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Maybe the worst part of going through extreme Paxil withdrawal is the isolation that seems to be an inevitable consequence. It is impossible to expect for non-sufferers, no matter how close the relationship, to understand what we are or have gone through. What follows are a small samples of the 1000s of letters that I have received over the last two years.

Reading them should reassure you that you are not alone, and that you are indeed not imagining things. For the sake of privacy, I have erased all personal information. Some letters have also been edited for length and relevance. Should you wish to contribute to this page, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

This is not a bulletin board ; if you are interested in leaving unfiltered messages or getting feedback from other visitors please visit the chat page.


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I was crying, then I found your Web site and now I am laughing or was I laughing and now I am crying, I don't remember but anyway I took your test and then I took it again because I was so sure I would score high. I want to laugh again so badly.

I am on day four of "no Paxil" and have endured two weeks of slow weaning torture. I had to think a lot about with your question of what would be worse, an evening with Jack the Ripper or Paxil because I think I did spend one night with him recently. That was about as much fun as trying to talk to a car repair guy today when I felt like Linda Blair doing the head trick. He asked if I was ok and I replied that I was fine, and I was, compared to yesterday.

My drug came as a result of a Cancer scare which was caused by Estrogen my GYN
shoved in a bag during the discovery that I was Menopausal. She then gave me Paxil to take care of any anxiety I had over her almost killing me with the Estrogen. God, I feel better now, I really do. I can not look down at my breast scar as it makes me dizzy. My husband can't look at my breast because the thought of sex repulses me. I am not worried about dying anymore because I wish I would. See she knew what she was doing. And so this is what it is like, taking good care of yourself.

I have been blessed with all of the side affects of this drugs withdrawal symptoms. My first was actually the funniest, no make that the only funny one. The rest have nearly killed me to be honest. I got up one morning and on the way to the bathroom I saw my face in a mirror. I stood there wondering who it was. I tried to push and pull my face back into shape. It looked like my face was made of rubber and somehow during the night had gotten pulled out of place. It reminded me of 1971 and my first and last experience with Mr. Doobie. I have always been a been fan of reality so I never had much interest in drugs. Aging and having a five year old to care for has pushed me into taking better care of my health and that's when my problems began I guess.

My first sign was Ms. Putty face in the mirror but my second was the return of night sweats. Then they came fast and furious. I was talking to a co-worker when I felt a "zing" in my head. I ran to my office and closed the door, sure I was having a stroke. I felt it over and over, jolts of electrical currents running through my head. I stayed there all day slumped over my desk till I crawled out after everyone had left and drove home. I crawled into bed at home and endured many more during the night. I called in sick the next day and during the morning I realized I had not taken my vitamins or Paxil in several days. I took two Paxil and in what seemed like an hour, the jolts stopped. I got on the Internet and ran up Paxil withdrawal. I never cry, never. I cried all day. I knew I was in for a ride
having been given a small sample. I was scared and I was pissed which makes me laugh now because that was before I met RAGE. Oh how I now know what rage feels like. It is powerful, dark and it lingers just below the surface sometimes emerging just enough to give you a glimpse before it goes back under. It entices you to let it come out and show its power. I have a respect and fear of its power but also a new respect for my determination and willpower as it will not emerge, not on my watch, but I digress.

I got information on withdrawal from sites like this. I made a list and I went shopping. I bought Dramamine, Advil Migraine, Vitamin B12 and water. I cut my 20mg into half for three days, then quarters. I had the luxury of going to an office, locking the door and letting the demons loose. I did not "CALL MY DR BEFORE GOING OFF THIS MEDICATION" and that was a good thing, trust me. When I had to go home at nights, I begged my husband to keep our daughter away from me. One of our dogs crossed my path on a bad night. I had a fork in my hand and rage came to visit. I shook, fought and I won but no one should ever have to be put through this. I cry every time I think of my sweet dog who loves me so much and how badly I wanted to hurt him. What are they thinking to give this to us and make us suffer the fires of HELL on Earth. We were hurting and we were given something to make us feel better. We were vulnerable and we were trusting. You look at the Web pages and you see words on every page that describe this as HELL and you know that two weeks into it you are still maybe months away from being out of its grasp. Prior to this I never knew a moment in my life of rage. I have it in me now. For how long I do not know but just knowing that it is there scares me. Anger always came slowly and quietly to me, now rises up in my throat with no warning.

