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Stiff Internally, Brain Being Fried, Chest Feels Like Bursting, What Is This?! Please Help, Urgent


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#1 MeM

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 06:52 PM

I am on a low dose of cymbalta (have been trying to lower it).

 

I am already in a very severe protracted withdrawal (emotional numbness, anhedonia, depression, agitation, zero pleasure, can’t think, concentrate, etc). It’s a nightmare.

 

I am currently having some sort of horrible reaction (which I have had before when I lower the dose)

 

It feels like some type of excitatory activity-- something that’s flooding me and totally incapacitating me, centered in my chest and brain. 

 

Is is glutamate? acetylcholine? histamine? Cortisol? Too much serotonin?

 

  • Can’t think, feels like brain is inflamed and all thoughts are being edged out.

  • Horrible feeling in chest like it’s going to burst. 

  • I feel stiff internally, not muscles but more internally.

  • No tiredness, no appetite.

  • Feels like any ability to feel pleasureable feelings are 100% gone.

  • Agitated/flighty chest feeling but frozen

 

I end up lying down and being still to try to relax, so it might look like I am laying around/sleepy/ but really I am frozen in some sort of activation state where my brain is being fried.

It’s not a mind racing thing... it is a very physical activation / intense discomfort. Feels like everything is being burned out of me.

 

What the hell is this? What can I do?

 

Someone please help.

 

I am wanting to get off cymbalta, and am on <10mg.

 

I am also taking Zoloft (trying to bridge off, but I have had this reaction before in the past with no Zoloft). I’m not against meds I just want to feel better. I can’t survive like this.


#2 frog

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 07:40 PM

I'm not an expert other than also going through protracted withdrawal but this sounds like adrenaline/fight or flight. I essentially cold turkey'd off the last 18 or so mg of Cymbalta back in October and got slammed by nonstop adrenaline/stress/fight or flight shortly after. First it was nonstop and I was in absolute agony. It's been 3 and a half months now and now it waxes and wanes. I'll have days in a row where I feel pretty agitated and sensitive and vulnerable and then a day or so where I feel pretty solid and normal. From everything I've been told on this site it should continue to get better and the good days will get longer and the bad days get shorter as my brain relearns the right levels again. 

 

It kind of sounds like you might be tapering way too fast. I don't know what your current taper schedule is but you'll want to slow way down once you get to the 10mg mark. If you're feeling this badly you should probably stick to your current dose until this passes and then even a little longer before resuming your taper. You may even want to try going back up slightly in dose. What you're trying to do is give your brain enough time in between to properly adjust to each drop. 

 

Just my two cents! The more senior members of the forum will be along to give you more advice!


#3 fishinghat

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:52 AM

I totally agree with frog. Definitely adrenaline, which is to be expected. How many beads in your capsule and how many are you removing each day?


#4 Mxpro32

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:49 AM

Yup. I went through it too. This unbearable adrenaline overload that makes your chest tight and your heart pound out of its chest. Systemic whole body panic. It's aweful but but you will get through it. Work on just accepting the physical sensations without fighting them. Try to Accept that this is how it is right now but it will get better.

#5 Polly38

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:36 AM

Hi MeM

I have been off Cymbalta for 3 months now and have exactly the same tight feeling in the chest. It feels like my rib cage is so tight and it feels like it is going to burst! I don't have heart palpitations with it but I do have a bit of anxiety as well. It has got to be withdrawal, so hang on in there.

I have also been getting shortness of breath, related to this. Have you experienced the shortness of breath too? MxPro - can you remember how long it lasted?

Thanks.

Polly

#6 Mxpro32

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:46 AM

I don't remember exactly. The worst was About 3 months for me then the super intense adrenaline started to fade. I still get it to a lesser degree occasionally. Mindfulness meditation helped me to accept it. It didn't help the symptoms, but it helped to not make them worse by freaking out about them.

The goal of the meditations is not to try and "calm down", but rather to surrender and accept your body and sensations as they are. Observe them without judgement.

#7 DThiessen

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:51 AM

Had this also, sometimes still do, it will wax and wane but will in time be gone. 


#8 Polly38

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 12:17 PM

Thanks both. I am at the 3 month mark next week so am hoping it starts to fade soon. Did either of you find it hard to catch your breath with it? Like you can't get enough air in your chest?

#9 DThiessen

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 12:30 PM

Yassss, I did for sure. It was lame, had to and still sometimes have to consciously do deep breathing throughout the day which helps a little bit. Three month mark can be like a climax of things sometimes, was for me anyways. You will get better. Do as much as you can for YOU and your body will heal. This is not a time to be stressed out about it as it will only slow down your healing


#10 frog

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 12:33 PM

Hi Polly,

The shortness of breath is a symptom of anxiety. Sometimes I still get it bad like I can't get to the top of a full deep breath. Then other times I just feel like I frequently need to take really deep labored breaths. I also tend to have a lot of burping on the days when my breathing is worse because I'm taking in way more air than I actually need and the body is trying to get rid of it.

 

If you've had tests to rule out other things then I think it's anxiety based and will go away when the anxiety does. And by focusing too much on it and getting stressed and anxious about the breathing you will actually make it worse so try to just accept. Maybe take some supplements that help with anxiety and see if that relaxes the breath. 


#11 Polly38

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 12:53 PM

Thanks so much DThiessen, that's very reassuring. How long have you been off it now and have most symptoms subsided?

#12 DThiessen

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 01:30 PM

Polly, I have been off 6 months now almost. I began microdosing with Sertraline from compound pharmacy at 2.5mg in December and it has made quite a difference as per symptom severeity. Everything is always there to some degree but it "fades" is how I can describe it. I am starting to get windows now of healing which is awesome. Obviously when symptoms return or I have an especially bad day then they flare up so I have been mentally trying very very hard to reduce stress as I know it is imperative to my healig speed. Good tips that have helped me:

 

1) Following Dr. Caroline Leaf on Instagram (she is a plethora of knowledge on neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to change and heal), reading her books, practicing her daily tips, etc

2) Deep breathing and Tai Chi (very well)

3) No stimulants like coffee, alcohol, etc

4) Keeping busy so I sleep well at night

5) Ignoring it - yes - not giving it my full attention or else it consumes you


#13 Polly38

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:04 PM

Thanks so much DThiessen, that's very reassuring. How long have you been off it now and have most symptoms subsided?

#14 Mxpro32

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:16 PM

When something stressful would happen, like dealing with a difficult customer, I almost couldn't breathe. The mindfulness meditation makes you aware of the physical sensations in your body so you are better able to see when you tense up or hold your breathe. It doesn't stop the adrenaline/anxiety, but it allows you to notice the tension and breathe holding and start to breathe again which helps bring you down from redline. I highly recommend reading this book and following the guided meditations on their schedule.

https://www.amazon.c...81621280&sr=8-3

#15 Mxpro32

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:22 PM

Also, just for encouragement, this isn't going to be easy, so you will really need to be patient and kind to yourself. Don't try to rush things and don't get discouraged if you show improvement and then backslide. It's part for the course. I'm 4 1/2 months off and things are getting so much better. I had a wonderful day yesterday. Better than when I was on cymbalta. I had a day like that last week too. I'm having more neutral, and even more good days than bad, and the bad are getting less severe. Write in a journal and make daily entries with dates so you can see you are trending in the right direction cause it's hard to see when you are riding the waves. We are here for you.
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#16 Polly38

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:52 PM

Thanks so much Mxpro I really appreciate your replies.

Your explanation of it coming on when you had to deal with a difficult customer are soot on! I think I have got into a bad breathing pattern so I'm trying to take deep breaths in all the time, but when I'm asked to do something out of the ordinary, it feels like someone is sat on my chest and I start sweating. Thanks for the link, I will have a look. I have been doing mindfulness and even went to a mindfulness group they hold once a week at work today.

Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

Polly

#17 DThiessen

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:05 PM

Mxpro32 yes for sure, as time goes on the bad days are still less severe as they once were - so like I said Polly - look forward to this fading - not going to lie it is SLOWWW - but there is lots to be learned about ourselves during this time. We humans are stronger and more resilient than we give ourselves credit for and than we even know most days.


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#18 Polly38

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 03:14 PM

Thanks so much DThiessen. I will try and be kind to myself and keep in mind that there will be an end to this😁

#19 Mxpro32

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 09:01 PM

Mxpro32 yes for sure, as time goes on the bad days are still less severe as they once were - so like I said Polly - look forward to this fading - not going to lie it is SLOWWW - but there is lots to be learned about ourselves during this time. We humans are stronger and more resilient than we give ourselves credit for and than we even know most days.


I'm trying to be positive about the experience too. I'm trying to view it as a spiritual awakening or something that will make me appreciate and savor life more. Not to mention toughen me up and teach me the patience to face some of life's possible future setbacks. I'm not a patient person, but this has made me be. There is no other choice.
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#20 Polly38

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:23 AM

Thanks both. I am trying too but it's hard🙄. Today I feel like someone is sat on my chest but I'm trying to ignore it and not keep taking a deep breath. When you had all of this going on did you feel like someone was sat on your chest?

I had an ultrasound scan on my stomach and don't have gallstones, so that's good. Have to see the doctor next week to discuss the results.

Thanks.

#21 Mxpro32

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:28 PM

I felt like someone was squeezing my heart, and sitting on my chest. Are you trying not to take deep breaths cause it hurts? Slow deep breaths should be helpful. For me there was no escaping the sensations, I just worked on not letting it cause my mind to run wild.

#22 Polly38

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:42 PM

Yes, that's exactly it Mxpro! It doesn't hurt but I feel like I keep needing to take a deep breath as I feel like I haven't got enough air in. I don't seem to be able to escape it either so will try not to let it bother me.

Can you remember how long it lasted?

#23 frog

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:47 PM

It feels like a tightness in my chest, like it's all in a knot and someone is squeezing it. That feeling is getting less frequent and less severe. The more squeezed it feels, the worse my breathing gets, especially if I also allow myself to start to get anxious about the feeling. 


#24 Polly38

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 12:50 PM

Thanks Frog. I'm glad to hear it's wearing off for you. Do you know how long it lasted when it was bad?

#25 fishinghat

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:16 PM

These are one of the most common classic signs of anxiety. Anxiety also can lead to respiratory anxiety, difficulty breathing and heart pounding.  These are the most common signs. All you can do is to try and stay away from as much stress as possible. Relax and sleep as much as possible.


#26 Mxpro32

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:23 PM

Meditate with it too. Try to befriend the feeling without fighting it or trying to change the way you feel. It lasted 2-3 months for me

#27 frog

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:35 PM

Polly it's still around for me. My breathing is kind of labored every day in that I frequently feel the need to take a giant deep breath. A couple of weeks ago things got worse for some reason and not only did I feel the need to take deep breaths, but I never felt like I could take in the full breath that I wanted to. It felt like I couldn't fill my lungs completely so it caused me to take deep breaths super frequently and I think it became kind of a self perpetuating thing. It lasted for the better part of a week. I had a similar phase earlier on in my withdrawal too where my breathing was really messed up. When I have better days my breathing improves dramatically. I feel much less of a need to take super deep breaths. So I'm pretty convinced that whenever the anxiety goes, the breathing problems will go with it. 


#28 Polly38

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:44 PM

Thanks everyone, that is kind of reassuring. It has definitely got worse in the last week, but I've still been going to work and functioning. It is just as you described it Frog - like I have to take a super deep breath to get air in and that I have a major illness in my lungs. The doctor has listened to my chest on many occasions and I have had chest x Ray's which have been clear, so it has to be withdrawal.

Unfortunately, I work full time so can't rest much during the week. I have been off Cymbalta 13 weeks on Monday so I'm really hoping the breathing thing calms down soon🙏.

On a positive note, the stomach issues have eased a lot and no sign of gallstones on the scan, so hopefully, those symptoms have passed!

Thanks again for all the reassurance everyone- this forum is a great support!

Polly

#29 Polly38

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 03:46 PM

Sorry, Frog, I meant to ask - are you off completely now?

#30 frog

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 04:53 PM

I reinstated 7 beads back in November when I was in intense withdrawal to try to ease things. I've been coming off the 7 beads since Christmas, down to 2 now. I don't really think they do anything honestly so I would say I'm as good as off. Just riding the awful waves of recovery





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