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Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms: Length of Time for Recovery

If you have taken the Paxil (Paroxetine) or Paxil CR (controlled-release), you know the true power behind this SSRI medication. When I first took it for social anxiety, it worked wonders – I felt so good that I never wanted to come off of it. Eventually the drug stopped working and I fell into a deep depression while still taking Paxil. I had been taking it for about 9 months, and decided that I should probably just get off of the stuff altogether if it was no longer helping. I was young and my general practitioner didn’t explain that it would be advisable to “taper” vs. going “cold turkey.”

Long story short, I had a total mental breakdown, severe anxiety, severe depression, suicidal ideation, and had a very difficult time recovering from the Pax-hell that I was being put through. The withdrawal symptoms were absolutely awful and I felt as though I would never recover. In all honesty, I think it took me several years before I felt “normal” again by my standards. Although my case of an extended withdrawal recovery period is not the norm, many people really struggle coming off of Paxil.

Factors that influence Paxil withdrawal include:

If you have read any of my other articles regarding antidepressants, specifically SSRI’s, you should know that there are a number of factors that play a role in your withdrawal from a medication. It should be noted that Paxil is among the most powerful antidepressants on the market – some research has even compared its effects as being “similar to cocaine.” Whether those claims are scientifically founded is another story. However, anyone that has had experience with this drug knows how hellish the withdrawal can be.

1. Time Span

How long were you prescribed Paxil? Have you only been taking it for a few weeks? Have you been on it for years? Obviously time span plays a huge role in determining how our body’s are going to respond to withdrawal. If you take something away from your body that you have been giving it for an extended period of time, you are going to have a tougher time rebounding compared to someone who was only on it for a couple weeks or months.

2. Dosage

What was the dosage that you were taking? Paxil comes in some standard dosages of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 60 mg. There is also the Paxil CR version which comes in 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 37.5 mg, etc. Obviously the CR simply means “controlled release” and that the dosage was slowly released over a 24 hour period. With the regular version of Paxil, the drug can get absorbed more quickly or all at once. They end up being very similar once your body gets accustomed to the standard Paxil. Anyways, the greater the dosage of this stuff, the tougher it is going to be to withdraw.

3. Individual physiology

There are rare superhuman individuals that don’t really notice withdrawal from certain medications. How sensitive you are as a person is going to play a major role in determining how Paxil withdrawal feels. Some people may notice that they are back to normal within a matter of weeks, while for others it may take months. And for others, like myself, it took years to feel better again.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

With the sheer potency of Paxil, I highly recommend that you do NOT stop cold turkey. Stopping cold turkey is just asking for some major trouble. When I was on this medication, I was only on the 12.5 mg CR version and I stopped cold turkey – huge mistake. I experienced withdrawal symptoms for a long time – and it took me years to feel “normal” again. Tapering is the smart way to go about withdrawal – gradually wean yourself off this medication with the help of your psychiatrist and/or doctor. If you haven’t yet quit the drug, but plan to withdraw soon, be sure to read: “How To Taper off of Paxil Properly.”

Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms: List

There are so many different withdrawal symptoms that people may experience while on this medication. Although you may not experience every symptom on the list below, it is common to experience several of them at the same time.

  • Anger – Want to see someone get mad? Have them withdraw from Paxil. Coming off of this medication can make even the most docile human being turn into a raging evil monster.
  • Anxiety – The anxiety coming off of Paxil is among the worst many people ever experience in their lives. Not everyone experiences this symptom, but the drop in serotonin levels can contribute to high anxiety coming off of Paxil.
  • Blurred vision – Although this sounds somewhat odd to experience, people have reported that their vision seems blurred at times while coming off of Paxil. I had this experience, and my vision is perfectly fine, but something was clearly going on.
  • Confusion – You may experience difficulties with thinking and may become easily confused throughout the day. This is normal – just remember that your thinking is temporarily slowed and your brain is trying to recover from the Paxil.
  • Crying spells – It is common for people coming off of Paxil to breakdown and start crying – often uncontrollably. Feelings of deep depression and desperation may accompany this crying. Do your best to tough it out and recognize that it’s just the withdrawal.
  • Decreased appetite – Coming off of Paxil you’ll experience the opposite of what you felt while on the drug. For most people, Paxil makes them hungry. When they stop, they have a tough time rebuilding their appetite for awhile.
  • Dizziness – You may experience an extreme case of vertigo for the first couple weeks coming off of this medication. Just recognize that this is a common withdrawal symptom.
  • Electric shocks – You may feel as though you are being electrically shocked or experience what many refer to as “brain zaps.” This can be very distressful in itself, but just realize that they will eventually go away as the drug leaves your system.
  • Fatigue – It is very common to experience lethargy or fatigue. You may feel like sleeping all day and not wanting to do anything. Do your best to get through the day and do what you can.
  • Flu-like – It isn’t uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms for the first couple weeks while coming off of Paxil – especially if you stopped cold turkey.
  • Headaches – It is common to get headaches and/or feel pressure in the head during withdrawal. I had such severe headaches that I actually thought I needed to get an MRI to determine any alternative causes.
  • Hot flashes – Many people experience hot flashes for weeks while coming off of Paxil.
  • Hypersensitivity – You may be hypersensitive to light, sounds, and motion. I remember that I would freak out at loud noises and or super bright sunlight. This can cause you to go into panic mode.
  • Hypochondria – It is pretty common to fear that you are going crazy while withdrawing. I thought I was going to develop schizophrenia, cancer, and/or problems with my hearing and vision. Every little thing made me panic and think disease.
  • Insomnia – Can’t fall asleep at night? Since your brain’s serotonin supply is now diminished, you may find yourself unable to sleep or find mental peace. This insomnia will last until your brain finds a way to recalibrate its neurotransmitters.
  • Mood swings – The mood swings that you experience may be absolutely crazy. You may go from extreme anger, to extreme sadness, feel aggressive one minute, and be sympathetic the next. Do your best to cope with this.
  • Muscle cramps – Your body may ache and feel sore all over. This is because it is getting re-acclimated to experiencing life without Paxil cycling through it.
  • Nausea – If every little thing makes you feel nauseated and somewhat sick, it could be a result of the withdrawal.
  • Panic attacks – You may find yourself panicking in almost every major situation. Whether you are at work, school, or just out in public, everything may provoke a fear response. Do your best to fight through this feeling of discomfort.
  • Poor concentration – Can you focus? Of course not, you’re coming off of Paxil. Most people experience a little cognitive boost while on the medication, and when they come off of it, they are unable to focus.
  • Slowed thinking – If you find yourself unable to think quickly, perform well on the job, and/or problem solve, it’s due to the withdrawal.
  • Severe depression – The depression that you experience coming off of Paxil may be so severe, that you won’t even know how to make it through life. Do your best to focus on making it through one day at a time. Eventually you will rebound back to 100%.
  • Suicidal thoughts – Feel suicidal before you take Paxil? Coming off of it the suicidal thoughts may be 100x worse. Yes you read right, 100x worse. The best thing you can do for yourself is try to think positive and/or do something to distract yourself from the way you are feeling.
  • Sweating – It is common to sweat profusely while on Paxil, and you may find yourself sweating a ton while coming off of it.
  • Vivid dreams – Many people experience vivid dreams while on this medication, as well as while coming off of it.

Note: It is known that Paxil stays in your system for only 4 to 6 days after your last dose; it has a short-half-life.  For this reason, many people notice severe discontinuation symptoms within just days of stopping Paxil.

Paxil Withdrawal Symptoms Length of Time: How long will they last?

How long will withdrawal from the drug Paxil last? Like I said, it will totally depend based on individual factors. New research suggests that the withdrawal period actually lasts a lot longer than professionals originally thought. They are finally starting to see the light that these drugs are not something to be taken lightly. Most people have withdrawal symptoms for at least a couple months following discontinuation. A good rule of thumb to go by is give it 90 days to fully recover – most people feel back to themselves after 3 months time.

In the meantime, try to take it one day at a time and don’t freak out at every little symptom. Your brain is likely in panic mode. Make sure you are exercising, eating healthy, and socializing to the best of your ability. A day will come when you will feel 100% and back to normal even if you don’t believe it right now. The process takes time. If you can make it through this withdrawal, you can make it through anything. I am here if you need to share your comments and experiences.

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{ 429 comments… add one }
  • Jan March 7, 2018, 11:25 pm

    I am on day one of coming of Paxil CR 37.5’s. I have been on this for years well over 10. Weight gain has been an issue for me along with the fact that I want to no longer be dependent on medication for my anxiety. I had no idea until I began researching that it was going to have this many withdrawal issues. I am tapering off by taking 1.5 tablets for 10 days, then 10 days of taking 1 tablet to 1/2 of a 20 mg tablet for an additional 10 days. :( Not looking forward to this. Eeeek.

    • Beth March 12, 2018, 4:39 am

      Just completed 3 weeks off Paxil cold turkey. All the side effects are still with me, but I’m doing this one day at a time and hanging in there. I am very determined. Things that help me are being active and socially involved, doing things that make me feel accomplished and proud of myself (cleaning, just went skiing for the first time in 7 years, fixing things around the house that I have put off forever) and focusing on getting projects done (but trying to not do too much or I start to feel manic-y).

      Having down time is very important (naps, breathing, journaling, meditating). I want to take very good care of myself physically and spiritually. It’s still a challenge and I can’t wait to see what each week brings. I feel so much more alive and involved in life since quitting but the symptoms remain very challenging.

      I’ll try to keep you posted. Love and hugs to you all! What a dirty drug! FYI…I was on Paxil for over 25 years before I went cold turkey.

  • Kat February 10, 2018, 6:49 am

    It has been 3 weeks since I reduced my dose from 10mg to 5mg and I have had severe vertigo from 7 days now, as of this evening it feels the worst it has been over the 7 day period. Has anyone else experienced vertigo while still tapering and for this length of time? I am beginning to feel like it will never subside! It is so difficult to remain sure that this is a withdrawal symptom and not permanent.

    • Raija February 11, 2018, 5:46 pm

      Hi Kat! You have reduced your dose very much in a short period of time, I suggest going more slowly if possible. Did you drop it from 10 mg to 5 mg in one go? I also had terrible vertigo while tapering, some days I had to lie down because I was getting sea sick. It definitely is caused by the withdrawal.

      After each time I reduced the dose came a wave of withdrawal symptoms and I had to wait for them to calm down. The symptoms and the time at which they appeared and subsided varied a lot. I can’t remember now how long it took after each drop but weeks, not days. And if I would be doing it all again now, I’d go even more slowly to prevent my body and mind going through so much stress.

      I’ve been off Paxil for approximately 1 year and 9 months now and I had been using 20 mg for 9 years. I haven’t had vertigo for a long time now and it’s hard to remember exactly when it subsided. Are you feeling anxious? For me anxiety was one of the strongest symptoms.

  • Carine Azara January 26, 2018, 9:19 pm

    I have been taking paroxetine 10mg for 6 months now. I started tapering 5 days ago, because I want a baby. I totally forgot to research about this drug. I tapered to 5mg with no issue. Today I went down to 2.5mg, by cutting the pill in 4 parts. I want to stop taking it by 02/05. Do you think I can do this?

    • Mike (50) January 30, 2018, 9:02 pm

      Hi Carine! If you read this: Thank God you have been on Paroxetine for a relatively short period and 10mg… YES, you can do it by 02/05, yet don’t underestimate the challenge and tapper SLOW. It is at low dosage that is the important to “detox” in small increments 2.5mg, 2mg, 1mg, 0.5 mg so that you don’t suffer the painful withdrawals.

  • Ryan January 10, 2018, 7:37 am

    I was on Paxil for little over 10 years. Been wanting to wean myself off. I called my doc’s office for an app for a refill about a month ago and they never called me back. The first 2 – 3 weeks coming off from Paxil SUCKED!! I cried at songs that were happy and sad.

    Couldn’t sleep unless I took more sleeping pills then recommended. For some reason drinking milk now makes me feel ill, idk if that has something to with it or not. Thank GOD I am feeling better now and that no one pissed me off when I was in all that electrical feeling/head pain ’cause I could be jobless now and “offended” ones I normally wouldn’t.

    I’m still not 100%. Those of you who are going through the same Hell: Hang in there! Drink lots of water and drink some Ensure to keep your vitamin levels up. Avoid crowds and stress as much as possible. Listen to music that makes you feel – cry, feel, laugh. Try some dumb comedies. You’ll make it…trust me! If I can, you can! Peace and love!

    • Toyah February 21, 2018, 1:00 pm

      Your comment made me laugh and well up haha. I’m almost reaching week 3 now. I was only taking 30mg of Paxil for 6 months but I no longer want to take it anymore. It helped with my anxiety but unfortunately the cons outweighed the pros. I have just stopped taking it rather than doing it gradually.

      It has been very difficult at times but I know the bad times are only temporary (I hope haha). Sometimes I don’t feel awake and I am starting to get shocks in the front of my brain, which isn’t very pleasant. But I feel positive at the moment (I have frequent doubts).

      I hope you’re doing well. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • CASSANDRA March 5, 2018, 11:44 am

      How long ago did you come off it? I’ve been on paxil for thirteen years. My psychiatrist took me off it in 2 weeks. I think that’s very quick. I guess I just want to know when will I feel normal again.

  • Aaron January 2, 2018, 5:23 pm

    Hi Everyone, I’ve never written anything before but when I was trying to find help with regards to getting off of paroxetine all I found were horror stories and obviously as someone who suffers from anxiety this scared the life out of me. My mental health centre didn’t return ANY of my calls or send me an appointment after 6 requests spanning a 6 month period.

    All they did was try and dissuade me from getting clean. I was on 30mg a day and decided that I was going to do it on my own. They wouldn’t decrease my dose without an appointment and it was impossible for me to get an appointment. So I bought a pill cutter! I went straight from 30 to 15mg and stayed there for a month, surprisingly no problems.

    Then I went to 7.5mg for a month, still no problems. I then went to 3.75mg for 4 days and then… I went away for a week and accidentally forgot my pills. It was reading all the stories that started to makes panic but I stayed calm and said to myself that I could do it. I did have a weeks worth of Xanax of which I took half a tablet before bed, this enabled me to sleep and although I didn’t actually feel any different during the day I think they helped my to stay relaxed.

    After a week I weaned myself of the Xanax too and now I AM FREE!!!! Two months later I feel happier, I am emotional, but in a good way, my libido is improving! It’s been quite a journey over the last year of self improvement, I’ve learnt a lot. Anxiety for me is about getting unwanted thoughts and feeling mixed up.

    Sometimes I’d get the feeling in my stomach and then it would bring very negative upsetting thoughts and sometimes it’s the reverse. I now realise that it’s very common for this to happen, but it’s just about how much power you give these thoughts or feelings. It’s easy to get into a vicious circle which ends up in panic and the feeling of going mad.

    But now when I get anything like that I take some deep breathes and sometimes laugh. They are just thoughts!!! Good luck to everyone, you can do it and you will be fine.

  • LeAnn Hatch January 2, 2018, 3:52 am

    Today is day 8 without my paxil. I was on 20 mg for close to a year and quit cold turkey not knowing how hard it was. I was not told how bad it was. All I’ve been told was maybe hot flashes and depression and anxiety may get worse. So far I’ve had HORRIBLE brain zaps that are driving me insane. I feel like I’m losing my mind. Today was the first day I could hold down anything. Yesterday was the worst. I vomited all day long even tho I had nothing in my system. When will this end???

  • Jim November 26, 2017, 10:47 pm

    I am now in my seventh week week of withdraws and with the help of this and other websites and those close to me I have been able to endure this horrible adventure.

    I found out early on that the greatest suffering from paxil withdraws was from the long lonely restless sleepless nights. I have developed some coping skills and will pass these on to those who have similar problems, but please consult you physician first.

    1. fish oil and L-tryptophan two hours prior to bed
    2. no TV or internet one hour prior to going to bed; it wires up the brain to much.
    3. warm bath with ephsons salts
    4. herbal tea with meletonine just prior to going to bed,
    5. set up a smoothing nature sound maker. I use a sound of a crackle fire sound in front of a gas fire place.
    6. sleep on a recliner with head elevated; as it helps with anxiety
    7. if awaking in the middle of the night, take a bannana and another L-tryptophan pill
    8. get at least eight hours sleep and the day time hours will be much more manageable.

    PS: try to remain somewhat active during the day, only if it is only routine mundane tasks. Try to get several hours natural sunlight each day. Go for long walks.

    This is my contribution to this website and I hope that it may help someone who is going through this nightmare. I may not write again, other than to say I am over paxil withdrawals.

  • Antonios Chasiotis June 8, 2017, 5:55 am

    Hi I just completed my 3rd week of quitting Paxil cold turkey. I do not know if I will ever find myself again, but I am committed at this point to die trying. I felt I lost 10 of my best years in life (between 40-50), because I was completely isolated from society by taking Paxil. Where is the beautiful smile that people used to admire on me?

    I do not remember smiling any of those last 10 years while using this poison. I want to consult everybody to just avoid this pill. You will never be yourself again… No matter what, find an alternative. Thank you all and thank this forum… Antonio

  • Amy April 15, 2017, 10:56 am

    I decided to come off paxil myself about a week ago, I was on 20mg but it wasn’t doing anything, so I cut them in half and went down to 10mg. Last night I started having nightmares, my mom passed away from cancer last August and it was about her. I woke up this morning feeling like I was in panic mode. Good thing I read this because it helped me understand why it was happening.

  • valerie March 27, 2017, 3:00 pm

    I was on paxil for 15 years 25 mg CR. I have now been off it for about 6 months. I had some withdrawal symptoms: depression, crying, but nothing too serious. I have had night sweats and anxiety that wake me from a deep sleep, but they subsided quickly and only occurred in the early morning hours. As of last week I have had panic and anxiety that are now affecting my life.

    I also have had Meniere’s disease for about 15 years (not sure if it’s related to the Paxil). I’m having trouble eating and resting. Xanax helps calm me for a short time, but I know I can’t continue on it. I do not want to go back on any antidepressant. Would like to find some alternatives to getting my life back to normal. Anyone have any luck with any other approaches?

    • Bev March 28, 2017, 10:17 am

      I have been on Aropax since my 2nd child was born now 21 years of age. Went to see medical practitioner last week who said I could instantly stop taking this medication. I have been on 1 & 1/2 tablets of 30mg. Was concerned about stopping instantly and I am now taking 1 tablet. I’ve been doing this for 4 days now. Have noticed agitation headaches slight anxiety. I definitely don’t want to start taking this medication ever again. Can anyone recommend any hints tip to get over these hurdles? My practitioner wants me to go back to see her so she can draw up a mental health plan and to be referred to a physiologist.

  • Angie March 25, 2017, 8:24 pm

    Hi… I think I’m experiencing this withdrawal currently. I was on 20 mg and was on it for about 3 years. I quit cold turkey after I realized one day how numb I was. My daughter was in a car accident, nothing severe, but I had no emotion, not even she’d a single tear (while my husband was balling). He even questioned me on why I had no reaction. I understood something terrible had just happened, but I couldn’t respond properly.

    That is when I decided I needed to be able to feel normal emotions. I have been off it for 3 weeks now, and the first 2 weeks were fine. But this past week, I noticed I have flu like symptoms. I feel headachy, and sooooo nauseous (to the point that it’s beginning to effect my job), and tummy issues. I can’t sleep, I’m super emotional now, not exactly what I was looking for, lol…

    I’ll be happy and laughing one second, then bawling the next. The nauseousness is really getting to me and makes me want to jump back on the paxil pill. My hubby is helping me remain strong not to though. I would like to ask a question… is there anything I can take to help with my symptoms, especially the nauseousness and flu-like symptoms?

    I’ve been trying Prilosec, and also tried Pepto Bismol, neither seems to be helping. I have been on the “BRAT” diet to help with the tummy issues… not helping. I need relief, I can’t work, or do much of anything feeling this way and it’s beginning to make me feel hopeless. 😕

  • Shanz March 14, 2017, 7:09 pm

    Hi there, I have been on Paxil for 19 years due to severe panic disorder/agoraphobia. It was a wonder drug for so many years and I literally could never have imagined my life without it. I had tried weaning off in the past, between the awful withdrawals and recurring anxiety I assumed I’d be it’s slave for the rest of my life.

    Over the last year my anxiety attacks have returned and when seeing my Dr last week, she recommended quitting (due to possible poop-out effect) and immediately I panicked. I’ve been so desperate to get this dirty drug out of my system but never had the courage to face the terrible withdrawals. I took my last 20mg Paxil a week ago and immediately started on 10mg Brintellix (subsequently dropped to 5mg) and although it has somewhat lessened the major withdrawal symptoms of the paroxetine, I still feel quite horrendous.

    Tremors, night sweats, severe restless leg syndrome, pins and needles, headaches, elevated anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, muscle fatigue, dull ache behind my eyeballs, ‘whooshing’ sound in my head every time I move… the list goes on!! It’s only been a week but I am so desperate to stick it out because of the hell it’s put me through.

    So encouraging to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, albeit taking weeks/months…onwards and upwards! It’s a wonder why Dr’s still prescribe this knowing the significant potency of it’s side effect profile and intolerable withdrawal symptoms. Wishing you all strength and courage on your journey.

    • Mike (50) March 17, 2017, 10:30 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience here and good luck with the perilous ordeal of quitting Paxil/Paroxetine! Of course I empathize and am sorry that you’re going through the Paxil Hell. You are not alone and it’s hard for someone who does not know what it’s like to understand what you are going through.

      I also received it against anxiety (at college) and I was also on it for 19 years before I realized that this “medication” was at the very source of my problems and not a solution! My Psychiatrist just kept on prescribing it ignoring all dangers of long-term treatment. Initially I weaned off over 1 month and had to resume it after 4 months of horrendous withdrawals.

      The 2nd quit attempts was just as painful but I stuck it out against all medical advice that “you must take it for life”! Exactly 2 years “clean” now and no more anxiety or sleeplessness, only mild depression which I prefer to being totally “numbed” and drugged! Life is worth living again and I feel more human and sensitive again even though I have not fully recovered yet.

      I would never ever take a SSRI again. Stay determined and go through the dark woods till you see the clear sky again!

      • Deena February 20, 2018, 9:03 pm

        Thanks for your comments. I was on 20 mg for 3 years. Weaned down from 20 to 10 to 5 and now zero for my 3rd week. Each drop took some getting used to, but things did get better. Give yourself lots of time to feel better and lots of space. You can do it.

        I have never felt better overall. The highs are way higher and the lows are shorter and I have found meditation, nature, etc. for helping with the lows. I still have bouts of where my energy drops to nothing in a hurry, night sweats occasionally, loss of appetite and achiness. Still I now my body is much happier and I feel so good that I am doing something good for my body that has given me so much!

  • Gary March 8, 2017, 4:06 pm

    61 years old. 20+ years @ 20 mg. April 2017 will be 1 year since my last pill (after tapering for 1 month). Every month brings a slightly new variation of symptoms. Someday I hope to feel right again.

  • Emma March 1, 2017, 9:59 pm

    Thank God you wrote this. It’s been a huge source of comfort for me. I’m getting 95% of these symptoms and I’ve gone cold turkey due to other health issues. I keep re-reading your post and its So much help as I’m only 3 weeks in. Thank you again for writing this.

  • Kim February 16, 2017, 8:46 pm

    I am about five weeks into the withdrawal symptoms from coming off of 12 years on SSRIs, the last 7 on Paxil. It is the worst thing I have ever gone through in my life. I am very sensitive to all medication, so maybe this is why. I have SEVERE ANXIETY, though it is not as bad as in the beginning. I have adrenal rushing through me, but no heart racing.

    I can only sleep about six hours a night, but I’m exhausted. The head zaps have pretty much stopped, but I still get blurry vision sometimes and foggy head as if I’m on medication. I also have a lot of suicidal thoughts which scare me and make me sad, but I would never act on them.

    The good news is that my blood pressure has returned to normal. On the medication it was really getting high even taking high blood pressure medication, hence why I decided to stop taking it. If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with the withdrawal process, I’m open to anything healthy. Otherwise, one day at a time…

    • Mike (50) March 3, 2017, 11:41 am

      Hi Kim! I feel with you… “worst thing I have ever gone through…. have severe anxiety”. I had the same during my withdrawals for a long time. My suggestion for you… go through this daunting time exactly as you say: healthy alternatives and one day at a time!

      Anxiety: avoid all stress as much as possible to deal with the anxiety and do sports / massages / calming biological herbs to bring down the stress hormones and levels). Moreover, all thought patterns will be influenced by the underlying strong anxiety = small problems will seem catastrophes that hurt right to the core. It’s not “you,” it’s the withdrawal aftermath!

      Suicidal thoughts: remember death is irreversible and that you must bravely go through the pain (without taking an SSRI again) and that with time (it seems unbelievable whilst in the long pain phase) will go away and recovery is possible! Good luck! Mike

  • Callie February 10, 2017, 3:18 pm

    I’m a 16 year old female and I’m 95 lbs. A doctor me put on paxil (60mg). I’m currently taking 5mg of it now trying to come off of it. That was way too strong of a dose for me. My withdraws are horrible and I’m having most of them. I’ve already missed a month of school due to hospitalization, so I can’t miss much more. It’s so hard being in class and feeling like crying and freaking out because of everybody around me. My anxiety is high and my body hurts. My experience with paxil has been horrible.

  • Lorena February 9, 2017, 8:29 pm

    I’m a college student and was on Paxil (20 mg) for about two years. My doctor advised me to stop cold turkey, so I did, and I literally feel terrible. I’m having the most random crying spells ever and I’m dizzy as hell. I just want it to go away.

  • erik February 7, 2017, 3:26 pm

    I’m on Aropax, Paroxetine SSRI, similar if not exactly like Paxil – been about 10 years now… frigging hate it. It doesn’t work anymore and have tried a few times to taper with no success. As I read more stories of others with the same issue I must get of this drug, I don’t feel like me anymore.

    I’ll skip a few days and I’ll feel better but then the headaches come, nausea, vertigo, irritability (I get angry and feel a stronger hatred for everyone, even loved ones which is not me). After about 5 days to a week I need to take another pill just so the withdrawal symptoms abate. I’d like to go to the shrink I saw when I started them and kick her in the head.

    The doctors never tell you about the side effects or withdrawal symptoms, only that you’ll feel ‘so great’ once you start your regimen… anyway that’s me, hope I can kick this thing… If you can kick coke then why can’t an SSRI be as easy…?

  • Charman February 5, 2017, 1:59 am

    I experienced a terrible side effect that is not listed. I have been on paxil since August, I am an EMT, mom, grandmother, wife. I work long hours and stay extremely stressed and busy. At this moment my vision is so blurry I can not see very well. Back to the beginning of my withdraw, my youngest son is a private in the Army, I had to work long hours and travel 8 hours after working to visit him.

    I pushed trying to be tough and do it all, after all I am mom. Moms are suppose to do be tough, well this mom wasn’t as tough as I thought. Approximately a month and half ago I decided to come off paxil, it wasn’t helping I felt more depressed and things in my life was somewhat settling down. I decided to do this myself, as a medical professional for over 25 years, I knew better!

    But did that stop me, no, I was determined to come off it. About a week into it I started getting dizzy, head swims, unable to focus if I moved my head to quickly, severe thirst. I just kept pushing and drinking lots of juice, soda, whatever I could get a hold of. Well three weeks in I had almost done myself in. I was working, pushing through another day, this time something I knew was different… my urine smelled sweet – that’s never a good sign.

    I tested my glucose, high, yep something defiantly was wrong. I have never been a diabetic, never had problems, always normal readings. I informed work I was going to the emergency room. Upon arrival they also checked it, same reading, so they drew blood. It was 749. That’s crazy! Never been over 120 and I was at 749.

    I was placed back in paxil, given metformin. Well now it’s been an additional two weeks and I am still battling levels of 140-300. I am scared. My vision is awful and I am again trying to come off the paxil, directed by the doctor this time. I have researched and only came up with a couple of places it says it will affect glucose. Has anyone else had this experience? Oh and my A1C was an average of 250 for three months. So from the time I started it, my glucose started rising.

  • Joe February 4, 2017, 2:09 am

    Hang in there, I’ve been off that crap since just before Christmas, cold turkey. The worst feeling ever coming off it. It does get better. Rest, exercise as you can. The head shock went away gradually, some days my head is still swimming.

    Insomnia, anger, bowel issues slowly getting better. Hopefully you have someone who will support you. Thank god for my wife. Prayers to all who are fighting this beast, as for the drug companies, they can eat dirt.

  • Alexandre February 1, 2017, 12:51 am

    I had to cold-turkey leave paroxetine a week ago after an 8-year period. My neurosurgeon number 4 brilliantly raised the hypothesis that paroxetine might be affecting my platelet aggregation level after I had a sequence of recurrent chronic subdural hematomas following the implantation of a Sophysa Polaris programmable valve in order to drive an asymptomatic arachnoid cyst to the peritoneal cavity.

    As a matter of fact, I made a platelet aggregation test on the same day I took the last 20 mg pill and the result showed a very low level of platelet aggregation. One week later I repeated the same test and the levels of aggregation were back to normal levels. I am still waiting to see how the hematoma will evolve under normal platelet aggregation levels, what may take weeks or months.

    In the meantime I am experiencing the terrible withdrawal symptoms of paroxetine. In my case, the benefits for my blood are overriding the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. That’s why I’m doing quite well without the drug so far. Hopefully I will continue to do so for the coming weeks or months.

  • Michael Murray January 30, 2017, 4:33 am

    I have cut my dose from 20mg to 10mg. It has taken me 3 months of slowly reducing it to get there. It has been hell. I feel good right now and plan to stay on 10mg until the end of March. Then I will work down to 5 mg by end of may. This stuff is vicious. My girlfriend thinks I’m a wimp when I tell her about how painful the withdrawals are.

    • Mike (50) February 5, 2017, 6:25 am

      Hi Michael, a slow tapper is very wise. I went from 10mg to zero in 3 months and it was way too fast as I had been taking Paxil for more than a decade! Moreover, it’s normal that your girlfriend thinks you are “wimpy” (a coward) when you complain about the pain it is when trying to get off this horrific drug. In fact no one can possibly imagine the hell and shock to the soul, body and central nervous system this change represents (labelled “discontinuation syndrome”) after the brain chemistry and structure (receptor sites) have been altered by these “serotonin blockers” (SSRI).

      Support and compassion from family and loved ones is essential in the recovery process. Therefore I strongly suggest your girlfriend gets informed by a MD or the media about the ordeal getting off “antidepressants” can be! When I took my wife with me to the doctor whilst I was feeling depressed + crying spell during withdrawal, the doctor confirmed that “your husband fell in a serotonin black hole” and that it was normal that I was feeling miserable after a too quick tapper (only 3 months)!

      If you can’t see your doc. together, you might want to show her the info. on ‘the council for evidence-based psychiatry’ and the interesting documentary testimonials. Good luck in your tapper, the slower the better in my experience, especially in the last phase (from 5mg -> Omg).

  • Joe January 26, 2017, 11:21 am

    Went cold turkey 12/22/16. Paxil is awful. I was prescribed 20mg daily after meningitis in April 2014. Wish I’d never started and blame myself more than my neurologist. It does get better, I still have not so good day’s, my entire system head to toe is in slowly adjusting. Can finish sexually again. Don’t give up! Insomnia is a struggle. The anger eases up, getting moving still takes effort. Can we sue the drug companies, if only to avoid future victims? I wish this nightmare on no one. Good luck

  • Paul January 23, 2017, 12:41 pm

    I am determined to get off meds. I started a lower dose of Paxil two weeks ago. It’s been rough… flu like symptoms, swishy feeling in my head, bad dreams, and yesterday, for no reason, I completely blew up at my wife!! A complete rage… Pray to God it gets better soon.

  • Sj January 23, 2017, 11:13 am

    Hi – I have been on Paxil for 5 years now and have tried to come off the drug numerous times with major fails – pretty much nervous breakdowns. This time I’m doing it extremely slowly – I was down to 1/8 of a tablet but started seeing bad withdrawal symptoms so went back up to 1/4 again as I could not handle the depression and crying and stress as a result of withdrawal.

    After reading your article I’m going to ask for the liquid form hoping that will help me a little bit. I am wanting to have a baby in the near future which is why I want to come off it – and feel that my withdrawal symptoms are way worse than the reason I went on it in the first place. I don’t know if I will ever get off this horrible drug.

    • Mike (50) February 5, 2017, 11:32 am

      Dear Sj, I know exactly what you are going through and how bad you feel (worse than when you went on the medication) and indeed the withdrawals are very hard to handle as they can be very debilitating! It is sage to want to get off Paxil before trying to have a baby (due to the known risks for the fetus).

      It sounds like you are doubting that “you will ever get off this horrible drug”… a word of encouragement from someone who has been “on” this stuff for 18 years and got off permanently; you must be fully determined to come off, be compassionate and patient with yourself and get all the help you can till you tapper successfully to get through the pain. It’s well worth it to be free of Paxil, good luck!

  • David January 22, 2017, 8:14 am

    I have spent 8 years on Paxil and recently had to taper off due to issues obtaining scripts. My vision symptoms are the most persistent for me; and the psychotic break (a VERY real risk off discontinuing this drug!), depression, mania (yes, I’m bipolar), anxiety and other psychological symptoms have been well MANAGED with cannabis. You have a moral issue with evil pot?

    Well, there isn’t anything documented in the Federal anti-marijuana propaganda that makes pot anywhere near as dangerous as the potential of pharmaceuticals. I can’t tell anyone else what is right for them, but I do know that marijuana has spared me a trip to the psych ward and a 3 day Thorazine fog.

  • Nick January 17, 2017, 4:52 am

    I have tried cold turkey with 25 mg. Now cold turkey off 12.5 and I completely agree. This is poison for your brain. It’s only day 3 and the vertigo, dizziness and “zaps” are disturbing. Screw this drug.

  • Anya January 10, 2017, 11:51 pm

    Hello everybody, I’m 25 and started taking paxil in the middle of May ’16. And no, I was not depressed. It was 30 mg then, and my doctor prescribed taking it for 2 months, then quitting (half a dose for five days, then none, and now that I know more about this drug I’m like WHAT, how could it be considered tapering in any way).

    It was hell, I was constantly nauseous, crying for absolutely no reason, had brain zaps and that horrible whooshing in my ears, and sometimes would just walk on all fours around the room cause it was too hard to stand up. So my doctor said I had to start taking it again, and sent me to a therapist. She raised the dose to 45 mg. The brain zaps hadn’t stopped since summer.

    In the end of November, I considered further therapy useless, came to a conclusion that paxil was dangerous, and decided to quit on my own. Tapered from 45mg to 0 in about a month (may be still too fast but definitely better than in summer). I also went back to my previous therapist so that someone would keep an eye on me. It’s been 4 days by now and I’ve been feeling like dirt mostly, but it gets better.

    At first every little move was hard, I couldn’t sleep after 30 hours awake, and was pretty much sure I might go insane any moment now. I just spent time hoping I would make it through the next several hours. But today is somewhat different. Drinking litres of water, eating a lot of fresh fruit, and, strangely, soaking in a tub for hours helps.

    I also started taking Tenoten, which is a brain protein S – 100 antibody, and it’s description promises relief from stress and anxiety. I guess I’m extremely lucky to have been taking paxil for only 9 months. Maybe tapering also helps. I’m experiencing most of the withdrawal symptoms, but they are slowly fading.

    Tonight lying down on my bed it actually makes the badness go away, and it’s like “wow, tired me gets some rest!”. And I can get up and do things. Maybe if you can stand, and walk, and make tea, everything’s possible? And I also started to write about this paxil problem, cause there’s still dangerously little information about it in Russian, and I really want to spread the word…

    To all of you who are in this battle now: don’t give up, have trust, and care for yourself. Talk to your friends, family and/or therapist. Write, sing, paint about it. Find a way to express your feelings. Note every single small change for the better. Also, take good care of your body. And remember it’s not your fault, and you’re doing your best.

    You give me hope, strength and inspiration. I finally feel like I’m not alone in this, and we can cope. Great thanks to all of you and good luck. You are going to win. You’re winning already. Remember: it gets better. Love to all of you, Anya

  • William January 9, 2017, 6:51 pm

    I took 20 mg of Paxil daily since March 2009, during the first year it worked perfectly in all aspects: I lost weight, became more sociable, happier and even more confident. And it also increased my sex drive, which was nice (the only sexual side effect was taking way more time to ejaculate, not a big problem though). After that period I kept feeling OK, but gained weight and had some anxiety, all manageable.

    In October 2015 I decided to stop taking it, so I took a smaller dosage until I eventually stopped. Withdrawal symptoms were not so hard. In December I was so depressed that I had to quit my job because I couldn’t even get out of bed. Started taking it again, until this summer.

    In July I started taking less and less Paxil until I stopped again, this time taking St. John’s Wort. The thing is that now I am not on Paxil anymore, but since October I have ZERO sex drive and feel like I am just alive, not living. All the time I was on Paxil I had a normal sex drive and could do everyday things, now somedays I do not want to leave home.

    Maybe my brain chemistry is twisted and I need to be on antidepressants to be able to enjoy my life. I am now taking magnesium and vitamin D to try to make my life better, I’ll wait until February to see what happens. Now life sucks.

  • Joe Reynolds January 3, 2017, 11:17 am

    59 yo male, was given paxil 20mg after viral meningitis in April 2014. 3 days in ICU then 5 months off work because of the meningitis. Prior to being sick I worked 60-70 hours a week. The Paxil helped me get moving again. After almost two years on Paxil I was done.

    Quit cold 12/23/16. Could not finish sexually and became disinterested. Thank god my wife has stuck by me. Now the withdrawal zaps, dizzy, insomnia no energy. Pissed off at minor things. Sex is better. Thank all of you for sharing, too bad the medical community has little clue how life changing this horrific drug is.

    I’m nuts anyway but was able to keep it mostly to myself. It’s possible some people need these class of drugs to have a productive life but in my case I feel I should not have taken them for my condition. I’m sure I will get better, been through worse but can’t remember when. Gotta push diet and exercise. Thanks again.

  • Lace January 2, 2017, 2:14 am

    I have been on 80mg daily for 9 months. Quit cold turkey 2 weeks ago. Feel like I have gone absolutely crazy.

  • Simone December 27, 2016, 5:01 am

    Hello, I am a 19-year-old student and have been taking 20mg dosage for the past 4 months. I stopped my medication about 2 days because I currently have no proper health insurance nor an American doctor who can prescribe me more. I am freaking out because even though the medication didn’t quite work, I still don’t want to go through the withdrawal period.

    Right now my head is heavy and I feel disorientated. I pray that I won’t have a long withdrawal period because I’m currently with my family and I don’t think they’d understand the hell I’m going through.

  • Anonymous 19 Year Old December 13, 2016, 6:28 am

    Reading this website has given me peace of mind that all these things I’m feeling are from withdrawing from the drug. I started taking 10 mg Paxil about a month or so ago, and wasn’t feeling like it was helping. Got bumped up to 20, then 40 and felt that I didn’t need medication, because it wasn’t really helping. As of now I’m 3 days off of it and while it’s certainly not the worst possible thing in the world, it scared me.

    I though you know, “Oh, maybe I have like early on cancer, or maybe I have this disease.” Blah blah blah on and on and on until I looked up my antidepressant’s info. Right now I experience what I call body tremors, nausea, and vertigo mainly, as those have been the only real thing that have been abnormal when I stop taking Paxil.

    The body tremors and vertigo scare me most, because when I get a body tremor (it feels like a pulse is sent throughout my body – could possibly be the “brain zap” that was mentioned.) It does not hurt, but it is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I plead to my parents that maybe I should just continue the dose in order to make it stop, but they will call my doc tomorrow and ask about it.

    Maybe since I’m young and haven’t taken it for all that long (1-2 months) I won’t have such a long withdrawal but man, this is really killing me.

  • Linda Wilfert December 10, 2016, 4:15 pm

    There was a mix-up between me, the doctor’s office and insurance so my paroxetine refill was delayed. I am expecting it any day in the mail, but meanwhile… My stomach hurts, I cry when I watch the news, brain buzz, sweating, etc. And it’s only been a week.

  • Jane December 7, 2016, 1:32 pm

    33 year old female on Paxil 12 years. This is the worst time of my life. Trying to get off so I can have safe pregnancy some day. Got down to 2.5 milligrams over three months but less was too difficult. Doc said no need to taper just switch to zoloft. By day ten I could not function. Zoloft made my life a living nightmare.

    Started up Paxil five milligrams again and started nutrition response testing. The practitioner is saying she can get me off. I have a friend who was able to with her. So detoxing heavy metals in my body and trying to stabilize then taper more. It’s this or more drugs and I don’t want that. It’s expensive but hopefully worth it.

    She’s detecting underlying issues like pituitary gland, thyroid issues, and even hypothalamus issues and treating those with supplements. Hopefully this will be what I need instead of covering up symptoms with drugs. I’ve also found Tranquility Kare supplements to be helpful for sure. They have somnifera and ashwagandha and do help some.

    Mornings are the worst for me, don’t know why. Anyone have to apply for FMLA? How is it possible to work while going through this? Believe it or not I’m a mental health therapist. Lol. I’ve missed over a week of work because of nausea, lack of appetite (lost 23 pounds and all my clothes are falling off), constant crying, nervous system constantly in for our flight mode, and all sorts of diarrhea and IBS.

    Pretty hard treating suicidal clients when you can barely function yourself. Praying for hope and for God to help me with my doubt.

  • JoAnn Dibeler December 4, 2016, 7:42 pm

    I am so glad I decided to look into this today – just to see if maybe I’m far enough through it to not bother going back on it. I seem to be feeling a little bit better (knock on wood). I have read such horror stories here I realize I’ve been LUCKY!! Wow, what was I complaining about?!

