Everyone's different, so no, we can't give you an accurate timetable. You were on Paxil a long time, which would suggest a nice slow taper, but that would mean going back on it at the last dose at which you felt fine and tapering off at whatever speed suited you. If you choose not to do that then you'll have to tough it out however long it lasts and hope it's a short one. Paxil's one of the tougher ones to come off of, so what you're going through isn't really as bad as many have reported. On the other hand, if you've never dealt with the underlying problem for which you went on the med in the first place, you're likely to still have it. Right now, your body is trying to adjust to functioning normally again without the alteration you've had with four years of Paxil, and it will take as long as it takes for you.
Like you, I went off Paxil cold turkey. I had been on it for 2 1/2 years and noticed that my emotions were going dead. It was prescribed when I was going through all kinds of neuro issues; the doctor ruled out the simple stuff and then asked me how I might deal with a more complex diagnosis. Not well, I answered, so he put me on the stuff.
I wanted to come off it two years later, but this fell on deaf ears. In July of 2006, I stopped cold turkey. It is a hard withdrawal. One of the things that did help was to drink tons and tons of water. Just keep flushing your system.
The worst part of the withdrawal is the first two weeks. I had vivid nightmares and was yelling in my sleep. Also, this loud buzzing sound in my head that would get louder when I moved my head, especially with physical activity. I was a drama queen for about a month; I made sure to tell family, friends and co-workers that I was coming off medication and was experiencing side effects. Just telling people helped; if I did not recognize that I was "off" they might tell me so.
I was prescribed this medication in anticipation of depression/anxiety. As I mentioned, it deadned my emotions and I could not wait to get off the stuff. I still have no dx for my symptoms (appt. with new neuro this Tues.). but I would rather deal with mild depression than have my emotions killed.
Good luck and I hope you get back to your old self again soon.
I second the advice already given. A slow taper is always advisable; sounds as though your body is reacting to being without Paxil.
It worked for me for about a year, but remember it deadening my usually upbeat self. Think I had to stop it as it started to cause diarrhea.
You are in control. If you want you can continue to go on as you are. Water and exercise may help. But in the end, your body will react as it will, no matter what you do.
Can you talk to prescribing physician? Know you may not want to. Also know that a doctor may encourage you to continue at lower dose perhaps. It doesn't mean you are weak if you do go back on Paxil at a reduced dose. So don't beat yourself up if you need to. Main thing is to function well.