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Daymonk - HELP! Tried to get off Effexor 3 times in 15 years with no luck! Success going off meds after decades of use? Looking for resources, stories, suggestions.


daymonk

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm new to the group and I'm desperately looking for help, suggestions, insight. I've been off and on anti-depressants since 1987 and on Effexor XR for 15 years. I've gone off Effexor 3 times and ended up hospitalized with severe anxiety and depression several months after going off it, hence having to go back on it each time. I have terrible side effects from Effexor, but no other drug has really worked. I want to get OFF the drug, but because I have failed in a rather scary way in the past I am terrified. 

 

Does anyone have experience going off meds after decades?

Does anyone have experience going off Effexor permanently without having to go back on something else?

Do you have any resources, books, films, websites that have been helpful?

 

Thanks so much. Wishing you all peace and wellness.

 

I've been on meds since 1987 starting with Prozac

Each time I went off a medication I got hit with suicidal depression and anxiety anywhere from a week to three months after going off it.

I've been on Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbuterin, Neurontin, Lithium, Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Topomax and eventually I was put on Effexor in 2000. I was on it with Lamictal for a while, didn't do much.

I tried to get off it the first time in 2005 kind of quickly, over the course of 5 weeks.

Ended up severely depressed and suicidal and then had a lonnnnng haul back to the light, eventually going back on Effexor.

I tried going off it again with a longer taper over the course of 2 months, same thing happened.

And again in 2012 with the longest taper to date, over the course of 3 months and down to counting beads in the last month.

I crashed harder than ever this time, was hospitalized for 30 days and put on a million drugs to pull out eventually ending up once again on Effexor Xr 225mg which is what I'm on now.

The side effects are relentless and never-ending.

Link to post

Hi everyone, 

I have tried to get off Effexor 3 times in the past decade and each time I've ended up severely depressed, suicidal and anxious a few months after the drug was out of my system, hence why I'm still on it. I haven't given up completely, but I'm a bit at a loss for what to try next. The side effects are ruining my life and I'm so angry! Just so angry. and frustrated. My life is otherwise good, I'm blessed with so much love, but I have suffered from either depression or the negative side effects of medications for nearly 30 years and I want it to end.

 

Always looking for support, ideas, resources, new science, anything you got!

 

Thanks so much for being here. 

I've been on meds since 1987 starting with Prozac

Each time I went off a medication I got hit with suicidal depression and anxiety anywhere from a week to three months after going off it.

I've been on Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbuterin, Neurontin, Lithium, Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Topomax and eventually I was put on Effexor in 2000. I was on it with Lamictal for a while, didn't do much.

I tried to get off it the first time in 2005 kind of quickly, over the course of 5 weeks.

Ended up severely depressed and suicidal and then had a lonnnnng haul back to the light, eventually going back on Effexor.

I tried going off it again with a longer taper over the course of 2 months, same thing happened.

And again in 2012 with the longest taper to date, over the course of 3 months and down to counting beads in the last month.

I crashed harder than ever this time, was hospitalized for 30 days and put on a million drugs to pull out eventually ending up once again on Effexor Xr 225mg which is what I'm on now.

The side effects are relentless and never-ending.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Daymonk

 

Welcome to SA. I just wrote you a long post then lost it! I think we can help you come off Effexor. We see many people turn up here with histories of failed attempts to withdraw, myself included. Many drs give poor advice on how to taper off so people end up in protracted withdrawal and think they are relapsing

 

Can I ask you to fill out your drug history in your signature, particularly when you started and stopped medication. How did you withdraw previously? What dose drops did you make over what period of time?

 

Details on how to complete your signature are here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

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 Dalsaan, I will fill that section out. I have 30 years of history on anti-depressants, should I just include more recent experiences?

 

Also, I should clarify that I've been able to get off Effexor (not easily, but I've done it) and the real problems begin about a month or so after I've gotten off the drug. I have the usual brain zaps, vertigo, nausea, brain fog, insomnia etc while going off but the serious mood stuff hits after I'm no longer on it for a while.

I've been on meds since 1987 starting with Prozac

Each time I went off a medication I got hit with suicidal depression and anxiety anywhere from a week to three months after going off it.

I've been on Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbuterin, Neurontin, Lithium, Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Topomax and eventually I was put on Effexor in 2000. I was on it with Lamictal for a while, didn't do much.

I tried to get off it the first time in 2005 kind of quickly, over the course of 5 weeks.

Ended up severely depressed and suicidal and then had a lonnnnng haul back to the light, eventually going back on Effexor.

I tried going off it again with a longer taper over the course of 2 months, same thing happened.

And again in 2012 with the longest taper to date, over the course of 3 months and down to counting beads in the last month.

I crashed harder than ever this time, was hospitalized for 30 days and put on a million drugs to pull out eventually ending up once again on Effexor Xr 225mg which is what I'm on now.

