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  1. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  2. Hi all, Thank you for letting me join this wonderful fountain of knowledge. I have been on Effexor since late 2008, when I was 20 years old. My first long term relationship had just ended and I was understandably an emotional mess. I was also alcoholic at the time and using a lot of recreational drugs, which didn't stop the doctor from providing me 75mg of Effexor XR. I loved it at first because I literally felt high. I had tried other antidepressants in the past but none had worked, whereas with Effexor I just seemed to have so much energy. Fast forward to 2011, I am in residential rehab for my alcohol and drug addiction problem. The counsellors there suggest it might be a good time to try coming off my meds- 300mg Effexor and I also taking 25mg Seroquel at this point, as I was unable to sleep on the Effexor. I am referred to a completely incompetent psychiatrist who gives me a taper programme which takes me from 300mg to nothing in a month. Not knowing any better, I complied with his insane schedule. Within a few weeks I was kicked out of rehab for out of character, rageful behaviour. Back home, I slowly lost my mind. Couldn't leave the house without feeling like I had a target sign painted on me- I felt everyone was looking at me and talking about me. I lost my temper at the drop of a hat over minuscule things. No one around me realised what was happening. My memory of this time is hazy, but I do remember being home alone one night and suddenly becoming obsessed that there was a government conspiracy to give people heart attacks by putting too much salt in food. I was walking around the kitchen in circles screaming, unable to stop. I considered the possibility of hanging myself to make it stop. Luckily I called my boyfriend instead and found another website which is no longer active, who advised me to go straight to a doctor and resume the Effexor at a maintenance dose. I did this and was put back on 75mg. The damage was already done and I fell into clinical depression. A month later I decided I couldn't be more miserable that I was and relapsed on alcohol. Luckily I got straight back into a 12 step programme and have been sober since that relapse. But I struggled with the after effects of that withdrawal for many months. i have been absolutely petrified to try coming off Effexor again since, despite many side effects including palpitations, mental confusion, dry mouth, bad breath, constant clenched jaw and every type of stomach complaint. I fell pregnant in 2014 and came down to a quarter of a 37.5mg tablet during pregnancy. I wanted to come off it entirely, but my relationship was very unstable and I was being constantly triggered (we have now split up). I was devastated to not be able to breastfeed my daughter, but I felt the Effexor presented too much of a risk to do so. I went back up to 37.5mg shortly after her birth. She is fine and healthy today, but the responsibilities of single motherhood have left me terrified to attempt withdrawal again. However, since giving birth I have found that the Effexor now has a sedative effect on me. I now have to take it at night time, or I am almost passing out during the day. Sometimes I forget (I'm insanely forgetful now, which fairly sure is a side effect of long term antidepressant use) and then I have a choice of spending the whole day "shocking" or being a half passed out zombie fighting to keep my eyes open. I realised I can't carry on my life like this, I want and need my energy back. I've become completely reliant on coffee to have any kind of energy, so I'm always up or crashing back down. My daughter needs me to be fully present in her life, which I don't feel like I am a lot of the time due to this horrid side effect. I found this website and have been reading up on safe tapering, and on June 14th began the 10% reduction method. At the moment it looks like it's going to take about 3 years in total. I'm in no rush after my last withdrawal experience, I can't risk ending up in such a bad way as I'm all my little girl has. I have been dissolving the 37.5mg tablet in 75ml water, making sure it's all evenly dispersed, then removing 7.5ml (equal to 3.75mg) with an oral syringe. In the UK they no longer prescribe the slow release Effexor so as I can't do the bead method, this is the only accurate way I can really do it. Yesterday I had tingling in both hands all day then at night I had some brain zaps when I was trying to sleep which went all down my left side, which has made me wonder if I should maybe hold this dose for longer that a month. If anyone could advise me on this, I would appreciate it. I find my daily meditation practice my most valuable asset in keeping me sane so I'm hoping it will aid me in my withdrawal. If you have made it this far in my mammoth post, you are truly amazing! Love and healing light to you all x L
  3. 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
  4. I am new to surviving antidepressants. Because my Internist did not authorize refill for Effexor xr 150mg for 7 days, I was forced into snir discontinuation syndrome. I did not know there was such a thing until then. I have since researched on line and have found out quite a bit. Did you know that brain zaps/brain shivers is discribed in Wikipedia? Anyway,. I got them plus a lot of other debilitating symptoms. I have since weaned myself off over a months period of time (probably too fast), and have now been without for 2 days. I am so irritable that I can hardly stand to be with myself. Plus I get cold very easily and feel like shivering, but don't. I also have a few brain zaps, but they aretolerable. I am determined to not take one more bead of Effexor xr, and would appreciate the support of anyone who is going through or has gone though Effexor xr withdrawal.
  5. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  6. Hello folks, Wow I came across this website and it definitely helped my outlook on this horrid process of withdrawling from Anti- Depressants. Here is my story. Life was good I was 23 years old, sitting in my University Class seminar, participating with my class, when out of nowhere all these feelings came rushing over me, people started to go sideways, couldn't really talk. Long story short I dropped out of University and went home to parents. I Went to an emerg clinic and was diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder(Gad). Immediately I was giving a prescription for Effexor xr 150mg, followed up with my doctor and was up at 225mg for awhile and 150mg for awhile over a 6 year period. I am now 29 years old, about 4 months ago the effexor pooped out, well it may have pooped out a year before that, but we all know how addicting it is. Went through the stigma , perceived personality changes, felt brilliant and ability to talk, got lots of good jobs, was able to be social, felt at times like it was a miracle drug, then slowly over time I lost my jobs, gf's , starting smoking marijuana heavily, took up smoking cigarettes and had anger and frustration issues, never had this before the medication. My doctor just refilled my prescriptions and never really questioned how I was doing on this medication. If I missed a dose one day I would have horrible symptoms. Long story short I feel effexor got me through the first initial espisode I had, but eventually ruined my social life, career life etc. It's been a tough trip. So after this medication pooped out 5 months ago I figured lets try to go off this and tapered off during a two months period.150mg to 75mg to 37.5 then half of 37.5 and then half of that,then off. I quit Effexor on March 22/2012 after being on it since 2005. Wow Lets just say after I came off it I felt so amazing, I saw everything in a fresh new light- like this is what life is like off this? Colors are brighter, Smell is better, everything changed for the positive after coming off it. Rose colored glasses you should say came off. I quit my 2 addictions of Cigs and pot immediately, was so proud of myself, fixed up debts that I wouldn't have touched on effexor. I felt like I had total control of my life, except for how to deal with these raw emotions , felt like a brand new person. Until... The 3 month mark being off Effexor, wow. Anxiety, Insomnia( not sleeping til 730am), not being able to look at somebody and talk to them in a normal light( was never a issue all my life). One week ago I tried Wellbutrin for 5 days and then withdrawled off it 150mg xl. It was just making me more anxious etc. Now the biggest problem I face is feeling like my memory/words have disapeared, can't make sentences or think of what to say and this was never a problem in my life and it's bothering me big time and I don't know what to do, as I feel like my brain has been messed up by 6 years of effexor highest dose 225mg but mostly 150mg. How do I get this back? I need some good responses here because I feel like a complete dummie as my mind has been erased. Thank you for reading this extremely long post, but I didn't want to leave anything important out, and I really want to move on with a life that I can accept and enjoy. Where has my memory gone? Will it comeback? How long if so? My words and ability to talk to people and come up with things to say? Very scared, What can I do? Use to be so smart I am Martin and that is my story, Glad to be a part of this group (29 years old) ^6 years on effexor , now 3months off 2005-2012 , March 22/2012 Off Effexor
  7. Caspur

    Caspur: history

    I have been taking Venlafaxine at 75mg per day for about 6 years. The side effects were becoming too annoying to contiune - mainly flat, blunt unemotional mood, drowsineess during the day (i would fall asleep at my desk whilst working (at home)) and frequent urination, especially at night, which interrupted sleep too much. I have successfully tappered off venlafaxine once before after about 10 months treatment. I did it over 9 months without any issues. Buoyed by that success, i thought i could do it again and embarked on a taper using broken pills and liquid preparations prescribed by my doctor on the UK NHS. I only took 4 months this time which wasnt that sensible , as i now know. The taper ended 5 weeks ago today (24/11/17). Since then i have experienced many and varied discontinuation symptoms both physical and emotional: - physical - nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, dizziness and swimmy feeling in the head; mild visual disturbances; mild but constant headache; mild tingling sensation in the face - emotional - depression, anxiety like i've never experiened before for no aparent reason, irritability, poor concentration; mood swings over a very short time period for no apparent reason etc The semotional symptoms come and go. I will have one or two good days followed by 2-4 days of feeling depresed, anxious, etc On the up side i do feel like im experiencing real emotions like i havent felt for year I have mananegd to control some of the symptoms with supplements such as tryptophan. i also take fish oil, B vits, vitamin C and D I exercise a lot - run 5-6 km per day and try very hard to eat well; lots of fruit and vegetables etc Any suggestions for help would be gratefully received!
  8. Hello. As in my signature (which I see may need to be edited for specifics): I went on Prozac in 1994, off two or three years later, but then seemed to need it again and was told I had the profile of someone who should be on it indefinitely. I was on from 1997 or 1998 until in 2014 I tapered off over several months. After a few months off, I developed constant fear with ruminations about death and the end of the universe. Went on Effexor in January 2015, switched to Cymbalta later to attempt to reduce tinnitus, switched back to Effexor again (no longer sure when, probably summer 2017). Then, I tapered off from November 2017 to mid-March 2018, then had a few weeks of dizziness and thumps in the head, then was fine. In mid-May 2018, the constant fear and ruminations returned. I immediately started on about 7.5 mg of Cymbalta (a quarter of the beads in a capsule), since it was what I had left from my US doctor (I'm in the UK for some months at least), then saw a doctor. I was concerned about future discontinuation syndrome with the SNRIs, so in discussion with the doctor I started on 20 mg Prozac on May 23. I wanted to overlap with the Cymbalta because I'd read Prozac is used for transitions, but the doctor said to stop the Cymbalta in case of overdose, so I stopped after a few days. After eight days on Prozac, I told her I remember that it takes a few weeks to build up but that I was struggling, so on June 1 she switched me to 30 mg of Cymbalta in hopes of faster relief. I'm afraid that because Cymbalta was what I still had left from my US doctor and I wasn't in the best mental state, I mistakenly told her that's what I'd last been on, but it had really been Effexor - unless I'm now permanently confused. Now, six days later, I'm feeling slight relief but still free-floating fear. I'm having some dry mouth, occasional heat at the back of my head, and fidgeting with my legs, all of which are manageable - but after some reading here, I'm wondering if I should lower the Cymbalta dose anyway. On the other hand, I'm desperate for it to take effect as soon as possible. I've been reading some of the other introductions that mention Effexor/venlafaxine and Prozac/fluoxetine and am wondering if I should immediately ask my doctor for a new prescription of Effexor to reinstate instead of proceeding any further with Cymbalta/duloxetene. I'm also wondering if I should try the Prozac again instead, though it had seemed to stop working and I've been off it since about May 2014 - but it seems safer than the SNRIs. By the way, I am American but currently in the UK, and in this system one has to start with a GP before a psychiatrist will accept a referral. My GP seems to know a bit (she was aware of possible cardiovascular effects and has ordered an EKG for me), but I doubt she knows enough (if anyone does). I'll have to find out if I can proceed to a psychiatrist more quickly if I use my US insurance (which will start in July) to pay privately. Thanks for any thoughts.
  9. Hi I took effaxor for 5 months 75mg. I stopped 4.5 months ago and still stuck with PSSD. How hopeful should I be, do people here recover substantially from PSSD?