    I have picked up on a few minor symptoms I hadn’t attributed to withdrawal – no wonder the OTC sinus meds didn’t get rid of the headache. I’ve had bad sinuses most all my life so I thought that was a no-brainer. And the inability to think straight and the stupid mistakes lately, well, just figured the genetic dementia in my family was finally getting me.

    I took care of my mother with Parkinson’s (wrongly diagnosed for many years but that runs very high in her family) and as I’ve been getting a lot of those motor symptoms lately (coupled with the dementia aspect of it)… hm-m-m, dare I say “maybe not”? Anyway, people speak of being on 20 mgs of Paxil for a few months to a couple of years… how about 60 mg for not months, not years, but decades!

    How come I’m not in a padded cell after being cold-turkey for close to 2 months? I didn’t do this intentionally. I’ve run out of it and couldn’t afford a refill for a while and I never wanted to go through that again. But my doctor now won’t renew any of my meds until I have bloodwork and an exam every 3 months.

    I meant to get them, I just have too much important work to do here what with emergency plumbing repairs, emergency fencing after my dogs got out and nearly killed my neighbor’s 2 puppies, a sallyport to build to keep them from sneaking out the gate on the other side of the car (already lost one on the road), there’s a waterfall in my bathroom – and give me a break; I’m 71 yrs old, I have to sit down often so everything takes 3 times as long.

    Then the nausea started, the splitting headache, the fatigue over, beyond and a bit different from the life-long (also hereditary) Fibromyalgia (what I started taking the Paxil for in the 1st place) and I just couldn’t get in to get all that done. I’ve got my beloved dogs – I’m a breeder who keeps her retired children – up for sale, breaking my heart (dementia? Parkinson’s? – dare I hope not????). Oh, and yes… bursting into tears; huh. I just want to say that I have more hope than I came here for!

  • Katie December 1, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I took paxil for about 5 years – starting at 10mg and ending at 37.5, which I tapered off WAY too fast this past August. I thought I was done with the side effects, but now I can’t stop yawning – it’s the craziest thing in the world. Has anyone else experienced this? It’s like I need to yawn once, but can’t seem to actually do it, so then the urge to yawn is still there and I find myself clenching my face again and again – like when you stifle a yawn, almost.

    It’s been weeks now, and is almost like some sort of facial tic, plus my facial muscles are SO sore by the end of the day. Not sure this is the withdrawal, but need to find some sort of explanation. Went to an ENT, who wasn’t able to help at all. Please tell me someone else has experienced this?

  • Genn November 30, 2016, 4:49 am

    I’ve been on Paxil for 6 years. Originally it was 40mg but about 2 years ago I went to 20mg. I was given Paxil for severe panic attacks. I have a 16 year old with Down syndrome and an 18 year old typical child. My doctor gave me 37.5mg of Effexor to help taper off Paxil. I tapered Paxil at 2mg every 2-3 weeks. I’ve been off Paxil 7 days. I have all of the above symptoms except suicide and severe anger although I’m REALLY irritable.

    I’m shaky, flu like, dizzy, nauseous and feel horrible. I thought about going back on the 2mg because the symptoms are affecting my driving, ability to think of words and affecting my job. Since I’ve gone the 7 days, should I just fight through it? My doctor wants me to add another Effexor pill in the AM. Each pill is 37.5mg but I don’t want to be back in the same spot I was with the Paxil and trying to get off yet another drug. I can’t wait until this is over.

    • Raija November 30, 2016, 8:50 pm

      I was having exactly the same symptoms and I agree that they were horrible but they did go away eventually. When I was tapering the symptoms got worse right after lowering the dose and then slowly, maybe during 2-3 weeks, they decreased again. The worst part was dropping the dose finally to zero and that time the symptoms were stronger. That’s where you’re now.

      I also felt like I was going crazy and was really struggling to appear normal and function normally. (I started at a new workplace at that time and must have made a good first impression… sweating, staring, shaking and unable to understand what people were saying to me.) But the symptoms decreased again, slowly but surely.

      Remember that it’s the drug causing this, you are not going crazy. You were on it for a long time and the severity and length of the withdrawal depend on that. I was on it for 9 years. Do you have any chance of taking only 1 mg, cutting the pill in half or in quarters? Take your time tapering off if it feels too much to drop the dosage to zero.

      My doctor wanted me to go a lot faster but I listened to how I felt and invented my own schedule :). Hang in there! It will get better.

    • mike (50) December 1, 2016, 12:12 am

      Glenn, I feel for you and know what you are going through with the med. as I took Paxil longer than you. You tapered off Paxil in about 5 months and Paxil is probably the hardest SSRI’s to quit. I tapered in 3 months and it way to fast! So during my Paxil withdrawal I also had irrational anxiety and panic attacks (after 6 months “off”) and was also given Effexor (40mg which is a low dosage) to deal with it.

      I was horrified of going back on a similar drug (and to feel it go into the system) because Paxil withdrawal was such hell. Like you, I did not want to be in “the same spot… trying to get off yet another drug”! Effexor did not help very much but at least it was easy it was to quit after 2 months use (to my great surprise) without experiences brain zaps, “paxil fever” and the rest of the horrible symptoms you get from Paxil (see LIST top page)!

      So in retrospect, at low dosages I would not be afraid of using Effexor as a crutch if the “benefits” outweigh the “side-effects”. Yet I appreciate how difficult it is to try to work when feeling so horrible due to withdrawal symptoms. My driving and concentration ability was also affected! I went on sick leave (doctors prescription) to “sweat it out” and got through the dark tunnel of Paxil withdrawal, which can take a long time depending on how long you took it.

      Now my feelings are ‘alive’ and quite stable, life is more bright without any medications for me and my consciousness is back which is new and scary; all that time lost with Paxil “plaster” and “numbing”. Good luck!

  • Bhaskar Taneja November 25, 2016, 12:13 pm

    Hi, I was on it for 2 yrs and stopped CR 25 within 15 days by my Shrink advice. According to him this is best tolerated and had least side effects. I sometimes have feelings to go strangle him with loads of paxil. Yes this is true. I lost my job. I cannot do another. Still anxiety and anger takes over me and it’s been nine months.

    I lost myself to this drug and nobody has answers. Instead people here took more from me as they know nothing of it. I doubt myself and whether I can have any progress from this… whether I can go on being an engineer… or stay idle. I am only son to earn, but left helpless.

  • Raija November 16, 2016, 12:17 pm

    I’d like to know how long others experienced withdrawal symptoms. I’ve been off Paxil for six months now and though the worst (dizziness, nausea, vision problems, fatigue, etc.) is over, I’m very often feeling extremely anxious and scared. Many times without any good reason. I’m having it difficult to relax, my heart is beating too fast and my muscles are getting tense.

    My doctor refuses to believe that this would have anything to do with the withdrawal anymore. I want to thank everyone who have written about their Paxil withdrawal, it has been very helpful to see that others have gone through the same hell.

    • mike (50) November 25, 2016, 5:23 pm

      Dear Raija, irrational “extreme anxiety” (GAD) issues can be due to withdrawal symptoms even after half a year of being off of Paxil! It lasted more than a year for me… my doctor also refused to believe it had anything to do with withdrawals… I had never ever ever had such anxiety before and felt it came from taking Paxil so long (19 yrs.)!

      Remember doctors have most of their knowledge from books and lectures and scientific studies on withdrawals from Paxil user practically don’t exist! Psychiatrists generally admit to the “discontinuation syndrome” if you are lucky. Hand in there if you can… it gets better if you stay “off” even if that is hard to believe whilst you are in the FOG & hell! Patience, patience patience… one day at a time!

      • Raija December 7, 2016, 6:09 pm

        Thank you for answering, Mike. It’s easier to live with these symptoms knowing that someone else has had them this long also. It seems the fight is not over yet, but now I try to focus living one day at a time and be patient like you advised. Warm greetings from cold and snowy Finland :).

    • Genn November 30, 2016, 4:51 am

      I agree with you about the doctors! Mine said it would be no problem to get off and these symptoms are basically in my head. I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you. I can’t believe it is legal to give this drug out like they do.

  • Madison November 7, 2016, 6:10 am

    I quit Paxil probably in February and it is now November. I had an outburst tonight of anger and it was like the only thing to make me feel better was to continue yelling and sort of spazzing out for like 2 hours while stressing the entire time and just being so mad and frustrated I could scream. Then I realized that I had stopped doing this for awhile and that I had just did it again and I got really sad.

    Is this an anger issue from the withdrawal? I never had anger issues before that OR is it something I need to work on bc it could be habits picked out from those around me who are not healthy and do have genuine anger issues? If it could be the withdrawal I would feel a lot better and a lot less hopeless bc it scares me to think this is who I will be forever.

    • mike (50) November 25, 2016, 5:15 pm

      Hi Madison, Your outbursts of anger are withdrawal symptoms in my opinion! I also had impulsive outbursts to a dangerous degree (potentially bad conflicts that could have involved police)! Withdrawal anger issues -> normal! This was a “me” I had never ever experienced… I attribute it to the Paxil withdrawal because they have completely disappeared after 1.5 years of being “off” Paxil. I’m composed and controlled again, the old “me” with more temperament, empathy and character than under Paxil!

  • Nik November 5, 2016, 9:24 pm

    I can’t say that I hate Paxil, it helped me through an extremely difficult time when nothing else even touched my symptoms. I was almost to the point of not being able to function. A year and a half after starting the med and reaching a dosage of 30mgs I started having issues. Extrapyramidal symptoms… They were frightening, for a bit it was thought that I had had a stroke. After the process of elimination it was found to be the Paxil.

    After a month of tapering I’m down to 15mg’s. I want to put my fist through something while crying uncontrollably. This is awful. I have never felt such irrational and intense anger in my life. My doc halted the taper after I saw her yesterday so that it can level back out. This can’t end quickly enough.

  • Miranda November 4, 2016, 7:47 pm

    OMG! Pax Hell is accurate. I’m a Navy veteran and have been dealing with major depression disorder. This crap is nasty! I skipped about 4 days worth of meds and thought I was dying! I’ve experienced weight gain, insomnia, nausea, flu like symptoms, hot flashes, and foggy feeling. This stuff is horrible, I’m going to ask the “shrink” to taper me down and off this roller coaster. Thanks guys for sharing.

  • Nancy November 4, 2016, 1:46 am

    I had the horrible Paxil withdrawal symptoms above for 3 and a half months, pretty much gone, miraculously, by mid-July, 2016. During the withdrawal, I honestly wished I could die. I knew I wouldn’t commit suicide but I wanted the symptoms to end. When I got the anxiety, it was so bad that I would come out to the couch and lie with my head on my boyfriend’s lap while he lightly tapped the left back of my skull with his fingers and said over and over, “It’s stopping, it’s stopping…” over and over.

    NOT “It’s going to stop.” It had to be stopping right now to work. And it took a while for it to subside. Poor guy. He took my anxiety, sobbing, anger, insomnia . . . and was still my friend. My family didn’t understand. My doctor did not understand at first. I went to a neurology psychiatrist and she did nothing! I tried through my insurance to find someone to help with Paxil withdrawal.

    Finally, it was this and another website that assured me it would end eventually that helped me endure. I did get better at meditating. I couldn’t stand even the noise of a ticking clock. Had to take out all the batteries. Couldn’t read anything depressing or anxiety-producing. Finally read Louis L’Amour and Miss Pollifax mysteries. I had not ever read them before and was an avid reader of heavy duty novels before, but I couldn’t handle the novels recommended by Oprah or other recommended novels, or even Dick Francis, my favorite mystery writer.

    I watched the Marx Brothers’ “Night at the Opera” and a few other comedies. Mostly I just endured second by second of horror. It did end. I still have my chronic depression and anxiety, but I am over Paxil withdrawal. I wanted to write to those who suffer: Do not give up! It will stop. Bless you. I pray for you. And to all others: NEVER TAKE PAXIL.

  • Mike (50) November 3, 2016, 8:04 am

    Hello Caroline! In response to your very very touching words about your negative experience with Seroxat/Paxil (that you took for 17 years) prompts me to answer your question and give you some hope by sharing my similar experience that I got through! I know exactly what you are going through and admire your courage and strength to put up the fight to get off this medication. I received it from my doctor for 19 years (initially against anxiety in a very stressful situation with work and my private life).

    Like I weaned off it and on the 2nd. quit attempt pulled it trough by sheer willpower. The symptoms were atrocious and it was hell (extreme anxiety, anger, sleeplessness, too much sleep, pains everywhere, suicidal ideation etc. – see top symptoms list). Like for you decline in cognitive functioning was of course also part of it. All this was traumatizing in itself and my doctors did not know hot to help me and turned away from me. I refused hospitalization in order not to get pills and feel even more “sick”!

    After realizing that the medical professions did not know anything about the chemistry of this stuff, withdrawal or the human soul for that matter… I took things in my own hands and concentrated on beautiful stuff in the outer and inner world. The worst part of it took exactly 1 and 1/2 years! Since then it’s been going uphill and I feel human again and alive! :- )

    I accepted all the turmoil and feelings with patience and went and let the depression swamp over me! I hope this helps you somewhat! When I was in the “dark” and great pain I thought it would never get better… I hung in there 1 day at a time and the brain readjusted and my life is coming together again; recovery and healing slowly! Love & prayers to all…

  • Sheila October 30, 2016, 10:48 am

    Just read the list, I have almost all of them! The worst for me is the nausea, blurred vision and fatigue / insomnia. I don’t know what else to do, but definitely don’t want to take that stuff ever again!

    • Genn November 30, 2016, 4:56 am

      It’s absolutely horrible! I’m living the hell now. I’m scared to drive because of the blurred vision/dizziness and I can’t seem to write a competent email. Paxil should be illegal. I had no idea about this drug when I started it.

  • Caroline October 25, 2016, 5:57 pm

    I was on Seroxat for 17 years. Prior to taking this, I had little confidence, suffered from panic attacks, depression, social anxiety. This drug seemed to give me the confidence I needed to live a relatively normal life. I never saw much incentive to stop taking it. I still got depressed from time to time, but it was manageable, and it soon passed.

    What became more and more frustrating for me though was the fact I never experienced extreme emotions anymore. I always felt detached and too objective. I could be watching a sunset, and I never felt the presence of awe that I remembered feeling before taking it. It made me feel like I wanted to go to an industrial park; then the inertia would be justified.

    When I made the decision to stop taking seroxat, I knew I would be in for a bit of troubling time. I often experienced palpitations and head shocks if I didn’t renew my prescription on time. I expected not much more than sensations of that nature but more enhanced. I spent a year weaning myself off. Each time I cut the dose, there was a week or so where I felt disjointed as I adjusted to the new dose. I made the final cut 6 months ago. And it has been, and continues to be, hell.

    Initially, I felt myself getting stressed and angry a lot. Then followed a period of intense insomnia. When the insomnia faded, I thought I was over the worst. I was wrong. The issues that I had before I started taking the drug have gradually returned. It’s like they were waiting dormant in my psyche all this time. I no longer feel composed or confident. Any self belief I had garnered whilst being on the drug has now evaporated.

    I struggle to compute a coherent thought, and I feel like my cognition is very impaired. I feel scared of people a lot. I have chronic depression. I cry at least 4 times per day, often in the toilets at work. I feel very vulnerable and scared most of the time and recently I’ve felt suicidal. Life just doesn’t seem pleasant any more. I don’t know if this is how I am really or whether my brain is just re-adjusting to not having the drug.

    If it’s the latter, I don’t know how long I’ll have to endure this for. As I was on this for 17 years, I may have to endure many more months of this, but it is so unbearable. Has anyone had withdrawal symptoms that have lasted longer than 6 months? What should I do? I’m at a total loss.

  • Suzan October 17, 2016, 11:29 am

    I took Paxil a few years ago for about 4-5 months due to a major depression episode and the withdrawal symptoms when I got off weren’t that bad. I had heart palpitations but I was in a very good place that it didn’t freak me out. Recently I have started taking Paxil again for about 3-4 months for GAD and I am trying to get off of it because of the sexual side effects and also knowing you shouldn’t be on it if you are pregnant (I plan to have a family one day).

    I tried going cold turkey and I had all the of the symptoms listed above. I went back on it and now I am using the tapering method. Also, my psychiatrist has put me on Buspar for GAD instead of an SSRI. I have gone from 20mg to 10mg and I am already experiencing anxiety and restlessness. I will soon be taking 10mg every other day for a week and than 10mg every three days and than stopping.

    Paxil worked great for my anxiety, I wonder if I should really get off of it or if that is just the withdrawal symptoms telling me I shouldn’t. If Buspar works so great for anxiety I’m upset my doctor never told me this before and was quick to put me back on Paxil.

  • Kelly October 15, 2016, 7:08 pm

    My fiancee just came off of Paxil about a week ago and is on Lexapro now. I’m on Paxil and watching him go through this withdrawal is absolutely horrible. Last night he burst into tears because I couldn’t find something (it wasn’t anything important but it had him hysterical). He also feels dizzy and achy and just plain awful. He’s been on it for I think about 6 months now. I guess his doctor thought Lexapro would help with his withdrawal but it’s not. He’s feeling completely like crap because they took him off Paxil cold turkey and threw Lexapro into the mix.

  • Todd October 9, 2016, 4:58 pm

    Hi again. I wrote this summer about tapering off the Paxil and wanted to write an update, to connect and, hopefully, to offer helpful information to anyone reading. I took my last dose in July, after a one-month tapering off period. I had been on 20 mg since I started, 21 years ago. I am still experiencing some depression symptoms, and am concerned it is having a bad effect on my relationships, my business, etc. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as I imagine it is – I know that depression can make things seem magnified, and make you feel like you’re in a spotlight when you’re not.

    I’m thinking of options, other than going back on a med (Paxil or not), which I’m treating as a last resort. My doctor recommends B-12 shots, maybe starting once a week, and then eventually going to once a month, to get a good idea of whether they are helping or not. Also, I have heard that 5-HTP can be very helpful. It’s available in the nutrition supplements section at any drug store.

    I haven’t gone there yet, but am considering it. Has anyone else tried this? Here’s something else that might be of help: I heard that the worst effects of withdrawal can last from six to eight weeks; I gave myself an eight week deadline before taking further action, and about three days before that 8-week mark, I suddenly started to notice an improvement in my mood. So, hang in there.

    The Paxil was a good thing for me in many ways, but eventually, it seemed like I was on the sidelines, observing life rather than really experiencing it. That has definitely improved since the withdrawal, despite ongoing concerns mentioned. Anyway, I hope all are doing well and hanging in there.

    • Jody October 11, 2016, 12:37 am

      I have been off of Paxil for 3 days and I have been so confused and depressed lately. I pray that this gets better!

      • Genn November 30, 2016, 5:01 am

        I can’t wait to get through this. I’m on day 7 of no Paxil after tapering off and am in hell. Friends and family have been no help. They say, “well maybe you need it.” Starting to feel nuts. Can’t identify if this is who I am or just the withdrawals. SHAME on the doctors for this.

        • Raija November 30, 2016, 11:16 am

          Genn (and others who might be reading this and are battling with the same doubt), it definitely is the withdrawals. And knowing that helps immensely when you’re in the middle of it all. I’ve been off Paxil for almost half a year now, after tapering slowly. And looking back now at this journey to hell and back again I can say that it’s not who you are, it is the withdrawals.

  • Alex October 5, 2016, 9:17 pm

    Hi Furine! Thanks for sharing your story, no your not alone. To answer your questions: 1. “Does intense depression and consistent thought replays going to get better? Are these withdrawals really, ever going to fade away?” -> That depends because life/humans are complex and we invariably live in a social context. If your life context is good and more or less stable then these symptoms of withdrawals will hopefully get better, providing you go through the “hell” and feelings.

    If it not then it will be hard to get through the hell of withdrawals! Example: I was lucky someone put up with me during my own “hell” and I found this site and know I’m not crazy or imagining things… that I must be patient with myself and stop having GUILT feelings about being so depressed, anxious and feeble! These withdrawal symptoms are real and they hurt like Hell for some!!

    Nobody can really understand this – only those who have been there! It’s also very hard to admit to! 2. “Is there anything else anyone can tell me that it’s going to get better..” –> See above (1). 3. How long? –> After 3 years of Paxil at 20mg. and what you describe – it could last anything from 6 months to 2 years to feel more or less normal again.

    It would also be good to have therapy or counseling to challenge your negative-repetitive thoughts! I also had them!! Now they are gone… and the hell is behind and life is almost great again! ;-) I feel pretty good again even though circumstances are challenging. Good LUCK !

    • PATI October 6, 2016, 2:06 am

      I read you note on paxil hell! I’m going thru it now and it is horrible or worse than that. What did you do to come out of it finally? I’d like to know cause I can’t stand it. I got off cold turkey after 5 years, how did I know, I wish I had known to taper off.

      • Holly March 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

        A doctor will help you taper. You can do this. Trust me I’m there now took Prozac 20 years no problems coming off but this a little different. One good day, next bad – off and on. You will get through this, you are not crazy nor is anyone else. Just medication withdrawal. Good luck. Hang in there. God bless.

  • furine September 26, 2016, 9:43 pm

    Hello everybody, Been literally reading up through all the comments (at least quite a few of them) and I have to admit that I am glad I am not alone in this horrible battle…

    My Story: I’ve been on Paxil for the last 3 years at 20mg per day. During my 3 year period, I have tried to taper down, but obviously because of all of the withdrawal symptoms, came back up to my original dose of 20mg’s per day.

    Right now, I’m at 5mg of Paxil on every second second day and I’ve been at this dosage for about 2 weeks now (was taking 10mg per day prior to this for about 3 months). What am I experiencing? Hell. As plain and simple as I can put it. I feel as if my depression has gotten worse than what it was before I started the Paxil (although anxiety is still at bay) + 20 of those other symptoms listed by everyone (zaps, dizziness, etc).

    My mind is constantly running and I’m consistently replaying so many negative thoughts in my mind (even worse than what it used to be before the Paxil). From those with experience:

    1. Are these feelings of intense depression and consistent thought replays going to get better? Are these withdrawals really, ever going to fade away?

    2. Is there anything else anyone can tell me? It seems like I’ve read the same thing over and over, but with the intensity of these withdrawal symptoms, I guess I just needed someone in my situation (or someone who previously experienced all of this) to tell me that it’s going to get better..

    3. How long? Thanks :/

    • Callie February 10, 2017, 3:22 pm

      Hi Furine I’m sorry you are going through this. I am too. I’m 16 and 95 lbs. and they put me on 60mg of paxil. I’m now on 5mg and trying to come off of it. The withdraws are horrible and I’m losing so much weight. I used to be 105 lbs. I can hardly eat and my body hurts.

  • Puja Rhodes September 25, 2016, 8:58 pm

    I have bladder inflammation due to the withdrawal. Will this get better with time. Has anyone else experienced this? Plus I have no appetite, and have GI issues.

    • Genn November 30, 2016, 5:04 am

      I have GI issues too. My stomach is constantly upset. Going on 4 weeks. Doctor attributes it to stress. I’m on day 7 of no Paxil and in Paxil hell.

  • Mike September 23, 2016, 4:13 am

    Information and empathy helped me. Thank you! This is truly high on the list of hardest things I’ve gone through. My advice to anyone wanting to stop Paxil: hang in there knowing being off is worth the fight (I say this as I question my dizzy nauseous self just a little bit…). God Bless!

  • Michael September 17, 2016, 7:11 pm

    I just started to withdraw from paroxetine after using it for 21 yrs at 20mg. So far, three days out, I am feeling anxious and sleep is being affected. I am trying to do the most conservative taper. I just went down 10% or 2mg. I am planning on going at a 10% reduction of my latest dose over as many months as it takes.

    I have experienced withdrawal from other meds, such as Klonopin. I am finding it so difficult to get off of theses medications. I really need paroxetine when I started so long ago, but days turn into months, then years. I hope that people will keep posting stories of success and hope. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • Stan September 14, 2016, 8:13 pm

    Thank you all for this forum and your comments. I am on my 7th week off Paxil and the withdrawals are dreadful. I still don’t know if I have the will to keep going. It is so painful. Reading your comments has given me hope and I thank you all for that. I would give anything for just one good day. I can’t believe that 1 pill a day could produce such horrific withdrawals. I do hope I can get through this. I really feel for anyone out there who is experiencing these feelings. All I can say is keep up the good fight and you are not alone!!

  • Louise September 12, 2016, 3:47 am

    My script ran out and I haven’t been able to afford to see my GP for a refill. Going to her in a week or so. Am on 20mg daily. Have been off for 3 weeks and withdrawal symptoms are just awful. So nauseous and headaches. It makes me question going back on it though seeing the effect this drug has on your body. Although tapering off drug is the right thing to do, I really question how this is going to impact my health long term as these drugs are relatively new. I have been on for at least 15 years. In later life will this medicine have some detrimental affect on my health?

    • Alex September 14, 2016, 10:06 pm

      Hi Louise! It is a real “wake up call” when you realize that withdrawals are awful and the effect Paxil has on your health. Going back on you will feel how strong it really is but how much it throws the serotonin system off balance! These med’s were never tested long-term and there are no real studies on the long term effects as they came out in the early 90’s!

      I understand you are concerned about long term health effects… (Paxil changes your brain chemistry and serotonin receptor sites “down regulate”)! Therefore the short term consequences are the issue now because it is dangerous to stop the med without giving the brain time to adapt to the big change. If you have been on it for +15 yrs. it will be a fight to get off. I was on 18 and it was the hardest fight of my life… after 1.5 yrs of awful protracted life threatening withdrawals…

      I am slowly functioning normally again & discovering the beauty of being vulnerable instead of “anesthetized”! Hang in there and be patient to heal & recover. Slow slow tapering and courage to go through the tunnel of the painful withdrawals this med. leaves most of us with. Taking it for life is very risky – it ceases to work and makes you blunt and tired just to mention a few minor issues!

  • Paul September 10, 2016, 5:12 am

    I have been on this drug for about 9 yrs now, at 20mg. It was prescribed to me back then after having a hellish anxiety attack. About three years ago, I stopped taking Paxil abruptly, and I remember having quite a short withdrawal period in that time. Then, one day, everything was crystal clear again and I felt “normal”, but I short while after that I found myself in a very deep state of depression and couldn’t cope. So, I went back on them.

    Here I am now, this time I tapered off them gradually. It’s been about two months now since I’ve been off them and the most common symptoms I am getting from your list above are the: pressure on top of the head, it literally is a real ache, mood swings lesser so – but I am able to get very angry at the slightest of thing. The biggest symptom though, is fatigue and lethargy and having no real interest in anything or anyone. Which is horrible, because I have a beautiful 9 month old baby boy, and an older 5 year old one and I feel detached from them to an extent (and I know this is not me), and it is hurting me to act/feel like this, but I cannot help it.

    Everything is foggy, not sharp like it used to be a decade or so ago. I just want to be “normal” again, and be a better, more active father and partner to my deserving family.

    • Alex September 14, 2016, 10:16 pm

      Dear Paul, I feel with you and can only recommend being patient… don’t go back on Paxil now that you are off since 2 months and went through the effort and pain of facing withdrawals! The recovery process is slow and long. I also received this drug (20mg) for anxiety (during college) and was “hooked” for 18 yrs +. You took it for a long time (9 yrs) and the withdrawals can be protracted till your nervous system finds some balance (homeostasis).

      Some research shows that these med.’s can actually cause depression (it depletes the neurones ability to produce and receive serotonin)! Hence, stick through the withdrawals and the hurt you have to feel like you do. This med. make you ‘numb’ (to help in a crisis) and to be normal again takes time. Your symptoms sound like depression, and that is normal when quitting what you took for 9 yrs!

      In 1 year you will feel much better if you keep a healthy lifestyle and if you forgive yourself for not being “you” for a while… the benefits of staying “off” are hard to imagine and will come much later!! Hang in there! Alex.

      • Paul September 18, 2016, 12:51 am

        Thank you Alex.

  • Peter September 7, 2016, 7:16 pm

    I last posted in the middle of June 2016, and unfortunately since then things have only gotten considerably worse! Unable to take what I then thought was the horror of the crash, but unwilling to try another SSRI, Fluoxetine, I trialled 5HTP for 3 1/2 weeks. This immediately made the world seem less brutal/cold, and softened some of the hyper vigilance.

    However, after a few weeks I started to feel incredibly flat, like I used to on the Paroxetine when really depressed, so stepped down off it again. The warmth quickly drained away again and now my horrific morning anxiety was worse than ever and wasn’t just in the morning. My head was spinning more than it ever had done and I was now getting the worst nightmares of my life, waking up with pulses of energy streaking down my legs.

    My horrific chronic insomnia felt worse than ever and yet I was more energetic than ever, wired but not tired. I also developed tinnitus for the first time in my life, as well as having a number of the symptoms that I’d had before I crashed at the end of May, but more intensely. Still however, I was able to leave my bedroom for the first time in two months due to the increased energy, and even start some brisk outdoor walks.

    Then I made the biggest mistake since the biggest of my life last autumn when I tapered far too quickly off 17 years of 40mg of Paroxetine in 8 weeks. I tried reinstating. I’d started to suspect that I was becoming super sensitive to medicines. The long time antihistamine that I’d been taking now woke me up, instead of sedating me for example. But still I stupidly tried liquid Paroxetine for just 4 days at 1mg.

    The effect was very quick. Immediately the uncontrollable racing thoughts quietened somewhat, the world looked a little less harsh, a bit more like it used to. I also became immediately more lethargic, wanted to do less, just like in the past. The horrific nightmares stopped, I even slept a little more, although still very badly. However, by the fourth day I realised that I’d made a terrible mistake!

    I knew it was a risk trying to reinstitute 8 months after I came off, but never did I imagine that this would happen! Since mid April, I’d continually been sensitizing to an unimaginable hyper sensitivity/vigilance. Now after just 4 days, this whole process felt like it was thrown into a dramatic reverse. The first thing I noticed was a dramatically reduced sense of smell, followed by a significantly raised heat and pain threshold, both of which have been low all my life.

    A couple of days later, my sense of taste reduced somewhat as well, just as I’d finally regained my appetite while on the 5HTP, which has now also reduced somewhat again. The one thing that I’d been so glad to get back after I came off the Paroxetine last autumn was my libido, to an almost hyper sexual degree at times, which then swung about like everything else. Now, it’s fallen off a cliff like never before. Then my mind was affected.

    Even though it’s been a living hell most of this year, especially after I crashed in May, my mind was never really affected, except for a handful of previous occasions. In fact it became razor sharp as I entered this constant fight or flight response in May when my sleep collapsed. Now for the first time in my life I’ve got memory loss, after always having had an excellent memory.

    I can’t remember the names of people I’ve watched on TV for years, I can’t remember what I was just doing/about to do. I’m less observant than I’ve long been. I can no longer concentrate on two things at once, one’s a struggle! The latest thing I’ve noticed is a difficulty in hearing words unless they’re really clearly spoken. This cognitive impairment may not come across in this writing, but I can constantly correct/go back and add things that I would previously not have had to.

    It takes me far longer to write this now. I notice the difference! I’ve noticed many of these traits develop in my aging mother for years, but this stuff has come on for the first time in my life in just a few weeks! I’ve also started clenching my teeth for the first time ever, and upper gastrointestinal inflammation has increased again after having reduced the most in years before.

    However, just like with the effects of the 5HTP, all this new stuff feels like it’s been grafted on top of what was already happening. So the fight or flight is still there, it just feels strangely dampened like everything else. I’m still swinging between hot and cold for example, but barely even notice now, only realising that I’m sweating when I touch the wet clothes.

    The fact that all this has happened from so little, just as I was trying to get relief from what was already a living hell, has shocked me no end. It makes me realise that I probably have no pharmaceutical options now. I don’t know how far I’ve set myself back by this horrific second mistake! I really hope that I don’t end up like some of these horror stories that I’ve read about on other websites!

    All the years I was under the fog of that poison, thinking that it was the depression when it was most likely the so called medicine, my ever active mind kept me going, constantly playing mental games, testing myself, entertaining myself. For that same process to now constantly throw up mental blocks that I’ve never had before in my life troubles me no end. My constant suicidal thoughts have become ever more intense now as I’ve been actively researching suicide websites, geographic locations.

    It will soon be approaching a year since I started reducing far too quickly off a medicine that I always knew I’d been sensitive to. That prior life, like everything else, seems like a different universe now. I so obviously hope that I get back all these things that I hadn’t lost just a few short weeks ago. I’m rapidly losing hope that I’ll survive this.

    • Alex September 14, 2016, 10:39 pm

      Dear Peter, Thank you for sharing your story so explicitly! I can relate to every thing you write and it all makes perfect sense, 100%! Depression takes hope and coming off this “med” is very difficult and “hellish” as one is a “living dead”; without Paxil it is as someone has “pulled the plug” and with it you are in a “numb illusion” world and lethargic as it messes with the brain/feelings in the long run.

      You must be brave and go through the “dark tunnel” of protracted withdrawals, and that includes the cognitive impairments that you are aware of so painfully now! This takes all hope away and increases depression. See a wise counsellor, mentor or doctor and do soothing things to heal from this terrible experience. It is very scary what happens when you go off and back on this drug!

      You can recover but it takes time and to get through the suicidal phase! I was also thinking of suicide every day due to the awful feelings! After 1.5 years I never think about suicide and have energy again and feel more happy. No chemicals; sports and organic food and some social life and hope. Don’t let anyone take your hope not even yourself.

      Look at RECOVERY stories… not DEPRESSION horror story’s! My prayers go to you tonight! I know what you are going through… you can get through this as impossible as it now seems, one day at a time and small steps!! Love!

      • Peter September 15, 2016, 9:34 pm

        I thank you so much for replying again. I hope that if I make it, I will be able to help others as well. Everyone I see in the medical profession is of course clueless to this, dismissing me out of hand, except bizarrely an Immunologist, who as well as diagnosing autonomic dysfunction said he had seen this before. He suggested I try to take some more Propranolol beta blocker to calm the ever racing and palpitating heart.

        I’d taken this before without any problems, but now after this disastrous reinstitution of the Paroxetine, I reacted differently. I immediately slept worse, and a couple of days later lost even more taste and smell! Before the reinstitution I was walking everyday, even on my worse days. Now even on my better days, I rarely leave the house. This reminds me so much more now of my worst, coldest, darkest days on the Paroxetine, just infinitely worse! I fear that I have a long road ahead of me!

        The horror stories are of people in recovery, they’re just very long term recoveries, timeframes that I couldn’t possibly imagine! I can’t state enough however how grateful I am for your encouragement in this very dark place that I’m in. It makes me ‘feel’ as if I’m not totally alone in this ever worsening hell. How long did you taper off your dose for, or should I not ask?

  • Porche September 6, 2016, 4:05 am

    I’m absolutely and completely desperate for any help and relief from this God-awful experience. It’s been 9 days since my last dose of 50 mg of Paxil and I’ve been on it roughly 1 yr now. I have been off and on all antidepressants for 15 years now and I have never once experienced and side effects of withdrawal, therefore I think it’s the norm for me to just get off of antidepressants cold turkey with no consequences or effects. Wrong.

    I have never experienced anything like this in my life to the point that I’m deathly scared of never going back to normal and being stuck in my sick mind that doesn’t feel like mine. I’m absolutely desperate for any tips,ways,ideas for getting through this as I refuse to continue to suffer like this when I’ve been in a lot worse places. I have almost 6 yrs of sobriety from everything and I never experienced withdrawal like this, and I was addicted to Oxy 80s and any benzo I could find.

    I don’t even want to get high, I just want to feel somewhat normal and be able to actually function without looking like a complete basket case. Are there any medications that immediately relieve these symptoms or help with easing the withdrawal? I’ll take any and all suggestions cuz I can’t live like this anymore, and I refuse to live like this anymore. Sorry for the novel, thanks.

    • Hayley September 8, 2016, 10:15 am

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this Porche. Paroxetine withdrawal is Hell on earth! I weaned off over 6 months after 14 years on 20mg. I thought I was going to die…or kill someone! The first 2 weeks were the worst and I think if you can get through them you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. After that it gets better but very slowly!

      I’ve been free for almost 9 weeks now and feel very much better but still not myself. I still have some anxiety, which I never suffered with before I went on the drug so I’m hoping it’s still withdrawals and going to subside. In my own desperate search for relief I’ve taken up meditation, there’s a free app called ‘calm’ which is very good, also found an audio app from Barry McDonagh to help with my anxiety, also helpful.

      Lots of people suggested taking omega 3 and vitamin E which I did for a few weeks but these didn’t really help me much. I’ve been using vitamin B12 patches since I began weaning and found these really helped most of the time (just not in the first few weeks after I quit completely). My Doctor prescribed sertraline when I was at my most desperate and beta blockers a few weeks later but I resisted taking them and am glad.

      I really can’t bear the thought of having to withdraw from anything ever again! In my experience, significant milestones are at 2 weeks, 6 weeks and I’ve read that by 90 days you should be feeling more like your real self. I have my fingers crossed for this milestone as I’m just 28 days away from that.

      This is an awful drug and the withdrawal process is ‘hideous’… nobody should ever have to go through this torture! I wish you all the luck in the world and I’m rooting for you and everyone else going through this.

      • Alex September 14, 2016, 10:46 pm

        Hayley, A great answer and indeed it is torture that no one should go through but the story’s and evidence from “us” the patients is alarming and real. Most doctors seem to be oblivious to the problem with Paxil unfortunately. I wish hope you can sustain your withdrawal and feel even better in some years! I’m am finally feeling better after a long fight to stay off this dangerous med. Good luck to everyone!

  • KJR August 30, 2016, 11:26 pm

    This kills me! I’ve been on regular 20mg Paxil for about 9-10 months. I’m suuuper forgetful, but you can bet your butt I notice about day 2 of forgetting to take this horrible drug! Head zaps, dizziness, migraines, pins & needles everywhere, everything hurts, blurry vision, hearing voices/noises, heart palpitations, night terrors, uncontrollable anxiety AND fatigue (how on earth anxiety & fatigue happen at the same time is beyond me!)…you name it, I experience it!

    Then there’s been times I couldn’t take it for 2-3 days, having the flu & not being able to keep anything down, including the Paxil! Gaaawwwwd, what a nightmare! I’m glad I found your articles, and that I’m not the only one. Thank you for sharing your experiences, you may have saved more lives than you know!

    I’ve never upped my dosage, even though my doc wanted me to until I reached 60mg/day. I’m glad didn’t… I don’t know how I’d ever function! I just want to feel normal again; I just wonder how long the withdrawal will last when I taper off.

  • Momma August 27, 2016, 2:19 am

    I am currently 10 days paxil free. Never thought it would happen. Took it 23 years ago for anxiety. Tried several times to get off. I tapered so slowly but it was still brutal. I took ativan in the morning and,at night. The dizziness and irritability were the worse. Getting better a little bit each day. So proud I’ve gotten to this point. Never thought I would. I am feeling so much more alive and with it. Please stick with it everyone. What a nightmare but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Genn November 30, 2016, 5:14 am

      Thank you for your post. I’m on day 7 and sick to my stomach and flu like. Really worried about work.

  • Hannah S. August 22, 2016, 5:46 pm

    I have been taking (40mg) Paxil for almost a year now. I recently forgot to pick up my refill before the weekend. I urge you to stay on top of your refills. The withdraw symptoms are unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with. I had very frequent crying spells, and dizziness. Confusion unlike normal.

    I was too hot and cold at the same time, almost flu like symptoms. I would never recommend trying to suddenly quit on your own. Which was not my case, but I assume these side effects could be worse and maybe harmful to your self.

  • Doug August 20, 2016, 4:26 pm

    Psychiatrist told me to cold turkey on Arapax that have been taking for 25 years and to replace with Venlor. Anyone had similar experience?

  • Sabrina August 20, 2016, 2:38 am

    It’s been 8 days since I stopped paxil cold turkey. I was on it a year @ 20 mgs. I was having brain shocks, flu like symptoms, can’t breathe, can’t sleep, feeling of detachment, etc. I’m pregnant so had to quit it. This is the worst thing I’ve ever been through.

  • Kelly Rice August 19, 2016, 8:41 pm

    All, I am writing this as a warning of taking this extremely dangerous drug. At my last Dr’s appt I was prescribed Paroxetine or Paxil 20mg daily for the treatment of my menopausal symptoms. At first everything seemed fine and I felt good. Was sleeping better with hardly no night sweats. After about a month I started having adverse reactions.

    1. Weight gain (in one week I gained 10 pounds!)

    2. Extreme Lethargy. All I wanted to do was sleep. I would get up, go to work and then come back home and got to bed. On the weekends I basically spent my days in bed sleeping.

    3. Increased appetite. The feeling of never being full and always hungry.

    4. There were more, very fuzzy in the head right now.

    After three months I decided to get off of all the vitamins I was told to take from my NP (never had I ever seen a doctor for all my prescribed medications). I also stopped taking the Paxil, cold turkey. The only meds I stayed on were for my high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
    This was a little over a week ago. At first I felt nothing.

    After a few days I felt high, tons of energy, sleeping regularly and very bubbly and happy almost to the extreme. Then yesterday at work was the crash. I can hardly function. I have most if not all of the symptoms of a major drug withdrawal. I feel absolutely terrible but refuse to go back on this horrible drug. I just hope what I am dealing with wont last very long, don’t know how I will be able to function.

    I did go to work today as I have already taken too much time off recently for my lack of energy and sleepy feeling. My husband has to drive me to work as I am very unsteady on my feet and have extreme vertigo and lightheaded. Sleeping very little with horrible and vivid nightmares. Sweating and then cold goose bump flashes. Shaking. Feel like I have the flu, with bouts of nausea.

