Archive for Effexor withdrawal

Benzo Withdrawal Has Nothing On Stopping Antidepressants

Posted in depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 25, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

I’ve officially hit day 7 coming off Effexor. It had been mildish until the last couple of days. Now I feel loopy,uncoordinated,woozy,off balance, sleepy yet wired. And let us not forget to mention the wondermous ‘brain zaps’ that come with quitting SSRI’s,SNRI’s,all the alphabet soupy med classes.

For those unfamiliar with the brain zap phenomenon…it’s a bit like having a joy buzzer planted deep in your brain and as you come off the medication and the levels in your system lower and lower..,some sadistic prankster keeps shaking hands with your brain in random ninja attacks you never see coming, ZAP ZAP. Oh,it’s gone a-w- zapzapzapZAP.

Talk about disconcerting. And I’ve had it coming off 99% of the antidepressants I have been on over the last 25 years. Tapering off only helps so much,no matter what the doctor’s say. The withdrawal symptoms still come,and it can take months for some to totally stop a medication,the withdrawal is so bad. (Read a few mental health forums on the subject and depression starts looking better an option than stopping the meds to treat it.)

I guess in some ways,I am ‘lucky’. I got in on the antidepressant fun train back in the 90’s, long before the pharma companies and psych docs even knew these meds could cause withdrawal. My first cold turkey med withdrawal was…ZAPZAPZAP. Effexor. My brain trust shrink told me,after being on it over a year,just stop taking it.

That went soo well for me! In addition to the brain zaps, assorted physical and mental chaos,for the first time in my life..,I started having visual and auditory hallucinations. I was walking around with a knife in hand,convinced someone was in the house. I slept for a week with that knife under my pillow.

Finally I realized I was really losing my shit so I called the shrink,who of course,wasn’t available. Just my lucky night cos the new school doc on call was horrified my old school doc didn’t taper me off Effexor. He was genuinely concerned and validated my symptoms and guided me through coming down in dose over a couple of weeks.

Effexor and Cymbalta are the two worst I have had to withdraw from. Ideally I would have tapered Effexor this time but withdrawal is better than suicidal thoughts. I just want it over with,get this shit out of my system. Which by all half life accounts,after a week, I should have it out of my system.

And that is the problem. These antidepressants don’t linger but your brain chemicals still cry out for them,whether they helped or hurt. Zap zap zap,give us our poison,we neeed it.

I have quit Xanax,Klonopin,Ativan,Temazepam, cold turkey,more times than I want to count (money or availability reasons) and there was no benzo withdrawal worse or even as bad as coming off an anti depressant. It’s not like that for everyone but that’s been my experience.

When you hear ‘withdrawal’ you get images of some shaky dirty street person jonesing for a hit of whatever happy toxin gets them by. They’re all sweaty and filthy and they just want their fix,they’d kill a newborn puppy for that fix.

But antidepressant withdrawal is nothing like that. It’s your brain zapping and telling you something that was there is gone and it needs it back or it can’t stop zapping you or making you feel out of sorts. There is no desire for it, we don’t get a high from it,we’re not in some alley ready to harm puppies to get that next 20 mg of Prozac or whatever…but we’re still suffering a process that is as grueling and we’re doing it to help ourselves get away from poison pills.

With the hell of coming off anti-deps you’d think none of us would ever risk it by taking another one ever again.

It’s a catch 22 served on a flaming hot platter from hell. When tbe meds work,they are worth any risk. When they fail, you reach the point of wishing for death instead of 6 weeks of brain zap withdrawal.

The true meaning of courage and optimism is the willingness to keep putting yourself through it because you have so much faith that you *will* find that magic cocktail and live happily ever after.

Or ya know,live several months feeling pretty content before yet another med quits on you.

When 20 plus meds have quit on you but you keep riding that medi-go-round…does that make me brave and optimistic or just a self loathing masochist?

Ask me in 4 weeks when (hopefully) the brain zaps have stopped.

Life Won’t Stop Kicking Me When I’m Already Down

Posted in depression, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 23, 2018 by morgueticiaatoms

Brief rant as I hear my phone data ticking away…

So life decided I should spend the last two days with the hellish trifecta of PMS and cramps, the dizziness and brain zaps of Effexor withdrawal,oh,AND the stomach flu. I loved being doubled over in stomach agony while running to sit on the toilet every 15 minutes yesterday.

For my relief from that misery…dad and his faction showed up to mow the enormous lawn, then told me to get out there and pick up twigs and such to help. Knowing full well I was ill and bending down resulted in even more trips to the bathroom. To treat me further,dad decided to start a small fire to burn the twigs and leaves which filled the yard and house with black smoke that choked me…AND burned so fast and up a tree, I was ordered to fetch buckets of water cos his lil ‘yard cleaning’ favor nearly burned so high it reached power lines.

