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Withdrawal Getting Worse 3 Weeks In?


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#541 invalidusername

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:22 PM

Awesome!! 8 hours kip!! So happy for you my green friend!

 

I remember the bathroom conundrum. Should I go? Will I fall back asleep with a half full bladder? If I get up and go, surely I will wake up? But I have had a rule of no screens at least an hour before sleep. I have also moved my meditation to earlier in the evening as I find myself falling asleep when I do it later on. 


#542 Mxpro32

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 06:44 PM

wow. 8 hours, thats awesome.  I'm a little jealous.  I've been really tempted lately too to try another medication.  I'm miserable and I don't feel like I'm getting better.  the only thing stopping me is how much misery Ive already gone through getting off of cymbalta.  I never want to go through that again. but I guess I'm still going through it.  


#543 frog

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:20 PM

Don't be too jealous. I think it was a fluke. I did all the same stuff again last night (although I went to bed a couple hours later) and had a crappy night. I felt very sleepy and fine at bedtime, fell asleep around 1am, woke up at 2am to use the bathroom, fell back asleep, woke up at 6:30am from an anxious dream. Couldn't fall asleep after that, was too tense inside and couldn't relax. I always try to focus on my breathing and count my breaths to chase the anxiety away but it just doesn't work when it comes to sleep. 

 

This week has definitely been a step back in terms of the inner tension and anxiety coming back. I had a stretch of several weeks where I was feeling so much more peaceful and at ease during the day. No chest tightness, no breathing issues,  Now I'm all tense and everything feels scary and impossible again. I'm sure it'll pass but the lack of permanence is frustrating. And now I'm back to feeling crappy as a I wait for whatever this phase is to pass. Today I mostly feel like crying which I haven't felt in a while. I have a haircut appt today and going out to dinner with my husband tomorrow. When I made both these reservations a couple weeks ago I was feeling confident and excited about both. Now they're here and I'm feeling anxious and my chest is fluttering and I'm getting jittery. 

 

I'm just so sick and tired of the emotional rollercoaster. The downs don't make me feel like I've lost utter control of my body and brain anymore, so I feel like I shouldn't be complaining, but it still sucks going through stretches of time where for no reason at all you are drained of your mental and emotional strength and feel weak and literally scared of leaving your house for no identifiable reason. i think this is why it's so difficult talking to doctors about this. They make me feel like I have a permanent anxiety disorder but clearly it's kind of intermittent. I feel like they don't know how to address something like this because it's unlike what they typically see. 

 

Mxpro regarding going on another medication, the way I look at it, that option will always be available. There's no rush to say yes. The answer may become more clear with time. You just got off a benzo, I think it's ok to take pressure off yourself to make any major decision about what to do next. Give it at least a month and see if things are changing. 


#544 invalidusername

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 05:31 PM

Hmmm - define fluke my dear...

 

Neurologically speaking it cannot exist. Try your best to focus on the fact that your brain was wired the right way which let you get that sleep. If it happened once, it can happen again. Not trying to be all "therapist" on you, but this is how it works a lot of the time.

 

But I really understand that it is a case that you feel out of control. I really understand that. Been there of course. And God knows you have been there long enough. Unfortunately you have become conditioned as a result of the damage from the drugs, just like my adrenaline did. I went October through to about June before it settled. I thought it would never end. Regardless, we are here for you - always.

 

"Mxpro regarding going on another medication, the way I look at it, that option will always be available. There's no rush to say yes. The answer may become more clear with time. You just got off a benzo, I think it's ok to take pressure off yourself to make any major decision about what to do next. Give it at least a month and see if things are changing."

 

Very good advice there to MX.


#545 frog

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 12:50 PM

Haha I guess just that it worked once and then the very same things didn't work the next day. You're right that makes me feel out of control. And it sounds like having this level of sleeping issues nearly a year out is rare so it makes me anxious that something is wrong. And of course regardless of the total hours of sleep I can't actually fall asleep without the help of medication. Makes sense though if I can't even stay asleep how would I be able to fall asleep in the first place lol. Last night was a bit better. Was asleep about 7 hours, woke up around 7:30am, had to use the bathroom as always then was lying there with random thoughts starting to creep in as they do, but I must have dozed off for another 30 or so minutes which was super nice!


