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Liquid Intro. Citalopram Withdrawal.


Liquid

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Well, here goes nothing.

 

I've been antidepressant hopping ever since the very first medication I took, which is 10mg of Citalopram. I started the medication because of a recommendation from my GP at the time to take the edge off the mild anxiety and social anxiety that I dealt with. I was on it for about 2 months and didn't really notice a change in myself other than some ED issues that were presented from taking the drug. I decided to discontinue the drug and was fine for about 3 days. On the third day I experienced the very first panic attack of my life which has lead me on a 7 year journey on and off meds, juggling between startup side effects and withdrawal symptoms. The longest drug I was on was Effexor XR for about 4-5 months.

 

The worst drug for me has been Citalopram, which I have now been on for about a total of 4-5 times. This last time has been the absolute worst, with new symptoms that I have never experienced on any medication before and severe anxiety. The new symptoms are mental confusion, slurred speech, severe DP/DR, Hair began to fall out, OCD and almost psychosis-like symptoms, intrusive thoughts, memory issues, cognitive impairment (being unable to problem solve/rationalize or think analytically, and just generally unable to think straight), blurred vision and pressure behind the eyes, and increased blood pressure. This last time I was on it for about 6 weeks before I decided to discontinue it and I'm 11 days off thus far. 

 

After ceasing the Citalopram, a lot of the side effects have waned, I look much healthier, my hair has stopped falling out, and my BP is back to normal. But I'm left with CONSTANT repetitive OCD-like thoughts that just trample through my mind constantly and trap me in an anxious worry loop. I feel as though the Citalopram has affected my perception of reality. The entire 6 weeks I was on it I felt like I was on another planet entirely, constantly forgetting where I was, feeling trapped and almost as if I wasn't in control of my mind or body. I began to experience "mind chatter," which I initially worried was schizophrenia, because I was hearing my subconscious speak back to me inside my own head through my fears. For example I would think to myself "Everything is okay, you've got this," and then I would experience an immediate thought in my own voice "No you don't." This terrified me the first time it happened. This has also stopped since discontinuing the Citalopram, although I still have memory habit of it and can see the words or almost remember it happening every time I have a similar thought.

 

I find myself randomly experiencing bizarre thoughts based around anxiety, but it's more on the basis of mental confusion and not really knowing whats bothering me other than feeling out of it or unable to think straight/be in the moment. I have constant thoughts that stream through my head like "You will never be able to concentrate on anything else other than these thoughts. You will be forever trapped in anxiety, not feeling like you, unable to enjoy life."

 

Even when I dismiss these thoughts, they push back into my mind and it feels as though I have no control over them, even when I decide that they are just anxiety. I've slowly began to accept that these symptoms were brought on by the medication as I have never experienced this problem in my life. I'm worried that I'm going to be this way forever. Each thought is accompanied by immediate panic, before I even have time to react, almost as though my nervous system is in a constant state of hyper-arousal. It seems like ANY worrying thought that would otherwise have caused a mild worry reaction now causes immediate panic. And this panic is a strange panic, it's a severe sense of going insane and worrying about my sanity because everything feels so strange and foreign.

 

These uncontrollable racing thoughts are easily my worst symptom.. They've made me lose faith and confidence in myself, which has resulted in me feeling as though I have no control over them or the way that I feel because I immediately cringe at them, even when I know what they are and prepare myself for them.. When the thoughts trigger, my entire world falls apart and I feel trapped in my mind, unable to rationalize as I used to or think through the thoughts as just thoughts. I hate the person I've become because of these meds and wish I would have never taken them.

 

I'm worried that I have some sort of permanent brain damage that was caused by the constant on/off with the drugs and cold turkey-ing. I've decided to NOT go back on them this time, ever. My family has been very supportive and they have all seen the changes, as well.. Everyone says they are looking forward to seeing a drug-free me when we can distinguish what my issues are versus the drug withdrawal/side effects.

 

Do the racing, uncontrollable thoughts ever stop? I have never had OCD issues in my life.. They first started years ago after the first time on Citalopram based around being unable to STOP controlling my breathing. Somehow it became a trigger and I couldn't just give control back to my body. I guess this is considered Sensorimotor OCD? I've worked through this in therapy and it is no longer an issue, for the most part.. But I've never been off meds for longer than maybe a month, so I have hope that all of these issues will slowly fade into nothing but memory if I'm off of them for a few months, but I can't shake this feeling that this time is different and I'm stuck this way after the meds.. Stuck feeling like I have no emotions, I can hardly feel anything even when I have emotions like anger or sadness, they are so dulled that they almost don't even feel like they are mine. I feel a constant sense of being on another planet likened to DP/DR, inability to think and converse as I used to, my short term memory is all but gone. 

 

I feel so incredibly lost and scared. I know that the withdrawal has started because I began to experience those dreaded brain zaps/head whooshes about 2-3 days ago, mainly at night or when stressed. I had a decent day yesterday because I was out and distracted, but at the end of the night when I usually have lessened anxiety, the thoughts barraged me and overwhelmed me. I worked through it and went to bed, only to wake with a sudden random panic attack for absolutely no reason. I woke up in a confused state, my mind in a panic, couldn't breathe and drenched in sweat, feeling numb and faint. I handled it fine and it only lasted about 5 minutes before the calm came and I managed to go back to sleep. The problem here is that I do not have panic attacks, the only panic attacks I have ever had have always been induced either by medication startup or withdrawal and they are absolutely random and without trigger, usually at night in a dead sleep.

 

I could really use some support.. Does it get better? Have I permanently screwed myself and caused brain damage because I've switched on and off so many different antidepressants over the last 7 years or so?

 

Meds I've taken: Citalopram 20mg (Multiple times, 2 months max), Effexor XR 75mg (Twice, 4 Months), Zoloft 37.5mg? (2 weeks), Luvox 50mg (2 weeks), Wellbutrin 75mg (3 weeks), Paxil (3 Days), Viibryd 10mg (1 Day), Lexapro 10mg (3 Weeks).

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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Welcome to SA liquid,

 

I'm so sorry you are going through this, as we all know it's not fun at all. If you could fill in your drug signature under your profile it will help the mods and members get a better understanding of how to help. You have tried a few different meds and your cns has become unstable. When you fill your sig in try to add dates and how long to the best of your ability. Celexa is a monster that I'm fighting right now and understand very much where your coming from, sit tight and a mod will be by shortly to help you along. You have found the right place with a lot of support and kind people going through the same as you. Hang in there!! Ali

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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Thank you for the support, Ali. 

