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  1. Hi! I read Robert Whitaker's anatomy of an epidemic in June 2019 which started me on my tapering journey. I originally assumed that the rate psychiatrists used to cross taper using the existing doses available was okay. As a result I did a fairly fast taper partly psychiatrist supervised from 160 mg of my ziprasidone to 120 to 80 to 60 mg. I also not at the same time of course, tapered off attarax 25 mg 3x daily to 25mg 25 mg and 20 mg. Than 25 20 20 mg, 20 20 20 mg and than 10 10 10 mg and than 0, 10 mg 10 mg and so on with minimal rebound anxiety which I waited for it to pass before tapering more, tapered off 100 mg of trazodone going from 100 to 75 to 50 to 25 to 0, and tapered down my cymbalta from 90 to 60 to 30 mg. This took me from June 2019 to the end of september 2019 which i understand is fast and im luckily i experienced little to no withdrawal symptoms. At the end of september I came across the withdrawal project, Links on Robert Whitakers website, and this site and realized I'd been going fast. Oct 8th I started a liquid titration of my ziprasidone going down to 50 mg. No problems yet. I am currently at 50 mg ziprasidone, 30 mg Cymbalta and 2 mg of Xanax which I take twice a day but am slowly shifting to spreading the dose to three and than four times a day (half a mg each). The plan if all goes well is to taper off my ziprasidone, wait 2 weeks, start tapering my cymbalta, wait two weeks and start tapering Xanax last. From my research the Lay tapering community reccomends 5 to 10% of the month's previous dose once a month if you are doing cut and hold and psychiatrists who specialize in tapering reccomend 10% of the original dose every 2 to 4 weeks doing cut and hold. I decided to go closer to 10 percent of the original dose for now every two weeks and if I run into any problems I will slow it down and do a smaller taper. So that's my introduction for now! Thank you for being here.
  2. I haven't been able to reduce my Cymbalta dose for two years because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms I have experienced with both attempts (a year apart). I spent three years dropping from 60 to 30 mg. I have pretty much given up the goal of eliminating Cymbalta - afraid to cause more damage by tapering the than that caused by continuing to take 30mg. I am unwilling to risk further trauma and drama, so I haven't tried the crossover either. Prozac was too "activating" for me in 1989. I don't think it's likely to be a solution in 2012. I still have restlessness, sweats, problems with balance, an incredibly trigger-happy startle reflex and frequent headaches. After feeling progressively less brain fog during my three year taper, my cognitive processes are really abysmal at this point. I can't keep track of simple stuff, can't handle financial transactions, have problems with noise, light, just stimulus in general. And I haven't changed doses in two years. I wonder, do SNRIs poop-out the way the SSRIs tend to?
  3. I’m actively slowly tapering off nasty cymbalta. I’m currently counting beads, taking 17.7mg / 93 beads. I also take 10mg of latuda. I haven’t had any problems dropping latuda from 20 to 15 or 15 to 10, but I’m wondering if staying on it for another two years before I’m off cymbalta completely is really a good idea. It’s also expensive which is a constant risk if insurance stops covering it. I know it’s a brake to the cymbalta and probably helps ease the cymbalta withdrawal... thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Not bipolar, if that matters - taking this cocktail for mostly situational depression that I’ve made life decisions to alleviate. Really don’t think I need these meds, and think the anxiety is a side effect from the AD. THANKS!
  4. Hello - I am about 7 days off of Cymbalta. I was only taking and only able to tolerate 20 mg and I slowly cut myself down to 10mg and then nothing. I get a few head swishes here and there, but nothing really bad expect I am severely up and down mood wise and fear I am going to end up in a psych ward. I was starting to feel like things were going to be ok and then I crashed hard. I've been on various psych meds for the last 30 years of my life and I just turned 47 and I've had enough of it all. I consulted a neuropsych who is an ECT doctor. My regular psych sent a referall to him from another state as I came to stay wtih my mother for a while to get some other health issues sorted out. His suggestion, since when I went there, I was in a better mood and thought my spring to mid-summer severe depressive episode was lifting or was going to lift, was to come off of cymbalta and see if I don't feel better. He said they are finding out these meds do a lot more than they thought and that they might not even be able to call them "seratonin reuptake inhibitors" anymore. He said some people do a lot worse on them over time. Well, I am doing worse yet and yet I don't want to go back on the stuff at all. I am really struggling. I have also been off of Adderall since the begining of July and felt better off due to not taking that, but now this added Cymbalta thing is throwing me for a loop. I am trying to figure out whether I should call the neuropsych back up and request ECT for sure and cancel a vacation with my family in September, or not. I am a 5 x a week yoga practicitioner, I meditate, I eat right, I do all kinds of things - been getting out socially, ect. and STILL I am plagued with severe bone crushing depression episodes that are causing me severe headaches of the type I cannot stand another minute of it. The depression headaches are so bad they don't even respond to migraine medication. They are different. Something is really wrong with my brain and I am scared I am going to not be able to handle it one day and commit suicide. I've had an MRI for the other regular migraines I get and they say it is all clear. Sometimes I feel like I spend all day trying to figure out what will make feel better - yoga, meditation, work, get out with someone, get out in nature - and still by the end of the day I end up in tears feeling suicidal. Is this par for the course? I am hoping someone can relate and let me know it gets better. I am so confused. I don't really think intuitively that my depression is going to get that much better and I should just call that neuropsych back and try to get ECT started. Things have been taking so damn long lately to get the help I need with doctors and that is frustrating too. Thank you.
