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Lloyd

Lloyd: Effexor withdrawal - 2 months in

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Lloyd

So this has happened to me a few times but i thought id share. I have worked at my workplace for around 7 years now.. Since coming off the anti depressants i have lost a fair bit of weight. Not to say that i was over weight before but i weighed around 93 Kg and i am over 6 foot tall. Now i am 75kg so there is a fair drop there and my clothes are a bit baggy now. Whats really starting to bug me is people at work commenting about how much weight i have lost and asking me if i am on some diet or something. Had someone ask me again today and i wasn't in a very good mood so i responded by saying something along the lines of 'That's what constant work stress does to you'. He seemed a bit taken aback and the conversation kinda ended quickly. I get sick of people commenting about it and then i have to make some off handed remark pretending that i am fine. I'm not fine and don't need to be reminded about my weight as i have a hard enough time trying to keep it on.

The guy that asked me is a really nice guy but i just wasn't in the mood for that type of conversation. I know i am more irritable & negative these days... sigh....

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ChessieCat

I have found  Magnesium helps to take the edge off my anxiety.  A few times I stopped taking it and then resumed and each time I noticed the difference.

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Lloyd

Ever since i got back from a work trip last week i have felt bad anxiety much worse than usual. It feels like i am always on the edge of having a full blown panic attack. It only eases up later at night when i start to get tired. I feel nauseated and allot of inner restlessness and my body just feels strange. I haven't felt this bad before and i am a bit scared that i going to completely break into a panic attack.

I've managed to stay calm and collected for the last 13 months through this hell but i think there is only so much someone can take before it goes to sh*t.

I think panic attacks would be the last straw and i would have no choice but to go back on the drugs which i didn't want. My heart is not feeling very good of late and i can tell its under allot of stress. My dad died of heart failure early age & i don't want to end up the same.

I have no idea how i would react to anti depressants now. Catch 22.

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Carmie

Hi Lloyd, 

 

Thanks for popping around to my thread. I’m really sorry your anxiety is so high at the moment. Too much activity of any kind can ramp up our nervous systems, whether it’s mental or physical exertion, or even dealing with extra emotional issues.The work trip would have added extra stress. Even good stress can ramp up our symptoms. 

 

If you think you’re having heart issues please get them checked out. It’s better to be safe. Once heart problems are ruled out you will know it’s probably withdrawals.

 

Could you please update your signature. Write in there what date you came off the meds too. Thanks.

 

Sending hugs🤗

 

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Lloyd

Have been wearing a Fitbit fitness tracker for the past few months and thought it would be interesting to have a look at how my heart rate generally tracks over a 24 hour period.

The below graph shows almost 2 months of heart rate data at 1 minute intervals. The 'pink' sections are generally were most readings were at that time of day.

Interestingly you can see upon wake up time which is generally around 6:30 AM i have a heart rate spike. This is also when i am usually feeling the worst with anxiety and other symptoms.

Mid day is usually pretty mild for my symptoms. Late afternoon early evening are also times when i am more likely to feel anxious and experience other symptoms. Late evening is usually my best time of day for anxiety as its usually very mild or not there.

 

image.thumb.png.0e80502829c3cfc7017c492932ac4cb9.png

 

 

Just an observation but the below graph does follow a very similar trend - Cortisol plasma level testing over 24 hours.

http://www.delayedsleeper.com/doctors-insurance/cortisol-levels-over-24-hours/

 

 

Related image

 

 

Edited by Lloyd
Added new graph and text

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Lloyd

Also had a look at some of my sleep data and how much time i spend in REM, Light & Deep sleep cycles over the same period. My total sleep has been slightly less overall in January compared to December.

 

image.thumb.png.a534abf8840a3e7a2d9c2b64f2134d81.png

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Lloyd

So have been having trouble with dizziness and chest discomfort recently. Thought it was just anxiety but had an ECG yesterday and doctor has confirmed i have an enlarged heart. Got 2 further tests scheduled in 2 weeks time to see what's going on. It appears that some of my symptoms could be to do with this... I'll know more once the tests are done.

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Carmie

Hi Lloyd, 

 

I’m really glad you went to get a checkup. A lot of the time when people feel weird heart sensations it’s withdrawals, but I always think it’s better to have these things checked out if they’re severe. Just as well you did, let us know what the rest of the tests shows in a couple of weeks. What they they do for an enlarged heart?

 

Even if it is only withdrawals with a lot of people, at least any other heart problems are ruled out, and people don’t have to keep wondering.

 

Take care, sending hugs🤗

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Lloyd

Been experiencing allot of morning nausea. Is this common with withdrawal?

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Carmie
4 minutes ago, Lloyd said:

Been experiencing allot of morning nausea. Is this common with withdrawal?

