Jump to content

Sian: Hurt and angry


Recommended Posts

I am addicted to lithium and venlafaxine.  I need to come off these drugs.  After nearly 40 years on lithium and not sure how many on antidepressant I don’t know how much damage has been done.  My psychiatrist suggested, in a text, I have one day on and one day off venlafaxine 75mg.  What to do next.   Lost all faith in mental health system and don’t feel like approaching psychiatrist as she usually tries to convince me to stay on meds.


This is an unaccustomed method of communicating for me.  Excuse any ineptitude please.

I had a serious mental breakdown age 21 and have been on lithium carbonate ever since , off and on, mainly on.  I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I have been prescribed various SSRI ‘s in my “career”.  I have been taking Venlafaxine extended release 75 mg for approx 4 years and am desperate to stop.  I have texted my psychiatrist  on three separate occasions to ask advice about withdrawal as I am seriously worried that her advice to take one tablet on alternate days is damaging me.  She has not replied.  I need reliable, evidence based advice in order to become drug free and enjoy the future  with my family.  Thank you so much.

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Sian: Hurt and angry
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Sian.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please indicate whether you are taking the extended release Venlafaxine.


Going off the Venlafaxine one day on, one day off is strongly discouraged.  I can't fathom why so many doctors recommend it, except that doctors know nothing of withdrawal or tapering.  This method is the equivalent of a 50% drop in dosage and is like playing ping pong with your brain.
At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  
This last link describes how to get nonstandard doses of the drug, which you will need for your taper.  

We recommend that you taper only one drug at a time, so if there is a problem you will know what is causing it.  You should taper the more stimulating drug first (in your case, Ven) while waiting until later to taper the more calming drug (Lithium).

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.






Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  


Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy