Bad Effexor Trip Almost Killed Me

“I strongly believe Effexor should be yanked off the market IMMEDIATELY.”

Hi. I wanted to share my nightmarish experience with Effexor XR. I was put on Effexor XR in the year 2000 for what was believed to be major depression. This med is highly dangerous and I am pretty sure it can cause permanent brain damage, just like its illegal cousins.

When I was a rebel teenager, I used strong LSD, Speed, X-tasy and PCP, unfortunately. So I knew what those drugs did and felt like. Of course I quit a long time ago – it was just a teenage phase. Little did I know that I would “trip” again years later, but this time on a legal medication…

After a week on Effexor at 150mg a day, I started to feel unusually “high”. Felt like I was on some sort of stimulant or speed. I couldn’t sleep, I felt stoned, my thoughts raced and anxiety went up. I was told it was all normal. But as days passed, I began to feel like if I had used a potent hallucinogenic drug! I saw tracers (trails), doors bent and moved, walls gently caved in and out, colours were funny and I had a weird field of vision very similar to LSD but it didn’t feel cool or good at all. I was sweating profusely, had the shakes, was agitated and my pupils were dilated. My heart raced, my legs felt like Jello, I had a terrible headache, very weird thoughts and digestion problems. I knew that this was definitely not normal!

I began to become paranoid and started freaking out. My experience was nothing else than a full-blown chemical drug bad trip. And god knows those are extremely dangerous – some people don’t come back… I knew, I instinctively knew Effexor was the cause so I quit abruptly, refusing my treatment in the hospital. I accepted the other meds such as tranquilizers though. This is when it got really ugly.

A few hours after skipping my dose, I began to get electric shocks in my head and urges to move about. My head felt like it was in a huge vice, my vision was blurred and cloudy, my hearing was altered, I saw spots. I felt I was stuck in between dream and reality, on another planet. Physically, I was just exhausted but couldn’t sleep even on strong tranquilizers. And my stomach felt like I had eaten a slab of lead! But I bit wood and told myself that I would rather die than take another dose.

I got really scared – did a month of Effexor use fry my brain FOREVER? I tried to imagine what my brain would have felt like if I had used LSD or PCP for a month every single day… It would be gone, burnt, finished, deep fried! I came to the conclusion that Effexor destroyed my neurons for good and that I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life. This is when I tried to commit suicide to escape the pain that was just too horrible to describe in words.

After a nearly successful attempt (real close one), I was hospitalized again and put on Depakote. I told the doc that if they put me back on antidepressants like Effexor, I would kill myself with the first sharp thing I’d find. So I got things my way.

Gradually I got better as my brain VERY SLOWLY recovered. All in all, I was on Effexor a month and it took me 3-4 months for my brain to BEGIN functioning normally. A few years have past since then and I’d say my brain almost fully recovered. I was lucky. Some people say their brain stayed fried.

I strongly believe Effexor should be yanked off the market IMMEDIATELY. I have no idea how this got passed the FDA. Makes you wonder who works for who. It should be like totally illegal because way too dangerous! If your doctor wants to put you on Effexor because you are depressed, tell him you’d rather be depressed than risk killing your brain cells with an evil drug!

I now take Depakote, Seroquel and some Trazadone for my condition (Bipolar II) at medium-low doses and it works fine with no serious side effects. Not all meds are bad, some really help. Others can be deadly though. Psychiatry is not an accurate science, its about doctors too often acting like the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Martin M. (25 yo male with Bipolar disorder type II)

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Effexor Prescribed for PMS

“PMS compared to this would be heavenly!”

I am 45 yr old mother of 4, working full time. I was prescribed Prozac 12 yrs ago , then was changed to Effexor 7 yrs ago and have not been able to stop. The withdrawal’s are too overwhelming and debilitating. Even the slightest reduction 1/8th, starts the withdrawal symptoms. I experience extreme crying spells, horrifying panic attacks, which has sent me to the emergency room, sweating and burning followed by shivering cold spells. I can’t sleep, work or even function . I was prescribed this drug to help with PMS. PMS compared to this would be heavenly! The drug companies need to be held responsible for their actions. I believe their greed became more important than the reason these drugs were developed, to help people. I am a Christian and firmly believe God’s Word, we shall reap what we sow. I would ask other believer’s to join me and pray that these drug companies would reap what they have sown. Destruction. I have not yet gone through ‘the eye of the needle’ withdrawal and freedom but I am believing god to go thru and I will follow. Our country messed up big time. Hopefully god will be merciful and get up through this!

Liz powers


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12 drugs in 4 years caused near fatal effects

“Within 4 days of starting Paxil I was experiencing racing thoughts and was extremely suicidal.”

So that some of this makes sense, at the age of 7, I was hospitalized with an unknown virus that attacked my major organs. Although I recovered quite well given the severity of the illness, I was left with minor liver damage and it was noted in my medical records that I was very medication sensitive. I repeatedly told each psychiatrist I saw about the liver damage.

In 1999 at the age of 14 I was admitted to aN adolescent psychiatric unit for depression and suicidal ideation. One day later I was prescribed the antidepressant Prozac and addictive anti-anxiety drug Klonopin by a psychiatrist who I’d never even met. After my first dose of both drugs and for the next few weeks I felt like I was drunk, I could barely walk and was unable to stay awake. I was kept on these drugs for 3 months, in that time I began to self-injure and was kicked out of public high school because of repeatedly falling asleep in class, until I complained to my psychiatrist of severe memory loss, he had me quit both cold turkey and begin Paxil.

Within 4 days of starting Paxil I was experiencing racing thoughts and was extremely suicidal. When my psychiatrist found this out he quickly diagnosed me as bipolar and put me on Tegretol and Risperdal. I was pulled off the Tegretol 2 weeks later due to extreme dizziness. I was told that Risperdal was aN antidepressant and at that time I was one extremely physically ill 15 year old kid and in no position to question my doctor.

After 2 months of continual nightmares caused by Risperdal I began to experience a horrible (for anyone yet alone a teenager) side effect, my body started to act like I was pregnant! My period stopped and I began to lactate. I was taken off the Risperdal and given Effexor, which made me suffer from severe insomnia and agitation and was given Trazadone to help me sleep. At this time my psychiatrist was moving out of state and my mom chose a new one for me, neither she nor I knew he specialized in ADHD. I was then given Ritalin and told my anxiety and drug induced agitation was actually a sign of ADHD.

I took only one pill of Ritalin and spend the rest of the day curled in a ball on my bed unable to move because of extreme stomach pain. When my psychiatrist found out I’d only taken that one dose he admonished me for not giving it time to work and gave me a prescription for Dipresamine. I had a severe allergic reaction, my arms and legs were covered in a rash which then turned into hives and I started having trouble breathing. My mom called the psychiatrist. After a 4 hour wait he returned the call and began to yell at my mom for calling and bothering him, he finally told her to not give me any more Dipresamine and he’d phone the pharmacy with a prescription for Zoloft.

After I recovered from the reaction I started the Zoloft, within an hour of taking it began to throw up and continued to for a few hours, this repeated with each dose of Zoloft I took and I stopped taking it after a week. At this time a therapist I was seeing recommended a certain psychiatrist for me to see. I met with him and he prescribed Depakote. I told him I wouldn’t take medicines that required blood tests and he assured me I didn’t need them on Depakote (I now know that isn’t true).

After 3 weeks I felt like a zombie and began having hallucinations, hand tremors, and had gained a lot of weight. I asked the psychiatrist if Depakote could be causing it all and he told me absolutely not. He went on to say what I was obviously developing schizophrenia and gave me a prescription for Risperdal (yes, he did know of my previous bad reaction) which I never took.

A few days later my cousin who is a nurse’s assistant came to have dinner with me and my parents. We started talking and I told her about the weird problems and the hallucinations. When she’d heard everything, her exact words were “I’m taking you to the emergency room, NOW!” She took me to the hospital that she worked at and had a doctor she knew in the ER examine me. He ordered the first ever lab tests done on me, and told me that my liver enzymes were high and I had a dangerous level of Depakote in my body, and that if I continued to take the Depakote I would likely go into liver failure within a few weeks.

After being told to go to my regular doctor in a few weeks to have liver enzymes checked again, and to return immediately if I got worse, I was sent home and promptly threw the rest of the Depakote in the trash. It took over 3 months for the hallucinations, weight gain, and hand tremors to go away. My liver enzymes went down, but they never returned to what they had been before I’d taken the Depakote. I’ve been told that my liver functions at about 70% of what a healthy liver does, a large part of that damage is from the Depakote.

I’d like to say that was the end of my experience with psychiatric drugs, but I hadn’t quite learned my lesson. Recently another therapist insisted I see a psychiatrist, who gave me Buspar. Buspar is advertised as the only nonaddicting anti-anxiety drug. After taking it for 11 days I felt dulled and slowed so I stopped taking it. I suffered through 3 days of withdrawals including headaches, dizziness, lose of coordination, insomnia, and severe muscle aches. Now, I’ve learned my lesson!

I was told I had ever disorder imaginable, including schizophrenia, and that my future was long term hospitalization. I proved them wrong. I entered an alternative program funded by the public school district where we were considered to be public school students but attended class at a separate location from the public high school. In May 2003, I graduated with a 3.97 GPA, the highest in the alternative program, had a class rank of 13 out of 350 students at the public high school, and was chosen to give a speech at my graduation ceremony.

In August I’m starting college at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest and planning to become a special education teacher for children with behavior disorders.


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Sturggling to Withdraw from Paxil

“Thanks for everything you’re doing to help people like me and for working so hard to get these drugs off the market.”

I’ve taken SSRI’s for nine years and am really struggling in my withdrawal from Effexor. I am unable to work due to my inability to focus, mood swings, fatigue, etc. I’m trying to read your book, but slowly. I have a hard time focusing. Its hard to believe these drugs are still being manufactured, marketed, and distributed the way they are in light of all the information and documentation you present.

I am on a nutrition supplement. If I wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t get any nutrition at all due to my low appetite. Today is a bad day, I can’t believe this is happening to me. I can’t work, I’ve never been unable to work for any reason. I’ve always worked and enjoyed working. Now I abhor the thought of trying to undergo the process of looking for a different job because I know I can hardly function at times. My husband and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary later this month, but my withdrawal has definitely taken some of the joy out of that. Not to mention the tremendous stress this has placed on our new marriage. My husband’s first wife died of cancer, he cared for her for several months as she deteriorated. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to handle this. He can’t understand why I just don’t find another job and start working again. I look like I’m fine, what’s the problem? I’ve tried to explain to him what this is like and what this is about but I think he completely discounts it. Its just not real to him. I don’t know what to do anymore. He’s getting tired of all this, as I am. But I didn’t ask for this, and I have tried to explain that to him to no avail. I feel really guilty and ashamed, putting this added pressure on him. Today was such a bad day, I woke up feeling hopeless and alone. I spent a good deal of it crying, and isolated. I just feel so spent, like there’s nothing much left in me. I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining, but I don’t know where else to turn. Do you have any suggestions or direction for me?

As far as my withdrawal goes, I did do my first cut back today in awhile. I have been on 37.5mg for a couple months and had been maintaining. I have the capsules, not the tablets. From what I’ve heard its easier to withdraw using the SR version. I divided the capsules as best I could, I think I’m probably at about 32mg now. I can’t wait until I’m off this drug. I’m exercising every day, but when I look in the mirror I feel disgusted because I put on about 30 pounds from being on this drug. I never had a weight problem in my life so that part of this is hard too. I guess that’s all for now. Hope this isn’t too long. Its hard for me to take the time to sit down and focus to do this so I think I get a little wordy because I’m afraid I won’t be able to write again for awhile. Thanks for everything you’re doing to help people like me and for working so hard to get these drugs off the market.

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My Journey Through the Effexor Nightmare

“When did I die and go to hell?”


when did this nightmare begin? Autumn 2000. After a traumatic event in my life, I found myself booked in at Crescent Clinic, and been treated by a Psychiatrist – Doctor 1. After a brief session, he decided that I needed to be put onto 225mg of Effexor a day. He decided this, without really hearing my life story, my passions in life, my disappointments, and my major traumas. He also felt it was ok to give me this medication without telling me the serious side effects this legal drug has to offer.

After a few weeks of unbearable nausea, confusion, anxiety, agitation and numbness in my face, I contacted Doctor 1, who then suggested that the dose was to high ad I should cut down to 150mg a day. After a few days I was able to live in the world again and feel my face – wonderful.

Life continued but there were some really odd things going on in my body. Before I went onto this drug, I was one of those really lucky people who could eat what I like and never gained weight. I am 5’8” and my weight would always fluctuate between 48 and 53kg. I also never really had a major issue with food I would eat normal meals, but never crave food.

