Jump to content

Spidey: Cymbalta burnout


spidey

Recommended Posts

  • Moderator Emeritus

 

 

Sometimes I wonder about suicide if I can't resolve this.

 

It will resolve itself in time, I promise.  

 

Jemima has given excellent and thorough advice here and I don't think I have anything I can add to it, I just thought you might want to hear another "voice" during this terrible time that you're having.

 

Oh, I wanted to say that your frustration at yourself for wanting to be "lead through life" is a brave sentiment, one that I think many here can relate to.  Just don't be too hard on yourself, as most of us arrived here on the same ship.  

 

Hang in there.  It gets better, really.  And please keep us updated on how you're doing.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post

Thank you Narcissus :) Sometimes I feel like the odd man out on this site because I did not follow a strict and well thought out tapering plan as most have. It's nice speaking to people who offer compassion rather than scolding words and shrugged shoulders.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I sometimes do get exasperated with people who either won't follow a tapering plan or who think they know better than Alto (who is probably one of the leading experts on antidepressant withdrawal in the world), but in your case, you've had an adverse reaction and I've been timid about offering any advice at all for fear that even a small reinstatement might hurt you.  Your decision to not take Cymbalta at all may very well be the best decision for you.  I'm also well aware that anxiety and impatience are par for the course in early withdrawal.  I was a wreck myself, and I'm not sure if I was having an adverse reaction to the drug or not, but I suspect that I was.  I certainly got horrendously sick as soon as the stressors were removed from my life.

 

There really isn't a lot you can do at this point but bear up as best you can and take good care of yourself.  The last thing you need is criticism and scolding.

 

Here's an intro by someone who also had an adverse reaction to her antidepressant: 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2895-antoinette-lexapro-withdrawal/?hl=Antoinette

 

She's come a long way in less than a year, and I hope her story will give you some hope.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

Link to post

So I think I've decided where to go from here, and would greatly appreciate advice from the more experienced members in particular.......
I'm going to ask my doctor today for Lamictal in the lowest dose available. I will start a dose that is even lower than that (possibly .5). My question is this: after so many spikes in my serotonin levels over many months time how long should I wait to begin dosing? It's been 7 days since my last dose of 1 bead, and about 11 or 12 since my last "extreme" dose of 13mg. I do not wish to risk serotonin syndrome again. Are there ways that I can distinguish between lingering serotonin syndrome/toxicity symptoms and full blown withdrawal symptoms? I guess because many of the symptoms are very similar (twitching, buzzing nerves, ridiculously high sensitivity to all stimuli, insomnia, etc.) I am wanting to know how long it will take for my serotonin levels to bottom out to a point where I can proceed with less risk.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I don't think anyone knows the answer to your questions.  There is just nothing certain in withdrawal.  Considering how sensitive you are, I would be disinclined to add any new drugs to the mix.  Lamictal may make your symptoms worse. There are no shortcuts through withdrawal.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

Link to post

I understand. Since I've been on these things for so long (the longest were Effexor and Depakote---over 15 years of both) I think this is going to be more than just "withdrawal." My body is going to collapse. Most likely I will never recover. I'm going to miss being happy and able to think. I'm going to miss being able to move. I'm sorry, I wish I could have hope, but my prognosis is not exactly a good one.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
Meimeiquest

Hi Spidey,

 

I am NOT experienced at all, nor as sick as you, but I did tumble through a section of Wellbutrin stumbling between mania and withdrawal. Looking back, I would be on a dose and become manic, drop and develop too much withdrawal, go to a dose between, become manic, drop into withdrawal, go somewhere in between. Finally got to a place where I am not manic and now trying to finish the taper properly. I don't think I could have gotten through it with normal tapering, but who knows. I started tapering in general because of how well I felt...I think when you start because you're sick it is much harder. But the hopelessness you are feeling sounds very, very withdrawal-ish to me. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will one day see improvement. Best, Meimei

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I would go for a very small dose of Lamictal--or nothing at all.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

Link to post

Spidey, the dread and fear are "classic" w/d symptoms.

You have to take care of yourself the best way you can.

I am not a Dr. but I would not add more psy drug to your system.

You are young, you WILL heal.

This is tough, tell me about it.I am 60 yrs old I am 11 months off and can certainly say I have seen important improvement;incredible slow though.

 

Try Valerian root tincture for anxiety

 

My spirit is with you.

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

Link to post

You're probably right about not adding another psych med Alex (and others). For the time being I am tolerating Clonidine, which is prescribed to people coming off of addictive substances. I realize I will one day have to taper off of this (or that one day I may not be able to tolerate it), but for now it is helping. Seems to stop the restless leg syndrome thing I've got going on since overdosing on Cymbalta which is nice. I'm just super scared and frustrated knowing that I am headed for a world of hurt and that some things (like the persistent genital arousal disorder) may become a permanent part of my life. Hopefully if my brain is as adaptable as I suspect it to be....it can adjust in the other direction.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

 

Sometimes I feel like the odd man out on this site because I did not follow a strict and well thought out tapering plan as most have

 

It may seem that way, but many of us (I for instance) did not follow a good tapering plan and are suffering as a result of it.  This is why some of us are so persistent in urging people to do a slow and consistent taper, because we know what awful places rushing things can lead to.  

 

Alex is right about the fear and dread, they are classic withdrawal symptoms, particularly the "I'll be like this forever" type thoughts.  It would be very unusual for you to be disabled in any permanent way, I'm sure you'll recover in time like the rest of us.

 

Have a look through some of these recovery stories:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/28-recovery-success-stories/

 

Oh, and if you want to try something like Valerian make sure you read up on it first.  

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/599-valerian-root/

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

So.... my parents are trying to help me through the rehabilitation process. However, they believe (because of my erratic mood swings) that I am "making up" the idea of medication hypersensitivity and brain/body damage. They think (like most of the psychiatrists and doctors that I have seen) that the solution to all my problems is to take a pill....any pill....any pill combination. The concept of protracted withdrawal and nervous system upset is beyond their level of understanding. I can sympathize with this, as a year and a half ago I had NO CLUE that this could happen to me or anyone else for that matter. They are willing to listen ONLY to the advice of misinformed doctors. I am getting weaker and my cognitive skills are waning. I am tired of trying to convince them myself.......can anyone guide me to some scholarly articles, doctors testimonials...something that can present in simple terms the evidence for what I (and others) experience after discontinuation of psychotropic substances?

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm not sure this is what you're looking for, but Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker is pretty exhaustively researched and has lots of documentation that you might be able to refer to.

 

I wish I were getting a commission for every time I recommend that book! :-)

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

Link to post
  • 2 years later...

Update on my status.....hopefully this is where it is supposed to go. It's been just under 2 years. My life is gone. Not sure exactly how all of this happened in such a short amount of time, but I now am left with memory loss (short and long term...feels like Alzheimer's honestly), my skin is dry, yellow, blotchy, acne infested with scars that never fade, AND I've actually AGED. Used to get called miss (the women in my family all have childlike features). Now I'm ma'am. My skin sags....I have atrophy beneath the eyes something fierce. I look like death. Or a meth addict. Sometimes I wonder if people think this. In public people are rude and short with me. Family members can no longer make eye contact with me....this hurts the most. I've lost any intelligence that I once possessed. So I can forget about "winning" people over in spite of physical shortcomings. The fatigue I feel at all times is crippling. I am hypersensitive to all sounds, sights.....anything that is stimulating. It wears me out and I go into these little time warp spells. Can't get out of them sometimes for days. I think about dying every minute of every day. Literally. My sisters and I used to be very close. We did everything together. Now it's the two of them...me excluded. Their conversations with me are brief and formal. I'm not sure they believe how bad things are for me. Or they just can't deal with my exhaustion, brain fog, and altered appearance. Which is understandable I suppose. I had such high hopes in the beginning. Now, I wonder what the hell I was waiting and struggling for. Nothing came back. I'm a zombie of my formal self. And I am so, so very tired.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post

Oh so sorry that you are experiencing this horrific seemingly loss of brain function.   And the inability of your family and friends to empathize increases your pain, I know.

 

I have had the same experience and I know how damaged beyond repair it feels.  Just getting through each moment of each day is monumental, I know.  BUT, you WILL recover from this.  I went from being unable to pull together enough thoughts to say more than "yes" or "no" to managing a multi-physician medical office.  It took me a long time to begin to regain my ability to think and remember but it did come and continued to improve over time.  I began to try and regain my memory by just trying to "see"  a house I had lived in years before.  I would try to picture one room at a time until I had the whole picture complete.  Then, I would go on to another house and so on.  I wasn't able to even begin this process until well into my third year after my c/t.  I just tell you this so that you can know that the brain is most definitely capable of rewiring or restoring itself given time.   And your intellect in most definitely still intact -- your writing surely shows that ( I was able to write too except in the very worst of it).   Hang on--this DOES have a good ending.   Praying for you.

1971-81  Valium 5mg c/t PAWS     1992- through now Zoloft 25mg    2003-05 Valium 12mg Slow Taper Off

2013 Afrin Exposure to CNS    2013 O/D Val 230mg    2013 Doxepin 50mg Clonidine 2mg Zoloft 25mg

3/15/16  Doxepin 49mg Micro Tapering  Zoloft 24.3mg Holding taper

3/15/16 Clonidine mg 0.1 1/2 -    Decreasing incrementally. 

10/9/16  Doxepin 48.9  Zoloft 24.3  Clonidine  01.10  Continuing micro taper on Doxepin.

11/16/16 Doxepin 48mg  Zoloft 24.3mg  Clonidine 1.30mg

5/4/17  Doxepin 45mg  Zoloft 24mg  Clonidine 1.20mg   Micro taper of Doxepin, Clonidine

01/13/19  Doxepin 45mg   Zoloft 21mg   Will start Micro taper of Doxepin 2/19

 

 

Link to post
  • Administrator

Spidey, are you cold all the time? It sounds like you might have hypothyroidism. Have you been checked for that?

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.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Spidey,

 

Just wanted to say I know how it feels to be called 'ma'am' instead of 'miss'.  You really don't need it, on top of everything else.  My hair has got so much more grey in it since I started w/d.  I know how it can get you down.  When I'm in my better head-spaces I sometimes manage to think that because of all this healing and really knowing who we are and because of all the strength we've gained, that real beauty will one day just shine out of us, regardless of what we look like physically.

 

But I also know that when someone's in a wave it's hard to get any kind of perspective.  Keep being kind to yourself, even just one little thing each day to remind yourself that you deserve things to be good again.  Follow up Alto's suggestion too - you might get somewhere.  Nothing in nature ever stays static - your body and brain and CNS are still healing and changing. 

 

I know you're tired - it sounds like a very deep bone-tiredness.  You've struggled for a long time.  I imagine you need a real rest and for someone to just come and look after you for a while, lift all that weight from your shoulders.  I'm sorry this world doesn't seem to get people what they need - and deserve.  I hope you can continue to find your way, real slow, day at a time, knowing you are on track for more and more healing.

 

Wishing you peace and strength,

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.

Link to post

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. It means more to me than I can possibly explain. I am crying right now, so hopefully I can articulate properly.......

 

  Alto, I have had issues with my thyroid for some time now (diagnosed hypo), and have been taking Levothyroxine for a little over ten years. In the beginning of my withdrawal fiasco blood tests revealed that my thyroid had become overactive. It stayed this way for about a year, unfortunately, complicating an issue I was having with gaining weight (digestion crashed and I could not get above 100 lbs...had  menopause worthy hormone levels and no menstruation for 22 months thanks to this). Managed to gain 20+ lbs., my period came back and further blood tests showed my thyroid had mellowed out and returned to normal (was taking the same Levo. dosage all throughout this). I am cold all the time, but have been all throughout withdrawal, even when my thyroid was "running hot." Bioavailability issue perhaps?

 

  I should come out and say right now that my diet is not clean. At all. I eat to get instant energy as I need to keep up with a very precocious 5 year old nephew of mine. I babysit him 10 hours a day Mon. through Fri. He is a very physical child, very large for his age (weighs 95 lbs.), and rather demanding. He does not leave me alone for a second (I am followed into the bathroom even lol). He does not play by himself. He might here and there for 5 minutes perhaps, but he quickly tires of it. Play is rather difficult for me. I have a serious lack of enthusiasm for life in general....faking happiness requires a huge push usually in the form of coffee and sugar. Inevitably I crash about 2 hours into the babysitting day and have to hit myself again...and again...and again with stimulants. His mother and father cannot afford daycare. As I am unemployed the task falls to me. I love my nephew dearly, don't get me wrong, but I feel trapped and put upon. I fear that if I say that I can no longer handle it my sister will be hurt and angry (she has a vindictive nature I should note)....not to mention in the poorhouse.

 

Sorry for the ramble. Major source of stress for me at this time. Stress is something we are supposed to avoid and yet, how can we? Can't crawl into a cave and hibernate until our systems settle.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post

Do you still take the 15 beads of cymbalta?

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

Link to post

Yes I do, LoveandLight. Tried several times to drop to zero. Consistently by the 3rd day I have a major panic attack with elevated heart rate, sweating, confusion, etc. The attack is alleviated after resuming the cymbalta dose. Increasing the dose tweaks my anxiety and I am usually unable to sleep.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Spidey,

 

I was wondering why your nephew isn't in school or pre-school. At five years old, I'm sure he soon will be and then you will be able to focus on your own self-care. I know that doesn't help you right now, but could be a small light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to post

Hi Petunia, my sister made the decision to prolong it for another year as she does not feel that he is ready emotionally.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • 3 months later...

Hi Spidey,

How are you doing?

It has been a long time since you have posted.

Have your PGAD symptoms gone for good?

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

Link to post
  • 1 year later...

Like the title says I have been in withdrawal Hell for nearly five years now. My skin is dry and yellow, my hair is brittle and sparse, I have major issues with short and long term memory, crippling fatigue, hypersensitivity that does not let up for a second (lights, sounds, conversations, foods...activity and rest are both "threats" to my system it would seem), failure to complete sleep cycles....I could go on, but feel that this is probably not necessary. You get the point. 

 

I cannot work because of these "symptoms." My relationships are strained as I cannot stand to be around others for longer than a few minutes (social interactions almost immediately exhaust me). I can recall very little of my past before all of this happened to me, and have almost completely lost touch with my true self. If I could live out the functional life that once was in my head....that at least would be something to thrive on. I am in a perpetual fog of confusion, pain, and desperation.

 

I've read so many stories on here about not losing hope. That all any of us need do is have faith in our bodies and above all: patience. That it always resolves itself in time. This bit of advice does not seem to apply to me, however, as I have already waited years for my brain to "right" itself. It feels as though my brain/body has absolutely no interest in healing.

 

After all this time....am I correct in assuming that what I am experiencing is not a healing crisis or a transitional phase, but in fact brain damage?

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post

Hi. I feel bad for you after reading this.

Im also experiencing a lot of your symptoms (brain fog/impairment, bad sleep cycles, damaged memory) while yellow skins it's the first time i hear that (you should go to some physician because it could be something else)

Homever while 5 years are a lot of time, you should never lose hope because ssri and withdrawal hit individuals in very different ways. Some people recovered after 7-8 years.

I'm not am expert, but by saying what ssri you was and for how much time and if you tapered or not, you can help more experienced user to help you.

 

All i can do is saying i know your pain and i will now pray a bit for you.

I'm sorry, didn't write a proper diary and my memory is very bad, can't remember exactly all dosages . Here is a short summary

Drugged since i was 11 yo.

Prescribed several SSRI, neuroleptics, mood stabilizers, benzos.Last prescription was lithium, lamotrigine , 20 mg paroxetine, rivotril

Tapered fast lithium and lamotrigine with little to no symptoms 3 years ago.Since then i'm tapering paroxetine and going through withdrawal syndrome. My tapering was not   stable and that's probably the cause of a lot of acute symptoms i had .

Currently at 0.8 mg of paroxetine

Trying now a micro-taper of 0.02 cuts

15/07/2017 tapered to 0.74  (having waves and windows. Cognitive impairment, akathisia, apathy, anxiety, vision problems, depression, paranoia, obsessive toughts, extreme fatigue,  and some more: all comes in waves except vision problems wich are persistent)

08/09/2017 0.72 mg 28/09/2017 0.70 mg

 

 

Link to post

I think it is not unusual for a person going through what we all here are going through to think we have permanent brain damage, Spidey. But everything I have read has convinced me that is just not true. Yes, our brains have suffered from how the drugs altered the workings of our heurons and synapses. But science has shown that those can be retrained and regrown (google neuroplasticity).

 

Do not think I am discounting how you feel right now. Like I said, I think the same way sometimes. I just want to remind you of a few things:

 

Brains heal

Nervous systems can repair

You are not alone

People love you and are in your corber, praying for you and pulling for you - and you can add me to that corner too

 

SJ

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

Link to post
  • Administrator

No, you do not have permanent brain damage. It sounds like you have hormonal dysregulation or possibly a dietary deficiency.

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.

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you guys for your responses, and for your kind words of encouragement and support.

1993: Diagnosed with "Depression" & "GAD, given Prozac
1994: Diagnosis changed to Bipolar II, Lithium added
1994-1997: Tried Wellbutrin and Zoloft
1997: Prescribed Effexor XR & Depakote ER
2012: Stopped Depakote, decreased dose of Effexor over the course of 2 or 3 months, used Prozac to help
2012: Stopped Prozac, began noticing disturbing symptoms after a few weeks of being antidepressant free.
late 2012: Prescribed Cymbalta
2013: Felt disconnected, disoriented, not "real".... Dr. recommended increasing the dose from 30mg to 60mg. Increased dosage was too much for my body/brain to handle....I had a very nasty reaction.

2014: Tried to go off Cymbalta. It did not work. I now take 15 beads.

2016: I take 3 beads daily...can't get off this crap. Obvious brain damage...most days I feel defeated and hopeless.

 

 

Link to post
  • 8 months later...

Hi Spidey,

Sorry to hear that you are still suffering. 

Please don't give up hope. 

You will heal. Do you still have PGAD or has that resolved? 

We are all different and it takes time. 

I am still not 100% and it has been 4 years for me. 

I'm better than I was.

Please don't give up. 

Take care,  Hopefull.

 

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

Link to post
  • 1 year later...
On 11/10/2015 at 4:50 AM, spidey said:

Update on my status.....hopefully this is where it is supposed to go. It's been just under 2 years. My life is gone. Not sure exactly how all of this happened in such a short amount of time, but I now am left with memory loss (short and long term...feels like Alzheimer's honestly), my skin is dry, yellow, blotchy, acne infested with scars that never fade, AND I've actually AGED. Used to get called miss (the women in my family all have childlike features). Now I'm ma'am. My skin sags....I have atrophy beneath the eyes something fierce. I look like death. Or a meth addict. Sometimes I wonder if people think this. In public people are rude and short with me. Family members can no longer make eye contact with me....this hurts the most. I've lost any intelligence that I once possessed. So I can forget about "winning" people over in spite of physical shortcomings. The fatigue I feel at all times is crippling. I am hypersensitive to all sounds, sights.....anything that is stimulating. It wears me out and I go into these little time warp spells. Can't get out of them sometimes for days. I think about dying every minute of every day. Literally. My sisters and I used to be very close. We did everything together. Now it's the two of them...me excluded. Their conversations with me are brief and formal. I'm not sure they believe how bad things are for me. Or they just can't deal with my exhaustion, brain fog, and altered appearance. Which is understandable I suppose. I had such high hopes in the beginning. Now, I wonder what the hell I was waiting and struggling for. Nothing came back. I'm a zombie of my formal self. And I am so, so very tired.

its been 4 years since you posted this. ive experienced extremely similar physical and psychological symptoms from zoloft. i am still in recovery.did anything reverse for you? how are you now? 

Was put on SSRIS at age 18, came off at 20 due to side effects, have been in withdrawal ever since, am 27 now. 7 years of protracted withdrawal. have not been able to work. I didnt taper, i basically came off cold turkey in less than a month....no one informed me of anything, including protracted withdrawal . my symptoms include absolutely everything you can imagine, you name it, i have it 

 

 

Link to post
  • 8 months later...
  • Administrator
Altostrata

@spidey, how are you doing?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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