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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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! 🙂
  4. On Effexor for two years. Cold turkeyed once, had terrible withdrawals so reinstated. Once I reinstated, I had even worse withdrawls but eventually stabilized. I switched to extended release effexor and tapered with beads. Got to 75% and felt worse. Reinstated before starting my second taper. Got to 50% but was tired all of the time. Switched back to the instant release since that’s what always worked for me. Finally quit cold turkey two months ago and am dealing with terrible withdrawls. Lack of pleasure, constipation and terrible anxiety. Not sure what to do. Since I’ve quit I’m not nearly as tired but I think me quitting so early brought on this constipation and inability to release my bladder. Debating on reinstating back to the 50% dosage I was on or maybe less to see if that helps. Or maybe trying it’s cousin drug?
  5. I found this website several months ago and have read loads of it. I tapered venlafaxine 225mgs over 6 months, finishing 7 months ago-June 2019. I realise this was too fast, but I didn't know that at the time. I also was taking Gabapentin for nerve pain, but stopped it without too much trouble in November 2019.. I had really horrible anxiety between September and December 2019, but this has lessened and been replaced by a feeling of doom in the morning especially. I did not get many symptoms for the first 2 months. I feel very fragile and cannot predict from one moment to the next how I will feel. I do not know what I would do without this website. Also I am not very familiar with computers and do not know a lot of the terminology. What are "tags" in the box above? I take magnesium citrate and fish oil each day. I don't know if it helps, but it doesn't seem to hurt, so... I am in the process of tapering lansoprazole by taking beads out of capsules and am down to 3/4 of 15mgs. I should add that I decided to taper off the venlafaxine because I started to get panic attacks in December 2018 and worked out I was probably in some sort of tolerance withdrawal from it. I got alarmed when one of my GPs suggested upping my dose to 300mgs. I wondered how high the dosage would go.......,and when it would poop out again.
  6. 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.
  7. Hi, I was on Effexor for 2.5 years (the last year only on 37.5 mg ) and also combined with Wellbutrin 150mg. I went off both in February 2019 with no taper because I was unaware at all that we could just not stop. There its been been a year of worsening conditions then the ones I even wanted to get off the medication for. I took some Effexor and Wellb a few times during the year, but usually just for a day or two (which I also know now is bad). I really don’t want to go back on meds, but I have sever dry eye, very lethargic, and worst of all a very flat and sad melancholy baseline. For those who were not aware of tapering and have been withdrawing for almost a year, does anyone have recommendations? I have already been eating pretty clean, exercise, and supplement with D, Mag, and Omega, but I basically feel awful every day. Anyone been thru this as well?
  8. 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.
  9. Hello. I'm posting here because, like many of us probably, I'm in pain and I'm scared. I've been on various SSRIs for about...15 years or so, Seroquel for the last 7? Latest was Effexor for a few years, coupled with Seroquel. I tapered off Seroquel for about 6 months successfully, only problem was with insomnia at the end. 2 months or so I was free. November I ran out of my script of Effexor, it had been a few days. I asked my doc for something new because my depression was worsening, but I didn't want Seroquel because I've since kinda come to the conclusion that unless I'm psychotic (never been) I don't want to be on that hardcore of a drug, because of the insomnia (I left it for insurance reasons). Doc gave me Trintellix November 20 and said I didn't need to taper off Effexor. I was wary, but I went with it. The Trintellix seemed immediately effective for the depression, but it came with side effects. Diarrhea, itchy feet for a few days, and then the one I couldn't live with - water retention. I was on half the prescribed dose for 2 weeks before I stopped because the water was starting to make my chest hurt. Went back and she put me on Zoloft...and was dismissive of my continued diarrhea and weakness. I used Zoloft for 2 weeks, then stopped that three nights ago because of the continued diarrhea, and I'm now coughing. I'm...kind of improving. I have some energy now, not going to the bathroom every few hours. But I keep coughing these tiny little coughs that come with nothing. I read SSRIs can cause something called SIADH, some sort of problem where the body makes too much anti-diuretic hormone...and I'm also on anti-diuretics, which makes it more possible to get this SIADH. So now I'm just sitting here, on nothing for depression, coughing and afraid. I know this is probably just a temporary thing until my body gets back to some sort of homeostasis, sheds whatever water I'm retaining still (which I think is why I'm coughing), I'm waiting until the 1st when my new insurance kicks in and I can see a new doctor, but the broken part of my brain makes me worry it's permanent, that my heart's been damaged. Anxiety sucks. Anyone ever had water retention issues on an SSRI?
  10. Greetings to all! It took 5 years for my brain and nervous system to rebalance and heal after taking Effexor for 14 years. Nasty stuff. One of the hardest to discontinue. But it is possible! I tried to d/c it a few times over those 14 years but had to keep going back on it because I couldn't function. I didn't understand enough about withdrawal and how all this works. But as we all know we reach a point where our souls know we do not need this drug and will do whatever it takes to get off it and stay off it. It's a ride through hell that's for sure but you can do it!! As we all know, it's a lot worse at the beginning of withdrawal. I only had about 3 days of windows over the years. But I could feel symptoms slowly getting better over the last year till it starts being noticeable that the crud may still be there but it's more manageable. And the last 6 months it kept improving until I couldn't believe that the buzzing in my head was gone and the fear and anxiety were gone. The brain fog and fatigue also slowly start improving. There may always be a little residual fatigue and brain fog but I'm also 66 yrs old - ha! We have no idea how brave we are to go through this to live an authentic life drug free. It finally happened this year around May. And as you know it was many years of a nightmare I could not have imagined. But it will happen!! I am here as proof. I have my life back and am finally able to travel to see my family out of town and live a normal life again. Acceptance, perseverance, surrender, humor, love - it's all part of living each day well. Just continue to take care of yourself the best you can. Walking in nature is SO HEALING. That is what saved me. And taking every stress out that you possibly can. And lots and lots of prayer. My heart goes out to you - Hang in there - you will make it. 🙏😘
  11. Hi all, I am Katt, And I am weaning off of Effexor first and then will try to get off of Clonopin. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’m 59 and first started antidepressants when I was in my mid 20s. I’ve been on and off a large variety of medications, all of which either eventually stopped working or caused too many side effects. Wellbutrin caused terrible insomnia for way too long. I have tried Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac and a few others I can’t remember. I decided to wean off of Effexor after I completed the series of trans cranial magnetic stimulation which has seemed to help a lot. Now I want to get off of the anti-depressant and be sure That I am cured of my depression, or at least greatly improved. The Clonopin I take, 1 mg a day, is for help with sleep… It turns off that voice inside my head that wants to make a grocery list or remember to bring something with me when I go someplace. In other words, **** I don’t need to be thinking about at 3 AM! I haven’t figured out how to put in a signature line yet, but this is the latest information. I started Effexor in 2014 or 15. I was taking 300 mg, 150 twice a day. I am weaning down 37.5 mg every three weeks. At first I was on a two week schedule, but since my husband has metastatic cancer, my teenage daughter had a first psychotic episode, my youngest suffered recurrence of severe anxiety, depression and school refusal and I lost my job... so my psychiatrist decided a three week interval might be best. In reading through the possible side effects of Effexor, which I had read when I first began taking the medication, I now realize that it has probably been the cause of many adverse physical effects I have been blaming on other things! Below is a list, or at least a partial list, of side effects I believe are caused by the Effexor! Many things are new and, of conditions I had previous to Effexor, worsening of symptoms: Type two diabetes High cholesterol Elevated liver enzymes Elevated iron levels Gallstones Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Level two or three scarring of my liver Excessive sweating Hot flashes Night sweats Nausea Weakness Severe fatigue Very tight muscles in my neck Muscle spasms of my back, neck and legs Abnormal healing creating abnormal scars Clumsiness or loss of balance? Memory loss, confusion, working and thinking slowly? Tinnitus Heart palpitations Tachycardia Persistent edema, especially of the hands Worsening of rosacea and acne Worsening of urticaria Itchy skin Easy bruising Stiff muscles, decreased flexibility and range of motion everywhere Excessive bleeding of cuts Anorgasmia, improved a little Tingling and numbness in my feet, not from the diabetes Extreme worsening of back hip and neck pain Worse arthritis Some Urinary incontinence or hesitation Hair loss Worsened asthma Sleep apnea And a whole bunch of other things I had never heard of or made the connection to Effexor since they may not have started or worsened for a few months or years after starting taking the drug. Glad to be here and compare notes with others. The main side effect of withdrawal I am experiencing now is nausea. Luckily the brain zaps have not started and I hope they do not. I’m starting physical therapy for pain, weakness and mobility issues soon. I have a TENS unit for my back and hip pain, I hope to get a Home traction unit for my spine and a new SI belt for hip pain. Katt
  12. 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.
  13. First of all thank you for the support you give on this site. I am from Spain, using Google translator. I started with psychiatric medications at age 16 from panic attacks, I'm currently 37. I've been trying to quit the medications for two years. Before starting the last withdrawal I was taking: EFFEXOR XR 150 mg1-0-0; TRANKIMAZIN RETARD 1mg 1-0-1; MIRTAZAPINE 15 mg 0-0-1. In January 2019 I started withdrawing TRANKIMAZIN 0.5 mg every 15 days; at the end of the cone I did not recover from withdrawal symptoms but despite that when the withdrawal of TRANKIMAZIN ends I began with the withdrawal of EFFEXOR. I removed 0.75 mg of EFFEXOR for two months. At this point I was very tired, I had muscular stiffness in my neck and many pains and had gained a lot of weight, I decided to remove MIRTAZAPINE first to see if the symptoms described above were solved. From there I eliminate MIRTAZAPINE in just one week, five months ago. There begins the greatest abstinence hell I've ever lived; panic attacks every thirty minutes, vomiting, diarrhea, sensitivity to light and sound, itching and skin sensitivity, burning eyes, lack of appetite, muscle aches throughout the body, extreme fatigue, anhedonia, depersonalization, dizziness ... As the symptoms were intolerable, reading in this forum that a benzodiazepine can help I start with DIAZEPAM. 2.5 mg - 0 - 2.5. The benzo works and the symptoms become more tolerable. the panic attacks almost disappear and I start eating a little. From this moment I try to hold on to see if the symptoms disappear. Today, sensitivity to light and sound, skin sensitivities have improved, I have no insomnia, no vomiting or diarrhea. However, I have had to abandon all my daily activities because any effort makes me feel very sick (flu symptoms). prolonged anhedonia and depersonalization have led me to a deep depression. My life is to be asleep as long as possible because the reality is too distressing, I have no appetite, I live with demotivation and hopelessness and ideas of death. I do not know if all these symptoms are an accumulation of the different withdrawals or are due exclusively to MIRTAZAPINE. I am afraid of restoring medication because my quality of life with her was very poor, the EFFEXOR caused my personality changes and psychic changes that wreaked havoc on my life. I would like to know what you think and what you would do in these difficult times. It is very difficult in Spain to find medical support that belives my story. Thanks for your support.
  14. Hi I am new on this site. Firstly this site is very helpful and thank you all. Now I am in really bad situation and I need advice. This is my drug history: January 2012-April 2019 on Effexor 225 mg April-August 2019 I tapered Effexor to 150 mg August 2019 I did bridge with 20 mg Prozac and quit Effexor. Oct 15 2019 I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Now I am on 10 mg Prozac. My bad symptoms started when I quit Effexor and did bridge with 20 mg Prozac. But I could manage symptoms for a while. I think Prozac worked because I could function. But 3 months after I quit Effexor, I tapered Prozac to 10 mg. Symptoms got worse then. I am crying every day and anxiety is horrible. I am taking Omega 3. This helps with headache. But I can't manage emotional symptoms. What should I do? Should I updose Prozac?
  15. Hello guys, I already shared my story in another forum and now I thought of sharing it also in this community. My story starts about 3,5 years ago, there I was 22 years old, I broke up with my first big love and this kinda left me desperate. I tried compensating it with a lot of work, working out in the gym and partying. I was always looking for a distraction, something that made me feel good and I always played the nice and happy guy in front of the others. Somehow it worked, I liked my life back then, I loved my job (i worked in a spa center as a sauna coach), it really fulfilled me. At the same time I attended courses to become a personal trainer. But a year later (may 2017) my facade started to crumble, I had no energy and anxiety and panic attacks started to evolve. Desperate as I was, i went to the doctor and after insisting on a blood test (which was fine) he prescribed me Venlafaxin 75mg, also known as effexor, telling me it would help to get my energy back. And there the whole nightmare was about to start. Sleeping got way worse ( it took me a long time to fall asleep and in the morning i could not get out of the bed, fatigued as i was), but the worst symptom was the derealization and depersonalization. At this time I didn’t know that it came from the drugs. The doctor told me the dose was to low and he wanted to prescribe me 150mg. But I refused. At this time I had already changed job. When I came home from the job I was so tired I fell asleep for 2 hours, wacking up all dizzy. On September 17 i decided to taper off these drugs, because I didn’t feel confident at all. My doctor didn’t tell me anything about the withdrawal symptoms, he only gave me the smallest available dose of 37,5mg. I started taking them and strangely at the Beginning I felt better, I had more energy and had some better days. 1 month later, even though I didn’t feel that good, I decided to take the next step and to taper off 5 mg every week. At this time I didn’t know the steps were too big. On December 17 I reached 0mg and was looking forward to get back to normal life and by new year I felt mostly normal. But then slowly the withdrawal symptoms started to kick in. Somehow I just tried to survive day by day. Then in May 18 I decided to quit my job and to relax. I had some better and some bad days. On July 18 although I was not in the best conditions, me and my Brother decided to go on a journey, we travelled around Asia for 2 months. I hoped this journey can heal me somehow. Although it was a great experience unfortunately I was not able to get back to normal. Back home I started working for some hours, started working out and playing Icehockey. Then in May 19 I decided to get a full time job and to make the best out of my life. So I got this full time job in an office, started to get more ambitious in the gym (I changed body exercises mostly without weights) and in summer i was hiking 1x week. I tried to ignore my symptoms and just did what I liked. More or less the daily procedure of the symptoms were the same, so somehow I got used to it. Powering me out in the gym or in the mountains made me feel happy and alleviated the symptoms. But than again in September anxiety started to come back and I got some terrible headache, luckily I had 2 weeks of vacation and travelled with my friends to Asia. I was worried about me and how I could handle the vacation with my new arisen symptoms, but the end I had some really great days mostly without any symptoms. Back home the hole situation started to get worse, anxiety and headaches almost every day, I was devastated. I was not sure if the symptoms came from the withdrawal or if I got back into burnout, or overtraining. The symptoms I felt this time were different than the whole summer. Further my sleep got worse and I had some periods of stomachache. I mean I really did a lot of sports throughout the summer, but I did all those things to become more aware of my body. By now I am meditating everyday for almost a year, I added 5x/ week yoga in summer in the morning before i got to work and I worked out 3x/ week, plus I went hiking with my friends once a week. I know it seems a lot and maybe I exceeded my limits. The thing is when im feeling down I push myself and try to motivate myself, I tried to show myself and the world that nothing can bring me down. Right now I feel a little lost, I don’t know if I should give up the sport for maybe some weeks and se how it goes. All I know is that sports is my life and I would get mad if I have to quit. I already try to do less, right know I am so cowed and I am not able to make decisions. What do you think? Thanks for reading this Best regards
  16. I have been on and off different anti-depressants for years. I was on Effexor for many years. (I can't offer specific dates on many things as many holes are there.) I went on a trip in 2015 to Uganda and met a man with horrible trauma. He was being weaned off the antidepressant they had him on for 9 months. I asked if they ever left people on longer and the response was, "No. You have them on it short term and work with them extensively, giving them the tools to overcome. Then bring them off and work alongside them until they are ready to move on." I thought of all the 15 minute visits here in the US with a Psychiatrist, different ones over the years and how the only "tool" given me was a medication. The recheck visits seemed like a way to keep the money rolling in. Only 2 of the many I saw seemed to really care. One got sick and had to retire, the other moved away. I had also been to plenty of counseling over the years. Never did I feel like anyone actually came alongside me and helped me to live. At least not from the professionals. I may have gotten some good nuggets of information but the people over the years that have genuinely loved on me in spite of myself have had the greatest impact. After this information, I came home and began to research. I knew from prior experience that none of the doctors I know of would encourage, know how, or help me withdraw. So I began on my own. It took 2 1/2 years to withdraw from the Effexor. I let my body guide me as to how fast or slow I could go. It was a very slow process and when I would feel symptoms, I would slow it further. I have been off of the Effexor for over a year. I was also on Mirtazapine for sleep. I took 1/4 of a 7.5 mg tablet for years. How many I do not know. Unfortunately, I did not do my due diligence with this one as I thought it was such a tiny dose that it would be no big deal. I did not take into account how long I had been on it, or the fact that I just came off the Effexor. I was probably totally off of the Effexor for a couple of months at the longest when I began the Mirtazapine withdrawal. (I would NOT recommend this to anyone!) I couldn't really cut the pill any smaller than it was so I started skipping days until I was down to 3 nights a week. Then decreased further. I seemed fine, until about 4 days after I totally stopped and was out of the medication. I went into full withdrawal at that point. I had already leveled with my employer about the situation of Effexor withdrawal shortly after he hired me. (Not a conversation I wanted to have but knew I could be "off" some days.) Being in a natural health care field, he was understanding. When I had to approach him again, this last year because I was no longer sleeping and re visit the same conversation only with a different medication, he was still understanding. He referred me to a place that has helped me with the detox and I am still being treated there. It has been long, it has been hard and I wish I would have found the "Beyond Meds" site sooner than I did. I think I would have done it differently, however, there are a number of reasons I needed to get off sooner rather than later. The symptoms are still too big and I have felt so alone until finding the "Beyond Meds" site which is how I found this site. Now I see there are many like me and it has helped so much to know someone else understands and that I am not crazy. Trying to explain what I am living with to someone else is maddening as they look at me like I am crazy. My husband keeps insisting that I need to go back on medication, but the natural place I am treating at said that the medication is the reason my adrenals are in the state they are in and to never go back. I guess what I need is encouragement that this will get better from people that actually live with what I am living with. The disassociation is so hard and this whole thing has brought up truama's from my past that I thought were long put to rest. Now I am wrestling with them again like they happened yesterday. The weight loss and muscle loss needs to stop too. I am eating but still losing weight and my husband comments on that too which causes stress. Then there is the lack of sleep and utter terror that can hit me at any time. I have had to be honest with my employer about that as well since some of the terror is around him. It is undefinable and there is no reason for it but I can have a 4 alarm fire alarm go off at any moment of the day with no fire in sight! My life feels like it has been flipped upside down and I am slowly trying to piece together who it is I am supposed to be but go so derailed all those years ago by medication. I may not know dates but I can tell you that I have been married for almost 31 years and I have been on antidepressants for at least 25 of those years. I am desperately praying I will not be in this for as many years as some I have read. It feels unbearable.
  17. KayB

    KayB: Hello

    Hello, I am glad to have found this forum. I have been on Effexor for 10+ years and I very much want to be off. I have tried tapering several times without success so far, still hopeful. Withdrawal symptoms are horrible. Not only have I not been able to taper, but I have also found that as time goes by, I have had to increase my dose just to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Any advice or encouragement is welcome! I hope to encourage you on your journey as well.
  18. Hello, I completed my effexor taper as of August 23rd, 2019. It was a fairly uneventful taper, any withdrawal symptoms I did experience were fairly mild and manageable. I did it slow and steady, tapered 75 mg off over about 4 months. This may be fast for some, but it was definitely slower than what my psych doc recommended, she wanted me to drop right from 73 to 37.5 for two weeks, then 37.5 every other day for two weeks and then stop!! that scared the **** out of me, so i did it my way, as i do most things, and even though it wasn't what she recommended, she was super supportive and willing to go along with what i knew was best for my body. I have been dealing with some nausea and digestive upset since the end, and didn't even relate these to withdrawal until recently. However, for the past two days I have been dealing with some fairly persistent anxiety and I am wondering if it might have anything to do with effexor at all. If it is, is this something that anyone else has experienced at more than two months off? Is this something that anyone has found resolves on it's own? Having panic disorder and generalized anxiety makes any little nervy feeling spiral out of control for me! The anxiety and fear that everything i went through three years ago happening all over again makes it worse! I just hope there is someone here that can help me out! Thanks
  19. 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.
  20. reask

    reask

    High BP caused by abruptly stopping Effexor and also getting worse while tapering
  21. Hello, Thank you so much for this site. It is really a lifesaver. I am trying to taper off of Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) after 17 years of use. In the past I unsuccessfully tried to get off of Effexor XR. My doctor attempted to taper me off in only one month. The withdrawal symptoms were so horrible that I went I back on the drug and the symptoms immediately stopped. I finally got up the courage to try to taper again. This time I tapered 4 times as slow as before, but clearly not slow enough. I was desperate to find relief from the severe anxiety attacks and insomnia side effect that I got when my Effexor was increased above 150 mg. The anxiety and insomnia immediately improved after each reduction. However, I still experience some anxiety attacks from the drug withdrawal. I am currently holding steady at 112.5 mg. of Effexor XR. I tapered from 187.5 mg. Effexor XR plus 10 mg. Viibryd, 300 Gabapentin and 25 mg. Amitriptyline (Elavil) down to 112.5 mg. Effexor XR. over the course of approximately 7 months. Gabapentin and Elavil were relatively easy for me to get off of. Probably because I was only on them for a year or two. The withdrawal only lasted 1 week after each dose reduction. The antidepressants however, were a different story. They have been hell to get of! Especially the Effexor. I reduced the antidepressant every 3 to 5 weeks by reducing by the lowest dosage pill. In June I had Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This treatment helped me immensely. In fact I believe that it saved me. Before the treatment my depression was severe. The TMS decreased it to mild. It also helped with the anxiety a lot. It also helped some with sleep, fatigue and sexual dysfunction. If it was not for the drug withdrawal I really think that the depression would be in remission. I am happy that I am making forward progress, but I am frustrated that I continue to suffer withdrawal symptoms and it has been 6 months since I last reduced the Effexor. I am positive that I have PAWS. I am not sure but I suspect that I may have Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. The withdrawal symptoms are no longer severe like they were but they are still significant. I read your post on up-dosing and reinstating. Thank you! for the advice! I would have not known better and tried to up dose way too much had I not read this. Based on the recommendation I decided to be cautious and up-dose at the lowest dose possible (1 beadlet or 0.4 mg.) It has been 1 week since up-dosing. The first night that I up-dosed I noticed that my heart raced when I drank a glass of wine and I had insomnia. I don't really know if these things had anything to do with the up-dose or if it was an effect from the alcohol. Other then this I did not notice any difference at all until today. Today I had more intense head zaps. It might be too soon to jump to any conclusions just yet. I am thinking at holding steady for 1 more week and then assessing. What do you think? Also, how would you recommend storing the beadlets? Do you think they need to be kept out of light? P.S. I hope my signature is not too confusing. Did I put it in the right place? I am very glad that I found this site and I hope that I can help others as well. Signature: 2002-2005- Effexor XR. 150 mg. 2006- (Jan.- June) increased to 225 mg. Effexor XR, July 2006? decreased to 150 mg. 2007- 2018- Effexor XR.- 150 mg. 2018- increased to 225 mg. Effexor XR, added Gabapentin 900 mg., added Amitriptyline (Elavil25 mg. 2018- (Sept.) Decreased Effexor XR to 187.5mg, added Zoloft 10 mg., (Nov.) tapered off Elavil, (Dec.) tapered off Gabapentin 2019- (Jan.) switched Zoloft to 10 mg. Viibryd., (Feb.) decreased Effexor to 150 mg., (March) tapered off Viibryd, (April) switched 37.5 mg. Effexor to 10 mg. Prozac then tapered off of Prozac.
  22. Tomorrow morning I’m starting the dreadful journey of withdrawing from Effexor. Currently taking 300mg mane. I’ve been taking for >10 years, so I’m expecting the worst. My GP is very much onside, thank goodness. Over the last 4 years, I’ve taken myself off quetiapine, nitrazepam, regular lorazepam (up to 8mg per day), dihydrocodeine and tapentadol (opiate). I’m still taking OxyContin and Pregabalin. I suppose I’ll have to get off them sometime.
  23. Dear members of surviving antidepressants, It’s been now more than 2 years since I haven’t consulted this site. I wanted to write in order to show my gratitude to people who manage this site – it has been of tremendous help for me to understand what was going on – and to maybe, help some people to see the light through that process. Even if I’m still on withdrawal, I now consider myself as healthy and well. I’m 42 years old. I started Effexor withdrawal 6 years ago. I had then been taking it for 7 years, at a dosage of 150 mg a day, for generalized anxiety disorder, with dosage variations during my two pregnancies. When I decided to withdraw, many things in my life weren’t going right, but I was only partly aware of it. I was looking for meaning, and to find back a connexion with myself that had been lost. So I started to withdraw every 3 months, from 112,5 mg, by steps of 37,5 mg. I thought that it would be a slow and secure withdrawal At 75 mg, I had electric shocks in my neck and brain but thought it would pass. I kept on lowering the dose but even if I did it more slowly I had to bow to the evidence that I was unable to function without the medication so I reintroduced it at 37,5 mg. I had then all the symptoms of withdrawal which are well documented on this site. I stopped working because of all the symptoms. Two years after it had all begun, while discussing with a friend, she told me the symptoms I had looked like ME/CFS. I then looked at the symptoms and realized I had effectively them all. I had at that time seen three doctors and none of them had thought about that diagnosis. It took me quite a while to make the link between all those symptoms and the medication withdrawal because – being a health professional – I had learned that SSRI’s didn’t give withdrawal symptoms longer than a few days, and the symptoms were delayed a lot from the decreasing of the doses. When I knew Surviving Antidepressant, it helped me understand that all those symptoms could be caused by the withdrawal, and that I wasn’t alone. I started to use the 10% method and do long pauses. But I was still in a very bad shape, having difficulties, even if not working, to take care of my kids and to do household tasks. Brain fog, irritability and fatigue were the mainstay of my days. I was constantly trying to find new ways to improve my condition : diet, meditation, pacing, supplements, psychotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, …. And a lot of money… Some of them improved, other worsened my condition. Four years after the beginning of the withdrawal, in a moment of profound discouragement, I felt on the online program ANS rewire from Dan Neuffer. This is a program for which I have tons of gratitude. It literally helped me to regain my life, and more. The program, designed to help people with ME/CFS, fibromyalgia and POTS has all its relevance with antidepressant withdrawal as this often causes one of the syndromes above, and harms and dysregulates the autonomic nervous system. This program definitely helped me to put in place everything I needed to heal. I was very ill when I began the program and the way it is structured, watching one video a day, from your home, was very helpful. It found the program to be very supportive, so well intentioned and motivating. It makes you work on different aspects of the healing process at the same time, which has an incredible positive effect. I can now work again, exercise, share moments of joy with my kids and raise them, being connected with the ones I love, and continue to grow as a person, while still withdrawing the antidepressant. I am now taking 1,6 mg a day and I’ll probably be able to end the drug in 6 to 12 months – but this has absolutely no importance. I realized that if I wanted to withdraw my antidepressant – which made me really sick - I didn’t have just to withdraw slowly and wait but to actively take part in the healing process. I was actually already trying to do so, but in an inappropriate manner. The program helped me identify the missing pieces of the puzzle. Putting it all together, with the steps that I had already done, gave wonderful results. With hard work and patience, of course. I’m sure I wouldn’t be where I am now without the program. This program aims at identifying and working on the ANS triggers and on all the root causes of the symptoms. Of course, the withdrawal of antidepressant is an ANS trigger, among others. So please, don’t be in a hurry with the withdrawal. Stop if you need to. Time to achieve it has no importance. Use the energy you have to work on your life, positively and in a structured manner. With time and patience, you’ll get stronger. With all I’ve learned on this journey – with this program, daily meditation, ACT, making place for spirituality, self-compassion – I’m getting stronger and the generalized anxiety disorder weaker. Now I have energy to dive deeper, and to jump higher. For me, thinking that I’d be happier when the withdrawal will be over was a mistake. Life is now, and this is part of your journey. There’s no problem with increasing the dosage if needed, to pause, or to decrease very very slowly. I sincerely wish the best recovering and full life living to all.
  24. I'm new here, but have been following this forum off and on for over a decade. I think I'm finally stable enough to try tapering off my current meds. I've been on some form of ssri for about 25 years. I've been working with a naturopath for about 5 years to address some other health concerns that have really been supportive to my healing. I'm entrenched in a wellness program that is also very supportive. I tried earlier this year to taper off with help of a dr and thought it would work (silly me). His suggestions for tapering were far too large and quick. I've read a lot of what has been written here and have prepared myself to go much much slower and realize it could take years. For this next attempt, the dr proposed a prozac bridge and I went along with it, as I've done something similar before and it worked pretty well. (Again, silly me). Prozac makes me very very tired and I do not want to continue it, plus I don't think I need it for the taper, given what I've read here. I'm in the process of tapering off the Prozac and went from 20mg to 10mg with no problem whatsoever. However, my jump from 10mg to 5mg was quite disasterous. I now realize I must go much much slower going forward. I'm at 10mg Prozac now and will start going down on that next week. I will eventually attempt tapering off my 75mg effexor, but that will be after prozac taper. I'm trying to get everything in place for this. I've printed out symptom logs to keep track of everything daily and will look into the jeweler's scale for my effexor. Here I go! 🙂
  25. JulianaMoon

    JulianaMoon

    Hi! I've been diagnosed with major depression recurrant, PTSD, severe anxiety, bi polar, borderline personality syndrome and agorophobia over the 24 years I have been seeing psychiatrists and therapists after a 2nd violent sexual assualt. I still have no idea what my proper diagnosis should be, but I think major depression, PTSD, and severe anxiety would be my personal diagnosis. I was doing great on Paxil 30 mg and Ativan 2mg for many years. Than we relocated to a different state. I was put on Effexor XR 300 mg in addition to the others. I seemed to get better and was just cruising along. We moved to TN and I was doing OK. Somehow I ended up on 150 mg of Effexor. I don't remember if the Dr dropped the dosage or I did. When I was diagnosed with hyperhomocysteinemia in 2011 after a lifetime of being tired all the time, I was told to take B12, b6 and folic acid. Nothing changed. My psychiatrist put me on Nuvigil 150 mg, than 250 mg and what a difference. I remodeled my whole house myself with YouTube as my teacher. When I turned 50, everything changed and I started gaining weight and started getting very tired again. I had not changed a thing. I weaned off Paxil. No difference. Than I got high blood pressure and was put on Lisinopril 40 mg 2x a day. And Atorvastatin. Than I found out I had GERD and Barretts Esophagus and was put on Prilosec 40 mg. Than the pounds really started packing on. The more weight I gained, the worse my depression and fatigue got. Now, I am 100 pounds overweight, and never leave the house. I decided to get off of Effexor because I felt it wasn't helping, but actually making me worse. My Dr increased my dosage from 150 mg of Effexor XR to 225 mg Effexor. I got worse. So, I decided it is time to wean myself off of the Effexor and than try and get off the Prilosec. Work on my weight and try to be free of blood pressure meds. I am high stroke risk, and I think the Prilosec is adding weight to me. Anyways. I have already gone from 225 mg of Effexor to 100mg over the course of 2-3 months. The 1st 50 mg drop was bc my Dr kept forgetting to prescribe it, and the nurse insisted I was never on that dose. My pharmacist proved them wrong, but they still quit prescribing it. I felt better after 2 months, so I have actually been weaning myself off 175 mg for 2-3 months. The first drop was 17.5 mg for 5 weeks. Than 17.5 again for 4 weeks. I added 5 mg of Paxil to help with withdrawals when I dropped the 1st 17.5 mg. So I was on 137.5 mg and than I dropped another 17.5 mg for 3 weeks. Than I increased my dosage on Paxil to 10 mg and dropped the last 17.5 mg thru one week. When I dropped doses, I did every other day for a week, every 2 days for a week, than the drop to the new dose for 2-3 weeks. That last drop was 17.5 mg every other day, than the new dose, while I went up to 10 mg Paxil. It has been awful. I take 100 mg of Effexor at 10 am and 10 mg of Paxil at 6 pm. Around 9-10 pm I started crying, getting angry, crying and feeling so much despair about the death of my mother in Nov.I start making plans to auction the house off and move home. I obsess over finding a home in MI. I feel trapped in TN. I am literally having a major panic attack. It goes from mild to extreme over the course of 4-5 days. So once a week I add a 17.5 mg of Effexor, than I'm OK. So I am wondering if these are withdrawal symptoms from Effexor? Or is it because I increased the Paxil to 10 mg? Is it because the last drop was too quick? And I'm not sure what to do. I was thinking of cutting back to 5 mg of Paxil over a few weeks bc I flip out a few hours after taking it. But maybe I should increase the Effexor 17.5 mg to 2 times a week at night, than start weaning down from that. So that is why I am here. To finish the detox with others, and find out what helps during the bad withrawal days.
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