After three years on the max recommended dosage of Effexor (otherwise known as venlafaxine and/or “that fucker”), I’m now day four into withdrawals and am here to tell you that the nightmare is real: coming off Effexor is a full price Contiki tour through Satan’s bumhole.
But hey, at least I have some gnarly sightseeing recommendations:
1. For the love of god taper your dose down gradually if you don’t want to die.
Shit will get real once you’re 100% off it no matter what you do, but you can at least mitigate the severity slightly by easing your body into things.
2. Drink so, so much water.
I find adding a little lemon juice to cold water helps settle my stomach. Dunking your whole head into a bucket also has its merits.
3. Have antihistamines on hand.
This may just be a me thing but I found Effexor had the happy side effect of keeping my seasonal allergies at bay and without it I’ve descended into a sneezy, mucous-y hellscape.
4. Stick to bland food.
I’m talking stuff like plain toast and raw veggies. For the love of god, avoid dairy. The nausea is real and it is vicious – don’t give it ammunition.
5. Don’t stray far from a toilet, ever.
Your bowels are gonna be liquid and will act as such. If you’re gonna drink coffee just do yourself a favour and do it on the can.
6. Ice packs are your friend.
A good rotation applied consistently to my forehead/temples has kept the brain zaps/whooshes manageable. Maybe don’t do this in public unless you want everyone to ask you about your head wound.
7. Favour your phone over other larger screens.
The dizziness likes to kick in when you move your head or eyes significantly – a phone screen means your eyes don’t have to move as far while you catch up on your memes.
8. Prepare for PMS on steroids.
I cried during a horror movie because the family cat disappeared and none of the characters seemed to give a shit.
9. You’re gonna become the first three episodes of a crappy werewolf tv series.
My sense of smell is dialed up to 83495867 (perfect timing what with this heatwave and all btw) and I’m super close to proposing to my noise cancelling headphones.
And there we have it – some of the greatest sights to be seen in this, the devil’s best kept nightmare. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some super important business to attend to.