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Heidi1: citalopram cold turkey withdrawal


Heidi1

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Thanks @ChessieCat that’s good to know and makes sense. I do think I’m lucky compared to other stories I’ve seen, for the fact that I can function and I don’t really have any physical symptoms. I just can get really overwhelmed at how the process can take a while, as I just feel so down and seems like this is a huge challenge. 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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This link explains why the "physiologically out of your system" explanation misses the point entirely.     Brain Remodelling     

@Gridley thanks for your reply, I apologise for asking when I know that you did already respond previously. I just have been having such an awful few days that I have felt quite desperate and just wan

Waves and windows going on.Happens to me even after 2 years which I mark this month, even if I force myself my symptoms would ramp up for some time.

  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes it can be very frustrating about how long the process takes.  I've been tapering since October 2015 and still have another year to go before I'm off.  When I first arrived here at SA I was hoping to be off by my 60th birthday.  I will be almost 64 when I am AD-free.  I've had a few times when I've become impatient to be finished with it.  Having other members encourage me has really helped me to stay patient.

 

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to get through the tough times.  Sometimes we just have to get through day by day and sometimes hour by hour or moment by moment.

 

Non-drug techniques

 

Acceptance

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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You’ve done so well to keep with it, that’s a long time! I think I get frustrated because my doctor told me to come off cold turkey and didn’t say anything about going slowly, so I felt like I didn’t have much choice and I don’t know if that would have made things worse. But I know there’s no point going back over that as it won’t help anything, it’s done now and I just need to accept it. 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You're doing well too.  Just remember to take good care of yourself and try to keep stress to a minimum.  Also stay off the alcohol and try not to get too stressed about setbacks.  Also don't overdo exercise / physical exertion, build up slowly.  I'd also avoid flavour enhancers (eg MSG) in foods because they are a neurotoxin.  So Chinese foods, flavoured chips and savoury snacks, chicken salt, some canned soups, many frozen meals, eg pizza, TV dinners.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Just an update:

I’ve been in a wave this past week which I think felt more dramatic because of my cycle. My symptoms are still feeling depressed, anxious, repetitive/obsessive thoughts, agitation, not myself at all, with not much ability to enjoy doing things like I used to, it’s like I can’t see the point in doing things most of the time and am not able to get satisfaction from things. I just feel like I almost have someone else’s brain inside my head that always thinks negative thoughts about everything. This is just so different to who I was before I changed my Citalopram dose, I was so positive, happy and I always found it easy to be excited even by the little things.

Physically I feel lucky that I don’t really have any problems, which is great. I also feel so lucky for my sleep as it’s pretty much been fine, if anything I just don’t feel that refreshed when I wake up.

I’ve recently just started to read The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris and already have found it’s made a bit of a difference, it talks about accepting thoughts and understanding that they really are just thoughts, which I think I really need to get control over and should really help me.

I’m coming up to being 2 months off Citalopram so I know I’m in early days, I’ve already had what I believe were two windows that each lasted a couple of days, which is a good sign. The waves feel awful, when I’m in one I feel like I’ve always been depressed and it feels very hard to tell myself that one day I won’t think this way anymore.

Hoping I continue to see improvement!

 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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Also, sorry to ask this as I know that Gridley sent this in a reply to my introduction but I just wanted to clarify. As I likely had an adverse reaction to Citalopram, should I expect to follow this pattern for recovery, rather than normal withdrawal?

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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29 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

Also, sorry to ask this as I know that Gridley sent this in a reply to my introduction but I just wanted to clarify. As I likely had an adverse reaction to Citalopram, should I expect to follow this pattern for recovery, rather than normal withdrawal?

Hi @Heidi1, I don't know much about adverse reaction recovery pattern but both ways, we can expect recovery ! Don't worry even though it's very hard. I am almost 5 months off Lexapro and I only started to feel better from the end of the 3rd month. You'll get better ! Do not fuse with your negative thoughts. I still get suicidal and depressed thoughts but I only see them like words which pop up inside my head. 

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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Thanks @christianjw12 and thank you for recommending the book, I can see that it will be very helpful! 
I’m glad that you saw improvements after the third month, I’m just trying to see that they’re literally just thoughts, they haven’t done any harm to me so far, so why should they be able to cause me any harm in the future. 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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26 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

Thanks @christianjw12 and thank you for recommending the book, I can see that it will be very helpful! 
I’m glad that you saw improvements after the third month, I’m just trying to see that they’re literally just thoughts, they haven’t done any harm to me so far, so why should they be able to cause me any harm in the future. 

You're welcome ! The book helped me a lot while I was trying to survive my pure O OCD. Now the OCD can still challenge me but it litteraly lost its power. I then noticed it can apply to lots of things in our life. It's really a life lesson.

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is there usually any kind of pattern with windows and waves? Again at the weekend I noticed feeling more positive and able to laugh with my family. So far it seems that around every two weeks I’ll get a few days like this, I just wondered if I can expect this to happen again?

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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On 9/3/2020 at 9:03 AM, Heidi1 said:

Hi!

Was hoping someone would be able to give me any advice as I’ve been going through withdrawals for weeks now.

I was put onto Citalopram 10mg in October 2019 for mild anxiety, I had no symptoms of depression. I was doing fine on this and felt good. I stayed on this until June 2020 when my anxiety got a bit worse and I upped to 20mg. Within a few days my anxiety had gotten worse, my mood was much lower and I then began to have suicidal thoughts. My doctor changed me to Venlafaxine 37.5mg even though I didn’t want swap to another drug, but trusted their advice! After a couple of weeks I decided I really just wanted to go back to Citalopram 10mg as this had worked for me before and for some reason when I began taking Venlafaxine I began to have very repetitive thoughts that I didn’t seem to be able to control.

After starting Citalopram again, within a week the exact same thing happened as before- my anxiety was a lot worse, my mood was worse, I began having suicidal thoughts. All of these drug changes happened within about a month.

A different doctor told me to stop taking Citalopram cold turkey, saying that I needed to be off it completely. I just went with what she’d said as I didn’t know what else to do, this was on 20th July (6 weeks ago). She said absolutely nothing about withdrawal symptoms.

Within a few days I really started to feel very very down, my anxiety worse, I started to not feel motivated to do anything, not myself at all, nauseous, more tired and then began having repetitive and intrusive thoughts about self harm and suicide. A couple of weeks back I had a few days of feeling quite happy, but after this it was like my symptoms got worse, the obsessive thoughts got a lot worse and are still there now (though have now improved from that they were). My other symptoms are still there, though sometimes I feel them getting a bit better, but then find them getting worse.

Just wondered if anyone had any advice. I’m guessing obsessive/repetitive thoughts are due to stopping the medication as they happened not long after but part of me worries I’m paranoid or something and it’s not a symptom of withdrawal?

 

I came off citalopram way too fast after 7 years of 20 mg. Obsessive and repetitive thoughts about self harm and suicide has been my worst symptom. Its definitely from coming off citalopram quickly or else an adverse reaction as stated above. You are definitely not alone. 

April 2011 - citalopram 20 mg

April 2018 - tapered in 4 weeks

Nov 2018 - reinstated 20 mg on advice of psychiatrist

Stopped 8 days later bad reaction

November 5 2020 - reinstated citalopram 0.5mg. 

November 8 2020 - went up to 1mg. 

November 10 2020 - stopped citalopram.  

December 8 2020 - reinstate 2.5mg citalopram. Stayed on until December 17

December 18 and 19 2020 - 1.75mg citalopram.

December 20 2020 - discontinue citalopram again 

Current: ativan 0.25mg in morning and at supper. 0.50mg before bed. Holding.

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Hi @Daisygirlsk, thanks for your message. It’s a horrible thing to go through, the thoughts are normally constantly there and they tell me different things like ‘what’s the point in all of this’ or ‘you won’t be able to keep going.’ I’m trying to constantly tell myself that it’s not really me saying those things, I would never ever have thought that. Have your thoughts improved? X

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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14 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

Hi @Daisygirlsk, thanks for your message. It’s a horrible thing to go through, the thoughts are normally constantly there and they tell me different things like ‘what’s the point in all of this’ or ‘you won’t be able to keep going.’ I’m trying to constantly tell myself that it’s not really me saying those things, I would never ever have thought that. Have your thoughts improved? X

My thoughts are always there but some days they are less pronounced than others. It's really hard feeling like you're battling your own mind. I completely understand 

April 2011 - citalopram 20 mg

April 2018 - tapered in 4 weeks

Nov 2018 - reinstated 20 mg on advice of psychiatrist

Stopped 8 days later bad reaction

November 5 2020 - reinstated citalopram 0.5mg. 

November 8 2020 - went up to 1mg. 

November 10 2020 - stopped citalopram.  

December 8 2020 - reinstate 2.5mg citalopram. Stayed on until December 17

December 18 and 19 2020 - 1.75mg citalopram.

