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fibromyalgia triggered by abrupt antidepressant withdrawal?
4 Replies
cln1812 - April 21

OMG, I have known for about 4 years now that I have not felt normal. I know I didn't used to feel like this. Every time I go to my doctor and complain, I get the feeling that she thinks I'm a hypochondriac and/or a headcase. The bloodwork that she's run has come back fairly normal. X-rays at the chiropractor are normal. I have done chiropracty, acupuncture, Swedish massage, deep massage, and yoga, which have helped some but not completely. She has sent me to a psychiatrist, who has put me on medication for panic attacks (which I do have but is not the cause I went to the doctor in the first place for). I don't think I properly convey to her (or anyone) the result this is having on my entire life.

I have been searching online and think finally that I probably do have chronic myofascial pain syndrome and/or fibromyalgia. I have made an appt. with a rhuematologist for next Monday and hope I can get a definitive diagnosis.

Some noteable events in my past:

--in college (1996-2000), I was diagnosed with anorexia athletica and exercised up to 4 hrs a day, mostly running, without proper stretching
--in 2005, my doctor abruptly took me off antidepressants without proper tapering and it set off very severe and intense panic (this is when the symptoms started)
--in 2007, when I was pregnant with my daughter, many of the symptoms abated/lessened until late in the pregnancy, when they got severe and I also had extreme sacroileac pain; I felt the best ever during most of my pregnancy, didn't have morning sickness or nausea even and felt I was finally myself again

These are the symptoms I have:

--tingling in my extremities especially
--points tender to the touch in my body
--numb fingers & toes
--diffuse fluid retention (especially in my legs but all over my body)--my PCP doesn't seem to see this as a problem but I know it's there and it causes problems like carpal tunnel for me; it doesn't respond to changes in diet or prescription diuretics
--pain that radiates over my entire body, from my head to my toes
--muscles feel taut, like I just can't relax
--difficulty concentrating, can't seem to multi-task at all any more
--forgetfulness, difficulty articulating myself to others
--extreme fatigue
--painful periods with extremely light flow
--ringing in my ears
--panic attacks & anxiety (began with withdrawal of antidepressants, never had this before & have lived in the same area my whole life)
--feeling like it's a miracle I function at all
--unexplained nausea
--allergies (only arose with withdrawal of antidepressants, never had it before)
--pain that is dull all the time, sometimes stabbing and burning
--muscle twitches/spasms
--difficulty falling asleep due to these sensations (PCP insists it's restless legs, but I know it's more than that)
--bloating, gas (again, began only around 2005)
--crave carbohydrates constantly
--frequently feeling like I'm living in a fog, life is happening around me, but I can't join in (this is probably what I feel has the strongest negative impact on my life as a whole)
--depression & hopelessness because of feeling overwhelmed (but not suicidal)
--pushing myself, inability to moderate things (for example, light exercise helps but then I'll push myself to do too much--walk too fast, too long, too much of an incline, exercising through extreme pain--could have played a role in the anorexia athletica, so much of an all or none philosophy)
--frequent problems with yeast (recurrent vaginal yeast infections, tinea versicolor on my abdomen)
--frequent cold sores/fever blisters
--clumisness, dropping things, running into things
--loss of my creativity (I used to write fiction and loved it--I would write all day every day without tiring of it but cannot concentrate adequately or come up with plots any more), used to draw but also feel I just can't access my creativity any more; this has also had one of the largest negative impacts on my life; I feel like I have lost myself


lizbet - April 21

dear cln 1812, I have just read your post and feel the most incredible sadness when you say you feel you have lost yourself.That is exactly the way I feel. I have had all the symptoms for several years before I was diagnosed three years ago. All your symptoms are mine (except the pushing to do too much excercise) and I am still struggling to come to terms with this awful illness and the fact that I cannot work anymore. The first thing you need to do is to get a proper
diagnosis and then at least you will know what you are really dealing with. Maybe then you can get some medication which will help you.Unfortunately I havent been very successful on this score. Good luck for next Monday and my thoughts are with you. Take care and Godbless.xx


Fantod - April 21

I think that you have done the right thing by getting an appointment with the rheumotolgist. Many of your symptoms sound all too familiar. I'd like to suggest that you make a comprehensive list of complaints and/or symptoms to take with you for their file. That way you won't miss anything. I always find seeing a new doctor is very stressful and it is easy to be distracted.

Another suggestion is to take someone with you are comfortable with into the exam room. It is always better to have a second set of ears that are not directly affected by the situation to take in information.

Be warned that not all rheumotologists are fibro-friendly. Even though fibromyalgia is a recognised syndrome (the CDC and the Arthitis Foundation to name a couple) there are still plenty of doctors out there that think it is a figment of our collective imaginations. If you are not happy with your treatment, go to the National Fibromyalgia Association website and ask them for a referral.

And finally, I have learned over time that it is better if you try and focus on anything that you can do, no matter how simple. You should try to shift your thinking in that direction wherever possible. This syndrome is certainly very debilitating and you must carve out some space for inner yourself no matter how small.

I hope that my comments are helpful to you in some way. Be sure to let us know the outcome of your appointment. I you have further questions or just want to rant, we are listening. Take care.


JOEGIRL - April 21

I think you need a good rummy dr. to give you a complete checkup. Let us know what the dr. says and hope you can get some relief for all your symptoms I feel for you and goodluck.


axxie - April 22

Dear cln 1812, wow where you collecting your symptoms or mine or for that matter anyone here on this board.

I feel for you, and you have done right by going to see a rheumy, I hope this rheumy will be able to treat you.

Your doctor did many tests and they all came by negative meaning it's another indicator that you have Fms.

When you see the rheumy it would be beneficial if you could get copies of the tests that have been done, it would save some time by not repeating the same tests. Since Fms is a collection of symptoms and mimics other illnesses, it's faster and makes the diagnosis faster for you.

When I go see the doctor, I always have a copy of my tests results, and I bring them with me, also I write down my symptoms, it helps if the doctor sees a pattern.

Over time I have learned by others experience of having Fms that I cannot do everything I used to do, so I take my time and plan only what I can do or focus on, one day at a time. I'm happier and therefore less stress, therefore I ache less.

Good luck to you and let us know how it went.



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