uncomfortablynumb

uncomfortablynumb: Withdrawal Symptoms or Anxiety/Depression

183 posts in this topic

SG,

 

How long was it before you reinstated Effexor? What were you experiencing in withdrawal? And has everything stabilized now?

I have a similar med use history and wondering how things panned out.

Share this post


Link to post

Alto,

For melatonin I am trying 1.5mg sublingual. But it is not helping. Should I try less? I know you have mentioned in posts that sometimes less is better.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi UN 

 

I was in protracted withdrawal that unfolded over 10 months.  At a little over 8 months, I was so bad off that I went to my p-doc begging for relief.  None of the many doctors I had seen since I went off recognized that it was Effexor WD, of course.  I tried to reinstate myself but it was a disaster.  I had been taking serotonergic supplements trying to replace the Effexor, and stopped them the day before reinstating, but I think I went into mild serotonin syndrome.  I saw my p-doc a few days later andI was put on mirtazapine, which helped me sleep and eat, but very quickly I was at almost the highest dose and completely apathetic, still unable to bathe and feed myself.  Agoraphobia kept me on the couch.  I went back pleading for help again, and this time my doc suggested adding Effexor since I had "tolerated it" well in the past.  37.5 mg.  I think I had come down quickly off 75 mg, so half.  I hadn't found SA yet.  I think this was about 7 weeks after my attempt to reinstate.  Also, I had tried to reinstate first with 18.725 but then went up to 37.5 mg, but on the back of the supplements it was too much.

 

Within an hour of this second reinstatement, my symptoms abated, like the clouds parting and the sun shining through.  I don't know if it was the combo of mirt and ven.  Mirt helped initially but very quickly pooped out or just couldn't hold up to the Effexor WD.  The doctor said the combo was syndergistic.  So, not sure what really happened there, if it was the two working together or simply that I got a "fix."  Whatever the case, I was dramatically better, no side effects or paradoxical response.  I know this is risky, and the reinstatement dose was pretty high and had it gone bad, it surely would have been REALLY bad. I just got lucky.

 

After 12 years on Effexor (ven) and eight years on other ADs before that, I think my nervous system was so dummed down that it just couldn't upregulate very quickly when I was off the meds.  I now see that I will have to do a very slow slide off, taking it agonizingly slow the lower I get, in hopes my nervous system will take up the slack and upregulate as I go.  I can say for sure that this whole experienced has revamped my conviction to get off these poisons completely.  I now see that the life I was living while on was a mere shadow of the life I could have had. I am now doing the emotional work I should have done years ago before meds, but no one guided me or I was unable to take in the type of therapy I was in at the time.

 

What was I experiencing in WD?  Well, I complicated matters by coming off a lifetime of birth control at the same time, realizing I was probably in menopause.  So, initially I didn't feel any withdrawal.  No brain zaps, ever.  The symptoms I first had were cog fog bad.  I was so scattered and unable to remember what I was doing from one minute to the next, so when a friend suggested that I had ADD, that he had always thought I had it, I latched onto that and got tested.  Well, I tested negative, but the psychologist declared that I had tested positive for depression, anxiety and OCD, but there's meds that can make you feel "normal!"  I had lots of trouble reaching for words, articulating myself, lots of memory issues, etc.

 

I wish I had kept better track of what was happening when.  I do know that I was starting to have severe sweats, day and night, where the sweat would be dripping off my face.  At night, I would be literally drenched, sheets top and bottom soaked, sweat rolling down my skin, and then I'd be freezing.  I also noted that my pulse had gone up.  I had a dental appointment that February where it was 99, and the hygienist commented on it.  I began taking my blood pressure and pulse, and daily it was high 90's and my BP had climbed from my norms.  I also would wave waves of a burning sensation over my torso, especially at night.  I'd be throwing the covers off and then covering up, all night long.  I thought it was related to menopause so pursued hormone testing.  My numbers were full on menopause, and I began bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, but it did nothing to improve the sweats and mood issues.  I think the mirt began to cut into those symptoms, lessening them, or the HRT finally started helping, not sure.  Oh, I developed PSSD, not that I even cared to have sex through all of this.

 

I latched onto the "there's meds that can make you feel normal" notion and went to another p-doc who declared I was asexual (the reason I wanted off to begin with) and so she put me on Viibryd since it isn't supposed to interfere with sex drive etc.  The low dose went ok, but when I bumped up to the next dose, all hell broke loose!  I had insomnia with extreme anxiety at night, couldn't sleep, had the worst anxiety and depression of my life.  Indeed, an adverse drug reaction!  Went off real fast, but that kindled me, I think.  Don't know if that is the right use of the word, but after that I began to have GAD, fear, doom, dread, worrying about death, the death of my parents, husband, my being alone in old age, what would become of me, terror over climate change and what would the world be like....on and on.

