Effexor Withdrawal

Now I know why doctors aren’t supposed to treat themselves.

Tapering off Effexor XR seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, it would be better than just stopping cold turkey. I had the doses I needed in the med samples that my doctor gave me. I was on 75 + 37.5 mg every morning. I dropped to 75 mg a day for two weeks. Alternated between being antsy and irritable, when I wasn’t actually both at the same time. But I’ve been known to be that way even under the best of circumstances. Spent one day in bed asleep. Been moody, but that’s nothing new. Thought I might be coming down with a cold or something at times. My intestines got wacky. Had some cramping that I thought was premenstrual, but it turned out that I was actually constipated. I was starving all the time. Felt like I would die if I didn’t eat at that exact moment. But none of it seemed all that out of the ordinary for me.

I dropped down to 37.5 mg a day on Tuesday. Having a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings, both physically and emotionally. Spent another day sleeping. Actually crawled into bed and pulled the covers over my head because I got frustrated over not being able to finish writing my fourth article of the day. Feeling much more tired. Having headaches occasionally. My Adderall XR doesn’t seem to work as well now. Don’t feel as awake in the morning or as focused during the day.

Still haven’t told my doctor that I made this unilateral decision to taper my antidepressant. Too ashamed to admit that I would rather make credit card payments than buy medication. Hope the drug company comes through with free meds for me. Or I hit the lottery. Or my mommy comes to get me and takes me to the next world with her. I’m not dealing with decision making very well right now.

Depression really, really sucks. Even more so now that I have tasted what it feels like not to be depressed.


  1. Depression can be a destructive force, but always keep in mind, that there are countless people suffering from it also. Your not alone. Try finding a support group in your area. You’ll deal with it more effectively. Good luck with everything. Also, next time you feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over your head, go for a walk, enjoy the fresh air, listen to your surroundings, and appreciate that there are people who can’t walk, or talk, or blog…etc. Life can give you what you need.

  2. My husband was on Effexor for years but due to the loss of insurance and the high cost of the medication, he stopped cold turkey. He did have some irritability, but after about two weeks everything evened out pretty well.

    I also have depression and have used paxil. It works better for me than other anti-depressants.

    I hope that you are able to get where you need to be. I know about the high cost of medications… currently, I am taking about $700 worth of meds a month, thankfully insurance is picking up the tab…for now.

    Good Luck

  3. I’m still waiting on meds from the drug company, but I should be getting them soon. Life would be so much easier without the expense of meds, but I can’t do anything about that.

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