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Posts (21)

Aug 17, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@maryathome, I know /understand the feelings you are describing all too well. For me, part of the trick is figuring out if this is depression or what? And i dont really know the total answer. I was on the same drug combo of effexor and wellbutrin for about ten years. The last six months i had been put on Pristiq, a longer metabolizing version of effexor. But it suddenly stopped working and I was in a terrible state. Back then, I was originally diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and after menopause, major depressive disorder. I was on cymbalta, then vibryd, and then cymbalta again. So after 5 years of that, I had a full blown manic episode in 2015, at the age of 61! In retrospect, my Dr. thought I was actually likely to have really been bipolar type 2, and some changes in meds possibly would have prevented the mania. Tho it could have also been triggered in part due to steroid injections for my RA. I know this is all about me, but I am just trying to share that some of us face a lifetime of chronic mental health challenges and others have a more acute situation. So thats where the rubber meets the road: is it chronic? Is it the meds need adjustment or something else? 3 years later, I am still struggling to understand my own lack of motivation. Between that, RA, and aging issues, it's so complicated. Like you, Mary, i can also force myself going to/participating in a few activities but left alone, I have a terrible time getting myself to do Anything. Not cleaning or reading or crocheting or cooking or laundry. The t.v. is my constant companion! Not good. I wish you all the best on your journey!
Cathy

Jul 28, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi JK,
I think for some of us, our mental illness could be compared to diabetes, which requires both lifetime medication and changes in our daily living to help improve our health. Certainly, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder are examples of these. For others, it's more like mono, requiring months of care rather than a lifetime situation. In both cases, it can be difficult to find the right meds. And if you are unlucky enough to be put on Effexor or a drug with similar side effects, it exacerbates the problem and confuses the effort to see what is what. Personally i needed medication long before i started it 16 years ago and I am 64 now. I have been on different meds to find the right combo (including effexor!) And then had a manic episode in 2015 — my first and hopefully only — which was triggered by steroids for my rheumatoid arthritis, stress, and who knows what else. I don't know the criteria that says how to tell the difference between short term and long term illness except trial and error. My sister and daughter are also on antidepressants and both tried being off them for 9 months to a year. But they found they needed them and are back on.
Mental illness is complicated and hindered by stigma, misinformation , and limited available research. The struggle continues….
Cathy

Jul 13, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi Jake,
Please don't feel bad or apologize. There is so much confusing info regarding everything related to our medical needs. It is hard to keep track.
Have a great day and thanks for your support! Cathy

Jul 12, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi, just want to clarify that according to what I looked up, Effexor is not a benzodiazepine. It's a SNRI antidepressant (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.) At higher doses, it includes dopamine. But no matter what, it obviously is very difficult to withdraw from it. My heart goes out to all of you!

Also, it's been interesting to hear about taking out the beads from the capsule. I would suppose that each bead has a certain amount of medication in it but maybe they just are the same. We can't deny that this method has worked well for some people.
Cathy

Jun 27, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi, there are a lot of people who have posted here on how they weaned. Since it is so difficult, one rec@ommendation by my psychiatrist is to use Prozac to hold you over til you have weaned. Then wean off Prozac, which is much easier to do.

Others here have recommended opening capsuke and removing a few balls a day or a week to taper very slowly. Also CBD oil to help relieve symptoms. Everyone says take it slow! Also, talk to your Dr and pharmacist. Best of luck! A lot of people here to support you!

Jun 14, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi, I was on cymbalta two different times and it generally helped me a lot. I transitioned to another med the first time due to insurance issues for a while and then went back on it. I don't remember any problems taperi g off of it to another drug.

I have to say though, that the second time i was on it, I did develop a manic episode that built after a few months of hypomania after I had been on it for about 6 months. I also received steroid shots during this time for Rheumatoid arthritis and was under extreme stress at work and home. Most notably, i did not talk to my psychiatrist about being hypomanic until it was too late apparently. For months i didn't need to sleep much and was highly productive. But then it tipped to mania and I couldn't sleep. That was my first manic episode, and I was 61! It took a few months to "come down." And then I really crashed into my worst depression ever.

I don't know how much each element contributed to the manic episode: cymbalta (it's a risk factor), steroids (another risk factor), and the extreme stress. My pdoc said she believes I was misdiagnosed with Major Depression when I actually had bipolar type 2. There is a lot in the lit about antidepressants triggering type 1 mania in type 2 patients.

I was put on many different meds, allergic to some(lamitrogene, lithium, depakoate), not responsive to others, and not covered when I lost my job and went on Medicaid. I have finally settled on Prozac (80) and seroquel (200 mg) for a couple of years and seem ok. I think i could be better. I did the dna test for medications this week and look forward to learning if something will work better. I don't recall having any physical withdrawal problems with going on and off all those meds. I DID have a bad reaction to seroquel at the 800 mg they prescribed. Horrible anxiety, nightmares, panic attacks. I reduced the dose immediately with my doc's ok.

So all of this is just a cautionary tale about the risks of any meds. And to be proactive with self observation, ensuring adequate sleep and relief if other symptoms arise. I know I waited too long to get help.

Be brave. Some of us NEED treatment all our life and we have to find out what works best. Only trial and error. Best wishes on your journey!
Cathy

Jun 9, 2018 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi everyone! My psychiatrist says he weans people from Effexor by using Prozac as a transition drug during the tapering. Once off Effexor, the Prozac is easy to get off of as it stays in your system longer. I wonder if any of your docs suggested That? Along with CBD oil, it sounds promising. Hang in there everyone!