Tag Archive: chemical imbalance


So on a few occasions in the past I’ve made the mistake of missing a few doses of my antidepressant, which is Venlafaxine. I don’t miss doses intentionally, as I have had the GP say many times, try not to let this happen again.

It seems any time I have missed a few doses, the side effects get worse each time. The nightmares I must say are most definitely the worse part. They are so disturbing and distressing. Then I end up not wanting to go to sleep because I get anxious at the prospect of having more nightmares.

The side effects I have found the worst are the constant nausea, vommitting, headaches, upset stomach and of course those nightmares. I end up not being able to keep my food down a fair amount of the time and end up in the toilet soon after eating. The nightmares tend to get worse and worse the longer I am with out my antidepressants. I often will wake my partner up with my muffled screaming. Sometimes I have to force myself to stay awake for a bit just to ensure I don’t fall asleep and go back into the nightmare. There was one night I kept falling back to sleep into the same nightmare for a period of about 3 hours.

A couple of nights ago I had the worst nightmare ever. It was so bad I was trapped in it, it was the scarest experience I have ever had in my life. I have never been so scared in my life. I kept tryng to force myself to wake up and eventually succeeded. But it was so traumatic the nightmare, I was fighting my body trying to stay awake and I was convinced that the thinking I was awake was a trap and that I was still in impending danger. I have never experienced sleep parylsis, but what I felt seems possibly like that. I was afraid to move, afraid to talk and even afraid to try wake my partner up. It all felt like a trap. Like I was being tricked into thinking I was awake but they were still out to get me, the people in my nightmare. I legit thought I was going to die in this nightmare and I was convinced it was real and I was going to die. When I was awake, it seemed like I was still partly in REM sleep, as my eyes were doing this weird speedy blinking thing, like that which they do when you are in REM sleep. I had to force myself not to close my eyes. As it felt like my mind was trying to get me back into the nightmare. I know I already said this, but I have never been so scared!

I did get my medication a couple of days ago, but I am still suffering some of the side effects. I still feel ill, still being vommitting, have a slight headache, can’t eat much that will stay down. I’ve also been so tired all of the time.

The problem with withdrawal and how fast all those symptoms return that lead you to needing antidepressants return, is that you no longer know if you are still unwell or not. Also, the fear of relapse and the horrible withdrawal makes you shit scared of even trying to get off them.

Venlafaxine definitely does the job of helping me cope and does take the edge off everything. I wouldn’t say it is a cure all. I do appreciate that you are still able to feel your emotions and still feel like ‘YOU’. But it doesn’t by any stretch of imagination stop me getting depressed, getting suicidal, feeling anxious or getting overwhelmed. It does take the edge off all of that.

I knew nightmares was a common theme on Venlafaxine and came to discover they are common if you miss doses. I wasn’t aware though, how common knowledge all the other shitty symptoms are. Especially when it comes to talking to pharmasists and GP’s.

I was recently chatting to a friend of mine who had a partner who used to be on Venlafaxine and he was telling me what hell she went through trying to come off this. And she did it by the book and the way your GP will tell you to come off it and cut it down slowly. She experienced horrific nightmares, intense emotions, suidical desires.

It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place with Venlafaxine. Like do I ever dare risk trying to come off it? Will I cope? Can I cope? As I NEVER want to repeat last weeks experience with that nightmare I mentioned earlier.

I actually can not handle going through that again. And the toll it takes on you is horrible. Sleep is not restful at all at those times. It seems like no matter how much you sleep, you never get caught up. I have spent the last 2 weeks feeling ill as, constantly tired and feeling so crap.

It’s such an emotional rollercoaster! Between being tearful, ultra sensitive and just irritable and agro.

While I was waiting to see the GP on Monday I was getting so over waiting. The GP was running 1/2 an hour late and I was getting pissy that I was not told they were that behind. I was going between wanting to cry for no reason, feeling panicked and distressed just because someones young son was crying. I would want to just walk out at times as I found it hard to just sit there with all my feelings. I was getting so fucked off having to wait. I was so relieved when I finally got to see the GP. As I was getting very aggitated by her running late.

I have done a small amount of research of venlafaxine withdrawal and I never knew how common it is to feel all this withdrawal hell. In fact I saw an image on Pinterest that way titled “Venlafaxine Withdrawal Hell”. That’s a very accurate description for sure.

I do sometimes feel pressure from some people in my life who are anti medication to get off meds. But also I push the fact maybe they just need to accept that I might always need to be on antidepressants and that should be ok.

The GP said to me regarding my concern over whether I might be ok mentally without medication and that the withdrawals, at least wait until I am feeling more stable before exploring that, which makes sense.

I have not blogged for ages it seems. I just don’t allow myself the time to sit down and blog. I always have that anxiety there is something else I should be doing. Or I just don’t have the motivation to even try.

Anyway, still feeling pretty nauseous, so might go eat some food.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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I have been wanting to find the time to post tonight, but I was feeling uncomfortable with the idea of coming here into the lounge and typing my post on my computer. I just feel exposed here. I feel like I just want to go hide somewhere quiet and separate and have some privacy to post. But unfortunately I do not own a laptop, so I can’t.

I have not been having a very good week so far. I went out with my good friend who I have known since college on Saturday, which was fine and later we went out to town and had drinks. But I am feeling the effects of that decision and how it messes with my chemicals, the drinking alcohol I mean. And I do feel very strongly that I do not want to go out and get drunk again. As my mental health does not benefit, in fact my mental health suffers.

I had dinner with my oldest sister on Sunday night, which was mostly okay. But naturally the subject of my oldest daughter and CYFS(child, youth and family) did come up. And then she asked me if I have considered the possibility of my daughter not being returned to me and how would I cope with that. I told her, yes, I have considered that scenario, but as it is worse case scenario and these kind of thoughts/ideas do greatly effect my depression, I choose not to sit with that idea/possibility for long. As it will put me into a downward spiral and I have worked so hard to get to be as well as I am now. And how I would cope, well honestly I do not think I would cope. I mean if the worse case scenario did happen, I would have to learn to accept it. But I would not react well if that decision was made at the next FGC(family group conference) review. I would probably cry uncontrollably and feel very angry.

My mood has taken a downhill spiral. Not too majorly, but I have to do my best to avoid my mind going to that place of considering that possible scenario. I know myself well enough to know that I could very easily spiral downhill and go backwards very fast. That is why I make a point of not thinking about worse case scenario.

It is not like I am even in any therapy. So I can not adequately explore and discuss such things in a safe place.

I am feeling even sadder since yesterday, after hearing about Robin Williams suicide. I feel so sad and heartbroken he could not find enough hope to go on and keep fighting depression. It is so tragic. As is any suicide.

I must admit, I have noted yesterday, a feeling of hopelessness within myself. Like I just do not even want to go on or try anymore and that my family would be better off without me. Not in a suicidal way I mean. I was just lacking severely in confidence in myself at the time and feeling quite discouraged. It is not much helped by the fact I am getting a bit of a flu, what my sister said, PMS and having both kids at home. 1 who is sick also, that is my 4 year old and the other one who climbs everything!

OMG! Seriously, between the nagging on and on from my 4 year old and my clever climber(my 1 year old) and being sick. It is damn hard work, extremely exhausting and challenging! Today I was feeling like I can not handle this and I do not want to deal with this. But I try to be kind to myself and I remind myself, I have PMS, I am getting sick, I am looking after a sick child and that not surprisingly this at times is very hard to deal with. As is the fact I have not had any social contact so far this week.

Thankfully I have someone from college who I recently reconnected with coming to visit me tomorrow. I do not know how much longer I would have lasted without that very vital and very crucial, social contact.

Oh gosh, my cat! She has been SO naughty today that I was very damn close to giving her away! She got into the rubbish bag and ripped it open to get out chicken bones. So I put that bag into another one…then she did it again to the 2nd bag and guess what?! I put that bag into another bag and she did it again!

Oh and then we had the ants driving me crazy again! It seems having a used Mcdonalds cup in the recycling bin is enough to get the army of ants out in force! Argh!!!

Ok, not a new vent…but my damn fiance and his computer!!! He is so bloody annoying! He comes home, after me looking after both the kids all day and being sick and he goes and gets straight on it! So sick of it!

Right, that is all for today. I am actually quite tired. Thanks for reading.

So I don’t know if what I’m going to write is something I have written about before. The downside to having a crap short term memory. But anyway, I will write about it either way. As it is on my mind a lot.

I personally do not want my suffering to be for nothing. So, no matter how unpleasant, how uncomfortable, how scary, how unfair and how horrible this journey has been or is, regarding my mental health. I will always try to turn it into something positive, useful and purposeful. So that way my suffering has a purpose.

I will always be honest and open about my suffering and not be ashamed of it. I will always share my experience and blog about it. As I want others to know the real me, I want others who are suffering to know they are not alone in their suffering and I want to encourage others to share and be open about their suffering, if they feel they can be. And I want to help give others the strength to reach out, ask for help, hopefully inspire others and help reduce the stigma of mental illness, as well as any shame felt.

So, even though at times I may feel broken, no matter what, this journey will not break me.

Now I want to touch on a really good DBT(dialectal behavioural therapy) technique called ‘Radical Acceptance’. It is a technique I learnt about last year some time, but have only really put it into practice since mid-December. And more so lately.

Radical Acceptance, as I would describe it is, accepting your reality, feelings and emotions, no matter how unpleasant those feelings and experiences are. It’s about saying to yourself “hey, this feeling, situation or emotion might suck and may be unfair, but I will accept that this is where I am at and how I feel and that’s ok. And I don’t have to like what this feels like and that is ok too.”

Using this technique has been a life saver, literally and has helped me get through everything I have been through since August last year.

And another part of DBT is accepting your emotions and letting them come and sit with you and eventually pass. As emotions ARE healthy and are definitely necessary. I believe this technique is referred to in DBT as ‘Emotional Regulation’.

I found this website, which covers the DBT techniques and explains them more: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/dbt_lessons.html

‘Distress Tolerance’ is another DBT technique that I know a small amount about and will being learning more about in the next 5 weeks. As I am attending a DBT based Resiliency course through Lower Hutt Community Mental Health, that goes for 6 weeks and covers the technique of ‘Distress Tolerance’. Last week was the 1st week of this course.

I definitely acknowledge my need for one to one therapy though. As it is really difficult having been through what I have been through and am going through without having any therapy at all. And I really do need something that is just for me and about me, where I can go and be totally honest and start to work through things. This reality was making me feel quite upset last night and I was crying for some time about it. As I desperately need some therapy. And I definitely do feel frustrated that only half the fix has been addressed. That being the chemical imbalance component, which is managed with antidepressants.

Pretty sure that’s all I had on my mind to share today. If not, I’ll come back and write another post.