Oh, those zaps are horrible. I got them even if I was just a few hours late on my dose. Is your doc a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse-practitioner? Lots of regular medical doctors prescribe these medications, but aren't really aware of all the options and side effects, and etc.
Paxil does have a very short half-life, as you mention. There are newer drugs with much longer half-life and fewer side-affects, if you ever want to change from the Paxil again. As you experienced, going off is AWFUL. There was even a class-action suit against the manufacturer because they hid the misery of getting off of it. It DOES work well, for sure, which is good. But, if you ever want to try a different one, ask your doctor for one of those with the longer half life. I had great luck with Lexapro. My psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (better and more attentive than ANY doctor I've had, AND cheaper!) also put me on Buspirone (Buspar, I think) to counter the sexual side effects of the SSRI.
The tricky thing about medications like this is that some work for some people, and not for others. If a doctor isn't careful and persistent, and keeping in touch frequently when a new med is tried, the patient can have a really negative experience. I've heard so many people say, "I tried an anti-depressant and it didn't work" and usually, after I ask questions, I learn their doctor didn't suggest any other options.
And, so many medical doctors don't seem to know about how SLOWWWWLY you must taper off of Paxil. When I went off from 30 mg, I went down 5 mg at a time, and each time I stayed at the lower level for 2 weeks. My practitioner designed the weaning to be super slow and super safe, and had me ramping up a different med at the same time.
Anyway, I sure understand the desire to get off of the medicines. Expensive, side effects, etc. And I remember being told that I just needed the anti-D until I was stabilized and then could go off of it, in year or less. Ha!
Eight years later....