I have taken effexor xp since the summer of 2002 ... 150 mg daily. Instead of taking lower doses, I took the regular dose starting every other day, every three days and so on until I got to a dose every 5 days. Then I went cold turkey. Today is my 9th day without them. The brain zaps have at least been dormant although I know I still have some milestones ahead. My biggest issues at this time are dizziness, light headache/nausea combination, insomnia (btw, thanks for the information on benadryl, it helps with this symptom), slight difficulty with concentration at times. The good side is that my mind is somewhat clearer, I am much more productive taking care of the household, blood pressure is closer to normal, I have been cooking again and eating much better, bowel movements are more on schedule (as you get older this is a Hallelujah thing). I am still taking xanax and soma as needed for other issues. I will be scheduling an appointment in a couple of weeks to get another medication, just not effexor, although I may have to get back on it, just in a lower dose. I actually does help the issues I have, just have a hard time with the numerous side effects that keep me inactive. Good luck to you all. THERE IS HOPE, so keep your chins up and know that you are not struggling alone.View Thread
I am well into my cut back of Effexor. I have gone from 150 mg a day to 75 mg every other day over the last two and a half weeks. I had my first episode last night. I woke up to a crash in the middle of the night. One of my cats had jumped up on the stereo table, then on a shelf above it and knocked over a vase that I was rooting a vine in. Water everywhere on the shelf, stereo and it's table, baseboard heater and carpeting. I got so mad that I threw a can of pledge through a glass door of my deceased Moms vintage china cabinet and broke two old ceramic pieces. Then I had to clean up water, glass and ceramic bits and vacuum. The whole time my finger was bleeding and I was cussing and screaming. The good news ... it is actually good to feel emotion again of any type. I have been cooking daily again, clearer thought process, sleep less hours, awake longer hours. So far only light headache and nausea with minimal brain zapps. Got my fingers crossed. Keep the faith to you all.View Thread
I am 58 years old. First diagnosed with depression at age 19. I have been on disability since Febrruary 2002 with a dislocated vertabrae and two damaged discs, plus depression. The summer of 2002 I felt there was more wrong with my mental state and became a voluntere for depression study at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN. My goal was to get a proper diagnosis. My diagnosis is as follows ... manic/depression, panic disorder, OCD, ptsd, anxiety attacks and social anxiety disorder/agoraphobia. At that time I was placed in 150 mg a day of effexor xp, xanax as needed for manic episodes, panic attacks and times that I could not sleep due to what I describe as my brain "channel surfing". Soma is the medication I take for my back injury, again as needed. In the summer months I feel more active and sleep 8 - 14 hours a day. In the winter I pretty much hybernate and have slept up to 22 hours. The awake time I am still tired, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating etc. This is mainly due to the effexor. The xanax and soma, I take 5 or less times each month. Although effexor has overwhelming helped the mental issues, for which I am absolutely grateful, it has come at a price which I no longer wish to accept after almost 12 years.
I feel that I have become a shell, feeling more like I am no longer a participant in my life, but more of a voyuer in it. Pretty much unemotional, unproductive and due to my lack of energy and absence of a sense of urgency will go for weeks and not shower, shave, brush my teeth, wash my hair. This is not how I have lived in the past and actually find myself rather disgusting and am ashamed. I MISS ME! My plan is to get off the effexor and I am currently taking half doses every other day for the next two weeks ..... then it's cold turkey day. From what I have read, no matter what the plan for getting off the medication,, you still have to go through the hard place of withdrawal. Like Jim Morrison of The Doors .... I want to break on through to the other side. I plan on stocking the house with what I think I will need such as cigarettes, Hungry Man frozen dinners and enough xanax just in case I need to knock my freaking self out for a bit. Most likely a good productive day during this period will be having the conjured stability to make my morning coffee, feed and water the cats and clean the litter boxes. Other than that I am on Gods good graces. I will be staying in touch here letting you know my progress and GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!View Thread