I just joined this forum seeking some much needed advice and support. I was on 60mg of Cymbalta for 4+ years for chronic pelvic pain that the doctor thought were some damaged nerves. I never felt all that amazing and healed and wonderful on the drug anyway and after going to physical therapy over the past year (which helped the pain way more than Cymbalta ever did) I was excited to finally get off this awful thing and see what it was like to just be myself again and what even that meant anymore.
I haven't had any Cymbalta for just about a month now and prior to that I had been tapering down since about late June. I wasn't following any particular tapering protocol (oh how I regret this now) and only thought to taper because I had been on Effexor for about a year prior to the Cymbalta and basically quit cold turkey and had a really rough time, though in retrospect the Cymbalta withdrawal has been far worse. In terms of tapering I basically alternated between 60s and 30s for a little while, then just 30s and then started weighing out the beads using a scale and dropping about 5 mg every week or so until I got to about 15mg and quit cold turkey. After reading everything on this site, this was definitely not the right approach but I didn't know better at the time.
In any case, the first week or so was tough but similar to Effexor withdrawal and I felt prepared for it: brain zaps, really irritable and angry, nothing I couldn't handle. Then things seemed to be getting better and I felt optimistic! But since about Friday I have been a complete emotional wreck. It started with some major depression, coupled with extreme fatigue (I live in San Francisco and even going up the stairs to our apartment was suddenly a big ordeal), trouble breathing properly, and a really irritable stomach. Saturday we attempted to go out for brunch which ended in getting the food to go and taking an Uber home because I was an anxious mess. After that I couldn't leave the house for 3 more days and struggled to even move between the couch and the bed much less do anything else. Starting yesterday I finally felt like the depression lifted, and I felt hopeful but my anxiety levels are still through the roof and my stomach is still a mess which is making my anxiety worse and making it really tough to feel comfortable leaving the house.
I'm starting a new job next week (which underneath all this nonsense anxiety I'm actually excited about!) but that also means I don't currently have health insurance/a doctor to see.
I considered going back on a lower dose of Cymbalta and bead counting but from what I've read, I fear that it'll just result in going through this all over again and maybe I just need to push through and wait it out, but I really have no sense how much longer it'll be this bad. I don't think I can go on in this state indefinitely. Anything over the counter I can take to take the edge off the anxiety and help with the stomach issues?
You are all the very best for all your thoughtful advice and support <3