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Superwoman: Effexor taper

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Superwoman

@manymoretodays,

 

I agree I would rather feel emotions, then nothing.  I do think the anhedonia is lessoning.  

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Altostrata

How much did you reduce the dose? You need to keep notes of all drug changes.

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Superwoman
8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

How much did you reduce the dose? You need to keep notes of all drug changes.

I did keep notes of the drug changes it is in my diary on here.  I just have not updated my signature yet.  I am going to do that this weekend.  I followed the advice here and reduced by 10% of last months dose every 4 weeks.  The first reduction was 112.5mg to 101.25mg.  The next month’s reduction was 91mg.  I just reduced to 82mg on Saturday.  Next month’s reduction will be to 75 mg.  Then I will be at just one pill.  I plan at holding at 75 mg for 4 to 6 months. 

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Superwoman

Sunday February 23, 2020


11am: Woke up 15 minutes before alarm, 10:45am, well rested, depression 1

11:30am: Breakfast, Effexor xr 82mg, 1C black tea, depression 2

12pm: Depression 3, dry eyes 2 hrs

12:30pm: Depression 2, brain zap 1

1-3pm: depression 1, few brain zaps mild, dry eyes
3:30: brain zaps mild here and there 2 hrs, depression 0 to 1

5pm: 1 C black tea

6pm: Bloating 

10pm: Headache 2

10:30pm: Cold hands

12:30pm: Armour Thyroid 120mg, 1 dropper Cal. Poppy 

1am; Bed, lavender EO 3 drops, headache 

Slept well
 

Notes Sunday: I think that I had some withdrawal symptoms again from the drop in the form of more brain zaps.  Some depression.  Otherwise alright.  Felt better than day before. 

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Superwoman

Monday February 24, 2020

 

11am; Wake up 10hrs sleep, still very tired, breakfast, 1C black tea, depression 1

11:30am: Effexor xr 82mg, lemon EO diffuse 4 drops, headache, still tired, depression 3

12pm: Lunch, very tired groggy, depression 4

12:30pm: 1 C coffee, more awake, mood improving, depression 2

1pm: Depression 2

2pm: 1 hr Sad feeling like crying 
3pm: Heartburn 1 hr., mood better 1.5 hrs

4:30pm: 4 tums, 2 hrs. depression 0 to 1
6:30pm: Dinner, 1 brain zap

7-11pm: brain zaps 
9pm: Irritability 1

11pm: Worse brain zaps

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, lavender EO

1am; Bed

 

Notes Monday: still more withdrawal symptoms than normal but improved from yesterday.  

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Superwoman

Tuesday February 25, 2020

 

9:30am; Wake up 8.5hrs still tired, 1C coffee, breakfast 

10am: Effexor xr 82mg

10:30am: Depression 1 all morning 

11am: Chiropractor 

12:30pm: Few brain zaps mild

1pm: Depression 0 to 2 afternoon 

5:30pm: Headache 1 lasting 30 sec, fatigue, adehendonia

6:30pm: Dinner, 1C green tea

7:30pm: Evening depression 1, 2 brain shivers mild

12:30am: Armour thyroid 120mg, buzzers

1am: Bed, aromatouch EO, deep blue, frankincense EO topical, lavender EO diffuser 

1:30am: Little bit of trouble falling asleep 

 

Notes Tuesday: withdrawal symptoms subsided.  Back to WD normal. Less brain zaps.  Caffeine in evening maybe caused trouble falling asleep. 

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Superwoman

Wednesday February 26, 2020

 

11am: Wake up 10hrs sleep, still tired, breakfast, 1C coffee 

11:30am: Effexor xr 82mg, depression 1

12-2pm: Bath, mood better 
2pm-4:30pm: 1 cup black tea, anxiety 3

4:30pm-6:30pm: depression off and on 1
6:30pm: Depression 1 all evening, few brain zaps evening, apathy 1 for 20 minutes, jaw tension cant remember time

11:30pm: Few brain zaps

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, cal. Poppy, buzzers

1am: Bed

 

Notes Wednesday: WD normal 
Depression 1 all day. 

