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Shehbaz: 14 Years on Antidepressants. 4 months since cold turkey from Effexor


Shehbaz

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Hi,

 

I was diagnosed with Anxiety and depression in 2003 after which I had been on cocktail of Antidepressants including Paxil, Cymbalta, Fluoxetine, Zoloft and Effexor. I also underwent 6 ECT sessions.

 

Currently I have been withdrawing from Effexor which I quit cold turkey on April 19th this year.

 

After 4 months I still have no energy, fatigued and can barely function. I have zero concentration. 

 

Has anyone else experienced such prolonged withdrawals and when can I except things to become manageable?

 

Will appreciate your response.

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Shehbaz: 14 Years on Antidepressants. 4 months since cold turkey from Effexor
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shehbaz, welcome to SA. My history is similar to yours, many drugs ob=ver the years ending with effexor. I tapered too fast and stopped too soon.  I took a year to taper and still had withdrawal! I reinstated 1mg (5 beads from a capsule) and it made a huge difference but was too much and I had side effects. I dropped to 4 beads and stabilised on that eventually, then started a slow taper off those 4 beads. Have you any effexor left? 

 

You might do well too if you reinstate a very tiny amount. withdrawal can go on for a very long time, especially after many years of taking the drugs. Your brain has worked with the drugs and now it has stopped it has to try and rebalance. There are no timescales as everyone is different but reinstating the drug that was withdrawn is the only way to stop withdrawal.  

 

No one EVER wants to reinstate, and if you choose not to we have lots of tips on self care that help people with withdrawal.  I will get some info for you so that you can understand what is happening.

 

We ask all our members to fill in their signature, we need the drug and tapering history, just drugs and doses, when started and when stopped. This link will take you to the signature box, fill in the box and click save. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/settings/signature/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

About reinstating to stabilise 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Rhi's explanation on how drugs affect the brain

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1160-brain-remodeling/

 

Edited by mammaP

**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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I am withdrawing from Effexor as well. Was at 150 mg, reduced off many times to quickly. Intense anxiety and no energy or felling of life inside myself. 

Reinstated 25 mg to help withdrawal. Now i personally feel this was to much to reinstate but it did help. 

I am now down to 10 mg liquid form Effexor instant release two times a day. They say one dose lasts 12 hours or so. 

150 mg Effexor xr for 2 years. (2015-2017)

Tapered to zero (04/2017-05/2017)

Was off effexor for about a month then the storm hit.

Reinstated 25 mg effexor (06/2017.

Last micro dose of Effexor on Nov 25 2017.

Been off Effexor for 11 months and still feeling AWEFUL. I feel DEAD.

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Shehbaz all of us have experienced prolonged wdl that is why this site exists to help those harmed.

 

I urge you if you have time in the next 6 hours to do the wdl survey and have you valuable say ...please consider participating.

welcome

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Hi MammaP,

 

Thank you very much for the detailed response and sharing the I formative links. I did reinstate and did help. Usually when I take about 20 mg I feel better with much more energy and improved mood that last for 4 to 5 days.

I don't want to reinstate the drug on regular basis.

 

Hi Woodhull,

 

How long you have been withdrawing from Effexor. Did you come he your taper? 

 

Hi Nz,

 

I have competed the survey. Thank you for sharing the link.

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shehbaz, The most important thing for you to do right now is to take the same amount of Effexor every day in order stabilize.  It is never advised to stop an anti-depressant abruptly, alternate doses or skip days as this will further destabilize your central nervous system.  It's not clear from your comment above, whether you are taking 20mg every day or every four to five days.  How much Effexor were you taking when you stopped on April 19th?  

 

It would be helpful, as MammaP suggested above, if you filled out your signature as it will help the moderators to have a clear understanding of your drug and tapering history so they can advise you further.

 

On 2017-08-22 at 8:48 AM, mammaP said:

We ask all our members to fill in their signature, we need the drug and tapering history, just drugs and doses, when started and when stopped. This link will take you to the signature box, fill in the box and click save. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/settings/signature/

 

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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Hi Baroquep,

 

Thank you for your advise. I was at Effexor 75 mg when I cold turkeyed on 19th April. I have used 20 mg 3 times in last 15 days with the interval of 5 days. 

 

IS it advisable to reinstate now and at what dose. In the past 20 days or so I have been very dizzy and feeling pressure inside my head. I do feel bouts of depression and anxiety but the dread feeling and severe anxiety in the morning is much more manageable.

 

My main issues are severe boredom, no concentration, ?memory and lethargy, light headedness.

