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  1. Hi,everyone. My name is Manny.my psiquiatrist wants me to reduce the cymbalta from 60 to 30 mgs. I know it is a 50% reduction.i should decrease only 10%.how do i taper off 10%? And how long it takes? Should i open the capsules and count the number of beads and remove that 10%? How do i ingest the 90% remaining? With water? With juice? Can i do water tritation? I take cymbalta 60,abilify 25,ativan 2.5,risperdal 7.5 mg.
  2. Hi SA, I've lurked this site for a while for information but have decided to make myself part of the community. I have a long intensive history of psychiatric abuse, and I've finally been fighting taking my life back. I'm a 27 year old transsexual male, I reject my psychiatric diagnosis but rather identify as a traumatised neurodivergent psychiatric survivor, I will offer a brief which will inevitably be long history of my psychiatric journey and explain where I am at now. I will write it in bullet points for easier reading. - My initial diagnosis was when I was 9 Dyspraxia (a neurological motor-co-ordination problem) and Sensory Processing Disorder which led to peer alienation, problems with school, behavioural problems, and emotional and mental distress. - When I was 13, I had a scarf osteotomy (operation to remove bunions) and was prescribed 120mg of Codeine, which took my emotional pain away along with my physical pain away, I was taken off CT, and I was isolated, depressed and didn't sleep for a long time, I went through withdrawals and I didn't know what was happening to me. After this I started smoking weed. - When I was 14 I ended up under the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, I had to do all this extra special educational needs stuff, I heard the message everywhere that there was something wrong with me, psychometric testing shoes I have processing speed in the bottom 1% percentile and working memory in the bottom 3 and I self-harmed and starved myself and binge drank - I was traumatised sexually. Dx Depression/Anorexia - When I was 15 I started using harder street drugs, I was traumatised violently and sexually. I got put on 40mg Prozac - 2 months later I revealed to my psychiatrist I was hearing voices and I got put on 5mg of Risperadone - I experienced Hyperprolactinemia, galactorrhea, amenorrhea and gynecomastia (rapid breast enlargement, lactation) my unusual experiences became worse, I was in severe distress, I was switched to 200mg of Seroqual, and in May 2009 tried to take my own life via laceration and overdose, I was put into adolescent psychiatric care and traumatised. My voice hearing was deemed 'non-psychotic pseudo-hallucinations' and I was taken off Seroqual over a few months. I was also given Zopiclone and Ativan. Dx: Severe Depression, Anorexia - At 16 I was drawn to self-medication/substance abuse/drug addiction - Some party drugs - Some hallucinogenics. Expereince trauma events - At 17-18 I came off Prozac and self-medicated with skunk - I pushed my mental health aside to help out an abusive friend with hers. I am diagnosed with demoid Ovary cysts and have them removed - At 18 as I transitioned into Adult Mental Health Services, I was pushed around different clinics, no follow ups, often psychiatrists ot following up I remember having a hard time after a Psych put me on trial of Setraline and after month, cancelling and disappearing leaving to me go through withdrawals. - At 19 - I self-medicated with Ketamine, Skunk, Valium and Alcohol - struggling with my mental health and numbing myself - DX Anxiety, Depression, Borderline Personality At 20 - (2013) I moved to Canada for university, experience new traumatic events. I was diagnosed with ADHD and put on 20mg Adderall, 2mg Ativan, 1mg Clonazepam and 7.5mg Zopiclone (taken for 2 and half months) - I didn't take as prescribed, and experienced psychosis around psychiatry spying on me and insects under my skin and crawling in my bed - terrifying and erratic unusual behaviours but for the first time started to actually thrived in school. Cold Turkey Meds, Crash and try to Overdose and Zopiclone and whiskey at Xmas and then CT 2014 - Told my psychiatrist to **** off and that I didn't want to take meds. She writes I was lying about Adderall withdrawal because there is no such thing, and that I'm an attention seeker whose at chronic risk of acting out. 2 months I go back asking for psych help because I'm struggling get put on Paxil, 20mg Ritalin and 1mg Clonazepam, I stop Paxil soon after taking - after 3 months cold turkey off meds, get put on 50mg Trazadone and then 7.5mg Zopiclone - 5 a week - experience lots of trauma events. I am diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Attend 12 step program, but can't stop drinking . Age 21 - Get refused Stimulant meds due to history of drug abuse, self-med with amphetamine/meth tablets, alcohol and coke - Physical Health rapidly declines, I start puking up blood multiple times a day, I get clean for a month but relapse and am worse than ever. I come out as Transgender and begun social transition - Doctor tells me I have 18 months to live at best. I clean up but my mental health declines and I wind up on psych-wards here and there. Everyone is worried about me and urges I 'get help' - I get put on Citalopram 40mg, Ablify 2.5mg, 200mg Trazadone - My psychiatrist just throws prescriptions at me increasing doses and changes them every 3 months, The meds just make me feel physically and mentally unwell. I stop, Ablify and Citalopram, CT and Psych gives me 100mg of Seroqual, Psych Adds 50mg Strattera Age 22 - I am off and on with sobriety still puking blood, start taking Testosterone pills - I stop Trazadone and Seroqual CT and get put on 40mg Ritalin, 50mg Remeron, 1mg of Clonazepam and 35mg of Loxapine - I move into a mad-friendly ***** punk house that is home. 2016 - I develop an abssess in my tonsil and get put on Oxycodone for a few weeks after it is removed, I stop taking Loxapine due to lactation, in and out of psych wards - usually 48 hours. I stop drinking and attend 12 step meetings. in April I am struggling so much with mental / physical health - I attempt suicide using all the leftover pills - end up in ICU. I get taken off Remeron cold and back on my way, I switch from Testosterone pills to SubQ shots low dose - Accumulation of psych med withdrawals, Post-traumatic Stress, constant transphobia, violence and invalidation of identity, along with the pressure of university - leads to serious mental distress - Ritalin gets Switched to 30mg Adderall, 300mg of Pregabalin Seroqual 50 mg is added, and 200mg Lamatical is added - I move out of my home into an anarchist sober collective. my mental health is worse than ever at this point. I attempt suicide again using all the left of meds - I end up in the ICU again. I am severely mistreated in the psych-ward. I organise a protest/performance and protest the hospital Age 23 .I cold turkey of Lamatical and Seroqual. I relapse and start injecting ketamine. I get put on 5mg Zopiclone for a month, I become preoccupied with an instrusive image of death via fentynal injection, I try to actualise this, but don't die. I get rejected by my friends/support/community and just cannot cope with the increasing and relentless serious and enduring mental health problems that have swallowed me up anymore, I start living alone, very isolated, but still at art school, where all this time I have thrived by documenting and turning my psychitaric trauma into elaborate conceptual, installation pieces and performance pieces, drawings and paintings, For those past few years when I am not at the clinic, psych-ward hospital, church basement or bed-ridden with debilitating symptoms - I have been in the studio challenging it into my art which I call Manic Expressionism / Emotional Exhibitionism. I get put into intensive 3x a week OP - DBT treatment - I develop tendonitis and chronic pain - I get put on 20mg Oxycodone, Cyclobenzoprine, my Pregabalin doubled to 600mg for 3 months, I graduate my final exhibition is an installation closet covered in my psych-notes, painted with demons and photocopies of all my sketchbooks that have documented the hell I've been through, I also make a 60 Minute film of me nodding out on Oxycodone, and sardonically thank my class for critiquing and grading my suffering for 4 years - I graduate with a 3.75 GPA. I cold turkey off the pain meds, I suffer but I feel a sense of life again and start dating and falling in love, I rebuild my friend circles. I CT off Adderall move across the country into a derelict punk house with mice and black mould, my health is worse than ever, I can't get out of bed , I get put on Suboxone and have a seizure, the pharmacy by mistake gives me hundreds of extra Clonazepam - I start taking 5-6mg a day - I start to bottom out - I experience police trauma.I go back on 30mg Adderall, My Visa ends and I go back to the U.K in horrific physical, emotional, mental and shape. Age 24 - get on 200mg Tramadol and hit a dramatic bottom at my parents house - I decide I want off pills and ask for help from the Drug and Alcohol services, I get put on 40mg of Valium tapering 2mg every two weeks, and switch from Adderall to 70mg Lisdexamfetamine, I am bed ridden - my physical pain is at it's worst point, I am in serious mental distress, having unusual experiences and problematic behaviour - but I think you can imagine and get the point by now. I get a diagnosis of Complex Reigional Pain Syndrome and self-med with large amounts of Ketamine. At this point I am awaiting to get into detox/rehab it takes 9 months to get a bed. I briefly go back to Canada and start an intense romantic relationship. My bottoming out, becomes a live performance piece, with 10,000 empty pills in a bathtub in a gallery, and installation showcasing a mix of all my mad art. I enter Detox on the verge of death on - 70mg Lisdexamfetamine, 600mg Pregabalin, 200mg Tramadol, 4mg Valium. I am taken off Tramadol in 4 days, then in the next 3 weeks I am taken off the 4mg Valium and then 600mg Pregabalin - I was reduced to 50mg Lisdexamfetamine the first week of detox. I had seizures, I don't get as much as 15 minutes sleep for 6 weeks, and don't sleep a night for 3 months, I have journals of all the horrific things I went through - After 2 months I am taken off Lisdexamfetamine cold turkey and thing get from bad to worse. I complete my 12 weeks and am moved to secondary rehab. Age 25 - I am put on 30mg Duloxatine due to my mental health not improving after being in treatment for 4 months, I work my recovery really hard, I believe in being clean and 12 step program, I look at my self, my behaviours, I become passionate about my recovery because I just don't want to be in pain anymore. I get out of treatment I go back on 70mg Lisdexamfetamine and move back to Canada to be with my love, I make the 12 step program the centre of my world, I am happy for the first time in my life, I develop regular seizures, I cold turkey off Duloxatine and lisdexamfetamine - I experience 6 weeks of acute physical withdrawals then protracted withdrawals - my relationship gets strained - My 6 months in Canada ends I am heartbroken in England, I go back on lisdexamfetamine but stay clean, my protracted withdrawals reach an unbearable point but I just think I am suicidally depressed, and I reinstate Duloxatine and have scarily immediate relief - Age 26 - I get into my dream Grad School program - MSc in Art and Mental Health after starting my application with psych ward anecdotes 2 months after being introduced to the Power Threat Meaning Framework, Anti-Psychiatry and Critical Disability, schools of thought my life changes, I learn about the slow taper and begin 10% every 2 weeks. The symptoms are severe due to my nervous system ruptured by neurodivergence, trauma, addiction and psychitary - I have documented all of it via painting most days. I experience abusive unstable housing and have now moved every 3 months for 2 years - global pandemic, heartbreak, I thrive in my course school I am believed, my experiential knowledge is valued. I push through my withdrawals because I want to survive psychitary and emerge the other side, I want to live, even though my withdrawals are debilitating, I have hopes and dreams, I am fatigued much of the time, my exucutive functioning is shot, but I can excel in my writing and reading critical psych material, Age 27 - I just got kicked out yet another place because of my motor-disability, and was denied housing everywhere in the seaside town I tried to escape due to discimnation for me being transsexual (my IDs doesn't match) I moved back to family home and repaired the very damaged relationship - I am now housesitting for them while they are away. I'm down to 3.2mg of Duloxatine (20 beads) , I graduated my MSc with distinction which blows my mind, because some days I can't remember how to pour a glass of water and just pace in a confused delirum, unable to do tasks. My sleep has recovered from the benzo damage, I am 2 years sober and still in 12 steps - Things are tough but could be worse. I am studying a Hypnotherapy course right now. I am working on a book that will include academic mad studies papers, personal essays and all my artwork from my AD taper from I have been removing 2 beads at a time - I have windows where I start to feel alive I am day 10 into my last cut and my mood is bright, physically not too great but not sure what is my base. and plan on slow tapering the 70mg of Lisdexamfetamine once I have done the Duloxatine - There's so much more to story that's long but vague version - a lot more extraordinary both positive and negative has happened, I tried to include what I thought was important to my story, I didn't really list symptoms but it varies, and honestly I don't know what is me, what is having a body, what is the meds, what is the trauma, what is the chronic pain, what is the neurodivergence and processing/memory struggles I had before I was severely traumatised, became an drug addict, and had all this iatrogenesis, I'm trying not to mourn who I could've have been, embrace the uncertainty, ride the waves. My aim is too take back my life that was stolen, and change the outcome of my future, I believe in neuro-plasticity, I'm not trying to recover any aspect of who I was before medication, but I have through my creative practice learnt to make the most out of the hand I've been dealt, and channel that anger at my oppression and being abused by psychiatry into creative means, and helping and supporting others who have also been damaged - Look forward to talking to some of you, I haven't been on a forum since I was 16. I am not always positive about it, I am so tired of tapering, and detoxing and being ill, and it's so daunting that I have such a long way to go, but I can do today, and that's all I ever need to do. If anyone is interested would love to share some of my artwork! Dirtvoid
  3. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  4. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  5. Hello. I'm 21 y.o. male. My story with ADs. I was taking Cytalopram ~8 months in 2019, then I stopped it myself as I was not seeing any effect. 07.07.2022 I took first 30mg of prescribed duloxetine before sleep. (Also I was prescribed it with Lamotrigine, Atarax. I strated them a week or two before.) After 2.5h of sleep I woke up with strange feeling. It was difficult to focus, it was getting dark in my eyes. Seems like my pressure got low so I even called to ambulance, but they said ti is just adverse effect and it's ok. Then it got better, but it was a strange feeling in my head all next day. I drank a lot of water (~6 liters) to decrease this drug effect. I was trying to sleep, but wake up every 1-2 hous. I read about a possible PSSD, even after a few days of taking it. Fortunately, yesturday I tried and it seems like it was ok with orgasm. Also I slept today and seems I'm feeling better, but have slight kind of lightheadedness. Of course, I wouldn't take this drugs anymore. Maybe you can reassure me that nothing terrible will happen to my brain from one pill? I would like advice about some lifestyle changes/supplement/diet to minimize effects of this drugs and reduce anxiety. Btw last few months I used to go to the gym and eat healthy diet. When is the best time for me to exercise? Thank you in advance. I appreciate this community.
  6. Hi there, I'm a new one here. Luckily, I've found this website because we don't have any single website which helps people who want to stop taking antidepressants in my country. My name is Anastasia, I'm 32. I work as a teacher at school. I'm married and have a lovely cat. I take antidepressants for 11 years. I've always been a shy person with lack of confidence. Since my childhood I've suffered from intrusive thoughts just about any imaginable staff. The first time I went to the psychiatrist was because of intrusive thoughts about my relationship. And my horror story began. I had various reasons for my constant painful thoughts. I had permament nausea, irritable bowel, which didn't let me leave my house, a sense of guilt, depressive thoughts, anxiety. constant tears and just liying at home and staring at one point - not all at once, of course. These were the reasons for many many visits to the doctor. Each time antidepressants helped a lot and I was back to life again. Can't say I was always in a good mood, but, nevertheless, I could live. I really don't remember the years and dosage of medicines, but in different periods I took amitriptilin, venlafaxine, zoloft, duloxetine, fluoxetine, phenazipame, atarax. One day pills stopped helping me. I changed three doctors hoping someone'll help me. The first one finally said that my brain had become tolerant to drugs and I had to quit. I tried so many times and always my thoughts came back and tortured me. The second doc said I had endogenous depression and it's ok to take antidepresants just for the whole life. She also said that if one medicine didn't help, so let's try another. And we tried and changed. My thoughts and depression didn't go away, but I felt not well, not bad. The third doc finally said that my diagnose was anxiery disorder and eating disorder. Insisted on treating my depression to the end and then quit. My latest medicine was venlafaxine 75 mg. But I decided to come to my first doctor and tried to withdraw like 37, 5 - one week, 18,75 - two weeks. Now it's three weeks I'm off. And it's just a hell. My thoughts (now about my weight and shape) have become more painful than they were on medicines. I find it hard to go outside because I feel really uncomfortable in all my clothes. It seems they are too tight. I'm depressed, angry and nervous. I can't do anything and distract myself. Even in my pyjamas I feel fat and uncomfortable. The story of my eating disorder: when I got married, my husband and I gained some weight. Then we started keeping to a diet. We lost weight and I felt just great for some time. Then it wasn't enough and I started to eat 1000 calories a day. But still I had a fat belly and wasn't satisfied with my weight and the way I looked. I gave up dieting and gained half the weight I had lost previously. Now I'm obsessed with my weight and it's just a nightmare. I think about it 24/7 but can't stop eating. Food is the only thing that gives me pleasure. I tried Gestalt therapy and CBT a bit, but I'm convinced that these sessions just do nothing. I understand everything, nod to the psychologist but don't believe it can help. I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life. The only wish I have now is to stop this suffering, by means of drugs or not, I don't know. I 'm studying this website and try to understand all the mechanisms. I'm not sure I'll manage to tolerate this for many years, it's been only three weeks but I'm completely exhausted. The reason why I wanted to quit was to have a baby, but it's practically impossible to think about pregnancy and birth now because of my condition. Seeking for help and support. Thank you in advance. PS: I was really frightened to start my topic here because of the country where I live, because of my nationality. But I want you to know that I just can't stand all the hell that is going on right now in the world. Of course, it adds a lot to my anxiety and depression.
  7. In August of 2021 will be a four-year ordeal that began with a breaking through (tolerance) of the SSRI medication (Celexa) I was on for 20 years. During this four-year period, I experienced over 75 symptoms associated with psychotropic medication withdrawal and at two different times was at zero quality of life. Once for five months (within the first year) and the once for four months (in year two) three months after my last dose of medication. I have been treated by a Psychiatrist, several counselors, two functional medicine doctors, two nutritionist, two specialists with psychotropic medication withdrawal, a geneticist and spent over a year and a half treated by a Dr. who specializes with hard-to-treat depression and anxiety cases. I have been on several strict diets (anti-inflammatory, vegetarian) and taken countless supplements. I have been tested for many possible underlying conditions. Although my condition has improved slowly (many symptoms have abated) I am still impaired living with severe insomnia, depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Concentration, speech, motivation, fatigue are all residual issues that continue to come and go with no predictable pattern but as of late cognition, speech and energy level have all improved. Prior to taking psychotropic medications, I lived with dysthymia (PDD) with major depressive episodes until 34 years old. I was not aware of the condition until that time. Looking back it effected my motivation, outlook on life, self-confidence and career decisions. I took Celexa for 20 years and it worked well for about 12-15 years. A whole new world of consistent positive emotions opened up soon after starting the drug. The last five or so years I was emotionally numb with no real highs but depression, insomnia and anxiety were not factors. It should be noted that for about eight of those years the dosage was 80 mg. In the summer of 2017, I noticed increased anxiety levels and insomnia had returned similar to when I when on medication. I then realized I was breaking through the medication. Agitation and aggression also started increasing. My psychiatrist then prescribed multiple medications over a period of five months. I experienced intense acute withdrawal symptoms. These drugs included Lexapro, Cymbalta, and Prozac. I stopped all meds after five months in December of 2017 for a period of one and a half months (symptoms intensified). At the end of the month and a half, I tried Ketamine infusions and my quality of life was reduced to zero. This intense period lasted five months. During this five-month period, new and previously prescribed drugs were given including Prozac, Trintellex, Lexapro, Klonopin (5 mg.), and Trazodone. In May of 2018, I began a slow taper with an organization to come off all medications. The taper ended in August of 2019. The order of the taper was Trintellex, Trazadone, Klonopin, and Prozac. During the taper, a number of symptoms lessened but would return later with varying intensity and duration (e.g., visual distortions, brain zaps, dizziness, numerous cognitive issues). However, after the taper, several symptoms slowly increased in severity including insomnia (severe), depression (moderate to severe), concentration (moderate), anxiety moderate to severe), depersonalization/derealization (moderate). The symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression were the most constant. Immediately after my taper, quality of life was reduced significantly (close to zero). This in spite of working with a functional medical doctor and nutritionist for treatment. Three months later, I reached zero quality of life again and in the winter of 2019 I went to a clinic that specialized in hard to treat cases in hope they could help. My condition improved slowly but not much. I was put on supplements to address sleep and high free copper levels. The treatment for free copper lasted over a year with zinc supplements reaching 250 mg before it was determined my free copper levels were down. Sleep problems remained unchanged. After two years of being treating I was still severely symptomatic and was told I was one of only 10% of patients that they were not able to help. In desperation and on recommendation, I reached out to an organization the deals with genetic testing. They put me on more supplements in which I reacted negatively. Currently, insomnia remains bad. I wake every night after about three hours with an intense mixture of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression, guilt, shame) that have no basis in circumstances. My sleep is tumultuous at best, waking multiple times before experiencing electrical like sensations about 45 minutes prior to waking. Most mornings I cannot go back to sleep because of these sensations. My sleep hygiene is very good and has been for a while. Nothing seems to help in this area. I take magnesium and have taken a number of other supplements and natural sleep aids, but none have worked. However, I now go through withdrawal if I forget to take the magnesium. In summary, this August it will be four years. Two of which have been medication free. My symptoms have improved in number, intensity and duration. However, I still deal with insomnia, depression and anxiety in varying patterns. I do have some windows but never a full day and have not slept through the night except once in 4 years. Trying to discern withdrawal symptoms from underlying symptoms is challenging. Sleep was never a problem prior to taking medications and nothing close to what I live with now. I do not understand why is so bad when I have practiced excellent sleep hygiene for a while. The anxiety and depression have similarities to my pre-existing condition but also have major differences. For example, I can be dealing with a situation in the morning that seems to be causing depression or anxiety and in the evening I am thinking about the same situation and feel neither anxiety or depression and can view the situation in rational emotionally stable state. I am very strong in my belief about my identity but will sometimes experience strong emotions of insecurity that I know are absolutely baseless and absurd. The same goes for anxiety and depression. The emotions seem to have a mind of their own. There is a strong disconnect between what I know to be true and my emotions. Like fearing something that you know is rationally nothing to fear. I have many questions that I probably already know the answer, but I will throw them out for your feedback. 1. Did the poly drugging exacerbate the withdrawal/healing process. 2. What about the ketamine? That drug sent me off into the abyss of torturous emotions. It was like I was being brutally tortured non-stop for five months night and day. The emotions were beyond description. Zero peace and joy. 3. Are my current symptoms (they still can be very debilitating and intense) uncommon this far out from being off meds? 4. I did a slow taper and was told I would probably heal quickly only to go back to zero quality of life three months later. Any thoughts? 5. Although most of the people who have tried to help have been well-meaning, none have been able to significantly alter my condition. I have appreciated their encouragement and compassion, but their treatments have not been able to move the healing needle. Most supplements inflated my symptoms or did nothing at all. The free copper diagnosis and treatment did bring a little relief but only a little. 6. I have read that sleep is one of the last things to return to normal, but four years later it still is bad. Any thoughts? Feel free to ask questions or make comments. Thank you for taking the time to read.
  8. I started on Cymbalta 60 mg 4 years ago, (after 1-2 weeks @ 30 mg); the scrip was from a psychiatrist for major depressive disorder. My depression lifted significantly. After 1 year (+/-) the psychiatrist and I agreed that my family practitioner would handle the prescription and supervision. I was ready to go off the cymbalta and was planning to go of the meds until a couple of deaths close to me occurred. I agreed with my doc that it wasn't the time to make changes in the meds. About 15 years ago I was on Effexor XR and had a helluva time getting off it, even with bead counting. After having read the slow pace recommended here, I probably decreased too quickly. I remember the roller-coaster ride of symptoms (physical, emotional, and cognitive) but forgot about the bead counting. When I started both Effexor & Cymbalta, I had nausea for a couple of days. On my FP's advice, I started going off cymbalta in Feb. by taking 30 mg every other day for a few weeks, then every 3 days, etc. This last week I was starting with 30 mg every 4 days. Fortunately I was using a calendar reminder in my google calendar to keep the schedule. I say fortunately because on Tuesday I had nausea and on Saturday. When I looked at my calendar to mark the reminder as "done," I realized that the nausea was probably related to the cymbalta. Now that I think of it, I started having disrupted sleep and messed-up wake/sleep cycles in March. A web search (DuckDuckGo instead of the big G) led me here and reminded me that slow tapering and counting the granules worked better for me before. My plan now: I have 6 capsules leftover from 60 mg doses. I'll split each into 3 doses, approx. 20 mg, and try 20 mg/day for 18 days (to use them up), making adjustments if necessary. Based on how that goes, I'll either continue at 20 mg or start a 10% taper to 18 mg over 28-30 days.
  9. Hi, So I finally understood that it is strongly recommended to write a little something about my experiences here. I will just copy some parts of my posts I have shared in this forum to sum up. Recent developments: I myself have intolerable withdrawal symptoms even reducing 5% of the drug. They are unbearable, both physically and mentally. They totally incapacitate me for weeks (I sleep up to 15h a day, terrible brain fog and dizziness up to the point where I cannot walk, of course the brain zaps and lots of pains in different parts of the body etc) (I will not mention the mental effects, they are really bad...) and then on it is still bad but keeps stabilizing very slowly. At this point (after tapering for years) I am seriously considering coming off the 8,44 mg altogether because I am just unable to go through the symptoms that come after a reduction so many times any more. Because the withdrawal symptoms are extreme for me I am thinking it would be better to cut off the drug now at 8,44 mg and hope the nervous system will start balancing itself out than to go through this hell for at least another year (which is the very optimistic time frame). Note: I have decided to go with this idea - I am going from 8,44 to 1 mg in 8 days. (today being the 3rd day: April 3rd 2015 ). Before judging please read the history of my experiences to understand why I personally have decided to take this approach now in the very end of tapering. My experience: I have been tapering at different pace throughout the process. Since the beginning I have made the reductions by 10% or even 5 % when I realised that the symptoms were directly caused by the reductions. I was aware (theoretically) that my symptoms can be caused by the drug, its side effects and withdrawal, but I didn't really believe it for a long time. Or it would be more correct to say I always had doubts whether it was still more me being crazy and ill. So for a long time in the beginning (I have been tapering for over 2 years) I kept tapering with intervals that I now realise were not nearly enough for my brain to stabilize, but I was not fully aware that the withdrawal symptoms could be so severe and last for so long that I figured the reason had to be somewhere else. I just tapered according to the planned schedule, keeping aprox. 3 week intervals (and unfortunately, optimistically 2 week intervals). I also tried micro tapering every week, but needless to say that proved to be harsh on my nervous system and was keeping me in a constant state of agony. During the last 9 months or so I have had to keep longer periods between reductions in order to stabilize (I realised more and more that what I was experiencing was due to the reduction of the medication and the link got clearer by the day), but I cannot even estimate the stabilization point. For some of my friends it is perfectly clear - their withdrawal "cycle" is short and simple: they know that their symptoms will come 1-2 days after the reduction and last for about a week (max). This is not the case for me. One week for me is the extremely acute period (which would correspond to maybe the 1st 1-2 days of my friends' cycles) and as much as I would like to see a noticeable improvement during week 2, I can only say that it gets slightly better than the extreme, but not nearly enough to function to a standard that would/could be acceptable or tolerable. After recently having a 6 week and a 2 month gap between reductions I can say that during the 2 month gap I guess you cold say that I started to feel like the symptoms were starting to actually stabilize for the fist time for me subjectively. That enabled me to observe how the affects of withdrawal came about abruptly and directly connected to the reduction. In more detail: I'm having a hard time remembering exactly how long I have been taking certain drugs. Seems like forever. I was first prescribed Fluoxetine when I was 17. I am 30 now and for 13 years I have constantly been on and off different antidepressants - the whole spectrum of them. For a very short while I was even on antipsychotics (a month or so). I have always had awful side effects and have discontinued the drugs after a while, switched from one drug to another etc. It wasn't until a few years ago when I finally became aware and educated myself on the topic of antidepressant withdrawal and the harm they cause. (I would really suggest two books for a real eye-opening: Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime by Peter R. Breggin and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker). When I think back on the years on these meds and realising now what they have done with me, it makes me indescribably angry and sad. I have had awful side effects for years and discontinuation effects that I only realise in retrospect for what they were. Last drug I discontinued before Cymbalta was Venlafaxine (Effexor) which is another nightmare next to Cymbalta. Unfortunately then I was not aware of the methods of slow tapering and the discontinuation symptoms literally almost killed me (the "brain zaps", disorientation and dizziness were so severe that I almost tumbled in front of a moving car one day). By then I was already google-smart on the discontinuation side effects these meds have but was still unaware how to slowly taper. I was very reluctant to start taking Cymbalta but was convinced it was necessary by mu doctor. I started with the idea that I would only be taking the drug for a few months. Well, months become a year before I started tapering. I was taking 60 mg of the drug. When I started tapering it was very difficult for me to distinguish between the effects of withdrawal symptoms and my usual symptoms. A lot of the time I did not believe that the drug could be causing all the mental and physical symptoms and was afraid that it was just me. By know (as I described in my previous post) I have realised that a lot of this has been the drug's effect, but I am still afraid whether these effects can be undone. I have no way of knowing whether the decade of these drugs has caused permanent damage on my nervous system. I have tapered using different strategies. I have never tapered more than 10% of the last dosage, but I did reduce very often for a long time (after making a schedule I tapered every 2-3 weeks). It was because I could not really believe that my symptoms were so severely caused by the withdrawal. Later when I tried longer stabilizing periods I experienced how the withdrawal effects were sudden and obvious and followed a certain pattern (for Cymbalta and for me it is 1st day - no different, 2nd day slightly lowered mood, mild brain zaps etc, 3rd day - hell!). Withdrawal symptoms: The first week, on day 3 I start to have terrible crying spells. Literally for days I keep crying. Well, of course not 24/7 but for most part of the first days I am in tears. I am not sure how long that lasts but at least half a week. At some point the crying is replaced by despair and major depressive feelings. This is the worst symptom and the best I know to describe it is that while having this I feel that I cannot bear living for another minute more. I just want the suffering to stop. And it doesn't. And that can get better for half a day or even an entire day, but still last for... well, an unknown amount of time. I know I could handle any kind of symptoms - all the pain and crying and everything, but this is unbearable. The only thing that helps is numbing the feelings with Xanax. I do not drink alcohol but I can totally understand why people would choose to numb their pain with it. I suppose it is not at all different from taking Xanax - they're both a sort of a poison for the body and the brain. From physical symptoms the strongest ones I have is exhaustion (up to the point where it is ridiculous even), I have strong neurological symptoms (brain fog, brain zaps - they are a sort of a mini seizure, extreme sleepiness - sleeping up to 15h a day, not being able to shake the drowsiness and fogginess for the most part of the day, I have strong neural pain in the left side of my body - in the left arm, shoulder, back of the head, behind the eye, vision problems, extreme sensitivity to sounds (!) and a general sensory oversensitivity, nausea of course. Oh, I remembered for some period during the tapering I sweated extremely. I usually sweat really little. I also sweat a lot during the night. The flu-like symptoms occur. Ohwell... the list is so long it is embarrassing. And these symptoms don't really seem to pass fast. They just last and last so that I get to thinking it is ridiculous. But it still keeps happening. Oh and from time to time comes the agitation and irritability. I can feel how my thinking gets impaired - it slows down, the memory gets really-really bad, I cannot remember words and names (I used to think it was just me or a symptom of depression, but now I have established a clear link between the symptoms and the reduction of the meds). Oh, and the restless legs of course. My method of tapering: I have developed a method for myself for tapering off Cymbalta that I have not encountered in this forum or any others so I thought I should share it. For the very reason that the beads inside a Cymbalta capsule are not the same size (two capsules might not contain the same amount of beads) and I do not have a scale to measure such small portions, I have come up with an alternative. What I did is I folded a paper in half from the middle, creating a void where I could pour the beads and they would stay in a straight line next to each other. In that way I created a measurable line of the contents of a capsule. Right now I use a 30 mg capsule which creates a 25,5 cm line (fits on a regular A4 paper), but when I was using a 60 mg capsule I had to devide the beads into portions and measure them all and calculate from there on. Now I am not particularly fond of mathematics, but with a few simple calculations and a lot of concentration ( ) I was able to calculate how many mg of the medicine was in a line of the medicine of a certain lenght. So when 30 mg of Cymbalta is 25,5 cm, that meas for example, that 15 mg of Cymbalta would be 12,75 cm etc. (This is specific to the capsules I use bought from Estonia, yours could be very different so you should always measure your own medication!) I use the same folded paper (with markings on it) every day to pour a certain amount of beads out from the capsule. So if I am using a 30 mg capsule and I am - let's say - at 20 mg daily dosage I would have to calculate how many (what lenght) beads I would have to extract from the capsule before taking the medicine. So I have established that 30 mg = 25,5 cm. That means 20 mg = 17 cm. I know that there is 25,5 cm of beads (30 mg) in the capsule so I have to pour out 10 mg = 8,5 cm. It really makes no difference, if you calculate it in cm or mg after you have established the relation between the two. So I have a marking on the paper and each day I pour out a 8,5 cm line. And if i reduce the dosage I just make another marking. It is actually very easy to do the reduction just visually, when you have drawn the lines beforehand and calculated what necessary. You also have the history of your reductions right there under your eyes. I always write the date of the reduction next to the specific line every time, so I have a good visual overview of what, when etc.
  10. I take Duloxetine 60 mg and want (not alone of course but with my psychiatrist) to start reducing the dose by 1 mg every week. I read the 10% method. but why not 1mg every week? seems to me more gradual. and during the last 10mg - only then - to do the 10% method. What do you think?
  11. Hello I have been on Anti Depressants since 2016. The only one that made any difference for a few months was Duloxetine 50mg. That stopped working for both depression and anxiety so I discontinued it back in 2019. I was ok for a couple of months but then started feeling anxious again, and the GP reintroduced it. Fast forward to 2021 and a bad dose of Long COVID, and I had to stop the Duloxetine as it was giving me heart disregulation. I then tried Escitalapram for a few weeks but was unable to tolerate it, so the GP prescribed me Mirtazapine. This was put up to 30mg in March 2022, then I developed severe anxiety and discontinued, having a cross taper to Duloxetine again. Whilst cross-tapering, I discovered that the combination of Duloxetine and Mirtazapine seemed to stop my anxiety and so the GP has prescribed this combo. I am only in week 1, but some days I feel fine, and then like today, all I want to do is crash out. I have no job at the moment and feel pretty hopeless. After reading the report in today's news regarding the lack of evidence for the Serotonin hypothesis, I feel like just binning the whole lot of antidepressants, and using diazepam to withdraw off the lot. However, every time I come off antidepressants, I feel like my symptoms rebound. I am starting to feel like a chemistry play set, and don't want to feel this way. I am 47, wife a family.
  12. First time on site. Looking for help. I went off my Paxil after 13 years waaaaaaay too fast and am now experiencing horrible PAWS symptoms. Panic, anxiety. My dr is treating it as a relapse, but never felt that was really what was going on. Last night I read about post acute withdrawal syndrome and knew I had discovered what I was experiencing. About 2 weeks ago my dr put me on Duloxitine. Still not helping. Does anyone have any suggestions on drs or clinic that might be able to help? Also, what about going back on a low dose of Paxil again. I am open to all suggestions! thank you
  13. i swore i would never take an snri again after what i went through on effexor, but he suggested i try cymbalta for the chronic pain and told me that generally there are less side effects/zaps than with effexor, so i said i would give it a try. my psychologist and his super decided that i have bipolar 2 not mdd, but the pdoc waved this away and didn’t even consider mood stabilizers. when my pdoc raised my dose of cymbalta after i expressed a wish to discontinue, and wrote in my record that i display “abnormal illness behaviors” (which just means i disagree with him?), i have decided to get off the ADs once and for all.
  14. Hi.. My story is, “briefly“, that I have within the past 3 years, been on... so. Much. Crap. And I am currently in withdrawal torture from hell and have been for years now. In the beginning of 2019, I had a very bad stress / anxiety reaction, and I was quickly put on medication. Benzodiazepines for two months along with starting Zoloft. Quit Benzos cold turkey (doctor’s orders) and then Zoloft was upped to 125 mg (in hindsight I am pretty sure it was because I reacted strongly to Benzo quitting). I felt completely horrible on Zoloft and tapered off over the course of 2.5 months (doctor’s orders). Then I was in complete hell and couldn’t sleep so after being “clean” for one month, I was put on 7.5 mg. Mirtazapine. I could FINALLY sleep and it did seem to help my anxiety a bit? I still had a lot of strange horrendous symptoms though but I don’t know if that was from Mirtazapine or SSRI withdrawal ...? Can a dosis of 7.5 mg. Mirtazapine cancel out severe SSRI withdrawal? Anyway - So in 2020 I was on Mirtazapine up and down weekly between 7.5 and smaller doses (doctor said I could just adjust from day to day). I ended up just completely wrecked and just lied in bed in a haze.. so they took me off Mirtazapine and started me on 60 mg. Duloxetine plus Promethazine for sleep. Total haze still, awful.. So off it again after 7 months - tapered from 60 mg. Duloxetine to 0 over 4 weeks. Then felt .... HORRIBLE (!!!) and started self medicating with Benzodiazepines while I waited for withdrawal to end for two months- until my doctor found out and said stop that. Then I was put on Pregabalin and Escitalopram 10 mg. from March 2021 until I wanted to quit (because I was a complete foggy hazy wreck on that as well). Stopped Pregabalin in May and Escitalopram in July (tapered from 10 mg. to 0 over 4 weeks). In September I tried to take a tiny dose of Escitalopram to ease the horrendous withdrawal symptoms .. but that didn’t work and I felt worse. So I just thought I’d push through this indescribable nightmare... in December however I took 1/2 pill of Benzodiazepine twice because it was so unbearable. So.. now it is 9 months since I stopped Escitalopram (/6 months since I tried a small dose for a week) and 4 months since Benzodiazepines.. I can’t describe how much of a hell it has been AND STILL IS 😔 I have constantly tried to tell myself that it WILL and MUST get better soon. And while some symptoms have gotten better, I have almost no life by now. I hardly see anyone because I just can’t due to symptoms, I hardly exercise or leave my apartment. Some days, like today, it is almost constant torture. A week ago I tried Melatonin (4.5 mg. over two days) and then I’ve tried some Valerian root pills.. somehow it’s gotten worse now. So.......... bottom line: I’m thinking about starting Mirtazapine just to ease the withdrawal symptoms and to make sure I sleep better. Right now no matter how much I sleep, I am never rested and feel like I haven’t slept for days everyday. But I am BEYOND scared that it will make everything worse, and then I have yet another drug to get free from. So yeah.. does anyone know if Mirtazapine can help SSRI withdrawal symptoms? I honestly don’t know what to do. Thanks and sorry about the long message. I feel pretty desperate. 😔 Best Louise
  15. Introduction topic: karenrose-what-a-journey Hi everyone. I guess this is my success story check in. I've been off for almost a year (just a few more weeks) and feel better than I have in years. This forum and the help I got here was literally a life saver. Thank you so much to the people who helped me when I was suffering so much I could not stand being alive anymore. I still struggle a little bit with blood sugar issues, mucus, and restless sleep but it's getting better. I am no longer depressed - amazing. Not anxious. I have had many waves but the last few ones have been tiny. I am prepared for bigger waves but no longer scared of them. And haven't had one for a while. I feel healed and withdrawal is becoming a distant memory. What helped me the most to come off and to heal? I am not recommending any of it - just saying what worked for me after trying just about everything for years. In case it can inspire someone. Ultra slow tapering - feel free to take a look at my journey. The key was listening to my body, not the numbers. It made all the difference and I learned it here. Whole foods super nutritious diet without allergens. No sugar, caffeine, alcohol. I used the AIP diet. Lots of clean water. EFT tapping and EMDR for pervasive trauma, emotional pain, stress and anxiety. Dancing for exercise and stress release (no need to go out - did it at home). Still working on getting back in shape. Coffee enemas for migraines and feeling toxic and achey. I know this is controversial and may not be for everyone. It worked very well for me. Meditation in the morning - five to ten minutes. I was convinced at several points I could not do it. If this is you, know that you can. Much support and hope, Karen
  16. Hello there, I had taken 60 mg Duloxetine since January 2018. I started tapering in Jan. 2021 down to 18.5 mg in summer and held that dose. It was a bit rough at times but I got through the year and more and more stable until December 11 2021 when I cut down to 4.7 mg for about two weeks and then down to 0 mg on December 27 2021. I also took 60 mg Methylphenidate since Sep. 2013 and tapered to zero from September to December 2021. I really don't want to be on stimulants anymore only to be functionaly and able to work (doing things I am not interested in). They also raise my blood pressure and have so many adverse effects. I had paid time off and much time with my family in December and actually felt pretty good. Had no duloxetine withdrawal symptoms at all except some dizziness when looking to the side (I guess like a pre-stage to brain zaps) that subsided both times after and tinnitus one night. Was only slightly sluggish on some days. (Since I also quit my ADHD med.) Had to work again in January this year and still did well emotionally/mentally at first. But I noticed that I really cannot (or want not?) focus on work and that it's definitely not the same without ADHD meds. I used to be that talented programmer but I wonder what is left without stimulants. After one week that turned into real frustration... On January 13 I was so stressed that I abused some 2C-B (short-acting psychedelic and aphrodisiac) nasally after work and found out that even then I have PSSD. The following day I tried a microdose of LSD to see if that could help with my focus as an alternative to conventional ADHD meds. It didn't really help. I have to say that I have a history of multiple substance abuse disorder but actually I am clean and in the direction of a much healthier life since 2020/2021. I really regret that accident that seemed to trigger the withdrawal/HPPD wave I am currently in... Symptoms I have/had: anxiety and agitation (no panic attacks so far but 'anxious breath' and constant worrying) thinking about and re-imagining negative experiences in the past from childhood until now occasional suicidal thoughts (never had that before in my life actually) body/muscle aches PSSD HPPD loss of all interests, indecisiveness unable to focus, can't think clearly, mind wandering procrastination earworm of the same tune since two weeks or so voices, words and sentences racing through my mind when going to bed (like the tetris effect) I also really regret that I CTed the duloxetine in December. Did all the hard work in 2021 and did the disciplined taper for the whole year despite what everyone else (not here) says regarding SSRI 'discontinuation'. I really wanted to use vacations as much as possible as a 'shortcut' and thought to give a complete withdrawal a try (and didn't notice any issues for a while). And I actually wanted what my psychiatrist and a friend says to be true even if I knew better and know SA since spring last year. And I neglected or didn't know of the possibility of delayed withdrawal syndrome. I think it could be much worse when I read some of the other posts in this forum. For example I can sleep without problems, although I get the intense cortisol wakeup and don't want to get out of bed when I wakeup because it is like I don't want or cannot tackle life at the moment. I really fear losing my job or crashing my career as a software developer. Can't really work right now (4 weeks in WD) because it's so mentally taxing (for me right now) and I cannot focus. So I procrastinate and fake all the time so far. Can't go well for too long. I am constantly worrying about my withdrawal situation and whether I should take Methylphenidate again. On the other side my current job gets worse and worse, many people are leaving the company and I would like to apply for something better, too. But then I need to be stable. My current job or situation prevents me to be stable and needs me to be stable at the same time. A vicous circle... I really need a solution and think that I cannot ride this out. Maybe I can and it's just willpower but I doubt it. On some days I feel better but it's not consistent. I used low doses of methylphenidate on some days last week and this week. They didn't really help. I cannot focus and procrastinate all the time. That also makes me more anxious. I run 10 - 12 km every other day since a few months, take some multivitamin, fish oil and magnesium. Bright light in the morning. No recreational drugs except said accident. Daily meditation since withdrawal/HPPD began. So I am thinking about reinstatement of duloxetine. What dose would you suggest? 1 mg? 5 mg? I tried 1 mg this monday and felt better after a few hours. The only really unacceptable drawback was insomnia: I could get to sleep fairly well but woke up after one hour of sleep and could not sleep again. Insomnia really destroys my work performance and makes everything worse. Sorry for that lengthy post. I really struggle to filter out what's important and what not and am so desperate now. TL;DR: CTed 18.5 mg duloxetine. (two-weeks taper) Quit methylphenidate. Delayed withdrawal syndrome. Need help
  17. Topic title: 20 to 18mg duloxetine is harder than 30 to 20mg Hi there I spent most of last year on 30mg of duloxetine (20 years of depression generally pretty well managed by medication - lots of different ones). Having started meditating regularly in the summer which I've kept up along with regular exercise - I was feeling pretty good so went down to 20mg around November. I had no problems at all. Even with christmas and an operation to deal with! 2 weeks ago, I started following the guidance on this site on tapering duloxetine and used ball counting and gelatine capsules to taper to 18mg. It's been very hard. Tears and irritability. I haven't been like this in a long time. Why would it be harder to go from 20mg to 18 that it was from 90 to 60 , 60 to 30 or 30 to 20?? It doesn't seem right. I've booked to the see the psychiatrist next week because my family are a bit alarmed and worried. But he is very pro medication. I don't think he'll be happy about my plans. But now I know duloxetine is so hard to come off, I want off it more than ever! I would not be completely against starting something else additionally to see me through but I know Prozac is often preferred and it has a bad effect on me s isn't an option. I so grateful if you've taken the time to read this!
  18. I had been on some form of anti-depressant and mood stabilizer/anti-psychotic since high school, 2002 or 2003. Initially I was put on Zoloft for depression which caused me to become "manic" which lead me to be put on Lithium, Abilify and Risperdal (not sure doses or when). Starting around 2008 I was put on Cymbalta and Lamotrigine/Lamictal. I got off the Cymbalta & Lamictal cold turkey on my own in 2011 and it resulted in brain-zaps and then a deep deep depression. I reluctantly got back on my meds. Beginning in 2020 (exact date I'm trying to find), my psychiatrist agreed to help me taper off my meds. I was able to get off the Cymbalta it seems fairly easily, which I have been off since the end of the Summer 2020. After getting off that I began tapering off the Lamictal ... I'm trying to find information on how much I lowered initially, etc., and don't have it right now. I do know I got down to 100mg by November 2020 and had to go back up to 150mg over the winter due to debilitating depression. Starting in ~March 2021 I began tapering again (again don't have exact dates/dosages as of now). I have detailed records of my tapering beginning in May 2021 when I began using the 25mg tabs to taper: 5/18/21 (May 18) - 6/13/21 (June 13): I alternated daily between 87.5 mg one day and 100 mg the next day (87.5mg/100mg/87.5/100) 6/14/21 - 6/21/21: 87.5mg each day 6/22/21 - 7/11/21: 75mg/87.5mg/75/87.5 7/12/21 - 7/26/21: 75mg each day 7/27/21 - 8/8/21: 62.5mg/75mg/62.5/75 8/9/21 - 8/30/21: 62.5mg each day 8/31/21 - 9/12/21: 50mg/62.5mg/50/62.5 9/13/21 - 9/26/21: 50 mg/day 9/27/21 - 10/10/21: 37.5mg/50mg/37.5/50 10/11/21 - 10/24/21: 37.5mg/day 10/25/21 - 11/7/21: 25mg/37.5mg/25/37.5 *On November 1, 2021, my dog and best friend of 10+ years, the Big Guy (110lb. half boxer/half mastiff), died after a brief fight with cancer... in retrospect I should have ceased tapering at this point; instead I continued my tapering in earnest and began to self medicate excessively with alcohol and cannabis 11/8/21 - 11/21/21: 25mg/day 11/22/21 - 12/5/21: 12.5mg/25mg/12.5/25 12/6/21 - 12/20/21: 12.5mg/day 12/21/21 - 12/31/21: 0mg/12.5mg/0/12.5 January 1, 2022 - Present: Off Lamicital Completely I had no idea about this site or a couple days ago. I have been realllllly struggling this whole year but especially the past couple weeks. Some days I am so depressed I can hardly get out of bed. Some days I am "functional." I have major brain fog where I can hardly think most of the time (which is not good for my job!). I can't hardly make even the most basic decision. It is bad. I am desperate. I do not know what to do. I really don't want to get back on the Rx. I'm looking for suggestions on how to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. I have been sober (no alcohol or cannabis) since January 1st as well. I workout, do Wim Hoff breathing, garden, meditate/pray and eat mostly organic. Supplements: EMPowerPlus Lighting Sticks, 5-HTP, Vitamins C, D, B-complex (6&12) & K2, Magnesium Glyinate, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract; Just started taking St. John's Wort a couple weeks ago I don't really recall withdraw symptoms (depression) prior to my Dog being diagnosed with cancer in September 2021 (which coincides with me getting down to 50mg/day)--since he was diagnosed and then passed Nov. 1st, I have been mostly depressed. The brain fog didn't really start that I recall until ~January of this year when I was totally off -- but I could be wrong. Since November of last year, it has kind of been a blur. On another note, while not directly related to withdrawal, I am very unhappy with my current career and have been for some time. I think doing something that goes against my values and not really knowing what my purpose is has a big impact on me feeling depressed. However, right now with my brain fog and depression, I am having a really hard time doing any work whatsoever. So my purpose now is to get past these withdrawal symptoms so I can find my purpose in this world and what gift I can offer to other people. I am VERY wary of getting back on any RX and do not want to go that route if at all possible. Thank you if you read this far and I appreciate any advice on how I should proceed!! -Will
  19. Hello and nice to meet everyone. I have been reading as much as I can the past two days and feel like it is time to introduce myself. THANK YOU for everything you all have contributed, this site is a game changer. So many questions answered and a new journey begins. You can see my drug history and four month taper in my signature over the spring/summer (my psychiatrist at the time recommended two weeks, go figure). I had planned on a few crappy months going into this. Oh if I had only found this site first... Withdrawal didn’t kick in for at least two weeks, and slowly at first. I spent all of September and October dodging and weaving through good days and bad days, which I observed simply as “anxiety” (my original diagnosis) but with unusual physical symptoms. I journaled and kept calendar entries, mostly to record when I had to resort to Ativan (usually 0.5mg, occasionally 1mg). Other than for flight anxiety (two trips), I can count 17 times I took it over those two months, and only as a last resort. I had two sudden midnight “surges” (after feeling great) with shivers, out of control heart rate, even some diarrhea, which would last hours. I was convinced it was Serotonin Syndrome. The second one took me to urgent care the next morning for a heart checkup. A few days later a new psychiatrist then put me on Propranolol (beta blocker) as my primary concern was my heart. Propranolol immediately helped me observe and evaluate the “anxiety” I was experiencing which helped a lot. The new psychiatrist also had me stop 5-HTP after only a few weeks which was probably smart. I speak to him again this Friday, not sure what to share/ask given what I am learning here. I am now clear on the fact that I am riding waves of withdrawal symptoms, anxiety responds to the unusual feelings and emotions created by the withdrawal and adds its own icing to the cake, but I am focused on observing and not reacting, and doing my best to “ride it out”. The most unusual part of this “pattern” has been the timing of it all - usually kicking into high gear in the evenings after dark (earlier and earlier in my part of the world). I am nervous about traveling this weekend (short flight) but also realize I need to try and have as “normal” a life as I can stand under these conditions. My wife is awesome, understanding and super supportive. At 12 weeks in, I am not sure reinstatement is an option for me, even though I still have 5mg Trintellix in my drawer, and could try taking microdoses. Leaning toward a no, but I realize I may have run out of time to make that decision? I have read almost all the “required reading” but would still appreciate an opinion on that one. Also considering stopping my multivitamin, turmeric and mulberry leaf extract and taking only my “Super Omega-3 Plus” (Fish Oil) and picking up magnesium pills. I just started the Probiotic so I could drop it too, but not feeling like it would impact all of this either way? I am intrigued by the Reishi 415 blend to get some non-psychedelic mushroom love. Lastly my wife and I are thinking about therapeutic float tanks (she would love to do it again) and I have begun using our hot tub as part of my daily routine, along with many failed attempts at meditating. Anxiety was never something I handled well to begin with, and I realize now I must absolutely be on my game to dance this intricate dance. I will post any new thoughts, findings and curiosities on this thread as appropriate. I appreciate everyone’s support! PS- I opted to not use the appropriate abbreviations as I wanted to easily share this summary with family
  20. I have been on duloxetine since middle of January, first 20mg for three weeks, then 30mg for a few days and then back to 20mg. Doc said continue for one week than stop but after seeing some of the issues people are having I was afraid to just stop. I have been opening the 20mg capsule and am now down to 55 beads, can I simple stop.
  21. Hi, I wrote my introduction on the 4th of October 2019 ☼-francisco-on-the-way-to-a-success-story At that time, I was seven months of all meds – I stated that the post was a combination of an introduction and a success story since things were on course at the time. Since that post, my mental has been put to the test like never before but it's now been around one year and 10 months since I stopped taking meds and I believe my mental health has passed the test. I was given a diagnosis of bi-polar by a consultant psychiatrist in the autumn of 2011 after years of volatility in my mental health and began taking meds six months later. I started with Lamictal (Lamotrigine) – after a few weeks on a low dose, the dose was increased – the next day I noticed a rash all over my body and stopped taking it. I was then given Abilify – I was on this over for a month or two but stopped taking it since it caused me insomnia and really intense pain in my wrists. Next, it was Olanzapine/Zyprexa (5mg) to deal with my elation – the 5mg worked well but when the dosage was increased to 10mg and 15mg, it caused nothing but depression so I went back to 5mg. I was then given Prozac to deal with the depression side of things – this however, caused me the worst depression I ever experienced. I was on it for a bit over a month until I could take no more and stopped taking it. My psychiatrist then prescribed me Venlafaxin/Effexor in September 2012 – I started at 75mg and eventually made my way up to 300mg. As the dosage increased, my depression did get better but the side affects most certainly got worse – constipation and intense sweating in bed at night. Also, I always felt the medication was causing me brain fog, despite what my psychiatrist was telling me – ‘all these meds do is treat depression’ I was told and basically, how limited intellectually I felt was in fact an actual reflection of the abilities I was born with. I was really getting fed up with the side affects and decided to do what a lot of people in my situation do – come of the meds without telling my doctor. I slowly tapered down the anti-depressant but came off the Olanazpine quite abruptly – result: disaster. The depression came back in a big way. Around this time, I remember one sleepless night lying in bed just saying to myself over and over – ‘I just want to die – I wish I had the courage to kill myself’. Went crawling back to the psychiatrist in July 2015 and told him the truth – needless to say, he was quite annoyed but prescribed me Cymbalta/Duloxetine (60mg) and agreed to reduce my dosage of Olanazpine to 2.5mg. The Cymbalta no doubt stabilized my mood at that time – I was pretty dam low, as you can imagine. Once again, I felt it was limiting me but after the volatility I had experienced, I was happy for a bit of stability. In the summer of 2017, I began to learn a lot about the affect diet and exercise can have on mental health. Up until that time, I thought I ate and exercised healthily – how wrong I was. Over the course of around a year, I completely changed my diet and exercise regime – I experimented a lot and ended up with my current diet which is essentially a Mediterranean diet – meat, dairy and eggs a few times a week but primarily plant based food – mainly unprocessed. A lot of my free time now is spent cooking and preparing food. After I started with Cymbalta and before I changed my diet and lifestyle, I felt that my depression/elation cycle was going on in the background but the medication was keeping it in check. As my dietary and lifestyle changes kicked in, I began to feel that the cycle was longer there – I was essentially stable. I got married in July 2018 to the woman who stuck with me through the diagnosis and all the mental volatility over the years. Immediately, we started trying to conceive – I really wasn’t mad about the idea of trying to conceive while I was on medication – I know that women are advised to come off meds before becoming pregnant and I wondered if my own meds could have an affect on any potential child I conceived. Did a bit of research – heard a bit about meds possibly causing fertility problems but nothing about meds causing birth defects etc. For a number of months after the wedding, we tried hard to conceive with no success. Consequently, I made the decision to start tapering. Not surprisingly, my wife was initially reluctant given what happened previously when I tried to come off meds – this shook my confidence a bit but I really believed that I could cope this time round, given the dietary and lifestyle changes I had made. Unlike the previous time, I told my psychiatrist who to my big surprise, did not object in the slightest. He initially suggested that I stop taking the 2.5mg of Olanazpine altogether – he told me that according to the research, 2.5mg has no real anti-elation effect – it only really aids moderate anxiety and sleeping. I genuinely believed that the olanzapine was indeed helping my sleep so I decided to continue taking it and instead drop the Cymbalta from 60mg to 30mg at the beginning of November, 2018. I was on the lower dosage for three months – I didn’t notice any major withdrawal affects during that period. Consequently, when I saw my psychiatrist three months later, I suggested to him that I stop taking the Cymbalta altogether – once again, to my big surprise he was very supportive. I continued to take the Olanzapine for another month – I had planned to stay on the Olanzapine for three months but given what the psychiatrist told me previously about 2.5mg not really having any anti-elation affect and given how I hadn’t experienced any major withdrawal affects up until that point, I decided to come off completely at the end of February 2019. A part of me was worried that my sleep would go to hell without the Olanzpine but once again, I really believed as long as I stuck to my diet and lifestyle, I would eventually enter into a natural, healthy sleeping pattern – this transpired. Also, around four or five weeks after I ceased the meds completely, I started having withdrawal effects – my nervous system reacted and consequently, I felt very edgy and jittery and my concentration levels went down significantly – obviously, work was quite difficult during this period. Also, it’s not easy to say this but my performances in the bed room were pretty mediocre during this period also (not uncommon I suppose). This was quite severe for around five weeks and then gradually started to diminish. I fully expected some withdrawal affects so they did not surprise me one bit when they came. Once again to stress the point, self-belief was hugely important at this stage – I just knew that as long as I stuck to my diet and lifestyle – essentially, the way I was designed by nature/evolution to eat and exercise – the withdrawal affects would pass and I would reach stability. In the year since I posted my introduction, I had to deal with an extremely stressful project at work which was further complicated by a certain pandemic, the very difficult birth of my first child and a lot of subsequent and extremely heated disagreements with my wife under very stressful circumstances – as I said above, my mental health has been put to the test but I haven't gone back on meds and have absolutely no intention of doing so. As I type this post, I’m in fact currently staying in my parent’s house following a particularly nasty exchange with my wife – in many ways, my family are great but I’ve already heard ‘I think you should be taking medication to get you through this difficult time’. I know they mean well and just want what’s best for me but they just don’t understand me and never really have. For most of my life, I’ve been miserable and it wasn’t because of some chemical balance in my brain which would have been triggered no matter what – I had to deal with some personal problems which were really inhibiting me. Like my medication, those problems have been put to bed – I’ve been married for over two years and have been a father for a year. The first year of my daughter's life has been extremely difficult for all the reasons mentioned above – it's been difficult but I've coped. My marriage is in a very bad place right now and if it does survive, it’s going to take a lot of work and compromise between my wife and I. If it doesn’t survive, I firmly believe I’ll be able to cope with all the difficulties which come with marriage breakup as long as I find the support I need – the kind of support which this forum offers – guidance from people who’ve experienced similar things. If I was still seeing a psychiatrist now, I reckon he would have drugged me up to my eye balls in an attempt to get me through this difficult time. If I wasn't taking meds and hadn't made all the lifestyle and dietary changes I made over the last couple of years, I would have completely collapsed in the face of all the adversity I've had to endure. I'm still standing, however. Life now is extremely difficult like it is for a lot of people but I've found a way to manage. Now, I want to find a good life.  I have no problem saying that I have the bi-polar gene. I experienced all the symptoms and those closest to me can verify that. However, I don’t consider myself mentally ill and do not believe that I was born with a chemical imbalance in my brain. As long as I live the way I was designed to live, my bi-polar gene will be completely suppressed – it simply won’t be an issue. For the most part, I believe that the symptoms I experienced were basically a reaction to all the things I was doing wrong – my diet, my exercise routine, my work environment, my learning environment, my past relationships etc. I plan to keep the potentially harmful parts of my bi-polar gene suppressed for the rest of my life and in order to do that, my life is going to be quite mundane – no substance abuse, regular moderate exercise, healthy sleeping patterns and I’m going to have to continue to spend a lot of time (but not too much time!) cooking and preparing healthy food. However, I will take ‘mundaneness’ any day of the week over mental volatility and side affects from psychiatric medication I’ve had to endure over the years. Having come through all that, the stability and strength I’ve found are all the sweeter – ‘spring would not be so welcome, if we didn’t have to go through winter’. As well as the mundane lifestyle I mentioned above, I’m also going to have find a working environment which I'm designed for. In January 2010, I had a nervous breakdown at work. The job I was doing at the time was a fairly basic office job. The company undertook a large project which I was part of which turn out to be extremely stressful for all involved and which I simply could not cope with. One day, I simply left the office and never went back – didn’t hand in my notice, didn’t tell my supervisor, didn’t tell family/friends. I went home, packed a bag and took off on a train to another city where I stayed in a hostel for a week. Subsequently, I was unemployed for three and a half years while I was trying all the medication mentioned above. Once I found the medications which stabilized me, I once again started doing similar type very basic office jobs – most were temp jobs completely unrelated to the what I studied in university and which needless to say, I didn’t exactly thrive in. These ‘go-nowhere’ jobs were all I felt capable of doing while I was on meds. I never built a career based on my university qualifications because I just felt so hindered by all the personal problems I was going through back then. I ain’t no office worker – I'm an introverted, insightful writer and researcher. In university, I received a first for my masters in International Relations. That was a hell of a long time ago but I feel I just have to get back into research once again. My own personal and fairly primitive research over the last decade or so helped me recover from a very serious mental health problem when all the so called experts were telling me that I would be on psychiatric medication for the rest of my life. I would love to build a career based on writing and researching about mental health and helping people who have also been told that they will be on medication for the rest of their lives. I believe I’m on the right forum to achieve this goal and look forward to contributing to the great work which is done here going forward. Many Thanks Francisco Quote: ‘Spring would not be so welcome if we didn’t have to go through winter’   Previous Meds taken (Not all at once - Mid 2012 to July2015): Lamictal, Abilify, Olanzapine, Prozac, Venlafaxin/Effexor Side Affects: Skin rash, insomnia, worse depression, constipation, intense sweating at night, brain fog Most Recent Meds: Cymbalta (60mg), Olanzapine (2.5mg) Taper: dropped Cymbalta to 30mg for 3 months until end of Jan 2019 - stopped Cymbalta completed at the beginning of Feb 2019. Stopped Olanzapine completely at the end of Feb 2019 Withdrawal: around 4/5 weeks after ceasing meds completely, my nervous system started to react - felt very edgy, irritable and couldn’t concentrate for around 3 or 4 weeks. Have been feeling stable since despite numerous stresses in my life
  22. Hi, I'm 20 years old male from Canada, and I was prescribed Cymbalta for depression back in November of 2019. I took Cymbalta on and off and didn't like it at all, it made me feel really dumb, I could stare at simple math questions and nothing would come to my mind for 5 minutes straight, I felt jittery and anxious, numbing in genital and it just wasn't helping at all, so I didn't stay on it for longer than 1-2 weeks max, and whenever I quit it, my old self would always return to normal, however Lexapro is a different story. Later down the road when my anxiety got really bad, and I was desperate so I return to my doctor and told him Cymbalta didn't work and I needed something else, he gave me Lexapro for GAD and this was around December 2020. This time I was more determined and so I took Lexapro for 2 months straight at 10 mg daily, but I believe due to my undiagnosed ADHD, all Lexapro did was made me a zombie, unable the positive feelings or negative feelings, it made me feel flatline which then got kicked out of my online course because I procrastinated the entire time and lied on my bed the entire day and didn't care about a thing, also it gave me gynecomastia (man boobs). I decided to quit Lexapro, I first cut the pill in half to 5 mg and took it for 1 week then stopping completely like an idiot, because I'm supposed to do this taper for as long as months. The first month of discontinuation was cool, I didn't notice much of withdrawal effects, but when the second month came in, everything felt as though it just flipped a switch, I couldn't focus or concentrate, I felt very brain dead, reading was impossible, my short term memory was extremely bad that my digit span went from 10 to 5 (how many numbers I can remember at once = https://timodenk.com/blog/digit-span-test-online-tool/), I lost emotions, motivation and pleasure, got PSSD (orgasm weakness), anhedonia, slow processing in information and reaction time (https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime, I could get 210 ms consistently prior to lexapro, now it's 210 ms one moment, and 400 ms next moment, so focus issues), very bad fatigue, and my video gaming skills went down the drain, I just felt as though my dopamine got depleted which is weird because this drug acts on serotonin. Now it's 3 months out and I still feel different, never the same again, though oddly enough, there was a window of 2 weeks where I felt completely recovered, orgasm was extremely powerful and my cognition was powerful, then after those 2 weeks, it's back to withdrawal symptoms. I just feel like it made my undiagnosed ADHD symptoms worse. I really hope within this year, everything will be back to normal.
  23. hello, I'm Brazilian, please ignore grammatical errors, because I'm using the translator. I need your help. I spent 3 years taking duloxetine 60mg and a few weeks ago I started to funnel the drug on my own. I removed the equivalent of 1mg a day from the capsule, I was doing well, but when I reached the equivalent of 25mg, I started to have severe withdrawal symptoms. I contacted my doctor and he ordered 50mg trazodone and stopped duloxetine altogether. That was when hell started, zaps, nausea, vomiting, shaking, pressure on the head among others. I spent 4 days without duloxetine, I couldn't continue and drank a 60mg capsule. After that 60mg capsule, I started taking 30mg a day, but I'm having bad symptoms, lots of gas, chest tightness, extreme anxiety. I think I did the reintegration with the wrong dosage. Please help me! I can't stand this shortness of breath, a lot of belching and extreme anxiety. What has helped me is aprazolan 0.5mg, but I don't want to be dependent on it.
  24. Giulietta

    Giulietta

    Hello all, I am new to the forum after reviewing some of the posts intermittently since December 2018. I have posted my intro as a PDF (note: pasted below). When I tried to post it - the fonts and spacing were inconsistent and I couldn't edit it. This is my first online forum on any subject so please bear with me on the technical goofs I will make. 😉 Fortunately I did find the emoji and finally get the introduction written. Thank you! PDF information pasted below (CC manually reformatted as best as possible): Hello all, I am a new member and trying to liberate myself from duloxetine/Cymbalta 20 mg (compounded in a LIQUID). My goal is mood management without medication – and being able to cope positively with unwelcome (or sometimes welcome) events. I have been viewing information on the web site off and on since last December. My thanks and empathy to all of you on this site who are ridding themselves of Cymbalta and other ADs, benzos, etc. I remain optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an oncoming locomotive. J I am grateful for having found SurvivingAD and to the subject matter experts and people who administer it. I have been tapering duloxetine 20 mg (compounded) since December 15, 2018 under the care of an MD. I am at 10 mg (3.3 ml) as of July 20, 2019. I am decreasing by about 10% a month. I am also taking clonazepam 2 mg (my next taper goal) as well as meds for a childhood neurological illness (lamotrigine XR 600 mg and gabapentin 1000 mg). I have taken many medications since age 9 due to the latter. Because of my medical history and the many meds tried or used over the years to manage it, their efficacy, safety and side effects – I am anxious about medications. Anxiety exacerbates the neurological health issue. I was prescribed ADs about 15 years ago (and the clonazepam) to manage moods amid traumatic life events. I took Duloxetine for about the last 4 or 5 years; the highest dose was 60 mg. About my taper: The taper started in December 2018. However – before I knew better – I stopped cold turkey (per prescriber’s advice) in August 2018. I endured subsequent bouts of panic, elevated anxiety, auras and some agoraphobia - so I restarted the duloxetine and the symptoms went away. I figured out that cutting the medication maybe caused the symptoms. I found a new MD who reluctantly agreed to the taper. After learning I lack the fine motor skills to count beads, I found a compounding pharmacy and get the duloxetine in an oil-suspension. I decreased by 2 MG (10%) per his direction and I experienced 3 weeks of bad symptoms. Thereafter I tried a ‘micro-taper’ approach – a series of mini-cuts - per this website. This approach seems to have moderated many of the side effects– but the symptoms are still a problem a good proportion of the time. My process for the micro-taper is to reduce by about .5 mg a week (about 2 mg a month total) – with mini decrements across the week (in ml). I have symptoms for a few days, then a few days where I am feeling mostly OK, and then I make another mini-cut. This is fatiguing and difficult to manage. Some side effects I experience(d) on this medication at 20 mg– and they continue: • Hot flushing over head and torso and perspiration (in 70 F) and not attributable to endocrine function. • Blurry vision • Short-term memory impact • Focus and concentration and recall • Insomnia – awakening 2-3x night many nights…. • SSRI/SNRI sexual side –effects • And many more… Withdrawal effects Generally - the most consistent and prevalent withdrawal effects (thus far) have been: • Anxiety - which may often be markedly worse in mid to late afternoon and into the evening (about 7-8 hours after my dose). • Jitteriness/tremors/shakiness • Auras and other sensations (related to the neurological illness) which may be extremely uncomfortable • Tinnitus (hearing loss was ruled out as a cause) • Insomnia • Lower GI (one extreme or the other) • Appetite issues (one extreme or the other) • Maybe more sensitive to cloudy days – particulary when they cluster Less consistent: • Dizziness when quickly turning my head • Postural hypotension • Sinus headaches • Lightheadedness • Panic • Dysphoria • Short-term memory impact – worse at times during this taper than on the full dose • Focus and concentration and recall– worse at times during this taper than on the full dose June – July Withdrawal Symptoms Out of the blue in June I experienced additional and horrendous symptoms for 2-3 weeks (see ‘less consistent’ above). They were so acute I asked myself if this is worth it, whether I will ever get off this drug and so on with the nefarious what if’s. I have no idea what caused it but I made it through and I am now doing much better. Looking for another MD or NP The psych MD (started in December 2018) does not have my full confidence to taper me successfully off Duloxetine. I am looking for an MD or NP who sincerely wants to taper me off and take a holistic approach to mood management moving forward. Spending much time online and looking things up (like about ADs, tapering, etc.) elevates my anxiety to unhealthy levels. It’s therefore important to have an MD or NP on whom I may depend for this information. If it had not been for information I found on Surviving AD and other web sites – he would have tapered me to Viibryd or off duloxetine in 4 weeks. What I am doing to help myself • Joining Surviving AD and searching for an in person support group • Helping others through this and letting everyone I know about Cymbalta and AD withdrawal • (Re-) learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Meditate (10 – 15 minutes a day I practice this – but 5 minutes are better than no minutes) – this may take me a while to learn…. • Exercise daily ( 45 minutes on the treadmill in the morning (and it would be good to do some walking in the afternoon). • Physical therapy and hand weight exercises most nights. • Eating plenty of protein, healthy (whole grain) carbohydrates, salad a day, nuts, and could do better with vegetables • Searching for a faith that aligns (mostly) with mine • Looking for a group to volunteer with • Write down (most days) what I am grateful for – even if I need to repeat things from one day to another J A few things I have learned – and wish I had known earlier – about exercise and diet and spending too much time online Maybe this may help someone out… 1. You may not want to start a ketogenic (or low carb) diet (depending on your medical circumstances). My personal experience with this: I was advised/told to restrict carbs (40%) to lower my a1c. I did 50% - and I suffered more anxiety, panic, etc. Ended up in ER with panic. No one told me about this and my MD wasn’t aware. Learn more about keto diets and psych meds: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201803/ketogenic-diets-andpsychiatric- medications. 2. Activate dopamine receptors and generate serotonin by EXERCISE (aerobic and/or weight lifting) and PROTEIN. Exercise releases endorphins and helps with dopamine receptor activation. Activating dopamine receptors is ‘critical’ to this process. A diet rich in protein helps with this. (this from the neuro RN) 3. A good snack in the mid to late afternoon – whole grains and protein - may help me with anxiety. It helps with blood glucose management –and a low BG will cause anxiety and a number of the symptoms that are also caused by AD withdrawal 4. To help cope with anxiety – I have found that doing something anything physical or with your hand (and focusing on it) can help (for example, clean the bathroom, knit, weed, etc.). I have a few questions, which I will post separately – and I would really appreciate your comments. Thank you Surviving AD Intro.pdf
  25. Amira

    ☼ Amira

    Hi all, P.s english is not my first language I started taking 30 mg cymbalta back in june 2016 due to having panic attacks, OCD and depression. During the past 2.4 years things have been really amazing and i got so much better. in june 2018, i broke up with my fiancee, and in october i decided that i will stop the Medicine. I stopped in october 2018. And at the same time i left my job and become unemployed since then. I did not slow taper, took a 30 mg pill each two days for two weeks and then stopped completely under the supervision of my phsyicatrist. I have experienced brain zaps and dizziness which stayed for only 2 weeks and then went away, however, i have been living in hell since then, i have suicidal thoughts, severe depression, panick attacks, feeling of hoplessness and what really concerns me is heart pounding and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light. i need your advice, it has been now exaclty 3 months sine i stopped taking cymbalta. Should i return to it again and taper slowly and in a safe way? If yes, please advice me how to taper given that in mu country the minimum dosage we have in pharmacies is 30 mg. Thanks, Amira
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