Jump to content

Ladywingnut Successful withdrawal from effexor/venlafaxine


Recommended Posts

Hello Surviving Antidepressant friends

 

Around 18 months ago I posted this thread desperately seeking help for tapering gone wrong.  I had been on a treatment dose of 300mg of Effexor, which I had reduced around 80%.  I went to a psychiatrist to seek advice on tapering and bridging and he told me the amount I was on was almost nothing and there would be no issue if I tapered off over a couple of weeks.  That caused the worst withdrawal I have ever had, including what felt like 48 hours of suicidal panic attacks and inability to sleep.  My memory from that time is blurry.

 

Anyway.

 

After that I tapered back on to Effexor until the worst of the discontinuation syndrome subsided, which ended up being back up to 10mg, or 30 beads.  I stayed that way for around 8 months before trying to go off again.  I would take my dose every morning in the same place, around the same time, by pouring out the little beads onto my hand, counting them, taking them, then brushing my teeth.

 

The next time I started going off I reduced by 1-3 beads every 3-4 days (more at the beginning, fewer at the end).  I also conducted a little placebo conditioning experiment with myself, where I replaced the lost beads with white 100s and 1000s (I think Americans call them sprinkles?).  I figured, after reading up on the classical conditioning mechanism in the placebo effect, that the eight months of "ritual" around taking the drug might be sufficient to allow the placebo sugar beads to have the same effect as the drug on my brain.  Once there were no more drug beads I continued "taking" the 100s and 1000s each morning for a few weeks.

 

I'm not going to recommend the placebo approach outright for obvious reasons (I am not a doctor or scientist; my understanding of the placebo effect is probably rudimentary).  However, in my specific case, the experience of going from 30 beads to 0 beads, was a million times better the second time than the first.  Other factors that likely helped:

 

  • It was about 5 times slower than the first time;
  • I had adjusted to the 30 bead dose before I started;
  • I took even longer gaps between reductions of the last beads;
  • I was not working as much as I went through this process.

 

Now.  While it was easier than the first time, it was still not easy.  I felt churned up emotionally and was super irritable, I had rage flashes, my anxiety increased hugely, anhedonia returned, I had nausea, and my muscles, particularly in my legs, spasmed and twitched, often violently.  I could, however, sleep for the most part, and none of these symptoms got too much in the way of life (granted I was not working very much and I work for myself anyway; it would have interfered if I worked for someone else).  It helped to know that if I could just get through those few weeks then things would probably get better. These symptoms lasted around 2 weeks after the final drug dose, which was early April 2017.

 

And things did get better. For me, most of the side effects of the drugs have now gone.  Most significantly, my sense of self and my creativity have returned.  It had felt like they were being numbed or muted by the drugs, and I couldn't access them.  Off the drugs I now have access to them.  Similarly, my ability to enjoy sex has improved, and I don't feel like that side of me is muted either.

 

The above is really tremendous; feeling like yourself again instead of a weird muted robot alien is a big relief.  However, while I consider the drug withdrawal to be 100% successful and 100% the right decision for me, I should caveat that with the following context:

 

  • The drugs appeared to be muting extreme unresolved emotional distress, both from childhood stuff and from rape and sexual assault from a few years ago. The pain from this sort of exploded when the drugs went away.  My primary diagnoses are anxiety and major depression, but it appears even those were symptoms of childhood stuff.  
  • When I came off the drugs it was the first time I had been drug free in around 13 years.  I am highly sensitive and have a big emotional world, but I never learned how to regulate stimulation and emotion, and then had it muted by drugs.  When I came off the drugs the emotions and stimulation were pretty extreme and often overwhelming. I took from that that I should learn skills of emotion regulation though, rather than that I should go back on the drugs.  Even with only 3-4 months of practice, I am hugely improved and the emotions and stimulation overwhelm me much less frequently.  (Now they inform my creative work and my service work, and are real positive assets for me, albeit ones that require sensitivity and management.)
  • I have the great privilege of being able not to work for a while while I recover fully, which is lucky because I cannot currently work.  I put that down to unresolved trauma that has now come to the fore rather than drug withdrawal.
  • I am doing deep dive work with my psychologist that is helping more than any other talk therapy I've done, and I think that work will be sufficient to return me to work eventually.  I see her weekly.  That work is also subsidised by the government because it is about recovery from sexual trauma, meaning for now I do not pay anything for it (another enormous privilege). 
  • I have a partner who is extraordinarily supportive and gets what is happening for me.  He judges fair contribution to the relationship by reference to each partner's capacity, and thinks that because he has more capacity right now it is fair that he do more housework, financial contribution etc than me.  This has allowed me not to push myself beyond capacity, which has meant I have recovered more quickly.  

 

In conclusion, while I am currently not working and my capacity to do a lot of things is severely restricted, I could not be happier that I am off the drugs.  I feel like I have real issues (childhood trauma and sexual trauma) that require serious work, but now I feel like I am actually properly addressing them, instead of having them be muted yet just as destructive.  I also no longer have the drug side effects interfering with my ability to enjoy things, make music and comedy, have intimacy with my partner, meaning recovery feels more authentic and there is more joy in it.  Things still hurt a lot, but my world feels real in a way it wasn't on the drugs.  It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't come off these drugs before.  

 

In simple terms:  I have hope.  I can experience joy and enjoyment.  I am excited about what the rest of my life might bring.  Even while I know that I am in the middle of pretty extreme emotional upheaval and trauma processing, life is better than it has ever been.  I am finally able to be fully, authentically myself, in ways that the drugs (and the trauma and mental health issues) got in the way of.  I am optimistic.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Effexor is a joke as well as medicine and your doctor. No pun intended. I am 27 years old. Put myself on 150 mg of Effexor 2 years ago and have tried many ways to tapper off. I am currently at 10 mg. I am tremendously happy you are off this medication and have shared your story. 

Thank you. 

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to read your positive update. Thanks for sharing! 

Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg
Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pw4tjImAJ92OIVyRvZoZYjqxiKMk7wvp-ljiIi1olRo/edit#gid=0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing your experience and I really hear how hard you worked to get off your meds.

 

It's always good to hear from someone who is on the other side of the experience even though I know you are still working through some deeply personal issues.

 

Wonderful update. 

Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper Total: .625mgai   26 May, 2019  4% taper Total: .575 mgai,   24 June, 2019 2.5 % taper  10 Clonzapam tablets weigh1.999 mgpw  Average  200 mgpw.  0.0073mgai 9AM, 0.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai, Total: 561mgai,  10 July, 2019 (Compounded pills) .0073mgai 9AM,.0073mgai 3PM, .415mgai,

Total .561mgai   26 August, 2019 (Back to regular pills due to bad reaction) .0078mgai 9AM, .01075mgai 3PM, .360mgai PM, Total: .545mgai   26 Sept. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .1mgai 3PM, 0.350mgai PM: Total: .5275mgai   31 Oct, 2019 .0750mgai 9AM, .0925mgai 3PM, 0.340mgai 930PM, Total: .5075mgai,   30 Nov. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM, .0825mgai 3PM, .3325mgai 9:30PM, Total:.490mgai   31 Dec. 2019 .0775mgai 9AM,  .080mgai 3PM, .3225mgai 9:30PM,  Total: .4775mgai   31 Jan. 2020 .0725mgai 9AM, .0750mgai 3pm, .315mgai 9:30PM, Total: .4625mgai    29 Feb. 2020  .0675mgai 9AM, .0675 3PM, .305 mgai 9PM Total: .440mgai 31 March 2020 .065mgai 9AM,  .065mgai 3PM, .2925mgai 10PM, Total: 4225mgai  30 April 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM, .2775mgai 10PM  Total: .4025mgai 31 May 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625 mgai 3PM, .2526 mgai 10PM, Total: .3775mgai  30 June 2020 .0625mgai 9AM, .0625mgai 3PM  .2175 mgai 10PM Total .3425mgai.   31 July 2020 .0575 mgai 9AM .0550 mgai 3PM .180mgai 10PM Total .2925mgai  31 August 2020 .0475mgai 9AM, 0.045mgai 3PM, .01475mgai 10PM Total: .2375mgai  30 September 2020 0.0375mgai 9AM 0.035mgai 3PM 0.110mgai 10PM  Total: .1825mgai 31 October 2020 .0325mgai 9AM .0350mgai 3PM  .0725mgai 9PM Total: .14mgai

 

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium Glycinate

Link to post
Share on other sites
theloneranger86

Thanks for sharing your experience. If you could please throw a little light on how and when your feeling began to come back ? What did it feel like - was recovery linear for you ? Also (only if you're comfortable with it) do you think your sexuality is completely back ? Was it significantly muted during those 18months ?

