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  1. I don't come here anymore, but somebody just sent me a PM asking how I was doing. I joined near the beginning of the site, and only posted a few times. I'm more of a lurker type than a poster type. I'm a quiet person in real life too. I used to be on the old paxil progress forum before it shut down. Anyway here's an update to give hope and a few tips. It's almost 10 years (October 2010) since my last dose of effexor. I was on it for 18 years.The two main problems I developed from quitting were very bad anxiety and disturbed sleep. I would wake up anxious after like four hours of sleep. Both sleep and anxiety gradually improved, in an up and down manner. The anxiety went away. Sleep improved, but I'm not the best sleeper. Was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but was unable to use cpap. I usually sleep about five or six hours a day, and sleep straight through. On good days, I'll sleep a over six hours straight through. On bad days which aren't that often, I'll sleep less than five hours. But when I don't sleep well, I no longer freak out about it. I would probably say my average sleep is something like 5.5 hours, but it's straight through and I wake up calmly instead of in a panic. That's about all I can say I guess other than a few tips which I will list below. There will be a couple links, but I'm not affiliated in any way with them. If I think of anything else, I can add it later in the replies. Wishing you all the best of luck with your taper and great health and happiness. 1. This article somehow really helped me with anxiety. I mean I think it made a huge difference. I don't remember if I heard about it here or on paxil progress or what, but I'm glad I found it. I remember reading at the time that it had a profound effect for some other people too. It's called "Nothing Works, A Letter To Myself." http://nothingworks.weebly.com/ 2. For sleep, I use a sound machine. Here's the machine I originally used. Eventually I ended up making my own custom solution with an old laptop. But this machine worked well for me, and I gave one to my mother and it made a give improvement in her sleep too. Link: Lectrofan 3. Meditation. I started seriously meditating at some point during my taper, and never stopped. I try to do it twice a day everyday. I did/do it more for spiritual/religious reasons, but I've got to think that it must have helped in some way regarding anxiety and maybe even sleep too.
  2. Hello, Thank you so much for this site. It is really a lifesaver. I am trying to taper off of Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) after 17 years of use. In the past I unsuccessfully tried to get off of Effexor XR. My doctor attempted to taper me off in only one month. The withdrawal symptoms were so horrible that I went I back on the drug and the symptoms immediately stopped. I finally got up the courage to try to taper again. This time I tapered 4 times as slow as before, but clearly not slow enough. I was desperate to find relief from the severe anxiety attacks and insomnia side effect that I got when my Effexor was increased above 150 mg. The anxiety and insomnia immediately improved after each reduction. However, I still experience some anxiety attacks from the drug withdrawal. I am currently holding steady at 112.5 mg. of Effexor XR. I tapered from 187.5 mg. Effexor XR plus 10 mg. Viibryd, 300 Gabapentin and 25 mg. Amitriptyline (Elavil) down to 112.5 mg. Effexor XR. over the course of approximately 7 months. Gabapentin and Elavil were relatively easy for me to get off of. Probably because I was only on them for a year or two. The withdrawal only lasted 1 week after each dose reduction. The antidepressants however, were a different story. They have been hell to get of! Especially the Effexor. I reduced the antidepressant every 3 to 5 weeks by reducing by the lowest dosage pill. In June I had Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This treatment helped me immensely. In fact I believe that it saved me. Before the treatment my depression was severe. The TMS decreased it to mild. It also helped with the anxiety a lot. It also helped some with sleep, fatigue and sexual dysfunction. If it was not for the drug withdrawal I really think that the depression would be in remission. I am happy that I am making forward progress, but I am frustrated that I continue to suffer withdrawal symptoms and it has been 6 months since I last reduced the Effexor. I am positive that I have PAWS. I am not sure but I suspect that I may have Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. The withdrawal symptoms are no longer severe like they were but they are still significant. I read your post on up-dosing and reinstating. Thank you! for the advice! I would have not known better and tried to up dose way too much had I not read this. Based on the recommendation I decided to be cautious and up-dose at the lowest dose possible (1 beadlet or 0.4 mg.) It has been 1 week since up-dosing. The first night that I up-dosed I noticed that my heart raced when I drank a glass of wine and I had insomnia. I don't really know if these things had anything to do with the up-dose or if it was an effect from the alcohol. Other then this I did not notice any difference at all until today. Today I had more intense head zaps. It might be too soon to jump to any conclusions just yet. I am thinking at holding steady for 1 more week and then assessing. What do you think? Also, how would you recommend storing the beadlets? Do you think they need to be kept out of light? P.S. I hope my signature is not too confusing. Did I put it in the right place? I am very glad that I found this site and I hope that I can help others as well. Signature: 2002-2005- Effexor XR. 150 mg. 2006- (Jan.- June) increased to 225 mg. Effexor XR, July 2006? decreased to 150 mg. 2007- 2018- Effexor XR.- 150 mg. 2018- increased to 225 mg. Effexor XR, added Gabapentin 900 mg., added Amitriptyline (Elavil25 mg. 2018- (Sept.) Decreased Effexor XR to 187.5mg, added Zoloft 10 mg., (Nov.) tapered off Elavil, (Dec.) tapered off Gabapentin 2019- (Jan.) switched Zoloft to 10 mg. Viibryd., (Feb.) decreased Effexor to 150 mg., (March) tapered off Viibryd, (April) switched 37.5 mg. Effexor to 10 mg. Prozac then tapered off of Prozac.
  3. On Effexor for two years. Cold turkeyed once, had terrible withdrawals so reinstated. Once I reinstated, I had even worse withdrawls but eventually stabilized. I switched to extended release effexor and tapered with beads. Got to 75% and felt worse. Reinstated before starting my second taper. Got to 50% but was tired all of the time. Switched back to the instant release since that’s what always worked for me. Finally quit cold turkey two months ago and am dealing with terrible withdrawls. Lack of pleasure, constipation and terrible anxiety. Not sure what to do. Since I’ve quit I’m not nearly as tired but I think me quitting so early brought on this constipation and inability to release my bladder. Debating on reinstating back to the 50% dosage I was on or maybe less to see if that helps. Or maybe trying it’s cousin drug?
