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  1. Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with major depression and an anxiety disorder in my early twenties, although I had my first mental breakdown/became seriously ill at seventeen. I managed to make it through university but had a second breakdown just as it was ending and have never fully recovered. I was first prescribed antidepressants (Effexor to start) at the time of my diagnosis and had a terrible reaction in the form of a mixed manic state, where I was both depressed and manic. However, I knew side-effects could happen and continued on through it as I was desperate for something to work. It did pass, but the nightsweats that kept me up all night eventually became too much and I had to go off of it. Over nearly the past decade I have dutifully tried antidepressants from every class, many different combos, as well as antipsychotics although I have never been psychotic, mood stabilizers, and benzos. Several years ago, I told my psychiatrist a long-standing fear of mine; that I thought I was treatment-resistant. I have one antidepressant that I feel may have worked moderately, and one that worked actually quite well for about a week - more about that later - but many of the others made me significantly worse and all had unbearable side-effects. My psychiatrist disagreed with me and tried me on more meds, but after my worst reaction ever last winter (Duloxetine) he finally agreed that I was, in fact, treatment-resistant. Duloxetine was the one med I thought really worked for me, but after only a short period of time on it I had a severe physical reaction with GI symptoms/vomiting that went on for over a month. All other causes for this but the med were ruled out through tests, and I became very ill/lost a lot of weight, and had to withdraw from it abruptly. The abrupt withdrawal was the worst I'd ever experienced, and caused a severe upswing in suicidal thoughts, and some sort of rage syndrome, which was completely uncharacteristic for me and the most terrifying thing I've ever gone through mentally. Anyway, after that, I wanted to try going off of antidepressants altogether and I had the support of my psychiatrist, who I had freaked out with my Duloxetine reaction and who at this point had put me on a useless antidepressant from the 50's, I guess as a last-ditch effort in his panic over my condition. He wanted to withdraw me from it too quickly, but I took a longer withdrawal period, and was able to do it! I'm currently off of antidepressants for the first time in many years. So I am no longer having the horrible mental or physical side-effects to the many meds I took, but am still suffering from the suicidal ideation that never left and am now at a loss as to what to try next. Not knowing what else to do, I asked my psychiatrist for a referral to ECT and was sent to an psychiatrist specializing in ECT, who approved me for it, but suggested I try a mood stabilizer first, as he said he'd seen many people who had treatment-resistant depression who actually had an atypical form of bipolar where they just hadn't presented with their first manic episode yet. This seemed sketchy to me, but again, I was really desperate. I was put on Lamotrigine, and have been having excessive crying spells, but it's impossible to tell whether that's from going off of antidepressants or the Lamotrigine itself. In any case, it's either causing crying spells or doing nothing, so I am currently tapering from it, and don't seem to be having the problems tapering I've had with antidepressants, at least. I have to be tapered from it fully to try ECT, as Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant that would cause the ECT to be unsuccessful. I am also still taking Ativan, sometimes for anxiety but more often than not for when the suicidal thoughts get too much. I've gone off of Ativan before during times when I've been in a bit better place, so I'm capable of it, but I have to get the suicidal thoughts under control first. If anyone has any first-hand thoughts on or experiences with ECT I would appreciate it so much. I've been overprescribed by psychiatrists and traumatized by therapists over the years, I've only met the psychiatrist specializing in ECT once, and I just don't have much trust there or with anyone I've encountered in the mental health profession, unfortunately. I have done research and know the possible scary side-effects of ECT, but also that it has a much better success rate than antidepressants, something that I am pretty annoyed I had to discover on my own. But, yeah, I am still very unsure of it. I hope this is halfway articulate. Thank-you so much for listening.
  2. I’m actively slowly tapering off nasty cymbalta. I’m currently counting beads, taking 17.7mg / 93 beads. I also take 10mg of latuda. I haven’t had any problems dropping latuda from 20 to 15 or 15 to 10, but I’m wondering if staying on it for another two years before I’m off cymbalta completely is really a good idea. It’s also expensive which is a constant risk if insurance stops covering it. I know it’s a brake to the cymbalta and probably helps ease the cymbalta withdrawal... thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Not bipolar, if that matters - taking this cocktail for mostly situational depression that I’ve made life decisions to alleviate. Really don’t think I need these meds, and think the anxiety is a side effect from the AD. THANKS!
