PLEASE HELP! Taking Paroxetine for 10 months. Have I developed serious side effects?

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I persuaded myself to start the medication because of a severe depression and obsessive thoughts, and was taking it for almost 10 months. When I started, I was 17.5 years old. As my doctor prescribed, the first week I was taking 10mg (1/2 a 20mg pill), then increased up to 20mg (1 pill) and it was my regular dosage on a daily basis. Although the doctor claimed that several months would be enough, I insisted that I needed more. Sometimes during the treatment I was taking 30mg and up to 40mg in a week when the obsessive thoughts seemed to return and get worse, but the main dosage was 20mg. I ended the course by reducing the dosage at first by 10mg (1/2 a pill) for a month and then by 5mg (1/4 a pill) for the last month, so I cut it down evenly. Also I was taking it every day at the same time with no alcohol, so I did everything as prescribed. 

But by the end of the 8th month I started to realize that it was hard to retrieve old memories by listening to music, looking at photographs or simply trying to remember anything about the past, which earlier could be done easily. And during the 9th month or so my current condition has developed - I feel myself lost, I have no idea what I should do, but most importantly I seem to have ceased thinking. Not long ago it was a habitual thing of mine to think about anything before falling asleep or during the daytime, as well as dreaming and imagining. Now I don't. Moreover, I quite blurry remember what was happening during the course and even now, though I ended it like 4 months ago. And once again, I seem to have lost myself, my personality and individuality, can't get pleasure from the things I used to like and FEEL them, also I have low libido. So basically I started to change (in a bad way) after 6 moths of taking the medicine. 

Now I'm really afraid about this condition. I regret taking the medicine and will never do again, but I have only one question: can these changes be considered as side effects and are they going to be constant? As I said, the last pill was taken 4 months ago, but I still feel pinned down and depressed, having no idea of what's going on and what I should do, although the medication helped me to partially get rid of the obsession which persuaded me to start the course. 

Could I have any tips and ideas about all this? Am I going to be all right or am I wasted forever as a person? Thank you for your replies.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jack, I can understand how scared you must feel. Just know you are not alone and a lot of us go through much suffering when dealing with depression, obsessive thinking and medication side effects. My question to you was why you felt the need to come off Paroxetine? Were you feeling better when you were on it? You said you had depression and obsessive thoughts and therefore needed to go on it. Do you remember how you felt before starting the drug? It must have been bad enough for you to ask the doctor to prescribe it and increase the dose. Maybe coming off the drug has caused a relapse of the depression because your symptoms sound like a return of depression. Often with antidepressants, you need to take them for quite a while to improve the depression, some people have to take them for ever. It just depends. You are very young so I’m not sure what is best for you and only your gp can guide you. I know coming off any antidepressant can be awful, but you really weren’t on it long enough to have such long term side effects from the drug. I was in 60mg of Paroxetine for 9 years and came off it to change drug. It was awful, but the side effects cleared up after a few weeks. All the best. Please speak to you gp or get a referral to a psychiatrist. 
    • Posted

      Hello Dani! I came off paroxetine because mostly I got rid of the obsessive thought which caused me to start it. Yes, I can say that even in a month or so after I started the course I felt better, but the thoughts remained and were either calming down or overwhelming me. After like 6 or 7 months (along with the "side effects" as in the main post) they ceased, so I decided to stop in the nearest future which I did. 

      Before I started the course, I had a severe obsessive thought which chased me anywhere I went, also causing depression. But I had clear mind and knew who I am and what should do. Actually, my stategy was to had a psychotherapy along with a short medication course which both would definitely have been effective, but unfortunately I didn't manage to consult a psychotherapist so I started taking the drug only. 

      What about my current condition, it's different compared to the one before the treatment. Now, as I already mentioned, I'm frustrated with no idea of what's happening and roughly speaking no sense of life. Maybe this is not the side effect, maybe this is the main effect of the drug - to cease the mind in order to stop thinking negatively? Anyway, I'd rather have my previous condition than having a blurred idea of who you are and what you live for.

      So now I'm only trying to figure out whether or not I damaged myself with and is there any way back. Though that obsessive thought doesn't bother me now, by thinking like this I'm going to develop another one. I hope anyone here knows the mechanism of these drugs and can help me. I'll also try to consult my GP.

      And thank you for your reply!


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