    I’ve been psyching myself out to get through the day. I have a friend here at work and he said his daughter was on it and gained 60lbs! She did get off but went through hell at first. He is going to ask her for me if anything helped. Do not get on this drug and if you are get off! I will be making an appt with another physician as soon as I get through this sh-t!

  • mike (50) August 19, 2016, 8:04 pm

    Hi Theresa, sorry your husband is going through violent withdrawals. Quitting “cold turkey” is not advised but tapering slowly so that the “central nervous system” can adapt to the lowered serotonin levels (that regulate so much in the CNS)! Switching to Prozac and reducing it slowly has been a solution to some.

    To answer your question, with high tend anxiety and tension during withdrawal temporary use of calming pills (chemical or herbs) can be a good “crutch” but won’t elevate the depressive symptoms. Social support (family) is also essential. In heart with you.

  • Eli August 18, 2016, 5:36 pm

    Took Paxil 10 for 6 days. Prescribed for minor mood fluctuations and tiredness attributed to being premenopausal. Made me feel like a zombie. heart palpitations, erratic breathing anomalies, extreme exhaustion, unable to focus, sexual disfunction, starting sleeping constantly. Yes, only took it for 6 days. Yes it was the lowest dose.

    Been off for 18 days now, still have minor breathing anomalies, still do not feel like myself. I am anxious (never was before), depressed (never was before), experiencing extreme highs and lows. I feel like my life is in ruins and prior to taking the drug, things were pretty much fine. Will I ever return to normal again? It certainly does not feel like it.

    • KJR August 30, 2016, 11:32 pm

      Oh my! Yes, I experienced similar changes during even the first week of taking it… I couldn’t wake up for the life of me! I think I could have slept for weeks, and excitement or sex? Forget about it! Nothing made me happy or excited & all I wanted to do is sleep! Gained 25lbs in the first 2-3 months too, so talk about not feeling sexy anyway…my poor hubby. If it’s this bad for me, I can’t imagine what he goes through just dealing with me. God love him!

  • Theresa August 18, 2016, 3:08 am

    Omg I’m so glad I found this blog. My husband just quit Paxil 20mg cold turkey 4 days ago & has been having crazy symptoms! Everything you all have basically: itching, vertigo, nausea, feeling like he’s going to black out, agitated, moodiness, crying etc- just in the past few days!! He’s already saying he can’t deal with this! He’s prolly going to the ER if it doesn’t get better soon. Did anyone take any meds during the withdrawal side that helped? Not prescription. Anything OTC?

    • Mike (50) August 18, 2016, 6:46 pm

      Hi Theresa! Good you found this website with the “withdrawal symptom list” that many doctors are totally ignorant about or “downplay” due to ignorance and knowledge derived mainly from “books” (i.e. the “antidepressant don’t make dependent” rhetoric)! To answer your question; yes I took benzo’s in the worst moments to reduce the anxiety and body tension and pains. They do not lift the depressive symptoms though.

      Benzo’s are risky and have their own dangers and can really damage the brain. In the case of your husband it would probably be more wise to go onto a lower dose of Paxil or switch to Prozac (longer half life) as suggested in other posts and reduce from there (basically do a 2nd quit attempt)! When I was through the worst withdrawals I took calming herbs, did sports and got massages.

      Now I’m totally “clean” and feeling calm, more happy and sad… slowly discovering what it is like to feel human and sensitive again! I’ll never take an SRRI again! In my experience and opinion, short term SSRI’s may help in a severe crisis, long term they are simply a harmful. On my 2nd quit attempt after 19 years of use (a 3 months tapper) it was “hell” for 6 months (not able to work) and I would not have survived without the help and patience of my wife and sheer determination to go threw the pain of withdrawals listed above!!

      Social support is also essential in recovery! Family’s get pulled into the whirlpool of antidepressant use and withdrawals. The film NUMB (http://www.numbdocumentary.com) documents a family going threw the Paxil withdrawal process with great realism… Here a great summary / review on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1788422/. What I like about the film is that it shows how difficult it is to quit and how it inter fears with family life.

      The courage of the author to film himself systematically during 3 months, plus the great research and interviews with psychiatrists are compelling. This first quit attempt fails, but we learn from mistakes… at a high price sometimes. Good luck!

      P.S.: Theresa… since your husband “can’t deal this” (the severe symptoms) he/you must take this very seriously. One can feel so crappy without the “serotonin boost” of the chemical (Paxil) that it feels so unbearable that one could try to check-out if one has no hope that it will end. On top of it typically SSRIs only work slowly (after 2 weeks till serotonin builds up due the “inhibition of recapture” (recycling prevention)! It will get better if he uses a better method than quitting “cold turkey”!

    • Hayley August 28, 2016, 4:42 pm

      I’m now 7 weeks off paroxetine after 6 months tapering and 20 years taking it, on and off at first but constantly for the last 13/14. I have commented already but said I would keep posting to give everyone an idea of the time it takes… First 2 weeks are unbearable but if you make it through those, as tough as it still is, you will make it. I have had to deal with feelings that I didn’t even have before paroxetine.

      I’ve had paranoia, extreme anxiety, jealousy, anger and every other negative feeling you can (and can’t) imagine. At this point, although still suffering some anxiety, I feel ready to return to work and face the world again. I seem to have so many extra hours to fill in the day because I don’t sleep anywhere near as much or as deeply as I did on the drug. I’m slowly learning to deal with emotions again that have been numbed for so many years.

      I find that I’m very sensitive to any other drugs I take such as painkillers which can increase my anxiety so I’m very careful what I take. I’m still hoping this anxiety will eventually disappear as I’m certain it wasn’t something I had before. I think that one of the hardest things is learning to deal with absolutely everything as a whole new person.

      I still feel uncomfortable in situations and places where I’ve been perfectly happy before. I’m hoping it’s just a case of re-learning everything and accepting myself as I am today. I will continue to post for as long as I feel changes are happening. Good luck and lots of love to everyone on this hellish journey.

  • Todd August 4, 2016, 4:14 am

    Hi, all. It’s good to find this site with comments from all of you who have withdrawn from Paxil, or are doing so. I have been on Paxil/Paroxetine (generic) for 22 years and recently decided to try life without it. I took my last dose two weeks ago, after gradually cutting down as per my doctor’s instructions. I realize that some people can withdraw from Paxil with no side effects, but I am having some dizziness, nausea, and depression.

    Socially, I feel like isolating, as it seems like a big chore to even have a conversation with anyone. I’m wondering how long it will last, and I realize it varies from person to person. I wonder if any of you have found a sort of tie-over, like St. John’s Wort or another supplement, and how you have faired with that? Best to you all.

    • Hayley August 6, 2016, 10:11 am

      Hi Todd, Well done on quitting after 22 years. I think ‘how long will this last?’ is the thing we all want to know but few people come back to answer that. I’ve been off paroxetine for 4 weeks now. The first 2 weeks were absolute ‘HELL’ and I really don’t know how I survived them. Things have been improving since then but not nearly as quickly as I’d like.

      I’m still suffering with quite severe anxiety and struggling with socialising. Some days are better than others but still nothing like the old me. I intend to keep coming back and commenting to give other people some idea of how long it’s taking for me. Good Luck.

      • Todd August 14, 2016, 2:38 am

        Thanks for your reply. I’ll keep checking back to see your progress.

    • Hayley August 20, 2016, 11:52 am

      Hi Todd, Well done for getting this far without giving in to the crappy withdrawals, 20yrs on this drug, it has worked for me but seems to have stopped. I’m down from 50mg to 10 after months of reducing, going through crippling depression, suicidal thoughts, crying etc aches the works. I’m taking well woman, omega 3-6-9 high strength (over 1000mg is best). I’m using the supermarket own brand (as it’s cheaper and has higher strength than the more expensive ones) wellman do the same and has ginseng in (good for stress, however if using ginseng complex which in my view is great for lethargy etc and libido.

      It’s advisable to have a break every few weeks so I would stick to wellman) studies have shown omega to be as effective as St. John’s wort in mild depression. In my view try the vitamins and minerals first, vitamin b12 is good for anxiety (studies have sown depleted levels of vitamin B causes low mood, as is low cholesterol interestingly!) Hope this helps good luck and well done!

  • Mimi August 3, 2016, 11:39 pm

    I want to say that I’m hopeful after reading this, however I am so discouraged and sick. It’s been two months of weaning myself off paxil. I was on 20 mg for probably eight years. Only in the last few weeks have I’ve been having constant headaches. They have turned into migraines and the pain has been unbearable.

    I work in the medical field and have had to cancel my patients and I’m unable to write up charts on the computer. I’m losing money as I have a private practice. It just occurred to me that this May be a delayed withdrawal symptom. I also I’m scheduled for a brain MRI. Thank you all for your comments. I’m praying that this will stop.

  • Theresa August 1, 2016, 7:48 am

    I am also a long time Paxil user. More than 21 years actually. It was a wonder drug for me after having severe anxiety attacks for years. The Paxil gave me my life back. I did try to get off it about ten years ago but the anxiety came back. Since I wasn’t having any difficulties with Paxil and knew nothing about how bad it could be I went back and and never looked back until last winter…

    At that time I noticed I was having brain zaps even though I was regular with my dose. I would get dizzy for no reason and I started having insomnia. Couldn’t figure out what was happening since I hadn’t changed my dose and I was religious about taking it routinely. Then in the spring I had a very bad episode of depression and my Dr. suggested that I up my does temporarily to help.

    Well, all the symptoms I was having went absolutely wild within just a couple days of increasing my Paxil. My body was trying to tell me that it would no longer tolerate being on Paxil. We started slowly decreasing my dosage and finally one month ago I took my last dose. I have been off Paxil for one month. I am having brain zaps, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, severe dizziness and flu-like symptoms.

    Mostly I stay at home because the dizziness is very bad. I can’t go back on Paxil because of how my body was reacting while I was on it. I have no choice but to continue until my body recovers. It is 2:00am while I am writing this because sleep just won’t come tonight. I have hope that it will get better and I appreciate all you sharing. Good Luck to all.

  • Hayley July 30, 2016, 7:14 pm

    Hi there, I don’t know if people still comment on this thread I just came across it today. I completely came off paroxetine two months ago after reducing 5mgs every two months. I was originally on 20mgs. When reducing I did suffer some bad withdrawal symptoms but they were manageable until I finished them completely.

    The past two months have been in a word horrific. I have had the worst anxiety of my life, depression, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, loss of appetite and generally been uneasy. It is oddly comforting to know there are other people out there that have been feeling the same and after being on these horrific pills for six years I am glad to be off them but I cannot wait for the day I feel normal again!

    Good luck to everyone in the same position as me, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  • Maggie July 16, 2016, 5:41 am

    This thread has been extremely helpful. I’m 32 years old and was prescribed Paxil at 15 years old. I was on 60mg per day for well over 15 years. I thought it was normal. Now looking back, I realize I was severely over medicated and I feel cheated. I started tapering over a year ago when my husband and I decided to start the pregnancy process…

    I am now down to 10mg… I felt great for a while but now I feel like I’m going to snap. All of a sudden, the head rushes and dizziness and anxiety and paranoia have set in in the past week. I’m ready to start upping my daily dose. I’m so scared and I wish I had had a crystal ball when I was first prescribed…

    • Hayley July 26, 2016, 10:36 am

      I was on 20mg for 20 years, on and off at first but constantly for the past 14 years. I tapered for 6 months using liquid paroxetine so I could cut 1/2 mg at a time which worked well at first but still, once down to the last 1mg the withdrawal hell, which I had been warned about, began. I’ve been off completely for just over 2 weeks now and it’s been worse than I could ever have imagined.

      The paranoia has been out of control, I even believed my own children were plotting against me. I’ve been extremely angry, depressed and anxious and suffered a couple of very severe panic attacks where I truly thought I was going to die. It got so bad that my doctor prescribed sertraline to get me through but I have resisted taking these so far.

      2 weeks clean seems to have been a turning point although I’m still feeling really anxious and my mood swings are still quite severe, but I’m no longer suicidal and can at least see a light at the end of the tunnel. I wish someone would come back on here and tell us how long it took to feel ‘ok’ again… I guess we have to assume that them not coming back is a good sign and that things do get better.

  • Sean July 10, 2016, 7:07 pm

    My doctor put me on paxil for anxiety and depression. I did not know what I was getting into. I was on it for about 3 months (40mg) and I got the flu and stopped taking it. Started feeling better from the flu and thought I didn’t need Paxil anymore cause I felt fine. Had to fly to South Carolina for my job and then the hell came into my life. I didn’t take paxil for 3 days and on that third day I started having, what I now know are, Brain Zaps.

    Holy sh*t! Then came on the dizziness, headaches and failure to comprehend anything. I thought, sh*t, Im 2 days from leaving and my medicine was in Houston. So then I went to sleep anytime I wasn’t working and BAM! Bad nightmares, sweating puddles. For 3 days this went on and when I got back to Houston I started taking paxil again.” Never quit cold turkey ” my doctor says.

    Here I am 8 months later and I want off of this medicine. Reading all of your comments made me realize that I had to tapper off. I started buy cutting the pill in half (20mg) and done that for 2 weeks. I was fine and didn’t feel much of a change other than my sleep was starting to decrease. Then cutting it in half (10mg) again for 2 weeks. I am one week into that and its hit me again. Insomnia, Brain Zaps and Headaches.

    But not as bad as it was when I went cold turkey but it is here and it is messing with me. I think Im going to fast track it and cut it out completely. If I feel real bad I might take 5mg every other day and see if that works. I hear it takes 4-6 days for paxil to leave the body but symptoms still linger on for a while after that. I hope not too long! This drug needs to be taken off the market! I now see why people call it PaxHell!

  • pamela July 8, 2016, 8:38 am

    Ok so here is my story. I was prescribed Aropax (which I have googled and found to be the same as Paxin) about a year ago. My then 11 year old daughter had 2 epileptic seizures which I just could not deal with. I was extremely anxious and could feel the adrenalin pumping through me. So off I went to a psych. I wish I never did but that is neither nor there.

    I stopped taking the tabs a week ago cold turkey after my husband said I should stop taking the ‘stuff’. I should perhaps have read all the withdrawal symptoms first because it is still a bad time in my life. I lost my mom 2 months ago from breast cancer. And my dad is really broken. So I am dealing with my loss and trying to help him. Well nevertheless, I have stopped with the tabs.

    And yes I am experiencing the withdrawal symptoms!! It is encouraging though reading the above and knowing I am not alone. Please will it end though?? Why do other people out there in the world have it so easy and others have to experience years of turmoil??

  • Michael June 29, 2016, 6:36 pm

    Hi all, Been on Paxil 15 years and for the last 6 years on 60mg daily. I decided to wean down as of March 2016 and at present down to 10mg every second day. Will be off in 1 week. Symptoms are terrible but for me the worst is constant itching at night in bed and I’m not sleeping. Sleeping habits have always been poor going to bed at 2am every night and waking up at 930 am.

    Now I head to bed at 1am and I’m lying awake for 4 hours before I actually sleep. Don’t want to increase Paxil, but has anyone taken short term sleeping pills to reset their bodies? I was thinking a 2 week course whilst I change sleeping routine. What’s the itching all about? Terrible experience.

    Otherwise during the day I’m good and the only noticeable difference is I am more edgy and aggressive not in the violent sense but when I talk I’m very direct and demanding. See the reason why I want to get off Paxil is purely so I can actually feel normal emotions rather than feel numb with either happy or bad emotions. Hate feeling numb hence why it’s time to let it go. Any feedback peeps?

    • Mike June 30, 2016, 12:18 am

      Dear Michael, Feedback: Two posts with 15 years on Paxil, wow, I don’t feel so alone! Your reason to stop was the same as mine after 18 +1 years! Sleeping pills are addictive but I used them “carefully” during withdrawal to cope and avoided all stress, coke, tea & coffee – had to force myself to exercise and get massages to deal with the “paxil fever”, anxiety, muscle tensions, zaps, depression & suicidal ideas that appeared for no reason during hellish withdrawal that included all symptoms listed at top of this page!

      Yes, also had very disturbing itching on the body (mainly at night) and it went away after some time! Far worse than the itching will be the real withdrawal because you state that your “symptoms are terrible” already! I believe you should try to “stabilise” on that dosage (10mg) before you diminish Paxil more is my key feedback.

      Since you are still on 10mg and plan to be “off” in a week… I would say that is too fast & ambitious after 15 years. Also, taking it every 2nd day is not ideal as the half life of Paxil is 24hrs and you get a “yoyo” effect! To “smooth things out” (I know from my first failed attempt) I would advise you to tapper slower now with daily use at 7 mg for example… take at least 1-3 months to slowly decreases from 10 -> zero progressively (use a cutter or liquid formula).

      Please don’t underestimate these chemicals; 10mg is a strong “maintenance” dosage after 15 years! The receptor down regulation of the brain really takes lot’s of time to find a new “equilibrium” after so much long time! I hope this feedback was helpful. Good luck.

  • Paxil User June 29, 2016, 2:31 pm

    I was on Paxil for 15 years. During the last 5 years, I noticed many negative side effects and tried to quit taking it multiple times. The “brain zaps” where so bad that it always deterred me from quitting. About one month ago, I made the decision to quit cold-turkey. I am not advocating drug-use, but Marijuana use curbed the “brain zaps.” I am finally Paxil free and have never felt better. I feel like I was pulled from a darkness that enveloped me over the last 5 years.

    • Mike June 30, 2016, 1:02 am

      How wonderful that you’ve “never felt better”. Don’t you have any residual withdrawal symptoms or functional issues? Do you feel normal & recovered? Amazing after 15 years! We all need to read “success stories” to stay off SSRI’s. “Darkness” Paxil indeed can be! I can identify with your story and used St-John’s Wort to “bridge” the “gap”. I hope you will be Paxil free long-term!

  • christine Manuel June 27, 2016, 3:53 pm

    I have just stopped taking Paxil. My biggest issue right now is nausea and being dizzy. Saturday I couldn’t get off the couch due the nausea being so bad. I remember my head swimming the last time I stopped paxil and the crying was ridiculous. It’s only been a week so the crying hasn’t started and I’m not looking forward to it. I was prescribed Paxil for hot flashes and depression. My life is in much better shape and I think once I level out I should be fine. The withdrawals are no joke.

    • Hayley June 29, 2016, 7:29 am

      Hi I know just what you are going through. I’m so tired and irritable mood going really down. So desperate. Just hope I can do it without giving in and going back up to 40mg. Currently on 35, was on 50mg a few months ago. Good luck.

  • Hayley June 25, 2016, 1:17 pm

    Hi I’m a psychiatric nurse been on this drug for 20 yrs. At first it was amazing I was able to go to university never felt anxious had energy etc. I’ve gained over 5 stone in weight I’m more anxious and depressed than ever, I’m suicidal crying all the time, tired all the time, the weight gain makes me sluggish and hungry all the time I never feel full. I never used to drink alcohol before taking the drug now I crave it, just starting (again) to get off this drug.

    I’ve experienced every single withdrawal mentioned on this site, crying anger brain zaps the whole lot. I hate how I look and feel but I have to do it. I’m worried my OCD will come back and my confidence will leave me. I loved singing which the only plus of this drug is that I had no social phobia. I’m going to do what I did before which helped is to get down to 20 and then switch to a long half life drug Prozac. It does help and David Healy a well known professor of psychiatry who hates this drug has advised.

    I’m also going to top up on vitamin B COMPLEX, omega 3-6-9, and magnesium selenium biotin (well woman do a good multivitamin that have most of these in). I’m also going to rest and avoid contact with as many people I can and not going to drive while coming off. Too dizzy and confused, started to come down from 50mg and now on 35 so far not feeling any different, but I know this is the beginning of the road to hell, but I deserve it and owe it to myself to win.

    Good luck everyone who is going through this and one thing is to warn family and friends what you are doing and what they can expect so you don’t end up murdering each other!

  • Rob E June 24, 2016, 4:08 pm

    I started wearing off 10 mg CR about 6 weeks ago. I took my last dose about 3 weeks ago. The physical withdrawal symptoms – the worst being nightmares, insomnia, and nausea – are subsiding nicely but now the fits of rage are starting. I scared the hell out of my kids the other night with my raving, and I’m afraid I may break down and get in trouble at work.

    My doctor suggested seeing a therapist and talking about the things that set me off. It seems like a lot of the anxieties of my past have come back to haunt me. Is a therapist recommended or should I try to ride this out with my meditation and mindfulness practices?

  • Rachel June 18, 2016, 3:18 am

    Getting off of Paxil after being on it for about 5 years. Because of weight gain & my dr feeling that since I’m doing well. (I originally was prescribed it after having a baby) she thought that I should give it a try! I was doing well, but now feel anxious, angry, crying! I’m not sure if it’s the withdraw or that I need to stay on Paxil? I am just a ball of nerves. I don’t want to be on meds forever, but I don’t want to be a crabby, bawling, anxious mom & wife. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Alex June 22, 2016, 2:43 pm

      Hi Rachel, Your “dilemma” (on/off) is very understandable. For how long did you decrease the dosage before quitting completely? This has an impact on the severity of withdrawals together with the length of time you took Paxil. Secondly, it is normal to feel anxious angry and crying when withdrawing (as described at top of page in the withdrawal list). The “exaggerated negative feelings” are typical.

      When you feel like a “ball of nerves” (like i was for many months) it is wise to consider yourself like a smoker going “crazy” without cigarettes and resist temptation to go back on Paxil. Do things that sooth and please you in any way and avoid coffee, tea & alcohol. Being an “anxious wife” and asking for some empathy and extra TLC for a while is better than being on a mood altering drug for many years to come, no?

      Also consider that it is easier to quit after 5 years than 10 years, and less damage and habituation will be done! Perhaps try 5HTP, omega3, more support and calming plants and baths & walks in nature or cycling if you can?! Paxil has an “addictive” nature in itself and withdrawals are usually unpleasant or even horrible to go through.

      A good inspiration is Paul’s story who explains his tough withdrawal & successful recovery quite well here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaTUPdnkuYM&spfreload=10

  • Peter June 14, 2016, 8:54 pm

    After being put on Paroxetine when 17 for, at the very most, mild depression, with no offer of talking therapies and the “this medicine isn’t addictive” line, I’d finally had enough by last autumn, as once again after having forgotten to take my liquid Paroxetine by six hours from the usual time, I was crazy for the next two days. So after 17 years on 40mg, I decided to come off. Initially I felt so good as I reduced by 10mg/5ml increments every two weeks reaching zero six weeks after I’d started, which was far better than the previous times when I’d tried to reduce or even just switch from the liquid onto the capsules at the same dosage. I was NEVER stable on the medicine for all the years that I took it, and the doctors weren’t interested.

    After the initial mild depression completely passed in the spring of 1999, my doctor immediately began to taper the medicine down from 40-30-20mg over two 2 week periods. That was a turbulent and argumentative month!!! However, after leveling at 20 mg for that summer, I was then told to try to taper below 20mg at 10mg increments again. This quickly induced too much instability, and so a 1ml/2mg per week regimen was suggested. I managed to get down to 7ml/14mg before going to University that Autumn, but reduced no further while at Uni due to the instability while reducing, even though I remember an instability all that Autumn anyway.

    I suspected that this inherent instability might have contributed to me being thrown into a severe depression after a trigger event that Autumn, leading me to withdraw from University, and from which I’ve been gradually recovering from ever since at my parent’s home. Through the years I would constantly cycle through (at various rates and frequencies, both of which increased the better I got) a pattern whereby if I was feeling a bit better/more, I could get more sensitive, which could make it more likely that I could depress again.

    I noticed quite by accident once, after mistakenly taking two doses within a few hours of one another and whence temporarily overdosing, that I could amplify/accelerate this process to speed up getting better after depressing, by deliberately alternating the medicine e.g. taking my next dose 12 hours after the previous dose, instead of the usual 24 hour interval. However doing this the other way round, leaving an interval of 36 hours before returning to the usual dosing interval produced the opposite affect, e.g. it tended to lead to me feeling more depressed/bad rather than less, and whence was never intentionally practiced.

    After having improved over the years, this improvement felt like it plateaued from 2008-2012. I felt the most sensitive yet, but I could still depress, sometimes for up to months at a time. Then in the Autumn of 2012, after the GP’s never showed an interest in my depression (having “reviewed” my medicine a handful of times over the years with a simple, “you want to keep taking it, alright then” and there always being another excuse for not referring me onto any other help, they now suddenly wanted to switch me from the liquid to the capsules, something which I knew from the past would not go well.

    This is because on at least two previous occasions this had been tried, both of which increased the instability, for exactly the same dosage. In preparation for trying to swap over again, I started to reduce my dose to exactly 20ml/40mg, as inaccurate/lazy dosing measurement in the cup had led me to taking more, perhaps as much as 50mg, for some time. I soon reversed this reduction on the liquid, as it was making me feel different and we were going on holiday so I thought I’d wait until after we came back.

    It was when increasing again (not when decreasing) that I felt bad, surprisingly so, like I had done on a handful of previous occasions in the past. This was after having been established on this medicine for a long time, not when first going onto it for the first time as is warned of in the patient information leaflet. After I finally switched to the tablets sometime later that Autumn/early 2013, I was surprised at just how good I felt at first, as this was a reduction as I never did subsequently reduce the liquid again, just as was the case when I started reducing again recently, in other words the opposite of what happened when I increased.

    However as I “stabilised”, or not as was in fact the case, at the lower 40mg, the instability notably increased. Here I was taking the tablets, and yet I was never as “stable” as I was on the liquid. There was no longer a +/-3 hour window within which to take the medicine without a notable increase in instability as there was with the liquid. Now it had to be taken at EXACTLY the same time every 24 hours, even with EXACTLY the same food to try to reduce the instability to a minimum.

    I couldn’t understand how this could be until I discovered something called bioavailability. A liquid is apparently more consistently bioavailable than a tablet. This suggested potentially significant sensitivity to this medicine! Soon after this happened, and this time with no trigger, I had the greatest increase in depression since the Autumn of 1999. I’m not sure that when I started to come off the Paroxetine in the Autumn of 2015 that I had yet returned to how I felt in the summer of 2012.

    This had seemingly happened because of the ANTI-depressant, and if it had happened now, could it have happened before, in fact how much of all of this could be down to the medicine?! After stratospheric instability last December after finally reaching zero dosage (after initially always feeling better on dropping each dosage level), things have only slowly got worse. Initially my appetite collapsed, which with accompanying Gastrointestinal issues that I’d had for a number of years after I’d started to take the Paroxetine (Gastritis since early 2003, recently diagnosed Visceral Hypersensitivity since May 2013) led me to become malnourished, losing a fifth of my body weight in three months, and dumping a lifetime’s worth of accumulated fat, that had built up as I’d always had such a strong appetite on the medicine.

    Then the dizziness/vertigo and intolerance to movement began; I could turn my head and it would feel like my head was lagging behind. I had a rash for the first time in my life on my upper chest, where I also had a strange pain just below the surface of the chest, as well as a rash on the sides of my neck and on my upper groin. After never having felt the cold, having sweated a lot of the time I took the Paroxetine, I was now ice cold to the touch in a house heated to 21C, (although recently as I’ve felt at my worst, I’ve started sweating profusely again/feeling really hot).

    I started to get numbness in my peripherals and then internally, including in my gums. After never having more than the occasional light tension head ache all my life, now my head felt so thick that I needed to hold it just to release the pressure, and I developed brain fog along with cold/hot patches inside my head. I also developed lower back pain and pain just to either side of the spine. This all along with an on/off racing heart, shimmering vision, particularly noticeable against a brighter background (along with a change to a warmer tint of colours at times) and uncontrollable shivering in the chest when I wasn’t cold.

    Oh, and a sickness and at times uncontrollable thirst that led me to drink up to 8 litres of water in my waking hours. A head MRI and abdominal CT scan, as well as a Full Blood Count and liver and kidney tests as well as a blood sugar and Insulin test showed nothing, and I was put on a special medical diet to bring me out of malnourishment, as well as a transfusion of Vitamin B Complex. Little did I know that this was the easy stuff, as just when I was transitioning out of malnourishment and regaining my physical energy, the constant “lower” level of instability now went to levels never before experienced in my life!

    A non trigger led to simply unbelievable swings of mood from an inner rage to an anxiety unlike any other. I’ve never been a particularly anxious person all my life. I also felt SO BAD, a bit like I had very occasionally and briefly on the medicine, usually when increasing it, except now it wasn’t abating, except briefly after crying/releasing. This all happened EXACTLY as I regained my energy and also became hypersensitive, with the opposite of brain fog, my head now feeling remarkably clear/pin sharp.

    So now I felt the opposite of numb; I physically felt/smelt/heard too much! When taking the medicine, I’d always know when I was feeling better/more as I could smell more, hear more, touch more, as opposed to having a somewhat dulled sense of touch, heavy limbs and the like. Now I was feeling an extreme version of this, and not feeling better but a real gritted teeth psychological pain/distress/anxiety. Then exactly at the same time as I developed a hyper vigilance; jumping at the slightest noise, my heart racing at the slightest thought, my sleep, for the first time in my life, collapsed.

    After having slept so much while on the Paroxetine, easily 12+ hours a night and a lot more if feeling worse which then returned to the normal 8 hours a night on coming off the medicine, now I can’t fall asleep or stay asleep, for anything more than a few short hours a night at most, waking every 30 minutes or less, sometimes in a panic with my heart racing. I just feel so awake/so alert, and so can never relax. I’ve spent the last month in my bedroom, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep, with the swings steadily slowing to a depression, after having felt at times so much after I came off the medicine, more than I ever did when on it.

    When the swings were at their most extreme, I could depress and then come out of it again completely in as little as two hours, something which could take months in the past, although I would never say that I came out of it completely in the past. Every time I depress, it’s as if the hypersensitivity is trying to push back, and it’s when I’m emerging from a depression that I feel at my worst. When going into a depression, I can get (at least a temporary) relief from the pain/distress/anxiety that I can especially feel when coming out of a depression.

    It’s for this reason that I’m terrified to go back onto an anti-depressant (the doctors want me to go onto Fluoxetine 20mg) as when taking the Paroxetine I would always feel at my worst when increasing the dosage, even when already established on it for years, a bit like the opposite of how I felt every time I reduced it. I’ve bizarrely noticed that even an anti-histamine (Cyclizine) that I’d been taking for Gastrointestinal nausea has appeared to make me feel more/make me more irritable. How I would feel transitioning onto an anti-depressant, I have no idea!!!

    Some of these symptoms I recognise from the constant instability while on the Paroxetine, just massively exaggerated, but others I have simply never experienced before in my life! I genuinely don’t know if I’m going to make it! The kinds of thoughts that I have everyday are frightening. I’ve imagined so many ways in which I could end it all, as it’s simply unbearable at times!

    None of the doctors seem to appreciate the seriousness of it! They all dismiss this as having nothing to do with the Paroxetine, “It’s been too long since you came off it, it must be some underlying issue”, even though I’ve never felt anything like this before in my life, and certainly never did before I was ever on the Paroxetine!!! I’m scared!!!

    • Alex June 16, 2016, 7:30 pm

      Hi Peter! It’s good that you expressed your confusions, dilemma’s and suffering here! I can very well understand that you are extremely scared now and that you often think of “ending it” after the awful experience with Paroxetine! I have been there. It is indeed a wicked drug. It is a terrible dilemma to be advised to take another SSRI and to want to stop without really being able to (since you suffer so much from the withdrawals after 17 years on 40mg).

      That is a long time and the max dosage allowed. You are right that the doctors don’t really understand the seriousness of the withdrawals and confuse them with returning “symptoms”! They mainly know the theory from books and see some patients successfully stop other SSRI’s when they were not taken for too long. Doctors know how to “start” people on SSRI’s but don’t encourage to discontinue them (so we are returning customers).

      They also do not have a clue what these medications really do to the brain and emotions. Receptor sites are immediately down regulated from SSRIs and neurogenesis takes place initially. That’s why they seem to work initially… but this brain “boost” comes at great expense further down the road! So I understand your frustration. I was put on Paxil/20mg for 19 years (for anxiety/stress issues at college). I was leading a more or less normal and successful life till I noticed that Paxil was screwing up my emotions and awareness by being very “numbed” and “detached” from reality!

      Of course I was very angry with my doctor for giving it to me so long without telling me the risks. The drug made me very emotionless, so that anger did not come out! Now I am “clean” since 1.5 years on my 2nd quit attempt but felt extremely suicidal during the withdrawal, plus all the withdrawal symptoms listed at the top of this page. They are 100% true!

      Worst of all doctors deny the seriousness and reality of these withdrawals – for them SSRi’s don’t make you dependent… and don’t create withdrawals – only an uncomfortable “discontinuation syndrome” as it has been called by the community of psychiatrists prescribing these drugs. It was a terrible fight through the withdrawal hell and reading about other people’s terrible experience helped me understand that I was not alone in the struggle and that I must listen to myself rather than believe everything the doctors say.

      Doctors said I must take Paroxetine for life… but I felt how it was making me feel worse and robbed me of my vitality, consciousness, soul and vital feelings! Yet when you stop your feelings don’t return to normal but are totally out of control and dishabilitating (a “spring effect” of the brain that always tried to signal fear but could not due to the drug… so when it’s gone it fires through the roof)! Please hand in there and don’t give up … you must find a way to stabilise naturally or with a chemical. Don’t try to overanalyze the topic… and seek peaceful beautiful little things.

      I hope you continue to get your parents / social support and try to believe you can get through the awful pain and get to some peace and contentment further down the road! PS. http://www.numbdocumentary.com – after 10 years of Paxil this film director documented the hell he went through during withdrawals and how his family also suffered. He also refers to the skeptics of SSRI’s like Dr. Healy, Dr. Breggins & Dr. Whitaker that we must thank for their intelligent and courageous work!

      • Peter June 19, 2016, 3:28 pm

        What chemicals would you suggest that can aid this process? I ask because I am probably just about to go onto either St John’s Wort or Fluoxetine. I even wondered that if I was to go onto something again, whether it should be the Paroxetine, even though I obviously don’t want to do that!

        I’ve always been an introspective person, a perfectionist with OCD tendencies, with an intolerance of failure, so this has been particularly hard as a result. When this is at its worst, which has been most of the time over the last few weeks, I can just get utterly consumed by this and the thoughts generated by it/of it. To be honest, just coming across David Healy’s website terrified me/had a real affect on me!

  • Lisa June 12, 2016, 9:49 pm

    I had to taper off due to becoming pregnant and I’m feeling horrible. My anger is ridiculous and if I’m not mad I’m crying like a fool. Please tell me these feelings will go away. I’m so afraid.

    • mike June 13, 2016, 12:11 pm

      Hi Lisa, it’s totally normal to go through withdrawals like being angry, crying & feeling very afraid. These feelings can go away after some weeks or months, the timeframe depends on the dosage & length of Paxil use.

      It’s important to have favourable social circumstances & support during the “paxil fever” withdrawal during which it is almost impossible to function normally. A hellish experience to come off this “medication” but well worth going into recovery in the long haul.

  • Alexandra June 10, 2016, 6:43 pm

    I’m almost a week off of paxil… feel awful, want to go out and do stuff but can’t – due to all the withdrawal side effects. Reading these comments gives me hope! Because I really just want to give in and take a paxil to feel better but then the process of withdrawal would start all over! Just want to feel life again with out always sleeping…

  • Andrea May 23, 2016, 5:04 pm

    I am on day seven of withdrawal of 30 mg of Paxil. I have never experienced anything like it. Started cymbalta last week.

  • Jenny May 23, 2016, 3:52 am

    I have been on Paxil for about 5 years now. Have just weaned myself off over a period of 3 months. I am experiencing aching joints and muscles. Is this normal?

    • Mike May 25, 2016, 10:37 pm

      Jenny, congratulations for weaning off over 3 months. It’s a good question to ask if “joint & muscle aches” are normal during withdrawal because it’s scary to feel so “old” suddenly! Yes, it’s normal and they should disappear after a couple of weeks or months. Hang in there and good luck!

  • M. May 21, 2016, 10:32 am

    Paroxetine Electrical Withdrawal Zaps THIS HELPS!!! The following has worked wonders for me and I really wish for it to work just as well for you! It has been inspired by the following research: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982215002249. Next time when an electrical withdrawal zap starts to zip through your body, cross your fingers as fast as you can (like when you do for luck). It should stop the zap in its tracks. Please let me know whether it worked for you!

  • Rick May 15, 2016, 12:48 am

    I am two weeks coming off of paxil after being on it for 13 years and I am experincing very bad withdrawals such as brain zaps, extreme anger, very bad language, even taking gods name in vain which I never do. That part bothers me the most. I’m having very crazy dreams, palpitations, very bad body aches. wanting to sleep a lot, and headaches. Cannot concentrate good, very hyper, and restless. Is anyone else having similar symptoms? I quit cold turkey because I am on lopressor for high blood pressure and to regulate my heart rhythm. If anyone would like to comment I would be glad to reply back. Who knows maybe it will be good to share feelings.

    • Mike May 16, 2016, 12:59 am

      Dear Rick, It’s courageous to be off Paxil for 2 weeks, but also painful & risky as you noticed. Your withdrawals are very intense and of course aggravated by quitting “cold turkey” after so long. Yes, I have experienced similar withdrawals (more than a decade of paroxetine) during and after tapering down in small steps over 3 months and went through hell all the same (retrospectively 3 months was way to fast).

      SSRIs change your brain chemistry and “down regulates” (loss of) serotonin receptors! Our brain’s can’t take such a sudden change and it is very painful & debilitating to quit an SSRI so fast (homeostasis heavily disrupted) in my experience. If you’re feelings stay so awful, I would go back “on” and tapper off slowly when circumstances are favorable.

      I hope your doctor will give you good advice with how to deal with the heart medication interaction.

  • Suzi May 10, 2016, 6:33 pm

    I was on Paxil for over 10 years. Stopped about a month ago and still don’t feel right. I feel a bit better. No more “brain zaps,” and the diarrhea has subsided, but I don’t feel like “me” yet. I feel like I could busy out crying a lot. I hope I feel better soon. It’s really a bummer.

  • JING May 7, 2016, 3:31 am

    Had Paxil 16 years and stable on 10mg daily dose. Now have to stop because I am pregnant. I am on day 2 and having all of the withdrawal symptoms, very tough life for me now. Can anyone tell me should I keep fighting or go back to a 5mg or 10mg small dose? I don’t want to harm my baby but all these horrible feelings are really killing me.

    • Mike May 9, 2016, 11:09 pm

      Jing, very sorry you are going through the Paxil hell after quitting 2 days ago. You wether you should “keep fighting” (all the withdrawal symptoms) because you don’t want to harm your baby, or “go back” to 5mg/10mg!? A great dilemma. You state “the horrible feelings are killing me” and you are experiencing the outrageous effects of the “withdrawal list” (top page).

      16 years (10mg) is a long time… and now that you feel so bad you probably suddenly realize that this tiny pill is strong since you are no longer “stable”! What a shock, I know from experience! You are not alone with this experience even though we go through the often very debilitating withdrawals individually. Basically, you will soon know and feel whether you can stand the “cold turkey” withdrawals, or whether you need to get back “on” and then decrease dosages like most of us that have received/took Paxil for a long time [without being aware of the “invisible” but dramatic changes it does to our bodies].

      IF the pains, high anxiety, no sleep, strong depression & suicidal thoughts get intense, then this is dangerous for you and the baby, no? THEN your intuition is correct, get stable on 5-8 mg ASP and then try to tapper off over a period of 1-3 months by finishing with “crumbs” or liquid Paxil; even that is a tough/painful challenge in which you will need support and being good to yourself. A more “comfortable” method would probably be to tapper off over a 1 year period… but being pregnant you don’t have that luxury. There is a way to healing so please stay hopeful!

  • Loretta May 4, 2016, 2:39 pm

    I went on Paroxetine 25mg ER back in march. I was only on for 5 days but felt like hell for four of them. On day 5 the doctor advised me to stop the meds (cold turkey). I haven’t been the same since. I have terrible anxiety/panic attacks depending on which doctor you talk to, diarrhea, fatigue. Not one of the doctors I have talked to associate this with the medication because I was on for a very short time. Can someone please tell me if it is still because of the meds and if there is anything I can do to ease the way I feel and how long it will last???

    • GLOOM May 5, 2016, 3:22 am

      Nobody can definitively (with 100% accuracy) tell you that what you’re experiencing is because of the Paxil… especially on an online forum. There are too many unknown variables. That said, you can probably figure out this answer for yourself.

      If you felt consistently similar prior to taking Paxil, took it for 5 days, stopped cold turkey – but suddenly experienced a myriad of new “symptoms” (that never previously occurred), what is the common denominator? (Hint: Begins with a “P” and ends with an “axil”). Did you make any other major changes other than using Paxil?

      If no other changes were made, you may want to consider that, although you only used Paxil for a short 5-day stint, residual effects can occur. A single dose of an SSRI is understood to alter brain connectivity within just a few hours of taking it; this is well documented. Perhaps your neurobiology may require a longer duration than suspected to normalize and/or rebound from the 5-days-of-Paxil.

      A healthy diet, exercise, proper sleep, and stress reduction may yield some benefit. However, none of this message can be considered a replacement for medical advice. We don’t know how long your symptoms will last or the ideal interventions to manage your condition. That said, wish you the best of luck en route to recovery.

    • Mike May 10, 2016, 12:14 am

      Loretta, 1 more reply confirming your experience, impressions about doctors and a sign of hope! Sorry for what you are going through at present! Thank God you only took Paxil for 5 days. Personally, I know how strong and hellish Paxil is. I would say that it is quite normal that you feel “anxiety/panic, diarrhea and fatigue” (3/25 withdrawal symptoms) after 5 days of Paroxetine 25mg (that is a serious dosage for your central nervous system).

