Jump to content
bunchesofoats

bunchesofoats: starting 2nd citalopram taper

Recommended Posts

ChessieCat
2 hours ago, bunchesofoats said:

Planning on spending 2 months @ 10mg, first month to get to the dosage of only 10mg, 2nd month to get used to liquid form of 10mg because likely metabolic differences between tablet and dissolved forms.

 

When switching forms of drug it is generally best to do a cross over which is gentler on the nervous system.  A suggested way of doing this is taking the following combinations for 3-7 days:

 

3/4 + 1/4, 1/2 + 1/2, 1/4 + 3/4

 

Also do not make a reduction and it is best not to change anything else at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Sounds good @ChessieCat. Will add to plan.

 

Current supplements:

Vitamin D - prescribed 2000IU but too much interferes with sleep, so I alternate 2000IU and 1000IU. Have been taking 1000IU for the past 6mo and was surprised my levels were still low when tested.

Omega 3 - Trader Joe's brand. Have heard if it's not refrigerated it doesn't actually contain anything, don't know how true that is. 

ZMA - at bedtime (zinc aspartate, magnesium, b6), definitely feel my body relax after taking

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Day 119 - citalopram 10% liquid taper

 

Just dropped another 10% a few days ago and have been feeling pretty good thankfully. Making slow and steady changes to my life, making effort whenever I can and being compassionate when I'm not feeling well, and paying attention have helped me tremendously. Have attached a graph of my dosage, the red being where I currently am, the area to the left being where I've been, to the right - where I plan to go. I've also included a chart with the dates, dosages, and percent decreases thus far. It will take me quite a long time to fully get off at this pace (~10%/mo), much longer than the time I was at my max dose, but better to lay the foundation for a more solid life than to keep trying to rush to ultimately get nowhere.

 

I've gone 42 days without lorazepam. The longest I believe since I started citalopram (I didn't always keep formal track but I noticed it was about 3x/mo).

 

My heart breaks for every other person whose story I read on this site and elsewhere. It also brings some connection to read these stories and realize that all the weird things I'm feeling I'm not actually completely alone in. 

 

768744907_ScreenShot2019-08-13at10_08_40PM.png.38b66107eebeb62ab7d738c3d3028a9a.png1531691302_ScreenShot2019-08-13at10_06_28PM.thumb.png.7ca0107e88df3ff63745048a61414789.png

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Day 122 - citalopram 10% liquid taper, 12.6mg

 

After 5 days of feeling solid following my last drop, 3 of which were particularly smooth and productive despite dealing with a highly irritating situation, the 6th day brought me WD symptoms. I had a dash of insomnia the night before which always leads me to trouble during the day, but in the evening was when it really began to hit. I noticed myself feeling weird, painfully unmotivated and uninterested, somewhat detached and removed and empty. I remembered many other times I've felt that way and tried to make sense of it, what was me, what was the WD, what was the effect of other medications/supplements in the past. I felt helpless thinking about how much time I've spent in that kind of state, and thinking once again about the 11months I spent at 30mg citalopram when I was breaking 20mg tablet to get the dose and how those daily fluctuations in dosage probably wreaked havoc on me. How much unnecessary pain had I been through. How many others are going through the same right now, and what kind of impact does that have on our society. It all got to be a little too much and the tears started running, though the cry was definitely different from that of sadness. It was more fear and frustration. My boyfriend supported me the whole time. I don't know how he's so capable at connecting with me even in that state. I felt too out of it and decided that despite having made it 44 days without lorazepam, it was time to break the streak. It helped take the edge off I think, maybe, or maybe it was the cry. I woke up still feeling weird this morning. I think the lorazepam helped slow down the running thoughts but the body still feels weird. I'm doing my best to just sit with it and do what I can in my life. It's frustrating. I've also gained a bit of weight in the last few months which is unusual for me. It's not much, about 5lbs, but it's not great. I don't know if that's related to the taper or not.

 

Few more thoughts - why did I feel better for the first few days and WD came later this time? Citalopram has a 35hour half life and I can understand that it takes a few days for the level to stabilize, but it still perplexes me to see such a pronounced difference. Usually I have felt symptoms within the day. Also, the last two days were uncomfortably hot (>100F) and I do really poorly with heat to begin with. How much if at all did the heat influence my symptoms? How much did dealing with an irritating situation all week lead me to finally "succumbing" to WD? How much of what I'm feeling is WD and how much is part of my "normal" fluctuations?

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Well I read a post that I've read before and found some answers to my recent questions: 

On 5/21/2018 at 12:06 PM, brassmonkey said:

Medical research has shown that this will take a minimum of four days and could take up to a week.  This takes into account metabolic rates, half-lives and a number of other variables.  So right off the bat, every time we make a change there is a waiting period of four to seven days.

 

Once the drug is steady state in the blood the body can start adapting to the change.  The bodies initial reaction is to get confused.  It was functioning fine the way things were and now things are all confused.  That confusion manifests itself as symptoms and is a sign that the system has been destabilize.  However, there frequently is a placebo effect period just after a dose change event during which the body either doesn’t notice the change or will feel better because of it.  This placebo effect period doesn’t last long with the symptoms manifesting themselves several days after the change.  Many people report their symptoms ramping up between two and five days after the change, but it’s not uncommon for it to take several weeks for them to appear.

 

This time lag is referred to as a “honeymoon period”.  As mentioned for a dose change event it can last a couple of days to several weeks.  In the case of a Cold Turkey or Fast Taper it can last distractingly long.  Frequently in the range of three to four months and sometimes up to a year or more.  After which there is a dramatic crash of destabilization. 

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Day 124 - citalopram 10% liquid taper, 12.6mg

 

After reading more posts on this site and reflecting, I think I was likely in WD before I ever started the citalopram. A few months prior to starting I'd taken St. John's Wort along with some other supplements in the hopes of improving my focus, mood, etc. I stopped CT for a number of reasons (a little too impatient to write out fully at the moment), and basically I'm now realizing that what was probably going on was WD from that CT. Sheesh. I also had issues long before then with the on and off methylphenidate (ritalin and concerta) and bupriopion (wellbutrin). And other supplements. And traumatic experiences etc. At times it's overwhelming to see how many years it will take to (hopefully) "normalize" after taking citalopram, but at other times I see that the instability started so long before then and that perhaps even would've gone on longer if I hadn't become more aware of my experiences through WD. It's tough and frustrating. YTF are doctors not more knowledgeable about how medications affect our nervous systems? How have we developed into a culture that's so comfortable prescribing synthetic compounds that have effects we don't really understand? What the heck is going on??

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

I've definitely been having the spirals brass monkey wrote a great post about since I was on the concerta. Did I have them before? I'm trying to remember. I certainly struggled with sadness and anxiety and depression ever since I was probably 2 years old. I had "reasons" for it, meaning to say I didn't feel sad out of nowhere as some describe in their experiences. I just never processed those emotions, and my parents didn't know how to process their own so they couldn't/didn't teach me anything about mine. I told them I had "bad thoughts" that kept me up at night when I was a young child, but they just didn't know what to do with that. I hope if/when I have kids I'm able to guide them in these kinds of struggles since I assume they'll be somewhat passed down no matter what I try to do.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

