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Andi: introducing myself

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Andi

Hello everybody,

 

I apologize in advance for my English writing, it wil not be perfect but i hope you can understand me!

 

My name is Andi and i am from The Netherlands, i am 31 years old! I have a history with social anxiety and panic disorder although i can honestly say that as for as the social anxiety goes im doing a lot better, the only major problem i have is the fact that i have a lot of fear for the fear if that makes sense! Anyway i started using Lexapro in 2012 and the first 2 years i was doing fine, no issues whatsoever, after 2 years i started to get severe neck nerve pain, i went to the doctor many times and the only thing he said was that is was due to stress! After walking around with crazy nerve pain for about 4 years and ruling out everything i then thought it had to be the Escitalopram! So then i made the biggest mistake ever!!! I quit cold turkey in 2017!

 

For the first couple of weeks i was feeling kinda sick like the flue but it was actually not really that bad! My neck was starting to feel better so i was actually happy about it and thought that i was gonna feel fine in a couple of weeks! Wow was i wrong!! After 4 weeks i woke up with tinnitus, and after about 5 weeks the bomb exploded! I had the worst anxiety and panic attacks ever!! Whey worse than before the medication! I had severe restless legs and could not sleep! I was extremely emotional and also agressive! I had never been like that before!! I then obviously started googling these issues and came across this site as many others, i read a lot of different stories and thought wel maybe i will get better in time! But after 4 months of hell i had enough! I basically made an appointment with a psychiatrist and the first day they gave me Effexor! They could have given me anything because i didn't wanna go a day longer! Anyway after 2 weeks i went up to 75mg of Effexor and yes my emotional problems where a lot better but once again i got extreme neck pain, even worse than before so i had to go back to 37,5 mg! After a couple of days my neck was feeling a lot better but anxiety wise i was not great! Not as bad as before but also not great! The biggest issue i had with the anxiety that came was this weird thing where i felt like i could not breath!! That was horrible! Everytime the doorbell rang at home i immediately could't breath! Before the medication my anxiety was never like this!! Anyway after dropping to 37mg of Effexor i still felt like choking sometimes however i was sleeping a bit better (not longer than 4 hours in a row) but atleast the restless legs where gone! Emotional wise i was still doing oke. So because i was to scared to come off Effexor i was on it for about a year until the end of 2018! At that moment i felt reasonable and the anxiety was also a bit better so i decided to gett off the meds because i was getting some annoying side effects once again! So i tapered down over the course of 3 months, i know some people will say that this is to fast but i was done with the medication because of the very annoying side effects like teeth grinding, not being able to sleep long and once again neck pain! Anyway in February of this year i had my last pill!

 

So the first 6 weeks i was doing okay! I definitely felt some withdrawal issues like restless legs and emotional, irritated and things like that but not as bad as last year when i came off lexapro! But once again after about 7 weeks things got bad, i got a lot more anxiety and emotional and somehow my neck started hurting again, i also feel extemely irritated and annoyed very fast! I can get really angry if something goes wrong and i hate this because i have never been like this before! My anxiety is also through the roof and once again i cant sleep! So its been 4 months now and still no progress! I still feel like im surviving and have no life! I talked with many people, i have a new psychiatrist and when i explain my problem she looks at me like she doesn't care, she keeps saying that i am probably one of the very few people with these issues! The only option she gives me is to take other medication! I really don't want to do it but i will probably take an other medicine in August because i just cant do this anymore! Nobody reassures me or anything! They act like i had these issues before the medication but i know that is such bulls... I really start to hate doctors!! Anyway the only option i see is to wait until August because then i have been off the meds for 6 months, if by then there is no progression i have no other choice but to try an other medicine! Again i really don't want it but right now my life is horrible! I need reassurence, i still cant sleep! Why is it that when i started taking Effexor i could not sleep longer than 4 hours in a row and now i am off this medicine and i still have the same issue!? Is this permanent? Can these meds really damage you for life? Can anybody tell me will this get better and what is the timeframe? 

 

Thank you for reading! 

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Gridley

Hello, Andi, and welcome to SA.  Your English is fine.  I'm sorry you're having these very unpleasant but unfortunately all-too-common withdrawal symptoms.  It's not at all surprising that your psychiatrist doesn't understand, since the vast majority of psychiatrists don't believe that withdrawal from antidepressants exists, much less how widespread the problem is.  You are not "one of the very few people with these issues."  The large number of people who visit this website is testimony to that.

 

The withdrawal symptoms you describe are typical. So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.

 

 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  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.

Recovery can take a long time.  The following link contains sobering but ultimately hopeful information that we all do heal, though it will take longer than we would like.  It will get better but unfortunately no one can give you a timeframe.  The first essay specifically addresses your question, but the other essays are also worth reading.

