I've been on Paxil for the last four years, and I was on it a year before that.
For those of you that don't know, Paxil is an anti-depressant that also treats anxiety.
I went on it in 7th grade and stayed on it for a year, and then I weaned myself off. It was HORRIBLE. I remember. We spent a long time cutting my 10 mg dosage in half, my mom and I. We were on vacation up in the Northeast and I was miserable for parts of it, just because I was so bummed out.
But eventually I straightened myself out and got better. I started high school, which was difficult for the first couple of months. Soon I made friends and everything was great - until senior year.
The stress of finishing high school, starting a new life in college, FINDING a college, and knowing that my parents hated my then-boyfriend just was horrible. I went to my doctor and asked to go back on it, and he said it wasn't a bad idea.
So I did and I felt better. Then, once college started, things were great. I met Pete. I decided I wanted to be a teacher (hahaha) and I made tons of new, supportive, wonderful friends.
Then, that summer, Pete went home and I stayed in St. Louis. It was horrible. I was so incredibly attached to him that I had panic attacks and dry-heaved before we left each other after every weekend. It was disgusting in more ways than one - first of all, how could I become so attached to a person, and so quickly? And two - dry heaving? It had never happened to me before and I HATED IT. And if you've ever had a panic attack...well, that's reason enough to go on medication.
Anyway. So my doctor and I decided to up my dosage to 20 mg. And I felt better. And I've been on 20 mg ever since.
Well, until last week. I had decided some time ago that I wanted to go off of the medicine. I was sick of putting chemicals in my body, especially because I felt like I was in such a good place. I only have one semester of school left, I'm getting married - these may be stressful situations for some, but I am just so incredibly excited to embrace all of them.
My old psychiatrist had left his firm and had gone elsewhere, so I met the new man that would give me permission to wean off of the Paxil. He wasn't very nice. I had to revisit all the memories of why I went on Paxil in the first place, in 7th grade (which will maybe be a story for another time), and then basically told me that Paxil has NEVER effected pregnancy (which is a total lie) and then said that I'll probably have to stay on it forever because it's just so hard to go off.
He wasn't very nice.
But he did tell me how to go off of it - "should I choose to" - and I started the night after my last exam of the semester. For the first few days I felt fine, totally normal. I even seemed to have more energy than I usually did.
But yesterday - oh man. I felt like crap. I was exhausted all day, even after getting close to 10 hours of sleep, and I had a splitting headache from 3 PMish - until I went to sleep.
I woke up today in a weird other world, it felt like - I was super dizzy and it hurt to just open my eyes. I woke up with my phone in my hand (probably from turning off my alarm) and Twitter open (weird). And with the same splitting headache I had fallen asleep from last night.
So. Long story short - I WANT to get off of this drug. When I was in 7th grade, there weren't many options of anti-depressants available for my age. Paxil was the only one and yes, it worked. It made me feel much better on a daily basis. But it is truly very, very hard to go off of. I've read horror stories (thanks, Internet) about the hallucinations, the sluggishness, the not going to work for two months while withdrawing from this drug. Luckily, so far, all I've experienced is a horrible headache and me being tired. I'm not withdrawing from social situations (thank GOD. that was the worst part about going on and going off in the first place) and I haven't had any anxiety, really, which is good.
But it's going to be a long journey. I want to go off of this. Even though it is only 20 mg, it's already changing the way I live my life and I've only taken 10 mg five nights.
Any prayers or support you send my way are greatly appreciated. I love you all, and sorry this is a long post, but I already journaled about it and I just needed to vent some more.