#546 invalidusername

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:33 PM

OK... so that is another good night - so soon after the other. 

 

And try not to think it has been an entire year when there are days where it has improved. Try to think that is has been on and off for a year, rather than a persistent problem for a year. Little positives!!


#547 frog

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 03:18 PM

That's a great point. It's just that it's so up and down and I want so badly to try to pin down what I can do to make it better, but there's been no magic bullet. Last night wasn't that great. I went to bed around 1am (probably too late for me tbh) I was pretty zonked and couldn't keep my eyes open while I was trying to read my book in bed, but still woke up right before 7am. I had 2 glasses of wine with dinner so maybe that was the culprit. 

 

I know all of this ties back to some subconscious anxiety though. I frequently wake up out of unpleasant dreams. Not necessarily nightmares, but kind of anxious uncomfortable dreams. Like my brain is processing all these random things that I don't even necessarily think about generally. Funny enough while on Cymbalta I very rarely had dreams, or at least none that I could remember having. Like I was saying before sometimes it feels like my body now has a different idea of what my "normal" level of anxiety should be, and it's higher than it was before Cymbalta, and is screwing with my body. I've definitely tossed around the idea of taking some low dose of an SSRI to make this all go away and feel normal again


#548 invalidusername

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 05:58 PM

Alcohol can be a funny thing - I can easily stay away from the stuff now. I never know what it might do. 

 

I have exactly the same sort of dreams. And I tell you, after 6 in a row this week, I had just had enough. I would wake up and fear nodding back off. Stress is to blame. Just as is the reason for my staying in bed all day today. Combination of zero energy and very scared of phone ringing, messages coming through, whatsapp pinging at me... I am so bloody fragile. 

 

"it feels like my body now has a different idea of what my "normal" level of anxiety should be"

 

It is not a feeling, that is what has happened. And at present, you are in a position where you are going with it, thus strengthening the synaptic bond. Viscous circle. Its all in the acceptance. But it is so so difficult, and my every sympathy. Even today, I know it will pass and just trying to tell myself that a couple more days like this and I will be back to normal, but I just don't want to be here in this state! It's my own damn fault. Doing 11 hour days - silly IUN.


#549 frog

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:26 AM

So I'm reinforcing the anxiety and making it worse? I'm not really sure how I would not do that? I already try to push through it, ignore it, etc. and do whatever it is that I want to do. And every time I do I end up being completely fine in the moment. So it's always just a lot of anticipatory anxiety about nothing in particular. Just the anticipation of "something." I don't really know how to break through it in a more permanent way


#550 fishinghat

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 01:18 PM

Frog

 

I am a little confused why you are worried about the sleep. You dropped your Seroquel from 1 pill to 2 pills on Sept 20th. This is just a typical withdrawal from Seroquel that usually lasted 2 to 3 months for me. It has only been a week so far and of course your nerves are still sensitive since the Cymbalta withdrawal. Hang in there.


#551 frog

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 02:37 PM

I actually dropped the Seroquel from 2 to 1 pill back in July and then came off the night time gabapentin by mid August. So it's been a good while now actually. I was only on 300mg gabapentin and I had pretty much no issues while I was coming off it. But it does seem like it was helping me to stay asleep longer. When I tapered down the Seroquel but was still taking gabapentin at night I was sleeping 7-8 hours every single night. Now over the past month it's been kind of all over the place. 


#552 fishinghat

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:04 PM

Thanks for the clarification. getting old is tough. It seems like I am always misinterpreting your posts.  lol

 

So many months off Cymbalta but I am sure the nervous system is still sensitive.

 

Cut Seroquel by 50% about 2 months ago so probably still some after effects from that for about another month.

