Cymbalta for Depression Ain’t Cutt’n It

April 29, 2010 — 17 Comments

I was very hopeful that since I am no longer using all sorts of drugs that my Cymbalta, which is my current anti-depressant, would begin to work correctly and all of my signs of depression would simply disappear. So far…not so much.

I suffer from depression. I have been taking one anti-depressant or another for two years now. During those two years, with the exception of the last 3 months, I have also been taking some other form of mood altering substance. This, no doubt, has interfered with the way that my anti-depressants have worked.

So let’s take a look at how my life is different now that I’m off the narcotics and have an anti-depressant that “works correctly”.

Remember When

When I was actively using Oxys, which will from here on be referred to as Jams, I would wake up in the morning hating life. As soon as my eyes opened and I realized that the day had begun I would instantly be in a pissed off mood. I would think about all of the things I would have to do that day. Laundry! Are you kidding me? Go for a walk with my son! When will I get a break from this grinding routine? Take a shower…maybe tomorrow.

You might say, “wow, to get all of that done in one day you must have gotten up pretty early in the morning”. Not exactly. I was sleeping later and later. There were some days that I didn’t really start to get moving until about one in the afternoon. Did I mention I am a stay at home mom?

Of course I would go to any lengths to be able to get a Jam. To me, that wasn’t work. I would drive here, there, anywhere. My source didn’t feel like driving…I’ll go pick it up. My source didn’t feel like selling me a half…I’ll find the extra cash for a whole. The whole time feeling embarrassed at my desperation but not being able to control myself. I want a Jam. I’m getting a Jam.

I got a Jam. I would come home and quickly prepare my “friend” for intake. You know, at first it seemed really gross to me to suck the time release coating off of a pill. But I actually grew fond of that taste. It also used to seem like a real pain in the ass to have to use a strainer to change the jam from pill form to powder. But that too got to be something I enjoyed. I also enjoyed the, I think I have to shit, stomach ache I would get while preparing my drug because my body was so excited that it was finally going to feel some relief. You read that right…I would enjoy a stomach ache.

I would line up one monster line for myself to snort. One pill makes a lot of powder. I would do it in one swoop. One snooter is what I would call it. Sometimes I would almost puke in my own mouth because the powder would rush down my sinus and right into my throat and set off my gag reflex. That’s a pretty picture huh? I stayed away from doing snooters off a mirror. I truly did not want to look at myself doing this. Done, put all my tools away. I know, I’ll smoke a cigarette which should take up the seven minutes between me doing a snooter and the effects of the drug kicking in. And there it is.

Finally, I can get some work done. Well maybe I’ll just sit down for a minute and watch some cartoons with my kid. Well maybe we’ll just color for a little while. Maybe we’ll play toy store for a little while, I’ll be the customer. Maybe…oh shit, it’s 4:30! My husband is going to be home from work soon and I haven’t done any of the things I was supposed to do today. Well, that’s ok. I’ll so them tomorrow.

Day after day it went on like this. I got nothing done other than getting high (and playing with my kid).

Wow, Clean Life Is So Different

Instead of waking up in the afternoon I wake up at about 8:30 now. My eyes open, I listen to my husband in the shower and right away I think, “jeez I should be getting him some breakfast”. I think that, I don’t actually do it though. What I do is lay in bed listening to the radio for about another half hour. Opie and Anthony are on for christ sakes, I have to listen until the end of the show.

What do I have to do today? I ask myself this because I want to see if I really need to leave the house today or if it something I can put off until tomorrow. Why do I not like to leave the house? Honestly, I’m not real sure. Good thing I’m on anti-depressants.

By this time my kid is awake and I get out of bed to turn cartoons on for him. Do I go into the bathroom, take a shower and get ready for the day? No. I get a cup of coffee and sit infront of the computer. Depending on what I need to get done I could sit there in my pajamas for hours upon end. The whole time I’m thinking about all of the other stuff I should really be doing. You know, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the bedroom. This sounds eerily reminiscent of my drug day. But it couldn’t be the same, I’m off drugs and my Cymbalta is working for my depression. There is no reason for me to be sitting here dreading all of those things.

