I am 1 day clean from my SSRI addiction!

in steepshot •  last year  (edited)

Yes, I'm officially 'off my meds'! As I wrote recently, I have a 2.5 year SSRI/SNRI addiction, after being put on the max dose of Effexor (venlafaxine) to combat severe depression and PTSD.

The depression is managed now, and the PTSD has faded somewhat to the background. I won't trouble you here with the side effects of SSRI and SNRI drugs, as you know how severe and distressing they are. It's time to break the pharma addiction.

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Cannabis is my medicine. It replaces ALL my prescriptions, which included:

  • the maximum human dose of venlafaxine (as a male, I got even more than the average patient, lucky me)
  • oxycontin/oxycodone (percoset)
  • codeine/caffeine (tylenol 3)
  • ativan (lorazepam)
  • lots more

Benzodiazepenes are a crime against humanity (this is coming from a former psychiatric nurse with addiction specialty). Short term, for very sick people, yes. Almost any other application? NO!

And if I have to tell you about the opioid crisis in North America right now, where have you been? It's killing hundreds of people every month here in my town, for years, and it's only getting worse. When I had a kidney stone, I begged them for the strongest opiate possible (and they gave it to me). It was barely enough, but it got me through the worst of it. But for chronic use? Anything from the opium/heroin poppy? No way.

I have chronic pain (possibly fibromyalgia), sleep disturbance, undiagnosed neurological condition (possibly Fasciculation syndrome), partially-treated PTSD, chronic fatigue (both general and muscular), vision/hearing loss, and more. It all began at the same time (3 years ago). My story is incredibly familiar online. Diagnosis is slow to impossible for most. My doctor is useless except for delivering babies (she did both of mine). I'd love to get a new one but almost nobody in the area is accepting new patients. The few that are don't speak English. Walk-in clinics don't diagnose chronic conditions. Until I have money, no real health care.

So like I said, cannabis is my medicine. It keeps me functioning, keeps me out of addictions, keeps me happy and healthy and able to participate in society. It's the only medicine I need.

Sadly, it's very expensive because of prohibition of cannabis. "Legalization" was just monopolization of the industry, a corporate takeover. Gardeners and patients are still going to prison for it, so it's not really legal at all. It should be much cheaper, but this ongoing criminalization keeps prices artificially high. But I'm willing to pay.

It was several hundred for that slab of nearly-pure THC in the photo. That will last my wife @MediKatie and I the whole month. Someday, we hope to have the freedom to grow and extract our medicine ourselves. Until then, we buy it from the black market, the only source. Extracts aren't available legally yet, and when they do become 'legalized', they will be much lower quality and much higher price, just like the legalized bud. No thanks.

So the medicine that keeps me alive and healthy is not only not covered by the medical system I pay taxes for, but I'm an outlaw at risk of 14 years in prison. That's one way you can tell it's a corrupt corporate monopoly in play here, not a free and fair market by any stretch of the imagination.

Today was my first day without venlafaxine going in. It will take a couple more weeks for it to be completely gone, but for the most part, the benefits have already left me. Now I'm just going through the withdrawals, and then finally the last of the side effects will fade, and I'll be free.

Grow (and medicate) in peace.

DRutter

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Good for you @drutter, the drug didn't do me any good either. I've weaned off those things years ago but found natural means to control depression. SSRI stand for Selective Seritonin Reuptake inhibitors.

Yes, and the N stands for Norepinephrine. Serotonin and Norepinephrine are brain neurotransmitters. SSRIs and SNRIs were named that because at the time, we believed they "worked" by adjusting the levels of these neurotransmitters. Now we're learning that's not true, so these drugs were wrongly named all these years. We're not sure how SSRIs and SNRIs actually work to relieve depression, as the model we believed for 30 years or so is now turning out to be wrong. Some believe neurogenesis in the memory area of the brain is actually how they (supposedly) work. It's a little disturbing that we don't know. I'm glad you're free of them too.

And the Dr.s keep handing these things out like Halloween candy,

Youre informed :)

Posted using Partiko Android

Congrats, man! :)
Weed is great against pain and depression.
I hope you find the perfect strain for you!
Wish you much luck and power on your way :)
Greets

Thank you so much! I find the perfect strain for me is usually a hybrid on the Sativa side. I do need a little bit of CBD in there for sure, but mainly it's the THC which blasts my depression, and helps my sleep normalize. I do like to take some edibles, usually full spectrum whole plant oil, to get all those good trace cannabinoids as well :)
I'm lucky to live in Vancouver, and have connections with activists and farmers/bakers/extractors/etc.

I like Skunk #1
The best hybrid :p

Posted using Partiko Android

I have some Skunk genetics in my library, and I've been contemplating what my next crop will be.... thank you for the suggestion ;)

I now also wrote a little post about my experiences :)

Posted using Partiko Android

Great achievement, congrats!

Congrats @drutter, wish you much healing and happiness moving forward.

Thank you very much.

  ·  last year (edited)

Congrats and keep up the fight against the dependency of chemicals.

Come join us over at Smoke.io and share your story, strains, and everything while as a community we continue the education, fight against stigmatization, and just generally share and enjoy the greens we love so much. See you there soon, hopefully. 🦇

It was a long hard journey, but hopefully the worst is over. I'm happy for you.

Congratulations @Drutter. I hope things start to get better :)

Amazing man, I hope the withdrawal is not too severe? How much is the max dose of Effexor? 375 mg?

Posted using Partiko iOS

I think the max safe dose depends which study you base things on, and varies depending on the doctor and country, but yes I was well into the 300s per day at the peak. It didn't feel necessary and I couldn't justify the side effects for long.
The withdrawal today has been fairly noticeable. Not in a "I wish I could take some venlafaxine right now" kind of way. More like a dizzy (sort of) feeling, combined with slowed thoughts, a sense that my brain has run out of lubricant or fuel, if that makes sense. Even my hearing and vision is reduced at the moment. Everything's just sort of.... less. But I've felt this before (I lost my pills when I was homeless) and I know it's temporary. I think my brain is slowly adjusting to the lack of ... whatever the pills provided. Pathways are adjusting, levels are normalizing, dormant areas are powering back up. I think I'm going to be one of the lucky ones.
Thank you for asking :)

Interesting story, I really appreciate and admire you opening up to tell the whole community such personal stuff.

Have you ever tried psilocybin (active compound in magic mushrooms) to treat depression?

Stay strong!

Good luck, love, and light.

Posted using Partiko Android

Good job man!