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Loja I'm on board.


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My name is LoisJean. I am 66 years old and I breathe Michigan air.


Up until 1986 I was a reasonably happy woman. I was living a useful life and while I can admit my squirrley moments, I never experienced depression to the extent that it became a disability. I had re-married and we traveled that summer to Northern Wisconsin for my step-son's wedding. At some point I found a tick burrowed into my neck. I removed it and forgot about it. For the next 10 years I learned as much as I NEVER wanted to know about pain and suffering yet had no clue what was wrong. Multiple diagnosis', thousands of dollars worth of testing and fighting every day to maintain just the minimum required to accomplish the activities of daily living, finally broke my mind. I was convinced this would always be me. I contemplated suicide many times and always used my sense of failure to deepen my feelings of victimization..although I had no idea of who or what was attacking me. I suffered and so did everyone and everything involved with me.


It's now 1998 and I have bronchitis. I can't get into my regular doc's so I go to a walk-in clinic. The doc there is from New Zealand, studied in Europe. In our conversation the subject of pain comes up and I tell him my story. He asks me if I'd ever had a tick bite. He immediately put me on a moderate doseage of Zoloft. Within one week the pain and depression lifted. A miracle for me. I was told that I would have to take an antidepressant until a cure for chronic Lyme was discovered.


The year is 2000 and I remain pain free but for the past few years I am experiencing episodes of deep depression each one lasting longer and longer. My Zoloft dosage is at the max. I think I should stop taking it and quit cold. The back-lash was horrific. My family doc puts me on Effexor...it works well for awhile and then not. I am gradually upped to the max dose.


Today I am still on Effexor and have managed to down-size from 375mg a day to .075mgs a day against medical advise. The doc and a psychiatrist want to add another antidepressant to the dose I'm on now. I tell them, "No." The psychiatrist tells me that I will need these drugs for the rest of my life; they have attempted to label me as bi-polar. They slipped that diagnostic code to my health insurance provider and it took me 6 months to get it removed from my record.


The withdrawal symptoms I experience from attempting to get free from just this one scripted drug are terrible. I just can't get past them. I am unable to drop the dose further without a severe reactionwhich includes physical pain and mental anguish. I speak only for myself when I say that I believe I have developed, over time, a kind of allergy to these medications, ( much like a person developes an allergy to alcohol that condemns him to drink). I have, I believe been made addicted by well meaning professionals who really don't have a clue.


I found this forum while researching The Way Back program. How glad I am that I chose to check this out.

I will follow your discussions and 'listen' to your suggestions. I feel better already :-)

Thanks to all of you for being here for me. It's good not to be alone. LoisJean

1998: Diagnosed with severe depression SECONDARY to chronic Lyme Disease. Placed on Zoloft with great results. After a couple years Lyme goes into a remission. I take myself off the Zoloft. This resulted in terrible depressive kick-backs. 2000: I am placed on Effexor and it seems to work well for me for a while and then I find I'm facing Dante's rings of hell once again and the dosage is increased, eventually reaching the max rather rapidly. 2014: over these years I have tried with my doc and by myself to get off of this. Each time the depressive backlash is awful which causes me to continue taking it. A psychiatrist and my MD have told me that I'll need it the rest of my life..they want to add another :-0

Here is what I know:

1. Any substance that gives me no choice but to ingest it in ever increasing amounts it in order to produce an alteration in my mood is a powerful addictive.

2. I choose not to be addicted.

3. I DO NOT know how to do this by myself.

4. I do not want to involve my self with scammy entities who claim they have, 'the cure'. I need a clean and sane and safe way to do this.

5. I need help from people who have successfully withdrawn from antidepressants and have been able to stay off of them. I need the support of a community who understands what I am experiencing.


Labeling robs me of the Divine's intention.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi LoisJean, welcome to SA.  There are some other members who are struggling with Lymes,

if you search tags for it you should find them.  


I am also tapering effexor and have reached 3 beads, 1mg is 5 beads for my capsules.

I'm having similar problems because it is impossible to split the beads

to get a smaller dose and dropping a full bead is too much. I recently hit on the idea of taking the 3

largest beads because they are slightly differing in size. By the time I get to the last 3 smallest from

the capsule I will open a new one and start taking 2. It seems to be working ok so far. 

How long have you been tapering effexor, and are you using the liquid? If not it is worth trying

because it is much easier to taper at the lowest doses. 


I also gained the bi-polar label along with many others here, and think it is amazing that you managed

to get it taken off your file, well done for that!  Doctors are always telling people they need to be on 

medication for life and it just isn't true, it is really upsetting to get to 60 and realise that you have spent

decades on drugs with all their side effects and on disability when there was no need  :angry: .


Here is our topic for tapering effexor, it has suggestions for that last little bit at the end of the taper.




Thank you for filling out your signature, if you could add your tapering history, when you started your taper that 

would be great. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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