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  1. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  2. just wanted to tell everyone that I have found this easier than anticipated but have been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol regularly to help with the symptoms, especially headaches and have found this really helps, also exercise. I used this method when withdrawing from diazepam several yrs ago and it worked well then. I am now down to 7.5 mg citalopram in the morning and am going to do this very slowly because from previous experience this is the only way. By the way, after every psychiatric drug I have stopped using I have discovered it never helped anyway.
  3. Curious to know if anyone can give me their thoughts on my situation. My GP gave me Celexa at the beginning of February for general anxiety...very mild. I took the Celexa for 2 days and it made me few worse. She switched me to Paxil (took 5 days) and it did the same. I had panic attacks, felt like I was coming out of my skin, etc. I then went to see a psychiatrist, hoping he would give me advice on going the natural route. He said he thought SSRIs were not compatible with me, but suggested I try Zoloft. I really didn't want to, but he promised me it would be worth the shot. I took it for 11 days and on the 10th day, began having unwanted, depressive thoughts. He asked me to immediately stop the medicine, so I did. I had taken 12.5 mg for 5 days, 25 mg for 5 days and 36.5 for 1 day when I stopped cold turkey. The unwanted thoughts and anxiety increased for about 2 weeks and last week, began to taper some. I'm 3 weeks into being off them meds, but the depressive thoughts have not diminished. I was never depressed or experienced anything to do with mood swings or depression before SSRIs. I know what I am dealing with has to be my chemistry trying to balance out, but it's miserable. The doctor says I should be back to normal by week 4, but I'm struggling to have confidence in that...especially since he didn't think the Zoloft would mess me up in the 1st place. I feel like I've really messed myself up. I just want to be back to my normal self like I was before all of this. I don't like having thoughts of hurting myself or others...it's not me and I want it to go away. I would love advice or thoughts from anyone with similar situations.
  4. Hi Everyone! it's been great to find this site and know their are others in the same boat as me. I am British but live in Spain but it looks like a lot of you are from USA. Well, regardless of our geography the drugs and effects are still the same I guess. My story goes like this........ I have been on antidepressants since my thirties and nothing ever seems to trigger off the depression. I am however quite an anxious, nervy person! The last 15 years I have taken Citalopram after my Dr told me I would probably need it for the rest of my life. All was fine - Citalopram helped me immensely initially and has kept me on an even keel since. I think it just made me feel normal - no highs or lows. Then in March this year I got a severe allergy to pollen that gave me sinusitis and an asthma flare up. My Dr gave me some antibiotics and oral steroids to help. I had a very bad reaction to the meds and ended up with increased anxiety, shaking etc. He suggested that I might like to increase the Citalopram from 30mgs to 40mgs. All was well until early September when I started to get extreme nightmares and heart palpitations. The nightmares were so bad I was screaming out loud. My mood was good but I was very tired. So the Dr suggested that either 40mgs was too high or the drug wasn't agreeing with me at all. His advice was to try to reduce or come off the drugs so he could see if I was OK without them or he would need to give me something else. He also advised taking 20mg for 4 weeks then 10mg for 4 weeks etc until I was off them. So, I started end of September and reduced to 20mgs straight away for 4 weeks. I didn't feel that bad over those weeks just maybe a little extra anxiety that could be managed. The trouble started when I went down to 10mgs just over 4 weeks ago. I got all the withdrawal symptoms full on. This wasn't helped by getting a lung infection which set off asthma again. I was getting even more anxious not being able to breath and was given antibiotics again and a nebulizer. Both meds can effect anxiety and I think they did because I ended up really ill. One of the worst withdrawal symptoms was not being able to control my legs and the weakness in them. I collapsed and ended up in the Emergencies with my Blood Pressure 207/117.They eventually stabilised me and sent me home where I am now watching my BP at home. The depression has set in and I can barely get out of bed each day and can't stop crying. I have seen a different Dr. who has given me Lexatin to take 3mg up to 3 times a day to ease the anxiety. I have only taken one today and it has calmed me down, but am conscious of the dependency issues. He has also suggested increasing the dose of Citalopram back up to 30mgs. I think the first Dr maybe have recommended a far too quick withdrawal for me as I haven't been able to cope with the severe effects. I am going to increase to 20mgs to see what happens but I am so scared of what is going to happen. I can't even contemplate coming off these drugs now. I just want to get back to normal and live again. When will I get any benefit from the increase and should I go on up to 30mgs? Any help or advice anyone can give would be so welcome - you all seem to have a wealth of experience out there.
  5. Hi, I am 63 years old and have been on psychicatric drugs for 34 years. In the past five years I have discontinued Trazadone, Lamotrigine, klonopin, Seroquel. The most recent one being Seroquel at 600mg. I tapered by 25mg. per month. I had horrible withdrawals and still had symptoms after three months after stopping it. The most troublesome symtoms I still had was the sweating/chills, Chorea involuntary movements, burning sensation in my head, face, legs and arms, anxiety. I have been on Celexa for the past eight to ten years and just recently discovered that Celexa can cause Chorea movements as well, so I have decided to discontinue this drug too. I began on 40mg. and started my taper 12 days ago at 5 mg. per month under the care of my general practitioner. I have not noticed any new withdrawals symptoms that I have already experienced from the above symptoms, , just an increase in intensity from time to time ( especially the Chorea Movements). I am trying to eat healthy, I take amino acids, inositol/choline and vitamins and mineral supplements. I am currently chair ridden due to bone on bone arthritis in my hips; on the waiting list for hip replacement surgery hopefully to be done this fall/winter. It has been a long journey to get this far in my recovery from psychiatric drugs and I hope I can continue to be strong. Genlady.
