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Katamari Another venlafaxine survivor!


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I decided to write my success story while I still remember something about the withdrawal... 

My introduction topic is here: 


So, it has been few months with no symptoms at all. That is why I think about any withdrawal stuff very rarely nowadays... And I've started to forget what it was like!

I try to explain in phases how it was:
Phase 1: Started about two weeks after the last pill and lasted about 5 months. Dizziness, headache, insomnia, mild nausea.
Phase 2: Panic attack 24/7, severe anxiety, depersonalization, intense crying spells, fear of losing my mind. These were the times when I was very close to calling an ambulance. It was almost psychotic. I think this phase lasted for about 2 months.
Phase 3: Windows and waves. More or less anxiety. Introduction of long forgotten emotions, bad and good ones. In the beginning it was mostly bad ones all the time, then about fifty fifty, then more good ones than bad ones. Every wave had its own "theme" of ruminating thoughts (doom, death, shame, anger...). Very disturbing and strange. Basically anything could trigger anxiety, stress tolerance was 0. This was the longest phase, I think it took a year and a half. 
Phase 4: Anhedonia. When the constant struggle and rollercoaster had turned into being somewhat neutral, I felt depleted. It was spooky and difficult, because anhedonia is very disturbing. I hated it. Not sure how long this took, 6 months maybe? Something like that. I think this phase also included lots of confusion and an identity crisis even. 

Then suddenly I realized its been weeks after weeks feeling normal. And by normal I mean good days and not so good days. The proportions are right. Emotions are legitimate.
It was definitely a physical and psychological adaptation that took almost 3 years for me. 

I DID IT!!!

 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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My hero

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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Thank you so much for sharing!  I got to stage 2, then panicked and re-instated.  I will be better prepared and informed next time thanks to you and many others in the forum -- and will ride it out.   Your post will be read and re-read by me and countless others for inspiration. 
With much gratitude, 

 

M.

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

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A very Good News Katamari....

Very soon i will write my own success story tooo.... 

Life is beautiful when you fight to keep it that way.

Good luck once more

2015 -  2016 Xanax only rescue doses of 0.125 mg 1-2 times per month
 March 2016 0.125Mg * 2 Xanax for 10 days.

20 March 2016 0.25 Mg * 2 Xanax for one week. 1 April 2016 Tranxene 5 mg and Fevarin but bad reaction for 5 days.4 April 2016 25 Mg Amitryptiline + 6 MG bromazepam at night

Started tapering Bromazepam 6 days later reached up to 3 MG in 10 days and withdrawal. Pdoc asked to go 6 MG again.

10 of May started Remeron 15 MG and started tapering Bromazepam again.

SINCE 09/06/2016 BENZO FREE - Started Tapering Remeron 04/07/2016

 

04/Jul/16 12.8 Mg, 11/Aug/16 12 Mg, 20/Aug/16 11Mg, 3/Sept/16 10Mg, 11/Sept/16 9 Mg, 30/Sept/16 8.1 Mg, 14/Oct/16 7.25 Mg, 17/Nov/16 6.7, 23/Nov/16 6.5, 2/Dec/16 6.25, 9/Dec/16 6Mg, 25/Dec/16 5.7Mg, 4/Jan/17 5.4Mg, 20/Jan/17 5.2Mg, 07/Feb/17 5 Mg, 15/Feb/17 4.8Mg, 27/Feb/17 4.5Mg, 15/Mar/17 4.2Mg, 23/Mar/17 4Mg, 1/Apr/17 3.7Mg, 14/Apr/17 3.4Mg, 27/Apr/17 3.1Mg, 06/May/17 2.8Mg, 22/May/17 2.6Mg, 31/May/17 2.3Mg 09/Jun/17 2Mg, 20/Jun/17 1.7Mg, 29/Jun/17 1.4Mg, 11/Jul/17 1.2Mg, 20/Jul/17 1Mg, 31/Jul/17 0.8Mg, 11/Aug/17 0.6Mg, 23/Aug/17 0.5Mg, 05/Sept/17 0.4Mg, 13/Sept/17 0.3Mg. 22/Sept/17 0.2Mg, 03/Oct/17 0.15Mg, 10/Oct/17 0.1Mg, 23/Oct/17 0.05Mg, 22/Nov/17 0.025Mg, 06/DECEMBER/2017 MIRT FREEE.

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19 hours ago, Katamari said:

I decided to write my success story while I still remember something about the withdrawal... 

