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Will: been off Celexa for 2-3 months


Will

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Hi all,

 

After 18 years (yes, 18 years!) and about three unsuccessful attempts, I'm finally Celexa free! It took me about six months to wean off but I did it. The real struggle started after I was completely off of it.

 

Now I have good days and bad days. Some days I have minor anxiety that passes in time, and other days, like today I'm an anxious mess in a low mood. It's a horrible feeling. I'm just wondering if this is my brain re-adjusting to being drug free or a return of my anxiety and depression. It's very hard to tell and disappointing. I thought the hardest part of weaning off was behind me but apparently it's just beginning.

 

I do not want to go back on any meds. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance- Will

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

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  • Moderator

Hello, Will, and welcome to SA.  Anxiety and low mood are typical withdrawal symptoms as your brain adjusts to being drug free.  

 

 
 
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.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

These links explain very well how long withdrawal takes and what happens after "zero."
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.
 
Please add a drug signature, including drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 
  • Any drugs and supplements 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 ag 
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This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions,  post updates and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 
 


 
 
 
Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Will: been Off Celexa for 2-3 Months

Thank you so much for all the info and advice.

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Will: been Off Celexa for 2-3 months
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Will, 

 

Welcome to SA from me as well. Gridley gave you some excellent links about what to expect after you’re off the meds. Our brains heal by going through windows and waves. I’m still tapering and every drop I make I go through this process, our brains are trying to find some kind of equilibrium. 

 

Personally I find that when going through waves distractions have been the best thing to help me cope. I do all sorts of things: arts and crafts, get out in nature, DVD and Netflix marathons, music etc etc etc. 

 

Please keep us updated as to how you’re doing. You can use your thread here to journal your journey or ask questions. You can also interact on other people’s threads so you can get some encouragement. We are all in the same boat here. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, ADs and opiates for chronic pain. 

Was cold turkeyed and put on and off lots of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward due to akathisia from WDs. When released I still had severe akathisia n was suicidal. Back to the ward and more meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. Many years of tapering. 

Tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./2019:➡️ March 10=7.25mg ✔️  
April 17=7.0✔️ June 5th=6.75✔️ July 14th=6.50✔️Aug 28=6.25✔️

Oct 10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️                                
 2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April 2=5.40✔️May 29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep 29=4.80✔️
 2021➡️ Jan 31=4.60 mg✔️April 24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov 1=4.10✔️ Nov 21= 4.05✔️ Dec 13= 4mg✔️

  2022➡️Jan 8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March 2=3.85✔️ April 4= 3.80✔️I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

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Hi Carmie,

 

Yes, I too try to keep my mind as occupied as possible whilst not focusing on my ADWD. Sometimes I have to actually force myself to get involved in activities. Slow days at work can be torture, which fortunately is rare. I didn't expect it to be this difficult, but here I am, determined to be drug free.

 

Thanks for the support! 👍

 

 

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wish you the best of luck during your withdrawal process. My story is very similar. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. You CAN do this!

11/2012 - 6/2018: 20mg Citalopram. .25mg Xanax as needed.

6/2018 - 7/2018: 10mg Citalopram. Rx Orders. 7/2018 - 8/2018: 5mg Citalopram. Rx Orders. 8/2018 - 9/2018: 5mg Citalopram every other day. .25mg Xanax as needed. Rx Orders.

Aug. 29, 2018: Stopped all SSRI's and Benzo's.

9/2018 - 10/2018: 2 months off. Absolute Hell. Thought I had lost my mind. Horrible acute withdrawal. Anxiety 100 out of 10.

1/2019: 4 months off. Everyday is a grind. I'm putting up the good fight. Waves and windows. Anxiety 8 out of 10.

12/2019: 15.5 months off. I still have symptoms but not all at once. Manageable now. Daily waves and windows. Anxiety 6 out of 10.

3/2020:  18 months off. Just finished a solid month wave. Thinking it was the 18th and final big one. Shorter waves and longer windows. Anxiety 5 out of 10.

Bi-Weekly: 90 min. Massage / Daily: Low Carb Diet, 30 min Cycling Exercise, no supplements, no caffeine, no alcohol

 

 

 

 

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Thank you!

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Will: been off Celexa for 2-3 months
  • 1 month later...

Hello all,

 

I'm back for my 6-month check in. I had been making good progress up until about late August, then a wave hit. It was really bad for about three weeks but it's starting to subside now. It literally tricked my mind into doubting everything in my life, catastrophizing, snowball thinking, etc. I thought I was loosing my mind! I'm not back to feeling as good as I did before the wave but I'm getting there.  I've been going to the gym almost every day since my original post and actually lost about 15 pounds in the process. Also started meditation classes this week to help with the anxiety. The wave hit me like a ton of bricks. Fortunately no panic attacks, but I came close a few times.

 

That's it for now. Here's to an easier 6 months ahead!

 

- Will

 

 

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Sorry you had a bad wave after so much time but glad to hear the trend is toward healing.  Please keep us posted.  

1991- 1999          Prozac, then Zoloft

1999- present      Celexa 20mg, 6/2019 increased to 40mg

1999- present      Wellbutrin (bupropion SR), reduced from 200mg to 100mg SR 

1/2019-present   Buspar (buspirone) 20mg; 6/2019 increased to 40mg

4/2018-6/2019   Ativan 1mg; 6/2019 switched to Klonopin

6/2019-9/2019   Klonopin 1mg; 5 week taper 

1/2020                 plan slow taper off bupropion; then taper doses of Celexa and buspirone.

 

11/2019 added magnesium and increased fish oil

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Thank you, I will!

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi will, how are you doing?

 

I hope your windows have returned and that the skies are clearer for you these days!!

 

Good luck and keep up the spirit

 

Jozeff

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

2019 apr 27 : START taper citalopram @ 18 mg: 29Jun 16.4 mg / 19aug 15.4 mg / 25aug 15.2 mg / 30sep 14.0 mg / 4dec 13.1 mg

2020  03Jan 12.75 mg / 28Jan 12.29 mg / 18Feb 11.83 mg, 25Feb 11.68 mg hold.. / 7May 11.33 mg hold...., 4Aug 10.98 mg / 5Dec 10.0 mg 4 month hold...

2021 30mar 9.8 mg / 06apr 9.5 mg /  13apr 9.4 mg / 14may 8,5 mg / 04jun 8,0 mg / 11jun 7.75 mg, 02jul 7.35 mg /  09jul 7.2 mg hold 3 weeks during holiday /31jul 7 mg/ 8aug 6.8 mg / 15aug 6.63mg / 22aug 6.5mg / 1sep 6.3 mg / 8sep 6.15 mg / 15sep 6.0 mg / 22sep 5.9 mg / 29sep 5.8 mg / 04 oct 5.65 mg / 10oct 5.55 mg / 17oct 5.45 mg / 24oct 5.35mg / 30oct 5.25 mg hold 3 wks / 22nov 5.15 mg / 01dec 5.1mg / 12dec 5.0mg / 20dec 4.85mg / 30dec 4.70mg / 

2022   08jan 4.5 mg / 16jan 4.4 mg / 23jan 4.3 mg / 27jan 4.2 mg / 18feb 4.1 mg / 25feb 4.0 mg / 04mar 3.9 mg / 11mar 3.75 mg / 18Mar 3.65 mg / 09apr 3.55 mg.

 

 

 

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I’m doing better, the windows are longer and the waves are shorter. Stressful situations are still a challenge but otherwise I’m making progress.

 

Thanks for asking!

Started on 20 mgs Celexa 12/99

Tried to wean off about 3 times over the years unsuccessfully

Started a very slow taper 09/18

Completely Celexa free as of late April 2019

Have been trying to manage withdrawal syndrome since June 2019

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So glad to hear you're doing better, with longer windows and shorter waves!  Best wishes for continued healing!

1991- 1999          Prozac, then Zoloft

1999- present      Celexa 20mg, 6/2019 increased to 40mg

1999- present      Wellbutrin (bupropion SR), reduced from 200mg to 100mg SR 

1/2019-present   Buspar (buspirone) 20mg; 6/2019 increased to 40mg

4/2018-6/2019   Ativan 1mg; 6/2019 switched to Klonopin

6/2019-9/2019   Klonopin 1mg; 5 week taper 

1/2020                 plan slow taper off bupropion; then taper doses of Celexa and buspirone.

 

11/2019 added magnesium and increased fish oil

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