DO NOT stop taking Seroxat/Paroxetine/Paxil (or any SSRI/SNRI) without medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as you miss a single dose and can go on for many months (years in my own case). Withdrawal symptoms can include akathesia, agitation, mania, psychosis, self harm, suicidal thoughts and actions, violence, fear of loud noises, electric zaps of the head and body, thoughts of homicide, profuse sweating, disturbing nightmares, lack of empathy toward other people, anger, severe memory loss, nausea.
It’s all too easy for withdrawal symptoms to be dismissed by doctors as your original illness returning – however, it is much more likely to actually be the SSRI causing the problems. There are places you can turn to for advice and understanding if your Doctor is unable to offer this.
Professor David Healy has written a new (June 2009) withdrawal protocol which you can download here – Healy_Withdrawal_june_09. You can print it out to take along to your Doctor if you need to.
There is a free e-book (pdf) available – The Paxil Withdrawal Guide, by Darcy Baston. Darcy is the founder of Paxil Progress, which is probably the best support site and forum in the world for people who want to know more about SSRI addiction or who need support and understanding with withdrawal problems.
Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen’s new book The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and “Addiction,” can now be ordered online.
Dr Peter Breggin’s book – Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications can be ordered online. Dr Breggin has developed a program enabling “…patients to free themselves from psychiatric drugs, emphasizing throughout the importance for patients to keep control over the withdrawal process”.
If you have a sceptical Doctor then Dr. Breggin’s website might be required reading for him or her.
Label Me Sane is an organization designed to assist people with withdrawal and tapering from benzodiazepines, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs. They offer a support hotline and have medical staff available for consultation.
The Road Back has designed withdrawal protocols for all types of psychiatric drugs and will assist with their side effects and tapering management with natural therapies, contact: www.theroadbackprogram.com.
Taper Safely is a non-profit organization dedicated to informing the public on the dangers of SSRI antidepressants, how to Taper Safely off of them under the care and guidance of MDs and professional practitioners, and other safe and natural alternatives. For assistance in finding an alternative MD and/or treatment program near you, contact: http://tapersafely.org
The Alternative to Meds Center located in San Francisco is an inpatient service based on an orthomolecular treatment model. If you prefer a medical detox center that helps people withdraw from psychiatric and other prescription medications, with assistance in tapering and rehabilitation using yoga, acupuncture, exercise, and nutrition contact: www.alternativetomedscenter.com
My own experience of withdrawal was a nightmare – all I can say is take it slow and use liquid Seroxat/Paxil.
Good luck – you’re not alone.