  4. I have had an account here for a long time. I do not believe I ever did an introduction. I was just speaking with someone who recommended I come here. I am suffering in so many ways and I feel so alone. I am becoming more hopeless every day and am afraid I am going to end up in a hospital. I have little time to even write now because there is way too much going on in my life. I need help. There is no where to go for help. 1- I was started on high doses of xanax in 1997 and continued until they switched me to 4mg klonopin in 2013 during a hospitalization. CT off xanax for a few days which I thought I was going to die. Then Klonopin, which has wreaked havoc in my life and mind and body. 2- Besides these two benzos, doctors have tried their "cocktails" on me. I do not remember every drugs, but these I remember: First, the xanax and the klonopin. Plus they have pulled me off, put me on, rearranged etc over and over the following drugs: remeron, cymbalta, zyprexa, celexa, serzone, brintellix (I think they renamed trintellix), lexapro, effexor, prozac, trazadone, abilify, wellbutrin, ritalin, seroquel, latuda, pristiq, melatonin, ambien, paxil, zoloft, vistaril, vyvanse, lamictal, cogentin, rexulti, and more. I cannot remember all. Life is a blur for these past almost 25 years of polydrugging. Now I am on here for my son as well - we both need help 3- Recent trauma: 2014 youngest son starts becoming delusional and episodes of psychosis. 2015: my father is euthanized in front of me and my family because of other family member's decisions for him - even though he was not dying, was completely alert and had his mind. He was not in hospice. It is a long story and traumatic. 2015: son's psychosis getting worse with son and he moves to another state to live with his brother. 1-4-2016: my son (youngest of four) parked a car and sliced his throat open with a knife- cutting through his trachea. Somehow lived. Got out of car, ran up 7 flights of a construction zone to jump. Construction workers stop him. I get call from hospital and fly to that state the next day. Son had to have 4 hour surgery to put his throat back together. He was in medical for 40 days with trach and feeding tubes. Then in psych. Then they sent him home with me. The rest of 2016 was complete chaos of hospitalizations for him - did not realize it was the drugs they were forcing on him. I was stupid. They messed him up so badly - 30 days of overdrugging in a "stabilization" unit. (he was the MOST unstable here!) Upon D/C, they discontinued his meds and gave him an injection of Abilify Maintena. Severe reaction to this. No sleep, severe akathathsia, pacing the floors night and day, hardly eating -- exactly 2 weeks later - he was arrested. In jail 14 months where they tried multiple drugs on him. Finally putting him on Clozapine and Effexor. Then he was court ordered to a residential treatment center. The doctor there increased the Clozapine from 300mg to 500mg. 225mg effexor. He was getting through the court ordered program for 10 months. Then they ran out of his Clozapine. I really do not know all details because I have learned how corrupt they are. He was forced hospitalized. Day 1: forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, Geodon X1. While he was suffering withdraws from the abrupt CT cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and now the cessation of 225mg of Effexor - both forced upon him by the "professionals". Day 2: Forced injection of Haldol and ativan. I informed the hospital that he cannot tolerate haldol. But they continued to drug him up. Day three: Forced injections of Haldol X 3 and ativan X 3 and then they started giving him Benztropine. By the time I saw my son at visitation, he was almost dead and it was a gruesome sight. I will not give details but I know I suffer post traumatic stress from it all -- I had to argue with nurse to get help for him. He finally was rushed to CV-ICU. He had DX of respiratory failure, acute kidney failure with rhabdomylosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws. The ICU doctor noted that they had to work on my son for 48 minutes to "stop vital organ system failure and stop further life-threatening deterioration of patient's condition". After ICU, it was awful - he was soon thrown back into psych. All visitation and phone rights denied him. He was kept in restraints, completely naked, hours on end. Med techs would hold him on the floor while other techs kicked and beat him in the head. They continued to forcibly drug him with thorazine, restoril, ativan, even adding depakote and eventually starting the clozapine again. I had to fight for him for three months. He still has health problems today. I am his caretaker but I need help. He currently is taking: 500mg Clozapine, 150mg effexor. 4- Me- I cannot even remember when I started to taper my meds. Everything is a blur. I started realizing how bad they are for me. Knew very little. I cut the lexapro dose in half - I think this was early 2017. And I cut the klonopin dose by 1/4. Still, since then, a few different meds were started but I would stop them CT. Then I started learning more. I read parts of the Ashton Manual. I have been on FB groups. I have actually received a lot of harsh treatment from some people in the FB groups, so I rarely go on any of those groups anymore. I have a scale now. I shave off my klonopin. I tried lowering the lexapro but ended up going back up to 10mg and holding. Want to get off klonopin. But I am not doing well at all. I am exhausted. cannot write anymore. I have waited years to even get this put in here. I hope it makes sense. I have tried liquid titration with klonopin - disaster for me. I hardly have time to even care for myself - son is urgent. I am just barely functioning. So that's that. Not how I would have liked to write it. but mind is jumbled I think. I feel misunderstood. Hope I am not misunderstood here. I feel very much alone. NIghtmares- terrible. depression like I have never experienced. extreme fatigue, but high demands on me. I have to function. No one cares or understands about my son or about me. My son needs to taper but I think he needs to wait until off probation - maybe April or May this year. Everything I read and see about Clozapine and the horrible labels they have assigned to him - it seems hopeless. I feel hopeless of ever getting off klonopin and lexapro. This is no way to live. I am making no sense. Not even painting the right picture...for people to understand. How does anyone successfully get off these drugs and get out of the control of the system? We live in FL and they are "Baker Act" crazy here. Baker Act is forced hospitalization. They even have police come handcuff and take children right out of schools to a psych facility. It is only getting worse. I do not know what to do. I want to be free of these drugs. Also, my son wants to be free of the drugs. We both want to be free from the control of this holocaust type system call psychiatry. I know a moderator has to approve. Maybe this was not written correctly. Just let me know what I did wrong. This took a lot of effort. Even reading takes a lot of effort and I even forget. So maybe i am not supposed to put all this in here. Just let me know.
  5. Greetings to all! It took 5 years for my brain and nervous system to rebalance and heal after taking Effexor for 14 years. Nasty stuff. One of the hardest to discontinue. But it is possible! I tried to d/c it a few times over those 14 years but had to keep going back on it because I couldn't function. I didn't understand enough about withdrawal and how all this works. But as we all know we reach a point where our souls know we do not need this drug and will do whatever it takes to get off it and stay off it. It's a ride through hell that's for sure but you can do it!! As we all know, it's a lot worse at the beginning of withdrawal. I only had about 3 days of windows over the years. But I could feel symptoms slowly getting better over the last year till it starts being noticeable that the crud may still be there but it's more manageable. And the last 6 months it kept improving until I couldn't believe that the buzzing in my head was gone and the fear and anxiety were gone. The brain fog and fatigue also slowly start improving. There may always be a little residual fatigue and brain fog but I'm also 66 yrs old - ha! We have no idea how brave we are to go through this to live an authentic life drug free. It finally happened this year around May. And as you know it was many years of a nightmare I could not have imagined. But it will happen!! I am here as proof. I have my life back and am finally able to travel to see my family out of town and live a normal life again. Acceptance, perseverance, surrender, humor, love - it's all part of living each day well. Just continue to take care of yourself the best you can. Walking in nature is SO HEALING. That is what saved me. And taking every stress out that you possibly can. And lots and lots of prayer. My heart goes out to you - Hang in there - you will make it. 🙏😘
  6. 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 =)
  7. Hello Everyone, I'm a new member of this forum and since I've been warned by AltoStrata, I start a topic to introduce myself I have been on medication since February 2017, initially on Seroplex 10mg which was gradually increased to 20mg. In Novemeber 2017, i quitted cold turkey Seroplex and felt horrible for about a month when i decided it was time to reinstate. A month later, in spite of reinstatement symptoms would not seem to alleviate so GP put me on Effexor 75mg. I took both Seroplex 20mg and Effexor 75mg for nearly 4 months before my symptoms went away and I started to feel better than I have ever felt. At this time, I still do not know if this was due to Seroplex reinstatement or the fact that i was put on Effexor. In May 2018, I started to taper Seroplex very slowly before i quitted completely in January 2019, no withdrawal symptom at all.. Maybe it was because i was on Effexor ? Or maybe because since i tried to taper Seroplex once already, my nervous system rejected it and it was kind of like i took no seroplex? Don't know if i'm clear enough. Once Seroplex has benn tapered, i decided it was time to Effexor to be tapered as well. In April 2019, I took about 56mg instead of 75mg : no WD symptom. In May 2019, I took 37,5mg instead of 56mg : no WD symptom. In June 2019, I took about 18mg instead of 37,5mg : a few WD symptoms but well tolerated. I thought I was finally free of medication : what a mistake. 2 or 3 weeks later I started to have horrible headaches, panic attack so i decided to reinstate a small dose of effexor. Since like symptoms would not seem to alleviate I reinstated completely Effexor in Mid August. I started to experience the classical Waves and Windows pattern, it's been nearly 3 months and I'm still in that Waves and Windows phase. I don't know if my reinstatement is working. I don't know if I should add another drug like i did for seroplex. I don't know how long it's going to last. I'm lost. I need help.
  8. Moderator note: link to uncomfortablynumb's Benzo Forum thread Hi Everyone, About 9 years ago I jumped on the psych med-i-go-round. It was my last year in university studying human kinetics - I was really stressed, not getting much sleep, not eating very well and consuming way too much caffeine. I pretty much crashed and burned with anxiety and depression over probably a 4 month period. It was possibly due to years of stress and not knowing exactly what I wanted to do after graduation (to continue studies or find work). I was rock bottom, not being able to focus on anything and the anxiety was so bad that I isolated myself. That is when I first saw my psych. I was prescribed Celexa and that did nothing. It was my first drug and I was desperate and only gave it probably 3-4 weeks. Then I was put on Effexor. It worked wonders in about 3 or 4 weeks at 75mg or 112mg. I was back to my old energetic self and focused. I came out of my shell and was socializing again. I finished my degree and decided to forgo post-grad and start up my own business as a fitness trainer. The next 3 years were going well as I was building up clientele. Outside of work I was involved in long term relationships. Effexor was working pretty consistently. When it lost effectiveness, I would up my dose and be fine pretty soon after. I forgot to mention I was taking a pre-workout supplement (NO-Xplode or another) while on Effexor (which is probably a no, no) to give me an extra energy boost. Perhaps the meds were losing their potency and I needed another boost because coffee was not helping. Effexor then started to poop out on me. I would relapse into depression/anxiety for longer periods and upping doses was useless (I believe I went up to 187.5mg). We then tried augmenting Abilify without success. Then I switched to Pristiq which also didn't work. Then it was onto Wellbutrin to no avail. I ended up reintroducing Effexor and it worked again with the break. Not as well, but I was functioning. I began abusing pre-workout supplements just to keep me my normal energetic, positive self. Again, Effexor pooped out after a couple years. Over the next few months, I tried Zoloft and nortriptyline and another med. At this point, I was sent to a specialist. He changed my diagnosis to bipolar II even though I exhibited signs of bipolarity until I was on medication. He suggested different cocktails with lithium or Latuda. I refused. I made the stupid decision with my original psych to try Effexor one more time. Surprisingly, another break from it and it worked again. Not as well, but still got me up and going. I stayed on it for a year and weaned off this April this year. I was fine med-free for a couple months, then anxiety/depression reared it ugly head in July. Another foolish mistake I made was to go back on the Effexor from mid-July until September. I had to keep increasing the dose until it was clear my "go-to" drug was no longer an option. I began weaning off rather quickly by decreasing 37.5mg each week. I went to half of 37.5mg, then nothing. I have been completely off Effexor for the last 10 days. This is one of the longest bouts of depression/anxiety for me. It has been 4months. I have had to stop working (as I usually do when I am in this state). My job requires energy, positivity, focus. It is also a social job and depression/anxiety kinda make that impossible. It really is depressing that I have had so many relapses that it screws up my career. I wonder if I didn't go on meds in the first place if I would have relapsed. I had to wean off the drug while severely depressed/anxious. I think this has made the experience worse. I am experiencing bad insomnia, and what I think might be depersonalization (my senses seem altered, hard to describe - dream-like). I am also feeling like my mind is blank. Usually I have a nice flow of thoughts and can start conversation but it seems impossible now. It is very uncomfortable and I have isolated myself from friends. I also cannot find pleasure in ANYTHING. My concentration and memory are not very sharp. When I have weaned off in the past I do not remember it being this extremely awful. I have a few questions: Can the brain recover and balance itself? Is there anything I can do to move things along faster? Or is it probably best to explore other medical options? Should I get extensive bloodwork or an MRI done? Sorry this was such a long intro. I applaud you for reading this because it is not the most exciting story.
