9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Laney, I do suffer with depression but my Gp is also thinking I have some bi polar in there too. I'm coming off meds, weaning off both Venlafaxine and Bupropion. I'm considering being without for a bit..my head feels so messed up and my weight has gone through the roof...I'm 2 stone heavier than the beginning of this year and so sick of it all. But I'm also worried. I am also so fed up with meds working to start with and then they wear off, so beginning to wonder if it's worth taking anything at all. I don't have huge highs and lows (so struggle to see how it can be Bi polar..) Are you thinking of going without? 

    Julia 

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  • Posted

    I have borderline personality disorder and clinical depression, currently in a major depressive episode after an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

    Every time I tell my mental health team that I don't think the venlafaxine is working, they up the dose. They won't listen when I tell them I think it's making me feel worse. So I am now trying to come off of it on my own. So far this week I've dropped from 375mg to 225mg, will drop to 150mg next week. Hoping to be totally clear of it by mid September.

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    • Posted

      Lucy, my wife came off Venlafaxine XL 150 mg in 2013. She reduced her dose to zero over 4 months, with some difficulty. The next 3 months she was on a roller coaster, once saying 'I know it sounds awful, but I just want to die', other times her mood would be quite high. She would get very anxious, so to try and alleviate her pain a little, on her psychiatrist's advice she began taking Sertraline 50 mg, which she stayed on for 2 months before halving the dose. A month later my diary stops, and I think she came off the Sertraline soon after. It took her a year altogether, from first reducing Venlafaxine, to be clear of withdrawal, and, thank God, she's never looked back. She's now bright and her mood is stable. She's in better shape now mentally than any of the 11 years she was on Venlafaxine.

      So, in view of her experience, I'm worried for you. Withdrawal in her case created symptoms associated with mental illness, a mental illness she's not got. It's not just you I'm worried about. Withdrawal is played down by the professionals for two reasons: (a) they like to believe in the drugs they prescribe, and (b) they know practically nothing about withdrawal because they interpret the symptoms of withdrawal as the reappearance of the underlying mental illness, so either they step up the dose, or move to a different drug. That way they never can tell what's withdrawal and what's the supposed underlying mental illness.

      A respected website in the UK suggests withdrawal from antidepressants takes about 6 weeks, or occasionally 12, which is not my experience.

      I suggest people should approach antidepressants with the utmost scepticism and avoid them altogether if they possibly can. Once they're on them there's a risk they don't know which way they should be going: reducing, increasing or trying another. My limited experience in the UK is that once people are seen to be coping with life they can be left on the antidepressants indefinitely. That's one way to avoid the painful process of withdrawal, and convenient for the professionals and the drug companies.

      What I have written is no comfort to anybody, except to those who are bravely coping with depression without meds.

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  • Posted

    Interesting question, and I shall be interested in the replies.  Is it possible that antidepressants cause more grief in the longer term than a bout of serious depression that one comes out of without the help of medication?  I'm not saying people don't need help; we all need the help of friends and family.

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  • Posted

    Yes I am.

    I had a breakdown a year ago. My ex husband gambled away all our money and disappeared abroad leaving me to sort out the mess he left behind. And it was a HUGE mess.

    I tried counselling and was put on a course of CBT - I was having panic attacks, couldn't go out, crying constantly, depressed and all the rest.

    The CBT councellor was useless,she touched on subjects and just as I thought I was getting somewhere she ended the session. She homes in on useless things for example a whole session was wasted because she wanted me to go out for a meal on my own - that is something I wouldn't do anyway! I would hate it. But she made a big issue out of it. ( I am disabled and struggle with the food issue ) She was stifling yawns and didn't turn up for two appointments without telling me.

    She gave me homework which was useless. And she talked at me the whole time, I wanted to talk about things but it was always her show.

    So, I go to an exercise class, joined a singing group and do a bit of voluntary work.i have even been on holiday alone. However I am still very depressed, and very lonely. But I don't want to take medication.

    I am going to stick it out

    Does this help any?

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    • Posted

      You're being dealt a lot of trouble!  Too bad when counsellors take you for a ride, but good for you - you weren't taken in.  You are still at the helm of your life.  Congratulations, and I hope very much that you come out of this proud of the way you have coped through such a challenging time.

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    • Posted

      You should be proud of yourself Starlet55. All this!! And you are still up and about, doing exercise, singing! You are doing well. and this awful councillor!! My goodness!! How many women does she know that wants to go for a meal alone!! She should be reported...and stifling yawns!! I'm so,sorry about your rat of a husband. (Sorry, a bit rude I know)...but your last comments..'I am going to stick it out' says a lot about your strength of character..keep doing what you are enjoying...I hope you are well soon xx 

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  • Posted

    Yes. I have depression and was taking meds for quite some time, but then I decided they weren't fixing me so I tapered off and tried to attack my depression [anxiety too] from a different angle. But boy, was I struggling off the meds - I was aware that might happen though - and it was hell. So a year later, recently, having had to admit my other approach wasn't working either[!], I went back on meds - for sleep at first - but wow, the difference is really quite obvious now. I'm staying on meds. I only just scraped through really without them. That's the truth. 

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    • Posted

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not over the moon with great happiness, I'm just able to cope/manage a bit better. I changed a couple of things in my life as well so that's helping as well. But still, in reality, I have a long way to go before I can reach a point and say - yes, I am stable within myself. 

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