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India: withdrawal (dissociation) after 9 years on citalopram

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India

"I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal.  One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements.  The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine).  The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization.  It's as if I am in a dream 24/7.  It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends.  The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms.  I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member

I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine  and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it.

Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my  mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????

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Gridley

Hello, India, and welcome to SA.  I am sorry you are going through this.  It sounds as if you are familiar with SA, but I am going to post some  be helpful.

 

First, to give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
Your symptoms are known and acknowledged as common in withdrawal from SSRI medications and other neuro-psycho-active substances. Please read:

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  Some people have found the information and explanations at these links helpful.  The first deals with protracted withdrawal, the second with structural changes to the brin caused by SSRIs.

 

These two posts deal with differentiating between withdrawal and relapse.  From your description, it appears you are in extended withdrawal.

This post and Is it withdrawal or relapse?

 

Many members have found these techniques helpful in dealing with withdrawal.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 
Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community. I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.

 

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India

Thank you for the advice . For some reason the first part of my post was lost?? It starts mid-sentence so it throws the meaning out somewhat. At the moment it is not practical to fill in a history. I may using an iPhone 

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mammaP

Hi India, your post resonates with me, I remember when I was in the hospital and suffering the effects of drugs and withdrawal. I remember telling the psychiatrist that I felt dead, that I was gone ans all that was left was the physical shell that was usless without a brain. It is an awful feeling but is part of withdrawal and will get better.  Until you can fill out your siganture, can you tell us when you stopped the drug, and was it just the one? This will help us to offer some more suggestions. Gridley has given you some excellent topics to look at, especially the one on withdrawal or relapse. Doctors don't often acknowledge withdrawal and usually put it all down to relapse. You have come to the right place for accurate knowledge that is not connected to any drug company and we will do our best to help.  Maybe the details were lost, I lose posts or parts of posts all the time! 

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India

Thank you and sorry for your experience. There is a lot of invalidation coming from psychiatrists. Also, with poor mental health you are always at the risk of being deemed unfit to to make decisions for yourself. Psychiatrists have a lot of power because there is no exact science when it comes to the mind. I wonder how many psychiatrists would themsleves take ssri's?

Paroxetine 20mg, age 16 - 4 months (1999)

, Citalopram 20mg, age 19-22 (2002-2005)

, Fluoxetine 20mg age 25- 2 years (2007-2009),

All 2009/2010 Escitalopram age 26 (adverse manic reaction) 2 weeks, Valium/temazepam - 3months age 27, Mirtazapine ( do not remember dosage) 5 months- put on 28lb in weight,

2012 increase to 40mg ( from20mg) of citalopram after severe depression- I became very suicidal on the drug increase-- thinking about throwing myself into traffic and so reduced after 2 weeks

citalopram 20mg age 27 to current (2009-2017): tapered in september 2017, 2 months on 10mg, one month one 5mg, fully off December 2017

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India

Everyone is telling me to go back on but I feel that if I do I will never get back off them. I have a tic and I also wonder if this was not in fact due to stress but due to the fact that at times the citalopram would make me manic. I suffer from restless legs...again.. I have not idea if these were a side effect. 

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India

I'm thinking about going back onto 5mg Citalopram ( or 10 mg every other day as it was suggested to me by my psychiatrist  to equate to 5mg ) and then doing a slow taper over 6 months. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I will also check on tapering. Thank you for everyone's comments so far and all the suggestions. 

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JustCallMeJane

I'm not a mod and only give you my experience, however little it is. I quit Cipralex cold turkey in November. By mid-January, I was in withdrawal hell. I too was terrified of going back on, fearing never to come off again. But the WD was too much for me to handle, and I reinstated at 5mg daily. Personally, this has done a world of good for me, and I find my WD has settled. It may only be a window, but I'm enjoying the sunshine it's bringing me.

 

I would recommend, solely on my experience, reinstating at 5mg every day. I think that doing it every other day would cause your central nervous system more havoc. I say this only because during the first week after reinstating, I found that within 23 hours after taking the meds my WD anxiety went from 0 to 60 in nanoseconds. I would climb the walls and freak out at the drop of a pin. 

 

As for the restless leg, I get that too, and during my WD it was intensified by 1,000. I started taking magnesium citrate, 150mg to start, and it helped. Hopefully a mod will pop in soon to give you more advice. HUGS. :wub:

 

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ChessieCat

Q:  Was it the beginning of the end of December that you stopped taking citalopram?

 

Q:  What was you starting dose of citalopram?  Your signature mentions 10mg and then 5mg.  Where you on more than 10mg before this?

 

The dose which you could try will depend on what your answers to my questions.

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

SA's recommends taking the same dose every day at about the same time.  Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

8 minutes ago, JustCallMeJane said:

reinstating at 5mg every day

 

5mg may be too high a dose for your to go back on.  Please answer my questions and then I will make a suggestion.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
correct graph link

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ChessieCat

It is possible to make your own liquid so you can get a smaller dose and not skip days.  Please see Post #1 of this topic:  Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

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Longestroadhome

Hi India and welcome to the forum.

If I am correct Citalopram is a sister medication to Lexapro, although Lexapro is stronger. Dropping from 10mg to 0 in such a short time is a big drop. I tend to agree with Jane that perhaps a small reinstatement would benefit you. The mods here tend to suggest a much lower dose to start with and then perhaps ease your way up slowly. From my own perspective a slow and steady withdrawal is a much kinder and gentle way to get off these meds. 

 

In the meantime there are lots of great threads on how to deal with symptoms that arise during withdrawal (non medication) I personally find listening to Eckhart Tolle on YouTube very soothing for my own anxiety but I know some people who find his voice irritating! Others find magnesium helps with restlessness, taken orally or in the form of an Epsom Salt bath. 

 

This is a difficult journey but there are many of us going through the same thing so you are not alone here.

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India

Hello everyone, Thank you for the helpful advice. So I spent nine years on 20mg of Citalopram. 1st September I reduced to 10mg and stayed there until 1st of November when I went down to 5mg (by taking 10mg every other day). On the 1st december I ceased all medication. Went to the psychiatrist today who said withdrawal symptoms only occur if you stop taking them abruptly and I hadn't. I don't agree, of course, how many psychiatrists have taken the drugs they subscribe?

Will look into all the links. Bought magnesium today. I'm a bit worried about making the liquid. I'm quite dissociated so even trying to make sense of all the posts is a bit of a struggle. I understand I need ethanol and a measuring pipette. It would be easier if I could split the 10mg pills I have into 5mg???? Await your responses.

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India
On 04/02/2018 at 1:13 PM, ChessieCat said:

Q:  Was it the beginning of the end of December that you stopped taking citalopram?

1st December

 

Q:  What was you starting dose of citalopram?  Your signature mentions 10mg and then 5mg.  Where you on more than 10mg before this?

In 2009 they put me straight onto 20mg. I remained on 20mg for 9 years (which one increase to 40mg for 2 weeks).

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
highlighted responses

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ChessieCat
1 hour ago, India said:

Bought magnesium today. I'm a bit worried about making the liquid. I'm quite dissociated so even trying to make sense of all the posts is a bit of a struggle. I understand I need ethanol and a measuring pipette. It would be easier if I could split the 10mg pills I have into 5mg

 

SA recommends only making 1 change at a time.  Starting magnesium and reinstating will make it hard to know if reinstatement is working and/or you are getring any benefit/problems from magnesium.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Also:  Keep Notes on Paper

 

As previously mentioned it is better to start with a low dose and increase if needed.  Some members have reinstated too high a dose and ended up not being able to stabilise because their CNS (central nervous system) had become sensitised.

 

My suggestions would be to reinstate 2.5mg.  You could do try this for the time being.  Get a reasonable sized square of a medium weight paper (coloured might be best) and crease it down the middle then flatten it out.  Halve a 10mg tablet and then crush the 1/2 tablet (ie 5mg). between 2 spoons over the piece of paper.  Using something with a thin flat/straightt edge move the powder into a pile in the middle of the paper, crease the paper, then unfold and then halve the powder as equally as you can.

 

To make it easier you could use 2 squares of paper, fold them together, slide one of the out about 1/2 way and then lay them down flat.  Crush the 1/2 tablet onto the top square then fold both papers together and then unfold, lay flat and divide powder into 2 equal parts, and using That way after you have crushed the 1/2 tablet and folded and unfolded the  papers you can halve the powder and scrape it onto the overhanging paper so you end up with equal powder on the 2 pieces of paper.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
correction

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JanCarol

Hey india - how are you going?  What did you decide to to?