 

I'm honestly really new to all of this and I'm trying to learn about what is happening to me. I didn't realize that SSRI withdrawal was such a widespread and severe issue. I'd love to get some tips on how to cope and overcome these issues. Do you have to be on a single pill for a long time to suffer from prolonged discontinuation syndrome? The last time I was pill free for around 4 weeks, I didn't have any of these issues that I do now. Since then, the longest I have been on an SSRI was around 5 weeks or so, Citalopram 20mg. I was on 75mg Venlafaxine before that for around 3 weeks. These two pills have mentally destroyed me and have sapped me of all self-confidence. :\ I feel like I'm a shell of who I used to be. In the thick of it life began to not matter and I became very suicidal. I've slowly improved but I feel stuck at this point in the anxiety and panic. I feel so trapped in my own head all the time.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Liquid , welcome to the site. Thanks for filling in your signature.

 

There's alot of reading to do to understand what's happened to you , so I'll point you in the right direction

to start.

 

All of the meds. you've noted change the way your brain works to some extent. They all come with instructions

from the manufacturers that they should not be stopped abruptly , but they don't go into much detail about why.

If the drugs are suddenly removed , your brain isn't able to tolerate it , and the symptoms you've experienced

each time you stop are evidence of this. Most doctors don't understand this ... they advise people it will be

fime to stop after a week or two. Then when the withdrawal symptoms start to escalate , they say it's a return

of the original condition , and prescribe more meds , higher doses.

 

Each time you start and stop a different medication , your brain is flailing around trying to establish some sort

of equilibrium.

So , each time you stopped a med. without tapering , within a few months your symptoms were bad enough that you

went onto something else. The more times you've done this dance , the more fragile your central nervous system

becomes.

 

The way out of the cycle will involve reinstating a small dose of citalopram (? please clarify how long you took

citalopram for in 2015). By small dose , I mean 1mg. Once you have stabilized on 1 or 2 mg , you can then taper

slowly , decreasing by 10% per month. This is the way many members here are tapering off without getting really

sick.

 

Please read the following links , and come back here with quetsions.

 

"Why Taper" http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

" Why taper by 10% of my dosage?" http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

"Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist" http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

"About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms " http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

"Diagnosis of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome " http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/325-diagnosis-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

That's probably enough to get you started.

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hello, Fresh.

 

Thank you for the information, I went through and read everything, but still remain a little confused. 

I am mainly seeing reports of physical symptoms and some mood oriented symptoms when it comes to withdrawal.. I'd say mine are far more mental. When I started the Citalopram, I was in a very bad place as far as anxiety goes.. The Citalopram not only increased my anxiety during the duration that I was on it, but also caused some strange new cognitive symptoms.. I began having "mind chatter" and intrusive thoughts constantly.. And not just in the violent or abnormal category, but just constant thoughts ABOUT my anxiety or the way that I feel, popping into my head. Constant thoughts like questioning myself, every single thought, what goes on in my mind.. It became this strange sort of metaworry symptom and it feels very strange and introverted. 

 

This lasted all day while I was on the Citalopram but has slowly began to decrease since discontinuing.. But I still have bouts where it just attacks me out of the blue and I cant think and I feel trapped in my head. Its just a constant barrage of intrusive thoughts, I feel like I can't slow down my mind or control my thoughts, they push past my own thoughts and feel almost automatic.. I've NEVER had this problem before in my life, even at the worst of my anxiety.. I've never had an issue with automatic thoughts that feel THIS intense and cause such an incredibly debilitating panic response. I think I've noticed the correlation with the meds, but I can't help worry that this is me now and that the meds unlocked something in my head to cause these intrusive thoughts and that now I am stuck with them forever.

 

They aren't just intrusive thoughts, though.. This is how they begin and it escalates to me feeling unable to control my mind or think about anything else, I can't focus or concentrate on anything around me, not even a little bit.. I begin to feel trapped and cant stop any of it, I just have to ride out the pain and fear of the thoughts and being disconnected. It feels like everything goes black and my mind races with fear. It eventually just kind of passes on its own and seems to be without trigger.. I'm about 12-13 days off of Citalopram, could this possibly be withdrawal? Is this just going to be me forever? Or is this just anxiety caused by the withdrawals playing havoc on me and making everything seem impossible and much more worse, because of the fear? If it were withdrawals, would it come in random waves, or last all day?

 

Anyway.. The problems arose back when I started on Effexor XR around December of 2015 and was on it for around 3 weeks. I had a bad reaction to them and decided to get off of them. Was on 37.5 mg and used 20mg Prozac for a week or so to taper off with a bridge. I couldn't last any longer than that, because the tapering was causing severe panic and physical symptoms. I lasted around a month being med free, but I had major digestion issues and trouble breathing/anxiety.. Was also experiencing random adrenaline bursts that came seemingly out of nowhere and just generally feeling strange. I eventually became suicidal because I was worried I was going to be this way forever.. That's when I was prescribed the 20mg of Citalopram and was on it for around 5 weeks.. I went mental. It lifted my mood and the crutch of being on something that would hopefully make me better gave me strength to fight through it and learn, but it ultimately made my anxiety way worse and began causing cognitive issues and intrusive thoughts/OCD symptoms, so I was told to get off of them immediately because they were causing confusion and slurred speech. So, I have no idea if this is Effexor XR withdrawal or Citalopram withdrawal, or maybe both.. I'm not sure how it works.

 

Today I had a decent day where I felt the anxiety was mostly controlled.. I actually woke up feeling like I was on the road to recovery and had it under control. And then halfway through the day I lost it and intense anxiety/intrusive thoughts just randomly started picking away at me. I tried acceptance and I also tried to just ignore it and concentrate on other things, but I couldnt.. I find myself physically "mouthing" each thought and always had an automatic negative thought that would pop in and question my previous thought.. It became a battle of thoughts, against myself.. I understand that this can be a symptom of anxiety, my problem is that the anxiety seems to just come on randomly and without any triggers, just like it did while I was ON the Citalopram. It's not like normal anxiety that usually has a reason or is brought on by excessive worry and fear.. It feels like these symptoms just come out of nowhere and I can't control them and this creates even more anxiety.. And then it just passes on its own, which is another strange thing that never seems to happen with the anxiety. And its not panic, I have absolutely no physical or panic symptoms when the intense anxiety hits, aside from the tunnel vision and concentration problems.. Is it normal for this to just come in waves? I know I've repeated myself a ton and I apologize for that, I'm just trying to figure out if this is actual withdrawal or just my normal anxiety evolving and confusing me as to what the actual problem is.

