It has been over 2 months and I failed to mention, that in those 2 months I have been free of Paxil aka Pax-hell.

It took me a year and a half of slowly cutting pills.  Last Christmas I was around 12mg, down from 40mg.  Last Christmas I cried, 4x, on Christmas Day because tapering down the drug sent me through hell a few times.  This Christmas, I will be me again… the first time in over 3 years.

I was so so scared when I was finally done tapering, which is why I failed to mention anything about it all.  I was so scared that 4 or 6 weeks would pass by and I would be in hell.  I knew it probably wouldn’t happen, that I had gotten off SSRIs the right way this time, but I was still so nervous.

My whole life has changed.  For the better.  The year and a half journey taught me so many things about myself.  And I can’t say enough good things about the community of Paxil Progress.  I would still be a numb fat zombie if it had not been for them.

I learned that I had to deal with the way that I felt about things.  I learned to tackle my anxious nature head on.  Coming back to myself has been the best gift I could have ever gotten this year.

The ghost that I was is like looking at a different life.  It is so bizarre.  How was I ever that person?  Where did she come from?  It honestly felt like I spent several years… dead.  And then I was reborn.

I spent a lot of time questioning… why me?  Why did I have to struggle so bad with my emotions, why did I have to end up on medications that made me suffer more, why did I have to spend a year and a half of my life suffering at least 2 weeks out of the month for the longest time to get off this medication?  Why, why, why?

Why doesn’t matter to me anymore.  The journey gives me understanding.  Falling and land face first in the gutter wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to me.  I have direction now, I have motivation now, I believe in myself again, and I know without a doubt that nothing on this earth is bigger than my will to not just survive, but to live.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michael
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 08:08:35

    This have given me quite a bit of hop. I’ve been on 20mg Paxil for 10 years, and have just recently started to wean myself off of it. My doctor has me on Citalopram right now, and for the last 5 days I’ve been taking it (it was a simple switch; paxil one day, citalopram the next). That being said, right now I’m feeling waves of anxiety and have been having numerous panic attacks over the last 2 days, but I’m determined to stick this out, and get off Paxil. The gameplan is to spend the next 4 months on Citalopram and then wean myself off it over a period of 2 months.
    While Paxil has helped me in the past, I’m ashamed that my former doctors just left me on it, year after year (I started at age 10, another mindblower). I’m glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel, because right now life isn’t so good :). I’m just trying to stay positive as I know I won’t be feeling this way in 2 weeks.


    • Raychela
      Dec 16, 2010 @ 10:29:25

      Hi Michael, I am glad I could give you some hope. =)
      I very highly suggest checking out for information on tapering SSRIs (it isn’t just for Paxil, but weaning off all kinds of these types of medications).
      Paxil Progress advocates 10% drops every 3-6 weeks w/o switching meds and has had a high success rate. I won’t go in to it here, since if you are interested you can go to the site and see what they have to say. I will just say this, I spent a year and a half getting off Paxil. There was good reason for this. There are a certain percentage of people who can get off of it faster than the 10% drops but there might be some suffering involved. I would have spent 3 years getting off of it if I avoided any suffering. I will warn yah that 2 months after you have been on something 10 years and doing a med switch is not too far off from cold turkey, just don’t be afraid to do it slow, I’ve seen way too many people suffer needlessly trying to get off these meds too quickly. I was one of those people in an attempt to get off Celexa(citalopram)in 2008… crashed and burned badly, that is how I ended up on Paxil.

      I can’t believe you were prescribed Paxil at age 10!!! But then again, knowing how doctors work with these types of drugs… then again maybe I am not so surprised.

      Believe in yourself and keep a positive attitude. It will take you a long long ways.


      • Michael
        Dec 16, 2010 @ 16:06:14

        I definitely am experiencing some of the things people are talking about on Paxil Progress. I’m really just following my doctors advice at this point, so we’ll see how this plays out. Did you have anything that helped you really get through the process?


        • Raychela
          Dec 16, 2010 @ 21:46:43

          However you feel comfortable approaching this process is how you should do it, but if things go south for any reason just rest assured there are many many (did I mention many? lol) resources available to you and if you ever need any information I am happy to help. After my experience I feel that it is very important for me to “pay it forward” so to speak so people know that it is possible to find freedom and peace of mind just like I had those who helped me know it was possible.

          Perhaps at some point I should write a more in depth post explaining what all I did to help my process of getting off the stuff as painlessly as possible but for now I’ll just respond here. This is what helped me:

          **Avoid using any other prescription drugs to deal with any withdrawal effects. Adding a benzo for anxiety or a prescription sleep med for sleep issues (both symptoms highly common) is just going to compound problems. Everything will balance out.

          **Speaking of everything balancing out, trust the process. Some days you may feel like absolute crap. It happens. There will be good days. There will be bad days.

          **Don’t be negative. Seriously, it seems weird advice to give but after being at PP for almost 2 years I have seen so many people not heal because they believe they are somehow damaged. While a certain percentage of these people may be experiencing bad withdrawal problems, a lot of times it is anxiety and not knowing how to handle it that is causing the biggest issue.

          **Find whatever it is that relaxes you and makes you happy so you can have your moment of calm when you need. For me it was meditation. And if you think that is something that you would be interested in I couldn’t recommend it enough.

          **I dunno what led you to Paxil or what issues you currently experience, etc but I can’t recommend cognitive behavior therapy concepts enough as well as books that promote. Claire Weeke’s has excellent books for dealing with anxiety. If anxiety is a big issue for you, you must read at least one of her books IMO.

          **There are natural things that can help. I had good success with Bach’s Rescue Remedy, especially when getting to sleep. Magnesium is a good thing to take with coming off these meds. Fish oil too. Valerian is very relaxing. Don’t take anything like St. John’s Wort that interacts with serotonin, that is dangerous. If you try any supplements introduce in one thing at a time to see how you react, that way if it makes you feel bad you know what caused the problem. I became extremely sensitive to many things while tapering Paxil.

          Those are the main things that helped me and the go to list when anybody asks what I would recommend when getting off of Paxil/SSRIs. Of course I am not a doctor and your experience may vary 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: