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 <>. I plan to stay on the program for 6 months post withdrawal date of March 11. I will keep you posted.

Introducing Healthprint from Shaklee – Digital Health Assessment


Earlier this month Shaklee released a ground-breaking tool designed to provide near instant recommendations on clinically proven, dietary supplements that are educated and informed. These selections are based on a highly researched online questionnaire which incidentally, also weighs in your daily budget for supplements and vitamins.

Heard enough already? Go try it out here:

Watch this introductory video on the system

What is the Healthprint Assessment for?

The health assessment tool is designed to give you really informed information on the type of supplement that will be perfect for you based on the selections from the questionnaire. The questions asked aren’t the normal questions you might consider in a dietary assessment.


Also featured are budgetary concerns which takes into account a very affordable option for people wishing to utilize Shaklee’s decades of research and quality that they pour into their products. I thought this was particularly thoughtful as not all of us can afford the expensive regimens but want to experience the health benefits of Shaklee’s products.

Shaklee Healthprint Budget


One final feature is that you can run the assessment completely anonymously. It allows for guest use, although if you are a member you may be able to save your information and revisit the results at any time. It’s so new that we’re all learning the ins and outs and all the behind the scenes features.

If you’d like a hand with the evaluation tool and are uncomfortable with the questions, I would be happy to work with you on building a supplement plan for your specific needs and health goals.

Let’s chat about your health goals!