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About MtnDreams

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  1. MtnDreams


    Well, I think these forums are a place where you can talk openly about what’s weighing you down without having to worry about people thinking you’re weak or are complaining. That is why these are here. So just start talking about your thoughts and how they affect you. People here will listen and will definitely know where you are coming from.
  2. Just posting to this old thread in case the closure helps anyone. I did end up dropping my dose to 75mg. I was there for a couple days when I then got very depressed. VERY depressed. And that depression did not go away in a couple days like in recent months but instead persisted for more than a week. Maybe it was even two. I missed a couple days of work and was pretty much useless at work when I was there. I found myself doing major ideation, fantasizing about a plan, where to go to disappear, and all that kind of crazy stuff. So I quickly realized, ok, I guess this tapering off just isn’t going to work. So I upped the dose to 150mg and I’ve been there since. My mood now is better - not great - but at least I’m stable. I have ups and downs but the downs aren’t that bad or that long but the ups are nothing to write home about either. I am still pretty much hopeless with life and feel like I’m in a prison cell for the rest of my life but at least I’m not in that dark horrible place where I’m actively looking for an exit.
  3. I don’t get redness around my neck but hot flashes I guess I do get. Sweating is definitely a major side effect for me and is why I tried to get off Effexor a couple months ago. (I decided to stay on Effexor because depression came back with a vengeance.). For me, I might be sitting at my desk or maybe I’m sitting in a meeting when I start to get hot. It’s like the AC broke or even the heater in the room got turned on. And then I’ll just start sweating, which sucks because people wonder ‘is this guy ok?’ Then 5-10 mins later I’ll be comfortable again.
  4. You will hear many people say that a normal dosage is 150mg to 225mg or even 300. I’m my experience (I’ve been on Effexor for 2 years), I initially got to 75mg, felt good for 4-8 weeks, then felt bad, hoped to 150, felt great for 4-12 weeks, then felt bad again, upped to 225, felt great for 8 or so weeks, then felt so-so after that. I left it at 225 for some time and just dealt with the ups and downs. I never had any great ups but the downs weren’t too bad or they might have been bad but they only lasted a couple days (as opposed to being in a horrible place for many, many days). About 2-3 months ago I decided to get off Effexor because I wanted to see what sober was like so I started slowly weening myself off. I got down to 75mg and was there for 2 weeks when I fell into a horrible dark place and I stayed there for more than a week. So I decided, we’ll, I guess I need to up the dose. So I went up to 150mg and I’ve been at that dose for 4-6 weeks now. I guess I’ll stay there because things have stabilized. I still have ups and downs but their frequency and duration are similar to when I was at 225. Honestly, I don’t have a plan. Instead, I’m just treading water and going day by day. Not sure if that answers any of your questions but in general I would think you would need to be at a higher dose than 112.5. But obviously wait for your doctor to make that call.
  5. Hi there. I cannot day from experience because I’ve never withdrawn from Effexor. I am, however, in the process of withdrawing. I have read a ton though. The symptoms you describe sound consistent with Effexor withdrawals but I would have expected those to kick in much earlier. The withdrawal process and its effect on the brain is complicated enough but factoring in all the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy make it even harder to understand. Since you are caring for two humans you obviously need to work extremely close with doctors.
  6. I am lost. I have no idea what to do with anything. That sounds dumb because it’s so cliche but it’s the best way I can describe it. I have no desire to do anything. No desire to get out of bed. No desire to get to work. No desire to do anything at work once I’m there. No desire to go home at the end of the day. No desire to do anything once I am at home. On the weekends I have no desire to do anything. I just wait around to find out what my family is doing or needs to do that day. My part in all that is to drive my family around, make sure they are safe, make sure they have money to do what they want, and then make sure they get home fine. I am lost, disillusioned, rudderless, hopeless, driveless, purposeless, useless. It’s as if I’m sitting in a room in my house with the whole house engulfed in a raging fire but I’m just calmly sitting in a chair and am watching the fire burn closer and closer and I’m not concerned or am doing anything about it. I’m perfectly aware of the danger and the consequences and the affects on others if I don’t move but I don’t have an ounce of caring or concern or thought to even think about possibly thinking of how I could think of a way to get out of the house. It’s as if the observational portion of my brain is alive and well but the rest of my brain has been turned off.
  7. MtnDreams

    Therapy without Insurance

    I’m very curious about this. I desperately need to see a therapist, psych doc, whatever, because I’m spiraling deeper and deeper every week. I actually have health insurance but even with that I cannot afford to see someone. Online therapy has intrigued me because of its price but it’s hard for me t see past the cons.
  8. Thanks for the info and your experience. I paused my taper plan due to above posts and reading other info (survivingantidepressants.org). I’ve been at 150mg/day for just about 3 weeks now. I’m feeling fine and have no withdrawal effects. Still sweating though. My mood is ok. Not great but that is nothing new. I am planning to cut to 112.75 this weekend and hold at that for 3 more weeks. So far all is well.
  9. Way too fast? I was thinking that since I wasn’t experiencing any real issues for several days after cutting the dose then I could continue on cutting. Venlafaxine’s half life is 4 hours so I was thinking that after 3 or so days at the lower dose my body should be feeling withdrawal symptoms. I’ve studied the ‘stopping Effexor’ thread religiously and thought I was doing ok. Maybe the withdrawals get worse the lower and lower your dose gets? I will slow down the pace just because you’ve freaked me out a little. Thank you! That’s probably a good thing. To be honest, as sick as this sounds, I have been looking forward to some of the withdrawal symptoms because I welcome the emotional onslaught. Uncontrollable crying? Fear? Anger? That all sounds wonderful because I haven’t felt anything in years. I would relish the chance to feel some emotions. I will keep posting as days go by because I could use the support. Thank you!
  10. I’ve been taking Effexor for about 1.5 years now. I started small with 37.5 mg then upped the dosage every couple of months. Went to 75mg, then 150mg, then 225mg. I’ve been on a dose of 225mg of XR for almost a year now. I guess it has helped me some because I guess I have some slight resiliency to depression but not too much. I’ve spiraled into deep, dark places and stayed there for several weeks on a handful of occasions over the past year. So the Effexor isn’t really helping. I’ve had a major side affect of sweating the whole time, and it sucks. If I casually walk a block I’ll sweat as if I just ran 2 miles. I won’t miss that. So all in all, I’m now withdrawing from it. And I probably should have done so months ago. I started 6 days ago when I dropped the dose to 187.5mg. 2 days after that I dropped to 150mg. I will drop that to 112.5mg tomorrow and will hopefully be at 75mg a few days after that. And then maybe about a week after that I’ll be at 0mg. So far the only difficulty I’ve had is a slight tinge of a headache at different times of the day. Sort of like, uh oh, a headache is coming on. But then it goes away without getting worse. The other thing that’s been happening is my equilibrium. Occasionally when I lie down and close my eyes the whole room starts spinning. That’s a bizarre feeling but it goes away. My mood is ok. I’ve been pretty darn depressed even before starting this withdrawal and I’m still in that place now. Is the withdrawal making things worse? I’m not sure. We’ll see.
  11. MtnDreams

    Spending my day in a cemetery

    If we can’t find remission for the problems we struggle with, well at least we can find support among others who struggle with the same struggles. Thank you for your solidarity.
  12. MtnDreams

    I need some work (and attitude?) advice

    Damn Gandolf, you totally inspire me. You painted a very good description of the job you have and the types of stresses it creates, especially for someone with major depression, and you are still there battling it out. My hat is off to you and I’m standing on my seat cheering. I know you know the cliches about depression clouding your judgement and making you think the worst when there could be nothing bad happening. You’ve probably heard of Impostor Syndrome. It affects me big time. I once got called into the CEO’s office along with my boss and I thought for sure I was done. Ok, they finally figured out I’m worthless and they finally decided to take action. But I ended up getting what the CEO called a “home run” bonus because of my work throughout the year. Huh? You’re serious? Well ok, thank you very much. But I still don’t know what I really did. I’ve been understanding Impostor Syndrome more and have been trying to ignore its affects, but it’s still tough. What is extremely difficult is that you have to not trust yourself, which doesn’t make any sense. My advice for you is to hang in there and just do what you’re told. Maybe you don’t need to be trying to reassure your lead that you’re doing everything you are doing. Just do it. Sounds dumb but maybe it’s that easy. Sort of less is more. I once had a wise professor tell me when I was in college (about a thousand years ago) that your main challenge for you when you get into the professional world is to learn “care and feeding of your boss.” That was his joke but what he meant was that you need to figure out what your boss’ goals are and what he needs from you in order to be happy and think he is achieving his goals. And then once you figure that out then you deliver it to him/her. Now, you can’t really ask him directly because he will give you some manager-like speak. So you have to peer through all that and figure out how the person ticks and what he really would like to get.
  13. MtnDreams

    Stories of recovery?

