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Found 231 results

  1. Hello everyone, I'm not quite sure which topic the following issue and question belongs to .. so please let me know if I should post this in another topic / category. As described in my signature, I completely stopped ingesting venlafaxine after about 3 months of tapering - I know, too fast, I was never informed about withdrawals or the need of a slower taper by my physician. One week after the last pill, various withdrawal symtoms such as brain fog, blurred/limited or "constrained" vision, OCD, tiredness and vertigo all appeared at once. Everything lasted for about 1 month and then, like all of a sudden, the withdrawals just stopped or became much milder. This period, which I like to refer to as my withdrawal "honeymoon," lasted for about 2 weeks. After this, the withdrawal symtoms started to come back, yet this time much more severe. I don't know if it has to do with the 2-3 glasses of champagne I had in New Years (I doubt so), but ever since they came back, they have slowly gotten worse. In the beginning I could still work, see friends and do other things people do in the leisure time but now I am on the sick list since three months, I can barely go or stay outside very long because all my symtoms (especially my visual symtoms) gets worse and my body and brain gets tired really fast. I am home most of the time. I try to exercise and to go out but my symptoms allow me to do very little things before it gets too hard for me. Now I ask you people who know this better than me - is it common for the symptoms to get worse over a period of time (for several weeks/months) before things hopefully turns around and you start feeling better again? I know that I may be a little messy in my explanation and I have certainly posted this in the wrong topic, but please know that I am suffering from a bad brain fog and that I am trying my best. I have already visited an ophthalmologist and I did get my brain scanned and they could find nothing. Still, I'm worried that there may be something else that causes my symptoms, which in turn was caused by effexor. PS -I have tried several supplements and have found that soy protein powder and magnesium tables relieves some of my symtoms. Thank you all in advance, and sorry for the messy text!
  2. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  3. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  4. Hello everyone, I am an Italian 25 year-old girl, who is experiencing WD syndrome from Effexor, sorry if my English is not so great. First of all, I have to say I am still taking medication. At the moment my doctor is Prof. Giovanni Andrea Fava (you may know him, I saw that you posted some of his research in the forum). He was the only one the understand the hell I was going through and when I first came to him saying that since taking ADs I wasn't feeling myself anymore and that especially Effexor gave me anxiety, racing thoughts, carelessness and hypomania, he immediately put me off of it and labeled it as "poison". After a 2 months tapering under his advice, I stopped in March of this year after over 1 year of Effexor (in the end I had switched from 75 mg to 150 mg after a romantic problem, back then I didn't know that my reaction could have been a drug tolerance episode) and 1 year of Zoloft before. My original issue was ROCD, Relationship-centered OCD. This exploded like a psychosis while I was taking an antibiotic for acne in November 2015, I don't know if there was any correlation between the two facts, of course I had problems with my boyfriend with whom I eventually broke up. I remember urging to the doctor and being put on Trilafon, Zoloft and Rivotril in a glimpse. While the obsession calmed down a little bit, the quality of my life worsened, so that I wasn't feeling myself anymore. I became really demotivated, I lost interest in university and I lost 1 year without taking exams. Now I am about to graduate after many efforts struggling with all of these bad feelings, but I am scared to death as with the new year I will have to seek a job as an engineer but I can't handle any stress right now. My "relapse" happened while I was in Germany working at my Master's thesis. Maybe it wasn't the best idea going for and exchange program after withdrawal (Fava knew, but didn't tell me to encourage me), I was doing quite but at some point I became suicidal without even being able to eat or get out of my room. I had to go back to Italy at the end of June in bad conditions and went to see Fava, who explained to me about the withdrawal syndrome and gave me 10 mg of Prozac and 0.5 mg of clonazepam to be taken daily to calm down the symptoms which are: -mood swings -terrible depression/hypomania -suicidal thoughts -exagerrated feelings of guilt, fear and low self-esteem -brain zaps occasionally -racing