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  1. RipVanWinkle

    RipVanWinkle

    Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am to have found this forum and to get a feel for the way it is moderated. Calm, practical and sensible advice from and to those who need it. My 14-year marriage broke down five years ago. I walked straight into a new relationship and the love hormones stopped me from feeling too bad. But when they wore off about 3 years ago (I'm still in love with her without the wash of hormones), I realised that I had become a profoundly sad person with little capacity for joy or pleasure. There were many things but perhaps the clearest example is that I stopped listening to music, once one of my deepest pleasures; there was simply nothing in it for me. Music that once moved me to tears of joy just buzzed in my ears annoyingly. So 25 months ago I started taking Cymbalta. One day, about 2 weeks after starting medication, I caught myself cheerfully humming a tune walking down the street. It actually worked... Wonder Drug!! But life moved on, some of the circumstances that had pushed me into depression softened, and I decided I should be okay without drugs. I was never really depressed before my marriage breakdown so I should be able to stop taking Cymbalta right? Within a couple of days of stopping, (without medical advice), I was swamped with an indescribable sense of impending doom. It was as if everything I trusted was going to fail me and everyone I loved would be lost to me. Describing it now does not capture how utterly hopeless, empty and scared I felt without the drug. I went straight back on Cymbalta and spoke to my psychiatrist who scolded me and said, "This is a long term thing. Don't expect to come off Cymbalta for a long time." That was about 9 months ago and I have decided that I disagree with her. I want to come off it now. I now associate Cymbalta with a bland kind of nothingness. I don't "feel" like I once was able to "feel". It has taken away something real. Hard to define, but I want it back. Three weeks ago I started taking my capsule on alternate days. I noticed the difference in my awareness and general mood, but that has stabilised and I seem to be coping with one dose every second day. I know that this approach is discouraged on this site so I have some reading to do, but it does seem to be working for me so far. For now I will stick to this dose and see how I go. I do not expect to reduce again for some weeks or longer. And, yes, I will tell my psychiatrist before I reduce again. My name is Rip Van Winkle. Sometimes feel as if I have suddenly woken up, at the age of 48, and have a lot of catching up to do.
  2. I began taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications in 1995 and have tried twice to become med free only to fail and have to reinstate a month after tapering off all medicines. I always would taper with my psychiatrists help. I am very sensitive to the side effects of medicines and pray to become medicine free someday. My current psychiatrist says it is unrealistic that I will ever be able to not be on medications because I have been on them so long. I am looking for support and strategies to successfully become med free and stay med free. I successfully tapered off of Effexor xr in 2011 and in April of this year tapered off of klonopin. I am currently taking Cymbalta and trazadone.
  3. I began taking an antidepressant, Effexor, approx 10 years ago following a divorce after 21 yrs of marriage and uncontrollable crying that was frightening my young daughter. I was told “ it doesn’t change your personality, it just takes the edge off” and allows you to be more functional. I was a single mom in a cut throat stressful job and meeting the wrong guys. It worked! No more crying. I felt great. I changed docs who put me on 90 mg of Cymbalta, 150 mg of Wellbutrin and 60 mg of Vyvanse. His dx was GAD with secondary depression and ADD. I’m not sure if it was true. I think it was situational and the meds made me forgetful. I was losing things and wanting to see constantly. I’m retired now and daughter graduated college and moved away for a job. I was ready to get off the drugs to see who I really was now - warts and all. Doc advised I needed the meds. I hated the sedated feeling. He advised switching to Pristiq. I got script filled but decided not to start it. So, unknown to doc, I tapered myself to 60 mg for a few months then 30 mg for a couple few months. No withdrawal symptoms at all until I stopped, cold turkey, from 30 mg. It hit at about day 4. Even still using the Wellbutrin 150 mg my symptoms began - no brain shocks, just severe emotional swings, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, sore throat, weepy, sad, nasal stuffiness, dizziness, etc. It’s making relationships difficulty. Yestetday, desperate, I cut up the Pristiq and took about 1/3 to simulate about 20 mg of Cymbalta to help. I was going to taper Wellbutrin last. Not a great idea but it helped a bit. Then I researched and found the nightmare story of Cymbalta, dependency and withdrawal. And advice on tapering correctly. I’m here to do just that. Thanks. Let’s do this.
  4. I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day. But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors. However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me. I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight. There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there. Meanwhile, here's what helped me: #1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end. #2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy. I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible! Wishing everyone my very best, Lisa
  5. University of British Columbia Pharmaceutical Sciences Student Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, March 21 2016, pages 31-33. Preparation of Lower Dosages of SNRI Antidepressants to Ameliorate Discontinuation Symptoms: Two Case Studies. Benton Attfield, B.Sc. (Biology), B.Sc. (Pharm) Lori Bonertz, B.Sc. (Pharm) Cory Hermans, B.Sc. (Pharm) Valerie Kantz, Senior Pharmacy Technician. Full text pssj-v03-i01_attfield.pdf Abstract There is a large body of evidence showing that adverse effects experienced with antidepressant treatment ameliorate over time and that disease-state symptoms improve for many patients. However, there is a paucity of information relating to how to stop these medications when a patient’s depression has remitted. Presented here are two cases that demonstrate the role pharmacists play in helping patients discontinue SNRI medications through the preparation of lower strength dosage forms. From the paper:
  6. Hi all, I'm going to start to taper off Cymbalta this year and am doing some research into the process of tapering, speed and side effects. Thanks to all those here and all who've walked this path, for sharing your experiences and stories which all really help. I'm strongly considering the 'bead' method and going very slowly, although even the thought of it has kicked up my anxiety. I'm quite concerned because I know I'm sensitive to chemical changes and medications so I will need to take it very gradually. I also don't know if I will get a lot of FM pain back again once I stop taking it or cut down. Anyway, lots of reading for me to do first before I start. I'll keep posting as I get going.
