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Lizzy: I need help


Lizzy

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When do you say enough? that maybe i cant live without this drug,no matter how much i hate it? I am at that point now, this is my third attempt at getting off effexor,which i have been on for 15 years now. 

 

I am barely functioning right now,I cant get out of bed, I don't want to get up and face another day? hysterical crying and suicidal and constant thoughts of i cant do this anymore,i dont recognise myself at all and i feel like ive completly lost my self,and i'll never get me back.

 

I started tapering 15 weeks ago, under pysch,s instruction , iwent from 75mg of effexor to 37.5mg plus 10 mg of prozac-the supposed prozac bridge? did that for 1 month, then stopped the effexor and continue 10mg of prozac for 6weeks, then 5mg of prozac for 6 weeks then 2.5mg. i was doing okay, not great and i felt the prozac was making me fuzzy and fatigued? (still do?) any way got to 2.5mgs and within 3 days, i was hysterically crying and overcome with suicidal thoughts. pysch said go back to 5mg of prozac and i started feeling much worse,again within 3 days i was bedridden with suicidal thoughts and this heavy blackness,that was 2 weeks ago now and i havent improved at all?

 

i've also had terrifying moments of akathasia, where im walking the streets and crying hysterically because i cant stop moving? when i took the prozac back up to 5mg it reminded me of how i felt,when i reinstated effexor after 6 weeks of withdrawal a few years ago,it was horrendous and i dont know how i survived it?

 

i live alone with my 19 yr old daughter and i feel like such a burden to her, i dont have any other family, i  havent had a job for years now and only a couple of friends.my world has become so small and isolated and its getting worse. i went in to this withdrawal really believing that i could do this, i could finally be off effexor and be well, i thought i had learnt enough coping skills like mindfullness to get me through, but every skill has gone out the window,in the last few weeks and i am consumed with symptoms and thoughts of hang on for one more day and i cant take any more?

 

i feel utterly hopeless and terrified of what my options are? if i tried to reinstate the effexor, it could go horribly wrong i have never been off it this long? i dont like how the prozac makes me feel, and i dont want to start playing russian roulette again with all the other antidepressants? my mind feels so broken and it hurts so much from all of this, i dont know what to do and i desperately need some help, if anyone can please.

 

 

Edited by scallywag
added paragraph breaks for readability

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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hi im not sure if im posting right or accesing this site correctly? i joined a couple of hrs ago and posted in introductions, but it says my content needs to checked by moderator? not sure why? and feeling desperate for some help? i did also fill in signature but unsure if i did it right?

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lizzy -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

I'm sorry to read that bridging prozac the way your doctor did it didn't work well for you and that you are experiencing such miserable symptoms.

 

Counting back 15 weeks from now would indicate that you started decreased Effexor from 75 to 37.5 mg at the end of February 2017. Here's what I've worked about the next steps in your bridge and discontinuation:

  1. late Feb. 2017: decreased Effexor 75 mg to 37.5 mg, started Prozac 10 mg, hold for 4 weeks
  2. late March: discontinued Effexor from 37.5 mg, continued Prozac 10 mg, hold for 6 weeks
  3. mid May: decreased Prozac from 10 mg to 5 mg, hold for 6 weeks

I can't quite figure out when you reduced to 2.5 mg because 6 weeks after mid-May is right around now. Is the approximate timeline (above) correct? If not, please post the correct dates as best as you can approximate them.

 

Please update your signature with dates or approximations rather than relative timeframes. In 2 months, "15 weeks ago" means something different than it does now.

 

Regardless, it sounds as if Prozac has been blunting the worst of your symptoms with some feeling "fuzzy and fatigued" breaking through. Your doctor's recommendation to taper off Prozac so soon after discontinuing Effexor may work for some people but it has been too fast for you. It's too bad he didn't have you remain at 10 mg Prozac for closer to 6 months before starting to decrease from 10 mg, and then decrease very slowly. We suggest tapering by making once-per-month decreases of no more than 10% of your dose at the time. Please read:

Tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Cognitive fuzziness and fatigue are withdrawal symptoms. For  more about withdrawal symptoms, please read

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

It's not uncommon that it takes longer than 2 weeks to see an improvement from increasing dose to deal with symptoms; sometimes it takes several months for significant improvement to be noticed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The good news, however, is that you will recover with time.

 

New members' posts are moderated to insure that moderators see them and respond to them.

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lizzy, I'm not a moderator but do have some experience with Effexor as I'm withdrawing from that now.  Can only give you information from my experience and was compelled to write because I can hear the panic in your post, so wanted to offer some reassurance.  I was going to try the prozac bridge but after experiencing what I have, I don't believe it is as simple as the doctors make it seem, especially when we've been on these drugs for so long.  

 

Effexor is notorious for being difficult to stop and I honestly believe that the only way that it can be done safely is to reduce very small amounts at a gradual rate to try and sneak the drug out of our system allowing our brains to adapt to the changes which takes time.  

This site recommends reducing at a safe rate of 10% of the previous dose at one month (or longer) intervals.  It can take years for some people to withdrawal safely from these drugs.  From my experience, this is the ONLY way to do it safely.  Unfortunately very few psychiatrists, family doctors, etc. have the information that with help them guide people safely off of these drugs.  Probably one of the reasons a site like this exists though I do believe that in time, this protocol will be used by more professionals.  Unfortunately the pharmaceutical companies haven't been forthright in how these drugs do affect people wishing to come off of them as their focus is on the money they are making keeping people on them.  

My advice to you, and believe that a moderator with much more experience than me will guide you, is to reinstate a small amount of Effexor (as I'm convinced you are in Effexor withdrawal) until you stabilize and then when you are ready, gradually taper off of the Effexor.  I'm not sure how long you have been on Prozac but as it appears that the bridge has failed, I would get rid of the Prozac and just concentrate on stabilizing on the Effexor and somewhere down the road, safely get off of the Effexor.  

You can read my posts, I've had a lot of trouble reducing Effexor and just recently has to do a long three month hold to stabilize again so that I could start tapering again.  Through trial and error, I've learned that you have to go slow, sometimes excruciatingly slow when you've de-stabilized.  Some people have to taper in even smaller amounts (less than 10% per month) as their bodies/minds have become very sensitized to the presence of these drugs.  They are VERY powerful even in small amounts.  

I believe that you will stabilize but it will take some time.  Hopefully a moderator will come by soon and help you figure out how much Effexor you'll need to reinstate as I don't want to guide you in the wrong direction, I just want to provide you some hope that things will get better and you will get through this.  

Right now I am down from 75mg to 40.25 of Effexor but it took me about 10 months to get where I am.  I know now that I have to start reducing smaller amounts, I tried 7% last month and while it was a little easier, I'm going to reduce my taper to 5% so that it is a little easier on my system

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just noticed that one of the moderators has responded and know you are in good hands so will sign off now.  Wishing you the best.  BaroqueP

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Lizzy: I need help
  • Moderator Emeritus

Great responses from Baroquep and Scallywag, so all I want to add is another voice of an effexor taperer.  Go slow, and it can be done!  You're in the awful place of suffering w/d, and finding out all this information which can be a bit overloading - but as you read some links, and start to put a plan in place (which you don't have to do alone, mods and members are here to help) things should start to smooth out a bit. 

 

Welcome to SA,

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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I am unsure how i reply to someone who has answered my post? I have started a new topic now to do this? or do i go to reply post at top right? i hope this gets to the right place? thankyou everyone for your replies.

 

Scallywag, sorry for confusion with my taper, i am so not myself right now ,i will try to make it clearer for you now and will update my signature too. In answer to your question,i probably need to start at the beginning of this story, so everyone can get the whole picture. i was put on Effexor 150mgs, back in 2002, about a year after my husband commited suicide.It stopped me crying but also gave me excessive energy and constant fast thoughts,always living in my head.

 

Some of this is quite fuzzy,so please bear with me? i ended up in a abusive relationship for afew years, returned to my parents where my father assaulted me,fled to refuge with my daughter and relocated to another state in australia. this whole time i was quite manic ie never stopped,hardly slept,downing coffee and chain smoking,cause i didnt want to eat and never cried or was able to process anything that had happened to me, i felt like a fish in a fish bowl.

 

i would however still get severly depressed. so went to doctor. i think around 2006- 2007 and somehow got put on 300mgs of effexor? got told i had chemical imbalance and needed more medication? needless to say my manic symptoms got worse and i started wetting myself, as had no control over bladder.

 

saw another doctor who wanted to add lithium, as he said i was bi-polar,i refused as I know im not and i knew lithium was bad. Ended up finding a book by Dr. peter Breggin " your drug may be your problem" and i cried as it all made sense. From 2011 to 2012 tapered right down to nothing,with doctor went from 300, to 225 to 150 to 75 to 37.5mg every 6-8 weeks( which was probably to fast) and found it hard with doses as i took the xr version, which is beads in capusle, cannot get the tablets in australia anymore. At 6 weeks off effexor got hit with withdrawl symptoms and reinstated dose at 112.5mgs,became stable.

 

Sept 2012 started studying, Feb 2013 started tapering again, as didnt like side effects of effexor, by Dec 2013, had got myself down to 75mgs and held. 2015 started to get really depressed,crying and suicidal, which i now realise had a lot to do with not getting a job after study,and having no coping skills,or therapy or support?  

 

Went to see doc ,who sent me to Pysch, who talked me into switching to Pristiq 50mgs, just stop Effexor and start Pristiq next day. I immediately felt unwell and after a few days, i could hardly see as my vision was so bad, i blew up in wieght and i started having homicidal thoughts of killing someone,as well as my whole body feeling like it was on fire, with burning pins and needles,i felt like it was killing me, so i stopped the Pristic, after 12 days and went back to doctor, who said i may as well stay off everything, as i wanted off the effexor anyway,which i know now was a bad idea?

 

Again at 6 weeks off Effexor,withdrwal symptoms hit, i spent two days curled up in the fetoal postion on the floor,shaking and extreme internal distress. went to hospital, where they gave me 50mgs of zoloft, which immediately induced severe akathasia and wanting to kill myself? stopped zoloft and went back to hospital and reinstated Effexor 37.5mgs, after 3 days back on this dose went to hospital again due to severe panic attack,told to up Effexor to 75mgs,which i did,  3 days later overcome with desire to kill myself again,but persisted until day 7, when severe akathasia hit and i was walking the block at 3am and could not calm down. i admitted myself to hospital as i was afraid and exhausted.

 

Doc in hospital switched me to 5mgs of lexapro, again stop one start the next, increased it to 10mgs at about 1 week, then sent me home where i got progressively worse,could not stop crying, burning nerve pain and severe internal distress and agitation.Been home 5 days like this, when i was overcome with need to go walking in my pyjamas in the morning. i could not stop and i remember feeling like id left my body,and i kept saying to myself " why am i walking in my pyjamas" but could not stop?

 

made it home and collapsed,called emergency and went back in to hospital? where  they wanted to try another anti depressant and E.C.T and i knew that would probably be the end of me, so i said know i want back on the effexor,as i was thinking this was all severe withdrawals and the pnly way out of hospital and more drugs was to get back on it.  

 

So i prayed to god for a miracle and went back on effexor 37.5mg for about 3 days then back to 75mgs,this time i reinstated without any major side effects, except  for very red blood shot eyes which caused a retinal haemorraghe in my right eye, 2 weeks later. this was in mid july 2015. and i have been on 75mgs of effexor ,up until jan 25 this year. 

 

From hospital until Jan,2017  i still havent felt well? i had burning pins and needles down my right side, i kept waking up in panic and needing to take the Effexor, which would then make me really agitated,anxious and distressed up until late afternoon, where i would calm down and feel a bit better, but would go to bed anxious, knowing i would have to get up and do it all again tommorrow, also began getting more and more depressed, more often and spending days in bed.

 

So in Jan this year, found new Psychiatrist who practices acceptance and commitment therapy and who claims to me a pharmocogly expert. he said it sounded like i was expericiencing withdrawal from effexor daily and that it was agitating me and that he could get me off it with prozac. so Jan 25 ,reduced effexor to 37.5mgs with 10mgs of prozac.,4 weeks later-feb 22nd stop effexor, continue 10mg prozac. 6 weeks later- april 6th reduce to 5 mgs prozac. 6 weeks later-18th may reduce to 2.5mg prozac.wed 24th suicidal, doc said reinstate 5mg every other day?

 

april 25th up to 5mg, april back down to 2.5mg and felt worse again( then looked on this site about everyother day dosing and realised it was not advised at all) so back up to 5mg on27th of april,which is just over two weeks now and have been in hell ever since. every day i have felt worse. went back to pysch last week, who said stay at 5mgs of prozac, this is withdrawal and he doesnt believe that every other day dosing affects anything,especially with prozac's long half life. I told him i was not coping and suicidal and he said to look up some online support.

 

I know this is very long and I dont know how much information you need ,but i do know you need the whole story to be able to help me? again i dont know what i should do now, what is the best solution for me? I have lost faith in my Pyschiatrist, i dont think he listens to me or really knows what hes doing and that really frightens me, because it means im on my own. so again i dont know whether i should reinstate effexor at this point and at what dose,?  

 

with the capsules the lowest is 37,5mg or persist in this state on 5mgs of prozac, which i have now been on since the 25 th jan 2017-5months , and i worry i have added more problems by taking prozac and that i will have as much trouble stoppin it? my whole life right now has become consumed with withdrawal, and i dont want it to be, i want a life ,i want my life back. Again if i am not posting in the right spot, please let me know, i am not great with computers and in my signature do i put the whole drug history from the very beginning, even if the dates are not clear or just this taper. thankyou so much

Edited by KarenB
merged Intro topics & added white space

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hi Scallywag, Baroquep and karenb, thanks for your replies. I just posted my whole story under a new topic, i am not sure if that was the correct way to do it ? i needed to add more to my introduction so that you could get the whole story of mine.i probably should have done that first? i am confused as to how this site works, where to post and how to respond to someones reply? i have tried reading the info on this site, but it still confuses me. If i have questions , who is best to ask and how do i do that too? do i just ask you guys? sorry for so many questions am so not with it at the moment, very confused and foggy.thanks

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Our apologies Lizzy - there is a lot to take in here.  You can ask all your questions and anything else you want to add to your story to this thread right here - there is an empty box below this that says 'Reply to this topic' and when you've finished writing, just press the black 'Submit Reply' button at the bottom of this page.  I will put your other topic into this one, so everything is together. 

Edited by KarenB
added info

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lizzy, I went through that post and plucked out the parts which could make up your signature.  Can you check through this, and let us know if it's accurate?  If it is, you can feel free to use it in your signature.  Thanks for sharing your story (heartbreaking - no wonder you are exhausted) - it does make it a lot easier to get where you are coming from.  The only reason I've done this is so we can work out specifically what's going on drug-wise. 

 

2015  Switch to Pristiq 50mgs (stop Effexor and start Pristiq next day).  Stopped Pristic after 12 days.

2015 - At 6 weeks off Effexor - 50mgs of zoloft.

Stopped zoloft, reinstated Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days.

Effexor 75mgs - 7 days, stopped.

5mgs lexapro, (sudden switch from effexor) - 1 week later increased to 10mgs.   

July 2015 - effexor 37.5mg for about 3 days

July 2015 - until jan 25 2017 - 75mgs, no major side effects, except retinal haemorraghe in right eye 2 weeks later.

Jan 25 prozac bridge:  reduced effexor to 37.5mgs, add 10mg prozac, Feb 22nd stop effexor, continue 10mg prozac.  April 6th 5 mg prozac. 18th May 2.5mg prozac. wed 24th suicidal, doc said reinstate 5mg every other day.

April 25th - 5mg, April - 2.5mg.  27th of april till now - 5mg prozac,

 

From there, if this is accurate, we can start discussing your next steps. 

Hugs,

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 karen, just read your reply and thanks for putting that all together for me, it looks accurate. Except i noticed i put no major side effects? except a retinal haemoraghe? which the opthamologist acknowledged was a adverse side effect of the medication and i am now left with partial vision loss in my right eye? I am mentioning this, i guess more for myself as i am struggling to think that  i can live without this medication?, when it has damaged my body and mind so much and anything that is any good for you, would not harm you so much on stopping it. I am also going through peri-menopause at the moment and I have P.T.S.D, just to add more  fun to withdrawal.My p.t.s.d/ anxiety is very severe at present but it has been pretty much for the last year,even on the Effexor? I will put my medication details that you put together for me in my signature tommorrow, as exhausted by it all now. many thanks

lizzy:)

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hi Lizzy -

 

I am so sorry that you are going through this. But I wanted you to know you are not alone. All of us here have been exactly where you are at. Especially us Effexor people! I did a fast taper like your doctor had you do, and it is not the right way to do it. But you are in the right place to get help with reversing course and going to a slow and proper taper.

 

I want to give you some loving moral support and prayers - but also some practical advice. We need to build you a tool kit. I'm not going to link tons of stuff right now. I'll just give you some basics to begin with and we'll fill in some of the background info later on.

 

Tool #1 is mindful breathing. This is going to help you with any panic attacks or when your thoughts are racing. First, empty your lungs with a nice sigh. Then put your hand on your belly. Breath in deeply through your nose, making sure that your hand is rising, telling you that your belly is expanding. Then exhale slowly through your mouth. Don't gasp in and woosh out your breath. Slow and steady. In through the nose, out through the mouth - deep into your belly and exhaling completely.

 

Tool #2 is to not fight against the anxiety and create a battle of will and thought. Instead, float through the anxiety. Tell yourself that you are safe, that what you are feeling - the racing thoughts and so on - are the result of biochemical changes in your body - changes that will stabilize with time and healing. Avoid letting your thoughts spiral out of control. Tell yourself the truth: you are safe, people care about you, and this is chemical - and you will heal.

 

Here is the one thing I will link. It's an mp3 that will help you learn the breathing while also helping you keep spiral thinking at bay: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk//music/FirstAidPanicF.mp3

 

That's enough for now. Let us know how you are doing by using this thread to check in.

 

SJ

 

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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Hi there,

sorry you are in this

misery. I did not reat all content of your thread but I came across your question "how long do we take up with this. When is it enough." I've asked myself that question at least  a 1000 times. But I kept going. now I am off almost 2 years and things have definitely improved! 

But there were many many many many moments where I lost all my hope and thought that this would never end

 

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

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  • Moderator Emeritus
Quote

when it has damaged my body and mind so much and anything that is any good for you, would not harm you so much on stopping it.

 

This is the paradox - and it is difficult to come to grips with.  Yes, the drugs are incredibly harmful in and of themselves.  However, in addition, the Process your brain needs to go through to adjust to the absence of the drugs is also traumatic

 

Our lovely mod Rhi says it much better I in How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

Quote

 

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning. What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain. So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along).

 

It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

 

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.

 

 

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 all, karen i can not do this for one more day? I am v ery very concerned about my state of mind right now, i have reached my limit. have made doctors appointment for tommorrow? I really need some advice today as to reinstating the effexor and at this point ( 4 months off it), whether it will ease withdrawal symptoms and help me to stablize or whether it could make things much worse? If i did how much should i reinstate? I do believe i have tapered off to quick and i dont think the prozac is helping me? we all know when we have reached   our end and i have reached mine. i really have no support around me and i have run out of strength, i worry about my teenage daughter as she only has me and i dont want to die, but am worried for my state of mind.waiting for help.