thoughts (got better though) -unexplainable anxiety -tingling -feeling like the brain is burning after some thoughts or events -low stress tolerance -nightmares and waking up in the morning in fear and confusion -demotivation -sensitivity to noise Oh, btw, I still have ROCD even if the partners changed. I've done CBT and it is way milder, it took me a lot, but the price to pay is this freakin syndrome and I think that life is such unfair, after all the sufferings I've been through since I was a child and this one is the worst for sure, because I don't know if it will end. I won't talk about the other ones, it is not an issue at the moment. I have to say that I am already better, I can have a living, but sometimes, as many people of you do I guess, I feel I will not get back to what I was. I want to experience sadness, like before, not despair. I don't want to live with that strange constant anxiety or uncomfortable feeling (it's hard to explain, I didn't have it before taking drugs) which I had had also while on Zoloft. It has not gone away, never, for almost 3 years. And I am not sure if its origin is psychological, because I have this also while doing crosswords or laughing with my sister or writing this post, even if I am focused and calm. The things that worry me the most are the aforementioned "feeling", the inability to hold a good position in the job world because I have to avoid any type of stress otherwise I feel like I am burning or I become very fearful and my blood freezes and... the sexual thing. One of the reasons why I developed this ROCD is that because I had sexual problems with my boyfriend. I couldn't get aroused with him, but with other stimuli I was functioning. Eventually we split up (best decision of my life, even if the depression had a role in this). Now I have a new boyfriend, who I love so much. The difference is that I want to have sex with him most of the times, but I can't get aroused, you know... wet, and feel no pleasure. And since this was my main concern even before taking the drugs, I am terrified that one wrong choice would have caused a permanent damage to my sexuality, the thing I was always craving for because I wasn't feeling satisfied. Dr. Fava says that WD Syndrome lasts 6 months on average. So the 6 months have passed but the improvement are really small, sexuality has not returned and here I see people struggling for YEARS. Should I trust him? Come on, he is one of the leading experts worldwide and one of the first to recognize the problem, but I still don't know. I just want to go back to the mess I was, stop obsessing about symptoms and tolerate adversities as I always did before. I can say that racing thoughts have got milder... but it's not enough for me. I've been feeling bad for three years and suffered all my life before, I am sick of this situation.
  5. I am posting this on behalf of my husband who is quite unwell. I am in a very vunerable place watching my husband deteriorate so please be kind. We are in our 60's and have never experienced anything like this. My husband was administered antidepressants for depression over 30 years ago and has remained on antidepressants all this time. I cannot recall what they started him on but maybe 8 years ago he was moved to Effexor XR 75mg. When it was increased to 150mg - we noticed a lack of feeling and low libido. We discussed the idea of coming off the Effexor XR and did this with the aid of high quality supplements - tapering by reducing the beads over a year. There were horrible side effects - nausea, high anxiety and then the concentration started to be impacted. After six months of being off the Effexor XR he deteriorated very quickly to the point where he became Psychotic and he couldn't get his brain to think how to get himself into the shower. It was like his brain had frozen. He kept saying I am losing it! Unfortunately he was admitted to the Psychiatric Ward where they administered 10mg Olanzepine and 75mg Effexor XR then increased it up to 150mg. He was released after three weeks. He was on Olazepine for about three months and the Psychiatrist reduced him off that. Because he is still not stable the Psychiatrist was not sure whether to increase or reduce his medication. He has gone for the latter and we are administering 112mg every other day at around 10am this is our 3rd day (eg 150mg one day 112mg the next and so on). I am monitoring him closely and notice that he is so much more responsive in the morning and quite normal, although says he feels really tired. His memory and concentration has been affected. He has blurred vision. After his medication is given I notice he begins pacing, not as responsive to talking and becomes quite anxious. The Psychiatrist says he has had a relapse and has major depression. I don't know who to believe anymore but I just want my husband well again. Please help?
