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Superwoman: Effexor taper

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Superwoman

I reduced from 4 scoops of coffee (2 mugs) to 3 scoops of coffee (1.5 mugs). I always have coffee every morning. I had 3 scoops of coffee every morning for the last 5 days.  This morning I reduced to 2.5 scoops of coffee about 1.25 mugs. 
 

My Armour Thyroid was increased because I recently had my T3 level checked and it was low.  I get it rechecked again in 3 months. I have noticed more energy during the day since it was increased. I was hoping to need less sleep, but I still seem to need at least 9 to 10 hrs sleep. I have noticed slight symptoms after taking the Armour Thyroid since the increase (few mild brain zaps).  I think my body is having a little difficulty adjusting to the increase, since I am so sensitive. 
 

I used to be skeptical of muscle testing as well. However, my chiropractor seems to be “right on”.  He is able to identify food and substances that I am reacting to over 9 out of 10 times, without me telling him.  I had multiple food and environmental allergies even before withdrawal. My chiropractor has harmonized me to a lot of food.  The energy work that he does has worked much better than the allergy shots. I am now able to eat a whole lot more food than I used to.  I think that the accuracy of muscle testing has a lot to do with the skill of the practicer.  It has been somewhat more difficult to get me harmonized to things since withdrawal.  

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Superwoman

Wednesday October 23, 2019

 

Reduced coffee to 2.5 scoops from 3 scoops. 
 

10 am: Woke up 9 hrs sleep. Slept well, slight brain zaps 

10:30am: Breakfast, coffee reduced to 2.5 scoops,, Effexor XR 112.5, headache mild, anxiety

1:30pm: Okay till 1:30 pm

1:30pm: Slight anxiety while driving to work

2pm: Slight anxiety, arrived at work

2:30pm: Slight anxiety 

3pm: Irritability 

3:30pm: Same

4pm: Flat mood mild till 6:30pm

6pm: Brain zaps and anxiety slight, no known trigger

6:30pm: Dinner, mood still flat, heartburn 4 tums

7pm: headache mild, depression mild

7:30-8:30pm: Ok

9pm: Meeting with supervisors at work, anxiety, heart pounding, upset, angry, confused

9:30pm: Spaced out feeling rest of evening 

10pm: Upset about work situation all night, angry, confused, anxious 

11:30pm: headache mild +

12:30 am: Armour Thyroid 3 Grains

1am: Bed, heart pounding in chest all night moderate, insomnia severe all night

1:30 am: Thinking about work situation, upset

2pm: Headache moderate, trouble sleeping 

2:30 pm: Tried to meditate, used Touch Point buzzers

3:30 pm: Ran essential oil diffuser with lavender

4pm: More calm, heart rate slowed but still awake most of night

 

Notes: Wednesday: There was a meeting with my supervisors at work today about my job performance. This through my nervous system way off. During meeting anxiety and pounding heart. I shut down, brain went blank and difficulty communicating.   

 

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Superwoman

Couldn’t sleep last night still upset about work. Feeling like a failure. 

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Altostrata

I can imagine how awful the work stress makes you feel. Please try to stop blaming yourself. This, too, shall pass.

 

When did the heart-pounding start? Is it related to the work anxiety?

 

Since you're having anxiety, irritability, and brain zaps, I would taper off the caffeine. You may have become hypersensitive to it, it has a very long half-life and could be activating even into the nighttime.

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Passionlifetime

Hi super women,

Micro taper helps or not?

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herewego

A small amount of melatonin can help you fall asleep though it doesn't help with waking up in the night or early morning- only helps you fall asleep. Here they recommend only taking the amount your brain naturally makes as too much can have the opposite effect. .25 or .5 . The smallest I can find is 2 mg so I use a pill cutter. Take about an hour before you want to fall asleep and don't use more than 2 or 3 times per week as while it is non addictive the effectiveness can wear off if used too much. I find it doesn't work every time but perhaps two thirds of the time.

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Superwoman

Altostrata,

 

Thank you for your kind words. It is amazing how you are here for everyone.  I am feeling better today. I talked with my Immediate supervisor today and he told me that he does not have an issue with my job performance. I found out today that the one supervisor is going to be talking with everyone.  It is a long story. 
 

Sometimes I worry that the withdrawal effects my work. I try not to show it.  But then I tell myself that I function very well considering what I have been through. I feel lack of motivation and apathy often. Although, it has been improving. I don’t really feel like I can talk openly about this with most people because I am worried that people will misunderstand and think I am a drug addict if I say I am in withdrawal.

 

The heart pounding and anxiety/panic attacks started when my doctor increased the Effexor above 150mg. I never had these symptoms before this.  I still have bouts of this but it has improved a lot since reducing the Effexor and getting TMS.  I think that the heart-pounding is partly related to work stress because it peaks every day at the time when I am driving to work. Although, it also tends to peak at this same time on the weekend.  So I think that it may be a combination of work stress, Effexor side effects, caffeine side effects and withdrawal.  I am still trying to narrow things down.  I sometimes have an intrusive random childhood trauma memory pop in my head when I enter the work building.  The work environment reminds me of the surroundings where a childhood trauma took place. 
 

I am tapering the caffeine. I am down from 4 scoops to 2.5 scoops coffee.  I am worried about withdrawal from reducing the coffee upsetting my system further. How slowly would you taper the coffee?  I have been reducing it by 1/2 scoop every 3 to 5 days.  I can’t tell if I am having caffeine withdrawal or not because I already have headaches from the Effexor. 

 


 


 

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Superwoman

Passionlifetime,


I am not real familiar with microtaper.  I think that I read somewhere on here don’t try it until you are real familiar with the 10% taper first. They recommended starting with the 10% taper. The majority of people can handle this and you can go down if need be.  Make sure that you wait until you are stable before tapering more otherwise you will get worse. 

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Superwoman

Altostrata or other moderators,

 

On Wednesday I posted on Frenchgirl’s page and I accidentally signed it with my real name without thinking. Can you edit it and delete my real name please?  I want to remain anonymous. Thanks

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Superwoman

Herewego,

 

Thanks for the advice about the melatonin.  I have become hypersensitive to most supplements even Epsom Salt baths believe it or not. I have stopped all supplements and I am trying to test them all one by one to determine what I mean reacting to.  Maybe I would be ok with the Melatonin because it is such a small amount?

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Superwoman

Anyone other women here have irregular menstruation during withdrawal?  My period just started today. It is 36 days since my last period. My cycle is normally pretty regular.  I wonder the late period had to do with dropping the extra bead, reducing coffee and stopping all supplements?

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Superwoman

Disregard that last post. I just looked at my calendar again and realized that I was looking at the wrong date. My period is actually right on schedule. 

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Rosabell

Hi superwoman,

even though it is on time, I have heard that withdrawal can mess with your cycle too, just like regular stress can! It’s not far fetched that with all of the other havoc this creates within our body’s and on all of our other hormones that the ones regulating a woman’s cycle wouldn’t be affected as well.

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Superwoman

I am going to go see my psychiatrist next week.  I am worried about it because the last conversation did not go well at all. He actually threatened to throw me out of his office believe it or not!

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Superwoman

During the last conversation I politely and tactfully informed my psychiatrist that while I am comfortable having him perform the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), I would like my family doctor to prescribe and taper my meds. I explained that I have an established relationship with my family doctor and he was tapering me before and we have a taper plan worked out that I feel comfortable with. I calmly but firmly explained that I did not feel comfortable with his (psychiatrists) taper plan and I did not feel like we were on the same page.  He then exclaimed that he never told me that that he would taper me by skipping doses of Effexor XR or cold swapping Prozac. He claimed he would never say or do this.  I know for a fact that he did say this during the visit before this. He then said, “I tell patients to walk out the door when they come in here and say they want another doctor to prescribe their meds.”  That is not good quality care.”  Well, it certainly is not good quality care to threaten to throw a patient out of the room when they did nothing wrong. FYI: My family doctor is not real experienced with tapering patients from antidepressants.  However, he acknowledges the severity of antidepressant withdrawal and he will let me be in control and taper however I feel comfortable.  This is about the most you can ask for if a doctor. 

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Superwoman

I forgot to add the psychiatrist also said that we are not on the same page so maybe I should have my family doctor prescribe meds and taper me and then I can come back to him for TMS after I am off the antidepressant and I “crash and burn.”  Can you believe this guy?  He claims he is concerned with good quality care. Yeah right!  His ego is driving his care.

