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☼ Katamari My story and progress so far after quitting venlafaxine


Katamari

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Hello folks and sorry for my silly english!

 

My antidepressants history starts at my teenage years (depression, social anxiety disorder) and after trying escitalopram

and fuoxetine, I got prescribed venlafaxine ("the one that helps when others have failed", the gp said). It did help,

and now that I have built the life I'm comfortable with and no major stress triggers on sight, I decided to go off venlafaxine.

Reasons are that my emotional life had gone unnaturally smooth, like being "just ok" all the time. Also, my sexuality was 

non-existent.

 

I tapered off waaay too quickly, I know it now. I took only 31 days to taper off completely. But I had no bad withdrawal symptoms, 

just the brain zaps and nausea, but I found cyclizine very helpful with that.

 

Of course I started to get emotional symptoms too, I was very short tempered and had massive anger bursts. Some days I

was feeling little low, but nothing massive. I couldn't dring any coffee for about three months, got so sick from it.

 

After 4 months of being completely off venlafaxine, I got my first big bad wave. It lasted a week, when I was unable to go 

to work and just suffer in my bed. Symptoms were palpations and racing heart, nausea, anxiety, crying spells, insomnia, 

need to pee every 15 minutes, diarrhea, brethless feeling... Was that all? Anyhoo, I went to see physician and thankfully

he somehow understood my condition and gave me one week off so I could rest at home. He also prescribed propranolol for my heart

problems (which have helped alot) and said that if this episode of mine won't go away, I need to start taking venla's again 

with small doze. I refused, not going to give up yet!

 

After that wave, I had almost two months of feeling completely normal. Like my own self! 

 

But then, the second bad wave hit. This time it was different. More difficult and scary. I had the same symptoms I had

in the previous wave, but also these frightening episodes of de-personalization,feeling of losing my sanity and night terrors.

In those episodes I have been very close to call an ambulance. Thank god my partner is a huge support for me and with his

help I have been able to get through these attacks, that lasted sometimes few hours and sometimes about twenty minutes.

 

Now I'm once again feeling normal, thank goodness. I wanted to share my progress here, because I felt I owe this to you,

since I have got massive help from this forum. So thank you guys!

 

I'll report if something comes up. This is a long journey.

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Katamari!

 

Welcome! you did taper too fast, and you have been very lucky really... I hope that you are doing all the normal selfcare things, like good sleep, no alcohol, gentle exercise and good diet... you may also benefit from fish oil (although being in Finland you probably eat a lot of beautiful fish anyway!)

 

Thanks for your story!

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

Welcome Katamari,

Thank you for posting and sharing your story, I'm glad to hear this site has been helpful.  As Peggy mentioned, you have been quite lucky to have had relatively mild withdrawal symptoms after tapering too fast, but some people do seem to have an easier time.

 

Are you still taking propranolol?

 

You might find this topic helpful if you haven't already seen it:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

Many people find  fish oil and magnesium helpful, see King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thank you.

 

Yes, I guess I'm lucky. My main consern is that how long will I get these waves, because I can't be a week off from work after every two months, can I? I mean, I feel like I owe an explanation about this to my boss. But this ad withdrawal syndrome is not commonly known in Finland, not sure if my boss is going to believe me... Especially because between those waves I'm functioning like a proper worker. I don't want them to think that maybe I'm an alcoholic or a drug user, or that I'm being bipolar or something... I'd like to be honest with this.

 

I've been off from work for two weeks now and haven't been taking propranolol. Normally I would take 10 mg in the morning before going to work, because my job is stressful and I get palpations easily. On weekends and day offs I don't need them, unless the palpations keep me from sleeping at night.

 

I do have healthy lifestyle and have always been interested in health stuff (and I'm a practical nurse myself, but I nurse teeth :lol: ) and I've became very good at listening to my body and feelings. I recognize when my "brain sensitive"-mode is on, then I need to slow down and live "simple life". Which basically means

staying at home and taking a rest, avoiding coffee, alcohol, all medicine, coca-cola, chocolate... My previous wave was triggered by my period, like they were not annoying enough already...  <_<

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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Hi Katamari!

 

Welcome! you did taper too fast, and you have been very lucky really... I hope that you are doing all the normal selfcare things, like good sleep, no alcohol, gentle exercise and good diet... you may also benefit from fish oil (although being in Finland you probably eat a lot of beautiful fish anyway!)

