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☼ Outdoorsman15 intro and experience with Effexor w/d


OutdoorsMan15

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Hello everyone,

 

I am a male in my early 20s who has been having a tough time with Effexor withdrawal.

 

Background:

Started having panic attacks and bad insomnia 2 years ago.  Have been on both celexa and paxil for a short amount of time and have been able to discontinue those with few problems.  Found a great CBT counselor to help me with panic and it has worked wonders.  However, I had another bad bout with insomnia recently that I figured was anxiety related so I tried Effexor.

 

First of all, totally regret ever trying the Effexor.  Curing my insomnia was as easy as learning to get lost in my dreams again.  I started out at 37.5 mg and then went up to 75 after a few weeks.  It was making me absolutely miserable so I decided to come off of it.  Dropping back down to 37.5 wasn't too difficult but going from 37.5 to 0 was another story.  It took about another 3 weeks to completely stop the medication but then I started to get some intense withdrawals like brain zaps, dizziness, nausea and a general flu-like feeling.  After a few weeks of being completely off Effexor the most intense withdrawal symptoms began to fade away; the brain zaps have gone away entirely.  However I am now about 8 weeks off the medication and still having some annoying cognitive issues.  I'm having a very hard time focusing on things like reading and writing.  It seems like I have a hard time communicating my thoughts into words and my memory just isn't what it normally is.  Physically, it feels like my face is numb which has translated into me having the generally "flat" mood.  If I over-work myself during the day the symptoms seem to get worse and I've also noticed greater sensitivity to caffeine and alcohol.  Generally, I will have a few good days and then slide back into a few bad days.  I can imagine these things will continue to get better with time but does any of this seem normal for withdrawal?  Any recommendations other than just letting time pass?

 

Overview: 7 weeks on Effexor, just about 8 weeks off now

 

- OutdoorsMan

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi OM

 

Welcome to SA. What you are experiencing is common. Withdrawal is not linear, it comes in waves with good patches (windows)in between.

 

We normally suggest reinstating and reducing slowly but that strategy does have its risks (some people have a bad reaction to the medication when they reinstate). The fact that you weren't on it for long is positive and your symptoms have faded over time, I would recommend that you maintain your current course but perhaps add in some omega 3 fish oil and magnesium. Have a look in the symptoms forum for discussion of these and other non drug ways of responding to withdrawal. Avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol. You might also want to avoid b vitamins. Some people find these activating

 

Basically be as gentle as you can on your nervous system..

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks for the quick reply Dalsaan.  It's such a relief to hear that what I am going through is normal.  I was terrified at first because my withdrawal has literally lasted longer than I was ever on the drug.  However, it seems that Effexor is such a powerful drug that it can really make some big changes to the brain.  I feel like at this point that I have been off of the stuff for so long that I would rather just ride this out than reinstate at a lower dose.  As for the "windows and waves" theory, it does seem to match what I am going through.  The past 5 days I have felt pretty well, while today it feels like I have taken 2 steps back.  About 3 weeks ago I also had another period where I was feeling great but then things dropped off.  I was considering seeing a psychiatrist about all of this but I am pretty confident now that what I am going through is pretty normal.

 

It seems like my only move here is to continue to ride this out.

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I do have to caution that a lot of medical practitioners are not well versed in withdrawal.   They tend to accept what is written on the box by a pharmaceutical industry that is heavily invested in people taking antidepressants, not stopping them.

 

We do have a list of recommended Drs etc - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/  

 

You will have to excuse my ignorance though in terms of American geography and what/who might be close by you - I have no idea!

 

D

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Hi Outdoorsman,

I empathise regarding symptoms since Effexor withdrawal. I was on it for a little over a year for depression and PTSD. I had tapered over 2 months and I took that final, leap of faith just 11 days ago.

Since I stopped I've had almost identical symptoms to you. Fatigue and cognitive changes are significant , and the depression has returned with a vengeance.