 

I really don't want to put anymore drugs into my system. I'm worried about doing so.

 

Thank you for the help.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's definitely related to the drugs being withdrawn from your system Liquid. From the way you describe

your response to each med. I'm guessing you've never been able to tolerate them well. After a week or two

your anxiety has gone through the roof as you've become toxic.

 

The problem is that after 2 years on and off , you're going to suffer for quite some time if you choose not

to reinstate. It can take many months , years , for people to recover from this sort of thing.

See "The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization" here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

There are many members who would give their right arm for an opportunity to reinstate and stop the madness

and taper slowly.

You may find that 1mg is enough to give you significant symptom relief , and that's the dose you would stay on.

Possible increase to 2 or 3 , but that would be it.

 

I know it's a big decision. Please keep notes of your symptoms on paper so in a week or two you'll

have a record of how things are progressing.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator

I'm not done reading, Liquid - but these dreadful ruminations ARE common in withdrawal. 

 

Please see:  Neuro Emotions

Shame Guilt Regret and Self Criticism

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3882-ocd-obsessive-thoughts-compulsive-behaviors/

 

I don't particularly believe in OCD as a diagnosis - more as a pattern, a habit, a channel that becomes deeply rutted and difficult to get out of once you have started.

 

CBT is the most common recommendation for these types of ruminating thoughts: 

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/SelfHelpCourse.pdf

 

and I am a big fan of "Mindfulness for Depression" which talks about how ruminations start, and form - they are originally a survival mechanism to solve problems, like "what do I do to keep the crops from being destroyed?" and "How will I survive the winter?" and "how can we make the village safe from the Tiger?"  These are constructive, problem solving ruminations  - but in our modern society, the rumination gets stuck on things like, "why am I breathing like that?" and "why did I say that thing?" - and the ruminations become destructive.

 

Anyhow, I will finish reading your thread later tonight - I just wanted to get back to you so that you would know you are not alone.

Edited by ChessieCat
Fixed Neuro Emotions link

"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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  • Moderator

Hey Liquid - 

 

You wrote:

 

I'm about 12-13 days off of Citalopram, could this possibly be withdrawal? 

 

Yes.  It is most likely withdrawal.  Withdrawal from these drugs lasts for months, not weeks.  (see my bit below about the pharmaceutical studies being all "short term)

 

Certainly, you, as the breadwinner of the family, are probably an excellent problem solver.  Except that now your brain is giving you problems you cannot solve, and so the rumination is wearing you down.

 

Please, please, you are recently off the citalopram - please consider reinstating.  1-2 mg only.  Just enough to take the edge away from these awful thoughts, and let you gain some control over your brain again.  Only 1-2 mg - so that the worst of the symptoms of the drug may not affect you.  Because of the mental torture of your symptoms, I would lean more towards the 2 mg.  To still the worst of the withdrawals.

 

When you stabilise (which may be awhile, since you've bounced on and off the drugs quite often) - then you can consider a gentle taper off that tiny amount.

 

Given a choice between what your brain is doing right now - and taking a tiny amount of the drug (believe me, nobody who reinstates wants to do it - but many benefit from it), wouldn't it be better to risk the drug?  It may not work, but isn't it worth a try?

 

All of your previous "tapers" are really the equivalent of cold turkeys, or CT.  Rapid switch to prozac, getting off in a couple of weeks instead of the months that we recommend here.

 

I know, I know - the doctors don't think it's a big deal, "you should be able to go off now," or "this is your original illness manifesting."  Well, if I had a dime for everyone here at SA who has been a victim of those phrases, I'd be a wealthy woman.  Oh, and the "brain disorder" or "chemical imbalance" lines, too.  That's if I wanted to be really rich.  These are simply not true.  15% of Americans, and 30% of women do not have a chemical imbalance, like they seem to want us to believe.

 

The studies upon which these drugs are based are often short term - 6 weeks, maybe 12 weeks for a "long" study.  The doctors, the pharmaceutical companies - don't know what the drugs do long term*.  

 

 Unfortunately, here at SA, we do see the long term effects of these drugs, because we get to pick up the pieces.   We can, and do.  It's not a life sentence, it is temporary, it will pass.

 

*(I can refer you to articles and videos about profit motives in pharma, or you could read the excellent books by Robert Whitaker, "Anatomy of an Epidemic", and Ben Goldacre, "Bad Medicine"  If there are questions you have about "chemical imbalance," you can try reading here:  http://beyondmeds.com/2009/11/10/chemical-imbalance-myth/)

 

Here, you report that a reinstatement of a full dose helped (temporarily): 

when I was prescribed the 20mg of Citalopram and was on it for around 5 weeks.. I went mental. It lifted my mood and the crutch of being on something that would hopefully make me better gave me strength to fight through it and learn, but it ultimately made my anxiety way worse and began causing cognitive issues and intrusive thoughts/OCD symptoms,

 

So a reinstatement of a tiny dose - just a fraction of a dose - might be just enough to soften the blow of this series of withdrawals.  And the citalopram seems to be the right one.

 

Please don't wait too long - there is a window of opportunity during which the reinstatement is more likely to work.  After a few months, all bets are off, and you can just buckle in for the roller coaster ride that you cannot get off of. 

 

Some of us have survived that roller coaster ride - some of us ended up on more drugs ("cocktails," doesn't that sound pleasant?) and back in hospitals.  Please consider a tiny reinstatement - hair of the dog that bit you.

 

It does get better, but it does take time.

"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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Liquid.

 

I'm one of those people that JanCarol was talking about. I know how much you don't want to stick anymore of this crap in your body. I was exactly the same and 'toughed it out' for two months before things became unbearable and I had to reinstate.

 

Unfortunately, you're stuck between a rock and hard place. Taking the drugs was causing side effects, stopping the drugs is causing you withdrawal symptoms. It's all about striking a balance between the two until your brain repairs itself.

 

Sometimes, the advice that we most need to hear is the advice that we are most reluctant to take, and JanCarol's advice is very good.

2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

Read my success story

 

I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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Thank you for all of the responses. Im having a very tough time tonight and I dont really have the energy or mental capacity to respond to each response individually, but I read them all..

 

I think Im still too scared to reinstate the Citalopram, but.. Would it be a horrible to try an SSRI to get me out of my current anxiety state? I dont feel strong enough to continue on my current path of withdrawal because this anxiety is overwhelming..

 

What are your views on SNRIs? Are all of these drugs considered dangerous and harmful to take in the short term to get mentally stable and then slowly taper off?

 

I cant see myself getting stable on a reinstated Citalopram and Im just scared.

 

And what about short term Klonopin use to help lower the anxiety/buffer stress and reduce intrusive thoughts during a wave?

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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Hi, Liquid.

 

I'm one of those people that JanCarol was talking about. I know how much you don't want to stick anymore of this crap in your body. I was exactly the same and 'toughed it out' for two months before things became unbearable and I had to reinstate.

 

Unfortunately, you're stuck between a rock and hard place. Taking the drugs was causing side effects, stopping the drugs is causing you withdrawal symptoms. It's all about striking a balance between the two until your brain repairs itself.

 

Sometimes, the advice that we most need to hear is the advice that we are most reluctant to take, and JanCarol's advice is very good.

I wouldnt even know how to reinstate 2mg because I only have 10mg tablets and my Psychiatrist already thinks Im a mental case because of my constant pill hopping.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Liquid,

 

It is understandable that you don't want to reinstate.  There is nothing wrong with questioning what is being suggested.  It shows that you want to understand why before you do it.

 

Pill hopping is not the answer.  It will only cause more, and possibly bigger, issues for you down the track.

 

Reinstating is not about being weak or giving in.  The idea of reinstating is to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.  The drug changes the brain and it is the brain that needs the drug it is used to getting.  It is not a physical craving for the drug.  The brain has become used to getting a certain amount of a particular drug on a regular basis and it needs the drug to work.  When the drug is stopped suddenly the brain gets busy trying to get back into balance (homeostasis), which is why we get the symptoms.

 

This is why slow tapering is recommended by SA.  It allows the brain to adapt gradually as it receives less of the drug and minimises withdrawal symptoms.  I tried to go from 100 mg of Pristiq to 50 mg and suffered awful brain fog and could not type (I am a professional typist) after nearly 3 weeks at the lower dose.  That is when I researched withdrawal symptoms and found SA, thankfully.  I updosed and within about 4 hours my head cleared and I could type again.  After stabilising on that dose (to give my brain the time to adapt to not getting as much of the drug) I tried to do a 10% drop (7.5 mg drop) but within 3 days I had awful, painful ear pressure, which I couldn't tolerate and had to updose.  Again within hours of taking the extra 2.5 mg the pain and ear pressure cleared.  Since then I have reduced how much I am dropping by.  There was one time when I reduced my dose that I got a bit of ear pressure without pain and decided that I could put up with it.

 

These might help you to understand why reinstating is being suggested:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

It is possible to get small doses of your medication.  Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram).  And the staff here can help answer your questions if you have any problems.

 

These might give you ideas of how to deal with the medical profession (I particularly like the one about telling them that you want to be on the lowest possible dose):

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey liquid , the problem with using klonipin is that this withdrawal is going to last for months. If you take klonipin

for longer than a week or two , you risk withdrawal if you don't taper off it slowly.

As you get used to it , larger doses are needed to get the same effect. And you may have a paradoxical reaction

to klonipin ... it can actually make things worse.

 

There is no guarantee that trying a different class of antidepressant will help either. The reason we suggest

starting with a dose as low as 1mg is in case you have an adverse reaction i.e sudden onset of new or more

severe symptoms. This is less likely to happen with something your body has become used to than something new.

If you DO have a bad reaction , stop the reinstatement.

 

To get a small dose from a 10 mg tablet , dissolve it in exactly 10mls of water (use a syringe to measure). You then

have a 1:1 solution , and can draw 1 or 2 mg up in a 3mg syringe.

 

bw ,

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Liquid, 

 

Please don't wait too long - there is a window of opportunity during which the reinstatement is more likely to work.  After a few months, all bets are off, and you can just buckle in for the roller coaster ride that you cannot get off of. 

 

Some of us have survived that roller coaster ride - some of us ended up on more drugs ("cocktails," doesn't that sound pleasant?) and back in hospitals.  Please consider a tiny reinstatement - hair of the dog that bit you.

 

It does get better, but it does take time.

 

 

This, in a nutshell. When I found SA I was already over 4 months off Prozac and a bit scared to reinstate in case I had a reaction. I believe the chances of reinstatement working also decrease the longer you are off the drug/s. I'm now nearly 8 months off and a bit of me wishes I'd had a go at reinstating at 4 months anyway, it probably would've been a lot easier on my family! (As well as anxiety and insomnia due to my brain never shutting up, my main withdrawal symptom was extreme anger).

It has got a lot better recently (in the last month or 2) so I promise you it does get better, but it takes time for your brain to heal, and I think slow tapering off the drug is by far the gentler, easier way to do it, if you can face going back on the Citalopram  at a very low dose. 

It's your choice though, and it's completely understandable if you don't want to reinstate. But far better to reinstate than have to go on a new SSRI or SNRI.

I found the Bloom in Wellness videos on youtube helpful when I was at my lowest, especially her positive self-talk during withdrawal. She's a counsellor who went through benzo withdrawal after quitting cold turkey. I thought it was all a bit hippy tree-huggy at first but they really helped when I was really anxious.

 

All the best

KH

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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I was actually having a decent day today where I almost felt like I was getting close to normal and then out of nowhere I felt something hit me.

 

I began to feel disconnected for no reason and reality just began to feel very foreign and strange. I went from having almost no anxiety to fearing life itself. I tried to distract myself by watching the latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead, and I felt panicky feelings about it almost as if the zombie apocalypse was a possibility. It left me with thoughts about how I would never be able to handle a situation like because of how unreal everything feels and how it would make me worry if I was dead or dreaming. Just bizarre existential thoughts that dont even seem to be coming from me. Its like something has changed the way I think, which I have never known simple anxiety to do, especially without triggers.

