Jump to content
PossibleButterfly

PossibleButterfly: After 18 years on and off.....

Recommended Posts

PossibleButterfly

Hi all. I am in desperate need of help but so tired and untrusting and out of hope.

 

I stopped Cymbalta 2 months ago. I'm on nothing now. I was taking Lamictal at 50mg as well but stopped that too because of the rashes I was getting. Most of the physical withdrawals are gone, but now I'm experiencing anger (at nothing in particular) and extreme depression. I'm not quite sure how to get through it other than going back on a medication....which I don't really want to do since they've screwed me up physically.

 

I swear I've tried everything but TMS...and my insurance doesn't cover that. I'm 3000 miles away from home. I have no close friends out here. My Dad is suffering of stage 4 cancer back home. I'm obligated to be here for another 7 months. I just don't know what to do anymore. I have no confidence, no real hope, no energy. I exercise almost every day but it's not helping anymore. I have chronic pain and am suppose to get a spinal fusion. I don't know if I could handle that though since I'm still depressed even while I'm exercising. Should I go on Prozac to take the edge off....so I can at least get through the next 7 months? I don't even know if that would work though. Last time I was on Prozac it was just as good as being on nothing at all. I've tried amino acids. they don't seem to work either. St. John's Wort gave me rashes.

 

I honestly don't think my life is worth very much. I don't and haven't had a significant other in some time. The last one I had beat me up emotionally all the time. It was just like my inner critic turned to a separate human being. I have friends, but they aren't that close and would probably run away if they knew how big my pain was. I am so sick of this part of me that keeps coming back every time I try to live off antidepressants. I hate this part of me. Why can't I be just like everyone else and be grateful for what I have?

 

How the hell do you get out from under the darkness that wants to kill you?


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Ali4

Welcome to SA possiblebutterfly,

 

Glad you found this forum, you will get great help from the mods and members here, just wanted to drop in and say hello and let you know you are not alone, one of the mods will be along shortly to help you along. Ali.


10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

Hi Butterfly-- welcome to the group.  We have a ton of good information and support here and I'm so glad you found us.  I sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble and so far from home that's a really tough position to be in.  It sounds like you have a good case of Withdrawal Syndrome brought on by what I am assuming was a Cold Turkey.  Good thing your insurance doesn't cover TMS, it doesn't do a thing for this and can cause a lot of other problems.  I would also be very cautious of the Spinal Fusion too.  Withdrawal Syndrome can cause a lot of physical pain and quite often in the back area so there is a good chance you don't really need it.

 

The symptoms you describe are very common and can frequently be mitigated by reinstating a very small amount of the drug.  How did the drugs "screw you up physically"? That would have a bearing on whether or not to try a reinstatement.  To get things started here are some links to information it would be good for you to read:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If you would please add a signature block with all your drug history it would be very helpful.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

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.

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

Share this post


Link to post
nz11

Hi Butterfly

Sorry you are in this difficult place.

Are you able to advise when you started the cymbalta and dose?

To take the edge off its far better to ri a small dose of the drug you were on rather than switch.

See the great links Brass  gave you.


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

I was on it for about 7 months. I had gone up to 40mg for a time, and tried 60, but couldn't sleep. I went back down to 40 for a few weeks, then down to 20 for a week or so, then off since that's the smallest dose available. I went through the worst of it already; Nausea, dizziness, sweats, brain fog (still have a little of that), anxiety. It's been exactly two months since I stopped the 20mg. Now it is slight rash and sensitive skin, anxiety, anger, and horrible depression. I don't want to go back on the stuff because I fought all those horrid withdrawals already.

 

I don't know that it's withdrawals as much as it is my returning depression. I feel like that is just something that may never leave me alone.  


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
nz11

Thanks for the clarification. Are you able to put that in your drug sig. it makes it easy to see at a glance.

 

Rest assured this is not depression it is withdrawal.

 

Please believe that it will leave you, it will just take time we could be talking many months here.