 

I am not sure whether to reinstate now. Very recently I have been feeling like my mind is awakening from very deep sleep and sometime I remember things from the past which I never experience before. Also I could say I have started thinking rationally. That's very minimal but for the first time in past 4 month or even on Antidepressants I have experience them. 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Shebaz.

 

Those are withdrawal symptoms. If I were you, I would take 20mg Effexor at the same time every day. How are you measuring 20mg?

 

If all goes well, you should gradually start feeling better. After some months of stabilization, you would very gradually taper off, see Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

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 don't have words to thank you for your recommendation. I have been taking 20 mg for past 3 days and I am feeling back to normal. Actually I can say I felt great today. Thank you very much. 

 

I am using a digital scale for 20mg. 

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shehbaz, that is great that you are feeling better, very good to hear.  Don't be alarmed if any of your symptoms return, as this can happen when an antidepressant is discontinued abruptly.  Healing tends to occur in a windows and waves pattern of stabilization but please know that you are definitely heading in the right direction by reinstating a small dose.  I would recommend a good long hold at 20mg which you should continue to take on a daily basis.  It would be advisable for you to hold for a minimum of three months to allow your central nervous system to heal and stabilize from the abrupt discontinuation of Effexor on April 19th. 

 

In the meantime, I would highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the protocols recommended by Surviving Antidepressants so that once you are ready to restart your taper, you will have all of the information that you need to help guide you off of Effexor in the safest manner possible.  I have linked a few topics below that I think will be helpful.

 

Surviving Antidepressants recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with at a hold of at least four weeks before your next decrease.  The The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at an even more conservative rate.  The goal is to decrease slowly and carefully to minimize withdrawal and allow your central nervous system to heal before making another reduction.

  

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Before you restart tapering what you need to know

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Many members find that magnesium can help relax the muscles and calm the nerves and fish oil can help heal the nervous system.  I have found both of these supplements very helpful during my taper and people have found the are very beneficial and help reduce withdrawal symptoms. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker
King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Feel free to ask any questions and connect with other members on the site.  This is a very supportive community, everyone knows what you are dealing with and are happy to help.

 

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

Link to comment

Hi Baroquep,

 

Thank you very much for the detailed reply. You people are doing great work for a noble cause. Replying on a very timely manner and giving away your valuable time to reply to any query with so much in formation in it.

 

Is the extreme boredom and no motivation at all sign if withdrawals? 

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Am very happy to hear that you are feeling a lot better and hope all continues to go well.  Effexor is a beast and withdrawal symptoms can be challenging, so please be kind and patient with yourself, it's important to practise extreme self-care. 

 

I'm attaching a link to the symptoms and self-care forum along with a couple of additional links which will go into a lot more detail and provide you with excellent resources on how to deal with the symptoms you may experience.   I found it helpful to read as much as I could so that I was prepared for what to expect while tapering and could take the steps to make things a little easier.  

 

Symptoms and Self-Care

Important topics about symptoms including sleep problems

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

Neuro Emotions
Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

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

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

I have been doing ok with 20 mg of Effexor but today I had panic attack which totally got me off the track.

 

My mind is not working and I am having the worst possible anxiety and depression. I was crying.

 

I am so sorry for myself. If my life meant to be like this. When one is living with anxiety and depression for 14 years it totally wreck your life. People don't know what you are going through. The pain is immense. 

 

All of sudden I feel like giving up today. What the point of trying if nothing is going to change.

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shebaz, please don't give up, what you are experiencing is totally normal when you cold turkey off of Effexor.  I thought I'd prepared myself before I started tapering and it was a lot more difficult that I could have ever imagined.  But there is hope, once my central nervous system finally stabilized, it is the difference between night and day.  The anxiety and depression are gone and I'm feeling better than I have felt in years. It was rough, I won't lie, it was pretty rough for a long while.  I'd say it took me approximately a month to start feeling human again and then another couple of months before I could honestly say that I'd finally stabilized.   Today, my symptoms are almost non-existent but it took a lot of hope and faith that it was going to get better and I want to reassure you that it does.  

 

I'd encourage you to read as much as you can so that you know what to expect and learn ways to help you to alleviate some of the more difficult symptoms until you stabilize.  Surviving Antidepressants has a wealth of information and a very supportive group of people who are here to help you and know what you are going through.  I know it's tough, I've been there, but I want to reassure you that you will stabilize and the symptoms will start to calm down and be a lot more manageable.  