 

Is this normal or am I losing my mind?

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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Hi Liquid,

 

Sorry to hear you have this issue but it's totally normal for a withdrawal and for having had an adverse reaction too.  I had a very severe reaction to Celexa as well, and after that was put through a cold turkey that did not go well then given more drugs that made things even worse. What you describe is a very normal part of the process for recovery. 

 

Oftentimes people in withdrawal will find that they need to avoid negative media as they start to identify with it too much.  I had to avoid just about all media for a while as I was so so sensitive to what I saw that even watching a few minutes of something that was disturbing would cause massive waves of fear that I just had the hardest time handling. I don't know if it's as bad for you but, still would probably be a good idea to find something to watch that is not likely to be triggering symptoms.  Sometimes people take to watching kids shows even.

 

Oh and, I was told I had suffered a reaction to the drug and also was told I was in withdrawal from that drug and another one, so there's no question of it being "me". I also had clear signs of a withdrawal like brain zaps for instance, so there's no doubt in my mind that the psych drugs were responsible.

 

And I'm now able to handle watching whatever, so this does get better. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Also the feeling of disconnecting from reality is a common complaint for both withdrawal syndromes and adverse reactions as well, I had really severe dissociation too. 

 

If you haven't yet seen this thread or had this explained to you yet, you might look up windows and waves, as there's a general pattern that affects many people in withdrawal (though not always everyone) whereby you can feel good for a while and then suddenly without warning and sometimes without an obvious trigger be hit by a "wave" of symptoms. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Thank you so much, Sky.

 

You really put my mind at ease. I'm going to stay on course and just let myself heal, it just really threw me through a loop and frightened me. I did read about the windows and waves, but the experience was so strange and foreign that I wasn't sure if it was a normal part of the process. It really is strange.. I don't even really know what to avoid. Sometimes it's just watching people live their lives happily that triggers me to feel detached and anxious. But I do feel better knowing that it's a normal part of withdrawal.

 

It does go away when everything goes back to normal, correct? I think I know that it will, I'm only asking for reassurance sake.

 

Thank you again for the response, I really appreciate it.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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No problem Liquid!  It will go back to normal yes, I don't have this issue at all anymore, and haven't for a very long time.

 

And sometimes there is no really obvious rationale for just why you start feeling like this (other than that the psych drugs started it.)  Some triggers can be found, like negative media, but then other times it's just a random thing.   So while it's a good idea to pay attention to potential triggers, don't beat yourself up if you can't figure out just why a wave has occurred, as it may not be anything you did.

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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I hate nights like these. Began feeling very disconnected and the anxiety increased for no reason which causes my thoughts to become frightening. It feels like my thoughts actually create even more panic and I cant seem to stop them. Everything feels so damn artificial. This anxiety feels a lot like the random anxiety that you get from starting the pills.. But way more intense, it goes beyond just physical symptoms, its completely affecting the way I think and even regardless of being aware of it, the thoughts still come and are terrifying. It feels like no anount of rationality helps, once I get stuck I just worry that Im stuck like this forever and that the meds have finally permanently broke something in my brain. Even though I know how untrue this probably is, but the negative scary thoughts are so automatic and feel much more believable.. The anxiety doesnt even have a buildup, the withdrawals just seem to bring it on quickly and it just doesnt end until I break down.

 

I want control of my mind back.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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I seriously cant do this anymore. I dont know what Im feeling and I cant explain it.. I thought it was just anxiety, but there us so much more now.. My ability to cope is gone.. My hope is gone. Somehow I went from a normal 27 year old guy to someone I barely recognize.. The anxiety is absolutely out of control and the despair is tenfold. An hour ago I was completely sobbing and rocking back and fourth, discussing how I cant do this anymore and explaining that I was going to kill myself because no one can help me. Day 28 off of Citalopram and its getting worse. Its unbareable now and I cant reinstate because it was making me physically ill.

 

Im willing to try to stabalize on another drug and then slowly taper. If I could get back on the Citalopram, I would. But I was literally losing my hair and the color of my hair, skin was turning pill and I couldnt eat, severe IBS and cognitive impairment.. It terrified me and I cant do it again..

 

Worst case scenario, is there another pill that I can take for this debilitating anxiety and to stabalize myself? Im halfway to being comitted to a mental hospital, I honestly dont think I can do this on my own, Im not surviving this.

 

Would Zoloft or Lexapro be a decent option? Im open to any and all auggestions, my Psychiatrist suggested that the adverse reaction to Citalopram may have been due to the different generic and that he has seen these issues get better after switching to brand name.

 

I dont know if I am suffeeing from physical symptoms of withdrawal, nothing is as bad as the psychological effects. Ive had brain zaps a few times on several nights, not longlasting.. Some facial twitching in my eyelid and lip, dull pain in my legs at times and random stress headaches. But its mainly my erratic moods and suicidal thoughts/despair that are the most evident.

 

When I go through a wave I completely forget about the good days and just end up worrying that I will be like this forever, its like my brain lost its ability to be rational and think through this, it feels like a constant mild panic attack that I have all day.. Feelings of unreality and fear of everything, even media. Aside from the withdrawal, this anxiety feels far too intense to work through without meds, it literally makes it impossible to think through and I have no idea how to NOT be afraid of my thoughts and the way I feel. Even if I manage to switch it off and be positive, it just doesnt last, the anxiety and thoughts always manages to break through and reset me.

 

The goid times that come seem completely out of my control and just happen on their own. I can be feeling great and then wake up the next day feeling completely out of control again.

 

Im also super sensitive to sugar and caffeine, which never used to affect me at all. I could have coffee before bed and still sleep like a baby.. Now one glass of sweet tea causes severe panic attacks.

 

I know how mental and off balance I sound, but Im just scared and looking for some help.. Im not doing well with this withdrawal, terrified to reinstate Citalopram and also really scared to go through potential startup panic and russian roulette side effects on a new drug..

 

Its mainly this anxiety. Nothing distracts me from it, I cant think clearly or rationalise well enough to treat it, and the withdrawals are destroying any hope and coping ability.. I am at a loss.. One thing I do know is that I will never cold turkey another medicine ever again.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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  • Moderator

Hey Liquid - 

Would it be a horrible to try an SSRI to get me out of my current anxiety state?

 

Take the hair of the dog that bit you:  Citalopram.  Taking a different one will only add to your burden, and shake up your system some more.  Sure, they work on similar stuff in the brain, but in different ways.  Then you might have 2 withdrawals to be worried about.  Double-trouble. 

 

What are your views on SNRIs? Are all of these drugs considered dangerous and harmful to take in the short term to get mentally stable and then slowly taper off?

 

We cannot recommend any drug.  We are helping people get off of them.  We see people struggle with all psych drugs of all classes, of all brands, iterations, generics, name brands, new, old.  All of them.

 

And what about short term Klonopin use to help lower the anxiety/buffer stress and reduce intrusive thoughts during a wave? 

 

Dangerously addicting.  What if your symptoms last more than 2 weeks?  We have people here who got addicted to benzo in 2 days.  And you can read stories of people struggling with Klonopin here at SA.  Most of them wish they'd never taken it.

 

Additionally, short term benzo use can increase anxiety, and long term benzo use can create depression.  We are not able to recommend drugs here.

 

I wouldnt even know how to reinstate 2mg because I only have 10mg tablets and my Psychiatrist already thinks Im a mental case because of my constant pill hopping. 

OKAY!  Now you are talking sense.

 

The pharmaceutical companies want you to be addicted for life, so they do not provide doses for safe tapering.  It's criminal.  

 

But we have work-arounds.  

 

Fresh answered your question, here:

To get a small dose from a 10 mg tablet , dissolve it in exactly 10mls of water (use a syringe to measure). You then

have a 1:1 solution , and can draw 1 or 2 mg up in a 3mg syringe.

 

We have more information on Liquid Tapering here:  How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

 

Maybe nobody told you about it because of your username - Liquid - we thought you might have already understood:  Your username is the answer!  Liquid!

 

ALTERNATIVELY - cut the 10 mg into quarters, and take a 1/4 tablet.  DO NOT TAKE A FULL DOSE OF ANY DRUG (sorry for shouting, but I really believe firmly that it will get you into trouble).  There's a very good chance that you will get relief within the first day.

 

You can do this fast, without any special syringes, and you can do it while you are learning about liquid tapers.

 

I will read on, but I want to make sure you get this info sooner rather than later (I'm the slowest mod here)

"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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Thank you Jan. I apologize for being such a stubborn mule when it comes to all of this. I dont want anyone to think that Im not taking in the advice and suggestions, Im just really scared because of my experiences so far. Its difficult to consider ingesting the same poison that is causing all of this.

 

I look forward to reading the rest of what you have to say and I will heavily consider your advice thus far.

 

Thank you for caring.

 

Also.. I think one of my biggest problems has been really accepting that this is withdrawal and not just me failing at dealing with my anxiety. Can the withdrawals force your thoughts to be terrifying and negative, despite your own efforts?

 

It seems like even when I decide to accept it and try my best to not be afraid of the thoughts, it continues to flash scary thoughts about not ever getting better or not being able to escape my anxiety and fearful thoughts.. Its making me question my own sanity and I keep worrying that it is something I am unknowingly causing subconsciously, even though I have never struggled with controlling my thought process before. It feels like I cant just decide to not worry about things anymore, the thoughts and rumination continues regardless and I end up in a panic about not being able to control or escape these terrifying thoughts.

 

My girlfriend did some reading and keeps trying to reassure me that its withdrawal, but I cant convince myself and always think "They probably arent going through what I am, or not to the same severity" etc.

 

I guess I havent grasped the concept of withdrawals. The anxiety is fighting my rational side every step of the way.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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Hey Liquid:

I tried to distract myself by watching the latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead, and I felt panicky feelings about it almost as if the zombie apocalypse was a possibility.

 

You may find that your taste in films changes during withdrawal.  I know - pop culture, these things are all the rage - but I find little encouragement thinking about the zombie apocalypse, especially as an SA mod who "sees" psych drug withdrawal daily.

 

In withdrawal, many find it helpful to steer away from disturbing images, graphic violence, fast cuts, loud music, disturbing or dark themes, etc. etc.  

 

We have had a violence done us by the drugs.  Much like a soldier who has PTSD - who may love the war movies, and may also find them upsetting, or triggering.  (I don't like the word trigger, I believe we have a choice, nobody else pulls MY trigger, only I can do that - but others do believe in "triggering")

 

Because of this post trauma state - and the fragile condition of our nervous system - most people prefer soothing music, smooth jazz, classical, "fluffy," comedy, simple "Hallmark Hall of Fame" style tales.  It's not forever.  If you are a thrash metal-head who gets off on graphic violence - you may go back to that when you are well again - but - 

 

With your brain playing tricks on you right now with the obsessive, excessive rumination, are you sure you want to encourage it?  We are, basically input/output devices, and if you input violent graphic images, you are likely to output them, too.  There are many in here who have suffered from obsessive violent compulsions - without watching zombie apocalypse TV.  

 

(I see Unfolding Sky has also addressed this issue:  kids' shows!  what a great idea!  SpongeBob! Yu-Gi-Oh (though that may be too fast and flashy) Aquanauts!)

 

Here's 2 threads that Unfolding referred to:

Waves and Windows

and

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1766-derealizationdepersonalization/

 

You wrote about:

This anxiety feels a lot like the random anxiety that you get from starting the pills.. But way more intense, it goes beyond just physical symptoms, its completely affecting the way I think and even regardless of being aware of it, the thoughts still come and are terrifying. It feels like no anount of rationality helps, once I get stuck I just worry that Im stuck like this forever and that the meds have finally permanently broke something in my brain. Even though I know how untrue this probably is, but the negative scary thoughts are so automatic and feel much more believable.. 

 

What can you do?

 

Can you do chi gung?  Does that settle things for 7 minutes?

 

If it does, then that is 7 minutes of peace.

 

You need to string together your moments of relief, of peace, together, like strings of pearls.  The pearls are not constant, but you learn to appreciate each one.  Gradually, as time passes, and the pearls come closer together, and they are fatter, you are closer to living a normal life.

 

You need to focus on what helps.  My father always told me that in order to get out of a hole, you must stop digging it.  

 

Looking into your hole is not helping you.  What will help you? Looking at the sky?  The horizon?  The next step in front of you?  Doing back stretchs or forward bends (yoga) to prepare yourself for the climb out of the hole?