My sister just called and told me in a quite voice that I had been a little "sharp" with her this past Saturday. I have been a full out hating, snarling beast inside and letting out as little as possible. She said I had never used the tone of voice I used with her that day and I know she was hurt. I thought the day was excellent and felt other than my eyes rolling around in my head and the world spinning around me at light speed I had done pretty well. The Dramamine works wonders on the nausea and the headaches are held at bay by the Advil. My leg cramps were less severe last night and for the first time in weeks I woke up without the pain in my jaws from clenching them all night. I read a newspaper today and I talked to my husband. My ears are ringing and the swishing never stops but maybe it will someday soon.

I do not know the why or the how of this drug, how it came to be that no one realized what it would do to us. I read your Web page because I want to laugh at this but I can not. I am a very strong woman who has endured very much adversity in my life. From a childhood of abuse to 16 years in a very unhappy marriage. I pulled myself through all of this and then walked into a DR's office and had my world shattered into rubble by a little pink pill. I want to go to her office tomorrow. I want to rip open that closet full of freebies and I want to throw them away or slip them into her drink every day and then stop. I don't know what I want to do. I want her to know what her little pink pill did to me, to others. If I am strong, if all of us made it to the Web page because we are smart and strong, what happens to the rest ? Who helps the ones who can't help themselves. Are those the ones we read about who "passed suddenly"? Then it is our responsibility to speak out about this atrocity. I will, when the world stops spinning.

I just wanted to tell you "thank you" for your web site, it has given me the courage to quit paxil. I started to quit paxil when the infamous "sniper" attacks started happening here in the DC area. (I live in Fredericksurg, VA where two of the shootings happened.) Luckily, in conjunction with your web site, I didn't give up even though it was tough going outside.....I was afraid not only for myself but my son because this idiot had no regards for children either. But I am currently down to 10 mgs....waiting for some small side effects I am having to eventually work its way out, I will keep you informed on how it is going. Thank you also for the mention of the liquid paxil, my NP didn't even know it existed until I took upon myself to do some research.

I was just checking out your site because I just started taking paxil a
short while ago. I admit that at first it seemed like my prayers had been
answered. It wasn't long however before I started to experience the side
affects. The worst part was I was quite misinformed and thought there was
nothing wrong with what I was going through or what I was doing to myself. I
even thought the doctor should perscribe me a stronger dosage.
I've dealt with alot of horrible things in my life. Managed to wheather
some of lifes hardest battles. Being a former U.S. marine, I was built to
deal with stress. Recently life through another curve at me and I was having
so much trouble with it I sank into a deep depression and my nerves got so
bad that I just had to seek medical help. Enter paxil.
As I said I began to experience quite a few side affects of the drug.
But by far the worst was when I would sit there at night and start playing
with knives. Then one night I just started cutting myself in the arm. A few
nights later I stood in front of a mirror and cut my face. This didn't even
seem strange to me. I didn't even question my sanity over this.
Over time I got past my problem and was ready to move on with life.
Hence the decision to quit taking paxil. The next night I began crying
uncontrollably which progressed into a nervous breakdown. It got so bad that
I drank until I passed out in my chair and fell onto the floor. My kids
found me the next morning asking me if I was OK.
My wife decided to look up information about paxil on the net and came
to me with a load of information I was entirely unaware of about the drug.
So I started checking around myself about withdrawl and found this
site. Thank you so much giving me such useful knowledge about this. I'm
still in withdrawl but now that I know about it. It should make it much
easier for me


