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Early days of Citalopram - will it get better?

(119 Posts)
CarolineLHol Tue 01-Jan-13 20:17:18

After a good pregnancy, working up to the end, I don't think I really spent enough time thinking about the life changing choice we had made and I have struggled to get my head around being a mum from the beginning. Baby gave me a scare within the first few hours but is fully recovered and is an absolute angel. Her mum however has been a yoyo of emotions.
After a tearful and being at my lowest over Christmas I'm now on day 4 of Citalopram. But am feeling awful and scared that im not going to be normal again. No appetite and not able to sleep (not slept properly for 2 months) and feel like I am a robot around my baby.

Was hoping to hear some reassurance that it will get better.

HellesBelles396 Tue 08-Jan-13 17:28:15

One don't madas:
don't second guess it - everyone's timescale and side effects are different.

one do:
do get as much help and support as possible over the next few weeks so that, hopefully, you won't be worrying about everything that needs doing.

madas Tue 08-Jan-13 17:59:14

Thanks for your replies, i have never felt so helpless and on my own even tho i have friends and family to support me sad

perspective Tue 08-Jan-13 18:05:47

Oh bigger, typed a long reply and lost it.

Welcome madas, there are a few of us in the early days so you are not alone. Very reassuring also to here other experiences.

I am day 11, side effects subsiding a bit although I am still not sleeping. Went back to work yesterday and coped ok. Having a routine again felt quite reassuring too. Shattered now though and glad I am not working tomorrow though it will be the first time I have been on my own since before Christmas.

Caroline, how are you?

CarolineLHol Tue 08-Jan-13 21:22:01

Hi ladies. Madas welcome! Perspective, very happy to hear you coped well with work, was thinking of you yesterday.

Today has been my first 'goodish' day (day 10) helped by a bit of sunshine -I think we had it for an hour! I still feel pretty crappy after I take the tablets, but agree that eating something before or with has definitely helped with the nausea so force down some toast or rich tea biscuits.

Today I felt happy enough to be left alone this afternoon, I was getting very use to always having someone around helping me with my low moods and baby etc).
Perspective, it sounds dull, but kept myself busy with washing and sorting out the kitchen. Avoided tv and stuck the radio on which was nice company in the background. Tomorrow its cooking and purees, as am weaning at the mo. it was actually nice to get some control back and the house!
I even went and joined a gym. Oh god and I bought a tapestry - Christ knows when I am going to do that!

Madas, I agree with Helles talk to people, its very important and will make you feel a lot better and take it day by day, as it will and still is a bit of a roller coaster ride, but you/we all will feel better.

I am looking into cognitive behaviour therapy - anybody tried it?

HellesBelles396 Wed 09-Jan-13 08:27:12

caroline I had cbt after my breakdown. it really helped. Actually, it made me worse for the first couple of sessions because you realise how screwed up your thinking is. After that, it's better because you can tell you're making progress.
mind over mood is the book I was recommended by my CPN. very useful and explains everything brilliantly. good exercises to do with photocopiable resources.

madas Wed 09-Jan-13 09:16:50

Sorry if am hijacking thread, just a quick question. Took my first tab last night, today i feel light headed. Its like im on the outside looking in, sureal iyswim.

perspective Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:31

You're not hijacking at all. We are here to offer and receive support.

I found the first few days quite surreal, then had a few other side effects. As Helles says, don't second guess. Remember, side effects will subside, and in the meantime try and be kind to yourself.

Caroline, good to hear you had a hood day. I have kept busy today, dragged myself to the pool for a swim this morning and gave some of the house a good clean. I also slept better last night so feeling more human.

CarolineLHol Wed 09-Jan-13 17:22:31

My good day was short lived as had one of the worst today. Little sleep, bf snoring again, sent him to the sofa! Came home after my swim and gp visit and have been feeling so low and rotten all day. Chasing my Perinatal clinic to try and see a counsellor for the PND, taking weeks for anyone to get back to me. Plus have had to agree to getting a nanny in for 5 mornings a week until I feel better which is money we don't have.
Sorry to be so miserable, I know this is a bad day but still feel 2 steps forward 1 step back! BUT I know it will get better. smile

HellesBelles396 Wed 09-Jan-13 22:56:47

caroline - it's fine we're here to support. you werre having a bad day but you went for a swim - that's fantastic because you motivates yourself to not only leave the house but to exercise. Your bf was snoring so you sent him to the sofa: there was a problem that was impacting on your health and you dealt with it - another toughy handled by you on a bad day. you chased up counselling - you could have just left it but you didn't. you did well today, it was the illness that had a bad day.

perspective Thu 10-Jan-13 20:11:30

Caroline and madas, how are you today? My side effects seem to have subsided ok but today I have just felt so flat and anxious. Just going through the motions until I can get to bed. It's an effort to get through the day. I had hoped my anxiety would be starting to get better. In work again tomorrow.

HellesBelles396 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:38:09

Hi Perspective what day are you on now? The side effects wear off before the drug starts working, if I remember rightly.

madas Thu 10-Jan-13 21:16:46

Hi all, still feels a bit sureal and i have what i can only describe as a back ground headache. I think what bothers me the most is being on the edge of bursting into tears, i even had my dw blubbing tonight. Did anybody lose there appetite ?

HellesBelles396 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:21:43

I was already not eating as a symptom of depression: when I'm anxious, I eat; when I'm depressed, I don't.

Anxious at moment. Size 18.

Depressed: usually 12-14

Boomerwang Thu 10-Jan-13 22:22:51

Hello. I have been taking 20mg a day of Citalopram for approx the last three years. In the beginning I was given 10mg a day and I felt awful. I truly felt it was time to let go of life, that my last hope was a big fat fail. It didn't help that every NHS therapy organisation was fully booked and had long waiting lists. I had been given an appointment with a counsellor about a week after starting the drug and it was one of the most miserable moments of my life. I was convinced that the pills were rubbish.

