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TikkiTikki

TikkiTikki: Going slow off Celexa to avoid "relapse"

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joy2730

Hi Tikkitikki

 

Some people are saying 10 mg provides as much antidepressant relief as 20 mg.  Other people are saying 20 mg is far too a high dose anyway, and 10 mg is sufficient.  I guess it is all an individual response, but if 10 mg does the job why would anyone want to take more.

 

The way in which the dosage of drugs drops in your body is not straightforward, at certain points it is a very sudden drop.  One of the moderators will be able to send you a graph of how that works.  It is not as simple as half the dose gives half the effect and a small dose such as 1 mg gives no effect. 

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

Thanks Joy. Yes, I've looked at those graphs. Since joining SA and reading all the info, I came to the conclusion that my previous 'crashes' weren't a sign of needing the Citalopram, but withdrawal effects from tapering too quickly. I don't know if 10mg is having an antidepressant effect, but I'm pretty sure I would run into trouble if I got to 0 in the next 6 months, say. 

For years I have believed that I needed the drug to function - 'endogenous depression', 'genetic predisposition' etc, despite my episodes of depression and anxiety having very real triggering circumstances. I don't believe it anymore, but I may need a small dose just because my body has become used to them for the last decade. You may have reached that conclusion yourself? It's hard to accept, but we're both in a good space right now re: withdrawal so that's something to be thankful for.

You're doing really well now - do you think your exercise makes a difference? I've been trying to keep into the habit of regular exercise, but between work and the kids and keeping up with the housework I'm struggling to find time.

xx Tikki

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joy2730

I have taken antidepressants continually except for my first pregnancy (rapid taper at 10 weeks of pregnancy) and 6 months afterwards since 19 and am now 59, so I can't see how I could possibility manager without them really.  It would be a shock if I could. 

 

I have noticed that at about 14 mg my weight seems to drop and I look a lot tidier.  This is my aim really.  I am very realistic and refuse to feel under any pressure.  Even if I got off them I would probably keep an emergency supply in  my handbag/car like I do now.

 

If I did really well at 14 mg I would probably try to progress a little further.  Since my menopause I have felt I no longer suffer depression - it is most strange, I instinctively know I am no longer depressed.

 

Yes, I feel exercise helps a lot.  I think it helps all your body to cope better with the withdrawal and it helps your mind to reorganise itself.  I think it is the blood circulations that helps and I also find the sauna helpful.  It does bring on a few brain zaps and strange feelings but I interpret that as a sign of healing  not distress.  I also find exercise extremely boring and tedious but I try to make a few friends by attending classes.  Put it another way, exercise doesn't have any bad side effects and it makes me sleep so much better.  I have to push myself but have deliberately put myself in a membership scheme where I pay monthly and that makes me use it.  I hate to think of the mess I would be if I didn't exercise.

 

However, for me, exercise doesn't seem to help much with weight loss.

 

I know it is difficult with children, work etc, but an odd thing happens, the more you exercise the more you get out of it and the quicker you get benefits, so after a few weeks you can get the same benefits in less time.  I have also bought some home gym stuff for when I am working away and can't get to the gym.  I do feel citalopram has altered my metabolism somehow.

 

I am so grateful to be at 18 mg and managing.  I have a busy heavily committed life myself and need to be well - I can't allow myself to get into a terrible withdrawal state and loose everything I have built up over the last few years.  If that happened citalopram would really have messed up my life.

 

My weight is all around my bum, tum and legs - the parts that others report as being the areas of weight gain with antidepressants.  It is a strange look, and doesn't reflect my true personality at all.  When I look at other women of my shape I am convinced they must be on antidepressants too, and when I get to know them better some of them are!  How awful that this can be the case!  For example I met a woman recently who said 3 years ago she had a nervous breakdown and had meds for it and counselling.  I look at her body shape and thought to myself, I bet she takes citalopram and in the next breath she said 'I take citalopram, it is brilliant, and I am not going to give it up yet'. 