 

Really glad to see someone come out on top . Happy drug free living :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lady Wingnut,

 

Thanks for sharing your story! It's so encouraging to hear stories from people who have recovered from these drugs and are finding other ways to work with their anxiety and depression. I tapered off of Wellbutrin 75mg three weeks ago and I'm still having pretty bad anhedonia, so I'm hoping that the only reason that I'm still experiencing anhedonia is because I tapered too quickly. I guess only time will tell, but I really can't imagine not being able to concentrate and being stuck with this "blah" feeling from anhedonia forever. Thanks for sharing your story, it definitely encourages those of us who are still going through hell with these drugs.

Edited by scallywag
deleted quote of first post for readability
  1. Started Wellbutrin 75 mg IR the end of 2015.
  2. Tried quitting cold turkey in June 30th- July 3rd 2017.
  3. Had severe withdrawals.
  4. Was placed on Wellbutrin 100mg SR so I could taper without withdrawal.
  5. Stabilized on 100mg SR for most of the month of July.
  6. Started tapering on July 17th,  2017.
  7. Completed taper on August 8th, 2017.
  8. Currently experiencing severe withdrawal.
  • Symptoms- Currently experiencing anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization, concentration/memory issues, chronic congestion, chronic dry eyes, dry skin, dislocated TMJ joint from teeth grinding during C/T withdrawal, waves of depression, anxiety, nausea, morning cortisol spikes, insomnia, agitation, food sensitivities, no tolerance for caffeine and chronic fatigue, burning muscle pain in upper and lower back and occasional tinninitus.
  • Supplements- Omega-3 fish oil supplement twice daily, 100 mg of magnesium once daily. 
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for sharing Ladywingnut. I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed as I'm tapering off Wellbutrin. I tapered off Escitalopram slowly earlier this year. That was a horrible ordeal but it effected me more physically (eg. Brain zaps, flu-like symptoms and exhaustion). Tapering off Wellbutrin so far is much more emotional. The extreme agitation to sadness to fear. I hope I can get through this without relapsing. Any extra stress seems unbearable. How many weeks did it take you to taper off completely?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your supportive messages - hopefully it helps with all of your journeys too.

 

@Hellbutrin Re anhedonia - it is so so bad to have anhedonia, not least because it is very hard to get people who still feel pleasure to understand what it is to have your would go grey.  I will say that I have dipped in and out of anhedonia a bit, and the things that I seemed to help most in hastening the coming out of it was an exercise I found here.  That site is pretty great and if you have the funds you might consider her programme for long term recovery, especially if your anhedonia has been around for a while.  In my case, when I was anhedonic, I limited media that were stressful (Twitter, Facebook, the news, any comedy about Trump etc as it was around the election), and I paid attention to the most micro of enjoyable things and enjoyable impulses.  These were very micro, and it took doing this consciously (paper and pen) for a few days for me to get momentum, but I understand from the neuroscience POV that even just looking for enjoyable stuff helps your brain kickstart, even if you don't find anything.  So, it started with a tiny spark of a happy feeling seeing my dog lying in a sunbeam.  It helped to rewatch media that I had previously enjoyed, and really tune into the feelings in body and mind, even if they were just memories (for me it was Gilmore Girls and some standup that I had loved).  It took a while, but I felt that at least I had a direction to face, a thing to try.  And the feelings did come back to me.  Since then when I have dipped into anhedonia again it has been easier to get myself out again.  (And trust me, if it were me reading this a few months ago I would have been rolling my eyes and thinking YEAH RIGHT BUT WHO HAS THE ENERGY, so if reading this makes you feel that, that's ok too.)

 

@theloneranger86 - Recovery was definitely not linear.  I started to get feelings back pretty much immediately when I was off completely, but they were all over the place and there was a lot of spontaneous rage.  It would not have looked from the outside like I was "better".  It took around 3-4 weeks for me to notice that some of that volatility had gone.  But I am still going back and forth.  Just as one indicator though, my suicidal thinking is rare and less intense.  After those 3-4 weeks I had a couple of months of almost no suicidal thinking, which was very very different from before I came off the drugs.  I understand from reading people's stuff that people's recovery timelines vary greatly though.

 

The sexuality thing is pretty complex for me.  I remember being a pretty naturally sexual teenager but I was put on SSRIs before I became sexually active, and have been on drugs of various kinds for my whole sexual life (until now).  I therefore don't really know what it's like to be sexually active without the interference of drugs.   All of the drugs inhibited orgasm and ability to feel sexual pleasure (the SSRIs particularly), such that I could not come with a partner or without a vibrator for at least 10 years.  The drugs also seemed to reduce my capacity for enjoyment and pleasure, meaning sex was not a fun, nice thing, but rather a chore.  Since my sexuality is mostly responsive rather than spontaneous, context is especially important.  And then, because I had some really dysfunctional ideas about sex, I tried to have sex with partners anyway, even though I didn't enjoy it much or especially want to, and that made it even less enjoyable, until the sexual context itself became threatening.  This was compounded by being raped and sexually assaulted, plus sex is often physically painful for me.  I give that context because obviously while the drugs added to the mix of issues it was not the only thing going on that made me not want sex or enjoy the sex I was having.  

 

I would say that my ability to orgasm improved as soon as I started to reduce the drugs, and almost exploded when I went off them completely.  The contrast would be between needing an especially heavy duty vibrator before, with no guarantees, versus orgasms within 2-3 minutes of touch now.  The orgasms are also more pleasurable than they were on the drugs; on the drugs they were a release of pressure but not always pleasurable.  However.  Sexual desire has not changed all that much. 

 

In short, the drugs restricted my enjoyment of sex for over a decade, and sex not being that enjoyable meant my desire for it reduced a lot, and then it all got complex because I tried to meet partners' demands for sex anyway, and got seriously traumatised in the process (not to mention the rape and sexual assault, which were separate). 

 

If your question is directed more at sexual desire than orgasm, and you are female identified, and you have not read about responsive desire before, please please PLEASE do yourself the favour of reading Emily Nagoski's work in this area.  Her book, Come As You Are, is wonderful for accepting your own sexual style and for understanding more about the factors that contribute to so-called "low desire".  Even if you are on ADs, as I was when I first read it, there can be a lot more joy and pleasure to be had than you might think.  A thing that gets a bit lost in the conversation about low desire and ADs (especially in women) is that if you have predominantly responsive desire, your brakes on sex get triggered more easily.  Being depressed, stressed, fearful, upset, are mega brakes to sex for most people.  So the fact that interest in sex reduces or evaporates while you are depressed is a pretty normal thing; your body and mind consider they have more urgent stuff to deal with. And then, the drugs add to that bad context by often removing ability to orgasm or experience sexual stuff as pleasurable, plus the drugs don't really take away the depression; in my experience they just muted it without adding in any nice "good" feelings.  So it would make sense that even on ADs, the sexual context is going to have a steeper uphill climb than it otherwise would.  

