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  1. Mainly writing to say thank you to Surviving Antidepressants and the one person who posted having successfully gotten off Zyprexa. I was nearly there, had gotten off, then had delayed withdrawal symptoms, akathisia, and while really struggling and nearly ready to give up, I tried to see whether anyone had successfully gotten of this drug and found one person here. I also found the invaluable information here regarding how to do it (pill crusher, weigh scale) and IT WORKED! I have been off Zyprexa since July 2018, got myself off valproic acid last February and off Effexor last September. So just looking for information regarding some legacy effects and hoping to provide someone looking for answers with hope. Psych med history: Benzodiazepine 2002 - 2005 Paxil/Effexor 2000 - September 2019 Zyprexa 10 mg 2002 - July 2017 Valproic acid 500 mg January 2010 - February 2019
  2. mod note: Gussy's introduction topic: Gussy: 9 weeks off effexor, wondering if it will ever end? I never thought I would be asked to write a story of recovery in the group I think of as the premier withdrawal group. The knowledge you guys have here is just out of this world. I don't know if it can be rivaled anywhere. When Alto asked me to write a story of recovery here one day I felt honoured and obligated to write something. I hope someone can gain something from this. It was at the start of 2017 after a failing journey i requested a blood test. The result of this showed me i could no longer trust what drs and specialists were telling me about the harmless effects of effexor and i knew i had to be off it. So before i joined here i did some research and decided on a taper slower than most drs but much faster than the 10% or less method. I really thought the real life experiences i was reading were people looking for sympathy and thought i.d be fine. Wow, how wrong i was!!! I realise a mod has to approve this so i want to tell you that i can.t write this story in one sitting. It.ll prob take many to do it with many edits along the way. I will add to it soon and then add to it again. I.ll submit this for now but save it on my phone too just incase you can.t approve it. Know that this can be done though. Gus.
  3. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  4. I have had an account here for a long time. I do not believe I ever did an introduction. I was just speaking with someone who recommended I come here. I am suffering in so many ways and I feel so alone. I am becoming more hopeless every day and am afraid I am going to end up in a hospital. I have little time to even write now because there is way too much going on in my life. I need help. There is no where to go for help. 1- I was started on high doses of xanax in 1997 and continued until they switched me to 4mg klonopin in 2013 during a hospitalization. CT off xanax for a few days which I thought I was going to die. Then Klonopin, which has wreaked havoc in my life and mind and body. 2- Besides these two benzos, doctors have tried their "cocktails" on me. I do not remember every drugs, but these I remember: First, the xanax and the klonopin. Plus they have pulled me off, put me on, rearranged etc over and over the following drugs: remeron, cymbalta, zyprexa, celexa, serzone, brintellix (I think they renamed trintellix), lexapro, effexor, prozac, trazadone, abilify, wellbutrin, ritalin, seroquel, latuda, pristiq, melatonin, ambien, paxil, zoloft, vistaril, vyvanse, lamictal, cogentin, rexulti, and more. I cannot remember all. Life is a blur for these past almost 25 years of polydrugging. Now I am on here for my son as well - we both need help 3- Recent trauma: 2014 youngest son starts becoming delusional and episodes of psychosis. 2015: my father is euthanized in front of me and my family because of other family member's decisions for him - even though he was not dying, was completely alert and had his mind. He was not in hospice. It is a long story and traumatic. 2015: son's psychosis getting worse with son and he moves to another state to live with his brother. 1-4-2016: my son (youngest of four) parked a car and sliced his throat open with a knife- cutting through his trachea. Somehow lived. Got out of car, ran up 7 flights of a construction zone to jump. Construction workers stop him. I get call from hospital and fly to that state the next day. Son had to have 4 hour surgery to put his throat back together. He was in medical for 40 days with trach and feeding tubes. Then in psych. Then they sent him home with me. The rest of 2016 was complete chaos of hospitalizations for him - did not realize it was the drugs they were forcing on him. I was stupid. They messed him up so badly - 30 days of overdrugging in a "stabilization" unit. (he was the MOST unstable here!) Upon D/C, they discontinued his meds and gave him an injection of Abilify Maintena. Severe reaction to this. No sleep, severe akathathsia, pacing the floors night and day, hardly eating -- exactly 2 weeks later - he was arrested. In jail 14 months where they tried multiple drugs on him. Finally putting him on Clozapine and Effexor. Then he was court ordered to a residential treatment center. The doctor there increased the Clozapine from 300mg to 500mg. 225mg effexor. He was getting through the court ordered program for 10 months. Then they ran out of his Clozapine. I really do not know all details because I have learned how corrupt they are. He was forced hospitalized. Day 1: forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, Geodon X1. While he was suffering withdraws from the abrupt CT cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and now the cessation of 225mg of Effexor - both forced upon him by the "professionals". Day 2: Forced injection of Haldol and ativan. I informed the hospital that he cannot tolerate haldol. But they continued to drug him up. Day three: Forced injections of Haldol X 3 and ativan X 3 and then they started giving him Benztropine. By the time I saw my son at visitation, he was almost dead and it was a gruesome sight. I will not give details but I know I suffer post traumatic stress from it all -- I had to argue with nurse to get help for him. He finally was rushed to CV-ICU. He had DX of respiratory failure, acute kidney failure with rhabdomylosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws. The ICU doctor noted that they had to work on my son for 48 minutes to "stop vital organ system failure and stop further life-threatening deterioration of patient's condition". After ICU, it was awful - he was soon thrown back into psych. All visitation and phone rights denied him. He was kept in restraints, completely naked, hours on end. Med techs would hold him on the floor while other techs kicked and beat him in the head. They continued to forcibly drug him with thorazine, restoril, ativan, even adding depakote and eventually starting the clozapine again. I had to fight for him for three months. He still has health problems today. I am his caretaker but I need help. He currently is taking: 500mg Clozapine, 150mg effexor. 4- Me- I cannot even remember when I started to taper my meds. Everything is a blur. I started realizing how bad they are for me. Knew very little. I cut the lexapro dose in half - I think this was early 2017. And I cut the klonopin dose by 1/4. Still, since then, a few different meds were started but I would stop them CT. Then I started learning more. I read parts of the Ashton Manual. I have been on FB groups. I have actually received a lot of harsh treatment from some people in the FB groups, so I rarely go on any of those groups anymore. I have a scale now. I shave off my klonopin. I tried lowering the lexapro but ended up going back up to 10mg and holding. Want to get off klonopin. But I am not doing well at all. I am exhausted. cannot write anymore. I have waited years to even get this put in here. I hope it makes sense. I have tried liquid titration with klonopin - disaster for me. I hardly have time to even care for myself - son is urgent. I am just barely functioning. So that's that. Not how I would have liked to write it. but mind is jumbled I think. I feel misunderstood. Hope I am not misunderstood here. I feel very much alone. NIghtmares- terrible. depression like I have never experienced. extreme fatigue, but high demands on me. I have to function. No one cares or understands about my son or about me. My son needs to taper but I think he needs to wait until off probation - maybe April or May this year. Everything I read and see about Clozapine and the horrible labels they have assigned to him - it seems hopeless. I feel hopeless of ever getting off klonopin and lexapro. This is no way to live. I am making no sense. Not even painting the right picture...for people to understand. How does anyone successfully get off these drugs and get out of the control of the system? We live in FL and they are "Baker Act" crazy here. Baker Act is forced hospitalization. They even have police come handcuff and take children right out of schools to a psych facility. It is only getting worse. I do not know what to do. I want to be free of these drugs. Also, my son wants to be free of the drugs. We both want to be free from the control of this holocaust type system call psychiatry. I know a moderator has to approve. Maybe this was not written correctly. Just let me know what I did wrong. This took a lot of effort. Even reading takes a lot of effort and I even forget. So maybe i am not supposed to put all this in here. Just let me know.
  5. Hi everyone! I'll update my signature later but basically my long story made short for now...is that in the beginning of 2010 Effexor began to poop out after 5 years of slowly increasing dosages. I was having intense anxiety and derealization and the only explanation my Dr had was that it was the effexor and it was time to come off. He tapered me from 262.mg over 3 months while adding a small dose of Celexa a bit at a time. A month after being done Effexor and being on 40mg of Celexa, I had a significant, sudden, awful experience. Massive anxiety, derealization and suicidal awful confused and dark thoughts. Akathesia so bad i could not sit still and had to walk fast, or keep pacing in the house. I cut my dose in half that night and immediately felt relief from the suicidal thoughts and terror. The anxiety and chills, unreality or derealization disconnect, nausea, diarrhea and shakes, lasted for another 7 months with no relief, even while we attempted Ciprolex and eventually Paxil. I lost 30 pounds during that 7 months and truly thought my life and self as I had known it, were over. I finally began to stabilize and then decided it was time to get off all SSRI's. I was originally given meds to combat post partum depression and by now I figured that was in the past and my Dr agreed, it was time to get off everything. I am now tapering my paxil very slowly, and am down from 20mg to 10mg. In the meantime i still get these waves of intense anxiety, akathesia, chills, shakes, diarrhea and nausea, and a sense of profound unreality that come over me. these spells last about 2 months, and then fade and I'm left feeling pretty good, with the exception of dulled emotions and no motivation. I figure that might be from the Paxil, while the stronger waves of symptoms are still from coming off effexor too fast 21 months ago. I haven't had one of these intense waves since July, but since then have had milder versions of them, that are shorter. Considering that I'm 21 months out, maybe it's time the waves are going to get milder and easier to handle now, I'm hopeful for that! I find when I taper my paxil i do have symptoms but they aren't as strong as these other waves I get, and have had since coming off the effexor (even prior to tapering paxil). maybe this will make more sense when I create a signature,lol ...Either way, i feel SO much better now than i did even last year. I have full faith that I will eventually recover 100% and also finish this paxil taper and get back to my life. This has been a very long and frightening 3 years, and i am so looking forward to being me again! If I could change anything I would say I should have reinstated my original medication when w/d hit, and then come off much slower. However, we had no idea what the issue was, so we tried different meds instead, and that was not the answer. But here's to a new year and a new journey, with healing every step of the way.
