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Spring 2014: Effexor ? mg for 2 months then cold turkey (didnt know better at the time). Originally put on this for depression after a break up.


Fall 2014: Dizziness, extreme memory issues, pins and needles in hands and feet. Occasional adderall use. Working 2 jobs to pay for engineering school. Health anxiety started when doctors couldn't find cause of symptoms. Tried samE, 5htp.


Winter 2014-2015: tried molly with a friend. Ended up in the ER. Months that passed included many ER visits and eventually klonopin (? mg)


Spring 2015: after researching benzo dangers wanted off. Tried to taper. Horrid withdrawal. Switched to diazepam 6mg. Dog/best friend died of cancer. Started celexa 10 mg.


Rest of 2015: Moved back in with mom, slowly tapered diazepam, stopped daily on new years 2016.


Winter-Spring 2016: back in school. Stopped celexa 10mg in January.  Pins and needles and depression in February. Started on wellbutrin 150mg. Increased anxiety but allowed me to finish school. Graduated. Stopped wellbutrin after graduation.


Summer 2016: quit job too much stress while going through what I now know to be withdrawal. Drove for ride share service when feeling well enough. Felt like living with chronic fatigue syndrome. No doctors could find cause.


Fall 2016: started back on celexa 15mg after rock bottom depression. Eventually wellbutrin added back at 75mg. Moved to a new state. PM panic attacks started after going back on celexa. Started full time engineering job.


Winter 2016 - Winter 2018: wellbutrin gradually increased to 300mg. Started celexa taper. 15 down to 10mg. Increase in depression but tolerable.


Spring 2019: tapered celexa down to 5mg. Extremely depressed. Affected relationship. Found a psychiatrist who wanted to switch me to zoloft. Relationship break up the week of starting zoloft. Zoloft lifted depression at first.


Summer 2019: got back together with boyfriend. zoloft increased to 50 then 75 then 100. Horrible reaction to 100mg. Worst anxiety of my life. Stopped cold turkey. Back on 2.5mg celexa. Dr Then tried liquid zoloft increase from 0 by 1mg every few days to cross taper with celexa. Able to stop wellbutrin easily. Also had tooth extraction during all of this (infected root canal). 


Fall 2019: up to 8mg zoloft 1mg celexa. Horrible anxiety. Stopped zoloft cold turkey after getting suicidal thoughts from severe anxiety. 


Current: trying to find a celexa dose to stabilize on. Trying 2.5 mg. Anxiety and fatigue battles daily.


going to write more soon. Just wanted a quick recap to start.

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I'm hoping someone can help me here as I'm really struggling.


As you can see above this year has been a mess. Found a psychiatrist in the spring (before was prescribed by primary care dr) who underestimated my sensitivity to psych drugs and probably made it worse (I was able to tolerate 50mg zoloft at one point then later 8mg caused an awful reaction of anxiety/suicidal thoughts relieved only from stopping). I'm terrified to take zoloft again I'm hoping I can just stay with celexa.


Right now I'm only on celexa and trying to find a dose to help stabilize for a bit before resuming a proper slow taper. I've taken 2.5 mg for two days. Sleep improved but anxiety and fatigue are still brutal. Also a burning sensation in my right hand and parts of my face today. What a lovely new symptom lol. 




1) am I now permanently sensitized? This terrifies me. I have developed health anxiety from all my awful experiences with these drugs. I'm so worried upping celexa will cause a new bad reaction but I cannot go on how I am right now.


2) can someone explain kindling? I'm worried I've accidentally done this. I've gone ct off celexa a couple times prior to the history above but seemed like my younger brain handled it better. Also seems all this sensitivity started during/because of the benzo taper.


3) is 2.5 too high to too low reinstatement going off of experience on this forum?





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I hope someone can post to help me soon. I'm so scared.

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Welcome, Respector.


It seems that going on and off psychiatric drugs and experiencing adverse effects from them can make one's nervous system hypersensitive to all psychoactives, including MDMA, sam-E, and 5-htp.


What time of day do you take 2.5 Celexa? Do you feel better or worse after you take it? How's your sleep? Are you taking any other drugs?


A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see


Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

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Hi @Altostrata


Thank you so much for answering. What you're saying about hypersensitivity makes so much sense. For so long I've wondered why I am affected differently now by such benign things. Hearing of others having this experience also is incredibly validating, though I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone.


Is this hypersensitivity permanent or have you seen people improve?


I take the celexa dose currently between 10-11 am. Celexa is the only one I'm taking now. I used to take it close to bed about a year ago but I get nocturnal panic attacks and found this aggravated them. I typically feel my best in the morning and struggle at night which seems to be the opposite of many others' experience with anxiety. Most nights I wake up less than an hour after falling asleep and find myself immediately into panic especially if sleeping alone. This has gone on for years, started when I started back on celexa in the end of 2016. As for how do I feel after taking it, i feel better in some ways when I take it/worse in others. Symptoms have been all.over the place this last week but I'll start keeping track in more detail here.


Most days I take currently vitamin D, a multivitamin with fish oil and small amount of magnesium (ritual is the brand, if you want to see what else is in it), B complex. I've had a bad reaction to magnesium on it's own before and I've been hesitant to try again. Though I think it may be beneficial if i find the right brand/amount. Other than that i take Epsom salt baths occasionally. I switched to decaf and try to avoid caffeine most of the time. I was able to tolerate 1-2 drinks of alcohol until recently but after the last time I tried this and with what I've read on here I'm ok with absolutely none for the rest of this healing process if that's what it takes. Have you heard of CBD helping anyone with sleep during withdrawal? I also use a light box which I find helps with fatigue. I've found chamomile tea sometimes helps with sleep. I also do hot yoga which has been the closest thing to instant relief I've been able to find when I have the energy to go. Though it only lasts for about a day after I've found it significantly reduces hopeless feelings and gives me energy and mental clarity.


Again thank you so much for getting back to me. I'm definitely in a rough patch right now.



Edited by Respector
Add note about chamomile and hot yoga

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As your system stabilizes, we see very gradual improvement over time.


I wonder if the 2.5mg Celexa isn't being metabolized fairly quickly and you get interdose withdrawal at night. You might want to move it later by an hour each day and see if your nighttime symptoms also move. That would indicate a split dose might be better for you. Please let us know how it goes.


CBD oil is an unknown. You might be able to improve your sleep with these tips


Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia


Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration


Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep


What is the sleep cycle?


Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful


TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

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Thank you for the sleep tips. I fear things have been tipped too far towards destabilization. I've held celexa at 2.5mg with some improvement in fatigue but worsening depression symptoms and not doing much to cover what I think to be zoloft withdrawal at this point.


I'm incredibly uncomfortable in my mind and body and feel I've reached the end of what I can handle on my own and am going to in patient care to hopefully get stabilized. I never had suicidal thoughts until going on these meds and now they are taking over. I'm sorry if this is all over the place I've been up for days with random 1hr windows of sleep. I feel incredibly overwhelmed and exhuasted. 


I'll try to keep a detailed note of what happens while I'm admitted. For now my symptoms are the following:


-suidical thoughts triggered by overwhelm.

-Constant fear and dread that my brain and body are permanently damaged

-fear celexa is going to cause heart problems

-feeling incredibly alone and afraid like no one in my life understands how hard and scary and real this all is. 

-burning sensation in right hand and occasionally face

-pins and needles and pain in arms and legs

-shame about not being able to do this on my own

-dizziness and feeling like o have to concentrate hard on walking to stay in balance

-exhaustion but too afraid to sleep worried I'm going to die and not wake up

-concentration and reading difficulties 

-sharp stomach pain and nausea 



I need hope this can all improve. Having a hard time seeing though this fog of pain.



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Hello, R.


You're going to end up on more meds, I expect, that's the only tool that doctors have. Don't feel bad, that's pretty common for people in your situation. Definitely give yourself a break from self blame and shame. Believe me, it's not you. You did NOT choose what has happened to you. Nobody sat you down and told you what would happen and gave you a choice.


And nobody is stronger than these drugs. No amount of strength can fix what they do to your nervous system. The toughest people, and I've met a few (and I am one), are brought to their knees by this.


I just want to say, for the long term outlook for your life, what's probably best is to ask them to try to keep you on as few meds as possible and as low doses as possible. And then don't switch meds around, because every time you do that, at this point (once you've developed this kind of sensitivity) it's just going to reset the clock for how long it will be before you can settle down and feel better. If you can just get them to keep you on low doses of the fewest possible number of drugs, even if it doesn't relieve your suffering 100%, that is going to be the safest path.


At some point in the future if you decide you want to reduce your drugs, do it VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY.


You CAN conquer these drugs or at least get a lot more control of your life and what the drugs are doing to it, but it is going to be a VERY long project that requires lots of patience and commitment. And it must be done very slowly.


Good luck to you and I hope your suffering is eased. 

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Thank you so much @Rhiannon, I needed to hear that more than you know.


The drs are being awesome so far they are not trying to add to it but are helping me find a dose of celexa I can stabilize on. Trying 3mg today. They are getting a pharmacy to deliver liquid celexa to make sure the dose is right. Much different than other experiences I've had at inpatient. They actually have healthy food/salads veggies too. Trying to eat as well as possible to help my brain heal. 


I definitely want off this train long term though. Lesson learned about too many med changes. Once I get back to okay/functional then I'm thinking hold and then try super slow taper after maybe 2-3 months of leaving it the same. Not expecting to leave feeling 100% relived but coming in at 20%, I'll be happy if I can get to 75-80% that's the goal


They let me have my phone for a half hour a day so I'm very thankful to be able to read your message.



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Hi.. looking for some guidance


I was released from the inpatient hospital yesterday. Was feeling stable there but since leaving I have had another wave of symptoms. I am trying to figure out why and then how to best deal with them. I've been couch bound most of the day and feel dizzy and weak when standing. 


10 days ago I took approx. .1 - .2 mg of diazepam the day I went to the hospital. It made my anxiety much worse almost instantly. Is this because I previously tapered off a few years ago (see original post). Could this be now rebound from that dose due to the long half life?


Could this be zoloft withdrawal ?? Would I have to reinstate zoloft or can this be handled with celexa updosing?


Current dose 2.5mg celexa 11 days, split in morning and night



Thinking of trying 2.7mg ? I can barely function with my symptoms currently 



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3.2 mg celexa now. Trying hard to find a dose to stabilize. 1.6 mg liquid twice a day. This has helped night time panic but have been waking up at 3-4am every night. I can live with this over the previous night panic attacks. Day time fatigue and light headedness is the worst. My body feels like its filled with sand and takes extra effort just to walk around. Just a month ago I was able to work out 5x a week. Now short walk or trip to the store feels overwhelming. In the evening I get this pit in my gut and a dread feeling like my brain is never going to heal.


Hoping someone/anyone is reading this thread and can help.

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