 

My advice would be not to lose hope though; if you are unfamiliar with Nagoski's work it may go a very long way in helping you feel comfortable sexually again, on or off the drugs.  

 

Again, I note that I have the privilege of a partner who is very supportive (it shouldn't be a privilege but in my experience it is).  He read the book too and asked me lots of questions about my experience of sex, meaning we are on the same page (so to speak, ugh).  He also has responsive desire himself, meaning we do not have a chasing dynamic, which is hugely helpful.   

 

 

 

 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator Emeritus
Quote

 

I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed as I'm tapering off Wellbutrin. I tapered off Escitalopram slowly earlier this year. That was a horrible ordeal but it effected me more physically (eg. Brain zaps, flu-like symptoms and exhaustion). Tapering off Wellbutrin so far is much more emotional. The extreme agitation to sadness to fear. I hope I can get through this without relapsing. Any extra stress seems unbearable.

 

 

Hello Joy,

I would like to invite you to start an Intro thread of your own so you can get some information and support.  It sounds like you may be tapering a bit fast.  Once you have your own Intro thread and signature we'll be better able to help you.

 

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2017 at 11:33 PM, Ladywingnut said:

 

@Hellbutrin Re anhedonia - it is so so bad to have anhedonia, not least because it is very hard to get people who still feel pleasure to understand what it is to have your would go grey.  I will say that I have dipped in and out of anhedonia a bit, and the things that I seemed to help most in hastening the coming out of it was an exercise I found here.  That site is pretty great and if you have the funds you might consider her programme for long term recovery, especially if your anhedonia has been around for a while.  In my case, when I was anhedonic, I limited media that were stressful (Twitter, Facebook, the news, any comedy about Trump etc as it was around the election), and I paid attention to the most micro of enjoyable things and enjoyable impulses.  These were very micro, and it took doing this consciously (paper and pen) for a few days for me to get momentum, but I understand from the neuroscience POV that even just looking for enjoyable stuff helps your brain kickstart, even if you don't find anything.  So, it started with a tiny spark of a happy feeling seeing my dog lying in a sunbeam.  It helped to rewatch media that I had previously enjoyed, and really tune into the feelings in body and mind, even if they were just memories (for me it was Gilmore Girls and some standup that I had loved).  It took a while, but I felt that at least I had a direction to face, a thing to try.  And the feelings did come back to me.  Since then when I have dipped into anhedonia again it has been easier to get myself out again.  (And trust me, if it were me reading this a few months ago I would have been rolling my eyes and thinking YEAH RIGHT BUT WHO HAS THE ENERGY, so if reading this makes you feel that, that's ok too.)

Thanks Ladywingnut, 

 

I really appreciate all of the information! I've seen some VERY slight improvement, and I know that I've still got a loooong road ahead of me before I recover from the complete emotional flatness. I just want to know that recovery is possible, and hearing it from other people who have had similar experiences is very helpful. 

Edited by scallywag
trimmed quote to relevant portion
  1. Started Wellbutrin 75 mg IR the end of 2015.
  2. Tried quitting cold turkey in June 30th- July 3rd 2017.
  3. Had severe withdrawals.
  4. Was placed on Wellbutrin 100mg SR so I could taper without withdrawal.
  5. Stabilized on 100mg SR for most of the month of July.
  6. Started tapering on July 17th,  2017.
  7. Completed taper on August 8th, 2017.
  8. Currently experiencing severe withdrawal.
  • Symptoms- Currently experiencing anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization, concentration/memory issues, chronic congestion, chronic dry eyes, dry skin, dislocated TMJ joint from teeth grinding during C/T withdrawal, waves of depression, anxiety, nausea, morning cortisol spikes, insomnia, agitation, food sensitivities, no tolerance for caffeine and chronic fatigue, burning muscle pain in upper and lower back and occasional tinninitus.
  • Supplements- Omega-3 fish oil supplement twice daily, 100 mg of magnesium once daily. 
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good on you LW for getting off the poison all they do is get in the way of making progress with our issues and the crap that life throws at us

 

 ,I'm also doing the beads out method and its ripping me apart. I actually woke my partner up the  other night screaming "F U " in my dream

,I can so relate about the super emotionality and irritation ,its a nightmare ,ide say I've wrecked friendship because of this but sod them ,if they only had it for a second ,sadly work was connected to these friendships .

 

I'm taking out 1 bead every 2 weeks but this is not working ,I've basically had cold turkey symptoms taking the dam poison so what a pain

. I have real fears because of trying to get off it ,I wouldn't mind the tiredness .its the other symptoms that change my personality and people just run a mile .

Thanks for posting your progress , it fills me with hope because there's no way anyone is supposed to live like this for an hour let alone months and years .

I wish you continued success in your recovery .

PB

Edited by scallywag
deleted quote of first post for readability

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Thank you so much for your success story.

You sound like an exceptionally courageous person with a lot of insight, and you have given me hope today. Xx

2008 put on 75mg Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) after breakup with long term boyfriend

2009 Dose increased to 150mg

2010 Dose increased to 300mg plus 25mg Quetiapine added to aid sleep and control hypomania

2011 first attempt to withdraw. Taper much too fast on psychiatrist's advice (300-0mg in 1 month) suffer first and only psychotic episode. Put back on 75mg generic Venlafaxine (no more Quetiapine)

2014 reduce dose to 1/4 of a 37.5mg Venlafaxine tablet during pregnancy. Suffer extreme social anxiety/agoraphobia

2015 Daughter is born. Advised not to breastfeed due to Ven being present in breastmilk. Suffer PND and go back to taking 37.5mg tablet daily. Start to experience heavy fatigue each day after taking Venlafaxine tablet.

14th June 2017 - start 10% monthly taper reduction method. June 2018: 10mg June 2019: 4.5ml September 2019: Switch to 5% reduction, followed by 2 week hold; then 5% further reduction, followed by 4 week hold. June 2020: 2mg

14th September 2020 - 1.8mg (current dose) Supplements: Magnesium citrate; Olive leaf extract; Fish oil capsules

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Altostrata changed the title to Ladywingnut Successful withdrawal from effexor/venlafaxine
  • 3 weeks later...

I realize you haven't posted in awhile but thank you so much for sharing your success story. As someone struggling to get off effexor, this gives me hope!

December 2013- zoloft 100mg, tapered off in April 13

January 2015- zoloft 100mg for ppd

March 2016- switched to celexa but tapered quickly April 2016 after significant new SE

August 2016- prescribed buspar but September 2016- switched from buspar to wellbutrin, then again to Effexor xr 75mg because of SI

July 2017- failed tapered off 75mg effexor and reinstated September 2017 effexor 37.5mg 

June 2018- too quickly tapered effexor 37.5mg, reinstated at 18.75mg,; april 2019 started taper using brassmonkey sliding scale 

**currently at 7.9 7/31/2020 , still tapering! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Well, I'm late to the party, but I thank you, Ladywingnut, for writing this story of hope.  I appreciate your depth of sharing because you spoke to my experience with the anhedonia, especially the sexual.  I have ordered up a Kindle copy of Come As You Are!  

 

I am at 4.4 mg venlafaxine and still living in a state of general anhedonia.  I was beginning to really fear that this is who I will be forever even completely off the drugs, but your story makes me feel a little more positive about the future off.