  6. Hello SA members, I am new here. Before June 2017 I was taking Lexapro/60mg and Lithium/600mg, I stopped cold turkey, did well for 2 months but ended up going to the ER for insomnia, was sleeping less than 2 hrs. at night. I didn’t know anything about withdrawals weeks ago; the doctors don’t talk about it, they just want to put you on something. I spent 10 days in the Psych ward in Sept/2017, they started me on Remeron 15mg and Effexor 37.5/75/112.5/150mg, after I left the hospital my psychiatric increased to Remeron 45mg and Effexor ER 150mg. Since I started Effexor ER 150 noticed hyperactivity episodes, so the Dr. decreased to 112.5mg and I have been trying to stay on 75mg I want to start to taper them and when I stop my final doses I want to replace them with supplements and vitamins. It's been only a month since I started taking Remeron and Effexor. I am scared and confused of what to do and how to do it. Please help.
  7. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  8. My doctor prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for me 4 years ago after I complained that I was having hot flashes that caused my face to turn bright red. She told me the medication was an anti-depressant but that it was approved for off-label use to treat the flushing symptoms. I didn't get a second opinion, nor did I look into the side effects. I went blindly ahead. I didn't know how bad it would be to miss just one dose. During the first six months, I missed a few doses and the withdrawal symptoms would start within 10 hours. I didn't connect the symptoms to the missed dose. I thought that there was something wrong with my brain or my inner ear, but it would clear up the next day (because I took my dose). Eventually, I figured it out and I spoke with my doctor about it. She told me that I was in a small percentage of people who have that experience, but she advised against discontinuing the medication. And, by that time, I had to admit that it had helped my moods and my mild anxiety. I felt a lot more content, and I rarely felt frustrated or angry by small things. But ultimately, I got tired of worrying about missing a dose. I travel internationally and I worried that I'd lose medication (or have it confiscated) while in a foreign country and that I wouldn't be able to get a new prescription. And the missed doses (despite everything I did to prevent them) still happened, and they would set me back a half day. So I read a lot of information on this site, and I came up with a tapering plan. I'll post more about that plan in the tapering section. In short, it took six weeks and I suffered quite a bit. In addition to the physical symptoms (dizziness, brain zaps), I had terrible, dark moods. I wondered if I'd ever make it through and whether I'd permanently messed up my brain. But it was manageable, and I did make it through. I'm thankful that I found this site. And I'm thrilled to finally be free.
  9. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  10. I'm here to share my experience as I attempt to get this horrible drug out of my system. I've been on Effexor XR since 2001, started on 75 mg, up to 150 mg in 2002, and have been there for 10 years. In about 2009 I realized it was no longer working properly, and at the suggestion of my doctor, I split it into 75 mg twice daily instead of 150 mg in the morning. It helped with the strange morning symptoms I was getting (I'll explain in another topic, or later in this one). However over the last two years it has become clear the drug is no longer working as it once did. So I have decided to begin the process of tapering off, hopefully down to nothing. It's so nice to meet all of you! So many posts to read through on this very topic! It's great not to feel so alone. Looking forward to learning more from everyone here, hope I can help somebody else out soon as well.
  11. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  12. Lilac

    I have not taken Effexor for just over a year after seven years of use . Even after all this time I am still experiencing windows and waves , obscessive thought patterns and a general apathy . The only light in this tunnel are the writings of Dr James Heaney . Has anyone else a similar story? I am so over it !
