It is horrible. I know what you are going through. I was shortly thereafter put on a different anti-depressant so that may have shortened my symptoms but with your being pregnant..... I'm sorry I don't have any words of advice, but you aren't crazy... the same thing happened to me.
I have read all the posts. My heart goes out to you, as your doctor told you to immediatley discontinue your effexor, as you are pregnant. My Doctor told me, as she prescribed Effexor that it was a safe drug for pregnancy. I have been on the drug for six years (37.5mg). It was prescribed for mild anxiety. I don't feel like the dose is working anymore and I do NOT want to increase my dose. I have been trying to "taper off" for the past week. Even with my "low" dose, the withdrawl symtoms have been very difficult. Dizzyness, blurred vision, spontaneious weeping, agitation!, nightsweats, and sleeplessness. Plus I have been a ROYAL BIA! But then I cry! (This, generally does not get the symphthy I need from my husband.)
I have been (for the last five days) skipping a dose every other day. After four days I tried skipping for two days. In the evening I became so upset...I took a dose. I will continue to gradually "taper" off. My husband...supports me....but also, irritates me to no end....not the sensitive type...YOU KNOW. He went to the store to get me some benedryl (I read on this post it helps) but would not spend the $ or the time to find the fish oil or vita B. All we really need through this....is a "yes honey", a back rub, no confrintations and sweet words of encoragement! God, why don't they get that? Plus< i heard valium and Zanax don't hurt. But arn't those just other drugs we will need to "get off'? I'm thinking.. marijuana might be a natural thing to try. I never heard of anyone going to detox for that!
I was on the drug for about a year and a half, its kinda blurry to think back so I'm not sure exactly how long without somehow checking. The side effects were bad enough when I was on the drug. Worst of all was the killing of my sex drive! how do you explain to the one you love so they can fully understand why your not interested in them the same way you used to be, that they shouldn't feel insulted. It certainly took away some of the specialness of my wedding nite! fortunately tho, it was beautiful despite this. I came to a point where I fully understood that the drug had served its purpose in my life and it was time to move on, to be free of it.
2 weeks of withdrawal symptoms and I'm struggling to hold on to my happiness. The symptoms eat away at my confidence and peace, leaving me irritable and short tempered. I feel sorry for my wife, who loves me dearly and puts up with me as I go thru this rough time. I know the symptoms will eventually wear off, I hold on to that thought tightly. Does anyone know how long it will take? The dizziness is less pronounced, yet still noticeable. My emotions are all over the shop some days. They feel so bright and I've lost the ability to live at peace with them day to day. As for my sex drive... well lets just say that it comes and goes. When its working, its like my emotions, all over the shop, overly sensitive. I wont go into all the other more subtle symptoms.
If I myself can share anything that may help, its that these symptoms WILL pass. Our body's are amazing survivors and are often better able to look after themselves then we can. You are beautiful, unique and priceless. You can do anything you set your mind to if you keep your eyes on the prize ie. being free of this crappy drug.
Also, try minimizing all of the c**p you eat, even to the point of going vegetarian for 10days or so, gives your body a great chance to catch up and heal itself. I hate to think how much worse I'd feel right now if I wasn't detoxing my diet at the same time.
Lastly, as someone who has taken Effexor, I'm compelled to say this. Effexor can give you the break you need to address your issues or change your lifestyle. Its a temporary fix only and even then, only if you cant find another way. Please do yourself a favor, find a way to fix whatever caused you to take this drug in the first place. Then get off this drug... sooner rather then later.
Anna, sometimes swallowing a few granules helps me when I'm really suffering from the side effects of withdrawal. Open up the capsule and pour just a few of them out. It works, trust me.
I too needed the drug effexor. I was in a pretty bad way when I started taking it and the sanity it brought with it was a welcome relief. Both for me and the people around me who loved me so. It wasnt a cure tho, just "a finger in the dyke" as someone once said to me.
As I've been to that horrible place of depression, and as I'm finding my way back again. I know how hard it is to face the issues in our lives, especially when we have fallen so far down/behind as to be 'depressed'. Yet there is help out there, a way to have the quality of life you want without these drugs. Its not as easy as taking a pill every day, you have to actually work for it, suffer a little in the short term so you can gain long term joy... and I guess that means its not for everyone. Please dont propagate the story that 'some people just need the drugs for the rest of their lives'. Its an oversimplification of the issues that brought you to this place and helps no one. Not even you.
I'm not saying this to judge you, whatever answer you find for yourself to get you thru these things is better then no answer at all. I just hate to see comments like yours as they threaten to steal the hope of those who are seeking a better answer then just the medication. Please dont steal other peoples hope or make the search for better answers any harder then it already is.
Hope and answers are out there if your willing to look for them.
I am trying to get pregnant via IVF and my OBGYN is not concerned at all that I am on Efexor. I am worried about it however, since I didn't even want to take panadol during my first two pregnancies, I really wonder what efexor would do to a developing foetus.
I've been told by my GP that coming off efexor should be done extremely slowly, at a very minimal rate. The side effects are way less and life is more manageable.
Having taken efexor myself for 14 months now, I can vouch for the drug's effectiveness against anxiety and depression, as I was an absolute mess before I started taking it. I had just experienced a total nervous breakdown, and my husband had left me because of it. I started efexor 2 weeks after my breakdown and life became 'do-able' again.
Efexor, like any drug, is there for us to use as a tool, to get your life back on track. And like any chemical withdrawl - coffee, nicotine or heroin etc, you will feel crappy not having it. Your body is telling you, 'go get me some'! Come off it slowly, lowering your dose extremely cautiously, and most of all, get yourself a doctor that knows what he/she is doing. Too many doctors hand out antidepressants and antibiotics too eagerly to see the back end of you, without really understanding what life is like on the drugs and also coming off them.
Take care and best of health to you!
You think I'm here to steal hope? Effexor provides hope for those who are so deep in depression that they are ready to die! Don't EVER accuse me of stealing hope, because hope is what keeps me alive. Faith, hope, and love.
The fact is that you can't correct a CHEMICAL imbalance by thinking differently, or by breathing differently. You can try to overcome depression, but if it is real, chemically-induced depression... I'm sorry, that's not going to cut it. I tried for years... and it only made me more and more hopeless each time I failed. Effexor corrects a CHEMICAL imbalance, so no, if you are upset over a stressful event which is not chemically affected, effexor will not help you. But if you are suffering from a chemically induced depression... then effexor may just be the hope you are looking for. For some people, once the imbalance is corrected, they can wean themselves off... however, for people like me, that may never be an option, because our chemicals fall out of whack every time we go off. That's not hopeless... it's fact.
I know for a fact that anyone can alter their chemical balance without medication. I know for a fact that anyone can heal their body of anything without medication given the right input in their lives. I know this partly because I'm using some of the techniques to recover myself. I know this also because people have been doing it and studying it for years!
My point in my last post was simply not to pass on the message to others that for some, medication is the only way. Your words affect others and I'd rather read you saying that hay, I've tried heaps of things, have not found an answer yet so I'm still on the medication. But I'm still searching because its important for me to not only have my quality of life, but have it without dependance on an artificial substance. That sounds much better :)
PS. have you tried altering your diet. Certain foods are considered poisons by our body and so can contribute to unbalance, even chemical when you eat them in sufficient quality.
Also your body language contributes greatly to your overall chemical balance ie. if your body holds a pose of depression, you're going to feel depressed.
and not so much helpful but food for thought (uses too many big words hehe)
I know there is more out there. In fact, it's a bit draining trying to sort thru everything to find decent material. I hope these help.
I understand that diet can play an important part in your day to day well being, but what foods in particular are you referring to when you suggest to alternate diet for natural remedies to depression?
I am assuming foods rich in essential fatty acids would be important.. any web sites would also be fantastic if you can throw them in?
There were 2 things which helped me greatly in coming through this and I want to share what I did in the hopes it will help.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, changing my diet helped. Pretty much the same day I decided to stop taking the medication, I also chose to become a vegetarian! I'm not saying you have to go that far, yet there are many benefits to eating certain greens. I would recommend reading a book called 'Living Food for Health' by Dr Gillian McKeith for a good start in the right direction. The book highlights 12 living foods and the benefits of eating each one. Dr Gillian McKeith actually runs her own clinic where she uses these foods to heal and recover patients so she practices what she writes. Also another good book as far as diet and health goes is 'Your body's many Cries for Water' by F. Batmanghelidj, MD. This book highlights the great importance of water to our bodies. Often we mistake the pains our bodies have for some type of ailment or symptom of. This book reveals that many of those pains are caused simply by dehydration. Both of these books reference depression, its causes and ways to help overcome it.
The 2nd thing that helped me greatly comes from a man called Anthony Robbins. While I know that just mentioning his name might cause some strong emotion responses from people. Regardless of what you think of the man himself, the tools that his programs teach have been a great help in my overcoming depression on a basic level as well as making some major and positive changes in my life. I still have a ways to go before I've made myself into the person I really want to be, yet I'm well into my journey there now.
I hope this helps you guys. I feel for anyone who has followed their doctors advice to start taking anti-depressants. In my experience, the benefits of this type of medication is not worth the cost it extracts out of your health and life. I just want to let you know that you can be free of the medication if you want to. It takes a bit of work, yet it is so worth it.