 

I hope you are out there so busy enjoying life that you've forgotten to check back!

 

SG

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ladywingnut

Hello kind friends, and thank you for your kind words!

 

I thought I would check in again as it's been another good chunk of time.  In the interim I have actually been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, or at least borderline borderline, ha.  I had a very stressful Christmas that let me to think I would never fully recover from my trauma and my amorphous mood disorder.  I became acutely suicidal, and so I went to the hospital and they suggested I might have borderline.  I don't have any addiction issues or any manipulation in relationships issues but I have the emotional reactivity and the pain of it, as well as the lack of sense of self.  It was strangely a relief to get the diagnosis (even though the internet would have you believe it's the worst thing in the world) because it made sense of the ongoing pain and suggested a path to recovery.  

 

The interesting thing about borderline is its primary treatment is not drugs, yet I was treated with drugs for years.  To be fair I did have anxiety and depression as well, but I was misdiagnosed at the outset, and it made recovery much harder.  Part of this does seem to be the role of drugs.  The drugs numbed my emotions, which helped me "function" to some extent, but not learn how to regulate my emotions or be myself.  Most adolescents and young adults naturally learn to regulate emotions by practising a lot, but because the drugs obscured what feelings felt like, which ones were real vs which ones were side effects, all sorts of stuff, I think that set me back a long way.  Most young people also consolidate their sense of self in that time, but my sense of self was shaky to start with and then was obscured even more by the drugs. 

 

BUT.  This is still a hopeful story.  Those things can all be learned manually, and I'm learning them manually now.  Even though I remain highly emotionally reactive and I am in pain a lot of the time, I still prefer this reality to the drugged one.  As I've said before, at least these feelings are really mine, and at least I am now growing a sense of self that feels good to inhabit.  My sense of self really eroded on the drugs (with unhelpful assistance from untreated borderline). 

 

This stuff is obviously complex.  We can't know cause and effect fully, but I do wish there had been more active management of my drugs instead of sending me off to be on them, unsupervised, indefinitely.  And I wish I'd never been on effexor.  

 

I am healing and recovering pretty well, given all the stuff that's happened.  It helps to now be doing a lot more work that is targeted directly at borderline rather than just general trauma and mood stuff, and to be able to recognise lots of borderline ways of thinking (all or nothing in particular).  According to my psychologist I am doing really really well dismantling the exceptionally cruel voice in my head.  In terms of quality of life - I have secured paid writing and consulting gigs, both of which feel GOOD TO DO, which I still find astonishing (to my mind work was always supposed to be drudgery).  I have enough capacity to work part time on that stuff, and it is fulfilling and demonstrably helps others, which is great.  I am still with my lovely boyfriend who remains supportive, albeit that we have had to structure more alone time for him.  I have spirals most days, but they are shorter, and I am able to be kinder to myself during them.  I am often even able to be kind to myself when I feel low for no reason.  I have more experiences of authenticity and enjoying stuff, enough that I can mostly get through the periods when I dip into anhedonia for a day or two.  I sometimes have fleeting suicidal or hopeless thoughts but they are pretty rare these days (once every month or two?), and never reach the level of wanting to actually do anything, which is perhaps the clearest evidence of improvement.  I would say full recovery is still a way off, but that is because of the borderline and PTSD; drug withdrawal etc is very far off in the rear view mirror.  I am finally addressing the underlying trauma, which feels good.  

 

@SquirrellyGirl - YAY.  I hope you enjoy that book.  It helped me so much.

 

To everyone else going through withdrawal - it is a super hard thing.  I have learned in this journey that when you are going through a super hard thing, it is important not to beat yourself up when you find the super hard thing super hard.  It is important to be kind to yourself, and show yourself compassion.  You are courageous for doing this hard thing, and you deserve your own love and support.  Even if you can't access it all the time, even just little dusting extra might help take the edge off the acute pain of withdrawal.  ❤️

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...
I would like to know how you reduced effexor, it seems that you did not use 10% ...

Mayo 2018: Venlafaxina 150 mg y toma 64mg Diciembre 2018: Venlafaxina xr 56mg 

Diciembre de 2018: Venlafaxina xr 58mg Enero de 2019: Venlafaxina xr 56mg

Febrero 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 40 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 7 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5mg

Octubre 2019: venlafaxina xr 18mg aprox.

Enero 2020: 50 perlas Febrero 2020: 40 perlasMarzo 2020: 30 perlas 

Abril 2020: 35 perlas (en crisis)

Agosto 2020: 25 perlas, 23 perlas Noviembre:  03/11/2020 26 perlas 05/11/2030 22 perlas , 22/11/2020 24 perlas

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Alanmane said:

I would like to know how you reduced effexor, it seems that you did not use 10% ...

 

 

I’m not quite sure what you mean by using 10%, but I just reduced chunks at a time and waited until I got used to it. For going from 300mg to 75mg that was basically just 75mg each reduction (I think?! It’s been a while. It might have been 37.5). I then hovered on 37.5 for over a year. Then I counted how many beads were in each 37.5 capsule and started removing a few of those, increasing the amount every few days. Once I was down to about 30 beads, I started using white sprinkles that looked nearly the same as the beads, and took the same number of white things, just reducing the number of effexor beads and raising the number of sprinkles. (So at the start it was 29 beads, one sprinkle, and at the end it was 1 bead, 29 sprinkles.) Once I was down to no effexor beads, I kept taking the sprinkles for several weeks.  

 

I did all of that on the theory that part of the reason these drugs have an effect on your brain is classical conditioning. My hope was that if I repeated the same behaviour every day (swallowing tiny white beads, then brushing my teeth, at the same sink at the same time), my brain would be slower to realise the drug was not present anymore, and so withdrawal would not be as acute. An important part of this, as I understand it, was to continue taking sprinkles even when there was no drug in them. 

 

Now, I can’t recommend this method as I’m not a doctor nor a scientist; I devised it based on reading books about classical conditioning and placebo effects etc. I don’t know whether my reduced withdrawal symptoms were the result of this method, or the result of cutting down in such teeny tiny increments over a period of around 8 months (the last cut from 10 beads to none were literally one bead fewer every 3-4 days. One bead is around 0.3mg). Probably it was a combo of both. 

 

But that’s what I did. :)

 

It helped to yield to the fact that withdrawal would be a loooong project, likely 1-2 years. For me, yielding to that felt better than trying to push myself through a rushed withdrawal again. 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! About the use of 10% I mean the method that is said in this forum that is useful, reduce 10% of the current dose every 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your explanation, I do not understand what you mean by sprinkling the truth (I translate everything since I do not write English), maybe it refers to effexor powder. In my 37.5mg capsules there are 140 pearls. Now I take 240 (64mg) and I am much better than in higher doses of effexor. I am a 26 year old boy who has been 3 years in this drug, I hope that my youth and relatively little time in effexor are a point in favor

Mayo 2018: Venlafaxina 150 mg y toma 64mg Diciembre 2018: Venlafaxina xr 56mg 

Diciembre de 2018: Venlafaxina xr 58mg Enero de 2019: Venlafaxina xr 56mg

Febrero 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 40 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 7 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5mg

Octubre 2019: venlafaxina xr 18mg aprox.

