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This is an EXCELLENT writeup on withdrawal by npanth


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http://npanth.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/how-ssri-work-in-withdrawal/

 

The amplification of emotions describes me to a T and i'm sure a lot of people on here as well.  Anyone know who this James Heaney is?

On Venlafaxine XR 75mg > 20 years, because a general MD decided to try these new "calming pills" taken from his sample closet because my pulse was a little high since I get nervous going to the doctor.

 

June 2010 - Cold turkey

September 2010 - Sudden onset of EXTREME anxiety, constant terror and fear that got marginally better at night.  I had no idea what or why this was; had no idea it was the quitting of Effexor.  (I was never in my life even remotely like this)

December 2010 - reinstated 75mgs Effexor XR, felt no better months later

January 2011 - Began 5% taper every month

2012 - Anxiety began improving by had many windows and waves

January 2014 - Fell back into sudden onset of same anxiety, fear as in 2010; realized I was tapering too quickly.  I was not allowing withdrawal effects to dissipate before another taper.  Began 2% taper every 6 to 8 months

2016 - Fear, anxiety began to wane

2017, 18 & 19 - Constant Fear & anxiety stopped, just occasional minor bouts that lasted 3 days or so

December 2020 - Now at ~40mgs Effexor XR, 2.5mgs Crestor (Cutting 5mg pill in half due to sudden palpitations or PVCs)

 
 
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npanth has been a member here. You can search Google for lots of info on Heaney. I think he is also mentioned on this board too. I don't think npanth has updated his blog recently, assume he has recovered and moved on. Great reading tho.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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npanth has been a member here. You can search Google for lots of info on Heaney. I think he is also mentioned on this board too. I don't think npanth has updated his blog recently, assume he has recovered and moved on. Great reading tho.

Thanks.  So npanth isn't James Heaney?  If not, who is James Heaney?

On Venlafaxine XR 75mg > 20 years, because a general MD decided to try these new "calming pills" taken from his sample closet because my pulse was a little high since I get nervous going to the doctor.

 

June 2010 - Cold turkey

September 2010 - Sudden onset of EXTREME anxiety, constant terror and fear that got marginally better at night.  I had no idea what or why this was; had no idea it was the quitting of Effexor.  (I was never in my life even remotely like this)

December 2010 - reinstated 75mgs Effexor XR, felt no better months later

January 2011 - Began 5% taper every month

2012 - Anxiety began improving by had many windows and waves

January 2014 - Fell back into sudden onset of same anxiety, fear as in 2010; realized I was tapering too quickly.  I was not allowing withdrawal effects to dissipate before another taper.  Began 2% taper every 6 to 8 months

2016 - Fear, anxiety began to wane

2017, 18 & 19 - Constant Fear & anxiety stopped, just occasional minor bouts that lasted 3 days or so

December 2020 - Now at ~40mgs Effexor XR, 2.5mgs Crestor (Cutting 5mg pill in half due to sudden palpitations or PVCs)

 
 
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Yes, npanth is James Heaney and we have had this posted before.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Sorry about the misleading post. I read npanth's log so long ago. Got his name mixed up in my head with Healey, a doctor. Alto set you straight.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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I found some of this quite helpful.  

 

 

 

The regular mechanism that we use to control our emotions no longer works during withdrawal. It’s hard to imagine the loss of control that accompanies withdrawal symptoms. When a normal person succumbs to anger, it is still a conscious decision. In withdrawal, there is no spiral that precipitates the uncontrollable rage, it springs fully formed in the mind and propels itself without any input from the person experiencing it. The other emotional symptoms of withdrawal act in a similar way. Even when the patient exercises mindfulness and self awareness, anxiety, depression, and the other symptoms come on with little warning. They have a realness and power that most people are not used to. Since the brain’s balance has been disrupted, reality itself has been changed for the patient. Instead of an emotional wave that must be conquered or endured, these emotions become reality, with no alternative.

 

 

 

One of the frustrating things about weaning off an SSRI is that the patient is only aware of progress after a phase has passed. 

 

 

While they are experiencing a phase, there is no context to compare their emotions to. Since the emotions are so powerful and uncontrollable, emotional self awareness is short circuited, leading to mental relativism. The patient doesn’t realize the whole range of emotions, just the small extreme range that they are experiencing at the moment. 

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Also, this:

 

 

 

Withdrawal can last a long time, but there is an inevitability about recovery.  A brain that is plastic enough to adjust to SSRI in the first place is flexible enough to adjust back

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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You know, I read this so long ago and at the time I think I read all of the articles on his blog about SSRI's. And wondered how he was doing, it appeared that he stopped writing about it. Just now I followed the link and read the post and then the comments. He made a reply to a comment in January of this year so he is still talking about it, glad to see. I am going to read more and see if he talks any more about his journey since he stopped posting here. I am in need of reassurance today, I am getting those feelings again that life for me will always be this ugly and what's the use of trying to stay alive. I hate it when I feel that way and never remember to tell myself that it is wd speaking. I would rather have some hope, even just a little.

 

I think about the early posters in this forum (like npanth and Healing and Shanti), what they are doing and if they consider themselves recovered. I suppose I could read up on Healing's blog if she still has it. There are so few recovery stories where people have been able to detail the stages they went through. I'd love to read about Alto but she doesn't have a thread or a recovery story. It's been about 8 or 9 years for her I think? Maybe she will see this thread and give a little comment. I don't want to PM her.

 

I think I will recover, but I am not sure. I did not expect my intelligence to come back this quickly nor did I expect the healing in my sleep pattern. It is not perfect but it is happening. Did anyone talk about their intelligence being temporarily being clouded by the tremendous upset of wd? I don't remember....

 

Edit: No updates on Healing's site since last year, this is from Shanti's site:

 

 

Success! 

I have successfully recovered from the antidepressant withdrawal nightmare and I'm back to normal.  I have also read many stories from people that have successfully come off of antidepressants and they are doing fine now. Some still have lingering problems for a while but I believe time heals. Some have a longer battle with it.

When you look on the internet for support, you will find much of it, but there is one thing to beware of; too much negativity and fear. The success stories and advice on most of these support groups get quickly buried and so when you are searching for Hope, it's hard to see it.

Please do not let all the negativity get you down. I am doing perfectly well as are so many others. And yes, I experienced the worse hell and scariest time of my life, but I am recovered now. People that are doing okay withdrawing do not usually seek out websites about withdrawal because they aren't experiencing it. Many that recover don't bother to come back to post about it. So naturally you will find far more negative stories than success stories. Believe me when I say, this is temporary and you will stop feeling the feelings of gloom and fear about the world. You will feel again that the world is a beautiful place and it won't feel scary. I did it, and you can do it too.

 

Hope she doesn't mind. I thought I remembered checking some months ago and thought her site was down. Maybe she resurrected it or my mind was just mush at the time.

 

So this is good news. Her 'success stories' link leads nowhere, however. (Edit: the 'success story' link link in the menu at the top of the site does work).

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Jame's heaney's website is very good. I, too, would love to read Alto's story so far. (Sorry to talk about you as if you weren't there, alto. But I'd love to read your story.)

The only way out is through.

 

Aug 2013 - Augmentin leading to akathisia

Sept-Nov 2013 - Citalopram 20mg, severe reaction, off at 5mg. Valium 4mg, prn

Oct 2013 - 5 zopiclone tablets, 7.5mg

End Nov 2013-end Feb 2014, Seroquel, top dose 150mg, off at 25mg

End Nov 2013-early march 2014, Zoloft 100mg top dose, off at 25mg

End Dec-2013-early April 2014, lorazepam 1mg prn

April 3rd 2014 zoloft 5mg for a few days. 18/4/14 - zoloft, 1mg. Came off at 0.35 mg,14th June 2014

29 June 2014 - 1mg lorazepam, last ever

29 June 2014 - med free

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Thanks for posting Shanti's update, cymbalta, it's very encouraging.

 

 

 

Did anyone talk about their intelligence being temporarily being clouded by the tremendous upset of wd? 

 

This has certainly been a problem for me.  A month ago when I was doing well I had started writing a little and was reading a lot about mythology.  Looking at the things I was writing and the books I was reading, I get this strange feeling, like it was a different person with a different mind that was able to be interested in these things.  So yes, I definitely experience big dips in my intelligence/cognitive abilities, as well as in my curiosity about things.   I think the anxiety and desperation are the worst part though.  

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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I think the anxiety and desperation are the worst part though.

 

You are certainly right about that. I am having one of those 'desperation' days. Nothing is particularly wrong and I have had worse days but today is just awful. At times feeling inexplicably suicidal, haven't felt that way for weeks. Why? I suppose it has to do with the fight with my mother and her continuing silence towards me and reading more on npanth's blog. It occurred to me that my recovery since the bad spell in Nov. had been more linear, not the typical windows and waves. He talks so much about windows and waves that I have begun to fear that I am due to have another bad spell and am afraid I won't survive another one. My recovery just does not seem very typical, making it hard to know what to expect and keep hope alive.

 

All I know is that I feel very down in the dumps today.  Nar, I am glad you wrote of your experience about cognition or else I would think I had dreamt it.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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You know, I read this so long ago and at the time I think I read all of the articles on his blog about SSRI's. And wondered how he was doing, it appeared that he stopped writing about it. Just now I followed the link and read the post and then the comments. He made a reply to a comment in January of this year so he is still talking about it, glad to see. I am going to read more and see if he talks any more about his journey since he stopped posting here. I am in need of reassurance today, I am getting those feelings again that life for me will always be this ugly and what's the use of trying to stay alive. I hate it when I feel that way and never remember to tell myself that it is wd speaking. I would rather have some hope, even just a little.

 

I think about the early posters in this forum (like npanth and Healing and Shanti), what they are doing and if they consider themselves recovered. I suppose I could read up on Healing's blog if she still has it. There are so few recovery stories where people have been able to detail the stages they went through. I'd love to read about Alto but she doesn't have a thread or a recovery story. It's been about 8 or 9 years for her I think? Maybe she will see this thread and give a little comment. I don't want to PM her.

 

I think I will recover, but I am not sure. I did not expect my intelligence to come back this quickly nor did I expect the healing in my sleep pattern. It is not perfect but it is happening. Did anyone talk about their intelligence being temporarily being clouded by the tremendous upset of wd? I don't remember....

 

Edit: No updates on Healing's site since last year, this is from Shanti's site:

 

 

Success! 

I have successfully recovered from the antidepressant withdrawal nightmare and I'm back to normal.  I have also read many stories from people that have successfully come off of antidepressants and they are doing fine now. Some still have lingering problems for a while but I believe time heals. Some have a longer battle with it.

When you look on the internet for support, you will find much of it, but there is one thing to beware of; too much negativity and fear. The success stories and advice on most of these support groups get quickly buried and so when you are searching for Hope, it's hard to see it.

Please do not let all the negativity get you down. I am doing perfectly well as are so many others. And yes, I experienced the worse hell and scariest time of my life, but I am recovered now. People that are doing okay withdrawing do not usually seek out websites about withdrawal because they aren't experiencing it. Many that recover don't bother to come back to post about it. So naturally you will find far more negative stories than success stories. Believe me when I say, this is temporary and you will stop feeling the feelings of gloom and fear about the world. You will feel again that the world is a beautiful place and it won't feel scary. I did it, and you can do it too.

 

Hope she doesn't mind. I thought I remembered checking some months ago and thought her site was down. Maybe she resurrected it or my mind was just mush at the time.

 

So this is good news. Her 'success stories' link leads nowhere, however. (Edit: the 'success story' link link in the menu at the top of the site does work).

I will say this much I joined the other site in the summer of 2008 and when I joined there Alto was there... it would be a nice thing to do for the other site to resurrect the posts she made to that site and mine too... as they would be helpful to others who are just starting out.  I will say I was a complete mess and when I see others like that coming here confused and disoriented my heart goes out to them as I was just as bad. 

Maybe sometime in a land of fairies we will see this entire withdrawal adventure as one we all need to stick together in and those post will all reappear.  Both my and Altos posts were all deleted when we were sent away from there. Not everyone who is sent away has their posts deleted but both of us did. 

 

I hold Alto out as a beacon of hope too as I think she is well recovered tho I am not sure if she has any issues at all... I think I did read once that she does not do well with stress same as myself but I can't be sure.  I will say that I have improved a great deal from the stage of hating my cat... and there were other stages I felt were just that stages of healing.  Just like the cat thing they seemed to melt away and be done others come and go. 

peace to you

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I am not sure who napth is but I do not agree with this statement he made...

". I think that stopping cold turkey from 10mg/day would also take about a year of recovery time. The difference between cold turkey and slow taper is the severity of the symptoms during recovery."

 

In my experience this is dead wrong.  I wish he was right he just isn't in my case at least. 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I think the anxiety and desperation are the worst part though.

 

You are certainly right about that. I am having one of those 'desperation' days. Nothing is particularly wrong and I have had worse days but today is just awful. At times feeling inexplicably suicidal, haven't felt that way for weeks. Why? I suppose it has to do with the fight with my mother and her continuing silence towards me and reading more on npanth's blog. It occurred to me that my recovery since the bad spell in Nov. had been more linear, not the typical windows and waves. He talks so much about windows and waves that I have begun to fear that I am due to have another bad spell and am afraid I won't survive another one. My recovery just does not seem very typical, making it hard to know what to expect and keep hope alive.

 

All I know is that I feel very down in the dumps today.  Nar, I am glad you wrote of your experience about cognition or else I would think I had dreamt it.

 

Have you found things that help you?  Relaxation videos ect... having a few things you can fall back on during the bad days helped me...eft on utube even helped me... no I don't know how it works but it did help me some. when these bad times come use them... all you know.  peace 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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