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2 Months Off After Somewhat Slow Taper. Really Struggling


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#61 fishinghat

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 01:18 PM

You got it ole' great one.


#62 Mxpro32

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:30 PM

well, I had the best day in a while yesterday.  my thoughts slowed down, my heart wasn't racing, I actually was able to slow down and enjoy the moment and envision a future.  I wasn't sad or depressed.  in other words, I felt content like you are supposed to feel.  I felt like that most of today too, which made me think maybe I got my thoughts straight enough to handle this, even though my morning anxiety wakeup call was 3 am last night.  now this evening, the dark feelings started coming back, and the anxiety is amping up again.  since hearing fishinghats description of the adrenalin effect, I've been pretty good at  separating out the feeling of anxiety and the racing thoughts that accompany it.  just noticing the physical emotions without letting it set my racing mind in motion.  I'm struggling with that tonight.  negative thoughts are coming at me fast and the depression is setting in.  I told myself when I was feeling good not to let myself get discouraged when I started feeling bad again but its tough. 

 

in other news, I cancelled my appointment with my counselor today.  I told his receptionist to cancel the appointment and I was no longer going to see him.  he called me a little later asking about it.  I thought about not saying anything, but I was feeling good and knew I could handle the "conflict" so I told him that it wasn't a good fit because I felt like he was analyzing and diagnosing me instead of listening to me.  it felt good.  now I need to find another counselor.  


#63 frog

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:49 PM

You and I seem to be going through very similar timelines. I quit Cymbalta just shy of 2 months ago, experienced some initial withdrawal effects that were frustrating to be sure but manageable and then about 5 weeks ago got hit by an anxiety/nausea/stomach problem/headache/brain fog bus. It took 4 weeks to get to 24 hours that actually felt pretty good (Monday night and most of Tuesday) like things were really moving forward and then I couldn't sleep Tuesday night, had a pretty crappy day yesterday, cried for 20 minutes straight, and didn't sleep most of the night. I ended up taking the day off from work today because I was completely drained this morning, anxiety was pretty high, and I just felt like garbage overall. It seems like it's the cycle starting over again, to go from bad to better, then again, and again. It's SO discouraging even if I know to expect it. I will say though that if my current state is the 'worst' of this cycle it's still not as bad as my worst of the first one. I was still able to take a shower and walk with my husband to the grocery store, get some dinner and walk back. Stepping foot outside really is healing. My anxiety did start to rise a bit in the grocery store but it never got out of control. Minor achievement, but again, compared to my worst 4 weeks ago a pretty big step forward. 

 

The other good news for you is that once you're through all this, you are DONE! Since I was unable to stay off the Cymbalta completely when I was feeling my absolute worst and reintroduced the 7 beads, I still have that taper to look forward to :(

 

In any case, keep doing what you're doing. It seems like it's working and good for you for telling your counselor off! I hope your next one is a lot more empathetic and openminded. 


#64 Mxpro32

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 09:23 PM

You and I seem to be going through very similar timelines. I quit Cymbalta just shy of 2 months ago, experienced some initial withdrawal effects that were frustrating to be sure but manageable and then about 5 weeks ago got hit by an anxiety/nausea/stomach problem/headache/brain fog bus. It took 4 weeks to get to 24 hours that actually felt pretty good (Monday night and most of Tuesday) like things were really moving forward and then I couldn't sleep Tuesday night, had a pretty crappy day yesterday, cried for 20 minutes straight, and didn't sleep most of the night. I ended up taking the day off from work today because I was completely drained this morning, anxiety was pretty high, and I just felt like garbage overall. It seems like it's the cycle starting over again, to go from bad to better, then again, and again. It's SO discouraging even if I know to expect it. I will say though that if my current state is the 'worst' of this cycle it's still not as bad as my worst of the first one. I was still able to take a shower and walk with my husband to the grocery store, get some dinner and walk back. Stepping foot outside really is healing. My anxiety did start to rise a bit in the grocery store but it never got out of control. Minor achievement, but again, compared to my worst 4 weeks ago a pretty big step forward.

The other good news for you is that once you're through all this, you are DONE! Since I was unable to stay off the Cymbalta completely when I was feeling my absolute worst and reintroduced the 7 beads, I still have that taper to look forward to :(

In any case, keep doing what you're doing. It seems like it's working and good for you for telling your counselor off! I hope your next one is a lot more empathetic and openminded.


