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Reddit thread about psychiatric drug withdrawal


oskcajga
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It's actually about all psych meds, not just effexor.  Maybe a mod could edit the subject.

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It is a remarkable thread. good find.

 

The closest I've ever come to kill myself is when I tried to quite Effexor cold turkey. Every little problem, from getting stuck in traffic, to not being able to find a sock, made me want to grab a gun and blow my brains 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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Thanks.  Reddit is more of a mainstream website, so it offers an interesting perspective outside of SA and other similar websites.  Obviously, this is a much more serious problem spread across a great deal of the general population than many realize.  If this thread had been posted on a more popular reddit page it may have gotten even more responses.

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Interesting. Please copy paragraphs you find exceptionally meaningful here, you'll get more responses.

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

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1) 

 

Here's one about a visit to a harvard doctor and his advice about mitigating withdrawal from effexor:

 

"In many people and with many of these drugs...I know personally getting off of Effexor, it does not matter if you slowly get off of them or not, you'll still have withdrawal effects, sometimes really extreme and violent ones.

 

I personally took 12 weeks to slowly wean myself off of Effexor but it didn't matter..even though I was on the lowest dose...taking only 75mg and by the 12th week was only consuming maybe 1/10 that per day. I experienced 'brain zaps', horrible anxiety, panic, depression, violent outbursts...my head was spinning, I was curled up in a ball in the corner of a room at times sweating, crying and feeling these electric-like 'shocks' inside my head that made me think I was going insane or having a stroke. Even after the panic and zaps stopped, I had a 'dead, cold' feeling inside my head for months after. It took a full year before I felt 'normal' again. I would never, ever take that **** ever again. I actually thought about suing 'Wyeth' the company that makes it and for a time was putting a class action suit together. Eventually, I decided to move on with my life because I didn't want to waste any more time focusing on it.

 

A few years AFTER I finally got off this horrible drug, during my research in to the suit I went to see a Harvard educated shrink that actually specialized in SSRI/SNRI withdrawal. He said that Effexor was one of the WORST of the drugs when it came to withdrawal, and that when trying to get off it it is better to start up on Prozac, which has a longer half-life than Effexor, simultaneously, and then slowly wean yourself off the Effexor while continuing to take the Prozac. After a few months of weaning off the Effexor, then and only then slowly wean off of the Prozac and the withdrawals aren't as bad."

 

---

 

2. 

 

Here's an interesting recovery story after 10 years:

 

"Urgh, this brings back memories. I kind of stopped caring about taking them and quit cold turkey. The withdrawal was worse than my original depression. I'd never have touched them if I'd known how bad coming off them was going to be.

I remember the zaps. Completely unpredictable, I remember walking around work, then zap! I'd be down on one knee. Horrible experience.

It's been almost three years now and I still don't feel like myself.

 

Response:

It's been ten years now since I quit. At some point, I'm not exactly sure when, the symptoms completely disappeared. I think at three years I probably felt the same as you do now, but it did eventually go away. So there's hope.

 

Second response:

I thought I was the only guy in the "I quit BigPharma cold-turkey" club.

I've been free/clean for 3 or 4 years or so; however, to add to this thread, not all side effects disappear completely.

I've got a slur from quitting Haldol, so I need to over enunciate sometimes to avoid sounding drunk. My short term memory is just a few seconds. I almost nod off to sleep randomly throughout the day. I'm on long term disability now.

It's still better than being on all those drugs. I had 20 years playing musical-meds, and just in the last 3 years or so, I have my personality back.

 

---

3.

I lost over a year of my life because of them. I was on Cipralex for depression over a loss in my family. It made me worse so my doctor increased and increased. Before I knew it, I was 20mg under the maximum dosage. I couldn't orgasm and I was a zombie. I barely remember anything from then but I do remember that I said that you can kill my family in front of me and it wouldn't phase me.

I ended up being worse on them then dealing with my depression with cognitive behavioral therapy. Cipralex mimicked extreme bipolar characteristics in me. I tried to end my life and failed. If you knew me, you'd never, ever, think that I would even consider ending my life.

 

I started seeing a psychologist who instantaneously diagnosed me with a major mood disorder. Fast forward 7 months, 3 different chemicals and another suicide attempt. I finally said, **** the drugs. I've been better ever since.

Let me tell you, I've tried 4 different drugs and came off them 6 times. The withdrawal symptoms are real and they can kill you. The worst part is that when you start trying to get off them, the symptoms get drastically worse and you want to get back on them. I've quit cold turkey 4 times, and you never want to do that.

 

----

 

There's obviously many more out there, but my eyes hurt and I don't want to strain my trigeminal nerve anymore searching today.

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I didn't get through them all either. I think it's a useful thread for the "the cause," because the posts were by who might have just wandered past instead signing up and making a user name and digging in for the long haul.

 

I was looking into flibanserin  (?) the sex-drive drug for women that's in the news and tripped over this. It's a Wyeth medical guy rattling on about Pristiq WD. Here's how he starts off:
 

 

Dr. Ninan: First of all, I think, one should distinguish what is a withdrawal syndrome from what we would call discontinuation symptoms. Withdrawal is traditionally associated with medicines that one has got physiologically dependent on. And there is a whole set of not only symptoms, but physiological changes that occur that can be potentially dangerous.

 

He said the case reports for adverse effects were on a certain web site, but it's old dead page that seems unrelated to wyeth.
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/06/23/wyeths-dr-phil-ninan-on-pristiq/

I'll go fishing on reddit later on if I am awake late enough. Back to some work I promised someone for now...thanks again for finding the thread. Does reddit have alerts???

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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I had a peek :)

 

Complete post:

 

 

Worst drugs I ever put in my body, and I'll rail pretty much anything.

 

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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