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Unknown: Intro and Cymbalta withdrawal experiences


Unknown

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Hi all,

 

So here's what I'm dealing with right now. I have a long history with antidepressants, the most recent of which is Cymbalta. I took it for nearly ten years, the last 4.5 years at 90mg. I began tapering in January 2015, bought a jeweller's scale, counted beads ... now I realise I probably tapered too quickly; I went from 90mg to zero in seven months. My experience of the taper was really unremarkable, especially given my previous failed attempts to get off antidepressants. I felt good, or at least not any worse than I had while taking the drug at full dose. I hit zero mg in early September. About ten days later, I hit a wall of sadness. I spent days sobbing. Then the rage hit, and now the general irritability and impatience for life in general. Oh, and let's not forget the shame and guilt for my behaviour and how it's affecting my young kids and husband. Which conjures up the sadness and sobbing again, for another ride on the not-so-merry-go-round. I'm recognising the 'cortisol morning' I've read about in other posts. I'm at my wit's end here, and have been thinking I must just be depressed and actually need the meds ... but ... 

 

I'm not sure about that. 

 

However, I'm six weeks in to being a total witch to be around, and I don't like myself much right now, and I actually have stuff I need to DO and I'm not getting much of anything done sitting in this pile of existential crap. So, I'll be puttering around the forum here trying to figure out if I can make myself feel even a little bit better.

 

Thanks for listening.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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 Hi Unknown,

 

Welcome, from a fellow " Aussie".   :)

 

It sounds like you knew a bit about " tapering".  However , you went too fast.  All of those symptoms, are probably " Withdrawal".   It might not be too late to re- instate  a small amount, however.  Just to relieve some of your symptoms.  I'm sure it's not depression , but just " too fast tapering". 

 

 Hang in there. A " Mod" will be along soon to " walk " you through this.

 

You will get lots of support here.

 

Ali.

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks, Ali. Yes, I believe I stumbled upon this forum when I was planning my taper, and absorbed enough information to divide my capsules etc., but I was too eager and didn't read carefully enough. I also just remembered that I went cold turkey off the last 5mg, thinking since my symptoms during the taper had been non-existent, I would be fine to drop those last five. Well, what a silly thing to do that was!

 

Before the day gets away from me, I'll outline some of my questions about dealing with this phase. I'm reading through the forum and I'm sure I'll continue to find valuable information.

 

1) Herbs: Specifically, St. Johnswort and/or other 'herbal antidepressants'. Useful or just prolonging withdrawal?

2) Supplements: Sam-E, GABA. I've read a bit indicating GABA doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and is essentially useless; I've also read that combining with Sam-E assists in transport across. Finally, I've read that using these sorts of 'nutri-ceuticals' (not vitamins/minerals, but the designer hormone/neurotransmitter lookalikes) will just, again, prolong withdrawal. I don't want to do that, obviously, but like lots of others here, I do need to function during the day and I'm not doing that very well at the moment.

3) Pharmaceuticals for symptomatic relief, i.e. benzos. Likewise, worthwhile or just prolonging withdrawal?

4) Reinstatement: After 6-7 weeks off, is it too late to reinstate a smallish dose of Cymbalta, say up to 5 or 10 milligrams?

5) Counselling: I'm currently seeing a therapist and muddling my way through, and she's been really helpful in showing me that it's okay for me to let myself off the hook with regard to some of the relentless mummy guilt I've been feeling for months and months. She's also introduced me to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and I'm reading some books on it that have been real eye-openers. (I'm having trouble getting a fingernail's-width worth of space into the anxiety and sadness to begin a meditation practice, but I imagine I'll get there eventually.) That said, these last several weeks I really just go in to my session and spend the hour sobbing. I'm not sure whether to continue or postpone for a while.

 

Those are the things bouncing around my head this morning. 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Unknown.

 

It's possible a very small dose for reinstatement, such as 10 beads, might ease your way off Cymbalta. Then, after a good while, you'd reduce one bead at a time. See

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

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/

 

Other than that, see our Symptoms and Self-care forum  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/for suggestions about how to cope with symptoms.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Unknown,

Welcome to s/a - so good you've been having a read about all this.  And you are a mother as well - it just adds that extra layer of complication over the whole mess doesn't it?  I have two daughters, and I hate the way this ripples through my family.  You can give yourself lots of credit though for all the steps you are taking to make things better - it shows a lot of caring and strength.  

