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  1. Hello, my name is Danielle. I am new to this site, but have been reading it for quite some time now. My parents put me on effexor xr when I was 6 years old for severe anxiety and childhood phobias. It worked great for years. I had very little side effects and life was hunky dory. I am now 24 years old and the medication is no longer working. I stupidly tried to come off of the Effexor over the coarse of 3 months under directions from my psychiatrist. Obviously, I crashed and I have been desperately trying to get my life back for the last 10 months. During those months, I was under the impression that I was ‘very ill’ and a ‘special case’ based on the severity of my symptoms, but now I am realizing what has happened to me is not my original illness resurfacing, but the effects of the discontinuation of the medication. I’m an RN and have been out of work for the last 6 months. I have read stories on here of people eventually recovering from ssri and snri withdrawl, but was wondering if anyone has any experience or knows of anyone who was prescribed one of these drugs as a child. Is there hope for me or will I have to live with the consequences of my parents decision for the rest of my life? Will these dehabilitating symptoms ever go away or are my receptors f***ed for life?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hello all. I've been shadowing this forum for a while, and I'd like to begin by thanking everyone involved (Altostrata in particular) for providing such a caring environment for all the battered brains out there. A lot of my questions have been answered already by virtue of all the great information here. Still, one feels a particular solace in telling their own story, and I'd like to do just that. I am twenty four, and I have been more or less continuously medicated since I was sixteen. I was a troubled and difficult teenager, and a drug addled and dysfunctional brain seems to be my reward. I've been prescribed various stimulants, but (thank god) I've mostly neglected them over the years. I've run the gamut of anti-depressants from prozac, to lexapro, and then onto Effexor. I don't really remember having any issues with the prozac and lexapro, except the sort of general malaise one experiences on those drugs. Effexor has been a different story. I've been on it now for about four years. A year ago I noticed a strange sort of free-floating despair from time to time, the sort of thing I'd struggled with years earlier in high school. But unlike before it's appearance was alarming and irregular, and it seemed somehow “unnatural”. It was clear something was changing, either my brain chemistry or the effect of the drug, or both. Whatever the cause, it didn't seem to have much to do with circumstance. A few months later I decided to come off the drug. I went down over a period of two months. The effects were highly unpleasant but not unbearable, the strongest symptom being fatigue. I was completely off the drug for about three weeks. The effects during those three weeks were slightly different than they had been while still weening. Along with the fatigue came a deep underlying anxiety, and a sort of anxious hopelessness that would wash over me a few times a day. I decided after three weeks that I couldn't deal with the withdrawal symptoms anymore, especially since they hadn't show any signs of abating. I went up to 75 mgs, and was able to remain there for one to two months. The worst was over, though I still suffered from fatigue (I would often have to take a nap in the late afternoon) and began to have cravings for alcohol for the first time in my life. I imagine that my cravings were somehow compensatory, and I've heard of other people experiencing them while on or withdrawing from these types of medications. Eventually I went back up to 150 mgs of the Effexor, and after feeling a little drugged for a few days I returned to my normal self. It took a few more months to work up the courage to try to taper off again. This time I was prescribed 40 mgs of Prozac to “soften” the effects of the withdrawal. I slowed my descent a bit and two months passed before I reached 75 mgs. The symptoms were bothersome but tolerable throughout, and I managed to maintain a diet and mild exercise routine. Great changes were beginning to occur in my life around this time. I'd rather not go into lots of detail, but I'll just say that I managed to address certain things that had haunted me for many years. As these inner tensions began to dissolve the world suddenly seemed alive and brimming with meaning. Colors appeared more vivid, and everything seemed to be suffused with a kind of mystery. This period is somewhat hazy, but I think I must have been convinced by this shift that I would be able to quickly withdraw from my drugs, so strong was my sense of well-being. I took only a month to come off the last 75 mgs, and because of some mistakes while measuring my doses, my taper was somewhat erratic. This period was pretty horrendous. The effects of these drugs come so close to your basic 'poles of being' that it's really hard to describe them in any kind of reliable way. But there was a certain manic and anxious character to this period that had been mostly absent from the previous withdrawal. Some of these new symptoms came in waves, while others were more or less constant. Twice I got into very intense arguments with my father over dinner, both of which ended with me sobbing and hyperventilating (which is quite unusual for me). Sometime before the arguments I had felt a kind of mounting irreversible tension, one that quickly transformed into aggression. There was something strangely primitive and hyper masculine about it, like my mind and body were preparing to fight off an enemy or predator. Deeply strange stuff, I've never experienced anything like it. Once off the meds I only lasted a week before deciding to go back on the Effexor. Here I made another error. I was so panicked and anxious to get rid of my symptoms that I went back up very quickly. 10 mgs for a few days, 35 mgs for two days, 75 mgs for three days, and then back up to the full 150 mgs. Somehow it didn't occur to me at the time that I might have been rushing things. The first day back on the 150 mgs was wonderful. That earlier sense of joy and clarity returned, colors had that dark and enhanced quality again. I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude. But, to my horror, the “manic” type symptoms returned the next day. They returned, and then they seemed to get worse. Two to three times a day I'd have those indescribable surges of raw feeling, and a pervasive tense/drugged sensation returned as well. Fearing that I'd gone up too fast I quickly went down to 75 mgs, which seemed to help for a bit. But the surges and the tension remained. It's been about a week and a half since I've made this last switch, and the symptoms continue. I've read on this site that it can take three to six weeks to stabilize at a given dose, so it seems like I still have some time before I can expect any kind of peace. What's complicated this whole thing is this new way of seeing that's opened up to me. Not only do I have the fear that I'll never be “normal” again, but also a fear that this recent revelation will be torn from me. In short, I feel like I have more to lose now than I did before, that returning to “normal” would be just agonizing as not recovering at all. Still, I have the sense that the transformation I experienced is real and is a lasting one, and that it's just been obscured by the effects of the withdrawal. Plus “it” hasn't disappeared entirely, and at least once a day I'll feel that sense of peace, well-being and heightened interest in things seep through. Still, it's strange how little comfort those moments provide when the hell starts. I apologized if this was overly long or indulgent in any way. I have a few questions for you guys. Firstly, does any of this sound familiar? Am I within the range of what's considered “normal” for this kind of thing? (I think I am but it never hurts to be reassured) Should these new “manic” symptoms disappear eventually? It sounds like they're the sort of nervous system issues that Altostrata describes in his/her theory, though I don't remember all the details at the moment. My greatest fear is that I somehow won't be able to stabilize at this dose, and that I therefore will never reach a comfortable place from which I can withdraw again. Also, does anyone have any idea why my second withdrawal attempt was so different from the first? The addition of the prozac maybe? It goes without saying that my next withdrawal will be much slower. I don't have any more illusions as far as that goes. Also, I should mention that I'm no longer on the prozac. Thanks in advance for all comments! Wonderful place you've got here.
  5. Hi, this is long, but I enjoyed writing it. As a boy I was quiet and sensitive, never asked for much, never got much. I lived in constant dread, not so much from family violence but from the world around me, I struggled to cope, I wasn’t shown any compassion or given the tools to help, just a bang on the ear and told to shut up, so at 7yrs old I switched off, totally switched off and observed the world around me. I systematically created an alter ego. An amazing set of personality traits that got me through the days, weeks & years. The mental shaping that took place was phenomenal, I created such a diverse set of illogically triggers and personality traits that it was easier to carry on acting than attempt to unwind the neural paths and begin building a new life I could tell you how a quiet, sensitive boy, grew into a drunk, violent tyrant with suicidal tendencies, but that’s not what this is about. We’re here because I found a way out… I had been in a deep depression since childhood, I was 53 when I went to the doctor for help with my alcohol abuse, and he was ok, told me that the signs were there… I was suffering from a deep depression, but I had normalised it to get through and drank to hide from my emotions, he said that it is not unusual for people to go through life without seeking help. I came away with an optimistic wow! Was that all there was to it, a 6-month script for Effexor XR 150 mg and a new beginning. April 2018 - Three dumbed down, libido-less years later… Quite by accident, I rediscovered something, something I had totally forgotten about. As a 7-year-old, I discovered that if I placed my hands flat on a table top, closed my eyes, and relaxed. Soon my fingers and palms would begin to flow along with my breathing, but interestingly the table would undulate (not physically) in tune with my body. This was a child’s subtle way of getting away from the turmoil, but in reality, it dawned that it was my first go at meditating, but it took over 46 years to recognise. As I sat there that day five months ago, something clicked this was a way out a simple yet effective way. Sitting there without using thoughts or mental images, there is no way to even recognise that my hands were touching some other separate thing called a table. Without the thoughts, hard, smooth, or pressure appearing, there is no way to even describe what I was feeling or know what they are just raw senses that carry no conceptual information. The table does not whisper that it is hard or smooth or your hands do not whisper sensations are appearing. All of these are just thoughts. Without these thoughts, there is only life itself, without separation between the hands doing the touching and the table being touched. In fact, without thoughts or mental images, there is no way to know that I exist as something separate and apart from this world. Oh my, what a revelation, I consulted my wife, yes I am married, with children and hold down a successful career, but I had no life balance, I am either working flat out, comatose through alcohol or a wild party animal. The happy, sad clown, with a nasty alter ego. She shrugged, and who could blame her. The very next morning I got up a 5:30am and meditated, it was a delight. That day five months ago I gave up alcohol for good. After two or three weeks of misery, I really found that I could stop drinking, why because it was my choice and nobody else’s. But… I was on the clichéd health and wellness train, and for a month or two was happy, I was still taking the “wonderful” Effexor XR, but I had my second epiphany, I realised I was substituting my new found wellbeing lifestyle for the partying and alcoholic lifestyle, I was still a junkie. I had begun this new journey, how I had taught myself all those years ago to build a façade, an alter ego that I wanted people to see, I was still that fearful child acting like an adult. I had read that I needed to make my mind still, to overcome the destructive thoughts, but believe me it won’t be still. I realised this is not meditation, it is an idea or desire to be calm, my mind was disturbed enough, and there I was making it worse by wanting to make it calm. It’s just like depression. The more we desire to calm the more disturbed the mind becomes, until we just give up. We end up fighting with our minds all the time. Oh my, this was the depression, the falsehood of curing the depression with alcohol and drugs. I dropped the yoga classes and meditation retreats. I still got up every morning at 5:30am did some basic stretching, and just sat on the floor and meditated not any fancy whizz bang modern stuff a very simple practice I simply asked my thoughts WTF. As usual, we (the mind-voice and I) started fighting because the mind-voice believed I was trying to calm him down, right away in the first minute he would come to bother me. As soon as I breathed in, mind-voice would wander off looking for a subject I had taught him, drinking, fighting, good times, bad times, and self-pity. For decades his job was done, I would take the bait. I would dwell on them entertain them. But sitting quietly I identified the problem, it’s right there, from the very wanting of these thoughts to entertain me, I saw my mind-voice is simply behaving according to its conditioning, it’s naturally throwing suggestions at me like fishing hooks, and if I take the bait, off I would go. I simply stopped taking the bait. The mind-voice was google, it didn’t know any better, simply suggesting all kinds of things. I smiled at the suggestions but didn’t bite, the mind would tempt me with something else that worked before, I would smile, on and on we’d go. We blame our mind-voice but there is no obsession with the mind-voice it chatters and plays around like a child. It’s not harmful unless we take the bait and get obsessed with it's suggestions. That’s was the real cause of my troubles. That Buddha bloke taught to look within. “Look within, don’t look outwards.” This is all it takes, a simple understanding. When I sat, I just sat, not looking for the truth, I became aware of the thoughts that destroyed me, but stopped entertaining them, the mind-voice became stronger wanting to know what he had done to offend me, hadn’t he guided me, fabricating a false world so that I could navigate life with ease. I didn’t ignore him I just stopped playing along, this caused insight to pop-up, the mind-voice was changing his tactic, he began showing during the quiet spaces the workings of the mind, the language of the brain and the ways and means of thoughts themselves, there’s nothing special about any of them. They appear, hang about for a while, tempting me with suggestions, and then just disappear. I began to see more clearly, if I held fast to things, imaginary or real, I will suffer. This is how depression, alcohol and drug abuse begin. I saw that body and mind are merely the way they are. Now I don’t recommend this, but with Effexor XR, after 3 years I went cold turkey. Straight for the jugular, cut that bastard drug right off in his prime. Suffer, I sure did, head full of sand, flashes of electricity, night terrors, (if that’s lucid dreaming you can keep it). Sweating, anxiety, anger and sadness. Coming off this drug was worse than giving up a 40-year alcohol addiction. I went on a normal healthy diet, did some gentle exercise, ignored the tantrums going on with my old mate, mind-voice. For the first two weeks, I did take 5mg of Melatonin, an hour before bed. Stopped watching depressing news stories and violent movies and dramas, I deleted all social media, told friends and family if they wanted to talk, they knew where I was. I read for pleasure, listen to music safely, music used to be a drinking binge trigger, an aid to deepen depression. Now it’s a pure joy, sure memories come up, I smile at the recognition and let it pass. I switched my life around the hard way. By unleashing a talent that we all possess. You can’t buy it in any store or online. In actual fact, it’s free, and we use this talent every waking minute, of every single day. If you can discover something simple like I did, maybe you can turn this amazing power into one of the most powerful recovery tools! The very same tool that has created your sadness and this disturbed world we live in, is the very same tool that allows us to exist. The mind. Our one and only advisor... Give it enough scenarios and mind-voice will create the world you want. Mine was at the bottom of a glass. I simply asked my thoughts WTF. I am clean, sober and anti-depressant free. I think freely and openly, with no stress on the negatives that mind-voice likes to trick me with. Ah! that mind-voice, he is quieter and seems more at peace than before. I smile at him, he smiles at me. Mind-Voice has never said why he liked me drinking or in depression, he just smiles and nods, as each day passes we are both better for it because you see, he was me. Not for everyone, but that my story. XX
  6. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  7. 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.
  8. Hello everyone! I am 26 years old. I tapered off 150 mg XR a little to quickly. I was on it for about two years. I was off completely for about a month. But the anxiety kept getting worse. The pressure in the top of my chest and bottom of throat. It's hard to describe. Also it was hard for me to speak. I was extremely irritable and edgy! I felt dead and wanted to die. The withdrawal just made me feel this way. I took 25 mg IR yesterday. This morning I took 25 mg. This afternoon i will take the second dose of 25. How long do you guise separate your doses of IR? I am also going to do the 10% deduction of the current amount. I am doing the math, this is going to take a very long time! But that's ok, my fault for taking it. When i get this low is it best to make it into liquid form? I watched the video and I understand. in 4 weeks my next dose will be 22.5 mg.
  9. I've been on the Ven for 7 years, along with wellbutrin and trazadone, diagnosed with GAD and major depressive disorder. I'm 99% positive the doctor, based off what she said at the appts, didnt know what she was doing and in just pulling out an encyclopedia picked out a med (Ven) and put me on a major dose that wasn't needed. I think I had some PSTD and after years of being in a fog mentally and checked out, decided it was time to kick it. Out of the 3 ven's I took daily, I dropped down to one pill a day while in Mexico, I handled it pretty well after trying to ween down without success previously. Maybe it was the awesome trip I was on, maybe it was sweating it out the whole time, I have no idea, but I only felt a little dizzy for that week and I was good. A few months later (actually 4 days ago) I went off the last pill cold turkey and have never been so emotional in my life. I'm starving even after eating to the bursting point, I've gone from a size 6 from my Mx vacation to a 12 and am losing it. I definitely got the withdrawl syndrome bad right now, myalgia, blurred vision, flu like symptoms, irritability, tingling sensations, vivid dreams, sweating, you name it. Please tell me someone that it is going to dissipate soon. Will my hunger even out? I cant go back on meds but I cant gain anymore weight.
  10. I need some advice. I was on cymbalta for 7 years and very functioning on it. I was reduced from 120 to 60 mg from my doctor and slowly started to mentally decline. Physically too, not able to eat. My doctor thought I was just depressed, which I know now I was in withdrawal from a dosage reduction. He tapered me off in 2 weeks and placed me on lithium and abilify. I hated being so sedated and shouldn’t have been switched to anything at the time, I know now. I was then taken off those in 2 weeks and placed on Zoloft. That had my heart racing so fast I couldn’t take it. I was on that for 5 weeks and felt like I was dying. Tapered off in 1 week. Now I have been on Effexor for 10 weeks. I know now that my brain has been kindled. It’s in no shape of getting any good effects from any medicine because none of them help, especially if I am in Protracted withdrawals all along from reducing the cymbalta dosage. I hate the Effexor. It has no positives and I know I cannot slowly taper until my brain starts to stabilize. I just have been on Effexor for 10 weeks, in Protracted withdrawal, and don’t know how my brain will stabilize while still on Effexor. I know this is going to require a lot of time to heal. I just wish I could slowly taper Effexor and then I would feel as if I am healing. I know now that I should not have allowed myself to take another antidepressant after cymbalta. I should have re-instated the 120 and slowly weaned off. Too late. Now i I feel like I have brain damage and cannot find any joy in life at all. I’m scared because I am barely functioning and I will never allow my doctor to give me another medicine. Which he is trying to. Please help!
  11. Wow! First of all I would like to say how relieved I was to have found this forum. For the years I've been struggling with this I have gotten so tired of other people (including doctors and therapists!) telling me that what I've experienced isn't possible and that I'm either making it all up or still sick. Everything started in my junior year of college. I had struggled with varying levels of depression and anxiety for most of my life, even resorting to SI when I was younger, but had finally hit a point where I thought that I needed some professional help. Looking back, I'm sure that the sudden drop was situational as much as anything. Most of my friends had moved away or graduated, my family was going through some money trouble, and I was working more hours to be able to be more self-sufficient. I started to become more withdrawn and my academics started to drop. I was an A and B student so this was very stressful to me. Thinking I was being proactive and doing the right thing, I went to my school's counseling center who then referred me to the campus clinic. The psychiatric nurse practitioner prescribed Prozac (20mg). About two weeks later I was hit with the worse anxiety I had ever had. I barely left my house unless I had to for class or work, would start shaking at random times, and had near constant chest pain. I tried to wait it out but eventually gave up and went back. She switched me to lexapro(20mg). This seemed to do the trick so I stayed on it though the end of the semester and over the summer. Unfortunately, when I started back up at school I started to struggle again. I'd tried to make positive changes in my life: made some new friends, got in contact with old ones, and started trying to date. Then, as it happens all too often in college, the guy I was seeing got me drunk and took advantage. This led to me having a bit of a breakdown and my friends urged me to go to the hospital. While there they switched me to zoloft(50mg), remeron(15mg), and lorazapam(2mg as needed). This is where things start to get really wonky. At first I thought it was helping but about a month after I got out of the hospital I started having these intense intrusive self-harm thoughts. Violent and strong enough to scare me. I had a medication review and those three were dropped and I was put on WellbutrinXL(150mg). Again things were better for a little while but about a month later started to go south. The intrusive thoughts were back and I had started to feel very unlike myself. Impulsive and disconnected. I later learned that this was probably a kind of dissociation. One night all of the stress and darkness got to me and I impulsively decided to chase the rest of my pills with half a bottle of vodka. It was strange because I wasn't trying to kill myself, the mindset was more: "I wonder what this will do. It can't be worse that what I'm already feeling." It didn't feel real, like it was happening to someone else. That put me back in the hospital where I then dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. I had to be on a wait list but eventually I started seeing a new psychiatrist who decided to diagnose me with Bipolar based on the impulsiveness and out of character behavior I had while taking Wellbutrin. She called it agitated depression or mixed mania. At the time I believed her. I was scared, desperate, and seriously doubting my sanity, and I felt like I couldn't trust myself. She started out by prescribing me Abilify(15mg) and Effexor (75mg). This was my second nightmare. A few days later I started having akathisia and had similar feelings of impulsiveness and feeling out of control. When I told my doctor she urged me to wait it out which led to me relapsing into SI for the first time in over 6 years to cope. That combination was obviously stopped and I had the most physical withdrawal symptoms that I had so far. I couldn't leave my bed for two days I was so nauseous and dizzy. I feel like I should point out at this point that I was on most of these medications for max of a few months and didn't taper at all. Cold turkey then right on to another. Next on the list was Latuda(40mg - 60mg). My insurance ended up not really covering that one so what I ended up on as my final medication was Lithium. This was a blessing in a way because it didn't really do anything, which turns out, is what I needed. At one point I was up to 1600mg a day to control my "symptoms" which I'm now convinced was almost entirely side effects mixed with withdrawal. That dose completely destroyed my short term memory. After finally stabilizing, I had gone back to school and this was making classwork almost impossible, so after much debating the dosage was stepped down to 800mg. Finally, in the summer of 2017, I took a summer job working at a research station in the forest. After a lot of solo time hiking in nature I had an epiphany. This was the best I had felt in years and that all of my serious problems started after I sought "help." When I got back to see my doctor I told her my plan to stop taking medication. She was extremely judgemental and basically told me I'd be back when I had a relapse and just told me to tapper off with the what I had left (about a weeks worth). I'm very happy to say that she was wrong. All I've done since then is get better. I still struggle with some depression and anxiety but if that is the trade off I will gladly live with that. After a year and a half of being free of psychiatric drugs I'm surprised at the difference. On medication I was dissociating, having panic attacks, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. I felt like a complete basket case. It's terrifying to me how easy it is to get stuck in a downward spiral like that. Not ONE of the doctors or therapists that I'd seen even considered that the medication could be what was causing me to get worse and worse. They just saw worsening "symptoms" that they had to "get ahead of" and I believed it too. Now, even that the worst is over, the experience still haunts me. I feel so guilty about the way that I behaved and I have no idea how much was my fault versus the medication. I know that it was a factor but I remember making the decisions to hurt myself and destroy my life and I'm not really sure how to live with that. I have nightmares where I'm back in the worst of it feeling like I'm slowly losing my mind and I have permanent scars from the SI. I saw a new primary care doctor recently and the first thing she tried to do was get me back on mood stabilizers after seeing "bipolar" on my chart. I don't know how to get that removed or if I even can. The only people who believe me are my friends and family who saw me go from a somewhat stressed young adult to nonfunctional almost overnight. I know that this hasn't ruined my life... but it certainly feels like it sometimes. I'm sorry that anyone else had to go through this hell but I'm so, so glad that I'm not alone in this. Even now I'm not sure that I'm completely recovered. I guess time will tell.
  12. 36year old man. Married, no kids. I've been on SSRIs for 15 years now. I've been tapering off them for 5 years. Effexor was what I took for depression, anxiety. From 2004-2014 I gradually took more and more until I got to a point where I couldn't be prescribed a higher dose (can't remember specific, will ask doctor). The plan was to get onto a different ssri, but I had to taper down to a lower dose before I could bridge with prozac. The withdrawal was awful and the more I learned about psychotropic drugs the more I wanted off completely. I have strong feelings of worthlessness and shame. I'm embarrassed to look anyone in the eye. I've exercised, meditated, changed my diet, take supplements, see a therapist, i've established a support network, cbt, affirmations, rigid self care program. Still hate myself. Still get suicidal thoughts. I want to try life with no antidepressants. Maybe that's it. I think it's actually the drugs that are keeping my depression from lifting. I hope. I've been aware of the forum for years and finally decided to post. I feel alone in this withdrawal from time to time. I haven't been to a support group in months. My phone never rings and I like it that way. I want to hide from everyone. I don't know anyone else quitting their meds. Feels like I'm losing my identity and I just don't care enough to build it back.
  13. I feel devastated still - nearly 8 years after a brutally swift taper from Effexor. I did not know better then. Apparently nor did the doctor. Seven years at 150 mg of Effexor - then down to zero in about five days. Obviously my story is a lot longer than this and all kinds of hellzone has happened between then and now ... involving another drug I was forced on for many months because of the protracted withdrawal. (which these doctors do not believe in as you know) And I have only just learned that what is included in what I have been suffering for a while now, has a name - vulvodynia. (then there is the burning sensation throughout various parts of the rest of my body). I am so scared because life is over if this is all there is now. Surely there is some kind of wonderful holistic herbal miracle remedy to take or something - a solution for CNS damage. I am drug-free now and want to stay that way and wish I always had been. Unbelievably for all of those years I didn’t really know what I was really taking - I never gave informed consent. If I had the knowledge then I would never have given consent at all. Meanwhile I need to heal or there is no life left.
  14. Hello everyone Am I the only one who is housebound by visual symtoms? My visual symtoms are so bad I cannot go outside anymore. I cannot determine depth, light, and everything looks disproportionate, much darker and distorted, too close or too far away. It's like my brain cannot process the input of my eyes and If I walk around outside for more than 5 minutes, all these visual symptoms gets much worse and by forcing myself to keep staying outside my other symtoms such as confusion and brain fog also gets much worse! No ophthalmologist has been able to find anything wrong and I am getting both extremely scared and really, really sick of this. Could this be something else than withdrawal? Some disease? I haven't been able to go or stay outside properly for several months now.. I am 9 months off Effexor..
  15. Hello, I have recently learned that my body is experiencing a toxicity of sorts from taking venlafaxine ER. I started taking the brand name, Effexor ER, back in 2002 at about 37.5 mg for panic attacks. I tried to come off of it after a few years and experienced extreme panic attacks and was told by my doctor that I might have to take it forever like a diabetic does insulin. I resigned myself to this. Throughout the years as my depression and anxiety increased, the doctor increased my doses and eventually I ended up at 300 mg in 2017. The doctor assured me that although that was the max dose, they could go up a little bit more if I needed. I was actually hospitalized in March 2018 for pneumonia but the reason they wanted to keep me at the hospital was because my heart rate was 160. The ER doctor said it is common for tachycardia when someone has pneumonia and so I was kept for observation. After I recovered fully, I was sent to a cardiologist. After all the testing imaginable, they could find no reason for my heart rate to be so high. They also reported that I now also had high blood pressure when I never had it before. Life at this time was hard, I could not sleep because my heart was pounding and I felt constantly buzzed. I also started suffering from constantly cold feet, so much so that I had to use a heating pad at night and put toe warmers in my shoes during the day. The cardiologist tested everything and had me wear a monitor, but gave me no answers. He actually mailed me a letter that said he could not find what was wrong but that he included a list of disorders that might explain my symptoms. I suspected the medication and took myself down from 300mg to 150 mg. I experienced a mild depression but nothing really noticeable when I did this. I started to search for a doctor that would do more than send me lists. I eventually found one early this year who listened as I described symptoms (tachycardia, high blood pressure, sweating, tiredness, extremely cold feet, low body temp, headache, eye pain, ringing in ears, restlessness, restless legs, memory loss) and then asked my medications. When I told him the drug name, he said he thought it was a terrible drug and that nobody should be on it. He said he believed all of my symptoms were related to a toxicity from this drug and we needed to get me off ASAP. He described my cold feet as being vasoconstriction from the drug. He believed the sweating and fatigue is from my heart rate. He put me on a medication to lower my blood pressure and heart rate and is keeping me on the 150 mg dose until I return from a trip overseas. When back, he plans to taper me very slowly although I cannot remember the taper he mentioned. At this point I feel angry that I ever listened to the doctor who said I need to be on it forever. Fernweh Venlafaxine ER 300mg straight down to 150mg Metoprolol
  16. hello i was on prozac for 6.5 years with addition of effexor, welbutrin and geodon for breif times. i am 2.5 years off and still in withdrawal. i was prescribed the meds for physical illness after getting epstein bar virus. the prozac, effexor and welbutrin were used for stimulant effects. the geodon was used to combat the side effects of the other meds.( like taking a downer to take edge oof of the uppers).i did not have mental illness before this i now dont know how much of the way i feel is from epsten bar virus? or if i recovered from the virus? is what i am feeling from med withdrawals. the only thing i do know is i have extreme anxiety, insomnia and akathesia now and i NEVER had this problem before the meds. i just dont know how much of my flu like symptoms/ feeling like i have a hang over is from the med withdrawal? anyone with expierence please let me know? i also get a lot of joint cracking and popping sounds. anyone else get this? does anyone feel flu like symptoms get worse after exercise. thanks for any info
  17. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread: Alejandro34: Clonazepam vision damage ? Is reinstatement still an option? I'm writing on behalf of my boyfriend who is going through a rough withdrawal symptoms. Hasn't been able to eat, sleep and he is unable to operate a computer right now. He has been off effexor for almost 5 months. Now he is is desperate and thinking about reinstating. His blood pressure has increased to normal high and sometimes high. He has very loud ringing in the ears. He can't eat or do any complex tasks. He sees distortions (things vent on his visual field), but his eyes are ok after confirming with his eye doctor. And he just seems to be getting worse. He has got much worse since the 3rd month off effexor. He took: Effexor XR of 150 mg for 4 years 2003 TO 2008 Bridge to Zoloft, took it from 2008 to 2011. Bridge to Prozac, from 2011 to 2012. Bridge to vibrid took it from 2012 to 2013. Then I was switched to effexor IR 200 mg from 2013 to 2016. Effexore XR 150 mg for 6 months and that's when he started to taper over a period of 11 months using his psychiatric method. Taking 150mg for 3 days then 130mg the next day, then repeat the 150mg dixe 2 days and 113 mg 3 days. Stay there for 2-3 weeks. And so on. We would like to know if reinstaiment is I still in the table and how likely it is to work for him. Thank you for any help and advice provided. Please pray for us.
  18. Hello all, My name is Chris, a 24 year old student currently living in the Netherlands. I started taking 37,5 mg of Efexor about 2,5 years ago, after being addicted to weed for about 5 years (I live in the Netherlands). I was suffering from heavy anxiety, making it impossible to function properly at school. The Efexor put me back on track and made me feel good again, up to the point where, about 4 months ago, i felt so good i did not think i needed the Efexor anymore. I discussed with my doctor about going off the medicine, after which he suggested that i first started taking efexor every other day. Right around the same time I started taking efexor every other day, me and my ex girlfriend were getting back together to give it another go. She said she supported me all the way on this, i felt good about it and after taking it every other day for about a month, i quit the efexor entirely. That's were it started to go wrong. due to the light withdrawal symptoms i was getting i was not able to give my (now ex girlfriend again) enough attention as i used to before (she really, really needs a lot of attention) and we had quite a couple of fights, resulting in her leaving me. But still, all in all, I felt like i could pull through and beat this thing on my own. Then, after about 2,5 months being entirely off the efexor I suddenly started feeling down again, did not have any will or energy at all to perform whatever tasks i needed to do.. the withdrawal symptoms had suddenly hit me with all its power. I went back to my doctor, and started taking methylphenidate to help me remain calm, as I also have been diagnosed with ADHD. This has helped a little, but i still don't feel anywhere near how i felt 6 months ago, when i was a social, fun guy with high confidence. Right now i'm having some relatively good days where i just get through my day without feeling large amounts of anxiety, but thats about it. My breathing is almost always way too heavy (im diagnosed with chronic hyperventilation) since quitting the antidepressants, i have bags under my eyes on a daily basis and sometimes i have chest pains. I dont even exactly know why i came here, or what my goal is by posting this, but it would just be nice to talk to people that understand what i'm going through right now. I sometimes think about just going back to the Efexor and start living the good life again, but wouldn't that be the easy way out?
  19. Hi everyone! So I was on 75mg 1x non-extended for 14 years. I got sick in May with diverticulitis (blame the Effexor for GI issues) and Went off my med because I couldn’t keep it down...I know😔 So fast forward to the past 10 months it’s been hell. I was doing okay (ish) up until September when the panic attacks started (never had those before.) After exhausting all hormone and blood work I decided I had to go back on something. I was a successful business owner. I’ve tried many drugs and they all give me Wired energy within the first 2 days. I was hospitalized in October because pristiq Wired me so much. I have been through so much. I have tried TMS also gives me crazy anxiety. I’ve seen functional doctors, have done genetic test to see what’s wrong with my genes. I had to go back to psychiatrist yesterday because something is wrong. Did Effexor ruin me? Any guidance? I just need my life back. Has anyone had this kind of reaction being off of it? Am I still detoxing?
  20. juelli

    juelli: intro

    Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Juelli: klonopin tapering Hi, I was prescribed antidepressants and klonopin in the 90’s during some stressful life situations. In 2005 I did an uninformed, unsuccessful taper of my AD and klonopin, then was reinstated on Klonopin & Effexor. In 2011, I started another taper, still uninformed, but slower. I toughed out increasing symptoms, eventually stopping Effexor at just under 10 mgs November 2017. During Nov-Dec 2017, except for brain zaps, dizziness, I felt really good, better than before I jumped. I was taking K, but infrequently. However, in January 2018 my symptoms began to slowly increase and intensify: SI, depression, anxiety, insomnia, anhedonia, social anxiety, weight-loss, anger, cog fog, etc. I was working a very physically demanding winter job, which distracted me for several hours a day so I managed the season. I still was taking K infrequently...like a rescue dose every 4-5 days, usually .5 mg or less. By mid-April 2018, I crashed and convinced I was losing my mind, I started searching for suicide support groups on-line. I found Benzobuddies and the Ashton Manual. However, at the time I never considered that my AD discontinuation was a factor because I'd felt so good when I discontinued. I thought I was only dealing with Benzo withdrawal and focused on that. With support from BBs, I stabilized on a daily dose of Klonopin (1.5mg) and on June 1, 2018 using a homemade liquid Klonopin solution, I began a symptoms based, daily liquid micro-taper. I am currently at just under .6 mg K and figure I have 1-2 years left to taper. At first had more waves than windows but I worked hard learning coping strategies. I was able to work my winter job. About 6 weeks ago I suddenly began to have less intense waves and have slowly been able to increase the taper rate. Even though the waves are less intense I must work extremely hard at distracting myself from the symptoms but anhedonia, SI, depression, feelings of doom and being overwhelmed are always lurking. It is exhausting and life is not enjoyable. I have a healthy lifestyle and a supportive therapist who is anti-psych meds. I should mention that my husband, while supportive, has significant health issues adding to my stress. So, this brings me to my questions… Is stopping the Effexor at just under 10 mg considered a CT? Are my sxs due to the Effexor jump or the Benzo taper or both...and does it even matter? If it is from the discontinuance of the Effexor what is the healing timeline? (I'm guessing every one is different but perhaps there is a general pattern?) Could it be that the less intense waves are due to healing from the Effexor discontinuation after 18 months? Is there anything I should be doing differently to help me heal from the AD discontinuation? As I said, I am more familiar with Benzo tapering/discontinuation than ADs. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this introduction. Composing is very difficult for me, so please let me know if I need to clarify something. I look forward to your insight. J
  21. Summersun

    Summersun: Advice

    Hi, new to this forum. Clonazapam 27 yrs, Effexor 22 yrs..weaned off April 9, 2019 ..Seroquel 5yrs, Gabapentin 5 yrs. supplements: magnesium, D3!, B100, plus CBD oil. Over the past 3 yrs I've been tappering above meds on a rotation..Clonazapam 3 mg 2015 ,May 2019 .50 morning- .75 evening. Seroquel 300mg 2015 ,May 2019 25mg... Gabapentin 2015 900 mg 300 x3 times a day..May 2019-200mg 100mg x2 times a day.. I have tried to taper off 25mg going down to 12.5 of seroquel 3 times ,but had to reinstate..That was before going off Effexor a month and a half ago..I've recently 4 days ago tried to cut Seroquel in half but found the taper to be to difficult...I thought I would be okay because of been off Effexor but maybe I should of held longer after going off Effexor..It was rough. I'm not sure what my next taper should be..?..Is it better to taper Gabapentin till off completely before Clonazepam? I'm really feeling quite worn out any encouragement or advice would be much appreciated..I've been doing this on my own for so long ,except for the Ashton manual, so I much appreciate finding this group..🙎‍♀️
  22. Hi everybody, I am in my mid 40s and I have had dysthymia and recurrent major depression episodes since I was 16. Needless to say that I have been on lots of antidepressants over the years for short and long periods. I have had also periods without medication. Now I am on venlafaxne (AKA effexor) 150mg/day. I think that I started taking it in 2014 but I can't remember for sure. Now I feel that after these years its benefits have decreased, it has pooped out basically and, what's worse, it has slowly, very slowly making worse my sex life. I din't realize at first but my libido has gone down and down and unfortunately it has made for me very difficult to get an orgasm. Further, I believe that has de-sensitized my penis, not completely but I am sure it has because I feel so much less when I touch myself or have sex. I hope that these problems are reversible but I have read of PSSD, so I am worried. I have just started tapering venlafaxine today, I am cutting the 150 mg tablet of 1/4, it's not a very precise thing unfortunately, the tablets are not made for being cut. Anyway I am thinking to stay on this dosage of about 112,5 mg for about 10 days before going on 75 mg for further ten days, then I would go on 37,5 for ten days and eventually I would stop. Is this schedule too ambitious? I need your advice please. Thanks for reading this
  23. Ok My name's Adam. I'm 48. I suffer with A&D. I was on 40mg Citalopram for about 8 years. My psychiatrist moved me on to Effexor about 10 weeks ago. The drug hasn't agreed with me, and I'm n the process of tapering off. I was initially on 75mg immediate release (sold tablet), and was taking one a day (people have said this should have been a split dose. Anyway, that's in the past. My tapering history is that I've been taking 3/4 of a tablet - about 58 mg for the last 4 weeks. I think my depression has worsened over last 2 weeks, BUT that may be attributable to life's circumstances.(divorce). My questions are: 1. Am I withdrawing from Effexor, or perhaps SSRI's in general? i.e. Is this really a Citalopram withdrawal considering I've only been on Effexor for a very short time. 2. How slowly should I taper off Effexor, and in what increments? 3. Do I need to split my dose and take twice a day? At present I'm taking the 58mg in one dose Answers to the above and any other advice appreciated. Thanks Adam
  24. magnesi

    Achilles tendon pain

    Hello, My Achilles tendon of the left leg hurts a lot (the one of the right leg only a little). I've been trying to avoid impact, warm up well before exercising and apply heat (cold worsens the situation), but the pain is getting worse. I can not even walk without limping! I'm almost reaching 50% of my initial dose of 150mg venlafaxine (Effexor) and somewhere around the 40% I started having muscle and joint pain. During my withdrawal from benzodiazepine last year, this type of pain was my main problem. At one point I became bedridden. Will it be the same with the antidepressant? I'm very scared! In particular, I don't know what to do in relation to my Achilles tendon pain. Should I see a doctor? I am sure he/she will prescribe a bunch of medication, muscle relaxants, etc. that I do not want and can not take, and perhaps some useless and time consuming physical therapy. Has anyone had this kind of problem? What did you do? Thank you for your ideas!
  25. Hi I am new to this forum. I have read through many posts and gained some very helpful info and it is comforting to know I am not alone. Looking some advice regarding my current AD regimen. I have OCD and depressive symptoms. Was started on Effexor XR by GP for mild low mood ( probably anxiety was more of the problem) after returning home from foreign charity work trip early due to homesickness in 2001. Had a number of years of anxiety and obsessive thinking (no psychology/counselling input) following severe depression in a close relative and then a long period of doing better. Anxiety and obsessive thinking on occasions throughout this period (looking back this was probably worse than I would care to admit to myself). Significant problem with anxiety; attended psychiatry and resulting (unsuccessful) change to citalopram and back to increased dose of Effexor XR 150mg. Further better period until 2012. Change in job circumstances requiring long hours shift work, long daily commute at same time as second child being born. Developed constant abdominal pain and subsequent reduced sleep, increased anxiety and lowering of mood over 2-3 years (but retained interest). Changed Effexor XR to sertraline equivalent dose by GP (to see if Effexor XR responsible for abdominal pain). Reduced work time and then had to stop working for a period due to pain (investigations all normal - likely IBS). Changed job (better hours) and had short period of relief from all symptoms. Further abdominal pain, recommencement of OCD symptoms. Developed increasing loss of interest, reduction in motivation and low energy. Return to psychiatry - nortriptylline added - no improvement. Medication changed or doses increased (see signature below) - no improvement. Weaned off Effexor XR over 5 weeks (during which I felt much better for about 3) and 2 weeks on nothing before commencing the MAOI Nardil. During those 2 weeks and first few of commencing nardil had brain zaps, nausea, dizziness, temperature dysregulation and severe OCD symptoms (worst I ever had). Nardil over a period of 3-4 months increased up to 120mg daily - intolerable side effects including insomnia, unable to pass urine or stool, dizziness, weight gain, panic attacks for first time. It was during this time I realised that it could be the medications that were not helping and potentially hindering my mental health. Recommenced Effexor XR at dose of 150mg. Have now been on effexor XR 150mg since Jan 2018. Symptoms since then have included increasing levels of: fatigue, brain fog (at times severe), low mood (I truly believe I was never severely depressed until I was on the high doses of ADs), loss of interest in everything, poor motivation and concentration, no libido. In the last 2 months I have had a couple of episodes of derealization, increasing levels of brain fog, nausea, headache, flu-like aches, dizziness on occasions, constipation, intermittent facial twitching around the eye, irritation (the slightest thing irritates me)/agitation. Now having crushing episodes during the day of what I would describe as severe fuzziness of the head where I feel like I lose focus mentally and visually, become more agitated, cannot seem to move my body without extreme effort and have racing thoughts (?depressive ruminations ? OCD). After reading many forum posts it seems I have gone from high doses of antidepressants to half that dose in a short period of time and that is far too fast. However I have now been on this dose for 5-6 months and wondering is it too late to re-increase the dose slightly to decrease more slowly? Also I have read that the 6 month period after reducing or going cold turkey the symptoms seem to get worse so is it better to ride it out longer at this dose hoping to stabilise and not lose the reduction I have made. Truly my days at the moment are largely unbearable and I feel very dysfunctional yet through years of pushing myself can manage to look after activities of daily living. But not sure exactly what would be best to do. I have tried to be concise here but it looks like a long post - apologies. This forum is great and thanks for all the great advice and encouragement. Wishing all who are here the best in their recovery. Salvo
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