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Thread: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

  1. #1

    First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    I should probably put this in the introductions bit but i want to talk a lot about citalopram and anxiety so came here. Hoping to shed some light for those starting off on cit/or who shared some of my anxieties and maybe i can get some advice in return

    I had a really stressful start to the year; I spun my car 180 on the motorway at 6pm one evening in January (because of tiredness) which involved me thinking at one point my life was about to end. The car came to standstill having touched nothing despite the road being busy. I had really bad symptoms of shock where i couldnt speak for about 5 minutes whilst a couple waited with me for the police (who told me i needed to buy a lottery ticket because no one gets that lucky) i couldnt really understand how i was alive. I can still remember seeing the lights of all the cars facing me as my car span round.

    Then in march my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I live about 350 miles away at uni and this was a really hard time for my whole family, she is still undergoing radiotherapy now and it is an ongoing stress. Im also in my third year at university now and there is a lot resting on the next six months of work.

    I started citalopram 21 days ago tomorrow (3 weeks ahh its been long) because of a four-day panic attack which left me bedridden, concerning derealization and pure-o fears of going crazy. I tried to go to work the next day and was sent home early as the anxiety got so bad, i couldnt focus and was on the verge of another panic attack (I work in a small cafe with a lot of mundane tasks and a LOT of time to be stuck in your head thinking too much). I think the ongoing stress of the last few months has affected my self esteem to the point that i would have horrendous doubts about myself, my ability to cope and i generally begun a negative thinking pattern, of predicting every possible worst outcome imaginable. So whilst i was at work it was a breeding ground for these thoughts to go swirling round my head and

    After that happened i asked to be signed off work for a month, was given 20mg Citaloprams and 2mg Diazepams for sleep and was sent off to start my pills. I put off taking them for about a week as internet searches yealded to me the glorious range of side effects, illness, confusion, cases of people giving up on day 3 etc etc. However after about a week of battling with hideous intrusive thoughts (mostly about feeling unreal and being terrified of psychosis), I gave in and took the plunge.

    I just wanted to write about my experience on here so i can look back at it, as although i'm only three weeks in I'm feeling a range of positive effects already. Yesterday I had a setback and although it deeply upset me, it did also make me realise that I'm no way near as bad as i was a month ago. I have had some serious blips here and there, but i think in these times we take our progress for granted and forget how far we've come. Looking back and ensuring that we can chronicle our success is possibly a key to recovery.

    Anyway a summary for those who are interested is as follows (from what I can remmeber):

    Days 1-3
    Serious dizziness, rushing feeling after taking pill.
    Ultimate nausea, I'd kind of compare it to like feeling carsick.
    Tried to keep my mood up as I anticipated these effects, so could attribute them to the pill instead of freaking out.

    Days 4-7
    No more nausea.
    Dizziness/feeling of dreamlike state persisted for about an hour or two after taking the pill. This kind of scared me a little as I have had DR/DP on and off for a few months.
    Yawning began, i think my record was probably around 50+ times in one day. Ahh ive just made myself yawn now thinking about it.
    Couldnt sleep at night, as i felt really wired/anxious, had to take a diaz here and there.
    Definitely sensed some sort of change in my mood, not up or down specifically (and it fluctuated a lot during the day), but i felt like something was lifting ever so slightly.

    Days 8-10
    Didnt notice the dizziness so much anymore, did seem to have a bit more visual snow/static in dim light. I had this before due to anxiety/derealization so didnt really bother me.
    Sleep was still difficult, massages from my boyfriend helped right before bedtime to get me relaxed, but often woke up around 4 and struggled to get back to sleep. Only for a 9am start to be virtually impossible, sleeping til about 12.30 the next day (which i normally hate doing i just couldnt open my eyes).

    Day 11
    Most of the side effects were going bar yawning, which i dont really mind as i find yawns quite satisfying/contagious.
    I do remember the initial lightness of mood wearing off a little. Im not sure if this was because of the natural progression of the citalopram but it did depress me a little bit. I still had my intrusive thoughts at this point by the way but i had started to put in place coping strategies which are essential (i'll talk about these a bit at the bottom). There was no way i was going to rely only on the pills to fix me, rather i see them as being to stabilise me so that i can work on my problems myself.

    Days 12-16
    MOst of the side effects were gone, and i was starting to sleep better (I take my Cit in the mornings). I also started to realise quite how much less worried i was feeling.

    Days 17-20
    Here we are, side effect free. I don't notice much change immediately after i've taken my pill anymore.
    I dont feel as hopeless or as down either, i feel a sense of lightness of mood pretty much constantly. But i think this is definitely down to perspective as well. I definitely feel like i can cope more, and i tell myself this often. I can palm off doubts a lot easier as well and can see how useless they are.

    So I decided to go back to work as im now at rock bottom money wise and also ive been working on integrating back into normality as i used to know it (when i was at my most low i would avoid a lot of the things i used to enjoy just out of pure fear/self doubt).
    However when i got to work yesterday i started to get really worried, and i think this is because the last time i was there i was feeling really awful like i couldnt do my job (on my last shift i was sent home for a panic attack). Yesterday i was working all by myself in the cafe and it was really quiet so had a lot of time to think, and the racing/unpleasant thoughts started to come back in. Now i was really concerned at first as it felt like i had taken a massive step backwards. I think because i had been feeling optimistic about myself this sudden recurrence of bad thoughts really hit me hard. My boyfriend came in to see me when it was quiet and i had a little break down and cried (ive not cried for weeks). He reassured me that this was a natural reaction to have after so long off work, and that i should plough on and finish the shift.

    I did that and finished it fine, and went round a friends' after which helped me relax. During the shift i actually had thoughts of quitting, to prevent this kind of think happening again, or getting a new job, but on reflection i think this would be avoidance. I know i can beat this. If i stick at it and stay there i think i can dissociate from the bad feelings that it brings up in me, and i can maybe start to see it as just my workplace.

    Thats pretty much it. Ive been seeing a therapist who mainly does talk therapy, which although it is good to speak to someone in an impartial environment, we dont really talk about anything that i cant tell my friends/boyfriend so i dont know if i should continue spending 35 an hour with her...?
    What has helped me immensely i believe are the following;

    Meditation/mindfulness- so useful to come back into the present moment and realise that a thought is just that, and that it has no reflection on me as a person. Long term benefits also mean i am better able to redirect my focus when i am gettting distracted by worries, for example when im reading.

    Taking Omega-3 capsules- I read somewhere that they can help the potency of SSRIs and also that it is good for obsessive thinking/generally helping you think clearer

    Exercise- I run ocassionally and have joined a kickboxing class with my friend, which is really vigorous and fun and makes me feel accomplished, its good to get some agression out as they give you these massive boxing gloves to put on!

    Remembering to take it easy and relax, watch nice films (but not all the time) and chilling out in the evenings. I used to give myself way too many things to do in a short space of time and i think this massively contributed to my stress levels before i got really bad.

    Focussing on my work; weirdly, when i was first on citalopram and found my thoughts wandering to intrusive thoughts about unreality, if i made myself sit down and read a dense research book for my dissertation i actually started to get intesreted in it, and come up with ideas for research. This probably depends what kind of work you do and if it causes you stress but because my anxieties are unrelated to my uni work, diving into the process really helped drag me out of a hole

    Also stop being mean to myself! Negative self talk is difficult to deal with but if you can catch a thought and turn it into a positive when it occurs i have found this beneficial (I dont know if this is CBT or not? i did a bit of reading on that a while back)

    Sorry for the essay, it as much for other as it is a reminder to myself to look forwards and keep on believing in my own progress, hope it helps anyone who is interested enough to sit and read!! And i would love any input people have, sharing's caring

    Peace out xx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    I've skimmed read this but I'm gonna read prop later and reply. I'm on day 16.... Feeling awful. I need some reassurance x
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    Believe in yourself x

  3. #3

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    Good post!! Im on day 6 and feel horrendous today :( feeling really scared and dont want to move. Major attack at work which has really kicked me back! Im glad you are making progress x

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    Ty so much for your post. It makes us realise we are not alone. I wrote something earlier to a SANE volunteer by email so ill copy and paste it as it's my story. I've been very honest so pls don't judge me on my teenage yrs part ( I'm still deeply ashamed by that )

    Ty. I'm struggling. I really am.
    I'm 41, married to my soul mate and gave 2 beautiful daughters aged 14 and 11. I have a good job, full time and I'm also a student doing a distance learning course training to become a dispensing optician, I'm in my 1st yr training. So I have everything going for me so why do I feel like I do??!!!!

    My depression/ anxiety/ panic attacks started when I was about 21. I rebelled in my teenage yrs and early 20's and experimented with recreational drugs, speed, LSD,ecstasy and cannabis. But when it started to affect my mental health I knew it was time to stop. I spent the next 5 yrs struggling. Struggling with guilt and with anxious feelings. I had many panic attacks and depressive episodes but I dealt with them and managed to hold down a job etc. I finally got medical help and was prescribed anti depressants. After a lot of trial and error I finally found one which 'cured' me of my symptoms. It was a terrible time but I got better. In 1999 I had my first child but I suffered with a bout of depression when she was about 18 mths old. I got over it. In 2002 I fell for my second child and half way through the pregnancy my depression, GAD returned. It was a difficult pregnancy which resulted in my daughter becoming very ill and she spent time in hospital after suffering a brain haemorrhage and other complications. So again I spent a few months in the cloud of depression and anxiety but again I got better. So here I am 10 yrs later. In the ten yrs I have done really well. I've moved up in my career, become a really confident person , the life and soul. Started training to become an optician. Life was good!!!!!!
    Things started getting difficult last yr. My sister had a breakdown but decided to chose alcohol to deal with it so I had to run around and help with her children while she drunk herself silly. This went on for over a yr but I dealt with it, really well!! She is in recovery now so no longer needs my support. In jan this yr my mum moved abroad with my step dad. It was hard but I dealt with it. In April I lost my gran, again it was hard but again I dealt with it. Then we decided to go visit my mum and step dad in the summer, had the most wonderful holiday. Lots of sun and fun. Leaving her was heartbreaking. When we got home my youngest got ill. Not life threatening but it's resulted in many drs visits and hospital appts. We are still dealing with it, she sees a specialist Monday coming. She can't go to school atm. So about 6 weeks ago I started feeling ill. Tired, bogged down. Then I started waking early with the most intense feelings of anxiety. I fought it for a couple of weeks. Even managed to go away to uni for 3 nights, carried on working but as they days went on my energy levels got lower and lower. I lost my appetite, couldn't sleep, couldn't function. Lost all motivation and then I realised I was depressed.....again. A massive blow!!! I went to dr who was fab and he increased my cipramil from 20mg (which I've been on for 10 yrs) to 40mg. Today is day 16 on that dose. I've been signed off work. I'm due to go back in 2 weeks. I feel awful. Totally trapped in a world of fear. I feel sick, can't eat but I can sleep. I need at least 12 hrs a day. I've been offered my first ever counselling appt today and I'm going Monday. I'm scared I'll never feel well again and that my life is over. I just want to feel better.

    I think my depression has lifted but I'm experiencing side effects which are making me feel rubbish. Loss of appetite, I'm always tired and I feel so anxious in mornings still.

    Ty gor reading xx
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    Believe in yourself x

  5. #5

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    please dont be ashamed, i think part of my anxiety was from hitting the drugs hard for the last two years. I also experimented with Acid and MDMA, ketamine, you name it. Was a full on stoner for two years so youre not alone in this either. Same qas you, i skim read your reply as im on my way out but ill be sure to reply to you later. Big love to both of you xx

  6. #6

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    Chin up Britabb, it will get better. Im sorry to hear about all your family related troubles, i swear problems all come at once sometimes. Have you considered meditation at all? Its so helpful to calm yourself daily, and the more you practice it the more benefits you can feel in everyday life. I can identify negative thought patterns so much faster now and dont involve myself with them anymore. Progressive muscle relaxation is good as well for night time anxiety.

    Also i dont think you should be ashamed of your younger years; so you experimented at one point. You didnt hurt anyone. Although that lifestyle is unhealthy i dont think you should blame yourself or talk down to yourself about it, and i dont think you have any lasting damage.

    Keep posted about your progress

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    Hi Thanks Bam..bam,
    Really interesting and helpful post I am on day 12 on 5mg cipralex and feeling rubbish in the mornings but better towards the afternoon and evening, I hate going to bed as I know when I wake up I will have depression and that awful hopeless feeling...I have been off work now for 10 days but can't imagine going back until I am much better.
    Hope next week gets better day by day, sending you a hug

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    , , United Kingdom.

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    Thanks for your post. I'm into month 3 of 20mg and it is a real rollercoaster. Whenever I have a blip I think I'll never get better. The anxiety is still the major problem for me, HA and GAD. Coming on here always gives me hope as it's a fantastic place for support from people who truly understand. You've had a lot to contend with and you're bound to have bad moments. Keep staying positive! X

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Re: First proper thread, hello alll! New to Citalopram, positive thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by jillyb View Post
    Thanks for your post. I'm into month 3 of 20mg and it is a real rollercoaster. Whenever I have a blip I think I'll never get better. The anxiety is still the major problem for me, HA and GAD. Coming on here always gives me hope as it's a fantastic place for support from people who truly understand. You've had a lot to contend with and you're bound to have bad moments. Keep staying positive! X
    Nicely put Jilly.

    I am 6 months in, generally feel much better but every day brings it challenges! Don't be too hard on yourselves, I was searching for the perfect life but it just isn't out there - you really do need to appreciate all you have and enjoy it to the max!

    Keep going guys x

    Life is a roller just gotta ride it a day at a time
    (Cit 40mg)

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