I am surprised at the severity of your symptoms having only been on them 8 weeks. It shows how insidious the drug is

I too would recommend Omega 3, and Magnesium. And cessation of alcohol while neurotransmitters are 'rebalancing' , for the want of a better term.

It's a challenge to stay positive to affect healing , isn't it. I am very happy to have found this forum.

I wish you well on your road to health.

 

Sujema ~ ' Lady' from Australia <>

I started Lexapro 2013 30? mg

Changed to Effexor 75 mg Jan 2014

Started tapering. 1st Dec 2014 -

75mg down to 37.5 in 1st month.

18.7 mg to 9 mg between 1st jan- 1st feb.

Discontinued 1st Feb- 27th Feb

Have experienced, daily, vertigo, disassociation, chronic fatigue, insomnia,

Pins and needles down right side head and intense despair.

Reinstated 4 beads Effexor 28th Feb 15'

Side affects of withdrawal not manageable particularly

Depression/dispair.

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  • Moderator

Hi OutdoorsMan-- welcome to the group.  There is a ton of information and support for getting off of these drugs around here.  Looks like you're in good hands already.  I am fascinated by your statement "Curing my insomnia was as easy as learning to get lost in my dreams again".  Would you please go onto greater detail when you  have a chance.  Myself and I am sure many others here would love to learn more.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks for the quick reply Dalsaan.  It's such a relief to hear that what I am going through is normal.  I was terrified at first because my withdrawal has literally lasted longer than I was ever on the drug.  However, it seems that Effexor is such a powerful drug that it can really make some big changes to the brain.  I feel like at this point that I have been off of the stuff for so long that I would rather just ride this out than reinstate at a lower dose.  As for the "windows and waves" theory, it does seem to match what I am going through.  The past 5 days I have felt pretty well, while today it feels like I have taken 2 steps back.  About 3 weeks ago I also had another period where I was feeling great but then things dropped off.  I was considering seeing a psychiatrist about all of this but I am pretty confident now that what I am going through is pretty normal.

 

It seems like my only move here is to continue to ride this out.

 

Pretty much the only options are to ride it out, or take a very small dose (like 1-2 mg) to see if that will stabilize you, and then come down off of that bit more gradually.

 

In your case, given your short use of the drug, riding it out is a feasible option, although personally I see people almost always do better with a very small reinstatement even after short use.

 

It's pretty typical for people to be able to come off an AD without much trouble the first time or two, and then to run out of "slack" and have a hard time after that. If I were you I would avoid psych drugs from now on, it's not likely to get any easier.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello  Outdoorsman ,    welcome to SA.

 

What you are experiencing is "normal" for withdrawal.  Lots of people on this site feel okay for a while after stopping , then symptoms start to increase in frequency and intensity.    This is early days for you.

 

There is a very important thread in the Symptoms and Self Care section , called "About reinstating and Stabilizing To stop Withdrawal Symptoms".    

You write "It seems like my only move here is to continue to ride it out".    That's not the case , as moderators Dalsaan  and Rhi have suggested.    You have options.

As unsettling as things may be for you now , for a lot of people it continues to get worse , with the most intense and disturbing symptoms not starting until around the 9  month mark.

 

I would consider reinstating as a great option for you to explore.    I'm sure you've got better things to be doing with your life that spending the next couple of years disabled by a long withdrawal process.

 

Very best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Sujema: Thank you and good luck to you on the rest of your healing journey.  It always helps to remind myself that the current state I am in is not my usual self but the "old me" will be returning in the future.  Beating yourself up and getting frustrated can only harm you, especially since the current state we are in is generally out of our hands.  It is sometimes hard to do when having a bad day but I try to remind myself of this fact daily.

