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Monadikos Intro- Recovery From Invega Sustenna and Possible Success of Wellbutrin


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Hello everyone,


I want to give a bit of backstory here, but I'm mainly posting for some clarification on the meaning of the effect of Wellbutrin on someone who is withdrawing from the antipsychotic Invega Sustenna, so feel free to skip the next part. Honestly it just feels good to finally record what happened, regardless if it's seen by anyone.




I was diagnosed with depression at age 15, and put on the AD Prozac, which caused me to gain 80 pounds and lose whatever self esteem I had left. After a summer of binge eating and emotional numbness, I decided to quit. I didn't notice any serious withdrawals, and can honestly barely remember if I did have them, but I do know that in the following two years I lost the weight and gained so much confidence that I was able to find a group of friends that I really grew attached to. 


Unfortunately this group of friends introduced me to marijuana and various other drugs like MDMA, amphetamine(Adderall), and Alcohol. Over the course of my senior year (17-18) I became addicted to marijuana and couldn't stop using no matter what happened to me. My parents took a vacation for a week, and I had all of my friends over for the entire period.


After a week of binge smoking/drinking I needed to get rid of my bong so my buddy offered me half the cost in cash and the other half in Adderall. I took the Adderall and truly felt like I had entered the words "god mode" into life's cheat menu. I could stay up all night and get so much school work done that I felt invincible. I even got the confidence to ask a girl out and we dated for a good while; until the next event happened.


I combined the Adderall with alcohol and marijuana and entered a state of psychosis that scared my entire family. I was hospitalized for nine days and put on Risperidone for the diagnosis of Schizo Affective Disorder. The Risperidone made me grow man boobs and I lost my sense of self. I stopped taking them and was fine until I went to college later that year.


At college I found a new group of friends (my previous ones had all but abandoned me after thinking I was just a crazy person) and unfortunately they were alcohol and drug abusers as well. A girl I was into offered me Adderall and we spent a few nights together drinking and smoking weed, until later that weekend I was busted in my dorm room rolling a blunt, and given a ticket with a future court appearance. This stress caused me to finally break and I ended up in the hospital again, this time diagnosed with Psychosis, Not Otherwise Specified(I think that's what it's called). 


I was put on various pills which I don't remember. My father, convinced that I was "gaming the system" started verbally abusing me, and my mother decided it was best of use to leave and live somewhere else for a while (I used to feel horrible for "causing" this rift"). I did really well with no pills until I saw a psychiatrist who believed the psychosis was purely drug induced, and that the drug abuse was caused by an underlying depression. He prescribed Lexapro for me (which I also developed strong food cravings from) and I took that until returning to college 5 months later.


Well, embarrassingly I had another break after abusing the same drugs like a complete moron (I refused to believe the drugs were bad for me until this point). I was put on Invega Sustenna starting in December of 2013. I took it regularly every month until February 19th, 2016, when I finally decided that this weight gain (over 100 pounds) and anhedonia/depression were going to kill me before I reached the age of 40 (I'm currently 23). My psychiatrist told me that since the drug would be in my system for up to a year that the best course of action would be to quit cold turkey.


Also, from late May of 2015 until mid November of 2015, I smoked marijuana very heavily and I sincerely believe that I was/am still suffering from Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome related to that. I haven't touched any drugs or alcohol in over 6 months, and I simply refuse to ever again, because of what I went through afterwards (anxiety attack).




So, I've been off of Invega Sustenna, which I took for a little over 2 years, cold turkey for over 3 months, and I'm still feeling the anhedonia/lack of concentration/food cravings that I believe it caused. However, my new psychiatrist, whom I absolutely adore, has prescribed me Wellbutrin 100mg 2x a day, and when I started it 3 days ago I actually felt normal, and like my old self again. I had motivation to clean my apartment and exercise, and I couldn't believe it. Now, understanding that a change so rapid and profound is too good to be true, I researched it and found forum talk of the "Wellbutrin Honeymoon," and that if one experiences it, then that means that person is most likely a good candidate for its long term effects. 


I was mainly worried that the Invega had caused permanent brain damage, especially after googling about it (I know now that that was a horrible idea.)


