Shortcake

Shortcake: Effexor withdrawal. When will it end?

220 posts in this topic

Thanks Chessie! I wish I had knwon all this a month ago.... i seriously thought I was losing it/had a haunted house. I'm still nervous down there but I'm sure with time that will pass.

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So my house is gone. Big fire at adjacent unit.... water damage and smoke to my unit... fire possibly hit it... but basically its gone. At my parents with my daughter and my cat. We are all safe. I cant sleep.

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Oh dear.  What a horrible thing to happen.  Glad you are all okay though.  I can understand not being able to sleep.  When we had bushfires here a friend of mine's daughter was really affected by it.  It might be worth seeing a (non drug prescribing  ;) ) counsellor.

 

Take care.

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I emailed my psychologist but hes on holiday for 2 weeks :( i was doing so well with the withdrawal... accepting my panic was making it happen less. And now this.

 

Also... im taking 11 beads of effexor xr a day. The pharmacist today told me i could take the beads in applesauce? I dont need to take it in capsules? My empty capsules again... in the fire... so.... its okay to take effexor xr in applesauce? I thought my stomach acid would destroy it.

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My pharmacist also told me to try taking them once every second day if i was weaning... which makes me totally not trust him now lol.

 

Edit to say: not weaning right now. Staying stable. Trying to.

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Yep, from drug.com

 

Swallow Effexor XR extended-release capsules whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or place in water before swallowing. If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and sprinkle the contents over a spoonful of applesauce. Mix the medicine with the applesauce and swallow the mixture right away, followed by a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the medicine before swallowing.

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Okay perfect. Now i need applesauce. I just bought some. But. Fire.

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You'll be doing that for a while yet, unfortunately.  If you have an apple you could grate it finely for the time being.  Or stew it.

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Thank you Chessie.

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I really felt like I was getting better. And then the fire happened. And now Im having another wave of symptoms. Well 1 symptom. All the others are gone except random waves of feeling "butterflies" all over my body and then I feel the derealization. Like I can't function the way I used to.

 

I had been reading books to help with it. Noting irrational thoughts. But all that stuff is in the old apartment. Where I cant get any of my stuff because of the fire. I ordered Claire Weekes book... it was attempted delivery 2 days after the fire so it went back to the depot. Because I dont have photo ID they wont let me pick up my mail.

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It's to be expected after such a traumatic event that you would be hit with a wave.  Even a person not going through withdrawal would have problems after this.  Also realise that you are going through a time of grieving.  It's important to understand this and allow yourself to feel the feelings and not bottle them up, because they have a habit of getting back to you later, and if they return later, you don't always attribute it to the cause of it, and you can get in a state trying to work out what is causing it.  I think accepting that it's normal is a start.  It may take a while but as time goes on it will lessen.  The main thing at the moment is to try not to stress yourself further and to do what you need to do to keep yourself as settled as possible.  Here a couple of things which might help:

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Yoga for calming (very simple poses can help greatly) (some members have found the "legs up the wall" helpful for anxiety)

 

USE A TIMER:  A year ago my 14 year old dog died and my daughter was concerned about how I would cope.  She suggested that I "check in with myself" during the day to see how I was.  Because I knew that I would probably forget and sometimes things creep up slowly and then all of a sudden I am in a bad state, I set a timer for an hour during the morning (and it became easier to do it without the timer in the afternoon) just so I could be reminded and I would stop and think, okay, how am I feeling, what thoughts am I having.  This meant that I could nip it in the bud and do some controlled deep breathing before it became too much of a problem and harder to deal with.

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Thank you for this Chessie. The first few days I had to take ativan in order to stay calm and deal with all the meetings and stuff that go on after a fire. Signing paperwork, meeting with tons of insurance people etc. Everyone commented on how well I was dealing with it, but I was on ativan. I havent taken it in 3 days and the anxiety has hit hard. Definitely a wave of symptoms, physical now too. And I was fighting it. Telling myself no, I need to be strong, I cant feel this right now. But I am.. and fighting it makes it worse. Reading your comments were a bit like a breath of fresh air, like the permission I felt I needed to be anxious and not feeling well.

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The darn waves. Was feeling great... was ready to go back to work. Finally living on my own without moms help. Everything great. And then the wave! Now i question everything. Can i be a single parent? Can i ever go back to work? YES! But why why why does it seem like no when the waves hit. Its so frustrating.

I go from feeling so strong and good to feeling weak and scared and like I can barely function. Just keep trucking... just let time pass... I will heal. Right?

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I end up having to take ativan way more often than I would like.