 

Thanks for your story!

Are you concerned with what to do about your depression once you are off the meds completely?

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Hi Katamari!

 

Welcome! you did taper too fast, and you have been very lucky really... I hope that you are doing all the normal selfcare things, like good sleep, no alcohol, gentle exercise and good diet... you may also benefit from fish oil (although being in Finland you probably eat a lot of beautiful fish anyway!)

 

Thanks for your story!

Are you concerned with what to do about your depression once you are off the meds completely?

 

If my depression is about to come back, I'm going to start seeing psychologist. This time I'm not going to take meds unless it is an absolute necessity. In Finland they tend to prescribe antidepressants way too easily. 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update:

After a very hard wave I had about 4 weeks ago, my system managed to get itself balanced once again. I guess that was a 6 month mark or something. It took 3 weeks to get better and now I've been somewhat normal for a week. Getting back to work after summer holidays caused major anxiety, but somehow being at work has actually made me feel better about myself. But I've also noticed that my smart isn't that sharp... Perhaps this is  temporary. 

It seems that those mental issues I had four months ago, have returned. I'm so irritable and get emotional easily. I cried at the movies when I saw Jurassic World.  :D 

Now I'm living carefully and waiting for a new wave... but will it be after two weeks, a month or 3 months, nobody knows. 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • Administrator

Very good to hear, Katamari. Thank you for updating your topic.

 

Please see the Symptoms and self-care forum for suggestion about how to deal with symptoms.

 

Are you taking fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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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It seems that those mental issues I had four months ago, have returned. I'm so irritable and get emotional easily. I cried at the movies when I saw Jurassic World.  :D 

 Wow, not like jurassic world is a very sentimental movie :P.  I actually didn't like it that much haha. Liked more Mad max, that one was awesome.

 

Did you get emotional flatness in your period of fluoxetine? I got it and it doesn't seem to want to go away.

 

I hope you will get through withdrawal soon and you manage your anxiety/depression by other ways!

 

All the best

About me ------------------------ College student with a history of anxiety, excessive worrying and health anxiety.

April 2014 - May 2015----------    Prozac 20mg On and Off.  Second time on it I developed apathy, changes in personality, asexuality.

May 2015  -   July 2015-----------------  Tappering off prozac. Still no feelings,anhedonia, apathy, no libido, asexuality.

Current symptoms--------  pssd (asexuality in my case). Anxiety and depression developed some months afer stopping prozac, could have been caused by obsessing and beating myself up too much when I found myself unable to like girls again. The best thing to do with pssd (which in my case is asexuality) is accept it and move on.

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It seems that those mental issues I had four months ago, have returned. I'm so irritable and get emotional easily. I cried at the movies when I saw Jurassic World.  :D

 Wow, not like jurassic world is a very sentimental movie :P.  I actually didn't like it that much haha. Liked more Mad max, that one was awesome.

 

Did you get emotional flatness in your period of fluoxetine? I got it and it doesn't seem to want to go away.

 

I hope you will get through withdrawal soon and you manage your anxiety/depression by other ways!

 

All the best

 

Yeah, I have to see Mad Max too! Jurassic world was entertaining but also a bit silly at times... 

 

And yes, my emotional life with ADs had no ups and downs, and I never got excited about anything. I also stopped doing any kind of artwork, which had been a huge part of my life before those meds. All the creativity had disappeared. After quitting, I have already made two paintings!! 

It really seems that ADs made me a couch potato and very boring person, though mind was razor sharp. Now I'm more outgoing but dumb!  :lol:

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • 4 weeks later...

Aaarrgghh. I'm so angry at everything. Also feel like crying. Feels like I'm just a piece of crap. There is a party tonight and I hate all of them already. My partner annoys me big time. I'm bored but still not interested to do anything. I'm uncomfortable in my own skin.

Now I'm just wondering if this is something that normal people experience sometimes, or is this a reminder of withdrawal. Other familiar symptoms are here too, like headache, fast heartbeat and "aggressive feelings". 

There is a perfect summer outside and I just want to give a finger to the sun.

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • Mentor

You are doing extremely well, believe me..................It has been 8 months off the evil effexor (venlazafine), and you are still sane, and going to work most of the time..........

