‘Ray’ is a 65-year-old woman living in Cabra who has found herself dependent on antidepressants – specifically Effexor. She is anxious to meet other people in the area who might similarly be dependent on such prescribed drugs, with a view to forming a support group.

“I’ve had mild depressions and anxiety on and off throughout my life but never took or was dependent on antidepressants until I broke an ankle when I was living abroad 12 years ago.

“I returned home to Dublin. I was prescribed Effexor and thought it was a temporary ‘fix’, as I was also recovering from a traumatic breakup.

“I’m now seven years on it but since then, I’ve found it impossible to get off the drug, Effexor (Venlafaxine) which it is commonly known” she told the Gazette.

“There is every support organisation going for people out there trying to cast off an addiction – alcohol, drugs, gambling eating disorders but there’s no support group dealing with dependency on Effexor.

“I’ve tried every avenue to get off this crap; I’ve spent thousands of euro on GP and psychiatric visits to no avail. If there is anyone living in Cabra or close-by, who’d live to meet up and start an Effexor Support Group, please contact me at 085 7277 461.”

NB Effexor/Venlafaxine is an antidepressant medication that works in the brain. It is approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder (social phobia).

Symptoms of depression can vary from feeling sad and emotional, to feeling worthless and hopeless, having low energy and poor concentration, nervous energy, or suicidal/self harm thoughts.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) occurs when a person experiences excessive anxiety or worry for at least six months, symptoms include chronic fatigue, irritability

muscle tension and sleep disturbance.

Panic Disorder occurs when a person experiences unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear which in turn, causes frightening physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. The drug is also used to treat social phobia/social anxiety disorder.

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