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☼ Alex Withdrawal or Relapse?

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alex

I am really scared and confused; because I don´t know what to believe,am I in protracted withdrawal or relapse? Besides my aprehensivness, my phyisical symptoms are: ANXIETY,opression in my solar plexus, tiredness, diharrea, lack of apetite, due to anxiety, disrupted sleep, flu-like sensation, powerfull emotions, (neuro-emotions?) I think I´m producing a lot of cortisol, is it because temporary brain damage? Phosphatydilserine can help? I don´t have an exact record, but my last dose of Effexor was around July 26th, August and Sptember were awful, October was quite good, and this month bad again; maybe, maybe nuero sensations had lessen also anxiety but I´m getting disrupted sleep, worse. Profesionals tell me to start with ssri again; I feel trapped, in a dead end, very very scared. Please help me, tell I´m not going crazy. I´m also under a lot of pressure due to money problems; is this a triggering issue? I´m in dispair.

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Skyler

Besides my aprehensivness, my phyisical symptoms are: ANXIETY,opression in my solar plexus, tiredness, diharrea, lack of apetite, due to anxiety, disrupted sleep, flu-like sensation, powerfull emotions, (neuro-emotions?)

 

HI Alex and welcome to the forum! The symptoms you listed are all due to withdrawal. They are not permanent but may go on for some months. The fact October was good is an excellent sign as it shows the symptoms are starting to remit some. You had a window, and now are in a wave which is common. Real world issues often aggravate withdrawal and this type of response will also fade with time.

 

The majority of professionals know nothing about tapering or withdrawal. How much Effexor were you taking, for how long, and over what period of time did you taper? Are you on any other psychotropic medications?

 

You are NOT going crazy!!!!!! Hold on, we can help you.

 

Schuyler

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alex

Hi Schuyler, soooo glad to hear from you! Forgive my english.

 

I was taken 150mg of Effexor for 4 years.I tappered off in a three months period.

 

I am not taking any other drug; well, when anxiety is very bad, I take 0.25mg Clonazepam, but this have been almost nothing, 2 or three times during this process.

 

I feel that the neuro emotions are getting weaker, but sleep is getting worse...that terrifys me.

Now that I´m in touch with you guys I feel more hope.

 

Cortisol is a big issue for me; I´ve read about natural ways to control it.

 

I´m taking fish oil and B complex vitamins.

 

I have been a Marihuana smoker all my life;but during this process I noticed that triggers my anxiety, sometimes, so I´m not smoking anymore.

 

I am a performer, a singer, an artist that always have had strong emotions and feelings; this has two sides I believe, like everything in this life.

I read about Phosphatydilserine; tell me something about it; is it good? how much should I take?

 

Hearing about people that has been through this with succes would help me a lot.

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Skyler

Hi Schuyler, soooo glad to hear from you! Forgive my english.

 

I was taken 150mg of Effexor for 4 years.I tappered off in a three months period.

 

Cortisol is a big issue for me; I´ve read about natural ways to control it.

 

I´m taking fish oil and B complex vitamins.

 

I read about Phosphatydilserine; tell me something about it; is it good? how much should I take?

 

Hearing about people that has been through this with succes would help me a lot.

 

Fish oil often helps and you can read our thread about it here. Surviving does not recommend taking most other supplements (magnesium is good) because they are found to be activating or just plain not helpful. You might want to reevaluate the Vit. B you are taking as it revs up withdrawal symptoms for many. Stay away from Phosphatydilserine because it is very activating, not to mention containing yet more Vit. B.

 

You can read about natural ways to reduce cortisol here.

 

You may be past the time frame wherein reinstating a very low dose of Effexor will reduce withdrawal symptoms. Other members will be giving input on this.

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Altostrata

Alex, welcome.

 

It sounds like you got bad withdrawal symptoms from Effexor.

 

Doctors don't understand withdrawal syndrome. They often want to pour more drugs on it, which can make it worse.

 

A very, very small amount of Effexor might help. If you were taking the capsules with beads inside, perhaps 6 beads might help.

 

But it's been so long since you've been off Effexor, this might not work, either.

 

I agree with Schuyler, the B vitamin supplement may be causing you problems.

 

Whatever you try, try in very small amounts because it might make you worse.

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Karma

Hi Alex, welcome to the forum.

 

I have used phosphatidylserine in the past in the evening to settle my excessive cortisol so that I could sleep. I had some success with it. There was a time recently when I used it and evidently took too much and I ended up with a little groggy, hang-over like feeling in the morning, but as the day wore on it passed. If you try it proceed cautiously.

 

For a person experiencing withdrawal you would start with the smallest amount possible (perhaps 100 mg) to see what kind of response you have to it. Individuals experiencing AD withdrawal can become hypersensitized and supplements that would benefit a normal person may have unpleasant effects.

 

When I used phosphatidylserine before, I used 400 mg before bedtime, but I was not experiencing AD withdrawal at the time. If you try it, use very low doses and work your way up so you can observe your personal response to the supplement.

 

When you get a chance please add your withdrawal history in your signature so that when we are responding to your questions that information is readily available: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Karma

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kerrip

Alex, I have every single one of those symptoms, and they got worse, or started, at around the same time as you (~5 month mark). You will go through waves of this as you recover. Stress can definitely be a trigger.

 

 

And yes, my doctor and psychiatrist both told me this was a relapse and a return of my original symptoms, even though I had never experienced many of them before.

 

 

As for phosphatidyl serine : I tried a special form of PS, called Phosphorylated Serine or Seriphos, and it seemed to help for a while. But be careful with your body as it is very sensitive right now. I used to take a capsule in the evening to help with sleep. On bad days I would take one during the day as well.

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alex

One of my most feared symptoms seems to be here: insomnia.

 

This is getting very complicated. I´m scared.

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Aria

Alex,

 

I'm sorry this scares you and I can so relate to the feeling. There times I couldn't sleep because of the withdrawal and I paced the house swearing and in tears. I don't think anything is worse than not sleeping and wanting to. It will take some time for your body to adjust.

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alex

Hi Aria, thanks for your answer.

 

Last dose of Efexxor was about 4 months ago, I have been in hell, specially with anxiety, my old enemy, but sleep was ok; now anxiety seems to be getting better, but insomnia seems to b e showing its ugly face on me.

 

I´m not familiar with this site, and I wish I could be more in contact with all you people.

 

Insomnia scares the hell out of me.

 

For the last 2 months I wasn´t sure if this awful feelings were withdrawal or relapse, now I´m sure: it is withdrawal from 4 years od 150mgs of Efexxor.

I don´t know if I´m gonna be able to do it or I might start a lower dose of ssris and try to tapper off in the future.

 

This process has drained me out, Ivé lost weight because I don´t eat weell,ANXIETY anxiety kills me and now insomnia...I don´t know if I can take anymore.

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Aria

Alex,

 

It's a good idea as a new member to post info on the Introduction thread (previous drug/taper history/w/d). I found the anxiety and insomnia from coming off 6 psych drugs to be very difficult but it mostly went away for me. Some others should be posting here soon and they'll know more than I do about Effexor.

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Jemima

Alex, I moved your posts regarding insomnia here to your Intro thread. This is where all updates regarding your withdrawal should go. Just click the "Add Reply" button near the bottom of the page, type your post, and click "Add Reply" again. (You may also click on "Preview Post" if you'd like to read your post before finalizing it).

 

I had a lot of trouble with insomnia in early withdrawal. Keeping the bedroom as dark as possible and wearing a sleep mask helped me immensely. Once I was able to sleep, other symptoms began to improve.

 

Here are more tips from the "Symptoms and self-care" discussion:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/

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alex

Hi Alex, welcome to the forum.

 

I have used phosphatidylserine in the past in the evening to settle my excessive cortisol so that I could sleep. I had some success with it. There was a time recently when I used it and evidently took too much and I ended up with a little groggy, hang-over like feeling in the morning, but as the day wore on it passed. If you try it proceed cautiously.

 

For a person experiencing withdrawal you would start with the smallest amount possible (perhaps 100 mg) to see what kind of response you have to it. Individuals experiencing AD withdrawal can become hypersensitized and supplements that would benefit a normal person may have unpleasant effects.

 

When I used phosphatidylserine before, I used 400 mg before bedtime, but I was not experiencing AD withdrawal at the time. If you try it, use very low doses and work your way up so you can observe your personal response to the supplement.

 

When you get a chance please add your withdrawal history in your signature so that when we are responding to your questions that information is readily available: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Karma

 

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alex

Hi Karma, I´m having a little problem finding thiings in the site, for example, my last post, etc.

 

It will take time I guess; I´ve had a good day today, regarding anxiety and fatigue; the issue that really scares me now is insomnia.

 

I got some Phospatydilserine, 300mg.but I´m confused, Alto says is good while Schuyler says stay away from it...???

 

Should I take it?

 

I am about 4 months off Efexor is that too much for reinstament in case I feel too bad?

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Skyler

picked up spurious characters picked up while editing. redone below.

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Skyler

Hi Karma, I´m having a little problem finding thiings in the site, for example, my last post, etc.

 

It will take time I guess; I´ve had a good day today, regarding anxiety and fatigue; the issue that really scares me now is insomnia.

 

I got some Phospatydilserine, 300mg.but I´m confused, Alto says is good while Schuyler says stay away from it...???

 

Should I take it?

 

I am about 4 months off Efexor is that too much for reinstament in case I feel too bad?

 

Alto is the expert, and the Admin. She supported me on Vitamin B supplements. Karma had a good response to Phospatydilserine and used it for sleep, though she did not take it when she was in withdrawal. Kerrip also had a good result. Both are reposted below. Most supplements are singularly unhelpful, while many are too stimulating for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. However it appears Phospatykilserine may be one of the good ones.

 

Sometimes we disagree on things like supplements, and then discuss the reasons for so doing, whether based on our experiences or general knowledge. It's a good way to learn, and there is a great deal to know!

 

Hi Alex, welcome to the forum.

 

I have used phosphatidylserine in the past in the evening to settle my excessive cortisol so that I could sleep. I had some success with it. There was a time recently when I used it and evidently took too much and I ended up with a little groggy, hang-over like feeling in the morning, but as the day wore on it passed. If you try it proceed cautiously.

 

For a person experiencing withdrawal you would start with the smallest amount possible (perhaps 100 mg) to see what kind of response you have to it. Individuals experiencing AD withdrawal can become hypersensitized and supplements that would benefit a normal person may have unpleasant effects.

 

When I used phosphatidylserine before, I used 400 mg before bedtime, but I was not experiencing AD withdrawal at the time. If you try it, use very low doses and work your way up so you can observe your personal response to the supplement.

 

When you get a chance please add your withdrawal history in your signature so that when we are responding to your questions that information is readily available: http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

Karma

Alex, I have every single one of those symptoms, and they got worse, or started, at around the same time as you (~5 month mark). You will go through waves of this as you recover. Stress can definitely be a trigger.

 

And yes, my doctor and psychiatrist both told me this was a relapse and a return of my original symptoms, even though I had never experienced many of them before.

 

As for phosphatidyl serine : I tried a special form of PS, called Phosphorylated Serine or Seriphos, and it seemed to help for a while. But be careful with your body as it is very sensitive right now. I used to take a capsule in the evening to help with sleep. On bad days I would take one during the day as well.

 

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alex

Ok, thank you all,I´m doing better during the day, less powerfull neuro-emotions, but insomnia is giving me trouble now Its weird it appeard just recently after trhee months of bad w d.....

 

I´m gonna start taking 100mg at night;

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Altostrata

Something that is generally helpful can be a problem for some if it goes paradoxical.

 

Whatever you try, do it gradually, monitor your reaction, and reduce or discontinue if it makes symptoms worse.

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alex

I wish I could express myself in english as I do in spanish, but here is the BIG question: what if I am in relapse?

 

Medicine wont do me good anymore??? Am I doomed?

 

Talking about paradox, today has been a "good" day in this hell that I am going thru.

 

Thanks again for your support.

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Brandy

Ok, thank you all,I´m doing better during the day, less powerfull neuro-emotions, but insomnia is giving me trouble now Its weird it appeard just recently after trhee months of bad w d.....

 

I´m gonna start taking 100mg at night;

 

 

Something that is generally helpful can be a problem for some if it goes paradoxical.

 

Whatever you try, do it gradually, monitor your reaction, and reduce or discontinue if it makes symptoms worse.

 

Alex, your English is very good, and I understand why you're concerned.

 

The symptoms of withdrawal often resemble the original symptoms, so doctors assume it's relapse.

 

But many of us were put on these meds for completely different reasons (no depression, anxiety, or insomnia) and still get these after going off the medication too fast. So we know withdrawal can have these as withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms heal with time.

 

I suggest that if you haven't already gone back on the effexor and still want to, that you do what Altostrata suggested earlier in this thread. She suggested that you initially take only a very tiny amount - just a very small fraction - of your previous dose, to see how you feel on that.