  3. Hello, I'm a new member to this forum! I was put on 20 mg (generic) Cymbalta (Duloxetine) in early June; at the time my husband and I had just moved to a new (to me) town/state and I had a difficult time learning my way around, in addition to being exhausted and in pain from the move! A new healthcare system = a new GP: "I think we can best address all your issues with a low-dose antidepressant" - next thing I know I'm diagnosed with "MDD" (major depressive disorder). Initially GP wanted me to increase dosage to 40 mg after one week on 20 mg. Due to troubling side effects I told her "no way"; it's been now a bit over two months, I know my way around town, my husband and I exercise lots daily (in addition to walking our dogs) so while I did feel a bit blue when we got here, it was definitely not MDD, but an adjustment period! I researched and researched and am so thrilled to have found your site! Today is Day 3 of my tapering off, I'll be attempting to go down 10% per week unless I experience withdrawal symptoms...so far, so good. Yes, I've counted beads and made "new" capsules by removing a certain number of beads (10%). Presently I don't notice any side effects - maybe getting off the pills will be easier than I have anticipated. I'll keep you posted! Again I'm SO GRATEFULl that this site/forum exists! It is criminal that doctors put us on this stuff, but don't counsel us how to get off it. It has been a learning experience...I am normally very assertive and surprised myself that I let her put me on this medication; I guess she got to me at a low point! I talked with a health nurse last week and she said they would want me on it at least for one year! Yeah right! Kind regards and many thanks, bayernbaby
  4. Back in 2012 I had an episode of major depression after a relationship break up. I was commended on duloxetine (Cymbalta) and quetiapine (Seroquel) for a couple of weeks to get sleep and appetite back. It all worked well and I had 5 very stable happy years on duloxetine 90mg. However as I have endometriosis we were due to undergo IVF to try to conceive so I very gradually weaned off duloxetine - got some brain zaps and other unpleasant symptoms but they only lasted a few days after each dose drop and i managed to get completely off. After a month or so I started to feel some depression symptoms returning (mostly lack of enthusiasm and tiredness) so in April 2018 just before IVF i went back on duloxetine but it was a COMPLETE DISASTER. Within days I was a quivering wreck, unable to sleep at all, extremely anxious (was never really anxious before), no appetite. After 10 days GP changed me onto mirtazapine (Remeron) which initially helped with sleep but then the anxiety and insomnia gradually. IVF proceeded and was successful so I am now pregnant and did due in March 2019 but mental health remains terrible Liz Transferred to care of psychiatrist and got put on quetiapine(Seroquel) too which unlike before was not successful in making me sleepy. Changed to sertraline - made me worse so stopped after 11 days - was hospitalised due to suicidal ideation. Quetiapine (Seroquel) pushed up higher and now at 500mg a day. Also give Ativan and Ambien but now tolerant and still can’t sleep. Started on Amitriptyline but anxiety did not improve so weaned off after 10 weeks. Still taking quetiapine, lorazepam (Ativan) and zolpidem (Ambien). Still nowhere near back to normal - anxious all the time and get a couple of hours of sleep max a night and wake with heart racing and feeling panicked. Terrified all these meds have not helped but I won’t be able to get off them desperate to try and get myself better before my baby is due but don’t know how :(?
  5. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer for 20+ years. I want to wean off duloxetine first. I’ve experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms when I failed to get a refill about 3 years ago. After about 2 days not taking duloxetine I was in full blown withdrawal and it was a flipping nightmare. That experience led me to believe I would never be able to not use the drug. I am to the point of being tired of dry mouth, dry eye, constipation and sweating. This may not be a good time to wean as I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next fall and going to school part time. I will be 59 in 2018. Finding this forum is a godsend for me and hope I can be active even if I’m unable to start a taper right away. I’m really scared that I will never feel like the self I was before taking these drugs. I’m not even sure if I remember, which is even scarier and causes some anxiety if I focus on it too much. Thanks.