  6. Hi group, may I introduce myself? I have had social anxiety and energy depression since childhood. I’ve been on Effexor since 1996 (24yrs!). This last month, I braved a medication review and the psych Nurse Practitioner added 2mg Abilify to boost my mood. The first pill took away all my body pains in an amazing wave... in a couple days I had more energy and less procrastination... but on day 11, I had shooting head and chest pains, scary blood pressure of 155/86 and heart rate of 100. My vision had zigzags in it. Of course I stopped taking it and called the Psych NP office. She told me that there was No Way a baby dose of 2mg could have caused the cardiac issue, and I should see primary care physician. I knew that Abilify has a long 4 day half-life (6day for some people) so I decided to wait and flush it out for 2 weeks. I drank hibiscus tea and went off caffeine and took some blood pressure meds as needed. The pains largely persisted. The psych NP then suggested I switch to Effexor’s potent daughter, desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). There would be a reduction in milligrams from 150 to 50mg but the overall effectiveness was supposed to be equivalent with less side effects (possibly not as likely to raise blood pressure). Since brand Effexor has become SO expensive and generic doesn’t work well for me - I agreed to try the des-venlafaxine. On the 3rd day I took a day nap and cried a little. On the 4th day I was wild with anxiety about my chest pains and sobbed when my physician let me come in for an EKG. The MD encouraged me to keep going on the Pristiq for 2 weeks, and keep working with the psych NP. The MD also made me feel more secure since the EKG and her other checks were OK. I was just freaking out, basically. So... The baby dose of Abilify caused a strong seratonin reaction in me, and dropping Effexor for its daughter caused a strong withdrawal reaction in me. I didn’t know what to think until I found this site, SA.org. What a giant help to get real information for once! Yes, SSRI and SSNRI’s have very, very strong effects on the body. I think I’m going to hold steady for a while, scared from these 2 bad experiences (btw I am being referred to a cardiologist). But I know now about NMT 10% dose tapering and that it is OK to remove the beads in Effexor, and OK to repackage in gelatin capsules...for when I am ready to try tapering. But is it worth trying Pristiq? Is it worth the hard shaky effort and strain to my relationship to go off Effexor??? My memory is shot and my blood pressure is high. But will they get better?
  7. Hello everybody, I apologize in advance for my English writing, it wil not be perfect but i hope you can understand me! My name is Andi and i am from The Netherlands, i am 31 years old! I have a history with social anxiety and panic disorder although i can honestly say that as for as the social anxiety goes im doing a lot better, the only major problem i have is the fact that i have a lot of fear for the fear if that makes sense! Anyway i started using Lexapro in 2012 and the first 2 years i was doing fine, no issues whatsoever, after 2 years i started to get severe neck nerve pain, i went to the doctor many times and the only thing he said was that is was due to stress! After walking around with crazy nerve pain for about 4 years and ruling out everything i then thought it had to be the Escitalopram! So then i made the biggest mistake ever!!! I quit cold turkey in 2017! For the first couple of weeks i was feeling kinda sick like the flue but it was actually not really that bad! My neck was starting to feel better so i was actually happy about it and thought that i was gonna feel fine in a couple of weeks! Wow was i wrong!! After 4 weeks i woke up with tinnitus, and after about 5 weeks the bomb exploded! I had the worst anxiety and panic attacks ever!! Whey worse than before the medication! I had severe restless legs and could not sleep! I was extremely emotional and also agressive! I had never been like that before!! I then obviously started googling these issues and came across this site as many others, i read a lot of different stories and thought wel maybe i will get better in time! But after 4 months of hell i had enough! I basically made an appointment with a psychiatrist and the first day they gave me Effexor! They could have given me anything because i didn't wanna go a day longer! Anyway after 2 weeks i went up to 75mg of Effexor and yes my emotional problems where a lot better but once again i got extreme neck pain, even worse than before so i had to go back to 37,5 mg! After a couple of days my neck was feeling a lot better but anxiety wise i was not great! Not as bad as before but also not great! The biggest issue i had with the anxiety that came was this weird thing where i felt like i could not breath!! That was horrible! Everytime the doorbell rang at home i immediately could't breath! Before the medication my anxiety was never like this!! Anyway after dropping to 37mg of Effexor i still felt like choking sometimes however i was sleeping a bit better (not longer than 4 hours in a row) but atleast the restless legs where gone! Emotional wise i was still doing oke. So because i was to scared to come off Effexor i was on it for about a year until the end of 2018! At that moment i felt reasonable and the anxiety was also a bit better so i decided to gett off the meds because i was getting some annoying side effects once again! So i tapered down over the course of 3 months, i know some people will say that this is to fast but i was done with the medication because of the very annoying side effects like teeth grinding, not being able to sleep long and once again neck pain! Anyway in February of this year i had my last pill! So the first 6 weeks i was doing okay! I definitely felt some withdrawal issues like restless legs and emotional, irritated and things like that but not as bad as last year when i came off lexapro! But once again after about 7 weeks things got bad, i got a lot more anxiety and emotional and somehow my neck started hurting again, i also feel extemely irritated and annoyed very fast! I can get really angry if something goes wrong and i hate this because i have never been like this before! My anxiety is also through the roof and once again i cant sleep! So its been 4 months now and still no progress! I still feel like im surviving and have no life! I talked with many people, i have a new psychiatrist and when i explain my problem she looks at me like she doesn't care, she keeps saying that i am probably one of the very few people with these issues! The only option she gives me is to take other medication! I really don't want to do it but i will probably take an other medicine in August because i just cant do this anymore! Nobody reassures me or anything! They act like i had these issues before the medication but i know that is such bulls... I really start to hate doctors!! Anyway the only option i see is to wait until August because then i have been off the meds for 6 months, if by then there is no progression i have no other choice but to try an other medicine! Again i really don't want it but right now my life is horrible! I need reassurence, i still cant sleep! Why is it that when i started taking Effexor i could not sleep longer than 4 hours in a row and now i am off this medicine and i still have the same issue!? Is this permanent? Can these meds really damage you for life? Can anybody tell me will this get better and what is the timeframe? Thank you for reading!
  8. Effexorless

    Effexorless: Hope

    Hi Everyone! I am so happy that I found this forum. I have so far not had anyone that could relate to what I am thinking and feeling. In the course of the last 23 years I have been on Prozac, Paxil, and Effexor XR. I never suffered from notable depression or anxiety while growing up. When I was 22 I was stalked for a year by a customer who used to frequent the restaurant/company I worked for. As a result I began to have panic/anxiety attacks whenever I was around a male, any male. I couldn't go to school, had issues at work, I couldn't even go to the convenience store if there was a truck in the parking lot because I knew there would be a male inside. I KNEW logically that these men I would encounter every day were not going to hurt me but my body would freak out. I would become so embarrassed by my response to men that I ended exacerbating the problem by anticipating the reaction and ultimately causing the reaction. I tried therapy and CBT to no avail. Finally I was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Prozac and Xanax. I never could handle the Xanax so I never really took it. The Prozac seemed to help so I stayed on it for about a year and then weaned myself off with no noticeable side effects. Sometime later, maybe a year or so, I started feeling down and depressed so I went to see a new psychiatrist who decided to put me on Paxil this time. Just like before, I took it for about a year and then weaned myself off with no real issues. Then in 2001 I went through some major life changes. I lost my job, got married, got a part time job, bought a house, and found a new full time job. My marriage was volatile to say the least and didnt last very long. Somewhere around 2003 my marriage fell apart and I had a severe anxiety attack at work one day. In fear I reached out to my psychiatrist who tried a couple of drugs which I don't remember but eventually I settled on Effexor XR. So began my 17 year slavery to a drug I found myself unable to quit. Through the 17 years I found myself taking a drug that was so controlling that if I missed my dose by 1 hour I could feel physical withdrawal effects. I tried unsuccessfully to stop twice in the 17 years I was taking Effexor XR. I think at both times I was at a daily dose of 75mg. I managed to quit smoking after 20 years cold turkey so in my mind this was basically the same. Just stop taking it, deal with the withdrawal, put your head down and quit being a baby. Just DO IT! Well ... that didn't work. Both attempts ended with me in my psychiatrist's office wailing and begging for a prescription, saying if I have to take this drug for the rest of my life so be it! At different times throughout the 17 year course there were other drugs she threw at me because the Effexor wasn't helping me. There was some Lithium, Zyprexa, and others I can't remember the names of. All of the other drugs had horrifying results which I couldn't tolerate for more than about two days. My sister has been my rock and voice of reason for so many years. She always knew this drug game my doctor played with me wasn't right. After all ... I was perfectly fine and happy prior to being stalked. I had never needed a drug to be "normal". She watched me suffer and want to die rather than live one more moment feeling what those drugs made me feel, always the anchor I could reach out to in my darkest hours. So I lived in this place where my drug wasn't really helping me but I couldn't quit because the withdrawal was so awful it would actually make things worse. We tried changing the dose up and down over the years. I was originally prescribed "brand only" but after my insurance changed I couldn't afford the non generic. For a while my pharmacist could find the actual Pfizer "generic" not really generic stock, but after awhile we couldn't find it anymore so I switched to generic Venalfaxine. I can't say that I felt any difference between the generic and brand but they were both capsule form. The last 10 years or so have