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Monty95

Monty95: Effexor withdrawal

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Monty95

I'm just not sure how much more of this I can take. Its ridiculous now and I cant sleep at all. Everything feels agonising.

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Monty95

I guess I'm not having the muscle spasming in my right leg now. There is no muscle tone and I'm just dragging it while its limp. What an unimaginable nightmare this is. Why did I do this to myself?

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Monty95

Wow, having another stabbing headache on the left side of my head, think I might be having another stroke. I can't go back to the hospital I've just come from there and they wont be able to do anything except tell me to take the blood thinner. This may very well kill me. Would be a relief if it happened outright rather than dragging it out like this. & I felt so good in December. I hate you life.

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)

If you think you are having another stroke I think you should ring for an ambulance (or be taken) and get to hospital ASAP.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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Altostrata

I agree, go right to the hospital.

 

I'm so sorry, Monty. This must be awful for you.

 

I think you have a serious illness, probably not related to citalopram or Effexor or psychiatric drug changes, though you may be sensitive to them. Do not blame yourself!! You didn't do this.

 

Purely from my amateur knowledge, it sounds like it might be autoimmune. I think you need to see a specialist, plus get more attention from a neurologist. Do you live in a small town? You may have to go to a larger city. Does your town or county offer transportation assistance for people who are ill?

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Monty95

@ChessieCat@Altostrata

Thanks for your reply. I don't think I have an autoimmune disease as this all started when I came off the effexor. I've never had other health issues. I had nerve pain and a few zaps in my spine and left shoulder right after stopping the effexor as I was leaning on that elbow at the time I think. It happened a few more times and then I got this agonising pain where I couldn't move my shoulders and neck. Ordinarily I would have called an ambulance straight away but I attributed it to the withdrawal. That was where the arteries blocked off. They're completely blocked now so I suppose I'm at risk for further strokes, short of surgery which I don't think is an option. I'm really cognitively impaired now so find it difficult to plan and manage things or ask questions about treatment options. I cannot stress enough I always leaned on that elbow while on the computer, had these problems start two days off effexor. It would be very unusual for this to happen at my age with no risk factors, simply from using a computer. The thickened skin on my nose with some rosacea started while on effexor but it was very, very minor, I also had some lack of blood flow to my feet but it was very minor also. They both stopped immediately after I stopped the effexor and started again when I reinstated it and got progressively worse over time. I thought it was related to norepinephrine but it might also be mediated by hormones. The same thing with all the other hormonally related things, they initially increased eg. heavy period , fat distribution on hips etc., then back to far worse than on the effexor. I think this is due to androgen receptor down regulation or insensitivity, I've noticed a lot of people with pssd and post finasteride syndrome have the same issues with tissue and muscle wasting, hair loss etc. following the same pattern. I'm not sure why my lips are swollen and burning though. I think I may need to stop the effexor as the thickening skin is becoming extreme. I read a horror story about somebody tapering effexor just before I decided to stop taking it and laughed as I didn't find it credible so I can't stop replaying that in my head. I also turned down a ct scan in hospital when I first suspected a stroke because I didn't want the radiation and the Ed doctor said I had no neurological symptoms. Because of those silly arrogant decisions I cant walk now and I'm cognitively disabled. My life will always be divided into before and after I made this decision as I'll never be the same again. I was independent and healthy and loved every day of my life.  I would like other people to know about the dangers of stopping this drug abruptly as I certainly never imagined a few months ago I would be disabled by a stroke.

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Altostrata

Are your arteries unblocked now?

 

I would be careful about overthinking it, you could have a physical problem that emerged by coincidence with Effexor withdrawal. I'd pursue more testing and therapies.

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Monty95

@Altostrata(Please nobody feel the need to read this part of me knows this is not an appropriate place to be writing this I wont do it again my brain injury means Im not sleeping and this is just the only way I can make the past feel real so I'm writing it down as I've lost my long term memories now & this just distracted me from how Im feeling. )

