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  1. Lili

    Lili: Benzo/AD

    Hi, I'm brand new here and I'm struggling. I had a rough 2017. I was put on Ativan for sleep 6/20/17 & then on temazapam 6/23/7- I didn't know they were both benzos. I tapered off Ativan for 2 months and what ensued was a horrific withdrawal scenario that landed me in a psych ward with extreme suicidal ideation. I was reinstated on Valium and pretty much stabilized by end of December 2017. I went off Lexapro in the fall as I didn't want to be on an antidepressant but was put on Cymbalta 11/2017 first at 30 mg, then 60mg 2 weeks later. I didn't know so I started dropping down at beginning of January , had some anxiety, restlessness, so I went back up to 50mg over the course of a few days. Presently, some insomnia, some irregular heart beats and lessening anxiety. My Dr doesn't know about my Cymbalta escapade & thinks I can microtaper my Valium now. I will have to be forthcoming at my next visit in 3 weeks. I'm so worried about stabilizing and how this is going to affect my taper.
  2. Salutations. I'll get right down to it. Apologies, this'll be long. I'm trying to get off of Cymbalta 60mg after a repeat of my experiences on it the first time. That's right, this is my second time on the drug after an extended absence of being drug-free. I guess I'll start with that. In both cases of being on Cymbalta, the first 3 months were pretty great in terms of energy and general emotions. Not in terms of side effects, but will get to that later. Then, after those 3 months, comes the slow progression of what I call the period of "nothing" - no positive or negative emotional feelings, but the side effects are there. So it feels like I'm taking a placebo with side effects. Then around the 8-9 month mark, it feels like I'm taking a pill that makes me more depressed than I initially was with side effects. First time around, I was at 30mg for those first 3 months and they bumped it up to 60mg, which extended things by a few weeks, but I still bottomed out. Second time, they bumped me up within 2 weeks (which was an incredibly brutally short time span in terms of side effects but I suffered through it). Still same bottoming out. What made me want to stop the first time was less the issue of it not particularly working but right around the time it began to seriously bottom out I had a life situation change and lost my insurance. With prescription cost being hilariously unaffordable after that, I really had no choice. I was able to secure 2 months of 30mg from my psych and didn't taper from 60mg down to 30mg at all; just started taking the 30 for two months, then went cold turkey. That sucked for about three weeks of my life and I decided then and there I wouldn't go back on it. Fast forward about 6 months, something triggered my depression in a bad way and I ended up in the psych's office again. It was determined that I'd be put back on Cymbalta, which I was hesitant about, but the way my new insurance worked in order to get a referral for therapy covered I needed to work through with the psych. Alternative doctors were limited with massive wait periods and I felt the therapy was worth the drug prescription. So gave it another go. Now here I am, nauseous, can't sleep, sweating in 50-60 degree weather, exhausted, 20lb weight gain, but also feeling like balling my eyes out and hopeless. Worse than when I went into the doc to get relief. What was interesting is that for nearly the whole 6 months off of Cymbalta last year I felt great, like I never needed it in the first place. Heck, I didn't even need to change my lifestyle and the weight I had gained the first time on it literally melted off me with no effort and stayed off me. Two weeks ago I thought because I could drop from 30 to nothing I could do the same at 60 to nothing. Tried toughing it out for a week, oh my god. Never again. I might as well have been dying. So, I have to taper, but my doctor isn't convinced enough to give me a lower dose...so some Google searching about later and here I am.
  3. I can't remember ever being happy. I never felt like I fit in and relationships were hard to foster. I felt like an outcast, drawing on my musical and visual influences to drive home that point. Listening to Blind Melon I had my first suicide attempt. After that in 2008 I was put on 20mg of Prozac (medicine is right but dose could have been a little higher, it was a long time ago). From there I stayed on Prozac until 2010 and stayed medication free until my anxiety became so crippling that I couldn't walk in a gym around acquaintances in 2012. Then, I was put on Bupropion which was a huge failure and then Paxil, which I stuck with Until 2014 before it's effects dwindled. During that time my depression became unbearable and I couldn't be by myself without crying. I had to leave school my senior year for 3 months and reset everything, return to therapy and look for a new medication. Eventually mid-way through my freshman year of college at the I was given cymbalta at the end of 2014. i thought I finally found it. While there was ups and downs the cymbalta helped tremendously, I almost went off pills completely near the end of 2016, and then extra stresses forced me to try extra Wellbutrin with a cymbalta dose increase. This was a disaster and caused a breakdown and second suicide attempt which landed me in the hospital. The doctor switched me to 75 mg Effexor and it did ok for awhile but my anxiety was through the roof. After two months it was too much and my doc added 300mg gabapentin 3x a day. This is kind of worked for a month and a half before I started to lose my energy, have the racing beating down thoughts and the loss of interest again. Last month the doc tried upping my Effexor to 100 with disasterous results. Now I feel stuck. Its not normal to wake up with no energy and a loss of interest in anything. Have i I been on pills too long? Do I need to take SSRIs or Tricyclate? Tricyclate deal with atypical depression, which fits well due to my inconsistent mood and spiraling ups and downs. Im not bi polar, but one doc said I have characteristics of personality disorder, which would explain the "high" highs and "low" lows. I just need help. Im a semester away from graduating and I don't want to take a pause right before the finish line. I'm a leader in most of my major studies clubs and a well-liked person on campus living in one of the most popular houses at school. Why am I so sad? I just need advice. Get on new pills, get off pills, what pills worked well temporarily. At this point, I just want to get by. Please help me.
  4. I'm a 54 year old female that has been on Cymbalta for about 7 years. I started at 120 mgs. and that was lowered to 90 mgs. because it raised my blood pressure. I stayed on 90 mgs. for quite a while. Last fall I stupidly stopped taking this drug because I didn't think it was working. I didn't know the dangers of cold turkey. I reinstated it 2 months after being off it. I'm now on 60 mgs. I take 30 mgs. 2 x a day. I've been back on it for 4 months trying to reinstate past the 2-3 week reinstatement time frame. I feel that the Cymbalta is no longer working. I have a lot of anxiety and feeling nausea. And diarrhea. I do also take a benzo. I just don't know what to do now. I can't cold turkey it again but I'm not feeling good. I need help! Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
  5. Hi, Some quick info about me and why I'm here. I haven't taken any meds for about 20 years (did take Prozac in the past) for my M.E and Fibromyalgia. Have been in a lot of pain lately and had to take something so my doc suggested 30mg of Duloxetine (which I now know is Cymbala... ) Day 2 approx 95% of my pain reduced and has levelled off there, this is the first time in 20 years I've had very little pain and I have to say it's amazing. But, and here's the but... I don't like taking meds and this is only a short term solution while I get some of my other health problems sorted so that my pain will be reduced when I come off these. After 3 weeks of taking them i returned to my doctor and we discussed the length of time I would stay on them (6 months was our agreed time). I do have a few side effects such as fatigue, sleepiness, sweating, loss of taste, I had a little shaking the first week which seems to have gone. To be sure I'm off them at the 6 month mark how should I proceed? I do know that with the Prozac I just stopped taking them and was fine. No withdrawals or anything. Due to the nature of my illnesses I am prone to forgetting to take meds at the best of times ( I do try to remember) lol I have already skipped 3 days of the duloxetine- last week by accident but had no withdrawals, I'm hoping this is a good sign. Many thanks in advance:)
  6. Hi everyone. In July I finished a 1-year slow taper of Cymbalta. I was prescribed it for depression and chronic pain. I decided after being on antidepressants for more than 25 years, and dealing with horrendous side effects, that I wanted to go off of them. I initially tapered per doctor’s orders, stepping down in 10-mg increments every 2 weeks from 60 mg to 30 mg, which was too rapid. Then I found advice to do no more than 10% reductions a minimum of 2 weeks at a time. That’s what I did for a year. I dealt with bad withdrawal during the taper. Brain zaps, anxiety, sweating, cognitive issues, etc. Now, more than 5 months have passed and I still suffer from depression and anxiety, and I’ve gotten back chronic neck pain. I’m going to counseling but it’s having minimal effect. I’m also seeing a functional medicine doctor and doing all I can to heal without drugs. However, I feel utterly hopeless and broken. Can I be relatively mentally healthy eventually? Or am I doomed to requiring antidepressants? Every day is so difficult. I’m barely able to take care of myself and do my job. Thank you, ”Hurting”
  7. Hello all, My name is Eric, I am a 26 year old male from Boston living in Texas. I have a wonderful fiance whom will be marrying me in 8 months, and 2 beautiful scottish terriers in a home north of Dallas. Approximately 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder after a panic attack. I was living in a crummy part of Boston with 3 people I didn't like, and I had suffered a panic attack from intense stomach pains - something I am particularly sensitive about. I slept on the bathroom floor that whole night, praying I would not vomit. The next morning, my stomach pain went away - but that underlying fear from last night did not; the fight or flight response in my brain would not go away. This had never happened to be beofre - I've had minor panic attacks from stress, but those always subsided once the panic attack ended. Never before did I have persistent anxiety from the moment I woke up to the very end of the day. I couldn't stand even a week of feeling that way - so I sought help. Long background story short, I sought a therapist, NP to be exact, who put me on Cymbalta. We started at 30 mg for one week, then 60 mg the next week. Folks, it was absolutely awful going onto cymbalta - insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, lack of appetite - I felt like I was dying, and could not stop crying the whole week. Once the 60 mg kicked in, I started to feel better. Once I started a new routine, changed my lifestyle to eat healthy, and exercise frequently, I felt much better. Heck, I became a totally different person confident, happy, and willing to takes chances with my life where previous anxiety held me back. Here I am 5 years later, a huge journey from 21 years old, in college, and trying to find my purpose in life for a career. I made it through rough employment stretches out of college, relocation multiple times, entering surviving, and withdrawing from law school after 1 year, and finding a career I love. That is, until the anxiety came back. It was something stressful at work that triggered my anxiety - which lead to my achilles heel of constantly worrying with "what if" statements. It go so bad, I went to my primary care doctor, and was told to try 90mg of cymbalta before trying to switch. So i did that, and in addition to that, I began to exercise vigoursly again - which I stopped doing 2 years ago due to budgetary constraints for a gym membership & dedication to my job. This seemed to do the trick after a few weeks, and I made it all the way to September feeling almost 100% better. Well, more life stresses occurred - and I felt like I was back to square one again. September was hard, grueling and unforgiving on my anxiety, which only got worse thinking what i did in the past must not be working - will I stuck feeling like this forever? At this point, I simply began associating my anxiety elevations with events that occurred - like being bored on weekends is a trigger, as well as my job performance. Exercise just wasn't as fun & exciting as it was before, and my responsibilities to my job & family prevent me from going the 1-2 hours for 5 days a week as i used to do. I began seeing a Psychiatrist in early October, who recommended I go up to 120 mg of Cymbalta before trying a new AD, and to seek a therapist for CBT-type therapy. In the meantime, I would have access to /5 mg of ativan for panic attacks. Well needless to say, the 120mg of Cymbalta did not work - in fact, it made my anxiety worse. Probably too much of the drug, as cymbalta tended to have a stimulating effect when it was working. I tried a therapist out for the month - but we simply didnt connect enough. Come November, I said enough was enough for Cymbalta - and began a cross taper off Cymbalta & onto Zoloft. Of course, this timing is mid November, which lines up with 2 very stressful holidays - Thanksgiving & Christmas. Left with little choices, I decided this would be the path I take to recovery. Thus far? it's had ups & downs. 120 mg to 90 mg of cymbalta was paired with 50 mg of zoloft. No real issues besdies mild gastro issues with Zoloft. once i dropped from 90 mg to 60 mg of Cymbalta? far more anxiety, headaches, depression - it was bad. I felt much better the 3rd week, when I began taking 100mg of Zoloft. This ultimately did not last, as I felt the drug leveling out during my struggles with work stress & the stillness/boredom of the weekend. As of now, I am down to 30mg of Cymbalta, and up to 125 mg on the Zoloft. I felt much better the 1st week on this level - but due to christmas stresses, weekend triggers, and who knows what else - I simply have gone from high to low. As long as I keep myself busy, I seem to be fine - but my axiety gets the best of me when I am bored & not oligated with a task in front of me. My next drop is being debated between 30 mg to 20 mg of Cymbalta - I am unsure about going for another 25 mg on zoloft will occur. What I know is - I am afraid nothing will work. Alot of message boards on this topic are filled with gloom and doom about their situations. I struggle to remain hopeful, but I am afraid to put my hope out there for fear of failure. From an objective perspective, it would seem my situation is a case of Cymbalta poop out, with a bumpy transition off of Cymbalta & onto Zoloft. When the Zoloft worked, it felt amazing - I felt like myself again. I just get tired of losing that feeling everytime I have more anxiety. Ativan helps, but I try not to use it as much as possible, for fear of building a tolerance. Through CBT, I am better able to identify my negative thought patterns, and counter them with a more rational approach. However, I still struggle with my lack of toleration for uncertainty, and lack of answers to my questions about all of this. I thank you all who took the time to read this, and I hope your insight can be bring me some hope & clarity. -Eric
  8. Hi there, I am wanting some information on how to withdraw or at the least reduce my medications. I was initially put on lexipro for 3 months in nov 2015, it made me a lot worse and I was taken off it and put on Risperdal 1mg and cymbalta 120mg January 2016. I stayed on this for a year with slight improvement and then in December 2016 my psychiatrist reduced my rispiradol to 0.5 when I complained about oversleeping weight gain and lingering mental illness, within 2 weeks this made me very edgy and unsettled so she increased it back to 1mg and said I might have to be on it forever, she then added 30mg mirtazipine. I have been on these 3 for the last year. I am terrified of going back to how I was but I also do not like the side effects or simply being on drugs. Im hesitant to seek advise from the same psychiatrist as the last time I went there she wanted to put me on a mood stabilizer which was March 2017 I never went back... any advise please? Thank you x
  9. i everyone:I have been tapering from a benzodiazepine for almost a year and now am ready to undertake the antidepressants. I guess some people say do the antidepressants first but its too late for that now. I am almost done with my benzo taper. I am copying my first entry from Benzo buddies here because the history is the same Current cocktail: 60 mg Cymbalta, 150 mg Wellbutrin SR, and .090 mg of Klonopin (Benzo). I won't bore you with too many details but I think an abridged version is in order. I was first put on a cocktail of Klonopin, Wellbutrin, and Cymbalta over 12 years ago. I had been on SSRI's for 15 years at this point. The Pdoc said this would help with anxiety and never mentioned a word about dependence, addiction or withdrawal. He continued to prescribe for the next three years till he fired me for missing appointments. My next three pdocs said nothing other than it was hard to get off but it had no negative side effects. One said I might need to stay on the rest of my life, after all it's cheap! My GP refused to offer opinions and would not prescribe psychotropic meds.Meanwhile my marriage was falling apart and it was getting harder and harder to do my job.In June 2014, a friend referred me to a Lyme doctor who had a great rep. He spent an hour talking to me and then said he wanted to do about $1200 worth of testing. Result? I definitely had Lyme disease and I spent the next 2-1/2 years doing antibiotics and herbal protocols to kill the Lyme. At the end of this, I still had most of symptoms and had almost been fired and then went on Long Term disability in late 2015. SSA denied me but my company had a private plan (I know I am blessed here). To the Lyme Doctors credit he had said initially that I should try to get off Benzos and he took me from 1 mg down to .75 mg in one cut. I then started seeing a number of homeopaths, naturopaths and other quacks. I got a new Pdoc and asked him to help me taper off K. I just had this feeling.....Fine, he said. Why don't you go from .75 mg down to .5 mg, the tablets are hard to cut more than that. Yes sir, I said in my most humble voice. Well, I am sure you all know how that went. I reinstated to .6875 mg (or therabouts) after 3 weeks of hell. By this time, I had found the ashton manual, and benzobuddies. When I asked him to slow the taper, he said he didn't know how. I finally found an oral K pill on my own that was .125 mg. He graciously gave me one month's worth. I begged for Valium. And, no way, he said, through his assistant. I have quit him and have another appointment with somehow who actually is familiar with Ashton in Late June.It is now over 2 months later. I am have ordered supplies for a liquid taper. My major symptoms haven't changed much and are brain fog, memory issues, severe fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, and muscle spasms (which got better after reinstating). I am also grouchy which explains why I am alone a lot. I try to be pleasant and avoid the topic of Benzos, but it is hard.I did two dry cuts and am now down to .53125 mg. (or therabouts). Symptoms have been simply outrageous and I have been holding for 1-1/2 months.I have no idea what the new Pdoc will do, so I am going to try very small cuts using water titration next. Still with K. What a wonder drug! It worked for all of 4 weeks back in 2005.Well, thats my story and I am sticking to it. Would love to get to know some of you. I listen well and I actually have other interests. I just don't get out as much anymore.Blessings,
  10. Hi everyone, I'm in a pretty desperate state. Over the past couple of months, I very slowly tapered off 60mg (1x a day) of Cymbalta, 5-10 beads at a time. I felt great during the taper. Then a few days after my last dose, I began to experience diarrhea and anxiety. I waited ten days to see if the withdrawal symptoms would improve, but the anxiety became so severe that in order to function at my new job, I decided to go back on the Cymbalta at 20mg/day. A few hours after taking that first dose, my symptoms went away. But in less than 24 hours, they were back. So I decided to go up to 20mg 2x a day, which I've been doing for the past two days. The problem is that the dose seems to wear off in 8-10 hours, and I'm left with crippling anxiety and stomachaches between doses, and zero appetite. I've started to take 0.25mg of Xanax to bridge the doses, but I don't want to be doing that. (FYI, I am still on 200mg of Wellbutrin XL and not planning on doing anything with that just yet.) What should I do? I'm reluctant to increase my dosage back to 60mg/day, both because I don't want to go up too fast but also because I really, really want to get off this drug and I worked so hard on that initial taper. And why did 60mg (and even much less than that during the taper) just once a day work fine but now I can't even get through 10 hours of 20mg without needing another dose? I'm so terrified that I've wrecked my brain with this stuff and I'll never be able to get off it. I'm wondering if I will need to give up this job - the anxiety makes me feel like I'm trapped in a box and I'm completely useless. I would be so grateful for any advice. Thank you. Laura
  11. Hi fellow members. I took Trazodone and Cymbalta for over a decade. These drugs were prescribed by my family doctor for neuro-muscular pain and related difficulty sleeping. (The real cause of the pain was ruptured discs in my back but I didn't learn that until I'd been on these drugs for years.) I've tried to get off of both drugs several times but all doctors did in the past was give me the next lower dose of each drug, which didn't work, and just drove me right back to my previous regular dosages. Well, thanks to tappering info I learned from this discussion group, I've been off both for about a month. The problem is that my withdrawal symptoms are seemingly getting worse. so, I could use some coping advice. The biggest problem is dizziness, or I should say passing out in my case. The week I finished the taper for both drugs (about a month ago) I passed out and gave myself a mild concussion when my head hit the floor. I was in a classroom setting so they sent me to the emergency room in an ambulance. They ran lots of tests at the hospital, all of which all came back normal. I thought the fainting was a one-time occurrence. Yesterday, I passed out again and hit my head, again. I was at home so my husband didn't take me to the hospital as the lump on my head wasn't too bad. Other symptoms of withdrawal I'm having include irritability, anger, depression and even suicidal thoughts. I've never had a problem with any of those things before so I'm naturally frightened. I've tried medical marijuana for these symptoms but have figured out (I think) that they were making my sudden drops in blood pressure, aka dizziness, worse. Does that make sense to anyone? I still haven't found a doctor who would/could help me with these symptoms. At this point I don't know if I should keep looking or not. I live in rural Arizona so expert doctors, if they existed on this topic, aren't plentyful. Today I looked at The Road Back Program's anti-depressant withdrawal supplements and found a link to this discussion group's moderator who said not to waist money on them. It felt really good to get objective advice from the moderator. I just need more practical advice, especially about the sudden drops in blood pressure. I'm feeling afraid to drive my car. Is there something I can do to better manage the dizziness. Can these symptoms really last years?!
  12. Hello, I'm new here but have come across this forum via looking for info on the internet. I was on Lexapro for 6 months and after having side effects..slowed heartbeat, etc I decided in March of 2017 to go off of it. Unfortunately I did not taper properly..I went from 10 mg to 1/2 pill for a week and then for a few days I went down to a quarter of a pill. I should have sought help from the doctor but she was very pro medication and I felt like she would continue to push this for my GAD..I was on meds years ago but have been able to manage without anything for the last 7 years with exercise and hobbies, etc. I was dizzy and had stomach upset when I first went off but that went away.. then by about June I started having a bit of shaking of my hands here and there and increased anxiety. The nerves in my wrists and feet felt like they were crawling..irritated. By July I was waking up shaking in bed..almost like a vibration and what felt like tremors on and off in my arms. Thumbs quivering here and there when holding things..it does seem like it happens when I'm anxious. I have body parts that jerk as I'm trying to fall asleep and keep me awake. I then had terrible insomnia. Although I will say that has improved and I'm able to get sleep now. Sweating has gotten better. Twitching is on and off. I have been to the doctor numerous times who says it's anxiety. My lips even feel like they're vibrating also. No one can really see me shaking but I can feel it. By the end of July I tried going on Cymbalta which gave me a terrible reaction after only 2 days and I had to come off..head feeling very hot..hearing pulse in ears..sweating and completely out of it...they told me to stop taking that and the next day I could take Celexa ... I was even starting to have some slight head jerking here and there and a few weird blinks here and there too..lots of twitching.. so after 3 days I decided this was too risky to continue and called the doctor who told me to go down to 1/2 pill for a week and then stop..I even took a couple of quarter doses on top of that to make sure. I thought maybe I started to feel better as it got out of my system..even my nose felt plugged and my ears until it totally cleared. I have not taken anything since the beginning of August. I'm wondering if now I have a whole new set of withdrawals even though between the cymbalta and celexa I was only taking them for about 10 days. I recently went to a neurologist who did a thorough exam on me and could see nothing wrong. He did not order any tests. He said it was my anxiety acting up. He did say I might have some Ulnar Nerve issues since my last two fingers my hand were tingling. Any little emotion seems to set off the body type tremors/vibrations I'm feeling. Even if I'm happy or at a ballgame and get excited about something. Caffeine now really sets them offf. I am nearing menopause at 45 which is young but I am just about there according to my levels. I am seeing a physiatrist to double check about my spine as I have had issues there.. a fusion at c-6-7. I wake up extremely shaky..even when I don't feel anxious. I'm wondering if my nervous system is totally sensitized to everything. I have no idea what to do at this point since the neurologist says that he feels I don't tolerate meds very well and advised against it. I keep feeling like I have MS or Parkinsons but I have read so many similar stories from others who have come off of ssri's.. I didn't quite quit cold turkey but tapered too fast. I would appreciate any advice anyone could give me. I'm so desperate..I'm 5 months off of the Lexapro and it's been almost 4 weeks since my 2nd try at meds..wondering if I should have went back on the Lexapro instead of trying something different..at this point I'm afraid of Tardive Dyskinesia or something similar because of my reaction when I tried to go back on meds. I feel it would be to late to try and reinstate at this point also from what I've read. My fingers twitch here and there etc..it feels like my nerves are very irritated. Sorry for the novel. I would so appreciate any help. I am a mom of 3 girls and although the docs keep saying it's anxiety..I have never had this bad of anxiety.
  13. Hello everybody, First of all, sorry for my poor English. I'll try to write short but correct sentences, so you can understand my case. I'm 21 years old and currently I'm studying Medicine. In 2013 I started psychological treatment for social anxiety (only psychotherapy, without medication). I'm positive that this helped me a lot, but the psychologist thought that I wasn't improving fast enough, so he prescribed me Escitalopram 5 mg/day. I didn't notice any improvement or adverse effect while taking this drug. The summer of 2014, before I started College, was the worst phase of my life. I didn't want to get out of my bedroom, and I only wanted to die. That fall, I visited a psychiatrist for the first time, and he prescribed me Desvenlafaxine 100 mg a day. This drug completely killed my mind. I felt numb, dizzy, emotionally flattened, I had severe memory problems... When the College semester ended (I failed 3 subjects), I withdraw the drug with the help of the psychiatrist. Several months later, I felt better, but I had the feeling that the drug had left some type of "residual damage" in me...I wasn't the same person than I was one year ago, and the memory problems were there. I committed the great mistake of asking another psychiatrist for advice: I wanted to know if the Desvenlafaxine was the culprit of the symptoms I was suffering. The new psychiatrist told me that I was suffering from anxiety and obsessive-like behavior, so he gave me Duloxetine (60 mg/day during the first 3 months, 30 mg/day later) & Alprazolam (0.125 mg. 3 times a day during the 3 first months, once a day later). This time, I got better results than the year before. I felt better, I even obtained A+ in two subjects. When the summer came, I decided to withdraw the drug with the help of my doctor. I suffered a considerable withdrawal syndrome (dizziness,photophobia,tinnitus,swinging mood...It was horrible!). When the College course started, I felt really anxious, I could barely study, so I started taking the Duloxetine & Alprazolam again. However, this time the medication didn't helped anything. I felt worse everyday, so I decided to leave the College for a while and search a good psychotherapist. I found one who is helping me a lot, she encouraged me to withdraw these horrible drugs, so I'm "clean" since December, 2016. I'm going to summarize my drug history and the withdrawal symptoms I'm having: Medication history · March 2014-October 2014: Escitalopram 5 mg/day. · October 2014-July 2015: Desvenlafaxine 100mg/day. · October 2015-July 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day). · October 2016-November 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day). · 2 and a half months "clean" (since the end of November until today) My withdrawal symptoms · I don't feel anything, I don't enjoy anything in life, my mood is completely flat. I don't enjoy things that I used to enjoy, I have to think "hey, you used to enjoy doing this, so you should be having a good time", but I don't have the "natural" and "automatic" feeling of enjoy. · My memory is not sharp anymore, I have problems remembering what I've done yesterday or some days ago, I have to do great efforts in order to remember things. · I feel mentally slow, I have enormous concentration problems, I feel absolutely useless. That's the summary of my situation. I can't talk about it with anybody (my fathers don't understand what's happening, my girlfriend and friends don't notice any problem and my psychotherapist, although she think I was medicated without reasons and she thinks the two psychiatrists committed malpractice, says that these drugs don't cause any permanent damage and that I mustn't get obsessed with all these symptoms. So, my last hope is this community, while I expect to find people with knowledge of the topic. Is this "damage" permanent? Will I recover my old self? I'm terrified just now, and the idea of not being myself anymore is scaring me a lot...I don't want to live like this, and if this situation don't revert, I'll have to take radical measures. Thank you very much for your time, I hope you can help me with your experiences and knowledge. Best wishes, dav267
  14. I have been on antidepressants since the age of 12. Have tried nearly everyone out there with minimal success. Finding that they don't affect my mood/ overall general happiness anymore and want off. They make me feel numb and zombie like with little ability to enjoy life. I've been on 30mg Cymbalta for the last few months and have been trying to tapper off. I knew the side effects of withdrawal can be horrendous as I've tried in the past with no success. This time I decided I would take 1/4 of the beads from the capsule a week and as long as I didn't feel too many intense effects I would continue until I was off them. I was doing great! 5 days in and I hadn't noticed a single side effect. Then at work last night on the 7th day it was like I was hit by a bus. Spinning, dizzy, headache, nauseated, strange strange sensations and ultimately sicker then a dog. I ended up having to have someone bring me gravol which I popped two in less than hr (usually only take a quarter if absolutely necessary). The nausea has subsided slightly but I'm still extremely dizzy with a pounding headache, with the lovely side effect of extreme drowsiness from the gravol. I'm wondering if anyone knows what my next step should be and whether or not I need to increase the dose a bit. Yesterday I didn't take my dose until later in the day and I'm hoping this is the reason why I felt such extreme effects, as I hadn't been noticing anything at all prior. Looking for any helpful suggestions, tips, or support. Thank you!
  15. I don't know what we would do without the Internet, I was looking for guidance and support and stumbled across this website. First let me say that I have been on and off SSRI's for 16 years....I had never suffered depression and only developed anxiety a few years ago but with education and forums such as this, I wonder if it wasn't withdrawal from the cocktail of SSRI's my dr. was trying at the time. Whatever it may be, I am 6 months off of Cymbalta and have good days and bad....the bad days feel endless. Here is a little history of how my life with medication began....I suffered a very traumatic childhood which I repressed for decades...when I finally confronted things I was already on medication which started for symptoms of PMS. At the time I believe it was Serafem back in the early 2000's, then I was switched to Lexapro as I would have bouts of anger that the dr. felt this would help. I took Lexapro for several years until I wanted off because it killed my emotions and my sex drive. I was off for a few months and just felt like I needed to go back on something. This began the next 10 + years of being on SSRI's including Cymbalta for the last few years and a mixture of (Lexapro again; wellbutrin and God knows what else at one point which didn't work so back to the Cymbalta he sent me) A few years ago I was going through a difficult divorce and began to have panic issues. I had had one or two in the past and now looking back, think they were from repressed emotions pertaining to my childhood. The dr. decided to give me benzos, which I'd never taken. When Xanax didn't work he put me on Ativan. I took Ativan sporadically for about 2 weeks and couldn't figure out why the life was sucked out of me. I could barely leave my house, I forced myself to go to work but I was in the deepest depression imaginable and didn't know what to do. I started doing my research and realized that benzos could spark depression. I stopped taking them immediately and with time I started to feel better again. I was still on Cymbalta at the time but eventually wanted to be free from these meds. I have never done drugs in my life and had no idea the impact these prescription meds would have on my life and my mind. I decided to taper off of Cymbalta late last year...trauma being healed (slowly); divorce behind me; new happy and healthy relationship....it was time. At first I felt ok then I had another traumatic event happen in January which spiraled me into depression again. I have been struggling for the last 5 months...but now some days are ok and some not so ok. I am a strong woman and know that I have gotten this far (6 months off!) and will continue. I drink lots of water, exercise a few times a week, make sure I spend time outdoors enjoying the sunshine, my puppies; my love and my friends. It's still a struggle but seeing the posts about the windows and waves now makes sense. I have new hope that my body is in fact healing itself and all of this is part of the process, albeit a scary one. I only wish we as a society were more educated about the long term effects these medications will have on us not only while on them but if we make the brave decision to go off of them. When we go on them we are thrilled to be able to get them from our primary dr. The ease of getting the prescriptions is comforting, however, I really think there needs to be tighten regulations on who can prescribe these meds. Someone well versed and educated on the effects and dangers....
  16. I am on Cymbalta and Temazepam. I know conventional wisdom says Benzo taper first. I am in severe tolerance. I am afraid of total insomnia as I am in severe pain from cervical dystonia I believe caused by Cymbalta. Can I taper Cymbalta first?
  17. 25yr old male on 120mg of cymbalta to treat depression, I was tired of insomnia,feeling numb and many other side effects and decided to stop. Live in a rural area and access to mental healthcare without being admitted is minimal without booking weeks in advance. Decided to try to taper myself and went to 60mg 1 week ago and withdrawal symptoms were severe so next day I Decided that I would treat this as I did a cigarette addiction and quit cold turkey to have severe withdrawal for a short time compared to less severe withdrawal for a longer period. I have bad flu like symptoms, terrible brain zaps worse than after weeks of mdma abuse when I was a teenager. Dizziness is bad and so is ringing in ears. It's been a week and symptom.s have gotten worse and not better, very hard to do my job (auto mechanic) and to look after my 3 children. How much longer could I expect these symptoms to last? I'm in a much worse state now than I ever was depressed and much worse than any other withdrawal I have been through. Wish I was better informed
  18. Hi, thank you for adding me. My friend recommended this site. I am on 30mg cymbalta/duloxetine, I have been on it over 5 years after developing CFS and associated anxiety and also back pain. It was really good initially and overall it helped me a lot. However, the last 2 years i have put on a lot of weight and it keeps going up despite really trying to cut down food and feeling like I am eating okay and should not be putting on this much weight. Also I feel it is not as useful as it was and I want to come off it. I have come down to 20 mg in last week and can feel symptoms esp in evening, especially head type symptoms and feeling a bit over excited, jittery and weird. However I tried measuring the beads and it did not work for me, for one thing I ended up spilling them all over floor which is not good with kids around! I will stay with 20mg for a few months then will half the 30mg capsules I have, for a few months, then half the 20 mg capsules, then third them, then quatter etc, I plan on taking about a year. I just thought I need support and it is great to have all the info on here. I still have CFS and back pain but milder, but I do not know if coming down on dulox will make those worse, if it does I may have to quit, but I know much more about natural remedies now, and plan to supplement with AShwangandha and Rhodiola and some other things i know about and have tried. I also have some other meds I can use, including cortisol, etc. I was diagnosed with sub clinical thyoroid issues and low adrenal output but only by private GP, I tried thyroxine but did not work or suit me. I have some gut issues too which I am trying to sort out, so have a lot going on. Many thanks, Emily
  19. Hello, I'm new to this site (although I've read a lot of your content by now), and I'm so grateful I found it!! I've been suffering from anxiety disorder and depression since I was a kid, around 8 years old (I'm 30 years old now). I've been in countless treatments since then, too many to remember. I've been taking Cymbalta for about 8 years now, I've tried going off cold turkey and obviously failed miserably and had to be put back on Cymbalta 60mg. Currently I am taking 30mg. My doctor said I should try alternating days to try to taper off, and since reading your content I realized this was the wrong approach. So I bought the Gemini 20 digital scale and the gelatin capsules, and I'm ready to start today with my 1st 10% reduction. I know I'm affected by withdrawal symptoms because when ever I forget taking mi pill I start getting brain saps, confusion, fatigue, etc. So I'm hoping this approach will help me taper off without any harsh side effects. I'm also taking Itravil, this is Clobenzorex, 30mg once a day. Basically I was prescribed and started taking this because of the fatigue I was experiencing, which now I believe could have been a result of the reduction in dosage of Cymbalta... So I don't know exactly what effects this medication will have in my withdrawal. Hoping for the best!
  20. magikpoet

    magikpoet

    Hi everybody, I'm sorry I'm not feeling particularly loquacious today as I have a cold, so I'll just write a brief history of myself. I have suffered with Depression/anxiety since I was a teenager and am now in my 30s. My memory is like swiss cheese but I'll do my best to recall my medications. At 18 I was put on Aropax (paroxetine) with relatively good effect. I cant remember how long I was on for but I do remember getting brain zaps getting off. At some point I went on Lexapro and Pristiq, along with Seroquel (bloody awful drug!!). Seroquel gave me the most horrible nightmares! I think I may have transitioned from Pristiq straight onto Cymbalta approx 7 yrs ago after my divorce. My anxiety has increased over the years and is predominantly social anxiety now. My worst side effects of all these meds are memory loss and weight gain. I have put on at least 30kgs since starting Cymbalta. I have tried numerous methods for weight loss but it is damn near impossible! Now I am trying to conceive a baby and have been unsuccessful for 2 years. I REALLY need to lose weight in the hopes of conceiving, but I'm also seriously concerned about the effects Cymbalta might have on a fetus and breastfeeding baby... My long-term memory is awful and recall is almost impossible. I feel like I have dementia already! I also have fibromyalgia, which also affects my short term memory some days, which makes me look less than intelligent at work! Cymbalta is also prescribed for FM so I am fearful of an increase in FM symptoms on withdrawing as well. I look forward to getting to know you all and reading your success stories! All the best xo
  21. Oneday77

    Oneday77

    I am a mother of 2. I have been on anti-depressants for 10 years, first 8 on Cipralex and changed to Cymbalta 2 years ago. Now that my life situation is more stable and my kids a little older( 6 and 10), I have Decided to start and stay in therapynand also see a Naturopath to help me. I never thought Cymbalta would be so horrible to taper: horrible migraines that won't go away with Advil, caffeine, water or rest, nausea, diZziness, brain Zaps, pain in my arm, tiredness. My doctor has no clue about any of the withdrawal effects. I am going extremely slow As I have to work and take care of my kids. I now take off 8 beads per day. I have try to reduce More but the side effects were horrible... It may take me years Going this way But I don't care...
  22. Hi, I am an Australian expat living in Tokyo , Japan. I first became depressed 10 years ago after finding out I could no longer be with the love of my life ( that is a very long story in itself ) I left Japan , threw away my business and returned to Australia in a heap. I now know I have suffered anxiety for most of my life, but it was extreme at that point and I also suffered deep depression for the first time in my life. I was put on Zoloft - but attempted suicide twice. Once I realized that I had thrown away my business in Japan and the life I had, I became more depressed and anxious. I began drinking alcohol heavily for the first time in my life. I did not feel comfortable in Australia after so many years away, and somehow managed to move to Thailand for 4 years where I taught English to Japanese expats to get by ( I speak Japanese ) During the four years in Thailand I continued Zoloft and became an alcoholic. I was very depressed the whole time. I then returned to Australia for 3 years. My medication was changed from Zoloft to Effexor. The Effexor seemed to work better. I still used alcohol to numb my thoughts of the past of my list love and good life I once had. I returned to Japan after going to a detox resort in Thailand 3 years ago. I had hoped to regain some of the good life I once had. I managed to get off medication as I was feeling positive for the first time in years. As time went on, I realized that the life I had here in Tokyo no longer existed. My friends had either moved on or were busy with families. The earthquake hit and in hindsight , this was when I started drinking heavily again as the country came to a standstill and finding a job became hard and I started spending my time in bars. Eventually I became very depressed again , and I have been on a roller coaster ever since - being prescribed ADs, benzo anxiety pills and sleeping meds. My medication has been changed several times. I have had times when things were going well and managed to stop ADs - though I was still taking benzos and sleepers. Late last year I was feeling positive about starting a small business. I had reduced my meds and was not drinking heavily. The business failed and I took it very hard. Winter hit the same time ( always a tough time for me as I can't handle the cold very well) and I spend months at home , locked away from the world and drinking heavier than I ever had. I had become suicidal again and was haunted by thoughts of the Past ( what could have been ) My mother was worried about me and enquired about which sleeping pills I was taking. As it turns out, the pills branded myslee in Japan , are called stilnox in Australia , and ambien in the US. It just so happens that at this time this sleeping med was in many media stories, as many Australian athletes had been prescribed it and were having serious side effects. I knew I had to do something. I made enquiries to Australian hospitals and got all of the information I could. It seemed using Valium to 'detox' from alcohol and ambien was the recommended way. I almost checked myself into a Japanese hospital but luckily I did not as I found out later they would only have pumped me full of large amounts of Valium for a month before letting me out - the people in Australian hospitals were strongly against this, so I decided to be treated as an outpatient. I have now been free of alcohol for 3 weeks and have finally realized that not only has alcohol made my life and problems worse - I feel I can never drink again. Living an alcohol free life is what I did ( mostly ) before I became depressed , so I feel that not drinking is a good thing and will give me a better chance of getting my life back. I tapered down and stopped the ambien also 3 weeks ago. I had many sleepless nights but I managed to kick alcohol and ambien. The problem is, I still take ADs and other medication but I still feel very depressed and anxious. I was hoping I would be beginning to feel better than I feel now. Now that I am making efforts for the first time in many years to truly make an effort to get well I have been researching the medication I have been taking , the side effects and have found out how scary these things are. It is very hard for me to find information here in Japan. Japanese doctors only have one way of dealing with things. Meds, meds and more meds. I now understand that meds have been hindering my attempts to get well in the past and feel that they have effected me in more ways than I believed over the past 10 years. Before I stopped drinking and Ambien I went to my doctor who prescribed more ADs. I am now sober , taking a lot of meds and very depressed and anxious. Currently I take 2 x 20mg cymbalta in the morning. 0.5mg of lorazepam 3 times a day ( I was put on this to get off the Valium and an anxiety beno ( Etizolum ) that I have been on for 2 years. I also take 2 x 15mg of an AD called Reflex here in Japan which is called mirtazapine in the US. I have also been prescribed a new sleeping tablet that has no side effects and is non addictive - according to my doctor. I have made many foolish decisions and have not felt 'myself' in many years. My actions have made me a very lonely and sad man - who has spent what are supposed to be the best years of my life moving from country to country , making no foundations or forming no relationships. I am sometimes suicidal but I still have some fight in me and I want to try and get my life back -- or Atleast be able to enjoy myself for the first time in ten years. I believe the only way I can do this is to do the right things. Eat well , exercise etc AND be medication FREE. I now understand that I suffer anxiety , but after years of meds the anxiety is still there - until I take another pill - and of course the longer you take them the more you need. I would be forever grateful if I were able to get the help I need . Kind regards.
  23. Greetings and Salutations I have been a longtime lurker and reader of this site and after years of reading and finally getting off of all Psych Drugs I am finally clean and Drug Free. I would like to thank the people on this site for sharing there stories ( which is not easy) and posting them for others to learn from, get support and a place to vent and lets you know you are not alone. Why post and why now? From time to time I come back to this website to stalk and have seen posts lately that when people get better they stop posting and don’t come back , well I am doing the opposite to offer hope and perspective from my view.I just feel now I can compose my thoughts somewhat and put them on paper/text and let people know that there is hope and with this forum for me personally it helped me cope. I just recently had another family member start having mental health issues and I am able to talk and help them out. When reading this please take into account I still have a hard timing putting thoughts to words and forgive my grammar, sentence structure and jumping around. Quick Rundown, grew up in a toxic environment but always had food, place to live and family but it was very dysfunctional, with an alcoholic father and my poor mother was just trying to survive being a teenager and had no clue. I was never physically abused but mental cruelty was real to me. The fighting , yelling and screaming was non-stop, screwed up grandparents and crazy living situation. I was and still am very sensitive to everything and considered a drama queen. I tend to over react at first but in time I can get through it. I have been told I have white people problems but regardless it affected me because of who I am and how I was made. Everyone is built different. I also try use humor as an outlet. In my case from a young age I did not know how to cope with issues and bottled everything up until my mind and body couldnt take it anymore. So after growing up like this, my father drinking himself to death and died @ 34 I started to turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with my pain. Then a few years later finding my grandmother dead and having to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation and having other traumatic events I finally broke and started having panic attacks .This was at the time all of these great psych meds came out and they started to hand them out like candy. I started out on Paxil, the side effects really bothered me, went on to Lexapro then wellbutrin and a couple of others in there and finally settled on Cymbalta. The whole time still with the drugs and alcohol. Why drugs and alcohol? because the meds I was taking only helped the panic attacks and never really resolved anything. While on cymbalta for the next 12- 14 years I gained like 40-50 lbs became a shell of myself and still had the issues. I finally got fed up and wanted no more of the meds and had enough, blood pressure was going up and other health issues started to arise. Here is were it gets fun, I went to my primary GP and he was maintaining my Cymbalta and said I wanted off I was having to many health issues, he said it will take 2 weeks? I have tried to get off this crap before and said no way. Started reading and researching and tried to do what I thought was a gradual reduction from 90 - 60mgs and had withdrawals but still went through it and for me a big mistake. My body and mind said F-You dude and went into super hyper-sensitivity mode. The drug was repressing my nervous system and then all of a sudden it was gone and I felt everything and my body got worse, bp went through the roof so my GP started to put me on BP meds and just made the problem worse and I was in and out of emergency rooms. Here is the other kicker at this time I stopped all rec drugs but in the emergency rooms I told them about getting off of cymbalta and they found pot in my blood work (I smoked pot for years and quit when I stopped taking my meds at this point it made things worse) and immediately blamed pot and they would give me a xanax and my body would instantly calm down and I would go back to normal. They said I was a drug addict withdrawing from pot and I was looking for drugs to get high. In reality I was going through serious withdrawals coming off of cymbalta and needed help and they said you’re a drug addict and really wouldn’t help. This pissed me off to know end. BTW I could get all of the drugs I wanted on the streets.My doctor kept switching BP meds and just made things worse and I was in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals and had to leave work. This went on for 7 weeks but I got lucky and on the verge of being placed in the crazy ward literally and found a place that knew exactly what I was going through. I didn’t sleep maybe getting 6-8 hours a week, lost 30 lbs in 8-10 weeks and my stomach was horrible, couldn’t eat, sleep, think straight and barley function as a human being and thought I was going to die. I would pace all night long, How I got better? It was a combination of finding the correct Dr's and myself. It is up to you to help yourself. I left the Dr who almost killed me and found ones that wanted to help and understood. Meds and Drs can only do so much. I spent countless hours of research and trial and error with diet, vitamins, exercise, yoga, meditation you name it ( screaming at a stop sign ) whatever it takes. I was put on the lowest doses of serequel to sleep and oxycarbinazapine for the anxiety which did very little but I think the Dr's had no idea what to do with me. The plan with these Drs was to have me med free at some point btw; These Dr's understood what I was going through and wanted to help. Finally after 2 years I am med free but not out of the woods and don’t see any drs except my GP for physicals and still dont sleep well but much better than 6-8 a week. I will always be a sensitive person and I have come to terms with that, I eat right for me and what works for me. I take a couple of vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium calcium zinc a healthy diet and exercise. I have good days and bad days and some days I think I need meds again but so far so good especially now I am getting older and my body is breaking down (I have literally broke just about every bone in my body), joints and muscles and everything hurts a little more these days and I am learning to deal with it, my wife calls me a H.A.M - Hot Azz Mess and I concurr In conclusion everybody is different and how we all got to this point and where we are now. Some people can get off the meds and some cant. BTW what I have found out is that whether I am on the meds or not I feel the same exact way and the meds only helped the panic attacks and never got rid of them and in my opinion they did more harm then good. There is hope but you are your own best advocate ,try to find a good Dr, General practioner, Psychologist, Pschyciotrist , Sherpa guru or a friend who understands. There is no easy fix, hang in there and try and think positive thoughts. I feel I was born with a chemical in-balance passed from generation to generation. My father used alcohol to cope and it killed him. It is not easy and when it doubt ask for help, there are still good people out there and sometimes it takes a while to find them Believe in yourself , try and stay positive and never give up. Nutrition , Diet exercise and vitamins are key for me Continue to write your story and good luck R2G2
  24. Hi, I need to keep this short because I have chronic fatigue & can't concentrate for long. I've been off & on (mostly on) medication for 25 years. I've just come to the conclusion that my Bipolar 2 Dx may be incorrect in that, I think my hypomanic symptoms may be caused by antidepressants. I never had those symptoms before I started taking them. I guess I'll never know for sure :-( I've just been reading about how long term use can turn depression into a chronic disease (if it wasn't already) and about the symptoms of Tardive Dysphoria. Sounds like me. I've been taking Lithium, Cymbalta and a bit of Valium for years now. I feel like I'd like to try to come off the Cymbalta (to start with) but I just wonder if it's too late for me now. I've been reading about how some of the side effects may not be reversible. I've come off meds before and I would use Prozac to get off the Cymbalta as I've done before successfully. But how do you know - two months, six months, a year down the track, if you're still feeling the effects of withdrawal in your moods etc, or if you're back to yourself - or at least as good as you're going to get post years of meds??? Thanks for reading, Zel
  25. Introduction. 61 years old, male. I take Cymbalta, Buproprion and Lamictal. I will continue with Buproprion and Lamictal after Cymbalta tapering is complete. Before I started Cymbalta I tried several SSRI's. They made me feel better but have terrible side effects including shaking hands, erectile dysfunction even with Viagra and the other one, and they poop out. On advice of Shrink I switched to Cymbalta and after 15 years on it now I must taper. It has never pooped out, but the erectile dysfunction can last for several months until it decides to cooperate, usually while dreaming at night. Since having to get out of bed to disrobe ruins the moment, I started to sleep in the nude in order to be ready for action upon waking. Even then it is an uncertain proposition. I am divorced twice, do not want a relationship. and even if I did it would still be sexually unsatisfying (for me). A relationship with Rosey Palm and her five sisters is difficult enough. After taking 60 mg for years I reduced to 30 milligrams by simply taking one generic capsule rather than 2. I did not know about the severe symptoms associated with Cymbalta withdrawal. When I first reduced, after about a week I became nauseous and vomited multiple times per day, often for minutes at a stretch to the point I had trouble taking a breath. The symptoms lasted about a month. I thought I might have pancreatic cancer and my doctor scheduled me for a GI scope exam. It was normal. The doctor did not know I was quitting Cymbalta. I have now been taking 30 mg/day consistently now for about 6 months. During that time I came to realize my sickness was due to Cymbalta withdrawal. It was this website that made me realize it plus the fact I remembered the shrink did tell me to be very careful when I discontinue the Cymbalta and he rolled his eyes but gave no further details. Before I reduced to one pill per day my symptoms became absolutely intolerable. I visited Rosey less and less often, my hand shaking became so severe I cannot write by hand because it is so completely illegible it looks like a young child's scribbling. Using the keyboard is difficult because my hands miss the key I intend to press, and using the mouse requires my left hand to apply pressure on my right hand to keep it from jerking around so much. I also had to adjust the mouse settings to better allow for shaking. My legs also became week above the knees, and I was unable to control them. I could not walk down a straight hallway without crashing into the walls. Sometimes I could barely crawl. I would fall often and crash into furniture and the walls every time I went from one room to another. I had to keep my arms and hands ready to save myself from harm, but I was still falling, even over a pair of socks on the floor. I could not live that way anymore and I was able to associate it with Cymbalta because my hands started to shake, much more mildly than they do now, as soon as soon as I started the SSRIs. After reducing to one pill (30 mg) per day, I still have those symptoms but to a much lesser degree. I am now sure it is the Cymbalta that was and is responsible for it all. This site recommends 10% per month. I bought #4 gel caps and a filling machine. I filled ten capsules with nine 30 mg pills. Unfortunately my hands shake so severely that many of the beads went flying off. I suspect about 20% reduction is what resulted with no adverse effects. I took those ten pills once per day until gone. Because of the problem with my shaking hands, I decided to figure out a better method of reducing. I have. I went to a store that sells cloth and sewing supplies. For a couple of bucks I purchased some very sharp dress-maker needles with an end I could firmly grip. I also got a pin cushion. The pin is so sharp it is easy to puncture the 30 mg capsule, after I stabilize my right hand. For several days I let the pin penetrate the capsule at one end and pushed it through to penetrate the other end and come out that side. It now looked like a hot dog on a stick through both ends of the hot-dog. The pin allowed me to hold the capsule steady while I twisted the two sides of the capsule into a container until they separated. There was a lot of loss and ruined capsules. I went back to the store and purchased a nifty device used to retrieve thread from under the business end of a sewing machine, the part that goes up-and-down and holds the sewing needle. The device was pointed at one end, and tapered up to the handle. I already had a hobby puncturing tool that had a larger diameter at the sharp end than the pin, but more narrow than the nifty sewing device. Because the pin puncture was so small, no beads would come out of it. With the hobby tool, I was able to enlarge the pin hole but alas still no beads came out. But the sewing device tapered up to a very large diameter and I can easily create a hole big enough to let a single bead at a time come out of the hole when I give a slight squeeze to the capsule. I learned quickly how not to make the entire capsule to crack open, which is why I enlarge the hole in successive steps. I squeeze each capsule such that the bead escapes to the top of my cell phone that has black glass on it. The beads are easily identified. I have a rubber protector on the phone which contains the beads on the glass. For a little over a week I removed 20 beads from each capsule before taking it. I close up the hole with Burt's Bees chapped lip stick. It works great and is non-toxic. After over 3 weeks at a 10% taper, this morning I removed 40 beads which is contrary to advice given on this side. If I become sick again I know what to do at the first sign of nausea or other symptom. I want off Cymbalta as soon as possible so I am being more aggressive than perhaps I should in the hope I am one of those who can. If not, I will go slower. Good luck. My method of removing a counted number of beads really works, and I doubt a few beads more or less would matter much, at least not to me.
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