All of the things you describe are the withdrawal, you will not always be like that....................   

 

We all go through that............ seeing the sun outside, but not wanting to be a part of it, that is just the discontinuration syndrome.............  

 

Windows and waves, it just happens that way.  The one thing I truly missed while on the stuff, but I didnt know, was how all my artistic side, just disappeared......  I long for the day I can be creative, and knit, and sew, and make sculptures and do pottery again.................      I love horticulture, but to water one pot plant now, is a struggle...............

 

Effexor killed my marriage, your relationship has survived..............but I was on a much higher dose, and I had to witch to another AD to break free of the effexor..............the devils tic tacs.

best wishes, keep us all informed of your progress.

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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  • Administrator

Is this constant or related to your menstrual cycle? Many women find withdrawal symptoms get worse at various places in their cycles.

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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Actually, yes this could be related to menstrual cycle. I did hit the midpoint of my cycle couple of days ago. I'm not using any hormonal birth control, so at least that is real me!

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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It's been a week since my last post and when I was feeling aggressive and angry. Apparently that's how my waves start. From irritation to aggression, and from aggression to anxiety and crying at the end. This pattern is familiar from those previous waves as well. I think I can say now that this is how my waves "work". 

Luckily this time I was able to go to work and survive the whole 5-day week. It was difficult at times and I got one panic attack but I managed to handle that pretty well... My working partner thought that I just got sick because of the heat and lack of fresh air. I'm glad that now I know that panic attack at the work is not an end of the world. I believe that panic is going to be a part of me in the future anyway, but that's ok if I can handle it.
I also had a strong urge to cry many times, but somehow I managed to keep myself together by trying to keep focusing my mind somewhere else.
I also had nausea and racing heart, the classic symptoms. At home I was completely symptom-free.

Now I'm at home alone this whole weekend. I'm crying and feeling anxious, but it seems that these episodes start to fade away after the point I'm crying. So that's positive. 

This week I've been wondering where the hell do these terrible fears and thoughts come from? Things like getting old, death, the fact that my family members will die someday really upsets me. Is this my own psychological issue or is this something related to withdrawal? Death related stuff has never been any issue to me, then why on earth is it now popping in my head all the time?? 
 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • 3 weeks later...

It has been a long time since my last window. Week after week I feel sad, frustrated, anxious or desperate. I also got nausea and rapid pulse today, which I had almost forgot what it is like.

I've got other health issues too (nothing serious though) and that may have had something to do with these low feelings. Or maybe the medicines I took are guilty?

I've read somewhere around here that there is a magical "9 month mark" in withdrawal recovery pattern... Which is said to be difficult. I have now been 8 months off, so it's coming soon!!  :unsure:

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

Link to comment

Think related to withdrawal re. The death thoughts..I have this a lot!! Ruminating thoughts about worrying over people dying..

 

You may pass the 9 month mark fine! You seem to be doing really great by the way,.really great! Lots of windows. It's nice to see

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • Administrator

Katamari, good to hear you surfed that wave. You may be interested in reading Neuro emotions

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I have noticed something. 

My style of dealing with argues or other emotionally negative situations have changed. With antidepressants, I was more like a martyr and crying alone and waiting for someone to understand me. 

Nowadays I feel anger. I the anger goes on long enough, it escalates into massive outburst of rage, with an urge to smash things up. After that and some hysterical crying, I calm down and feel somewhat normal again. No matter what the issue was, I stop to care about it anymore. This feels very unfamiliar to me. 

I've been thinking, maybe it is because my use of AD's started when I was so young. I have missed a period of age where we learn how to deal with these emotions.  Is this my new mental puberty?

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

Link to comment

I'm just so angry at everything. And frustrated. 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm near the end of 6 months off and have extreme anger, too.  This started to get bad last month for me. 

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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  • Administrator

Fish oil and magnesium?

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've been eaten magnesium this whole time. Fish oils made me anemic, so I haven't tried them since. 

These last two weeks have been difficult for me. I've had two major argues with my boyfriend. Morning anxiety and 24/7 headache has come back again. 

