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wantrelief

Just wanted to say that it is true - hard to say if Celexa is helping or hurting or if this is Zoloft withdrawal and not related to the Celexa or both.  So confusing!!

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Barbarannamated

Hi wantrelief. I just read through your info and empathize with you regarding the constant headaches. I developed severe head / neck pain and TMD after starting Zoloft many years ago. I didn't make the connection until a few years later when I learned that SSRIs cause bruxism. It became disabling.

 

Just thought I'd mention in case you may have had similar reaction. Bite guards, acupuncture have helped somewhat. I was Rx'd Klonopin qhs (bruxism) which I've, fortunately, not had to increase above 1mg for over 15 years. I'd prefer to have never started, of course.

 

I hope you feel some improvement soon.

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wantrelief

Hi Barbara,

 

Thanks so much for reading my thread and for your post.  Are you having constant head/neck pain currently?  If so, I am so very sorry as I relate to having to deal with chronic pain, especially head pain.

 

I have a long history of headaches and migraines even before AD use but they had gotten better prior to me starting ADs.  In fact, when I was younger I had a constant headache for around 7 years that finally went away on its own - no cause was ever found.  This is another reason I regret ever starting an AD as now I am back having all of these headache problems.  I always seem to get headaches when I try to reduce medication but this time around it happened with an increase and just hasn't gone away.  I don't have bruxism currently (have experienced it in the past though when starting up Cymbalta and also when experiencing bad WD episodes) so don't think that is the cause.  Thank you though for the suggestions as I may experience this again in the future since I have before.

 

I am hoping reducing the Celexa will help the headache since it started when I increased the dose but also fear I might be back to having a constant, chronic headache problem (on top of bad anxiety and depression at the moment).

 

Thanks again for your thoughts, Barbara - very much appreciated!  

 

 

 

 

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Barbarannamated

Yes, I am in a bad flare currently. I had relief for a few years...got off of opiates (MUCH easier than SSRIs) and now the return of pain on top of very low mood and lack of interest / pleasure of WD is tough to deal with. A recent MRI showed vascular / white matter brain lesions and I don't know how that may be playing in.

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philjot

So sorry wantrelief, I am in the same place that you are - backaches; on an SSRI that is not working but causes anxiety and agitation. Dealing with tardive dysphoria (chronic depression) caused by the SSRIs.  So it seems that we can't take an SSRI and can't not take an SSRI.  I am like you as I do not know what to do.  

 

Yes I wish there was a place where we could go and check in and go through this hell.  I feel like if I were to titrate from this point it would be 3 years of hell (which I am not sure that I can deal with) - then the unknown is how long will it take to get your brain function back - and I am on Ativan several times per day for the anxiety.

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wantrelief

Yes, I am in a bad flare currently. I had relief for a few years...got off of opiates (MUCH easier than SSRIs) and now the return of pain on top of very low mood and lack of interest / pleasure of WD is tough to deal with. A recent MRI showed vascular / white matter brain lesions and I don't know how that may be playing in.

 

I am so sorry Barbara - I know exactly how you are feeling; it is so very dismaying to be back in a chronic pain situation after having had some relief.  And not only that but all that WD brings in terms of the depression/anhedonia.  I am in the exact same boat.  I really feel for you and hope this recent flare up dies down soon for you - I will be thinking about you.  

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wantrelief

So sorry wantrelief, I am in the same place that you are - backaches; on an SSRI that is not working but causes anxiety and agitation. Dealing with tardive dysphoria (chronic depression) caused by the SSRIs.  So it seems that we can't take an SSRI and can't not take an SSRI.  I am like you as I do not know what to do.  

 

Yes I wish there was a place where we could go and check in and go through this hell.  I feel like if I were to titrate from this point it would be 3 years of hell (which I am not sure that I can deal with) - then the unknown is how long will it take to get your brain function back - and I am on Ativan several times per day for the anxiety.

