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SonGoku

SonGoku: Almost 2 years off Effexor

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SonGoku
Hello guys, 

 

I already shared my story in another forum and now I thought of sharing it also in this community.

 

My story starts about 3,5 years ago, there I was 22 years old, I broke up with my first big love and this kinda left me desperate. I tried compensating it with a lot of work, working out in the gym and partying. I was always looking for a distraction, something that made me feel good and I always played the nice and happy guy in front of the others. 

Somehow it worked, I liked my life back then, I loved my job (i worked in a spa center as a sauna coach), it really fulfilled me. At the same time I attended courses to become a personal trainer.

 

But a year later (may 2017) my facade started to crumble, I had no energy and anxiety and panic attacks started to evolve.

Desperate as I was, i went to the doctor and after insisting on a blood test (which was fine) he prescribed me Venlafaxin 75mg, also known as effexor, telling me it would help to get my energy back.

 

And there the whole nightmare was about to start. Sleeping got way worse ( it took me a long time to fall asleep and in the morning i could not get out of the bed, fatigued as i was), but the worst symptom was the derealization and depersonalization. At this time I didn’t know that it came from the drugs.

 

The doctor told me the dose was to low and he wanted to prescribe me 150mg.

But I refused.

 

At this time I had already changed job. When I came home from the job I was so tired I fell asleep for 2 hours, wacking up all dizzy. On September 17 i decided to taper off these drugs, because I didn’t feel confident at all. My doctor didn’t tell me anything about the withdrawal symptoms, he only gave me the smallest available dose of 37,5mg.

I started taking them and strangely at the Beginning I felt better, I had more energy and had some better days. 

1 month later, even though I didn’t feel that good, I decided to take the next step and to taper off 5 mg every week. At this time I didn’t know the steps were too big.

 

On December 17 I reached 0mg and was looking forward to get back to normal life and by new year I felt mostly normal.

 

But then slowly the withdrawal symptoms started to kick in. Somehow I just tried to survive day by day. Then in May 18 I decided to quit my job and to relax. I had some better and some bad days.

 

On July 18 although I was not in the best conditions, me and my Brother decided to go on a journey, we travelled around Asia for 2 months. I hoped this journey can heal me somehow. Although it was a great experience unfortunately I was not able to get back to normal.

 

Back home I started working for some hours, started working out and playing Icehockey. Then in May 19 I decided to get a full time job and to make the best out of my life. So I got this full time job in an office, started to get more ambitious in the gym (I changed body exercises mostly without weights) and in summer i was hiking 1x week.

 

I tried to ignore my symptoms and just did what I liked. More or less the daily procedure of the symptoms were the same, so somehow I got used to it.

 

Powering me out in the gym or in the mountains made me feel happy and alleviated the symptoms.

 

But than again in September anxiety started to come back and I got some terrible headache, luckily  I had 2 weeks of vacation and travelled with my friends to Asia. I was worried about me and how I could handle the vacation with my new arisen symptoms, but the end I had some really great days mostly without any symptoms.

 

Back home the hole situation started to get worse, anxiety and headaches almost every day, I was devastated.

 

I was not sure if the symptoms came from the withdrawal or if I got back into burnout, or overtraining. The symptoms I felt this time were different than the whole summer.  Further my sleep got worse and I had some periods of stomachache.

 

I mean I really did a lot of sports throughout the summer, but I did all those things to become more aware of my body.

 

By now I am meditating everyday for almost a year, I added 5x/ week yoga in summer in the morning before i got to work and I worked out 3x/ week, plus I went hiking with my friends once a week.

 

I know it seems a lot and maybe I exceeded my limits. The thing is when im feeling down I push myself and try to motivate myself, I tried to show myself and the world that nothing can bring me down.  

 

Right now I feel a little lost, I don’t know if I should give up the sport for maybe some weeks and se how it goes. All I know is that sports is my life and I would get mad if I have to quit. I already try to do less, right know I am so cowed and I am not able to make decisions.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks for reading this

 

Best regards

Edited by manymoretodays
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Gridley

Welcome to SA, SonGoku.  

 

You tapered off the Effexor very fast and as a result you are experiencing withdrawal. Anxiety and insomnia are very common withdrawal symptoms.  You will heal but it will take time.

 

 
 
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.  
 
I know you love sports, but many of us in withdrawal find strenuous exercise  to be too much of a stressor on your sensitized nervous system.  We really have to be gentle with ourselves.    I'd suggest you cut back to a 30-minute walk outside in nature and do that for a few days to see how that feels.  Then you could increase the intensity just a little bit and see how that feels.  And so on.  When you get to a point where you feel the exercise is making you feel worse, you know you have pushed yourself too hard and should ease off.  You wrote that you try to push yourself to motivate yourself, but in withdrawal we have to change our attitudes to promote our healing.

 

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.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

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TurkeyCold

Hi there,

 

as someone who exhausted his body in the early period of withdrawal with daily Ashtanga Yoga and a journey to India I can definitely recommend to listen to your body's needs  - I didn't and pay the price now. Physical symptoms kicked in for me after 1 year and have intensified until today (2 years out: massive fatigue and pain condition) so the only activity I can do for months now is walking. I wish you the best on your way of healing.

 

C.

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SonGoku
Quote

You tapered off the Effexor very fast and as a result you are experiencing withdrawal. Anxiety and insomnia are very common withdrawal symptoms.  You will heal but it will take time.

 

First of all I have to say thank you for reading my long story and for giving me some advices, I really appreciate that. Yes I did taper off to quick, but I also only took the pills for 3 months, so I think 2 years are quite a long time for withdrawal.

 

And sometimes I even think I'm not in the withdrawal anymore and only my mind is playing me some tricks just because he is used to this state. Many times I don't even see my hole situation as going through withdrawal but only as a part of myself you can say as an illness.

 

Quote

I know you love sports, but many of us in withdrawal find strenuous exercise  to be too much of a stressor on your sensitized nervous system.  We really have to be gentle with ourselves.    I'd suggest you cut back to a 30-minute walk outside in nature and do that for a few days to see how that feels.  Then you could increase the intensity just a little bit and see how that feels.  And so on.  When you get to a point where you feel the exercise is making you feel worse, you know you have pushed yourself too hard and should ease off.  You wrote that you try to push yourself to motivate yourself, but in withdrawal we have to change our attitudes to promote our healing.

 

I know I have to back down and especially to accept my situation. I can be very inpatient and stubborn and when I get frustrated my usual reaction is anger. So when I'm working out this anger turns into energy and my workout ends in pushing myself beyond my limits, despite my health.

 

The funny thing is, after these hard workouts I felt better, I was quite exhausted but my negative thougths were gone and my sleep was good. The day after till noon I felt a little exhausted, but afterwards it was fine.

 

On the other side I want to live somehow and do things like working out, meeting friends, travelling, despite this whole crazy situation. Because at the end you never know how much time you have left on the earth.

 

Quote
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. 

 

 

 

I think I could try fishoil sometime, thanks for the tip.

 

Thanks a lot I really appreciate your help.

 

 

Greetings

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SonGoku
Quote

as someone who exhausted his body in the early period of withdrawal with daily Ashtanga Yoga and a journey to India I can definitely recommend to listen to your body's needs  - I didn't and pay the price now. Physical symptoms kicked in for me after 1 year and have intensified until today (2 years out: massive fatigue and pain condition) so the only activity I can do for months now is walking. I wish you the best on your way of healing.

 

Hi, thank you for your answer. Yes i try to do less, but giving up something you really love is not so easy...

I wish you the best too

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SonGoku

Hello guys, 

 

the last days I had some terrible panic attacks, especially after lunch on my way to the office/ at work.

And if I think back the worst symptoms occurred after lunch.

 

Is it possibile that the food is triggering?

Has someone an answer or has someone the same problem?

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Gridley
5 minutes ago, SonGoku said:

Is it possibile that the food is triggering?

 

It's possible.  Supplements and even foods that are easily tolerated by the undrugged can be triggering.  

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SonGoku

Wow, this was a hell of a night, maybe one of the worst. Altough the monday morning didn't start that bad, after lunch my anxiety skyrocketed, at the beginning I was like "just let it be", that's what im always telling myself in the morning after waking up. But somehow it works to a certain point and beyond that point i find myself completely lost and just nothing seems to work, not even breathing techniques. I hoped after work the anxiety would somehow decrease, but the contrary happened.

 

I was driving myself crazy about icehockey and if I should continue to practice or not and then my thoughts shifted to "I'm never getting enough rest, i just want to relax and lie in my good old bed, where the most things seem to be okay".

I'm always telling myself these are just thoughts, but when it's so intense, nothing is working...

 

Lately I got the impression im bipolar. Well I don't know about that because I never had such Highs where I'm feeling really great, so I hope I'm wrong and this is just the withdrawal whos driving me crazy...

 

 

SonGoku

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