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#1 kathyms3150

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 12:23 PM

I've been off the Cymbalta about 3 weeks and am having a really horrible day today. I'm so achy, sick to my stomach, dizzy and anxious. I have this panicked feeling that this caused permanent brain damage and will never go away. Can someone please give me some hope. Thanks.


#2 thismoment

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 12:56 PM

kathy

 

Hang on my dear and do something to get the anxiety under control. Anxiety is the de-stabilizer that colours the entire event. Anxiety leads to imagining all sorts of things you can't possibly answer- like is there permanent brain damage that will never go away? Anxiety shoots the stress up and off the chart!

 

Withdrawal is the nastiest sickness I've ever known; it's like your heart and your brain got broken at the same time, and only time will heal them. 

 

Hope comes with reprieve, light at the end of the tunnel. As soon as symptoms let up a bit and you begin to comprehend that there is improvement, hope can grow. From cold turkey or fast-tapering, that may not be for 6-8 weeks.

 

You could consider re-instating (tapering back on the drug to where you feel stable) and then weaning off slowly over a longer period of time where there are few or no symptoms at all.

 

Please take care.


#3 fishinghat

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:04 PM

Hi Kathy. Cymbalta does alter a couple areas in the brain but researchers have no idea about the return to normal of these nerves once you are off the Cymbalta. One thing we do know from this website is that there has been a large number of people on here who have been through what you are experiencing right now. All the indications is that there is a slow steady improvement over an extended period of time. Things usually start to really show consistent signs of improvement during the 3rd month. Now that doesn't mean you won't have some breaks before that though. Most people show steady improvement over the next few months and with few exceptions are doing well by month 8. Bottom line....you will improve a lot over where you are right now. Patience. You can do this.

 

As Thismoment says, this is not a sprint but a marathon. The good news for you is that you should start seeing slight improvements within a couple weeks. If this is too much to handle you might consider going back to your dr for a prescription for either hydroxyzine or clonidine to help with the withdrawal. He will probably offer you a script for a benzo but all though they work they are also addictive.


#4 kathyms3150

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

kathy

 

Hang on my dear and do something to get the anxiety under control. Anxiety is the de-stabilizer that colours the entire event. Anxiety leads to imagining all sorts of things you can't possibly answer- like is there permanent brain damage that will never go away? Anxiety shoots the stress up and off the chart!

 

Withdrawal is the nastiest sickness I've ever known; it's like your heart and your brain got broken at the same time, and only time will heal them. 

 

Hope comes with reprieve, light at the end of the tunnel. As soon as symptoms let up a bit and you begin to comprehend that there is improvement, hope can grow. From cold turkey or fast-tapering, that may not be for 6-8 weeks.

 

You could consider re-instating (tapering back on the drug to where you feel stable) and then weaning off slowly over a longer period of time where there are few or no symptoms at all.

 

Please take care.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Thank you This Moment, I was afraid nobody would respond to my post. You're right, anxiety makes everything worse. This is the worst sickness I've known also, and I'm sorry you're going through it, or have gone through it too. I did go off of it slowly this time and it wasn't too bad. The last drop I made was from 20 - 0 mgs though.    I don't want to go back on it again. Another thing is my doctor thinks I should be almost over the withdrawal and even said the muscle aches may be arthritis since Advil doesn't help much. I was shocked when she said that. She told me not to believe what people say online. Why don't doctor's understand this!    


#5 kathyms3150

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:39 PM

Hi Kathy. Cymbalta does alter a couple areas in the brain but researchers have no idea about the return to normal of these nerves once you are off the Cymbalta. One thing we do know from this website is that there has been a large number of people on here who have been through what you are experiencing right now. All the indications is that there is a slow steady improvement over an extended period of time. Things usually start to really show consistent signs of improvement during the 3rd month. Now that doesn't mean you won't have some breaks before that though. Most people show steady improvement over the next few months and with few exceptions are doing well by month 8. Bottom line....you will improve a lot over where you are right now. Patience. You can do this.

 

As Thismoment says, this is not a sprint but a marathon. The good news for you is that you should start seeing slight improvements within a couple weeks. If this is too much to handle you might consider going back to your dr for a prescription for either hydroxyzine or clonidine to help with the withdrawal. He will probably offer you a script for a benzo but all though they work they are also addictive.

Hi Fishinghat, Thanks for responding. That's really frightening that researchers don't know if the nerves will return to normal. Do you know if this only applies to Cymbalta or all antidepressants? I've struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life and need to be on something. 3 months is so long to wait to see consistent improvement, and I'm sure it can be longer. I am taking Klonopin and Seroquel for anxiety and sleep. I know the benzodiazepines are addictive but I won't make it without them. I'm so afraid I won't be able to do this. Wish I could just go into the hospital (not the psych ward) and say fix me!


