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Doc Says This Is My Own Anxiety


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#1 Ramona80

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 11:41 AM

I had withdrawals in April and May, then increase to 60mg, then 70mg, then was jumped up to 90mg. Then new symptoms arrived, the worst being the insomnia and the jerks waking me up each time I fell asleep.

 

I've been coming down in dose, and am at 28mg today. Saw my p-doc, and she said it's "worrisome" that I still am experiencing these jerks. (I don't have them every night, but maybe once every 5 or 7 days.) She said at such a low dose as 28mg, I shouldn't be having them anymore. So she thinks it's my "own anxiety" causing them. Which has made me feel like a there's a heavy rock on top of me. 

 

I had been holding on to little threads of hope that I'll make it through this, that I'll get off these meds, that these horrible symptoms will go away, that one day I'll be able to sleep again without medications. 

 

I really have felt like it is the Cymbalta causing these jerks and other things, and that I need to get it out of my system. I have never experienced symptoms like I have in this mess the past 5 months! 

 

I know no one has a crystal ball and can say what will come in the future. I just feel so discouraged now. I was hoping to get reassurance from her. 


#2 fishinghat

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 12:05 PM

Many of us have had drs take that position with us. The truth is that there is no way of knowing if this is the old symptoms returning or the withdrawal. All you can do is wait and see. There is also no shame in 'leaning 'on something until things get better. I don't recommend benzos as they are addictive but there is hydroxyzine, atenolol, clonidine and others which can be used to calm things down. Over the counter there is Benadryl (use off and on as your body will get use to it), vitamin C (500mg/day) seems to help. DO NOT take St. John's Wort while taking a ssri or snri as they are incompatable.

 

God bless and hang in there.


#3 Ramona80

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 12:20 PM

I've had anxiety, but never the stuff I've been having since withdrawal! This is all new to me! The weird things my body is doing...

 

The anxiety I had before was just nervousness and worrying. Never stuff like this. 


#4 fishinghat

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 01:48 PM

I can't promise anything but after experiencing the withdrawal myself and hearing the stories from those who have followed after me I feel strongly this is the withdrawal. If things are that bad then I hope you are not still dropping beads. This is a long term project. Just stay at the level you are at until you settle down. That can be 2 weeks or 4 weeks (with improvement in that time) maybe even longer. Each of us is different but you will settle down. If you can't handle where you are at there is no shame in going on something else, less strong, and weaning off that later. That is what I am doing. I had no withdrawal while reducing dose but when I got to the very end of my weaning all hell broke loose. I fought it for nearly 4 months. I laid on a pile of blankets in the corner of my bedroom 24/7with all the lights on because of the anxiety and fear. I finally went on some od the meds I mentioned earlier as well a Zoloft. I have weaned off most of the other meds now with just a little bit more to go. Then I will slowly wean off the Zoloft. This has taken me 2 and 1/2 years but I am feeling pretty well and am on less meds than anytime in the last 14 years. It has been slow though.

 

God bless and hang in there Ramona.

You are in my prayers


#5 FiveNotions

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 01:54 PM

Ramona, I, too, had anxiety before Cymbalta ... but the type of anxiety that hit me while I was in the hard part of withdrawal was unlike anything I've ever experienced ... and I still have a weird sort of "anxiety" (what I call "worms in the stomach") that hits randomly, day and night ... I chalk it all up to what this drug did to my brain ... and, after 20 months off the crapalta, I can look back and see that really all I needed was time ... and patience with myself ... to allow my brain to start to stabilize and begin to heal ...

 

You're going to come through this !

 

The more you allow yourself to worry about the process, the harder it becomes ...

 

give yourself permission to have all these strange "effects" ... give yourself permission to feel lousy on some days, at some times ... give yourself permission to heal at whatever pace your body / brain tells you works the best / easiest ... :)

 

And, to the extent possible, ignore your doctor ... she's never been on crapalta, and she's never tried to get off of it ... she knows zilch about what this feels like ! :blink:


#6 Ramona80

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 02:30 PM

FH, the weird things my body's doing (spasms & myclonic jerks, specifically)-- these things started when I went up to 90mg. At first the doc thought these symptoms were due to an overdose of Cymbalta...and she thought once I lowered my dose a bit they would go away. But they didn't go away. And because they're still present to some degree, she feels that they are somatic symptoms of anxiety (even though I'm not feeling anxious). And, at this point, she feels they aren't due to the Cymbalta, but just due to my own anxiety disorder. (Which still doesn't make sense to me...)

 

As I've been tapering down, I haven't had any new symptoms, and I don't feel anxious, and I don't feel withdrawal symptoms. I just still get these spasm & jerks (and some other things) from time to time. I don't feel they are signs of a too-fast taper, as they weren't brought on by tapering, but rather by the jump up to 90mg. 

 

Thank you for your prayers. I always appreciate prayers. I'm sorry for the hell you've been through. What a long road you've had....I know the anxiety you speak of, because in the spring, I was turning on all the lights in the house and putting on Christian kids' songs on youtube...songs I remember singing in church as a kid. I felt such dark horror all around me, I was trying to fill my surroundings with as much light as I could. 

 

And FiveNotions, thank you so much for the encouragement! I'm glad you've come so far! I think you are exactly right...I know I need to let go of this, and just let what happens happen. Thank you for rooting for me! :-)


#7 fishinghat

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 03:34 PM

You know Ramona it would be interesting if your dr put you on a anxiety medicine for 3 or 4 days and see if it has any effect on the spasms. If not then anxiety can be ruled out for sure. You might try a muscle relaxer and see if that helps. Something like metaxalone (sp?). I know my wife has the same situation but hers is due to spinal cord damage from her back surgeries and ruptured discs. when they get real bad she can take about 6 or 7 tablespoons of wine and in 15 minutes they are gone. Now I certainly don't recommend  alcohol as it may cause a problem with some of your meds but it goes to show that nerve changes can cause these problems. If it is due to the high dose of Cymbalta you were on (which is possible) then it may take a long time for the nerves to recover.


#8 Ramona80

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 03:45 PM

I've been on 2 anxiety meds (1 of which helps with sleep, too) for the past month or so. They have helped the spasms, but something I've noticed is they occur with no rhyme or reason. I'll go several days with very few of them, and then suddenly have a day where I have a lot. I might go a week without having any jerks at bedtime or waking up, and then it'll suddenly happen one night. Very erratic. 


#9 TryinginFL

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 04:59 PM

Ramona,

 

Just out of curiosity are these jerks and spasms in your legs or all over your body?


#10 Ramona80

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 05:12 PM

All over.


#11 TryinginFL

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 05:23 PM

I'm sorry, Ramona...

 

I have RLS and thought that might be an answer.


#12 fishinghat

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 05:46 PM

Ramona

 

I think you should probably see a neurologist. Maybe he can isolate the issue.


#13 fishinghat

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 05:52 PM

I just checked the FDA website and it says that slightly over 2% of those taking Cymbalta report muscle spasms. It is also fairly commonly reported on some of the other forums. You may be right. It may be due to the Cymbalta.


#14 Ramona80

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 06:17 PM

Thank you for looking that up, FH!

I remembered something else...when I was in the hospital last month, the psychiatrist said that some people don't tolerate Cymbalta very well due to the norepineprhine. For some people it's too stimulating to their nervous system. They were talking about this in regard to how over-stimulated my brain/nervous system has been. As if it's flipped my brain's switch to "ON" and won't let it turn off. Won't let me sleep (without other meds to counter that). Won't let my heart rate slow down (again without meds.) Keeps my muscles tense and even twitchy (ready for fight or flight), and so on. Keeps me on high alert at all times. Makes sense..


#15 fishinghat

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 06:36 PM

SNRIs actually increase serotonin and noradrenaline during the first two months of use and this can cause acute nervousness in some. By the end of the second month a SNRI begins to shut down the norepinephrine transporter (as well as serotonin transporter) and that is why patients are told to give it 6 to 8 weeks to take effect. Once the transporters are brought under control there is less norepinephrine and serotonin making it to the nerve cells and the individual begins to calm.

 

This is one reason why clonidine typically works so well. It blocks the alpha adrenergic receptors in the brain which decreases the amount of norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) that the body produces and therefore reduces blood pressure, heart rate and  heart pounding.





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