As a direct result of a misdiagnosis of depression and anxiety, I was prescribe Paxil at the age of 15. From the first week in taking it, I knew it was not right for me to be taking it and that if I didn’t stop taking it soon, I would suffer very serious consequences. So for about three years I battled with the dosage, tried switching to other medication, which keep in mind, this was a MISDIAGNOSIS. I did not need any mind altering medication.. It was mononucleosis that the doctors should have tested for, not assuming it was depression and anxiety.
It was a very rough three years and it would probably cause a slightly piercing pain to your stomach if I bothered to elaborate. SO for your sake, and assuming you are reading this article because you want to discontinued and SSRI or maybe your know someone who needs to, this will hopefully give you the proper instruction and motivation.
Let me make it clear that this is based on experience. You could always take the doctor’s words for it, but given the fact that Paxil was acclaimed to be a non-addictive drug, AND IT WAS… I would rather go with experience and not the companies that are trying to make money off of your and your “problems”.
1)STICK WITH one drug at a time! One doctor tried to completely stop my use of Paxil and just replace it with another drug. DO NOT DO THAT. They maybe for the same symptoms but they are different chemicals, that is why that both exist SEPARATELY.
2)WEENING is your friend! Another doctor was so frustrated with this addiction that she decided it would be a very good idea to prescribe Paxil for EVERY OTHER DAY. DO NOT DO THAT. Most of the SSRIs are Controlled Release, meaning it releases the chemicals over through out the day. One day missed, as you might have experienced, is dreadful, absolutely dreadful.
Depending on how long you have taken the drug, at what dose, and your brains stamina, it will vary how long it takes you to ween off. My first step down was to about 75% of the dosage I was initially taking. Once I hit a stable plateau, I would go down another 25% and so on. It took me about 6 months.
Luckily I was 18 years old, I had already dropped out of school because of this experience and had the opportunity to quit work for this weening process.
3)TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY! I can not stress it enough. EXERCISE. EAT RIGHT. You may have been able to live your life prior to this with out exercising and not caring what you eat, but now that your are altering extremely strong chemicals in your body it is important to intake and excrete the right chemicals. DRINK WATER. DRINK WATER. DRINK WATER. No caffeine, try to eat organic, antioxidants will help.
4)POSITIVITY! Remember, this is a mind altering drug that has basically taken the place of you have to make the conscious effort to analyze situations and not get scared or be saddened by it. Keep in contact with loved ones. If you feel like no one understands, jump on the web, like you are doing now, and find support groups or success stories. It really, truly helps to know that you aren’t the only one who had to do this.
I know having to ween off of a horrible medication seems like the worse thing you could do if you suffer from depression and anxiety, especially if the medication does not work, but believe me, this is most likely the greatest thing you will ever do for yourself. It is a new beginning. You will appreciate life once this is all over. And you will realize that you can do anything now. ANYTHING.