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  1. mod note: introductions merged: first introduction was titled how soon should I consider re-weaning off citalopram Hello there, Am really glad I found this site. I have been on Citalopram since 2008 for anxiety/depression. In the time between Jan 2008 and now, the highest dose I have taken is 20mg. I had one clear year of being off completely between April 2015 and April 2016, but then took MDMA recreationally in March 2016 and triggered a relapse. I ended up taking 10mg of citalopram again (doctor's advice.) You can see from my signature that in 2018, I was down to 2.5mg, I had actually held there for a whole year. My taper wasn't the advised 10 per cent reductions however, I had done 50 per cent at a time (ie 10mg to 5 mg to 2.5mg). I took a tiny amount of MDMA in May 2018, and two weeks later I was suffering with symptoms of anxiety and depression again. These continued, and I panicked a bit and over the next three months updosed to 10mg again in three stages (again at advice of my GP, from 2.5 to 5 to 10mg.) Even though I still wasn't really feeling much better after a few weeks at 10mg, I declined to increase any further. Instead, I tried acupuncture to help regulate my nervous system. This seems to have paid off. Apart from the fact that I have thoroughly learned that I can no longer tolerate an even miniscule amount of recreational drugs, I now realise that my reduction and increases in doses have all been too drastic. It has taken me since August 2018 to re stabilise on 10mg of Citalopram. I'm now beginning to understand why, and what I've put my CNS through. I'm generally feeling a lot better although I do still notice some antidepressant side effects such as fatigue, a bit of a 'racing head/racing thoughts' and some sleep disturbance, although gradually my sleep is improving.I also seem to keep catching colds/ having flu like symptoms, and I'm wondering if this is actually another side effect. I'd really like some advice on how soon I should consider beginning a taper, in the light of all that yo yoing around on dosage that happened between May and August last year. My guess is that I may need to hold and stabilise a while longer, I'd be interested to know your thoughts. With thanks
  2. Hi everyone. Thanks for this wonderful site, it's helped me loads already. I'm a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, been clean & sober in a 12 step recovery fellowship since 2007. Was prescribed Citalopram 20mg & Olanzapine 2.5 for depression and have been taking it for for nearly 13 years. I've only just started to feel ready to think about coming off. Halved the Olanzapine to 1.25 & held for 4 weeks. Pills too small to cut any further so started alternating every other day but read this is not a good idea. Decided to jump off at 1.25 and took my last dose on 6.6.20 (4 days ago.) Had some withdrawal symptoms starting a couple of days ago: slight agitation, disturbed sleep, reduced appetite, mild stomach pains, slight increase in anxiety but on the whole I'm ok. Just ordered magnesium, omega 3 & vitamin E to help with the withdrawal, as per one of the threads I read on here. I'm aware that there may be waves of withdrawal, potentially after weeks/ months so am prepared for this (or as prepared as I can be) I'm committed to doing this & hope I won't have to start taking it again, but also accept if it gets really bad then I might have to. Anybody got any guidance for me with this? Any info/ support gratefully accepted. x
  3. 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??
  4. Hi, First of all I'd like to thank everyone connected with this site, I'm learning so much about the best methods of reducing Citalopram and am grateful for those of you who set this up, maintain it and contribute! A heartfelt Thank You. I don't have any where near as horrific a story as many here and I hope no one minds me dropping by; I'm looking for advice on my next steps. I was prescribed Citalopram 20mg after a couple of months off work with 'anxiety (NOS)'; basically I couldn't get off the sofa without feeling I was going to faint. I think I react by Freezing in the Fight/Flight/Freeze response. After a couple of years I talked to my Dr about coming off and, as with many of you, was advised wrongly to drop by half for a few weeks then stop totally. All was tolerable for a couple of months (nasty symptoms but tolerable) until the crushing fatigue hit and I thought perhaps I wasn't ready to come off Citalopram as the fatigue was my main reason for starting on the drug in the first place. I wasn't just tired, it felt as though my soul was tired. So I went back on the drug in Sept 2016 and eventually steadied at 20mg. Last year I wanted to reduce the dose to see if I could cope without....still naive about how this should really be done....and dropped to 15mg then 10mg after a while. I had a few withdrawal symptoms but they were manageable. Had a great autumn and winter so thought I could drop again. Last month I reduced the dose to ~7.5mg (cutting a 10mg pill into quarters so can't be precise). This is where I found you all, I wanted some reassurance that I was doing this the right way, hahahahha, I now see it isn't. So, I've decided to dissolve my 10mg tablet in water and pipette out the desired amount, reducing by 10% after a period of stability. I've ordered the pipettes and a beaker so should be in a position to start this soon. However.....in the meantime, my withdrawal symptoms are getting stronger at times, it's erratic and difficult to find any pattern. My question is, would you recommend I go back to 10mg, stabilize then taper by 10% or should I sit this out until I settle then commence the 10% routine? It's important to me that I remain in work, so far so good and I really don't want to experience that fatigue again. My symptoms are fuggy brain, irritability, lack of concentration, socially withdrawn, tingling in my fingers and left side of my face/neck, tiredness, twitching and the feeling of ants marching over my skin, the ants are wearing boots! Many thanks for reading. Mamgu
