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  1. Hi everyone, I am taking Effexor for chronic pain not depression. On Effexor for 10 years, half of those years on 112.5mg the other half 150mg Started reducing a year ago February 2012 - 150mg March 2012 - 131mg April 2012 - 112.5mg July 2nd 2012 - 92mg July 23rd - chronic pain got worse October 21st - started 75mg (chronic pain flare up subsided and has been stable ever since) November 16th - 56mg December 11th - 37.5mg January 5th, 2013 - 19mg January 22nd, 2013 - 22.5mg January 23rd, 2013 - 37.5mg January 24th, 2013 - 30mg From November 16th when I dropped to 56mg up to January 22nd the withdrawal effects gradually got worse. Prior to this I experienced no withdrawal effects. On January 22nd when I increased the dosage to 22.5mg I was trying to decrease the withdrawal effects because they were getting too strong. The small increase had no effect. On the following day when I increased to 37.5mg after an hour and 45 minutes the withdrawal effects got significantly worse. I went to my family Doctor (who was much more knowlegeable than I thought) and he recommended taking 30mg. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday but still not as good as when I was on 19mg. I'm wondering if I should stay at 30mg or should I decrease to maybe 25mg since I felt better at 19mg and I was on 19mg for 2 and half weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of health to everyone! Thank you!
  2. My story is one that spans many years. I now look back and feel like a fool, but I own all the decisions. Started 20+ years ago when I had some stomach problems and went to a doctor. We went through Prilosac and an assortment of stomach drugs to no avail. Then he said try this, at that time it was Effexor in the shield style tablet. It was a miracle drug for my stomach condition, I guess I was worrying too much and causing an almost ulcerous condition and this stopped it. Well we can now fast forward a number of years and the drug was continuously refilled as I guess doctors are afraid to stop drugs like this and just avoid the subject...FYI I also stopped the pills numerous times over the years to see what would happen and I got through what I thought were the "withdrawals" slight dizziness etc. but I always started to get real anxious etc. so I just started them again and all was well. OK fast forward to a year ago where I had the great idea that maybe there was a better drug out there and asked my GP what he would recommend, he said Lexapro because he had the least amount of complaints about that one... I did not like it as I got all the anxiety and stuff that I had when I quit Effexor. I now understand it was likely Effexor withdrawal showing through. Anyhow I decided I needed a more professional opinion so I went to a psychiatrist and we talked and she changed me to Welbutrin and Rexulti. I tried that combo for a couple months while tripping around EU on vacation and it also seemed to let through the fear and doubt. So I went back and we then went on straight rexulti .5mg and that worked well for a couple months until I lost all interest and ability to worry about anything. This was 6 weeks ago and I quit Rexulti cold turkey and had no real effects until a bit of a anxiety started coming back, but not as bad I think as previous times. I also had calf cramps at night for 4 weeks which finally started subsiding. I was beginning to feel a bit normal but still quite negative about stuff, but I had definite glimpses of what I think are my real feeling come through (like 5 minutes at a pop) and I really liked that. but I was still not liking the anxiety I had etc. so I went out the the internet for help and came across this site, turned my world upside down. I am a pretty smart individual with a good profession and now I feel like a...let's just say I am sad and humiliated. I really never considered all the things I have now read about, I am a bit scared... Then with all my wisdom I decided to try to reintroduce the Effexor 75 (I have a stockpile of all meds) and see if I could then do the taper I have just been informed I need to do, or should have done. I did 5 bb's out of a TEVA 75mb Venlafaxine capsule that contained about 70. first day was great, all signs of dread were gone and I have confidence like I hadn't felt in weeks. Then day two I took another 5 beads (maybe 3 hours earlier in the day) and I felt like I had just lit all my rockets, I was off to the races, couldn't sit down, chest was tight etc...this went on all the way till bedtime and I didn't sleep much. so day 3 I decided I better not take any more of that and stopped that. I was pretty ill most of day 3, still golfed etc. but got chills and did not feel good at all. By the end of that day I was feeling a bit better, slept solidly for half the night. now I am on day 4, little nauseous this morning and decided to write this letter to all of you and bare my soul. I am unsure what to do - try the effexor for 4 days like things here say, did I take too many bb's? try going back on the Rexulti? I truly want off of all of this mess. I am fearing (lot's of reason for my bad sleep last night) that I am screwed and have no where to turn but to go through the heavy withdrawals. I have a life like I am sure all of you do and cannot or wish to not be bedridden etc. I like I said below am a bit worried about what the future has in store for me.
  3. naturalborn-successful-story hi i'm new at this forum and i'm brazilian, 20 years old, started effexor when i was 18 for depression, stayed on it for 8 or 10 months, with almost no side effects, after this tried going cold turkey , since then have been dealing with all possible kinds of side effects, i tried reinstatement on january of this year (after 4 months of wd) obviously didn't worked, stayed on them for more 5 months, went to rehab. tapered effexor there and started trazadone and seroquel. now i've been taking 150 mg of trazadone and 25 mg of seroquel, was kind of "ok" so tried to reduce trazadone to 100 mgs, wasn't able to sleep for 3 days, went back on 150 mgs, and added 2 mg of klonopin to use when needed, but since that abruptly quitting of effexor i haven't been the same, dealed with EXTREME anxiety (never was a problem before), SEVERE imsonia, sometimes 5 days without any sleep, chronic pain and numbess and poor coordination on the right side of my body. the left side seems ok, i have no idea why. derealization, poor memory, poor concentration, diahrrea, akastisia, poor stress tolerance, emotional numbess, brain zaps and brain fog, anyway i have been dealing with pretty much all the symtoms you can come up with, pretty hopeless, desesperated, regreted, scared, feeling like it will never be the same. i really want to know what you guys think, is there any hope for me ever being the same again?
  4. LilyBridget

    LilyBridget: about me

    Hi all, I’m ready to make an appt with my Dr to begin withdrawing from Effexor after 14 years. I want to have lots of info myself because I don’t expect him to know everything about it. I appreciate so many ppl sharing info & experiences on here. Lately I’ve had some serious suicidal ideations and I’m sick of it. 🦋
  5. In Feb of this year I decided that the cons of Adderall were no longer to my benefit and decided to quit cold turkey. I spent a month weak, tired, irritable and unable to cope with all the "noise" of everything that was happening around me. Driving, shopping, even conversations felt like too much to handle. They say that Adderall is not addicting but it is, maybe not in the physical sense for some but in the emotional sense I became heavily reliant on the pills just to be around people, to get out of bed; basically just to do the simple things that "regular" people get up and do day after day. When I was first prescribed Adderall about 7 years ago, every few months I'd purposely stop taking them for an entire wknd just to reassure myself that I could stop. To be continued.
  6. I took Effexor for a total of six months and got to 300 mg. Wanted to discontinue due to mania, insomnia, stomach issues. Had not heard about discontinuation syndrome. The Dr took me from 300 mg to 150 mg for a month. Added Straterra. Then 75 mg for 10 days. Severely ill so increased back to 150 mg. Went to new Dr for second opinion. Added Cymbalta took Effexor up to 187 mg. Ended up hospital 2 months after started taper. Now on 50 mg of Pristiq instead of those 3 antidepressants. Depressed, frustrated, severe cognitive and memory issues, scared, confused, anxious, sick,angry. New doctor tomorrow. Wishing I hadn't gone in hospital and had started a slower taper on my own. The Dr yanking me off 3 meds sounds like it will be difficult to get through on my own.
  7. This is kind of long, but I think I needed the catharsis of it. I would appreciate any feedback or advice on how to survive this. Things in my life were looking up toward the end of 2017. I was doing well in my job, I was on my own for the first time in years (had been living with my parents), I quit drinking, and I had some friends. I felt it was time to go off of my meds (Effexor 300mg). I’ve been on some form of AD for the majority of my life since I was 12. It’s made me wonder if I really even know who I am. It scared me to think about how these drugs had affected my developing brain. I wish I had found this website before then, but hindsight is always better than foresight, right? I tapered down. Toward the end, I was splitting up a 75mg capsule into 8 doses. I still had brain jolts for 2-3 weeks when I went off of it completely. The first month or so I felt really good. Then I started getting anxious. Really anxious. Sleep has always been a bit of an escape for me, but I started waking up early with intense anxiety. It’s hard to move, but it doesn’t help anything to stay in bed. There’s no escaping it. I’ve tried meditation and exercise. When I’m in that intense place, there’s no way out that I’ve found. One of the hardest parts of it is that my brain is barely working. I’m in a fog at work. I’m really concerned that I’m not going to be able to get everything done that I need to. My current job has a pretty heavy workload. My boss has acknowledged that. I had to talk to her at one point about getting some help because I felt so overwhelmed. There are days where everything feels overwhelming. Just showering feels like a mountain to climb. A conversation with someone? Nearly impossible. Thankfully there are days, maybe more like hours, where I experience relief. I had a really good evening a few days ago. I felt happy. I was able to talk to people. My relationships have really struggled. I’m so insecure about my ability to talk to people. It’s always been there, but it’s intensified. I don’t have anything interesting to say. My world right now for the most part is anxiety which leads to depression. I have a friend who’s really been there for me, but I get irritated with him really easily. I’m scared to be around him because I’m going to get upset and say something mean, then go into a spiral of self-hatred. My spiritual connection and my family is all that’s keeping me going. I’ve started going to church and to some twelve step meetings. It’s nice to be around other people where I don’t feel like there are any expectations of me. My family knows I’m struggling, but not the extent. It’s a relief to be able to go stay with them on the weekends sometimes and just relax. I tried going back on the Effexor. I took 37.5mg for about a week. I don’t feel like I can go back on it which is scary. I was really needing some relief. My sleep was messed up and I just felt disconnected from everything. The hardest part was feeling like I was losing my spiritual connection. I’ve been suicidal for a little while, but things got really intense one night on the Effexor. I was actually scared that I might do something. That was the last day that I took it. I use canabis every now and then. Maybe once or twice a month. It brings some relief, but I think it may make the anxiety worse for the next week or so. I don’t feel like I have a clear view of myself and my life. Have I always had these struggles, they were just medicated with the ADs and alcohol? Am I just finally dealing with stuff and don’t know how? I don’t see a future for myself and that’s scary. I’ve thought about seeing a psychiatrist again. This has all been on my own, but I don’t know if I want to mess with going back on meds—trying them out, dealing with the side effects, the cost, etc. I don’t know if I have the resilience to go through all of that either. So yeah, not sure where to turn. Trying to just take one day at a time, but some days that’s really f***ing hard.
  8. Hello everyone, I am an Italian 25 year-old girl, who is experiencing WD syndrome from Effexor, sorry if my English is not so great. First of all, I have to say I am still taking medication. At the moment my doctor is Prof. Giovanni Andrea Fava (you may know him, I saw that you posted some of his research in the forum). He was the only one the understand the hell I was going through and when I first came to him saying that since taking ADs I wasn't feeling myself anymore and that especially Effexor gave me anxiety, racing thoughts, carelessness and hypomania, he immediately put me off of it and labeled it as "poison". After a 2 months tapering under his advice, I stopped in March of this year after over 1 year of Effexor (in the end I had switched from 75 mg to 150 mg after a romantic problem, back then I didn't know that my reaction could have been a drug tolerance episode) and 1 year of Zoloft before. My original issue was ROCD, Relationship-centered OCD. This exploded like a psychosis while I was taking an antibiotic for acne in November 2015, I don't know if there was any correlation between the two facts, of course I had problems with my boyfriend with whom I eventually broke up. I remember urging to the doctor and being put on Trilafon, Zoloft and Rivotril in a glimpse. While the obsession calmed down a little bit, the quality of my life worsened, so that I wasn't feeling myself anymore. I became really demotivated, I lost interest in university and I lost 1 year without taking exams. Now I am about to graduate after many efforts struggling with all of these bad feelings, but I am scared to death as with the new year I will have to seek a job as an engineer but I can't handle any stress right now. My "relapse" happened while I was in Germany working at my Master's thesis. Maybe it wasn't the best idea going for and exchange program after withdrawal (Fava knew, but didn't tell me to encourage me), I was doing quite but at some point I became suicidal without even being able to eat or get out of my room. I had to go back to Italy at the end of June in bad conditions and went to see Fava, who explained to me about the withdrawal syndrome and gave me 10 mg of Prozac and 0.5 mg of clonazepam to be taken daily to calm down the symptoms which are: -mood swings -terrible depression/hypomania -suicidal thoughts -exagerrated feelings of guilt, fear and low self-esteem -brain zaps occasionally -racing thoughts (got better though) -unexplainable anxiety -tingling -feeling like the brain is burning after some thoughts or events -low stress tolerance -nightmares and waking up in the morning in fear and confusion -demotivation -sensitivity to noise Oh, btw, I still have ROCD even if the partners changed. I've done CBT and it is way milder, it took me a lot, but the price to pay is this freakin syndrome and I think that life is such unfair, after all the sufferings I've been through since I was a child and this one is the worst for sure, because I don't know if it will end. I won't talk about the other ones, it is not an issue at the moment. I have to say that I am already better, I can have a living, but sometimes, as many people of you do I guess, I feel I will not get back to what I was. I want to experience sadness, like before, not despair. I don't want to live with that strange constant anxiety or uncomfortable feeling (it's hard to explain, I didn't have it before taking drugs) which I had had also while on Zoloft. It has not gone away, never, for almost 3 years. And I am not sure if its origin is psychological, because I have this also while doing crosswords or laughing with my sister or writing this post, even if I am focused and calm. The things that worry me the most are the aforementioned "feeling", the inability to hold a good position in the job world because I have to avoid any type of stress otherwise I feel like I am burning or I become very fearful and my blood freezes and... the sexual thing. One of the reasons why I developed this ROCD is that because I had sexual problems with my boyfriend. I couldn't get aroused with him, but with other stimuli I was functioning. Eventually we split up (best decision of my life, even if the depression had a role in this). Now I have a new boyfriend, who I love so much. The difference is that I want to have sex with him most of the times, but I can't get aroused, you know... wet, and feel no pleasure. And since this was my main concern even before taking the drugs, I am terrified that one wrong choice would have caused a permanent damage to my sexuality, the thing I was always craving for because I wasn't feeling satisfied. Dr. Fava says that WD Syndrome lasts 6 months on average. So the 6 months have passed but the improvement are really small, sexuality has not returned and here I see people struggling for YEARS. Should I trust him? Come on, he is one of the leading experts worldwide and one of the first to recognize the problem, but I still don't know. I just want to go back to the mess I was, stop obsessing about symptoms and tolerate adversities as I always did before. I can say that racing thoughts have got milder... but it's not enough for me. I've been feeling bad for three years and suffered all my life before, I am sick of this situation.
  9. Lissakasey

    Lissakasey

    So hey all brutal year. Was on zoloft for like 10 years. Last march I got really bad anemia and started having crying spells. Doc upped my Zoloft dose and I became suicidal. Doc then changed me to lexapro which cause severe anxiety. Then briefly Paxil. Doc then said she thought I am bipolar so started lithium and zyprexa. Ended up hospitalized the end of september. They added Prozac and gabapentin. Depression got worse and anxiety restarted with Prozac introduction. Spent 3 months on Prozac only for it to make me feel lifeless and depressed. I got off the lithium, zyprexa, and gabapentin in that three months. Doc changed me to Effexor two and a half weeks ago, only now I'm having anxiety and extreme rage and irritation. So I'm planning to stop the Effexor. How bad do you guys think withdrawal will be for me. I really just want to get off the med wheel.
  10. I require urgent help please. Over the past 18 months I have had several medication changes due to going off 150mg Effexor cold turkey in July 2017. I didn't know how to do it any other way at the time and I told no-one what I was doing, not even my doctor. it just wasn't working any more. I had been off Effexor for about 3 months and thought I had got through the worst of it although still had some withdrawal affects going on but I was functioning okay and sleeping. I thought I'd call my doctor and let him know what I did and that is where I went wrong. He told me to reinstate Effexor immediately at 75mg from memory, which I did because I felt like I had done something terribly wrong. Upon reinstatement my whole body went into shock and I couldn't move. It was shocking. My doctor told me to go into hospital and that he'd help fix it. By the time I left hospital I think I was on the minimum effective dose of Zoloft. After leaving hospital I found that the Zoloft was overstimulating and I didn't sleep for a week. I had to take 25mg of seroquel for sleep. Zoloft wasn't the right antidepressant for me. Without tapering off Zoloft, my doctor would try me on several different antidepressants over the next 6 weeks, including prozac, mirtazapine, brintalex, valdoxen, lexapro. I had adverse side affects to all of these medications and can't remember what dose he started me on. I believe now that my brain/body couldn't tolerate medication anymore. I needed to go back to hospital and I needed to find another doctor. I found another doctor and I think in February 2018 from memory, and I apologise that my memory is very vague due to my recent round of ECT. I think I started taking 20mg of Prozac, which did have it's challenges. I underwent a round of ECT, in April 2018 and left hosptial feeling better on 20mg of Prozac and Olanzapine - I can't remember this dose - maybe 5mg because 10mg was too much and I couldn't function on that amount. I agreed to take the Olanzapine only for 3 months to get myself back to work an back to life. When my doctor took me off the olanzapine I think she did it too quickly and the withdrawal was intense. It was so intense that I tried to commit suicide. Next step, back to hospital when my doctor suggested that I should go back onto Effexor as it had worked for me in the past. I was desperate, I didn't feel comfortable about it, but she's the doctor and knows best right? The current situation is that I came off Effexor 150mg (the original dose was 225mg), under the guidance of my psychiatrist in November 2018. She tapered me off the medication over 2 weeks. The reason I needed to come off Effexor was due to the fact that I just wasn't able to function whilst taking it, I actually felt worse. The hell that followed was horrendous and I did try and reinstate a low dose of Effexor although it just made matters worse. She had be do a course of TMS treatment and then my doctor suggested ECT . I agreed because I thought it was supposed to help with the withdrawal, although in hindsight I think she was trying to treat depression, when I told her I wasn't depressed and that I was experiencing was withdrawal. The ECT was a really bad idea. After the 9th ECT treatment I felt as though I was losing my mind, I felt like my brain was on fire. This sensation lasted quite a number of days and the only thing that helped was 5mg of valium as a PRN, which I took for about 6 days. I am now in such a state. I don't know where to turn. I can't sleep and I can't turn to my doctor for help because she has totally screwed me over. Please help me, I am so desperate. I am currently taking the following vitamins and supplements. Fish Oil 2000mg 4 x day N-acetylcysteine 1000mg 2 x per day Vitamin D 1 x day Vitamin C 1 x day Nux Vomica IM (when nauseous) Magnesium amino acid chalate - 1 scoop 2 x per day Naturopath remedies - Wellbeing mix 3 x day, soothing drops 3 x day, sleep support 2 x per day, Sleep and Rejuva Sleep Forte 4 x day, compounded melatonin 5mg for sleep.
  11. I am new to surviving antidepressants. Because my Internist did not authorize refill for Effexor xr 150mg for 7 days, I was forced into snir discontinuation syndrome. I did not know there was such a thing until then. I have since researched on line and have found out quite a bit. Did you know that brain zaps/brain shivers is discribed in Wikipedia? Anyway,. I got them plus a lot of other debilitating symptoms. I have since weaned myself off over a months period of time (probably too fast), and have now been without for 2 days. I am so irritable that I can hardly stand to be with myself. Plus I get cold very easily and feel like shivering, but don't. I also have a few brain zaps, but they aretolerable. I am determined to not take one more bead of Effexor xr, and would appreciate the support of anyone who is going through or has gone though Effexor xr withdrawal.
  12. Hi to everyone! A little about my story: -I was started on Effexor immediate release, 75 mg, about a year ago, in January of 2015. I wasn't even clinically depressed, I don't think - just a middle-aged lady dealing with life stuff, but coping fine, working, functioning. Had never had prior antidepressants . -Took Effexor 75 immediate release from 1/2015-5/2015, when the side effects (massive fatigue, weight gain, emotional numbness, among other issues) became intolerable. -Fast tapered 5/2015- 6/2015 over about 3-4 weeks. Did not receive adequate instructions from my therapist, just told to "taper slowly". -Terrible withdrawal symptoms for about a month, then settled down to: -daily brain zaps, usually dozens of times a day; comes on when I'm tired, haven't slept enough, about to fall asleep, or waking up. If I'm well-rested, the brain zaps are less frequent, but there hasn't been a day I haven't felt multiple, multiple zaps. -No improvement in this symptom (brain zaps) in the 8 months since I've been off Effexor -also feel continuation of the withdrawal symptom of vertigo/dizziness/mild "swishing" feeling in my head, especially when I'm not well-rested. I'm terrified that the brain zapping indicates permanent damage of some kind. I'm terrified that the damage will lead to unknown consequences in the future. I'm terrified that this will never go away. The symptoms aren't intolerable, in and of themselves; it's just the worry and the uncertainty that bother me. I'm happy to keep "waiting it out", but am losing hope. I really don't want to reinstate, but am considering doing so, in the XR formulation, as low of a dose as I can get away with, and then do a slooooooooooooowwwwww taper this time. However, I would only want to do this if there were NO WAY that these symptoms would go away without reinstatement of Effexor. So happy to have found this forum. If anyone has any experience with this situation or any advice for me, that would be awesome I'm especially wondering if anyone has had any luck with brain zaps going away after an Effexor fast taper - either waiting it out for a very long time, or success with reinstating/then slow tapering Effexor after such a long time with withdrawal symptoms. Thank you, and Happy New Year to all. Hopefully 2016 will be a better year for all of us!
  13. ZenBearCO

    ZenBearCO

    Not sure if I should be here or not, cuz I broke the rule here about stopping cold turkey. My story is that I tried to refill my prescription, but by 2 days later hadn't heard back. Called the pharmacy and they said the Dr. had not returned any of their calls. On a Friday morning I called my Dr., and they said I had to come in to get a refill because "Effexor is a controlled substance" (which it is not, but they wouldn't listen). Unfortunately, they couldn't see me until Monday, and by this time I had begun severe withdrawals (last dose taken that Wednesday). I spent the entire weekend in bed and in utter hell, but by taking Benadryl it helped a little. By Monday I had decided that I had already come this far and wasn't about to go back on the drug only to have to go through withdrawals again even on a taper. So it's been a little over a month, and the only hope I get is at this site, but I don't know if the advice is relevant because everyone here is tapering. Any advice for those who are already through the worst of the physical symptoms but having a really hard time with out-of-control emotions?
  14. I began taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications in 1995 and have tried twice to become med free only to fail and have to reinstate a month after tapering off all medicines. I always would taper with my psychiatrists help. I am very sensitive to the side effects of medicines and pray to become medicine free someday. My current psychiatrist says it is unrealistic that I will ever be able to not be on medications because I have been on them so long. I am looking for support and strategies to successfully become med free and stay med free. I successfully tapered off of Effexor xr in 2011 and in April of this year tapered off of klonopin. I am currently taking Cymbalta and trazadone.
  15. Hi. I'm tapering off effexor xr 150 mgs., which I've taken for I don't know how long exactly. I have, however, been on one thing or another for 27 years. The first one, nortriptyline (sp?) made a huge difference for me, like night and day, and I was thrilled to be able to feel like what I figured was what normal people felt like usually: "Sure, I got problems, but I'm not sinking into the floor over it. I can handle stuff. I'm okay." At that time, life had thrown several curve balls at once, and I went down and could not get up on my own; my coping strategies were not helping. I felt soooo okay when I started the anti-depressant, I would spend my grocery money to have access to it. However, epic constipation and feeling so heavy I could barely run, as was my habit, caused me to want to switch, which I did - several times over several years, usually to get away from sexual dysfunction side effects. I've stuck with effexor the longest. I tried to go off it a few years ago, but the withdrawal was awful, and I went back on it. Now, I've grown emotionally and psychologically in ways I never imagined, and I am giving this a go again. Today is day 19 of tapering down from 150. The first stage, I went down to ~100 mg. by my eyeballing it, for 15 days. I had read up, so I soon started taking a beefy B complex and fish oil. I did not experience bothersome symptoms until I went down to ~75 mg., where I've been for 4 days. Still taking the B complex and fish oil. And I started taking 5-HTP as suggested by The Mood Cure, to boost serotonin. And things are weird: teary over minor slights, electric-headedness, and frankly some fear. I really want someone to work with me closely in doing this, but don't have anyone. My family physician rewrote my prescription so that the capsules are 37.5 mgs. and I can taper on my own more easily, but all he said was, contact me if you have any questions about this. The Mood Cure is great, but I want the author's phone number in my contact list! I have an appointment through my insurer with a psychiatric NP - but it isn't until the end of May, 9 weeks out!! Right at this moment, I'm wanting to know whether to continue with the 5-HTP or switch to l-tryptophan to help with the crying feeling and the electric-head. Any ideas? Also, I am meditating at least once a day for 30 minutes, and walking fast for at least 30 minutes.
