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Coleen

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Coleen

Hi, I'm a 59 year old female who has been on antidepressants for 18 years. I have suffered from low self esteem since my parents moved to a more upscale neighbourhood when I was 7. So much happened in my life that contributed to me feeling invisible, and totally unworthy of being loved, or intelligent. My father continually expressed his disappointment in me, and compared me unfavourably to friends of mine. I believe both my parents had self worth issues and were so ill equipped to understand the complexity of raising children.

I sank into my first depression when I was 12, just after entering puberty. It was deep, and I know my parents were perplexed, but they had no idea what to do. This continued throughout school, and into my life.

Anyway, I married a man who was distant emotionally. I knew unconsciously he did not love me, but being raised Catholic, I hung on for dear life for 21 years. My GP put me on the antidepressant Zoloft when I was 40 years old, and I handled things a little better- not sinking quite so low, but never really shaking the feeling of unworthiness.

 

Things got worse after my father died, and the Zoloft was not quite cutting it. My GP said she thought the Zoloft had stopped working, and said she had a wonderful new drug called Effexor that worked on two levels and was much more efficient at dispelling depression than Zoloft. I started to take it, and coincidentally, developed eczema on my face. She assumed it was a bad reaction to the Effexor, and just took me off it. Oh, my god, what a mess I became. I remember sitting in her office and crying, and she was exasperated with me and yelled at me that she was going to hospitalize me. I begged her not to and she sent me to a psychiatrist who promptly put me on Serzone. I felt like a walking zombie- my eyes made the loudest noise when I looked back and forth, and I felt like I was walking through heavy water. I felt numb, but overwhelmingly sad.

This psychiatrist kept upping the Serzone- it was crazy! I spent a month in bed- my life was in a shambles; my daughter was 15 at the time, and I couldn't even be a mother to her, and she was getting into things that were toxic to her. My husband just kept going away on business trips and leaving us. I wanted to end it, but my love for my daughter is the only thing that kept me here. I went back to my GP and she agreed to put me back on Effexor for another try. It worked wonders for a while- I left my husband and started a new life, but still my GP told me to keep up with the Effexor. She told me I should stay on this drug for the rest of my life; that I could never be normal off it because my brain was wired to be depressed. I'm embarrassed to say that I believed her. So I kept on taking it. I successfully went off it in 2005, but of course because of the withdrawal symptoms, one of them being depression- my sister-in-law and my husband begged me to go back on them because I was depressed, and that it wasn't worth it to be drug free. If I had had someone tell me this is just a side effect, I would never have gone back on. I decided to go off of them, because I think there is a point where this drug actually starts to wok against you. I am searching out my spirituality, and I want to do it as me, not drugged me.

So, I've tapered off of 150 mg. to approx 37.5 mg over two months- it's a little too fast, so I'm going to take my time weaning from this. My symptoms are : headache, mild dizziness, fatigue(lethargy),inability to sleep really soundly, night sweats( although this came with the increase up to 150 mg. from 75.mg) and decreased patience, although I'm still very patient! I find I tend to slip into negativity, but have learned to count my breath and just rationalize with myself. I feel pretty emotional, but I feel a little more alive. I can't wait to be drug free and lucid.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

I just reread my last post and it appears that I have blamed my depression on my parents and the circumstances of my life. I don't blame anyone- it's just the way things happened, in addition to being very sensitive. Looking back with adult eyes is so much different than with my child's eyes. :huh:


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Nikki

Hi Coleen...

 

Things happen to us as kids and the hurt begins. It's like the "scene of the crime". Recongnizing these hurts and the patterns that evolve is a good thing....

 

I have not taken Effexor, however I do know it is a murderous to get off of. My take on your medications is that your MD just switched you from Zoloft to Effexor and just switched you on Serzone without any weaning down and weaning on. Serzone is know as the "brain fog" AD.

 

I agree with you that these meds start to work against us in the long run. Some of the other more seasoned members and administrators should be along shortly. Nice to meet you and believe me you are not alone.

 

Nikki


Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Altostrata

Hello, Coleen, thank you for joining our community and sharing your story.

 

How long have you been taking 75mg Effexor? Is it plain Effexor in tablets?

 

Did increasing from 37.5mg to 75mg cause any withdrawal symptoms to lessen?

 

Perhaps you've seen this topic Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine)


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Jemima

Welcome, Coleen. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Coleen

Thank you for the welcome- I'm very happy to have found this wonderful site.

I was taking 75mg Effexor SR for about about10 years, then up to 150mg. I've been on 150 for 5 years till Feb, when I began to wean. I went to 75 pretty quickly without too many side effects, but i think I'm a little too eager to get off- hence my going granule by granule in the latter stages. I'm nervous about being off the drugs, but looking forward to it at the same time.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Altostrata

Sorry, I got confused. How much Effexor are you taking now, and how long have you been at that dosage?

 

It sounds like you're taking Effexor XR, with capsules filled with little granules?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Coleen

Hi Coleen...

