Coming off antidepressants – the reality 

So I made the decision a little while back to start to come off my anti-depressants. For those who are interested I have been on Venlafaxine for the past 12 months on a dose of about 75mg, reduced from 150mg initially. 

The thing about venlafaxine is that they were very effective but my god the side effects were horrendous. I had night sweats, nausea and heart palpitations for the first 6 months and so it made me a little nervous about what was going to happen when I came off them. 

So what was the plan? 

After speaking with my doctor we decided that I would start by taking one tablet every other day for a week or two, then every two days etc… until I eventually came off them all! 

It’s so difficult to know what the best course of action is but I was warned it would be a difficult journey and one that I should neither rush or slow down too much, so the plan above seems to work quite well. 

The reality of coming off them

Well I’m 2 weeks in and I have just started to take one tablet every 2 days. To say that I am struggling is a real understatement. For the first 24 hours I feel fine but as soon as those hours are up I feel dizzy, I get heart palpitations and feel very tearful and anxious. As of yet the symptoms haven’t eased up at all, in fact the less I take the worse it is getting – but I hope that the more time goes on it will get easier. 

So what am I doing to help these symptoms?  

  • I am leaning heavily on John to check that my reactions to things are not too extreme (poor guy!); I’m trying so hard to keep my emotions measured and am trying to keep smiling and positive for John and Rupert! 
  • I am also practicing yoga every day at the moment to help regulate my breath and heart rate and to stop my anxiety getting on top of me. I find a nice relaxed and soft vinyasa practice is really helping me find space and rhythm in my body.

It is not the most fun I’ve ever had but I know that it is worthwhile and the best course of action. 

I will let you know how I am getting on! 

A xx

2 thoughts

  1. I’m
    On week three! You are a warrior for what you’re doing. Even if you decide you’re not ready yet and you slip be easy with yourself because it’s really not an easy mountain to climb. But seriously, proud of you for making the moves!

    Like

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