Jump to content

GabiZim: Peer to peer compassion

Recommended Posts

Today is Day 5 of withdrawals. I couldn’t do much over the weekend when I finally figured out what was going on with me. 

I was watching myself observe the thoughts, telling myself they’re just thoughts and they will eventually pass, then they turn into sensations… too hot, too cold, sweating, dizzy, sharp pain… escape into sleep, short nightmare, escape into waking up, more thoughts, more dizziness, tears, arguing with reality, knowing it will pass… not sure how long it will take, sobs, repeat!


my mother died suddenly in July last year, at the age of 64. Between grief and stress, I started experiencing about 10 migraines a month which eventually took me to a neurologist. The neurologist put me on Venlafaxine in Dec (4 months ago), starting with 37.5mg XR and then tripling that amount. When I saw him a month ago and told him nothing had changed, he told me to taper off within the next month… so I did. 

Wednesday last week was my last 37.5mg dose. By Thursday, I was feeling all of the symptoms, unsure of what was going on. By Friday, I started to look up venlafaxine withdrawal. 

By Saturday, I called my doc’s office to speak to the on-call doc, and was told that the they would be notified and would call me back. 1.5 hours later, a doc calls me back and says she’ll check in with someone else and will call me back. 

2 hours later I called her back and I’m told they’re the in-patient on-call docs and not out-patient so they can’t help me. 


I start the process all over again and finally got hold of the on-call neurologist who told me that he doesn’t have much experience with venlafaxine and doesn’t think there’s anything he can do to help me 🤦🏻‍♀️ 


His only suggestions were start taking it again until I can get hold of my neurologist on Monday, even at the risk of having to go through this withdrawal all over again… or just ride it out. 


He says: I can write you a prescription for 25 mg… 
I say: Ok, do you know of any pharmacies open now? (It was 7pm)
He says: They’re all open.
I say: I just googled pharmacies near me and they’re all closed. 
He says: I don’t know what to tell you.
Me: So where are you going to send the script to?
Him: I don’t know. 
Me: Can you just send it to me and I will figure it out?

Me: Are you writing it for extended release or immediate release?
Him: Immediate release.
Me: But I was on XR? What happens if I take it and 8 hours later, I’m in the same boat when it wears off?
Him: Take it again.
Me: That means I would possibly be on 50mg when I had already tapered down to 37.5 mg. Is there someone you can call and ask? 
him: No. 


by Sunday (yesterday), I start to look for support groups on fb. I have had great experiences with iron deficiency fb groups so I thought I’d give it a go. 

I joined the tapering off Venlafaxine group. I posted a message with a double negative (English grammar that the moderator wasn’t familiar with stating that “I’m not NOT open to reinstating”). despite me repeating over and over again that I AM open to reinstating and that I can rewrite the message (in fact, from everything I have read over the past few days, I think this might be the only way out of this hell, but I need help and support).

I tell the moderator that I am afraid, and that she’s misunderstanding me. She tells me she has never heard of a double negative. I told her, I’m not trying to argue about grammar, that I am seeking support and can rewrite my post so that it clarifies. I tell her that I understand that she runs this group and shares her knowledge freely which I appreciate. I tell her that I respect that she’s doing her due diligence to keep the group functional, but that she didn’t understand me.

I think maybe my messages are not landing so I send her a voice note so she can hear me. This seems to only irritate her further, and she blocks me. 

once again back to square one. So here I am looking for some support, some shared experience to know that I’m not alone, and some help to know how to reinstate, I.e. at what dose. I realize there are no hard and fast rules, but it would be super helpful to talk to someone else who has been here, who can tell me what they tried, and that it’s going to be ok. Some general peer to peer compassion. 

  • Current medication: Adderall XR 10 mg (started in 2011-present); Cyanocobalomin (B12) 1000mg injection monthly (2011-present)
  • Drug history:
    • Venlaxafine XR 37.5 mg (started in Dec 2023, went up to 122.5mg, and then neurologist told me to taper down a month ago to 75mg for 2 weeks, then to 37.5 for 2 weeks, and then to stop, which I did 5 days ago April 3, 2024)
    • Iron infusions: Venofer 2021 - Jan 2024
    • Antibiotics for H Pylori + Omeprazole (Nov 2023)
Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.


Your first task is to create a drug signature, with the following:


  • All current medication you take, the dose you take, when you started the drug, and when you made dose changes
  • All current supplements you take
  • An accurate history of recent drugs, taken in the last 12-24 months
  • Dates for recent should be written as 7 Oct 2023, or Oct 7 2023, or early Oct 2023, or mid Oct 2023
  • A history of drugs taken 24 months ago and beyond - if applicable
  • Dates for historical drugs can simply be listed as start and stop years
  • Please do not use 07/10/23 // 10/07/23 as this is intepreted differently around the world


  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. See my signature for example of clear and concise information.



You're still well within the ideal window for reinstatement. I would consider starting with a conservative amount such as 10mg, this can be increased further if needed.


In order to achieve this dose you need to open a capsule and count the number of beads in it. Write this down, and repeat for 4 further capsules. Work out the average number of beads per capsule by adding up the five values you've written down, and dividing this number by 5. You then know how many beads correlates to 37.5mg effexor:


37.5mg = <x> beads

10.0mg = <x> divided by 3.75


Once you've worked out how many beads equals 10mg effexor XR, you can make up a weeks worth of capsules. Keep the remaining beads in a spare capsule or container (labelled so), for future tapering needs.




Edited by Erimus

Active Monday-Friday UK time



1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020


Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

Link to comment
  • Erimus changed the title to GabiZim: Peer to peer compassion

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