 

Things happen to us as kids and the hurt begins. It's like the "scene of the crime". Recongnizing these hurts and the patterns that evolve is a good thing....

 

I have not taken Effexor, however I do know it is a murderous to get off of. My take on your medications is that your MD just switched you from Zoloft to Effexor and just switched you on Serzone without any weaning down and weaning on. Serzone is know as the "brain fog" AD.

 

I agree with you that these meds start to work against us in the long run. Some of the other more seasoned members and administrators should be along shortly. Nice to meet you and believe me you are not alone.

 

Nikki

 

Serzone was the worst drug I've ever taken, bar none. I read afterward that it can cause liver damage. I find it very distressing that physicians hand out this stuff willy nilly without even warning or asking you if you're willing to take it!

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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EFXRob

Hi Coleen; I recognise your EFX story...and I learnt hell of a lot after a quick two week taper in Novemeber...Im back to 300mgs ; I feel I am stabilised at the moment on the drug..But my other issue, pain, is very bad at the moment. I recently had cortisone in C1-C2... and the kick back has been immense..and I have a lot of pain related depression and anxiety... which goes when the pan eases up....so working with doc to see if and when it is wise to try another round of cortisone. and just like the ADs stuff, I have to have a lot of patience... A similar ting happened to me about 4 yrs ago...and the ironing out process was painfully slow...

 

But once both areas are stabilised (as they were very much leading up to November...) I plan to take a very very slow taper.

 

I feel I have been on it for a long time and a few more years wont hurt, as long as Im heading in the right direction... Intuitively, the micro tapers with breaks, (see getting off Effexor thread) sounds like the best way to go.

 

Like you, I know what its like to go off ADs.. and the resulting storm which I now know were made worse through switches in medication...take huge chunks out of my life...That is what happened 10 yerars ago... when I ended up on Effexor.

 

And similarly.. it worked very well for me... but the negatives are obvious.. I hope I can stabilise (on both fronts) back to where I was late last year.. I see from others that a basic quality of life is maintainable..including income earning capacity...over the period of a slow taper..so I feel this important to am for.

 

I think in taking this approach... it is useful not to demomise the drug or the medical industry... t gets me into the wrong mind space...


Ativan: quite 1990

96-2001: Aropax (Paxil), Luvox. two CTs (bad)

2001-2012: 300 Effexor

Nov 2011: 25%, 2 week reduction (v bad)

Dec:2011" reinstate to 300mg

(Chronic pain condition, well managed)

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meistersinger

Hi, I'm a 59 year old female who has been on antidepressants for 18 years. I have suffered from low self esteem since my parents moved to a more upscale neighbourhood when I was 7. So much happened in my life that contributed to me feeling invisible, and totally unworthy of being loved, or intelligent. My father continually expressed his disappointment in me, and compared me unfavourably to friends of mine. I believe both my parents had self worth issues and were so ill equipped to understand the complexity of raising children.

I sank into my first depression when I was 12, just after entering puberty. It was deep, and I know my parents were perplexed, but they had no idea what to do. This continued throughout school, and into my life.

Anyway, I married a man who was distant emotionally. I knew unconsciously he did not love me, but being raised Catholic, I hung on for dear life for 21 years. My GP put me on the antidepressant Zoloft when I was 40 years old, and I handled things a little better- not sinking quite so low, but never really shaking the feeling of unworthiness.

 

Things got worse after my father died, and the Zoloft was not quite cutting it. My GP said she thought the Zoloft had stopped working, and said she had a wonderful new drug called Effexor that worked on two levels and was much more efficient at dispelling depression than Zoloft. I started to take it, and coincidentally, developed eczema on my face. She assumed it was a bad reaction to the Effexor, and just took me off it. Oh, my god, what a mess I became. I remember sitting in her office and crying, and she was exasperated with me and yelled at me that she was going to hospitalize me. I begged her not to and she sent me to a psychiatrist who promptly put me on Serzone. I felt like a walking zombie- my eyes made the loudest noise when I looked back and forth, and I felt like I was walking through heavy water. I felt numb, but overwhelmingly sad.

This psychiatrist kept upping the Serzone- it was crazy! I spent a month in bed- my life was in a shambles; my daughter was 15 at the time, and I couldn't even be a mother to her, and she was getting into things that were toxic to her. My husband just kept going away on business trips and leaving us. I wanted to end it, but my love for my daughter is the only thing that kept me here. I went back to my GP and she agreed to put me back on Effexor for another try. It worked wonders for a while- I left my husband and started a new life, but still my GP told me to keep up with the Effexor. She told me I should stay on this drug for the rest of my life; that I could never be normal off it because my brain was wired to be depressed. I'm embarrassed to say that I believed her. So I kept on taking it. I successfully went off it in 2005, but of course because of the withdrawal symptoms, one of them being depression- my sister-in-law and my husband begged me to go back on them because I was depressed, and that it wasn't worth it to be drug free. If I had had someone tell me this is just a side effect, I would never have gone back on. I decided to go off of them, because I think there is a point where this drug actually starts to wok against you. I am searching out my spirituality, and I want to do it as me, not drugged me.

