There are some interesting comments on your question of long term effects.. and comments like Stans can it keep working long term? both interesting...
There may be something to what Stan says in long term tolerance as I was drugged a long time 18 years and hit a wall too where my body started showing signs that caused a neurologist to take me off effexor cold turkey... from then on i have had reactions to drugs and have never been able to tolerate another psych drug.. my body quickly rejects in the form of spitting them out immediately or in the case of benzos I get the opposite effect from a them as what is expected called paradoxical.
It is possible that after long term use some bodies just say no... and start acting up. We don't know the effects and if anybody does... for example pharma they are not telling us. So it is a crap shoot really. We take our chances in life and like anything else this is a chance I think your odds are better at low dose being more safe than a high dose but I could be wrong much of it may depend on your personal make up as some people don't have problems with these drugs or so I hear.
In my mind when I take stock of the situation you have made a serious effort to get off and your body has repeatedly told you no... so now it is time to let go of the expectation and the imagined reward of being drug free and listen to your body. The real question here is how is your life going can you sleep eat work love people are physically and mentaly well enough to have a life while on a low dose if the answer is yes... this is a no brainer Stick with low dose and live your life.
There may come a time where this low dose bites you but so what you will have had all this time to live a good life.. and deal with that when it comes if it comes. After you have been on the low dose for an extended amount of time it may well be that it can be tapered smoothly once you reach the new normal.
By showing you effects of reduction now your body is saying it has done all the adjusting it can do right this moment... our bodies adjust very slowly and it may not be saying no you can't ever quit this drug.. it may well be saying you can't quit this drug right now... so live enjoy your life try not to worry about it.
It is an easy decision if you believe what other people on here have been thru by trying to force their bodies off drugs... there are many good examples here... the fallout is misery .. and just now you sound ok better than ok you sound good... so if you are stick there and revisit it in a year... enjoy your life and be grateful to those who came before you to us learn all this... if not for them and their pain we would not know this much...
enjoy yourself NOW nobody knows if there is a bad day coming a car accident or any of life's bad turns your here now your ok now... enjoy your life that is my suggestion.
It may be a matter of adjusting your perspective more than anything... think of it this way taking a small dose allows you to win.. now and maybe win later when your body says it is time to taper.. the idea of being off the drug is not gone it is delayed the real win is enjoying your life being well with or without a drug.. it is the bigger prize in this war.. to win by getting off and being disabled long term is not a win... it is a mistake and I am living it .. so go win win.
I wish you peace
WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.
As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey.
There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in