What follows here is the story of my current experience with Paxil.
I was prescribed Paxil about a month ago, I’ve been taking it for almost 3 weeks now.

First off, I’d like to explain why it was decided that I should take this drug.
Over a year ago I lost my girlfriend, it wasn’t a messy thing, it was just circumstance that forced us apart. It was, however, quite painful. After that I got very depressed. Also, around then, I started to notice that my shyness had begun to manifest itself physically. I could no longer walk into a crowded room, a mall, a theater, or even a lecture without sweating, getting dizzy, nauseated, and panicky. At first I decided that I could deal with it myself. I’d just say that nothing had changed, and I had no reason to feel the way I did. That worked for about a year.

Then, about 5 months ago I started to notice that no matter how hard I tried, the physical sensations of anxiety overwhelmed me one day. It was quite scary, and traumatic. There I was, walking across campus, and all the sudden my heart started racing as I entered the building (the Sub, for anyone at UNM) and my world went black and white. Voices were coming from tin cans, real or not I saw every eye on me. My vision went blurry and the world began to spin. My gut reaction was to pass out, but somehow I managed to get outside and sit down. 10 minutes later I got up and felt emotionally exhausted, but otherwise ok.

After that day I started to lose control of my anxiety. I realized I had a real problem when I started to miss classes and appointments because I was too afraid to leave my house. I started to avoid my friends for fear that they wouldn’t understand. I hid myself and my problems from my family because I thought they would overreact.

One day, sitting at my mom’s house, talking to a very close friend I told her about all this. She told me to go and talk to someone. The thought wasn’t a new idea, many times I had thought about seeing a shrink, but I just avoided thinking about it. For whatever reason, the advice of this friend meant a lot to me, and I took it. A week later I was in the office of one of the psychologists the school provides, who referred me to a psychiatrist. A week after that I had a script for Paxil, 40 mg, ½ tab a day.

It’s been 3 weeks now, almost 4. While I read and hear all these Paxil - Perhaps the worst thing ever prescribed to me|horror stories] about Paxil, I find that I just can’t relate. The few negative side effects I’ve noticed are pretty minor: Dry mouth for an hour after I take the pill, and I suspect that the cold I’ve had for 2 weeks now may be related, but it’s going away. Now, what I can say about the positive effects! No more days of uncontrolled anxiety. While I still feel the pangs now and then, I am in control. I seem to have more energy, more desire to go out and do things, less fear of cute girls, more time spent with my friends… all good things in my life.

As a final reply to all the people who had bad experiences with Paxil, I’d like to say I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. I see it too many times that doctors prescribe Paxil for depression and non-clinical anxiety. Paxil is a highly focused SSRI, it cannot and will not help people who are depressed or bi-polar. A close friend of mine was put on Paxil prior to a major surgery to help easy the anxiety about the procedure. This is a perfect example of what Paxil is NOT made for. His fears were well founded, and came from an entirely different part of the brain than where social related anxiety comes from. Likewise, Paxil is not for treating depression. Depression can only be truly dealt with through therapy, and if a pill is needed wellbutrin and buspar (I think) are the more commonly prescribed drugs for such treatment. If for whatever reason you were given Paxil to help alleviate temporary anxiety, or depression, I would suggest you find another doctor. I consider myself to be a positive example of how Paxil should be used, and how well it works. So, if you’re considering your life, and you think you relate to what I have said, see a doctor about it. If you fit the depressed or anxious group, see a doctor, but if he or she mentions Paxil…. Get a second opinion!

That is all

I must disagree.

I do not wish to make this a GTKY node, yet I fear I may not convey my feelings without it. Please bear with me. =]

All my life (or at least as long as I am aware,) I have suffered from some form of clinical depression, ranging from major depressive disorder (MDD) to dysthymia (a more off-and-on form of depression). I have also never suffered from any sort of anxiety, either.

In October 2001, I was prescribed Prozac for the above forms of depression, as well as to curb the bulimia nervosa tendencies I developed due to my depression. This medicine helped with my obsessions with my body, yet did not do nearly as much for my depression as the Paxil I was prescribed in February of 2002.

I must admit the side effects I suffered such as a decrease in appetite, sleep disturbances, and sexual problems, such as decreased ability to orgasm, are nothing to enjoy. Yet these are vastly outweighed by the advantages - improved concentration, a greater arousal during foreplay (which makes the orgasm problems a bit more bearable), and most of all, an elevation of mood to which I do not know a comparison.

I cannot give drugs all the credit for this, but I know that even a month's difference between Prozac and therapy (which included CBT and DBT) and Paxil and the exact same therapist.

I sympathize with those who have had unpleasant experiences with this medication, and I hope that they may find something better that works. If its not working, then find something that does. You do not have to live a sad life.

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