I wanted to post a quick update on my journey to becoming anti-depressant free. Here is the synopsis so far:
Step 1: drop from 150mg of Effexor to 75mg for 4 weeks: slight headaches and dizziness the 1st week, then back to normal. No emotional issues.
Step 2: drop from 75mg to 37.5mg for 2 weeks: Dr. says I am free to come off whenever I want. The headaches and dizziness are with me for all 2 weeks. It sucks. I have strange burning sensations up and down my esophagus that I contribute to a racing metabolism. I also become ravenously hungry at odd times of the day. Ingesting small amounts of food and cold water throughout the day help me ease these sensations. I feel mild anxiety, but nothing major.
Step 3: Against the advice of my wife (she is always right), I attempt to stretch from 37.5mg every 24 hours to every 48 hours. The results are a day of physical hell. I have severe headaches, lack of focus, and dizziness. When I take a pill at the 48 hour mark, it takes 5 hours to ease the symptoms.
Step 3.5: realizing that I am not ready for step 3, and not wanting to go backwards, I make a modified 1/2 step…37.5mg every 36 hours. I have been doing this just over a week, and my body is beginning to adjust. I have been feeling a bit of anxiety. I have been able to counter these feelings by utilizing relaxation breathing.
This is where I stand today. I have 2 steps till done (1.5 really). First I will return to step 3; Then, when I feel ready…I will be done. I am fearful of the physical and emotional results of this last step. Perhaps I will begin seeing my counselor till I am done with this journey. She has been aware of my this process and knows I may call at anytime. She is quite wonderful. I could not have faced this without her prior guidance.
As much as this sucks, I keep hearing Rob Schneider (from all those Adam Sandler movies) yelling “YOU CAN DO IT!”
And I can.
And I will!
- AN UPdate on Stepping DOWN (ukeepwalkingforward.wordpress.com)
- And Away We GO!! (ukeepwalkingforward.wordpress.com)