 

again, I'm not caught up - but I will post so that you can see it, and start looking up and out, instead of in and down:

Change the Channel

 

PLUS:  I encourage you to stop suffering.  Take 1/4 tab now.  See what happens.  If it's horrible, you won't do it again.  If it's better - then OMG!  It's better!

"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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Liquid:  

It does go away when everything goes back to normal, correct?

 

Well, except that it will be a new normal.  You can't go back, ever.  You will not be what you were before.

 

But isn't that true of life?

 

I reckon that those of us who have been through withdrawal are stronger, better, than we would have been without the experience.

 

Fresh put it really well when she said she knows she will never be depressed again - because she never wants to see the drugs again!  

 

But we often have to work very hard to achieve this freedom.

 

A Spiderman thing - with great power comes great responsibility.

 

Liquid, you wrote

I seriously cant do this anymore. I dont know what Im feeling and I cant explain it.. I thought it was just anxiety, but there us so much more now.. My ability to cope is gone.. My hope is gone. Somehow I went from a normal 27 year old guy to someone I barely recognize.. The anxiety is absolutely out of control and the despair is tenfold. An hour ago I was completely sobbing and rocking back and fourth, discussing how I cant do this anymore and explaining that I was going to kill myself because no one can help me. Day 28 off of Citalopram and its getting worse. Its unbareable now and I cant reinstate because it was making me physically ill. 

 

You have not tried to reinstate a tiny dose, like we recommend here at SA.  You can't knock it until you've tried it.

 

If you are suffering this much, please, just take a 1/4 tab and see what happens.  Isn't that preferable to suicide?  If you are truly suicidal, what have you got to lose?

 

Sadly, if you are truly suicidal, I am obligated to tell you that you need to get local help.  We are not equipped to intervene here at SA.  Please see:  Help for Those Who Are Feeling Desperate or Suicidal

 

I'm sending before I address your further concerns.

"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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Liquid , sorry to hear you feel so bad.

 

"Fresh put it really well when she said she knows she will never be depressed again - because she never

wants to see the drugs again! "

 

That's not correct.

I think JanCarol is referring to an explanation I heard of how antidepressants cure depression.

By the time you survive the withdrawal , you won't be depressed again because you'll be so freaking relieved

to have survived.

 

I'm curious as to why you haven't reinstated. Yes , you weren't well on 20mg citalopram , you were

sick with toxic effects of your body being unable to metabolize the drug.

Reinstating involves starting on 1 or 2mg and working your way up ,so that you get symptom relief , but

not toxic side effects.

 

Try reading the thread on reinstating here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

It's the only known way to avoid a long drawn out withdrawal , and at such a short time off it has an

excellent chance at working well for you.

 

bw , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Worst case scenario, is there another pill that I can take for this debilitating anxiety and to stabalize myself? Im halfway to being comitted to a mental hospital, I honestly dont think I can do this on my own, Im not surviving this.

 

Not really.  Not without creating a double withdrawal scenario.  I'm not a fan of The Prozac Bridge . 

 

Let me explain myself.  If you go back on the Citalopram - the evil drug that caused your problems, there a good percentage (I don't have exact figures, this is not from studies, just from cases here at SA) of reinstatements that work.  For the sake of maths, we'll say 75% (though I reckon it might be higher, especially as close as you are to your last dose).

 

In a good case, the Prozac Bridge is a 50/50 chance of working.  For a bad case, it might be more like 10%.  But for the sake of maths, let's pretend we will get the best possible result.

 

Wouldn't you rather choose a 75% (or greater) chance of relief than a 50% (or less) chance?

 

I believe that the Prozac Bridge lowers your chances of relief.  In other cases, it may be worth it, but I believe those cases are rare.  (others feel free to chime in - I know we have had some successes with Prozac Bridge, but I will give odds, they are in the minority)

 

Then you write:

Would Zoloft or Lexapro be a decent option? 

 

Not Zoloft.  

 

Lexapro is a descendant of Celexa, so it is a close relative.  It is possible that it is close enough to be relieving - but again - I DO NOT RECOMMEND A FULL DOSE OF IT.  10 mg Celexa is roughly equivalent to 5 mg Lexapro - so I would suggest no more than 1.25 mg Lexapro for a reinstatement.  (of course, you go to hospital, you get a script, you fill the script, and take 1/4 tablet - don't announce to the emergency room your intentions!)

 

I think that your chances of successfully reinstating with Lexapro are lower than Celexa - but higher than Prozac.  So maybe a middle path.

 

I will address your concerns with generic in a moment - and Lexapro is famous for having the same problems.

 

my Psychiatrist suggested that the adverse reaction to Citalopram may have been due to the different generic and that he has seen these issues get better after switching to brand name.

 

Ah!  Lightbulb moment.  I have heard more stories about generics causing problems, and I have have heard of more problems with Celexa and Lexapro than all the others combined.

 

People who switch from brand to generic have problems.  People who switch from one type of generic to another have problems.  My own brother (Lexapro) found that the pharmacy where he had his insurance plan - switched to a different generic.  So this was a generic to generic switch.  He was all kinds of messed up from that - and ended up paying full price for brand name at another pharmacy.  But the switchover took days to straighten out.

 

SO - think about this when you consider Lexapro.

 

If the SAME drug with different FILLERS (Lexapro generic to Lexapro generic) can cause these kinds of reactions - switching from CELEXA to LEXAPRO - two DIFFERENT drugs - is risky.

 

The best of all possible worlds would be to get the name brand Celexa and reinstate from that.

 

(sorry for misquoting you Fresh, I'm working for Liquid here, fast and furious, and didn't take the time to look up your original quote - Jan = chagrined.  Please accept my apology)

"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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Hey, Liquid:

When I go through a wave I completely forget about the good days and just end up worrying that I will be like this forever, its like my brain lost its ability to be rational and think through this, it feels like a constant mild panic attack that I have all day.. Feelings of unreality and fear of everything, even media. Aside from the withdrawal, this anxiety feels far too intense to work through without meds, it literally makes it impossible to think through and I have no idea how to NOT be afraid of my thoughts and the way I feel. Even if I manage to switch it off and be positive, it just doesnt last, the anxiety and thoughts always manages to break through and reset me.

 

I am so sorry.  Our best advice is reinstatement - but there is more.

 

First - what you are expressing here is common in withdrawal.  "Will it last forever?" Cognitive fog (cog-fog), Depersonalization / Derealization.  I've sent you links on all of these:  Neuro-emotion, depersonalization, Change the Channel.

 

Second:  so you are Not Alone.  

 

Third:  It is not permanent.

 

Also typical: 

Im also super sensitive to sugar and caffeine, which never used to affect me at all. I could have coffee before bed and still sleep like a baby.. Now one glass of sweet tea causes severe panic attacks.

 

see: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4945-food-sensitivities/

 

So you write:

I know how mental and off balance I sound, but Im just scared and looking for some help.. 

 

No.  You don't sound mental, though you are off balance - but it is not your fault.  You have been thrown into "off balance" by the drugs.  There is no such thing as a "chemical imbalance" - until you start taking the drugs.  

 

Chemical Imbalance Is a Myth; Stop the Lies, Please

 

You sound like someone who submitted to a system of treatment which did not have your best interests in mind.  

 

You sound like someone who just wanted to have a good day at work, and not be bogged down in the swamp of despair.

 

You sound like someone who has been given mind altering drugs - without being told that they would do this to you.

 

You sound like a human being in distress and pain.

 

It does get better.

 

I've given you my day today.  I hope you receive some benefit from it.  I've given you lots of tools, things to look at, and a suggestion to try reinstatement.  

 

Even reinstating the awful generic at a low, low dose - is better than suffering through the night.  Then fix it up tomorrow with the real thing (which you can get from any emergency room or GP).

 

It does get better, and I send you my hopes that you start getting better soon.

"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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Ah, I went and read some more:

Can the withdrawals force your thoughts to be terrifying and negative, despite your own efforts?

 

Short answer:  YES.

 

We have no historical experience with these kinds of drugs.  Psych drugs opened a Pandora's Box of human experimentation.  Though others might disagree, at least a lobotomy or ECT gets consistent results.  Ugly, but consistent.  These drugs do something different to every brain they've been tried in.

 

Chessie gave you some good explanatory links here:

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


 

and I will add one more to this:

Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you

 

Get your girlfriend to watch the "Healing from Antidepressants" and the "Withdrawal Dialogues" with you.  She will certainly recognize what you are going through.  We have discussions in "Relationships" section of the forum for hashing out things with our partners, friends, and family.  Sometimes, the dominant FALSE paradigm: "this is your original illness" "this is a chemical imbalance" etc. etc.  is difficult to shake - because it is on TV EVERYWHERE, in ads, programs, movies, "awareness raising" etc. etc.  It's like false programming which must be overcome.

 

But once you step outside of the Matrix, Neo, it will all begin to make a lot more sense.  Why you've gone back to the drugs so many times.  What your "original anxiety" may have stemmed from (usually stress, situations, relationships, normal life - that got medicated and amplified).  Why the symptoms kept escalating and getting worse.  

I guess I havent grasped the concept of withdrawals. The anxiety is fighting my rational side every step of the way. 

 

I'd say Neo looks pretty anxious in this scene:

 

(though I apologize for the "pill based" symbolism)

"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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  • Moderator

One last link for you to consider:

 

Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

"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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Ive read everything you guys have written and I wanted to thank you, I really appreciate the guidance.. Im not going to try any other pills and Im ready to attempt a reinstate, or atleast getting there..

 

I had one question, though.. If I reinstate and have a horrible experience, am I going to start all over again? Is it going to undo some of the healing that has been done?

 

Again, I was only on it for about 5 weeks, Im hoping that this will matter and it wont take more than a couple months.

 

Yes, I have been on and off medications for the last few years, but I have never experienced this sort of anxiety before. Ive always been able to decently handle the withdrawals in the past because they were much more mild than this. I ignorantly got back on them because I didnt realize the dangers. Any sort of anxiety that I would have following a discontinue would always cause my doctor to want me on something else, instead of working through it.

 

If the withdrawal does take months or years, am I going to be stuck in thus unrelenting constant anxiety the entire time? The psychological stuff is really the only thing I cant handle. Ive always handled the physical symptoms quite easily, because they are usually more mild for me than most it seems.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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One last link for you to consider:

 

Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

This link wont work for me for some reason.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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Also.. I dont know if I asked this clearly enough.. Would brand name Celexa be considered a reinstatement for Citalopram?

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Liquid, celexa would be fine to use for reinstating. You can make a liquid from the tablets to get a tiny dose. 1mg could be enough to make a difference, but hopefully won't make you any worse at such a low amount.  Here are the instructions on making a liquid. I make my own liquid from capsules and it is so easy and accurate.  I use an oral syringe to measure the liquid. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2022-making-a-celexa-solution-yourself

 

This will get better, it really will. I remember rocking to and fro crying and begging my family to let me die, it was horrific but is now just a bad memory. You have your whole life ahead of you and will be well enough to live it, even if you can't take the celexa you will get better. Sometimes people become very very ill and it takes a long long time to recover but the human body is amazing and they get better eventually. This is the same, you need to take care of yourself and not try to rush this, your brain and body will do all the work to regain homeostasis.  The time will pass, the clock will keep ticking and all while your brain is healing. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thank you for the reassurance, MammaP. My pharmacy cant get brand name Celexa unless they special order it. She told me the price and I wouldnt be able to afford it, anyway. Im worried because on 20mg I had severe cognitive impairment among other harsh symptoms that I had never had in the past. Is it a case of 20mg being too high or did I maybe just have a bad reaction to the specific generic or maybe just too high of a dose to start on? I tapered down to 10mg for 4 days before I quit the Citalopram, so should I really reinstate at just 1-2mg? Ive decided that I am fine to just reinstate at 5 or 10mg if needbe, and I will stay on it for as long as it takes to stabalize. I just need some guidance, why is reinstating at a higher dose not suggested? Im worried that 1mg might not be enough.

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Liquid,

 

I suggest you re-read the About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

I've just checked out the first post and was going to copy and paste the answer here, but there are several reasons throughout Post #1 explaining why you should only reinstate a SMALL DOSE.

 

If you start with a low dose you can always increase a bit more after a while if there is no bad reaction AND you find that the symptoms don't subside.  It takes 4 days for the drug to get to full state in the blood.  Don't forget Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Good luck.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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