I have been taking the antidepressant, Paxil (or its generic, Paroxetene) for many years. Every now and then, I decide to wean myself off of it because I convince myself that I no longer have anything to be anxious about.I am retired with none of the tensions that I felt while holding down a job, my children are grown and not giving me any trouble, and I am not encumbered by a husband to aggravate me So, I don't need the Paxil any more, right? Wrong, apparently.
I told my doctor what I was planning and he recommended that I cut back to one-half pill every day for a couple of weeks, then stop altogether. But, he went on to say that if I began to feel anxious, I should go back to the half-pill. So, that's what I did. I pared back to a half a pill a day for two weeks and, feeling no adverse effects, felt it was safe to carry out the rest of my plan.
After only a couple of days without the pills, I began to feel a bit odd, like there was a really tight band around my head. My thinking seemed fuzzier than usual. I started having bad dreams that had me waking up feeling scared to death.
When I started bursting into tears during PBS retrospective of Les Miserables and then during particularly touching television commercials, like the one where that adorable puppy's sleep is disturbed because he can't find a safe place for his bone, I realized it was time to give up.
What had I been thinking? I need the Paxil. I'm too old to go through withdrawal. Why give up something that is so obviously good for me and makes me feel so much better?
Sometimes, surrender is a relief.