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leigh4111

leigh4111 Day 40 of my Effexor withdrawal & I feel like I'm going crazy

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leigh4111
   This is a small part of my "withdrawal journal" from day 4 to day 40.

 

   I have been on Effexor for 8-10 years (I can't remember if I was 16 or 18 when I started, very well could have been younger). I was diagnosed with an Anxiety disorter and also major Depression. My doctor never once told me about what might happen if I ever wanted to quit taking Effexor. I always had some side effects from this med and eventually it got to the point where I wanted to switch. My Dr decided to just put me on another med, no tapering, just stop cold turkey and begin taking something new. It goes without saying that within a week I was back on Effexor because I believed the new med wasn't right for me because the side effects were horrible. 

There was no discussion on how it might just be the withdrawal from the Effexor not the side effects of the new pills.That was after one year of taking them. I tried to explain the brain zaps and she wasn't quite sure what I meant. This should have been a warning to me but growing up you are told that doctors are here to help that they know best so I questioned it no further.

 

    Several years in and a couple of dosage changes and failed attempts at trying other meds and I am struck with severe depression, not just my normal depression but something all together new. I wanted to be done with life. The thoughts terrified me and I knew something was incredibly wrong. I again saw my doctor, she decided that it may be the adderall I'm also prescribed so she takes me off of that cold turkey and puts me on a sedative along with the effexor. Again I am having horrible reactions so I am swithed between meds several more times. On Effexor off effexor, dosage changes of effexor etc. I also started seeing a therapist and can no longer work because of all the side effects/withdrawal symptoms. I am off from work for 4 months before the stress of med changes and dealing with Metlife force me to just give up, accept a higher dosage of Effexor, and return to work.

 

    I returned to work feeling slightly better but still knowing something was wrong inside me. The increased dosage causes me to have night terrors nightly which lead to waking up in a cold sweat crying. I deal with this for months and try to talk to my dr about it but at this point I have just given up. 

I stop going to therapy because I can't afford it and deep down I know the problem isn't a talking issue its a chemical one. 

For about a month I start having night sweats to the point where I severely dehydrate myself and am only getting about 3-5 hours of sleep a day because of the night terrors. I call off of work and wait to see my doctor. I tell them what is going on and their solution was to switch my meds yet again. The plan to make the switch is to one day on effexor one day off then one day on and two days off before starting the new meds. At this point I am on 150mg. The first day off within hours of missing my dose I start to get the zaps. Another couple of hours I start shaking and sweating. That night I decide that I will no longer be taking Effexor or any other medications that are supposed to "help" me. I quit cold turkey... that 

was 4 days ago.

   

    I feel as though I can't put into words the hell the last 4 days have been but I will try. I sleep about 1-2 hours a day but wake up drenched in sweat crying every 30 minutes, I shake compulsively mist of the time. I try to eat but for the most part it just makes me want to throw up. I find myself rocking back and forth constantly because it somehow helps. I cry for no reason from complete lack of any emotional control. Standing and moving make me motion sick as does watching tv so being awake 22-23 hours a day leaves me with nothing mush to do but cry out of helplessness. I can't smoke because it increases the zaps as does caffeine so there are also those withdrawals too. I have been drink about 8 16oz bottles of water a day just to keep hydrated from the cold sweats I have. I have been taking vitamins to try to combat some of the effects but they only sometimes seem to take the edge off. I have been retaining so much water that my joints throb. As I type this I'm shaking so bad that the backspace button is used more than the other keys.I have a fan on because I'm sweating but I'm covered in goosebumps. Several times in these few days I have been brought to my knees just praying for a moment of peace. 

   

    I know this is a very long post and few will take the time to read it but in my eyes as long as I can keep one person from having to go through this it is all worth it. I know many people will scold me for not tapering but I just want it out, I want to be rid of this poison. I'm not saying there aren't some people who need it but if a doctor even brings up Effexor PLEASE just do what I didn't and research it, see what you will have to go through while on it and when you are well enough to be off of it. When you see dozens of articles saying it is worse than kicking hard drugs you need to question if it is worth it. 

   

    I am now on day 40 and I feel as though I am going crazy. I tried to go back to work around week 3 of been off the drug but could only make it a week. I was still getting the shakes, brain zaps, nausea, crying spells, fits of pure rage, trouble speaking, couldn't process what someone was saying to me, ect. I still am going through many of these withdrawals. 

 My doctor told me I should be "over" the withdrawal by now. I put that in parenthesis because it makes me very upset that doctor acts as though you go off of it and bam after 4 weeks you're fine. I have no idea if I'm still going through withdrawal and my brain acclimating back to it's normal state.... or the more scary thought is, that maybe this is just the normal me and I really do need to be on these pills. Please I need help.

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AliG

 Hi Leigh . Welcome.  I'm so sorry that you're going through all this .   You quit C/T 4 days ago .  We all understand the symptoms you have been going through .http://I am now on day 40 and I feel as though I am going crazy. I tried to go back to work around week 3 of been off the drug but could only make it a week.

Then, you say day 40 .

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

A bit confusing , however I would look at reinstating  , a small amount  to halt withdrawal . You are in a good place to deal with this.  This is your journal to come back with any questions & concerns, and to monitor your progress.

Ali

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leigh4111

 Hi Leigh . Welcome.  I'm so sorry that you're going through all this .   You quit C/T 4 days ago .  We all understand the symptoms you have been going through .http://I am now on day 40 and I feel as though I am going crazy. I tried to go back to work around week 3 of been off the drug but could only make it a week.

Then, you say day 40 .

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

A bit confusing , however I would look at reinstating  , a small amount  to halt withdrawal . You are in a good place to deal with this.  This is your journal to come back with any questions & concerns, and to monitor your progress.

Ali

I'm sorry, when I 1st went off of the Effexor I started writing in a journal about how I was feeling, the DT's, etc. When I typed my first post on this site I wanted to start from day one. I am now on day 40 of being off of the Effexor and I am still feeling horribly. I'm afraid to start taking even the smallest doses. I know it makes sense but in my head my inner voice keeps saying "you're backsliding". 

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AliG

You are most probably going through withdrawal , and need a small reinstatement to feel better.  This is the only way of discontinuing withdrawal . Perhaps 1-2 mg, and then taper off  slowly . 

You would not be " backsliding " , just taking an informed,  careful decision so as not to regress into total , ongoing withdrawal .  That can last for years.

Have a read of the links , and see what you think .

Ali

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Altostrata

Welcome, leigh.

 

You are having classic, severe withdrawal syndrome from cold turkey of an antidepressant. This can last for months or years. Most doctors know nothing about this.

 

Since it's day 40 and not getting better, if I were you, I'd immediately reinstate 10 beads of Effexor XR.

 

Even this tiny amount may relieve your withdrawal symptoms to some extent. After you stabilize, you may be able to taper off by one bead at a time.

 

Please let us know how you are doing.

 

What is the other drug you thought you'd be taking after Effexor?

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ChessieCat

Hi Leigh,

 

I'm very glad you have found SA.  It is a very supportive community here and there is lots of excellent information and very helpful staff.

 

In case you aren't aware, Altostrata is the founder of this site (2011) and has done an immense amount of research into antidepressant withdrawal syndrome and the best ways it can be dealt with so that people suffer minimal withdrawal.  She is highly respected amongst the AD WD fraternity.

 

Please be aware that if you wait too long to reinstate, then it may not work.  If you do reinstate, do not take you last dose but if I were you I'd follow Alto's suggestion.  It takes 4 days for the drug to be at full strength but you may feel some relief within the first day or so, possibly even after several hours (I personally did after I reduced my dose by 50% and after 2 weeks of a very foggy head had trouble typing accurately but several hours after reinstating my head was clearer and I could type well again).

 

"My doctor told me I should be "over" the withdrawal by now. I put that in parenthesis because it makes me very upset that doctor acts as though you go off of it and bam after 4 weeks you're fine."

 

My reaction to this:  cods wallop!!!  Please try and read this link so you understand that your doctor's reaction is "normal":  What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

"I have no idea if I'm still going through withdrawal and my brain acclimating back to it's normal state.... or the more scary thought is, that maybe this is just the normal me and I really do need to be on these pills."

 

Again to the second part of the above quote I'd say cods wallop!!!  This is withdrawal.  It has been caused from the AD changing your brain and now your brain has to change SLOWLY back.  You are not weak it is simply because your brain has changed.  These might help you understand why reinstatement is strongly suggested.

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling

 

This site recommends a slow 10% taper of the previous dose.  Please see Why Taper by 10% and also Tips for Tapering Effexor.  This would be the next step after reinstating and stabilising.

 

Please use your Intro topic to ask questions and use it as a journal of your progress.

 

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with this post but my intention is to provide the information so you can take control of your situation and make an informed decision about reinstating.

 

Take care.  CC

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