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tempray

tempray: Hello and thank you

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tempray

This is very difficult for me to be here. I am a married father of three amazing teenagers. I have been married to the love of my life for 23 years and been with her for 25. since this is an introduction about me and not my issue i'll save that for later. what I will say is my wife had been sexually molested when she was a teenager and it wasn't until we were married did we begin to deal with it. (therapy and ultimately medication). I made the mistake that I think a lot of spouses make, after years of depressions ups and downs. I think I was on auto pilot...do what worked before instead of dealing with each bout as its on thing. for better or worse i was wrapped up in my own stuff, stupid stuff...work, provide etc. this time she went to the doctor and got put on venlafaxine and as so many know on this site it fundamentally change the woman I love. so I am here to tell my story and do something I never have, let others into my marriage. I need the help, we need the help and I don't know much but I know I would crawl through fire and glass to help my wife, strengthen our marriage and be a happy family.

 

Thanks for listening 

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ChessieCat

Hi tempray and welcome to SA,

 

What in particular do you need help with?

 

Has your wife decided that she wants to get off her drug/s?  If yes, please ask her to join as a member and create her own Introduction topic.  It is difficult to work through an intermediary.

 

If you are looking for support for yourself there are other members here in similar situations.  This is the area of the site where partners of people taking psychiatric drugs support and encourage each other:  Relationships and social life

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tempray

Thank you for the response. What I'm looking for Support and Encouragement. I am out of my depth on this current crisis. The crib notes is she was depressed, started an emotional relationship with an ex, started venlafaxine, asked for a divorce. All  things out of character for her.

 

She currently is going to talk to her doctor about reducing her venlafaxine. She is very upset, says shes doing it for me to prove it has nothing to do with why she is acting the ways she. I have suggested she join this site too but at this point when someone doesn't think there is a problem.

 

I came on here so I can speak my truth, be honest own my part and see if thru the power of the "hive mind" find some strategies that may help her and I. (by the way I tried the link you provide and it says Im not a member yet).  

 

I appreciate the info I have read thru so far. 

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ChessieCat

I will move your topic to the Relationships section.  Your topic hadn't been approved until you posted a second time.

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tempray

Thank you

 

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ChessieCat

I will provide you with the general information that we give to new members because I know it can be difficult to find your way around the site to get the appropriate information.  However please note that we will not support your wife through you.  Your wife will have to join as a member and we can support her directly.

 

You might find some of the links on my own website helpful.  My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web.

 

These in particular are eye openers.  Gwen Olsen was a drug rep for 15 years:

 

Manipulating Doctors (10 minutes)

 

We are trained to misinform (6 minutes)

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

 

And What is Medication Spell Binding?

 

A couple of excellent books, Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin and Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold at that dose for about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This is because psychiatric drugs create a physiological dependence, not physical like caffeine or nicotine.

 

Patience is needed to get off these drugs.  We suggest throwing out the calendar and listening to your body and your symptoms.  If after 4 weeks you don't feel stable or life circumstances are a bit more stressful than usual (for example the Christmas period, winter time, or job change) it is better to stay at that dose for a bit longer until things settle down.

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

 

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

It is best to make only 1 change at a time.  It is also better not to start taking a complex vitamin because if you experience issues you will not know what exactly is causing it.  B vitamins can be stimulating especially B6.  hypersensitive-to-b-vitamin-or-b-vitamin-complex  If trying anything new, start with a small amount to see how you react and build up to the recommended amount.  The only supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  Try a small amount one at a time to see how you react.

 

Even with a careful and slow taper you will most likely experience times of discomfort.  It is best to learn and use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

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tempray

Thank you let me read all of this and then I will relay my story

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TeaBea

Hi Tempray.  I'm the spouse of an Effexor (venlafaxine) "user".  It almost destroyed my marriage and it was headed that direction when I figured out his medication was his / our issue (or rather, what was behind all the stuff he'd been feeling / doing).  Thankfully, I found this site during my research and learned how important it is to come off SLOWLY, much more slowly than doctors recommend (who then will also say, as my husband's did to him, "...but I don't think you'll ever get off").  I knew we couldn't take a chance with his mind--both for his own sake, his professional career's sake, AND our relationship.

 

He didn't think the meds could be the reason for his feelings (for me, or his "non-feelings" / apathy in general) WHILE he was ON them.  Thankfully for us, he agreed to get off the meds, and thankfully he put me in charge of his withdrawal (because he wouldn't do the research, he liked to think his doctor knew best, and he would've gotten impatient and just eventually stopped at some point, cold-turkey).  We started withdrawing him the fall of 2013.  I open capsules and remove the tiny beads (see discussions about this in other threads, it's where I learned it).  When we got down low enough, it's the number of capsules I leave in versus taking out (because the number would vary slightly from capsule to capsule).  He's now taking 4 teeny tiny little beads, and it's about time to remove yet another one (since he got to the 20 bead point, we've been only removing 1 bead at a time every 8-10 weeks).  So far so good, and I expect him to be off by Christmas, or thereabouts.  

 

When he'd gotten about halfway off his dose, he came to me with tears in his eyes, and he apologized for all the stuff he'd done that'd hurt me.  He said "that's not me, it's not who I am" (his inappropriate behavior, emotional "affairs"....attachments to other than me).  He said he could feel the veil, a blanket of fog, lift from his mind.  He had real feelings again.....

 

Anyway, I just wanted to share a bit of my journey as the spouse.  IF your spouse is willing to trust her withdrawal to you (better someone who cares like a spouse than a doctor!!!), you can help her more than anything / anyone.  Just don't rush anything.  You'll have to take your cues from her when it's time for another drop in dose.  We had some dicey times, especially when alcohol was involved.  I'd never been so worried or scared for someone in my entire life, but we got past that point.  There were a few times when we had to hold him at a certain dose (I think the longest hold was 7 months).  

 

Good luck to you both!

TB

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tempray

TeaBea,

 

this is is making me cry. That is the one thing about this “journey” I have become very in touch with my feelings.

 

currently she says she’s gonna talk to her Dr about stepping down. I asked her to chat about alternatives...it’s tough right now because I’m talking to a different person. That person who always trusted me to be her compass isn’t there.

 

we had a 2 year struggle with my son having a drug addition. Until this, it really was the toughest thing we had dealt with. 

 

I am am going to try to only own my own “stuff” in this recovery. So to that end I was on auto pilot. What suppose to happen is these things should make you better as a couple but I was cruising, going from one “guess” if this was the right thing to guess. (As a side he is 45 days out of a inpatient treatment facility and while he still has a long way to go, I am hopeful and proud of his effort.)

 

so the addiction brought on her depression which lead to this drug. Pretty early on I said something didn’t seem right with the new drug (example - even today 3 months later she wakes up at 2 am goes downstairs for an hour then comes back to bed).

 

when I started looking at venlafaxine and marriage, I was shocked. I could have written most of the posts, same wording etc.

 

i sent a very good friend of mine 30 or so websites and asked him to tell me if I was crazy and need to accept my marriage was over or tell I was on to something. He called and said I might be on to something.

 

its why I came in here, I need help, I need hope.

 

her talking to her dr seems like a first step. I’ve read almost everything that’s been recommended, trying to digest it all. Frankly what pisses me off so much is with just a little warning upfront by a dr we would have been on the look out. She’s checked off almost every side affect. Had he said this might happen to I think she would be more reasonable about the situation. I don’t know, I love her, I’ll do whatever it takes. I don’t let my mind go to “what if you can’t do enough”. I’m putting my focus on what I can do and what I can do for us.

 

as always thanks for listening 

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tempray

So quick update, no matter my pleading my wife thinks she can just stop take no the drug and it will have no effect on her.

 

of course I begged her not to do that, to let’s have a plan. I showed her the tapering and all but she is hell bent on showing me I am wrong and quickly. So yesterday she halved her 75m pill. 

 

Ancidotaly it it looks like she’s going to sleep thru the night. (Almost immediately after starting the meds, 3 months ago, she wakes up at 2ish am everyday).

 

Im worried my whole thesis to her for a month has been, yes we have problems, ones that are fixable but your medication is hampering any chance of it. 

 

Its a a big step for her to at least look at the meds. I get it, “hey take this happy pill or deal with your hurt and fear”, i’d choose happy too.

 

we have a meeting in 10 days with her physiatrist. It’s a new person so I’m not sure what to expect.

 

thanks for listening 

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TeaBea

Hi.  I don't really have anything to add except to see if you can get the psychiatrist to suggest to her that BIG decisions (like divorce) should be avoided during withdrawal and for a period afterwards because of how all-over-the-place the mind can be during withdrawal.  She'll be more apt to listen to the doctor than you.  AND, the psych is usually more interested in managing medication than "therapy", so perhaps have a therapist lined up to both help during withdrawal problems AND especially with the original depression issue.    Good luck to you!

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tempray

So my wife halved her 75mg...she plans to 1/2 then again on Wednesday (that will have been a week at 30 whatever). 

 

She  has a headache everyday but she has slept thru the night every night. (She was waking up at 2ish am every night).

 

my question is once she’s “off” the drugs what’s next? How long until her emotions might surface? I will say since she went down 1/2 things like movies can make her emotional now...

 

anyway guidance would be appreciated.

thanks for listening.

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ChessieCat
3 hours ago, tempray said:

I will say since she went down 1/2 things like movies can make her emotional now...

 

That's a withdrawal symptom.  She is reducing too quickly.

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tempray

I’m going to suggest cutting her dose 25% instead of 50%, she’s having a difficult time “listening” to me but I want to try

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tempray

I suggest going up a little, she told me no she, “just wants to get it over with”

 

im angry, I haven’t said anything but it hurts, it’s difficult not to take it personally 

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tempray

Quick update, she slept thru the night, that’s 4 nights in a row! That’s good...this morning is the first morning without a headache - we’ll see how the day goes, she has to work. She is still distant but not as distant, not as cold but not the loving woman I know. It’s difficult, I’m trying to pay attention with out hovering, without being needy...

 

anyway thanks for listening

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TeaBea

I don't have any experience with someone coming off so quickly, but I'd think her emotions might be all over the place from time-to-time, so be prepared for a wild ride.  You're going to have to be the calm, non-reactive one.  My thoughts are that if she's feeling like she has one foot out the door in the relationship, do NOT beg or show your distress.  I think when they can't handle their emotions, they certainly can't handle those of others and it makes them want to run away.  You'll have to have more patience than you ever thought possible...and then some.  At this point, it is not about you no matter what she's saying or doing.  It's all about her messed up brain.  If she has a moment of affection, then simply accept it for that moment and don't push for more.  Don't gush over her, etc., just keep an even keel until HER emotions settle down the road.  And definitely don't try to work on relationship issues during this time, etc.  If there was anything harder than the last of my husband's Effexor years (how he was acting, etc., before I figured out the connection) it was the withdrawal period of waxing and waning feelings.  Good luck to you both.

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tempray

Ok its been a roller coaster of a few days.Im going to try and recount as much as I can...My daughter was home from school for spring break. we made a plan, my wife, daughter and daughters friend and I would drive 7 hours to visit family and see "the babies", lots of babies have been had and we need to go and see them. We left about 3 in the a.m. ( because my wife had just started 1/2 to 37.5mg of venlafaxine and waking up then for 3 months). Are 2 boys weren't on spring break so they stayed home and we had a friend stay and make sure they where fed and watered and made it to school. we get a call half way into our trip that my youngest son won't go to school and is planning to have a party. we turned around and went home to tend to him. he is 50ish days sober out of a drug treatment program so his sobriety is important to us.

 

my daughter and her friends decide to go see babies for us and send lots of pics!! which is great. fast forward to sunday and m,y wife is working, so far its been a good day, she's been checking in during the day, we are laughing, its a lighter mood, we need it. My daughter gets home and says she has something to tell me. ok, my sister in law gave her a "gift" from the guy my wife is having an emotinal affair with my wife asked my daughter to bring it home, dont tell me. Turns out the gift is a cell phone so the 2 can chat. I in a fit of anger, without my kids around, smash the phone with a hammer and send a picture to my wife.

 

without getting into everything that was said I did point out the woman I have been married to for all this years wasn't a lier, a cheater, wasn't callous and cold. of course she cant see that. she stayed in a hotel that night and left me to tell our kids what was going on. I did my best to let the kids know I thought it was the medication, that there mom wasnt acting like hersself and that if they had any questions that no matter how painful I would answer them.

 

So now that its out in the open the vibe at home is weird to say the least. When . I can gather myself and not take all of this so personally I write more.

 

Thanks for listening

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tempray

the hits keep on coming today my wife informed me she is just going to quite cold turkey. she didnt take her 37.5 dose today and laid in bed all day. Im trying not to worry yet.

 

thanks for listening

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tempray

So day 2 no meds, shooting headaches, she’s distant...I’ll ask a question and she’ll tune me out. 

 

I hate every moment of this

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DrugfreeProf

I'm so sorry you are suffering like this, Tempray.  It is dreadful and tremendously unfair. I really think these ADs are evil.   Just look at their effects on your relationship!

I understand a little bit of what you are going through. My ex went on prozac and ritalin and turned into a monster.  He was already behaving badly in the marriage but living with him while he was on the drugs was like living with a madman.  He became cold, cutting, and at times violent. These drugs change some people's personalities and therefore destroy their marriages. BUT the difference is your wife is willing to go off her meds, so she could very well end up coming back to being herself and loving you again. Don't lose hope!

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tempray

Thank you DrugFreeProf.

Quick update, today makes 1 week my wife hasn't taken any meds. besides the first 2 days she was in bed most of the day, brain zaps...shes soften just ever so slightly. 

I have really been walking on egg shells, I haven't brought up the relationship AT ALL. I've continued to work on me and frankly have done more housework than I care to admit! (actual have found some zen in it :) )

 

today we meet with my wifes, I guess you'd call her a social worker...This woman is suppose to helm all of her treatments between Physiatrist, GP and Gynecologist. My wife asked me to go so we can get recommendations on counselors who will take my insurance. (even tho my wife told our youngest she's only going to counseling to get the counselor to convince me divorce is the only way.)

 

As I told my wife I am Hopeful and I get that not from her but from my own inner strength, which wains depending on the time of day. I have been reading The Divorce Remedy by Michele Weiner Davis and its been helpful. Some of it seems counter intuitive but isnt this whole journey? 

 

Im not sure what to say to my wifes Social Worker today, I guess just the facts without litigating the whole mess. I'll update you soon.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

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tempray

So met with her case worker and it was neither good or bad, she reiterated (my wife did) that it’s over and blah blah blah.

 

she has a appointment with her physic next week for a new medication...

 

flaying around right now.

 

thanks for listening 

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tempray

Now that  I have a little perspective, yesterday's meeting wasn't great but our chat in bed was meaningful. I was teasing her alittle because during the meeting, even while we were laying out painful details of our last 3 months or so, we were able to joke alittle. I dont know what the woman thought of it but...

 

My wife has been having some painful/nightmarish dreams about her abuser. Its a subject she and I havent spoke about in years. While horrible it was a beautiful connection. I told her that the thing Im working on the hardest is trying to let go of outcomes (will we wont we stay together) and that by doing this it has helped me to listen better, doesnt mean I agree but I hear.

 

She still hasnt given up her emotional affair...I havent asked or pushed. Shes off the medication currently, depression is rearing its ugly head and frankly thats more important first. Baby steps.

 

thanks for listening

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DrugfreeProf

What's happened since you last posted, Tempray?  Are things moving in an ok direction for you and your wife?

 

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tempray

I have been out of the loop, the emotions have been so up and down that its been hard to update, but here goes:

 

After being off the meds for about 14 days the depression came back with a vengeance and hit her hard...the only upside is we were able to to connect emotionally, even if only for a moment. After two weeks she asked me to go and meet with her Dr. Physiatrist had her come in for about 20 minutes and I know during that meeting, even though she didnt tell me, she asked to go back on the drug. they called me in at the end and the Dr asked her if he could tell me what is going on, to which she said, " you can tell him everything." The Dr asked me about my concerns and I explained the insomnia, nightsweats, talking in her sleep, the emotional cut off etc, of which he acknowledged can happen. then he asked about how and when she stopped taking the drug, I told him how she got upset with me and quite cold turkey, hw she layed in bed for 2 days with severe electrical headaches, how I told her it was unsafe, to his credit he backed me up on that BUT in the end he put her back on 37.5mg of Venlafaxine...I wasnt crazy about it  but at this point...take what you can get.

 

Things are distant but sometimes incredibly normal. we met for our first visit with a marriage counselor who my wife said after the first meeting, "I really like her". So that is positive. the first meeting was very light, "how did you meet?", "When did you know you where in love?" ect. she focus alot on my wife because she had talked to me on phone. baby steps, count the baby steps...

 

Today I meet with the marriage counselor for a single session, then my wife sees her tomorrow...then I guess we reconvene together. My wife also has her first meeting with a new individual therapist. Im cautiously optimistic, this will be her first male counselor ever, not sure if he'll stick...

 

so thats the catch up, Ill checkin shortly

 

thanks for listening

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