Off meds and absolutely worried / rel... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Off meds and absolutely worried / relapsing?

1303abion profile image
19 Replies

Hi guys. I've been on venlafaxine for 5 years, sometimes I was also prescribed xanax and then it was lorazepam. A 1 week ago my treatment finished. Of course that leaving meds was gradually until we reached the dose zero.

The thing is, I'm starting psychotherapy today. I'm absolutely terrified my depression will come back. As for my anxiety (I have GAD), I'm already feeling it. Desperate thoughts, the feeling that I'm stuck and never will get fully recovered, feeling that no one understands me and that my boyfriend doesn't know how to deal with my bad days... My doctor told me to take half a lorazepam when I feel too overwhelmed. Which I did in the last 3 days.

I am aware that fitness / artistic activities should help. But you guys knows how this is. You might have the rules in your mind, but then when it's time to actually DO something you just can't and go back to your bad habits or rituals. At least I can keep on socializing (I'm a very social)... Actually, I don't know if meeting with people is a way for me to escape from myself? Anyways.

Is anyone here having or had a similar experience? How did you do it?

(Sorry my bad grammar, english is not my native language)

19 Replies
ElephantsHear profile image
ElephantsHear

Hi, are you feeling paranoid? I have a job interview at 2 pm. It’s hard to live on a VA disability check alone. The job is working at a psych treatment center for kids 4-17. I haven’t worked in a year- I think I’m just scared. I feel like I’m going insane. I guess we feel the same way. Do you mind re-assuring me it’s anxiety/fear? I’ve always heard that if you question your sanity that you’re not insane. I took seroquel/ Ativan for anxiety (interview at 2pm). I feel like a failure for not coping well. Thanks (forgive me if I wasn’t helpful- my head hurts and I feel like my heart’s beating too strong).

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to ElephantsHear

Don't worry, I think it's great that you use this community to ask for help. To begin with, the mere fact of asking for help will help you realize that you are currently dominated by anxiety. But remember, anxiety does NOT define you, it is not who you are, it is not your personality. It is an unpleasant guest who appears without warning and with whom we have to deal with the tools we find at that moment. Then you can work in therapy about constructing more tools or learning when to apply each one of them.

You acted fast and wise: you took your medication and asked for help - that will help you "lower" the noise. Be gentle to yourself, you are on the road to recovery, and this little episode is temporary and you have the resources to deal with it.

Your fear is totally normal. I wish you A LOT OF LUCK in the interview! :)

Hope this helped you.

ElephantsHear profile image
ElephantsHear in reply to 1303abion

Thank you so much!!! I hate to ever “hijack” a post per se. I’m going to print ur post if I can. My job interview is in 4 minutes. I’m sorry you have anxiety too. Thank you!

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to ElephantsHear

Let me know how it goes. And just hang in there 💫💫

Pugglesworth profile image
Pugglesworth

Coming off meds is not an easy thing to do. There are support boards out there built for doing just that. Two I know of are survivingantidepressants.org and benzobuddies.org. Both are good communities in my opinion.

Not taking meds is a personal choice. I was very close to being med free a couple of times; however, the withdrawal symptoms were too great for me so that didn't occur. I'm on small dosages now and will keep working for smaller.

All I can offer is it's a journey. It's a journey into what works and what doesn't, how we deal with our thoughts and physical reactions, how we handle pressure, what we believe and everything in between. It's a journey into ourselves. Being brave enough to feel what we feel, accept that and move forward.

As far as activities are concerned there's a saying: the toughest thing about going to the gym is going to the gym. And that's true on any given front. The toughest thing about getting started is getting started. Once you've started, let's say taking a walk in the park, you've already done the toughest part. And that's simply the way it is.

God's speed in your journey.

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to Pugglesworth

Thanks A LOT. This was really helpful to read, especially since today I'm in a really bad day. 😊

Pugglesworth profile image
Pugglesworth in reply to 1303abion

No problem.

Glad it helped.

:)

DaveySaunders profile image
DaveySaunders

Venlafaxine cured my terrible anxiety problem - but I would never advise anyone to go on it. It took me months of terrible withdrawal symptoms - it took me 6 months to get off it gradually reducing the dose every few weeks - it was a nightmare - I was on 225mg - I am finally off it and would never go on it again ......

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to DaveySaunders

Thanks for your reply, I feel the same way only that this withdrawal is so horrible I feel All the worst anxiety symptoms as If I have never take any meds. I would advise anyone to avoid venlafaxine and try to get a different med

lovetodance2018 profile image
lovetodance2018

Thank you for sharing. I can totally relate to what you wrote. I have been on and off medication for years. I also went to therapy. What finally helped me, which it sounds like you are the right track, was awareness of myself, what I need to avoid depression, and the signs that I might be heading into depression. Part of depression is chemical imbalance, but part of it is how we deal with what we are feeling and our thoughts. I have four techniques that really help me when I start to feel like I am struggling or going to spiral. Self-awareness, self-talk, and saying no to depression are the key to feeling better. I tell myself every time I think I am going to spiral - I say NO to depression and change my focus.

1) Healing comes from the inside out. It starts with letting go of the things of the past, forgiving and changing our focus and behavior. Becoming aware of what you need through self-care and personal nourishment. Take time for yourself - you are worth it. Like taking walks, baths, massages, mani/pedi/, listening to uplifting music/sermons and anything that makes you feel refreshed and renewed.

2) The 557 breathing technique is take 5 deep breaths in while thinking good thoughts about yourself like I matter, I am special, I am strong and then hold the breaths for the count of 7 focusing on those words about yourself, then let out the breath slowly for 5 seconds letting go of any anxious, self-defeating, unhealthy thoughts. I do this one to three times a sitting.

3)The gratitude journal is writing down something good every morning and night something that went well in the day, or something I appreciate about myself. Taking our focus off of the anxiety and depression and focusing on positive uplifting things really helps. What you think is what you believe. So thinking uplifting things you believe those things but the reverse is true - thinking negative self-defeating things, you will believe those.

4) Emotional Freedom Tapping -bit.ly/3dxklcP You tap on pressure points while you repeat positive uplifting things to yourself.

Prayer is the biggest thing that helped me. Letting go of my anxiety and concerns and giving them to God who is in control. I will be praying for you. Feel free to pm me if you'd like to chat. Hugs and God Bless

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to lovetodance2018

Thanks A LOT I’m making a scren print so I can read it in my worst days ❤️

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to lovetodance2018

Btw I used to have a gratitud journal and thanks to this comment I might use it again

lovetodance2018 profile image
lovetodance2018 in reply to 1303abion

How are things going? I have been praying for you. Hugs

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to lovetodance2018

Thanks for asking! I have been feeling a little more balanced since i’m back on meds since monday… today I had a beautiful therapy session with my psychotherapist and she teached me a breathing and body exercise that helps to relax and that is for “coming down to Earth”… in fact it is called “grounding”.

Although they have given me the lowest dose of medication, I believe that it is good for now. I try to stay positive that I am going to get out of this crisis even if it is for a while, and prepare myself when a new one appears. I am also reading a meditation book. Although I have not put it into practice yet, informing myself about it makes me feel that I am progressing somehow.

I really appreciate your concern and your good energy. It certainly helps a lot to keep going. ❤️ how are you?

lovetodance2018 profile image
lovetodance2018 in reply to 1303abion

So glad you had a good session. Being grounded is important and having breathing techniques that work for you. Positive self-talk is so helpful too. My meditation is focused on my prayers to God and they really help me. I am doing well. Thanks for asking. You will pull out of this crisis. Just remember you are not alone and you can reach out anytime. We are here for each other. Hugs

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to lovetodance2018

All my love and gratitude you ❣️

duchess1226 profile image
duchess1226

Hi there!! So a little background, I have full on panic attacks brought in by peri-menopausal/ hormone issues. I was not really a candidate for anything except Xanax to try to shorten attacks but the trigger is hormones so they rise and fall as they want. I started taking 1 Xanax daily and was ok for about 2 months. Then it felt like 1, never-ending panic attack and the doctor decided Xanax had 'turned' on me and to discontinue.

I settled back in to the occasional attacks but decided I had to do something else. I now vigorously exercise (running or biking) for 2 hours every morning, drink insane amounts of water (like I track it), and I paid for and took a deep breathing class. I do not pretend I do not still suffer but I feel better than I have in years and no meds at all. The breathing techniques help when the attacks start. I know this is not optimal for everyone but wanted to share my experience.

On a side note, have your blood work done. In my MANY years of dealing with this and doing research, I have learned that certain deficiencies can create GAD and Panic. Anemia, low b12, and low vitamin D were just a few and easily fixed. Take care!! xoxoxoxo

1303abion profile image
1303abion in reply to duchess1226

Im so thankful for your feedback and sharing 💕 really, this is the kind of support that WORKS

duchess1226 profile image
duchess1226 in reply to 1303abion

I could not agree more....in some of my worst days, I came here and some of the kind comments and support helped so much. xoxo

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