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Chicago: Viibryd withdrawal 2.5 years after discontinuation

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Chicago

Hello all,

after much reading and looking around I finally mustered the courage and concentration to post my account. It all Started around August of 2016. My doctor had put me on Viibryd due to the sexual side effects that I had experienced from being on Trintellix. I have to say,  I really did well on Trintellix . Everything was coming together. I think I was in a really good place in my life and everything felt like it was going to fall into place sooner or later. During this period I remember having an overwhelming sense of optimism. So believing that antidepressants are harmless off I went onto my next one, Viibryd Boy, little did I know the hell that would ensue. 

 

Shortly thereafter I started to experience hair falling out. Then the hip, and joint paint. All the while feeling like a numb zombie the entire time.

I talked to my doctor about the side effects. She stated the hair loss was not a known side effect of the Viibryd therefore it was not possible. The joint and the hip pain she said would go away just like the extreme gastro side effects I had in the beginning. She recommended I go to the “therapeutic” dose which was 40 mg. Me being the good little guinea pig I was, I obliged. This only spiraled into further and stronger side effects.

 

The straw that broke the camels back was that one day I started to feel severe burns in my skin. It really felt like my skin was burning, not just an itchy rash but actual burning sensations. All over my arms, back, and scalp. I had enough! At this point I said to myself I would no longer take whatever this poison was, I simply couldn’t. I was terrified. So at that moment I decided that no withdrawal could be worse than the hell I had been through in the past 2 months of taking Viibryd. So I decided that the best thing to do was to quit all antidepressants, cold turkey. Boy do I regret that dearly. 

 

I think it was a couple of days after my last dose that I began to experience erectile dysfunction. I didn’t really begin experiencing any real withdrawal symptoms until after about 3 weeks. Then it all hit me hard like a ton of bricks. First was the eye problems/pain. For me I couldn’t see out of my contact lenses anymore. It’s almost as if my eyeball had swollen, I remember the contact lenses would just not fit, it felt like they were just dancing around my eye. I could not get them to stabilize and I just couldn’t see properly. I think for me, aside from the horrible anxiety, this was the most devastating symptom. I know I experienced at least a dozen symptoms simultaeously these are only a few of them.

 

- Hair loss

- Not being able to see in low light

- dozens of eye floaters

- sensitivity to loud noises

- Seeing Halos

- Erectile dysfunction

- constant brain fog

- memory loss

- carpel tunnel like symptoms

- pins and needles under my feet, legs, and arms

- hand pain In the cold

- dizziness/off balance

 

And the the list goes on and on but these We’re the lasting side effects. 

 

I’m happy to report that most of these symptoms have greatly diminished. Had this been a couple of months ago I would’ve said many were completely gone. However, it appears that I was experiencing what is referred to on this site as a window. Fast forward 2 years and I was inpatient I’m the psych ward for suicidal ideation. This hospitalization further taught me that doctors really don’t know what the hell theyre doing, especially when it comes to psychiatry. 

 

It has been over 2 years since my last dose of Viibryd and I’m still dealing w/ the overwhelming withdrawals symptom till this day. Some days are better some days are worse, but I can definitely agree w/ the windows and waves. 

 

So here I am reaching out to you guys because I thought by now I would be completely healed. Sadly I have to report that I have not. Furthermore, I have to say I am so impressed w/ the layout, organization, and overall insight of those that contribute to this forum. I feel like I finally understand what is happening to me and I am compelled to share my experience. I also hope to find answers and serve as support for those going through this hellish journey! May we all heal and be restored to our previous lives. 

 

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Hi Chicago and welcome to SA,

 

Well you've certainly been through the wringer, unfortunately.

 

26 minutes ago, Chicago said:

Me being the good little guinea pig I was, I obliged.

 

Altostrata, this site's founder says that we are all an experiment where N=1.

 

26 minutes ago, Chicago said:

She recommended I go to the “therapeutic” dose

 

"Therapeutic dose" is the arbitrary term which the pharmaceutical companies use and doctors get their drug information from the drug reps.  Gwen Olsen was a pharma drug rep for 15 years:

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes)

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)

 

26 minutes ago, Chicago said:

This hospitalization further taught me that doctors really don’t know what the hell theyre doing, especially when it comes to psychiatry. 

 

Or tapering or withdrawal symptoms:

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

There are lots of topics on this site.  I usually provide links for the members, but you have listed too many so I'll leave it for you to search.  If you can't find what you are looking for please post here in your Introduction topic and someone will provide the link if there is a topic.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.  If you can't find something you may need to try a different word/term. 

 

26 minutes ago, Chicago said:

I’m happy to report that most of these symptoms have greatly diminished. Had this been a couple of months ago I would’ve said many were completely gone. However, it appears that I was experiencing what is referred to on this site as a window.

 

That's a good sign that you are noticing improvements.  Recovery isn't linear:  Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

And this topic is helpful too:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

I will post some more information in another post.  If there are any questions that you don't find an answer to when checking out the site please post them here.

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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ChessieCat

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times of discomfort.  .

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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Chicago

Hi Chessiecat,

thanks for the warm welcome. I was wondering if anyone has had any eye pain specifically w/ contact lenses. That’s what I’m dealing w/ right now. I’m having severe eye pain when I insert my contact lenses, and the pain spreads to my right shoulder I start to get nerve pain. The pain in my eye has gotten so bad before that it even affects my sleep at night. I know it’s bizarre and I do t have any eye infections. I’ve tried switching to different types of contact lenses to no a avail. Right now I’ve taken my contacts off given myself a break for about 3 weeks. I don’t understand why this is happening as it doesn’t seem to correlate w/ the other. Envoys system issues. I’ve sesrched but I didn’t find anything similar in the search results. Hope someone can help me find some answers. Thanks guys. 

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