How to deal with catatonia?

Sometimes, I have a really hard time moving or doing anything for several hours or even entire days, despite being an otherwise physically active and healthy person. I think this is accurately categorized as some kind of mild catatonia (which is also a symptom of other things my psychiatrist says I have). Last semester, I had to drop three out of four courses I was taking because of this, and my psychiatrist has not been able to help after many meetings. It internally feels like some kind of risk-taking module in my brain has been set extremely low and against any metabolic expense. This semester, which started a few days ago, I haven’t even been able to start on any of my homework, and I feel half asleep during the day despite getting normal quality rest. How can you efficiently and permanently overcome this?



I would find a different psychiatrist if you can. I have only had this when my depression was uncontrolled, but presumably if that were your problem, you’d be focused on addressing that.

I’m not sure folks here can help you because it sounds like something best handled by a mental health professional. Most of us here are familiar with the habit of doing something else rather than the things we are Beeminding (my son had to leave his first university due to gaming all night, for example), but fewer people are familiar with doing nothing, I would guess.

If Beeminding helps, you could use Boss as a Service with Beeminder. Then you would have to prove to a human that you did your work. I use BaaS in addition to Beeminder, just not together.

I hope I am wrong and that other people here are able to help!



I was spending my days in my bed binge watching anime instead of working hard like I always did. To put it into perspective, days were passing by super fast and I was enjoying my work even if it was hard. But I changed gradually…

Beeminder didn’t help so much: at this time I would rather bleed money than do something even mildly hard such as answering my texts. It still helped but I was still very lazy.

The cause was pain medicine I’ve been taking, Duloxetine. My initial solution was to counteract the problem by taking other meds (Modafinil, then Ritalin). I tried various fixed.

The true solution for me was to learn more about psychopharmacology. I was looking for a compound I could take to fix my problem. But I actually read about Duloxetine in that book, and learned how it works (or at least, how it’s understood to work…).
I understood that if I wanted my brain back, I needed to quit Duloxetine.

I quit it and made progress quite fast. Besides not lying in bed all day doing nothing, I quickly recovered mental capacity, pleasure from doing things, and my personality changed for the better. It didn’t get back my insane work ethic, but I am very happy with the improvement.

Maybe you are having a similar problem? I assume this since you are seeing a psychiatrist.

Best :slight_smile:


I didn’t expect to find this here… I am taking Duloxetine for fibromyalgia, but I keep decreasing dosages of that and other meds because the side effects keep making me really useless, so thank you?


You’re welcome :slight_smile:

Here is a small guide for you.
I’m very passionate about this subject and like advocating for it.

How to Not Feel Useless Anymore while Taking Duloxetine

The Modafinil way

I’ve also been trying to balance out Duloxetine with other meds (like taking Modafinil to mess with the dopamine/serotonin ratio, which in turns adjust motivation).
Sadly, Modafinil and other stimulants are not viable long term for my body given that they wreck my sleep quality. Ritalin and it’s derivatives are the same. I didn’t try straight up meth or amphetamines because I couldn’t access them, but maybe it was for the best :slight_smile:

Supplementing Duloxetine with Modafinil is a viable option and recommended in case of feeling “useless” under Duloxetine. I’ve read it in a psychiatry book :slight_smile:

Western medecine: you want less pain? okay, here is a pill. It makes you sleepy, depressed and you are addicted to it? Hm… idk what to do hehe :3 maybe stop complaining ^^ 300€ plz <3 see you in 1 year for your next checkup :sunglasses::metal:

If your pain doctor doesn’t understand psychopharmacology, you should try to meet a good psychiatrist who will definitely get what you mean by “feeling useless”.
I can take pictures of the book for you, if you need some supporting material.

Be very careful of what compound you’ll switch to.
Like, don’t take Lyrica/Pregabalin blindly.

To the doctors I met, the side-effects and addictions are just letters on some paper. If something goes wrong, it’s a minor inconvenience (“oh, you lived hell for 6 months cuz I prescribed you something stupid… whatever? let’s try this next :3”)
Always advocate for yourself and use your own brain. I know it’s hard, but it’s the only way forward.

Stopping Duloxetine altogether

Antidepressants in general promote neurogenesis and reduce inflammation, which both in turn can cause improvements in pain perception.
(to clarify: Duloxetine is prescribed both as an antidepressant and pain medication).

This is why, I believe, that after 2 years under Duloxetine, I could stop it and feel minimal pain. I got rewired as a person who is quite lazy and more resistant to pain.

Stopping Duloxetine is extremely hard for some people. It was hell on earth for me… It’s impossible to describe the feeling of dread, and the pain that come with it, what they can do to the mind.
The only thing that worked was to stop Duloxetine abruptly and take Cortexin/Cerebrolysin at the same time! (I don’t remember if I was injecting Cerebrolysin or just using custom Cortexin nasal sprays — maybe did both lolol). I felt the withdrawal but it was very smooth, even though I stopped the compound really fast!
The key is to find something non-addictive to promote neurogenesis while your brain adapts to it’s low norepinephrine/serotonin environment. Cortexin/Cerebrolysin did the trick for me, but if I had to do it again, maybe I would use a pill like Tropoflavin or Eutropoflavin (I’m very receptive to Eutropoflavin but it lasts too long for my body).

(another small note: artificially stimulated neurogenesis might be cancerigenous — do your own research…)

In the same way that a depressed person can stop antidepressants after a while before their brains got rewired, I believe that it might be possible for people with pain conditions tied to neuropathy to heal through neurogenesis. I am pretty sure that this is what happened to me.

So, all this to say: what about stopping Duloxetine entirely? More broadly, re-orienting treatment of neuropathic pain disorders from “ah sucks, here’s a pill for the next XX years of your life” to “there are long term options available to fix the condition — it will take a long time to find a solution, but it’s possible”

(I have zero medical credentials — and I am probably making very basic mistakes — so take this more as a “perspective-opener” from a hobbyiest rather than medical advice :wink: )

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my biggest issue is sleepiness, I was taking clonazepam, and removing that helped a lot, but now it’s back! I fall asleep during the day for various hours. I will probably will keep decreasing or duloxetine (with which I am at the lowest pill dose of 30mg) or laroxyl (10 drops per day, 20mg) which I am taking for chronic headache (both are at a dose that I am told is the minimum to have any effect and the psychiatrist doesn’t know what to do). I have never seen a pain doctor, I am followed by a psychiatrist, which I don’t think much of. I am seen once every 3 to 6 months by a neurologist for the chronic headaches, which I find much more prepared in drug interactions, pharmacokinetic and similar stuff. But, the psychiatrist I see once every 1-2 months, the neurologist twice per year.