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Magictable: Effexor 75mg - Possible Protracted Withdrawal


Magictable

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Magictable

Hi guys,

 

It's nice to meet you all. I will share a bit about my story.

 

I was prescribed Effexor in 2014 for Anxiety and Depression. I had also never seen a Psychologist or Psychiatrist before 2020, all I ever saw was a Dr once and then the next appointment I was put on medication. Before this I tried Zoloft and Mirtazipine for 8 week stints, which both did nothing for me. When Effexor was prescribed, it worked fairly well. I would still feel anxiety and depression, but in a numb way - a way that I didn't react to. I also hardly ever felt joy on this medication. It's hard to describe but it was just like I was on autopilot, cruising through the days and I rarely ever had a depressive episode - at the expense of never really feeling happiness.

 

I noticed after a few years my short-term memory had started to deteriorate. I could barely remember what happened the day before. My head was so cloudy. I also noticed that I had no drive whatsoever to improve my life. I was also never ever able to cry. In the time I was on the medication (7 years) I cried maybe three times. I would always notice though, if I forgot to take the medication, after a day I would start crying at anything. I became familiar with the withdrawal symptoms. If I forgot to take my medication, I would get very emotional, get the worst brain zaps, feel malaise and tired and just feel an overall sense of something isn't right.

 

There were many times when I tried to quit and I probably made it to about 3 days before giving in because it was unbearable, and I had accepted I would probably be on this medication for the rest of my life.

 

Come the start of 2020 a traumatic experience happened to me and I had begun to drink heavily and do drugs to cope. I eventually ended up self harming myself and ending up in the hospital. I saw a Psychiatrist for the first time and I told him how I wanted to get off this medication because I thought it wasn't working anymore and was making my memory impaired and my emotions blunted. I didn't think it would be easy, but it was for me relatively. I just stopped taking the medication and he put me on Prozac for two weeks to ween me off medication as Prozac is eliminated from the body slowly. I didn't think it would work but after two weeks I stopped taking the Prozac and I had no brain zaps or anything and I thought YAY!

 

Around 2 months later, I started to feel depressed and anxious. I started feeling some odd things I hadn't felt before. I don't even know if I had depression and anxiety to begin with, because the feelings I get now are something else. I get this really dark dark eerie feeling from time to time. It feels almost sinister and the whole world is a black oozing pit of tar and bile. This feeling comes and goes though, which is good. It will show up for like 2 hours every few days and then leave, but I still feel it's presence in the back of my mind. What does not go away is this feeling of being disconnected from reality. It's like I can see everything with my eyes but I can't see it at all. It looks like I'm watching a movie on a blurry vhs player. I touch things and see things but they dont look or feel real. I know they are real but it just feels so plastic. 

 

I have also started having a bunch of health problems such as

 

-Bad light sensitivity

-Numbness and tingling in my face and mouth

-Intense fatigue

-Bad sleep and intense dreams

-Brain zaps only when I'm just about to fall asleep, if I wake up in the middle of the night, or just before I open my eyes in the morning.

-Sinus numbness

-Dizziness, like theres always a vibratory spinning feeling in my head

-Bad brain fog and cognition issues

 

I have been to 3 dr's about these symptoms and all have done heaps of blood tests and tried to rule things out and all my blood tests come back fine and on paper I'm a healthy young man.

I'm going to see a 4th dr tomorrow because I just don't understand why I feel this way and I'm unsure if it is protracted withdrawal from Effexor.

 

I have also tried going back on an SSRI 3 times last year and 1 time this year and each time I had the most horrific side effects and I am only able to last around 5 days.

 

I am unsure if this is kindling. I am unsure if I just need to let my body recover.

 

I do have good days though. It's like it comes in waves. I'll go 3 weeks or so feeling really depressed and anxious and sick. I will then have 2 weeks where I feel fairly normal and like I'm better. It just keeps repeating.

 

Anyways, I'm sorry if this is a bit of a rattle on and disjointed, I thought it would be easy to summarize but it proved a bit harder and I'm feeling dizzy and weak at the moment.

 

Thanks for listening and nice to meet you all :)

 

Edited by Karma
name update

Trial of Zoloft and Mirtazapine 2014

2014 - 2020 75mg Effexor

2020 Fast Prozac Bridge to get off Effexor

Protracted withdrawal symptoms to date;

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
getofflex

Hello Magictable

, and welcome to the Surviving Antidepressants Forum.  To best help you, I ask that you would please summarize your medication history in your signature, including drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations and reinstatements, especially in the past 1 to 2 years.  

 

Are you still relying on alcohol and drugs to help you cope? 

 

Account Settings - Edit or Create a Signature

 

I can relate to a lot of what you said in terms of how the drug affected you while you were on it, and also the symptoms you are experiencing now that you are off.  Your doctor had you on a very fast taper, and it is likely that what you are experiencing are withdrawal symptoms from a fast taper off of your Effexor and Prozac.   These links explains more about withdrawal (WD) and the associated symptoms. 

 

Short Video on Healing from Antidepressants

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Dr. Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptom Checklist

 

The theory is that when we take these drugs, the central nervous system (CNS) responds by making changes to accommodate the drug in our system.  When we stop the drug, the CNS then has to undo all the changes and revert back to it's prodrug state.  As the CNS is a very complex and multifaceted system, it takes a long time for it to make all the changes.  

 

That dark, eerie feeling you describe, which is probably pretty disturbing, is also typical of withdrawal.  Many of us here have had that too.  Take heart, this will go away.  It is probably related to intrusive thoughts. 

 

Repetitive or Intrusive Thoughts, Etc. 

 

Your depression and anxiety are probably also signs of withdrawal.  

 

How to Recover from Anxiety

 

Neuro Emotions (Anxiety, Depression, etc)

 

The ups and downs you are describing are classical antidepressant withdrawal patterns.  We call it windows and waves.  

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

I've given you an awful lot to look at and think about.  Take your time.  You've given a well organized and thorough description of your situation, so thank you, that helps us help you.  This is your introduction topic - the place for you to ask questions, record, symptoms, share your process, and get help from others in the SA community.  Please hang in there.  TIME is the great healer.  

 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • getofflex changed the title to AlecJW: Effexor 75mg - Possible Protracted Withdrawal
Magictable

Hi Getofflex,

 

Thank you so much for your reply, all those resources are invaluable.

 

I'm not relying on drugs and alcohol anymore, as they only provide a temporary fix, and usually exasperate the symptoms.

 

Drugs are just something I will never touch again. Alcohol, I have taken months off at a time from - and then I will have a night on the weekend occasionally where I will have some social drinks with friends and have 4 or 5 beers. But, to be honest, even this can exasperate the symptoms so I try to refrain.

 

Thank you again, and I look forward to being more active on the site, learning from you all, and sharing my journey also.

Trial of Zoloft and Mirtazapine 2014

2014 - 2020 75mg Effexor

2020 Fast Prozac Bridge to get off Effexor

Protracted withdrawal symptoms to date;

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
getofflex

Thank you Magictable for putting your drug history in your signature.  Can you please indicate when in 2020 (month) you did your 2 week Prozac bridge to get off Effexor, and what was the dose on the Prozac?  It would enable us to help you better.  

 

I've given you quite a bit of information links in my previous post, so I don't want to overwhelm you with a bunch more information in this post.  The symptoms you describe all sounds to me like classic SSRI withdrawal symptoms.  

 

You could possibly be kindled (sensitized) due to going on and off the meds in the past.  If you are take heart.  I did a similar thing.  I believe that you can and will recover, given time, and learning how to take care of yourself, and learning non drug ways of coping.  

 

Just be aware that doctors rely primarily on drugs and surgery to treat people.  This is how they are trained in medical school.  So often people are put back on these drugs at the advice of a doctor, and then they are right back where they started.  What ever you decide is up to you.  But for me personally, my goal is get off psych meds, so I have been very cautious about seeking the advice of doctors.  As time has gone on, I have gradually felt better and better.  

 

In your original post you said "What does not go away is this feeling of being disconnected from reality. It's like I can see everything with my eyes but I can't see it at all. It looks like I'm watching a movie on a blurry vhs player. I touch things and see things but they dont look or feel real. I know they are real but it just feels so plastic."   This sounds to me like depersonalization/derealization.  It is another very typical symptom of withdrawal from psych meds.  Here is some more information on that.  

 

Depersonalization/Derealization (DP/DR)

 

We don't usually suggest too many supplements, but 3 that can be very helpful are omega-3 fish oil, magnesium for calming, and melatonin for sleep.  Here are links about this:  

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

Magnesium

 

Melatonin

 

I know it sucks to have to go through this difficult and uncomfortable withdrawal process.  For me, it has been so worth it, because I feel like I'm getting "me" back, and feel like I have a whole life, instead of just half a life.  Good luck, and prayers.  

Edited by getofflex
added info about supplements; name update, soften wording

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to post
  • Karma changed the title to Magictable: Effexor 75mg - Possible Protracted Withdrawal
  • getofflex changed the title to AlecJW: Effexor 75mg - Possible Protracted Withdrawal

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