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Thread: My citalopram diary - July 2020

  1. #21
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Day 18 - in terms of anxiety levels, I think today was about the same as yesterday. I feel like im not getting quite as many physical symptoms as I used to - it's mainly the unwanted intrusive thoughts that are the problem now. When the thoughts get more intense, I do still notice a fair amount of uptick in the physical symptoms, though. I also still feel tearful and down at times.

    Thankfully I don't recall having any bad dreams last night, and I slept well again. In the afternoon I watched a couple of comedies on Amazon Prime - I still got some intrusive thoughts but not as badly as I did yesterday when I was watching the dystopian In Time film. I then sat outside for an hour, then had my roast dinner. By about 7pm, the intrusive thoughts began to settle down just a little, thankfully.
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  2. #22
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Day 19 (yesterday) - in terms of anxiety levels was the same as the previous couple of days. I'm still getting a lot of intrusive thoughts and feeling low. Yesterday I was mainly doing errands such as online shopping, emailing my doctor's certificate to my manager at work, contacting my new therapist for the first time to find out about appointment availability, etc.

    Day 20 - today I woke up a couple of hours earlier than expected, with my intrusive thoughts about death and dying. A lot of the books I've read say it's not the actual content of the thoughts that scares you, it's your reaction to them. But then I get doubts saying "what if I am actually scared about dying? It's inevitable and there's no way around it, so does that mean my anxiety will never go?" Then that leads on to the intrusive thought that I'll never recover from this episode. :(

    This afternoon, I'm going for a walk on the beach with my mum and sister, so hopefully that will help cheer me up.
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  3. #23
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle1984 View Post
    Day 19 (yesterday) - in terms of anxiety levels was the same as the previous couple of days. I'm still getting a lot of intrusive thoughts and feeling low. Yesterday I was mainly doing errands such as online shopping, emailing my doctor's certificate to my manager at work, contacting my new therapist for the first time to find out about appointment availability, etc.

    Day 20 - today I woke up a couple of hours earlier than expected, with my intrusive thoughts about death and dying. A lot of the books I've read say it's not the actual content of the thoughts that scares you, it's your reaction to them. But then I get doubts saying "what if I am actually scared about dying? It's inevitable and there's no way around it, so does that mean my anxiety will never go?" Then that leads on to the intrusive thought that I'll never recover from this episode. :(

    This afternoon, I'm going for a walk on the beach with my mum and sister, so hopefully that will help cheer me up.

    How did your walk on the beach go sparkle? I hope things calmed down for you, I'm also struggling to deal with the intrusive thoughts of the same subject, but from a Health Anxiety perspective. I've watched a few videos on them and most people seem to say to just let the thoughts be and don't pay attention to them. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.

    I hope tomorrow is a better day!
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  4. #24
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Thanks Aleman! I enjoyed my afternoon at the beach, even though the negative thoughts were always in the background. We sat on the beach for just over an hour and also had a paddle in the sea, then we went to a café where they do huge slices of cake! It was my first time there and I had salted caramel cake and a vanilla milkshake.

    The afternoon out did cheer me up, but by the evening I felt on edge again and my intrusive thoughts were coming through more strongly. I didn't sleep so well last night due to the heightened anxiety, and I also kept having nightmares about dying. Even though I'm anxious about death (even via old age, despite knowing I likely have several decades to go), when the depression side kicks in, I get thoughts about everything in life being pointless as we're all going to end up dying anyway!

    I have an initial appointment with my new therapist this afternoon. I think that has also been on my mind, as I keep thinking I hope she will be understanding of my issues and be able to help me. In some ways, the intrusive thoughts are actually worse than when I started the citalopram almost 3 weeks ago, so I'm hoping she won't say I'll need more time to settle down before she feels able to help me. Tomorrow, I also have my 3 week review with the doctor, so I will mention the intrusive thoughts and nightmares to him.
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  5. #25
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle1984 View Post
    Thanks Aleman! I enjoyed my afternoon at the beach, even though the negative thoughts were always in the background. We sat on the beach for just over an hour and also had a paddle in the sea, then we went to a café where they do huge slices of cake! It was my first time there and I had salted caramel cake and a vanilla milkshake.

    The afternoon out did cheer me up, but by the evening I felt on edge again and my intrusive thoughts were coming through more strongly. I didn't sleep so well last night due to the heightened anxiety, and I also kept having nightmares about dying. Even though I'm anxious about death (even via old age, despite knowing I likely have several decades to go), when the depression side kicks in, I get thoughts about everything in life being pointless as we're all going to end up dying anyway!

    I have an initial appointment with my new therapist this afternoon. I think that has also been on my mind, as I keep thinking I hope she will be understanding of my issues and be able to help me. In some ways, the intrusive thoughts are actually worse than when I started the citalopram almost 3 weeks ago, so I'm hoping she won't say I'll need more time to settle down before she feels able to help me. Tomorrow, I also have my 3 week review with the doctor, so I will mention the intrusive thoughts and nightmares to him.
    That's great to hear! I hope your dr appointment and your therapist appointment went well!
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  6. #26
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    My therapy appointment went well - I found the therapist kind and understanding. We were mainly discussing my background with anxiety, and what factors could have led to it. At the next session, I should be able to start learning new techniques for dealing with my anxiety.

    Unfortunately, the review appointment with my doctor didn't go ahead today after all. When I called the surgery this morning, they said my usual doctor isn't in today, and they are only dealing with emergencies today, so I'll need to call back tomorrow. I was disappointed as I just wanted to get the dose increase to 20mg over and done with.

    Overall, I think today was ever so slightly better than yesterday, in terms of anxiety and intrusive thoughts. The bad thing is that roadworks started outside my house today and they will be going on for several more days. It's very noisy and not ideal when I'm already sensitised and tired due to my anxiety.

    I found that watching films (even comedies) doesn't seem to help with my anxiety, so today I decided to play some online games instead, to help keep my mind active. I was using the Facebook Gaming app, which enables you to play quizzes and games with your friends. I find it more helpful than watching films.
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  7. #27
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Day 22 - today was one of my better days for a while. I still had quite a few intrusive thoughts but I haven't felt quite so low and hopeless today. I slept reasonably well last night.

    I felt like some of my motivation had come back, so I read a couple of chapters of an IT book.

    I had my review appointment with my doctor today - it went well and he agreed that I can increase my dose to 20mg. I took my first 20mg dose just after dinner.

    The doctor also said I should do more exercise again (like I did a few months ago before I lost my motivation and my anxiety got bad again). So a couple of hours ago I did about 12 minutes on the treadmill. However, afterwards I noticed I felt a bit more anxious again - I'm not sure if this is due to the exercise or the early effects of the increased dose?
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  8. #28
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle1984 View Post
    So a couple of hours ago I did about 12 minutes on the treadmill. However, afterwards I noticed I felt a bit more anxious again - I'm not sure if this is due to the exercise or the early effects of the increased dose?
    It could be either, but it is a little more likely be the higher dose. In both cases it should settle down as the body adapts.

    Exercise is good not only for the physical benefits, but it also enhances hippocampal neurogenesis to some extent.
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  9. #29
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle1984 View Post
    Day 22 - today was one of my better days for a while. I still had quite a few intrusive thoughts but I haven't felt quite so low and hopeless today. I slept reasonably well last night.

    I felt like some of my motivation had come back, so I read a couple of chapters of an IT book.

    I had my review appointment with my doctor today - it went well and he agreed that I can increase my dose to 20mg. I took my first 20mg dose just after dinner.

    The doctor also said I should do more exercise again (like I did a few months ago before I lost my motivation and my anxiety got bad again). So a couple of hours ago I did about 12 minutes on the treadmill. However, afterwards I noticed I felt a bit more anxious again - I'm not sure if this is due to the exercise or the early effects of the increased dose?
    I'm glad to hear the increase wasn't too bad, I believe it's going to be down to the increse rather than the excercise as I personally tend to feel a bit better after a walk (Albeit still anxious but still). I'm hoping to go back up to 20mg providing it's safe and acceptable in 3 weeks time.
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  10. #30
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    Re: My citalopram diary - July 2020

    Thanks - I agree the increased anxiety was probably more to do with the increased dose than the exercise.

    Yesterday and today (so far) have been reasonable days. I walked to the pharmacy about mid-day yesterday to pick up my 20mg prescription (I've been taking 2 of the 10mg tablets and will do so until they're used up). This also helped me to get my daily dose of exercise!

    I did notice some tight-chestedness yesterday afternoon and evening, but it calmed down as the day wore on. My intrusive thoughts were more in the background - and while I was busy with other things in the evening, I even had a couple of moments where I forgot about my anxiety and my thoughts, if only for a few minutes. That's the first time I've experienced that so far during this anxiety episode, so it gives me hope I can get better. Also, in the last day or so, that all-pervasive sense of hopelessness seems to have lifted quite a bit.

    When I get the intrusive thoughts about dying, I'm finding it a bit easier to challenge them. I remind myself that I'm young and physically healthy and that I probably have several decades ahead of me.

    Sometimes I still get a sense of dysphoria about my age - I'm 36 but I feel like I should still be in my early 30s rather than my mid 30s. I feel like the 4 years from 2016-2019 inclusive have gone fairly quickly, but that's probably because I was mentally healthy during those years and I enjoyed them (I was stable on citalopram then from my last major anxiety episode in 2015). However, I have always had a sense of dysphoria about my age - for example when I was in my late 20s, I felt like I should still be in my early 20s, when I was in my early 20s I felt like I should still be a teenager, but when I turned 13 I often wished I was still 12, as that was the cut-off point for some of the childhood activities I used to enjoy. I can still clearly remember having my photo taken with a box of chocolates when I was 8 years old, and I remember feeling too old, like I thought I should still be 5 or 6! It's quite strange - I'm not sure if this ties in with my Asperger's/autism. Also, people have always said I look much younger than I really am (which I'm pleased about). Whenever I feel like I should be younger, I have to remind myself that I was lucky to be a child in the late 80s and 90s and see the development of technology and the internet first hand. If I had been born a decade later, I wouldn't have known what the world was like before the internet became widespread.

    Today I went for a walk with my mum around the local area. We walked along some paths I'd never been down before, even though I've lived here all my life! They were shortcut woodland paths connecting different roads. For tomorrow, I've arranged with my sister to go back to the beach we went to on Tuesday last week. So I have that to look forward to.

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that last night I noticed one of my teeth seems to have changed shape, as if a piece has been chipped off. Thankfully it doesn't hurt at all. I'm always very sensitive to any changes in my body like this.
    Last edited by Sparkle1984; 23-08-20 at 18:23.

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