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lizzy, the prozac itself may not be the issue.  The issues are more likely to be the jumping up and down in dose since Jan/Feb, alternating doses in May, and making some quite large reductions (10mg to 5mg, then 5mg to 2.5mg).  Those are most probably the reasons you have been feeling progressively worse.   

 

You have been steadily taking 5mg for 6 weeks now - which is actually early days where withdrawal is concerned. 

 

I'm checking in with the other mods, as more brains are better than one, but I'm wondering if you waited another month, whether things would start to pick up a little.  Perhaps it would be easier to cope with, with that understanding that time is needed in order to re-stabilise again?  

 

Karen

x

Edited by KarenB

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 karen, ive just realized the dates in my updated signature are wrong ,instead of april 25, 26 and 27th it should say May! which means i ve been back on 5mgs of prozac for 2 and 1/2 weeks only. i know you cant perform a miracle, but ive been bed ridden all day and nearly all week and i am frightened as all day today my mind was thinking of ways to end this pain, and i honestly cant do another day of this, let alone another week or another month. i know this is withdrawal,and  im not the only one but that makes me feel like more of a failure as i cant cope with this withdrawal any longer. ive been lying here today, so distressed and so worried that if i reinstate the effexor, it could very well make me worse,which would end up killing me, because then i have no hope left,cant reinstate the effexor cannot live in this state ,any longer. amen

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hi Lizzy,

Im so so sorry your in this personal hell. I can hear the desperation in your posts and my heart goes out to you, as a fellow Aussie long term Effexor user I can relate. 

I need to say don't listen to the suicidal thoughts It isn't you talking its part of the insidious nature of AD withdrawal. Don't let all the negative crap going through your head overtake you. Don't let it convince you of its bullsh*t. Ive had the same thoughts from the same drug withdrawal. Your not alone! You have a whole community of people here who want to help and support you through this nightmare. Your obviously incredibly strong to go through all the previous jumps in meds not to mention move interstate and raise your daughter.

Don't give up on it all! You can get through this I promise.

I read your posts and was gobsmacked at the roller coaster ride of drug instatments and reinstatements you were given, particularly recently. Sounds like your having intense effexor withdrawal symptoms from decreasing to quickly and the prozac bridge isn't helping much. 

I know how hard it is to make a decision about reinstating when your extremely distressed. But it sounds like you are in a very dark place and desperately need some help.

Im not a doctor and I know there's people on here more experienced than I am but for what its worth my advice would be to reinstate the effexor at 75mg to try and get some relief. Stabilise on that for several months at the least and give your body a good rest from all the chopping and changing. Then following the guidelines on this site to taper extremely slowly. I understand your worries about the effexor making you feel worse Its scary I know but I think its probably the best option. 

Whether you decide to or not please come back and let us know how your doing. 

Much love! Stay Strong.

 

Dael

 

 

 

 

Began Effexor 75mg at the age of 19 in 1999 for depression and anxiety.

Down to 37.5mg in 2001.

Stopped cold turkey in Feb 2016 after 17 years on this crap.

Stuck with it thinking I could ride out the symptoms not realising what I was in for. 

​Life grinded to a halt at age 35.

One year out most symptoms have lessened to different degrees but still feeling like a debilitated space cadet.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lizzy, I am so sorry to see that you are in such a terrible predicament after all the changes ordered by a doctor who should know better. Sadly they are taught by the drug companies who will not admit the problems their drugs cause, and only recommend more drugs which make things a hundred times worse. Your nervous system is very unstable and it will take some time to become stable again. As for reinstating effexor, if you decide to try a reinstatement you would need to open a capsule and take one or two of the tiny beads inside, this minimises the side effects and tests whether you can tolerate it.  We are discussing the best way forward for you so please don't give up. I have been where you are and can assure you that this will pass. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thanks dopelogic and mamma p for your support. Dopelogic thankyou for what you said about the sucidial thoughts, i do deep down know its not me but its so hard to cope with thier intensity right now? i regret now adding Prozac, as i feel its making my sucidal thoughts and depression worse, i always feel worse after taking it in the morning.

 

i could be wrong and this is all just Effexor withdrawal, but i do know that the so called prozac bridge isnt working or helping? by adding Prozac i have put myself in the position of not knowing which drug is causing what symptoms? When i reduced from 10mgs of prozac to 5mgs, i actually felt a bit better, not as fatigued or fuzzy or drugged, yet when i reduced to 2.5mgs i noticed a huge mood drop in just 3 days,and then became sucidal with hysterical crying?  

 

So, as per doctors advise(LOL) i took it up to 5mg again and in 2 days was bedridden with suicidal thoughts and akathasia, and it felt the same as when i reinstated the effexor before, after 6weeks of withdrawal? this confuses me no end. I am still very unsure of what to do now? if i reinstate the Effexor, do i just stop taking the prozac? or do i have to taper off that too? I did take both drugs together at the start of this and was okay?

 

what i am terrified of at this point is Reinstating the Effexor and having an adverse reaction and ending up worse than i already am, which could be the end for me? And if that happened I have no where to go from there? or do i persist with the 5mgs of Prozac, hoping against hope that i will improve? as i have now been free of Effexor for 4 months,as of tommorrow.

 

Also I wanted to ask you both  if its normal to experience resurfacing of traumatic memories and feelings in withdrawal? I have had alot of trauma in my life (thats how i started taking Effexor?) and in the last 2 weeks ive been flooded with lots of traumatic memories and intense and terrifying emotions associated with it? Mind you i never really felt them at the times they happened as i was numb on Effexor?  hold on for one more day eh?  god bless all lizzy

Edited by KarenB
added white space

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, holding on, going day by day is a good focus for right now.  As MammaP said, we are trying to work out the best way forward for you.  A rushed decision won't help as it could just add another layer of tangle to the whole thing. 

 

8 hours ago, Lizzy said:

ive been flooded with lots of traumatic memories and intense and terrifying emotions associated with it?

 

see neuro-emotions for why this happens.  

 

8 hours ago, Lizzy said:

When i reduced from 10mgs of prozac to 5mgs, i actually felt a bit better, not as fatigued or fuzzy or drugged, yet when i reduced to 2.5mgs i noticed a huge mood drop in just 3 days

 

It can help to think of your Central Nervous System as a game of Jenga (the tower-block game where you pull out one block at a time, and it gradually gets less and less stable).  The first time you pull out a block, it's pretty easy.  But with each subsequent block removal, the tower gets shakier and shakier.  Each time we make a change in dose or type of drug, it's like pulling out another block.  And now your whole system is saying 'hey!  no more!  just wedge in a little block down the bottom and let us re-group again!"

 

8 hours ago, Lizzy said:

if i reinstate the Effexor, do i just stop taking the prozac? or do i have to taper off that too?

 

This is what we are currently trying to work out, so don't make any changes just yet.  For today can you focus on self-care?  Even finding just one thing you can do to help yourself get through the day.  Can you get some magnesium, dissolve it in water, and sip throughout the day?  Or do some calming yoga poses, or something distracting like a funny movie?  A hot bath with epsom salts? 

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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Hey Lizzy 

Yeah neuro emotions are absolutely horrible one of the worst symptoms for me. An ex gf breakup more than ten years ago feels like its happening right now and even more intense than originally! I find I have to constantly remind myself that these intrusive thoughts and the emotional weight hanging from them aren't real and that its just part of the process of the brain healing itself. The same goes for any negative or suicidal thoughts. Its bizarre to know that the real you is somewhere beneath all that chaos observing it all. Try breath deeply and tap into that space when things become overwhelming (easier said than done I know). Keep hanging on, take one day at a time and wait to hear back from the mods regarding reinstating is your best bet. In the mean time try not to spend time ruminating anything negative, try distract yourself with some activity not to demanding if you are able. 

Maybe show your daughter this site if she doesn't understand whats going on with you? I know it helped me with my family. 

Remind yourself you can and will get better. Your body and brain are doing an awesome job. 

Be kind to yourself.

Much love 

 

Dael. 

Began Effexor 75mg at the age of 19 in 1999 for depression and anxiety.

Down to 37.5mg in 2001.

Stopped cold turkey in Feb 2016 after 17 years on this crap.

Stuck with it thinking I could ride out the symptoms not realising what I was in for. 

​Life grinded to a halt at age 35.

One year out most symptoms have lessened to different degrees but still feeling like a debilitated space cadet.

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Thanks Dopelogic for the encouragement, it helps. I am waiting to here back from the mods as to what to do? sorry Karen that i have not replied to your post earlier, i have taken your advice and am just holding on each day and i have been taking  a magnesium supplement.  My eyes are very cloudy and its affecting my vision, it started when i started the Prozac, as i mentioned it to the pysch, he said it would pass,but it hasnt? I know its the prozac, effexor has never made my eyes or vision blurry? It does worry me as i still have vision loss from the retinal haemoraghe i had. I really dont feel like myself at all, and its really upsetting me? I feel weird like i dont know who iam and how i am behaving and talking is not me? it feels hard to explain., but i keep talking to people and it doesnt feel like me talking and why am i saying that etc? I feel liked im trapped in a drug induced haze and its a horrible feeling, I feel like its the prozac? and also i have become consumed by my symptoms and withdrawal and am finding it nearly impossible right now to stop doing it, and try and focus on something else or something that resembles the life that i want? this seems to have started from when i took the prozac back up to 5 mgs, its like a switch in my head fliped on, and since then all i can think about is this, withdraw or not withdraw, effexor or prozac etc and its driving me insane.And all the tools i have learnt and had been using like mindfullness, yoga, movies,fiction reading have all gone out the window? Aaghh!!! this is insanity,will i ever know myself again and have a life , a life that I choose and dream off. lizzy:unsure:

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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hi karen, i am feeling rather desperate right now and really not well and so worried, i was hoping you had managed to come up with some help for me? i am barely holding on for one more day and am worried  ive got nothing left,it really has become all too much  and i feel like ive given up??? liz

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hi Lizzy. It sounds like your really suffering there. I know it feels like your so far gone from your sense of self and that there is no way back from it but I promise you can and will make it. I know its just words and probably not what you want to hear, you just need some immediate relief now and a plan to get better. But unfortunately I don't have the expertise or knowledge of prozac to recommend any course of action. Im sure the mods will recommend something soon though and hopefully that helps. Ill try to help with support and encouragement though! I know a big part the suffering for me was thinking that my brain was ruined and I would never be "normal" again. So please don't think you'll be like this forever. You won't. The brain will repair itself and you'll be able to make the life you want for yourself.

