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  1. Kostas

    ☼ Kostas

    Hi, I am Kostas from Athens Greece, and I would like to post my story. After suffering a burn out in my demanded post at work, not been able to eat, sleep, exhausted and non functional, was prescribed 20 mg citalopram. Started 10 mg for 1 week, and then 20. Side effects few and tolerable for 3 weeks, and then dramatic improvement and completely functional in week 8. Got them for 9 months, June 1994-march 1995. Then 10 mg for a month 5 for 2 months and off. Start relapsing after 2 months, and reinstated August 1995. 10 mg 1 week and then 20, August 95- August 96 Then tapering 6 months and off Feb 97. Very well till October 99, then relapse and reinstated 20 mg January 2000. On the drug Jan 00- September 01, Tapering 6 months, and off from March 02. Another relapse on October 03,and another reinstatement 20 mg, from October 03- October 05 Then, very slow tapering for 7 years October 05- October 12. 10mg 2006, 5 2007,2.5 2008, 2 2009, 1 2010, 0.5 2011, 0.25 2012. Off the drug from Oct 2012 till today. WD symptoms although not thought so back then, Nov 2012 slight tinnitus, till today June 2013, frequent urination and nocturia, much improved now. 2014 muscle tightness, and tired. Not too bad, but deterioration during stress. This continues on and off till today but have adjusted. June 2015 palpitations and arythmia for one month, and gone by then. October 2016,pain in the legs and shawder for a 2 months. April 2017, slight insomnia, agitation, tiredness, pain in the muscles and weak legs, agrivaded all symptoms under stress. Waves and windows till beginning of August, and improving now. Decided to try not to reinstate, since I am relatively functional 70%, but not happy with the situation! Any advice welcome!
  2. Hi to all I'm Chuck, Italian guy of 33 years old, have PSSD after adverse reactions to Citalopram 7 drops of 3 years ago,now I'M total drug free I'm Old pp members, I hope someone remember me in these years I had some improvement better erections, more sensitivity. My story of AD and psychiatric drugs start around 2001, in my first college years I have degree in Biology and now I'm in the third year of MD school, for some months in 01/02 psichyatry put on me on Amisulpride and Seroquel, and After mutabon mite(amytryptaline) and i stay on It for 3 months, i try some SSRIs but I always vomit it at the first dose, after this evrything gos is fine, and I stay drug free for around 10 years, in december 2013 after a period of discouragement I go to psychiatric and he is prescribed me Citaloprom 10 drops, I take only 7 drops and I have horrible adverse reaction with 11 discharges of diarrhea and since I developed in PSSD. But on Monday I had a virtual colonoscopy, for rectal bleeding due to hemorrhoids, Virtual colonoscopy did not find anything abnormal, no polyps, and no cancerous lesion, the colon is perfectly clean and healthy. But the preparation for Virtual Colonoscopy was brutal, I used two laxatives , one Lovoldyl pill, and 3 glasses of Lovol ESSE (polyethylene glycol ), I think is the same product of Miralax, I had a serious adverse reaction to this product with Eighteen discharges of bloody diarrhea abdominal pain and cramps that I have and even PSSD symptoms seem worse, and despite this strong rectal bleeding due to inflamed hemorrhoids, the doctor decided to make the virtual colonoscopy, drenching with less air. Can this preparation for colonoscopy have worsened PSSD? I read that the polyethylene glycol is neurotoxic, and can damage the kidneys, I am very afraid of developing kidney damage in the future, this is possible? I'm also afraid of not being able to eat and drink as before, or develop Diverticulosis another possible side effects of colonoscopy,I have strong pangs in the stomach and burning, I have read of people after the colonoscopy for years can eat only liquid food, This screening for early detection of cancer is very barbaric, and brutal, both the classic version and virtual, it would definitely prohibited and find safer alternatives. Thx to all.
  3. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  4. Hello all. I have been following on this forum for the last couple of months on and off. I have been on Citalopram for nearly 11 years. I am 25 years old now. Quick history. Always been a bit anxious. Even as a kid. Had severe migraines from age 4 till 10 , then they stopped TOLD i had ADD. Put on ritalin at 7 years old for 2 weeks. ZOMBIE! taken off Ritalin. Love life and family and friends. Quite an emotional, caring individual. FAST FORWARD....Aged 14 felt overly guilty and anxious over child hood life event. Went to doc, said i might have OCD. Put me on 60mg Citalopram. Didn't notice any difference in anything being on med. Aged 19 went cold turkey cause of OCD symptoms tried to change to another drug Mirtazapine. ANXIETY 10/10 and Panic attacks. Then back on to 60 MG after a few days after symptoms of withdrawal began. Stabilized i think within a few weeks bit still felt crap for a good while. Not 100% for next few years but ok. Can feel drug messing with me. Making me anxious for no reason. Have to keep active and busy and I'm ok. Slowly over 2 years went from 60mg to 45 mg . All good. Decide due to weird randomized anxiety, lack of tears etc that i want to come off these drugs, and i know i can. Anyway i then go from 45mg to 40mg and severe withdrawal within a week. Dropped from 50mg to 45mg within 5 weeks. Insanely nasty neuro-emotional symptoms. Only symptoms are ever really Anxiety and Panic.. Chuck in a bit of hopelessness and some depression on the side.. . . . Tend to feel better by evening almost normal .. just a bit dazed and confused. Anyway i waited it out thinking it will go. Got some nice long windows of a week or more feeling almost good way clearer than I've felt in years, more alive, more real. Things feel better! things are more beautiful. Music sounds better. Everything is more beautiful But then BOOOOOMMMM!!! Anxiety back with a vengeance. Thought i noticed waves