  10. Edie

    Edie: my story

    Hello, I'm Edie from Estonia and I struggeled with antidepressants for years now. I have also been addicted to Klonopin, but fortunately I'm free from it now. My worst enemy was venlafaxine. At first it really helped with my anxiety problems, but then one day it completely stopped working and soon I fell into a really dark depression, which I had not felt before psychiatric meds. I was sleeping all the time, had no feelings at all, no motivation- just tired and zombie-like. And ofcourse.. if I wanted to stop the medication I just couldn't. Every time the horrible venlafaxine withdrawal kicked in. I somehow managed to switch from venlafaxine to prozac and now I feel a little bit better. I have been on 10 mg of prozac for almost two months now and I think that soon I should make my first taper, but I am a little bit afraid of that, because of the big changes my brain has gone through the past months. 75mg venlafaxine to 10mg prozac was a really difficult thing to do - during the switch I had severe panick attacks, suicide thoughts, extreme pressure in head ect. The thing is that I'm not sure when I should start tapering. Should I do it now or wait a little bit longer? I also take inositol powder and 500 mg niacin in the evenings and I think that these supplements are helping a little bit with the anxiety.
  11. Help777

    Help777: journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  12. I have been on citalopram since 2009 then it stopped working. The Dr put me on citalopram and mirtazapine combination which worked for a while then that stopped working. The Dr then put me on mirtazapine and Venlafaxine 150mg XL combination which workes for a while again ans then stopped working. The Dr put me on amitriptyline 50mg saying thay would be the best drug for me while i took 8 months to slowly remove each bead from Venlafaxine capsule to come off it. As soon as I took my last beed i went into crazy angry depression. The dr increased my dosage of amitriptyline from 50mg to 150mg but the side effects were horrible and at this point i got sick of these meds and decided to quit CT. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms and i started acting like a child and not being able to walk, had balance problems. I reinstated back to 50mg amitriptyline since april 2018 and i have been getting worse. I cannot sleep. My vision is so badly affected that i have grainy vision and floaters have increased dramatically . I see after images and it's as if the lights have been turned off. When i begin to fall asleep, i start to have dreams before i actually fall asleep and my brain keep. Waking up just before i am about to sleep. I cannot follow conversations, I mishear things all the time. I am totally dependant on others and i feel people think i have gone crazy. I don't know what to do i am getting worse and worse. I often trip, lose my balance. I hardly have any short term memory and cannot do simplest of things. I cannot even watch anything on TV as i cannot follow.it I'm having major concentration problems. I don't know how. I'm writing this. I cannot work or drive. Please you have no idea how i am putting these sentences together. I need urgent help. Please advice. I have no energy, no appetite. If I'm posting this in the wrong place, please accept my appology as I can hardly read and understand things. P
  13. Hey all! This is my first post here and I'm so glad I found this forum. I've been feeling desperate for months. My question is about drug-induced derealization. I took the combo of Effexor + Valdoxan and only felt good for a month while being on them. In hindsight I almost seemed manic. Then, suddenly, I got very strong derealization that lasted for weeks. It lifted a bit for a few feeks and then came about again when I had a drink one night. I have now tapered off Effexor, I took my last pill about three weeks ago. Three days ago I also started tapering off Valdoxan. I take Oxazepam to cope with the symptoms. I feel like I broke my brain for good. The only other time I've felt derealization was when I ate a hash brownie and clearly it was too much for me. I used to be a caring and fun person before going on the antidepressants. Right now I feel like I'm just completely empty inside. I do and feel things because I know I have to, but I seriously don't care about anything at all. When I do feel emotion, it's mostly fear or worry. Has anyone else expierienced drug-induced DR? Did it go away when you started to withdraw from the drug? How do you cope with this?
  14. I began taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications in 1995 and have tried twice to become med free only to fail and have to reinstate a month after tapering off all medicines. I always would taper with my psychiatrists help. I am very sensitive to the side effects of medicines and pray to become medicine free someday. My current psychiatrist says it is unrealistic that I will ever be able to not be on medications because I have been on them so long. I am looking for support and strategies to successfully become med free and stay med free. I successfully tapered off of Effexor xr in 2011 and in April of this year tapered off of klonopin. I am currently taking Cymbalta and trazadone.
  15. I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years, I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death, I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?
  16. Hello, Part 1, Intro. I would like to start by sincerly thanking websites such as Survivingantidepressants for essentially helping me to understand my plight more accurately. I have found the success story sections to be particularly helpful, and have turned to these wonderful stories to help raise my spirits in times of utter hopelesssness. After lurking around on these websites, often too incapacitated to do much in the way of meaninful writing, I decided that it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared a little bit about myself. This is going to be a long post, and I understand that some folks going through the ringer will not be able to read this post in its entirety due to eye issues, or just information processing issues. I've been there, I couldn't read for probably a year in total. Nevertheless, I hope that you can eventually read this and garner some useful information, or at least some knowledge that you are not alone out there going through this unjust, cruel, and totally unecessary hell that we've been subjected and in my opinion, decived into undertaking. 