"It's not a bottle neck," pointed out my bf in reference to taking years to taper and stabilize my nervous system. It doesn't mean I can't live my life or move forward in any respect. I'm much better off than I was 5 years ago because I've now have begun having a better and very different understanding of what I experience and how to live my life. It'll probably be some time longer that I find myself wishing I were neuro-typical and trauma-free, but I'm started to see that's really not the point, if it even really is truly possible. Still, it's hard to really face it. All I have to do do is try every day. "It's enough to try and fail," read one of my favorite yoga teachers during her yin classes.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Just remembered I was also prescribed amitriptyline and nortriptyline after a car accident. The first one I tried made me feel too drowsy and I couldn't go to work so the dr. switched me to the other. He was a terrible dr. in a lot of respects, and I questioned his choice of TCA's for nerve pain in my back following the tearing of muscles due to a car slamming into my car at full speed on the freeway. Makes me so frickin angry!! And despondent. It seems near impossible to trust people to be competent.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Well today sucked. It wasn't all WD, since I've definitely felt some of these things before, but I'm assuming it was triggered by it. I had a powerful flashback of a sexual assault that happened several years ago. I've never repressed it and have spoken about it to others, yet I think I've never really let myself go there. I can't stand to admit vulnerability, even if I understand the importance of it. I heard Brene Brown's TED talk when it first came out and I knew it completely shifted my perspective right away. Yet those old habits are still there somewhere, and I guess that's where the WD comes in - it takes me back to the most destructive ways of thinking that I've tried so much to change. Or maybe that's not it at all. To be honest it's been really hard to get a grasp on what's going on. I've never had a flashback like this, and I don't want to go into too much detail, but it threw me around in a powerful way that I don't know if I've ever been aware of experiencing before. And it wasn't just the one, it was a culmination of all the times my boundaries have been crossed. The WD definitely sucks, but so do the conditions that existed before it. There are just so many factors. It's really hard to make sense of, and I really like having things organized. One thing's for sure, my head feels weird. That for sure is the medication. It's almost like I can't get to a relaxed state in my head, it's hard to explain. It's how I felt on wellbutrin and other stimulants.

 

I'm going to stop Vitamin D since I already know I have insomnia when I take too much, and I read here that people can be more sensitive during WD. I also read the same about B vitamins which I found interesting because I was taking just methylfolate (I have the MTHFR mutation, as well as COMT) and at some point felt like it was making me anxious, so I stopped that. I don't take a multivitamin because my b12 was high during my last blood test so the NP recommended I stop taking any b12 supplements.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Day 126

 

Looking at the years I have ahead of me to taper off is a hard pill to swallow. I read in another post an exact thought I've had:

On 3/4/2015 at 4:01 AM, ten0275 said:

i felt it. it's probably not dissimilar to a climber standing in front of everest wondering where to place their first foot, and seeing the peak way up above.

 

It's mind-boggling how often I read others' posts on this site that could've been written by my mind, especially when I feel like in my real life absolutely no one seems to relate or understand, not any friends, family, professionals, or other guiders. As a result they often give well-meaning but but advice. Learning to listen to myself over others has been a HUGE battle of mine, along with learning that I'm entitled to having and maintaining boundaries.

 

The last 5 days have been really rough. But the month before that has been one of the most solid I've had in years. I'm getting much better at telling the difference between symptoms and at learning to soothe and support myself. I'm sort of grateful for the horrible WD experiences because they've laid out clearly what WD is and woken me up to the impacts of medication which has helped me immensely in differentiating sources of feelings and symptoms. But I'd like to also live my life better. And I'm worried about being too wiped out having too many days in a row of such awfulness with no source of relief. I've given up before and I don't want to give up again (meaning not engaging with life or not trying, not suicidal).

 

I was going to take the next 2 months to get down to 10mg, but I'll slow it down over 3 months instead. I may even hold for an extra month at my current dose depending on how the rest of this month goes. And maybe it was always going to take this long, with or without medication, to learn to stabilize my nervous system. That's one of the more peaceful thoughts I have. Anger still often arises, and at times quite powerfully.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Day 128 - 12 days since my last drop, symptoms finally leveling out. From my extensive Glenmullen - adapted symptom tracker, I picked out my most common general symptoms, my most common WD-only symptoms, and my most common symptoms that were made worse by WD. Then I made a list off the top of my head of things that help me with my most common symptoms. Now I'm making a concerted effort to do those things every day. It was nothing new or surprising that came up, and they're all things I've often tried to check off every day, but framing it in this way gave me new motivation.

