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R2G2: There is hope and thank you all for this site

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Greetings and Salutations


I have been a longtime lurker and reader of this site and after years of reading and finally getting off of all Psych Drugs I am finally clean and Drug Free. I would like to thank the people on this site for sharing there stories ( which is not easy) and posting them for others to learn from, get support and a place to vent and lets you know you are not alone.


Why post and why now? From time to time I come back to this website to stalk and have seen posts lately that when people get better they stop posting and don’t come back , well I am doing the opposite to offer hope and perspective from my view.I just feel now I can compose my thoughts somewhat and put them on paper/text and let people know that there is hope and with this forum for me personally it helped me cope. I just recently had another family member start having mental health issues and I am able to talk and help them out. When reading this please take into account I still have a hard timing putting thoughts to words and forgive my grammar, sentence structure and jumping around.


Quick Rundown, grew up in a toxic environment but always had food, place to live and family but it was very dysfunctional, with an alcoholic father and my poor mother was just trying to survive being a teenager and had no clue. I was never physically abused but mental cruelty was real to me. The fighting , yelling and screaming was non-stop, screwed up grandparents and crazy living situation. I was and still am very sensitive to everything and considered a drama queen. I tend to over react at first but in time I can get through it. I have been told I have white people problems  :) but regardless it affected me because of who I am and how I was made. Everyone is built different. I also try use humor as an outlet. In my case from a young age I did not know how to cope with issues and bottled everything up until my mind and body couldnt take it anymore.


So after growing up like this, my father drinking himself to death and died @ 34 I started to turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with my pain. Then a few years later finding my grandmother dead and having to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation and having other traumatic events I finally broke and started having panic attacks .This was at the time all of these great psych meds came out and they started to hand them out like candy. I started out on Paxil, the side effects really bothered me, went on to Lexapro then wellbutrin and a couple of others in there and finally settled on Cymbalta. The whole time still with the drugs and alcohol. Why drugs and alcohol? because the meds I was taking only helped the panic attacks and never really resolved anything. While on cymbalta for the next 12- 14 years I gained like 40-50 lbs became a shell of myself and still had the issues. I finally got fed up and wanted no more of the meds and had enough, blood pressure was going up and other health issues started to arise.


Here is were it gets fun,  I went to my primary GP and he was maintaining my Cymbalta and said I wanted off I was having to many health issues, he said it will take 2 weeks? I have tried to get off this crap before and said no way. Started reading and researching and tried to do what I thought was a gradual reduction from 90 - 60mgs and had withdrawals but still went through it and for me a big mistake.  My body and mind said F-You dude and went into super hyper-sensitivity mode. The drug was repressing my nervous system and then all of a sudden it was gone and I felt everything and my body got worse, bp went through the roof so my GP started to put me on BP meds and just made the problem worse and I was in and out of emergency rooms. Here is the other kicker at this time I stopped all rec drugs but in the emergency rooms I told them about getting off of cymbalta and they found pot in my blood work (I smoked pot for years and quit when I stopped taking my meds at this point it made things worse) and immediately blamed pot and they would give me a xanax and my body would instantly calm down and I would go back to normal. They said I was a drug addict withdrawing from pot and I was looking for drugs to get high. In reality I was going through serious withdrawals coming off of cymbalta and needed help and they said you’re a drug addict and really wouldn’t help. This pissed me off to know end. BTW I could get all of the drugs I  wanted on the streets.My doctor kept switching BP meds and just made things worse and I was in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals and had to leave work. This went on for 7 weeks but I got lucky and on the verge of being placed in the crazy ward literally and found a place that knew exactly what I was going through. I didn’t sleep maybe getting 6-8 hours a week, lost 30 lbs in 8-10 weeks and my stomach was horrible, couldn’t eat, sleep, think straight and barley function as a human being and thought I was going to die. I would pace all night long,


How I got better? It was a combination of finding the correct Dr's and myself. It is up to you to help yourself. I left the Dr who almost killed me and found ones that wanted to help and understood. Meds and Drs can only do so much. I spent countless hours of research and trial and error with diet, vitamins, exercise, yoga, meditation you name it ( screaming at a stop sign ) whatever it takes. I was put on the lowest doses of serequel to sleep and oxycarbinazapine for the anxiety which did very little but I think the Dr's had no idea what to do with me. The plan with these Drs was to have me med free at some point btw; These Dr's understood what I was going through and wanted to help. Finally after 2 years I am med free but not out of the woods and don’t see any drs except my GP for physicals and still dont sleep well but much better than 6-8 a week.


I will always be a sensitive person and I have come to terms with that, I eat right for me and what works for me. I take a couple of vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium calcium zinc a healthy diet and exercise. I have good days and bad days and some days I think I need meds again but so far so good especially now I am getting older and my body is breaking down (I have literally broke just about every bone in my body), joints and muscles and everything hurts a little more these days and I am learning to deal with it, my wife calls me a H.A.M - Hot Azz Mess :) and I concurr


In conclusion everybody is different and how we all got to this point and where we are now. Some people can get off the meds and some cant. BTW what I have found out is that whether I am on the meds or not I feel the same exact way and the meds only helped the panic attacks and never got rid of them and in my opinion they did more harm then good. 


There is hope but you are your own best advocate ,try to find a good Dr, General practioner, Psychologist, Pschyciotrist , Sherpa guru or a friend who understands. There is no easy fix, hang in there and try and think positive thoughts. I feel I was born with a chemical in-balance passed from generation to generation. My father used alcohol to cope and it killed him.


It is not easy and when it doubt ask for help, there are still good people out there and sometimes it takes a while to find them


Believe in yourself , try and stay positive and never give up. Nutrition , Diet exercise and vitamins are key for me


Continue to write your story and good luck 







Edited by scallywag
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi R2G2, welcome to SA. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You have been through so much it is amazing that you are able to tell us about it. 

I just want to pick up on the chemical imbalance, this is just a theory that was made up by the drug companies to sell their drugs. It is well documented now and in some places, the drug companies are no longer allowed to make that claim. Sadly the doctors still haven't learned this fact and are still passing it on. :angry:

You went through a lot of trauma growing up and needed the right counselling with lots of love and care but instead received drugs which were the start of a new wave of trauma. 


I am so glad that you have found our site helpful, it is lovely to know that there are many people out there who are getting free of the drugs and don't ever start a topic. 


How long have you been off them all?  You could find it takes some time to find yourself feeling 'normal', ( normal is different for everyone ) and you will be amazed because your whole life has been spoiled by the events that have shaped your life. I hope you go on to fully recover and have a happy and stable life. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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Hello MammP 


Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to write back


I suffer from anxiety and the cause in my opinion is a lack of certain proteins, chemicals, bacteria in my body/mind/brain or it is in my genes. Anyone can label it as they see fit but regardless it is who I am and I needed to deal with it. To get off of all the drugs it took about 2 years and I am about a 1 year free and clear. 


To everyone you just need to believe in yourself and keep trying , please keep trying. You are your own best advocate and never give up.


Stay strong , take it minute by minute, hour by hour day by day . 





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  • Administrator

Welcome, R2G2.


Thank you for piping up! 


How long did you have withdrawal symptoms after going off Cymbalta? What kinds of symptoms and for how long?


You said you found a place that knew exactly what you had. Where was that?


Would you say you're fully recovered now or do you have ways to go?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Greetings Altostrata


Oh God - withdrawals were horrendous , High blood pressure , couldnt sleep for weeks and months - were talking 1-2 hours per night if I was lucky , paranoia , extreme anxiety , couldnt eat , horrible stomach ( which I have till this day ) no concentration , manic , you name it I had it, Couldnt leave the house or barley put sentences together x 10 ,


Went on for about 2 years but after the first year they started to subside, then got off the oxycarbinzapine then seroquel , I took the lowest possible doses of them I mean the lowest dose and survived them a whole lot easier


The place was actually an outpatient drug rehab here on the east coast, I got lucky that one of the counselors there went through this/knew about it and helped me, I got extremely lucky. They taught me coping skills and mindfulness but I knew all of that just couldnt ever get it right until I was full blown twitchy/manic go figure . When I got out they sent me to a psychologist and psychiatrist. I got extremely lucky with the psychiatrist , he was a minimalist and had an exit plan for me immediately and got me off the drugs. I went to the psychologist for 3 visits and was told I didn't need to be there


I am fully recovered from the cymbalta and other meds but I still suffer from anxiety and will always but I can deal with it a whole lot better  


I eat right very healthy but have animal protein ( still have a bad stomach and blame the drugs - that is when I started having stomach issues), drink nothing but water and seltzer , exercise regularly , try and get good sleep/sometime I dont. I try and be a minimalist with pills and only take a few vitamins , I am getting older and joints and knees starting to break down. 


BTW I am no choir boy either every once in a while I eat whatever I want and have a beer on special occasions - sorry but I deserve it , even have a cup of coffee too


Finally I am back to my old self for almost a year now - so there is hope 




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