It has been a bit since I've posted in an effort to try and distance myself from overdoing it so much in terms of online research, etc. My therapist has been on me to refrain from overwhelming myself with so much w/d info, etc. I understand his angle for sure but this site has provided alot of help and support for me.
I am 9.5 months out since being off Cymbalta now, and I've started a very slow taper of the Zyprexa that I was put on. I'm tapering the Zyprexa 5% every two weeks and will see how that goes. It will be an 18+ month taper and I started last month. To pick up from the last post above, I've managed to really only take the Ativan 1-2 times every week. I went 2.5 weeks without any Ativan and didn't seem to notice any w/d related to it so I think I am safe (not dependent) on the Ativan.
That said, I am still battling things badly. My main symptoms are:
1. Severe Anxiety - My anxiety is still out of control and seems heaviest in the am and will dissipate a bit throughout the day. I am still struggling badly to keep things together at both work and at home. I take a very occasional Ativan or 50mg of Hydroxyzine which "might" help a touch. The ativan does help but I've refrained to taking maybe 1mg per week as I'm scared as hell of it.
2. Deep depression - I am really struggling with depression that is as bad (or worse) than it has ever been. A vast majority of the depression is due to my vision as nothing has improved. It has gotten a bit worse and some weird new symptoms have come up. My vision is very grainy when looking at walls or in any low light. This is along with the massive onset of floaters in both eyes. These are not just a few random floaters that go away here and there. These are constant and visible in any lighting condition and has made most activities very un-enjoyable. I have a hard time working due to the mess of floaters on my computer screen, watching TV, driving has gotten more difficult, any room with flouresecent lights makes it look like I'm hallucinating, and a sunny sky is brutal to look at. I can't get away from them and it is definitely driving a lot of both my anxiety and depression. It is embarrassing to have floaters wreak so much havoc but this is definitely a really intense case. I've been spending time with my therapist on trying to come to "acceptance" about this new vision normal which has been extremely difficult. As of now, there is nothing the doctors will do in order to help due to risks/complications.
3. Morning cortisol spikes - I am having a very difficult time with anxiety (almost panic attack) nearly every morning when I wake up. Like a big rush of panic as soon as I wake up and realize I am battling this extreme depression and anxiety still. This happens anywhere from 5-5:45am and it is very uncomfortable. I've read about the cortisol spikes in the morning as part of w/d but I'm sad that this is so strong at 9.5 months off and It is wearing me out.
4. OCD thoughts - this is basically what put me on Cymbalta in the first place last year. Now, I am constantly obsessing about Cymbalta w/d and why I am not improving faster as well as OCD about my vision. Fear is also a major issue. Scared of this w/d lasting too long, fear of losing my wife and kids, fear of my vision being like this forever, etc.
All said, the physical headaches and overall sick feeling has been a bit better. In most cases, my brain still feels like I have damaged it severely. I have some pretty decent times where I feel "okay" physically but my vision is dragging my mood down so much.
I don't really want it but I've been thinking about whether another SSRI would help the severe anxiety and depression. If you recall, the short introduction of prozac failed back in Dec and that is the last of an SSRI. At the time, my doctor said we'd try Lexapro next if the Prozac didn't work but we kind of dropped that discussion when I got dependent on Zyprexa.
At this point, I am really sad and scared that I've entered this new level of depression. I am scared that I can't do this on my own without possibly trying another SSRI. With that said, I'm so scared of how my body reacted to the Prozac that I don't want to get "kindled" if I tried to start a new SSRI.
I keep saying that at 9.5 months out, this could all still be Cymbalta w/d and that I will see steady improvement soon. I don't know what to believe anymore. I do know that this constant level of anxiety is really bad for my health. I am nervous about having a heart attack based on the extreme anxiety.