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Yyyy: really struggling


Yyyy

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Hello

 

I was on venlafaxine 225mg for about 6 years and started tapering around May 2017.

 

I am now down to 4mg. Withdrawl symptoms have included muscle pain,joint pain, extreme fatigue, outbursts of anger, isolation, anxiety, pressure in my head, tinnitus, pain in back of my head (feel like I've been hit in back of head with hammer and my head is vibrating), brain fog.

 

Right now I can't connect with anyone or even myself. I can't function. Sometimes I spend many hours in bed  hiding from the world and maybe I'm trying to avoid facing my own feeling's. There are thing's I need to do but I just can't bring myself to do anything. I feel numb. I feel like a complete failure and I feel like a waste of space.

 

Sometimes I think i'm just feeling sorry for myself and I need to pull myself together but it doesn't work. I keep getting flashbacks of horrible things that have happened in my past and the emotions are so raw. I suddenly get impulses to smash the room I'm sitting in and sometimes just smash my head on the wall. I feel like I'm screaming, hurting, crying, angry, bleeding and in pain all at the same time but inside my head so no one can see.

 

And I feel massively guilty for feeling all this because I have responsibilities. My poor husband is having to look after the kids because I can't  even look after myself. Will this pass? I'm down to 4mg should I not be feeling better now because the dose is so low? Everyday is a nightmare. My beautiful 16 year old daughter and my lovely 12 year old son have a progressive illness (Friedreichs's Ataxia) and i'm not supporting them the way I should. I feel like such a monster. I feel like i'm heading towards rock bottom. I'm really struggling, will thing's get better?

 

Edited by ChessieCat

I was on 225mg venlafaxine for about 6 years

beginning April 2017 reduced to 150mg

beginning June reduced to 75mg

beginning Aug reduced to 37.5mg

Mid Sept reduced to 18.75mg

22nd Nov reduced to 9.37mg

24th Jan 2018 reduced to 4.6mg

sometimes i take vallium

prior to venlafaxine have been on Prozac, escitolopram and citolopram

Took last dose of venlafaxine June 2018

Now Dec 2019 have tinnitus, brain feels like its swimming in my head, extreme anger, anxiety .....

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Yyyy: really struggling
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Yyyy and welcome to SA,

 

What you are experiencing is withdrawal symptoms from a too fast taper.  SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks.  If you had tapered by this method you would be down to about 70mg now.

 

The only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to updose/reinstate the drug.  If you provide us the information of the dates and doses of your taper we can suggest a dose for you to take.  These drugs are strong and when updosing/reinstating it is better to start with a small amount and increase if the symptoms remain unbearable.  If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you to become unstable and sometimes it can be hard to regain stability after this happens.

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  This appears below every post you make.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  This is the preferred format which makes it easier for us to see your drug history at a glance:

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

It can be a bit overwhelming receiving so much information when you first arrive.  Just work your way through them as you are able to.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

 

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.

 

It's important to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator

Hello, Yyyy, and welcome to SA from me too.   I'm sorry you're having such terrible symptoms, which are common in withdrawal.

 

This topic on neuroemotions will help explain the emotions you are feeling.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14397-neuro-emotions/

 

The lower doses are often the most difficult.  Many members find that the lower there dose gets, the slower they need to taper, either by reducing less than 10% or reduce by 10% and hold for longer.  This link explains why.

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

You are not a monster.  You are in antidepressant withdrawal and it is common not to be able to function.  

 

Yes, you will get better.  It will take work and time (no one can tell you how much time), but you will get better. 

 

Best,

Gridley

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thank you for your replies. I have always taken tablets not capsules. The lowest dose in tablet is 37.5mg. when I was ready to reduce from 37.5mg I broke the tablet in half then in quarter and now I am on one eighth of the tablet. I don't understand how I can reduce by 10% because I am just breaking up the tablet into smaller and smaller pieces. I have no way of measuring what I am taking Its all approximate. I read somewhere that if you break up the capsule and take the beads the medication just passes through the system and comes out in the toilet with out being digested. Chessiecat you suggested I should possibly bring the dose back up. I've been on 4mg(1\8th of tablet) for about 5 weeks. should I go back to 8mg which would be a quarter of the 37.5mg tablet? Also I have updated my signature as you requested.

I was on 225mg venlafaxine for about 6 years

beginning April 2017 reduced to 150mg

beginning June reduced to 75mg

beginning Aug reduced to 37.5mg

Mid Sept reduced to 18.75mg

22nd Nov reduced to 9.37mg

24th Jan 2018 reduced to 4.6mg

sometimes i take vallium

prior to venlafaxine have been on Prozac, escitolopram and citolopram

Took last dose of venlafaxine June 2018

Now Dec 2019 have tinnitus, brain feels like its swimming in my head, extreme anger, anxiety .....

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

My apologies, I forgot to include this topic:  Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

From Post #1 regarding regular tablets:

 

Convert from venlafaxine XL or Effexor XR to regular tablets
Especially in the last leg of your taper, when you might be down to a few beads of Effexor XR, you may wish to switch from an extended-release version to regular Effexor so you can make a liquid from it to make very small reductions.

 

Because of its short half-life, taking regular Effexor as a tablet or liquid necessitates taking the tablets every 12 hours.

 

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules
General instructions on making a homemade liquid suspension

 

 

 

From your signature sometimes i take vallium

 

PLEASE NOTE:  It would be better not to take valium, especially whilst you are updosing.  If you take valium during this time it will be difficult for us to know if the updose is working.

 

 

On 03/03/2018 at 8:05 AM, ChessieCat said:

If you provide us the information of the dates and doses of your taper we can suggest a dose for you to take.  These drugs are strong and when updosing/reinstating it is better to start with a small amount and increase if the symptoms remain unbearable.  If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you to become unstable and sometimes it can be hard to regain stability after this happens.

 

52 minutes ago, Yyyy said:

Chessiecat you suggested I should possibly bring the dose back up. I've been on 4mg(1\8th of tablet) for about 5 weeks. should I go back to 8mg which would be a quarter of the 37.5mg tablet?

 

No.  Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

You have been on 4mg for 5 weeks.  Going back up to 8mg would be too much because your brain will have already made some adaptations during the time you have been on 4mg.  You might find that a small increase of 0.5mg or 1mg may be enough to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.  Please Keep Notes on Paper so we can see if reinstatement is working.  You will need to give it at least a week on the new dose.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  The idea of updosing/reinstating is not to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a level that you can live with.  If after 1 week you are still experiencing unbearable symptoms you could increase by another 0.5mg.  Please remember that these drugs are strong.  These may seem like very small amounts, but it may be all that your brain needs.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks Chessiecat I just have a few questions. I am taking regular venlafaxine not extended release. One dose in the morning. You mentioned I would need to take it  every 12 hours as a solution. I am going to take up my dose by 1mg so I will be on 5mg. Should I take 2.5mg every 12 hours or should I just take 5mg in one dose every morning? 

Thank you so much for your support.

I was on 225mg venlafaxine for about 6 years

beginning April 2017 reduced to 150mg

beginning June reduced to 75mg

beginning Aug reduced to 37.5mg

Mid Sept reduced to 18.75mg

22nd Nov reduced to 9.37mg

24th Jan 2018 reduced to 4.6mg

sometimes i take vallium

prior to venlafaxine have been on Prozac, escitolopram and citolopram

Took last dose of venlafaxine June 2018

Now Dec 2019 have tinnitus, brain feels like its swimming in my head, extreme anger, anxiety .....

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, Yyyy said:

Should I take 2.5mg every 12 hours

 

Because of its short half-life, taking regular Effexor as a tablet or liquid necessitates taking the tablets every 12 hours.

 

2.5mg - no.  Every 12 hours - yes.

 

You may not need to increase your dose.  You will be experiencing interdose withdrawal because you have only been taking immediate release tablets once a day.

 

I suggest taking 2mg every 12 hours and see if things improve.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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