Want to stop meds

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hi. I've posted numerous times over the last couple of years. I'm an alcoholic and also bipolar 2. 

I was initially diagnosed as clinically depressed about 20 years ago ( I am 48 now) and then 12 months ago diagnosed as  Bipolar 2.

The depression was probably a combination of genetics and life experiences ( so bad you wouldn't believe it) and the bipolar a combination of family history and either life or bad luck.

Anyway, putting that aside, I have been on venlafaxine (225mg) for at least 5 years and Quetiapine (200mg) for 12 months. 

I stopped taking Quetiapine in January 2016 because it made me fat. I know that sounds very shallow but I put on 1 stone in 2 weeks once I upped my dose to 200mg from 150mg. 

I just stopped it and went cold turkey. I had absolutely no side effects whatsoever.

i now want to come off venlafaxine. I've tried before and it's hell. 

I can get down to 37.5mg (smallest tabs) but no lower. 

Anything lower and I get the brain zaps and constant crying, for no reason.

has anyone been successful? If so, how? Please tell me.


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21 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I can sympathise with you. Iv went from 300mg down to 150 but the other night I forgot to take it as I fell asleep on the couch and yesterday I was inconsolable sobbing my heart out and just felt I couldn't cope. Iv never known a drug that's so hard to get off like you I can drop but then my mood and everything goes xx

    • Posted

      This time even taking it when I did I still went through the withdrawal starting about 3 hrs after taking it and it lasted in various forms for days and days!  Especially the lightheadedness, hot/cold, weepy, and now the irritability .  I haven't killed my husband of 48 years yet but if being really snappy coud do it, he'd be in bad shape

  • Posted

    sorry tp hear about your experience, I am spliting the 37.5 so I take half a day, its not easy but not too bad, I am planning to do this for few month , and if needed i might take the extra half, its a long process
  • Posted

    Hi liz why u coming off all your meds arnt u worried about what it's gona do to your mind?? It's makes u more mentally ill than before.. I was on quetiapine too until it made me fat ..they change me to lithium.. & ven.. (sirt & mirt) before that) goin straight on to ven from mirt more or less must stops bad WD I didn't really have any..I missed my meds other night.. I now no what brain zaps are ??

  • Posted

    I want to come off the medication because I don't know who I am anymore. For the last 5 years or so, although I have felt "good" most of the time, I also feel numb. It's as if I am on an even keel. That's probably good but I also want to feel emotion. I don't cry at the bad stuff but I also don't get the elation I should at good stuff.

    oh, I don't know. It's weird. I'm only writing on here because I'm going through a rough period. I don't know what I'm doing. Everything is good in my life at the moment. I'm settled and should be happy, but I'm not. I'm crying at the moment and I don't know why. But I want to know why. I'm talking crap aren't I? One minute I say I don't feel emotion and the next I'm crying. 

    Its so hard. I don't know whether this is just life's ups and downs or if it's depression

    I just want to be like normal people. I want to have good days and bad days and just put it down to "life". Not depression.

    i don't want to use depression as an excuse. 

    Oh god I'm so sad. I can't see what I'm typing for tears. 

    Im letting everyone down - AGAIN. 

    I always let people down. I can be OK for months or even years and then it just hits me and I don't want to get out of bed, go to work, watch tv, read a book, shower, sleep. Anything. 

    Ive mostly kept my feelings away from my son, but he's here today. He's 15 now and knows I'm crying. I don't want him to see me like this but I can't stop. 

    Hes just come in my bedroom and caught me with a glass of wine. 

    Oh god, what am I doing. 


    • Posted

      Listen liz this is the bipolar .. all the things u are talking about.. u can never get better from ?? I also go this exactly what your saying plenty of times..I think I don't need my meds anymore I'm fine for a short while then I lose the plot.. the only way u can get "better" is on meds ..what we have is going nowhere I'm afraid.. look at your emotions now there all over the place this is because u no longer take your quetiapine your moods are nomore stable.. I have no family anymore I dnt think I did anything wrong bt everytime I come off my meds I'm convinced they are trying to kill me or push me over the edge .. I go really obsessed with things also.. ask your doc about lithium I'm fine on that & maybe sirtraline? ?

    • Posted

      Really? Is this the bipolar? I'm not convinced. I don't think I'm ill, I just think I'm mad. Very mad. 

      Why could I be ok yesterday and completely off the scale today? I don't understand it. Am I a nutter who needs putting down? Do I need to kill myself because I'm a waste of space? I'm worthless. I don't do anything or make a difference to the world. I'm nothing.


    • Posted

      Really liz u need to get back on your meds right all this down how your feeling since youv been off them.. that's what makes you realise they do work.. no they don't do what we want them too ..but they stop us from losing the plot. I swear down u sound like me when I'm off mine. The thing is though that I noticed everytime u come off it takes longer to get better.. bipolar is all about the moods & at the moment yours are doing summersaults .. please listen.. believe me it's took me 3years to realise this .. I'm still low at times more than not but nothing like you are now.. your in the worst place. .pls if u still have your meds in the house start taking them now.. I promise u will regret it.. your never ever gona feel normal again unless u do take that the best u can expect

    • Posted

      I'm not bipolor and I remember what happened when the prefectionism finally crossed the line to depression. I wonder if I was/am really depressed.  A person can be sad and cry and it not be depression.  I understand some of this so well.  Even keel was good but I don't know who I am anymore.  Tried to "protect" my family too because mental illness is so uncomfortable for so many but couldn't keep it in any longer.  That

      's part of the problem.  False pride.  To those of you who are hesitating to get help, get your heart attack--- oops!--mental illness looked at.

  • Posted

    Why do I feel so bad?

    why can't I be normal?

    why do I have to drink? I know it's a depressant and it makes me feel worse.

    why can't I wake in the morning and feel happy?

    i would if I could sleep.

    i can't sleep.

    i get into bed and my eyes are tired. Feel gritty and exhausted.

    but my mind races and I toss and turn, fall out of bed, and then curl up in a ball on the floor and sob.

    oh god I sob.

    but I don't know why. There's nothing wrong. Everything is good. 

    But I can't stop.

    i try to read, but it doesn't register. I can't watch tv. It's boring.

    i started the crying on the floor when I was 17. I used to go downstairs in the middle of the night and curl up in a ball on the lounge floor and cry. 

    At the time I was covered in exzema. I am now. 

    People would look at me and be horrified. It was on my face, neck, arms, everywhere. I haven't had it for 30 years but it's back with a vengeance. 


    • Posted

      You've got to get your MD to listen.  If he/she won't, get another one.  Also I have found that the meditation that I don't make time for really is putting things in a different perspective. Patience.   I plan to try other alternative help too.  I get massage and a going to look into tai chi.  I can't stand this anxiety( and I am on Klonopin (low dose)) because it just makes me more anxious.  I am the only one making myself stress over a few dirty dishes.  Perfectionism!  Hate it.

    • Posted

      I have started going to hypnotherapy and have purchased  Yoga and Tai Chi DVDs rather than going to classes as I often just want to crawl into a corner and be alone - probably more times than I should. You are not supposed to change meds when going to a qualified Hypnotherapist and she was quite angry when I went against her 'advice' but we are talking it through and working together on it. I must admit to doing a lot of naval gazing and have had to admit some real hard truths to myself about my personality but deep down I always knew who I was psychologically. It is th tears I cannot cope with because that is not me - I have never allowed emotion to come to the surface, so for me, this is the hardest part to deal with. After three days of tears, I decided to have a 'fix' - I can live with this occasional 'fall' as each time it is further down the road. I mark on a calendar so I can see my progress and it is staggeringly amazing - never thought I would get to 2/3 tablets a month in so short a space of time. Emotion is obviously my achilles heel as I don't get brain zaps. I now realise the anxiety results from me no-longer being able to control my emotions but it is physically and mentally exhausting. Sleep is poor quality which doesn't help. I know I am causing my own problem here because withdrawal only heightens the misery. I am determined to get over this but I need to confront all those little demons that I have buried throughout my life and chase them away. The info I have gleamed from this chat forum has been inspiring and so helpful. I am no-longer alone. I can share things anonymously which takes some of the pressure off.  Thank you all for sharing.


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