  16. Hello All, This may be slightly long but I think it's worth the read for those on/coming off ADs or with significant others on/coming off of ADs. I've been a member of the Topix discussion that was recently removed since around the middle of last year. Like many, my significant other was prescribed an AD (Effexor in this case) for generalized anxiety. This was in early February. The effects were almost immediate but as I was so unaware of the possibilities with these drugs I did not notice any troubling side effects. She had a lot more energy and her anxiety really was gone, but I did not know to relate this to emotional blunting. This girl was absolutely trustworthy and honest and I know this because we were together all the time and she hid nothing from me. We were inseparable. I came to eventually realize that within the first few days of taking Effexor she began to lose feelings for me, but that "give a ****" factor had already gone away and I was of no concern to her. Within a few months she had full blown mania, she was hyper-sexual and had begun cheating. There was no selection, just whoever would take interest in her. At the same time this started, she told me that she had lost her sex drive. I did some research, found this was a common complaint and decided to give it time. We didn't have sex for many many months, all the while she was sleeping with pretty much anyone who would give her the attention. She started drinking heavily almost immediately. I just had no idea that ADs could do this. Eventually I had a growing suspicion, but I could really find nothing online. It took a lot of very specific Google searches to find what I had suspected, but that was months into it. So fast forward after I found out about the infidelity (which was gut wrenching, agonizing, horrific to say the least - it took the life out of me). I had found the Topix discussion, printed many relevant pages and showed it to her. She almost laughed it off, she would not reply to any specific questions. Like most others, she felt new and more alive. Her friend base had changed, and many of them had been given a very different story than what was really happening. She told a lot of them that she was afraid of me, suddenly cops were showing up because her new partners were calling the cops on me, for absolutely nothing. She would scream and break things and hit me, when she had only had one beer (this stuff is BAD NEWS when mixed with alcohol). At a certain point she had not only thrown me aside, but her entire family as well. They did not understand what was happening, so I began to speak to them. In October her life had spiraled out of control and she decided to begin a taper, but only because everyone insisted and she really had no choice. For what it is worth, her doctors refused to believe me. They actually suggested we up the dose because "it wasn't working". So no help there. The withdrawal was horrible. We tried all the supplements and methods that work for some people, but they had no effect on her. She cut her dose slightly about once a month, the same week she would be softer but then the withdrawal would ramp up quickly. In this period she nearly moved out of the state with her old boss. She was planning on leaving me and I had no clue until I found an email and confronted her. That is when it really hit her. She tapered more quickly (perhaps too quickly) because she just wanted off the stuff. In December she finally quit taking it. She had the very horrible brain zaps, she was insanely moody and I was walking on egg shells non-stop. But I stuck it out. The delayed withdrawal hit around January/February but at this point she knew it was withdrawal. And she absolutely was pissed that she had been given a drug like this. She is more upset now than ever that this can happen. We found out two weeks ago that she is pregnant with my child. We are getting married, and she is dedicated to un-doing these things. We are starting over fresh. It is not easy, but it can happen. The best advice I was given was by btdt on Topix. She said do not hold them to their actions, they do not know what they are doing. My fiance echoes this sentiment now. She is more than angry that she let a GP talk her into taking these meds, and then would not listen when she was a danger to herself. But that is how the stories seem to go. Don't get me wrong, it hurts. And now that we're at the one year mark since this started, there are a lot of triggers that I have to really put in an effort into pushing aside. Simple things - songs, smells, places, weather, tone of voice, etc. I'll be around to answer any questions or comments. I want to help as many as I can.
  17. Moderator note: Link to benzo forum thread: summitbound: Poly-drugged: Thinking about tapering an AD w/ benzo Hello, I'm brand new to this site. I've been so busy learning about benzo tapering (and suffering!) on benzobuddies.org that I have yet to tackle getting off any of my antidepressants. I've already been tapering the benzo for over a year. I know that the general rule is to taper off your benzos first, and then work on your antidepressants. That said, I probably have a year or more left on my benzo taper and I hate being poly drugged with three antidepressants. I'd like to safely chip away at at least one of them. I think the mirtazipine is really helping with my sleep during bezno withdrawal, so I don't think I want to touch it. It seems like the low hanging fruit would be the lithium, since it seems I'm on a less than theraputic dose at 675 mg. Thoughts? So far, I have been "blessed" during my benzo taper in that I have not suffered from depression, severe anxiety, or panic. So I do want to tread carefully. Thanks so much!
  18. 20 years on effexor and buspiron due to depression - anxiety. One year on lamotrigin. I started tapering in 2016 because of adverse effect. Effexor 150 mg to 75 mg by addwise from doc. No problems. Next on 37,5 and hell broke loose. Reinstated on 75 and kept it there. While tapering I was sat on lamotrigin 300 mg over a couple of month. No effect! Started tapering buspiron 10 mg x 2 august 2017 and is know on 6+6 Started tapering lamotrigin nov 2017 and is now on200 mg. After reading here I got in doubt. Am I tapering in the best way? Recomondation?
  19. Hi all! Finally had the time and courage to start to tell my story. I'm thirty-something year old woman from Finland. This forum has been really important to me on this dreadful journey. It's crucial to hear that you're not just imagining things and not alone in this. When my withdrawal really hit me the first time, I was so scared. I had heard of AD whitdrawal but didn't really know what to expect. I've never felt so deeply depressed and utterly hopeless than in some waves I've had during this whithdrawal. That really puts you in to the darkest place ever I have a wide range of symptoms, most of the Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist I have been under a serious stress on this past month and I have noticed that it has possibly made my symptoms worse again. But fortunately I have noticed some progress too. I also have been able to sleep almost the entire time. That's HUGE! Well, that's probably all I can write now. It's really tough to write in a foreign language with this braindamage, it has made me so slow..
  20. Hi, I just thought I'd introduce myself and let you all know my story and if it resonates with any of you. I was pretty low before starting antidepressants but they sent me down to a place I haven't experienced before. I was on Sertraline for a couple of weeks at its lowest dose (this caused me to have racing suicidal thoughts so I stopped), I was then put on Venlaflaxine which made me feel like I was a ghost, after I stopped I had extreme suicidal thoughts again, these thoughts have plagued me now for the past 5 months. initially I had these thoughts 24/7, now they come in waves. Hopefully I will be free of these thoughts one day, it's more the feeling I get when I have them, it's like it isn't me thinking them at all. Has anyone had something similar after stopping these drugs. All the best to you all Suttisan
  21. Hi all— New here, obviously, and new to forums in general, not so obviously (or maybe so still, idk). Here because I've been unable to (unproblematically) leave bed for the last 48 hours and I can't concentrate on much meaningfully (there goes my work): as a result I've been viewing a lot of content about withdrawal online (against my psychiatrist's pleas—I wonder what he wouldn't want me to know. . .) and found this forum linked in an article. See my signature for my history, and please feel free to share any information you think might be helpful. An abridged account of my woes: -Since midday Wednesday (first day w/o any poison) I've been experiencing the unique blend of motion sickness/brain zaps/heart palpitations that seem to come in waves (anywhere from every 10-15 seconds to 10-15 minutes) and with increasing intensity have been accompanied by nausea and aural interference (it feels like there are broken subwoofers in my head that, with each heart flutter/kick, respond: like how loud music from within a car driving by sounds from the outside). Hands and feet are also involved in these spasms, with less frequency. -I'm sad. Very sad. Was still feeling OK enough Wednesday night to watch a movie, watched my favourite movie (have seen at least 10 times), and cried (like wept cried) through most of it (for the first time). I don't cry in response to art, news, etc., ever. Highly irregular. -I slept almost all of Thursday. I'm a 6am 7 days a week type of guy, so sleeping in til 11, then sleeping ~1-5, and barely moving for the rest of the day is troubling. Not being able to read more than a page of a book even moreso (since that is what I do, for work and for pleasure). -My appetite is nowhere and eating is hard. Were it not for the intervention of my partner, with whom I am lucky to live, I don't think I'd have eaten very much yesterday and today. She woke me up to eat breakfast this morning (Friday), and after doing so I felt slightly stronger: I even flirted with the idea of leaving the house for the library. But I crashed about an hour later, just after I'd gotten dressed, and have been in bed or shower or toilet since. What I'm thinking about/dwelling on: -I'm feeling really stupid for having done this to myself (by way of trusting this doctor, of overlooking my anxieties about psychmeds) -I'm obviously feeling fear about how long these symptoms might last: I'm supposed to board a flight and spend 10 days with her family this Tuesday. . . -I'm wondering if it would be too hasty to get the few caps I threw out out of the trash and try counting out beads for a much slower taper like I've read about some of you doing, or if I should stay this course -I'm desperate for suggestions/spells/tricks to minimize the way these feelings feel in the interim, especially the nausea and shocks: I've tried two different raw ginger cocktails thus far to no positive effect and am taking 3x the vitamin D, B12, and omega-3 I usually do -I'm grateful that the stripe of withdrawal I'm undergoing seems to be primarily embodied and not psychoemotional (my anomalous weepfest the other night notwithstanding): so far I've had no return of suicidal ideation (like what I suffered beginning the drug last summer) and i more or less feel like I recognize myself (knock on all the wood) -I'm hoping that, given all the information and knowledge collected here, it is possible to not be totally in the dark against this thing: by which I mean, that there might be a way to tell, with some certainty, based off certain signs or makers or clues, that this will be over in a week; might take a month; seems bad and requires a different strategy and soon; etc.. . In sum: is there anything I should be thinking about that it seems like I've missed? not noticed? should look out for? Thanks very much for reading and responding.
  22. Hi everyone! Finally got round to creating an account after months of just reading posts. Anyway, I'm currently on 18.75mg immediate release Venlaflaxine. Since The beginning of 2016. I was on the prolonged release tablet for many years ,the highest dose being 150mg for 3 years. I gradually reduced this down to 37.5mg ,with long holds in between ,the longest being 2 years. However since I went onto the immediate release I have felt a significant difference. I feel low in the morning and get better towards the evening, I've found this has impacted my decision making. Despite this I continued making reductions to where I'm at half a tablet at present. I've had a lot of ups and downs in this period eg relationship ended ,although I'm able to exercise and have managed to work, but not consistently. My sleep has not been the same since I changed over to the immediate release , which is very frustrating. I also feel any change to a routine I get into has a big effect on me physically and mentally. I'm also wondering if I could be in continual withdrawal because of the short half-life of the immediate release tablet? I really feel like I'm not getting better. I feel very depressed at times. I'm starting to think I should go back on the prolonged release tablet.perhaps it would restore some balance. Anyway I'd like to get some feedback, and I very much value having people to share my experience with. I
  23. Today begins the reduction from a 300mg effexor xr dose daily. My psychiatrist subtracted by 37.5. I have had missed doses by days and had paranoia, uncontrollable guilt and crying, nightmares, aggressiveness. So I am worried even 37.5 will be too much. Its hard to find people who understand the severity of these symptoms. Ive been on it for 13 years. Misdiagnosed depressed i ran around with mania and volatile aggression for 9 years. I have bipolar 2. Im currently on tegretol 400mg and lamictal 400mg daily. Wish me luck? Pray for me. Lol
  24. Hi All, My 16yo vivacious daughter ran into a bout with serious depression when she was 14. After a failed trial with Zoloft, her MD put her on Effexor (venlafaxine) 75mg ER. While a relatively modest dose, she took this medication for two years. She also took Lutera (birth control) during this time to help with PMS/menstrual issues. This past May we decided to discontinue the venlafaxine with doctor/psychologist's approval. Doctor gave us a very drastic and probably unrealistic taper program. We opted to taper more slowly than what doctor prescribed -- alternating between 75mg and 37.5mg, daily, every other day, etc then dropping to just 37.5mg. We hovered at 37.5 for a period of time, and then tried to taper from there without success. Since she was miserable even while tapering, and since from what I was reading (I hadn't yet found this site...) it seemed like even more modest tapering would not avoid the misery of withdrawal, we dropped from 37.5 to 0. She took her last 37.5mg venlafaxine pill sometime in late July. (She also discontinued the Lutera at some point over the summer, although I do not remember exactly when.) She was miserable for 8 days. Her biggest symptoms were nausea, headache, dizziness/vertigo, occasional vomiting (flu-like symptoms). She decidedly did not have anger, anxiety, or any other emotional/mood-type symptoms and only a few brain zaps toward the very end. After day 8, she was good for about 10 days, after which the dizziness, headache, vertigo returned -- this time for 3 days. After the third day of misery, she again was fine. Repeat this pattern, and we are now in what I call our fourth "episode" (I guess, the correct term is a "wave"?) of withdrawal symptoms returning -- again, no mood/emotional issues, but vertigo, queasiness, stomach pain, headache. We have tried to treat her symptoms with very little success -- dramamine, ginger, meclizine, tylenol, ibuprofen, Excedrin migraine, promethazine, pepto bismol. MD has been willing to consider possibility symptoms have been withdrawal-related, but seeds were sown at our last visit that we were getting close to the end of that window. In addition to anti-nausea medications, at last check-in (after 3d "wave") MD prescribed 10mg fluoxetine to use as a "boost." That worked one time, and since then hasn't made much of a difference. She has taken the fluoxetine 3x, and I would say all it did was serve to push off the inevitable. My daughter is home from school today, again, probably her 9th absence already this year (not even 2 months into school). I am at a loss at this point as to what to do to help her. The last "wave" lasted 5 days, and it looks like this current one is heading in that same direction (this is longer than previous 2 waves -- those were 3-4 day experiences). I will note that the onset of the "waves" seems to correlate to when her estrogen level would be at its lowest during her menstrual cycle. Curious? Does that suggest anything? Thinking that there had to be a physiological reason for what she was experiencing, I focused on boosting her seratonin/norepinephrine production (to replicate what the SNRI had been doing?) -- starting her on 5HTP and L-Tyrosine, along with magnesium and fish oil. Even when reduced to just the 5HTP along with the magnesium and fish oil, anxiety was starting to become a problem. Switched to adaptogens (Rhodiola and Holy Basil) and the anxiety has disappeared and she seemed quite well-balanced until this latest "wave" where, again, it is the vertigo/nausea/headache trifecta that we cannot seem to remedy. Looking at working with a functional doctor at this point but very frustrated with what I am running into --- first available new patient appointments months out? (First place I called, could not get her in until March!!?) Wondering if a functional doctor can help? Any ideas, suggestions, hope? So scary to read of such long and painful experiences of others and the possible life-long consequences from these drugs. Realize we are probably paying the price for a poor taper (?) -- wish I had found this site sooner -- any helpful place to go from here? Thank you for reading.
  25. I am posting this on behalf of my husband who is quite unwell. I am in a very vunerable place watching my husband deteriorate so please be kind. We are in our 60's and have never experienced anything like this. My husband was administered antidepressants for depression over 30 years ago and has remained on antidepressants all this time. I cannot recall what they started him on but maybe 8 years ago he was moved to Effexor XR 75mg. When it was increased to 150mg - we noticed a lack of feeling and low libido. We discussed the idea of coming off the Effexor XR and did this with the aid of high quality supplements - tapering by reducing the beads over a year. There were horrible side effects - nausea, high anxiety and then the concentration started to be impacted. After six months of being off the Effexor XR he deteriorated very quickly to the point where he became Psychotic and he couldn't get his brain to think how to get himself into the shower. It was like his brain had frozen. He kept saying I am losing it! Unfortunately he was admitted to the Psychiatric Ward where they administered 10mg Olanzepine and 75mg Effexor XR then increased it up to 150mg. He was released after three weeks. He was on Olazepine for about three months and the Psychiatrist reduced him off that. Because he is still not stable the Psychiatrist was not sure whether to increase or reduce his medication. He has gone for the latter and we are administering 112mg every other day at around 10am this is our 3rd day (eg 150mg one day 112mg the next and so on). I am monitoring him closely and notice that he is so much more responsive in the morning and quite normal, although says he feels really tired. His memory and concentration has been affected. He has blurred vision. After his medication is given I notice he begins pacing, not as responsive to talking and becomes quite anxious. The Psychiatrist says he has had a relapse and has major depression. I don't know who to believe anymore but I just want my husband well again. Please help?
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