 

Joy

 

 

 

 

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TikkiTikki

Been super busy so apologies to anyone I haven't replied to.

Joy - I hear you on the exercise. I used to exercise, even after kids, but in the last 2-3 years I became so weighed down (literally) and failed every attempt at getting back to it.

I'm feeling different now, but I'm excited to be working, and developing a career, and a newfound social life, that with keeping the house and kids going etc and trying to do all that..... But after the next few weeks when I have a few extra jobs on, I'm going to sort something out. I really want to lose weight, and despite being really strict with food the last 6 weeks, I've only lost a kg or two.

 

I dropped down to 9mg on Monday, so its been a week. I think I felt it this time? On Wed morning I had a cortisol-like rush in the morning when I was suddenly extremely alert. My mind didn't latch onto anything and start an anxiety spiral, but I recognised the feeling of sudden alertness. I've also been a bit flat emotionally this week, but I had an upsetting talk with an old friend, many deadlines looming with work and study, was away last weekend so catching up on housework etc through week, and my period's due in a few days so I can't say for sure that it's a withdrawal symptom. I'm taking tomorrow off work to catch up with some other work I have to do, so that should help.

 

 

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TikkiTikki

Hi all,

 

Down to 8mg now after long stint on 9mg. 

Have felt a bit flatter emotionally and I think an increase in negative thoughts (self-consciousness etc). 

But August and September were very busy for me with work, an internship, a fairly intense camping holiday and study, so I'm not sure how much is the dose or just LIFE.

 

Will try to update here as I think it will help me notice patterns in mood – I so often can't tell if I feel normal-anxious or more-anxious  etc... I know I was bounding with energy earlier in the year, but it's natural that that will ease off after time. 

 

I have also felt more bouts of wanting to withdraw from people, and I know earlier on the opposite was the case. 

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ChessieCat

You last reduction was more than 10%.  Many members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

You did a nice long hold on 9mg, but I would strongly urge you not to continue going down by 1mg decreases.  It's better to go slower than to risk going too quickly.  Going more carefully can actually end up getting you off faster than if you go too fast and then have to updose if you start experiencing difficulties.

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baroquep
10 hours ago, TikkiTikki said:

I have also felt more bouts of wanting to withdraw from people, and I know earlier on the opposite was the case. 

 

Hi TikiTiki, I will have to echo ChessieCat's recommendation to go slowly and carefully now that you are on a lower dose of Celexa.  Have personally found that as I've lowered the dose, the withdrawal symptoms have increased and I've actually had to start decreasing by 5% instead of 10%.  Also find that wanting to withdrawal from people is a red flag and that I have to slow things down a bit when I notice my desire to withdrawal getting stronger.  Remember last year when I was tapering too quickly, I had absolutely no desire to be around people and this lasted for a couple of months.  ChessieCat is right when she advises that going too quickly towards the end will most likely result in you having to either up-dose or doing a significantly longer hold to remain stable.   Again, based on my experience, after tapering too quickly last year, I ended up having to hold for three months before being able to start tapering again.  If I'd gone a little slower, I wouldn't have had to do that extra two month hold and regret not listening to the moderators at that time.  If I were you, I would be very cautious, more cautious than you are used to so that you can guide yourself through to a soft landing off of Celexa rather than crashing.  

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joy2730

Hi TikkiTikki

 

It was great to hear from you on Flower's thread that you are doing well on 9 mg citalopram.  That is so heartening.  I am struggling around 18 mg, well that is not true, I am fine at 18 but find that after about 8 weeks at 17 mg I got unexpectedly physically ill, which was all withdrawal and that has put me off tapering again for the present.

 

I am messing around with a new system as suggested by my GP, a day on a lesser dose and a day on 20 mg.  To be honest it seems to be working rather well but it is very early days yet.  I am giving up hope of getting off citalopram for the present, I think I need to be retired to take all the necessary risks attached to it.

