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Re: Struggling without medication

Posted by lawrence s. on October 15, 2002, at 17:32:57

In reply to Struggling without medication, posted by Alara on October 15, 2002, at 6:51:52

> Sorry about this long rant!
> I can't see a future for myself that is free of medication and this really frightens me.
> I was put on Effexor 4 years ago for depression and social anxiety. For the first couple of months it helped tremendously, and I was able to function in the workplace again. Gradually, over a period of years, its efficacy waned and I went into a new depressive phase: I started drinking heavily. Then I began sleeping as much as I could and found it impossible to get out of bed in the mornings. I lost a string of jobs because I could not motivate myself to get to work on time. Still, my overall mood was better and so I stuck with the medication.
> Eight weeks ago I withdrew from Effexor and, after ten days or so of withdrawal symptoms, I was feeling really good. I actually felt `normal' for the first time in years and acquired some hope that I could live a functional life without medication.
> That was until 10 days ago. During the last week my mood has taken a real dive. First it started raining. Then I was called in to do some casual work with a local employer and completely freaked out! I was experiencing panic attacks, severe social anxiety, and (worst of all) paranoia! (It's not that I have delusional thoughts about people being against me or anything; it's more a case of feeling inferior to everyone and thinking that everyone is pitying me and feeling sorry for me.) I have been drinking again and now I'm feeling as physically awful as ever. I slept for 16 hours a day over the weekend.
> I don't have a doctor at the moment and I'm frightened of making an appointment because I just know that I will be prescribed antidepressants again or (even worse) antipsychotics! (There is no way in this WORLD that I'm ever going to take those.)
> I just want to get my self-esteem back and to feel like a normal, functioning person again. Maybe this is just a part of coming off the Effexor? I hope to God that it is because I don't want to be mentally ill for the rest of my life.
> Has anybody had these ups and downs after coming off antidepressants? Should I hang in there for just a few more weeks before approaching an MD (who will surely prescribe more drugs)? I have never experienced any suicidal tendencies so the worst that can happen is that my symptoms become worse and take longer to remit.
> Has anyone had any success with St John's Wort or vitamin therapy? I'm tired of being mentally ill. I'm really, really tired. I just want to be well but sometimes it seems like such a long, hard climb.

My 17 year old son had a heck of a timegetting off Effexor.
How about Sam-e? For me it has no side effects, is good for social anxiety, anhedonia. My Pdoc says it is at least as effetive as Elavil according to a Swedish study. But like all the other AD's it takes a few weeks for it to take effect. Make sure you buy Nature Made or GNC says my doc. They are the 2 most reliable brands. I was Absolutely amazed at how good this non prescription pill worked for me. Better than Prozac!

Another thing I highly reccomend is Recovery Inc. (non-profit self help group (, if you are absolutely determined to go without drugs. It helped my Mom who was misdiagnosed as schidzophrenic. It also helped me with my GAD. And the good thing is that people with just mild anxiety/deppresion can benefit as well. It improves mental health thoughout the whole spectrum.

Also remember that after stopping any med. there will be a period of time that you will experience the the down end of the mood wave for quite some time, even after the withdrawl symtoms have subsided. Hopefully you will be able to ride out that period.

I wish you well. Larry.




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