 

I"m attaching a few links that you might find useful and encourage you to have a look and to connect with others in the Introduction Forum as you will find a lot of support and guidance.

 

Stabilising - What Does That Mean?

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery
What is Happening in Your Brain

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization
 

As I mentioned in a previous post, many people, including myself, found that Omega 3 and magnesium really helped to calm the anxiety and help heal the brain and I've included a couple of links below to give you more information on how it helps as well as a link that you can find techniques to incorporate into your daily life to help you through the worst days.  Have a good look through the Symptoms & Self Care forum, you will find a lot helpful information to get you through this.  I found it very helpful to know what to expect so that I could take the steps to help alleviate my suffering.
 

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Magnesium

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Symptoms & Self Care

 

I hope you start feeling a little better, sooner rather than later.  Your central nervous system has been through a lot and it is going to take a bit of time for your symptoms to calm down.

 

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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Hi BAROQUEP,

 

Thank you very much for your valuable information. I am fighting this out but yesterday I had anxiety attach after which I crashed. It's been 14 hours I have been in bed. My head is a wreck and I am in deep depression. I have no energy to get out of bed or walk. 

 

Once again thank you for your valuable information

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Altostrata and all forum members,

 

I have been taking 20 mg Effexor for about a month now. I am doing not bad. Anxiety and subsided to the level where I can at least function now.

 

I had an appointment with my Pchyciatrist today in years. It was new Pchyciatrist and he barely spent 30 mins with me which included my 14 years history.

 

All he has to say was that I need to be on medicine indefinitely and that I am having a relapse. My genetics is prone to depression and it's good to be on medicine to be functional.

 

In the start of 2015 I quit paxil cold turkeyed. Then till now I have been barely on medicines and only reinstated when I couldn't function and then quit after a month or so.

 

To be honest the last 2.5 years have been he'll. When I was on medicines on regular basis I could finish my school and never felt this tired. I was going through life although no emotions. I am confused here what to do now.

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

HI Shebaz,  what are your current symptoms?  

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

Link to comment

Hi baroquep,

 

Sorry for the late reply I have not been feeling well and was disconnected from the internet for a while.

 

The most irritating symptom for me are savers fatigue, no motivation, deperaonalization, muscle spasm. I don't feel any meaning in whatever I do. Everything seems meaningless that's bothering me very much.

 

I feel like my mind is trap in same thoughts and they are being replayed.

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shebaz,

 

I'm sorry that you are still dealing with difficult symptoms.  I am currently tapering Effexor and know how difficult withdrawal can be.  Am glad to hear that the anxiety has calmed down and that is a very good sign that you are headed in the right direction.  From my experience it takes a while after reinstating (or tapering) for the symptoms to settle back to a level where you start to feel normal again.  

 

Your central nervous system has had quite a shock from discontinuing Effexor abruptly back in April and it is going to take a while for things to settle down.  When I destabilized at the beginning of the year, it took me about three months before I started to feel like myself again.  What you are dealing with are typical withdrawal symptoms that most of us here have experience at one time or another, so don't give up hope.  

 

After Reinstating or Up-dosing - How long to Stabilize?

 

I am going to attach a few links to discussions regarding the symptoms that you are currently dealing with so that you know that you are not alone.  I am also going to attach a few links to the symptoms and self-care forum that will help you find tools to help you manage the symptoms while you are waiting for them to fade into the background.  Try and remember that what you are experiencing right now are simply withdrawal symptoms so try not to let them get you down as they will start to feel less severe as time goes on.  What I found helpful when I was dealing with some of the more uncomfortable thoughts, was to remind myself that this was a withdrawal symptom and not to take the thoughts seriously and somehow that seemed to get me through.  

Severe Fatigue Discussion         

Disconnect between Interest and Action / Motivation

Depersonalization or Derelalization
Tension, Pain, Twitches, Spasms in Muscles and Joints

 

Please have a look at the links below and see if there is something that might help and please keep posting so we know how you are doing.  I encourage you to connect with other members of the Surviving Antidepressant community, they are a supportive group that know what you are going through and are here to help and offer their support.

 

Change the Channel - Dealing with Cognitive Symptoms

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms
Non-drug techniques for dealing with physical pain

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous 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

Link to comment

Thank you very much baroquep. This site has no doubt been of tremendous support to me. Thank you very much for your support and sharing the links 😊

 

When every I felt down I turned to this website and you guys have been of tremendous help. Hope you get well soon!

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

I have been feeling calm for a few days. Suffering for so long make it so harder even to express that you did feel a bit relieved for few days.