 

interesting that you feel a little flatter.  I like the bubbly feel from ADs or perhaps the bubbles are really me?  Who knows?  This is all part of the problem.  I am so pleased that you are doing so well.

 

I have been working out in the gym a lot and trying to eat healthily and that has helped my figure and my weight. 

 

When you get chance keep us all informed.

 

Joy

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baroquep
3 hours ago, joy2730 said:

suggested by my GP, a day on a lesser dose and a day on 20 mg

 

Hi Joy2730, I just noticed that you are alternating doses ... unfortunately medical doctors have very little experience tapering people off of these drugs safely and alternating doses is never recommended here at Surviving Antidepressants.  I'm going to link the topic "why taper by 10% of my dosage" and draw your attention to one of the cautions in this topic ... hoping that you will review this thread again as I'd hate for you to start running into trouble when you have gotten so low on your dose ... it sounds like you have been doing relatively well and want things to continue this way for you.  

(NEVER ALTERNATE DOSAGES TO TAPER. IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE, THIS IS SURE TO SET OFF WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

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TikkiTikki

Hello all,

 

Thanks so much for the interest and kind advice. I love this place.

 

My next drop will be 0.5mg, not 1mg ... I figured 9 to 8 was the last time I could get away with 1mg. And it won't be for a while, maybe next year. 

 

MY problem is not having overt withdrawal symptoms. I read other people's stories here, and how quickly they can feel each drop, and the kind of symptoms they manage everyday, and for me it is nothing like that. I feel cranky and irritable, or find I'm thinking more negatively about my life/friends/career/family etc, but these moods seem responsive to other things in my life (rest, good eating, events), rather than something I can definitively pin to the withdrawal. (And I've always been an introspective and self-conscious person, anyway.) I am now keeping a daily note of mood, as well as exercising and avoiding sugar and refined carbs, so that I can perhaps see a broader trend if there is one. 

 

But that said, I will definitely be moving more slowly from here. I can see another year or more going down from 8mg. I really, really need to lose weight, and while tapering thus far has lessened my carb cravings, I haven't lost any weight (I think I've actually gained more weight), so I am aggressively pursuing lifestyle change instead. The taper can continue on in the background.

 

Joy - good to hear from you! It's probably wise to shelve the tapering for now. And yeah, I had heard the same things as Baroquep about alternating doses ... :huh: Be careful. It's hard not being able to fully trust GPs but I do believe that on this issue that are simply not well informed. 

 

 

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TikkiTikki

Busy weekend but mostly felt purposeful and good.

Bad dreams – my son falling over a balcony and something else bad I can't remember now.

I need to write and haven't found/ made the time.

Have kept to the slow carb diet 2 weeks now and walked most days.

I really want to not think about how I'm going but I don't think I'll ever turn that switch in my brain off.

I think I feel a mild undercurrent of anxiety that is ready to latch onto events and turn them into a pessimistic narrative. Probably thinking "but that's just me, and I'll always feel like that" is an example of said pessimism, and not an astute judgement of self.

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joy2730

TikkiTikki

 

You are doing well because you are now on a low dose without too much in the way of withdrawal symptoms and are still functioning.  Anxiety seems to be one of the main withdrawal symptoms especially on the lower doses.

 

A quick question, before you have mentioning feeling a bit flat, do you still feel like that?

 

I made a very small reduction last night but felt it in the night - a bad dream (why are they always negative!) and pins and needles in my elbows, wrists and fingers.  It amazes me how strong these drugs are.  I do feel immediate symptoms, you are doing well TikkiTikki, and by the way, don't feel obliged to answer my question.

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

Some days I feel like I am relapsing into depression – nothing dramatic, just increased crankiness, dourness, negative thoughts and very little patience or enthusiasm. The danger feels less like the feeling itself, than what the persistent negativity will do to my relationships, career and health.

 

My son was delighted when I laughed the other day: "I love your laugh!" and it made me realise how very rarely I am lighthearted and playful. Everything feels like a grind and the best I feel is when I remind myself that expecting happiness is what causes disappointment ... cheery stuff.

 

Falling asleep is something I'm inclined to resist now, usually reading until I'm exhausted. 

 

I was walking an hour every day until the new year, and eating much better, but both have those have lapsed since being on holiday and a few bouts of illness. So it's possible this pessimism will lift when I get back to those good habits.

 

I still have moments, morning, days when I feel purposeful and I've read 12 novels in the last month, so I can't be definitive about this feeling. Oh blah. I'm so tired of checking how I feel and trying to edge the ease-o-meter up with different activities or vitamins.

 

If I could just take a f***ing break from myself.

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TikkiTikki

And now I've had five great days and don't know what to think.

 

 

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Happy2Heal
9 hours ago, TikkiTikki said:

And now I've had five great days and don't know what to think.

 

 

that's great!! 

 

I know what I'd be thinking if it was me,

I'd be thinking "woohoo, I'm healing!!!" and I'd thoroughly enjoy those great days, knowing that there will be more to come. (and trying not to fear the rough spots that everyone gets, whether they're in WD or not)

 

let every good experience nourish you, hold onto the good feelings and let them grow.

 

it sounds all very hippy dippy, I guess but it's been helping me, so I just want to share what helps. not trying to be preachy, hope it doesn't come off that way

 

;-)

 

 

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joy2730

Keep posting to help the rest of us.

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TikkiTikki

Thank you for dropping by and your good wishes... 

Things continued well and then I had a few crappy days, but feeling good today and have made another cut.

I honestly find it very difficult to track my low feelings to the dosage I'm on, or how recently I have made a cut. Sometimes I fear I'm on a slow, downward trajectory since dropping below 20mg, and other times it feels like just the ups and downs of tapering (and life).

My 'crappy' days involve: feeling bleak and anxious about myself and what I've made of my life. Worried about how few good friends I have, and how I don't feel like myself with most of the people I engage with. Feeling like a bad parent who is irritable, impatient and tense most of the time. Feeling that I have no career, and have wasted any potential I once had.

I do feel anxious and adrenalised and tend towards avoidant behaviours and "busy work" to block out the feeling, but my train of thought is largely depressive, I think. I see it as a sort of narrative sickness – something wrong with the story I'm telling myself, and that if I keep reinforcing those thoughts then it gets harder and harder to change my life in the direction I want it to go.

Other than perhaps neuro-emotions, I don't feel I have any other symptoms that people report here.

I'm reading a great book by Johann Hari called 'Lost Connections' that argues for a social and emotional context for depression that results from losing connection to innately human needs for meaningful work, purpose in life, the natural world, community and other people, status and respect, and meaningful values (ie the opposite of capitalism). I really believe now that my own 'endogenous depression' was little more than the kind of disconnection he describes.

If I'm more predisposed to depression it's because of how profoundly I need the connections Hari outlines.

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joy2730

I get the same lower mood below 20 mg but also a lot of physical symptoms.  You are so fortunate to not have the others which I find really interferes with my functioning.  I will look that book up. 

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TikkiTikki

Yes I'm very fortunate Joy, I really have so few physical symptoms. The most noticeable effect is being more reactive and jumpy when I'm in a half-sleep state – I think Altostrata wrote a great post about the GABA/glutamate system and how it functions in keeping our alertness at the appropriate level. With withdrawal and/or being on SSRIs, the system is messed up and we become hyper vigilant, jumpy etc, particularly on waking (with cortisol surges etc). That was very inelegantly explained (by me!), but that is something I do notice: I feel physically on higher 'alert', and it is most pronounced in a sleepy state.

 

I'm feeling really good today. I seem to have developed bit more self-compassion, so instead of that relentless critical voice and drive to 'fix myself', I'm able to celebrate little successes and give myself a break. It's nice, I must say.

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joy2730

Thanks for the feedback, what a wonderful journey you are on.  I agree entirely with the different levels of alertness, especially in the sleepy state and how SSRIs affect this.