The hours are going by pretty quickly. It doesn’t look like I did anything around here today. I quickly do some of the things that I need to do around the house. Hating every minute of it. Forcing my self the whole time not to quit in the middle. I know, you are probably saying to yourself “it’s household work, what is the big deal?”. I ask myself the same question on a daily basis.

My husband comes home, I don’t have dinner ready. I haven’t even taken a shower yet today. “You want to go OUT to eat? Leave the house and go to a restaurant?” This usually starts a little fight because he realizes that I’ve been in the house all day and doesn’t understand the big deal with leaving the house to get something to eat. I honestly don’t understand what the big deal is either but there must be one because I never want to do it. Good thing I’m taking Cymbalta or else I might think I’m depressed.

Oh thank god it’s getting to be late night. You know, 8:30. Now I can actually relax after my hard day. Jeez, I should really be getting to bed. I’ve got another big day ahead of me tomorrow. What the f is my deal? Does that sound like someone who is off drugs? I’m starting to realize that my drug problem wasn’t the only reason that I sucked as a stay at home mother and wife. Something else is going on here.

When you compare my daily routines both on and off drugs…not that much of a difference. What does that say about me? I’m going to go with the conclusion that my Cymbalta is not working for my depression and start from there.

17 responses to Cymbalta for Depression Ain’t Cutt’n It

  1. Hey Erin,

    I began taking Cymbalta 2 years ago, after sobering from a 3 year drinking binge. It made me incredibly tired the first month, and ever since, I have been taking it at night before bed. It’s been a great help because I have troubling falling asleep if I’m not passing out or coming down off something. I fall asleep within 5 minutes of taking it.

    But the lagging effects have never really gone away, I feel much like you describe, it is very difficult to motivate me. So recently I began Wellbutrin in the morning, and it’s stimulant effects help. I have to watch myself closely though, because unlike Cymbalta, Wellbutrin can bring on mania or suicide in someone bipolar (which does run in my family).

    The other reason I felt compelled to reply to your post is that I did fall into a vicodin binge at one point, and it did NOT interact well with my meds. I guess I’m hoping you can tough it out, and find a mixture that works because I have had a pretty positive result from the Cymbalta.

    Best of luck!

  2. Did you ever think that maybe Cymbalta might be making you feel worse???? I know from experience that it is a very powerful medicine that really screws up your brain. I wouldn’t recommend it to a sewer rat. I stopped it over 2 weeks ago and still not feeling like myself. If you do stop it you better wean yourself off it and talk to your doctor cause it supposedly makes some people want to kill themselves when they go off it. Did you see the article in Newsweek that says antidepressants don’t really work anyway????? I have a site on FB, about Cymbalta and its side-effects and withdrawal symptoms. check it out.

  3. i was a little took back for a minute when i first read your post. it reminds me of my life on and off drugs. although im not a stay at home mom, im a guy. i wake up because i have to, every morning to get to work, because its the reponsible thing to do. the whole day feels like this , i do it just to be doing something when i get home i have crap to take care of but spending the whole day putting up with myself is just plane exhausting. i quess its depression but im theres alot of factors. anyways i really enjoy reading your blogs i dont know it makes me want to open up alittle. i never talk about my personal problems. might start blogging and or cymbalta. lol.

  4. I have taken anti-depressants since I was 16 years old. I am now 36! Unfortuneately, anti-depressants have NEVER cured my bad moods. I wake up everyday dreading the day ahead of me. The only thing that makes me get up in the morning is some sort of narcotic pill (amphetamine or pain pill). I know what you’re thinking. I’m an addict. Of course I am! That’s what makes an addict an addict! For people who have never suffered depression, they will never understand how it feels to live it. Only narcotics give any relief to the symptoms of being liking shit on a daily basis. It’s usually a chemical that’s not doing what it’s supposed to be doing in the brain. And no, it’s not that whole serotonin bullshit. If it was, anti-depressants would work! For all those out there who hate life….try a pain pill.

    • i agree 100 percent with steph!! been on 5 different anti depressants since i was diagnosed with Ulcerative Collitis at the age of 20yrs old. Yea going to a University living on your own and trying to manage weather or not you can make it to the restroom in between classes with out going on yourself can be a little bit depressing..not to mention the stomaic pains that come with it. and the only thing that has made my day better is narcotics. call it an addict if you want but for the past 4 years medication after medication the only thing I have found that both eases my pain as well as makes me feel good is the who woudldnt take them..!!!you decicde..

