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  1. Hello to all of you! I just discovered this forum and I think it's best for me to ask you for advice, since most doctors here in germany don't have a clue about ssri withdrawal.. So I'm trying to keep it short. I was prescribed 20mg of escitalopram (=40mg citalopram) in september 2017 after having severe depression, caused by withdrawal from benzos (lorazepam) which I'm off for 16 months now. The ssri helped me a lot and thankfully my depression went away and never came back. I tried to get off the ssri in april this year and tapered waaaay too fast. Took 10mg for a week, then 5 for a week and then zero. The withdrawal symptoms were severe but i could stand them. But after 3 months I got some heavy muscle pain and numbness in my forearms and felt so fatigue i couldn't get out of bed anymore. That led me to reinstating the drug at 6mg at first. I didn't feel much better, so i updosed to 10mg 10 days later. The first 5 days or so i felt pretty well, but after that I felt much worse and I'm feeling worse every day since then. I'm suffering severe anhedonia, brain fog, anxiety and a bit of fatigue. At least the muscle weakness is gone. Honestly I don't really know what to do next. Updosing to 10mg was about 12 days ago and i wonder if I should go back to a lower dose like 5mg or should just wait and hope to get better. Hope some of you can help me Much greetings, Gaebbi
  2. Hi there, Am hoping you can advise me. I have made a bit of a boo boo, I think. To cut a very long story short, have been on and off citalopram since 2008, tapered up and down, usually jumps of 5mg at a time. In the winter of 2017 I had gotten down to 5mg. Foolishly, I dabbled in alcohol and recreational drugs at that time and caused a fairly major wobble, which then righted itself. Did the same in May 2018 and that time it didn't. I then wobbled around at various doses of citaolpram until finally titrating up to 20mg this year, but it gave me really bad diarrhoea and unlike when I've taken it before, just seemed to turn me into a zombie with occasional anxiety and panic. I assumed the problem was the drug and so switched to Venlafaxine 75mg XR in August this year. However, it's been 6 weeks and I'm not yet stable. Mostly, I have anxiety which is worse in the mornings and gradually eases through the day. GP and psych are saying I need an updose, but my hunch is that I probably need to hold and wait for stability, being as I've been all over the place with drugs over the last 18 months. I'm wondering what you would recommend? I'm nowhere near thinking about tapering, but I know your site is big on stabilisation so any thoughts appreciated.
  3. Hi all, I've been struggling for 2 months now, completely unable to function and go to work. I had been on citalopram 20 mg for 6 months when I did a 'taper: over the course of about a month which started with skipping some days and then alternating 10 mg with 20 mg days for some of it, going back to just 10 mg for a bit. I had my last pill 12th April and the brain zaps stopped about 3 weeks after that. This coincided with a nasty virus I had, so not sure what symptoms are from what, it's a very blurry period. Now I know that this wasn't the right way to taper but it's too late. I still am extremely fatigued and it took me a while to think that might be due to the WD. I had started thinking that I have developed CFS/ME from the stress. I have started monitoring my HR with a Fitbit and it goes up to 120 if I speak to people or get up or walk. This makes me feel quite unwell so I feel bedridden currently. I find it hard to differentiate between physical and mental symptoms and my health anxiety and insomnia are through the roof. Sound familiar to anyone? I feel so alone. My doctor prescribed 20 mg citalopram again to me and I have taken 10 mg for two days now (this seems stupid, but I don't know how to break the pills into smaller doses...) Any tips for what to do, e.g. a better way to reinstate in this situation? I feel like I'll never be able to go back to work again. Thanks for reading and big hugs! (I don't take any other drugs) ETA: my experience on the drug was extremely positive the first time around, I only stopped because I thought I didn't need it anymore and I was too lazy to get a new prescription....
  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. 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.
  6. Matti

    Matti: my intro

    Hello guys, I've been reading this forum now and then for a couple years now. It has given me hope to read about other peoples struggles and realizing that alot of people are going through the same thing. Finally decided to create a profile. My history with psych drugs started in 2007 April after me and my friends got hold of some methamphetamine and I reacted very badly to it(amphetamine psychosis that lasted a few days). Spent a week in a mental hospital and was released with four different meds to take. After being released from hospital I was a mess with severe anxiety, insomnia. I was feeling hopeless and scared to death that I would get another psychotic episode. I finally stabilised somewhat enough that I was able to go to school and continue with my life although I still had a lot of problems. I quit all psych meds in 2011 except citalopram. Ofcourse I tried a fast taper not knowing better and sleeping became impossible. Second time I tried to quit was in late 2013 to early 2014. Again too fast. I got to zero and felt good for a couple months but then was hit with symptoms almost as bad as 2007. I went to the doctor and he put me back on citalopram and also seroquel 25mg at night to help sleep. I got better over time but not as good as before. Over time the seroquel stopped working so I quit taking it propably around 2016. The last few years have been bearable with symptoms coming and going. I dropped my citalopram dose from 30mg to 20mg maybe 2016 end of the year. That didn't feel hard at all. But I made a mistake by dropping to 10mg July 2017. Horrible insomnia again. I kept at that dose for a long time. Somewhat stabilised. Read the tapering info here and decided to try to do it slower. I started tapering around march 2018. About 10% a month, maybe too fast still. I dropped 2.5% every week to make the drops smaller. Did a hold at 3mg during the winter 2018-2019 following advice from my psychiatrist. I got down to 1.52mg just last week. Then I ran into problems. I had worked way too much during the summer and found myself unable to relax or get enough sleep. Even though I had week off from work. Last thursday I was hit with bad anxiety. Couldn't get sleep on sunday night, took 25mg left over seroquel hoping it would help but it just made me worse. I had to call in sick in the morning. Went to a GP and she gave me a recipe for zopiclone which I used in the past for insomnia. She didn't push me to get back on high dose of citalopram, which was surprising to me. I told her about my tapering process and she was a bit confused haha. The last couple nights I've been able to sleep and the anxiety has gone down a bit. Im on sick leave this week. My anxiety was so high that I decided, maybe foolishly, to reinstate at 5mg. I've been on this dose now for three days and I started to wander if this is a too big rise in the dosage, maybe it would be better to take 3mg instead. Im at a loss as to what I should do now. Continue at 5mg, maybe drop down to 3mg? What do you guys think? Much love from Finland, Matti
  7. 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.
  8. Hi. Hoping for some advice. Unfortunately I didn't do my research properly before trying to taper off and discontinue citalopram. See signature. I managed to completely cut the citalopram out at the beginning of April this year and ploughed on through the horrible withdrawal, mostly emotional with mood swings. Mood gradually worsened and at the end of May had a massive crash - couldn't stop crying, the world seemed to be a different place, it looked different, and I could no longer function. Terrified the next morning I took a 10 mg pill of citalopram I had left over from last time. Saw the doctor the following Monday who encouraged me to continue with them. By Friday 7 June, my anxiety levels were that high with constant whooshes of panic that I went back to the doctor. He wanted to up the dose to 40mg but I said I was afraid this would lead to more anxiety. Agreed to up to 20 mg and he prescribed a weeks course of 2mg diazepam to help alleviate the panic. Diazepam helps but the underlying anxiety doesn't seem to be settling. Took the 20mg of citalopram this morning, have hardly been able to function all day. I'm at a loss at what to do. Should I stick at it and hope the citalopram will kick in again? Do I reduce right back down to say 5mg? Do I stop completely and ask for another medication to help stabilise me? I suspect nobody knows the answer. Feeling extremely restless when the diazepam wears off - I can't go on like this 😞
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  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. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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!
  16. Ok so 10 weeks ago i halved my dose of citalopram from 20mg (which i was taking for 1 year) to 10mg after a fast taper for about 4 weeks alternating doses each day from 20mg to 10mg. Which after reading the info on here i now know was a bad idea. At first i felt a bit off but nothing too serious for about 6 weeks. Since then I've gradually felt worse. Syptoms are headache, fatigue, tired, anxiety, irritable, depressed and feeling a bit better for say an hour then feeling like crap again! I have been through a stressful time in my personal life lately and wondoring if it could be that. Im wondering if i should reinstate to my previous dose or hold on 10mg. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  17. 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.
  18. Skyroxy

    SkyRoxy

    Hello just found your site. I wanted to discuss a treatment that has helped me with withdrawal symptoms for coming off antidepressants. I am finding having acupuncture very helpful for reducing some of the symptoms. I was on citalpram for 13 years and last year I was signed off sick from work as I had a breakdown. I was working in a mental health unit and was also dealing with a lot of other stressful personal issues. My dosage was put up and I was better for a month last Summer but then noticed I was feeling a lot worse. I was having panic attacks, agitation, terrible mood swings and real emotional distress. I knew something was really wrong. I googled that long term use for anti depressants can stop working so went to my doctor who unfortunately did not know about withdrawal protocals and told me to come off quickly...3 weeks ... That was last October ...thankfully I am better but did not know about any support groups or how I should have come off anti-depressants and now have found out that this too quick withdrawal may have delayed my recovery. It has been a nightmare. I still am struggling some days, feeling fragile and vulnerable. The first six months I was physically sick and agitated . The one thing that has helped me so much is acupuncture which I have found gives me weeks of relief when I feel balanced and calm and 'my old self' . I have returned to my doctor last Friday and told her that she needs to be more informed about how long withdrawal takes, to find out support for patients, to taper off is the safest way for withdrawal and how very upset and let down I feel at how dangerous the situation is with her lack of knowledge. I hope my suggestion may help some people.
  19. Moderator note: link to Waterfall's members-only benzo thread - Waterfall: What dose to try now: Taking Clonazepam on AD withdrawal Wow. I feel nervous. Like I've just stepped out onto a big stage. With big lights. And the crowd beyond the edge, of the lights, of the stage, is all fuzzy and indistinct, sitting out there in the dark. Is this microphone on? I chose Waterfall for my name, because it's one of those things that can be seen from so many different perspectives. A waterfall can be seen as a wonderful thing of beauty. It can also be seen as destructive, a changing force. It can be a small trickle. I can also be a torrent. They can bring life sustaining water, or they can bring a flood. Some of the greatest waterfalls are considered some of natures greatest wonders. But close up they can also be noisy and wet. It's all in how you look at it. And which waterfall you meet. Anyway. Me. Who am I? Well. A waterfall. Pretty in my own way. And also messy. Changed by the floods and droughts of life. I'm also philosophical, apparently. And I talk a lot. Especially when I am nervous. I've struggled with anxiety since I was 5, or so I'm told. It's been there as long as I can remember. The details blur over the years, but I think the first time I also struggled with depression, that I'm aware of, was in my teens. I've always struggled. Always wondered why I felt so broken compared to everyone else. And why everything seemed extra hard for me. I was first prescribed Wellbutrin as a teen. I no longer remember what I told that doctor. Whether it was more about anxiety. Or depression. But I didn't take it. I was next prescribed Prozac when I was pregnant with my first child, at 21. I didn't take it then either. I first actually took something when I was in my twenties, I took Wellbutrin for 6-9 months. I no longer remember exactly. But other than feeling euphoric about doing something, when I first started it, I never noticed any other change. And since I wasn't supposed to take it and be pregnant, I quit, cold turkey, to become pregnant with my second child in 2010. I have always thought that I felt no symptoms after stopping. None. But now I wonder. I started a downturn in my health mid-pregnancy, beginning a sudden flare up of something akin to eczema or atopic dermatitis, in response to a cream that I had previously never reacted to. In the following months, I reacted to just about everything. Ever soap or cream or perfume I touched. I continued to struggle with general feelings of ill health, for the next several years, until I was pregnant with my 4th in 2014. The whole pregnancy was really tough. I had been pregnant three times before, but this... this time was complete misery. I told myself to survive until the baby was born. And he was. And I crashed. Hard. Really hard. I panicked. And couldn't sleep. And couldn't stay calm. And I was weak. And shaky. And so after a bit of trial and error, they put me on Clonazapam and Citalopram near the end of the year. I used the Clonazapam for a few weeks while they slowly upped the Citalopram to 40 mg. And there I stayed. It was still a struggle for quite some time, but I slowly improved. In 2016, I moved. Spring 2017, I felt like I was slipping again. Slowly feeling worse and worse, and afraid, because I was already on drugs, what would I do if I crashed now? So I went to see a different doctor. She started me on Gaba. And a few other supplements to help with sleep and general health. And then, oh, clever me, I stopped citalopram. In June. Cold turkey. Stupid. I know. I don't know anymore what I was thinking. I only remember that I thought it was a really good idea at the time. And it wasn't a planned thing. I'd missed renewing my prescription, so I hadn't taken it for about a week, so I consulted with this new doctor, and asked her if it made sense to just keep not taking it. She agreed. Gave me a prescription anyway, in case I needed some again, or if I couldn't handle it. I never took any. After that I had a decent summer. I thought all was well. I still struggled, but considering that I can't remember not struggling. Ever. I thought on the whole I was doing pretty good. Kept busy, for me anyway. I've never been able to be as busy as most people seem to be. But we went to the beach a few times. Visits to the splash pad. Some quiet days at home. Somewhere in there the new doctor started me on something called MoodRx that apparently has St. John's Wort in it. Apparently couldn't start that until I had been long enough off of the citalopram. Spent the end of the summer getting lots of veggies and berries into the freezer. Started to get a bit stressed about a visit from the in-laws. Turned my house upside-down in anticipation of their visit. And they came. And all was going well. I felt on top of the world. And then. And then I crashed. Hard. Again. Sept 18. I was spending the day with the kids and my in-laws. First I felt a bit off. But I soldiered on. I panicked in the grocery store. Felt super nauseated. But I calmed down again. Struggled off and on throughout the day until school pick-up for the kids off the bus. Then I lost it. Panicked. And couldn't calm down. Felt absolutely horrible. And I've been struggling hard ever since. Sometimes I think I'm starting to feel better. Other times I think I feel worse than ever. When it first happened, I went to the doctor a lot. We stopped the St. John's Wort stuff. Still not sure if I was having a bad reaction to it, or not. I also stopped, over time, taking everything else. At this point, the only thing I'm taking is 0.25mg of citalopram each morning, just to help me to survive. And I'm starting to try to take some vitamins and minerals again, in the hopes that it will help with some of the symptoms. At this point what makes the most sense to me, particularly in light of what I have read on this site, is that I'm suffering from withdrawal from the citalopram that I stopped back in June. And possibly made worse by a reaction to the St. John's Wort. But I really don't know what' going on. I'm scared. And I just wish I knew what was going on, and what the right thing to do was. One of the biggest things I struggle with is the fear and panic. My biggest trigger is health and physical symptoms. If I had read this site first, maybe I'd have done things differently. I like to think I would have. I also periodically have crying binges, where I just can't seem to help crying, and crying, and crying. And I'm not one who normally cries a lot. But once I've cried for a while, it seems to pass again. I've had some of the darkest, most depressed thoughts. About everything being hopeless. And pointless. Sometimes I just get irritable. One of the other major symptoms is a chest pain I have. They've already listened to my heart. Checked my blood pressure. I've had a general blood work-up twice in the last year. Once this past spring, and once last fall. Nothing came up. My iron isn't low. My blood sugar level is fine. My heart enzymes are good. But my chest hurts. This last week, my heart has started a sort of swoony/weird/almost like a flutter but not really kinda feeling. And this morning I woke up with pain in my back and neck and arm and chest. The worst I've had yet. I could barely get up this morning and I almost couldn't turn my neck. Sometimes when I did, it felt like someone was stabbing in my ear, or in my throat or chest bone. I also struggle with lot of numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. And sometimes my muscles all hurt. And sometimes my joints hurt. And I feel weak. And sometimes shaky. And did I mention panicky? And emotional? Sometimes my vision seems a little funny. Or my hearing. But it comes and then goes quickly. And is gone again. I've developed a cough, and I'm scared because I had bronchitis and strep throat 2 or 3 times last year. And that was still on the meds. And how could I forget the heart pounding? Oh, I have lots of heart pounding. Sometimes I do things, and nothing happens. But so often when I stand up. Or go up the stairs. Or wake up in the morning. Or lie down at night, my heart pounds. And pounds. I don'y know what's causing what. I just want to feel better. I've seen several different doctors. I've also seen a couple different therapists. Mostly they say there is nothing at all wrong with me, except in my head. One told me maybe it was lyme disease. Or maybe not. My main doctor wants me back on more drugs. The second lady I saw recently also wanteed me back on citalopram. I tried. I can't. If I take it. Even one 10mg pill, no matter what time of day, I wake up the following morning, early, panicking, and burning/tingling from head to toe. So my main doctor wants me to try another antidepressant. I don't want more drugs, but I'm not sure I can do without them. I just don't know what to do. Today was one of the roughest days yet. I'm in pain, and I'm panicky, and depressed and it all feels so hopeless. Since 2014, when I saw someone who gave me, for the first time, a diagnosis, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and prescription, after which I improved, my husband now believes that's the answer. My brain is broken, and I need drugs. Don't I see it? That's the only answer. So he's always pushing me to take more drugs. Take more of the clonazapam. Go back on citalopram. Get a new prescription. Just take something already! But I don't want to. Most days i can make it through with only the one Clonzapam. And that's it. But I am having a tough time. I've tried different diet options. I've tired a few different supplements. I just don't know what else to do. I don't know who's ideology to follow. So like I said. Right now, I'm taking 0.25mg Clonazapam every morning. Just to survive the day. And I don't eat dairy, or use any perfume, in order to keep the reactions in my skin to a minimum. I'm trying to take a multivitamin , plus vitamin D, a vitamin B complex, and a multi mineral. I'm most afraid of this chest/neck/back/arm pain right now. I could really use some encouragement and some help deciding which course of action to take. I've done some reading on here already and found some helpful stuff. I'm just wondering what people might have to say that's specific to my case. Feel free to point out specific threads on here that people have already written that may be helpful. And in advance, thank you. Whatever you have to offer, thank you. It's been really tough, and I can use every little bit of help I can get. And to all of you who have struggled and are struggling, I wish you all the best. I wish you health and strength. Some of you are amazing, what you've been through, or are going through, and still making it through the day, I applaud you. Some of the stuff you've dealt with sounds so much worse than what I'm dealing with. I only wish I could be half as tough as some of you are. Keep on keeping on.
  20. Hi there, I'm a 29 year old male from the UK and I'm really glad to have found this site. I've been taking 40mg citalopram for 8 years (since i was 21) for depression since my early teenage years (14 years old). I've considered reducing my dosage for a long time with the goal of coming off and finally took the plunge and yesterday saw a doctor about it. His advice didn't seem particularly good and I've spent the past 16 or so hours reading as much as possible on tapering off citalopram which has led me to this site. Reading about it makes me feel incredibly nervous but I feel like I'm ready as I haven't experienced depression in a long time and am in a good place in my life. My biggest worry about tapering off the citalopram is not so much the withdrawal effects as I'm coming off - but getting it wrong and having persisting/returning depressive symptoms after tapering off and finding the past 8 years of recovery going up in smoke. I'm determined to do this right. I accept the possibility that maybe I'll need to remain on a maintenance dose for the rest of my life, but if that is the case I don't want it to be because I screwed up the tapering process. I was optimistic in seeing the doctor that I'd get the support I need to make the right decisions and do this the right way, but my meeting with him didn't go well. Despite my high dose and fairly long term use he suggested dropping to 30mg for a week, then 20mg for a week, then 10mg for a week and then stopping altogether, 40mg - 0 in one month. Based on everything I've read this sounds like a recipe for disaster. I said this sounded very fast and he told me another option was to drop 10mg at a time and stay at the new dose for a few weeks to see how I get on - so now I have a repeat prescription for 30mg which I started yesterday. Based on what I'm reading it sounds like I should take this dosage for at least 2 months. If the drop to 30mg goes well after 2 months or so I may try and see a different doctor who will hopefully be more helpful. I was told I can only drop down in 10mg increments and 10mg is the lowest available dose, but now I'm reading about people cutting their 10mg in half and I was very interested to read about the liquid solution. I'm not sure if these are available in the UK but if I see another doctor I will enquire, though I'm more interested in that for the drop from 20mg to 10mg to 0 which sounds like where it gets tricky. I'm just starting to read all the different information on this site and will spend some time today going through as much as I can but was wondering if the drop from 40mg to 30mg is too much to start? I was hoping that this drop off wouldn't be too bad to start with and once I'm stable on 30mg I can speak to a different doctor about a slower taper rather than dropping from 30-20mg in one go. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place since doctors seem to absolutely hate any sort of 'self-medication' or people doing things their own way, yet this way seems significantly safer and healthier for both my short and long term health than what's been suggested to me and the limitations that the NHS allegedly puts on the tapering process (no doses smaller than 10mg etc). It's also complicated by the fact that I rely on the NHS and doctors to prescribe me any drugs at all. I look forward to hearing any advice and thank you in advance. QUAD
  21. 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?
  22. 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!
  23. I just want to say its reassuring to read that i'm not the only one who is finding long term withdrawal difficult. I've been off citalopram for 7 months and everyone keeps saying the drug is out of my system and its just my issues that i'm experiencing. I feel like i've tried everything but it doesn't seem to ease. Meditation has helped keep me calm but its the confusion and unconnected feeling all the time that pisses me off Just like everyone who posts on this site i'm hoping it doesn't last much longer
  24. 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.
  25. 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).
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