I've stopped taking my venlafaxine 150 mg

Posted , 12 users are following.

i know all the guidance suggest slow withdrawal. My memory is terrible and making silly mistakes when typing is sooo frustrating I could go on ....

anyway 3 days ago I stopped taking the tabs. I'm not feeling very good, headaches, numbness in head, lips and tongue. Aching all over. But I am determined to get off them. 

I am am looking for discussion with people doing something similar to help me through what could be a rough time.

also can't sleep but feel tired, hence writing at 3:20am.  Nausea and a bit emotional. Irritable !!!! I am biting everyone's head off except the dog who is getting lots of walks, excercise make sure me feel better. Washed 4 cars yesterday. 

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  • Posted

    David, I hate to say it but CT is NOT advised, even by the drug makers!  How long were you on ven?
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    • Posted

      Cold Turkey.  A year isn't too bad, but it is still long enough for your nervous system to have adapted and become dependent on the drug's action.  This drug blocks neurotransmitter receptors and at 150 mg, your receptors were over 90% blocked.  Going cold turkey means they are will be completely unblocked by four days out, which will cause withdrawal to get even more wild.  Also, the nervous system adapts to the increased level of neurotransmitters the drug creates in the neuron gap by making modifications, paring back receptors and decreasing production of serotonin and norepinephrine.   It will take a good amount of time for those changes to be made in reverse.  It is much kinder to yourelf to do some kind of taper rather than a cold turkey.  Just a friendly suggestion :-)

      If it gets really ugly, you could try reinstating 75 mg and see if it gives you relief.  Then stabilize for a good month before beginning a slowish taper.  10% per month is the very conservative rate suggested by withdrawal authorities, but you could perhaps get away with 20% since you haven't been on it super long.

      I was on it for 12 years when I came off too fast, and went through 10 months of protracted withdrawal before reinstating 37.5 mg.  I am now doing the very slow taper, because after that many years my system is clearly quite dependent on the drug and is very slow to adapt back.

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    • Posted

      Betsy, 

      really appreciate the feedback and the time you have taken. That alone is lifting for me so thanks again! 

      i feel a bit stubborn in my CT approach. Do a degree if it was easy, I would be disappointed, given the last 12 months and what I have put the family through - does that make sense? Maybe just to me!

      wow  90% of receptors blocked.

      distraction is working at the moment. Just writing on this discussion I find I'm that some of the symptoms of CT have improved, which leads me to think that keeping active, both physically (walking the dog, cleaning the cars) and mentally is the key for me at this time.

       

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    • Posted

      What exactly were your issues when you reinstated ? I haven't felt too bad , but I have had terrible anxiety the last couple days leading up to my men cycle. It's my first on since not having any meds in my system. I'm struggling but I think I'm going to have to relearn how to deal with stuff with no meds.
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    • Posted

      Well, I didn't know I was in withdrawal because when I went off, I didn't have the usual WD symptoms that everyone had.  Maybe I'm a slow metabolizer and had so much built up in my system that it took a long time to totally be gone, preventing the initial wd.  I never did have a brain zap!  It started a month or more out with severe cog fog, followed by terrible sweats, increased BP and heart rate, and burning skin sensations.  Anxiety began to build, mood swings, peaking with feelings of doom/dread, fear, extreme anxiety, derealization, until at about 9 months out I went on mirtazapine because I couldn't sleep or eat and was in total despair.  The mirt helped initially but pooped out as I went up in dose, or just couldn't hold up to the withdrawal (in hindsight).  I ended up totally apathetic, non-functional, and agoraphobic on almost the highest dose of mirt, so that's when my doc suggested going back on ven. No one recognized that I was in WD, just thinkig I had "relapsed," though my symptoms were far more severe than I had ever experienced before.  I was pretty freaked out.  I now know that this is a common sequellae of protracted wd.

      So, when I reinstated 37.5 mg everything changed within one hour  No side effects, though I did have  numb lips/tongue.  Since my doc reduced the mirt by 20% at the same time as adding the ven, I don't know if it was a ven start up side effect or a mirt WD effect.

      If I had known that it was withdrawal, "maybe" I could have held on and pushed through, but not knowing that, it was terrifying.  My whole family was worried for me with the severity of my symptoms.  

