Jump to content
jonnypeters1234567

jonnypeters1234567: 11 months off Citalopram

Recommended Posts

jonnypeters1234567

Hi all

 

Last June I stopped 20mg of Citalopram that I had been taking on and off for 8 years.

 

My doctor advised me to taper over 2 weeks!

 

Months 0-3 were bad but not too bad. 3-6 were bad, some very severe waves and really bad OCD, which Ive never normally had. 7-9 waves started decreasing. 9-11 windows have been more clearer but still getting bad waves

 

My windows seem to be getting progressively better. I keep thinking I'm back to my normal self and then get hit with a wave and come back feeling more normal.

 

Recently Ive been getting more intrusive thoughts.

 

My nervous system and physical symptoms seem to have got worse recently. I had some MSG on friday which messed me up. Im still getting physical sweats now. This wave has been the most severe Ive had for a long time. Has anyone noticed their nervous system get worse?

 

Thanks

 

 

Edited by Dan998
added tags

Share this post


Link to post
Dan998

Hi Jonny.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

Getting off of Citalopram after long term use is hard going. You have done remarkably well to 'tough out' the withdrawal symptoms and get this far. Many people would have thrown in the towel early on, assumed they were seriously ill and gone running back to the doctor. 

 

What you describe, the OCD and intrusive thoughts, are quite normal for withdrawal. They will eventually pass, although this could still take some time.

 

There is a phenomena that we like to describe as the 10 month wave. It is a sudden increase in symptoms that usually occurs anywhere between 8 months and a year off the drugs and can last for a few weeks. Quite often it is followed by some significant healing and improvements in brain function. We don't know why it happens, but it is certainly quite common.

 

It Doesn't End at Zero. Are We There Yet?

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  This appears below every post you make.  This is the preferred format which helps people understand your context when they read your posts.:

 

Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations particularly those from the last 12 - 24 months?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia
On 6/18/2018 at 6:45 PM, jonnypeters1234567 said:

I had some MSG on friday which messed me up. Im still getting physical sweats now. This wave has been the most severe Ive had for a long time. Has anyone noticed their nervous system get worse?

 

Welcome from me too Jonny, I've also been very sensitive to MSG, among other things. Some of my worst waves have been caused by bad reactions to things I used to be fine with, including MSG, too much sugar, strange ingredients in foods, caffeine, some supplements and too much physical activity.

 

I don't think its that our NS gets worse, it's currently in a vulnerable state, so when it reaches its lower stress tolerance threshold, it reacts in a more chaotic way, which can seem like its getting worse for a while, until it settles back down again. From my experience and what I've noticed from my time on this site, the NS slowly recovers and then is eventually able to handle more stress and stimulation. But every time it becomes overloaded by more than it can tolerate, it reacts with increased or new symptoms. These are the waves.

 

Sometimes, with activities and environments, we can feel that we are becoming tired or overwhelmed and can stop. But when its something we ingest, its often too late and we are hit with increased symptoms anywhere from a few hours to a few days later. If you keep notes, you will be able to see what you are sensitive to and can avoid those foods or substances until your NS has healed more.

 

In general, once we are healed and symptom free, the nervous system can remain sensitive and vulnerable for a couple of years. So its possible to experience a wave of symptoms even after being 'fully' recovered for a while, but there is often a specific cause.

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Thanks for your help. Its weird that i havent had any sensitivities until this far out. Had a bad night of burning skin, sickness, heart problems. Im still getting bad dp/dr.

 

Have you found propanalol help?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

There is a phenomena that we like to describe as the 10 month wave. It is a sudden increase in symptoms that usually occurs anywhere between 8 months and a year off the drugs and can last for a few weeks. Quite often it is followed by some significant healing and improvements in brain function. We don't know why it happens, but it is certainly quite common.

 

Yes my head is feeling clearer today

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
1 hour ago, jonnypeters1234567 said:

Have you found propanalol help?

 

Here is SA's topic:  beta-blockers-propranolol-metopropol-atenolol-etc

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  You can either use the site search or use google and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search term.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Welcome, jonny.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Do people generally get mentally worse in their second year off?