been basically just existing for me. On most days I didn't really care if I didn't wake up the next day. I am a very devout Christian so my faith saved me from every taking my own life but I would certainly pray for it to end. I saw no purpose in being here. My relationships with family, friends, and coworkers have suffered greatly. I had become basically a zombie. I had no feelings and I didn't care. There was no joy in life and everything, including taking care of my pets, was simply a job that I had to do. I had found a therapist a few years ago to help me deal with a bad break up with a long term boyfriend (not my ex-husband). I would see her off and on and she was always a little confused by the drugs my psychiatrist would want to try. There were times she would write me a prescription and I would fill it but out of fear I wouldn't take them. There had been too many bad experiences with other drugs. My sister and I had reached a point that we could no longer communicate. I was basically dead inside didn't really care. I knew logically that I wasn't ok, but what could I do? I was already taking a drug that was supposed to help, I was petrified of trying a new one, and I had a doctor that just kept pushing the prescription to me. Then ... about six months ago I had miscalculated my med check with my medication supply. I was going to run short by about three days. I knew I couldn't just stop because I had already tried that twice before. I rationalized that I could take the withdrawal if I spread the remaining drugs and took one every other day. I was currently taking 75mg per day which wasn't really a therapeutic dose, I simply took it because I couldn't stop. It doesn't take a rocket scientist at this point to guess how that turned out. I felt like I was going to die. The brain zaps, the flue like symptoms, the nightmares ... all making me wish I was dead. What that experience did do ... was piss me off!! I decided at that point I would no longer be a slave to that drug. The drug nor my doctor gave to craps about me. I became determined to not only stop taking that drug, but any psychoactive drug. I wanted to know who I was without any artificial influence. I told my doctor what I was going to do. Her response was no surprise, she advised against it. She wrote me a prescription for 37.5mg which was the smallest dose available. She wanted me to take the 37.5mg once per day for 4 weeks then stop. I took the 37.5mg for just under three weeks. I took my last dose of Effexor XR 37.5mg on November 27, 2019. I had a four day weekend ahead of me where I didn't have to talk to or see another human. I had no responsibilities for four days. All I had to do was get the drug out of my system and deal with brain zaps ... right?? Surely this was just like quitting smoking and I just needed to suck it up and muscle through ... right?? I couldn't have been more wrong!! I am happy to say that I didn't go back to the drug and I am three months and three days free from the evil hold of Effexor XR. I didn't know until the last week or so as I started looking for answers to my feelings that I could have continued to taper the 37.5mg down even further. My doctor certainly never told me that. I have tried to navigate the myriad of physical and emotional fallout as it comes. I initially had the horrid brain zaps, which after doing some looking around appear to be seizures in a particular area of the brain. That's scary!! The next thing I noticed was increased sweating, like constantly perspiring. I initially got really scared to be home alone. I would come home and check every closet and under every bed. I couldn't go to sleep because I was so afraid. I would set little boobie traps so that an intruder would wake me and the dogs so I could get my gun. I finally got angry at that whole scenario and decided that I wasn't about to let my home, my safe haven, become my prison. I refused to let myself look in the closets or under the bed and used CBT to overcome that fear. I began to notice shuddering when I would get a little happy or excited about something. I noticed a few people at work looking at me strangely but I would just play it off like I was cold, of course I was also sweating so ... go figure LOL!! It was about two weeks post Effexor when I had my first ahhh moment. I was walking my dogs which was something I hadn't wanted to do in awhile when I had the thought that I wanted to decorate for Christmas!! I hadn't put up Christmas decorations in YEARS. I loved to walk and look at other home's lights and reasoned that if everyone was as ba-humbug as me there wouldn't be any lights to look at. I promptly rectified that situation and not only decorated outside, but I put up my first tree in forever. That was the first sign to myself and my sister that something was changing in me for the better!! One of the next changes was my desire to return to wearing makeup and business attire to work. I work in the financial department of an orthopaedic clinic so had taken advantage of the ability to wear scrubs. As a result I had gotten very lazy with my appearance. I wore scrubs, wore no makeup, and stopped fixing my hair. I had also put on about 50 lbs. I had worn makeup about once per year over the last 10 years. I decided to change that. I went shopping and purchased new clothing for work. That was another ah ha moment for me and my sister. She called to invite me to go shopping with her. I said I would love to and we had a great day shopping and having dinner. After dinner she looked at me in a way that I can't really describe other than wonderment. Formerly had she called and invited me I would have gotten angry and lashed out at her. Why would she invite me to shop when I was horribly overweight? Didn't she know I had no desire to dress this ugly body in anything other than a pair of scrubs?? She admitted to me that she made the invitation and was fearful of my lashing out at her, but I am so thankful that she made the invitation!! Around the beginning of January I started wearing business attire, wearing makeup, and fixing my hair every day for work and I haven't missed a day since. I am almost ready to burn those scrubs ... but not just yet ;). After about a month I realized that the brain zaps and chills were significantly reduced and very sporadic. The next challenge was unrelenting anxiety. I noticed that I was constantly anxious, over everything. The constant anxiety started making me nauseous, and unable to sleep very well. I would wake up in the middle of the night and my mind would be racing. I had the feeling that I wanted to jump out of my skin. I had to MOVE my body! I began to doubt my ability to do my job at work. I have been doing that same job for 17 years, why all of a sudden did I feel unqualified?!?! In talking this new challenge over with my sister, therapist, and research online I came up with a plan to take CBD in the morning, CBD with melatonin and night, and CBT to stay the course. I also started trying to exercise more regularly. The exercise is great for relieving my anxiety, it helps me sleep, and it is helping me lose weight and feel better about myself physically anyway. The anxiety is almost under control now although I still have it, I seem to have found a way to reason it through. My latest challenge is I have come to hate being alone. I hate the solitude that I once embraced and I hate being alone in my head. I used to spend the entire weekend in my house completely alone and may not have spoken to another human for the entire weekend or longer if it was a holiday. Now I find the idea of going home and being alone abhorrent! I don't want to go home. I used to sit and watch tv for hours, now I can't stand the thought of sitting on the couch at all. I have wondered if I need a drug to be "normal". I feel that I have come so far and dealt with so much that surely I am near the end of the recovery. I am left with thoughts of "who am I"? Am I the same person I was before psychoactive drugs? If I am someone new, who is that and do I like her? Is it normal to have these thoughts?? It doesn't feel like it is normal. I find that I am no longer satisfied by my job and wonder should I change careers. I am angry at a system and a doctor that I feel stole 10+ years of my life. I read back through my emails at work and replay arguments with family and friends and feel so very ashamed. How could anyone stand me, I can't stand myself when I look back?? How did I go from a happy go lucky 22 year old to an angry, intolerable, feeling-less, zombie? The FEELINGS!! Oh my gosh at the feelings!! It happens so slowly that you don't even realize it is happening, this loss of being able to feel, sympathize, or empathize with others. So far I have refused the urge to run back to my doctor, or another doctor and get a band aid drug. I am so happy to have stumbled across the article in The New Yorker about Laura Delano and subsequently a plethora of insight and sources to run to. I know my story is nowhere near the level of some of the other stories I have read, but if my story can provide hope for even one individual I am thankful. I look forward to continuing to grow and learn this new person I have become and getting to know many of you.
  9. I've been taking Effexor for about sixteen months. It literally saved my life. I've never been on any kind of psychoactive medication before... well, I suppose opiates... but anyway. I got sick about four years ago. My doctor(s) at the time pretty much dismissed everything. And at a time when I needed some emotional support, my wife provided none. In fact she made things worse by yelling at me. A lot. I found myself crying all the time, and she would belittle me for crying so much. Eventually I found a new doctor and it turned out I had cancer. Long story. Now the treatments have ended and it looks like I won. But at the time I was still having the crying fits. My oncologist was no help. I did some online research and eventually asked my GP for Effexor, as it seemed to have the ability to help people "forget". I doubled my dose twice and have been at 150mg daily since January. In April (nearly a year on Effexor) I started feeling much better. It looked like I would probably be taking it for the rest of my life. A month ago I started having some abdominal pains, saw my GP and he ordered a scan. Turns out I have another cancer now. This kind of thing normally doesn't happen to me. Anyway, they have to cut me open and get past some organs to get to it. Radiation and chemo don't work on this one. Earlier this year I had some food poisoning and couldn't eat - or take Effexor - for a full day and started feeling this "swooshing" in my head. More online research. It's called brain zaps. So I need to have surgery four weeks from today. I will be unable to eat - or take Effexor - for several days. More online research. I just discovered surviving antidpepressants last night. There's an awful lot to read here. Today I am trying to start tapering off Effexor, as I have some 75 and 37.5 mg caps, so am hoping to go with 112mg daily this week, or maybe two weeks. My plan is to reduce the daily Effexor enough that if I can start Prozac I will be able to recover from the surgery without experiencing withdrawal at the same time. I see my GP on Thursday and will present the Prozac bridge. He is just a GP but has been willing to help me in any way he can, but last time I mentioned withdrawal from the Effexor he simply said "it isn't that bad". So as with practically everything else, it appears that I'm on my own.
