I have been on different SSRI's for almost 18 years due to anxiety issues attributed to the trauma of an abusive childhood. I switched to Cymbalta several years ago, luckily I had never suffered any type of depression but I was having panic episodes I think due in part to the fact that I internalized my emotions for the first 30 years of my life. A bad divorce behind me a few years back and am now in a healthy and loving relationship with great friends in my life as well. I decided I no longer want to be on this medication so I began the process of weaning myself off of the 20 mg dose I was currently on (I had been on different levels over the years to help cope with the anxiety). I took my last dose in mid-December 2016 and have found myself struggling with what I now know is full blown withdrawal for the last few months. I am 3 months off now and I'm still battling depression; anger; sadness; hopelessness, no energy to socialize and several other symptoms that I believe are attributed to the withdrawal. I drink plenty of water, try to work out several times a week; started taking magnesium supplements; fish oil supplements and several other "healthy" things I researched that will help to help combat the symptoms. I try to be positive and tell myself that this will pass and a day will come that I feel back to myself again but it's so hard. I was always a happy (or so I thought) person and enjoyed being around my loved ones, now It's a chore. I need to know that this will pass eventually....I am prepared for the hard road but just need the support.....
Posted 15 March 2017 - 12:54 PM
aaawwwwww hi caligirl67, i came on here for the first time today with a story so similar but what you have written about your withdrawal could have been written by me . I'm only 5 weeks off though. I've read through others posts and answers today, and two lovely people answered me this morning and its made me see we aren't alone! I'm with you all the way1
Posted 15 March 2017 - 12:57 PM
Hi Newbie - thanks so much for the reply...I have been on line looking at withdrawal websites and realized I needed to join a site such as this so that I could hopefully get encouragement from others who were unfortunately in the same boat as me. I fell like there is something wrong with me but keep reminding myself that it will pass eventually. It's so hard though, I wake up every day and the first thing I think about is the mood I'm in...I've never lived this way before and it's really scary. I just feel sad all of the time, I think I was sent over the edge by having to put my fur baby down in January after having him by my side for 11 years. I miss him so much and cry at the drop of the hat when I talk about him.
Hang in there though....everyone is different and it makes sense that the longer we have been on these meds and the stronger doses, it will take a bit longer for our bodies to detox and our brains to readjust.
Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:04 PM
Your stories are about the same. here is what I wrote to BTL this morning.
Go back on 20 mg, stabilize and bead count down
Go on a support medication to help with the symptoms until it is over. Support medications would include Benadryl (makes you sleepy, helps with anxiety and can only be taken occasionally as your body gets use to it after a while) hydroxyzine and/or clonidine (helps with the mood issues and are not addictive with no withdrawal).
Use supplements to help. These would include 2g per day of omega 3, 500 mg/day Vit C, and staying well hydrated.
You could take a few beads of Cymbalta when things got too bad. Just enough to take the edge off.
Remember you are not alone and we are here to help."
Your situation is a little different though as you are probably through the worse part. Symptoms will begin to wax and wane during the next few months. Each good spell gets a little longer and each bad spell lasts a little less. One thing you need to watch out for is pushing yourself too hard as it brings relapses to the symptoms.
Glad to see the supplements you are taking. You might also try the Benadryl occasionally.
All I can say is that it does get better. Slowly but surely. Time and patience.
We are always here for you.
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:55 PM
aaaawwww don't be nice to me Fishinghat! i will cry! lol so sorry to hear about your fur baby Cali! They become precious parts of our lives and its so hard when they leave us . why do we do this to ourselves!!!! thank you for being there just knowing there are people there who are feeling the same as me makes me feel a lot better . x
Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:08 PM
Thanks so much, I do appreciate the support and it helps to know others have or are going through the same thing. It's very scary when you start to feel some of these symptoms and most of us for the first time in our life....you feel like there is something wrong with you! I am going to plow through one day at a time and hope that the good days start to outweigh the bad. I have been this far without any beads or any other medication and feel like the rest will be over the hump and on to brighter days again
Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:10 PM
Betsytillylola - the sad and scary part is there are so so many of us going through this! If my posts only help one person to know they are not alone then it's all worthwhile. Thank you also for the kind words about my fur baby, I always knew putting him down one day would break my heart, I just never fully realized how badly it would.
Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:41 PM
I was there too - about 3 years ago. I went cold turkey which I DO NOT recommend to anyone... was on 60mg/day for about 4 yrs. It was given to me for depression after losing my daughter almost 8 years ago.
I went through a year of hell during that withdrawal and commend you on the addition of good supplements to help you out. Fishinghat is always free with his knowledge - I know he helped me out! Some of us have stayed here to try to help others - this whole withdrawal thing is so cruel.
Regarding fur babies - I had to put down my 15 yr old Yorkie last week and still cry often. He had been my daughter's dog which made it so much more unbearable. Now he is on a shelf in my living room along with a lock of his hair.
Hang in there gals - you can do this!
Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:16 AM
LOL - anything with fur is correct. Being so sad and down and then having to go through a huge loss like that is even worse and more unbearable. TryinginFL - I am so so sorry to hear of your loss....I can't imagine the grief you endured losing your daughter
Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:13 PM
Welcome to both of you. You seem to have gotten great advice so far. I will tell you that it has been my understanding that it can take as long to recover from Cymbalta as you were on it. I have been cold turkey since 04/01/16 coming up on one year. Still having set backs from that. But I ran into another problem where I was work and went on Paxil and now I have been off that cold turkey for a little over two weeks. Talk about living in hell, but my friends here have helped so much. We will be nothing but nice to you because we are not here to judge.
Hang in there.
Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:00 PM
Thank you Raven - I am sad to see so many suffering but glad that we have somewhere to go so we don't feel alone. That's part such a big part of the healing process is to take the fear and loneliness and put it aside and focus on the healing part. I have tried to let those in my life know in subtle ways that I haven't been feeling so good the last few months but it's such a private and personal battle that I just can't be totally open about it. I honestly wish I never went on these meds...I know my childhood damaged me on many levels, but these meds were a band aid for emotions and feelings that needed to be processed and dealt with.
I am afraid for you that you have stopped "cold turkey" which everything I read says not to do. Even tapering to the best of our ability produces withdrawal, cold turkey has to be 10 times worse....please go slowly on yourself.....
Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:21 AM
Just a quick update....I was able to muster up the energy to work out the last two days after being sick with the flu/respiratory infection for the last 2 weeks and I seem to be feeling a bit better. My mood is a bit lighter, not so much doom and gloom when I woke up the last two mornings. One of the biggest challenges for me is to stay out of my own head....I tend to dwell too much and worry about what I'm feeling and IF I will get better. I am not there yet but slowly slowly seeing little improvements after 12 weeks off of this stuff. I came on here looking for encouragement and hope to give anyone else seeking that, a glimmer of hope that it does get better...it takes time and everyone's bodies are different but it does get better
Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:55 AM
Thanks TryinginFL - I will reiterate what so many others have said, you have to treat yourself with kindness, drink plenty of fluids, relax, let your body recharge. I have always taken a good multi-vitamin daily, but have recently added magnesium and fish oil supplements the last 2 weeks, I probably should have started those sooner but didn't realize until I was desperate and starting doing my research online about what would help.
Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:25 PM
Update on things....I had a great day Friday, went out to meet friends after work and went out Saturday with loved ones as well. I laid around a bit yesterday and had a really bad night, trouble sleeping, anxiety through the roof...sweats, irritability. Today is pretty bad too. I was really hoping I was through the worst of this but now feeling a little discouraged Anyone else have ebs and flows like this?
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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:04 PM
The ebbs and flows of this withdrawal is a classic symptoms. I can tell you two things...
In general when you feel good you also have an intuition that it is over and will not return. When it returns, which it does, you feel like it will never end (which it does).
The other thing is, that with time the good spells get longer and the bad spells get shorter.
OH yea, a third. The more you do during a good spell the sooner the bad feelings come back and the worse they are. Be kind to yourself. It will help.
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