      You state that doctors don’t associate your 3 awful symptoms with this medication! They only know this stuff from books that recommend SSRI’s for all sorts of “pathologies” (anxiety, compulsions, depression etc.) Yet, virtually no doctor knows what these pills really do to our brains, nor the hell we go through to try to quit Paxil – they have not experienced it!

      Seeing Paxil on the top of the list for the “discontinuation syndrome” may prompt doctors to admit that it is “uncomfortable” or “difficult”, but they basically have no idea/experience of what they are taking about! So don’t let anyone “downplay” what you think and feel, that you are exaggerating, or that your condition can’t be from the “antidepressant”. What you feel now is probably normal… even though you don’t feel normal ;-).

      You are right to think you “are not the same”… it is a scary experience to come off Paroxetine (it changes your brain chemistry and neural activity and structure). It is a biological & psychological ‘trauma’ to experience the effects of quitting Paroxetine! You will invariably remember it, but you can heal & recover from it since it was such a short “exposure”. You can even use it as an experience to improve your life.

  • K- April 28, 2016, 3:18 pm

    Hello! I have read a million comments about the withdrawal from Paxil and even experienced a lot of them on my own, but I wanted to post a message to say that this time around I am currently 10 days Paxil free and I’m doing OK. I went down to 5mg for about 3 months and then stopped taking it while starting vitamins in hopes to start a family in the near future.

    It hasn’t been a cakewalk, but it is possible. Not really many details to add, just wanted to add a good story out there since I understand the struggle and the desire to want to get this stuff out of your system. No one understands like those of us who have gone through it!

  • Sally April 24, 2016, 7:19 pm

    I have been reading for over an hour, all of the posts. I was on Paxil for about a year. I was put on it because I had an autoimmune problem in my mouth that caused me not be be able to eat and I was losing a lot of weight. I think my doctor put me on Paxil so I would gain weight, which I did. But oh my goodness! Who would have known how it made me feel like a zombie.

    Absolutely no emotion one way or another. Had to take an put my pup down and I didn’t shed a tear! I decided to get off. I went from 30 mg to 5 mg within about 6 mos. Finally after being on the 5 mg I quit! Have gone through all of the withdrawal symptoms. I was so angry and mean to my sweet husband. I am so glad he was understanding and just clammed up when I would get like that, except him being quiet made me angrier!

    Well it has been almost 4 months now. I still have a few zaps, some anxiety. I have heart palpitations so much of the time. I have found that I cannot tolerate much alcohol as it gives me insomnia and makes my heart race and pound hard. I also have to watch the caffeine for the same reason. I make it a point to get out and do some physical activity, right now I work in my yard.

    It really helps. I was hoping I would be pretty much done with the withdrawals, but I think it is going to take a while longer. I do say that life is getting better. God love all of you out there going through this. It is hell! I have a hard time even thinking why a doctor would prescribe this kind of drug! I have been on others and never have had such a terrible time getting off. Take each day and live in the moment.

  • Seema April 23, 2016, 3:34 am

    Quick summary as I have been posting before: I stopped paxil 5 weeks into my pregnancy. I am on my 19th week and am happy to report that I am feeling much better. All the crazy symptoms have almost gone. Sometimes, they come back but I am in much better control of my brain. It was an extremely rough and crazy journey but I am feeling much better. Have not completely healed but definitely not as crazy as before.

    I am not sure what my plan is for after my pregnancy. I will update for those who are pregnant and are struggling and also for those who have lost hope. There is hope. Lots of counseling, meditating and keeping yourself super duper busy will make your horrible days pass and eventually you will be as strong as ever.

  • Erica April 21, 2016, 4:36 pm

    I’m having a really hard time. The brain is buzzing and I feel confused. I just had an anger episode yesterday like no other. I scared and I’m all by myself. I’m not sure what to do. My friend is on her way over but then she has to go to work. And I can’t get my husband to stay home. I don’t have a car or phone. Any suggestions of what I can do?

  • Cathy April 16, 2016, 2:22 pm

    I am sitting here crying and feeling somewhat relieved reading people’s posts about coming off of Paxil. I have been on 30 mg of Paxil for about 20 years. It has been a life saver for me in helping me live my like without anxiety. I have been battling the battle of trying to lose weight for years now and began to think that the Paxil was inhibiting my ability to lose the weight.

    I thought I was ready to wean of the Paxil. I sought professional help and we talked about doing it slowly. I went from 30mg to 25mg to 20mg over about 2 months and I was doing good until I dropped to 15 mg and ALL the old anxious feeling came back with a vengeance.

    I am having trouble with my head feeling heavy, buzzing feeling, headaches, have to run to the bathroom and feeling like I am going to throw up. Focusing is difficult too. I am so frightened and just want to stay on Paxil for life and feel good.

    What do I do? I am sitting here crying and feel so alone. I’ve always been sensitive to how I feel – probably why I needed Paxil in the first place. Feeling frightened.

    • Mike (50) April 18, 2016, 12:35 am

      Dear Cathy, I feel with you… it’s normal your frightened now, it’s good to be sensitive – but being overwhelmed by this kind of anxiety/panic is unbearable and paralyzing. It’s also normal when weaning off too quickly (length & dosage dependent – and life circumstance dependent I would add)!

      It is so strange how many of us have been pulled into taking Paxil for a long time (even though we are normal human beings) and then see the bad side of it and want “out”. In your case mainly because of the weight gain. I understand your disappointment that did not entirely succeed your first quit attempt, that’s a good lesson learned.

      It’s also great that you think your ready to wean of Paxil, I assume your life circumstances are more stable than when you started!? Yet, to take only 2 months from 30-20 is too fast in my humble opinion. If your not too *traumatized* by painful withdrawal experience and still want to quit – then try to plan this “phase out” over a much longer period of 1-2 years please.

      Reducing very gradually by 5% so your brain can adapt and you can learn how to deal with fear again. The fear comes terribly intensely, because the drug “suppressed” and “plastered it” but the brain kicks backs” as we need fear/stress reactions to survive. So that’s my theory on why we feel so ridiculous intensity of fear that we never ever had before! “What do I do”?

      Try being stable on enough Paxil to keep you going, and then reduce again when your ready: very very slowly and with social support, rest, good food, exercise, massages against the muscles pains.. yep, it’s much worse than stopping smoking, but it can be done!

      I look forward to reading about your future progress! Doctors Breggin’s book on withdrawal helped me to stay clean even though I had quit to fast (3 months wean). Prayers to you…

    • Angela April 20, 2016, 12:52 pm

      Crawl back into bed and pamper yourself until you feel better… that’s what I am going to do… just started coming off after a year and a half. I have been on this roller-coaster ride before and I know it takes time. But it is worth it to get the poison out of our system. I cannot believe I went back on after swearing for years…never again.

      Vitamin B’s are very helpful with anxiety… so that may help… takes weeks (6) to really feel the benefits. But taper off the Paxil slowly… My Dr. had me doing 30 one day then 20 the next…to confuse my brain. So when I eventually stopped the 30s I didn’t notice. Perhaps you could do 20 /15 for a few months before dropping down to 15.

      Determination and prayer is definitely needed. Unfortunately the longer you are on Paxil the harder it is to come off. What is the alternative? I too gained weight… 30lbs in the 1.5 years I have been on it and it won’t budge. I wanted rid of the anxiety, but not at the cost of being obese, not being able to mourn the death of my father, or feel passion.

      It does take time but the withdrawals will eventually pass. Be good to yourself. You cannot expect to go about your life as usual – treat it like the serious condition it is and give yourself time and space to heal. Hang in there Cathy…all of you.

      • Mike April 21, 2016, 10:16 pm

        Angela, wise and caring advice… to us all, thanks! In order to contextualize your response and “success story”, how long did you take Paxil for and what dosage please? When you got off were your life circumstances stable (work/ finances, social life, etc.)? Right now I’m considering like going back on an SSRI (fluoxetine) even though this 2nd quit attempt has been lasting 1 year now.

        Circumstances are a bit bleak. Can I still attribute the depressive state (headaches, lack of energy & drive, motivation and hope) to withdrawals? The withdrawal were very overwhelming / traumatizing in themselves (the Paxil withdrawal hell some of us know were you are in bed with the “Paxil fever” and wished you didn’t live due to the various pains it brings). It is a shocking thing to go through those withdrawals!

        It shows the power of the drug… due to the withdrawals! When your on it you don’t realize your actually “addicted” and that the drug harms you alters your deep sleep, your sex life, your consciousness, feelings & perceptions subtly and insidiously. Once you are aware of that you are motivated to stay “off” even when Dr. says “you must take it for life, like a diabetic must take insulin”. We can heal due to neuroplasticity perhaps… all of you.

  • Annie Cao April 13, 2016, 9:50 pm

    I quit cold turkey 2 weeks ago (I wish I had known the withdrawal symptoms) I was on 20mg a day for 5 years to treat my server anxiety and I have gained 40 lbs. I’m tired all the time and I don’t want to do anything as socialize with anyone. I have been feeling extremely ill for the last 2 weeks, I even admitted myself to the ER, because all my muscles are so painful (both arms & legs) I have fever & flu symptoms like.

    When will all these symptoms end for me? I am a single mom, I work and I take care of my dementia mother, I also have a pre-teen daughter to deal with. I do not want to kill myself; however, I feel like I’m dying. I don’t know what to do. Can someone please help me?

    • Michael April 15, 2016, 10:11 pm

      Dar Annie, Of course “you are feeling like you’re dying” and going “cold turkey” after 5 years of 20mg/ day is not reasonable at all. It’s very dangerous! You probably did not know that you can not just quit Paxil after 5 years (unless you’re a super hero).

      Even someone who smokes 5 years can’t easily just quit without experiences huge side-effects. You won’t be symptom from free quick as you have a difficult situation: your a single mum and a mother that is very ill. Go back on 10-20mg and never mind about the weight gain now, this is about feeling suicidal… and you correctly write “I don’t want to kill myself”! Work with your doctor if you can please.

  • Steven April 9, 2016, 3:17 am

    Hi everyone, I was on Paxil 20mg for about 6 months and just went cold turkey about 3 weeks ago. I’m 24 years old and all I can say is the withdraw process has become the worst adversity of my life. Since the cold turkey I’ve gone to the hospital 3 times for having insane panic attacks. They gave me Ativan each time which helped but only for that one day.

    I’m hoping and praying this isn’t a long battle but this website has helped me realized I am not alone and gives me hope. I haven’t felt normal since coming off and I met with a doctor cause I’ve felt sick, I was throwing up, and they gave me Xanax to help me but I haven’t been taking them cause I don’t want to go through another withdraw.

    I’ve found taking some Benadryl which my doctor recommended has helped a bit especially at night, but it makes me feel sick in the morning. Truly the greatest withdraw symptom is the worsened anxiety. This anxiety I’ve never felt before, I have no reason to feel anxious but I do and it’s just the worst feeling ever. I just want to feel normal again.

    I’ve been praying every night hoping to feel normal again, but the temptation to just go back on it is strong because I got married 4 months ago, and my wife is seeing a whole new side of me – and it’s stressing her out immensely. Any feedback or suggestion on how to ease the anxiety! Prayers for everyone on this!!!

    • Michael April 15, 2016, 9:54 pm

      Dear Steven, as requested, here some feedback for you:

      I have felt exactly what you feel in terms of huge ANXIETY for no reason during withdrawal and beyond. I was on this deceitful drug (PAXIL) very long and free of it since 1.3 years now, but still struggling every day. You are lucky you have only taken it 6 months!

      It’s not “you” when your wife see’s this new side of “you”. If your wife loves you need to inform her carefully what is going on without overwhelming her. My wife stuck through the process courageously. Metaphorically the PAXIL “serotonin boost” somehow “pushes down anxiety” and actually stuns these feelings.

      Yet life / the brain needs some anxiety (stress) to live, so when you take off the heavy Paxil “lid” (pill) from the “kettle” ( brain) the brain pushes back even stronger! Suggested coping STRATEGY depending on how you feel (empirical):

      A) Ideally, try natural relaxing methods as you have; herbs, + sports, massage, baths, a trustworthy psychotherapist with whom you can talk about all your feelings and issues, sleeping more… and NO smoking, coffee, tee, Coca – as they can increase anxiety / stress!!

      B) Go back on a Paxil “maintenance” dosage of 10mg (try low entry) and then tapper off slowly (2-4 months increments). That will ease the pain. I recommend not reading to many horror story’s about Paxil, many story’s have multiple causalities and there are sometimes underlying issues that with withdrawals and SSRI damage create feelings of despair. So try not to be too scared about Paxil and be happy that you are aware of wanting to stop so early!! You are aware now that it’s a risky drug and temporary “solution”.

      “The Depression Cure” (Dr. Steven Ilardi) also gives healthy life style advice on youtube. Don’t expect miracles, it takes time and luck to be more stable again. Prayers to you too!!

  • Sue B April 5, 2016, 5:43 am

    Hi everyone: boy, I had NO idea that a website about the cons of Paxil existed! I’ve been taking 10 or 20mg for 15+ yrs and everytime I missed a few, my brain felt “funny”. But I never realized it was so dangerous. Last week I ran out of my prescription & didn’t realize it. So I called my Dr., only to find out he changed his phone number.

    I started to panic, but thought I would wait it out to see how I felt. My life is going much better now, so I don’t need an antidepressant. Well, I have experienced the “brain fog”, the confusion & difficulty concentrating. I also felt like my brain & body weren’t working together. However, I did okay at work, because I forced myself to pay attention…and I actually felt better.

    It’s been almost a week, and instead of panicking, I found this website. It made me feel so much better, I wasn’t losing my mind, I wasn’t alone. Thank the people who have made this info public. Because of what I’ve read, I’m going to try to stay off of Paxil. It will be hard, because I liked it.

  • Derek April 5, 2016, 3:25 am

    I have been on Paxil since I was in a car accident four years ago. I have post concussion syndrome which really effects everything you do. I’ve become almost a different person. Anyways I have to do whatever it takes to get healthy again, I’ve tried o many things. I don’t like the side effects from Paxil (I was currently on 40mg) and stopped cold turkey.

    I see exactly what you were saying with well everything. When I sleep I feel like I’m almost having an out of body experience it’s so weird but my major concern is the depression, anxiety and anger. I know it’s probably not the best move but I hate drugs and just want my life back. Derek

  • Lisa Beers April 3, 2016, 2:32 pm

    Coming off paxil 20mg and xanax because I found out I am pregnant! This is the worst thing. The sweats and feelings I am having are a complete nightmare. This is worse than the feeling of pregnancy itself. Mind you all I have 5 kids already. My youngest is 8 and oldest is 20. Talk about shock and now all of this no one said this would be so hard!

  • Melodie March 24, 2016, 10:18 pm

    Oh I am so happy to find this info about going off Paxil, I have been on it for 5 years and as of Jan 19th decided I wanted off. Cut my dose to 10mg from 20mg. I have been having hot flashes, vertigo, huge tears rolling out of my eyes for no reason, I have a great life! My body feels as if I was hit by a large truck. I have MS and was so worried I was having another attack or that it was just getting worse. Thank you all for the info on going off of this drug! God Bless all!! Happy Easter

  • linda March 24, 2016, 3:16 am

    I have been on Paxil for 2 1/2 years. After gaining upwards of 40 lbs, with no change in diet and continuing to work out as always… I decided to go off of it. I started with cutting it in half. Brain zaps, body aches, fatigue, sweating, nightmares, very vivid nightmares, dizziness, extreme crabbiness, LOTS of brain zaps!!… my arms ache, my legs ache, especially when climbing stairs, depression… did I mention BRAIN ZAPS??!!

    I am on week 2 of 1/2 a pill and am going to cut it down to 1/4 soon. The withdrawal symptoms, to me are worth it. The extreme weight gain for me, was not helping any anxiety or depression issues I was having!! I feel like the symptoms are easing, and then the next day Im flooded with more. I WILL get through this.

    I have to. I have a new grandson, my first, and I want to enjoy every minute with him. :) It bothers me a little when I read that I may take 3 months to feel normal again or even start to feel normal. But again, I will push on.

  • Karen Dougherty March 17, 2016, 6:26 pm

    I made a mistake I went cold turkey. I was on Paxil for 6 years. Its been almost 2 weeks now. I feel like a completely different person. My headaches, forehead and eyes are so sensitive. I feel like I have the flu, hot/cold, shakes, shivers, stomach ache. I cry and laugh at a drop of a hat. I felt angry/ violent, just toward myself. Thank goodness I have an understanding fiancee. I hate this. I drink Green Tea, it helps, lemon water too. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. It sucks, but I will never take Paxil again.

  • Andy March 16, 2016, 3:36 am

    Hi. I came across this page when searching aropax withdrawals. I have been on aropax for 3 years and am ready to come off of them. I would take 2 tablets a day and a month ago went to 1 tablet a day. Last week I took it to a half and I am getting headaches, sweating, dizziness, major mood swings and paranoia that everyone hates me. My wife wants me to go back onto 1 tablet but I really just want this out of my system. Any suggestions or ideas as to how long I should expect to feel this way?

    • Seema March 24, 2016, 11:27 am

      Honestly, I am pregnant. Been off it for 2 months now. Waiting for 1 more month to go to feel better. I am pretty miserable. Have crazy panic attacks and intense depression. Please stay strong. If you have decided, that’s great. Keep seeing a counselor and stop this once and for all. Makes me wonder am I really this crazy person or is it really just the meds? I was on it for almost 5 years. Stopped for first pregnancy only and I hope I continue to stay strong for this one, too. Wish us both luck!

  • Ashley A March 15, 2016, 12:24 am

    Hey guys. So I am in my third week of tapering and I am considering going back on it. I’m a mess!!! I’m angry, sad, hysterical, crying all the time, not sleeping, etc… I know these are the withdraw symptoms, but how do I know if it’s just not my body needing them to be happy and in control? I feel like I could explode.

  • Tamara March 13, 2016, 5:39 pm

    Was on pax for 2.5 months. Decided to quit cold turkey I just did not feel I needed to be in it any longer. Doc actually proscribed for 3 months. I have extreme fatigue. Could sleep all day. The worst is the headaches. I feel pressure and tension in my head. When will this go away? Been off for about 3 weeks now. Is there a time when the withdrawal symptoms are at their worst? I mean just before they get better and you start feeling yourself again.

  • Dianz Cadriel March 12, 2016, 9:04 pm

    I have found that for head zaps taking about 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda in water helps lots. Do not over do it cause can cause problems with blood pressure. My heart truly breaks from reading all comments. Was on Paxil 40 mg for 10 years, stopped cold turkey, at 4 weeks and has been hell. The one thing that helps me is that I am constantly praying, family support and venting like heck on Facebook.

  • Amy March 11, 2016, 5:37 am

    I’ve been on Paxil for 20 years, except during my pregnancies for my 2 boys. 40 mg. I’m almost 35. I’ve had almost all these symptoms. Throughout the years I’ve gone without it for a few weeks till I got a new refill and I have to say the “brain zaps” are horrible. Now it’s been about 2 weeks and I’ve had horrible physical symptoms.

    I still get the brain zaps here and there but now it’s mostly emotional. I could cry all day. I hold it in and cry a lot at night. I am absolutely exhausted. The worst part is the sudden anger. I keep it together all day, but when the evening rolls around I sometimes need to go sit alone and chill out. It used to be my favorite part of the day. I love cooking, working on homework with the kids and relaxing after a long day.

    The last week or so I have felt anger bubbling up for no reason during this time. I’m also convinced at times that I’m dying from cancer. It’s frustrating because cognitively I know it’s the withdrawal, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Also, the nausea. I’ve worked in Special Ed and as a CNA. I’ve changed more depends than you could imagine.

    I was making chicken stock the other day and I touched a chicken foot that had residue on it and I went and threw up. Yesterday I noticed the litter box needed to be changed as I walked by and I had to sit in the laundry room till my stomach settled down, then I ran up the stairs with my eyes closed. So not like me.

    • JING May 7, 2016, 3:19 am

      Hi Amy, do you have any withdraw symptoms during your pregnancy? I’ve had Paxil for 16 years on 20mg/daily and just find out I am pregnant (3 weeks ago). So I am off the medicine and the horrible symptoms are all coming out and are really tough. Not sure whether to keep fighting or go back to the drugs.

  • Tracy March 9, 2016, 9:49 pm

    Been on paxil 3 years. 40mg, and the psychiatrist has made me stop cold turkey as he thinks I have bipolar 2. One week in and feeling horrific, off work, the symptoms I have are to long to list. Got to do it though so they can assess my behavior to give correct bipolar meds. Already have a deep brain syndrome called MdDS, which I was talking the paxil for. Feel like I’m in severe hell!

  • allison March 7, 2016, 5:13 pm

    Currently going through the withdraw period. I stopped my Paxil almost one week ago. I was on it for almost 2 years (10mg) and prior to that I got pregnant and was on zoloft, which I quit when I found out I was pregnant. I went on the med for intense environmental induced anxiety and found myself battling with my mind. My environment changed so I made the decision to get off Paxil cold turkey.

    Day 3 through 5 have been the hardest. I mainly experienced vertigo, headaches, confusion, light sensitivity, fatigue, and find myself getting mad easily which I work through with the understanding “this too shall pass”. Today is day 6 and I woke up feeling pretty good!! I know it’ll take awhile to get “back to normal” but this med I truly believe gave me GI issues.

    I had several tests done with no diagnosis. Day 6 today, and I finally don’t feel like my colon is a big rock in my stomach. I hope to feel normal again soon but I will be patient. A life on prescriptions is just as safe as sticking a needle in my arm, which I don’t, and I’m ready to be healthy again.

  • Seema March 6, 2016, 2:30 pm

    I have been on Paxil for 5 years. I had to stop it during my first pregnancy but I barely took it for 3 months so it wasn’t that bad. After I stopped breastfeeding, I started taking it again. It’s been 3 years now. I am pregnant again and I am living HELL!!! Apart from wanting to kill myself, I want to even harm my child.

    I am losing it. I cry so much and am depressed out of my brain. I spoke to my psychiatrist and she suggested taking Prozac for a month and then tapering that off. Like seriously, I don’t even know where to run or what to do. Your experiences definitely help but wow this is torture!

  • Nigel March 5, 2016, 5:58 am

    It’s so comforting to read e everyone’s experience and read this article. My story is I was given paxil for very frequent panic attacks due to stress and unhappiness at work. Started 20mg and that worked v well to start but then went up to 40mgs because of constant conflict with my chef. Took 40 mgs for 1n half years now and now I no longer work in that terrible environment so… I tapered off by 10 mgs every 3 weeks.

    It’s been nearly 3 weeks since taking nothing and the side effects are awfully strong… Anger tantrums for No good reason eg. Doing shopping and a child’s whims made my blood boil until I felt near psychotic… Scary! Shouting at the TV, and also due to my lack of concentration and a million other small things. The zaps are so constant and frequent I’m a bit scared crossing roads in case I don’t notice what I should see normally as the zaps are so strong when moving eyes around from one side to another.

    NOW it’s currently 7:00am and have been up since 5am ish because I had a Huge panic attack while asleep. Had to wake up to be able to breath, scary as hell thought I ate something that poisoned me severely…but no thank God I remembered I have alprazolam. Whilst taking paxil I suffered from zero libido, emotional numbness and excess fat around belly and pecs (man boobs).

    I am convinced and staying the route to seeing this hell through to the end… I am NOT gonna lose this battle. I have tasted my old self for brief moments during the tapering phase. I AM HUNGRY TO RETURN TO NORMALITY. I deserve better and I dam well will get it! MY DETERMINATION I WISH TO YOU ALL, GOD BLESS !

    • Sherry March 8, 2016, 12:05 am

      I experienced HORRIBLE panic attacks after being off for 5 days.

  • Patti February 29, 2016, 6:02 pm

    I am grateful I found this website. My husband went on (paroxetine) paxil 20mg about a year and half ago for midlife crisis and anxiety. We couldn’t get a appointment with a psychiatrist so we went to his primary care doctor. My husband decided to go off his meds cold turkey without telling me in the beginning of November sometime 2015.

    He had no significant side effects that he really noticed except bad headaches and ringing in the ears occasionally. In January 2016 he started having head and face pressure everyday and a pounding headache on top of his head. He wakes up everyday feeling like he is hungover. He also got a bad cold with this which made it seem worst. We tried acupuncture, fish oil and magnesium.

    We went back to the primary care and he says it cant be from paxil withdrawal because he was on a low dose. He sent him for X-rays of his sinuses and head. No bad results shown. Next step is MRI and CAT scan. Has anyone else had these side effects? He has occasional anxiety and headache and head pressure daily. Somedays it gets a little better than other days. He is living on ibuprofen. Any help is appreciated!!!

  • Katie February 20, 2016, 10:46 pm

    So glad I found this website. I’m currently 16 and have been taking Paxil for about 8 months now, as well as another antidepressant for about 6 months. When I first had the medication prescribed to me I was in no way informed of what was to come. I was put on medication for severe anxiety and depression, though My doctor never really warned me about withdrawal symptoms or how the meds would affect my body.

    I stopped taking my antidepressants cold turkey 6 days ago and it’s been absolute hell. The brain zaps and nausea and sweats are definitely the worst of it, as well as the random crying spurts. My parents don’t even know I stopped taking my meds, since last time I did I ended up in the mental hospital. Someone PLEASE tell me that the withdrawal symptoms will go away soon. I wish I had of never started Paxil in the first place.

  • alycia February 11, 2016, 3:57 am

    I’m on day 6 of cold turkey on Paxil 60mg I’m sick, everything is spinning, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, can’t get out of bed. Is there an end to this? What can I do to help some of this? I just want it to end. I’ve been on it for 14 years.

  • Michelle February 8, 2016, 10:57 pm

    I was on Paxil for almost a year, decided last week that I really hate relying on any drug to make me feel better, so I stopped taking it. From all that I am reading here, I feel really lucky. The only few symptoms I’ve noticed is the vivid dreams even if it’s an hour nap, and I am slightly dizzy.

    Oh, and I don’t seem to want to eat as much. Happy to report that my mood seems to be fine, but I do work out frequently, and have planned activities that always have been pleasurable for me. Maybe it will hit me later, but thankfully I have my annual check up next week. Wish me luck!

  • Lisa February 3, 2016, 10:13 am

    Thank you for all the sensible advice because I AM AT MY WITS END TO GET OFF PAXIL… after a small cutback I feel dizzy, nauseous, shaky, angry and tearful all at once. I feel like someone has stolen my brain and I want it back. I’m normally pretty placid but feel like telling the world to get f$&ked right now. Thank you for reading… I appreciate the opportunity to vent!

  • Kate February 2, 2016, 7:10 pm

    At first, I started cutting back because I didn’t think I needed it and wanted to know the “real me” as I have been on a few different ones over the lasy few years. I thought, wow, this is a piece of cake… then it happened. All of a sudden, I am a miserable mess. Flying off the handle randomly, alienated a friend, almost ended my relationship, constant crazy crying spells, having to literally force myself out of bed.

    I am certain people at work are just flat out avoiding me. I can’t control it and it’s AWFUL. Exhausted, can’t sleep, no motivation to do anything… and I just feel like an awful person period. I may not be Miss Bubbly but this withdrawal makes me into a MONSTER.

  • Senta January 28, 2016, 3:52 am

    Thank you guys for sharing!! I’m only early days of going cold turkey AND I’m also detoxing as I abuse alcohol too!!! It’s not a very nice experience… The worst for me is the electric cattle prod I feel shot through my messed up nervous system. It’s probably the thing I hate the most… So I hope it goes soon.

    I can handle the depression/anger/mood swings as these were all still present whilst on this horrible drug. No idea why I decided to go cold turkey on both these drugs at the same time but it feels like it’s too late to go back. But I feel stronger and more secure after reading everyone’s feedback… One day at a time…

  • jrb January 27, 2016, 8:28 pm

    I have been on paxil less than a year to help with menopausal hot flashes which indeed it has helped. I took Zoloft years ago to assist with some depression. I was able to stop it cold turkey no problem. I stopped taking the paxil five days ago with a little hesitation about the hot flashes not medication withdrawals.

    I had no idea. I’ve never experienced any medication withdrawals. Let’s see, I’m having vivid weird dreams and restlessness all night, horrible vertigo, nausea, headaches, ringing in ears, swoosh or some noise when I move my eyes. I googled about the eye noise and it’s not just me. I feel fatigued and flu like. I haven’t felt any mood swings and pray I don’t.

    I probably should have called the doctor and weaned myself off. I just never imagined all the withdrawals. I never even googled or worried about it until I was so sick with vertigo today. It started a couple days ago but has only gotten worse. I have caught myself thinking maybe I should take half of the prescribed 40 mg.

    But I’m like so many of you after reading your posts. I want off. I’ll find another way to deal with my hot flashes! This is too high a price.

  • Abigail January 25, 2016, 10:20 pm

    I was on Paxil 40mg for about nine months for depression. I decided to go off of it about three weeks ago and tapered off but not slow enough. I have been completely off for one and a half weeks. I have been miserable!! Mostly stomach and brain zaps/dizziness issues but it has been horrible.

    I never have diarrhea and have been having it. I’m afraid to eat anything. I also cry very easily which I never really cried while taking Paxil. I’m exhausted and just worn out. Thankfully the head issues went away but still stomach issues. I just want to feel better!!!

  • Rob January 19, 2016, 10:34 pm

    Hi. Just found this link and had a eureka moment. I literally thought I was one of a few people to suffer with the side effects of these mind numbing spirit crushing drugs. In a nutshell I didn’t have the greatest start in life and had a tough time when I was younger. I went to my doctors at about 18 years old as a last resort and plea for help.

    Little did I know that as oppose to any kind of therapy or genuine help he would actually just whip out a prescription pad and start my journey to hell. Over the years I’ve had just about every side effect imaginable and after being started on Setraline am now on Paroxetine. Had anger that would make the Incredible Hulk look timid, had the severe dark depression, utter despair, nightmares and at times felt literally suicidal.

    Years later despite a bad start in life I’m now married with a beautiful baby son and live a relatively normal life with the exception of still being chained to these drugs and the horrible side effects. Determined to come off them. A book called “your drug may be your problem” by Peter Breggin has given me some useful pointers and after 10+ years at 40mg I’ve been dropping down slowly but surely.

    I’m now down to 30mg. I purchased a pill cutter on Amazon and dropped to 35mg for 6 months and will do the same at 30mg and so on all the way down to 0mg one day. Thank you to everyone that took the time to write on here and I genuinely wish you all the best. -Rob

  • panthea January 18, 2016, 5:34 pm

    Let me quote Lynn, “If I had known what I was getting into, I would have never started Paxil.” I am writing from Iran, where people are dealing enough with the toughest problems in daily basis, however, Paxil withdrawal came to me tougher than nearly most of other hardships around the pain was both mental and physical while the latter was even tougher with head zaps and a unique experience like my brain was moving inwards left to right by every slight change in position from right to left (I would call it zero-g or elevator shake); it happened even when I performed the normal behavior of breathing before I fell asleep…

    I cut off my intake from 20 mg down to 10 last year which was followed by some 5 mg dosage for 2weeks since December 2015, then I removed it totally from LIFE. I have been off paxil for 2 weeks now and the topsy-turvy thing in my head is gone, yet I have a feeling like something else is not going off well again, as if my brain (when modeled by an electronic board) is missing some required material to feel normal… I cannot find the word, as if it is malfunctioning, or it’s not CALM it’s not peaceful.

    Why did I not visit the psychiatrist who prescribed it 2 years ago in order to ask him taper the procedure? Good question. BECAUSE he did not LIKE to do that. And every time I went to his office, I had to pay 10 dollars to beg him DOCTOR PLEASE take me off that pill, while he was quite ignorant to “my demand”. I am so sad and sorry for myself I have this message to psychiatrists around the world – SHAME ON YOU.

    YOU sit in your office and prescribe addictive medicine for people who don’t have enough information about SSRI family (and other medical treatments) people who surrender to you and let you decide on their behalf because they imagine you might help them get better. Shame on YOU. That’s for money, isn’t it! That’s all. The brain works through a chemical-electrical procedure based mainly on neurons for stimulation of the adjacent cells, hence the transmission of the “message” between every two neurons.

    This happens through dendrite-dendrite or dendrite-axon wiring, which include ion channels on their length. At rest, while the neuron is not stimulated enough to trigger a pulse, sodium vs. potassium/calcium, etc… ions have a specific pattern of distribution around the channel membrane (i.e., + inward and – outwards). This balance is violated by signaling of the “message” when you cut the medical treatment off the brain, it needs time to habituate to the new volume of ions, their distribution, and volume of neurotransmitters secreted in the gap between each two neuron.

    Whether it would EVER feel easy with this tremendous change, is what I don’t know.

  • Mariah January 11, 2016, 9:04 am

    It is so comforting to read the below. I have been on Paxil 20 mg for the past 3 years, and have started to to reduce the dose 6 months ago as per my doctor’s instructions. It has been going great, until this week. I reduced the dose to 5mg every 2 days as per his instructions, and all of a sudden I feel down, very demotivated, and exhausted.

    I am getting the feeling of being detached from my body and the flu-like symptoms as well. I am exercising every day, but still suffering from insomnia at night. I really hope this goes away quickly, I can’t wait to get back to normal life.

  • Sharon Sojourner January 10, 2016, 9:46 am

    Withdrawal is frightening and plain sucks. I ran out of paroxetine on the Monday. I thought I had a script so was going to get it filled on Tuesday. Went to chemist and found it was in fact not a script. Had to call doctor and ask for a script. Takes 48-72 hrs to get one. I worried a bit because I tried to ditch the drug once before and found it extremely disabling so stayed on it.

    Turns out I couldn’t get the repeat script before Monday so now 8 days off the drug. cold turkey. Can’t even explain the anguish the stupid thing is causing me. However at least now after reading the article you wrote I now know what all these symptoms are. I am having them all. Crazy psychotic dreams (ugly dark ones), not sleeping, flickering eyes, and vertigo. I feel like “waves” role through me.

    It is horrid. But now it is day 8 and I am NOT going back on it. Bugger that. What a nut-job of a drug. Coming off near kills you and the side effects or withdrawal symptoms are worse than the reason you get put on it to begin with. How crazy is that! Downside is I am studying full time and on prac. Bit scary. I will be very mindful and careful of what I am doing. I feel the effects but won’t allow them to control me as I know what the cause is. Thank you for the article and God Bless all of you going through this.

  • Julie January 9, 2016, 12:54 pm

    I was on Seroxat (paroxetine) 30 mg for 25 years and recently was switched to Sertraline, transitioning over a 2 week period during which I was told to take more of the Sertraline and less of the paroxetine each day. It was no problem at all in the short term. None of the acute side effects previously experienced even when missing one dose of the paroxetine. Too good to be true? Yes!

    Six months later and now up to 150mg Sertraline, I am unable to function or do my job as I am completely knocked off in terms of cognitive function. Zero short-term or working memory, constantly repeating myself, asking the same questions over and again, confused, disorientated, unable to drive as cannot focus or concentrate at all. My mood is worryingly low and got the first time in many, many years I have had thoughts of ending it all as I just cannot bear feeling so depressed and for no actual reason.

    I am like a zombie. I just cannot function or complete even the simplest of everyday tasks. Either I have dementia setting in or a brain tumor developing or (realistically far more likely), all of these things are a consequence of the change in medication – side effects of my new drug or withdrawal effects from the swift, removal of the paroxetine! Has anyone been on paroxetine as long as I have been?

    Has anyone else come off the drug in the way I was told to do? Has anyone else lost their ability to function as quickly as I have done? This must most logically, surely be related to the rapid withdrawal from such a powerful drug and/or side effects of the new drug, or even a combination of the two?!

    My GP is unable to decide what now to do for the best but I am now unable to do my high level job and stand to lose my career! Any advice from anyone that has encountered similar symptoms or a similar withdrawal schedule ? Im desperate for advice. Thanks!

  • Peter January 8, 2016, 10:18 pm

    I was on 30 mg of Paxil for almost a year gained 50 lbs! I recently tapered of slowly from 30 to 25, etc. My last dose was a few days before Christmas! I am getting severe chest pains is this a common withdrawal? I just saw my PK he told me to stick it out for another 2 weeks?

  • Maureen January 8, 2016, 6:55 pm

    Have taken Paxil for a few years in hopes that it would help me with Depression/Anxiety and PMS and life stressors that ran high. I was never able to take recommended dose, 20 mg.. My system could not tolerate it- made me to tired. I managed to stay on 10 mg for over a year. As I started to do my own research on this medication, I realized that it was not working for me.

    The Dr that prescribed me this was not my G.P. He guaranteed this was the best med and he even bragged about how much it helped one hid other clients. What he didn’t tell me was how it can affect people differently and that coming off this med, is hell! When I shared my concerns with my GP, she had informed me that she would have never suggested this med for me. Mind you this a year after I had already been on it.

    So began my journey of getting off this med. Made many attempts to ween myself off, all which had failed because of the withdrawals. My second to last attempt I ended up in a Hospital for a week bring my levels back to stable me out. Did though, at my request, have a Gene Sight Test done. (Mouth swab test to determine which meds your system will tolerate and utilize better). Well not to my surprise that Paxil, among many other SSRIs were on the list of extreme caution!!!

    By this time I was seeing a Psychiatrist and going to weekly counseling. I was determined to get off this med with several attempts and a fear so intense about the withdrawals, my doctor prescribed a liquid form that I come decrease in as little as 1/2 mg if need be. Managed to go decrease by 2 mg per week, which seemed rather quickly for me. It took me 5 weeks to get off 10 mgs. I managed to be go to work and function half-assed.

    List of withdrawals for me: Anger!!!, Anxiety, Confusion, Crying spells, Decreased Appetite, Headaches, Glitches and Zaps, Fatigue, Hypersensitivity!!!, Hypochondria, Mood Swings, Nausea!!, Panic Attacks, Poor Concentration, Slowed Thinking and Body Movement, Depression, Suicidal thoughts… Hope I got them all!!! All the while I was taking low doses of Ativan for the anxiety and anger and L-theanine 100-200 mg doses up to 3 times a day for calming down.

    I have been off Paxil for several weeks and have been going down hill for the last month or so. My Naturopath believes that I need a to take a med on my list of approvals!!! Scared sh*tless to try something new. Pristiq was on the top of the list as well as Fetzima. Well called into work 2 days in a row due to physical symptoms and low tolerance for anything that I have always done before.

    So funny that I’m going on and on about all this. This has been what I call my prison for the last year!!! By the way I also have been using an acupuncturist and masseuse. Just started 5-HTP today in hopes that it with help with my transition. Just recently lost my health care, could not have been at a worse time. Thanks for all your input and support during this period in my life.

  • Jaz January 8, 2016, 4:55 am

    I’m going off 40mg of paroxetine and on to a low dose of another medication as paroxetine was no longer working for me. I feel sick, dizzy, my heads heavy, my neck aches, and I’m so exhausted but can’t sleep. It’s awful and I wish I could feel normal again.

  • Nina January 6, 2016, 10:20 am

    Wrote about a week ago about how this site saved my life after five days of withdrawal cold turkey from the paxil, Xanax, requip, trazadone and others. Everything was magnified by 10-thousand times more because you can’t stop the other pills abruptly either. Well it’s been two weeks now and I am feeling a little better, probably because I got my Xanax refilled and the other meds.

    The dizzy spells, anger, dry mouth, itching, etc. have almost disappeared, but I still get terrible dreams but I always had. I am still angry because of falling twice hurting my right knee then my right foot due to the dizzy spells. The second fall came with a brain zap and a dizzy spell together. It took me ten minutes to get up and I still can’t walk on my foot. I was not concerned about the dizzy spells because I have three bleeding ulcers and dizziness is a side effect and I have to be admitted to the hospital for blood transfusions.

    But since stopping paxil the dizziness and nausea have subsided. I wish a of you luck and will keep you in my prayers. Remember it will get better. When I was out of all my pills for those five days benadryl helped a little so now it is always in my house. Now I am afraid what will happen if I quit the Xanax suddenly. That’s another website and I already read it. Good luck everyone and thank you for saving my life by sharing your hellish stories.

  • Mike January 4, 2016, 6:40 pm

    I tapered off of 30 mg daily over a six week period. I did well down to 10 mg. I started getting slight withdrawal symptoms. At 5 I got significant withdrawal and now I’m off totally a few days and it’s severe. Brain zaps mood swings etc. This is hell and I am trying to find some relief. Any suggestions?

  • Robbin January 2, 2016, 1:34 am

    I am trying to get my 19 yr old daughter with cerebral palsy and cognitive disorder off this terrible drug. We are tapering her off and still terrible side effects. Worst one is insomnia. She has maybe slept average 2 -3 hrs a day overpast 5 days. I’ve give her melatonin but not much relief. Has anyone used anything else with good results?

    I feel so terrible for her, especially because she doesn’t understand. All these pharmaceutical companies and doctor’s prescribing this drug should burn in hell… they obviously have no conscience. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Another Dr. suggested Ativan. Don’t know about that plus not keen on giving her more prescription meds. Thanks and God Bless all others out there going through this.

  • Lola January 1, 2016, 9:24 pm

    I started taking paxil about 3 months ago after years of suffering from depression and severe anxiety, culminating to a profound panic attack which left me unable to work. First my GP prescribed 20mg of paxil and suggested I see a psychiatrist who then upped the dose to 40mg, never once did either of these Dr’s explain the withdrawal symptoms as a risk for taking this medication. At the time I started taking them I really didn’t care much about side effects as I figured I was already in the worst shape I had ever been in and I just wanted to get out of that hell and begin to feel better.