  10. cocacolaeyes Hi all, I found this forum from someone who mentioned it on reddit and thought I would come to share my story and learn from others. I had a really bad episode of dissociation and depersonalization in August of 2019 due to weed. I have a history of panic disorder and GAD so this was a very scary experience. By October, I decided I couldn't handle it on my own anymore and was put on Cipralex (lexapro for my American friends). I started on 5mg for 1 week and eventually got up to 15 mg. Unfortunately, I found the drug to be very numbing and left me feeling like a zombie. I was immediately switched with no taper to Effexor XR in February of 2020. The medication worked wonders however, I started having a rare side effect of orthostatic hypotension. I felt constantly dizzy, my blood pressure was dropping lower each day. My doctor decided he would rather I just get off medication entirely as I clearly am too sensitive to the effects of them. We decided on a plan to work with my therapist and lifestyle changes to manage my anxiety going forward. Now for the scary part... Today was my first day off the medication entirely. The taper plan recommended by my doctor was to go down to 37.5mg for two weeks and then today I could stop taking it. We tried this a month ago but I had really horrible withdrawal. The brain zaps were constant, I felt ill, I was panicking. This time, he has recommended a slower taper of taking 1 pill of 37.5mg every other day for a week, then 1 pill every 2 days for a week and so on... I know a lot of people do not recommend this style of taper, and prefer the bead counting. I asked my doctor about that method and he said it would be difficult and time consuming and would rather I stick to this method. I trust my doctor a lot and he has been immensely helpful in the past and has never misguided me. I am currently waiting for the horrible brain zaps and panic to set in again. I am very afraid of how I will get through this taper. I want off the medication so badly but the last time I tried to get off it was so scary. I also keep scaring myself by reading horror stories of people who have had lasting side effects from the withdrawal for years and am terrified that will be me as well. If anyone has any kind words or stories of hope they can share or even some advice it would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading!
  11. Dear all, This has been put off for all too long. I am a 40-year-old male living in Scandinavia. Over the last twenty years I have been prescribed various SRI’s mainly to counter anxiety that debuted as a major panic attack in my early twenties during a stressful time in my life. It is like this experience opened a door that I have never been able to shut again. The anxiety has been there in varying degrees since that day. I am sure some of it is fueled by the fear of anxiety, but it feels like something broke that day. The switching between different drugs over the first ten years was mainly done to counter side effects like fatigue and feeling like a zombie most of the time, not wanting to get out of bed in the mornings, not being able to keep up any good habits and failing to establish structure in daily life. This has put me out of the job I used to love so much, and I am now on social welfare. The fatigue, flattened/decoupled feelings and the sleep disturbances has been interpreted by the doctors as depression, dysthymia, bipolar depression and so on. I have been in treatment for this over the years, but nothing has been successful over time. I have suggested doing a tapered withdrawal over and over but have always been told to postpone. Well, now I cannot wait any longer. I feel like my life has been put on hold for way to long already. I have been on Venlafaxine since 2012. 75 mg in the beginning. The anxiety was somewhat held in check, but I felt like a zombie. The only thing that would momentarily burst me out of this bubble was drinking some beers on the weekend. (Dopamine?) The dosage was increased to 150 mg to activate the noradrenergic component of the SNRI. I ended up in the Emergency Room with an ECG due to the feeling of unregular hearth rhythm. A blood test revealed that I have a CYP mutation that makes my liver metabolize more of the active compound than the average, so 37.5 mg for me might be a normal maintenance dosage. Over the last eight years I have been varying the Venlafaxine dosage between 75, 50 (removing beads) and 37.5 mg. Sometimes up to counter increasing anxiety, then down again to try to counter the side effects. In 2017 I was determined to taper off and I asked for a switch to Citalopram that I weaned off two times before several years ago. The switch was done directly replacing 37.5 mg Venlafaxine with 10 mg Citalopram. It felt like a shadow had been lifted and my energy levels increased severely. After a few days, the anxiety really set in. After four weeks, the dosage was increased to 20 mg and the anxiety decreased but I mostly laid in bed. A week later the dosage was decreased again to 15 mg, but I felt even more depleted. The doctor concluded that I had to low levels of serotonin and recommended to switch and back track to Venlafaxine steady state. So, I did. Thinking there is never really the right time to go through a tough withdrawal, I started reading up on the subject now. My wife is very supporting, and we agree that the lingering questions we have had over the years, asking how much of my troubles are due to side effects of SRI’s needs to be answered. Googling a transition to Fluoxetine (Prozac) for the longer half-live and an easier(?) withdrawal led me to this forum. If I ever forget to take the Venlafaxine one night I get electric zap's and nervousness around noon the next day. I am a bit overwhelmed now by all the information, the stories of people still in recovery for several years after their last dosage and to be honest I am really scared.
  12. Hi, I’m currently on 150mg of Effexor-XR and 30mg of Mirtazapine. I’ve been on Effexor for 10 years, and the Mirtazapine was added around 2 and a half years ago. I spoke to my doctor about tapering off the Effexor. He suggested that I taper 37.5mg at a time. I started about 7 weeks ago. I’ve got down from 225mg in the last 7 weeks. My last 37.5 taper started 17 days ago. But the last week I have been experiencing delayed depression, irritability and heightened anxiety. I coped better during my first taper. I’m worried that I’ve slipped back into depression again. But at this stage is it normal to feel like this? It’s very confusing to know if it’s withdrawal or depression coming back. I thought the withdrawals may have been over after 17 days? I’m new to this forum, and it sounds like I have tapered Off to big of a dose. Once I have stabilised I will only taper 10% by weighing with scales. Hopefully I level out soon because I’m starting to question the process!
  13. Posting this to encourage you that it can be done. I didn't think I'd recover from my horrible withdrawal. I was going to try and reinstate, but it seemed like it was too late, everything was already so screwed up and it felt like was no going back at that point. I was on Effexor for 18 years. I went on it the first year it was released in the US. It's been almost 10 years now since my last dose. I gradually tapered over a two year period and I did pretty well up until I was down to less than 10 beads, and then my nervous system went totally haywire and it took years to recover. The two main problems I developed from quitting were very bad anxiety and disturbed sleep. I would wake up anxious after like two to four hours of sleep. Sometimes, I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep at all. Both sleep and anxiety gradually improved, in an up and down manner. The anxiety eventually went away. Sleep improved, but I'm not the best sleeper. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but was unable to tolerate cpap. I usually sleep about five or six hours a day, and sleep straight through. On good days, I'll sleep more than six hours straight through. On bad days which aren't that often, I'll sleep less than five hours. But when I don't sleep well, I no longer freak out too much about it. I would probably say my average sleep is something like 5.5 hours, but it's straight through and I wake up calmly instead of in a panic. Below are a few things that helped me. Wishing you all the best of luck with your taper and great health. 1. This article somehow really helped me with anxiety. I mean I think it made a huge difference. I don't remember if I heard about it here or on another group, but I'm glad I found it. I remember reading at the time that it had a profound effect for some other people too. It's called "Nothing Works, A Letter To Myself." http://nothingworks.weebly.com/ 2. For sleep, I use a sound machine. Here's the machine I originally used. Eventually I ended up making my own custom solution with an old laptop. But this machine worked well for me, and I gave one to my mother and it made a give improvement in her sleep too. Link: Lectrofan 3. Meditation. I started seriously meditating at some point during my taper, and never stopped. I try to do it twice a day everyday. I did/do it more for spiritual/religious reasons, but I've got to think that it must have helped in some way regarding anxiety and maybe even sleep too. ADMIN NOTE Tom's Introductions topic is here
  14. Just wanted to introduce before I jumped in and started posting. I was on Effexor at varying doses for roughly 18 years. I did a taper that lasted over two years, and have been completely off for 11 months. Even though I did a slow taper, I ended up developing anxiety, depression, as well as physical health problems. That's the basics, and I can add more later if necessary.
  15. I don't come here anymore, but somebody just sent me a PM asking how I was doing. I joined near the beginning of the site, and only posted a few times. I'm more of a lurker type than a poster type. I'm a quiet person in real life too. I used to be on the old paxil progress forum before it shut down. Anyway here's an update to give hope and a few tips. It's almost 10 years (October 2010) since my last dose of effexor. I was on it for 18 years.The two main problems I developed from quitting were very bad anxiety and disturbed sleep. I would wake up anxious after like four hours of sleep. Both sleep and anxiety gradually improved, in an up and down manner. The anxiety went away. Sleep improved, but I'm not the best sleeper. Was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but was unable to use cpap. I usually sleep about five or six hours a day, and sleep straight through. On good days, I'll sleep a over six hours straight through. On bad days which aren't that often, I'll sleep less than five hours. But when I don't sleep well, I no longer freak out about it. I would probably say my average sleep is something like 5.5 hours, but it's straight through and I wake up calmly instead of in a panic. That's about all I can say I guess other than a few tips which I will list below. There will be a couple links, but I'm not affiliated in any way with them. If I think of anything else, I can add it later in the replies. Wishing you all the best of luck with your taper and great health and happiness. 1. This article somehow really helped me with anxiety. I mean I think it made a huge difference. I don't remember if I heard about it here or on paxil progress or what, but I'm glad I found it. I remember reading at the time that it had a profound effect for some other people too. It's called "Nothing Works, A Letter To Myself." http://nothingworks.weebly.com/ 2. For sleep, I use a sound machine. Here's the machine I originally used. Eventually I ended up making my own custom solution with an old laptop. But this machine worked well for me, and I gave one to my mother and it made a give improvement in her sleep too. Link: Lectrofan 3. Meditation. I started seriously meditating at some point during my taper, and never stopped. I try to do it twice a day everyday. I did/do it more for spiritual/religious reasons, but I've got to think that it must have helped in some way regarding anxiety and maybe even sleep too.
  16. My story begins in 2006. I was having migraines & nerve pain. I went to a headache clinic & was given Effexor. I was desperate for relief and so started a prescription of 225 mg/ day. I continued to take it for several years as I didn’t want the pain to return. One day, I came across an article that told of the writers difficult experience coming off Effexor. I researched online & found out how hard this med was to stop & of course, was very upset by this info. Several times I asked my dr if I could stop, but the taper protocol was always a three week stop and based on what I read, I was afraid to attempt it. I stopped going to the clinic but continued to get refills from my pcp. I decided I needed to reduce and end my use of this med, and so in September 2015 I successfully tapered to 75 mg without any problems. Jan 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I stayed on 75 mg until treatment finished. In September 2017 I reduced to 37.5 with no trouble. In September 2018, I opened the pills and further reduced to 18.75 for one year. This past September I dropped to 9.375. In January of this year , I thought, I’ve done it. I’m off this drug & stopped it. Two weeks ago I began having terrible anxiety & obsessive thoughts, feelings that I haven’t had for years. After researching I realized I came off too quickly. All that work & I screwed up. The anxiety became too much & from the info on this site I decided to reinstate this weekend. I even screwed that dosage up initially, but fixed it. I’m hoping this will help. I just want to say I’m terrified. I’m 62 years old. Is this my next few years? My daughter is getting married in October & I want to be there for her. What bad timing! I keep beating myself up for being so close & then just doing it wrong. I feel so defeated & frightened. I don’t even know why I took this drug for 14 years. Maybe I should have just kept taking it to avoid withdrawal. Maybe I should stay off the internet.