But I'm glad that it getting easier every day. Even though this was a difficult wave, I've been able to go to work. Morning anxiety means morning nausea as well, so that is annoying. 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Katamari - 

 

It sounds like you are well on top of the waves and windows - even though it may not seem like it!  Just that you are aware that "This is Withdrawal," and "This is a Wave" puts you ahead of the game.  When you are able to step back and say, "This is only a symptom of withdrawal," you are healing, you are recovering.

 

You asked:

 

 

This week I've been wondering where the hell do these terrible fears and thoughts come from? Things like getting old, death, the fact that my family members will die someday really upsets me. Is this my own psychological issue or is this something related to withdrawal? Death related stuff has never been any issue to me, then why on earth is it now popping in my head all the time??

 

Try this:  Neuro-emotion

 

Neuro-emotions have a seed of real emotion - like regrets from the past, or fears of the future, or feeling sorrow or loss at something that passed you by.  Except that Neuro-emotions pick up on the seed of real emotion and grow them into a giant tree that dominates and overwhelms.  The grain of sand which is the real emotion becomes and endless beach and when you perceive the enormousness of it - you become lost in the BIG feeling, and the bigness of that feeling.

 

But this is a sign that you are healing.  Neuro-emotions are symptoms of your brain going over the emotions that were once deadened, flattened by the drugs, and magnifying them as you learn to feel again.  While I can't really say embrace them (it's probably better to distract from them) - you can acknowledge that your feelings are healing along with your body.

 

Oh!  Now I see that Alto sent you that link, but it won't hurt to send again.

 

Then you ask:

 

 

I've been thinking, maybe it is because my use of AD's started when I was so young. I have missed a period of age where we learn how to deal with these emotions.  Is this my new mental puberty?

 

I asked myself this when I first started reading your thread.  I even went and looked up your gender to see if you were male (they mature later than women).  You said "teenage," and "puberty" but there is a huge difference between age 13, or 16, or 18 for women.  If it was 18, I would not worry so much - but there may still be some rebellion you have to get out of your system!

 

Many of us found that the time we spent on psych drugs - that as we come off we have some catching up to do.

 

So you might ask yourself - when you were a "depressed" and "socially anxious" teen - were you just a normal moody teenager? (one of my first thoughts)  Or was there something that precipitated the trip to the doctor?  Was that "something" your parent's concern?  Or something else?  You may have more to learn about yourself as you re-form your identity.

 

In my case I was wild, experimenting with drugs, and loose sexual morals = rebellious, what would now be called "oppositional defiant disorder." I am so grateful that there was no diagnosis back in the 70's!!  

 

Perhaps these links will help you explore your anger in a healthy way:  http://beyondmeds.com/2013/06/30/anger-and-rage-collection/

 

Really - for all of your frustration and difficulty, you are speaking very clearly, not at all like a "crazy person."  Remember to breathe, when you have emotion.  It's not about fighting the emotion, but allowing yourself to feel it from a safe space.  Emotions are like weather - we can't really control them.  But we can observe them, and realize that this, too, will pass.

"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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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for your quality reply JanCarol. It gave me great comfort.


I'm now living the time I was dreaming about when I was at my worst condition in june. Now I've been 10 months antidepressants-free!! 
I believe the most difficulties are behind now. I haven't experienced any anger for a long time. Though I've had some anxiety and depression, but it was totally related to PMS (and there is an effective treatment for that: chocolate :P ). 

Today I have more hobbies than ever and I enjoy doing new things. I think this is what life is supposed to be. In the other hand, I've started to get back those social anxiety problems I had before taking any AD's. Including blushing, excess sweating, palpitations and sometimes mild nausea. But if it stays on these levels I'm fine with them. I just hope they won't start to escalate and start that vicious circle that leads to other problems.

I did quit hormonal contraception as well when I stopped taking venlafaxine, and it seems that this may had caused some extra struggle in this journey... I've noticed that it took surprisingly long time for my body to start function properly again. I accidentally made an evil human experiment.

So, for now things are pretty well. I feel calm about the future, I believe there are still some waves coming, but they won't get as nasty as they did.


 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • Moderator

That's awesome!  I hope you will continue to check in with us from time to time - and encourage those of us who still struggle!  So many "evil experiments" as you say - were done with the best of intentions.  I know that my years on birth control were quite ugly, and cannot imagine them mixed with the drugs - or withdrawal.

 

Congratulations on surviving the first 10 months!  And coming out stronger, it seems!