2 Background. To give a brief background, in January of 2013 I was prescribed 50mg of pristiq, had a bad reaction to it, then switched to effexor 75mg for ~2 months, and then after requesting a medication that doesn't give me sexual dysfunction, prescribed 30mg of cymbalta. All said, I spent about 6 months on medication and I must say that it definitely relieved my moderate depression and my above average anxiety. Simultaneously, I was taking ~10-15 mg of adderall nearly daily for over 7 years to relieve "ADHD". Unfortunately, after going on cymbalta, I had a severe manic and borderline psycotic reaction to all of this stimulating medication, and proceeded to spend a tremendous amount of money over a short period of time because I became convinced that the economy was going to crash and that I needed to prepare NOW. At the time, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong, but I always trusted my brain's intuition, and my ideas just seemed "right". So I basically bought 400 pounds of non-perishable food, and nearly 4 grand worth of prep supplies and equipment. Seeing that I was employed as a graduate student, earning my PhD, my funding was very small, so this basically bankrupted me and I had to borrow money from my family just to stay out of debt. I also opted for a very invasive, and not entirely necessary shoulder survery to correct a torn labrum that had been annoying me for years. I went ahead and had the proceedur finished, and was excited at the prospect of having a fully functional shoulder again. As it turns out, my intentions were pure, but life had other plans for me (if you'll read on and bear with me). At the end of my 6 month stint on this medication, I started to have severe memory issues. I would be trying to explain something to someone, and all of a sudden I would hit a "road block" and couldn't figure out the correct word to say. Obviously, as a PhD student, this would not do, so I told my doctor I wanted off of this stuff and I wanted my old brain back. Well, I tapered from 30mg to 10mg somewhat quickly (as I have now learned), over about 1 month and from there, based on my doctors advice, I "bit the bullet" as he said, and went from 10mg to 0mg. What proceeded to happen was that I went through very similar symptoms over a 1 week period as people often describe for benzodiazapine withdrawal. Indeed, I had been prescribed clonopin for 5 years, and withdrew from thsi medication back in 2012, and for 3 whole months I was basically bedridden and completely incapactated before being able to function in the world again. At that time, I swore I would NEVER EVER take a benzo again for the rest of my life. Unfortuantely, I was unaware of the fact that SSRI/SNRI's could produce similar symptoms. I was even moreso unaware of the fact that SSRI's could produce symtpoms that were even worse and even more debilitating. To make a long and disappointing story short, I went on an epic vacation just 30 days after I quit taking the medication. I had planned this trip very meticulously during my medication induced mania, and spent a tremendous amount of money on this trip - it was essentially meant to be the trip of a lifetime. Instead, it became one of the more awful experiences of my life. Try navigating 5 countries and managing an expliciting budget just 30 days after coming off SNRIs and having awful symptoms. It was just really hellish, but by the halway point I was hoping that my symptoms would abate within 60 days and I would be able to resume normal functioning at the unviersity. I was hoping to put all of this behind me. Upon returning, I discovered to my horror that I was not much improved after 2 months. My symptoms included, but are not limited to: severe memory loss, burning sensations, problems with my eyes (blurry vision, floaters, etc), difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking, hot flashes, vertigo, and depersonalization/derealization, fatigue, etc. You guys and gals know the deal, it was GRIM, GRIM, GRIM. Looking back however, I actually had it pretty good. 3. From bad to worse This is where the story goes from bad to worse. As a PhD student, I had worked exremely hard to make a good career for myself once I graduated. One way of doing this way to teach a college level class. So upon returning from my trip, I was meant to teach a laboratory class in an advanced course in Biological Sciences in the summer for 1 month. I was so severely depersonalized/derealized, and with all the other symptoms I listed above, that I could barely remember any of my students names, and I certainly couldn't remember any of the subject matter that I was supposed to be an expert in and deticated the last 6 years of my life to memorizing. Ouch. Nevertheless, I pressed on because the course had to be taught. So I did, and the student's didn't seem to mind, although I was acutely aware of the fact that I had lost a tremendous amount of intelectual ability and could no longer "speak off the cuff" and go on intelectual tangents. I recall one student asking me about a relatively simple mathematical formula, and my inability to easily answer this question that drove me to the point of calling my ex-psyciatrist back and demanding a meeting. In this meeting, he indicated that a quick fix for my problems would be a prescription of prozac which has a long half-life, and reinstating this medciation for about a month or two, and then going off of it again. I thought "well, this better work" and went ahead and tried. As I had mentioned earlier, I had shoulder surgery, and as a consequence I needed to take some pain meds to help me through the immensly painful physical therapy sessions. So I was prescribed tramadol, which is an SNRI (UH OH!). One day I will never forget, I took this tramadol, about 1 week after being on prozac, and I had an adverse reaction to this combination that has haunted me for about 1.5 years now. My entire body went numb, particularly my sensory neurons, and I felt like an strange tickling and itching sensation over all of my skin. I never took tramadol again, but as I continued to take prozac over the next couple of weeks, I began to have an odd sensation over all of my skin: it felt as if I had wet paper bags over my entire body, and my face was becoming anesthetized. I returned to the doctor, and told him about this a couple of times and he basically told me "how could that possibly happen, you're probably just anxious". At the 1 month mark, things were not improving, and all of the original cymbalta withdrawal symptoms were still there. Instead of taking me off the medication, like any reasonable human being would have done, this doctor UPPED my dose to 20mg (from 10mg) after I told him about these adverse effects. After just 2-3 days of this, I started having insomia, and I said "**** it" and tapered off quickly in a 4 day period. It was around September 1st, 2013 when I had my last SSRI/SNRI. I should note here that I was miraculously able to finish teaching the course in anatomy and physiology with decent reviews - the prozac did help in the sense that it produced a mild mania again, which allowed me to sort of interact with the students better. What also helped me was the fact that it was around this time that I got together with my then girlfriend who saw me through the worst of the issues, so I was not completely alone thorugh this hell. It was really this wonderfully patient and kind woman who, amongst others, I attribute to saving my degree and possibly my life. 4. Recovery begins Afer coming to the realization that reinstatement was not an option for my body, I had to deal with the fact that my reinstatment attempt was not only a failure, but it made my symptoms like 40% worse. Now I also had tingling and numbness in all of my limbs, profound sinous headaches, and trigeminal nerve problems, and more serious eye problems than before. I was seeing a psyciatrist through all of this, because I was still taking adderall and had developed quite a habit for this pill (later on, I did successfully quit), which was the only way I was going to write my dissertation and complete my degree. This doctor told me that many of these symptoms may disappear after 3 months, so I waited patiently and tried my best to be physcially active and write my dissertation. Unfortunatley, releif came VERY slowly, and it wasn't until the 6 month point that I began to feel substantially better (Feburary-March 2014). At this point, with the help of my wonderful girlfriend, and a moderate dose of adderall, I began to be able to write my dissertation, and in the next ~2 months I wrote a massive chunk of this work. The symptoms sort of started to melt away, and I began to be able to read and function again - although I was still severely damaged and had not recovered. In anticipation of the fact that this might take a very long time, I scheduled my PhD defense for Summer of 2014, so that I could be at my very best. I also began applying for jobs, and succeeded in securing an interview. One unfortunate event that I should mention is that I reinjured my shoulder, so that now it was worse than it was before I got surgery in the first place. I attribute my reinjury of the shoulder to the SSRI withdrawals, and the adderall - the level of fatigue and the lack of awareness of my body due to sensory nerve damage (or what ever the heck it is - I'm still not entirely sure I understand what precise physiological mechanism is responsible for all of the symptoms I experienced) caused me to just not work on my shoulder exercises like I should have, and to play with it the wrong ways while in bed one morning. 