 

Stopped nighttime gabapentin in mid-August so still have 1 or 2 months of that to deal with. 

 

Now you know why drs say to wait 2 years to do another wean off a drug. With the sensitivity of your nervous system due to the Cymbalta withdrawal those time estimates of mine may be a little quick. Take it easy on yourself and don't fight it. You can do this.


#553 invalidusername

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:21 PM

Frog - isn't it always the way! Anxiety is forever having us make us believe that something awful is going to happen and it is "loosing the fear of the feeling" that must be done. It is SO difficult. And you have probably heard it so many times already, but it is just a feeling. Nothing more. Your brain is rewired and you are having to unscramble an egg in effect. You need to get to the point where you are entering a situation thinking "I don't give a f***, what will happen will happen". This is how to get your brain out of this mindset.

 

It is not thinking right because it has been reprogrammed. The chimp paradox is an excellent read if you haven't already been there. It breaks down the psychology of anxiety to amazing bite-size metaphors. It explains why you are cutting out the prefrontal cortex which is the reasoning and going straight to the hippocampus which feeds off stuff that is done by default. The reason being is that the neurons that fire, reach the h/c quicker than the frontal lobe, so it is going to happen.

 

Unfortunately it takes time. I should know, I have been there twice and overcome it. But you have to live it, breathe it - everything until it sticks.

 

If you need reading material, I have stacks that has worked for me. 


#554 frog

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 06:52 PM

I hear ya IUN. And as I said most of the time I feel like I do push through the anxiety and just go do things and they end up being completely fine. Nothing to be scared of, exactly as I predicted. it just doesn't seem like that message sticks. The next time it's exactly the same thing all over again!


#555 invalidusername

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 07:24 PM

Yup - thats it exactly. I have a really good book that I think you will find useful. Very easy to pick up and read little parts.

 

If you are happy to, PM me an email I can send to and I will get a copy over to you. 


#556 Mxpro32

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 11:25 PM

What’s the book?  I might want to read it


#557 frog

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:55 AM

Yes curious about the book as well!

 

My therapist suggested to journal more actively. Write about situations where I felt all this anticipatory anxiety and then how I felt during and after and whether anything I was anxious about even happened. The anticipatory anxiety stemming from a need to preplan everything because my brain has determined over the years that this is a beneficial strategy to me to avoid unpleasant situations. The journaling would be to try to internalize that its not actually helpful at all so it is not necessary


#558 fishinghat

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 12:50 PM

My therapist also had me start a journal as well after my nervous breakdown. It really helped me identify patterns of what caused my condition to worsen. It also was very helpful in keeping track of when O changed meds, went up or down on does as I sure couldn't trust my memory.  lol


#559 invalidusername

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 06:22 PM

We can never trust your memory Hat... LOL :D

 

Frog/MX - check your inboxes!


#560 frog

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 02:33 PM

2 months have passed almost which is wild. Not much has changed but it's very hard to judge because of this pandemic we're in. It's hard not to feel a vague sense of dread and unease given the situation. I know it's common to have anxiety about situations that are out of our control, but I've learned that it's a major trigger for me.

 

Thanksgiving is next week and we're driving to LA to have dinner with my husband's brother. It's a 6 hr drive, which is kind of scary. This is the longest travel by far that I've done since all the Cymbalta stuff started. I don't have any reason to believe that I won't be able to survive 6 hours in the car, but I have some reservations about it anyway. Still I think it's an important step toward eventually being able to go on vacations or see our families in other states. In that way I'm looking forward to it. 

 

One thing that's still bugging me is the chest heaviness/tightness and the trouble breathing that comes with it. I guess it's most likely related to adrenaline or anxiety, but it's odd because it gets worse if I'm in a semi reclined position or trying to sleep on my side. If I lean forward or lie down on my back it seems to open everything back up and I can breathe better. I have no idea what this means. Probably nothing. But I wonder if it's worth getting checked out? 


#561 fishinghat

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:22 AM

Glad you are hanging in there frog. It is amazing how long these symptoms can hang in there. Are you taking propranolol?


#562 invalidusername

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 10:21 AM

Hi Frog,

 

I can understand this situation completely. I would be in the exact same place as you are talking of this journey. My anxiety is jut fine within a certain comfort zone. I can walk through the town with plenty of people, I can visit strangers in their homes for my work, I can have blood tests... everything that would have been impossible 18 months ago, but the biggest and last hurdle is being away from home - so yes, I really respect what you are doing. I think the biggest problem for me is that I am also responsible for my wife whose anxiety is still very much in the red zone. I would feel much better if I had someone who was in touch and at ease with such things.

 

Regarding the chest tightness, when you are laying down, the airways are fully open - more so than any other position, so that makes sense. They can also relax a lot more. I would strongly suggest that it is anxiety driven. I would observe when it gets worse, see if there is a pattern which supports the above statement.


#563 frog

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 02:32 PM

I'm not taking propranolol. 

 

It very well could be anxiety driven but to me it seems like I struggle to breathe even when I'm not anxious. I could be mistaken about that of course but that's my impression. There was also a period of time in late summer I want to say when I felt like the breathing was getting A LOT better and I assumed it was because I was getting better overall. And then the breathing got worse again. Being anxious about something (including over the breathing) certainly makes it WORSE though. But I could be sitting on the couch playing a video game and be struggling to get deep breaths in even though I feel calm and fine otherwise. 

 

I'm talking to a primary care doctor on Monday and will see what she says. Most likely I'll be able to at least get tested for asthma soon so we can rule it in or out. Even if it's ruled out maybe the doctor will have some suggestions on how to deal with persistent shortness of breath. 

 

I've wondered in the past if I might be slightly asthmatic. I've had times where I've had a lot of wheezing or random coughing fits but it usually went away eventually and didn't really interfere with my life so I never thought to get it checked out. So I guess I'll at least finally get my answer!


#564 fishinghat

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 06:35 PM

That is interesting. If you had the breathing difficulties before the withdrawal I would expect asthma, emphysema or something along that line. people who work constantly with fabrics, yarn, knitting etc often develop pulmonary fibrosis or develop an allergy to specific fibers like wool, rayon, ...   It could also be LPR, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, which usually occurs without heart burn. It is very common in people over 50 and can easily be treated with usually omeprazole. Anyway that will give you something to think about before you see the dr.  lol 


#565 invalidusername

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 06:06 PM

I was thinking LPR myself as my friend had similar symptoms. An easy way to find out about asthma is to borrow a friend's inhaler and see how you feel :)

 

Having said that it makes everyone feel better so not a great idea. A lot of athletes have got caught out by saying they have asthma as taking an inhaler opens up the airways in the lungs and produces more oxygen in the blood allowing them to perform better. The reverse it true from Hat's story about offering the team you are playing against a bottle of pop just before kickoff :)

 

Please keep us updated dear bean. 


#566 frog

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 07:13 PM

Just spoke to the doctor. Based on everything I told her she said she thinks it's most likely that it's a physical manifestation of anxiety. Asthma would be the other possibility of course but she thinks it's pretty unlikely based on everything I told her. She did prescribe me an albuterol rescue inhaler to see if that helps so at least I have something that helps alleviate the breathing issues. I'm kind of nervous though because I guess it can cause your heart to race which is likely to make me feel panicky... 

 

Idk if you guys would know, but if say the inhaler did help, could that be indicative of asthma then? Or would an inhaler help breathing regardless of the cause? She offered to have the test for lung function done if I wanted to just to be sure, but I don't want to waste my time if it's highly unlikely. 

 

She of course offered that if this is all manifested through anxiety then I could consider taking an SSRI to help get the anxiety under control. I'm definitely reaching the end of my rope in terms of all of these side effects and I want my normal life back where I don't live with physical anxiety 24/7 and can't sleep. I'm not entirely opposed to taking an SSRI if that means I'll feel better but I'm scared that it may not work and I could end up with another disastrous withdrawal :( I know everyone's different but if you guys were to recommend one that is maybe least terrible, is there one? 


#567 fishinghat

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:34 AM

"Idk if you guys would know, but if say the inhaler did help, could that be indicative of asthma then?"

 

Yes, that would indicate asthma. The inhalers should not work on stress related breathing issues. A few members with breathing issues have also been given inhalers to try but I do not recall any being helpful. I guess it is just a matter of time for you frog. You sure have had a long history of this problem.


#568 frog

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 01:42 PM

I had my weekly therapy on Monday. I was definitely a mess after talking to the doctor. My therapist kind of helped put things in their place, as she does. 

Looking at the tremendous amount of upheaval and change in my life that's happened in the past year parallel to the withdrawal: moving to a new state with no close friends or family, the pandemic obviously, being the sole earner in our household for the past year while my own job was going through a lot of ups and downs and layoff scares, just to name the biggest ones lol. I wish I could do some type of controlled experiment where I could see how I would have handled all of those things if I were still on Cymbalta or even before I ever took Cymbalta. Whether I would have become bogged down by anxiety anyway. We'll never know of course. So it's very possible that the anxiety over all of those simultaneous things is manifesting itself much more physically. 

 

She gave me some confidence that taking an SSRI now does not mean I'm permanently damaged or need to take it for the rest of my life. It can just serve as a stop gap measure to get over this difficult phase in my life and come off of it again when I feel stronger and more secure in our new life in the Bay Area. I think that really resonated with me. I've made a TON of progress just relying on myself and my own coping tools, but I'm not completely where I want to be. And I think I'm at a point where I need to accept some help. 

 

My therapist offered to help me find a psychiatrist to talk to who has some experience with people who have had bad experiences with medication or is wary. So we'll see. But I like to be prepared with my own information, so I really have two main questions: 

 

1. Is there an SSRI that you guys have seen be effective for anxiety that also is less likely to cause bad withdrawal when getting off? Are there any SSRIs that are easier to taper (like say have a lot of different dosages? where you don't have to count crazy tiny beads to taper.....)

 

2. We're not at the point where we're trying to have any kids yet but I'm 33 so if we decide to it will be soon. Is there research about effects of taking an SSRI while pregnant or post pregnancy? 

 

Thanks guys


#569 fishinghat

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 04:41 PM

1, Zoloft, Prozac and Lexapro are said to be the easiest to wean off of, especially if compared to Cymbalta. I know of a few people who did a 2 or 3 year wean of of these ADs with very little symptoms. I know Zoloft comes in a liquid form that makes dealing with down-dosing easier. Most used a weighting method. Lexapro, at least the one I am familiar with is a capsule that contains powder. Zoloft is a tablet. 

 

2. There is a section on the ebook on pregnancy/post-pregnancy with ADs. I do know that there is a strong link between takin g an AD while pregnant and Autism.


#570 invalidusername

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 09:06 AM

So for late reply to this - as said in other posts today, had to take a sabbatical for a few days due to nightmare going on this end, but Frog, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. 

 

Question though - if anxiety is the issue here, is there a reason why an sNri is not considered? I know Hat has mentioned Lexapro, but I have heard of a few difficulties there, but certainly Zoloft and Prozac for the longer half life. Remember that most people would be in a similar situation to you with everything that has been going on. I have been working 10-11 hours days for over 2 weeks now whilst trying to organise my wife's meds and deal with family issues. My sleep is awful at best, I have chest pains, weakness, headaches... stress for me manifests so much, so never underestimate the physical manifestations of these things.

 

Really feel for you and I hope that with the holidays coming up that you can rest up a bit. Ironically, this is the first year I am really looking forward to having the time off. Previous years my anxiety scared me for having too much time to stop and let my head take over with thoughts, but I really need it this year! It is all a case of balance, but something that is so very difficult.

 

Bless you dear friend.





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