Enero 2020: 50 perlas Febrero 2020: 40 perlasMarzo 2020: 30 perlas 

Abril 2020: 35 perlas (en crisis)

Agosto 2020: 25 perlas, 23 perlas Noviembre:  03/11/2020 26 perlas 05/11/2030 22 perlas , 22/11/2020 24 perlas

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks
On 8/27/2017 at 8:33 PM, Ladywingnut said:

These were very micro, and it took doing this consciously (paper and pen) for a few days for me to get momentum, but I understand from the neuroscience POV that even just looking for enjoyable stuff helps your brain kickstart, even if you don't find anything.  So, it started with a tiny spark of a happy feeling seeing my dog lying in a sunbeam.  It helped to rewatch media that I had previously enjoyed, and really tune into the feelings in body and mind, even if they were just memories (for me it was Gilmore Girls and some standup that I had loved).

So this makes me feel better for binge-watching "Big Mouth" on Netflix several times -- I am helping my brain find happiness again! The rip on Garrison Keillor is definitely my "happy place." It's dark but whatever works.

 

 

On 8/27/2017 at 8:33 PM, Ladywingnut said:

I would say that my ability to orgasm improved as soon as I started to reduce the drugs, and almost exploded when I went off them completely.  The contrast would be between needing an especially heavy duty vibrator before, with no guarantees, versus orgasms within 2-3 minutes of touch now.  The orgasms are also more pleasurable than they were on the drugs; on the drugs they were a release of pressure but not always pleasurable.  However.  Sexual desire has not changed all that much.

OMG: thank you for this articulate description of female orgasm post-drugs. I wish it was just 2-3 minutes (I'm sure my partner does too) but able to do it and was not for the longest time. I have never been able to orgasm without a vibrator until now. There has not always been drugs but fear, anxiety, depression, dysfunctional attitude about sex due to childhood sexual rape/molestation and then a lifetime of believing there was something very, very wrong with me and I had to hide it. Just reserved Nagoski's book at the library.

 

On 7/15/2018 at 4:39 PM, Ladywingnut said:

 In terms of quality of life - I have secured paid writing and consulting gigs, both of which feel GOOD TO DO, which I still find astonishing (to my mind work was always supposed to be drudgery).  I have enough capacity to work part time on that stuff, and it is fulfilling and demonstrably helps others, which is great.

There is hope! I so look forward to having more concentration than a gnat (no offense to gnats).

 

On 7/15/2018 at 4:39 PM, Ladywingnut said:

To everyone else going through withdrawal - it is a super hard thing.  I have learned in this journey that when you are going through a super hard thing, it is important not to beat yourself up when you find the super hard thing super hard.  It is important to be kind to yourself, and show yourself compassion.  You are courageous for doing this hard thing, and you deserve your own love and support.  Even if you can't access it all the time, even just little dusting extra might help take the edge off the acute pain of withdrawal.  ❤️

Much ❤️ to you for coming back and encouraging us.

 

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017, quit coffee October 2017, quit cannabis 😩 July 2018
  • Magnesium powder, fish oil, estradiol, kombucha, gluten/dairy/histamine-lite
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini practice

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Alanmane said:

Hello! About the use of 10% I mean the method that is said in this forum that is useful, reduce 10% of the current dose every 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your explanation, I do not understand what you mean by sprinkling the truth (I translate everything since I do not write English), maybe it refers to effexor powder. In my 37.5mg capsules there are 140 pearls. Now I take 240 (64mg) and I am much better than in higher doses of effexor. I am a 26 year old boy who has been 3 years in this drug, I hope that my youth and relatively little time in effexor are a point in favor

 

Oh sorry!  That would be confusing.  Sprinkles are sugar decorations used on cakes.  They look like the pearls you are talking about.  :)  I have attached a picture.

 

That is so great that you feel you are doing better!  I feel so happy for you. ❤️ 

 

Please let me know if I can make anything else clearer.

 

 

710-773_1.jpg

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

So this makes me feel better for binge-watching "Big Mouth" on Netflix several times -- I am helping my brain find happiness again! The rip on Garrison Keillor is definitely my "happy place." It's dark but whatever works.

 

 

DEFINITELY.  :D

 

Aw I am glad sexuality is becoming easier for you.  It is terrible to think that on top of all of that experience you get that layer of shame and sense of defectiveness when you are neither defective nor worthy of shame.  I am so so glad that you are finding that stuff easier.  I still have so much fear and threat around sexual stuff and it makes my heart feel all full whenever I hear of other people who have suffered sexual assault finding their way back to healthy, pleasurable sexuality.  I am sure Emily's book will help even more.  :D

 

Yay, keep trucking effexor-withdrawers.  You are doing a big, hard, important thing, and your brain will go against you sometimes, but I see you and know the truth.  You are all great. ❤️ 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Ladywingnut said:

 

¡Oh, lo siento! Eso sería confuso. Espolvorear son adornos de azúcar utilizados en pasteles. Se parecen a las perlas de las que estás hablando.  :)  He adjuntado una foto.

 

¡Eso es tan bueno que sientes que estás mejorando! Me siento muy feliz por ti. ❤️ 

 

Por favor, avíseme si puedo aclarar algo más.

 

 

710-773_1.jpg

Now I understand, he used placebo and tried to cheat his brain. I think something very clever!

 
Quieor thank you for responding so fast, can I ask you something? Since I reduce effexor I feel that my memory and concentration, creation of ideas, imagination ... They are very good. Did the same thing happen to him? I have always had a good memory and imagination and now it frustrates me to feel that it is weakened, I do not think my reduction is rapid (150mg to 64mg in 7 months), even though it feels that it must be withdrawal or that my mind is getting used to less drug.
 
I feel good asking these questions to people who have lived the same. We are very, very strong people.

Mayo 2018: Venlafaxina 150 mg y toma 64mg Diciembre 2018: Venlafaxina xr 56mg 

Diciembre de 2018: Venlafaxina xr 58mg Enero de 2019: Venlafaxina xr 56mg

Febrero 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 40 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 7 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5mg

Octubre 2019: venlafaxina xr 18mg aprox.

Enero 2020: 50 perlas Febrero 2020: 40 perlasMarzo 2020: 30 perlas 

Abril 2020: 35 perlas (en crisis)

Agosto 2020: 25 perlas, 23 perlas Noviembre:  03/11/2020 26 perlas 05/11/2030 22 perlas , 22/11/2020 24 perlas

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Alanmane said:

Now I understand, he used placebo and tried to cheat his brain. I think something very clever!

 
Quieor thank you for responding so fast, can I ask you something? Since I reduce effexor I feel that my memory and concentration, creation of ideas, imagination ... They are very good. Did the same thing happen to him? I have always had a good memory and imagination and now it frustrates me to feel that it is weakened, I do not think my reduction is rapid (150mg to 64mg in 7 months), even though it feels that it must be withdrawal or that my mind is getting used to less drug.
 
I feel good asking these questions to people who have lived the same. We are very, very strong people.

 

 

Yes, my creativity exploded after I withdrew from the medication! I planned a whole TV series and wrote songs 😆 That intense feeling of creativity went away quickly, but I can see that I have much more access to creativity now than I did when I was taking the medication. I did a lot of writing work when I was on the medication and I do more now. I find now that writing is easier, and I do not get blocked as often when I try to write. I hope this keeps being true for you too! 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ladywingnut said:

 

 

Sí, mi creatividad explotó después de que me retiré de la medicación! Planifiqué toda una serie de televisión y escribí canciones . Esa intensa sensación de creatividad desapareció rápidamente, pero puedo ver que ahora tengo mucho más acceso a la creatividad que cuando estaba tomando el medicamento. Hice muchos trabajos de escritura cuando estaba tomando la medicación y ahora hago más. Ahora encuentro que escribir es más fácil y no me bloquean tan a menudo cuando intento escribir. Espero que esto siga siendo verdad para ti también! 