 

I was having severe windows and waves in the first year but it seems that its getting harder

 

Im losing alot of hope and thinking of going back on some sort of medication and then tapering off slowy

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Starting to feel disconnected from my support, losing sense of relationships which is extremely worrying

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

I really didnt't think I would get protacted withdrawal, i guess no one does. But i feel like i am going to be in it for years now, losing hope

Share this post


Link to post
Dan998
6 hours ago, jonnypeters1234567 said:

I really didnt't think I would get protacted withdrawal, i guess no one does. But i feel like i am going to be in it for years now, losing hope

 

Absolutely right, no-one expects withdrawal. It comes as a really nasty surprise to a very high percentage of people who try to get free of antidepressants. Yes, you might have some withdrawal for a few more years to come. But, when it comes to withdrawal, it is certainly true that time is the great healer. Your symptoms should improve as you put more distance between yourself and the meds. 

 

11 hours ago, jonnypeters1234567 said:

Im losing alot of hope and thinking of going back on some sort of medication and then tapering off slowy

 

After being off the drugs for a year it is going to be a gamble as to whether a reinstatement is going to work for you. We have had a number of members who have had success trying this. We have also had others who have become sensitized to antidepressants and have made their situation worse.

 

It's a difficult decision to make. If you think you can learn to cope with the symptoms, then staying drug free is probably going to be best. If not, then a tiny reinstatement (perhaps 1 mg or less) to test how you are going to react is still an option you could try.

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

Non-drug Techniques to Cope With Emotional Symptoms

 

There are no right or wrong answers here and you will have our continued support whatever you decide to do.

Share this post


Link to post
LexAnger

Hi Jonny, 

 

I am sorry you are going through this too!

i recently was hit multiple times reacting to msg and aspartame which ended me in the most severe WD ever since I was off lexapro 9 months ago.

 

what are your symptoms caused by the msg and how did affect your original WD? 

 

lex

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Hi Lex thanks for your message

 

I was making what I thought was great progress last week, everyday seemed like i was so close to my normal self. I had some MSG on friday and then this week I have had alot of DP/DR come back, paranoia, disconnection, crying spells. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

This is the strongest wave I've had yet by far 12 months out

Share this post


Link to post
Kostas

Hi, 

Please be aware that mild to severe withdrawal symtoms, happened to me after being off citalopram for 4 years. 

They lasted almost 18 months with waves and windows, and gradually went away. 

Now I am 95% functional again. 

It seems that these drugs, will never stop amazing us!! 

Be hopeful and take care! 

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Whats your full useage history, age and how did you come off? If you dont mind me asking

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567
6 minutes ago, Kostas said:

Hi, 

Please be aware that mild to severe withdrawal symtoms, happened to me after being off citalopram for 4 years. 

They lasted almost 18 months with waves and windows, and gradually went away. 

Now I am 95% functional again. 

It seems that these drugs, will never stop amazing us!! 

Be hopeful and take care! 

 

 

Whats your full useage history, age and how did you come off? If you dont mind me asking

 

Thanks

 

What are your remaining symptons?

 

Sorry just need to reassure myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Kostas

Hi, 

Well my drug history is in the first postage here under Kostas. 

 Briefly I was on 20 mg citalopram on/off for 13 years. 

Finally in my fourth attempt to stop it, I gradually and instinctively was cutting it by 50% and holding each cut for 6 months ( haven't find this site then). 

No problems during the cuts, and for approx 4 years after! 

 My remaining symptoms now, is nothing physical or mental, but just a hesitation to program long term my life, since I was socked of what happened to me! 

Of course I have changed a lot in my life in order to minimize stress, and I am already retired at 64 yo but continue to work part time in my old job, since they want me to stay in still. 

So there is hope 

Best regards 

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Well done on your recovery

Share this post


Link to post
Rosetta

HI Jonny,

 

You asked on my thread if I still have emotional blunting, and I'm answering you here.  This way you will have the info on your thread, and it will be easy to find.  

 

I do rarely and mostly it's to a slight degree.  It's often difficult for me to identify it as emotional blunting.  There are times when it is obvious.  Sometimes, I am surprised at my lack of strong reaction to something that is sad and would have affected me a lot in the past.  I wonder if I am having a normal reaction that feels abnormal to me because I'm used to being emotional.  (I have been in WD for over 7 years.)  I find that I am able to enjoy life more often now and laugh spontaneously, too.  When I can't enjoy something that others do, it's very upsetting, of course.  There seems to be a pattern in recovery: the bad/sad feelings become less intense long before the happy feelings come all the way back, but it's a sign of healing to leave the bad feelings behind.  The happy feelings will return.  I have had many over the last few months even if they are short lived at times.

