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DianaKaysen Introduction


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Hi Folks!


I'm very grateful to have been directed to this resource by a dear friend who is similarly fed up with his dependence on psychotropics and wants to start weaning asap. I'll tell my story to start, and add to it with updates in my medication as they arise.


At 14 years old I was diagnosed with GAD and swiftly put on Prozac. On one hand, it saved my life because my depression and anxiety were so bad that I was acutely suicidal and I needed help fast. However, I was put on the drug without any real explanation of possible side effects, and without any attempt to identify the root of the problem, supplement my psychiatric treatment with CBT or DBT, or address my home life (the "GAD" would have been more accurately classified as PTSD/very normal reactions to living in a household with an indisputably emotionally-abusive and ambiguously sexually-abusive parent). It worked and I was functional (mostly) for about five years, when environmental stressors at college became so overwhelming that the Prozac seemed to simply stop working.


After a major crisis in January, I spent just under a year switching from drug to drug without any response-- we tried Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Seroquel, Ritalin and Concerta, and likely a few others I can't recall. By October my environmental situation had evened out and, whaddayaknow, Cymbalta took hold! It was the first drug to do anything for my crippling anxiety since the Prozac so we stuck with it and gradually increased from 40 mg to 100 mg over the course of 2 years as my tolerance increased. 


For the last ~2 years I've been on Cymbalta, on and off of Concerta/Vyvance for "executive functioning issues" which were half real, half exacerbated by my struggles with addiction to Ativan and marijuana. I'm almost 6 months clean from the benzos and pot, but my stupid shrink cut me off the Ativan abruptly when I told her I'd been abusing it, so I'm still in protracted withdrawal and not sleeping. I decided to cut the Vyvance on my own because I figured mixing stimulants and insomnia was probably a bad plan; my shrink said it wouldn't make a difference but it absolutely did.


I'm currently on 80 mg of Cymbalta and hoping to start tapering for real at the beginning of February. Now that I finally have my life back after 2+ years of addiction, I want to feel things again, and I don't when I'm on the Cymbalta. I've been medicated for a THIRD OF MY LIFE. I need to know who I really am without this diluting mystery substance flowing through my synapses.


If anyone has experience with tapering from an AD while still in the throws of protracted withdrawal from benzos or any other substance they were addicted to, I would definitely appreciate any advice or just hearing your stories. It's wonderful to find a community and realize you're not alone.


Peace, and happy holidays,


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Hello Molly,

I just wanted to say hello and welcome to SA!

One of the moderators should be along soon to answer your questions!

I do hope you are well!


April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0


Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Hi Molly - I'm so glad you found this site.   I have no experience with Benzos - just tapering from Paxil, but I wanted to say hello and that a moderator will be along before long.   This site is great.   Welcome.

Put on Prothiaden for severe depression in 1989.  Recovered.   Prescribed Paxil for another bout of depression around 2000.   Have been trying to taper ever since but always crash about 2 months after getting to zero.   Because of the crashes, for years I thought that there was something wrong with me.   Then found that the crashes were simply withdrawal.   Now following a maximum of a 10% reduction every month or so and ready to slow down any time I feel any symptoms whatsoever.  Feeling good:).

7th Jan 15 - 3.6mg

28th Jan 15 - 3.2mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Molly, welcome to SA.  You've had a lot of drugs in the last year or 2 and withdrawal from

benzos, so I would suggest holding a while before starting to taper the cymbalta to allow your 

nervous system to stabilise. The last thing you need is withdrawal from ADs to be thrown in too!

Your psychiatrist sounds typical and doesn't know very much, if anything about what he is doing! 

I'm sorry you went through so much when you were a child, you needed TLC and got prozac  :angry: .


We have a benzo withdrawal  forum if you would like to take a look there, the members there know

all too well about benzo tapering and withdrawal and can support you. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering/


Our topic for tapering cymbalta when you are ready. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/283-tips-for-tapering-off-cymbalta-duloxetine/


It would be helpful if you can put your drug history in your signature, paritcularly the most recent changes. 


You will find instructions to do that here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

**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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Send me a personal message if you want to do this.

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

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