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2befree4me: Effexor and Wellbutrin - new hear as of today


2befree4me

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Well my signature will tell you most, but I found this site as I was searching for how to wean off of my antidepressants.

 

I read quite a bit all over on this site and found out that I need to start with 10% reduction.  And I am also going to get a scale to help in my reduction of the effexor, money going towards my health.

 

I tried going off the wellbutrin once and I became seriously depressed so had to go back on it.  I thought it would be easier to start with that one since it was so low, but did not realise as I read on here that it is a slow release one and I need to change to another kind to be able to slowly go off of it.  I do not know if my doctor will allow me without knowing what I am doing, and I do not want to tell her as she does not support me going off the medication, so not sure what to do for this drug?

 

The Effexor, I went one does lower almost a year back because I found it was causing my vision to be blurry after allot of investigating to find out the cause.  I just went one dose lower and I had brain zaps for a few months and the first week was like I was a drug addict on withdrawals for 3 days, crazy!

 

I have not been able to go lower without allot of problems, so I am hoping the 10% reduction rule will help me, I will wait until I get my scale to begin.

 

I am wondering, as a read early on another sight how some people are able to lower there dosage by using other natural supplements  for the brain chemistry to help them to have less anxiety and depression as they came off there medications, some had to use alternative supplements to keep from getting sads or help with there anxiety, anyone know anything about this?

 

it interests me as I have both long before I went on antidepressants and wonder what I can do to keep the anxiety and mild depression at bay from the long winters, and because for some reason, no one and nothing I have tried or read in almost 30 years has helped with my anxiety and I have been stuck with the clonazepam as my only option, and not a great one at that, as the more you take it, the more you need for it to stay effective and thus the addiction starts up.

 

I have learned to sit still and meditate since then, but still it is not enough for the anxiety, I just do not know what to do about this problem when I am off of the medication, the antidepressants do not help with the anxiety unless I am on a higher dose that I cannot feel or cry, and I feel like I exist and that's it, so I will not take that high of dosage.

 

Long story short, I do not like the side affects and the longer I am on these drugs the more drugs they start to prescribe for the side affects I am starting to get, this is unacceptable to me and I want off this drug roller coaster ride.

 

Thank you for listening to my first long post.  I like the saying "a problem shared is a problem halved"  and so this site will be a great help as we all help each other.

 

Here's to being the warrior, not the victim!

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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Hello 2b and welcome.

I don't usually post but I noticed that you are yet to get a reply..... I'me sure some mods will get to you as soon as they are able.

 

In the meantime I thought I could direct you to a few links for you to start to get some of the information that will help you along this warrior mission as safely as is possible. Undoubtedly the mods will have questions for you... answer them as fully and accurately as you can.... It will help them to give you the best possible advice.

 

For starters, could you add more info about your previous attempts to get off meds. It sounds like you went cold turkey off of bupropion? Is this correct?

And when you say you went "one dose lower" of Effexor do you mean you skipped a dose? Or if you reduced the dosage, how many mg did you reduce and over what time frame? These are important factors that will help others to get a better picture of your response.

 

As a personal word of advice I have to say .... please take your time and and heed the cautious advice here. I knew about tapering but not enough, I went my own pace and it was too fast. By the time I realised I was badly unstuck I was 5 months off. I have been bed ridden for over a year now and it is frightening and humiliating. I thought I was a warrior. I'm afraid I've had to hand in my spear and loin cloth for now. If I had followed the methods coached on this site and known what to look out for I most likely would not be in the position I am now. Not trying to scare you, just saying err on the the side of caution and the help offered here and do not make any hasty decisions.

Some links to get you started.....if you haven't seen then already.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-which-drug-to-taper-first/page-3#entry230166

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-which-drug-to-taper-first/page-3#entry230166

 

Come back and ask more questions here, it is your own thread to ask Q's, talk to others or keep track of your own journey.

Others will add soon, you're in a good place

Nextra

Zoloft 8yrs CT (for anxiety) Crashed few months later, diagnosed major depression. Reinstating did not work.

Several poorly tolerated short term meds including Effexor, Mirtazapine. Eventually stabilised on Lexapro.

Sometime in the 90's bipolar diagnosis added and seroquel. CT'd from that quickly as I didn't think I fit the diagnosis.

 

Lexapro 5yrs? (9 month taper 2010) - Diagnosed ADD shortly after becoming psych med free.

Dexamphetamine- 2011-July 2014 (6 month taper)

Crashed late 2014: over sensitive to light, sound, people, usual foods, caffeine and life.

{July 2014- quit smoking, Dec 2014 quit caffeine, chocolate, sugar, processed foods, don't drink}

Supplements: Magnesium Citrate, Vit C, Pro-biotic.

Feb 2015-current: intolerance to minor stimulation, terror, anxiety, doom, delirium, anhedonia, insomnia, lethargy, weakness, bodily tingling, numbness, ticks and jolts, tinnitus, back pain, gastric disturbance, facial pain, ticks and tingling, EHS.........

Oct 2015- developed frozen shoulder-ongoing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA 2befree!  I'm glad you found us before you started reducing the dose of your anti-depressants.
 
You've got some useful data from your previous attempts to discontinue Wellbutrin and Effexor that can help inform your taper this time around. So those experiences and symptoms  weren't for nothing! And remember 10% is the upper limit of our recommendation, your taper cuts can go much lower than that.
 
Tracking your symptoms -- writing them down on paper -- will help you tremendously to understand how you respond to reductions and to fine tune your next step in the taper. Keeping this record is the most important thing you can do if you're going to manage your own do-it-yourself taper.
 
A couple of things aren't clear to me from your post and your signature:

  • When did you try to go off the Wellbutrin? What approach you did you use at that time, e.g. cold turkey, fast taper?
     
  • Are you still taking clonazepam?

Can you both add these answers to your signature and put them in a reply post here in the thread?
 
You have been reading the forum -- you know about our 10% rule. Some topic that you may not have read but are relevant to your situation:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.
Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)
Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin XR, SR, XL (bupropion)

As for supplements, Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker and Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) are the ones that we suggest to people as they taper. I don't know about supplements that would assist in addressing your pre-existing anxiety. That's something you'll have to continue to research. If you decide to continue to post here, please be cautious about adding supplements. It's better to ask about them first because the team here have watched hundreds and hundreds of people go off psych drugs and will give you information to prevent worsening your withdrawal symptoms. Again, it's best not to add anything other than the magnesium and fish oil (start those one at a time, and take small doses and increase slowly).
 
Nextra:  Thank you for jumping in to welcome 2befree in while the mods were sleeping in North America and working or otherwise occupied elsewhere.  Would you start an intro thread for yourself so that we can follow how you're doing?  Start a topic here: Introductions and updates.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Thank you Nextra for your helpful information.  Although I have a worrier spirit, I surely do not have a suicide one and am hear to get help and follow what works for me through others advise and the senses on what seems to work the best.

 

I am so sorry to hear about your experience, I hope this site can help you get your life back, and no you did not loose your worrier spirit it is waiting for that spark to light it up again,  It is hard, but hang in there, although I am knew here, from what I have read, it sounds like the right place for us to be, and I have looked so many places and this sight is right to the point, and they really seem to know what they are talking about.  If you need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, perhaps some uplifting words, please feel free to drop by

 

Of course listening to my body and letting it tell me what is too much or not enough is something I will definitely be listening too.

 

Sorry about my information, I did write a longer one explaining everything then I was told there were to many letters when I tried to save it, so since I was off to bed I quickly deleted stuff and put it through.  I will go back and touch it up to be more explanitory

 

When I went off Wellbutrin I did it cold turkey, not realizing all that I read hear about being on the slow release and having to change to another kind to slowly go off of it, I did this about 2 years back, within a week I had to go back on it the side affects were so bad, including suicidal thoughts and major flu like symptoms, I could not function to go to work.  So for now I am going to let that one be and am trying for lowering the Effexor first.  The biggest reason for wanting to lower the effexor is because it is affecting my eye sight, my vision is often blurry, and lowering it from 150 to 112.5mg has already improved my eye sight a bit.

 

What i mean by going down a dose is instead of taking 150mg I started taking 112.5mg a day as I still had the 37.5mg capsules I have not used up, which I am not sure what percentage jump that is and if I will receive side effects further down the road that I have not yet experienced from this big a jump, this is what the doctors recommend on line and from my readings here I realize how they do it is not healthy or even safe for some, so if I need to I will go up again and start tapering slower, but for now, I am not bad, I have been getting sick allot the last two weeks and I am not sure if it is a coincidence or it is from lowering the medication to fast?  I have a chest cold right now.

 

The first week lowering my does from 150mg to 112.5mg about 3 weeks back, after a few days I sat down and cried my eyes out, saying "I could not do this anymore" I felt like I did not want to face life that day.  It did feel good to cry afterwards as the higher dose I could not cry, and I felt better after and everything seemed to calm down emotionally for me after that.  I did have feelings of nausea for two weeks and some anxiety, but that to is mostly gone, o yes and those not so wonderful brain zaps, I had them off and on during the first two weeks, the weird thing is, I was starting to get them a few weeks before I went lower on my Effexor??? and when I get the brain zaps I also get very dizzy for a few seconds.

 

I hope this has answered your questions and now I will go back and work on my signature information.

 

{{{{hugs}}}}}

 

I am still on the clonazepam, I was taking 3 @ 0.5mg each at night to be able to sleep and one during the day @ 0.5 mg to help with my anxiety.  I lowered the nightly dose myself to 2 @ 0.5mg at night and only take one during the day if I feel I need it, mostly when work becomes to stressful.  I am also meeting with a psychologist to help me better cope with stress and to get help coming off the the anti-depressants, she has been helpful so far.  For me this has worked that she has taught me, when I have anxiety bad, if I can find a place to just sit and relax (at work usually the washroom) and I tell myself "it is ok, everything is ok, I am safe"  sometimes I have to repeat it like a mantra for a few minutes, like maybe 5min. and then I feel better and more grounded and head back to work.

 

I should add, when I started taking 3 clonazepam at night 3 months back is when I went off of the sleeping pill Zopiclone @ 7.5mg that I have been taking for a little over 5 years.  I went off of it cold turkey because my memory was getting more and more noticeably worse, like not being able to remember things, having a very short attention spam, I would get confused easy, and this really scared me as I am 49 and the first thing I think of is alzheimer's, but I researched the medication and it said it could have this side affect.

 

My goodness from blurred vision, constant migrains to memory problems I was starting to think I might have a brain tumour.  I do not like the side affects of these medications I have been on, the dry mouth is terrible for me as I do physical work and cannot have a water bottle tied to my side, so I had to start chewing gum to help with my dry mouth when I was not able to have a water bottle near by or use one often enough.

 

My sex drive is dead, and that is partly to do with the complete hysterectomy I had 12 years back that put me in early menopause, which I am not taking any medications for because a few months before the surgery I had a severe blood clot and many tests later, no one could figure out why and hormone pills can cause blood clots so I went through 5 years of hell before I found the right combination of things that helped me.  It was amazing I did not get really depressed through that period of my life, I guess I was just happy to be alive as I was covered in tumours when they opened me up, non was cancerous thank goodness, I think I lost 8 lives right there.

 

I have to have a sense of humour about things as I have been in and out of the hospital all my life with other health issues like IBD and a hole in my heart, among other things, if I did not have a sense of humour I would for sure go insane, not that I do don't feel sorry for myself every now and then and feel like I cannot handle this life anymore for a brief period. I TRY to take things one day at a time, and on really bad days I try to sleep it off and hope the next day will be better.

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey 2befree - Can I call you Xena? ;)
 
Thanks for taking the time to answer completely and in detail. I'll just put it in a list form to summarize to get a quick view:
 
Your current meds are:

Wellbutrin 150 mg

Effexor 112.5 mg

Clonazepam 1.0 mg at night, 0.5 mg daytime

 
Side-effects while on this combination: blurred vision, lowered sex drive, memory problems, migraines
 
Withdrawal experience:

2014 Wellbutrin cold turkey from 150 mg: severe Sx including suicidal ideation, reinstated after 1 week

2016, late May Effexor: 150 mg to 112.5 mg, Sx: crying, nausea, anxiety, brain zaps with dizziness; these resolved in the 3rd week after the cut.

 

Many people find that Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) help minimize the brain zaps. I linked to a discussion topic about fish oil above.
 
You asked, "I have been getting sick the last two weeks and I am not sure if it is a coincidence or it is from lowering the medication to fast?"

It's possible that your immune system is a bit stressed from the dose reduction.  There are researchers studying what they call the psychoneuroimmune system, which may graduate to being the psychoneuroimmunoendocrine system.  There are signals and connections between the central nervous system, your immune system, and your endocrine system. Change something in one area, there's likely to be an effect elsewhere.

 

I'm glad you're feeling better now after the first two weeks on a symptom roller-coaster, so to speak. That's a very, very hopeful sign!

 

It's good that you're thinking about taking a smaller reduction next time. Although the manufacturer and many doctors think nothing of going from 150 mg to 112.5 mg, you've discovered that one-fourth or 25% was too much for you.  Sticking to the 37.5 mg capsule sizes will make your % reductions larger and larger; 112.5 to 75 mg is 33%!

 

When you're ready to start planning your next cut in Effexor have a look at the Effexor link above. To do a 10% taper, you'll need to either weigh the contents of your capsules or count beads. Continue educating yourself by reading and asking questions!

Using a digital scale to measure doses
Counting beads in a capsule versus weighing

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Sure Xena sounds good.

 

Thank you for summerizing that for me, looks much easier to read :)

 

Yes I am going on amazon today to order my scale, it seems that would be the easier way for me.

 

Thank you for all the advice on which sights to look at, I am off work one more day, so will definitely take a look at that.

 

The one thing I find I cannot do very well is when I am working trying to do to much before work as I get stressed and tired very easy, I think still some side affects from lowering my Effexor, I work evenings and am on shift work and that does not help either. :wacko:

 

I was wondering if there was a place to keep track of my daily affects?, if not no worries I can do so on my computer.

 

How long do you think I should wait before attempting to lower my dose again, as I believe I read something about you can still get side affects a few weeks or months later?

 

chow for now

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

For recording symptoms, there are options in this link:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

We recommend waiting for 4 weeks (at least) between each reduction.  If you are unsure whether your CNS has settled enough, then give it a bit more time.  This is where keeping notes of symptoms can really help. 

 

Best wishes from another effexor taperer!

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Hi 2b,

Thank you for your kind supportive words. You have a great positive attitude which I am certain will help you along the road to being less drugged.

 

I must apologise for my links, I think only the first of the three worked. Thankfully scallywag came to the rescue with ones that worked. The only one I didn't see covered is on 'tapering multiple psych drugs'. You could search for it or maybe someone else who knows how to link could add it?

 

I can really relate to your thinking you have something devastatingly wrong with you.... I think it's health anxiety on steroids due to the effects of meds/withdrawal. Many report exaggerated negative and fearful thought patterns whilst in withdrawal, thoughts which could previously be rationalised and dropped quite quickly can become obsessive.

I share having other medical issues with you, all have been diagnosed since dropping Ssri's and whilst on ADHD meds (for 3 yrs). We are the same age : )

 

I know you acknowledged that you probably dropped too much Effexor at once but I wanted to impress strongly how important it is to go slowly! I read a lot of people's threads here and it becomes mostly predictable after a while. Everyone thinks they are strong and 'can handle it' ..... until they can't. It's very much like your pic in your first post. Mods advise no more than 10% no sooner than every 4 weeks. This is to get you started in safe way while you learn your own response to reductions over time.

 

The thing is, if you start out conservatively (slowly) and find that you handle it well over time (months), you may be able to go a little faster - nothing lost. If however you push too hard before knowing your own response and become very destabilised it can take a long, long time to regain stability. Additionally, it seems that the effects of dose reductions can come months afterwards. This scenario is worth pondering for a while.

 

Don't hesitate to ask questions .... especially about your own tapering- it's prudent to get others opinions before making any dose changes. The mods give the best advice currently known. They get busy and spread thin at times and don't always have time for lengthy explanations but other members can help out. If you have time, just reading threads gives a pretty clear picture after you've read enough. But it never substitutes for getting feedback on your own tapering decisions.

 

You said your symptoms from Effx reduction lasted three weeks. That is quite common (hence the 4 wkly reductions). However, it was a large reduction it it may be wise to wait longer in this case. Also I notice that you recently went off zoplicone after 5yrs and you have changed your dosing of clonopin recently. All these changes accumulate and I urge you to just hold steady until scallywag or one of the other mods gets a chance to work through more of the details with you. You've got quite a bit going on.

In the meantime you could find some intro threads by others coming off multiple meds and see how they are tackling it.

 

All the best, Nextra

 

Ps Scallywag- re my intro- thanks, I will try to put something up soon.... Overwhelmed and suffering IAD (Intro Avoidance Disorder):)

Zoloft 8yrs CT (for anxiety) Crashed few months later, diagnosed major depression. Reinstating did not work.

Several poorly tolerated short term meds including Effexor, Mirtazapine. Eventually stabilised on Lexapro.

Sometime in the 90's bipolar diagnosis added and seroquel. CT'd from that quickly as I didn't think I fit the diagnosis.

 

Lexapro 5yrs? (9 month taper 2010) - Diagnosed ADD shortly after becoming psych med free.

Dexamphetamine- 2011-July 2014 (6 month taper)

Crashed late 2014: over sensitive to light, sound, people, usual foods, caffeine and life.

{July 2014- quit smoking, Dec 2014 quit caffeine, chocolate, sugar, processed foods, don't drink}

Supplements: Magnesium Citrate, Vit C, Pro-biotic.

Feb 2015-current: intolerance to minor stimulation, terror, anxiety, doom, delirium, anhedonia, insomnia, lethargy, weakness, bodily tingling, numbness, ticks and jolts, tinnitus, back pain, gastric disturbance, facial pain, ticks and tingling, EHS.........

Oct 2015- developed frozen shoulder-ongoing

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Thank you Karen I will look up that link sometime today, and thank you for the advise, much appreciated.

 

Again thank you scallywag for the extra information.

 

Also Nextra, thank you for the additional information.  When I went on the lower dose of effexor I had not found this site yet and did not know about tapering off slower, I was going by doctors feed back on the net, which apparently is way to fast.

 

From what I have been told so far and that I may still have withdrawal symptoms for a few months sneak up on me, I am going to definitely wait 3 month's before attempting my next lower dose at 10% or lower depending on how the next few months go.

 

I had to smile when you said "overwhelmed and suffering IAD" I actually felt a little of that after I posted and was asked questions and to update my signature with this information and didn't have the words to express it, now I do  :)

 

well, waiting for my husband to go to work this afternoon so I can have some uninterrupted time alone to do some more looking about on this site and learning more, I won't be looking at to much as I am already starting to feel overwhelmed with all the information I have looked up already, it feels like allot to take in right now :wacko:  and will need time to digest all this information.  One day at a time.

 

I got mad a few months back, when I started getting blurry vision, migraines, memory problems and such and the doctor just wanted to put me on more meds to counter act these side affects, I just wanted to quit every thing at once, but of course I won't do that as I have some sanity and commen sense :) and now I have this site and everyone on here to help guide me with there stories and experiences, along with the mods.

 

I was not thinking about help with the other non antidepressant meds, but that is good advice, I should take them all into consideration when tapering down on the effexor, thank you.

 

The same age you say, interesting.

 

well off I go to get a little more rest with this cold, so I am better able to handle work Saturday.

 

Hope you have a good health day today.

 

oh and scallywag gave me a new name Xena, quicker and easier to say and I like it.

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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well a few threads of interests have died off a few years back so I am going to post my problems here and maybe there is a thread I overlooked were I can get help.  I am exhausted just trying to weed through everything to try to find were I can post.  :(

 

so anyways, here it goes.

 

-As I am going through withdrawals I find myself not only missing days at work because of that, but also because I am getting sick allot with colds or flue's and I am not sure how to tell my supervisor why I am missing so many days, and that this will keep happening for quite awhile as I slowly taper of my meds which I nor my therapist knows how long that will take?

 

-The other thing is feeling like a bad wife.  My husband is very understanding and supportive, but I feel guilty putting him through all my crap and sometimes wonder why he stays with me, I am not allot of fun most of the time, as a matter of fact, a year after I started on wellbutrin and effexor I lost all ambition to do anything, and most of emotions, I could not even cry, I just felt numb.  My husband was worried I may leave him because of lack of interest.  We did talk allot about it and the drugs, we both agreed we do not like that I cannot feel much.  Since I have tapered from 150mg of effexor to 112.5mg I have cried for the first time and it felt great! well not at the time, but it allowed me to release what was suppressed inside for to long, and felt like a weight off my shoulder after I cried.