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Superwoman

I just updated my sigature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Superwoman

Thursday February 27, 2020

 

9:30am: Wake up 8.5hr less tired than yesterday, aching hands, arms, breakfast, 1C coffee 

10am: Effexor xr 82mg

10:30am: 10:30am: Ok 2 hrs.

12:30pm: Cold hands
1pm: depression 1, fatigue mild

1:30pm: Anxiety 1(butterflies in stomach) no apparent trigger, fatigue mild

2pm: Depression 2

2:30pm-6:30pm: more energy depression 0 to 1
6:30pm-9pm: depression varying 0 to 1

9pm-11pm: depression 0 to 1, fatigue mild, jaw tension
11:30pm: Few brain zaps 1

1am: Armour thyroid 120mg. 

1:30am: Bed, slept well


Notes Thursday: WD normal 

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Superwoman

Friday February 28, 2020

 

10:30am: Wake up 8.5hrs sleep surprisingly awake, headache 1

11am: 1C coffee, breakfast, Effexor xr 82mg, headache 2

2;30pm: Lunch, few brain zaps 

3pm-5pm: out running errands 

5pm: Fatigue 7, depression 2

5:30pm: Nap

6pm: Depression 2, 2 hrs
8pm: Headache 2

1am: Armour thyroid 120mg, lavender 3 drops diffuser, buzzers, two droppers Cal. Poppy

1:30pm: Bed

 

Notes Friday: WD normal.  Got out and got a lot of errands done, but if exhausted me. 

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Superwoman

I realized that I have been on 14 different psych medications during my lifetime.  Has anyone been on this many drugs and recovered completely?  I fast tapered or cold turkey all of them. 

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Superwoman

@manymoretodays, @brassmonkey, @Altostrata,

 

I have an appointment with a new doctor on Friday.  I want to ask the doctor some questions to find out if he is taper friendly and see if he if he is knowledgeable about antidepressant withdrawal?  Can anyone suggest specific questions I could ask?

 

Also, I realized when updating my signature that I have been on 14 different psych drugs during my life.  I was started on an antidepressant when I was only 13 years old.  I have cold turkey or fast tapered all of them.  Do you think my brain will be able to completely recover after having been on so many drugs from such a young age?  Has anyone been on this many drugs from a young age and recovered completely?  I feel confident that I will improve because I have been.  But I worry will I ever be 100% recovered or will there be permanent residual damage?  Do you think I will be able to get completely off the Effexor?  My brain was still developing when I was put on these drugs.  Did the drugs physically alter how my brain developed?  It makes me sad to know that my brain was already altered by trauma that I went through at a young age.  I don’t know if that can ever be undone.  Now I worry all of these drugs could have affected my brain as well.  So I have had multiple assaults to my brain. 😢.  How much can the brain take?  How much can I endure?

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Superwoman

@brassmonkey, @Altostrata, @manymoretodays,

 

I just found a list on here this list of questions to ask your doctor (see below).  Here are some additional questions that I am considering asking.  How many patients with protracted antidepressant withdrawal have you treated?   For the TMS psychiatrist- Have you ever treated someone with antidepressant Withdrawal with TMS?  I am tapering by the 10% per month harm reduction method by removing a precise amount of beads per month.  Would you support me and work with me in tapering by this method?  What do you think of these additional questions?

 

Here are the questions I would ask a doctor to find out if he or she knows how to taper people off psychiatric drugs:

 

1) How long does it take someone to go off [insert drug name here]?

 

Appropriate answer: It varies, it can take months.

Inappropriate answer: A week or two. OR It's easy to stop, just quit taking the drug.

 

2) What would you do if I got withdrawal symptoms?

 

Appropriate answer: Stop tapering, possibly increase the dose slightly.

Inappropriate answer: Withdrawal symptoms are a myth. OR Withdrawal symptoms are always mild and temporary, nothing to worry about. OR Withdrawal symptoms are very rare. OR Prescribe a benzodiazepine (sedative).

 

3) How would you taper me off [insert drug name here]?

 

Appropriate answer: Cut up tablets. OR Open the capsule and count out beads. OR Prescribe the liquid formulation. OR Write a prescription for a compounded formulation, liquid or capsules. (NOTE: Few doctors are aware you can make a liquid yourself by adding water to most psychiatric drugs.)

Inappropriate answer: Just stop. OR Skip doses. OR Prescribe the lower dosages of the drug. (NOTE Some drugs come in a range of dosages, but usually thedecrease from one dosage to another is quite dramatic.)

 

4) For antidepressants, have you switched the patient to Prozac to go off? How would you do that?

 

Appropriate answer: Yes, I've done that. I overlap the Prozac for 4 days or so, then drop the first drug. After that, I prescribe the liquid form of Prozac to taper when the patient feels ready.

Inappropriate answer: I've heard of it, but I've never done it. OR Take Prozac instead of your next antidepressant dose. (NOTE This is called a cold switch, with no overlap of the drugs. It will take about 4 days for the Prozac to reach steady-state in your system. In the meantime, you may experience cold-turkey withdrawal symptoms.)

 

 

As for this site: We're very clear that we are a peer support group. None of us are doctors, and we do not give medical advice.

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Altostrata

Great script!

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Superwoman
21 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Great script!

Haha, Most of it is your script that I copied from another post that I found on here.  

 

On 3/4/2020 at 2:11 PM, Superwoman said:

.  Here are some additional questions that I am considering asking.  How many patients with protracted antidepressant withdrawal have you treated?   For the TMS psychiatrist- Have you ever treated someone with antidepressant Withdrawal with TMS?  I am tapering by the 10% per month harm reduction method by removing a precise amount of beads per month.  Would you support me and work with me in tapering by this method?  What do you think of these additional questions?

Above are the additional questions that I thought of to ask.  I asked my new doctor these questions at my appointment today. I was relieved that he answered the questions appropriately and he seems to be very taper friendly.  He is perfectly fine with me opening the capsules and dividing the beads.  He suggested a taper of at least 1 year and said that 6 months would be aggressive and the very fasted.  He seems willing to let me take the lead and taper at my own pace.  I recommend this site and the doctor said that he would like to check it out.  I asked the doctor if he has ever treated anyone with PAWS from antidepressants.  He said only one person who did not follow protocol and CT the med.  This person had severe neurological issues and the doc referred him to a neurologist.  I wonder if he has not seen more patients with this condition b/c it seems like he actually tapers patients slowly?

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Altostrata
1 hour ago, Superwoman said:

 I asked the doctor if he has ever treated anyone with PAWS from antidepressants.  He said only one person who did not follow protocol and CT the med.  This person had severe neurological issues and the doc referred him to a neurologist.  I wonder if he has not seen more patients with this condition b/c it seems like he actually tapers patients slowly?

 

What did the neurologist say? Please ask your doctor these interesting questions.

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Superwoman
7 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

What did the neurologist say? Please ask your doctor these interesting questions.

I will try to remember to ask the doctor at my next visit.  I am curious.  The doctor did not elaborate on the neurological issues.  He just emphasized that it was bad.  

