I was taking Cymbalta for 5 years, beginning when I was 21 and in college for anxiety.
I am now 26, and beginning my life engaged, happily employed, and comfortable - and I don't want to lose that. Something triggered my anxiety back, and around July 1st, 2017 - my anxiety symptoms of constant overthinking, fatigue & fear took over. I was told by my GP to increase to 90mg before trying something else. That seemed to do the trick for 2 months, along with consistent exercise. However ,it just wans't enough due to other stressful events.
Eventually I went to a Psych doc, who recommended trying to max out at 120 mg of cymbalta before trying something else. Needless to say, this did not help - it made it worse.
By November 2017, I began tapering off Cymbalta 120mg, and starting zoloft. The process was absolute hell - constant anxiety/fear/faitige of losing my job due to feeling this way, losing my fiance, etc. I worked on myself with more relaxation techniques like meditation & yoga, which seemed to help from time to time.
Ultimately, the anxiety became so bad, I started using my prescribed ativan periodically to help - .5 mg. To date, I have not taken it for more than 5 days straight - at most twice a day during the tough stretch of withdrawals at the end of the year past Christmas.
Well, on Jnauary 12th, I officially stopped taking cymbalta. I had gradually reduced cymbalta from 120 mg to 90 mg, to 60 to 30 to 20 - to zero between November 15th - January 12th. Subsequently, I creased my zoloft from 50 to 100, to 125 to 150 along that same time frame. Specifically, I began to see marked improvement when I began 150 mg of Zoloft around the time I dropped from 30mg to 20 mg. Still had withdrawals of anxiety, but they began to fade away slowly.
Well after January 12th happened, that was a Friday, I simply kept going and feeling anxiety free for days!
I had nausea and weird bowel movements beginning 2 days later, but I thought it was just a stomach bug. 4-5 days later my skin developed weird hive-like rashes, which I just attributed to the cold, dry air + hot showers.
Fast forward to Friday, January 26th - my anxiety triggers from something at work, the same boss and a similar line written that just set me off. It bothered me all night, but mostly anger & frustration. I deiced to drink my problem away with some beers- bad idea. I woke up the next morning, and I was still bothered by it. It triggered anxiety, and wanting to just run & hide - eventually crying. I couldn't believe it - it had been WEEKS since I was that bad. This same effect continued on Sunday to a bit lesser of an extent - both both days I resorted to ativan to get through the day. On the plus side, i confronted my boss on Sunday about it - and he was incredibly understanding (and has been throughout this process), and we reconciled.
Here I am Monday morning, still waking up with the same physical symptoms of anxiety. My question is - is it cymbalta withdrawal lingering, or is it just me? I typically feel anxiety kick in every time I drop form cymbalta, but honestly didnt feel that way for 2 weeks. I presumed the stomach & skin issues were unrelated- could they be related?
I really appreciate everyone's years of expertise on this matter for guidance. Thank you.