 

 

How Long Is Withdrawal Going to Take? (this post - see below) 

 

In answer to your other question, the damage is not permanent.  The brain has a remarkable ability to heal itself, known as neuroplasticity.

 

Healing from antidepressants: The power of neuroplasticity video (7.5 minutes)

 

The purpose of this site is to help people taper off psychiatric drugs and to cope with withdrawal.  We cannot advise you whether or not to go on another antidepressant.  What we can give you, in addition to support, is information on dealing with withdrawal.  We recommend using non-drug techniques to cope with withdrawal symptoms.  Here are some links that deal with anxiety:

 

 

Insomnia is a very common symptom of psychiatric drug withdrawal.  
 
Tips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia
 
 
Trick and tips to fall asleep faster
 
 
Some members have found Melatonin helpful with insomnia.   
 
 
It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.  
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

Please add a signature.  This will appear below each of your posts and is very helpful to the moderators  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
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This is your Introductory topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members.  I'm glad you found your way here.

 

 
 
 


 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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Onmyway

Welcome Andi, 

first of all, it is important to remember that this will get better. That pretty much everybody sees improvements. It is also important to remind yourself that this is withdrawal and your system readjusting after the shock.  There have been days where I just told myself that I would take everything minute by minute, hour by hour. As you have discovered by now, we do survive on less than 8 hrs of sleep. The last 3 months I usually get 4-5 hrs of sleep (sometimes less but not more than 6). It is hard. It makes everything worse. But it is doable. You can survive on it. You can get through the morning cortisol spike or the relentless nausea and anhedonia (my symptoms). And when things get really bad, you can get back here. 

 

I won't tell you if you should go back on the drug or stabilize and taper, that is your decision. I have been reading the Irving Kirsch book on antidepressants and basically their effect is really a placebo effect. Going back on the med or going on a different medicine might or might not help with the withdrawal. For many people going back and forth worsens things. I had come off of citalopram many years ago fairly easily (a few weeks of wd) and that is what I expected but that is not the case now. If you go back now, you might make subsequent wd worse though you need to consider everything. About psychiatrists, remember that their whole profession is about treating through prescribing medicines - there are no other methods that they use usually (there are some psychiatrists that are also psychologists but more rare now). That is all that they can do for you. That is what they will suggest. That is why they are resistant to accepting wd or accepting the fact that ADs are placebos with severe side effects and awful wd. Have you looked into other ways of maganing anxiety? CBT? Gridley has posted really helpul links above. Check them out. 

 

For sleep, I have found helpful blackout curtains/eyemasks from suggestions here as well as ear plugs. Also magnesium and melatonin (though start small). 

 

Hugs from the UK. There are brighter days ahead. 

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Andi

Thanky you guys so much for your reaction! I will read all the information although I must say I have read a lot already! 

 

The morning cortisol spike is very interesting to hear because yes my anxiety feels very bad especially in my belly when I wake up! I also get triggered very easy! Just hearing my cat downstairs can give me anxiety it's crazy! As far as getting back on the drug I can tell you it's definitely not a placebo effect with me, my anxiety is mainly physical, ihave addressed my mental anxiety a lot throughout the years and I know how to deal with that, you can pretty much say that I made it my study and whenever I go to a psychiatrist or psychologist they tell me that I am extremely aware of how it works. This is also the reason why I'm 100% sure that it's because of the medicine because my anxiety is purely physical, off course it has an effect on my mental state right now but the main problem is the extremely physical anxiety. CBT is something I have done over the years and it has helped me but again right now my body is so out of control that I'm already reaching panic state before I can even think! It's just undoable. But I do thank you for your suggestions! 

 

I'm going to give it some more time but at some point there has to be some sort of progression! Because I can't life with this for years, at this point I rather feel better on medication than live in this hell! I hate it but feel like I have no choice. But let's hope maybe I feel better in the next months! 

 

I am using supplements already, omega 3 fish oil and magnesium, I also tried cbd oil but that didn't do much. I'm also working out and doing cardio 9km three times a week! 

 

Oh yeah last thing about the sleep, sure whe can survive on less sleep right now but I have read some study's on sleep and I think it increases the risk on a lot of deceases and stuff, and I think getting old is going to be very hard if you don't sleep! So right now it's okay but who's to say what will happen later. Especially because I was always a long sleeper, I used to sleep at least 8 hours in a row so I think this is very bad for me and of course the recovery process is going to be hard when you dont sleep.

 

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Onmyway

Have you seen if your anxiety or physical symptoms are correlated with physical exercise. Many people report high exertion hurts the wd process. 

 

Also, maybe accupuncture?

 

I am not anti-drugs. If you think they work for you, it may be what is right for you. Ultimately your decision. I have personally considered it. But going back is not risk free and can make things worse. Or not. Nobody really can predict.

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Andi

No it has nothing to do with physical exercise, i didnt work out the first time and my issues where the same! 

 

About accupuncture, i have no idea if this can help but i doubt it, since my issues are clearly caused by medication, i feel like my body is in a chemical chaos and maybe it just takes time before it gets better. 

 

I understand! I gotta say that when i first started with an antidepressant (lexapro) i didnt notice a whole lot of difference, it seemed very subtle! I also did not have any side effects for the first 2 years! Then it started and got worse over time! Looking back on it i agree that these medicine kind of give you a mental push and you become less afraid because you feel you are protected! However since i stopped with the medication my anxiety is probably 10 times worse than ever before! I believe that using these meds long terme has given me a chemical inbalance! Because i have problems that i never had before the medication! Maybe in time my brain wil recover but the problem is that i have no idea how long! If i just knew how long then i can push myself through it but if i feel like this can go on for years then i dont think so! 

 

And about the medication, i agree that reinstating can be a problem, however when i started with venlafaxine last year i felt emotionally and physically a lot better! But once again i developed side effects. Believe me i will do everything to stay away from the medication because again these things have messed my life up more than anything ever before!

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Andi

So today i still feel the same, i still sleep bad and i still have extreme emotional impulses. I think im going to go on a low dose of an antidepressant and maybe try to taper from that, so my question is basically: should i go back on a low dose of the same (venlafaxine) drug or should i go on a low dose of fluoxetine since this seems to be easier to taper from? Can anybody tell me? When i stopped taking Lexapro last year i got severe withdrawal issues however after 4 months i was prescribed venlafaxine and this definitely helped taking away the emotional issues so i guess my body has really become dependent on these meds. What would be the best option? I feel like waiting for the issues to go away is just worthless at the moment and i have read many stories of people saying they still have issues after years and i cant do that.

 

Oh yeah another question since people here really seem to have more knowlodge then anywhere else, I have a really stiff sore neck and it all started after 2 years on Lexapro, it was really bad with a lot of nerve pain in the back of the neck. So my question is: why do i get an extreme neck pain on these meds? I tried taking 3 different meds and they all gave me neck pain? Why? When i talk to the gp she says she has never heard anybody with this issue? I didnt have a lot of side effects but the neck pain was so severe i had to get off. Now the neck pain is not so bad anymore however i still have an annoying stiff neck.

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Kostas

I had severe shawder pain , reflecting down to my hand, after 2 years being off citalopram, which was taken for 10 years on/off! 

 

Pain was 24/7, all medical tests clear, doctors were puzzled, even had do go to pain clinic for comfort. 

 

Nothing worked, lasted for a couple of months, and then gradually faded and vanished. 

Now for 2 years I am OK. 

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jozeff

Hi Andi,

 

Im sorry your suffering this much. I am on citalopram so a bit similar to lexapro. In the past I used venlafaxine for years and I did not have all this trouble with that stuff.

 

I have been on citalopram for 3 years now and I regret it every day. The first year it helped me immensely but juggling with my dose made me super sensitive and now I am tapering very carefully. It is absolute hell sometimes. Tired, anxious, depressed, muscle stiffness, very low mood, racing heart. A lot of symptoms I never had before taking citalopram in the first place. I guess we have to be patient and tough it out. 

 

You said that you did'nt notice any improvement in 2 years. I can imagine that you would want to start taking a small dose of something to feel a bit better and stabilize. 

 

Maybe the mods can give you some advice on reinstating a small amount of ad. 

 

The intense neck pain is also a major concern for me. Ho do you cope with that?

 

I'm interested to hear your plans and improvements. I live in the Netherlands as well.

 

 

good luck and hopefully you will experience some relief.

 

cheers

Jozeff

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Andi

@Kostas Yes its crazy what these medicine can do! I also did a lot of blood test etc and everything was Always fine but the neck pain was unberable! Nice to hear that you are ok now! With me the pain was very bad while i was taking the drug! Now i dont have nerve pain anymore but it feels very stiff and sometimes if i get tense i also feel twitches in my chest near my arms! Its very weird!

 

@jozeff Thank you for your reaction! Nice to know that we live in the same country! Oke so thats interesting that you did not have any issues with venlafaxine but i guess every body is different! When i took Venlafaxine 75mg i literally couldn't move my neck anymore! If i tried looking to the left or right i had ridicilous pain!! Now the funny thing is that it definitely got rid of my anxiety so i still took it for a month! Which was insane considering how bad the pain was! After a month i dropped down to 37mg and my neck was feeling much better within 3 days! But it was never like before the meds!

Wow yeah that must be very hard! It totally understand! Exactly, the hardest part is to believe this wil go away because after so long there is still no progression and i feel like my life is passing me by! So im really doubting whether i should just get back on a low dose!

 

No i am now off the meds for 6 months! Im refering to other peoples stories where they say it can take years! And i feel like i cant wait that long because what if i wait for 2 more years and it never gets better? Than i threw away 2 years. I already feel bad for the last 6 months.

 

About the neck pain: its not as bad as it was when i was taking the medication so its a little easier to cope with, the biggest problem for me is the ridicilous anxiety and emotional impulses that i cant seem to control! Last week i literally cut myself with a knife because i got mad, i had the knife in my hand and punched the wall with it and it cut my finger open! So that was great! I had to go to the hospital and got stitches! Its crazy because before the meds i was never like this!! 

 

My plan is to wait for 2 more weeks and then il probably take a small dose of venlafaxine or fluoxetine! Still havent made op my mind which one because i dont know what is better! I never liked venlafaxine but atleast i know the side effects! With fluexetine i dont know the side effects but i do know that its easier to taper!

 

Thank you very much and good luck to you too!!

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jozeff

Hi,

 

Which medication you should take is a hard question. I could be wrong but I see a lot of people here struggling with citalopram and sertraline here. I would avoid those to be honest. These are very common in the Netherlands so be aware.

 

The mood swings are very tough. I can be perfectly relaxed and then get almost suicidal and beyond anxious in 5 minutes. Ive had mood swings all my life but absolutely not like this. 

 

I  can relate to your agression. Sometimes I want to throw a bottle against the wall. Or beat someone up. I never was this agressive  before.

 

Wanting to cry is also nasty.....

 

Have a nice evening.

 

 

Cheers

Jozeff

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Andi

So i decided to reinstate on a very small dose (6mg) last saturday. Within 2 days i felt more calm but on the 3rd day i once again got neck pain. Its weird because last year i took 37mg without to much problems. Does anybody have an idea what this means? I really have no clue anymore and im seriously doubting going on different medication even though i know its not advised. But i cant live without the medicine because of the ridiculous anxiety, but then with the medication i get horrible neck pain. And that is the only problem by the way. 

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Andi

Ok so i think im on 4mg of venlafaxine right now, i dont know exactly because im cutting a tablet of 12mg in about 1/3 so i guess thats about 4mg. Im feeling much better emotionally and its pretty clear to me now that all the problems where in fact caused by a withdrawal syndrome. Now since i do have a lot of neck pain im pretty much forced to get off eventually, is there anybody that has an idea of how long i should take a certain dose before i can get off? How should i treat this? If i could i would just stay on this low dose but unfortunately the neck pain is severe and i cant take this forever. Im really sceptical now obviously and i feel like it doesnt matter eventually when i quit i will probably get the withdrawal again. I apreciate all tips very much!

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Gridley
33 minutes ago, Andi said:

is there anybody that has an idea of how long i should take a certain dose before i can get off?

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  So you should hold after each 10% taper for at least four weeks before making another 10% taper.

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

This link gives specific information about tapering venlafaxine, including how to taper a tablet, under the subsection, "How to taper by cutting a tablet."

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

You can minimize withdrawal symptoms by tapering slowly at the recommended rate.

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Andi

Thank you so much for your reaction! Unfortunately its pretty much impossible to do it that way because of the tablets, there is no way of seeing how much im taking. I have come to the point that im cutting the tablets the smallest i can and i still have neck pain! This is nuts! My question is: why am i having this side effect in 1mg?? Last year i took 37mg without problems! Only on 75mg i had the same side effect? Does my body not tolerate this medicine anymore? Could i still take a different medicine? This situation is getting more and more confusing by the day! Or could it actually be a good sign? Meaning that my body has recovered to a certain point that maybe i should just wait it out? I have no clue anymore and there is nobody that knows! Its absurd.

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Gridley
40 minutes ago, Andi said:

My question is: why am i having this side effect in 1mg?? Last year i took 37mg without problems!

 

Likely the neck pain is not a side effect but a withdrawal symptom.  Your nervous system was in a different condition last year than now, and withdrawal symptoms can pop up without explanation along the way.  I had severe neck pain at one point during my Lexapro taper for several months, then for no apparent reason it has nearly gone away.

 

Your neck pain may go away, as mine did, or it may not.  Unfortunately, there's no way to tell.  If you want to remain at 4mg, you could try waiting it out.  Or you could choose to taper and get off the drug.  

 

Am I correct that you're on 4mg venlafaxine now?  If you do decide to taper, please refer to the tapering links in my previous post.

 

Regarding measuring the doses of the tablet, many members use the AWS Gemini-20 scale to weigh their dose.  It is inexpensive, accurate and available on Amazon.com.

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

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Andi
41 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

Likely the neck pain is not a side effect but a withdrawal symptom.  Your nervous system was in a different condition last year than now, and withdrawal symptoms can pop up without explanation along the way.  I had severe neck pain at one point during my Lexapro taper for several months, then for no apparent reason it has nearly gone away.

 

Your neck pain may go away, as mine did, or it may not.  Unfortunately, there's no way to tell.  If you want to remain at 4mg, you could try waiting it out.  Or you could choose to taper and get off the drug.  

 

Am I correct that you're on 4mg venlafaxine now?  If you do decide to taper, please refer to the tapering links in my previous post.

 

Regarding measuring the doses of the tablet, many members use the AWS Gemini-20 scale to weigh their dose.  It is inexpensive, accurate and available on Amazon.com.

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

No the neck pain is definitely a side effect, last year i took 75mg of venlafaxine and i had the same thing with extreme burning sensation of the spine in the neck area. It all started when i was on Lexapro a couple of years ago. When i lowered to 37mg last year (venlafaxine) the neck problem went away. Now i restarted at about 6mg and i got the burning pain again, i lowered to 1mg and its still there. I dont think i will be able to taper because of how severe the pain is. Maybe i should get on a different drug and taper from there but the problem is that i have no idea if there is infact a medicine that doesnt cause this horrible neck pain. It feels litteraly as if my spine is burning. I asked different doctors if they have any idea what this neck pain is and they have no idea, its also hard to move my neck.

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Andi

So a little follow up on the situation. After this horrible neck pain experience i basically quit taking Venlafaxine and now after about 3 weeks the neck pain is gone. So my thought is that in some kind of weird way this was serotonin syndrome. I checked symptoms of serotonine syndrome and i had a lot of them. Very weird since i took 37,5mg a year ago and never had any problems but apparently my body has changed, maybe its actually a sign that the serotonin receptors are in fact recovering. My heart rate also increased and still is although it seems to be getting better slightly. As far as the rest of my symptoms, the rage seems very slightly better. I sleep okayish although i still wake up a lot. I still feel a lot of anxiety and its by far the worst thing about the whole withdrawal. Is the anxiety going to recover? Because its really only physical. I can honestly say that mentally i feel better than i ever did on the medication!! On lexapro i developed weird obsessions and started to think about humans and life in a very weird way, i also had obsessive anxious thoughts which i already felt like this was not how i was before the meds. So im very happy that inside my head im much calmer even though physically i feel a lot of anxiety. I also feel cold! Especially when i got into a situation that makes me tense i feel very cold and my muscles start twitching! My jaw, neck and chest muscles start to shiver after and sometimes during a tense situation. Does anybody experience the same? And will this all recover? I must say that after the reinstatement and my body's reaction i have become very adamant that i wont be taking any chemical crap anymore and that i will in fact 'toughing it out'. I have read many stories of people who have even worse symptoms and i dont want to risk it. Like i said the extreme anxiety all day is my worse symptom and i like to know if i can expect this to go away? Im more than 7 months off now (except the 1 week of very little reinstatement) and i feel like at this point i should probably just toughen it out. I guess i just have to trust that my nerve system will recover. Positive stories are very welcome. And i just want to say that i have a lot of respect for everyone going through this! 

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ChessieCat

So that we can see your drug history at a glance (which also gives context to your posts when you post outside of your own topic) 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

 

 

You might find that Magnesium might help with the anxiety.  There have been several times that I have stopped taking it for a few consecutive days and noticed my anxiety increases.  On each occasion when I have restarted it, my anxiety reduces.  It doesn't get rid of it completely but for me it definitely makes a difference.

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Andi

Okay i hope i did it right.

 

I already am taking magnesium for the last 5 years.

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ChessieCat

How much magnesium are you taking?

 

Are you taking it throughout the day?  It is better to take it several times a day.

 

Are you taking calcium at the same time?  Some magnesium tablets contain calcium as well.  They cancel each other out.

 

What type of magnesium are you taking?  You might want to consider changing to a different type.

 

Please read the magnesium topic for further information about what I have posted above.

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Andi

I am taking 400mg magnesium chelates from dr best, which is supposed to be one of the best magnesium supplements available. 

 

Over the last couple of years i have taken it on different times. Now im taking it in the evening. I always fellt it helped but since my anxiety comes from the withdrawal this doesnt change that. No i am not taking calcium although i do drink milk! 

 

Like i said before, the type of magnesium i am taking is considered one of the best so its not a wrong type, i always research everything that i take. 

 

Right now i also take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, this seems to have an effect on the morning anxiety. And i also take Omega 3 fish oil. I took cbd oil which also seemed to work very subtle but the anxiety is just very overwhelming and clearly a sign that something is wrong with my nerve system.

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ChessieCat
5 hours ago, Andi said:

Right now i also take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola

 

Please add these to your drug signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

Magnesium and omega 3 are the only supplements which SA recommends.

 

 

On 7/31/2013 at 9:19 PM, GiaK said:

I used to take ashwaganda daily...it's one of many supplements that went south on me...it's now agitating and very unpleasant...just FYI

 

ashwagandha-herb-for-anxiety-stress-and-toxic-overload

 

 

rhodiola-rosea-study-suggests-benefit-on-stress-related-fatigue-and-waking-cortisol

 

 

 

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Gridley
5 hours ago, Andi said:

he anxiety is just very overwhelming and clearly a sign that something is wrong with my nerve system.

 

Here are some non-drug techniques for dealing with anxiety:

 

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Andi

So i need some advice. I am now almost 11 months in withdrawal from Venlafaxine, my main issues are emotional impulses, extreme muscle weakness, constant anxiety,  tinnitus. And some other issues. Im done with this basically and i want to reinstate, the only problem is that i dont know how to determine how much i need and how to cut the tablets. How can i take 1mg of Venlafaxine for example? Does anybody have an idea? I already reinstated last year in August and i did it by cutting a small tablet that contained 12,5 mg. My guess is that i took about 8mg the first 3 days and it made me emotionally a lot better however i got a very bad burning sensation in my neck which i Always get when i take i higher dose. I think that maybe taking a very low dose can help but i just dont know how to get this low dose. There are also capsules with these tiny little balls but i gave no idea how much is in 1 ball. My doctor and psychiatrist clearly dont care because they just dont wanne help me with this but for me its a matter of living. 

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manymoretodays

Hi Andi, @Andi

I found your most recent topic over in the S and SC forum.  Moved it on back here.

And thank you tcisb, for giving Andi a helpful link.

 

So you have some Effexor(venlafaxine) available right now?  And if so, what kind?  Perhaps you can identify the type you have from the link that tcisb gave you.

 

Including this one as well, for you to look over:

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

And of course reinstatement works best, when instituted at the onset of WD symptoms, often in the first few months.

 

Do you have any idea what dose in milligrams/mg you jumped off at last February?

How have symptoms changed for you in the last month or two?

Are you taking any psychoactive substances right now?  Please include any supplements, alcohol, non-prescribed drugs, etc.

 

So sorry that it still is so very difficult for you Andi.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andi

@thecowisback Thank you! 

 

@manymoretodays Yes i have Venafaxine but its a small tablet that contains 12,5mg. I can cut it but not very precise. I can also easily get the beads or whatever brand cause they give it out like candy here. But right now i only have the small tablets. Thank you for the information! The dose i jumped off a year ago was probably about 6mg. But in general i did a pretty fast taper because i tapered over 3 months which i know is too fast. I reinstated last year in August. It was probably about 8mg which i took for only 5 days. I felt almost immediate relief. In 2 days my anxiety was gone but after 4 days i developed a burning nerve pain in my neck/back of head. This is something that i had before but only on 75mg of Venlafaxine. It seems that i have indeed gotten hypersensitive to Venlafaxine because i used to take 37.5mg without the neck pain for almost a year.

 

Immediately after i got the neck pain i stopped taking it so it was a total of about 5 days. After about 4 weeks the neck pain disappeared and then after about 6 weeks it did seem like especially the muscle weakness became worse. Overall not a lot has changed! I still feel just as bad as i did the moment the withdrawal kicked in. That is why im done with it because i feel as if i am waiting on something that is not going to happen while life passes me bye. I rather take medication and feel stabile than this. But im not sure because i seem to Always get extreme burning neck sensation with this stuff. Currently i am not taking anything! Only magnesium. A couple of weeks ago i took some cbd oil 20mg and i was very surprised that after a couple days my neck started to hurt again so i also quit taking that. It just doesnt make any sense to me because these things are suppose to help with nerve pain etc but somehow with me they create the pain. Its a mystery for me and very frustrating because its the only thing that keeps me from living a happy life.

 

So i also have a question, could starting another ad on a very low dose be an option? Because when i had withdrawal from Lexapro after 4 months i started with Venlafaxine and that did take away the problems for the most part. Could it be that i am hypersensitive to only the drugs that i have taken before? Or does it mean i am hypersensitive to all of em? Anyways thank you for responding!