The side effects are relentless and never-ending.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Give us the big picture on the 30 years with more detail on the recent stuff

 

A month or so is a very short time for withdrawal to kick in. I'm not surprised by what you are saying at all

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi daymonk , welcome to the site.  

I'm also in the "25 and over" club , and from what I read on here about  the  ease of withdrawal , it takes longer when you're long-time user.

 

There are resources on this site for pretty much everything related to antidepressants. 

Try starting with the Tapering section , and also in Symptoms and Self Care , "what is withdrawal".

 

Glad you found your way here.

 

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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Thank you Fresh! Have you been able to get off meds?

I've been on meds since 1987 starting with Prozac

Each time I went off a medication I got hit with suicidal depression and anxiety anywhere from a week to three months after going off it.

I've been on Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbuterin, Neurontin, Lithium, Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Topomax and eventually I was put on Effexor in 2000. I was on it with Lamictal for a while, didn't do much.

I tried to get off it the first time in 2005 kind of quickly, over the course of 5 weeks.

Ended up severely depressed and suicidal and then had a lonnnnng haul back to the light, eventually going back on Effexor.

I tried going off it again with a longer taper over the course of 2 months, same thing happened.

And again in 2012 with the longest taper to date, over the course of 3 months and down to counting beads in the last month.

I crashed harder than ever this time, was hospitalized for 30 days and put on a million drugs to pull out eventually ending up once again on Effexor Xr 225mg which is what I'm on now.

The side effects are relentless and never-ending.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Not yet daymonk ... I tapered too quickly last time and got protracted withdrawal sydrome.   My story is in my thread.   :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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi daymonk - i am another 15 year effexor user - like you i have the usual short term physical effects but the anxiety/depression hits about a month later - and it becomes so unbearable that i reinstate.  

 

There are people here that have managed to get off after long term use - it does seem that slow, slow, slow is the way to go!

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Daymonk,

 

Two months is a very fast taper around here.   Im going to give you links to a couple of threads that are important to read for anyone coming off ADs.

 

1.  An intro to withdrawal syndrome - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

2.  This link explains our tapering protocol (this might also be varied depending on how someone responds to it) - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

3.  Tips for tapering off effexor - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

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

Link to post
NervousKitten

Hi Daymonk... glad you found the forum here  :)

 

In a roundabout way I have successfully gotten off of Effexor and stayed off, but through the use of other drugs as a replacement and lots and lots (and lots more) of CBT and physical exercise. These two things helped greatly with lifting my depression. What made these tools effective was starting them as a routine while I was stable on my meds before tapering. No matter what, I got up and walked every few hours, no matter how bad I felt with withdrawal symptoms.

 

My main motivation was that the Effexor was literally killing me. I gained a lot of weight (I weighed almost 300 lbs [i'm 5'9"] that would not budge no matter what I did) and had started developing metabolic syndrome (high bp, high cholesterol, high a1c). All my numbers went to normal after going off the Effexor, and even after I gained a lot of the weight back, my metabolic numbers remained within normal range which showed me that the Effexor was messing with other systems than just my depression. 

 

I begrudgingly say I successfully tapered off Zoloft as my depression hasn't returned in the 15 months I've been off, but I struggle with withdrawal symptoms and generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks. I have low days, usually when my anxiety gets bad, where I will get depressed. But grateful they are just days of depression and not weeks and months. 

1999 Prozac with occasional Xanax 

2002 Effexor Xr with occasional Valium

2010 Off Effexor (slow taper)

2010 Prozac rx to help with Effexor withdrawal. Activating, so stopped.

2011 Zoloft rx

2013 Zoloft stops working after a few increases, decide to stop taking it

2013 October last Zoloft dose after a 6-9 month taper

2014 January, April, May, June ER inducing anxiety attacks

2014 June Ativan prescribed as needed. Last taken Nov 2014, but still have pills just in case

 

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Nervous Kitten! Thank you for your post!

I completely understand. I've gained 60 lbs and my blood sugar/blood pressure/cholesterol is a mess. Nothing seems to help with weight loss and my numbers don't budge with respect to blood work. I feel like the Effexor is killing me too. It's scaring me so much and I feel powerless.

Your story is so inspiring and I'd love to hear more from you about your process before, during and after going off Effexor if you have the time?

I've been on meds since 1987 starting with Prozac

Each time I went off a medication I got hit with suicidal depression and anxiety anywhere from a week to three months after going off it.

I've been on Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbuterin, Neurontin, Lithium, Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Topomax and eventually I was put on Effexor in 2000. I was on it with Lamictal for a while, didn't do much.

I tried to get off it the first time in 2005 kind of quickly, over the course of 5 weeks.

Ended up severely depressed and suicidal and then had a lonnnnng haul back to the light, eventually going back on Effexor.