  13. Hi everyone, I am taking Effexor for chronic pain not depression. On Effexor for 10 years, half of those years on 112.5mg the other half 150mg Started reducing a year ago February 2012 - 150mg March 2012 - 131mg April 2012 - 112.5mg July 2nd 2012 - 92mg July 23rd - chronic pain got worse October 21st - started 75mg (chronic pain flare up subsided and has been stable ever since) November 16th - 56mg December 11th - 37.5mg January 5th, 2013 - 19mg January 22nd, 2013 - 22.5mg January 23rd, 2013 - 37.5mg January 24th, 2013 - 30mg From November 16th when I dropped to 56mg up to January 22nd the withdrawal effects gradually got worse. Prior to this I experienced no withdrawal effects. On January 22nd when I increased the dosage to 22.5mg I was trying to decrease the withdrawal effects because they were getting too strong. The small increase had no effect. On the following day when I increased to 37.5mg after an hour and 45 minutes the withdrawal effects got significantly worse. I went to my family Doctor (who was much more knowlegeable than I thought) and he recommended taking 30mg. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday but still not as good as when I was on 19mg. I'm wondering if I should stay at 30mg or should I decrease to maybe 25mg since I felt better at 19mg and I was on 19mg for 2 and half weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of health to everyone! Thank you!
  14. Let me start out by saying that I realize no one will have an actual answer for me on this one. Regardless, I do appreciate any opinions others may want to give. My nervous system has been running itself into the ground for years with it's beyond ridiculous reactions to simple everyday things. Everything is a threat it would seem. Temperature changes that are too abrupt, such as when I emerge from the shower, will induce agitation, exhaustion, and a general "wigged out" feeling. Eating is unacceptable to my system, apparently, along with light, sound, social interactions, driving (longer than an hour and I am out of it for the rest of the day), reading, and sleeping (this is heavily protested for some reason). Things improve slightly if I avoid socializing, only expose myself to natural light, severely limit time listening to music or watching t.v./youtube videos, slowly go about activities and rest in between "sets," and eat as little as possible. If I keep this going I know a bit of peace for a time. The very second that I need to interact, run an errand, what have you...I'm right back in the horror show. Feels as though an electric fence has been put up between me and living now. I have more hope and enthusiasm for moving forward when I convince myself that however long this has been going on, it can still be thought of as temporary. That all I need do is calm my nerves and my brain and body will regain their tolerance to stress. This feels more often like wishful thinking, though. Deep down I am more convinced that this is the way I am now, and nothing that I do will change it. I can hold off stress (or what's seen as stress, rather), attempt to avoid it, but I will never again be able to withstand it.
  15. mmcdonald21: Intro

    Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  16. So glad to have found this forum! I'm 56 (F) and I've been on 150 mg of Effexor XR for the last 17 years. I have begun counting the beads and initially started by eliminating 25 of the 150 per day. It's been four days now without any ill effects and I'm really looking forward to this journey.
  17. Hello all. I've been shadowing this forum for a while, and I'd like to begin by thanking everyone involved (Altostrata in particular) for providing such a caring environment for all the battered brains out there. A lot of my questions have been answered already by virtue of all the great information here. Still, one feels a particular solace in telling their own story, and I'd like to do just that. I am twenty four, and I have been more or less continuously medicated since I was sixteen. I was a troubled and difficult teenager, and a drug addled and dysfunctional brain seems to be my reward. I've been prescribed various stimulants, but (thank god) I've mostly neglected them over the years. I've run the gamut of anti-depressants from prozac, to lexapro, and then onto Effexor. I don't really remember having any issues with the prozac and lexapro, except the sort of general malaise one experiences on those drugs. Effexor has been a different story. I've been on it now for about four years. A year ago I noticed a strange sort of free-floating despair from time to time, the sort of thing I'd struggled with years earlier in high school. But unlike before it's appearance was alarming and irregular, and it seemed somehow “unnatural”. It was clear something was changing, either my brain chemistry or the effect of the drug, or both. Whatever the cause, it didn't seem to have much to do with circumstance. A few months later I decided to come off the drug. I went down over a period of two months. The effects were highly unpleasant but not unbearable, the strongest symptom being fatigue. I was completely off the drug for about three weeks. The effects during those three weeks were slightly different than they had been while still weening. Along with the fatigue came a deep underlying anxiety, and a sort of anxious hopelessness that would wash over me a few times a day. I decided after three weeks that I couldn't deal with the withdrawal symptoms anymore, especially since they hadn't show any signs of abating. I went up to 75 mgs, and was able to remain there for one to two months. The worst was over, though I still suffered from fatigue (I would often have to take a nap in the late afternoon) and began to have cravings for alcohol for the first time in my life. I imagine that my cravings were somehow compensatory, and I've heard of other people experiencing them while on or withdrawing from these types of medications. Eventually I went back up to 150 mgs of the Effexor, and after feeling a little drugged for a few days I returned to my normal self. It took a few more months to work up the courage to try to taper off again. This time I was prescribed 40 mgs of Prozac to “soften” the effects of the withdrawal. I slowed my descent a bit and two months passed before I reached 75 mgs. The symptoms were bothersome but tolerable throughout, and I managed to maintain a diet and mild exercise routine. Great changes were beginning to occur in my life around this time. I'd rather not go into lots of detail, but I'll just say that I managed to address certain things that had haunted me for many years. As these inner tensions began to dissolve the world suddenly seemed alive and brimming with meaning. Colors appeared more vivid, and everything seemed to be suffused with a kind of mystery. This period is somewhat hazy, but I think I must have been convinced by this shift that I would be able to quickly withdraw from my drugs, so strong was my sense of well-being. I took only a month to come off the last 75 mgs, and because of some mistakes while measuring my doses, my taper was somewhat erratic. This period was pretty horrendous. The effects of these drugs come so close to your basic 'poles of being' that it's really hard to describe them in any kind of reliable way. But there was a certain manic and anxious character to this period that had been mostly absent from the previous withdrawal. Some of these new symptoms came in waves, while others were more or less constant. Twice I got into very intense arguments with my father over dinner, both of which ended with me sobbing and hyperventilating (which is quite unusual for me). Sometime before the arguments I had felt a kind of mounting irreversible tension, one that quickly transformed into aggression. There was something strangely primitive and hyper masculine about it, like my mind and body were preparing to fight off an enemy or predator. Deeply strange stuff, I've never experienced anything like it. Once off the meds I only lasted a week before deciding to go back on the Effexor. Here I made another error. I was so panicked and anxious to get rid of my symptoms that I went back up very quickly. 10 mgs for a few days, 35 mgs for two days, 75 mgs for three days, and then back up to the full 150 mgs. Somehow it didn't occur to me at the time that I might have been rushing things. The first day back on the 150 mgs was wonderful. That earlier sense of joy and clarity returned, colors had that dark and enhanced quality again. I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude. But, to my horror, the “manic” type symptoms returned the next day. They returned, and then they seemed to get worse. Two to three times a day I'd have those indescribable surges of raw feeling, and a pervasive tense/drugged sensation returned as well. Fearing that I'd gone up too fast I quickly went down to 75 mgs, which seemed to help for a bit. But the surges and the tension remained. It's been about a week and a half since I've made this last switch, and the symptoms continue. I've read on this site that it can take three to six weeks to stabilize at a given dose, so it seems like I still have some time before I can expect any kind of peace. What's complicated this whole thing is this new way of seeing that's opened up to me. Not only do I have the fear that I'll never be “normal” again, but also a fear that this recent revelation will be torn from me. In short, I feel like I have more to lose now than I did before, that returning to “normal” would be just agonizing as not recovering at all. Still, I have the sense that the transformation I experienced is real and is a lasting one, and that it's just been obscured by the effects of the withdrawal. Plus “it” hasn't disappeared entirely, and at least once a day I'll feel that sense of peace, well-being and heightened interest in things seep through. Still, it's strange how little comfort those moments provide when the hell starts. I apologized if this was overly long or indulgent in any way. I have a few questions for you guys. Firstly, does any of this sound familiar? Am I within the range of what's considered “normal” for this kind of thing? (I think I am but it never hurts to be reassured) Should these new “manic” symptoms disappear eventually? It sounds like they're the sort of nervous system issues that Altostrata describes in his/her theory, though I don't remember all the details at the moment. My greatest fear is that I somehow won't be able to stabilize at this dose, and that I therefore will never reach a comfortable place from which I can withdraw again. Also, does anyone have any idea why my second withdrawal attempt was so different from the first? The addition of the prozac maybe? It goes without saying that my next withdrawal will be much slower. I don't have any more illusions as far as that goes. Also, I should mention that I'm no longer on the prozac. Thanks in advance for all comments! Wonderful place you've got here.
