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dav267: I need help: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) & Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)

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dav267   
dav267

Hello everybody,

 

First of all, sorry for my poor English. I'll try to write short but correct sentences, so you can understand my case.

 

I'm 21 years old and currently I'm studying Medicine. In 2013 I started psychological treatment for social anxiety (only psychotherapy, without medication). I'm positive that this helped me a lot, but the psychologist thought that I wasn't improving fast enough, so he prescribed me Escitalopram 5 mg/day.

 

I didn't notice any improvement or adverse effect while taking this drug. The summer of 2014, before I started College, was the worst phase of my life. I didn't want to get out of my bedroom, and I only wanted to die. That fall, I visited a psychiatrist for the first time, and he prescribed me Desvenlafaxine 100 mg a day. This drug completely killed my mind. I felt numb, dizzy, emotionally flattened, I had severe memory problems...

 

When the College semester ended (I failed 3 subjects), I withdraw the drug with the help of the psychiatrist. Several months later, I felt better, but I had the feeling that the drug had left some type of "residual damage" in me...I wasn't the same person than I was one year ago, and the memory problems were there.

 

I committed  the great mistake of asking another psychiatrist for advice: I wanted to know if the Desvenlafaxine was the culprit of the symptoms I was suffering. The new psychiatrist told me that I was suffering from anxiety and obsessive-like behavior, so he gave me Duloxetine (60 mg/day during the first 3 months, 30 mg/day later) & Alprazolam (0.125 mg. 3 times a day during the 3 first months, once a day later).

 

This time, I got better results than the year before. I felt better, I even obtained A+ in two subjects. When the summer came, I decided to withdraw the drug with the help of my doctor. I suffered a considerable  withdrawal syndrome (dizziness,photophobia,tinnitus,swinging mood...It was horrible!). When the College course started, I felt really anxious, I could barely study, so I started taking the Duloxetine & Alprazolam again.

 

However, this time the medication didn't helped anything. I felt worse everyday, so I decided to leave the College for a while and search a good psychotherapist. I found one who is helping me a lot, she encouraged me to withdraw these horrible drugs, so I'm "clean" since December, 2016. I'm going to summarize my drug history and the withdrawal symptoms I'm having:

 

Medication history

·       March 2014-October 2014: Escitalopram 5 mg/day.

·       October 2014-July 2015: Desvenlafaxine 100mg/day.

·       October 2015-July 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day).

·       October 2016-November 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day).

·       2 and a half months "clean" (since the end of November until today)

 

My withdrawal symptoms

·       I don't feel anything, I don't enjoy anything in life, my mood is completely flat. I don't enjoy things that I used to enjoy, I have to think "hey, you used to enjoy doing this, so you should be having a good time", but I don't have the "natural" and "automatic" feeling of enjoy.

·       My memory is not sharp anymore, I have problems remembering what I've done yesterday or some days ago, I have to do great efforts in order to remember things.

·       I feel mentally slow, I have enormous concentration problems, I feel absolutely useless.

 

That's the summary of my situation. I can't talk about it with anybody (my fathers don't understand what's happening, my girlfriend and friends don't notice any problem and my psychotherapist, although she think I was medicated without reasons and she thinks the two psychiatrists committed malpractice, says that these drugs don't cause any permanent damage and that I mustn't get obsessed with all these symptoms.

 

So, my last hope is this community, while I expect to find people with knowledge of the topic. Is this "damage" permanent? Will I recover my old self?

 

I'm terrified just now, and the idea of not being myself anymore is scaring me a lot...I don't want to live like this, and if this situation don't revert, I'll have to take radical measures.

Thank you very much for your time, I hope you can help me with your experiences and knowledge.

 

Best wishes,

dav267

Edited by ChessieCat
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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Welcome, dav.

 

You've only been off the drugs 2.5 months, not a very long time.

 

Many people experience "residue" from taking psychiatric drugs. Emotional anesthesia, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate are very common. 

 

These tend to go away with time. Two supplements, fish oil and magnesium, might help, see

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

You might find magnesium to be relaxing.