  9. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  10. 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.
  11. Hello Nice to meet you all! I'm here for two reasons. 1) I've been on Venlafaxine 150 mg for 1.5 years and I want to taper it safely but still didn't figure out the best way to do it. Every time I forget to take my daily dose I get sick for more than one full day. It's scary! I've seen a recommendation to taper antidepressants at a rate of 10% per month but isn't that unreasonably slow? It would take me more than three years to taper a medication I've been taking for only 1.5 years! Furthermore, I use generic 150mg Venlafaxine capsules that have three large beads inside, and I know there are 75mg capsules available from the same brand. So, the smallest dose is a 25mg bead that I can take from these 75mg capsules. However, 25mg seems too big a cut. I'm afraid I'll have significant withdrawal symptoms and I really need to remain functional. I would appreciate some advice. 2) I have a teenage child that was a A student but now refuses to go to school. Doctors wanted to put her on antidepressants, but we chose to take her out of school instead. She's homeschooling but still not OK. She's well in almost every other aspect (social, etc.) but gets terribly anxious at the thought of having a simple one-on-one lesson with a tutor. We think she may have had a kind of burnout event (she's very dedicated and always wants to excel) and, as any adult in this kind of situation, needs time to recover rather than be put on ADs and sent back to school. But would like to hear your opinion. Thanks in advance PS - I'm currently tapering a benzodiazepine, Ativan. I took 1mg/day for 10 years but had already hit tolerance and it was causing me horrible symptoms like brain fog. I suspect the depressive issues that led to the Venlafaxine prescription were also in part caused by this benzo.
  12. My story begins in 2006. I was having migraines & nerve pain. I went to a headache clinic & was given Effexor. I was desperate for relief and so started a prescription of 225 mg/ day. I continued to take it for several years as I didn’t want the pain to return. One day, I came across an article that told of the writers difficult experience coming off Effexor. I researched online & found out how hard this med was to stop & of course, was very upset by this info. Several times I asked my dr if I could stop, but the taper protocol was always a three week stop and based on what I read, I was afraid to attempt it. I stopped going to the clinic but continued to get refills from my pcp. I decided I needed to reduce and end my use of this med, and so in September 2015 I successfully tapered to 75 mg without any problems. Jan 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I stayed on 75 mg until treatment finished. In September 2017 I reduced to 37.5 with no trouble. In September 2018, I opened the pills and further reduced to 18.75 for one year. This past September I dropped to 9.375. In January of this year , I thought, I’ve done it. I’m off this drug & stopped it. Two weeks ago I began having terrible anxiety & obsessive thoughts, feelings that I haven’t had for years. After researching I realized I came off too quickly. All that work & I screwed up. The anxiety became too much & from the info on this site I decided to reinstate this weekend. I even screwed that dosage up initially, but fixed it. I’m hoping this will help. I just want to say I’m terrified. I’m 62 years old. Is this my next few years? My daughter is getting married in October & I want to be there for her. What bad timing! I keep beating myself up for being so close & then just doing it wrong. I feel so defeated & frightened. I don’t even know why I took this drug for 14 years. Maybe I should have just kept taking it to avoid withdrawal. Maybe I should stay off the internet.
  13. Effexorless

    Hope

    Hi Everyone! I am so happy that I found this forum. I have so far not had anyone that could relate to what I am thinking and feeling. In the course of the last 23 years I have been on Prozac, Paxil, and Effexor XR. I never suffered from notable depression or anxiety while growing up. When I was 22 I was stalked for a year by a customer who used to frequent the restaurant/company I worked for. As a result I began to have panic/anxiety attacks whenever I was around a male, any male. I couldn't go to school, had issues at work, I couldn't even go to the convenience store if there was a truck in the parking lot because I knew there would be a male inside. I KNEW logically that these men I would encounter every day were not going to hurt me but my body would freak out. I would become so embarrassed by my response to men that I ended exacerbating the problem by anticipating the reaction and ultimately causing the reaction. I tried therapy and CBT to no avail. Finally I was referred to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Prozac and Xanax. I never could handle the Xanax so I never really took it. The Prozac seemed to help so I stayed on it for about a year and then weaned myself off with no noticeable side effects. Sometime later, maybe a year or so, I started feeling down and depressed so I went to see a new psychiatrist who decided to put me on Paxil this time. Just like before, I took it for about a year and then weaned myself off with no real issues. Then in 2001 I went through some major life changes. I lost my job, got married, got a part time job, bought a house, and found a new full time job. My marriage was volatile to say the least and didnt last very long. Somewhere around 2003 my marriage fell apart and I had a severe anxiety attack at work one day. In fear I reached out to my psychiatrist who tried a couple of drugs which I don't remember but eventually I settled on Effexor XR. So began my 17 year slavery to a drug I found myself unable to quit. Through the 17 years I found myself taking a drug that was so controlling that if I missed my dose by 1 hour I could feel physical withdrawal effects. I tried unsuccessfully to stop twice in the 17 years I was taking Effexor XR. I think at both times I was at a daily dose of 75mg. I managed to quit smoking after 20 years cold turkey so in my mind this was basically the same. Just stop taking it, deal with the withdrawal, put your head down and quit being a baby. Just DO IT! Well ... that didn't work. Both attempts ended with me in my psychiatrist's office wailing and begging for a prescription, saying if I have to take this drug for the rest of my life so be it! At different times throughout the 17 year course there were other drugs she threw at me because the Effexor wasn't helping me. There was some Lithium, Zyprexa, and others I can't remember the names of. All of the other drugs had horrifying results which I couldn't tolerate for more than about two days. My sister has been my rock and voice of reason for so many years. She always knew this drug game my doctor played with me wasn't right. After all ... I was perfectly fine and happy prior to being stalked. I had never needed a drug to be "normal". She watched me suffer and want to die rather than live one more moment feeling what those drugs made me feel, always the anchor I could reach out to in my darkest hours. So I lived in this place where my drug wasn't really helping me but I couldn't quit because the withdrawal was so awful it would actually make things worse. We tried changing the dose up and down over the years. I was originally prescribed "brand only" but after my insurance changed I couldn't afford the non generic. For a while my pharmacist could find the actual Pfizer "generic" not really generic stock, but after awhile we couldn't find it anymore so I switched to generic Venalfaxine. I can't say that I felt any difference between the generic and brand but they were both capsule form. The last 10 years or so have been basically just existing for me. On most days I didn't really care if I didn't wake up the next day. I am a very devout Christian so my faith saved me from every taking my own life but I would certainly pray for it to end. I saw no purpose in being here. My relationships with family, friends, and coworkers have suffered greatly. I had become basically a zombie. I had no feelings and I didn't care. There was no joy in life and everything, including taking care of my pets, was simply a job that I had to do. I had found a therapist a few years ago to help me deal with a bad break up with a long term boyfriend (not my ex-husband). I would see her off and on and she was always a little confused by the drugs my psychiatrist would want to try. There were times she would write me a prescription and I would fill it but out of fear I wouldn't take them. There had been too many bad experiences with other drugs. My sister and I had reached a point that we could no longer communicate. I was basically dead inside didn't really care. I knew logically that I wasn't ok, but what could I do? I was already taking a drug that was supposed to help, I was petrified of trying a new one, and I had a doctor that just kept pushing the prescription to me. Then ... about six months ago I had miscalculated my med check with my medication supply. I was going to run short by