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  1. After successfully being on 20mg citaloprom having become depressed after the sudden death of my mother for about 8 years it pooped out sending me into dizziness,panic attacks etc for a couple of weeks then I felt fine. That was about 2 years ago. Three months later developed rash on face and diarrhoea, sleep disturbances, cramps and bruising on arms. Put on different drugs by gp none of which got rid of these symptoms then gp decided it was probably anxiety so prescribed ssri's again. Each one he tried me on I had dreadful reactions to. Sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed cipralex in drop form to build up slowly and then my hell for the past two and a half years started. From the onset of taking the drug increasing by one drop every third day I would have 24 hour panic/anxiety no appetite nausea fatigue. This went on for about three months and then what I now know as a window appeared for about a week only to plunge straight down again. That is how my life has been until last summer my gp told me I needed to see a psychologist as still suffering badly. Rang my psychiatrist to ask him and he said he felt my problems were not in the head but probably systemic so to see an endocrinologist. After various tests for adrenal thyroid etc he said all fine but felt steroid inhaler I had been on for about 4 years could be causing problems. Looked up side effects of inhaler and yes skin rash anxiety etc all matched. September last year came off the rash, cramps etc all disappeared and even put on a few of the 10 pounds weight I had lost since this started. Felt fine for a couple of weeks then crash back into another wave and that is how it has been ever since with severe waves of anxiety, loss of appetite, nausea, extreme fatigue. Then paid privately to see a gp in the hope he would help. His decision was the cipralex was aggravating me and to stop the eight drops a day immediately. I dropped a drop every two days and felt brilliant for five weeks apart from the brain zaps, nightmares,insomnia, dizziness then back came the raging anxiety, extreme fatigue, panic, nausea, loss of appetite. I have given in this morning and taken two drops of cipralex I don't know if I have done a stupid thing or not, whether it is too little or I should have just suffered for longer. Since this first started I seem incapable of taking any drugs or antibiotics without severe reaction Can anyone help?
  2. How do you know if you're experiencing withdrawal symptoms or if that's just the way you 'are?' I've been on some kind of medication for 22 years. Prior to that, I remember feeling very emotional and irritable all the time. That's exactly what I felt like after I stoped Citalopram. So how do I know if I'm truly experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I guess the other question is--why was I always emotional and irritable. I just felt like I had PMS all the time. So now I'm starting to wonder if I'll always be like this and need medication or if I do the taper correctly and slowly, will I feel better.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 !!!
  6. I've been on Celexa for 16 years, and have spent the last two years tapering off. I'm trying to go really slow and managed to get down to 20 mgs without withdrawals. When I went down to 15 mgs, the trouble started: vertigo, anxiety, irritability, depression, sleep disturbances. I'm taking natural supplements to help with the withdrawals (theanine and SamE), and they help a little. But I'm stuck at 15 and afraid to go down any further. I wish I could find a psychiatrist who specializes in getting patients off SSRI's. Mine doesn't seem to have a clue. I've been following the protocol in the book "The Antidepressant Solution." I'm getting scared I'll never get off this stuff.
  7. Hey! I was 15 when I was put on Sepram (citalopram) due to depression (what I had that time was an eating disorder and guess I was depressed because of that) Anywho I ate Sepram until I was 24 on various dosages from 10-40mgs. I remember that often times when I was a teenager I'd just crash and get depression from nothing (now I realize that it was because I sometimes forgot to take my meds). I was 22 when I first unsuccesfully quit medication since I was feeling really well. I was going to university in a new town back then. Had a lot of new things going on. Well I survived for three months and then I crashed and burned. I had terrible anxiety and insommia and was tired as hell. I didn't know I was in withdrawal. I had quit my medication from 20mgs to 0 in two months as my pdoc had instructed (waaay too fast, now I know that, and it was really stupid to quit them in a period where a lot of changes happened in my life). I came back home to my parents as I was unable to function. I went to see my psychiatrist and got back on meds. I wonder why she didn't say to me that I was withdrawing and I really really must take things easy, she propably didn't know about SSRI withdrawal. I was in overdrive, I thought I had gone insane, it didn't occur to me that maybe the medication is doing all of this, it was like I had completely forgotten how my mind usually works. I got myself a job cause I thought that I must do something and not just be. I went to work after 4 months of doing nothing but pilates and qi qong and eating avocados. Everything was relatively fine though I had pretty bad anxiety and some racing thoughts and insomnia and my stress tolerance was bad. At some point I got tired and a bit depressed again and pdoc upped my dosage to 40mg. I got in to college again. I began to taper my meds again in a six month period (again way too fast). I was feeling quite low all the time, I had no motivation and everything felt futile and my condidence fell. I was a bit angry for no reason. My studies didn't go as fast I would have liked cause I was bit lethargic. I somehow managed with my low moods and anxiety. By summer 2015 I was energetic and I could FEEL. I hadn't really felt anything but anxiety and depression for