New to HW, New to Cymbalta

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Fussketeer
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/16/2007 6:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, everyone.
 
I'm new here but not to depression and anxiety, which I've had since third grade (I'm now 35). Early abuse/sexualization. On and off meds since my 20's. Off for the past year (but on talk therapy) until this week, when I just couldn't drag through anymore. The talk therapy has brought some good progress, but I still feel shame like a sunburn from the inside, all day long. I hate the grating sound of my own voice echoing in my head. Don't want to do anything. Can't write or think. (And I'm supposed to write for a living.) Completely inarticulate-- just rambling and mentally constipated. Can't physically force myself to do my work. (I'm a paralegal.) Come home and sleep and cry. Don't want to be touched. Don't know when this will be over. Spent last Saturday with my in-laws feeling like I was being slowly electrocuted. I couldn't even speak-- just sat there and felt like I was burning because my mind was empty and I was failing the sociability test. I could feel their judgment. I don't know how to relate to people. I don't care about anything. I make the stupidest mistakes lately. I begin to feel that all of my past accomplishments were flukes, or that I was a different person. I just want to hide. I don't feel anything for people. I can't make decisions. My mind is broken. Has anyone felt like that?
 
I know this can't go on. So I went to a new p-med who put me on Cymbalta. It's too early for it to kick in-- I'm only on Day 3 at 30 mg, to go up to 60 mg. I'm still tired; I'm nauseous and spacey from the meds; I hate work; I wish I could just rest today and not go in. (I haven't taken a vacation in almost two years.) My work is of much lower quality lately; I see my boss look at it skeptically. I feel like I need rest before I can return. But I took last Friday off for the same reason. Would I rather be seen as being absent all the time? (Or, two Fridays in a row.) So I'll drag myself in and continue to muck it up. I can't win this one right now.
 
Cymbalta, like Lexapro and Celexa and Prozac before it, make me shiver all day long. I can't get warm. I assume this is because most of your serotonin receptors are spread throughout your body-- this is probably the reverse effect from when people get overheated on party drugs that release serotonin. (I've stayed away from those because I need to hold onto my serotonin!) Has anyone found a solution for this, aside from wearing long underwear in July?
 
Thanks for listening. I was glad to find HW. I'm hating myself today, but this feels like a good place. Good luck to all of you today-- hang in there. Almost weekend.

FamilyGuy
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 3310
   Posted 2/16/2007 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HealingWell Fussketeer!! I have the opposite reaction, I feel warm all the time. Hopefully someone will be along to share their experiences with this.

Thoughts and prayers are with you,
Jon,  Co-moderator for Crohn's Disease and Depression forums
 
"The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret." -- Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-81), Swiss philosopher, poet 
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


colerg
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/16/2007 5:40 PM (GMT 0)   
Fussketeer,

I am on Cymbalta for pain and depression, it has a funny side effect at first, just hang in there, it gets better everyday. I am sorry to hear about your anxiety and depression, but you have come to the right place, there are so many good people here with very similar stories, and a wealth of knowlege. I didn't get the chills from the med, just felt like my skin was crawling...ugh....it passes though. It sounds like you need some FUN in your life...can you go and play with a good friend, spouse? I mean really go and have some fun, go and pamper yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and try something completely new...it works for me, just a thought. Stay away from negative people, surround yourself with fun things, and people. I hope you can relax, and get some rest and get your batteries recharged! I deal with depression all the time, as I have had chronic pain for many , many years. I'm on so many meds, it isn't even funny! So hopefully this post finds you in a better state of mind. Feel free to drop me a post if you need someone to chat with.... we are all in the same boat.......
I hope you feel better!
peace,
Cole

Fussketeer
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/18/2007 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Jon and Cole--

Thanks so much for your responses. It really helps to not feel like I'm completely alone with this. Like you said, we're all in the same boat-- or, at least the same regatta =)

I had an intense fear yesterday that I would go crazy for real, whatever that means. I've spent the first 35 years of my life trying hard to be normal and probably bucking the tide. I'm scared of what's on the other side. But people's stories here encourage me that, although it's going to be hard, we deserve help. It's not just all in our minds. I'm not an evil person.

Thanks again for your support. Have a good Sunday.


FamilyGuy
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 3310
   Posted 2/19/2007 9:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Looking at what "normal" is, I'd rather be a little abnormal. :-) Hope you're doing better...
Jon,  Co-moderator for Crohn's Disease and Depression forums
 
"The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret." -- Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-81), Swiss philosopher, poet 
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


bigbear
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/20/2007 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi fusketeer, I have never taken cymbalta but I can tell you what worked for me. It was the cbt exercises that helped me overcome my anxiety and depression etc. I have been feeling good for over a year and off meds but just in the last six months the new ways of thinking have taken hold in me and I am feeling great now. I still do the TEA form thought countering exercise daily and I think I am continuing to make progress. I hope you find something that works for you and I think cbt may be a good place to start because a lot of people that have suffered for years on and off meds and in talk therapy have found success with cbt. Go to your library and read the book by sam obitz if you want a good first hand account of what cbt is like for a long time sufferer of anxiety and depression.

Fussketeer
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/22/2007 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Bigbear--

Wow-- it's almost like you read my mind. I've been wondering about people's experiences with cbt over a longer haul. It's so good to hear that you're feeling great and that cbt has been effective.

It makes sense to me conceptually as an approach, whether alone or in conjunction with biological therapies. And it's helped me a little, although I'll admit I've done it on and off rather than consistently. I use David Burns' "Feeling Good" (now dogeared and losing its pages) as a kind of talisman: it's always under my bed, and sometimes I'll just read if I'm not doing the actual exercises, which I often do. Recently, even the exercises weren't enough. I had dredged up some big stuff for me, some gory self-defeating beliefs, and have a history of chemical depression as well. (I'm not a fan of Burns' studied dismissal of medications in "When Panic Attacks," although I can understand his rhetorical intentions, and the rest of the book has been useful to me.)