5. Hypersensitivity This is a very important part of my story because it explains my great downfall and what happened next most precisely. Basically, as I've read on this website, and others (particularly paxilprogress.com, which was my very favorite and brings me great disappointment to see it taken offline), many people experience an inexplicable hypersensitivity to various substances when going through an adverse reaction or an ssri withdrawal. I too had this experience, most profoundly after my issues with prozac and tramadol. For example, I would drink 1 beer and be totally incapacitated and brain dead for 3 days, and if I got drunk, I would be seriously messed up for no less than 14 days. This was also true for niccotine, or any central nervous sytem agent - and it severely limited what I could do and how I could enjoy my life. Thankfully, I was still able to escape my horrible existance by watching movies and playing videogames. Indeed, videogames very effectively passed time for me in the early stages of withdrawal. Anyways, I also noticed this in regards to other medication - I took one, ONE .5 mg clonopin pill to help releive the "rebound anxiety", if you can really call it that, during my recovery process in the spring of 2014, and it completely incapacitated me for like 2 weeks. I then took a valarin root to try to see if that might help calm my nerves, and another 2 weeks of my life were gone. It's very scary to realize that small doses of commonly taken medication can completely incapacitate oneself, and I seriously had no answer for any of this other than to very cautiously avoid any and all substances if it could be helped. I should have taken this as a warning for things to come, but unfortunately I did not. One night, with my girlfirend, I had ingested a marijuana brownie in an attempt to have a good time and to escape from my unimaginable horror of losing my intellectual ability, my career, and everythign that was important to me (especially losing my emotions, the anhedonia was SEVERE and pathlogoically bad - instead of feeling emotions, I would just feel a vague burning sensation in the frontal part of my brain). This pot brownie was suprisingly effective and I had a good night with her and her friends. The only reason I mention this is because that pot browning made me believe that I could handle a small dose of marijuana without any ill effect - maybe I could find a way to medicinally deal with the agony of my condition. 6. True hell: Boy was I wrong. One night I shall never forget, my friend and college invited me to a party where people were smoking some pot in a casual way. I was just coming down from a daily dose of adderall, so I was a bit anxious and thought I would now have an opportunity to relax and enjoy myself with these folks and have a nice weekend. I smoked the pot, and what happened next was that I went from euphoria stright to utter terror. It's still very difficult for me to write this, and I'm having some emotional issues with articulating what happened, but I basically had a terror (panic) attack for like 12 straight hours, and proceeded not to sleep for the next 2 months. Yes, you read that correctly, I did not sleep for 2 months. The hell of SNRI withdrawals and an adverse reaction PALED in comparison to what I experienced when I smoked pot. ALL of the original symtpoms came back in full force, simultaneously. I went from being partially recovered to fully incapacitated again, and this time I had the awful experience of constant panic attacks that could be set off from any little thing, and PROFOUND bodily anesthesia, in addition to profound derealization and depersonalization. I had esentially lost all progress I had made over the previous 10 months, and became WORSE than I was before any of this started. As I am still recovering from this experience, I can say with some confidence that what happened was that I overdosed on marijuana. The weed in California is NOT the weed I remember back in NY - it's VERY strong and one can overdose on just a couple of hits. I personally took 4 hits I think. I know this is not a forum for drugs, but I must be explicit in my story and explian this because I do not EVER want ANYONE to go through what I went through. Please, if you're on the fence about doing drugs to help edicinally allieviate your SSRI withdrawal symptoms, do not do it. Please, I beg of you, with all of my heart, please do not risk it. 7. Partial Recovery I'm not going to go into all the fallout from my terrible mistake of overdosing on that pot, perhaps I will once it's all over. I should just say that I just BARELY clung onto reality well enough to finish. I thank God every day that I lived alone, and that I was in contact with a very understanding Aunt who had gone through similarly difficult situations. She basically saved both my career and probably my life in the 6 months or so that I endured absolutel hell as a result of smoking that stuff. At this time, I also started attending 12 step meetings of AA, and these kind and amazing people helped me out so very much. I will forever be grateful to these wondeful people for their kindness during this time - these meetings esentially kept me out of the psych ward and off of medication. I want to point out and focus on the positive: I successfully completed my Phd in Biological sciences from a prestigous institution, and defended my PhD in front of the entire department and no one suspected a thing. I also stayed with some friends after I lost the lease in my appartment due to graduation, and then found an appartment in the state of California nearby my old university that I was able to hang out in until I was well enough to make the drive across the country back to my father's house in Pensilvania. I survived, barely. Just barely. *In the very unlikely, by theoretically possible chance that someone else in this wide world is experiencing something similar to that which I have just described, I would like to describe my timeline of recovery. First 3 months, absolute hell - but by the end of the 3rd month, I was able to be somewhat peaceful and calm from time to time. At the end of 6 months I was still having panic attacks from time to time, but I was getting pretty good sleep 75% of the time time and I was able to enjoy myself sometimes. At the end of 9 months is when the panic attacks stopped, and I just had bad migranes most of the time. This is when I began to be able to read and write fairly well, and enjoy life even more from time to time. I'm currently at 11 months, and still feeling pretty bad, but I'm much much better and get good sleep nearly every single night. *If someone else is also trying to quit a stimulant while going through SSRI withdrawal hell like I did, I can outline my timeline for recovery if it might help you. By the 3 month mark, I had all of my phiscal stamia back, and just lacked motivation. By the 6-7 month mark, I have begun to recover intellectual motivation, but I'm still beset by migraine headaches most of the time. I tapered from 10mg to 2.5mg and then off completely over a 6-7 week period. 