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LostRunner: Took Citalopram for 7 days - feel terrible 7 weeks later!

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LostRunner

@NoMoreLexapro I understand what you mean when you say you cant predict what will happen. Im having days lately where it just seems to be getting worse. I haven't had any 'windows' yet. 

 

Does anyone deal with feeling unsteady.??  when I stand I can feel myself wobbling, its so so horrible and doesn't go away. its as if my back isn't strong enough. no idea what it is. can things like this really improve?? Walking is tough too. 

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Lzieb

There have been several days where I feel unsteady when I walk, or heavy all over -neck, back, arms, etc. Like I just can't move much. Back pain, pain all over, brain burning, etc. It's rough. In this with you  

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LostRunner

@NoMoreLexapro I understand, I have a lot of the same symptoms. I haven't had any windows yet and feeling pretty down at the moment. It's been 10 weeks off for me. 

 

 

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LostRunner

I have a question about Adverse Reactions. I experienced an adverse reaction to Citalopram 10mg pretty much an hour after I first took it when my anxiety went through the roof. However I continued to take it regardless for a full week and got lots of terrible symptoms like shakes, insomnia, burning, was sick, no appetite, suicidal thoughts etc (the full works it was terrible) and I even upped the dose to 20mg on the last four days (following my Dr's advice). Now it seems crazy that I did that when it was making me ill. 

 

However my concern is that I have actually caused permanent damage - Really I should have stopped the drug within the first couple of days but because I didn't and just carried on taking it, with the final night being TERRIBLE (severe burning all over my body, light flashes, violent body jerking). I have no idea why I put myself through it but now 10 weeks after stopping the medication my physical symptoms are so bad - I have limited balance, pulsing and weird pressure sensations 24/7 mainly up my back, legs and head, jaw. numb bum, legs and arms are heavy and weak, can manage a short walk but otherwise zero exercise tolerance, burning & pins and needles in my legs, digestion issues.. the list goes on. Is this normal for an adverse reaction? Could this be actual damage? My body clearly did not like Citalopram from the beginning but I continued to take it. Surely this has got to be damaging? 

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mstimc

Lost

Other members can chime in here but as far as I know, based on experience and sites like this, adverse reactions don't cause permanent damage. I think @Gridley has more information and can explain it better, but it can take months for your nervous system to recover.

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Gridley
4 hours ago, LostRunner said:

the list goes on. Is this normal for an adverse reaction? Could this be actual damage? My body clearly did not like Citalopram from the beginning but I continued to take it. Surely this has got to be damaging? 

As mstimc said, the damage is not permanent and what you're experiencing is completely normal for an adverse reaction.  You will heal and recover, but it's likely going to take a good bit of time.  The symptoms of an adverse reaction are very similar to the symptoms of withdrawal.

Over time, they will slowly fade.

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Lzieb

@Gridley, even things like PGAD? are some things permanent? thx

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LostRunner

Thank you for your replies @mstimc and @Gridley, it really helps to hear from your experience with all this. The past couple of months feel totally surreal to me and I'm still having trouble making sense of it all! 

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NoMoreLexapro

Would you like any book recommendations?  I've been trying to read some to help me better understand my condition.

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LostRunner

Sure @NoMoreLexapro, I'm struggling to read much at the moment but always open to recommendations! How are you getting on? 

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NoMoreLexapro
2 hours ago, LostRunner said:

Sure @NoMoreLexapro, I'm struggling to read much at the moment but always open to recommendations! How are you getting on? 

Here are 3 books that have helped me:

1. Recovery and Renewal, by Baylissa Frederick:  she documents her journey to recovery following benzo usage.  Easy to read.

2. Rewire your Anxious Brain, by Catherine Pittman/Elizabeth Karle:  also an easy read and has wonderful info.  I read it in 2 days.

3. Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, by Peter Breggin:  more a reference book but helpful

 

:)

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LostRunner

Thank you @NoMoreLexapro!

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LostRunner

This week I've developed tinnitus which is just a constant static sound - why is this happening?? Also I've been trying stretches/balances and I'm so off balance and my left side in particular is weak and shakes a lot. I did a lot of exercise previous to the anti depressants and never had any balance issues or weakness issues, I am 30 also so relatively young still. Im finding it hard to keep positive when the symptoms are all so consuming. I've had extensive blood work done recently as well as an mri on my brain and spine they came back clear but I'm worried nerve damage is the reason I'm so off balance/ have a numb bum/ tingling legs etc... is this a possibility? has this happened to anyone else? It just feels so extreme. 

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LostRunner

Anyone? 

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Gridley
3 hours ago, LostRunner said:

has this happened to anyone else?

The symptoms you describe--tinnitus, tingling, balance issues and the rest--are common symptoms of adverse reaction/withdrawal.  I know it's har to stay positive, but these symptoms will fade in time.  There is no permanent damage.  

 

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 (glycerinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

 

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LostRunner

I'm so sorry to keep posting @Gridley it's nearly been three months and no improvements or 'windows'. is that normal? 

 

I'm just really struggling at the moment and feel like all hope is lost. I can't imagine ever having a normal life again. I don't want to do anything or engage with anyone and feel so restless. I've seen from other posts that sometimes tinnitus goes and sometimes it doesn't, same with tremors - just feels too much to live with. I also haven't had a period for two months so thats also worrying me. 

 

I've just started a vitamin D supplement as my bloods said I was low in it but will try the other supplements again - I had a go at magnesium a couple of weeks ago but stomach was very sensitive to it. 

 

 

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Gridley
4 minutes ago, LostRunner said:

is that normal?

Unfortunately, yes.  You will have a window.  It just takes time.

 

5 minutes ago, LostRunner said:

I had a go at magnesium a couple of weeks ago but stomach was very sensitive to it. 

 

You could try a lower dose.  But I would wait until you see how the D agrees with you.  Only one change at a time.  D works for some people but not for others.

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NoMoreLexapro

Magnesium, omega 3, and vitamin C supplements, plus my daily multivitamin, really helped me as I was tapering down.  I still take these every day.  I was in the hospital for 24 hrs about a mth ago from withdrawal symptoms and was on an IV while there (didn't have my vitamins).  When I came home I took my vitamins again and within a couple of hrs I noticed a huge improvement in how I felt. 

 

Lost Runner- the Baylissa Frederick book I recommended really describes physical symptoms similar to yours.  She went through a horrible experience.

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LostRunner

Thanks @NoMoreLexapro I've read a bit online about Baylissa Frederick and watched a few of her videos - she's very calming! I will try the vitamins - took my first vitamin D tablet yesterday and my body is quite sensitive still, I might carry on for a week and see how I go. 

 

 

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LostRunner

My sleep is currently getting worse - it improved for two weeks  and had two weeks with a decent amount of sleep each night (6hrs) now it's very hard to get to sleep. I'm panicking at bed time and lay there and run over all the regrets I have in taking this medication and why I didn't stop it sooner. This in turn makes everything hypersensitive in my body and my legs and arms burn. I haven't experienced the burning for weeks. My head and spine just bob up and down and my stomach/back pulsates and I just lay there trying not to panic. I just lay there and cry its so pathetic. 

 

When I do sleep I have terrifying dreams- all death related and to do with my family. and when I wake my heart is racing and takes a good while to calm down but my heart rate is still elevated. I don't even know why I'm posting but I guess I want to just put it out there whats happening and hopefully I can look back in future and see that I've had improvements. Mentally I feel like I'm getting worse too - I find it very easy to lose all sense of perspective and think doom and gloom. I just think how can I possibly live like this. Do I have the strength to do so? How do people calm down when so much is happening all at once and it feels so out of control? 

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LostRunner

I've been feeling a lot worse the past couple of days. Could I have been in a window before and not known it? I'm guessing windows aren't necessarily great but maybe feel a bit better? Or am I just getting worse its so hard

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NoMoreLexapro

Hey there...do you have the Insight Timer app?  It is well worth the cost.  It has been a godsend to me for my anxiety and withdrawal.  The two courses I recommend most are ANDREA WACHTER'S "YOUR ANXIETY RELIEF TOOKLIT", and ANDY HOBSON'S "BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO A MINDFUL LIFE".  Both of these courses I repeated in their entirety.  Each session is only 10-15 min long.  Andrea's course is 10 days and Andy's is 30.  I can't tell you how much these helped me start to deal w/my withdrawal based anxiety.

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LostRunner

hi @NoMoreLexapro thanks for the recommendation. I don't know how to help myself. I'm beyond low right now, just cant see the light. 

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NoMoreLexapro

You are loved, you are cared about, and you are in my thoughts!

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LostRunner

@NoMoreLexapro you're very kind thank you!

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LostRunner

CURRENT SYMPTOMS AFTER 11 WEEKS STOPPING CITALOPRAM 

 

-tremor in spine and neck - head feels like it bobs up and down,

- Tinnitus (new) & ear popping/fullness 

-jaw tremor, nose now vibrates, teeth very sensitive 

- tightness in throat, feel sensation in ears when I swallow 

-palpitations & weird strong palpitation in stomach (drs have said is normal but its like a punch 24/7 in stomach)

-lower back spasm/movement affects my walking cant run at the moment which feels awful,

-burning legs and hands at night and morning,

-tingling & pins and needles all over throughout day

-huge anxiety and just feeling general despair,

-sleep very broken up, terrible vivid nightmares 

-digestion issues, feels like I have loss of sensation in my stomach in general weird feeling. tests said stomach is inflamed 

-weak shaky arms and legs,

- feel sensory loss in fingers

-heavy legs

-balance issues, feel like I'm swaying 

-no periods for past two months (have always been regular before drugs) 

-coordination issues,

-so restless and panicky 

-never feel relaxed

-numb tingly bum comes and goes 

-brain generally feels weird and shaky almost 

-head pain and pain when I move my eyes left to right 

-depersonalisation, brain fog

-noise sensitivity, just cant be around any risen noise or conversation is hard to follow and engage with

-thirsty all the time

-utterly gross but also have lots of phlegm 

-blurred vision and generally focusing on things takes longer 

-loss of appetite (have lost 1.5 stone and now 8 stone,  previously loved food)

-lots of emotional meltdowns about how I can possibly cope with this 

-internal shaking mostly in torso and pelvis

-panic waking up - heart rate soars/shakey

-just have no personality want to engage with people and listen and be around them but just cant. 

 

I'm at a point where I cant imagine it getting better as I have so many physical symptoms in particular. Does anyone with this many recover? Ive had brain and spine MRI as well as ultrasound of abdomen and bloods done and all of that is fine. I'm seeing a neurologist today as I'm just so concerned. I couldn't be further from the person I was 3 months ago. how has this happened after a week of a drug? I'm just so worried about my future. I still want to have children and get married and just live! 

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LostRunner

jelly legs - legs dont feel like they're mine 

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Kree

I'm so scared my adverse reaction will get worse

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jozeff

Hi lostrunner,

 

I'm Sorry you are feeling so bad.

 

These symptoms look exactly like wd symptoms or adverse reaction symptoms ant they will get better. My wife took citalopram for a week and felt absolutely horrible. Nausea, derealization, suicidal thoughts and just terrible sickness.

 

Doctor told her to go on with it and that's things would get better. She quit these drugs and switched to Prozac.

 

I have been taking citalopram for three years now and recognize all the symptoms you mentioned (except for menstrual problems....male...☺️).

 

Your CNS has been kicked in the ass and it will take some time to heal. I never met anyone who didn't get better after taking any kind of antidepressant so you have a very good chance to get perfectly fine.

 

I know that only a couple of days of this misery makes you question things and it's almost unbearable. It looks as if you have always felt like this. This is your brain lying to you!

 

This is not you!! This is temporary!!

 

Because you don't have an exact date when this will be over you become desperate and hopeless.

Hopelessness is the key to feeling miserable.

 

You have been in a bad state for 11 weeks. You will be healing in the future. You are healing right now, your brain repairing stuff feels horrible and that is the most important part of healing.

 

It is unfair to realize that doctors prescribe this stuff and don't understand the risks involved for some people.

 

I've been tripling my dose in the past and doctor changed dose in 1 minute. No questions asked....

 

You are on the right track. Keep us posted how you are doing and try not to focus on the symptoms. That's incredibly hard but it is better than to think about the misery you are in all day.

 

 

Keep yourself calm!!!

 

Hugs

 

Cheers

 

Jozeff

 

 

 

 

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Farout

Hi @LostRunner, sorry I didn’t reply sooner.  I missed your question to me.

 

I can’t give you a timeline because we are all different but initially the ‘windows’ are just feeling less worse for a time. Over time you will feel more yourself in the windows then learn to (mostly) spot the waves for what they are. All manner of weird and scary physical and emotional symptoms are ‘normal’ after an adverse reaction. 
 

You will get better. Hang in there. 
 

I didn’t do well on supplements at all in the early weeks. Others do fine. If you have noted a downward turn after starting taking them it might be worth eliminating one by one to see if any of those are setting off your sleep problems. 

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LostRunner

Thanks @jozeff and @Farout - I have so many symptoms, are there cases of people with so many symptoms improving?? My sleep is deteriorating again which is so crap. I have moments where my thoughts genuinely scare me - like how can I possibly do this for any longer? They are intense!

 

How is your wife now @jozeff

 

@Farout can windows be as short as an hour? sometimes I feel an hour or so where I'm able to concentrate on a game or whatever. not symptomless by any means but I'm able to engage. How long did it take for you to start feeling a bit better? how bad were you? 

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LostRunner

The past few days my anxiety has ramped up quite a bit, cant sit still!

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jozeff

Yes, Windows can last an hour. Or 10 minutes or 3 weeks...

 

Sometimes when your brain is distracted it feels like a window or perhaps it is a window. If you're not focusing on the misery and some time passes you experience it as distraction and relaxation.

 

I've been extremely busy today and I managed to not focus on symptoms for hours! When I jumped in my car and drove home I started noticing some misery creeping up....

 

Distraction is key here.

 

Good luck and keep up the spirit!

 

 

Jozeff

 

 

 

 

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Farout

Yes, it’s how Jeff said it above. Windows can be minutes, and then later in the healing process they can be weeks or months long. Learning and trying as hard as you can to implement coping strategies is the best thing you can do for yourself right now.

 

Recovery after an adverse reaction is an individual journey. There is generally a pattern but there’s also a lot of variables at play.  It’s hard to commit to a timeframe because it risks people feeling discontent if theirs doesn’t match, or freaking out that they may have some time to go if still at that very early point. 

 

Also, in a wave it is easy to forget or dismiss any good (or better) moments and get hooked into thought cycle that your case is worse because you still feel terrible in that moment.


It is important to remember that recovery times are not an absolute statement - you will not necessarily be stuck at that level of torment all the time. There will be periods of relief.

 

I was pretty bad. I don’t tend to list my symptoms on the forum in case people find it triggering. I have been contacted by a lot of people on this forum and IRL over the years now and they have all been in a similarly bad way initially but are all now fully recovered or much, much better (depending on their timeline).

 

Every time you type ‘I’m worried I won’t recover’ or you give credit to the thoughts that your case might be worse by seeking reassurance on here, you are reinforcing those negative thoughts and they can become more entrenched and harder to shake.

 

Try to find a more positive mantra. Every time those anxieties hit you - tell yourself firmly that you know you have had an adverse reaction. What you are experiencing now is a result of that. You can cope. You will recover. You will be well again....then move on to something pleasantly distracting.

 

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LostRunner

@jozeff Do/Did you ever feel like you're having to fake interactions because you feel so low - like the whole thing is just you pretending to be a person or pretending how you used to be? That's how I feel with conversations but never felt like that before. It's horrible, it's made me completely self obsessed. I want to feel like I did before when I spoke to someone just feel a complete disconnect. It's terrifying!

 

@Farout at the moment I feel like its minutes/a couple of hours at most, but this is me sucessfully distracting myself I think, not symptoms being gone. I do need to work harder on coping strategies, mine suck at the moment. I look at a lot of stuff on here which sometimes makes me feel positive but sometimes just scares me at how people are suffering and how long they are having to live a certain way. I'm wanting to experience more of the windows and waves just to break it up a bit - it feels all a bit bleak at the moment. Also I'm panicking about symptoms and looking things up a lot. The scans and tests I've had so far are fine. How long were you pretty bad for? Could you have imagined feeling better back then? You are right with the thought processes, I have to work on it as I'm the only one who can. I'm exhausting everyone around me. You're right I do worry that I'm an extreme case or the one who won't recover. 

 

 

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sunnysideup69

Hello @LostRunner, am so sorry you had an adverse reaction and you're now having to trudge through the healing process from that. It's really unfair. But, you will get better.

 

First up, I'd gently suggest staying away from people's stories who've taken a long time to recover, or if you can't, at least to understand that this will not necessarily be YOUR experience.

 

I can say with 99 per cent confidence that, at some point, everyone here has thought they will be the special exception of 'the person who never recovered.' I still think it from time to time...when in a wave. It's a fairly typical WD thought.

 

As for your question to jozeff, it's also quite normal to feel like you are faking interactions. I felt like that all the time in the beginning, laughing, smiling, being professional.....whilst feeling completely blank and detached. It's really unpleasant and it's also an effect that will go away over time.Remember, it might not take a long time to go away. So don't freak out when I say 'over time.' It's terrifying because you've never experienced it before and at the moment you feel stuck in that mode, but you won't be.As your nervous system sorts itself out, you'll begin to feel more connected again.

I'd strongly recommend putting your focus upon looking at the non-drug coping techniques any time you get the urge to search for stories. You most likely don't feel like it, but they will really help, if you practice them.

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