Another reason I've felt some curiosity or incompleteness-- but not doubt-- about cbt is that I spend much of the time wondering what other people's experiences with it have been along the way. Part of my personality, apparently, is wanting to investigate what it's like in "real life"-- what it feels like for other people, what the intermediate steps are like while lived. Burns' books focus on method and then offer a few sentences about the result, which is often rapid recovery. Naturally-- he writes as a therapist, not as a client. The books are devoted to instruction; they're not memoirs detailing plot twists and turns along the way. This is how it should be for those books. But, as I have not recovered rapidly (although I've found the methods good for self-soothing in the moment), and as I'm the patient rather than the analyst, I want stories from people who have worked with cbt. Reversing decades of negative thinking takes....well, a long time. I'm yearning for encouragement for that time in between.

So thank you for the rec re: the sam obitz book. I'd never heard of that. But I'll now be looking it up!

How did you start working with cbt? What do you think kicked in about 6 months ago?


bigbear
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/22/2007 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Fussketeer again, I have read the burns book and it is full of useful exercises and more of a manual for overcoming anxiety and depression and not a real friendly book, but that said I did like it. I was in a group and the book by obitz was the first one we used and I identified with a lot, but not all, of it which in turn gave me the boost in confidence that cbt may actually work that I needed at the time and got me to dive into the program head first. I liked his more simple approach which amounted to the tea forms the wrist counter exercises and the putting thingfs back into perspective exercise, it's kind of a cliff notes for burns book which did not overwhelm me and helped me focus by not overwhelming me with too many drills to focus on. Really I pretty much am only doing the tea forms now and it is working well but I still notice if I take too many days (weeks) off from doing them my anxiety does start to ramp back up a bit.
What I was referring to about it kicking in six months ago was that it seems like it is starting to become ingrained as my default way of thinking since then. I hope you can find similar success with cbt :)

Fussketeer
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/26/2007 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks, bigbear. For replying here and to the other post.

It would be great to find an online group doing cbt and checking in with each other. I'll post separately.

Have a good Monday.


bigbear
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/26/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Fuss, I agree and hope you are off to a great start on your week also.

rolltide
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/2/2007 11:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I second what bigbear says, the biggest help for you can be the Obitz book.

CassandraLee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 844
   Posted 7/4/2007 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Fussketeer:  For the first few sentences of your message I felt like I was reading pretty close to my own bio.  I am 39 years old (6 weeks shy of 40 sad ).  I have been as depressed for as long as I can remember - along with the panic attacks.  I have been on meds on and off since my 20's as well - however, very regularly for the past 5 years. 
 
I'll skip over many of the "wonderful" highlights of my life except for the fact that I was sexually abused as well.....I am also recently divorced and a single mom of two wonderful girls.  I have gone back to graduate school to become a teacher.  However, as of 3 days ago, I just flunked my 3rd class.  And not because I couldn't handle the material.  Whatever I handed in got A's.  The problem was handing it in.  I have cried, started for 8-10 hours at a shot at my computer (when the girls were with there dad) and simply could not muster up the energy to do it.  Weepy, no self-confidence, and on and on.  I saw my therapist (who prescribes as she is an APRN) and asked her what was so incredibly wrong with me.  She switched me from Zoloft to Cymbalta (30 mg) and I just started 2 nights ago. (I am also on Lamictal and Trazadone.)  I was so scared and didn't want to take it.  But the very next morning I woke up feeling a lot better and today I couldn't be stopped.  I feel slightly racey, and a little nauseous (sp??) but I feel like I just swallowed a happy pill.  I pray to God that this isn't too good to be true.  Also, I'm not cold...I get hot very quickly.  As I was on an SSRI before manybe this is why it is working so quickly.  It's just the 2nd half of this drug that must be making the difference.
 
I know different drugs effect each of us differently.  But please don't give up..give it a chance.  For the first time in at least ten years I feel like maybe there is hope.  If I keep feeling like this I can hopefully pick myself up, get passing grades again and get through my program.
 
I apologize for the length of this, but until three days ago, I had no hope and was so tired of trying.  I know I'll have bad days again too, but it's been so nice to have 2 good ones. 
 
I'll keep you in my thoughts.  Please just hang in there!!
 
Cass

Post Edited (CassandraLee) : 7/4/2007 8:46:01 PM (GMT-6)


CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 7/6/2007 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Being a CBT fan I have to concur about the tea forms etc. You really can retrain your brain and begin to feel so much better. I have read both Sam Obitz and David Burn's books and they are both excellent CBT resources.

denali
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/7/2007 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Fussketeer, I've been on Cymbalta for maybe a year or so, had previously tried just about every other SSRI out there. I have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, which it is suppossed to help, although I have not noticed any change there, But, I think it is the best anti-depressant I've been on. I've noticed being warmer than usual, so I really think that your reaction is one of those things of each person reacting differently. It's definitely worth continuing with the Cymbalta, at least if you can stand the side effects. At least until it has a chance to take effect, up to six weeks or so. Definitely, if you get freaked out, let your provider know, but otherwise give it a chance.
DX Fibromyalgia 1995/Chronic myofascial pain
Cervical Fusion Surgery 2004
gerd/restless legs/generalized anxiety/Clinical depression/bi-polar II (Recent DX)
Cymbalta/Roseram/Klonipin/Abilify/Provigil/Methadone/Vicodan
 
Keep Calm and Carry On.


CBTgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 7/12/2007 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I just thought I'd add that many people have an easier time learning CBT while they are on meds and then when you are ready to go off meds you will already have coping skills you will need to help you cope.
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