about three days. I knew I couldn't just stop because I had already tried that twice before. I rationalized that I could take the withdrawal if I spread the remaining drugs and took one every other day. I was currently taking 75mg per day which wasn't really a therapeutic dose, I simply took it because I couldn't stop. It doesn't take a rocket scientist at this point to guess how that turned out. I felt like I was going to die. The brain zaps, the flue like symptoms, the nightmares ... all making me wish I was dead. What that experience did do ... was piss me off!! I decided at that point I would no longer be a slave to that drug. The drug nor my doctor gave to craps about me. I became determined to not only stop taking that drug, but any psychoactive drug. I wanted to know who I was without any artificial influence. I told my doctor what I was going to do. Her response was no surprise, she advised against it. She wrote me a prescription for 37.5mg which was the smallest dose available. She wanted me to take the 37.5mg once per day for 4 weeks then stop. I took the 37.5mg for just under three weeks. I took my last dose of Effexor XR 37.5mg on November 27, 2019. I had a four day weekend ahead of me where I didn't have to talk to or see another human. I had no responsibilities for four days. All I had to do was get the drug out of my system and deal with brain zaps ... right?? Surely this was just like quitting smoking and I just needed to suck it up and muscle through ... right?? I couldn't have been more wrong!! I am happy to say that I didn't go back to the drug and I am three months and three days free from the evil hold of Effexor XR. I didn't know until the last week or so as I started looking for answers to my feelings that I could have continued to taper the 37.5mg down even further. My doctor certainly never told me that. I have tried to navigate the myriad of physical and emotional fallout as it comes. I initially had the horrid brain zaps, which after doing some looking around appear to be seizures in a particular area of the brain. That's scary!! The next thing I noticed was increased sweating, like constantly perspiring. I initially got really scared to be home alone. I would come home and check every closet and under every bed. I couldn't go to sleep because I was so afraid. I would set little boobie traps so that an intruder would wake me and the dogs so I could get my gun. I finally got angry at that whole scenario and decided that I wasn't about to let my home, my safe haven, become my prison. I refused to let myself look in the closets or under the bed and used CBT to overcome that fear. I began to notice shuddering when I would get a little happy or excited about something. I noticed a few people at work looking at me strangely but I would just play it off like I was cold, of course I was also sweating so ... go figure LOL!! It was about two weeks post Effexor when I had my first ahhh moment. I was walking my dogs which was something I hadn't wanted to do in awhile when I had the thought that I wanted to decorate for Christmas!! I hadn't put up Christmas decorations in YEARS. I loved to walk and look at other home's lights and reasoned that if everyone was as ba-humbug as me there wouldn't be any lights to look at. I promptly rectified that situation and not only decorated outside, but I put up my first tree in forever. That was the first sign to myself and my sister that something was changing in me for the better!! One of the next changes was my desire to return to wearing makeup and business attire to work. I work in the financial department of an orthopaedic clinic so had taken advantage of the ability to wear scrubs. As a result I had gotten very lazy with my appearance. I wore scrubs, wore no makeup, and stopped fixing my hair. I had also put on about 50 lbs. I had worn makeup about once per year over the last 10 years. I decided to change that. I went shopping and purchased new clothing for work. That was another ah ha moment for me and my sister. She called to invite me to go shopping with her. I said I would love to and we had a great day shopping and having dinner. After dinner she looked at me in a way that I can't really describe other than wonderment. Formerly had she called and invited me I would have gotten angry and lashed out at her. Why would she invite me to shop when I was horribly overweight? Didn't she know I had no desire to dress this ugly body in anything other than a pair of scrubs?? She admitted to me that she made the invitation and was fearful of my lashing out at her, but I am so thankful that she made the invitation!! Around the beginning of January I started wearing business attire, wearing makeup, and fixing my hair every day for work and I haven't missed a day since. I am almost ready to burn those scrubs ... but not just yet ;). After about a month I realized that the brain zaps and chills were significantly reduced and very sporadic. The next challenge was unrelenting anxiety. I noticed that I was constantly anxious, over everything. The constant anxiety started making me nauseous, and unable to sleep very well. I would wake up in the middle of the night and my mind would be racing. I had the feeling that I wanted to jump out of my skin. I had to MOVE my body! I began to doubt my ability to do my job at work. I have been doing that same job for 17 years, why all of a sudden did I feel unqualified?!?! In talking this new challenge over with my sister, therapist, and research online I came up with a plan to take CBD in the morning, CBD with melatonin and night, and CBT to stay the course. I also started trying to exercise more regularly. The exercise is great for relieving my anxiety, it helps me sleep, and it is helping me lose weight and feel better about myself physically anyway. The anxiety is almost under control now although I still have it, I seem to have found a way to reason it through. My latest challenge is I have come to hate being alone. I hate the solitude that I once embraced and I hate being alone in my head. I used to spend the entire weekend in my house completely alone and may not have spoken to another human for the entire weekend or longer if it was a holiday. Now I find the idea of going home and being alone abhorrent! I don't want to go home. I used to sit and watch tv for hours, now I can't stand the thought of sitting on the couch at all. I have wondered if I need a drug to be "normal". I feel that I have come so far and dealt with so much that surely I am near the end of the recovery. I am left with thoughts of "who am I"? Am I the same person I was before psychoactive drugs? If I am someone new, who is that and do I like her? Is it normal to have these thoughts?? It doesn't feel like it is normal. I find that I am no longer satisfied by my job and wonder should I change careers. I am angry at a system and a doctor that I feel stole 10+ years of my life. I read back through my emails at work and replay arguments with family and friends and feel so very ashamed. How could anyone stand me, I can't stand myself when I look back?? How did I go from a happy go lucky 22 year old to an angry, intolerable, feeling-less, zombie? The FEELINGS!! Oh my gosh at the feelings!! It happens so slowly that you don't even realize it is happening, this loss of being able to feel, sympathize, or empathize with others. So far I have refused the urge to run back to my doctor, or another doctor and get a band aid drug. I am so happy to have stumbled across the article in The New Yorker about Laura Delano and subsequently a plethora of insight and sources to run to. I know my story is nowhere near the level of some of the other stories I have read, but if my story can provide hope for even one individual I am thankful. I look forward to continuing to grow and learn this new person I have become and getting to know many of you.
  14. 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?
  15. I found this website several months ago and have read loads of it. I tapered venlafaxine 225mgs over 6 months, finishing 7 months ago-June 2019. I realise this was too fast, but I didn't know that at the time. I also was taking Gabapentin for nerve pain, but stopped it without too much trouble in November 2019.. I had really horrible anxiety between September and December 2019, but this has lessened and been replaced by a feeling of doom in the morning especially. I did not get many symptoms for the first 2 months. I feel very fragile and cannot predict from one moment to the next how I will feel. I do not know what I would do without this website. Also I am not very familiar with computers and do not know a lot of the terminology. What are "tags" in the box above? I take magnesium citrate and fish oil each day. I don't know if it helps, but it doesn't seem to hurt, so... I am in the process of tapering lansoprazole by taking beads out of capsules and am down to 3/4 of 15mgs. I should add that I decided to taper off the venlafaxine because I started to get panic attacks in December 2018 and worked out I was probably in some sort of tolerance withdrawal from it. I got alarmed when one of my GPs suggested upping my dose to 300mgs. I wondered how high the dosage would go.......,and when it would poop out again.
