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Time for meds adjustment

Hey guys, I have been on paroxetine for a couple years now and I’m starting to feel like I need to self medicate. This is a huge red flag for me that I need to talk to my doctor about my meds. I also have gained a ton of weight while on paroxetine which I only care to change due to health concerns, not vanity. Has anyone else been on paroxetine and moved to a different med? Pros and cons? I’m not looking for advice on meds but rather just some experiences others have had on different meds so I can speak with my doctor about the situation. I like hearing about what others have been thru with their journey. I am over 5 years sober and a recovering alcoholic so I really want to avoid the feelings I have right now that I need to self medicate or supplement the meds on my own as this never works out well and I don’t want to lose the progress I have made. I know there are people with weightier things going on than this and I apologize as I don’t want to take away from them getting help first, but I did need to get this out there as I just needed to share with someone that I’m in a rough state of mind and cannot sleep tonight without getting this out there as it is weighing on me.

Thank you in advance to anyone that reads this and even more to those that reply.


Hi Coffeetalk

I’m not on paroxetine, but I am on anti-psychotics and most of them make you gain weight. Pretty fast too. I think it’s normal to need med adjustments and the fact that you can recognized that something isn’t right is pretty great. I’m not sure, but I’m assuming you have other choices for meds. Perhaps you can talk to your doctor and find something that doesn’t make you gain weight. I had to go thru a few different meds to find one that worked for me.

Gratz on 5 years sober!!! That so awesome!

PS. Your post is just as important as everyone else’s here. Everyone is seen and heard here. You matter!


Hi! Thanks for reaching out and for acknowledging that there might be a need for change.
Can I ask if you’ve spoken to your doctor about controlled vs immediate release? Do you know which you’re on? I have heard paroxetine can cause weight gain more so than other SSRIs
I’m on escitalopram which is similar to the CR of paroxetine. It works for me, but everyone is different.
Definitely have a chat with the dr as there’s a world of things out there including medications for SSRI non responders, and it’s always okay to ask your dr about how to find what fits best for you. There’s no gold standard for people when it comes to certain types or dosages.

You don’t have to apologise for anything at all, you aren’t taking away from anyone! There’s always enough love to share around and I know how nerve racking it can be to find something that will help and has minimal side effects.
I’m also sorry if it sounded like I was going into too much detail or giving medical advice as I always believe in consulting your personal health provider for these kinds of things and as much as I could share my experience, I wouldn’t want to turn anyone off trying to seek that for themselves.
As long as you’re being safe and asking the dr all the questions you have, then I do hope that there will be a good fit for you!

Sorry if that was too rambling! Let us know how you go when you’re able to talk to them next!


From: Dr Hogarth

Hi coffeetalk,

I haven’t personally tried paroxetine myself, but have had problems with taking different anti-depressants. Can take a few misses before you find one that suits you, and that’s completely normal. One thing I would recommend is maybe having a chat with your local pharmacist. They are super knowledgeable about medications and know from the customers the sort of reactions people have. Can be a good way to equip yourself with more knowledge before going to the doctors.

Congratulation on being 5 years sober, that’s an immense achievement. Keep being extraordinary. x


From: lovecraft-pilled

I would say definitely don’t self medicate. The best solution would probably be consulting with your doctor and taking it from there. My understanding is that there are many different medications out there that can help and it may be a matter of finding the right one.

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From: SuchBlue

Hi coffeetalk,

I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t go to the doctor, if there’s a chance that you’ll regret it later I think there’s nothing to lose. You’re 5 years sober and going back is definitely not the way to go. It’s a matter of time until you find the right medication.
Please let us know of any progress :hrtlegolove:


From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Coffeetalk, Thank you so much for your post, I myself tried paroxatine once but sadly it wasnt for me but a similar medication did and I changed myself 2 years ago as I too go used to what I was taking and needed to change, I thought it could just continue to be increased but changed it was and it did the job. I would certainly in your postion go to see your doctor and discuss that change, mention that you are self medicating as that is very important for them to know, it would be awful to ruin your well earned sobriety when it could be so easily sorted out by your gp. You do not need to suffer. It can be a bit of a trying time changing but once through that it is a huge relief to feel the benefit of new meds that actually do the job. I wish you lots of luck and would love to know how you get on. Much Love lisa. x

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From: Mamadien

I’m glad you posted on the wall here, please don’t ever apologize for asking for help and sharing how you are feeling. It sounds like you do need to check in with your doctor about your medication and whether it’s still working for you or not. Please give them a call and get that appointment. I’m super impressed with your 5 years of sobriety, that is huge and worth celebrating! You seem to have wonderful self awareness and you know yourself well. Do you still get support for your alcoholism? That may be a place to check in with others until you can get with your doctor and see what changes need to be made. Please let us know how you are doing, we care.


From: eloquentpetrichor

Hello again, coffeetalk! It is so lovely to hear from you again. You are always welcome to post here about anything that is going on in your life. Everyone’s life and experiences and struggles here are just as valid as any others :hrtlegolove:

I’m sorry that your medication is causing you these problems but I’m so proud of you for maintaining your sobriety. Keep it up! Have you spoken to your doctor about how the medicine is affecting you? It is important to keep a dialogue about your medicine and how it is affecting you in different ways going with your doctor. I hope they can help you.

You are doing amazing! Keep up with everything and please keep posting :hrtlegolove:


Hey everyone,

Thank you so much for your support! I am not self medicating other than had been taking delta 8 which I am no longer going to take as it was that which caused me to realize I am trying to self medicate. I have the desire to drink but have a great support system that helps me not drink. However, since these feelings and some triggers from interactions with family members from out of state have created challenges, I have an appointment Tuesday with my doc to discuss meds and my options to switch off Paroxetine and try something else. I know that much of psych meds is trial and error getting the right combo and dosage but I am eager to try and protect my 5+ years of being alcohol free.

