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Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal

depression and anxiety or something worse?

I am an 18 year old female with depression. I have been on antidepressants since I was 16. I was first precribed 30 mg of Cymbalta. I recently went cold turkey off the Cymbalta and about 4-6 weeks later I went through some of the worst times of my life. I first noticed that I had an unusually nervous stomach. Then a little while afterward, I was suddenly hit with this horrible, almost undescribeable feeling. It was a mixture of panic, fear, and being unreal. The next day, I felt as if I were in a dream. I also had a feeling of having cotton in the ears. I went to the doctor immediately, and he told me I should not have suddenly stopped taking my meds like I did, and put me back on cymbalta at 20mg. I continued to have the strange feeling in my head, but I also came down with terrible nausea to the point where I could not eat. I lost 15 pounds. I also developed tremors, shock-like sensations, ringing in the ears, and palapitations. I took a trip to the ER one night because my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. My tests all came out normal, and I was sent home. I was still feeling terrible, though, so I later returned to the doctor who put me on my original 30 mg, but it just seemed to make things worse and I started to get headaches. I also developed a sudden fear of having a brain tumor, and was literally in shambles because of it. I convinced myself that I was dying and was completely paralyzed with fear. I went to yet another doctor, and was told that everything I was experiencing was normal with my depression, but that the weird feelings were most likely panic attacks...something I had never previously had. She put me on Effexor 75mg. My original symptoms have gotten much better...no more dry mouth or nausea, no more tremors, I still get transient moments of feeling hazy or foggy. I did develop different symptoms with the effexor, though, such as tingling sensation, shock-like sensations, headaches, visual floaters, and irritability. Since all of this has happened, though, I cannot kick this fear of having a brain tumor or something seriously wrong with me. I constantly check the size of my pupils and repeat motor tests that were given to me when I was in the ER. I'm driving everyone around me crazy, because it's all I can seem to think about. I'm obsessed with the possibility that something is seriously wrong with me and I practically live everyday in fear that I am going to wake up one day and not be able to feel a certain side of my body. My doctors and family friends who are in the medical profession say I am just experiencing OCD and anxiety. It's just so hard for me to believe that antidepressants can cause all of the symptoms, can throw your body out of whack this much...plus, I visited the eye doctor about a week before these symptoms arose, and my doctor assured me that if something major were wrong with my head, he would have detected it. Is this all in my head? Can antidepressants cause this much trouble?
11 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
What you are experiencing now is anxiety and panic, and then panic about your anxiety. It's not totally clear that this was all caused by antidepressant withdrawal.  I suggest that you save yourself a lot of heartache and go see a psychiatrist who you can talk to about this in detail, and sort it out, and get to the root cause of your current anxiety.
Avatar universal
Oh you little sweetheart. I am so sorry you are feeling this way and thinking this way. I am 39 years old and I know exactly how you feel!! EXACTLY!! The first time I ever had anxiety was when I was 17 and driving home from my girlfriends house; I thought I was going crazy and my vision was all distorted and every color on Gods green earth seemed way too vivid and it was all so weird; like I was dreaming or something.

I've been treated for anxiety and depression 3 times in my life, but if I would have went to the dr when I was much younger I would have been treated for it much sooner. You are going to be fine, I promise. You are going to be better then fine, you are going to be GREAT!!! You will be just fine, you will get this all straightened out and you will feel so much better and you won't have to worry anymore or live in fear.

I took effexor xr and ativan. I know about the symptoms you experienced with the weird brainy feeling (the electrical shocks and zaps; I had them too, when I went off of my effexor.......and my tummy was tied in knots and sometimes felt zippy (it's the only way I can describe it) and sometimes it felt like I could feel the blood swirling through my veins, I hated that. Mostly I felt really yucky and sick from no longer taking the antidepressant. And maybe that is what is happening to you, because you stopped taking your cymbalta so suddenly ( I did the same thing)

I do know this; you will get better and you will feel wonderful and happy and not nervous or anxious or scared and yucky anymore. You really are going to get better and you can trust your dr. to make sure of it. I did counseling for a long time and I felt completely confident going off of my meds (after taking them for 18 months) counseling really helps if you have a good conselor (one that gives you reassurance and provides coping techniques)

I'm so glad you are aware of everything happening and are seeking help for it. I wish I would have sooner.

Please try not to worry, you are healthy and everything is going to be okay. And I could go on and on about the incredible things I thought of when I was going through it full blown like you are; I examined my eyes too, took my temperatue all the time, ect.

Don't worry about driving people crazy, just take extra special care of youself and I will say a prayer for you tonight.
xx
Avatar universal
thank you so much for your kindness. it's just that when i seem to feel comforted about things, it never lasts very long. somehow, this fear always seems to come back to bite me. i was just amazed and shocked at how suddenly this came about. one day you're fine, then BAM! the next day you're completely unwoven. everytime i get a headache (which is rather often) i curl into a ball, and think "oh god, it's a tumor, and that's why i have this headache right now." i feel almost as if i am a shell of the person i was 2 months ago.

however, i did just recently have my first counseling session, and i am lined up for them for the rest of the year. so, i'm hoping that all turns out well, and that maybe i really will be okay.
Avatar universal
Dear june-ray,

i feel so sorry that you are going through anxiety and panic attacks. I know exactly how you feel. I've been experiencing the same things as you for about a year, with many visits to ER at nights and every single day living in a fear that i will probably die soon either from a heart attack or a stroke.

The good news is that this condition is very treatable if you are determined to get better. I was free of anxiety for almost a year now, with the help of a good psychologist (God bless her), 20mg prozac and also reading and learning from the web about panic attacks and depression.

I read that depression and many other psychological conditions are developed when curtain chemicals (such as serotonin in case of depression) do not get transported to curtain parts of the body. Surprisingly and fortunately, with simple mental exersises (ask your psychologist about those) these chemical reactions can be restored. Therefore, we have to know and follow simple rules through all our lives to have a good mental health. I even think that there need to be a "mental health" class introduced to the high school education, to give the kids guidence to a healthy and happy life.

However, if you got more serious condition, such as panic attack disorder or depression, just mental exersises will not help if you are not experienced with those. Therefore, drugs which inhance the healthy chemistry in the body, such as antidepressants, are usually prescribed. The drugs provide you with the jump start. You will feel better and will get enough strenght to fight the disorder. Just the drugs, though, do not provide you with the complete security, therefore, therapy together with the medication lead to a complete recovery.

I really beleive you will get better, and you are already on the right track since you are on this site. It is not easy, but it is possible to completely recover. You are so young - a long and interesting life fool of adventures is ahead of you!

Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hang in there.  It all sounds so familiar.  Esp the feeling comforted for a bit then back into the same old fears (or slightly new ones). It's almost like an addiction to anxiety and seeing a doctor or having a test (or reading the internet) relieves the anxiety for a bit.  I think it is OCD around health anxiety.  I found paxil worked a treat for this problem.

Cognitive behaviour therapy also works very well for this type of problem.

It's highly unlikely you have a brain tumour.

I wish you all the best.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to let everyone know, I am going for a CAT scan on Monday, which the doctor says is jus to "ease my mind". I'm sure that's what a lot of other people getting Cat scans were told, too. haha. He told me there was zero percent chance that I have a brain tumor. I hope he is right, because I haven't been able to eat since he told me I was getting one, and probably won't be able to eat until I know the results...which I am expecting the worst. I just know that there is something terribly wrong with me. Everyone around me thinks that I am insane, though. I am actually afraid that I might prove them wrong.

Keep me in you thoughts, please. I'll check back with the results.
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