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Defend3r: Where to go from here....


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So glad to have found this forum, and have been reading extensively. It is heartening to see so many people recovering from these drugs and getting better over time. Here is my issue: After being on several different meds for depression (approx 20 years), and switching from time to time due to the effectiveness of the drug wearing off or becoming ineffectual, my last doctor prescribed Celexa as a change from Venlafaxine. The results were disastrous. Went to having sweats, chills, unstable as far as walking or holding myself up, weakness, and shakes or tremors. Decided to completely stop cold turkey, and have not taken anything for about a month now.


The symptoms have lessened slightly, but I am nowhere near where I was when I was on Venlafaxine. Trusting my doctor and not doing any research at all has been my downfall, and I now realize that I need to make an adjustment. Never had even heard of "weaning" off these drugs and thought I would have to be on them for the rest of my life.


So here is what I am now thinking as a course of action: Go back on Venlafaxine, try to stabilize myself, and them wean off of it over an extended period of time(dont care how long it takes). I have to do something, as I can not live like this as it stands now, and I am not getting better. Maybe some of you can weigh in on this and give me some input.


Thanks in advance.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Defend3r: Where to go from here....
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Defend3r,

I'm glad you found us, but sorry to hear about what you are going through. There is a lot of good information and friendly support here, so I think we will be able to help, or at least give you enough information so that you can make some better decisions.


But first, I need to ask you to put your drug and withdrawal history in the signature section. It appears below each of your posts and helps us to help you. Here are instructions for how to do it: 


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature


How long ago did you stop taking Venlafaxine? It sounds like you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from stopping it too fast, and the Celexa didn't help, which isn't surprising because its a different kind of antidepressant.


What symptoms are you having now? Is there a pattern to them?


Its a good idea to rate your symptoms daily to help you keep track of how you are doing. Withdrawal symptoms can distort our memory and make it difficult to accurately recall how we felt days and weeks ago. Here are some tips on how do do this:  


Rate symptoms daily to track patterns and progress


Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist


I don't know if reinstating Venlafaxine now will actually help, the longer you have been off the drug the less likely it is to work and the more risks can be involved. But there is a possibility it will help. Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms


Once we know how long you have been off the drug, we will be able to suggest a dose for you to try, if this is something you would like to do. Please read the link carefully and let us know.


Here are a couple more links for future reference:


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)


Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.


When we have a few more details, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions. 





I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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