 

I guess I was having wave after wave of those kinds of symptoms, so the anxiety and depression were intractable from about two plus months before I ended up on mirt.  I had told my parents what was going on with me, and so they were calling daily, worried to death.  Yes, there was suicidal ideation in there, too.

 

I have PTSD from all of this. 

 

Now I was on two meds, not one.  I learned about SA from someone on here whom I met outside, and once I got educated, I was hell-bent to come off.  Tapering has gone very well, though I've had a couple of periods like I am in now, where anxiety and fear have come up, not to the degree I had in WD but still uncomfortable.  

 

I am in progress, so can't give you the happy ending story, yet.  I'm at about 27.5 mg Effexor and 14 mg mirtazapine, down from 37.5 and 37.5 mg respectively.  I am very happy to have gotten this far without too much agony.

 

I am with you on the emotional flatness, no interest/motivation.  I had gotten some of it back until this wave.  I actually headed out and did some outdoor projects that I had been dragging my heels on, and it felt good.  So, I think there is hope there.  Though I can get my animal chores done and train my dogs for herding competitions coming up, I still don't crave to do it.  No way could I go out and look for a job, nowhere near ready for that.

 

I'm sorry you are in the thick of it, dang it is such a nasty place to be.  I have definitely improved hugely over that stage. I hate that I ended up on Remeron.  It made me crazy to realize I was now on two of the hardest drugs to get off of!

 

As I reflect back, I had gone up quite high on the ven at one point, at least 225 mg if not more, and then came down to 75 mg over years.  I went down to 37.5 mg for awhile, and know that I had WD but didn't recognize it as such.  I wish I could remember what I did exactly with down-dosing, since I did it on my own. Memory has really trashed by all the years on it.  I can't remember if I went back to 75 for a bit before tapering, or if I never did go back to 75 but was planning to before deciding to go off that summer. I just wasn't "present."

 

Where are you at with your taper?  Are you still on Effexor or off now? Your taper was about as fast as mine back then.  Trying to figure it out from your sig.  You gave upon 12/01/15 but do you mean you went off completely?

 

SG

 

Had I known I was in withdrawal and learned about everything here, maybe I would have been able to forge ahead.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm talking about whole raw oats.  (Not the quick-cook kind).  They might have different names in NZ).  In summer I don't cook them.  The soaking softens them and breaks down something-or-other which makes them more digestible.  I think it's what people used to call 'Bircher Muesli'.  In winter I soak them then cook them into porridge. 

 

Dunno if it boosts serotonin or not.  I'm not much on the science of things.  All I know is it feels soothing to eat, and then I read that oats are in fact a soothing food. 

 

That serotonin imbalance theory is a proven lot of rot, however once we've taken SSRIs then it does get out of balance.   

 

Actually, all grains benefit from being soaked - rice, oats, wheat... Much gentler for sensitive guts.

Share this post


Link to post

 

 

That serotonin imbalance theory is a proven lot of rot, however once we've taken SSRIs then it does get out of balance.   

 

 

Thank you for the belly laugh!  And yes, we're definitely out of balance ON the drugs and coming off the drugs.

 

Here we have what's called steel cut oats.  I think the original brand I used to buy in a metal tin was Irish.  They are who kernal oats that have been cut in half, I guess.  Makes for a wonderfully chewy porridge, compared to the mush crushed oats that we Americans usually make oatmeal out of.  I had some oats for breakfast this morning after reading your piece on it here, Karen!  

 

Give it a try, Numb - I think it helped me today!

 

SG

Share this post


Link to post

Hi SG,

 

Thanks for sharing your crazy journey. So glad the reinstatement worked out for you and so fast. Looks like you hit rock bottom and are in such a better place now. I bet you will be back to work in no time. Things will just get better from there. You have endured a lot of the same symptoms as me. I don't think I gave reinstatement a real good chance. I messed up in desperation. I am not taking any drugs other than ativan once per week. The insomnia is the most killer thing. I am anxious and depressed but can still go out things and do things. I am not as social as I usually am and my brain is muddled. It is a mess. Some people are suggesting I still try and reinstate Effexor even now, some say Mirtaz. I am thinking marijuana. Hard to endure too many more sleepless nights. I wish I could wait it out.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Everyone,

 

I haven't updated my signature but for the last year I was on Remeron to help with the Effexor withdrawal. I was dying and desperate for sleep. It helped and I got back to full health, back working and socializing. Anhedonia and depersonalization melted away.

Over the year, I weaned down from 15mg to under 3.75mg. When I got under that withdrawal hit full force. I should have got the liquid and gone super-slow. I have recently reinstated 15mg. Maybe too high. Got sleep the first night and nothing the next 3 days. Not sure if this is going to work.

 

I am suffering horrible withdrawal -severe insomnia, anxiety/agoraphobia, depression, anhedonia, and depersonalization. I am also sensitive to light and sound. When I try to relax and fall asleep I get jerked awake so I am not sleeping.

 

I feel like I can't recover from this mess. Maybe if I could sleep. Please help. Anyone who has experienced this and recovered.

Share this post


Link to post

UN, I joined your new post here to update your Intro topic. Please continue to update this topic, it will save us all from asking questions about your history.

 

It's been such a long time since you posted, there's a big gap in your history.

 

Since you were stable on a larger dosage of Remeron, have you tried updosing slightly, to 4mg or so?

Share this post


Link to post

I listened to my doc and reinstated 15mg. Probably not the best idea. Not sleeping at all for days - completely wired and exhausted. Don't know to do now. Lower it? I am feeling very desperate.

Share this post


Link to post

I brought the dose down to 7.5mg. I have complete sleep deprivation. Is there anything I can do? Please help!

Share this post


Link to post

From Post #51:

 

"I have recently reinstated 15mg."

 

When did you reinstate 15mg?  Having accurate information helps us to offer suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post

15mg was reinstated March 11th.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you.  I'll ask the other mods for their thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post

Hey UN - 

 

So you went to 15 on March 11, but then went back to 7.5 mg on Mar 17?

 

And your last change before that was - in 2015?  Or have you had other changes?  (I see an attempt at melatonin on this page - 1.5 mg 9-Feb.  Add a month to every time you make a change in dose, supplements, or supplement dose - to see how you long it takes for you to settle down from a change - any change.

 

The best way to be stable is to pick a dose and stay there. 

 

You will have to decide which was less uncomfortable:  15 or 7.5 and then stay there.  Stick to it like flypaper, same dose, same time every day (I'm guessing you are taking it in the evening?)

 

Research here for sleep hygiene and other aids:

Important Topics about Symptoms Including Sleep Problems

 

Please update your signature to show us what changes you have had since 2015?  Thank you!

 

I hope you see the sun today!

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for messaging and your advice. In February I also reinstated the 15mg of mirt for a week and then down to 7.5mg for another week. At that point I was getting 2-3hrs of sleep. I should have settled with that. Next was trazodone for 2 days. That brings me to where I am now. For supplements I only take fish oil and magnesium. Really scared now that I have ruined my ability to sleep. The wiredness and muscle twitching laying down is concerning.

Share this post


Link to post

Is there anything I can do? The sleep deprivation is torture and has taken its toll on my immune system and testosterone and who knows what else.

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe 7.5mg is too much.

 

UN, I joined your new post here to update your Intro topic. Please continue to update this topic, it will save us all from asking questions about your history.

 

It's been such a long time since you posted, there's a big gap in your history.

 

Since you were stable on a larger dosage of Remeron, have you tried updosing slightly, to 4mg or so?

Share this post


Link to post

Trazodone is another bounce.

 

It may seem too hard, but you need to stop bouncing.

 

Need to let your brain and nervous system settle.

 

Please update your signature to include the past 2 years.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know if this insomnia will kill me. I don't have the sensation of being tired. Just wired and sick. I am scared.

Share this post


Link to post

Insomnia makes functioning difficult but it won't kill you.  Do what you can to get rest -- quiet time where you lie as still as possible with your eyes closed.  You may want to search youtube for meditations to help sleep, rest, and/or relaxation to play at low volume during your rest periods.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for your response. Well, I am at the non-functional state. Has anyone experienced many days without sleep in a row? Can't fall asleep and I get these twitches and jolts when I try to relax and drift off. I wonder at what point I will just black-out.

Share this post


Link to post

I need some urgent help. My insomnia has become so severe that I have lately been going days or a week at a time with zero sleep. Two weeks in a month completely awake. I am surprised I have died or at least passed out from exhaustion. I can't even nap. Totally awake with no sensation of tiredness. This has been going on for since January now and I start to consider suicide. Feel really sick with constant headaches and can't function.

I take occasional Ativan but that is quickly losing its effectiveness and it isn't real sleep anyway. I fear I will not get normal sleep again.

My doc is unsure that this is withdrawal. He thinks maybe anxiety and depression or something else causing this. This happened when I got off Effexor and now Remeron. Are there some tests I should get done to rule anything out?

Thanks for any help!

Eric

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

Really sorry about your sleep!  I don't know about tests, but when I had insomnia last year (not as bad as yours), it went away after a weekend camping trip.  If you can't go camping, could you try some gentle walks in nature?  My doctor also suggested that sleeping outside on the ground might have helped, if that's a possibility for you.

 

Your insomnia sounds totally exhausting--wishing you some good rest soon!

Edited by scallywag
merged topics

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for responding. My energy levels are so low and I am so weak that I haven't been outside much. It is a horrific situation.

Share this post


Link to post

Can you provide more info regarding your remeron taper?  May be you tapered too fast, or did not give reinstatement enough time ... .  How long have you been off?  More details would help in figuring out how to help you.

 

Sorry for the insomnia.  If you can provide some more info, the mods will be able to help you better.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for responding. I settled quickly down to a dose of 7.5mg in February or March 2016. I was cutting down at about a rate of 1mg per month. Insomnia and other symptoms occured when I dropped to under 3.75mg in January 2017.

Share this post


Link to post

You may have tapered the last bit too fast.  If you search this site, you will see people taking years to get off 7.5 mg.

 

 I would think reinstating would be best, and not even at 3.75 since some time has elapsed since you discontinued.  Note that reinstatement may not work immediately and can take many weeks to see improvement.  A moderator can give you more expert advice.  Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post

I tried reinstating but probably didn't wait long enough I guess? I wasn't getting any sleep at all or maybe an hour max at that point. In desperation, I tried other meds. Has my reinstating ship sailed because I messed around? Is there a chance it could work reasonably well again?

Share this post


Link to post

Since everyone is different it is hard to say definitively that reinstatement will work, but as an example, I ct'd seroquel, reinstated 3 months later and stabilized within 3 additional months.  Stability took this long for me because the ct was compounded by wd from a too-large drop of remeron.

 

Because you have been off about 3 months (?) it may take many weeks to see improvement, but you have to stick with it.  And if you decide to reinstate, my advice would be to do so at a much smaller dosage than you dropped off.

 

All the best.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

 

Just saw your post on the "Intro" thread.  Did not realize you are not completely off.  The mods gave great advice, i.e., pick a dose and stick with it.  This was told to me too when I was in crisis last Dec/Jan.  And I stabilized.

 

Best

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

I have been off for almost 4months. I have been in a crisis state for months now. To reinstate and have to wait months for any sleep to maybe return is unthinkable. Already at end of my rope. I am glad it all worked out for you, that is awesome. I just don't know how long I can go on. My body isn't showing any signs it can fall asleep on its own at all. I could run on 3hrs until it got better but to have no sleep...

Share this post


Link to post

I googled insomnia and homeopathy and happened to have a remedy in my house that matched.  it worked.   there isn't just one for everyone,  you might have to try some.   my insomnia has been as bad as yours.  I used to listen to binaural beats with waves, rain, etc.   I didn't sleep but when morning came I felt a bit less exhausted than I should have.  I did this for months.  also I googled hypnosis for sleep and found some good stuff.  and there is a whole movement of people making soft noises that oddly make you feel good and often make you sleep.  called ASMR.`

 

I still take clonazepam, homeopathic, and I have to listen to a podcast.  I cannot sleep naturally.  I do not get sleepy while reading like I used to.  but I sleep.

Share this post


Link to post

Chrona - thanks for the tips. My insomnia is severe but I will check out the binaural beats and that hypnosis thing. Did you use headphones for them? What homeopathic remedy did you use?

Share this post


Link to post

Can't fall asleep at all. Is my only option reinstating Remeron again? Is it possible to wait this out? Or anything else? Don't know if I would die before I can learn to fall asleep again. It is that bad.

Share this post


Link to post

There's Sleep Coaching and the Sleep On Cue app if you have a smartphone.

Share this post


Link to post

My daughter, Lexi/Alex (Lex1992) had total, horrific insomnia when she first went into withdrawal last summer. She did not sleep at all for a month, maybe a little more the second month but still not much.  Tons of anxiety upon waking due to cortisol surges.  Your symptoms sound a lot like her early WD symptoms, which started several months after she weaned too quickly off of Lexapro. We tried everything, blackout curtains, supplements, essential oils, etc. with little relief.  Her saga is documented on her thread. She is now about 10 months since withdrawal symptoms started. She is sleeping like a champ, a good 10-12 hours a night, although the onset of her sleep cycle moves around (sometimes she sleeps all day, sometimes all night). Sooner or later, your body will fall asleep. It inherently knows what to do; it just "forgot" because WD completely screws up the central nervous system. You will not die. Your sleep will eventually improve. The symptoms change. You will get better.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now