  16. Thankful to have come upon this forum and I’m thankful for all those contributing their time, experience, help, and care to so many. I just wish I would have found this a very long time ago. I consider myself an educated, intelligent woman. That I have been duped for so long could easily lead me to take it out on myself. I imagine it’s something I’ve known for a long time, but the “professionals” kept telling me that the recurrence of severe depression/anxiety after stopping the meds was just proof that I needed them, forever, and after so many failures, I believed them. I am about to turn 59 and have been on antidepressants for over 30 years. I will add a timeline to my signature very soon. My most-immediate issue involves the past 9 months and I was needing your help to try and decide what to do next. My next appointment with my psychiatrist is in mid-February. I’ve only seen him once before, but it was obvious he didn’t believe in slow tapers, although he did acknowledge withdrawals. In April, 2019, after being on Effexor for about 20 years, my then psychiatric nurse practitioner decided that I must be bipolar 2 since the medication was no longer working. She tried to convince me, even though I had never experienced hypomania. What transpired after that was a nightmare. I made a big mistake trusting her. Here’s the timeline of these past 9 or 10 months in a nutshell: April, 2019: Effexor 37.5 (had been on that dose for 2 years, but on Effexor for about 20) April 11, 2019 Latuda 20mg added to Effexor. April 22, 2019 Latuda increased to 40mg. Terrible panic (hadn’t had a panic attack in 20 years), terrible nausea, doom and gloom, facial ticks, etc. May 14, 2019: Latuda reduced back to 20mg. Still on Effexor 37.5. Panic and doom and gloom continue. May 27, 2019: Latuda reduced to 10 mg for 3 days then ct (per dr’s orders). Continue on Effexor 37.5. June 10, 2019: Rexulti added. Started w .5 mg a few days then increased to 1mg. June 5, 2019: Rexulti reduced to .5mg. July 1-24, 2019. Rexulti reduced to .25mg over couple of weeks then off. July 24, 2019: New psych had me CT off Effexor. When I brought up the idea of tapering it slower, she laughed, saying I was on almost 0 already. I should have trusted my gut, but didn’t. Within two weeks, I was in a crippling depression with lots of anxiety/panic and suicidal to an extreme. I can’t recall ever being this depressed, or that it was even possible to feel this bad. September 9, 2019, began Viibryd (low dose, not sure mg) via original psych NP. CT per dr’s orders on September 19 due to side effects. September 23, 2019, began Trintellix. Terrible nausea, pain. CT per dr’s orders on September 27. September 28, 2019, began 10mg Prozac. Helped calm the depression, but made me very anxious. Legs shaking up and down, inner agitation (not anger) October 24, 2019: Saw a new NP at the clinic of a new-to-me psychiatrist since I couldn’t get in with him until the end of December. She had me do a rapid taper of Prozac while starting on Pristiq 25mg for 10 days, then 50mg after that. Began having tinnitus, muscle pains, headache, neck pains, but depression and anxiety much better. December 26, 2019: Saw new psychiatrist. He wanted me to stop Pristiq (because of the side effects) by skipping it every other day for a week then switch to Cymbalta. I declined, knowing that my cns was already in an uproar. He then lowered my Pristiq down to 25mg. Without him knowing, I thought maybe cutting my pills to gradually lower to 25mg would be better. I took 25mg + 1/8th of a 50 (6.25) in the morning then another 6.25 12 hours later. I did this for 3 or 4 days but couldn’t take the side effects (stomach pain, tremors, flu, headache, etc). Decided cutting the tabs wasn’t going to work. Began just taking the 25mg tablet after those 3 or 4 days. Symptoms improved immediately. Have been on this dose since. So, here I am now. The Pristiq 25mg is feeling like it’s too much, but, then again, I don’t know if it’s the Pristiq or withdrawals from all the other junk my body has been fed the past 8-9 months. It’s really not too bad, though. I have tinnitus, muscle pains in my upper body and arms, some mild restlessness, itchy eyelids, and I feel kind of drugged. I really expected to feel worse. I’m a poor metabolizer of serotonin (SLC6A4), poor metabolizer at CYP2D6, plus I have slow motility of my intestines due to surgery for a small bowel obstruction 7 years ago (caused by adhesions). Small dosages go a long way in my body. The other huge factor is this medicine is causing high blood pressure (162+/82+) and I just had open-heart surgery 1.5 years ago to repair a rare congenital birth defect. I cannot afford to have anything messing with my heart. I’ve been off all heart medications since 3 months after surgery. The psych and NP new all of this information. I had even checked with my cardiologist to make sure Pristiq was ok (before taking the first dose). He said it should be, stating that only a small % had issues with it. I need to get off of Pristiq and AD’s in general. I just don’t know what to do. I want to have a plan thought out before my next appointment mid-February (or sooner, if you think it’s needed). After spending a lot of time reading this forum, I believe my three best options are: Stay on Pristiq and taper down using compounded dosages. The problem is that I live in the middle of nowhere, rural community, and have tried to find a compounding pharmacy in my state who will compound Pristiq. So far, I haven’t found one who would agree to do it. I’ve used the compounding pharmacy finder link here in SA. I have not heard back from everyone, though. My body does not tolerate the cut pills. The main drawback to this option is my blood pressure. I think the reason Effexor didn’t affect my BP much was because at the low dose, the norepinephrine didn’t kick in. But, with the Pristiq, it must kick in at the lower dosage. This is my theory, anyway. Switch to Effexor. I like this option solely because it would be easier to taper, in my opinion. It would also be better for my heart, unless I had a bad reaction switching back. That’s the main disadvantage of this option...not knowing if I’ll have a bad reaction getting back on the Effexor after being off 5+ months. My hope would be that the Pristiq is close enough to Effexor and my CNS wouldn’t be too angry. Do nothing and stay on the Pristiq 25mg for a few months, waiting for things to calm down. Again, the main disadvantage is the unknown. I’m not sure I can stand this dose for too much longer. It just feels like too much. My fear is that if I stay on this dose it will wreak more havoc on my system. Then again, maybe what I’m feeling is withdrawals. Also, if I stay at this dose, chances are that my BP will remain high. I can go on BP medicine, but that’s another can of worms. What would you recommend? I’ll admit that I’m very scared. I know that, all-in-all, I’ve been pretty lucky these past few months. I also know it could go south at any moment. Thank you for taking the time to read this and sharing your expertise. Note: I also take Ambien 10mg nightly, clonazepam .125mg nightly, omeprazol 20mg daily (but in process of reducing to Pepcid otc), Synthroid 125 mcg and Premarin .625 daily (long story). Also 1000 vitamin D3. After reading this forum, I know I need to address the ambien, clonazepam, and acid reducers, at some point. Was taking B complex, a multi-vitamin, and fish oil for years before these past 9 months. Can no longer take them due to side effects. Tried taking a very small amount of b12 and a very small amount of magnesium glycinate. Both gave me a bit of anxiety so stopped taking them.
  17. mod note: Gussy's introduction topic: Gussy: 9 weeks off effexor, wondering if it will ever end? I never thought I would be asked to write a story of recovery in the group I think of as the premier withdrawal group. The knowledge you guys have here is just out of this world. I don't know if it can be rivaled anywhere. When Alto asked me to write a story of recovery here one day I felt honoured and obligated to write something. I hope someone can gain something from this. It was at the start of 2017 after a failing journey i requested a blood test. The result of this showed me i could no longer trust what drs and specialists were telling me about the harmless effects of effexor and i knew i had to be off it. So before i joined here i did some research and decided on a taper slower than most drs but much faster than the 10% or less method. I really thought the real life experiences i was reading were people looking for sympathy and thought i.d be fine. Wow, how wrong i was!!! I realise a mod has to approve this so i want to tell you that i can.t write this story in one sitting. It.ll prob take many to do it with many edits along the way. I will add to it soon and then add to it again. I.ll submit this for now but save it on my phone too just incase you can.t approve it. Know that this can be done though. Gus.
  18. Hey! So I’m about 2 years off of effexor on a fast taper (I was on max dose, went down to 0 in 4 weeks by advisement of my psychiatrist). 3 months after I suddenly had horrible debilitating symptoms, attempted to reinstate 3 times, and the 3rd time it spiraled my nervous system into the scariest most challenging physical symptoms I’ve ever had. After a few months I stabilized and was able to adjust my life as continue working without much issue, as long as I stuck to my routine. About a month ago I, without warning, had a severe and sudden downturn. My symptoms are now worse and more debilitating than when I first had the worst of it 2 years ago, and I now can’t stomach food without adrenaline spikes, blips in vision, migraines, and sudden tingling/burning/numbness of my left side. Of course I need to eat, but I’m wondering if anyone else has gone through this and has a way to get through not eating without getting into serious medical danger. My doctors don’t understand very well what to do. My nervous system is more sensitive than ever, and even the slightest mistake causes intense emotional and physical pain. I was on effexor for about a year before stopping, and I’m currently 26.
