To tell or not to tell? [descision to go cold turkey]

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I have gone cold turkey on coming off the Ven.

Comments from work have been

"You must let people know."

"You must notify a doctor"


I am interested in this topic as I work in a major Commonwealth Government agency. When I first had mental issues to do with the engagement breakdown:

~ one reaction from a former boss was to put me on a work plan, and have me accessed by a psych. 15mins later they told my workplace that I was obsessive.

I feel that I have the right to make my own descisions - in this case

but for RESPECT, and for assistance, I have told others, especially, my nearest workers, so that they inderstand and can assist if there are any wierd changes to my behaivour.

1 like, 22 replies


22 Replies

  • Posted

    [personal Descision vs business descision]

    My worry is from previous experience that my medical descisions were a Workplace issue.

    The ability of a workplace to make descisions on individuals is a difficult topic, and I would have thought it was not good.

    I have a human right to decide to go cold turkey, vs long term withdrawl torture.

    On the other side, since the workplace has to put up with my different behaivour then they have a 'right' to know what is going on.

    What is DONE with the information afterwards is an issue, [is it held against me]

    [team vs no team]

    I've been 14 years in the Commopnwealth Department. Previously in a *real* team environment, I was happy to let people know and these co-workers who were actually friends would have supported me as I would have supported them if the reverse happened. I knew that the information would not be used against me.

    My no-team experience was that the former supervisor tried to have me fired from the department for supposed loss of work ability.

  • Posted

    Firstly, I think you are very brave if not courageous at coming off Venlafaxine cold turkey.  Have you ever come off anti depressants in the past and what is your reasoning for coming off them now and why so quickly.  Please don't think I am prying but just wonder why??

    Telling your work colleagues is totally up to you, I understand that, and telling those closest to you is a good idea in my mind.  What are your immediate thoughts after reading posts on this forum regarding withdrawal?  I really wish you all the best in this as it is hard!! 

    Kind regards, Susan.

    • Posted

      THANKS for the encouragement Sue!

      You are not prying as I publicly posted this so its all good.

      Honestly, I'm ot brave, it just just felt the right time smile

      "Hey holiday coming up - good time to catch up on projects, hmm I forgot my tablet yesterday. Oh bugger it, lets just try coming off them"

      Re: withdrawl..

      Going "Warm turkey?!?!" (that is just a weird expression froggy don't do it again.)

      ie coming off bit by bit wasn't working.

      I got the brain zaps for days every time I changed levels and there was something like combined 40 levels over a 6 month period. I got down to 25mg before it got me down.

      Mind you its only been 10 days, and if I start seeing Micky Mouse walking around in my building, I will NOT be happy..

      Reaction-wise I have had the SAME level of brain zap as if I'd come off to a lower level.

      I had a bad headache one day / night, maybe due to change in sleeping pattern, sleep deprivation.

      It may also help a lot that I'm a 'signs person' so things aligned and I feel that its a good thing, AUSSIE is coming into the regrowth - positiveness of Spring, so this is also helping me mentally.

    • Posted

      I first heard about the forum thru Google / talulabelle1982 's comments. THANKS Tb..

      I think the withdrawl type and intensity is very dependant on WHO, however the symptoms / reactions seem to be common.

      My immediate thoughts were to dump info on everyone else smile

      I very specifically wrote down my thoughts on what I thought the brain was doing in an attempt to provide some extra groundwork for others if they want to attempt to understand what is going on in their situation, and I'd be very happy if they find something interresting that changes my own thoughts on something.. I'm always a

      My overriding wish is for people to look at all comments and see - hey this may be what I feel, others have been here before in the same situation so now it doesn't feel to intimidating does it Hmm??

      "You must know where you stand before you can take any positive direction." could be one of my morals.

    • Posted

      Well, I still think you're brave and all good luck to you.  I must admit coming into Spring is GOOD, going into Autumn in Scotland is HORRENDOUS.  Lots of driving rain, high winds, flooding and grayness here today, haven't seen sun for days although I think there will be a little tomorrow but 9 degs is not good either.  Onward and upward, wishing you all the best!! Susan.


    • Posted


      We had a few 7degree nights in june..

      But, its humid and 19 degrees today, so not the best smile

      "Onward and upward" from Galaxy quest?

      As soon as we get a decent day, they do a controlled burn off in most of Sydney, so its not all beer and skittles.

    • Posted

      Thanks for all your sound advice, I would settle for 19degs, lucky if we get that in the Summer!!  Here's hoping it's not another sleepless night,

      thanks again, Susan.

    • Posted

      Hey there in Scotland.  Not too good in the south of England at the moment.  We had such a nice summer, didn't we?  

      I came of once cold turkey but the depression returned and I went back on it.  However last year I took months to come off it, and had no withdrawals.  Been off just over a year now.  

      Where does that expression cold turkey come from!!  Weird.