  17. Thankful to have come upon this forum and I’m thankful for all those contributing their time, experience, help, and care to so many. I just wish I would have found this a very long time ago. I consider myself an educated, intelligent woman. That I have been duped for so long could easily lead me to take it out on myself. I imagine it’s something I’ve known for a long time, but the “professionals” kept telling me that the recurrence of severe depression/anxiety after stopping the meds was just proof that I needed them, forever, and after so many failures, I believed them. I am about to turn 59 and have been on antidepressants for over 30 years. I will add a timeline to my signature very soon. My most-immediate issue involves the past 9 months and I was needing your help to try and decide what to do next. My next appointment with my psychiatrist is in mid-February. I’ve only seen him once before, but it was obvious he didn’t believe in slow tapers, although he did acknowledge withdrawals. In April, 2019, after being on Effexor for about 20 years, my then psychiatric nurse practitioner decided that I must be bipolar 2 since the medication was no longer working. She tried to convince me, even though I had never experienced hypomania. What transpired after that was a nightmare. I made a big mistake trusting her. Here’s the timeline of these past 9 or 10 months in a nutshell: April, 2019: Effexor 37.5 (had been on that dose for 2 years, but on Effexor for about 20) April 11, 2019 Latuda 20mg added to Effexor. April 22, 2019 Latuda increased to 40mg. Terrible panic (hadn’t had a panic attack in 20 years), terrible nausea, doom and gloom, facial ticks, etc. May 14, 2019: Latuda reduced back to 20mg. Still on Effexor 37.5. Panic and doom and gloom continue. May 27, 2019: Latuda reduced to 10 mg for 3 days then ct (per dr’s orders). Continue on Effexor 37.5. June 10, 2019: Rexulti added. Started w .5 mg a few days then increased to 1mg. June 5, 2019: Rexulti reduced to .5mg. July 1-24, 2019. Rexulti reduced to .25mg over couple of weeks then off. July 24, 2019: New psych had me CT off Effexor. When I brought up the idea of tapering it slower, she laughed, saying I was on almost 0 already. I should have trusted my gut, but didn’t. Within two weeks, I was in a crippling depression with lots of anxiety/panic and suicidal to an extreme. I can’t recall ever being this depressed, or that it was even possible to feel this bad. September 9, 2019, began Viibryd (low dose, not sure mg) via original psych NP. CT per dr’s orders on September 19 due to side effects. September 23, 2019, began Trintellix. Terrible nausea, pain. CT per dr’s orders on September 27. September 28, 2019, began 10mg Prozac. Helped calm the depression, but made me very anxious. Legs shaking up and down, inner agitation (not anger) October 24, 2019: Saw a new NP at the clinic of a new-to-me psychiatrist since I couldn’t get in with him until the end of December. She had me do a rapid taper of Prozac while starting on Pristiq 25mg for 10 days, then 50mg after that. Began having tinnitus, muscle pains, headache, neck pains, but depression and anxiety much better. December 26, 2019: Saw new psychiatrist. He wanted me to stop Pristiq (because of the side effects) by skipping it every other day for a week then switch to Cymbalta. I declined, knowing that my cns was already in an uproar. He then lowered my Pristiq down to 25mg. Without him knowing, I thought maybe cutting my pills to gradually lower to 25mg would be better. I took 25mg + 1/8th of a 50 (6.25) in the morning then another 6.25 12 hours later. I did this for 3 or 4 days but couldn’t take the side effects (stomach pain, tremors, flu, headache, etc). Decided cutting the tabs wasn’t going to work. Began just taking the 25mg tablet after those 3 or 4 days. Symptoms improved immediately. Have been on this dose since. So, here I am now. The Pristiq 25mg is feeling like it’s too much, but, then again, I don’t know if it’s the Pristiq or withdrawals from all the other junk my body has been fed the past 8-9 months. It’s really not too bad, though. I have tinnitus, muscle pains in my upper body and arms, some mild restlessness, itchy eyelids, and I feel kind of drugged. I really expected to feel worse. I’m a poor metabolizer of serotonin (SLC6A4), poor metabolizer at CYP2D6, plus I have slow motility of my intestines due to surgery for a small bowel obstruction 7 years ago (caused by adhesions). Small dosages go a long way in my body. The other huge factor is this medicine is causing high blood pressure (162+/82+) and I just had open-heart surgery 1.5 years ago to repair a rare congenital birth defect. I cannot afford to have anything messing with my heart. I’ve been off all heart medications since 3 months after surgery. The psych and NP new all of this information. I had even checked with my cardiologist to make sure Pristiq was ok (before taking the first dose). He said it should be, stating that only a small % had issues with it. I need to get off of Pristiq and AD’s in general. I just don’t know what to do. I want to have a plan thought out before my next appointment mid-February (or sooner, if you think it’s needed). After spending a lot of time reading this forum, I believe my three best options are: Stay on Pristiq and taper down using compounded dosages. The problem is that I live in the middle of nowhere, rural community, and have tried to find a compounding pharmacy in my state who will compound Pristiq. So far, I haven’t found one who would agree to do it. I’ve used the compounding pharmacy finder link here in SA. I have not heard back from everyone, though. My body does not tolerate the cut pills. The main drawback to this option is my blood pressure. I think the reason Effexor didn’t affect my BP much was because at the low dose, the norepinephrine didn’t kick in. But, with the Pristiq, it must kick in at the lower dosage. This is my theory, anyway. Switch to Effexor. I like this option solely because it would be easier to taper, in my opinion. It would also be better for my heart, unless I had a bad reaction switching back. That’s the main disadvantage of this option...not knowing if I’ll have a bad reaction getting back on the Effexor after being off 5+ months. My hope would be that the Pristiq is close enough to Effexor and my CNS wouldn’t be too angry. Do nothing and stay on the Pristiq 25mg for a few months, waiting for things to calm down. Again, the main disadvantage is the unknown. I’m not sure I can stand this dose for too much longer. It just feels like too much. My fear is that if I stay on this dose it will wreak more havoc on my system. Then again, maybe what I’m feeling is withdrawals. Also, if I stay at this dose, chances are that my BP will remain high. I can go on BP medicine, but that’s another can of worms. What would you recommend? I’ll admit that I’m very scared. I know that, all-in-all, I’ve been pretty lucky these past few months. I also know it could go south at any moment. Thank you for taking the time to read this and sharing your expertise. Note: I also take Ambien 10mg nightly, clonazepam .125mg nightly, omeprazol 20mg daily (but in process of reducing to Pepcid otc), Synthroid 125 mcg and Premarin .625 daily (long story). Also 1000 vitamin D3. After reading this forum, I know I need to address the ambien, clonazepam, and acid reducers, at some point. Was taking B complex, a multi-vitamin, and fish oil for years before these past 9 months. Can no longer take them due to side effects. Tried taking a very small amount of b12 and a very small amount of magnesium glycinate. Both gave me a bit of anxiety so stopped taking them.
  18. Hey! So I’m about 2 years off of effexor on a fast taper (I was on max dose, went down to 0 in 4 weeks by advisement of my psychiatrist). 3 months after I suddenly had horrible debilitating symptoms, attempted to reinstate 3 times, and the 3rd time it spiraled my nervous system into the scariest most challenging physical symptoms I’ve ever had. After a few months I stabilized and was able to adjust my life as continue working without much issue, as long as I stuck to my routine. About a month ago I, without warning, had a severe and sudden downturn. My symptoms are now worse and more debilitating than when I first had the worst of it 2 years ago, and I now can’t stomach food without adrenaline spikes, blips in vision, migraines, and sudden tingling/burning/numbness of my left side. Of course I need to eat, but I’m wondering if anyone else has gone through this and has a way to get through not eating without getting into serious medical danger. My doctors don’t understand very well what to do. My nervous system is more sensitive than ever, and even the slightest mistake causes intense emotional and physical pain. I was on effexor for about a year before stopping, and I’m currently 26.