  19. Hi Everyone I just wanted to introduce myself. I have been lurking this forum for long enough now. 🙂 Male, 28 My story starts in November 2018 when I went partying with a few friends and consumed different recreational drugs (MDMA, Cocaine, Speed and Alcohol). I wasn't new to these drugs but I made the huge mistake to not test any substance and not dosing correctly. However I didn't feel bad throughout that weekend and the hangover was as expected. After four days the panic attacks and the depression started and it just did not get any better over time. A month later I had enough and went to my GP who immediately put me on Effexor and Seroquel. Later on Seroquel has been exchanged first to Mirtazapine and then Trazodone (see signature). The drugs definitely helped with the panic attacks but Side Effect were just unbearable I felt 40 years older, manic, aggressive, suicidal, without any motivation and completely emotionally numb. There was just no way I would stay on this horrible stuff any longer so I went cold turkey after two months. The first two months were kind of ok but I still felt drugged. After that the emotional symptoms kicked in and it became a fight for survival day by day. I will not go into detail about it because you probably all know what I am talking about. Sixth month later I made some progress, the symptoms became a little bit less intense and I had some windows. Over the next four months I made some further minuscule improvements, windows became longer. I started to feel kind of stable in my recovery, it gave me some hope that I didn't lose my job and my girlfriend throughout all this time. Next month I will be drug free for a year but it is still a massive struggle every day. Right now I seem to be in a long wave (5 weeks so far) with a great change of symptoms. The anxiety and the panic attacks have become a lot worse recently and there are a lot of physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and generally feeling miserable. I have become less active, less motivated to exercise but on the other hand I am also feeling kind of ok with it. Also my sleep seems to have changed quite a bit, I didn't have very bad insomnia so far only very intense and draining dreams. They are mostly gone now but instead I am sleeping two to three hours less per night. I try to see these changes as my brain being at work 🙂 I can't differentiate if I am still in Withdrawal or if this is the after effect of the recreational drug incident (any ideas?). All I can hope for is that my brain will heal the same way as it does if I had taken psychiatric drugs only. Throughout my life I only had a few bouts of mild depression and anxiety (and three mild panic attacks), nothing I couldn't cope with. I also have never been on any psychiatric drug. I will try to document my recovery in this topic. Massive thanks to the people of this forum without you I would probably have gone back on psychiatric drugs a long time ago. You can't imagine how much hope I got reading through these pages! 🙂
  20. InChristAlone

    InChristAlone

    I was in Lexapro 10 and 20mg (mostly 10) for 15 years. I was put on it when I was 19 after going through a breakup with my high school girlfriend. Also , I have dealt with minor anxiety issues most of my life and have a family history of anxiety and depression. Everything was going ok until I herniated a disc in Jan 2018. What felt like a nervous breakdown ensued. My GP stopped Lexapro cold turkey and started me on Luvox and this made things worse. I cold turkey quit everything for a couple months and things continued to get worse. My GP then put me on Effexor 150mg and Klonopin 1mg twice daily. Things improved for a while. After 6 months, I decided to taper Klonopin because I had found this site and benzobuddies. I am down to 0.25 mg of Klonopin daily and still on Effexor. I am living a life of waves and windows now. I am a middle school teacher and coach. Thankfully, God has strengthened me enough to continue to work through this WD process.
  21. I was starting my third effexor taper 7/2015 -6/2016 and down to 3 mg untill nerve conditions of numbness, buzzing, tingling, burning and buzzing sensations in limbs started. I didn't know what was happening and neither did my doctors and thought I had some other illness such as MS, fibromyalgia etc. Did numerous tests with no diagnosis. Anxiety and insomnia was at an all time high so Doctor reinstated full 37.5 mg dose on 6/30 and up to 75 mg in 1 week. Because the nerve conditions also were not allowing me to sleep the doc gave me clonazepam. Later I was then given lyrica to help with the nerve conditions. but After a one week trail of lyrica in August I discontinued immediately due to some paradoxical effects of jerks and muscle fasciculations and also decided the clonazepam might also be a culprit and started a 4 week taper with the help of mirtazapine for sleep. While this was going on only through the course of my own research did I come to the conclusion that the nerve conditions I was suffering were initially from SNRI withdrawal symptoms. September faired better as the initial withdrawal symptoms seemed like they were being resolved after a few months back on effexor so then I figured the effexor was helping with that...Great! but.... As soon as I was done with the clonazepam some of the initial nerve symptoms I experienced in June have returned. Not sure if the clonazepam was masking it. So now my issue is that I'm at a higher dose of the effexor than when I started and the withdrawal symptoms has not been entirely reversed and don't know what to do at this point? Taper off effexor? I'm still using mirtazapine for sleep because because the nerve condition of either a jerk, adrenaline surge, numbness etc will keep me up. Please help me I'm desperate!!!
  22. Hi, I'm new here I'm a 32-year-old woman from Denmark. I found you because I want to safely taper off of my low-dose Amitriptyline 10 mg. But as I read about withdrawal, I came across "post-acute withdrawal syndrome" or "protracted withdrawal" and I got chills because suddenly what has been happening since 2017 made sense! Long story short(er), I was on Venlafaxine/Effexor for 8 years because of generalized anxiety and body pains. In 2017 I tapered off from 2 capsules/150 mg, reducing with 1/4 pill every 2 weeks, so I was off them after a little under 4 months. (I didn't know about safely tapering off, only now have I come across your guide :)). By going off so "slowly" - well, compared to my doctor who told me I could do it cold turkey(!) - I didn't get the extreme side effects i would normally get when I would go up or down in dose. I felt the same when I stopped my dose and for the next 2 months, I was completely fine. But 2 months after I had taken my last dose, I started getting pain in my body, and after 2 more months, at the end of January 2018, from one day to the next I started having an extreme inner shaking/hightened fight-flight-response. It was like I had gotten a shock and I just stayed in that state every second of every day. Never being able to rest was so bad that I wanted to kill myself. It's so difficult to explain the sensation to anyone, so I usually use sleep deprivation as a related example: Sleep deprivation should be the worst form of torture and I get it now - stressing your body every second of every day is completely unbearable and you just want to die. I did sleep, though, but only 4-5 hours every night and I was never tired. My cortisol levels were high so I was checked for Cushing's (cortisol producing tumor) which meant I couldn't take any medicine to help me for 7 months because I needed accurate cortisol results (I didn't have any tumor, though). And also, nothing helped me, not benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, CBD oil or high doses of beta-blockers. After 7 months, my friend who had experienced the same "shaking" after a whiplash and after only a week had wanted to jump out the window from her apartment on the 3rd floor, recommended a low dose of Amitriptyline and that reduced the shaking by 30 % and after a month by 50 % (I only took 5 mg to begin with, though, and it worked after just a few hours, very weird). My symptoms then started to become predominantly psychological instead, like I would cry all the time. It opened up a deep developmental trauma wound that I started therapy for in December 2018. After that and body therapy like The Rosen Method, my symptoms are gradually decreasing. (I also have like 20 other symptoms, like body pain, fatigue etc.). Now, almost 2 years after I came off venlafaxin, I'm 50 % better than I was in December 2018, but my sympathetic nervous system is still firing too much. I thought that being on antidepressants for so many years, from I was 22 until I was 30 had made me so numb that I couldn't process all the stuff I had been through earlier in my life - and I still think that's partly the case - but now I see that there's an entire half of the picture I didn't know about!! That this must have been post-acute withdrawal syndrome!! So not only did I have all the past trauma that came up now that I didn't have something to artificially shut it down, at the same time my brain was also struggling with getting chemically back in balance! Woooow... #MindBlown! I don't even know what I feel... I feel so angry and want to sue someone, but that's not really possible I guess. I have missed work for almost 2 years, I'm only now starting a 10-hour internship. I can't believe you can go from feeling fine to 4 months AFTER you stopped the medicine get these extreme reactions. Has anyone else experienced something like that? And I still want to come off of the Amitriptyline, but slowly. It's only 10 mg, and this week I'm taking 9 mg. After I've done this for 2 days, I do feel some side effects like a bit of insomnia and hightened fight-flight, but it's minor. And might be because I made an oral solution from my tablets and now I read you should try to stay on your dose for 4 days before you reduce it. I did calculations based on the advice of the 10 % reductions of the new dose every month, and if I jump off at 0,1 mg, it will take me 43 months. It seems like a long time, but I would rather do this safely this time! Wow, I'm still in shock that it was protracted withdrawal symptoms that almost had me commit suicide, because no doctor could tell me what I was experiencing. I'm so glad I found you! And I also want to ask you if anyone has ever gotten completely over this syndrome, can your brain adjust completely? TIA