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Superwoman

Monday March 2, 2020

 

11am: Wake up 10hrs sleep, depression 1, breakfast, 1 C black tea, depression 0

11:30am: Effexor XR 82mg 

12pm-1:30pm: Depression 2
2pm: Butterflies in stomach 2

2:30pm: depression 2
3pm-4:30pm: depression 0 to 1
3:30pm: 1 brain zap
4pm: 1 brain zap

4:30-6:30pm; depression fluctuating 0 to 1
7pm: Anhedonia 3, anxiety 2

7:30pm: Anxiety 1

9pm: Few brain zaps while eating chocolate but mood lifting 

9:30pm: Rest of evening no depression, no symptoms 

12:30am: Armour Thyroid 120mg

1am: Bed, lavender, Aromatouch, Deep Blue, Frankincense EO


Notes Monday: Trouble sleeping.  Got up and used 2 droppers Cal. Poppy Can’t remember time.  Then able to fall asleep. 

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Tuesday March 3, 2020

 

8am: Wake up 7hrs sleep, tired, breakfast, 1C coffee, lemon EO A
8:30am: Effexor xr 82mg. 

9am: 1 C coffee 
10am: Counselor 

11am: 1 hr. Anxiety 4
1pm: Nap

2pm: Depression 3

2:30-6:30pm: depression fluctuating 0 to 3
5:30pm: Anxiety 1

6pm: anxiety 3
7pm: Neuro anger 7- trigger work

7:30pm: Neuro anger 6
8pm: Mood good rest of evening 

9pm-11pm: Headache off and on
1am: Bed, slept well

 

Notes Tuesday: Neuroanger in response to trigger at work.  I have not had that in a long time. 

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Superwoman

Thursday March 5, 2020

 

period starts

 

9:30am: 9:30am: wake up 8.5hrs, breakfast, 1C coffee

10am: Effexor xr 82mg, ok

10:30am: Massage

12pm: 1 hr depression 3
1:30pm: depression 1

2:30-4:30pm- depression 1-5, anger can’t remember exact time
4:30pm-6:30pm- depression 1-4, apathy

7pm-8pm: stiff hips 7, no depression, no anxiety 

8pm: stiff hips 3/4, depression 0
8:30pm: stiff hips 4 to 5, depression 1

9pm: stiff hips 1, flat mood fluctuating 1 to 5
9:30-11:30pm: flat mood 0 to 1, shiver sensation hip, excessive yawning, stiff hips 

12:30am: Period starts
1am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, buzzers, various EO’s, headache mild

1:30am: Trouble sleeping due to frequent urination


Notes Thursday: WD normal, weird sensation of shiver in hips is new symptom that I have had since this months taper. 

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Friday March 6, 2020

 

8:30am: 8:30am: wake up, very tired, 1C coffee, breakfast 

9am: Effexor xr 82mg, ok

9:30am: Appointment w/ family doctor, BP 122/70, weight 117 lb

12pm: nap 1 hr, brain zap mild

1pm: wake up still tired
2:30pm: Depression 2, 1C coffee 

3-4:30pm: depression 0-1, stiff hips 6 to 1 decreasing, anxiety 0-1
4:30-6:30: depression 0-1, anxiety 1, fatigue, excessive yawning 

7-9pm: more energy, less fatigue but still excessive yawning, mood good, hip stiffness 3-6
9pm- 12am: mood good, stiff hips 1 to 3, excessive yawning 
12:30am: Snack, acid reflux 

1am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, EO’s, 4 tums, bed


Notes Friday: tired today didn’t get enough sleep and didn’t sleep well night before.  Low level depression morning and afternoon, mood lifting in evening. 

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Friday March 8, 2020

 

Doctor’s appointment vitals

 

blood pressure 122/70

weight 117lb

 

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On 3/2/2020 at 12:29 AM, Superwoman said:

I realized that I have been on 14 different psych medications during my lifetime.  Has anyone been on this many drugs and recovered completely?  I fast tapered or cold turkey all of them. 

@Altostrata, you didn’t answer.  Do you think that my brain can 100% recover after having been on so many medications?

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Altostrata

I'm pretty sure I answered this before, maybe more than once. I'm very busy. When this question comes up again, please read your topic from the beginning before posting, and do not tag me.

 

How much exercise do you get? Lack of exercise could account for "stiff hips".

 

Please note we do not treat "depression" here. If this is a symptom that's troubling to you, see

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system

 

Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

Ways to cope with daily anxiety

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism

 

Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms

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On 3/10/2020 at 2:12 PM, Altostrata said:

I'm pretty sure I answered this before, maybe more than once. I'm very busy. When this question comes up again, please read your topic from the beginning before posting, and do not tag me.

I read through my tread a couple of times. You never answered this question.  You must have me mixed up with someone else.  That is understandable.  You help a lot of people.  No worries.  I really appreciate all of your help 

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Altostrata

Yes, people recover from being on multiple drugs.

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Superwoman

Saturday March 7, 2020

 

On period 

 

11am; wake up 9.5hrs sleep, 1C coffee, breakfast

11:30am; okay, stiff muscles, couple brain zaps 1 morning 
2pm: exercise, very out of shape, No anhedonia

2:30pm: stiff muscles, brain zap 1 afternoon 
4pm: Yoga

5:30pm: Dinner, few brain zaps 2 while drinking hot beverage 

6:30pm: Fatigue 4/5, depression 1
7:30pm: 1 hip shiver

Evening: some brain zaps, shivers, tingles shoulders, fatigue, depression 0 to 1
1:30am: Armour thyroid 120mg, EO, buzzers, 4 tums, bed

 

Notes Saturday: low level depression on and off evening.  Exercise tired me out but more engaged.  WD normal. 

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Monday March 9, 2020

 

on period

 

9:30am wake up, tired insomnia night before, breakfast, coffee 1C, depression 2

10am: Effexor xr 82mg, fatigue, depression 2/3 all morning 
10:30pm: very tired all morning, afternoon 

2:30pm: 1.5hr. Nap
4pm: woke up still exhausted, made myself take dog for walk

4:30pm: feeling better refreshed after walking dog
5pm: Dinner

5:30pm: fatigue. Lethargic rest of evening, brain zaps here and there
1pm: Armour Thyroid 120mg, EO’s, buzzers, bed, Slept well


Notes Monday;  Exhausted all day.    Time change to adjust to and insomnia night before.  Mild depression when waking. 

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Tuesday March 10, 2020

 

9:30am: Wake up 8hrs sleep, tired but better rested feeling, breakfast, 1C coffee, depression 1

10am: Effexor xr 82mg?

10:30am: Depression 1

12:30pm: Diarrhea, anxiety 

1:30pm: anxiety 

2:30pm: sad 6 feel like crying 1 hr

3:30pm: sad 5
4pm: sad 3

4:30pm-6:30pm: depression 0 to 1, apathy 2

6:30pm: anxiety 2
7-9pm: depression 1, anxiety 3

9-11:30pm; anxiety 1, depression 0 to 1, jaw clenching 3, chest tightness mild, yawning 
1am: bed, Armour thyroid 120mg, buzzers, EO’s 

 

Notes Tuesday: WD normal, more anxiety today.  

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Wednesday March 11, 2020


11:45am: wake up 10hrs 45min sleep, still tired, depression 1

12pm: Shower, breakfast, 1C coffee, tired, depression 1

12:30pm: Effexor xr 82mg, same symptoms 

2:30-4:30pm: 1 C green tea, mood ok, still tired but a little more energy 
4:30-5:30pm: depression 5 feeling like crying, yawning, fatigue 

5:30p: 1hr. Depression 1, anxiety 2, 30 min, yawning, fatigue 
7pm: depression 1-3 fluctuating, anxiety 1, yawning, fatigue 

8p: depression 0, anxiety 1, yawning 1hr, fatigue 
9-11pm: brain zaps infrequent, depression 0, anxiety 0-3 fluctuating, Fatigue, yawning, sharp leg pain

11:30pm: more brain zaps
12:30am: Armour thyroid 120mg, buzzers, EO’s

1am: Bed


Notes Wednesday: WD normal.  More tired today.  Depression and anxiety 

 

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Thursday March 12, 2020

 

12pm: wake up 11hrs sleep, still tired, breakfast, 1C coffee, lemon EO Arom

12:30am: Effexor 82mg, still tired, brain fog

1-2pm; same symptoms 
2:30pm-4:30pm: 1C black tea, aching hands mild, fatigue lessening some mild

4:30-6:30pm: anxiety fluctuating 1-4, depression 0, fatigue fluctuating mild to mod
7pm-10pm: fatigue lessening 1, mood ok, headache 3/4, yawning

10pm: 1hr. Headache fluctuating 0-1, anxiety 1to 3 varying, apathy 1
12am: grocery shopping, anxiety high
1:30am: Bed, Armour thyroid 120mg, 2 droppers Cal. Poppy, EO’s, buzzers


Notes Thursday: WD normal Fatigue all day.  No depression today!  Slept well. 

 

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Friday March 13, 2020

 

11am: woke up before alarm 9.5hrs sleep, more rested, headache, depression 3

11:30am: Breakfast, 1C coffee, Effexor xr 82mg, 4 drops lemon EO, symptoms same

12pm-2pm: same symptoms 
2:30-4:30pm: anxiety 1 to 4 varying 

4:30pm-6:30pm: anxiety 0-2, depression 0
6:30pm: depression 1

7-9pm: anxiety moderate, depression 0, hip stiffness 1
9-11pm: headache, brain zaps mod., anxiety mild, jaw clenching mod.

2am: Armour Thyroid 120mg, 2 droppers Cal. Poppy, EO’s buzzers

2:30am: Bed

 

Notes Friday: WD normal 

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Saturday March 14, 2020

 

11am: wake up 9 hrs sleep, headache, well rested. 1C tea,

11:30am: Breakfast, Effexor xr 82mg, headache 

12pm-3pm: headache moderate, anxiety moderate 
3pm: 1 cup coffee 

3pm-6pm: headache moderate, anxiety mod.
1am: Armour thyroid 120mg, EO, 2 droppers California poppy

2am: Bed, 4 tums
 

Notes Saturday: headache first half of day Anxiety all day but no depression.  More energy today  

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Sunday March 15, 2020

 

12pm: wake up 10hrs sleep, well rested, anxiety 

12:30pm: Effexor xr 82mg, 1C coffee, breakfast, headache, anxiety 
1pm: talked w/ peer supporter on phone, anxiety 

1:30pm: feeling little bit less anxious after taking with peer supporter 
2pm: anxiety only symptom afternoon

4:30pm: walk with husband and dog at park, feeling better
5pm: depression and headache 1
Evening: jaw tension and anxiety all evening

11:30pm: headache 

12am: Headache moderate, Epsom salt

bath

12:30am: Feeling better

1am: Bed, Armour thyroid 120mg, EO’s, Touchpoints

 

Notes Sunday: WD Normal.   Anxiety has been high about all this Corona stuff and the uncertainty. 

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Superwoman

Summary taper from 91mg to 82mg

 

Definite increase in withdrawal symptoms for 3 days after decrease (cold hands, brain zaps, sexual dysfunction), then increased fatigue for 1 week, then back to WD normal.  

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Saturday March 21, 2020
 

Reduced Effexor to 75 mg

 

12pm: wake up 10hrs sleep, anxiety 5

1pm: anxiety 6, breakfast, 1C coffee, reduced Effexor to 75mg
1:30pm; Headache 2 lasting few minutes 

2pm: Anxiety all afternoon mild to mod
2:30pm: barely perceptible light headed spells here and there afternoon 

6pm: Evening; fatigue and brain fog, little bit off feeling 

8pm: brain zaps mild
8:30pm: anxiety 3

10pm: freezing hands rest of evening 
1am: Armour thyroid 120mg

1:30am: bed
 

Saturday Notes: increased WD symptoms Cold hands, brain fog

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