Yeah, definitely similar. I made the mistake of going for a long walk again. I was feeling so good yesterday and today, then I had the slightest anxiety coming on earlier this evening so I tried to walk it off. Well the anxiety got way worse, and I felt pretty depressed by the time I got back. Walks used to be great to clear my mind or stress now they make me depressed. It's weird.

On the positive side, I am able to feel joy now that I wasn't capable of on cymbalta. Playing with my kids brings me real joy. They really ground me. Before I enjoyed my kids but felt like the bond wasn't as strong as it should be. I use this to motivate myself. It's the reason I went off in the first place.

#65 frog

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 02:24 PM

Getting out of the house on a walk helps redirect my thoughts and going on a long walk when I'm feeling good is awesome but I have found that when I'm not feeling great to begin with, I prefer a short walk with maybe a destination and back. Being out longer doesn't seem to have any more benefit than being out for a little and if my mind is already racing, being out for a long time can just make me more anxious. 

 

I'm sure FH and IUN would agree that despite how bad you feel you're able to feel happiness from spending time with your kids, you're doing pretty well all things considered. As with me it's just a matter of time that the rest of the noise and challenging emotions start to die down. 


#66 invalidusername

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 07:10 PM

What you did with your therapist took a decent sized set of plums to do... so well done. Something that many couldn't do in your circumstances - very well done, and it will pay off for sure. I am so lucky to be back i touch with the therapist I had last year. I am only three sessions in and feel so much more comfortable knowing that I have her for as long as I need. Unlike the sorry excuse for the mental health service that I had to endure for the previous 13 months - never again!

 

Great to hear about the emotions being restored with the kids. They are so innocent and minds that run free - we have so much to learn from them. Life was so different back then before our minds entered the world of corruption. Hold on to this - the walking will get better. Your system is all over the place at the moment as will throw you these curve balls. It is not in its default state and is experimenting with emotions at the moment. And as Frog said, I do agree that you are doing well. Being able to see past the fog and the symptoms for what they really are is a MASSIVE step in the right direction. Just keep this as your focus and don't let it take over you. This is a difficult lesson to learn but it will hold you in good stead for anything that might be thrown your way in the future. These are the times that you will look back on and say to yourself "I managed that time during my withdrawal, so I can do it again this time". 

 

Oh poo... my finger is bleeding again. Cut it earlier with a bread knife... gotta go - blood on the laptop.... eeeeep!


#67 Lovey

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 07:52 PM

I was having almost out of body experiences of dissociation this morning, and yet I still walked into a coffee shop and hung my artwork. A pretty significant accomplishment for sure! I felt like an observer of sorts just out of whack somehow, its all so very strange!!! But wanted to share this victory with you all.

#68 Mxpro32

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 08:15 PM

Yeah, it wasn't easy, but I have my momma's spirit. We don't back away from conflict. Yeah, there are still times where the anxiety is bad enough it's hard to connect with them, and I'm not accustomed to feeling strong feelings of joy so I have to let go and let myself feel it.

I read the book "the untethered soul" by Michael singer and it's helped me separate the thoughts from the symptoms and emotions. It helps to keep the anxiety symptoms from being made worse by a racing mind. Still not easy, but it helps.

#69 Mxpro32

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 08:29 PM

i Had a few pretty good days, other than waking up in the middle of the night, being depressed in the morning and some anxiety. I say pretty good because my focus was able to zoom out and imagine a decent future instead of zeroing in on my present misery. I even went to 2 Christmas parties this weekend and enjoyed myself. One was a friend party, the other was my wife’s company Christmas party. but today was pretty rough. A lot of anxiety and depression. I started questioning if this was the withdrawal or me just being depressed again. I always feel worse when I do that. It feels overwhelming where it’s hard to imagine a future where I feel like I’m living my life instead of just hanging on. I got a referral for a counselor from a friend. The earliest she can see me is the 2nd.

#70 Mxpro32

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 09:10 PM

Today it's mostly bad depression. Not sure if anxiety or depression is worse

#71 Mxpro32

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 10:30 PM

I can't believe I did it again. I felt so much better for a few days and convinced myself maybe I was past the worst. Now I feel awful. Like a mix of deep sadness, depression, and anxiety. Its awful

#72 gail

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:35 AM

Don't worry, we ALL think like this. As I said before, progress is not linear.

You will have good days again and not so good. Patience!