Regarding Sam-E and St John's wort etc, these are not recommended because they can make your symptoms worse by being too activating on your nervous system.  Same goes for alcohol and coffee.  Have a look at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet/ to get more details.  You may find you feel better by discontinuing those supplements. 

 

From a personal perspective, I have found it very worthwhile seeing a counselor regularly.  I see it as a fence at the top of the cliff, rather than the ambulance at the bottom.  Even if you are just crying, at least that's a safe place to let it all out.  Tears are healing too 

 

Gradually things will get sorted and you'll find your way through all this. 

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Unknown , welcome to the site.

 

The only way to stop the withdrawal developing is reinstating.   After 20 years on meds. it's most likely you're having

"delayed withdrawal syndrome".    Symptoms may continue to get worse rather than better for many months to come.

For many people (myself included) the most disabling symptoms don't hit until 6 months after stopping.  

So if you're planning to ride the withdrawal out , hunker down. It gets harder and harder to get things done.

 

You'll find discussions about all the supplements you've mentioned in the Symptoms section.   I haven't read that any of them prolong withdrawal,  The best they will do is take the edge off w/d symptoms.

 

Good to have you on board ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions and support. I have an appointment with my GP on Tuesday, and I'll ask for a renewed prescription for the dreaded drug and try ten beads to see if it takes the knife edge out of the rage and sadness and anxiety. After that, I'll begin magnesium and then EFAs and see how I go, and leave the rest of the supplements alone for now. 

 

Karen, thanks for sympathising with how very hard this can be to do with young kids around. I understand we're all on difficult journeys here, and I wouldn't want to diminish anybody else's complaints with my 'oh, but I have kids' lament. My perception of my failure to be a patient, present parent through all of this is one very huge hook that my anxiety and sadness latch onto; their age-appropriate lack of logic and reasoning sends me raging in ways that just are NOT who I am. I do like your analogy of therapy as the fence at the top of the cliff, even if sometimes by the end of a session I do feel as though I've been left in a heap at the bottom ... essentially unharmed but very bruised and sore. I'll keep going for now.

 

While I have a moment, I'm just going to jot down some more of what got me to this point. I was at a 60mg maintenance dose of Cymbalta from 2005 until early 2011. At that time I was entering the third trimester of my first pregnancy, when I'd thought I would be tapering my dose down a bit (how naive that seems now!). But my anxiety had ratcheted right up as I hit 28 weeks, and I read somewhere about increasing maternal blood volume leading to lower drug concentration. So I ended up increasing my dose to 90mg.

 

Sometime in 2013, I tried and failed to drop back down to 60mg, so I stayed at 90mg through my second pregnancy and until January 2015 when I began to taper. I'd been thinking that my brain fog, failing memory and fatigue were due to breastfeeding and not getting a full night's sleep EVER, since my younger child refused me such luxuries. After she weaned and began sleeping through, the brain fog didn't go away, the fatigue didn't go away, and I'd come to be aware of a deep physical ache, as though it emanated from my bones. On top of all that, the Cymbalta just didn't seem to be 'working' anymore. I wasn't depressed exactly. I can't really put my finger on it, but I sensed it was doing me more harm than good. Frankly, if I hadn't gotten pregnant in 2010, I probably would have tried coming off of it much sooner, but I didn't want to risk the crazies of coming off meds (which I'd experienced before with Zoloft, Prozac, and a brief trial of Serzone) while pregnant or later, as a first-time mother.

 

And here we are. I've got the terrible sadness (it feels like unrelenting grief), the debilitating anxiety, the rage straight from hell. Intermittent but intrusive and persistent thoughts of harm, which I've NEVER experienced before, even in the worst of my depressions. Additionally, I'm wondering if some other physical weirdness can be chalked up to the withdrawal. Dry/scratchy/sore eyes, headaches once or twice a week that begin as soon as I move my head from the pillow in the morning and persist all day. These can also be explained by other things, so I'm not sure yet whether I can pin them to withdrawal, but I'll be paying more attention. I'm sure there's more, but that's what comes to mind right now.