8. Closing statements Now, I'm currently on the mend. I quit taking adderall immediately after completing my degree, and have been off that toxic and dangerous drug for about 7 months to date. I am also 20 months free from SSRIS, and certainly will never go back that route again for the rest of my life. I'm not employed, and really am not employable at all. I will probably have to find a job at some point, but I'll most likely not be able to go back into academia until my brain fully recovers. I don't know when that will be. For now, I'm grateful to A) be alive, and be able to enjoy some things again. I'm grateful for the fact that I have my health coming back, that I'm able to write somewhat articulately again, and that most of my symptoms are slowly improving. I apologize for this massive essay - I know first hand how difficult it is to focus on things like this when you're going through withdrawal, but I just felt inspired this evening enough to write this post. I hope that this helped someone in some way, and please let me know if you have any questions. There is A LOT that I've left out from my story, especially in regards to the hell I experienced after smoking the marijuana. I learned a tremendous amount about life that I really never wanted to learn, and I've learned a great deal about recovering from ssris, what works, and what doesn't. there's a lot that I don't really know yet, and I could use some advice from the community on a few things. 1) how the heck does one make money and support themselves through this? I'm not entirely sure how to proceed from here. I've attempted to figure out if there's another medical condition that I'm experiencing that is unrelated to ssri withdrawals - got an MRI (totally normal, from what the doctors at the ER said). One doctor said it's possibly a neuropathy, or a metabolic disorder - but nothing concrete. I'm scheduled to go see another doctor in an attempt to get an actual diagnosis so that I could possibly apply for disability, but I'm not too sure what to do. I'm not so sure if going back to western medicine is a great idea, but I did get a lot of releif from knowing that there's nothing highly abnormal with my MRI, so I figure it might be good to rule out common disorders that can cause the symtpoms I'm still experiencing. If there's one thing I've learned from all of this it's that the worst thing I can do to help myself is to introduce new chemicals in my body in order to fix the problem. I've read countless recovery stories on this website and on paxilprogress, and I've been able to determine that if what I'm going through is SSRI withdrawal/adverse reaction, the only real cure for all of this is: time. From what I've read, it takes between 6 months and 5 years for people to recover completely. That's a long time, and I'm not sure how to survive for that long. I've just barely made it through 2 years. Just BARELY. I've thought about taking my life so many countless numbers of times over the past 2 years, but never did it - I don't think I will either. I just think about it, because the pain is so severe and unending. Although things have improved a LOT, and I mean A LOT from last may when I smoked that pot, I'm still far from recovered. I have hope that I'll recover in the future, but I think this process will take a long time. Thank you for reading.
  17. Hey everyone, This has been the most informative and useful website I have found thus far, so I was inclined to register. Kudos to the site Administrator and moderators for their hard work and time spent helping others while we collectively try to get through this nightmare. I have been on 150mg of Effexor XR for about 7 years now, for anxiety. I am 28 years old and I would like to be fully weaned off by the time I am 30. I want children in a few years, and I refuse to have this poison in my body during pregnancy. This is the only anti-depressant I have ever been on, originally on a 75mg dose but that stopped working after a month and my dose was increased to the 150mg. I really don't feel like he drug has done anything to help me since then. It's been a series of ups and downs which I'm sure many can relate. I began my taper just over a week ago. It's been a bit of a rough start, due to my own tardiness and ignorance, moving from Canada to the US. When I had my prescription filled here in the US for the first time, they gave me the generic brand Teva Venlafaxine. I did not foresee any issues, but it caused me panic attacks almost immediately. A permanent dizziness, headache, and heartburn, plus I was very irritable. After a week of that, and realizing the side effects weren't getting any better, I had my pharmacy order the brand name Effexor XR for me and they did so without hesitation or a Dr's note. I want to make a suggestion to those who do not have insurance. You can get a free discount card from the manufacturer (Pfizer) and get it for $30/month at participating pharmacies. I was very nervous they wouldn't accept the card. It seemed to good to be true but I can confirm, it worked for me and I purchased my months prescription for just $30 instead of the $350+ full price. You can get your discount card here: https://www.effexorxr.com/choice-card Anyways, I made a silly mistake when I received my first generic prescription. I was ready to start my taper and take some of the beads out. There were exactly 150 beads in each capsule, I started by removing 5. There were no withdrawal symptoms other than drowsiness, but the side effects I described above meant I couldn't stay on the generic brand. Since moving back to the brand name stuff, I notice there are way more beads, I stopped counting at 200 when I realized I wasn't even half way through them. Plus the beads are all different sizes. I got a really good jewelers scale from Amazon.com for just $20 which I would like to use for the remainder of my taper. I calculated 3.3% was the reduction I made by taking 5 beads out of the generic capsule. An unfortunate number to work with, since I am no good with math and neither is my partner. But I would like to maintain that 3.3% for at least a week and then bump it up to either 5 or 10% and stabilize there for a month as Admin suggests. My only concern stems from the fact that the brand name pill has an inconsistent weight, and number of beads. The number of beads don't really matter to me since I am doing it by weight anyways... but the weights vary slightly. Should I do my % calculation based on the average pill weight? Or should I be removing the beads based on the weight of each individual capsule? This is pretty much the only area where I am stumped right now. Last night I based it on that pills weight... and I don't know what to do tonight. From what I've read here it looks like I should just go by the average weight? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/ Any suggestions or advice is appreciated. I've no major withdrawal as of right now... just drowsiness. A bit of heartburn on and off and Tums do help with that. But when I focus too much on the heartburn, I begin to think I'm having a heart-attack and this causes me to (almost) panic! And frightens me when I am trying to sleep. Has this medication/withdrawal been known to cause any major heart problems? Or am I just being silly by worrying about a little bit of heartburn. Thank you in advance and I am very happy to be here.