Now my weight had increased itself to 58Kg, and I felt I could just not get enough food. I would wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pains, and have to raid the fridge. I had become obsessed with food, Effexor had created this permanently ravenous state of being. Even after consuming a very large mans size portion of food I would still be starving.

Then there was the recurring short-term memory loss. From a person who was known to have a memory of an elephant, to remember the most minute details about events, numbers and dates, I had now developed a memory span of a goldfish. I could have a conversation with someone one minute or read a column in a magazine and the next minute have no idea what I had said or read – complete blank! I would find my self-staring into space wondering where or who I am.

The other problem I experienced was the fact that I was always on the same constant level of emotion, I was never happy or sad. I could be told or see something really sad, and no where in my body would I feel the slightest amount of compassion – I was emotionally switched off. The reverse is also true, something really wonderful could happen and once again I would feel nothing – “hello is there anyone home, is the light switched on in there?” I felt this was a definite problem, coming from the person I have always been, one who does get really happy about the good things, or really sad and empathetic about the sad situations in life. In fact I thought if I was going to become emotionally dead then why bother breathing anyway.

Sexual dysfunction, now here is an interesting side effect from Effexor. I had to look up what the word libido was in the dictionary, but alas by the time I had found L in the dictionary I had forgotten what I was looking for…and trust me this is where my sexual appetite began and ended on this drug.

It is now October 2001, I weigh 65kg, my family and friends cannot recognize me, my clothes have started packing themselves up and marching straight out of the house, in fear I would actually try and put my thigh or arm into them. My goldfish memory has not become a winner at work, my lack of sexual urge, has no longer become entertaining to prospective partners, and my complete emotionally dulled mind has become a nightmare to myself. Ok I am going off this stuff – I have had enough!

I read the pamphlet to the drug – no major issues on going off this stuff it appears. I quote “Patients who have received Effexor for 6 weeks or more should have their dose tapered gradually over a 1-week period” There is also no details given about actually having any such thing as withdrawal symptoms. In fact the package insert goes as far as to say”….clinical trials did not reveal any tendency for a withdrawal syndrome…” Cool that doesn’t sound too bad – what is one week. I decided that since I have been on other antidepressants and have never had a problem coming off of them, I think I will actually just stop taking the pills all together.

Oh my gosh – what is this! When did I die and go to hell? I am on Day 3 of taking my last pill, and have found myself in the midst of extremely debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Physically I am dizzy, have blurred vision, brain zaps, electrical shocks in all parts of my body, extremely tired, nauseous, gastro, and night sweats. Emotionally I fluctuate between feeling either angry, violent or just so upset I cry all the time.

I decide I must see a doctor about this on Day 4. After a very unenlightening discussion with Doctor 2, who firsts asks me whether I feel I should be going off this drug she then continues that she has not ever had experience with anyone going off of it, and really has no advice to give me. She does manage to wish me luck.

Day 5. After waking up from a very disturbed sleep I realize with dismay I am still alive, the withdrawal symptoms are still very much alive and partying a storm in my body. I decide to phone Crescent Clinic -after all they deal with drug rehabilitation. I speak to a nurse who also asks me whether I feel I should be going off this drug – I tell her yes. She then says she does not know what to suggest as she does not have any experience in this area, maybe a should contact a psychiatrist. I decided that to contact another drug pusher would not be the solution, and phone Tara. Ok is this dejevu, have I become delusional, as the conversation is exactly the same. I do learn though that illegal drug abusers usually take about 7 days to withdraw from a drug.

I saunter back to bed. The days have now become extremely hazy. Luckily I have a supply of sleeping pills, which I keep taking to knock myself out and pretend that I have died and gone somewhere pain free, not this living hell on Earth. Day 10 arrives, and hey I am beginning to feel ok. The nausea has gone, I can stand, the dizziness has disappeared, and I think the symptoms have left. I am over the moon.

One month later. I have started to lose weight, but hang on what is this? I wake up one day to find my body covered in this hideous rash. It is burning and stinging and I am very emotionally upset. I see Doctor 3, who asks no questions just gives me, a cortisone injection. The rash disappears in a few hours I am feeling ok. A week later the hives are back. I go to Doctor 4 who is on call. Still no questions are asked, no answers are given to me and I am given another cortisone injection, and the rash disappears in a few hours. Next week, we are on the same procedure – Doctor 5 on call asks a few questions but also decided cortisone is the best. Great now after 3 cortisone injections in one month, I am so bloated I look like the Oros Man. If I thought I had a weight problem before, well this overblown monster in the mirror I have to face is unbearable. Yes the next week I get the rash – I refuse to have another fat injection and decide to try a homeopath instead. I am given little white pills, told to bath with chamomile and lavender drops. After 2 weeks the rash has become very minimal and bearable.

During my rash episode a had also developed incredible lower stomach pains. My first point of call was the gynecologist – Doctor 6. After doing the usual pap smears, sonar, etc, he found nothing wrong and decided to do a laparoscopy. After this interesting procedure everything was found to be healthy, but I was left with 2 scars, and aching stomach muscles. I must say though it was a wonderful feeling during the anesthetic and the day after to have no stomach pains – perhaps I should consider taking anesthetic on a daily basis.

Ok a month later, I have not been able to have a normal day. The stomach pains are so bad, I can’t go out at night, I cant go out during the day, I am still suffering the cortisone side effects, and the only people I feel comfortable amongst would be the Michelin or Oros man. I have become increasingly agitated, depressed, I cry uncontrollably, and oddly enough for a placid person I have tended towards becoming violent. Suicide thoughts are on my mind completely. I would love to cut my stomach out with a spoon!

I phone Doctor 7 the gastroenterologist who books me into hospital for my severe stomach pains. He runs a few blood tests – everything appears to be normal, does a sonar – normal, and then decides to do a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. Great news everything is completely normal and healthy! He then proceeds to tell me that he feels everything is all in my mind, and calls in one of those drug pushers (psychiatrist) Doctor 8. After a futile discussion with Doctor 8, I decide I cant live in such pain; maybe all these medical practitioners are right after all and this must really be all in my head. I am back on Effexor.

Within a month, my rashes gave completely gone and my stomach pains to. Ok yes this must have been all in my head. It is strange though that it was never in my head before I had begun my Effexor journey into the unknown.

I decide one day to do a search of Effexor on the Internet. What’s this – loads of sites dedicated to the subject Flexor and associated withdrawal symptoms! My eyes grow wider as I read the countless accounts given by victims, who suffered the same debilitating effects I went through, the same lack of information from both their medical practitioners and from the information provided by the manufacturer of the drug Wyeth. Then I get a chill down my spine – countless people describe the horrendous rashes and abdominal pains they had on withdrawal of the drug! Now I am angry, I am very angry – this was not all in my mind – these pains were real, and a serious consequence from this evil drug. I have been put back on the drug, due to the misinformation of doctors 3 through to 8! I have suffered months of pain due to their apathy and the lack of information provided by the manufacturer of Effexor – Wyeth in their insert pamphlet.

Even more interesting was my fellow sufferers entries concerning, the emotional state they suffered after discontinuance of this drug. Most also reported feeling very angry, violent and suicidal. Sadly there had been some entries from relatives or friends noting that the sufferer had committed suicide during withdrawal from Effexor. I now realized why I was so incredibly depressed, angry and at times violent towards myself. But this makes complete sense. If an “e” user or any other illegal substance user comes down after going on their high, they get extremely depressed. These illegal drugs work on the same chemicals in your brain, as the antidepressants – serotonin and dopamine. It makes complete sense that after my brain had been fed these chemicals for so long, it would not know how to naturally function again, and yes spiral into a downward nightmare.

I feel that it is ironic that there is so much public information on the side effects of illegal drugs, so many support groups for illegal drug abusers, so may clinics for these abusers where they can be treated with empathy in safety – but none for the Abused legal drug users. This information has been locked way in a shrine of secrecy, doctors have not been bothered to update themselves on the lethal effects of these drugs, drug rehab clinics have not been informed on how to deal with these patients -are we destined to suffer this nightmare in silence, a world of non communication!

Then comes the next interesting fact, with continued use of the drug, patients are increasingly at risk of developing a potentially lethal toxic condition known as “Serotonin Syndrome”. It is characterized by changes in mental status, agitation, tremor and shivering. Effexor has also been documented to cause cardiovascular problems in some susceptible people after long-term use. Although Effexor initially increases concentration and energy, patients have reported long-term effects of impaired memory, impaired concentration and mental disability. I get alarmed over these facts and decide to contact the Psychiatrist Doctor 8. This was 5 months ago, and I still am waiting a response. Once again I have gained more weight, and have decided that the serious side effects do not outweigh the benefits of staying on this drug only due to addiction at this stage. I am going off this drug once more, this time with the information at hand, I am doing it incredibly slowly.

After many counts of unsuccessful withdrawal trials discussed on web boards, it seemed that the best way to wean myself off this drug is over a very long period. Withdrawal onset is rapid, only after missing one day’s dosage do you experience them, so doctors had found the only drug able to help with these effect was the drug Ondansetron, which is the drug used to treat chemotherapy patients for their side effects. I went to Doctor 9 to discuss my withdrawal programme. Once again he could not shed much light on the subject so I enlightened him on what prescription I needed. I handed the prescription to the pharmacist who then informed me that 2 weeks supply of Ondansetron would cost R2 000! What – is this stuff made from platinum or gold? I opted for a 1 weeks supply.

I start on my slow tapering off period – this is certainly not the “Patients who have received Effexor for 6 weeks or more should have their dose tapered gradually over a 1-week period” as quoted by the manufacturer. I try out my gold plated Ondansetron for my first daily withdrawal – yes I do not have the electric shocks, dizziness, confusion as before, but I still could not turn my head without inducing a paralyzing nausea.

During my enlightening web search I come across a petition from individuals who have been on Effexor to Wyeth to let them know they serous side effects of the drug and the fact that thousands of patients in the US and worldwide are unable to discontinue Effexor or even reduce dosage due to the rapid onset of severe withdrawal-like symptoms. I decide to contact the manufacturer Wyeth. After been unable to successfully get hold of the doctor or pharmacist there, I insist on speaking to the MD of the company. I ask her to please read the petition found at and to supply me with her comments. She agrees to this and tells me she will get the pharmacist and doctor to contact me the next day. She did say that patients have been able to wean themselves off the drug after 6 months!! What?

Day 2 on contact with Wyeth. I speak to the pharmacist, who informs me that she would have to get their associates in America to answer my concerns. The doctor on call contacts me to basically inform me that she could not answer my questions directly to me, but would talk to my GP who could then pass on the information to me. In terms of commenting on the web site, I was told that she was not at liberty to comment on this.

The MD has not provided any feedback either. I find this broken telephone way of communication extremely frustrating. To not get to angry about this, I try and see things in the lighter side of life and realize with intense humour how strange it is that in the year 2002, the medical profession still insists on conducting business in the traditional ways, which were developed in the dark ages.

Day3 on contact with Wyeth. I receive an email from the company pharmacist, telling me that the information would be passed on to my doctor, and she sends me the package insert? Ok hello I receive one of these in every box I buy. Anyway I decide to do a bit more research on the web, turns out that the comments on discontinuance of this drug in the package insert, do not comply with the one that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March 2000 – at least in the US it has been acknowledged that there is the existence of Venlafaxine (Flexor) withdrawal syndrome.

I find it incredibly disturbing that this has not been implemented in South Africa. I ask the pharmacist if she could please explain why this is the case. I await her response. I still await any response from the company on their comments on the website.

This issue is no longer a personal journey for me it has now become a public responsibility. I feel that all my pain and suffering I have been through and the pain which still awaits for the next 6 months will be all worth it, if I can reach just a few individuals who have been on the is drug, and wondering if the pains they feel are real or not, as well as all prospective patients who will be prescribed this drug. I know that if I had been given this information to make an informed choice in 2000, I would definitely have chosen not to go on it. I hope that these words have given future consumers the ability to make an informed choice.

So what have I learnt?

Yes Psychiatrists did go to medical school, they do have a medical background, but have they walked a mile in your shoes? Have they lived a day an hour or a minute in your body? The only person who has is you, and they cannot know your state of mind or your body better than you do.

Ethically doctors should be keeping up to date with the latest medical research – realistically I have not found this to be the case. With all the information available to us as patients on the Internet and in books, we now have the responsibility to ourselves to educate ourselves. Luckily we are no longer living in medieval times, were we would be at the mercy of our doctors.

Anti depressants are supposed to be used as a basis for trying to fix a chemical imbalance in your body. If you have just gone through a traumatic event in your life, or feeling depressed due to circumstances – there is no reason you should be going onto these potentially harmful drug. There are many alternative therapies available. Taking them would be like taking morphine for pain, it cures the pain not the problem. Taking these drugs could prove to turn out to be a very expensive life long journey.

Educate your doctor, so that the next time a patient walks in with a similar problem to yours, they would be able to get an educated, up to date answer.

South Africa



This is Survivor Story number 5.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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Wellbutrin and Effexor Made Me A Nervous Wreck

“My doctor was poisoning me.”


I have had numerous tragedies in my life. The worse being my 16 yr old son murdered 7 yrs ago, a brother died suddenly one month before. Both parents died , 9 mos apart in 85- 86. My nephew killed himself last year. I didn’t take antidepressants with the death of my son and divorce 9 mos later. I went to Christian counseling. It was hard. I lost 25 lbs. I made it through slowly and was happy, healthy again. These medicines were killing me. I kept thinking I was getting the flu. I know it was serotonin syndrome.

I became depressed after my nephew died. {He was born 9 mos. before my son, close growing up.}
I went to my primary care Dr. 3-02. He put me on one Effexor XR 150 mg daily. I was getting worse, not better.

I started going to a psychiatrist 10-02 after I had to quit my part-time job. I was sobbing in his office. He increased the EFFEXOR XR to 300 mg One Daily Dose. I slept all the time, thought the depression, didn’t care about anything, gained 13 lbs in all, didn’t want to leave the house, watch T.V., read etc.

He increased the Effexor XR 300mg and Wellbutrin 150 mg One Daily Dose. No better. No interest in sex.
I called two different times about the doses and administration, verification.

Another change to Effexor XR 150 mg and Wellbutrin 300mg One Daily Dose. Worse. A nervous wreck, couldn’t sit still, sighed constantly. 3-4 hrs sleep a night, losing concentration, unable to read, go to church, do much of anything.

He added sleeping pills first Trazadone, severe headache, changed to Ambien, headache, change to Sonata still headache.

Another change to Effexor XR 450 mg Daily Dose. I became so confused I couldn’t finish a sentence, forgetting what I was saying. I would start one thing in one room, forget, start something in another room. Drove on the wrong side of the road. Couldn’t find my counselor’s office {sis driving} after going to him 9 mos! My breast are swollen and tender.

I went to primary Dr. sobbing, worse, BP running 165/115 pulse 115-120. Having many migraines. Becoming suicidal, thinking “I am crazy”, so tired of all the medicines. He suggested I stop by Psych Drs office, he was already gone. I left a letter. His receptionist said I could go to Psych hosp. for eval . The Psych. Dr. responded by calling in Trileptal {100 mgs} No mention of appt.

Intake person said be glad I was just depressed, not “crazy”. He suggested a partial hospitalization program. Go 5 hrs a day, lunch and 2 breaks. Psych. Dr to monitor meds. I went 3 days. I was in a room with 15 people, group counseling. A murderer on my left, just out of prison, a girl who said ” I see dead people”, some people divorcing, death of family member. It was not for me.
However, the Psych Dr. I met shook his head when I told him about the meds. I was on. Three med students were with him. I mentioned my concern about “serotonin syndrome”. I also took 3 sumatripan shots a week for migraines. I had told other Dr about my concern. High SSRI’s and high SSRI antagonist doses. Even my neurologist said she had never heard of it ask the Psych DR! I had been having body aches, chills, shivering, severe nausea. My hands and feet were always ice cold. I was so thirsty I would drink 6 to 8 sodas a day also wake up in night and get water often. I even dreamed 3 times I was choking on gum etc. I have had a tremors, swollen, puffy face and hands, constipation. The new Dr and med students were concerned. The Dr. dropped meds down. Two wks later discontinued. However did put me on Celexa 20 mgs.

In two days already I could think clearly, finish my thoughts. Doing better with memory, finishing task. I am still aching, my lower back is sooo sore. I am experiencing “electrical shocks”. I am laughing again and eating better. This whole situation has been hell. Today day my BP was 117/80 soo much better, pulse 80!

I have been going to counseling every week since October. I fired original psychiatrist. I fired counselor for his ignorance. I fired neurologist I had for 8 yrs for her ignorance. I am beginning to get my life back. I have a patient husband. God has watched over me.
I trusted this Dr. He was poisoning me, with multiple contraindicated meds, potentially fatal.. I kept telling everyone something was very wrong. I pray I can stop someone else from experiencing this. I want to report this Dr.




This is Survivor Story number 13.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

1,351 total views, 1 views today

I Thought I’d Lost My Mind on Effexor

“The Effexor was 10 times worse than (being hit by a truck).”


Was hit by a truck while a pedestrian…broken hand/ribs/head and thigh took a good whack. I was sleeping about 20 hours a day, no food/no appetite, but very thirsty…chicken broth/mineral water. Two weeks after accident, complaining of head aches, doctor prescribed Effexor. Asked if I was depressed–no–but anxious about outcome of injuries (who wouldn’t be?). Reluctant to take because drugs and I do not get along..allergic/anomalous rxns..other family members as well. Gave me physicians sample. First 2 days nothing…no headache relief…3rd day about 1/2 hour after taking, I had a horrific rxn—thought I had lost my mind, terrified–thought my heart would jump out of my chest–frightful images etc. Called the doctor for help…how to make it stop. Never called back. I drank copious amounts of water and climbed into a hot bath to try to sweat it out. The only thing that saved me was repeating to myself “this is a bad drug rxn. this will pass.” After this, I noticed blurred vision that came and went with no rhyme or reason. The Effexor rxn was 10 times worse than the accident. I got some aspirin at the drugstore and it worked great.



This is Survivor Story number 16.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

674 total views, 2 views today

My experience with Effexor: March 2002

“I’m glad I got out of the merry-go-round and revolving door of more prescriptions before I was addicted. “


There was stress in my life. After an assault at a local bank machine where 2 men overpowered me, my medical employment insurance was exhausted, and I felt very stressed financially. After sharing my circumstances with my doctor, he advised Effexor to help with what he considered to be trauma, lack of employment, constant spinal pain from the assault, and financial related depression.

I am a very sensitive person, who had not taken as much as an aspirin in over 20 years. I gave them up because I could feel the effects for days/weeks later. I have experience in bodywork, and the healing arts.

Instinctively, I resisted for two days, and then reconsidered on the third day. My MD said Effexor was new technology; better than Paxil or Prozac. I just did not want to face the crushing circumstances I found myself in, and started taking them as prescribed. The first night was good. I felt lulled to sleep. And I only needed 4 hours. Wow! Great to gain so much time, after I had been oversleeping with depression.

Night two. Dreams. Unlike anything I have ever had. Clear inspiration to consider doing cocaine, heroin, whatever. This middle-aged lady has never done anything – too straight laced. In my mind there was an almost convincing suggestion that it was a ‘Great Idea!’ (I could almost taste it and smell it – as enticing as a yummy warm gooey cinnamon bun) – and I should seriously consider drugs. One part of my mind had it’s established values, and the other part was adapting a new attitude which seemed convincing and powerful suggestions without consequence – I seemed to have a carefree ‘What The Hell’ kind of attitude about it. Then there was the amazing ‘electrical jerk’ in the middle of the night that woke me up with a powerful involuntary reaction beyond any chiropractic adjustment – not like the one often experiences when just going to sleep, but a large, strong thrust from one side of the body to the other diagonally. Weird… I felt awake the following day, and seemed to start to consider tackling issues that I just did not want to face. I did not accomplish anything, but financial stuff was not a big – read stressful–issue to think about – some more of the ‘What The Hell’ attitude – ‘Bitching.’ I do not use that type of lingo in my daily spoken or silent inner talk routines. This was a totally new perspective.

Night three. Dreams. Vivid. Sexual. Wanting penises – yes, plural, any one, any where, any circumstances, with an ATTITUDE – suggestion that this is what my body wanted, and ‘Lets go get some good stuff mame’ attitude. Even lesbian encounters were embodied in the suggestions of this night of dreams. The following day, I began to consider the unusual clarity and subject matter of my nighttime visions. Usually I do not remember dreams, or have them between the first wake up and when I fall back to sleep for the last 30 minutes before rising.

Night four. Dreams again. Complete breakdown on values including suicide, killing, arson, irreverence for fundamental principal human values. My druggie perspective had no regard for my teen daughter being on her own, or other family members left behind. More sexual deviation messages with interest in S & M behaviours, desire for revenge, disregard for family or consequences of behaviour regardless of societal values. I liked the feeling of POWER, and kinda wanted to keep it secret, and just ‘Do My Thing’ and ‘Show Them A Thing or Two!!! ‘.

I booked an appointment with my doctor for the next day. I really wanted to take my pill that night. But I knew too many strange visions were occurring to take any more of this weird brain-distorting cornucopia of chemicals. I know the difference between weird, past life recall lessons, and influences and powers of suggestion by other energies. I suspect if I had used these for 5 or 6 nights, I would not have had the objectivity to discontinue them. Something in me wanted to continue to take them for I did not have to be restricted to standards of conventional behaviours and responsibilities. I was developing a great “F–K IT, or F–K THEM’ voice in my head, and found myself responding in that phraseology during the day to everything I did not want to deal with. I experienced no positive suggestions in my experiences with four nights on Effexor.

My doctor said that my experiences were most unusual, and that he had never heard of such a response, (–-Suspect he now thinks I am not only depressed but potentially crazy). I handed back the almost full bottle, 50-30 mg tablets, and said I would try to work things out myself. He suggested that it would be very difficult without assistance with a Serotonin uptake which I was probably short of thus creating the depression. Given middle age, hormones etc., I probably could not produce enough of it. I was to monitor the situation, have a friend provide feedback, and he would also monitor my emotions with visits every two weeks for objective updates to preclude/prevent drowning in desperation.

Yes, the days have been difficult. It has been 5 weeks, and I hit a trough. In fact, I’ve lost the past five days to excessive sleep. However, when reading what others have experienced, I relate completely, and will not go back on SSRI’s. I have found going out into the sun, even when I don’t want to, and sitting outside at a sidewalk cafe over a drink and scheduling a calendar, journaling, whatever, helps uplift the depression. The sun helps more when I face it rather than putting it to the back of my head chakra, which gives me a headache.

From my experience, I would caution others to consider how quickly a reprogramming of values, and other influences can take place in the brain when using SSRI’s or at least EFFEXOR. Yes, I would like to close my eyes, and have things get better, however, I will try to do it with exercise, better food – greens, veggies n stuff, and perhaps even a cleansing regime to get rid of the anger stored in my liver, kidneys, and gall bladder. This experience with SSRI’s left me feeling like there was subtle programming in these products to keep us hooked or building up large medical bills. Great if one can afford it. I can’t. I’m glad I got out of the merry-go-round and revolving door of more prescriptions before I was addicted.

I question this last round of 5 days of ‘laying on the bed in a zombie like state in front of the TV, and falling asleep morning, noon, and night. I never did this extreme behaviour before when I was depressed –- maybe a couple of extra hours of sleep, but not 14 hours a day –-. I suspect I still have Effexor stuff in my system, and will start to take a cleanser of heavy metals to try to remove it more quickly. It’s better today, The only change I made was I spent over 2 hours facing the sun which resulted in feeling like I could handle writing and turning on the computer. A link from a chat line led me to this page, and I knew I had an important story to share for anyone considering EFFEXOR and maybe even other SSRI’s. My suggestion is use extreme awareness and caution. It was not good for me.

Christine in Canada



This is Survivor Story number 27.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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I’m Taking Myself off this Garbage

“Why are Dr.’s so quick to want to give you some kind of antidepressant?”


I have just finished reading the story you wrote about your son, Matthew. (“He Never Said Goodbye”–posted here.) My heart was so saddened. I am 42 years old and have in the past year and a half started experiencing problems of feeling really bad. I have gone to my OBGYN Dr. several times trying to find out what the problem is. She was quick to put me on a medication called Prozac. I cried when she said the word.

I am a person that has never been on medication and this was all foreign to me. I took it for 2 months and then took myself off. I thought…. I do not need this! So, a year later I went back to her for my yearly pap and checkup. I was and had been feeling REALLY bad for a long time at that point. She then put me on Wellbutrin. I have been on it for about 7 weeks. It only makes me feel worse.

So I went back to her last week and now she wants to try me on Effexor. I have been on the net looking for answers and that is where I found your story. I have been trying to talk myself off the Wellbutrin for the past week. It is giving me a really bad headache. I have cut down my pills from 2 a day to 1 a day. I am not taking the Effexor. All I have read has been horror stories about that medication. Why are Dr.’s so quick to want to give you some kind of antidepressant. She had done no blood work on me. Just said…. here, take this. At my last appointment with her she told me that is this last medicine did not work (Effexor), then I needed to see a 2002counselor. What is the deal!!! Is the world going crazy???? I need answers. My life is Really Good. I have a wonderful husband, and 4 wonderful children. We are a Christian family. My life is good. I am confused at this point.

I have another appointment with a General Dr. next week. Hopefully he can do something for me besides pushing anti depressants. Thank you so much for your story. After reading this, I know I am making the right decision of taking myself off this garbage and finding out what’s really wrong with me. Thank you so much!!!!

In God’s Love




This is Survivor Story number 29.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

797 total views, 2 views today

The Tunnel of Horrors-An Account of My Effexor Withdrawal

“This is a diary I kept of my Effexor withdrawl over a year ago. I finally feel ready to share it with people. The experience was agony, agony, wholesale agony.”


This is a diary I kept of my Effexor withdrawal over a year ago. I finally feel ready to share it with people. The experience was agony, agony, and wholesale agony. While I was on the drug, I felt so sleepy all the time I was almost non-functioning, was constipated, and had wildly violent hypnologic jerks as I was falling asleep. It was the fatigue that made me begin cutting back, and when the savage withdrawal symptoms appeared, I knew the drug was evil and I had to get off of it immediately. I never fully recovered from the effects of the drug and am still struggling with its implications, which I describe at the end.

Wednesday, 12/13/00 Evening

I had decided to try cutting back on my dose to see if I could restore any of my energy while not compromising the therapeutic effect of the Effexor. I was only taking 75 mg. a day anyway; I wasn’t even sure what effect, if any, such a small dose was having, besides helping me sleep. It was making me sleep too much; all I ever wanted to do was sleep; that was my problem. My energy level was so low I couldn’t even get out and exercise any more, and I was gaining weight. Every day I had to take a long nap, often as long as three hours. I had become a caffeine addict in an attempt to counteract the sedative effect of the drug, yet still slept excessively. So this night I cut my pill in half and took a 37.5 mg. dose.

Thursday, 12/14//00

I began to have withdrawal effects, even though I had only cut back on, not stopped, my dose. I felt somewhat nauseated and experienced the electric shocks in my head. This seemed really ominous, a sign that this substance was really poisonous. There was clearly something WRONG with this medication, and I decided to go off it cold turkey.

Friday, 12/15/00

The withdrawal horror began this day. I was repulsively nauseated, had increasingly frequent and violent electric shocks in the head, felt bouts of dizziness, felt overall sick, in pain, and drained. I slept a lot. I also became alarmingly bloated. My breasts became enormous and incredibly tender. They felt like they were going to explode. Also my anus was, inexplicably, incredibly sore. What was there that didn’t hurt? Jim wanted me to stay with him as long as the withdrawal lasted so that he could “keep an eye on” me. He felt it was unsafe for me to be alone because this withdrawal was turning out to be so volatile. The one positive sign was that I immediately began to have normal bowel movements. The Effexor had always given me mild constipation and strange, hard, ball-like stools that were hard to pass.

Saturday, 12/17/00

The withdrawal symptoms became even more violent today. I had dry heaves, especially in the morning. The electric shocks were truly horrible, sometimes causing me to lose my balance momentarily and/or my vision to blur. The smell of Jim’s body and clothing was repulsive to me. I couldn’t concentrate sufficiently to read. So assaulting was this withdrawal it completely drained me. I slept a lot and when I was awake wished I was asleep because the pain was so horrible. I also decided to give up coffee today because as long as I was suffering this much I might as well rid myself of all addictions at once, rather than save some pain for later on. This was all so horrible Jim suggested I go back on the Effexor and try this again another time, but I replied that there was no way I was going to go through this again. It had to be now, no matter how awful. At Mass Jim situated me near the hallway so that if I needed to run to the bathroom with dry heaves I could. I did.

Sunday, 12/17/00

More of the same. Brutal withdrawal. A headache was added. I was totally incapacitated. It just went on.

Monday, 12/18/00

Jim and I went to the grocery store and I was so dizzy I nearly fell over several times. I had to go out to the car and wait for him.

Tuesday, 12/19/00

I woke up this day with a screeching, splitting horror headache. I took a lot of Ibuprofen and hoped for the best. It didn’t help much. Despite Jim’s protests, I went back to Pittsburg. The drive was very difficult. I almost fell asleep behind the wheel a few times, I was so exhausted. The withdrawal just continued. In the evening I felt it begin to let up just a little bit. Just a little, little bit. I got on the Internet, typed in “Effexor withdrawal” and discovered all the web sites, learned about what I was going through. It was helpful to know that others had experienced what I was going through and found it thoroughly UNACCEPTABLE! The medical establishment was wrong to allow this substance to be prescribed! I also discovered that my determination to “white knuckle” it, rather than go back on and try to eliminate it gradually was pretty brave.

Wednesday, 12/20/00

I woke up this day with even more piercing of a screeching, splitting, horror headache. Took lots of Ibuprofen, which didn’t help much. Yet, I began to feel a little better still. Not so many electric shocks. Not such profound nausea. There were waves of badness, but also periods of betterness. The bad dreams set in at this point, as some of the Internet community mentioned happened to them. In the evening the symptoms worsened again, like the way a cold worsens at night. I had some trouble sleeping at one point in the night.

Thursday, 12/21/00

Today, for the first time, I began to feel substantially better. The Light at the end of the tunnel of horrors came into view. The piercing headache was gone. Instead I felt that sort of congested, tight feeling in the head that feeling like your nerves and blood vessels are all congested and squeezed. The bloating and breast tenderness remained, as did the fatigue, but I didn’t need a nap today. There were still occasional electric shocks in the head, but they were infrequent and not so severe. Occasional, very mild waves of nausea, but nothing that bad. I still felt sick, but so much better than before. I was happy that there would eventually be an end to all this. It was only the next day, though, that I realized that had, on this day, entered into stage three of the withdrawal drama: the demented rage phase. I got an e-mail from my brother, then responded with one of my own which, I only realized later, was an insane rant. It was a tornado of inexplicable wrath. Later that evening, I called Jim, whom I was not mad at (yet) to rant at him about how furious I was with my siblings. I wouldn’t have even known that this was a withdrawal symptom had I not read about it first on the Internet. I would have thought it was a sign that my mental illness was returning!

Friday, 12/22/00

Today I actually realized that I was in the demented rage phase. The night before I even dreamed that I was enraged; Steve was the last person I spoke to before going to sleep and I dreamed that I was walking beside him as he made his way to Church and was screaming at him and hitting him. Jim called a few minutes after I woke up and everything he said made me so irritated and confused I just felt like exploding at him. I decided to cancel our plan that I come out and stay with him the weekend. I had to remove myself from the population until this phase had passed. The physical symptoms were letting up; the electric shocks, though still occurring, were infrequent and relatively mild. I felt tired and fragile, a bit headachy, but the only real nausea I felt was for a few moments now and then throughout the day. I even rode my bicycle to Mass, the first exercise I’ve gotten since the ordeal began. A lot of my energy to do this came from my wild, flailing rage. I took a two-hour nap. In the evening I felt some lightheadedness. I went on a food binge that lasted all afternoon, evening and night until half past midnight. I got a call from Jim about 10 p.m. and ended up getting into a quarrel with him, hollering at him and then crying uncontrollably. Had several large bowel movements throughout the day.

Saturday, 12/23/00

I didn’t sleep at all the previous night, nor did I feel tired at all this day. If anything, I was wired, to the point of being shaky sometimes. The electric shocks in the head continued, actually more frequently today than the day before, and more often my vision went slanted for a second as they happened. My intestines were tied up in crampy knots. To clean myself out, I began the Master Cleanser Fast (lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup in hot water; laxative herb tea; etc.). Like the day before, I had enormous bowel movements once every four or five hours. It’s like seventeen years worth of stuff backed up in there suddenly started coming out. In the evening I realized that attempting to fast on Christmas was a dorky idea, and decided to begin it the day after Christmas instead. The good thing is that in all this mania, I had a major creative breakthrough. That moment I always wait so long for, when all the disparate elements swimming through my mind that have no hub to pull them all together in an artful, purposeful way suddenly find it, and they coalesce, and it all makes sense, happened all at once in the early hours of the morning. The flash of enlightenment this time?

It’s a play!

I’ve been trying to see it cinematically (brainwashed on a lifetime of movies and TV), that’s why it couldn’t find itself. It’s a play, and with that understanding, it all makes sense. Scenes, people, dialogue are appearing where dark, blank spots were just yesterday

Sunday, 2/24/00

The night before this day, I slept twelve hours straight through. The electric shocks increased again, but they weren’t so strong as to really bother me. Some short bouts of nausea. I felt groggy and a little headachy all day.

Monday, 2/25/00, Christmas Day

Because of staying up for midnight Mass in Oakland with Jim, then not getting back to Colma until 2:30 a.m. and intending to go to 7:00 a.m. Mass back out in Pittsburg, which is about an hour drive, I just stayed awake the entire night again. There were a few, mild electric shocks, and I was a bit weak, but otherwise I felt remarkably well. Even Meghan remarked on how well I seemed. However, my feet were so swollen I could scarcely fit them into my dressy pumps, which normally fit very comfortably. Wearing them was agony and walking in them was a joke, but I grit my teeth and endured it. Jim’s bodily smell and breath smell I still found utterly offensive. It’s very hard to be near him at all. In the evening the electric shocks became more frequent but they weren’t particularly a discomfort. More of an interior audible experience.

Tuesday, 2/26/00

I felt even better today, almost back to normal. Better than normal actually, because I’m not weighed down by the fatigue the Effexor used to create, nor did I have to take a nap today. I slept well, overslept actually, and fully made up for the missed sleep of the night before. It used to be that I couldn’t sleep at all without a sedative or the Effexor. Today I started the Master Cleansing Fast, and other than a few bouts of mild nausea associated with an empty stomach (another withdrawal symptom, increased nausea when my stomach became empty), it went fine. I wasn’t even hungry (perhaps an effect of the maple syrup in the lemon-water drink). I was still immensely bloated, though; no change there. My breasts were still the size of dirigibles and shockingly tender.

Wednesday, 12/27 and Thursday, 12/28

My breasts were still so enormous and tender they felt like they were going to explode. Jim remarked that when he put his arm around me, I felt harder but not in a muscular way, rather like the bloat was filling me up, straining against me. Other than that I felt great. I had more energy than I’d had in ages and slept BETTER than when I was on the Effexor! I didn’t need to take a nap either of these two days. Halleluiah.

Friday, 12/29 through Monday, 1/1/ 01

Still tremendously bloated with a few mild electric shocks in the evenings. On Friday I became too famished and went off the fast. Began my period on Sunday. I generally felt pretty good, slept very well indeed, but became a bit impatient and crabby on Monday and a little depressed Monday evening.

Friday, 1/4/01

By this day the bloat was gone, flushed out along with the normal drop of water weight I get when my period finishes. At this point I was experiencing maybe one electric shock some time in each evening.

Tuesday, 1/8/01

Almost completely better. Still maybe one electric shock in the evening some time.

Saturday, 1/20/01

Checking in here after almost two weeks, I have no electric shocks and none of the other symptoms, except that though I’m exercising almost every day now – jogging or hour-long walks – and not eating more, my weight is climbing. Going off the drug seems to have confused my metabolism in some way. It’s like when I went off smoking many years ago and gained weight despite increasing my exercise. That weight came off by itself back then after about four months; I’m hoping that will be the case here.

Post Script 2/16/02

My weight has not returned to normal since I went off of the Effexor. It seems to have permanently deranged my metabolism and I have struggled incredibly to stop my weight from climbing. I’ve dieted and exercised, sometimes to the extreme, to little avail. Sometimes while falling asleep I hear/feel a strange “zapping” sound in my head. Sometimes I feel a burning sensation inside my cranium (a symptom too weird to be attributable to anything except the Effexor damage; my doctor had never even heard of it). It seems that Effexor either permanently damages your physiology, or else it accumulates in your cells and stays there, continuing to poison you.

Post-Script to “Tunnel of Horror” – 6/19/02

For the record, I am still experiencing lingering physiological problems from having taken the drug, with no apparent lessening. I wanted to add this post-script because there’s one thing I didn’t mention earlier because I was too ashamed. After taking the Effexor I developed, inexplicably, without precipitation, an eating disorder, specifically bingeing.

I’m mentioning it now because maybe other people are experiencing this too and haven’t related it to the drug, and/or are too ashamed to talk about it. I never had anything like this previously, and when a binge comes on it feels like a neurological short-circuiting in my brain and body. I lose all sense of reason, my mind functioning becomes tunnel-visioned, I lose a sense of reality and control.

This sounds suspiciously Effexoresque. Chronologically, the cause and effect relationship is pretty vivid. I’ve tried everything to cure it: counseling, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, O.A., the Geneen Roth method, every blood-sugar balancing, protein-boosting, sugar-addict-busting, blah blah diet out there, and prayed to every saint (including St. Maximilian, the patron saint of the eating disordered!) all to no avail. It causes me anguish I can hardly describe. It doesn’t seem to be psychologically-based at all.

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon since being put on, or going off, the drug? I’d really appreciate hearing from anyone who has. Thanks.

Barbara Powell



This is Survivor Story number 41.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

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