years. I was interested with being around my friends. I was working fulltime and doing university exams at the same time. I was genuinenly interested in different things and life in general. I bicycled 20kms everyday and was riding almost everyday. I felt that I was ME after so many years of feeling weird. I had had social anxiety on and off during my medication, and I have gotten stressed easily. Then in the middle of the Summer 2015 i began to go on overdrive. I was hostile towards my parents. I had a met guy I got a crush on and I was mean to him and I wasnt myself. I was erratic but also very stressed and worried about everything. But I was so full of energy that I was unable to listen to me and my body. I had bad insomnia but I could go on and on without sleep. By the end of summer my new fling ended. I couldn't deal with it like normal people do as I was deep in withdrawing. My sense of security vanished. I tried to continue my studies. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat and my body couldn't hold liquid anymore. I was aggressive all the time. As studying proved to be impossible because I was unable to concentrate i tried just working. In October 2015 I started getting paranoid, I had intrusive and obsessive thoughts, I began to hate myself and felt that I'm no good and I don't deserve to live, I didn't sleep at all. I had stopped exercising in September 2015 cause I simply just couldn't do it any longer. My mother tried to get me to stretch my body and do a little pilates but I couldn't do it because I was so tense all the time. My muscles were sore and I was hurting all the time, I saw nothing but black and grey. I saw my psychiatrist few times and explained my symptoms to her but couldn't get any help except Xanax which I ate like candy. I deteriorated more and more as my insomnia grew worse. I was agitated and restless all the time, barely could walk and shivered like a leaf. My parents had no idea what to do with me. Thank god I had come back home to them when I started going nuts. I had arrythmias but I was so messed up that it didn't occur to me to go see a doctor. I had suicidal thoughts all the time. My mother couldn't leave from my side for a second. In January 2016 I could feel something zap in my brain, all of my emotions vanished. In the end my insomnia and mental state went so bad that I tried to kill myself. I was admitted to hospital and stayed there for a couple of days, somehow went back to work for a few days (I had tried to kill myself, who would go to work after that? ME). In march 2016 I tried to kill myself again with 3,8grams of propranolol. My life was hanging by a thread as my heat rate dropped too low. Again to hospital where I was put on Lyrica, Suprium, Tenox, Sepram again and Abilify. I was in the hospital for a month and when I got out I quit all medication. Now I live in a nursing home. They want me to do a bit of work and I have done some stable job few times a week. I get scared and stressed out easily. I have crying spells and sometimes I have dyskinesia and stiff neck and I find it hard to speak. Sometimes I vomit and have diarrhea and I'm fatigued. I have almost constant vertigo and inner emotional turmoil. I tried to eat different vitamins but my body couldn't handle them. Now I eat D vitamin and that is something my body can tolerate. when I exercise I begin to feel really weird and I bloat. I have had brain MRI, everything is fine. My bloodwork is fine. I have always been in good condition and exercised a lot but now I have zero muscle and it feels like my body can't build any muscle. I rarely see any dreams and if I do they are usually nightmares. I feel that my brain isn't working properly. I get this huge pressure in my head when i'm in a situation where I'd usually feel strong emotions but no emotional reaction comes out of me. I can't tolerate too much noise and some days I get irritated very very easily. Sometimes I sweat profusely and my sweat smells really bad. My sexuality is gone and I have no need to see my friends. Sometimes after exercising I get this window of wanting to see my friends and hug my parents and be close to them. I really don't like to be around people because they remind me of what i used to be. I was a talented rider, well I still am but it doesn't feel the same because now I get easily scared as I am riding. I feel very traumatized by all of this. My body triggers from almost nothing. I shiver and shake several times a day. I feel that I'm very very vulnerable and can collapse in any minute if i get too stressed. Sometimes I get an urge to kill someone. When I pet my dog I feel like killing her though I know I love her. I have suicidal thoughts, especially around people. I often want to (self harm - graphic language removed jch). I would really like to go to live at our summer cottage with my parents and just heal and hope some day I'll recover. What is the most devastating thing to me is that I have lost my creativity and I have lost myself, the spark inside of me, the thing that made me me. I have no goals left anymore except to stay alive. I know I have been stupid quitting my medication without tapering long enough and I have been stupid to strain my body as I have clearly been sick beyond measure but still tried to pull through and do my responsibilities. But I do feel that I have been ruined by psychiatry since I was put on meds at such a young age. Me and my parents were told that these meds are safe and won't do any harm and that it's safe to eat them indefinitely. I trusted what the doctor said. It never occurred to me that maybe my anxiety was the product of the meds. I had zero anxiety as a teenager but steadily during my adult years my anxiety has increased. I am very very thankful that I have parents who are willing to take care of me as long as it is needed. They hate to see me suffering, this is very hard on them. And it is very hard for me that they have to go through this with me. I really really hope that maybe after two or three years my body is healed and I can tolerate normal life again.
