Discussions that mention paxil

Anxiety board

Hi everyone,

This group is incredibly informative Much more productive than searching medical sites for diseases I might have (which I have to say is what got me into this whole cycle of misery two years ago)

I went on Paxil two years ago after convincing myself I had colon cancer. My doctor did all the obligatory barbaric tests - barium enema, upper GI with the barium swallow that looks at your throat, stomach, blood work, chest x-ray and finally the all-telling colonoscopy. Anyway, the diarrhea that I've had daily for nearly four years now, as she originally thought the first time I went to see her, is IBS and a result of stress / anxiety, etc.

Anyway, the Paxil took care of me, snapped me out of the cycle of thought of death and disease, and all the other physical symptoms (except the IBS) like pounding heart, sick feeling, nausea, no appetite, fear of leaving the house, etc. went away.

Then, I gained 40 pounds. I never weighed more than 185 in my life, and suddenly I went from 175 when I started Paxil to 215. In turn, my cholesterol went to hell, and my doc said I needed to lose the weight. She said if I stopped the Paxil, exercised, etc. I would. So, about five months ago, I weened off the Paxil and felt great for a couple months. After four months or so, I was back to my old weight of 185. But, I also felt the anxiety, panic, stress creeping back in. The IBS became worse, and then I thought, even though the doc said it was normal to lose the Paxil weight once the metabolism returned to normal, weight loss = cancer.

This fear returned with a bang three weeks ago and I got the old familiar nausea feeling, lost my appetite, started obsessively weighing myself 30 times per day, started neglecting my work, etc. I freaked out basically, and immediately went back on Paxil.

It has now been almost three weeks, and the days are better, but my problem is with the mornings. I wake up each and every morning way too early, at like 5:30, and within seconds of waking start feeling scared, heart racing, and then immediately, have to run to the bathroom with diarrhea. I then can NOT go back to sleep, as I just lay there and can't stop thinking of diseases, etc. I feel terrible for my wife, who went through this with me before.

I started back to therapy, went the the psychiatrist, and back to my very understanding regular doc. She did my blood work last month as part of my cholesterol work, and reassured me I was healthy. She even said she would write me a note saying "You are healthy" if I wanted. I had her feel my neck and stuff, thinking maybe I had leukemia or lymphoma or hodgkins or something. She again pointed to the bloodwork, saying my red and white counts were normal.

Ok, sorry for all the lead-in, but here's my main question / concern: since this all started again, my blood pressure has gone from normal to now consistently 140-150 / 85-90. I know that when I get it taken I get extremely nervous / sweaty / scared, and that certainly doesn't help. Is this something anyone else here experiences? If I really relax, and take it a bunch of times, it will come down to 130/80 or something like that, but now I am obsessing about this.

Thanks for any input.

Hi Jerry - thanks so much for the reply.

I can totally relate to your obsession with taking your blood pressure... in addition to my constant weighing of myself (I am now coming to realize that the worry and resulting stress and heart rate are what have probably caused me to lose a few pounds in the first place) I also bought a home cholesterol monitoring device when I was dealing with cholesterol of 255 and triglycerides of 550. I would check it every other day, and spent a lot of money on the test strips, etc.

The rational side of me realizes that none of this is doing me any good, as you probably agree with your situation. As my therapist said, all this time we worry about these conditions, symptoms, etc. is taking time away from the moments that we can actually enjoy life and the people we love. He is so right. But to actually put that into practice is where I get stuck. I know he's right... I could be worrying about all these diseases and for all I know, I could get killed on the way to the therapist, or some totally unrelated thing could kill me. It really is a horrible waste of our lives to worry about these things, but how do we stop???

I don't want to be going to the doctor for every imaginable medical test. My symptoms are all over the place - it would take forever. I'm 33 years old. My primary doc tells me I'm fine. When I first got hit hard with all this two years ago, after I was on Paxil a few weeks, it all went away. Now, It's been three weeks tomorrow since I went back on and the problems are still here.

I can't really remember if this is exactly what it was two years ago... that's where I start thinking of all these other diseases... My wife reassures me that it's just like it was before, and that I'm actually doing much better this time since I'm still able to go do things and eat.

Anyway Jerry, thanks again for your response. I'm right there in the boat with you, and hope you are able to get through it too.