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Victim mentality


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Hello. Please, correct me if I'm wrong; but I noticed something and I wanted to share my thoughts.


I see that many people have victim mentality because of horrible withdrawal effects. I completely understand where is that coming from, and I am not by any means judging your grief towards life you have lost because of those toxic substances. I used to have that victim mentality as well, in my first days of WDS and I understand the amounts of pain you are in.


It's extremely difficult to, as I described the feeling, "just wake up one day and feel like you forgot who you are, and fail to recognize patterns of thinking and reasoning of your "previous personality", as well as be unable to find common sense in anything around you". At least that is how I felt.


People that I talked to when I realized that what I'm experiencing is caused by meds were telling me NOT to stress about everything that happened, that it will help my brain to recover faster. I found that quite illogical and impossible; my thoughts were: "How can I not stress and grieve? I feel like my life is taken away, and I'm living in such a void that it seems like it's impossible to get any kind of life back, and at the same time for it not to feel "fake" in a way. They must be experiencing something different, their case must be less severe than mine. I will not recover".


It felt like I permanently deleted some pictures from my phone, and my phone didn't have a backup; so, it felt like me completely losing memory of my personality and many, many past events is something that I just can't get back.


Now, that I'm sure that you know I understand what are you going through, I will try to explain what I think is a mistake among many people going through WDS. I, of course, described just the basics of this state, because if I started describing how I felt, the post will be way, way too long and I would write it for hours. And the point of describing all of this was to tell you that I genuinely am not judging what am I about to say.


So, here we go - the victim mentality. It seems like some kind of a depressive thinking pattern; I am destroyed forever, things cannot get better, everything is done, I have been a victim of psychiatric medications, they caused me all of this, I can't do anything right etc. In my opinion, those thinking patterns are lowering your already severely low motivation.


What I needed a lot of time to get to understand is that I don't have to be "the previous me" to be able to accomplish things, to have a right to call myself smart, capable, deserving of love, care, compliments and to be able to generally be successful.


You were mentally ill, or if you weren't, you were struggling in some way - if you weren't mentally ill/struggling, you wouldn't be given meds at the first place. I saw this as a huge loss for a long time, but that's not true. This is not a loss; this is the opportunity. It's the opportunity to build a good, satisfying and successful life. But, it takes time.


So, when I go back and observe my own thinking patterns from first year of withdrawal, it seemed like I was subconsciously trying to find an excuse for not doing things. And when I say subconsciously, that is exactly what I mean.


I, of course, wasn't walking around having thoughts: "oh, this is my excuse, I am doing this on purpose", blah blah blah. And when I say subconscious, I don't even mean that you are partially conscious of them! I mean that you are absolutely unconscious that this may be the case.


I hope you don't understand this as me thinking you are lazy, manipulative or anything like that, because feeling like this was not, and is not a conscious decision. It maybe seemed like I was even comfortable being in that state, like I feared something in the real world so much that suffering and seeing myself as a victim (aka giving up on myself) was more comfortable than facing those fears "in the outside world", or better said - outside of this mental state.


What I want to say here is that you must refuse to give up on yourself, because that is the victim mentality I am talking about. "I am helpless". No, you are not. You are helpless if you believe you are helpless, because that can bring you to the point of refusing to take any further action regarding healing. With that mentality, you will either give up easily, abandon some healing method easily because even if you try, your belief is creeping up on you, telling you that you're helpless; or you get to the point where you don't even try to do anything, because yes - you believe: "I am helpless". And that thought, that belief has its consequences, and then you fall into a cycle and because you give up easily or don't even try, your belief is automatically being fed all the time.


Remind yourself that it's okay to be drained of energy to continue fighting. It's okay to be drained of energy for months. It's allowing yourself to rest and recharge your batteries. But just because you need a mental battery recharge, it doesn't automatically mean that you gave up or that there is a catastrophe waiting for you. You are just resting, and just because you have a need to do so doesn't mean that your brain is dying, shutting down; neither your brain, neither your body, neither your psyche. After all, experiencing burnouts isn't only limited to "healthy" people.


The period of recharging your batteries is an awesome opportunity to learn how to take real care of yourself. How not to put too much pressure on yourself, how to develop respect towards your own self and learn what are your body and psyche comfortable with, and what they aren't comfortable with.


Changing thinking patterns is a long process, because it feels like you are forcing yourself to think things you deeply believe aren't true, and it just feels wrong. But changing your unhealthy thinking pattern isn't about switching unhealthy thought with another that is perceived as a healthy one; it's about understanding and realizing WHY is your thought unhealthy. Forcing thoughts is not, and will never be a good method for solving those kind of problems.