  19. Hi Everyone I just wanted to introduce myself. I have been lurking this forum for long enough now. 🙂 Male, 28 My story starts in November 2018 when I went partying with a few friends and consumed different recreational drugs (MDMA, Cocaine, Speed and Alcohol). I wasn't new to these drugs but I made the huge mistake to not test any substance and not dosing correctly. However I didn't feel bad throughout that weekend and the hangover was as expected. After four days the panic attacks and the depression started and it just did not get any better over time. A month later I had enough and went to my GP who immediately put me on Effexor and Seroquel. Later on Seroquel has been exchanged first to Mirtazapine and then Trazodone (see signature). The drugs definitely helped with the panic attacks but Side Effect were just unbearable I felt 40 years older, manic, aggressive, suicidal, without any motivation and completely emotionally numb. There was just no way I would stay on this horrible stuff any longer so I went cold turkey after two months. The first two months were kind of ok but I still felt drugged. After that the emotional symptoms kicked in and it became a fight for survival day by day. I will not go into detail about it because you probably all know what I am talking about. Sixth month later I made some progress, the symptoms became a little bit less intense and I had some windows. Over the next four months I made some further minuscule improvements, windows became longer. I started to feel kind of stable in my recovery, it gave me some hope that I didn't lose my job and my girlfriend throughout all this time. Next month I will be drug free for a year but it is still a massive struggle every day. Right now I seem to be in a long wave (5 weeks so far) with a great change of symptoms. The anxiety and the panic attacks have become a lot worse recently and there are a lot of physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and generally feeling miserable. I have become less active, less motivated to exercise but on the other hand I am also feeling kind of ok with it. Also my sleep seems to have changed quite a bit, I didn't have very bad insomnia so far only very intense and draining dreams. They are mostly gone now but instead I am sleeping two to three hours less per night. I try to see these changes as my brain being at work 🙂 I can't differentiate if I am still in Withdrawal or if this is the after effect of the recreational drug incident (any ideas?). All I can hope for is that my brain will heal the same way as it does if I had taken psychiatric drugs only. Throughout my life I only had a few bouts of mild depression and anxiety (and three mild panic attacks), nothing I couldn't cope with. I also have never been on any psychiatric drug. I will try to document my recovery in this topic. Massive thanks to the people of this forum without you I would probably have gone back on psychiatric drugs a long time ago. You can't imagine how much hope I got reading through these pages! 🙂
  20. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  21. I want to share my heart out,I want to share my life. I lived 31 yrs of life. the life of sadness,hurt,betrayal,getting used,unrequited love, Dream which gets shattered,Health which got lost,Financed which ruined,Engagement which break twice,Got fired from the job which I love.hope which I got lost in all these but just little remains… May be I am not a very strong guy, or below things are very little for other people but for me it really shattered me with the brain I have.I want to write here because of two reasons:- Please bear with my bad English. To get words of support. Others may learn something from this. Birth(Dec 1987):- Bully(15yrs) I was a silent kid,deeply introverted.afraid to go out and dominate the world.Never in my life I had more than 2 or 3 friends.Never associated with any groups anywhere.Because of my silent nature and understanding of the world differently relatives and neighbors thinks that I am not of sound mind and they normally called me “sirri” (a word which describe a person as stupid with no mind”).Even my family used to call me the same, this has impacted my childish mind deeply and my confidence sank to earth every time someone called me that.though I was good in studies but not very vocal and someone who bully others just because other one is not dominatable nature. I hate these types of person even up until now.and I also choose very very carefully to whom I can open. these things keep going on till I turn around 15 or in 10th standard. and that was really a sad time.but I forgot and moved on. My teenage love(8 yrs) Its starts in early stages when hormones change occurs. My first Love.real,pure,deep,full of emotions.absolutely overwhelming.till date I have not forget those days. she was in my class sat next to my desk. I fall in love or whatever you will say infatuation. she belongs to other community. I knew marriage is not possible. I never tried to approach or propose.I knew even if I propose she will not accept.I was not handsome or a topper or may be I was insecure.I loved her deeply . Did many things those times of school like pick some flowers on my way to school and put it in her desk,looking at her whole time during school,wrote a diary, wrote some poetry also for her.cried every other day at home that I will not have her in my life.I also did those stupid thing of writing the name of your beloved from blood in your diary.lol. one incident I remember one day our teacher asked us to perform some activities, every student performed something like dance or cracked a joke. when my turn came I sang a song ”yai zamin ruk jaaye aasma jhuk jaaye tera chahra jab nazar aaye” by looking in to her eyes directly without any fear , in front of whole class and also a teacher.there are many many memories of such type.I never had a problem because I never insist her for anything. everybody knows that I loved her so much whenever anyone asked me I accepts wholeheartedly yes. she knows it. the way she looked towards me I still remember. I remember the day of parting also . it was day of 10th class last day when I got the news that she will about to leave school permanently,I become extremely sad and I know anyhow I have to bear this pain of loosing someone so close and to look at her become a daily oxygen to me. I was in deep pain. that day I thought to tell her my feelings by my own. she used to go to home through same bus stand from which I go.every day. that day I waited at stand for about 3 hrs because she was enjoying with her friends, I was desperate that today I ll tell her my feelings as after this day I will never see her. I saw her coming. she saw me from a distance and she sensed also about things. I come directly in front of her and said that I wanted to say something to you which you already know all these years.she asked me to say it.I uttered those three words.she listened and asked me if anything more I wanted to say I replied No.she left in a bus. I stayed there dont know how much longer, felt like dead. then came back home.and cried hell.my sisters consoled me so much. I couldnt did anything. so I tried to save this as a sweet memory in my heart.later when I went in college then I got toknow that she took admission in Dental school, I got her number some how and from my college far away from home I called her at every festival of her and her birthday continiously 4 yrs . then she become dentist and I got the news that she is getting married.to one of my other class mate. I became habitual about this. acceptance was there.those were the days of orkut, I dont know how many of you young guys know about orkut. its like first social media site in India those days. later I saw her some times on facebook and now she is living happily with her husband and a daughter. I left her there and locked her there in my heart to never open it up.and got busy in another things. Science and engineering(3yrs) Once I passed 10th and she left me then I have so much anger and resentment that I put all these on studies.I was a below average student got just 60% in 10th and ours was a govt school, that time I cant write or speak a single sentence in English.but somehow as all good students left the school so I got the admission in science section in 2004, there were 34 students, I studied very hard and came first that year only 8 students passed. in the next year also I did so much hard work and came first in my Class Editori was not that I got very good marks but the resources and kind of teachers I have in my govt school I did my best and came first in 12th also with 70% marks. I was so much fearful of science but my mother who was always there for me encouraged me that I can do it so I did passed it.in those 2 years i knew nothing about anything except studies I used to have one FM radio in my room some songs I hear every day like “love guru on radio city 91.1” if any of you remember.then after 12th was another struggle for career.Didnt know what to choose for further studies.I wanted to go to army.gave NDA also didnt passed.a friend came and suggest me to do coaching for engineering.I liked the idea it was the year 2006. I joined a reputed coaching in Delhi.studied day and night to pass the entrance.sometimes I got so much confident that I will do it sometimes i got frustrated.it was too much of studies for an avg student.year gone hopes begin. gave all engineering entrance examintation of delhi state and national level. like aieee and iit’s results came , didnt get selected in any one of them , got so much disheartened. you can understand how bad I was I got rank 131000 in AIEEE and for IIT I failed, DCE got 8000 rank.so no admission in any of these college. I gave uptu exam also and there I got 32953 rank and i got a change for counselling.Unfortunately there I made a blunder and even I was getting so many college in NCR Delhi region I put some college in sitapur in UP as my second choice because i foolishly thought that that were a govt college.and here begins a 4 year trauma of living in almost hell. Hostel life living away from parents If you read this far you must have understood what kind of a guy I am, so living away from parents and from New Delhi to a town of UP and college hosted in jungle and mostly the kind of people I interacted there.it was really not good. I was very much dishearted but being from a middle class family with so much of a hope from parents that my son will one day earn well and take us away from this life of hardship.I continued the battle and didnt drop out even if I wanted badly.there was not a single day in these 4 yrs when I didnt talked to my mother back home at every evening, I dont know how many times I cried that Its very very difficult to live without you guys.(tears just come to my eyes by just remembering those bad days.)Thank god he gave me one friend and a room partner with whom I was able to pass that worst time. I marked 8 lines in my diary and after every semester I crossed those one mark to able to see how much of it left to go back home. that was the best day when I was coming back last time and my family was very happy that there son became an Engineer, one more thing we with my friend decided that we will not have any affair or relationship and will directly marry. so no girlfriend type of a thing there also.Few attractions were there but I killed them and not regretting about that. Fear of studies and homesickness,Masturbation and Pornography,Falling into depression(11 yrs) This hit me bad when I was in 2nd year of age of 22yrs. I got very afraid that I cant continue in this engineering thing as this is very tough and even If I pass the exams still I will not able to do the real engineering job as this required so much brain I keep telling this to my parents and my father keep encouraged me that initially things looks tough but slowly it will get better.so I decided that whatever happen I will definately achieve this degree.I had so much pressure of homesickness(its that much you can understand that after coming back home in 2011 I have not left my hometown Delhi ), Pornography was there in college its normal thing even now I know.and I was not into these things that much. but I got addicted to masturbation like once in a week and pornography also. and I certainly believe that this masturbation and porn habit though it was not that much as with other people. it give me one of the deadliest disease which i cant even explain to you, whoever young among you is reading this I am warning you and pleading you, please leave these two devils completely out of your life else it will ruin you.this thing weakens my brain in 3rd semester i have got started rigorous hairfall,weakness of body and mind, but that time i was not able to understand because I got my body strength back in 2 days. for my mind it was normal but in reality this habit of masturbation causing deep harm to my body. which i was not able to control despite all my efforts.so in 2008 when I came back to delhi i got hit by mental illness there were symptoms severe headache, confusion,lost focus, memory issue, unable to take decisions and many more. this goes heightened also because i stuck in one more thing which is killing me, what is the true path of life,why so many religions and God and I wanted to know the truth I studied various religious scriptures also and I got so much feared that I cant die without knowing the truth.and I cant follow my parents religion without knowing for sure that it is correct or not.unfortunately I had to to a psychiatrist and