 

 

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manymoretodays

Hi Andi,

I'm just trying to get a clearer understanding of where you've been at since February 2019.

Could you go to Account Settings> signature and update with some of your reinstatement trials?

 

Let's see, I'm seeing the following backtracking through some of your narratives:

2019 August:  reinstatement venlafaxine approximately 8 mg, or 6 mg, and then you might have gone to 1 mg before you quit

Was there another reinstatement trial of venlafaxine before or after this?

 

When you update your signature: please just add the date and dose( as best as you can approximate).

 

I see that the "annoying side effects" you mention are tightness in the neck, anxiety, and at one point I think you felt some jaw clenching as well.  We do see these kind of symptoms in people with WD(withdrawal).  Sounds like dystonia. 

I have had varying degrees of that as well(on the milder side), most of it now resolved, other than some upper back discomfort and tension when I don't stick to my swims, yoga, and walks.  I have a "anti-stress comfort wrap" thingy that I can microwave and then drape around my upper neck and back(I have not used it for some time now though) and Epsom Salt Baths or even just warm baths offer me great relief with just the milder tension that I can still experience from time to time.

 

And do try some of the non-drug coping for anxiety that Gridley offered above.

 

On 1/12/2020 at 12:12 PM, Andi said:

Yes i have Venafaxine but its a small tablet that contains 12,5mg. I can cut it but not very precise. I can also easily get the beads or whatever brand cause they give it out like candy here.

 

It sounds like you must now have one of the mini tabs that come in the venlafaxine ER(ER for extended release).  Are there 3 mini tabs in each capsule? 

It might be easier to just get some immediate release(regular) venlafaxine, tablets/pills,  looks like the lowest dose available is 25 mg. 

 

And then your options would be to make a do it yourself liquid, or use the Gemini 20, so you could reinstate at perhaps 2 mg.  Some pharmacies will make a compounded liquid from the immediate release venlafaxine too.  You could inquire on this.

How to make a liquid from drugs

^ a good starting place to study  and then go to the top, where this topic starts

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

The extended release venlafaxine cannot be crushed or liquified

The immediate release venlafaxine is designed to be taken twice a day, split 12 hours apart.  So you could just do a trial of  1 mg. venlafaxine  twice a day.

A nice, cautious reinstatement.
 

Tips for tapering off Effexor(venlafaxine) and Effexor ER

Use a liquid solution of immediate-release venlafaxine (Effexor XR cannot be made into a liquid)
Titrating using a liquid is very good for very small measured decreases in dosage, allowing more precise measurements.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

And Andi, you know this is almost a year out now from your original CT........it might help, it might not.  At best, it might relieve a bit of your WD symptoms.

To reinstate, it's best if you can self manage pretty well.  Try to stick with the reinstatement for a good 4-7 days, unless you get immediate adverse reactions.  And try to update here as well, if you decide on this.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

If you can get some further withdrawal stability with this low dose, it will be less to taper off of later. 

 

On 1/12/2020 at 12:12 PM, Andi said:

A couple of weeks ago i took some cbd oil 20mg and i was very surprised that after a couple days my neck started to hurt again so i also quit taking that. It just doesnt make any sense to me because these things are suppose to help with nerve pain etc but somehow with me they create the pain. Its a mystery for me and very frustrating because its the only thing that keeps me from living a happy life.

 

On 9/22/2019 at 10:16 AM, Andi said:

Right now i also take Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, this seems to have an effect on the morning anxiety. And i also take Omega 3 fish oil. I took cbd oil which also seemed to work very subtle but the anxiety is just very overwhelming and clearly a sign that something is wrong with my nerve system.


We've had very mixed results with all of these above.  Are you still on the Ashwaganda and Rhodiola?

None of these are great ideas, while sensitized with WD. 

I would sure hold of on any further experimentation with other drugs, or potential psychoactives.

You might even be still regaining stability, after your more recent cbd trial, a few weeks ago.

 

On 1/12/2020 at 12:12 PM, Andi said:

So i also have a question, could starting another ad on a very low dose be an option? Because when i had withdrawal from Lexapro after 4 months i started with Venlafaxine and that did take away the problems for the most part. Could it be that i am hypersensitive to only the drugs that i have taken before? Or does it mean i am hypersensitive to all of em? Anyways thank you for responding!

Starting another AD, is up to you Andi.  Best outcomes with reinstatements, for WD syndrome, are often with using the drug you came off of, or something close to it.

 

If you'd like to experiment more with other drugs.......that's between you and your doctor now.   We don't do medical advice here.

 

And yes, you are most likely sensitive now, with a fairly dysregulated nervous system, given your history with these drugs.   And are experiencing withdrawal syndrome.