 

Today has been my first reasonable day in a while, I suspect because I've been vindicated in my suspicion that the feelings I've been having are in all likelihood not actual FEELINGS. 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Unknown,

 

I get dry/sore eyes since being in withdrawal, plus headaches sometimes.  The headahces I mostly fixed by drastically increasing the amount of water I drink, and by seeing an osteopath.  W/d seems to make me need way more water. 

 

As for those massive feelings you are getting, I never found a way to 'fix' them.  It was more that I kept at them and kept at them, tried lots of things, and gradually they lessened.  Every so often I get a wave of them to deal with, but the gaps between are now much longer.  I used to feel like a raging monster. 

 

A major shift for me came when I decided to drop all my resistance and completely accept and feel and be with my sadness and anger.  To the point of saying out loud 'right, today I'm going to feel horribly sad all day, and really angry and crappy.  And I'm going to keep feeling like this all month, until it all flows up and out.'  Then I'd focus on feeling all those feelings.  I'd cry, write about them, go to counseling, cry, rage, write - immerse myself in them, wring them out.

 

Over some months the intensity and frequency lessened.  And now when they pop up occasionally I drop everything I can, and feel them again.

 

Of course this is complicated by neuro-emotions - but basically feelings diminish when we feel and acknowledge them.

 

You won't be in this hard place forever.

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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Well, that was a short window, if that's what it was. Feeling very anxious and irritable today, tight chest and spacey.

 

Thinking of other things I've been experiencing over the past eight months ... definitely heart palpitations, lasting 5-15 seconds a few times a week, then nothing for a month or two. This was going on during the taper but I didn't connect the dots.

 

Sounds actually make my eardrums hurt sometimes. Not just loud sounds, but constancy in sound, like the radio on or people having a conversation.

 

This sense of urgency about everything ... I have an idea and it has to be executed YESTERDAY, but I don't really have the energy or motivation to see it through, so I just ruminate over it endlessly while nothing gets done.

 

I've always been very introverted, but I've had a real social phobia lately. I've associated that with the stresses of a recent move and all the new connections you have to make socially and professionally, and certainly that's a part of it. But just the idea of someone coming over to the house sends me into anxiety, not just a social visit but tradies or what have you. Anyone I have to interact with for more than a couple of minutes. I dread dread dread it.

 

As for the ADs themselves, reading other posts I now have to wonder about my past problems with alcohol. My grandfather was an alcoholic so I've assumed I just have a genetic predisposition. I did the typical fish-drinking at university and fell to a pretty low place in 1995, then stopped. It ramped right up again around 2004, which, thinking about it, was just after I started Prozac. I totally fell off the rails in 2006 (not long after I switched to Cymbalta) and drank to excess (wine) four or five nights a week until 2010, when I finally stopped for good because I was ruining my life. I'm in no hurry to test my hypothesis that my problem drinking was antidepressant-induced, but there are some interesting correlations in my history.

 

It's so hard, sitting with painful feelings. I've been trained since my teens really to reach for a fix - usually a medication, or alcohol - to tamp them down. Alternatively, I'm to mine them, dig and dig to find the source so I can tear it out at the root. In a way, the latter is as much about avoidance as the former. 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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Also, Karen, I've just had a read of your blog, and I am LOVING it. I've related to every single post I've read so far. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Moderator

ADs and excessive alcohol use go hand in hand.  Not only do ADs give many people intense alcohol cravings their blunting actions can lessen the effects of the alcohol and lower your inhibitions and desire to control its use.  I'm a prime example.  Then to add to that, the combination can give you killer hangovers that can last for weeks, especially once you've started reducing your dose of ADs.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I saw my therapist yesterday and she was totally on board with everything I told her I'd learned about delayed withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. She hadn't heard of those terms but when I explained the concepts, she knew exactly where I was going with it and had clearly done her own research into neuroplasticity and brain development. We talked a lot about strategies for getting through this time, coping and supporting with nutrition, exercise, meditation and so on. She was also completely supportive of using very small (1mg) doses of Valium PRN for the worst days. She was less sure about reinstating a very small dose of Cymbalta, but was fine with leaving that decision to me.

 

The appointment with my GP today got me what I wanted, namely RXs for the valium and cymbalta, though the GP was far more skeptical about the information I was giving her. She was nice enough about it, but did say at one point that if I continued to feel the way I'm feeling, maybe I do need to be on anti-depressants. Whatever. 