 

Everything you describe are classic wdl symptoms.

check out this link

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

Hello PossibleButterfly,

 

I'm so glad you've come to find some help.  Many of us here know about feeling stuck forever in those dark times - and we know how it feels to start shifting out of them too.  It's a slow process, but it does happen. 

 

Exercise might actually be making you feel worse at the moment, because during withdrawal everything gets a bit contrary.  Gentle exercise is what we recommend - perhaps a walk or some supported yoga. 

 

Reaing the links the others gave you will give you a better understanding of what you are dealing with.  I'd also like to add Non-Drug Techniques for dealing with emotional symptoms.  I struggled with depression for most of my life, then in the last few years made some really good headway.  I put most of it down to weaving together a nest of supportive and good things (strong enough to hold me when things are hard), and tapering gently off anti-depressants.

 

Please know that you do have worth simply because you are you.  There's goodness in you, and there's strength. 

 

If you want to know more details about how I manage depression, you can read them in my blog (link in my signature). 

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Irvingkirsch

 

Hi Butterfly-- welcome to the group.  We have a ton of good information and support here and I'm so glad you found us.  I sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble and so far from home that's a really tough position to be in.  It sounds like you have a good case of Withdrawal Syndrome brought on by what I am assuming was a Cold Turkey.  Good thing your insurance doesn't cover TMS, it doesn't do a thing for this and can cause a lot of other problems.  I would also be very cautious of the Spinal Fusion too.  Withdrawal Syndrome can cause a lot of physical pain and quite often in the back area so there is a good chance you don't really need it.

 

The symptoms you describe are very common and can frequently be mitigated by reinstating a very small amount of the drug.  How did the drugs "screw you up physically"? That would have a bearing on whether or not to try a reinstatement.  To get things started here are some links to information it would be good for you to read:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If you would please add a signature block with all your drug history it would be very helpful.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

 

Hi, I read an reputable study that showed that when alcoholics abstained from alcohol their total sleep times improved 1 to 3 years into sobriety. Have you noticed a difference? I'm a chronic insomniac and I'm convinced the alcoholism did it. Thanks so much.

Share this post


Link to post
coldturkmama

I know you can make it through this! I did a very uneducated cold turkey and am still going through windows and waves but I'm so much better than I was. You are worth way more than you think. Hang in there.


Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

Share this post


Link to post
brassmonkey

TBH I was such mess at the time it's hard to tell.  Between the drinking and being in severe poopout on paxil I was sleeping almost every free moment.  That did normalize to a more constant pattern with the sobriety and taper.  However, the sleep schedule I have to maintain for work is so unnatural for me.  I'm a natural night owl, but have to get up a O'dark 30 to get to work.  All in all I get enough to be somewhat rested during the week and get to sleep late on weekends to make up for it.


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.

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

Share this post


Link to post
Irvingkirsch

TBH I was such mess at the time it's hard to tell.  Between the drinking and being in severe poopout on paxil I was sleeping almost every free moment.  That did normalize to a more constant pattern with the sobriety and taper.  However, the sleep schedule I have to maintain for work is so unnatural for me.  I'm a natural night owl, but have to get up a O'dark 30 to get to work.  All in all I get enough to be somewhat rested during the week and get to sleep late on weekends to make up for it.

 

Well, I'm glad you are sleeping better. Thanks for getting back to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

Hi Possible Butterfly , welcome to the site. It sounds like things have improved a little which is great.

Don't be surprised if they get bad again , it's the nature of the withdrawal from cymbalta and other ad's.

Please take a look at "The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization"

here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

Best wishes , 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

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

I'm still having a hard time. Reinstated Lamictal to try to stabilize emotions. My anxiety and irritability are horrible. I tried to do some Lexapro but had really bad intrusive thoughts and anxiety. I haven't felt normal since I was on the Cymbalta 4 months ago. I wish I had just stayed on the lower dose for a while. I really want to feel like a human being again.

