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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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..
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. 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
  12. 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..🙎‍♀️
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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!
  16. 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
  17. New here, so will hope to fill in fuller history later. I am 71 and have had depression to varying degrees 1977 to date. Managed to work full time 1964-2001, though. 12 years on irregular shift pattern 1964-1977. Last month, went to new younger GP who arranged blood tests, (after I had given him my list of ill-health symptoms!) Blood, mostly OK, but indicated low folic acid, he said. I am on 5mg daily folic acid tab for last 5 weeks. I do feel better (carrying out lots of small projects in my retirement). Had so many ups and downs in last 40 years, though, that I think this may be a placebo effect. However, a more positive side of me thinks I may be on the way to breaking through the wall where "the drugs don't work anymore" at 225mg Venlafaxine slow release. I have been on Losec (Omeprazole 10mg) for decades, too. I read that it can spoil your absorption of certain vital items in the vitamin B family, at least? Thanks for reading, all.
  18. Hello SA members, I am new here. Before June 2017 I was taking Lexapro/60mg and Lithium/600mg, I stopped cold turkey, did well for 2 months but ended up going to the ER for insomnia, was sleeping less than 2 hrs. at night. I didn’t know anything about withdrawals weeks ago; the doctors don’t talk about it, they just want to put you on something. I spent 10 days in the Psych ward in Sept/2017, they started me on Remeron 15mg and Effexor 37.5/75/112.5/150mg, after I left the hospital my psychiatric increased to Remeron 45mg and Effexor ER 150mg. Since I started Effexor ER 150 noticed hyperactivity episodes, so the Dr. decreased to 112.5mg and I have been trying to stay on 75mg I want to start to taper them and when I stop my final doses I want to replace them with supplements and vitamins. It's been only a month since I started taking Remeron and Effexor. I am scared and confused of what to do and how to do it. Please help.
  19. 1968creative

    1968creative: Tapering advice needed

    I’ve been on many different A/D’s for over 20 years. Currently on 150mg/Venlafaxine XR for the last 2 years. I’ve also been on benzo’s for the same amount of time. (Mainly Valium). I’d like to come off the Venlafaxine first, but have a couple of questions. 1. What is the recommended taper regime? 2. Accepting we’re all different, what can I expect by way of withdrawal reduction symptoms? My anxiety is already Sky-high, and my mood is not good. 3. Bit of a controversial question... but is it reasonable to say/think that possibly the people in this group are the ‘unlucky’ one’s? And for the purpose of explaining what I mean... Is it possible that 90% do it without serious bother, and this group is for those understandably struggling? I don’t know. The only reason I ask is that whilst it’s acknowledged as one of the harder A/D’s to come off, some people can’t praise it enough, and others are going through hell, often having to reinstate. 4. I don’t know whom to turn to re. Supporting my withdrawal, as the general consensus amongst psychiatrists is that you can come off in say 5 weeks or so, and at the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got people saying take one bead out a week etc. 5. Finally... I’ve heard about something called the Prozac bridge. Has anyone tried this? In summary, I’m scared! Thanks Adam
  20. My introductory post. I have a sleep disorder associated with Fibromyalgia. Fibro also is associated with anxiety and depression and inability to relax the muscles. So, Venlafaxine has been a real help for me to live a normal life for 20 years. But I'm 68 and want to get off. Today is the 6th day following a failed tapering, my second. My first tapering was a year ago. I have a terrible sleep disturbance: I have a panic attack while falling asleep. My husband is helping me find a better psychiatrist, one who is experienced with both a sleep disorder and tapering. But this time around as I tried to fall asleep a loud buzzing sound and vibrating sensation occurred inside my right nasal passage. As I type this I am aware it sounds unbelievable. It's so embarrassing. "Doctor, I have a bee in my nose." Well, I googled "my own snoring wakes me up" and found Sleep-Doctor http://sleep-doctor.com/blog/does-your-own-snoring-wake-you-up-from-sleep/ . Anyone have a similar weird sleep disorder? I bet it was due to tapering - some kind of neurological trauma. I'm exhausted. Last night I finally slept through the night.
  21. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  22. I found my way here from the New Yorker article published online last week. Very thought-provoking and not exactly encouraging about this process. I started taking Effexor probably 18 or so years ago; it was my first antidepressant and worked well from the get-go. After 8 or so years I was feeling well enough that I wanted to quit taking it, so my medical person (nurse practitioner) advised me to taper VERY slowly. I was only taking 75 mg XR at the time, and she had me taper over 4 months. I was very impatient with the process but followed instructions exactly and never had a single withdrawal symptom. It went perfectly. A few years later, I was struggling with depression again and once more started Effexor. It worked as well, but I required a higher dosage (150 mg). Last year, my husband died and my depression deepened considerably. I gradually increased the dosage to 300 mg, which seemed to be working more or less. Recently, my therapist and I decided that it would be a good idea to get off Effexor and try Wellbutrin, as Effexor no longer seemed to be helping. My most recent attempt to taper off was a miserable failure; I had several nasty withdrawal problems and stopped almost immediately. One problem I have is that the dose I take now consists of a solid pill, not a capsule filled with tiny pills that I can divide into several doses. The directions say not to cut, chew, or otherwise damage the pill before taking it, so really gradual tapering is not possible. I have to use various sizes of pills to try and work around this problem, and it doesn't seem to be gradual enough. I'm hoping to get some practical help from others who have been through this themselves. Thanks for listening.
  23. So I figured its time i start a thread on what I'm dealing with. I was on PP for a cpl years but was tapering and keeping in touch with people while doing it. I tapered slowly for a yrs and a half until i got to ten beads and that was my last does at about months worth. Well, now im 6-7 weeks off effexor(paxil before that) after a long taper. The first two weeks seemed very smooth. I was in jamaica for week three and that was tough at points but i was still sleepin ok and feelin good when i woke up. How ever, i was getting strong anxiety late at night partly due to travellers anxiety and just general anxiety. Id say the next week, seemingly over night, i started getting insanely strong symptoms. Also, ive been using klonopin as well for 6-7 months at 1 mg a day and lately started using them every day or two days and noticed the symptoms worsened 5x times over. So i made sure i would use them every day and deal with one war at a time. They seem to help maybe 10 percent with what i think is a delayed effexor withdrawal. My symptoms are pretty much unbearable. Although i dont have the zaps the nausea, the wooshing or ringing in my ears like some people but ive been getting other almost indescribable symptoms like overwhelming guilt, extreme short fuse and temper, crazy mood swings, trouble focusing, sick feelings, extreme panic attacks that go from 1 to 10 in a heart beat. Ive dealt with anxiety and panic attacks all my life but this is on another level. Oh, and really messed up sleep problems. I mean I sleep fine when im asleep but cant sleep passed a certain time and im awaken by horrible dread, depression, earworms (songs repeating over and over like crazy) massive anxiety, mind racing, no energy, almost no libido and the worst are the intrusive and suicidal thoughts like harming myself or others, that give me even more insane anxiety cuz i have the thoughts. I would never act on em but they still really scare me. all of these symptoms come on strong and let off through out the whole day. I've been feeling this way now for 4-5 weeks my mind feels weak and im feeling hopeless. Im starting to have all these "what if" scenarios like "what of i act on these thoughts one day if i just can't take it anymore"(worried ill be like this forever) or will i end up like one of those people who cant deal with life anymore and i do something bad to myself. Like i said theyre thoughts and ive never harmed myself and am terrified by the thoughts. It just seems like normal things(worries or anxieties)are exasperated 100%. And its worse cuz i cant get my mind off of them becuz theyre so overwhelming . Im a very fit and active person. I have a personal trainer 3 days a week and a martial arts trainer 2-3 other days a week along with being in bands who have toured and made albums and played shows for 15 yrs. Now i dread just facing each day. I dread the nights( thats when my anxiety seems overpowering),going to bed and waking up. Ive lost interest in everything i loved literally weeks ago and it seemed to have happened over night....out of nowhere. Even my feelings seemed to have changed in a day for the girl im in a relationship with. The girl is my best friend along with being my gf. She is the best thing thats ever happened to me which makes me feel guilty of even thinkin like that, which in turn causes extreme anxiety. And i have doubts if i should be in a relationship at all but i know id feel like i couldnt live without her and she loves me and helps me so much with what im going through. Shes so supportive even tho she doesnt suffer anything. Im sorry for the rant but i wanted to get everything i could out. Can anyone relate or tell me if they think this is due to withdrawal? Im just lookin for some hope cuz lately i have none. Will i make it through and be normal again? Im living hell every day. Also the last thing is when i force myself to go to the gym, exercise seems to make all of these feelings even worse. The higher i get my heart up the worse i feel. Im so lost i dont know what to do. Im paralyzed.
  24. Hello everyone! On March 16th (2019) I started taking Venlaflaxine (Effexor) 37.5mg in the morning. Unfortunately, the side effects are too much for me to handle, so this morning (April 2nd) I did not take it. I'm here to seek support and answers as I have no clue what will happen with my mind/body now that I stopped.
  25. Hi all! I'm 23 years old, about to start graduate school, and I've been on antidepressants since January of 2015. I've been anxious and depressed for pretty much as long as I can remember. My therapist at the time recommended medication after I went through the most severe depressive episode of my life, and my college's campus prescriber put me on Prozac. The Prozac made me sluggish, foggy, and basically a zombie, but at the time I thought it was better than the depression had been, so I stayed on until October of 2015, when I switched over to Effexor. I've been maintaining at Effexor XR 150 since then, and I've finally made the decision to come off of antidepressants completely. The hardest part of all this for me is not knowing what's a side effect of the medication, and what's just me--I think I used to go out more, have more energy, better concentration, but it's hard to remember. I find it hard to focus on my reading and writing now, nearly impossible without some sort of stimulant. I'm frequently exhausted and lethargic, have to force myself to leave bed and do things, often feel restless and lethargic at the same time. I still have bouts of anxiety and depression. I'm pretty certain the Effexor has greatly increased my sexual dysfunction (I already had sexual problems due to past trauma, but before the antidepressants I at least had a sex drive, and now I have absolutely none.) I've recently moved to a new city to start graduate school. I don't know anyone here, and my partner is staying with me for the summer but will be going back to his grad program halfway across the country at the end of August. He's the most wonderful and supportive person in the world, and we've been doing long-distance for a year and a half now, but I'm worried about tapering while starting a new program in a new city once he leaves. I found a psychiatrist here who agreed whole-heartedly with my decision to get off the Effexor, for which I am very grateful. She put me on a tapering schedule in which I would be off the Effexor in a month, and I reduced to 112.5 for a day before doing a lot of research (and thankfully finding this site), at which point I decided to do a 10% taper over a long, slow period. She's been completely supportive of that decision, thankfully. Anyway, I'm back up to 135 now, and will be holding here for a month before reducing again. I'm not sure when withdrawal effects normally kick in, and can't tell if the anxiety and brain fog I'm feeling are just what I normally feel like, or because of the drop. Either way, I'm grateful to have found this community, and to have a place to put down my thoughts.
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