  5. Hello everyone, I took my first anti-depressant at 21. I am now 43. In the years in between, I have had multiple psychiatric admissions, taken many many different medications, some at high doses, some inappropriate for my diagnosis, and for long periods of time, and had 8 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I am posting here now because I believe I may be experiencing a withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. My life has been razed to the ground and I am reaching out, to foster hope, make connection, and see if I can educate and empower myself and find guidance and support to get into healing and recovery. My difficulties began 9 years ago. The only drug I was taking at the time was Citalopram, and I was reducing it. The first thing I noticed was increased sensitivity to sound (e.g. hearing the radiators throughout the house I was staying in). I was working as a counsellor at the time, and I began to have feelings of falling through my chair when working with clients, a sensation of falling downwards and backwards suddenly. I then started to feel strange in the car, as if something toxic was coming through the ventilation system, leading me to feel a bit like I wasn't fully there; slightly afraid I would pass out (I never have) or "disappear". I would pinch my cheeks to try and "come back". I couldn't understand it. For 18 months, I followed the initial thinking from my GP, that I had labyrinthitis, and had various auditory system tests. This revealed nothing. I then went to the London Balance and Hearing Centre and had a thorough check there. They found nothing wrong and said that 40 % of people presenting there they referred on to psychiatry. By this stage, I had stopped driving, stopped working, had considerable difficulties walking - I walked using 2 sticks, and continued to have extreme sensitivity to sound (found the sound of the dishwasher on the floor below almost unbearable). The psychiatrist diagnosed "total serotonin depletion of the vestibular nucleus" with utter conviction (no sample/scan of anything has ever been taken by a psychiatrist in 22 years of treatment), and admitted me urgently to hospital. I was not depressed at the time. I was bombarded with medications. 3 weeks later, I went into depression, but the somatic symptoms I had been admitted for continued. More and more medications were administered. Eventually, I discharged myself and went to another psychiatric hospital. They were shocked at the levels of medication I was on (this was 2013) and proceeded to reduce and change the drugs. I left this hospital in 2014 but my somatic symptoms persisted (difficulty walking, unable to tolerate the sound of the fridges in the supermarket, clinging on to the shelves, tremors in my legs, unable to stand in line....). By this time, I had a diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) - which I identify with to this day. This was September 2015. Because, despite high levels of medication, the symptoms were still present and limiting my functionality (e.g. unable to tolerate short attending a short evening course on social media at my gardening group: I couldn’t cope with looking at the screen, sitting on a chair without sides, or the sounds – and had to leave), I decided to change tack and try a different approach. That was when I sought out a trauma therapist and a more holistic path. At this time I was on Quetiapine (250mg at night, 50mg breakfast and 50mg lunchtime), 3g L-Tryptophan, 15mg Diazepam, 60mg Citalopram. Over the course of 3 years, I brought myself down off the meds in a very measured way, one at a time, titrating at what I thought was a slow pace. I managed to come off the Quetiapine, L-Tryptophan and Diazepam. I continued to experience severe somatic symptoms but could walk about a little, go into a bookshop briefly - not able to work or go out for a meal, or the cinema or anything like that. When I began reducing the Citalopram, my symptoms became seriously bad. They emerged approx. 2 – 3 months after reductions e.g. 60 > 50 > 40 beginning May 2017, resulted in severe, disabling symptoms by August: severe tremors, terrifying hyperarousal, unable to tolerate sounds at all, using alcohol when necessary literally to be able to tolerate them or walk when necessary. I made another reduction 40 > 35 > 30 > 25 > 20 from December to April 2018, at which point I became housebound and called the paramedics as I was experiencing states of terror, feeling as if I was about to die, unable to regulate my nervous system at all. I now know, how terribly and tragically misguided my reduction pacing was. I wish I could turn the clocks back. But I can't. Hence my presence here, and prayers that there is still hope that I might recover my health. The emergency services suggested I increase the Citalopram back up to 30mg, which I did - and then up to 35mg, 3 weeks later. By this stage, I was housebound, having violent seizure patterning (not seizures - I never lose consciousness), unable to tolerate the sound of using a telephone, unable to stand to wash up or make food. My therapist began visiting me in my home. At the time, she and I had been understanding what was happening as partly being a releasing of the trapped energy of the trauma of the ECT which I had when I was 29. Indeed, the seizure patterning/muscle spasms look very like this. And my therapist described what she believed was going on in Somatic Experiencing language of "overcoupling": effects of psychological trauma/stress from earlier life + ECT shock trauma + long term use of meds.....all contributing to a dysregulated nervous system. I still believe