 

The reason I cried was because I felt unworthy as a wife, for so many years my husband has had to put up with a wife who is barely here.  Before the meds me and my husband of now 29 years have been world travelers,  pack packed around the world, kayaker's and very active and doing the things we love.  Now I often sit on the side lines and feel left out because I do not have the will, energy or both to do anything.  My husband will sometimes go off and do some of the things we loved to do together by himself and this makes me so sad, I want the me I used to be back, and I want the wife I used to be for my husband back.  I do not know how he can stand to stay with me so long watching me like this, in the condition I am in.  Allot of guilt I guess on my part.

 

Now I am tapering myself off the medication and going through withdrawals, just more for him to have to deal with, not that it is a piece of cake for me.  At least we talk about it and are hopeful the me we both love will start to come back, maybe not quite the same, but I will take any form of my old life right now.  Life goes by so fast and the older I get the lest I want to waist life being less of the person I know I can be.

 

It is hard to be patient when you have someone hoping this will all work out in the end and be worth it, what if it doesn't and I let both of us down?

 

My parents and some friends are not supportive of me tapering down and maybe going off so I have not told them, I don't want that negativity right now.

 

3 years back I decided to go to Mexico on an adventure tour to face some fears like heights, but mostly to do things to feel something, anything, I just wanted to feel alive, and it worked, I did for a short time, I can understand now why some people get addicted to the high of extreme sports, at least for me it would be to feel alive, there has got to be a safer way?????????

 

well there is more but writing all this is very exhausting and I need to take a break.

 

Thank you for listening and hopefully someone has some suggestions that will help me.

 

I know it is not going to happen over night.  Is there a thread of members who have been through it all and are now drug free and doing well?  I think that would help to read right now.

 

Xena

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's just hard isn't it, when our lives impact the people we love.  I know I've wished desperately at times that I could stop all the 'damage' that I put out there, into my family space. 

 

I've written a little about this in my blog.  There are a couple of posts that address it - Through the Looking Glass, and One Husband Plus Two Daughters. http://www.continuedhealing.co.nz/

 

The main thing I try to do is be as honest as I can about my short-comings, and be very clear that the difficulties we might be feeling in the family are due to me being in w/d.  I don't want my daughters to think it's due to something they are doing.  And I apologise - a lot!  I also try to keep myself away in my room if I'm really being grumpy. 

 

Honesty seems to go a long way. 

 

I've got better at this over the years, cause I had to start learning it a long time before I was in w/d, due to other issues in my life - depression, PTSD, etc.

 

We have a success stories thread here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/28-success-stories-recovery-from-withdrawal/ and of course there is BeyondMeds with Giak's great success story. 

 

In my experience, it's possible to gradually find a way to assimilate all these difficult life experiences into a bigger picture of life and love and acceptance.  It's slow, for sure, but it can happen.  Keep building up the good things, no matter how small they are.  Eventually they form into a stronger platform.

 

Karen

x

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thank you so much Karen for all your advise and support I appreciate it very much.

 

I look forward to looking up the sites you have mentioned after I have a good sleep and after work sunday

 

until then be well

 

Xena

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

One week ago my mood started to stabilize and all this week I have felt great!  no brain zaps or mood swings, my health has improved from getting sick with any bug that passes me by, I believe this has been 4 weeks in now since I lowered my Effexor from 150mg to 112.5 mg, which by the way is not reccommended as the side affects are very bad the first week, and from what I read allot worse for most then it was for me.

 

Also from what I read I can maybe have symptoms reappear for a few months to come.  So I am going to stay on this dose for another month or two and enjoy feeling good and on my next vacation time in the fall I hope to go down another 10% off the effexor and see how that goes.  I received the mg scale in the mail the other day for when I do this to make it more accurate.

 

Going down from 3 to 2 Clonazepam at night, I am doing good with that still and I am completely off the sleeping pill and doing good with that also.  My memory during the day has improved quite a bit and my sleep has regulated and it is pretty good.  In order for this to happen I have to try my best with working shift work to go to bed and wake up at a around the same time.  I put down all electronic an hour before I go to bed, and I have a routine I follow to get my mind ready for bed. while in bed I do a relaxation meditation where I go over my body from head to toe to relax all my muscles. For example; "My head is relaxed, I am feeling very relaxed and all my muscles are relaxing and all the tension is melting away, my brain is feeling very relaxed, all tension and stress are melting away and everything is working perfectly, I am safe.  My face is feeling very relaxed" and so forth, when I get to my lungs and heart I tell myself my lungs are working perfectly and my breathing is perfect and without fear, for there is nothing to fear but fear itself therefore I am always safe, and I am never alone, God (or whomever you believe in) is always with me, he/she never leaves me alone, I am always safe.  It has been 30 years I have been taking clonazepam, the last time I tried  going off was 5 years back and I was so stressed out with my anxiety I kept having to go back on it and at the time I was only taking 0.5mg a day.  It is probably the last medication I will try to go off off if all is successfull over probably years to taper off all that I am on now.  For my heart I say that my heart is filled with love and love cancels out all fear, for where there is love, there can be no fear, my heart beats normally and I am safe,  so you get the idea here of what I do.  It really calms me down and slows my brain and body down and relaxes me so I can sleep better.  If I find myself at work feeling overwelmed like I cannot handle this, I try to take a break somewhere that I will not be desturbed and do the head to toe relaxation and it works very well, I feel like I have taken a clonazepam pill when I am done.  It does not always work, but it does work allot of the times.

 

I am hoping with my faith, meditations, simplifying my life, decluttering my house to make it more zen like, decluttering my life over years by getting rid of toxic friendships and making healthy bounderies were I can say "no" without explaining or feeling guilty.  I try to live by the "four words of agreement" by Don Miguel Ruiz and that helps to simplify my life emotionally.

 

It does help to have a husband who is supportive and understanding and to have a stable home and job.   There are times that things at work can become very stressful due to my abusive supervisor whom 4 months back I had to report him to the CAO for the first time and he has been good for months, but just recently he has started to be mean to me again, this time though I am more ready with how to handle the situation better and not taking his stuff personal (not an easy task) as what he takes out on me has nothing to do with me but everything to do with him, and I try to keep that in mind as well.  

 

I won't go on about that, if someone is in a similar situation and would like to know more, I am more then willing to share.

 

But it is situations like that which make it very hard for me when I try to lower my medication as I learn new strategies to cope with it from my psychologist and psychiatrist and is starting to become a little easier.

 

I think that is all for updates on how I am doing today and what has been going on.

 

I hope everyone has a good mental health day

 

love and {{{{hugs}}}}

Xena

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Xena,

 

I'm glad you're doing well. You're right that having stability -- supportive husband, place to live, a steady income -- can simplify and ease the project of slowly tapering psych drugs.

 

You commented about reducing Clonazepam concurrently with Effexor. Please -- for your own sake -- keep the clonazepam dose steady until you are either off both Effexor and Wellbutrin, or at very low doses.  Because the anti-depressants are stimulating, the benzo offers some buffer in the area of sleep.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Thank you scallywag.  Yes I intend to stay at the dose I am currently at with the clonazepam until I am off everything else, thank you for helping understand why I should do this, I was just going by gut feeling before.

 

Have a good day.

xena

2011 I was put on Bupropion xl 150 mg, Venlafaxine xr 150 mg, & Zopiclone 7.5 mg & increased my Clonazepam from one pill once a day @ 0.5 to 3 pills a day @ 0.5, I tried going off Bupropion cold turkey a few years back and it caused severe depression, with suicidal thoughts & major flu like symptoms so I had to go back on it within 3 days.  I then tried going down from 150mg to 112.5mg dose of Venlafaxine 3 weeks back and had brain zaps for two weeks & dizziness with it. The first week I had major flu like symptoms, however my blurry vision improved with just one dose lower, and all the other symptoms have cleared, I did have one crying spell and felt like I did not want to face the world that day. I cannot go lower @ 80mg, I go into severe depression, suicidal, nightmares, sick to my stomach.  

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