I am glad that you recover your creativity, I am a very creative person and lately I do not feel this way but I know it will come back, even so I continue to draw (Instagram: nausea_artx), I hope that it continues creating and having original ideas, that moves away the depression and the boredom. At the moment I do not force myself and I accept my current state which is muhho better than months ago.

 
Regards!

Mayo 2018: Venlafaxina 150 mg y toma 64mg Diciembre 2018: Venlafaxina xr 56mg 

Diciembre de 2018: Venlafaxina xr 58mg Enero de 2019: Venlafaxina xr 56mg

Febrero 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 40 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5 mg + 7 perlas Mayo 2019: Venlafaxina xr 37,5mg

Octubre 2019: venlafaxina xr 18mg aprox.

Enero 2020: 50 perlas Febrero 2020: 40 perlasMarzo 2020: 30 perlas 

Abril 2020: 35 perlas (en crisis)

Agosto 2020: 25 perlas, 23 perlas Noviembre:  03/11/2020 26 perlas 05/11/2030 22 perlas , 22/11/2020 24 perlas

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Alanmane said:

I am glad that you recover your creativity, I am a very creative person and lately I do not feel this way but I know it will come back, even so I continue to draw (Instagram: nausea_artx), I hope that it continues creating and having original ideas, that moves away the depression and the boredom. At the moment I do not force myself and I accept my current state which is muhho better than months ago.

 
Regards!

Me too!  I am very creative.  One of the hardest things about the medication was that it felt like my creativity was much less.  Your approach, being kind to yourself and allowing yourself just to be, I found this to be the best way to be.  Compassion for self is extremely useful in helping to feel more ok, even while you are suffering.  Good work on continuing to draw when you can; I am sure that even doing a little bit of creative work helps. ❤️

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...

Oh wow, my story is so similar to yours, Ladywingnut! I know this is an old post, but how are you doing today? :)

  • 2009 - 2017: Venlafaxine (Effexor) 150 mg. Tapered off in under 4 months, from May 2017 - Sep 2017. Didn't get that many side effects and felt fine for 1-2 months. 
  • End-October 2017: Starting getting pain throughout my body.
  • End-January 2018: From one day to the next I got an extreme stress-like inner "shaking" feeling in my body that made me want to opt out for the next 7 months. Also got about 20-30 other bodily symptoms.
  • August 2018: Amitriptyline 10 mg. Tried it for the "shaking" feeling and it helped some. Also started therapy in December 2018 because I had very intense emotions and didn't know why. In July 2019 I wanted to go off Amitriptyline but researched it first, and found out that my mysterious symptoms must have been Venlafaxine withdrawal. 
  • July 15th 2019: Amitriptyline taper from 10 mg to 9 mg, using water solution. My symptoms are between 50-80 % better than in January 2018. 
  • January 20th 2020: Amitriptyline taper from 5,0 to 4.8 mg. I'm starting to get more symptoms again.
  • February 9th 2020: From 4,8 to 7 mg amitriptyline.
  • March 3rd 2020: Symptoms still worse, so went from 7 to 10 mg. Was quickly better on this dose. Won't try tapering until I'm much better. 
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ladywingnut

Hi BLHJ - that’s so great that you are feeling some improvement. I am still doing better than I did on the drugs, and I put that down to my treatment shifting to focus more on trauma and also working on having more selfhood/self-determination. I had started to feel very powerless, but with that dual approach I have far more good and neutral times than before. The shaking is scary but in my case I have come to understand it as a reasonably common somatoform disorder related to attachment trauma/emotion dysregulation. 

 

Good luck! 😀

 

 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ladywingnut :)

 

Sounds great - I'm also doing trauma therapy, my psychologist is a Somatic Experiencing practitioner and I'm doing Rosen Method therapy as well, a gentle body therapy. 

It makes sense with the shaking being because of early trauma and a sympathetic nervous system that's fired up, but I think it can get much better, right? I feel like I have many good days as well when I don't really feel it. 

 

And thank you! :)

  • 2009 - 2017: Venlafaxine (Effexor) 150 mg. Tapered off in under 4 months, from May 2017 - Sep 2017. Didn't get that many side effects and felt fine for 1-2 months. 
  • End-October 2017: Starting getting pain throughout my body.
  • End-January 2018: From one day to the next I got an extreme stress-like inner "shaking" feeling in my body that made me want to opt out for the next 7 months. Also got about 20-30 other bodily symptoms.
  • August 2018: Amitriptyline 10 mg. Tried it for the "shaking" feeling and it helped some. Also started therapy in December 2018 because I had very intense emotions and didn't know why. In July 2019 I wanted to go off Amitriptyline but researched it first, and found out that my mysterious symptoms must have been Venlafaxine withdrawal. 
  • July 15th 2019: Amitriptyline taper from 10 mg to 9 mg, using water solution. My symptoms are between 50-80 % better than in January 2018. 
  • January 20th 2020: Amitriptyline taper from 5,0 to 4.8 mg. I'm starting to get more symptoms again.
  • February 9th 2020: From 4,8 to 7 mg amitriptyline.
  • March 3rd 2020: Symptoms still worse, so went from 7 to 10 mg. Was quickly better on this dose. Won't try tapering until I'm much better. 
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ladywingnut

Yesss!  I am having my first SE session this Friday!  I am so excited.  And yes you're so right, it can definitely get better.  I've felt that just doing my little self help Peter Levine exercises I found on the internet.  Understanding the idea of a fired up nervous system has been so helpful for me too, helped me get less caught up in the substance of my thoughts/feelings.  I'm so glad to hear of someone else finding that useful and seeing more good days too, makes me even more excited for Friday.  :D  Yay, good luck!

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you so much for your story. Im

so happy hearing about your success. I’m in the midst of my Effexor taper and my max dose was 275. I could really relate to so much of what you said- dealing with the stuff that bubbles up along the way especially. There are definitely days that I think, “what on earth am I doing trying to get off this??” I am tapering while working full time.. it has probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Your success is really encouraging for me and I need to hear stuff like this. Thanks again. 

2014 Effexor 225 mg, 2015- Paxil then back to Effexor (attempted to taper too quickly by half for 2 weeks) returned to 150 mg of Effexor, 2016 -March 2018 Effexor XR 150 mg (generic), March 2018– 135 mg Effexor XR,  4/9/18- 121.5 mg, 5/12/18- 101.25 mg, 5/29/18- 91.12, 6/9/18- 75 mg, 6/30/18- 60 mg, 7/12/18- 45 mg, 10/8/18-40.5 mg, 10/29/18 36.45 mg, 11/1/18- 30.25 mg, 12/9/18 25.7 mg
2/24/19- 20.56 mg, 3/16/19- 45 mg, 5/6/19-40.5, 6/8/19-36.45 7/19- 32.8- 8/19-29.5

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2019 at 11:00 PM, Grayskies said:

Thank you so much for your story. Im

so happy hearing about your success. I’m in the midst of my Effexor taper and my max dose was 275. I could really relate to so much of what you said- dealing with the stuff that bubbles up along the way especially. There are definitely days that I think, “what on earth am I doing trying to get off this??” I am tapering while working full time.. it has probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Your success is really encouraging for me and I need to hear stuff like this. Thanks again. 

 

 

Argh, this message made me so happy.  I am so glad to hear my stuff is helping with your stuff.  It can be so dizzying coming off this drug.  Doing it while working fulltime is kind of heroic, honestly, and I hope you are both proud of yourself for doing such a hard thing and giving yourself lots of compassion for how hard it can be sometimes.  It's a big deal!  I hope the intensity of it eases for you very soon. ❤️ 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ladywingnut I hope by now you have been able to come to resolution about the issues that the drugs were numbing.  Thanks for writing your success story.  I enjoyed reading it.  

