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I am a very private person but I felt I had to tell my story to give hope to others who are on this 'poison'.
How I got hooked:
I was in my mid 30's and life was going as well as any human could expect. I had the professional job I wanted in the organization I wanted. I married the love of my life. I had a beautiful house in a wonderful/safe community and two kids I adore. What could possibly be bad? If you met me you would say "Now that is one happy/funny guy." However, I was struggling DEEPLY in my soul. A depression was slowing starting to swallow my life to the point I dove into self help books and went to see my pastor to find relief. My life was imploding and I did not know why. I read so much about depression online and, though I could not understand how it could effect me, finally admitted to myself I was depressed. So, I went to see my physician.
*****Warning...DO NOT SEE YOUR NORMAL DOCTOR ABOUT DEPRESSION! SEE A SPECIALIST ON THE SUBJECT****
I went to my general Doctor for a physical to make sure everything was good. Finally I talked about my overwhelming depression. They started me on Effexor saying it happens and his will help. There was NO warning of thr side effects. There were no tests done. I could have just been crazy and they would have still given it to me. Grrrrr, I wish I could put this doctor through what I went through.
I got to the point (5 years and several dose increases later) that I wanted to get off. I just did not feel it was helping as I was still struggling. So, I read up on how to do it. I tried cold turkey once and also lowered my dose to a ridiculously small amount. I even staggered my small dose. NOTHING MATTERED! I still felt horrible with the typical things people have. I got to 21 days completely off it...and that was the worse day of any! I was so bad Icould not even drive so I had a friend take me to get some..it was that bad. Oh...it's like a freaking nightmare thinking back.
So I went on for a time as I researched more trying to find anything that helped people survive this withdrawal period. At last...I found it. I will say that not solution will work for everyone but this one did for me.
I read that taking Vitamin b12 complex and Omega 3 fish oil pills helped. I started taking them (1000 mg 3x a day with the fish oil), lowered my dose to almost nothing...and then stopped. My emotions were all over the place as it always was but the brain fuzz, tunnel vision and the other not so nice things were not nearly as bad. It still was not easy (oh.. The emotions.. Thank the Lord for a patient/supportive wife) but I DID IT! Took a month to feel completely free but I would have accepted 6 mos if I knew it would work.
If one person reads this and the vitamins help them get off of this crap then this post would have been well worth my time.
PS. PLEASE...see a real specialist. Was I depressed? Yes! Was my world imploding? Yes! However the depression was just a symptom. Only in the last year did I get the real diagnosis. I figured it out...by watching my son. He struggles with ADHD. I was watching him one day and said to my wife "I bet I would have been diagnosied as a kid". I did more research on ADD in adults and l realized I just learned coping mechanisms as I grew older. The problem is when you are so overwhelmed in life and the coping mechinisms fail that your crash HARD. You literally shut down. I went to see a specialist who ran tests. Finally he put me on Adderal (you can bet your sweet arse I researched this drug to the hilt). O.....M.....G my life changed. I don't procrastinate at work (because I could not stay focused) or at home. Everything is 10000000 times easier and ENJOYABLE. It changed my life.
Moral of the story...see professional help and find out the root of problem and deal with those...not the symptoms.
God Bless you who struggle with Effexor...you can beat it.
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