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India

I forgot my password hence not responding for a while. But thats not the only reason. I've had quite a bad time of it. I tried to implement the changes but after having a further depressive breakdown- in which I was experiencing depersonalisation, paranoia, intense suicidal ideation and that terrible grating on the nerves as if someone was torturing me with a continual distorted noise, I weakened. Not before spending two weeks solid in bed night and day with psychomotor retardation. I even couldn't even bath ( I am usually OCD about cleanliness). I was in hell, this a further circle of hell, Dante's inferno style. My sister had to take time off work to accompany me to the psychiatrist who said my symptoms were not withdrawal symptoms. She did recommend I stay off though. I literally felt like I had lost hope ( there are many psychological factors going on that could also be involved in this breakdown- and I was in freefall this year- but this seems to have an additional "physical" plane that I have not experienced before. Plus, I went on the meds 9 years ago after a very traumatic incident- could this be the return of the repressed?). After taking the magnesium and the citalopram I felt I couldn't stop the citalopram . I was taking one 10mg  tablet every other day which seemed to be ok and give me a tiny bit of relief from the depression (after about a week of intermittent - one day on and one day off - taking of the citalopram. I then started to dissolve my tablets into liquid form as suggested so that I would be taking 5mg every day. After taking it like this for 4 days and feeling immediately sea-sick and dizzy on ingesting the liquid each time (? Anyone else had this?) . I've gone back to the tablets (10mg every other day). It's funny but after a few days of going back on the citalopram I stopped feeling depersonalised/dissociated but still had the depression. I had a collapse for 2 days last week with the depression- I didn't get up for two days. I am now up and about but still fragile. I'm thinking about going back on 10mg everyday to ascertain if this is withdrawal or a breakdown. How much these are psychological issues and how much this is withdrawal is hard to extricate . I really feel confused. I think one of the biggest things I've been dealing with is what I perceive to be a paranoid intensification of reality. Since my partner left me last year, my life has slowly disintegrated and because of my depression and lack of status friends have distanced themselves from me in droves. I've tried to keep to myself but it's pretty obvious things are not going well. Isolation- rejection- paranoia- fragility- it's a viscious cycle. I also find I can't read or function at all. I also wonder if going back up to 20mg of citalopram might show me if this current breakdown can be mediated by the medication or not. I hope I have made sense?

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India

Just reading the reinstatement link .

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India

Just read reinstatement . Interesting tips. It's funny that I had very little reaction to coming off citalopram when I was 22 ( after 3 years on it) . I've theorised it could be because I was younger (I'm 34 now) and had a different metabolic rate or/and my life was going better ( I was in love etc..). It does frighten me to think that going back to 20mg may not take me out of this nightmare. 

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ChessieCat

Many members have found that they were able to get off a drug previously and sometimes twice with no or few problems but are now having problems.

 

13 minutes ago, India said:

going back to 20mg

 

We would recommend a very much smaller dose that 20mg.  You might find that 0.5mg or 1mg is enough to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  It is better to start with a low dose to see how you react and then increase by a very small amount if after 2-3 weeks you find that the withdrawal symptoms are still unbearable.  The idea of reinstatement isn't to get rid of symptoms completely but to lessen them so that they are bearable.

 

Your brain will have made some adaptations since you have been off the drug.  You stopped at 5mg sometime in December.  Even going back onto 5mg may be too much because it has been at least 7 weeks since you were on 5mg.

 

Please add the date when you stopped in December (1 month can make a difference so we need to know if it beginning, middle or end of December please) Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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India

As I've been taking the 5mg for more than 3 weeks I thought I would stick with it. I am back to titrating as opposed to taking a 10mg tablet every other day. I notice I feel nauseous more with the liquid. I haven't gone down to 1mg because that would be another change again. It should be taking effect after 3 weeks? Does seem to have alleviated some of the nerve sensitivity but I still get waves of it. 

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ChessieCat

It may take 2 to 3 months for things to settle down.  

 

Stabilising After a Reduction - What Does That Mean?

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

5mg 5th February to current (10mg every other day)

 

Please update your signature whenever you make a change.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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India

Went back up to 10mg march- now . 2 days ago I started titration of 9mg so I will see how I go. It's been tough but I am

determimed to get off these damn things. I feel like they are worse than opiates ( not that I have tried) but ppl seem to transition off methadone faster!!!!! 

My nervous system is frazzled but hard to know what was the stress and what is the ssri's? Anyone else get cold all the time? I deeply regret going on them!! I've been trying to get off them for years. I got off them for one month in ten years.

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ChessieCat
18 minutes ago, India said:

Went back up

 

Please remember to update your drug signature whenever you make a change so that is remains current and we can see your history at a glance.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

19 minutes ago, India said:

Anyone else get cold all the time?

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  You can use the site search function.  I prefer to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

By searching survivingantidepressants.org cold I found this topic:  body-temperature-dysregulation-fever-chills-shivering-too-hot-too-cold

 

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Carmie
18 minutes ago, India said:

Went back up to 10mg march- now . 2 days ago I started titration of 9mg so I will see how I go. It's been tough but I am

determimed to get off these damn things. I feel like they are worse than opiates ( not that I have tried) but ppl seem to transition off methadone faster!!!!! 

My nervous system is frazzled but hard to know what was the stress and what is the ssri's? Anyone else get cold all the time? I deeply regret going on them!! I've been trying to get off them for years. I got off them for one month in ten years.

 

Hi India, 

 

Yes, temperature disregulation is very common in withdrawals. I get hot, then cold, then hot, then hot when going through waves. I have the fan on one minute and then the heater the next. It’s really weird. 

 

As regards tapering, you need to taper at 10% or less every time and then hold for at least four weeks. I have been tapering at 4% to 5% as I find 10% too high for me. 

 

All the best with your tapering.💚

 

 

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India

Thank you. I have had the cold problem quite a long time.it had been suggested to me it was the ssri's. I get so cold that I sleep in ski socks/ woollen jumpers  in the summer. It has also been suggested that my mouth tic was caused my medication. I now have read these as side effects. When I first took escitalopram I sat on the sofa laughing hysterically. Also, I think restless leg syndrome also related. Now I really cast my mind back.  I still had depressions on them and anxiety. I feel my emotions coming back strongly I spent a whole day of gasping for breath. Psychiatrist offered me antipsychotics for my body dysmorphia which I declined . No one agrees with me coming off meds but I don't trust them anymore. I plan to follow the 10% plan. I feel like you have to be so determined to refuse or get off meds there is just so much pressure. Everyone has bought into the ssri marketing .. it's like talking to a brainwashed cult: doctor's, psychologists, family, friends . So many ppl feel that if you have mental health issues then you should be taking them.

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Dan998
14 hours ago, India said:

I feel like you have to be so determined to refuse or get off meds there is just so much pressure. Everyone has bought into the ssri marketing .. it's like talking to a brainwashed cult: doctor's, psychologists, family, friends . So many ppl feel that if you have mental health issues then you should be taking them.

 

It certainly does feel like that. The first part of the process of un-patienting yourself is to realise that very few people are genuinely mentally ill. Most people are put on these brain disabling drugs to enable them to tolerate an unbearable situation. The real issue often tends to be a failing relationship, financial difficulties or environmental stressors.


You're right. The pharmaceutical companies have done a fantastic job of convincing everybody that these drugs are safe and effective, when the truth is, no-one actually knows how they work or what the long term effects may be. And, when it comes to protracted withdrawal they just categorically deny it's existence and insist that it's the original illness coming back again. 

 

There are a few medical professionals who 'get it'. I'd highly recommend searching online for Peter Breggin, Robert Whitaker and David Healy. It was Breggin's 'Your Drug May Be Your Problem' that opened my eyes to what's really going on with these awful drugs.

 

The fact that you are participating in this forum shows that you probably do have the determination to get off these wretched poisons. I won't sugar coat the truth, withdrawing from antidepressants will likely be the hardest thing that you will ever do. There will be plenty of self doubt and you will be tempted many times to just give in and go back to full dose. But, the effort will be totally worth it once you get to the other side and start reclaiming your mental clarity and function.

 

Just take it nice and slowly. Tapering is all about getting to zero as painlessly as possible.

