I have been on Cymbalta for over a decade (currently 32y/o). For years I have felt totally anxiety/ depression free for a while but every time i try to come off the med i get horrible rebound anxiety. Now, i'm getting ready to think about having a baby and I need off! So, thankfully I have found functional medicine and Dr. Kelly Brogan (functional psychiatrist) and have a plan of action. I plan to document it here both to support myself and also hopefully help others.
Functional medicine is, in opinion, the way medicine should be done. Dr's with this certification have standard MD's and medial training but also elect to get an additional 2 years of training in more integrative / holistic medicine that considers the entire person and finding balance rather than treating just symptoms. Functional Dr's are pretty obsessed with gut health -- as they should be. 70% of our serotonin is produced in our guts! The American lifestyle wreaks havoc on our guts, our hormonal systems and so much more. Things like sugar, caffeine, and many other processed foods we consume constantly are HUGE contributors or mood and anxiety issues. I know this in part bc i am actually a clinical psychologist as well as a consumer of cymbalta. Often times these Dr's do not take insurance, so it's an investment. You can use the link below to search for providers in your area -- i happened to find one in my area that does take insurance and i'm so grateful.
For those who are interested, here are some resources on Functional Medicine and specifically Dr. Kelly Brogan who is a holistic psychiatrist out of NYC.
Dr. Kelly Brogan:
Books i read that have changed my life:
Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski
A mind of your Own by Kelly Brogan.
SO, my process started about 6 weeks ago when i began a month long "brain detox" as per Dr. Brogan's book. It involved a pretty strict diet that only allowed me to eat foods that support mood, decrease anxiety and promote overall health. I didn't change my dose during this time. It's hard but totally worth it. It lays the foundation for the taper and started me in a good place. Then, from this website i discovered that Lupin brand generic cymablta has little 5mg minipills inside instead of hundreds of tiny granuals. This would allow me to step down in an exact way without spending hours counting! So my pharmacist ordered that specific brand for me and i switched to Lupin generic about a week ago. I didn't have any trouble switching my generic brand -- though i stuck to my normal dose for the first few days just to make sure my brain equilibrated alright. Starting five days ago i decreased my dose from 30mg to 25mg. Thus far i feel no different. Today i'm super tired but i think that's unrelated. i have been really pushing my self care endeavors -- lots of yoga, meditation, supplements from my functional Dr that support mood (see Dr. Brogan's book for some of these). I'm feeling nervous but hopeful that this will be the time i finally kick this drug. Not to mention i have much more motvation than previously bc i really don't want to be on it when i get pregnant. I plan to decrease by 5mg every 2-3 weeks and slow down if i need to. I will post as things come up good or bad.
In general, i can't say enough about functional medicine and approaching this holistically. I feel like a different person since being treated in a functional way -- i was so physically and mentally imbalanced and as i have gotten my body back in balance hormonally, nutritionally, and emotionally, i feel so great. Seriously. Do it.