My introduction topic is here: 


So, it has been few months with no symptoms at all. That is why I think about any withdrawal stuff very rarely nowadays... And I've started to forget what it was like!

I try to explain in phases how it was:
Phase 1: Started about two weeks after the last pill and lasted about 5 months. Dizziness, headache, insomnia, mild nausea.
Phase 2: Panic attack 24/7, severe anxiety, depersonalization, intense crying spells, fear of losing my mind. These were the times when I was very close to calling an ambulance. It was almost psychotic. I think this phase lasted for about 2 months.
Phase 3: Windows and waves. More or less anxiety. Introduction of long forgotten emotions, bad and good ones. In the beginning it was mostly bad ones all the time, then about fifty fifty, then more good ones than bad ones. Every wave had its own "theme" of ruminating thoughts (doom, death, shame, anger...). Very disturbing and strange. Basically anything could trigger anxiety, stress tolerance was 0. This was the longest phase, I think it took a year and a half. 
Phase 4: Anhedonia. When the constant struggle and rollercoaster had turned into being somewhat neutral, I felt depleted. It was spooky and difficult, because anhedonia is very disturbing. I hated it. Not sure how long this took, 6 months maybe? Something like that. I think this phase also included lots of confusion and an identity crisis even. 

Then suddenly I realized its been weeks after weeks feeling normal. And by normal I mean good days and not so good days. The proportions are right. Emotions are legitimate.
It was definitely a physical and psychological adaptation that took almost 3 years for me. 

I DID IT!!!

 

Katamari, thank you so much for coming to relay your good news.  Congratulations and the very best to you!!!!  

 

I am am wondering if you could tell us more about the phase of anhedonia.  Can you paint a more descriptive picture of what that looked like Day in and day out.

 

i personally find it hard to know where I am at.  Is is the depression or anhedonia, it feels like both.  But when you speak of the depletion, boy, that resonates with me.  I do feel so depleted now, and it is pretty steady.   

 

Thank you again and and best wishes to you in life!!!!!  God Bless you!!!!

 

 

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Nice work!

 

i am around 4 months off Pristiq cold turkey and have recently just started  getting small and short lived "Windows"

 

Could you you detail some further information around your windows and waves experience.

 

thank you

 

Anthony

Zoloft: Sometime early in 2014 Three days only. Torture!

Lexapro: Early 2015- Mid 2015 10mg

Lexapro: Mid 2015-March 2017 20mg

Tapered too fast, Withdrawal started through April-June 2017. Told by Doctor that it was rebound anxiety and have now developed MDD

Pristiq: July 2017-October 2017 50mg (total 56 days)

Lexapro: October 2017-October 2017 10mg (6 days)

Lexapro: October 2017-October 2017 20mg (5 days)

COLD TURKEY>>>>>>>>>>>>October 11,2017

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Thank you. I enjoyed reading your success story. I am desperate to get off venlafaxine. It is so hard as I can't live without sleep. So I doing it super slowly cutting my tablets

I don't remember a lot from 10 to 20 years ago but here goes

1997-2001 fluoxertine  and Aropax I think (can't remember how much)

2002 No medication

2003- January 2008 Epilim

February 2008 to January 2018 75 mg Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)

Janauary 24th 2018 started tapering 50 % and was too much.

January 25th 2018 started tapering 25% to 10% by cutting tablets.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 26.1.2018 at 4:39 PM, gigi63 said:

Katamari, thank you so much for coming to relay your good news.  Congratulations and the very best to you!!!!  

 

I am am wondering if you could tell us more about the phase of anhedonia.  Can you paint a more descriptive picture of what that looked like Day in and day out.

 

i personally find it hard to know where I am at.  Is is the depression or anhedonia, it feels like both.  But when you speak of the depletion, boy, that resonates with me.  I do feel so depleted now, and it is pretty steady.   

 

Thank you again and and best wishes to you in life!!!!!  God Bless you!!!!

 

 

Being in the middle of anhedonia is indeed very similar to being depressed. Unlike in windows and waves where living is very emotion-centered, anhedonia is very blunt. It's like ultimate laziness. Those were the days when I spent my free time on the couch doing nothing. Then I realized it has been some time of doing absolutely nothing enjoyable and I felt slightly bored but still nothing compelled. I didn't want to see other people, I just didn't care. As this went on, I started to get anxious because I had no idea how long that was going to take. And if you ask me, I rather choose intense neuro-emotions than complete emotional emptiness. Anhedonia is a waste of life and luckily it only took couple of months to pass. 

 

On 27.1.2018 at 7:04 AM, PSVT said:

Nice work!

 

i am around 4 months off Pristiq cold turkey and have recently just started  getting small and short lived "Windows"

 

Could you you detail some further information around your windows and waves experience.

 

thank you

 

Anthony

My introduction topic is all about windows and waves, it has very detailed descriptions of what I went through, so I'd suggest reading that. A lot of time has already passed, and I remember less about it after every month. Also, as it was the most difficult time of my life, my memories are somewhat blurred too. If you have any questions, you may need to be more specific...

Good luck!

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Katamari Another venlafaxine survivor!

Well done, Kat.  So envious of your success - and such a fast decrease.

I take it that the dose on your second week should be 37.5mg, not 35.5mg?  The multiples of our drug sizes here are 150, 75 and 37.5mg.

Apologies for being so obsessive!

Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

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  • 8 months later...

Dear survivors, Katamari here. Soon it has been 4 years without antidepressants. Just wanted to make a quick update and tell how I'm doing nowadays.

 

During this year:

- haven't experienced windows or waves anymore

- did ALOT of introspection and managed to rebuild my identity and confidence

- made plentiful amount of art pieces (during meds I made 0)

- felt happy or normal most of the time

 

I still think about this whole thing quite often and I'm so grateful I did it. Huge struggle, but definitely worth it.

 

For those who are struggling, please be merciful to yourselves and your bodies. You will adapt.

 

I wish a happier new year to my fellow survivors!

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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Thank you for sharing your story.  It gives me hope.  I too quick tapered and have been in withdrawal since March.  I've made many mistakes along the way, but now that I am part of SA I hope to be doing the right things and my brain is healing.

 

Effexor 2008 - 2017 37.5 Mg . Upped to 150 mg on 2017.  November of 2017 to March 2018 went from 150 mg to 0.

Ativan May 2018 started 1 - 2 mg daily stayed at 1mg Sept 2018. 03/9/19 .975mg, 03/16 .950mg, 04/13 .94, 04/20 .93, 04/27 .916 slowly tapered from April to  August 2019 at .77mg,  December 2020 .10mg

Valium June 2018 started 10 mg currently 2.5 mg daily

Trazadone started March 2018 100 mg at night to sleep Oct 16, 2018 went to 75 mg , November 13, 2018 67.5 mg, Dec 11 60.75 mg, January 21, 2019  54 mg, 02/09 50 mg

Six Ketamine treatments September 2018.  2 treatments a week for 3 weeks

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks
On 12/26/2018 at 4:10 AM, Katamari said:

During this year:

- haven't experienced windows or waves anymore

- did ALOT of introspection and managed to rebuild my identity and confidence

- made plentiful amount of art pieces (during meds I made 0)

- felt happy or normal most of the time

Thank you! for this, @Katamari (nice avatar). I cannot wait for that time. I was most interested in your observation about making art. I feel that my years on Zoloft/sertraline was when all my creativity disappeared and I just was copying (I worked in graphic design). Too lazy and fatigued to learn anything new. The stuff I really like and have artistic merit are from my years pre-drugs.

 

Now that I am in withdrawal, while it is horrible to have this head pressure/depression, I've been able to create more original pieces. Right now I am combing SA success stories for a piece that will be shown in a gallery at a museum. I am really hoping it helps someone stay off this poison. Thanks for your inspiration that it will get better!

  • 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
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

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

 

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  • 11 months later...

hey, @Katamari when you had 24/7 panic attacks and anxiety, how bad was it? Could you not sit still?

Example:

2018 - Started Effexor 37.5 in Janurary of 2018
2019 January, 2nd  - Cold Turkeyed from Effexor for 3 days. Reinstated on the third day, then stabilized(It took 3 months to stabilize)

2019 June - I switched from Effexor instant release to Extended Release 37.5 for better tapering. I tapered to 50% in 4 weeks before reinstating my dosage back to 37.5(due to withdrawls). I waited 2 months to stabilize but never did at 37.5

2019 September - continued to taper in to 25% on extended release

2019 October - continued to taper to half of the beads(18.75mg)... WIthdrawls were so bad I tried switching back to the instant release at the same dosage(18.75mg)

2019 November 28th - Discontinued effexor at 18.75 without anymore tapering.

 

2020 January - Just can't sleep, have constipation, low libido and still lack of full emotion

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