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  1. 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 .
  2. 20 years on effexor and buspiron due to depression - anxiety. One year on lamotrigin. I started tapering in 2016 because of adverse effect. Effexor 150 mg to 75 mg by addwise from doc. No problems. Next on 37,5 and hell broke loose. Reinstated on 75 and kept it there. While tapering I was sat on lamotrigin 300 mg over a couple of month. No effect! Started tapering buspiron 10 mg x 2 august 2017 and is know on 6+6 Started tapering lamotrigin nov 2017 and is now on200 mg. After reading here I got in doubt. Am I tapering in the best way? Recomondation?
  3. Moderator note: Link to benzo forum thread: summitbound: Poly-drugged: Thinking about tapering an AD w/ benzo Hello, I'm brand new to this site. I've been so busy learning about benzo tapering (and suffering!) on benzobuddies.org that I have yet to tackle getting off any of my antidepressants. I've already been tapering the benzo for over a year. I know that the general rule is to taper off your benzos first, and then work on your antidepressants. That said, I probably have a year or more left on my benzo taper and I hate being poly drugged with three antidepressants. I'd like to safely chip away at at least one of them. I think the mirtazipine is really helping with my sleep during bezno withdrawal, so I don't think I want to touch it. It seems like the low hanging fruit would be the lithium, since it seems I'm on a less than theraputic dose at 675 mg. Thoughts? So far, I have been "blessed" during my benzo taper in that I have not suffered from depression, severe anxiety, or panic. So I do want to tread carefully. Thanks so much!
  4. Hi All, My 16yo vivacious daughter ran into a bout with serious depression when she was 14. After a failed trial with Zoloft, her MD put her on Effexor (venlafaxine) 75mg ER. While a relatively modest dose, she took this medication for two years. She also took Lutera (birth control) during this time to help with PMS/menstrual issues. This past May we decided to discontinue the venlafaxine with doctor/psychologist's approval. Doctor gave us a very drastic and probably unrealistic taper program. We opted to taper more slowly than what doctor prescribed -- alternating between 75mg and 37.5mg, daily, every other day, etc then dropping to just 37.5mg. We hovered at 37.5 for a period of time, and then tried to taper from there without success. Since she was miserable even while tapering, and since from what I was reading (I hadn't yet found this site...) it seemed like even more modest tapering would not avoid the misery of withdrawal, we dropped from 37.5 to 0. She took her last 37.5mg venlafaxine pill sometime in late July. (She also discontinued the Lutera at some point over the summer, although I do not remember exactly when.) She was miserable for 8 days. Her biggest symptoms were nausea, headache, dizziness/vertigo, occasional vomiting (flu-like symptoms). She decidedly did not have anger, anxiety, or any other emotional/mood-type symptoms and only a few brain zaps toward the very end. After day 8, she was good for about 10 days, after which the dizziness, headache, vertigo returned -- this time for 3 days. After the third day of misery, she again was fine. Repeat this pattern, and we are now in what I call our fourth "episode" (I guess, the correct term is a "wave"?) of withdrawal symptoms returning -- again, no mood/emotional issues, but vertigo, queasiness, stomach pain, headache. We have tried to treat her symptoms with very little success -- dramamine, ginger, meclizine, tylenol, ibuprofen, Excedrin migraine, promethazine, pepto bismol. MD has been willing to consider possibility symptoms have been withdrawal-related, but seeds were sown at our last visit that we were getting close to the end of that window. In addition to anti-nausea medications, at last check-in (after 3d "wave") MD prescribed 10mg fluoxetine to use as a "boost." That worked one time, and since then hasn't made much of a difference. She has taken the fluoxetine 3x, and I would say all it did was serve to push off the inevitable. My daughter is home from school today, again, probably her 9th absence already this year (not even 2 months into school). I am at a loss at this point as to what to do to help her. The last "wave" lasted 5 days, and it looks like this current one is heading in that same direction (this is longer than previous 2 waves -- those were 3-4 day experiences). I will note that the onset of the "waves" seems to correlate to when her estrogen level would be at its lowest during her menstrual cycle. Curious? Does that suggest anything? Thinking that there had to be a physiological reason for what she was experiencing, I focused on boosting her seratonin/norepinephrine production (to replicate what the SNRI had been doing?) -- starting her on 5HTP and L-Tyrosine, along with magnesium and fish oil. Even when reduced to just the 5HTP along with the magnesium and fish oil, anxiety was starting to become a problem. Switched to adaptogens (Rhodiola and Holy Basil) and the anxiety has disappeared and she seemed quite well-balanced until this latest "wave" where, again, it is the vertigo/nausea/headache trifecta that we cannot seem to remedy. Looking at working with a functional doctor at this point but very frustrated with what I am running into --- first available new patient appointments months out? (First place I called, could not get her in until March!!?) Wondering if a functional doctor can help? Any ideas, suggestions, hope? So scary to read of such long and painful experiences of others and the possible life-long consequences from these drugs. Realize we are probably paying the price for a poor taper (?) -- wish I had found this site sooner -- any helpful place to go from here? Thank you for reading.
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. Hello, my name is Danielle. I am new to this site, but have been reading it for quite some time now. My parents put me on effexor xr when I was 6 years old for severe anxiety and childhood phobias. It worked great for years. I had very little side effects and life was hunky dory. I am now 24 years old and the medication is no longer working. I stupidly tried to come off of the Effexor over the coarse of 3 months under directions from my psychiatrist. Obviously, I crashed and I have been desperately trying to get my life back for the last 10 months. During those months, I was under the impression that I was ‘very ill’ and a ‘special case’ based on the severity of my symptoms, but now I am realizing what has happened to me is not my original illness resurfacing, but the effects of the discontinuation of the medication. I’m an RN and have been out of work for the last 6 months. I have read stories on here of people eventually recovering from ssri and snri withdrawl, but was wondering if anyone has any experience or knows of anyone who was prescribed one of these drugs as a child. Is there hope for me or will I have to live with the consequences of my parents decision for the rest of my life? Will these dehabilitating symptoms ever go away or are my receptors f***ed for life?
  8. I've been taking Effexor for about sixteen months. It literally saved my life. I've never been on any kind of psychoactive medication before... well, I suppose opiates... but anyway. I got sick about four years ago. My doctor(s) at the time pretty much dismissed everything. And at a time when I needed some emotional support, my wife provided none. In fact she made things worse by yelling at me. A lot. I found myself crying all the time, and she would belittle me for crying so much. Eventually I found a new doctor and it turned out I had cancer. Long story. Now the treatments have ended and it looks like I won. But at the time I was still having the crying fits. My oncologist was no help. I did some online research and eventually asked my GP for Effexor, as it seemed to have the ability to help people "forget". I doubled my dose twice and have been at 150mg daily since January. In April (nearly a year on Effexor) I started feeling much better. It looked like I would probably be taking it for the rest of my life. A month ago I started having some abdominal pains, saw my GP and he ordered a scan. Turns out I have another cancer now. This kind of thing normally doesn't happen to me. Anyway, they have to cut me open and get past some organs to get to it. Radiation and chemo don't work on this one. Earlier this year I had some food poisoning and couldn't eat - or take Effexor - for a full day and started feeling this "swooshing" in my head. More online research. It's called brain zaps. So I need to have surgery four weeks from today. I will be unable to eat - or take Effexor - for several days. More online research. I just discovered surviving antidpepressants last night. There's an awful lot to read here. Today I am trying to start tapering off Effexor, as I have some 75 and 37.5 mg caps, so am hoping to go with 112mg daily this week, or maybe two weeks. My plan is to reduce the daily Effexor enough that if I can start Prozac I will be able to recover from the surgery without experiencing withdrawal at the same time. I see my GP on Thursday and will present the Prozac bridge. He is just a GP but has been willing to help me in any way he can, but last time I mentioned withdrawal from the Effexor he simply said "it isn't that bad". So as with practically everything else, it appears that I'm on my own.
  9. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  10. 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 =)
  11. I am posting this on behalf of my husband who is quite unwell. I am in a very vunerable place watching my husband deteriorate so please be kind. We are in our 60's and have never experienced anything like this. My husband was administered antidepressants for depression over 30 years ago and has remained on antidepressants all this time. I cannot recall what they started him on but maybe 8 years ago he was moved to Effexor XR 75mg. When it was increased to 150mg - we noticed a lack of feeling and low libido. We discussed the idea of coming off the Effexor XR and did this with the aid of high quality supplements - tapering by reducing the beads over a year. There were horrible side effects - nausea, high anxiety and then the concentration started to be impacted. After six months of being off the Effexor XR he deteriorated very quickly to the point where he became Psychotic and he couldn't get his brain to think how to get himself into the shower. It was like his brain had frozen. He kept saying I am losing it! Unfortunately he was admitted to the Psychiatric Ward where they administered 10mg Olanzepine and 75mg Effexor XR then increased it up to 150mg. He was released after three weeks. He was on Olazepine for about three months and the Psychiatrist reduced him off that. Because he is still not stable the Psychiatrist was not sure whether to increase or reduce his medication. He has gone for the latter and we are administering 112mg every other day at around 10am this is our 3rd day (eg 150mg one day 112mg the next and so on). I am monitoring him closely and notice that he is so much more responsive in the morning and quite normal, although says he feels really tired. His memory and concentration has been affected. He has blurred vision. After his medication is given I notice he begins pacing, not as responsive to talking and becomes quite anxious. The Psychiatrist says he has had a relapse and has major depression. I don't know who to believe anymore but I just want my husband well again. Please help?
  12. Hello SA members, I am new here. Before June 2017 I was taking Lexapro/60mg and Lithium/600mg, I stopped cold turkey, did well for 2 months but ended up going to the ER for insomnia, was sleeping less than 2 hrs. at night. I didn’t know anything about withdrawals weeks ago; the doctors don’t talk about it, they just want to put you on something. I spent 10 days in the Psych ward in Sept/2017, they started me on Remeron 15mg and Effexor 37.5/75/112.5/150mg, after I left the hospital my psychiatric increased to Remeron 45mg and Effexor ER 150mg. Since I started Effexor ER 150 noticed hyperactivity episodes, so the Dr. decreased to 112.5mg and I have been trying to stay on 75mg I want to start to taper them and when I stop my final doses I want to replace them with supplements and vitamins. It's been only a month since I started taking Remeron and Effexor. I am scared and confused of what to do and how to do it. Please help.
  13. I've been taking Pristiq 100mg (plus 5mg Somit to sleep and 100mg Activigil to wake up) for the past 3 years more or less. I've been trying to quit Pristiq for many months due to HORRIBLE withdrawals whenever I forgot even one pill. I got to down the dose to Pristiq 50mg after enduring two weeks of those horrible withrawals and then they were gone, luckily. Now I'm trying to figure out my next step. There's no Pristiq 25mg where I am from. My psych told me to switch to venlafaxine 75mg three days ago, not the XR, the regular. It has such a short half life that I'm having horrible symptoms as well, even though I'm taking 37,5mg in the morning and 37,5mg in the afternoon. I'm trying to figure out if this is the best way to quit Pristiq. She says I should stay with venlafaxine and taper down from it. I'm worried about feeling awful. I can't function. Should I stay with the venlafaxine or switch back to Pristiq 50mg and figure out something else? Should I bridge with Prozac form Pristiq? Should I stay with venlafaxine and THEN bridge with Prozac? Should I just taper down from venlafaxine? By the way, thank you all for describing so accurately all the discontinuations sympotms of the Pristq- the brain zaps, the headaches, the dizziness, the confusion. What has this done to us? I want out.
  14. Hello everyone, It feels good to discover this site - thank you all for being here. Right now I've run out of everything, my depression has swamped me, I'm exhausted. Doc queried increasing meds, I said no. I realise this would be a silly time to start coming off them, and I'm not thinking of doing that, but the need to stop meds is always in my head. I want to know everything I can about it, especially how to know when to start decreasing. My husband, who is beautifully supportive of me in every other way, is sure that the possible upheaval would be too much for our family. I worry about that too.
  15. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
  16. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - apuddle: Have any of you suffered from frequent urination and urgency while being on clonazepam? I'll try and keep it short because I feel cognitively blunted at the moment. Last year I was put onto 1mg of clonazepam at night. Then towards the end of the year I was put on effexor 75mg and It did nothing for me and I had no side effects. Near the end of last year it was decided to up my dosage to 150mgs of effexor. I was OK for a month or so. In January I was finally diagnosed with a new chronic condition and had my clonazepam upped to 6mg and was put onto abilify at 10mg. I can't give you exact times and dates but I would say that around February time I started to suffer from urinary hesitancy. It got to the point where I had to sit on the toilet for around 15 minutes until I could finally push the urine out. I tried to see if it went away within a few weeks but it didn't. So I tapered off of effexor and around the 37mg mark I could finally stand and pee (i'm male). Around a week or two later I was fully off of effexor and everyting seemed to be back to normal. Three weeks later, out of nowhere, I was sitting on my chair watching tv and had an intense urge to pee. it was awful. it felt like something had exploded in my bladder and I just needed to pee and never stop. I had a constant feeling of urgency, frequency and nocturia. When I tried to sleep, I would lay down and my bladder felt like it had pins and needles, which prompted extreme urgency and a feeling of my bladder being full. I'd get up, go to the toilet and only drips would come out. Awful! No matter what position I laid in I had that awful feeling in my bladder with extreme urgency. The strange feeling when trying to sleep eventually calmed down after 2-3 weeks, and I realised that not drinking 4-5 hours before bed really helped me get some sleep and stop the nocturia. I stopped the Abilify but nothing happened. It had no affect on my bladder and how it was feeling. I am now only taking clonazepam 6mg, but I should be taking 2 other meds but refuse to until I get some idea of what's going on. I have seen a urolgist. I Have had blood tests, urine tests, antibiotics, a camera down my penis and into the bladder, and a urodynamics test. Everything has come back clear! They have no idea what is causing it and are calling it idopathic. I have tried the medications for bladder spasms to they do nothing but make me constipated and dry my mouth out. So my life for the last 6 months has been nothing but peeing up to 20 plus times a day. Needing to urinate when my baldder fills with 100mls of urine and just feeling lost and hopeless. I find it very coincidental that I was having issues with my bladder on Effexor, and then 2-3 weeks after completely stopping this new bladder condition comes out of the blue. It'S also possible that abilify somehow did this to me. I am currently tapering off of Clonazepam and I am on 5.5mgs. I have so far seen no improvement when it comes to my bladder, and to be honest I don't expect to. I have done so much reading up on the drug (clonazepam, hoping, praying that it could all be down to the benzo, but it's just so unlikely. Surely I would have developed these symptoms during the 9 months I was on them. Unless they are somehow interfering my body healing itself after coming off effexor, but that was 7 months ago now. I'm angry and I refuse to believe that this just came out of nowhere! I'm a healthy 32 year old male who will now most likely have to live with this awful condition for the rest of my life, or eventually have a bag on my stomach. Has anyone else had similar problems? Anyway, that's me and my introduction. Thanks.
  17. 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.
  18. Hi all! Finally had the time and courage to start to tell my story. I'm thirty-something year old woman from Finland. This forum has been really important to me on this dreadful journey. It's crucial to hear that you're not just imagining things and not alone in this. When my withdrawal really hit me the first time, I was so scared. I had heard of AD whitdrawal but didn't really know what to expect. I've never felt so deeply depressed and utterly hopeless than in some waves I've had during this whithdrawal. That really puts you in to the darkest place ever I have a wide range of symptoms, most of the Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist I have been under a serious stress on this past month and I have noticed that it has possibly made my symptoms worse again. But fortunately I have noticed some progress too. I also have been able to sleep almost the entire time. That's HUGE! Well, that's probably all I can write now. It's really tough to write in a foreign language with this braindamage, it has made me so slow..
  19. My introductory post. I have a sleep disorder associated with Fibromyalgia. Fibro also is associated with anxiety and depression and inability to relax the muscles. So, Venlafaxine has been a real help for me to live a normal life for 20 years. But I'm 68 and want to get off. Today is the 6th day following a failed tapering, my second. My first tapering was a year ago. I have a terrible sleep disturbance: I have a panic attack while falling asleep. My husband is helping me find a better psychiatrist, one who is experienced with both a sleep disorder and tapering. But this time around as I tried to fall asleep a loud buzzing sound and vibrating sensation occurred inside my right nasal passage. As I type this I am aware it sounds unbelievable. It's so embarrassing. "Doctor, I have a bee in my nose." Well, I googled "my own snoring wakes me up" and found Sleep-Doctor http://sleep-doctor.com/blog/does-your-own-snoring-wake-you-up-from-sleep/ . Anyone have a similar weird sleep disorder? I bet it was due to tapering - some kind of neurological trauma. I'm exhausted. Last night I finally slept through the night.
  20. On Effexor (Venlafaxine) since Fall 2016; taking 200 mg for the past 6 months or so. I've decided to stop the effexor, as I feel that it is no longer working. I picked up a prescription for 25 mg effexor yesterday, in order to taper by 25 mg every 3-4 days (as recommended by my psychiatrist). 9/26/18 was my first night of 175 mg; I felt okay the next morning, if not a bit dehydrated. However, over the course of the day, particularly in the evening, I began to feel out of it, naseous, and just weird (for lack of a better description). That being said, I also had not eaten much that day; however, I've never felt "weird" while not having eaten, as I did 9/27. I will continue with the 175 mg dose for the next few days to determine whether the symptoms were due to lack of food or effexor. I’m terrified to taper off it it. I’ve been reading about it, and the stories of tapering off are terrifying! However, I still read them just so I know the possibilities. What kind of tapering experience have you had? Was it good or bad? Has anyone tapered off with zero side effects? Thanks!
  21. I am currently tapering off of Effexor (was at 200 mg) and I have been taking 175 mg for the last 10 days. So far, I feel absolutely zero withdrawal symptoms. I do not have any brain zaps, irregular moods, or anything like that. So, my question: has anyone ever tapered off of an antidepressant with absolutely zero withdrawal symptoms?
  22. Until July 2017 I was an active, healthy female (58). I'd been extremely fortunate in that, the only health problem I'd ever encountered had been anxiety/low grade depression. At least that's what the doctors diagnosed 20 years ago. I was put on Effexor 75mg and then, some years later, reduced the dosage to 37.5mg. In January 2017 I started tapering off my medication and by July was off Effexor. I did experience the odd brain zap but could easily go about my daily business. Suddenly at the end of July, I started having what I thought to be panic attacks (but which were, in actual fact, heart arrhythmias) and my then psychiatrist put me back on Effexor albeit 150mg/day. At 2am on August 12th, I had a sudden cardiac arrest. Thankfully one of our dogs wakened my husband and he and my daughter performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. My guardian angel was watching over me and after a week in the hospital, where I was fitted with an ICD and was put on 30mg Cymbalta, I returned home. Fast forward to three weeks later. My ICD fired. Off to hospital. In for observation for a week but no arrhythmias could be detected Returned home and 24 hours later the ICD fired again! In hospital for another 10 days, had a catheter ablation but no structural heart damage was found. What they did find was that one of the ICD leads had moved and pushed itself through one of the heart walls which could have explained the shocks. So another intervention to replace the lead. I was still on Cymbalta and an anti-arrhythmic drug. Just when I was beginning to think I was on the road to recovery, my ICD fired on the 12th of November. Off to hospital. In for ten days where I met a fascinating psychiatrist who thought that my SCA could have been induced by going back on Effexor as it's known to have a potential influence on cardiac rhythms. And since Cymbalta is also a SNRI, it would be advisable to stop taking it. Well since November 17th I'm Cymbalta-free and yes, I went cold turkey which I normally would not have done under other circumstances. Initially I experienced, brain zaps, anxiety and irritability. However, the symptoms were bearable. I’ve been taking vitamin D3, magnesium and Omega 3 supplements and trying to eat all the right foods. I walk my dogs every day so am getting exercise and fresh air on a regular basis and I go for acupressure treatments (suggested by my new psychiatrist). I was progressing quite well until March 2018 when I started experiencing severe anxiety, dizziness, muscle tension and headaches.The situation has improved every so slightly since then. Am I experiencing what is known as protracted withdrawal?
  23. Hi everyone, I am so thankful to find this forum. I have been on Effexor XR 75mg for 10 months as prescribed by my doctor for anxiety issues. I am another person that wished I had known more about this drug before I began taking it. I have been seeing my psychologist during this time and I am feeling so much better and ready to stop taking Effexor XR. After having no real idea what I was in for i began searching online as my doctor (who I now think has no idea what this drug can do when stopped) just gave me a prescription for the 37.5mg and said start them alternating days with your 75mg. This worried me greatly when i started educating myself more on the withdrawal symptoms. My very supporting partner both discussed it and after much research decided we will open up the 75mg capsule and start the long process of bead counting and 10% reduction. I feel much safer doing it this way than just dropping the 50% to 37.5mg. So here I am day 2 and all is well so far but I am strapping myself in and doing everything possible to make it less severe as possible. Exercising, cleaned up my diet, started taking vitamin supplements and fish oil. I would appreciate any other tips there is a lot of info around but I am always grateful for more. I am ready to be free of Effexor XR. My anxiety is in check so far and am feeling positive. Thanks for reading, Nikki.
  24. Hi everyone! Finally got round to creating an account after months of just reading posts. Anyway, I'm currently on 18.75mg immediate release Venlaflaxine. Since The beginning of 2016. I was on the prolonged release tablet for many years ,the highest dose being 150mg for 3 years. I gradually reduced this down to 37.5mg ,with long holds in between ,the longest being 2 years. However since I went onto the immediate release I have felt a significant difference. I feel low in the morning and get better towards the evening, I've found this has impacted my decision making. Despite this I continued making reductions to where I'm at half a tablet at present. I've had a lot of ups and downs in this period eg relationship ended ,although I'm able to exercise and have managed to work, but not consistently. My sleep has not been the same since I changed over to the immediate release , which is very frustrating. I also feel any change to a routine I get into has a big effect on me physically and mentally. I'm also wondering if I could be in continual withdrawal because of the short half-life of the immediate release tablet? I really feel like I'm not getting better. I feel very depressed at times. I'm starting to think I should go back on the prolonged release tablet.perhaps it would restore some balance. Anyway I'd like to get some feedback, and I very much value having people to share my experience with. I
  25. Hi all! I'm 23 years old, about to start graduate school, and I've been on antidepressants since January of 2015. I've been anxious and depressed for pretty much as long as I can remember. My therapist at the time recommended medication after I went through the most severe depressive episode of my life, and my college's campus prescriber put me on Prozac. The Prozac made me sluggish, foggy, and basically a zombie, but at the time I thought it was better than the depression had been, so I stayed on until October of 2015, when I switched over to Effexor. I've been maintaining at Effexor XR 150 since then, and I've finally made the decision to come off of antidepressants completely. The hardest part of all this for me is not knowing what's a side effect of the medication, and what's just me--I think I used to go out more, have more energy, better concentration, but it's hard to remember. I find it hard to focus on my reading and writing now, nearly impossible without some sort of stimulant. I'm frequently exhausted and lethargic, have to force myself to leave bed and do things, often feel restless and lethargic at the same time. I still have bouts of anxiety and depression. I'm pretty certain the Effexor has greatly increased my sexual dysfunction (I already had sexual problems due to past trauma, but before the antidepressants I at least had a sex drive, and now I have absolutely none.) I've recently moved to a new city to start graduate school. I don't know anyone here, and my partner is staying with me for the summer but will be going back to his grad program halfway across the country at the end of August. He's the most wonderful and supportive person in the world, and we've been doing long-distance for a year and a half now, but I'm worried about tapering while starting a new program in a new city once he leaves. I found a psychiatrist here who agreed whole-heartedly with my decision to get off the Effexor, for which I am very grateful. She put me on a tapering schedule in which I would be off the Effexor in a month, and I reduced to 112.5 for a day before doing a lot of research (and thankfully finding this site), at which point I decided to do a 10% taper over a long, slow period. She's been completely supportive of that decision, thankfully. Anyway, I'm back up to 135 now, and will be holding here for a month before reducing again. I'm not sure when withdrawal effects normally kick in, and can't tell if the anxiety and brain fog I'm feeling are just what I normally feel like, or because of the drop. Either way, I'm grateful to have found this community, and to have a place to put down my thoughts.
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