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jozeff: trying to come off of citalopram - a little help would be great

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JackieDecides
On 5/16/2019 at 5:43 AM, jozeff said:

Combined with my lack of sleep, my snack habits the last couple of weeks and some coffee to wake up in the morning could contribute to the awful feeling I have around noon.

 

people are different, but I can tell you even decaf is not always my friend! 

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Bee5

I am going to have to stop coffee altogether, you are not alone.

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jozeff

Thanks guys!

 

I'm now entering 17.25 mg citalopram instead of 18 (April 29th  2019 started tapering).

 

Not feeling that great though... Our little boy needs his breast milk in the middle of the night so I sleep 2 hours less than I'm used to. This seems to have a very negative effect on my mood, heart racing, anxiety and some other stuff.

 

My thoughts are all around the place and I pray that it's evening when things seem much calmer.

 

Does anyone recognize these lack of sleep induced symptoms??

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Jozeff

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RachelSusan

Hi Jozeff,

 

I saw a very nice post you left for Tom37 so I came over to your thread.  I am sorry you are going through a difficult time with your taper but I found your story interesting and will be following you.  Thank you for your very articulate posts.

 

In answer to your question about lack of sleep induced symptoms, yes I have had them. Additionally, I have had to give up all things with caffeine, both tea and coffee, keep my sugar intake and carb intake low.  And I have to be very careful with sleep. I try for the same time every night. You situation is different of course, having a new baby at home.

 

By the way, congratulations on your son.  I am glad to read that your wife recovered fairly quickly.

 

Oh, I am also a very slow taper person.  Around 4% every five or six weeks. 

 

Warm wishes,

Rachel

 

 

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Songbird

Have you considered holding your dose until your baby is sleeping through the night?  It doesn't seem like a good time to be tapering right now.

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Tom37

Thanks for your post on my thread.

 

Glad everything is going as well as expected with your wife and new baby!

 

As Songbird mentioned, it might be a good time to hold your taper until things settle down at home?

 

Doing a taper when you still have symptoms is hard enough on its own let alone with such a big life changing event such as becoming a father again.

 

Whatever you do make sure you look after yourself.

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PatriciaVP

Thanks so much for stopping by my thread, and congratulations on the new baby!

 

Please take care of yourself. A major life transition like that can be challenging enough without the added stress of withdrawal. Give yourself props for handling it all as well as you have.

 

I see you've been stressed over the length of time a safe taper requires, but a slow taper is so much less disruptive. After a while, the journey becomes a part of you. You realize how much you've learned, and you marvel at your own strength. This isn't a race. It really is a journey toward the best version of yourself you can possibly be, and I bet that guy's gonna be AWESOME!

 

Peace, love and healing. 

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jozeff

Hi guys,

 

Time for a little update..

 

Have been tapering in a very slow pace.

 

I arrived @ 17 mg citalopram today after 6 weeks tapering from 18 mg.

 

I made a 0.19% per day taper so I taper every day by a very small amount.

I have some very precise volumetric equipment for that so it is no problem.

 

My little boy is almost 7 weeks old and he is an amazing little kid😘

 

He wakes me up sometimes however so my sleeping isn't ideal to say the least. I used to manage my lack of sleep pretty well 20 years ago but now I'm 43 and I'm  taking this toxic stuff (citalopram...) voluntarily which makes it a lot harder.

 

I will reduce my dose by 50% each year...I might go faster but we'll see.

 

I hope you guys are doing great/good or at least better than yesterday 😉

 

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

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DMV64
4 hours ago, jozeff said:

My little boy is almost 7 weeks old

Just popping in and looking around and I just saw this! Yay! Congrats! Also it is so great you are so good at all the lab stuff. I really struggle so I think that is a real blessing!

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jozeff

Wow thank you!

 

Yes, he's been a great kid (so far😝)

 

Downside is he keeps me from sleeping every now and then but hey, not his fault.

 

It's also remarkable that he starts crying just 5 minutes after we started watching a movie several times.

 

About the lab stuff....I might be blessed by being able to use a ten thousand dollar lab scale and some volumetric stuff but... I have to suffer from wd just as much as everybody. The problem is that I keep creating taper schemes and calculate a lot of things without actually tapering!

 

I decided to make a simple schedule and stick to that. It is about 6.5 % taper per month so pretty slow. Let's see how it goes. If I don't even notice the drops I can go a bit quicker.

 

Cheers and thanks for stopping by

 

Hope you are doing fine!

