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Hey Everyone,

 

    First time on the site.  Was looking around on the internet about what I'm going through because I'm lost as can be.  And I feel so damn alone going through it.  

    So I created an account.  My abridged story is as follows: 

    You can see the drug history in my signature I believe.  I went cold turkey off of Cymbalta on July 1, 2015.  So a little over three months ago now.  I am positive the last three months have been the worst of my life.  Every day has been a battle and nothing seems to have gotten better.  I read somewhere about the waves and windows concept and so far it has been one gigantic wave.  

    The symptoms started with vertigo, intestinal problems, lack of hunger for anything but sweets, constant panic level anxiety.  My memory feels as though it has been wiped clean.  I can hardly remember any details from the significant events of my past. I cannot remember names, locations, or even full events that I experienced.  I am constantly scared.  I never want to leave my room.  I fear going to work and interacting with anyone.  My sex life flatlined about a week after coming off the drugs and has been nonexistent ever since.  I have gained about fifteen pounds of fat although I rarely eat real food.  It's all junk.  I started out very vigilant about my diet, supplements and exercise but it all tapered off because nothing seemed to put a dent in the way I feel.  None of my friends know what is going on.  My parents know but are across the country and just don't really understand.

    Right now I'm desperate.  I have involuntary thoughts of death all the time.  Images of me dying are just forced into my brain like its looking for some sort of alleviation for the pain.  At this point it is only involuntary.  I do not wish to hurt myself nor to die.  It just sounds relieving is all.  

    I really do not wish to go back on the drugs.  I believe three months means I should be over the initial physical withdrawal and I do not want to go through that aspect again. And I doubt going on anything would really help me in the long run.  

    I guess I just don't know what to do from here.  Sometimes I want to quit my job, leave my life here and move in back with my parents. But that sounds like it comes with a different set of trials and tribulations.  I just want to get better.  The complacency caused by crippling anxiety is astounding, however.

    Apologies if this intro is a bit disjointed.   My brain is a little out of commission.  I probably left a few important things out but I'll add them if they come to mind.  

    Thank you for any help in advance.

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

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Welcome 'notgettingby' youve come to the right place.Someone will be along to assist you soon.

I wish you well

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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Welcome NGB,

 

Sorry to hear about your ct.

Glad you found us. You will get a lot of support here.

A mod should be along shortly to help you.

Take some time and look around the site.

There's a lot of good stuff here to help you out!

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Hi and Welcome.

 

You have time on your side for healing as you were on these meds for a relatively short period of time. You will heal as will we all, it just takes time. Have you tried mindful meditation? or reading literature from Paul David or Claire weekes?

 

DC

1997 - 2001 Seroxat 10mg

2001 - 2013 Escitalopram 10mg

Gradual taper from 10mg to 5mg over 2.5 years (between 2011 - 2013)

Last taper from 5mg to 0 under advice from doctor done in 1 month (too damn fast!) - included missing out days.

Have been drug free since Oct 2013.  - Yep 5 years drugs free

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I did meditate for awhile but that became less and less consistent as time wore on.  I'll see if i can start it up again.  As for the writings I'll look them up.  

 

Thanks for the warm welcome. 

 

P.S. Tgirl, what is ct?

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

Cold turkey

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, NGB.

 

Going off any psychiatric drug cold-turkey is high risk for withdrawal syndrome. You have withdrawal syndrome. Recovery can take months or years.

 

It's by no means a sure thing after 3 months, but reinstating even 10 beads of Cymbalta might reduce the symptoms. Read

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Tips for tapering off Cymbalta (duloxetine)

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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So for awhile i was taking:

 

5 htp

phenylaline

probiotics

fish oil

magnesium

vitamin c

vitamin b

multivitamin

calcium

vitamin d

 

all in pretty high doses. I'm not really sure if they worked or what.  Got the information from the site dominating depression.  It didn't seem like a gimmick and still doesn't but i read on here that my brain may be too sensitive to anything that affects serotonin and catecholamines while in withdrawal.  Is that only for the acute withdrawal or the prolonged stage?   

 

Ill start checking out the posts you gave me

 

thanks a lot

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

OK so I'm considering going back on a small dose of something to help for now and then tapering off.  Would cymbalta really be the best option since it is so hard to taper? I went cold turkey in the first place because it looked like it was going to take forever to count all the little beads out (stupid, I know).  Or would I have to take Cymbalta because that was the last thing i was on?

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

And will reinstatement not work since I've been off it for three months now? Said something about it being tricky if it's been longer than a month.

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

OK so I saw something about cymbalta user switching to 10mg prozac and then tapering with that.  Seems like a decent plan.  

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

The above is my best advice. It's a gamble whether Prozac will help, too. It could make you worse (as could 10 beads of Cymbalta).  If you go the Prozac route, I would take a very, very low dose to start, perhaps 2mg, to see what it does.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alright then. I'm going to try the prozac 2mg route and see how it goes.  I'll update when I get it.  Thanks

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello NotGettingBy, 

 

I'm sorry to hear you are having such a tough time of it after CTing Cymbalta.  Last year I went off of venlafaxine too fast and began taking many of the supplements you are taking, such as 5-htp, but also Sam-E.  At first I wasn't even aware that I was in WD, maybe because of the supplements, though I pursued ADD testing because I was having horrible cognitive issues such as you described, and a friend said he always thought I had it.  D'oh!

 

Many have written on here saying that some of those supplements are too activating when in WD, and I believe that was my case.  I was additionally taking Sam-E and didn't make the connection with the severe anxiety and feelings of doom I was experiencing.  I read on here somewhere that Sam-E can cause anxiety, anyway, so I now see that in addition to WD from Effexor, I was making things even worse with the Sam-E.

 

As for meditation, I have a lot of difficulty with it but find guided meditations much easier.  Also, I did a Yoga NIdra today that was very much like a guided meditation, very nice.  You can find lots of good stuff on youtube.  I like Tara Brach for guided meditations.

 

Try not to worry over the "long haul" and focus on taking one day at a time, being kind and caring towards yourself and reminding yourself that you are healing.

 

I hope that the 2 mg Prozac gives you relief.  There is no judgement about doing so or reinstating a small amount when it allows you to be comfortable and able to carry on.  

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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thanks for the kind words, SquirrellyGirl

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

The memory gets better for me it has at least hang in there . I am like 5 months in the first few months were brutal for cogniton and memory now it has improved.

Been on 1 year cymbalta, 1 year  pristiq, zoloft 2 years nad seroquel 2 years.Now I've been off everything since February 2015. so 6 months free. Still have insomnia, short term memory problems, brain fog these are the only problems hope they will improve.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello NotGettingBy,

 

You've been having a real hard time of it, and it sounds like without much support.  If you consider all your friends, is there one who you could trust with this stuff?  If they are empathetic it doesn't matter if they don't understand all the ins and outs, just that they can listen and maybe sit with you when the anxiety is really ramped up. 

 

You could also look at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

to build up your tool-box of ways to manage anxiety etc.  Try stuff out and see what works for you.  I have a hot bath with epsom salts in it most days to help.  When I'm really struggling I get a friend round, kind of plug into their groundedness. 

 

SquirelyGirl mentioned yoga-nidra, and I totally agree - I find it really soothing, takes me right out of all my 'future worries.'  Even basic yoga poses like getting your legs up the wall can help to re-set your emotional state. 

 

I'm intrigued by the sugar-craving - it usually indicates a lack of something else in a diet.  It might pay to read around, see what seems to fit for you.  I think that when our brains are healing they need really good nourishment.  If you're not getting enough good-energy-foods and protein then your body might be resorting to a 'quick-fix' of sugary stuff.  This is just my wondering - I'm no expert.  Something for you to consider.

 

You're in a hard place, but things will get better.  You've set yourself on a healing path, and healing will happen and you'll increase your ability to manage the tricky stuff.  You'll find your strength.  Keep posting and reading in the topics - people here understand how it is, and you'll get lots of support.

 

Hugs,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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OK so i got the fluoxetine prescription.  I started today taking 2mg.  Going to continue but not sure how long i should go before I up it or not.  Does anyone know how long it normally takes for withdrawal to subside when instating an antidepressant into the mix?

 

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

Hello NotGettingBy,

 

You've been having a real hard time of it, and it sounds like without much support.  If you consider all your friends, is there one who you could trust with this stuff?  If they are empathetic it doesn't matter if they don't understand all the ins and outs, just that they can listen and maybe sit with you when the anxiety is really ramped up. 

 

You could also look at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

to build up your tool-box of ways to manage anxiety etc.  Try stuff out and see what works for you.  I have a hot bath with epsom salts in it most days to help.  When I'm really struggling I get a friend round, kind of plug into their groundedness. 

 

SquirelyGirl mentioned yoga-nidra, and I totally agree - I find it really soothing, takes me right out of all my 'future worries.'  Even basic yoga poses like getting your legs up the wall can help to re-set your emotional state. 

 

I'm intrigued by the sugar-craving - it usually indicates a lack of something else in a diet.  It might pay to read around, see what seems to fit for you.  I think that when our brains are healing they need really good nourishment.  If you're not getting enough good-energy-foods and protein then your body might be resorting to a 'quick-fix' of sugary stuff.  This is just my wondering - I'm no expert.  Something for you to consider.

 

You're in a hard place, but things will get better.  You've set yourself on a healing path, and healing will happen and you'll increase your ability to manage the tricky stuff.  You'll find your strength.  Keep posting and reading in the topics - people here understand how it is, and you'll get lots of support.

 

Hugs,

Karen

Thank you Karen.  I'm still struggling with the concept of telling my best friend but unsure what to do yet.  Most people are peripheral in my life right now and I'm not sure even he could really be of much help.  Still considering the moving home idea but it scalds my pride/self worth as foolish as that sounds.  I'm also scared of the complacency that may come if I live at home, dont have to pay rent/dont have to work.  Anyway, I'm rambling.  

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

Right thank you

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

It looks like i've gotten to the point where going on something might not be worth it.  I've only taken the prozac two days and I think I might do away with it.  It might take months to kick in and then having to wean off of that might be a step in the wrong direction.  

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment

Hey guys quick update.  Ended up sticking with the fluoxetine for the time being.  Suddenly felt ten times better on the third day of taking it.  Sticking to 4mg right now seems to take away most of the anxiety.  Bowel movements returned to normal almost instantly and some of the old side effects came back (sexual, headache, repressed emotions) but overall feeling better than without it.  I'm going to stick to 4mg for a little bit before i try weaning again.  

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

woohoo!  Must feel like such a relief.  You can use this time to really prepare/nurture/nourish yourself before your text taper.  Good plan not to rush anything - slow and steady. 

 

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Hey guys quick update.  Ended up sticking with the fluoxetine for the time being.  Suddenly felt ten times better on the third day of taking it.  Sticking to 4mg right now seems to take away most of the anxiety.  Bowel movements returned to normal almost instantly and some of the old side effects came back (sexual, headache, repressed emotions) but overall feeling better than without it.  I'm going to stick to 4mg for a little bit before i try weaning again.  

I thought your sex life was already dead because of cold turkey? So I wonder how sexual side effects could come back?

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I don't particularly consider self-arousal to be a 'sex life', but that is how I discovered the side effects this time around.  I'm unsure of the point of the question Futurerecovery, but there you have it.  

Born in 92'

Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (ages 18-22) (2010-2015)

Cymbalta 120mg (age 23) (1/2015-7/2015) 

cold turkey (7/2015-10/11/15)

Took fluoxetine at 2mg daily for two days then upped to 4mg on day three (10/12/15-10/14/15)

Continuing on 4mg for now. Most withdrawal symptoms are already gone but side effects have also come back. 

Going to start a monthly taper if I stay stabilized.

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