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sunnysideup69: what can I do to stabilise on venlafaxine

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Dejavu

Hi Sunny. I'm sorry you're feeling off. Don't despair - your window will open again soon. You've been moving toward stabilization all this time, and that will continue. I hope you have a lovely visit with your parents. I'd give anything to see mine again. 

 

This COVID situation is stressing me out as well, and probably responsible in large part for the wave I'm currently in. Things are pretty bad here - not just with COVID, but politically and racially as well. It's a scary time to be American. I keep telling myself that nothing lasts forever, and in this case, that's a good thing. 

 

Anyway, keep your chin up. You've got this!

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sunnysideup69

@Dejavu, thanks for your lovely message, am feeling a bit better as the day goes on, which is kind of typical of waves for me. Started the day with weird agitation and despondency. Oh what to do with these misfiring brains of ours. We just gotta be patient.

Think I was stressing a bit about coming home/ train journey/ Covid. That flippin' virus has a lot to answer for, as have the Brit government. I empathise with your situation in the US, you have Trump and we have Bojo the 🤡 clown.

I've been reading your updates...following your wave progress. I've no doubt that the current world situation and that of the US has contributed to it....even if we don't think anything is directly stressing us, we are supersensitive with our compromised nervous systems. Gah! Thanks, psychiatry.

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Dejavu
1 hour ago, sunnysideup69 said:

That flippin' virus has a lot to answer for, as have the Brit government. I empathise with your situation in the US, you have Trump and we have Bojo the 🤡 clown.

It appears that actually contracting COVID made somewhat of a believer out of Boris. Better late than never, I guess. No such reckoning has occurred here in the US. Common sense has fled. There is no containment plan. Just more illness and death. This country is a mess. The mindset of those currently in power is shocking and terrifying, and I sometimes lose all hope that it will ever be sorted out. Between COVID and WD, is it any surprise we are feeling anxiety right now? 

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mstimc
3 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

It appears that actually contracting COVID made somewhat of a believer out of Boris. Better late than never, I guess. No such reckoning has occurred here in the US. Common sense has fled. There is no containment plan. Just more illness and death. This country is a mess. The mindset of those currently in power is shocking and terrifying, and I sometimes lose all hope that it will ever be sorted out. Between COVID and WD, is it any surprise we are feeling anxiety right now? 

Dejavu

 

In times like this, I try to remember the passage from Genesis: "What you have meagance. \nt for evil, God has turned to good."  You don't need to be religious to see the significance.   There was a great op/ed piece in the LA Times a few weeks ago, that of anything good can come of this (besides getting rid of the current inept administration), its that we're discussing things like universal health care that we may have never been part of mainstream conversation before.  Its a terrible shame it had to be under these circumstances, but maybe we'll be a stronger and better country for it in a few years.  I always try to find something to hope for....

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sunnysideup69
5 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

It appears that actually contracting COVID made somewhat of a believer out of Boris....Between COVID and WD, is it any surprise we are feeling anxiety right now? 

 

That's true, he did then stop shaking hands with people infected with the virus. He was actually really ill, I do wonder if he has entirely recovered. 

 

I'd say anxiety in this current climate is entirely rational. Sending hugs your way xxx

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Dejavu
2 hours ago, mstimc said:

Its a terrible shame it had to be under these circumstances, but maybe we'll be a stronger and better country for it in a few years.  I always try to find something to hope for....

A great point @mstimc. I'm just getting a little weary of having to look ahead several years for any good news. Done with tapering in a few years. Done with withdrawal in a few years. A better country in a few years. In my present state of mind, I find it hard to hold on to that hope. Of course, in my present state of mind, it is likely that nothing would make me happy right now. Waves stink.

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mstimc
1 minute ago, Dejavu said:

Waves stink

They sure do!  And they also color our thinking in some very negative ways.  It’s hard to step out of our own minds and evaluate our thought processes for what they really are.  But peace will come!

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sunnysideup69

Update for week beginning Sunday 19th July

 

❤️ Mostly good, brief wobble Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning it ended ❤️

 

It was a brief dip into feeling a bit worse, mostly agitation. Maybe some anticipatory  anxiety about going to Wiltshire.

However, I've now been at my parents' home for two days. Was in a minor wobble when I got here Friday, but rode it out and it was really helpful to focus on other people. Pretty sure that shifted it for me, and they didn't notice I was a bit wonky. By Friday eve, I was okay. Saturday, started the day with agitation, went for a walk and it cleared.

 

This is a big milestone for me. I was SO agitated at Christmas, I just couldn't go home, was terrified at the prospect of being here for three days. 

 

I'm here til tomorrow. AND, my sleep has been good. Nothing short of a flipping miracle, I can sleep well in a different bed!

 

Healing is happening ❤️

 

 

 

 

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Tom37

Hopefully those waves continue to be nice and short which is definitely a sign of healing. Hopefully full stability around the corner. 

 

Im like you in that only sleep well in my own bed. Always been like it and probably always will. 

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mstimc
1 hour ago, sunnysideup69 said:

Healing is happening ❤️

Great post, Sunny!  I hope you continue on your healing path!

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sunnysideup69
28 minutes ago, mstimc said:

Great post, Sunny!  I hope you continue on your healing path!

Thanks so much, @mstimc. Hope you're also feeling well!

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mstimc
4 minutes ago, sunnysideup69 said:

Thanks so much, @mstimc. Hope you're also feeling well!

Doing okay but missing home, despite all the luancy in the States.  

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sunnysideup69
1 minute ago, mstimc said:

Doing okay but missing home, despite all the luancy in the States.  

Home will always be home, whatever's going on there. Glad you're doing ok 😊

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Longroadhome

Great news Sunny 

healing is happening for you :) !

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Dejavu

Wonderful news! Look how far you've come! And just think: even better days lie ahead as you heal even more. So happy for you.

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sunnysideup69

Catsitting in Streatham. Had planned to see a friend today, but not sure I'm feeling it. Feels a bit selfish, but I find her a bit draining at times...when I'm in a good mood that's okay, but have been feeling a bit weird since Wednesday - think I've got a bug. Or, it could 'just' be WD. Wednesday I had the chills and was just really tired, plus my digestion was really off - kind of felt off all day.Had lots of rest. Mood was good, though.

Thursday morning, I had to travel to Streatham to catsit. Woke feeling really lacking in appetite - maybe a bit nervous about coming? Who knows. Had good long chats with friends when I got here and immediately felt better. Was great to see them. They left and it's just me and the kitties :) 

 

Stomach was still feeling dodgy, though, so I ate very little on Thursday.

Then yesterday, Friday, I woke feeling off. Slept really badly in new bed, and cats also decided to have a 3am wrestling match on top of the covers Was a really hot day in London yesterday, around 34 degrees Celsius, so I felt very weak, didn't eat much. My stomach was still off, a bit, erm, 'explosive', if you know what I mean 😝And my mood tanked all day, didn't even improve in evening. I was kind of overcome with this sense of pointlessness/meaninglessness, which I know is WD. Energy level very flat. Didn't quite know how to occupy myself all day. This is not 'normal' me...usually I love being in someone else's home, find it really interesting

 

I ate a fair bit of sugary stuff at home, plus wheat, body is not accustomed to that much any more. Maybe overdid it. Who knows. Plus, I have both been home for a few days and am now away again catsitting. That's quite a lot in the space of a week. Keep forgetting that my nervous system is still fragile.

 

Gonna take it easy today and just chill with the cats, I think. Mood is a bit agitated but better this morning so hopefully, if that was a wave, it was another really short one.

 

Might make a youtube video today about things that are helping me to stabilise. Maybe visit friend tomorrow if feeling better. Oh the ups and downs of stabilisation. Gonna take myself out for a walk now to see if I can shift those mental cobwebs.

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sunnysideup69

Hi @brassmonkey,

Wanted to check in with you on something you posted on Erell's thread. You were talking about her cross-taper...

 

"However, with a cross taper one drug is basically CTed and the new drug is used to provide what the original drug was doing AND to cover up the symptoms of the CT. This can be quite a tall order. From my observations this works well about half the time if sufficient time is allowed for the body to stabilize after the switch, but this can take a lot of time.  In the cases where it doesn't work it is usually very obvious in the first few weeks with a large increase in symptoms similar to an adverse reaction. If a persons symptom load is manageable then they should eventually stabilize and be able to continue to taper the new drug. "

 

That's pretty much my case, right? Doing a cold switch from one drug to another is effectively doing a CT? So I spose my question is, are we looking at the same kind of time frames for stabilisation as with a plain old CT? Think I'm kind of resigned to that fact, and overall I'm not doing too badly. Have been doing better recently, nearly a year after the switch. I did lots of upping and downing on Citalopram dosage before switching, which all added to the general chaos.

 

Getting some good windows recently and also, even though waves are coming around a bit more often, they are shorter and less intense.

 

Thank you :) 

 

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brassmonkey

Yes, doing a "cold switch" would basically be CTing the first and starting the second at full dose. Many doctors think that all these drugs are interchangeable and work in the exact same manner. Which is not true. They work in similar manners and affect the same receptors, but interact with the body in different ways. So by stopping the first drug straight away you are doing a CT, but adding the new drug right off is meant to "cover up" the symptoms of the change. Which it does to some extent. The "cover up" should tend to make stabilization a bit more easy, because there is some crossover in the affects of the two drugs.

 

Doing a cross-taper allows a person to move from a hard drug to taper to one that is a little easier. This provides for a possible lighter symptom load and easier manipulation of the doses during the taper. It does not necessarily speed things up, the taper is still going to take a long time. However, once things have settled out,  it should alter the dynamics of  the symptoms to make them more tolerable. Putting time frames on it is pure guess work, but because of the presence of the new drug the body should stabilize more  quickly then by doing just a straight CT. That's not saying that stabilization will be fast though.

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sunnysideup69

Thanks @brassmonkey, that's really helpful. It's taking me a while to stabilise on the Venlafaxine. Although, I think I might be overestimating what stable actually means. My symptoms are pretty much the same day in day out, apart from a bit more intense in a wave.

 

 

The thing I'm finding difficult to know , having done a switch, is what's WD from Citalopram and what's a side effect from the Venlafaxine. I guess there's no way of knowing, really?Anyway, thanks for all your help. I'm not going to make any changes right now as I have to be back at work in September after six months away...going to hold off until I have a routine back.

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, sunnysideup69 said:

what's WD from Citalopram and what's a side effect from the Venlafaxine. I guess there's no way of knowing, really?

 

That's correct.  Because you have made 2 changes at the same time it is impossible to know what is causing any issues.

 

 

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sunnysideup69
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

 

That's correct.  Because you have made 2 changes at the same time it is impossible to know what is causing any issues.

 

 

 

Yep....thanks Chessie. I'm thinking some of what I'm left with eg fatigue is because of the Venlafaxine...it's a bit of a killer, I'm also definitely 'emotionally blunted' as they say.

I guess the only way I'll know what's what is when I start tapering - if I start to regain some energy then I'll know that the Venlafaxine was the culprit.

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brassmonkey
14 hours ago, sunnysideup69 said:

My symptoms are pretty much the same day in day out, apart from a bit more intense in a wave.

 

The exact definition of stability.

 

When you decide to restart your taper, might I suggest a Brassmonkey Slide. It really works for keeping symptoms at a minimum.

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sunnysideup69
9 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

 

The exact definition of stability.

 

When you decide to restart your taper, might I suggest a Brassmonkey Slide. It really works for keeping symptoms at a minimum.

Thanks for your time @brassmonkey, appreciate it. Will definitely be doing the slide, I reckon, because of all the instability I caused over the last two years by switching around. Plus, I need to keep working.

 

 

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sunnysideup69

Having a real down day today., currently having a really good cry.

 

I know I've made lots of progress and by all accounts am pretty 'stable,' but am still not really 'my old self' and I miss her. Feel very isolated and lonely, it's such a mission even getting to see people, really, in the current climate. I'm already discombobulated and so the pandemic isolation makes it worse. I dunno what's up with me today. Had a therapy session this morning and the therapist caught on to the fact I was feeling sad, which I denied. Then felt really peed off with her. Have felt no enthusiasm for doing anything over the past week or so. Just.....flatness.

 

One of my closest friends is in the early stages of pregnancy, which is wonderful, but is also isolating, so haven't seen her since February. I miss going out with people, although I'm also turning down invitations sometimes, I notice.

 

Also, missing my brother and sister. Didn't used to see them a lot, but summer was the time when I would visit them, mostly. Just bummed out today. Life feels grey and boring. Thank you for listening. Going out to water the tomatoes now.

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Hanna72

@sunnysideup69

I know this is always repeated, but I will say it anyway 😁 This to shall pass💖 
You are doing great, don’t be to hard on yourself, and it’s ok to feel sad. I have come to accept the good cry now, it reliefs my thought patterns and usually I feel calmer afterwards. So think of it as a good therapy for your mind and spirit.

Hugs to you 🥰

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sunnysideup69
20 minutes ago, Hanna72 said:

@sunnysideup69

I know this is always repeated, but I will say it anyway 😁 This to shall pass💖 
You are doing great, don’t be to hard on yourself, and it’s ok to feel sad. I have come to accept the good cry now, it reliefs my thought patterns and usually I feel calmer afterwards. So think of it as a good therapy for your mind and spirit.

Hugs to you 🥰

Thank you. It has made me feel a little better. Hugs xxx

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Cigale

Oh my @sunnysideup69 - My heart goes out to you. I had a good cry myself this morning, and now I’m trying to take your example and water the flowers. (I wish I had tomatoes but my dogs would eat them.) 

 

You have been through so very much this year, all while facing WD with positivity. I read your thread and know you are healing and getting stronger. Look at how much you’ve accomplished of late, traveling and visiting, your video series, house and cat sitting, and preparing for work return. You’ve got this! And I appreciate you and the light you bring me when you ‘visit.’ 

 

Hugs!

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sunnysideup69
43 minutes ago, Cigale said:

Oh my @sunnysideup69 - My heart goes out to you. I had a good cry myself this morning, and now I’m trying to take your example and water the flowers. (I wish I had tomatoes but my dogs would eat them.) 

 

You have been through so very much this year, all while facing WD with positivity. I read your thread and know you are healing and getting stronger. Look at how much you’ve accomplished of late, traveling and visiting, your video series, house and cat sitting, and preparing for work return. You’ve got this! And I appreciate you and the light you bring me when you ‘visit.’ 

 

Hugs!

Thanks Cigale...that's very kind, and it's also a helpful reflection back to me. Yes, I've definitely been getting better. Some of this is not even WD, it's just frustration at current situation etc....but it's amplified because of WD.

Gonna write a bit more of a positive update, soon.

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Erell
4 hours ago, sunnysideup69 said:

Also, missing my brother and sister. Didn't used to see them a lot, but summer was the time when I would visit them, mostly. Just bummed out today. Life feels grey and boring. Thank you for listening. Going out to water the tomatoes now.

 Oh honey, you've been through so much this year, I have no doubt that sometimes it is overwhelming and your body and mind need a good cry.

I agree with Hannah about the crying being sometimes a needed therapy.

 

Take care of yourself, and know that we are here when you need support ❤️

 

(Are your tomatoes growing while mine are non existent ? 😃 )

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sunnysideup69
10 hours ago, Erell said:

 Oh honey, you've been through so much this year, I have no doubt that sometimes it is overwhelming and your body and mind need a good cry.

I agree with Hannah about the crying being sometimes a needed therapy.

 

Take care of yourself, and know that we are here when you need support ❤️

 

(Are your tomatoes growing while mine are non existent ? 😃 )

 

Thanks @Erell, honestly, don't know what I'd do without this community. I was feeling so isolated with all of this yesterday. Been in a bit of a 'sadness' wave since last Thursday or Friday and it's made me want to retreat a bit. Won't call it depression, because I know it will change and I don't feel despair. It's more like grieving.

Looking forward to my mood picking up again.

 

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Dejavu

I can sympathize, Sunny. I lost one of my dearest friends, my sister, my Mother and my Uncle (who had been like a Dad to me for 36 years) in the span of 14 months, all while in the middle of acute klonopin and/or zoloft withdrawal. And in between my Mom's and Uncle's deaths, my brother crashed and had to have a emergency heart valve replacement. 3 days later, while he was still in ICU, my other brother collapsed of a heart attack and needed a quadruple bypass. Fortunately, they both survived, but there was absolutely no one left to take care of them but me. Even still, I cannot imagine the shock to you and your parents to lose your brother and sister a day apart. At least my family had a few months between the loss of each one.

 

Irrespective of the timetable, it's hard to watch your family decimated while you're still standing. So many thoughts and emotions around that. These days, intense grief, guilt, nostalgia, and anger all jockey for first position in my withdrawal-addled brain. It's the acknowledgement that an era has come to an end; that there is a new normal to adopt and to which we have to assimilate. So many changes, all at once. And for you, the heavy responsibility of being the last surviving child of elderly and grief-stricken parents. I know that cannot be easy. I think the older we get, the more aware we become of time flying by. Between the pandemic and the withdrawal, I feel like I'm wasting time I cannot afford to waste. Is that close to what you're feeling?

 

Anyone would feel down in your situation, withdrawal or not. In fact, I think you are an absolute rock star to be doing as well as you are. These are very tough times. Our situations are similar, and I can relate. I'm here if you want to talk some of this out. Keep your chin up!

 

Pam

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sunnysideup69

Good morning. Still in a bit of a blip this morning...mood is lower, feel a bit apathetic. Also, slightly upset stomach this morning. It has been ongoing for the last week, think it's a wave. Hard to motivate myself to do anything. There have been moments of let-up, and it's not severe by any means, but I hope it buggers off soon...am bored of it now. It's making me withdraw a bit, into my little cave. Thought I would do a quick round up of May, June and July for notes...so....

 

Update on stabilisation; May, June, July 2020

Have made some healing progress. I do realise that I'm a lot better than I was this time last year.

What has changed? Anxiety is a lot less intense than it was, although it heightens a little in a wave. Now, it's more a feeling of agitation, like I don't quite know what to do with myself. It's mental and physical.

Sleeping a bit better, unless stressed, and then a bit wakeful. But generally speaking, I tend to be able to get back to sleep. Must be getting 6 to 7 hours a night.

Palpitations when stressed, hardly ever get those any more. Do still sometimes have them when i wake in the night, especially if I'm having an intense dream.

In fits and spurts, enjoying music again. Have even had some moments of being able to imagine the future in a good, excited way....hadn't realised that had gone until I experienced it one day.

Went home for a longer weekend, first time in a year. And enjoyed it. Was able to sleep in a bed that's not mine, which is a big deal.

Went catsitting last weekend and was able to tolerate being in a different space...was comparing it to Christmas catsitting last year, which I found quite difficult.

Don't have such big waves of existential doom any more...'life is meaningless/pointless' etc. Now when those waves come it is milder, I feel listless, demotivated, apathetic, but I know it will pass. 

Also, with the help of therapy, am able to cry. Not always in the moment, in the session, but usually later on the same day. Had one such day, yesterday.

My skin is clearing up. Don't have big sore patches of spots/sores. But do still get individual spots, not back to clear skinned yet.

 

In general, still having windows and waves, waves are more tolerable. I'm generally settling into a WD normal of feeling a bit 'meh,' not good not bad. I think the Citalopram to Venlafaxine 'switch' was a success, although with hindsight, it was pointless and actually extended the amount of time I've needed to spend stabilising - but hey, we all make mistakes and I've learned a lot through that one.

 

Main things I'm left with are anhedonia, body tics and jerks, apathy and disinterest, some intrusive thoughts, broken sleep.Some gut disturbance. W E I R D dreams, sometimes nightmares. Feeling as if I've had a lobotomy, mentally dull. Some of this, I feel, is the Venlafaxine, and might show some small improvement when I cautiously begin a taper.

 

No plans to taper just yet. I want to see how returning to work goes, in September, and to settle into my new classes awhile. I also need to research HOW I'm going to taper, as I can't cut my current tablet up or make a liquid, as it's extended release format. Gridley left me a link, need to print it out and keep for reference. This week am planning to ask pharmacist whether generic Venlafaxine has a brand in the UK which comes in capsule format, with beads. I'll probably go for weighing beads method/ bead removal. Reluctant to go for liquids (if there is one) as it seems to me that liquids often seem to go out of stock. Also aware that I can't cross taper to a liquid from an extended release tablet, could be a bit of a jolt in terms of absorption, so I'd rather switch from tablet to beads. Seems gentler.

 

I think I'm relatively stable, and it's a case now of letting a little bit more time pass...and getting psychologically ready to taper.

 

 

 

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sunnysideup69

"Anyone would feel down in your situation, withdrawal or not. In fact, I think you are an absolute rock star to be doing as well as you are. These are very tough times. Our situations are similar, and I can relate. I'm here if you want to talk some of this out. Keep your chin up!"

 

Thank you so much @Dejavu for this....wow, what a lot you went through. Life can be really tough and especially so with WD on top of it all. Will indeed reach out, really appreciate this ❤️ 

 

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mstimc

Hi Sunny

 

One of the hardest things for me to figure out during WD was discerning normal up and down feelings from emotions driven by my withdrawal.  Its perfectly normal to go through difficult waves when life hits you with a series of traumatic events, even for people with no behavioral issues.  I think your plan to  prepare yourself for the next taper is exactly the right thing to do.   We're not in a race and there is no "correct" timeline except the one that supports your personal success.  Sounds like you're on the right path, despite the waves.  Positive thoughts going your way!

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Sonia001

Hello Sunnyside

I've been reading your thread, hope you don't mind. You were kind enough to visit mine once as we both share weird dreams. I too have been withdrawing from Citalopram for around 11 months and still getting withdrawal symptoms, heightened by a recent course of antibioitics. It has also made my anxiety worse and I'm getting horrible racing thoughts.

I'm so sorry you have been through so much with your family loss. It can't be easy coping with that and withdrawal. I lost my brother 8 years ago to bowel cancer, he was a young man and it hit us really hard. We never expected him to leave us 3 years after my dad.

My thoughts are with you and I pray we all make a recovery from this nightmare soon.

Take care.

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sunnysideup69
1 minute ago, mstimc said:

Hi Sunny

 

One of the hardest things for me to figure out during WD was discerning normal up and down feelings from emotions driven by my withdrawal.  

 

Thank you! So much this....have to be really careful about not pathologising normal ups and downs. Not everything is WD.

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