Jozeff

 

 

 

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Carmie

Hi Jozeff, 

 

Glad to hear you’re having fun with your new son. How great that you’ve got professional tapering equipment. Working in a lab has its benefits.😃 One of my friends actually works in a pathology lab in a hospital. I wonder if they use scales? I’ve never asked. 

 

Wishing you all all the best with your tapering.💚

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jozeff

Hi carmie,

 

Thanks a lot! 

 

Yes, they use scales on every lab. I don't use a scale for tapering though. I make a solution and drink s certain volume. Every day a little bit less.

 

I use a 0.19% per day tapering method right now. Sounds complicated but it's really easy when you have a volumetric pipette.

 

I'm down to 16.4 mg now from 18 to April 29th 2019.

Only problem I have is this extremely tired feeling in my head but not in my body. Like I need to sleep but can't. This subsides a bit during the day but comes back a few times and makes me feel pretty hopeless sometimes.

 

Also strange sensations from spine/neck to my forehead. Sort of anxious very unpleasant feeling that also changes during the day.

 

Well, I just keep going. This taper is so slow that I wonder if my body notices it at all.... gridley any ideas??

 

Have a nice day you all!!

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

 

 

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Gridley
9 hours ago, jozeff said:

gridley any ideas??

 

I'd attribute your symptoms to withdrawal.  It's almost unbelievable how varied and strange the symptoms can be.  But after all the CNS underlies everything, so just about everything can be expected.  The symptoms are tolerable, if I read you correctly.

 

I think it's good you're going so slowly, especially given the difficulty you had stabilizing before and your present symptoms.  You're giving your system plenty of time to adjust to the slowly decreasing dosage.

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bunchesofoats

Hey @ Jozeff, I read the first page of your post history from last year and must say there are quite a few similarities between our trajectories and experiences. You mentioned at that time about the cold pond feeling particularly relaxing and asked if anyone else had a similar response to cold, and I wanted to let you know that I definitely do. There are studies about cold therapy and of course you must have heard of Wim Hof, but besides all that, my experience is that I feel much more alive in the cold and much more anxious in the heat. I know my blood pressure is always at the minimum healthy level and when it's hot or I've finished working out my blood pressure drops below normal levels and I feel terrible. I've asked my doctors for years and even recently about what could be going on, along with the connection to my anxiety, but have no definitive answers so far.

 

I also found your comment about making fancy tapering schedules but not actually executing quite humorous as I do the same thing with many things in my life! I also have a science background and worked as a biochemist for a few years and then an engineer for several more years. I was aware of ssri withdrawal when I started and I've been really cautious about my whole process, yet I've still really struggled with symptoms. It was shocking to me how difficult this process was with my educational background, so I can only imagine the horror of this experience to someone without a chemistry or other science background.

 

I'm a bit tired at the moment as I'm getting ready for bed so hopefully this post wasn't too all over the place. Wishing you and your family well and will check back in soon.

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jozeff

Hi bunch, thanks for stopping by! I'm in Sweden at the moment and I have terrible internet connection. I'll react a bit more when I'm at home again.

 

Since I'm Dutch of course I know Wim Hof! Have seen multiple interviews with the guy the last decade.

 

Cheers and we'll talk later ok,?

 

 

Jozeff

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bunchesofoats

Regarding heat and mental health, I found this article: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2015/09/heat-can-affect-psychiatric-patients

Of particular interest were temperature related impacts on hormones and effects of psychiatric medications on ability to cope with the heat. Not a scientific paper but a good jumping off point for further research!

 

Hope you're enjoying your time in Sweden!

 

-bunches

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India

Jozeff, great news on the tapering. Do listen to most recent MIA podcast involving the doctor coming off meds herself and her taper.

 

if I have 40mg/ml liquid.

i am on 5.4mg currently. 

If I want to make a 1% drop over 6 weeks like a micro taper.

How would I measure this out .. what drop in mgs would I be making  per day and how should i dilute the liquid.l?

 

My cognitive blocks are hindering my ability to work this out..

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jozeff

Hi India,

 

See attachment!

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

calculation.xls

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jozeff

India, which podcast do you mean specifically? There are literally 100s of them on the mia website.

 

Thanks for the tip!!

 

Jozeff

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India
On 7/19/2019 at 12:39 PM, jozeff said:

Hi India,

 

See attachment!

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

calculation.xls 34 kB · 2 downloads

Just seen this. Very grateful. Thank you so much .

On 7/19/2019 at 2:38 PM, jozeff said:

India, which podcast do you mean specifically? There are literally 100s of them on the mia website.

 

Thanks for the tip!!

 

Jozeff

I will find it and send it. Please bare with me. This a slow process..