 

Been trying some adaptogens. That's difficult as well. Oatstraw is good. Rhodiola makes me extremely irritable. But I feel happy at the same time so I'm pissed cause I just want the happy part.  

 

Also trying to get my hair to thicken out again. When I went off Cymbalta, I also stopped birth control, and I don't know which one caused it, but my hair got thin. I feel so terrible about myself. I really wish there was someone here who could support me and help me along in this. I tried contacting some therapists, but they never got back to me and it just tires me out to have to keep calling back. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

Ain't nothing wrong with you PossibleButterfly, but there was something wrong with those drugs they gave you. 

 

How much Lamictal did you reinstate to, and on what date?  (Would be good to note these updates in your signature too, so we can help better).

 

When we know those details we can work out what is going on.  (Apart from the fact that w/d is just horrible...)

 

Glad you've popped in to get some help,

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.

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

Karen- I started two and a half weeks ago at 50mg. Scared to increase because I don't want to have to go through everything again. Maybe I should.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

Increasing probably isn't the answer.  You stopped 50mg Lamictal at the end of January, then reinstated 50mg two and a half weeks ago.  However during those months in between your body will have become somewhat adjusted to having less than 50mg in it.  So it may be better to try reducing the dose, to something like 25mg. 

 

When you reinstated, did things get better, worse, or stay the same?  If worse, then reducing is likely the way to go.  If better, then I'd say to hold a bit longer as the difficulties may also be due to your brief use of Lexapro (when was that, by the way?).

 

You'll get there PB,

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.

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

Increasing probably isn't the answer.  You stopped 50mg Lamictal at the end of January, then reinstated 50mg two and a half weeks ago.  However during those months in between your body will have become somewhat adjusted to having less than 50mg in it.  So it may be better to try reducing the dose, to something like 25mg. 

 

When you reinstated, did things get better, worse, or stay the same?  If worse, then reducing is likely the way to go.  If better, then I'd say to hold a bit longer as the difficulties may also be due to your brief use of Lexapro (when was that, by the way?).

 

You'll get there PB,

Karen

It is so tough to know what is causing what. I did stop the Lamictal because I don't think it does anything. I started again because I was having a horrible week and my psychiatrist suggested I do this. I really don't want to be on anything though.

 

Does alcohol cause anxiety the next day for anyone? I've read here that we are suppose to avoid alcohol and caffeine. I don't drink coffee in the morning anymore, but I still drink alcohol some. It's actually hard not to because the people I hang around with kind of expect me to. I get made fun of if I don't.

 

I can't concentrate. I feel terrible at work because I'm just doing research about my symptoms, etc. I really want to be productive, but I am so bored of my work. Six more months. I really want to just change everything.

 

I was so overwhelmed with stimulation this weekend that I ended up going into a gym locker room and just crying. I hate not feeling like myself. I really want to feel like myself again and I really just want to stop thinking about it all!!!


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

Glad you popped in again PB.  You sure have been doing a lot of starting and stopping - so it's not too surprising that you aren't feeling so good lately.  To avoid extra pain, it's always a good idea to taper a drug that you think isn't working.  CTs are bad news.  It looks like your most recent CT was about 3 weeks ago?  And since then you've been struggling with symptoms?  Have any improved at all?

 

If there have been no improvements, and you feel you are not coping very well with the symptoms, then it is an option to reinstate Lamictal.  We can discuss what dose if you decide to take that option - it depends on when exactly you CT'd.  If you did reinstate it would be important to hold at that dose for at least a month, and possibly two.  Your CNS needs some really good care now, after all the on/off. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

Do you have some friends who would be more supportive of the choices you make?  Cause alcohol really is an issue for a destabilised CNS.  You deserve better care than what you're getting. 

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

Glad you popped in again PB.  You sure have been doing a lot of starting and stopping - so it's not too surprising that you aren't feeling so good lately.  To avoid extra pain, it's always a good idea to taper a drug that you think isn't working.  CTs are bad news.  It looks like your most recent CT was about 3 weeks ago?  And since then you've been struggling with symptoms?  Have any improved at all?

 

If there have been no improvements, and you feel you are not coping very well with the symptoms, then it is an option to reinstate Lamictal.  We can discuss what dose if you decide to take that option - it depends on when exactly you CT'd.  If you did reinstate it would be important to hold at that dose for at least a month, and possibly two.  Your CNS needs some really good care now, after all the on/off. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

Do you have some friends who would be more supportive of the choices you make?  Cause alcohol really is an issue for a destabilised CNS.  You deserve better care than what you're getting. 

 

Karen

Thank you for replying Karen. I feel like my symptoms are from the general withdrawal from both the Cymbalta and Lamictal. 50mg was such a low dosage, I'm not sure it was doing anything for me. I haven't canceled my appointment with my psychiatrist yet, but I think I might. I'm really not sure what she can do besides put me on another medication. She already prescribed me Ativan which I knew I shouldn't take thanks to this website. 

 

I keep thinking I should stop drinking altogether. I just have to be strong when it comes to people making comments about it. All my supportive friends are back home. Everyone I hang out with here, even if we do something active, there is usually drinking involved afterwards. 

 

I'm so shocked at how sensitive I've become to foods, etc. I use to be so tough and resilient when it came to food and allergies. Will I ever be able to get back to that? Our bodies are seeking homeostasis, right? And I feel like I've been on and off medication for all of this time. More on than off, but I have gone off for months at a time before. I really just want to feel normal again and stop reacting to everything that happens with alarm and anxiety like the world is coming to an end just because...this..little thing happened or I'm not ...here... in my life bla bla bla. 


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
KarenB

50mg was such a low dosage, I'm not sure it was doing anything for me.

Drugs cause changes to our brain and stress to our CNS.  Whether the dose is large or small is in some ways irrelevant, as is whether or not we feel it's doing anything for us.  The pressing issue is that our brain has been changed, and therefore it needs to be able to slowly adjust back to how it was.  Suddenly removing the drug causes too much shock. 

 

I'm so shocked at how sensitive I've become to foods, etc. I use to be so tough and resilient when it came to food and allergies. Will I ever be able to get back to that? Our bodies are seeking homeostasis, right?

 

Your increased sensitivity to food etc is the result of a destabilised CNS, as are the anxiety and other issues.   I absolutely believe healing can and does happen - but it helps if we provide the right conditions for it.  That's why I think reinstating then gently tapering would be the best path. 


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.

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

hey Everyone. It has been 6 months now since I stopped the main antidepressant dosage. I am really struggling. I feel dumb. I am still having horrible feelings that it takes so much effort to change. I feel so alone. I am contemplating a move closer to home, but I am worried about my mental state. Before when I've moved, I've been stable. I now feel very fragile. I keep thinking maybe I should go back on something. A lot of people say I should. Perhaps it's not the time to try to fight this? My Dad is sick, I am not happy in my career, I do not like myself, I am single and lonely.

 

Should I just abandon this fight and leave it for when I may feel better with life? Or will all this crap come crashing in again once I try to stop again?

 

I wouldn't even know what to try, honestly. The last one I tried (again) made me so anxious. I could only take it for four days before I had to stop.

 

Any advice?


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Butterfly,

 

Withdrawal symptoms are difficult. Your Cymbalta taper was very fast, from 40 mg to 0 in 6 weeks. That and the subsequent Lamictal cut from 50 mg to 0 almost certainly destabilized you.  It's beyond unfortunate, bordering on immoral, that doctors don't know how to assist people in coming off these drugs. The 1-week round of Lexapro and 2-week reinstatement of Lamictal in April probably didn't do you any favors, either.

 

One thing you learned from those experiences in April was that you need to start with very low doses, much lower than the manufactured doses. In a post above, Karen suggested trying a tiny dose of Lamictal to test how your CNS responds. What are your thoughts about that today?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

The Lamictil never did anything for me. No stabilization. No nothing. At least on antidepressants I had a base of non-feeling rather than feeling so horrible the majority of the time. I've tried supplements and things that are suppose to increase my serotonin. Nothing makes it better.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

What was your experience on Cymbalta?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

Honestly, it wasn't bad. I'm an athlete and my heart rate was odd when I was really going at it. I felt like my fitness was suffering. It was the going off that was really difficult. I've been wondering about calling my psychiatrist and asking if I can go back on that. I just worry I'll lose whatever progress I've made...not that it feels like I've made any at this point. I also worry about going back on anything since the initial stage is a bit rough...anxiety wise.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Although they say Cymbalta is a weak anti-depressant it still has effects and our CNS DEFINITELY notices its absence. 

 

Going back to Cymbalta is something to consider, though reinstating is not a sure thing 6 months after the last dose . It can help reduce symptoms or make them worse, or do nothing. If you do reinstate, you don't have to start with a full "therapeutic" dose of 20 mg, and probably shouldn't.  If you take a very small dose  (0.5 - 1 mg) to test your CNS response, you won't lose progress and you may gain functionality.
 
Please read this topic about reinstating: About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
Your psychiatrist might find this suggested dose ridiculous. You can point him to a 2004 research study on duloxetine dose and serotonin receptor (5HTT) occupancy. (site requires login)

My mediafire PDF link: A dose-finding study of duloxetine based on serontonin transporter occupancy.pdf

It shows that at 20 mg, most people's 5HTT are 75% occupied. At 40 mg, 5HTT occupancy is 80%. Reading the curve, it looks that at 10 mg 5HTT occupancy is approximately 45%.  Almost of the transporter adjustments your CNS needs to make are done below a dose of 20 mg.
 
I haven't been in the same situation as you with Cymbalta, but here's my story: I'm doing well in the early stages of a slow taper after a rocky start following a MDs advice to skip days. I reinstated a daily dose of 20 mg and stayed there for a month. I cut my dose by 10% after a month because my symptoms settled down tremendously in the first 2 weeks of 20mg/day.  I have made two 10% cuts since restabilizing.
 
Were you taking the name brand (Lilly) Cymbalta or a generic duloxetine? This matters because of the dosing each allows; name-brand Cymbalta allows for titration in smaller amounts.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

It was generic. I stopped at 20 mg. Funny, I felt so great when I stopped.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Yeah, that happens. There's often a period of 1-2 weeks when you feel terrific and then get slammed. It's like one of Al Pacino's lines from The Godfather Part 3, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

The wider public has no idea how damaging these things are. It's kind of a shock. I've never wanted to be on them, and in the past have tried to stop, but experienced the false depression and went back on. So many people say "well, maybe you just have to stay on them for the rest of your life" or "some people take insulin. It's just like that." No no no no no no!! It is not. Because they never were well aware of how they effected the entire system...body, mind, and spirit. I think I have taken them just to be happy with life circumstances when the brave thing to do would be to quit my job and figure out what I really should be doing with my life. But I am so damned scared. Especially when life convinces you that you are weak and fragile. Every time I make a significant change, I go into a deep depression. I am so unsure of myself. No amount of therapy has ever resolved that.

 

And now antidepressants have put a wrench into the whole deal. Where the hell were supplements 18 years ago dammit! :)

 

It's hard to believe that even psychiatrists don't know about this. Are we in the minority? Or does no one take people on medication seriously because many of us have been diagnosed with a mental illness?? A scientist would know that yes, something that effs with your brain can screw a whole lot up......for a long period of time potentially. Protracted withdrawal makes complete scientific sense honestly. Ugh.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

A book that we recommend is Mad in America, by Robert Whitaker. He walks through the development of psych drugs and the research tricks and the marketing. Doctors have been misled by manipulated data, manipulated report of studies.  I think we're in the early days of a big reveal, kind of like the 50s or 60s were for tobacco.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

I have been super depressed again and thinking of going back on ADs, but would like to find a different psychiatrist...however that involves waiting an awful lot of time to see anyone.