#73 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 12:25 PM

I originally started taking .5mg Xanax at night because I was having crazy anxiety and couldn't go to sleep. Plus I was waking up really anxious at 4 am. Now my anxiety has been much less severe, but I'm still taking the Xanax before bed to sleep, and again when I wake up in the middle of the night. Lately I'm really depressed in the morning, even on days that turn out to be good days. I'm thinking the Xanax may be causing the depression. I've tried melatonin when I wake up in the middle of the night but I wake up again before long. Thoughts?

#74 fishinghat

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:51 PM

How long you been on the Xanax?

#75 frog

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:58 PM

You went to two parties so I think you're doing great. I also have better days followed by bad days that make me question everything. It's brutal. I go to work every day pretty much but I've been really anxious about the idea of going to any social activities. I would normally kind of dread things like that so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I'm dreading them even more but I need to keep facing the challenges to keep the anxiety moving lower and lower. I think during this time we're just EXTRA susceptible to whatever would normally be a trigger. For the most part I look forward to (or at least don't dread) walks or little activities like going to the movies or walking around the conservatory we have near here. We've had a couple people stay with us for a few days during all of this and of course there was Thanksgiving but I think a true social activity with people who don't know what's going on is still a challenge I need to overcome. 

 

My NP said he sees insomnia very commonly in people who have uncontrolled anxiety. Maybe you should ask your doc for an alternative medication to Xanax that will help control the anxiety at night and let you sleep? Melatonin doesn't work for me either when it comes to not being able to sleep due to anxiety. It can help me fall asleep but it does nothing to keep me there. Like you I just wake right back up in a couple hours. I think sleep is so important to recovery. So if you're having trouble sleeping that may also be contributing to the rises in anxiety and depression. Just my 2 cents. Also re: the beta blockers I started taking. I was disappointed that they didn't help me with sleep but my NP actually confirmed that they don't typically help with sleep problems even as related to anxiety. 


#76 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 02:18 PM

[quote name="fishinghat" post="88543" timestamp="1576003816"]

How long you been on the Xanax?[/quot

3 or 4 weeks since the anxiety got out of control

#77 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 02:21 PM

I'm a very outgoing extrovert, so I really enjoy social activities. They don't stress me out. That said, I couldn't have done it on a bad day. We went to a friendsgiving the week before and I felt like crying the whole time.

#78 frog

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 03:04 PM

It's very hard to judge each other's experiences/challenges/progresses for these reasons. We are all so different and have different triggers and one thing that comes naturally to someone can be a huge challenge to someone else. I think getting a therapist into the mix will be really helpful for that reason! But I think only time and maybe some assisting meds can help navigate through the rebound anxiety/depression the Cymbalta triggered. Everyone says that part gets better including my NP so I'm trying to believe them that I'm not just now "stuck" like this. Personally I feel like I've hit a point where I think I'm spiraling a bit which is not helpful for my recovery. I think I'll heal faster if I can rebuild my confidence and break the cycle I've been stuck in mentally. Right now it seems like a few meds are going to do that for me so that's just how it is. At least they're not SSRIs/SNRIs so that makes me feel better. 


#79 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:34 PM

It's very hard to judge each other's experiences/challenges/progresses for these reasons. We are all so different and have different triggers and one thing that comes naturally to someone can be a huge challenge to someone else. I think getting a therapist into the mix will be really helpful for that reason! But I think only time and maybe some assisting meds can help navigate through the rebound anxiety/depression the Cymbalta triggered. Everyone says that part gets better including my NP so I'm trying to believe them that I'm not just now "stuck" like this. Personally I feel like I've hit a point where I think I'm spiraling a bit which is not helpful for my recovery. I think I'll heal faster if I can rebuild my confidence and break the cycle I've been stuck in mentally. Right now it seems like a few meds are going to do that for me so that's just how it is. At least they're not SSRIs/SNRIs so that makes me feel better.


I've noticed if I try to ignore how I'm feeling and just put one foot in front of the other and live as normal a life as possible, vs indulging the feelings and start trying to consciously figure them out, I make more progress. My theory is that it's easier for your brain to rewire itself and get the chemicals right if it's exposed to normal experiences and interactions, vs my terrifying imagination. Plus, people will interact more naturally with you the more normal you can be, which seems like it would help your brain to get things right. My wife has been supportive, but I've been trying not to dump on her cause I think the normal interactions we have when I'm not dumping on her are better for both of us. I get to see the wife I love, not the one who's worried and burdened. Indulging my feelings and fears and trying to rationalize my way out of them makes things much worse. I'm not saying to push your feelings down, you can't. Just step outside of them and ignore them. Don't expect to feel good, and you won't be disappointed when you dont. just prove to yourself you can carry on even when you feel terrible. Fear of never feeling good again is the fear I really can't indulge. It's not helpful and it's not true. Our brains are healing. Read "the untethered soul". By Michael singer. I've been reading books like crazy trying to feel better. This one has helped.

#80 Lovey

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:45 PM

Mxpro i needed to hear this. So out of sorts but must go to work. I will use this strategy and check in after. Thank you!!!

#81 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 04:46 PM

I've been noticing a pattern to my moods. Really depressed in the morning. That fades into intense anxiety as the day goes on, then back to depression in the evening. Seems like it's following my Ritalin schedule.

#82 fishinghat

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 05:58 PM

The manufacturers as well as medical research recommends that benzos not be used for more than 4 weeks due to their addictiveness and after 4 weeks they begin to loose their effectiveness. The clinic where I go see my pdoc does not prescribe Xanax or valium anymore due to their rapid loss of effectiveness and the bad withdrawal that can follow.

#83 invalidusername

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 06:51 PM

MX did a great post there on exactly how it is done. Live your life as normal as you can - this does rewire your brain. It is not about distracting yourself as you would have done this way of life before all the shit started. Take it as it comes. This is representative of Claire Weekes' approach to anxiety. Her method helped me no end with my issues.... to the point that today I went into a massively crowded grocery store for 20 minutes and didn't bat an eyelid. Granted it wasn't a "bad" day, but not too good either, so I consider this very much a success. 

 

Hat - interesting that you should mention the effectiveness of benzos as I have just spoken to LDN about that in my daily post. I rarely take benzos as you know, but when I do, I have noticed that they still no longer have the same effects that they once did. 5mg would knock me right out if taken in the morning, to the point that I would sleep regardless of how much I tried to stay awake. Now I can take 10mg and not feel even the slightest bit of sedation. I think it still does something for the anxiety, but this does beg the question as to whether it is a placebo. My anxiety has never do "that" bad in the last 3 months or so to trial it. But surely taking 5mg once a week should be enough tolerance to maintain its optimum effect?


#84 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 07:05 PM

So I need to find a new way to deal with the anxiety and fall asleep at night? Taper off the Xanax? Recommendations?

#85 invalidusername

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 07:17 PM

Sounds like yours is not situational anxiety but that bought about by the meds. This needs to take its course unfortunately. This is when you find yourself in the fight or flight at any given time and for no reason. Just like where LDN is now. 

 

I had anxiety bake dried in and had to face it. Meds were not helping - this is where Clare Weekes came in. 


#86 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 09:03 PM

Yeah, it's not related to anything directly. It can be made worse by stress or negative thoughts, but I've done pretty good at limiting anxious rumination

#87 Mxpro32

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 10:30 PM

I'm going to try not using Xanax unless I'm having really bad anxiety at night. Wish me luck

#88 fishinghat

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 09:08 AM

IUN - "But surely taking 5mg once a week should be enough tolerance to maintain its optimum effect?"

I have seen research that indicates that it takes up to 2 years to lose your tolerance to benzos and get to where they work again at the same dose. Also, I know many pdocs and medical researchers say that after coming off a benzo wait two years to try going back on one. Tolerance is a enduring thing with benzos.

Mxpro - At your stage I would expect very little withdrawal BUT if withdrawal happens please go back on the regular dosage of Xanax until the Cymbalta taper is over. We can deal with the Xanax then. Don't try and do both withdrawals at once.

#89 Mxpro32

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 10:25 AM

Well I tried not using Xanax to sleep last night and it didn't go so well. I cracked at 11:30 and took a half of a .5mg. i woke at 3 am, took the other half and a melatonin sublingual. Woke again at 5, took another melatonin and woke at 6 feeling wired again and unable to go back to sleep. Now I'm really tired but I don't have that deep depressed feeling I was having. This isn't sustainable though. I'm barely sleeping.

#90 fishinghat

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 10:30 AM

Do what you got to do though to get some sleep. Have you tried hydroxyzine? It is a good non-addictive sleep aide and also helps anxiety. By prescription only here in USA.



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