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Superwoman

I am looking into possibly seeing another doctor.  Location is a concern though. I went with this doctor because he is the only game in town. The TMS is a very time consuming. It was 2 months of daily treatments.  This is the only doctor that was close enough to me so that I could get the treatments and still make it to work.  If I go anywhere else then I would have to take a medical leave from work if I were to need more than a few treatments.  I do trust my current psychiatrist to do the TMS procedures. I just don’t trust him to taper me off meds.  I do feel that he is very knowledgeable about TMS and the treatments helped immensely with the depression.  So, I would like to continue to get TMS treatments when necessary.  I don’t know what to do now. 

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Superwoman

My husband wants me to stay with my current doctor so that I don’t have to take a medical leave from work because it would take a big chunk of money out of my paycheck.  I told my husband though that I may not need to take a lot of time off from work.  I may not need another whole round of 36 treatments. It sounds like I may only need a few touch up treatments if I get more depressed.  It is possible that I could need a whole round again if I get as depressed as I did the last time I taped. My plan is to taper very slowly so that hopefully I do not get that depressed again. I would like to do a few treatments after each reduction down to the next strength pill.

 

 I also told my husband that if my doctor tapers me too fast I could become very sick and destabilized and have to take an extended leave from work.  Some people here became disabled from tapering too fast.  I am lucky.  My husband said that I am so attuned to my body that he thinks that I would notice long before that happened and adjust my meds. I said that I am dependent on my doctor to prescribe my medication so I need his cooperation.  I want to avoid any more destabilization to begin with.  I have an appointment with the psychiatrist next week. Wish me luck!

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Superwoman

I also don’t know if I switch TMS doctors if the new doctor will be okay with my family doc handling the meds.  I have to be honest with the psychiatrist about the taper and dose.  My doctor told me that you can have a seizure if you change your meds don’t tell them during TMS. Although the seizure risk is low, I don’t want to risk it. 

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Altostrata

Superwoman, I moved your posts here because they were taking the more general topic in Tapering off-topic to discuss your particular situation.

 

Generally, if you're tapering Effexor, you wouldn't want to get TMS. It doesn't help withdrawal symptoms (that we've seen) and may cause other symptoms that will confuse your tapering progress.

 

If you can't communicate with your psychiatrist, there is no reason to maintain him on your payroll.

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Rosabell

@Altostrata, I love that last line “no need to maintain him on your payroll “ it is one of the more honest statements I have heard in a good long while.

i myself made the descision today to remove my psychiatrist from the payroll as well!

 

@Superwoman I am hoping that whatever choice you make, be it a whole round again, or just some one off treatments works and gives you much needed relief and eases your tapering journey

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Superwoman

Altostrata,

 

I like that line also, “there is no need to maintain him on your payroll.”  That’s pretty good lol.
 

 I found that the TMS helped a lot with some of the withdrawal symptoms.  The TMS brought the depression down from severe to mild.  I think that it would be in remission if not for the withdrawal.  It also helped a good deal with the anxiety. Although the treatment was not for anxiety.  I am still struggling with anxiety but it is not nearly as severe as it was before I got the treatment.  It also helped me sleep better.  It did not help at all with the brain zaps. Initially it increased my energy but this somewhat wore off mid-treatment.  It increased my libido slightly but this also wore off mid-treatment.  It helped slightly with the genital anesthesia and this has lasted.  What symptoms can the TMS cause that can confuse the tapering process?

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Passionlifetime

what is TMS?

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Superwoman

Passionlifetime,

 

TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.  It is a brain treatment for major depression. There is a strong magnet placed over the pre-frontal cortex of the brain.  The magnet stimulates neural activity in brain regions that are under active in people with depression.  It does not have all the side effects of medications or ECT and it is long lasting. It is also used to treat other conditions such as anxiety, OCD, dementia, addictions, chronic pain and autism. 

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Superwoman

Rosabell,

 

Thank you for your kind words. Who will prescribe your medication if you remove your psychiatrist from your payroll?

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Rosabell

My primary doctor will prescribe any medications I need. I had a very comforting appointment with her today and she will be there to support me 100%. She didn't even bat an eye when I said I thought I was suffering from delayed withdrawal from effexor, nor when I told her I had gotten a lot of info on how to proceed from the internet!!! She wholeheartedly agreeded and even said "of course it can be withdrawal, these medications change your brain chemistry, and take a long time to do so, so it is only normal that changing it back will take more time, and during that time all sorts of unexpected and weird things can happen, the brain is a mystery that has not yet, and probably never will be figured out"

after being told by my psychiatrist to taper effexor by gong half dose for two weeks and then one pill every other day for two weeks and then stop, i lost trust in her and it would have been impossible to place my mental health in her hands any longer. I am just thankful that I didn't completely follow her instruction, I can only imagine the worse shape I would be in if I had! I did taper, not slow enough, but a taper even so, and she actually laughed at me when I told her I had been pulling my pills apart and removing beads for four months, said it was a bit extreme!

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Altostrata

If TMS helps, it helps. You'll have to figure out how to maintain your relationships with these providers.

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Superwoman

October 30, 2019

 

10:30.  Woke up 9.5 hrs sleep well rested, breakfast, effexor XR 112.5

11 am. heartbeat amplified slight? 2 brain zaps mild, headache lasting few min. Mild, anxiety slight 

11:30am. Coffee 2 scoops 

12 pm: Worse headache and brainzaps, amplified HB, anxiety mild

12:30 pm. Feeling better, meditate 10 minutes 

1pm: Okay

1:30pm: Driving to work

2pm: Arrive at work 

2:30-5pm: angry at co-worker

5:30pm: Feeling better 

6pm. Dinner

8pm: Heartburn, brain zaps mild

8:30pm: Same 

9pm. Ok

9:30pm. Headache moderate constant 1 hour

11pm. Leave work, Headache moderate 20 minutes 

11:30pm. Drive home headache mild

12 am: Still some headache, snack

12:30am: amplified HB while taking bath, Armour Thyroid 3 Grains

1am: Bed, amplified HB, Trouble falling asleep 


Notes Wednesday: No depression, some anxiety bouts, separated coffee and Effexor by 1 hour.  I know that coffee is effecting me although it has improved some since reducing coffee and chiropractor harmonized me to it. I am only harmonized to tolerate 2 scoops of coffee and I am still at 2.5 scoops I think I am also reacting to Effexor but am not sure b/c it may be a delayed reaction and I can’t separate coffee and Effexor far enough apart to tell  

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Rhiannon
On 10/31/2019 at 9:52 PM, Rosabell said:

My primary doctor will prescribe any medications I need. I had a very comforting appointment with her today and she will be there to support me 100%. She didn't even bat an eye when I said I thought I was suffering from delayed withdrawal from effexor, nor when I told her I had gotten a lot of info on how to proceed from the internet!!! She wholeheartedly agreeded and even said "of course it can be withdrawal, these medications change your brain chemistry, and take a long time to do so, so it is only normal that changing it back will take more time, and during that time all sorts of unexpected and weird things can happen, the brain is a mystery that has not yet, and probably never will be figured out"

after being told by my psychiatrist to taper effexor by gong half dose for two weeks and then one pill every other day for two weeks and then stop, i lost trust in her and it would have been impossible to place my mental health in her hands any longer. I am just thankful that I didn't completely follow her instruction, I can only imagine the worse shape I would be in if I had! I did taper, not slow enough, but a taper even so, and she actually laughed at me when I told her I had been pulling my pills apart and removing beads for four months, said it was a bit extreme!

 

Wow, @Rosabellhang on to that primary care MD, she's a gem. Having a doctor who will prescribe for a slow taper is a big, big plus. Sounds like she gets it.

 

@Superwoman, for prescriptions I've done well with my primary care provider, who is a PA, actually. She's about the third provider I've had since I started tapering. The first was an MD with an interest in ayurvedic medicine, so she was pretty open-minded. I have always gone with the "I want to be on the lowest effective dose of the fewest possible meds that will keep me stable, especially as I get older." Not too many primary care docs will disagree with that. If you need to bring them papers from journals and that sort of thing, there are a lot of links on this website in that section. Also in the UK I think the NICE guidelines have been modified to acknowledge protracted withdrawal.So there's a little more ammunition than there used to be.

 

I don't have a lot of use for psychiatrists myself. Haven't found many who are worth my time, let alone my money. It's a problematic professional culture that exemplifies the worst problems of the medical culture it's a part of, in my opinion. 

