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Anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and resumed a normal life?

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Old 09-13-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
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hopetofeelwell1 HB User
Anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and resumed a normal life?

Hi all! My son, age 20, recently took his last dose of Effexor XR two days ago after being on it for quite a while for depression and OCD. He began to decrease it back in May from 300 mg and over two months left his job, which was stressful to begin with. He has now been home since the end of July and seems in some ways non-functional, I think as far as concentration is concerned. I myself am no stranger to depression and anxiety and I have to say I did not like Effexor myself--I was only on 75 mg and couldn't stand the side effects. His stomach has been bothering him today after not having a dose of the med and I figure that's to be expected after not being on it anymore. My question , and I know everyone is different, is this: Has anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and after so many months, resumed a so-called "normal" life without that med or any other anti-depressant? My stress level is up there watching him become so quiet and fatigued, and yet other times, he will laugh loudly if something amuses him, as if every emotion over the past 4 years has been hiding. I would humbly appreciate any ideas anyone has and if any parents are out there and have had a similar situation, I would REALLY appreciate it. It's one thing to suffer this disorder yourself, but when you watch your child, the pain can be a lot to bear. Thanks so much--Hopeto--

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Old 09-14-2008, 04:24 AM   #2
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Capecodgirl74 HB User
Re: Anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and resumed a normal life?


I have read that detoxing from Effexor and detoxing from Cymbalta is about the same, so I will give you some hope....... After taking Cymbalta for 7 months for depression, I quit cold turkey about 2.5 months ago. The first month was just plain terrible. I have gradually started to feel better since then. The physical side effects go away within the first month to six weeks, but for me it was hard mentally to recover from going through that detox and just the whole ride with Cymbalta. I have not started on any other AD's because of the bad experience I had. Awhile back I had taken celexa, and on a scale from 1 to 10 for detox, it was about a 2, whereas Cymbalta was like at 50. My dr. did give me lexapro, but I don't think I will go that route. Not yet, anyway. Immediately after stopping Cymbalta, I could "feel" again. I compare it to The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy's world goes from black and white to color. Even with all the detox side effects, I felt better in that respect right away. Eventually the fog lifted, and I can say that I am doing OK and standing on my own two feet, no meds. It's been quite a ride, but I'm stronger for it in the end.

My situation is much different from your son's. I have two little kids and work full time. Life did not stop for me while going through this, and I maintained everything pretty well. It sounds to me like your son has a more serious problem than I do, with depression and OCD. I have been depressed most of my life and started taking meds because all the stress of being a mom and the responsibilities of my job and life in general was just too overwhelming, so I consider it situational, it will pass. With OCD, I can't even make any suggestions as to go with medication or not. I just wanted you to know my experience, and give you hope that the side effects from the detox will pass, and the emotions and feelings you get from stopping medication can be very intense, it is not unusual.

I wish you luck.......
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Old 09-14-2008, 02:19 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and resumed a normal life?

Even with a proper taper program it is going to take a while for the brain to completely adjust to receiving no chemical assistance. I would imagine how long the person was on it, at what dose and their chemical makeup would give an indicator on how long the complete recovery process would take and I doubt there is any set time line. Take care.
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:00 PM   #4
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izzyb HB User
Re: Anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and resumed a normal life?

I was on Effexor for about eight years. I was taking 150 mgs. I decided to quit them about 1 1/2 years ago. I tapered off the dosage and never had any problems. I can't say that I am "normal" now, just the same old me.

Old 09-15-2008, 09:50 PM   #5
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hopetofeelwell1 HB User
Re: Anyone successfully discontinued Effexor XR and resumed a normal life?

Hi CapeCod, Trg, and Izzy! Thank you so much for all your encouragement. My son actually started to go outside today, but didn't want to venture further than the driveway. He is really starting his life over again and I don't know who it's tougher on--him or me watching him. He's young, so I'm sure he'll heal a little faster. My house ought to be a "joy" very soon--I'm going to try to quit smoking again, so emotions will probably run high, but I know I get great support on the smoking board, too as well as starting smoking cessation classes next week. I took Effexor for about 6 months this past year and I think it took about 6 weeks to feel better after I stopped it. I absolutely hate that drug. The only thing I can say about it was that my concentration was a little better, but the side effects never went away and my nerves were shot for about a week after discontinuation. It gave me high anxiety while on it and worse after stopping it. Never again. I will just keep praying that my son finds true happiness and health in this world and gets psych help if he needs it further. Alcoholism and drug addiction runs in my family and I pray to God that he never encounters those issues, myself being in recovery as well. I think he realized that discontinuation syndrome was for him similar to stopping addictive drugs and he told me he would never drink, smoke or do recreational drugs at all. He never did through high school and I'm proud of him. God and time I feel will help him recover. Thanks so much and I will report back soon. God bless--Hopeto--

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