  8. 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.
  9. Hello. About a year ago my GP suggested I try Brintollix to help anxiety. After discussing with my wife, we decided to give it a try. A few days into the medication I began having severe side effects including debilitating panic attacks, severe anxiety, insomnia and nausea. After a couple weeks of these symptoms and two trips to urgent care, I discussed withdrawing with my GP. I stopped taking the brintollix and now know I was having withdrawals. I started seeing a psychiatrist who initially prescribed xanax and celexa. The celexa was increased frequently and I was taking 60 mg within 2 months of starting it. He switched the xanax to ativan, back to xanax and then to klonopin. I was also prescribed neurontin at one point and latuda at another point. My psychiatrist then got upset that my wife and I had called too many times on the emergency line and switched me to another provider in his office. I discussed my concerns with this provider and started decreasing the celexa. The celexa has made me nauseous from day one and its never subsided. I feel like a walking zombie when Im taking the celexa. I decreased from 60mg to 5mg over several months. On 12/31/15 after being on 5 mg for a month I stopped taking it, per my provider. Now its been 5 weeks of living hell. Panic attacks, nausea, anxiety, dark cloud feeling, exhaustion, head rushes, irritability, agitation, suicidal thoughts, tightness in chest, severe back pain...its been horrible. If not for taking time off from work and my wife, I probably would have committed suicide by now. I dont know if I can continue this hell...should I reinstate or keep fighting through this? I've taken 5HTP, drink shakeology daily, and take an omega 3 pill in the AM and PM. I also take propanolol for palpitations. Thanks for any and all help...I'm fighting every single day and praying for some relief but I just cant take this anymore.
  10. 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.
  11. I think I’ve made an awful mistake. I did a too fast taper off of Citalopram in Jan/ Feb and have been having awful withdrawal symptoms for about a month now. I thought the symptoms would resolve themselves after a few weeks, but they haven’t and I fear that I may have now permanently damaged my brain. I was prescribed 20mg paroxetine in 2001 for depression and anxiety. It worked really well. Life was wonderful and I felt fantastic for about a year. Then the Paroxetine lost it’s effectiveness. I took it for another year before deciding that it wasn’t doing anything and that I was cured so could just stop taking it. I relapsed six months later and was put on 20mg Citalopram in 2003. Over the years I have made three attempts at withdrawing from Citalopram. I had very little help from my doctor who told me that I could just stop cold turkey and then go back on them if the depression/ anxiety returned, which it always did. My last attempt to withdraw was in 2011. It was disastrous, I ended up a quivering wreck and was convinced I was going to die. Went back on citalopram and was told I would probably need to stay on SSRI’s for life. Stabilised after a couple of months, but didn’t feel quite right so was put on 10mg Ecitalopram. Over the last few years I made some significant lifestyle changes; moved into a new house, started getting some regular exercise, improved diet, reduced alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Nov 2014 - was switched back to citalopram 20mg. No explanation as to why, I went to collect the repeat prescription and it contained citalopram with a note saying this was a new course. Anyway, i took what I was given and assumed the doctor knew what he was doing. 15 Jan 2015 - Life seemed more positive and i once again felt the urge to quit the anti-depressants and be free of the side effects (agoraphobia, emotional numbness, twitching muscles, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, tiredness). I took 10mg for 2 weeks, then 5mg for two weeks and 2.5mg for a further two weeks, before jumping off. Mar 2015 - I had two weeks of feeling really good. I had tons of energy, was getting out more, was starting to make plans for the future, my emotions were coming back, best of all, I was starting to feel like me again. I had a few brain zaps and headaches, but nothing that I couldn't cope with. I felt that this time things would be different and that I would finally be free of these drugs. Then I crashed. I woke up very early one morning with a feeling of dread, terror and loneliness. Everything had changed overnight. I had severe anxiety, a tight chest, knotted stomach, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. The world seemed unreal. Everything had suddenly become a huge effort. I was unable to spend any time alone and was worrying about the most ridiculous things. In hindsight, it was at this point that I should have reinstated, but I was determined to be A.D. free, so I put up some blackout curtains to help with the early waking, stopped drinking coffee and tried to distract myself by keeping busy. April 2015 - I discovered this site and learnt about withdrawal symptoms, windows and waves, supplements and tapering. The information gave me some relief as I now knew what was happening to me. I have been taking supplements for a few weeks (300mg magnesium, 1300mg omega 3 and 25mg diphenhydramine) which I feel has eased some of the symptoms. However, I have been reluctant to reinstate because I had a window that lasted for two days and thought I was making progress. That was a couple of weeks ago and I’m feeling awful again now. It is becoming clear that I’m probably sensitised to SSRI’s after long term use and that I might have to suffer a protracted withdrawal. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with a new doctor. Im going to ask her for a low dose of citalopram and something to help me get a proper night’s sleep. I just hope that I haven’t left it too late to reinstate, stabilise and conduct a very slow taper. I really wish I had found this site back in January and had not had to suffer this cold turkey hell.
