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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?1269550379
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
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
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
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
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
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
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