  7. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved! The first SNRI I was put on was Cymbalta (30 mg since January 2010). Over the years I have made three attempts to withdraw from it. My last attempt to withdraw was in July 2017. My doctor recommended me an every other day tapering from 30mg for two to three months and then to stop. I did what she suggested and this was a big mistake. She then switched me to Lexapro (10 mg). That was two months ago. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, but things feel relatively stable now. Here is my question: Do you think it is a good idea to begin a 10%-taper soon (maybe in Mai 2018)? Or would you suggest to wait a couple of weeks/months more before tapering (I still occasionally have nausea and anxiety)? My doc says that I should wait 6 months before considering a new attempt. Thank you very much! Dutch
  8. Zavo

    Zavo

    Hi, I am retired 1st responder with PTSD for over 20 years. Get anxiety and Depression as well. About 2 years ago I was put on mertazapine and gained 50 pounds. Never overweight in my life. Then put on Lamotragine 200mg and duloxatine 120mg. Never felt well on any of them. Decided enough is enough. I want to see who I am without all the meds and misdiagnosis. I'm not BiPolar, dont have seizures but was given bipolar meds and told for depression. Big no, I just keep getting worse. I decided to get off all. I tried tapering Duloxatine with horrible effects..still have them. Body aches, bones ache, flu symptoms, mean and cant get out of bed. After tapering to zero counting beads I found that prozac can help. I took a genetic test and it showed severe drug interaction with Duloxatine. Now I'm on Prozac 5mg but still suffering, maybe from prozac effects, cant get out of bed, aches and pains and very tired and weak. I'm not depressed by very discouraged. I got married not long before all this, cant work, basically ruining my life. I no longer have trust in Psychiatry and find better info online from people going through this. I'm now on week 2.5 off Duloxatine and down to 100mg of Lamictal. How to cope? How there are no real rules, prozac helps bit comes with lots of problems. Anyway, I feel I'm getting there, but I need help, afraid my spouse will divorce me soon and wish I could leave me too. Thank you for all the great info this far. Zavo
  9. I've recently reconnected with a friend from 30+ years ago. We have been spending time together once a week and we are moving foward, seeing each other more frequently. At some point I will want to share my story with them about my psych meds. When and how is the best way to do this? Full disclosure is important to both of us. I want to make sure I'm not premature in bringing it up, but don't want to wait too long risking the perception I've been holding back and not been upfront.
  10. Hello, I am currently on a slow taper (2.5% every two weeks) off of cymbalta. I was first diagnosed with SAD in my twenties. I am now 60. I have been on and off many many different ssri’s. My diagnosis changed depending on the psychiatrist treating me. Soon became major depression and most currently Bipolar. Dr has changed my meds many times sometimes including antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. He has also taken $86,000 from big pharma. I am currently on cymbalta (should complete my taper in 6 to 8 months) and Xanax. My hope is to find support and information to help me recover completely from the many years on these toxic drugs. Thanks in advance for any help with my “discontinuation syndrome”. vicki
  11. I hope somebody can help me. I was on Zoloft for eight months at a low-dose of 25 mg during my pregnancy. After the pregnancy, it was not working. I had a lot of anxiety. I tried to go up on the dosage and it did not work, so my doctor prescribed Lexapro. She told me just to cut the 25 mg in half for two weeks and introduce Lexapro. Once I introduced Lexapro I had a bad reaction. Now it's been four months later and Im still withdrawing from Zoloft. I'm having terrible dizziness and feeling off balance still. My anxiety has been through the roof. I've been to the ER multiple times for panic attacks. Not my depression is back with a vengeance. However I'm not tolerating meds very well They tried to start me back on a low-dose of Lexapro at 2.5 but it caused a lot of major major anxiety. I'm also having terrible brains zaps that run from really inside my brain to my neck. When I turn my head I had them when I talk I have them when I walk I have them. I think my nervous system has been shot. I should also mention my feelings are everywhere from confusion to worry and fear. I feel like I'm losing my mind. Do you eventually recover from this? Was their permanent damage to my nervous system when I stop Zoloft so quickly. No other medication is working and I'm trying to work with a psychiatrist on this. Do you think my brain will eventually adjust on Lexapro? It's been now three weeks with Lexapro almost 4.Any help would be appreciated I need some reassurance.