 

Good fresh food -- including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, minimal sugar and artificial ingredients -- gives your body fuel to heal your nervous system. 

 

Regular gentle exercise, such as walking, is important.

 

It's also important that you focus on healing rather than worrying about not healing. Because the upset is in your nervous system, worrying and stress can make it worse. 

 

How is your sleep?

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dav267   
dav267

Hi, Altostrata, and thanks for your answer.

 

My sleep was horrible during the first month after the withdrawal. I sleep much better now.

Thank you very much for the Magnesium advice, I'll try it and I'll post the results.

Thank you for your attention and your patience, I feel really scared and I need to share my feelings  and withdrawal symptoms with someone who understand my situation.

Thank you very much again. 

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dav267   
dav267

Good morning;

9 moths after discontinuation of Duloxetine the symptoms have worsened. I'm not feeling like myself anymore; my memory and mood are terrible and I don't now what to do. I'm completely desperate. Please, if somebody has suffered or is suffering the symptoms I posted, contact with me in this topic. I need help.

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baroquep   
baroquep

Hi Dav267, sorry to hear that you are still experiencing problems after withdrawing from Cymbalta.  It sounds to me like you are likely experiencing delayed onset of withdrawal which often occurs when an anti-depressant is discontinued abruptly or when tapering off of the drug too quickly.

 

In order for the moderators to decide what the best course of action is, could you please provide more detail about what has been happening to you over the last nine months, in particular your current symptoms, any medications/supplements you are now taking as well as any other information relevant to your situation.  

 

And so you have an understanding of what is going on with your central nervous system, and the reason you are not feeling well, I am attaching a few links below which will explain what is happening.  Once you have provided a clearer picture about what you are dealing with, the moderators will be able to help guide you in the right direction.    

 

What is antidepressant withdrawal syndrome?

Withdrawal Symptoms - Delayed Onset  

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 



 

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PapayaShake   
PapayaShake

Hi dav267, 

 

I am also withdrawing from cymbalta, and I am in the same situation you are in, I feel I'm not me anymore. As all of us here, we are battling and trying to be patient until recovery happens, sadly all of what you are experiencing is part of the withdrawal effects, hang in there recovery will come for us!

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dav267   
dav267
On 2017-08-17 at 10:34 PM, baroquep said:

Hi Dav267, sorry to hear that you are still experiencing problems after withdrawing from Cymbalta.  It sounds to me like you are likely experiencing delayed onset of withdrawal which often occurs when an anti-depressant is discontinued abruptly or when tapering off of the drug too quickly.

 

In order for the moderators to decide what the best course of action is, could you please provide more detail about what has been happening to you over the last nine months, in particular your current symptoms, any medications/supplements you are now taking as well as any other information relevant to your situation.  

 

And so you have an understanding of what is going on with your central nervous system, and the reason you are not feeling well, I am attaching a few links below which will explain what is happening.  Once you have provided a clearer picture about what you are dealing with, the moderators will be able to help guide you in the right direction.    

 

What is antidepressant withdrawal syndrome?

Withdrawal Symptoms - Delayed Onset  

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 



 

Hi, baroquep, and thank you for your answer.

 

Well, I used Duloxetine (Cymbalta) until July of 2016. I suffered an acute withdrawal syndrome (dizziness, nausea, photophobia etc), I suppose that it was caused due to the drug tappering (I went off of Cymbalta in 10 days, following the advice of my psychiatrist). When I told him the symptoms I was suffering, he literally laughed at me, and tried to prescribe me a benzodiazepine, because he thought I was suffering an anxiety crisis. Of course, I refuse it. Since then, I don't feel like myself anymore, the summary of my symptoms is:

 

- I can't get my thoughts in order, I can't concentrate.

- My memory, once sharp, is now a complete disaster. I depend on post-its, reminders on my phone etc to "survive" and remember anything.

-I have the sensation of "not to live in a context", I feel disconnected from reality.

-I feel that I have lost the control of my mind.

- I can't make decisions.

-I don't feel absolutely anything, I feel empty and indifferent.

-Everything is indifferent for me, even "important" things like studies, family friends, my own life are completely indifferent for me.

 

I'm really scared and I think SSRIs have completely ruined my life. If I have to live just like that, I simply prefer to die.

 

Regards, and thank again for your answer. 

Edited by baroquep
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dav267   
dav267
On 2017-08-18 at 0:41 AM, PapayaShake said:

Hi dav267, 

 

I am also withdrawing from cymbalta, and I am in the same situation you are in, I feel I'm not me anymore. As all of us here, we are battling and trying to be patient until recovery happens, sadly all of what you are experiencing is part of the withdrawal effects, hang in there recovery will come for us!

It's pleasurable to hear from someone who is suffering the same symptoms. I hope we can be ourselves someday...

 

Thanks for your answer and support.

Edited by baroquep

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powerback   
powerback

Hi Dav .my heart bleeds for you .I have a lot of your symptom's for a very long time and its heart-breaking .

the irony is  more the cloud lifts from my brain ,I'm realising how long and serious this has gone on for me .

I realise your freaking out [understandable ] but it  will get better in time and maybe lots of it .do everything you can about studying nutrition and amino acids and non drug techniques to cope .

try put 80% of your time into learning everything you can about withdrawl and the ways out of it and the  rest into worrying about family friends and ignorant doctors .

I sadly kept pushing through my symptoms and resulted in a breakdown in November .the whole year before that I was working and pushing through my withdrawl [2 years ago my idiot GP said no problem going 75mg to 37.5mg sadly I believed him  ].so please be aware of your body .get good at knowing when you have to rest physically ,mentally ,and emotionally .

if I spend all day in bed like I do lately some days] ,I don't freak out ,I respect how serious my body needs to rest .

take care and best of look .

PB

 

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SDOE   
SDOE

I'm not clean off the poison (Cymbalta) so I'm no expert but I agree with powerback about researching amino acids. I've read a book called The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. Here is the website. Hopefully I'm allowed to mention this link this http://www.moodcure.com/. Also, there is a website called Dominate Depression and they talk about aminos and supplements.  

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baroquep   
baroquep

Hi Dav267,

 

It sounds to me like you are losing hope and want to reassure you that what you are going through is very common and is not going to last forever.  It can sometimes take a long time to recover after discontinuing antidepressants.  Unfortunately there are not many options available that can immediately resolve the problems that you are dealing with but what I do know is that it is important to keep hope in the forefront of your mind that you will eventually recover.  

 

Because you have been off of Cymbalta for nine months and were not on them for a long period of time and the fact that you are very young, all of these things work to your advantage, if I were you I would try and wait out the symptoms and in the meantime, see if there is something you can do to make things a little more comfortable.  

 

I went to lunch with a friend today and we were talking about how lives change, and how not to get discouraged during the challenging times because things can change so dramatically when we least expect it.  Want to encourage you to push through the challenges and try and remain hopeful as things will eventually get better.  

 

I'm attaching a couple of links below that discuss various techniques that will give you a lot of information about different things that you can do to help your central nervous system heal itself.  I would encourage you to try to incorporate one or more of these techniques into your daily life to help ease your discomfort.

 

Symptoms and Self-Care

Non-drug Techniques to Cope with Emotional Symptoms

 

I also find that magnesium and Omega 3 Fish Oil really help when my withdrawal symptoms start ramping up.  You can read a lot about these supplements at the links below.  I would be careful when trying out new supplements at this time as some can aggravate withdrawal symptoms and make them seem even worse.  It is always best to start with a small dose and if you don't have an adverse reaction, you can increase from there.

 

Magnesium Natures Calcium Channel Blocker

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Sensitivity to medications and supplements

 

Don't lose hope, things WILL get better.  Hoping you start to feel better soon.

Edited by baroquep

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dav267   
dav267
On 21/8/2017 at 1:57 AM, baroquep said:

Hi Dav267,

 

It sounds to me like you are losing hope and want to reassure you that what you are going through is very common and is not going to last forever.  It can sometimes take a long time to recover after discontinuing antidepressants.  Unfortunately there are not many options available that can immediately resolve the problems that you are dealing with but what I do know is that it is important to keep hope in the forefront of your mind that you will eventually recover.  