 

Brassmonkey:

Hi OutdoorsMan-- welcome to the group.  There is a ton of information and support for getting off of these drugs around here.  Looks like you're in good hands already.  I am fascinated by your statement "Curing my insomnia was as easy as learning to get lost in my dreams again".  Would you please go onto greater detail when you  have a chance.  Myself and I am sure many others here would love to learn more.

 

Insomnia has been my greatest struggle when it comes to mental health.  It all began a few years ago when I injured my ear and was given Prednisone (a steroid) in order to treat it.  Not by surprise, one of the biggest side effects of this drug is insomnia and I sure had some bad insomnia once I began taking it.  The problem was I never had trouble sleeping prior to this so this completely freaked me out.  I was so freaked out that the insomnia continued on and on, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I began to avoid the things that I enjoy because I was too tired and worn out to do any of it.  Eventually I developed so much anxiety about my sleeping that it seemed like my only route was to take medication.  I had been diagnosed with "panic attacks" about 8 months earlier so I figured that anxiety had just latched onto my sleep and that I was powerless to fix it with out medication.  Trazodone and eventually Celexa was the cocktail I needed in order to sleep.  My sleep returned while on the Celexa and I was feeling pretty well so I got off of it.  I had a wonderful, sleep-filled year without any medications, I was thrilled...

 

The next fall I ran into some severe stressors due to it being my final year of school and I was deciding what I wanted to do when I graduated. The insomnia returned,  it was back to the trazodone.  At this point I became very convinced that I just had a chemical imbalance in my brain that was causing way too much anxiety to sleep and that I needed to give in and just stay on medication.  So I went to my doctor and tried Effexor because to Celexa seemed to numb my feeling too much: big mistake looking back.  I continued to research insomnia until I was on the brink of insanity, but then I found a post on a forum, similar to this one that provided the cure to all of my sleeping problems.  The post basically said that if you could sleep prior to your insomnia, you can sleep now.  I kept telling myself during all of this struggle that there was something physically wrong with me, but there wasn't.  The post continued on by saying that all you needed to do was exactly what you did prior to your insomnia.  For me, this was making up fictional stories in my head and getting lost in them.  As soon as I started doing this, my sleep began to return.  My body became accustomed to sleeping regularly again and now I can almost fall asleep on command, it was truly amazing...

 

Of course, now I had to get off the Effexor.  I tapered down for awhile from 75 mgs until I took my last "beads" about a week before Christmas.  8 weeks have passed and this is where I am today, left with some cognitive issues that are taking a toll on my quality of life, but I can cope. I am a college student so avoiding things like alcohol and caffeine are difficult, but I'm just doing the best that I can. After reading through this site, I consider myself lucky because I am realizing that protracted withdrawal is a real thing and that there are people much worse off then I am.  Forums like these can be the key to somebodies recovery from whatever you are dealing with, it certainly has been the case for me!

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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I am happy to see you get out of the trap... now don't look back keep going. Be free and prosper :) 

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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Because things have actually seemed to be getting worse this week I am attempting to reinstate Effexor @ 1mg (4 beads). Wish me luck

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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Good luck !

 

Hey, Outdoorsman, just read your post and can relate -

 

I suffered from non-restorative sleep while on Lexapro for five years, the Lexapro deprived me of REM -

 

After stopping Lexapro, seven months later I was hit with a weird 3-month insomnia wave -

 

Once the wave was over, my natural restorative sleep has been restored, for three months now I sleep deeply every night -

 

I am thrilled about that -  

 

Strength to you on your journey of recovery!

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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Thanks Clearday. Already not a fan of this reinstatement it doesn't look like I'm going to continue with it.

 

Are you still having issues with withdrawal or are you fully recovered?

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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Attempted my first reinstatement today with a very low dose of Effexor and it only seemed to aggravate my symptoms and gave me a sensation of electricity running through my body. Should this be considered an "adverse reaction" and a reason to stop?

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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Thanks Clearday. Already not a fan of this reinstatement it doesn't look like I'm going to continue with it.

 

Are you still having issues with withdrawal or are you fully recovered?

 

The insomnia withdrawal hit me at 7 months and lasted for 3 months;

 

Followed by one month great window  :lol:

 

Followed by two months of head pressure and ear ringing 24/7, still stuck in that wave as I type this. It is slowly getting better, but it sucks. It is common with Lexapro. Each person and SSRI is unique. 

 

I don't expect to be fully recovered until perhaps a year or so from now. And I hope I do fully recover. Fingers crossed.

 

I've been down this road before.  It took me three years to fully recover from Prozac WD years ago. I just didn't know it was WD, so that is why I wound up taking another one of these poisons years later.  :angry:

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi outdoorsman  ,   sorry things are continuing to be difficult. 

   

I don't think 1mg of  Effexor is going to help - it's too small .    1-5 mg is used for reinstating meds. like Prozac where a regular dose is 10-20mg.

Because Effexor works differently , a usual dose is much bigger , e.g. you were taking 37.5mg .     If you're going to give reinstatement a serious try ,

you'll need to reinstate with a higher dose , and give it at least 4 days to reach a steady-state in your bloodstream.

I'd be taking half of 37.5 to start , and take it from there.    

 

Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Fresh,

 

Taking only 1 mg this morning really threw me off course.  All of the symptoms that I described earlier were made worse, on top of a feeling of dizziness that was not there before.  I feel like my nervous system is very sensitive to anything new that I introduce it to right now, so my guess would be that taking a whole 37.5 mg at this point wouldn't be a good idea.

 

My gut feeling right now is to just stay the course and wait this out.  I have seen vast improvement in a lot of areas and I don't want to do something that could very possibly set me back.  The only problems I am dealing with now seem to be cognitive.

 

- Outdoorsman

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome from me too. I also tapered effexor too fast and suffered the consequences. Reinstating 4 beads was good for me and stopped many of the withdrawal symptoms. I had some waves for a while and eventually started to taper again from the 4 beads. Now I am on 1 bead and am not in a rush to stop it.  

Often a very tiny dose is all it takes, but as you reacted so badly to 4 beads that was obviously too much, if you want to try a lower dose even 2 or 3 might help. I tried 5 or 6 beads to reinstate but that was too much so went to 4 and was fine with that. Whatever you decide I hope that you start to feel better very soon. 

**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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Hi mammaP,

 

How long were you completely off before you tried reinstating?  

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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Wait, I just read your signature. Nevermind, Ha

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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  • Administrator

Outdoorsman, that is not the type of reaction we like. However, see how you are when that exploratory dose wears off a bit. It could be less would be better.

 

I'm moving this to your Intro topic, where mammaP has addressed this question.

 

In your case, it was a good thing you took only a few beads to try out a reinstatement.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi outdoorsman  ,   sorry things are continuing to be difficult. 

   

I don't think 1mg of  Effexor is going to help - it's too small .    1-5 mg is used for reinstating meds. like Prozac where a regular dose is 10-20mg.

Because Effexor works differently , a usual dose is much bigger , e.g. you were taking 37.5mg .     If you're going to give reinstatement a serious try ,

you'll need to reinstate with a higher dose , and give it at least 4 days to reach a steady-state in your bloodstream.

I'd be taking half of 37.5 to start , and take it from there.    

 

Fresh

 

Fresh, you would be surprised at how little of these drugs it takes. They are extremely powerful even at low doses.  Since we don't know how reinstatement is going to affect someone who's in withdrawal, we generally recommend they start with a really low dose, see if they have a bad reaction, then titrate up gradually in small increments to the lowest possible helpful dose.

 

So many people have bad reactions to larger reinstatements; this is a harm reduction approach.

 

Thanks for your support for our newbies!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Rhi ...   I've still got a lot to learn  :blush:.  

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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As to how powerful the drugs are ...