It's been long winded as hell, I know, but my main question is, since I felt normal during the Honeymoon phase of Wellbutrin, can I be optimistic about my brain and its serotonin/dopamine receptors returning to normal? I have no qualms with being on Wellbutrin for a good chunk of time, even though I wouldn't prefer it. I'm just feeling so optimistic now that I want to make sure I'm not deluding myself. I'm coming down from the Honeymoon and am prepared to wait out the eight weeks that are necessary for it to take full effect. 


I just needed to get all of this out there. I haven't written about anything that's happened to me since it all started 8 years ago. I hope it was coherent.


Thanks to anyone who is patient enough to read a wall of text. That's my spiel.


I'm Mo.  :)



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mo and welcome to SA! 
Your account of the last 8 years is both very coherent and very comprehensible. I'm glad you figured out that consuming "recreational" drugs doesn't work well or at all for you. That's a great thing to know for the rest of your life.
I saw your comment about the "Wellbutrin Honeymoon." I'd never heard of that.  When I first went on an anti-depressant, Effexor, in '97, I had a dramatic response after my second dose. I'd say it was a 70% improvement.  People tell me that it's impossible, that the drug takes weeks to take effect.  If they'd been in my mind and body, they'd have no doubt that it was possible. My best guess is that my brain had been building lots more receptors for the neurotransmitters and the Effexor flooded them with what they were waiting for. I didn't have a similar experience when I restarted 5 years later, nor when I started Cymbalta. ... and enough about me. :D
You wrote, "my main question is, since I felt normal during the Honeymoon phase of Wellbutrin, can I be optimistic about my brain and its serotonin/dopamine receptors returning to normal?"

To keep it simple: Yes, be optimistic. Many people recover fully after a careful taper where they pay attention to how they respond to small reduction in their dose. A few who've won some sort of genetic lottery reportedly jump off cold turkey and have no problems. I don't know, I think they're unicorns. Here's a topic in which one of our moderators describes her understanding and gives a helpful analogy: Brain Remodelling (Rhiannon's Description of Brain Healing)
You may have already checked this one out; if not, it'll be here for when you're planning to taper. Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin XR, SR, XL (buproprion)
One of the moderators will post to welcome you and point you to other helpful topics in the forums.
Two things for you to take on:

  1. Follow this topic so you get notifications when there's a new post in your thread. Click the grey button near the top of the page, at about the same level as the thread title. It also makes it easy to find this thread. It doesn't take long for new posts in other threads to bump older threads to the 2nd page.
  2. Add a signature with a summary of your drug and withdrawal history, especially including all drugs you currently take and their dose.  The signature serves as a quick summary for the moderators when you ask a withdrawal related question. Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Monadikos, welcome to SA!


Please fill in your signature block with all the drugs you are currently taking, and when changes too place, such as when you stopped the Invega, started the Wellbutrin, dosages, etc. Like scallyway, I've never heard of the Wellbutrin Honeymoon but google showed me that it is a well known phenomenon.  I do know that it is a very activating med, with anxiety being one of the prominent side effects.  See the Wellbutrin topic scallyway provided to learn more about it.  Thankfully, it is not one of the harder meds to come off of, but still requires proper tapering since people do experience withdrawal coming off too fast.


Furthermore, it is a relatively weak antidepressant, and if you are in withdrawal from the Invega Sustenna it won't necessarily be able to cancel that out.  Since SA is a forum for coming off psych meds, I don't know that anyone will be able to answer your question about the Honeymoon period being predictive of Wellbutrin having a good outcome for you. But, maybe someone will chime in on that.


Usually, when someone is experiencing severe withdrawal from a cold turkey and it has been three months or less, we strongly suggest reinstating a SMALL amount of the drug to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  For Invega this would mean acquiring the tablets.  It is really the only sure way to halt withdrawal, but reinstatement becomes less likely to work more time that passes.  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  Once stabilized, you can then resume a slower taper to come off successfully.


Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?



Here is information about Invega



And here is a link for one member's story with Invega:



It sounds to me like you are wanting to continue with the Wellbutrin.  Let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.



Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor


My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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