 

Even though I suffer a lot more withdrawal symptoms than individuals like you, by trying I have learnt so much about how the mind and body work.

 

It sounds as though you are getting nearer to your natural state, a baseline with which you were born, and still being able to function.

 

I have a question but you don't have to answer it.  Do you look facially the same now as when you were taking the higher dose?  It is just that when I got to my lowest dose I noticed I look a lot more like I did when a child, and in other people who have discontinued for pregnancy mainly I have noticed they looked facially different, and then when they went back on the SSRI they reverted to a different look.  Interesting?

 

Well done you!

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

HI Joy,

 

I don't think I look any different. I mean, I look different now than before ADs because of the 25kg weight gain (60 –> 85kg), and being in my early forties :), but not a major difference since tapering. Though my partner has commented on my looking 'fresher' or 'brighter' at times, and it's usually when I am eating better and exercising a bit. I'm a bit intrigued now though, and I might look through some old photos. I have heard people talk about 'Paxil face', and how noticeable it is when you know what to look for. Paxil seems like a heavy-hitter though, with weight gain, withdrawal, the whole bit.

 

Reading the Johann Hari book has changed the way I think about myself and my life. I have always felt 'prone' to depression/anxiety, and concluded I was more sensitive, and emotionally delicate or vulnerable. Hari argues in his book essentially that depression/anxiety are a reasonable response to fundamental human needs not being met (like the need for meaningful work, connections to people, meaningful values, status and respect, connection to the natural world etc), and that when our needs are not being met we seek ways to deaden the painful feelings, or become depressed (or both). I really think that is broadly true.

 

Now, for me, ADs can make it seem better, and got me out of an acute depressive episode, but they can't answer those more fundamental needs. I think when I was medicated fully, I felt a niggling sense of not being myself, and had many more acute moments of being unhappy with my life, but they didn't last long and I would lapse back into a sort of "oh well, that's life" mentality.

 

Now that I am below a therapeutic dose (if that's even a thing), those big life questions, and need for meaningful connection, are with me most of the time. I'm trying to strive past the self-criticism that comes so naturally to me (i've wasted my life, I don't have the close kindred friends I feel I need) and just use my negative feelings to help guide me to a better path. As Hari writes, the pain is useful, because it tells you something is wrong.

 

That's my current thinking, anyway. Complicated of course by neuro-emotions, or any other feelings that are part of withdrawal, and not "real", useful pain. My hope is that if I go slowly enough, I will have time to build up my social resources, find work I love to do, find a way of eating and exercising that isn't self-flagellation in disguise but genuine balance, and better my connections with people so I feel loved and appreciated. As my human needs come clamouring back at full volume, I will be slowly changing my life so that I can meet them naturally.

 

Of course, I may not get any lower than my current dose, but I'm grateful for this much 'un-numbing', anyway. I feel more connected to life, in all its glory and pain, and so I'm trying not to focus too hard on 0mg as a goal.  I may never get there, and I feel now that it's everything else that I do that will make my life better, not just whether I take ADs and at what dose.

 

Joy, you must have struggled with similar feelings about the holy 0mg goal. It's tempting to make it the be-all and end-all, but reading your posts, I think you've learned so much not just about the drugs and their effect but about yourself and your life, and that's irrespective of whether you've just cut a dose or made the decision to increase again. Questioning the drugs puts us on a journey of self-discovery and self-advocacy, and that, I think, is the true value of the antidepressant taper. YOU are back in charge, and learning to listen with compassion to your own body and mind.

 

But hey, what I wouldn't give to reach 0mg and have all this weight just melt off...:lol::lol:

 

xxxx

Tikki

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ChessieCat
45 minutes ago, TikkiTikki said:

therapeutic dose (if that's even a thing)

 

Altostrata's comment regarding this:

 

On 04/05/2016 at 9:32 AM, Altostrata said:

"Therapeutic dose" means absolutely nothing. It's an arbitrary number from the drug companies.

