I’m so sorry for what you are dealing with Karen. It shouldn’t be this difficult. I for one am spreading the word about pristiq. I definitely needed to go on antidepressants when I did, I had been suffering from postpartum depression for 9 months. I was first put on Effexor, which worked for the depression, but I didn’t feel great , so my physician switched me cold turkey to pristiq! Withdrawal from Effexor is similar but not nearly as intense. I recently switched doctors and they have been supportive of the decision but it shocks me how little doctors know or understand about the side effects. I’ve heard everything from, “there’s no such thing as withdrawal from antidepressants” to “you’ll feel like you have the flu”. Wrong, wrong, wrong! You feel like dying for days, but it does get better, you just need to push through those first few days. It’s been 21 days since my last dose and the brain zaps are still frequent but less intense. Within a week, I could start to tolerate normal life again.
I had been on Effexor when I was younger and it worked well. When I came off, my doctor at the time added prosaic, then tapered the Effexor. Once I was off the Effexor, I remained on prosaic for 2 weeks before coming off antidepressants completely. I mentioned this to a couple doctors while on my more recent course of antidepressants, but they looked at me like I had a third eye. This may be something you could try? If you start to taper again, when you’re ready to miss doses and you have crazy side effects, keep going, stay strong and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’ll keep getting worse each day for about three days, and then it will slowly start to improve. It doesn’t feel like it will ever end, but it will. Just keep telling yourself that. I can tell by your posts that you are a strong woman and I know you can do this!