  23. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  24. I want to share my heart out,I want to share my life. I lived 31 yrs of life. the life of sadness,hurt,betrayal,getting used,unrequited love, Dream which gets shattered,Health which got lost,Financed which ruined,Engagement which break twice,Got fired from the job which I love.hope which I got lost in all these but just little remains… May be I am not a very strong guy, or below things are very little for other people but for me it really shattered me with the brain I have.I want to write here because of two reasons:- Please bear with my bad English. To get words of support. Others may learn something from this. Birth(Dec 1987):- Bully(15yrs) I was a silent kid,deeply introverted.afraid to go out and dominate the world.Never in my life I had more than 2 or 3 friends.Never associated with any groups anywhere.Because of my silent nature and understanding of the world differently relatives and neighbors thinks that I am not of sound mind and they normally called me “sirri” (a word which describe a person as stupid with no mind”).Even my family used to call me the same, this has impacted my childish mind deeply and my confidence sank to earth every time someone called me that.though I was good in studies but not very vocal and someone who bully others just because other one is not dominatable nature. I hate these types of person even up until now.and I also choose very very carefully to whom I can open. these things keep going on till I turn around 15 or in 10th standard. and that was really a sad time.but I forgot and moved on. My teenage love(8 yrs) Its starts in early stages when hormones change occurs. My first Love.real,pure,deep,full of emotions.absolutely overwhelming.till date I have not forget those days. she was in my class sat next to my desk. I fall in love or whatever you will say infatuation. she belongs to other community. I knew marriage is not possible. I never tried to approach or propose.I knew even if I propose she will not accept.I was not handsome or a topper or may be I was insecure.I loved her deeply . Did many things those times of school like pick some flowers on my way to school and put it in her desk,looking at her whole time during school,wrote a diary, wrote some poetry also for her.cried every other day at home that I will not have her in my life.I also did those stupid thing of writing the name of your beloved from blood in your diary.lol. one incident I remember one day our teacher asked us to perform some activities, every student performed something like dance or cracked a joke. when my turn came I sang a song ”yai zamin ruk jaaye aasma jhuk jaaye tera chahra jab nazar aaye” by looking in to her eyes directly without any fear , in front of whole class and also a teacher.there are many many memories of such type.I never had a problem because I never insist her for anything. everybody knows that I loved her so much whenever anyone asked me I accepts wholeheartedly yes. she knows it. the way she looked towards me I still remember. I remember the day of parting also . it was day of 10th class last day when I got the news that she will about to leave school permanently,I become extremely sad and I know anyhow I have to bear this pain of loosing someone so close and to look at her become a daily oxygen to me. I was in deep pain. that day I thought to tell her my feelings by my own. she used to go to home through same bus stand from which I go.every day. that day I waited at stand for about 3 hrs because she was enjoying with her friends, I was desperate that today I ll tell her my feelings as after this day I will never see her. I saw her coming. she saw me from a distance and she sensed also about things. I come directly in front of her and said that I wanted to say something to you which you already know all these years.she asked me to say it.I uttered those three words.she listened and asked me if anything more I wanted to say I replied No.she left in a bus. I stayed there dont know how much longer, felt like dead. then came back home.and cried hell.my sisters consoled me so much. I couldnt did anything. so I tried to save this as a sweet memory in my heart.later when I went in college then I got toknow that she took admission in Dental school, I got her number some how and from my college far away from home I called her at every festival of her and her birthday continiously 4 yrs . then she become dentist and I got the news that she is getting married.to one of my other class mate. I became habitual about this. acceptance was there.those were the days of orkut, I dont know how many of you young guys know about orkut. its like first social media site in India those days. later I saw her some times on facebook and now she is living happily with her husband and a daughter. I left her there and locked her there in my heart to never open it up.and got busy in another things. Science and engineering(3yrs) Once I passed 10th and she left me then I have so much anger and resentment that I put all these on studies.I was a below average student got just 60% in 10th and ours was a govt school, that time I cant write or speak a single sentence in English.but somehow as all good students left the school so I got the admission in science section in 2004, there were 34 students, I studied very hard and came first that year only 8 students passed. in the next year also I did so much hard work and came first in my Class Editori was not that I got very good marks but the resources and kind of teachers I have in my govt school I did my best and came first in 12th also with 70% marks. I was so much fearful of science but my mother who was always there for me encouraged me that I can do it so I did passed it.in those 2 years i knew nothing about anything except studies I used to have one FM radio in my room some songs I hear every day like “love guru on radio city 91.1” if any of you remember.then after 12th was another struggle for career.Didnt know what to choose for further studies.I wanted to go to army.gave NDA also didnt passed.a friend came and suggest me to do coaching for engineering.I liked the idea it was the year 2006. I joined a reputed coaching in Delhi.studied day and night to pass the entrance.sometimes I got so much confident that I will do it sometimes i got frustrated.it was too much of studies for an avg student.year gone hopes begin. gave all engineering entrance examintation of delhi state and national level. like aieee and iit’s results came , didnt get selected in any one of them , got so much disheartened. you can understand how bad I was I got rank 131000 in AIEEE and for IIT I failed, DCE got 8000 rank.so no admission in any of these college. I gave uptu exam also and there I got 32953 rank and i got a change for counselling.Unfortunately there I made a blunder and even I was getting so many college in NCR Delhi region I put some college in sitapur in UP as my second choice because i foolishly thought that that were a govt college.and here begins a 4 year trauma of living in almost hell. Hostel life living away from parents If you read this far you must have understood what kind of a guy I am, so living away from parents and from New Delhi to a town of UP and college hosted in jungle and mostly the kind of people I interacted there.it was really not good. I was very much dishearted but being from a middle class family with so much of a hope from parents that my son will one day earn well and take us away from this life of hardship.I continued the battle and didnt drop out even if I wanted badly.there was not a single day in these 4 yrs when I didnt talked to my mother back home at every evening, I dont know how many times I cried that Its very very difficult to live without you guys.(tears just come to my eyes by just remembering those bad days.)Thank god he gave me one friend and a room partner with whom I was able to pass that worst time. I marked 8 lines in my diary and after every semester I crossed those one mark to able to see how much of it left to go back home. that was the best day when I was coming back last time and my family was very happy that there son became an Engineer, one more thing we with my friend decided that we will not have any affair or relationship and will directly marry. so no girlfriend type of a thing there also.Few attractions were there but I killed them and not regretting about that. Fear of studies and homesickness,Masturbation and Pornography,Falling into depression(11 yrs) This hit me bad when I was in 2nd year of age of 22yrs. I got very afraid that I cant continue in this engineering thing as this is very tough and even If I pass the exams still I will not able to do the real engineering job as this required so much brain I keep telling this to my parents and my father keep encouraged me that initially things looks tough but slowly it will get better.so I decided that whatever happen I will definately achieve this degree.I had so much pressure of homesickness(its that much you can understand that after coming back home in 2011 I have not left my hometown Delhi ), Pornography was there in college its normal thing even now I know.and I was not into these things that much. but I got addicted to masturbation like once in a week and pornography also. and I certainly believe that this masturbation and porn habit though it was not that much as with other people. it give me one of the deadliest disease which i cant even explain to you, whoever young among you is reading this I am warning you and pleading you, please leave these two devils completely out of your life else it will ruin you.this thing weakens my brain in 3rd semester i have got started rigorous hairfall,weakness of body and mind, but that time i was not able to understand because I got my body strength back in 2 days. for my mind it was normal but in reality this habit of masturbation causing deep harm to my body. which i was not able to control despite all my efforts.so in 2008 when I came back to delhi i got hit by mental illness there were symptoms severe headache, confusion,lost focus, memory issue, unable to take decisions and many more. this goes heightened also because i stuck in one more thing which is killing me, what is the true path of life,why so many religions and God and I wanted to know the truth I studied various religious scriptures also and I got so much feared that I cant die without knowing the truth.and I cant follow my parents religion without knowing for sure that it is correct or not.unfortunately I had to to a psychiatrist and here begins a trauma which is still going on they gave me that magic pill. a medications which can sort my mind out. I ,a young lad, trusted the doctors that yeah they are right in whatever they prescribe and in last 2 years of my studies this doctor gave me 7 different kind of antidepressents which numbed me actually. when I came back from college then I went to govt hospital in Delhi to a psychiatrist and he there stops all the medication and said that all this was not necessary and I was misdiagnosed, there I started with a small medication of just 10mg trusted this doctor and no doubt it helped me so much but over the years when i was stable in about 2014 i wanted to stop but my parents does not want me to stop and even my doctor. and I knew that this medication slowly killing me frm inside those who never use antidepressents can never understand what I am saying, just think that this tablet create a numbing effect on you or take away all your real emotions it makes you a zombie. and give you heightened emotions sometimes when not required also it hurt me so badly I cant even explain you some incident :- in one of my early interview I was crying sitting on footpath with fear that how will i be able to live this hard life.how will people earn.when I enter the room interviewer gave me a glass of water and ask me to come back after a month and dont panic. I was in so mch pressure of getting a job after my degree and it was tough. I got selected in one IT recruitment company and on third day i got so much un restless and fearful without any reason that i left my desk went to manager cabin locked my self inside and lie down on floor and slept and after 2 hrs manager open the door from different key and from next day they didnt picked me up for a job. Crying in washrooms is extremely common whenever my boss scold me or anybody hurts me.up until now.i never told anybody in my office that i am suffering from some brain disease else they will fire me I know. many more incident like this in my life. Searching for job after passing from tier 3 college and work till now(since 