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wildwood Hello everyone


wildwood

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Hey!

 

I read a lot of topics here already and would like to share my story with you. Also I need some help regarding my long term use of Citalopram.

 

I began using Citalopram in 2008, I was 17 at that time. I felt depressed and had crazy health anxiety with panic attacks. My GP prescribed me 10 mg of Citalopram and since then I am taking it everyday. I changed dosage multiple times, I once was on 40 mg, but came off it after a while when I was feeling better. I tried coming off of it since this year, I was on 30 mg in January and reached 10 mg in late July. I felt good with it, but sadly my SAD kicked in a month ago, my psychiatrist proposed to double the dosage to 20 mg. I felt good after that. But now I came across the topic of "tardive dysphoria" or persistent damage due to long term usage of SSRIs. I am using it for 6 years now and became very scared as I read the studies and articles. I never was a fan of using drugs to improve my mental health, and I want to get rid of Citalopram anyway. So now I want to slowly wean off the Citalopram. I am also scared of the withdrawal symptoms and the possible worsening of my anxiety and mild depression but with the help of talk therapy and lifestyle changes I think I can overcome it.

 

Regards xoxo

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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  • Moderator

Hi wildwood-- welcome to the group.  I'm so glad you found us.  If you have read a lot of the topics here then you probably realize that you were tapering way too fast earlier this year.  The updose to 20mg should have helped tame the symptoms you were feeling.  It would be a good idea to stay on the 20mg for several months to let things stabilize and then start a slow taper.  If the taper is handled correctly there is no need to be scared of the symptoms, and as you are thinking already there are other methods of handling the anxiety and depression.

 

Tardive dysphoria is a very miss understood topic. It is a less common effect of long term use of SNRIs, but is often confused with WD effects caused by tapering SSRIs too quickly.

 

You've probably already read them, but here is some good information about the tapering process:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

If you would add your medical history to signature block it would be really helpful for us to see what is going on:

 

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, wildwood.

 

Did you have SAD before taking an antidepressant? Have you considered light therapy for SAD? See Light boxes for depression and sleep disorders

 

As brassmonkey said, this time your "SAD" might have been a too-fast decrease in citalopram.

 

Quite a few people feel emotional anesthesia while taking an antidepressant and for some time afterward.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

So now I want to slowly wean off the Citalopram. I am also scared of the withdrawal symptoms and the possible worsening of my anxiety and mild depression but with the help of talk therapy and lifestyle changes I think I can overcome it.

 

Hello Wildwood,

 

I think you can too :) and so will many others here.  You can learn to manage the anxiety/depression, and you can taper gently enough to be able to cope with the w/d.  When you are stabilised you can work out the tapering plan with the mods.  Have you seen the non-drug techniques for coping with emotional symptoms thread?  It's a goodie.

 

Welcome to s/a :),

Hugs,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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I had my first two bouts of SAD while I wasn't on Citalopram. On my second bout I was described Citalopram. I always tried waning off it during summertime, which went well until winter kicked in. But when I was in a high dosage in winter, I felt good. Citalopram seemed to help, and it still does. But I don't want to be on meds my whole life. And who knows what damage ADs can do to your body. I'm terrified of tardive dysphoria and don't want to develope it. Chronic treatment resistant depression? Hell no!

I bought a light box this year and I'm using it every day, but you have to wait two or three weeks until you notice a difference.

Thank you so much for your warm welcomes! :)

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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Hi Wildwood,

 

I'm so pleased that you have escaped that particular " hell". Unfortunately, some of us haven't.  I do wish you well in your tapering. Please let us know how you go with your light box.  :)

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thank you AliG! :)  I will keep you updated. Today I went to a traditional Christmas market with lots of beautiful stuff to buy, like cafts, gems and pottery. I was glad to be distracted from my thoughts for a while.

I will taper off my meds more slowly and I really hope that my anxiety or depression won't come back full force.

