Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine)

Posted by richyrich @richyrich, Nov 2, 2016

I have been taking Effexor/Venlafaxine for years and tried to get off it a few times but each time I try to give up the chemical withdrawal symptoms are a horror story and I give up giving up. Anyone got any tips or tried and tested strategies? Thank you

Liked by Bek, LynneB, kelly76, echams1 ... see all

@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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Thank you for your reply…..appreciate it so much….

REPLY
@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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I had no idea I would receive such kind and caring words from all of you. I can’t thank you enough….hugs.

REPLY
@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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Thank you….

REPLY
@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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Thank you Teresa….the problem in my area is finding a psychiatrist. Most are months out for appointments an it takes a few “tries” to find one who truly understands. The last one I went to had a “check off” list of life stressors….I had 11 out of the 12 points on the list. She said, “My you HAVE had a lot of loss in your life.” I need to find a place to start dealing with my junk, one thing at a time and move on to the next. That’s been my problem. So many losses on top of each other before I could deal with the first thing…..All I know is that I’m living a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone…

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@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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Thank you so much. That’s kind of what I’m thinking…..the .25 just isn’t getting it. I either need a higher dosage or the ability to take the .25 more than twice a day. I feel asleep on the couch this afternoon after doing some relaxation exercises (audio) and the anxiety woke me up out of a dead sleep. I didn’t even have my eyes open and my heart was racing. This is hell…..that’s all I know….

REPLY
@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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Thank you. I will definitely look into it.

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@lisalucier

@sadiesmom — Sounds like coming off the Effexor/venlafaxine has been truly horrible. I also can’t imagine how painful it would be to have a long marriage end in divorce and to lose a precious child.

Sounds like you really need a doctor’s help at this point. As your psychiatrist did not yet respond how you had hoped to get you some relief, would you consider calling back again? That doctor’s office should have an emergency number if waiting till tomorrow seems too tough. Do you have a general practitioner you can call?

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I’m kind of stable right now…..I’m calling my psych in the a.m. to see if I can get in to see her. One MAJOR problem is that she is 45 minutes away and when I get so anxious I’m really afraid to drive. She won’t call in any meds without an office visit. MY PCP, God love his heart, is probably while I’m still alive today. But he has admitted that he really doesn’t feel comfortable prescribing psychotropic drugs, which I appreciate. I think that’s what got me in the trouble I’m in….a doctor prescribed it so long ago and didn’t monitor the length of time I’d been on it and didn’t realize the physical ailments that it caused. One thing I’m thankful for, she closed her practice and enlisted in the Army to help our struggling troops and Veterans with PTSD. That was one thing we had in common. Her husband served so she really related with me about the loss of my son. I read several books that she recommended that helped me understand why he did what he did….only it was too late for my son. I have tried to advocate as much as I can for our struggling Veterans and their families. We are losing 22 Veterans to suicide every single day….and 90% of the time they are prescribed a cocktail of antidepressants that eventually cause their suicide. These drugs are nothing to be taken lightly. They ALL have a warning on them “May cause suicidal ideation” yet they prescribe them not one, but MANY at the same time. Big pharma is the monster in this world. Think long and hard before you ingest anything….I know I sure will.

REPLY
@lisalucier

@sadiesmom — Sounds like coming off the Effexor/venlafaxine has been truly horrible. I also can’t imagine how painful it would be to have a long marriage end in divorce and to lose a precious child.

Sounds like you really need a doctor’s help at this point. As your psychiatrist did not yet respond how you had hoped to get you some relief, would you consider calling back again? That doctor’s office should have an emergency number if waiting till tomorrow seems too tough. Do you have a general practitioner you can call?

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@sadiesmom — glad to hear you are feeling stable right now and that you are calling your psychiatrist in the morning. That does complicate matters when it’s hard to drive to see her. Hoping that the anxiety subsides enough overnight that you can get there safely and that she can get you in.

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@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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Thanks Colle3n, yes that is what I meant.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

REPLY

My sons pharmacist explained to him that drugs like this replace the chemicals that your brain would normally produce. When you stop the medication it takes time for your brain to start producing its own chemicals again. And this various a great deal between people.

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@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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@sadiesmom

Have you thought about joining a support group? Grief support groups are often available through churches and/or funeral homes. Also, if you have a NAMI chapter in your area, they have great support groups for folks who deal with anxiety and depression. This is a good way to, as you say, “start dealing with my junk.” Many of these support groups have members who see mental health professionals and it is a good way to network. I agree with you that grief does get complicated when losses pile up on each other.

If you have a moment to follow up on these ideas, will you let us know what you find?

Teresa

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Thank you Wendy. That’s what I’m finding out. I think psychiatrists “assume” everyone is the same in detoxing and start everyone off with the same plan. However, having been on Effexor for so long, my brain is taking its own route on detoxing……I’m trying to stay in this world and it’s a hard job, let me tell you….hugs.

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@sadiesmom

Thank you Wendy. That’s what I’m finding out. I think psychiatrists “assume” everyone is the same in detoxing and start everyone off with the same plan. However, having been on Effexor for so long, my brain is taking its own route on detoxing……I’m trying to stay in this world and it’s a hard job, let me tell you….hugs.

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Sharing our experiences helps doesn’t it? My sons pharmacists is wonderful, I think he’s more supportive, encouraging and keen to help than his doctors! While he is always careful to remind him he is not a doctor he normalises the experience for my son. He also told him that if life is too hard for him without medication that’s perfectly normal too. My husband is diabetic and of course itheres never a thought to discontinue his vital medication. And for sone of us we will always need medication to help us cope with our mental health issues which can have a physical cause like chemical imbalance,
And add your very sad experiences of course you need and deserve support in so many ways. Cyber love from Australia to you.

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@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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@sadiesmom @hopeful33250 I have not had need for this so far but I know people who have gone to support groups, particularly for grief, and it’s been very helpful. We have a relative who could really benefit from it but she won’t go. Frankly we are all worried about her because it’s been two years and she cannot move on at all.
JK

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@sadiesmom

I am really struggling with the withdrawal off of Effexor. I had taken it for about 10 years. First subscribed after divorce of 30 year marriage and then five years later lost my son to PTSD related suicide from serving 3 tours to Iraq. The Effexor was making me physically ill. My BP was off the charts and no bp meds were helping. I was a walking sweat box. By the time I had showered, done my hair and got dressed, I was ready for another shower. At night I had to get up and change my pjs, sheets, blankets or put a dry beach towel down to get back to sleep. At my last PCP I told him I thought I had a kidney infection so he did a urine culture. He found a “considerable amount” of blood in my urine. I was retested the following three months and referred to a urologist. I began reading symptoms of long term use of Effexor and decided it was causing severe physical complications. I found a reputable psychiatrist (good luck with that!) and told her about my physical problems and my concern about the Effexor. She acted like it was a piece of cake to get off of it. She weaned me off of the Effexor (took about 4 weeks) while she started me on Prozac. The Prozac was increased as the Effexor was decreased. I immediately noticed that I didn’t have that “foggy brain” that I had had for so many years and felt like my concentration definitely improved. Then BAM! After being off of the Effexor for about two months, my anxiety is off the charts. Before I even open my eyes in the morning, the anxiety is unbearable. I have a little wiener dog that I have to get up and feed and let out. I literally feel like getting in my vehicle and running it into the river. It’s total hell. I eat a bit of breakfast and try to get on with my day but within an hour I am literally incapable of taking care of myself or my dog. I become paralyzed with the anxiety. Absolutely paralyzed. I cannot function. I have asked my psych to up the Xanax to 3 or 4 .25 tabs a day but she’s refusing telling me I just have to tough it out. By noon or 1:00 I have already taken the 2 tabs allowed for the day and then the anxiety REALLY goes through the roof. I try to stay busy, (I’m retired) but I literally cannot function. If I can heat up a can of soup to eat for the day or load the dishwasher, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It is absolutely HORRIBLE. My 60th bday was last week and I was in such horrible shape I couldn’t leave the house to go to dinner with my daughter and her family. Now I am having the “flu like” symptoms of withdrawal; achy joints, nausea and diarhea (sp??) and extreme weakness. I can barely stand long enough to get from the couch or bed to the bathroom. And taking a shower doesn’t happen but maybe once a week. I’m wondering if I’m going to survive this. It is such a double edged sword. I know the Efffexor was killing me, literally, with my kidney and bp problems but I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to make it through this. All I think about is killing myself because I don’t see a way out of this….I know that grief plays a huge part of my anxiety and depression and the holidays are definitely a trigger, but I have never felt this badly in the six years since my son is gone….I feel like a train wreck…..

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I have been to MANY grief support groups in the past five years. There is an organization called TAPS for military survivors, no matter how the loss. It helped for a while but to tell you the truth, the number of military suicides is growing so quickly, I couldn’t take it. Every single day there would be new families grieving the senseless death of their warrior. I have been in a parent support group, suicide support group, women’s support group and they help for a while. A couple of them were really great but ended up kind of fizzling out….I guess folks got what they needed and moved on. My problem is I’m single…divorced, retired, live alone, don’t have any family support and a daughter that lives an hour away. My friends tried to support me in the beginning but unless you’ve lost a child by suicide, you have no idea. Nothing can comfort you…..nothing. I turned to a psychiatrist and therapist thinking I was doing the right thing but in hind sight I wish I would have NEVER taken an antidepressant. This is a living hell. I would truly encourage your friend to get into some sort of support group because they really are beneficial….I met some wonderful folks but they were scattered all over the US and I didn’t have anyone locally that I could depend on. I wish her the best….she can always connect with me….

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