    Excellent idea. There are many YouTube videos out there from people who have defeated depression. Some have been inspiring for me while others just make me scratch my head and wonder ‘how?’ An actual book of collected stories would be an awesome source of inspiration. At least for someone like me. Reading about such tales seems to carry more weight for me. And having a collection in one book would be great.
  14. MtnDreams

    Spending my day in a cemetery

    Thank you all for your replies. Support from people who can identify with what you’re struggling with does help. At least for me. @Dprfrk I agree 100% that hobbies, or really the connecting with people who have common interests, is a great help because it keeps your mind moving forward. I have a half dozen hobbies that have fueled me for most of my life. My big problem is that I have given up all of those hobbies over that past few years. It just got too painful to engage in a hobby, then have to end the engagement and go back to normal life. I got to the point where I stopped looking forward to a day where I could do my hobby because the pain I felt when that hobby time ended began to dwarf the enjoyment that I got out of it. That I’ve learned is a pure sign of depression and it describes well just how deep I have gotten into that depression. I still engage in a hobby every so often because I force myself to test the waters. But I’m still not getting any enjoyment or other benefit from them, which saddens me greatly. But I do know that my hobbies are there as a barometer so that when I do start to enjoy them again that is a signal that I’m getting better. @Afterglow1978 my faith issues are not so much about dogmas of different religious branches but more about pure faith. How can you follow any religious practices if you don’t know that there is some god or being that you are directing your religious efforts towards? I mean, would you spend time in your day staring at a tree because others have told you that The Tree will bring you everlasting happiness? You wouldn’t invest the time because you don’t believe in the outcome. Maybe I am an atheist but just desperately want to be a believer. That is the dilemma I’m in with religion. And I don’t use the word “atheist” because it has an arrogance to it, which I don’t approve. Maybe agnostic. I have also never needed religion for moral reasons because I have a very strong moral compass, although I understand how religion does keep some people grounded and on track, which is a good thing. I don’t intend to turn this into a religious discussion because that is not the source of my problems. I think what is wrong with me is just depression, for lack of a better word. I’ve mentioned several times in past posts an experience that describes well the struggle that consumes me. And this happens over and over and over in a variety of settings. Imagine if you will... I am sitting in my back yard on a warm, sunny day enjoying the view. My back yard overlooks nearby mountains and the view is beautiful. My kids are playing nearby, laughing, and just being healthy happy kids. I have an adult beverage in my hand and I’m enjoying the smells of what I have cooking on the barbecue. Man, this is the dream life. This is awesome. But I am sitting there fully aware that this is the good life but I am consumed by an unrelenting thought and feeling that something just isn’t right. There is something that tells me that I shouldn’t be there and I need to be in a different place or maybe doing something else. The frustration of not being able to grasp the reason for that and the subsequent guilt that comes with those thoughts has crippled me.
  15. MtnDreams

    Spending my day in a cemetery

    @Here2Help2 Without question, yes, the crux of my grief is my soul’s never ending search for meaning. I am empty inside. Dead. My soul is there but it is filled with meaningless, purposeless space. I had a therapist once tell me that I was filled with a huge amount of existential angst. I had never heard that term until then and it really hit home. Yes, that describes well what I struggle with. You are quite correct about the qualities of my life. I have a heck of a lot going for me. I have a wife (but a poor relationship), two beautiful and happy and exciting children filled with life and laughter, a dog, two fish, a very nice house, nice cars, nice stuff, etc., etc.. I have a very good job and have been fairly successful in everything I’ve done. So why do I feel like this? Why am I so empty, lost, rudderless, purposeless? I appreciate what I have (I think) or maybe it’s more like me being fully aware of what I do have. I definitely do not spend time dwelling on what I don’t have. I’m not concerned about material things, achievements, career, or anything like that. My grief seems to be more related to the fact that everything for me has gone well, I’ve done everything that you’re supposed to do, but yet none of that has ever provided happiness, self esteem, or meaning. Faith? I have none. I was raised in a religious family and have been going to church for as long as I can remember. My family now goes to church regularly and I gladly participate for the sake of my wife and children. During all that time I could never see any meaning in religion. Church is so bizarre for me because I watch all these people doing what they’re doing and I just wonder how were they able to successfully delude themselves? I am not an atheist by any means but I’m equally not a believer. I am, however, quite jealous of those who truly have faith because they seem to have (usually) an element of peace and happiness. I would love to have meaning like that in my life but I don’t know how to obtain it. So I go about my life day by day doing the best I can. I do pretty well and fool everyone that I’m a successful, confident, intelligent, capable person. But little does anyone know that I am a complete mess on the inside, am constantly thinking/hoping to be killed, and really couldn’t care less about anything I am doing. Most people I interact with have no idea as to just how empty I am on the inside. I hate myself, absolutely hate myself, for having the life I have but being so empty and worthless in my soul.