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Falling Into A Black Hole


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#1 Dandelion

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:01 PM

Hoping someone out there can help me understand this! I took cymbalta for 10 years, then very slowly tapered, finally stopping about 4 months ago. Since then I have repeatedly felt like I fall into a black hole of grief, desperation, hopelessness and suicidality. Then it passes, and I feel quute normal again. Recently, I think the episodes might be shorter, but while I'm in them they feel unbearable.
Having had some trauma in my life I had assumed that these episodes were a sort of post traumatic stress thing, triggered by some difficult stuff happening now. After reading other people here I'm wondering if these black holes are a withdrawal symptom? Does anyone recognise what Im describing? And, most importantly, if it is withdrawal, when will it pass?

#2 invalidusername

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:13 PM

Hi Dandelion... and welcome

 

One of the biggest issues when stopping Cymbalta is the stress response. I can't remember when we last had a member that didn't find their stress go through the roof as a result of withdrawal. This also appears to be worse with an SNRI like cymbalta, rather than an SSRI such as celexa. This is likely to be because the "N" stands for norepinephrine which is what controls the adrenaline/cortisol (aka stress) cycle. 

 

Therefore you will be VERY sensitive to stress for some time after stopping. So if you stopped 4 months ago, it really doesn't surprise me that you are still finding things hard. To be honest, I would be amazed if you were finding things easy going. Most other users will testify the same.

 

Just make sure you curb your responsibilities as much as you can at the moment. Take things easy and slow, don't let anyone take advantage of you when you take this time out. You need it and you deserve it...

 

IUN


#3 Dandelion

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:25 PM

That's reassuring to read....thank you. I'm going to give some thought to how I can curb my responsibilities, which sounds like good advice!

#4 Wagtail

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:44 PM

Dandelion, welcome ..... what you’re describing is definitely withdrawal & the advice from “ God Like “ is spot on . 
You will find that the episodes will become further apart  & they will eventually become less severe .

if you have an integrative doctor in your area , go & see them . Mine has put me on a list of supplements that helped me become stronger & calmer , in fact he has made my general health a lot better .

Be assured that you’re healing , & after each episode of regression you’re one step closer to becoming your normal self again .
When the black dog bites , take it easy with the knowledge that each time will get shorter & less severe.

Good Luck . 


#5 Dandelion

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 04:57 PM

Thanks Wagtail. I think I dismissed it because the more obvious withdrawal symptoms are gone, so I thought I was through it all and out the other side. I did have dizziness, nausea, sleeplessness etc for several weeks, and also more general anxiety and low mood to begin with. But all that has gone, and I thought these black holes couldnt still be withdrawal. Seems I was wrong!

#6 frog

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 05:16 PM

Welcome Dandelion!

First, congratulations on completing a slow taper! That makes you quite an outlier compared to most (like myself) who find themselves here after bad advice from doctors on how to quit this thing. 

 

As far as your question, obviously we can't say for sure since only you know what your "normal" looks like. If you feel like what you're experiencing is not you, I think it's probably caused by withdrawal. I've been off this stuff for just over 4 months too, though I mostly crash landed after a cold turkey. As IUN said the withdrawal really ratchets up our stress responses, and I also think it intensifies either depression or anxiety depending on which one you experienced more often prior to all this (for some people unfortunately it's both). Part of the stress response is our fight or flight mechanism, which increases fear and also lowers our ability to think clearly and rationally. When I was feeling better I would feel more positive about this whole process, my recovery, things eventually getting better, etc. As soon as I would enter a wave, I would suddenly also become extremely pessimistic, negative, frustrated, and feel absolutely hopeless like I would never get better again. And the cycle would just repeat itself over and over and I felt completely out of control. 

 

Now at 4 months in, I feel SO much more stable. I'm still struggling with the waves and feelings of anxiety and tenseness, and I get frustrated that I'm still dealing with this but they don't affect my mental state nearly as much as they used to. I'm able to maintain a more positive outlook even when I'm not feeling as great and I'm able to have more perspective on the situation and just try to take things day by day and not get too discouraged. 

 

A lot of this got easier on its own as my brain healed, but I think incorporating mindfulness meditation has helped a lot too. I've gotten a lot better at catching myself when my thoughts start to spiral downwards and refocus and remind myself that things are just going to be up and down for a while and that's ok. 

 

Hang in there! I hope just knowing that there's nothing wrong with you will allow you to not feed in to the feelings of hopelessness as much. 