here begins a trauma which is still going on they gave me that magic pill. a medications which can sort my mind out. I ,a young lad, trusted the doctors that yeah they are right in whatever they prescribe and in last 2 years of my studies this doctor gave me 7 different kind of antidepressents which numbed me actually. when I came back from college then I went to govt hospital in Delhi to a psychiatrist and he there stops all the medication and said that all this was not necessary and I was misdiagnosed, there I started with a small medication of just 10mg trusted this doctor and no doubt it helped me so much but over the years when i was stable in about 2014 i wanted to stop but my parents does not want me to stop and even my doctor. and I knew that this medication slowly killing me frm inside those who never use antidepressents can never understand what I am saying, just think that this tablet create a numbing effect on you or take away all your real emotions it makes you a zombie. and give you heightened emotions sometimes when not required also it hurt me so badly I cant even explain you some incident :- in one of my early interview I was crying sitting on footpath with fear that how will i be able to live this hard life.how will people earn.when I enter the room interviewer gave me a glass of water and ask me to come back after a month and dont panic. I was in so mch pressure of getting a job after my degree and it was tough. I got selected in one IT recruitment company and on third day i got so much un restless and fearful without any reason that i left my desk went to manager cabin locked my self inside and lie down on floor and slept and after 2 hrs manager open the door from different key and from next day they didnt picked me up for a job. Crying in washrooms is extremely common whenever my boss scold me or anybody hurts me.up until now.i never told anybody in my office that i am suffering from some brain disease else they will fire me I know. many more incident like this in my life. Searching for job after passing from tier 3 college and work till now(since 2011) this is a common story of many many guys of my type. Funny thing was that I didnt knew how to search a job and what a job is all about and how to plan a career , I knew nothing, first six month after completing a degree I left everything and just rested because I got exhausted and most probably this was a blunder. I was started searching a job and joined one of my friend in his company as Recruiter. after six month i got introduced by one of my relative of govt job and I shifted my focus in govt job preparation because the relative made a pressure on me to have a govt job cos he selected me for his girl.this i wll tell in next section in detail.then I joined a part time job in a call center because i was in another trauma as my first engagement broke and I didnt knew what to do ahead as one year already passed. so I worked there 14 months in just 4k rs pm. then I left to work in noida and good company call center and got ok amount 17500 pm worked there also 14 months till 2015 and then I was totally unsured what to do now, so I was getting promoted to quality manager there but after a degree that is not what I wanted to do so i decided that I will do a job in software anyhow.and after that I will decide further.so I left that job also and join another company in 20k pm worked there 6 months gathered all money then left and join one training institute in Noida and get my self trained there for 6 months and then gave interviews in IT companies as a fresher i had a 6 years gap. i got rejected by 11 companies and 12 one selected me. there I worked 2+ years. they have exploited me to the core and I was so much naive that I didnt understand that.I was a java guy and they asked me to learn .net so it was a do or die for me they gave only 3000 pm for training for first 4 months. i had my savings i never mind I wanted to learn . but i think now I stuck in wrong company . they trained me in .net then gave me a project of devops . i introduced devops by learning all by myself from internet whatever I can.created automatic infrastructure the best way I can alone. then they asked me to learn android then angular then big data omg it was overwhelming.I made one app backend its still live on playstore. and maintain many other . despite having my depression and other problems taking tool on my mental health. from last year oct 2018 many incident happened back to back that i asked my manager and ceo to give me off for a month they denied then i told them about my depression and they asked me to leave saying i am not able to work.they indireclty fired me in feb 2019. since then Its been 8 months i am at home. Engagement and breakup This was really tough when I came back in 2011 from college I went to one of my relative who is asst engg. in Delhi govt for guidance and help and he chose me for his daughter . I was on cloud nine . very happy . new graduate , got engaged to a beautiful girl , she is a lawyer. we fall in love. or I am wrong actually I fall in love. girls dont fall in love may be its very easy for them to move on . we got engaged for one year and as I told you earlier her father wish me to live as he asked me , he keeps me lecture every time.i got frustrated. I got a bit religious and the girl said to her father that he cant live with a religious type boy, I told her that now we are engaged dont do this , you will live the way you want to. but she got adamant and her father also.and said I become conservative and girls wants a handsome boys. i was just become simple nothing else. like simplest dresses , she doesnt like the way I dress. she asked me to change this or she will not live with me , I told her father that your daughter cant be happy with me why are you doing this to her. please stop. they dont want to stop but they want to change me , few things she said to me after a year of engagement which i still remember that , I ll have a dark future with you, why you come to my father for a job, I cant live the life of restrictions until this time I got so attached to her but I cant compromise on the way of life i am living.so I have to leave her . it was a big thing for all family and mostly on me because i was alone in this decision and my family is not in my support that time. they used to say “shadi karlo baad me jese marzi rahna who will say anything.” this breakup also shattered me , I have to move on I started a job in a call center parttime. Life in a call centre(2.5yrs) I think every graduate should work in call center for six month and not more than that. what I will write here about that it was also working hell.lol.every minute is counting 3 comapnies of call center I worked all same.they count every minute you go to washroom, toilet, outside, and thats also every day. its like work is not more on some day or less on some day. it s that work is there always.and its simply sucks.its only for high energy young people , it enhances your communication and stress management,more then six month is not good. Leaving the job and preparing for it after 6 years This was a big decision as I told you. I took it and succeeded. after a gap of six years and working hell of call center I think that now is the time that I have to move on to my job. and I took the chance. I started learning programing from for loop and learned 6 months all basic and algorithms, linked list and what not. Getting my first IT job as a associate software engineer(2+yrs) That was one of the happiest day of my life that I deserve my degree to some extent at least as out of 8 candidates that day I was the only one that was able to solve the programming problem and get selected.such a happy day it was. Rigorous learning again(2yrs) for 2 years I learned so much things, .net upto mvc. front end, devops, some big data,api, etc etc etc.. Emotional affair with married woman and heartbreak This I cant tell you what it did to me .its long story if you want to read I asked the question related to same on quora last year, that time idint knew that much worst ahead read link https://justpaste.it/41enq she broke me 70% almost. but good thing was I knew I am wrong in that just this one thing gives me strength to come out of this. Getting fired from my job This is what I was not able to bear and I informed to my bosses that I need a break and they gave me permanent break…..lol. Emotional affairs within girl other caste and fight with parents. another blow omg that time I was desperate for marriage so that I can free from this emotional and physical requirement. I got a contact from a girl from a matrimonial site and we talked around one month and she have all what I wanted , education looks religiousness. we met , we liked each othe and I though now things will get settled and I told her that I will not take anything in dowry and I jst want marriage asap , initially she was hesitant to disclose this in front to her parents before the assurance from my side. and I was 100% sure from my parents side that they will not deny at all. because of whatever happened with me . so I told her . and then I informed my parents but surprisingly my father denied completely and said that go and marry, but leave my house as the girl from other caste , i requeste them so much that after this much long i liked some girl whom i can marry and she knows everything about me , please let me do so. all my family member that time got hold of fake izzat. any how I agree my mother to atleast see the girl they went with me there home and as I know they rejected as our community wont accpet them. so I was very very disheartened but I kept my patience and trust on God that things will get better.It unable to start , i felt so much guilty , the girl cried for 3 days . I asked forgiveness said i can t go against my parents wishes. Second engagement and breakup From there they take me to there relatives who have many daughters to choose from someone and I chose one because I wanted to marry asap. they liked me then again we talked and my sister also to a girl . everyting going fine . the girl side very mch interested for this relationship they want to fix the engagement asap. the day before they are coming to fix this . I dnt want it to be fix on some lie. i called a girl and informed her about my health issue and career issue. they came and got reluctant and without fixing anything went back then after second day they asked us to come to fix things , I was again on cloud nine hundred nine that finally everything fixed. I told them that I have good experience and no problem of a job , i will have a job soon . and for my health I will try to stop the medications. but one thing happened in informing all these to them that I lost my value.and they now are taking me for granted. aisa behave tha jese ahsaan kar rahe hain…we all went there house for engagment , I bought a diamond ring for her , clothes for her of my choice. with my relatives we went there. its not in my mind but my relatives dont like there hosting and made a drama. there come too many things for next 2 days and finally they cancelled the engagement , I asked them to atleast once let me talk to her. what happened.but they didnt allow. I got bedridden for a month. Lost all hope and will to live in all these days my medications jumps from 10mg to 225mg. and it has its side effects also. after last incident I lost all my wish to live at all. I prayed god to please take me away from this world.Because I will never do suicide . its against my religion and believes. but inside me nothing left. this happened in june 2019 and I am able to do lil works in oct and writing now. i decided to left my medications also whatsoever. I will not live a live on medications.If i will live , It will be my own. though I dnt want to live at all this kind of life.I have lost my health career relationship. from last 6 months i dont have any money . my parents giving me just for survival. 1000 pm I am surviving. locked up in my room, left my medications to 66% just 75mg remains. it hurt my body very badly. when I woke up in morning there is a swelling too much of my face every day. i cant focus to do simple work on computer continiously for 3 hrs. but death has not yet occured. so i think still something remains on earth. i am trying to recover. and hoping that good days may come. I have not achieved what I dreamed of. I want to live on the lap of God. The most hurtful thing is my brain condition which is not able to handle simple stresses like above many people may handle above things easily. but its really tough for me now very much . I really dont know what is the life of happiness. though I am fortunate to have able parents who even can support me now.but from inside nothing left. now I am really afraid to continue in engineering because i fear more pressure on brain will do harm to my brain . and rest I dont know what to do. Recovering and never give up I also wanted to live a happy life like many others.I will not suicide. but I dont know until when I can able to handle these pressures.Because now my body and mind is not giving me enough support to fight these pressures.I know people have more hardships then me but its not comparable with anyone to anyone. Positive things in my life:- God Almighty My parents, super supportive, and very patient I love them Hope Good home with all basic facilities My lovely nieces and nephews I am proud that I achieved many things which I decided, like I didn't achieved many. Few good friends. Aur bhi bht hoga jo mujhe abhi yaad nahi aa rha. Thank you God Bless you all.