 

Thanks so much for your post, philjot.  We really are in similar situations.  I am so very sorry you are going through this too.  I know exactly what you mean about facing years of hell with titrating - I am so scared to even try reducing right now (although my doctor wants me to) as I am so very unstable as it is.  But staying in this holding pattern is not bringing any relief either.  Not sure how long to wait to try to find some stability.  At least we can support one another through this awful time - it does help me to know I am not alone in this awful predicament.

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philjot

Dear wantrelief

 

My psydoc says maybe I have some hypomania and perhaps I should try some lamotrigine (lamictal). That scares me too - another drug.

 

I do not like all this unknown. but yes we have each other on here.

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wantrelief

I have experienced hypomania too during my various WD episodes.   I would not be able to sleep yet feel wired all of the time, unable to calm down or feel relaxed - it is just a miserable feeling.  I have a little bit of it now but it is mostly being masked this time around (I believe) because of Klonopin (was put on Klonopin last year because of the hypomania stuff). Alto may be able to give you information/advice about Lamictal.  I am terrified now of adding any new drugs to the mix so I understand your fear.  Indeed, the unknown in all of this is so terribly difficult.  

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wantrelief

I have had a couple of days here and there of feeling fairly normal on Celexa (still at 35 mg) but mostly not very well.....having a lot of depression/anhedonia/suicidal thoughts.  I've been trying to just hold at this dose to see if the emotional stuff would settle but the problem is that Celexa is also causing a constant headache so I thought I should try to start decreasing it.  I tried a small decrease a couple of days ago - 2.5 mg - and today my headache (which has been constant) pain worsened (more like a migraine, vomited this evening).  I updosed tonight back to the 35 mg as the pain was just too much today and was worried it would only worsen.  I am thinking I'll get the liquid and try a smaller amount to see if that helps keep the pain at least bearable.  I just don't know if I'll ever be able to decrease if the pain is this bad but then I am stuck on a medication that is making me feel badly and is causing pain.  I have no idea what to do.  Suicidal thoughts were rampant today as I was in a lot of pain and feel so very stuck - my brain keeps telling me that death is the only way out of this mess.  I know there aren't any answers to my situation but if anyone has had any similar experiences or advice I would love to hear it as I am really losing hope of ever being off these meds and being stuck feeling like this forever.  

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Rhiannon

The only thing I can say that might be helpful is that the fear of being stuck feeling exactly like you are right now forever is a typical fear during withdrawal and actually seems to be a symptom of withdrawal. I don't have a name for it, but so many people (including me) get that in withdrawal, that sense that our current suffering is endless and hopeless.

 

The thing is, as someone once pointed out here to me, the thing that is LEAST likely is that nothing will change.  Changelessness doesn't really happen much in actual reality.  Remembering that has helped me from time to time.

 

As far as being able to offer a trick or suggestion to fix your situation, though, I have none. I am so sorry for your suffering. I've seen many other people stuck in situations like yours.  Probably if I were you I'd be thinking like you seem to be, might as well start tapering really slowly since at this point it's not clear which is causing you more problems, being on the meds or the withdrawal from them. Usually I advise people to hold until they notice their symptoms easing up, but if the Celexa is causing the problem, that might not help.

 

But I'm no expert. That's just how I think I would approach it--get a liquid, as you say, and try a very small cut and hold a week or two, then do the same again, and see what happens.

 

I would recommend keeping a daily journal of your symptoms, ranking them on a scale of, say, 1 to 5. Withdrawal messes with our ability to accurately judge how our symptoms are changing; we tend to get that "I've always felt terrible and it never changes" state of mind, even when that's not actually true. I can't tell you how helpful the daily journal has been to me over the years. I keep a record of cuts, dosages, and symptoms, and it makes it so much easier to see what's really happening.

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wantrelief

Thanks very much for your response, Rhi - I really appreciate your insights.  Re. feeling stuck - it does seem to be a WD symptom in itself but I have also felt this way for so many years as i struggled to get off of Zoloft (even with a slow taper) without success.  I think that too is why I feel so stuck and hopeless. 

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Fizz

Of course you're not going to be stuck for ever, give it more time, you will see a difference I can promise, even though it's a bit slow. Rhi couldn't be more right, nothing stays the same, there's always change and the change will be you feeling better. Loads of love. Xxxxxxx

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wantrelief

Thanks so much for your sweet words of support, Fizz - very much appreciated!  :)

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lundeliz

Hi wantrelief.  I've been keeping up with your story.  You have a lot of patience in waiting to stabilize on the Celexa.  I see there are others

 

in our situation, not knowing what is causing their symptoms, withdrawal or the med. I am still making small drops , usually .25mg about

 

once a week.  I seem to do okay with this.  Have you tried making a tiny drop to see if you can tolerate it?  I am still having the headaches

 

and nausea, and mild anxiety.  In the last few weeks, I've also started having depression.  This is something new and hard to bear.  Again,

 

I don't know if it's from the med or from withdrawal.  As you know, it's very frustrating.  As my dosage gets lower, I'm getting really scared,

 

wondering what's waiting.  I'll be watching your progress, and I really hope you begin to find some relief.  I see that you mentioned getting

 

the liquid to try smaller cuts.  That might be a big help.  I make my own liquid using water and that works well for me.  Let's hang in there.

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wantrelief

Hi lundeliz,

 

Thanks for your message.  I've been following your experience too as we are going through similar situations; although you are way ahead of me in the tapering process.  I wanted to see if decreasing would make any difference so I did make a small cut - 2.5 mg - a couple of days ago but it made my headache even worse so went back up to 35 mg.  I am going to try again with a smaller decrease using the liquid.  That is cool you make your own liquid.  I am hoping tiny decreases will help keep my pain level from escalating as it is bad enough as it is.  

 

I am sorry you are still having to deal with nausea and anxiety and are now experiencing depression too.  Have you been able to eat/sleep?  Aside from the headache, depression is my main problem right now.  It is pretty bad.  

 

I know it is so hard to know what to do and what is causing the symptoms - side effects from the medication or withdrawal or perhaps both.  Do you think it would help to hold for a bit to see how things go?  I'm not sure if that makes sense though as it sounds like overall you feel better when you drop?

 

I am hoping the best for you and will be thinking about you!!

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Fizz

Hi wantrelief, just wondering how you are doing today, been thinking of you. Sending lots of healing hugs. Xxxxxxxx

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wantrelief

Hi Fizz!  Thanks so much for checking in with me.  Strangely, I was just thinking about you!  How are you feeling?  I am ok.  Still having the bleeding problem.  It seems like it is slowing down but is still there.  :(  I have an appointment this week to get things checked out.  Please let me know how you've been doing when you get a chance.  How are your feet doing?  

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Fizz

Feet not so dry and sore now, it's GOT to be another symptom from the thick encyclopaedia of symptoms! Was silly today, went to the beach and have caught the sun, only used factor 6, so I'm now sore all over and that IS my fault. That's def going to help the sleeping isn't it, burning up all night. I could kick myself. Have reduced the Progesterone to 1 and a half a day, not too bad at the moment. Still miffed about the hair loss, actually thinking of looking around for a wig just in case it gets real bad, would get a funky black bob AND save money on shampoo. Hugs. Xxxxxx

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wantrelief

Prior to your beach adventure, it sounds like your feet were better so that good news!  Am so glad also that the reduction in progesterone is going well.  I am hoping your hair will grow back once you are done with the progesterone for awhile.  But, hey, a cool black bob wig and saving money on shampoo would be a plus!  :)  

 

It turns out I'm not feeling so great today.  Had a pretty good day yesterday but today I took a walk (first one in awhile) and maybe it was too much as I just feel so fatigued with nausea.  Feeling quite blah.  The good news is that the headache has been better for the last couple of days and that is a huge relief.  

 

Thanks again for checking in with me, Fizz.  

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Azgirl

You hang in there Michele, we are going to meet in person soon :)

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wantrelief

Thanks for your supportive message, Jess.  I really need it today as just feeling unwell and tired of feeling this way.