 

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TikkiTikki

So far I have dissolved my own mixture of citalopram, which I use for 3-6 days before making more. I always shake before use, but have noticed that a white substance can gather around the top of the bottle I use, and if I have left the lid off liquid can evaporate.

Today I have asked a compounding pharmacist to make a suspended mixture. I'm hoping it will remove any doubt about consistency of dosage. It will cost more (tablets about $7 in Australia, this will be $40 for a month's worth), but that's no problem luckily.

 

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joy2730

I have noticed those problems with making liquid

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

Started the suspended solution this weekend. Still tastes rankly bitter even laced with sickly raspberry flavour.

 

Bit of a crazy day Saturday – kids really pushed my buttons and ended up fighting with my partner and feeling desperately upset. But it was in waves: I was crying, unable to look at my partner, thinking I needed to leave the house for the whole day and then it would calm down and rational thought would return. It very much felt like the 'neuro-emotions' that are discussed here – very intense, sudden moods that go from 0 to 10 in an instant. Later in the day I felt very tired and much calmer, and that continued the next day.

 

I've been finding it easier to connect with people. Calling rather than texting, initiating contact, and speaking more directly when I'm with people. And though I woke early this morning with the usual bleak, dark thoughts, I was able to push them away more easily. See them as an effect of my injured/ healing brain rather than an accurate perception of my life.

 

Been listening to Robert Whitaker at a Danish conference in 2014. Ordered his book and Glenmullen's. His assessment of possible short-term efficacy of SSRIs but with long-term problems caused by oppositional tolerance very much tallies with my experience. I felt enormous relief when first taking drugs, and with reinstating after withdrawal – far greater than could be explained by a placebo effect. In the long term, though, I have felt blunted, apathetic, still pretty volatile emotionally and certainly not 'happy', and less able to connect with and care about people. And 25kg overweight.

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joy2730

All my findings too. The rapid and intense emotions are a shock of you are not expecting them.

 

I am currently reading David Healey and Peter Kramer.

 

However these drugs are still far better than the tricyclic drugs before them and I think they do work but they have a lot of negatives such as withdrawal issues, emotional blunting and weight gain and sexual side effects.

 

Knowledge is power

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

I agree Joy. I'm not particularly angry that I was offered antidepressants – they've not been too bad for me, and if I could go back in time I would still take them because I really needed some help. I DO wish that the doctors supporting me had known about withdrawal, and I could have tapered slowly and effectively about five years ago, instead of the doctor-sanctioned quick tapers that resulted in "relapse" and the belief that I needed these drugs to stay stable.

 

It's that belief that has probably done more damage.

 

From all the reading I've been doing lately, it would seem there is some case for short-term efficacy, and my own experience validates that, but in the long-term they begin to introduce problems on top of your original problems. And trying to get off them without understanding withdrawal ... 

 

How many people out there think they need drugs to live, when they really just need a slow taper?

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TikkiTikki

I suspect I have unintentionally updosed this week. Last Saturday I began using the pharmacist's suspension, rather than my homemade solution, and I now suspect it is stronger.

 

Saturday was crazy for me emotionally (probably PMT), but by the evening I felt really tired, and calm, like my whole body was relaxed and exhausted. I went to bed early, thinking it was just an endorphins thing after being so agitated and emotional in the day. But I have felt the same way the whole week. There's a sedative quality to the tiredness that is different to normal tiredness, a kind of calm and sleepy feeling that I recall from early days of SSRIs kicking in. I've been in bed and usually asleep before ten every night, and on Tuesday I just wanted to put my head on my desk and sleep at work. 

 

I've also been quite nauseous on waking in the mornings, which can persist for up to an hour. Since beginning the taper, I can get quite jumpy and adrenalised in the morning, and often feel worst when drifting off to sleep or waking (messed up 'alerting system'). This week I'm not jumpy, but the nausea is quite pronounced, and that's another 'start-up' symptom for me.

 

I must say, I feel great now! Clear-headed, focused and energetic today, no nausea (though I woke up myself today, not by kids, so probably at a time my body was ready for). Yesterday I felt really good too. 