I've been back and forth on reinstating, even only 10 beads. I haven't felt the low lows of the past many weeks for a couple of days, but I've realised there's an edginess there that feels like I could slip off the cliff at any moment. So I just took the 10 beads, but now I'm fighting quite a large sense of regret and failure. 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Unknown ,   I'm glad to hear you made a decision that may help you maintain life as you know it.  

No one really wants to tell you how bad things might get , but you've potentially saved yourself months and months of suffering.

(Look on youtube for "akathisia , how much can a koala bear?"  and you'll see me six months after my last dose of cymbalta)

 

It takes 4 days to reach a steady state in your blood , so don't expect a super-quick change.  Hopefully it will take the edge off ,

and you can reassess the dose at the weekend.

 

Good to hear your docs are going to work with you.  If you want to connect with others in Melbourne , come and say hi in the Australia room (Relationships section).

 

:)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Got tired of seeing Anonymous Man as my avatar, so I added one. I'm sure it's not an original joke, but my clever wit has taken a holiday on me lately.

This is more of a journal entry than anything else. Soooo ... third day of reinstatement. Fourth day of not feeling truly, truly awful. I'm not sure how to interpret that. I definitely still have a lot more anxiety and irritability than I'd like, but it's not like it had been for the past month or so. On the other hand, I'm really starting to wonder how many of the health niggles I've been experiencing over the past several years have been due to the drug, or later, due to withdrawal. Like the brain fog I mentioned before. It seems to be really ramping up ... I was trying to count the number of downlights in our house last night in my head, and then separate out which ones were dimmable, and I kept getting mixed up and having to start over. I finally had to write it down to keep it straight. Joint pain, which I've had especially in my knees over the past year. I've put on about a kilogram in the last six weeks and I've done nothing different than usual. My husband tells me I complain of the cold a lot more than I used to, and he's accustomed to me whinging about it since I've always been sensitive to the cold going back to childhood. Mainly, I just feel sort of dull and stupid most of the time, like I'm in one of those dreams where I can't talk or am moving through cement or something. I have trouble accessing my vocabulary and can't express my thoughts very well.

 

I told a small group of four friends about what I'm going through getting off anti-ds, and three of them are taking them themselves. One has only three weeks ago started up on Cymbalta after having weaned off Zoloft three years ago. She's at 30mg now, feels better, and her doc has been suggesting she increase to 60mg since 30mg is not the 'therapeutic dose.' I suggested she stay at the 30 since that's working for her, and I told her to tread carefully and talk to me when she's ready to taper (she expects to be off by next June) ... but what I'd really like to do is scream at her to GET OFF THE DAMNED MEDS NOW. I know how it is though when you've been feeling like **** for so long, and you don't want to mess with what seems to be a good thing so you stay on the drugs. She's been feeling like **** for a while and I don't want to pile on by telling her she's messing up with this. She knows about this forum and I've explained what I'm dealing with in a pretty detailed way, and I sort of feel like it's up to her to do with that information what she will.

 

I did some calculations last night and figured out that at my former 90mg dose of Cymbalta, it would have taken more than 4 years for me to taper under the 10% method. There is NO WAY I would have managed that sort of patience. I'd have sped things up and likely would have ended up at this place anyway ... I'm hesitant to say this, but maybe it's better (or at least not terrible) that I got here now. Rose-coloured glasses, perhaps. We do what we have to to justify our position, don't we?

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Administrator

You were right about 30mg Cymbalta -- that doctor is wrong about the "therapeutic" dose. The drug manufacturer must have done a big marketing job in Australia urging doctors to prescribe high doses of Cymbalta.

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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As a fellow post-Cymbalta sufferer I just wanted to say hi and after reading your thread and being one of the people who have had the worst kind of akathisia I must say that I am very happy you decided to reinstate to keep you from getting any worse.

 

All the best to you!

  • 2,5 years of slowly tapering down Cymbalta from 60 mg. Then tried going from 8,44 mg to 1 mg in 8 days. (April 1st 2015). That's when the real hell started. Reinstated. Didn't help. I was added Ativan (2 mg 2 times a day for relentless akathisia that started with jumping Cymbalta). For years had been taking Zopitin 7,5 mg and Stilnox 10 mg for I had not been able to sleep naturally since the 1st day I started Cymbalta). Used to take Xanax occasionally.
  • All of the above were stopped cold turkey when I was hospitalized in the beginning of May 2015.
  • Prior to that I have been on and off the whole spectrum of different AD-s for 15 years (since I was 17).

My introduction.

 

Tapering:

  • Olanzapine (starting point 2,1 mg): Jan 2016  /---/ April 2018 0 mg. (From 2,1 mg to 0 mg in 1y 3mo).
  • Diazepam (starting at 5 mg) : switching to liquid May 2018;  4,6 mg (June 2018) /---/ 0 mg (Feb 2020) (From 10 to 5 - nobody knows, from 5 to 0 in 1 y 10 mo)
  • Valdoxan (starting at 25 mg): switching to liquid (Feb 2019) /---/ 0 mg (July 2020)

 

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Sorry about the cursing, Alto. I read the rules more carefully last night and realised I'd been a bit too crude with my language. Living in Australia has turned me into a bit of a potty mouth. (I'm from the US originally.) And my friend lives in America! Wonder what's going on with her doc. Actually, I was first prescribed Cymbalta while living in the US, but I don't remember how long it took me to get to the 60mg dose I was on before I increased to 90mg in 2011. I was definitely on 60mg by 2007.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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Thanks, erer. You've had quite a rough time of it. I'm thankful to have caught this early and hopefully will manage to avoid the really horrible stuff.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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I think the reinstatement is helping. I'm on day seven of ten beads and for the most part, my mood swings haven't been nearly as severe as over the previous four to six weeks. The main thing I'm troubled by right now is what I'm guessing are the effects of cortisol - I feel some variation of anxiety most of the time, with a strong spike in the morning and a few through the day. Yesterday it felt like moderate performance anxiety all day - I used to play a musical instrument and did lots of competitions & auditions, and it felt very much like pre-audition jitters. Most of the time, the feeling is manageable, barely. I'm just wondering if I should increase a bit more - five beads max? - and see if that smoothes things more, or stay where I am for a bit longer.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

Link to comment

I've really been struggling these last three or four days. My anxiety has really ramped up and I'm feeling really flat and just SAD and worthless. It's too much work to smile, almost even for my kids. I increased my reinstatement by 3 beads (for a total of 13 beads) six days ago and I wonder now if that wasn't a good idea, or if this is just one of the waves. I'm having intrusive, persistent thoughts of self harm ... not to the point of feeling I'd act upon them, but they're not passing thoughts like they once were - my mind hangs on to them and turns them around for a bit now. It got so bad for a few hours today that I considered just going back on the meds so as to make THIS stop. My husband has been a bit cold to me today and when I asked him why, he said he's just a bit tired of my 'depression'. I know he is ... I am too. It must be so hard to live day in and day out with someone who's angry or sad or at best, tense, all of the time. It's sure hard to BE that person. I don't know what I need right now ... I need to not feel awful, and guilty for feeling awful. I see new people posting every day with their tales of being messed up by these drugs, scared and confused, and I feel sick. So many lives damaged.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Unknown,

 

I'm sorry you are struggling. I would give your reinstatement a bit more time and keep a record of your symptom pattern. In the mean time find some distractions if you can.

 

It can be hard on partners. I think acknowledging that can go a long way as can sharing the strategies you are trying in order to change things

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Unknown,

 

Something you could try which can help with gaining a more compassionate perspective for yourself is writing your own story.  Just write it as though you were a kind and wise and understanding person who is observing someone who's been through a lot.  Write down all the things that have happened to 'them', the things 'they've' done to try to manage, and then try writing what you think 'they' need now - what do 'they' deserve in terms of care and compassion?

 

Occasionally when things have got really difficult for my husband because of me going through all this, I've written down what I want him to understand.  This bypasses all the tensions etc and allows you to convey what you need to.  You could let him know that you know it's hard on him, and that you are trying so many things because you really want things to be easier in both your lives - basically that you do care about the effect it's having on him.  Sometimes things we think are obvious just need saying, or saying again...  

 

Hang in there, you've come such a long way already,

Hugs,

KarenB

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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Dalsaan and Karen, thanks for your responses. I'm feeling better today and yesterday. I'll start that symptom diary and, perhaps, a more personal diary as well. I've found in the past that keeping a personal diary can lead me to dwell too much on things, but it's been a long while since I've kept one so maybe it's time to try again. My husband and I talked on Monday and are much better now. Sunday was a particularly rough day and I really appreciate being able to come to this forum and shout it into the ether. Or whisper it, or whatever it is I feel like doing. 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

How are you going Unknown?     I hope the "feeling better yesterday and today" has stuck.

 

There's currently a class action law suit being organized in Australia for people who've had difficulties with suicidal 

thoughts and adverse reactions when starting or stopping a range of ad's.  Details are in the Australia room , in the

Relationships section.   Come in and say HI when you get a chance.

 

:)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Unknown - another Expat Yank stranded in lovely Aussie land!!!!  OMG!!!!  (and yes, my mouth was a little potty before I came here, but it's "rough as guts" now!)

 

My first story for you is to imagine your brain as a tiny baby animal.  My favorite one is a possum:

i0emk-possum.jpg

 

You want to be kind to this little critter, right?  Imagine your brain is this baby possum - so frail and afraid and delicate and needy.  You would have compassion for the possum, yes?  Have compassion for your brain.  Coddle it and cradle it and coo to it and feed it, and give it time to "grow up."

 

Most of your questions were answered, but I want to emphasize:  St. John's wort, Sam-e = usually overstimulating and not good for people in withdrawal from any serotonin type drugs.  

 

You wrote about:

And here we are. I've got the terrible sadness (it feels like unrelenting grief), the debilitating anxiety, the rage straight from hell. Intermittent but intrusive and persistent thoughts of harm, which I've NEVER experienced before, even in the worst of my depressions. 

 

See:  Neuro-emotion   These chemicals explode your natural emotions into mountains and tornados, cyclones and earthquakes.  When really, they are just your emotions.  They also become sticky and difficult to release, let go, and banish.

 
How is your reinstatement going?  It's been a few weeks now, has it settled?

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Hi Fresh, sorry for not having responded sooner. I've been mostly offline for a few weeks. I'll pop into the Aussie room one of these days and say hello. Hi Jan, and thanks for your words. The reinstatement has helped, I think. I had a few weeks of relative calm, even through some pretty stressful times. Not great but not what it had been those first six weeks or so before I rediscovered SA. Right now, in addition to the 13 beads of Cymbalta, I'm only taking magnesium, fish oil and vitamin D. Every three or four days I take 2mg valium as needed. I'm having what I'm beginning to recognise as a wave now and for the past two days, triggered by real anxieties but, as you say, exploded into tornadoes. I'm trying to remember to remind myself that this is not me, forever. Sometimes I fail. My feeling that I'm failing my kids through all this is a big pit and I fall into it all the time. I know I sound like a broken record on that. It's the sadness and hopelessness that's got hold of me at the moment. Right now I'm just trying to get through the days and wait for the end of this wave. As I said, I had a pretty good few weeks there and I do believe I'll get there again. 

 

Very cute possum - how could you not want to cuddle that? I think I'll go try to cuddle my possum brain a bit now. Thanks for checking in, both of you. xox

 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • 1 month later...

Groundhog day! I've been looking through my previous posts. Frustratingly, I'm not doing much better ... not at all better, actually. Rough times with my husband. Entering marriage counselling. Kids are being full-on KIDS, especially the two-year old with her newfound scream of independence. Realising this move, one year ago, from the big smoke to a very rural area has not been good for me or my husband. Christmas in general blows the big one, always has for me. Safe to say there's a lot of situational stuff stirring up all kinds of anxiety and guilt and anxiety about the guilt and guilt about the anxiety. I've been tearful, waking up with crazy levels of anxiety, every morning for a few weeks. Crying jags crumpled in a heap on the floor. No rages but the unrelenting anxiety and sadness is pulling me way down, way way down. It's killing everything positive in my life. I can't get in to see my psychiatrist for two months. I saw my GP today, explained the anxiety and my aversion to starting up on SSRI/SNRIs again. I'd been thinking maybe buspirone (which I took way back in 1997 for a couple of years, and which seemed to put a lid on the circular thoughts creating my anxiety then). He hadn't heard of it ... I guess it's not high on the pharmaceutical companies' promotional list right now, being out of patent and all. Left with two prescriptions, one refill for 2mg diazepam and one for ... 20mg Prozac. I'm staring at one of those capsules right now. I feel like a drug addict. Suppose I am. 

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Think of where you'd like to be in a year from now.  Real healing can be slower, for sure, but it is lasting.  You can carefully build up strength in your life.

 

A pill on the other hand puts you back into the place you worked so hard to leave.  Adding another drug will add to the cumulative effect, making things difficult for when you either decide to taper, or you start to have adverse effects from it. 

 

Prozac cannot guarantee relief, but it does come with a risk of further complications.

 

I don't think that having them in the house is a good idea.  I remember when I was pregnant and the midwife said not to have any 'just in case' bottles/formula in the house.  She was so right - breastfeeding wasn't easy for a fair while, and I might have gone down a path I didn't want to.  Working up the strength and managing skills to live drug-free isn't easy either - and you just don't need the temptation.

 

Get focused on all the good things you can do instead.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Unknown ,   have you been taking the 13 beads of cymbalta since 27 October?

It had a good effect initially , so it may be time to try updosing . . . perhaps another 3 beads?

" The reinstatement has helped, I think. I had a few weeks of relative calm, even through some pretty stressful times."

 

After 3 months off  , 20mg of prozac could be WAYYY too much and give you an adverse reaction.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Yes Fresh, I'm still on the 13 beads. It seemed to make things better for a few weeks, but the last three or more have been really, really awful. I'm falling apart. THIS feels more like what landed me on anti-ds 18 years ago - not like the episodic rages and feelings of dread I was waking with back in October. I hate coming here only to whinge and feel sorry for myself. I simply CANNOT continue feeling this awful. At this point the emotional numbing and brain fog of antidepressants seem far preferable to this unrelenting anxiety and sadness. I'm alienating everyone around me and terrified what seeing me this way all the time is doing to my kids. I don't want to be stuck on the meds for the rest of my life, but I'm questioning whether this is really the best time to be doing this for myself. Even my unmedicated husband is floundering under the stress of our daily life at the moment. And sorry, Karen, but a year from now my goal is to not be feeling this crappy. Right now I don't really care how I get there.

I appreciate the suggestion of upping the Cymbalta reinstatement, and I'm considering it; it certainly might help take the edge off. It doesn't really adhere to the internal logic of getting OFF the drugs, though. If I continue to believe that's my goal, and IF it was the 13 beads that was making me feel better after my rapid taper, why would it suddenly stop working? Isn't the idea that you reduce the dosage, wait to stabilise, and reduce again? I'm feeling utterly discouraged. I know it's early, early days for me. My muddled thinking yesterday was that if the GP was going to push an SSRI on me (which I knew would be the likely scenario since they are also the first line treatment for anxiety), Prozac would be the only one I'd accept since at least it has less a probability of severe withdrawal. Yes, I know I'm mixing drugs and that's not ideal, and maybe sticking with the Cymbalta is better. For the moment I'm just terribly confused.

1997 Dabbled in Xanax until being prescribed Zoloft and Buspar

1999 Discontinued Buspar

2000 Standard medical taper of Zoloft

2003 Began Prozac

2005 Switched to Cymbalta 60mg; 2011 increased to 90mg

January 2015 Began taper of Cymbalta <1mg every 3 days; held fast at 30 mg for a month in June/July, then <1mg every two days

8 September 2015 Cold turkey off the last 5mg

Struggling with monstrous irritability, sadness, and rage from about ten days after I hit zero. Came back to this site and took everything much more seriously.

20 October 2015 Reinstated 10 beads of Cymbalta daily; increased to 13 beads 27 October (approx. 1.75mg daily)

Other daily supplements: vit D 4000iu, iron 25mg with B complex, fish oil, magnesium

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Reinstating often goes like that . . . you feel better initially with a tiny dose, then it's like it stops working.

 

If you had that good response , that's a great sign that you should be able to stabilize on that med.

It's safe to increase every 5-7 days , until you get to the lowest dose where your symptoms are kept at bay , and

you begin to even out.  

 

It's a matter of getting off the drugs safely , in a functional manner that fits in with your life if possible.  Once you're

stable , you can work towards tapering slowly.   

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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