The Paxil Withdrawal Strategy

Paxil Withdrawal Strategy


Paxil Withdrawal – How To Survive It And Come Out The Other Side As A Better Person




Think you might be experiencing Paxil withdrawal?

Take this simple test. Are you:

    • Scared?
    • Confused?
    • Disgusted?
    • Sick?
    • Tired?
    • Baffled?
    • And very, very angry??!

You must be trying to discontinue Paxil!

And that’s not even counting the physical side effects of withdrawal.

You probably think you’re crazy and that you’re going to die. Well, you’re not crazy, and you’re not going to die.

You’re just hooked on a viscous, viscous drug that shows no mercy.

You screwed up. You took Paxil. Or else you took another one of those ‘me-to’ antidepressants, such as Celexa or Zoloft. Even worse, maybe you took Effexor. And now you almost have to fight for your life.

Didn’t know it would happen like this, did you?

Take a deep breath. You’ll make it.

First of all understand you are not alone. You are walking down a lonely path, that is true.

A very lonely path.

Maybe a painful, dark hellish path. Remember, you are not the only one to walk this path. Many others have come before you, and many, many others will follow.

Everyone is different. Hopefully, you can end Paxil with little or no discomfort whatsoever. While estimates vary widely, at least half the people who stop taking Paxil have problems.

Amazingly enough, some doctors and psychiatrists still don’t believe there is such a thing as withdrawal from Paxil and other similar antidepressants.

“It’s all in your head!”

Or if it does exist, they believe the symptoms are mild. (The same thing happened with benzodiazepine tranquilizers twenty years ago.)

The important point to understand is that withdrawal is not the same as relapse, even though some of the symptoms are similar.

Most people agree that withdrawal from Paxil is much worse than the depression ever was. (And that’s not even counting all the Paxil side effects that so many people suffer from while on Paxil.) To read my theory of why some patients go through intense withdrawal while others experience none at all, visit the Paxil harm page.

Before we look at the specifics of the withdrawal strategy, you may also want to get some Paxil withdrawal support.


* * *

With these preliminary considerations in mind, now let’s proceed to the actual steps of The Paxil Withdrawal Strategy.

The key to withdrawal from Paxil is to plan and prepare your own unique strategy.

1. Prepare your environment.

2. Prepare your will.

3. Prepare your health.

4. Prepare your support team.

5. Taper the dosage.

6. Know the withdrawal symptoms.

7. Keep a journal.


1. Prepare your environment.

Before you really get serious about Paxil withdrawal, it may be wise to prepare your environment.

First, do you have a vacation coming up? Can you take time off from work? The first two weeks are usually the worst. Can you take a few weeks to fight through the symptoms of withdrawal?

You may want to cautiously taper your dosage beforehand, to get an idea of your unique level of discomfort. You may be one of the lucky ones who have little or no symptoms at all.

Along with finding the time - the space is also important. Eliminate the stress in your environment as much as possible.

Can you separate yourself from those who might distract you or create any kind of problem?

Will others be ready for the (very) possible mood swings and potential fits of rage, grief, etc? The more nurturing your environment is, the better off you’ll be.


2. Prepare your will.

No, not your ‘last will and testament’ (well, okay, maybe that too). I’m talking about your will to live, not your will to die.

Hopefully you won’t need this, but it’s best to be prepared for the worst. If things get tough, where will you find your inner strength? Where does your resolve come from now?

This may seem melodramatic, but ‘it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it’.

You are on this earth for a reason. Finding that reason, finding your will, and your passion for life, is a very worthwhile pursuit, even without the Paxil withdrawal problem.


3. Prepare your health.

How is your physical health? Do you exercise regularly? If not, you may wish to at least start a walking program or a body stretching routine for a few weeks before starting your withdrawal process. Or maybe you’re more inclined to lift weights.

Finding one or more activities you enjoy may help put you in a ‘better place’ when the time comes to get down to work.

Also look to your diet. Eating healthy can only help your efforts. At least look to you worst ‘diet offenders’ and considering cutting them out for the duration.

The more raw foods you can eat, the better.

Consider quality vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and don’t forget to drink plenty of water, if possible. (Some people become too sick to even drink water.) For nausea, try various ginger products from the local health food store.


4. Prepare your ‘support team’.

It certainly helps to have someone to talk to during your Paxil withdrawal. Which friends, relatives and loved ones can you count on during your darkest hours?

Do they know what might be coming?

Do you know anyone else who has already gone through the Paxil withdrawal?

Who can you lean on?

How sympathetic is your doctor?

If possible, line up a ‘support team’ of those people you feel will be most likely to be there for you when you need it. A support team can make a big difference!


5. Taper the dosage.

Perhaps you’ve already discovered the necessity of tapering the dosage of Paxil, rather than quitting ‘cold turkey’.

Withdrawal effects may take a few days to manifest. Sometimes they take hours. They can last for weeks or even months. Sometimes the withdrawal effects don’t kick in until the daily dosage is below 10 mg.

Some people can quit abruptly, and deal with the symptoms. Others shave a tiny sliver off the side of a pill – and still can’t handle it. Most fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Where do you stand?

Some experimentation may be in order to find your own unique threshold. Always keep a supply of Paxil on hand. It may be a lifesaver!

If you are currently at 30 mg. or above, you may wish to drop the dosage by 10 mg. for a few days to gauge your body’s reaction. It’s usually best to err on the side of caution.

Patience is really a virtue when it comes to Paxil withdrawal.

If you are at 20 mg. or less, you may wish to start with a 5 mg. drop. Make sure you keep the extra 5 mg. handy – you may need it.

If you are at 10 mg. or less, you may want to drop by 2.5 mg. for a few days.

Remember, these are just suggestions. Your body will let you know how much to decrease your dosage.

To cut your daily dosage, start by cutting your pills in half with either a pill cutter or a sharp knife. If possible, use 10 mg. pills.

Another alternative is to purchase the liquid form of Paxil. It’s orange flavored, and comes in a 250 ml white bottle. The NDC number is 0029-3215-48.

This liquid form is especially handy when you drop below 10 mg. per day.


6. Know the withdrawal symptoms.

Everyone is different, and will have their own unique withdrawal symptoms (or none at all!). The more common Paxil withdrawal symptoms are listed here.


7. Keeping a journal.

I would encourage everyone going through withdrawal from Paxil to keep a journal, for several reasons.

1. It may somewhat relieve the agony. By writing out your experiences in all their gory detail you may be able to dissipate some of the energy. It works well with emotional pain, and perhaps will help here as well.

2. It gives you something to anchor on. Writing things down always helps with the stress of living life, and this may be the biggest stress you will ever experience. Recording your thoughts and feelings, as well as the physical symptoms you endure, may provide the strength, the will and the purpose you need to continue.

3. It may be helpful to others who have not yet gone through what you are experiencing. You are blazing a trail that others can follow.

4. It may help your lawyer if and when you join one of the many lawsuits that are coming.

A journal doesn’t have to be a fancy expensive one from the bookstore that looks too pretty to write in. You can use old scraps of paper.

Start with the back side of that electric bill you don’t feel like paying.

Get a scratch pad. Use cheap paper. Most likely you’ll not be composing Emily Dickinson-type poems:

“My hair is bold like the chestnut burr;
and my eyes, like the sherry in the glass
that the guest leaves.” 

Rather, you’ll be ranting and raving about the blankety-blank so-and-so’s that make Paxil.

Or maybe you’ll write like Edgar Allan Poe:

“I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them within a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?”

I personally have gone through hundreds and hundreds of sheets of paper that I just scribbled and scratched on, because I was too pissed to form words, much less coherent thoughts. (Not because of Paxil withdrawal; I was just pissed!)

Fiercely scribbling for page after page did help release some of the anger – so that I could think clearly enough to actually write sentences with nouns and verbs and all those other things.

Also, consider drawing pictures. In addition to planned, thought-out drawings, try doodling without even noticing what you are putting down on paper, with the intention of getting out some of the horror.

This is a way to release some of the energy in your subconscious and unconscious minds.

Start scribbling while watching TV, or talking on the phone, for example. The idea is to not pay attention to what is coming out until you have finished. Then go back and study it. Look for the hints and clues.

Paxil, Effexor, and the other antidepressants show you the ‘gritty’ side of life. Get it out of you, and onto the paper, as best you can.

* * *

Hopefully you will never need the information in this Paxil Withdrawal Strategy. Your withdrawal from Paxil may be smooth and easy, and you’ll end up scratching your head and wondering what the fuss was all about.

Or you may end up on the other end of the spectrum and wonder how in the world you will ever survive. If so,…

Know that it will end. Your symptoms, no matter how severe they are, will go away eventually. Paxil withdrawal may be the biggest test of your life, but it’s not going to kill you.

Don’t give up. It’s your choice to live or die, not Paxil’s and certainly not the Paxil withdrawal syndrome.

Don’t give in. Keep moving forward. Live, if for no other reason than to tell your story. Live, if for no other reason than to get the GSK back for what they did.

Let’s hope your Paxil (or other antidepressant) withdrawal is smooth and easy.

It’s also important to understand the underlying causes that would lead you to such a painful place.


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