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jozeff
A little update
 
Started tapering citalopram 18 mg on 29th of april 2019
Currenty (31 july 2019) 15.55 mg....
I had a hold of 3 weeks total in this period when feeling blah.
 
Although this is not too fast a taper I'm having quite some problems. 
Feeling emotionial, hopeless and dreadful a great part of the day.
In the evenings I tend to feel a bit better but not as good as a few months ago.
 
Sometimes I'm completely hopeless and dark.
 
Could this be the WD? I''m afraid it is...
 
What should I do. Taper even more slowly or try to get through all this and hold every few weeks and see what happens.
 
 
 
any advice would be great!!
 
 
cheers.
 
Jozeff.

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Altostrata

Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

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nick1990

Hey Jozeff. 

 

In my experience , those are WD symptoms. 

 

From what you had written, i feel like you weren't stable when you began tapering. On your thread you were speaking of panic attacks and depression a few weeks leading up to you resuming your taper. 

From my experience - i can't stress this enough. If you are having large swings in symptoms, feeling fine then having big panic attacks, deep depressed feelings etc - that is not stability. Stability is when you are feeling ho-hum, without the huge ups and downs of WD, minute to minute, hour to hour, week to week. 

In my experience, if you continue to taper when you having reached some form of stability, its going to be really tough. Really tough! Sometimes we just have to wait, listen to our bodies and stop with the reduction of drug's. UNTIL we are stable. This can take some time, but stability does come. We just have to be patient. 

If i were you i would halt your taper for a good few months and see how the symptoms play out. Resuming tapering now would not be something i would advocate. 

You've got this ! we just need to listen to our bodies and adjust accordingly. 

Nick

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jozeff

Thank you very much guys,

 

At the moment I am feeling rather wavy so did not have much energy to write in my topic.

 

I am at 15.5 mg citalopram (august 2019), I tapered from 18 mg (starting 29 april 2019).

 

I have only done 2.5 mg reduction which is a bit disappointing for me but I have the feeling I cannot do it any faster.

 

At the moment I am having a lot of depressed feeling, feel tired and a feeling as if someone smashed me on the head. Just a very intense feeling of dread. The feeling just before you have an immense crying spell but cannot cry. That feeling I have a few hours a day, expecially in the early afternoon. When I wake up nothing is wrong but a few hours later this feeling creeps on me and stays with me until late evening.

 

Evenings were pretty good the last years but this seems to have disappeared. My evenings are not that relaxed and trouble free. Started about 2 weeks after my taper started so is very likely WD.

 

I am on 15.5 mg now for over a week and don't want to go any lower before I feel a bit better.

 

The depressed mind is telling me that I will feel like this and it will never fade. Its going on for over 2 years... Why would this be better in let's say 3 years or even 10 years? Starting to loose hope sometimes. Sometimes I think...why don;t I just go Cold Turkey.....

But, I will not because that is very stupid. I'm disappointed that my taper is so hard.

 

thanks for advice and kind words

 

Jozeff

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RusTW

Jozeff hang in there.Good job tapering. Its a challenge that we can meet.

Stay strong man.You can do it.

Russ

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jozeff

Thanks rustw, appreciate your comment. 

 

It's a challenge. If only we knew when we would be healed. Working towards a date would be much easier. I could suffer badly a year if I knew it would end exactly then and then...

 

But hey, we're all in the same boat aren't we?

 

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

 

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bunchesofoats

Hey Jozeff,

 

How are you? I agree with other posters that it sounds like WD and that if I were you (and in some sense, I am you, since I am going through something very similar), I would wait to feel solid for a few weeks, getting to a point that is "normal" for you, and only then take the dosage down again. I don't think you should "push through". I understand the temptation as I'm tempted by the same thing. It's daunting to think about how long it may take to come completely off of a drug I'd planned on taking for no more than a total of 6 months. But it is what it is. You may not remember this, but a few months ago you told me to proceed slowly because you'd had trouble with your taper. Well now I'm here holding a mirror to your words.

 

It's rough to feel depressed and awful, and to not know where exactly it comes from. Some of what's helped me is trying to be ok with feeling not ok, going with the flow. But tapering slower may be something that actually helps relieve some of the awfulness. I think it's more important to stabilize than to rush through, though like I said I definitely understand the temptation of just wanting to be done with it already! 

 

Another thing that's been helping me is keeping careful track of my symptoms every day. I began using the checklist found in the Glenmullen thread linked below. I found it enormously helpful to ground my experience in what I'm actually feeling versus getting overly caught up in my head. It's helpful for me to see that I do in fact have good days, that I don't feel horrible every day like the stories in my head sometimes tell me. And it's helpful to see that some days I really am feeling terrible and dealing with quite a lot. It may also help you to identify which symptoms clearly indicate WD versus the more nebulous symptoms that are a part of your normal ups and downs.

