is this withdrawal or depression?

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I've just remembered how as I youngster I would rub a pommel stone on my legs until they bled to make me feel better! I want to feel better now ūüėĘ

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  • Posted

    Hi Belinda, could you explain the context?  I'm assuming you went off of Ven.  How much were you taking, for how long, did you do a taper off, and how long have you been off?  What are your symptoms?  What was the taper schedule like if you did taper?

    Depression and anxiety can come up from withdrawal, at a level far exceeding anything you have experienced before.  This is not to be confused with a relapse.  I was there.  I went off too fast last year and suffered protracted withdrawal for 10 months before finally reinstating.  Unfortunately, I didn't know about withdrawal when my doctor put me back on at 37.5 mg.  I had been off so long that a much smaller reinstatement may have been all that was needed to alleviate my symptoms.  I had a complete reversal, though, within an hour of taking that dose.  I just have a lot farther to go to come off than I might have.

    I have created this post for those who want to come off their meds safely:

    I hope this helps!  I strongly encourage you to join Survivingantidepressants to get more support from those who have been there, done that and have tons of wisdom to share.


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    • Posted

      Thanks betsy

      Was on venlafaxine for 2-3 years, 75mg am and 75mg pm. My GP tapered me off as no longer working. 35mg am and 35mg pm for a week, then just 1 35mg per day. Last dose was last Wednesday!

      I've since got rushed to hospital for tacki heart rythum and high blood pressure which all calmed down after a few hours and was sent home having been told to continue the taper.

      I've experienced everything mood wise and my body feels knackered! I've now shut myself away in my room and told husband and grown boys to just leave me alone, there input makes me feel worse depression wise

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    • Posted

      Belinda, that taper was WAY TOO FAST given you were on it for that long.   Your nervous system remodeled with the drug's action as part of the equation, and now it is like yanking a trellis out from a vine - your brain is scrambling to adapt back.  Fast tapers don't equate to fast recovery with this drug, unfortunately, and protracted withdrawal can be brutal and last a long time.  

      Since your last dose was just last week, I would strongly recommend reinstating that 35 mg dose and holding there.  It should give you a lot of relief.  You will want to become stable for at least a month before beginning a slow taper off the rest.  How were you feeling at 35 mg?

      Please review the link I gave you and go to Surviving Antiedepressants for more support.  It is free, anonymous, no risk.

      You poor thing!  I'm sorry this was done to you!

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    • Posted

      Thanks betsy, others on here have said it was way to fast, but I went along with the GP and the hospital doc

      35.7 mg is as low as it goes, it was when I went from 2x35.7 to 1 a day that my nervous system seem to freak out, haven't been right since!

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    • Posted

      I think you were on the immediate release kind, not the extended release kind.  The immediate release must be taken 2 x day because the half life of ven is so short that you otherwise have interdose withdrawal!  So, it would be best to break that 37.5 mg in half and take half AM and half PM.

      And the danged drug manufacturers don't make them in small enough dosages to fascilitate you getting off safely, causing "relapse" and back on their drugs you go!  But that just behooves them; they want lifetime customers.  Big Pharma Sucks! 

      Anyway, once you stabilize, you can come off very gradually such that you hardly notice any symptoms as your system slowly adapts.  Problem is, you will need to take things into your own hands to break the dosages down small enough.  or ask your doctor if you can have a liquid version.  With the liquid, you use a syringe to measure the amount equating to the number of mgs you want.  Since you have had an extreme WD reaction, your system is very sensitized, and it is recommended to not cut more than 10% per month.  So, if 37.5 mg is 5 ml (not sure what the actual is), then you would take 90% of 5 ml.  Not sure how the liquid version works in terms of half life, might be necessary to split that into two doses.  Does that make sense? 

      You can get help with all of this through Surviving Antidepressants, the forum I mentioned.

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  • Posted

    Hi Belinda. I could tell the difference between venlafaxine withdrawal and the depression I experienced that before I took venlafaxine for a couple of reasons. First of all, the depression an anxiety that I had could be eased through cutting or thinking violent thoughts (I know, weird). But there was no thought or action that could stop the terrible things I was feeling when I was withdrawing. Second, I experienced a "mixed state" where I felt depression and anxiety simultaneously. This is something I had never experienced before. I am currently getting off of the venlafaxine for good, thanks to Prozac (fluoxetine). I highly recommend you check it out. It 's been a godsend for me. Good luck!
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