I was off at least 2 years I was trying to help a person online figure out a tapering scale for Effexor... I still had lots here all sorts of sizes.  Long story short in counting out the beads in different doses... found I was reacting to the small bit of drug I was getting on my finger from moving the beads around .. licking my finger to get the odd stray one....

 

I tried to talk my way out of it to reason as I thought a reaction to such a small amount was impossible but there was no way... it was real.   I can't explain it but it was real. 

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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Maybe a lot of what is taken as a normal dose is superfluous. Maybe the first few beads that get metabolized do all the work, and they just make bigger pills to justify the cost. Just making stuff up here.

 

Outdoorsman, what does that electrified thing feel like? I tingle/throb all over, 24/7. I guess I am used to it. I feel it on my skin though, not my innards.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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Outdoorsman, what does that electrified thing feel like? I tingle/throb all over, 24/7. I guess I am used to it. I feel it on my skin though, not my innards.

 

I really can't think of a better way to describe it other than "electricity" but it did go away after a few hours.  I do have this strange tingly/numb feeling in my face that I have been dealing with ever since I came off the Effexor 2 months ago.  This sensation in my face seems to be causing my flat mood, it's ridiculously hard for me to show any emotion right now.

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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I wanted to see if anyone could relate to me on this.  Four weeks after stopping Effexor completely I had to return to school because it was the end of my winter break.  I was feeling awesome by the end of break so I was thrilled to go back to school.  However, after being back for a few days I had some new symptoms appear that I did not notice before.  I started having memory, focus and communication problems that I don't think I had during my break.  I will never know if these symptoms appeared because I had entered a different phase of my recovery or if it was triggered by a change in environment.  Being at school is obviously more stressful and hectic than it is being at home.  I actually spoke to a pharmacist about my withdrawal the other day and he said that it's common for different  withdrawal symptoms to appear once you are introduced to new stressors.  It's also possible that I am just noticing these things more because I'm using my brain and socializing more at school.

 

Has anyone noticed a change in their recovery or new symptoms popping up after a change in environment or stress level?

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  ODM (and west coast)  , the tingly thing sounds like akathisia - like low-grade electrical current , inner restlessness , inability to be still.

Often walking or pacing can help to relieve it.  

ODM , most people's pattern of recovery seems to be developing new symptoms which vary in their intensity and frequency , for many months.  Sometimes , like for me , the worst ones didn't hit till 9 months after ceasing Cymbalta. 

A change in environment or additional life stressors CAN escalate symptoms or bring on new ones. 

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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I wanted to see if anyone could relate to me on this.  Four weeks after stopping Effexor completely I had to return to school because it was the end of my winter break.  I was feeling awesome by the end of break so I was thrilled to go back to school.  However, after being back for a few days I had some new symptoms appear that I did not notice before.  I started having memory, focus and communication problems that I don't think I had during my break.  I will never know if these symptoms appeared because I had entered a different phase of my recovery or if it was triggered by a change in environment.  Being at school is obviously more stressful and hectic than it is being at home.  I actually spoke to a pharmacist about my withdrawal the other day and he said that it's common for different  withdrawal symptoms to appear once you are introduced to new stressors.  It's also possible that I am just noticing these things more because I'm using my brain and socializing more at school.

 

Has anyone noticed a change in their recovery or new symptoms popping up after a change in environment or stress level?

Yes I think the reason people are only comfortable at home is because other places stress them and I would note there is such a thing as delayed wd ... which means the real withdrawal takes some time to hit.  It did for me.  I quit Nov 17 and did not have big problems till between xmass and new year.  I had gone out of town to visit friends a few different ones in the same city... I was waiting for a gf in a diner when I suddenly felt ill.. like I was getting the flu I had ordered but the food did not get there yet ...had I eaten I would have suspected food poisoning it felt like it. 

 

I call her and cancelled told her I was getting the flu and did not want to be a house guest sick.. I got in my car one of the worst drives of my life... 5 hours should have been two.  I went to bed when i got home and that flu lasted 3 months... it hit off and on mostly on for another 3 months after that... so that was my experience with delayed withdrawal... of course I had no idea it was related to stopping Effexor... none at all. 

 

I am not saying this is going to happen to you I was on it a long time... I am saying delayed withdrawal is possible and it can hit at any time after stopping an antidepressant. ... wks to months. Could be the stressers of school is the issue could be delayed withdrawal. Time will tell. 

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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Yes, time will surely tell.  The numb/tingly feeling in my face has actually gotten worse over the past few days.  One of the hardest parts about all of this is getting others to understand.  I've been complaining about these symptoms for almost 3 months now and I think my family is beginning to question my sanity.  I'll be back home for break in a week and I think I'm going to get some blood work/tests done to rule any other possibilities out.  If I truly am still experiencing withdrawal almost 3 months out after only taking the drug for about 7 weeks, I'd like to know for sure.

 

I'm already starting to get the hypochondriac comments from the family.  Some days I wish I was nursing a broken bone instead, something nobody would question.

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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  • Administrator

Are you still taking 1mg Effexor a day?

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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I only took it that one day because it only made my symptoms worse.  I only took the drug for 7 weeks so I really can't imagine this withdrawal lasting much longer than a few months (I can't believe it's even been this long).  I also can function pretty well, it's more of a quality-of-life thing at this point.  If I were severely disabled at right now I would have given reinstatement more of a chance but that certainly isn't the case.

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

Link to comment

Yes, time will surely tell.  The numb/tingly feeling in my face has actually gotten worse over the past few days.  One of the hardest parts about all of this is getting others to understand.  I've been complaining about these symptoms for almost 3 months now and I think my family is beginning to question my sanity.  I'll be back home for break in a week and I think I'm going to get some blood work/tests done to rule any other possibilities out.  If I truly am still experiencing withdrawal almost 3 months out after only taking the drug for about 7 weeks, I'd like to know for sure.

 

I'm already starting to get the hypochondriac comments from the family.  Some days I wish I was nursing a broken bone instead, something nobody would question.

Boy do I know that feeling I had a ton of test including blood work.. hormones were always wonky MRI of my brain showed changes but could have been from migraines.  I can't imagine what family actually think of me at this point.. could not guess.  I have heard this same broken arm statement many many times on boards like this.  It is a lonely go as nobody gets it and information tho much better then it ever was in the past is here... still there is a lot missing that could maybe help. 

peace to you I hope you wd is done soon. 

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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  • Moderator

Hey There Outdoorsman!

 

I'm glad you came to SA where you can find that other people share your symptoms; you are not alone.

 

I'm glad you didn't continue the updose for a couple of reasons:  1.  you are young, this will likely be faster for you than most of us, 2. Your 1 mg effects were awful enough to indicate that maybe reinstatement is not helpful (a clear message is better than a muddy one!), and 3.  You were on the drugs only a short time.

 

But be patient.  I don't know the science, but I heard somewhere that it takes 2 weeks to re-grow a neuron.  If your brain was totally fried from the SSRI, then it may take more than a few weeks or even a few months to get free of it.

 

I agree with others here that you've come so far, it's better to stay the course, just stay where you are, and seek other strategies to feel better.  Like going outdoors?  What do you like to do outdoors?  Hunt, fish, hike, kayak, mountain bike?  Has your ability to get fresh air and exercise been changed by the withdrawal?

 

It would be helpful if you could put your history, short as it is, into your signature line:

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

And it will also be helpful to Surviving Antidepressants if  you continue to log your progress here.  How is it changing week to week?   I can imagine how, in a month, in 3 months time, you will look back on your journal here, and be amazed at all the stuff that is gone.  And all; the stuff (like cognition) that has improved.  

 

When you say "getting worse" on 11-Feb, what do you mean?  Face numb?  Cognition?  How do your cognitive difficulties manifest?  Confusion? Spaciness? Memory?  Attention?  Concentration? (for example)

 

And how are you now, compared to then?

 

Welcome!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi JanCarol and thank you for the welcome to SA,

 

Yes, I do love the outdoors.  It takes my mind away from nearly everything else going on in my life; I love to camp, hike, snowboard, mountain bike and just flat out adventure.

 

Surfing through this site has really put my situation into perspective for me because it seems that there are so many worse off than I am; I hope that these can find their return to normalcy sooner rather than later.

 

As for myself, the problems that I've been dealing with the past 5 weeks seem to be mainly cognitive.  I've become a quiet person because I have a hard time coming up with what to say.  This is almost the complete opposite from how I usually am, a pretty outgoing person.  My focus and memory are also at about 50% of what they usually are.  It's disturbing to go through this when you usually don't experience these types of problems.  The only physical problem that I am still noticing is this numb/tingly feeling in my face.  Almost any kind of stimuli will aggravate these symptoms, whether it's consuming sugar or just socializing for more than a half hour at a time. It's starting to have a pretty negative effect on my social life but I'm doing my best to not let that bother me.  I just feel uncomfortable sitting in a room full of people when I'm almost silent because it's so far from how I usually act. I have experienced "windows" here and there over the past couple weeks, but overall it doesn't seem like I've gotten much better.  Yesterday I started googling my symptoms and almost convinced myself that I have lead poisoning, which I now feel probably isn't the case.  Anyways, I can imagine that this is just delayed Effexor w/d that I am going through and will continue to get better with time.

 

- Outdoorsman

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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All these SSRIs are very powerful drugs. Don't underestimate their power to cause changes in your brain that will take your body months to undo, even if you were on them for just 7 weeks. It is hard to believe how long the withdrawal period can last for. But believe it.  I wouldn't believe it if I didn't go through it myself twice.

 

It is hard for family members who haven't gone through it to believe what you are saying, and we can't blame them. I agree, I would rather have an obvious well-known illness like an infection or broken leg that they could understand. We don't have that luxury. All that matters is that you know what you are going through, and that you have a great chance of recovery, it just takes time and patience.

 

Long ago, after being sick from Prozac cold turkey withdrawal for over a year and a half, I took all the medical tests to try and figure out what was wrong with me. I researched chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal burnout, Epstein-Barr syndrome, thyroid malfunction, diet problems, trace mineral analysis of hair for toxins, etc. What a joke, it was all a waste of time. All my problems were clearly protracted SSRI withdrawal. And my doctors were simply too ignorant to recognize it. It's happened to almost all of us who have protracted SSRI withdrawal. I got better after a few years. And since I never figured out why I was sick, I went back for seconds - I went on Lexapro for five years. So here I am, recovering from a second bout with these poisons.  But this time I know what is going on. 

 

Yes there is a chance that we could get sick with something else during withdrawal, so we still have to watch out for stuff like that. And it's good to have tests done anyway, who knows, something might be discovered that needs attention. But my rule is, when in doubt, blame it on withdrawal, at least for the first year or so after cold turkey. Come to the website to see if others experienced this or that symptom that pops up. It can be tricky, but after a while we get to recognize what is from withdrawal and what is not.  

 

Other than this lingering WD, I am a very active and healthy person. I go running a few times per week, I go snowboarding, rollerblading, hiking, etc But this WD is very challenging. I'm looking forward to how I will feel six months or a year from now when hopefully, most of this WD crap will be over. In spite of recent WD challenges, I have many good days and enjoy life tremendously. The WD sucks however.    

 

I quit Lexapro a year ago. I was fine for six months this past year. Then weird stuff hits out of nowhere. I'm still going through some bizarre WD stuff. I'm not wondering what's causing it. It's classic SSRI WD. Luckily you were only on for 7 weeks, so hopefully you will get through this quicker and more smoothly.  

 

Good luck - 

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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