 

This is what helps me with my most common symptoms:

  • yoga
  • keeping a tidy space
  • drinking enough water
  • writing thoughts
  • light exercise
  • having a plan/vision
  • getting good sleep

On good days do as much as possible of all to build that scaffolding, on bad days touch on each in some way. Ie yoga, at least swing my legs up the wall while in bed, tidy up the smallest bit, write one sentence or few words of my thoughts, consider for even a moment what I want for my life, aim for good sleep hygiene. 

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
On 8/21/2019 at 5:55 AM, bunchesofoats said:

Looking at the years I have ahead of me to taper off is a hard pill to swallow.

 

I have found it better to look at how far I have come, instead of what is left to go.  Any reduction is heading you in the direction you want to go.  Think of it like being stuck in traffic and/or getting stuck at traffic lights.  You can't make it go any faster.

 

Or this one:  Use the image of waiting in a queue, the line gradually gets shorter. When you are in a queue you can't make it move any quicker than it does. You have no control over it. All you can do is wait in the line. How you wait is what is going to make a difference. You can either be impatient and start getting irritable and think bad things and complain to the other people who might start swearing at you which makes you feel worse or you can try to be patient and calm and try and think of nice things and look at the things around you. It's going to take the same amount of time for you to get to the head of the queue but you can either make the experience of waiting pleasant or unpleasant.

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats
On 8/22/2019 at 9:42 PM, ChessieCat said:

How you wait is what is going to make a difference.

Love that. Words of wisdom. 

 

I've been reflecting a lot on my entire trajectory, and I realize that I had WD symptoms long before I started citalopram from all the other meds/supplements etc. Had I not had this experience with citalopram, I may have never found this site and realized that there are actually other people having experiences just like mine. They've been where I've been and have learned and grown and shared their wisdom.

 

I still find new things in this experience to be angry about, turning points where I was on to something that could've helped me and someone else for whatever reason shut it down, but I'm so used to that anger now I don't get caught up in it (at least not today hah!).

Share this post


Link to post
bunchesofoats

Day 140 - 10% liquid citalopram taper - 12.6mg - 24 days since last drop

 

The trajectory of my last drop went like this:

4 days feeling much better than usual

5 days hell

5 days heavy struggle

5 days manageable but still symptomatic

5 days decent.

 

I'm in the 'decent' phase today. I'm not asymptomatic, but I'm 'normal' symptomatic, that is, I'm experiencing things I've been dealing with for as long as I can remember, though I still hope to find myself eventually living more of my days in an even better state of being. I'm in my PMS part of my cycle so that's likely a big piece of the pie (my god I've been craving a whole pecan pie). I've also been fighting off a cold which always brings me a touch of insomnia and anxiety. Ok, it's more than just a touch, like anything is with me.

 

Overall though, despite not having sunshine and rainbows exploding from within these past few days, I've been able to make steady and conscious efforts to move my life in the direction I want to go. My plan is to hold at 12.6mg for an extra month, maybe longer depending on how I feel. The last drop was a whirlwind and if I can help it, I'd like to avoid being basically incapacitated and traumatized for several days. I've also got a lot going on this month, and September always brings a rush of nostalgic and melancholic emotions for me.

 

I am definitely starting to get a better understanding of my symptoms and nervous system. It's interesting trying to piece together the trajectory of my nervous system over the course of my life, but mostly I'm trying to pay very good attention to what it's telling me now. Tracking my symptoms with Glenmullen's chart has helped me greatly. I hope to get better at putting into material form some of what goes on in my head.

Share this post


Link to post
quads

Read this whole thread yesterday.

All things considered it sounds like things are going well. I'm glad to see you decided to slow down a bit, although I haven't started my taper I've done a lot of reading and I was worried at the start you were going quite fast.

When I start my taper I'm going to go with the brassmonkey slide method, if your last drop was a whirlwind maybe you could consider adopting it from here and the 2.5% weekly reductions will be a little smoother, while still reducing your dose at the same rate.

Any more details on the SAD light? It's something I thought about before but thought it sounded a little gimmicky and didn't bother with in the end. If you had positive experiences it might be something for me to consider now as summer ends, I'd love to hear more.

All the best with your taper, you got this

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy