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i'm back on venlafaxine now but had a complete disaster stopping this drug about 9 months ago. the reason i wanted to stop is because it hasn't helped my anxiety much and i get a number of side effects which i hate which just come out of the blue.
i reduced what i was taking over about 8 months. i was at 375mg and brought it down to 37.5mg over that period. the worst i had from making the reductions were a couple days of higher than normal anxiety around 2 weeks after i made a reduction, i can't remember how much each reduction was. i stopped completely sooner than i would have liked as i went on holiday and forgot my medication.
i thought i was ok but 2 months later while living in a stressful environment my stress was getting on top of me which is a trigger for my panic disorder. it worried me a bit as i recognised the signs, a couple weeks later my friend fell ill it was quite serious and i felt an over exaggerated fear for their safety and welling being. i had also started a new job a few days before stopping my medication and i found it im possible to focus as i was worring for my self and my friend. it got to a point that a lot of the sensations i used to get from my panic disorder came back and i had to stop this trial job i had started.
it's a lot to explain in detail but the stress my mind was under was huge and i was very frightened. the next few months are too scary and painful to describe in words, i'll make it as basic as i can. first i tried to get through it without meds, i started getting more agitated and started diazepam, stomach pains started after going back on citalopram, in desperation i tried other medications similar to diazepam, terrible feeling of about to be sick but was more of a suffering feelings, a few times i had to pace through out the house for 2 hours non stop because of stomach pains, i got myself admitted to a local mental health ward out of desperation for help, was put on highest dose of diazepam for a month didnt work i couldnt believe it aswell well as taking anti sickness and beta blockers and also ompeprazol which maybe gave minor relief to my constant stomach pain, decided to bite the bullet and go back on venlafaxine and stick with it. maybe took 2 months to start feeling better.
sorry if that was a lot to take in.
so looking back now after feeling better for atleast 2 months it is still scary thinking back on what i went through for 5 months. it has come to my attention that a big factor in the whole was stress and feeling helpless. i hated the fact that nothing the doctors gave me work at all, the diazepam was ineffective for the pain i had. i forgot to mention i used alcohol for quite a while as it was the only thing that would help the pain, the pain was too much to bare, i couple of weeks i could have bared but day after day and then month after month the added stress of it all is something thats unbareable but i had to bare it.. i slowly but down on everything and now all i take is 225mg venlafaxine, no alcohol. forgot to mention i was on mirtazipine for a while but stopped that myself.
sorry i couldnt make this shorter but a lot happened. so now im back to where i started and a little wiser. a few key points i have in my mind.
* im i dependant on antidepressants.
* i underestimated how hard it would be to stop.
* i underestimated how stress plays a part.
* i definitely have to get to a better place before thinking of coming off venlafaxine completely.
* i need to come off venlafaxine more slowly give the chemicals in my brain more time to adjust.
thats all i'll put for now. if anyone can share their experiences of coming off please post here. i keep hearing this drug is one of 2 that is really hard to come off.
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