What is withdrawal syndrome?

^ lot's of links in the first post there that can explain this all better than I ever could.

 

We are a site more focused on tapering and support for WD.  If your interest is more on continuing with medication, this should be done with your doctor, and perhaps discussed on another general mental health forum. 

 

Lot of information for you to digest, I know.  Please keep us updated as to what you decide to do going forward.  Thanks.  And apologies for the lengthy post.  I am none too concise these day.  Well, never was.......just a bit more scattered than usual lately.......a late wave of sorts.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
minimal

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Altostrata

Hello, Andi. 

 

It seems you had an adverse reaction (not serotonin syndrome) to venlafaxine -- the neck pain. Since you had it with other antidepressants, it seems you get this reaction to serotonergics. It's probably muscle tension in your neck.

 

It's possible that your nervous system has been sensitized by your going on and off the drugs and you might react badly to anything. Citalopram is Lexapro's milder sibling, it could be that taking a very low dosage, such as 0.5mg, might help the withdrawal symptoms without the adverse effect. If it helps, you'd taper off by tiny amounts after stabilizing for some months.

 

Citalopram comes in a prescription liquid, or you can make your own liquid from tablets.

 

In The Netherlands, you can also get tapering strips containing custom-made capsules in any dosage you wish.

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Andi

Okay so i have a question. If i want to make a liquid of 2mg of Venlafaxine how do i do this? What do i need exactly? 

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manymoretodays

Hi Andi, @Andi

I moved your post very specific to your situation, back over here to your introduction.

And I wondered if you had seen Alto's suggestion above.  I quoted it in part.

On 1/15/2020 at 3:12 AM, Altostrata said:

It's possible that your nervous system has been sensitized by your going on and off the drugs and you might react badly to anything. Citalopram is Lexapro's milder sibling, it could be that taking a very low dosage, such as 0.5mg, might help the withdrawal symptoms without the adverse effect. If it helps, you'd taper off by tiny amounts after stabilizing for some months.

 

Citalopram comes in a prescription liquid, or you can make your own liquid from tablets.

 

In The Netherlands, you can also get tapering strips containing custom-made capsules in any dosage you wish.

 

^^ I think either of Altos suggestions above offer safer and more convenient reinstatement options.  (than getting 25 mg immediate release Effexor and then liquifying that)

 

What do you think?

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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manymoretodays

I'm including this as well for your perusal:

Tips for tapering off Celexa

Citalopram does come in a liquid(10mg/5mL or 2 mg/mL).

You would then need to measure out 0.25 mL to get a 0.5 mg dosage.

 

Hope this helps Andi.  Keep us updated and ask any questions that arise.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

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Andi

@manymoretodays About the Citalopram, I dont know if this is better or not. I mean isnt it even more confusing for the body to go to another different drug. My withdrawal right now is from Venlafaxine and the last time i reinstated i was feeling much butter emotionally but like i said the only problem i had was the neck pain. And not just neck pain, im talking about severe burning nerve sensation and not being able to move the neck without pain. This has been a side effect that i have had in the past on larger doses but now it happened on about 8mg Venlafaxine. So potentially a different drug could be better but im very scared to make things worse.  @Altostrata By the way the thing about tapering strips in The Netherlands is not true, you cant just get tapering strips. I have asked many times and never have they given me this option. And if by some miracle you can get your hands on it you will have to pay for it and i believe its pretty expensive. 

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Altostrata

The only type of venlafaxine you can make into a liquid is the immediate-release venlafaxine. Do you have this in the Netherlands? How to make a liquid is here Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

If I recall correctly, you still got neck pain at a low dose of venlafaxine? Though an SNRI, venlafaxine has mostly serotonergic effect. People often find substituting a SSRI such as citalopram or fluoxetine will work.

 

Your doctor can prescribe tapering strips and your insurance should cover at least part of it. Perhaps your doctor doesn't know this?

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Andi

@Altostrata Sorry for answering so late. Normally i see a reaction in my mail but this time i didnt get a mail. About the liquid yes we do have that here. 

 

The neck pain was something i only had when taking 75mg of Venlafaxine. On 37.5 i had no issue. However after quitting and reinstatement i had the same neck issue on 6mg. 

 

Anyway i reinstated yesterday, i cut the pill the smallest i could. It definitely was not even a milligram. And i have been awake this night with a very weird feeling, my hart was pounding whenever i moved. And it feels like the flue. Im very much in doubt right now. Should i continue? Or not? Am i sensitized to Venlafaxine? Could i try a different drug? I dont know what to make of it. I wonder if its startup effects or dangerzone? 

 

I hope somebody can answer fast because i am at a loss. I really apreciate it.

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