  18. Hi everyone, I'm free of drugs for 10 monthes now. Withdrawal has been very difficult. I followed my psychiatrist instructions october 2014 : 150 mg venlafaxin + 30 mg mirtazapine : mirtazapine reduce to 15 mg November 2014 : mirtazapine stopped. Symptoms : I felt quite nervous, sometines crying about nothing but it disappeared within a week. December 2014 : 150 mg venlafaxin reduced to 75 mg. Symptoms : return of my libido (great ! ).. but this lasted only 15 days January 2015 : 75 mg venlafaxin 1 day and nothing the other day. Symptoms : short term memory problems, reduced ability to keep focus on my job. Increased appetite ( ). Sensitive to stress at work. Brain zaps and headache that disappeared within 2 weeks. February 2015 : drop down to 37,5 mg venlafaxin. Symptoms : the precedent, but increased problems of focus, increased sensitivity to noise, felt very irritable, brain zaps again as well as headache but disappeared within 3 weeks. March 2015 : drop to 0... nightmare ! So back to 37,5 mg after 7 days... April 2015 : start a drop down but more slowly : 37,5 mg to 27,5 mg. Same symptomes as previously. May 2015 : down to 17,5 mg Same symptombs as previously. June 2015 : down to 7,5 mg July 2015 : down to 0 mg. Symptoms : very irritable, flu-like symptoms and fever, diarrhea, mood swings : happy then crying about nothing 5 minutes later for no reason, anger crisis (I destroyed a door by punching it), brain zaps, headache, sensitivity to noise and light... it lasted 4 weeks before getting better. September 2015 : felt better but when back to work (I'm a teacher) : anxiety, irritability. I had a panic attack. My GP adviced me to rest and I stayed at home for 1 month. After that : felt much better. Could sport again. Happy because no more muscle and joint pain (that came with the medication and force me to stop my hobby : violin player and horse riding). I was very happy to be able to play violin again. But started to have migraine from time to time. Then a strange feeling with the muscle of my face : just like if my face became heavier and tended to "dangle" But then everything went wrong : mid january 2016 I was given a medication for my stomach, a proton pump inhibitor, to cure an antibiotics induced gastritis. I did not understand what happens but I was strucked by a deluge of severa symptoms : severe anxiety which turned into panic attacks, fever, tremors, extreme weakness, tingling in hands and feet, instable blood pressure, heart arythmia, abdominal pain and diarrhea, stomach pain, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, weight loss (10 pounds within a month), tons of gaz, excessive burping, reflux (that I did not have prior taking this drug)...I thought I was having a heart attack and went to ER but ECG was normal. Those symptoms has been described by some people who were given the same drug but my doctor don't believe me and say I'm depressed . It appeared that I have now gastroparesis (stomach which won't empty quickly enough) Now (march 2016) it's been more than a month that I'm unable to work. My mood is not depressed but I still feel very week, have arrythmia, muscle fasciculations, tinnitus, headache and strange feeling with the muscle of my face that seems to be "weak". Now I'm just wondering if the withdrawal could cause autonomous system disorders. I could read SSRI withdrawal do cause imbalance in sympathic vs parasympathic system. Don't really know what to do. My psychiatrist said I need to restart venlafaxin and add a medication for bipolar disorders (because of my mood swings). I believe I'm not bipolar : I never feel high. I just feel normal (I can go to school and teach, sport 3 times a weak) or completely disabled by anxiety issues... I tried to introduce the prolonged withdrawal syndrome but he told me it's just nonsense : withdrawal never last more than 4 weeks... which is not at all why I could read according to so many patients records.. I'm lost now and feel like a crap, miserable and alone. Does anyone had a similar bad experience several monthes after stopping SSRI ? (very sorry if english mistakes, it's not my mother language).
  19. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  20. University of British Columbia Pharmaceutical Sciences Student Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, March 21 2016, pages 31-33. Preparation of Lower Dosages of SNRI Antidepressants to Ameliorate Discontinuation Symptoms: Two Case Studies. Benton Attfield, B.Sc. (Biology), B.Sc. (Pharm) Lori Bonertz, B.Sc. (Pharm) Cory Hermans, B.Sc. (Pharm) Valerie Kantz, Senior Pharmacy Technician. Full text pssj-v03-i01_attfield.pdf Abstract There is a large body of evidence showing that adverse effects experienced with antidepressant treatment ameliorate over time and that disease-state symptoms improve for many patients. However, there is a paucity of information relating to how to stop these medications when a patient’s depression has remitted. Presented here are two cases that demonstrate the role pharmacists play in helping patients discontinue SNRI medications through the preparation of lower strength dosage forms. From the paper:
  21. Hi all! Finally had the time and courage to start to tell my story. I'm thirty-something year old woman from Finland. This forum has been really important to me on this dreadful journey. It's crucial to hear that you're not just imagining things and not alone in this. When my withdrawal really hit me the first time, I was so scared. I had heard of AD whitdrawal but didn't really know what to expect. I've never felt so deeply depressed and utterly hopeless than in some waves I've had during this whithdrawal. That really puts you in to the darkest place ever I have a wide range of symptoms, most of the Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist I have been under a serious stress on this past month and I have noticed that it has possibly made my symptoms worse again. But fortunately I have noticed some progress too. I also have been able to sleep almost the entire time. That's HUGE! Well, that's probably all I can write now. It's really tough to write in a foreign language with this braindamage, it has made me so slow..
  22. It has been years since I took medications, I was 16 when I took them in 2009, and went through a few different brands. I have copied some of my introduction story to make things easier for me. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5232-%E2%98%BC-hello-charliebrown-script-free/#entry67166 Starting with Fluoxetine 10mg for 1 month. Then Venlafaxine for 1 month at 75mg then, 3 months at 150mg. 1 month of Clonazepam 0.5mg as I was tapered off Venlafaxine and onto Sertraline 50mg. Then I took Sertraline 100mg for 4 months. Still experiencing panic attacks, agoraphobia and paranoia. I went to the hospital during a panic attack and was given Lorazepam 1mg for 1 week. This is when my psychiatrist added Risperidone on top of the Sertraline. Risperidone started at 0.25mg for 3 days, then 0.5mg for one week, raised to 1.0mg for one week. After two weeks I had a check-up I told the Dr. I wasn't feeling anything and I believe he may have misinterpreted that as "no effects" but when I said it I meant that I felt no emotions. My dose was raised to 1.5mg daily. After 3 days of 1.5mg I began experiencing Akathisia with no relief of anxiety. With no options in perceived sight I took all of the remaining Risperidone. Approx forty 0.5mg pills. My Parents caught me and called 911. At the hospital I was given charcoal and passed out, waking hours later. After being discharged I continued to take Sertraline as prescribed for 2 months. With no reduction in my anxiety and my emotions being basically non existant I decided to "take the good with the bad" and feel some kind of emotion. Over the next month and a half I slowly weaned myself off Sertraline. Popping open the capsule and throwing away 3-5 tiny XR beads a day. So that's my age, meds and taper strategy. How long it took to regain all my emotions and bodily functions is a hard one to answer. It took about 6 months before I felt much of anything. Then the bad emotions came back, sadness, anger. Slowly over the next two years I had many days that were blank and void of anything, days full of sadness, but also days where a light would shine and I would be happy. Feelings were coming back in waves and leaving again. I joined this website in late 2013 and at that point I had some emotional range, a libido but no sexual pleasure. So i guess it took about 3 years off medications to regain a good emotional range and my youthful lust. I'm finally writing this success story because in the past year the lack of sexual pleasure and anhedonia are not a problem for me anymore. The feelings slowly came back in waves, sometimes weak, but getting stronger and stronger. Now I feel great when I hug someone or see a friend smile. Sometimes the feelings can even be overwhelming. Like my heart is ready to burst. I don't know what else to add except, it's been almost 7 years since I took medications and I am a whole new person! Don't give up hope! Things are constantly changing, even if you don't notice. I didn't notice the change until it was right in my face!