  6. Hello all. I have been following on this forum for the last couple of months on and off. I have been on Citalopram for nearly 11 years. I am 25 years old now. Quick history. Always been a bit anxious. Even as a kid. Had severe migraines from age 4 till 10 , then they stopped TOLD i had ADD. Put on ritalin at 7 years old for 2 weeks. ZOMBIE! taken off Ritalin. Love life and family and friends. Quite an emotional, caring individual. FAST FORWARD....Aged 14 felt overly guilty and anxious over child hood life event. Went to doc, said i might have OCD. Put me on 60mg Citalopram. Didn't notice any difference in anything being on med. Aged 19 went cold turkey cause of OCD symptoms tried to change to another drug Mirtazapine. ANXIETY 10/10 and Panic attacks. Then back on to 60 MG after a few days after symptoms of withdrawal began. Stabilized i think within a few weeks bit still felt crap for a good while. Not 100% for next few years but ok. Can feel drug messing with me. Making me anxious for no reason. Have to keep active and busy and I'm ok. Slowly over 2 years went from 60mg to 45 mg . All good. Decide due to weird randomized anxiety, lack of tears etc that i want to come off these drugs, and i know i can. Anyway i then go from 45mg to 40mg and severe withdrawal within a week. Dropped from 50mg to 45mg within 5 weeks. Insanely nasty neuro-emotional symptoms. Only symptoms are ever really Anxiety and Panic.. Chuck in a bit of hopelessness and some depression on the side.. . . . Tend to feel better by evening almost normal .. just a bit dazed and confused. Anyway i waited it out thinking it will go. Got some nice long windows of a week or more feeling almost good way clearer than I've felt in years, more alive, more real. Things feel better! things are more beautiful. Music sounds better. Everything is more beautiful But then BOOOOOMMMM!!! Anxiety back with a vengeance. Thought i noticed waves getting shorter and windows a bit longer but not significant enough to tell, and then after 10-11 weeks after my symptoms first appeared i updosed cause i needed a break. Updose felt WEIRD.. Within 4 hours of the extra 5mg i felt hazy, cloudy and drowsy.. Had insomnia that first night , still anxious but not as intense. Next couple days slightly better - Mild, consistent anxiety but not too bad. Manage to sleep well now.. Thought i had restabilized. Day 5 after updosing felt 95% back to normal. BUT last 3 days have been crap. Anxiety back. One week after updosing. Not AS INTENSE, hasn't got that razor sharp edge to it that it had before, but uncomfortable none the less. My question to anyone out there with this kind of experience is ... Would this anxiety be caused by the withdrawal still, or the updosing of the tablets? As I've read that increasing SSRI dose can cause anxiety for the first few weeks.. And can it take a while to re-stabilize after updosing?? considering i tried to tough out the withdrawal for nearly 3 months... One more thing. No overly negative stories please. I believe and i know that i can heal from this. Kindest regards and thankyou for your responses Nick
  7. Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  8. So I've been on Seroqoil nightly for about 3-4 months. I started on 100mg and that only lasted one night. Went to 75mg and that lasted for a couple of weeks then 50mg. Last month I went down to 25mg. And about 4 wks ago I've been on 12-14mg (cutting the 50 in 1/2 then the half in 1/2.) I'm also taking Lunesta 3mg at no hr and about once a week ill need Klonopin.25 bc I have a hard time falling asleep. I've also started Celexa for anxiety during the day. So question and problem! How do I get off this Seroqoil?!? Like is aid I haven't even taking it long to begin with and I've taped to 12-14mg fine but it seems to mess with my sleep when I try and cut that in half. Don't believe I have the EXtended tablet. Help!!! If it messes with my sleep, is it only temp? I don't want to switch this to get hooked on Klonopin bc that's a nasty drug too!