this to be the case. However, very sadly, my therapist reached the point where she felt unable to continue to support me and pointed me back towards psychiatry. This was utterly devastating to me. I had derived considerable strength and hope from believing I understood what was happening in my body, that I had agency over its process, and was resourced and motivated by this. Being advised that all that was left was to go back to psychiatry, felt like the final straw. I went into severe, suicidal depression. Since then, I have seen several more psychiatrists, 2 neurologists, one neuropsychiatrist. None of them acknowledge that there is any possibility that psychiatric medications are implicated in my somatic symptoms. They put them under "medically unexplained" or "functional neurological disorder". I had 5 weeks in another psychiatric hospital in December 2018 which was largely pointless as I could not bring myself to take further medications, except for the introduction of one, Pregabalin, but at a low dose (because I was looking ahead to having to withdraw off this too eventually, and cautious accordingly.) I am now staying with my parents, in Luxembourg because I am unable to manage on my own in my own home without carers. I am at the lowest point of my life. The depression is severe but largely "reactive", ie an understandable response to losing my world - my work, my community, my functionality and all that that now deprives me of. I am just surviving at the moment. I hope I can find a way ahead. I am new to this website. I wonder how I might best use it to seek support and guidance? I will list the medications I am currently taking: Citalopram 40mg Pregabalin 50mg @ 09.00, 25 mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 22.00 Diazepam 2mg @ 09.00, 25mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 19.00, 25 mg @ 22.00 Zopiclone 3.75mg: began tapering under advice of GP 10 days ago, reducing by 1/4 = cutting the pill in half and half again and taking 3/4. He suggested I taper by 1/4 every 2-3 weeks. I feel trapped in a Catch22: I am unable to function in the world as I am. My symptoms are prohibitive of most activities and restrict where I can be, even within my parents' home, as my sensitivity to sound is so great and I am unable to be standing for very long due to the tremors. I am due to see the GP again tomorrow to ask his advice. I do not have a psychiatrist here. I am not keen to see yet another psychiatrist unless this person understands the fight/flight/freeze response, believes in withdrawal syndromes and tapering. My despair lies in the fact that I am sadly not in a position to be tapering really until I have adequate functionality restored. But I don't know how to restore that, how to address the tremoring and sensitivity to sound. The advice I have had from psychiatrists is to increase the dose of Pregabalin to quell the tremors. I am currently on a sub-therapeutic dose. I am reluctant to do this as this will be yet another drug to come off (which holds risks of seizures through withdrawal). Does anybody here have anything they could suggest to help? I am only just beginning to try to understand what the effects might be, on my nervous system, of extensive use of the drugs I have been on in the past, and am currently on. In particular, Quetiapine (I was on 800mg in 2005 and reduced over a couple of years - I never had any psychosis; and again 2013 - 2016 at 300mg), Diazepam (30mg in 2013, now 8mg) and Citalopram (60 for many years, now 40mg). I don't know if everything my body is manifesting is an expression of a depletion of receptors throughout my body? I am doing an online course on the nervous system and understand the intricacy of it, and how every cell in our bodies is affected by nervous system dysregulation. What is the next step? How do I address the somatic symptoms, in particular sensitivity to sound and to gravity: my sympathetic nervous system is "turned up way too high" in response to my standing up = tremors How/where can I find a clinician to guide me? I am due to see a Functional Medicine practitioner next Thursday with a view to try trying to do something myself to help heal my system. Any thoughts on this? I am also acutely aware that my life situation is such that I feel insecure and at sea. So, I need to find a way to create a secure base for myself, professionals I trust, decide which country to live in to do this (I will probably be unable to live alone until/unless I can heal this)..... I understand now that my nervous system is picking up cues about safety all the time. And if my life situation is unstable, it will keep going into fight/flight/freeze in reaction to that too. So, I need to also do some internal work on finding safety in the midst of uncertainty. This is so challenging. I feel very grateful to have this space in which to share and hopefully help each other. Thank you.
  6. 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
  7. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  8. I have been suffering from this unique sleeping disorder. I dream whole night continuously and wakeup exhausted every morning. Most of the people think it's any kind of psychological disorder even doctors just prescribe antidepressants and sleeping pills. Familly members are supportive but they could only give advice like wake early, do exercise. I nearly browsed the whole internet to get an ultimate cure for this problem but got nothing except "the change your routine"advice. There are many old forums where people discussed the similar problem but now they are closed without any conclusion. I have this problem from 2013 when I was searching a job During that time I felt some anxiety so went to a psychiatrist and he prescribed me 1.Clozapam 2. Paxip Cr/Citalopram. after some days i stopped it abrupty and from that day i didnot sleep a dreamless night.
  9. Hello, I just wanted to share my Citalopram story as I'm feeling terrible at the moment and just feel like I've completely ruined my body. I don't know if anyone else out there has advice or experienced something similar? I was prescribed Citalopram in February this year by my GP after experiencing a lot of anxiety. I took 10mg for 4 days but after contacting my GP when I was experiencing a lot of side effects, she upped my dose to 20mg and said it was normal to feel worse before I felt better. By this stage I was feeling pretty manic but for some reason I did what the doctor advised and upped my dose to 20mg as I thought my feelings were because I was so anxious. In hindsight I know now that it was the drug that was actually making me feel manic but I just wasn't aware of that at the time - I bought it was all me. I ended up taking Citalopram for just 7 days in the end and only stopped after a particularly bad night where I was experiencing burning all over my body and brain zaps - I knew I couldn't take it anymore. The Dr didn't want me to stop but I couldn't face taking another pill. Two days before I stopped taking it I started to experience a tremor in my arms but I thought it would wear off when I stopped the drug. Fast forward to around the 20th March having been Citalopram free for a month I began experiencing terrible, debilitating symptoms. My back & stomach is constantly pulsing - I have no idea what it is, I have pins and needles in my legs and tingling in my feet. The floor feels like it is moving when I walk and I feel very unsteady and dizzy. I feel completely detached from everything and everyone and don't even really recognise myself. Im just not interested in the things I used to be and everything is so much effort. I have major brain fog. I sleep very poorly and wake up after a couple of hours, body pulsing and unable to get to sleep. My neck tingles and I have a slight tremor in my neck/head. I never feel still or relaxed and I'm constantly on edge. My head throbs. My teeth hurt and my jaw is tight. My neck feels tight & my stomach is inflamed. Nothing I take seems to help with my symptoms. I have contacted my GP for help but they have said that it all sounds like anxiety, and have prescribed me propranolol and diazepam. They said that it is very unlikely that Citalopram has caused this but I really think it has. I've never felt like this in my life. I am finding it all so very difficult at the moment. I feel like a complete zombie and the physical symptoms are so hard to deal with. I used to be so active and now walking feels like a battle. Physically and mentally I feel completely ruined. I am so ashamed that I have done this to myself and cannot see a way out. Is there anyone out there who has experienced similar or who can offer a bit of hope? Does this get better? History: 11th - 17th February 2020 - Citalopram (3 days 10 mg & 4 days 20mg)
  10. Hi everyone. I've been reading this site for the past few months ever since I gratefully stumbled upon it and finally made an account. In early 2018 I successfully tapered from 30mg citalopram down to 20mg by cutting a 10mg tablet. I went down about 2.5mg/month. I tried a couple of times to go down to 17.5mg but the symptoms were intense and I realized it was too difficult to get a consistent amount with cutting the tablets so I decided to stick with 20mg until I found a more consistent way to taper. I read about the dissolve method working successfully on a post on this site and decided that would be my route. I bought some 10cc syringes with .2mL gradations. Last night I tried my first dose at an 8% taper - 18.4mg. I'm feeling worse than i'd expected/hoped considering it was such a small difference, but I have historically had a rather sensitive system. I'm starting to question whether I'm really meant to go down, if this is a sign I should keep my current dose. My life certainly isn't in a particularly solid place (though it's relatively stable). But I know it will only become more difficult the longer I'm on it, and I've seen only marginal if any benefit from taking it. Looking to document my process and experience here and contribute to this supportive community as well as find guidance about how to approach my own path.
  11. "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??????????
  12. I haven't been able to reduce my Cymbalta dose for two years because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms I have experienced with both attempts (a year apart). I spent three years dropping from 60 to 30 mg. I have pretty much given up the goal of eliminating Cymbalta - afraid to cause more damage by tapering the than that caused by continuing to take 30mg. I am unwilling to risk further trauma and drama, so I haven't tried the crossover either. Prozac was too "activating" for me in 1989. I don't think it's likely to be a solution in 2012. I still have restlessness, sweats, problems with balance, an incredibly trigger-happy startle reflex and frequent headaches. After feeling progressively less brain fog during my three year taper, my cognitive processes are really abysmal at this point. I can't keep track of simple stuff, can't handle financial transactions, have problems with noise, light, just stimulus in general. And I haven't changed doses in two years. I wonder, do SNRIs poop-out the way the SSRIs tend to?
  13. Hello I am new to this forum. I have a particular situation where I had cut down a long time ago from 10 mg of Celexa to 5 mg and was able to stay in that doe for a long time. However when I tried to discontinue...i had severe withdrawal symptoms. I went back to five and stayed on 5 for over a year. I had eye surgery due to glaucoma and I believe that the cortisone drops have created a cortisol dysfunction situation. It seems that when I have stress I begin to have withdrawal symptoms and increasing to 10 mg of Celexa works to ease the symptoms. I will like to eventually get off but now I feel stuck with the cortisol situation. I am taaking a leave from work soon to see if lower stress help with my situation. I believe that I am reacting to relatievely minor situations as if they were threatening. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  14. Hi all, thank so much for this forum. Here is my introduction. Since I was 16 years old I was put on Fluoxetin in a clinic, after a crysis and traumatic experiences. Clinic helped me a lot, but probably not because the medication. I tried to get off it when I was 19 years old because I felt more stable. I made a CT with Fluoxetin. I started to get panic attacs in certain situation (thought its because I stopped Medication). So I went to the doctor and he gave me Citalopram. First weeks of this drug were very difficult and horrorfiying. Lots of anxiety even with mild paranoia. After a few weeks I got better. On this Med it was the first time I had to fight with fatique. Moreover I had because of CT of Fluoxeitn or Citalopram agressions and moreover a lot of anxiety that drove me crazy in certain situations. This symptoms was always worst in the morning and earlier hours, especially the fatique. I moved into a new town to study. I just tried to accept this fatique, thought it was a kind of normal or blamed myself for it (go earlier to bed, get a regulary bed and wake-up time etc.) or thought it was something psychologically. Also had a lot of anxiety. Dont know if it was influenced by medication. Somehow I managed to get a Bachelor degree. I was also prescriped with Opipramol in that period and had a CT from it. At some point I thought this fatique can not be normal - to be always tired like that. I went to a doctor made a blood test. Doctor said its is psychologically. I went to a Psychatrist and told him I am always tired and want to try another medications. I asked for Fluoxetin, because I had less fatique on that one. He gave me that and I had a CT with Citalopram and took Fluoxetin. In that time I went abroad to work for a few month. I had terrible fatique and anxiety, shocks and twiches in my head and body when I was drinking coffee with my colleauges while putting the cup to my mouth. It was really uncomfortable. On some days horrible depressions with suiciadal thoughts. I was quieter than I used to be and mostly very depresssed. Somehow i knew it could be connected to Fluoxetin but did not thought of WD of Citalopram. When I come back to my country after a few months. I told doctor about this fatique and some symptoms and CT from Fluoxetin again and was prescribed with Paroxetin. I was very depressed, full of anxiety, desperated and fatique and suppossed to find my first full time job. Somehow I managed it and I was getting better. After a year on some point I was really ok. However, the fatique become worse and worse - from year to year. Again a blood test and even a test for sleep apnea in labour showed no result. Again I was told it is psychologically. I thought i could be connected to Paroxetin. One Doctor in sleep labour even agreed. I decided to get off it. I made a lot of research on the Internet, I understand I had to taper it slowly. But since the fatique was probably a side effect I decided to go more quickly and tapered in 6 Months from 10 mg to 0 (since May 2019 0mg). There was specially a lot of fatique (like always) later also more anxiety. First week after 0 mg was very good. Later I become worse and worse. Especially the anxiety. Sometimes the anxiey, sometimes the fatique is more on the foreground. I just feel like I want to rest and relax more. I have to work which is biggest challenges with this symptoms and also triggers a lot. I also started are Psychotherapy. She believes me that my state is coming from stopping AD and accept my decision not take them anymore. Fatique and anxiety are by far the most difficult symptoms. Moreover I have: - Problems with my eyes, especially with light - Back pain and tensions - Depressions with suicidal thoughts (think its caused by the other symptoms) - have to be very carefully with exercises (hobby) and all other activities cause it can trigger symptoms - weather changes trigger symptoms. Freezing a lot. - Situation that normally just makes me a bit nervousness, now gives me almost panic attacs I am taking omega 3 fish oil and sometimes zinc. Dont know if it has an effect. Tried in the last months these supplements: 5-htp, L-Tryptophan, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, Magnesium It could have triggered symptoms, so I stopped all of them. I am going to give Ginseng a chance (I know I have to be careful). It is incredible hard to get up in the morning and feel so fatique and tired, sometimes it is even hard to breath and every action needs so much energy (e.g. taking shoes on). I am sleeping very well. I just feel like i need much more sleep (I cannot get earlier too bed) and rest at the moment. In the evening I get better. Sometimes there are very clear and good moments in the evening, which give me hope. I really hope it gets a bit better in the next 6 months when I am one year off meds. I am thankful for every tip, hint, similiar experience and hope.
  15. Hi I started with anxiety and panic attacks almost a month ago, I had been under stress at work and had lost my appetite and considerable amount of weight, and was not sleeping. My GP prescribed Citalopram 20mg, and within a few hours of taking this I was almost crazy, pacing up and down the house, feeling I needed to get out of my own body and on day 3 started with horrible dark thoughts and images of me killing myself. Mainly the images were around knives. I must stress that prior to taking this medication I had never had a dark or suicidal thought.On day 7 of taking this drug I stopped due to the awful side affects which I now believe was Akathisia. I seen a private pysicatrist who put this down to a bad reaction with the citalopram and recommended sertraline, I waited almost two weeks before taking the sertraline as the dark thoughts still persisted, the majority of the other symptoms seems to subside. Earlier this week I started on the sertraline 25mg, once again the same symptoms have returned as in the beginning when taking the citalopram, this is only on day 2 of the sertraline. I have only recently learned about this condition but I am now going to discontinue with the sertraline given that Akathisia can last longer than the time the medication was taken. Has anyone experienced this due to the combination of these SSRI's? My GP is absolutely no help at the minute hence me having to seek help privately.
  16. Hi, my name is Aember and I have had severe negative reactions to SSRIs after very fee doses. I have been sick since January 2020 with a mystery degenerative neurological condition that is affecting my ability to think and feel. I am experiencing progressive dementia and confusion. Here is my story: Have had mystery neurological illness since Jan 2020, started with delirium, a flu and then a gastrointestinal flu that woke me up with a pounding heart and nocturnal defecation for months and body temp above 99 -101F. Sleep became interrupted with very vivid dreams and bizarre hypnagogic states. Started hypersalivating. Vision became altered, blurry at distance, slightly photosensitive. Extreme fatigue and bed in early evening, sleeping in and off until noon. Increased red pinpoint angiomas developing all over my body. Gradually became anhedonic in March 2020, unable to laugh or cry. Confusion and anxiety increased. Was put on Seroquel 25 mg end of March 2020, immediately had some involuntary movement so stopped after 1 dose. Switched to Trazodone 2 days later and had an extreme Akathesia episode with involuntary movement, was up for 24 hours pacing and raging internally. The next week was put on Citalopram 10mg for 2 days, immediately got dyskinesia (pill rolling, teeth grinding, twitching, teeth licking, bunny nose) with compulsive behaviour, vision became blurrier and developed horizontal double vision halos, perception of time sped up, switched to 5mg Escitalopram for 1 day, started muscle twitching, became flushed, feverish could not sleep (serotonin syndome?), next day became psychotic and babbling, compulsive, bit myself, could not walk. Hospitalized April 2020, put on respiridone 0.125 upped to 0.25 for 2 weeks. Felt weird hot icy burning in chest and esophagus upon initiating, had issues swallowing, voice got raspier, experienced increased hunger, constant fatigue and sedation, dry skin some teeth grinding and muscle tension on and off, vision worsened further (my left eye is now -1 and blurry, was perfect in December 2019), increased constipation, little change in anxiety, increased social compulsiveness (speaking without thinking). Started lactating. Quit April 29 after tapering to 0.125 mg for 3 days. Since then, I had episodes of dyskinesia and teeth grinding, bunny nosing, cramping in hands and feet, but it's gradually lessening as my body adapts to being antipsychotic free. I am still in a confused state (feel like I am about to pass out, cannot focus) with abnormal sleep emotions (cannot feel happy, cannot work) and decreased intellect (issues with spelling, time perception, planning, focus and my degenerative neurological condition persists as well as the hypersalivation and weakness. I am in bed all day.
  17. Hi all, I'm new to the forum and would like to provide you with a brief history of my antidepressant use and current situation. When I was in my teenage years (15) in 2003 I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having General Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder due to having panic attacks and intrusive thoughts. I was prescribed Citalopram 10mg and to be honest I do not remember much during this time, all I know is that the medication worked to a certain extent reducing both my OCD and anxiety. (but never completely "curing" the conditions, only making them manageable) The side effects were brutal (weight gain, lack of empathy - turning me into a zombie and sexual disfunction being the main ones) but I continued taking the medication because I was told there was a "chemical imbalance" in my brain and the medication is the only solution. From 2003 to 2018 my dose was gradually increased from 10mg to 60mg as I had periods of anxiety and panic attacks through the years even when medicated. I distinctly remember that the medication stopped working for me in 2016 when I suddenly started having anxiety 24/7 with the occasional panic attack. In late 2018 I decided to come off the medication for good as I believed it was not helping me anymore and the side effects were quite debilitating. I consulted my general practitioner about stopping the medication in 2018, he suggested I cut the dose in half every 3 days and then stop when I hit 5mg. I did not quite follow his instructions as during my taper I experienced some severe withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps and agitation) so I decided to reduce my dose by 5mg every 2 weeks. My last dose was taken in March 2019 and I took 2 weeks leave from work in anticipation of the withdrawal. At first there was only brain zaps and some agitation that in itself was manageable, then came the gastro intestinal issues about 1 month after stopping the meds, mostly heartburn and IBS type symptoms. I did not link these issues with withdrawal and went to a GI specialist that performed multiple tests (Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy, CT scan and blood tests) all tests came back reporting no issues. after about 2 months off the meds I started having severe panic attacks and anxiety as well as pressure in my head (behind my eyes), severe dizziness and a lot more symptoms that I cannot even recall as they disappeared and reappeared seemingly at random. Due to the anxiety and panic attacks I started to struggle at work and I reasoned that it must be due to me requiring the medication and I probably need to take it for the rest of my life (even though it does not seem to do anything for me anymore). So I went back to the general practitioner explaining to him my situation and symptoms, he reinstated the Citalopram at 20mg (this was at the end of August 2019). After taking my first dose I felt fine but taking my 2nd dose all hell broke loose - intense shaking, vomiting, insomnia, hallucinating and migraines. On the 4th day after reinstating I ended up in the ER unable to sit still and focus on anything I probably looked like I was on hard drugs or something, they gave me some Ativan and sent me on my way advising me to cease my current medication and go see a psychiatrist. Off the Citalopram I was still in hell - could not focus or sleep, randomly crying over nothing. Finally I went to my appointment with the psychiatrist 2 weeks later - he prescribed me Effexor XR 75mg which he said will fix all my problems. Again I managed to make it to day 4 before giving up on the medication, it made me 100x worse. Once again I landed in ER with hallucinating, migraines, muscle spasms all over my body and my face muscles “pulling” downward rendering me unable to speak. The ER sent me to a mental health clinic as they could not assist me with my condition. Booking myself into the clinic I waited to see my psychiatrist, he told me to stop taking the Effexor XR and put me on Zoloft (Can’t remember the dosage) but I refused to take the medication as I was MUCH better off before reinstating and I already knew what will happen to me if I have to take another SSRI. Having refused the Zoloft and sending my psychiatrist a lengthy timeline of my symptoms showing that I get VERY sick every time I try another SSRI - So he puts me on 25mg Valdoxan. It does absolutely nothing for me (stopped taking it 2 weeks in as my psychiatrist refused to send me for liver tests) and my symptoms get better as the Effexor leaves my system. This was approximately 6 weeks ago, currently it feels like I am in hell, I am able to work but I am struggling. I had blood work done today and will get the results back on Monday (just to make sure I don’t have some kind of infection/disease/vitamin deficiency - because it literally feels like I am dying). I am seeing a neurologist in late November so they can do some scans of my brain to further make sure nothing is physically wrong with me and when I get the all clear I feel I will be able to hang on for the duration of this terrible terrible experience. I only started to log my symptoms about 3 weeks ago but in those 3 weeks I have experienced: Abdominal Pain Joint Pan Migraines / Headaches Feeling of insects crawling under my skin throughout my entire body Severe fatigue Body trembling (muscle twitches in legs and arms) When holding arms/legs together can feel a quick repeating “pulse” of muscles Pain in hands/wrists muscles feeling “not connected” touching objects feels strange (numb). Nausea / Vomiting Visual problems feels like the brightness in my eyes was turned up to 11 this produces poor night vision Dizziness Pain in neck and head (right side) - behind ear to forehead Pain in thighs Super brain zaps? - lasts hours instead of seconds (worsens with eye movement / sound) - Pressure/Tingling in skull, sensitive to sound I do believe all the above mentioned symptoms seem to align with withdrawal perfectly, but I am still very scared. Not knowing when/if I will get better is true torture. My hope is to get support/advice/hope from this forum that I cannot receive from the medical professionals I have access to (they do not know or seem to care about this very real and very frightening condition) and to help others where I can to the best of my ability.
  18. Deblou46

    Deblou46: Withdrawal

    So glad I found this page I was on citalopram for 18 years tried to come off 6 years ago and 6 weeks later thought my anxiety had come back now realise it was withdrawal! Fast forward 6 years and it was suggested to me to meet with a psychiatrist to help with my meds as citalopram 40mg had stopped working . She said taper down from 40mg in 2.5 months and start sertraline which I did went into depesssion signed off work for 7 weeks now 11 weeks later and been on 100mg for 8 weeks I am suffering severe withdrawals Bugs crawling in head Tingling on face feel like a cobweb on it Clenching jaw Anxiety Will this ever get better ?
  19. I feel low & numb & anxious & stuck in my own head & struggling with intrusive sucidal thoughts. I first started panic attacks through a couple hangovers didn't no much about them which they were scary, went to doctors to ask advice straight away given citalopram told to take once a day did so for a few weeks till I realised I didn't want to be on these and they were antidepressants, then the trouble started panic attacks everyday so went back to doc & given sertaline tried for less than a week and symptoms was to bad stopped then went back to doc & given citalopram liquid tried for couple weeks had like a high effect which wasn't good & finally given mirtazapine was on it for over a month with really bad lows and symptoms at first then started to ease but I still didn't want to be on a mind altering drugs! So I got told to just stop. Now from July 10th 2018 that's when all the issues have started been a rocky road ups & downs but I'm sat here thinking what's the next steps as I feel low and numb and sucidal thoughts all the time shall I go back to the drugs or ??? Struggling with no sleep Sucidal thoughts Anxiousness Low mood Snappyniess No interests in life
  20. Hi folks! I'm very grateful for the resources you've offered. It helps me feel less alone as I struggle through this. I'm a 39yo male. I've been on SSRIs (paxil first and then citalopram) for 18 years. I've tried going off citalopram (10mg) several times, and ended up going back on each time because the withdrawal symptoms were so excruciating (extreme insomnia, panic, rage, fear, mania, confusion, etc.). I'd always tried to go off basically cold-turkey, but this past time I took a few weeks to taper down from 10mg, before completely stopping 1 month ago. (I would've gone much slower if I'd come across this site earlier.) Things have been tenuous; last night was my worst night so far—I came very close to going back on the citalopram because I was in such anguish. At this moment, I'm unclear as to whether to re-start the citalopram and then taper down very slowly, or to try to ride this out and see if I can handle it. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I take magnesium regularly and find it very helpful. And I just ordered some Omega-3's. Thanks again for any insights!
  21. Hello, I'm new here, I hope this is the correct place to put this. I have been on Citalopram 10mg since 2014. Very little dose, took the edge off a little. I never wanted to increase because of the awful time I had on Paxil. I must be very sensitive to SSRI's. I noticed if I skipped a few doses for whatever reason, I would get w/d effects. About a year ago, I noticed this was doing nothing. And I would randomally get side effects. Fall of 2019, body aches, shakiness, health anxiety, brain fog, didnt want to do anything. Restless. Etc. Dec.2019 I started weaning, I've had strange headaches sort or dull, but fullness. My ear feels fullness, strangle whishing sounds at times in my ears. I'm very scared with the brain fog, that something is seriously wrong. Thank you to anyone who comments.
  22. masa998899 Hello. Im new here and my english is not perfect. My story is 11 years of citalopharm 20mg. I didnt have any information or support on this matter so this is what ive tried to do by myself. 2012 CT That caused me total burnout. After that i started again with 10mg. 2015 i started to smaller the dose by cutting the 10mg pill smaller and smaller by month and i stopped taking it completely after 2017 Ive had two times since then that my anxiety was so high that i got desperate and took 5mg dose only for a single day. My question is, has that set back my recovery? 2020 now and i have all kinds of wd symptoms and trying to keep living day by day. If taking that one 5mg pill means i now have CT should i just roll with it. Been 1 year now since that happened.
  23. just wanted to tell everyone that I have found this easier than anticipated but have been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol regularly to help with the symptoms, especially headaches and have found this really helps, also exercise. I used this method when withdrawing from diazepam several yrs ago and it worked well then. I am now down to 7.5 mg citalopram in the morning and am going to do this very slowly because from previous experience this is the only way. By the way, after every psychiatric drug I have stopped using I have discovered it never helped anyway.
  24. Hi, I found this website from someone's post who seemed to be going through the same as what I am. Sorry if this is long but I'm not sure which info is necessary! I was taking Citolapram for alittle over 2 years, mostly 20mg but I upped to 30mg near the end. I weened off them within a week but after almost a month I went back of them (20mg). I only stayed on them for a week and then came off them cold turkey. About 7 or more weeks since, I randomly woke up one day with PGAD. It's a horrible, progressive, non-curable disorder that makes your genitals feel constantly aroused, sometimes stabbing, burning, feeling the need to pee, zap feelings and a lot of throbbing. I've had this for a month now and feels worse these past 2 days (coincidentally I was pescribed Amitriptyline 10mg but after 2 days of taking them I decided I don't want to go back to ADs - apparently PGAD is mostly caused by withdrawing from ADs) I've had so many breakdowns because of this and there is no way I can live with it, especially because it can cause spontaneous orgasms and a lot of pain which I haven't got yet. I'm so scared and my doctors have no idea about the disorder and just try to convince me it's in my head which despite my obvious symptoms and causes I'm hoping it is. My history of OCD could explain it too. Before taking ADs I had a fear of farting in public which as stupid as it sounds, kept me house-bound for years. It went away after I took ADs and started college. Then a year later I had a bad sickness bug which led me to a fear of throwing up, with that I felt sick literally every single day and not always just mildly. I had tests but nothing explained it. Then I started hearing alot about PGAD just before mine started, once mine started my sickness has completely gone (so all this time it must have been in my head which is crazy because I almost threw up it was so bad). And now I'm getting all these symptoms of PGAD constantly. But I'm still not convinced it's all in my head because it is a fact that withdrawing from ADs too fast can cause it, plus I think I have some damage in my pelvice since I went on an exercise bike during my 2nd withdrawals. This gave me what I thought was piles in my perineum which went away after a week and then came back with my PGAD. I have a huge skin tag in my perineum which fills and becomes solid if I'm too active and I start getting a pain around it (in my legs/butt cheeks). I'm thinking I've damaged my pelvic floor and that these things could be connected? Although the PGAD didn't start straight away? I'm sorry this was so long but I am so so terrified of having this disorder, it is honestly such a horrible, embarrassing, painful and hopeless thing to live with and has always been my biggest fear since I learnt about it. I have so many things that could have caused it which makes me think that maybe it isn't just in my head. It's driving me crazy and if anyone has any hope or experience like this I would really love to hear from you. Sorry again for the long post.
  25. Dollshead Hey, I'm pretty new to this but just seeking some advice as I'm in a pretty strange situation. Around 3 weeks ago I started lactating (I'm not pregnant and I have never been pregnant) with really bad headaches. I've been rushed through for an MRI as they suspected I had a tumour on my Pituitary gland. Thankfully I don't- brilliant news! However, my prolactin hormone levels are rising. I'm currently being referred to an Endocrinologist but may have a wait a while with the current situation. Anyway, a doctor has said it could be a symptom of me taking Ciltilopram. But I have been on these tablets for 10 years. Has anyone else had these symptoms before and would it be likely to be my citilopram after all this time? he has suggested to stop taking it for 7 days and put me on something else ( a tablet from the Tryclic group) I'm terrified as I've never had a break or taken anything else. Another doctor said it's a slim chance the symptoms are caused by citilopram with me being on it so long! I just don't know what to do and it's making me more anxious. Any help/advise would be massively appreciated. Thank you!
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