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The darn waves. Was feeling great... was ready to go back to work. Finally living on my own without moms help. Everything great. And then the wave! Now i question everything. Can i be a single parent? Can i ever go back to work? YES! But why why why does it seem like no when the waves hit. Its so frustrating.

I go from feeling so strong and good to feeling weak and scared and like I can barely function. Just keep trucking... just let time pass... I will heal. Right?

 

Totally agree here about the waves shortcake ,always stick at it  I'm  feeling human the last 2 days [if not overwhelmed] in a window after a horrendous month so never ever doubt your recovery ,I'm jealous of your taper :)  ,I had to reinstate after only 16 days of just 2 beads out of 37.5 so I wont fail just keep at it .

 

I worked 3 days this week at only 50% capacity but so what I'm trying and that builds positivity in us and keeps the mind fresh enough so its in us ,it just takes so much patience for us .

Never doubt your spirit

Take care

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Thanks powerback :) i just cant bring myself to go back yet. I panic and i work with patients so i really cant only be at 50%.

 

Does anyone know what causes you to shoot awake when you start falling asleep? I dont even know if i asked this before. But wverytime i slip into sleep i shoot up in bed awake and panicked. Total adrenalin rush. Im exhausted.

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Thanks powerback :) i just cant bring myself to go back yet. I panic and i work with patients so i really cant only be at 50%.

 

Does anyone know what causes you to shoot awake when you start falling asleep? I dont even know if i asked this before. But wverytime i slip into sleep i shoot up in bed awake and panicked. Total adrenalin rush. Im exhausted.

 

totally agree with your work ,the shooting awake rarely happens to me ,u could be on too something with the adrenalin rush ,I suggest winding down earlier for sleep than normally if possible.  .I'm the opposite, I have horrible symptoms when I wake ,major depression, panic  ,headaches ,it can be an hour before I'm lucid and awake properly, this is after my nightmares :( 

Take care

PB

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Shortcake,

Firstly, remembering, at all times, that this forum is primarily for helping people to get off antidepressants/tranx, and who want to, as they feel, or have been informed by a trustworthy qualified person, that the drugs are not needed to help their distress and illness.

 

They may be correct, they may not.  That is what makes the choice about reducing or cutting out the medication difficult.

 

Based on my own 40 years experience, (I am not a doctor), IMO you are "early waking" with an acute anxiety attack.  

This used to be* regarded as a classic symptom that one was heading for, or was suffering from clinical depression. 

(*still is? Alto?)

 

If it were me, based on what I have found at painful expense, you need to get yourself on a stable platform.  How you do that is obvious to some of us, but it is up to you to decide.

 

I have been there about 3 times, am 71, but have managed to tweak quite a few years of reasonable-to-good quality of life from the dilemma and am still here.

 

Best regards.

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Hi Shortcake, sorry to hear that you are in a wave right now.  Hope it doesn't last too long.  Know that it is hard to know what to do when you are in this frame of mind, especially when no-one knows what is going to provide any relief.  Please know that I am not a moderator so what I'm writing is only a suggestion based on my experiences with this drug and you may want to run it by one of the moderators before making a decision.  At this point, you may need to decide whether or not you can ride through the waves or try to up-dose.  My thoughts based on your history, and because you may have to return to work soon, is to up-dose until your symptoms are at a level where you can function.  I would up-dose the smallest amount, say 0.75 to 1mg, maybe even less, hold that for at least a couple of weeks and see if that brings any relief.  Because your last dosage was in the area of 9-10mg where you were somewhat functional, my reasoning is that there is a big difference between 2.25mg and 9mg.  Even small amounts of this drug make a profound difference.  You may find relief somewhere between the 2.25mg and 9mg. The trick is make only small changes (up-doses) to find the sweet-spot with the smallest up-dose that your system will tolerate and find relief from.  The less you have to up-dose the better.  

Back in January, I was feeling so good, I tried to speed up my taper by reducing every three weeks instead of holding for four and ran into a lot of trouble.  Because I really didn't want to up-dose, I've been riding it out to get stabilized again and it is working.  But I only reduced 10% of my previous dose (5mg) so imagine that is why I was able to stabilize, but it's taken more than two months and I'm still counting.  If I were experiencing what you are now, I would have up-dosed for sure to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and panic that you are dealing with now.

 

Then again, and here is the most frustrating thing of all.  If you are experiencing long periods of relative stability, maybe the best thing to do is just stay at the 2.25 mg and wait it out until the anxiety and panic are more tolerable.  If you are having more good days than bad, then I'd say this is the nature of withdrawal and eventually the severity of the waves will fade away with time.  Unfortunately sometimes more time than we may have the patience for.    

Ultimately the decision is yours, and again, I have to stress that you should run my thoughts by a moderator who has a lot more experience with these drugs than I do.  I'm only writing based on my own personal experience, we are all different and each of us reacts differently to changes with these drugs.  Any changes we make can have a downside and we won't know until we try for ourselves whether the outcome is going to be positive or not.  It really is a guessing game as to what is going to work.  

Hoping one way or the other, you stabilize soon.  

   

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Thanks everyone.

 

I seem to have more good days than bad days. I will have a couple of weeks feeling good,but still get anxiety/panic, if i have to go out somewhere, which i can usually push through, float past and accept. But other than the anxiety and panic from having to go out I feel strong and good and confident. But not enough to return to work yet. Then after a couplw of weeks of "good" i will have a few days to a week of a wave where its a lot of anxiety and panic, everytime i start to fall asleep i shoot awake with a huge intake of air and panic, realize nothings wrong and attempt again. During the waves i am on alert almost 24/7. Nausea, diarrhea, headaches, neuro emotions hard core.

 

It has been 3 months since reinstatement to 2.2mg and i am learning ti handle the waves better now so they are not as intense, and my good days are increasing, but I would still not consider myself "stable". I was supposed to return to work in May. That is now on hold. My paid leave has run out and I will be living off insurance money from my house burning down.

 

So my question for the moderators would be what is your advice? Do i stick to the 2.2 mg or do I attempt a small updose to see if that makes it a bit more manageable?

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I do admit that hings seem to be very slowly improving, but still not quite able to consider myself "stable" enough to return to work. The plan was to stickit out at 2.2mg but want aome other opinions.

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Shortcake, there are only 3 options:

  1. Stay at current dose.
  2. Increase.
  3. Decrease.

Nobody can predict how you will react to an increase or a decrease.  The decision is yours -- you know your body and your experience on these medications. You have the best sense of what the risk might be.

 

If you do #2 or #3, make the change a small one. I wish I could be more helpful. (((hugs)))

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Thanks scallywag ❤ i think im going to stay at this dose until I feel more stable. I DO see improvement as the weeks go by so that is probably my best bet. Eventually I will wean off this drug completely. Only 2.2 mg to go. Slow and steady. ❤

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Meditation

Claire Weekes methods of floating and acceptance

Letting time pass

Magnesium

Fish oil

Trying to stay busy and with people

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That's a good set of "tools". It never hurts to add one or two -- can you get 30 minutes of gentle walking daily?

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My daughter and I try to get outside everyday. We usually walk up to the park. Doesn't take 30 minutes to get there but its a start lol.

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Do we know the reason behind why the waves happen? It's so odd. For a couple weeks I feel great and almost my old self again. I am full of positivity and hope and happy. Loving life. Wanting to go back to work. And then when the wave randomly hits its like a switch in my brain has gone off. My thoughts are all fear, my body is shaky (it actually feels like when you have the flu), I feel sick, my gi system is messed up. I don't get it. I know it will pass and when the window comes it'll be ok again but I don't get the reason why these waves happen?

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Have you seen these?  They really helped me to understand what is happening.  I especially like the Rubik's cube and the bit about rebuilding is good too.  Understanding what is happening has helped me not to get stressed when I go through waves, because I know what it is so I don't become fearful.

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

From best-description-of-healing-process

 

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR streel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  
And just like the Twin Towers- it's possible - but the buiding is a major effort -and it takes a good year or more sometimes.

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Thank you that helps a lot! I feel like I'm trucking forward and I can see how after each wave I come out feeling better than before. I like to understand the ins and outs of it. My psychologist is awesome but pretty sure he thinks the waves are triggered by something else and not just random the way i feel they are. Like he thinks id we can find the trigger we can stop them, whereas from what I have read here thst is not the case at all.

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I seem to be getting better and stronger everyday. And I'm hopeful. But randomly I still get hit with feelings of "I cant do this.". To such ordinary things. Most days I'm strong and confident. Other days... I feel like something is wrong with my brain. Like I could lose it at any second. The thought of such mundane tasks seem overwhelming. For example I could be thinking about going back to work and I just get like a deep fast inhale of breath and "I cant do that!" As if I'm thinking about sky diving or something terrifying. I'm good at my job. I love my job. Why does the thought of it now seem so terrifying. Normal every day things... If I think about them its a quick panic "I cant do that". I'm doing things again. Socializing, shopping, taking care of my daughter, living my life, but if I THINK about doing it... Its like I become this weak, scared person. Jello. I feel like jello. I used to be a rock. It's overwhelming feeling like this. Compared to everything before this isnt much, but it really throws you for a loop and makes you second guess yourself.

 

Sometimes I just need to come here and document it. I dont really have anyone else I talk to about it. Theres my psychologist. But he steers it away from the withdrawal. Wants to get to the root of the problems that had me on meds to begin with so we can fix it from there. Makes sense since only time can really heal this withdrawal. But sometimes its nice coming here to others who know this mental pain.

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Posted (edited)

another wave.  Another couple weeks of horrible Neuro emotions.  Feeling like somethings wrong.  So overwhelmed and feeling alone.  Sometimes I think I should just go back on the effexor.  The side effects werent as bad as this.  I loved my life before.  I dont anymore.  

 

I am so paranoid now.  Cant sleep because I'm afraid someones going to break into my house.  Wake up at the cottage and am convinced someones going to break in there and kill us.  What is happening to my brain? 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
changed from italics

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6 hours ago, Shortcake said:

another wave.  Another couple weeks of horrible Neuro emotions.  Feeling like somethings wrong.  So overwhelmed and feeling alone.  Sometimes I think I should just go back on the effexor.  The side effects werent as bad as this.  I loved my life before.  I dont anymore.  

 

I am so paranoid now.  Cant sleep because I'm afraid someones going to break into my house.  Wake up at the cottage and am convinced someones going to break in there and kill us.  What is happening to my brain? 

Hi Shortcake

 

Just thought I'd stop by and offer some support. I am going through similar at the moment and am in a bad wave so I can sympathise.. They get very hard to accept when you have had a window. 

 

Fear seems to be a WD symptom. If I am in a wave I wake early every morning fearing everything and get very scared.  I have to practice mindfulness and relaxation but it doesn't always work.

 

I have lost a lot of confidence during WD  - it makes me feel very negative about everything.

 

I wish you strength and healing and that a window is on it's way to you very soon.

 

Flowers xxx

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I'm sorry to hear about this wave. Especially since you wrote about feeling better and stronger in the post from May 23.

 

If you don't think you can ride this wave maybe you could consider a slight updose (maybe 2.5 or 3 mg).

 

It's great that you are aware that these are all neuroemotions playing tricks with you. You can remind yourself of their nastiness some more here and see how other people managed them:  

 

Also, connect with other people here. A lot of us are going through very similar things. Hang in there. This is just a wave and it will pass.

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5 hours ago, Flowers said:

Fear seems to be a WD symptom. If I am in a wave I wake early every morning fearing everything and get very scared.  I have to practice mindfulness and relaxation but it doesn't always work.

 

I have lost a lot of confidence during WD  - it makes me feel very negative about everything.

 

Hi Flowers, thanks for the support ❤  The fear is the worst.  It makes me think I'm actually going crazy, being paranoid and scared of everything.  And yes.. All confidence is completely gone.  I have no confidence in my ability to do anything.  After a month long window it is extra devastating.  I really thought the waves were over.  

4 hours ago, bubble said:

 

I'm sorry to hear about this wave. Especially since you wrote about feeling better and stronger in the post from May 23.

 

If you don't think you can ride this wave maybe you could consider a slight updose (maybe 2.5 or 3 mg).

 

 

Hi Bubbles, thanks foe the support and suggestions!  I did feel so much stronger.  I was closer to getting back to work.  This really threw me off.  I dont want to live like this anymore.  Ir seems worse at night.  I literally think I'm going crazy, I don't even feel like myself.  My entire body has a weird antsy buzzing feeling that is almost painful, my joints ache with it.  All confidence is gone.  I feel super paranoid.  I actually thought about suicide but I dont actually want to die.  I just want my life back.  Will it be like this forever?  Im actually regretting going off the pills.  I had side effects... Always in a sleepy daze, memory failing, not able to find words or have conversations with people.  Not good for someone in their 30s but compared to THIS?  I would take those back. I loved my life despite those.  I was happy. I loved my job.  I was an amazing mum.  Now I cant work.  I hate my life. I snap at my daughter.  I cry myself to sleep.  During a window I see hope... But these waves...  They're going to break me.  

 

Does updosing help anyone?  During a window I'm glad im off then.  During a wave I want to go back on them.  I just want stability.  

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How long have you been in this wave?

 

You will get stability. It's just that it takes time.

 

I consulted other mods about updosing. Since you reacted well to the initial small dose reinstatement perhaps your brain could use more of the drug.

 

Can you describe us your symptom pattern, before this wave and in the wave? How much sleep do you get and what quality? How do you feel in the morning? Before after you take your dose? what kind of symptoms you experience and whether they morph in any way? It will help us with giving recommendation.

 

Our brains have remarkable ability to heal themselves and since you were doing so much better prior to this wave you will soon go back to that state. It's just that the recovery isn't linear. Don't worry about your present level of functioning in the same way you wouldn't worry about being passive with a broken leg.

 

 

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