As I'm writing my story, tears are running down my cheeks. You see, my doctor changed my prescription from Zoloft to Paxil about 9 months ago. I started a treatment with Zoloft and Xanax back in 1997 when a series of panic attacks almost destroy my life. My doctor said that after so many years it was time to change to a non-habit forming medication (Paxil). I was also tired of taking medications every day especially now that my panic attacks were gone.
About a month ago, I decided I was going to stop the Paxil and the Xanax all together, cold turkey (never thought about the consequences). The first week and a half I was fine. I thought to myself "piece of cake". Boy, was I for a big surprise. Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I started feeling dizzy and lightheaded all the time. I was feeling like someone rang the Liberty Bell and the vibration went straight into my head and stayed there. I was having trouble sleeping, I felt disoriented, sad, would cry for everything, etc. I had sore throat; body aches and migraine-like headache. But the funniest thing, if there is something funny about this withdrawal, is that it was only three days ago when it ocurred to me that this could be the withdrawal symptoms from Paxil. That's when I decided to look for more info in the internet. Thank God I found your site. I feel so alleviated. I was beginning to have horrible thoughts about what I was going feeling. Now I know that they will eventually go away. It is just a matter of time. And if I have come this far, I will not going to look back. Thanks again for letting me know that I am not alone in this.

Greetings! I am a 31 year old female radio anchor and have been
taking Paxil since 1995. It was originally prescribed for generalized
anxiety and I was familiar with SSRI medications after taking Prozac
for five years and quitting without incident. I am convinced there is
something seriously wrong with the chemical makeup of Paxil, as each time
I try to quit it I am faced with what feels like severe electrical shocks
to the back of my head, hot flashes, night sweats and lucid nightmares,
hypersensitivity to sound, and fits of crying.
I recently tried to switch from 30mg of Paxil per day to the new Controlled Release
form of Paxil, called "Paxil CR". If anyone out there has heard of this drug
and wondered if it is a solution, let me dissuade you from trying it. I suffered from
almost every side affect on this website, and by day seven I was unable to work
due to hypersensitivity to wearing headphones and slurred speech. My vocabulary
and language useage was also disabled, which affected my ability
to write news and even make sense at times.
Naturally, I am back on the drug and free of withdrawal symptoms (except
for sore spots on either side of the back of my neck), but each time
I have an experience like this I have to face the fact that I'm addicted to
something the FDA calls "non habit forming." I urge any and
all of you to visit and report your experience with Paxil
withdrawals. The release of this drug without the proper warnings was
a mistake, and mistakes like this cannot be rectified unless they
are reported.
NONE OF YOU ARE ALONE in your suffering.

Express myself freely? OK... I'm angry. First I get struck down with depression, which is hell enough in & of itself. My life was just ticking along & POW! I had the rug jerked out from under me. I'm a psychology major in college (make that "was" since I'm on medical leave now because of all this BS) so I "knew" there were psychotrophics that I could turn to. Paxil... oh, I've read good stuff about Paxil. It addresses a large spectrum of disorders. Sure, let's give it a try. Not only did it NOT alleviate my depression, it made me sicker than a dog. So my MD took me off it (from 20 mg down to 10 & then off altogether). I was bummed about my continuing depression but I was glad to be off the meds since they were making me feel so physically crummy. Little did I know that there would come a day I would beg to merely feel "crummy". As it stands now, I'm more depressed than I was, I'm on medical leave from school & I have 99% of the Paxil withdrawal symptoms listed on this site. Today I had seizures. I'm beginning to wonder what's next, but maybe I'm afraid of that answer. This site is THE only hope I've come across & for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. When my friends are bummed out, I always tell them "Live in hope" & I guess it's time I follow my own advice. While it pains me to no end to know others suffer with this, too, it does at least make me feel better to know I'm not crazy. THANKS for your work in this area!!! 

