blown panic mode. Not sleeping, fight or flight mode. She told me she didn't think I was clinically depressed (is that the same as MDD?) I think she understood a bit about the paxil withdrawal but didn't want to give it all the credit for what I was going through. I don't believe either one of these pdoc's prescribe paxil any more.

What did you mean by "bearing in mind that pdocs are diagnosing it when they are not qualified to do so?"

I spent a bit of time researching this after my 2nd pdoc diagnosed me with MDD and GAD. I realized just how ineffective these meds can be on minor depressive issues and/or anxiety issues as a long term solution. As a short term solution they may be fantastic but getting off them may not be an easy option. I tried twice in the mid 2000s to get off paxil and my primary doctor just convinced me to stay on without ever investigating why I was on them in the first place. She used the increased anxiety after stopping for 4 days or so as evidence I needed to be on them. Crazy and may even be negligent.

My brain is just tying to figure out what is really going on with me. I know it is withdrawal but I seem to need constant reassurance.

Thanks,
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-14-2011, 02:40 PM   #16
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

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Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post
Wow, that sheds some light on things. I was diagnosed by both pdocs with MDD and GAD. However, at the time of the first pdoc visit I was complete full blown panic mode. Not sleeping, fight or flight mode. She told me she didn't think I was clinically depressed (is that the same as MDD?) I think she understood a bit about the paxil withdrawal but didn't want to give it all the credit for what I was going through. I don't believe either one of these pdoc's prescribe paxil any more.

What did you mean by "bearing in mind that pdocs are diagnosing it when they are not qualified to do so?"

I spent a bit of time researching this after my 2nd pdoc diagnosed me with MDD and GAD. I realized just how ineffective these meds can be on minor depressive issues and/or anxiety issues as a long term solution. As a short term solution they may be fantastic but getting off them may not be an easy option. I tried twice in the mid 2000s to get off paxil and my primary doctor just convinced me to stay on without ever investigating why I was on them in the first place. She used the increased anxiety after stopping for 4 days or so as evidence I needed to be on them. Crazy and may even be negligent.

My brain is just tying to figure out what is really going on with me. I know it is withdrawal but I seem to need constant reassurance.

Thanks,
Keep in mind that I have never seen a pdoc prior to this experience and I have never seeked a doctor when I was "depressed." Once in my late 20s I did seek therapy and that seemed to have a great effect. Now I understand just how valuable it is and will continue until I am through with this saga in my life. My primary doctor prescribed paxil for a sleep issue back in 1998. I remember the meeting. I went in to discuss some sleep issues expecting maybe an Ambien prescription and he came out with a script for a "magic" pill, Paxil ):
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-14-2011, 11:15 PM   #17
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post
Wow, that sheds some light on things. I was diagnosed by both pdocs with MDD and GAD. However, at the time of the first pdoc visit I was complete full blown panic mode. Not sleeping, fight or flight mode. She told me she didn't think I was clinically depressed (is that the same as MDD?) I think she understood a bit about the paxil withdrawal but didn't want to give it all the credit for what I was going through. I don't believe either one of these pdoc's prescribe paxil any more.

The modern name for clinical depression is major depression. However what they really mean when they say 'clinical' is that it is not normal mood. Same with anxiety. If it is clinical, then it is beyond the normal range of anxious thoughts or reaction to a life stressor.

What did you mean by "bearing in mind that pdocs are diagnosing it when they are not qualified to do so?"

Exactly what I said! Depression is considered to be a psychiatric disorder and most primary doctors (GP's in Australia) do not know the DSM-IV or ICD-10 criteria. Our doctors have had extra training on this because it has become such a big issue in society but many put people on medication when it is not really indicated.

I spent a bit of time researching this after my 2nd pdoc diagnosed me with MDD and GAD. I realized just how ineffective these meds can be on minor depressive issues and/or anxiety issues as a long term solution. As a short term solution they may be fantastic but getting off them may not be an easy option.

BINGO!!

I tried twice in the mid 2000s to get off paxil and my primary doctor just convinced me to stay on without ever investigating why I was on them in the first place. She used the increased anxiety after stopping for 4 days or so as evidence I needed to be on them. Crazy and may even be negligent.

