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Need help! ASAP!

Hello all,

My girlfriend was on effexor (for depression caused by long-standing anxiety)for about 3 weeks and was feeling very agitated and anxious and having impulsive but non-suicidal urges (her description) to take her entire bottle of pills.

The symptoms were scary (let alone extremely uncomfortable for her) so she got her doc to change her prescription to Paxil (which she had work for her before but was scared of the withdrawal again). He advised her that she could change overnight to the Paxil and it should be fine.

The very morning she switched to Paxil, she sounded so much better. BUT, in the afternoon we had an emotional conversation and she had a huge breakdown. She said she couldn't take the pain anymore, there was just too much pain, and she was so close to taking all her pills, they were in her hand (I am across the country, it's a long distance relationship). I talked her out of it, but since then (it has been 3 going on 4 days) she has been back and forth between not wanting to live, and being ambivalent/cold/numb about it. She takes ativan to calm her body so she doesn't feel the call (it's like an obsession) to try to kill herself. I have to make daily contracts with her so that she doesn't do it.

I get there on Monday morning (almost 2 days from now) and I don't know what to do. I was hoping to get some opinions/advice. I think the suicidal thoughts are medication-induced, I'm almost completely certain of it. Her pain has always been high, but she has never reacted in this way, not even close. I want to get her cleaned of the meds, but I'm not sure if that's safe.. I am only home for 1 week, but she is now back home with her parents who can support her and stay home with her.

Is it safe to wean off of Paxil while suicidal feelings are ongoing? I know withdrawal can lead to suicidal feelings, but I worried they won't go away at all if she is still on the Paxil (note: she came off Paxil a year ago cold-turkey and had a single-episode of suicidal ideation, which lasted only part of a day).

Please, your input and help would be so greatly appreciated...

SKR
3 Responses
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547573 tn?1234655710
Your girlfriend is in dangerous territory and she needs to immediately seek help from a mental health professional.
Regardless of where her suicidal ideations originate they are indicative of a deeper problem which isn't going to go away by stopping her medication. As a matter of fact, removing here medication may do more harm than good.
Although I applaud your efforts to "save" your girlfriend, you need to place this in the hands of professionals and you should take on a role where you are compassionate and supportive.
There are a multitude of medications and other treatments available that may prove successful in the treatment of your girlfriend, but they are useless unles you can convince her to seek such help.
I would also recommend that she keep a list of crisis hotlines readily available near the telephone so that she can call and talk to someone when she's feeling down. If she feels extremely suicidal and thinks that she may take action(e.g. if she's formulated a plan or is extreemly tempted to take all her meds at once) she should call 911 immediately.
Please try to convince her to seek help and if she refuses, I suggest that you talk to a mental health professional so that both of you can plan an intervention to get her some help.
Good luck to you and let us know how things work out.

Michael(Jikan)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello Jikan,

Thank you for your thoughts. This has certainly been on my mind... this isn't a 'second chance' situation. But her therapist and a pscyhologist I've spoken with say that the place she is might best be taken care of by careful supervision..

I'm still curious as to what to do about the meds tho.. I'm almost certain they are behind these symptoms..

SKR
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
It sounds like she was suicidal to start with, she needs to be in the hospital asap, it would be an act of love on your part, since she is so ill. I think in the hospital she will get some support and if she needs a different med, they will supervise her until they feel she is stable before the let her go. If she refuses to go, and is suicidal, call 911. You alone cannot save her, this is like any other medical disorder, if she was very sick  (which a lot of depression is, as it is a chemical imbalance) then you would call 911. If she is like that right now, call. She will appreciate it in the long run.
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