 

Our bodies often become more sensitive to medications in withdrawal. Sometimes only a very small amount will help the withdrawal symptoms enough to help you get through the healing process we call withdrawal.

 

But as Altostrata said, this small dose may or may not work. If it helps but not enough to make your withdrawal/recovery tolerable, this group can guide you on possibly slowly and gradually increasing your dose.

 

A very small dose may help, but taking the full dose you used to take may be too much while in withdrawal. There is a possibility it might cause what is called a "paradoxical reaction." That is when a medication causes an opposite reaction from what you want. In other words, it may affect you differently while you're in withdrawal.

 

So if you start back on only a tiny dose, if you are one of the people who get a paradoxical reaction, it won't be as unpleasant and won't be such a "jolt" to your nervous system.

 

And if it works like before and helps, you may find that a small dose is all you need to feel better, and more might make you feel worse. More is not necessarily better!

 

If your effexor is the kind that is a capsule with little round beads in it, you can just open the capsule (carefully, so the beads don't spill!), and take out 6 of the beads and take those. Then see how you feel in coming days, and let us know.

 

If your effexor is in tablet form, let us know. There are other ways to take just a small amount without taking too much at once.

 

I'm glad you said you're feeling better today. Withdrawal can change often - sometimes worse, sometimes better. That is very common in withdrawal. It's temporary and part of the recovery (healing) process.

 

Hopefully you'll keep feeling better. You may want to wait to see if you need to take some effexor. But if you think you should go back on some, please try the very small amount first, as Altostrata suggested.

 

And try not to be frightened of the insomnia. That is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms. It is very unpleasant but is a withdrawal symptom and will get better. The lack of sleep is extremely unpleasant but it won't stop you from getting well. Many people here can give you suggestions that might help. Try not to worry about the insomnia. Remind yourself that it is only temporary, and try reading a very relaxing book or TV show (nothing that's scary or requires a lot of thinking, just something easy and pleasant) and then maybe you'll be able to fall asleep. Worrying about it can make insomnia worse, so try not to worry about it.

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alex

Thank Aria for your support.

 

Right now, I feel very very sad; I feel my life went down the drains.I´m sorry to post these negatives thoughts, but I´ve been thinking very dark things if you know what I mean.

 

I don´t want to wake up in the morning and having to struggle with all this, poor quality of life, my relation with my couple is bad, no more going out, sexualy very bad,lack of apetite, I used to be a funny person, I´m a performer,I love music, all that is gone...I feel life became a burden that I´m not willing to carry. I was much better on the damn drug.Maybe I don´t have the fiber to go thru this.

 

I´m also getting addicted to other drugs (I´m taking a little Alprazolam and Seroquel to help me sleep)

 

And now you tell me there could be no way out, even taking the ssri again... oh Aria, this is too much for me.

 

I´m gonna give it some time, then, I really don´t know what I´m gonna do.

 

I don´t want to die but I don´t want to live like this either.

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alex

I´m sorry about my last post; negative thinking has been an issue all the time.

 

I´m a survivor of physichal and emotional abuse from my father.

 

He put some pretty bad stuff in my child brain: guilt, fear, shame and the idea that I wasn´t able.

 

To be honest, I think,maybe, neuro emotions are not so bad; it is incredible but during this proccess I can´t stand watching or listen srtessful or violent things.The simple traffic srtess when I drive triggers a wave of anxiety... that is getting better, I guess..but I can´t take anything for granted.

 

I´m not interested in almost anything anymore, life has become a painful burden.And insomnia, I don´t know why it scares me so much.

even though I´m having some "artificial" sleep with benzo (0.25) help.

 

Work is another issue here, if I don´t function well I can´t work well, that scares me to.

 

From the "steaming jungles of Central America" (some American president said that) bye now.

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alex

Now that I let some "steam" go out I feel better, more confident.

 

One thing is for sure, this painfull prpcess has taken the best of my human and spiritual resources, and that´s good.

 

Thank you all good and brave people.

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alex

I´m thinking very seriously about reinstating ssri; insomnia in an issue I am not able to handle.

 

Please guide me with this.

 

This is personal matter, but have you heard about post-orgasm disphoria? I´m experiencing it.Not even that can enjoy... it´s awfull I don´t think I can take it any longer.

 

Please help.

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alex

Thank you Brandy for your support! I´ll give it more time and see how I´m doing

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smartgun

I'm also about 4 months out in effexor withdrawal, and it's hitting me worse than ever before.

 

Withdrawal also brought all the traumatic memories of abuse from my parents that the drug made me forget.

 

I hope this helps somewhat, knowing your experience is a natural reaction to withdrawal, I have all the same symptoms.

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alex

Hello Smartgun, hang on, I must tell you that I´m not worse, my neuro-emotions are less powerfull,insomnia scares me but I´ve been able to sleep (with a little help) and sleep is a powerfull healing process.

 

I´ve found out that one of the components of this process is fear; and it is normal to feel that way, once you are aware of this you wont feel that bad.

 

We are having an unusal cold wave here in the tropical zone, so I just can´t imagine how it is up there in mighty USA.

 

I´m sure I will be a better person when I get through this painfull process, and you will too.We are warriors.

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Altostrata

Try perhaps 6 beads, don't reinstate the full dose, it may make you worse.

 

Alex, you are having "typical" withdrawal syndrome. Many of us have been through the exact same symptoms and worried thoughts. Your symptoms will gradually go away.

 

We have all learned patience through this lesson, and to take care of ourselves. This is particularly hard for those of us who were not nurtured as children. We need to learn to nurture ourselves.

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alex

Alto, the last 48 hrs had been better: less anxiety, less neuro-emotions,I´m able to watch tv, more apetite....more control.

 

I´m so stupid, because even knowing what you told about tappering, I did what the Dr. said and did too fast; but he is professional!!!

Do you think things would had been different otherwise??

 

I don´t think too much about that anymore, what I think is that this is taking the best of my humanity out and that is good.

 

I believe pain is the touchstone for spiritual growth.

 

I´m not taking Efexor, for now.

 

Thanks again for your wisdom and support.

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Altostrata

We can't go back and do the past over, best to let it go.

 

Good healing to you, Alex.

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alex

Hello everybody, I think I´m having a window of wellbeing...less anxiety, less neuro-emotions, better apetite, and I´m able to sleep with a little help from drugs, little, I think: 0.25mg Alprazolam, 12.5mg Seroquel.I´m also having 150mg Phosphatydilserine and my fish oil,B complex and Magnesium 250mg.

 

I´m feeling better for sure despite my stupid aprehensivness of feeling bad again.

 

I feel more confident, more in control, stressfull life doesn´t get me that horrible knot feeling in my stomach...

 

I hope it lasts...thank you all good and brave people. :rolleyes:

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alex

After a very tough month this is my situation: I am feeling better, less anxiety, less neuro-emotion, more apetite, more confident; disrupted sleep though.Is this a window??? I HOPE it doesn´t close.

 

I haven´t heard from you guys in the last days... don´t leave alone.

 

4 months Effexor free.

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Nadia

I've been thinking about resilience a lot, too. Have you read anything about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? They talk about developing resilience and flexibility. It means being able to accept things as they are, even if it feels horrible or uncomfortable. Also reminds me of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

 

I know about not wanting windows to shut. We don't know... maybe you'll be fine now, maybe not. Life is up and down. Try not to expect one thing or the other. If you do feel worse, know that later you will feel better again, too.

 

And enjoy the moment!

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alex

Thank you Nadia, yes I have learned to live by the day KARPE DIEM.... you are doing fine

 

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy? sounds great

 

Keep in touch :)

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Jemima

After a very tough month this is my situation: I am feeling better, less anxiety, less neuro-emotion, more apetite, more confident; disrupted sleep though.Is this a window??? I HOPE it doesn´t close.

 

I haven´t heard from you guys in the last days... don´t leave alone.

 

4 months Effexor free.

 

Hmmm. I replied to this post yesterday and apparently didn't click on the right button, because it isn't here.

 

Yes, this is a window, and it's a very promising sign that you're on the path to healing. For most of us these windows open and close for some months, gradually coming closer together and staying open longer until they are more the norm than not. As to how long it takes to get to that point, no one knows and there's no way to predict it.

 

This is my round about way of saying that the current window probably will close, so don't be terribly disappointed when it does. This is the pattern for most of us and the window will likely open again in the near future.

 

Here's a lengthy discussion on the subject:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/page__p__191__hl__window__fromsearch__1#entry191

 

Also, please note that I'm moving most of this post to your Intro topic, Alex, since the topic started veering off of 'resilience' and into some chat about your progress through withdrawal.

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alex

Thanks Jemima, I´m sorry I don´t know how yo use this site properly

 

With your your help, I will learn.

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