I was on Effexor for 15 years. It was helpful for many years, but after 15 years I decided I would like to come off the drug and see how I did. My psychiatrist weaned off over a few months, but soon after termination, I started to have severe panic and anxiety that lasted from morning until night. It was a living hell. The psychiatrist tried several medications over 2 years Latuda, Viibryd, Seroquel, Trazodone, Lexapro, Zyprexa, Wellbutrin, and Neurontin to stop this reaction but nothing worked. This anxiety and fight-or-flight inner experience was only temporarily reduced with Klonopin given a year after going off of Effexor. FYI, I NEVER was prescribed a benzo in my life before this because even though I have bipolar disorder and OCD, I never needed it. However, my tolerance continues to increase so I'm having terrible memory problems from these awful benzos.

I also suffer hours and hours a day with heart palpitations and neck throbbing, which adding Xanax hasn't helped. I had an EKG and have been checked by a cardiologist, but I'm in perfect physical health. Since this all started when I came off of long-term Effexor use, I believe that this physical trigger is brain related I absolutely believe I've had irreversible brain damage from going off of Effexor. Eventually I went back on it in an effort to see if it would help me, but it was years too late. The psychiatrist should've put me back on Effexor immediately when the reactions started, but he didn't. My life has been totally destroyed by this evil drug. It's been over 3 years now that I've come off Effexor, and I'm seeing a new Psychiatrist who doesn't know how to help me.

I live in a strange state of emotional torture because I can't function socially and struggle to function at work, barely keeping my job so far, from the stress, devastation and continuing physical symptoms I suffer. My short term memory is severe. My emotions are flat-lined, I have no interests or passion for life, and I no longer can feel happiness, contentment or joy. I have never wanted to kill myself like I have in these past 3 years because existence has become so intolerable.in fact, the only reason I stay alive is because I have 2 children who don't deserve to grow up without a mother. My life is a living hell and after 3 years, I don't have much hope that that will ever change.

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