  9. I started ADs in 2000 at the age of 25 following a difficult period where I had lost a lot of money while working as a fund manager in the US. I lost my job and faced some possible legal ramifications which never eventuated. Anxiety and general panicky feelings led me to see a shrink who put me on a low dose of what is known mostly as Paxil (Aropax here in Aus where I now live) and said I would "feel better" soon. I stayed on Paxil for about a year but I never felt better, it increased my anxiety and made me very uptight and even caused me to be violent and aggressive at times which is very unlike me (I remember at least one episode of full on road rage). I decided to get off the drug after 1 year CT and suffered horrible withdrawals. After a week I went back to the shrink and said I've never felt like this in my entire life, I feel like a complete basket case. I asked him if it could be withdrawals like a heroin addict who stops taking heroin, and he said there is no evidence of withdrawal symptoms with ADs (imagine, this is in 2001 in a Western country, one week after stopping the med cold turkey and he told me it must be me and my anxiety returning!) So he switched me to Zoloft. Within 24 hours I felt like my body was trying to come out of my skin, it was the worst thing I had ever experienced. So I stopped it immediately and then he suggested I try Citalopram (Cipramil /Celexa). This drug had an instant calming affect, I still remember 3 days later walking around all smiles and totally relaxed. Within a few weeks I was back to myself completely - if not better than I ever was, since I always had a bit of social anxiety such as when engaging in public speaking (which I hid well) and this drug had totally eradicated that nervous feeling. I almost felt like I was a little high (like a mellow high) but still energetic and upbeat and able to function well. I gained a lot of weight but didn't care, and I definitely had a lowered sex drive, but it didn't seem to bother me then. I was in a total bubble. My GP told me that if you find something that works well for you you should stay on it long term. So I did. In fact I never saw the shrink again. I got my scripts from my GP and he never suggested I go off. Nor did I want or feel the need to. Once in a while I would ask him if its dangerous to be on this stuff long term and he would joke and say half his patients are on the stuff and there is no evidence that long term use is dangerous. People had been on it for years longer than I had and they were fine. So I was on Citalopram from 2001 until 2008. During that period I functioned well. Too well. I took on a new job in Australia where I thrived in an executive position, worked hard, made lots of money, bought an expensive house and had 2 kids (I guess my libido was low but not that low). By nature I am very driven and hard working, but I think the drug enhanced my stamina. (In hindsight I realise I was quite emotionally blunted during that period. I also have no doubt that he drug was probably the reason why I was able to take on so much work and work long hours without getting burned out. It did not make me manic but gave me a lot of confidence and stamina.) Then in 2008 I started to read about the dangers of long term use of SSRIs. How people were struggling to get off them. How they can lead to depression and possible brain damage. I got scared. So I decided to go off them. Life was good (perhaps too good) and I had no reason I needed to be on them anymore. The original anxiety of loosing money that led me to the drug years ago was long gone and totally irrelevant. By now I had known enough about these drugs that WDs were real and that I would need to taper off them. So I cut my dose (20mg) in half and took 10mg for 2 weeks. During that time I felt fine. I also began to feel more emotion and libido was stronger. Otherwise, not much difference. Then, two weeks later, I stopped taking the drug completely. The withdrawals were horrible. After a few weeks the brain zaps stopped but I still felt out of sorts. I felt very fatigued and out of it. But I was still able to function at work. I stayed in this mode for about 3 months, functioning, but still out of sorts. But I felt I was slowly getting back to myself. I was much better by the end of 3 months. You'd think this would be the end of my little story. But sadly, it is not. About 4 months after going off the drug I was standing in my office casually talking to some clients and suddenly I became overwhelmed by a surge of racing thoughts. They filled me with panic and anxiety to the extent I had never felt before. I went home that night and couldn't sleep. Everything was fine in my life but suddenly I felt like I had been hit by a train! The thoughts were ruminations and feelings of extreme guilt, about random things. They became obsessive and gave me the darkest, most anxious feelings I have ever had. Far worse that even the anxiety that I felt in 2000. Worse even than I felt when I was withdrawing. I couldn't function. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. My entire being was exhausted from fighting these horrid feelings. I never had such a level of extreme anxiety, guilt, obsessive thinking and deep inner turmoil. It was like a door had opened in my brain that had been closed my whole life and had suddenly flooded my brain and I had no way of closing the door or making it stop. A few days in and things were getting worse. I went to a very highly regarded Psychiatrist, who was able to see me immediately. He said I had relapsed and would need to go back on the drug. How could this be a relapse? I never suffered from pure obsessional thoughts before! Terrifying panic and horrid overwhelming feelings of guilt and obsessional thinking. But I didn't care. I wanted it to end. I went back on the drug, but it didn't help. In fact, it made me feel worse. At once stage I felt like I wanted to admit myself into a hospital because I felt so unspeakably horrid. But I never did, and instead saw my new Psychiatrist who was very good. He introduced me to a drug called Solian, an Atypical anti psychotic which works to increase dopamine at low doses. It has no anti psychotic benefit at a low dose but an anti anxiety / anti depressive affect. This was helpful. A few weeks after starting this drug (in combination with my original dose of Ciprimil/ Celexa) I turned the corner. I slowly began to get better. I weaned off the anti psychotic pretty early on, but stayed on the AD. I was still working throughout most of this "relapse" and after about 18 months the obsessive thoughts had stopped completely. my Psychiatrists was of the opinion that I should stay on the drug, and I was totally for that, as the thought of what happened the last time I tried to stop was so terrifying, I couldn't even fathom returning to such a state. So I stayed on the Citalopram and life went on. However in 2015 things got worse again. I stated to feel depressed. Some days were better and some were worse. I never suffered from depression before. The mornings were bad. I was becoming more and more blunted, apathetic and depressed. It was a dysphoric but also agitated depression. I felt very drained and lethargic, like I had no motivation or drive anymore. I felt like my adrenal glands had been removed or that the motivational part of my brain had been cut out or switched off. I started getting more moody and irritable than I have ever been. Everyone was noticing it and it just got worse and worse over the following 18 months. As I write this I am still suffering, and it is getting worse. I am still functioning at work but I can spend a lot of time distracted and not working efficiently. I have zero anxiety or feelings at all, for that matter. Just a heavy depression. But I fear I may not be able to function at work much longer, the way I feel. Some mornings I cannot get out of bed and show up at work only in the afternoon, (but stay late). I now own my own business and I don't book appointments or schedule meetings until later in the day unless I really have no choice. Some days I don't show up at all. I do still have windows of high functioning, but they come and go. But this has gone to far, its affecting my life and work to the point that I am getting really desperate. A few weeks ago I did some online research about depression caused by long term use of SSRIs. The term is Tardive Dysphoria. I know that's what I'm suffering from. It is such an unnatural feeling and so all consuming and disabling. The suggested remedy, assuming the damage isn't permanent, is to get off SSRI's. My Shrinkrecently added a new drug called Valdoxan. It worked well for about a month and then pooped out. Now he wants to change my med to Brintillex, a new type of SSRI. He swears I will feel better on it. He's a good at what he does and he's probably right. But then what? I'm 42 years old. It will work for a while, possibly even for a sustained period. It might even get me to 50. But then what? I actually asked him that. He said we'll worry about it then. I think my preference is to get off all meds. But I'm too terrified to try. What happened last time I tried was just too terrible. Its been 9 more years of Cipramil use since, so it will definitely be even worse now. However I need to get out of this dysphoric state and I don't want to start any new drugs which will just make it harder to get off in the future. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  10. Hi, I do appreciate this supportive website. My story: I had been on Celexa for anxiety for at least 10 years at doses of between 10 and 20 mg. At 15 to 20 mg at times it really seemed to help the anxiety and lift my mood. Last Dec. I went on Zoloft because the anxiety seemed to be breaking through with the Celexa. (However, I now wonder if lowering the dose on my own was actually giving me symptoms of anxiety). I went one month on 25mg Zoloft, then 50mg Zoloft for 3 months. It never seemed to really help with anxiety or low mood, and also gave me GI upset with diarrhea. I decided to stop on my own, tapering over 6 weeks. While tapering and since stopping I have been taking Fish oil and probiotic, hoping both of those supplements would help with anxiety/depression. During the taper and since stopping, I have been having additional GI problems, plus very bad histamine intolerance. Foods that I had not problem eating while on SSRI, now give me headache, dizziness (to the point where I haven't driven on the freeway for 3 months!), fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. By the way, I would occasionally have these symptoms when lowering the Celexa dose, but then it would go away soon, so I attributed it to anxiety. So weird and awful. I've done lots of reading and discovered that in some people this can happen after SSRI discontinuation. One theory is that the SSRI has acted as an anti-histamine therefore the cells in the GI tract don't need to make the DAO enzyme that breaks down histamine. So when going off the SSRI, there is nothing to break down the histamine. I am currently on a low histamine diet. Trying Quercetin and Vit. C to help with the high histamine. The glutamine/aloe vera supplement made me feel extremely fatigued so had to stop. It's been 2 months since stopping Zoloft. Of course I'm praying my body will return to normal sometime soon, and fearful this may last a long time. My primary care doctor said the body doesn't even start to feel normal until 3 months post-stopping. I would appreciate any input from folks who have had similar issues, and would love to hear some positive stories of healing from this. Needless to say, will never take SSRI again! Thank you
  11. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  12. Hi new to the forum here. 10 year history on various drugs for anxiety/mild depression with the longest use being 8 years of celexa. So i felt like I was stable in life and the side effects were making me crazy so I talked to my PCP about tapering. I tried to reduce the drug 5mg every 2 weeks (starting at 30 mg) and of course after I was off it was hell (physically - brain zaps, vertigo, motion sickness, etc) for the next 6 weeks until I decided to put myself back on the drug. So I recently went back to my PCP and he recommended genesight testing to find which antidepressant would cause fewer side effects . Results came back that Wellbutrin was he best. I quite celexa cold turkey the day I started taking Wellbutrin. I'm having w/d symptoms again but not as strong - yet. It's been 3 weeks. Mood is fine but body feels bad. I'm reconsidering tapering off drugs completely again. What should I do? Should I d/c Wellbutrin and go back to celexa and taper using 10% method? How does that work??? Should i keep up wii Wellbutrin hoping it kicks in soon and the celexa w/d goes away? One thing that concerns me is that I've learned celexa isnamd SSRI and Wellbutrin SNRI. I've read Wellbutrin acts more on dopamine and norepinephrine than it does serotonin. This probably explains the celexa withdrawal symptoms. I honestly don't want to go back on celexa but if that's he best chance of getting of meds altogether it might be worth! Thanks for your support !!!
  13. Hi everyone I have been taking citalopram for 7 years. I tried to come off 3 years ago but had a relapse of symptoms of depression and anxiety. My husband wants me to come off citalopram so we can try for a baby. Coming off is non-negotiable. I currently take 40mg. I very scared about trying to come off as it was so horrific last time, but I need to make coming off work this time. Any advice will be gratefully received.
  14. Moderator note: Link to PInballWizard's benzo thread I have been on Celexa 20 mg/day for ten years. I have hone cold turkey several times with disastrous results. I have also been on Lamotrigine 100 mg/2x daily for three years and 100 mg/day for three years before that. I take Valium as needed and have decided to stop taking it since I haven't taken it in several weeks. I have decided to stop taking these drugs. I am working with my psychiatrist and want other people's experiences with withdrawals. I know it will take time, and I am not in a hurry. Thank you in advance.
  15. Hi everyone, i have sailed on over from PP. Can anyone tell me what happened to the forum? Im happy to be here but curiosity is still getting me. I'll share a bit about myself. I was on various SSRIs for 10 years, mainly celexa, and finally tapered free Jan 2014 after a two year taper. Years before the taper i would switch meds hoping it would stave off the weight gain. Little did i know that i was in constant start up effects and withdrawal. Life seemed to have stopped at that point which is maybe 6 years ago. During this period i looked high and low for answers to why i was feeling so sick and bedbound/agoraphobic. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I do believe that withdrawal was the culprit for my symptoms and not lyme. Lyme may play a factor but i doubt it has the horrendous effects as discontinuation syndrome. A month after my taper ended, I took two months worth of benzos due to life events and had no idea that would start a new nightmare. I am now off that for 9 months and still recovering. Benzo withdrawal was a whole new monster. I look forward to my stay here and wish everyone the best of luck!!
  16. Hey there everyone. You can call me Fawn or Deer. I would like to share my journey with you all in this introduction. I'm hoping I can get some helpful feedback and advice on how to approach tapering off the medications I currently take. So, to start, I am 21 y/o and currently taking 40mg of Celexa, and 5mg of Abilify I also take vitamins and supplements which are listed in my signature. I think it's important to address my background briefly. I come from a very difficult background, I have been emotionally/psychologically abused by parental figures nearly since infancy up until the last few years, and had countless traumatic experiences both inside and outside of the abuse going on at home. I struggle with mental illness symptoms and physical pain, and I have since about 7 or 8 years of age. There's a lot to say, and I'm unsure of how much is relevant... I will just go into the medication aspect now. At 16, I asked my mom for help. I was experiencing severe depression and anxiety symptoms. I also suffered from an eating disorder and was severely underweight. On top of that, I was having audio and visual hallucinations. I suspect most of this was a result of complex trauma and malnourishment. I went to a hospital first, because I was suicidal. They put me on a medication for hallucinations (I can't remember the name) but it was making my symptoms worse so I didn't take it. My mom took me to see a psychiatrist, who said I was bipolar and anorexic and put me on Celexa and Topamax. The timeline is fuzzy but I think I was on these meds for a year or so before I saw a new psychiatrist through an intervention program for acute symptoms of psychosis. The new psychiatrist suspected that I had a personality disorder, and could possibly end up psychotic, so he started me on Abilify in addition to the Celexa and Topamax. I was 17. Of course, my symptoms became more manageable, and I started gaining weight (without changing my eating habits all that much, mind you). About 2 years went by. I went through periods where I felt like the medications weren't really helping me, so I would stop taking them cold turkey for a month or two. Not surprisingly, I would feel much worse and start taking them again. I was constantly pressured by my doctors, mother, and grandmother to continue taking these medications, but I couldn't help but feel like something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, though. When I was 19, the program I was in got a new psychiatrist. Around that time I had been taking my medications inconsistently, and when I told that to the new psychiatrist she said that if I wasn't taking them, they must not be working. She suggested something different. She decided to stop the Abilify, Topamax, and Celexa, saying if I wasn't taking them consistently for the last couple months it should be fine to stop them. Instead, she put me on Latuda and another medication (I can't remember the name). The next 3 months were utter chaos. I was more depressed than I had been in my life. I couldn't get out of bed, and I started eating more. A lot more. Especially sweets. I kept insisting that the new medications were making me this way. I was told repeatedly for weeks that I had to wait it out and it would get better. After 3 months I ended up in a psychiatric hosptial for 5 days. The psychiatrist at the hospital took me off the new meds and put me back on celexa and abilify. I have been on them consistently for the last 2 years. And in that time, my health has declined in many aspects. I have gained so much weight that I've gone from severely underweight to overweight in a few years. I crave sugar and caffeine all the time. I sleep a lot, sometimes 12+ hours, and I am fatigued almost 24/7. My anxiety and depression are not managed all that well, either. In doing research, I started seeing that many people taking these types of meds have experienced the same thing... and I've tried 3 times to taper off the Abilify without success. Every time, I go through severe withdrawal symptoms. I'm sick of this. I don't feel good, I don't feel healthy and I am almost certain my psychiatric meds are making it worse. I have a new therapist who is very supportive of holistic approaches to mental health and I have decided to talk to her about tapering off these meds. I want to get off Abilify first because I think that is the worst medication that I'm on. Then the Celexa. I'm really angry at the irresponsibility of the health professionals who put me on these meds and persuaded me, a vulnerable young person, to stay on them despite feeling like it wasn't in my best interest. I'm really angry at what's happened to my body and mind being on these medications. I'm angry at the system that allows this to happen. So... enough of my rambling... What does everyone think? I am open to questions, advice, anything really... help is very much appreciated. -Fawn
  17. Hello everyone so I am new here but was referred here by paxilprogress. My celexa timeline is: Started Celexa 20mg February 2008 for anxiety Started one month taper in August 2012 Reinstated Celexa 10mg on November 2012 January 2013 5 mg every day for two weeks 5mg every other day for two weeks 5mg every 3 days for one month 5mg every 4 days every 2 months 5mg every 5 days for one month 5 mg every 4 days for one month 2.5mg every 3 days for one month 2.5mg every 2 days for one month 2.5 mg for every to days and a half for one month Celexa free since 12/2013 Last year and this year has been the hardest for me mentally. I have been suffering from extreme debilitating brain fog, head pressure, strange irrational thoughts, I have lost all my social skills, forgetful on finding the right word when conversations, insomnia, withdrawal crippiling anxiety and loud thoughts when falling asleep. I have tried reinstating for 5 days this month but then quit bc it was not recommended after so long being off of it. I work a couple days a week at a store and it is hard for me bc of all the symptoms that I have. I don't know what to do if I just should wait it out or maybe reinstate at 2.5mg then stabilize at 5 or 10 then taper by the 10% methods. Someone please help....
  18. Hi there, I'm a 29 year old male from the UK and I'm really glad to have found this site. I've been taking 40mg citalopram for 8 years (since i was 21) for depression since my early teenage years (14 years old). I've considered reducing my dosage for a long time with the goal of coming off and finally took the plunge and yesterday saw a doctor about it. His advice didn't seem particularly good and I've spent the past 16 or so hours reading as much as possible on tapering off citalopram which has led me to this site. Reading about it makes me feel incredibly nervous but I feel like I'm ready as I haven't experienced depression in a long time and am in a good place in my life. My biggest worry about tapering off the citalopram is not so much the withdrawal effects as I'm coming off - but getting it wrong and having persisting/returning depressive symptoms after tapering off and finding the past 8 years of recovery going up in smoke. I'm determined to do this right. I accept the possibility that maybe I'll need to remain on a maintenance dose for the rest of my life, but if that is the case I don't want it to be because I screwed up the tapering process. I was optimistic in seeing the doctor that I'd get the support I need to make the right decisions and do this the right way, but my meeting with him didn't go well. Despite my high dose and fairly long term use he suggested dropping to 30mg for a week, then 20mg for a week, then 10mg for a week and then stopping altogether, 40mg - 0 in one month. Based on everything I've read this sounds like a recipe for disaster. I said this sounded very fast and he told me another option was to drop 10mg at a time and stay at the new dose for a few weeks to see how I get on - so now I have a repeat prescription for 30mg which I started yesterday. Based on what I'm reading it sounds like I should take this dosage for at least 2 months. If the drop to 30mg goes well after 2 months or so I may try and see a different doctor who will hopefully be more helpful. I was told I can only drop down in 10mg increments and 10mg is the lowest available dose, but now I'm reading about people cutting their 10mg in half and I was very interested to read about the liquid solution. I'm not sure if these are available in the UK but if I see another doctor I will enquire, though I'm more interested in that for the drop from 20mg to 10mg to 0 which sounds like where it gets tricky. I'm just starting to read all the different information on this site and will spend some time today going through as much as I can but was wondering if the drop from 40mg to 30mg is too much to start? I was hoping that this drop off wouldn't be too bad to start with and once I'm stable on 30mg I can speak to a different doctor about a slower taper rather than dropping from 30-20mg in one go. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place since doctors seem to absolutely hate any sort of 'self-medication' or people doing things their own way, yet this way seems significantly safer and healthier for both my short and long term health than what's been suggested to me and the limitations that the NHS allegedly puts on the tapering process (no doses smaller than 10mg etc). It's also complicated by the fact that I rely on the NHS and doctors to prescribe me any drugs at all. I look forward to hearing any advice and thank you in advance. QUAD
  19. Hi all, I felt depressed around beginning of April realised something was wrong. I have depression and OCD. I went to my doctors and they put me on citalopram which i was on about a year and a half ago took ages to work then then finally did and I was better again also with talk plus counselling. I was on citalopram for 2 weeks last month and it didn't agree with me I was so sick so I changed to sertraline for 2 - 3 weeks and it still made me ill and my ocd worse.With my doctors advice she signed me off for a week and I came off them completely. I went back for a follow up appointment Monday I'm off them completely. However, I still feel numb and disconnected like I can't feel anything even though I know the love and happiness and support is there but I feel like I'm on the outside of my life looking in and my OCD is going in to over drive because I'm worried about it. I'm still doing talk plus counselling. I just want to know had anyone experienced this and how long does it take to get your emotions back? If anyone has any advice please let me know, Jen
  20. Hi, I really need help. I am on 30mg Celexa and 2mg Klonopin. I want to taper off my Celexa first. How can I do it? It interferes with my benzo.
