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Healing IS possible: My "success" story

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Gato123
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Moderator note:  added link to Gato123's Introduction topic:

Gato123: withdrawal from Cymbalta and Prozac; Introduction topic

 

Gosh, I don't even know where to start. The short of it is, you WILL get better if you do not give up. I entered into withdrawal 14 months ago and was absolutely debilitated. Fast forward 14 months and most of my physical symptoms I was presenting are much less intense and the paralyzing anxiety and black depression I sank into are much more manageable.

 

When I was in the middle of withdrawal "hell" I truly didn't know if I believed recovery was possible and it.was.terrifying. No medical professional knew what to do to help (Note: This was if they even recognized the "discontinuation syndrome" (which the very terminology makes me so angry because it's SO misleading but that's for another post) other than recommended I reinstate the drug. I refused. All I kept thinking during this time was, "What is going to happen to me?" "When will this end?" "Will it end?" "What has chronic, long-term exposure done to my body? My brain? My Central Nervous System?" These were constant questions running through my mind for a long time. But I am here today to share my experience with you. No matter how bad you feel in the middle of it, your body IS capable of healing and WILL! I will share my experience in more detail below if you are interested to know more.

 

I am a female in my 30s. I was prescribed Wellbutrin over 17 years ago to help with the side effects of the birth control pill I was taking. In the last 17 years I've been on most of the "common" SSRI/SNRIs/benzodiazepines/sleeping pills including but not limited to: Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lorazepam, Alprazolam (Xanax), Ambien, and more. Each one brought new side effects, and in general, made me sick. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and never quite at peace. I am 14 months out and much better than where I was day 1. It is has been the hardest, most trying, exhausting experience of my life but I have survived. And YOU will too!

Edited by manymoretodays
added link to introduction topic

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Melissa5000

Thank you very much for sharing your story Gato123!  You were on many meds. I am surprised that you recover so quickly!

 

Could you please tell us a bit more about all the symptoms you had and the timeline they improved or dissapeared? 

 

Did you suffer nervepain? 

 

What symptoms do you still suffer from today? 

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Elyssa143

@Gato123 this is fantastic.  Im so glad your feeling better. I am approaching month 18th since withdrawal started and 15 months off all meds. Its been absolute h***. I was wondering if you had the intrusive si, hopelessness, dread, despair, chemical feeling of wanting to die, and internal restlessness? I went through protracted benzo withdrawl 9 years ago after 30 day use but didnt know what it was at the time and after 3 years went on zoloft because they told me i had postpartum depression.  Took it for a year got off fine med free for 3 years then back on zolofr for anxiety and it didnt work the same and did not want to be on meds. Tapered per my pysch a  year later. Now im still in hell. But this is so nice to read.  Would love to hear back. 

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Cocopuffz17

@Gato123 Woohooo! That is awesome! Glad to see you are doing way better. It will continue to get better!!! Thank you for posting your story. It is stories like these that give me the drive to keep on with my WDs. 

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Leo1983

How did you stop the drugs?

 

Did you do a good safe taper? CT? Partial CT?

 

Well done!

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manymoretodays

Yes.  Well done Gato123!  And thank you for writing on up your success story of hope, and posting.

I'm going to lock on up your introduction topic now, as we do, when Success Stories are written.  And I'll add in some links in both topics to the other.

 

Again, well done, super duper, sunshine and happiness.......B)

 

Love, peace, healing and growth,

manymoretodays

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juelli

Such good news, @Gato123 -I am grateful for your post.

 

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Ryder
On 8/29/2019 at 6:12 AM, Gato123 said:

Moderator note:  added link to Gato123's Introduction topic:

Gato123: withdrawal from Cymbalta and Prozac; Introduction topic

 

Gosh, I don't even know where to start. The short of it is, you WILL get better if you do not give up. I entered into withdrawal 14 months ago and was absolutely debilitated. Fast forward 14 months and most of my physical symptoms I was presenting are much less intense and the paralyzing anxiety and black depression I sank into are much more manageable.

 

When I was in the middle of withdrawal "hell" I truly didn't know if I believed recovery was possible and it.was.terrifying. No medical professional knew what to do to help (Note: This was if they even recognized the "discontinuation syndrome" (which the very terminology makes me so angry because it's SO misleading but that's for another post) other than recommended I reinstate the drug. I refused. All I kept thinking during this time was, "What is going to happen to me?" "When will this end?" "Will it end?" "What has chronic, long-term exposure done to my body? My brain? My Central Nervous System?" These were constant questions running through my mind for a long time. But I am here today to share my experience with you. No matter how bad you feel in the middle of it, your body IS capable of healing and WILL! I will share my experience in more detail below if you are interested to know more.