Thank you for your response. I think the blood thinner I was prescribed in hospital will treat the clots and if the injury isn't aggravated it should heal in time.  At least this explains why I've felt all my executive functioning was eradicated in February and I had the first stroke in mid december, I very nearly went to the hospital went I saw my face lose muscle tone and my eyelid droop but because I'd just stopped effexor i looked it up and found some articles saying effexor withdrawal could mimic stroke symptoms and thought it couldn't be a coincidence.  Its possible it was a coincidence however effexor raises blood pressure and my b/p was quite low while on it, even lower before that around 80/50 low which I was pretty smug about, probably the rapid change ended up lobotomising me. Pretty unbelievable. - in withdrawal everything went haywire with rebound effects. I asked neurologists if it could be due to poor posture and that was categorically denied. So I think the most likely explanation was extreme increase in blood pressure after I came off abruptly. & the shearing force dissected both arteries Ironically I thought I was protecting my health in discontinuing it. I had another stroke last night and lost all of my long term memory , now left sided weakness, cant type, cant smile, my face shakes, tremor, constant movements, swallowing reflex gone, blurred vision.I suppose this is a lesson never to be cavalier with your health. I've lost my entire sense of self and inner life due to intellectual arrogance. I don't know how I'll live like this for years, when I can't sense passing time and each day feels forever with nothing to break it up. Ironic as on effexor my problem was not having enough hours in the day and getting distracted with small things/pleasurable distractions instead of pursuing bigger ambitions or relationships. & I'm pretty certain my other symptoms coincide with pssd/post finasteride syndrome, anhedonia, apathy, prominent veins now and weight redistribution, forming a layer of thick subcutaneous fat all over my body, my bones are contracting  - it sounds absolutely unbelievable but I've lost 2 cm in height, jaw bone eroding, facial and clavicle bones eroding and muscle wastage/tissue wastage gum pain and recession which bleeds because of the blood thinners. Stomach pain and muscle weakness, it feels like my stomach wall will collapse as its so distended and weakened. The facial bones eroding over the course of day is the scariest. I was so risk avoidant to protect my health, I wouldn't even fly if possible which is silly & now I've managed to give myself an obscure drug syndrome that erodes my face and teeth and entire body. Its just progressing so quickly I wonder where it will end. Extreme constipation and stomach distension and unable to sit without discomfort because there is no muscle left This is even more terrifying than the strokes almost. & I was prescribed effexor to address some  ocd tooth brushing/hygiene which I addressed with exposure therapy so this might be the ultimate irony. I can't believe I partly stopped it because my mood was consistently just below hypomanic and I was distracted by the smallest task which would give me tremendous reward, so I stopped pursuing more meaningful projects in my eyes and settled for ocd house cleaning etc. which was probably as exciting to me as going on holiday to your average person. So much so I would have to go back to look at how clean it was several times just to get an endorphin rush. Abnormal but I'll take it over no pleasure response. I actually thought I was too happy and rewarded & had no anxiety about things that used to bother me and it wasn't real. Now I realise everything is real, its all chemical whether naturally occurring or not and to alter a brain state thats too rewarding is lunacy. I should have just worked on discipline & goal setting.and prioritising maintaining relationships. Its just that I was totally fine with being alone doing my own thing most of the time or spending time with my sister who I was close to. I was aware if I described that to somebody else they'd think it was abnormal not having much of a social life or interests or hobbies but I was getting such a huge dopamine reward from just doing the basics and listening to podcasts/reading using my imagination and brain, I always probably preferred being alone or with close friends or family I felt totally comfortable with. My mind was always full with processing whatever my current interest or plan was and I had a complex inner monologue that would pick up on some point and debate it in my head from all angles and be thinking of a humorous take on it to relay to people or imagining how I would reinterpret it using my knowledge base to refine certain points or debating them back and forth. How I would convey it to others maximising the humour of the situation. & it was all instantaneous and accompanied by huge reward. Talking to other people was fun if we got on but I was mainly occupied in my own head with planning and creative thoughts and I'd be writing a comedy skit in my head or obsessing over design, thinking about everything architecture I thought was more legitimately designed and why bringing in knowledge of the discipline and various critics and my opinion and it was just endlessly entertaining. & rewarding. & what I would be doing in a month a year in a perfect world, writing a novel in my head. Debating a political point. If I listen to a political podcast now or science podcast instead of isolating interesting bits of information challenging them using my existing knowledge and preferences and adding them to my working memory for future reference I had an eidetic memory long and short term I struggle to follow or engage with them at all. Could pull up word for word comedy I'd found entertaining or literature references and integrate information to make a joke of it. & I'd be imagining future scenarios in my head and it felt like I was really living them, down to every detail. I got nearly as much reward from that as actually doing it. Id be imagining conversations and usually when I listened to comedy or a movie etc. I'd have a good idea of what the next line would be.  It really didn't matter where I was or what I was doing I was always in my head and it was hugely rewarding and engrossing. I never really achieved much because I had health issues and trouble concentrating and struggled to find time in the day to pursue what I wanted and I had so many ideas I struggled to pick one and work on it. But my quality of life was amazing. I needed nobody else to be happy although I really enjoyed certain peoples company and loved my family. I got so much response from stimuli, just going for a walk or drive was magical, evocative of mood and memory and future potential and the feeling of being healthy in my body and sexual and emotional attraction to people I met and I always had something to talk about. I'd regularly develop crushes or obsessions with certain people and I'd be experiencing oxytocin and dopamine release and everything felt possible. I'd imagine how I would raise a child from every angle how I would speak to them or educate them on something or my perfect collection of fashion design, featuring references to popular icons etc. then let the scenario play out and be amused by it. I had fantasy scenarios Id play out in my head where I'd help someone I saw on the street that day and I'd approach them and try to help them with insights from an outsider's perspective or how I wanted to transform the front of my house into a homeless shelter and how I would decorate it and manage it. If I was bored I'd access any of it at any time effortlessly. So if an outsider looked at my life they might think it was boring but it was amazing from moment to moment. Everything felt so rich. & my vision was perfect, felt like I was in my body, sense of the year and whats happened in etc a political timeline and news, current events I could reference whenever I wanted. Getting caught up in a scenario in the news. Making plans for a perfect future scenario, a perfect holiday, perfect house then the interiors, strategy for vegan activism how I would achieve it. I would take that plus some anxiety in an instant. I have no quality of life now just this dull inner monologue about why did I stop the effexor. If I ever achieve some degree of recovery I'm completely dependent on other people for entertainment I cannot stand to be on my own, I'm a blank void with no hedonistic response. Now I've lost my long term memory which I was constantly pulling up to console myself until the stroke last night I have nothing to amuse myself with and I get no reward from stimuli. This is the worst torture I could ever imagine.  I was so lucky in how I felt I took it for granted, I think I enjoyed life more than most people thinking about people Ive seen struggling  & I know what Ive lost, Im constantly aware of it and trying to recreate it and I cant because some tissue has died due to lack of oxygen. Because of stupid effexor withdrawal increasing my blood pressure. I think the aripirazole withdrawal helped with reducing anxiety and depression but my hedonistic response and depth of internal monologue have always been the same. I was in the perfect mental state I couldn't wait to wake up every day and the idea that those days would run out and I'd not had the opportunity to do things I wanted was painful. No matter what I always thought I would have myself even if I lost my physical health or had pain or grief or loss. With my executive funcitoning I could confront any problem and nothing phased me. To lose your self, personality and joy is indescribable. & my deep refreshing sleep and digestion. I thought they were me as I'd always had them. & I've always loved my adult body which could carry me anywhere or perform any task and it was conventially attractive with muscle tone hips, breasts, waist, muscles in legs and arms I used to exercise while doing other things from habit stretching and running and now my body is just painful and wasted all over. Including my bones and a layer of fat is being put down all over me. All the weight is on my stomach. and now it  Feels like my body and mind are being stripped away while I'm still peripherally aware of it. Now the idea that I'm stuck in this colourless void for many years when each day is an eternity  I'll probably be paying for that for the rest of my life as now I'm living with depression and anhedonia I never knew existed incapable of forcing myself to do the smallest task instead of a bit more anxiety and perfectionism as I assumed would be the case. & whenever I encounter a doctor to treat the neurological symptoms they see a flat, zombifed, lobotomised prematurely aged, balding,  skeleton with sunken eyes and thickened yellow skin and ask if I want to see a psychiatrist to treat my depression. Or they'll address a family member because quite frankly I'm not very nice to look at, I even had dried blood all over my face because of the blood thinners and dry nasal passages. I