 

It will all even out and get better and better.  The "10 month wave" happened to me, I think, but not at 10 months.  It's something to get through and, in my opinion, it's very important to give this healing process a chance through to about the 2.5 year mark without taking more ADs (unless the person reinstates within 3-4 months of quitting.).  There can be another wave around 18 months and a few people get one at 2 years.  

 

My situation is that I was switched to sertraline about 7 years ago, and the sertraline never worked to calm my emotions.  This was probably because the dose kept going up.  I never stabilized.  I believe this experience is the reason I have such confidence that the solution is staying off the meds (or staying on one dose to stabilize.). I followed the medical advice for 5 years and my life simply got worse.  Since I quit I have seen much improvement, and my husband has, as well.  (After everything got worse and worse for 8 months or so.)  For me, I feel it is my only hope -- to stay off the meds.  That said there are people who try to reinstate late and have success.  I'm not willing to take the risk.

 

I hope you have an easy time after this wave lifts, Jonny.  I see that you are trying to look at this process as one that will follow more or less the same timeline for everyone.  It doesn't work that way, and you could be lucky and have a short recovery.  Just because someone else had x symptom 16 months out doesn't mean you will.  You have all ready been lucky in one way -- no one prescribed you benzos or anti-psychotics.  Some people arrive here on many drugs all at once.  

 

Rosetta

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Thanks for your detailed response and for giving me hope.

 

You seem to have been given a tough time of it with the amount of prescriptions you have been given over the years and at high doses.

 

How was your first year of withdrawal. Did you get many windows?

Share this post


Link to post
Rosetta

The first year was really bad.  I quit in mid-February and WD wasn't terrible until July.  So, about 4 months passed before I was desperately ill.  There were many signs of WD in those months, but I had no idea WD could happen with ADs.  So, I believed for a long while that I had delayed WD.  I'm not sure about that now.  However, the first month or so was better than being on the medication or at least it seemed that way.  

 

The 5th month, July, was when I realized I was in trouble.  My mental health became steadily worse in August, September, and October. I understand now that worsening Akathisia was a major part of this ordeal.  Insomnia did not seem to be a huge issue, but I suspect that I had very little quality sleep.  By October I was experiencing DP, DR, and SI essentially everyday.  I had found SA in July, but my cognition was very poor, and I understood only the basics: time will heal, do not reinstate late, you are not psychotic, you are not bi-polar, just hold on for dear life until you want to live again -- it will happen!  

 

I could not even join the site because I was terrified of the people here -- even the moderators.  I was terrified of almost everything in life.  I still have no idea how I survived, but I have a child who was 5 when I quit ADs.  So, I gave SAs theories a chance for her.  

 

November, month 9, was the worst, and then I had a window in early December.  I started to see improvement after that.   It would be snatched away periodically, of course, but then a window would arrive.  The waves became a bit shorter and the windows a bit longer.  Based on the rate of progress from December to February I'm surprised at how much trouble I'm having now.  But, this is not linear and the rate of change is not steady.  

 

I have the hormonal issues, too, which you will not have if you are male, but the lengthening days of Spring were tough.  A lot of the problems in WD are related to the effect WD has on the endocrine system, I believe.  The circadian rhythm is disrupted by the dysfunctional state of our brains and anything that further disrupts that delicate balance can affect WD symptoms.  A lot of things that cause problems are out of our control except drugs, supplements, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.  You need to avoid anesthesia for surgery and adrenaline based numbing agents at the dentist.  Ask for the non-adrenaline based agent. 

 

In any event, the one year mark is super emotional and discouraging, isn't it?  Ignore the calendar.  There are no magic dates just as there are no magic drugs.  Do not think about milestones the way you might if you broke your leg.  You will continue to improve.  I've been told that it will be another year before I "feel better."  I can't believe that or I would feel such despair.  I will feel better on some random day in the next week and then I will feel worse.  I have to live for those days that are good even if they can't be known in advance.  It's the only way I can go on.  

