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Avatar universal

Effexor Withdrawal

Somebody please help me! I am 23 years old, and have been on antidepressants for about 5 years to treat chronic migraine headaches. I started on Paxil,then went to Lexapro b/c Paxil wasn't working, but I gained about 35 lbs. on it so my Doc put me on Effexor. Now my headaches are finally under control and I am tired of being on drugs! But I cannot go more than a few hours without it! I was taking 75 mg., and I took 37.5 mg for almost two weeks. During those two weeks, I was unmotivated, sad all the time, I could not sleep,dizzy,nauseous,and I was EXTREMELEY angry when I wasn't crying like a baby(sometimes I was both!). I tried to not take it at all today( my doctor suggested cutting the dose in half for 1 week and then going to every other day for 1 week) but I got the brain zaps and actually had thoughts about killing myself(although I love my life and am certainly NOT suicidal) and it had only been a few hours past when I was supposed to take it. After reading others' feelings on Effexor withdrawal, I am relieved to know that I am not alone-but I still gave in and took a pill. Of course now I feel a little better. I am starting a new job in a week, and getting married in October. I have also suffered from severe Psoriasis since I was 14(I think that is probably what caused me to need antidepressants in the first place). I am trying really hard to transform my life- I want to lose weight before my wedding( I need to lose a good 60 lbs that I have gained over the years that I have been on antidepressants) and I want to get my Psoriasis under control(which is stress related) so I can wear shorts this summer and look beautiful on my special day. I want to know others' opinions- if this awful feeling isn't going to get better then I don't think I can do it while starting a new job and trying to plan my wedding, lose weight and get my Psoriasis under control. Another problem is my fiancee- he is wonderful when it comes to my physical appearance-my flaky skin and fat rolls don't bother him- but he doesn't understand that I am not depressed, that my mood swings and recent headaches are beyond my control. He thinks I should just be able to ignore the brain zaps and crazy feelings-but I can't! I think it is probably in my best interest to go back on the Effexor and get back to my life right now- and I'll try again to get off it once my wedding is over. But I am afraid that I will never be able to get off this awful stuff and I won't be able to function and live my life without it! Someone please tell me how to get through this!
36 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
You should do two things.  You should be seeing a psychiatrist who can talk to you re your anxiety while at the same time weaning you off your medications.   You should deal with your emotional eating....go to www.masteringfood.com to learn more about that,and try the program.
Avatar universal
Something worth considering is gradially reducing the dose by cutting a very small amount off the tablet (using a pill cutter) until you adjust to it, then cutting slightly more off etc etc until there is none left.

NOTE: CHECK with your Doctor!! This can only be done with certain meds - it doesnt work for coated meds.
Avatar universal
I am just back on Effexor 37.5 working my way back up to 75mg. after having to be weaned off slowly for about 5 weeks. I had elective surgery, and the surgeon wanted me off of it completely for 2 weeks prior to surgery. As a result, I felt like hell. Right now I've been back on the low dose for almost 2 weeks, and I am depressed and filled with anxiety. I can't wait for this to kick back in. I know exactly how you feel. I would get right back on it, if it helped you. I have not gained any weight, but I do regularly excercise, which helps my depression etc. I also had an itching dry skin condtion for almost 5 years. i would scratch until I had bloody patches all over my neck and arms. I went to over 5 dermatoligists, and finally I got a prescribtion that worked. Maybe you can get this prescribed and try it. I had psorisis ( Spelling ?) on my scalp, and used Clobetasol 0.05% (clear oil type ). For my affected skin area I used Clobetasol 30gm ( cream in tube ).In areas where I had severe itching I used Triamcinolone CR. 0.1% These are all prescribtions. Trust me I tried all kinds and these finally worked for me. I hope you can have as good as luck with these as I did, I know it's depressing. I know I'll always be on an antidepressant, becasue I've had ups and downs with depression and anxiety all my life. Is it just the weight issue that bothers you ? Maybe you really need just an adjustment in the effexor up or down ? I've tried Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac, and I know effexor is tough to start, and tough to stop, but maybe you need it. My daughter had problems cutting back on zoloft when she was pregnant, but she was able to take a lower dose all the way to the last two weeks, and both her and baby are fine. I hope you feel better, if you need to talk, I'm here to listen. The doctor has me on xanax just until my effexor kicks in, and it does help alittle, but the whole depressive thing is VERY scary. When I feel this way, as I do now, I cry alot and I feel totally alone even when I'm around people and I don't like to be alone. So anyway I do know exactly what you're talking about . Hang in there, Pray for me and I'll pray for you too. You will feel better again. That's what we have to think. Positive !Take care and keep me posted. Bonnie
Avatar universal
Thank you for your advice.I started a new job last week, so I just went back to my regular dose b/c I didn't want to have to deal with the stresses of weaning myself off and the stresses of a new job. And I certainly didn't want my new co-workers to think I am crazy. This weekend I tried just shaving a little piece off(probably about 1/8 of the pill) and I haven't felt any effects yet- but its only been two days, so we'll see! As for my psoriasis, I have tried EVERYTHING and the only thing that even helps is light therapy- the topical meds will help and keep it from actually getting painful but none of them actually get rid of it- but most dermatologists don't want me doing any sort of light therapy at the degree that it's most effective b/c I am at a high risk for skin cancer. I am hoping that if I can get into good eating habits and exercising and just being healthier that everything else will just fall into place. My main reason to want to get off the Effexor is that I feel I am at a point in my life where I don't need it- and I want to have kids in the next couple of years so I think it will be easier to try and get off of it now instead of while I am pregnant. I don't like the fact that I am only 23 and I have been dependent on medications since I was 18 or 19. And I am hoping that without Effexor my head will feel clear again- I don't think I am the same person on it. So for now I am just going to take it one step at a time. Thank you again for your advice. It helps to know that there are people there who have been through the same problems. You are in my prayers and I will keep you posted. :)
Avatar universal
I was 16 when I was put on Effexor XR.  Depression started when I was 11, and I had been on other ANTIdepressents. I must say the worlds view on antidepressents is REALLY messed up.  I might jump all over the board when I say this but I STRONGLY advise anyone against taking Effexor as a drug to ease the pain of life.  Yes its a great drug when you first start and everything seems to fall into place.  However I am now 20 years old, and I have decided on my own to stop taking this horrible drug.  I had been on it for 4 years, and when I finally turned 20 I decided that I want to live my life for how it is.  Now there in lies the problem- life.  It can be a cruel unforgiving monster that feeds off of peoples hurt and pain.  Then again- it can be very rewarding.  For four years I didn't know what was going on with me.  Now that I look back and think about it yes life was tough and hard at times, but what was to say that I needed to take this drug to help me feel better about myself and life?????  The doctors who DIDNT know a DAMN thing about the drug willingly gave it out, not knowing what would happen to those who needed to take it for more than 2 years.  (2 years is usually the amount of time you should be on effexor, then slowly wean off) I was taking the full 225mg dosage everyday of my life. It wasn't until a good friend of mine basically said "Why do you take these?" and I finally had to ask myself why?  I came to find out the horrible withdrawals and side effects of this drug.  For days i'd lie in bed not wanting to talk or move- I didn't want to work, or eat. I wanted to do NOTHING. I had to do this for about a week or two before my side effects were less effecting. (Vertigo, Headaches, shakiness, irritability) Nothing feels worse than to cry for absolutely NO reason at all. I must say, I was on the highest dosage available for 4 strait years, and I quit cold turkey.  It was hard and at times I thought "If i only call the number to the pharmacy, I could get them refilled and pop a few to feel better".....sickening.  I've been off of my effexor for about 1 month and 2 weeks.  I didn't tell my family cause I didn't want them to worry.  Frankly, the only people who knew were my boyfriend of over 2 years, and two really good friends.  These three people have never taken medication for their emotions or feelings in their lives, and they seem to be strong enough to make it.  I can and will be there someday.  I don't need a drug to numb me and make me sick.  What I need is to feel my emotions and live every day.  I know that if I can make it this long without needing those pills, that I will ultimately win.  If anyone ever needs me to talk to or even just to say something my email is ***@****

*phew* thanks for listening-    Kat
Avatar universal
It has been nearly a week since going off Efexor 'cold turkey" and it has been a trying one.  Even now doing this posting I am very tired and it takes a lot to concentrate. I have also done a posting under Efexor if you wish to read it.  I have been on Efexor since Nov2002 on 150mg initially and then 75mg + 2 Ritalin in the morning for depression and adult ADHD.

When you tried to answer the question of why you are on them then maybe you had stabilied and were good on them.  A bit like me, ran out of my script and thought let's see how I go not being on them even though I felt ok on them.  My husband reckoned I lacked motivation on them. I certainly didn't expect withdrawals like this and I hope I am nearly over them.  

My husband is away at the moment and just as well as I am keeping strange hours, like 4.30am crashing until 8am crashing again at 2pm and looks like another late night and I don't know why as I am very tired.  I keep going from task to task and getting good ideas and not doing the things I should be doing.  I wouldn't like to be working at the moment.  My brain is certainly very active, I am very sensitive and trying to push issues I shouldn't without thinking about the consequences. Strange but trying not to analyse too much.  Each day will be better I reckon.

I don't know whether I have been any help or not but maybe someone can relate to all this too.  

Goodnight from a 54 year old lionness
Avatar universal
Well it is now over 9 days since going off the Efexor and what a shocker today has been.  Terrible stomach, back aches and agitated and walking around in circles not able to devote myself to the one task and there are many to do.

I have decided to persevere so let's hope I am nearly there to feeling normal again.

Wake up very very tired from a night of very little sleep, finding that I finally fall asleep very early in the morning and cannot wake up properly until nearly lunch time.

Can anyone else relate to this.

Weary, Lionness
Avatar universal
I can relate. I'm on my 8th day of no effexor xr. I had terrible withdrawls from it, but nothing I couldn't handle. The worse withdrawl was the tiredness and zaps and snaps in my head. I could even feel the zaps in my arms and hands.

I went off effexor because it raised my blood pressure and my cholresterol. I was on the medication for 1 year and 5 months and had always been a very healthy person, it wasn't until I took effexor and had a dr.s appointment a couple weeks ago that I found out all these results of my blood tests and my declining health. I'm too young to have bad health!!!

I have to admit that effexor was one of the best antidepressants I ever took, it worked and it worked well. But I had other things to consider in my life; and regaining my health is a big issue to me.

IF I ever need to take it again, I will, because I know it works. Coming off the effexor is difficult and there were times I thought about taking a pill because I knew as soon as I did the withdrawls would go away, but I perserved just like you and went through the pains and yucks of being without it in my system.

I feel healthier today. The sun is shining and my crying spells have ceased (I had crying spells too) I feel hopeful and I'm not depressed at all; lets hope it stays that way.

I hope you have a blessed day.
Avatar universal
I admire anyone who can stop taking Effexor, as I have still been unsuccesful. After attempting to wean myself off of it once and feeling the way I did I am seriously scared to try to do it again. I just started my new job around a month ago and I am afraid I won't be able to handle the stresses of working and trying to get off the Effexor. I am sorry there are so many of ya'll going through the same things I have been through, but I am glad to know that I am not the only one. Best of luck to everyone!:)
Avatar universal
I can tell you without a doubt that if I were in your shoes; starting a new job, worried about handling stress and employment situations, I would keep taking the effexor too.

Effexor has it's down side; mainly the withdrawls and the fact that I expeienced a decline in my *heart health*, but it worked so well for me; it took away my depression, I had absolutely no anxiety attacks, I felt more confident and I could concentrate (which is very important to me, because I am an avid reader, I read anything I can get my hands on and being depressed made it very difficult for me to read or retain any information from anything I read)

My hope is this; once I get my heart health back in order, if I ever get to the point I need to take something for depression again, that I would be able to take effexor xr, even if its just a low dose for maintence purposes. I don't oppose the drug, I know that many people have different reactions to most everything in life. Hopefully, if I ever need to take it again, I will, but for only 6 months at a time with 6 months off. I seem to have seasonal depression; I have had 3 major depressive episodes all taking place in the autumn over the past 12 years.

When I would get an episode, I would get treated with antidepressants for about a year and a half and then stop taking them with no reoccuring depression for at least 3-4 years. So, I'm hoping, since I am depression-free right now, that maybe I can go 3 or 4 years before I get hit by it again. But if I get hit by it again before that, I will not hesitate to get treated aggresively again with effexor, and once the initial depression is over, then if I needed to stay on meds, I would switch to something else for maintence of my depression.

I think you are doing the right thing, and I praise your efforts in taking extra special care of yourself and doing what you feel you need to do to stay mentally healthy while you go through adjustment in life.

I'm really happy for you too, for securing a job. Wow, I miss working, I've been off work since Nov. (laid off) and I Really look forward to getting back to work. With spring just around the corner and the sun shining longer each day, I'm feeling more confident that I can go back to work; eagerly.

take care, stay well, be good to yourself, And God Bless you.
Avatar universal
Well, another newbie jumping in.  I quit Effexor cold turkey 3 days ago.  My head feels like a big soggy sponge.  I dread going to sleep at night because of the bizarre dreams that I can't get out of.  Last night I woke up and didn't know where I was.  My whole body aches, my eyeballs make a little "whirring" sound when they move.  And my stomach is very uneasy.  Not to mention the dizziness, anxiety that comes and goes, and the emotional uprising.  But I think the emotions are because for the last 2 years on Effexor 150 mg, I didn't feel much of anything.  It was like there was a glass plate between me and the rest of the world.  I was "there" but not really.  I was, of course, "comfortable".

I got into this whole thing after having bypass surgery and losing my job and going through bigtime stress.  Now I have a good job and thank God work at home.  I have no idea how I could go to an office job feeling like this.

I have been reading Kevin Trudeau's book, about the drug industry and what "they don't want you to know" about these drugs, and it really pisses me off.  I used to never take any meds, but then had the big surgery and went from 0 to about 6 different pills, Nexium, Toprol, Effexor, aspirin, Xanax, Lipitor.  I have decided to get off all of them.  The Lipitor and Xanax weren't that hard, no major side effects.  But I was totally not prepared for the hell getting off Effexor.

I applaud each and every one of you for trying to quit this thing.  I think that if you have depression and anxiety, as I have had, that sometimes you just have to change your life.  You can't just keep taking a pill.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I have this feeling that I don't ever want to take another pill again, even if I drop dead.  At least I will die with dignity.  

Well, I'm just venting.  In fact it is hard to even write this, because my eyeballs are really "buggin'", and my hands are so swollen and aching I can hardly type!

Does anybody have any idea how LONG it takes to get clear of this nightmare?  I'm planning to tough it out, no matter what.  I just hope I don't go beserko before things calm down.

Avatar universal
I stopped effexor (300mg/day) about 3 months ago, and I still get some of the symptoms.  I have chronic numbness in my fingertips, and severe mood swings that i did not have before taking the drug, as well.  I still get occasional zaps, and I don't feel like I'll ever be myself again.  I don't know who I am anymore.  Anybody else having similar long term effects?

I wish I never went on this stuff...
Avatar universal
I'm so glad I found this site. I have been on Effexor for three years. I feel like I'm ready to get off and lose the 35 pounds I gained while on the medication. I wanted to know if anyone has lost weight after going off?
I will see  my doctor in two weeks and let him know I plan on no longer taking Effexor, or any other antidepressent. Besides feeling ready, I can only think of the benefits of never taking it again. I will spenod less money at the pharmacy, lose the weight I gained. It seems like forever a go that I was going through a divorce, and in need of---legal drugs. I'm ready, but I'm afraid.

Has anyone tried drinking coffee to get a little false energy, particularly to concentrate? I exercise, and have been really frustrated with how little the rewards from the sweat have been. The only benefit I get from exercise IS more energy. Do those of you that have been going off of Effexor, still exercise? Or have you lost your energy to do that too?  Is any of these symptoms getting better?

Thank you, and I'll be reading this post for support! Please hang in there.

Avatar universal
There certainly has been some postings since I did mine last week!!  I can report feeling a lot better today which is now 2 weeks since I went 'cold turkey'.  I have had the last 2-3 days very unwell with the flu but I don't think that was related to the withdrawals at all.  

I think I can now cope and think clearly again.  During the withdrawals I kept very strange hours and my AADHD got worse but it all has settled down now. I still prefer to do work at night and very lethargic in the morning's which is opposite to my husband's routine - this does cause some cnflict.

I do see to be less tolerant and more outspoken so I will have to be careful with that.  Let's hope I can continue coping and can finish all the jobs that I have not been able to do (no problems getting them started) and be more motivated and exercise more.  See I can plan a bit better now that the withdrawals have nearly gone.

It is early days yet so one day at a time.  Cheers from the Lionness
Avatar universal
I am 2 weeks off effexor too. I feel great!!! I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful I feel as compared to how I felt. I have TONS of energy. I wake up in the morning and I get right up and begin my day. Its like I have a purpose again.

When I first stopped taking it I was beaten down, run down and always tired. I thought that I was always going to feel tired like that; I had no idea what the body goes through when its ridding itself from effexor, but now I feel really good. And I'm so happy with myself too.

Today my husband said *sweetie, you look so beautiful when you smile and laugh, and he even mentioned that he could tell I had more energy. I bounded out of bed this morning I can't tell you the last time I felt that good. I was just so eager to get my day started.

And my blood pressure is returning to normal; praise God.

I'll pray for everyone here tonight.
Avatar universal
OFF FOR A WEEK NOW!!!  Time to rant, rave and celebrate!!!!!

I've been off Effexor for about a week now, and there have been some changes.  For one thing, I cry and laugh throughout the day, just little things set it off, a sad song on the radio or some funny movie on TV.  It made me realize that I hadn't really cried or laughed in over 2 years on Effexor.  Guess, what, folks, I have feelings!  I think it's great.  Yes, I am a bit "touchy" and sometimes go on talking jags just like a speed freak.  I still have major problems sleeping because of the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" dreams.  And my whole body aches, not to mention how movement of the eyes makes this weird "shushing sound" and causes dizziness.  I know one thing, no matter how long it takes or what I have to go through, I am never going back on that stuff!

Somebody was wondering if they could lose some weight.  To tell you the truth, I have gained quite a bit of weight while on Effexor.  I think it was because it dulled my taste buds and I started eating all the wrong kinds of food just to be able to taste something.  But now I am starting to taste again, and even the simplest vegetable seems to just taste great.  And I don't feel like eating too much food at once.

But the thing about losing weight, is that as long as we are on a half dozen "prescription medications", which are basically poisoning us, and eating all the junk food full of basically worthless calories (stuffing dead food into a dying body), then we ain't gonna lose any weight.  First of all, it takes energy to lose weight.  And that means energy at the cellular level, so the dead cells can be gotten rid of, and the new cells created.  And let's face it.  Our bodies are not sick.  In fact, they are very healthy.  They are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, which is fight tooth and nail against all the bad foods and drugs we are pushing into our bodies.  The way the body does this is to try to encase these poisons into fat where it can't get to our liver.  And the other way it does it is to slow down digestion and clog up the colon so that what we do eat can't reach the vital organs.  Hey, until about a month or so, I was eating at McDonalds 3 times a week and never caring about how much sugar and chemicals was in the food I ate.  And I have never been able to lose any weight.  But since I quit Effexor, I have decided to eat as much fresh and organic food as I can, even if it's only a 10% improvement in my diet.  And I think that only if I do this will my body turn its attention from storing the **** I've been eating as fat and/or trapping it in the colon, and finally begin to melt that fat away.  But it won't melt the fat and release all those toxins until it thinks it has enough healthy red and white blood cells to deal with them.

Well, I am ranting, but I used to be very involved in martial arts, and still I was afraid of threatening people, until one day, the toughest man I ever knew told me that EVERYBODY is afraid, even him.  The thing is if we are to live a happy life, we must decide to take on our fears even if we die in the process.  If we go down fighting, we should go down, not as defeated, but as a proud warrior who did his best.

So I am going to get off all the doctors medications even if it kills me!  I will go down proud to be pharmaceutical free.

Of course, the doctors will say I am crazy, but am I?  Their programs aren't curing anybody.  I started on 1 pill, Toprol, for my heart.  But it upset my stomach so I started on Nexium.  But the Nexium made me anxious, so I started on Xanax.  But the Xanax made me sluggish, so the replaced it with Effexor to give me "more energy".  Meanwhile, I have gotten fat, and now the Effexor wasn't working, so they want to INCREASE it.  So am I crazy to say ENOUGH!  I don't think so.  Even if it kills me, heck, the doctors were going to kill me anyway.  And at least this time, I will go out a proud warrier, with real feelings and emotions.

Hey, we have to stop being afraid of ourselves.  There is a lady who said she likes to stay up late at night.  Well, my favorite author, Philip K. ****, always stayed up all night, and he was a genius!  What's wrong with being different and emotional and high energy.  

Anyway, I could rant all night.  Start eating real fresh food, such as organic potato chips and pastas, and free range chickens.  And get off the pills as best you can, and go ahead and be a little crazy.  Is that so darn terrible?  We are great people.  We have feelings.  So why, then, do they insist on putting us in a box where 1 size fits all?

The other thing I did, was tell my doctor I was sick of being on the pills.  I am a 55 year old man, and he talks to me as though I was a 5-year-old who has been a naughty boy.  He did not even realize that Effexor he gave me had any side effects!  They don't teach that in their *!#? medical school.  Well, some of these doctors are what I call "smart dunces".

IN fact, what if I am right and get really healthy and drug free, by taking herbs and eating fresh food,  and the doctors way was making me sicker and sicker?  What the hekc does that say about them?  That would mean that all they are doing is keepin us sick so they can drive arouknd in their Mercedes.  We're just like little sick farm animals that they inject with poison and then charge us for the privilege of making them rich.

THANK you all for being here.  I cannot think of anyone anywhere who would be able to stand this ranting.

AND ITS ALL BECAUSE... I quit EFFEXOR!!!!   yay!!!!!  Hooray for us!  No matter how long it takes!!!!!  Be a proud warrior, fight to the death!    Because you are right and they are wrong.  The doctors are DEAD wrong, only it's YOUR death, not theirs.


Avatar universal
I'm so glad that *The David* is feeling good again. I am too.

I had the same crying spells, oh my did I cry. I'm still crying a couple times a day, but it feels so good; its so cleansing for me. I told my husband that I must have been filled up with tears and now that I'm off of the effexor I can actually cry and rid/cleanse myself of all the tears that I never cried.

I do believe that those pills shut me down. They did something to me that was very unnatural and looking back I can't believe I let myself be on them for so long. I praise God that 4 weeks ago (when I went for my meds check with the pysch doc) that I told her I wasn't feeling very well. I told her I was feeling the worse that I had ever felt in my life. I told her I didn't feel healthy anymore. I told her I was so run down that I could bearly get out of bed and all I wanted to do was sleep.

Want to know what her advice was?

She said *I can perscribe Ritalin for you or adderall and that will boost your energy levels immediately.*

I said NO. My son took adderall and it made him anorexic. He couldn't eat anything, he lost so much weight that his peditrican took him off of it and we decided to treat his ADHD with patience and redirceting his mind to stay on tasks. Yes it takes a lot of work to constantly keep on him about what he is doing; but I'd rather spend my life helping him then having a pill hurting him. The day they took my son off of adderall he weighed 83 lbs. He now weighs-in at a healthy 130 lbs.

I told my pysch doc that I would not take any kind of stimulant. Instead I went down stair to the emergency room of the hospital where her office is and asked to have my vitals taken. The nurse took them, wrote them on a peice of paper and told me to get to my regular dr right away. My blood pressure was 170/105. I've never had high blood pressure in my life!!!

I was told that the effexor was having an adverse side effect on me and that I needed to alert my internist as soon as I could. I went to the regular dr and they ordered a bunch of blood tests. My tests all came back good except for my cardiac ones. One year ago, my cholesterol level was 160. It is now 240. My dr looked up effexor and adverse reactions and found that YES, effexor even raises cholesterol levels.

I am happy to announce that of yesterday my blood pressure is normal and my pulse rate was 65 beats a minute, not the 103 beats that I had when I was on effexor. Effexor could have actually caused me to have a heart attack or stroke. I'm 39 and until the effexor was extremely healthy.

Put it this way, in the past 20 years, I've only been on antibiotics twice; once for a strep infection about 15 years ago and once because I had a wisdom tooth pulled and the dentist put me on them to ward off an infection. So, I've had strep once, depression 3 times, I've had 3 healthy pregnancies and births and can basically say I've never been sick in my life.

And a few days ago, I told myself if I ever needed to take effexor again that I would, because it worked so well for me. But now I'm changing my mind, because I read in a book that I have here that depression runs its course; that even without treatment, depression will not last forever; that it always goes away. Its just that its difficult to wait for it to go away, so we get treatments for it and once its gone, then what happens??

They tell you that you need to stay on the pills. Why? I don't think its okay to stay on something that you don't need anymore, that seems silly to me now that I think about it.

I know that everything we need to live and to be healthy is on this earth because God gave them to us. And I am beginning to think that we are being mistreated by the medical profession. When my dr suggested that I take ritalin for energy she sounded like a drug pusher; it scared me.

Do you know what could have happened to me if I would have taken her advice and the ritalin? I would have had heart failure. My regular dr told me that with my blood pressure the way it was and taking ritalin it would have put me in heart failure (my heart would have tried to beat itself out of my chest) And the thing that really ticks me off is my pysch doc would have put me on that med never even knowing that my heart was a ticking time bomb.

I told my husband that I think the docs are getting some kind of kick-back from the pharmacutical companies for pushing their drugs for them. I think they are padding each others paychecks and we are dying (physically and emotionally because of it)

So this morning at Church, when I knelt down to take commmunion, I laid my fears to rest on that Altar. I'm not afraid of depression anymore. I know that with God, I have nothing to fear and with God, I can overcome anything. So, if depression finds its way back into my life; I will put it in Gods hands and not a pyschiatrist. I'm not saying they are all bad, I'm just saying that I'm not handing my life over to them again.

When I started taking antidepressants for the 3rd time in my life, the pysch doc told me that after 3 depressions I would need to stay on the meds for the rest of my life. I said WHY. She said, because its a good possiblity it will come back someday.

OKAY. If it does, then I will deal with it when the time comes. I've had depression 3 times in 20 years, so there is a real good chance that if I do get depressed again, its not going to be for several years, so why suffer on the pills when I can feel good in the mean time.

She contradicts herself sometimes too. She told me a month ago that there is proof that regular exercise and sunshine are as good, if not better at relieving depression, yet she then says I need to take the pills for the rest of my life.

News Flash::::: why not tell ME to exercise and get more sunshine?

Probably because its free and something I can on my own and probably I wouldn't need her services anymore and do you think it could possibly be that she wouldn't be getting paid by me anymore? Gees, it don't take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

I think they see us as uneducated. I truly do. Because everytime I told her I was thinking of not taking the meds anymore she would try to scare me into thinking the depression would come back.

Well, I'm not afraid anymore.

There is a book, called *The Mood Cure* its one of the best books I've read; regarding depression and alternative treatments. When I showed it to the pysch doctor and asked her if she had ever read it, she said NO. And wasn't even remotely interested in what it had to say. I think you should go to the library and check it out or go to barnes and nobles and buy it (for like 10 bucks) Its a wonderful book.

I'm go happy for anyone reading this and feeling better because there is TONS of hope out there. You will feel better, the yucky withdrawls will go away. Yes, I'm still tearful, but I like it!!! It means I can FEEL again. And I just love the way it feels to wake up after 7 hours of sleep and make it through the day without a 3 hour nap.

And if someone does their best work in the middle of the night; well, I say GOOD FOR YOU; heck, my hubby works 3rd shift and he does his best work in the middle of the night and no one is telling him he should be in bed sleeping.

I say to do what Dr. Phil says.............Do what works instead of doing what's right. Someone might tell you what is right to do, but if it doesn't work for you then having it be the right thing for you in counterproductive and is meaningless. So Dr. Phil says to do what works instead.

Not taking those pills anymore is working for me, even if the dr says its not the right thing to do;I need to have confidence in myself that I can make choices that are in my best interests and not the best of interests of someone who is being paid by me to say it.

Okay, that's my rant!!!! Gees, get a person off effexor and they suddenly have a mind that thinks clearly and make sense!!!!

Be strong brothers and sisters, lay the fears to rest.
Avatar universal
Just wanted to share my experience of withdrawing from Effexor.

After a few frustrating attempts to get off of it, here is what I did: I got myself down to the 37.5 capsule. Then one day I opened the capsule and took out one granule, took out two the next day, three the third day and so on. I did this until I got down to four or five granules. It amazed me that during most of this time I would STILL have side effects, the brain zaps in particular, about 26 hours after taking the last dose. Then I had a migraine (not related to the withdrawal; I
Avatar universal
Going off Efexor seems to get everyone ranting again - good hey.  I am going well too.  I did not think my weight gain (10kgs) was due to Efexor more due to Menopause but it is probably a combination of both and the lack of motivation/energy etc.doesn't get you exercising to burn off what you eat.