My dose was increased to 20mg and one further week later I felt... ok. I suddenly had the desire to spring clean my bedroom. And then I actually took some stuff to the charity shop. I flicked through a cookbook. I spent over an hour cleaning the green shit off the patio outside. I was living with my parents at the time and they absolutely zipped their lips about it. I think they were afraid of breaking a spell.

Citalopram can and does change your life. Please persevere. If it doesn't, your doctor will try you with something else. It takes finding the right one and then you can live again.

Incidentally, my side effects were dry mouth, anorgasmia and loss of sensation (hard to pee) and very messed up sleep.

Approx 3 months into the use of citalopram my sensation came back (with a vengeance, I might add), my mouth is no longer dry (I think) and I sleep absolutely fine. In fact I have no problems at all unless I miss a dose.

For me, missing a dose doesn't affect me the same day or even the day after. It's the one after that, even if you remember your next dose the day before. I get anxious and can't sleep due to 9238723947 things running through my head, I get bad restless leg syndrome and there's approx a 20% chance that I'll feel depressed as well.

I must say that in the three years I've taken citalopram properly, I've only had a handful of days where I could say I truly felt depressed.

I hope some of this helps. I think it's important that you don't give up. I'm on the other side, just like other AD users and I want everybody else to come to this side too.

Boomerwang Thu 10-Jan-13 22:26:04

Oh sorry, because I'm on medication for it I'd completely forgotten about one side effect that remains to this day. I suffer from acid reflux and I am prescribed omeprazole to counter it. It's extremely effective, though.

madas Fri 11-Jan-13 12:17:03

Hi everyone. Hope you are all having a positive day. Trying to motivate myself and go for a walk as the sun is out for a while.

humptydumptywaspushedtwice Fri 11-Jan-13 15:56:07

Hi. I've just joined MN as looking for other people suffering from depression, etc. hope you don't mind me joining in. I've been on Citalopram for 3 months now for depression and suicide thoughts. i found taking them at first a bit odd- and got worried about the side effects are listed on the interweb- I get very hot at night and if I wake up then I find it v hard to go back to sleep. As usual though

Its worth persisting with it though- the side effects do wear off as your body gets used to the dose- as I feel much better now than last October- and sweet lady wife thinks has told me I'm a much easier, more relaxed and approachable person to be around. I did CBT too- Beating the Blues via the Internet (finished last week) which you can fit around mood, time and energy levels.

CarolineLHol Fri 11-Jan-13 19:06:34

Hi Perspective, I think I am a day behind you on number of days and am feeling exactly the same as you. Side effects are subsiding, except the insomnia. Appetite is slowly coming back during the day.
Last couple of days have been low mentally though, but still can't get over the change in the evenings from during the day - does anyone else have that?
i even sent the maternity nurse home early yesterday afternoon because I felt so good. but then today it has taken longer to feel better, maybe due to little sleep last night and taking half a Valium at 2am doh!
I know it is very basic compared to the rest of the medication we are on, but Perspective have you tried taking vitamin b supplement and the rescue remedy products for your anxiety during the day? Plus make sure to mention I when you see GP. Have you got an appointment for follow-up?

Madas, did you get out for a walk?

Boomerwang Fri 11-Jan-13 19:15:37

Does rescue remedy actually work? I wonder if it'd be any use to me when I can't sleep at night due to anxiety. How long does it take to work?

CarolineLHol Fri 11-Jan-13 19:41:42

It does work for some, its always worth a try but manage your own expectations. Don't go to bed until you are really tired - 3 hours of deep sleep beat 6 hours of on and off sleep.
Ovaltine was my favourite for getting me off to sleep. Mind you I'm on zoplicone to sleep at the moment due to the citaloprm. But actually only gives me a couple of hours sleep so Might as well not take them. but if I do wake up I take some rescue remedy drops, and although I don't get anymore deep sleep it helps me relax and snooze.

perspective Fri 11-Jan-13 19:43:41

Hi everyone. Helles, I am now on day 14. I am finding that anxiety subsides a bit when I am occupied so trying to get back to a more normal routine and get a bit of regular exercise.

Caroline, I'm not sleeping brilliantly either, I drop off ok but wake between 2 and 4 and then can't get back to sleep.

Boomerang, thanks for sharing, you wrote very movingly and all the posts keep me hopeful.

Hope everyone has an ok weekend. I'm off to freeze watching ds do a cross country race......

madas Fri 11-Jan-13 20:16:59

Evening all. Caroline, yes i did manage a couple of hours thanks but to be honest didnt find it as cathartic as i normally do. While i was out i thought about how i have been wrapped up in my little world and really hadnt considered my dw and how she must be feeling. When i picked her up from work i did something i had never done before, i got out of the car as she was walking towards it and gave her a big hug and we both started crying lol

perspective Fri 11-Jan-13 20:35:02

That's lovely madas.

CarolineLHol Fri 11-Jan-13 20:59:03

Madas that's soo sweet.
I was the same after a walk today. Just remember that at the moment things don't quite feel the same because the medication is trying to work it's magic. Once the balance comes you will love walking in the sunshine again!

Perspective, don't envy you! ;) hope the snow holds off!

HellesBelles396 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:11:48

Everything is sounding quite positive on here. Reductions in side-effects, empathy with others - something that depression and anxiety can take from you.

I was interested to read [Humpty] of your side effect of getting very warm at night as I get very warm once I'm asleep and often wake up with a raging thirst (not diabetes - they check me all the time because dm has it). It never occurred to me that it might be linked to the citalopram. I'm 3 years in though so I can't recollect whether that started at the same time as the hotness.

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