So, I've tapered off of 150 mg. to approx 37.5 mg over two months- it's a little too fast, so I'm going to take my time weaning from this. My symptoms are : headache, mild dizziness, fatigue(lethargy),inability to sleep really soundly, night sweats( although this came with the increase up to 150 mg. from 75.mg) and decreased patience, although I'm still very patient! I find I tend to slip into negativity, but have learned to count my breath and just rationalize with myself. I feel pretty emotional, but I feel a little more alive. I can't wait to be drug free and lucid.

 

Greetings Colleen,

 

I, like you, had similar circumstances growing up. However, my parents came out of dysfunctional situations, so I can't despise them for the hands they were dealt, as they weren't equipped to live life normally. I suspect, according to some snippets of a conversation my mother had with her pastor who was serving her congregation when she died last November, when he accepted the call to this congregation (she was a Winebrennerian (aKa The Churches of God General Conference of Findlay, OH., formerly headquartered in Harrisburg, PA). I left this denomination for the Lutherans 36 years ago, since I was not respected by most of the congregation, except for maybe 3 deacons of the congregation who felt it was my calling to be a musician, and kept encouraging me up to the day of their deaths), and what my sister-in-law observed in me (since her youngest children suffer from autism), as having Aspergers. I have taken an online assessment on Psychology Central a bit ago that indicate I scored in the autism spectrum. I just need to get my psych to schedule an assessment to confirm this (which would probably explain the issues with depression and self-esteem. I was clumsy as a child, was intensely interested in music to the exclusion of everything else, preferred to have my nose buried in a book than play, preferred reading biographies and reference book to fiction, had trouble relating to other people, had difficulty looking people in the eye, was at the bottom of the pecking order, bullied, etc. which is why I seldom left the house outside of school, work and church. I desperately yearned for companionship all those years, but was so traumatized by the local female bullies (who tried to get in my pants more than once) and my parents, (who never approved of anyone or any activity I would participate in) that I pretty much reverted to music as my escape. I've remained a loner pretty much through college and grad school.

 

Throughout college, I've had issues with depression,as well as mania (i'd go on spending sprees at the local record shops like you wouldn't believe. Once I got into computers, the sprees started on the latest hardware and software.). I would bounce checks (and later run up credit card balances) to relieve the mania. There's definitely truth in the old saw, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

 

My first job after grad. school was in Chicago. Again, the old habits followed. It got worse when dad died 9 months after I moved. I pretty much fell apart after his death. The entire cycle got more vicious. I moved back home with Mom 5 years later. The same pattern repeated itself in Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore. Fortunately, I didn't start antidepressants until after I moved back from Chicago. A GP first put me on Prozac back then, during the great recession of 1991. I turned meaner than a caged raccoon and was taken off very quickly. A different GP put me on effexor, which nearly wrecked my voice. i was taken off that quickly. another GP put me on amatriphaline, which made me feel drunk when I got up in the morning. that lasted about 3 months and I dropped it cold turkey.I was fine for about 2 years until I started to hear voices telling me to kill myself. A different GP put me on citalopram, 20 mg at first. The voices went away for a while, then came back, with occasional insomnia. This time I was referred to a psych, who eventually added buspar and upped the citaloprom to 60mg. Again, the depression came back, compounded with the death of my mother. The paych prescribed 1 month before she died, which is when I lost my job delivering pizza,and not able to collect unemployment. I was fine until recently, when the insomnia, depression, lethargy, panic attacks, confusion and stoned feelings came up. I just called the psych friday to tell him of the symptoms. he took me off cold turkey, since I was on 10 mg. I was also drinking a good bit of Crystal Lite Orange, which I found out had citric acid, which is verboten with Viibryd. Now that her house is about to be sold to the brother living here with me, I'm going to be ending up on the street, as i can't help pay the bills (which i would gladly do if i could find work). i have an appeal pending with social security disability, due to the severe depression and the possible aspergers. When I speak to the psych tomorrow, I'm definitely telling him no more drugs, except for my diabetes and blood pressure, what other alternatives are available? Also, how do you expect me to wean off Viibryd?


History:

1995--Prozac--Quit CT by GP

1995--Effexor--Quit per my GP

1996--Amitriphene--Quit CT when changed GP

2005--Citalopram and BusPar. Prescribed when I decompensated in my GP's office. GP referred me to behavior health. Psychiatrist prescibed these drugs. Taken off citalopram in 2011 due to FDA warning. Quit Buspar during transition to viibryd.

Viibryd--2011 to present. Had a severe reaction in March 2012. Advised both GP and Psychiatrist I was trying to get off these drugs.

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Coleen

Hi Coleen; I recognise your EFX story...and I learnt hell of a lot after a quick two week taper in Novemeber...Im back to 300mgs ; I feel I am stabilised at the moment on the drug..But my other issue, pain, is very bad at the moment. I recently had cortisone in C1-C2... and the kick back has been immense..and I have a lot of pain related depression and anxiety... which goes when the pan eases up....so working with doc to see if and when it is wise to try another round of cortisone. and just like the ADs stuff, I have to have a lot of patience... A similar ting happened to me about 4 yrs ago...and the ironing out process was painfully slow...

 

But once both areas are stabilised (as they were very much leading up to November...) I plan to take a very very slow taper.

 

I feel I have been on it for a long time and a few more years wont hurt, as long as Im heading in the right direction... Intuitively, the micro tapers with breaks, (see getting off Effexor thread) sounds like the best way to go.

 

Like you, I know what its like to go off ADs.. and the resulting storm which I now know were made worse through switches in medication...take huge chunks out of my life...That is what happened 10 yerars ago... when I ended up on Effexor.

 

 

And similarly.. it worked very well for me... but the negatives are obvious.. I hope I can stabilise (on both fronts) back to where I was late last year.. I see from others that a basic quality of life is maintainable..including income earning capacity...over the period of a slow taper..so I feel this important to am for.

 

I think in taking this approach... it is useful not to demomise the drug or the medical industry... t gets me into the wrong mind space...

 

Yes, it's a slippery slope, and to be honest, it did work for a while- but I think we need to educate MDs about the potential harm that they can cause when stopped cold turkey or tapered too quickly. I really think the makers of this drug should be more forthcoming, certainly. I suppose that sounds a bit naive.

I hope your pain becomes controllable so that you too can come off without the side effects.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

Hi Coleen...

 

Things happen to us as kids and the hurt begins. It's like the "scene of the crime". Recongnizing these hurts and the patterns that evolve is a good thing....

 

I have not taken Effexor, however I do know it is a murderous to get off of. My take on your medications is that your MD just switched you from Zoloft to Effexor and just switched you on Serzone without any weaning down and weaning on. Serzone is know as the "brain fog" AD.

 

I agree with you that these meds start to work against us in the long run. Some of the other more seasoned members and administrators should be along shortly. Nice to meet you and believe me you are not alone.

 

Nikki

 

Thanks Nikki :)

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

Thank you for the welcome- I'm very happy to have found this wonderful site.

I was taking 75mg Effexor SR for about about10 years, then up to 150mg. I've been on 150 for 5 years till Feb, when I began to wean. I went to 75 pretty quickly without too many side effects, but i think I'm a little too eager to get off- hence my going granule by granule in the latter stages. I'm nervous about being off the drugs, but looking forward to it at the same time.

 

That should read Effexor XR

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

Share this post


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Coleen

 

Hi, I'm a 59 year old female who has been on antidepressants for 18 years. I have suffered from low self esteem since my parents moved to a more upscale neighbourhood when I was 7. So much happened in my life that contributed to me feeling invisible, and totally unworthy of being loved, or intelligent. My father continually expressed his disappointment in me, and compared me unfavourably to friends of mine. I believe both my parents had self worth issues and were so ill equipped to understand the complexity of raising children.

I sank into my first depression when I was 12, just after entering puberty. It was deep, and I know my parents were perplexed, but they had no idea what to do. This continued throughout school, and into my life.

Anyway, I married a man who was distant emotionally. I knew unconsciously he did not love me, but being raised Catholic, I hung on for dear life for 21 years. My GP put me on the antidepressant Zoloft when I was 40 years old, and I handled things a little better- not sinking quite so low, but never really shaking the feeling of unworthiness.

 

Things got worse after my father died, and the Zoloft was not quite cutting it. My GP said she thought the Zoloft had stopped working, and said she had a wonderful new drug called Effexor that worked on two levels and was much more efficient at dispelling depression than Zoloft. I started to take it, and coincidentally, developed eczema on my face. She assumed it was a bad reaction to the Effexor, and just took me off it. Oh, my god, what a mess I became. I remember sitting in her office and crying, and she was exasperated with me and yelled at me that she was going to hospitalize me. I begged her not to and she sent me to a psychiatrist who promptly put me on Serzone. I felt like a walking zombie- my eyes made the loudest noise when I looked back and forth, and I felt like I was walking through heavy water. I felt numb, but overwhelmingly sad.

This psychiatrist kept upping the Serzone- it was crazy! I spent a month in bed- my life was in a shambles; my daughter was 15 at the time, and I couldn't even be a mother to her, and she was getting into things that were toxic to her. My husband just kept going away on business trips and leaving us. I wanted to end it, but my love for my daughter is the only thing that kept me here. I went back to my GP and she agreed to put me back on Effexor for another try. It worked wonders for a while- I left my husband and started a new life, but still my GP told me to keep up with the Effexor. She told me I should stay on this drug for the rest of my life; that I could never be normal off it because my brain was wired to be depressed. I'm embarrassed to say that I believed her. So I kept on taking it. I successfully went off it in 2005, but of course because of the withdrawal symptoms, one of them being depression- my sister-in-law and my husband begged me to go back on them because I was depressed, and that it wasn't worth it to be drug free. If I had had someone tell me this is just a side effect, I would never have gone back on. I decided to go off of them, because I think there is a point where this drug actually starts to wok against you. I am searching out my spirituality, and I want to do it as me, not drugged me.

So, I've tapered off of 150 mg. to approx 37.5 mg over two months- it's a little too fast, so I'm going to take my time weaning from this. My symptoms are : headache, mild dizziness, fatigue(lethargy),inability to sleep really soundly, night sweats( although this came with the increase up to 150 mg. from 75.mg) and decreased patience, although I'm still very patient! I find I tend to slip into negativity, but have learned to count my breath and just rationalize with myself. I feel pretty emotional, but I feel a little more alive. I can't wait to be drug free and lucid.

 

Greetings Colleen,

 

I, like you, had similar circumstances growing up. However, my parents came out of dysfunctional situations, so I can't despise them for the hands they were dealt, as they weren't equipped to live life normally. I suspect, according to some snippets of a conversation my mother had with her pastor who was serving her congregation when she died last November, when he accepted the call to this congregation (she was a Winebrennerian (aKa The Churches of God General Conference of Findlay, OH., formerly headquartered in Harrisburg, PA). I left this denomination for the Lutherans 36 years ago, since I was not respected by most of the congregation, except for maybe 3 deacons of the congregation who felt it was my calling to be a musician, and kept encouraging me up to the day of their deaths), and what my sister-in-law observed in me (since her youngest children suffer from autism), as having Aspergers. I have taken an online assessment on Psychology Central a bit ago that indicate I scored in the autism spectrum. I just need to get my psych to schedule an assessment to confirm this (which would probably explain the issues with depression and self-esteem. I was clumsy as a child, was intensely interested in music to the exclusion of everything else, preferred to have my nose buried in a book than play, preferred reading biographies and reference book to fiction, had trouble relating to other people, had difficulty looking people in the eye, was at the bottom of the pecking order, bullied, etc. which is why I seldom left the house outside of school, work and church. I desperately yearned for companionship all those years, but was so traumatized by the local female bullies (who tried to get in my pants more than once) and my parents, (who never approved of anyone or any activity I would participate in) that I pretty much reverted to music as my escape. I've remained a loner pretty much through college and grad school.

 

Throughout college, I've had issues with depression,as well as mania (i'd go on spending sprees at the local record shops like you wouldn't believe. Once I got into computers, the sprees started on the latest hardware and software.). I would bounce checks (and later run up credit card balances) to relieve the mania. There's definitely truth in the old saw, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.

 

My first job after grad. school was in Chicago. Again, the old habits followed. It got worse when dad died 9 months after I moved. I pretty much fell apart after his death. The entire cycle got more vicious. I moved back home with Mom 5 years later. The same pattern repeated itself in Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore. Fortunately, I didn't start antidepressants until after I moved back from Chicago. A GP first put me on Prozac back then, during the great recession of 1991. I turned meaner than a caged raccoon and was taken off very quickly. A different GP put me on effexor, which nearly wrecked my voice. i was taken off that quickly. another GP put me on amatriphaline, which made me feel drunk when I got up in the morning. that lasted about 3 months and I dropped it cold turkey.I was fine for about 2 years until I started to hear voices telling me to kill myself. A different GP put me on citalopram, 20 mg at first. The voices went away for a while, then came back, with occasional insomnia. This time I was referred to a psych, who eventually added buspar and upped the citaloprom to 60mg. Again, the depression came back, compounded with the death of my mother. The paych prescribed 1 month before she died, which is when I lost my job delivering pizza,and not able to collect unemployment. I was fine until recently, when the insomnia, depression, lethargy, panic attacks, confusion and stoned feelings came up. I just called the psych friday to tell him of the symptoms. he took me off cold turkey, since I was on 10 mg. I was also drinking a good bit of Crystal Lite Orange, which I found out had citric acid, which is verboten with Viibryd. Now that her house is about to be sold to the brother living here with me, I'm going to be ending up on the street, as i can't help pay the bills (which i would gladly do if i could find work). i have an appeal pending with social security disability, due to the severe depression and the possible aspergers. When I speak to the psych tomorrow, I'm definitely telling him no more drugs, except for my diabetes and blood pressure, what other alternatives are available? Also, how do you expect me to wean off Viibryd?

 

Your brother won't let you stay with him? I hate to think of you ending up on the street!

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

Welcome, Coleen. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.

 

Thank you Jemima.

Coleen


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

Sorry, I got confused. How much Effexor are you taking now, and how long have you been at that dosage?

 

It sounds like you're taking Effexor XR, with capsules filled with little granules?

 

 

I'm almost down to 37.5 Effexor XR. I'm going to stay here for a bit longer so I can let my body make a good adjustment. Then I will slowly wean down a few granules at a time as suggested on this site. I hope the prolonged usage doesn't mean I have permanent neurological damage.

