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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Ive been recently diagnised with chronic depression and anxiety

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Ive been recently diagnised with chronic depression and anxiety and have been prescribed on Cymbalta (90mg) now for 3 weeks (30 for 1 week, then 60 so now 6 weesk total) and although some symtoms have gone, my mind is still racing and I'm experiening a really numbed feeling in my head. Is this normal and will is it a side effect that will go away. I'm very nervous about taking the drug so hopefully this will pass. I'm also taking Lyrica 150 at 9am and 6pm as well as olanzapine before bedtime. I was previously only on seroxat 20mg for 10 years and then only on Effexor for 5 years before weaning myself off Effexor over a 4 month period thinking I was ok (last Effexor taken 8th January 2011). My depression and new anxiety came to a serious crash in April and I was admitted to hospital. I'm very concerned about the side effects of the meds. I'm still feeling anxious and with a racing mind that is catastophising alot. I'm trying to practice mindfulness and have now started to exercise daily. The side effect that concerns me at the moment is a numb feeling in the centre of my head as well as continued feelings of depression. In your experience, have you come heard of such a symptom and is it possible that it may pass? Also it is possible that the Cymbalta has yet to fully kick in?

Many thanks.

A very concerned human being, Graham.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi Graham, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is a very normal symptom to feel numb when you have anxiety and depression, particularly to the level you describe yourself having. Feelings of numbness in parts of your body or your whole body is normal as well.


Cymbalta can cause anxiety and panic attacks as side effects so if you feel your symptoms worsening, you may want to check in with your doctor. However, it does take Cymbalta several weeks to reach full effect so although you may notice you feel better soon, you need some time before you can know it's ability to help you with your symptoms.


You mention taking medications for your anxiety and depression, but you did not mention being in therapy. Talk therapy has been proven to be highly effective in helping to greatly reduce or eliminate anxiety. If you are not already in therapy, you may want to consider talking to your doctor for a referral to a therapist. You can also search on line at


Cognative Behavioral therapy and a newer therapy called Integrated therapy both have been highly effective in helping those suffering with anxiety and depression to recover. You can search for a therapist that is trained to use these therapies to help you.

Anxiety is greatly reduced when you begin to understand how it works and what you can do to counteract it. Anxiety is due to an increase in adrenaline in your body. This increase is triggered by negative thoughts that you have. For example, if you start to feel anxious, you automatically start to get upset. You might think something is terribly wrong or that you "feel funny" and therefore are in danger. This creates more adrenaline in your body and you begin to get more anxious. What you need to do is learn to stop the thoughts of being in danger and calm yourself to the point you can break the cycle.

Another great way to help yourself is to learn all you can about anxiety and depression. The more you know, the less power anxiety or depression has over you. Here are some resources to help you get started:

The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne- this is an excellent book that I use frequently.


Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-By-Step Program by William Knaus and Jon, Psy.D. Carlson

Natural Relief for Anxiety: Complementary Strategies for Easing Fear, Panic & Worry by Edmund J. Bourne, Arlen Brownstein and Lorna Garano


The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-step Program (Workbook) by William J. Knaus and Albert Ellis

From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

You can also try natural supplements. Omega 3 fatty acid 1000 mg, Zinc 10 mg, Magnesium glycinate 100 mg, and Calcium 100 mg are all good together to help you feel better. Extract of Hops is also good. Check with your doctor about dosage and taking these supplements. Be careful about taking anything such as St. John's Wort which can cause serotonin syndrome when mixed with other prescription medications.


I hope this helps you,

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