As always, I am so appreciative of all the suggestions, replies, encouraging words and personal experiences I get here. So grateful and always blown away by the amazing people of this community! I hope I can pay it forward in the near future!


Good luck on Tues, would love to know how you are getting on so if you feel you want to keep in touch. Lisalovesfeathers. :green_heart: P.s you are doing everything right x

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Thank you everyone! I love my doctor! She had a discussion about how I’ve been doing and heard me out about my meds. She is starting me on lamotrigine and wants to follow up with me after a month to see how I am doing on it and if we need to tweak or change the meds altogether. I will be weening of my paroxetine as I build up lamotrigine in my system. I am really optimistic and shared with my doc that I don’t want to lose my progress and turn to self medication. She is so super supportive and so is my wife. So blessed with a great support system in my doc, my wife, and all of you.

I am hopeful that once I get the new med in my system that I will be closer to midline and more stable days are near. Thank you again for caring. I will update after a while of being on lamotrigine.


That is great news friend, I am really pleased that you have such a good relationship with your Dr and you have some new meds to try, good luck with them and I look for ward to hearing how you get on. Best of luck. Lisalovesfeathers. x


That’s so good to hear! I’m so glad things went well, and I do hope that this change will do so much good for you!


Hello all,

So I am almost a week into my new meds. Having a very difficult time with the transition from one to the other. It feels like I’m not on any meds for the time being since I am weening off paroxetine taking half a dose each day but also slowly building the new meds in my system at half a dose too. I expected that it would be a challenge changing my meds and it has been. I am hopeful that once I get the dosage dialed in that things will be better on this new med. I don’t know how else to describe it but it’s kinda like all my bipolar symptoms have sped up and intensified with my swings happening sometimes multiple times a day. This is way faster than what I normally experience as I usually go a few days with one and then swing to the opposite extreme.

But i have great support from my wife. She has been very patient with me even though I have had such heightened agitation. Very thankful and hopeful for better days on my horizon. Next week I up my dose for lamotrigine. It makes me feel better just sharing this with one’s who can relate. I will try to post an update in the next several days. Thank you for all your care and interest in my struggles.


I’m sorry it’s been so hard trying to get the adjustment stage right. So frustrating, but important to get the balance right!
Even better that you have that support around you, I imagine it is such a big relief for you.
I hope it’s not making you both too anxious.
Thank you for sharing your updates


Thanks so much for your thoughtful words. Yes, it makes all the difference having support. In a way she knows what I am feeling as she takes fluoxetine for anxiety. It’s a necessary passage to get my head right and I finally realize that. In the past, I stopped taking any meds for much of my teen and adult years. Looking back, life would’ve been so much easier had I stuck with it and done what I am doing now.


Hi Friend, Thank you for the update, I too am sorry that this is so hard and I am not surprised by your words as it wasnt too long ago I changed my meds and it was hard it also made me realise how much I did need them as I had been on them for such a long time I had often wondered if they were actually doing anything any more and coming off them I found out that yes they absolutely were and I dont want to do that in a hurry again. :thinking: saying that, once the new ones were in my system the relief was remarkable so hang on to that support from your wife, use us too if you need to, we absolutely support you and I look forward to hearing how you are getting on. much Love Lisalovesfeathers. :green_heart:


Hello everyone,

Thanks so much for all the positive feedback you have provided. I thought I would share an update. I have been on my Lamotrigine for a little over two weeks now and just started taking the full dose Thursday. Up until Thursday, I was taking half a dose every other day of my former med Paroxetine to ween off of it. Not sure if it is the combo of both of them working synergistically or just my bodies initial reaction to the new med, but I have had incredible insomnia and feel extremely fragile. Has anyone else had this experience from Lamotrigine? I have a follow up with my doc at the end of the month and will fill her in then but was curious to hear others anecdotal experiences on this med.

I have been very emotional and had a few times I had to find a bathroom and breakdown and let it out. The silly thing is, it’s usually triggered by the smallest things, some of which don’t even affect my life. I may be watching a TV show and start crying because of a fictional characters challenges in the story. I have been having even more extreme and hyper fast swings from feeling like I can do and accomplish everything at once with manic invincibility, and the next day, crash into a low state where I feel depressed for little or no reason and without a trigger.

I have been listening to music, writing lyrics, and singing along to some favorite bands. I have found myself crying as I sing songs, even if they are not sad, just simply because I can hear the raw emotion in the music and connect so deeply with that emotion that it moves me to tears. I feel like I am expressing my feelings in a new way even when singing along to songs I didn’t write.

I have been listening to a lot of August Burns Red. Shout out to Jake Luhrs (creator of HeartSupport :pray:t2::clap:t2::+1:t2:) and the ABR crew! Jake- your lyrics and the music behind them have been the soundtrack to my lowest lows and highest highs. Thank you so much for wearing your heart on your sleeve and being an advocate for mental health. Hope to get to thank you in person someday! I also have a lot of Killswitch Engage, Alice In Chains, and a lot more very expressive songs and bands.

In a nutshell, I guess I feel that talking to my support, friends and loved ones that I can trust, and having my music is my therapy. Coupling that with my meds, I have an optimistic hope that soon the dust will settle and I will feel more stable, closer to midline, and not so fragile.

Thanks for reading and please, get help and be open to meds if you recognize you need more stability for your overall mental/emotional health.


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P.S. I am crying after posting this update just because :laughing::rofl:🫠🥹

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