Bro,  You have no idea how much your sitehas eased my mind. I thought I was dying last night. I was having whacky strong ass dreams. On top of that it almost felt like i had a panic attack in my dream. And everytime I would start to fall back to sleep I would get the zaps, and start losing my marlbles. It is so true about " thinking your losing your sanity". Its was very nerve racking. I am 1 week and 4 days into cold turkey. Hopefully all goes well

After many years on Nortryptoline, I was recommended to take Paxil. That was over four years ago.  After taking 20mg for four years, I saw a new doctor who just one month ago increased my dosage to 30mg. I also took a 1/2-mg or 1/4-mg of Xanax on a need-be basis. Last week as my supply ran out, I decided that I was not satisfied with the medication, and terminated the drug that same day (last Sunday) with no intermediary process.
 Let me tell you about my week:
1. I feel as though my brain views the world at shudder speed of an old 1930's movie camera.
2. A new definition to the term Vertigo is definitely required - Hitchcock would have enjoyed my perspective.
3. Dissatisfaction was at an all-time high. So much so that I unsolicited told my wife I wanted to move from Hong Kong immediately. In fact, I told her that I was planning to take a two-month trip just to clear my head. Keep in mind I have a three-year-old boy and a seven-week-old. She wasn't sure if her auditory system wasr if I had simply lost it.
4. Dreams, let's pass on this one, you can't even imagine what my brain has concocted over the past seven nights.
5. Oddly there was an increase in calmness not irritability. Perhaps because I have felt so detached that it is hard for me to lose my temper.
6. Hysterical crying - I could watch a Selfridges commercial and wet my hankie.
7. Appetite - I can't stop eating.
8. Inability to exercise - as a result of the vertigo, up until this afternoon, I could barely walk ten yards with any sort of comfort.
The good news, I hope, is that I have made it through the most difficult phase. For the first time since last Sunday, I actually am starting to feel that I am on the up and up. No fear of Panic or anxiety. Just praying that I didn't abuse my brain beyond repair. In short, it was cold turkey at its finest. I felt like Gene Hackman in the French Connection, really. I will gladly keep you updated on this unique case study of mine, me. I am the guinea pig who was so tired of four years of TMJ as a result of the Paxil (yes brutal TMJ can result from the drug for which I have had botox injections, taken clonozopam to reduce the pain...). Thanks for hosting this site, I only wish it was available when I first confronted this ailment when I was 29 in 1992.
 But it's a blessing that its here for both newcomers and veterans like ourselves.
 Kind regards, Steve

Hi. I am a 39-yr old graduate student working on a PhD in Sociology. For most of my adult life, I have been depressed (and untreated), and yet have been pretty high functioning. I have been on Paxil twice in the past six years. I was on 30 mg and weaned myself off very slowly, and I do remember having symptoms like the ones described on your webpage. But before I found the page, I did go and have a CAT scan because all I could describe to my doctor was that I was having these weird dizzy spells. I also had an inner ear exam, but the doctor said my ears were fine, and it was just stress (I was the coordinator for a national public health project). Now I have been on Paxil again for two years (30 mg), and my doctor and I had discussed a "med vacation." I think paxil has been interfering with my studies because I have developed a very nonchalant attitude towards my work. It is very unlike me, and I fear has affected my reputation at school. I am studying for one of my major exams, and felt that I needed to get my old energy and some helpful anxiety back in my life. So, I did a much more rapid cutback this time (without talking to my doctor, I admit). I went from 30 mg, to six days of 15 mg, and then off. I am on the fourth day of no paxil, and it is pretty rough. I have the dizziness, the "shocks", and the shoop-shoop noise in my head. I call it the "hula hoop in my head." I am crying at the least provocation, and last night I had my first funky dreams. I can't remember what they were. All I know is that I felt I needed to sleep with the light on. My doctor is on vacation, but we have an appointment in two weeks. I really want to be off Paxil, so I am going to try and tough it out. I am taking comfort in the knowledge that I can put a name to what is happening to me, and I will keep in mind the suggestions others have posted. I am looking forward to posting a success story SOON! Now, off to get another glass of water. Thanks for the forum. Cindy

I'm a university professor who was prescribed paxil for clinical depression two years ago. I stayed on 20mg most of the time and then dropped to 10mg for a few months. To try and get off I cut to 5mg which was initially tough but after a month I got the hang of it. Now I'm in my 7th day post-paxil wondering when the sloshing in my brain will quit. Your site has been a tremendous help to me. My doctor wanted me to stop cold turkey at 10mg which I might have been foolish enough to try had I not visited the site. I now know that would have been disaster.
You're helping many people, so thank you so much

