Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Hi, I'd like to help you with your problem.
I am sorry this has happened to you. Having a baby is quite an experience, but to have to deal with anxiety on top of it is disconcerting.
After reading about what you went through, I am very surprised no one has recommended therapy for you. Although medication is a wonderful alternative when your symptoms are overwhelming and you need help right away, after 7 plus years it seems obvious that other treatment options should have been offered.
My thought is that when you had your last child, you may have experienced post partum anxiety. This anxiety could either be a part of post partum depression, or it could be a post partum anxiety disorder. When you developed the symptoms, the medication probably helped but the initial anxiety symptoms were not addressed. With anxiety, once you experience the symptoms, it is a bewildering experience and it is difficult to get rid of without help. A therapist can help you understand your symptoms and find ways to reduce or eliminate the anxiety.
I'd like to recommend that you seek out a therapist that has experience with anxiety and if you can, find someone who has dealt with a post partum diagnosis. You should have a complete evaluation done which will tell you what kind of anxiety you are dealing with so treatment can be effective. Your therapist can be a psychologist, which is someone with either a doctorate in psychology or a special license, or a Master's level therapist who is considered a therapist or counselor. Either professional is qualified to help you. Who you chose should depend on who you are comfortable with and feel you would have a good working relationship with.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to help anxiety sufferers regain their lives in a short period of time. You can ask your therapist about this kind of therapy and if it will work for you.
If you have not already, I would also ask your regular doctor for a complete physical exam including blood work. You want to be sure there is no physical cause for your symptoms. This is just routine and it clears the way to focus on your symptoms as emotional and not from a physical cause.
There are several books available that can help you with the anxiety. One is called The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. Also, When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns and The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus. There are many others available on Amazon.com or your local library will probably be able to help you.
I hope this has helped you,
Your doctor should be able to guide you on how to come off Paxil. Every person is different so withdrawal can have one set of symptoms for one person and be a completely different experience for another. I believe Paxil is part of a group of medications that must be discontinued slowly because of the side effects. Your doctor can give you a better understanding of how to progress with how to withdrawal the medication.
Regarding your other medications, it would be a good idea to see a therapist and have an evaluation first to determine what your diagnosis is so you can be treated with not only the right therapy, but the correct medication as well. Part of the issue here for you is the lack of a diagnosis. Just as your doctor could not treat you for a physical problem without a diagnosis, it is the same with any mental health issue. Your doctor may have given you a diagnosis on his own, but a mental health professional would provide a more accurate diagnosis and therefore a better idea of what kinds of treatments would work best for you.