2011) this is a common story of many many guys of my type. Funny thing was that I didnt knew how to search a job and what a job is all about and how to plan a career , I knew nothing, first six month after completing a degree I left everything and just rested because I got exhausted and most probably this was a blunder. I was started searching a job and joined one of my friend in his company as Recruiter. after six month i got introduced by one of my relative of govt job and I shifted my focus in govt job preparation because the relative made a pressure on me to have a govt job cos he selected me for his girl.this i wll tell in next section in detail.then I joined a part time job in a call center because i was in another trauma as my first engagement broke and I didnt knew what to do ahead as one year already passed. so I worked there 14 months in just 4k rs pm. then I left to work in noida and good company call center and got ok amount 17500 pm worked there also 14 months till 2015 and then I was totally unsured what to do now, so I was getting promoted to quality manager there but after a degree that is not what I wanted to do so i decided that I will do a job in software anyhow.and after that I will decide further.so I left that job also and join another company in 20k pm worked there 6 months gathered all money then left and join one training institute in Noida and get my self trained there for 6 months and then gave interviews in IT companies as a fresher i had a 6 years gap. i got rejected by 11 companies and 12 one selected me. there I worked 2+ years. they have exploited me to the core and I was so much naive that I didnt understand that.I was a java guy and they asked me to learn .net so it was a do or die for me they gave only 3000 pm for training for first 4 months. i had my savings i never mind I wanted to learn . but i think now I stuck in wrong company . they trained me in .net then gave me a project of devops . i introduced devops by learning all by myself from internet whatever I can.created automatic infrastructure the best way I can alone. then they asked me to learn android then angular then big data omg it was overwhelming.I made one app backend its still live on playstore. and maintain many other . despite having my depression and other problems taking tool on my mental health. from last year oct 2018 many incident happened back to back that i asked my manager and ceo to give me off for a month they denied then i told them about my depression and they asked me to leave saying i am not able to work.they indireclty fired me in feb 2019. since then Its been 8 months i am at home. Engagement and breakup This was really tough when I came back in 2011 from college I went to one of my relative who is asst engg. in Delhi govt for guidance and help and he chose me for his daughter . I was on cloud nine . very happy . new graduate , got engaged to a beautiful girl , she is a lawyer. we fall in love. or I am wrong actually I fall in love. girls dont fall in love may be its very easy for them to move on . we got engaged for one year and as I told you earlier her father wish me to live as he asked me , he keeps me lecture every time.i got frustrated. I got a bit religious and the girl said to her father that he cant live with a religious type boy, I told her that now we are engaged dont do this , you will live the way you want to. but she got adamant and her father also.and said I become conservative and girls wants a handsome boys. i was just become simple nothing else. like simplest dresses , she doesnt like the way I dress. she asked me to change this or she will not live with me , I told her father that your daughter cant be happy with me why are you doing this to her. please stop. they dont want to stop but they want to change me , few things she said to me after a year of engagement which i still remember that , I ll have a dark future with you, why you come to my father for a job, I cant live the life of restrictions until this time I got so attached to her but I cant compromise on the way of life i am living.so I have to leave her . it was a big thing for all family and mostly on me because i was alone in this decision and my family is not in my support that time. they used to say “shadi karlo baad me jese marzi rahna who will say anything.” this breakup also shattered me , I have to move on I started a job in a call center parttime. Life in a call centre(2.5yrs) I think every graduate should work in call center for six month and not more than that. what I will write here about that it was also working hell.lol.every minute is counting 3 comapnies of call center I worked all same.they count every minute you go to washroom, toilet, outside, and thats also every day. its like work is not more on some day or less on some day. it s that work is there always.and its simply sucks.its only for high energy young people , it enhances your communication and stress management,more then six month is not good. Leaving the job and preparing for it after 6 years This was a big decision as I told you. I took it and succeeded. after a gap of six years and working hell of call center I think that now is the time that I have to move on to my job. and I took the chance. I started learning programing from for loop and learned 6 months all basic and algorithms, linked list and what not. Getting my first IT job as a associate software engineer(2+yrs) That was one of the happiest day of my life that I deserve my degree to some extent at least as out of 8 candidates that day I was the only one that was able to solve the programming problem and get selected.such a happy day it was. Rigorous learning again(2yrs) for 2 years I learned so much things, .net upto mvc. front end, devops, some big data,api, etc etc etc.. Emotional affair with married woman and heartbreak This I cant tell you what it did to me .its long story if you want to read I asked the question related to same on quora last year, that time idint knew that much worst ahead read link https://justpaste.it/41enq she broke me 70% almost. but good thing was I knew I am wrong in that just this one thing gives me strength to come out of this. Getting fired from my job This is what I was not able to bear and I informed to my bosses that I need a break and they gave me permanent break…..lol. Emotional affairs within girl other caste and fight with parents. another blow omg that time I was desperate for marriage so that I can free from this emotional and physical requirement. I got a contact from a girl from a matrimonial site and we talked around one month and she have all what I wanted , education looks religiousness. we met , we liked each othe and I though now things will get settled and I told her that I will not take anything in dowry and I jst want marriage asap , initially she was hesitant to disclose this in front to her parents before the assurance from my side. and I was 100% sure from my parents side that they will not deny at all. because of whatever happened with me . so I told her . and then I informed my parents but surprisingly my father denied completely and said that go and marry, but leave my house as the girl from other caste , i requeste them so much that after this much long i liked some girl whom i can marry and she knows everything about me , please let me do so. all my family member that time got hold of fake izzat. any how I agree my mother to atleast see the girl they went with me there home and as I know they rejected as our community wont accpet them. so I was very very disheartened but I kept my patience and trust on God that things will get better.It unable to start , i felt so much guilty , the girl cried for 3 days . I asked forgiveness said i can t go against my parents wishes. Second engagement and breakup From there they take me to there relatives who have many daughters to choose from someone and I chose one because I wanted to marry asap. they liked me then again we talked and my sister also to a girl . everyting going fine . the girl side very mch interested for this relationship they want to fix the engagement asap. the day before they are coming to fix this . I dnt want it to be fix on some lie. i called a girl and informed her about my health issue and career issue. they came and got reluctant and without fixing anything went back then after second day they asked us to come to fix things , I was again on cloud nine hundred nine that finally everything fixed. I told them that I have good experience and no problem of a job , i will have a job soon . and for my health I will try to stop the medications. but one thing happened in informing all these to them that I lost my value.and they now are taking me for granted. aisa behave tha jese ahsaan kar rahe hain…we all went there house for engagment , I bought a diamond ring for her , clothes for her of my choice. with my relatives we went there. its not in my mind but my relatives dont like there hosting and made a drama. there come too many things for next 2 days and finally they cancelled the engagement , I asked them to atleast once let me talk to her. what happened.but they didnt allow. I got bedridden for a month. Lost all hope and will to live in all these days my medications jumps from 10mg to 225mg. and it has its side effects also. after last incident I lost all my wish to live at all. I prayed god to please take me away from this world.Because I will never do suicide . its against my religion and believes. but inside me nothing left. this happened in june 2019 and I am able to do lil works in oct and writing now. i decided to left my medications also whatsoever. I will not live a live on medications.If i will live , It will be my own. though I dnt want to live at all this kind of life.I have lost my health career relationship. from last 6 months i dont have any money . my parents giving me just for survival. 1000 pm I am surviving. locked up in my room, left my medications to 66% just 75mg remains. it hurt my body very badly. when I woke up in morning there is a swelling too much of my face every day. i cant focus to do simple work on computer continiously for 3 hrs. but death has not yet occured. so i think still something remains on earth. i am trying to recover. and hoping that good days may come. I have not achieved what I dreamed of. I want to live on the lap of God. The most hurtful thing is my brain condition which is not able to handle simple stresses like above many people may handle above things easily. but its really tough for me now very much . I really dont know what is the life of happiness. though I am fortunate to have able parents who even can support me now.but from inside nothing left. now I am really afraid to continue in engineering because i fear more pressure on brain will do harm to my brain . and rest I dont know what to do. Recovering and never give up I also wanted to live a happy life like many others.I will not suicide. but I dont know until when I can able to handle these pressures.Because now my body and mind is not giving me enough support to fight these pressures.I know people have more hardships then me but its not comparable with anyone to anyone. Positive things in my life:- God Almighty My parents, super supportive, and very patient I love them Hope Good home with all basic facilities My lovely nieces and nephews I am proud that I achieved many things which I decided, like I didn't achieved many. Few good friends. Aur bhi bht hoga jo mujhe abhi yaad nahi aa rha. Thank you God Bless you all.
  25. 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 .
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