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    • Posted

      What a story anf jouney.

      Hope you were not too discouraged about reinstating the 37.5.

      For me, the homeopathic delivery of pure Venlafaxibe, after breaking down the 37.5 caps by 1/4 every 10 days, is fair. Its two pills on the tongue once a day (and that comes with all the guidelines for how to take and store any homeopathic remedy.

      The Brain scratching (with legt/right eye movement), cog fog, derealization, sweats, and labile affect is still menecing for me and my supportive wife.

      I know people have parts who don't want to be dependent on a doctor to help get them off this SNRI or they don't want to believe their brain is already dependent on the drug, but it is. Don't "go cold turkey".

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    • Posted

      I have been off for about 3 months from the Effexor but one month off everything. I hope all that doesn't start happening to me. I have been dealing with some of those symptoms but they started while I was still on the Effexor. I guess all I can do is wait it out and see if it starts. I really hate to have to reinstate knowing what's happening to me and some is die to withdrawal and some due to my brain relearning how to deal with not having the drug. They come and go. Just reading your reply made me anxious. 😒
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry about that!  But hey, you have one advantage over me when I was in withdrawal - you know it's withdrawal!  I didn't, and so it was incredibly frightening, not knowing why I was going through such horribleness!  Looking back, how could we not figure it out?  My husband said he knew it was because I went off Effexor, but not because he knew it was withdrawal but because he thought I just needed to be on it!  Now that I have seen what the danged drug could do to me, it redoubled my desire to be off of it!  Heck if I want to spend the rest of my life on something that can do that to my nervous system!  Had I known, maybe I would have had the strength to hold on.  I did a much too fast taper off.  You have the advantage of being able to do a slow taper and make it easier on yourself.  That is what I am doing, now. Hard to be patient but since I know what going too fast can do to me, I have no other choice.

      I forget how fast you went off, though I know you from here and SA. You always have the option of updosing a little.  How are you feeling now?

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    • Posted

      Ya I came off faster cause I was having all those problems you were but while still on the Effexor ?? I thought I was losing my mind. It's still hard now. But like you said I know so I keep telling myself it's withdrawal. Sometimes I think crap I can't handle this ! I need meds! But then it passes. So I'm scared to start meds again if it will slowly get better. Like I said hormones don't help. I can't remember did you go on for anxiety ?
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    • Posted

      I went on for depression, thanks to going to the doctor for a bad upper respiratory infection.  The doctor said "you are depressed, you need to see a p-doc" and so I did.  I had been on ADs before, though, but this was the pivotal moment that I was put on this horrid drug!

      I think menopause was another reason I didn't recognize WD.  I had also come off the pill because I figured I HAD to be in menopause - mom and sis had been through it by my age - so double whammy of coming off those hormones, stopping Effexor and not knowing if the severe sweats and cog fog were due to menopause!  Fun times!

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  • Posted

    Cutting cold turkey is not safe nor recommended and will not spare you the suffering of tapering off. As you can see, yhe detox is worse. I am sorry that you're having such a terrible time. You can expect labile mood and some unprectible w/d effects every day. Like others, you wrote that you did not follow the guidance of your doctor or people you know or people on this form, and you went cold turkey. Why did you do this? What are you going to do, besides writing on the form, with a health professional to make your situation safer?

    jake-

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  • Posted

    Wow David, all I can say is......you are brave! I really do applaud you if you can get through this because not many people can go cold turkey from a high dose and succeed. Having said that, it's not impossible, it's certainly not advised and me personally could not do it. I stopped at 37.5 and that was hard enough, 6 weeks later and it's still hard some days. You obviously know already what makes you feel better and what is helping you through so good luck and keep it up! All I want to say is please don't feel like a failure if you have to see your doc for a small dose (if it gets too bad). Be fair to yourself, give yourself time. You sound like a strong person so I hope you get through this 💪🏻👍🏻
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  • Posted

    Sounds like it might not be brave but stupid! 

     Having finally gone to sleep around 6am   ( tea a biscuit at 5:30)  I'm now getting up to face the day. Lying here feels ok! Some lip numbness. But the headache appears to have gone.

    appreciate all the feedback. The thought of being in your thoughts is helping  beyond all belief, I wish I shared before now. cry

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    • Posted

      You're not alone David, we're all here with our own experiences and advice. I think you're doing remarkably well but I worry that its unnecessary, the suffering could be less if you tapered. If it gets overbearing, go to the doc, get a small dose.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Kit, 

      i will if gets overbearing! 

      I asked my wife to give me a list of things to do around the house, and thought that by seeing the things that I had done it would improve the mood. 3 weeks on and 4 of the 6 are still on there. This was my measure as to how I was doing on the tabs. I would rather sleep in and if I could all day I would. 

      I was alive but not living.

      I know it's a bit drastic, but at the moment I feel the old David is re-appearing, made breakfast for the family, cleaned up the kitchen.  All stuff that would have been like climbing Everest last week.

      I appear to have the sweats at the moment so I need to go out in the cold. Dog walk I think. Also as I move my eyes around, I hearing a buzzing noise as if little motors are operating them! Weirdrolleyes

       

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    • Posted

      Oh one of the worst side effects for me was the fuzzy zapping head/eyes. Feeling like your head and body need to catch up with your eyes, does that make sense? Feeling constantly dizzy too was a nightmare, I only get it in short bursts now so hardly notice it. I had the sweating bad when I was on the tablets, I don't get it now I'm off thank god! I must admit I feel pretty good at the minute, still getting palpitations almost every day which I hate but it's not so bad. Doesn't it feel great to start doing things again? Even just cleaning the house and thinking 'I've done that' feels good to me. I was exactly the same, sleeping all of the time and just letting things pass me by. I don't think I'll ever be the person I was before the depression hit but I feel more real now than I have in years.
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    • Posted

      I think sometimes the way these pills work is to make you feel so bad on that when you get off and see yourself again, you think that old self wasn't so bad to live with after all :-)

      I know of a doctor who went cold turkey off a similarly high dose cold turkey and he is 17 months out and still in withdrawal hell.  The longer you wait to reinstate the more likely reinstatement won't work, which is why he isn't try that.  After that long in he doesn't want to start over.  I think the worst of withdrawal comes later out and isn't physical so much as mental, and that is where people just can't take it any more.  The deep depression, fear, doom, suicidal ideation, cortisol spikes bolting you awake at night - these are the protracted symptoms that a slow taper hopefully prevents.

      Healing from withdrawal (from a too fast taper or cold turkey) happens in a windows and waves pattern.  You may start to feel better after the physical symptoms start to die back (a window) followed by a wave, back and forth.  It's not linear and has nothing to do with the drug being in or out of your system.  It's about the neurons trying to adapt back. Thing is, it isn't just the serotonin production and receptors that need to heal; a myriad of other neurotransmitters, hormones, etc. are intertwined by feedback loops with eachother, so they are trying to heal and establish balance, too.

      Just wanted to give you a head's up in case you start to feel better but get slammed again.

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    • Posted

      When I first went mad! Sorry not meaning to disrespect the condition just my way of litening it up. I did a self referral to my local mental health trust. Having had the assessment over the phone my score indicated a need for some Cognital therapy. The one to one session was weeks and weeks away, so i was offered a group training session. We all met at the local liesure centre and two young ladies, presented 6 different topics/training over 6 weeks or so, from relaxation techniques to dealing with fears and how to overcome them.

      A number of things stood out for me: 

      1. looking around the room were normal people of all ages and life experiences. I was not alone, and so many people suffer. At the time I was not ready to make friends and share experiences. I was worried that I would see someone i knew. I just wanted to get it over with and get home quick!! But just seeing these people all wrestling with their own very real condition, maybe like me, but all wanting to take away something that make it go away.

      2. First session we were told to go on YouTube and look for I had a black dog his name was depression. This explained everything for me and i could relate to the analigy. I also showed it to my wife and we looked at the living with a black dog link too. My wife would sometimes ask me how big the dog was today and sometimes I would say to her that the dog is big today. 

      3. I found the relaxation techniques good and this helped me sleep.

      4. I think I also realised that things would not be the same again. 

      Betsy, I know that you are looking out for me and I am sure that whilst i feel in better mood, there is still a way to go. 

      Having people to share this with is great for me. 

      I have noticed that I'm eating more annd shortly after eating I feel sick for a couple of hours.

      We've only had the dog 6 months and i think he has been a contributor to me wanting to take control again. Poor thing has been walked nearly 4 hours today!

      I met one of my Brothers today and he urged me to also taper.

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

      http://patient.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/398331-private-messages

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    • Posted

      So with everyone saying that you should reinstate. Are they trying to say you won't get better if you don't reinstate? I will just stay in withdrawal indefinitely ? Not sure how that works ? I didn't quit cold turkey, I weaned off but kinda fast and then did Prozac for a month. Wouldn't that mean that I will need the Effexor forever?
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    • Posted

      Might as well have!  Did it over the course of a month or so on my own, without any knowledge that these drugs modify your nervous system!  Figured I could just stop since I didn't want to be on them any more.  I think I was on 75 mg.  I had dropped the dosage over the years, had been up to 225 mg at one point, I think.  Now in hindsight I had withdrawal dropping down as well, but it never presented the way people describe, with the brain zaps and nausea etc.  I had cog-fog issues and did a lot of stupid things, caused damage to our vehicle through lapses of concentration.  Twice I forgot to put the car in park, left the engine running and got out, only to have it drive off!  First time it hit a tree.  The second time I had left the door open and managed to catch up to it and shove the brake pedal down with my hand before it hit anything!  This is the kind of mental #$%@ I've had to deal with on or coming down with this drug!  The list of crazy goes on and on!
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    • Posted

      shelbytrev, I think that the reinstatement suggestion is about harm reduction, being that protracted withdrawal from a cold turkey or too fast taper can get seriously bad, to the point that people are non-functional and worse for some..  This isn't necessarily the case for everyone, but as time goes on, the likelihood that reinstatement will work reduces, so it's kind of a strike while the iron's hot type of deal.  

      Reinstating is about bringing relief to the nervous system, and then commencing with such a gradual taper that the nervous system can adjust without big withdrawal symptoms, keeping one functional and living life.  Healing happens eventually for everyone, but it can be a much more extreme ride when not having tapered off slowly.  CTs will not make withdrawal be over with faster and may prolong it.

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    • Posted

      I'm just hope I don't start feeling totally crazy again in another month or something. I already went through that for like 3 months. Still am but its lessening , than it strikes again but passes. It's weird cause I will feel so normal for a while and then I will think hey I haven't felt anxious and then boom l! That will make me anxious. Some of it I do to myself. But sometimes like with this cycle I got moody and anxious, felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. But we went camping and it caused me some anxiety. It's weird doing the normal things we have done for years without meds. Sometimes random things will make me have anxiety. And when I say anxiety it could range from any of the 100 symptoms. But the main four is thinking about dying and how will die and derealization. And talking to myself in my head. Also I hate it when my anxiety makes my senses highly sensitive. But part of that is my fault for thinking I'm gonna start hallucinating or hearing voices. (That happened to my dad cause ge had a lot more issues than I do.) I felt this way the first time I had panic attacks 13 years ago when they put me on the antidepressants. Some lm pretty sure it's me worrying about it that makes it worse. It was so bad for a while I couldn't even take a bath for like a month. Exercising is actually helping me now. For a while when I was having all the big problems I couldn't even concentrate on Zumba cause I would be thinking stupid intrusive thoughts and dwelling on them. Now I can at least zone out most of the time. My therapist says he thinks coming off the Effexor and trying the other ones out me into a minor psychosis. I was still functioning but I felt like I was losing it bad. I hope that's right and it wasn't just my brain doing it. The only reason I'm afraid it was just "me" is because it started happening while still on the Effexor. But some people have told me that withdrawal can actually happen like that and that's why people up the dose. Which I didn't want to do.
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    • Posted

      Definitely the chemical imbalance from the drug doing this.  I had worsening depression and extreme reactions to stress while still on a higher dose of ven.  Though they say tolerance is a benzo thing I disagree, because why else would you have to go up in dose?  To overcome tolerance, with the signs of tolerance being depression and anxiety.  I've read a lot about this, the recommendation being to reduce the dose with symptoms actually being alleviated by doing so, oddly enough.