#6 thismoment

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

kathy

 

Hold on; you're going to be alright.

 

"The last drop I made was from 20-0 mgs though."  20 mgs to 0 is cold turkey.

 

I understand you don't want to go back on the drug again, so you will have to push forward, and you can do this! The muscle aches, joint pain, and headaches can't be touched by Advil or other NSAIDs. Opioids can provide relief- but that's another thing you'd have to deal with down the line. 

 

Most doctors don't understand this because they haven't studied the new information. And in their defence, most new information is anecdotal as scientific studies on withdrawal from SSRI/SNRIs are few and far between. The pharmaceutical companies provide a lot of research capitol, but there's no financial incentive for them to fund a study that would reflect negatively upon their own products.

 

You just have to accept that your doctor doesn't know about this stuff and you are on your own- except you have us. 

 

Take care.


#7 thismoment

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:57 PM

kathy

 

Regarding wishing you could go to the hospital and say, "fix me!", here is an exerpt from Playing the Odds: Antidepressant 'Withdrawal' and The Problem of Informed Consent, by Stuart Shipko M.D. I will include the link to that article at the end.

 

"If I thought that it was possible, I would have opened a string of clinics all over the country to help get people off of antidepressants.  Unfortunately, the problems that sometimes occur when people try to stop an SSRI antidepressant are much more severe and long-lasting than the medical profession acknowledges, and there is no antidote to these problems. . . Outside of using a benzodiazepine, I don’t have a lot of suggestions.  Reinstating the medications often does not help and sometimes there is a negative reaction." 

 

What I wish to illustrate is that many good people are thinking those thoughts- about having clinics and facilities to deal with the great numbers of people struggling to get off these drugs. Once the realization strikes that you want off the drug, it's kind of like being under water and suddenly knowing you have to reach the surface; the talk about taking longer to get there just isn't that compelling.

 

As FH said, you will start to see light within 2-3 weeks, and that will be the birth of hope. For now hold on and go hour-to-hour and day-to-day. Keep the anxiety down!

 

Take care.

 

http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/


#8 fishinghat

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:51 PM

Kathy, very few studies have been done on other ssri or snri. I can tell you that Ativan significantly changes the receptors they react with and studies have shown it takes up to 2 years for the nerve structure to return to normal.

#9 kathyms3150

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:23 PM

kathy

 

Hold on; you're going to be alright.

 

"The last drop I made was from 20-0 mgs though."  20 mgs to 0 is cold turkey.

 

I understand you don't want to go back on the drug again, so you will have to push forward, and you can do this! The muscle aches, joint pain, and headaches can't be touched by Advil or other NSAIDs. Opioids can provide relief- but that's another thing you'd have to deal with down the line. 

 

Most doctors don't understand this because they haven't studied the new information. And in their defence, most new information is anecdotal as scientific studies on withdrawal from SSRI/SNRIs are few and far between. The pharmaceutical companies provide a lot of research capitol, but there's no financial incentive for them to fund a study that would reflect negatively upon their own products.

 

You just have to accept that your doctor doesn't know about this stuff and you are on your own- except you have us. 

 

Take care.

TM,  I'm not sure that I'm going to alright. I read the article you posted. the link to and the doctor said people who go to self help forums think that they'll be okay in time, but sadly that's not true. Maybe I interpreted it wrong, I hope to God I did because I can't live this way.


#10 kathyms3150

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:25 PM

Kathy, very few studies have been done on other ssri or snri. I can tell you that Ativan significantly changes the receptors they react with and studies have shown it takes up to 2 years for the nerve structure to return to normal.

FH, this whole situation sounds hopeless.


#11 FiveNotions

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:32 PM

Definitely not hopeless, Kathy ... it just means that there's no "easy answer," no "magic pill," no "one size fits all" ...

 

That 20 mg to zero drop you made put you into hard, cold turkey withdrawal ... take it easy on yourself .... all this takes time ... and patience ... and a whole heck of a lot of gumption and fortitude ... which I know you have ... trust yourself ... you're a strong, determined woman ...


#12 fishinghat

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:33 PM

I must admit that it is not good news but not totally hopeless. You just have to remember nerve cells heal slowly. But I think that 30 years from now drs will understand these type of meds better and realize that they are not  a cure all and their effects prohibit most use. The medical profession learns slowly and adapts even slower.

 

But you must remember many people come out of this  OK. Hang in there.


#13 thismoment

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

kathy

 

"TM,  I'm not sure that I'm going to be alright. I read the article you posted. the link to and the doctor said people who go to self help forums think that they'll be okay in time, but sadly that's not true. Maybe I interpreted it wrong, I hope to God I did because I can't live this way."

 
No one here is saying that you will be as you were sometime in the past; that just can't be. But we are saying you can get through this ordeal and come out feeling a whole lot better than you do now. There will be vast improvement- does that mean "okay"- I don't know, but the roughest is the first 6 weeks of cold turkey. For what it's worth, I feel "okay" now.
 
This is the worst time right now, and the best you can do is keep the anxiety down and try to find distractions to make the time go by. The distractions will take your mind away from the destructive introspective cycle of thought we all go through. I don't know what else I can say: it gets much better after you notice improvement has begun. Soon; after 2-3 weeks things will begin to improve- maybe sooner. 

#14 kathyms3150

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

Definitely not hopeless, Kathy ... it just means that there's no "easy answer," no "magic pill," no "one size fits all" ...

 

That 20 mg to zero drop you made put you into hard, cold turkey withdrawal ... take it easy on yourself .... all this takes time ... and patience ... and a whole heck of a lot of gumption and fortitude ... which I know you have ... trust yourself ... you're a strong, determined woman ...

Why did the doctor in the article pretty much say that some people will never recover. Now I feel totally hopeless.


#15 FiveNotions

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:37 PM

Kathy, Shipko is talking about individuals who've been off the drugs for years and are still having problems ... you're early on in the process ... stop looking for problems and reasons to be a failure ... you have no idea where you'll be years from now ... you don't even know where you are right now .... slow down ... take it easy .... and maybe you need to stop reading all these articles ... at least until you get a bit further along in your own process ... :)


#16 DoneWithCrap

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:54 PM

I'm now considering a much faster taper. i just want this over. if a slow taper doesn't mean no perminant long term damage, then why dag this on? 

I might just rip the band aid off.

 

At this point I don't trust my primary care Dr and will not to back to her. I don't trust any doctors anymore.

 

Sorry about the negetivity but this really rots!


#17 fishinghat

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:38 PM

Kathy, there definitely is hope in the long run. Do SOME people have problems for a year or two? Sure. But there are too many people on this site who have gotten over to a successful point. A point were they feel like they don't need an anti-depressant any more.

 

FN mentioned for you to wait until you are much further along in the process before you think it is hopeless. Absolutely true. I wouldn't consider going back on an ssri/snri until at least 3 months or more if you can hang in there that long.

 

Renee, I understand how you feel but the bead counting method is not designed to eliminate damage just to make the withdrawal bearable. The key point is to optimize your chance at success an minimize the pain of withdrawal.  Stay strong. You CAN do this.


#18 brzghoff

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:42 PM

FH, this whole situation sounds hopeless.

the dr. shipko articles sound distressing, when i read them i felt the same way. i have even corresponded with him via email and he admits that he only sees patients who are having trouble getting off these drugs. the ones who don't have problems aren't going to see him in the first place. therein lies your hope. all his information is based on people who aren't able to recover, not the ones who have. you don't go to the doctor when you feel fine. instead of worrying about becoming one who isn't able to recover... why not "worry" about becoming one of those who WILL recover! we don't know all the other triggers those people have in terms of anxiety stressors. one of his articles refers to there being a history with some patients of non drug withdrawal related triggers to their anxiety. 

 

i stepped off a fast taper 11 weeks ago. i have been, and still am, where you are in terms of the fear, anxiety, fear of anxiety and the resulting hopelessness. right now, i feel i can do this, other times i get doubts again. every day. however, when the doubts subside and i feel as i do now, i KNOW i will get better and this won't last.  in the meantime, you have the support of those here. 


#19 fishinghat

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:51 PM

BRZGhoff, very well put. Much more articulate than me!


#20 FiveNotions

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:53 PM

Renee, you have a long, very long, list of other meds that you are on ... a very delicate balance to maintain ... rushing to push yourself off Cymbalta is just asking for trouble ... the slower you go the more likely you are to be successful ... you really can't afford to play with fire given all that you're dealing with ... slow and steady ... slow and steady ...


#21 brzghoff

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:59 PM

I'm now considering a much faster taper. i just want this over. if a slow taper doesn't mean no perminant long term damage, then why dag this on? 

I might just rip the band aid off.

 

At this point I don't trust my primary care Dr and will not to back to her. I don't trust any doctors anymore.

 

Sorry about the negetivity but this really rots!

 

 

what i think i have learned since getting on this forum, and through my own continued recovery, is that a quicker taper doesn't mean you'll get through it faster, just harder. if you are bead counting, stay with it. when i learned about bead counting it was too late for me. i had a handful of caps left and couldn't afford anymore refills because my insurance changed. 

 

i had to chuckle when you wrote "...rip the band aid off". that's what cold turkey is - i more or less did that and it STILL stings! 


#22 FiveNotions

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 05:04 PM

oh yeah, definitely harder ... I went cold turkey ... spent the whole first month in bed, vertigo, crawling on hands and knees to the bathroom, eating nothing but broth and herb tea ... second month was a bit better, but still not great ...

 

do not rip the bandaid off unless, like brzghoff and me, you have no choice (I lost my insurance) .... or, you're a committed masochist and have some free time on your hands :P


#23 ShadyLady

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 09:07 PM

"Rip the band aid off"...more like trying to wax hair off the bikini line of a fat lady (me) with cold wax!! Owweeee:o

Kathy, hello & welcome...I sounded the 'Help' siren yesterday & the advice of my forum BFF's;) talked me down off another ledge I've been on since quitting the C dope 7 wks ago! The gratitude I feel for the care & concern of these ppl, gives me a reason to keep pulling myself out of the quicksand with the ropes of sound advice given by those who have been where we are!

I'm with you in spirit & if misery loves company we could be best friends right now!! This is awful, but not impossible...I am trying to quit counting days & having expectations, very hard for me, and putting faith in this faint whisper inside my head that I will get better, settle down into a more predictable state of being & give back to this site by paying it forward;)). My prayer...

Be gentle to your poor brain as it really is trying to heal as fast as it can! Blessings, Rebecca

#24 thismoment

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:38 PM

Yikes! The cold wax bikini line is a form of medieval torture!

I heard about this Wax-and-Bungee-Jump method (it's either in Australia or Canada; they have similar cultures- calm on the outside, but fun-loving and fierce beneath) where they embed the bungee cord into the wax that's thickly applied starting at your navel and running around to between your shoulder blades. Then you leap off the bridge toward the river and the bungee cord plays out until 15 feet above the water where it goes taught and peels the wax off- rrrrrriiiiiiiiiippppppp!!!!!! And you are left as smooth as a cue ball with all your bits left intact. You plunge into the cool water and when you come back up to the surface in full scream the nice man on the raft hands you a mug of tequila! You look up and squint at what appears to be a long furry rodent clinging and twisting on the end of a rope!

Sounds like fun. I don't mind the hair, however, and I don't bungee jump any more. I wear long pants a lot and walk near the center of bridges. lol


#25 ShadyLady

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 12:00 AM

Now thats the best idea of fun I've heard since I got my 'new' brain...teehee...actually, with that visual, TM, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying at the same time!!
That's a first since the beginning days of the pukin' & zappin' initial stage show of 'Deadhead' withdrawal & reading some humorous posts then to get through that first act!! Whewie;)))

#26 kathyms3150

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:05 AM

Hi FN, I'm a born worrier, I can't help it.  I know I should be more positive but it's so hard. Thanks for the encouragement.


#27 FiveNotions

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:11 AM

Kathy, I'm convinced that's one of the reasons why so many more women are put on antidepressants and similar meds than men ... we go to the doc, and "vent" all  our emotions ... rational and irrational ... and the only way they know of to get us to shut up is to just put us on a drug and get us the hell out of their offices ... ;)


#28 kathyms3150

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:12 AM

FishingHat, I just feel like I've had a lot of bad things happen in my life, so I would be one of the people who never get over this. Actually I have been on Brintellix for about a month. So far it's not helping, but I know it can take at least 6 weeks if it's going to help. I've seriously considered not being on any meds but I know from past experience my depression and anxiety are so bad I need something to help. It feels like being between a rock and a hard place. I was never afraid of taking meds until this experience with withdrawal. Now I don't know what to do.

I'm wondering if it's even possible for another med to help while going through this withdrawal.


#29 kathyms3150

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

brgzhoff,  I totally get what you're saying, but I'm still afraid I'll be one of the people who never recover. Can you please explain what you mean about his article about not drug related withdrawal triggers to their anxiety, sorry my head is in such a fog. If only we knew for sure this will go away.


#30 kathyms3150

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:28 AM

Hi Rebecca, I really need someone to talk me down off this ledge of fear. I find everyone here so supportive, but just can't shake my fear and doubt about ever getting well again. It's good to have people here that understand since the doctor's don't seem to. I wish I could hear a faint whisper in my head that this will go away. Thanks.





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