 

Today I made a slight downward adjustment to 6.4mg. I'll see how that pans out this week, and then maybe go to 6.2mg next Saturday if all is well. I'm thinking of switching to a microtaper from here on.

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joy2730

Hi

 

You are doing so well, I would say what you have described above is classic withdrawal and that you are doing so well.  It is fantastic that you are feeling so well and energetic.

 

I also think your plans to microtaper from hereonin is very wise, the lower the dose the slower you need to go, also people on this site report strange symptoms a few months after being 'off' completely.

 

I am so impressed, and when I feel able I am going to try again, but for me I had a much more severe reaction.

 

Once again, please keep posting back because that it how others, and people like me, get a clear picture, and success stories can be a little thin on the ground.

 

Good for you, go and enjoy your life.

 

Joy

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TikkiTikki

Thanks Joy! Always lovely to hear from you.

 

I absolutely intend to keep posting through the taper and after because like you, I'm really keen to hear how people go once they're finished! That's the big unknown for me right now – how slow a taper do I need to do to avoid the withdrawal crash 3–6 months later? I'm trying to follow the 10%, and largely have (except a bit quicker at the beginning), but because my symptoms are so minor it can be tempting to speed it up.

 

Lovely day today, out at the local park with the Scout group for 'Clean Up Australia' day in the morning with my kids, then we all went to my son's tennis match, and chatted with some friends I haven't seen for a while. My in-laws came home from a cruise today, so we took them some milk and bread and had a little catch-up. I've been so much happier connecting with people and being involved with things. I used to feel vaguely overwhelmed at all times, like there was a foggy class between me and the world.

 Gone! (for this week at least ...^_^)

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ChessieCat

TT I've moved your question to Joy to her topic.

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TikkiTikki

Sleeping suspiciously well and feeling great. 6.4mg again this morning.

 

Visited my lovely neighbours, something I've been meaning to do for 6 years now ...

In the last few years I've been concluding that I must just be naturally reclusive – seeing people and attempting to connect always felt at best mildly overwhelming and ultimately unsatisfying. I wondered if maybe I just felt social pressure to be social, and that I might be happier just accepting a more solitary life.

 

But I still had nagging moments of wanting so much more from life. I remembered feeling so intensely for my friends – I actually lived with a small group in a house we owned together, operating a joint bank account between five of us! We lived about as closely as people could without partner-swapping :lol:. So how could I conclude that I was really just a hermit??

 

I'm pretty sure the citalopram was to blame, but in a very subtle way such that it was hard to notice. Interacting with people often felt like something I needed to remind myself to do, and it was always a relief when it ended. I thought I just needed more alone time because I had young kids. But I got progressively lonelier, and thought there was something wrong with me.

 

Thanks to all you beautiful people, and the invaluable information on SA, I don't think that anymore. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

And Alto, when I find that yellow donate button, I'll put my money where my mouth is ...

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TikkiTikki
21 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

TT I've moved your question to Joy to her topic.

 

Thanks Chess! I did go there but she hadn't updated in a bit so I came back to mine.

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joy2730

Tikkitikki

 

How wonderful that you are experiencing such benefits.  You have inspired me to start my own little attempt to reduce my intake of citalopram, which I started this morning.

 

Your story of how you manage to get to see your neighbours reminds me of when I started to reduce diazepam - I actually made it to the travelling library that always parked at the top of our farm driveway, but had never managed it before.  All of a sudden I had enough energy and inclination to visit it.  However, I found getting off diazepam easier than citalopram.

 

I recognise every bit of your sentiments about connecting with people.  When I go down to the lowest of citalopram I have ever got, although I didn't stay there very long, I felt a lot more love for my family and friends.

 

Can I ask how you are doing with your weight, any loss yet, but obviously you must not feel obliged to answer.

 

Joy

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DaveB
13 hours ago, TikkiTikki said:

Sleeping suspiciously well and feeling great. 6.4mg again this morning.