I am a 23 year old mother of two small children. I was prescribed Paxil after going through post traumatic distress disorder due to the September 11th attacks in NYC. I wish that my doctor would have educated me on the withdrawal symptoms and side affects associated with taking this poorly dispensed drug. I was so depressed after Sept. 11, and have been on short term disability due to the depression, anxiety and panic disorders I have developed .Now, some four months following the attack, I am starting to come out of the fog and trying to return to normalcy. I was taking Paxil 20 mg, and then my MD amped the medication dosage to 30mg. After two weeks on Paxil 30mg, I started to have brain seizures.  
I then marched to the MD with my two horrified babies, and demanded to be taken off this awful drug. I was weaned off for four days, and now January 24, 2002 is my forth day without the paxil. I have experienced severe migraines, convulsions, seizures, impulses traveling throughout my body as if I am being electrocuted from head to toe. I have been sleepless, had nightmares if I am able to catch an hour of sleep. I have also had severe hot flashes and cold chills, and I am so irritable!!!!  I am so upset because my mood is generally well, but my physical well being suffers, as well as my children. I feel like a very incompetent mother in this stage. I am very optimistic, and I know that I will come out of this a survivor.
I thank you so much for your wonderful website, to allow me to understand the symptoms better, as well as provide myself with support and encouragement, at a time when nobody understands unless you've gone through it! 

Hi, I am a school psychologist and have been taking Paxil for about 5 years...I began when depression became so severe I entered the psych ward...another hospitalization when the 30mg seemed to be inadequate...another 10 added, and last year another 10 bringing me to a total of 50mg daily for depression. Two weeks ago, an argument during which I realize I was not rational and I was faced with another increase. My therapist (a genius) suggested I try Wellbutrim, but with the holidays coming and the lack of available mental health workers, my doctor was hesitant for me to face (medication-free) the holidays with my dysfunctional Addams Family-like relatives. He cautioned me not to decrease, but I stubbornly have persisted. All I can say What a horrible experience. First I thought I had the flu, then a brian tumor, then MS, and then about every disorder described in the DSM. I have never been one to have attorneys right wrongs, but this really is a difficult drug to!
 withdraw from...I hope the drug industry takes these accoutns seriously...I am determined to quit...tomorrow I will have decreased to 10 mg...

Like others, here, who have experienced the nasty side of paroxetine, I, too, am taking high-end academic qualifications. I say this this only because these activities require a mind that's functioning well. This drug did not help in that respect (confusion.) And I suffered complete loss of libido (erections - non-existent.) These side-effects did eventually lessen.I took the drug for two years (a bad divorce)reducing it to an effective maintenance dose of 5mg/day. The real problems began when I decided one day to abruptly stop it. I felt good but was tired of the lingering sexual dysfunction and other side-effects. I'm aware of the 'weaning off' process but figured the dose was low enough not to matter. Within two days I became extremely irritable. This quickly turned to overt aggression. By the end of the week I was confronting and threatening ordinary folks in my local town (not to mention my family.) Finally,I stole a bottle of wine from asupermarket, in full view of customers.
This was an act of sheer provocation, not theft (I couldn't have cared less about the goods.) As expected, I was confronted by the Store Manager. I expected to be violent but, stangely, that didn't happen. I'd not have believed then that I was capable of stopping myself. Yet, prior to this, I've never stolen, nor felt the inclination to steal, in my life. I've never experienced, previously, anything like the feelings of aggression. Odd, isn't it, that this should correspond to dropping paroxetine (and vanish in due course.) There's no question that the behaviour was not caused by the drug..or its sudden absence. Now, thanks to GlaxoSmithKline, an incompetent lawyer, and a ridiculously unaware/unsympathetic judge, I have an embarrassing conviction for minor theft. If I had been violent it would be worse. I believe the effects of these drugs must be urgently re-examined.


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