 

I just got up from a nap and this thing hit me that how in the world  had I been feeling so tired and that's so abnormal. As far as I remember I always slept for at least 2 hours a day and that got worse and worse over time. These medicine if they even help you with the anxiety leave you with no energy to do anything productive as a normal person.

 

I am not sure if your experience has been the same but as we get older the effect is more obvious. I started the AD when I was 16. And I had no reference what normal energy level feels like. 

 

I hope we all recovery soon!

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shehbaz, How are you doing?  Are you still taking 20mg of Effexor?  

 

would you mind updating your withdrawal history signature so that we have all of your current information available at a glance?  Currently you signature indicates that you CT's Effexor on April 19th ... do you reinstate at 20mg in August 2017?  It would be great if you could edit your current signature.  

 

You can find the instructions here:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Other than fatigue, what are your current symptoms?  Have you had a chance to take a look at this link?  

 

Severe Fatigue

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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Hi Baroquep,

 

I am sorry for the late reply. For some reason I didn't get the notification in my email inbox for the new message.

 

I am currently on 20 mg of Effexor. I will definitely update my signature shortly.

 

I CTed on April 19th and reinstated 20 mg as per Altostrata advise.I felt better right away.

 

I have been trying to get off these drugs since Mid 2014 and for the first time I am seeing signs of Improvement. It's been around 2.5 years. I climbed the Skeeing track on this weekend. And for the very first time I am speaking relaxed. My Naps from 3 hours a day are getting reduced to 30 mins. Before I wouldn't be able to stay awake. Also for the first time I feel my mind is just starting to work. Like if I read something I can understand. Another thing I have noted is that if anxiety strikes after an hour or so I am able to divert my thoughts. This would be impossible in the past. 

 

The boredom, emotional anesthesia, and anhedonia ( these have always been the worst for me) are getting a but better as well. My mind is able to generate few positive thinking as well.

 

What I understand from this current improvement is the fatigue is the main culprit for the lack of motivation. If that's starts to improve the motivation tends to improve as well.

 

 

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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Hi Baroquep,

 

As far as current symptoms are concerned, I get bouts of depression and anxiety each day but they are short lived compared to the one I would have lasting weeks and months. To be honest I have been depressed for the last 2.5 years without having any windows. It's been recently that I am experiencing them. At least I have window each day now.

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Am so happy to hear that you are experiencing windows, that is a very good sign that your central nervous system is slowly healing. These drugs are so hard on the central nervous system and it is such a shame when people aren't given the correct information to taper off of them safely by their doctors.  Are you still taking 20mg of Effexor that you reinstated recently?  It would be helpful for us to have the exact date that you reinstated, so when you have a chance can you update your signature so that all of your information is current?  

 

Thanks for letting us know how you are doing, it is really nice to hear when people are being helped by the advice provided by Surviving Antidepressants.  Wishing you continued healing.  

On 2017-10-06 at 9:35 PM, baroquep said:

You can find the instructions here:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

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

Link to comment

Hi Baroquep,

 

I have updated my signature and will keep you guys posted.

 

IF I HAVEN'T BEEN ON THIS WEBSITE I WOULDN'T FELT THE WAY I AM FEELING RECenTLY 😊 Thank you all for your support. 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

So finally the window has ended for me. Actually day before yesterday was the first time I wasn't dreaded or anxious about the thought which always made me depressed and made me panicked.

 

I woke up this morning unable to get out of bed. I don't want to do anything or going out. No emotion except severe boredom. Nothing in life make sense.

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Unfortunately that is just the way it is and we need to learn to accept it and not fight against it.  I had been feeling good the night before last and had planned to do several things yesterday.  I achieved none of it.  In fact I stayed in my nightie all day and didn't have a shower until after dinner.  However I did clean my teeth in the morning ;).  Previously that would have made me feel worse but I have accepted that it was what it was and that today is a different day and hopefully I will get some things done.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

I need your opinion. It's been almost 3 years that I have been suffering from severe depression. I tried to quit cold turkey couple of times and was on regular doses when things got out of control. I was not doing great but at least funcional. I have reinstated 20 mg on August 19th of Efexor and could barely functions afterwards with few windows but I have hit the bottom again lately.

 

I have severe anhedonia, no motivation, body spasm and depression, sleepy all the time. It feels like hell. 

 

I am thinking of giving up on withdrawal after being 3 years in it. I think I can't live like this anymore.

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, Shehbaz said:

I am thinking of giving up on withdrawal

 

What do you mean by this? 