Summed up, it's hard, but I believe in every single one of you. That is all I wanted to share with this beautiful and supportive community. Give yourself some time to get better and please, don't be impatient with yourself (which is another self-care strategy you are supposed to learn in order to cope better!).


I am sharing this because I think it can be beneficial.

...good luck :)

My withdrawal journey (click)


"If you're going through hell - keep going".

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Thank you apathetic.

Very profound post.

When I held for 4 months after a fast taper and was able to stabilize, I stopped coming here. I hated myself for a year for letting myself to be on med. But since I started feeling good again I couldn't understand why I felt that my life was over. When I feel good, I feel full of possibilities, when I am tired, I just take it one day at a time. I have learn to be more present to my life.

You are right. If it wasn't the med, it would have been the booze, or something else to quell my anxious mind. after my withdrawing experience from benzo and ssri, I have developed life long coping skills. Withdrawal is like a boot camp. it gave me so much perspective. I just go "just for today I can do this. Lets tomorrow worry about tomorrow." 

june 2014 to feb  2015- on xanax 0.25 to 1mg/day- then CT - jan 2016 - panic attack, went on 3.75mg remeron to sleep march 2016- CT remeron (because it caused me tinnitus)- deep depression, couldn't sleep because of  intrusive Tinnitus

april to june 2016- valium 4mg, xanax as needed, lunesta 3mg

june 2016 - valium 4mg, lexapro 10mg

oct 2016- valium 2mg, lexapro 10mg- hold

march 2017- started daily micro liquid taper of valium and lex- -taper speed 0.0033mg valium daily and 0.033mg lex daily

may 2018- valium 1mg, lexapro 2.4mg - i had to slow down the rate of my daily micro taper considerably

LAST dose of Lexapro: 0.05mg on 05/17/19

LAST dose of valium: 0.04mg on 08/18/19

April 26th 2020- intense panic attack that lasted 4 days, akatisia, 0 sleep- suicidal, almost hospitalized- took rescue doses over 2 days- total: 1.5mg xanax, 18mg valium, 2x5mg lexapro




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apathetic, your observations are accurate. What we see is that people may go through a period of grief, horror, and even denial that they have had a bad accident and their lives are changed, possibly long-term.


Most, though, learn fairly quickly that they need to practice self-care and do a remarkable job of adapting, even through personal tragedies brought on by their condition. I am heartened every day, for example, by people who teach themselves meditation or other coping techniques and cope through those terribly discouraging waves of symptoms.


Please help us by posting in Introductions topics where you see people struggling. Your perceptions and attitude will help a lot of people.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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xyz, you also can help a lot of people by posting your encouragement, derived from personal experience. Those insights are so valuable.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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 Apathetic, Altostrata and xyz.  I think these are very valuable insights, experiences and requests. I am listening and absorbing all of them.



Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding


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@apathetic I was falling in the victim mentality and I just realised it now even dow I tried to be positive I just realised I was going down that spiral of victimizing myself.


  1. Zoloft(Generic)100 mg From 06/06/2016 to 02/10/2016                         
  2. Lexapro(Generic) 20 MG From 03/10/2016 to 05/2017                               Supplements: vitamin complex 
  3. Lexapro (Generic) CT 05/2017 
  4. 6/08/17- reinstated 10mg Lexapro(Generic)(50%of original doses )
  5. 02/11/2017- 9 mg Lexapro(Generic) (10 % rule) (Homemade)
  6. 04/12/2017- 8.75mg Lexapro(Generic)(BrassMonkey slide)
  7. 19/12/2017- 8.5mg Lexapro(Generic)
  8. 06/02/2018- 8.35mg Lexapro (Generic)
  9. 16/2/2018- 8.22mg Lexapro(Generic)
  10. 25/2/2018- 8.09mg Lexapro (Generic)-05/03/2018- 7.9mg Lexapro (Generic)-28/03/2018-7.75mg Lexapro (Generic)-04/04/2018-7.66mg Lexapro (Generic)18/05/2018-7.64mg Lexapro (brand Liquid)
  11. 28/6/2018 7.50mg lexapro (Brand Liquid ) 15/7/2018 7.40 mg Lexapro(brand liquid) 7.30 mg Lexapro(Liquid) 27-07-2018
  12. Forgot to update this but i continued to taper down until 21/12/2019 and final dose was 1.3 mg  Time since Stoping  3y and 4 mouths
  13.  xanax 16-01-2023 started 0.25 whent to 0.5 RX 1 week Back to 0.25 
  14. corrent dose 0.25 devided in 4 parts 
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