#7 fishinghat

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 05:21 PM

Welcome Dandelion

 

Not much I can add but just to say I remember the rollercoaster quite well. When you feel good you feel like it is all over and you will never feel bad again. Then when it does get bad again you feel like it will n ever end and you will never feel good again. But what others have said is true. Each swing the good episodes are a little longer and the bad episodes a little shorter. Hang in there.


#8 invalidusername

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 05:26 PM

Some great advice Frog - it is good to have members who are at the same stage. You guys can take a different perspective to Hat, myself and others, who, whilst still have a little way to go, we choose to forget how nasty it can be sometimes!

 

And Hat makes a great point. You might well get that euphoria when you have the "good days" only to crash when you have "bad days", but the "bad days" aren't bad all the time, they are just "not good days". We tend to get stuck in a pattern of black and white thinking. 

 

Be mindful of this and you will do well.

 

Oh, and download our eBook if you haven't already - you will need that for a bit of bedtime reading :)


#9 Dandelion

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 05:34 PM

Can't tell you all how helpful this is. Not just the wisdom and experience, but the fact that there are people out there who get what I'm going through. That's invaluable.

#10 invalidusername

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 05:42 PM

 there are people out there who get what I'm going through. 

 

That's why we're here, petal!  :)


#11 frog

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 05:57 PM

Some great advice Frog - it is good to have members who are at the same stage. You guys can take a different perspective to Hat, myself and others, who, whilst still have a little way to go, we choose to forget how nasty it can be sometimes!

Can't blame you for this one bit! The first 2 months of this were pure hell, and though I'm not that far removed from it even now, the memory of how bad it really was has already largely faded. No use living in the past anyhow, but it does help put into perspective how much better things are now! 

 

Dandelion, I think anyone on the forum can attest to the fact that all those physical symptoms generally subside first. The emotional/mood stuff takes much longer. Makes sense though if you stop and think about it. The brain is much slower at change than the rest of the body. For good reason!


#12 Dandelion

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 06:18 PM

But the physical symptoms were sooooo much easier! (For me, anyway....maybe different for others).

#13 invalidusername

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 06:31 PM

Each to their own Dandelion...

 

I had a good two months of horrible adrenal problems after I stopped. Some days I couldn't even walk to the bathroom. It is a cruel drug - make no mistake.

 

As you are this far in, you will have experienced the worst of it. Just a case of waiting for it to do the off now :)

 

There are three words which usually follow such statement, but I think Fishing Hat now has royalties on them... but Frog, I will let you say them again.. just this once :) 


#14 DThiessen

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 07:20 PM

Yep first like 4 or 5 months are BRUTALLLL. All extremely normal, all will pass. You doing great!! I am 6 months or so off and still get waves though so yah don't be alarmed and think you are going crazy of you get waves still as this is normal. But like everyone says and I can attest to with support and help from everyone on here, the good days get longer and the bad ones shorter. 


#15 DThiessen

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Posted 28 February 2020 - 10:36 PM

Even your topic heading falling into a black hole is exactly the feeling. Been there. still getting the odd wave but they're lighter easier and shorter

#16 gail

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 03:48 AM

Dandelion,

So much improvement, you will make it.
Recovery is a wax and wane thing. Nothing is linear. Just like life itself.

Nice to see you Wagtail. I'm out of likes, but to all of you who posted, they were great posts, thank you!

Dandelion, come back whenever you feel like it. Love!

#17 Dandelion

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 05:25 AM

Just knowing that these black holes are normal has helped so much. Thanks to you all.

#18 GEEZ9118

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    I was on Cymbalta 30 mg daily for three months and stopped cold turkey about 1 month ago (on Feb. 3, 2020) I have experienced fatigue, muscle pain and weakness. Joint pain, muscle twitching, tremors, headaches, and horrific anxiety!

Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:20 PM

Each to their own Dandelion...
 
I had a good two months of horrible adrenal problems after I stopped. Some days I couldn't even walk to the bathroom. It is a cruel drug - make no mistake.
 
As you are this far in, you will have experienced the worst of it. Just a case of waiting for it to do the off now :)
 
There are three words which usually follow such statement, but I think Fishing Hat now has royalties on them... but Frog, I will let you say them again.. just this once :)


When u say adrenal symptoms, what do u mean? What were your symptoms?

#19 invalidusername

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 08:01 AM

Hi Geez and welcome!

 

Specifically weakness... general fatigue. I usually work on my car and can normally do so for a good couple of hours, but during this time, I could manage 10 minutes at best before I would have to sit down. Not out of breath, just exhaustion. At its peak, I could not walk down flights of stairs as my legs would turn to jelly. Walking was also an issue and I could only make it around 500 yards again before having to rest.

 

IUN





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