Have Treatment Resistant Depression. Tried numerous ADs. Me too.
If you don't take Effexor at exactly the same time everyday, you will physically know it. Coming off it is a LONG process, not just a few days lower dosage. Have heard from someone else that they switched to regular Effexor for weaning down because it comes in smaller increments. Did I say it is a long process? Don't rush it. Sometimes docs give Prozac to help in the weaning process. Call and ask, leave a msg.
If you are going to attack this on your own, or even if you do stick with your doc/therapist, I highly recommend reading.You probably know all there is to know about depression and BP already.
To get fresh insight in what to DO, subscribe to Julie A. Fast blog, search her sight up and down to read all the free advice she offers.
Also Therese Borchard, Beliefnet.com great blog. She even has short videos sometimes, is very funny but then serious on video.
The book "The Feeling Good Handbook", by David D. Burns, a classic for mental HEALTH. Reframing mental patterns, thinking differently helps manage anxiety, depression, and manage life better. His list of cognitive distortions is an eye opener. Get it used on Amazon. It is a classic self-help book.
So far I am doing fine. Better in fact, don't know why for sure. Got a zillion vitamins that I read might make you depressed if you have a depletion. Took them for a month and so I am sure I don't have a depletion. Corrected my diet, no caffeine, alcohol, white sugar or flour. more whole foods. Working on exercise. Sun and fresh air even in small bursts during the day are healing. Learned to meditate. See: http://www.summum.us/meditation/simple.shtml Meditating when you are feeling well is good because you will know how to do it when you aren't, and it helps.
My best self-help site is HealthGuide.org
There is so much info there it could keep you busy forever. Especially check raising emotional intelligence, depression, Depression self-help tools and coping tips.
I also feel that doing these things while I am feeling this good is necessary now because when I am feeling bad, I don't care or want to.
I have a printed list of 33 Tips and Tricks on managing bipolar by Julie Fast, and the list of the top 10 cognitive distortions by David Burns. I highlighted the ones I need to think about Keep it on my desk at the bottom of the pile. Also Meditation techniques from that site. Always know where they are at that way.
Do a print-out of this info I have given you. You will get to it eventually. And it will make you healthier, but not "the cure". Be careful.
Make a list of things you can do to stay healthy. Another list of things to do if you are slipping. Evaluate yourself and keep a mood tracker.
I figure all it is a phone call to get in to see my GP for antidepressants, or the psychiatrist if it is really bad, freaky. I have had some hypomania, but have learned how to control it so I don't do damage. The other thing is I have some hysterical belly laughing, better than crying, but it feels kinda weird. Of course after being in bed for 8 mos.
Shoot the darn Black Dog !