I was started on Paxil in 1998 - I was having problems at home. I was not suicidal nor was I severely depressed. I trusted my GP and did not question him about Paxil. I was told that it was safer than older medications that they use (which is a lie). I developed migraines in my left temple while on paxil and I started to have panic attacks. Of course I did not know what a panic attack was and I thought I was having a heart attack. I was never so scared in all my life and I would have never associated this panic attack with the paxil.
This was the beginning of my nightmare that continues to present day. I began to suffer with panic attacks - one after another - day after day - there seem to be no end to them. I was put on ativan (which is also addictive and has problems in itself). I was put on many different medications through my time on meds. Sometime together and sometimes overlapping each other. I have been on paxil, zoloft, welbuterin, buspar, celexa, serzone, ambien, valium, xanax, and ativan. The last medication my doctor tried to give me was Lithium - I told the doc no way and no how - by this point I had started to research the internet because I was feeling really ill and I have been running back and forth to the doctors trying to find out what illness I was suffering from and when I was going to be diagnosed to die.
Every test I had came back and said I was healthy - I kept asking how can this be when I feel like I am dying. I was sick everyday of my life - I can not remember a good day in four years. Once I discovered what the culprits were - the ssri's and benzo's were the culprits making me so ill. I am so grateful that I have found out the truth and I am focusing now on healing. I know I have a long road to go and I am far from the suffering being over, but my hopes are there will be light at the end of this tunnel.
On top of all the running around looking for an answer I am left with alot of anger and frustration. I am angry for not being warned about what could happen to me on these drugs. I am angry because they did not recognize my body reacting to paxil with migraines and panic attacks - instead they wanted to shove more poison drugs down my throat and lead me to believe that I suffered from terrible depression and these things would have occurred anyway - which is bull - I was not like that pre-medication - so chances are more likely I would not have been that way if I was not given the medication. I am also angry that they told me paxil was safer than older drugs like valium, but somehow I ended up on both (what a joke). My frustration kicks in because I have tried time and time again to get the docs to listen to what I am saying and to trust in me. None ever do - they think I am nuts. I guess it will be a happy day when the message is out and they learn to listen to the patients and what we are saying. We know our bodies better than anyone and why should we be questioned about what we feel because it is not considered the norm for the docs.
Today I am 1 year free from ssri's and 5 months going on 6 free from benzo's. I had to go cold turkey from both due to lack of support to help me withdrawal properly. I have suffered horrible symptoms - migraines - electrical shocks in my head, muscle aches, muscle spasms, IBS, pain in stomach and liver area, weird sensations throughout my body, numbness in my head, TMJ, ear problems (ringing, draining, a feeling of being full), teeth hurting, insomnia, I could go on and on but I am sure everyone gets the point. Some of my symptoms are gone, while new ones are present and sometimes it seems I am cycling symptoms. For the past six weeks I have suffered severely with stomach problems and a constant feeling that I am not getting enough air. I will continue to stay ssri and benzo free - I am still very ill feeling but trying to go a day at a time. Thanks for listening.