Lexapro   April02 - Aug17: 10 mg,  ***  Aug17 - Sept17: 5 mg ***  Sept17 - Nov17:  2.5 mg,  ***  Nov17: 0 mg, ***   Dec17 - Aug18: 5 mg  ***    Aug/1/18 - Aug/30/18: 2.5 mg     *** Sep/1/18 - Sep/27/18:  1.25 mg. ***   Sep/28/18 - Oct/31/18:  2.5 mg,  ***  Nov/1/18 - Nov/15/18: 1.25 mg  ***   Nov/16/18 - Nov/30/18: 2.5 mg  ***   Dec/1/18 - Dec/27/18: 2.0 mg (switched to liquid)  ***    Dec/27/18 - Jan/31/19: 1.5 mg ***    Feb/1/19 - Feb/20/19: 1.0 mg  ***  Feb/21/19 - Mar/7/19: 0.5 mg  ***  Mar/8/19 - May/03/19: 0.8 mg ***   May/04/19 - May/13/19 0.7 mg ***  May/14/19 - May/24/19 0.6 mg *** May/25/19 - June/05/19. 0.5 mg *** June/06/19 - July/19/19 0.4 mg. ***  July/20/19 - Sep 14 2019 0.3 mg.  ***  Sep 15 2019 - Oct 21 2019 0.27 mg. *** Oct 22 2019 - Jan 18 2020 - 0.23 mg. *** Jan 19 2020 - April 1 2020 0.2 mg  ***  April 2 2020 - July 15 2020 0.18 mg *** July 16 2020 - August 22 0.17 mg, August 23 -- Oct 6 0.16 mg, Oct 7 - Nov 7 0.15 mg, Nov 8 - present 0.14

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, have discontinued altogether as of 12/23/19

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, have discontinued altogether as of 12/23/19 

When I cannot go to sleep, I take Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mag. in AM 1/2 hour before breakfast with 24 ounces water

supplements AM: omega 3 fish oil, flax seed oil, natural multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin E

supplements PM: Natural Calm magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, 5-HTP 50 mg. Estroven Sleep Cool and Calm (contains black cohosh 40 mg, soy isoflavones 56 mg) melatonin 3 mg

Link to post
Share on other sites

They are definitely much better.  I am better able to regulate myself and my emotions, my creative world is much bigger, and I feel a much greater sense of agency and control in my life.  I'll probably never be like the neurotypicals, ha, but my distress is so much less than it was.  I'm glad you enjoyed my story.  :) Best of luck with your own. 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Ladywingnut said:

They are definitely much better.  I am better able to regulate myself and my emotions, my creative world is much bigger, and I feel a much greater sense of agency and control in my life.  I'll probably never be like the neurotypicals, ha, but my distress is so much less than it was.  I'm glad you enjoyed my story.  :) Best of luck with your own. 

I was never neurotypical myself.  I had autistic like behaviors as a young child.  I still have some neurological issues, like sensory sensitivities, proprioceptive issues, mild face blindness, perseverations,e tc. 

Lexapro   April02 - Aug17: 10 mg,  ***  Aug17 - Sept17: 5 mg ***  Sept17 - Nov17:  2.5 mg,  ***  Nov17: 0 mg, ***   Dec17 - Aug18: 5 mg  ***    Aug/1/18 - Aug/30/18: 2.5 mg     *** Sep/1/18 - Sep/27/18:  1.25 mg. ***   Sep/28/18 - Oct/31/18:  2.5 mg,  ***  Nov/1/18 - Nov/15/18: 1.25 mg  ***   Nov/16/18 - Nov/30/18: 2.5 mg  ***   Dec/1/18 - Dec/27/18: 2.0 mg (switched to liquid)  ***    Dec/27/18 - Jan/31/19: 1.5 mg ***    Feb/1/19 - Feb/20/19: 1.0 mg  ***  Feb/21/19 - Mar/7/19: 0.5 mg  ***  Mar/8/19 - May/03/19: 0.8 mg ***   May/04/19 - May/13/19 0.7 mg ***  May/14/19 - May/24/19 0.6 mg *** May/25/19 - June/05/19. 0.5 mg *** June/06/19 - July/19/19 0.4 mg. ***  July/20/19 - Sep 14 2019 0.3 mg.  ***  Sep 15 2019 - Oct 21 2019 0.27 mg. *** Oct 22 2019 - Jan 18 2020 - 0.23 mg. *** Jan 19 2020 - April 1 2020 0.2 mg  ***  April 2 2020 - July 15 2020 0.18 mg *** July 16 2020 - August 22 0.17 mg, August 23 -- Oct 6 0.16 mg, Oct 7 - Nov 7 0.15 mg, Nov 8 - present 0.14

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, have discontinued altogether as of 12/23/19

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, have discontinued altogether as of 12/23/19 

When I cannot go to sleep, I take Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mag. in AM 1/2 hour before breakfast with 24 ounces water

supplements AM: omega 3 fish oil, flax seed oil, natural multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin E

supplements PM: Natural Calm magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, 5-HTP 50 mg. Estroven Sleep Cool and Calm (contains black cohosh 40 mg, soy isoflavones 56 mg) melatonin 3 mg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Hi Ladywingnut

 

I hope you are continuing to blossom!  I read your thread when l need hope.  Thank you for generously sharing your experience.

 

I'm on 225mg (reduced slowly from 300mg) venlafaxine and feeling anhedonia, high anxiety and suicidal ideation.  Like you  I'm also highly sensitive, therefore struggle with my emerging emotions. I've been tapering since April and will be holding over Christmas. 

 

I would really like to know what you practice to regulate your emotions? I'm either nothing at all or over reacting.

 

Also I hope the SE helps. 

 

On 8/26/2019 at 9:20 PM, getofflex said:

 

 

On 8/26/2019 at 12:24 AM, Ladywingnut said:

 I am better able to regulate myself and my emotions

It is heartening to read your progress.

 

Love and peace,

MissyE.

MissyE

2008 Dec-Feb 2009 GP diazipam; Dec-Jun 2009 fluoxetine. 2010 Jan citalopram approx 4 weeks, Jan- Aug fluox, Oct-Jun 2011 paroxetine; Aug - Dec venlafaxine 37.5mg - 75mg. 2012 Mar-Jul reinstate ven 150mg; Aug swap to fluox 40mg (preg) - Mar 2013  reinstate ven 150mg. 2015 Nov swap to fluox 40mg (preg) Dec suicidal reinstated ven 300mg

2018 Jan ven "pooped" buspirone added/stopped; pentagablin added; March pent stopped & ven taper - 0 June; August betablockers started/ stopped; September mirtazapine 15mg and diazepam 2mg started/stopped; October ven 300mg reinstated. 

2019 Jan psychiatrist added mirt 15mg (aiming for "California rocket fuel" therapeutic dose).  No more meds: gradual taper mirt Feb-April (taken for < 3 weeks).

Commenced ven taper 5-10% 6-10 weekly 2019 April - Nov: 225mg.  Tapering 8 weekly in alignment with menstrual cycle 2020 Jan 212.5mg; Mar 200mg; Jun 187.5mg

Daily: 4g Omega 3 (3g epa & dha) 400IU vitamin E

2 puffs pulmicort inhaler.

This too shall pass.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I would really like to know what you practice to regulate your emotions? I'm either nothing at all or over reacting.

 

Hi Missy - so glad the post helps!  And good on you for electing to pause the reduction over the holiday period - that's its own form of self regulation and I affirm it.  

