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  1. I am new to group this a.m. I am thankful to see the advice and help that is available. I was taking Effexor for 22 years. I was post pardom depression after my first baby. I tapered at 10% a month for a year or year and half(can't remember) my memory is shot. I am completely off Effexor for 15 months and thought life would be good and normal. I am depressed, anxiety ridden(never had anxiety issues before--figured it was menopause (I'm 55 y o). I feel isolated and withdrawn. Only recently after returning to FB group on tapering did I finally realize I was having withdrawal issues. I have no interest in doing anything I used to enjoy like reading or exercising. I just found this website as well. Im not very techie so hopefully I will navigate it correctly. Can someone tell me how long these feelings will go on. I don't know if I can take it for years! My marriage may not last it either. Are there any support groups in or around Atlanta Georgia for this? Any help or advice on what to do from here would be appreciated! My history: Effexor 300mg 10 yrs Effexor 150mg 11 yrs (cold turkey myself w/no adverse effects) Tapered 10% beads starting in January 2020 Completely off March 2021 8/5/2022--Feeling depressed, anxiety since off meds--thought it was menopause and life changes(kids growing up etc.) Starting fish oil and magnesium 8/5/2022
  2. I dont have anything to say about myself because I have nothing to reflect on unfortunately. So I am sorry but this is a pretty heavy post. I have severely kindled myself beyond repair. Is this possible? I dont have anything left. I forgot to mention in my history that after going off my antidepressant rapidly a second time that I took benzos twice weekly along with other gaba supplements and took other supplements that raised serotonin and dopamine. Kindling everytime withdrawing from gaba meds/supplements .And not consistently taking them. I believe messing with my gaba system is what did me in. I also came off progesterone very quickly late February and that's what ended my life. After that I used benzo again once to sleep because I had complete insomnia for 4 days. I probably withdrew just from one dose. Was getting horrible sensations in my gut like terror/tickling/stabbing. Took more supplements to try to help...made it worse. The last supplement I knew it was the end. Took NAC which I have before in the past. For 5 days and I became so agitated I was beyond suicidal. The problem is I was already mildly anhedonic on meds then coming off I had more anhedonia and dp/dr. So it was hard to know what I was feeling when doing all this damage. The more changes I made the worse it got. Now I hit the end. I'm completely lobotomized but can feel this severest internal anxiety. Complete apathy.I feel Like in dying 24/7 but it's not a panic attack. Everything looks and feels exactly the same and I mean that at the severest level. And everything I do keeps making it worse. Everyday I eat, sleep, do anything...the internal Agitation and anxiety and anhedonia/brain dead feeling gets worse. I never feel comfort and dont feel anything except pain. I dont have normal anxiety anymore with physical symptoms. I do not connect at all to anything at any level. I dont know what it means to do anything. I think I've lost many connections in my brain. I have nothing to do. I look at the tv and see nothing and I mean with my mind. I cant talk about anything. I have no soul left. No recognition of who I was. I no longer get comfort out of anything at all. I don't know what i look like. I dont recognize myself..cannot see myself in the mirror like a person with dementia. I am so bored because there is nothing I can do. I cannot engage in anything. But the severe internal restlessness is the worst. If I never went off my med the second time last summer I would be so okay. Everything I do makes it worse. Even positive thoughts. Any stimulation. MRI made me 10x worse. I'm stuck in some void with severe panic and no person inside to help save me or reflect on past memories or emotions. Cant feel time at all, dont register days/nights/months. Brain doesn't register going from one place to another. It's all the same. I never relax ever. Extreme restlessness beyond anything. This last time I messed up my brain knew it was the end and i completely lost all connections. Cant use any higher thinking to help. I didnt want my life to end at 33 with a 2 year old daughter. I wish I was never put on meds in the first place. I was a highly emotional person who was sensitive. Musically inclined. I loved nature and connected to nature and animals. All that completely taken away since ive done all this. But even on antidepressants I still had me, although I was becoming less emotional over time. But emotions were still there. There is no feeling more dead than this. Theres nothing left for me to do and my brain has seen everything that has happened and cant unsee. At least in February before the coming off progesterone and then messing with those last few supplements I had something still. I could still eat with only minor problems and was working a couple days a week and slightly enjoyed going to friends house and I connected at some level with my daughter and could feel empathy. Is there anyone who can tell me what may be going on with my CNS?
  3. Hi my name is Alberto and I’ve tried a ton of ssris and antipsychotics over the past 7 years. Most recently I had a really bad experience with rexulti that gave me akithsia (which went away once I discontinued thank gawd) and my current ongoing bout with Effexor. I’m in a bit of weird situation in that I wasn’t in it for long and am looking for help as I’m at wit’s end and am seriously inching closer to suicide due to my symptoms. I started Effexor June 24 75mg. I immediately noticed really bad headaches and nausea but stayed he course as “that’s the side effects for 2 week”. By 5 days in the headaches had gotten really bad but I also had started getting burning sensations across my whole body and head. After dealing with this for a few days we reduced my dose to 37.5. The symptoms continued and got worse so we discontinued Effexor Monday 7/4. The first two days were a continued hell of body burning headaches nausea anxiety shortness of breath etc. The intense while body burning thankfully went away 2-4 days later tho lighter leg burning remained. The anxiety and shortness of breath have slowly gone away too but the headache and nausea feel worse/like they’ve stagnated. I’m two weeks post stopping this hell drug (for me) and almost a month since starting it but my nausea and headaches are just insane and making it impossible for me to live a good life and function well. It’s really impacting my work but most importantly my wife and kid. Has anyone every heard of or experienced anything like this? Did it go away, when? Did anything help you manage the symptoms til it did ? I have this fear that this is going to be a chronic thing I have to live with forever and tbh I won’t live long if that’s the case. The klonopin, zofran, and advil I take to manage do a meh job and I’m at wit’s end. Guess I’m looking for some success stories related to this and advice to help me get on the right track and ultimately save my life. Thank you and sorry for the really dramatic post, I’m just really hurting.
  4. 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
  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. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  7. Hi all. I’m writing on behalf of my husband. Bit of background: 2003 was put on Prozac for 3 months- no adverse reaction and subsequently various doses of venlafaxine which he successfully came off of with no issues. 2013 was switched from Venlafaxine to sertraline. Had ‘activation syndrome’ (extreme anxiety) for 8 weeks (always thought it was him) but went away once body used to drug. August 2021 had been on 25mg for years and thought he would taper over 2 months, successfully came off no issues or problems. january 2022- I was having a C section and he was a bit worried, nothing extreme though, just normal worry and decided to reinstate the Sertraline. Within days, ‘activation syndrome’ was back. He stayed on for 5 weeks and then doctor said ‘come off as you weren’t anxious or depressed to start with’ symptoms of withdrawal started but manageable. He thought after 6 weeks that it wasn’t withdrawal as nhs website said it should have gone after 2 weeks! March 2022- started mirtazapine at 15mg going up to 30mg. Fine for 3 weeks, but then developed activation syndrome and quickly came off. GP advised to go back on to sertraline at a bigger dose- ended up in a and e, so agitated! 3 weeks later, he thought that the mirtazapine might be less activating at a smaller dose, so went back on at 15mg… alas, 3 weeks later, activation syndrome is back! june 5th came off and has been battling severe anxiety, but generally, every other day! I am aware of windows and waves but don’t understand this. One day he’s perfect and the next can’t leave the house! He also started propanalol in June which we feel makes it worse as apparently it blocks seritonin to a degree, but makes anxiety a lot worse if he reduces (or maybe he did too big a jump). NHS have left us to it, no help! Have a private appointment on Monday. Questions are: If he is getting windows this early on, is it a good sign?! The only symptom he has is extreme anxiety/agitation which seems more a reaction to lack of seritonin, thus firing out tons of cortisol? Could he go on a low dose of Prozac to see if that helps? Prozac is the only antidepressant he doesn’t think caused activation syndrome?! is there any experiences with propanalol making matters worse? I think there is a slight improvement in the anxiety but considering it’s only been out of his system for 6 weeks I expect takes a lot longer to build new pathways etc/level out. Thanks for reading. Just want my husband back, it’s destroying me and him!
  8. 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
  9. JJCC

    JJCC

    hi i really want to type a good intro except tbh i've reached my lifetime limit of psychiatric and therapy intake sessions and i'm struggling to see this intro post as something different... communication in general is extremely exhausting for me and i really just want to ask a question about electrolyte balance... so i'll just vomit a list of random stuff into this text box: i am in my 40s, male, diagnosed conditions are tourette's (vocal mild, motor severe), add-i (extremely severe), chronic major depression, kinesthetic synesthesia -- all conditions have been present since early childhood and have remained mostly unchanged. i am also prone to migraines and seasonal vertigo (the latter gets milder with age), and debilitatingly ticklish (which might be relevant because i think it's linked to why i experience certain drug side effects). i'm in relatively good physical health otherwise. i take 30mg adderall xr daily + 5mg adderal ir 7 hours later (50mg mydayis is ideal but insurance does not cover) and am satisfied with that as it greatly improves my quality of life. the 30+5 schedule was the result of a lot of careful tuning. i am stopping 225 mg effexor xr. i have poor cyp2d6 function but did not receive that test until well after starting effexor. the only other medication i take is pepcid for reflux. i smoke approx. 2 packs every 3 days. i do not do any other drugs. i do not smoke marijuana, i have never used cocaine, and i rarely drink these days. the only other drugs i have ever done were psychedelics, and it has been a few decades. i do not like antidepressants but every few years i'll go on a run for a few years, always as a last resort. i used to prefer zoloft but about 4 years ago i tried effexor instead because zoloft caused too much general apathy. i chose effexor because my mother takes it and i figured if it works for her (although now i'm not sure if it does) then might as well. i have tried other antidepressants; but side effects were always unmanageable: i tend to get hit with all of the rare sexual side effects for any given drug, and every single motor control side effect imaginable, for some reason, and they never go away until stopping the drug. for effexor, though, the only real physical side-effect that never went away was excessive sweating. generally speaking it takes me about 72 hours to stabilize after an effexor dose increase. also, on missed dose, i will start to feel it within about 12 hours (just a feeling of strangeness + vivid dreams), and after almost precisely 36 hours i'll suddenly get hit hard with balance issues, slurred speech, brain zaps, and become prone to cataplexy attacks (the cataplexy triggers are repeatable, consistent, and hilariously specific - let's just say that if you tell me a good joke or give me great news then touch my feet i'll just completely deactivate like a scruffed cat, haha - very weird experience). incidentally, depakote virtually eliminates a lot of the motor control withdrawal side effects (quickly, too, within an hour or two). however i do not take this and will not start. i discovered this after i experienced my first missed dose cataplexy attack but we didn't know what it was at the time and my psychiatrist, fearing a TIA, put me on depakote as anti-seizure protection for a few days until i could get to a neurologist to identify what happened. i won't get into why i want to stop effexor except to say that i think it's causing more problems than it's solving, my career in particular is at high risk right now, and also this 4-5 year run is my longest on antidepressants and i'm not comfortable with that. also i'm starting to realize that it seems to be doing something weird to my emotions (hard to explain so i wont unless asked)... and i've noticed a huge increase in my tendency to dissociatively respond to stress. because of enzyme function test results, a few months ago i considered getting desvenlafaxine level lab tests then switching to a roughly equivalent dose of pristiq. but i just decided to stop entirely instead. i stopped kind of cold turkey about 2 weeks ago. the timing was because my psychiatrist is on maternity leave, i was running low on effexor (150 + 75 = 225), and tbh i just didn't really feel like calling the substitute psychiatrist. so i dropped the 75's and took 150mg for a few days until i ran out of those two, then i just stopped. that was about... a week-ish ago. it's been hell since, but... i seem to be slowly but surely crawling back into reality. my gut feeling is that i'll get through the withdrawal ok eventually, but my fingers are solidly crossed. i'm not concerned about long term withdrawal syndrome at this time but get back to me in a couple weeks on that. i've been emotionally and physically all over the place since stopping but i just assume it's par for the course. but i'm also experiencing a lot of overwhelming anxiety that i think might be 4 years of effexor-suppressed stress all coming out at once, if that makes sense (like, real life things that i should've been concerned with but wasn't, and now suddenly they're all hitting me). i seem to at least have gotten through the suicidal depression part of the withdrawal. there were about 3 mercilessly bleak days that basically consisted of me determining that the only logical solutions to the remaining mysteries of quantum mechanics were solidly in the realm of profound nihilism and that i was an illusion. the only thing that got me through it was the fact that my cat loves the absolute crap out of me; so making her purr was my sole reason for existing last week, haha (which really, isn't much of a change from normal now that i think about it). sooo... that's my intro but like i said i really just want to ask about maintaining electrolyte balance because effexor withdrawal, dehydration, and *over*-hydration all have exactly the same set of symptoms and since stopping every single fluid in my body is taking every opportunity to come out of every possible hole it has access to, plus some. also i have questions about venlafaxine vs desvenlafaxine pharmacokinetics, mostly out of curiosity. i've had no luck with my own research because "venlafaxine" and "desvenlafaxine" are used interchangeably in a lot of lower quality information sources but there is enough of those that it just completely pollutes search results. i'm not actually sure how to ask a question cause all the "new post" buttons are disabled except for in this forum. so i'm just assuming i have to type this intro to get that privilege. in any case thanks for making this site and i really do hope that everybody here is able to get through whatever they're going through right now because this stuff sucks no matter how mild or severe it is. j ps generally poor sense of time + overall lack of structured life + confusion of the last few days + logistically complicated real life events = don't trust the precision of "2 or 3 days" above, i'm actually not entirely sure when my last dose of effexor was i'd have to work backwards to figure it out. but i'm pretty sure this has all happened in the last 2 weeks. overall though my state has been best described as "utter confusion".
  10. Hi, I have been struggling with hearing sensitivity and eye issues ever since I made the mistake of listening to my neurologist and trying Effexor, and then upon recommendation of a psychiatrist, Prozac. Both were for short time periods. I am a little more than 4 months out of my last prozac dose. Ears/Hearing: hypersensitive to certain sounds - sudden sounds, sharp impact sounds, crinkling plastic wrappers etc. High pitched tinnitus that is generally not too instrusive and can be better or worse but always there. No hearing loss as of post-Effexor, pre-prozac. Eyes: “tight” feeling that is somewhat better than a few months ago but still not normal. I probably have some visual snow, and my night vision is worse because it’s like my eyes are amplifying light that’s not even there. Constantly bloodshot and dry eyes - taking restasis but opthamologist didn’t see any other eye issues. Balance: generally ok but occasional unsteadiness. Other: Mild constipation: gastroenterologist didn’t see anything wrong. Some TMJ pain and minor random muscle twitches. Occasional facial tremors that are better than a few months ago but not gone. Frequent trouble sleeping- falling asleep, getting enough sleep or deep sleep. Basically I believe that these drugs hypersensitized me. I sincerely hope that this hypersensitivity will decrease over time. I have seen some improvement vs say 2 months ago, but I have a long way to go. I have read on this site that it can take a long time for the nervous system to calm down. I believe that I am generally improved on magnitude of sensitivity vs say 2 months ago, but I am clearly not on a “some people take as much as a month to recover” timeframe.
  11. Hi all, This is something of a splurge, because I have had a rough time lately. Effexor has essentially brough my life to a shuddering halt, and I don't know where to turn. Every move I've made recently seems to have made things worse. I'm in my early 40s, and I've taken a 25 year tour of the medical profession in respect of mental health. I can't say it's helped much. I've tried a lot of things - CBT, workgroups, 6 different types of antidepressant (fluoxetine, sertraline, amitriptyline, quetiapine, citalopram, now venlafaxine) mindfulness, counsellors, therapists, etc. The improvements have been very limited. Rewind to March. I'd been on Effexor modified release (225mg per day) for close to 5 years and, encouraged by my therapist, decided to taper off and see what the unmedicated state of play was. I did it under doctor's advice of a 4 week period which turned bad, side effects-wise (itching, aching, headaches, nausea, suicidal ideation), about 2 weeks in, and the doctor tacked on another week. The side effects were still awful all the way to 0mg, but I was advised to push through. From 0mg, I struggled through 4 more weeks without the side effects diminishing, and the mental side was horribly bleak. I eventually decided enough was enough, and got back in touch with a doctor. In order to curb the side effects at least, it was suggested I'd need to reinstate up to a certain dose (75mg was recommended for modified release), at a rate of 37.5mg every 5 days. Some of you will guess what's coming. Going back on was even worse - my body had an adverse reaction and I was basically writhing in discomfort for the best part of two weeks. I've never been through anything like it. The worst of those adverse effects lessened after 4 weeks, but mentally, my mood is extremely unpredictable and my outlook remains very fatalistic. I've not been able to work during this period, which is frightening, and I don't know how long this will last. My money is going to run out entirely in a couple of months, and then I'm *****. Other factors happening are obviously complicating things. I'm currently estranged from my family, as therapy caused me to take a step back, and look at how I've been treated by them in the past. I also have a situation with a tree in my garden that is slowly collapsing and threatening to fall on a nearby industrial estate and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, but birds are nesting in it, so there's nothing I can do right now. I'm working to get it declared unsafe by the local council, so it can still be cut down, but this outcome is apparently very rare. It's worth mentioning that I became aware of The Withdrawal Project and Surviving Antidepressants during the 37.5mg reinstatement disaster, and other such anecdotal advice websites. My conviction all along the line is that my taper was way, way too quick, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about what stablization at a particular dose means - I guess in this case it could simply be that my condition might be horrible, but it's consistent in its level of horribleness. They've given me a lot to think about for a future tapering attempt at least. The biggest problem is that I don't know how to proceed. My doctors have given me bad advice, but I am also mindful that these groups are anecdotal - it seems as if I need to press forward to going up to 75mg as originally advised, but Surviving Antidepressants doesn't appear to recommend that. The only doctor I've consulted more than once on this issue (the others times were emergency appointments, and who you get is a lottery) is not available until the 26th, and the last week has been so **** that I can't take the idea of doing nothing in the meantime. I have the capsules with the 12.5mg beads in, so I'm mulling over the idea of microdosing up to 75mg over the next 4 weeks. That I've ceded control to this medication over the years without realising it is so frightening, and my future feels incredibly uncertain. **** is just too crazy at the moment. I don't know what to do.
  12. Started withdrawal from venlafaxine a month ago (cold turkey) after 1 year on it at 37.5 mg. Everything was normal and mild (dizziness, vertigo, and insomnia). In the fourth week, I started experimenting burning thighs, pretty unpleasant. I had to reinstate venlafaxine at 37.5, within one week most symptoms are gone (occasionally I get the burning, but once I take the dose it slowly goes away). I will start a tapering plan with my psychiatrist because I no longer need these meds. Is anyone suffering from the same symptoms? The burning sensation can be incapacitating...
  13. Hi there, I'm a new one here. Luckily, I've found this website because we don't have any single website which helps people who want to stop taking antidepressants in my country. My name is Anastasia, I'm 32. I work as a teacher at school. I'm married and have a lovely cat. I take antidepressants for 11 years. I've always been a shy person with lack of confidence. Since my childhood I've suffered from intrusive thoughts just about any imaginable staff. The first time I went to the psychiatrist was because of intrusive thoughts about my relationship. And my horror story began. I had various reasons for my constant painful thoughts. I had permament nausea, irritable bowel, which didn't let me leave my house, a sense of guilt, depressive thoughts, anxiety. constant tears and just liying at home and staring at one point - not all at once, of course. These were the reasons for many many visits to the doctor. Each time antidepressants helped a lot and I was back to life again. Can't say I was always in a good mood, but, nevertheless, I could live. I really don't remember the years and dosage of medicines, but in different periods I took amitriptilin, venlafaxine, zoloft, duloxetine, fluoxetine, phenazipame, atarax. One day pills stopped helping me. I changed three doctors hoping someone'll help me. The first one finally said that my brain had become tolerant to drugs and I had to quit. I tried so many times and always my thoughts came back and tortured me. The second doc said I had endogenous depression and it's ok to take antidepresants just for the whole life. She also said that if one medicine didn't help, so let's try another. And we tried and changed. My thoughts and depression didn't go away, but I felt not well, not bad. The third doc finally said that my diagnose was anxiery disorder and eating disorder. Insisted on treating my depression to the end and then quit. My latest medicine was venlafaxine 75 mg. But I decided to come to my first doctor and tried to withdraw like 37, 5 - one week, 18,75 - two weeks. Now it's three weeks I'm off. And it's just a hell. My thoughts (now about my weight and shape) have become more painful than they were on medicines. I find it hard to go outside because I feel really uncomfortable in all my clothes. It seems they are too tight. I'm depressed, angry and nervous. I can't do anything and distract myself. Even in my pyjamas I feel fat and uncomfortable. The story of my eating disorder: when I got married, my husband and I gained some weight. Then we started keeping to a diet. We lost weight and I felt just great for some time. Then it wasn't enough and I started to eat 1000 calories a day. But still I had a fat belly and wasn't satisfied with my weight and the way I looked. I gave up dieting and gained half the weight I had lost previously. Now I'm obsessed with my weight and it's just a nightmare. I think about it 24/7 but can't stop eating. Food is the only thing that gives me pleasure. I tried Gestalt therapy and CBT a bit, but I'm convinced that these sessions just do nothing. I understand everything, nod to the psychologist but don't believe it can help. I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life. The only wish I have now is to stop this suffering, by means of drugs or not, I don't know. I 'm studying this website and try to understand all the mechanisms. I'm not sure I'll manage to tolerate this for many years, it's been only three weeks but I'm completely exhausted. The reason why I wanted to quit was to have a baby, but it's practically impossible to think about pregnancy and birth now because of my condition. Seeking for help and support. Thank you in advance. PS: I was really frightened to start my topic here because of the country where I live, because of my nationality. But I want you to know that I just can't stand all the hell that is going on right now in the world. Of course, it adds a lot to my anxiety and depression.
  14. Long story short, I have anxiety and panic disorder. My doctor stopped my Prozac CT in April 2022 after 14 years stable on antidepressants. Said would be no issue due to the long half-life. Started getting physical symptoms and severe depression 6 weeks later, so he started Effexor 75mg cause it worked in the past. Since the have had days I feel okayish but the past week has been hospital visits due to SI and severe panic. They just keep giving me benzos but it’s making me worse. I had clonaz once and fainted and still don’t feel right. They want me to wean my Effexor onto Zoloft. What do I do? I can’t go on much longer like this…
  15. I would really appreciate your comments concerning my situation. I have always stopped AD (Escitalopram) too quickly simply because of lacking knowledge in the previous years. Now I may be a bit smarter. Doctors always say it's the underlying disease coming back. It seems that I don't benefit from SSRI/SNRI anymore, at least I'm not willing to try anything anymore, I just want to get out of the current poison (Venlafaxine) in a reasonable time. Mainly SSRI was described to anxiety in a difficult life situation. Symptoms: Main concern is a pressure type of feeling in my head (starts in the morning) which started after stopping Escitalopram abruptly in 2021 after feeling really sick on the medication for 4 weeks. I have also some inner restlesness but not akathisia and occasional anxiety. The symptoms have got a bit better but some drugs (Seronil) seemed to make them worse and was discontinued. I may be on a protracted withdrawal from Escitalopram but I'm not sure. At the moment I don't actually know what Venlafaxine is doing, in a way it might have lowered the symptoms but days vary - not feeling stable. I think my central nervous system is a bit shaky at the moment and I really would like to have some suggestions/comments that am I going to the right direction if I try to stabilize on a small amount of Venlafaxine (12.5-37.5 mg) for some months before WD? I didn't want to start this drug but it just happened and that's done, can't go back. Sleeping aids: Melatonin, Magnesium and L-Teanin for the last 3 months (sleeping 3-6 h/night) Used to take sleeping pills (Triptyl, Surmontil, Mirtazapine and Benzos) occasionally but built tolerance and stopped them. I have never been addicted to above meds.
  16. i swore i would never take an snri again after what i went through on effexor, but he suggested i try cymbalta for the chronic pain and told me that generally there are less side effects/zaps than with effexor, so i said i would give it a try. my psychologist and his super decided that i have bipolar 2 not mdd, but the pdoc waved this away and didn’t even consider mood stabilizers. when my pdoc raised my dose of cymbalta after i expressed a wish to discontinue, and wrote in my record that i display “abnormal illness behaviors” (which just means i disagree with him?), i have decided to get off the ADs once and for all.
  17. Hi, this is my first post - I'm 6 weeks off Efexor and the withdrawal is brutal. I was prescribed 75mg of Efexor in July 2020 by an endocrinologist who suspected depression, and I began to experience what I now know to be tolerance withdrawal in October/November 2020, and it was incredibly severe. I experienced the following symptoms: severe headaches (myriad and varied types) every day brain fog fatigue light and sound sensitivity eye pain when looking at light muscle weakness heart palpitations joint pain itching tinnitus insomnia jaw pain poor memory hallucinations These symptoms plagued me and escalated over 16-ish months. No migraine medications worked and every test and scan under the sun came back with no leads. I had to stop work due to the pain and brain fog. I came off the drug myself after a bout of corticosteroids (prednisone) was miraculously effective, and pointed towards neurogenic inflammation as the cause of my issues. I became suspicious that this was Efexor's doing. In desperation I "tapered" way too fast and went down from 75 to 37.5 for one week, before coming off it entirely. The acute withdrawal in the first two weeks was awful. I was suicidal, had excruciating headaches, brain zaps, immense fatigue and insomnia, colossal mood swings including a hypomanic episode, anger, irritability, fear, severe nausea and severe full-body itching that made sleeping almost impossible. However, a huge majority of the tolerance withdrawal symptoms of the prior 16 months stopped as soon as I came off the drug. The muscle weakness, tinnitus, jaw pain, photophobia, heart palpitations, sensitivity to sound, and hallucinations all stopped immediately. After the first two weeks, things got a lot better, and I could go outside and walk again for the first time in a long time, and though I still battled the headaches, nausea, itching, brain fog, and fatigue, it was more manageable than it had ever been. I got a vaccination 4 weeks ago and for whatever reason, I think it interacted badly with my withdrawal. My symptoms immediately got much worse and are yet to improve - I haven't had that kind of 'window' since. The fatigue and brain fog are the worst of them, those are the symptoms that keep me debilitated, but the mood issues are making it difficult to cope. One of the hardest parts of this is that Efexor worked perfectly for what it was intended to regulate. I felt the happiest and most stable I have in my life, with my depression (potential cyclothymia) completely stabilised and my mood incredibly under control. However, the cost of being utterly debilitated and in pain all the time was obviously too high - I have lost my mid-20s to this. I haven't been tempted to get back on Efexor, for obvious reasons. I don't really have any idea of when this is meant to get better. I really didn't want to be unmedicated for my mood issues and they are just as difficult to deal with during all of this pain and debilitation as I expected they would be. In fact, some of them feel new and withdrawal-caused, and I'm hoping this crucible of an experience hasn't made the underlying condition worse. I've had many a psychologist for anxiety and depression over my life, and I practice CBT and mindfulness every day, as well as living as healthy a lifestyle as I can while being largely unable to do much. I see a physio, I do the exercises, I eat all the food groups and plenty of vegetables, I walk outside at least once a day, I have a psychiatrist and psychologist lined up, as well as specialists to check whether this has done any further damage to me. It just feels incredibly brutal when none of this stuff actually seems to help. I live a healthier life now in this 'wave' than I did when I was experiencing the 'window', and yet it doesn't seem to make the wave shorter or the window come sooner. It doesn't even lessen the symptoms. This website has been very helpful to me, as has Recovery and Renewal by Baylissa Frederick (I know others on the site have found her writing helpful), and so I thought I would post in case others have been through similar - I'd really appreciate hearing about it if you have. Thanks, Alice
  18. Hi, ive recently been taken off Effexor which I was on for 2 months, I was then on pristiq for 25 days. 3 months in total. I have had a really tough year trialling meds that didn’t help but made everything worse. My psyc told me to stop pristiq cold turkey due to my rapid decline in mental state. the first 6 days where hell with zaps and vertigo and migraines. I still feel dizzy at times and my cognitive function feels like it’s lagging. Now day 10 I have woken with what I thought was a UTI. I went to the doctor and I don’t have a UTI. Upon research based on symptoms I’m concerned it’s Cystitis as my bladder feels like it’s on fire and or possible PGAD. are there any success stories where this naturally corrects itself and this is another withdrawal symptom. Naturally the body and nerves will take time to heal? advise and help needed- I mentally feel so good putting all meds in the bin but feeling very overwhelmed physically thank you in advance x
  19. 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. 🙏😘
  20. Polarbear's Intro Topic: Polarbear: Almost Done and Enjoying Life ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hi everyone, I took my last bead of Effexor the 26th of March 2021, more than one year ago. As you can see, I did very very very slowly... I didn't feel withdrawal reactions when I stopped. I can say this episode is behind me now. Unimaginable how difficult and long all this process has been. My strengths are still improving since. I could say I am back to normal except that I still have digestive issues. However, I already had irritable bowel syndrome before I began antidepressants. Anxiety is present too, but I couldn't expect it to be gone I decided to live with it, and try to take care of it the best that I can. I wish all the best to you, who struggle with the medication and withdrawal. I profoundly understand what you are going through. I wish these trials of life wouldn't exist.
  21. HI all of you sufferers from the withdrawal of whatever it WAS that you were on. The best thing about success is that you will NEVER go back on anything like this again. There are so many other ways of combatting depression or whatever reason you chose this option of medication. I personally was given it (without knowing what it was) for menopausal symptoms. I did not know at the time that there were other things I could have done, but being the very busy MOM, wife, administrative assistant, events coordinator and the primary source for anything happening within my family I just took the prescription, filled it and started taking them. They initially helped me relax, sleep better and gain 20 lbs over a year or two. I changed doctors at one point and the first thing he said to me was,,,,"Why the heck are you on EFFEXOR?" I told him and that I wanted to get off of them, since I had learned a lot about it's side effects and had been on it for almost 4 years at that point. He said, "well, if you are going to wean off of it, do it very very slowly, it's like coming off of Heroin". That scared the heck out of me, so I began my decent. Over a year, I went to EMERG hospital 3 times for a PANIC attack, a sedative (one) settled me down for a while, but this journey was one I had to do all by myself, family members just didn't understand what the big deal was,,,,just get off of them. Honestly, it was one of the most difficult times in my life. Ironically, my older brother had commit suicide in 1986 in his 30's, he was given several trials of antidepressants over a period of a year. In the 80's very little was known about some of these experimental drugs they were using for depression. He ended his life just before his 35th birthday. I firmly believe the drugs played a significant role in his depressed state. All he really needed was counselling, a good doctor and his family who he wouldn't confide in. If only I knew then, what I know now. But, having gone through that with my brother, it made me more aware of the negatives about antidepressants. I have to say that FOOD, yes Food sensitivities and allergies are a BIG part of how our immune systems handle stress, moods, coping and living happy healthy lives. To this day, I have discovered so many foods, alcohol, and meds I am literally allergic/sensitive to and have to avoid them. Please Try everything you can to detox and avoid anything that makes you feel poorly. So, that's my story and I hope that even if there's ONE person out there that might say.....hmmmmmm, to all of this, I hope that it is some assistance, support or encouragement to help you through this LEARNING stage of your life. Please Stay healthy and Don't have any vaccines if you can avoid it. Sorry, just had to throw that in. God Bless and Keep on fightin.
  22. Hi guysI'm new here. I'm a 33 year old female from the UK.I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19, and went through a couple of different anti-depressants, before settling on Venlafaxine. I took 225mg per day. I've quite small (only 5'1) so I was told that was the highest I should go to. I also used to have social anxiety, mild OCD behavior, and was very 'snappy' and moody, but depression was the main problem. I'd had all these problems since about age 12.Around the same time as that diagnosis, I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycaemia, which I now control through diet, but vastly affects my mood when my blood sugar levels get low. It's pretty much under control now through a strict diet and regular eating, except for about one day a month when my hormones affect it.14 years has passed and I started to think that maybe my problem had always mainly been the hypoglycaemia rather than true depression. I've seen a lot of doctors about the hypo and they all have very little knowledge about it - I would end up explaining it to them! - and they don't seem to understand how much it affects my mental state. I'd avoided attempting to come off the meds for a long time as I've heard horror stories, but I tapered them very slowly since the end of November last year, and stopped taking them around the end of May this year.My depression seemed fine, everything seemed fine. I was the same me as ever, and proud of myself.But the last few weeks...stupidly I didn't write down the exact date I stopped them - but maybe a week or two later, I'm not sure, I started feeling anxiety gradually building. It's so hard to know to what extent outside life affects it, but all I know is that I have a knot of anxiety in my stomach, and feeling so on edge is making me snap at my loved ones so much. I'm feeling really fragile, wanting to cry a lot, and this anxiety is driving me mad.So my questions are, is this my brain readjusting to living without chemicals, is this likely to get better?Or is this just how I am... do you think I need to go back on a low dose of the meds?I was so pleased with myself doing so well coming off them, but I'm finding life such a struggle right now. If I know there's an end to this anxiety I can struggle through, but how long do I want until I know if this is just how I am? I'm so tempted to just start them again, but it would be such a shame if this is just a withdrawal symptom.Advice really appreciated. Thanks for reading.
  23. Hello, first of all, excuse me for my English, which is not my language. I’m a 50 years old man, long term SSRI/SNRI user who is trying to survive after a lot of mistakes made with this poisons. First SSRI was prescribed me in 1998: a psychiatrist decided to solve my panic attacks, anxiety and fears to be sick with a 20 mg of paroxetine. My journey with SSRI began: I took paroxetine from 1998 to 2008; then escitalopram from 2008 to 2010; venlafaxine XR from 2011 to 2016. During this period, 3 or 4 times I attempted to stop but after six months free I reinstated the drug; my doctor said that the difficulty to stop was a problem of mine because “SSRI don’t give dependence” and anyway said “if necessary you can use it for all the life”. For sure from 2006 for me was IMPOSSIBLE to decrease paroxetine under 10 mg!!! From 2017 drugs seem not work as in the past: my doctor tries firstly with escitalopram (from december 2017 to august 2018), sertraline (from november 2018 to july 2019) and finally vortioxetine (november 2019 to february 2020). On february the 6th I took for last time vortioxetine which was giving to me just problems More than nine months have passed since then during which I experienced extremely heavy symptoms that reduced my mental energies and threw me into a profound discomfort that makes it increasingly difficult to carry out my normal activities. Some of the symptoms are those that I have already known in the past (although they present themselves in a more severe way): agitated anxiety; insomnia (I have occasionally taken xanax which fortunately I have used very rarely in these 20 years) and sudden and agitated awakenings; obsessive search for information and explanations about my malaise (via the internet). Others are new: an unbearable mood swings; a certain emotional lability (I get very easily moved and angry); physical symptoms such as fatigue with pain in particular in the legs and frequent palpitations. In the background then there are distressing thoughts for the future: evolution of my malaise (fear of irreversible damage to my nervous system induced by prolonged use of drugs). What seemed surprising was requent change in symptoms from week to week. At the end I found this site and with it a little hope: I have learned many things, even about my mistakes, and discovered that I’m not alone. Now I’m just surviving and my days are (very) often hard to pass, but there are moments (1 or 2 hours in a day) when I feel this journey through the hell is a long and necessary way to live again, to see the stars again. My long journey to healing has started, and I hope you would support me with your advice.
  24. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  25. Hello everybody, I'm a girl from Europe and I am having some troubles with withdrawal. I started taking Venlafaxine 75mg 10 years ago when I was still very young because of light depression and was pretty quickly upped to 225mg. 5 years ago I first started tapering. Down to 37,5mg in about 1,5 years and then stopped. It was pretty tough but mostly not completely debilitating until around 8 months of stopping when I started having severe insomnia and a lot of other difficult symptoms like DR, akathisia, anxiety (or maybe I should say terror), aches and a lot of other stuff. I thought I was going crazy. I was put on a few different antidepressants but nothing helped and I ended up with the Venlafaxine again on low dose. I was still feeling pretty bad on it and was not really depressed and could not stand being on it anymore so I tried to get off it several times over the next year but always had immediate insomnia and panic and went back on. Then I finally found this site and stayed on the same dose of 10mg for 8 months. I was feeling very bad for a while but I felt I recovered quickly so I made the decision to just quit it (I tapered the 10mg slowly over 2 months) around 8 months ago. The past months have been very hard but it was bearable, I got quite good at handling all the weird things that were happening to me, avoiding triggers as good as possible. The most persistent and horrible symptom is my insomnia. I never used to have any troubles with insomnia but since it started the first time I went off the medication, it never really went away. There were times when it was better but for 8 months now it takes me hours to fall asleep, often I wake up soon after. It was bearable because I would still get a couple of hours of sleep most nights but for two weeks now I am barely sleeping at all and of course that makes all the symptoms so much more difficult. I am freaking out a little. I try to stay positive but I tried pretty much all the advice on here and nothing seems to help. Before this started two weeks ago I actually felt like I was getting better, now I wonder if it was just a torturous honeymoon phase. I am so scared of my good sleep not coming back. How will I recover then I wonder? What if it isnt even withdrawal? I read other peoples stories but it seems most do not have this problem for so long or so severely and I am worried it wont go away anymore. I know it is part of WD to constantly question whether one will ever get better and I try to tell myself that it will but it is really hard right now. This whole thing is quite exhausting, this has been going on for so long and I am upset with myself for quitting so rapidly when I had finally stabilized a little. But I am trying to stay positive, hopefully someone has some advice. I have been browsing this site for a while now and it has helped me a lot, so thank you to everybody working here to help others through this time.
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