 

Because you have been off of Cymbalta for nine months and were not on them for a long period of time and the fact that you are very young, all of these things work to your advantage, if I were you I would try and wait out the symptoms and in the meantime, see if there is something you can do to make things a little more comfortable.  

 

I went to lunch with a friend today and we were talking about how lives change, and how not to get discouraged during the challenging times because things can change so dramatically when we least expect it.  Want to encourage you to push through the challenges and try and remain hopeful as things will eventually get better.  

 

I'm attaching a couple of links below that discuss various techniques that will give you a lot of information about different things that you can do to help your central nervous system heal itself.  I would encourage you to try to incorporate one or more of these techniques into your daily life to help ease your discomfort.

 

Symptoms and Self-Care

Non-drug Techniques to Cope with Emotional Symptoms

 

I also find that magnesium and Omega 3 Fish Oil really help when my withdrawal symptoms start ramping up.  You can read a lot about these supplements at the links below.  I would be careful when trying out new supplements at this time as some can aggravate withdrawal symptoms and make them seem even worse.  It is always best to start with a small dose and if you don't have an adverse reaction, you can increase from there.

 

Magnesium Natures Calcium Channel Blocker

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Sensitivity to medications and supplements

 

Don't lose hope, things WILL get better.  Hoping you start to feel better soon.

Thanks for your support, baroquep. Things are getting day after day. I'm coping with suicidal thoughts all day, but I don't want to search professional help. I've reached the conclusion that the best I can do is put an end to my life.

Thanks everybody in this community. It's the only place where I've found support.

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Martina23   
Martina23

Dav, please dont make anything stupid, the most of all please dont make suicide, I went through what you are going through, I know it is terrible-the suffering, but it will go away. You can still do so many beautiful things in life, but you have to hold on now. It is not always in life that the things are easy, but these symptoms you have will resolve and you just have to wait it out. If you now kill yourself, there would be no another possibility to live, to find love, to enjoy anything, we grow with suffering, this suffering will make you much more valuable person to the future, and I am sure your body doesnt want to die. It tells you only that it still needs time to repair. Believe in your own body, it relies on you. Try to speak with someone who likes you (not anyone who will make you reproaches) and believe that you are important for this world, your life and your experience is unique and if you would do something to yourself, such a person like you will be missed here. Rather write a book about your withdrawal and so let know the people how bad these drugs are, but dont kill yourself.

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baroquep   
baroquep

Dav267,

 

I thought this might help explain what happens to our emotions when we withdrawal from antidepressants.  The thoughts in our heads are amplified and we must learn not to listen to them.    Suicidal thoughts are very common in withdrawal and you have to ignore what the mind is thinking.  

 

Neuro Emotions

 

Many in withdrawal deal with this symptom ... please read the attached link so that you can find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

 

Don't listen to the thoughts of suicide - it's withdrawal

 

Personally, I have also had these thoughts and not that long ago, and every time they do come into my head, I tell myself "this is withdrawal talking" not me.  They go away in time and are easier and easier to ignore once we understand that it is caused by withdrawal and refuse to give these thoughts any power over us.  I try to remember that my soul, who I really am, is in charge and the thoughts don't have any substance and let them pass through and float away.  The way I deal with uncomfortable thoughts, is to acknowledge them and let them pass through while I practise self-compassion.  Dealing with withdrawal symptoms isn't easy, I realize it can be a challenge at times but you will get through this and become a stronger person for it.

 

I would ask that you reconsider talking with a therapist to help you work through these most difficult times.  Sometimes an non-judgemental psychotherapist or social worker can help support you through challenging times to help you see that you have other options.  I do hope you reconsider as you have your entire life yet to live and withdrawal is only one small part of that.  I do hope that you will take the steps to find a kind and understanding person to talk you through this difficult time.

 

 

This organization will be able to connect you with resources and I hope that you call.

 

http://www.telefonodelaesperanza.org  

Edited by baroquep

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