  5. Hey, I've been taking cymbalta for 5 years, I dropped from 120mg to 60mg without issue but when trying to drop to 30mg things went badly. My doctor is great and offered me 50mg (20 + 30) of generic, but I've had bad experiences with generic brands so I thought I would taper. I am just having difficulty understanding all the measurements, I am really terrible at maths. I have some questions? Do I remove 10% of the weight from each capsules? Are all the beads the medication or are some "filler" Thank you, - lleksam
  6. Hello all, Apologies in advance for the length of this post – it’s essentially a combination of an introduction and a success story – I know that members can only post success stories after a full year off all meds – I’m seven months now off all meds and am feeling far better now than when I was taking pills so I reckon it’s only a matter of five months before I post an actual success story. I was given a diagnosis of bi-polar by a consultant psychiatrist in the autumn of 2011 after years of volatility in my mental health and began taking meds six months later. I started with Lamictal (Lamotrigine) – after a few weeks on a low dose, the dose was increased – the next day I noticed a rash all over my body and stopped taking it. I was then given Abilify – I was on this over for a month or two but stopped taking it since it caused me insomnia and really intense pain in my wrists. Next, it was Olanzapine/Zyprexa (5mg) to deal with my elation – the 5mg worked well but when the dosage was increased to 10mg and 15mg, it caused nothing but depression so I went back to 5mg. I was then given Prozac to deal with the depression side of things – this however, caused me the worst depression I ever experienced. I was on it for a bit over a month until I could take no more and stopped taking it. My psychiatrist then prescribed me Venlafaxin/Effexor in September 2012 – I started at 75mg and eventually made my way up to 300mg. As the dosage increased, my depression did get better but the side affects most certainly got worse – constipation and intense sweating in bed at night. Also, I always felt the medication was causing me brain fog, despite what my psychiatrist was telling me – ‘all these meds do is treat depression’, I was told and basically, how limited intellectually I felt was in fact an actual reflection of the abilities I was born with. I was really getting fed up the side affects and decided to do what a lot of people in my situation do – come of the meds without telling my doctor. I slowly tapered down the anti-depressant but came off the Olanazpine quite abruptly – result, disaster. The depression came back in a big way. Around this time, I remember one sleepless night lying in bed just saying to myself over and over – ‘I just want to die – I wish I had the courage to kill myself’. Went crawling back to the psychiatrist in July 2015 and told him the truth – needless to say, he was quite annoyed but prescribed me Cymbalta/Duloxetine (60mg) and agreed to reduce my dosage of Olanazpine to 2.5mg. The Cymbalta no doubt stabilized my mood at that time – I was pretty down low, as you can imagine. Once again, I felt it was limiting me but after the volatility I had experienced, I was happy for a bit of stability. In the summer of 2017, I began to learn a lot about the affect diet and exercise can have on mental health. Up until that time, I thought I ate and exercised healthily – how wrong I was. Over the course of around a year, I completely changed my diet and exercise regime – I experimented a lot and ended up with my current diet which is essentially a Mediterranean diet – meat, dairy and eggs a few times a week but primarily plant based food – all unprocessed and organic. A lot of my free time now is spent cooking and preparing food. After I started with Cymbalta and before I changed my diet and lifestyle, I felt that my depression/elation cycle was going on in the background but the medication was keeping it in check. As my dietary and lifestyle changes kicked in, I began to feel that the cycle was longer there – I was essentially stable. I got married in July 2018 to the woman who stuck with me through the diagnosis and all the mental volatility over the years. Immediately, we started trying to conceive – I really wasn’t mad about the idea of trying to conceive while I was on medication – I know that women are advised to come off meds before becoming pregnant and I wondered if my own meds could have an affect on any potential child I conceived. Did a bit of research – heard a bit about meds possibly causing fertility problems but nothing about meds causing birth defects etc. For a number of months after the wedding, we tried hard to conceive with no success. Consequently, I made the decision to start tapering. Not surprisingly, my wife was initially reluctant given what happened previously when I tried to come off meds – this shook my confidence a bit but I really believed that I could cope this time round, given the dietary and lifestyle changes I had made. Unlike the previous time, I told my psychiatrist who to my big surprise, did not object in the slightest. He initially suggested that I stop taking the 2.5mg of Olanazpine altogether – he told me that according to the research, 2.5mg has no real anti-elation effect – it only really aids moderate anxiety and sleeping. I genuinely believed that the olanzapine was indeed helping my sleep so I decided to continue taking it and instead drop the Cymbalta from 60mg to 30mg at the beginning of November, 2018. I was on the lower dosage for three months – I didn’t notice any major withdrawal affects during that period. Consequently, when I saw my psychiatrist three months later, I suggested to him that I stop taking the Cymbalta altogether – once again, to my big surprise he was very supportive. I continued to take the Olanzapine for another month – I had planned to stay on the Olanzapine for three months but given what the psychiatrist told me previously about 2.5mg not really having any anti-elation affect and given how I hadn’t experienced any major withdrawal affects up until that point, I decided to come off completely at the end of February 2019. A part of me was worried that my sleep would go to hell without the Olanzpine but once again, I really believed as long as I stuck to my diet and lifestyle, I would eventually enter into a natural, healthy sleeping pattern – this transpired. Also, around four or five weeks after I ceased the meds completely, I started having definite withdrawal effects – my nervous system seemed to react and consequently, I felt very edgy and jittery and my concentration levels went down significantly – obviously, work was quite difficult during this period. This was quite severe for around five weeks and then gradually started to diminish. I fully expected some withdrawal affects so they did not surprise me one bit when they came. Once again to stress the point, self-belief was hugely important at this stage – I just knew that as long as I stuck to my diet and lifestyle – essentially, the way I was designed by nature to eat and exercise – the withdrawal affects would pass and I would reach stability. I am now off all meds for seven months and I’m feeling good – still not one hundred percent but a lot better than when I was on medication. The Cymbalta didn’t cause me major side affects but I realised when I completely came off it that it