Vanessa Hanon

@nessiehanon | contributor
26 | NOLA
Community Voices

The Powerful Pill of Effexor

My good friend Effexor (venlafaxine) has helped me tremendously over the last six years. I went from a depressed, overly anxious girl to a powerful, free woman. It was the one antidepressant that actually worked for me until this past year. I never knew how strong of a drug venlafaxine was until I missed a morning dose one day. Severe withdrawals started a couple of hours later that day. The day I missed three doses was one of the most terrifying situations I’ve ever experienced. The heart palpitations, lightheadedness, sweating, trembling, blurred vision, migraines, severe tingling sensations, and brain zaps almost led me into the ER. I called my dad crying when I clocked out early on my shift, and I explained to him how I needed him to come get me because I was not capable to drive the seven minutes home. I really thought I was going insane.

Flash forward a few years later and my body built up a tolerance to the 225mg of Effexor. My #Anxiety became out of control again. I would have random days of #Depression , and I just can’t find life exciting anymore. I felt like all this work I’ve put into myself the last six years has failed me. My psychiatrist said, “It’s been a couple of months now and you haven’t felt good in a long time. It’s time to wean you off of Effexor so we can try something different.”

I was petrified.

I began to cry.

I became sick just thinking about it.

The first day of taking 150mg wasn’t actually that bad. The second day…not so much. I started having crazy, vivid dreams. Dreams that make it hard to tell if it was actually a dream or reality. I woke up and felt miserably exhausted like my life got sucked out of me. My #Anxiety has risen. I caught myself pacing back and forth for a while. My body couldn’t stop shaking. I wanted to sob for no reason at all.

THIS is Effexor.

THIS is a strong antidepressant.

And I don’t wish this on anyone.

9 people are talking about this
Community Voices

The Powerful Pill of Effexor

My good friend Effexor (venlafaxine) has helped me tremendously over the last six years. I went from a depressed, overly anxious girl to a powerful, free woman. It was the one antidepressant that actually worked for me until this past year. I never knew how strong of a drug venlafaxine was until I missed a morning dose one day. Severe withdrawals started a couple of hours later that day. The day I missed three doses was one of the most terrifying situations I’ve ever experienced. The heart palpitations, lightheadedness, sweating, trembling, blurred vision, migraines, severe tingling sensations, and brain zaps almost led me into the ER. I called my dad crying when I clocked out early on my shift, and I explained to him how I needed him to come get me because I was not capable to drive the seven minutes home. I really thought I was going insane.

Flash forward a few years later and my body built up a tolerance to the 225mg of Effexor. My #Anxiety became out of control again. I would have random days of #Depression , and I just can’t find life exciting anymore. I felt like all this work I’ve put into myself the last six years has failed me. My psychiatrist said, “It’s been a couple of months now and you haven’t felt good in a long time. It’s time to wean you off of Effexor so we can try something different.”

I was petrified.

I began to cry.

I became sick just thinking about it.

The first day of taking 150mg wasn’t actually that bad. The second day…not so much. I started having crazy, vivid dreams. Dreams that make it hard to tell if it was actually a dream or reality. I woke up and felt miserably exhausted like my life got sucked out of me. My #Anxiety has risen. I caught myself pacing back and forth for a while. My body couldn’t stop shaking. I wanted to sob for no reason at all.

THIS is Effexor.

THIS is a strong antidepressant.

And I don’t wish this on anyone.

9 people are talking about this
Community Voices

The Powerful Pill of Effexor

My good friend Effexor (venlafaxine) has helped me tremendously over the last six years. I went from a depressed, overly anxious girl to a powerful, free woman. It was the one antidepressant that actually worked for me until this past year. I never knew how strong of a drug venlafaxine was until I missed a morning dose one day. Severe withdrawals started a couple of hours later that day. The day I missed three doses was one of the most terrifying situations I’ve ever experienced. The heart palpitations, lightheadedness, sweating, trembling, blurred vision, migraines, severe tingling sensations, and brain zaps almost led me into the ER. I called my dad crying when I clocked out early on my shift, and I explained to him how I needed him to come get me because I was not capable to drive the seven minutes home. I really thought I was going insane.

Flash forward a few years later and my body built up a tolerance to the 225mg of Effexor. My #Anxiety became out of control again. I would have random days of #Depression , and I just can’t find life exciting anymore. I felt like all this work I’ve put into myself the last six years has failed me. My psychiatrist said, “It’s been a couple of months now and you haven’t felt good in a long time. It’s time to wean you off of Effexor so we can try something different.”

I was petrified.

I began to cry.

I became sick just thinking about it.

The first day of taking 150mg wasn’t actually that bad. The second day…not so much. I started having crazy, vivid dreams. Dreams that make it hard to tell if it was actually a dream or reality. I woke up and felt miserably exhausted like my life got sucked out of me. My #Anxiety has risen. I caught myself pacing back and forth for a while. My body couldn’t stop shaking. I wanted to sob for no reason at all.

THIS is Effexor.

THIS is a strong antidepressant.

And I don’t wish this on anyone.

9 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Dealing With Covid While Mentally Ill

#COVID19 has been on the rise once again and people are falling ill left and right. Is it something we can dodge? No, cuz it’s a virus, but we can prevent it. It’s holiday season and people are traveling, having gatherings, reunions, shopping, etc. If you happen to get it, you get it. Vaccinated or not-it’s a virus. It will always have a new strand and the media will continue to hype things up to make people invested. It’s reality. It’s how the world works.

When #COVID19 first hit headlines back in March 2020 it was terrifying for society. As it should be because it’s a new virus affecting people’s health. I remember I fell horribly ill to the point where at 4am I decided to go to urgent care. I was trying to fight the ‘cold’ off for days, but it got to a point where I couldn’t take the pain. I remember the doctor checking me and I had every symptom in the #COVID19 book. I remember hearing the nurses outside in the hall whispering, “She has #COVID19. She definitely has it,” but they didn’t want to test me because the only symptom I did not have was shortness of breath.

Flash forward to December 2021. I ended up with #COVID19 and stayed quarantined for five days. In those five days I did a lot of sleeping. I barely turned on my lights and during day three of quarantine I realized how sad I was starting to feel. I love my bedroom. It’s my safe spot. But for some reason I felt my #Depression wanting to take over. I was in a room for five days. I was in the dark trying to sleep the days away. I wanted to drive so bad. It got to a point where I wanted to just sit in my car for a while and not be in my room. How are mentally ill people supposed to be be okay during times like this? Is anyone checking in on us? Talking about us? #COVID19 affects everyone. What about when a person gets the virus and has to stay quarantined while mentally ill? What happens then?

I know #COVID19 has been such a draining topic the last two years. I feel for every soul, but my heart desperately wants to tell every person that we can make it through this. Every person is strong enough to make it, and I feel like we all just need to encourage one another especially on those bad days.

6 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Dealing With Covid While Mentally Ill

#COVID19 has been on the rise once again and people are falling ill left and right. Is it something we can dodge? No, cuz it’s a virus, but we can prevent it. It’s holiday season and people are traveling, having gatherings, reunions, shopping, etc. If you happen to get it, you get it. Vaccinated or not-it’s a virus. It will always have a new strand and the media will continue to hype things up to make people invested. It’s reality. It’s how the world works.

When #COVID19 first hit headlines back in March 2020 it was terrifying for society. As it should be because it’s a new virus affecting people’s health. I remember I fell horribly ill to the point where at 4am I decided to go to urgent care. I was trying to fight the ‘cold’ off for days, but it got to a point where I couldn’t take the pain. I remember the doctor checking me and I had every symptom in the #COVID19 book. I remember hearing the nurses outside in the hall whispering, “She has #COVID19. She definitely has it,” but they didn’t want to test me because the only symptom I did not have was shortness of breath.

Flash forward to December 2021. I ended up with #COVID19 and stayed quarantined for five days. In those five days I did a lot of sleeping. I barely turned on my lights and during day three of quarantine I realized how sad I was starting to feel. I love my bedroom. It’s my safe spot. But for some reason I felt my #Depression wanting to take over. I was in a room for five days. I was in the dark trying to sleep the days away. I wanted to drive so bad. It got to a point where I wanted to just sit in my car for a while and not be in my room. How are mentally ill people supposed to be be okay during times like this? Is anyone checking in on us? Talking about us? #COVID19 affects everyone. What about when a person gets the virus and has to stay quarantined while mentally ill? What happens then?

I know #COVID19 has been such a draining topic the last two years. I feel for every soul, but my heart desperately wants to tell every person that we can make it through this. Every person is strong enough to make it, and I feel like we all just need to encourage one another especially on those bad days.

6 people are talking about this
Community Voices

This Is Me: Raw

I’ve questioned my faith a couple of times over the past few months. I swear God doesn’t want me to die because He saved me too many times from near death experiences-overdosing, alcohol poisoning, car accidents. I guess that means I do have a purpose in life. Right? Isn’t that why He keeps on bringing me back to life?

Turn It Off.

I’ve never been fully happy because every time when I get too happy it ends. My life is nothing but a line of disappointments and the anger that is built up inside of me from the trauma and abuse I’ve endured makes me want to scream. No one will hear me.

Make It Stop.

I’m tired, God. I’m so very tired. You made me into this fighter and I’m constantly fighting battle after battle, storm after storm, but what about my peace? What about my time? My days? I can cover up my battles with bandaids and a mask. I can pretend I am alright. It’s when at night I’m drained because I don’t understand anything. My body is bruised and my heart is broken. My mind zones out and my heart constantly races. I have so much fear in me that I don’t even know how to turn it off and make it stop. I suffer in silence because I know nobody cares about a depressed person. Who wants to deal with that?

This is me. Raw and real. This is me smiling after I had a mental breakdown. The panic that ran through my veins as I tried to gasp for air had me drained. The blurred vision I endured for three hours because my tears became streams of waterfalls. I almost broke and I did grab those scissors. I haven’t done it in years. I put it down on my nightstand as it haunt me. God, I am weak. I know you made me strong, but I do not feel it. After my meltdown I laid in my bed for a couple more hours. Time ticked by and night turned into morning. Please, Lord, free me. Please, set me free.

Vanessa Hanon

I'm Turning to Drinking Again as My Mental Health Gets Worse

I’m drinking again, but not like the casual glass of wine with dinner. I mean, I’m drinking again because I don’t want to face my reality. I knew I was getting bad again. I could tell when the tears finally stopped running down my cheeks and into my lap or onto my pillow. I could tell when sleeping all day became my escape from reality and emotions. But, I’m fine. At least, that’s what I tell people. I’m a grown woman. I can pick myself up when I fall, but I’m not sure if I can pick myself up from falling down this deep, dark, cold hole I’m spiraling into. Ah, spiraling. Haven’t done that since I hit rock bottom in the summer of 2016. I tell myself, “Not this time mental illnesses.” I try and battle my hectic thoughts. The thoughts that try to plant those seeds in my head. The seeds that grow into heavier thoughts of being better off. So, in all honesty, I am not “fine.” Actually, I feel quite weak and drained. I know abusing substances won’t help. I know my reality will still be there in the morning. I know my thoughts will be waiting as I try and knock back into it. Why do I do it then? Is the medicine the doctor gave me not working anymore? Is it me? Am I the problem? I can’t help but to think I will never get better. It’s been years and I’m still here fighting with myself. I don’t expect most people to understand, but it is exhausting fighting with myself on the daily. I look down to my wrist. I see my semicolon tattoo and I remember how strong I can be. The spiraling will end and I will again be OK. I have to be.

Vanessa Hanon

Realizing an Abusive Relationship Wasn't Your Fault

I remember sitting in my room locked away in a mental institution. It was cold, gloomy and scary. I sat on my bed trying to make sense of everything that happened. I tried to end my life again, and I just wanted things to stop for a couple of seconds. I wanted to breathe air that wasn’t full of panic and trauma . I wanted to feel something, but I couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t escape my reality and every day I just kept living. I couldn’t escape my body no matter how much I wanted to. I honestly didn’t know I was being fully controlled and abused. I thought this was normal — but nothing about my past relationship was normal. It was mean. I already had childhood trauma , so my normal is a completely different normal than a regular person’s “normal.” I knew how to be quiet and do what I was told. I lost a lot of good friends because I was being controlled. I couldn’t hang out with this person or talk to this person because it wasn’t “right,” and it just meant that I was being disrespectful. I lost a lot and no matter what I did or said I was not good enough. It was that night that took a toll on me. It was the winter night at the lakefront. I was lying there in the backseat of the red truck. I felt it. I felt the pressure of his body on mine. I remember that pain and me saying “stop” and “I don’t want to do this.” He didn’t care. It lasted for a few months. I found myself going more numb on the inside. My voice didn’t matter. I felt like I didn’t matter. It was then I tried to end my life the first time. Months went on and no one talked about my incident. People thought I was OK and that I was doing better. But every day I was being heavily controlled. Every day I was being abused — verbally, mentally and emotionally. When things officially ended I was put to blame. My anxiety was an “excuse” for me not wanting to do certain things. Everything was considered my fault. I tried to argue in response but what I said did not matter. I was to blame for everything that happened in the relationship . A week went by and I was still being controlled. I wasn’t with this guy anymore, but I would get texts and pictures sent to my phone. He wanted me to know that he was still watching and that he still had power over me. I lost it. Self-harming was not enough for me at the time. I needed everything to stop. I couldn’t find peace in anything. So, in response I tried to end my life for the second time. It was then that I realized I was being controlled. It was then I realized I was assaulted. I was broken. I didn’t know how to recover and I didn’t tell a soul of what happened. It took me sitting in my own bed in a mental institution to realize that what happened to me was not my fault. I was not the monster. I survived, and I chose to keep living. I became stronger, but I also became more fragile. The trauma will come back through dreams or in certain situations. The only thing I can do is panic and try to let it pass. I’m OK though. I take things one day at a time. I know at the end of the day I will be OK.

Vanessa Hanon

Realizing an Abusive Relationship Wasn't Your Fault

I remember sitting in my room locked away in a mental institution. It was cold, gloomy and scary. I sat on my bed trying to make sense of everything that happened. I tried to end my life again, and I just wanted things to stop for a couple of seconds. I wanted to breathe air that wasn’t full of panic and trauma . I wanted to feel something, but I couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t escape my reality and every day I just kept living. I couldn’t escape my body no matter how much I wanted to. I honestly didn’t know I was being fully controlled and abused. I thought this was normal — but nothing about my past relationship was normal. It was mean. I already had childhood trauma , so my normal is a completely different normal than a regular person’s “normal.” I knew how to be quiet and do what I was told. I lost a lot of good friends because I was being controlled. I couldn’t hang out with this person or talk to this person because it wasn’t “right,” and it just meant that I was being disrespectful. I lost a lot and no matter what I did or said I was not good enough. It was that night that took a toll on me. It was the winter night at the lakefront. I was lying there in the backseat of the red truck. I felt it. I felt the pressure of his body on mine. I remember that pain and me saying “stop” and “I don’t want to do this.” He didn’t care. It lasted for a few months. I found myself going more numb on the inside. My voice didn’t matter. I felt like I didn’t matter. It was then I tried to end my life the first time. Months went on and no one talked about my incident. People thought I was OK and that I was doing better. But every day I was being heavily controlled. Every day I was being abused — verbally, mentally and emotionally. When things officially ended I was put to blame. My anxiety was an “excuse” for me not wanting to do certain things. Everything was considered my fault. I tried to argue in response but what I said did not matter. I was to blame for everything that happened in the relationship . A week went by and I was still being controlled. I wasn’t with this guy anymore, but I would get texts and pictures sent to my phone. He wanted me to know that he was still watching and that he still had power over me. I lost it. Self-harming was not enough for me at the time. I needed everything to stop. I couldn’t find peace in anything. So, in response I tried to end my life for the second time. It was then that I realized I was being controlled. It was then I realized I was assaulted. I was broken. I didn’t know how to recover and I didn’t tell a soul of what happened. It took me sitting in my own bed in a mental institution to realize that what happened to me was not my fault. I was not the monster. I survived, and I chose to keep living. I became stronger, but I also became more fragile. The trauma will come back through dreams or in certain situations. The only thing I can do is panic and try to let it pass. I’m OK though. I take things one day at a time. I know at the end of the day I will be OK.

Community Voices

What phone app do you use the most (besides The Mighty)?

<p>What phone app do you use the most (besides The Mighty)?</p>
209 people are talking about this