 

Visited my lovely neighbours, something I've been meaning to do for 6 years now ...

In the last few years I've been concluding that I must just be naturally reclusive – seeing people and attempting to connect always felt at best mildly overwhelming and ultimately unsatisfying. I wondered if maybe I just felt social pressure to be social, and that I might be happier just accepting a more solitary life.

 

But I still had nagging moments of wanting so much more from life. I remembered feeling so intensely for my friends – I actually lived with a small group in a house we owned together, operating a joint bank account between five of us! We lived about as closely as people could without partner-swapping :lol:. So how could I conclude that I was really just a hermit??

 

I'm pretty sure the citalopram was to blame, but in a very subtle way such that it was hard to notice. Interacting with people often felt like something I needed to remind myself to do, and it was always a relief when it ended. I thought I just needed more alone time because I had young kids. But I got progressively lonelier, and thought there was something wrong with me.

 

Thanks to all you beautiful people, and the invaluable information on SA, I don't think that anymore. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

And Alto, when I find that yellow donate button, I'll put my money where my mouth is ...

 

So glad to hear you doing well, I have followed your story closely and hope to one-day be stable enough to taper. Been stuck in the "trying to get stable after CT" phase for over a year now, but I did many things wrong that you wisely avoided. Very happy for you!

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TikkiTikki

Hello, thanks for the kind words.

 

I feel very lucky to be feeling so good. (Also like there might be a catch somehow...)

 

Joy – on the weight front. Last year I was desperate to lose weight, and began a strict diet with 45-60mins of walking a day. I cut out carbs, sugar, fruit, dairy (basically just ate eggs, vegetables, chicken and legumes). After 8 weeks (just before Christmas), I had lost about 2.5kg (5.5lbs). I felt better and more even on the diet, but it was hard to cook for a family, socialise, and keep up the discipline and time it took to be prepared. Over Christmas and holidays, I drifted back to 'normal' eating. 

 

I'm not focused on weight now, for a few reasons:

  • It was hard to keep up, took a lot of my energy and focus, and the results were a bit underwhelming. I didn't notice any changes in measurements or clothing in that time.
  • It put me into kept me in a self-punishing/ self-loathing mindset. This year, I'm trying to be content where I am now, rather than fixating on weight loss or the AD taper.
  • For a long time, my weight has been a signifier of my 'real self', and I've thought that losing weight would magically make me feel like 'myself' again. Every failed attempt over the last decade just dug me further into a hole of self-blame, and estranged me from myself. This year, I've felt some real gains in meaningful connection, motivation and the desire to write, and those things are much closer to my 'real self' than any outward change could be. I can only put those changes down to the taper, and getting on lower doses that don't fog me so much, as well as the healthy self-examination that this process has required. 
  • I want a life that has more time for rest and contemplation, so something has to give!

I do want to focus on eating healthily and walking often, and those are my broader goals for now. I expect the weight issue to become a focus again, at some stage, but for now It's a bit on the back burner. To be honest, if I'd lost a bit more weight in that time I would have been more inspired, but I find losing weight on ADs just SO difficult and discouraging. So much effort for so little gain. Maybe in a year or two, if I can get off the citalopram, it will become easier.

 

I still very keenly watch out for any SSRI stories where people lose weight as they taper, or after, and have scoured this site and others for encouragement! It does seem very individual as to when and how people lose weight, though a general trend of it being substantially easier once off meds seems to be true.

 

On 06/03/2018 at 4:18 AM, DaveB said:

 

So glad to hear you doing well, I have followed your story closely and hope to one-day be stable enough to taper. Been stuck in the "trying to get stable after CT" phase for over a year now, but I did many things wrong that you wisely avoided. Very happy for you!

 

Well Dave, 4 years ago I tapered over 4 months and then reinstated back to full dose (thinking I was relapsing). And 3 years earlier, much the same except an even quicker taper. All before SA. So I did plenty wrong before I knew what to do! And fingers crossed this is the right thing now.

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