  12. Kostas

    Hi, I am Kostas from Athens Greece, and I would like to post my story. After suffering a burn out in my demanded post at work, not been able to eat, sleep, exhausted and non functional, was prescribed 20 mg citalopram. Started 10 mg for 1 week, and then 20. Side effects few and tolerable for 3 weeks, and then dramatic improvement and completely functional in week 8. Got them for 9 months, June 1994-march 1995. Then 10 mg for a month 5 for 2 months and off. Start relapsing after 2 months, and reinstated August 1995. 10 mg 1 week and then 20, August 95- August 96 Then tapering 6 months and off Feb 97. Very well till October 99, then relapse and reinstated 20 mg January 2000. On the drug Jan 00- September 01, Tapering 6 months, and off from March 02. Another relapse on October 03,and another reinstatement 20 mg, from October 03- October 05 Then, very slow tapering for 7 years October 05- October 12. 10mg 2006, 5 2007,2.5 2008, 2 2009, 1 2010, 0.5 2011, 0.25 2012. Off the drug from Oct 2012 till today. WD symptoms although not thought so back then, Nov 2012 slight tinnitus, till today June 2013, frequent urination and nocturia, much improved now. 2014 muscle tightness, and tired. Not too bad, but deterioration during stress. This continues on and off till today but have adjusted. June 2015 palpitations and arythmia for one month, and gone by then. October 2016,pain in the legs and shawder for a 2 months. April 2017, slight insomnia, agitation, tiredness, pain in the muscles and weak legs, agrivaded all symptoms under stress. Waves and windows till beginning of August, and improving now. Decided to try not to reinstate, since I am relatively functional 70%, but not happy with the situation! Any advice welcome!
  13. Hi. First of all, god bless you for this forum. I've been reading stuff on it for almost 2 months now and getting a lot of strength from it. English is not my mother tong, so please bare with me and my typos, thanks I'm a 43 year old woman, single, unemployed for a year. I've been loosing my job as a freelance a year ago, i had here and there a few projects but nothing too long. A few months ago, I stopped taking celexa completely, after, i thought, having tapered gradually. Oh boy how wrong i was. 'Gradually' for me meant taking the drug alternatively (1 day with, 2-3 days without) for almost a year and maybe more, I can't even remember when was the time i took it every day. I think I took the celexa for almost 12 years, before that i had 2 years approximately on prozac and one year on paxil. so more or less 15 years with drugs. All this time I got them from a GP and not a psychiatrist. I might have saw a psychiatrist once for this matter, but it's been a long time. And now, it's been almost 3 months since my last celexa. When I tappered "my way", i wasn't even aware of the consequences, i wish i've read this forum then. I really thought it was slow enough. but then I started to take one celexa a week and then started to feel bad, headaches, pins and needles etc. and went urgently to a psychiatrist that told me that if i made the decision to stop, and now i'm only taking half a celexa twice a week, so i might as well stop completely as it doesn't help anymore. Her words. Basically she said that the problem was that i wasn't completely 100% with my decision to stop. So she said to throw them away once and for all. At that time it made a lot of sense, I thought i've found a great psychiatrist. And now, 3 months after the last one, only now i realize that the "tapper" was way too fast and that it's almost CT, as I did stop brutally after reducing the dose. Now i feel SO bad, i thought the 1st month was hell, and that it will improve with time, but now it's been 3 months and i feel exhausted, i have extremely dry eyes, joints pain, headaches (a bit), bad hair loss. I feel like a sad zombie in another world. And i'm so afraid that the way i stopped may have compromised my healing. I have obsessive thoughts all day long about why did i stop, why now, and why this way and what the heck was i thinking to not be aware of the consequences? I'm starting therapy this week, i was on therapy for years and years before, and now i feel like it's time for support. I'm also taking care of myself with better eating, acupuncture and want to start exercising. But i'm afraid, i'm so afraid that this mess i'm in will go on and on, i don't know how long it will take and i need to work but it's very very difficult for me now. I'm thinking about reinstating (but isn't it too late now?) or going on very low dose of prozac to taper again very slowly, I don't know anymore. I'm just so afraid and confused. If i reinstate celexa, at what dose should i do it? 5 mg? Im gonna see a psychiatrist soon, another one, not the one i've seen before and that told me to just throw the drugs in the basket. I'm taking omega 3 and started with mag citrate yesterday. Thanks for reading, thanks for being here.
  14. 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.
  15. Hi! Not sure if I can post here, but I found this site after searching for withdrawal effects after having multiple symptoms when the meds were supposed to be out of my system. I now realise my neurotransmitters are still rebalancing, and I've definitely experienced the windows and waves. I was on 20 mg Cilift (Citalopram) since Feb 2016, and sought out the help of my GP to wean off (because of weight gain and mostly having severe heart palpitations). She weaned me off over a 2-week period (1 every 2nd day for a week, and 1 every 3rd day for a week). I stopped the meds entirely around mid May. I am however having multiple symptoms now still: very moody (fluctuating between unjustified rage and extreme depression), extreme anxiety, paranoia, lethargic yet I have insomnia, headaches, toothache and weird sensations of my eyes being sponges, itchiness, PMS is 100 times worse. I find I get stuck in unproductive thought loops, and feel that I shouldn't be alive (although I wouldn't act on suicidal impulses, as I have a strong sense of them not being "me:). I'm now in the awkward position of not knowing what to do. I live in a 3rd world country, and I doubt I can find a doctor who would be able to offer any support. We have a good medical system but in some ways our info is outdated. Without seeking specific medical advice, is there a general protocol for what one should do in my situation? I can't gauge what's better between going back onto the meds and weaning slower (I'll take any info back to my doctor), or just sitting it out? I am reading through different topics here, but is there a list of self-care items I can use? Thank you so much!
  16. 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
  17. Hello everyone, I am another who was previously at another forum which has closed down. I'm very grateful that there is another good AD forum as I really don't want to be doing this alone. I already know a lot of other members here. My history in summary: 2001 Had a baby, a few days later got hit with severe anxiety and insomnia, diagnosed with post partum distress, anxiety, and hyperventilation syndrome. A psychiatrist prescribed Aropax (paroxetine), Mellaril (thioridazine - an anti-psychotic used as an anxiolytic at lower doses to cover the SSRI start-up) and zopiclone for sleep short-term. Stayed on Aropax for about six months then tapered off over a couple of months, with just a few mild withdrawal symptoms. 2003 Had second baby, repeat of above process but with Cipramil(citalopram) and midazolam for sleep. 2004 Had just got off citalopram when a very stressful situation occurred at my workplace (company was bought by two other companies and split, our part then integrated with one of the two buying companies). Spent a huge amount of energy and effort job-hunting and not coping well with the situation. Eight months of unrelenting stress later had a breakdown, similar symptoms to before, decided to go back on Aropax since it had worked well before (stupid, stupid). 2005-2006 Work situation still stressful, kept trying to taper dose down but couldn't cope below 10mg. 2007 Crashed at around 5mg, straight back to 20mg. A few months later searched the internet and found information about slow tapering. Began a slow taper which went well initially. 2008 Crashed around April after dropping from 5mg to 4.5mg. Went straight back to 5mg which didn't help. Went through a couple of months of pure hell (stupidly did not updose). Couldn't sleep, eat or keep still. Off-the-scale akathisia, didn't sleep for a whole week, couldn't keep anything down, spent my days and nights pacing around until my feet hurt and I couldn't even wear shoes. Began relaxation exercises which calmed things down enough to struggle through for a while but unable to work to support my family. Lots of pressure to get back to work. Updosed back to 10mg in June and 20mg in July. GP prescribed zopiclone for sleep, then psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel to switch over to from the zopiclone. Nasty drug, gave me big muscle twitches in my legs. Restabilised by October, tapered off Seroquel fairly quickly. Began tapering paroxetine again in December. 2009-2014 Tapered at a glacial pace, some years hardly dropped at all due to instability for months. Eventually was doing only 0.1mg drops and for a while 0.05mg drops which sound so tiny as to be ridiculous but I felt every drop. Was afraid of crashing again at 4.5mg but got through it and am now down to 3.45mg. Last drop was 0.15mg instead of 0.1mg as drops seem to be getting a little easier recently. Still very afraid of crashing. In 2011 decided I had to get out of my stressful job/career, felt like I would never get off meds as long as I stayed. The lower my dose got the more toxic the environment felt. I think the meds had helped me stay in the job by numbing me out somewhat. April 2011 was offered and took paid redundancy, 2012 back to uni to retrain as teacher, 2013-2014 unsuccessful job hunting, bits and pieces of part-time work, feeling mostly happy apart from worry about lack of income. No regrets about tossing old career in spite of not really having a new one. All in all, far too many years of having these meds in my life, rather over the whole thing by now. If you actually read all of this, you deserve a chocolate fish.
  18. Jennifer78

    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!
  19. Hi All. I am a 58 year old woman who has been taking celexa for 21 years. How do I slow taper or where can I find the info. I feel that I may be Tardive Dysphoric and am afraid that it is irreversible. Do you think I should try to taper off or just keep taking it not caring whether I live or die. I am more depressed now than when I started taking it. So depressed. Also what can I expect while tapering? God help me and bless you all. Thank you.
  20. Hi all, I'm new here and would like to thank everyone for sharing their experience and helping others. I wish every one of you success on your path to recovery! My story and symptoms: 2 years ago I tapered off citalopram/escitalopram, because after 6 years taking it I built tolerance to it, as well as some unbearable sinusitis-like side effects. I was prescribed this drug for GAD treatment (for details see my signature below) During the 5th year on citalopram I started to feel its antidepressant effects slowly vanish, and I also noticed I couldn't handle much stress anymore. Actually, my working name for this problem is "impatient stress" and it's one of the most unpleasant symptoms. I would describe the feeling as a mix of impatience and stress without any apparent stressor. I rush to finish whatever I'm doing, but my muscles are clenching and I'm feeling strong physical and emotional unease, sometimes to the extent it feels I'm going to faint or have a heart attack. Kind of stress over-reaction to even simple tasks like chores. My body and mind force me to stop, although there is no apparent stressor. 2 years after getting off meds, this poor stress tolerance doesn't seem to get better, in fact it seems to be worse these days. I try to help my body deal with this artificial stress by supplementing vitamin C and magnesium, but it doesn't seem to have much effect (although it probably does help a bit) Somehow related to this is perhaps my extreme sensitivity to stimulants (tea, coffee, even chocolate). Even small doses make me agitated and anxious next day. At the moment I seem to be even more sensitive than I was a few months after withdrawal. Maybe it's because now I tend to really avoid stimulants as much as I can, which is probably making me more sensitive to them... But is my body going to readjust if I never expose it to such substances? Or is it better to avoid all stimulants and wait if my brain heals from hypersensitivity over time? What's your experience? For example, last week I tried two adaptogenic herbs (ashwagandha, rhodiola) for just a few days, in very small doses. Although I only ingested one capsule of rhodiola (which is 1/2 of recommended daily dose) it made me feel like a new person for two days in row! I felt great and focused. The next morning I had an erotic dream (which I normally don't have) and just when the dream got too exciting, I woke up with a terrible spike of agitation, which pretty much resembled the stressed-out feeling, but much more intense and terrifying. It only lasted a second, but it felt like I was losing my mind, as if I'm going to faint or vomit. Extremely unpleasant feeling. (It wasn't a panic attack though, these are completely different. I'm also familiar with these morning cortisol surges, but this was more like a momentary shock.) I could feel my heart beating strong. I never experienced such a strange shock and I was quite scared. Perhaps the single small capsule of Rhodiola (which apparently is a MAOI) messed up neurotransmitter levels too much? I would love to know what's your experience with hypersensitivity to stimulants following SSRI withdrawal. Did stimulants also trigger anxiety for you? Did you register any change over time? For the last 4 months I seem to be having some kind of anxiety episode triggered by emotional stress and accidental ingestion of green tea. The anxiety is getting worse every day, my sleep is getting shorter and shorter, giving rise to more anxiety. Is there a way to escape this vicious circle? Sometimes I have pinkeye. Not sure if it's something to worry about, I guess it's linked to sleep problems. There's also this sharp "pulling" sensation which I get from time to time in my hands or legs. Feels like if my veins were being pulled into body, shortened. Anyone experienced this? Just recently I started to have occasional chin twitches, although very subtle, hardly noticeable. I hope they'll go away once I manage the anxiety and bodily tension. And the last problem is lower back pain which I have ever since I discontinued SSRI, which makes me think that the physical damage to my back was done probably much earlier, but the pain has been temporarily suppressed by SSRI. Is it possible? Or maybe my lower back isn't damaged that much, but the elevated stress hormones intensify pain signalling in the body. I came to this hypothesis because last week, when I was in better mood for two days, the back pain almost vanished. I've practiced daily meditation for 2 years since withdrawal, I underwent 6 week CBT course, tried fasting, self-help books, supplements, etc. Meditation and CBT provided some help and I'll definitely keep using them. But still... these days I feel so anxious, sensitive, unstable... scared. Since I cannot handle any work load, I had to leave my job. I moved to my family's house, and recently I applied for disability pension (I hope I'll need it just for a few years). Everything has turned upside down for me. I feel I'm doomed to suffer for the rest of my life. I'm worried every day that the taper was too fast (I was so stupid to rush it), and I'm afraid my brain will never recover from the dependency on SSRIs, which terrifies me so much! Can you please help? Any ideas what might be happening with me in regards to the poor stress tolerance? What is actually going on there? Your experiences regarding any of these symptoms will be much appreciated! Do you think the damage is permanent? It's been 2 years now. Thank you! PS: As I'm rereading this post, it all seems so negative... But there are positives also - I'm no longer depressed these days. The depression transformed into anxiety 4 months ago, and although that's not necessarily a great thing one would desire, at least I know something is going on and I can feel motivated again.
  21. Good afternoon, It is my first post here. I am 55 yrs old, and was taking Citalopram for 5 yrs or so. I cut the dosages in half weekly, from 20 - 0. When I hit 5 mg, I started taking 100mg of 5 HTP which I have also been cutting in half. In one month, I am now down to 0 Citalopram and 25 mg of 5 HTP in the morning and 50 mg at night, with Melatonin. I have forced myself to go to the gym up to 5 times a week, and do HIIT. Some days I had absolutely no energy, and just recently I have been able to do a strength class and a cardio class on the same day. I eat a very well balanced diet, do my meal prepping and do not eat junk food. I drink between 48 - 60 oz of water a day as seltzer. I am still feeling the hideous brain zaps. The only good thing about this is that I get so annoyed and angry that I successfully talked off a stubborn telemarketer the other night. Best insults of my life. I feel the zaps, the tiredness, the insomnia and even heartburn. It has been a month since I stopped altogether. Can anyone please tell me if these will go away for good, or is it really like I read sometimes that it could take years before these symptoms go away? Thank you so much for your advise!
  22. 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
  23. Hi SA, Good to be here. I've been reading some of the stories on here with interest. Kinda makes my problems seem pretty small in comparison to others! I'm more and more horrified by what I'm discovering about discontinuation syndrome. As a postgraduate scientist, I've read a few of the papers associated with SSRI withdrawal and I can't believe how little real information is out there for patients and doctors. I think I've been depressed since I was a teenager, but I was essentially snubbed by psychiatrists at the time (apparently, cutting yourself counts as ‘teenage angst’ in the UK) and didn't get into the mental healthcare system until I was around 25 when I started having really severe panic attacks and anxiety. I'd taken a minor in psychology as an undergrad and, armed with quite a lot of information, was determined not to use drugs unless I felt I really needed to. The anxiety ebbed and flowed, but I generally did OK. After moving to the US for grad school (and embarking on a very long distance relationship), I had a nervous breakdown due to burn out and relationship anxiety at the end of 2013. I moved back home and spiraled further, and eventually my friend took me to the doctor and I decided to try medication, with a lot of skepticism. I tried propranolol (a beta blocker) for about a month or so, which just made me feel ill and didn't really help as a chronic medication. Then I I tried Mirtazipine, which left me with a completely blunted affect, incapable of feeling anything at all and making me too tired to function anyway. I quickly got off that and went on Citalopram, which I tapered up on, through some really horrible side effects (talk about red flags!). I remember the first day when the Citalopram really kicked in because I was hypomanic for about a week. It was like being on MDMA, a drug I had used heavily for about 8 years before. I also lost my sex drive entirely, got restless leg syndrome and started putting on weight. I went back to grad school in 2015 and after an initial period of motivation, and a short period of hypomania (2ish months), I gradually ended up back in a pit of despair and anxiety. I managed to stave off doctors’ attempts to put up my dosage and remained on 20mg until May last year (2016) when I decided to try and taper off as I didn’t feel like the medication was really helping with my symptoms and I’ve been sick of the sexual side effects since I started. I managed to get from 20mg down to 10mg before the withdrawal symptoms got too bad. I now realise that I tapered too rapidly . Either way, I stayed on 10mg deciding grad school wasn’t the time or place to be tapering. Just after that, I decided to Master out of my PhD program and enjoyed a 3-4 month period of hypomania where I felt completely amazing, extremely creative, was eating books and information and felt on top of the world…I even saw a slight return of my sex drive. This came crashing down again in October following another really sudden bout of relationship anxiety. Now I’m done with university, and have been unemployed for a bit, I wanted to get off the meds ASAP so that I could get on with my life. Rookie error! I tapered from 10mg to 5mg in about a month around the end of February with no real issue, but now I’m a complete mess again. I’ve struggled to get beyond 5mg, with bouts of extreme depression, mood swings and suicidal ideation. I’m currently taking 5mg/2.5mg every other day but I’m right on the verge of going back to 5mg for a second time because I’m suffering bad. I’ve been sick as a dog for 2 weeks, I think I do have genuine sinusitis and a terrible head cold, but perhaps the symptoms have been amplified due to the medication? Hard to say really. This past week I’ve had terrible depression, suicidal thoughts, crying spells and violent mood swings. I really feel like everything is crushingly pointless, that I am worthless and hopeless. I feel like my life is falling apart and that I’m going to destroy the remaining good parts because I can’t be around people most of the time, including my long-suffering partner. I feel like a complete burden on everyone. Apologies for the pity party, but this is where I am right now. I hope that this post might help someone else coming off this medication. I’m really stunned at how difficult it has been to get off it and do wonder a lot whether my continuing problems have been due to the medication rather than a continuing mental health problems.
  24. Aria's recovery from poly drugs. I had no idea when I walked into a psychiatrist's office 25 yrs ago the horrible labyrinth I'd entered. Slam dunked at a point in my life when I was feeling low and the loss of future possibilities taken away. Being told I was mentally ill, would never function again, needed to be on disability and poly drugged for the rest of my life repeatedly took it's toll. All this impacted my relationships with family, friends and enjoying life. The pdoc constantly added new psych drugs, changed doses and took me off the old drugs at an alarming rate. I became a morbidly obese woman who mumbled or talked rapidly and it was obvious to everyone but the pdoc I was totally messed up on something. I had Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis that landed me in the hospital for quite awhile and my pdoc put in my open med chart I was crazy. I didn't know this till later but ill as I was I did notice some of my physicians were treating me oddly. One good thing about being so ill was I referred to a neurologist for chronic pain and found out my problem was profound drug induced Akathsia. This neurologist actually screamed at me, these psych drugs are killing you, they're killing you. I knew I had to get off these drugs not matter what it took and reclaim my life. At my next appointment I asked my psychiatrist why he was drugging me like this and he looked directly at me (probably for the first time in years he saw "me"). He started sobbing, loudly sobbing, "Oh God what have I done to you", over and over. I'm sitting there thinking oh crap, I don't need this. Our 15 minute med check was up and this guy calmly goes to the front desk to get the next patient and proceeds without any other fanfare. He's robot. A robot. All this in itself was mind boggling. Hell, closure?? No way. I found out I had Tardive Dyskinesia and a few other psych drug induced issues. My face was a road map with twitches and jerking that yelled hey, I'm on massive psychiatric drugs. Will my face be like this forever?? The TD has mostly gone away and I'm so grateful (the pdoc adamantly said I did not have Tardive Dyskinesia from psych drugs). Well, guess what?? The psychiatrist was wrong...horribly wrong. Other doctors, psychiatrist, therapists said you're not mentally ill and never had been. The sad but very scarey part is I'm labeled as profoundly mentally ill and that info is in my medical charts. One pdoc did this...one. I've gone through the gambit of emotions dealing with this. I will probably always be mad at this jerk for what he did to me and for what he still does to others. It affected years of my life and he was wrong. I'm a Success Story because I'm psych drug free and have been for several years. My journey was extremely difficult and I did it on my own hit or miss tapering off numerous psychiatric drugs. I endured drug withdrawals that paralyzed me month after month. Was it worth the hell of tapering? Yes, very much yes. My reward was my clarity of mind, my passions for life returned and I have hopes for my future. I mended fences with family and have made new friends. I strive everyday to be productive. I'm me but a different me because no one could go through all this and not be changed by it. (for more in-depth conversations about my struggles, coping and self awareness with surviving psychiatry please visit my ongoing thread Aria's Psych Journey http://survivinganti...psych-journey/)
  25. Hi, I found this website from someone's post who seemed to be going through the same as what I am. Sorry if this is long but I'm not sure which info is necessary! I was taking Citolapram for alittle over 2 years, mostly 20mg but I upped to 30mg near the end. I weened off them within a week but after almost a month I went back of them (20mg). I only stayed on them for a week and then came off them cold turkey. About 7 or more weeks since, I randomly woke up one day with PGAD. It's a horrible, progressive, non-curable disorder that makes your genitals feel constantly aroused, sometimes stabbing, burning, feeling the need to pee, zap feelings and a lot of throbbing. I've had this for a month now and feels worse these past 2 days (coincidentally I was pescribed Amitriptyline 10mg but after 2 days of taking them I decided I don't want to go back to ADs - apparently PGAD is mostly caused by withdrawing from ADs) I've had so many breakdowns because of this and there is no way I can live with it, especially because it can cause spontaneous orgasms and a lot of pain which I haven't got yet. I'm so scared and my doctors have no idea about the disorder and just try to convince me it's in my head which despite my obvious symptoms and causes I'm hoping it is. My history of OCD could explain it too. Before taking ADs I had a fear of farting in public which as stupid as it sounds, kept me house-bound for years. It went away after I took ADs and started college. Then a year later I had a bad sickness bug which led me to a fear of throwing up, with that I felt sick literally every single day and not always just mildly. I had tests but nothing explained it. Then I started hearing alot about PGAD just before mine started, once mine started my sickness has completely gone (so all this time it must have been in my head which is crazy because I almost threw up it was so bad). And now I'm getting all these symptoms of PGAD constantly. But I'm still not convinced it's all in my head because it is a fact that withdrawing from ADs too fast can cause it, plus I think I have some damage in my pelvice since I went on an exercise bike during my 2nd withdrawals. This gave me what I thought was piles in my perineum which went away after a week and then came back with my PGAD. I have a huge skin tag in my perineum which fills and becomes solid if I'm too active and I start getting a pain around it (in my legs/butt cheeks). I'm thinking I've damaged my pelvic floor and that these things could be connected? Although the PGAD didn't start straight away? I'm sorry this was so long but I am so so terrified of having this disorder, it is honestly such a horrible, embarrassing, painful and hopeless thing to live with and has always been my biggest fear since I learnt about it. I have so many things that could have caused it which makes me think that maybe it isn't just in my head. It's driving me crazy and if anyone has any hope or experience like this I would really love to hear from you. Sorry again for the long post.
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