December 20 2020 - discontinue citalopram again 

Current: ativan 0.25mg in morning and at supper. 0.50mg before bed. Holding.

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1 hour ago, Daisygirlsk said:

My thoughts are always there but some days they are less pronounced than others. It's really hard feeling like you're battling your own mind. I completely understand 

 

I understand, I’ve had a couple of windows where the thoughts are there but I don’t really pay them attention and they seem easier to handle. Just hope they will improve over time x

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I’d post a bit of an update!

It’s been 11 weeks now since coming off of Citalopram. The last two weeks have not actually been as bad as previous weeks! Especially in the last week, I noticed some improvements:

- I have been able to get slightly more enjoyment out of some things. I have started to play piano again, this was something I had done since I was a child but I had stopped playing for the last few years. I really like to play and notice that I feel relaxed when I am playing and learning things, this has also been good for distraction!

- I have noticed my mood lift at points and I have had some feelings of being content. I have been trying to take more care of myself and plan little things to try to look forward to, and I believe that this has been helpful.

- Last week I noticed a definite improvement in my intrusive thoughts. For pretty much the entire process my thoughts had constantly been there, but last week I actually noticed that there were periods of time where they were not there at all, and when they would come back up they would be less pronounced (though today they have been back again, with more intensity 😔) I’m trying to view that as a huge achievement to where I was at the beginning of withdrawal!
 

Generally, most of the time I have depressed feelings, lack of concentration sometimes, repetitive thoughts, crying spells quite often (which sometimes can be uncontrollable), my perception of things is very different to how it was before coming off of medication and generally just not myself and my usual personality. I really do feel grateful as I know that it could be much worse, I know some people suffer hugely from withdrawal symptoms and I can only imagine what some people must go through.

 

Though I do feel I’ve made some improvements, most things I read say recovery takes quite a while, so I don’t know if it’s right to be optimistic about making progress at 11 weeks off, or is this an encouraging sign?

 

Hope everyone is doing well. ❤️
 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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Just a question, does age play any kind of role in recovery from withdrawal?

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Heidi1 said:

Just a question, does age play any kind of role in recovery from withdrawal?

 

Hello Heidi, 

 

There is so much that we don't know about these drugs and the brain, so I think the honest answer would be we don't know.

So much unknows and factors at play.

 

Glad to read you are noticing some improvments :) 

2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) (2008 : cold turkey of both)

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (longer half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

Current medication :  7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020) + 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

 

Website : https://selibererdelapsychiatrie.wordpress.com/

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Hi @Erell, thank you for your reply!

I’m 22 and didn’t know if younger age plays any kind of role at all.

Do you think these improvements are a good sign of healing? I feel that they should be, but I read so many things where people say the process takes years or that after feeling better they then began to feel worse. I want to be optimistic but don’t know if I should expect things to take a long time?

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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I wonder if anyone has any advice on my situation, as I’m unsure as to what to think.

 

I was on 10mg Citalopram for 7 and a half months for anxiety, not for any symptoms of depression. I did feel better once I started taking it, however I more put that down to talking more with my partner and family about my anxiety. 

I began taking 20mg in June, after I told a close friend that my anxiety had gotten worse and my mood was lower during the lockdown at the time. Instead of reassuring me that was normal, she said that I was probably depressed and needed to increase my medication straight away. This really made me panic, and I began taking the higher dose as she had made me think that there might be something ‘wrong’ with me. 

 

The higher dose made my anxiety so much worse straight away, I was completely unable to concentrate, was unable to stay at work as I felt so bad, and within a few days I had very dark thoughts and images. At the time I didn’t know whether it was just me getting myself into a state of panic but when I began having such dark thoughts I called my doctor who changed my medication. Within a few days of stopping the Citalopram, I felt so much better. The anxiety calmed down straight away, the dark thoughts went away and I had a week of feeling back to myself and pretty good. However, after about a week of taking my new medication I felt my anxiety getting worse again, I began having extremely repetitive worries, and a strange sensation of pressure in my head. 


My doctor switched me back to Citalopram 10mg which I thought would help as I had always felt fine when taking this. Initially I thought it was helping, as I had a few days of feeling slightly better. On about the 6th day of taking it, my anxiety got much much worse and my mood became so much lower, my concentration was awful, I was not able to sleep for a few nights and again I had intrusive suicidal thoughts. This is when my doctor told me to stop my medication cold turkey. 

Did I definitely have an adverse reaction to Citalopram, and is that what I am recovering from, or am I suffering from withdrawals after stopping Citalopram cold turkey? Is there any kind of timeline I should expect for recovery based on my situation?

I would really appreciate any advice. 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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christianjw12
25 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

I wonder if anyone has any advice on my situation, as I’m unsure as to what to think.

 

I was on 10mg Citalopram for 7 and a half months for anxiety, not for any symptoms of depression. I did feel better once I started taking it, however I more put that down to talking more with my partner and family about my anxiety. 

I began taking 20mg in June, after I told a close friend that my anxiety had gotten worse and my mood was lower during the lockdown at the time. Instead of reassuring me that was normal, she said that I was probably depressed and needed to increase my medication straight away. This really made me panic, and I began taking the higher dose as she had made me think that there might be something ‘wrong’ with me. 

 

The higher dose made my anxiety so much worse straight away, I was completely unable to concentrate, was unable to stay at work as I felt so bad, and within a few days I had very dark thoughts and images. At the time I didn’t know whether it was just me getting myself into a state of panic but when I began having such dark thoughts I called my doctor who changed my medication. Within a few days of stopping the Citalopram, I felt so much better. The anxiety calmed down straight away, the dark thoughts went away and I had a week of feeling back to myself and pretty good. However, after about a week of taking my new medication I felt my anxiety getting worse again, I began having extremely repetitive worries, and a strange sensation of pressure in my head. 


My doctor switched me back to Citalopram 10mg which I thought would help as I had always felt fine when taking this. Initially I thought it was helping, as I had a few days of feeling slightly better. On about the 6th day of taking it, my anxiety got much much worse and my mood became so much lower, my concentration was awful, I was not able to sleep for a few nights and again I had intrusive suicidal thoughts. This is when my doctor told me to stop my medication cold turkey. 

Did I definitely have an adverse reaction to Citalopram, and is that what I am recovering from, or am I suffering from withdrawals after stopping Citalopram cold turkey? Is there any kind of timeline I should expect for recovery based on my situation?

I would really appreciate any advice. 

 

Hi @Heidi1, I think whether you have an adverse reaction or a withdrawal, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that in both situations, you'll heal but there's no timetable which can predict when you'll heal. All you can do is to accept the situation whether it's very bad or not. The success stories written in this forum show us that whether what we experience, we all heal but as you can also see, some people healed in few months, other took 4-5 years. What will help you recover faster is acceptance. Your thoughts litteraly influence your physical and mental health. Worrying constantly will therefore slow your recovery. Even if it's very very hard, learn to observe your own worrying part of you, this is called mindfulness. When you notice you begin to worry (which is natural, because we all want to live a peaceful day and solve every problem which present to us), start noticing it and bring back your attention to the present moment. Like if you're having a drink with your friends and suddenfly feel anxious, just notice this feeling, it's very uncomfortable but it doesn't harm you, it can't harm you. Just notice it and bring back your attention to whatever you were doing. I had a very bad headache yesterday morning (probably due to withdrawal) and I started to think like "oh my god my headache is so bad that I won't be able to cope today, why am I like this ? When will it end ?" Then I started to step back and notice the pain due to the headache and bringing back my attention to the present moment. By fully accepting my own painful headache, it started to lessen until it completely went away like 2 hours after. Acceptance isn't going to suppress your pain, sometimes it does but sometimes it doesn't but it helps you develop psychogical flexibility which increase your capacity to face your demons. They make us feel bad but they actually can't harm us.

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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@christianjw12 I understand that and do think that it’s very helpful in this process. I feel awful today and yesterday, almost as bad as I did when I took the citalopram in terms of my mood, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Sometimes I feel that my personality has been damaged and can’t imagine feeling the way I used to.
I just feel like if I understood the situation a bit more, then I’d be able to accept it a bit better. Like if I knew for sure that I’d had an adverse reaction to citalopram and to wait til it gets better, or if it’s just that I’m feeling so bad because I went cold turkey after 7 months, I think I’d be able to get a better perspective on the situation. 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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Would reinstating any medication help at all or am I best to just ride it out? 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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  • Moderator
On 9/3/2020 at 2:29 PM, Gridley said:

 

@Heidi1

 

As I said on September 3, you have gone through a lot of dose and drug changes, and it is very difficult, if not impossible, to untangle what is causing what.  

I said:

 

"You've undergone a lot of drug and dosage changes in a short time, leading to the withdrawal symptoms you're experiencing now. It's impossible to untangle what exactly causes what when there are so many changes, but  I'll try to explain some of the symptoms you've been experiencing.  First, anxiety is a known side effect of Citalopram, and the increase to 20mg was likely too much for your system.  Second, switching to new drug doesn't guarantee you won't have withdrawal from the old, so your switch to Venlaxafine likely contributed to Citalopram withdrawal, Third, your cold turkey of Citalopram would also have been a factor in Citalopram withdrawal. Fourth, when you went back on Citalopram and experienced worsening symptoms, this was likely due to an adverse reaction, which means the drug has now become poison to your system.  Adverse effect symptoms are very similar to withdrawal symptoms, and those you describe--feeling very down, anxiety, lack of motivation, nausea, fatigue, repetitive intrusive thoughts--are typical of withdrawal/adverse effect."  

 

Whether you had an adverse reaction to the citalopram or your symptoms are a result of the cold turkey or a combination,  you would be better off accepting the situation, as advised earlier.  

 

Regarding reinstating, as far as citalopram goes, I wouldn't recommend reinstating that drug because of the possibility that you had an adverse reaction to it.  As far as reinstating another drug, we do not not recommending taking a different drug to deal with the effects of a previous drug.  

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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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@Gridley thanks for your reply, I apologise for asking when I know that you did already respond previously. I just have been having such an awful few days that I have felt quite desperate and just wanted to know if there was anything I could do. 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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  • Moderator
55 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

awful few days

I am so sorry you're feeling bad.  Reading back over your thread, I see that a while back you were making some improvements, which is a very encouraging sign that you are healing.

 

I'm sending a link to non-drug techniques we recommend for coping.  Perhaps one or more of these will help.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

And did you ever try magnesium or omegas (one at a time and at a low dose to start)?  They can help.

 

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post

@Gridley thanks for your kind response. Through the process I’m sure I’ve had signs of improvement, such as feeling more content, having a bit more of an interest in things or just being able to laugh a bit more. But then days like the past few days seem almost unbearable, I feel so depressed. I think I also read too many other stories where people say recovery can take such a long time, and this just sets me back.

Should I trust that I’m on the way to recovery? Is it possible to not take so long? 

I did try fish oils and magnesium at one stage but if I’m honest I forgot to keep them going, so I will restart them.

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

Link to post
  • Moderator
3 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

Should I trust that I’m on the way to recovery? Is it possible to not take so long? 

I would say definitely you're on the way to recovery, and, yes, it's possible that recovery might not take so long.  We're all different.

 

You're going trough a wave (bad spot), which is normal in recovery from withdrawal.

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

 

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post
8 minutes ago, Gridley said:

I would say definitely you're on the way to recovery, and, yes, it's possible that recovery might not take so long.  We're all different.

 

You're going trough a wave (bad spot), which is normal in recovery from withdrawal.

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

 

 


Thank you Gridley, needed to hear that!

I think because I had a few drug changes and went cold turkey, I worked myself up into thinking this could take years. But I guess this may not be true if I’ve had some improvements.

Hope you’re doing well?

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

Link to post
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Heidi1 said:

But I guess this may not be true if I’ve had some improvements.

Correct.

 

1 hour ago, Heidi1 said:

Hope you’re doing well?

I'm having a good day today.  Almost through with my Lexapro taper, then on to Ativan.

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Gridley said:

Correct.

 

I'm having a good day today.  Almost through with my Lexapro taper, then on to Ativan.

 Glad you’re having a good day! You’ve done very well to take your time with it. Hope you continue to feel better 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...

Little update:

Three weeks ago I had an awful wave where I felt extremely depressed, had bad anxiety and my intrusive thoughts became a lot worse, they almost felt painful. Luckily, the intensity of this lasted only for a few days before lifting, and doing things like taking walks, breathing exercises and talking to my family really helped.

The week after I felt so SO much better! My mood lifted, my repetitive/obsessive thoughts became so much better to the point where they would pop up every now and again but because I was thinking about other things I barely gave them a thought. I felt some genuine excitement and urges to do things that usually make me happy. This lasted about 4 days and it was so nice to have a break like this.

Since then I have been back to having the same sorts of symptoms as before with depressed feelings, intrusive thoughts becoming more frequent, anhedonia and a lot of anxiety about having another lockdown. I really worry sometimes that I won’t be able to cope or be able to make it, but I try to just take each day as it comes and that makes things feel slightly easier. I also have a weird kind of agitated feeling and a weird sense of urgency/impatience? Not sure how to describe it but I don’t think I have had it before.

I am holding on to the window I had a few weeks ago as encouragement, I really hope it was a good sign of things improving! 

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

Link to post
christianjw12
30 minutes ago, Heidi1 said:

Little update:

Three weeks ago I had an awful wave where I felt extremely depressed, had bad anxiety and my intrusive thoughts became a lot worse, they almost felt painful. Luckily, the intensity of this lasted only for a few days before lifting, and doing things like taking walks, breathing exercises and talking to my family really helped.

The week after I felt so SO much better! My mood lifted, my repetitive/obsessive thoughts became so much better to the point where they would pop up every now and again but because I was thinking about other things I barely gave them a thought. I felt some genuine excitement and urges to do things that usually make me happy. This lasted about 4 days and it was so nice to have a break like this.

Since then I have been back to having the same sorts of symptoms as before with depressed feelings, intrusive thoughts becoming more frequent, anhedonia and a lot of anxiety about having another lockdown. I really worry sometimes that I won’t be able to cope or be able to make it, but I try to just take each day as it comes and that makes things feel slightly easier. I also have a weird kind of agitated feeling and a weird sense of urgency/impatience? Not sure how to describe it but I don’t think I have had it before.

I am holding on to the window I had a few weeks ago as encouragement, I really hope it was a good sign of things improving! 

@Heidi1, it's a good sign you're healing !

It's very scary when we face a bad wave, everyone will be scared. But don't try to avoid it, just face it head on, it won't kill us even though it's very very uncomfortable. The more you're open to face this discomfort and the more you'll be able to face more and more waves without rejecting them. This is called Acceptance, being mindful and aware of what we are experiencing is the key to get freedom. We're not doomed to feel this forever, it might last 2 more months, 2 more years or 20 more years. It'll keep improving until we enter THE window, the permanent one where all this nightmare ends. Hang on !!! 💪

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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christianjw12
Just now, christianjw12 said:

@Heidi1, it's a good sign you're healing !

It's very scary when we face a bad wave, everyone will be scared. But don't try to avoid it, just face it head on, it won't kill us even though it's very very uncomfortable. The more you're open to face this discomfort and the more you'll be able to face more and more waves without rejecting them. This is called Acceptance, being mindful and aware of what we are experiencing is the key to get freedom. We're not doomed to feel this forever, it might last 2 more months, 2 more years or 20 more years. It'll keep improving until we enter THE window, the permanent one where all this nightmare ends. Hang on !!! 💪

 

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

Link to post

@christianjw12 thank you, you’ve always got very good advice!

I think acceptance is something that takes practice, but I think I have gotten a little bit better at this as time has gone on. I can worry quite a bit about how I will get through hard days, but notice that it is actually never as bad as I think things may be.
Well, I hope that things won’t take 20 years to improve 😂 how are you doing now?

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

Link to post
christianjw12
1 hour ago, Heidi1 said:

@christianjw12 thank you, you’ve always got very good advice!

I think acceptance is something that takes practice, but I think I have gotten a little bit better at this as time has gone on. I can worry quite a bit about how I will get through hard days, but notice that it is actually never as bad as I think things may be.
Well, I hope that things won’t take 20 years to improve 😂 how are you doing now?

Still in the waves and windows pattern ! During waves, there will always be a moment in the day I'll feel a sense of doom (like I'm in an imminent danger and that I'm gonna die of it or that I need to commit suicide). It was very scary at the beginning but now, when it comes, I notice it and welcome it then I bring back my attention to whatever I was doing. During windows, I get almost 0 symptom so I think I'm the recovery high road. Just try to eat as healthy as you can and have a fixed sleep pattern which doesn't mean to control your sleep because you can't : but try not to sleep too late. I live in France and the lockdown is back again so it'll be much more difficult to face my symptoms because I know it'll only keep improving.

 

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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I think I know what you mean. I have similar feelings and they can feel very urgent and pretty alarming. 
I’m glad to hear you’re doing a lot better, you sound like you are definitely on your way! 
I am quite worried about the lockdown as I worry that I’ll feel worse when I’m stuck inside and there’s not really anything I can do about it. Trying to tell myself there’s nothing really to worry about though, there should be no reason that I’ll feel bad.

October 2019- started on 10mg Citalopram

June 2020- increased to 20mg but had bad side effects.

July 2020- switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine, then switched back to 10mg Citalopram after 2 weeks.

Came off Citalopram 10mg completely on July 20th

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