Withdrawal Symptoms

I needed to share this:

Things you should know before you quit your meds....Thats if you are thinking about it. I did NOT go COLD TURKEY on my ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. I was on Effexor and if I went cold turkey I wouldnt be here right now. I would have probably committed suicide and took a few people with me. Im not a monster....thats just the effect of such meds when the body and brain senses withdrawals.....When we put unnatural chemicals in our bodies. I WEANED myself OFF for 4 to six months....perhaps a little longer....uping and downing the dosage --depending on my level of stress.

I might have took my dosage back up twice to the original or last dosagebefore I began weaning. The reason for that was because my doctor didnt have a clue as to what he was doing...I almost died....thats another story though. So, i went back to taking my meds on my own after he messed me up....I did that for about a month....then I started the weaning process over on my own at 300mg. My doc tried to wean me off in two weeks....that was idiotic of him, negligent and suicidal.

Anyway...i went from the entire pill for a month which was 300mg (If Im recalling the dosage right...or close to that) after 1 month I cut it down to 3/4 of a pill with my pill cutter...and took that dosage for about 4 to 6 weeks...then...I went down to 1/2 pill for another 4 to 6 weeks ....then I had sum serious drama in my life....I needed more meds in my body to be able to function...so I went back up to3/4 of the 300mg dosage.

Things got better...so I went back to 1/2. During this time Im seeing my therapist to monitor me for signs of SUICIDAL RISKS. I was never alone thru this....although in MY AGONY and trying tIMES it felt like it. Then About 6 to 8 weeks later I did 1/4 of a pill. I believe I did this dosage the longest time period...about 3 1/2 months....The quarter pill dosage was when the very noticeable withdrawals started to come in. I would get these super strong shocking sensations go thru my body and zap thru my brain....like sharp zaps of electricty...out of nowhere....

Then I started on the 1/8 dosage...the worse. My body was like....What the F!#@ is going on???... I dont do drugs....like street drugs....or smoke weed...its just not my thing. I did drink....occassionally...and that was my outlet...I was drinking about 2x or 3x a week....and on weekends. The good thing about me is that I never really liked alcohol that much....and I have a very low tolerance for it. I worried about becoming an alcoholic....but I could never drink enough to get messed up. I would pass out fast asleep after my first drink. I never drank alone...my husband was always there monitoring me. It was the only way I could stand the withdrawals.

Then I did the last dosage for about 6 weeks...but skipping a day....so every other day for the most part. Then Around the 15 Oct 2012....I made up my mind....NO MORE MEDS! I had gone two days with no withdrawal...so I quitted around that time.

The withdrawals symptoms came...but a little at a time....one or two symptoms...thru out the day....but I was handling it on most days....: electric shocks, chills, diarhea, vomiting, headaches, crying, anxiety, fear, racing thoughts, racing/slowed heart beat, arrhythmia, jitters, nightmares/night tremors, night sweats, snappiness, high irritability and aggitation, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, tiredness/fatigue, confusion, memory lapse, emptiness, thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, pain in joints, clenching of jaw, anger....and many more I cant recall.

The difference with cold turkey and weaning....was that these symptoms were either milder or came in pairs. For example, once I WENT 36 hrs without meds.....lost them on accident when I moved. I was over a hundred miles from VA...and there were other circumstances....Well.immmediately after my body missed the meds...only 24 hrs later....I was having withdrawals....All these symptoms....at the same time.

Quitting your depression/anxiety meds is a long, lenthy process for some....maybe most...and for others its much simpler. I DONT recommend anyone doing this without first notifying their doctor. I STRONGLY RECOMMeND A LONG TERM- COMMITTED SUPPORT GROUP...ALWAYS AVAILABLE....OR ON STANDBY. You have to be under close supervision by your doctor and at home by your loved ones. I wouldn't have gotten through this without the love and support of my family.

Everyone has to be on board...and its something that can be compared to a person who is fighting cancer and are very ill. Its totally decapacitating.... YOU RISK DYING from it if you dont recieve the proper care or emotional support while going through separation from it. I was on depression meds for 10 years...and I had enough...AND was at a very good place in my life. Please realize that not everyone will have Or SHOULD choose the option of getting off their meds.

13 Replies

  • From reading your entire post, it seems like you came off them really slowly. I think perhaps if you were needing to up and down the dose according to your stress levels, you weren't ready to come off in the first place. That might well be why you suffered the extremities that you did. In the past my GP has always insisted on me feeling completey better for a period of at least six months before attemtping to come off meds. hope you continue to make a good recovery.

  • Thank you Suzie,

    but I have to reiterate. I was totally ready...Not only because it was 10 years and I was tired of putting that unnatural chemical into my body, but because I was doing great in my life...and I felt that I was no longer dependent on them for balance and functioning. Look up the side effects and the Not-So frequent side-effects...I had most of them...the headaches, memory lapse, blurry vision (from 20/20 vision), etc. Those side effects lead to my to taking the pain meds for the headaches, which is more substance that harmed the organs in my body.

    Believe it or not, the pharmaceuticals industry has invested in making us worse...its their grand scheme to making billions with these anti-depressants, etc. That theory of mine was not a motivating factor of getting off though. I didn't realize this until I was off the meds and started to do research on them.

    One of the things that was an external factor...a circumstance that I had no control over was the sudden death of a loved one, followed by the need to move. The death of my cousin who was like a sister and my "bestest" friend EVER was so devastating! She was killed by her drunk-driving boyfriend. Then, about 2 weeks after that my family and I were attacked on at home on our property by a couple of guys who were strung-out on street drugs that was laced with some other type of harmful elements.

    That event in itself was traumatizing. My husband's injury were much more serious than mine. He now has a quarter-sized circular scar on his face from one of the guys trying to bite off his cheek along with scars around his eyes because the other guy tried to pull out his eye balls. I had gotten hit in the face and a sprained wrist. I suffered through many sleepless nights, and uneasiness. We pressed charges, went through the court, and these guys are doing 15 and 20 plus years because they were on parole.

    So we moved, and I was able to continue to grieve my cousin's death and feel less paranoid in my new surroundings.

    So, tell me, if you can, who would be totally ready regardless of these circumstances? I was totally ready, but I can't control external events that affects me. So, instead of giving up, and saying I can't help myself, I went on with my plan, and I was eventually successful. Had these things occur before I started to wean off, I would have never considered for a second getting off my meds. I had been doing great for over a period of 2 years...closer to 3. I had kind of forgotten what that depression feeling was like because I was doing so great in my life. If I was not ready my doctor and therapist would have never encouraged me.

  • Effexor is about one of the worst to withdraw from because it is an anti-depressant with a discontinuation syndrome. I got electric shock pains and would burst into tears, but the doctor guided me through the reduction process at my own pace, it did take months.

    Since then I have stopped citalopram, amytriptiline,imipramine, and Prozac with no reductions, just stopped them. I have just reduced mirtazipine in a week because it has a discontinuation syndrome (not as bad a one as Effexor and I think Seroxat is bad)

    Also not everybody gets the discontinuation syndromes.

  • Jpars,

    You are right. Not everyone gets the discontinuation syndrome. I know about the shocks and the tears. I had no reduction with Prozac either. Is there anything out there worst than Effexor?

  • Hello I am not comparing my withdrawal from morphine in any way to your terrible experience. I had two compression fractures last March, the pain was beyond belief.

    I was given 200 mg per day sometimes rising to 300 mg, I reduced my morphine alone to 40 mg a day.

    The withdrawal symptoms were awful.

    My symptoms included sweating shivering, burning up, crying,vomiting ,the runs hallucinations and cramps.

    I am still taking slow release Morphine because my spine is compressed and the pain is unbearable most days.

    Thank you for sharing


  • Sue,

    I think that it is courageous that you would lessen your meds while still in pain. I guess you are worried about its addiction/ side effects. Not sure how you're doing it, but Im proud of you. I am such a baby when it comes to pain. I prayed that your pain gets more bearable and eventually goes away. How did you injure your back?

  • Hi Daisy Flower,i have been on Effexor for nearing 18 yrs,i have cut myself from 225 to 75.Yes it has been so hard,i am also on mitasipine,cut from 30 to 15,i would like to get of all meds.I get terrible pains in the left side of my head,and blurry vision.Im sick of side effects and feeling like a zombie.Although, since cutting down ,i do feel low and pariniod,but hey isnt that life.I feel i have been shielded from a lot,now im back in the bad world, having to take my knocks.I have read that effexor is one of the hardest to come off.Megx

  • Annielawrie,

    Wow....Im amazed at how long you hav been on Efflexor. You are doing a great job...and I can only imagine the courage and nerve you have to work up in preparation for living without your dependency on meds.

    I believe these psyche meds have robbed us of our true selves...and we are so dependent on them its hard for us to tell who we are anymore. Once we get off we hardly know the person we used to be. Then we have to readjust to the big, bad scary world. If getting off your meds completely is what you want then it seems like you are on the right track. Just be very careful with your decisions and make sure you have a strong support system that will be there for you through it all. I believe it can be done safely and successfully. My best to you.

  • Hi Daisyflowers,when my son came back from America,I was on the highest dose, and he was shocked, he thought i had a stroke.I could,nt string a sentence together.I do understand though i was on them for a reason,and at the time im so thankfull there was help through meds. and mental heath services.But i have also put on so much weight, on meds,i went from a size 12 14 to 18..20.My husband has noticed the difference,he says im more with it, im back to arguing about things,with him,lol.I will be very carefull,and its true what you say,about getting used to the big bad world.I have been shielded forso long.I can cry again over the silliest thing,thanks for your reply, take care, speak soon,Megx

  • Megx,

    Amazing...I was wrong...Im always right....JK! Well, I thought depression meds in general would help you to lose weight. Mine did. I lost close to 30 lbs when I first got on Effexor. Now, that I'm off I have regained that weight. I realized the pills were allowing me to fill that void...instead of eating comfort foods during my depression I had just lost my appetite. After I got off....the weight came back in like 3 to 4 months like a vengeance from hell. I am now 40 lbs overweight. My ideal weight was 153 when I was in the military by American standards. I was over-weight and out of Regulations....lol...but I got measured with the tape and made the cut. I am dreading 200 lbs....but constantly working on my diet for health reasons. My husband just says he loves meat on his bones. I can only imagine how messed up those meds had you.

    Well, we live and we learn. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi, I just read your post and could relate to some of it, on withdrawl I think every drug is different, I have used painkillers, sleeping tablets, Im an ex smoker, I have been prescribed psychiactric medicine, its one thing after another, I am happiest when I am sober and not using drugs, its a downward spiral when I do. On support, it makes a diference talking to someone once in a while, I have been phoneing social services out of hours just to let off steam. The way anti depressents and anti psychotics are prescribed worries me, I am curious and angry about it. ty.

  • Misterporpoise,

    I whole heartedly congratulate you on your commitment to becoming a non-smoker. I lost my father to smoking...emphysema and pneumonia. I now beg people to quit smoking because of the way I saw my father suffer in the last days....had the hole in his throat with the trachea/ breathing tube (not sure how to spell or say it) and everything. Its just not worth it.

    You have a right to be concerned about these prescription drugs. More people ought to be. Do you know I read a report online....and since then there have been things on the news about it as well. The article reported that in all the incidences related to violence and people who went on these killing/shooting sprees at schools, movies, etc...all of those people had either been on some type of psyche meds or had gotten off in the last six months. Also, some of those people had been seeing some type of therapists. It's like....wow, what's really going on? Is the pharmaceutical industry really into the business of making people sick or worse for a profit???

    So, yeah, my 15 year old battles with depression...but she doesn't seem to be having as much difficulty as I am. However, there was a time where it seem like she just kept on going down and down and I felt desperate on making her better....I felt like I would do anything...but I knew there was one thing I wouldn't do. I was not going to give in to the therapist forcing me to put her on psyche meds. When my daughter saw my side effects she said mommy "I don't ever want to be on those type of pills." I said I don't ever, ever want you on them. I'm glad my suffering and experience serves as a deterrent for her. In the mean time we found other ways for her to have the assistance and support she needed by giving her a lot of love, time, new hobbies such as painting and drums. She is good for the most part now.. Still gets depressed...but she tends to spring right back out of it. Let's keep these meds out of our kids system. I really believe it makes them worse...well all of us for that matter.

    I believe that more people should be concerned as well. If people starts to pay attention they will be able to see the new trends set forth lately with the not-so random violence taking place in America. Unfortunately, the only thing that really has their full attention is social media like FB and dumb reality shows. How sad is that while we are having a national and world-wide mental crisis?

  • I can identify with a lot of what you wrote.. I just recently had my medication changed, but I feel they took

    me off my trazadone WAY too fast, and then had me on a really low dose of mirtazapine for a few weeks,

    and it was one scary experience..

    I was an absolute wreck, I couldn't function, couldn't stop crying, I felt like stabbing myself and was having really

    violent thoughts.

    It was awful.

    So going cold-turkey is not only worse, it's also dangerous, and I don't know how some professionals (that's

    if you don't do it yourself) can get it so wrong!!

    Hope you're ok,

    Take care,Holly xxx

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