My Hell Withdrawal From CymbaltaIt is day 22 since my last cymbalta pill. I sound like a drug addict and this was given to me by a licensed doctor approved by the FDA for a condition that I was told I had. It started almost 2 years ago. Pain. Everywhere. Insomnia. Blurry vision, headaches, extreme debilitating fatigue. Looking back it doesn't seem like it was that bad compared to what I am going through now. I went to specialists, 12 to be exact. Blood tests, MRIs, hearing, vision tests. All came back normal. It is amazing how many doctors will write you off because they can not find something that doesn't come up in their standard testing protocol. I had one doctor tell me to take aderal for fatigue and see a therapist for the pain. I began to think I was crazy, they made me think I was crazy.
I started doing my own research since none of the doctors seem to understand or even look outside the box. I found a condition called fibromyalgia, I thought maybe I had this. I found a doctor that was experienced in this condition and he agreed. The treatments began... So many drugs... I would try one and have a horrific side effect, another did the same thing. He finally said "I know cymbalta will help." It did, or so I thought. I gradually increased the dose up to 60mg and I was managing. Definitely not near 100% but better than I had been in a long time. About a month in, the symptoms began again. Well this time I decided it was time to try a new approach. I was sick of being on narcotics and balancing side effects with benefits, I was 27 years old, I wanted to live my life.
I found a doctor who balances eastern and western medicine, approaches things with a holistic approach. The practice has a goal... Find the root of the problem and start there. Who would have ever thought a doctor, an MD, would want to find the root of the problem. I will not go off on a tangent about how money and pharmaceutical companies run our health care system and how covering up the problem/symptom is the key, but you get my point.
This doctor, my doctor, changed my life. She did blood tests the labs had trouble finding the code for, but she found answers... Answers. Such a simple word, and at this point foreign to me. She found a mycoplasma infection, high Epstein Barr levels, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, depleted vitamin d levels, and clearly the other doctors had ignored my slightly elevated white blood cell count. I had a few options, antibiotics or holistic herbal treatment, or a combination. I did a lot of research and decided to go with herbal, I could always add in antibiotics later if needed. I was still on the cymbalta, she did not want me to go off of that, little did I know why, but now it all makes sense.
Let's fast forward. It has been 4 months, I don't remember the last time I had pain, my energy levels are getting back to normal, I sleep better at night, things are looking up. Don't get me wrong, it was a tough road, pain and fatigue, but looking back it could have been a lot worse. Clinically it looks like I am beating these "bugs." The next step is to get off of the last presc
Now I should mention, I am a type A personality, I am stubborn and determined. I hardly took off a day from work during this entire ordeal, but I think that is what has kept me going in some ways. Trying to distract myself, keep myself challenged, by all means difficult and most people understandably would have the need for bed rest. I think different people have different needs in terms of recovery for anything in life.
Ok. Cymbalta withdrawal. Evil. Hell. There is no other way to describe it. You can't skip to every other day because you will just go back and forth from withdrawal. I read a lot of people's stories, people counting the little beads inside the pill and gradually weaning those down. I was afraid to do that, since there is a warning if you ingest the little beads they can essentially burn a hole in your stomach. Some people suggested taking 3 weeks off of work to withdrawal, others stayed on it purely because they could not handle withdrawaling from it.
The best way I read to describe it is a combination of heroine withdrawal and first trimester pregnancy. The worse of the worse, why in the world would the FDA approve such a drug???
My symptoms: fever, chills, hot/cold never balanced, dizzy, vertigo, brain zaps, heart palpitations, hot flashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, shakes, memory loss, lack of concentration, lack of emotion, mood swings, disgust
So back to now, day 22... My lack of emotion, hormonal imbalance for me is the worst thing. I have read stories of homicidal and suicidal thoughts and I am truely grateful I am not one of those. I am mean, irritable. I have to warn people that I am a ***** right now, not a very good way to show a first impression. I am trying really hard to feel like I am human, but I have lost something. I am not depressed, I feel desensitized. I have anger worse than I ever had before. I am able to control it, but find myself having to step away from situations. I don't find puppies or kittens cute anymore, I can't even seem to kiss my boyfriend. I am just disgusted with everything. I am able to carry on conversations, do my job, but I have turned into a cold hearted *****. The brain zaps and fuzzy brain are still there but am I ever going to feel a real connection with someone again? Who knows.
Before writing this I broke down, frustrated by my lack of wanting to connect with someone. I just cried, I can't seem to figure this one out. I keep telling myself one day at a time, but its getting harder. I have read some people years later still living like this, how will I ever have a family? A life? My life has changed drastically and my doctor has helped me tremendously but with cymbalta nobody can help you...