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Rosabell

Yes @Rhiannon, it is one of many blessing that I do not take for granted. She is an amazing woman, doesn’t profess to know everything just because she has a couple of letters behind her name. She told me if I have to stay on 10 beads of Effexor for a year, she has zero problem with that, she has the same goal as me, health and stability!

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Superwoman

@Rosabell, I am so happy for you that your primary care doc is do supportive and agreeable.  This will make things do much easier for you.  Difficult doctors are just an added stress. 
 

@Rhiannon, I am glad that it is going well with you with your doctor also. My psychiatrist already knows that I want completely off the antidepressant.  At least he is not going to try to force me to stay on the Effexor, like the last psyc doc did.

 

 I have an appointment with my psyc doc Monday. I have a peer supporter from a local mental health agency. She may come with me. I am going to request a written summary of the visit with any of his recommendations.  Many major hospitals do this and it is considered good practice. I am also going to say that I would like someone to come with me to future doctor appointments to help prevent miscommunications and as an extra set of ears. I am going to say, “I think that neither of us was happy with the last visit and I would like to start over.  Then I am going to reiterate again that I would like my family doctor to taper the meds and him to do the TMS.  I am going to stick with the taper plan on here. If he continues to treat me poorly I will find another doctor.  The problem is that there are not a lot of TMS doctors and he is the only one close.  I would like to keep the TMS as an option because it did help me a lot. I don’t want to completely burn bridges with him yet until I know that I can find another TMS doctor who would be agreeable to my taper plan. 

 

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Superwoman

Thursday October 31, 2019

 

9:00am:Woke up tired trouble falling asleep 8 hrs sleep, Coffee 2.5 scoops, Effexor XR 112.5, breakfast 

9:30am: Slight amplified HB when taking Effexor 

10 am: Slight amplified HB

10:30am: dentist, anxiety slight 

11 am: Driving home, anxiety increasing to moderate, brain zaps

11:30am: Touchpoint buzzers for anxiety 

12 pm: Nap 25 min

12:30pm: Hands aching from rain and work

1pm: Lunch

1:30pm: Driving to work, tired hands still achy 

2pm: Arrive at work

4:30 pm: Anxiety moderate 

6 pm: Anxiety moderate 

6:30 pm: Dinner, heart beat amplified, but anxiety better 

7pm-8:30: Tired few brain zaps mild

9pm: Fatigue all evening 

11pm: Leave work

12am: Armour Thyroid 3 grains, few brain zaps mild

1pm: Bed


Friday Notes: not Depressed 

 

 

 

 

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Superwoman

@Altostrata, I have been using Touchpoint buzzers that I borrowed from my father for anxiety and sleep. I recently ordered my own.  They are 2 vibrating buzzers.  You hold one and each hand and they alternate buzzes. It is based on bilateral stimulation (like EMDR). They really help with anxiety. My sister who is a counselor recommended them. 
 

Anyway I would like to share about them on this site.  After I ordered them I got a special link and an email saying if I share this link anyone who orders them gets 15% off and I get $10. Am I allowed to post this link?  I am not selling them. If so where on here should I post it?  I was planning on sharing the website anyway before I ordered and got this message about the discount and the $10. If this is not allowed I will just post the regular website page (where people can order it at full price and I don’t get $10).  
 

Thanks,

 

Superwoman

 

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Altostrata

You can post about your experience with the buzzers here

but please do not post a link, coupon, or solicitation. We don't allow commercial promotion on this site. If someone wants to talk about the buzzers with you, that can be in a personal message.

 

The coffee is still causing adverse reactions, harmonized or not. If I were you, I'd reduce it further. Much less risk than changing your Effexor dosage.

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Superwoman

@Altostrata,


Thanks, I will talk about it there. I just reduced coffee down to 2 scoops or 1 cup.   This is the amount that my chiropractor has me harmonized to.  I will observe if this helps.  When do you thinking that I might be ready to taper again?

 

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Altostrata

I understand that you like your coffee in the morning, but the adverse effects from it are confounding possible side effects from Effexor.

 

In effect, you are taking two drugs at the same time of day. We always ask people to separate dosing to find out which drug is causing the adverse reaction.

 

When it comes to caffeine, it's best to taper off it completely, as it could be causing anxiety throughout the day and poor sleep at night.

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