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Grayskies

Grayskies: new journey

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Grayskies

I just happened upon this site and I am really glad for this resource. I am attempting my second taper off Effexor right now. I just started trying to go off 150 mg (I actually decreased from 225 about 2 years ago and never had the courage to try). I started seeing a therapist who practices energy psychology and feel I have the support now to give this another try. Already I feel tired, foggy, off balance and have had a headache for the last 24 hours (only on day two). I am taking 75 mg every other day instead of 150. The Effexor has capsules so it’s hard to cut down so slowly unless you’re a chemist. It feels good to have a place that other people are going through the same thing I am, and it’s good to know other people acknowledge how hard this can be., My doctor certainly did not warn me the first time I tried (going from 225 to 0 in about a month). Wish me luck...

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Gridley

Hello, Grayskies, and welcome to SA.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the type of Effexor you are taking (immediate release or extended release).
  • 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. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
Skipping days is NOT recommended by SA.  Skipping doses is equivalent to reducing your dose by 50%.  SA recommends tapering by 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  In addition, your drop from 150mg to 75 was far too much.
 
 
The half-lives of almost all psychiatric drugs are too short for this to make any sense. It causes the amount of the medication in your bloodstream to go up and down, battering your nervous system, and makes withdrawal worse.

Your brain likes stability, to be treated gently.  It is ideal if you can accommodate it to lower and lower dosages. Move it slowly down a ramp by gradually decreasing dosage by an amount it may hardly notice. .  The 10% taper method is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.
 This is explained in the attached links:
 
Here is specific information about tapering Effexor.
 
The withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing are typical of a too-fast taper.
What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
Please be aware that sometime withdrawal symptoms don't appear immediately after a too-fast taper.
 
Once you've completed your signature and specified the type of Effexor you are on, we can give you more specific advice about a safe taper.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community. I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.
 
 

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Grayskies

Thank you for the welcome and additional info. I really didn’t feel good going down to 75 mg. Only problem for me is that my Effexor is ER in capsules and counting out beads was quite a challenge for me last night. I am considering getting a scale.

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Grayskies

I am absolutely terrified that going off these pills will be a total train wreck for me.  I have had severe anxiety prior to meds. 

Before I was on AD, I was about 30 pounds lighter because I could barely eat from nerves. I would come home everyday and get into a ball, sobbing hysterically about things I was afraid were going to happen. I also had zero coping skills at the time. I have been through years of therapy and countless books on nutritional support. I hope those things are enough to support me while going off Effexor. 

As many have also shared, I feel blunted, not who I used to be. No libido, weight gain (despite pretty healthy diet and consistent exercise). And I almost never cry anymore. I used to be an incredibly emotional person. I am really afraid of the intensity of me. The passion-less version of me feels more manageable. 

Part of me does not miss anything about that person and does not want her back at all. 

But I know I will never know if I can be without these until I try. 

I had made one poor attempt at a taper with my PCP several years ago that had me in crying fits (it was way too fast). This had me convinced I could never be without the drugs. I have been working with an energy psychologist and doing tapping a lot which has been helpful for my anxiety and strong emotions. Made my first rough reduction last night and realized I need to buy a scale. Very nervous about this but I realize this is the time to remember all that I have learned, and practice all that I have practiced. 

 

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Gridley

Grayskies,

 

Thank you for posting your signature.  I'm glad to see that you're starting your taper at 10% (135mg).  Please take this every day.  Then, after 4 weeks, if you are feeling stable, you can drop another 10% of current dose.

 

Getting a scale is a good idea.  Many SA members use the Gemini-20 scale, available on Amazon for about $21.  You'll need some size 00 gelcaps as well.

 

Counting the beads can be tricky, but if you follow the instructions in the links I sent you, I think you'll do fine.

 
 
 
About where to post: generally, if the post is about you or a question you have or an update, please post it in the Introductions and Updates forum.  More people will see it, and all your posts will be together.
 
Gridley
 

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peng

Do try not to be frightened, Grayskies.

If you consider the taper as feeling your way cautiously along a narrow, unfamiliar pathway, you can always stop and take stock (hold on the dose for longer than the four weeks) until you feel ready to go on.

I held last year, as we had our first house move in 40 years, and I got through it to where I am now.