 

I'm feeling slightly better this morning. I get so desperate at times because everything just feels bad. Everything around me makes me disgusted and nothing I think of makes me happy. I don't believe that I can change or that life can be better. I feel like everything is deteriorating and there is nothing good in the world. I hate this part of depression...not that there's anything to like really. But this is just something I have a hard time dealing with.

 

I went to kickboxing class last night and part of it felt good, and part of it I cried because there are parts of me that hurt so much....my knee and my back...and I feel like I use to be in such good shape and now every time I exercise, I hurt. This makes me feel so awful because exercise has been a coping mechanism for me and something I really enjoy.

 

I really have no support here. The therapist I was seeing doesn't seem to have any empathy. It is so hard to find someone who genuinely cares. That is really what I need right now.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
coldturkmama

My back and hips hurt soooo much since withdrawing after 15 or 16 yrs paxil use. I swear I never had these pains before. I read that SSRI'S are an inflammatory, so it makes sense that our bodies fill with inflammation and pain over the years.


Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

Share this post


Link to post
PossibleButterfly

It's been 8 months since I stopped Cymbalta. I am still very anxious and depressed. I have tried so many supplements, some of them make me feel more anxious. I decided to move back home for a few months to help out my father who is going through chemo right now. Shortly after my decision, I fall and fracture my ankle...then get a blood clot in the same leg. I am anxious about all of this and I cannot work out which was my only coping mechanism prior to the break.

 

I am tired and sad and lonely. Indecisive, feeling like there is something wrong with my body. I am now worried about every pain. I just don't feel good physically. I eat well. I take so many vitamins. And yet I feel like ****. I felt better when I didn't watch what I was eating and was on anti-depressants. At least I felt hungry. At least I wasn't anxious and having intrusive thoughts.

 

I'm in the process of moving and deciding where to put all my stuff which makes me more anxious. I have so much to do and no help. People have offered to help me, but it's hard for me to think of organizing with other people around unless I am really comfortable with them. This is hard to come by these days since I rarely feel comfortable, even by myself.

 

I wish that it didn't cost so much to have someone look at your levels specifically for depression. I've had my blood drawn a couple times this year, but I don't know if they are looking specifically at the things I read about. My B12 is fine. My blood sugars are fine. My cholesterol is fine. I am so tired yet I feel like running away. To where I don't know. I'm not sure I would feel safe anywhere right now. I was doing good for a while on all the supplements I'm on. I no longer feel that way. Perhaps because I'm on blood thinners? I don't know. I almost just want to give up and go back on the antidepressants. My psychiatrist gave me Celexa...but that is very similar to Lexapro, and I got really anxious taking that. I remember the happy feeling I had right before I stopped Cymbalta and I so want that again. I was healthy and happy and positive and confident. I thought it was the perfect time to stop. Now I just want to be there again, because I just don't feel good and I'm tired of trying to find the right supplement to make me better.


On supplements currently...May 9 2016

Started Lamictal 50 mg for two weeks and of April 2016. Stopped again.

Tried Lexapro 5mg for a week in April 2016. Had intrusive thoughts and anxiety. Stopped again.

Stopped 50mg Lamictal end of January 2016

Stopped Cymbalta from 20mg Jan. 10, 2016

Went down to 20mg from 40 mg Dec. 2015

 

Have been on and off anti-depressants for 18 years. Started with Wellbutrin, which made me feel crazy, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro with Lamictal, Lithium (not for very long), and Cymbalta. I believe there were more. These are the ones I remember.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

Sorry to read that life has thrown you a few too many curve balls in the last while. :(

 

I've been in your position of having people offer to help but being stuck at the thought of organizing them.  One time when I had virtually no other choice, I just asked one person to take charge and run the darn thing for me. When I think of it, I can still feel the incredible relief I felt when she said yes. :D Maybe there's someone in your want-to-help-you group that is capable of taking it on, or s/he could sit with you to talk and work out a plan to organize the others?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy