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HappilyDerailed

HappilyDerailed From heaven to hell, and back

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HappilyDerailed

7.5 years ago I was in college and suffered a major panic attack preceding public speaking. Before this my life was GREAT. My doctor recommended both EFFEXOR and XANAX.  I dont know exactly when, but sometime around two years on both meds I began to feel incredible darkness. Not just any darkness, darkness void of EVERYTHING. I then decided to wean from both. The next five years were the most grueling years of my life. I tried to commit suicide early on twice and ended up in a psych ward for 3 months. 

 

I went almost FOUR YEARS feeling NO IMPROVEMENTS

 

My symptoms consisted of ANHEDONIA (no pleasure, no anything. Along with no libido), near endless insomnia, chronic fatigue, a feeling of disconnected-ness. My mind was trapped on repeat. Repetitive thoughts, obsessions, past, future. Etc

 

Today Mark's 5 years and 11 months. I feel INCREDIBLE! There's still some ups and downs, but I'm ALIVE again! I can walk around with a smile on my face and truly appreciate life. My nickname was "smiles" before this happened because I always had this feeling of understanding and appreciation towards life. I feel that again. I dont know how I lost this. But I'm forever grateful for this experience. It taught me alot about myself. Hopefully this can offer someone hope. I remember very well the hopelessness 

 

I was taking 150 MG of Effexor XR and 2mg of Xanax per day

 

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Happily.

 

Thank you for joining our community and posting your success story. How did you go off Effexor and Xanax? When did you start to get withdrawal symptoms? What were they?

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HappilyDerailed

Thanks Alto

 

I started experiencing interdose withdrawals on xanax at about 1 year in. I gradually increased to 2mg. That's when the depression started. I did a 1 year micro taper on the xanax and effexor 

 

My symptoms started while I was on both meds, they didn't improve after discontinuation. They slowly intensified for two years. After two years I started noticing minor improvements.  

 

Symptoms were chronic insomnia, Anhedonic depression, severe suicidal urges, inability to feel emotions, libido, relaxation. Difficulty walking, numbness in my limbs, numb skin. Lack of pleasure in my body, tinnitus, tachycardia, night sweats, hot flashes 24-7 etc. 

 

 

 

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Matti

Glad to hear you're feeling well again. For many of us it's a long road to recovery, months pass and it feels like it's never going to get better.

 

Thank you for giving us hope.

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Rozon1

hey @HappilyDerailed im about 3 months off my Effexor! I'm currently experiencing terrible insomnia,  Anhedonic depression,, inability to relax much(anxiety maybe? not as bad as 3 weeks ago), constipation and low libido. Your story gives me hope. I'm hoping it won't take me 5 years but I'll go through whatever I have to go through to get past this. You say around the 2 year mark you started feeling better? ANything you did in particular to help? 

 

How did you fight the suicidal urges? I have them too, although I don't think I would act on them. 

 

Could use some words of encouragement! You seem like you're around my age as well. 

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HappilyDerailed

You'll get there man. I practice meditation and exercise 5 days per week. I doubt the meditation contributed towards recovery but it allowed me to remain present rather than getting trapped in the what ifs and future fears.

 

It will resolve. Try to settle into your body. Step outside of mind. That's what got me through the 5 years. I had everything you're experiencing 

 

REST ASSURED

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Elyssa143

@HappilyDerailed

Thank you so much for posting! Ill be 2 years on the 9th of next month. After one year use of low dose zoloft. Although i had used it for a year 3 years prior to that. Ive been in absolute hell ever since. I have had some improvements and im definitely not in the 24/7 hell i used to be in. Im more functional byt mentally i still really struggle. I have suicidal intrusive thoughts which are better but still very hard, feelings of not wanitng to do this anymore/die (very chemical) not me. Depression, hopelessness, dread, negative intrusive thoughts and internal restlessness that makes me feel like i want to die as well. I know u said u had the suicidal stuff. Im definitely not coping 24/7 anymore but i dont have any positive feelings or emotions which doesnt help but i am improving slowly up and down. Did u have the suicidal stuff this far out? I pretty much have some level of symptoms daily. Im not in groups so i dont know many people and most it seems as the suicidal stuff has left in the early months. I look forward to hearing back. Also what coping skills u used. Did u have the ruminating thoughts? And the feeling of wanting to die? Of course i wont ever act i know i want to be here. Its just tough to still be like this. Thank you! Have a great day

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Armorall

Hey happily- are you sleeping deeply these days? Congrats on your success!

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HappilyDerailed
On 2/21/2020 at 7:58 AM, Matti said:

Glad to hear you're feeling well again. For many of us it's a long road to recovery, months pass and it feels like it's never going to get better.

 

Thank you for giving us hope.

You'll get there matti. Glad this gives you hope

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HappilyDerailed
16 hours ago, Elyssa143 said:

@HappilyDerailed

Thank you so much for posting! Ill be 2 years on the 9th of next month. After one year use of low dose zoloft. Although i had used it for a year 3 years prior to that. Ive been in absolute hell ever since. I have had some improvements and im definitely not in the 24/7 hell i used to be in. Im more functional byt mentally i still really struggle. I have suicidal intrusive thoughts which are better but still very hard, feelings of not wanitng to do this anymore/die (very chemical) not me. Depression, hopelessness, dread, negative intrusive thoughts and internal restlessness that makes me feel like i want to die as well. I know u said u had the suicidal stuff. Im definitely not coping 24/7 anymore but i dont have any positive feelings or emotions which doesnt help but i am improving slowly up and down. Did u have the suicidal stuff this far out? I pretty much have some level of symptoms daily. Im not in groups so i dont know many people and most it seems as the suicidal stuff has left in the early months. I look forward to hearing back. Also what coping skills u used. Did u have the ruminating thoughts? And the feeling of wanting to die? Of course i wont ever act i know i want to be here. Its just tough to still be like this. Thank you! Have a great day

Hey Elyssa. Yeah, I had all of that. It was pure torture. I'm very sorry you continue to suffer with this, it can be very difficult.  I just logged on and seen your response and was dozing off and felt like I should push through and respond. The best coping skill i know of is meditation. By far the most superior method. I will respond later when I'm not falling asleep to give a better response

 

TC

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HappilyDerailed
23 minutes ago, Armorall said:

Hey happily- are you sleeping deeply these days? Congrats on your success!

Very! Thank you! 

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Elyssa143

@HappilyDerailed thank you. I look forward to hearing back. 

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Felisbela
On 2/20/2020 at 7:24 PM, HappilyDerailed said:

7.5 years ago I was in college and suffered a major panic attack preceding public speaking. Before this my life was GREAT. My doctor recommended both EFFEXOR and XANAX.  I dont know exactly when, but sometime around two years on both meds I began to feel incredible darkness. Not just any darkness, darkness void of EVERYTHING. I then decided to wean from both. The next five years were the most grueling years of my life. I tried to commit suicide early on twice and ended up in a psych ward for 3 months. 

 

I went almost FOUR YEARS feeling NO IMPROVEMENTS

 

My symptoms consisted of ANHEDONIA (no pleasure, no anything. Along with no libido), near endless insomnia, chronic fatigue, a feeling of disconnected-ness. My mind was trapped on repeat. Repetitive thoughts, obsessions, past, future. Etc

 

Today Mark's 5 years and 11 months. I feel INCREDIBLE! There's still some ups and downs, but I'm ALIVE again! I can walk around with a smile on my face and truly appreciate life. My nickname was "smiles" before this happened because I always had this feeling of understanding and appreciation towards life. I feel that again. I dont know how I lost this. But I'm forever grateful for this experience. It taught me alot about myself. Hopefully this can offer someone hope. I remember very well the hopelessness 

 

I was taking 150 MG of Effexor XR and 2mg of Xanax per day

 

 

Well done, I'm glad you are back to yourself again

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Matti

Good to hear that you've found meditation helpful. I've been practicing most days now for ~10 min. before going to bed.

 

I believe it has helped with ruminating thoughts.

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Webhead21

This is amazing thank for sharing your success!  I'd love to pick you brain sometime, but can you tell me what the process of the numb skin and the walking challenge healing over time?  Also, did you have muscle loss coupled with the numbness?

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vaibhav

Hi, I actually started having anhedonia like situation after SSRI traeatment ..Its like not feeling anything , - not feeling happiness even while laughing......HOW do u overcome this? HOw much time it  is required to get over this feeling.????Is it abruptly ended or gradually....

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HappilyDerailed

SUPER gradual. It's something you've gotta put outside your mind. It resolves over time. For me, I didn't notice ANY improvements for almost three years. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. It felt permanent.  It wasn't! Are you still on or off?

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HappilyDerailed
On 2/25/2020 at 1:44 PM, Matti said:

Good to hear that you've found meditation helpful. I've been practicing most days now for ~10 min. before going to bed.

 

I believe it has helped with ruminating thoughts.

Very cool. Meditation is incredible. I hear alot of people sitting to meditate. I never once sat to meditate. I discovered it during withdrawal without ever knowing anything about meditation. I remember dropping down into my body during a panic attack and just being present with what i was feeling. I fell into the most peaceful feeling. Ever since then, that's where I've been

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HappilyDerailed
On 2/25/2020 at 10:08 AM, Elyssa143 said:

@HappilyDerailed thank you. I look forward to hearing back. 

Hey. At three years out I was shell-shocked. No emotions, nerves frayed. Suicidal urges were more of this need to end the suffering rather than something I would think about. I never thought about it. I felt like it was an opportunity to escape the suffering. I went to groups for about a year. Got a little bit of benefit. I met some cool people. It felt good to have people in similar situations I guess. I think it's normal to have suicidal thoughts when you're suffering. 

 

Try to drop down into the experience of being. The feelings of being. Drop down from your mind down into your body. Wherever you are. Whether you're watching TV, or browsing the internet. Allow your presence to be with the feelings in your body. I usually settle into the solar plexus area. That's where the feelings for me are most vivid. This slowly morphs into warmth. The warmth cascades through your entire body. It sooths your mind. It will allow you to find solace

 

It's very tough. Life can be unforgiving! You'll make it through! 

 

 

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LarryS

@HappilyDerailed  Thank you for sharing.  I've been tapering from 225 mg of Effexor now for 1 year 8 months.  It's good to know that you have found your "smiles" again and are able to experience life as it once was for you.  I anticipate the same for myself.  I'm already feeling some improvement from when I started tapering.  I strongly believe I will also succeed, but that does not make it any easier to be patient with the process, slow and steady.

I've utilized meditation myself at times.  It is a good practice.

I suggest to you that you now go further in your search for truth and true happiness.  I suggest reading the book of Romans in the Bible, which talks about faith in our maker, God.

Best wishes for your future endeavors.

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Rozon1

Hey @HappilyDerailed do you ever remember having bouts where you couldn’t get a proper yawn or when you would wake up from sleep you’d be completely awake? 
 

 

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HappilyDerailed

Hey @rozon1 

 

I recall waking up wide awake for almost 3 years. Not feeling rested. Like my mind was in a dream state but my body never got the rest 

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Ryder

Hi @HappilyDerailed

 

Were you able to work/study during this time ?

 

ryder

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