 

Best wishes.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Grayskies.

 

Before weighing anything, please take 75mg Effexor every day for a good while! If you feel poorly from skipping doses, your nervous system is telling you it needs stability. It needs to settle down before you start going off Effexor.

 

Please go back to 75mg taken at the same time each day, and let us know how you're doing.

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Grayskies

Hi Altostrata

I returned to 150 the following day after I didn’t feel good from taking 75 mg then reduced by 10% for the last two days which is about 135mg. Feeling okay now on this dose, day 3 now and I pretty much feel normal except a little extra irritability (I regret to say I am easily irritated at baseline though..) 

 

. I am feeling a bit frustrated that 50% method has been recommended to me by medical professionals and psychologists working with me. I don’t understand how there is so little understanding of this process by those with the power to influence it. I think it just makes me feel afraid that I just have to lean on my own ability to get resources and direct my own care. Not a lot of faith in these abilities since the onset of my generalized anxiety about 8 years ago! Appreciate the follow up and support. 

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Grayskies

Hello All- I just started my tapering 2 days ago and I feel pretty much okay physically today. The last two days I have noticed some increased irritability though and I was looking for ways to cope and soothe this. For example, my husband made me more angry than normal and when I was out in public I found myself being irritated by total strangers who were just minding their own business, walking too slowly, asking too many questions. Etc. I am able to notice when I am more irritated but I think the distance between the feeling and the reaction is shorter since I started the taper. 

I normally have fairly good ability to stop and consider. I am wondering how people cope with this on a day to day basis and how to prevent saying things to people you don’t really mean to. I am not a stranger to mindfulness meditation or tapping. I am brand new to this site and tapering in general so any thoughts greatly appreciated. 

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DMV64

Welcome Grayskies! I am glad you found this place! It is wonderful support and has helped me so much. : )

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ChessieCat

I find taking magnesium helps to take the edge off my anxiety.  There have been several times when I have missed a few days and I have noticed the difference.

 

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 activating 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.

 

Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best 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.  I suggest you check out the symptoms-and-self-care area of the site.

 

Acceptance

 

Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

"Change the channel"

 

Irritability, Anger, Rage

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

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Gridley

I'm glad you're feeling better today. I would reiterate ChessieCat's suggestion to check out this link and try some of the techniques:

 

 Non-drug techniques to cope

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Grayskies

Well I got a little impatient and probably tried to taper too fast (Effexor Xr) thought I was doing well enough. After my last reduction, I experienced physical withdrawal (nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light). I am  3 weeks and a few days into this taper and I’ve felt so sensitive, anxious, depressed, angry etc. have had crying spells several times per week. Saw my therapist last night and feeling slightly better. I also have a very stressful job and have had a particularly challenging few weeks.. I’m wondering if I ought to just use this as a lesson to 1. Taper more slowly next time, and 2. If I notice any physical withdrawal symptoms in the beginning reinstate immediately? Based on what I have read on here it seems like reinstatement might make me worse with how sensitive I feel right now.. better to just wait it out? By the way, I had one day last week where I completely forgot my pill altogether and felt like I was having a nervous breakdown until I remembered (remember this is Effexor!)

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Carmie

Hi Grayskies, 

 

How are you doing?💚

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Grayskies

It has been quite a while since I posted on here. I made the really hard to decision today to Increase on my meds and stop decreasing because I simply couldn’t handle the stress of my job anymore without that invisible barrier. I feel sort of stunned that all this progress from the last year has come to a screeching hault as I made the choice that I couldn’t continue this way. Long story short, I have to get through the next 6-8 months of working at my job for financial reasons before I can start thinking of going elsewhere (as if that’s not also stressful). I found myself crying daily this week, completely overwhelmed by everything. I had been going steady since March last year. I feel like a failure and like I’ll be on these forever. I had all these wonderful empowering ideas like ‘the pharmaceuticals told me a lie that I believed and I could be empowered to do things differently’...I’m feeling like I’ve lost my faith right now. Glad there’s a community here to turn to because I’m feeling pretty low. 

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ChessieCat

Thank you for updating us.  Please don't feel bad about it.  We all do what we have to do in the situation we find ourselves in.

 

Please update your drug signature with the dates and doses so it is current.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

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