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Cathie: Withdrawal prozac


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Hi everybody.


Well, I think I can say that my withdrawal from Effexor XR has been successful. This is not easy for me to write, as I am not "perfect" but now I know I never will bill and that is just fine.


Quick summary:

I went cold turkey on Oct. 6, 2011. I "forgot" my meds one day and figured I might as well just stop. I had stopped several times before but always went back on and was only off for a few weeks; as soon as I got irritable I went back on out of fear. Now I think I was afraid of having feelings after being numbed for 15 years on ads.


My physical withdrawal was not too bad; the brain zaps, feeling spacey, tipsy. These were the easy part for me.


Far more difficult and still continuing are the feelings I was put on ads to get over. My mother had died a year before I went on ads and I think a lot of my feelings were first, grief over her death and second the reemergence of old issues from early childhood on.


I was in therapy most of my life once I hit 21 and had graduated from college and was on my own. Most of this, looking back, was supportive or, at times, with a Freudian back in the 60s and 70s, just talking ad infinitum with no positive results.


Now I am fortunate to have a good therapist who is eclectic and focussed on helping me cope with life.


The biggest problems I have had about withdrawal have been with feelings that were numbed out for so long making a comeback. And having to cope with them, learn it is okay to have feelings, even negative/difficult ones, or especially those kind. Looking back I think the therapist who put me on ads just wanted to quiet me down, numb me out. Granted she works for a bit JHMO and they don't have time to really treat people with therapy. That's why I am so lucky to have gotten a good therapist in that HMO.


I have tried CBT, MBCT, DBT, a million self-help books and this wonderful site. This site has been my guiding light and you people my helpers since I came onto the site just over a years ago.


I saw the movie Flight today and I felt that the AA meeting presented was like 'kicking" ads and having to cope with raw life without the alcohol/ads.


So I would never recommend cold turkey and I understand I was very lucky not to have suffered really bad symptoms from that.


Thank you to all you here for being here and to all who have written posts about mine and especially to Alto.


I will visit here from time to time; I know I will have rough patches in the future.


One thing I recently discovered; I wake up still at around 3am and can't go back to sleep. Finally, instead of my usual ruminating, I downloaded a meditation dvd for depression and listened to that instead. It really cleared out my mind from all the useless rumination.


Well, I hope this if of help to someone and I hope all of you keep on getting to the other side.


Thanks for being there/here for me all this time.


Love, FM


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  • 10 months later...

Omg, been off prozac I think eleven days now, withdrawal started after 3 days of going cold turkey, doctors orders holy cow. The anexity gets so bad I feel like I'm having a heart attack, such chest pain. Yesterday was pretty goog , it seems like every other day, any suggestion ?

Edited by Petu
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Cathie, welcome to SA. It's unusual to see that a doctor orders cold turkey, they usually want people 

to stay on, what was his/her reason for the cold turkey? 


Reinstatement would help the withdrawal symptoms, then a slow taper is the best way to go, but we can't

recommend that without knowing why the doctor took you off them  


It would help if you could put your psych drug history in your sig line so that we can offer the right advice

for you. Here's how to do it. 



**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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