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  1. Hello and nice to meet everyone. I have been reading as much as I can the past two days and feel like it is time to introduce myself. THANK YOU for everything you all have contributed, this site is a game changer. So many questions answered and a new journey begins. You can see my drug history and four month taper in my signature over the spring/summer (my psychiatrist at the time recommended two weeks, go figure). I had planned on a few crappy months going into this. Oh if I had only found this site first... Withdrawal didn’t kick in for at least two weeks, and slowly at first. I spent all of September and October dodging and weaving through good days and bad days, which I observed simply as “anxiety” (my original diagnosis) but with unusual physical symptoms. I journaled and kept calendar entries, mostly to record when I had to resort to Ativan (usually 0.5mg, occasionally 1mg). Other than for flight anxiety (two trips), I can count 17 times I took it over those two months, and only as a last resort. I had two sudden midnight “surges” (after feeling great) with shivers, out of control heart rate, even some diarrhea, which would last hours. I was convinced it was Serotonin Syndrome. The second one took me to urgent care the next morning for a heart checkup. A few days later a new psychiatrist then put me on Propranolol (beta blocker) as my primary concern was my heart. Propranolol immediately helped me observe and evaluate the “anxiety” I was experiencing which helped a lot. The new psychiatrist also had me stop 5-HTP after only a few weeks which was probably smart. I speak to him again this Friday, not sure what to share/ask given what I am learning here. I am now clear on the fact that I am riding waves of withdrawal symptoms, anxiety responds to the unusual feelings and emotions created by the withdrawal and adds its own icing to the cake, but I am focused on observing and not reacting, and doing my best to “ride it out”. The most unusual part of this “pattern” has been the timing of it all - usually kicking into high gear in the evenings after dark (earlier and earlier in my part of the world). I am nervous about traveling this weekend (short flight) but also realize I need to try and have as “normal” a life as I can stand under these conditions. My wife is awesome, understanding and super supportive. At 12 weeks in, I am not sure reinstatement is an option for me, even though I still have 5mg Trintellix in my drawer, and could try taking microdoses. Leaning toward a no, but I realize I may have run out of time to make that decision? I have read almost all the “required reading” but would still appreciate an opinion on that one. Also considering stopping my multivitamin, turmeric and mulberry leaf extract and taking only my “Super Omega-3 Plus” (Fish Oil) and picking up magnesium pills. I just started the Probiotic so I could drop it too, but not feeling like it would impact all of this either way? I am intrigued by the Reishi 415 blend to get some non-psychedelic mushroom love. Lastly my wife and I are thinking about therapeutic float tanks (she would love to do it again) and I have begun using our hot tub as part of my daily routine, along with many failed attempts at meditating. Anxiety was never something I handled well to begin with, and I realize now I must absolutely be on my game to dance this intricate dance. I will post any new thoughts, findings and curiosities on this thread as appropriate. I appreciate everyone’s support! PS- I opted to not use the appropriate abbreviations as I wanted to easily share this summary with family
  2. Hi New here been checking out the forums, lots of good info. Been struggling a bit. Refer to sig. Think I've been put on wrong combination of drugs. Looking to go off quetiapine and mirtazapine in that order. Apprehensive about the quetiapine - was one of the two meds that reduced within a week, leading to second admission. That taper was supposed to have been quetiapine 100-50-25-0 with a month at each level. Needless to say that the quetiapine 100-50 drop combined with venlafaxine drop 300-225 (75mg per month till 0) saw me admitted for 5 weeks... So they took me off the venlafaxine after much heated discussion. Put the quetiapine back to 100mg ir after trying me on a cocktail of lorazepam, mirtazapine 45mg quetiapine 200ir, 100xr, I could fall asleep for 2.5hrs and wake up wide awake for hours... So on discharge it was mirtazapine 45mg, quetiapine 100mg. Been on that for about 2 months. Saw psychiatrist today who said go quetiapine 100-75-50-25-0 with a week at each level...
  3. Hello to all the lovely people in this forum. I am here because I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms since I stopped taking Venlafaxine eight months ago. I withdrew from 225mg in a span of six weeks as my GP recommended, which is too quickly. After seven months of hell I started taking Mirtrazapine following my psychiatrist’s advice after hesitating for a while. I started on 15mg last month, recently increased to 30mg and now I can sleep better and don’t have horrendous panic attacks as I wake up anymore. But the sheer terror, the absence of positive emotions, the constant negative thoughts, the rapid heartbeat, the chest pain, the hypersensitivity, the lack of energy, the anger, the dread about everything, etc… are still there, especially in the mornings when I just don’t want to live anymore. I am here now because I have lost hope on my recovery. I’ve tried everything and I also feel as if I’d stripped my brain off its own ability to produce “happy chemicals” by tapering off too fast. But that may be just the “depression” talking. I’ve read that reinstating Venlafaxine can help, which brings some hope regardless the fear of taking that stuff again, and my psychiatrist is happy to put me on that (aren’t they always?). But I don’t feel that I can trust doctors anymore, so before making any decision I just wanted to ask real people with real experiences... I’ve got so many questions because I’ve been so alone throughout this process wondering whether my brain can heal on its own or not, wondering if there is any way of living life again. I’ve really tried to keep going but now I am exhausted. I just can’t do it on my own. Maybe it’s worth noting that I’ve been also taking beta blockers, and also Aminoacids (5HTP, Tyrosine, GABA) along with a lot of vitamins and supplements such as Magnesium, Lithium Orotate and fish oil following a book that I found on the internet called “The Mood Cure”. Thank you for your time. All the best x B
  4. I'm Jenny. A forty-two year old housewife from the UK. I've been prescribed various antidepressants since the age of fifteen, but the one I've been taking the longest is Venlafaxine XL (usually 225mg). In 2005 or thereabouts, I began to feel that the antidepressant was not of any great use to me. In my own little bubble of routine and stability, I was perfectly content, but I was deeply confused at my inability to function as others did. I presumed that this had to be a facet of my nondescript mental illness, and reasoned that it should therefore be possible to recover, so I would push myself to "get better" with dreadful results. Thus, I concluded that medication must be necessary after all. Eventually, circa 2015, a locum psychiatrist happened to pick up on a throwaway remark I'd made about my childhood. Upon questioning me further, she realised that many of my difficulties had been present since my earliest years and were therefore unlikely to be manifestations of mental illness. I was referred to the adult developmental disabilities department and - after extensive testing as well as in-depth interviews with my parents and brother - was finally diagnosed with "severe but high-functioning classic autism". It took some time to adjust to this new interpretation of myself. I didn't like it, and I still don't, but it did, at least, make sense. I finally began to understand how to work with my brain rather than battling against it. Since then, I've had several attempts to wean myself off Venlafaxine. I had heard of problems associated with coming off of antidepressants and had indeed experienced a taste of those issues when I happened to forget a dose... but I never imagined that tapering would result in so many unpleasant side effects. This time - partly from having read posts on this forum - I feel more prepared for the onslaught. I'm down to around 70mg per day and experiencing issues such as tachycardia, dreadful indigestion, and a slightly "fuzzy" head. Thus, I think it would be wise to stop at this point for a few weeks before decreasing further. It's frustrating because I want to finally be off this damned drug, but I know I must exercise patience. Anyway, that's it for now. Best wishes to you all.
  5. I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder in July 2020, and put on 20mg of citalopram. In around August 2020 I was put on 0.5mg of Clonazepam also. I was also put back on my contraceptive pill in October 2020 which I had been taking since 2014, but stopped taking shortly before the dissociation started. I recovered fully by December 2020, and tapered off the citalopram by cutting it down 20>15>10>5 over a few months. Also tapered the Clonazepam the same way 0.5>0.375>0.25>0.125. Stayed recovered until around June 2021. Symptoms returned along with fatigue, more severe memory problems. Put back on citalopram but didn’t last longer than a few days. Tried sertraline 50mg for two days, bad reaction. Now a month into 75mg Effexor, one week on 37.5mg IR, and 3 weeks on 75mg XR I feel even worse, like a ghost who doesn’t exist at all. No memory, no sense of time, completely spaced out and detached, feel like I am dead/not here. No emotions and no real sense of survival. Doctor is not helpful, no one understands. I don’t even understand. Getting worse on the Effexor, would like to come off it ASAP. Struggle to think clearly or logically so can’t really count beads. Any advice or help appreciated.
  6. Hi everyone, Need some advice and support please. See medication history below: Citalopram 20mg approx 2008-2014 Diagnosed cancer April 2014 Swapped to venlafaxine June 2014 severe depression and anxiety Increased dosage up to 300mg extended release venlafaxine All clear cancer Jan 2015 Started withdrawing Feb 2015 did 37.5mg drops and was going well down to 37.5mg June 2016- went cold turkey from 37.5mg on GP recommendation Severe withdrawal Re instated after a week- got impatient, upped to 75mg Stabilised at 75mg after 2 weeks with some lingering head pressure, mild headaches, fatigue October 2016- reduced to 62.5mg. 6 weeks later in November hit by withdrawal symptoms. Re instated back to 75mg. Withdrawal eased within 2 weeks just mild lingering symptoms. January 2017- swapped from 75mg extended release capsules to standard release liquid 37.5mg twice a day. Got shaking, headaches, anxiety,. Psychiatrist said liquid didn't suit me so after 1.5 weeks switched back to 75mg capsules extended release once a day. Back on capsules now for 2 and a half weeks (Feb 2017). Still having awful symptoms. Massive pressure in head, ears, nose, eyes, shaky, crying, brain zaps. Feeling off balance. I'm confused as to why 2 and a half weeks after changing back to my extended release capsules I'm still feeling down and physically awful... am I going to get better? I'm so scared I won't re stabilise, I'm crying as I write this! Hope someone can help. X
  7. I have been on venlafaxine 150 from about 2004 and had stayed on it (more for preventive use as I felt quite well). In 2016, I visited a GP at my usual practice, as I was feeling a little low and was switched, very abruptly I thought (he said venlafaxine was quite an old choice of first line therapy), to fluoxetine (which a later specialist I met at the Royal Edinburgh suggested was probably a poor decision on the GP’s half – he reckoned I should have first tried upping the dose). I was also rapidly, tapered off the venlafaxine (2-3 weeks). I now know this is considered very short withdrawal time (and am aware that prolonged or very prolonged tapering (a year or more) is being advised. Venlafaxine has a very short half life and therefore rapid withdrawal means one has very quickly, very little left of the drug in one’s system. Anyway, over the following 2-3 weeks of withdrawal, I very rapidly descended into my worst ever experience of depression. I will never know exactly the cause – possibly venlafaxine withdrawal syndrome or the fluoxetine not working at all or a reaction to fluoxetine – or whether it would have happened without the drug change. The latter is unlikely in my view as when I was put back on to venlafaxine I made a decent measure of recovery (albeit at a higher dose than before). Mirtazapine was added later on (I take 22.5mg) . This last combination appeared to work but I have now slid back somewhat it feels – overall, much of the time, I feel pretty poor. I don’t feel like trying yet another drug as it means facing for the second time, the venlafaxine discontinuation syndrome. I’ve noticed that the research literature increasingly talks about the seriousness of antidepressant withdrawal and how common it is. Incidentally, I have also read about brain zaps, which I only discovered existed after having 2 or 3 occurrences of them myself (I hadn’t a clue what they were at the time). Now I notice that missing one daily dose can have some notable unpleasant effects as well as the brain . I now wonder if the venlafaxine has lost its efficacy after 17 years – perhaps I’ve become tolerant to it (I can’t accept raising the dose!). I’m also concerned about the long-term health effects of taking the drug – not many studies of long-term effects of antidepressants exist I believe.
  8. Brussellsprout's Success Story: brussellsprout-you-will-make-it-through-and-thrive Hi all, here is my story. I started with dizziness about 10 months ago. My doctor thought it was Vestibular migraine and put me on Celexa 20 mg for two months. Did nothing. They then weaned be off over 10 days before putting me on nortriptyline, getting up to 30 mg over three months. It started to affect me by giving me panic attacks so I weaned off of that over another month. While weaning off of the nortriptyline, once I got down to 15 mg, the doctor started me on Effexor. I started at a quarter of a 37.5 mg tablet and worked up to 37.5 mg over three weeks. I was then on 37.5 mg for two weeks and had awful side effects so started tapering off over a three-week period. Basically, I was on and off of Effexor a total of seven weeks. Then, the doctor put me on Klonopin for two weeks to try to help me come off of the Effexor. I refused to take it for more than two weeks. However, I am now 45 days off all of the medication and I'm having really bad muscle twitches, unsteadiness still, sensations of the floor feeling squishy beneath my feet and a constant feeling of like my brain is cracking. Not to mention emotional upheaval Has anyone here noticed significant improvement in recovery after short term use of these drugs? I'm terrified they permanently altered me and I won't get back to homeostasis.
  9. I am a 33 year old mother of 3 and it has been 2.5 months since my last dose of escitalopram. So many downs with a few ups. I wake up with extreme anxiety. Fear of death and dying for me and my family. I have so many physical symptoms I feel like a hypochondriac. I've had stomach pain side pain, neck pain, knee pain, and hand pain these go away occasionally and then come back. Constant fatigue, dizziness, brain zaps, and headaches. My palpitations have calmed down a bit. I am able to sleep I think that is my saving grace though all this. I try to walk 30 minutes on my treadmill most days and then I'm too wiped out to do much else. I'm on long term disability for some other health problems I don't think it would be possible for me to work as an RN in any capacity. I feel like I lost complete faith and confidence in my ability to do much of anything anymore. I'm just hoping things will get better.
  10. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  11. Hello all, first thank you for this really helpful forum. I started taking Venlafaxine 150 back in 2016. Later in 2018 i started tapering it off with 5-10% rule. In 2020 I arrived finally at 50mg. At this point however I got strong withdrawal symptoms even with 5%. I learned then about the Prozac bridge method and i thought I give it a try. So i am now off the Venlafaxine for about 2 months and now i only take Fluoxetine 13mg. However I still have some withdrawal problems from the venlafaxine 2 months later. It is not that bad, but mostly my brain is hurting headache and strange feelings and tingeling at my brain. I think I will now stay on the Prozac 13mg until the problems go away and then see how fast i can taper the prozac. Or would you say it would be better to go back to the Venlafaxine after 2 months now already because of the symptoms, I am now afraid that those will last years as I have read on some other cold turkey cases. Thanks NightWarrior
  12. Hi there, until recently, I took Venlafaxine (Effexor) for around 4-5 years at various doses, with one failed discontinuation in 2018. Given the regularity with which my depressive episodes began to manifest over the last few years, I was labelled with Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) and my GP gradually increased my dosage of Venlafaxine late last year as I fell into yet another depressive episode. What became clear to me was that I was still suffering with depressive episodes despite therapy and implementing all the coping and preventative strategies I've picked over the years, and regardless of using antidepressants...so what the hell was I taking them for? I also became increasingly concerned about links between the antidepressants and hypertension. Having decided I'd had enough of the cycles of depression, and becoming more and more convinced the antidepressants had become part of the problem, my GP finally agreed to a programme of tapering off them - my aim being to manage my condition 'naturally' instead. I realised that drastic action would be necessary to achieve my goal. Successfully maintaining my job as a teacher was increasingly difficult, if not impossible during depressive episodes, and I realised I would would have to give it up to get through the withdrawal and discontinuation of antidepressants. It has been difficult, but I have been lucky - given how long I had been on them - that the worst of the 'visible' physical symptoms has been nausea and shivering. I took my last antidepressant just over a month ago, and as far as I'm concerned, there is definitely no going back. Of course, other symptoms have been much more pronounced than the physical. To great relief, the numbness and disconnect gradually faded, but only to be replaced by incredibly intense mood swings, during which I swing from feeling motivated and positive about my progress to a level of despair and demotivation that is, quite frankly, scary. At first, the mood swings could almost be hourly, sometimes daily. They are better now in that they're not so regular or intense, but still problematic, and I wonder when...or if I will ever stabilize. So, one question is: how can I tell the difference between relapse and Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (PWS)? I am also curious about (what I think is) a specific withdrawal symptom. Although it's not quite so difficult to manage as it was at first, I continue to to be ridiculously tearful and very easily overwhelmed. I'm not over emotional in general; it's simply that I'm rather easily moved to tears now - sometimes just the mention of crying sets me off. It's kind of like the crying amplifier is set to maximum all the time so there's no normal regulation of emotion, or, to continue using simile to describe it, it's like I'm kind of constantly full to the brim with tears, so the slightest knock means they spill out. Of course, I understand there is nothing wrong with crying, and I don't take on board archaic ideas of toxic masculinity, but this really does feel a little ridiculous, and difficult for me to manage in company or public. So, I was wondering if anyone else is familiar with this experience? Is it a symptom of withdrawal or something else? Should I expect it to gradually pass or not?
  13. Hey everyone, This has been the most informative and useful website I have found thus far, so I was inclined to register. Kudos to the site Administrator and moderators for their hard work and time spent helping others while we collectively try to get through this nightmare. I have been on 150mg of Effexor XR for about 7 years now, for anxiety. I am 28 years old and I would like to be fully weaned off by the time I am 30. I want children in a few years, and I refuse to have this poison in my body during pregnancy. This is the only anti-depressant I have ever been on, originally on a 75mg dose but that stopped working after a month and my dose was increased to the 150mg. I really don't feel like he drug has done anything to help me since then. It's been a series of ups and downs which I'm sure many can relate. I began my taper just over a week ago. It's been a bit of a rough start, due to my own tardiness and ignorance, moving from Canada to the US. When I had my prescription filled here in the US for the first time, they gave me the generic brand Teva Venlafaxine. I did not foresee any issues, but it caused me panic attacks almost immediately. A permanent dizziness, headache, and heartburn, plus I was very irritable. After a week of that, and realizing the side effects weren't getting any better, I had my pharmacy order the brand name Effexor XR for me and they did so without hesitation or a Dr's note. I want to make a suggestion to those who do not have insurance. You can get a free discount card from the manufacturer (Pfizer) and get it for $30/month at participating pharmacies. I was very nervous they wouldn't accept the card. It seemed to good to be true but I can confirm, it worked for me and I purchased my months prescription for just $30 instead of the $350+ full price. You can get your discount card here: https://www.effexorxr.com/choice-card Anyways, I made a silly mistake when I received my first generic prescription. I was ready to start my taper and take some of the beads out. There were exactly 150 beads in each capsule, I started by removing 5. There were no withdrawal symptoms other than drowsiness, but the side effects I described above meant I couldn't stay on the generic brand. Since moving back to the brand name stuff, I notice there are way more beads, I stopped counting at 200 when I realized I wasn't even half way through them. Plus the beads are all different sizes. I got a really good jewelers scale from Amazon.com for just $20 which I would like to use for the remainder of my taper. I calculated 3.3% was the reduction I made by taking 5 beads out of the generic capsule. An unfortunate number to work with, since I am no good with math and neither is my partner. But I would like to maintain that 3.3% for at least a week and then bump it up to either 5 or 10% and stabilize there for a month as Admin suggests. My only concern stems from the fact that the brand name pill has an inconsistent weight, and number of beads. The number of beads don't really matter to me since I am doing it by weight anyways... but the weights vary slightly. Should I do my % calculation based on the average pill weight? Or should I be removing the beads based on the weight of each individual capsule? This is pretty much the only area where I am stumped right now. Last night I based it on that pills weight... and I don't know what to do tonight. From what I've read here it looks like I should just go by the average weight? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/ Any suggestions or advice is appreciated. I've no major withdrawal as of right now... just drowsiness. A bit of heartburn on and off and Tums do help with that. But when I focus too much on the heartburn, I begin to think I'm having a heart-attack and this causes me to (almost) panic! And frightens me when I am trying to sleep. Has this medication/withdrawal been known to cause any major heart problems? Or am I just being silly by worrying about a little bit of heartburn. Thank you in advance and I am very happy to be here.
  14. Hi all,[/size] My name is Lisa, I am a 30 year old female and I believe I've experienced protracted withdrawal. I plan on starting to taper off Effexor XR in July. Here is some of my history: [/size] Starting in 2005, I began taking Lexapro after my father got cancer and passed away 4 months later as I started having panic attacks. I am not sure when I went off Lexapro, but I know I was put on Celexa for a while as Lexapro stopped working and I have now been on Effexor XR for 6 years. In the past, when I go off an SSRI/SNRI, I end up going back on after some time because my panic attacks come back. After 6 months of therapy, I went off Effexor XR in March 2014 with a week of a half dose (37.5 mg) and then completely off, by the advice of a psychiatrist. Actually, the book she referred to recommended 2 days of a half dose and then completely off, but she extended it.[/size] Withdrawal was horrendous. Insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, dizzy, not able to concentrate, felt just SO out of it. Finally it was over in a week or so. But in late May 2015 (3 months later, thinking it was all out of my system and I was good), I had just gotten home from vacation and was about to get into the shower when BAM, I was suddenly so dizzy that I couldn't tell which way was up or down. This remained for 3 months day in and out and after a ton of tests (took meclizine (anti-dizziness pill) which did nothing, ENT looked at my sinuses/ears which were clear, inner ear tests which were normal, brain MRI which was normal), until I went back on Effexor XR in August 2014 by recommendation of a neurologist who said it was my anxiety coming back. During what I'm thinking was protracted withdrawal, I was dizzy constantly. I'd wake up from a deep sleep completely dizzy, it did not go away. I also had excruciating headaches at night and could barely sleep 2-3 hours a night because of this (I NEVER get headaches). I was also severely exhausted because of the dizziness - everything was harder, and the low amounts of sleep due to headaches. I did not understand because other than being upset of my state of being constantly dizzy, I really was not anxious. I was meditating, exercising (as much as I could - it was a feat with being dizzy), nothing significant going on in my life. I had also been going to therapy and made huge strides.. I still continue to go to therapy weekly and it's been about a year and a half now. I was so confused as to how this could be anxiety. Now I'm reading this site and I'm learning this was probably protracted withdrawal. After I started taking the Effexor XR again, within 2 weeks I felt totally better. Now that I have been back on Effexor XR since August 2014, and after learning what I've read on this site, I want to start a slow taper in July after my next vacation. My therapist believes I am ready and now I know I am after having a great suspicion that those symptoms were not due to my anxiety. I have read the advice boards and will be doing the 10% per month taper. I also will be going to the recommended doctor in Farmington, MI and have an appt with him at the end of this month.[/size] Has anyone else experienced the protracted withdrawal symptoms that I had? Any other advice or tips that you can share? I will be coming here often and hoping to make friends [/size] Thanks![/size]
  15. 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
  16. Okay so I am currently 38 and I have been on anti-depressants since.. 18 maybe a bit younger. For the past 8 years (at least) I have been on effexor XR (Venlafaxine) on a dose between 150mg - 300mg - oin the higher end for about the past two years. Recently I started getting anxiety attacks, so the doctor put me on Mirtazopam but I read up on that and didn't like the sound of it. At around that time I saw glimpses of having a sex life in the future and the thing about Effexor is that while it hasn't decreased my libido, it takes me ages to orgasm, by which time all parties have somewhat lost interest. I have accepted that I may be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life, so I didn't consider just coming off them entirely. I spoke to my doctor and the result is that I am switching to Dothep (Duloxepine) 150 mg. But the process is complicated. 7 days on 150mg Effexor (down from 300) and 30 mg Mirtazopam. That is where I am currently. Then 7 days on 75 mg Effexor and 15 mg Mirtazopam. After that two days of nothing. Then start Dothep, 25mg, increasing by 25mg every two days. So far I have experienced: Giant, voracious hunger (this can’t be overstated, we are talking total compulsion). Agonising stomach cramps (admittedly after eating way too much) Bloating Heart palpitations/chest flutters Chest pain Really limited attention span Headache Dizziness/vertigo Limited tolerance for other people Anxiety Oddly though, my mood thus far has been pretty good with the exception of worrying about weight gain because I finally got to a weight I am happy with and I am not keen for that to change.
  17. Hi, ive recently been taken off Effexor which I was on for 2 months, I was then on pristiq for 25 days. 3 months in total. I have had a really tough year trialling meds that didn’t help but made everything worse. My psyc told me to stop pristiq cold turkey due to my rapid decline in mental state. the first 6 days where hell with zaps and vertigo and migraines. I still feel dizzy at times and my cognitive function feels like it’s lagging. Now day 10 I have woken with what I thought was a UTI. I went to the doctor and I don’t have a UTI. Upon research based on symptoms I’m concerned it’s Cystitis as my bladder feels like it’s on fire and or possible PGAD. are there any success stories where this naturally corrects itself and this is another withdrawal symptom. Naturally the body and nerves will take time to heal? advise and help needed- I mentally feel so good putting all meds in the bin but feeling very overwhelmed physically thank you in advance x
  18. Good morning to everybody, First of all, I am sorry because English is not my first language. I have been reading this site for the last three weeks and I feel I would really need your advice. One month ago, I was feeling very well, almost happy, and now I am feeling awful. In the middle, there are silly things I did with Efexor, without knowning anything about antidepressants, that I had never taken before. Withdrawal, tapering, all these things were completely unknown to me. I was very, very reluctant about taking an antidepressant. I started being depressed during my pregnancy, I did a good on line therapy for more than an year to support me and finally my therapist convinced me to start a small dose of 37,5 Mg of effexor in March 2021. I thrived on that dose and felt much better. In August, I started ' forgetting' to take the medicine and told myself that may be I could go off. My therapist was on holiday, but before he went, he also agreed that I was better and that I could soon stop. For three times, I stopped and came back four days later, feeling anxious. Then, I ran out of the medicine. I live in a remote African city and it took more than expected for my parents, who are in Italy, to send it to me. In the meanwhile, to make it last, I just took half every day. But I started feeling horrible!!! Finally, my therapist came back from holiday. He told me: " it's withdrawal, go back to 37,5 and don't worry, we will gradually stop as soon as you come back to Italy, by reducing small amounts". Ok, the problem is that when I reinstated I felt even worse. But I reinstated in a bad week, I had had two teeth removed, I had a bad infection, was taking heavy antibiotical treatment and had eaten almost nothing for five days. Well, I immediately felt better, but after two days I started feeling horrible, couldn't sleep, felt as if something terrible, like Apocalypse, was going to happen in the next five minutes. My doctor suggested that I wait till the end of the antibiotics and then reinstate, but I am very scared. I have finished antibiotics today, and I have taken today 30 beads of Effexor, that contains roughly 120. I wonder if I have compromised my nervous system forever! I am the mother of thre children, the wife of a man who is dealing with his own issues of alcohol dependency ( after three years of intense mobbing at work!) and covid blocked me for two years in the most remote African savannah! I don't want withdrawal too!!! Sorry for this very long post and thank you for all the advice provided by this site, which is just amazing!
  19. Graphic content PIED - porn induced erectile dysfunction PSSD - post SSRI sexual dysfunction Before reading, this will be long, i will really appreciate if you take few minutes to read and help me diagnose if my issue is related to ssri or not. I put some sexual details about myself to describe my dysfunction. My story : 1) Background: i am 26 years old, healthy, fit, was hypersexual, high sex drive, masturbated alot, abused porn in the last few years, but never had an issue, i was able to easily get erections in 15 seconds just by resting my hands on my penis, unvoluntary 1 hour long hard erections during long bus rides, unintentional embarrassing erections when a kid jumps on my lap, with no sexual intention. Was able to get hard just by thinking about sex. Now in just a matter of few months, i have zero libido, erectile dysfunction, no urges to masturbate or watch porn. After abstinence, i get brief moments( minutes) of good libido followed by hard erections, only able to have erections in the morning as soon as i wake up and still in bed. Other than that i am dead and unable to get aroused or have erections with the exception of those brief moments i told you about. I have two explanations, porn induced erectile dysfunction and sexual exhaustion or PSSD. Now for the Story : in December, due to anxiety and panic attacks from stress in college, visited a psychiatrist, he prescribed to me venlafaxine (TEDEMA) 10mg. And a benzodiazepine prazepam 10mg. in December, i used venlafaxine 10mg twice a day for a week, then once a day for a week and i stopped. and prazepam occasionally until February. In February, i started venlafaxine but only for a week until my dose run out and stopped. I also used propranolol during January to control my panic attacks. I stopped the snri because i had delayed ejaculation, which i reach the edge of orgasm and it runs away so i have to try hard to trigger an orgasm. Also my penis looked smaller flaccid. In January, i noticed that sometimes when i masturbated, my penis wasn't fully hard, i gave that to 40mg propranolol side effects. In February, March, i suddenly lost interest in my girlfriend and i broke up with her, but i still masturbated and watched porn daily, i notice sometimes my penis wasn't as hard as it used to be. But only sometimes. In April, i notice that when masturbating, i lose erection as soon as i stop stimulation. At that moment i was shocked and since then, i had no libido to masturbate, watch porn. So could PSSD come after some months, or was it because of my excessive porn use and masturbation? Last year i could masturbate 4 times a day and always rock hard. What i tried for recovery: I learned about nofap(abstinence) in August. So in September, i stopped porn and masturbation, i didn't have any desires anyway. After 40 days, i had consistent morning wood of good quality for 2 weeks. After that, it was inconsistent and varied in quality. I had 3 days around day 50, where my penis became very sensitive, and each time i lay in bed, i get very aroused and felt extremely horny followed by the hardest erections i had in a long time. Then back to zero in the evening of the 3rd day. There were short brief moments of libido but they don't last more than a minute. I try talking dirty with a girl i know on the phone to test myself, it feels like a job, i get occasionally a weak erection that lasts seconds. But there were times where suddenly after a while i get very aroused and have an erection. At day 70, i masturbated 4 times with few hours in between, first time i had inconsistent erection where it could be good then fades away. Secons Second time, i had a good erection all time, 3rd and 4th time, i was limp and slightly hard as i was about to ejaculate. I regained morning wood after 3 days. Now and since few weeks, i only can have an erection in the morning if i try to stimulate myself with hand, not very strong but good overall. But in the afternoon and night, no matter how hard i try, i cannot make my penis become erect. Also some mornings i feel some libido and i could get erections by fantasy, but only while still in bed before waking up. Please help me diagnose if this is pssd or porn related. If this is pssd, definitely i will prefer to die, i had bad days where i punch the wall and the closet, i cry in bed every night feeling bad about myself, and i think about suicide especially i am alone and i don't have family or friends. I never cried since i was 14 after my father's death, now because of pssd worries i broke down and cried. I quit college, lost all hope and motivation for life, please don't tell me it's depression, i was depressed all my life but never had sexual dysfunction like this.
  20. I have a 23 year old non-vocal child (autism, self-injury, mood disorder and agitated catatonia.) Since they cannot tell me about the withdrawal effects they are experiencing I'm reaching out for some help. They have been on 175mg of Zoloft for 3+ years, they have also been experiencing severe periodic limb movements of sleep which I've read can be a side effect of Zoloft. The doc recommended reducing Zoloft by 25mg every two weeks. Within 3 days of reducing the Zoloft my adult child starting have problems with falling asleep and staying asleep as well having short periods of unusual agitation during the day. The doc doesn't think the insomnia is related to the taper but it is clear to me that there is a direct correlation. My thoughts are reducing the daily zoloft in increments of 11.5mg per month (cutting a 25mg pill in half,) This taper would take us through mid-October of next year before we could discontinue. Does this sound reasonable? Are there any other possible/likely discontinuation symptoms I should be on the watch for? Regards' Zwerger Parent of Adult non-vocal child with various mental health conditions Zoloft 175 Taper Recommendations Needed Venlafaxine 150MG Trazodone 250MG Depakote ER 500mg tabs, takes two pills each in AM and PM for a total of 2000mg
  21. Hello, I think it best to start a history of how I got here. I was also on antidepressants from 1986 to 1989. Was put back on AD’s in 1997. I was functional for years with periods of remission and periods of depression and anxiety. Single mother, worked, raised two girls, etc. I was on sertraline the longest. Over a period of about 4 years I began to slowly lose interest in socializing and doing things and became increasingly anxious and fearful, lost my confidence. Was bumped back and forth from Sert. 100-150mg a few times then stayed at 150. Was able to remain functional. By Fall 2017 my anxiety was constant and severe, panic attacks, increased depression, insomnia, no appetite, and much difficulty functioning, relying on lorazepam to get through the day. In January 2018 the sertraline was increased the max. 200 mg., did nothing. 2 months later was cross tapered over a week to Fluoxetine. Within 3 weeks was non-functional and could not continue working, a huge stressor. Could barely get out of bed or leave the house. Became worse on fluoxetine, horrible symptoms, severe anxiety, panic, irrational fears, depersonalization, racing thoughts, constant jerking, insomnia, panic, speech and word retrieval issues, suicidal ideation, barely able to drive or go out. Constant brain fog, difficulty speaking. 12 weeks later was switched to Paxil, within 2 weeks became even worse, and was switched to venlafaxine. Within 2 days was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for 3 weeks. The venlafaxine, mirtazapine and lorazepam were increased and olanzapine added. In Aug. 2018 my Psych. increased the Ven to 225 mg, in Oct. 2018 to 300 mg and the olanzapine to risperidone. With the risperidone, became very foggy, out of it, suffered from derealization, anxiety worsened again, had panic attacks. Dec. 2018 Ven was reduced to 225 mg and mirt.to 15. Became worse. Feb. 2019 months back to 300 mg. Stimulants added but made things worse those. Stopped Risperidone over 2 months, July 2018. In Aug. 2019 went to 225mg Ven, Sept. back to 300. I continue to be lethargic, emotionally blunted, disinterested, unmotivated, unable to cry, anxious, periods of heightened anxiety, fearful, uneasy, ruminating and worrying, no anticipation, pleasure, joy, the list goes on. I am bored with no motivation, interest or confidence. I am now 65 years old and had to retire on disability. Now that I am at 178mg I can think more clearly and word retrieval is better. Last year I began researching online. Found SA., read Robert Whitakers book, joined the Effexor withdrawal group. To put it mildly my eyes were opened. Learned about poop out, withdrawal, PAWS. That these drugs can keep you this way and how dangerous they are. I tapered from 15 mg mirtazapine (too fast) by breaking off pieces (off April 24, 2020). Severe insomnia, but do get broken sleep now. Started tapering from 300 mg Ven on April 1, 2020, by weighing beads. The first 5% taper was okay. Thought it would be easy, 10% here we come. I was so wrong. Starting with the 5/1 taper, began experiencing greatly increased anxiety and worrying, ruminating over and over, waking with anxiety, dread, unease (the intense morning unease does pass after about an hour) nervous stomach, intermittent heart palpitations. This starts around day 4 of the taper and can go 4 weeks without beginning to lessen its grip. I feel blah most of the day, it’s often a struggle to do even little things. I generally feel better in the evening, then by morning it's all back. I hold, but there has not been a day in over 3 years that I haven’t experienced anxiety and blahness. I’m close to 5 weeks into this taper and am just starting to feel it start to lessen. I know my CNS was destabilized and is oversensitive to drops. I am afraid that I have been kindled. Does this sound like kindling? Do people successfully taper when kindled? Could I also still be experiencing PAWS from being taken off sertraline, plus withdrawals from going off mirtazapine too fast, and from tapering venlafaxine? The lack of interest, motivation, anticipation scares me, between that and the fear and anxiety, it’s a terrible way to live. I am home all the time unless I go for a walk or out for necessities. Like others I am sure, I am frightened that I will not recover. I am determined to get off of psychiatric meds. It has been hard to wrap my head around how long this is going to take, and it keeps getting longer. I never again want to go through what I went through when I was in poop out and then taken off sertraline and then paroxetine, it was terrifying. I’m not sure what to do next once I stabilize from this last drop. It seems even 5% at once is too much. The 4+ weeks of severe (neuro) anxiety and ruminations, morning dread, nervous stomach and heart palpitations are not sustainable. I just can’t tolerate it any more. Being blah and not wanting to do anything and no interest is bad enough. I need to find a taper pace that is tolerable. Maybe at some point in the future I will be able to tolerate larger drops. I was thinking about the Brass Monkey slide method, at 1.25 for 4 weeks plus the hold. Maybe my system would accept that. But maybe not. The thoughts of how may years this could take is so disheartening. I need some help to move forward with a taper rate that I can tolerate. I am trying not to fear that I won’t be able to find a tolerable taper rate. I want to heal from this. Any help, wisdom and encouragement would be very much appreciated.
  22. Hi, I am a 44 yo guy. I'll keep this very short for now as I need to a ask a single urgent question. I was struggling with (moderate?) depression and anxiety for a couple of mounth. Taking 0.5 mg Lorazepam for sleep during this period. Decided to go the meds route and took 1 pill 75mg Venlafaxine XR 22 hours ago. First 3 hours had increased anxiety, nausea, constant burping. Afterwards felt much better, but a new symptom - dysphagia appeared. I have real difficulty swallowing food now. Water is fine. I would like to stop Venlafaxine after taking just one pill of it. Should I just stop ? I got the necessary tools to taper (purchased for the benzo I'm taking), but I only took 1 pill. I am supposed to take the next dose in 2 hours. Thanks, nismesec
  23. Hello everybody, I'm a girl from Europe and I am having some troubles with withdrawal. I started taking Venlafaxine 75mg 10 years ago when I was still very young because of light depression and was pretty quickly upped to 225mg. 5 years ago I first started tapering. Down to 37,5mg in about 1,5 years and then stopped. It was pretty tough but mostly not completely debilitating until around 8 months of stopping when I started having severe insomnia and a lot of other difficult symptoms like DR, akathisia, anxiety (or maybe I should say terror), aches and a lot of other stuff. I thought I was going crazy. I was put on a few different antidepressants but nothing helped and I ended up with the Venlafaxine again on low dose. I was still feeling pretty bad on it and was not really depressed and could not stand being on it anymore so I tried to get off it several times over the next year but always had immediate insomnia and panic and went back on. Then I finally found this site and stayed on the same dose of 10mg for 8 months. I was feeling very bad for a while but I felt I recovered quickly so I made the decision to just quit it (I tapered the 10mg slowly over 2 months) around 8 months ago. The past months have been very hard but it was bearable, I got quite good at handling all the weird things that were happening to me, avoiding triggers as good as possible. The most persistent and horrible symptom is my insomnia. I never used to have any troubles with insomnia but since it started the first time I went off the medication, it never really went away. There were times when it was better but for 8 months now it takes me hours to fall asleep, often I wake up soon after. It was bearable because I would still get a couple of hours of sleep most nights but for two weeks now I am barely sleeping at all and of course that makes all the symptoms so much more difficult. I am freaking out a little. I try to stay positive but I tried pretty much all the advice on here and nothing seems to help. Before this started two weeks ago I actually felt like I was getting better, now I wonder if it was just a torturous honeymoon phase. I am so scared of my good sleep not coming back. How will I recover then I wonder? What if it isnt even withdrawal? I read other peoples stories but it seems most do not have this problem for so long or so severely and I am worried it wont go away anymore. I know it is part of WD to constantly question whether one will ever get better and I try to tell myself that it will but it is really hard right now. This whole thing is quite exhausting, this has been going on for so long and I am upset with myself for quitting so rapidly when I had finally stabilized a little. But I am trying to stay positive, hopefully someone has some advice. I have been browsing this site for a while now and it has helped me a lot, so thank you to everybody working here to help others through this time.
  24. I have been taking Venlafaxine at 75mg per day for about 6 years. The side effects were becoming too annoying to contiune - mainly flat, blunt unemotional mood, drowsineess during the day (i would fall asleep at my desk whilst working (at home)) and frequent urination, especially at night, which interrupted sleep too much. I have successfully tappered off venlafaxine once before after about 10 months treatment. I did it over 9 months without any issues. Buoyed by that success, i thought i could do it again and embarked on a taper using broken pills and liquid preparations prescribed by my doctor on the UK NHS. I only took 4 months this time which wasnt that sensible , as i now know. The taper ended 5 weeks ago today (24/11/17). Since then i have experienced many and varied discontinuation symptoms both physical and emotional: - physical - nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, dizziness and swimmy feeling in the head; mild visual disturbances; mild but constant headache; mild tingling sensation in the face - emotional - depression, anxiety like i've never experiened before for no aparent reason, irritability, poor concentration; mood swings over a very short time period for no apparent reason etc The semotional symptoms come and go. I will have one or two good days followed by 2-4 days of feeling depresed, anxious, etc On the up side i do feel like im experiencing real emotions like i havent felt for year I have mananegd to control some of the symptoms with supplements such as tryptophan. i also take fish oil, B vits, vitamin C and D I exercise a lot - run 5-6 km per day and try very hard to eat well; lots of fruit and vegetables etc Any suggestions for help would be gratefully received!
  25. Hello, Hello I am new to this site. I would specifically like to connect to others tapering from Venaflaxine/ Effexor I have been taking Venaflaxine XL 150mg for 12 years and have decided to start tapering my dose. From reading this site and some others, I've decided to start by tapering by 10% of the last dose that I have taken and hold on the new dose for a month. I am from London and am speaking to my GP who is my prescriber about this in a weeks time. I am sure that my GP does not have any knowledge of bead counting or weighing as I was originally advised to make much bigger cuts that 10% using what doses are available. The brand of Veneflaxine that I am currently being prescribed is Venlaslov XL 150mg prolonged release capsules. They have 12 mini pills inside each capsule. Are these what you are referring to as beads? When I pick up my prescription from the pharmacy I often am given a different brand name of capsules. From what I've been reading, its essential to have the same brand name all the way through a taper and to have the brand that has the largest amounts of beads in. My plan is to reduce from 150mg - 135g hold for a month, then reduce to 121.5 for a month and so on. So tapering 10% of the last dose taken. I can't make this up with my current brand as the beads are 12.5mg each so not small enough to even start to taper on. They also only come in 150mg and 75mg. Questions - Can someone advise me on the best capsule brand to use for tapering by counting beads? Also is there anyone else on this site from the UK who gets their prescription through their GP that is tapering Veneflaxine/ Effexor in this way? I don't think its possible to specify what brand of capsules that you receive. It seems it changes according to what the Pharmacy has received? Does anyone have any experience of this in the UK? Also I have not ever heard of a compounding Pharmacy? Are they something that exists in the UK? Lastly what is the best literature or summary, that people have found to give to their prescribers in order to convince them to come on this journey with them, ie to believe in the tapering method at 10% from last dose and counting beads? Many thanks in advance! I am so pleased I have found this site as before this I was totally in the dark about how to do this
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