    And it has helped to the point I felt better then I started to get lax about taking my meds consistently, especially around Thanksgiving when I had a week off. Well on Thanksgiving I was so sick I couldn’t even eat or enjoy time with my family. I was dizzy, confused, forgetting my words, nauseated, tired and more, but at that time I had no idea why. A few days later I got even sicker, sore throat, trouble swallowing, night sweats, etc.

    I got back to my regular routine which included taking my meds again once I went back to work, slowly the aches and pains went away. I work for a school system and we went back on holiday break and again I’ve been lax with taking my meds the last two weeks. I’ve had some bouts of dizziness, foggy days, tiredness, body aches, etc. but I still hadn’t put two and two together as to why. Then yesterday I almost lost it completely.

    I went stark raging mad because the cashier at walmart overcharged me 12 cents! When I shared the story with my family they all laughed, like seriously it’s 12 cents… and part of me recognized how much I was overreacting to that 12 cents, but I couldn’t stop being angry. As well I’ve done a little drinking since I’ve been on vacation (I am on vacation, and it’s the holidays) so the times I’ve felt dizzy and nauseated I just thought well maybe I drank to much, but I’m really not a drinker so I’ve had a few beers at most.

    Last night was New Year’s Eve, I had two beers and was sleep by 11:30, I woke in a sweat around 1 to realize I slept through the festivities and would have stayed sleeping if I hadn’t been awoken by the dripping sweat (mind you I’ve been keeping my thermostat at 65 to avoid the sweaty nights.) But when I got up this morning I was so dizzy and feeling so weird, I couldn’t even make coffee. I just knew it couldn’t have been the two beers. So it wasn’t until this morning that I put two and two together, my dizziness mood swings and other ailments… that it might be withdrawal symptoms making me feel so weird.

    I Googled it and came across several sites like this, with others expressing the same sort of symptoms and now I know exactly what’s got me feeling crazy: Paxil Withdrawal! I think I’ve taken my meds like 3 days in the last 2 weeks. So after realizing this is most likely the cause of my crappy feelings, I took my meds this morning. I had already decided that I wasn’t going to stay medicated for long and decided I would go off the paxil closer to the end of the school year, and that’s still the plan especially after reading the hell I can look forward to.

    But since reading these posts, I now have a better understanding of how important it will be to begin tapering sooner rather than later, as the symptoms I’ve already experienced may only get worse and might last for some time. My goal is to be completely off by the start of the next school year and I won’t be trying it cold turkey. Thanks to everyone who’s shared here.

  • Nina December 30, 2015, 8:22 am

    Came off paxil, Xanax, requip, trazodone all at once not by choice but because of the long holiday weekend, my pharmacy didn’t deliver until Monday. I gave up driving due to severe dizziness and falling twice hurting my right knee first then right right. I know there is damage to them but it did not seem to matter. My car is also eight months past due inspection.

    I knew the withdrawal would start but had no idea I was about to enter hell! I was on all these pills plus too many more to mention. I am disabled and have a sympathetic doctor who was only try to help. I have three bleeding ulcers, anemia, migraines, herniated disc etc. Plus I am the caregiver of my 86 year old mother who has dementia. I suffered from panic attacks for 10 years. All these problems were nothing compared to withdrawal.

    I had all the symptoms everyone wrote about regarding the evil paxil. Had I not found this website five days into withdrawal from the paxil and the other pills I don’t believe I would have made it. I found a few Benadryl and ambien that helped calm me a little and I would check on my poor mother every 10minutes because I got it in my head she was dead. Her having dementia I had to keep reminding her it was the withdrawal and panic attacks.

    By Monday I got my Xanax, Requip and Zanaflex delivered, but not the paxil. I feel a little better but due to money problems I have to ration these pills out. Thank God for your site and everyone who shared. I now know what that head zaps, nausea, dizziness, more severe panic attacks, etc. were coming from. Hopefully I will get back on track, get my car inspected and get my busted knee and foot looked at.

    I blame this on the paxil and the paxil withdrawal. All of you who contributed to this site and shared you stories saved me. I thank you and will keep you in my prayers. Sorry if I rambled but it’s 3:15 am and my thoughts are still scattered. I think I am afraid to sleep because the ambien doesn’t always work and the room spins when I first lay down then comes the head zaps.

  • Jennifer December 28, 2015, 9:06 pm

    I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their experiences. Without these types of forums, I think this withdrawal would have gotten the best of me. I’m only 3 weeks in and the anger, mood swings, and nausea is a daily battle that I cannot wait to be rid of. I try my best to recognize when my temper is flaring and when I’m not acting myself and do my best to correct it.

    My motto is fake it til you make it lol. I’m taking it one day at a time and hoping that one day soon, I will feel well again. It scares me that a medication alone can cause this much turmoil but it reinforces my decision to discontinue my use. Best of luck to everyone and here’s hoping our light at the end of the tunnel appears sooner rather than later!

  • Derp December 27, 2015, 6:28 pm

    (22M) I have taken 10mg paxil for almost a year now, the last 3 months of which I have been trying to get off of the drug. My thinking, memory and concentration have been impaired so strongly that even though you stated users will go back to normal, it is hard for me to believe. I would have never taken it if I had known this would happen.

    • Derp April 26, 2016, 12:04 am

      Update: I switched to citalopram trying to taper off SSRI’s alltogether and have done so successfully with relative ease. My cognitive abilities have been restored as well.

  • Joanne December 23, 2015, 11:23 pm

    Hi everyone. Well, I didn’t realize I am actually a drug addict until this week… and I’ve really appreciated reading about people’s experiences, it has really helped me, thank you. I started this July 20mg a day, after really bad anxiety building up for years so that I couldn’t stop crying; I couldn’t stop and go off sick from work, what with two kids, one with skin problems and a phobia, and house to look after.

    Dr said it would take a couple of weeks to feel the effect but on the first day it was like when Bob Hoskins goes into Toon Land in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, like I was stoned and couldn’t cry, brilliant. By the end of October I thought I’d had enough of needing so much sleep and being dozy in the evenings so, after feeling positive and a few drinks, decided to stop. Was worried about building up a resistance.

    Two days later after horrendously disturbing frightening dreams (previously vivid dreams which I’d spend ages thinking about the next day) back to the doc’s and alternating 20mg and 10mg each day, after a month onto 10mg now for a week (I’m English, live in England so I’m not sure if there are any other doses available). I supposed it’s helped me take a step back from all the problems, but I think it has blocked my reactions off and when it’s taken away I will just go back to how I was before with all the anxiety.

    So has it been worth it? It’s like swapping one set of problems for another! The dreams that make me feel alone and scared and worried about sleep, prickling all over my legs, lump feeling back in my throat, waking up soaking with sweat. When I first started taking them I thought I was hearing the wind around the house every night, I guess that was because of the tablets. I stopped smoking years ago with Allan Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking and it was a doddle, only 2 weeks for the nicotine to get out of your system, so I’m trying to think on these symptoms as positive that my body is adjusting to different dosage of the drug.

    Also going to carry on learning EFT (tapping) and yoga which haven’t felt like doing, which was strange! Any advice gratefully received, thank you.

  • Cesca December 21, 2015, 9:13 pm

    I am now on day 9 of withdrawal, I started tapering about 3 months ago slowly slowly from 20 mg down to 5 mg and now cold turkey. I had been on them for 25 years! Originally they wanted me to start on 40mg but I never took that much thank goodness. Tapering definitely helped me for the past few months as before I couldn’t even go 36 hours without severe dizziness if I didn’t take one.

    I am pushing on without but it is tough. The hardest thing is the mood swings. I’ve been teary, angry, anxious and moody, it’s tough on my children and partner, as well as me! I’m determined to do it though this time. Tried many times before but failed, but didn’t taper before! Just hope the withdrawal symptoms go soon so I can finally get on and enjoy the rest of my life!

  • Eva December 10, 2015, 6:09 am

    I was on paxil 12.5 mg for 25 days and stopped cold turkey. I’m facing hell right now: terrible headaches, severe neck and back pain, generalized body aches, diarrhea, brain zaps, lost of appetite, etc. I will never get close to that dreaded drug again. I’m on 4th day off paxil and withdrawal symptoms are terrible.

  • melissa December 3, 2015, 11:27 pm

    I was on 30mg for 3 years. I decided life was caer now and I don’t need it. My Dr told me take 20mg for a week then drop it to 10mg for a week then stop. Today is my 3rd day at the 10 mg. I am not really feeling anything but a small headache and slight confusion. I hope this is it but I am a bit nervous after reading all these comments! Is it too soon for side effects?

  • Anne November 20, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Hi! I am trying to come off of a 50mg dose of Paxil. 50mg was too high for my body and I did not realize it until I was several months into the 50mg dose. I was so anxious having this feeling of crawling out of my skin. It was really awful now that I don’t feel like that! I am now down to 20mg after tapering 5mg at a time. Luckily I have an amazing doctor that allows me to do what I need to do to try to get off of this medication.

    However, now that I’m down to 20mg my anxiety and panic are through the roof! (This is what I was originally put on this medication for.) I am having debilitating anxiety!! I am also extremely worried about everything, a problem for me before SSRIs. My doctor prescribed me Lamictal as well although I do not have seizures or bipolar disorder. I suppose she’s using it as a mood stabilizer, an off label treatment option. Still, anxiety is crazy.

    I have not had a problem with depression really ever…just anxiety. ‘Brain zaps’ were also a huge problem for me, causing me to need to taper up and wean more slowly. I, too, became pregnant while taking this medication. Instead of going off of all SSRIs like I had for my 2 pregnancies before, I elected to take Prozac. Hard to switch but worth it!! I, however, liked Paxil better and switched back after my son was born because it was safe for breastfeeding. I feel like I’ll never get off this stuff…UGH

  • KG November 19, 2015, 8:32 pm

    Hello everyone, Thought I’d contribute my experiences in case it helps others coming off Paxil. I was on 20mg for 12 years, tried to stop taking it many times but stomach upset and weight loss due to lack of appetite and nausea always drained my determination to the point where I went back to the medication. Difficult is not the word to use when trying to explain the process of stopping paxil, I am sure each of us here can relate to this at a very deep level.

    To get off this med you need to have very strong personal motivation, keep this goal in sight as much as possible through your withdrawal, I wasn’t able to do this everyday but kept refocusing when I felt somewhat better. I am now at 10 weeks completely off paxil, some days are not good, some OK, and occassionally some almost seem darn good. An upward trend seems to be appearing more often lately. Just don’t give up! Do your utmost to tough out the bad days by keeping your personal goal visible.

  • Phil November 17, 2015, 4:11 pm

    I have been on Paxil for 2 years and decided to come off of it as I was becoming alcoholic. I just could not control myself. I had to have a drink. I stopped Paxil over a week period and the brain zaps were pretty horrible for the next month. So much so that I swore to myself that whatever happens to me, I will never ever go back on this medication.

  • Kim November 14, 2015, 9:59 pm

    I have been on paxil for 9 years. I came off it 3 years ago, only to have to be put back on it. This last 3 months I tried again. And have been paxil free for 2 months cold turkey, without any horrible side effects! And I feel good! Does anyone know how that happened? When I came off the first time, the withdrawal was horrible and the symptoms… I could not function. I was on 12.5 mg Paxil.

  • Joe November 3, 2015, 12:09 am

    I took paxil for about 5-6 years as a teenager, till I was eighteen, of a dosage I can’t quite recall. About that time I stopped taking the medication on my own, cold turkey, without telling my parents or my psychiatrist. I experienced depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and most of the other symptoms listed here. After telling my parents, they were happy I had decided on my own that the medication wasn’t helping, but the symptoms of withdrawal may have contributed to a decision to delay college. I’d appreciate it if anyone could point me toward more information about teenagers and paxil.

  • Deenie November 2, 2015, 7:55 pm

    9 years on 20mg. Initially prescribed for PTSD and anorexia nervosa. Situation changed (divorced the problem) and not so traumatized and anxious and OCD as I was being in the relationship. Perfectly happy, but realized the 40+ pounds was directly related to the drug. No longer in the stressful environment, I have asked the doctor to take me off… They wanted me off in two weeks (tapering 10mg to 5mg). That has been impossible.

    I chose the ‘liquid’ route and tapered my self off .5mg every day and am now at cold turkey (after 30 days). I am nauseated. I have a constant headache and ringing in my ears. My brain feels like it is floating in my skull. I am sweating/hot flashing/sweating. The more I come off this sh*t, the more I am determined to get my brain back. Being able to read that this is real and not imagined has been very helpful. Knowing that I am not going crazy… Thank you everyone for sharing.

    • Joanne December 23, 2015, 11:26 pm

      I hope you are doing well. Best wishes.

  • Karen November 1, 2015, 12:27 pm

    I was on Paxil for one year, starting at 20mg and finally on 40 mg given to me by my regular doctor. She also referred me to psychiatrist. I started EMDR therapy To get relief from memories of childhood rape, anxiety, depression. I can’t tell you how important this part is. The combination saved my life. Since I had finally dealt with my past, I was ready to come off the drugs. (I had self medicated with alcohol for years and was sober when starting Paxil). I tapered off September 14-October 5. The withdrawal started immediately all the things mentioned, some days I didn’t think I would make it.

    I figured the quicker I got it out of my system the better. Here I am 4 weeks after my last dose, it has been ridiculously crazy. Music is the only thing that got me through, play it loud! My son gave me an old iPhone and loaded my CDs on it. Thankfully, I can use it at work most of the time, as I seriously felt like I was gonna lose my f’n mind. Here is where the old hippie in me comes out, maybe from listening to all my music from the 60-70s: I have to wear comfortable clothes as my skin seems super sensitive, I started putting coconut oil in my coffee and it really helped my brain function.

    I carry an amethyst in my bra, it gives me comfort and helps me stay sober. I got a semicolon tattoo with music notes surrounding a butterfly to remind me every time I look at it, that I could have ended my life story, but only paused, and have made it through! A healer told me the vibes you send out are the kind you receive. I try to project positive thoughts sending out love to those around me, my dogs, the homeless person on the side of the road, anyone that may need it.

    This has helped me retrain the path my mind takes to stay away from depression and anxiety. I found my long lost faith and have been able to begin to pray again, (picture little David with an angel holding a sword standing behind him as he beats Goliath)!! I think I am through the hardest part, but the massive headache remains, never goes away 24/7. Sending peace and healing, I hope you find what helps you.

  • Jean October 26, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I am better. It’s week 5 I think? It is better BUT, I still am an angry little nematode ALL the time. I am frustrated to the point of utter madness over, well NOTHING. Nothing. I just can’t seem to bring up my coping skills for any reason whatsoever. I will say that I took people’s advice and started Omega-3 Fish Oil and Tryptophan. I actually did better OFF of that. I forgot to take it one day and felt so much better I just stopped.

    The Tryptophan is OK at night, but I think the other actually made it worse. If anyone has suggestions about this mad thing I’ve got going on, I’d love to hear them. I’m praying that this is not the “new me” and it’s going to last forever. I keep looking back and asking myself if I was like this before the Paxil, and I wasn’t, so I’m hoping it passes.

    BTW, the is anyone else experiencing their family and friends saying, “Perhaps you feel this way because of lack of meds…” as if feeling ANYTHING is a crime now. (Some of my anger is justified. The difference is that now I just don’t passively let people walk all over me.) I still would like to hold the CEO of this company in a room and make him take this crap for a year then watch him go through this. Maybe then he’d care a little more. Although, I doubt it.

  • Linda October 25, 2015, 10:27 pm

    A Google search brought me to this page, when I wondered why I feel so sleepy when I take my 20mg even a few hours later than usual. As I read the list of withdrawal symptoms, it dawned on me that I’ve been having withdrawal symptoms for about a year, even though I haven’t changed a thing! I’ve also stopped noticing whether it’s even still doing anything for me. Obvs something to bring to my doc, I just wanted to throw in on this discussion so that I can easily find this thread again. Tapering sounds scary as hell.

  • Shannon October 23, 2015, 11:00 pm

    I’m happy to hear of your positive progress, Mona. She has some helpful advice, and I’m sure if you guys are anything like me, you’re willing to try almost anything if it will help! Vitamin B, fish oil, gonna try magnesium, all good. Also check out Dr Claire Weeks’ work as Mona advised, it leads to valuable info on handling anxiety and panic attacks. A huge help for me to cope with the never-ending, random anxiety! 7 weeks paxil free!

  • John October 21, 2015, 7:27 pm

    I’m 19, I was on Paxil for about 11 months on and off, not thinking about my own mental health whatsoever, thought it didn’t matter, didn’t think it was doing anything to me. Now I can’t even get out of bed without thinking that it has caused permanent brain damage and that I am going to be this way for the rest of my life.

    It has caused me to lose my friends, drop out of my classes, and not even able to find a job because of how stupid and pathetic I feel. I had everything in the palm of my hand at one point, and now it seems like all of that is gone. If I could do anything it would be to go back and change the day that I decided to go on medication.

    • Derp December 27, 2015, 6:34 pm

      Except for a small difference in age, you have described me word for word. Could you give an update as to how you feel now? Did it get better?

  • Lynn October 21, 2015, 12:58 am

    If I had known what I was getting into. I would of never started Paxil. I have been on it four months and I am on day 4 cold turkey. Everything is getting to me today. I am balling my eyes at right now. I have four kids I take care of by myself. I feel like I can’t keep up and do it any more. I am tired and just want left alone.

    I can’t bring myself to care what I look like. I use to love getting filled up and haven’t cared since taking Paxil. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I am afraid I made a terrible choice starting Paxil. I hate the way I am feeling right now and don’t feel it will get better. I feel I was better trying to coop with my anxiety with help.

  • Anna October 20, 2015, 5:46 am

    I’m on my 6 day of Paxil free. My side effect is really light, thank goodness. Can’t drive much. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio, and somehow after I shower, I am sleeping so good. I was getting some sweat outbursts and nightmare. But cardio is helping a lot. Just gotta hang in there. This to shall past.

  • Mona October 19, 2015, 10:13 am

    I just want to say that the symptoms get better. I’m not all good, because I still have hot flashes and insomnia. But it’s getting better. I learned that I need to accept my symptoms to get better. It can seems stupid, but deep breathing all the time has helped a lot. Meditation, too. I’m also doing CBT and it also helped. I’m taking B complex, fish oil, magnesium, and 12 more minerals. I take melatonin to sleep (1 mg) and sometimes it helps, other times it helps less.

    It’s just difficult to believe that we are going to be better for good, but if we don’t believe it, we probably won’t. So, please believe it. Also, look at Dr. Claire Weekes work, and listen to her on YouTube. If you like it, maybe she can help you. She has passed away, but her work is still here and has helped many people. If it resonates to you, maybe it can help you. If it doesn’t resonates to you, at least it won’t do any bad. Much love.

  • Ayesha October 18, 2015, 3:35 pm

    I had been taking seroxat 20mg for 3,5 years. I just stopped taking it a couple of days back. It has been hell. Though having a partner who understands, helps. I have been having panic and anxiety attacks. Have been experiencing extreme nausea, lightheadedness, muscle cramps. I have also been experiencing balance issues. Have not been able to walk for more than a minute or two. And the moment I get off bed, I start having headaches and cant balance myself, feels like I am going to fall down. Wish I had never taken this drug. May God help all those going through withdrawal and make it easy for them.

  • Shannon Bielke October 18, 2015, 1:06 am

    I am so sad to hear of all these stories; I’m encouraged because I’m not alone and may someday be myself again; and I am furious at the doctors and medical providers for ignorantly pushing these drugs on us when they mostly have NO IDEA exactly how they work and how they affect us! I have a common story, more than 12 years on Paxil (because of early menopause), tried to get off Paxil 2 years ago after 6 slow months of tapering, had the array of extreme side affects anyway, then was told by my doc that it WASN’T the Paxil and I needed to go back on it.

    That was even worse than withdrawal, but after months settled to almost bare-able, and so 7 months ago I tapered again. After 5 months of tapering, I am now 6 weeks and 3 days off Paxil 100% (yay for me!), and I am still wondering if this will ever end? I am blessed, my husband and family are hugely supportive or I know I wouldn’t be able to do this! I still can’t work, get through a day without some sort of ‘episode’, and the worst for me, experience long nights of insomnia with huge anxiety thrown in for good measure!

    One suggestion that works for me if I’m not too wound up, is journal what you’re going through. I’m an artist, so I do an art journal; but it helps to put down every little thing that’s going on, knowing that before you finish each entry you have to come up with something; anything, just one little thing; that’s positive about that day. To be honest, I’ve had a couple of days where I could not come up with anything positive, but most days as bad as they’ve been, I have actually found something positive to journal, even if it was something as simple as “it didn’t get any worse today”.

    Get out your colored pencils and markers, if nothing else it’s a distraction for a few minutes from your all too real woes. God Bless you all!

  • Marko Ramius October 15, 2015, 10:09 pm

    Hi all. This is my 5th days paxil free. I am on paxil for 5 years, tapered down to 5mg and 5 days ago I cut it completely. I can do it because at the moment I don’t work so I can stay at home. The biggest problem now is that I have persistent diarrhea. Each day. But I would like to start taking St. John’s wort. What do you think? Can it “combat” withdrawal? Thanks.

  • Toni October 13, 2015, 4:14 am

    Week 6! Tapered off 40 mg in the first two weeks. Taken for 2.5 years. Wow. Thought I was doing better! Still extreme anger, crowds a bad idea, insomnia has returned, now mood swings that are very unbearable!, feeling I will never find myself again, sweating / hot flashes… Who knows maybe there’s more. How can one keep up w/ sooo many withdraws!!

    My husband can not stand me and I still can’t stand me. I tried find a quiet, dark room to be still. Pray! That doesn’t work. My husband wants to know what I’m doing grrrrrr! He asks me “when do you see the doctor again?” I’m at the point I almost can not handle this! Praying week 7 is better. Heck let’s pray now for it to happen ha!! Woah is me. Feeling terribly burdened!

  • kelly October 12, 2015, 4:38 pm

    I’m starting to wonder if this is a wonder drug or deadly poison. I was originally put on Paxil back in 2001, 9 months after I had my son. I was 22, happy and healthy, but I started getting terrible daily migraines. My Dr. said this would help and also put weight on me (I’m very very thin). After the initial introduction period, I felt great. I was tired a lot, but what new mother isn’t?

    I was working, finishing college, and taking care of a baby. The headaches continued, so Topamax was added to my list. It helped. A lot. After being on these drugs for 13+ years, I reevaluated my situation. I was skinny. Sick skinny. I’m 5’8 and weighed 104 lbs and couldn’t put on a single pound no matter what I did. After doing research, I realized it was the Topamax causing the weight loss.

    I went to a new neurologist and he suggest I cross taper from paxil to Elavil. I got myself off Topamax with no problems. Well, I managed to fix one problem and create another. My headaches disappeared. I gained weight. Physically, I’m thrilled. Inside, I hate myself. I’m angry, full of rage, and have now developed panic attacks to no avail. I went back to the doctor… More pills.

    Kept me on Elavil, added Xanax and Inderal. More pills, no change. I’m unbearable. I cry all the time (I NEVER cry), I have raging outbursts over nothing, I hate who I am. I keep telling myself its my body resetting from Paxil. Quite honestly, if I switched it out for another antidepressant, why am I going crazy? I wasn’t even depressed in the first place, now I can actually say I am.

    If my body is going to take up to a year to recover, I can’t do this for that long. I can’t keep popping Xanax that don’t work great anyway, and I’m going to ruin a lot of relationships because I’ve turned into a person I can’t personally stand. If anyone has or had an experience similar to mine, any feedback is greatly appreciated because I’m literally going off the deep end.

  • Becci October 12, 2015, 1:11 pm

    I was on 60mg of Paxil for 2 years. I have now been told to get off it after being diagnosed with bipolar. There have been studies my psych doctor said to bipolar symptoms being worse with antidepressants. However, because they want me on antipsychotic medicine as soon as possible, they want me to cut down quite quickly.

    I am literally feeling horrible. It’s like my brain follows what I’m doing, but about 3 seconds behind. I feel dangerous to drive, and honestly, feel drunk. I hate it. I’ve already been off work for 5 months and this is by no means helping my return to work staging. So anyone who is going through the withdrawals…you have love and support from me. It’s hell.

  • Shelby October 8, 2015, 2:39 am

    Hi, Officially done tapering off Paxil. On day two of not taking it. I probably picked the worst time ever to taper off my meds, but now I feel like I can’t go back. My anxiety is worse, I feel like I’m going to cry over the littlest things, I’ve contemplated quitting my job because I’m so stressed, but I’m trying not to do anything rash. The worst part is I feel like such a hypochondriac, which was an issue I had before I started the medication. I feel like all my fears are coming back of what COULD be wrong with me and I feel a lot of my symptoms are something seriously wrong versus just being withdrawal effects. I just want to cry and try to sleep. THIS BETTER GET BETTER. Reading all of your responses really help, thank you all for taking the time to let me know it will get better. <3

  • Anna October 6, 2015, 10:28 pm

    I have been off of my 10 mg paxil for 5 days now. I had spinal surgery and was on some pretty heavy pain meds for a few days and didn’t notice any Paxil withdrawl specific symptoms until day 3. I have pretty much stopped the pain meds during the day as my surgical pain is not that bad unless I am lying down. So I am feeling the “Paxhell” mostly during the day. My dizziness is really bad (don’t feel safe to drive), I think I know what you all mean by brain zaps (I feel a surge of energy in my head like a head rush for a second ofr 2) I don’t have the electrical feeling though.

    My psychiatrist told me that 3 days of pain medication (norco) would take care of paxil withdrawals. That sounds like a hear say recommendation and nothing that is based on scientific research. I decided to go back on 5mg for the next week or so and then to 2.5mg for a week and then to 1.25mg for a week, then maybe even 1.25 every other day for a week. Hopefully this will work. From reading this I do get the feeling that I am not alone, but I also get the feeling that the psychiatrists actually know very little about the long term effects of this drug and the effects and reasons for symptoms of withdrawal.

    I see that many people have taken managing these negative withdrawal effects in their own ways, with acupuncture, massage, and supplements. I wish someone would post how that has gone for them in the long term. There is no scientific research on these techniques either. I also notice that people tend to write about the hell of being in the middle of withdrawal but I have not seen one post indicating that this withdrawal ever ends! From what I read here it can go on for years!!!! Not encouraging.

    Something else that occurs to me is that the reason that we all have been put on paxil by an MD is because of mental illness. Especially depression. I know that I was pretty miserable before I took the paxil. I am worried that I will drop back in to depression without it! Not because of the paxil withdrawal but because of my own brain chemistry. This is such a complicated issue. It is really sad that our doctors are not doing more to find safe effective ways to wean us off of this drug or transition us to a safer drug.

    When I asked my psychiatrist about the long term effects of taking paxil he said with a confident smile “There are none!” This was the same confident smile that came out when describing the use of pain meds for 3 days to avoid paxil withdrawal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe that the fact that this blog has so many posts or that if you google paxil withdrawal you get 366,000 results in .43 seconds. The first being quitpaxil[dot]org. That there is something physiological going on here with very negative repercussions for the users of Paxil.

    I am going to go through my withdrawal plan and then come back an post the results in 2 months (12/06/2015) I am putting on my calendar now. Will do my utmost not to flake on you all! I am hoping that the people who logged on to vent and find community have not come back because they are feeling so much better and have simply moved on to better things! Paxil was introduced to the market in 1992 (23 years ago) I think that it is bit early to start making statements like that.

  • Toni October 6, 2015, 1:37 am

    Hello. I’m beginning week 5 after starting the tapering off of Paxil. Had taken this script for 2.5 years @ 40mg. I’ve gained 40 lbs. I have successfully tapered off completely by the end of week 2. My doc recommended I should stated another SSRI at that time but I told him. Oh hell no. Saw my doc at my 1 mo ck last week.

    My husband and daughter can’t stand me. I can’t stand me either! My anger is out of control. Mood swings from I think normal to extreme hostility over nothing! I avoid crowds. Ppl annoy me. Sweating profusely. Sometimes still hard to focus. Want to just get in my car and go to save my family from me. Ha! Slight nausea. I’ve asked my doctor is ther permanent?

    He laughs and says no. But I’m not joking. How much longer. I don’t like being angry! Will I make it without losing my job too? Have had only 1 sick day. Looking back, heck I don’t know hiw I worked and still working. I’m losing my mind! When will this end? Feeling deeply burdened!

  • Jean September 30, 2015, 12:34 am

    Thank God for all of you! I hàve been taking Paxil for 15 years. I tried, many times, to quit. I would go totally spaz and run right back to it. Since January I’ve beeen tapering. Very slowly. 5 days ago I decided to end my relationship with it altogether. I can’t believe what I’m going through. I ache, I’m sick to my stomach, I can’t sleep.

    I have chronic fatigue and I can’t sleep! I’m snippy and I cry. I cry over frigging toilet paper commercials because they have cute bears. WTF? I feel like I’m in the twilight zone. I am so not a cryer, but here I am, reading all of your posts and just bawling. The makers of this drug should be forced to take it themselves and then go through this.

    It’s horrible. I’m so scared I’m going to feel like this forever I’m beside myself. But I am determined to do it. One of us has to go and it’s not going to be me. Thank you all for showing me I’m not alone. Thank you for showing me I’m not a total certifiable lunatic. Thank you for helping me remind myself that it’s the drug and this WILL pass.

    I will probably visit here throughout this ordeal. I will undoubtedly spaz out now and again. Ok, more than that, but I’m trying to keep my chin up. I really, really need to keep being reminded that this won’t last forever.

    • Amy March 12, 2016, 2:43 am

      I love your comment about toilet paper commercials. My hell, if someone cries on TV, I lose it. If someone is super happy, I lose it. If I see something cute, I lose it. What in the…

  • Suz September 6, 2015, 12:52 am

    God bless you all, stay strong! So glad I found this, will stop back frequently. I have only been taking this stuff for 4 months at 10mg. Doctor recommended this for my hot flashes. Wow! I went cold turkey 2 weeks ago. Have had 2 anxiety episodes and practically all of the listed withdrawal symptoms. Hoping pax-hell doesn’t last much longer. For myself or the rest of you.

  • Angie September 3, 2015, 5:50 am

    Hi there. I have been on Paxil for 14 years. I attempted to wean off at the 4 year mark but couldn’t handle the awful withdrawals. I tried two more times unsuccessfully. I kept taking the Paxil to avoid the withdrawals even thought the medicine no longer worked for my anxiety. So here I am 14 years from the start of Paxil trying to wean. At the point the drug is wreaking havoc on my body to where the doctors are “demanding” I get off of it.

    So I am 3 weeks into the wean and sick as a dog. I have to do it though. They gave me Clonidine to help with the withdrawals and a benzo…only because it’s a short period of time until I will be done with it. I swear I wish I could sue the makers of this drug. Totally ruined my system. I know stopping it is really just the beginning, and I pray I feel normal again one day!

  • Erin August 27, 2015, 11:55 pm

    As many people have already mentioned, I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. This is actually my second time quitting the drug. The first time was about 15 years ago. I started it because of uncontrollable panic attacks. It did not matter what I was doing, reading a book, shopping, talking on the phone, etc. I didn’t understand why that was happening because any time it happened I was in a relaxed environment.

    My heart never raced or had the doom and gloom feeling. I just had severe tunnel vision with the weird ringing in my ears and wet noodle legs. During those episodes I thought I was going to faint or just fall over because I could not hold myself up any longer. Any time that happened I had to remove myself from whatever situation I was in. I tapered off of Paxil after about 7 years. I remember it being difficult. I could not describe in words the symptoms I was experiencing.

    But “brain zaps,” “jolts,” and pauses pretty much describes it after reading what others felt. It did take a month or two before I felt better; no more brain zaps and pauses. However, it did take several months to realize what it felt like to not be on it or have withdrawal symptoms. I just woke up one morning and felt different, but normal, at least how I used to feel before Paxil. Now, this is my second time coming off the drug. This time because my husband and I are trying for a baby. All I can say is this is worse than the first time.

    Mostly because of my own fault, I tapered off much quicker than the first. This time I know what to expect and how to handle it. I must take things slowly and be more deliberate and aware of my movements and actions. I just get angry because I am one who expects instant gratification. I find that I must remind myself that tapering off of Paxil is not instant. It takes patience. I just want to remind everyone to be patient, it will not happen over night or in a week or two. Once it is over, you WILL feel better.

  • David August 26, 2015, 3:22 am

    I’ve just reached the end of week five without Paxil or Wellbutrin and only take 1.0 mg of Klonopin (Clonazepam) at night (2 tablets of 0.5 mg). I did also resume my blood pressure medication (Losartan/HCTZ) about two weeks ago, as my blood pressure was high. I realize that this site is devoted to Paxil withdrawal and trying to inform each other through sharing experiences/symptoms. I will state what I’ve experienced so far, but I can’t really say what symptoms are withdrawal from Paxil versus symptoms of my underlying Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). So many of my feelings over the past few weeks were the reasons that I took Paxil initially.

    Symptoms: In the first few weeks I experienced frequent brain zaps and extremely intense/panicky dreams. The brain zaps have subsided and the dreams are much more normal and less memorable. I did experience irritability and anger, which have also ebbed greatly. I have also had a relatively rapid pulse rate (80-95 bpm while resting) and get short of breath, especially at night (not lying still, but when I get up and go upstairs or do something slightly active). This has been abating and really has calmed down in the past week.

    I have had relatively few headaches and almost no nausea. However, I’ve had two pretty severe headaches, one about two weeks ago and one yesterday through today. These are not normal for me. I haven’t had much dizziness or detachment, which was a big reason for going on Paxil in the first place. Hurray!

    New/Good Habits: I’ve been making an effort to get 30 minutes of exercise each day (3-4 miles or running or at least a long walk) and have been using a relaxation recording twice a day. (Guided Relaxation; For the Body and Mind Heidi Minnick PhD). It’s a 20 minute recording that is available on places like Amazon for about $3.00. I’m not crazy about it, and would be open to other suggestions, but it does the trick for now. No, I don’t get a commission or know the owner.

    How am I doing? I’ve become more normal to be around and am less aloof from my family. Work is okay and sometimes quite trying, but I’m muddling through. I’ve got two trips to Asia during the month of September, so at least I’ll be out of the office. Fortunately flying and claustrophobia are not issues for me.

    Overall, things are moving in a positive direction. In hindsight, I wish I had spent more time preparing for how to treat GAD without medication so I would have been a little more prepared for this phase. For example, one of the other posters spoke about how to treat nausea with ginger, or dizziness with Dramamine. I think preparing for the symptoms and also planning relaxation and exercise routines would have been helpful. I am also considering trying to find a therapist who specializes in my disorder to help me maintain good habits and develop coping strategies.

    Other Thoughts: For being short of breath, my post is a bit long-winded but what I’m trying to say is that I am ready to shift focus from Paxil withdrawal to treating my anxiety disorder. I’m not big on supplements/vitamins. I’m sure fish oil capsules and Vitamin D all have a role, but I think I have bigger areas to address first.

    Going Forward: I am off to listen to my relaxation tape and will pop-back with SHORT updates about how I’m doing. Again, if anyone has any healthful suggestions to share, I’m all ears. Even if it is regarding dietary supplements, I’m willing to try. Best to all. -David

  • Mike August 26, 2015, 12:36 am

    I need help! I have been on 40 mg for about 10 years and recently quit cold turkey (not by choice, insurance) I am suffering most all symptoms but in particular and most debilitating are the electric shocks, uncontrollable crying (doing it now) suicidal thoughts, sweating, anxiety. I really want to stay off but I don’t know how much more I can take. Thank you.

    • Marie August 30, 2015, 7:52 pm

      Mike: I really understand what you are going through. I’m getting a lot of help from a terrific support group on facebook, here is the name: Paxil Paroxetine, Seroxat..The truth in getting off safely. I was on Paxil for 20+ years – my story is too long but in a nutshell Paxil destroyed my life. However, there is hope. I had to get myself off this med and did it extremely slowly – (some psychiatrist and doctors don’t believe it) but if you meet people like you, it will help you feel as though you are not alone in this struggle.

      I hope you can try and join the group on facebook, I made myself an alias name (so nobody knows me) and I joined the group. The on-going crying, suicidal ideation, high anxiety is all part of of WD but I must say quitting “Cold-turkey” is not good and not recommended. Hope this helped a little, you are not alone, hope you can join the group on facebook.

  • JC August 20, 2015, 3:10 am

    Hello, I’m currently 27 and first got on Paxil (20mg) when I was 15. I got off of it using Prozac (10mg) at the same time, and tapering that way. I just got off it as of 6/3/2015, and even as of today I’m still having withdrawal symptoms. The first thing I noticed was zaps and tingling sensations usually on my arms, but sometimes on my head as well, with some dizzy feelings thrown in. That lasted for about 2 weeks or so, then I had random bouts of nausea. I never got complete diarrhea, but my colon seemed to be a lot more active than it normally is and that’s even still persisting a month+ after. A couple weeks ago I started getting random headaches daily, and had to take pretty powerful pain killers to get rid of them.

    I started getting paranoid thinking something might be wrong but then out of nowhere the headaches disappeared. At this point in time as of about a week ago, I’m suffering from decreased appetite. I feel hunger like normal about the same times everyday, and as I start to eat, I can get an decent amount of food down, then I just feel like I don’t want to eat. I’ll just chew the food, and there’s been multiple instances recently where I’ve spit the food back out because I can’t swallow it. A few days ago, I got an overwhelming feeling that if I tried to swallow the food I was chewing, I would throw up. Well, I made the attempt anyways and threw up about 3 times.

    Throwing up hasn’t happened again, but this appetite issue is really bothering me. Currently going on 2 1/2 months, and this barely starts happening now? Does anyone know how common this is and approximately how long I should expect this? I know it varies from person to person but I’m definitely not eating as much as I was before and I’m starting to feel like it. On a positive note though, mentally I’ve improved. I feel like my mind is clearer, I have a more positive outlook on life, on people I know. I feel more motivated to actually get up and do something productive. Even work isn’t as much as a pain as it was while on Paxil.

    I’ve been getting more feelings that I want to improve my health and start working out, socializing with friends and going out to do fun things. Since my mind has been clearing up, I feel like I’ve missed out on so many things in my late teens and 20’s up to this point, because of how dull and unmotivated Paxil made me feel, and it kind of depressed me but I’ve been trying my hardest to keep a positive outlook on everything. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I will say that I started noticing improvements quickly even though I still have symptoms.

    To anyone out there looking to get off Paxil, please please please try your hardest to do so. This pill is completely terrible, and NOBODY should have to be on this and lose out on life. I got off it by taking Paxil and Prozac at the same time, and then after a short time, I started tapering Paxil. The full tapering process took maybe 6 weeks, give or take if I recall. This may not work for everyone, but the side effects were reduced drastically by doing this but they were still there. Good luck all.

    • Stephanie September 18, 2015, 8:40 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story. I feel like my body is rejecting the pill on its own as I’m feeling much of what’s written. I’m so scared. Terrified. This drug has been a part of my daily ritual since I was 16. Next month will be my 27th birthday. The fact that you were taking it along the same age range makes me feel far less alone. I wish you luck and that you are truly seeing beauty now.

  • Mona August 15, 2015, 3:35 pm

    How are you all doing? I just wish everybody would come back here to let us now if they are feeling better. I’m feeling much better this last week, but I’m still having some minor sleeping problems. I’m still doing my hypnosis, 30 minutes walking, breathing exercises, taking fish oil, B-complex, and vitamin D, everyday. I’m also doing counseling once a week. My worse withdrawing symptoms were: unbearable depression, panic attacks, extreme anxiety, dizziness, nightmares, diarrhea, vivid dreams, insomnia, a burning in my head and neck, and profuse sweating.

    I had some noise in my ears, but not much. I also had some brain fog and a feeling that my head and my body were not working together, but thank God it didn’t last long. Im also working with my diet. I just eliminated sugar, coffee, tea, and any kind of sodas. I’m also drinking more water. My experience with Paxil can be read in my older posts. I know how lonely and hopeless we feel when we are going through Paxil withdrawing. I just hope my experience can help somebody. If you didn’t start taking Paxil, please consider another option.

  • Billy August 15, 2015, 3:31 pm

    This is the most informative website I have found on withdrawal symptoms. I cannot believe 20 years ago doctors were handing this out like Pez candy. I am now tapering off and taking just 50 percent less under doctor supervision, I am experiencing 90 percent of the withdrawal symptoms you mentioned. Thank you of taking the time to do so as my anxiety has gone down immensely just seeing that my body was reacting normally to what is a very dirty drug.

    Even my very experienced doctor says it is a dirty drug that no one really thought through how invasive it is to the body. I really don’t think this should be one of those drugs doctors give saying well lets see if the positives out weigh the positives. All I had were panic attacks and 20 years later this specific drug has made me feel like a mind altered junkie.

    I am 1 month into the tapered supervised dosage and hopefully sooner than later I can feel my normal self. Thank you again for the amazingly perfectly researched withdrawal list right down to muscle cramps that have shown up out of nowhere. Gratitude and look forward to feeling better.

    • David August 16, 2015, 10:53 am

      I think a major difficulty between patients and the medical world is the use of the term “Addictive Medication.” To the medical world, Paxil (and most SSRIs) are viewed as non-addictive because they do not usually require increased dosages to achieve the same desired results (over time). In fact, many users can maintain the same level of effectiveness while decreasing the dosage over time. This drug characteristic is viewed very favorable in the medical world (probably rightly so) but at the expense of being dismissive of withdrawal difficulties.

      I realize that I may have made a mistake in discontinuing my Paxil (and Wellbrutrin) along with my blood pressure medication all at the same time. It is difficult for me to better isolate my experiences/feelings and attribute them to a specific medication. In retrospect, I should have worked more closely with my doctor and tapered from each one over time, but the three weeks of holiday time was too enticing and I “ripped the bandage off all at once.”

      Since my blood pressure and pulse are still remaining high, I will give those symptoms two more weeks (with continued diet and exercise) and then revisit my doctor and explore alternatives.

      It has been a difficult time for my family as, in order to avoid saying things I might regret, I keep very quiet and seem sullen. While I regret this aloofness, I need to focus on finding the right course for my improvement and take care of myself, with the aim of “returning” to them as an engaged family member in the near future.

      Again. Good luck all. I realize this site is devoted to Paxil, but if you look into some of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned in the lawsuits against Cymbalta, you’ll see many of the experiences described in these posts.

  • David August 14, 2015, 1:43 pm

    Well I just passed week three without Paxil. I can’t honestly say that the feelings that I have now are any different from before I went on Paxil. The most annoying feelings are the small brain zaps, which have ebbed, but not gone away entirely. My pulse rate is still a bit high and evening tends to be a worse time for me than morning. Exercise helps a lot with all the symptoms (at least for a short time) but it’s hard to get going and work out.

    I thought the recent lawsuit on Cymbalta was interesting and obviously there are a range of people experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when discounting these depression and anxiety medications. My sleep has improved in terms of quality and fewer intense dreams, but I still have a ways to go. I return to work on Monday, so that will be the true test. I have given up highway driving, which was a problem in the past, but don’t seem to be having much of an issue with crowds or malls.

    Good luck to all and I’ll check back in another two weeks and let you know how the return to the rat race has treated me. -David

  • Jodie August 13, 2015, 2:20 pm

    I’ve been taking paxil for over 10 yrs…I went cold turkey about 6 days ago. Just a little dizzy at first when I would lay down to go to sleep. Today is the first day I feel a little lightheaded and dizzy while at work. So far this is all I’m experiencing…I’ll keep in touch to let you know if anything else comes… : )

  • Fedman (David) August 3, 2015, 7:17 am

    Wow. It’s 2 AM and I came across this website while trying to figure out how long my withdrawal from Paxil will last. I guess the one thing this site has taught me is that going off Paxil is different for everyone. It seems more related to the underlying problem than necessarily the dosage. So me… I am just over 50 and have taken meds for generalized anxiety disorder since my late 20s.

    GAD sounds so mild, but it is hell (as you know) and I had no life. I am thankful to the meds for letting me raise a family and have more than no life, but I reached a point where my kids are grown and I want to be “me” again. I suppose I should have consulted with my Doctor (who would have told me to stay on the meds) but it all happened on a day when I forgot to take my meds right before a vacation. 1.5 weeks ago today. I was taking 12.5 CR of Paxil (been at 25mg for years before cutting back) and 150 mg of Wellbutrin to counteract the tiredness that I’ve felt as of late.

    In addition, Klonopin (1.0 mg) at night to help me sleep. I started exercising more (first walking 3 miles a day and now running 3-4 miles a day). My main problem is the brain zaps and rapid heartbeat (about 90 – 100 bpm when I’m not doing much). For me, it took me until I knew I could take 3 weeks off of work to even think about trying withdrawal, but I can tell that it’s likely not going to be enough. I have kept taking Klonopin figuring I’ll tackle that when I see some improvement, but so far I’m not even thinking about going there.

    I think we have to remember that for most of us, it was a mental health issue that brought us here and we may or may not be able to tackle it on our own with some lifestyle and health changes. I didn’t enter the world of SSRIs and MAOIs lightly and so I know if I don’t change some underlying issues, I shouldn’t expect to feel fine. I appreciate everyone sharing his or her experiences and it’s helpful, albeit disheartening to hear the stories.

    I must say I was sitting at a restaurant a few days ago watching some guy with his family chewing with his mouth open and had some violent urges similar to one of the other posters. Since I’m off of work, I’ve been doing a bit of home improvement (yard work, installing new outlets…) which I find distracts me from my symptoms. I’ve started keeping a log of my exercise and blood pressure and amount of Klonopin taken each day.

    I am also trying to schedule two times where I meditate each data so that I don’t wind up at the end of the the day saying, “Gosh Darn. Out of Time, but got to do my meditation.” Recipe for frustration. Thank you all for your support and sharing and the best of luck to each of you. -David

  • Mona August 1, 2015, 11:49 pm

    I hope you both feel better soon. Nobody comes back to tell us how they are feeling after things get better, besides Paula. Paula has wonderful posts, and they give us hope. I took Paxil for 11 years. Never more than 20 mg, and the last 5 years I was taking 10 mg. I stopped very very slowly about 1 year ago.

    I had many of those symptoms, but at the time I didn’t know why I felt that way. But I would say that it took me one year to be able to quit it. At that time I was meditating everyday for about 40 min, and it probably helped me. About 3 months ago I thought I was depressed and my doctor (a new one) prescribed Paxil again. Because I didn’t know that this depression could still be because my body is still adjusting from Paxil, I decided to take it.

    But, at this time the side effects were so bad that I had to discontinue it after 11 days. I was taking only 10 mg, so I did 5 mg for 1 week, 2.5 mg for 1 week, 1.25 mg for 3 days. It’s been almost 3 weeks that I’m trying to discontinue it and today was the first day that I feel I’m almost fine. What kind of drug is that, that you take it for 11 days and you have to discontinue it for 21 days taking smaller doses, and you still feel really bad?

    I had to take 0.6 mg yesterday because I was feeling dizzy. It’s been so hard. I will ever again consider Paxil. My advise to everybody would be to stay away from this drug. If you have to take SSRI, please consider another option. I will do everything I can before I ever consider any medicine for depression. When I was very sick from Paxil 3 weeks ago, I did my research and learned that medicine won’t cure depression. I just hope we all feel better soon.

  • Lisa July 31, 2015, 4:08 pm

    I’ve been on Paxil for 17 years. Took 25 mg until 6 years ago when my Dr. increased it to 40 mg to help with menopausal migraines. It really worked well for me for many years, but the last year has been different. Started feeling “dumb” and had severe joint pain. Went off 2 weeks ago cold turkey. OMG. I cannot function, cold sweats, flu symptoms, weakness and lethargic. Symptoms seem to get worse instead of better. However, my joints are so much better. I will see this through to the end. Best of luck to all of you!!!

    • Ronny August 2, 2015, 9:38 am

      I wish you all the best in your withdrawal!

  • Kate B. July 31, 2015, 12:09 am

    Glad to see this page, I was on paxil for 17 years, dosage ranging from 40-60mg. Started my slow tapering off about 1.5 months ago & I honestly feel unattached. The nausea is awful, crying & feel of hopeless is just not what I expected. I cannot wait to finally feel normal, if that even happens or exists :(

  • Patience July 26, 2015, 10:22 pm

    In 2009 after being on Paxil for 9 years and being sick and tired of the side effects, I tried to slowly taper it down. I went down from 37.5mg to the next lowest dose which is 25mg. Within a week I completely crashed. I fell into a horrible and deep depression. I immediately contacted my doctor and he put me right back up to the 37.5mg. I assumed and expected to be feeling better shortly since this was the dosage I was originally on. Unfortunately, this is not what happened.

    I continued to spiral downward in a horrible depression for 2 YEARS. During that time they tried everything possible to try and get me stabilized again. I went to numerous specialists and was hospitalized twice. Nothing they did or tried helped and I continued to suffer terribly. I honestly thought that I would be depressed for the rest of my life. I finally took the most desperate and final step I could. I went through a series of about 15 Electro Shock Therapy Treatments.

    It was a very aggressive and bold move on my part, but all I was so desperate and all I wanted was to feel better and I had literally tried everything else. It took a while, but about 6 weeks after discontinuing the ECT I finally started to feel better. Needless to say, this was an extremely aggressive approach, but after suffering for 2 years I felt as if I had no choice. I am still on Paxil today, as I refuse to EVER try to go off it again or even taper it down in the slightest because I am SO fearful of what happened the first time happening again.

    They also added 75mg of Effexor twice a day. I still suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety, but it is nothing like it was for those 2 years. During the course of those two years my husband of 20 years left me because he could no longer deal with my depression. So my experience with trying to get off Paxil is about as bad as it comes. If I had any idea in 2000 when they put me on Paxil for post partum depression following the birth of my second child, that this is what I would be facing by being prescribed this drug, I would have run so fast the other way and somehow figured out another way.

    I have accepted the fact that I will be on Paxil for the rest of my life because I will NEVER take the chance of trying to taper it down again. All the doctors that I saw during the two years that I was so depressed told me that my situation was very unusual, and while it certainly is difficult to wean off Paxil most people are able to get through it without any of the severe depression relapse that I went through.

    So to those of you who are going through a hard time trying to get off Paxil, please hang in there because according to most people on this site it does get better. I was not able to get off of Paxil, but my situation is not the norm at all and I think anyone who can get off of this drug will be much better for it in the end.

  • Ronny July 25, 2015, 1:25 pm

    Hi Paula, thank you so much for your comment. People keep saying that it will get better but I just don’t see it improving. This week I am struggling with desperate feelings unlike what I have ever experienced before. It’s like there is just no light at the end of the tunnel and the only thing that keeps me going is the believe that one day this will be over.

    But honestly, after a long period without any real improvements, faith is slowly slipping away and the believe that only medication will bring some relieve gets stronger. How is it that someone who was full of joy a few years ago is now struggling with feelings of depression? Is it possible that it gets worse before it gets better? Because that is what I’m experiencing at the moment.

    • Paula August 1, 2015, 12:51 am

      Ronny, Although it does feel like it gets worse before it gets better, just keep telling yourself that you’re one more day out from the evil of Paxil. I know the symptoms of w/d can make you want to run right back to it, but DON’T DO IT! In time you will level out and feel like a real, whole, feeling person again. I quit cold turkey which wasn’t the best way to go.

      Read my posts from January 31st and February. I was where you are. It will get better. I keep preaching about acupuncture, but it really made me feel better. It’s been 8 months tomorrow and I like myself again. I wish you well, please update once in awhile so we know how you’re doing. Remember my mantra: “Forward ever, Backward never!”

      • Ronny August 1, 2015, 1:41 pm

        Hi Paula, Based on your past comments it seems like you were starting to feel better rather fast after your CT. Am I right? It seems to me that you have been gradually improving from month 2. The problem for me is that I did not experience the real severe withdrawal symptoms. I have been able to function the whole time but it sure takes a hell of a lot out of me and my main fear is that sooner or later I will just collapse.

        It’s not that I am severely physically ill but I always feel uncomfortable. Even when I am at home watching TV. Most days this gets better in the evening. Even the things I enjoyed doing in the past feel like a huge task at the moment. I used to love to go out with friend, both on and before the paxil. But right now I just feel out of my comfort zone and therefore stressed and unable to enjoy myself.

        The fact that this has not been improving over the past 3 months makes me somewhat unsure as to whether things will get better eventually. It is an absolute horror having to stress out over every simple day to day activity. And even though I manage to do so, my mind unwillingly always reminds me of the suffering I am going through. I just get frustrated over the fact that at the moment I am not living, I am surviving. And that is what I would like to see different. Best regards! -Ronny

  • Ronny July 22, 2015, 10:16 am

    Hi! A am currently going to the process of withdrawal and can only say that this is the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. I am not sure if you are still active on this site but I do have some questions that I hope you can answer. First of all, how did you convince yourself not to go back on the medications? Like you said, the experience is truly horrific and seems never ending. How did you convince yourself that with time healing would start. I am now at the 2 months mark of being without medication and still don’t feel like things are improving.

    So far I am still able to function but enjoying life really is not an option at the moment. I keep telling myself that if I stay off the paxil, things will be better in a few months but so far I have nothing to back that up as things seem to get more difficult rather than improve. When did you notice the first improvement and how exactly did you know you were improving? How are you doing right now? Hope to hear from you or anybody else that went through this! All the best! -Ronny

    • Paula July 22, 2015, 4:49 pm

      Ronny, I can only tell you that it does get better over time. I made sure I didn’t have any Paxil in the house so I couldn’t go back to taking it. Being active helped me, even if you walk for 10-15 minutes at a time. I did deep breathing exercises and had great success with acupuncture (across up to read my previous comments). I wish you luck in quitting this. May our strength be your strength. “Forward ever, backward never.”

    • Mona July 25, 2015, 6:02 pm

      Hi Ronny. I don’t know if you were feeling good when you quit Paxil, were you? Are you taking any supplements to help you with depression/anxiety? Are you doing anything to help you fight those conditions? You know that Paxil won’t cure us. Paxil, and all the other antidepressant medications just keep us under control while we take it. If we already had an episode, we can have another one. I’m researching a lot this last month and I learned that fish oil, B-complex and vitamin D help a lot.

      I even asked my doctor to check my B12. I started taking B-complex and fish oil one month ago and I believe they are going to cure me. I really believe it, after all my researches. I always took vitamin D, but I was not really taking it everyday. This last month I’m taking 2000 IU everyday. I just got my results online yesterday and my levels are not good, but they will improve because I won’t stop taking those supplements, and I already ordered Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg).

      I will start taking it this next Monday. I also started therapy (I’m having my 3rd session this next Monday). I don’t know if you believe in hypnosis, but I’m also doing it. I already had 3 sessions and the hypnotherapist gave me a download to use everyday. I believe it will work, so it will. I want to tell you that you will be better. I know that when we feel down we don’t have the strength to believe that we will be fine. But we must listen what Paula is saying. She is feeling better!!! We must be proactive, so we can can get better soon. What do you think? I hope you are feeling better today.

  • Iamme July 21, 2015, 3:11 am

    I stopped Klonopin cold turkey after almost 5 years of use. It was unbelievable. I have never been through anything so hard and ONLY my prayers to God saw me through. It’s now almost 2 weeks c/t off 40 mg Paxil. It’s rough. I have to say the dizziness is by far the most frustrating symptom.

    However, I will make it. These pills are not bigger than my Father and I will conquer. When I am at my lowest, I will sit down and say a prayer. I know it may sound so cliche but it is true. When you can’t stand, kneel. Good luck to all of us.

  • Linda F July 20, 2015, 6:39 am

    I am 65 years old and been on Paxil for over 15 years. I am going thru major issues of having a rare cancer, 12 different auto immune diseases including Lupus, lost my job after 47 years working straight due to outsourcing, etc. I told my Dr the Paxil was not doing much for me and we decided to wean me down for a week and put me on another medication.

    Well, since I think I am Super Woman, I weaned myself down half tablet for five days and then cold turkey. I thought all of this was ME and I am so happy to find a website that I am not going nuts! Pharmacist told me it would take a month but I am at that point now and I still sob constantly, have vertigo, get mad easily, have a lost for words when I am speaking, do not want to interact with people, tire easily, have no interest in shows or movies I loved, sleep a lot and am anxiety stricken all the time. I cannot handle ANY issues or problems that arise.

    I either get mad or cry. I am glad to see I am not the only one with this issue, and I will just continue to take each day as it comes and realize in time things will be better. I want to be off ALL anti-depressants and see how I feel just being myself again. I am over medicated & coming down from other nasty medications also at the same time. Blessings to all of you.

  • Jen July 18, 2015, 8:20 am

    I was on Paxil for 9 months. I tapered down from 20 mg, to 10mg, then 5mg and came off it completely about a month ago. The first few days I was dizzy, nauseous and lethargic, then I came right, then about a week ago I had my first migraine ever and have had a headache ever since, and felt dizzy while moving about.

    I went to my doc as I was concerned about a tumor, or having another serious illness and she told me it probably wouldn’t be the Paxil as this happened 3 weeks after coming off it, and was outside the ‘2 week window’. She also said it wouldn’t be a tumor, and was pretty dismissive and told me to rest and drink more water. It is a relief to read websites like this that say the withdrawal can take longer. I’m just trying to stay philosophical and not get too worked up about it all!

  • Kirstin July 17, 2015, 12:32 am

    Been on the medication for over 10 years. I took 40 mg. In my second day of dosing down to 20 mg & I definitely feel some of the symptoms. Thank you for your insight. Going to just roll with the changes and accept that they are only temporary! (At least that’s my plan).

  • Sara July 11, 2015, 11:35 am

    Hi, I’m here because there is no guidance available as to how long to expect withdrawal from paroxetine to last, even for medical professionals. Any advice is very much appreciated. I took 30mg for seven months – it worked great but I gained a lot of weight, had no energy and was aware that I didn’t want to be on the drug long term so I came off it.

    Tapered over seven weeks and apart from some dizziness and diarrhea noticed none of the emotional effects – I was pleased to think that I got away with it, particularly as I had a really hard time when I started taking the drug and was not in a good way for about seven weeks. It was only once I’d stopped taking it all together – even though by the end I was probably ingesting only a crumb a time every couple of days – that this started. I’ve gone through the anger stage, severe nausea stage that lasted about two weeks, the irritability, sleeplessness – but now, six weeks after my last dose, I’m experiencing what I can only describe as severe depression.

    Please bear in mind that I was not depressed before I started taking this drug – it was prescribed for an episode of acute anxiety.. For the past four days I have felt completely out of it – exhausted, unable to connect with anything or anyone, just interested in anything that are usually enjoy and just want to sleep, I can’t recall and the members in the past, or anticipate anything good in the future.

    Here’s what I want to know, after six weeks, can I still consider this as part of the withdrawal? If so, and I think that this might only last a couple of weeks, I can bear it. If not, and my brain has been fundamentally damaged by this medication to the extent that it’s given me a condition that I did not previously have, I don’t know what I can do. As I say, any advice appreciated – anyone else experienced something similar to this, and if so how long did it last, and is there anything anything at all that I can do?

  • Catriona July 9, 2015, 7:32 am

    I have taken seroxat 20mg for 16yrs. now for panic attacks due to the sudden death of my mother. I have tried to come off this drug very slowly but always ended up back on 20mg so I researched this problem and I have come up with the answer that works for me. I got liquid seroxat which is easier to reduce the dosage rather than trying to cut off bits of a tablet daily. I now take 3mls= 6mg daily and I reduce by 1ml. every 3months. Reduce the dose slowly and see how you go. Best of luck.

  • Anna July 8, 2015, 10:02 pm

    I am SO relieved to know I am not the only one experiencing this!! I was on 20 mg for 3 months and went cold turkey. I ran out of my scrip and was basically uninformed about what a terrible idea going cold turkey is. I am now on day 5 and feeling completely dizzy, experiencing vertigo, and experiencing brain zaps all day. Does anyone know what the approximate amount of time it takes to get over this is? I have read it takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a YEAR to fully recover. I can’t help but laugh at how hellish this is!!! Stay strong everyone :) I am never going near this stuff again!

  • Shawn K July 8, 2015, 3:04 pm

    My anger is so bad at work because I sit in a chair 8 hrs a day. My job is by no means difficult. I am not active…AT ALL! Just hearing people crunch paper or chew their food makes me want to punch them in the throat!!! I was on paxil for 9 years. I have been off of it for 2 & 1/2 weeks. I am seriously thinking about sick leave. I would hate to lose my job because I couldn’t control my anger. ANY input would be appreciated.

    • Nathan July 23, 2015, 11:20 pm

      I feel your pain brother I have been off it for a week and I get angry so easy. Stay tough it has to get better at least that’s what I keep telling myself. I have been out of work since December from a dirt bike wreck and my left arm is still in a cast so all I do is sit around the house. I honestly think that makes it worse… I wish I was working so at least my mind would be busy. Good luck and godspeed.

  • Samantha July 3, 2015, 7:41 pm

    I was on paxil for about 11 years. It stopped working fairly early on, but I didn’t know it. I thought the flat lining was me: something I was doing incorrectly, as usual. I had tried every natural way to deal w/ my depression & anxiety before giving in to chemical help. With focused commitment & desire. Nothing worked. Not even a little bit. So I started the process of finding the right antidepressant for myself. It took months of trial & effort w/ each one to find the right fit.

    Ultimately, I ended up on paxil. By that time my life was in a downward spiral, I just didn’t know it. Once again, I blamed my inability to maintain my levels on myself. After all, I was always told I was my own worst enemy & it was all my own fault & I just wasn’t applying myself, but I digress. I had no health insurance & paxil was available to me for free & they would mail it right to my door! Oh yeah, problems solved!

    I see now after reading the horror stories that I was on a runaway train to hell. I went off paxil May 20 & it is now July 3. Not by choice, but by circumstance, as I moved to another county in Dec, & all my medical transference fell thru the cracks. It took me 6 months to even get a primary care doctor, but that’s another saga. So end of paxil, cold turkey. Not how it’s supposed to go. The 1st week, my light started to come back. I was having emotions again. Enough clarity in my brain to see how stuck I have been, & gratitude that “this” would be over & I could participate in life again.

    Then the detox, where I have been stuck ever since. On all levels & all interconnected. This is why I’m writing today, just in case there is some help out there somewhere. I am unraveling faster than I can pick up the string. To have crisis in every area of my life is terrifying, & finding support has been near impossible. Coping with anxiety is the most overwhelming & paralyzing symptom of the withdrawal. And it seems to get worse day by day, not better. And there is no where to run, no where to hide. I have no job, no income, owe my landlord back & current rent, no where to go, the stress is killin’ me…

    I see now THIS is becoming “unfrozen” from paxil. Beyond my control. I won’t go back, but I can’t seem to move forward. I feel like I am trying to out run a boulder. Like I am in a spin cycle that can’t shut off. My intellect says this will pass, the rest of me says I’m screwed. I just don’t know what to do to help myself get thru to the other side. To make the detox easier to handle before I implode.

    I think if I could physically feel better (panic attacks, upset stomach, diarrhea, body sweats, insomnia, weight gain even tho I don’t eat much, jaw & neck tension, my eyeballs feel so dry they will explode, heatstroke (I did end up in the desert & it’s 112°), teenage acne, tremors down my right arm when I meditate), I would feel like I can take control & make changes. Any responses out there? Is there an end to this hell? Any advice on what I might do to get through this? At least it’s good to know I’m not alone! Thanks!

    • Mona July 25, 2015, 8:45 pm

      I hope you are feeling better. Have you tried counseling? I’m trying counseling, hypnosis, fish oil, vitamin D and B-complex. Also walking for 20 to 30 min in the morning. I wanted to find a doctor that would know how to use L-tryptophan. There is a post here from somebody taking it and having good results.

  • Aubrey July 3, 2015, 5:24 am

    Hi All, I’m taken aback by the amount of people who have posted about withdrawing from Paxil. It’s a relief to know that I’m not alone in this “fight,” yet, at the same time, it’s rather disturbing. I’ve been on Paxil for 12 years – the last 5 months I was taking 30mg (psychiatrist increased from 20mg).

    For several reasons, I decided to taper off the 30mg by decreasing to 20mg and then to 10mg within a few weeks. I’m currently taking the 10mg and want to start the 5mg taper tomorrow, but I’m afraid of experiencing further and/or more severe side effects. I’ve been experienced terrible stomach pains, bathroom woes, chills/hot flashes, sweats, nightmares and vivid dreams, blurred vision, confusion, anxiety, body aches, anger/frustration, mood swings and headaches.

    I’ve tried quitting Paxil in the past but couldn’t withstand the side effects, so I’d resume the prescribed dosage shortly after quitting. Although tapering has eased the severity of side effects in relation to cold turkey, it’s not been easy whatsoever. I’m hoping and praying that I will feel “normal” again sooner than later, but I understand that it takes different time for different people. God Bless you all.

    • Paula July 25, 2015, 9:42 pm

      Please give acupuncture or yoga breathing a try. It is non-evasive and no side effects. If you don’t feel relief right away then no harm done. Several posters here have had success. Once you start tapering down and getting away from this miserable drug you will feel much better, but unfortunately the w/d effects are torturous. Good luck to you, we’ve all been where you are and know exactly how you feel right now.

  • Anita June 23, 2015, 3:34 am

    I stopped paxil cold turkey. I have all of these withdraws. I just want to feel Normal Again. I feel so sick.

  • Lily June 15, 2015, 8:03 am

    Hi, everyone. I have been on 10 mg of Paxil for 10 years, than one day about 3.5 month ago it simply “pooped out” on me. I was taking the same dose at the same time and it would make me angry, anxious, this poison simply stopped working, making my life miserable. I quit cold turkey, experienced severe withdrawal, including: severe tension headaches, nausea, blurred vision, fatigue, dizziness, pain throughout the body, depression, anxiety, etc.

    I am a single mother, I work nights as registered nurse for many years. I simply could barely function to take care of my self on a daily basis during the month of March, thanks to God and my boyfriend. In April I got somewhat better, in May about 60% of symptoms had subsided. About a week ago on June 4th, I suddenly felt like 80% myself, having may be one or 2 episodes of anxiety a day, I would tell myself: “This will pass too”.

    My advice to you guys: take a lot of high quality fish oil, with krill oil, research what helps to strengthen brain and what helps to rejuvenate it. Brain is going trough major restructuring when we quit paxil. It is truly the most horrible medication you can ever take, honestly. I have never suffered in my life as much as I did while going off this med. Just stay strong: pray, you will need a lot of family support, take your supplements, stay in touch with forums like this, go for long walks, and know this will eventually end. I wish everyone to get well.

  • T June 15, 2015, 12:03 am

    I’ve been on Paxil for 5 years. I was never so balanced. I decided to come off of it because “my life was in order” and I don’t like chemicals in my body. I cut my pills into 3/4 of a dose for a few months, then half a dose for four months. I haven’t had any bad symptoms until this month when depression, crying jags and anger have consumed me. I have had lots of stressors but should be able to deal with them. My relationships are strained. Even with God. I am going for counseling tomorrow. I need tools to handle this self hatred and pity. No one offered me any coping mechanisms when I was diagnosed. I hope I can do this.

  • Rod June 8, 2015, 4:15 pm

    Very helpful to read all of the comments and the common support thread for this kind of withdraw. I am on my 6th day of attempting at quitting cold turkey; I have been on Paxil for approx 5 months. It began to work about a month into taking it I felt so much better, I was working out and had a much more optimistic look at everything. There were still issues like not being able to sleep and daily odd ups and downs but for the most part I felt back in control.

    This is the first time I decided to quit cold turkey and on the 3rd day I felt some of the same symptoms but instead thought it was because I was not sleeping much. I got into a bad accident the day after and soon got right back on Paxil. I tried quitting once more before but just erupted in tears prompting me to take again. Andrielle I hope your symptoms go away!

    It’s hard to believe that after a month you are still felling them. A whole month, you are incredibly strong, and I hope there is light at the end of this soon! I will attempt to update my situation as much as I can as I go through this. I am glad I can revert to this forum and find similar experiences as well as needed support.

  • Angela June 7, 2015, 2:47 am

    I’ve been taking Paxil for approximately 16 years and have stopped cold turkey. It’s awful going through the withdrawal symptoms, but it sure is helpful to read other peoples’ accounts! The worst symptoms to me are nausea, profuse sweating, and flu like symptoms as well as feelings of doom and suicidal thoughts (thank God I know better than to act on them). I may end up going back on the drug because of my job.

    I have a really stressful job and want to avoid problems at work related to withdrawal. Reading these comments helps tremendously with recognizing withdrawal symptoms for what they are and coping with those feelings vs. acting on them i.e.: anger, mood swings, depression. (Meltdowns at work are not acceptable to most of us). Thanks to all of you who shared your experiences!

  • Andrielle June 6, 2015, 3:22 am

    Hi all! I have been off paxil for 1 month. I thought the head pain would go away by now, but it is still here. It’s a pain/pressure type head pain that is very consistant and painful. It pretty much moves all over in my head. I’m beginning to convince myself that maybe it’s something else and I need to get checked out. I’m sure that’s my anxiety talking, but has anyone had this for more then a month after being off paxil?

  • Steven June 3, 2015, 2:19 am

    I started 20mg Paxil in April of 2014 and took the drug for 13 months. This was my second semester as a freshman at Vanderbilt. I had never taken any SSRIs before and was always a great student. I’m writing this in June 2015 at the end of my sophomore year. While taking Paxil, I was a shell of my former self. I was no longer a motivated individual and numb to all emotions. My GPA went from a 3.7 to a 2.6, and I likely will not get into medical school anymore.

    Now I’ve been off Paxil for 5 weeks, and my old self is coming back. I’m motivated to work out, eat properly, go on dates, and do well academically. I went cold turkey (no taper) because my prescription ran out on May 3, 2015 and I was already on a flight home where I don’t have a prescriber. After 4 weeks of brain zaps, random crying spells, tingling face, flu like symptoms, mood swings, upsetting nightmares and suicidal ideation, the worst is over and I’m on my way to feeling like the old me.

    Going off Paxil has been a GREAT decision, even with all the horrible withdrawal effects. I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their story in this thread. Best of luck to everyone!

    • Stephen March 27, 2016, 4:13 pm

      Hi all, I read all your comments with interest and questions in my head at the same time. I have recently been in a very difficult place with some familiar anxiety experiences and quite severe depression. I went on this webpage after the psychiatrist suggested prescribing Paroxetine. As I read many of your posts about withdrawal what strikes me is a lot of these are symptoms I have presently with my anxiety.

      I have had all the usual tests after presenting with migraine type headaches, Irritable Bowel syndrome, bladder issues including an infection, aches and pains and hot and cold flushes. I’ve had these before as markers of stress resulting in becoming nervously ill. So my question in my head when reading many of the posts is, are the symptoms experienced returning anxiety symptoms because of increased stress of coming off the mess and of which there is already a predisposition?

      It’s just a thought but I find it interesting that many of these symptoms (not all) are similar to mine when I am stressed and run down and my anxiety and depression return in both physical and psychological markers. I have been on anti depressants meds in my 20’s and swore I wouldn’t take them again after horrendous withdrawal and anxiety returning. But I am aware if I need something to enable me to move forward then I have to weigh the pros and cons up.

      I must say after reading a lot of your experiences I am reluctant to start a journey with Paroxetine. I wish you all well and I empathize with the awful reality of living with anxiety disorders and related problems that often accompany it.

  • Stephy May 30, 2015, 11:41 pm

    Paxil is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I have been on it for about 5 years – 20mg. Three years ago, my shrink decided to switch my meds and told me to taper off for a week or so. After 4 days of being off, I thought I was going crazy! I was scared of everything around me, nothing seemed familiar – my apartment looked and seemed weird and looking out the window made me feel like I was living in a different place in another time (I later found out this is called Depersonalization-derealization).

    Nothing could comfort me; not sleep (bc I had horrible nightmares), not eating (I was weighing 95lbs), not television (images on the TV would scare me). I had horrible brain zaps, fits of rage, flu symptoms, heart palpitations; the muscles in my legs and arms constantly ached and I was always scared of falling bc I thought I might lose control of my body movements. After 2-3 days of feeling this way, I contacted another shrink who put me back on Paxil 10mg. He told me that getting off Paxil takes months and should be done gradually. Not in a week.

    This April, after months of tapering off, I took my last pill. I have experienced bad withdrawal symptoms, but nowhere near as bad as what I described above. The anxiety attacks I currently get, come in waves. Sometimes they last from a few minutes to hours, and other times up to 2-3 days. Nights can be difficult when you are trying to sleep – the darkness and silence feels so big and scary, and the anxiety grows even more. There are days where I feel 80% OK and I am so happy because I feel like I’m almost at 100.

    I get excited thinking that almost there. But then, the withdrawal symptoms come back and I desperately pray for a good 10 minutes of peace. Currently, the withdrawal symptoms are minor panic attacks when out in public, sensitivity to sounds, and feelings of Depersonalization-derealization. By far I think the feelings of Depersonalization-derealization are the worst of all. I feel like Paxil hijacked the person I was and I will never see her again.

    The only thing that keeps me going is reading all of the experiences on this page and remembering that these feelings are all part of the withdrawal phase. Funny… Right now as I sit here and type this, I ask myself if I truly am sitting here typing this. Not funny, I guess. But, I just smiled and I’m so grateful for that happy second.

    • Hana November 8, 2015, 10:15 am

      How do you feel now 3 months later? I discontinued paxil about a month and half ago. Withdrawal symptoms were pretty bad the first 2 weeks but now I experience them in waves. Some days I’m good, some days depressed, some days enraged. Hope it got better for you?

  • Rachel May 16, 2015, 1:22 am

    Thank you for this information. Most of the withdrawals you listed I am going through and it’s only been a week and a half sense I came off Paxil. I didn’t realize this was connected to stopping taking the medication I thought I had to get back on it because my brain seriously had a dependent on this chemical. Gives me hope I can and will feel normal again.

    • Doreen May 25, 2015, 12:35 pm

      I originally started Paxil for anger during menopause. I have been on 5 mg for at least 10 years. I am now past menopause so thought I would stop taking it. I never considered tapering since that is not a large dose. I really have felt crappy but did not attribute it to this until I read this blog. I have not (thank God) experienced the zaps. However, I have had flu-like symptoms with nausea, muscle aches (especially neck and shoulders), stuffy nose and pain over my right kidney, sleeping a lot, cloudy thinking and chills. Funny, most of these symptoms I just attributed to “old age” (I’m 63).

  • anon May 10, 2015, 11:31 am

    My partner was on aropax for many years… has weaned off it now in the last couple of months. It is hard hearing about the symptoms he has been experiencing…nausea, insomnia, irritability, leg cramps. There are times he really snaps at me or one of our children… I am thick-skinned and know what he is going through but they don’t really understand. Reading about other people’s experiences gives me strength to be more tolerant of the anger etc, and to try and be more supportive. I agree with many comments – Drs should let you know the path you are going down before prescribing it. I hope he is the person I fell in love with again sooner rather than later :(

  • kathleen May 6, 2015, 6:14 pm

    I am coming down the home stretch of getting off pax-hell!!! Do it slowly! Was on. 30mg. Then 20, 10 now 5!! Still nausea from 12-1pm. Down to 5mg. Every other day. But feel hungover the day I don’t. One more week! Still having bathroom issues (bowel). Quite miserable. Anyone else going through this? Can’t wait to be FREE! -Kat

  • James May 4, 2015, 2:09 am

    I’ve been off of Paxil now for a year. I was on 20mg of it for about 10 years and gradually tapered myself off for about 6 months. I still am suffering from tension headaches, anxiety attacks, palpitations, and trouble sleeping. How long can these withdrawals last? I hate these feelings thinking maybe I was better off staying on it, but I hate to take medicines, and my social anxiety is through the roof most times. Please help, feel free to email me at [email protected].

  • hadley May 1, 2015, 7:54 pm

    1. Yes, it gets better!
    2. I have taken Paxil 3 times since 1997; the longest break I had was almost 2 years before/after pregnancy — in 2004. I have been unhappily taking 40mg for at least 5 years, pretty much resigned to taking it forever.
    3. I have had terrible discontinuations, but this time I have been taking massive probiotics, vitamin d, and omega 3s. And it is SO much less awful!
    These are natural supplements, so they aren’t going to do you any harm, and they might really help. I am almost one week Paxil-free, and I can’t believe how much better this is.
    4. Best wishes to you all. <3

  • Uli April 20, 2015, 6:08 pm

    I have been on since Aug. 2009, mostly 40mg. I am into the second month of a step-down (my idea) and on 20mg. After this month will go to 10mg, etc. I felt fine, but, just wanted to be off of SSRI, if possible. I am experiencing the fatigue and thoughts of dread (depression, I suppose) that everyone writes about. My relationship with my wife sucks right now, I’m sure because of my affect and not being able to deal with “life” as well as it comes. Could she help more with some sympathy?

    Probably, but, hey, I’m the one coming off this stuff. But, exercise really helps! I find that taking walks, doing push-ups, sit-ups, anything helps immensely. I’m hoping to be off completely within 60-75 days, but, seeing the flu-like symptoms and continued depression written about here, I guess I’ll have to dig deeper to get through it unscathed. As Babe Ruth once said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” Hang in there everyone and pray hard!

  • Darla April 16, 2015, 10:12 pm

    Hello, I was on 20 mg of paxil for 2 years. I have been off of it for 3 weeks or so and I feel awful. Like the worst I’ve ever felt. Even worse than before I started taking paxil. I am dizzy all of the time and just so depressed. It’s hard for me to function normally on a day to day basis. My family keeps telling me I should probably go back on it and I am starting wonder if I should. I really don’t want to though, mostly because I don’t want to have to wean off of it again. It is very comforting to know that I am not the only person struggling with this though.

    • Becky April 17, 2015, 3:50 am

      That must be hard not having your family’s support on staying off Paxil. Stay strong! I almost went back on Paxil today because I felt so ill. Then I found this site, thank God! Still Paxil free tonight. We all have each other!

  • Maryann April 16, 2015, 10:28 am

    There is something seriously wrong with these doctors. After reading these, and other posts, I can tell you that I’ve been one of the lucky ones. Today is day 5 Paxil free. I was on 40mg for approximately 9 months for anxiety. Let me tell you…this lady needs brain altering drugs not me. Long story short, switched to another primary doctor in February who thought I should wean off. This was her idea because TBH I had never thought about it.

    I gained 10 pounds which, from what I gather, is not much from this evil pill. I don’t think I would have cared if I felt well but I didn’t. So, I chubbed up and felt like crap. I told the new doc that I felt like I was walking through quicksand all the time. I would go weeks without shaving my legs (sorry tmi) but hey, I’m kind of anonymous right? I tapered from 40 to 20 for one month. Immediately I felt my energy level increase (I’m glad because it took like an hour to shave my legs).

    I had no negative side effects at all. I then went to 10mg for one week…again, no side effects but a lot more energy. Today is day 5 Paxil free. Day 1 and 2; no side effects. Day 3; wild brain zaps. Day 4 (yesterday) nothing. I don’t know what today will bring however, I know that I will get through it. I started using vitamin patches at the same time; Vitamin D3 and B12. I believe this is helping.

    Additionally, I just ordered Omega 3 patches because I read somewhere that this supplement will help with the zaps. I would strongly encourage everyone to get off of these pills. There is no shame in needing help for life events; we all know they can kick our butts at times but seriously…I don’t care how much you like your doctor – do your research. I think most of them are in the sack with the pharma companies. Best of luck guys.

  • Lola April 15, 2015, 2:40 pm

    I cannot relate to these experiences. I was on 20mg for about 7 years. I decided to stop. So, my doctor gave me a script for 10mg for 1 week. I have now been totally off Paxil for over a week and have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms! Am I just a rarity? Reading these stories have scared me to death!

    • Becky April 16, 2015, 11:50 pm

      It would be great if you never got the withdrawal symptoms, but I was just like you until I hit 3 weeks Paxil free. Bam! Now I’ve been terribly ill for the last five days. Just be prepared.

  • Mosole April 13, 2015, 2:31 am

    I was on Paxil for 22 years (started at 20Mg up to 60mg August 2013). I have slowly weaned myself off for 1 1/2 years and now clean of this hell medication for 32 days. I feel I’m going through hell and feel even worse now to the point of despair. I started cutting myself and the feeling of suicidal thoughts are even stronger. I’m afraid to see a psychiatrist because I know they will try other pills on me but I don’t want to go through this again.

    The psychiatrist I used to see told me I could stop Paxil cold turkey and I would be back to normal after 3 weeks (Did not believe him and he does not have any compassion so I don’t want to return to see him) I just wanted to vent a little and reading this blog helped me realize I’m not the only one. My worst fear: going crazy. I used to be a peaceful and caring person, now I feel total apathy towards everyone and everything.

    I’m at a total loss, the feeling of despair is too strong to handle, no longer know who to trust and I only have my husband who is doing the best he can to help me but I feel I’m a burden. Will I ever find inner peace and a zest for life again? Should I try natural remedies? I’ve been stuck in a dark tunnel and can’t find my way out. Paxil destroyed my life and I’m 52 years old.

    • Paula April 24, 2015, 5:14 pm

      I’ve had very good luck, and others here have also, with acupuncture. It’s painless, inexpensive, sometimes even covered by insurance, and can make a world of difference. Bonus – no side effects. I wish you well, feel good knowing we’ve all been through what you’re experiencing, and although it takes time, you will get better. Forward ever, backward never!

  • Dax April 10, 2015, 7:48 am

    I just wanted to say, my doctor didn’t tell me that I had to be weaned off. So it been cold turkey for me and yes it’s the hell. Its only been 30 days for me. Reading your article gave me hope that I’ll be back to normal.

  • Bre April 10, 2015, 1:32 am

    Hello my name is Bre, I was on Paxil 12.5 mg for about a year, and the medicine didn’t seem like it was working anymore, so my doctor upped my dosage to 20mg, I felt like a zombie. I had no feelings to anything anymore. When something sad happened I didn’t even cry over it. I hated not having feelings and not to mention the acne I had developed from the time I started taking it. It was so sever this is what caused me to want to stop the medicine. About 3 weeks ago I started cutting my pills in half, and just 4 days ago I thought I was ready to completely be off of it.

    Well, for the pat 4 days I have never felt so bad in my life. I work long hours and throught the day I get periods of dizziness, and hot flashes, nausea. Like my body is about to shut down. And also had a completely nervous breakdown this morning. It has been 4 days and I really don’t want to take this medicine again. I am trying my hardest not to take the half of pill just for my flu like symptoms to just go away. Please, someone tell me things will get better soon! I can’t take this dizzy feeling anymore. How much longer do I have to go through this?

    • Maxine September 16, 2016, 1:34 am

      You probably know this by now, but you can’t cut PAXIL CR tablets. They are time release and cutting them causes them not to work. 12.5 mg dosage is a dosage for CR Paroxetine, and is not regular Paxil tablets, which are only available in dosages of mg of 10,20,30,40,60, etc.; and can be cut for dosing down. You always have to have the doctor switch your prescription to regular Paxil when you are ready to taper off. You might have had cold turkey withdrawal from cutting the pills. How are you now?

  • Jessica April 6, 2015, 4:22 am

    Hi everyone. Today is my first day with no Paxil after 4 years and I am very unhappy and sad and angry. I’m wondering what the heck I’ve done. I want to stay off of it but feel afraid that I’m going to make a crazy decision like ending my relationship with my boyfriend. I don’t know. These feelings and emotions are just awful. I’ve been numb for years because I lost two of my children in a horrible divorce. What can I do to get through tomorrow? Ugh.

  • Lauren April 6, 2015, 1:33 am

    I found out I was pregnant and my doctor took me from 20 mg of Paxil to 10 mg and had me start buspar. This was about for three days and then he told me to get completely off it and now I take the buspar and 10 mg of celexa. I am having horrible withdrawal from the Paxil. My head feels terrible. It’s definitely the brain zap feelings. I also feel hot one minute and the next I feel like I have the chills. I can’t eat right… feel like I am constantly nauseous.

    My anxiety has gone back to being horrible probably mostly from the stress of feeling like this. I was put on Paxil last summer after celexa seemed to not be working for me anymore. I think it should be illegal to give Paxil to any woman of child bearing age! It should probably just be illegal period. I am now on a week without Paxil and I can barely take it. Take my advice! Never start this drug! To all of you on here that are going through the withdrawal I hope you all get through this. It’s a long rocky road!

  • Summar April 5, 2015, 3:31 am

    I’m on day two of a cold turkey withdrawal of 40 mg of paxil. I am an all or nothing girl. I have been medicated with Paxil for the last 16 years. I think the biggest part of withdrawal for me will be balancing my relationship within the family. In the past two days my husband has said, “why are you so combative.” Or “you’re so negative.” At the time I thought I was doing really well considering how I was feeling.

    I feel like crying all of the time, I have headaches, and just today I’ve thrown way tons of stuff. Looking at past posts I see the best is yet to come. If you’re pregnant and stressing out keep reading: Originally, I was on Prozac but when I became pregnant in 1999 my doctor said it was safer for the baby to be on Paxil. Well, years later we know better but, for all those who worry about their unborn babies don’t be so stressed that you put your life in danger by going off Paxil cold turkey.

    I have two beautiful, healthy girls who were on Paxil the whole pregnancy. I nursed with both girls too. Both girls so far seem to be OK. They are above average academically (A/B gifted students), both play instruments and are first chair. As far as emotions go they are balanced. Easy teenagers, they even talk to me. Quite frankly they take after their father but, they are not the same. One is a vivacious, extrovert. The other is a tree hugging introvert. All you moms-to-be don’t stress. Do what you think is right as you go off the Paxil. That’s the best you can do.

  • buffy March 28, 2015, 12:10 pm

    I only took paxil for one month. My doctor switched me to lexapro. I have had severe withdrawal symptoms. Fatigue weakness headache, nausea, dizziness, panic attacks, high fever, excessive heart rate, and felt very scared all the time. This stuff is no joke. Never ever take paxil if you have another option.

  • carla March 24, 2015, 4:09 pm

    I’m in my 4th week of paxil withdrawal after tapering for 1 year. I have been on it or prozac for 14 total years. The anger is scary more so than the sadness. I eat organic, and non-GMO and mostly plant based. I take Kratom for daily pain and have been taking Saunas twice a week. I do detox baths several times a week as well. I drink tons of organic green tea, raw honey, and lemon water, and try to get in ACV daily. I meditate and sleep a lot but usually only for an hour or two at a time. I’ve been walking and trying to get as much vitamin D as I can, but I live in the midwest and winter is still in full effect (and we are heading into April). Anything anyone else can suggest? I’m also listening to a lot of classical music and binaural beats for calming.

    • Tyler March 27, 2015, 5:03 am

      I’ve been on 40 mg of paxil for 17 yrs for panic/anxiety, yikes did I just say that! Recently I have been drinking a lot and after reading some of the side effects of paxil, alcohol abuse isn’t uncommon. I have decided to quit by tapering off 30 mg for 1 week 20 mg for 1 week and 10 mg for the last. I’m only on day 2 so haven’t felt a lot of the withdrawal symptoms. I do know they are coming though as I have tried to quit multiple times over the last 17 years although I always went back because I couldn’t afford to miss work because of side effects. At first I thought this drug was a life saver as it helped my anxiety and panic. 17 years later I realize I haven’t felt actual emotions my entire adult life and I’m 32. My ex wife used to tell me I’m cold and have no emotions good or bad and I always thought she was the crazy one. Thanks big pharma!

    • Michelle December 25, 2015, 7:31 am

      To Carla: Don’t take kratom to help the side effects, please! Kratom is illegal in many countries because it is dangerous. My sister gave me some in January 2015 and I had a cup one evening in July 2015 when I was having a flashback (I was raped and tortured so have complex PTSD).

      I woke up at 5 in the morning projectile vomiting. I vomited until my nose bled. I was right by the toilet and couldn’t even turn my head to make it to aim at the toilet. There was so much blood I thought I might be vomiting blood so I went to the ER. It wasn’t internal damage, I’d just had too much pressure on my throat and nose from the vomit. I had vomit and blood coming out of my nose. That was this July.

      Now it’s December and I’m pregnant and trying to go cold turkey from paxil. I was 40 mg for 11 months. I know how hard it is, but please don’t take kratom. It really can backfire and you don’t deserve that. I’m sorry for all the pain all of you are going through. It will get better! I’m hearing about protracted withdrawals, but not about never-ending withdrawals. I’m on day 9 of cold turkey.

  • Wendy March 18, 2015, 8:07 am

    Hello! I had been on Zoloft for 12 years and quit cold turkey (bad idea). I obviously wasn’t aware of what would happen. Well I went through some horrible side effects and ended up on Paxil as the Zoloft did not work for me anymore. I started off at 10 mg and went all the way up to 60 at some point because every time I’d tell my psychiatrist it wasn’t working he’d up the dosage. 60 mg ended up making me feel physically worse so he put me at 40 mg with a side of Xanax for when the Paxil wasn’t cutting it.

    Two tears later and the Paxil didn’t feel like it was doing anything at all so I made the decision to part ways with it. I went to a new psychiatrist and told him I wanted off. He gave me a 9 week plan of tapering off 40 mg of Paxil and gave me the warning that Paxil was one of the hardest drugs to come off of. If I hadn’t done my own research I would have never known what to expect. I was feeling SO good the first three weeks and then the side effects from tapering off started. Nausea and extreme dizziness came onto the scene full steam ahead.

    I took ginger pill capsules for the nausea and DiVertigo for the dizziness. It helped as well as exercising. Well most of that has subsided and I have now been Paxil free for a little over one week except now I’m having the suicidal ideation along with depression and depersonalization. This last week has been SO incredibly hard as I feel like I’m going crazy with no hope of feeling “normal”. I am feeling almost every side effect on that list and it’s so overwhelming.

    I thought that I’d be feeling 100% like myself at this point, but alas it will take time. I keep having to tell myself that what I’m feeling isn’t me, but an effect from the drug. Also, after 14 years of depending on an SSRI it is going to take my mind and body time to adjust to not having it in my system. It’s all so horrible and the easy thing to do would be to hop back on the med train, but I’ve come too far. After reading this page I feel so much more hopeful and “normal” for what I’m going through. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this information and pray that everyone going through this finds strength to tough it out and get through it.

    • LEANN September 22, 2016, 2:09 pm

      I’ve been suffering too. It’s a nightmare. I don’t know what to do with myself. I hope every morning I wake up that I will feel better of course it’s not the case. I have 3 children and I feel like I can’t be the mother they need I try and do my best and they love me. I hope to find peace sometime soon.

  • Rachel March 12, 2015, 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the tips. This is the best symptom list I have read so far. I am a mom, a teacher and a wife. Coming off this medication is brutal and I am only 2 weeks in. I hope, I pray the nightmare ends soon. ~Waiting for the dawn.

  • Kristin March 11, 2015, 3:56 pm

    Agree with all of these symptoms, and hate it for all of you. Why do I never see stories of anyone that was on 60 mg like I was? It scares me that I almost never see stories of anyone on the highest dose. I was only on 60 mg for a couple of years, my doc just kept increasing and for only minor depression and more anxiety than anything! She advised me to taper 20 mg every two weeks, I did 40 mg for two weeks and felt amazing!

    I did 20 for one week then started a new doctor due to not being happy with the current one at the time. When I saw my new doc I had taken 20 mg for one week and she told me to start trying the “every other day” method, then every two, and so on. That’s when hell broke loose. Horrible zaps, the vertigo and nausea were beyond horrible, and I just felt awful. Went back to doc and she had me go to 10 mg for a week then try the every other day for a week, then every two, etc.

    Couldn’t do it at first due to the vertigo being so bad and the pure awful sick feeling. So I just kept taking 10 mg up until this very week and now I’m doing the every other day with much less problems in the zap and vomit department, but now it’s the despair I’m having and awful thoughts with little vertigo and zaps. Am I on the right path?

  • Ann March 8 2015 10 pm March 9, 2015, 4:49 am

    I’m so glad I found this site. I have been of Paxil for about a month and up until now I haven’t been doing to bad. But recently I have been experiencing a lot of these withdrawal symptoms and I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t have gone off, reading this I realize going back wouldn’t help a thing. A lot of what has been going on with me: I just wrote it of on going through menopause but now I’m not so sure. The last month Iv’e been going through things I wouldn’t have thought were withdrawals.

    This month I’m going through high anxiety, nausea, ringing in ears, cold and hot flashes, dizziness, not sleeping, head fog, and more. But because this came on a month after I stopped I honestly thought maybe I shouldn’t have stopped. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this site and everyone who wrote in, it sure helped me realize yes I did do the right thing. I’m not saying I’m glad there are other people going through this, but I’m sure glad I’m not alone.

    This little part is for Caitlin Dutiel: I am also a Mother of a little one and I can totally relate. They just don’t understand what’s going on. You can’t help being sick and you just want to be the Mom you want to be, not this crazy person. I to believe in God. My thoughts and prayers are with you stay strong.

  • Cheryl March 5, 2015, 12:47 pm

    A drug I thought was my friend cost me 10 YEARS of my life!! You bet I stopped cold turkey & don’t regret it at all! Every brain zap has been worth getting. my life back. I stopped sweating overeating sitting watching life go outside by. My mantra was “I just don’t care.” Insomnia, massive weight gain, I can cry now, I can laugh now. I do still suffer social phobia which is hard, but worth it. My life is coming back into order again. Nausea is a small price to pay.

  • Christie March 2, 2015, 5:06 pm

    I’m coming off Paxil. 50 mg. Been on it for a few years now. The withdrawals are horrible. It’s been six weeks and I still feel the same. My anger is out of this world. I snap at the dumbest things. I overreact like no tomorrow. I’m simply miserable. My crying spells come and go throughout the whole entire day. Anything and everything will make me lose it. I tend to get caught up in the moment of how I’m feeling and handle myself in all the wrong ways.

    I feel horrible for my children, my husband and my friends. They see me going though this, they probably think I’m crazy. 6 weeks now and no improvement on my end. My vertigo last literally 24 hours a day. My mood swings… The same. Paxil is a horrible old drug. I highly recommend finding something else. Coming off this SSRI you honestly feel like no one would care if you were to actually die. You feel alone and you think everyone is out to get you.

    • Heather December 15, 2016, 5:31 pm

      So “nice” to see others with the same experiences! I was on 30mgs for over 10yrs. and came down by 10 mgs every two weeks and now am at zero (day 15) I still have the stiff muscles, dizziness, and hyper mood swings. I’m either in a rage, or crying, sobbing… My 19 year old daughter has seen and heard things out of me I never would have imagined possible.

      I have had the body aches. More like soreness to the touch over my entire body. My back muscles have seized and are so tight that my neck is constantly tweaked. I also am dizzy on and off through the day. The moods are getting me now, bad.

      I don’t sleep well at all, I don’t have an appetite consistently, but the worst is by far the mood fluctuating from rage to panic to utter sadness in any order at anytime, all day long.

  • Caitlin Dutiel March 2, 2015, 8:26 am

    Hello, This website cold not have hit it more on the nose for me. I am not just experiencing some symptoms, I am going through all. I have been on and off paxil since I was 13. Never in the “off” times, do I ever remember hurting this much. It was probably poor timing as it is March, but from my understanding there really never is a “good” time. I am a married 29 year old woman with 2 children (20 months and 4 months). I also and am a very “strong in the lord” christian woman.

    With this I feel I am not strong enough to pray for myself. I have been off paxil for 10 days. I began tapering from 20 mg by cutting in half. Within a couple days, the symptoms began. I tapered by taking half another few days and felt worse so I “ripped the bandaid off fast.” I do know this was a mistake, but I cannot turn back now. It was said some people refer to paxil as cocaine. I believe that, except with cocaine, when you withdraw and take it again, it’s an instant fix and paxil would not be.

    The mood swings for me are so bad, this is just for my family as it is for me. They don’t understand why mommy cries so much or why I don’t want to hold them. Its one extreme to the next, either I’m super calm and sympathetic, or I’m a raging made maniac who wants to scream and get out of this world. I love my doctor and respect her, but it is hard to respect anyone’s words, knowledge and opinion except for those who have gone through it. This site and the testimonies have given me hope, because right now I’m scared I will never get better and will forever be dependent on a drug just to “get by” in life.

    I have been prayed over twice now and have a lot of people praying for me. Just knowing the power of God is stronger than any drug, any doctor or any symptom (physical or mental) also gives me hope. I want to encourage those in the same boat as me, feeling (in a nutshell) sad, mad, scared and alone that there is hope, help, and a better life ahead. And ask those who are stronger than me to keep encouraging me. Thank you for the hope in this website.

    • Leann September 22, 2016, 2:01 pm

      I started on Paxil in May. It didn’t help me the doctor raised my dose to 60mgs it didn’t help. I went in the hospital in August my doctor lowered it to 30 mgs then 20mgs all in the same week. I wanted to come off Paxil completely so we lowered it again to 10 mgs Aug 28th. I week later we lowered it again to 10mgs.

      I am now off Paxil and going through severe withdrawals. I’ve read everything there is to read I just don’t understand why I feel so bad emotionally, mentally and physically. I need some peace. How long will this last? I feel so weak but I keep holding on everyday. It gets so hard at times. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks Leann

      • Mary December 10, 2016, 6:37 pm

        I was taking Paxil 20 mg for 15 years. More depressed, my doc. upped it to 40 mg. I have been off since the end of Oct. I hurt everywhere my neck, the left side of my body.

        Every bone in my feet hurt I can barely walk. I thought I may have pancreatitis or something. I have been reading this all morning. Now I know it is the paxil withdrawal. My moods are insane. For me the muscle aches and bone pain is the worse. Anyone else have this?

        • Shannon February 4, 2017, 3:22 am

          The muscles in my neck and shoulders have been killing me. You are not alone!

  • chris jeffcott February 22, 2015, 3:16 pm

    Thank you for the superb article. Been cold turkey from 20mg which I was on for a year. Brain zaps are awful as is the dizziness. Been off work for a week…your post has helped tremendously.

    • Paula February 27, 2015, 1:08 am

      Chris, You just hang in there. We a are with you all way buddy. You can do it, just think every day is one day away from it. If you can meditate, or breathe, or try acupuncture it will help. Or just keep telling yourself it’s only a pill, who needs it?! Really, every day will get better, I promise. Please send out a shout if you need us to give you some confidence. This forum does wonders, we’ve all been where you are. “Forward ever, backward never”.

  • Kimmie February 20, 2015, 2:11 am

    Hi I’m very glad to come across this website. I have been on Paxil now for a year now and have been on 40 mg. I have decided to quit cold turkey as I am out of my medication and just moved to a different state anyway. I am now on day 4 I believe and it’s tough. I slept almost half the day and my appetite is now decreasing. The worst is how my head is feeling though right now. My eyes feel heavy and my head feels stuffy and its like there’s spinning, but I don’t see any spinning, I’m lightheaded, and feel not right in the head. I only know it will get worse. Last time I tried this I paced around crying wanting to claw myself out of my own head. :(

  • PG February 14, 2015, 1:15 pm

    I was on a very small dosage of paxil for two years and came off of the medication successfully at a very slow taper in August 2014. Starting mid-January 2015, I started having pretty severe anxiety again that hasn’t abated. I am now considering going back on the medication (or something else). Has anyone experienced rebound anxiety months later? I was doing very well prior to this, but it’s been bad recently! Thank you!

    • Paula February 15, 2015, 2:20 pm

      PG, You don’t ever want to start taking Paxil again if you can help it. The anxiety you are feeling may be just from dealing with things in a non-drug infused way. I would talk to your doctor before going back on Paxil. Also, as Patty and I have said, acupuncture, rhythmic breathing, and message can help a lot. Do not be afraid to try acupuncture if you have’t tried it before. It is painless and extremely relaxing with NO SIDE EFFECTS. Community clinics will sometimes offer sliding scale fees, and many insurance companies pay for a certain amount of treatments per year. I started on Paxil because of depression and panic/anxiety disorder. Please do yourself and the people that care about you a huge favor and don’t go back to that evil pill. “Forward ever, Backward never!”. Best of luck, we are all here for you. -Paula

      • Becky April 16, 2015, 11:35 pm

        Paula, please help! You seem so strong and confident about staying off paxil. I was on 60 mg for at least 15 years. I am now coming up on 4 weeks paxil free. I didn’t get the nausea/dizziness until 4 days ago. I am so close to going back on a small amount to feel better. Not knowing how long this will last is making me feel hopeless!

        • Paula April 24, 2015, 5:08 pm

          Please think positive thoughts and know we all went through or are going through the same issues. Use my mantra “Forward ever, Backward never” – it really helps. You have to tell yourself that you are strong and no pill is going to destroy the great person you are. Trust me, it does get better. For me it has been since Jan 1st, so going on 4 months now, but it is easier every day.

          Last week I had a full blown crying jag that lasted two days, triggered by a family event. Not for one moment did I want to reach for the Paxil. Two months ago I probably would have. Yes, you will have some bumpy days once in a while, but just remember, emotions prove you are ALIVE, not some drug dependent zombie – which I know I was. Hang in there, Becky, YOU CAN DO THIS!

  • Brittney Floyd February 7, 2015, 8:42 pm

    Thank you GOD! Someone understands and I am not going crazy. The fizzy brain spells six and screaming at my kids are a rare thing for me (really) the headaches and weird feelings I get are wiggin me out and I hate the confusion (thank god for auto correct on the phone) and the dreams… don’t get me started on the dreams? Exotic dreams that include sticks of butter, coconut oil, and hand grenades? Wtf?!? I feel crazier every day and break-down nightly in tears. Luckily I took paxil for only fifteen days and it was only twenty mg’s. But please please please go away.

  • Yvonne February 7, 2015, 11:12 am

    On January 17, 2015, I had a rare potentially life threatening incident due to PAXIL. I had Paxil induced secretion of anti-direutic hormone causing Acute Hyponetremia, my brain was swollen! After 3 911 calls, Doctors finally discovered I was headed for a coma and death! I had been on 20mg. of Paxil for 15 years. In September prior to my father’s death, I had my GP increase my dose from 20mg. to 30mg. September to January, I had many, many, subtle symptoms, but none significant enough to signal what was to happen.

    Symptoms included: headaches, laryngitis, vomiting, bladder retention, blurred vision, all perfectly common seemingly flu like symptoms. Since my ICU hospitalization, my paxil has been reduced from 30-10mg. I will be gradually reducing the Paxil to O. Paxil is a life threatening drug and I am insisting upon weekly visits and a endocrinologist reevaluation in 4 months. We have to be proactive and insist Doctors take our symptoms withdrawal or other symptoms seriously. Good luck to all of us! -Yvonne

  • Patty February 4, 2015, 8:57 pm

    Hi all, I tapered and stopped Paroxetine, and am experiencing all of those incredible side effects. The thing to remember is that we are detoxing…we need to get this stuff out of our system and anything we can do to help is going to make us feel better faster. I have been drinking tons of water and detox tea. I have been getting treatments at a community acupuncture clinic, and will get a massage.

    Saunas, steams, hot yoga… anything to help us sweat and rid our body of toxins is beneficial. Days 4 and 5 were the worst for me, the vertigo was so intense I was constantly nauseous, and vomited with too much movement (turning my head). I’m on day 8 and feel my true self emerging, feeling better physically, mentally, and emotionally. It will take time to completely detox, but I’ll get there. Good luck everyone!

    • Paula February 5, 2015, 1:55 am

      Hi fellow prisoners of Paxil, it’s been 4 days since I posted above and I am much, much better. I just wanted to let you know each day seemed better than the last. I too started acupuncture like Patty (two days ago) and it was well worth the money. I am going to try a treatment a week for awhile. I also started walking every day and just keep saying “forward ever, backward never.” I really hope some of the other posters are feeling better also. This is a hell no one should have to go through.

      • Patty February 6, 2015, 1:30 am

        Update…last night after a massage was the worst night of “hot flashes” since being off the med. I figured that was good?! The therapist said to think of it like your muscles are sponges holding onto the toxins, they squeeze the sponges to get rid of the yuck. Today I went to a day spa where I could purchase facility time only ($23 for 2 hours) which got me use of steam and dry sauna. I can’t even tell you how incredible it was. I would sweat, then go wash the toxins off…over and over for 2 hours…INCREDIBLE! And Paula…RE: the “horniness”…embrace it sister. I hear that fades just like all the other side effects.

        • Maria May 18, 2015, 6:50 pm

          Thank you for explaining the benefits of the intense night and day sweats. Reflecting back on the past 6 1/2 months of these episodes, I am finally “almost” night/day sweat free. Never associated them with my body riding itself of the toxins. Thank you.

  • Paula January 31, 2015, 5:26 pm

    Thank you all for this! I thought I had jumped on the crazy train. I’ve been on this $h*t for 24 years @ 30 mg. and going cold turkey (I know, I know) starting Jan 1st (some resolution, eh?)… I cannot believe the way I feel. I am trying to look at the bright side, between major crying jags, like super weight loss regimen after the holidays (i.e. can’t keep anything in, taking a “stay cation”).

    I can’t function at my job and deal with those STUPID DUMB PEOPLE at work – my best peeps any other time. Oh, and who does’t need 22 hours of FRICKIN BEAUTY SLEEP a day! But, at least I know I’m not alone, and thanks to this forum I have learned about other withdrawal symptoms I had but didn’t connect to Paxil. I especially like the whoosh sound in my ears that sounds like my email sent alerts on my iPad! I had no way to describe it other than that, but it seems to be the same as people above have mentioned.

    I know I can do this with the help of reading these similar horror stories. Now, if I can only get my sudden (sorry for this) HORNINESS under control! I think I’ve been a dead fish for, oh, the last DECADE or so. Haven’t seen that mentioned yet, but I can’t be the first in that department either. Tomorrow is one month, I know it’s going to get better.

    • Pete June 7, 2015, 6:41 pm

      I have just stopped taking paxil after 16 years, and I am now experiencing all of the symptoms like everyone else. My main concern is this crazy wooshing wind like sound associated with my dizziness when I turn my eyes to the side. It’s so good to finally read that someone else has experienced the same, well good for me as apparently hearing noises when they are’t really there is bad.

    • Amy March 12, 2016, 1:31 am

      Thank you for mentioning the horniness. My hell. I thought I was alone on that one. I’m on almost 3 weeks and to say it’s hell is an understatement. I like what one person suggested. I’m going to print this page out and keep it on my fridge to remind me that these are symptoms, I’m not THAT crazy, and I’m probably not actually dying.

    • Vivien March 11, 2017, 10:14 pm

      Hello Paula, I have tapered to 1 mg Paxil, and, like you have hypersexuality that feels totally out of control. I find it very distressing because I was sexually abused, and avoid sex. How long did that symptom last and how did you deal with it? I am frightened to stop the Paxil completely. Thanks.

    • Linda March 23, 2017, 7:52 pm

      Paula, Just read your post of January, 2015. You have described my symptoms. I had been on Paxil for 22 years after the death of my son. Went cold turkey about six weeks ago. The flu-like symptoms and aching joints are improving. The whooshing sound has not improved, nor the imbalance issues. I was struck be the horniness comment. It’s like an itch I can’t scratch. Glad I’m not alone on this one. Please tell me that after 2 years you are symptom free and feel like a human again.

  • diane January 29, 2015, 5:50 pm

    It has been a year, things are better but certainly not normal. I took Paxil for fourteen years, 40mg a day. I decided to stop, doctor told me I couldn’t do it. Not sure my decision was a wise one, but will NOT start back. Suicidal thoughts are really strong now. Emotion is at a real low. I am not sure I like me now, my husband has been living with the devil.

  • Amy January 29, 2015, 2:45 pm

    I have been trying to get off Paxil now for quite some time. I’m only taking 10 mg so that it would be quite easy. Wrong! I have experienced nausea, flu like symptoms, panic attacks and end up on the couch because I’m so sick. I feel for everyone that is trying to get off this Pax-hell drug! It has ruined me!

  • Drew January 29, 2015, 12:50 pm

    Went cold turkey on the 20th Dec 2014 after being on 20mg for a year for social anxiety. Holy cow. I’m a 37 yr old male with no history of any illness till I had a panic attack at a busy shop. TBH I never really believed in mental illness until it happened to me. However paxil/paroxetine left me emotionally numb. No joy, no fear, no nothing. So I just stopped taking it.

    Bad idea… I feel dizzy, zaps, insomnia, mood swings, etc. I’m a bit over a month now and apart from a bit of confusion and dizzy spells daily, I’m doing well. Wish you all the best in getting off and if like me your strong minded and accept that the feelings are caused by the drug (or lack of it) you can do it. Don’t blame yourself! (I only went cold turkey due to lack of understanding, I didn’t read up on it until after).

    • Paula February 12, 2015, 12:52 am

      Hi Drew, I went cold turkey too, see my post below. I want to tell you that acupuncture is working wonders for me. I’ve been twice and the difference is unbelievable. I brought a list of all the w/d symptoms with me and that was very helpful to the practitioner. Its been like night and day for me in just 2 weeks.

    • amy March 11, 2015, 1:58 am

      I know how you feel about feeling emotionally numb. I just stopped 20mg cold turkey last week because we are pregnant! I knew withdrawal would hit hard as I would frequently feel odd if I missed even one dose. Now, I’m a hot mess. I cant sleep, my temper is out of control, I keep having these crazy realistic dreams that scare me to death.

      I felt really awful the first three days. Complete fuzz. I couldn’t walk because my head was to fuzzy. It was like everything was switching from slow motion to high speed. I look back over the past year and I simply put a patch on my symptoms and nearly cost me my marriage. I made some pretty poor choices because I felt so numb.

      I will always take responsibility for my actions, but I literally turned into something I have grown to hate. It breaks my heart. I think this new baby was the wake up call I needed to get off the medication. I just keep praying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I had the chance to step down. It is what it is! Hang in there everyone! We can do it!

  • Natalie January 28, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Wow, I feel so lucky. I accidentally went into withdrawals for stupid reasons (forgot to take them, then I lost my prescription and ran out and then just put off getting more for like 2 weeks), but I am only getting the least problematic of these symptoms. My biggest problem is the electric shocks and blurred vision. I’ve been feeling anxiety but not really any more than I did before I started on the meds.

    Same with depression, though Paxil doesn’t do very much for my depression. For me withdrawal just kinda feels like being on some weird drug that makes my perception a bit warped. And the brain zaps are just… bizarre. I’m glad it’s got a description here, because I previously had absolutely no words to describe it, it’s just so unusual! Today is really the first time its been particularly strong. For the past couple of weeks I’ve not really had any symptoms. Just kinda hit me today, so I forced myself to go get a new prescription.

  • Wendy January 28, 2015, 3:55 am

    This is my 3rd week of weaning off 20 mg of Paxil. On it for a little over a year. I was on Zoloft for 10 years and quit cold turkey (wasn’t aware that that was a horrible idea). It took about 6 months for the withdrawal symptoms to kick my butt. It was horrible because I had no idea that what was going on was due to getting off the Zoloft. Anyway, back to the Paxil. I have been amazing until today.

    I started feeling the dizziness and nausea. Not to mention the crying outbursts. I started doubting my decision of coming off this med, but talking to family, friends, and reading blogs like this truly helped me put me back in place. The psychiatrist said Paxil is one of the toughest meds to come off of. I hope it doesn’t get much worse, but the light at the end of the tunnel is worth this hell. Much love to everyone out there going through this. We’re going to be OK. :)

  • Claudia January 16, 2015, 1:48 pm

    I took paxil for 15 years and tapered 10% every 3 weeks… I am feeling horrible, have racing thoughts, sleep 2 a 3 hours a day, have depression, bad anxiety, a strange feeling in my head, etc. I am now paxil free for 2 months and its more than horror! I also fell into depression while still taking it and started my taper! It seems like its never going to end!

  • Judy January 14, 2015, 4:34 am

    Took Paxil for two years to relieve anxiety and depression due to fibromyalgia and IBS. It did little to help and made the IBS worse since it messed up my entire digestive tract. Decided to come off it, after gaining 20 pounds as well and dealing with other Paxil symptoms. Tapered very slowly off a 10mg dose. Took almost two months. Was finally down to dosing just pill dust for a week when I stopped taking any.

    I had some intense withdrawal symptoms all through this process and the last three weeks off have been hell. I might have had to come off more slowly or just cold turkey. I can’t know if the withdrawal would have been any worse had I done either. Some effects are not as intense as they were, but there are some days I can’t function at all. Am eating well, doing some moderate exercising and resting when I need to. I am also a staying in touch with my doctor.

    But, I am getting discouraged when after a few good days, I have a setback. Like yesterday and today. The fibromyalgia has hit with a vengeance and the hot feverous sweating makes me feel ill. Wondering if I should take a minuscule dose of Paxil to offset the symptoms for a week or so and then try again, or just tough it out. I am managing, but it is taking a toll on my 73 year old body.

  • Lily January 13, 2015, 5:46 am

    Thank you so much for this! I have been on 20mg of Paxil for the past 2 years and have tried three times to come off of it but each time I stopped taking it I lost it: crying, yelling, nightmares, bursts of rage, trouble swallowing, suicidal, I thought it was me, I thought I was insane, I was scaring people, I was scaring myself. My doctor never told me about withdrawals and I came off prozac with no trouble, so I had no idea. I almost gave up on my dream of having children fearing I would never be able to be off this drug. Thank you so much for this, thank you for giving me hope!

  • JZ December 30, 2014, 7:32 pm

    I too am trying to wean myself of this drug. I cut down from 30 to 15mg for six months, and now I’m going to cut it down from 15 to 7.5. I am merely cutting the pills in fourths now. I have noticed since I have moved down to 7.5mg that I am starting to experience some of the withdrawal symptoms that are so horrible. My head has been hurting for several days, as well as the pain in my neck, and left arm. This drug is horrible to stop. The doctors should warn you about this drug and what it is like to discontinue use.

  • Gary December 26, 2014, 5:21 pm

    Hello everyone I’ve been on paxil for about two years now and have tried getting off many times. Let me say if you have never taken paxil DO NOT START IT. Although it did help me get through some tough times at first I completely regret it. I took it for severe anxiety and now 6 days into my withdrawals my anxiety is worse than it’s ever been. One lady mentioned even cutting the 10mg pills smaller when tapering off this is the only way I’ve been able to stay off of them for more than 3 days without giving in and taking them again to feel better.

    I took 5mg for 3 weeks and am now 6 days off. I’m a wreck although when I tried getting off at 10 mg I was much much worse. I’m not even a week in im scared for the next few weeks. Has anyone experienced “bone pain” or kidney pain and throbbing? Especially while anxious and when you get an adrenaline Rush? These two symptoms scare me more than the rest and also affect me more. Luckily this time so far I’ve been OK on those symptoms I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I do have extreme cold sweats at night and severe anxiety every morning I get very very angry for no reason and also cry for no reason.

    Head “zaps”, eyes twitching, ears ringing, crazy dreams, skin seems different, heart pounding/racing, on paxil got major chest pain sometimes and still do right now. My blood pressure rises up and down while getting off of them and my mind wonders on negative things like there’s no tomorrow. Someone also mentioned the fear in your mind being worse than that actual withdrawals which I agree. In my head I feel like the world is ending I’m going to die or something is extremely wrong with me. It affects my relationships and school and being that I’m 23 the last thing I need is to ruin the good path I’ve been on.

    I will not let myself take them again no matter how hard this gets it’s only made my life a living hell that nobody else can truly understand besides you guys. It eases my mind reading your post and I’m glad I’m not alone. Everyone hang in there!! Go to the lowest dose possible before stopping them is my best advice. We will all get through it but this drug shouldn’t be legal. If only they understood the suffering we go through… Good luck everyone! We got this.

  • Amanda December 22, 2014, 6:30 pm

    I decided to come off paxil, because I don’t want to live my life on pills. I have PTSD, bipolar ii, anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. I take Abilify for the mood stabilization but the withdrawal symptoms from the Paxil are so bad that the Abilify doesn’t work at all. What is getting me is the electric shocks that rack my body with every move and all I do is cry. I want to feel better but it seems like its never ending. I can’t support my boyfriend who is on the hospital ATM, I snap at him and yell for no reason, he thinks I hate him….paxil is evil.

  • Lynne December 13, 2014, 12:45 am

    I was put on 10mg Paxil about February 2008; increased to 15mg four years later; tapered off that slowly all summer and haven’t had any since the end of September. Probably wouldn’t have gotten off at all if it hadn’t been for the side effect of severe cystic acne — my face felt like I’d been frying bacon on it and, at 58, that was absurd. Still feel like poo, with violent rages and night sweats.

    My primary care doctor didn’t have a clue but asked me why I’d been put on it to start with… as a sedative, mind you, to cope with depression following the withdrawal from Effexor and a miserable life situation. She doesn’t believe in severely disrupting one’s metabolism for situational depression but had no clue as to how severe the taper would be. And now paroxetene is being pushed to help women cope with normal menopausal symptoms? I hope to feel better in a couple months IF I live long enough…

    Fighting the rage over others’ average stupidity takes up a lot of my energy and this morning I woke up with plans for euthanasia, first the dogs, then myself. Spoke to my vet of over a dozen years and promised to call HIM if I felt I’d actually go through with anything extreme that would cause harm to animals. Thanks to all you dear, sweet, wonderful humans for sharing your stories. I’m not myself these days…and now I understand why.

  • laura December 12, 2014, 2:25 pm

    I completely agree with the lady who is cutting her pills into tiny doses :) ! I’m doing exactly the same thing. I’ve been tapering down gradually over the past 4 wks and I’m down to an 1/8 of a 10mg pill. I’m waking up every 2-3 hrs, having night sweats, plugged up sinuses, pounding heart and rapid breathing. THANK GOD no electric shock Zaps – yet :(( hopefully the dose cutting method will work for me. I’ve gone off Paxil before and after the first lower dose I freaked out with every symptom listed in the above posts. Dr’s are friggin sick to prescribe this med to ANYONE! It should be banned and discontinued to new patients so they never have to go through what all of us are having to deal with. Good luck to you all. Definitely try the pill cutting method and taper down by 2.5 mg at a time.

  • Mary November 30, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Hello, Thank you all for the information and comments. It is kind of scary to start the withdrawal after reading your comments, but I am going to try and get off the Paxil, AGAIN! I have been on Paxil since 2000. I have attempted to get off Paxil many times in the later years. I have always tried under my Physician’s care.

    He has a protocol I am following to taper down slowly. I am looking for your comments on Paxil and alcohol. Has anyone experienced an increase in their alcohol consumption when they were on Paxil? I have also has anyone experienced an increase in any compulsive behavior? I would appreciate any and all feedback. I am also hoping that having a website like this to go to, it will be helpful in my “quest”. Thanks!

    • mike February 16, 2017, 4:23 am

      Mary, I have definitely noticed an increase in compulsive behavior, in the form of gambling. Unable to stop once started. I didn’t have this before the paxil. Been on it for 30 years. The gambling has cost me almost .5 million.

  • Ann November 16, 2014, 1:49 pm

    I started 10mg of Paxil 2 years ago for anxiety attacks and depression. The first year I loved it, thought it was a miracle pill. I felt great. During the second year not so much. I questioned whether I should still be taking it but was afraid to stop. After 2 years I was starting to get really depressed. This was my schedule: work 7am till 1pm, sleep for 1-2 hours, get up and cook/eat/cleanup dinner. Go back to couch, watch TV for a few hours, go back to sleep and sleep all night.

    Get up & repeat. Every day same thing, didn’t want to do anything other than sleep. I used to joke the favorite thing in the whole world for me was to sleep. I actually couldn’t wait for bedtime to come, I craved going to bed at night. I finally said I’ve had enough I want “me” back. So I read everything I could get my hands on about weaning off of Paxil and I took my last dose 11/7/14. I followed the advise on another blog and bought a pill cutter from CVS. If you do this get the better one. It cost about $9 and has a shield guard to protect from the razor blade & this little arm that holds the pill in place.

    Works really well. Cut my 10mg pill in half, took for 2 weeks, cut the 5mg dose in half took for 2 weeks, cut the 2.5 mg dose in half took for 2 weeks, cut the 1.25 dose in half and took for 2 weeks. I know the last cut sounds crazy that you’re cutting a quarter of a pill in half especially since on that cut you don’t get even pieces so what I did was I cut all the quarters at one time that I would need for the next 2 weeks. I took the larger of the pieces the first week so that the second week was an even smaller dose. Hope this makes sense.

    To all of you that are stopping after 10mg my opinion is DON’T DO IT! Even if you break them in half and than break the halves in half is better than stopping at 10mg. You can even wean slower than I did. You can do each dose drop at 3 weeks, 4 weeks, any amount of weeks you want. Point is to go really slow and let your body adjust to each drop in dose. I told everyone closest to me, my husband, my boss and kids, that I was doing this. It was hard because except for my husband no one knew.

    I even printed out the withdrawal symptoms and taped them to my bedroom mirror so that every day I would read them to reassure myself what I was going through was withdrawal and that it would pass. I experienced almost every symptom listed above at some point but I would tell myself, like a mantra, this is doable, I can do this, this will pass. I ranted, I cried, I slept a lot, I left work on occasion cause I literally couldn’t think straight. I still have a few symptoms but they are mild.

    The way I feel now is I would rather have these mild withdrawal symptoms that I know will one day be gone than feel the way I did on Paxil. Never again. Oh and I also agree with one of the post above that said to get healthy. I’m working on eating better and exercising. I want to feel like a million dollars or at the very least a hundred thousand dollars. LOL

    • Judy January 14, 2015, 4:12 am

      I am were you were three weeks after tapering off. The last week I was taking pill dust and decided to stop taking Paxil at that point. That was three weeks ago. I am on my 4th week and still feeling the fatigue, dizziness and confusion, etc. most days. Although they are becoming less intense. The problem I am having is that the withdrawal has exaggerated my fibromyalgia and IBS which was why I was taking the 10 mg Paxil.

      It really only worked for about a year land then these two conditions came back with a vengeance. I am trying to manage with a very limited routine. I am Eating healthy, doing some mild exercise like stretching and my exercise bike. I am not really up to visiting or doing anything stressful. The IB is lessening. My digestion is quite calm now. Where are you at this point from your November posting. What do I have to look forward to?

  • Tristan November 13, 2014, 3:45 am

    I’m currently going through withdrawal of paxil… I take 30 mg daily but due to financial issues and insurance I can not afford any more until at least next friday. It’s day one without an I’m so dizzy I feel like I have the beer spins. I’m pushing my wife an kid away from me and they don’t understand. I’d like to get off of it completely but after reading all of your experiences I don’t think I can do it. I work in a mine an the last thing I need is to get someone killed or myself over a god damn pill. If any of you have any suggestions on how to at least calm the dizziness, I would really appreciate it.

  • Lesley November 12, 2014, 9:20 pm

    I had been on paxil for 8 happy years before it ‘pooped out’ on me. The withdrawals have been horrendous and I am still feeling awful after 16 months but not as bad as the first 12 months of hell. I have been taking sertraline for the past 3 months but this does not seem to stop the withdrawal symptoms apart from helping a bit with anxiety. Hang in there everyone, my thoughts are with you all.

  • Mark November 11, 2014, 11:12 pm

    I have been on Paxil almost since the drug was introduced. I have a weight problem and was given it by my PCP initially because Fen-Phen was taken off the market and she thought it might help. Well I started out weighing 190# and I now weigh 270%, have high blood pressure, sleep apnea, borderline diabetes and now I am really depressed. The main reason I haven’t been able to get off of it is when I get down to 10mg daily, (normally take 40mg), I become a high-strung sweaty lunatic and can’t stand it and then start increasing the drug until the withdrawal effects subside.

    My doctor has prescribed Trazodone for sleep to help with the withdrawal but even at 50mg, it makes me groggy and dumb the next day and I can’t function at work. Any words of wisdom at this point would be greatly appreciated. I’m down to 20mg now and am just starting into that anxious creepy crawly feeling. I really hope I can whip it this time and feel normal again. Thanks for listening. -Mark

  • Ruby November 11, 2014, 3:18 am

    I have 5 days going from 30mg to 20mg after being on Paxil for 3 years. I woke up with a pounding headache, nausea, dizziness, and my body hurts. My dreams have become nightmares – disturbing nightmares. I have been in bed all day. I know it is all due to the difference of Mg’s of my medication, but it is kicking my butt. I started this medication due to my post partum depression after my son was born (3-yrs ago). I decided to get off it because I am better and I don’t want to rely on a pill all my life, but damn the withdraws are bad, and I just started getting tapered off. I have to wait a month then go from 20 to 10, then another month then go from ten to being free, so that just means I am going to go through these bad withdraws again. :(

  • Lynette Piercey November 9, 2014, 3:14 am

    Hi: I was on paxil for close to 10 years and after it started to change my mood from normal to angry and sad all of the time I asked the doctor to wean me off of it. Well she did it in 3 weeks! I was taking 30mg. I really thought I was going to die!!! Horrible, horrible nausea, head zaps, white noise in my ears continually for months, tired, insomnia, crying, night sweats, day sweats, hives from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, all my skin peeled like I had a sunburn, blurred vision, no desire to watch TV at all, loss of appetite, and then the anger.

    Such horrible anger. It scared me! Diarrhea, 2 bladder infections within 6 weeks, 3 sinus infections, hypersensitivity to smells and tastes. Hated the smell of food. It’s been close to 3 months now since my last pill, my hives are just about gone, my skin is back to normal, and the white noise only comes when I have been crying all day, which I do a lot. I go from freezing cold to sweating in a matter of hours.

    I had some really good days for awhile when I was around people, but find myself alone a lot now because they just don’t want to deal with me and the way I am now. I don’t have very much support family wise, as they think I am just crazy and don’t want to be around me either. I haven’t been able to work since this all started. I did end up at the hospital one night because I couldn’t stand the nausea anymore. I was literally doubled over in pain. The doctor in emergency gave me a shot of Benadryl and steroids.

    The steroids were effective for a week. I slept like a baby that night and the nausea subsided, unfortunately nothing else did. I am still experiencing bad headaches and yes I sometimes wonder if I have a brain tumor. I cry every morning and afternoon, but am feeling a bit better by evening. I get to sleep, but about 4 hours later wake up sweating and shivering. I was getting up early for a few weeks and going outside just to get out, but now find can’t get out of bed because I’m too sad to face the day.

    I have pets, and even they make me angry. I yell at them for no reason and then I cry. I am living with my brother because I cant afford my own place as I haven’t a job. Still waiting for help as the doctor put me on sick benefits for 3 months. My savings are gone from giving him rent and trying to keep up with my bills. I just want to be a normal functioning human being again. I’m so tired of feeling so hopeless and so alone. Please help if anyone knows, how long is this going to go on. I will have to find a job within the next few months as my benefits will end. I’m just so scared. How do I work when I’m crying all the time and feeling so terrible?

    • Mark November 11, 2014, 11:15 pm

      Hi Lynette, I’m usually a teddy bear and I too am a raving lunatic when I get down to 20mg or below. Just know we are all here for you and we are going through the same thing and hopefully we can get off of this stuff and move on with a healthy happy life. Keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. -Mark

    • Johnno March 9, 2016, 3:06 am

      OMG I have read just a few comments and realize it’s not only me. Been on this crap for about fifteen years. Initially 20mg but only 10mg for past few years. I have ME/CFS, so have fatigue & weak immune issue anyways, as well as anger & the depression that comes with it. A month ago I dropped to 5mg for 5 days & have been on 5mg every other day for past 3 weeks.

      In short, I wanna rip everyone’s head off. I get irate for absolutely no reason.my wife & kids get scared. My ears feel like they’re water logged.feels like someone is squeezing my brains in a vice. I get bad night sweats, worse day sweats. Between my bumcheeks is where a massive colony of fungi & bacteria have set up residence. The light seems to hurt my eyes & brain. I can’t sleep more than 5 hours but am so fatigued.

      Scary to think that this won’t end once this drug is out of my system, which should be about 4 days from last dose.

      • TallKnowItAll April 25, 2016, 3:50 pm

        A fungus developed on your skin from withdrawal how is that possible??? Why don’t you go down to 2.5mgs everyday rather than 5mg every other day? I have gotten from 30mgs over 10 years to 5mgs in a month and I am just starting to feel tired, mood swings, and very light sensitive.

        It’s not the worst I’ve ever felt but it isn’t the best. Hopefully I am one of those people who can quit without much problem.

    • Christian April 6, 2016, 1:48 am

      Lynette, Did you eventually recover?

  • Johnson Fuller November 8, 2014, 6:07 am

    I took Paxil for 3 years from age 17 until 20. When I ran out I used to feel like I was in a walking nightmare. I would dart my eyes back and forth and hear a really disturbing swishing sound. I drank a lot of alcohol off and on for 2 weeks heavily, (not being a drinker) and it fought the withdrawls. I don’t recommend this for everyone. This was between May of 2000-2003 March.

  • S Kirk November 7, 2014, 2:26 pm

    I tapered off Paxil per my doctor’s instructions after being on 20 mg for 9 years. To say it is pure hell, is an understatement. I have called my doctor and her advice was to just stay still until symptoms subside. I truly do not think health professionals understand the seriousness and severity of the withdrawal of this medication. I am a week into it and still dizzy and getting “zaps”.

    I am forcing myself to control my emotions, as I have children. I will go to the bathroom and have my crying spells. When I make it through this, and I will, I am going to make it my mission, to let people know the dangers of this medications. There are alternatives that doctors can prescribe that are less dangerous than Paxil. It is my opinion that pharmaceutical companies refuse to be honest, because it would cut into their bottom line.

    And to all of those going through this, the blogger is correct. You will get through this. I am taking it one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. I am just angry enough at my physicians lack of knowledge and the pharmaceutical companies lack of transparency that I refuse to give in.

    • Mike April 15, 2016, 8:54 pm

      Hi Kirk! Your post is now 1.5 years old, but I wanted to state that I agree 100% with you: “health professionals do not understand the seriousness and severity of the withdrawal of this medication” and that big Pharma have hidden the true data, plus the short term trials for drug approval did not show the problem! I was very kindly recommended to take this “medication that will help you” (fear of failure at college exams) and that is NOT addictive.

      It calmed me down for a while but I could never stop it without breaking into tears and my Doc just kept on prescribing it for 18 years (20mg then 10mg) till it dawned upon me that this stuff was making me tired, apathetic, stoic, disconnected from useful feelings (that we need to process to grow) and real consciousness about life! 2nd quit attempt successful but without being able to work!

      The psychiatrist had no idea what time frame was required and tried to convince me I have to take this crap for life. I said no and the WITHDRAWALS were horrendous. That’s when you suddenly realise the drug is really strong!! The 3 months tapper was too fast and I was really hurting more and more over 3-4 months… + I felt so sh*t I wanted to die most days (+ hyper-sexuality for several months – I guess a way for the body to deal with the terrible anxiety & tensions).

      After 6 months just hanging in there and getting to feel more human again but without “drive”. Now at 1.2 years I still have depressive symptoms. What kept me going, my loving wife, switching to a doctor who is critical of SSRI’s ’cause he knows the research, sports, supplements and knowing I’m not alone (here)! Courage my friends…

      • TallKnowItAll June 7, 2016, 4:57 pm

        What supplements are you taking? I’ve been taking Paxil for 10 years or so and the withdrawls are horrible. Any tips to make it easier?

    • Patricia Theriot July 15, 2016, 9:49 pm

      I so agree with you on the physicians having no clue about this drug. My mom passed away in 1996. I had my physical due 2 weeks after her burial. Any way long story short I was some what depressed, which is normal right? My doctor prescribes Paxil but never said one word about it being addicting. Also I never asked why would I question my doctor they are supposed to have your best interest in hand.

      Have tried to get off it several times no luck….go back on it. Well I took my last pill on June 24, 2016. I have had some down sick days but also some up feel good days. Not sure how long before I can say I feel great and back to my old self… whatever that is, but I know it will come. I appreciate all of your posts and am learning how many of you are coping with the withdrawal and what I can do to help myself get through this.

      Very happy to have found this group. One more thing any one having troubling with your taste? I find this to be my worst effect so far. Like a metallic taste.

      • susan August 2, 2016, 6:09 pm

        I was on the high dose for 20 years and stopped June 1, 2016. Am still having problems with sick stomach, terrible taste (almost none, but then again, like my mouth was blistered). Had dry heaves until a week ago… not to mention crying everyday… awful. BUT, this time, I did not go back on Paxil when the withdrawal got back… now, it has been 9 weeks… and most of the time, I don’t have symptoms, except the messed up taste!

  • Steve Jones November 5, 2014, 2:23 am

    I have been taking Paxil for many years, and decided to go off Paxil with the help of my MD. Sadly my MD is not a psychiatrist and did not give me the best advice on getting off paxil. I titrated off for a about two weeks before stopping completely. And then the Pax-hell set it, I have been dizzy, feel like I have vertigo, I am more emotional, want to cry over everything, and I have flu like symptoms. This completely sucks. If you are thinking of going off paxil, go slow and steady. Depending on your dose, I would recommend decreasing in increments of 10 mg or 5mg if you are only 10mg. This is the worst experience I have ever had getting off an antidepressant. I will think long and hard before ever going back on Paxil. Beware!

  • Shannon November 3, 2014, 3:01 pm

    I have been on 20mg paxil for about 2 years now. I ran out of my prescription 4 days ago and have not had the money to get it refilled. I am currently losing my mind! I feel like a zombie, I cry and scream for no reason. I can’t sleep! I feel sick and dizzy. This is by the worst experience of my life! I wish my doctor would have told me there would be withdrawal effects. If I knew that I would of never began paxil. I need to make it through the rest of the day without killing someone so I can get my prescription tonight. Lord help me!

    • Ruby November 11, 2014, 3:32 am

      Whatever you do never miss a pill…like ever. Being tapered off is bad enough. I know I have been on it for 3 yrs due to post-partum depression, I am on my 5th day and I am so sick, but it is the medication. Doctors will not tell you that.

  • jen November 1, 2014, 9:03 pm

    I have taken paxil on and off for several years for major depression. I have tapered off of it starting about three weeks ago. My main symptom that I am certain is related to withdrawal is a strange vertigo/dizzy feeling for lack of a better description. Other factors which may or may not be related: insomnia, nightmares, itchy skin, angry mood swings. A positive note: I have started a fairly well researched supplement and nutrition regime which seems to be helping me considerably.

    The most helpful for me has been l-tryptophan. Note: do NOT take this while taking any SSRI including paxil – that is dangerous. And by all means consult your physician first. That being said, your brain uses this amino acid to make serotonin. It has a calming effect that I noticed almost immediately and an extra bonus of improving sleep. Also beneficial for me has been a high quality omega-3 fish oil supplement.

    Our brains NEED essential fatty acids for normal, healthy brain function. Again, stay in contact with your physician! I am actually starting to feel almost normal a good part of the time. There is HOPE, and believe me I’ve spent a good portion of my life feeling hopeless. I sincerely hope this helps someone.

    • Mona July 24, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Jen, I hope you will read my message. I was wondering how you found a good doctor that helped you with supplements like L-tryptophan. I even bought it, but I’m scared to take it without having doctor’s approval. I took paxil 5 mg for 1 week and 10 mg for another week and had to stop because my anxiety went to the roof and I could not sleep at all. The doctor is taking me off and last week I took 5 mg and this week I’m supposed to stop. When I went down to 5mg I could sleep for about 3 hours for 3 nights, but still a lot of anxiety.

      Now that I’m down to 2.5 mg anxiety is worse and sleeping no more than 2 hours per night and having weird dreams. Can you or anybody help me with any comments? First time I took paxil it worked and I took it for about 11 years and came off slowly during a 1 year time frame. I now I should never go back to antidepressant, I had the feeling that it would not be good. I wanted so much taking a natural approach to my moderate depression and mild anxiety. Please, any help with a good doctor in Orlando, Florida?

    • Pete December 9, 2015, 10:12 am

      Hi, have just quit taking this filthy drug after fifteen years on it. From 20mg to 15mg for two months then after another month down to 10mg for yet another month. Read Dr Steve Llardi’s book The depression cure and started taking his recommended list of fish oils and supplements, then I quit completely after the month on 10mg’s. Has been a week so far free of seroxat!

      Although I still have some of the symptoms of withdrawal, they haven’t been as severe as when I tried to quit several times over the years. I put this down to my increased fish oil and vitamin intake. Sometimes cry for no real reason,have swishing feelings occasionally, insomnia, nausea, but through this moments of clarity when I can see touches of my old self coming back so I carry on and will never again touch this drug!

      Good luck to all of you on this forum. I’m 69 now and hope to have a few years of clear thinking left. If I leave you perhaps again with what I think did help me, and no I am not the author’s agent, the vitamins from the book I mentioned, for me, have been the the greatest help so far! Good luck my friends!

      • Saundra Preston September 19, 2016, 1:28 am

        I have taken paxil for 19 years and now can’t afford it due no health insurance and no money and my brother almost died 5 months ago and still is having serious health issues. I truly feel no hope. I am having serious withdrawal symptoms. Not sure if it is worth it.

        • Michael November 12, 2016, 3:52 pm

          I can completely relate to that… omg… I’m not alone.

    • Rosalie March 3, 2016, 4:09 am

      Thank you Jen for the good word. I took paxil for 3 years during a realy tough time in my life and decided that I wanted to quit and be “myself”. That was 8 years ago and I just can’t seem to get over my severe mood swings. I am tempted to take it again so I can have a normal life and be a good mother. I just want to be happy without taking something. I appreciate that there are other people out there to identify with.

      • Maxine September 15, 2016, 11:48 pm

        The frightening thing to read here is that so many of you say you’d rather be dead than to go through this “heroin-like” addiction withdrawal. That makes tapering off and/or eliminating the SSRI a very dangerous and lonely experience. There has to be a better way!!

        Has anyone tried the Fisher Wallace Neuro-Stimulator device? It treats anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic disorder, PTSD, certain types of pain, stress, and other issues. I see where numerous therapists are advising it before meds. I just bought one from their site, but have not used it yet.

        I read testimonials from users that it works to restore serotonin even DURING THE TAPER OFF as well as cold turkey stop of an SSRI, and that it is safe to use to assist with that process. (The company still recommends not to go off cold turkey, and to seek physicians advice before stopping your medication.). I paid $700 for the device, which is covered by some insurance companies.

        Also, this is not new advice, but exercise (walking, yoga, biking, etc) should help with withdrawal symptoms. Meditation too. My doctor always told me that if you are deprived of sleep, YOU WILL have anxiety…. So developing insomnia as a side effect to withdrawal is feeding the monster; as serotonin, in many cases, might be leaving the brain more each day without the reuptake medication.

        So if something like the neurostimulator device helps induce sleep at night, that alone should be worth it. My therapist also said that some people actually maintain the restored serotonin that has been replaced from taking the drug (it is built back to normal levels and stays that way), while others have brain chemistry that constantly drains the necessary levels of serotonin and it will always have to be restored. If the stimulator restores serotonin it could mean a med-free life for millions of people. I will write back to let you know.

        A little background- age 63, Paxil or Paroxetine CR non-stop since 1994 in dosages from 25-30, at one point 40 mg. Diagnosis: Major Depression, Anxiety/Panic Disorder. Most recent dosage CR 25 mg (10 yrs). I knew that the CR tabs can’t be cut and taken, so when I decided to taper and go off the drug, I requested to be switched to regular Paxil 20 so I can cut the tabs to taker correctly). I took that dosage for 3 weeks.

        I got a pill cutter and cut the pills in half. I started taking a half plus a quarter of a pill (15 mg) 3 days ago. I hope to continue this dosage for another couple of weeks before going to 10 mg. Every time I’ve ever reduced mg, Or even missed one pill I’ve always had the head zaps, and a few times have had stomach symptoms that subsided in a day or so. This time I have terrible sweating and flashing.

        Paxil made my life very functional for a very long time, and I had a successful career and full life while taking it. A stressful life and a traumatic past made my world dark and a constant struggle with severe anxiety/panic before SSRI. I’ve always been very active and slender, but gained about 35-37 lbs from the drug over the long term, and also now suffer from tinnitus (a side effect) from the drug as well.

        With diabetes in my family, I want to lose the weight, as a music-lover I hope to lose the Tinnitus, and I want to go off the drug before I get other more serious side effects from long term use. Your prayers are greatly appreciated, as I am certainly praying for each and every one of you. Best wishes, strength and courage to you all.

  • Zoe Hearn November 1, 2014, 8:43 pm

    Been on this drug 20 years, going from 30 mg to a 20mg to 10 mg. have been not too bad but, experiencing difficulty, some weeks run smooth and then, bang, back into the dithery brain, feeling unsafe, scared for my family (they just want a cool life) ashamed, wasting my precious life, what the hell, don’t know where to turn next, gods, help me. I just need peace.

    • stu March 23, 2015, 9:25 am

      Reading this as last Friday was the last tapering day. I went from 40, 20, 10 and nothing. In bed typing this, head zaps are very often and feeling very sick and anxious. Worried that I have been tapered off them to fast. This was over a 3 week period.

      • Pat May 16, 2015, 4:30 pm

        Stu, how are you doing. I went off quite quickly my second time and it hit me hard. Took probably 8+ weeks to start feeling better. Lots of dizziness and nausea. Zaps zaps zaps.

    • Barbie February 12, 2016, 9:02 am

      I have been on this paxil for 20 years also. A very young psychiatrist has me tapering off. I feel pretty bad. I’m up all night four nights a week talking care of two very ill people. He has dementia and been yelling out all night.

      I feel I’m going to jump out of my skin. I’m like a furnace. Headache. Body aches and feel a panic coming on. I have to pay my own bills so I have to work. I just want to sleep. I just realized tonight maybe I feel like this from withdrawals. They never spoke to me of this.

    • Karen Myott March 5, 2017, 8:08 pm

      Zoe, I too took Paxil for 20 Years. Dropped down like you did. I’ve been put on Trintellix because obviously Paxil stopped working years ago. My kids don’t talk to me, I got divorced and live by myself.

      As I went off Paxil I didn’t realize these withdrawals were going to be this bad. I started having bad hot flashes so what does my APRN do? She gives me Paxil 10 mg because paroxetine is used for hot flashes.

      I took one, looked online here and realized it’s a side effect of coming off it. I cry, I’m depressed, I worry about things. I’m nauseous, have headaches, the whole thing.

      I wonder if these bad times will go on longer then average because we’ve been on for 20 years? Does anyone out there have any solutions to what will ease these horrible symptoms?

  • miah October 24, 2014, 9:52 pm

    I am going though this as well, I took Paxil for 1 month and couldn’t deal with side effects. I have been off for 6 weeks and crazy train started, have a consent ringing in my ears and bad head aches. My legs and arms ache all the time. I get moods of moderate depression, some real lows. Went to DR.’s they said cant be Paxil withdrawal, but have been dealing with this for 6 weeks. DR wanted me to take Effexor control release. But I said I don’t want any of these chemicals. Can anybody help?

    • Gary October 28, 2014, 2:02 am

      My brain is zapping, I feel like I have narcolepsy. I think my dizziness is from not eating right in addition to the withdrawal. I feel better when I move around and get my heart rate up. No triathlons or anything just a walk around the block. Seems counterintuitive while you are dizzy and have vertigo, but I force myself to move and feel better. Oversleeping is as bad as not enough sleep.

      The dreams are so interesting I want to stay asleep and see how they play out. I was on 20mg tapered to 10mg for a month, 5mg for 2 weeks and this last cold turkey is brutal. Not really anxious or depressed. At least I can get an erection and the plumbing works again. I felt like a eunuch and it cost me some smoking hot relationships. I cry when I try to sing a love song or ballad then laugh at myself for being such a puss.

      I avoid the ASPCA infomercials. I’ve gotten off Effexor, Citalopram and Zoloft but this is a f#cking monster. Best suggestion I have is to give yourself some structure, chart out a couple months of food, exercise, time off from work, help with daycare, hire landscapers and cleaners and be really good to yourself. Coming out on the other side you may develop some good healthy habits along the way while being distracted by how crappy you feel. IT WILL END.

      • James Brian Tambakis November 8, 2014, 6:46 am

        Hi Gary I have dropped from 40mg to 20 mg and am trusting God to get me through this. I noticed my plumbing has improved. I had no libido on 40mg. I am a bit sore and have a flu feeling. I am waiting 3 months then I am going to drop dose to 10mg and then stop. Thanks for your honesty.

      • Paula February 7, 2015, 3:04 pm

        Just wondering how are you doing now? Your comment on the ASPCA commercials got me. Sure can relate to that. Thought I was having a good day yesterday and driving to work I heard ‘Come Sail Away’ by Styxx, started happily singing along, then got caught up by the words in the second verse and cried the rest of the way in to work. Go figure. I just can’t thank you and the others participants in this forum for opening up here. It is a tremendous help realizing we are all feeling the exact same symptoms and will one day come out on the other, better, side of this.

      • TallKnowItAll June 2, 2016, 3:45 pm

        How long does it take to feel normal? I’m a 6’3″ 215lb male and these withdrawal symptoms are insane! I’m dizzy, vomiting all of a sudden, I cry for no reason then laugh at myself like you do. I feel confused, nervous, angry, sad. I’ve quit some of the most addictive street drugs there are and I have to say mentally this is as bad or worse.

    • Tryal Alexander March 23, 2015, 10:35 am

      Miah I was on Paroxetine 20 mg for a month as well! I’ve been diagnosed with a panic disorder, I have been off this for 8 days now due to it made me shaky & more panicky than ever before even though I was in my comfort zone! I didn’t start noticing withdrawal symptoms until 3 days after I took myself off it! So here’s what I’ve been experiencing so far! I’ve had a major headache non stop since day 3, day 5 I started noticing flu like symptoms & rapid mood swings – I go from happy to mad to crying uncontrollably. I’ve never been really depressed until I came off this stuff! I’ve always had a hard time sleeping so that’s normal! Please tell me you found an answer!

  • Brenda Rhea October 9, 2014, 6:42 pm

    Wow I stopped taking it about two weeks ago it was not really a choice since my insurance is not the greatest and doctor bills are adding up. My husband had a widow maker heart attack two years ago and recently underwent a pre-cancer tumor removal from his rectum. I had several deaths in my family Father, two brothers, two sister in laws, Mother in law, a cousin and my beloved Mother last October 27, 2013.

    Guess this might have sent me over the edge, the family has been fighting non stop, anger and hurt seems to be around ever corner. Long story short my last doctor diagnosed me with bipolar and I laughed as I read it! I said to him I am not bipolar I just am depressed due to everything that is going on recently! I changed doctors, we talk about the things that have been going on and his diagnosis is clinically depressed!

    I go home and think about what he has said to me and I decide that they really have no idea! So nightmares are constant, I wake up in the middle of the night crying after several hours of trying to go to sleep. Okay so maybe I do have this problem! I go back to the doctor and he starts me on paroxetine (Paxil) After going through a few weeks of being dizzy, nauseated and having headaches this was a low dose of 10mg, I start seeing a small difference in my depression.

    So the doctor increases to 20mg I take this a few weeks and things seem to be better so he after a month or two increases my doses to 40mg at this point I feel better but before the 40mg I was still having the nightmares so after the last increase I was feeling so good! I could feel the depression but it was no where near the before feelings. So like I said due to insurance and billing I stopped. The side effects of coming off paroxetine are crazy most of what is listed here I am having. I don’t think I ever want to be put back on this again, the fear of symptoms of coming off are greater then the actual depression to me.

  • sarah September 27, 2014, 1:12 pm

    I have been on paxil for nearly 6 months (30mg), dropped to (20mg) about 2 months ago and then to (10mg), I gradually cut down about 3 weeks ago, with 4 days ago been the last dose! However, I have felt shocking for over a week, head zaps and hear like a buzzing, my heart jumps every 2 mins! sweats, shivers, headaches, toilet troubles and nausea..always tired and don’t feel with it at all!!….will these horrendous feelings go completely?? unbearable

    • Kathleen March 31, 2015, 11:10 pm

      Sarah, Your are telling my story. I have been on paxil for 6 months and I am now coming off. I am feeling all the symptoms you have felt. Mostly at bedtime and noon. My pill is pink and wonder if I should be cutting it. I am on 10mg going down slow. Feel foggy, and have similar bathroom issues! -Kat

      • Johanna April 7, 2015, 10:11 pm

        Hi Kathleen. Hope you are doing well. I have tapered off just recently and going through all the crap side effects including the bathroom issues. How are you now? I figure another 3 weeks. Oops, gotta go. Love.

    • Ariana Trantos June 17, 2016, 7:07 pm

      I have been on paxil for two years and my doctor decided to changed my medicine to wellbutrin. He tried to ween me off for three weeks till I totally stopped it. It’s been almost a week and I feel like hell, I’d rather be dead then go through what I am going through. It’s affecting my husband and kids. I really can’t take this anymore.

  • teri laino September 21, 2014, 4:02 pm

    I am 78 yrs old and took Paxil for 12 years. I finished tapering off March 2014. I still have some strange feelings and neck and shoulder pain. does this ever go away or is this just part of my aging. I still have anxiety at times also.

    • Kelly November 8, 2014, 4:36 pm

      Teri, I was put on Paxil 20mg in Aug 2013. Dr. decided to take me off it (b/c I have bipolar and was beginning to show signs of a manic episode. Dr told me that the antidepressant could trigger or worsen a manic episode) Dr. said start taking a 20mg pill every other day for 15 doses (thus 30 days). Took the last 20mg dose on Monday and feel like I’m having the flu. Went to urgent care today and they said it was likely the Paxil withdrawal. Anyway, I am having the neck and shoulder pain you mentioned, so I doubt it’s your age, most likely the Paxil withdrawal. Best of luck and hope your body recovers quickly!

    • Pauline Grace October 13, 2016, 11:51 pm

      Going through Hell is exactly how I feel. I was on paxil, 40mg, for over 12 years, but I really wanted off. I had tried to go off 7 years ago, followed my doctors instructions, but the withdrawal was horrible. I was going through too much other stress so I went back on. Now I’ve been weaning myself off for 4 years. I went completely off about 10 weeks ago. The insomnia and anxiety are killing me.

      I feel like the world is overcast and I’m going to lose everything precious to me. I was starting to feel better, but then something stressful got me started again. The nights are the worst. I take xanax, melatonin, and Benadryl, but I wake in the night and even those things can’t put me back to sleep for an hour or more. Yesterday I decided I couldn’t take it anymore.

      I called my Dr. in desperation and said I needed something, PLEASE! But not paxil. He seemed to take it seriously, but… no prescription has been called in! I called back several times today: “It’s in the pile” the front desk says. OMG. Now, reading back over these stories, makes me wonder if that’s for the best.

      Maybe I should keep trying to tough it out, even though it feels like the world is going to end tomorrow. Can I make it? Has anyone else decided their depression needed treatment so went on a different med?

  • Woneta September 17, 2014, 3:23 pm

    I am on week 2 of stopping paxil, was on it for 1 year. I stopped the right way with weaning, as I see a therapist. She said these side effects should be gone but I still have them on and off throught the day, mornings and evening seem to be the worst and at times in the middle of the day…brain zaps, eye movement and wooshing in the ears, irritability, dizziness, feeling flushed sometimes tired but sometimes energy and poor focus – although I have that even at times when I was on the medicine….how long do you think these will last and will they ever go away?

    • GLOOM September 17, 2014, 4:10 pm

      Woneta, there’s no exact science behind “how long” it should take. It took me nearly a full year to feel better after I quit Paxil, but others have recovered at much quicker rates. Try to take it one day at a time and always trust your own experience over what others are telling you “you should feel” etc.

      I was told my symptoms should clear up within a few days, but that was prior to researchers even knowing that antidepressants could produce withdrawal syndromes. It will take time and it’s not usually easy, especially coming off of Paxil. In the meantime, focus on doing what you can to improve your situation.

      Wish you nothing but the best and a quick recovery.

    • Jenifer Aslett January 19, 2015, 4:23 pm

      I am 4 weeks off Paxil after tapering off (I had taken it for 5 years). Your symptoms are exactly what I am going through.

  • Jake September 14, 2014, 10:07 pm

    I wish I had never taken this drug. I’m crying as I write this to you. Very unlike me… I’m too scared to go back on it just to taper off slowly. I feel many of the withdrawal effects you listed, and felt them when I would miss just one day of dosage. Paroxetine has only made my life worse since the day I started taking it, I just didn’t know why until I experienced the effects of this drug or a period: 1yr, 40mg.

    • ann October 23, 2014, 4:01 pm

      Well I’m tapering off and I can’t imagine feeling any worse than this. Sorry you have to go through that. I have been crying and mood swings and feeling shocks which effect my speech and it is quite scary. Not loving it!! I hope it gets better for you. But I will say the medication has kept me from having panic attacks and from having seizures. Thank god for science. I was diagnosed at 13 with epilepsy. But at the age of 24 I found out that I have a severe panic disorder that stresses me out so badly that I have seizures.

      This medication along with the epilepsy drugs have kept me from having a seizure for 10 years. I am now seizure free and able to get off all medications supervised by my doctor. But the withdrawals are brutal! I am having a really hard time. Again I am sorry you have to threw it alone and I hope you have a support group of family and friends to help you. God bless you. And if you’re not religious then I wish you the best of luck. But remember the effects of the withdrawal are not permanent. Best of luck

  • Danica Aspin August 15, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Hi, I am currently going through the withdrawal because I found out I’m pregnant and it’s dangerous for my unborn child – I feel horrible I am stressing all the time, I already have a 4 year old and it’s breaking my heart her seeing me like this.

    • Angela November 21, 2014, 12:01 am

      How are you doing? I just found out I am pregnant and had to quit Paxil cold turkey and I feel like garbage. Please tell me it gets better…

      • rich November 26, 2014, 4:18 pm

        Stay strong. I was on 20mg for 12 years and now 1 month free. Almost was commited to hospital. Anger outbursts etc. This drug should not be fit for humans. There is light, stay strong.

        • linda January 8, 2015, 12:10 pm

          Hi I have been on it for 15 years, on & off for first 2/3 years but constantly for at least 10, then it stopped working, tapered off 30 mg 2 years ago, then had to go back on. I have tapered again, under medical supervision (what a joke these psychiatrists have no idea) even though I tapered to 2.5 mg, I am having severe withdrawal, day 4 completely off today & determined not going back! I am on mirtazapine 30 mg, zopiclone from 7.5 for years now 3.75 also 15mg diazepam to help with withdrawal. I want to get off each & every one over time, and try to find out who “me ” is now. I would love to shove these drugs down my psych’s throat for a few years, see what they think then! Just hoping to achieve all of this without losing my mind. -Linda

          • Johanna April 7, 2015, 10:05 pm

            Amen Linda!!! I have been on every antidepressant known to man and only a few worked. I recently had to transfer from Paxeva to Paxil (generic) because of the high cost of the Paxeva. Was on SSRI’s for close to 28 years total. Approximately 8 weeks my MD had me cut my dose in half because it made me shake so much. Then I read parts of a book “Unstuck”. All about life without psychotic drugs. Great book. I started to taper off until I was down to taking chips. Couple of weeks now without anything. All the side effects (flashing, nausea, dizzy, flashing, flashing, cranky, anger, couple of crying for now real reason spells, sick guts) and I am still determined to get this crap out of my 69 year old body! The book actually indicates it is as addicting as heroin. The kicker is, I WAS NOT DEPRESSED or sick when I was first prescribed these approved poisons. I wish everyone on the planet taking these drugs to get off them and be healthy on every level. Namaste.

          • Mary M April 20, 2016, 3:02 am

            I had no idea until yesterday that I have been withdrawing from Paxil on and off for 5 years. I thought I was dying from cancer or something. I recently has my dose up to 20mgs from 10mgs and felt better with less nausea and anger out bust. I knew then something was up. So I asked my doctor and she said yes, it very possibly was withdraw sickness. It cost me a good relationship and time with family. Sucks I didn’t even know!

        • karen April 28, 2015, 2:02 pm

          I was on paxil for 16 years or so. Its been 2 months since the last pill and I’m starting to feel somewhat normal again. The anger and depression have lessened, but am taking melatonin to sleep. The nightmares and insomnia were extremely difficult. I told my doctor that I don’t want any more mind-altering drugs. This is more difficult than I ever anticipated, but have a sense of becoming more real now. I’m finally becoming the person who God originally designed me to be! I’m very grateful that the worst is over.

          • Pat May 16, 2015, 2:51 pm

            God bless you. It is nice to hear “become the person God intended me to be”. I was on 30 mg the third time taking Paxil. The first two times I was on 20 mg. the second time I went off Paxil I tapered quickly to 5 and after a week went cold turkey and it was awful. Took months. After a period of time I lost my pet and got so depressed and went immediately to the doctors for a drug. :(

            I hated the weight gain on Paxil so he started me on Prozac. 7th day in I almost lost my mind. I thought I could hurt my family and myself. Immediately went back on Paxil but started with 30 because I had a hard time getting over the Prozac attack. After 6 months or so I tapered back to 20 where I had been before. Well it has been a couple years and it stopped working. I started having vertigo and panic attacks? Crazy. Now I am tapering down. Seems like the first couple of weeks I did okay but now I have so much anxiety.

            My blood pressure has raised a bit. But I feel like I am dying of something for sure. Lol. It has been so helpful to read other stories. I started on 12.5 yesterday and will go two weeks before I go any lower. I just so badly want off this completely but know that tapering is the better way to go. Been doing a lot of bible study, singing Christian songs and praying. He will give the strength to get through this.

          • Julie July 2, 2015, 7:31 pm

            Karen, you are so blessed to do this in 2 months. I am 16 months into withdrawal and still am not happy with how I feel. Thank you for sharing… Julie

          • Sarah August 10, 2015, 4:00 pm

            Thank you Karen – your story gives me hope. After 10 years on Paxil, I’m on week 4 off this drug. I want to give up on this painful process of withdrawal almost every day, but most people say you need to really try to give it 8 weeks. I’m hanging on and I’m glad to hear that things got better for you around 2 months.

          • Candace January 23, 2016, 6:36 pm

            Ten years, 40 MG, two months since quitting cold turkey, had no idea it would be this bad.

          • Eunice Harris January 26, 2016, 10:07 pm

            Wow. These comments are truly helping me! I was on Paxil for 2 years. I gained so much weight, and was always hungry. I also wanted to not be dependent on a pill to control my happiness and life. I have insomnia and my doctor prescribed me medicine for that. I stopped that as well. So far, it’s been 3 days since I have been off Paxil, and I have experienced no appetite, fatigue, and body aches. For once I feel hopeful and I want to heal naturally and spiritually. Thank you all for your honest comments.

          • Michele April 28, 2016, 2:31 am

            Karen I can relate because I too am a Christian trying to wean off paxil after 8 years. It is encouraging for me to know you are starting to feel normal again! How long did you take to completely wean? What dosage were you on?

          • Theresa August 1, 2016, 6:42 am

            Good to see someone else who has been on Paxil almost as long as I have. 21 plus years and my body decided it didn’t like Paxil anymore and I started having severe reactions to the med. My Dr. agreed it was time to get off the stuff. I weaned off slowly and my last dose was a month ago. I am still having side effects that include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, tingling feet, flu like symptoms, and fatigue.

            From what I have read I’m hoping the worst part will be over by the end of another month. My body will probably need more time than that to feel normal again but I am hoping to be through the worst in a few weeks. Right now my symptoms are bad enough that I can’t work or do much at all except stay at home and wait for it to go away. Good luck to everyone.

          • Anne September 12, 2016, 12:35 am

            I am 4 weeks off Paxil/cold turkey. The worst 4 weeks of my life. So dizzy, everything makes me angry, brain zaps, exhausted, can’t remember something I read a minute before, can’t sleep and the worst are the hot flashes, out of control. Some improvement with the brain zaps, down to 10-20 a day vs. well over 100 a day in the beginning. I had a good day or 2 (so to speak) this week so I am hopeful.

        • Jen January 17, 2016, 6:02 pm

          Hi Rich, Thanks for the encouragement. I was on 20mg for roughly 14 years and tapering off is much more difficult than expected. I took just under 2 weeks to taper off and am now experiencing nausea, diarrhea, lack of appetite, uncontrollable crying, and extreme difficulty concentration and remembering things I just heard/read. My acupuncturist is giving me treatments to help, and I’m taking Free & Easy Wanderer chinese herbs to help me through it. How long until your withdrawal symptoms disappeared?

          • Carol May 11, 2016, 6:41 pm

            I have taken paxil for 13 years. Have also used herbs. Good to hear that someone else does too.

        • Amy April 11, 2016, 10:06 pm

          I am currently going off of paxil. I have been on 20mg for two years and before that it was celexa for a year. I had to go down to 15 mg for a couple of weeks and now I am down to 10 mg. I am very tired, dizzy, brain zaps, irritable and I burst out crying at least once a day right now. I started taking Omega 3s in hopes that this will lessen the effects and symptoms. I really hope everyone from this site is off of them now. Any kind of advice would really help me right now. Thank you.

        • April June 4, 2016, 11:22 pm

          I am currently in the withdrawal process. I am at the 7-8 week since my last dose. I just now started having the horrible withdrawal symptoms. I had been taking Paxil for 9 years though. This is one SERIOUS drug. I wouldn’t wish this Pax-hell on my worst enemy!! It’s so bad you think you’re going insane.

          I pray you do not feel alone. Hang in there!! I know there is light at the end of this tunnel BC before Paxil, I detoxed from KLONOPIN. 💔😭💔
          That was extreme torment. Worse than the Paxil. I know how good I felt during March and April!!! It is worth it in the long run!!


          • April June 24, 2016, 6:08 am

            I commented above already. To clarify, I did experience withdrawal symptoms from the Paxil immediately up until now around week 7-8 from my last dose, I had an episode where it felt like my mind was racing, nauseated again really bad, EXTREME dizziness, confusion/forgetfulness/lack of concentration, trouble walking straight, insomnia and decreased appetite.

            I feel like I’m not the same me as before withdrawing from Paxil. I guess I did not pay close enough attention to these withdrawal symptoms because one month before my doctor had me withdraw from KLONOPIN!!! Oh my!!!! Pure HELL!!!! I thought I was ready for a straight jacket!!!!! And I’m not even kidding!!!!! I never thought I’d have any type of life ever again during that AWFUL bedridden month of February 2016.

            I’m thinking that with Paxil it takes 2-8 weeks for it to build up serotonin in your brain. So does it take 2-8 weeks for all of that excess serotonin to deplete? I’m going to have to say YES!!! I am living it RIGHT NOW!!!! I would not wish this on my worst enemy BC it is torture!!!! I will NEVER take an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety pill EVER again.

            I used to think my panic attacks were bad ( and they truly were ) but I will definitely take a normal panic attack over these feelings I’m having from the withdrawal process. So if anyone out there is going through this, know you are NOT alone!!! I know my source of strength comes from above! On the darkest days I have experienced, I know Jesus helped me make it through!! He’s helping me each and every day!!!!

            I highly recommend developing a very close walk with God!!! He can do what no earthly doctor can because He is the Great Physician!!! Sometimes in life He doesn’t always see fit to move the mountain in front of us BUT He will give you the strength to climb it!!! Stay strong and know that this too shall pass!

        • Mike June 25, 2016, 10:15 pm

          I’m a week and a half off and normally I’m very happy, but I’m losing my sh#t over things that would normally slide off my shoulders.

          • Faye July 26, 2016, 4:18 pm

            I was 20 years on 12.5 mg. CR. Went off cold turkey 6 weeks ago, and withdrawal symptoms aren’t yet better. Anger is a problem, but mostly extreme dizziness, nausea, and no appetite. Sort of helps to find others out there are going through the same hell. Are you feeling better?

      • Jackie November 29, 2014, 8:41 pm

        I also quit paxil for pregnancy and I feel awful (it’s only day 1). Are you feeling any better?

        • Johanna April 7, 2015, 10:07 pm

          Yes Jackie, there is light at the end of the Paxil tunnel. I see it has been several months. How are you?

      • Toni sack. September 30, 2015, 1:36 am

        I can not imagine stopping cold turkey. I think that I’d rather die than experience that. I tapered the med off in two weeks. I’m starting week 4. I still have slight vertigo. Insomnia, extreme irritability, sometimes moments of confusion but not as bad thank goodness, fear that I’m never going to be myself again there may be more but I get tired of my own complaining. Prayers to you. You will need it.

        • Donna July 24, 2016, 7:38 pm

          I have been on Paul for two years now because of my recent medication was making me gain weight. I tried to go off of it because I wanted to be “normal” but I started to experience vertigo, dizziness, flu-like symptoms all of which are listed in the side effects even bursting out crying for no apparent reason!!! This simply ridiculous why would they make such a thing if it does this to people?

      • Marilyn September 25, 2016, 11:02 pm

        Hello everyone. I was on Paxil for about 11 years and I am in week 5 of no medication at all and I took 6 months to taper off the upper end dose of 60. I appreciate reading all the different withdrawal symptoms everyone is having. All I wanted to say is that I am struggling with all the withdrawal and I am shocked that there is no help for patients.

        I can’t stress to people how serious these drugs are. It concerns me that patients are not aware of the problems withdrawing. We all need to be informed and educated about this drug and take it only as an absolute last resort. Good luck to you all.

        All I can do is literally take one day at a time and hope I can reach the end of this nightmare. I honestly do not think depression in its fullest form was ever as terrifying as this. And the criticism you get from people close to you is nothing short of devastating.

        • Karen Myott March 4, 2017, 10:06 pm

          Yes, the critics from family is unbelievable. My niece an RN should know better. You’d think she was going through it. No family support here. My friends are supportive however.

          I was on Paxil for 20 years and the maximum dosage the last three years. My doctor did not tell me I would feel this bad and did not offer anything. To cope with. I went to a natural type store for naturopathic stuff. I hope it helps. It’s good to read about how it’s not going to go on forever.

    • Megan April 6, 2016, 4:31 pm

      I can completely relate to this. I am in almost the exact same situation except my son is only 3.5. Last night he just kept wanting to take my temperature and stay with me in bed. Poor kid.

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