Antidepressants, especially ssri and snri, are very complicated to deal with for both the patients and the drs. There is NO consistency for the side effects or withdrawal. I went through hell getting off Cymbalta after about 5 years on it and had no real side effects until the very end. My sister-in-law was on it 10 years and stopped it over a 2 week period with no withdrawal. Go figure.
As far as general trends are concerned all the ssri and snri have tough withdrawals. Usually the longer the half-life the easier the withdrawal. Again, in general, the trick to coming off is going extremely slow and finding non-addictive medicine to lean on. One of the key factors is stabilizing as soon as you have any withdrawal symptoms. By stabilizing I mean stop dropping dose until you feel emotionally stable. Once the withdrawal symptoms are gone then you can start dropping again. Stabilization can take a week or a couple of months depending on the person. Withdrawal then can take a few months or even 2 years or more. If I had it to do over I would plan on a two year wean.
There are things that can be taken to greatly help with the withdrawal symptoms. These include hydroxyzine and/or clonidine. Like all anxiety/withdrawal meds they work for some and not for others. THEY ARE NOT ADDiCTIVE AND HAVE NO WITHDRAWAL.
If they are effective for a person then they can be used to help speed your withdrawal with less discomfort.
One thing I recently read in a medical journal article is controlling benzo withdrawal by monitoring your blood pressure. Research has shown that nearly all antidepressants, ssri, snri, clonidine, hydroxyzine, benzos, etc., will not only help control your emotions but will lower bp some. When going through withdrawal your stress increases and your bp rises. The limited has been set by some researchers as 120 on the systolic reading. That is the top number on your blood pressure. If it rises above 120 then you need to slow your weaning until it drops below 120. If your systolic is below 120 then you may again resume weaning. Now this is based on a 2 minute resting bp and taken several times during the day. Researchers have indicated that experience has shown that the worse symptoms are exhibited as the systolic gets above 120 or 130. So by using your blood pressure you can anticipate symptoms and respond before you get in too much trouble.
And yes, there are some that even with these procedures just have to lean on an antidepressant. If that is what it takes to have quality of life so be it. No one, not even a dr can make that decision for you. You have to make it yourself.