  6. Hi all, I've been on and off psychiatric medications for over a decade now, starting with Lexapro in 2008. That led to a suicide attempt, which led to me being switched to Zoloft and then quickly to Wellbutrin. I was on Wellbutrin until September 2010 when I had a grand mal seizure and had to discontinue it immediately. No one ever discussed withdrawal issues with me at the time, now looking back I know I had serious mood issues but it was just considered part of my ongoing depression. Fast forward to 2014 and I went on Prozac. I didn't feel like it was helping me, so I quit cold turkey after a few months. Again, no one had ever discussed the possibility of withdrawal issues with me. Now looking back, I remember how I had sudden unexplained dizziness to the point of feeling like I was going to pass out, nausea, and constant forgetfulness and brain fog. Multiple trips to the doctor never brought up the possibility of withdrawal symptoms. In the spring of 2016 I started taking citalopram, and after having a complex partial seizure I was also prescribed divalproex sodium, twice a day 250mg pills, which I am still taking. EEGs and follow ups with neurologists have led to the general conclusion that psychiatric medications raise my "seizure threshold" high enough that I might have seizures; no medication, no seizures. Around October or November of 2017 I was switched to Lexapro because it's a more "modern" form of citalopram. After gaining 20-25 lbs I asked for a different medication and was put on 30mg of duloxetine, which I was taking until I started my tapering process. I read about this community and antidepressant withdrawal in a New Yorker article, which led me down a research rabbit hole, which led me to wanting off these drugs. I talked with my psychiatrist and he is supportive. He wanted me to drop down to 20mg for two weeks, starting April 11. I had read about the 10% per month rule but thought I'd try it the doctor's way at least one day. Well, I had dizziness, an inability to concentrate, and friends commented that I looked pale. So the next day I switched the the tapering methods recommended here. I counted all the little beads in the capsules and got an average of 180- took out 18 from each one and put the rest in new capsules. It's been going pretty well. I have been having some dizziness and nausea, and I think I'm reacting poorly to caffeine, but I'm going to try to keep an eye on it. Fortunately I never drink anything stronger than black tea anyway. I'm a little discouraged at how long the taper process will take, but I'm trying to think about how bad the cold turkey experience was with Prozac and remind myself that it will be worth it. I'm also not sure what I'll end up doing about the divalproex, my psychiatrist said he wanted me to stay on it for now so that we can control the variables. I do think he'll be supportive, he was happy that I was doing research on my own and was in favor of a conservative taper, but of course that's a conservative taper in the medical context which I think most people here would consider much too fast.
  7. Hello everyone, I first got started on Celexa in May 09 after my mind slipped into an inescapable panic state induced by an accidental overdose of the anti-histamine diphenhydramine. I should of know way back then, after a few weeks, then I should of stayed away from all drugs and given my brain a chance to calm down and repair itself on it’s own, but I was truly, truely frightened that I had down some serious damage or I was on my way to the depths of psychosis. So I went to my GP got diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I switched to Cymabalta in November 09 after a personal event triggered an intensification of agitated depression which had never really left despite treatment with Celexa. Sticking with Cymbalta was, again, an irrevocably stupid decision - but I had faith in the psychiatrist who was prescribing me these things. Suicidal ideation was commonplace both in an experiential context and in circumstantial context – my anxiety was so severe I just wanted out and I was astounded to what life had been reduced to. On cymbalta I felt tired but wired with a generalised irritability and massive cravings for sugar, which when I gave in and ate only triggered an intensification of irritability. I look back during this period and I’m struck with just how bizarre and Kafkaesque the whole experience was. Why the hell didn’t I get of the ******* thing earlier? I weaned off Cymbalta in in June 2010. However, the suicidal panic now morphed into a suicidal malaise and all-consumng tiredness, severe anhedonia, and an inability to concentrate - which has stuck with me since. I got put on Zoloft in Oct’10, 4 months after my last drug, and after a visit to a GP where I told me him I was suicidal and planning to go through with it. He sort of shrugged and just told me to go back on a med. The Zoloft induced both akathisa and a “despair beyond despair” at my situation. I flew out to Thailand with the intention of having a last hurrah and then taking myself down to one of the gun ranges and putting a .357 round into my frontal lobe. (Guns aren't readily available in the UK) I flew home when my parents found out where I was, despite my (I thought) well-constructed plan to deceive and explained to them the extent of which I was struggling. We sought the services of a psychiatrist whom I thought was progressive and looking at the bigger picture. By now, I was mostly concerned with the brain fog and chronic fatigue - which prevented me from most activities which might have led to an improvement with my lot in life - which led me to conclude my problem was neuro-endocrine based. I agreed to a low-dose of Lexapro, some compounded thyroid hormone and about 20 different supplements to treat any bodily pathologies. Despite this ambitious protocol, there was very little change in mood. I tried to stay working but got overwhelmed again and my suicidal ideation reached a zenith. I flew back out to Asia with my father, this time to Cambodia but to join a volunteer project building houses. I figured a dose of 3rd poverty might take my mind….off my mind. This time I also agreed to start lithium. It was a humbling experience for sure but I was still weak, foggy, anxious and depressed. I also felt intensely guilty at being in my depressed state amongst so much poverty and in a country with the worst auto-genocide in history. I also picked up a stomach infection which led to post-infectious gastroparesis which I have been struggling with since. Early in 2011 I discontinued the lithium, at the time we hadn’t worked out the stomach problem and where concerned the lithium could be causing the GI stuff. I continued with Lexapro in the AM and 25mg amitrypltine to get me off to sleep in the PM. Life was just a haze punctuated by bouts of panic and despair. My ability to work and socialise properly had all but disappeared by now, so I got used to life being what it was. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to take a break from AD’s, they didn’t seem to have improved my lot in life much, maybe coming off them would do some good. This was when my concern, finally, about TD started - I continued to feel like absolute ****. What if the drugs were the problem all along?. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the epiphany really took hold and I realised the full horror of what I subjected myself to. I realised the whole thing was being exacerbated by the very treatment that authority deemed to be of help. Back when I came off Cymbalta in 2010 I just assumed this was my depression anxiety ramping up and the exhaustion was a natural extension, but now I was still horrendously depressed and the other **** kicked in. I curse myself that I didn’t see the connection the first time round and have spent another 2.5 years on psych drugs….. Note, I tried a few drugs of now more than about two weeks duration in 2012. Again this was before the idea of drug-induced harm became cemented in my mind. My last drug ingestion was Tianeptine in November. My question to anyone who has any suggestions and or experiences is in my title – what the hell do I do now? I’m a complete invalid. Living at home with a parent at 25, unable to enjoy much of anything at all, I can’t lose myself in a movie like I did years ago, my mind is just inexplicably turned inward and focused on it’s own arid desolation and fogginess. Reading is a significantly challenging endeavour and writing is difficult (it’s taken me about a week to knock this up into something coherent and semi-legible). I’m just having such trouble formulating a strategy which might give me a chance of getting well again. Just reading this site has given me a bit of hope in that people can get their lives back on track. There’s people here that appear to have got off far harsher drugs and had been on them for longer periods, so I need to keep a perspective of sorts, I’m just terrified at this stage that I’m past the point of no return and that putting what was a fragile brain/mind to begin with in drugs might just have been…… Any help or words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Jack
  8. 20mg of Cymbalta for 10 years without problems for neuropathy I read about negative side affects and ignorantly stopped it cold turkey on 11/25/2015. I had mild depression and insomnia for about 4 weeks. Then one month later, it all hit me WAY hard 10/10: anxiety, agitation, insomnia, Tinnitus and dysphoria. After 6 weeks I restarted Cymbalta at my previous 20mg per day dose and although the symptoms have improved down to about 4/10, I am super sensitive to any psych med, alcohol etc. I have been back on the Cymbalta for almost 3 months now and am wondering how long does it usually take to stabilize to back to where one was? Is this even "neural destabilization?" Should I try and ask my doctor to increase my dose to 30mg of Cymbalta per day? Your site is great and I thank you for all you do. I have been taking Valium 25 mg per day for the past 6 weeks to try to help with the anxiety and insomnia, it does help, but I am still super sensitive to all other meds Weird thing - 1 drink of Alcohol makes all my symptoms dissapear, and then my symptoms are all way worse for two or three days.
  9. Hello. I'm crackerjax. I am 35, female, have severe depression, various types of anxiety (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, agoraphobia, etc.) and PTSD. I am not in great physical shape either, with obesity, Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, hypothyroid, and pre-diabetes. The first time I took meds was, wow, 17 years ago... 2002, in my first year of college, I was prescribed Zoloft and have been through a gamut of many drugs since then. Mainly, it has been over a decade of Cymbalta (ramping up the dosage until I was on the max dose) and clonazepam, which I am still on a small daily dose of (0.5 mg) sometimes with something extra thrown in (for a while Wellbutrin XL, for a while Abilify, I am off both now.) I was admitted to an outpatient hospital in October 2018 (my third outpatient hospital) for severe depression, but realized the program wasn't for me and didn't go back. The psych there took me off the Cymbalta (duloxetine,) I was on the max dose, 120 mg. I was worried she was doing too fast of a taper (over 6 weeks) but she said it had very few severe side effects. Holy crap, was THAT a lie or what? I was desperate to be off the stuff, probably should have done more research... but here we are and I am miserable constantly. I have not seen any psychiatrist since then... it has been since mid-October, but I have an appointment this coming Tuesday. I am sure they will try to reinstate drugs. It has been slightly over 2 months and 2 weeks since my last dose of duloxetine. I feel terrible and it feels like it is constantly getting worse. All of my emotions are extreme. When I am happy it is nice, but even then it is jarring, consuming, obsessive even... also rare. Most of the time I just feel terrible. Mostly it presents itself as deep depression and soul-shattering anxiety and panic that is consuming and constant. My PTSD has been getting triggered more often and severely than ever before as well. The other day I cried so hard I couldn't breathe or talk or calm down, just shaking and freaking out, for literally over 12 hours. I thought I wouldn't be able to stop. That has never happened to me before. My panic has also been out of control. Things I could do a few weeks ago feel almost impossible now, and my agoraphobia is also worse than ever. I keep telling everyone that my emotions are at 11, and they are, kinda always lately, even without a concrete trigger. I have also been having worse insomnia, nightmares... I can't focus or distract myself with anything, spend most of my time thinking terrible things, and my memory is garbage. I used to live across the country and moved back east a little over 2 years ago. I haven't made pretty much any friends since coming back or reconnected with any old friends, so I spend almost all of my time alone, sometimes with my family, who are extremely dysfunctional, don't understand, and don't support me... they are high stress and high drama (also source of PTSD.) My husband is great and does what he can, but also seems to be buckling under the pressure of how extremely bad things have been in the past 2 months, mostly for me, but also for him. Our relationship is great, but strained, I need him constantly and am scared to be alone. My boyfriend (I am in an open relationship) is also very sweet and understanding and supportive, but due to scheduling I get to see him rarely. That's about it in terms of support, along with some long distance friends I never see and rarely talk to. My therapist is new-ish (I've only been seeing her about 6 months, with a long gap because of finances.) Due to crappy insurance I can only see her every other week. I don't think she actually helps much. I just relive my trauma over and over and nothing gets resolved. When my husband gets a new job (he was recently laid off) I will likely switch to a new therapist, possibly DBT based. I'm sorry to be all doom and gloom (though that is why I'm here) so I will say a few positive things. I like to write, though do it rarely. I like cartoons and video games and Muppets. I have some cats, they are great and snuggly. I really like to read, when I can focus long enough. I really need help guys. I feel like I am losing my mind, reaching a breaking point... I did some research on Cymbalta withdrawal and it seems like it lasts a long time, but it DOES end. I am clinging desperately to the hope that at some point in the future my hell will end... but it feels so bad so often it is hard to get through the day most days. If you have any questions or if I did anything wrong, please let me know. I made my signature, but my memory sucks so exact dates are impossible to nail down. Also, should I put my non-psych meds there? Just for reference I am still on the clonazepam 0.5 mg/day with a second dose as necessary, other meds are Metformin 1000 mg 2x/day, Levothroxine 50 mcg/day, and take various vitamins and supplements. Thank you.
  10. today i begin to taper off of cymbalta tonight. i am currently on 90mg and i will be taking 60mg tonight and for the next two weeks. then to 30mg then i will slowly taper off the 30mg by 10% at a time. i'm hoping this will work. i will keep everyone updated!!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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:
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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??
  21. I was put on 120 mg of Duloxetine to help me with my Fibromyalgia. It worked wonderfully. Back in November I was working out and burning 600 calories at the gym each day. Then I caught a cold. If I don’t take my Duloxetine before 10am I am unable to sleep that night. My body does not tolerate sleeping meds. So I don’t take Duloxetine after 10 am. I tried to take it daily but kept missing doses due to feeling miserable and not being able to wake up. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well and sleep about 16-20 hours a day. I also suffer from Meniere’s Disease - bi-lateral hearing loss, dizziness, nausea, and vertigo. I went to see my medical doctor due to feeling like I was dying. Diarrhea 3-6 times a day, not being able to get out of bed, feeling like I am going to faint if I push myself, and actually fainting a couple of times. constant dizziness, vertigo if I move too much, joint aches and pain. She believes it is due to withdrawal from Duloxetine. She wants me to restart it. Now that I am two weeks into total abstinence, I am afraid to restart because I have done so poorly at being able to take it, in spite of my best efforts. I met with doctor that has been giving it to me for the past year and she wants me to start taking it again regularly and will give me 30 mg pills to start me out gently but then wants me to go back up to 120mg daily. After four months of feeling horrible I am afraid to go through withdrawal again yet can’t always take it. I also can’t read through this whole site as my symptoms are horrible right now and have been since January. If you were me, what would you do? Should I tough it out and keep going cold turkey or should I go back on it and risk accidental withdrawal again.
  22. 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!
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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:)
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