 

Hugs,

bunchesofoats

 

 

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jozeff

Hi bunchesofoats,

 

Thanks for your reply!

 

Last week I didn't feel too good so I had little energy to give an update. Still not doing well actually. Last weekend my wife and I went to a sauna and had a wonderful day. The days after that things started to get very busy. My youngest goes to daycare, my eldest goes to school after a 6 week holiday and my wife started working again after giving birth.

All in all a busy week. I really tried very hard to handle everything. Last 2 days we started arguing about a lot of stuff. 

 

My wife is  planner and she has everything sorted out. I need a lot of energy to do everything correctly. She is never too happy about my performance but I truly try really hard. 

 

I don't know if it's my very slow taper or something else but I have these intrusive thoughts lately. Suicidal ideation is slowly  entering my life again. I feel like I'm burned up. When my environment is unsatisfied that doesn't help either.

 

Last couple of days I feel like I'm loosing this battle. The struggle to just reach the end of the day is becoming harder. I used to feel great relief in the evenings but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

 

This stress is also affecting my neck and back muscles. The situation causes a very tense forehead and a feeling of wanting to cry but I can't. This builds up and can last the entire day.

 

Any thoughts for me? Would be wonderful.

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

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bunchesofoats

Hey Jozeff,

 

I've been thinking about you so it's great to hear from you! I'm so sorry you're having a rough time. Are you still tapering or holding at 15.5mg? I noticed you were continuously microtapering every day, and I'm wondering if that didn't maybe lead to a build up of symptoms. I would hold until you feel stable, or if you are already holding, maybe you want to ping the mods to ask what they think about reinstating to a slightly higher dosage. Keep in mind you're going through a lot right now! You just had a new baby, your wife went back to work, and your kids back to school after the long holiday. It's the season of change.

 

I've found that trying to not identify with my thoughts and symptoms has been helpful. That is to say, I become more of an observer of what I'm going through (though not necessarily removed from what I'm feeling). For example, I might say to myself, "Yes, I feel terrible right now. I have these symptoms, a general feeling of awfulness, and I don't want to do anything and I don't think anything will help and I just want to feel better, etc. But I know giving in to these thoughts isn't going to help, so maybe I can see them for what they are, just repetitive thoughts, along with some physical sensations."

 

I know that only works up to a point because it takes up energy that you may need for another task, and sometimes the intrusive thoughts seem to take over. At that point you need to do something very loving for yourself, accepting that you can't perform at your best all the time because you are after all human. Maybe take a rest, play a game, have a laugh without putting pressure on yourself to perform or to feel a certain way.

 

The suicidal ideation and feeling of wanting to cry definitely sound like WD to me. I've been hit with them before and I just do my best to "withstand" them until they pass, though I've had some awful experiences in the meantime. Give yourself whatever kind of space you can (I know that's challenging with a family) so that some of these symptoms run their course. I also highly recommend doing some sort of relaxing and mindful physical movement. A lot of yoga poses can change your blood flow and mood. Here's a site showing how to do legs up the wall, a pose which helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system by getting more blood flow to the heart and head. 

 

I'm in rough wave myself, so hopefully what I've written made sense and was helpful. My dosage decrease last month had almost no symptoms, and this month's drop for whatever reason was much much worse.

 

Hang in there and know that there are people out there thinking of you!

 

Hugs,

bunches

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Tom37

Hi Jozeff,

 

Sorry to hear your having a more difficult time at the moment. 

 

Sounds like withdrawal to me but even if it’s your original condition causing some of the issues withdrawal with magnify it significantly.

 

If I was you I would hold until your feeling better because if you keep dropping it could just make things worse. I guess it depends on how tolerable your symptoms are.

 

Take care.

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ChessieCat
2 hours ago, jozeff said:

Last weekend my wife and I went to a sauna and had a wonderful day.

 

sauna

 

2 hours ago, jozeff said:

The days after that things started to get very busy.

 

Sounds like you've had/got lots of external stressors happening.

 

3 hours ago, jozeff said:

This stress is also affecting my neck and back muscles. The situation causes a very tense forehead and a feeling of wanting to cry but I can't. This builds up and can last the entire day.

 

I suggest that you set a reminder for several times throughout the day and use some relaxation techniques.  That way you will be given your nervous system some "time out" and it might help to stop the build up happening because you are reducing it before it gets to the "boiling point".  Like a relief valve.