getting shorter and windows a bit longer but not significant enough to tell, and then after 10-11 weeks after my symptoms first appeared i updosed cause i needed a break. Updose felt WEIRD.. Within 4 hours of the extra 5mg i felt hazy, cloudy and drowsy.. Had insomnia that first night , still anxious but not as intense. Next couple days slightly better - Mild, consistent anxiety but not too bad. Manage to sleep well now.. Thought i had restabilized. Day 5 after updosing felt 95% back to normal. BUT last 3 days have been crap. Anxiety back. One week after updosing. Not AS INTENSE, hasn't got that razor sharp edge to it that it had before, but uncomfortable none the less. My question to anyone out there with this kind of experience is ... Would this anxiety be caused by the withdrawal still, or the updosing of the tablets? As I've read that increasing SSRI dose can cause anxiety for the first few weeks.. And can it take a while to re-stabilize after updosing?? considering i tried to tough out the withdrawal for nearly 3 months... One more thing. No overly negative stories please. I believe and i know that i can heal from this. Kindest regards and thankyou for your responses Nick
  5. Hi everyone, I'm wanting advice on how to taper if my withdrawal symptoms are delayed - ie they occur several months after the taper is completely finished. If I have no symptoms during taper, should I proceed to the 'Fast Taper' guidelines (4 weeks x2, then 3weeks x2, then 2 weeks x2, then weekly until done)? In the past I have thought I was relapsing, and resumed the medication. Now I understand it was probably WD from too fast a taper (4 months). Any thoughts? Tikki Tikki
  6. I'm coming up on my 5th month of being off of Citalopram for 6 years. I recently came upon this forum and I'm just bewildered at the information I've found that was never told to me by my doctor. She made this WD sound like it was a 30 day thing no problem. No lingering effects or anything. I have alot of resentment towards her right now! It would have been nice to have the accurate tapering information 4 months ago. Unfortunately, I'm not in that boat. In my current situation, what can I expect going forward at the 5 month mark. This has been extremely rough on my family. I have 3 kids and a wonderful wife, who all have been blind sided by what I have turned into. They are my livelihood and my inspiration to be the father and husband I am capable of being. I'm just struggling, I still have different symptoms everyday (irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, muscle tension, neck and back pain, foot numbness, panic attacks, high anxiety, headaches, tinnitus). I am doing the best i can but feel bad for my wife. This was my problem and should never have unknowingly effected her like this. Will these symptoms ease over time? I'm searching for someone who has had a similar experience than I and can give me some insight.
  7. Hello, I am a mom who is helping her 16 year old son (under the guidance of his psychiatrist) to taper off psychotropic medications. He has a complex medical history with cancer and narcolepsy and mood issues. I am not sure what, if anything, his current meds are doing for him given how long he has been on them and how much he has changed in that time. He is currently doing very well and is in full agreement on trying to reduce/stop the medications. After 2 previous disastrous attempts to taper him off Risperal in the past (done in the traditional, much too fast way), I was able to help him taper off Risperdal this past year. He started at a dose of 1 mg (taken as .5 mg morning and evening) in June of 2017. As outlined on this site, I reduced him monthly by 10% of the current dose for around the first 7 months and then was then able to speed up the time between reductions (because my son was doing very well and asked me to speed it up!). He has now been off Risperdal for 5 months, doing well, and I would like to try and taper him off Celexa. His psychiatrist is in agreement with tapering him off. Although the psychiatrist (a brand new once as my son's old psychiatrist left his practice this summer) had never heard of the 10% reduction method, he is supportive and wrote a prescription for liquid Celexa so that I can give him a combination of pill and liquid during the taper. I have the liquid and I can start at any time, but I am feeling very nervous! I thought it might help to discuss my plan here. I also have a few questions. My plan is to, as I did with the Risperdal and is recommended here, reduce the dose by 10% of the previous dose. I have the 10 mg/5 ml Celexa solution and 10 mg tablets. My son's current dose is 30 mg, so he takes three 10 mg tables each morning. Here is my reduction schedule for the first few months, starting with his current dose of Celexa, and the combination of tablet and liquid I will give him 30 mg: 10 mg tablet + 10 mg tablet + 5 ml liquid (this is his current dose - just to be extra cautious I will give him a few days at this dose because of the change to a combination of liquid and pill) 27 mg: 10 mg tablet + 10 mg tablet + 3.5 ml liquid (I will have him stay at this dose for 1 month provided everything is going well) 24.3 mg: 10 mg tablet + 10 mg tablet + 2.15 ml liquid (again, 1 month at this dose) My first question has to do with how precise to be with rounding off dosage amounts. I have a 5 ml and a 1 ml syringe. The 1 ml syringe is divided into hundredths, so I can get precise, but do I need to? I did with the Risperdal taper, but I started at 1 mg, so I needed to. For example, the third reduction, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a mg, is a dose of 21.87 mg. So, for this reduction I could give him two 10 mg tablets and .94 ml of the liquid. Or, I could round up to 22 mg and give him the two tablets and 1 ml of liquid. Any thoughts on precision of rounding would be appreciated! My second question is what would be a good drink to mix the liquid Celexa into. I put the Risperdal into a very small amount of milk. I am thinking of using milk again. Thank you!
