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Hi everyone, I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and when I say suffer I mean SUFFER. I had been taking Cymbalta, Lyrica and Lamotrigine for years, even though they did help somewhat, I felt that the effects of taking them were out weighing the symptoms of my illness. As my way of taking charge of my body again, I went cold turkey! For 8 days now....in complete and utter agony. Besides being in pain from the Fibro and extremely fatigued from the CFS, I now have this incredible headache that also brings along with it dizziness and nausea. I have flu like symptoms, inability to maintain my body temperature, I shiver even though I am not feeling cold. I am so irritable and hate everyone and every thing including myself. I question whether to continue with this or to retreat and go back on the meds and taper off as recommended? I hope to find answers here, something has to give and soon.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Lynn.


As I'm sure you know, cold turkey off psychiatric drugs is not recommended, for the reasons you're experiencing.


I suggest you IMMEDIATELY go back on half-doses of every one of the drugs you cold-turkeyed. Severe withdrawal syndrome can last a very long time.


I hope half-doses are sufficient to quell the withdrawal symptoms. You may need more.


Having shocked your nervous system by cold turkey, to take care of it, you'll need to take all the drugs consistently for at least a month to let your nervous system stabilize. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/


At that point, you may wish to consider tapering Cymbalta see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/283-tips-for-tapering-off-cymbalta-duloxetine/


and http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-taper-the-antidepressant-first/

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

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I sit here in tears as I read your reply, I want this to be over, so I will follow your suggestions. How do I know when my system has stabilized? Also, do I take a dose that completely takes away my withdrawal symptoms or do I take just enough to have some relief?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lynn,


I'm sorry you are going through this, but you only went off your medication 8 days ago, so there is a very good chance you will be able to reinstate and stabilize and then begin a slow, safe taper.


I didn't know about this site when I stopped taking my meds, and came off them much too fast, by the time I tried to reinstate, my system was so out of balance, it didn't work, everything I tried, just made me feel worse.


Please read the links that Alto provided in her first post, read them in the order she listed them.  They will answer your questions, there is a lot of information, you may need to read them several times.


No one can give you a guarantee, but taking a half dose of what you were previously taking is a good starting place.  You may need to wait several weeks before you start to feel better.


You will find a lot of good information, friendly help and support here, I hope you start to feel better soon.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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