Good luck to you all as well!

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus
I really hope that my anxiety or depression won't come back full force.

 

 

Best to get in first and be prepared in case you do have further times of anxiety/depression.  That way you are in control, rather than it.  You can get practised at diferent tools for managing them.  You can also look at how things are organised in your life that might be making anxiety more likely.  See what changes you could make.   

 

Just a thought :).  Sounds like you are doing well with your tapering thoughts.

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Thanks, KarenB, I am definitely looking out for stressors in my life, which could possibly trigger anxiety or depression. I've been reading a lot in this forum the last days, and it is amazing to see how people try to cope with their withdrawal, I have a lot respect for them and the ones who reached their goal in being med-free.

Today has been a better day, I noticed that my morning anxiety wasn't that bad as before. My mood has been okay as well, maybe the light box is really doing its job. ^_^ But I'll wait a few more days. I decided to stay on my current dosage of 20 mg for a few more weeks and then start tapering slowly.

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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Hello!

 

I need another advice on whether I should taper off my Citalopram at this time in my life. For half a year now I am doing my university-entrance diploma. In 2008 (age 17) I was suffering from moderate depression and panic attacks and was described Citalopram, which I am using until this date. I began tapering in January this year and got to 10 mg in July, but unfortunately relapsed (not sure if relapse or withdrawal symptom). I'm currently using 20 mg, but decided to have a life without ADs. I read a lot in forums and articles and was shocked by the long and difficult withdrawal symptoms some people have. I really need to finish the diploma (in summer 2018), it's the last chance I have to study at a university. Now the problem is, I'm not sure if I really should taper off in these three years, I'm afraid of withdrawal symptoms or debilitating mental problems like depression and anxiety. But if I use Citalopram for another three years I would be using it for 9 or 10 years! And who knows how difficult it is then to taper off or how much damage my brain would suffer from. Any advice on how I should proceed? Thanks!

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Wildwood.

 

I have merged the new thread you started with your existing one. There is one thread per member policy here so you can post all your questions here. In that way we have your whole situation in one place.

 

You have probably noticed that the vast majority of people on this board joined us after cold turkeying or very abruptly stopping their drugs. I also came here in a similar state. After I reinstated and stabilised I started a slow taper which allows me to do a demanding job and have a reasonable quality of life.

 

So in response to your question of whether it is possible to taper and study I would say yes. The kind of tapering we advise here allows us to stay in control. The main advice is to listen to your body so we can always hold depending on how we feel and how much stress we have in our lives overall.

 

Since you have had quite a few changes in your drug and feel particularly vulnerable in winter if I were you I would hold this dose till spring. That would allow you to stabilise nicely and then you can take it from there really slowly and take all the time you need.

 

In the meantime you can develop your coping strategies even further and inform yourself about the proper way to taper. Your immediate goal doesn't have to be to come off of the drug completely. Even reducing it helps.

 

Best,

Bubble

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, wildwood.

 

Since you have SAD and have only just started using a lightbox, if I were you, I'd wait a bit before tapering. Give the light box a chance, see if it helps.

 

In a month or so, you might consider tapering. But does it make sense to do that at the darkest time of the year?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you Bubble and Altostrata! I think you're right, I should wait a few more weeks until tapering. The thought of it is kind of hard to bear, because I'm ridden by fear the last few days of a possible damage Citalopram can do to my brain (or maybe has already done). I'm so afraid that I might develope Tardive Dysphoria. However, would a few more weeks using it make that much of a difference? I'm not sure. My fear is fueled by my inability to get out of bed the last few weeks and for the last few days I'm on a constant verge of suddenly tearing up. Though this might be due to the 20 mg. I feel better in the evening, but mornings are sooo hard.

 

Nonetheless I already ordered a tablet splitter and will give the thought of how and when I will taper a bit more time.