 

We see improvement in retrospect only.  In two months I will reassess.  I can do that because I journal here on my thread.  If one doesn't journal then seeing improvement is quite difficult from the perspective of a wave.  Everything is dark and bad and dismal from that perspective.  That is when you need that journal that is hard proof that you had a better day -- or hour-- in the past.  Gratitude lists of all the symptoms that are gone or less problematic are very important, too.  I have a physical symptom -- dystonia -- that I can use as a watermark.  It is continually less severe except in a wave.  Overall, it is always improving.  

 

I'm so sad for you that your doctor was ignorant and tapered you too fast.  However, you have seen improvement.  The fact that you feel things are getting worse does not mean you will not heal.  It's just a setback that will pass.  It's very normal to fear a wave that never ends.  I still do.  Maybe I will have that fear for the next 2 or 3 years, but I am certain that one year from now I will have a relatively normal life with a few setbacks here and there.  And I think the same will be true for you, too, if you can avoid the things that irritate your CNS.

 

Try some magnesium and after you feel ok with that try some fish oil.  Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.  Try to eat well and get enough protein.  Avoid too many carbs, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.  Go for a walk everyday and avoid intense exercise.  Start journaling your symptoms and make a note of good days and how they feel.  See if that helps.  I think you will feel better in a couple of months.  

 

Peace, Rosetta

Share this post


Link to post
LexAnger
13 hours ago, jonnypeters1234567 said:

Hi Lex thanks for your message

 

I was making what I thought was great progress last week, everyday seemed like i was so close to my normal self. I had some MSG on friday and then this week I have had alot of DP/DR come back, paranoia, disconnection, crying spells. 

 

Hi jonny, 

It seems your system is also sensitized by wd and why you got some negative effects from the msg. I never had issues before with msg or aspartame although they ate very bad for our nerves.

 

It will pass though probably in a couple weeks or even sooner. I got 3 reactions to msg and 1 to aspartame in just 2 weeks and why my situation is extremely bad

 Even though, I see lessioning of the sxs now 2 months away. 

 

I would recommend you stay away from both msg and aspartame as much as possible. Healthy diet seems incredibly critical for healing to a sensitized system.

 

Best wishes.

Lex

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Thanks Lex

 

How are you feeling now?

 

Currently on a family holiday with 50 family for my brothers wedding

 

Seemed to have picked up a bit from last week and getting flashes on my old self at times

Share this post


Link to post
Rosetta

Good signs!  Hope you have a nice holiday.

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Crashed hard this afternoon.

 

how you feeling?

Share this post


Link to post
Rosetta

I'm ok.  I just woke up about 15 minutes ago.  I seem to be better.

 

As for the crash, many of us find that "doing too much," being social, going away from home, etc. can cause an uptick in symptoms.  At the same time, we need sunlight and human contact and to walk around a bit everyday.  It's a balance.  Don't take it as a sign you are getting worse overall if you feel the effects of your holiday.  It will settle out.  You will be glad you didn't miss your brothers wedding.  Try to get some rest and downtime everyday.

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Thanks. Yes I was very close to not coming.

 

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

It's hard because I'm seeing people I haven't seen for ages, and I don't like people seeing me like this

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Day two of 10 done, battled through family meal

Share this post


Link to post
Rosetta

Hang in there!  Thanks for your note on my thread.  You can get through this even if it's hard.  You are going to be ok.

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

Feel really bad.

 

feeling half in reallity and half not, in a dream like state, hard to communicate with people. Half my brain not working.

 

loosing hope, needing some reassurance bad

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

You will get through this.  Feeling detached or unreal is a common withdrawal symptom.  

 
 
Many people find these supplements 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.
 
Many members have found the non-drug techniques in the following links helpful in dealing with withdrawal.
 
 

 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Rosetta

The half in reality feeling will go away.  It's tough to go through, I know, but even before it goes away you will get used to it.  You are getting strange signals from your body to your brain and vice versa.  It's absolutely bizarre, I know.  

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

please help, I'm not sleeping. Had 2 hours broken sleep last night, feeling stimulated all the time and not tired.

Share this post


Link to post
jonnypeters1234567

this holiday has caused me to become hypomanic, don't see a way out

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy