hello. I am 30 years old. I started taking effexorXR when I was about 12, up and down doses but pretty consistently. around age 25, I wanted to get off because of sexual side effects mostly. honestly, I did not know what my life was like without it. I was doing really well at the time.
I weaned off slowly, but the brain zaps got to me. I lost my job, my bf, dropped out of college, and had an agoraphobic episode. I decided with my Dr to get on cymbalta as it was "the improved effexor" with "less side effects"
well here I am 5 years later. doing some work on my agoraphobia (that is a result from over medication of xanax, also started at 12, another story) and truama/cptsd with edmr and dbt. dbt is FINALLY clicking for me. (yay)
I'm not functioning, haven't ever really to be honest. I can't hold a job for more than about 3 months. grocery store gives me panic attacks. ok so I know this may not sound like the best time to get off but ...what has an snri ever done for me anyways? it literally has not helped me, and I don't know why doctors would continue me but that's another post...
I decided I want off. my insurance has been weird and threatening to not cover it which is stressful. if I forget even a day, I get withdrawal symptoms, which is just awful. I'm so sick of depending on something that doesn't do anything good for me. recently what pushed me over the edge is I feel sort of sick ON them. maybe from increasing my awareness with mindfulness.
I just couldn't stand it anymore and went straight to half. oh my god. let me tell you- my jaw loosened, my body loosened, I felt like I was getting more oxygen...or maybe blood pressure lowering? I think it's the norepinephrine. It was VERY uncomfortable (brain zaps fog wise) but I actually got through it by microdosing mushrooms. (I'm desperate, and it worked great, no tripping involved)
well, after that I feel SO MUCH BETTER! authentic! I can feel range of emotions. I've been so sad for so long. thought it was just ...how I was. I'm finally feeling some joy in life. my sadness/worry hasn't changed intensity, but wow is it so much easier to deal with if you have some contrasting joy!!!
so last fall I went from 120mg to 60mg. two weeks ago I went from 60mg to 40mg, and I'm feeling just as great. looser, can breathe better, no chest tightness, less jaw clenching. so I've been excited on this journey so far but I realize the worst is probably yet to come.
with my background...do you have any advice for me? I can't believe people have a hard time getting off ONE of those balls inside the pills?? I realize too I'll probably have to cut them and count them at some point. most of this action is through my own. my psychiatrist is nice but I'm not sure she has experience with this in particular.
also..I know my current status of emotional health isn't great. very depressed, often suicidal, overwhelming emotional pain, panic disorder/agoraphobia, cptsd/truama...it just ... CAN'T get any worse. I could be dead, that's the worst. and I'm ok with that, I've suffered enough. I'm not currently suicidal, but I'm usually suicidal because of the emotional pain. I guess...I figured...the only way out is through the bottom of the hole. (like dante's inferno) will I survive it? I don't know. but I know I can't live like this. I hope you understand. I really am fighting to survive. and I realize my suicidal tendencies are just me trying to end the pain. with dbt I realize by avoidance/unacceptance prolongs pain and suffering.
I have realized too, I've prolonged getting off because I'm terrified of brain zaps again, my life falling apart (what little I build), etc. and those fears don't outweigh the risks anymore...my life can't fall apart any worse I don't think...(I guess homelessness but thankfully my parents allow me to stay in the basement. I don't qualify for disability because I'm "too young" and "college educated"(I dropped out) and "not drooling at the mouth")
TLDR: been on snri for 18 yrs, cymbalta for 5. looking for advice, similar stories, relation, *what I should expect*, thoughts/validation...
really, will I have to wean one bead at a time?? what part is the hardest? links to other posts about weaning strategies are appreciated.
thanks for reading