3

votes

Has anyone weened off of Paxil after starting Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2011 at 3:07 AM

I've been Paleo-friendly for a good year and few months. I've lost nearly a hundred pounds changing the way I eat alone. Now, I'm going to the gym twice a week and have been feeling pretty damn good. I'm 28 6'2 and currently 220 (goal is 180).

So here's the question: I've been on Paxil since college for obsessive compulsive disorder and general anxiety. I've already lowered my Paxil amount by half (I have a psychiatrist who handles my meds and I didn't just willy-nilly drop it).

Has anyone else weened themselves off similar medications, completely, after going Paleo? I want to start a plan to get off the meds with my doctor so that I can avoid as much of the vicious withdrawal as I can, but wondering if anyone out there is happy with the change or regret going off the medications.

Thanks!!

90fc4f1e94bab32e4fbab7468e3cecb5

(224)

on March 11, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I've been weening off under my doctor's care. Was on 40mg... he has me cutting it 10mg per month until I'm off it completely. If I go any faster, he says I'll be hit with some wicked withdrawal. Even now, on 30mg, I feel some withdrawal and I've been on 30 for 3 weeks now.

Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on January 18, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Basically, the premise of CBT is that your thoughts create your emotions (and therefore depression and anxiety). If you can analyze your thoughts, and ensure that they are based in reality, not just fearfulness, you can decrease your anxiety. CBT organizes unhelpful thoughts into 10 "Cognitive Distortions" and you quickly learn that all of your anxious thoughts really do fit. Labeling your distorted thoughts starts to be kind of fun. Plus, it's reassuring to discover that you are not a "special and unique snowflake," whose thoughts are so different from everyone else's.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 18, 2011
at 03:39 AM

I think the point is to try to get the problem under control enough that it can be beaten instead of it beating you.

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5 Answers

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1
Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on January 18, 2011
at 03:42 AM

I've never taken Paxil personally but I had a thought that you might consider waiting until spring arrives to make a major change in dosage? I don't know what part of the country you're in but in the Northeast, where I am, so many people struggle with SAD. I would be wary of making a major medication change when it's so dark! I guess this would not be an issue if you're in say California. :0)

If you're still struggling with OCD, I recommend "When Panic Attacks" by Dr. David Burns. It is a great book about using Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help with anxiety disorders, including OCD. I recommend it to loads of friends and patients. It's easy to read, reassuring...and it works.

Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on January 18, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Basically, the premise of CBT is that your thoughts create your emotions (and therefore depression and anxiety). If you can analyze your thoughts, and ensure that they are based in reality, not just fearfulness, you can decrease your anxiety. CBT organizes unhelpful thoughts into 10 "Cognitive Distortions" and you quickly learn that all of your anxious thoughts really do fit. Labeling your distorted thoughts starts to be kind of fun. Plus, it's reassuring to discover that you are not a "special and unique snowflake," whose thoughts are so different from everyone else's.

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on January 18, 2011
at 03:36 AM

Congrats on the huge weight loss, Jason! That is awesome!

I dropped all anxiety/depression meds after losing weight, but not Paleo. When I was obese, I was also depressed (shocking, I know) and was on Lexapro. I dropped that as soon as I started working out, I just didn't need it anymore. While losing weight my docs gave me Xanax and an anti-seizure medicine to help me "chill out". I was prone to anxiety attacks, I guess, but I really always just considered it my personality. Those were both on an "as needed" basis and I just found I needed them less and less. I haven't taken any Xanax for over a year now.

There were times when talking myself through an anxious situation was rough and I knew it would just be easier to pop a pill and stop worrying. It really helped me become stronger to deal with the situation without using food or meds as a crutch. I haven't always enjoyed having to actual deal with my problems or emotions, but I know I am in a much better place with my anxiety and emotionally than I was when I counted on chemicals to fix me.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 18, 2011
at 03:39 AM

I think the point is to try to get the problem under control enough that it can be beaten instead of it beating you.

1
418c682285b8df8a3e874f4c00585a52

on January 18, 2011
at 12:35 PM

"I want to start a plan to get off the meds with my doctor so that I can avoid as much of the vicious withdrawal as I can..."

This is key.

Whether a person needs these meds is one issue and getting off them is another separate issue entirely. That might sound like an awkward sentence, and I'm sorry for that, but the issue of weaning off a reuptake inhibitor is a VERY serious one and one you should not address alone or lightly. It's something that you need to be very careful about.

I'm sure you know this, but I don't think it hurts to hear the message repeatedly. It's that important.

1
77f83ec328459dce702216709762e202

(571)

on January 18, 2011
at 03:59 AM

The research indicates that the most successful treatment plans for OCD include medication AND psychotherapy. If you are going to wean off meds I'd suggest that you create a plan with your psychiatrist and that you see a psychotherapist - somebody who does CBT as described above. Then if you have an increase in symptoms you can learn some other strategies to manage them. You're most likely to be successful this way! There is a small subset of folks with true OCD who have remissions in their symptoms, hopefully this will be you!

Also - my husband weaned off of an SSRI after starting paleo. He had a fair number of side effects but has come through unscathed. He has needed some additional support to manage anxiety-specific symptoms, but has not needed medication (prescribed or otherwise).

0
186b8011a1572ec5b3ac68f5a7a72d2d

on March 10, 2011
at 08:34 PM

My immediate thought was "don't reduce meds while starting Paleo as the gluten/carb withdrawal may well affect brain chemistry in a similar way to SSRI drugs".

But then I re-read your post and realized how long you've been Paleo ;-) So the main advice I'd give that I found useful when reducing my dosage of the steroid prednisolone is to be patient and don't rush to reduce it faster than your body wants you to. Sounds like you have a good relationship with your doctor, and that's vital.

90fc4f1e94bab32e4fbab7468e3cecb5

(224)

on March 11, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I've been weening off under my doctor's care. Was on 40mg... he has me cutting it 10mg per month until I'm off it completely. If I go any faster, he says I'll be hit with some wicked withdrawal. Even now, on 30mg, I feel some withdrawal and I've been on 30 for 3 weeks now.

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