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Citalopram down to 20mg - feel FANTASTIC

(4 Posts)
aziraphale Wed 12-Mar-14 11:21:07

Hi folks. I'm new to the board. I know there are some very wise ladies on here so I'd love some advice if you have the time.

Last week I took the dose from 40mg to 20mg with the doctor's advice, based on the fact that I was exceptionally anxious (am single working LP) and I was catastrophising a lot. It felt medical (I know that doesn't make sense, but when I felt a certain way and couldn't find the cause for it, I looked to the medication for a solution.) I'd not had anxiety like it before and was concerned that it was affecting my working life.

I've been on varying degrees of Citalopram for the last 10 years, most recently 40mg through two pregnancies in the last four years. Because I'd been on it so long, I didn't feel as though it was really working and I felt so crap I thought that any change in meds was a good idea. I'm also on a very low calorie diet which I told the doctor too.

Since taking the dose down (took 20mg on Friday and every day since) I've felt hyperactive, happy, relaxed, calm and confident. (er, I've even felt like I could even contemplate looking for a boyfriend and everything... if you know what I mean) So much so in fact that I was worried that I might be feeling a little manic. I'm trying to rationalise it by saying that the serotonin levels in my brain are not inhibited any more, so I'm going to feel generally happier, but wtf does that mean? Coming down ADs makes you feel happier?

I'm a bit worried about having a sort of crash pretty soon too. I don't know how long this euphoric feeling will last. Or is it just that I'm actually happy with my life? I have a lot to deal with generally and the past three years have been horrendously traumatic (my first son died of cot death, I kicked out my abusive exP, had my second son on my own, moved house and went back to work) and part of the issue originally was that I couldn't cry about the things that had happened -I felt as though the medication was inhibiting my emotions about these things which I desperately needed to let out.

What are everyone's experiences of coming off ADs? Is it always a horror story or does it sometimes make you feel a lot better?

violator Wed 12-Mar-14 21:25:44

You've had a terrible time of it, hugs to you.

No, it's not all horror stories at all. Antidepressants don't fix the issues that cause depression. As one psych I spoke to said, they don't take away the hurt, they sometimes make it more bearable.

I was on antidepressants for just over two years after severe PND. I came off 10mgs Escitalopram (which is equivalent to 20mgs Citalopram) over a period of six months. Really, really, slowly weaning down.

Initially I felt great. After about two weeks I got some physical discontinuation symptoms (felt like I was getting the flu, bad headaches, sleep problems) but they eased. I've had a few dips in mood alright but that's life isn't it? PMS doesn't help!

I'm 6 weeks medication free now and feeling good. Going back to the gym has really helped, even 30 minutes of sweaty exercise boost my mood so much.
I also take a very good Omega 3 oil, magnesium, Vitamin B complex every day. And I eat well, try to look after myself. Talk therapy was immensely helpful to me.

If you've processed the horrible things that have happened to you, and accepted them, then there's no reason for you not to feel much better.
Just go very very slowly if you decide to wean off the medication completely.

violator Wed 12-Mar-14 21:29:02

Forgot to add, there is a book by psychiatrist Peter Breggin called Your Drug May Be Your Problem. I haven't read it yet but he is not alone in the profession believing that antidepressants aren't always the best option.

aziraphale Thu 13-Mar-14 10:12:18

Thanks so much for your response. It's been nearly a week now and my mood hasn't dropped, but I'm feeling generally pretty happy and calm. I'll keep a look out for the physical discontinuation symptoms too. And I'm doing a rather ridiculous exercise video 2-3 times a week, more for the serotonin boost than the bingo wings banishing so I will stick with that!

Really glad you're feeling good now smile

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