“There are risks to antidepressant treatment, but the risks of untreated depression are worse.” ~ John Bailey

So, the second time I was sick enough to start taking medication the first one they put me on was duloxetine – brand name Cymbalta.

This was after I’d taken an overdose and then begun self harming.

The reason that they put me on duloxetine rather the mirtazapine that had worked for me previously was that duloxetine doesn’t cause excessive somnolence. They thought it was better to give me a drug that didn’t have the same side effect that made me stop taking the last one without consulting a doctor first.

Which isn’t entirely unreasonable I suppose.

The only problem was that while the duloxetine didn’t make me excessively sleepy, it didn’t do much of anything else for me either.

Oh, except suppress my appetite.

I lost quite a bit of weight over the three or four months that I was taking it.

Not that the benefits lasted long as I put it all back on and then some once I switched back over to mirtazapine because the duloxetine wasn’t working.

But that was pretty much it.

It made me less hungry, it didn’t make me any less depressed. Or any less anxious. Or any less dissociative. Or any better able to get through a whole night of sleep.

In fact my depression got worse, and the frequency of my panic attacks and self injuring increased while I was taking the duloxetine.

I had to take a lot of diazepam and zopiclone as well to keep me just barely hanging on.

I mean, I can’t say I had a bad experience with it; I had a truly awful, awful time, one of the worst, but that was on account of the mental illness, the duloxetine just didn’t do anything to help with it.

So, yeah, I’m not sure I’d ever let them put me on that one again.

Have you ever tried it? How did you find it?

6 thoughts on “Duloxetine”

  1. I have been on duloxetine for just over a year @ 90mg in the morning. Previously I was on citalopram for 6/7 years, I didn’t feel much on them apart from when I tried to come off them once, didn’t work very well. Then I hit my bad spell and got changed to fluoxetine as in cut from one to the other within a few days, only for about a month. Then I went supernova and I got put onto duloxetine. Didn’t really notice a difference to be honest. But I do think they masked the increase in my mental health state, instead of looking into THE problem. Then I went tits up and started self harming and suicide ideation then eventually od on 5 months worth of Quetiapine (14000mg) but since then I have been reduced to 60 then 30 and now 3 days into coming off duloxetine, I got dizzy issues if I move my eyes to quickly and I’m like a coiled spring ready to pop😮 I’m on mirtazapine 45mg and pregabalin 600mg. They want to reduce pregabalin too, that’s the only one I know that does something!!!!


    1. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a terrible experience. It’s so unfortunate that most mental health medications fall into that group of drugs that scientists kind of know that they work but they don’t know how or why. Which makes it difficult to reduce the side effects as they’re not clear on what’s causing them either. I’m hoping that the day they have a more complete picture so they can help us more consistently mentally without us having to pay off with physical problems comes very, very soon.


      1. Hi, thanks for the reply! Looked at some of your other posts. It’s all a bit grim at times?!! I have had two panic attacks in two days about going back to work this week. I went in this morning and survived it but now I have a major flu/fever but I know it’s down to stress as I have had it before quite a lot. The thing is I only do 15.5 hours a week!! It’s crazy. Typing now there is a hint of a tear for no normal reason at all. Seems like the medication is not doing its thing. Mirtazapine 45mg and pregabalin 600mg. I know it should be fine in a week or two but I so want not to go back!!


      2. Oh yes the deep sleep is hard to get going, I would t quite call it a coma as when I came round from one I felt quite spritely ( minus I couldn’t move from my bed but I was wide awake) hope things get better for all of us)


  2. For quite a while now, I have been on duloxetine and Abilify and if seems to work for me. Without it, I would cry at the drop of a hat. I am much more able to manage my emotions between DBT and my meds. But they work differently for everybody. I hope you find something that works for you.


    1. I’m glad it’s working for you. I’m trying to self administer DBT as they won’t give it me through my mental health team. I’m on sertraline now which seems to be doing the job, fingers crossed it doesn’t stop working as some drugs tend to do.


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