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wantrelief

I thought I would post an update but sadly it isn't very positive and I feel like I continue down the rabbit hole of medications.  If you read my previous posts, I made a switch from Zoloft to Celexa because I was unsuccessful in getting off of Zoloft after a series of slow tapers.  I did finally stabilize on Celexa and started a very slow taper down, during which I felt fine for the most part.  In fact I had a very good 2014 tapering and all.  I was doing well until I got to 12.6 mg at the beginning of November and started having intense anxiety, early morning awakening, lack of appetite and suicidal ideation (in the past attempts at tapering usually these problems would be kicked off by something stressful occurring but this time, it just started on its own as far as I can tell).  I have slowly started to updose and am now at 16 mg.  There have been some minimal improvements which bring me some comfort.  The other part of the story is something i feel ashamed about which is that because of how horrible I was feeling, I updosed the Klonopin from 1 to 1.25 mg to see if I could get some relief.  I think it has helped minimally but not as much as i had hoped.  What a mess I feel I am in. I am beginning to think that it is not possible of me to get off of SSRIs, as no matter how slowly I taper, I always seem to run into the same problem at some point where the taper goes awry.  My thought is to slowly increase back up to 20 mg and stay there for a good long time to hopefully reach stability and then work on the Klonopin instead.  I am not feeling all that hopeful about getting off that drug either but feel that I need to try as I am well aware of the problems with benzos and have been petrified that I've been on it this long (plus having updosed it - now definitely feeling like an addict).  I guess I am posting in the hopes that my story might help someone who does switch medication as it did work for me eventually, I just had to stick out the WD from Zoloft which took about 4 months.  Also not sure if there is anything any one can really say but I thought I'd share my story as perhaps it will resonate with someone and help in some way.  I am really in shock at once again being in this position and feel so scared and dismayed that I may never be able to get off SSRIs.  :(

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simon

Hi WR

Sorry to hear about how difficult your taper has been just when you had such a good time. There seem to be so many variables to work out how it happens.

Im only at the beginning of a long journey and haven't a clue how it will turn out! But theres so much knowledge and help on this site that im sure im in the right place.

Hope see an improvement very soon. Thanks for sharing your story.

Simon

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wantrelief

Thanks very much for your kind words, Simon.  It is indeed so frustrating as I've tried now so many times to come off these medications only to find myself back at square one.  Good luck with your taper!

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Petunia

 I did finally stabilize on Celexa and started a very slow taper down, during which I felt fine for the most part.  In fact I had a very good 2014 tapering and all.  I was doing well until I got to 12.6 mg at the beginning of November and started having intense anxiety, early morning awakening, lack of appetite and suicidal ideation

 

Its good that you managed to stabilize and that your tapering has been going well.  I don't think there is a need to updose all the way back up to 20mg.  How have you been tapering?  What was your last cut before your symptoms started to increase and didn't subside?

 

You may have been tapering too fast, especially at lower doses. A slow taper will not only minimize withdrawal symptoms, it will give you the best chance at getting through the post-withdrawal year or two without having to go back on the drug. 

 

Its important to taper slowly as the dose gets lower.  What we recommend is a taper that's based on a percentage of your current dose not of your original dose. This paper will show you why: http://survivinganti...concentration/ 

(Check out the charts on page 4 and see how the receptor occupancy drops much more sharply at lower doses.)

 

If you taper too fast and updose when symptoms become unmanageable, then you are going in the wrong direction, its better to slow down, but continue going in the right direction...smaller cuts and longer holds. Some people need to really slow down as the dose gets lower.

 

Please read through: 

The slowness of slow tapers 

Also see our topic on micro-tapers http://survivinganti...or-5-decreases/

 

If I were you I wouldn't updose any higher, but hold where you are and give your nervous system a chance to settle down.  Then when you have stabilized again, continue with your taper, but at a slower pace.  See the above links for ideas about how to slow the process down.

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wantrelief

Thanks so much for your response Petu. I tried stabilizing at lower doses so far no luck. I am currently at 16 mg and seeing if things get better from there. I just want to feel better now and then think about my next move. I have been trying to get off ADs with slow tapers for many years now and am just exhausted by the process. I wanted to thank you for all you do here. Your responses to members are very insightful and so full of compassion - you are a very special person.

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Petunia

Thank you WR :)

I'm not sure I can imagine how tedious it must be for people tapering for years, I'm sure its exhausting.  I tapered too fast, crashed and then it was too late to reinstate and taper properly. 

 

I hope you start to feel better soon.

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wantrelief

Hello everyone!  I am needing some reassurance as I am really not doing well.  It appears despite going very slowly with my Citalopram taper that it was not slow enough.  As my previous post indicates I got down to 12.6 mg and was hit with terrible wd symptoms.  I have been feeling really sick.  I started to slowly taper back up about 1 mg every 1-2 weeks and now am at 16 mg.  I am thinking I'll just stay here and try to stabilize.  It sounds like others have had this experience and by increasing the dose and staying put, have felt stable over time.  I am wondering if this sounds like a good plan? Is there a good chance I will stabilize?  I hope I haven't increased by too much but at this point I don't want to muck around anymore with my dose.  My doctor and I had thought it would be best to go back to 20 mg but after reading Petu's response and reading lots of other postings, it sounds like a lower dose might be better.  I know no one really can know what is going to happen but if there is anyone with some positive experience with this, it would be great to hear right now as I feel like I am hanging by a thread.  Thanks very much!

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brassmonkey

I'd stay put for a while and let things settle out.  You need to remember that any dose change either down or up will take 4-6 weeks to take full effect.  So by changing every two weeks your brain doesn't have enough time to sort out one change before the next one happens.  This way you can end up with an accumulation of effects and not know what dosage is causing them.

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wantrelief

Thanks for your advice, Brassmonkey, much appreciated.  :)

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wantrelief

I am once again posting for advice/reassurance as I am feeling really unsure about my path.  It has been 3 weeks staying at 16 mg and I have not noticed much change - no appetite, fairly constant suicidal thoughts, anhedonia/inability to really do anything and anxiety.  Basically am having a really hard time functioning.  I am questioning if this is really going to work.  My confusion is that once I switched from Zoloft to Citalopram and stabilized, I started tapering right away so I don't really have a dose that I was at consistently for a long time - so don't really have a "starting dose" where it seems most people reinstate to if things go south while tapering.  I know 3 weeks is not a long time, it is just so hard to be living this way so everyday feels like a much longer period of time, if that makes sense.  Should I keep steady with this plan and have more faith that this will work? 

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wantrelief

I am bumping this up to see if anyone has any thoughts/reassurance?

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mammaP

Hi WR, I'm sorry that you are feeling so bad after your taper had been going well. I agree that it would be

best for you to stay put and have a long hold to allow things to settle down. Don't change anything just hold

and this wave will pass. I know 3 weeks is an eternity when you feel so rotten, but it will pass. Do you take

any supplements?  Many of us find that magnesium and fish oil help with withdrawal, and there are lots of 

topics on things that help and some on those that don't.  Suicidal thoughts are common too. We have a

couple of topics on suicidal ideation and how people cope with it.

 

Help for those who are suicidal. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7619-help-for-those-who-are-feeling-desperate-or-suicidal/

 

Suicidal ideation. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4678-suicide-ideation/?view=findpost&p=58265&hl=%2Bsuicidal+%2Bideation

 

Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. Don't fight it or push yourself too hard, let your body do it's thing

and heal itself.  You will stabilise and be able to restart your taper when you are feeling well again. Hang in there

you've been doing great and this is just a setback. 

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wantrelief

Thank you so much for your response, mammaP.  I know it may seem silly but I just need constant reassurance that this will pass as I feel so sick.  Your message helped a lot as I feel so alone in this.  I do take fish oil (or try to - don't always remember) but haven't noticed it making a difference either way.  I haven't tried magnesium and might give that a try but am a bit nervous to add anything to my already messed up system.  I will read the links you posted.  Thank you again for being here and for your reassurance - it really means the world to me.

 

I hope you are doing well,

Michele

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