      Take care

    • Posted

      Hi Anne,

      It was a much better day here today, a few hours of sun, amazing, but back to rain tonight!!  Don't know where the expresssion cold turkey came from right enough, but I'm not brave enough for that!!  I went back on the Venlafaxine today, but really don't know how I'll react, I feel so stupid and worthless whe I hear people come off it and surviving, think it's just my general negativity.  Hanging in there though, another day, another dollar!! X

    • Posted

      Susan don't say you are stupid and worthless, of course you are not.  Are you in the UK?  

      I am 73 years old and have been on a lot of different anti depressants for over 20 years.  Last year after being on Effexor for quite a few years my doctor suggested I come off it.  Now if I can withdraw from it, I reckon anybody can, because I am not the strongest of people.  I took 10 months to withdraw, and that way I did not experience any withdrawals.  I think if you could do as I did, and withdraw very slowly, you will be OK.  But on the other hand, it feels safe to be on the Effexor.  I do hope it helps you. 

      Since I stopped over a year ago I have had loss of appetite and nuesea months after I stopped, so don't know if that was caused by stopping the medication.  At least I have lost all the wight I put on whilst taking it!!  I am not a positive person at all, believe me.  I suppose because my doctor said stop, I did.  As I am olod perhaps she thought I would be better off drugs if I could manage without.  Having said that, anxiety has returned.  

      Let us know how you are now.

    • Posted

      Hi Anne, thanks for your kind words!, yes I live in the u.k. and I have been on Venlafaxine for 14yrs. Have done the reduction process slowly but going back on them was never what I wanted.  Today has been the worst yet with trazadone coming out of my system and Venlafaxine going in, (don't know if it works like that, but honestly this is hell). I am shivering, sweating, verty irritable, weepy and wish it were 3 months down the line,  I have been unwell properly for about 6 wks and really struggling, like you I am not getting any younger and just finished cancer treatment a few years ago but this is much worse.  I am so anxious and live with the constant fear that the cancer will return as it had already spread into my lymph nodes.  It seems so strange that you want to live so badly yet this illness takes any enjoyment/happiness away from you, willing it to work soon.  Sorry to be so pessimistic just struggling with it all at the moment, best wishes, Susan.
  • Posted

    RE withdrawl 2:

    Stay Positive

    Keep Humour

    If you can't keep humour, find something that CAN, but its got to be clever, not toilet of put-someone-down which AUSSUE humour has become..

    Goon Show, KPOP.

    - I told the workmates who asked me how i was going that its OK, I only threw my washing in the pool once during the holidays (true), so I now have fun with this..

    "damn it, stoopid library books, maybe I should teach them a lesson.. "

    # sound of people stopping what they were doing and - considering the stories i've already told them - imagining various scenarios #

    heh heh

    My actual work nickname is RoadRunner, but I blame to 2litre Coke a day habit on that.



    I only came across Kpop 2 years ago, but I immediatly was attracted to the positiveness.

    Yep,I think theres a lot of controlling going on in the background, but the outcome is STILL good.

    I look not for the songs but the wide range of variety shows. They are usually run by comedians, are clever, and usually ends up with whole groups of singers thrown together into situations, and ending up helpless with laughter. Theres not enough of that in the world.

    If you are interested, choose [Eng Subs] - Korean supporters have taken a LOT of effort to translate, and in some cases are really funny themselves with their comments.

    I'm even learning basic Korean off them!

  • Posted

    Hi Froggy, I wouldn't support go off any drug cold turkey. I have heard that coming off this drug is worse than heroin withdrawal. Of course all drugs do have different effects on everyone. 

    I do support you informing your doctor however I don't feel telling boss is necessary. I too have had bad experiences with bosses. Yes you have a right to chose but did you get any opinions or advice from others?? I wouldn't have told workers either by the way. The boss will now find out by good old Chinese whispers and by the time it reaches him it will be totally different.

    • Posted

      Howdy, Try coming off a 2 litre a day coke habit - "coca cola" that is.. Heroine has nothing on that. smile

      I've done the long drawn out route with VF, and if you get the dosage wrong, or accidently skip then its almost back to square 1. Seriously, it's not too bad going all out: I have the positive attitude and any improvement is good.

      The best thing is I'm not moving in my own box of treacle any more, and the effects are not any worse than they were before, they have hit hard, but the periods where I'm getting the zaps, are becoming less and less. I can still easily drive a car, - actualy, i'm probably more attentive now that before.

      Being "Public Service", ive got to be careful with stuff like this. rolleyes

      I used to be in I.T. which was a team focussed getting people's working lives back on track - all positive. They sold off I.T. and I transferred to an administration area that, well, has nothing else to do but feed off itself.

      An email is good 'coverage' in these dark days so that if someone says "you didn't inform anyone of your behaivour" I have an email with date / time / people.

      - WHY I need to do this should be the subject of a new topic called WHY I AM DEPRESSED.

      - Also, I'm a Level5 - why does my Level2 have to fight everything I ask?

      Don't have any emoticon for this :P

    • Posted

      I did come off cold turkey once and felt poorly for 2 weeks, but the depression returned and I went back on medication for a few years.  However last year I took months to come off it and had no withdrawals at all.  Been just over a year since I came off, and so far, not too bad, just a bit of anxiety.  Lost all the weight I put on whilst on Effexor.

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