  12. Hello all! I'm a 61 year old woman who has been on Cymbalta for many years. A few months ago, after routine blood work and then a sonogram showed a very fatty liver, I was sent to a hepatologist. She cautioned me that the Cymbalta is toxic to the liver and I needed to get off of it. OK, so over the next few months under my PCP's "supervision" I tapered from 60 to 30, and then 30 to 20, then 20 every other day, and then did some bead counting down to 10 every other day and finally got completely off. That was a little over 3 weeks ago. It hasn't been too terrible; I had some brain zaps for a while, brain fog, etc., but the worst of it is the tremors. They started a little after I started weaning. Last week I decided to see if the doctor could give me something to calm them; he put me on Primidone, saying the only side effects might be drowsiness and a little dizziness. I took it for 2 nights and felt so horrible I quit. Not only was I dizzy and sick at my stomach, I think the stress from it gave me a couple of small anxiety attacks. And of course, it didn't stop the jitters. But today, after not taking it last night, I feel like a human again, albeit a shakey one with an upset stomach. I'm currently trying to figure out where to go next. My PCP doesn't get the whole idea of the discontinuation syndrome; in his mind, the drug is out of my system so I should be fine. Plus, he will only put stock in the NIH website, and because that doesn't list the tremors as a symptom, I had to argue with him that they are indeed listed on many other reputable websites. I'm trying to figure out what type of practicioner might be more informed on the subject and would welcome your suggestions. Also as to how to deal with the tremors. Where did this all start? All my life I had a Type A personality in overdrive. During a particularly stressful period, I was working on several projects with tight deadlines. I worked long days and nights, my adrenaline driving me. As each project was finished, I expected to feel more relaxed, but I didn't. It was as if my body slowed down but the adrenaline kept pumping at the same rate. I started having panic attacks, and my doctor put me on Zoloft (I think), which I stayed on for a few years before my insurance company decided I should be taking Lexapro, and then after a few years Cymbalta. (suggestions on their part. 🙄) I had found that the drug helped me to be more relaxed and enjoy life more, so I really didn't hate being on it. But at this point, I'm hoping I can get through this and just go it on my own. It looks like it might be more of a fight than I was hoping though. I'm looking forward to y'alls input!
  13. My history is long and I've tried many medications. I'm 29. I was on Zoloft age 16-26. Switched to cymbalta age 27-29. Added wellbutrin. Got stuck on cymbalta. I was at 90mg and managed to get down to 60mg but it was terrible. Needed to plan my wedding so I left it at 60mg. it's been over a year and I'm still at 60mg. My Dr said to switch to trintrellix 5mg cold turkey from cymbalta 60mg because there wouldn't be any issues. Day 1 and I'm having withdrawal symptoms. With research I already think trintrellix sounds like bad withdrawal symptoms. I'm also on gabapentin. I'm also on supplements that have been helping with my anxiety: Ashwaganda, lemon balm, nettle, and b12.
  14. Been quietly observing and reading other peoples posts and finally decided to post my story. My path with AD started with a full blown panic attack. I had never in my life experienced a panic attack so it was very difficult at the beginning. Everybody's different. My panic attacks were debilitating lasting for several hours. Went to see my doctor and was quickly put on benzos. Started with xanax 0.5 mg and was quickly raised to 2.0 mg. Later it was switched out to klonopin 2.0 mg. It did control my panic attacks and my anxiety attacks. Later on I was told to add an AD to further control my panic attacks. This was the fun part where I became my own guinea pig where I had to "FIND THE RIGHT MED" for myself. Initially started with lexapro and was told that it could take up to 4 months for the drug to kick in. 4 months past by and it did nothing. lexapro had no effect on me. Tried viibryd, celexa, paxil, and prozac. Settled with paxil and klonopin for a long time. Towards the end made the jump to cymbalta and klonopin. If it wasn't for people around me telling me how I've changed, over the time frame that I was on these drugs, I would have probably continued taking these drugs. I've lost all emotions nothing in the world gave me any enjoyment. Started drinking heavily to the point where I was drinking every day. Spent money like money grew on trees. I had no apathy at all towards others. I became completely indifferent towards the entire world. I have so much respect towards people here that are maintaining their strict taper schedule. I tried to slowly taper from my drugs but I could never keep it myself. At the first sign of withdrawal I kept running back to my drugs. I decided to throw all my meds out and go the cold turkey route. I fell into a dark abyss. I didn't bother going to no doctor because I knew it was my fight and my fight alone. Woke up with severe panic and dread. It was as if all my nerves were fired up. Every person was associated with a flash back from the past with a very negative flash back from my past. For example, my dad was asking me how I felt and I had a really bizarre flash back from the past where my dad was not so kind to me when I was a kid. It was a memory from the past that I had forgotten for a very long time. This flash back resulted in me with a rage like emotion towards him. Pretty much everyone I met, that had an unkind past with me, brought up these negative flash backs. Entire body feels numb. Light/noise sensitivity. Blurry vision as if I'm surrounded by fog. All my muscles were sore, aching and shaking. Tingling burning sensation on the skin. Itchy anus. Joint pain like I've never experienced before. Difficulty breathing. Flu like symptoms. Severe headaches. Head felt really heavy as if there was a rock embedded in my brain. Messed up sinus. Weak legs. Weak neck. Difficulty speaking. Difficulty balancing myself. Coordination skills severely impaired. Severe tinnitus. Body feels heavy as if gravity increased. Severe dp/dr. One day I spilled my entire plate while eating and I could see my plate fall down in slow motion in 3-D. One day I was cooking and accidentally burnt my hand and I could feel the pain from my hand travel all the way to my brain. I'm pretty sure there were a lot more symptoms that I really can't remember them all. It's been six months now that I've gone cold turkey. I'm still a long ways from recovery but looking back sure as hell feels like I've made some progress. Going cold turkey put my body in full reboot mode and slowly one by one I get to feel parts of my body come alive one by one.