  23. Hi all, here is my story. I started with dizziness about 10 months ago. My doctor thought it was Vestibular migraine and put me on Celexa 20 mg for two months. Did nothing. They then weaned be off over 10 days before putting me on nortriptyline, getting up to 30 mg over three months. It started to affect me by giving me panic attacks so I weaned off of that over another month. While weaning off of the nortriptyline, once I got down to 15 mg, the doctor started me on Effexor. I started at a quarter of a 37.5 mg tablet and worked up to 37.5 mg over three weeks. I was then on 37.5 mg for two weeks and had awful side effects so started tapering off over a three-week period. Basically, I was on and off of Effexor a total of seven weeks. Then, the doctor put me on Klonopin for two weeks to try to help me come off of the Effexor. I refused to take it for more than two weeks. However, I am now 45 days off all of the medication and I'm having really bad muscle twitches, unsteadiness still, sensations of the floor feeling squishy beneath my feet and a constant feeling of like my brain is cracking. Not to mention emotional upheaval Has anyone here noticed significant improvement in recovery after short term use of these drugs? I'm terrified they permanently altered me and I won't get back to homeostasis.
  24. Hi all— New here, obviously, and new to forums in general, not so obviously (or maybe so still, idk). Here because I've been unable to (unproblematically) leave bed for the last 48 hours and I can't concentrate on much meaningfully (there goes my work): as a result I've been viewing a lot of content about withdrawal online (against my psychiatrist's pleas—I wonder what he wouldn't want me to know. . .) and found this forum linked in an article. See my signature for my history, and please feel free to share any information you think might be helpful. An abridged account of my woes: -Since midday Wednesday (first day w/o any poison) I've been experiencing the unique blend of motion sickness/brain zaps/heart palpitations that seem to come in waves (anywhere from every 10-15 seconds to 10-15 minutes) and with increasing intensity have been accompanied by nausea and aural interference (it feels like there are broken subwoofers in my head that, with each heart flutter/kick, respond: like how loud music from within a car driving by sounds from the outside). Hands and feet are also involved in these spasms, with less frequency. -I'm sad. Very sad. Was still feeling OK enough Wednesday night to watch a movie, watched my favourite movie (have seen at least 10 times), and cried (like wept cried) through most of it (for the first time). I don't cry in response to art, news, etc., ever. Highly irregular. -I slept almost all of Thursday. I'm a 6am 7 days a week type of guy, so sleeping in til 11, then sleeping ~1-5, and barely moving for the rest of the day is troubling. Not being able to read more than a page of a book even moreso (since that is what I do, for work and for pleasure). -My appetite is nowhere and eating is hard. Were it not for the intervention of my partner, with whom I am lucky to live, I don't think I'd have eaten very much yesterday and today. She woke me up to eat breakfast this morning (Friday), and after doing so I felt slightly stronger: I even flirted with the idea of leaving the house for the library. But I crashed about an hour later, just after I'd gotten dressed, and have been in bed or shower or toilet since. What I'm thinking about/dwelling on: -I'm feeling really stupid for having done this to myself (by way of trusting this doctor, of overlooking my anxieties about psychmeds) -I'm obviously feeling fear about how long these symptoms might last: I'm supposed to board a flight and spend 10 days with her family this Tuesday. . . -I'm wondering if it would be too hasty to get the few caps I threw out out of the trash and try counting out beads for a much slower taper like I've read about some of you doing, or if I should stay this course -I'm desperate for suggestions/spells/tricks to minimize the way these feelings feel in the interim, especially the nausea and shocks: I've tried two different raw ginger cocktails thus far to no positive effect and am taking 3x the vitamin D, B12, and omega-3 I usually do -I'm grateful that the stripe of withdrawal I'm undergoing seems to be primarily embodied and not psychoemotional (my anomalous weepfest the other night notwithstanding): so far I've had no return of suicidal ideation (like what I suffered beginning the drug last summer) and i more or less feel like I recognize myself (knock on all the wood) -I'm hoping that, given all the information and knowledge collected here, it is possible to not be totally in the dark against this thing: by which I mean, that there might be a way to tell, with some certainty, based off certain signs or makers or clues, that this will be over in a week; might take a month; seems bad and requires a different strategy and soon; etc.. . In sum: is there anything I should be thinking about that it seems like I've missed? not noticed? should look out for? Thanks very much for reading and responding.
  25. Hello to all, just found this site and I thought it might be helpful in my case. For a little more than a week I'm experiencing insomnia (wake up after 5 hours, today only slept few hours..), headache, lack of concentration, lack of appetite appeared yesterday. Times of crying, when I think about something emotional. I quit drugs in May this year, under supervising, but I think it's a relapse happening right now, right? Can you please give any comments on my situation according to the drug story? I feel very scared about what to do next. Don't want to go back to medication, but afraid that it could get worse the symptoms... Appreciate for any help! Sincerely
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