      Hold awhile longer now that you are seeing improvements, I'd say.  I just had a bad stretch because I switched to a home-made liquid mirtazapine (the other drug I am tapering) and I think it lost its potency...anxiety welling up and mood swings.  I know what you mean about anxiety over the smallest things.  I've had that surge of anxiety looking at a coffee cup phenomenon LOL!  Gotta laugh or you'll cry, right?

      Just notice when you are "doing it to yourself," don't judge but recognize when the thoughts happen, sit with it and let them float on by.  

      The other day I had a mood swing day where I had a crying spell.  Instinct is to fight the emotions, but I thought to myself "I feel so sad!" and just acknowledged it, and then it passed and my mood lifted.  Notice and accept.

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    • Posted

      It was odd cause this all started happening a couple months after a death in the family. Well I thought I was grieving. After I would take my meds at night I started feeling different. Almost like my body would use all the extended release meds at once. Then by morning I would have the intense anxiety. And feeling really strange. So that's when I got the idea it had something to do with my meds. You should read the book panic attacks. Im about halfway and it's helped me a bit. Then a couple days ago I went to my regular doctor and had a ekg. Well they either did it wrong or read the results wrong and scared the heck out of me. Probably using up all my good chemicals I had been working so hard to replenish lol. I freaked out and went to er the next day. Well they did another ekg and some extra things and said I looked fine. Then my Guinea pig died. Then I left to go camping and it was that time of the month. Too much at once 😁. Trying to cope with all those at once. I'm a little frazzled still but not hallucinating or hearing voices yet. Even though my anxiety makes me feel like I could at any moment.
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    • Posted

      So, you have hallucinated and heard voices before?  I know of one guy on the forum who, never before a problem, now has tourretts typle compulsions, to wave his arms and shout things out in public.  These meds, and coming off of them, do nutty things to us.  To think that disturbing the brain chemicals can lead to suicidal ideation, voices, hallucinations, compulsions, etc. is just unfathomable but fact for some.

      I've gotten blown out of the water with stressors, too.  Our nervous system is highly sensitive now so we must do our best to go easy and protect ourselves from stress.

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    • Posted

      Oh heck no, I haven't hallucinated or heard voices. It's just when I feel really anxious I start getting so sensitive to my surroundings I double check things. Like if I see something out of the corner of my eye. Cause I scare myself. If I actually hallucinated or heard other voices besides my own I would probably lose it for real. I just get paranoid about ending up like my dad.
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    • Posted

      Hi all

      Been watching the discussion each day. Also learning more about the pharmokinetics of VEN (venlafaxine). There are published articles on "discontinuance syndrome," which explains most of the adverse symptoms we are talking about here. (this is not the same a seretonin syndrome).

      The electrical scratching / static sound is an all day occurance for me. Doing physical ptojects for istraction helps, as long as I compensate for the balance problems. I am really hating this experience. The mood swings (extreme behaviors), are real difficult for my wife. I am reacting to almost anything she dies from a defensive, insecure place, and doing something unlike me... shouting at her. I'm passionately fighting with her, while feeling like I am watching myself asking, why I don't calm down? I could not find my off switch yesterday and emotionally sooth (something I would usually practice). I am even saying (shouting) things that I regret later. She knows about the VEN withdrawl and supports getting through it, but at what cost? I can feel heightened emotions (also crying at sad or scary scenes in TV shows or movies). Wantibg to snap at others, So iritated with them... or angry. Ugh!!! So not only is this hard on my biochemistry and soul, its hurtful to the ones close to me. Anyone relate?

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    • Posted

      Your not on your own. I share a lot of the traits you highlight. 

      I am concerned at the nastiness in me to those closest. The Wife and the kids are getting short shrift. I did warn them that things may get worse before they get better!

      i have had a great day, if we put the biting heads off (3 plus the dog) to one side. Didn't sleep much last, so I was expecting to be tired and I was keen to see whether I would get up at a reasonable time  or stay in bed given the house would be mostly empty as the family go back to work, school and college. Up before 9am and I have not stopped. In fact I have only just gone to bed. Here's the list in no particular order.

      Spent 3 hours cleaning the oven

      sorted my sons car accident claim with calls to various bods

      Finished the Danish pastries from costco for breakfast

       no lunch

      took dog for two long walks and met several dog walkers and chatted away.

      spoke to and emailed potential job opportunities.

      A friend came round late morning for a quick brew. Plenty of banter given I was high on Brillo oven cleaner - joke!

      spent 4 hours setting up and applying for apprenticeships for my eldest. 

      Wife went out for meal she had told me apparently - I snapped!

      Youngest and I had dinner together ( I apologised for my miserable behaviour yesterday and told him I would try harder - clever little devil said what at being miserable!). 

      No 2 child ringing me to collect from the gym. Made his dinner.

      i made milkshakes for my youngest and I. Something else I have found since withdrawing. Youngest had a snicker and I had grape and strawberry one (recommend).

      having cleaned the oven I proceeded to dismantle the extractor hood and the gas burners Even removed the knobs on the cooker - you would think I was nesting;-) although not as daft as it sounds. I was told that two of my Neice's are expecting again!

      Wife came home - made her favourite milky coffee - still a bit cool between us!

      started to clean the dishwasher in great detail, removing seals and cleaning the bits that catch all the foodstuff like hinges etc..

      I found some Oust and decided to descale the kettle and the iron. The kettle looks new!

      stripped the kitchen bin down and gave thorough clean. Even took out the dint I made in it last week. Not sure the household were too happy with me using a rolling pin at 2am.

      decide to mop the kitchen floor. The mop bucket was filthy. Stripped it down cleaned it and eventually mopped the floor. 

      Finally made a brew and with a couple if shortcake biscuits  head off to bed at 4am.

      Don't feel tired. 

      Talk about extreme behaviours compared to last week. I have a couple more kitchen appliances left to clean tomorrow and I guess, assuming I'm up for it, will make a start on the bathrooms.

      for me I feel so satisfied having done all this today, proud even. I guess image looking for a complement from my Wife in the morning.

      i have not been too emotional today but I do recognise that I am particularly sensitive. My eldest crashed his car a couple of weeks ago, car a write off, him and his mate were lucky to walkaway. 3 Fence posted pierced the car. I still keep hearing his upset voice when he rang me. Now look what I have done 😢😢.

      apologies for the novel 

      I know this is not normal and assume I will come down at some point. I hope it is a gentle come down. 

      Like you I feel bad when I treat those closet to me, those who have had to put up with me for the last 18 months or so with aggressive responses to simple questions.  They don't deserve that 😢 - wave of emotion again.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope in amongst the waffle you see that you are not alone and we're sharing some sh*tty times. It will get better, it will get better IT WILL GET BETTER😭

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, though it isn't so severe now that I am gradually tapering.  In the past I did drops in dosage and didn't put two and two together but recall being hyper-defensive to criticism, always taking my husband's constructive criticism much too much to heart.  I think practicing mindfullness really helps.  I also found a particular spiritual teacher's messages very helpful.  He talks about what he calls the pain body, our uncounscioius thinking self that reacts from negativity and is our cumulative hurts from the past.  So, when I get triggered and flash with anger/irritation and my husband notices, I say "Sorry, that was my Pain Body" acting up.  Or I'll point out when his is acting up, and we usually have a chuckle over it.  It's like an entity that lives within us and has a life of its own and is addicted to negativity, and it doesn't like to be noticed - Noticing it takes its power away :-)  Tell your wife "that's my withdrawal acting up," and it will take away some of the sting for her, I'm sure.
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    • Posted

      I should say noticing it when it happens within yourself takes its power away.    He talks about when you don't react to the pain body of another, it doesn't like it and has what's akin to a tantrum - it doesn't like to be ignored LOL!

      When I find myself in that place, it has helped me pull out of it by thinking about it this way. 

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    • Posted

      I like that, I'll have a go. 

      We usually refer to it as the black dog.  Have you seen the you tube guidance 'I had a black dog his name was depression'. I found it helped me to understand and simplify the condition. 

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    • Posted

      There is one called living with a black dog. I got my wife to watch to try and understand how I was feeling. Hence we now talk about this black dog is behaving. Still not brought him to heal yet.
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