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☼ Schnozzle: long term withdrawal effects on sense of smell


Schnozzle

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I have for a long time had reduced sense of smell. Most days my sense of smell is reduced, with most smells not registering, and only being able to faintly perceive strong smells. For example when confronted with strong perfume, being able to tell that there is a smell present, but not being able to tell what it smells like. On some days, maybe 1/3 of days, I have no sense of smell at all. And for maybe 1-2 days per month, I can smell relatively well. I also have phantom smells, mistaking one weak smell for anothet strong one (e.g. a banana smelling like sewage). My sense of taste is not affected at all, and my taste does not vary along with my smell.

This started around 15 years ago. Looking back on it, I remembered having taken a strong blow to the forehead around that time, so had always attributed it to that. Even the phantom smells is pretty standard for trauma related smell loss.

However, the one thing that puzzles me is its intermittent nature. That doesn't sound like physical damage.

Around the same time, I went through horrendous SSRI withdrawls. It was the usual rubbish, being prescribed two tablets per day I.e. double dose of double strength effexor XL, aka venaflaxine, on it for a year, then idiot doctor saying to reduce dose by taking two tablets every other day. So 300mg one day, 0mg the next, 300mg the next and so on. With obvious effects, so bad that I ended up going full cold turkey after a few weeks of hell.

I've had some pretty long term impact from that, the apocalyptic terminator judgement day crossed with Texas chainsaw massacre crossed with day of the living dead nightmares are only just subsiding now after 15 years.

So I'm wondering if perhaps I have been wrong all of this time, and the smell issues are just more permanant withdrawl damage.

Has anyone else experienced the same thing?

Edited by scallywag
tags added

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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Hi Schnozzle , welcome to the site.  And congratulations on escaping the cycle 15 years ago - it's a credit to you.

 

Many of us here have had experiences like you describe: having a diminished or non-existent sense of small at times , other times being acutely sensitive , and at times even having olfactory hallucinations (phantom smells).  My understanding is that it

is related to the degeneration of neurons connecting olfactory bulbs to the limbic system.

I suspect there's a good chance your fluctuating sense of smell is a legacy symptom from the ssri's all those years ago.

 

 

Various studies have underlined a decrease in olfactory sensitivity in patients suffering from depression.  

In one study, mice were injected with either citalopram , clomipramine or saline , and were tested in a maze.

The results showed a significant decrease in olfactory sensitivity with both anti-depressants during the three weeks of treatment.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

 

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Schnozzle!  Dang, I love your username, and I really enjoyed your intro, as it made me laugh and anyone who has a quirky sense of humor is ok in my book  :P

 

I'd been on Effexor for 12 years and others for another 8 prior.  My husband always complained that I had a horrible sense of smell.  He'd say "Dang, the dog smells, can't you smell that?" and I'd be completely unaware!  I just thought it was genetic because my mom supposedly has a poor sense of smell, but I don't recall having a bad sense of smell when i was younger such that it was remarkable.  

 

I am tapering two drugs, and am about 75% off of 37.5 mg ven.  Our cat recently was hospitalized due to a urinary blockage, and I believe he is still marking inappropriately in the house because....I smell cat pee!!!!  Your post made me realize that it was probably the drugs all along and now perhaps I am gaining back some sensitivity.  I"m sorry that yours is still so wonky after all that time.

 

Anyway, if that is the only lasting damage, then yeah!!!  I guess it all depends on how aware you are of the deficit, how much it impacts your life.  Happily, it is not affecting your ability to taste!

 

A couple of questions:  I'm assuming you went on meds for anxiety/depression?  If so, I'm also assuming that you haven't gone on to other ADs since going off, so how have you faired off drugs with regards to anxiety/depression?  If it came back (aside from WD) did you use alternative methods to deal with such?  We'd love to hear what your experience was and what you found helped.

 

Welcome and I'm glad you found your way to SA to share your story with us.  Your story gives hope to those of us on our journey off these drugs - we need to hear about success stories like yours  :D

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Mentor

hi and welcome Schnozzle

 

 

I'm tapering now so I dont' know what, if any effect it will have on my sense of smell but I have noticed that my sense of smell fluctuates.

I never put two and two together to realize it was a wd symptom til I saw this thread.

 

I'll be interested to see if this is something that effects others.

 

as far as your nightmares, do you think perhaps they are more of a PTSD type thing, rather than a direct effect of withdrawal?
I know that I have had PTSD symptoms from a severe depression, so that's what made me think maybe your nightmares are more like Post traumatic stress stuff.

 

as I go thru WD now, I am having some pretty horrible nightmares, the kind that stick with you thru out the day and sometimes several days

I wonder now if I will have these as recurrent nightmares in the future.

 

they are less upsetting to me than the nightmares directly related to the traumas suffered in my childhood etc, but they do disrupt my sleep

 

are yours waking you up?

if so, have you ever heard of trying to redirect the ending of the nightmare by thinking of the way you'd like it to end (or progress) before you go back to sleep?

this was something I read about years ago, or maybe was told in therapy, or possibly both LOL my memory sucks

 

It does work, at least sometimes. might be worth a try...?

 

 
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I've never noticed a reduced sense of smell, but during my 'crash' I had a hyper acute sense of smell (apparently known as 'hyperosmia').  I remember when I dropped my daughter off at school, if I went into her classroom I could smell all the perfumes of the other mothers who'd been in there that morning, which I found so overpowering I had to get out of there quickly.  When I went to the supermarket, the meat fridges absolutely reeked of raw meat, even from a few feet away.

 

Anyway, welcome to SA, and well done for escaping the evil monster Effexor.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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Hello, Schnozzle.

 

I have experienced the same thing. Sometimes I have olfactory hallucinations (gustatory too), they come and go, especially when I am in the “wave”. In order to avoid repetition I quote the post from my own topic here:

 

Basically I was experiencing chemical smells (something like acetone, sulfur, burning etc.). The smell was very strong in the evenings and mornings. And it was always coming that time when I was dealing with water (it could be raised humidity, shower etc.). I also had a kind of gustatory hallucinations for some time. In the beginning it seemed I fully lost my taste sensation. Then it came back in twisted shape – I was feeling sweet like bitter etc. During the taper period I got my taste back. I want to add that altogether with Fluoxetine I was taking Akineton and few times I was given Cyclodol (Trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride). By the way the phantosmia (smell hallucination) and gustatory hallucinations are mentioned as a side effect in the leaflet which comes with local Fluoxetine generic. In Akineton’s leaflet hallucinations are also mentioned, but it is not specified.

 

 

I remembered having taken a strong blow to the forehead around that time

 

 

Unfortunately, I could not understand this phrase due to my poor English. Do you mean that there was a strong unpleasant sensation in the area of the forehead?

 

 

as far as your nightmares, do you think perhaps they are more of a PTSD type thing, rather than a direct effect of withdrawal? I know that I have had PTSD symptoms from a severe depression, so that's what made me think maybe your nightmares are more like Post traumatic stress stuff.

 

 

Catnapt, I also associate my nightmares with PTSD symptoms. But I can say that during w/d nightmares were more intense than ever. During my first “wave” I started to take melatonin due to severe insomnia. I noticed that it affected my dreams too, they turned into nightmares. And disappeared as soon as I stopped taking it.

1992 - Antidepressants, Antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in hospital for about 1,5 month, with PTSD diagnosed. Then I abruptly stopped taking pills. W/d for few months and then no symptoms for many years.

2013 – Doctor prescribes Paxil, Amitriptyline, Risperidone due to insomnia, anxiety and weight loss. Then it starts a long story about changing diagnosis and adding/changing meds. I started to taper in December 2014. Severe withdrawal symptoms for  4 months. Then the 1st window.

April 2015 – meds free. June, July – the first big window which lasted until mid-October. Then a wave again, but this time with new strange symptoms I’ve never had before.

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I've always had a very strong sense of smell and it remains strong even on my ad. Some smells are totally overpowering - especially artificial ones like perfume, hairspray etc. and walking down the washing powder aisle in the supermarket is hideous! But the upside is I love the smell of the Australian bush, natural smells carried on the wind, flowers etc.

8 years on venlafaxine (generic name Altven). Various doses then 3 years on 75mg. Tapered off too quickly with very bad withdrawals. Put back on at higher dose of 150mg to stabilise. Been at 150mg for a year. Stable and ready to taper slowly.

Dosage 150mg. Average beads in each capsule 543

January 2016. Start tapering. Also taking fish oil, vit e daily and magnesium as required.

08/01 started with 5% taper, held for 2 weeks the. Another 5% and held for a month.

3rd March another 10% cut, now taking out 102 beads. Hold for a month then assess.

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Unfortunately, I could not understand this phrase due to my poor English. Do you mean that there was a strong unpleasant sensation in the area of the forehead?

Haha there was definitely a strong unpleasant sensation, but no, that's not quite what I meant :)

 

By blow I mean a physical impact. I tripped over the kerb at the side of a road, and my forehead landed on a concrete bollard, like this - http://cms.esi.info/Media/productImages/Marshalls_Street_Furniture_Monoscape_Bridgford_bollard_1.jpg

 

Physical forehead injury like that is a common cause of losing sense of smell.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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as far as your nightmares, do you think perhaps they are more of a PTSD type thing, rather than a direct effect of withdrawal?

I'm pretty certain they aren't. It's a very specific type of nightmare that I've only ever heard of from other SSRI sufferers. Apocalyptic, seeing everyone you've ever met in your life be slowly disembowled and dismembered in incredibly vivid detail, against the backdrop of the entire world burning. That kind of thing. Really delightful.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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have you ever heard of trying to redirect the ending of the nightmare by thinking of...

No, they're inescapable, if you wake up the waking world seems like the dream and the dream the reality. So when I said about how long it takes to get over it, I don't just mean that it sticks with you, I mean it takes a full day afterwards to be able to adjust back to reality and understand that it was in fact not real. Pretty traumatising stuff.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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I wonder now if I will have these as recurrent nightmares in the future.

Well, to be fair I did go cold turkey on 300mg, which is an extreme thing to put your brain through. Hopefully your tapering might avoid being stuck with with them, from what I understand having them in the long term way I did is rare.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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A couple of questions: I'm assuming you went on meds for anxiety/depression? If so, I'm also assuming that you haven't gone on to other ADs since going off, so how have you faired off drugs with regards to anxiety/depression? If it came back (aside from WD) did you use alternative methods to deal with such? We'd love to hear what your experience was and what you found helped.

Will do, I've been asked to put it in success stories so I'll do that, write the full before/after story, and link to that post from here.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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Anyway, if that is the only lasting damage, then yeah!!!  I guess it all depends on how aware you are of the deficit, how much it impacts your life.  Happily, it is not affecting your ability to taste!

 

Well, there's the nightmares and memory loss too :)

 

Very aware, as for impact, a fair bit, but not entirely bad. It's nice not to be able to smell horrible smells that everyone else is complaining about.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Anyway, if that is the only lasting damage, then yeah!!!  I guess it all depends on how aware you are of the deficit, how much it impacts your life.  Happily, it is not affecting your ability to taste!

 

Well, there's the nightmares and memory loss too :)

 

Very aware, as for impact, a fair bit, but not entirely bad. It's nice not to be able to smell horrible smells that everyone else is complaining about.

 

Oh dang!  I've got memory loss, short term is horrible.  I can't remember the name or author of a book even as I'm reading it, and could probably start over after finishing it and think I'm reading a new book LOL!  I'm horrible at telling stories or jokes, don't even try, because I can't remember the details.  And I feel like someone else must have lived my life because the memories for details are gone.  

 

I'm sorry about the nightmares.  I've had some unusual dreams lately, usually early morning, and some of them have been ones I was glad I woke from, but I wouldn't put them in the nightmare category.

 

Sigh, wish I'd never started the poisons :-(  I have heard people say the ADs gave them their life back, but they never did anything for me, really, and I can't believe I just took them year after year anyway!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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SquirrellyGirl, having read through some of your posts in other threads, I think you should definitely have a read of the post I just put up.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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just did, thank you, Schnozzle!  That was very enlightening!  I just ordered a SAD light, though it may not be good enough - we'll see.   I am in California where it is currently getting dark around 5 PM, not as bad as 3:30, but it was grey out today and I just wanted to hunker in on the couch with a blanket, felt low without any reason.  I forced myself to do a 2 mile walk with the dogs, and then had to do my farm chores, but if it weren't for that I would have done nothing!  I felt it was all I could handle to do that walk, like dragging a lead weight around.  I'm hoping the light will help.

 

Thanks for sharing your story!

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Oh, I am very sorry about your accident. I did not know the word “blow” has another meaning. That’s why I understood everything wrong. I actually thought that you had a sensation of wind blowing through your forehead. Thanks a lot for explanation.  Now I add this word to my vocabulary, together with two other phrases kindly explained by my English-speaking friends: “cold turkey” (which I always imagined like this) and “driving nuts“ (Google translated me like that). I feel that not only my health, but also my English has been improved due to this forum :)

 

Going to read your story in "Success stories"!

1992 - Antidepressants, Antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in hospital for about 1,5 month, with PTSD diagnosed. Then I abruptly stopped taking pills. W/d for few months and then no symptoms for many years.

2013 – Doctor prescribes Paxil, Amitriptyline, Risperidone due to insomnia, anxiety and weight loss. Then it starts a long story about changing diagnosis and adding/changing meds. I started to taper in December 2014. Severe withdrawal symptoms for  4 months. Then the 1st window.

April 2015 – meds free. June, July – the first big window which lasted until mid-October. Then a wave again, but this time with new strange symptoms I’ve never had before.

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Oh, I am very sorry about your accident. I did not know the word “blow” has another meaning. That’s why I understood everything wrong. I actually thought that you had a sensation of wind blowing through your forehead. Thanks a lot for explanation.  Now I add this word to my vocabulary, together with two other phrases kindly explained by my English-speaking friends: “cold turkey” (which I always imagined like this) and “driving nuts“ (Google translated me like that). I feel that not only my health, but also my English has been improved due to this forum :)

 

Going to read your story in "Success stories"!

 

You should buy a book on 'english idioms', you'll find it very interesting :)

 

Take cold turkey for example. It actually refers to this:

 

Leftover-Turkey-Recipes.jpg

 

It was a symbol of wealth, as only very rich people could buy so much turkey that they still had more turkey the next day, to eat cold.

 

From there, 'cold turkey' evolved to mean poor people being treated unfairly by the rich.

 

And from there, to poor people being neglected by rich doctors - given an inadequate treatment without receiving a visit from the doctor.

 

And then from that, evolved into meaning a cure that involved no treatment at all.

 

Interesting?

 

As for someone 'driving you nuts', to 'drive' means to be moved from one place to another by some kind of external force. That could be a car moving you from one town to another, or a person or situation moving you from sanity to insanity. The  'nuts' part refers to insanity. Before that, it meant to like something alot (e.g. to be nuts on a girl), so there's a bit of link between the two things in that you're not really thinking in your normal way. Noone really knows where 'to be nuts on someone' came from, it goes back several hundred years.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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 When I went "cold turkey" during my withdrawal I was looking exactly like this :)

 

The stories you told are VERY interesting for me. I already have the book of English proverbs and sayings and I like them so much. I am very interested about the linguistic and cultural origins of idioms too. Amazon seems to have a good choice and tonight I am going to check their list of Slang & Idiom Reference Books. Thank you very much, Schnozzle!

1992 - Antidepressants, Antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in hospital for about 1,5 month, with PTSD diagnosed. Then I abruptly stopped taking pills. W/d for few months and then no symptoms for many years.

2013 – Doctor prescribes Paxil, Amitriptyline, Risperidone due to insomnia, anxiety and weight loss. Then it starts a long story about changing diagnosis and adding/changing meds. I started to taper in December 2014. Severe withdrawal symptoms for  4 months. Then the 1st window.

April 2015 – meds free. June, July – the first big window which lasted until mid-October. Then a wave again, but this time with new strange symptoms I’ve never had before.

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  • 4 months later...

Schnozzle - I am experiencing a weird smell in my nose.  It seems to be mainly in my left nostril, but I do get it occasional in my right nostril.  It started 3 months into my withdrawal.  I have had a head CT, MRI and endoscopy of my nose and everything comes back normal.  It is very frustrating.  Has yours gotten any better since you last posted?

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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No, although to be fair it is only a few months since I posted and it has been the same for 15 years now, so I'm not expecting any changes. Is assume by this stage that it is permanent.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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Schnozzol- How have you been able to tolerate having your smell issue for 15 years. I have only had mine for 6 months and it is frustrating me. When it gets really bad I just start crying. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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I've just had to deal with it. Sometimes it is frustrating, for example I can't handle the smell of soap, sometimes just annoying, but sometimes useful, when I can't smell a particularly awful smell that everyone else is complaining about. But in the grand scheme of things having something wrong with your smell isn't the end of the world, it's not your most important sense.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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Schnozzle - I am sorry that you have been dealing with smell issues for such a long time.  I can smell everything with no problem, my issue is that I have a bad smell.  Sometimes it is constant other times it comes and goes throughout the day.  I cannot tell if it is a symptom of withdrawal.  It doesn't seem like anyone else is dealing with a smell issue.  I think if it was part of withdrawal that more people would have heard of it as a symptom, but I could be wrong.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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I also have bad smells, but in a quite different way - mistaken smells. So I'll some a really disgusting smell of feces or something like that, but it'll turn out that it was actually the smell of an apple.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. Easier said than done of course, but if you're well off enough that a phantom smell seems like a significantly bad thing to you, you're probably in a very good place compared to many people on these forums.

2001-2002 Venlafaxine 300mg (2 x 150mg double strength Efexor XL). Instructed by GP to reduce dosage by alternating between 300mg one day and 0mg the next, with predictable results. Managed that for approx 2 weeks, then to avoid suicide went full cold turkey.

2009-2015 Successful non-drug treatments - CBT for anxiety, light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.

2001-2015 ongoing withdrawal symptoms. Primarily apocalyptic nightmares that take a full day to recover from, also loss of smell and memory.

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I do have other withdrawal symptoms besides the bad smell, but that is the one that is really bothering me right now. I shouldn't complain.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Hello, Schnozzle. I see you have a Success Story topic as well  Schnozzle: 15 years post-venlaflaxine

 

I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Can you tell us a little more about your withdrawal symptoms off venlafaxine, any patterns you noticed, and how they resolved?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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