I tried going off it again with a longer taper over the course of 2 months, same thing happened.

And again in 2012 with the longest taper to date, over the course of 3 months and down to counting beads in the last month.

I crashed harder than ever this time, was hospitalized for 30 days and put on a million drugs to pull out eventually ending up once again on Effexor Xr 225mg which is what I'm on now.

The side effects are relentless and never-ending.

Link to post
NervousKitten

Definitely! I'll be able to write more later. 

1999 Prozac with occasional Xanax 

2002 Effexor Xr with occasional Valium

2010 Off Effexor (slow taper)

2010 Prozac rx to help with Effexor withdrawal. Activating, so stopped.

2011 Zoloft rx

2013 Zoloft stops working after a few increases, decide to stop taking it

2013 October last Zoloft dose after a 6-9 month taper

2014 January, April, May, June ER inducing anxiety attacks

2014 June Ativan prescribed as needed. Last taken Nov 2014, but still have pills just in case

 

Link to post

I was on antidepressants for 22 yrs., 15 of them on Effexor. I had a 3 month taper and got slammed at 2months out. 2 yrs later I tried again, but this time around with a slow 4 yr taper. Now I've only been off the Effexor for 4 and a half months, but doing fine so far. You can get off and be OK (although I won't really begin to consider myself out of the woods for another 5 months yet) but you have to go very slowly, there is no other way. And it doesn't mean you're going to avoid all withdrawal, just that what you will experience will be bearable. Feel free to ask me any questions. You shouldn't go through something this tough completely alone.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Wow Hudgens, that is one long taper. Was it unpleasant?

 

Daymonk, it took me two years after cold turkeying Effexor to get to where I was reachable. I spent the time in grief and drinking like a fish. Despair, depression, fear, agitation.

 

I would not wish it on anyone and am not sure everyone would survive it. My guess is that a very slow taper is the way to go.

 

And welcome. The more the merrier...

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:

Link to post

There were some, and still are, unpleasant episodes. But I compare everything to the one really bad period

at the 2 yr mark in the tapering when I started going too fast, and can say that most of everything else has been

manageable. There's also a very definite line you cross in recovery from the "will I ever feel normal again" to

I feel normal with occasional episodes of withdrawal. It's a big difference in mental state. Another way to differentiate this is that the metaphor of windows and waves no longer seems to apply. I don't feel like I'm in a window, but just as though I'm fine with an episode of withdrawal now and again. I mean it's hard to look at a 2-3 hour, mild withdrawal symptom as a wave. It's a natural part of the getting over all of this.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Sounds good. Glad you figured it out!

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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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Mentor

Wow!  Thanks everyone.  I really think the 8 years on effexor has destroyed me.  I managed somehow to get off it, and onto a whole heap more medications in Dec 2013.  It is only now, that I appreciate how lucky I am to have survived, and spent 18 months on a mountain of other drugs.

 

I am attempting to  reinstating zoloft, after too fast a taper (and I believe I am still suffering effexor withdrawals)...

 

After 8 years, yes effexor had damaged my  liver, kidneys, chol, blood pressure.   I was amazed to find after 18 months, all these results now back to normal.  Regaining my brain is a much more difficult journey.  Effexor is the true drug from hell.  

 

And thanks for your input Westcoast, I am not alone x

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Hello Ang,

Thanks so much for your post. I SO understand where you are, on many levels. I have been on Effexor for 15 years and I've tried everything to get off. Every time I end up on a million meds that I don't actually need to be on just to pull me out of suicidal depression. Then I get off all those meds and I become "stable" on just the Effexor, but my health declines regardless of diet and exercise etc. My blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, liver, everything.  I need to get off Effexor in able to save my life. How did you finally get off the Effexor? Have you used any natural supplements to help support the brain and body? i.e.: amino acids, B vitamins etc

I am wishing you so much luck and patience and sending you love.

I've been on meds since 1987 starting with Prozac

Each time I went off a medication I got hit with suicidal depression and anxiety anywhere from a week to three months after going off it.

I've been on Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Wellbuterin, Neurontin, Lithium, Ativan, Xanax, Ambien, Topomax and eventually I was put on Effexor in 2000. I was on it with Lamictal for a while, didn't do much.

I tried to get off it the first time in 2005 kind of quickly, over the course of 5 weeks.

Ended up severely depressed and suicidal and then had a lonnnnng haul back to the light, eventually going back on Effexor.

I tried going off it again with a longer taper over the course of 2 months, same thing happened.

And again in 2012 with the longest taper to date, over the course of 3 months and down to counting beads in the last month.

I crashed harder than ever this time, was hospitalized for 30 days and put on a million drugs to pull out eventually ending up once again on Effexor Xr 225mg which is what I'm on now.

The side effects are relentless and never-ending.

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