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Daisy

Hi Coleen,

I too am taperin off of Effexor XR 150 mg. I have been on it for aprox 7 years. Before that, I was on Paxil 20 mg. I have gotten to a point in my life I felt it was time to stop the antidepressant. At first, I went cold turkey for 7 days. Then I went back to 75mg and tapered very rapidly to 0mg in 32 days. When the symptoms of W/D hit me hard in 2-3 days, I found this site and reached out for support. It was recommended that I reinstate to 13mg. Within 5-8 hours, the worst of my symptoms were gone. I have since updosed to 20mg because I was suffering what is commonly called brain zaps plus I was hypersensitive. NO more brain zaps!!!! I also am managing my sensitivity better.

 

I was put on antidepressants by my PCP's. I never had a psych doctor... I have avoided them. Their specialty is to prescribe drugs to treat symptoms. They rarely deal with unresolved family issues that so often contribute to our depression and anxiety. I was fortunate to find a psychologist who helped me. He listened and listened some more. He never abandoned me. He always called me back and I did not feel like I was an annoyance him. When I went through my binge/purge phase, cutting phase then depersonalization stuff, he stuck with me. When I was cutting on my arm, he did ask me if it was time for hospitalization. When I said no, he trusted my judgement. He helped me see I was worth something. I was able to go back to school in my 40's and get a degree. I am now a professional and can earn decent money.

 

Getting back to tapering Effexor XR. So far I am doing okay on my current dose. I plan on staying on 20 mg for 3-4 weeks,then tapering 10 percent. I hope all goes well. I hope I am one of the luckier ones and can get off Effexor XR in a few months. And if I can not, then so be it.

 

Welcome Coleen. This is a good place to come for support, insight and education.

 

Love and Peace


Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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meistersinger

Hi Coleen,

I too am taperin off of Effexor XR 150 mg. I have been on it for aprox 7 years. Before that, I was on Paxil 20 mg. I have gotten to a point in my life I felt it was time to stop the antidepressant. At first, I went cold turkey for 7 days. Then I went back to 75mg and tapered very rapidly to 0mg in 32 days. When the symptoms of W/D hit me hard in 2-3 days, I found this site and reached out for support. It was recommended that I reinstate to 13mg. Within 5-8 hours, the worst of my symptoms were gone. I have since updosed to 20mg because I was suffering what is commonly called brain zaps plus I was hypersensitive. NO more brain zaps!!!! I also am managing my sensitivity better.

 

I was put on antidepressants by my PCP's. I never had a psych doctor... I have avoided them. Their specialty is to prescribe drugs to treat symptoms. They rarely deal with unresolved family issues that so often contribute to our depression and anxiety. I was fortunate to find a psychologist who helped me. He listened and listened some more. He never abandoned me. He always called me back and I did not feel like I was an annoyance him. When I went through my binge/purge phase, cutting phase then depersonalization stuff, he stuck with me. When I was cutting on my arm, he did ask me if it was time for hospitalization. When I said no, he trusted my judgement. He helped me see I was worth something. I was able to go back to school in my 40's and get a degree. I am now a professional and can earn decent money.

 

Getting back to tapering Effexor XR. So far I am doing okay on my current dose. I plan on staying on 20 mg for 3-4 weeks,then tapering 10 percent. I hope all goes well. I hope I am one of the luckier ones and can get off Effexor XR in a few months. And if I can not, then so be it.

 

Welcome Coleen. This is a good place to come for support, insight and education.

 

Love and Peace

 

Which is why I'm talking to my SSDI attorney to see what recourse I have with this psych.. I'll then call a Psych that is an Osteopath (since, like their osteopathic medical brethern they are heavy into holistics) to (hopefully) help me clean up this mess caused by Viibryd. Take a look at http://brainblogger.com/2006/04/24/osteopathy-the-osteopathic-psychiatrist-and-depression/ for an example of their thinking. Also look at http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/46634306 for further insight.


History:

1995--Prozac--Quit CT by GP

1995--Effexor--Quit per my GP

1996--Amitriphene--Quit CT when changed GP

2005--Citalopram and BusPar. Prescribed when I decompensated in my GP's office. GP referred me to behavior health. Psychiatrist prescibed these drugs. Taken off citalopram in 2011 due to FDA warning. Quit Buspar during transition to viibryd.

Viibryd--2011 to present. Had a severe reaction in March 2012. Advised both GP and Psychiatrist I was trying to get off these drugs.

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Coleen

Hi Coleen,

I too am taperin off of Effexor XR 150 mg. I have been on it for aprox 7 years. Before that, I was on Paxil 20 mg. I have gotten to a point in my life I felt it was time to stop the antidepressant. At first, I went cold turkey for 7 days. Then I went back to 75mg and tapered very rapidly to 0mg in 32 days. When the symptoms of W/D hit me hard in 2-3 days, I found this site and reached out for support. It was recommended that I reinstate to 13mg. Within 5-8 hours, the worst of my symptoms were gone. I have since updosed to 20mg because I was suffering what is commonly called brain zaps plus I was hypersensitive. NO more brain zaps!!!! I also am managing my sensitivity better.

 

I was put on antidepressants by my PCP's. I never had a psych doctor... I have avoided them. Their specialty is to prescribe drugs to treat symptoms. They rarely deal with unresolved family issues that so often contribute to our depression and anxiety. I was fortunate to find a psychologist who helped me. He listened and listened some more. He never abandoned me. He always called me back and I did not feel like I was an annoyance him. When I went through my binge/purge phase, cutting phase then depersonalization stuff, he stuck with me. When I was cutting on my arm, he did ask me if it was time for hospitalization. When I said no, he trusted my judgement. He helped me see I was worth something. I was able to go back to school in my 40's and get a degree. I am now a professional and can earn decent money.

 

Getting back to tapering Effexor XR. So far I am doing okay on my current dose. I plan on staying on 20 mg for 3-4 weeks,then tapering 10 percent. I hope all goes well. I hope I am one of the luckier ones and can get off Effexor XR in a few months. And if I can not, then so be it.

 

Welcome Coleen. This is a good place to come for support, insight and education.

 

Love and Peace

 

Thanks EW- it's good to have this site for support. I wish you all the best in your recovery as well. I look forward to sharing stories, thoughts and feelings with all of you.

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

I've been on 37.5 Effexor for a few weeks. I was planning on paring that down a few granules at a time, but the weirdest thing is, last week and this week, my emotions have been heightened- irritation, anger, shame, impatience and, of all things, jealousy. I have also begun to experience some anxiety, particularly when I lay down to go to sleep. I started a cleanse last week, which is pretty basic, but I have cut out sugar and wheat. I wonder if that has anything to do with the exacerbation of these symptoms?


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Altostrata

Hi, Coleen. I moved your update here.

 

Does the cleanse involve eating differently? Cleanses of any kind can be pretty stressful for a hypersensitive nervous system.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Coleen

The only thing that is different is not eating any sugar or wheat. All the supplements that it is comprised of are herbal, so I don't know if that is contributing.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Altostrata

The herbal supplements could be the problem. Even though they're herbs, they could contain something that's overstimulating.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Barbarannamated

Colleen,

A cleanse may exacerbate withdrawal if it speeds up clearance of drug from body through any mechanism. It is likely working against the purpose of slow taper and gradual reduction of drug in body which allows the body and nervous system to stabilize.

Any rapid detox, chelation, cleanses can increase withdrawal symptoms.

Barb


Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Coleen

Thanks Barb- I should have done my homework! No wonder I'm so irritable, over sensitive and edgy! I was looking for an energy boost.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Coleen

Thanks Altostrata- again, I just dove in feet first! One supplement is Biliherb, which contains black radish root and barberry root bark. Then there is Cleanseaherb-red clover, burdock root echinacea root, mullein and uva ursi; Laxaherb- cascara sagrada bark and buckthorn bark. The tincture contains licorice root, yarrow, ursa uvi, juniper berries, burdock and cornsilk.

The cleanse is 12 days, and I'm on my last day tomorrow. I'll just stop now.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Altostrata

Colleen, how has your taper been going?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Coleen

Not very well I'm afraid, I do appreciate you asking. I think I have been going way too fast. I had to bump back up to 75 mg. of Effexor, because I was feeling like I did as a teenager- unworthy, unlovable and hopeless. It was just too hard to cope. I think If I'm going to do this, it has to be ultra slow. Is it possible my brain is beyond repair at this point? if that is the case, at least I can function well on 75 mg.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Altostrata

No, your brain is not beyond repair, but it seems you might have tapered a little too fast.

 

Also, when you get off the drug, you may need to face whatever issues made you try antidepressants as a solution in the first place. Since you've sampled that internal struggle again, perhaps you should find a therapist or take up a discipline such as meditation to deal with it.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Coleen

Yes, you are right. Past issues can run very deep it seems. Time to face the music. Thanks Altostrata


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Nikki

Hi Coleen...

 

When your GP took you off Effexor and the Psych doctor put you on Serzone, you were experiencing WD big time from Effexor. The WD from Effexor and Paxil supercede anything he may have given you.

 

I've seen this so many times. You may have felt bad on Serzone, but it was actually Effexor WD which was the real culprit, coupled with an entirely different family of meds. I've switched medicines, and believe me WD reigns supreme.

 

So glad you met members here who are or have already tapered Effexor.

 

Nikki


Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Coleen

I am pasting my profile here as an introduction. It pretty much sums things up. I love this forum- it is the most comprehensive and educational forum I've ever seen regarding withdrawal from prescription drugs.

 

 

 

 

Hi, I'm a 59 year old female who has been on antidepressants for 18 years. I have suffered from low self esteem since my parents moved to a more upscale neighbourhood when I was 7. So much happened in my life that contributed to me feeling invisible, and totally unworthy of being loved, or intelligent. My father continually expressed his disappointment in me, and compared me unfavourably to friends of mine. I believe both my parents had self worth issues and were so ill equipped to understand the complexity of raising children.

 

I sank into my first depression when I was 12, just after entering puberty. It was deep, and I know my parents were perplexed, but they had no idea what to do. This continued throughout school, and into my life.

 

Anyway, I married a man who was distant emotionally. I knew unconsciously he did not love me, but being raised Catholic, I hung on for dear life for 21 years. My GP put me on the antidepressant Zoloft when I was 40 years old, and I handled things a little better- not sinking quite so low, but never really shaking the feeling of unworthiness.

 

Things got worse after my father died, and the Zoloft was not quite cutting it. My GP said she thought the Zoloft had stopped working, and said she had a wonderful new drug called Effexor that worked on two levels and was much more efficient at dispelling depression than Zoloft. I started to take it, and coincidentally, developed eczema on my face. She assumed it was a bad reaction to the Effexor, and just took me off it.

 

Oh, my god, what a mess I became. I remember sitting in her office and crying, and she was exasperated with me and yelled at me that she was going to hospitalize me. I begged her not to and she sent me to a psychiatrist who promptly put me on Serzone. I felt like a walking zombie- my eyes made the loudest noise when I looked back and forth, and I felt like I was walking through heavy water. I felt numb, but overwhelmingly sad.

 

This psychiatrist kept upping the Serzone- it was crazy! I spent a month in bed- my life was in a shambles; my daughter was 15 at the time, and I couldn't even be a mother to her, and she was getting into things that were toxic to her. My husband just kept going away on business trips and leaving us. I wanted to end it, but my love for my daughter is the only thing that kept me here.

 

I went back to my GP and she agreed to put me back on Effexor for another try. It worked wonders for a while- I left my husband and started a new life, but still my GP told me to keep up with the Effexor. She told me I should stay on this drug for the rest of my life; that I could never be normal off it because my brain was wired to be depressed. I'm embarrassed to say that I believed her

 

. So I kept on taking it. I met a wonderful man in 1998 and got married again in 2004. I successfully went off it in 2005, but of course because of the withdrawal symptoms, one of them being depression- my sister-in-law and my husband begged me to go back on them because I was depressed, and that it wasn't worth it to be drug free. If I had had someone tell me this is just a side effect, I would never have gone back on. I decided to go off of them, because I think there is a point where this drug actually starts to work against you. I am searching out my spirituality, and I want to do it as me, not drugged me.

 

So, I've tapered off of 150 mg. to approx 37.5 mg over two months- it's a little too fast, so I'm going to take my time weaning from this. My symptoms are : headache, mild dizziness, fatigue(lethargy),inability to sleep really soundly, night sweats( although this came with the increase up to 150 mg. from 75.mg) and decreased patience, although I'm still very patient! I find I tend to slip into negativity, but have learned to count my breath and just rationalize with myself. I feel pretty emotional, but I feel a little more alive. I can't wait to be drug free and lucid.

 

Addenda- Aug., 2013.

I have been totally Effexor free for two months, but it has been a living hell. I understand why people choose to stay on this drug rather than tough it out in withdrawal. It's frightening what this drug does to our brains, and it's difficult to explain to our friends and family what is happening to us. For me, the neuro emotions, and the horrible anxiety and feeling of doom upon waking are the worst. That being said, I am going to give this the very best effort I can- I don't want to have to ever do this again. All the best to those of you on this difficult journey- you have some great people on this site who will help you through this mess.

Edited by tezza
Added name to title and paragraph spaces for readability

Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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tezza

Welcome Coleen,

 

You've been through a lot. I'm sure you're pretty familiar with the site. Thank you for joining and sharing your story.

 

Yes, you've tapered really fast. If I were you, I'd hold until I felt really good as far as WD symptoms go.

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Altostrata

Hi, Coleen. You probably didn't remember you already had an Intro topic.

 

Have your withdrawal symptoms changed any over the last 2 months?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Coleen

Actually Altostrata, I got a message from Jemima asking me to post an introduction. I though I had, and should have double checked. Can I remove the second one?

 

I have been Effexor free for almost two months now. It was really awful at first- I had every physical symptom for about two weeks. The neuro emotions are what get to me though; so debillitating and hard to know if they are real or just another symptom. Since I've been taking the vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, I feel so much better- dare I say normal? I have good and bad days, so now I try to just breathe through the bad ones and really enjoy the good.

Thank you so much for asking.


Effexor 75 mg for 3 yrs.

Effexor XR 75 mg for 10 yrs.

Effexor XR 150 mg for 5 years.

Currently at 37.5 and weaning slowly

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Altostrata

No problem, Coleen.

 

Thank you for your update. Very good to hear you're doing better.

 

You must have been low in B12. You might post your experience with B12 in this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1392-vitamin-b12-essential-for-mood-nervous-system/

 

Did you also try fish oil and magnesium?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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