Citation: JayP. "Suicidal Thoughts: An Experience with Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) (exp66498)". Erowid.org. Apr 21, 2016. erowid.org/exp/66498
I have battled depression my entire life, and every drug I've taken hadn't done much to help. My psychiatrist decided to try and put me on Effexor since it is known to be one of the more strong anti-depressants, and I have to say, I felt it.
At first, I figured it wold just be like all the other ADs I had taken, and felt 'comfortably numb' for the first week without too much change in my mood, except I was getting up out of bed and going to class and the like. But over the course of the month, I found my thoughts becoming very dark, and incredibly nihilistic. While I was no stranger to depression, I had NEVER contemplated suicide before. Suddenly, I would find myself writing long plans about how and when I would kill myself, but the strangest thing was I was still going about my day in a generally normal mood--doing my work and socializing. It was just like this horrific dark side of myself had been opened and for some reason my brain was not at all freaked out about what it was saying/thinking. I wrote goodbye letters to everyone, spent all night and day imagining jumping off bridges, hanging myself, etc. It was totally bizarre because I did not actually feel that sad. I was just constantly obsessing over dying and was completely calm and ready to do it.
I never once thought it was the effexor. In fact, I thought it was the effexor NOT working, until I talked to a friend of mine who was on it too. He started telling me about how he was going to kill himself and had been thinking about it constantly. I told him I was thinking the same thing, and we finally figured out we were both on effexor and that may have something to do with it, since neither of us would ever think about killing ourselves like that before.
We did some research and realized that 'suicidal thoughts' are a side effect of effexor. I never understood how that could be a side effect, but let me tell, you, it's totally true. We both stopped taking the effexor and eventually the creepy thoughts went away.
I still have the writings from that month and I bet if anyone read them they would have me committed immediately. They are absolutely horrifying in how calm and certain I seem to be with killing myself--and I hate to think what would have happened if I had not talked to my friend and figured out just what was going on and gotten off those damned pills.
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