contributed to some minor side affects which I wasn’t really aware of – my skin improved (I’ve always had problems with acne), my gums stopped bleeding when I brushed my teeth and my hands didn’t dry up so easily the way they used to, for example. I still have a bit of brain fog which is a bit frustrating but not unexpected – I started taking meds in mid 2012 and ever since, I haven’t felt as if my brain has been operating at its optimal level. I do believe this will come back with time – I just have to patient and allow my brain to adjust fully to the meds being completely out of my system. I should also mention that for most of my life, my brain has not being operating at its optimal level - for the most part, since my early adolescents I’ve been miserable and it wasn’t because of some chemical balance in my brain which would have been triggered no matter what – I had to deal with some personal problems which were really inhibiting me. Like my medication, those problems have been put to bed – I’ve been married for over a year and if everything goes according to plan, I’ll be a father at the end of November. As I mentioned above, I stopped taking the Cymbalta at the end of January 2019. In mid-April, my wife found out that she was eight weeks pregnant, meaning she conceived around mid-February, two and a half weeks after I stopped taking Cymbalta. Maybe ceasing the Cymbalta didn’t have any effect on my fertility whatsoever – in any event, I’m delighted I don’t have to go down the IVF route! I have no problem saying that I have the bi-polar gene. I experienced all the symptoms and those closest to me can verify that. However, I don’t consider myself mentally ill and do not believe that I was born with a chemical imbalance in my brain. As long as I live the way I was designed to live, my bi-polar gene will be completely suppressed – it simply won’t be an issue. For the most part, I believe that the symptoms I experienced were in part simply a reaction to all the things I was doing wrong – my diet, my exercise routine, my work environment, my past relationships etc. I plan to keep my bi-polar gene suppressed for the rest of my life and in order to do that, my life is going to be quite mundane – no substance abuse, regular moderate exercise, healthy sleeping patterns and I’m going to have to continue to spend a hell of a lot of time cooking and preparing healthy food. However, I will take ‘mundaneness’ any day of the week over mental volatility and side affects from psychiatric medication I’ve had to endure over the years. Having come through all that, the stability and contentedness I’ve found are all the sweeter – ‘spring would not be so welcome, if we didn’t have to go through winter’. Once again, apologies for the length of this post – I promise my subsequent ones won’t be as long! As I mentioned above, I feel my brain still isn’t operating at one hundred percent after seven months of all the meds so if anyone can provide me with some advice in relation to this issue, it would be greatly appreciated. Many Thanks Francisco
  7. scarletknight3

    scarletknight3: 20 plus years

    Hello. I have been a prescribed patient on Lorazepam, Wellbutrin & Cymbalta for the better part of 20 years. Lorazepam 4 mg Wellbutrin 150 mg XL Cymbalta 60 mg I was diagnosed in 1996 with depression and generalized anxiety. I believe graduating from college and all the stressors of new jobs etc. caused a situational anxiety for me. Early morning wakenings, dread, muscle tightness in chest, etc. I have only experienced withdrawal, or interdose withdrawal when accidentally running out of mail orderpharmacy scrips. Akathasia, denationalization tremors, and on. In approximately 2015 I had started to increase my evening dose by 2 or 3 pills for a couple of months, thinking it would help me sleep better, as getting to sleep is EXTREMELY difficult for me. It has led to nighttime eating and probably 30-40 pounds. After downdosing back to my regular amount I began to feel parasthesia and burning and tingling in my right ear which has been pretty much daily but intermittent and differing in how strong. My Dr. says it is an affect of the screwing around with doses and may last for a long time (which it has already). That, and I am probably at tolerance as well. Add in some severe hypochondria as well, but this may be an effect of hitting a milestone age, and losing some firneds and my father, although Ive heard hypochondria is a symptom of the med and withdrawal obviously. After discussing tapering with my Dr. off of the benzo, she seems to think that since I am functioning at a high level at work and with family, that maybe I should continue on them and taper at a time in my life where raising a family and holding down my job aren't my daily functions, like later when the kids are grown (I have a teenager and soon to be teen) and a wife. Besides my parashtesia, I am wondering what next steps I should take.
  8. This is my first posting here and I apologize in advance if the topic of LDN is well known. LDN is the acronymn for Low Dose Naltrexone. Naltrexone has been used for many years to help treat opiate and alcohol addictions. I was put on Cymbalta in 2010 after the death of my 21 year old son in a car crash. I was in shock (still am) but I also felt like my body weighed 3000 lbs. The Cymbalta DID help relieve me of that unbearable heaviness. I did eventually reach the max dose of 120mg. I had run out of my prescription a couple of times, due to forgetting to pick it up etc. I do recall becoming tearful and the "zaps" in the head. The last couple of years are much a blur anyway. My most recent incident occurred during a trip out of state to see my brother. I ended up staying an additional week to help him with a number of things but had only packed my "pillbox" for a 5 day stay. Needless to say I started to feel terrible pretty quickly. I remembering saying to my brother that I could relate to the heroin addicts that always feel sick until their next fix. I at first thought that I could tuff it out. No I could not! By day 3 I called my PCP for a script to be faxed over to an out of state pharmacy. That was in October 2013. I did discuss this event with the psychiatrist that prescribes my Cymbalta and it seems to be a rare occurrence according to him ? Well I did go from 120mg down to 90mg after that appt without a problem. Fast forward to January 2014, I am doing some research on autoimmune disease as my siblings and I have developed a few. I came across the use of LDN ( low dose naltrexone) in a number of auto immune disorders and requested a prescription from my PCP 2 weeks ago. I read as much as I could find and it made sense to me to try to further reduce my heroin like addiction to Cymbalta to see if the LDN may reduce the awful withdrawal symptoms. I am currently taking LDN 4.5mg at bedtime along with only 30mg of Cymbalta! And I am happy to say not only do I feel a little better from the LDN I have not experienced a single uncomfortable symptom from the reduction in Cymbalta. I am a bit nervous about going from 30 to 0, I may wait a couple weeks. I did want to put this info out here tho. LDN is not very well known, it's cheap, off patent etc. Just google LDN and educate yourself. It may not work for everyone. BTW, my auto immune disorder was/is Transverse Myelitis. My withdrawal symptoms had NOTHING to do with the TM. I had TM in 1977 with a 90% recovery.
  9. I need some advice. I was on cymbalta for 7 years and very functioning on it. I was reduced from 120 to 60 mg from my doctor and slowly started to mentally decline. Physically too, not able to eat. My doctor thought I was just depressed, which I know now I was in withdrawal from a dosage reduction. He tapered me off in 2 weeks and placed me on lithium and abilify. I hated being so sedated and shouldn’t have been switched to anything at the time, I know now. I was then taken off those in 2 weeks and placed on Zoloft. That had my heart racing so fast I couldn’t take it. I was on that for 5 weeks and felt like I was dying. Tapered off in 1 week. Now I have been on Effexor for 10 weeks. I know now that my brain has been kindled. It’s in no shape of getting any good effects from any medicine because none of them help, especially if I am in Protracted withdrawals all along from reducing the cymbalta dosage. I hate the Effexor. It has no positives and I know I cannot slowly taper until my brain starts to stabilize. I just have been on Effexor for 10 weeks, in Protracted withdrawal, and don’t know how my brain will stabilize while still on Effexor. I know this is going to require a lot of time to heal. I just wish I could slowly taper Effexor and then I would feel as if I am healing. I know now that I should not have allowed myself to take another antidepressant after cymbalta. I should have re-instated the 120 and slowly weaned off. Too late. Now i I feel like I have brain damage and cannot find any joy in life at all. I’m scared because I am barely functioning and I will never allow my doctor to give me another medicine. Which he is trying to. Please help!
  10. Hello everyone. I'll try to organize this as best as I can. There is a lot going on. I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36. Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare. Absolute pure hell. I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel. Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve. I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac. I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago. I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago. I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse. My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness. I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7. I am so depressed and fearful all of the time. I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me. It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. My doctor wants to take me off the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro. The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in. I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case. I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta. My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together. It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill. There were so many. I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come. If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen. I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare. If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again. If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain. The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac. I don't want to go through this again! Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar. Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well. I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated. It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed. Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't. I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope. I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get! I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then.
  11. hey, my new heroes... I am feeling afraid and lost. This started for me in February 2018 when my retired psychiatrist's replacement said that I had to come off the klonopin or I would end up with dementia like my mom. (I will be 60 in August). With no suggestions as to how to taper, I found myself on Dr. Goggle and cut 1/4. Horrible withdrawals while maintaining a stressful position at work. Adding to my stress was a new partner who had moved from another state to move in with me. We never had time to stabilize our situation before my taper began and mom was diagnosed with advanced dementia. I had a maddening search for a doctor to help me through this process and found an internist who upped the cymbalta to 90 mg and then later to 120 mg late summer after I tapered the klonopin to .25 mg and back down to 90 mg in the fall. (I had been on cymbalta 60 mg and .5 klonopin since 2006. I started out with 75mg effexor and the .5 mg klonopin but I had withdrawals from the effoxor after missing 4 days of meds when out of town. Psychiatrist started me on the 60 mg Cymbalta. I remember the transition being a smooth one). In an attempt to continue with my Klonopin taper and to deal with the debilitating withdrawlas from what I now were Cymbalta-related, a different psychiatrist (still searching for competency at this point) was trying to cross me over back to the effexor and off of cymbalta. BIG issues with this process. In February she dropped me to 60 Cymbalta and added 37.5 Effoxor. I did this for 2 weeks then dropped the Cymbalta to 40 mg and continued with the 37.5 mg effexor. I did this for 2 weeks but ended up in the ER with what I think was akastaisis. Was discharged with both a script for a beta blocker and an antihistamine. I finally was able, in my fear-induced panic, to take the antihistimine and sleep in the ER. To date, I have used neither. I've white-knuckled and CBTed my way through the last couple of months. I saw the psychiatrist in a few days after my ER visit and she dropped the cymbalta to 20 mg and stopped the effexor. I opted at this point to take my Family Medical Leave option and entered a 2-month long out patient CBT program which started on March 18th. During this time I was working with a psychiatrist for meds. The psychiatrist affiliated with the outpatient program was a young man whose name I recognized and it turned out that he had developed a name for himself as a benzo withdrawal expert (Mad In America continues to ask him to blog). The entire two months in the program I did nothing but cry and I had my first full blown panic attack in 20 years. Meds at this point were 20 mg Cymbalta and .25 mg klonopin. I was being told that I needed to make another klonopin cut so I chose the date of April 19th, Good Friday, as I thought that fitting for my need for symbolism and to make a spiritual connection. I started by cutting that little pill into pieces but have ended up using a compounding pharmacy and have been taking 7.5 ml (.1875 mg) daily. He kept telling me that I was on such a low dose of the klonopin that I could jump if I wished. We never discussed the issues related to what I think are cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. I told me that I could be med free soon and regaining my new life. The program ended on May 18th and I left with no med changes. Life got worse. I've had some good days but mostly they have been filled with crying and dread; a lack of meaning and a huge sense of loss. (I was having to make decisions about the future of my professional career which ends on July 24th. I've had no income now for 2 months and became eligible to apply for our agency's Disability plan on June 19th. I have applied and am waiting, hopeful, but waiting. My new relationship is suffering and I feel very misunderstood.) Within the past 2 weeks I finally found doctors in town that have successfully tapered others off of benzos and Antidepressants. Three different opinions on med changes but they all share the thought that I need to stabilize before finishing the benzo WD. Yet, I question the plan. I need your wisdom. SOOOOOOO, they all wanted to try new meds while finishing the cymbalta taper which wasn't even registering in my mind as a cause perhaps for my current state of being. One wanted Lamictal, one suggested Lexapro and another zoloft because I have family members living mostly stable lives on this drug. (multiple SSRIs from 1986 - 1998 were tried, nothing worked for me until we found the cocktail with klonopin). Diagnosed as GAD. The plan that was written up is this: Start .25 zoloft on 6/24/19 and take this for a week with the 7.5 ml klonopin and 20 mg Cymbalta. So far, I have been less anxious but the foggy head and fear are still fairly high. I hate this spacey feeling. I've spent a lot of time alone in my room, afraid and tired but not able to sleep. My night time sleep has been affected a bit since starting the zoloft. I have trouble getting to sleep.) tomorrow she wants me to start 50 mg zoloft and drop the cymbalta while maintaining the klonopin. OR, take the cymbalta every other day. She wants me to stay at 50 mg to see how I am doing. We will up it if needed. (I felt an almost immediate shift in attitude the first two days on the .25 Zoloft but this has since gone downhill. I am triggered by the thought of putting new meds into my body.) How long will it take me to get off of the cymbalta and is switching over to zoloft a good idea? I AM SO FREAKING AFRAID!!!!!! Please share your support and wisdom. HOPE, is there hope for me. The compounding pharmacy will fill cymbalta capsales but I need a plan as I fear that dropping another 20 mg is too much, too soon. How long can I take the cymbalta and zoloft together without SS? Looking forward to hearing back soon. Trying to make today a good day but I am feeling victimized and adrift. With much appreciation. fearbegone
  12. I was prescribed cymbalta a year ago. Tried to withdrawal from Cymbalta many times. Last time it ended in a severe heart cramp but nothing major came of it. I decided to reinstate at 30mg and taper over 3 months removing beads. Tapering went well these last three weeks I went from 50beads to 30 to 20 to 15 then I quit 5 days ago because my medication ran out. I’m not having any terrible withdrawal symptoms like I had before BUT now I am experiencing asthma attack like panic attacks a few times a day and feel like I can’t breathe. This hasn’t happened before during previous withdrawal. My chest hurts and my Kardia device keeps saying “unclassified” heart rhythms. Before now I always had normal readings, maybe palpitations are normal for withdrawal? I’m concerned that I need to reinstate back to 20 beads and taper slower? I wish I could do the 10% reduction method but my glucose levels are dropping and my hair started falling out😬
  13. Hi, Read an article in the New Yorker called The Challenge of Going off Psychiatric Drugs. The story of tons of medication combos with hospitalizations and withdrawal over years resonated with me. This forum was mentioned and honestly a relief because there hasn't been a ton of help with withdrawal. With insurance/doctor issues ive stopped cold turkey off Cymbalta multiple times throughout the past year but recently tapered off with help of my doctor. (lowering by 35 mg a week). In the month of coming off I've had severe tremors, crying spells, hypersensitivity, and bizarre vivid dreams (with the history of no dreams at all). I'm not unfamiliar with these flu-like symptoms from past cold turkey withdrawal but it frankly makes me wonder if I'm just too weak to adjust lol. Also having been on many high doses of various medicines since puberty I dont have a baseline for myself or my disposition. Is my true nature extremely agitated or is it withdrawal? But given my young age I wanted to possibly experience life not on drugs - also being on Seroquel really messed up weight gain and hope for some metabolism bounceback. Medication history is currently vague due to memory loss, high stress, and young age at the time of many changes. Trying to piece it back together.
  14. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer for 20+ years. I want to wean off duloxetine first. I’ve experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms when I failed to get a refill about 3 years ago. After about 2 days not taking duloxetine I was in full blown withdrawal and it was a flipping nightmare. That experience led me to believe I would never be able to not use the drug. I am to the point of being tired of dry mouth, dry eye, constipation and sweating. This may not be a good time to wean as I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next fall and going to school part time. I will be 59 in 2018. Finding this forum is a godsend for me and hope I can be active even if I’m unable to start a taper right away. I’m really scared that I will never feel like the self I was before taking these drugs. I’m not even sure if I remember, which is even scarier and causes some anxiety if I focus on it too much. Thanks.
  15. So this whole disaster started when I was in high school. I had been recently diagnosed with ADD, and was prescribed Retalin (a form of Adderall [for you Americans], and a sh*tty one at that). Before long I started having tachycardia, lack of appetite , I was jumpy and irritated and and was not fun at all. Now, the same neurologist, (as I believe he was) who prescribed me the drug, didn't not prepare me for all of this; the bastard didn't even scheduled a follow-up appointment or something, and didn't inform that there are other drugs at this family of drugs and if I develop any of the symptoms above to an unbearable extent I should just stop and switch to another drug. But as behooves an unprofessional and cynical bastard, he didn't bother. And so, in the midst of a Math test, junior high, I had my first panic attack🤙🤙 I, of course didn't have clue of what happened to me, I seriously thought I was going to faint and thought it was just a one time thing. But of course, life had more devious plans for me than that--next test I had another one. My mother, who suffers as well, understood what was unfolding immediately, but was reluctant to say and diagnose in fear of scaring me or just misdiagnosing. I decided to to get off Retalin, (I have been taking it for almost a month), but what a surprised--the panic attacks persisted. Not only that it persisted, it expanded--it now harried me in class and other places. Then, I was told, diagnosed and referred to specialist. I started CBT with an amazing young therapist and prescribed Citolpram with the starting safe-net of some Benzos. It worked wonders! But I was now another person, much more confident, too much confident to the point of insolent and aloof even. Nothing could distress me. Panic attacks were rare, and when they visited I have managed to reduce and level them out. I finished high school, and decided to fly to Berlin before my induction to the army, (a mandatory 3 years of service in Israel). And then, it's when I remember (it may have started before), that I started sleeping 3 hours a day every early afternoon. Plus waking up was a real pain in the ass. But nontheless, I thought it was normal, that I could stop sleeping everytime I command myself to it, and that everybody's morning looked like that. It took me 2 and a half years to realize that maybe I was wrong. Now the real whirlpool of disasters began. My psychiatrist, a new one, my second one, suggested that I try Milnacipran, I don't remember her thinking about it too much, her decision was very arbitrary. No gradual weaning off the Citolpram, just "take straight away after the old one". I was beset with hellish migraines! I then tried Prozac, Cypralex and fluvoxil, every one for 3 months or so. They all were the same as the other--the fatigue persisted, and they didn't cover the anxiety to a satisfying extent. The fatigue was worsening and I decided that first time in 5 years to wean off them. I stopped Flufoxil CT, of course I didn't know what it mean "Cold Turkey" at that time, because the new Psychiatrist I was seeing didn't believe it exists. The fatigue did go away, which was reassuring, but I was mentally unstable, and suffered from debilitating acute anxiety at night before sleep. This lasted for months without end. One profound anxiety attack of a different order of magnitude made me go back to a different psychiatrist. He prescribed me with Cymbalta. Now, ladies and gentlemen, the real orchestra of diabolic dissonance is about to play! This pill, I kid you not, upon the first day of taking it has killed my libido flat! Sugar was too much to bare and life was a big numb. After two weeks it got worse, I started having crippling migraines that last for 3 hours each and made me puke my soul on each one's end. On my 22th birthday, we went to the local lake, and I suffered such a extensive migraine that I remembered the thought that I wanted to be put to sleep, comatose, for at least a year. I was seriously considering it. I came off it as well, also with no gradual tapering off, and waited until I felt clean. Although I didn't, and it was worse than the cleanse. My mental state deteriorated and I was put on Brintellix, and was promised it was a new ground breaking drug that will solve all of my problems! Even take care of my ADD. I ended taking it for 4 months or so, upping the dosage this time, thinking maybe that some of the symptoms are from the previous pill, and they will pass either way. It ruined my stomach, and made acidic as hell. They didn't. This time, I was determined to cleanse off gradually as I have seen in some forums like this. I have started reading more on the internet and trusting less the institutionalized system of Pharmacology. I am now 4 months after my last pill of Brintellix, and there is no light in the end of the tunnel. I am experiencing a plethora of symptoms that doesn't seem to go away or even abate: my stomach acidic, my brain is foggy, I suffer from light migraines through out the day. I can't concentrate, and I have horrible fatigue attacks that can't be beaten by any amount of caffeine. I am not sharp as I used to be, I suffer from panic attacks and back pain. AND IT ALL GOES AWAY ONLY BY TAKING Lorazepam, but that makes a bit disoriented and tired as well. But only on benzos , my symptoms seriously abate and I am free to live. What should I do? I CAN'T WAIT YEARS ON END LIKE THIS, I need to earn a living and continue my life which has been on hold for 5 months or so. Should I come back on the pills? will it make the symptoms go away? I don't trust any pharmacological solution to get me out of the mud. I have lost hope, and I want to get my life on track. what should I do?
  16. I was glad to see this topic as it describes me and how I have functioned my entire life. I have been on 90 mg cymbalta and 159 mg Wellbutrin for more than 4 years now and about one month ago I tapered off Wellbutrin with an every other day dose for two weeks. I am feeling a bit spacey... very tired, a bit nauseous and anxious. After reading some posts I now can give myself permission without judgement to rest and relax my brain. That is what it feels like. If anyone has suggestions from experience I would appreciate it.
  17. Hi everyone, I am looking to restart cymbalta and hopefully get myself back to a stable place. I would love input. My doctor (psychiatrist) seems to think I could start with my previous dosage of 20mg, but after a horrendous experience trying to get back on celexa starting with just 5mg, I am VERY hesitant and don't want to go through anything like that again. Here is my history: ~12 years successfully on 20mg generic celexa --> successful switch over to ~2.5 years generic cymbalta --> slow-ish (I thought at the time) taper off over ~1.5 months (stopped 12/17) --> currently 8.5 months off and not doing well at all.7/2018 Tried to go back on generic celexa starting at 5 mg. Stuck it out for ~9 days, never made it up past 5mg. Had a terrible reaction to it. Dr thinks maybe because it was a different brand from the 10 years before. He questioned whether it was just my anxiety in reaction to it, but it was entirely too physical to be just my thinking-- Gripping panic, terror, crazy thoughts, felt possessed, arms and hands suddenly dead and heavy like they stopped working, immediate emotional numbness, genital numbness, inability to cry, appetite zapped gone (had to force every bite I ate for those 10 days, got down to my lowest weight ever, and not in a good way), unable to work or think straight, agitation, thought I would need to be hospitalized.8/2018 Tried Remeron. Wanted something that would not cause sexual side effects, so even though I had never taken it, dr recommended it. 7.5mg. First night bad restless legs. Got up to 15mg for ~2 weeks. Munchies. Slept. But neither in a nice way, more a zombie-ish way. Very tired and fatigued. Continued inability to think straight or work. Anxiety was sedated. Depression was sedated. More emotional numbness. Literally could not think. The depression did feel like it might have been starting to lift, but I needed to be able to think, and didn't want to keep experimenting with whether I could get to a dose that would not be so sedating, so I went down to 7.5mg/day then to 3.5 mg /day and have still been taking this just to try to stabilize. Having severe anxiety and depression though still.Currently experiencing: panic, depersonalization, depression, and for the first time in my life pretty severe anhedonia (pleasurable feelings and other emotions feel offline and physically inaccessible... including 'tools' I would use before: gratitude, feelings of spirituality, humor, warmth of relating).Looking to try reinstating generic cymbalta 9/2018.Doc suggested starting at 20mg, we agreed on 10mg (since I had such a strong reaction to attempt to restart celexa at 5mg). I would love to hear people's thoughts on slowly restarting cymbalta to try to get back to a stable place. I basically cannot go on in the panicked, anxious, depressed state that I am in. I have tried to white knuckle the panic the past months and it has only seemed to lead into a depression with anhedonia and my emotions shutting off in a way I have never experienced before and which is terrifying. Restarting at 10 mg cymbalta seems ok... and I'm looking to make sure it's the same brand as before... but I did have an intense bad reaction to just 5mg of celexa, so I think I might be very sensitive at this point. Also my Dr. recommended I stop the 3.5 mg remeron the same day I restart the cymbalta. Thoughts?
  18. Hello and my sincere thanks to all who have made this source of information and support. I have joined to seek advice (and hopefully to give it where I can) about my current situation. I will timeline my story to begin with to establish some context; 2006-2008 Citalopram (30mg) for PTSD 2009-2017 Perfectly fine!! "Maintenance dose" of Citalopram (20mg) - doc's orders 2017 Jun - Got worried about long term use - doc tapers me off Citalopram in 2 weeks... YES... 2 weeks Aug - Relapse and back onto 30mg Citalopram 2018 Aug - Cross-taper (3 weeks) to Cymbalta 60mg - bad side effects (was told Citalopram wasn't working - but I now know I needed therapy) Sep - Cross-taper (8 weeks) back to 30mg Citalopram Nov - Cross-taper (2 weeks) to 15mg Lexapro (was told citalopram was "out-dated") Dec - Pregabalin (50mg) for 8 days - very bad reaction 2019 Feb - Bad reaction to Lexapro - dropped to 10mg (self-medicated) So you can see I have been pushed and pulled by doctors over the last 6 months and have continually had bad reactions to meds apart from Citalopram. Soon after I started Lexapro, I got the shakes to the point I could barely walk, and this was all day, and lasted from week 3 to week 8. Four days after I lowered dose to 10mg (at week 😎 they stopped, but then it hit the fan a few days later. Zaps, dizziness, brain fog, horrible anxiety. I have been managing these with Omega 3 as best I can, but now I have an overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness all day. This started last Sunday, and whilst there have been moments of glimmer, these are few and far between. I recognise these exact feelings from when I was first taken off Citalopram. So advice I am looking for is whether the drop of 5mg Lexapro has really done all this, of maybe that I have uncovered the Citalopram withdrawal underneath? Now 24 days since I dropped to 10mg, should I brave it out and hope I will stabalise? Should I reinstate the Citalopram? Go back up to 15mg Lexapro and try again with liquid?? My doctor no longer knows what to do and has left me to my own devices, and the mental health team who "care" for me cannot let me see a doctor for around 4 months. I am on my own here guys and feeling very low, hopeless and struggling to see the end of the tunnel. Any help will be gratefully received. God bless.
  19. Hello, I’ve been taking Viibryd 40 mg. several years for depression. I’m concerned that it is not working as well as it has until recently ( last month or so). When I miss a dose for more than a day, I get the alarming ‘brain zaps’ and brain fog. So, I asked my GP Dr. if I could try Cymbalta to see how it would work. He gave me the script for Cymbalta 60 mg. and had it filled. Im hesitate to switch since I’m not sure how this will go. My thought was that there should be a titration period from Viibryd to Cymbalta since my previous changes were titrationed. But, he said to just stop the Viibryd and start the Cymbalta the next day. This is what scares me. So, I’m curious if anyone has had any experience with these two drugs and if so, what was your experience. My other concern is that if I’m to eventually stop antidepressants in the future, the brain zaps will never leave and I don’t think that I could handle it. This thought is from others experiences that I’ve read about on the web. Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and or experiences.
  20. WantToBeMe

    WantToBeMe: struggling

    A little introduction. I work in the IT industry, and am currently in-between jobs. Thought it would be a good time to wean myself from all my meds since I have always believed that I need my “cocktail of drug” to function in my job. At least that’s the story I have always told myself. Also, without a job, medical expenses are killing me. My drugs are very expensive! But I guess the main reason I am withdrawing from these drugs is to try to see what my baseline is at least and start from there. I don’t like the feeling of being on drugs for life. I want to see the real me... warts and all. It’s been a struggle, to say the least. The med that I need the most when working is Vyvance, for ADHD. Without this med, I can’t seem to concentrate enough to do the detail work needed for my data analysis job. Stopping this drug is not a problem, as my main symptom being off the drug was my original reason for taking this drug... serious lack of direction and focus. Boy do I have that. Can spend the whole day in bed. The other drugs that I am withdrawing from are Cymbalta and Ambien. Ambien took a good week or so of withdrawal to be able to sleep on my own again. It’s was a very rough week. But my sleeping and wake-up experiences are very different since I’m not taking the drug every night. I took it for YEARS. Not sure it’s better or worse, just different. The Cymbalta withdrawal is bad too. I am feeling very depressed since I have been off. Feel my life is meaningless. That I am a terrible wife and mother. That I do not like myself. I need to completely wean off to find out if it is because of withdrawal or truly just underlying depression. I want to know. It’s been several months since I have stopped taking Cymbalta. I’m glad I found this group... hello to all! Please let me know if anyone has been though similar experiences ... and when (and if) you started to feel better.
  21. Rayh

    Rayh

    Hello! I have been on Cymbalta for several years now, was taking 50mg daily. over the last 6 months, with my doctors help, I’ve weaned down to the lowest dosage, which is 20mg capsule. looking to hear how others have gotten off this horrible medication. Thanks in advance!
  22. 20mg of Cymbalta for 10 years without problems for neuropathy I read about negative side affects and ignorantly stopped it cold turkey on 11/25/2015. I had mild depression and insomnia for about 4 weeks. Then one month later, it all hit me WAY hard 10/10: anxiety, agitation, insomnia, Tinnitus and dysphoria. After 6 weeks I restarted Cymbalta at my previous 20mg per day dose and although the symptoms have improved down to about 4/10, I am super sensitive to any psych med, alcohol etc. I have been back on the Cymbalta for almost 3 months now and am wondering how long does it usually take to stabilize to back to where one was? Is this even "neural destabilization?" Should I try and ask my doctor to increase my dose to 30mg of Cymbalta per day? Your site is great and I thank you for all you do. I have been taking Valium 25 mg per day for the past 6 weeks to try to help with the anxiety and insomnia, it does help, but I am still super sensitive to all other meds Weird thing - 1 drink of Alcohol makes all my symptoms dissapear, and then my symptoms are all way worse for two or three days.
  23. Hello. I'm crackerjax. I am 35, female, have severe depression, various types of anxiety (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, agoraphobia, etc.) and PTSD. I am not in great physical shape either, with obesity, Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, hypothyroid, and pre-diabetes. The first time I took meds was, wow, 17 years ago... 2002, in my first year of college, I was prescribed Zoloft and have been through a gamut of many drugs since then. Mainly, it has been over a decade of Cymbalta (ramping up the dosage until I was on the max dose) and clonazepam, which I am still on a small daily dose of (0.5 mg) sometimes with something extra thrown in (for a while Wellbutrin XL, for a while Abilify, I am off both now.) I was admitted to an outpatient hospital in October 2018 (my third outpatient hospital) for severe depression, but realized the program wasn't for me and didn't go back. The psych there took me off the Cymbalta (duloxetine,) I was on the max dose, 120 mg. I was worried she was doing too fast of a taper (over 6 weeks) but she said it had very few severe side effects. Holy crap, was THAT a lie or what? I was desperate to be off the stuff, probably should have done more research... but here we are and I am miserable constantly. I have not seen any psychiatrist since then... it has been since mid-October, but I have an appointment this coming Tuesday. I am sure they will try to reinstate drugs. It has been slightly over 2 months and 2 weeks since my last dose of duloxetine. I feel terrible and it feels like it is constantly getting worse. All of my emotions are extreme. When I am happy it is nice, but even then it is jarring, consuming, obsessive even... also rare. Most of the time I just feel terrible. Mostly it presents itself as deep depression and soul-shattering anxiety and panic that is consuming and constant. My PTSD has been getting triggered more often and severely than ever before as well. The other day I cried so hard I couldn't breathe or talk or calm down, just shaking and freaking out, for literally over 12 hours. I thought I wouldn't be able to stop. That has never happened to me before. My panic has also been out of control. Things I could do a few weeks ago feel almost impossible now, and my agoraphobia is also worse than ever. I keep telling everyone that my emotions are at 11, and they are, kinda always lately, even without a concrete trigger. I have also been having worse insomnia, nightmares... I can't focus or distract myself with anything, spend most of my time thinking terrible things, and my memory is garbage. I used to live across the country and moved back east a little over 2 years ago. I haven't made pretty much any friends since coming back or reconnected with any old friends, so I spend almost all of my time alone, sometimes with my family, who are extremely dysfunctional, don't understand, and don't support me... they are high stress and high drama (also source of PTSD.) My husband is great and does what he can, but also seems to be buckling under the pressure of how extremely bad things have been in the past 2 months, mostly for me, but also for him. Our relationship is great, but strained, I need him constantly and am scared to be alone. My boyfriend (I am in an open relationship) is also very sweet and understanding and supportive, but due to scheduling I get to see him rarely. That's about it in terms of support, along with some long distance friends I never see and rarely talk to. My therapist is new-ish (I've only been seeing her about 6 months, with a long gap because of finances.) Due to crappy insurance I can only see her every other week. I don't think she actually helps much. I just relive my trauma over and over and nothing gets resolved. When my husband gets a new job (he was recently laid off) I will likely switch to a new therapist, possibly DBT based. I'm sorry to be all doom and gloom (though that is why I'm here) so I will say a few positive things. I like to write, though do it rarely. I like cartoons and video games and Muppets. I have some cats, they are great and snuggly. I really like to read, when I can focus long enough. I really need help guys. I feel like I am losing my mind, reaching a breaking point... I did some research on Cymbalta withdrawal and it seems like it lasts a long time, but it DOES end. I am clinging desperately to the hope that at some point in the future my hell will end... but it feels so bad so often it is hard to get through the day most days. If you have any questions or if I did anything wrong, please let me know. I made my signature, but my memory sucks so exact dates are impossible to nail down. Also, should I put my non-psych meds there? Just for reference I am still on the clonazepam 0.5 mg/day with a second dose as necessary, other meds are Metformin 1000 mg 2x/day, Levothroxine 50 mcg/day, and take various vitamins and supplements. Thank you.
  24. today i begin to taper off of cymbalta tonight. i am currently on 90mg and i will be taking 60mg tonight and for the next two weeks. then to 30mg then i will slowly taper off the 30mg by 10% at a time. i'm hoping this will work. i will keep everyone updated!!
  25. Would like advice/hear experience on sleep maintenance insomnia. I've been waking up consistently between 2AM to 4AM after I started an aggressive taper. Often I will be awake for 2-3 hours then fall back asleep but very frustrated with this sleeping pattern as I used to be a morning person. Was at 30mg Cymbalta (6/29/17) and currently at 6.25mg. Foolishly, I thought the main symptom I needed to watch was the brain zaps; however, I slowly realized the insomnia was not from peri-menopause but the Cymbalta withdrawals. Recently, researching sleeping aid options such as: Oleamide,Glycine, and Phosphorylated Serine. I believe these would be safe options with Cymbalta from what I can tell. I'm not even sure how much 6.25 mg of Cymbalta has on me as I back in October 2016 I was on 60mg and dropped to 30mg. I really would like to avoid re-upping my dosage to solve my insomnia.
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