To hear about the adverse cardio type side effects of Efexor is a bit frightening and not good that the doctor was not more in tune to this. I wonder what my cholesterol is now as it was a bit high before I started Efexor. I know that I always seem to have a blocked nose and yucky throat while on Efexor - anyone else experience that too?  That should improve now too.

I am not going to 'knock' my doctor for getting me through this difficult time over the last 2-3 years as he has years of experience in diagnosing and treating AADHD and does get it right. Maybe, as you say, the depression passes over time and this has now happened for me so until my next crisis!! I will still be guided by him and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say at my next visit later in the month. I actually cut the dose from 150mg to 75mg and the Ritalin to only 2 in the morning myself and he said if it felt right, do it. I am sure our doctor's want us and expect us to take the next step towards being med free if possible.

I have read that some people genetically have a slow serotonin transporter and therefore more prone to depression - I think that was my understanding of it anyway.  There is still a lot we don't know about the brain and it's complex chemistry.  

Hey, I agree too that if we want to do things at night it should be okay.  We are not doing any harm really.  At the moment for me sleeping is difficult and it is best to get real tired so I will crash easier.  My husband is away too so I can have this nocturnal timetable until he gets back.  

Cheers, The Lionness.

Avatar universal
ABCMomof3, try Kevin Trudeau's book, Natural cures.  You can find it on the 'net.  The docs get enormous kickbacks from the drug reps to push their product.  The book will blow your mind.

I am still having trouble sleeping because of the nightnmares and my entire body aches all day and all night long.  But emotionally, I am on a great ride, laughing crying, thinking, daring to dream again.  Before on Effexor, I was just waiting to die, with no emotions.  Now I dare to dream that I will pick up my guitar and begin to write some music and sing again.

I even wrote some song lyrics for my Mom, and I'm working on the music now.


I couldn't cry for my mother
No, not just then.
It was 35 years before the first tears began.
It was a long time ago when they laid her on the table
I picked out her coffin as best I was able

Before my mother went away,
she told her dear sister she knew I'd be okay
But I wasn't then, and I'm not really now
I just swallowed the pills and kept pulling my plow.

You know I'm almost through this life,
I have my work, I have my sweet wife
But as the years pass me by, and my life starts wearing thin,
I finally understood the truth
And that's when my tears began.

I couldn't cry for my mother,
no, not just then
But I've thrown away the pills
And that's when the first tears began.

Avatar universal
Hello, I hope you are doing well today. I am feeling fine and I still can't believe it. I can't believe I haven't had any anxiety attacks or anything. I thought for sure I would have by now; but I'm so thankful I haven't.

I read the book by Kevin about the natural cures. And he had a lot to say, didn't he? It was intersting and my sister in law and I were thinking about signing up for his newsletter, because I would like a little more information then what he gave in his book; I want the details of certain things he talked about.

I started a new job today!! And I did great!! I was a little worried about starting a new job and not having my meds in my system, but I did fine and I met a lot of nice people and I wasn't nervous at all; in fact, I was excited about trying something new. Not a bit of apprehension.

I really liked your song lyrics; it was very touching and I'm glad that you shared it with us.

I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow and that your road to recovery keeps getting smoother; try not to worry about the nightmares. I had them too. I was told that the nightmares happen because you stay in the REM part of sleep too long or enter that part of sleep too often and it can cause nightmares. Have you thought of taking something to help you sleep; just temporarily, until you get into a nice sleeping pattern.

I take something to help me sleep when I need it; only once in a while though.

Take care, and I sweet dreams are coming your way soon.
Avatar universal
following is a poem i wrote for my daughter after a school stage performance she did on the night that i was at my lowest point ever during my depression a few months ago, i am now sitting here reading it with REAL tears in my eyes, and look forward to the happy days which are only around the corner, I can feel them..

I am so proud seeing you on the stage
Even after all the rage
You are my drive you are my key
Back to the person that I want to be

From the day you were born you have had to fight
To get to this point in life with all your might
But you
108944 tn?1222281078
im having trouble being able to tell if my dreams are real or not .they are all about stuff thats going on in my life .im not sure whats true or not is that a normal withdrawal of this hell.every night off its getting worse.im scared to say anything to anyone about anything because im not sure if its happend or we did that.
Avatar universal
Thanks, ABCMomof3, I really needed some encouragement tonight.  I am staying up late to avoid going to sleep, but I need to remember what you said about temporarily taking something to sleep.  I am trying to be Superman and not take ANYTHING, but maybe I need to conquer the Effexor withdrawal first.  I have been eating fresh organic foods and we get vegetables from an organic farm here in the county.  So I am feeling a lot better.  I am glad you went to your new job without meds.  We don't need them.  We are fine just as God made us.  I think we are entering a new day here.  It just takes time.  I wish you great things at your work.  I am sure that now that you are plugged into everything emotionally, spiritually and physically, that you are going to bring a lot to the lives of the people you work with.  They are going to love you!  Well, off to sleep.  Hey, what's a few nightmares?  A small price to pay for making this journey to good health.
Avatar universal
Hi everyone and in particular ABCMomof3,

I am SOOOOOOO glad i have found this forum, i have just read a lot of the comments and feedback and all of you are my pillar of support while i am going through the living hell of coming of effexor-XR.
Finally some people that will listen to me and have the same feelings and experiences.
Trying to tell all this to a GP, psychiatrist or psychologist is just imposible, they just pump us full of more medication, and yes, I do wonder if they get kickbacks from the parmaceutical companies?!?!
Today is my 5th day without any effexor.
I had a breakdown 8 years ago and finally ended up on effexor-XR 150 mg; i have taken it for all these years.
I admit that for a good part of these years i have felt good, but also manic at times (oh how great to have energy) the last 6 years my life has been far from normal, 2 children with their own problems(self harm, cutting, alcohol abuse) a wife that after 19 years of problems and numerous institutional stays was diagnosed with schizophrenia, 3 weeks after we separated she came and told me she was diagnosed with CML(chronic myaloid leukemia),a very stressful job, another breakdown  and finally 3 weeks later i had a heart attack with 2 operations and 5 stents placed.
But hey, life goes on :-)
Now my psych has decided to stop with the effexor due to all the side effects(severe sweating, shaking, increased heart rate, insomnia, sexual side effects, blurred vision, lethargy)
Life will always throw up hurdles to jump and problems to solve, none of us is immune to that, but do we realy NEED the chemical **** to hide it all; and that is all it does, hide the symptoms, it does not fix the core problem !!!
now I am coming off effexor for the second time(under supervision this time) i have tried by myself before with all the consequences attached.
The last few days have been far from standard, day 1 brain zaps, like they were filming a fight scene out of star wars in my head...
Dreams that i should write down, i am sure they will become a blockbuster movie or best seller one day, that lasted for 4 days and does become gradually less, today day 5 i am very tired and drained, but the best thing is I CAN CRY, I have real tears rolling down my face, not because i am sad, it actually makes me very happy.. For years I have been the pillar of support to everybody around me, to the ridiculous, and now the time has come where I can let go, I feel like i have real emotions again!!
Life can't be better apart from coming of all this chemical ****.
I have a great new girl/lady friend, the kids have grown up and have left home and are settled with jobs etc.. I still have contact with my ex in a friendly manner(mainly because of the kids).. and 2 days ago i have applied for a new job and a very good chance that i get it :-)
If only I could get up in the mornings, that is still a major problem..
ABCmomof3, I have read all your postings and in a way can see my life flash in front of me, your husband's comment:sweetie, etc brings tears to my eyes, because I understand that it is not only us that go through depression and medication but also our families, they are the real soldiers that put up with our mental state and behaviour....
As far as sexual dysfunction, yes, it is a fact, even though the doctor's like to deny it, it is a male pride thing i suppose ;-)thank god i have a very understanding girlfriend, just like your husband, ABCmom, he is worth his weight in gold :-)
I will stop ranting and raving on, but am so glad i am not alone, and will help anyone that wants help getting off effexor.
Even just with a listening ear, because sometimes that's all we need, besides love and effection..
I am not religious, but have christian believes, so may I say to all, God bless and together we will fight through this till we can all smile and be happy again............

Avatar universal
I noticed the system usese the asterisk to get rid of my bad language.  I wanted to apologize to everyone for using the bad language.  It was very S.H.I.T.T.Y. of me.  (Lets' see if the systems blanks that one!  .D.A.M.N.!
Avatar universal
Hey, Sallie1, it is going to be okay.  The dream thing only goes on for a few weeks.  Somebody told me it is because while our brain readjusts itself back to normal, that we remain in REM sleep too long, whatever that means.  I have had so many frustrating, bizarre, weird dreams.  Last night I broke down and took a couple of Xanax to try and knock myself out.  Well, guess what, I slept through the night and had the most bizarre dream, but at least I didn't wake up every hour in a cold sweat.

And to the other gentleman who seems to have been through it all, I can relate.  And I am totally burned out on doctors and their wacked theories.  I am not taking any more of their pills.  I am going to eat healthy organic foods and take herbal cleanses and flush all of their poison out of my system.  I have been on an herbal cleanse for a week now, and my head is clearing up beautifully.  I feel alive and full of love for my family and friends, and all it took was a short walk across hell to get to the other side.

And as far as religion goes, God bless you all for helping me get through this nightmare.

The truth is, we are all healthy.  Our bodies and minds are reacting exactly the way a body should when it has been poisoned by prescription drugs.  And over time, as the drugs are flushed out, we will feel better and better.  Some of these drugs are very difficult for the body to get rid of.  I think it could take up to a year to get every trace out.  It's kind of lack in the 60's when I was taking LSD and smoking pot.  I would see things for days after a trip.  Effexor is just the same.  Withdrawal from Effexor is just like the morning after a really bad Acid trip.  Except on Effexor, I think it takes a good 2 weeks to flush out the poision.  Drink lots of water and eat a lot of fresh food.  And quit taking all the other **** the doctors are prescribing.  Hell, I threw away my heart medications, and my blood pressure has never been lower!  

I told my doctor I was quitting all these medications and the poor ******* told me to at least take Xanax to get me through this!  And then he shoved a free Nasocort sample into my hand.  He didn't want to discuss any ways and means to actually become drug free and healthy.  In his head, there is no such thing.  I'm going back to see him in a year all healthy and tell him that he really needs to change his pill-pushing ways!

The sad thing is, I kind of like my doctor, at least as a person.  But the truth is, he is an intelligent fool who pushes deadly drugs and gets paid huge sums.  He's just a puppet.

Okay, now to complain, it seems that several times during the day, all the energy just seems to leave my body and my muscles all cramp up just like a 6th street junkie.  All I can do is crash on my Lazy Boy for an hour.  Then it goes away.  My wife thinks that the body is unloading toxins during that time.

But the bottom line is, when you quit a drug, you are going to suffer like the damned, at least for a while.  But at least you get your life back.  I feel really sorry for anyone who goes back on Effexor, because the truth is, it's just being a zombie.  Hey if we have issues that make us anxious and depressed, well, God is on our side and is going to help us through this.  I mean, King David didn't write
Yeah, tho I go thru the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil, for I have Effexor.

No, he wrote for Thou art with me.

That's the game we have to play.  I don't care if you have no religion.  If you don't, don't sweat it, just do the best you can.  I mean, just ask God to help you as best you can.  I'm a Catholic, and we believe that God loves everybody and is anxioius to help them out no matter what religion they may or may not have, and that people from all religions and walks of life will walk the streets of Heaven one day.  We believe that the person who reaches out their hand and asks for help will receive it.  

Anyway, thanks for being there.  I feel 100% better everytime I rant and rave on the forum.  This is great therapy all by itself.  Well, I have to go to sleep.  I have decided not to take anymore Xanax.  I will just have to find some other way to go through the night.  Maybe I'll wind up in the Lazy Boy watching old movies all night.  Hmmm...where did I put that organic popcorn?....

Avatar universal
Good God, I'm back 5 minutes later.  I just wanted to say something about dreams to the nice lady who wondered if they were real or not.  The answer is, no.  The past does not exist, it's over and done.  All we have is right now.  So drop the worry and the guilt.  Dreams are mostly just a release of frustration.   But we don't have to let them control us.  The next time you are bothered by a dream, tell a friend about it, and get their take on it.  Half the time, the dream is just letting off steam about something you are frustrated about.  So, find out what is frustrating you, and work on making that better.  And besides, if you dream about something in the past that you are still guilty about, then forgive yourself.  Heck, I forgive you, if that helps.  One thing for sure, you have got to start being nice to yourself.  I think a plate of milk and cookies might be just the way to kick off a "be nice to myself" night.  But just remember, that if you go off Effexor, you may have some absolutely asskicking dreams.  But as far as I am concerned, the only thing that matters is not letting the dreams scare you into going back on Effexor.  Just hang in there and it's going to get better.  This is a terrible drug, that turns us into zombies and then scares the **** out of us when we try to quit.  There is nothing as scary as the fear of becoming mentally unstable and unable to tell reality from dreams.  And that's what Effexor does.  It creates that fear in our heads at night and when we sleep.   Heck, one night I woke up in my own home and had no idea where I was.  Now, that is scary.

Effexor is an evil drug and we have to suck it up and fight back with everything we've got.  But then it will be gone and we will be back to normal once more.

I tell you one thing, if there is ever a class action lawsuit against Effexor, I will sign it.  Those drug compaines ought to be paying for this kind of psyche damage.  This **** is worse than anything the CIA could concoct.

Okay, I am done freaking around.  Just keep the faith and don't worry about your dreams.  Mine happen to be calming down a bit, but it's taken 2 weeks to get to where I'm not scared to fall asleep.  Also, if you are the type to sleep with a gun in the dresser, I recommend you unload the damn thing until this is over.
Avatar universal
hi Sallie 1 and The david, nice to meet you both, I have just read both your comments for the day and first of all sallie, don't worry about the dreams sweetie, that is all they are; DREAMS, fictious memories that are all thrown together in a big pot and stirred around. I woke the other night because I was screaming in my dreams, did i actually scream?? i don't know, should i worry about it?? NO WAY. Look up dream in the dictionary; here is what it says: mental activity, an IMAGINED series of events, occuring during sleep. I had people appear in my dreams that I haven't seen for 35 years, together with people from now, all together a funny mix that would never happen in real life; would be hilarious if it did :-)
For the David, I know how you feel in particular about the xanax as I have done the same the last couple of days, but why?? Are we scared to stand on our own two legs, aren't we pretending we are ok by just popping another pill, i think we are.
Don't forget that xanax is extremely addictive in a very short period of time; what's better, spaced out due to a lack of effexor or a xanax junkie??
I totally agree that we are all healthy human beings and that the body eventually will correct itself from depression, that is a proven fact.
I agree with your theory on doctors, yes, i like mine as well as a person, but not as a professional; very true they get paid huge sums (and I do contribute)for pushing deadly drugs.
As far as the tiredness goes, yes, same here, by a certain time in the afternoon i would like to just lay down for an hour or so, but in order to push through and get back into a normal rhythm of life where i can work again i go and do something i enjoy or even treat myself to something nice as a reward for making it this far. Put this in practise for the sore and stiff muscles once a week, treat yourself to a massage, it makes you feel great, fills in the time when you feel less energetic and it lasts for days.
Remember, Rome wasn't build in a day so we aren't out of the woods yet but each day without is a step closer to a drug free life.
Tomorrow is 1 week ago that i took my last effexor and i can definately see and feel the difference; brain zaps are getting less, dreams are getting less, i can almost laugh again, or at least smile, still sweating like a trooper and a little bit of the shakes(tremor), but hey, I have my forum where i can talk about my feelings and side effects, even though I don't know any of you, I feel closer to you than many other people around me because we all feel the same, my cyberspace effexor kicking buddies :-)
And David, if you ever start that petition or law suit against effexor PLEASE let me know, I WILL SIGN SECOND TO YOU!!
Don't know if this is allowed but my real name is Michael and i live in australia on a beautiful island surrounded by beaches and ocean; when i get down i go for a walk and utilise the nature around me :-)
If i make spelling mistakes, sorry guys, i am of dutch origin and sometimes come up with some ripper english/Dutch mixes ;-)
Ok, off to bed and of to the psychiatrist tomorrow for another round in the ring(and to fatten his wallet) and the fight against effexor.
Sleep tight and stay in touch, together we shall win this war!!
108944 tn?1222281078
thank you david and micheal!! the thing that bothers me the most about my dreams are things like,ill wake up made at my husband or kids,(4,6,9 & 14)thinking they have done something that i must have dreamed about ,or the same as michael said about people being togather i havent seen in 15 years .i have acualy went threw my childs funeral arangments ,visitation,and funeral to wake up scared to death .i hate to go to sleep but im sooooooo tierd.i have dreamed the crazest stuff, and then haft to wake up in the morning to wonder what was true or not.im not sure ,i have to ask my husband alote of things .he thinks im going crazy and realy wants me off the pills now.ijust found out a family member was put on this nasty stuff they have been on it for a week ,im trying to talk them out of it.to top it all off i still have 37.5 mg to drop this saterday.its hard going threw the withdrawals with my job .i own my own buesness and alote of people and families need me to be open. i wish everyone the best of luck that is goig threw this painfull hell!!!!!
108944 tn?1222281078
im so glad you are felling better im waiting for my book to arive that you wrote about. what they dont want you to know.
i just wanted to say i think i know why im having so many dreams
of death,iv had 12 deaths of friends or family since aug 04.including i this week.hey david watch out for that sun .my husband has always beleaved in not taking medications, and now he eats very healthy.dec of 04 he was told he had stag 3 melenoama skin cancer.he used too work out in the sun alote. he went threw about 7 surgerys he took a year of chemo .last friday he told his doc that he wont o treatments after ayear because thats long enough to havethat stuff put in him becauseof all the other things it can do to him.so be careful.last nights dreams wernt so bad inew they wernt real.
         !!!!!!!!!TODAY I TOOK MY LAST PILL !!!!!!!!!!!!
  im so happy ,iv weened down this much, lests see how the next couple of days go. iwish everyone the best sallie1
      have a great weekend!!
Avatar universal
To everybody, yes, I stopped the Xanax thing.  It's just one more crutch.  To get off this stuff, one must be decisive and take drastic action.  And I wanted to add one more thing...WE DO NOT HAVE A DISEASE, OR DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY DISORDER...The way I see it, what we have is our health, but our society is sick.  I just keep thinking that they have poisoned us.  Now I am a cigar smoking Republican, but the last few weeks, I have gone out and hugged a tree or two and prayed for the poor animals.  Because what's good for them is good for us.

I just keep thinking that part of the bbuullsshhiitt (avoiding the auto-curser asterisks)  that's going on here is for the doctors to somehow convince you that you just don't quite have what it takes to take life "straight up".  Like, you need them to help you figure out life.  Hellooo?  Who the hell has life figured out, me who is screaming and ranting, or some psychiatrist or internist who coolly takes my money in return for convincing me that I'm the one who is f----d up, even though the shrinks have the highest suicide rate per group, and the medical doctors don't do all that well, either.  Most surgeon's don't last much past 50 years of age, then they get sick taking their own medicine and retire to some quiet spot to slowly putt out the years on some fairway with O.J.

But look, if somebody sprays poison on the corn, and then the poisoned corn is fed to a chicken who is also fed hormones and antibiotics, and that chicken passes on all that **** to the McDonald's sombiches, who then add "Natural Flavorings" to this poison concoction and I eat it since I was a kid because Ronald the McClown gave me a toy everytime I whined my Mom into taking me, anyway, I eat all this poison day after day, I DO NOT HAVE A DISEASE....WHAT I DO HAVE IS A BODY THAT THEY POISONED.

Listen, Ronald McDonald is the biggest child pervert in the universe, forget about the other types of molestors out there, they could all take a lesson from Ronald.  He approaches a child with a toy and then slowly poisons the child all the way through adulthood, at which point we start begging the doctors for even more poison to keep us alive after what that freaking clown McDonald did.  THOSE BASSSTTTAAARRDDSS are poisoning our grandkids!

And then they turn around and tell me I need to be on medications because I'm just a bit too anxious for them.  Well, tuff s.h.i.t.  From now on, I'm going to be just as anxious and depressed as I feel like.  Because sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down, and when we are up, we should really let it roll, and when we are down, it's time to play the blues and reach out to everybody we know and get some love back into our blighted little souls.

Anyway, nothing wrong with any of you, as far as I can see.  You are normal, poisoned adults, acting exactly the way anyone who's been poisoned shoudl act.  But it is getting better.  I am taking no pills today.  But I am eating healthy.  All organic.  No pesticides.  I am going to be poison free as best I can frokm now on.  I FEEL GOOD!!!!!!

Hey, Michael, one great way to recover is to get out in the sun.  The sun is healthy.

Hey, at least we are here, complaining and waking up.  But we are a tiny minority.  What really scares me is that right now, there are hundreds of millions of people cruising around, all tightened up on Effexor, and not having any more idea about it than the man in the moon.  Those dummies are just going to go through life and never wake up.

You know, waking up from nightmares is painful, and getting off Effexor is painful, but it's because that stuff puts you to sleep, and you become a walking zombie, disconnected frokm your feelings and your life.  And when it starts wearing off, you start feeling again and it's a bit prickly, just like when your foot goes to sleep and then wakes up, it's all prickly.

WELL, I AM AS PRICKLY RIGHT NOW AS A FRIGGIN PORCUPINE, but I feel great.  I feel involved, emotional, a little wild,  just a wonderful mixture of all kinds of good s--t.  

I'm just going to drag my prickly self outback to watch the half-moon over California and spark up a nice stogie.


Avatar universal
I am back again after going off Efexor probably three weeks ago now.  Just saw my doctor and he said it is ok to be off my meds but remember next time to go off them gradually because the withdrawals are not nice as we know.  Still a bit of 'brain zapping', very hot all the time and insomnia big time so I go to bed late at night but overall feeling ok.

Actually after seeing my doctor I visited my mum's plaque at the cemetary and cried heaps (I want to again now just doing this posting).  She passed away at 62 in 1990 from multiple infarct dementia - not nice to see someone fade away like that.

I reckon these postings are great too as it is our own therapy same as going to my doctor is my therapy for talking things over.Depression relates back to your parents, your genetics and the environment you lived in but when you are going through it all you are now really sure what 'normal' is anymore.  I certainly don't but when you have to question it or anyalyse how you feel you get all the doubts in the world.

Depression, anxiety disorders etc are really just our FEARS of our emotions, of living life without guilt, without responsibilities and the FEAR of the unknown.  Does that make sense?  I am ranting but it is starting to make sense to me.

Mum was a lively person who was controlled so became inward and depressed by my father.  Dad knew no better as he had to survive with a bad heart (he is now nearly 80) and mum has long gone). So there you were brought up in a 'depressive milineux", I think that is what you call it and so the cycle continues. My older son is affected with ADDD and anxiety disorder. Always heaps of love but somehow there is a negativeness about your life that is difficult to change.

Great to hear everyone is doing so well.  As you say good food, lots of water, fresh air and positive thoughts.  Thank god for everything and bless you all.  

Until my next visit, hope all goes well.

The Lionness
Avatar universal
Hello everyone. I have a lot to catch up on; regarding everyone. And I'm sorry I took so long coming back. I started my new job this week, and I had a lot of stuff going on after work that needed to get done as well.

I'm feeling really good. And I can't believe it. I really thought that by now I would have been in the pits of depression from going off the pills. My dr. had lead me to believe I couldn't make it without the meds and here I am; I'm doing great, I'm doing better then when I was taking the effexor.

There is a web site that I have read through quite a few times that is very informative and it explains (in detail) about the problems with dreaming and depression.

Here is some info about dreaming;

Key Understanding
Dreams and Depression
When unfulfilled emotional arousal remains in the brain's limbic system at sleep onset, the brain creates scenarios that allow those loops to complete.We call them dreams.

The dream acts out, in metaphor, a situation that will allow the emotional loop to be completed and therefore 'flushed' from the brain.

In other words, an imaginary experience whose pattern resembles the 'real life' one closely enough to create the same emotional reaction.

For example, during the day you worry about what someone has said to you, thinking that they were perhaps criticising or making fun of you. That night you have an anxiety dream where someone stabs at you with daggers and you try to run away. The dream allows your system to complete the loop started by the emotional arousal.

However, because you do so much more ruminating, or introspecting, when depressed, the brain has to increase the amount of dreaming you do. And before long you are:

Spending too much time in dream sleep (Rapid Eye Movement - REM) and missing out on physically-rejuvenating Slow Wave Sleep.

Depleting your hormonal system with extended night-time emotional arousal.

Exhausting your 'orientation response' - a crucial brain activity that allows you to change your focus of attention and so motivate yourself. It is also a key part of concentration.

Recurring dreams
If you are continuously having the same problems or ruminating in the same way then you may experience recurring dreams (the same dream over and over). This usually continues until the situation changes or you begin to deal with it in a less negatively arousing way.

Why are my dreams so weird?
Dreams exaggerate the feelings they represent from waking life, so even if you have just had a fleeting moment of anger at someone during the day, the dream that flushes this out may involve you becoming furious.

As an aside, dreams usually just 'borrow' imagery from the your surroundings.

So, for example, images from a recent T.V program may be used by the dream when representing something from real life. So the fact that you kill your brother in a dream, for example, doesn't necessarily mean you have any problems with your brother at all!

Depressive thinking styles mean more arousal
Depressive thinking styles will tend to cause more negative emotional arousal, and therefore more dreaming. This extra dreaming is to try to 'clear the brain' for the next day, but because our negative arousals are excessive when depressed, our natural rhythms find it hard to cope with this "over-dreaming":

Why is over-dreaming bad for me?
Basically, because dreaming is hard work.

Dreaming itself is not a restful activity. Dreaming is called 'paradoxical sleep' because brain wave patterns are similar to those of the brain when completely awake.

Dreaming is a state of arousal.

As far as much of your brain is concerned, your dream is real. So adrenaline and other stress hormones in your system will be active in the body.

This is a double edged sword, because over-dreaming, as well as using up these hormones and energy, is actually making it harder for the body to make more. As you try to flush out the incomplete emotions, you spend more time in REM sleep, and therefore less time in deep sleep, when your body should be recuperating in preparation for producing these hormones for the next day.

So if you are over-dreaming you're not resting but flooding your system with adrenaline and other stress hormones. If most of your sleep consists of dreams, your body and mind will begin to feel very tired during the day. Depressed people often report that the worst time of day is first thing in the morning.

Sometimes a depressed person may start waking up early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep. This may be a way of the body trying to cut down on over-dreaming in order to try and lift depression.

This depletion is also why depressed people often feel at their worst first thing in the morning.

As the day progresses, their hormones replenish themselves and their energy levels increase, and they are better able to motivate themselves.


I believe in my heart that depression is geratly related to insomnia or other sleeping disorders. The website that I go this info from has lots to read about; sleep is just one of them.


I'm going to post the web address; but I don't know if it will show up or not, it seems that this website here is monitored, but if the web address doesn't show up, just do a google search with the words; depression learning path.

I have to get going, I wish I could stay longer, but I have to take the kids shopping for new clothes and get my blood checked.

take care

Avatar universal
Hello Lioness, I'm glad to hear that you are still doing okay. I doing okay too and I know I will continue to flourish because I am gaining back my confidence; which makes a huge difference to someone when they are trying to overcome depression.

I wish you were sleeping better. I had a similar sleeping problem for a while; mostly when I was on the effexor, but now that I'm off of it and I'm working again, my sleep is wonderful and I know that it also has a lot to do with prayer. God has been with me through this whole ordeal and he continues to see me through it. I just couldn't have done all of this without my faith.

My advice to you would be this; keep doing what you are doing, take it easy on yourself, take extra special care of yourself and take advantage of the warmer weather. When you go to bed, say a prayer, or just talk to God about stuff; take care now, and see you soon.
bye bye
Avatar universal
Hi, I am, too, a victim of withdrawal from this drug Effexor XR.  I was originally on 75 mg per day, and I noticed that after only a few months I did not feel like it was working anymore.  I started to read these forums about how difficult it is to come off of the drug, so I decided to be weened off.  My doctor knocked me down to 37.5 mg per day for 2 weeks, and then he told me to stop completely.  I have ADHD, and a tendency for bursts of rage, and when my dosage went down the rage came back.  I had such a horrible episode that it ended up causing me to fall down the stairs and get a broken collar bone!  I have been off of it now for 6 days and I feel horrible.  Terrible nausea, headaches, dizziness, and these weird twitches in my head that feel like heart palpitations but they make my eyes move from side to side.  Does anyone know what could help ease these symptoms besides taking the stupid medicine again?  Thanks for your help
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