 

I am a female in my 30s. I was prescribed Wellbutrin over 17 years ago to help with the side effects of the birth control pill I was taking. In the last 17 years I've been on most of the "common" SSRI/SNRIs/benzodiazepines/sleeping pills including but not limited to: Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lorazepam, Alprazolam (Xanax), Ambien, and more. Each one brought new side effects, and in general, made me sick. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and never quite at peace. I am 14 months out and much better than where I was day 1. It is has been the hardest, most trying, exhausting experience of my life but I have survived. And YOU will too!

 

You were on so many drugs.

 

Can i asked when you bridged to Prozac, were you taking any other meds or were you just the one medicine ?

 

Thanks,

Ryder.

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Gato123
On 8/28/2019 at 4:38 PM, Melissa5000 said:

Thank you very much for sharing your story Gato123!  You were on many meds. I am surprised that you recover so quickly!

Hi Melissa5000, I was on a lot of different meds. Some of them were for short periods because they weren't "working" so I would be thrown on another pill. I would call my recovery incredibly intense and not necessarily that quick! I was pretty disabled for almost 8 months. After that I could start to function a bit more but it didn't take much to overwhelm me. I'll detail more of it below.

Could you please tell us a bit more about all the symptoms you had and the timeline they improved or dissapeared? 

Months 1-6 (approximately):

-super dark depression & suicidal ideation

-aggression

-crying

-ringing in ears

-really intense anxiety, worse than anything I'd ever felt, it was always worse in the mornings

-twitching (this was terrible)

-buzzing feeling throughout body, felt like a current was running through my body

-burning in hands and feet

-pitted edema in feet

-swollen joins (primarily knees)

-extreme fatigue

-spent lots of time reminiscing about the past

-felt stiff

-insomnia

-body sore and tired all over

-weight gain (despite not eating that much); Prozac used to be marketed as a diet pill years ago which I didn't know until after I stopped and immediately put on almost ten pounds. I'm not overweight, just "healthier" looking as my friends and family have commented. I used to be too thin

 

 

Months 7-11

-all the symptoms above but less aggression, crying, pitted edema, less suicidal ideation and dark depression. still lots of intense fatigue, tinnitus, anxiety (but less intense for sure), burning in hands and feet, sadness. Still overall was not functioning but at least the intensity was decreasing. 

 

Months 12-15 (present)

-in general feeling better; but find i feel really tense at time and have a hard time relaxing. 

-insomnia (pretty bad)

-tinnitus

-burning in hands and feet occasionally 

 

 

Did you suffer nervepain? 

Yes- I first experienced nerve pain in my hands and feet two years ago when I tried to first stop these drugs. I saw a neurologist and they wanted to give me gabapentin but I refused to blindly take more pills. I later learned this was a symptom of withdrawal. Did you have this?

 

What symptoms do you still suffer from today? 

Months 12-15 (present)

-in general feeling better; but find i feel really tense at time and have a hard time relaxing. 

-insomnia (pretty bad)

-tinnitus

-burning in hands and feet occasionally 

 

 

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Gato123
On 9/4/2019 at 8:45 AM, Ryder said:

 

You were on so many drugs.

 

Can i asked when you bridged to Prozac, were you taking any other meds or were you just the one medicine ?

 

Thanks,

Ryder.

Hi Ryder,

 

When I was bridged to Prozac I was just taking what I call the worst drug on the market, Cymbalta. I was not taking anything else at the time. If you have any other questions please let me know!

On 8/30/2019 at 7:46 AM, juelli said:

Such good news, @Gato123 -I am grateful for your post.

 

thank you juelli!

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Gato123
On 8/29/2019 at 2:28 AM, Leo1983 said:

How did you stop the drugs?

 

Did you do a good safe taper? CT? Partial CT?

 

Well done!

Hi Leo1983,

 

I had tried to stop Cymbalta in 2016 and very quickly entered into a really horrific withdrawal (or "Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome") which the prescriber recognized. I tried to ride it out for about 4 months and couldn't take it anymore. My prescribed recommended I 'not suffer" and "just go on" Prozac to help alleviate the withdrawal. 

I stayed on Prozac for over a year and a half. Then when I was ready to try to start coming off Prozac (which I was assured was "so easy") I started tapering over 4 months or so. I was more or less "OK" for about two months until it was as if the rug was pulled out from under me and I went back into withdrawal, this time only much worse, and I was abroad.

 

I think in my case, since I'm considered a "chronic long-term user" it is a death sentence to try to stop 17 years of drug use in a matter of months. Now that I know what I know it doesn't surprise me I went through hell.

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Gato123
On 8/28/2019 at 7:37 PM, Cocopuffz17 said:

@Gato123 Woohooo! That is awesome! Glad to see you are doing way better. It will continue to get better!!! Thank you for posting your story. It is stories like these that give me the drive to keep on with my WDs. 

@Cocopuffz17 I'm so glad-- I know I read these stories religiously when I was going through the worst of the WD. I honestly wondered how I would ever recover but 15 months later I can say I know I'm on the way. Please know whatever you are going through, no matter how horrific, will pass.

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Gato123
On 8/28/2019 at 5:22 PM, Elyssa143 said:

@Gato123 this is fantastic.  Im so glad your feeling better. I am approaching month 18th since withdrawal started and 15 months off all meds. Its been absolute h***. I was wondering if you had the intrusive si, hopelessness, dread, despair, chemical feeling of wanting to die, and internal restlessness? I went through protracted benzo withdrawl 9 years ago after 30 day use but didnt know what it was at the time and after 3 years went on zoloft because they told me i had postpartum depression.  Took it for a year got off fine med free for 3 years then back on zolofr for anxiety and it didnt work the same and did not want to be on meds. Tapered per my pysch a  year later. Now im still in hell. But this is so nice to read.  Would love to hear back. 

Hi @Elyssa143,

I'm sorry your'e still struggling! Yes, I had really intrusive SI, hopelessness, despair, chemical feeling of wanting to die and just the worst intensity of internal restlessness. It was the closest experience to hell on earth and it lasted for months and months. I was living abroad and able to do a lot of work on the computer thankfully. Otherwise I would have most definitely lost my job as I was not functioning. I am still not completely out of the woods but I am functioning at least and doing lightyears better. Some of us just take a little longer but I can tell you I had the same symptoms you're describing and they did eventually become less intense and present in daily life. 

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Leo1983

@Gato123

 

This is how i am now. 

 

I had all that..... BUT i just cant write a success story. 

 

I have gone from Si housebound to doing all sorts BUT i still dont feel me. Therefore i refuse to write success. 

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ShiningLight

Congratulations!!! It is wonderful to know that people on medications for a long time can recover. 💜

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Guilietta
On 9/15/2019 at 3:42 PM, Gato123 said:

I had tried to stop Cymbalta in 2016 and very quickly entered into a really horrific withdrawal (or "Cymbalta Discontinuation Syndrome") which the prescriber recognized. I tried to ride it out for about 4 months and couldn't take it anymore. My prescribed recommended I 'not suffer" and "just go on" Prozac to help alleviate the withdrawal. 

 

Hello Gato123. Fabulous! Fantastic! I am so happy for you and that you have recovered from these nasty drugs.

 

I am in what I think is PAWS from unwitting CT of cymbalta (Dec 2018). Bit of a story for anyone who's interested.  I am compelled to take action.

 

May I ask you a few questions about getting off cymbalta:

  • Did you try pellet counting from duloxetine before moving to prozac?
  • Why did you choose  prozac? Why was it so difficult to get off of? Was it the speed of your taper?
  • In hindsight do you wish you had used a different drug or counted duloxetine pellets?

 

Thank you - and again - huge congratulations. We all need to hear a success story!

 

Giulietta

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Ryder
On 9/16/2019 at 5:35 AM, Gato123 said:

When I was bridged to Prozac I was just taking what I call the worst drug on the market, Cymbalta. I was not taking anything else at the time.

 

My goodness, Cymbalta was the first drug i was ever prescribed at 18. It felt like my brain was on fire! It took me 5 minutes to get prescribed by a GP and was told i would be fine for minor depression. God damn

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Gato123
On 9/16/2019 at 7:16 PM, Guilietta said:

 

Hello Gato123. Fabulous! Fantastic! I am so happy for you and that you have recovered from these nasty drugs.

 

I am in what I think is PAWS from unwitting CT of cymbalta (Dec 2018). Bit of a story for anyone who's interested.  I am compelled to take action.

 

May I ask you a few questions about getting off cymbalta:

  • Did you try pellet counting from duloxetine before moving to prozac?
  • Why did you choose  prozac? Why was it so difficult to get off of? Was it the speed of your taper?
  • In hindsight do you wish you had used a different drug or counted duloxetine pellets?

 

Thank you - and again - huge congratulations. We all need to hear a success story!

 

Giulietta

Hi @Giulietta,

I didn’t know about pellet counting until after I stopped Cymbalta unfortunately. I was tapered off cymbalta very quickly and started on Prozac.  I was recommended Prozac by my provider because they said it was a commonly used “bridge” drug due to its long half life. I was so desperate after four months of hell of withdrawal I was willing to try anything. 
 

I think my withdrawal from cymbalta was horrific simply because it is known to be very hard to stop (although I didn’t know this at the time). I think it was absolute hell stopping Prozac, not because of Prozac, but because I was stopping 17 years of drug use in a matter of months. I don’t think it would have mattered what drug it was. 
 

In hindsight I wish I had never taken cymbalta. I wish I had been informed of the “cymbalta discontinuation syndrome” BEFORE I was prescribed it. I have never been the same since I took cymbalta. 
 

 

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