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Spatz: Husband Cold Turkey Quit 40mg Celexa- Life is H&ll


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Hello all,


My husband quit his Celexa due to not being diligent about refills before our insurance ran out, and our new insurance does not start until 4/1. He has a history of anxiety and depression. Without seeing anyone but his normal family care doctor, he was prescribed Celexa (40 mg), and infrequent use of Lorazepam.


He is on week 3 or 4 right now (I am not 100% sure when he ran out). He looks at us like he completely hates us, has angry episodes out of the blue (I didn't want peas and tuna in my mac and cheese last night and he freaked), has begun drinking again, and is just awful to deal with right now.


We have been married since August 2014, together almost 5 years. In November he just up an quit his nice job, leaving me to be the only income and as a result we also lost our insurance. I have had to change jobs in order to provide us with insurance as my last employer did not offer any (really small business) and there is no way we can afford Obamacare. 


He hates himself for the decision he made, but at the same time I have been the one doing almost all of the legwork in finding him a new job. We also have my daughter (11) from my previous marriage most of the time, and he has a 15 year old son that he sees every other weekend. It has come to the point in his withdrawal that I am almost afraid when the kids are here. At first he had the brain zaps, "flu" like symptoms, pounding heart, etc. I originally thought that it was panic attacks, but after reading posts and researching I am not thinking so. 


He was on Celexa for 3 years before this consistently. Is he ever going to come back?! I dread coming home from work, since I know he will most likely be in a bad mood. There has been ONE day out of all of this where he seemed to be in the clear and I had hoped that he was coming back to "normal" (because really what is normal? lol), but that only lasted that one day. 


I know it has been only weeks, but in those weeks I have started my new job and continued to figure out how to support the family which has added additional stress to my mind and body. I do not know how much more of his "moods" (or whatever it is) i can take! It is like walking on egg shells. I just do not know what to do. 


Is there anything I can do or suggest to him that would help? I know what depression and anxiety is like...I have been on Paxil 60mg for 11 years. I know when (or even if) my time comes to stop them that it will be awful and he will have to deal with me. I am just grasping at straws right now, feel so hopeless...just want my happy family back!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome spatz , I'm so pleased for you that you found your way here.    You'll get lots of support , information and advice , and can read about pretty much

everything to do with antidepressants.


If you could access some celexa before your new insurance kicks in , how would he feel about starting up again?


WElcome aboard ,   Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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A little reassurance, when your time comes to get off of your antidepressant, it doesn't have to be any where near

as bad as your experiencing with your husband. You can do a very slow taper and be pretty much OK during and after the taper.

As for your husband, cold turkeys are the worst and can unfortunately last for years, there's just no way around that, except some kind of reinstatement. I can tell you though that everything he does for the foreseeable future will be due to the withdrawal, not his real self.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome spatz,


Is there any way your husband would visit this site and read some things for himself?  Perhaps you could read some things out to him.  This link will explain a little of what's going on:


Intro to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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