I've been in a similar spaces and seriously considered suicide multiple times. Roughly 4 months of Effexor like yourself. Convinced there was no other option totally sure I would never mentally make it back, I don't know why I didn't act but thank god I didn't and slowly but surely I felt myself getting better over time. And this is after 17 years on this ****. The hell of AD withdrawal is indescribable torture and an extremely personal experience.

If you find yourself planning anything or beginning to act upon thoughts of self harm please call lifeline 13 11 14 and or your doctor. 

And know some random dude in Sydney's thinking about ya.

 

Dael. 

Began Effexor 75mg at the age of 19 in 1999 for depression and anxiety.

Down to 37.5mg in 2001.

Stopped cold turkey in Feb 2016 after 17 years on this crap.

Stuck with it thinking I could ride out the symptoms not realising what I was in for. 

​Life grinded to a halt at age 35.

One year out most symptoms have lessened to different degrees but still feeling like a debilitated space cadet.

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Basically all we have is the current moment. Go there and forget about the rest. It's only imagination anyway.

 

Nobody knows how long the healing will take, but we do know that it's happening. Don't put pressure on yourself. The brain is healing itself. Give it the opportunity.

 

Tim

Took my first SSRI sipralexa/lexapro/escitalopram in 2007 for depression. In 2010 the doctor switched me to paroxetine/seroxat/paxil for anxiety.

My paroxetine story from then on:

 

2010-15 from 10mg up to 20mg

jan 2016 30mg

may 2016 0mg cold turkey (don't!)

dec 2016 symptoms: anxiety, tremor (could barely stand)

jan 2017 reinstated at 7.5mg to taper in steps of 10%

...

Dose changes from may 2017 to now: 

5.0/4.7/4.4/4.0/3.7/3.5/3.3/3.1mg

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  • Administrator

Hello, Lizzy.

 

I am sorry you are going through this.

 

Are the symptoms worse or better at any time of day? What time do you take Prozac each day?

 

Since you've been on 5mg consistently (how long has that been?), has your symptom pattern changed?

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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Hi Altostrata, i really do feel like ive reached my end, i feel so not myself and that im losing my grip on reality. I have know been back on 5mgs of prozac for 3weeks tommorrow and from day 1 of reinstatement(after going down to 2.5mg for a week) i have felt bad, the main thing being " i dont feel like myself at all, i feel like ive left me?, I take the prozac in the morning and i ve just got worse every day, cant get out of bed, dont want to get up and face another day of this,extreme fatigue and ive lost interest  in everything, havent been to yoga,or grocery shopping,dont want to go anywhere and dont care what i look like or whether i shower or not and constantly tormented with thoughts of "I CANT DO THIS ONE MORE DAY, THIS IS HELL AND NO ONE CAN TELL ME when IT WILL END, AND I CANT ENDURE THIS ANY MORE,LET ALONE ANOTHER WEEK OR MONTHS??? I am also extremly internally distressed and having horrible moments of akathasia and not being able to calm down. i have lost my whole life to this and right now iam considering just taking the effexor again and trying to learn to live with it, because it wasnt great but i wasnt this distressed or incapaitaed, i was at least functioning in life. I honestly feel like ive lost my ******* mind right now. I have been off effexor for 4 months now and on the Prozac****** for five months now? which clearly has failed, i hate it. liz

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hi, thanks for the help , i too have been on this ******Effexor for 15 years now? this is no way to live and im only human after all and no one should have to suffer this much, i know withdrawal is hard ( i am a recovered alcoholic with 21 years sobriety now, and that was a walk in the park ,compared to this?) withdrawal should not kill you or reduce you to total madness, where you would be better off dead? sorry for bieng so dramatic ,but thats how i feel . I dont think i can do this any more, and thats the biggest problem , i feel utterly broken.

Lizzy

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Lizzy,

 

Alto's not online right now, but when she's back in we should be able to make some suggestions - thanks for answering her questions.  I just feel not quite experienced enough to make the call about what you might do. 

 

Really feeling for you at the moment - sorry it's so awful.

 

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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  • Moderator
On 2017-6-13 at 10:12 PM, mammaP said:

As for reinstating effexor, if you decide to try a reinstatement you would need to open a capsule and take one or two of the tiny beads inside, this minimises the side effects and tests whether you can tolerate it.  

 

Hey Lizzy (Lizzy from Brizzy!)

 

This is the best thing I think you could do.

 

I know you've been off Effexor (I wanted to just call it "Eff.") for awhile, but it's a stubborn bugger.  It's been just months since you stopped it - but - it was a fast taper when you bridged to Prozac, and Prozac might not be hitting all the same places that the Eff did.


You are going to be hard pressed to find a doctor who would believe that 5 mg Prozac is doing what it is doing.  

 

Do you have any Effexor in the house?  You can go right now, and open it up and tell me what is inside.  Was it brand name or generic? 

 

Does it have a bunch (about 450?) of tiny beads?  or are the beads fewer and larger?

 

If you do not have any Effexor, can you ask your doctor to "switch back"?  You could even go to a superclinic and ask for some, even a small amount, as you are going to only take a few beads.

 

If you do take a few beads (keep taking your Prozac, we're not ready to reduce that just yet), please hold for a 4-7 days at just a few beads.  We're looking for reaction, and to see if the beads help.

 

We would do it carefully and slowly - more than your doc.  What part of town are you?  I am pretty savvy about the practitioners in the area who are - more careful, if not completely SA friendly.  PM me and I'll see if I know someone who can help you.

 

But first - tell me if you have any Effexor in the house and what it looks like.  I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get to you, and I look forward to getting to know you better.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi jancarol,

just seen your message, does Pm mean private message? im still not sure how to navigate this site on top of everything else, but i will try to message you now to answer your questions,if that doesnt work ill post it here. thanks

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hi dopelogic,

i replied to your post earlier but forgot to put your name in it, it was the one that just says hi and thanks. so thanks for your support 

lizzy

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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Hey Lizzie. I'm a Brissie girl too. Welcome to SA.

 

Do you have any Effexor in the house?  You can go right now, and open it up and tell me what is inside.  Was it brand name or generic? 

Does it have a bunch (about 450?) of tiny beads?  or are the beads fewer and larger?

 

Before we move on it would be best to answer this question first.

 

I'm so very sorry for the place you find yourself in but just hang in there - we can sort through this and you can come out the other side intact. 

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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hi  karenb and altostrata, do i need to put in my signature that ive been on Effexor for 15 years now, i started taking it in 2002 and i know length of time on a drug is important, i forgot to mention it before,sorry. thanks liz

2002 started Effexor 150mgs. 2015-switch to Pristiq ( stop Effexor xr 75mgs and start Pristiq 50mg)stopped after 12 days. 6wks later-50mgs Zoloft(stop after 1 dose)

Reinstated Effexor at 37.5mgs for 3 days,then up to 75mgs for 1 week.

Hospital admission-5mgs of lexapro(stop Effexor and start Lexapro) 1wk later 10mg lexapro.

july 2015-stopped lexapro after 3 weeks ( switch back to Effexor 37.5mgs for 3 days, then 75mgs

1 week later retinal haemoraghe. 

july 2015 to Jan 25 2017-75mgs of Effexor Side effects but some stability.Jan 25 2017-prozac bridge?-reduced effexor to 37,5mgs and 10 mgs of prozac.  Feb22nd-stop Effexor,continue 10mg prozac. April 6th-5mgs prozac. May 18th-2.5mg prozac.May 24th-suicidal?Doc said to reinstate 5mg every other day? May25th-5mgs.May 26th-2.5mgs.May 27th-5mgs prozac.June18th-reinstate 5 beads effexor,june 19th 2 beads,akathasia and suicidal severely,June 29th- reinstated 37.5mgs. And stop Prozac. July 27th- increase to75mg Effexor(dose before Taper)

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  • Moderator
Quote

i do have a script for the 37.5mg capsules, i only ever take the brand name one effexor xr, as had reaction to generic once? so have always stuck to the brand name one. it does have lots of little beads in it, cant remember how many though? I live in <snipped for privacy>. where do you live? i am not working now and find it hard to get a doctor who will bulk bill me and who is knowledgeable about withdrawal and its effects and who actually cares? thanks for believing me about the prozac, i hate how it feels and i can tell the difference in me and my body and in both previous withdrawals i didnt use prozac, so now how it feels?I can get a script filled of the Effexor tommorrow, if you think this is my best course of action? 

 

hey Lizzy - thanks for getting back with me.

 

Yes, if you have a script, get it filled.  I was reading on another site that a 37.5 XR has about 124 beads.  This is approximate.  You will want to read about bead counting in our Effexor thread.  Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

My suggestion is what MammaP said - start with 2 beads.  Stay with that for a week before making any other changes.  Depending on how you react (or don't) to that, will tell us a lot about what to do next.

 

If you react to it, we will know it's the wrong direction.  If you get a little improvement - we know it's the right direction.  If nothing at all happens, then you will feel safe to add a few more beads in.

 

When we get you improving on the Effexor, then we can get you off of the Prozac.

 

This might be uncomfortable for awhile, so it will be important for you to cultivate a toolkit of Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms.

I'll post some about doctors in Private Message to you. (you found it, you're doing fine!)

 

I hope you see the sun tomorrow!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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