 

We are here, should you need us.  Hopefully you are out of the thickest part of the woods, now.

"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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  • Administrator

Very happy to hear you're doing better. I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

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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  • 1 month later...

Long time no anxiety...until now. It is the same old morning nausea and anxiety that is perhaps the most typical symptom of this whole withdrawal thing. A wave has come to say hello again. It is as exciting and new as a bowl of porridge. I never thought that one could get used to these! All it does is giving some extra struggle to my days, because that awful feeling comes at mornings, when I'm at work. 

There is one thing that worries me. Before taking venlafaxine or other AD's, my heart pressure was ideal, kinda low actually. So as we all know, those meds tend to rise blood pressure a bit. But the thing that worries me, is that mine hasn't gone lower. And my pulse is rapid too, no matter what I'm doing. I guess that as long as my nervous system is unbalanced and these waves keep coming, my blood pressure and pulse won't come down...  :mellow: 

After couple of weeks, I have been AD-free for 12 months!! 

 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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When did your nausea start?  I had it for 1-2 weeks when I got off but went away and now 8 months later it is back.  I am usually bad around 10am-1pm with it everyday.  I get these waves of nausea and if I have stress it gets worse.  Have you found anything that helps it?  It's like an overwhelming sick feeling with nausea but it's not like you have to throw up...you just feel that sickness.  Almost like morning sickness.

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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Katamari, how high is your pulse when resting and how high is the blood pressure? Do you still get brain zaps and do you have sleep problems anymore? Remember to take vitamin D since in Finland you don't get sunshine during winter. Terrible weather by the way and looks like there isn't going to be white Christmas in Finland :/

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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Hi KT38!
My nausea started about two weeks after I started tapering and I've had it more or less since then. Maybe one or two nausea-free weeks every now and then. It is true that mornings are the hardest. Only thing that helps me, is that I need to avoid coffee in the mornings, it just makes the nausea and anxiety ten times worse.


Hello reachingforthestars, 
Yes indeed, it is the darkest time of the year. No proper daylight at all. But I'm fine with it. It's the springtime and rapidly increasing light that can have some unwanted effect in my mental health...
Apparently, my pulse is normal. I just measured it. It is 63 beats per minute. Then why do I feel it so strongly?  :blink: 
My blood pressure is usually 116/80, so it means that my diastolic pressure is higher than it used to. That worries me.

I had brain zaps only at the very first days after I started tapering. I can't remember how long they kept coming, but they did not bother me that much anyway. I would say maybe two weeks or something and they stopped.
I haven't got any sleeping problems for months! In fact, I sleep better than I ever did with venlafaxine!

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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I thought these waves couldn't possibly bother me that much anymore. Well, this must some kind of one year mark thing I'm experiencing right now.
I'm having difficulties in my everyday chores, like cleaning the house or even getting myself out of the apartment. I am restless, anxious and I want to cry out loud. 

I'll stay under a blanket until this goes away.

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Katamari,

 

I'll stay under a blanket until this goes away.

 

 

.... and it will go away.  You could have a good cry under there too ^_^.  Find all the soothing things you can.  How bout a hot bath with epsom salts? 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Still struggling with a wave here. This is definitely one of those big ones. Like another boss fight in a game called withdrawal syndrome.

These big ones have one interesting thing in common: They force me to think that this is permanent now, my nervous system is damaged and my life is going to be like this forever. 

I haven't celebrated christmas or new year, because I'm not feeling well. I got panic attack at work. I can't eat because there are no appetite at all. After 12 hours of fasting, eating is very difficult and I want to throw up when I even see any food. If I get anything inside, I'll get diarrhea almost instantly. 

I guess I don't need to say how I'm feeling at the moment.



 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another wave down, again. This sure was one of the strongest. At one point I couldn't go to work.

I wonder if normal people understand to cherish these days when you feel good both mentally and physically.

This really is a character building experience too. My value system has improved and my self-confidence has grown. I feel like my life is given back to me. Sounding like a window, eh?

At the same time I feel sorry for them who aren't so lucky. And I feel a bit guilty for being so happy about myself. 

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

Link to comment

Hi! Was Dec 2014 when you had your last dose? Or was it 5 weeks after that? Happy to hear you are having a window!!

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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