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#1 fishinghat

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:41 PM

It has been a long time since I posted an update so I thought it was time. For those who are new I went through my Cymbalta suffering in early 2013. I bead counted over a 3 month period. After two months of the typical Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms I went into 24/7 fear. I laid in the corner of my bedroom with all the lights on screaming in fear for another 2 months while my drs tried 5 different meds to get me some relief. I was started on lorazepam at 1 mg 3 times per day and it had so little effect The dr slowly increased it to 6 mg a day with one day at 10 mg a day. Even at that dose it had absolutely no effect. I went on hydroxyzine which helped but was not enough by itself. I slowly started on Zoloft, 1 month at 50, one month at 75, etc until I hit 150 mg per day and got relief. 273 days of feeling nothing but fear. I hate to even think about it.

 

The first thing I did is to get off the meds they ordered that did not work. The last one, lorazepam, takes the longest. I have been weaning nearly 4 years (water titration, no withdrawal symptoms, yea!!!) and am now down to 2 mg per day. 18 to 24 months and I will be off of it also. In the meantime the clonidine, hydroxyzine and Zoloft are working fine. Looking forward to cutting back on the Zoloft.


#2 brzghoff

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:05 PM

Dr Hat...

 

a hearty congratulations, you are a true inspiration! its hard to believe you've been anything but the cool, calm, collected voice of reason that you are to us here on this forum.

 

no doubt you've been struggling with your own demons all the while helping the rest of us - always there to support and serve, with us none the wiser as to the pain you've been enduring.

 

thank you


#3 LS1978

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 10:08 PM

It has been a long time since I posted an update so I thought it was time. For those who are new I went through my Cymbalta suffering in early 2013. I bead counted over a 3 month period. After two months of the typical Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms I went into 24/7 fear. I laid in the corner of my bedroom with all the lights on screaming in fear for another 2 months while my drs tried 5 different meds to get me some relief. I was started on lorazepam at 1 mg 3 times per day and it had so little effect The dr slowly increased it to 6 mg a day with one day at 10 mg a day. Even at that dose it had absolutely no effect. I went on hydroxyzine which helped but was not enough by itself. I slowly started on Zoloft, 1 month at 50, one month at 75, etc until I hit 150 mg per day and got relief. 273 days of feeling nothing but fear. I hate to even think about it.

 

The first thing I did is to get off the meds they ordered that did not work. The last one, lorazepam, takes the longest. I have been weaning nearly 4 years (water titration, no withdrawal symptoms, yea!!!) and am now down to 2 mg per day. 18 to 24 months and I will be off of it also. In the meantime the clonidine, hydroxyzine and Zoloft are working fine. Looking forward to cutting back on the Zoloft.

 

 

The fear...

 

My health anxiety has returned recently.  It's something I have had troubles with a few times in the past.

 

I'm afraid it's going to get worse.

 

The worst part is, I'm afraid to take medication now because I'm afraid of what it will do to my liver.  I think I may have damaged my liver with the Cymbalta, and with drinking while on it.  My liver tests last year were fine, but I have had occasional soreness where my liver is.  I talked to someone online who was telling me about how his mother was dying of cirrhosis, but her liver enzymes were normal.  I did a search to find out how common it is to have blood tests (the full liver panel) come back normal when you have some significant damage, and it looks like it's not rare.

 

I don't know how to get over my fear enough to ask for an ultrasound.  I'm so scared.

 

All I can do right now is try to distract myself from the fear.  I'm afraid to hit "post" on this message, because I'm afraid someone will post a response that will send me into panic mode.

 

I wish so much that I had someone to hold me and tell me everything will be alright, but I don't.  I have a fear-mongering mother who just makes things worse when I talk to her about anything, and she's probably the reason why I've spent so much of my life afraid of things.

 

The whole situation is stupid, and I'm angry at myself for drinking and for being afraid to get an ultrasound.


#4 fishinghat

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 09:24 AM

It is better to find out now about your liver. If your liver was effected by the Cymbalta  but your liver tests are fine then get it checked out. Likely they will not find anything. If the tenderness is due to the liver being inflamed they can give you some medicine to reduce the inflammation and get the liver back to normal.

 

Please take care of yourself. The fear of health issues is very common with anxiety and your sensitivity to that issue may be still from your Cymbalta withdrawal.


#5 LS1978

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:12 PM

It is better to find out now about your liver. If your liver was effected by the Cymbalta  but your liver tests are fine then get it checked out. Likely they will not find anything. If the tenderness is due to the liver being inflamed they can give you some medicine to reduce the inflammation and get the liver back to normal.

 

Please take care of yourself. The fear of health issues is very common with anxiety and your sensitivity to that issue may be still from your Cymbalta withdrawal.

  

I know it's better to find out now, but I don't know how to get over my fear.  I don't have faith in God, and I have no one to turn to for comfort.

 

My psychiatrist is pretty much worthless (as most of the others have been), and finding a decent counselor around here is a shot in the dark as well.

 

This is a hard situation to be in, because if I go to the hospital, I may leave with no place to live.

 

I feel like my best option is to start taking the Pristiq, and try to tell myself everything is okay when it starts to affect me and scare me.  Then deal with the liver thing when I am (hopefully) better.

 

I don't know what else to do.  I'm trying to comfort myself and get myself calmed down.  It's really hard to be mentally ill and have no one around to turn to for comfort, and no one you trust to help.


#6 fishinghat

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:19 PM

LS - If you live in the USA then there will be a NAMI office nearby. This is an office which gives free help to the mentally ill. They can help you find a psychologist, psychiatrist, etc if you just ask. Also you need to realize you are not alone now. You are part of our family. If you need some help finding a good psychiatrist in your area you can PM me what town you live in and I will do a search of available pdocs in your area, there reviews, education, law suits, specialties, etc and even contact professionals in your area for references to a good dr. Lets get you better.


#7 LS1978

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 10:39 PM

LS - If you live in the USA then there will be a NAMI office nearby. This is an office which gives free help to the mentally ill. They can help you find a psychologist, psychiatrist, etc if you just ask. Also you need to realize you are not alone now. You are part of our family. If you need some help finding a good psychiatrist in your area you can PM me what town you live in and I will do a search of available pdocs in your area, there reviews, education, law suits, specialties, etc and even contact professionals in your area for references to a good dr. Lets get you better.

 

Thanks, fishinghat.  

 

I've already run through just about all of the options for psychiatrists in my area that will take my insurance.  (Yes, I still have insurance.  For how long, I don't know.)  I went through, one by one, and called their offices to see if they would take my insurance.  Many of them either wouldn't take mine in particular, or they didn't take any at all.

 

There is a NAMI office about a half hour away.  I just looked at their site, and they have a support group I could join.  I think I need to get on this Pristiq before I do anything else though.


#8 bronxbomber

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:56 AM

fh, this is the first time I've actually heard your story, though you've alluded to it several times. I admire you even more, knowing a bit of what you went through.

I wish you the best of luck in your continuing efforts to taper off these drugs.

#9 fishinghat

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:28 AM

Thanks BB. Together we cam all make it.


#10 Bearfan

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 02:24 AM

Just wanted to post and say I'm glad I know your story. Very thankful for all your help so far.

 

Also, I was put on lorazepam after serotonin syndrome, and advised to only take it as needed, but my mom told me to take it daily since I was struggling so much. Eventually was prescribed 0.5 mg 3x a day and an extra as needed. The highest I ever took daily was 2 mg - 0.5 in the morning and afternoon and 1mg at night to help with sleep.

 

I'm gonna be honest, lorazepam was awful. Such a short half life, and I would have multiple mini withdrawals throughout the day that included mood swings and lots of physical anxiety symptoms. If someone's gonna take that, they probably need to take it at least every 4-5 hours. 

 

Luckily, after I learned about the effects of lorazepam on me, I got to taking it enough times per day, and eventually just cut each dose slowly. And oddly enough, it was the easiest withdrawal I've ever been through. Granted, I was only on 2mg max, but I withdrawed over about 3 months and it was easy peasy. So, as long as you take it slow, lorazepam shouldn't be too hard.

 

With my recent cymbalta withdrawal I was put on lorazepam again and said screw this stuff - switched to klonopin which I'm on currently at 0.5mg twice a day. Don't even notice it. No mini withdrawals, no cravings. Sadly the tolerance builds up and I'm not gonna go any higher. But, nonetheless this will be something I go off of once Zoloft takes over. 

 

Cheers in your journey, as well as mine, lol.


#11 fishinghat

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 08:10 AM

You have a good handle on the benzos. Been on Klonopin once and came of a 3 mg dose. It took about a year and I had some bad sells but that is when the drs put me on the water titration and it went smooth after that.

Keep up the good effort. Slow wins the race.

#12 Cjmansf

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 03:20 PM

I too wanted to chime and say thank you FH for sharing.  There are a lot of folks here, myself included, that are very grateful for your help.  Wishing you all the best!


#13 fishinghat

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 05:21 PM

Thank you very much cjmansf.





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