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India

Thank you for the support !! Will reply properly but keeping this shortish . Tonight I can't sleep. I have the feeling of intense restlessness, rls. My motor tics have been horrendous. But I believe the ssri's caused it in the first place and bruxism. also, the lack of coordination that has dogged me all the way through. Not knowing where you are in time and space. I also frequently urinate but I'm starting to think that the tablets have intensified my OCD rather than quelled it. It's so hard to ascertain . Like you say, it's extremely hard. Even with 1mg I can feel the difference. I need to get more magnesium. 

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India

Today I ended up in A and E (ER)with extreme breathing difficulties(hyperventilation) for hours. Told it was panic attack. Though this was so extreme. I was crying and crying and constantly gasping for breath . I first went on citalopram 9 years ago due to severe panic from ptsd. Have ppl felt old emotions return that they might have repressed? It's probably difficult to answer that. What about breathing difficulties? Severe panic attacks . I just made a move down from 10mg to 9mg. I've also noticed that i can't handle any caffeine or alcohol . I just wonder how much of this is my "madness" and how much have the drugs altered my personality??!

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India

I am completely off citalopram ( I dropped for one month from 5mg). This is my second attempt to completely stop. The first wave of symptoms were  really hard but two days ago they hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been feeling the most bleak and harrowing depression, suicidal and my nerves on edge to the extreme- intolerable. My memory has been terrible the whole month   . I am dissociated ( seems to have increased as time has gone on) . I am already managing chronic pain from ptsd . I thought I was doing better this time. Has anyone else found that their symptons are worse a month after cessation .. I spent a whole 8 months on reduced dose and tried to reduce gradually . I know some of these are my trauma symptoms but others are the meds. I can't work out how to update my history on my phone. 

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India

Just found this. Possibly circadian rhythm related: 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/?tab=comments#comment-183

 Still interested in others experiences.

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India

Because of the effects of withdrawal and a pre-exisiting learning  difficulty (dyspraxia- affecting motor coordination) it has taken me time to negotiate this site. I have also found my symptoms to preclude me from reading or writing well (working memory impairment) . I am experiencing processing problems, confusion, and have difficulties spelling (never had this before). A cognitive block which I now know is not a unique symptom.  My coordination has been the worst it has ever been, I am slowed considerably. . In case anyone is following the post. I am now, 10 weeks and 2 days into withdrawal with zero mg of Citalopram in my system. It has been hellish though better than my previous attempt in December 2017-January 2018. The first month was better than the second. I have been permenantly dissociated/derealised for the 10 weeks with a few small windows in which I feel a brief breeze of a sort of normality. Symptoms have been unrelenting- and affecting my ability to retrieve words, and to even read ( words appear on a page but I am extremely slow to process even basic information like a menu). I know, from research, I am not alone. I had had an eternal optimism and hoped I would surpass symptoms. The strange dissciated feeling is one I have never experienced before except on withdrawal ( though after three years on citalopram 20 mg (2002-2005) I just stopped taking them one day and was completely fine/ not my experience this time around). Proud to be off the drugs, this initially spurned me, also with the hope that these symptoms would abate.

They have not improved at the speed I had hoped. I hear it takes apprx a year to recover for most people who experience protracted withdrawal. I find myself at crossroads today. Do I gamble and wait? Wait to see if things at some point abate but sacrificing any chance of normal functioning. Or do I reinstate on a low dose of the citalopram liquid I have procured from my doctor at 2.5mg or 5mg. Previously I had tried titrating from my own liquid but found that I was coming over nauseous and faint. I think this may have been to do with the fact that tablets are slow- release, though I haven't been able to find much info on absorption ( and also finding it difficult to read). It is difficult to know if I will in fact be putting myself back if I go back on, and like it has been pointed out, will not know if reinstating will rectify my symptons. Still, I am not going to be able to study or work in this state and articles/personal accounts I have read put recovery at 1-2 years.

A friend of mine with children came off sertraline, for one month, and found her symptoms so intolerable that she says she will stay on them for life . She accepts she is dependent but simply cannot tolerate the withdrawal. I am so torn. It is so tormenting not to be functioning, at the same time I fear if I go back on then I will never get off. I suppose because so little is known about SSRI's mechanism of action, one cannot know if I will in fact be putting myself back with reinstating, or infact soothing the severe withdrawal symptoms in order to give myself a better chance at withdrawing and staying off long term.

Like the views expressed in some of the videos released by The Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry, I do feel angry. I feel angry with myself for buying into the simplistic biological 'diabetes' neurotransmitter theory. In the cold dark of night I fear that these ssri's have damaged my brain. Yes, I have suffered from trauma and depression and accept these too have caused deficits but there was still some lucidity there, my brain is so slowed. The nervous system symptoms are new ( feeling like a raw exposed nerve.. unable to tolerate regular noises). The problem is the protracted nature of the symptons. I  have heard opiate withdrawal is horrendous but short lived.

 

I told myself I would review things make a decision at 3 months into withdrawal which is in 12 days time. At present, my windows are slithers, minute apparitions that dissapate as soon as they appear, few and far between and not enough of a base to form any sort of functional life.

 

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bhasski

Hi,

I am sorry for what you r going through.

I know how much hellish it is... 

It will get better but takes time and noone could put a timeline.

 

I am dysfunctional for 3 years... Only in recent times I had tried to go out do some work but my emotions failed me and I am back home bound.

But there is recovery for me.

 

Keep trying. 

Whatever you do - fight free or reinstate - dont expect timeline or results as it hurts... 

Reinstate with minimal dose is an option for further taper.

I wish you best. 

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On 9/13/2018 at 7:53 PM, bhasski said:

Hi,

I am sorry for what you r going through.

I know how much hellish it is... 

It will get better but takes time and noone could put a timeline.

 

I am dysfunctional for 3 years... Only in recent times I had tried to go out do some work but my emotions failed me and I am back home bound.

But there is recovery for me.

 

Keep trying. 

Whatever you do - fight free or reinstate - dont expect timeline or results as it hurts... 

Reinstate with minimal dose is an option for further taper.

I wish you best. 

Thank you for the support and I am sorry that you too are experiencing this. I reinstated at 6mg and got some disturbed thoughts and panic yesterday. So I am going to go on 1mg and work from there. I drank alcohol last night to calm myself. Not a long term solution, or a good one! You are right about the time line. Also, I am so so slowed but having to accept it and try to give me brain positive messages. I do know from this board that I shouldn't have tapered from 10mg so fast but I did so hoping this attempt would work out and I might get to 3 months and be better ( like my friend and sister). Protracted withdrawal seems to be a lottery. What has worked for you/kept you going these 3 years?

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An update. I am 5 days into reinstatement at 6mg. Huge windows and waves. I am to stabilise for 3 months and then start 10% taper every 2 months. Anxiety has been horrendous but windows have saved me.

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I would like to ask some advice. After a (stupid) 6 week taper from 10mg I entered extreme withdrawal about 3-4 weeks in. I decided to tough it out until 2.5?months in when my symptoms were so bad ( stress induced insanity and terror) I reinstated. In February last year, I reinstated at 10mg and it worked but that's because I was off the citalopram for about 5-6 weeks. I was lucky. This time, I reinstated with the citalopram 40mg/ml liquid , first week at 2mg ( one drop =2mg and you can't measure less than that). I read that after 3-4 days you should updose again if it doesn't work. I've ended up on 6mg.. that was 3 weeks ago and not much change. Though my morning cortisol spikes have gone insane and my dissoci. After my two days of hell (before reinstatement and 2.5 months on 0mg of citalopram),  in which I truly lost my mind ( listening to dr.  Claire Weekes tapes on YouTube  got me through), I went to France with my mum and appeared to improve a lot - with windows and waves. I was swimming in the sea and with someone "safe". Since being back in london , things that would normally be bearable sent me back into that horrendous stress response. I am having windows and a few waves. My memory and intellectual capacities ( typing this I am so much slower than I have ever been) are just so diminished -- every day i tell myself it's temporary and try to not panic. My question is... how long should i wait on 6mg? I want to get off on the 5/10% taper  but I want to do it from a stable place ( last time that stable place was 10mg). I know my nervous system is sensitised. I am getting through this by trying with all my might to be be positive and believe I will heal. Not panic and read stories that inspire. Any advice staying at 6mg would be appreciated. Am I dealing with a gamble here? In the sense that if I go up anymore then then I may risk worsening things but could also stabilise enough to do a proper taper over a year. What does a conservative reinstatement schedule look like? 0.5/1mg a month or 1mg every 3/4 days? Maybe there isn't an answer and it's individual. I just can't work out what to do at present. Many thanks 

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