  8. Hi! Not sure if I can post here, but I found this site after searching for withdrawal effects after having multiple symptoms when the meds were supposed to be out of my system. I now realise my neurotransmitters are still rebalancing, and I've definitely experienced the windows and waves. I was on 20 mg Cilift (Citalopram) since Feb 2016, and sought out the help of my GP to wean off (because of weight gain and mostly having severe heart palpitations). She weaned me off over a 2-week period (1 every 2nd day for a week, and 1 every 3rd day for a week). I stopped the meds entirely around mid May. I am however having multiple symptoms now still: very moody (fluctuating between unjustified rage and extreme depression), extreme anxiety, paranoia, lethargic yet I have insomnia, headaches, toothache and weird sensations of my eyes being sponges, itchiness, PMS is 100 times worse. I find I get stuck in unproductive thought loops, and feel that I shouldn't be alive (although I wouldn't act on suicidal impulses, as I have a strong sense of them not being "me:). I'm now in the awkward position of not knowing what to do. I live in a 3rd world country, and I doubt I can find a doctor who would be able to offer any support. We have a good medical system but in some ways our info is outdated. Without seeking specific medical advice, is there a general protocol for what one should do in my situation? I can't gauge what's better between going back onto the meds and weaning slower (I'll take any info back to my doctor), or just sitting it out? I am reading through different topics here, but is there a list of self-care items I can use? Thank you so much!
  9. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  10. Hi everyone and Alto! A few months back (nov. 2013) I was prescribed 150mg Effexor because my depression wasn't "responding" to citalopram 40mg after a 'nervous breakdown'. Come to find out it was actually a horrible reaction that I was having to Ambien . . . horrible anxiety, fear and depression - suicidal thoughts. Anyway, I am beyond all that now, praise God. However, I noted that I did not respond particularly well to the Effexor . . . dry eyes, dry mouth, ear pain and flu-like symptoms were just some of the fun I experienced while trying to acclimate to the medicine. I did some research and decided that I wanted off of this stuff, and knew the best way to do it quickly was to cross-taper back to citalopram, which I had been on many times in my past. I did it over a period of four weeks (150 down to 112.5 then to 75 then to 37.5 of effexor while dosing up from 10 to 20 to 30 to 40 of citalopram). I avoided the horrible effects of withdrawal for the most part, except for headaches, but now I'm three weeks out from completing the cross taper and I'm just now having extreme fatigue (even though I'm sleeping again 6 hrs or so / night) and droopy, painful, strained / fatigued eyes. I don't feel like I wake up until the afternoon some days! It comes and goes too, not consistently every day - varies in intensity. My question is, is this normal to have a delay of symptoms even after a (seemingly) successful cross taper of medicines? My long term goal is to get completely off of citalopram (been on it off and on since 1998) . . . and I will be doing that VERY, VERY slowly, beginning six months from now. Just want to make sure that it is withdrawal from Effexor and not some other health issue. I should also note that I never had any vision problems before Effexor, and have been checked by an eye doctor - no issues, 20/20 vision. I am 33 yrs old. Thanks for all your help and responses!!
  11. Hi all Last June I stopped 20mg of Citalopram that I had been taking on and off for 8 years. My doctor advised me to taper over 2 weeks! Months 0-3 were bad but not too bad. 3-6 were bad, some very severe waves and really bad OCD, which Ive never normally had. 7-9 waves started decreasing. 9-11 windows have been more clearer but still getting bad waves My windows seem to be getting progressively better. I keep thinking I'm back to my normal self and then get hit with a wave and come back feeling more normal. Recently Ive been getting more intrusive thoughts. My nervous system and physical symptoms seem to have got worse recently. I had some MSG on friday which messed me up. Im still getting physical sweats now. This wave has been the most severe Ive had for a long time. Has anyone noticed their nervous system get worse? Thanks
  12. Hello. Here's my story: I have general anxiety disorder (GAD--self diagnosed), though I may also be bi-polar. I had a tough time in my teen years--panic attacks, confusion, fear of people, etc., never happy. My father was an alcoholic; my youngest brother died of alcoholism a year ago. I've had my own battles with alcohol, too, but I never became the two six-packs, plus a bottle of whiskey that my father consumed every day. I quit drinking four years ago. For the past year and a half I have used medical cannabis (in a legal state with a doc's evaluation), which helps with anxiety and worry, and is the best sleep aid I know. In my late thirties (I'm now 57) I started taking Prozac--in 1997 (I think)--using a bottle I got from a friend (his mother had a scrip but she didn't take it). I liked it. It took a lot of my anxiety away, and I ceased having panic attacks. I only had a month's supply so I went to my doc, talked to him about my use and he was happy to write a scrip for me--20 mg. of Paxil (my insurance did not cover Prozac). He said to me then that anti-depressants/SSRI's are to sad/anxious people what insulin is to diabetics. I know now that that line came straight from a drug rep's play book. I know now that it was wrong and, at least from the drug company's perspective, a lie. Paxil agreed with me and I continued taking it daily (20 mg.) until about two years ago. I had tried to quit it several times over the years--both cold turkey and by tapering—mostly because I had gained up to thirty pounds on it and could not, no matter how hard I tried, lose that weight (I have been a frequent aerobic exerciser since long before I started Paxil—I continue to exercise, but not as much as before). Trying to stop Paxil altogether was hell. While doing so I felt a profound depression; I cried a lot, spent time in bed during the day on weekends, was twitchy, anxious, fearful, panicky—just not myself; I even began thinking vague thoughts about suicide. I had never felt these symptoms to such an extreme before beginning anti-depressants. Long ago, before beginning Paxil, I had been sad/depressed, I'd had panic attacks and problems with social anxiety, etc., but none of these symptoms were as debilitating as what I was feeling off Paxil. Shortly after getting down to about 10 mg. of Paxil (I had been using an emory board to taper down--for about six months) I couldn't stand it any more and spoke to my psych doc. She put me on Wellbutrin (which made me too hyper, despite taking it in the morning) along with Prozac (which gave me akathisia [pacing constantly]). I gave up both after about a month or so and went on Celexa, which my wife and daughter had been on successfully. I've been taking 20 mg. of Celexa for the last two and half years. About six months ago (or so--could be less) I started to taper off Celexa, this time using sandpaper. I'd read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and it scared me into trying to quit again. About a month and half ago I jumped from about 13 to 14 milligrams of sandpapered Celexa to ten by simply breaking the Celexa tab in half. It was easier than using the sandpaper, etc. I'd been feeling a bit odd before then, though nothing too bad, but then I began feeling the old, horrible symptoms mentioned above. They weren't that intense, really, but I'd been worrying a lot about my son going back to college (smart kid, good school, but he has emotional issues—I'm afraid of him failing), and anticipating my return to work—my job is beyond stressful (I'm a teacher). These and other stressorrs convinced me that I needed to be back on the medication. So, as of last Monday, a week ago, I've been taking my full dose again of Celexa, 20 mg., and I have felt better the last few days. BUT today I've felt horrible--two or three panic attacks, crying, a "buzzing" anxiety, a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel worse today on 20 mg of Celexa than I felt a week ago on 10 mg. of Celexa. I've imagined that I somehow forgot to fill my pill pack with Celexa for Sunday morning (today), but I don't think that was the case. Just an hour ago I took an additional ten mg of Celexa (my wife encouraged me) to get me back up to a therapeutic dose. But it scares me what I've been feeling today. As far as I know I should be feeling my old self, the self I've known for years on Paxil/Celexa. I'm scared that my long-term use of SSRI's have damaged my brain to the point that I can't return to even the me on an SSRI, much less the me pre-SSRI. I hope that this forum can help. I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, too, and I emphathise and wish you well. Perhaps I can help, too. Thank you for reading this. I hope I've been clear; if you have any questions or suggestions, please post.
  13. Hi everyone I really desperately need advice. I started 20mg of citalopram in April 2011 for situational depression. I didn't notice side effects except I completely lost the ability to cry for years. I had no idea it was drug related. I did gain some weight but other than that thought I was fine. In April of this year 2018 I decided I wanted to be off drugs. I talked to my gp and he recommended a taper that I followed. It only took about one month. I have felt like I've been in mental hell ever since. It wasn't until today that I even knew it could be withdrawal and it is thanks to this site. I have had extreme obsessions, panic attacks, bouts of rage, uncontrollable crying, suicidal ideation and what feels like a complete change in personality. I saw a psychiatrist in November 2018 because I thought I needed one. She heard my symptoms, diagnosed me with OCD, major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. She re prescribed 20mg citalopram. Almost immediately after reinstatement I had such intense heart palpitations I almost called 911, excessive sweating and severe insomnia. After 4 days I stopped the drugs. I feel trapped in a mental prison with no escape. I have no idea if I should continue drugs or suffer this withdrawal. I need help I can barely function.
  14. I have had the good fortune to confer with some of the top brain researchers in the world this past 4 years. Michael M. Merzenich who has had several PBS brain specials, Robert Sapolsky at Stanford, Daniel Amen (also many PBS brain specials) Malcom Lader in the UK and many others. Off the subject of exercise but Dr. Merzenich is considered the father of neuroplasticity research and he told me to study primates brain ability to heal they give them SSRI's then stop them. OK Exercise - none of these experts had a clue on how to heal a drug damaged brain. The one common theme was aerobic exercise. There is a great book out on this called SPARK on this. There is also the work of the Cooper Center on the benefits of aerobic exercise for anxiety and depression being better than medications. For the first 3 years I could not do any more than walk - any strenuous activity made me critically ill. I still walk a lot and more if I am in a wave (which seems to be continual) but now I have been able to do some 10 mile bike rides. Has anyone else found benefit/determent to exercise??
  15. Hi, I would be very grateful for some advice. I have been taking citalopram for 4 weeks. I tend to be sensitive to medication so I took 2.5 mg for two weeks and 5 mg for two weeks. I have had lots of side effects and after reading about long term effects and withdrawals I want to stop and look into other methods. Would it be safe to stop after being on low doses for a short time or do I need to do a 10% taper? Thank you.
  16. Hello everyone, I am another who was previously at another forum which has closed down. I'm very grateful that there is another good AD forum as I really don't want to be doing this alone. I already know a lot of other members here. My history in summary: 2001 Had a baby, a few days later got hit with severe anxiety and insomnia, diagnosed with post partum distress, anxiety, and hyperventilation syndrome. A psychiatrist prescribed Aropax (paroxetine), Mellaril (thioridazine - an anti-psychotic used as an anxiolytic at lower doses to cover the SSRI start-up) and zopiclone for sleep short-term. Stayed on Aropax for about six months then tapered off over a couple of months, with just a few mild withdrawal symptoms. 2003 Had second baby, repeat of above process but with Cipramil(citalopram) and midazolam for sleep. 2004 Had just got off citalopram when a very stressful situation occurred at my workplace (company was bought by two other companies and split, our part then integrated with one of the two buying companies). Spent a huge amount of energy and effort job-hunting and not coping well with the situation. Eight months of unrelenting stress later had a breakdown, similar symptoms to before, decided to go back on Aropax since it had worked well before (stupid, stupid). 2005-2006 Work situation still stressful, kept trying to taper dose down but couldn't cope below 10mg. 2007 Crashed at around 5mg, straight back to 20mg. A few months later searched the internet and found information about slow tapering. Began a slow taper which went well initially. 2008 Crashed around April after dropping from 5mg to 4.5mg. Went straight back to 5mg which didn't help. Went through a couple of months of pure hell (stupidly did not updose). Couldn't sleep, eat or keep still. Off-the-scale akathisia, didn't sleep for a whole week, couldn't keep anything down, spent my days and nights pacing around until my feet hurt and I couldn't even wear shoes. Began relaxation exercises which calmed things down enough to struggle through for a while but unable to work to support my family. Lots of pressure to get back to work. Updosed back to 10mg in June and 20mg in July. GP prescribed zopiclone for sleep, then psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel to switch over to from the zopiclone. Nasty drug, gave me big muscle twitches in my legs. Restabilised by October, tapered off Seroquel fairly quickly. Began tapering paroxetine again in December. 2009-2014 Tapered at a glacial pace, some years hardly dropped at all due to instability for months. Eventually was doing only 0.1mg drops and for a while 0.05mg drops which sound so tiny as to be ridiculous but I felt every drop. Was afraid of crashing again at 4.5mg but got through it and am now down to 3.45mg. Last drop was 0.15mg instead of 0.1mg as drops seem to be getting a little easier recently. Still very afraid of crashing. In 2011 decided I had to get out of my stressful job/career, felt like I would never get off meds as long as I stayed. The lower my dose got the more toxic the environment felt. I think the meds had helped me stay in the job by numbing me out somewhat. April 2011 was offered and took paid redundancy, 2012 back to uni to retrain as teacher, 2013-2014 unsuccessful job hunting, bits and pieces of part-time work, feeling mostly happy apart from worry about lack of income. No regrets about tossing old career in spite of not really having a new one. All in all, far too many years of having these meds in my life, rather over the whole thing by now. If you actually read all of this, you deserve a chocolate fish.
  17. Hello everyone, this is my introduction. I was prescribed an SSRI. Yes I know it makes you feel worse before you feel better but I felt terrible so after a few days I gave up on it . Over the next two weeks I felt worse and decided to start it again as I was having panic attacks, something I had never experienced in my life. I again felt really bad. I couldn’t get out of bed, not that lying in bed made me feel any better, I just couldn’t let anyone else in the house see me in such a state. It was after about a week that, yes, you’ve guessed it, PSSD. I had religiously read the information leaflet in the packet and saw that this could occur but not that it could continue after you've stopped. It was then that I searched online and discovered PSSD. I was horrified. I had never been warned of this. After 10 days I stopped again. I then hoped and prayed that all my functioning would return. After about ten days of stopping I was feeling particularly bad. I have all the classic symptons of PSSD. My anxiety and depression has gone through the roof. Lately I feel absolutely exhausted and depressed in the mornings. There is no way in the world I would of touched SSRI’s had I known the possible consequences. I am determined to beat this and get back to the happy man I once was. The impact of this condition on me is immense. I have found these forums a great help. I’m looking for any support out there as at this rate I’ll end up back on antidepressants for which I’ve now got a phobia. I’m also looking to support anyone else where I can and keep a record of my progress.
  18. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread: freespirit123: Lunesta So I've been on Seroqoil nightly for about 3-4 months. I started on 100mg and that only lasted one night. Went to 75mg and that lasted for a couple of weeks then 50mg. Last month I went down to 25mg. And about 4 wks ago I've been on 12-14mg (cutting the 50 in 1/2 then the half in 1/2.) I'm also taking Lunesta 3mg at no hr and about once a week ill need Klonopin.25 bc I have a hard time falling asleep. I've also started Celexa for anxiety during the day. So question and problem! How do I get off this Seroqoil?!? Like is aid I haven't even taking it long to begin with and I've taped to 12-14mg fine but it seems to mess with my sleep when I try and cut that in half. Don't believe I have the EXtended tablet. Help!!! If it messes with my sleep, is it only temp? I don't want to switch this to get hooked on Klonopin bc that's a nasty drug too!
  19. Hello, I am 55 and was on 20mg Citalopram for 12 years and began to think this is not working for me its holding me back , I knew this medication was hindering me but I continued to take it silly me so 125 days ago I stopped taking it cold turkey after a few days my mind got clear and my sex drive came back I was happy to feel normal again last time I felt that good was before the meds then bang withdrawals so I called the NHS24 and they said go back on my meds as it was that so I was shocked that this could happen as I had no idea about taper at that time so I went on 10mg for 1 month then 5mg for 5 day then stopped I know it was bad to do but I had no clue about tapering or withdrawal, all through the time taking the 10mg and 5mg I was in withdrawal , what I am left with is the central nervous system symptoms distant from life my head like there is acid running through it short term memory and insomnia is bad ,blurred vision hot dry feeling when I breathe brain needs cold oil etc tinnitus sinus twitches , I would like to add after stopping the meds I have not been anxious or depressed at all I have nothing to worry about as I know its another part of the brain that is a mess sorry for this being long winded I have little education my work has been with my hands , anyway sorry once again, I do not know to ride this storm out or reinstate to a small dose, my thinking is I did a mad thing abruptly stopping and my brain was shocked do I need to reinstate for my brain to calm down then taper, I know you might not have the answer and I am not holding anyone to account but you all here is professionals compared to my doctor this past few days I have had a window and a happy tickle in my belly along with my head feeling part of life but today its back to wave , I could ride it out but say next year I might say to myself I should have reinstated what if !! any questions no problem I have learned to open up with physical mental and sexual abuse in the past so any advice is welcomed regards Colin.
  20. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  21. Moderator note - link to benzo thread - Flowers: Xanax - spacing of doses Hi Everyone! it's been great to find this site and know their are others in the same boat as me. I am British but live in Spain but it looks like a lot of you are from USA. Well, regardless of our geography the drugs and effects are still the same I guess. My story goes like this........ I have been on antidepressants since my thirties and nothing ever seems to trigger off the depression. I am however quite an anxious, nervy person! The last 15 years I have taken Citalopram after my Dr told me I would probably need it for the rest of my life. All was fine - Citalopram helped me immensely initially and has kept me on an even keel since. I think it just made me feel normal - no highs or lows. Then in March this year I got a severe allergy to pollen that gave me sinusitis and an asthma flare up. My Dr gave me some antibiotics and oral steroids to help. I had a very bad reaction to the meds and ended up with increased anxiety, shaking etc. He suggested that I might like to increase the Citalopram from 30mgs to 40mgs. All was well until early September when I started to get extreme nightmares and heart palpitations. The nightmares were so bad I was screaming out loud. My mood was good but I was very tired. So the Dr suggested that either 40mgs was too high or the drug wasn't agreeing with me at all. His advice was to try to reduce or come off the drugs so he could see if I was OK without them or he would need to give me something else. He also advised taking 20mg for 4 weeks then 10mg for 4 weeks etc until I was off them. So, I started end of September and reduced to 20mgs straight away for 4 weeks. I didn't feel that bad over those weeks just maybe a little extra anxiety that could be managed. The trouble started when I went down to 10mgs just over 4 weeks ago. I got all the withdrawal symptoms full on. This wasn't helped by getting a lung infection which set off asthma again. I was getting even more anxious not being able to breath and was given antibiotics again and a nebulizer. Both meds can effect anxiety and I think they did because I ended up really ill. One of the worst withdrawal symptoms was not being able to control my legs and the weakness in them. I collapsed and ended up in the Emergencies with my Blood Pressure 207/117.They eventually stabilised me and sent me home where I am now watching my BP at home. The depression has set in and I can barely get out of bed each day and can't stop crying. I have seen a different Dr. who has given me Lexatin to take 3mg up to 3 times a day to ease the anxiety. I have only taken one today and it has calmed me down, but am conscious of the dependency issues. He has also suggested increasing the dose of Citalopram back up to 30mgs. I think the first Dr maybe have recommended a far too quick withdrawal for me as I haven't been able to cope with the severe effects. I am going to increase to 20mgs to see what happens but I am so scared of what is going to happen. I can't even contemplate coming off these drugs now. I just want to get back to normal and live again. When will I get any benefit from the increase and should I go on up to 30mgs? Any help or advice anyone can give would be so welcome - you all seem to have a wealth of experience out there.
  22. Hello everyone, Another one joining the ranks of survivalists. I've been looking and reading hundreds of posts on this site for a few months now and I've finally decided to join the community. I've read a lot about people's experiences and suffering, which is not easy to read. So I guess I'll get into what brought me here. It was in my late 20's I started suffering from crippling panic attacks and GAD, as well as having a low lingering depression due to always being anxious. I have no idea why all of a sudden I had my first panic attack, I did smoke some weed in my early 20's, something I really regret and wish I had never done, but like SSRI use, I can't take back. I've heard that can cause people to suffer all kinds of mental disorders later in life. I'm really not sure of what caused it. But I had it and finally after years went to the doctors when I was 30. They gave me the whole chemical imbalance explanation, said I have low serotonin and started me on 10mg of Citalopram, this within a month was increased to 20mg. I never knew about the dangers of these drugs, or withdrawal, Like everyone else, I was never warned other than stating I'll suffer some initial side effects whichvwill wear off after a few weeks. I was on Citalopram 10mg for about a month before being boosted up to 20mg. The initial side effects were uncomfortable but did subside after about 3 weeks. I was on it about 6 years and to be honest, Placebo or not, I did help rid me of most of my anxiety, I still sometimes got anxious but it was greatly reduced. I was honestly quite happy, I didn't feel like a zombie and I still had my emotions and life was pretty good. I could go to sleep relaxed and wake up relaxed, not the gripping a pillow mornings I had prior to the Citalopram. In fact I was doing too good which led to a bone headed decision I'm now paying for but that was not straight away. So I decided to just come off, yep, CT'd. I moved town and in the process ran out of Citalopram, this is before I knew about withdrawal and the dangers. Looking back I was actually incredibly lucky at first, for a few weeks I had head zaps and then, nothing. No anxiety returning, no anything. I felt normal like I hadn't come off anything. 7 months passed and all was well. But then I got a bad appraisal at work, something I had been working very hard on. I quickly spiralled into depression but not so much anxiety. It was there but manageable. I felt awful but just in a depressive way, I'm not sure it was a protracted withdrawal symptom or not as apart from feeling really depressed, there was no other symptoms. But it felt bad enough for me to go see the doctors. This was in early December 2017. Now I want to blame the Doctor but I asked to be put back on Citalopram as it worked well before. I had no idea about what reinstatement was, or kindling effect, or withdrawal, any of that. So They put me back on 10mg. That was 8 days of hell, shaking in the morning, nausea, restless leg heightened anxiety, my body jolting as I tried to sleep, insomnia, I felt highly agitated, I anxiety was so bad I was pacing around the house because i was just so uncomfortable. I called The doctor and they told me to stop the medication. I did, after about a month, the shaking stopped and the constant jolts, as well as the restless leg but the bad anxiety remained and the broken sleep insomnia. I also experienced pretty intense de-realization which thankfully has gone. But some other symptoms developed and have persisted. 3 months on from the 8 days of Citalopram 10mg, I have the following symptoms: High anxiety, but luckily no panic attacks Insomnia, I normally have no trouble getting to sleep but I have trouble staying asleep. Although some days are better than others Really bad brain frog, and slow cognition, which has been the most frightening symptom so far, when brain fog is bad, I can't remember details and I stumble over my words. This scares the hell out of me because online everybody says that's brain damage. I work in VFX Film, so it's absolutely devastating to my career, I find it hard to retain new information. Depression, I'm sure this is because of my symptoms. Morning Anxiety, the worst, I'm gripping my pillow every morning. I'm sensitive to noise , like a heightened sensitivity My brain feels light, like a weird buzzing lightheadedness crying spells, I think mostly to the suffering, self pity, blaming myself anger, mostly at myself, I have a wife and I can't believe she now has a husband who is not functional. That's the hardest part. tinnitus which is just the icing on the cake I've read a lot on this site, so I know about the sensitised nervous system, there is a lot to digest. I want to believe I'll get better but I read about Dr Stuart Shipko's views which pretty much states I'm screwed no matter how many years I hold onto the hope of recovery. i honestly wish I had never read that. I guess I feel fear, really badly, like, how am I going to live with this, I have no choice. I'm back to the doctors on Tuesday, they will probably try to get me back on an SSRI stating I didn't give it long enough for the side effects to subside.or to try another which is something I understand is a bad idea. The problem I have is, I don't know if those 8 days of side effects would have went, or did I not hang in long enough. I know I most likely will not be able to stabilise trying to go back but I've read waiting it out might not work either, so the choices aren't great. I think living with the emotional regret, and the fear of everything happening is the hardest to thing living with this. I know people will say, it get's better, this is a forum of hope, but I'm far off believing that. I want to, but it's hard. I feel bad for my wife, we really are soulmates, only now her life partner is a broken shell of a man, that's what kills me. So that's it for now. Thanks Everyone
  23. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  24. Female. Anxious disposition even as child. Did well making friends and enjoying life as a child. Struggled with getting to sleep though, due to worries. Displayed some ocd behaviour in teens ( maybe even before). Took and E aged 16 - big mistake. This exacerbated my anxiety and induced subsequent panic attacks. Age 19 ish ( 2001) was put on seroxat (not sure on dosage -it a strange time; experienced a lot of weird goings on with feeling weird, insomnia, - cant remember if this was before or on starting seroxat). started to feel better while on Seroxat. After a year or two, ( age 21) the doc, due to reports of suicidal behaviour on seroxat, decided to swap me to Citalopram ( 20mg i think). On starting Citalopram, I became very suicidal! Not sure why I wasn't swapped back but I perservered and must have evened out. Took Citalopram for 2 years and I felt good. Met my, now, husbandat 23 and thought life was brill and I did not need Citalopram anymore. Didn't follow any kind of tapering ( didnt know I needed to) and must have stopped cold turkey. Felt very suicidal so went back on Citalopram and evened out again. Must have cut fown to 10 mg and stayed on this for 4 years, functioning well. I did my degree. Am a bit of a perfectionist so worked very hard ( too hard), as well as working 16 hours. End of 4th year at Uni, I was burnt out. Overloaded, overwhelmed, run diwn physically and mentally. A 'nervous breakdown' ensued. I tried to go back to uni to finish the last couple of months but couldn't. I finished my dissertation abd transferred my degree so I still gained a 1st class degree but was very ill. I, nearly straight after became pregnant. I, however, suffered a horrid missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. I had told the docs that I thought something was wrong, 5 weeks earlier, but was dismissed. I took 2 months off work and was a mess. The doctor gave me diazepam and zopiclone which helped me ride the worst. Somehow I survived and became pregnant again not long after. Pregnancy was hard ( pains and bleeding) but I lasted. When my baby was born, it was tricky ( so much new to learn; I developed some ocd habits to help me feel in control but it was ok. Things leveled out. I was still on 10 mg Citalopram ( docs aware of this). I was doing well. I had snother baby a couple of years later, aged 29. Pregnancy was s bit better than the previous one but I still had bleeding, so was nervous but it was ok. I continued on 10 mg of Citalopram and was doing ok. When my son was 1 though, I took on too much. ( Lots of voluntary work with high expectations and serious responsibilities. I juggled trying to be a good mum, with several voluntary roles, housekeeping, got a small part time job too. over this time, for some reason i was slowly tapering Citalopram down ( no guidance really other than from the doc that you can take them every other day (? Is this where things started to go wrong?). I thought I was doing ok, although on reflection I was burning the candle at both ends. At the age of 32 I began to experience sciatica and fatigue. Doc suggested I try coming off the pill. This didn't help. This got worse until I developed severe abdominal pain/ heavy periods/ Nausea/ severe IBS - doc queried cfs but i was not yet referred. I was probably taking 5 mg of citalopram a couple of times a week ( not great I now realise as not steady) but as much as I was feeling physically crap, I was still functioning I stopped the Citalopram and took nothing for 10 months. The voluntary work took on another level; I imploded and had a 'nervous breakdown' ( I had a ridiculous amount of stress which was causing me to struggle with sleep and I was beginning to get suicidal ideation and brain fog before this, on top of the other physical issues, then a stressful voluntary work event sent me into a breakdown ( crying/ anxious/ ocd/ sleeplessness/ some kind of sleep apnea where id wake up gasping for breath.. I was put back onto Citalopram. I quit all voluntary work. I requested to start what i thought was low - 5mg. They pushed me to go to 10, saying 5 was ridiculous. At the same time, it was thought I may have endometriosis, so in 2017, aged 35 I had a laparoscopy operation to check; it was not. I think the operation and anaesthetic helped finish me off. The Citalopram made me increading suicidal to the point where I had suicidal ideation 24/7. i was somehow still getting sleep at this point but obe day was so suidsl, I went to A&E. Saw a psychiatrist for the first time in my life ( aged 35). Was tild to stip Citalopram strainght away. Discussed alternatives ( antipsychotics/ Mirtazipine, other ssris etc). I took nothing fir a week then another team of psychiatrists advised on possible meds. It was decided I would try Sertraline ( another Ssri??? why did i do that) I started it on 12.5 mg ( much to dismay of psychiatrists) but I was not given time to level out; They kept bumping up dose so i would get to the 'theraputic' dose of 50mg. Another level of Hell ensured which I hadn't yet visited. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, jitters, suicidsl ideation in the extreme, depression, muscle twitching, increased brain fog, intrusive thoughts, rapid weight loss, hellish insomnia. This on top of the fatigue and pain and ibs i was already experiencing. Despite my reaction, I was told to persist; I think they thought it wss my normal behaviour ( never felt this bad even when I wss 18 before starting Seroxat). Things levelled a bit after about 3 1/2 months. I was able to function a bit and go to my part time work and look after the home but it was tough. I developped tinnitus on Sertraline and had increasing brain fog. I also now suffered from depersonalisation and still had IBS and fatigue and body pain. In November last yesr, Another doc suggested i try the fodmap diet. i tried this and after 2 months it was very apparent that I had a gluten intolerance. Stopping gluten cleared up my IBS and most of the body pain. I still however battled with increasing brain fog and fatigue and severe depersonalisation to the point i couldnt go out at times and battled with it on the way to/ at work. Sertraline was not for me. I decided to cut down. the only advice id had about tapering was every other day from my doc but I thought Id do it slower. i cut miniscule amounts off from April 17, no real structure. I did this slowly but without checking i was stabilising, from April to August when i got to about 25mg. July and August, my brain fog became unbearable; unable to do shopping, unable to have a proper conversation, overwhelmed by simple questions, I became hypersensitive to light and sound. I often wore shades even on cloudy days ( looking back, noide and light sensitivity started with sertraline). I wore earplugs to limit noise at home with loud children. I became snappy due to loud noises. July August this got worse and worse but I was still functioning. I began doing sertraline every other day at 25 mg in August I think, maybe before then BAM one night in early September I had severe anxiety and total insomnia. This was relentless. I was desperate. I needed advice. Do i go back? Stop? go down? even dose to take each day. I was severely suicidal and devepped what seemed to be fit type episodes where i would be breathless, painful stomach, weird tingly head, palpitations, neck pain and lower back pain, loss of appetite, feeling flu like, becoming extremely dehydrated to the point i would guzzle water down cup after cup, My body contorted in painand tension, I eould then becime cold snd shiver. these episodes could last a couple of minutes but up to 16 hours at times. i was desperate for advise. over September/ early october, I visited A&E 4 times, desperately suicidal; I spoke to my doctor, I spoke to the nhs 111 line, I paid to dpeak to a psychiatrist but NO ONE would advise me, passing me round like a hot potato, telling me to do CBT and wait fir an appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist in december! I wouldn't live until then! I stayed with my mum as I felt so out of control with these fit type things ( including one where paramedics came and I was growling/ disorientated/ confused/ dehydrated so my eyeballs snd skin were dry- I was agressive ( never been like this in my life). I didnt want to be near my family due to my behaviour so I stayed with my mum for a few days. she lives in another county. I went to A&E there and they listened to me and made me feel worthwhile. they referred me to their home treatment team, who visited me but once again were unwilling to discuss specifics of medication. i was given zopiclone and diazepam. my husband and i didnt know what to do. we saw this website but I was still confused. I 'evened' out the 25 mg every other day dose to 12.5 in September. This may have made things worse, not sure which is why i wanted advice. The home treatment team managed to get my appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist movef to early october. I saw her and she laughed at my idea that it was withdrawal. she suggested I try an snri or mirtazapine. After reading this site, I wad reluctant. I am still referred with that team of psychiatrists but another appointment is in 2 months and they just want to throw more meds at me without showing any understanding of withdrawal. 5 weeks ago at an extreme point, before seeing the psychiatrist, I stopped Sertraline. I have been off it for 5 weeks. The fits seem to have all but stopped. but my anxiety is through the roof. I have severe stomach pain, reactions to shsmpoo, brain buzzy feeling whch zaps at times, particularly with high pitched loud noises. my sensitivity to sound is horrendous, as are my emotions and sensitivity to stress. I am overwhelmed by anxiety and ocd type ruminating thoughts about the situation and about my children's health. I am in sick leave from work since 2 months ago, as is my husband ( to look after me and the children). I have managed to taper off zopiclone and my sleep varies depending on my anxiety at night ( minutes up to 6 hours, broken sleep). I took dome diazepam but the ladt dose in September affected my breathing and I became severely breathless for 4 hours andmy gums bled so i haven't taken it since. I have applied for pip disability living allowance. we are shortly going to have no miney coming in and do t know if and my husband will be able to go back to work or if he will be fired ( I assume i will). I read this site but felt I couldnt reinstate as I never felt good on Sertraline. what now? do I try to ride it out? So suicidal and hopeless at times. Do I reinstate to citalopram instead? Do i try something else? Low dose mood stabiliser/ antipsychotic? Ps, I was referred a month ago to the ME/ Cfs people for diagnosis. Still waiting to hear.
  25. I have been on citalopram since 2009 then it stopped working. The Dr put me on citalopram and mirtazapine combination which worked for a while then that stopped working. The Dr then put me on mirtazapine and Venlafaxine 150mg XL combination which workes for a while again ans then stopped working. The Dr put me on amitriptyline 50mg saying thay would be the best drug for me while i took 8 months to slowly remove each bead from Venlafaxine capsule to come off it. As soon as I took my last beed i went into crazy angry depression. The dr increased my dosage of amitriptyline from 50mg to 150mg but the side effects were horrible and at this point i got sick of these meds and decided to quit CT. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms and i started acting like a child and not being able to walk, had balance problems. I reinstated back to 50mg amitriptyline since april 2018 and i have been getting worse. I cannot sleep. My vision is so badly affected that i have grainy vision and floaters have increased dramatically . I see after images and it's as if the lights have been turned off. When i begin to fall asleep, i start to have dreams before i actually fall asleep and my brain keep. Waking up just before i am about to sleep. I cannot follow conversations, I mishear things all the time. I am totally dependant on others and i feel people think i have gone crazy. I don't know what to do i am getting worse and worse. I often trip, lose my balance. I hardly have any short term memory and cannot do simplest of things. I cannot even watch anything on TV as i cannot follow.it I'm having major concentration problems. I don't know how. I'm writing this. I cannot work or drive. Please you have no idea how i am putting these sentences together. I need urgent help. Please advice. I have no energy, no appetite. If I'm posting this in the wrong place, please accept my appology as I can hardly read and understand things. P
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