      • Seriously, learn how to spell. lol. Your in college, really? It’s “Whether or not”, you do not spell it “weather”. “Weather” is rain, snow, wind, sun, clouds etc…. lol. Also it’s “stomach”, not stomaic, and it’s “narcotic” not narcodics”. maybe your OVER Medicating!!! Losing to many brain cells possibly? Def doesn’t sound like an educated response, so maybe you, and your pills got a little to attached to each other and you forgot to go to english class . Idk. But seriously, maybe you should slow down a little. An yes, this is coming from someone who is prescribed oxycontin, by a doctor, for pain. I am also someone who has been in severe pain for years, and depressed due to the pain, and I am on oxycontin and cymbalta. Seems to me that most people who take these pills for pain, stay on track and are still capable of having a productive day, day in, day out. The meds are suppose to “Help” you deal with the pain, not take it away completely. I find most people that abuse the meds, are just using an excuse to be on the pills and get high and do nothing all day except find your next fix. From experience, my pain and depression while on these meds, have diminished greatly. I am happy, love life, and actually LIVE MY LIFE everday. Yes there is still pain, yes there are still down days, but when you take the meds that a Dr prescribes for REAL medical problems, and find the right meds for you, THEY DO WORK. If you spend your entire day wondering when your getting your meds, or spending your last dollar on them, guess what, your not just an addict, your a useless junkie abusing pain meds to get high and be a waste of space. Seems that these days, most people on these meds are just using excuses to justify being an addict to the people around them. WAKE UP PEOPLE. GET SOME HELP IF THAT’S THE CASE. YOU’RE WORTH IT. Spending your days anxious, waiting for a fix, or compromising yourself or the people around you just to get money to run and get your pills and get high and do nothing with your life except be a zombie, is NOT the way to live, its the way to die. Eventually you will end up over dosing, or being a nothing and a nobody. For real, see a damn Dr if its real pain, if not, suck it up, admit you have a problem, and get someone to help you. BE A HUMAN BEING AGAIN!!

  5. Oh my god. Are you guys serious? If you are having any of the problems that any of you have listed, don’t take dangerous, mind-killing pills!! Take something natural, with over 5 thousand years of recorded use, and absolutely NO deaths that entire time. Just smoke some marijuana. It doesn’t have ANY of the nasty side effects of pain pills or anti-depressents/ anxiety pills… It also doesn’t damage you in the process of giving you the benefits. Doesn’t it make sense that the Universe that created you would also have the solution for any imperfections? Humans are not capable of providing ‘medicine’. Everything humans create will have serious, negative symptoms.

    • I agree, humans need to get back to nature. I don’t know if I agree with you on the pot thing, cause I’ve seen that mellow people out too much, but ya: anti-ds are pretty scary.

  6. i found your story very entertaining….youre probably just bored, playing with the kid is fun, but after a while, you need something else….snort something….or something else bad, which you can obsess about….how about having an affair or juggling several, that will get you out of the house and make you organize everything and you’ll feel so guilty, you’ll even go out to restaurants with your husband….win win situation 🙂

    • yea win win situation, except for your marriage and your kid when your husband finds out about the affair. Has everyone in this country become such a low down dirty human being, that noone can even be honest and faithful when they get MARRIED…. Isnt that the whole point of getting married, to share your life with ONE other person intimately….if your someone who thinks affairs are an acceptable behavior, the guess what, you NEVER should have got married in the first place. Usually people who think affairs are acceptable, are selfish, sociopath with no moral responsibility, or a conscience, and has no ability to love another human being. The only thing you love, is yourself, and trying to screw people over to get your way. Do everyone a favor, don’t give anyone any advice.
      its because of people like you that this country has made a turn for the worste and make it acceptable to be a low life, self serving, sociopathic IDIOT. Have you NO MORAL Conscience what so ever. If your not happy at home, get a divorce, leave, find a new love. Dont think that being a selfish, self serving moron will help your marriage, it will just destroy it. What the hell is wrong with people these days. Try having a real relationship where you actually put someone elses wants and needs in front of your own. Treat people as you would want to be treated, and its amazing how many people will do for you. For real tho, do everyone a favor…Shut up!

  7. I’ve been on anti deppresants my entire life and honestly feel no different today than I did 25 years ago when I first started them. I’ve tried every pill and combination there is and still findno relief in my confused and
    disfunctional self. Pain pills do calm me and help
    me to see some of the better parts of life. I’m almost 40 and still struggling with all the pain and confusion. Gets harder each day.. But I don’t want to end up in limbo if the pressures too much.worst fear to live forever in afterlife with no peace. No quiet.. No solitude

    • Get off the pills!! You said yourself they don’t work, so why are you still on them? I’m guessing it’s fear because it’s how you’ve been living your life for so long and you know your body will be dependent on them. Honestly though, find a way. Check on the site pointofreturndotcom, it has a really great program for those who want to live a perscription pill free life. Reach out to your friends or family. Try anything that will get your body healthy and interference out; chiropractor, meditation, yoga, dance, going vegetarian for awhile..
      my grandpa has been on meds for over half his life and I’ve had to just watch him get worse and worse. It makes me so sad to see him like that and it’s hard because we don’t know if he could handle life off of them. But after taking the stuff I can see how it can make you feel worse. and i believe there’s hope for everyone.

  8. I have never done street drugs or used prescription drugs other than as prescribed but your description of life on cymbalta could be mine except my kids are grown. I am currently trying to get off the cymbalta by tapering and also using to help minimize the withdrawal from it. So far the tapering off is going well but no return of my ambition, motivation and drive. Hopefully it will someday.

  9. Your’e a really good writer. You should write. Write everything.

  10. The problem with anti-depressants is that supression is not victory. If I had a real bad skin infection and treated it with pain pills, rather than antibiotics, it would get worse and would eventually kill me. So the question is this: if anti-depressants only supress, what is the cure?


  11. I have been dealing with depression at a profound level since Iraq and Afghanistan. I can deal with it, but when a stressor…like my recent divorce…comes along, the depresson becomes debilitating. I have been prescribed cymbalta, but I don’t think I am going to take it. I really don’t see it working…only altering my behavior. I am no danger to myself or others so what is the point. Talking to a professional doesn’t help at all. There are things that help, but they are not legal. Probably something I will simply have to live with the rest of my life. Fishing and camping are the only outlets that truly put me in a better state of mind, so if I could do that the rest of my life my problems would be solved. The fact that we are losing our freedoms is the central cause at this point. We are all guilty and the majority of America is clueless while claiming to be experts. I am disgusted with the state of America and our president most of all. I have seen what men do to one another and I see a government setting the stage for atrocities down the line. The police state has already begun. I saw on the news where a couple in Arizona was arrested for having a bible study in their private home! Wow, how far we’ve fallen…where people who proclaim God’s love are seen as the enemy. There is no accountability or respect in our country any more…and we are primed to fall. I see us in a Russia like state in the next 20 years…individual state countries as our union falls. Everyone is feeling this at least subconsciously…hence the hostility in politics. There is no medicine in existence that will change this reality. Don’t believe me, pay attention and let’s chat in 10 years. There is a resolution on the table right now to hand over a list of all American gun owners to the UN…why? Think about it. We have alot to be depressed about. All you non-believers…enjoy your time because it is your country at the moment and you are driving it into the ground. I don’t care anymore and look forward to the consequences.

  12. I’ve been reading everyone’s posts concerning Cymbalta tonight mainly because I am tapering off Cymbalta and experiencing some horrific symptoms. I can tolerate the cold sweats, the GI stuff, and even the headache but I once I got down to 30mg (I was on 120 mg per day) I started having depression. I started Cymbalta almost 3 years ago for depressive symptoms and agitation that ocurred after my second child was born a “preemie.” At that time it worked great. Now, I have apparently developed fibromyalgia and after my regular doctor increased my dose, my rheumatologist is weaning me off. He warned me of withdrawal but nothing specific. So, I’m wondering if my depression now is withdrawal from the medicine or the fact that Cymbalta controlled it until now? Can anyone help with this?

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