  21. Hello. Here's my story: I have general anxiety disorder (GAD--self diagnosed), though I may also be bi-polar. I had a tough time in my teen years--panic attacks, confusion, fear of people, etc., never happy. My father was an alcoholic; my youngest brother died of alcoholism a year ago. I've had my own battles with alcohol, too, but I never became the two six-packs, plus a bottle of whiskey that my father consumed every day. I quit drinking four years ago. For the past year and a half I have used medical cannabis (in a legal state with a doc's evaluation), which helps with anxiety and worry, and is the best sleep aid I know. In my late thirties (I'm now 57) I started taking Prozac--in 1997 (I think)--using a bottle I got from a friend (his mother had a scrip but she didn't take it). I liked it. It took a lot of my anxiety away, and I ceased having panic attacks. I only had a month's supply so I went to my doc, talked to him about my use and he was happy to write a scrip for me--20 mg. of Paxil (my insurance did not cover Prozac). He said to me then that anti-depressants/SSRI's are to sad/anxious people what insulin is to diabetics. I know now that that line came straight from a drug rep's play book. I know now that it was wrong and, at least from the drug company's perspective, a lie. Paxil agreed with me and I continued taking it daily (20 mg.) until about two years ago. I had tried to quit it several times over the years--both cold turkey and by tapering—mostly because I had gained up to thirty pounds on it and could not, no matter how hard I tried, lose that weight (I have been a frequent aerobic exerciser since long before I started Paxil—I continue to exercise, but not as much as before). Trying to stop Paxil altogether was hell. While doing so I felt a profound depression; I cried a lot, spent time in bed during the day on weekends, was twitchy, anxious, fearful, panicky—just not myself; I even began thinking vague thoughts about suicide. I had never felt these symptoms to such an extreme before beginning anti-depressants. Long ago, before beginning Paxil, I had been sad/depressed, I'd had panic attacks and problems with social anxiety, etc., but none of these symptoms were as debilitating as what I was feeling off Paxil. Shortly after getting down to about 10 mg. of Paxil (I had been using an emory board to taper down--for about six months) I couldn't stand it any more and spoke to my psych doc. She put me on Wellbutrin (which made me too hyper, despite taking it in the morning) along with Prozac (which gave me akathisia [pacing constantly]). I gave up both after about a month or so and went on Celexa, which my wife and daughter had been on successfully. I've been taking 20 mg. of Celexa for the last two and half years. About six months ago (or so--could be less) I started to taper off Celexa, this time using sandpaper. I'd read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and it scared me into trying to quit again. About a month and half ago I jumped from about 13 to 14 milligrams of sandpapered Celexa to ten by simply breaking the Celexa tab in half. It was easier than using the sandpaper, etc. I'd been feeling a bit odd before then, though nothing too bad, but then I began feeling the old, horrible symptoms mentioned above. They weren't that intense, really, but I'd been worrying a lot about my son going back to college (smart kid, good school, but he has emotional issues—I'm afraid of him failing), and anticipating my return to work—my job is beyond stressful (I'm a teacher). These and other stressorrs convinced me that I needed to be back on the medication. So, as of last Monday, a week ago, I've been taking my full dose again of Celexa, 20 mg., and I have felt better the last few days. BUT today I've felt horrible--two or three panic attacks, crying, a "buzzing" anxiety, a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel worse today on 20 mg of Celexa than I felt a week ago on 10 mg. of Celexa. I've imagined that I somehow forgot to fill my pill pack with Celexa for Sunday morning (today), but I don't think that was the case. Just an hour ago I took an additional ten mg of Celexa (my wife encouraged me) to get me back up to a therapeutic dose. But it scares me what I've been feeling today. As far as I know I should be feeling my old self, the self I've known for years on Paxil/Celexa. I'm scared that my long-term use of SSRI's have damaged my brain to the point that I can't return to even the me on an SSRI, much less the me pre-SSRI. I hope that this forum can help. I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, too, and I emphathise and wish you well. Perhaps I can help, too. Thank you for reading this. I hope I've been clear; if you have any questions or suggestions, please post.
  22. Hey everyone, So I have been doing a lot of internet searches since I ended my last dosage of Cit. The success stories on this site were awesome and help me at night when my insomnia is taking over. I never actually joined a forum, always just read so this is kind of a big step for me. Anxious just typing this. Anywho, I am 27 now but went on 40 mg of CIT when I was younger, I think like 19, after I got engaged and had a panic attack. I had no idea what one even was so of course I freaked out and thought I was going crazy. So my mom took me to the doctor and I was put on CIT. I was on it for I think 2 years maybe.. Then I stopped taking it. And I really don't even remember how I did it back then. But I remember it was because I was feeling better I am almost certain I tapered off with my Dr. So then like 4 years passed, and I had a relapse, after my second child was born. So I already knew Cit worked so I went back on it for about another year. Then off of it again. But relapsed during the withdrawal and have been on it since. So I have been on it like 2 years maybe but this time only 20 mg and I actually tapered down to 10 mg for over 6 months. I felt fine so I decided to try again. But this time its a completely different story. The first time I have no idea how I did it, and the second time I never remember the symptoms being this bad, I just remember I got really bad insomnia again and I was sick of it so I went back on, sure enough 2 weeks later I felt fine again and was taking CIT. But now, the first 3 weeks were actually pretty good. I knew kind of what to expect with the slower moving, and just kind of feeling slow has all its been never had brain zaps or anything. Then weeks 4,5 and 6 I actually felt great, I was telling my family and friends, I have it under control and hopefully I am done. Then week 7 rolled around and one night I had intrusive thoughts laying in bed and I ended up with insomnia and my anxiety spiked, it is causing me to be tired every day and really anxious during the day. But now I am starting week 8 and it seems like the anxiety is getting worse almost depressing, especially throughout the day and I feel like I am ready to throw in the towel and get back on CIT . I felt pretty good when I was on them, I just thought I felt good enough to stop taking them and hate the fact I have to take a pill every day. I spend sooo much time reading success stories, I feel like I have read them all, but still have the urge to keep reading. It is starting to effect some things, but nothing too crazy. So yeah, basically going on week 8 and feeling terrible. I started lifting weights 3 times a week about 5 weeks ago. And I thought that was they key to me feeling better early on. But the more I am reading about this withdrawal, the more I see thats how it goes. You kind of get slammed further on. I told my wife this morning I am giving it 4 more weeks and if its not better I am going back on. But if it feels like today, its going to be hard to not go back on them earlier... I am hoping by sticking to one forum like this I won't be just researching so many things about it. Any help would be great! Thanks!
  23. In-depth article about how genetics informs how you process drugs, and also how it affects drug interactions, and the genetic tests used to determine if you will likely react badly to a drug or not. It's written by a forensic medical examiner. I've only skimmed it but seems well worth a read through. https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/01/cyp-testing-prevent-dangerous-adverse-drug-reactions/ CYP Testing to Help Prevent Dangerous Adverse Drug Reactions By Selma Eikelenboom-Schieveld, MD January 24, 2017 Readers of this website might be aware that antidepressants can cause suicide, other violent behavior and even homicide. These can be side effects or adverse drug reactions from the medication taken. Not only can antidepressants cause these side effects, but basically every psychoactive medication can put patients at risk. Few people may know that there are DNA tests that can identify individuals who might be prone to these adverse drug reactions.1 To understand what kind of information such a test would provide, it might be helpful to explain the science behind these DNA tests. In general, human cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. The father donates half of the chromosomes; the other half comes from the mother. Every chromosome contains many genes. A gene is the part of the DNA that codes for proteins, and proteins cause hereditary characteristics to be expressed. A gene can have two forms, called alleles. If someone inherits the same allele from the father and the mother, the person is called homozygous for that trait; if they are different, the person is heterozygous. Medication needs to be metabolized to be expelled from the body. This is done by certain proteins called enzymes. Most medications that interact with brain chemistry are metabolized by an enzyme system called Cytochrome P450 (also known as CYP450 or P450). There are many different P450 enzymes, and they are divided into families and subfamilies. Cytochrome P450 family names are denoted by an Arabic number (e.g., CYP2), the subfamily by a Roman uppercase letter (e.g., CYP2D), and the individual enzymes by another Arabic number (e.g., CYP2D6). The alleles are indicated with an asterisk and a number, separated by a forward slash. More at above link...
  24. Name: Kevin Age: 24 Sex: Male Height: 5'10" Weight: 163 lbs Race: Caucasian I understand that the following is a large wall of text, but I beg of anyone with experience or expertise to please read my case. For about four years I was on 20 mg/day Citalopram for mild social anxiety/mild depression. Around September/October of last year I felt that I was ready to slowly taper off of my medication (in retrospect I now know I should have done this under consultation with a physician and wish that I had done so). I decreased my dose slowly over the course of a few months, taking my last 1/8th of a dose in late/mid February. I didn't have anything that I would have identified as immediate withdrawal symptoms, though my wife does think that I became increasingly anxious as I tapered off. My primary reasons for coming off of the medication were that I disliked the side effect making it difficult to climax, I felt emotionally flat, and did not want to remain dependent on a medication forever. About 3 weeks later while at work, I suffered what I would most closely describe as a spontaneous panic attack with seemingly no mental provocation, feeling a flush of heat in my core, extremely rapid heart rate and extreme anxiety. A couple of times during that day I had a sensory disturbance consisting of eye floaters (raining downward through my field of vision briefly) and a very short period of ear ringing. I was essentially unable to sleep for that night and my heart rate remained very high for me (>100-110, previous to this my resting heart rate was around 60-70). The next morning I went to my university health center and I was prescribed Clonazepam to manage my panic/heart rate/etc. My Citalopram was reinstated at 10 mg and we have slowly increased it to 30 mg since then and they want me to go up to 40 next week. I took 0.5 mg of clonazepam three times per day for four days and then tapered my dose down to zero, having been on the clonazepam for a total of three weeks. As soon as I came off of the clonazepam I began to have strong ringing of the ears, extreme insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations and occasionally high blood pressure. I went to the ER for having a racing heart, palpitations, and burning/tingling sensations of the skin. They performed an EKG which was normal. They performed a head CT scan which was normal. Complete blood count, liver enzyme tests, and thyroid level tests returned normal. After four days of what seemed like literally no sleep, my university health center put me back on the clonazepam and I'm currently taking 0.75 mg per day to manage my symptoms until we reach what they are calling a "therapeutic dose" of the citalopram. My physician consulted with two staff psychiatrists on my case, one who recommended remaining on the clonazepam until that "therapeutic" point is reached and one who recommended putting me on risperidol. I should clarify that I am a doctoral student in molecular biology (done with classes, but doing biomedical research at this point), but that my time as a student has been fairly easy-going and nothing much changed that I can tell in terms of my mental state to provoke these issues. While I was on/tapering off of the clonazepam I was unable to concentrate enough to work, and I'm on leave from work for now. I do currently have more-or-less constant minor ear ringing at the moment but the benzo seems to be keeping most of my symptoms at bay for the moment. I do have difficulty concentrating. I am afraid of remaining on benzodiazepines long term as I'm aware of their long term effects. I've read case reports in the literature of delayed onset symptoms often being permament; I'm terrified that I won't get better and I'd really appreciate any additional opinions anyone in this community could offer my case and whether the course of action my physician has decided on makes sense or any sort of referral for communication with someone who has expertise treating these issues. I have a strong conviction that something physical is going on in my brain as a result of the SSRI discontinuation that is distinct from the typical constellation of SSRI withdrawal symptoms, and I continue to worry whether I'm on the correct course of treatment. It has been exactly 1 month since the issues I've described began. Thank you for your time.
  25. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).