 

I think I have gotten a lot better with the emotion regulation over the past year.  I think it's been a combination of things but I thought I would list all the things that come to mind as useful in this area (for me).  I expect we all find our own ways in and some of these might work for you too but many of them won't.  I've finished the post now and it is very looong, but also it was helpful for me to catalogue the things this way.  It can serve as a point of reference for me too, ha! 

  • Reading a lot about regulation, especially from authors who are kind and not dismissive.  I find that the DBT-related authors tend to be a bit too focused on cognition and also quite dismissive or uncompassionate.  I found it useful to read the work of Alan Schore, Stephen Porges, Russell Meares.  Also the site https://www.eggshelltherapy.com/sensitivity-and-childhood-trauma/ can be useful if you are a sensitive person who has heard often that you are too sensitive etc.  I think highly sensitive people are prone to emotion dysregulation because they are often punished for feelings rather than taught how to experience and process them safely. 
  • Finding a sense of safety.  In SE this includes looking for anywhere in the body that feels safe or neutral and just focusing on that, letting that safety or neutrality be there, and letting the emotions that come up in response come up, move around, release.  
  • Finding a sense of self and agency.  Turns out I've spent most of my life with a very fragile or non-existent sense of self.  I find when I ask myself "what do I want here" or "what do I think here" or "what do I need here", answers often come forth that make me feel stronger and way more in control.  
  • Avoiding extreme distress where possible.  I used to think that if I felt extreme anger, distress, etc that that would release it (ie the catharsis model), so I would almost invite it in.  I've since learned that this is less useful than I thought, since it is kind of like practising feeling extreme distress, and catharsis doesn't really work like that.  I try to minimise the time I spend in extreme distress by noticing and acting on distress signs earlier.  Like I've noticed that if I get too hot that's usually a sign I'm getting dysregulated, or if my mind is whirring.  Sometimes that extremeness happens anyway, and it's not a reason to beat yourself up or anything since it's a learning process that takes place over time, but when you're in that extreme distress or disconnected place, it can help to look for the neutral or positive things in your environment and focus on them for a while.  I was so resistant to this idea at first but it has done a lot to increase the amount of time I spent feeling ok, and even properly safe.
  • Gentle swaying body movements.  If you search Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube and "PTSD" there is a video there of yoga for PTSD.  I don't do yoga (I wish I could but I cry every time, ha) and I only got 10 minutes in, but I found that her gentle exercise of swaying helped me feel safer and more grounded.  It felt dumb, also, but my SE therapist tells me it's right on with the nervous system regulation science we have.  I've done it a bit since, just when I have a quiet moment sitting and gently swaying, and it often brings agitation down quite a bit.
  • Singing and slow outbreaths.  Slow out breaths are annoying, ha, but they do help me a bit sometimes.  Often more than that though singing helps.  Apparently this is because singing is a cue to the social engagement system, which tends to only come online when we feel safe.  It also involves slower breathing, and it's fun, especially if you're singing along to music you like.  I am often shocked by how low I can feel and then I sing and notice a while later that things have softened.  
  • Looking for micro pleasures.  The anhedonia thing is a huge struggle, not least because no-one gets it and how draining it is.  There is a website called "Anhedonia Support" that talks about emotional flatlining, and you might find her story useful.  I often get anhedonic or just a sense that everything is grey and nothing feels like much and it is both terrifying and bleak.  When I get like that I look for the tiniest things that feel good or that make me feel genuinely grateful (note: not things I SHOULD be grateful for), and hone in on them.  You can do this as a journalling thing or just in your head.  Really savouring the smallest pleasures and looking for them several times a day.  The smaller the better, honestly. Like for me a few weeks ago  it was literally just the mildly pleasant feeling of how my arm felt on the metal bench I was sitting on.  I noticed it felt a little bit nice, so I savoured it.  The feelings didn't come back online right away but a few hours later I noticed there were more tiny pleasures ("Oh, my dog is soft; oh the light on that tree is nice").  Tactile tiny pleasures are especially effective for me.  The more the tiny pleasures comes back on line the more a greater range of feeling and engagement generally comes back online in my experience. 
  • Touch and feeling my edges.  This will sound a bit mad, but with PTSD it can feel like you have no boundary and it's distressing.  I'm not sure what diagnosis you're dealing with but emotion dysregulation is a big part of PTSD and of other stuff, so regardless this might be useful.  Basically it involves touching my arms, legs, any part of me, usually with the whole palms of my hands, and feeling that I have edges, that I am boundaried.  I also repeat to myself that this (my body and self) is the part that is mine, that I don't have to manage things beyond these boundaries.  (My brain tells me I'm responsible for the whole world's suffering so this helps bring things down to a scale that's manageable).  I also do a thing where I put one hand on my forehead and one hand on my heart area, and focus on the sensations of touch until something soothes or shifts emotionally.  It can take a little while, but it has helped me often with a mind that's whirring or that deep sense that something is wrong despite there being nothing actually wrong.  I got these from a website documenting self help trauma exercises developed by Peter Levine.  
  • Music.  I find music hugely soothing and regulating, whether it's listening or playing the piano.  Even after a lifetime of love of music I can still be feeling really low or agitated and put on some music and feel safer and better.  It doesn't cure things but it often helps as a point of focus away from thoughts or agitating external stimuli. 
  • Going for walks, or dancing.  Often if I feel agitated or stuck I might go for a tiny walk, say 5 or 10 minutes, that I generally end up extending to 15 or 20 once I'm on it.  I try and feel my body as I walk and/or pay attention to what I'm looking at (often my dog's waggy tail, ha).  This combines a bunch of regulating things, including changing environment.  Dancing is a nice indoor version, just putting on music that makes you want to move spontaneously and then doing whatever your body feels like doing.  Definitely doesn't have to be good!  Both of these can make me cry but that's ok.  Crying is a form of emotion completion and sometimes my agitation comes from holding back tension and tears.  
  • Journalling conversations with an imagined kind voice.  This is one of the most effective and I use it for all kinds of stuff like dealing with hard decisions or feelings or finding my sense of self after it's been absent a while.  I have a very clear vision of a kind person who has total love and investment in my safety and wellbeing, who's no-nonsense about the idea that I deserve safety and my own care, is compassionate about the suffering, all that.  And I write out conversations with this person.  It has been profoundly helpful, and also because it's written has become a record of kindness, compassion, being seen and understood, all that, for me to reflect on when I'm low.  The kind voice is also playful and funny and swears a lot, since that's the kind of kind voice that really resonates with me (rather than a Dalai Lama esque version, although that works sometimes too).  
  • Choosing fun or gentle activities if I have the option.  I spent a long time trying to recover by working really hard on recovery all the time, but I found a shortcut to feeling safer and more in control was often choosing to pause, slow down, or do a thing I enjoyed (instead of something to numb or avoid feelings).  So, making a cup of tea.  Or reading the funny book instead of diving back into the "hard but good for me" book.   

Also, of course, working on all the stuff with an SE therapist.  

 

I hope that's of some use - and I'm so with you as you continue your self work.  ❤️

 

Was on 300mg Effexor from 2013-2015, tapering down to complete withdrawal in April 2016.  Reinstated following unmanageable withdrawal symptoms.  On 10 mg daily from June 2016 to early 2017.  Tapered veeerrrry slowly down to 0 by early April 2017.  Drug free since then.  Currently doing fine off the drugs, albeit dealing with significant unprocessed trauma issues with weekly psychologist sessions.  Full complex definition of "fine" at my success story thread.

 

Previously on Citalopram maximum dose 2004 to 2009, withdrew to nothing 2010, onto fluoxetine maximum dose 2010 to 2013, then tried several different meds that I don't remember for 4 months in 2013, settling on the Effexor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy