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nick1990: citalopram crap

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nick1990

Thank you Ali. Im feeling really worried about the future. Like I only tapered from 50mg to 40mg in 4 weeks and im still dealing with crap, 8 months later (6 months after the updose to 45mg) this is soooo tough and im reading about how the lower doses are even more difficult. I really feel concerned. I cannot fathom dealing with this for years. And to get tougher on lower doses ? I couldn't handle it .

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JanCarol

Hey Nick - 

 

It does get better.  Just because you have to be more careful at lower doses - doesn't mean that you won't feel exponentially better at those lower doses.

 

Be patient and kind to yourself.  Take your time.  It does get better.  

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nick1990

Thank you jan. Today started off a bit better but moderate anxiety again. Its really horrible. Real teary and want to see mum but im at work again. It really feels like ive worked so hard to get better and have. And now Im scared and hopeless again . I have to ask though, can I avoid this crippling anxiety during the remainder of my taper if I go slowly?

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Petunia

Hi Nick,

The reasoning behind tapering slowly and carefully is so you can avoid symptoms and remain functional, so the answer is yes.

 

The idea is to pay attention to your body and symptoms and adjust the taper accordingly. Some people need to really slow down as the dose gets lower. Possibly making cuts between 1% - 5%.

 

Here are some related topics:    The slowness of slow tapers

 Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

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nick1990

Hey thanks Petunia! Yesterday and todAy very much better. Still anxious thoughts but just applying cbt and stay busy till they pass.

 

I want to take this time to apologize for my crazy desperate behavior when in a panic stAte. My whole reality shifts and logic is out of the question. Sorry for being such a pain and here's hoping I wont need to do it for much longer :)

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nick1990

Rainy day here today. Working in probably the busiest cafe north of Auckland. It sucks. Lol. Anx/panic hasn't arisen for the last 4 days. But in a low mood. Depressed and having derealisation and over thinking. This seems to be the common theme after a panic attack. Not in a good head space but able to function which is nice. The other day I mentioned I was having these tingling feelings run through me when I listened to music/ had a meaningful interaction with someone. I realised that its chills down my spine. Good feeling but happening too often. Has anyone had this before? Having very long sleeps too

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nick1990

Alright, so has been 2 weeks since last panic attack. This seems to be a common theme. Long spells of no panic. The last week has been o.k . Life wise, I did a massive trip down south with my mate and surfed for 3 days after working all week. Now im back at work today after 5 hours of driving home last night. Been having some mild wd symptoms pop up now and then. Especially when im tired. Get about 2-3 seconds of tinnitus every second or 3rd day. Getting the odd headache too. But very infrequent. Still feeling a little bit of derealisation but better than it had been. Sleeping really well. All in all wd symptoms are very mild, but I am still getting good doses if anxious thinking, and a slightly depressed mood. These two things are what im really struggling with. Im thinking of going back to cbt but not sure if that will help. I normally feel better by lunch and feel almost fine in the evening's. Will this anxious, irrational thinking and depression lift as I completely stabilize? Its really making me quite miserable. I know that alot of people on here are literally fighting for their livesband I feel like a bit of a nancy complaining but this type of thinking and depression scares me. Its not me, and I didn't have this consistently when stable on drugs. Will it pass? Its really bringing me down :( thanks all

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KarenB

It does pass Nick.  It's just a hell of a lot slower than we'd like.  I like to think of the fact that healing is happening in my brain all the time - and w/d symptoms are signs of this.  So hard to accept when you're feeling down, so thank god for windows :)

 

I'd try lots of stuff for anxiety - CBT, dancing, singing, meditating.  Whatever appeals.  That way something is more likely to work, and also I really think these things work in an integrative way, each enhancing the others.  Whenever I sing I picture little bits of my brain being soothed, and I also think anything that can soothe us will contribute to our healing. 

 

Nick you're actually doing really well - nothing in nature ever stays the same, so be encouraged, and just keep finding your way along.  Your brain would be working to heal itself even if you weren't trying to get it to happen.  It's like a forest after a fire, when all the little green sprouts push through.  Nature knows what it's doing. 

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nick1990

Hey all. Just posting a brief update. I feel I have turned a corner ( a good corner) over the last couple weeks. Im still having odd waves but very manageable. Most of the time im calm now. And generally my mood is good. Feeling a lot more hope and excitement for life in general. I think im really on the verge of stabilizing. Not planning on tapering for a good while still just to give my system a well deserved rest. Thanks all . Nick.

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nick1990

Hey all. Little wave this week. Less intense than last one :) felt panic arrising but it didnt come! Seem to clear within a couple days. Then I enter normal for a few weeks. Im calling them normal as I feel like they're me. And every so often im having a wave. So its normal and waves for me now instead of windows and waves.

Something on my mind though - this all started from making a 10% drop followed by another 10% drop 4 weeks later. Isn't this whats recommended? Is it possible that if id held that first drop for say 8 weeks I may have avoided this all together?

 

The reason that I think this has taken so long is cause I reinstated after 3 months, even though I was seeing significant improvements beforehand. I think that if I has just waited on the reduced dose I would have been better off for it.

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LexAnger

 

The reason that I think this has taken so long is cause I reinstated after 3 months, even though I was seeing significant improvements beforehand. I think that if I has just waited on the reduced dose I would have been better off for it.

 

Hi Nick,

 

what I learned from my lex experience is: During tapering, each time I increase dose, regardless how tiny (even 1%), I would start a huge decline of the entire wellbeing with tons very severe new symptoms (core ones are mentioned in your signature after your reinstate with 'immediately tired, drowsy, fuzzy and cloudy').

 

I increased dose before my taper without problems.

So what I now believe is, once my system is sensitized by the WD, I should NEVER reinstate. The damage is way too greater than just going through WD alone.

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nick1990

Hi Lex. Again I dont believe our experiences were/are similar. I didnt have an adverse reaction to my updose - I felt foggy and drugged. Because thats how these things make you feel when they're introduced (just read npanth blog) .. im saying that I think that updosing just destabilized me further and hence still having the odd wave 7 1/2 months after the updose. I feel im nearly there though..

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nick1990

Something on my mind though - this all started from making a 10% drop followed by another 10% drop 4 weeks later. Isn't this whats recommended? Is it possible that if id held that first drop for say 8 weeks I may have avoided this all together?

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LexAnger

You are right Nick. Just to share my experience in case you may think it's helpful.

We know the best of what is going on with each of us.

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nick1990

Thanks lex :) sorry if that came across harsh at all

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LexAnger

Not at all. Our goal is same for you to get off with least pain.

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brassmonkey

Hey Nick-- I'm so glad to hear that you're stabilizing.  The 4 weeks we recommend is the minimum time a person should hold between drops. Some people can get away with it, while others have trouble.  Anything less is almost sure to cause problems.  Unfortunately, the only way to fine tune a taper is by painful trial and error, which is why we stress to never rush things.  There is a chance that a longer hold could have prevented your crash, but it is just a likely that the 10% cuts were just too big a bit to take.  There are so many variables and unpredictable reactions it's impossible to second guess.  

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nick1990

Thank you Brass :) I think that i will taper the way you did but maybe with an extra week or two in between. Im hoping this will result in minimal withdrawal symptoms. Its like i never really even felt the first 3 different 10% drops that were well spaced out but then got smashed by the 4th one 4 weeks after the 3rd reduction. Or do you think once stable a 5% drop would suffice? I just want to do everything in my power to avoid putting myself in this situation again. I want to taper comfortably and safely

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nick1990

And the way that you drop brass - the 2.5% every week, would that affect the brain/nervous system differently than doing a 10% drop every 4 weeks? Obviously it would be a slower and more subtle way for your brain to adapt but would the difference between the 2 methods be significant? Had you ever tried a 10% taper?

Many thanks, Nick.

 

P.s one thing i haven't mentioned in my WD journal is that i have been having REALLY vivid dreams (odd nightmare) almost every night for the last 2 weeks. Still sleeping really well but waking up once or twice. Get back to sleep quickly though . Its not really a hinderance, more just interesting how vivid they are. Last night i had like 5 different dreams!

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brassmonkey

The whole point of the Brassmonkey Slide is to minimize the symptoms.  My thinking was that a 10% drop will give you a certain amount of symptoms because of the shock it gives your system. By cutting the size of the drop you cut the amount of shock and that cuts the amount of symptoms. Sorta like pulling the bandaid slowly instead of fast.  I think the less shock to the system the better, by staying stable the body has an easier time recovering from each drop. It doesn't have to fight as hard.  

 

I only started doing straight 10% drops when I got to 0.8mg (1mgpw = 0.08mgia) because I could only weigh out doses in 1mg increments. When I got to 2.9mg I had to switch from 4 cuts per slide to 3, then at 1.9mg switched to 2 cuts per slide. The percentages got all strange because of the limitations of the scales, and now that I'm under 0.8mg the cuts are progressively bigger than 10%. But I never tried a full 10% drop at the higher doses.

 

To be honest I really miss the vivid dreams.  There was the occasional nightmare, which was pretty upsetting, but the rest of the time they were pretty interesting, and sometimes pretty darn hot.  It did take some doing to distinguish them from reality sometimes, but when I thought about them I knew that I really couldn't have been in those situations IRL.

 

Once you're good and stable and ready to taper I think a 5% slide would be a good place to start. 1.25% a week for 4 weeks and then a nice hold.  See how that goes a couple of times and then make adjustments if necessary.

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nick1990

Hey all. Not reallly a wd question here but I think you guys are most knowledgeable on these subjects so I will ask.

Its been clearly established that these meds lead to increased depression and anxiety. Now, I have what ive been told is Ocd. Im not compulsive really. But I have obsessive quAlities. For instance, I feel bad or worried about something and I can reallly dig myself into a MASSIVE hole. Feel anxious about the thought or the idea. Which we know leads to more anxiety. Just an example. A few years ago I went through a stage of "imagining" I was gay. It was triggered by something - cant remember what exactly, and then spirals into obsessive thought. Constant checking and reassuring, which really does nothing but feed the cycle. It caused me great discomfort for a couple of months. Then I got distracted by life and it passed. Looking back on it now - the idea that id feel anxious or concerned about such a thought seems laughable, but at the time, it was sooo real. This has happened now for the last 7 years on and off, about a whole variety of things which ive turned into a big deAl in my head. I have found distraction and living ( lol) to be the cure for this. Too much spare time, being inactive and its like I go in to "ocd" mode. Its funny, my bro has the same issue too, but not to my degree, he also takes citalopram. Me and him have been told that we need to keep busy forever in order to keep this from popping up.

What do you guys think? Is this a real thing? Or is it a creation of the drugs? Are the drugs and their anxiety promotion leading to this? And could the SLOW removal of these things result in a lessening of "ocd" symptoms? I don't mind keeping active constantly but it just doesn't seem like the answer ..

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KarenB

We all have such different journeys Nick.  Being able to keep busy and just living life is obviously important, but it is equally important to be able to quietly sit with yourself and your thoughts and just 'be' with what is.  Otherwise you're just running all the time.

 

For myself, sometimes what comes up is uncomfortable, but it's still important for me to sit with it, recognise it, and add it to my overall view of myself. And then, instead of running off to distract from it, I try to practice living my life with those uncomfortable understandings in mind.  Not easy!!  I do a kind of commentary as I go, eg 'Okay, I've been sitting in my room, I'm upset because I don't want to acknowledge that there is still a lot of pain in my life, it's making me irritable, and here I go into the kitchen and now I'm cooking tea, and yes, I'm still acknowledging that there is pain in me.  Chopping carrots, aware of that pain, carrots in the bowl, aware that I have skills to deal with it, peeling spuds, I can live and be in pain at the same time.."  And so on. 

 

After some time - days, weeks, months? - of being aware I usually find I don't need to run from it anymore because it loses the power to scare me.  It can still be uncomfortable, or painful of course, but it's manageable. 

 

You would need to find your own way to integrate your issues, but it sounds like you have become aware than constantly running won't work forever.  That's a good first step. 

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nick1990

cheers Karen :) Some very valid points. I have found that its only when I'm in an Anxious/Depressed mood that i feel any OCD thoughts. When I'm not, I'm fine. But i think my Anxious/depressed moods are from the drugs. In fact I'm 99% sure of it. Hence why I'm so excited to get rid of these things. I have had a "mini" wave this week. As in a little low/depressed mood and felt anxious today for the first time in weeks but it was maybe 1/10 severity.  Im still going to wait a bit longer to see these waves fade completely. Then restart a safe, slow taper. 

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AliG

Nick.  We all have our own individual reactions to these drugs, but there is also a lot of common ground that seems to be quite universal , so it can be helpful in a lot of ways to learn from others' experiences .

 

I can only speak from my own experience in that as I have moved further away from the drugs, I find that the anxiety, neuro- emotions and depression that they caused are gradually receding into the background of my life. Previously, they were very much " front & center". I too, can look back now and think what was I "on about " in certain situations. It was the drugs !

 

As I have gone forward , it has become abundantly clear to me that it all came from the A/D 's. It  continues to drop away the longer I'm off them. These drugs do indeed create the symptoms they were meant to be a treatment for. 

 

As you said , it can feel so real at the time but in retrospect as you've already experienced, it is " smoke & mirrors". It's the drugs. I think as you drop further down in your dose some of your OCD symptoms might slowly start to regress. They were probably brought on by the drugs anyway, and possibly it's just transitory. In the meantime, distraction can be a good thing.

Ali 

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nick1990

I like you Ali! Its like you reinforce what I already thought I knew. Thanks for that.

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nick1990

Hey Team!

 

So - WD has finally "almost" come to an end (i think) , Its been a LONNNNGGGG time coming but i feel I'm pretty much back to where i was before i tapered too quickly. 

Had a tiny hiccup of mild anxiety about 2/3 weeks ago but was 1/10 severity. Im still going to wait a few more weeks at least to make sure no symptoms arise. 

 

I was hammered by a flu/cold bug this week - which made me feel crap. physically and mentally. Very foggy. Anyway thats almost gone now...

I feel foggy still but its like brain fog and I've had it for years. Im trying to discern between the brain fog being from presence of drugs or from wd. Still having some days of low mood and anxious thinking. But i too had this before my fast taper. So its all very confusing - telling the difference between the wd and the drug side effects.. Either way i know I've gone from a REALLY bad place of 9/10 panic, anx and depression to 1/10 on a bad day. 

 

I have noticed when i started experiencing WD and was on a lower dose that when the symptoms weren't present (windows) i felt so much more clarity. more passion for life . I am lacking that now, I want clear thoughts , i want clarity and passion. Of coarse I'm hoping and expecting these things will start to come back and the fogginess/ hungover feeling to dissipate as i start tapering slowly.

 

I don't want to start tapering yet as i want to give my body a rest for a bit - but I'm also eager to start reducing this poison from my system. I have to say I'm certainly anxious about resuming tapering. But from all the good info i have now got, i think i have no need to be. Still - i do feel underlying worry.,

 

Anyway thanks for all the help through the WD journey. It was LIFE CHANGING. Here's to hoping the rest of my taper is a lot more positive 

 

<3

Nick

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AliG

Nick.  It's nice to see that you are feeling positive and that some of your symptoms are lessening.  Holding is probably a very wise move until you're fully stable and then a slow taper : possibly 5% as previously mentioned. 

I'm hoping that if you take it slow , some of your brain fog will lift as well as a resurfacing of your clarity and passion. It all takes time but it is infinitely worth it , in the long run as you're already experiencing.

I hope it continues to go well.

Ali 

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nick1990

Pretty much 11 months to the day that this all began. Not much to report. Maybe feeling a bit more normal that a few weeks ago. Had about 3 hours sleep on Monday night - only cAuse I had a bad back. I dont know if its related to lack of sleep but had a bit of a wave on Tuesday. Minor anxiety but was short lived. I booked flights to the gold coast for a week . Going at the start of July. This is again a big sign that I have mostly recovered from WD. 4 months ago - the thought of going overseas was scary ! Now im excited! Will be back by July 11th so going to see how it all goes and very possibly resume tapering once home :) planning on meeting up with my best 3 mates in Bali in September for 4 weeks. So just working hard saving money ..

Hope your all well

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scallywag

Great news and enviable travel plans, nick! Thanks for letting us know.

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Flowers

Hi Nick

 

Came across your thread and it is interesting that we have had so many similar experiences with taking, too fast tapering and stabilising on  Citalopram.

 

I was like you, a bit scared to start tapering and I didn't do it for a year until I felt ready.

 

I also had great improvements in anxiety and started to travel again. It wasn't always easy but made me feel so good that I had done it! I started to get my confidence back.

 

I think you are doing absolutely the right thing taking things so slowly. I too want the drugs out of my body but only if my body is ready!

 

I started tapering a few months ago now and am doing 5% cuts  each month (or longer if I feel it is necessary). So far things are going well.

 

It was great to read that you are feeling so much better - enjoy your travels and old friends. You are getting your life back!

 

Best Wishes.

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nick1990

Hey Flowers.

Thankyou so much for your message. Its so good to hear from someone else with such a similar drug story. Awesome to see that your doing well with your taper. May it continue to the last drop!

 

Have you noticed any subtle changes since your dose has been reduced?

When I tapered too fast I had some AMAZING windows. Clear headed, mood better, more passion and humour as well as better social interactions :)

 

Unfortunately that all ceased as I had to updose..

 

Anywat, starting to look forward to tapering :)

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KarenB

Really good to hear how things are going Nick - enjoy your travels and come back rested :).

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Flowers

Hi Nick

 

Well, like you I felt so much better when I did the too fast taper until I got down to 10mgs per day. That's when the trouble started and I just got worse until I updosed and thankfully eventually stabilised.

 

At the moment, and it is early days,  I am feeling good! I have been able to live a fairly normal (?!!!) life and am enjoying socialising and seeing a little more of Spain and managing to travel alone to UK to see friends and family. I must admit in the depths of WD I never thought I would ever be this well again.

 

Emotionally I feel a little more in touch with my feelings that were numbed by Citalopram for so long.

 

I only have positive vibes about the slow taper. 

 

You are doing so well. Enjoy what your summer travelling will bring.

 

xxxxx

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nick1990

Wasn't going to post but may as well. Had a bit of a wave last few days. When I say bit I meen minor. Still some mild depression/ anxiety. But not "stop me in my tracks" symptoms. Glad I hadn't tapered yet as obviously there's a little more healing to get through. Still having vivid dreams and had a two second burst of tinnitus the other day. Have started up b vitamin multis and iron again. As well as high dha fish oil. I want to wait until I felt pre wd before I resume tapering. Is that feasible do you all think? I know that if the journey is done right from the start it can be much easier. Considering I made a big muckup last year I now am waiting til I go back to pre wd before tapering - essentially doing it right from the start is what im aiming for

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scallywag

Glad to hear that your symptoms continue to be minimal and tolerable, Nick.
 

I tried to see what your current dose is and when you made the last cut.  Would you take a minute or two to update your signature? When your introduction thread gets to 3 pages and more, it can be difficult for the moderating team to get the full picture; without an updated signature we have re-read your entire thread. Thanks in advance. :)

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nick1990

Done Scallywag. Thanks for that

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