I really prayed for death or at least a fucking meteor to crash into me. Anything to make the noise,the smoke,the stomach churning worse than labor pains,the mowers,them screaming at each other,oh,and the Effexor withdrawal random brain zaps that are so sudden and severe,they nearly cause me to collapse.

I was so sick,I texted my sister to bring my kid home,no way was I gonna make a 30 mile round trip in the condition I was in. If I pass up a trip out of Armpit,resulting in being trapped here 7 days straight til next required trip…I ain’t faking it or dramatizing it.

I managed to get my kid fed and bathed and to bed then fell head first into my own bed. Only to wake at 2 a.m. and not nod off again til 5,where the paralyzing dreams took over and by the time the alarm went off and I hit snooze three times…I didn’t want to wake up even to escape the terrifying dreams that feel like I am awake yet unable to move a muscle thus setting off panic…

Then my kid tells me she’s sick and due to her cry wolf syndrome I was skeptical but then she started barfing everywhere…and howling with constipation pain.

And I don’t even have $5 to buy her something to help her and even if I did,it would involve a 20 mile trip to town with a projectile vomiting child in tow…

So she is home today and while I am feeling 75% better than wishing for death,I am not quite recovered myself. Still here I am, cleaning up puke, bathing her and washing it out of her hair,washing everything she has spewed on…while the panic rises over every trickle of electricity and water used jacking up bills I can barely pay as is…

I’m fucking salty about it,damn straight. 2018 has not given me one break,one good thing. Just kick in the teeth after kick. It is amazing with the level of anxiety and depression I’ve been handling since long before the move due to my psych center’s staffing issues and ineptitude…a less strong person would be in a padded room or six feet under.

I haven’t ruled either out yet.


My kid and I are decent people. We deserve a damned break. It isn’t self pity. It is frustration and honest to goodness bafflement why we can’t get one good thing in our lives. I’d settle for enough money for internet. A competent shrink,a med that doesn’t make me worse.

Anything positive,God knows I am fighting so hard to make this move work for my kid’s sake.

What I get instead is burying 5 kittens last week,being triple sick,and feeling utterly useless cos I can’t even help my ill child feel better.

There comes a point where you have done everything in your power to help yourself and you just need to catch a damn break.

Wanting a decent shrink isn’t like I am asking for a sports car,for fuck’s sake.

Just. One. Damn. Positive. Thing, for the love of pegacorn.

A soul not at peace

Posted in cyclothymia, panic disorder with tags , , , , on December 5, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

I have been trying not to flood post, although I don’t consider two posts a day flooding, some people do. To them, I apologize. But I have a head full of neurotic mental garbage that I feel the need to purge before it makes my head implode.

I took my Xanax. Eventually calmed down. Ran a couple of errands.

Now my kid has gone to bed and it is 7:53 pm

My brain keeps telling me:  it’s time to go to bed.

Which in my world doesn’t always amount to immediately going to sleep, especially as of late, as the Cymbalta is not making me sleepy and does not keep me asleep.

But stuck in the mental rut that I have been for the last year, there is this inner compulsion that dictates I MUST be in the bedroom before 8pm. I keep asking myself what bad thing could happen if I am not in the bedroom by 8pm. I have yet to come up with an answer. I just know I feel unsafe, and it is illogical and borderline insane to feel this way when there’s barely a hallway between this living room and the bedroom. Why do I feel this  fragile when I don’t adhere to my own strict “bedroom by 8pm” edict?

I wish I knew.

I wish I knew how to break out of it. I hate this, it makes me feel like a nutbar.

In the background of this mental war, another mental war is raging.The paranoia panic war. It’s getting ugly. I am almost now convinced something catastrophic is about to happen. Like them terminating my disability checks. Short of something happening to Spook or my own demise, losing the income we rely on while my brain is tapioca would be ultimate ruin.

Now why would they suddenly rescind it when I just jumped through all the hoops back in March to get it extended by going to the doctor of their choice?

Oh, let’s see. The government is broke. People en mass don’t believe mental disorders are an actual disability. You had two good days so they declare you cured…

Any litany of things, whether real or paranoid imaginings.

I have this feeling of unrest in the pit of my gut. It manifests as a knot that makes me perpetually sick to my stomach.

Every time I have ignored that bad vibe in my gut, I lived to regret it.

Things, while semi sucky, are shaping up semi decently.

Which means to let my guard down even for a second and allow myself to be happy or at least content would certainly seal my ruin.

The counselor would undoubtedly classify this as unfounded paranoia and melodramatic thinking.

I’ve learned my lessons the hard way.

How do you shake a bad feeling in your gut that is embedded like a damn boat anchor?

How do you tell your own brain that the messages it is sending are just crazy? How do you convince yourself of this when your brain just keeps throwing them out at you?

Is this one more side effect of coming off Effexor?

(Oh, in a note of reassurance in our prescription plans, the insurance turned down my script for 37.5mg Effexor, the last week of my weaning off, so I have gone cold turkey.)

I am trying to convince myself to watch a favorite show, read a book, do something that makes me feel at peace.

Unfortunately, my racing heart and spinning brain are not cooperating.

Is it asking too much to just want your brain to send the proper messages instead of always misleading you?

Wow. Sudden downshift of mood.

I felt manic earlier.

Now I feel crawl-in-a-closet depressed.


Or is this some sort of bad reaction to Cymbalta? It makes my heart race like a racehorse. I don’t know what is normal or will go away or is it withdrawal…

Perpetually confused is not an optimal way to spend one’s life.

My kingdom for some clarity.

Condition: Coming Unhinged

Posted in mental illness with tags , , , on November 25, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

I am not doing well this morning.

I am angry at certain people and not sure if it’s warranted because they did indeed screw me over or if it’s just some crazy conspiracy affront my own warped mind has concocted.

I am agitated to infinity and beyond, every sound and action grating on my nerves. It’s all I can do to keep a civil tongue with my kid because she always knows when mommy is at her worst and it’s open season to act out, pick, pick,pick, push push push,as hard as she can and smile while watching mommy come unraveled.

My anxiety is through the fucking roof in spite of a mg of Xanax.

I feel like my skeleton is trying to crawl out of my skin.

I want to set fire to my own brain.

I can find absolutely no reason why life is worth living at this time.

I hate everything and everyone, and especially I hate myself.

Face it. I did this to myself. I’d gone through Effexor withdrawal twice before, I knew the hell it introduced. Still, I told the doctor I wanted to try Effexor again because in the past it had given me a couple of years’ high functionality. Desperation breeds stupidity.

Bucket of fail. Paying the price.

I have been stepping down for six weeks now.  Soon,I will enter two weeks of 37.5 then…free fall into nothing.

I am told the anger stems from the withdrawal.

Lest it by my own hubris at work, I won’t unequivocally dismiss that possibility.

But having done this twice before and going to paranoid hallucinating scared of her own shadow territory, I can honestly say the anger is an anomaly.

Unless you ask The Donor,  whose single most memorable quote to me was “You are one angry bitch.”

Eh, I have my anger issues, but it’s rarely like a fever  flowing through my veins.

So…effexor withdrawal…wellbutrin side effect…my natural state of being.

I don’t know any more. Little of all three perhaps?

I feel for anyone going through any sort of withdrawal from this class of drugs. It tests your psyche and today, my psyche is losing, big time. I just want to curl up into a ball and sleep, not have to face the way I am feeling because I can’t escape it. This is not some case of “do something you enjoy to distract yourself”. This is physical and mental and all consuming and until things get settled down a couple of months down the road…this is my lot in life,for now.

Joy joy happy happy.

I don’t think I want to try Wellbutrin again. From the first day, there were things going on in my head that weren’t there prior to it going into my system, and I think it may just be a bad reaction. That happens sometimes. I almost died from a bad reaction to a medication back in 2000. Not unheard of.

Leaves the question…what then?

I don’t know. Surviving the here and now seems to take precedence.

Though sometimes just surviving the day feels like an impossible task because I am at war with my own body and mind.





Getting my ass kicked by the medi-go-round

Posted in biolar disorder with tags , , , on November 24, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

Long time, no post, I know.

Since I started coming off the Effexor and was put on Wellbutrin, life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Counselor and doctor swear the agressive angry tear soaked tantrums I’ve been having for six weeks are from Effexor withdrawal.

I think they are full of shit and I have pretty much put it to the test by stopping the Wellbutrin without dr approval.

Oh,sure Effexor withdrawal blows, the lethargy and brain zaps and mental confusion are soul sucking.

But…it’s been five days and I have not had another screaming mimi tearfest.

I am still weaning off Effexor, I just nixed the Wellbutrin. Primary problem seems to be going away.

Well, except for yesterday, but that was more internal anger, which coincides every single month with the curse, so I chalk that up to hormones. Though the pms-anger really isn’t something people should joke about. It’s like a fever of unknown origin burning through your entire system. Not pleasant.

But I have not been screaming, bashing my head into walls, throwing shit and acting like an all around psychopath.


I am still so low I’d have to look up to see a snake’s belly but choosing depression over a drug that makes you act like Linda Blair in the exorcist seems wiser to me.

Besides, it’s the seasonal affect disorder in all its glory with the added strain of holidays and financial stress on top of it all, so I am actually exactly on track for where I am mentally every other year in history at this time.

Not a comfort, but keeping the status quo, yada yada.

I called the dr office and told them I want off the Wellbutrin. (You can never be honest with doctors, that;s just crazy talk, cos they know everything and all their books and literature are far more accurate on drug side effects than ya know, the person taking the drug having them.) Of course with the holiday dr is out of office,so I await their call. Knowing this woman, she will insist I stay on the Wellbutrin.

Not fucking happening.

I have never had such a side effect from a med before.

I have,however, been through Effexor withdrawal three times, and I know all about the brain zaps, the exhaustion, the confusion of reality versus mental state, potential auditory and visual hallucinations, the paranoia, the panic, the terror.

Never once was I homicidally angry.

I didn’t rule it out, that was why I stayed on the Wellbutrin, lest it just be my hubris at work.

Having proven it to myself by ceasing the Welbutrin, I am convinced.

I hate this shit. Fucking hate it. Lately I have been wondering if I shouldn’t just try to exist on the Lamictal alone. This whole anti depressant route has never ever worked out for me, ever.

Maybe I’m not depressed,maybe this downtrodden life-is-not-worth-living thing is just my normal state of mental being.

The dark hours, where all will to live seeps out of  me and I start fantasizing about passive ways to just cease to exist (God knows you can’t mention the word suicide, because no matter how bad you feel, that’s an unacceptable thing to ponder, ever.) The dark hours tell me I need something extra to help me out of the rabbit hole.

But what?

I have tried about everything. And the ones I haven’t tried are the ones my insurance won’t pay for it.

So what’s left?

I guess surviving Effexor withdrawal and the holidays need to be my priorities right now.

Then deal with the doctor trying to shove anti psychotics on me. I’m not psychotic,or wasn’t until I married the Donor or took Wellbutrin. (small joke.) I understand the cross labeling and uses for different conditions, blah blah blah.

But I have tried several of those and other than making me even heavier than I am and putting me into a coma for 12 hours a day, they didn’t fuckin g help at all.

Do these doctors even have a clue what antipsychotics do to a person? Oh, sure, they’ve come along way, in as much most don’t turn you into a drooling zombie these days.

But if you are heavy to begin with, constantly battling people and doctors nagging you about how you have to lose some weight then you go taking a med that puts 20-30 pounds on you even if you eat nothing but water and live on a treadmill…That’s worse for your condition, not better.

Not to mention the sleepiness and mental fog and the fact,in my case, THAT THEY DO NOT FUCKING WORK.

Gahhhhh.. I am so frustrated.

I keep putting on the normal functional person mask every day, and I get more resentful every day I have to do it. It makes me aware that I have NO friends or caring family members or otherwise I wouldn’t have to fake it in their presence, they’d understand. But none of them do. Take a pill, be better, move one. That’s the mentality. Though most scoff at the taking a pill thing, because even if it does improve my condition, well, mental conditions aren’t real, they’re just part of the pharmaceutical company conspiracy to make us all dependent on drugs and line their pockets with money.

I am surrounded by fucking multiple Tom Cruise clones.

(And yes I am using the F word a lot, but it helps me channel my anger rather than, you know, setting people on fire.)

(Another little joke. Sorta.)







I am sick of R and Kenny making comments on being my being snippy or not myself when I flat out told them what’s going on, albeit I did dummy it down a lot for their comprehension and left out a chunk of reality to protect them from the ugliness of it all.

Withdrawal from Effexor is worse than going off Xanax, for me.

There really is no stepping down from Effexor. Sure, you can do two weeks at 150, 2 weeks at 75, two weeks at 37.5

Then you’re looking at another two weeks to a month of neverending brain zaps which is akin to having an electroprobe in your brain and some little sadist off somewhere with a remote control zapping you every so often with varying degrees of intensity.

Oh what fun.

And the ignorant masses think we put ourselves through all these medications and side effects and withdrawal because it’s fun or something?

It’s been so long since I knew what is an actual physical symptom and what is a medication side effect, I could be dying of some disease and not even know it. The meds make you question every ache, every gas bubble, even changes in bathroom habits and menstrual cycles.

I would not choose this in a gazillion years if it weren’t for the years long hard lesson learned proving I have a condition that needs medicated.


I just need to find my genie in a bottle, ie, the magic bullet, ie, the one drug that works. I am quite happy with Lamicatal for the mood swings, but the depression just keeps seeping in and mopping the floor with me.

First things first,I suppose.

Avoid Wellbutrin like the plague and focus on getting off Effexor.

Do you ever get sick of your own melodrama? I am so tired of my roller coaster of a life. Look, I’m doing good.

Oh,look, I’m not doing so well.

Hey, I’m going under here…

Oh, wait, I’m doing great again.

No, wait…

Bloody hell.

I’m sick of my disorders, sick of myself, sick of the world, sick of it all.

Unfortunately, they don’t make pills for disgust.