 

So instead of     l l l l l l l l l l l l l     it's     l l l l l ll l l l l ll l l l l l

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jozeff
Posted (edited)

Thank you guys!

 

Although I still feel very in the edge I'm really happy to read your replies!

 

I will try the legs on the wall thing bunchesofoats. Thanks for thinking with me (is that correct English....I'm from the Netherlands).

 

Chessie, I know a relief valve is a good thing.

 

I tend to go on and let my negative thoughts take over. It's busy at work, lots of work, lots of colleagues who are not all my friends to say the least. Some people grouping together to counteract some others colleague opinion, people taking long breaks so others have two work twice as hard... etc... That causes a lot of friction that can build up during the day.

 

Sometimes I go to the lavatory and do some exercises. I stretch my neck muscles do some leg bending etc. But when it's very busy 5 hours just fly by and I'm completely stiff and stressed you know.

 

I reached 15.25 mg of citalopram and indeed I do a daily micro taper. I stayed at 15.5 mg for 10 days recently to get some relief. So, although I have a continuous micro taper schedule, I take some time off to let things settle. This never seems to really help though.

 

I started at 18 mg on April 27th so it's going in a very slow pace. 

 

I barely can't stand the thought that this taper may take 6 years or so....

 

Some days I think, it's all in my head...like a placebo. What if I just taper 2 months and quit the stuff? Maybe it's making my body sick and that's what's going on.

 

My wife recently said: what if you just ditch the medication and see what happens.... I've heard quite some people just quiting ad and never looked back. 

 

It is absolutely not the case that everybody gets horrible withdrawal symptoms. In the Netherlands about 1 million adults use antidepressants.....how many are in such a bad shape that they reach this website in despair...

 

Just my thoughts sometimes. I don't encourage anyone to stop taking meds!! I give you some insight in my ever changing, ruminating thoughts🙃🙃

 

Thanks for taking time to help me. Greatly appreciated!

 

 

Edit: ok, read about the sauna chessie. The day was immensely relaxed and I felt great also in the heat. I must add that last weekend I've been moving stuff from my father's house. We had to completely empty the house so it's been a very fysically heavy few weeks. I walked the stairs a 100 times with heavy stuff and this exhausted me quite a bit. Could this be causing me to feel so nasty this week?

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jozeff
Forgot 1 thing

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ChessieCat
58 minutes ago, jozeff said:

I must add that last weekend I've been moving stuff from my father's house. We had to completely empty the house so it's been a very fysically heavy few weeks. I walked the stairs a 100 times with heavy stuff and this exhausted me quite a bit. Could this be causing me to feel so nasty this week?

 

Yes.

 

58 minutes ago, jozeff said:

But when it's very busy 5 hours just fly by and I'm completely stiff and stressed you know.

 

If you have your phone with your or are on the computer (eg calendar reminder) you could set a reminder to get up and stretch.  It doesn't have to be for very long.  Just so that you get some movement.  And it's better for your concentration too.

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jozeff
Posted (edited)

I work in a laboratory where we walk a lot. We are constantly moving, walking, changing seats etc. It's not that I sit in a chair for hours.

 

I stand a lot so my upper back and shoulders get very cramped after few hours. A lot of stress seems to build up in my shoulders and neck. Sometimes I feel a kind of sad, depressing feeling crawling up my neck into to my head.

 

At home there's quite some mutual misunderstanding. My wife's very punctual and I forget things easily. That is a huge source of trouble in my marriage at the moment. My wife tends to look at the negative things and doesn't seem to understand that I work a lot, travel a lot, am in wd and I also have 2 sons and a lot of things going on in my life. She keeps reminding me that I forgot this or that and doesn't mention the 50 other things I did do. She never ever forgets anything. She can dig up something I messed up years ago in a second. If you never forget anything your basket gets fuller and fuller and every little thing has a lot of weight.

 

I'm very very sensitive to negative feedback. It kills me. My chest goes pumping and tight, suicidal thoughts immediately, revenge feelings, highly sensitive to sound etc. Usually I go on discussing this and that messes her up even more. Crying, headache.. it can take a whole day before she starts talking to me again which makes me even more hopeless.

 

She is a great woman but we are in quite some stress and busy times and that is hard for both of us. I am a very negative person and that exhausts her. I fully understand that. I wish she would be a bit more positive about the things I do correctly. She never seems to be entirely pleased with the way I handle things and the way I am..

 

Cheers

 

 

Jozeff

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reworded obscenity

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ChessieCat

Sounds like you need some marriage counselling.

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ChessieCat

When I say marriage counselling I mean specifically learning to communicate course.

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