 

@Bubbles: Thanks for the reassurance that it is possible to go to work or school during tapering, much appreciated! :)

 

I'm doing my best in writing in English, for it is not my native tongue, forgive me for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

 

Best of luck to you all!

wildwood

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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  • Administrator

No, a few more weeks or months will not make a difference. You will want to make sure you can cope without the drug first, before you go to the trouble of gradual tapering.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator

Hey WIldwood, 

 

What Bubble said was important:  we do our best to taper with as few symptoms as possible.  The ones you see in here suffering are (usually) the ones who tapered too fast (usually on doctor's orders), or CT'd, or skipped doses.  There are always exceptions but -

 

If you gather support around you - professionals (Prescribing doctor, therapist, acupuncture, exercise program, meditation), friends, family, and get yourself a web of support around you, you should be ready to taper.  Additionally, you may need to consider addressing the panic attacks - learning methods to survive them without drugs, in case they decide to come back.  Like the link that Karen posted.

 

Also the SAD - most of these drugs deplete Vit D, and in many cases B12, too.  Have you had your Vit D levels checked?  I'm not suggesting you take Vit D, but as someone who has had SAD most of her life (myself) - I find that spending 10 minutes outside each day (I now live in a sub-tropical clime) and vitamin D has reversed the seasonal affliction. (BTW - the 10 minutes outside each day is good for health anyways, even if you don't live in a sunny place)  ALWAYS get levels done before taking Vit D, especially if you have any Antidepressant side effects.  Vit D can be stimulating, and difficult in withdrawal.

 

Additionally, if you start Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil before your taper, it will help prepare your brain and nervous system for a smoother transition.

 

As far as "whether to taper before finishing diploma" - well, it's up to you.  We offer a way to taper only as you need, when you need.  Maybe you will only do reductions during school summer breaks, once or twice a year. Maybe that will give you enough clarity and energy to see it through (I found that any reduction in dose helps with clarity!)   It's your choice how you do this.  You are in a community that will support you, but you have to take the reins and take charge.  

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Mentor

merry christmas wildwood, how are you going.???

 

Any thoughts you have as to how your "therapies" whatever they are are helping, is very, very appreciated by others.  It is winter in Germany,  so your days are short, how is the light therapy going?  My ancestry is German, and gosh, I hate shorter days, and damn I live in Australia!

 

Let us know how it is going in your life

 

And have a wonderful Christmas

Ang

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Ang!

 

It's been a while since I logged in again, sorry I couldn't reply faster! 

 

I felt a lot better in December, starting in the middle of the month. I went on vacation in the Netherlands after Christmas for 10 days, I had a great time. Guess my light box has helped plus I kept being active and doing nice things. Unfortunately I have a spell of post-holiday-depression, which I experienced in April 2015 as well, but which disappeared in two days. Now it takes a little longer, because I obsess about how I'm feeling (easily tearing up and mild anxiety symptoms). But I'm sure that I will get better soon, it already is 70 % better than a few days ago. 

 

Since my SAD or panic attack returned in November, I didn't go to school on a daily basis, which makes it hard for me to get up in the morning and get ready, sometimes it is still very hard. I don't feel depressed in the morning, it is rather a motivational problem. But I will combat this as well. 

 

I hate these shorter days as well, I wish I could be in Australia right now.  :D I miss the sun and the warmth and the abundance in nature. Never been in 'Down Under', but hope I will be sometime in the future.

 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a nice start into 2016 as well.  :)

 

Wildwood

* 2008 * Starting Citalopram 10 mg

* 2009 - 2011 * Increased Citalopram to 40 mg

* 2011 - 2013 * Trying to wean off, big relapse due to other physical condition

* 2013 - 2014 * 30 mg Citalopam every day

* 2014 - 2015 * Trying to weaning off again, reached 10 mg, ignored my SAD problem, relapse in October

* November 2015 * On 20 mg, but decided to wean off again, now trying to combat anxiety with CBT and lifestyle changes. :)

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