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Eleanor: Hello, I'm recovering from 8 years of Celexa.


Eleanor

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Hi all,

 

I'm so happy to have found this forum.  Thank you, admins for your work here!  I wish I had known about all this information when I was using antidepressants!  

 

In 2006, I had been staying home since the birth of my baby, a year before.  When I went back to work, I had a horrible depressive episode - heard voices and all that scary stuff.  I went to my MD who put me on Celexa.  It was great.  I felt like myself within a week.  No voices, able to feel joy, I felt free.  I reconnected with my baby and husband.  I quit my job, so I've been home since then.  The following spring I used my doctor's protocol to wean off the drug over one week, but I ended up crying in the closets again.  So I figured of course I still needed the medicine.  I tried the same thing several times until 2014, so 8 years in total.  My doctors would say I just wasn't ready to come off it, or some people just need to use antidepressants.  In 2014 I read about longer tapering, and so in the summer, starting with 20 mg, I took 3/4 dose for 2 weeks, half dose for 2 weeks, all very fine, and then a quarter dose for 2 weeks.  After that I felt the withdrawal symptoms, so I went back to a quarter dose (5mg) for another 2 months until they were all gone.

 

My symptoms seemed manageable, and I thought over time they would go away.  Mostly the one that bothers me is vertigo, which might not even be the right word.  Not exactly lightheaded or dizzy, I kind of feel it in all my body, like the floor has just dropped away from me, and mostly on my left side.  Sometimes I feel it on my right, but usually it is on the left.  I feel it whenever my emotions are heightened - when my kids talk back, when I run into somebody I know, or meet somebody, or something is funny, or upsetting, or sometimes when I am happy.  It's like a big "swooosh" coming over me.  If it happens while I am walking I feel like I might fall over, which I have a couple times.  It's kind of freaky.  

 

My more minor symptoms are that I am quick to anger, more so than I used to be, I think, it has been so long, would I really remember?  Also that I have a hard time concentrating, but that might just be a side effect of being home for 10 years!  I hope that once I start working and having a more orderly life that my brain will respond positively.

 

I've had an unusually emotionally strenuous week (good things, just big and intense), and I've noticed a definite uptick in the frequency of these "swooshy" moments, and I find this distressing.  I think they should be decreasing, should be done by now.  I am so upset nobody told me there could be long term side effects, or that there was a better way to taper off.  I'm sure that's a common feeling around here!

 

Being on Celexa was not so bad.  I did not have a lot of side effects from the drug itself.  But I had no ambition.  No desire to return to work. Maybe 3 babies was enough work?  All I know is as soon as I came off Celexa I remembered that part of me is this analytic person who likes to get stuff done and I immediately wanted to start work again.  Also I have a full range of emotions which had dulled a little bit over the years of using the medicine.  In 2013 I began feeling very sleepy and was wondering if that was a side effect of Celexa, and that was really what pushed me to try to get off the drug.

 

Last year, I had a minor episode of depression and anxiety.  I went to a counselor who helped me identify what was going on, and I did not feel I needed to return to the use of medicines.  I just needed to be able to name what I was feeling, and then I could cope.

 

I have been off my medication since the fall of 2014, and am starting to worry that the withdrawal symptoms are permanent.  My husband thinks I should go to a doctor, again, but I fear I will only be told to go back on the drugs, which I am loathe to do because of what they have done to me, and because of the part of me that they will cover up again.  

 

If I do seek medical intervention, which kind of doctor should I go see at this point?  Thanks for "listening!"  I don't know if I should just stay the course at this point or seek some help.

 

 

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Welcome Eleanor...i am so glad you found sa too.

Your story is very common...it was all so confusing at the time for me too ...the wheels of my life falling off and i had no idea.

Wow you have done so well to be 1.5 yrs drug free if i read it right.

 

You might like to , Please put your withdrawal history in your signature to help the moderators.

 

Last year, I had a minor episode of depression and anxiety.

What you are decribing is a drug withdrawal wave not a psychological distress imo.

Wdl occurs with windows and waves, see here

Check out non drug ways to cope here.

 

My husband thinks I should go to a doctor, again, but I fear I will only be told to go back on the drugs,

i feel pharma have a secret weapon in wdl and it is family members.

Personally i would stay safe and keep away from the medical profession for the outcome will be as you predict.

 

You are doing so well as you say My symptoms seemed manageable, and I thought over time they would go away.

You are doing great to manage this and in time you are right they will go away ..it can take years. Stay strong. You are doing it.

 

I reckon go with that voice that says 'Stay the course',  and ignore all other voices.

oh yeah talking about voices ...thanks for adding your voice to this site.

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Eleanor,

 

You've already been given a fine welcome and helpful links by our veteran member NZ11.  I'm also glad you are here - I'm sure you'll find the info and support you need.

 

At this stage, I'd agree that staying the course is your best bet.  You've done so well in doing a slower taper than doctors usually recommend, and then taking care of yourself (plus 3 babies!!) all this time.  You clearly have some serious strength going on in that heart of yours. 

 

It does take longer than we'd think for the symptoms and waves of symptoms to leave us.  It's because our brains are so delicate, and the healing and rebuilding can't be rushed.  Your brain is doing a thorough job of getting itself back in order.  You might find some reassurance by learning about neuro-plasticity and brain-remodeling and withdrawal syndrome.

 

The w/d symptoms will not be permanent.  You'd probably be better to focus on building up your ability to manage anxiety/depression.  That can be a real game-changer for people.  We have a lot of discussion and tools in Non-drug Techniques for managing emotional symptoms.

 

What is really needed in people's lives is community, connection, acceptance that there will be hard times, and acceptance that we can't all be 100% hard working/getting on with it 100% of the time.  We need to focus on building strength into our selves, and care and gentleness.  When this is our platform, then the rest is more likely to work out.  A doctor's pill can only ever mask things.

 

I hope that some of that is helpful to you.  Please feel free to come back to this thread to discuss things further, or ask more questions. 

 

Karen

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

But I had no ambition.  No desire to return to work. Maybe 3 babies was enough work?  All I know is as soon as I came off Celexa I remembered that part of me is this analytic person who likes to get stuff done and I immediately wanted to start work again.  Also I have a full range of emotions which had dulled a little bit over the years of using the medicine.  In 2013 I began feeling very sleepy and was wondering if that was a side effect of Celexa, and that was really what pushed me to try to get off the drug.

 

I have been off my medication since the fall of 2014, and am starting to worry that the withdrawal symptoms are permanent.  My husband thinks I should go to a doctor, again, but I fear I will only be told to go back on the drugs, which I am loathe to do because of what they have done to me, and because of the part of me that they will cover up again.

 

The lack of ambition, emotional blunting and sleepiness are common side effects, that can appear gradually over time.  You are right about the drugs covering up a part of you.  I hadn't heard it put that way before, but you're right, that's what these drugs do. 

 

You are right, doctors are very likely to prescribe you more meds.  There are non-med options that can help with depression and anxiety.  It's great that you tried counselling and it helped. 

 

I don't think your w/d symptoms are permanent, but they could take a long time to go away.  Generally, things get better over time, but usually with good and bad patches along the way (often called "windows" and "waves" here).  Hang in there, stay away from meds, and look after yourself.  Be kind and gentle to your nervous system - you have noticed how symptoms can worsen with too much stimulation.  Be patient, give your body time to sort itself out.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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