  18. Hei, maybe somebody can help. I was on Venflaxine 75 mg 2 years.Also on qvetiapine 2 years 6 mg, in May and June I took qvetiapine 0; but in August 6-10 mg,because I wasn't able to sleep again. In Sept I started to be awfully tired,nausea,stomach problems,anxious etc. In ER 2 weeks ago they increased Venflaxine up to 150 mg and qvetiapine 12 mg, awfully tired,anxious,nausea + heart beats 24/7 100 b/ min.etc. Week ago I went to qvetiapine 6 mg, tiredness gone,but I started to think, maybe all was because if qvetiapine 0 in summer, so quickly and maybe I should go back on Alventa ( effexor xr) 75 mg, because I was 2 years stable? What's your opinion?
  19. just signed up. information and advice is overwhelming!!!! I can only take in some information at t time. I can't believe this isn't more common knowledge. it is a horrible existence. but God is good and He heals. *1991-2003: 12 years on increasing amounts of Prozac, then *2003-2013: 10 years on increasing amounts of Effexor alchohol abuse issues throughout along with nicotine addiction *2013: pscychMD guided 5 month taper from 300MG to zero Effexor while quitting alcohol and nicotine at about the same time ( awful process , so painful and scary)Dr had me adding prozac to reduce the "discontinuation side effects" *then November 2013, not on anything... ------Bad bad bad ( probably and unknowingly, tapered way way way too fast and unknowingly into some Med PAWS and paws from alcohol ( 8 months without etoh at this time, 4 years now ) * Ran to psychMD and he put me on Latuda then Brintellix ( now called trintellix) *4 months later those about killed me and landed me 3 days in the hospital and then in intensive treatment for depression/anxiety for 5 months. During that time they tried different things too fast and furious with a lot of bad reactions to stuff. Chemical Assaults!!!! this included seroquel, Depakote Summer 2014 finishing up intensive treatment ("pills and skills" what a crock...): I ended up on a cocktail of xoloft, Wellbutrin and elavil. I didn't need more drugs. I was suffering from protracted w/d and chemical assault shock/ptsd. the medical community has no idea. they say "your mental illness is chronic and progressive so you have to manage it continually with drug additions/changes". you can't make this stuff up for a horror movie. *At this time (summer of 2014) I was diagnosed with MS (significant brain lesions and positive other tests for MS) and told I had to go off Humira. I had been on Humira or Enbrel for 13 years, as well as anti inflammatories for arthritis. I stopped these. One year later I started a 4 month taper of these psych drugs. This was way too fast and probably caused more damage/ptsd March 2017: Now I am 14 months total medicine free and dealing with recovery from the damage caused by the actions above. I don't know what is what in terms of cause and effect. I only know that it has been and continues to be awful. a hellish relentless anguish of a myriad of symptoms, an awful existence...after having lost my marriage, family, career possibilities, life...other than faith...I still have my faith in Jesus Christ and God's promises of who HE is, what He's like, and who I am. God Loves me and has taken and continues to take care of me in miraculous ways... He just hasn't healed me fully yet. Is it MS? Immune dysfunction? ANS dysfunction? Damage while taking medicines and self medicating with alcohol ? PAWS from alcohol? PAWS from psych drugs? Chicken, egg or road? It amazes me how after not being on meds for a while, we can suddenly get drastically worse with new or worsening symptoms. 25 years of pschych drug chemical assault and 2 way too abrupt tapers have left me in this state. not to mention MS. Such a mess. Hell on earth. Anguish. So many symptoms.
  20. Great Post, Thank You ! ["How I am coping with depression" by apathetic] Very informed, you know your stuff. I'm new to all of it, but an advid researcher, also very in tune with My body, So I knew all of this.... What I do not Know is, Should I be going from Prestiq 100mg to Effexor as of this past Wk. 7 days 50 mg Prestiq, w/ 37.5 mg Effex. Now, Prestiq every other day for 3 days, Then Stop .Then adding another 37.5 Effex, Not there yet, a few more days. I Am Petrified of Effexor Now !!! After Reading these boards. I had a Very Tragic Event, You wouldn't believe if I told you. Lawyers, traveling back & forth from West coast to East Coast, for the past 20 mons, hardly home, because of the Fight to save someone's life. So clearly Stress off the charts, PTSD Intensive out patient therapy.... My WD so far, Extreme OCD, Hyper as Hell, Can't eat, Haven't Slept in 22 mons, since.... Prestiq is a Nightmare HELL to get off of. I did it once, 4 yrs ago, then had to reinstate after a month. Plus I didn't it myself, Stupid, Cut them in half, Even More Stupid, which caused them to release at triple the forces, causing that extreme Anxiety, I never have suffered with Period, just as a WD symptoms. So Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm SCARED Now... I pray I haven't Already done damage by taking this Effexor in the last 8 days. That's how powerful a drug it apparently is. This I did not know...To Messed up to look into it myself, Not my usual MO, but I'm So out of it, just Not Myself !! I hear Myself Rambling on, instantly Grab My Mouth, to Shut it UP. I KNOW, I'm Acting Like a FREAK Thanx so much 4 your post
  21. Hello everyone, It feels good to discover this site - thank you all for being here. Right now I've run out of everything, my depression has swamped me, I'm exhausted. Doc queried increasing meds, I said no. I realise this would be a silly time to start coming off them, and I'm not thinking of doing that, but the need to stop meds is always in my head. I want to know everything I can about it, especially how to know when to start decreasing. My husband, who is beautifully supportive of me in every other way, is sure that the possible upheaval would be too much for our family. I worry about that too.
  22. I have been on Effexor xr 75mg for about 10 years. Prozac before that for a couple years. I was never depressed just had anxiety that I didn't know how to control and they just put me on pills. So I'm not really sure if the Effexor even works for my anxiety anymore because in the last 5 years I have had a few setbacks. The most recent one was after a bout of 4 months of working out and a death in the family. I have started experiencing ocd thoughts that I never had before and they in turn cause me anxiety. I also have been going through this feeling good one minute and then anxious the next. The thing that set my anxiety off a couple months ago this time was my husband and girls left to a birthday party and looking back I felt anxious when they left but hadn't had that anxious feeling in so long I didn't realize and then the next minute this thought popped in my head " I should just kill myself". Which then caused me to almost have a panic attack cause I am deathly afraid of dying and would never want to kill myself. Especially because my dad committed suicide about 15 years ago. ( I'm thinking that was one of the reasons I started having anxiety and panic attacks). I gave a tendency to read things and a couple months ago when researching coming off my meds I read this guys post that said he was only on like a month and all of a sudden out of nowhere had that same thought. So I was thinking maybe under stress my brain kinda threw that out there ?? Then I started obsessing about that thought and how I could ever think it. Then I really struggled for about two weeks and read a book on anxiety and how to cope which has helped a little. That thought and the anxiety put me out for like 2 weeks. Could have had a lot to do with the no sleep. Now weeks later I am still checking and making sure I don't feel that way. My mind just hasn't felt right. I also started having bouts of really bad insomnia all month instead of only around my monthly cycle. It's kinda weird cause when I'm really tired from not sleeping my brain slows down and I don't obsess as much. When I get good sleep it makes it easier for my brain to obsess and my mind feels like it's in hyper drive. I take my meds about 6 at night also. And about an hour or two after I take my pill I get kinda relaxed but that could also be just because I am so tired from being anxiuos. Then I start thinking maybe my body isn't metabolizing my pill correctly anymore. Ugh , I'm also in therapy but im not sure if he is helping. My psychiatrist said if I don't want to add anything or up my dose or take something different all I can do is therapy and stay on my Effexor for now and my problems might just be situational due to the death. But what if it's causing these weird problems with my brain? I'm so confused. I thought maybe I was turning bipolar. Or paranoid. I took one little tiny bead out yesterday. I know that's probably nothing but I need to start tapering to see if maybe it's the Effexor making me worse. I am also concerned about the bead sizing and I'm assuming the coating on the beads on certain ones are more due to the fact that they are time realeased. do I try to take out the same size each time?
  23. I had been on Effexor XR for fifteen years before making the decision to get off this terrible drug. My concern is that I waited too long. I was tired of the feelings if I missed a dose, the sexual side effects and the general lack of emotions. Had I know how difficult and painful this journey was going to be I would have stayed on the poison just to avoid all of the difficulty. In the beginning of coming off the drug I had all the symptoms others have described. The crying, the brain zaps, the panic attacks at night all were just the tip of the iceberg with coming off. I unfortunately came off too fast. I did the standard weaning described by my doctor from 150, 75 to 37.5. What I should have done was to open the capsules and count the beads. I also should have lengthened the time between each drop in dose. I would say after 3 months in I had it beat, I felt litter but that was short lived. I then began my journey of trying to find other alternatives. I tried Accupunture, Counseling, LDA therapy, NAC, Inositol, heavy doses of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, omega fish oil, restore, brain octane...... I then , after 9 months off Effexor, decided to try Prozac in order to cope with life. Everything has become insurmountable and my thoughts are all negative. I have never been so pessimist as I am right now. Now only to I judge myself against all others, I internally do the same with my children and their accomplishments. Nothing is ever good enough. I feel perhaps that Effexor has damaged me somehow. My once optimistic trial and error ways have turned to a pessimistic future. My next journey is to try CBD in the hopes that I can return to some normal aspect off life. I welcome all comments, ideas, stories or pep talks to get me through!
  24. 17 months off Effexor and life has never been harder. difficuly sleeping has only compounded the unbearable fear & worry about everything. If there is even a small "problem" I will immediately go to worse case scenario. That is in regards to ANY topic. Has anyone else experienced a heightened level of worry, fear & dread. At what point in withdrawal does it go away? I have tried so many alternative ways to handle these thoughts, but they are like a sledgehammer crushing anything that tries to break the pattern. As soon as I wake up every morning, the checklist of worry begins and the knot in my chest and stomach starts to form it's tight pressure mass. I know reinstatement is a "crap shoot" this far out, do I risk it? Will this go away? What can I try next? any guidance, support or answers welcome!
  25. Hello everyone! I am 26 years old. I tapered off 150 mg XR a little to quickly. I was on it for about two years. I was off completely for about a month. But the anxiety kept getting worse. The pressure in the top of my chest and bottom of throat. It's hard to describe. Also it was hard for me to speak. I was extremely irritable and edgy! I felt dead and wanted to die. The withdrawal just made me feel this way. I took 25 mg IR yesterday. This morning I took 25 mg. This afternoon i will take the second dose of 25. How long do you guise separate your doses of IR? I am also going to do the 10% deduction of the current amount. I am doing the math, this is going to take a very long time! But that's ok, my fault for taking it. When i get this low is it best to make it into liquid form? I watched the video and I understand. in 4 weeks my next dose will be 22.5 mg.
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