 

Hi Lloyd, 

 

Yes, nausea is a common withdrawal symptom, I’ve had it myself. A lot of digestive problems we get are caused by withdrawals.

 

Take care💚

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Lloyd

Thanks Carmie, almost 15 months since i came off the Effexor. Sigh what a hell of a year its been! Hope you are doing well!!

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Lloyd

Heart tests all came back OK. Been feeling like i am in a bit of a wave lately for the last 2 weeks. Overall i'm not sure things are getting better and i think its actually getting worse with more time that passes. I think about reinstating every day but i am terrified of making things worse. I can semi function at the moment but i am afraid if things get much worse i wont be able to. I've got so much to loose with my daughter, wife & job. I have a constant lump in my throat now from the constant anxiety & stress. Feel nauseous all the time and still really bad brain fog & irritability. I just want to feel 'normal' even though i'm not even sure what normal is anymore.

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Lloyd

I have bad inner tension like a spring that keeps winding up until its going to break. I get some relief at night when i go to bed but the rest of the day stinks. I have a constant lump in my throat now and i feel like choking when i get anxious. Not sure what to do, i filled a script of Effexor and it just sits in my medicine box because i'm too scared to take it. I'm tired and i need some relief from this but i don't want to make it worse.

 

Haws anyone here had a bad reaction to Mirapex (Called Sifrol here - used to treat parkinsons and RLS)? 

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Bridgetini

Hi Lloyd, 

Greetings from Ireland on this St. Patrick's Day.

About the lump in your throat: I used to have a major problem with that, so much that I would only eat soft food and would have panic attacks before /during meals. I had a lot of tests done and was scheduled for an endoscopy with a specialist. I opened up to a friend about this problem, and she told me that she had had the same thing! She also had it fully investigated and it was due to anxiety. After speaking to her, I felt a lot better and even cancelled the endoscopy. 

The problem went away of its own accord once I realised that it was anxiety-related. When I do sometimes feel my throat tightening again, I practice a few rounds of deep breathing to get my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems back in sync, which seems to work.

 

A life saver for me was reading Dr. Claire Weekes's books on anxiety. The fear of panic actually brings on the panic, so one has to practice accepting the awful feelings instead of being afraid of them. Eventually they die away.

 

Good luck with your tapering and cross- taper.

Bridgetini ☘️

 

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Lloyd

Hi Bridgetini, Thanks for dropping in & happy saint Patricks day for yesterday! Stress does all sorts of horrible things to us i think. I'm pretty confident i'm physically fine as ive had a fair few tests run to rule out other causes. The times i have reinstated small amounts of Effexor the anxiety suddenly disappears within a matter of hours. However my sleep suffers which is the only thing keeping me sane at the moment which i don't want to risk.

I struggle with the way the anxiety has been explained & portrayed to me by doctors, mental health services and articles on the internet. It seems that the anxiety experienced during withdrawal is significantly worse than what a 'normal' person who hasn't had been subjected to SSRI's would experience. They talk casually about anxiety as something that happens when you feel anxious about a meeting and you get jittery or sweaty palms & you start to worry excessively. For us going through withdrawal its like this tap is turned on full bore ALL the time. The symptoms are far more severe and debilitating then whats often described and no trigger is really required. The total arrogance of mental health 'professionals' when attempting to explain whats going on is astounding. Maybe they don't like the suggestion that the medications they have been handing out for all these years would be responsible for so much suffering & misery. Easier just to blame it on anxiety & depression.

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Lloyd

Just an observation but usually i find i get some rest from withdrawal late at night close to bed time. Around this time symptoms are very mild and i generally feel not too bad. Is this something that people going through withdrawal commonly experience?

I think i have some elements of depression which i am becoming more aware of.  Lack of motivation, tired all the time, loss of interest in activities. I feel down sometimes and worried about the future hoping this is all going to pass one day.

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powerback
9 hours ago, Lloyd said:

Just an observation but usually i find i get some rest from withdrawal late at night close to bed time. Around this time symptoms are very mild and i generally feel not too bad. Is this something that people going through withdrawal commonly experience?

I think i have some elements of depression which i am becoming more aware of.  Lack of motivation, tired all the time, loss of interest in activities. I feel down sometimes and worried about the future hoping this is all going to pass one day.

This is common enough LIoyd ,I had this last night for an hour before I slept while lying on the bed[this was on the back of a day with very strong depression/anxiety  during the day ] ,oh japers if I could bottle this feeling of relaxation that came over me .treasure these times because your body is getting great relief .we look forward to the next time during our waves and we remember it will come .

Take care. 

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Lloyd
3 hours ago, powerback said:

This is common enough LIoyd ,I had this last night for an hour before I slept while lying on the bed[this was on the back of a day with very strong depression/anxiety  during the day ] ,oh japers if I could bottle this feeling of relaxation that came over me .treasure these times because your body is getting great relief .we look forward to the next time during our waves and we remember it will come .

Take care. 

Thanks for replying. I get a subsiding of symptoms later at night i'm guessing because i start getting tired so my mind begins to switch off. Its a welcome relief from the day for sure! The inner tension subsides which is great. I feel like a wound up spring all day which is very tiring.

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ChessieCat

The topic you posted in has been merged with an existing topic: 

 

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Lloyd

Am struggling pretty bad with anxiety at the moment. It feels like from morning to late afternoon i have a pressure in my chest constantly and feel on the edge of gasping and on the edge of a full blown panic attack. I now have a lump in my throat almost permanently which gives me a choking feeling. Does this go away eventually? I cant imagine having to put up with this long term with all the other symptoms i have to deal with. I almost tempted to ask my doctor for a benzo like lorazepam to help even though i'm terrified of taking drugs right now.

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DogLover

Lloyd,

 

Hey just wanted to reach out and say Hi. I'm experiencing pretty much the same symptoms as you, but a little less intense.

 

Just wondering if you might wanna message and chat?

 

Take care

 

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Lloyd
16 hours ago, DogLover said:

Lloyd,

 

Hey just wanted to reach out and say Hi. I'm experiencing pretty much the same symptoms as you, but a little less intense.

 

Just wondering if you might wanna message and chat?

 

Take care

 

Hi DogLover, Feel free to PM me if you wanna chat. Always helpful to be able to chat to someone going through a similar experience.

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Lloyd

Since about 4 weeks ago i have developed tinnitus. Its relatively mild at the moment so i hope it doesn't get any worse. Does anyone know if this comes and goes during withdrawal for others? I'm sad to see other symptoms popping up after 16 months off the effexor. How far down the rabbit hole does this go?

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Kostas

Hi, I developed mild tinnitus, after coming off the ssri and I have it upto now, 7 years off! 

However, it seems That my brain quickly was accustomed to this unfamiliar signal, and now I am only noticing if for some reason I'm concentrated specifically on it, trying to see if I can hear it! 

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Lloyd

Woke up this morning feeling a little less crap than usual which was good. Still feeling very tired in the morning even though i'm getting 7+ hours of sleep. The usual thoughts of reinstating the drug plague me every day & i'm at an impasse of what to do. I'm not coping well and i'm using distraction allot just to get myself through this. I know i have to get through this somehow as i have my wife and daughter to care for. I think my immediate family (wife & child excluded) are a big anxiety trigger for me. Went to my mum's for Easter lunch and felt pretty ill afterwards. Told her i couldn't eat nutmeg so she went and secretly put nutmeg in the lunch and then told me about it AFTERWARDS. I was so upset. I think she thinks that its alright for her to 'try' things on me because its all in my head. That and a few other things that happened during lunch really upset me. I think i blame her allot for whats happened to me. I didn't have a stable upbringing and i think i'm resentful that i didn't have a normal (whatever normal is anyway) household environment to grow up in. My life could have been different, but then again i wouldn't have my wife & daughter. My mum went really funny after a bad relationship 20 years ago and she turned into a recluse. Since then shes been very difficult to get along with. I only see her once every two months. Both her and my sister are maxed out to the eyeballs on various anti depressants, anti psychotics & pain killers. My sister is a walking poly pharmacy.

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powerback
7 hours ago, Lloyd said:

Woke up this morning feeling a little less crap than usual which was good. Still feeling very tired in the morning even though i'm getting 7+ hours of sleep. The usual thoughts of reinstating the drug plague me every day & i'm at an impasse of what to do. I'm not coping well and i'm using distraction allot just to get myself through this. I know i have to get through this somehow as i have my wife and daughter to care for. I think my immediate family (wife & child excluded) are a big anxiety trigger for me. Went to my mum's for Easter lunch and felt pretty ill afterwards. Told her i couldn't eat nutmeg so she went and secretly put nutmeg in the lunch and then told me about it AFTERWARDS. I was so upset. I think she thinks that its alright for her to 'try' things on me because its all in my head. That and a few other things that happened during lunch really upset me. I think i blame her allot for whats happened to me. I didn't have a stable upbringing and i think i'm resentful that i didn't have a normal (whatever normal is anyway) household environment to grow up in. My life could have been different, but then again i wouldn't have my wife & daughter. My mum went really funny after a bad relationship 20 years ago and she turned into a recluse. Since then shes been very difficult to get along with. I only see her once every two months. Both her and my sister are maxed out to the eyeballs on various anti depressants, anti psychotics & pain killers. My sister is a walking poly pharmacy.

Hi LIyod,family can be really tricky ,I finally had to tell my father something the other day about my situation ,I had to put him straight on why it doesnt help me why he needs to know anything(makes problems worse and he will even create problems).I told him ive chronic fatigue syndrome,that went over hes head so you could imagine if I said PAWS to him.I told him that if we are going to have a relationship in the future you need to not comment on my situation because its not helpfull.

 

Your wife and daughter is your only priority .being that your mam and sister are drugged like you say ,they live in the luxury of being numbned out while these interactions highly trigger you .

We keep working on not putting ourselves in these situations so we heal.

I can relate about the resentment ,it feels like a disease I cant shift sometimes,maybe its Neuro.

Take care.

 

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Lloyd

Hi Powerback, thanks for checking in. Trying to limit my exposure to the family situation as much as possible. I cant really talk to my mum about my withdrawal as she just thinks i need to restart the drugs and ill be fine. Trying to get through this for the sake of my wife and daughter. I guess we don't really have a choice we just have to keep going.

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DogLover

Hey Lloyd,

 

Just wanted to stop by and say hi.

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Lloyd

Anxiety is getting worse. Have started getting chest pains now & i am feeling pretty concerned for my well being right now. I'm exhausted & i cant function at work. I feel run down and wound up like a spring all day. I get some respite in the evenings but otherwise it sucks. I stopped this drug around a year and a half ago & i'm not seeing any improvements rather its gone backwards.The only thing holding me back from restarting the drug is the terror of the thought of making it even worse. I'm probably going to get to the point where i have no choice pretty soon.

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Lloyd

Time for an update. Nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movements) has started progressively worsened in my right eye - happens when one eye is closed. My vision is very strained and its hard to focus the eyes. Saw a specialist and he cant explain why its started, however Nystagmus can be caused by neurological issues. My doctor has refered me to see a neurologist. I don't know what it will achieve but if anything it will hopefully rule out other factors. 

I'm getting feverish chills in the mornings and when i am sleeping. Sometimes nausea too. Still a range of problems. I really want to get to 2 years off the effexor to see if improvements come.

On a positive note the derealization has improved since this all started. I still feel out of it allot of the time but things dont look so dreamy now.

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Hopetobefree

Hi Lloyd,

I just wanted to tell you that you are definitely not alone in your thoughts of feeling like you're going backwards. It feels like you are but you are well on your way to healing. I got off a fast taper of Lexapro 16 months ago and have many minutes, hours and days when I question this torturous journey as Ive had no real windows to reinstall the faith that I'm healing. But my counsellor, Baylissa Frederick, assures me 100% I will and so do others from this site who are healing or have healed. Its a horrible life that we are living at the moment Lloyd but keep the faith you dont need the drugs you will be enjoying life with your wife and daughter in peace and happiness again soon. Kindest regards, from another fellow Aussie,

Hope

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Lloyd

Been a while since ive updated. Now 20 months in since i stopped the Effexor back in December 2017. I'm not well at all. I'm barely skating through with work and other responsibilities. I think depression is seeping in because i have zero motivation. I've got cold sores that wont go away due to the persistent stress. The brain fog & concentration problems are bad. I feel physically ill all the time. I told myself i would give it 2 years to try and recover. If i don't improve soon i don't have any choice but to try go back on it again and hope like hell it doesn't back fire and make me worse. I know i'm feeling particularly bad at the moment because i also have a cold. I'm so sick and tired of feeling like **** all the time. How is anyone supposed to manage years of this? Supposed to get a referral to see a neurologist but all that's going to do is cost me a ton of money and provide little in the way of answers.

My vision is getting bad too. Its like my brain works very hard to process visual signals from my eyes. I cant see properly with either eye closed due to nystagmus now being present in the right eye. Previously it was only the left. They eye specialist confirmed that its neurological.

Hopefully my next update is more positive.

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ChessieCat
5 minutes ago, Lloyd said:

I told myself i would give it 2 years to try and recover. If i don't improve soon i don't have any choice but to try go back on it again and hope like hell it doesn't back fire and make me worse.

 

If you do decide to go back on please start at a very low dose.  Make sure you carefully read Post #1 of this topic.

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Lloyd

Thanks Chessie, i planned to start with 1 bead if i reinstated then very slowly increase it by a bead a day and hold if need be. I have so much anxiety about this medication now after thinking about it every day for the past 20 months. I've never been addicted to something like Heroin but i can imagine that it would be something like this if i'm thinking about every hour of every day.

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ChessieCat
18 minutes ago, Lloyd said:

i planned to start with 1 bead if i reinstated then very slowly increase it by a bead a day

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full level (aka steady state) in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.

 

If it was me I would not be increasing by 1 bead a day.

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Lloyd

Thanks Chessie, i'm happy to hold for as long as it takes. The biggest obstacle is my anxiety about the medication. I'll know shortly if i need to reinstate as ive got some heavy workloads coming from work & i need to manage it somehow.

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