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Valhalla: Healing from duloxetine


Valhalla

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Hello, all,

 

I'm new to SA and so glad to join your community. Please bare with me as I navigate the site. 

 

I've included my med history in my signature. Hope I did that correctly. 

 

I've been duloxetine free since September 18, 2018 after using the drug for over a decade and lorazepam free since April 27, 2019 after using it for four months. I erroneously omitted the lorazepam usage in my med signature which I will correct and update.

 

Since being off both drugs, I've had morning cortisol spikes which slap me awake between 2:30-4:00am with dread, massive anxiety and sweating. Deep depression soon follows. 

 

I've noticed my seasonal affective disorder has returned. These are the same feelings and emotions I've had since childhood. It's been hell. Deep despair, hopelessness, suicidal ideation.

 

I'm currently taking 2000mg fish oil, 600mg magnesium glycinate and 6000mg vitamin D supplements and have been taking them since CT 20mg duloxetine in 9/2018. I realize now the CT was a mistake.

 

As I've been reading posts in the SA community, cortisol spikes in the very wee hours of the morning are common and suffered by many. I feel for all of us because these cortisol attacks are nothing but an ongoing nightmare. For myself, they have not lessened. 

 

My SAD coupled with the cortisol attacks are my regular cycle of my new life sans pharmaceutical drugs. It never changes- the mornings are the worst followed by minor improvements in the afternoon with the evenings bringing some reprieve of anxiety. Some evenings are better than others.

 

I've noticed since being rx free I've seem to have developed APSD- advanced phase sleep disorder. I become almost narcoleptic from 7-8:30 in the evening but jolt awake six hours later. My quality of sleep is poor as I have daytime sleepiness every day. 

 

I thought to myself, "Six hours. Not bad." However, the quality of sleep is not restorative. I'm always sleepy. Always. I'm considering a sleep study but wondering if the benefit of the data would be of any use. 

 

I recently began using a Happy Light from Verilux. It's only been a week and haven't felt an improvement yet. I'm dedicated to using it daily during these winter months in the hopes I'll feel some small relief.

 

Unfortunately, I've also developed nystagmus as a result of coming off the drugs. It happens as I try to read. I find it worsens when I'm reading on my phone or computer but lessens when I read a book or anything in print. 

 

If there was one thing I could remove from this hell it would be the cortisol attacks in the morning. As everyone in the community knows, this WD side effect may be the worst. Would this have anything to do with the HPA axis? 

 

Thank you, so much, to Alto Strata, the administrators and moderators for creating and keeping this community alive. It's saving my life and so many others'. 

 

V

Edited by manymoretodays
removed white space

2001–2002 Lexapro
2002-2005 Celexa
2005-2008 Zoloft
2008-2018 duloxetine 50mg
Tapered duloxetine from 50mg down to 40mg over 30 days 
Tapered duloxetine from 40mg down to 20mg over 60 days
Stayed on 20mg duloxetine for 60 days
CT 20mg duloxetine down to zero on 9/19/18

12/2018- 4/2019 0.5mg lorazepam. Began taper middle March 2018. Last dose on 4/27/2019

 

 

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Hello, everyone,

 

I've been duloxetine free a year and 2 months and lorazepam free for seven months. Things have improved slightly and extraordinarily slow since the journey of a pharmaceutical free life. My daily cycle is the same everyday- cortisol spikes upon awakening, anxiety and depression all day and some relief at night. Everything is a trigger- especially with the holidays approaching. I don't like the holidays.

 

I wanted to ask the community about their memory as they taper and/or after the completion of tapering. Do you find you're thinking more clearly, memories are coming back to you after years of AD use, word retrieval has improved? 

 

I find I can remember past events much better now as well as my short term memory improving. I'm in perimenopause so I do get spacy a lot more but have noticed my memory overall is returning since tapering off the meds.

 

Would love to read others' experiences.

 

V

2001–2002 Lexapro
2002-2005 Celexa
2005-2008 Zoloft
2008-2018 duloxetine 50mg
Tapered duloxetine from 50mg down to 40mg over 30 days 
Tapered duloxetine from 40mg down to 20mg over 60 days
Stayed on 20mg duloxetine for 60 days
CT 20mg duloxetine down to zero on 9/19/18

12/2018- 4/2019 0.5mg lorazepam. Began taper middle March 2018. Last dose on 4/27/2019

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, V, and welcome to SA.

 

Thanks for creating a "drug signature" -- that really helps us see, at a glance, where you're currently at. 

 

On 11/12/2019 at 6:48 PM, Valhalla said:

I wanted to ask the community about their memory as they taper and/or after the completion of tapering. Do you find you're thinking more clearly, memories are coming back to you after years of AD use, word retrieval has improved? 

 

 

I'm so glad you're finding that your memory is improving. 

 

I've found the same thing -- both short term and long-term memory, even being able to follow a conversation and contribute, all of these things have gotten better the more I heal from SSRIs. I think as you read others' threads on this site you'll find many others with this positive experience as well. 

 

Do you have anything (strategies) you're going to try to cope with the holidays? This would be a great place to share/discuss those. 

Here is a collection of coping skills many have found useful: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

 

Have you tried magnesium at all to help with the cortisol spikes? (Those do improve, thank God. Mine used to be every day and they are much more spaced apart now.)

 

Again, welcome! Please keep letting us know how you're doing. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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  • SkyBlue changed the title to Valhalla: Healing from duloxetine

Hi, SB,

 

Thanks so much for your reply. It's so nice to be able to respond to a community member. 

 

With the hell that's my post withdrawal existence, the increasing victory of regaining my memory is wonderful. Slowly memories are inching back to me. I still don't remember a lot from the last 10 years when I was on duloxetine but hoping each day allows me a spark of what I hope to remember. 

 

The one thing I plan to do to try and get through the holidays is what I've been practicing since coming off meds- accepting and surrendering myself to any and all anxiety, depression and despair. Completely give in to those feelings and intrusive thoughts. (thank you Dr. Claire Weekes) It's so hard to do. So incredibly hard. After a year of allowing myself to no longer fight these feelings, I find I still struggle to accept and surrender myself to it all- the cortisol spikes awakening me at 2:30 every morning, the severe lack of sleep the past year, the mood shifts, the seasonal affective disorder that's taken hold of me hard this year. It goes on and on.

 

I've been taking magnesium glycinate for the past year along with fish oil and vitamin d3. The magnesium has helped but not as much as it did in the beginning. I've been increasing the dose in the hopes to feel more relief. I also began taking l-theanine 3 times a day. The cortisol spikes in the wee hours of the morning have become so bad I've decided to I'm going to take the theanine right when they wake me up. I'm hoping it'll give me a modicum of relief. 

 

Thank you for the link you posted. I'm going to read it now. 

 

SB, when did your morning cortisol spikes decrease? 

 

V

 

 

 

 

2001–2002 Lexapro
2002-2005 Celexa
2005-2008 Zoloft
2008-2018 duloxetine 50mg
Tapered duloxetine from 50mg down to 40mg over 30 days 
Tapered duloxetine from 40mg down to 20mg over 60 days
Stayed on 20mg duloxetine for 60 days
CT 20mg duloxetine down to zero on 9/19/18

12/2018- 4/2019 0.5mg lorazepam. Began taper middle March 2018. Last dose on 4/27/2019

 

 

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