Most medical doctors refuse to believe in a/d withdrawal. I've experienced it personally - even though my pdoc (GP) is excellent with everything else - and heard it so many times on this forum. Bottom line, drug companies fund the research and will only fund /publish studies that will make their product look good. Also, w/d is usually interpreted as the original condition returning which is just not true. Most of us here have found that we can feel the difference.

My brain is just tying to figure out what is really going on with me. I know it is withdrawal but I seem to need constant reassurance.

Thanks,
There is nothing wrong with needing reassurance. I'm strong and understand as much as science and this forum can tell me about the process but I still need support from time to time. Our brains aren't fully - umm.. shall I say "normal"? during this process and we can't always trust what they are telling us.
__________________

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:24 PM   #18
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMISSME View Post
Keep in mind that I have never seen a pdoc prior to this experience and I have never seeked a doctor when I was "depressed." Once in my late 20s I did seek therapy and that seemed to have a great effect. Now I understand just how valuable it is and will continue until I am through with this saga in my life. My primary doctor prescribed paxil for a sleep issue back in 1998. I remember the meeting. I went in to discuss some sleep issues expecting maybe an Ambien prescription and he came out with a script for a "magic" pill, Paxil ):
I was first put on Paxil in 1997 for anxious-depression (the Dx was correct) but I know doctors were putting people on Paxil for insomnia back then because they didn't think it was addictive. They thought it was safer than benzos.

You asked in your other post about MDD. I think the best way I can describe it is to give you a brief history of my journey with it:

First episode of depression at 18. Didn't know what it is. Don't know how I got through it but it was untreated. It lifted after about 10 weeks. To this day I cannot identify a trigger. I am now 49.

Second episode at age 25. Again, no trigger. My only thought is that I slid into it through boredom but really, that is just not normal. This episode was treated with a tricyclic (SSRI's weren't around then) but I'm not convinced it did anything. Again it lifted after about 10 weeks.

Third episode at age 26. This time there were many life stressors. Again it was treated with a tricyclic. Again it lifted after about 10 weeks.

Fourth episode at age 34. Life stressors were the trigger. Treated with Paxil (Aropax in Australia) and it lifted after 2 weeks. Stayed on Aropax for 6 months then weaned off quickly with next to no issues.

Fifth episode a few months later (I link the two and don't think I was really stable yet after the previous one despite the life stressors at the time). Again treated with Paxil. Again the worst lifted fairly quickly. I also had several months of talk therapy following this episode.

I then elected to stay on Paxil because I was raising a young son with autism / adhd and I found it really settled my nervous system. If I'd known what I know now I would have come off it much sooner.

MDD means that it is a disorder where the person suffers recurrent episodes of major depression. In my case there is a strong family history of both depression and bipolar so I believe my MDD is genetic. It has never been formally diagnosed. I just know from my history and my studies.
__________________

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:51 AM   #19
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

junior, I think I have used the abbreviation incorrectly throughout my posts on PP. I thought pdoc meant "psych doc" not "primary doc." Not that big a deal but in the context of my previous post on this thread I was referring to psychiatrist when I said pdoc. I was indicating that I had never seeked out a psychiatrist until this recent withdrawal episode.

Thanks,
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-15-2011, 09:37 AM   #20
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

A pdoc is a psychiatrist.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:58 AM   #21
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Quote:
Originally Posted by texgirl View Post
A pdoc is a psychiatrist.
Ok, that's what I thought but junior referred to a pdoc as primary doc I believe indicating it was GP or general practitioner in Australia. We use the term GP here as well.

Thanks,
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-15-2011, 01:03 PM   #22
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Sorry folks. Blame it on cultural differences!

In Australia a psychiatrist is a psychiatrist. Or a shrink!
__________________

Aropax (Paxil) taper:
2009 23 Sept - 40mg; 12 Dec -30mg;
2010 Up and down - 25mg-30mg; 17 Dec-26mg
2011 25mg- 18 mg
2012 17mg -12.5mg
2013 27 Jan-12mg, 11 Mar-11.5mg, 2 May-11mg, 10 July-13mg, added 12.5mg Amitryptline 20 July; 5 Aug-titrated up to 75mg, stopped @13 Aug due to SS

Last dose of 13mg Aropax 15 Oct 2013. Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct in an attempt to stabilise.

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:17 PM   #23
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Well, this has been a lonnggggg wave. Going to be two weeks this Friday. I have had windows but only for hours at a time. Not sure if this will be the worst of it. Who knows. Having a real hard time determining what is reality. The depression is deep. I had a window last night after my workout. Actually a pleasant evening which most of them are. Even my libido reared it's little head (pun intended). The morning deteriorate into a brutal afternoon. I will be 7 months off on December 5th. Not sure how or when I will see the "light at the end of the tunnel." I'm sure for longer timers on this site and those have been through it this is all familiar territory. I'm trying awfully hard to "go with the flow" but it is brutal.

My girlfriend wants to record me so I can see the contrast between a wave and a window. It really wouldn't matter as this is all reality to me at this point.

Words of encouragement anyone?
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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Old 11-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #24
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

Are you receiving any therapy at this time, it may be beneficial. Just for you to see really how far you have come and to understand the bad windows. I suspect the bad windows will be easing in the coming months. As I've been tapering off paxil I find myself going back to events that occurred while I was on 20 mgs and now have to deal with them from an emotional standpoint. It can be brutal at times, but I've learned it's part of the process. I know it's hard but cherish the good moments and ignore the bad ones, had I not done this myself I would have given up months ago and re-instated back up to 20.

I hope you feel like your old self soon, it will happen!!

Kylelost

aka Suzanne
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:57 PM   #25
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Re: experiences post paxil with windows and waves

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Originally Posted by kylelost View Post
Are you receiving any therapy at this time, it may be beneficial. Just for you to see really how far you have come and to understand the bad windows. I suspect the bad windows will be easing in the coming months. As I've been tapering off paxil I find myself going back to events that occurred while I was on 20 mgs and now have to deal with them from an emotional standpoint. It can be brutal at times, but I've learned it's part of the process. I know it's hard but cherish the good moments and ignore the bad ones, had I not done this myself I would have given up months ago and re-instated back up to 20.

I hope you feel like your old self soon, it will happen!!

Kylelost

aka Suzanne
Thanks Suzanne, just hearing from someone on this website always seems to help. I am about 7 months out on this. Explain something you said. What do you mean that you have to deal with something while you were on 20mg from an emotional standpoint?

I see you are down to 2mg, congradulations. I, unfortunately, didn't know about tapering when I quit. I suppose I would be down to about maybe 2 mg or so if I had been tapering. Who knows how things might have been different at this point if I had been tapering.

In answer to your question, yes, I am seeing a therapist. I started seeing him on June 3rd. It really had nothing to do with quitting Paxil at the time. I just knew something was wrong with me in regards to some past events that I felt I needed to deal with. Specifically, my divorce. I have been seeing this guy every week since. It good for me as it is a time that is just for me. He has never had a client that is going through want I am going through. He has had clients who were coming off street drugs (teenager) and one who switched ADs and had some issues but nothing like this. He used all of his usual techniques. Interesting part is he knew me prior as a parent who brought his son in who was having a tough time as a teenager due to his parents divorcing. So, I had a few chats with him but at the time I was a fully functional together parent (as much as you can be while raising teenagers) but was holding steady due to Paxil (which I believe was beginning to poop out).

My point is this therapist didn't just see me a mess but saw me prior to this. He does point out my progress. The interesting part of all this is that I have accomplished quite a bit during these last 6 months but don't feel I am getting any better with the withdrawal depression. I really am not a basket case by nature. I just hope I get some break here soon. Maybe this will be the slow turning point. These last two weeks have been brutal. I can't really even cry anymore. I always get better as the day progresses but by the time I start feeling better I am shell shocked.

Thanks for your support. People really do survive this, right?
__________________
20 mg paxil 1998 for "night terrors"
2 attempts to quit mid 2000's
mid 2010, 10 mg after poopout
1 month 5 mg
5/5/2011 C/T'd
2 months physical symptoms minor bad thoughts then emotional hell, complete panic mid July
July 2011 started 15 mg Remeron for sleep
November 2013 at 1.0mg Remeron




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