About

Member has chosen to not make this information public.

Posts (258)

15 hours ago · So tired of being stuck... in Depression & Anxiety

I was on a low dose of Effexor for almost 20 years to minimize hot flashes. Even though I was not on this medication for mental health reasons, I developed anxiety, akathisia, circular thoughts, fear, irritability and insomnia when I came off the drug and have been working to get past those for almost two years.

The other commenters here have made some good suggestions re upping your dosage, other meds, other treatments, etc. I'm getting the impression that you think you're just spinning your wheels and taking up space, but you said you're going to look into those suggestions and you've tried some already–I applaud you; you ARE trying to help yourself AND not just sitting on a log.

My suggestions are really just baby steps–
I find it very helpful to get natural light into my eyes–not sunbathing, but getting out and seeing daylight. I don't necessarily take a walk, but I, at least, get out on the front patio for 5–10 minutes, or leave the office at lunchtime.

Do you garden at all? There is quite a benefit from getting your hands in dirt. Really! There's a microbiome in it that may double as a natural anti-depressant. Even if you aren't up to a lot of gardening (or that interested), a houseplant, or two can lift your spirits and give you something beautiful to look at and/or smell. I am having fun with amaryllis bulbs right now–I have a few in my kitchen and a couple at work.

I am mindful of what I watch (no frenetic, violent, or disturbing TV, or movies), read (cozy mysteries, or romances are okay), or listen to (no atonal, or dissonant music)–some things are just too agitating.

19 hours ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@cp6401
"Is my current suffering still due to my taper from 75 to 37.5 2–3 months ago?"
It could be. If you are tapering too fast, withdrawal symptoms are the big tip off. If they're intolerable, the recommendation is to go back to the level where you felt good (or where at least your withdrawal symptoms were tolerable), stabilize at that dose for weeks (or even months) before tapering again (but reduce by only 5-10%, or less). Rushing the process may mean you ultimately can't get off Effexor because the withdrawals are too awful.

It sounds as if you are finding the anxiety, OCD and circling/intrusive thoughts very distressing. Are you under a doctor's care? Is your doctor on board with your trying to go AD-free? You could ask your doctor about a "Prozac bridge." Adding fluoxetine (Prozac) "softens the blow" when withdrawing from short half-life drugs (like Effexor). The half-life of Effexor is 5 hours and 99% of it is out of your body in one day; Prozac's is 4–6 days and it takes 25 days for 99% of it to be out of your body. Essentially, the Prozac cushions the effect of no Effexor and lets you "ride out" the withdrawal process. You add 20mg of Prozac to any other antidepressant and then get off the original drug; then, you taper off the Prozac. Re the Prozac, one source said you may need to take a second 20mg dose of Prozac; another said you take 10–20mg Prozac (fluoxetine) for a short period (weeks, a month) until your WD symptoms resolve, then taper off the Prozac over 2–3 weeks.

You mentioned that you've been on ADs of some sort for 25 years, or more. Effexor gets stored in body tissues when you've been on it for a long time–that may lengthen the time you should taper.

Even if you get off ADs, you may need to medicate for your OCD.

Dec 31, 2019 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Effexor messes with your serotonin and norepinephrine levels (neurotransmitters in the brain). I have a temper, but I knew I was experiencing Effexor withdrawal symptoms when I would go from mildly annoyed/irritated to I-want-to-throttle-you/homicidal maniac in the blink of an eye. While reducing and after getting off Effexor, it takes your brain a while to figure out how to rebalance serotonin and norepinephrine.

P.S. You were out of town for a few days? Could have been a revenge poop and barf! But cats can be very finicky about litter and whether, or not the catbox is "clean" enough. Hairballs seem related to age–our cats seem to start having these after years four to six.

On the other hand, our pets are often very empathetic–your cat may be mirroring the distress/stress you're feeling right now as you're reducing Effexor.

Dec 31, 2019 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@shermananski
Having to clean up cat poop and barf upon arrival home last night would have upset most of us. @cp6401 used "stress fragile" in the post above yours–that's how so many of us are during this process of getting off/reducing Effexor and even, afterwards.

To go from 225 to 37.5 "over the past several months" is pretty fast. Many here have found that going sloooowww works best, especially as you get down to lower dosages. Dropping to just 37.5 already might be too soon. If your agitation persists and/or increases, consider reinstating to your previous dosage, stabilize there and wait weeks, or even months before reducing again (but reduce by only 5-10%, or less). Rushing the process may mean you ultimately can't get off Effexor because the withdrawals are too awful.

Eighteen months out, I am still mindful of what I watch (nothing frenetic, violent, or disturbing), read (cozy mysteries, or romances are okay), or listen to (no atonal, or dissonant music)–some things are just too agitating. However, life doesn't always cooperate; I have cats, too and that homecoming would have set me off as well. I find it helpful to distract myself when I become agitated–I take a walk, put on a comedy, or look at YouTube videos (I like the TooCute cat/dog shows and the English Heritage How to Victorian Cooking shows–Mrs. Crocombe is wonderful and the comments crack me up).

Dec 24, 2019 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@bdizjr
P.S. You mentioned being on Effexor for 20 years. I tapered off slowly from just 25mg (taken for hot flashes for almost 18 years). I didn't have any withdrawal effects until 6.5 weeks after my last dose–that's when all the stored Effexor finally got used up. So be aware that it gets stored in body tissues when you've been on it for a long time.

Dec 24, 2019 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

I would not take the 37.5mg every other day–Effexor has a very short half-life in the body; ping-ponging on/off from one day to the next is putting you into withdrawal over and over. Going slooowww is your friend! Reduce by only 5-10%, or even less with each taper and stay at each tapered level for some weeks/months before tapering again. There's no point rushing the process if you ultimately can't get off Effexor because the withdrawals are too awful.

Your doctor can prescribe a different formulation–changing from extended-release capsules to regular-release tablets (I was on 25mg regular-release tablets that could be cut), or specifying a certain brand of capsules (@farm_mom found Teva had the most consistent size and number of beads within a capsule–helpful to those counting and throwing out beads to taper–see @sandij, or @doorman on how to do this). Or your doctor can write a prescription for a compounding pharmacy to make tapered doses for you (the extra cost may well be worth it because you can glide down in incremental amounts, rather than make rather large jagged drops).

Ask your doctor about a "Prozac bridge"–"The only way doctors know to soften the blow when withdrawing from short half-life drugs [Effexor is such] is to add 20mg fluoxetine (Prozac). The half-life of Effexor is 5 hours and 99% of it is out of your body in one day. Prozac's half-life is 4 to 6 days and it takes 25 days for 99% of it to be out of your body. Essentially, the Prozac cushions the effect of no Effexor and lets you "ride out" the withdrawal process.–https://natashatracy.com/treatment-issues/withdrawal/antidepressants-effexorpristiq-venlafaxinedesvenlafaxine/. See also https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/107532-coming-off-of-effexor-with-prozac-bridge/.

Dec 24, 2019 · Do you have to monitor watching depressing movies? in Mental Health

Since quitting Effexor (long-term use for hot flashes), I have some days when anxiety and akathisia break through–weekends are really tough since I don't have the distraction of work. I am mindful of what I watch (nothing frenetic, violent, or disturbing), read (cozy mysteries, or romances), or listen to (no atonal, or dissonant music)–some things are just too agitating. The whole point of disturbing, violent and generally, just horrifying movies and TV shows is to get a reaction and be upsetting. Just say no and turn it off.

Nov 28, 2019 · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@secretwhitepop It's very interesting that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) can be used to treat PPPD–the very drugs we're trying to get off of, or have quit.