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi Bubble,

 

I wanted to say I should get on full dose of Effexor and get back to the never ending journey of being on Antidepressants for the rest of my life 😣

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

When our brains get destabilised making abrupt changes (going up or down in dose) can destabilise us even more.

 

If that was not the case we would all just go back to the full dose (whatever it is).

 

You can test waters by increasing a bit. If that makes you worse, increasing even more would be even worse.

 

If it does or if it reduces your symptoms you can gradually increase more.

 

These drugs are not like antibiotics: find the right one, take the highest dose the more severe the infection is and in a few days you are as good as new. Far from it.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

When we are in a wave (and recovery is not linear - it is normal to go back and forth) we tend to undermine our progress and feel like it has all been doin and gloom and like this will continue forever. This kind of tunnel vision is a withdrawal symptom in itself. I 've read  posts by several members today who are in the same state of mind.

 

But if you read back through your thread you will see that you have had regular windows of not only reduced symptoms but feeling almost normal. It's just that you get very disheartened when hit by a wave again. This is because this process is so counterintuitive: when we heal from other injuries we mostly experience linear progress. Brain heals in windows and waves: one moment we feel completely healed and the next we feel back at square one.

 

When I was stabilising I would read the thread on windows and waves over and over again to remind myself of the nature of the process and not start to despair. People make very painful mistakes out of despair. 

 

How long has this wave lasted?

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi Bubble,

 

First of all I really appreciate your reply. This site is the place where people understand your pain. I had a phone with my sister this morning and I started crying for something which was totally normal. She inquired about something and I felt insulted. I had panic attack and went straight to bed.

 

I am in this wave for about a week now. I am getting very angry for no reason and I lose my temper. I hadn't felt anger during my withdrawal until now. I am hurting the loved ones around me and and I don't feel guilty about it. I want everyone to just leave me. I don't want them to care for me. 

 

I just want to pour in my heart here there is no one out there who understand what the hell are we going through.

 

 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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  • Moderator Emeritus

This is very familiar. It's very frustrating and painful to try to explain to our loved ones what we are going through. They just don't have any frame of reference to understand it.

 

In my case after such a long time and so many cold turkeys and reinstatements before I found this site they just let me be and trust I'll pull out again. I don't talk much about it and feel very lonely. But if I try to explain something I feel even lonlier. That's why I spend so much time here.

 

I had irritability and anger issues during my stabilisation phase to such an extent that I even started a thread on that symptom. A lot of people could relate.

 

I will go through your thread tomorrow to get a better sense of your situation. If you felt better after updosing but losing windows and just getting worse updosing a bit more could help. But give yourself a few days to see what happens with this wave. We are just so careful with updosing because some people have a bad reaction.

 

Don't be hard on yourself for losing it with your family. You are hurting and on some level they understand. Treat yourself with gentle care and kindness like you were a dear friend or a family member. Very often we find it easier to treat others who are in pain and distress with kindness and compassion. Extending that to ourselves is a very powerful remedy.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi All,

 

I wanted to add some information. Throughout my 14 years on Antidepressants I have never been to therapy accept once. I was told that I am looking at life from a very narrow perspective.

 

The start of my anxiety and depression was due to be very concerned about my academic and career. But as I would dread transitioning to colleges. I would think how would I be able to do that. I would panic in the class but fortunately my symptom got better after first semester in each college. I have remuneration thought about academic, career and always worrying about that. I managed to go Engineering, then Masters and not I am working for a good company. My job is making me anxious as it doest serve my full potential but thinking of changing job put me in dowbspiral and I am stuck in this vicious cycle. Also I work from home so I have been able to go through these withdrawals which would not be possible otherwise.

 

From my past experiences I had severe anxiety but I was better once I was comfortable and I was able to excel in studies.

 

However I never felt fatigue before, would sleep 12 hours and study in the other 10 hours and flexible schedule because in university one can come back and sleep right away without being bound to the schedule like work.

 

I wanna excell and progress that helped my anxiety before but now I am at dead end. Because my job pay very well. It's flexible work hour but I don't seem to grow. I understand I can do anything to enhance my skill but in depression one need to pushed from the comfort zone. I can't risk that since I am married now and need a constant income. 

 

I used to have great motivation but now that is down the drain. 

Paxil20mg: Started 2008

First Taper: July 2015 Taper 5 mg/ 2weeks. Taper End: December

Effexor75 mg Started January 2017 Quit: Cold Turkey: April 19th 2017

Reinstated 20mg Efexor 24th August

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