  22. Hi Everyone! I decided to quit 20+ years of 75mg EffexorXR by tapering down over about 6 weeks. Which was surprisingly easy until I went bat sh*t crazy. That was the hard part... going crazy. I remember sitting on my laptop and suddenly feeling like I was a camp councilor at Crystal Lake and Jason was hot on my trial. Not kidding. I actually felt like I was in a horror movie. It was horrible. The craziest thing is that it didn't even cross my mind that Effexor had anything to do with it!!!! My sister gave me that idea. So, I reinstated my dose and tapered about 15% per month and found this forum. That went fine for awhile, but had to slow down to 10%. I'm about 12-18 months along on my taper and I'm down to 12 little tiny bbs!!!! As I write this I'm fine, but sometimes things are hard. Very hard. Over the last 6 months I think I've read every book and watched every video about tappering/depression/anxiety/supplements/therapy/etc. I cannot begin to thank those that monitor SA. You are amazing people and need to be recognized! And that is pretty much it. Oh yeah, I'm 50 or 51. I try not to think about it. So, I'm down to 12 bbs/day and I loath every cut. I know in three days I'm going to feel horrible. It seems that in the beginning the tapering was pretty easy, but as I get toward the end it gets WAY more difficult. Is this typical?
  23. Hi all, It's been a crazy few months since August... and yet it feels like we barely started on this journey. Not really looking forward to next year based on what I've seen... Anyway, some background, my 62yr old mum has on and off over the years experienced stress related throat symptoms - difficulty swallowing, lump in throat etc. All her visits to throat specialists yielded nothing (except for a slight hernia hiatus w/ GERD, which she was put on a PPI long term for). Unable to find the source of her discomfort, she became more distressed by it, resulting in a vicious cycle of cause and effect. Eventually she got put on Fluvoxamine 150mg, Olanzapine 2.5mg and Nordiazepam 11.25mg back in 2018 Nov. Previously she has been rx fluvoxamine on and off since 2004, and seem to have always gone cold turkey off them whenever she felt better. Her pdoc never warned her not to do so, nor suspected that her repeated visits and complaints of symptoms may have been due to withdrawal. She was previously rx benzos PRN but never took them until the TID prescription in nov 18. Fast forward to 2019, she started exhibiting symptoms of what i now know was tolerance withdrawal from benzos, increasing anxiety and visibly fearful, things shes never had before. In Aug 19 she switched a pdoc believing that the previous pdoc's meds werent working anymore. The new pdoc cold turkeyed her off the antipsychotic as well as her benzo, but rx clonazepam to her to be taken PRN, but only if she really needs it coz it's 'addictive' and thus bad. She was also switched to mirtazapine 30mg. This switch resulted in a tsunami of acute withdrawal symptoms to appear. Within weeks of zero sleep and many many disturbing symptoms, she became suicidal. I got involved at this point, but was otherwise ignorant of the real danger she was in. I knew she was in withdrawal, I just didnt know withdrawals could be so dangerous or last that long. The pdoc reassured me that everything will be okay, and that she's already looking better than when she first came in! (Turns out, it was because she had a clonazepam just before the appointment. Duh!) When things didnt relent by the end of august, and she became actively suicidal, i grew concerned and admitted her to a psych ward. Bad mistake, because they misdiagnosed her as depression and did a major change to her cocktail of drugs again. They reinstated her on 10mg V, and switched her to 75mg Effexor XR, as well as loaded her on zdrugs for the duration if her stay(10+days). This mistake did help me figure out what went wrong though, as the switch to Valium helped me find benzobuddies and the ashton manual. Only then did the past month finally make sense. I was horrified at how arbitrary pdocs were making their adjustments to medications, and shocked that they would so blatantly tell me its her underlying illness that she has been masking symptoms of from me. Makes one wonder if she was so good at masking symptoms previously, why is she incapable of doing so now? 😕 They tried to cold turkey / rapid taper her off V again, but i insisted they reinstate her back on her benzo and do a proper taper instead. They agreed but only reinstated and discharged her with 8mg V with the instruction to taper her benzo at 1mg/mth. My discovery and obsession of benzo withdrawal has blinded me to the other two real dangers that she was in, that she was cold turkeyed off an antipsychotic, and put on venlaflaxine, a super short halflife snri. By the time I realize it may not just be benzo withdrawal, it was too late, she was already off olanzapine for 3 mths, and on effexor xr for the same amount of time. I raised my concerns, but the pdoc brushed away my concern again. These ill advised tapering instructions resulted in my mum entering a state of catatonia stupor in mid nov, and had to be admitted to the hospital for a week, after she couldnt stabilize on her 1mg cut to 7mg V. As of now, shes having a myriad of symptoms, including but not limited to dp/dr, akathisia, broken sleep, major brain fog cognitive dysfunction/memory issues, paranoia, confusion, dysphagia, anxiety, fear, panic, agoraphobia, constipation and other gi issues, and something im growing more and more concerned for, tardive dyskinesia (rapid eye blinking, chewing, lips smacking) which Im wondering if it was from the olanzapine cold turkey or the clonazapem use for 3 weeks after her first cold turkey. Most days, shes hardly present and would take a long time to register things i say, or execute simple instructions. Her cognitive skills fluctuates, but only from really bad to somewhat bad, never good or normal. Her anxiety has somewhat weaned but is still fearful and obsessively worried and paranoid. She bounced back from her catatonic state rather quickly, but is experiencing severe dp/dr and brain fog that hasnt relented for the 2 weeks since she got discharged from the hospital. Waves and windows throughout the day... Anyway.. her tardive dyskinesia concerns me... and got me reading up on more than just benzo withdrawal. Effexor has always concerned me, so on and off i'd be on SA reading up about it, but Ashton said to taper ADs after benzos so i never really questioned it, until I read the thread about tapering stimulating drugs first which got me thinking if we should get her off effexor first and do a long hold on her benzo instead... of course, i'm assuming her pdoc will be supportive but who knows 😕 Anyway... I'm currently holding her on 7mg V intil the end of the year, which will make it about 2+mths shes on that dosage. Will do a micro taper eitherway, drycutting V or counting beads for effexor XR. As of now, i started tapering her PPI omeprazole coz shes been on it for almost 4 yrs and that concerns me... as well as the Valium Interaction with omeprazole. for all I know, her anxiety and throat symptoms over the yrs couldve been caused by the PPI, coupled with her cold turkeying off her ADs on her own over the years, it seemed like a perfect storm waiting to happen... I wish back then I had known the things i know now, perhaps then she wouldnt be on these drugs or been cold turkeyed off them. It's painful to watch her usually high functioning self be reduced to someone whom I have to bring to the washroom otherwise she doesnt remember she has to urinate. I really miss her. I wish I had read up more, because I had the exact same thing happen to me in my early 20s with ADs and antipsychotics (had a BS bipolar II diagnosis and even had 10 rounds of ECT done to me) but I was taught to embrace my mental illness and work towards recovery... but I always kind of knew it was BS because I knew I didnt become suicidal or had behavioral issues until i started on psych drugs, and that I didnt fully recover until i was off them for a couple of years (I learnt to act normal so my pdoc would take me off them). Anyhow... tons of regret not researching more when I was younger, coz I can see clearly now what happened to me back then, and what is happening to my mum now. Sorry for the long post. Been feeling very guilty and helpless lately over her current situation, and cant figure out what the next best step should be. Anyway, I hope everyones doing ok and making progress in their own journey to recovery.
  24. Help777

    Help777: journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  25. Hello all, I am a 27 year old male that unfortunately fell into the vicious SSRI/SNRI cycle about 7 years ago. Thinking back, what a blurr it has been. Not feeling like myself on or off medication, I’ve made little progress on personal development through the foundational years a 20 something year old is suppose to go through. I currently am not working, moved back home with my father, still have yet to finish college, not many friends or connections i.e. networking etc. . . I feel like these drugs have taken a lot from me. I originally got on the meds for some social anxiety I have experienced basically my entire life. My anxiety could stem from undiagnosed autism as I do fit some of the criteria to be on the spectrum. Then again everyone has some trait they evaluate autism on. After all, we are human. Anyways, over the last 7 years I have been on citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline, possibly fluoxetine (not sure on that one), and most recently venlafaxine. I took venlafaxine for about 1.5 years at 150mg before I started what I consider a slow taper. I’m not sure exactly how long the taper took, but I’m guessing about 7-8 months. I understand that’s not slow for a lot of you on this forum, but that’s what I was comfortable with. I am now almost 9 months venlafaxine free and it has not been easy that’s for certain. Extreme brain fog, fatigue, head pressure, feeling off balance, information processing issues, reading comprehension issues, problems staying focused on tasks, anxiety, disorganized thoughts, reduced vocabulary, and other issues. The ones I listed seem to affect me the most on any given day. Progress has been very slow, but I do believe I am making some headway. The last three weeks I have been mega dosing a highly concentrated liquid fish oil and that seems to clear up some of the issues I listed above. I should also mention that for the past 2 years I have been in the gym for 2 hours 5 days a week. Staying active does help clear symptoms but unfortunately they are short lived. I also eat lots of vegetables and low glycemic index fruits daily. Overall I have a pretty well balanced diet. I feel like these drugs have stole so much from me; missed opportunities, loss of almost all interests, lost girlfriends because I wasn’t emotionally available on these drugs. . . It just hasn’t been fun, let’s put in that way. Now I’m a 27 year old with basically no life experience and a lot of catching up to do. So I’m hoping these ugly days of SSRI/SNRI use and crazy withdrawals will all be a distant memory sometime soon!!! Before I go, I’m just curious how we can tell for certain that we are experiencing withdrawals from medication and it’s not just symptoms of depression. I’m 100% positive I didn’t have the symptoms we all experience prior to antidepressants so there is that evidence. But can anyone point me to some studies that have been done? I’m convinced this is the aftermath of the drugs but nearly all medical professionals will tell you otherwise. I even know some nurses that have used these drugs and got off them with little to no problems. So when I tell them how I feel, they just presume I am depressed or have some other psychiatric issue going on. I am a premed student by the way, so I do have some connections in the field of medicine. I have yet to have one medical professional agree with me about the meds causing these issues.
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