Citation: Scaredy Cat. "Good Outweighs the Bad: An Experience with Paroxetine (Aropax) (ID 35633)". Erowid.org. Jun 26, 2007. erowid.org/exp/35633
History: Always been an anxious person, have felt my personality is quite outgoing but severely repressed due to an anxiety disorder involving panic attacks. These have been part of my life since adolescence and restricted my social growth during that time. I tried many different things over the following years to overcome this problem, counseling/meditation/health supplements etc none of which helped me to fully overcome my problem which I dealt with on a daily basis. Various things would trigger my attacks which would usually result in vomiting uncontrollably, mostly social situations which I would invariably have to leave.
Then I read an advertisement for Aropax, did some internet research and thought I'd try it. I went on for 3months at 20mg, then reduced to 10mg for 3 months then went off it. Hoping the induced mental state would be a 'learned' behavior. I was fine for a year then I had some personal issues etc and things started to slide. I was able to avoid most 'trigger' situations but started to feel uncomfortably anxious at times again. Earlier this year I went back onto Aropax, with very similar results.
The Good: The first time I went on it; totally changed my life, anxiety gone, I was able to be the real me. Social life changed, attitude change for the better (more positive), overall improvement in quality of life due to being 'free' of my problem. Second time; more a maintenance of the lifestyle I had become accustomed to after the first time, not so 'positive'.
The Bad: Side effects, side effects, side effects, this drug involves a 'come on' period of 1-2weeks with loss of appetite, insomnia, mood swings, being thirsty, 'zoning out', inability to reach orgasm, all which abate after this period. The lack of sleep also induced an increase in anxiety and panic attacks for this period.
There are also lasting side effects for me, long strange vivid dreams (which I quite enjoy - possibly caused by lowered sleep state?) occasional night sweats, increased sweating with physical activity, strange body odor (controllable), lack of motivation at work (procrastination - use task lists to get things done!) general 'leveling' out of emotional highs/lows.
Addiction: I would actually have to say yes, I cannot go 'cold turkey' or I will have severe side effects as above including 'electric shock sensations' through my limbs, I need a 1-2week 'come off' period slowly lowering daily dosage which minimizes these.
With other substances:
Alcohol; during come on period its awesome! lowered inhibitions, happy, like a very very mild Ecstasy buzz or GHB buzz (lack of social inhibitions), with increased tolerance. Returns to normal tolerance/effects.
Marijuana; I'm a regular stoner, initially during come on period reduces the effects of getting stoned. Returns to normal tolerance/effects, but regular use eliminates the crazy dreams, I think its use starting/stopping regular use may also be tied in with night sweats.
Ecstasy; mental effects partially blocked (physical effects remain), has a wavy feeling like it wants to come on but can't (addition of dose of GHB or a hit of NOS can bring the sensation on full, but only temporarily) depends on aropax dosage and quality of ecstasy. (missing a daily dose or two helps improve this but cold turkey side effects will start)
GHB; no notable difference in effect, but initial addition of electric shock sensation in limbs.
NOS; no change
Speed; no change
Sex life: I thought this deserved its own section :)
Libido = 0
BUT given the right situation all the equipment still works, it requires increased stimulation levels to achieve orgasm, ergo I can last longer. This is good news guys, a bonus if you will.
However after coming off Aropax I perform very poorly or a week or so then everything is as it was.
I now believe that this may be a permanent chemical imbalance in my brain that I will have to live with. However after my life has settled down a bit (get another steady girlfriend, settled into new flat) I will come off Aropax again. I read an old diary of mine last week and was shocked at how badly my problem was affecting my life in my early years, I had forgotten how bad it could be and I'm thankful I have a tool to fall back on if I head down that path again.
I should also note that I will try taking 5htp once off Aropax to see if that can help me as an alternative. I believe that the neurological drugs that are available to us at present are akin to tapping in a drawing pin with a sledgehammer, Iíll get the job done, but I'll mess something up in the process. We still have a long way to come in neurological sciences.
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