  15. I have been diagnosed w ptsd, major chronic depression, bipolar2, and chronic pain. I take cymbalta 120mg daily, lamictal 100mg at night and bedtime. I have seroquel 25mg bid as needed. I am experiencing hypomania, irritability, discontent, and sometimes doc thinks its a serotonin syndrome in making. I know what that feels like. I took nucynta once for pain. Got off of it right away. So, i have permission by psychiatrist to play around w my dosage for comfort. I want to taper off cymbalta and lamictal, i have decreased lamictal by 25mg, at night. I have 60mg caps of cymbalta. I took 1 on monday, tues, and wed. Today i felt headachey, and my back pain flared up. I taught my swim lessons, came home and took the other 60mg. I feel better physically. I want to lower potential for hypomania,
  16. Please i need help. I am on cymbalta generic and have tapered down to approx 10 mgs from 90 using bead method. I also take a very low dose of ativan. I had tapered off the ativan in july 2016 and went back on much lower dose 4 months ago. I also take zyprexa at approx. 3.75 mgs. I have been trying to taper all three meds because i have fatty liver disease and need yo get off this junk before it turns into cirrhosis. So i made a cut last week and about 4 days ago i started to get severe anxiety. I was doing fine up until then but it seems like every time i get to a certain point with the zyorexa i get so anxious. I have tried several times to taper zyprexa. I am under alot of stress and i dont know if its me or withdrawal. I was put on these medications 9 years ago for anxiety. It was very bad. But i dont know if that anxiety was from klonopin or celexa. I did not have this kind of anxiety before those two meds. Someone please help me. I had to increase the zyprexa yesterday or i was going to end up in the hospital. I have to find a job because i will soon be homeless if i dont. How will i get off these horrible drugs and function at the same time??
  17. MilaB

    MilaB

    Thanks for adding me. I need encouragement. I have been on ADs for 15 years - Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor and now Cymbalta. Also Trazadone when I couldn’t sleep. I missed a dose of Cymbalta in 2016 and was shocked by how bad I felt and decided to get off the med. I was told the wrong way and ended up using advice from FB site. I was only able to taper about 3% every 2 weeks and I got down to 86 beads that way in a year. But I felt stuck, drops were getting harder. Then I met someone who suggested amino acids. I started using aminos in Oct 16 at 86 beads. I was very eager to get off the med (big mistake). I didn’t know how bad it could get or what I was in for. I got to zero beads by the end of Feb and all withdrawal hell broke loose. Started with physical - hands and feet sweating, anxiety running brought me constantly, no appetite and extreme insomnia. It then became akithisia - restless pacing and severe anxiety. I went on Ativan that calmed the akithisia and I am now sleeping after 2 months of very little to no sleep. I’m taking 1mg Ativan during the day (2 half doses) and 1.5 at night along with some hydroxyzine. The biggest challenge now is my emotional state. I feel like I have to die to escape this pain. I have a constant feeling of doom and anxiety - even with the Ativan - that is so overwhelming and uncomfortable. I have no good feelings at all. I have a family and I can’t die. I have to be here for them. It’s been since March 1 with all of this. It’s all my fault for trying to speed things up. I thought I’d be healthier off the Cymbalta - I hated the side effects. This all seems impossible. I still have 10 beads left and now I’m sure I’m addicted to Ativan and will have to taper that. I don’t want to die, but I am so miserable I can’t see this ever getting better. I have had only a few windows. And even the windows are just a slight improvement over this constant suffering. I never know what to do; I can’t read, can’t work, shop, do art. Nothing feels good. I tried adding in 10 beads of Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago at the advice of Dr Shipko and the anxiety got worse. I also tried a small dose of Prozac for just one day and that made my anxiety awful too. Am I just left to tough this out forever? Please help
  18. Hi, I am 63 years old and have been on psychicatric drugs for 34 years. In the past five years I have discontinued Trazadone, Lamotrigine, klonopin, Seroquel. The most recent one being Seroquel at 600mg. I tapered by 25mg. per month. I had horrible withdrawals and still had symptoms after three months after stopping it. The most troublesome symtoms I still had was the sweating/chills, Chorea involuntary movements, burning sensation in my head, face, legs and arms, anxiety. I have been on Celexa for the past eight to ten years and just recently discovered that Celexa can cause Chorea movements as well, so I have decided to discontinue this drug too. I began on 40mg. and started my taper 12 days ago at 5 mg. per month under the care of my general practitioner. I have not noticed any new withdrawals symptoms that I have already experienced from the above symptoms, , just an increase in intensity from time to time ( especially the Chorea Movements). I am trying to eat healthy, I take amino acids, inositol/choline and vitamins and mineral supplements. I am currently chair ridden due to bone on bone arthritis in my hips; on the waiting list for hip replacement surgery hopefully to be done this fall/winter. It has been a long journey to get this far in my recovery from psychiatric drugs and I hope I can continue to be strong. Genlady.
  19. TL;DR: Took Cymbalta in my teens for a little less than a year. After stopping, gradually an extremely low sex drive and ability to be aroused, as well as an overall feeling of apathy started to develop and I have been trying to adjust since then. Considering supplementation with inositol as my next move to turn things around. Am I on the right track? Thanks for any help. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hey everyone, looking for some input on my situation. Glad I found this forum while I was looking for some answers. I'll give a brief history here: In 2006, I had some suicidal thoughts and a highly variable mood. At the time I was in junior high. After talking to my parents, they became concerned, and took me to a (apparently the worst psychologist based on following events) psychiatrist. She started me out on Cymbalta at 60mg/day. At the time, my parents and especially I did not know anything about dosing ADs, but from where I stand now, it is extremely odd that she started me out on the highest possible dose that she could. Anyway, I was on Cymbalta for a little less than a year. In February of 2007, I decided that I didn't want to be on Cymbalta anymore (I don't remember why) and I quit cold-turkey. Apparently, my psychiatrist had no problem with this, and I followed through. No more drugs. At the time, I didn't really notice much, but things were probably happening gradually. The first thing I noticed was that my genuine interest in sex had pretty much disappeared. As a boy in his youth, I would say that was pretty abnormal. At the beginning of puberty, I was very interested in the thought of sex. However, all sex drive, any form of erections, any strong interest in the opposite gender severely declined and sometimes was completely absent a few months after stopping my medication, from what I remember. Nothing would arouse me sexually, and at age 18, when I started becoming sexually active, it was an intense struggle to have intimate exchanges with anyone. Now, at age 24, I am seeing some consistencies that have remained since stopping my medication. I continue to have issues becoming sexually aroused and getting an erection is usually very difficult without supplements that promote them. At first I thought it was from watching too much porn, but that hasn't been able to genuinely arouse me for years either, and after abstaining for well over a year and not seeing much of a change, I am starting to very strongly doubt that is my problem. My fiancée has also noticed that I don't really get excited about anything, and that my responses are very muted. I've noticed this too, but it's been so long, I thought that it was just part of my personality. However, I don't think it's normal that I don't usually feel affected or sympathetic about anything. I feel very disconnected from everything, and most things that I do are motivated by a feeling of obligation, like I SHOULD do things because they're good for me or because it will help someone else. I don't really get a ton of satisfaction out of much, which was something I've been chalking up to just a mildly-low self-esteem. However, I'm sick of feeling flat like this all the time. I am seeing the doctor in 10 days, to see if he will run tests and say anything different than any of the other doctors have in the past. I have had numerous blood panels and hormone tests over the past 5 years, as well as dabbling with other ADs for short periods with nothing working. Most recently, my testosterone has been slightly low (around 550) and prolactin levels have been a little high (~20.2), but everything else is pretty normal. I've been reading around about nootropics recently and the one thing I see keep getting mentioned is the use of inositol to re-sensitize every thing. In anyone's opinion, am I on the right track, or am I taking this approach in vain? I'm just looking to find the root of my problem so I can fully enjoy my life.
  20. Hi Guys, I had a difficult childhood but rather not common! I have wonderful and spiritual parents but I was born a worrier with intense fear of the world. Who knows, maybe genetics, etc… The fears made me feel different and I didn’t develop like the standard child in the 70’s. I avoided social gatherings, had no real friends but otherwise healthy as per my pediatrician. I was aware of my fears but thought that some threats are forever when they were not and threats that I had, everyone has, which was also not the case. I kind of managed to get through life while being chastised by my parents that I was lazy, had no self-confidence, low self-esteem, etc… It came to a point where I just couldn’t see eye to eye with my parents nor with the world around me! This caused lots of anxiety, more fears, and a disconnect. Doctors, herbalists, or anything under the sun in the 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s were tried but everything seemed to point to my mental distress although people didn’t give any credence to these kids; either you were a top performer or you were down in the dumps, I guess. To get to the chase, at age 18, I had a panic attack in the summer and then another in the winter at age 19, followed by anxiety symptoms, which at that time were physical and left me worried as a hypochondriac… At age 20, I was becoming convinced I’ll never marry, I’ll never make it in life, and nobody really needs me. My father hates me and my friends are moving along, leaving me behind. At a cousins wedding, I had a horrific anxiety attack, which left me pacing and twitching, not knowing what the morrow will bring. Of course, my parents at that time took me serious and tried to console me, without success. To make a long story short, I was introduced to my first Psychiatrist/Butcher. After 45 minutes, I had a prescription for Prozac and Zanax, being promised I will heal and that the drugs were not addictive. His psychotherapy was worse than no therapy and after a while, I was introduced to the new phenomenon of being drugged for life. Change of meds to Paxil made no difference. I was encouraged to get married (bad advice!) while taking all the drugs. Although I was not comfortable, somewhere down the line my parents convinced me to cut medication. Off with the Xanax (too fast, of course) and tapered the paxil to 10mg (too fast, of course!). I was doing well (so to speak) until I collapsed into a more horrible depression with suicidal ideation and urges. Well, I think you can guess the rest and I won’t bore you with 10-15 useless years. Changed and added new meds. Ranging from: Paxil, Klonopin, Lithium, Zyprexa, Lamictal, Ritalin, Trileptal, Effexor XR. I was separated and made the mistake to get back before I was ready, pushed by a psychiatrist with an agenda! Started with worse anxiety, I ended up seeing a psychiatrist that introduced washout in Cornell at Westchester, NY. What a slam of a deal! Stupid people tapered me off all the drugs in a 3 week range, leaving me with panic attacks that hit the roof. Sleeping was damaged, so was I. I complained, so they reinstated Klonopin, added: Depakote, Ambien for sleep, Lexapro, Seroquel low dose for sleep, and Wellbutrin XL. I was one big mess. This happened in 2013. I was separated, to be divorced, after that incident for good. Living in my parents’ house was hell and the doctors and parents started blaming me for being not motivated and a weakling. After a few months of torture, I started seeing a psychologist that works with the “system” suggesting a new, best in the world psychiatrist for meds and he’ll do the therapy… Now my regimen has changed to: Cymbalta, Wellbutrin XL, Klonopin continued, Viibryd, Seroquel increased, and Deplin. I wasn’t doing too great and my parents suggested holistic medicine. A cortisol test confirmed the highest level of cortisol 24hr a day. I was given supplements, a diet plan, and Seriphos. The Seriphos worked like a charm and after a couple of months, I was read to even think about withdrawing from drugs. I started with Wellbutrin and went down to 75mg Regular release (from 450mg), Cymbalta to 60mg (from 120mg). Still stuck on Seroquel 200mg, Klonopin 2.5mg, and Viibryd 20mg. This is where I crashed and had to stop the withdrawal, for now. I can’t seem to break below 60mg of Cymbalta and was told by people on this forum, outside of forum that I need to go slower. I guess this is where I’m now. A short and sweat hell. After the Hospital event, where I stayed for a month behind locked doors and fortress like walls, I seemed to not respond to the drugs the same way anymore and have constant mood swings and other withdrawal symptoms. I’m working in NY as a Database Reporter and trying to keep my job despite the difficulties… I have two wonderful kids and I’m hoping and praying to G-d that things will turn around and get better. Maybe this forum will allow me to learn other people’s experiences so I’ll heal smater! I am seeing a new holistic practitioner and taking lots of supplements. I also took the 23andme genetic test showing some defects. Did multiple testing and I guess it’s a hit or miss; sometimes I’ll feel better, other times not!
  21. Aargh! My head feels like when you go down an elevator too fast, pressure. Only opening your mouth and yawning do no good. I can't focus, think, sleep...My Dr. is attempting to remove Cymbalta from my regimen. He is suspecting that it may be causing or contributing to an ongoing bout of diarrhea that fails to respond to traditional or prescribed medications. I have to reduce it to zero and stay off for at least a week before I can begin a new medication. Surprisingly, not as much pain as I expected, but not quite off of it either. I drove to see my daughter yesterday and almost didn't make it home on my own. Crying jags and confusion. No driving for awhile. Struggling at this dose to cope with daily activities.
  22. hi i was put on cymbalta and developed low blood pressure and high pulse rate....asked the doc if it was the Cymbalta they both said no.....went on it for 6 mmonths and weened down to 2.5 milligrams doc said just go off it did and went into withdrawal so they put me on prozac for 3 weeks and said then you can stop...well i have never been so sick in my life....it causes my bronchia to just ache when i put my sleep apnea machine on i am now taking prednizone so i can sleep and now my kidneys are acting up all my nerve endings are seized in my chest and stomache..and i am 26 days cold turkey...funny i cold turkeyed for 4 days and then tried to go back on a low dose and the pain was worse.....i am having such a bad time see a specialist on Friday hope he can help and...when i stand up my right shoulder and chest go numb so go figure...went to emerg 12 times they know nothing....go see your GP he said your sick on the drug so go off it and deal with the withdrawal and meditate....begged to go to the psych ward hoping a psych would know something about this drug quess what 4 psychs knew nothing...i mean nothing...i said put me in and figure something out...no !
  23. divewarm

    divewarm: Cymbalta

    (Moved from: Tips for tapering off Cymbalta Reading through this thread has been moderately terrifying. I've been taking 90mg for 11 years. I've tried various ways of tapering ... and nothing has worked. My pharmacy recently changed brands, and I've been having horrid side effects (similar to withdrawal symptoms). I'm super sensitive to any changes, and had resigned myself to being "addicted" for the rest of my life. I will definitely be following up with my physician on this particular taper method. Thank you!
  24. I beat withdrawal and in the process I beat a depression that had been plaguing me for half my life. I’ve been meaning to share my story for sometime now but have failed to take the time to do so. When I was in the thick of it back in 2016 I heavily utilized this site for answers, for comfort, and for inspiration. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be a lot of success stories but I am proud to say I am one. It was quite a daunting task writing this all down, I swear I could write a novel based on my experience with depression and antidepressants. Irregardless I hope my story can help encourage those currently in the midst of withdrawal just as stories I had read on this site encouraged me during my withdrawal. I am a 27 year old man and I took antidepressants from 2010 to early 2016. My first year was on Zoloft and the next five years were on Effexor 150mg. Depression entered my life around the age of 13 and it more or less stayed there up until recently. Sure there were periods of time where it subsided but eventually I would always return to my depressed default state. When I was about 13 my father died unexpectedly, a few years later my grandfather was murdered. My teenage years were very lonely. Affected by the deaths and trying to understand my sexuality pushed me into a state of isolation, it was during this time where I developed a very strong pornograghy addiction. Rather than talk about my issues through friends and therapy I chose to keep them hidden and use medication to do the work for me. Soon after starting college I got on Zoloft. It suited me, I felt calm and content but I craved something more stimulating. I had previously been prescribed adderall, but I recognized the ill effects it had on my personality so I stopped taking it. The campus doctor recommended Effexor, he said I might find it to be more stimulating. Therefore without question I took the prescription and worked my way up to 150mg where I would remain the next 5 years. During this time I was also taking ambien nightly, and between these two drugs I was able block out any of the persistent issues that were bothering me. I was numb. Years later I was living in a house with two very supportive roommates. These two guys would become my best friends and for the first time in my life I actually opened up about the things that truly bothered me. I also finally decided to get into therapy. In retrospect I could see that I was not actually happy on the antidepressants. I was just going through the motions, numb to the good and numb to the bad. I could see my growing disconnect from people. Up until those roommates I didn’t have close friends, I wasn't dating, and I certainly wasn’t having sex. I was almost 25 and still a virgin. The antidepressants removed the desire to be intimate with people, I was living in perpetual loneliness. So in January of 2016 I made the decision I was getting off Effexor and that was that. As with most doctors, my doctor had no idea how to get me off. There are no established plans to get people off of antidepressants, once your on them your expected to stay on them. So every two weeks I would half the dosage, and at the lowest dosage I was to take it every other day. That was completely idiotic as Effexor only has a 12 hour half life, essentially I would be playing ping pong with my brain chemistry. Fortunately I did not follow that last part of the plan but I did get off too quickly. After five years on the drug, six weeks is not long enough to get completely off. My first day off of Effexor was also my first day on a one month solo trip through South America which was during my birthday month when I would be turning 25. The trip was fantastic but it gave me a false sense of security as to what life would be like without the drug. While traveling you are processing so much new information and your brain is naturally producing tons of dopamine through all these new experiences therefore I was not accurately feeling what real withdrawal would feel like. I had some minor headaches the first week of the trip but that was really it. By the time the trip ended I thought life without antidepressants was going to be a piece of cake, boy was I wrong. When I came back it was time to face reality, and I had to do so without relying on Effexor. We were moving from our house, my two awesome roommates were going their separate ways and I was on my own. On top of that I had a very important all consuming project at work to figure out. My anxiety was through the roof. I had a prescription for Ativan that I used very sparingly to get me through, but the anxiety was so bad I thought I needed a more permanent solution. I had to do whatever it took to get through this move and this project so I went back to the doctor to try a different antidepressant. He put me on Lexapro, I believe it was only 5mg but I could feel it instantly. I was finding I was hypersensitive to everything now. I was only able to tolerate Lexapro for 5 days because on the fifth day I was contemplating suicide. Whatever fire I had inside me that had always gotten me through the tough **** felt extinguished and I just wanted to die. I ended up going back to Effexor only taking 10 or so beads from the capsule, just that small amount made a tremendous difference in my anxiety. I did this until I had settled into a new place and my project was complete. While my anxiety was calmed my emotions were neutralized and my libido was extinguished. These were the exact reasons I got off in the first place so I knew I had to stick with the plan of staying off for good. Things were calming down but I was very depressed and had a complete lack of motivation. I was trying a lot of things like B-vitamins, Magnesium, L-theanine, and Fish Oil. I could feel some benefit from each of them but after a few days I would be back in my depression. I had very low energy and I was sensitive to everything. Just eating bread would make me feel terrible even though I had no apparent gluten intolerance previously. It was around this time a good friend of mine talked me into doing Improv. I thought it was crazy but I had nothing left to lose. So even at my worst I did Improv and I also continued training in the martial art Krav Maga. No matter how bad I felt I would show up and make a fool of myself in Improv or hit the **** out of something in Krav. I always felt much relief whenever I did either and I credit both of those activities to helping me beat my depression in the long run. I opened up a lot to my friends and family about what was going on in my head, and whenever my anxiety felt high I would challenge myself into doing something that made me uncomfortable. I performed on stage, I did sparring at my gym, I went on dates with guys, and I opened up to my Mom about my sexuality. My motto was “oh you think you’re anxious now? Wait till you do this!” While all these lifestyle changes helped build up my confidence I still struggled to find relief from my depression. I thoroughly researched the neurotransmitters and what vitamins and supplements help support what. I determined that my issues seemed to lie with Dopamine. So I went back to my doctor to get on Wellbutrin. I was not happy about throwing in the towel again but I also wasn’t ultimately finding relief. I was open to Wellbutrin because it supposedly did not have as severe of sexual side effects. I started taking it and I actually felt pretty damn good. Unfortunately I also broke out in hives. So it was back to the drawing board. I tried St. John’s wort and SAM-e, neither of those did anything. Finally I tried L-Tyrosine, this seemed to make the biggest difference. Like I hypothesized, my problem stemmed from dopamine and L-Tyrosine is a precursor in the creation of dopamine. While I found some relief, it was very finicky. Taking too much made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack, too little of course did nothing at all. It was also very easily influenced by the digestive process so it was hard to find consistency and consistency was what I needed as I was about to hop on a very stressful 6 week project. I threw in the towel again this time looking at Cymbalta. I had read that it was less likely to cause the sexual side effects that Effexor does. It was true, I found my libido did not seem to suffer as badly however I downright felt badly. I felt achy, my head hurt, I felt dehydrated, and I was terrified to force my body to adjust to this seemingly toxic drug. I knew that I had no intentions of staying on antidepressants my whole life therefore if Cymbalta feels this harsh to adjust to in the beginning then I can only imagine what it would feel like to get off of. This whole withdrawal process shook me to my core. While I was desperate to find relief so that I could function at work I also knew that I never wanted to withdrawal from an antidepressant again. I tossed the Cymbalta and I went back to taking a few beads of the Effexor. Once again I felt relief but once again my libido vanished as did my emotions. The most striking difference I noticed once I was back on the Effexor had to do with a coworker. I had a thing for one of the girls I was working with and I knew she felt similarly. Whenever she smiled at me I could feel an electricity rush through my body. When I got back on Effexor and she smiled at me, I felt nothing. That was it, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I could be depressed, anxious, and barely able to function but I was not going to lose the feeling of being human. I was not going to lose feeling a connection with someone, caring about someone, and I sure as hell was not going to lose my libido, not at 25. Antidepressants were out, I had to find another way. That’s when I discovered a different form of L-Tyrosine called N-Actetyl-L-Tyrosine, this form is less affected by digestion and crosses the blood brain barrier more easily. It took a lot of experimentation with how to dose the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. It caused a lot of headaches but it was relieving my depression and anxiety. Finally I developed a regimen that included several of the vitamins I had previously tried that offered relief but couldn’t fix the problem as a whole. My regimen consisted of a B-complex, Fish oil, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D during the day; at night I would take Magnesium, melatonin, and every other night 150mg of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. After 6 months of suffering and countless experimentation I finally found stability again with my own personal regimine. I more or less stayed on this particular plan for a year, and the extreme depression and anxiety stayed away. I had never felt better because I was actually feeling everything like a human being should. I was also very in tune with my emotions, as soon as I felt depressing thoughts creeping in I would identify them and root out what may be causing them. I continued challenging myself with the improv, krav maga, and anything else that my old self would swear I could never do. I also continued therapy and being open and honest with those around me. I beat the depression that had been plaguing me the majority of my life. I didn’t stay on that particular set of vitamins and supplements indefinitely, I started dropping things along the way. After about a year the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine started acting finicky again, I was suffering headaches similar to when I first got on it. I ended up dropping the Tyrosine several months ago and instead started experimenting with Rhodiola Rosea. So far it has been working well. If the Rhodiola Rosea stops working I’ll try something else, the important thing is that my mindset has changed. I’m extremely self aware, I’ve accomplished so many things I thought I could never do, and I know that I no longer need antidepressants to function. Depression will always be something I will battle but I’m finally now in the driver's seat and I am not going to give up my spot so easily this time. Withdrawal is horrible but its an important process in forming a new and better self. Just because L-Tyrosine and Rhodiola Rosea have helped me doesn’t mean they will help everyone. It took a lot of trial and error to find what seemed to click. Ultimately it was challenging myself, being honest and open with those around me, and learning mindfulness that truly brought me into the light. I hope my story can provide some ray of hope for all of you out there in the thick of it. It can be done. It’s not the end of the world to reinstate just know what your ultimate goals are and stick to them.
  25. Cymsucks

    Cymsucks: Cymbalta

    INTRO: I'm on Cymbalta. Was on 60mg but now on 30mg. I WANT OFF. I plan to start my tapering journey as soon as I receive more info/ help from you because I don't understand why Cymbalta is making me feel certain ways. I want answers so bad. With this being said, yes I'm lost and I don't understand why this med does certain things to me but my new journey getting off starts now. Can someone explain exactly what a medicine like Cymbalta is and what it does. I feel totally lost right now. Can't sleep. Can't eat. It's like I'm taking meth 😢
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