Coping with anxiety

My Journey: Successfully off Effexor – You Can Too

It took me a long time to gather the courage to write this article about my personal experience with Effexor, which you might also know as Venlafaxine. My personal story below explains how I came off of Effexor, handled the withdrawal symptoms, and how I am now free from this drug’s grasp.  If I help one person rid themselves of this burden, I will be happy.  This is my story.

March 11, 2017, was my 1st drug-free day off Effexor after 14 years having taken 112.5mg daily. It’s now June 12, 2017, and I haven’t looked back. A few times I’ve been tempted to go back; when things were emotionally tough; when the tears flowed and flowed. But then I found a toughness to pursue without it.

How did I do it? 14 years was a long time to be tethered to this mood altering prescription and I sure found out what a friend Effexor had become for me. It was like my “pep pill.” It gave me some type of “high”, a sense of fullness in my being; extra happiness and a sense that I was capable of a great many things. Effexor gave me confidence every day.

Coming off of it was a gradual process orchestrated by my Doctor. I cut back a small amount and stayed at that reduced dose for 3 weeks. I repeated this by cutting back another small amount and stayed at that lowered dose for another 3 weeks until, after about 14 weeks, I was down to 0 and off it completely.

How did I do it?

  1. I was very aware of my emotions and let myself “ride” with them – this means I did not try to stop them nor wallow in them, nor judge them. I just let myself have my feelings. If I was sad, I cried. I didn’t have to know the reason why I just let it be and let myself express how I felt until the feelings passed. Sometimes at work, this was challenging but I’d go in the bathroom or a private corridor and cry until the tears passed.
  2. I had good friends I could talk to on a regular basis, and I wrote in my journal.
  3. As soon as I started to notice feeling more “down” when my dose dropped, I began to take a St. Johns Wort supplement developed by Shaklee called Mood Lift along with another natural supplement called Stress Relief Complex also by Shaklee. Along with this I added in a vitamin B complex (2-4 daily) and magnesium (2-4 daily). I’ve listed the full supplement list below. The lower my Effexor dose became, the more of the Mood Lift, and Stress Relief Complex I took. Adding these gave me a feeling very similar to what I felt on Effexor.

I was, therefore able to let go of the Effexor and I hope it’s for good.

Why did I go off of the Effexor?

I was experiencing the following side effects, some of which were dangerous and very uncomfortable:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Swallowing problems (dysphagia) and choking when eating
  3. Weight gain
  4. A feeling that my energy levels were unnatural for my body, providing me with “false energy” leading to burn out.

Did I experience any real lows coming off Effexor?

Yes I did. There were several ”crashes” – some sudden including unexpected crying jags and feeling very weepy for periods. Other times when I felt like I was stuck on a “down elevator” and things were crashing down. I didn’t know if I could make it and cope with reality but the supplements and riding through the feelings really helped me.
But after 3 months, I am glad to say that the crashes are way less frequent and basically gone.

Will I need to take the Mood Lift and Stress Relief for years?

No, I don’t think so. I have recently added the Mind Works to my daily routine and already I feel sharper in my brain and also that I don’t need as much of the Mood Lift or Stress Relief Complex daily when on the Mind Works.

Would I recommend this program to others?

Most definitely. It worked for me and continues to work. I know how hard it is for people to come off anti-depressants. I’m happy to talk with you about what I did in case it can also help you.
If you’d like a complete list of my program, please contact me directly <amey@allseasonshealth.ca>. I plan to stay on the program for 6 months post withdrawal date of March 11. I will keep you posted.

The Health Stages of a Woman’s Life – Teenage Girls

Health for teenage girls:

For teens – time is of the essence – they are often rushed and have a heavy workload with school and “tight” schedules (in a hurry).  Teens are still growing and hormones are changing.  Teens may not understand or want to be bothered with the value of good nutrition.  They may be looking for the next “big supplement to hit the market” such as a new “Red Bull” type drink – full of caffeine and additives – to give them the energy to get through school, part-time jobs, and other stresses of teenage life.  But for teens, these types of supplements are not advised as they could do damage to the body.  Teens need supplements and natural foods which are both healthy and beneficial for their particular situation.

So what do teen girls need:

Teens have a higher protein requirement due to their natural growth process.
Protein is important as it provides the building blocks of the cells and builds cell strength; also warding off disease

If they work out – their protein need is even greater.

Teens can benefit from the Shaklee protein powders– to give them high quality, highly digestible proteins with quick absorption.  The added benefit is that these proteins can be prepared quickly into smoothies or taken with them in their backpacks or purses for a quick meal at school, at a friend’s house, or on a job.

They may also use the Meal Replacement bars, (also quite high in protein) in the same way.

Teens may be reluctant to eat a large variety of natural foods or vegetables.  For this reason, it is important that they take a good multivitamin which will allow the body’s many functions to run smoothly including muscle development. A perfect choice is the Shaklee Vita Lea with iron.

Other important supplements for PMS symptoms such as cramps,  and during menstruation are Omega 3’s and GLA (borage oil) – borage is known as the herb of gladness and gamma linolenic acid is a fatty acid which can help relieve PMS systems such as cramps, pain, and improve mood.  It is used to treat swelling in the body.

The GLA in the borage feeds women’s glands with the nutrients they need to go through the menstrual cycle every month.

Other good nutrients include magnesium, B vitamins (help combat stress), Vitamin C to increase use of the fatty acids. To avoid getting sick (and missing school) teens need to increase immunity and can use Nutriferon, Zinc and Vitamin C plus their multivitamin for this. it’s also Important that they reduce caffeine (this is very hard on the system and dangerous to the heart in large quantities). These supplements are recommended as an addition to a balanced diet of high-quality fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats and fish.