look at least 80 and feel older, I'm stooped, balding and in pain couldn't even get to the toilet without assistance at hospital or use the sample cup without dropping it and unable to bend over. The last time I was in that emergency department was 3 years ago with anxiety and the doctor asked if I was over 18 & I was able to defend myself and challenge some of the medical knowledge presented to me and make jokes. Do antidepressants prevent ageing , because I never aged much and now I've stopped I'm ageing at an alarming rate and also becoming agender, growing facial hair even. I would love so much for my problem to be ocd/anxiety. It gets things done. I get pitying stares from everyone now and can't string a sentence together due to cognitive impairment and speech problems. & I'd just come to terms with my appearance and was relaxed about it & confident with people while I was very anxious about my appearance throughout my twenties. I had contrast dye /ct scan even though it was irrelevant diagnostically to distinguish which artery was occluded as the treatment was blood thinners regardless, in the past i'd never go through with that at my age due to the irradiative dose or risk of kidney failure unless absolutely necessary but I couldn't move my head or speak or think so I just had it. I'll probably want to live again in 20 years time and I'll have bone cancer or renal failure. My breath smells and my teeth click because there is no saliva in my mouth. Nobody can stand to look at me even my own family and when they do I see them tear up and try to hide it, they're also frustrated and taking it out on me because I've disabled myself and need a carer. A few months ago I was perfectionist, dark sense of humour, intellectually sharp, very emotional, looked after myself in terms of health and exercise, had a sense of humour about everything, was obsessed with a million interests . Felt much younger than my age. I started most conversations with details of  Now I'm slurring my speech, unable to walk, silent with no thoughts, head drooping, in pain, insomniac for weeks, not even having the energy to dress myself or get out of bed. Because I thought I was getting too much dopamine and not creative enough and had some minor rosacea/ thickened skin on my nose. I should have seen a dermatologist but I asked my GP or for a script for antibiotics but he refused, he refuses everything including any scans for months when I said I was having neurological symptoms of sympathetic storming etc. wouldn't refer me to a neurologist. he only gave in to the mri when my mother asked. In hindsight that is not good practice.  If I was capable of emotion I'd be angry and upset with that. I tried to make a phone call today and couldn't speak or remember what was said, compel myself to find a pen to write down an appointment. & I asked for an emergency appointment as I thought I had swelling and he refused and said to give me the message I dont need a scan. But he hasnt seen me and I have new symptoms. Every day is forever when you can't feel any emotion or pleasure.& who turns down having very minimal anxiety? I've gone from perfect mood and perfect health, sleep, appetite, completely pain and discomfort free, mentally rich and rewarding  to living in a disabled blank void where I feel no emotions, I'm asexual, emotionless, timeless and not in my body, in constant pain and can't remember what happened 5 minutes ago or who I am. By choice. & this is the worst yet after the stroke affecting long term memory. That and my frontal lobe function made me myself. SHort term memory and concentration and movement disorders okay but could I please keep a small piece of myself. This should be happening in my 80's. & I took such good care of myself other than this stupid decision. Ate flaxseed and chia every day for omega threes only cooked with flaxseed oil, supplemented iodine and taurine, knew the nutrition content of all the foods I ate and how often I could eat them without building up too much of a certain vitamin or mineral and had a schedule with various nutrients according to their rdis - I was really expecting to live until old age. now I can barely stand and don't remember which order to put shampoo and conditioner in my hair. Before I'd have a ritual with candle lighting and Id brush out knots and put a preconditioner in and then wash  my hair and use a a protectant spray and argan oil which I'd research and email to ensure were vegan cruelty free and support small business and buy locally if possible and thinking about potential carcinogens and production methods and set the straightener on at a certain time to minimise electricity use in optimal heating and I'd be enjoying the smells and feel of the hot water on my soft skin and the lights and pretty images and pick out any video I was interested in or music to play, dancing around the room all spontaneous and effortless and synergistic it was all in the stupid front part of my brain and now everything is an agonising chore physically and mentally, my skin is like numb hard uncomfortable wax, I shake and cant move my legs and I wouldnt enjoy or understand or have the energy to recreate any of this. My back is crippled with pain and bone loss so probably couldn't bend over to get in the bath. Again I'm self pitying this is happening at 34 not 84, I could cope with that. Forgive me to anybody reading this these inappropriately long self pitying monologues I think indicate damage to the frontal lobes and loss of inhibition or appropriateness/planning. 

 

I woke up and this is extremely terrifying but the central cartilage in my nose is thickened and distended and its like its laying down bone or some kind of mass at the base & its blocked with blood, the tip is thinning & the mucous membranes are also thickening and hard - is it me or is this like a living nightmare or a horror movie- but I wasnt getting any air through my right nostril and I was woken by that side of my face going numb. I'm gasping for air through my mouth. I had minor breathing issues before this happened due to being hit accidentally in early 2018 and some scar tissue and  slightly deviated septum, tried to address them but my gp refused to refer me to an ent or a dermatologist as he thinks im a hypochondriac. I stopped the effexor quickly because i was worried about the skin thickening on my nose and not being able to see a dermatologist. and he told me to do so in a month then he refused to listen when i said i have a neurological problem for 6 months. I really need a new gp. & all my issues are psychiatric -then why not warn me its probably not ta good idea to ct an antidepressant I was taking 15 years if he thinks Im an anxiious depressed hypochindriac? but now I'm trying to breathe through my mouth but there is no saliva and its acidic and burns, and my lips are dry and cracked and bleeding and all the fat is wasted from them. now the muscles and bones in my chest wall are dergrading and shrinking I'm worried this will affect my heart, or maybe its my brainstem. I know  this isnt in my head because I wear a mouthguard/retainer for bruxism to sleep and its difficult to fit it in my mouth now. The bones are compressing overnight especially in my jaw. There is nothing to support my teeth. They appear far too big for my face now and protruding. All this has happened within the last 3 weeks. 3 weeks. I took a photo of myself then when it started happening quickly just to prove this is not in my head.This started when I reinstated a low dose of effexor and the oedema on my nose started to come back and my hair started falling out again. It started initially in withdrawal and when I reinstated it came back but exaggerated. I looked normal then and other than the cns issues and dysautonomia not in bad health. Now its extreme and extending to bone loss and all over my entire body. I reduced the dose again today to five beads, I may have to stop it altogether, then it will probably rebound again perhaps worse although its hard to see how it could get much worse. I think I've said that before though.I have the body of an elderly woman with severe back pain. My sternum is eroded and poking out, no fat on my hips sagging skin on my legs and bum, hip bone is narrower and ALL of my breast and clitoral tissue is gone now as of today. I'll be stooped over soon if this continues. I'm 34 and this has all happened in the last 3 months since reinstatement though it may have happened anyway. I always put so much effort into exercise and diet and I felt great in my body until this happened. Normal sexual function. I cannot believe I used to be vain and have some anxiety over my appearance which is partly why I was put on antidepressants initially because I didn't like the outcome of a rhinoplasty I had when I was 17 and felt I lost my identity a bit and regretted it. I remember my dad saying your identity has nothing to do with your appearance its your character, who you are and how you think which is very true and now that's all gone and my face is eroding overnight. Anxiety was so much better since 2015 I was fine with my appearance and the ocd completely resolved. I actually was happy with the way I looked now my nose is collapsing and swelling and hardening so I cant breathe and the bone is being eroded. This is absolutely terrifying. Maybe this is a rare autoimmune condition, it needs urgent attention as if this continues it will affect my ability to oxygenate my body and stand upright. The pace it is progressing at is unimaginably scary. My two greatest fears were probably dementia and my jaw bone eroding, as I had issues with gum health that prompted the ocd brushing, the last few years I've thought its not worthwhile brushing my teeth so frequently and I should relax and go out to eat as you only live once and they're only teeth and its superficial. The only thing that worried me was eventual bone loss, I've been scrupulously diligent with when I eat and flossing and brushing & regular dental checks since 2011 to the point that it restricted my social life and I was hospitalised over it and put on effexor, now stopping effexor erodes my jawbone in a week?!! & my facial muscles are paralysed and I cant smile, if I try I cant pull my lips over my teeth because they're too big for my face now and everything is shrinking. My nose cartilage and bone is thinning and shrinking. I can't see to brush my teeth as my vision has dimmed and blurred . & I complained about IBS as an effexor side effect - now my stomach is hard and distended and looks like I will need medical intervention as its so painful. I have upper back pain which is strange, dont know if its stroke related or with my luck probably my kidneys shutting down after the iodine contrast. Can barely move. If I go to hospital they certainly will not know what to make of this, however its so extreme now I hope I can find someone who will acknowledge it. and In addition to executive cognitive and memory deficits such that I would qualify as being demented?!! I struggle to believe this is actually happening. If I was lucid and had my old mind back this would have me in the ER right now in a panic advocating for myself. But I cant see drive or plan and my physical health is deteriorating to the point I'm finding it difficult to get out of bed. Especially as everything has been great for years and  & the idea that I cant get oxygen and it results in spreading numbness over my face and my heart is stopping and I'm having strokes is too much for me. If I'm in AF and on blood thinners with my heart stopping like that over night especially when I'm not getting enough air I could easily throw off a clot and have another infarction or block things off entirely. & I sleep for a bit then I'm awake with no sense of passing time writing long monologues on internet forums which some part of me is aware is not normal or productive but the anhedonia prevents any other form of distraction. I would give or do anything to go back and reverse this wonder what I'd be doing or thinking now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat
2 minutes ago, Monty95 said:

(Please nobody feel the need to read this part of me knows this is not an appropriate place to be writing this I wont do it again my brain injury means Im not sleeping and this is just the only way I can make the past feel real so I'm writing it down as I've lost my long term memories now & this just distracted me from how Im feeling. )

 

Journalling - Therapeutic Writing & Health Benefits

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Altostrata

Monty, you need to go to the hospital right away.

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ShiningLight

Monty, I found your topic when searching on my symptom of sunken eyes. This sounds horrible! Thinking of you, are you out there?

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India

@Monty what has happened since your post? Update.

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