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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. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  3. I tapered from effexor 150 mg over 12 days, 11 weeks ago. I experienced nearly every acute side effect eg. derealisation/depersonalisation, euphoria, vertigo, tremor, intrusive suicidal thoughts, akathisia, blurred vision, crushing pressure in head, pins and needles in forehead etc. 2 weeks ago I started to feel increasing numbness in my forehead and cognitive problems with working memory etc. consistent with chemical lobotomisation. As of 10 days or so ago I am experiencing nausea, extreme intermittent confusion, memory loss, sweating, restless legs, heart arrythmias and tachycardia. I'm very frightened and don't know whether reinstating at a low dose could make things worse although its difficult to see how things could get much worse at this point. I feel as though I'm in late stage dementia and I'm 35. I have no appetite and have lost 10% of my body weight over the last week, from 54 kg to 49 kg at 167 cm. Has anyone reinstated this late from a rapid taper and found it beneficial or did it make things worse? Please help me I'm absolutely desperate.
  4. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  5. 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.
  6. I've been on antidepressants for 18+ years and am at a point where I feel the need to come off them. I've been on Paxil, Lexapro, and recently switched to Effexor, which I understand is more difficult to stop taking. I'm on Effexor XR 75 mg. Without knowing a lot about it, in December I began reducing the number of balls in my daily dosage by 2. (There are roughly 100 balls in each capsule.) Then moved to 4, then 6, 8, and now 12. I'm having some symptoms that I think are from withdrawal... irritability, crying at the drop of a hat, brain fog, fatigue, and some sadness. However, it could also be due to life circumstances and hormones, and I'm scheduled for a partial hysterectomy within the next few months, so I definitely don't want to do too much at once or go too fast in tapering. I'm not so concerned about how fast I come off the Effexor, just that I'm making progress and doing it right. I understand that being on antidepressants for so long will naturally require a good deal of healing and time to adjust. I do take a good brand of Cod Liver Oil and Magnesium daily. I'm also taking Halcion to sleep at night, but think it might be wise to go off the antidepressant first before tackling that. I want to understand more how to correctly measure my dosage so that I'm tapering accurately.
  7. Hi All, I've been reading up on the forum for the last few months and decided i might put a post in as would be keen to hear your thoughts and also share my experience. I've been on Effexor XR for around 10 years in total. Original condition was OCD - obsessive thoughts about food poisoning and my food being drugged - didn't help that i would feel strange after eating food & then become anxious / paranoid about it. This resulted in depression along with inability to function in social settings and a downward spiral. Originally was on Paxil in the beginning which didn't really work and then was transferred to Effexor XR 150mg. Have been on 75mg for the last few years though. In all honesty the effexor worked great and it helped me pull myself together and make a good life for myself. Education, job, family etc. Then about 2 years ago i thought that my life was going really well, so i didn't need the effexor any more. Attempted to stop it without tapering which didn't last long due to the brain zaps. Then tried a second time by a slow tapering process over 6 months from 75mg to nothing. Got off it without too many side effects (brain zaps and irritability, brain fog mainly). The brain fog was a bit of an issue and i just didn't cope well with stress any more. An incident last year at work got me back on to the effexor and i started to feel better. Until.... About 3 months into starting the effexor again i started getting strange physical symptoms including numbness and tingling, nausea and the OCD returned - would only get the symptoms around 2-3 hours a night after eating and taking my effexor. Now i did change brands of effexor (generic) during that period and to be honest i cant remember if i took generic effexor or the branded one for the previous 9 years. I honestly don't know if these symptoms were caused by the effexor though or by something else. With the strange physical symptoms and resurgence of OCD i decided i would quickly taper off the effexor. I went down 60mg to nothing (erratically cutting dose amounts as quick as i could) in about 4 weeks. Its now been 2 months and i have had plenty of strange symptoms including hives, numbness / tingling in limbs, memory loss / confusion, headaches & constant pressure in forehead, some nausea, tightness in chest, strange physical sensations and stabbing pains, feeling like ive had allergic reactions. The WORST symptom i have experienced is derealization - I've been in a state where everything i see seems surreal and often wondered if i was actually in a coma. This seems to have gotten a little better over the last week so i hope to god that its not a permanent thing. The brain fog is quite annoying and affecting my ability to do my job - i work in IT so not being able to concentrate is a real problem. From what i have read on the forum i wouldn't class my experience anywhere near as bad as what some other people have been through. I would say the symptoms have ranged from mild to moderate, but i guess without knowing how long this is going to go on for its a bit depressing. I've been using fish oil and magnesium / b vitamins which seems to have helped - fish oil got rid of most of the brain zaps. I do have some questions for other people who might have gone through similar experiences. Has anyone tried using st johns wort during the withdrawal phase to counter effect the effexor withdrawal? Is a small re-instatement of effexor likely to result in a bad medication reaction after 2 months of not having it? Has anyone had the derealization symptom during withdrawal? Is this likely to improve? I had a cholesterol level test whilst i was on effexor which returned a high result. After coming off the effexor i had a second test done and my cholesterol was back to normal - no diet change or new medications etc. I read somewhere that effexor can increase cholesterol levels? I guess im at an impasse at the moment. Ive got a bit to loose if i cant 'pull' myself together. Getting off medications all together would be great, but if it means i need to battle this for a long time and possibly loose my job and have it affect my home life i may need to consider re-instatement of at-least a small dose or some other alternative. Im reluctant to try other drugs as effexor is the devil i know. I also know that if i restart the effexor and the symptoms go away and everything returns to normal im likely to stay on it for the rest of my life as i wont want to gamble with coming off it again. Anyways thanks for reading & if you have any thoughts or similar experiences feel free to share =)
  8. 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.
  9. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  10. I just happened upon this site and I am really glad for this resource. I am attempting my second taper off Effexor right now. I just started trying to go off 150 mg (I actually decreased from 225 about 2 years ago and never had the courage to try). I started seeing a therapist who practices energy psychology and feel I have the support now to give this another try. Already I feel tired, foggy, off balance and have had a headache for the last 24 hours (only on day two). I am taking 75 mg every other day instead of 150. The Effexor has capsules so it’s hard to cut down so slowly unless you’re a chemist. It feels good to have a place that other people are going through the same thing I am, and it’s good to know other people acknowledge how hard this can be., My doctor certainly did not warn me the first time I tried (going from 225 to 0 in about a month). Wish me luck...
  11. 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?
  12. 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?
  13. 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. 🦋
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Hi everyone! Don't know where to begin... I've been on and off (mostly on) antidepressants since the birth of my son in 2013. My history is so similar to many here, jumping from one drug to another. I've tried to withdraw from SSRI's/SSNRI's four times and have ultimately always ended up back on them because what I thought was a return and worsening of my depression was most likely pretty significant and scary withdrawal symptoms. To summarize, I usually last about 6 weeks and then all of a sudden am unbearably irritable with increasing suicidality, which is the one symptom I cannot handle and have always returned to drugs at that point. Or some life stressor sends me over the edge. It breaks my heart because, like many here, my withdrawal symptoms are worse than the (postpartum) depression that landed me in this mess of drugs. I was never suicidal before, I was having an adjustment disorder and some PTSD following the difficult and traumatic birth of my son. I needed support and counseling, not drugs thrown at me to make me functional in the mess of my pain. What compounds this is the fact that I have PCOS, which in itself can contribute to anxiety and depression. It's hard for me to tease the two apart- I wonder, is this a PCOS thing or is this my depression? The last time I tried to taper effexor was when I had been off birth control for about 5 months and had been feeling really good. BUT, I know the pattern now for that too- every single time I quit ocp things are awesome for about 4-6 months and then the walls come crashing in (periods disappear, moods worse, skin breaking out, hair loss). The hormonal derangement compounds any issues I am having with mood or anxiety and I am back on oral contraceptives now and will be for awhile, I'm not even thinking of stopping those at the moment. Although I'd very much like too...xsighx Right now, I have stupidly followed my primary card md's advice of the two week every other day taper and am two weeks post my last effexor 37.5mg. Prior to tapering, I had been feeling really good and truly want off these drugs. I did not do this under my md's supervision or suggestion because at this point I feel like I know more about this subject than he does as his only suggestions are basically to taper off or go back on them at full dose. I have definitely been experiencing withdrawal symptoms during this time- hypomania, insomnia, increasing irritability, and headache are my biggest complaints. The headaches have basically stopped and I'm trying to reign in my spending and obsessive behaviors (no one needs to be on amazon.com until 4am!). However, I feel like my irritability is remaining the same if not getting worse and unfortunately my children get the brunt of that. Work is fine, relationship with my husband is fine, but I am having a difficult time dealing with my 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year old. (Although tbh, I imagine anyone with kids this close in age and at this age in particular would struggle) I find myself yelling at them more than I would like and becoming frustrated with innocuous behavior; that I am not handling my feelings and emotions well. 😢 This is heartbreaking and worth considering going back on the effexor but I don't want to. I have no doubt that I tapered too fast as I did not properly educate myself on the best way to get off this drug. After spending considerable amounts of time on this site, I reinstated at half the granules in my 37.5mg capsules. I just did this tonight and I will continue to take this dose and slowly work back the time I take this drug to be back in the morning. My symptoms are kind of subtle, more mental than physical sensations, and I was wondering how will I know if this dose I've reinstated at is good? I know I need to go back on the effexor and stabilize for awhile before thinking of tapering again. Any advice/suggestions/insight into reinstating at half 37.5mg? How do I know if that's a good dose to reinstate at? I'm not sure where to go from here, although the next couple days will hopefully give me some clues. Thank you to everyone here, although I am new to this community it has helped me so much already to see other people sharing the same struggles and helping each other to get better together. ❤️
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. I was 22 when I went to the doctor because of a broken heart. He put me on effexor. I had faith in our medical system then, I don't these days. He did not even think the birth control I was on was causing a problem nor did he test for any nutrient insufficiency. It was a brief few minutes. I was crying over a break up and that was all he needed to see and hear to pack me up with several trial boxes full of effexor XR. It seemed like the end of the world and I wanted the pain to stop so I put my trust in my doctor and took the pill everyday until I got pregnant a year later. It was a difficult pregnancy. I was not aware I had a genetic mutation in my MTHFR pathway. I don't even know if that pathway was studied much back then...I am 38 now. Just so you have a time line. I don't know if they were aware that antidepressants made the lack of folate worse. No wonder I had preeclampsia and was on bed rest for the entire 3rd trimester. I felt like crap and was at risk for heart attack and stroke. They had to induce 2 weeks early. She was definitely worth it. Her father, however was not. I needed to go back on effexor after the pregnancy to deal with his abuse. In the end, I wound up with PTSD and he sat 6 years in prison. I had developed a drinking problem at this time. I was out of control. The second pregnancy helped me reel it back in. I went off the meds and did not go back on them until I was unable to handle the stress anymore which was about 2 years post partum. I had 2 daughters, I was working as much as possible and in school full time. My significant other was trying to "hook up" with other girls and my second attempt at a family was failing. They added trazadone this time so I could sleep. Instead of dealing with the problem, I numbed it. My behavior changed a lot. I lost interest in the things I was working so hard for, I became compulsive even more than usual, the alcohol abuse returned. The failing of the family sealed everything. I lost it completely, cut myself so badly and tried to commit suicide. I ended up spending a week in the psych ward where they changed up my meds and added abilify and buspar to the cocktail. Apparently I had gone from just depressed to bipolar. I got off the medication after I found myself pregnant for the 3rd time. I married this one. Love him to death too. After I had my 3rd daughter and even during the pregnancy I was having what I thought were a return of my old bipolar symptoms. I went back on all the meds believing they would help me. They actually made me lose control a bit more and eventually I felt so lost and sick that I knew it was time to get off the meds and actually work towards a happy, healthy life. I was weaned off everything except trazadone. I requested to stay on it for insomnia. I had not been able to sleep for years without a sleep aid and it worked for me. The initial withdrawl was bad. I was on the couch for atleast a month after taking my last dose. I made it through. Shortly after I began developing gastrointestinal issues. I was always nauseated and would have stomach aches. No one thought it was from withdrawl or from the trazadone I continued to take. I carried on in my health quest. I began running and cleaned up my diet. I fell in love with Crossfit and added that to the mix. My gastrointestinal problems continued and got worse. I started eliminating gluten and dairy from my diet. It helped a little. Then I woke up one morning with distorted vision, extreme fatigue, and a general feeling like I had the flu...but it wouldn't go away. I worked with a gastro thinking that something horrible was going on in my intestinal track. Blood work, a colonoscopy, ct scans, numerous emergency visits could not pin point anything wrong. It was a mystery. I thought I was dying at one point. Until I decided it was time to go off of trazadone...and miraculously after I was weaned off all the brain fog, headaches, fatigue went away. My gut did not improve much. But I then had an idea what was causing my issues. I was diagnosed with IBS and it was driving me nuts. I was not aware I was still going through withdrawls nor did I associate the deterioration in my mental state with those withdrawls. I thought, my gut was great when I was on effexor. Lets try it. My body rejected it twice. My gastro tried a low dose of elivil which my body also rejected. I worked out that weekend and woke up on Monday and all the symptoms I had before had returned times 10. I felt like I had fried my brain. I have been trying to recover for the past 6 months. I did see a lot of improvement after working with an integrative doctor. We are trying to increase my serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. My adrenals are shot. My cortisol curve is really messed up. The ability for my body to regulate blood sugar levels was horrible for a long time. But is better now. I can have coffee again in the morning when I need it most. I sleep more than I don't these days. Sleep hypnosis works like a charm to help with the racing thoughts at night. My gut has improved, but my diet is super clean and I try and exercise when I am feeling well enough to. I take methylfolate for my mutation and we are working on getting my body to synthesize B6 better with a ful spectrum of aminos I take as a bone broth protein supplement. I still have waves. They were manageable up until this week. I am having a really bad wave. Migraine, my thermostat is not working right (either freezing or sweating), muscle aches, horrible vertigo, vision problems, balance is off, muscle weakness, fatigue yet cannot sleep well. And the emotional roller coaster has not been fun. I can't wait to get off that ride. Horrible panic, paranoia, fear, anxiety, akathisia, and obsessive behavior, cannot handle any type of stress at all. My poor 13 year old got the brunt of it yesterday. I yelled at her because she needed me to pick her up from school because she was not feeling well. I could not handle the change in my morning plans. I apologized later that night, though. I do try and explain what is happening. This is what it is like, though. I know this is a lengthy post, but I feel it is important to tell my story and I am not going to sugar coat things at all. This whole process has been horrible. It is a nightmare for me and for my family. I just have faith and hope that one day I will wake up and I will be healed...atleast I hear that is how things are suppose to happen.
  24. Hi all, thanks for having such an amazing and helpful forum!!! I was prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for anxiety and depression (moderate in my opinion). I started taking it. I'm so stupid... I had read about withdrawal symptoms, but I wasn't imagining it as so awful. After 5 days I got bleedings from the uterus, even though my period wasn't due. They were about as strong as a normal period, but more painful. The GP (doctor) made me stop Effexor. After 2 days I started to have the symptoms everyone reports: Crying, suicidal, self harming, fits of rage, nausea, dizziness, heart racing, trouble breathing. My GP didn't know anything about withdrawal symptoms and wanted to admit me to the psychiatric hospital. I sent him a bunch of information and finally convinced him to leave me alone and deal with it myself. I think he feels a bit guilty now, but that doesn't help me.... It's day 9 after stopping and my brain is still totally messed up. Question to you all: Do you think I need to go back on Venlafaxine and taper down slowly to prevent lasting damage to my brain? I also got some Sertraline from the GP, which I could use to switch to temporarily. I think even if the bleeding comes back, I can handle it. Iron values are ok. I had thought that after just 5 days of taking Venlafaxine, the withdrawal should be short and mild. But after reading a lot, I'm getting a bit scared. Any advice welcome! Laura PS: I really think I had a guardian angel who sent me those bleedings and made me stop before I took the medication for longer.
  25. 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.
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